A Statement Concerning Naked Pastor David Hayward and The Lasting Supper

UPDATE, 07/22/2015: David Hayward, has issued an apology and statement concerning former community members’ accusations: http://goo.gl/mLGWPw. Former members call the apology and statement inadequate: https://goo.gl/yAUCHD.

It pains me greatly to say this, but I cannot in good conscience remain silent any longer:

David Hayward, the satirical religious cartoonist known as the “Naked Pastor,” is not a safe person for abuse survivors. And his online community, The Lasting Supper, is not a safe space for them, either.

It pains me to say that because Hayward was one of several outspoken advocates for Julie McMahon, the ex-wife of Tony Jones who courageously fought earlier this year to make public her allegations of domestic abuse. At that time, Hayward appeared to understand the reality of abuse, the dynamics of abuse, and how to be sensitive and welcoming to abuse survivors in his interactions with McMahon.

But riding on the coattails of abuse survivors for page views and being an advocate and friend to abuse survivors are two very different beasts. They often look the same, and someone skilled at the use, misuse, and abuse of marginalized people groups can easily make one look like the other. More and more individuals and former members of Hayward’s online community, The Lasting Supper, are stepping forward with their stories of being taken advantage of by Hayward, having their stories of heartache and trauma mined for his cartooning business, and gaslit when calling him out for his actions. He has even allegedly stolen stories from abuse survivors and written their stories “for them” without their permission.

I don’t want this to be true. It hurts when someone you thought was safe — someone so skilled at talking the talk — is in fact unsafe. But it hurts far more to those intimately and devastatingly betrayed by Hayward than it does for me. And I believe the words of Desmond Tutu: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” So I refuse to be silent. I refuse to let my dear friends stand alone in their confrontation of Hayward. I refuse to let Hayward whitewash his actions and pretend abuse survivors are “haters” and “abusers” for speaking up.

I refuse to let Hayward get away with being another progressive leader who only cares about abuse when it furthers his bottom line. I refuse to let him continue making cartoonish mockeries of other progressive leaders when he acts just like those cartoons when confronted with wrongdoing.

Hayward has apparently forgotten what it means to take abuse seriously.


The stories of my friends — survivors of abuse who have also considered Hayward a friend — begin several years ago. They connected with Hayward through other online communities intended to be spaces for survivors of spiritual abuse. They found an ally and protector in Hayward when his post against Tony Jones — the infamous “Tony Jones on Mark Driscoll: What came first, the thug or the theology?” post — went viral after Jones’s ex-wife, Julie McMahon, commented on the post with allegations of domestic violence. Hayward positioned himself as someone who understood the dynamics of abuse. People like McMahon — and others who had similar experiences of being alienated from churches due to being abused — saw Hayward and his online community, The Lasting Supper, as a safe person and a safe space. In fact, The Lasting Supper — which charges participants $7 a month to be in a private Facebook group — billed itself as a safe space for survivors (“a safe online community”, “a safe place”, “creating safe spaces for people”).

Many of these people, despite misgivings, paid the money to join Hayward’s safe space — which turned out to be anything but safe. Survivors of abusive homeschooling upbringings were attacked when arguing for the importance of reporting child neglect to the proper authorities. Survivors of spiritual abuse were attacked when trying to communicate they were triggered by a self-proclaimed prophetess who claimed an alien pearl inhabited her body and informed her about the end of times. Some members were sent frightening, threatening messages by other members. Queer members had to experience other members calling their sexuality “repulsive.” In each case, Hayward sided not with the abuse survivors or those harassed but with the ones abusing and harassing. You can read full testimonies from three former members here, here, and here.

In the midst of this, as survivors begged Hayward to make good on his promise of a safe space, Hayward began blocking them, deleting their comments, and ignoring their appeals. They attempted reconciliation; he refused. They tried to build bridges; he burned them as quickly as he could. He used his own failings to make The Lasting Supper safe for survivors to justify his abrupt abandonment of Julie McMahon and online teams assembled to defend her. But he made one promise: “I promise not to remove posts or comments.”

He failed at even that one simple promise.

Changing Tunes

On March 15, 2015, in the midst of Hayward’s defense of Julie McMahon’s right to speak out against her ex-husband Tony Jones, Hayward had no problem with saying abuse survivors have a right to speak up. His cartoon, “Policing Complaints,” came with the blog title, “why abusers police how the abused file complaints.” Hayward wrote,

It never ceases to amaze me how many rules there are for how people who’ve been abused should act. Especially in the church! You’d think the church would be afloat with ethics for how those in power should treat people and what they should do if they violate those ethics.

But no! Instead, we have an endless list of ethics for how the abused should and shouldn’t act, what they should and shouldn’t say, and how long they have to do it in.

You’re too angry. You’re too hysterical. You’re too persistent. When are you going to let it go? You should forgive. You’re being mean. You say they’re trying to silence you but you’re trying to silence them. Turn the other cheek. You’re bitter. Do you have to swear? That’s not very Christian. He hurt you but now you’re hurting him so you’re no better. You’re creating division in the Body of Christ. You’re being vindictive. On and on. The endless list of rules on how the alleged abused should file their complaints is astounding. All to silence the victims and survivors.

Hayward then reiterated his commitment to the right of abuse survivors to speak in a comment, saying,

I do not delete comments. Nor do I edit them. The usual tactic of those who support power is to exit the conversation when it gets too hot, or delete comments, or close comments, or ask others to delete comments or posts. It’s all about the control of information.

Image here:

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 9.02.17 PM

Hayward’s alleged dedication to not deleting comments also came with an attack against another blogger who closed down his comments section. In a thread on the Facebook page for the Stuff Christian Culture Likes community, Hayward said closing one’s comments section is “a common tactic of those who protect the insidious practice of silencing victims” (image was sent to me with the blogger’s name redacted)

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 11

Text is,

Well… it seems that [redacted] has closed comments on his blog. This seems to be a common tactic of those who protect the insidious practice of silencing victims. Very frustrating! [redacted] and others can’t seem to grasp the groundswell of frustration that so many people are experiencing with the systems of power… its privileges and abuses. It’s like Wall Street. The protests seemed insanely useless, a sterile hippy attempt to be heard and affect change. Those in power just watch and wait for the frustration to fizzle out or cold weather to set in. Then they send in the police to clean up the mess. Nothing changes and those in power know it. So of course places like SCCL and nakedpastor sound angry and shrill and petty and useless. It’s because we are voices crying in the wilderness to affect change in the city center. Those in power and their protectors, like [redacted], realize that if we just ignore those hysterical voices that it will marginalize them and prevent them from creeping in to the locus of power to disturb their authority and its benefits.

Of course, this was when the target of abuse survivors speaking up was Tony Jones and when Hayward had the chance to portray himself as a “voice crying in the wilderness” against Jones. But when abuse survivors began speaking up about Hayward’s mistreatment of them, suddenly Hayward changed tunes. He began deleting comments and shutting down his comments section on his July 11, 2015 post, “trust is earned, not demanded,” where former members of The Lasting Supper — who are abuse survivors themselves — spoke out against Hayward. Images of those interactions — which Hayward has since deleted — are below:

Hayward also deleted perfectly reasonable dissents from his Facebook page. For example,

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 6.19.51 PM

Text is,

To my friends who are still in the Lasting Supper, I wish you all well but I can’t be silent. David has no intention to do what is necessary to create a safe space. I believe posts like this are deceptive and will lure more people in who join with the false impression that is is a safe space. If he wants to advertise an environment where you are free to explore any and all ideas, fine. Just add a disclaimer. I don’t wish David ill will but at this point he is willfully ignorant of what a safe space is and needs to stop suggesting TLS is safe.

All these comments — from his Facebook page and blog — are now deleted. As Hayward himself said, “It’s all about the control of information.”


But Hayward has not only deleted and silenced the voices of abuse survivors. He has also publicly represented them in dishonest, negative, and gaslighting ways. On July 9, Hayward created a cartoon entitled “Betrayed By Authority.” In the text he revealed there had been unrest in The Lasting Supper, but in true, self-protective, self-serving manner, acted as if there was nothing he could do or could have done about those feeling betrayed by him:

I am passionate about community. I am passionate about leaders having integrity. When I typed the title “Have you been betrayed by your leaders?” I was painfully aware that there are people who feel they have been betrayed by me. This causes a great deal of pain in my heart, and I wish there were ways I could repair those relationships. I’m also aware, because I’ve been on the receiving end of betrayal, that the erosion of trust is completely understandable and should be respected. I have to keep reminding myself, and my good mentors always remind me too, that even though I make mistakes and even though I have my own deep-seated issues, this doesn’t disqualify me from being passionate about healthy leadership and communities.

This is straightforward gaslighting. Hayward says he “wishes there were ways” he could repair relationships with homeschool abuse and sexual abuse survivors from his community who have felt their hearts ripped out of their bodies by him. Yet he rejected their efforts to repair the relationship and he made zero efforts to repair them himself. He blocked those people, deleted their comments, lied about deleting their comments, and refused to engage them. For example, Wende, a former TLS member, messaged the following to Hayward on Facebook:


Hayward did not respond. Instead he unfriended and blocked the her as well as her spouse. He then sent an email to them saying he was worried about his “safety” and the messages were “aggressively abusive” and he “felt harassed.” He claimed he “only proved myself supportive of you guys over and over again right until the end.” However, Jason, another abuse survivor and former TLS member, says Hayward “never tried to listen to us…. Like the sheepdog in this picture, he refuses to protect the vulnerable members of his group.” Jason adds that, “We have tried to engage David privately and he refused to listen. We tried to engage publicly and he deletes and blocks, calling us abusers. There is no path to resolve any disagreements with David himself.”

Hayward is pulling classic abuser techniques right out of Tony Jones’s backpack, all while claiming he cares about “healthy leadership and communities.” If he cared, he would do better. Caring is not enough. You need to actually do better.

On July 12, Hayward continues to paint those confronting him as “haters” on Twitter. Benner calls Hayward out for twisting the truth, with no reply from Hayward:

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 8.29.47 PM

Hayward’s July 13 cartoon, entitled “sheep follow,” shows Hayward effortlessly shifting into a persecution complex, accusing abuse survivors of “attacking” him:

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 8.25.33 PM

You’ll notice that he prefaces his claims of persecution with the phrase “while on vacation,” in an attempt to milk pity from his readers. Text is,

While on vacation, I’ve discovered that some people are engaged in attacking me, the nakedpastor, and The Lasting Supper. For the sake of my peace of mind and to respect my wife and family during my vacation, I’m going to stop comments on my blog posts until I return on the 18th of July. 

So now abuse survivors, who were ganged up on, harassed, gaslit, and traumatized by Hayward and members of his community he refused to call out, are “haters.” They are “attackers.” They are “ruiners of vacations.” And oh my goodness it got so bad he had to turn off comments — which he never does because that would be controlling information like an abuser does. Except for those comments he already deleted.

And except for the fact that he used his vacation as an excuse to shut down the conversation.


He admitted this very thing in The Lasting Supper. In the midst of trying to figure out what to do as former members were speaking up about their experiences in the community, Hayward “came up with a great idea”: use his vacation as a reason to shut it all down.

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 6.05.16 PM

As Danica, a former TLS member writes,

In short, what David Hayward says and what David Hayward does are two very separate things.

Concluding Thoughts

Like Hayward, I help run an online community. Unlike Hayward, I would never dream of charging money to join it. (He charges $7 a month for participation in a Facebook group!) That alone shocks me. It is a big red flag.

However, like Hayward’s, the community I have the honor of helping to facilitate is a designated safe space for homeschool alumni and abuse survivors — survivors of emotional, physical, sexual, and spiritual abuse. It also strives to be a safe space for LGBT* homeschooled alumni. I know it takes a lot of work to make a space safe, and I don’t pretend that my community has achieved perfect safety. While a childhood abuse survivor myself, I am privileged in many ways and I have a lot to learn when it comes to identities I am less familiar with — LGBT* identities and the identities of people of color and what needs to be done to make spaces safe for them. But I am learning. I know I make mistakes. But the best thing I can do is admit and own when I’ve made them, apologize, educate myself on the areas I failed in, and double my efforts to do better in the future.

That’s how a space grows and becomes safer.

Hayward has failed at this most crucial aspect of safe spaces and online communities: humility to admit when he’s messed up. And a commitment to do better. Because of this, he has deeply wounded some of the most prophetic, courageous abuse survivors I have the honor to know. He has taken the trust they so graciously placed in him and he has stepped on that trust over and over. He has gaslit them, lied to and about them, and thrown the one label at them that he knows would hurt them the worst: being “abusive.”

The Naked Pastor is indeed naked — not because of humility or transparency, but because he has no clothes.

And David, if you’re reading this: I don’t hate you. And none of these people hate you, either. We are asking you to do better. “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”


Addendum 1: Statement by Former TLS Member Danica

Addendum 2: Statements by Former TLS Member Jason

Addendum 3: Statement by Former TLS Member Wende


Trigger warning: Please don’t read the comments section below if you find people attacking abuse survivors speaking out triggering.

Published by R.L. Stollar

R.L. Stollar is a child liberation theologian and an advocate for children and abuse survivors. The author of an upcoming book on child liberation theology, The Kingdom of Children, Ryan has an M.H.S. in Child Protection from Nova Southeastern University and an M.A. in Eastern Classics from St. John’s College.

417 thoughts on “A Statement Concerning Naked Pastor David Hayward and The Lasting Supper

  1. Whew. Curious…have you tried reaching out to anyone for another side of the story? Say…someone that was there and left for a short period of time because of the inflammatory nature of the remarks these same above referenced folks were making to other members? It WAS ugly. But David had not an iota of a part in it. HE WASN’T THERE during the entire episode. The *members* of the group started drawing lines in the sand. WE started leaving because it was so incredibly ugly. WE felt silenced. And for some, it felt worse than being silenced.


      1. From my understanding, David Hayward is good friend. Have you even approached him about this issue?

        Proper journalistic ethics suggests you need to contact both sides of every story before publishing.

      2. No, Hayward is only a distant acquaintance. Our only contact was through Julie’s online support groups which he left in a very passive-aggressive manner.

        And this is my personal blog, not a news site. I don’t contact every side of every story when I write a blog post.

      3. Did you consider speaking to the more than 200 remaining members for other perspectives? Because there are certainly differing viewpoints on what happened.

      4. Oh woohoo, 7 whole former members, who of cousrse have no desire for revenge. How about the over 200 plus of us who are still there and saw the whole fiasco. Apparently seven is enough to get your stats up.

      5. Mr. Stollar. I am a member of TLS. I grew up in a house hold where I was a witness of and receiver of physical and emotional abuse at the hand of my father. One of your sources of posted information is an individual who used the same techniques to shame me on TLS that my father also used to shame me. You use this individual as proof that TLS is not safe for victims of abuse. The only time I have ever felt unsafe on TLS was while attempting to communicate with Jason Benner, one of your star witnesses. I am glad you are not a reporter, because your blog certainly has no aspects of fairness or investigation.

      6. I am sorry to hear about the abuse you suffered growing up, Bru. No one deserves that. I was sexually abused as a child myself. I still struggle to fight the memories to this day. We obviously disagree about Jason Benner, but I wish you well on your life’s journey and hope for continued healing from your past abuse.

      7. Kari Ritchie, If you think I (one of the 7) are the people who made TLS “unsafe” then I am confused as to why you tried several times to friend me after I left the group.

  2. You could probably find fifty or more to talk about what bullies those seven people were.

    1. I’ve never been anything but nice, Jenna. I try my very hardest to be calm, reasonable, fair, and measured. I would have held my tongue to the end and just gone quietly on my way, except that David was recruiting abuse survivors. Had he simply removed ‘safe’ from the description and ceased to actively recruit survivors, I would have never said anything. (in fact he told someone in a private conversation that TLS isn’t *supposed* to be safe . He SAID that.)

      I have not said anything that I cannot corroborate with evidence.

      And I have repeatedly said that TLS is a good place for some. I am glad those in it still get something out of it. Everyone needs a community.

  3. Mr. Stollar – Out of over 200 members you spoke to 7? I want you to think about something – at least a few of these members have violated the GROUP trust they agreed to uphold with every other member in that facebook page. They not only copied posts from within a private (and presumably protected) group and made them public, but they cherry picked. Did they happen to copy you on the posts *they* made within the group? I can almost promise…it would make your socks go up and down. More than 7 members left. As a member, I can tell you that most of them are gone due to the pure unadulterated ugliness some of these folks were directing to anyone that didn’t agree with their definition of what should and should not be allowed in the group. THAT should be noted.

    I’m not defending David, that’s not my business or place. But I will most certainly call a spade a spade.

      1. Um, I don’t think you’ve seen them all. I won’t share them because I’m a woman of my word.

        Want to talk about gaslighting? Talk to the real abusers.

    1. David himself said that when the private stuff within NBW’s fb group came out, that the person who leaked it was right in doing that because of the abusive content.

      His standard, it is double.

  4. There are over 230 other members that have witnessed what happened with these seven supposed witnesses of yours claim to have happened. David Hayward was on vacation when this took place. Most of these seven people, all but two, left TLS before David even returned from vacation. This women they speak of who supposedly tried to proselytize others into her end times belief was not trying to proselytize anyone. She just talked about how she told her belief to a real life friend, and her real life friend accepted her still.

    The seven supposed witnesses are lying. David Hayward is a kind loving man who cares about others deeply.

      1. Also people who suffered abuse can be abusive. I have seen and experienced bullying and abusive posts from one of your sources.

    1. Nope. I’m not lying. (By the way- It’s possible to have different perceptions of what happened without just saying someone is lying.)

      There’s a breakdown in communication, and I’m happy to explain it- though I did so many many times at the time, so I’m doubtful you are actually interested. But in case you are-
      1) prophet lady wrote the post you describe about her friend accepting her ideas/beliefs and how nice it was to just be heard uncritically by her friend.

      2) In that post she included a hashtag which, when clicked,connected back to a long series of posts where she described her ideas/beliefs in great detail, as well as her stated purpose in joining TLS.

      3) In those posts she explicitly states that she is joining TLS to practice her communication skills because God is calling her to take this prophecy and revelation on the road. She also states she is looking for a team of people to be her discernment team and steering committee to help her understand what to do next, how best to communicate the content of the scroll that remained sealed in revelation, but was revealed to her.

      That’s what she said, and that is what Danica reacted to. It’s not a lie, you just didn’t click the hashtag and read through.

    2. I’ve seen many people say this. May I present words from the woman herself? These are the words that set off major red flags in my head.

      ” I’ve come to a point where I need to begin practicing my sharing skills. I’m about to publish a book that will cause people to begin to ask questions. If I could practice telling my story in the TLS group, it would help me gain the confidence I need for speaking publicly.”


      ” I’m going to be looking for well-educated people from many various Christian perspectives – from the theologically conservative (fundies) to the theological progressive, from Baptists to Methodists to Catholics. I’d like a team of 7 to 12 people who can commit to at least a year’s worth of meetings and a close examination of materials between the meetings”

  5. Hey gilded pinecone- make it 8
    My biggest issues with what went down are as follows:
    1) following what was, undoubtedly, a giant shitshow, David chose to resolve it by talking only to one party and then pronouncing her aggrieved and every upset or triggered reaction to her was the problem. At no point did he solicit input or check in with any party besides the prophetess. When asked about his decision to pronounce without talking to all involved he became recalcitrant and refused further discussion. That, that alone, makes a group unsafe for survivors.

    2) When pushed he clarified his group guidelines to be that all ideas expressed by any group member should go unchallenged. That? That also makes a group unsafe for survivors.

    Further thoughts-
    1) I find it interesting that you are more upset with people sharing screenshots than with the fact that the screenshots reveal an apparent lie on his part. I could show you screenshots of other other untruths he told, but I can see you would just be upset about my sharing those, and not the fact that he told me one story in a pm, while telling Danica another. But at some point It might behoove you to wonder why he is so adamant about us not sharing his words with each other.
    2) I am no longer in his group, I find his rules to be harmful and unsafe. I am not bound by them at all, and I break no faith by sharing my experiences. Again, at some point it would behoove you to ask yourself who else expects ongoing silence from those they interact with privately (hint- it isn’t safe people).

    I get it was a shitshow. And awkward and painful. But I’m also savvy enough to know you can’t lay that exclusively at the feet of triggered survivors. DH actively courts survivors, and claims to be making a “safe space”. His space may be good for some things, but it isn’t a safe of healthy space for survivors. And you know what? That’s fine ! Just don’t advertise it as such.

    1. Niiice! Unfortunately, you give me much more credit than I deserve. Don’t talk to me about ‘triggered survivors”. I was there and I was one. David had no part in that. The three ‘gaslighted’ members were the cause of many of us leaving. If Dabid had *any* thing to be sorry for it would have been for not hitting the delete button before folks quite cowardly departed. And before he returned I might add.

      1. I don’t understand the first part of your comment about giving you’re credit than you deserve?

        Also, I stayed until he got back, and after. I agree he should have jumped in sooner with some kind of response. Even the terrible response he eventually came up with would have saved a lot of hassle and pain had it happened sooner.

        But, again, that specific shitshow isn’t the real issue. It’s the lack of ability for David or the group to accept disagreement and conflict and work through it in a way that honors all parties involved.

        A lot of people were triggered and felt great stress and anxiety as that particular shitshow unfolded,. Why is the only reasonable response to be angry at the first person who reacted, and relieved that they left? I truly do not understand why everything should go unchallenged except the idea that everything should go unchallenged. As Ragnarok says below- that is untenable.

      2. Also I notice that you don’t respond to any of my points. Curious.

    2. “2) When pushed he clarified his group guidelines to be that all ideas expressed by any group member should go unchallenged. That? That also makes a group unsafe for survivors.”

      No ideas expressed by members of the group could be challenged? Talk about your completely untenable standards. Of course, based on the fact that the seven Riot is referring to expressed some ideas which were (and apparently continue to be) challenged puts the lie to that standard, in any case.

    3. No… in the shitshow there was plenty of blame to lay on just about everyone involved, myself included. Several apologized and moved on. Some just left. Some tried to stay neutral. Some others made that impossible. Some got triggered and abused others. Some got mad and triggered others…. It was a shitshow. Nobody came out smelling like a rose……

      1. Nah. I came out smelling like a rose. I didn’t insult, shame, mock, harm, lie, or even get angry. I didn’t condescend or pooh pooh anyone’s concerns. I didn’t do shit to anyone, I sought only to clarify and explain my concerns and observations. When people were upset by my tone or words I apologized, as I also have below. I tried with every piece of earnestness I have to communicate and to listen. I tried publicly and privately.

        I also have not accused any members, other than JL, of doing anything abusive or harmful. I have spoken only of a harmful dynamic irresponsibly and ignorantly created by David.

        I’ve said nothing I would be embarassed to see screencapped, either in tls or in a pm.

        Yeah. I came out smelling like roses. Don’t engage in harm leveling with me. That dog won’t hunt.

      2. … and so therefore we should ignore the way David lied to cover things up? Ok.

  6. These “fab 7” wanted to run an online gulag where every word was policed except for theirs. Many members complained for some time about them, and most hated the whole ToJo thing being brought into TLS. We could be there for support, but a few…yes these few you talked to…were on a mission to target and destroy ToJo and wanted to take us along for the ride.

    TLS is about helping people find spiritual independence. I am not a survivor of abuse, and many members are not. We have a diverse group that includes pro-vaxxers, anti-vaxxers, homeschooleers, stay at home moms, moms the work outside the home, gluten free families, evangelicals, atheists. And that is what I love about TLS. We run the gamut and people retain parts of their faith and discard others. We watch each other’s faith morph over time.

    And while one cannot control what triggers them, they sure as hell can control how they react. And the ‘alien pearl’ lady never had trouble before these folks came in here and no one ever felt like they were being recruited. I talked with her a few times about stuff that interested me that was not Christian, and I got nothing but enthusiasm and support.

    I hope you have screenshot of the ‘threatening messages from SEVERAL people’ during the conflict. I know that things have been blown way out of proportion. Trust me, there has been abuse, but it is not from David.

    1. See, I can’t take you seriously if you describe the former members as wanting to run a gulag. That only confirms for me that some of you have no conception about how to create a safe space and have an overblown perception of persecution.

      1. What I find completely lacking in all this discussion of a safe place and TCS not being a safe place is an actual definition or even proposed theory of what a safe place actually is. Should your idea of what a safe place is the definition? Should mine? Should Davids? Your blog expresses a single theory of a safe place, yours. I am a member of TLS, and a survivor of an abusive house hold. I have found TLS a safe place the vast majority of the time. I dare say that some people have found your blogs and home school to not be safe. Since safety is completely subjective in the final analysis what authority but your own allows you to declare TLS unsafe? Blanket accusations and declarations about what is essentially a subjective feeling are not only inaccurate but ultimately counter productive to whatever point you were trying to make.

      1. “digital pitchforks”

        those 7 people are telling the truth about ToJo, and they’re telling the truth about David.

    2. “And while one cannot control what triggers them, they sure as hell can control how they react.”

      So, I suppose we can proceed under the assumption that you really don’t understand what a trigger is or how one works.

      1. Ragnarok we ran into this over and over again. I really don’t think they understand triggers.

        And for the record, I was triggered, very intensely, by the prophetess. But I DID do the ‘responsible thing’ by talking to trusted friends and taking other self care measures until I was in a space where I could speak calmly and reasonably.

        But. Even if I hadn’t, would my words have had less weight? Would my voice have been disregarded until I talked with ‘kindness’??

        The happy-happy-joy-joy tone policing in that place is something I have never seen.

    3. That’s all well and fine. But don’t call TLS a ‘safe space’ then? If you don’t like things being regulated then how can it be safe?

      1. I’m wary of conversing with you because when I chose to talk with you about this stuff a while back I got the impression you just wanted to fight, and I’m not really interested in that.

  7. No. As is the case when someone kicks the door open on anything like this, more people come out of the woodwork. You can count me as another.

    And there will always be those who will defend the pastor in waves. It does not matter the context.

  8. Let’s also acknowledge the fact that there were 350 members and declining fast, and the members can’t say they all left because of me. In fact, I don’t think any of them can. Distortions are not befitting a community so stellar in its behavior.

    Let’s talk about the 200+ comments on one post about former members, and the things they have to say, shall we gildedpinecone?

    1. From the front page of Hayward’s Lasting Supper website: “This is what The Lasting Supper community looks like: At this point there are almost 400 members from all around the world ranging in age from teenagers to adults of all ages.”

      1. He has that many members in the Webpage group, but only 257 were in the Facebook group.

      2. There may be a discrepancy in the numbers because not all members of TLS are in the Facebook group.

  9. Reuben the largest number before peole left, you included, was 257 on the Facebook group, and currently, we’re over 230. Let’s talk about your sexist posts while David was on vacation regarding how much you loved vagina and sex which insulted most of the women in the group.

    How about you stop insulting the rest of us with calling us David’s sheep and acting like we’re mindless followers because we don’t follow your bully tactics.

    1. I am relatively certain all the people who were offended were addressed by me personally, and I made a public apology.

      Do you want to go grab that conversation and post it here? While you are at it, let’s grab the one happening in which you are freely talking behind closed doors about people who left. Kinda cultish?

      1. I really wish you would comment here as yourself. It would help move things towards peace and reconciliation (if you are who I’m suspecting you are)

    2. You resent any accusations of being mindless followers yet when presented with the clear evidence that David is a liar and a hypocrite you turn the other way and continue to defend him?

  10. Sickofthis- that community you describe sounds okay. But it doesn’t sound like a “safe space” for survivors. It shouldn’t be marketed as such.

    I wasn’t around for the Tojo support situation you talk about. I was there for a few weeks, after having been on a peer level with David in another group, for several months. I wasn’t triggered by the prophet lady. I observed the “keep sweet” group dynamic and was surprised and disappointed. When I attempted to talk to David about it at all he was uninterested.

    I stand by my assessment, I stand outside of all your “context” statements (not there for Tojo, not triggered, etc), it isn’t a safe space and and should not be marketed as such.

    Maybe Reuben was wrong to talk about worshipping vagina, there should have been room to discuss that there in tls. By David’s clarified guidelines it would not be okay to discuss this. These guidelines create a space that is not safe for survivors. It should not be billed as such.

    Here on riot’s page, we can all argue about each other and be angry and disagree. By David’s stated guidelines such discussion would not be allowed within tls. And David would lie to enforce and protect his vision. Does that not bother you? A moderator/admin who is willing to lie to protect his vision is not able to create a safe space for survivors.

    I’m not speaking from deep triggered emotion, I’m saying what I observed. Do you want my screencaps? It isn’t a safe space, do you want to hear JL’s violent aggressive voice message sent to my fb inbox? He was angry that I had criticized David. Later he apologized, but I wasn’t the only one to whom he sent unsolicited and angry PMs. Is he still a member? Ask yourself why he is more welcome than honest and safe criticism. Why is a man who threatens women for David Hayward forgiven, but Jason and Wende are called abusers?

    1. Hey Annie. I don’t get why you think David lied. If might be because I thought all the controversy from the summer was over and I definitely don’t want a rehash of all that stuff again. I do still feel bad that you got that message, it was uncalled for and I still think it should have been handled differently. I do feel though that being a survivor of abuse I have only felt triggered and abused by one person, Jason. And I stated that at the time. He never apologized or communicated about it with me. That is why I’m irritated that he has proclaimed TLS unsafe. Of course I realize such labels are very subjective, and I also felt the loss of meaningful dialogue about difficult issues after the summer fracas as I told you back then. I just feel again that TLS is a very safe place for those like myself that have suffered abuse.

      1. I think David lied because he told me different things in private than he told Danica in private and different than he wrote in his letters to the group.

        Tl;dr- I think he lied because he actually lied. To me.

        Though I do thank you for acknowledging how totally freaky it would be to get a message like that in the middle of an emotionally charged and heated group meltdown. For my part I saw that situation as further indication of a bigger problem, for my part it was basically the last straw.

  11. David doesn’t court survivors. He offers a place at the table to deconstruct. Anytime someone might act like they need professional help, David suggests they might want you find a local therapist. TLS is not a support group for abuse survivors, nor does David advertise it as such. It’s a place of support for those deconstructing from religion.

    1. Hayward describes his community as a safe space. “Safe space” actually has a meaning. So either he’s co-opting a term he has no right to co-opt, or he is falsely advertising his community. Safe spaces mean marginalized people groups (child abuse survivors, LGBT* people, people of color, etc.) receive protection against mainstream oppression. See, for example, http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Safe_space or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe-space or http://www.academia.edu/7938423/WHAT_IS_A_SAFE_AND_AN_UNSAFE_SPACE or https://twac.wordpress.com/ao/ or http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/establishing-an-allies-safe-zone-program.

      1. Again, as a survivor, I have found TLS to be a safe place, except when one of your sources was a member.

      2. I understand triggers. I come from enough abuse to make anyone’s hair curl. The only thing that ever triggered me on TLS was the viciousness and refusal to move on when apologies were offered. I’m not taking sides…… nobody is perfect. To me, it was a safe place. Now that I know someone is trolling in order to gather more ammunition on the “get David” campaign (sorry, that’s just how’s it looking to me) I don’t feel so safe.

    2. I think part of the issue may be that some members were talking about it like it was a support group, and so some people started coming in expecting it to be a support group.

      1. That would be because David presented it (and allowed it to be presented as) a support group. The reason why I finally decided to join was because a member said, on a public facebook thread, in which David was actively particiating (so he knew) that, quote, “It’s cheap therapy”.

    3. Yes, that was definitely my understanding Molie. I’ve been confused at the proclamation that TLS was ever known as a safe place for abuse survivors. I thought it was entering a safe place to deconstruct – to say, “I’m not sure what I believe…I don’t believe that anymore…I still believe this…” and not be condemned to hell for it. And I have found that there. I can see the issues if people thought differently. And it’s very sad.

  12. Mollie Majors, that is a lie, both stated and perceived. His entire online persona revolves around abuse survivors. Have you seen any of his cartoons?

    Oh yeah. I worship vagina.

    Public enough?

  13. Reuben, you assume that I’ve taken part in some TLS conversation about this issue. I have not, nor would I ever. If I have anything to say to you, or anyone else, I will, lulled I’ve done here, take it to the source.

    You make a blanket statement that you’ve apologized to all that you have offended with your vagina worshiping statements. Most abusers do apologize after they’ve hurt someone, but an apology doesn’t make it better or go away.

    Most of the 7…8 or 9 chose to leave before David returned from vacation. He didn’t kick them out.

    1. I never claimed to be kicked out, and I stated as such to the entire group.

      Now let’s examine the statement “most abusers do apologize…”

      Are you calling me an abuser?

    2. Watch yourself, this is a wrong direction. My history long before TLS is all about abusers. And you don’t want to go there with me.

      1. No, Mollie, you really don’t. Sorry Reuben, but you rank way up there in abusive behavior unless you’re someone’s champion. Abusing to keep abused people safe is still abusing. And blanket firings will always hit innocent bystanders.

    3. It’s easy to conflate the different stories, I think.

      Some people chose to leave, some chose to leave and were then blocked from all communication with DH when they tried to discuss their concerns. Others were kicked out officially. The stories are more than related to the blow up earlier this year.

      Reuben and Danica left of their own accord and have never claimed otherwise. The same is true for Jason and Wende.

    4. FTR, I tried to stick it out. I REALLY did. I was pm’ing David behind the scenes asking for support, and he said, “Wait until I get back”. But things got so hairy in there, and it really *was* an unsafe place for me. I began to spiral back into deep depression. I was having thoughts I hadn’t had in a long time, thoughts that are not safe. The reason I was feeling that is because I was feeling stuck, that I couldn’t leave, that I was being forced to stay. So I left the fb group for my own mental and emotional health, but remained a technical paying member of TLS until after David sent out his email. And also after I had a final pm conversation with him in case there was even a tiny chance of reconciliation.

      Please don’t spin my leaving to mean that I was bailing. I saw how people talked about those who left. It was a, “Well they don’t care about unity, they don’t care about the group. Oh well, good riddance, goooooooo US!”

  14. I am an abuse survivor. I found TLS to be a safe space…that is, until several months ago when several people came in and started dissecting everyone’s words, bullying people with their obviously superior intellect? and influence. They came in likes bulls in a china shop. I felt violated, triggered, and very anxious. It was the one safe space I had in this world.
    Fortunately, Annie, Danica, Wende, Jason, Shade, Reuben, and others left. It took me a long time to come back…shaken. Although I have been abused, I had never previously been harassed on-line.
    Now, here they are again. David, I am sure, is strong enough to take whatever these people have to dish out. I, for one, am not. They may be abuse survivors. I don’t doubt their stories. But, I wonder how they can – clearly, without conscience – trigger and bully other survivors.
    Why would they take screen shots of what is supposed to be a safe space for those of us who go there for anonymity and to talk about what we’re going through? Some of us have no other place? After being raped, Reuben’s, “I worship vagina” post was incredibly haunting.
    I’m crying and shaking as I write this. I’m sure they have screen shots of things I have written. I’m wondering if those will be publicized as well. I wonder who all they are trying to ruin. I am trying to rebuild my life after some very difficult circumstances, including domestic violence and marginalization and emotional abuse from my former church.
    Why do you people get a thrill out of this? Go ahead and take down David. But, do you know that you’re hurting a lot of other people with him? He is not my pastor. He is someone who has created a safe space for me until YOU all made it UNSAFE.
    There is ONE TIME I saw someone post something that was sexist, besides Reuben’s “I love vagina” post. I talked to the person privately, on PM. They did get VERY upset with me. I almost left the group. I did not take it to David. But, I never saw a sexist post from that person again.

    1. I’m sorry. Don’t know who you are. But I am sorry.

      You know what was happening in my life when I said that? I was attempting to find an alternate god. I figured my ultimate god could be anything that brought me joy. I found it. In absolute drunkenness, I proclaimed that god. And I stand proudly behind it. Is this acceptable for TLS? Or is posting pictures of prospective one night stands more acceptable?

      And I know who that person is.

      And I know what he said to people in private. I heard his words come out of his mouth with my own ears. He is an actual abuser. He abuses women. He is in your midst.

    2. “There is ONE time I saw someone post something sexist, besides Reuben’s “I love vagina” post. I talked to the person privately on PM. They did get VERY upset with me. I almost left the group. I did not take it to David. But, I never saw a sexist post from that person again.”

      That. That story right there? That is what I find troubling and unsafe about TLS. I am glad you told that story here. Others can read it, they can see that even with that dynamic someone might still feel safe, and they can see that someone might not.

      They can make their own decision with all the facts.

    3. Also- I apologize for sounding snobby or like I’m trying to smash with my intellect. I was raised to only be taken seriously if I wasn’t upset and sometimes I still fall back on that when a situation is emotionally charged. I know it comes off as condescending and I apologize for that. I will try harder to use more gentle language.

      1. Annie, I must admit that I have found you to be an excellent communicator even if I didn’t completely agree with you. I don’t think I’ve found you to ever be snarky. What I think I struggle with is that again feeling safe is so subjective that I think unless truly severe examples like the voice message left on your wall, it’s renders the argument as productive as debating how many angels are on a needle. TLS is not perfect, and as you know I experienced kick back while trying to honestly criticize an issue but it didn’t kill me! I still wish your case had been handled differently with that voice message and still feel bad that it happened. That being said I thought when mentioned David as having lied, I thought you meant all those screen caps where David was accused of lying because he eventually did block people. Those I found misleading and disingenuous. Because I may state something and then change my mind about that statement is not lying. I found those accusations intellectually silly and make those attempting to make a case against David using that as an argument seem stupid at best and dishonest at worst. So, guess what I mean to say is that unless virtually every example of TLS not being safe is as severe as the voice message you received, I find it all to subjective to prove the point this blog wants to make. O, by the way the guidelines that some seem upset about have changed since what is in this blog and I’m sure will continue to change, to quote the world’s greatest three piece rock band, Rush (nothing subjective in that!), “those changes aren’t permanent, but change is.” I miss communicating like this, Annie, your a good egg.

      2. Bru- there is a definition of a “safe space” that is used in social justice circles, that is the one I think of. Ryan linked to some of the explanations/parameters of a “safe space” above.

        As far as lying goes- I think the screen caps are valid because he states, after the fact of having blocked people, that he has never blocked people.

        However, my personal examples are different and quite explicit. I would offer to show you screen caps, but you know how well that goes over.

        I don’t make accusations lightly, I absolutely can back up my words with more than feelings. Let me know if you want details or if my word is enough.

      3. On an aside, AnnieBananie, I have started posts over the last couple of days with the words, “it behooves us” at least five times….. and each time chuckled and replaced them becuase of some folks perception of that word…. Behooves…. such a great word and so misunderstood….

      4. Kari- While I want to appreciate the kudos, I’m the end I am not interested in hearing flattering remarks directed at me, when your supposed reaction to my, apparently acceptable, communication is no different than your response to those you deem angry and abusive.

        You’re less offended, sure, but you’re not any more convinced or moved or interested. In fact, people like you make me regret my measured tone, it makes me easier to dismiss.

        Let me be crystal fucking clear. I am squarely in Reuben’s camp regarding the issues at tls. Whoever said upthread that it wasn’t me or Danica who made them uncomfortable, but Reuben’s posse? I am Reuben’s posse. I am neither pleased, nor placated, by your reassurances that I am somehow different than all these other people. I am insulted.

  15. David’s cartoons court survivors, he uses the words “safe space” and “safe place”. As Ryan says, those words mean something.

    TLS is not a “safe space”. Survivors should know this and not be pulled by his cartoons. That’s all.

    Also- Reuben is an easy target because he shits on everyone’s lawn. Why don’t you take me on? My points are measured and don’t mention vaginas.

    1. I’ve gone no where near Reuben. Nor you, Annie.

      Here’s what I want to know…WHY can’t folks admit their own complicity in causing a tremendous amount of pain. Hear that Jason, Wende and Danica? YOU caused a tremendous amount of pain. But you were/are so caught up in your own pain of being a silenced victim that you ran ram shod over every single other member – even members that were screaming out to you that you were hurting them.

      This isn’t about David. It never was. David wasn’t there. This is about a GROUP membership drawing the line in the sand. I feel sorry for you. We still have each other, and we’ll heal through all this. You? You’re left to each other.

      1. Lol- we are left to each other. You know that actually doesn’t hurt, right?

        Danica is a truth teller, and caring and passionate. She may react big sometimes, but you will always know exactly where she is coming from.

        I don’t need inoffensive people as friends. I need honest people who aren’t afraid to disagree with me and call me out and then have the awkward ad scary communication that follows. I will gladly live in my online gulag with someone as sea-green incorruptible as Danica.

      2. I did apologize for hurting the prophetess.

        Where is my apology for how you all hurt me?

    2. Annie, just read these definitions of safe places and still feel they hit subjectivity. That is the ultimate point with any definition, that is based on a concept or emotion, what one person may feel is anti feminist does not have a universal definition. That is again why I feel basing an argument on a feeling of safety breaks down instantly because all of our experiences vary. At what point does one persons experiences over ride another person’s experiences? I really feel that no blanket statement of declaring a site safe is valid. It reminds me of when I was a therapist and private insurance companies took over medicare and demanded goal planning that required measurable outcomes. I hated it because self awareness and inner life became replaced results that were simple conditioning instead increased growth and awareness.

    3. I want to say too, that Annie B, I never felt triggered by you or attacked at all, even if I didn’t always agree with you. I felt you were a voice of reason in a shitstorm.

      1. Okay, I hear you Kari. Thanks.

        Bru- I can respect that perspective. That ultimately safety is somewhat subjective. That said- I still maintain that it does have an understood meaning/intention and that David is not aware or interested in understanding and using that definition.

  16. “Watch [myself]”? Are you planning on attacking me? Are you going to bring out your 7..8..or 9 friends to attack me Reuban? Please do. Show us your true bully tactics yet again. Let’s do it here on this public blog so all can see the true you.

    1. I would urge you to note my 12 years as a pastor in Calvary Chapel, followed by my years serving as an advocate on Phoenix Preacher.

      I have no intention of attacking you. If you knew a 10th of my story…

  17. The most ludicrous thing about this whole post is the convenience. It is so convenient that David just happens to still be on vacation, trying to enjoy his family, and get a break from all of this. Meanwhile the reports of now 8 so called champions of the abused, are now publicly displayed in an attempt to disparage and destroy a “private” gathering of those who wish to deconstruct in peace. You’re not only assailing one man with this tripe, which really only qualifies as hearsay laced with half truths and lies at this point since you haven’t spoken with the other side, but you are dealing with a whole group of us that support David and know the truth. Hope your proud of yourself.

  18. From what I understand the threatening man made an immature comment, but did not threaten bodily harm. You might wanna figure out what the phrase means before assuming it is a threat.

    1. By that standard then, nothing that I said should be a cause for offense. But the standard, it is double. And always has been.

  19. Guys, I don’t think the article is really about the substance of this latest kerfuffle about a prophet. I think the issues being addressed are how the leader responded to dissenters. You can even assume the dissent was wrong, and there’d still be a problem, I think. Not to mention the biggest issue for me, which is the allegation of appropriating and exploiting survivor stories without permission. Focusing on the particulars of the latest community dust up is probably a red herring.

      1. Reuben, it’s not about David being our pastor. It’s about the group drawing a line in the sand and folks not liking the line.

        But when private posts are posted publicly, that’s an assault on each of us as members – and I KNOW you, Reuben. At one point you would have been at least as angry as I am about that bit.

        So what if David didn’t answer Danica, Wende and Jason? They weren’t a member of his group any longer! And at that point they’d hurt an awful lot of folks in the process.

      2. He’s not my pastor Reuben. I wish you would stop speaking for me. You are insinuating that I am not using my own mind. That I just left one ‘religion’ for another. I am, for once in my life, thinking and making decisions on my own accord. I am not anyone’s sheep.

      3. Reuban, really? What’s with the pastor line? When I see that it communicates so many negatives and absolutely no intellectual idea. It comes across as if those who don’t agree with you are mindless. It simply makes it easier for people to simply dismiss you. I say this because I don’t think you’re a bad person, but it comes across as petty.

  20. Jenna Patton, I’m sorry my husbands Vagina remarks upset you. He never made those remarks to offend. Never crossed his mind. I’m the one whose vagina he worships. He loves and adores me. Sorry that offends you. Sorry you felt bullied by my friends. I dont have patience for most humans anymore. I do feel bad for you and that you felt threatened and afraid. Believe me when I say my husband meant no harm. I will say I was not triggered or upset by TLS but, I did see how it is pure chaos there.

  21. TLS is a safe place to deconstruct from your religion without being condemned for your beliefs or lack thereof.

    I’m an abuse survivor, but I’ve never seen TLS as a place to get therapy, nor has David suggested it was. It’s a place to deconstruct. That’s it.

    “Is David giving you talking points?” So Chris now has no mind of his own? He cannot speak for himself?

    1. The synopsis of TLS does not specifically say ‘Its a safe place to deconstruct from your religion’ though. It simply referred to as a ‘safe space’, and David has been specifically targeting abuse survivors in his latest cartoons for membership. I’m an abuse survivor too and I never saw TLS as a therapy center either. But I at least expected it to be ‘safe’ for abuse survivors. But when at least half the membership rebuke the need for trigger warnings on posts then how can anyone even pretend its safe?

  22. There was a person claiming a pearl of an alien seed? And seeking more converts for an end times… of what? Merciful god?! How is that okay? That is some old-school, I have blessed this paper and it will heal you horror. Mein Gott! That is never okay. My grandmother was ruined by such prophets!

    Being propositioned for quick sex?! This is okay! That is the sort of group The Lasting Supper is?! I am glad I never gave them money. What a pastor! That this is not condemned in your e-house of god?

    A pox on all your houses, if you condone this.

    1. The view isn’t as good from the cheap seats Yevska. Don’t believe everything you read. The imagination creates sensational scenarios.

      1. She should believe it becuase it is true. I have screen shots.

        You say that it’s not true, so evidence is warranted … but you say we can’t show the evidence, because it’s betraying confidence. Which is it?

      2. Yeah, it seems that a no-win situation is being created for Danica etc. They won’t be believed without proof, but they’re not allowed to provide that proof.

  23. Calling a group of people “cultish” is what the church does, and it’s an ad hominen attack. It’s definitely a fallacy.

  24. Molie- the watch yourself remark was that you may think my husband is an abuser. Well sorry but he is not. Maybe not politically correct and yes blatant and does not mince words, but abusive? Oh no. Attack you? Hardly. Now me on the other hand I’ll call people fecking gobshites when they are being one. Just say’n. And no I’m not calling you a fecking gobshite.

  25. Hey kris779- from what you understand? Were you me receiving angry and aggressive voice messages from non-friend men? No? Oh okay. It’s great you have an opinion about what someone said to me, in my inbox, for the sin of criticizing David Hayward in public.

    Please, continue to educate me about what constitutes threatening private messages.

      1. And yet THAT man is still in TLS. When the world’s most gentle person, Wende, is blocked?

    1. That was out of line. I made that clear at the time that sending angry messages is crossing a line. He said he was out of line. Several times. Things went to hell and people got hurt. Does that mean everyone has to roll on cut glass in order for others to move on?

  26. It appears as if y’all are all for free flowing, open discourse so long as everyone agrees with your TLS hive mind. Everyone’s opinion is valid, everyone has their own path of deconstruction, at least until they start deconstructing your sacred cows and then suddenly open discourse goes out the window while you circle the wagons and attack anyone who questions.

    I get it, you’ve shelled out money for this, and admitting that Hayward is using your group to mine stories and charging you for the privilege is a tough thing to face. The way you’re lashing out here does nothing but prove that those who spoke up were telling the truth about the toxic atmosphere in the group.

    1. “Everyone’s opinion is valid, everyone has their own path of deconstruction, at least until they start deconstructing your sacred cows and then suddenly open discourse goes out the window while you circle the wagons and attack anyone who questions.”

      And therein lies the fatal flaw. Of course, everyone’s opinion is not valid. Everyone does not have their own truth. Everyone has their own experiences, certainly, but truth is a stubborn thing. It seems to me that what happened in TLS was that, finally, enough pressure was applied to bring about failure along the lines of that fatal flaw. The hard fact of the matter is that if everyone’s opinion is the truth then no one’s is. At some point, two opinions are going to contradict one another, and then the only thing left is to try to figure out which one is correct (or more correct, as the case may be).

      When TLS hit that point, David made the call that seemed right to him, but the curious thing is that he seems to still maintain that everyone’s opinion stands as valid. The former cannot be true if the latter is, and vice versa. What’s most disappointing to me in reading the account above (and the subsequent comments defending David) is that he appears to be making the mistake so many before him have made—i.e., choosing a cherished ideology over hard truth.

  27. Was there a woman with a pearl of an alien seeking believers? Was there a man PMing sexual advances seeking partners? You do not dispute this. These are foul things. May you reap what you have sown.

    1. To my knowledge there wasn’t a man PMing sexual advances – I think that is a conflation of a couple of different things that have gone on – although I might just not know of a particular incident.
      I didn’t get the impression that the person you’re talking about was seeking believers. People in TLS often share the stories of their journeys, and my understanding was that this wasn’t much different.

    2. The self-proclaimed prophetess claimed a pearl from a “foreign entity” entered her body and informed her that one needs “a Clock, a Key, or a Net” to unlock spiritual doors. As she unlocked hers, God gave her the scroll containing “the seven thunders” mentioned in Revelations and then she was able to break the seal and thus possess the seven thunders, giving her insight into the end times.

      1. This ‘prophetess’ is a Christian author who used a pearl as a metaphor for her spiritual calling…as in ‘pearls of wisdom’. No one else took it literally but this lovely group.

      2. It was bullshit. I always recognized it as such. I had a hard time thinking it was even serious enough for anyone to be threatened by it. I apologized for that, because to some it hit at a much deeper level than “bless her heart, she’s nuts”….

    3. I responded above to Mollie Majors in more detail- but here’s the deal.

      1) prophet lady wrote a nice post expressing gratitude about being heard and accepted uncritically by a friend.

      2) in that post she used a hashtag which, when clicked, took you to a series of previous posts where she explained her beliefs/ideas. More or less as described above by riot and others.

      3) in that series of posts she also explicitly states her purposes for joining TLS. First she is looking for a group of people to help be her steering committee and spiritual advisors while she figures out how to spread this message god have her, second god has called her to take this revelation on the road and she needed to practice her communication skills in preparation.

      That is what she said. That is what Danica is reacting to. You may think she overreacted, but she is most definitely not lying, you just didn’t click the link.

      (And can we talk about the total condescension of head patting and superficially accepting this lady without ever doing her the courtesy of reading what she wrote, though it was obviously important to her? At least Danica thought she deserved to be heard and taken seriously. The rest of you don’t give two shits what anyone says as long nothing is ever confrontational. How dehumanizing is that?)

      1. Silly me, I didn’t realize I could not respond unless I was in agreement with her, or with an encouraging word. I assumed that discourse and argument were allowed. I did not know that if I did not agree with something, I was supposed to just keep scrolling.

        If I had known that, I would have just not joined.

  28. Mike O’Malley Mohr- yes. Exactly. It’s not that specific situation, it’s the response to conflict and dissension that is the problem.

    Again- I was not triggered, I knew David in a different context, as a friend and peer, prior to joining tls. I could not have been more surprised and horrified at what transpired once I was in his space.

    I believe people when they say that my responses to what I saw as problematic (as well as those of others) were frightening and stressful and triggering. The whole thing seemed like a giant mess to me. My specific issue is that David’s response to the kerfuffle was woefully inadequate. He checked in with one person (who had already left the group) and did not even attempt to hear from others (Danica, Jason, Wende) *who were still in the group*.

    People should absolutely be free to sign up for tls…with eyes wide open. If it feels safe to you, great! But the words “safe space” are not appropriately applied. They mean something, and it isn’t something David Hayward understands.

  29. Posting pictures of one night stands or people in general without their knowledge or consent is wrong and inappropriate, and that is why I specifically told him myself it was not acceptable, so he took it down.

    Sending aggressive or any voice messages to people you are not friends with is also not acceptable. I told him to cease and desist.

    You do not have to accept this member’s apology. I understand. I’m sorry he made you feel unsafe.

    I want to add that David was not just vacationing when all of this went down, but it was indeed his wedding anniversary celebration. He had no computer with him, just his phone with spotty service.

    The one person he had contact with was one of his admins who ended up leaving over the issues.

    I am an abuse survivor. I spoke several times while this all was occurring about how all of the behavior occurring was triggering to me. Yet, not one of you. ..7…8…or 9 cared about how triggering it all was to me. It made me severally ill. Until that incident, I felt safe finally. Now,I am worried that you’ll post something I wrote in TLS on this blog or your Facebook, or maybe you’ll call me out like you have several others. I’m worried you all have someone still in TLS feeding you information as you obviously have because you’ve used some of what others have supposedly said within TLS since you’ve been gone. The nature of the group’s TOS states what’s said in TLS stays in there. You talk about feeling safe and how TLS isn’t safe for you, but now you’re purposefully exposing some of its members and contributing to marginalizing the group.

    1. Like many others here, you seem to be missing the point. This not necessarily about David. This is more about the fact that he continues to call TLS a ‘safe space’, continues to attempt to get membership to that space under such a banner, when his space is most definitely NOT safe. You said yourself. The entire event was incredibly triggering and made you very ill. Maybe this was because of the outbreak over the ‘prophet’ post.. which also because other members felt incredibly triggered by the things she was saying, and felt they had to voice that issues with it. The entire thing exploded into an ugly mess and a lot of people were hurt by it. David came back from holiday and what did we get? A letter defending the prophet and refusing to even acknowledge any of the other perspectives, and then people ended up getting blocked, and in my case, banned. There are no regulations in TLS. There is no content control whatsoever. Its an ‘anything goes’ environment. In some contexts, that’s fine for a community, but one that seems to pride itself on being ‘safe’? That’s dangerous. No safe space would ever allow something like that outbreak to happen.

      1. I agree in the sense that a safe space for everyone does not exist on TLS or anywhere else in the universe. I think we would all be better off if that was acknowledged by all sides

    2. Only David’s words have been shared and paired with a name. Other people’s words have not had names attached. I understand why you would be concerned, but I believe it is unfounded.

    3. This is another thing that has been bothering me.

      Let’s assume he *didn’t* have spotty service. Let’s assume the swanky hotel he was at did not have a ‘business center’ downstairs in the lobby. Let’s assume it did not have wifi.

      If this is true, then he would not have been able to post selfies of himself on the beach *while things were going down* on TLS, then have conversations on his wall about the pictures, and on other posts. He would not have been able to post cartoons (although maybe he did those on autopost?). He would not have been able to respond to my pm, or communicate with his admins.

      So, he *did* have service.

      Before leaving for his trip, he posted in TLS along the lines of, “I am leaving for vacation and will only have my iPhone, so will be offline, but don’t worry, I will still be in touch with you guys because TLS is my people!” I remember this clearly because of the secure feeling it gave me. I thought, “Oh, good, he is going to make sure everything is ok and safe while he’s gone!”

      And then when shit went down … radio silence. Radio silence in TLS, the one place he said he *was* going to post, while actually posting in the places he said he *wasn’t*.

      But I still left room for hope, thinking that it was a lot of conversation spread across numerous threads, and surely he’d take the time to sort it all out when he got back. To talk to everyone and figure out what happened. So that’s why I was shocked and deeply hurt when he responded with a group email, not even bothering to get my side.

      Which left me having to pick one of two conclusions:
      1. Either he had been following along the entire time, quietly, sipping his cocktails while the proverbial Rome burned, and then issued his decision once he got back.


      2. He made a unilateral decision without bothering to look at the evidence, listen to all sides, and make sure all voices were heard.

      Either way, it is not good. This is not a man who needs to be curating a space for survivors.

      1. Danica, I started reading this and thought you were going JFK conspiracy! If David did choose to stay as far out of it as he could I wouldn’t blame him, would you wanted to wade into that quagmire if you were on vacation during your anniversary? I know I wouldn’t have.

      2. No, it’s fine that he didn’t ‘wade into the quagmire’ on his vacation. But it’s NOT ok that he didn’t bother to sort it all out when he came back!

        Oh, and nice gaslighting in alluding that I’m crazy, Bruce.

      3. Here’s what I don’t get too. While still posting a number of pics and comments on Twitter and Facebook, David claimed he was “going to stop comments on my blog posts until I return on the 18th…”

        He continued to post other places while on vacation.

        Then the 18th came and went. The 19th came and went.

        It’s now the 20th. And no David anywhere.

        It’s been 6 days and none of the other watchdog communities are holding him accountable. Who else would they let recruit victims of abuse, use others’ abuse stories in his cartoons, charges a fee to belong, shame victims in his forums while taking the side of someone who calls LGBT people repulsive etc?

        I have never paid to be part of TLS, but I did like the TLS Facebook page and I was following Naked Pastor. I no longer do because this post reinforced some of my own misgivings. I am disappointed. I want to believe that those who provide religious critique/power-checking aren’t looking the other way on David because he’s their friend. Are they afraid they will lose David’s endorsement? That he will cartoon about them? I have been watching for people to address this. I get why it might’ve taken them a few days. I don’t get why there’s no mention 6 days later.

  30. Funny how the Benners, the Mills, and Ms. Kehine all have a long and continuous history of engaging in the same behavior they now decry. David Hayward is just the latest target of their vitriol.

    Yes, people got tired of their continual attacking of anything with which they disagreed, and they got upset when the enabling of their childish behavior was stopped. What happened wasn’t because of any need or desire to silence them, it was because they couldn’t engage in dialogue like adults. Having past or present injuries doesn’t give you the right to shit on anyone that refuses to accept your childish behavior.

    You need to grow up, and Reuben needs to sober up.

    1. Yes because that’s suites TLS perfectly. No dissent. Keep your mouth shut. Triggered by a post? Who cares. Casual racism? Go ahead. Bit of homophobia? Sure, it never harmed anyone. Because all that matters is that YOU feel safe, and fine there, right? Clearly the people speaking out about their bad experiences in TLS are really just terrible people looking to strike out randomly at people. Your words are toxic and selfish, especially the dig at Reuben ‘sobering up’. Well, I can see why you’re right at home on TLS then.

      1. Danica, I meant that as a joke, I’m sorry that it came across that way, please forgive me.

  31. 1. What would you/the accusers like to see David do in light of these accusations?

    2. Would you be willing to admit if you were wrong in characterizing David and the community, since you claim that as a differentiator between the two of you?

    3. Would you consider apologizing to David for posting this while he’s on vacation? Would Danica apologize for making accusations about his income and vacations that sound much like the ones leveled at Julie McMahon regarding her financial well being?

    4. Would you please share the source of that screenshot from the community? I believe it may have been photoshopped.

    5. You all are going to destroy any credibility you have here. Giving this enmeshed group of abuse survivors a space to make their aggressive bullying appear as victimhood casts many shadows on their treatment of Tony Jones, Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz-Weber, etc.

    6. I am sure you believe yourself to be doing the right thing, and I applaud your courage in bringing things into the light. But David is not the enemy, and his group is just a ragtag bunch of hurting people, who’ve been further hurt by Reuben, Becky, Danica, the Benners, and several others. Your princess is in another castle.

    1. David can stop calling TLS a ‘safe space’ for one? Stop actively trying to recruit abuse survivors? At a stretch? An apology, and his admittance that he handled the entire thing terribly and a vow from him to do better in the future?

      An apology for posting it while David is on vacation? Why? The accusations about his income and vacations are sound. He shouldn’t be charging any money for merely providing a facebook group for abuse survivors. A group, may I remind you, that he doesn’t moderate properly anyway. TLS was going into meltdown and he decides to go on holiday and cease contact with the internet. TAKE MY MONEY.

      The source of the screenshot is authentic you damn well know it is. Perhaps not everyone involved in your community is as blindly accepting of David as you think. Also, to think that these people would actually go to the lengths to photoshop a comment by David.. just to what lengths are you willing to go to defend that man??

      On the contrary, I think this post will only increase the credibility of this site. There is very clear evidence above that David is a liar and hypocrite. That he has posted cartoons and made posts about the tactics of abusers in silencing victims, that he himself has practiced when it was he himself he has been implicated (deleting comments, closing down comments sections, gaslighting). Calling us bullies for doing this is just another form of silencing. No one is bullying anyone here. We’re just telling the truth and will continue to tell the truth until David at least redefines TLS as not being safe.

      And judging by a lot of the comments made on here by obvious TLS members alone, I would say your group isn’t just a “ragtag bunch of hurting people” at all. We have a right to speak out about these things. David himself stated, if the check the screenshots above (before he deleted more comments), that we can say whatever we like so long as it wasn’t on his website. If you’re hurting because of all this, like we are, then you can blame David Haywood.

      1. We are all liars and hypocrites. It’s called the human condition. David has admitted to dealing with it badly. He has made it known that the group is not safe for some. He has apologized.

        Should he roll on cut glass and wear sackcloth and ashes?

      2. Ah, the “we’re all sinners” line. Defenders of Mark Driscoll, Tony Jones, Bill Gothard, & co. love that line. True colors, indeed.

      3. And when that hypocrisy involves calling out the techniques of abusers in defence, when you yourself start utilising the very same techniques? Also, I don’t run an online community which I claim to be a safe space for abuse survivors like David does. If I was, I think I would at least practice what I preach. And David has absolutely not admitted anything of the sort. His latest cartoons and Facebook posts have been nothing but playing victim to these ‘nasty haters’ who are just out for ‘vengeance’. If David had admitted that he handled the whole thing terribly and want to apologise, then he would have approached those he wronged and apologised to them. But no, they got blocked.

    2. 1) I don’t want anything from David necessarily. I’d like people who consider joining tls to know that he is using the term “safe space” inappropriately so that they can make an informed decision.

      2) Should some communication between David and myself reveal a misunderstanding or a way forward that would be healing or productive I would proceed in that direction with whatever apologies and corrections of misunderstandings were needed.

      3) Not mine to field.

      4) Lol. Now you’re just being ridiculous.

      5) Translation: stop criticizing David or I will rescind support of Julie.

      Alternate translation: If you criticize [person with standing of some kind] no one will believe you about anything else ever. (A classic silencing tactic!)

      6) translation: condescending, condescending, disagreement without supporting statement, condescending (ragtag bunch?), condescending (and sexist!) unrelated analogy.

      You’re kidding, right?

      1. I definitely do not see point 5 the way you do Annie. I see it that she feels some are displaying bullying tactics as similar Jones and others and could result in some people feeling the same about them as many do about Jones. I actually think that is correct. I personally feel similar about Mr. Benner in his interactions with myself and others and also when he labels David an abuser. I have feelings towards Benner as I do bullying Christian leaders. Your reaction to six is funny, maybe a little snarky but funny!

    3. In re: his money and vacations. I’m only repeating the words David used. I have said nothing that isn’t backed up by screen shots. Which you tell me I can’t share because it would be violating TOS.

  32. Just wondering how you can claim to be a provider of “safespace” while posting a screenshot you acquired from one of your plants in TLS – a comment made last week, long after the 7, 8 or 9 had departed? Doesn’t seem that safe to me.

    1. This is my personal blog, not my online community. I let all the current TLS members comment here — it’s obviously not intended to be a safe space.

      And I believe that if the leader of a self-proclaimed safe space ceases to make it safe, and instead becomes abusive, one not only has the right but the duty to bring that to light.

      1. I see. You get to point out the lack of safety in one group by infiltrating the group, unbeknownst to its current members, and using a screencap of a confidential communication (taken out of context), posting it in your blog, as further evidence (in your mind) that the group is unsafe. I have to agree, don’t I? Such hypocrisy does indeed make TLS unsafe, knowing that anything i might share in confidence that you want to post on your blog is fair game in this ridiculous finger-point fest. No, Mr. Stollar, your obligation is NOT to use disingenuous means to confront those you feel are being disingenuous. Stick with the truth – that there is someone within your company who is feeding you snippets of private conversations held long after the poster of prophecy and her objectors left the scene of the crime. This is no longer about an unsafe group, or a group of people who did not feel heard from during a dispute over who has the right to say what. This has become about violating boundaries to sell one side of an increasingly, and pathetically sad story. You are in jeopardy of becoming the adversary you claim so piously to protest.

      2. I haven’t infiltrated any group.

        And if I behave abusively to the members of my own community, I believe they have every right to expose that publicly. Not allowing them to do so just creates a totalistic environment. Our community is a safe space for a REASON, not simply to keep people silent. When that reason becomes irrelevant, I would encourage them to not be silent.

        Hayward himself said the same thing when it came to a member of Nadia Bolz-Weber’s community exposing injustice outside that community with regards to Tony Jones.

      3. MIssy you keep saying that it’s about a prophecy. It’s not about that. That was the impetus that revealed an unhealthy dynamic that was in place long before I and others were in TLS, and obviously was still in place after we left.

        It’s about David saying one thing, but doing another.

        It’s about David lying to protect his image.

        It’s about TLS not being a safe space because of ths.

  33. Let me get this straight. If you 7…8…or 9 believe a member or former member of TLS or even David, for that matter, might be abusive, then you feel everyone should listen to you the alleged victims, but if I or Bru or Jenna felt bullied, marginalized, or even abused by Reuben or Jason B or any of the 7…8…or 9, then 7, 8, or 9 or even Stollar believes we are brainwashed or misled by our alleged pastor David?

    Stollar, you claim to stand for victims here, yet you dismissed Bru’s statements about Jason B when Bru said:

    One of your sources of posted information is an individual who used the same techniques to shame me on TLS that my father also used to shame me. You use this individual as proof that TLS is not safe for victims of abuse. The only time I have ever felt unsafe on TLS was while attempting to communicate with Jason Benner, one of your star witnesses.

    Your response was, “We obviously disagree about Mr. Brenner.” Are you not in fact doing the same thing you suggest David has supposedly done? Dismissing a victim. Not hearing his valid complaint because Mr. Brenner is your friend?

    Of course, jumping to Reuben’s aid after he marginalized a whole gender, women, down to their vaginas is acceptable in the name of helping these 7…8..or 9 because afterall Reuben apologized here. Let’s dismiss how he made at least half the group feel victimized down to their vaginas, so that the 7…8..or 9 can feel better.

    Let’s also dismiss at least half of the over 200 people who felt triggered and victimized by this 7..8..or 9.

    Also, the pearl prophetess woman felt bad when she was told she hurt people with her beliefs. She apologized, took down her post, and chose to leave the group that very same day. She has chosen not to speak of it again. Has the 7..8..or 9 even mentioned to you Mr. Stollar that she left on her own accord before anyone else left?

    1. It’s true Mollie. She (the prophetess) deleted her post and left as soon as she heard she had hurt people.

      On a side-note, I’m just wondering how long my (other) 2 comments will be awaiting moderation. I’ve seen quite a few come through with later time-stamps.

      1. WordPress requires a person’s first comment on a blog be approved before later comments can come through. I wasn’t free to approve comments until just now.

      2. Teena, I hope you enjoy having your voice heard. I say that sincerely. I believe everyone should be able to speak their piece without fear of censorship.

        This is something that David Hayward does not offer to people who comment on his blog.

        So, I’d just like to point out that you were just now holding Riot to a standard that you are unwilling to hold David to.

      3. @Danica Sorry, not sure how you got to whom I hold to what standard (nor how you would know)? I was asking a genuine question. And now I understand.

  34. I think that Molie Majors is conflating issues like a spin doctor to avoid the facts. And that’s fine. It shows the character of the group dynamic.

    Admit to the fact that even women joined in on my celebration of vagina. So you are lying, or exaggerating wilfully to spin the facts.

    BUT, again, avoidance of facts concerning your pastor is getting tiring. I posted my conversation with him for all to see. The response then was to attack me. The response now is to attack me. And you all have had enough time to formulate the attack. Believe me, I see.

    When I left, I said without lack of absolute clarity that it was because I threatened the group. What followed was a mile of people begging me to stay, refuting my judgement, and telling me that apologies were not necessary.

    You come here and demand answers from someone who has a grasp on actual abuse dynamics, while worrying about someone posting your personal stuff here, and you simultaneously post my personal stuff here?

    You owe everyone here an apology. You have no grounds to demand anything. You are part of the problem. You escalate for the purpose of defending your golden calf, and he is the issue here. He perpetually spoke of how to address abuses, and how abusers operate, and while he is on vacation, he has managed to accomplish a great deal of the things he so presumably stands against. Almost down to the smallest details.

    Attack the people who identified and addressed this, because it is what people do when their functional pastor is exposed. It is text book behavior.

    Molie, I’m bored with your personal attacks on me. Let’s talk about David.

    1. I’m reading all of this and feeling the same way I did when the TJ/Julie thing started up in TLS: there’s always more than one side to every story. Always. If I read this blog without knowing anything else, it is alarming. But when you ignore people who are telling you something different, it’s obvious, to me anyway, that you’re not interested in any other point of view. The approach of Reuben, et al., feels familiar, and that is, see things my way or you’re blind/nuts/sheep/full of s–t. When I get that from somebody, I don’t want to talk to them. Is that silencing? Maybe, but I can totally live with that.

      When you’ve taken David down, who’s your next target? There will be another and then another.

      1. So you believe silencing is acceptable? Nice. You’ll fit right in at TLS.

      2. There’s always two sides to a story, and none of you are interested in it. You keep rehashing the Big Kerfuffle, which mostly we agree on (we just disagree about the significance and implications of it).

        I have other conversations and interactions with David that inform my perspective on that Kerfuffle. I’m happy to talk about and explain that, I have done so a little bit above, yet it is clear that no one is actually interested in what happened behind the scenes.

        In the end, a group that doesn’t allow for dissent and disagreement will be unhealthy. That is my informed and educated, yet still personal, opinion. All the grow ups are, as always, free to join up anyway and decide for themselves. There is literally nothing bad about that.

        Take care now.

    2. Again Reuban, when you throw that pastor line around you destroy whatever idea you wanted to communicate.

    3. “You owe everyone here an apology. You have no grounds to demand anything. You are part of the problem. You escalate for the purpose of defending your golden calf, and he is the issue here.”

      Pointing a lot of fingers at others….. Just an example. Blame shift much?

  35. I would just to clarify for the TLS members here, more details about the homophobia which is accepted in your group now.

    I, a queer person (and also a childhood abuse survivor), stood up to a comment made by a TLS member, in which he said that gay sex was ‘repulsive’. I was deeply hurt by this comment and stated that there was no need for it. David eventually got involved, and not only did he actively agree with the comment in question (claiming that such a thing was apparently fine), but then he continued to label me a ‘bully’ and closed the discussion down, silencing any attempt of mine to defend myself against such a ridiculous accusation.

    I told David is private discussion afterwards that I felt silenced and rebuked in the face of homophobic comments, and he refused to even acknowledge that it was homophobia. Instead, he decided to tell me that he thought I was a ‘very angry person’ and assumed it was my ‘default setting’. He then claimed I was out-rightly wrong, simply because the accused in question claimed he wasn’t homophobic, despite his casual use of homophobic language. He then went on to claim that I was ‘delusional’ and that if he was to side with either myself or the other, he would have chosen the other person because he had the “ability to keep his personal feelings and preferences out of his sense of what justice is”. This is all for a queer person saying to a straight person, that saying gay sex is repulsive, is wrong. This coming from a man who actually sells a book of artwork called ‘The Art of Coming Out’ (even though he has never ‘come out’ being that he is straight..).. someone he claims to be an ally of the LGBT community. I fear for any queer person in TLS after that.

    And the icing on the cake? After the whole fiasco went down in TLS, and members ending up leaving. I was kicked out by David. I was not even involved in everything that went down. I stayed away, yet I was targeted for the boot. He first sighted that it was because I not paying any money for the subscription (I couldn’t afford it), to he said, and I quote: “This is not a church. This is my livelihood.” (I can provide screenshot evidence of this statement if needed). He then went on to say that it was because I am a fighter for “social justice” (in that I stand up for the marginalised and challenge things like sexism, homophobia, transphobia, racism etc), and David decided that such things did not connect with the ‘values’ of TLS anymore. In other words, if you want to fit in at TLS, you have to look the other way when it comes to potentially racist/sexist/homophobia/transphobic remarks. David doesn’t like it otherwise. This is also the same community that piled on top of me when I merely suggested that the Facebook group needed trigger warnings. This was after someone very close to me, also involved in the community, had a severe trigger event to content that was posted on there. Even after it was begrudgingly accepted, barely anyone even attempted to understand what triggers were and why the warnings were important. Most people just felt like they were being policed, and that people who had issues with certain topics, should just ‘move along’ as if it was that easy. The privelaged members of the community ALWAYS won out over the marginalised, or as one person put it ‘The loud voices always prevail over the smaller ones’.

    How can David, or any TLS member, even begin to justify that the community is a ‘safe place’ when stuff like that happens? When he, and his members, are not even prepared to govern the content that is posted? Its completely nonsensical. But then again, as the above screenshots clearly demonstrate, David Haywood is a hypocrite. And I don’t think he should be going anywhere near abuse survivors.

    1. Oh, and I was a member of the Facebook group since its inception. I am truly saddened by what it turned into, and what David turned out to be.

    2. That’s appalling. I’m sorry this happened to you. It sounds like a lot of people there think they should be able to say whatever they want, but when others disagree with them, they can’t handle it and try to silence dissent.

    3. I have only paid for the first month I was there. That may get me kicked off, if so that’s fine. I’m okay with the group….. never felt attacked the way I did with some of the ones making the accusations, but I do have a life outside of TLS….. and my pastor’s name isn’t David, its Jeremiah.

      1. So.. screw what happened to me, because you felt attacked by the people making the allegations above? And you have a life outside of TLS? What’s that supposed to mean? I was hammered down for sticking up for my sexuality against a man I trusted implicitly, in full view of a community I liked, and then was later banned because of that, and because I couldn’t afford the money he wanted (which makes one think about what his true priorities are really), which he shouldn’t be charging for a Facebook group anyway. But oh well, its just the internet! Move on.. right? If you don’t have anything productive to say then don’t say it. The more comments I read from you, the more you just seem like a troll.

    4. I was unaware of that situation and I appreciate you sharing for additional perspective. I’m sorry that happened to you.

    5. I remember that conversation, Rick, and I supported what you were saying. I also remember David saying that the straight guy had probably used a poor choice of words to describe his lack of understanding. Now I am learning that you have decided that homophobia is accepted by the TLS group, when I and others, spoke up. As for TWs? I was right there with you again. As are most others who post about triggering topics. That’s what makes your accusations ring hollow. They have no factual basis. And this onslaught of painting all TLS members with the same brush because you disagreed with some does not help your argument.

      1. My post was mainly centralised on David, not TLS. And I appreciate that you a handful of others backed me up but did David back me up? No he did not. He said I was bullying Gary and then closed the discussion and then outright said that if he was to choose and side between me and him, he would choose him. And I am glad that you supported me in the triggering warnings thread, but I’m afraid, the vast majority most certainly did not. I had to keep repeating myself, over and over, until I decided to give up. And even then, people were using trigger warnings clearly without even understanding what they were and why they were important. And what because a handful of people stood by in the discussions, that makes me accusations against David ring hollow? He flat out told me I was wrong in standing up to Gary and his homophobia. Shall I send you a copy of the conversation to prove it to you? Its all there and I will reveal it to whoever wants to see it.

  36. there is one thing the author of this convoluted story got right: he is not a news source and is not interested in an equal, balanced story. He is interested in only telling one side. That is unfortunate, because there are many lies in this post being shared as truth and people who were not involved in the situation are believing them as truth.

    Yet, the author himself made clear in comments above, he has no interest in sharing both sides of this story. Just something to think about before you believe a word written here.

  37. First, let me say this is the 3rd time I have tried to post a comment here. Why does your system require me to log into a blog I no longer use? Frustrating!
    I am adamant about writing in defense of David Hayward because I believe these accusations do not represent the nature of TLS nor the character of David Hayward. Of all the abusive systems and people that deserve to be exposed and confronted, you target David Hayward and TLS? I have been a member since the beginning, and I was a witness to the destructive conflict that is being referenced here. In my opinion the ones claiming to be victims here were among the most aggressive and offensive voices involved. Whatever good you are attempting to do by this post is being wiped out by the destruction you are causing. This post does not represent the nature and character of TLS and David Hayward.

      1. You’re comparing David Hayward to Mark Fucking Driscoll? He runs a 200-400 person online community, not a multisite multimillion church. And people say they can’t take someone using “online gulag” seriously. Ha.

      2. Again. You have manufactured a straw man through your characterizatioñ of him as “merciless”, a ” gaslighter” and abuser”, on the level of Driscoll, Tojo, and Phillips, based NOT on his actions to protect his community, his livelihood, and his vision, but on the perceptions of those who felt he did not do enough for them. We know there is a more objective account of the actual events in question, but cannot breach our promise to observe the confidentiality that would enlighten your readers as to the many misrepresentations here. That would confirm your accusations of TLS as “dangerous”, even as you make it moreso with the oft-repeated mantra ” I have screenshots”. TLS has the entire context of those threads, with no editing, or hyperbole, so put away those bits and pieces that fuel your need to destroy what you don’t understand, and work on taking a healthier responsibility for your reactions to people who walk a different path. Feel what you feel in the places you’ve found to hold space for those feelings,and let go of the fragmented, one sided storyline that never should have been accepted as the whole truth in the first place.

      3. I’ve not used the word “merciless” once. And I’ve never said he’s “on the level of Driscoll, Tojo, and Phillips.” I also have not “oft-repeated” the phrase, “I have screenshots.”

        Again, reading comprehension.

      4. Perhaps you need to look up the definition of a strawman, because that is not what is going on here. The arguments against David are not just informed by the experiences of people dealing with him, but also by the things he has actually said and done, with evidence. Its not just about him not ‘doing enough for certain people’ (if that’s what you want to call it).. he persistently lies.. he calls out ‘abusive tactics’ of others such as closing down comments sections and deleting comments, and then does the exact same things himself when he is implicated. But I guess he’s allowed to do that because god forbid his ‘livelihood’ come under attack… Its amazing how many TLS members will ignore that and not him accountable for his blatant hypocrisy (and even when he is charging money for the service).. Double standards.

        And lol. ‘Yeah well I have evidence too that will completely destroy your evidence but I’m not going to show you it because I’m not allowed’. And editing? There has been no editing going on here. That’s a bit of a desperate stretch. And there is no ‘hyperbole’ either. People can look at the posts and judge for themselves. No one claimed it was the ‘whole truth’, but the truth from a perspective a various people who were in TLS, and the perspective of the actions of David since then. It might not represent your perceptions of what happened, but its enough to highlight obvious problems, and get people to start asking valid questions. David has placed himself as running a community that is deemed a safe place. He actively attempts to bring in abuse survivors (as depicted by a lot of his latest cartoons). He charges money for it. You cannot do something like that without being held accountable to strict standards I’m afraid.

  38. So I was able to read about alien pearl lady and where that all started and…LMFAO!

    She is a writer and a Christian. The pearl was a metaphor for her spiritual calling, like “pearls of wisdom”.

    Do any of you read literature and understand the different techniques used to describes something? Metaphor? Symbolism? Or is everything literal to you like the Bible for fundamentalist?

    A kindergartener could get the symbolism out of this! All this because you cannot get the deeper meaning out of something. Sad.

    1. Yep. That’s what she puts out publicly. It’s a different story than she wrote in that space.

      Even so, if it were that simple it could have been easily resolved by David when he came back. Yet he chose to not handle that.

      But okay. LYFAO

  39. I don’t know anything about any of this (except that I believe the stories my friends have told because they are good, trustworthy people). But these comments have been very enlightening. Thanks to the comments here, I wouldn’t touch this group or it’s leader with a 10-ft pole. It’s got “cult” written all over it. Red flags everywhere. Sheesh. Also it feels a hell of a lot like several churches I’ve left.

  40. Mr. Stollar – will you answer the above? I am concerned that you have already made up your mind on the subject and are unwilling to hear the alternate point of view that some of your accusers are themselves abusive in their tactics and behavior towards David and other members of TLS. Reuben, Becky, and the Benners, alongside several other folks (most also big names on SCCL) caused people to leave out of fear of retribution. And here it is. They – or you – have someone willing to break confidentiality well after the fact, while David is trying to set healthy boundaries for his free time by turning off blog comments and/or choosing to block some of these folk who have been abusive to him. You may not consider cursing someone out abusive but I do – Becky and Reuben have done it to the whole community, and Jason Benner has done it privately. So please consider that you are contributing to David being unable to take a breather by releasing this now. And be wary of whose testimony you believe to be truth. Gaslighting goes both ways. And when they turn on you or Stephanie Drury or some other person they think can help them, well… Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

    1. David literally said, if you check the evidence above, that turning off blog comments and deleting comments are the techniques employed by those who wish to silence the abused. And that doesn’t bother you?

    2. Scared, if I caused you to leave out of fear and retribution will you please pm me so that we can talk about it? Or we can talk here.

      1. It wasn’t you or Annie or even the Benners who I had limited experience with and primarily observed. When comments blew up on one of the other posts, I was afraid to disagree with any of you, because you all have each others’ backs. I felt more safe disagreeing with people that were (and probably are) still in TLS than disagreeing with the group that came in within that month.

      2. So what we did wrong, was that we were friends? Our friendship was scary and that’s what was threatening?

        I don’t understand.

    3. Scared, this was about David. Your whole community seems intent on outing me through this whole thread. In fact, one is dead set on it. Explain.

      Is this tit for tat? I am all about eye for eye in this scenario. Because the rather lengthy conversations TLS has been having about the people who left are grotesque, speaking directly to the dynamic of TLS, and behind closed doors. I offered Chris the ability to speak his mind verbatim on my Facebook page. He has yet to reply, but he still monitors every word. Explain.

      David is in those conversations. Explain.

      Contrast that with what has been exposed here.

      See, it is the behavior of TLS right this moment that I call into question. Safe? Not if people saw what you were saying there.

      I speak in the open. People can judge me. They have my words.

      Now I have been “outed” right here by TLS. Explain.

      1. I left TLS, so I don’t know what’s happening there now. I’m only speaking of what happened then. You say people have your words, but I don’t seen screenshots of the conversations happening on your Facebook in here. If I were Stollar, I’d want to see the full screenshots of the things you’ve said about David on your Facebook wall vs. whatever may/may not be being said in his community right now.

      2. What do you mean by outed? Rejected? Scapegoated? Ok, David. You feel he takes advantage of those who have suffered abuse? You feel he advertises to the abused through his cartoons? You feel he does not provide safety to those who join, a kind of bait and switch? And I assume you feel he has created an online church with TLS?

        So from what I saw in the blog this taking advantage of members is through charging cash and using members stories for his cartoons. OK he provides a private site, which is not a normal feature of facebook. Well my answer to this is capitalism, you want a special service you generally pay for it. As far as I know I haven’t supplied David with any cartoon ideas. I certainly not noticed any member based cartoons, just issues. So I do not feel that I have been taken advantage of.

        I joined TLS because I saw how much it was helping my wife deconstruct, I had deconstructed decades ago and never saw one of his cartoons until after I joined. Perhaps I’m a very unusual case, but I was not reeled in through cartoons. So I cannot address that point personally. Now as far as his cartoons dealing with abuse issues, it only is logical since TLS is a site based on transforming, constructing, or deconstructing from a church based belief system. Since virtually all of us have suffered at the very least, spiritual abuse, should not his cartoons reflect that?

        A safe place is not provided, the bait and switch idea. You may be surprised that I see this as valid, but reach a different conclusion. I feel it is essentially impossible to provide a safe place for any survivor of abuse. Safety is a feeling. It is completely dependant on an individual’s experiences and make up. What feels safe for me may not feel safe for another person. Only extreme examples can bypass a subjective feeling. Have I seen any such extreme examples? Yes, I have, one that you mentioned earlier, the voice message. I heard it, and it was such an extreme example. There have also been other examples also. Do I disagree with how David handled them? Yes, I do. Is it possible to have a group of over 250 without extreme examples happening occasionally? No, it isn’t. The sad fact is that we are all human beings, and human beings tend to treat each other like shit. I also conclude that I have never felt the level of comfort and feeling of freedom to express myself as I do in TLS. I therefore feel that thinking it is possible for David to create a safe place is like thinking it is possible for NASA to make a space craft that can travel faster than the speed of light. And yes, I am a sci-fi geek.

        I put my time in at various churches, and TLS is no church. Do I love and appreciate David? Appreciate definitely, love? In a sense, but definitely not like some seem to think we members do. It seems we’re being portrayed as cult followers, and I definitely don’t see that. It’s not like David is Rush, the greatest band ever!

    4. I have used the word fecking gobshite multiple times. It is a term in Ireland for someone full of BS. It is not a curse word. I do not go around cursing at people all day long. I’m sorry fecking Gobshite is so abusive to you. If you feel it applies to you personally, then idk. Would it make you feel better if you were able to come to our home and murder my family? Is that what you would like. Because I’m feeling like your hate is very real and very murderous.

      I don’t see me turning on anyone. Unless they come after my family/friends. and then seriously I have no power or money just a bunch of bs out of my own Goshite mouth.

      1. I was never in TLS, but what Annie, Danica, Jason, Wende, and company have been saying about the problems there makes sense to me. I have known Annie and Danica for a couple of years, and I find their statements and behaviour almost invariably reasonable and justified. I don’t think feeling like someone is smarter than you is a valid reason to condemn their behaviour. Also, I have seen various screenshots that have been posted of the conversations with David Hayward, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen those screenshots include the words of people who are opposing Danica, Jason, etc. other than David.

        However, Becky, your comment about people wanting to murder your family seems way out of proportion to the discussion I have seen in this thread and elsewhere. I think that you and Reuben are usually on the right side of issues, but I don’t always like your tactics.

      2. I didn’t notice any death threats. I agree anger is being thrown around by both sides.

      3. Bru, is anger a bad thing? I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think that it’s a reasonable reaction to a person’s boundaries being violated. It protects us. LIke Anger in Inside Out. (LOVE that movie)

      4. I don’t hate you, and am not murderous toward you. I’m terrified of you and Reuben. Your anger towards David and towards others was so palpable and scary that I left TLS, and disappeared online. Using rhetoric like saying that I hate you or want to come to your home and murder your family is exactly the kind of escalation I’m talking about. And hey, maybe gobshite isn’t a big deal to you, but for those of us where angry words were used abusively towards us, it sure feels abusive. I wish you and Reuben well, and hope you figure out what it is you want from David in this conflict. If it’s just to make sure people know his community isn’t a safe space, you’ve done that well. I just can’t figure out what you and Reuben want, just like I couldn’t figure out what you wanted then.

      5. It sounds like fucking shit. It is all I hear when I read it. I don’t even care what means is at this point. I cannot care to hear people who sound like they tell others they are shit over and over. Maybe you don’t mean it, but does it matter? Intent is not a magic wand.

    5. This is about David. More importantly it’s about community guidelines, as stated by him, and how they play out in practice. Think of it as a negative yelp review, people who think “safe space” means what we think it means will not be attracted to your community.

      Really, we are doing you a favor by helping to weed out the kind of people who make you uncomfortable.

      1. OK. I think it’s been made clear that it’s not a safe community both by David himself and by this post and the exhibits presented by Stollar. I find those to be mischaracterizations of what happened, and I found it to be a safe community for me, for a time. Not anymore, since this conflict, and certainly not since there is someone apparently posting confidential stuff from the community. What is to stop them from taking me on next and posting information about when i go on vacation – which I am sure I once posted in TLS when it felt like a community – or posting my intro post where I named my abusers for the first time. This post made that community even more unsafe, and I think that sucked.

        I’m sorry if I came across as angry or hateful. I appreciated your calm voice of reason there, Annie, and there were quite a few other women in there who I admired. I’m sad I lost access to them but I have other spaces, which in fact, are more safe. Not because of David, but because of the actions of Reuben’s posse and because of the screenshot Stollar posted. Glad i left, but wish I’d deleted my posts now.

      2. Yes. It is about a place that was said to be safe space, and is not for many reasons as should be obvious by now. David Hayward’s refusal to deal with it in any way has made it worse. Holiday or not, he is responsible for TLS and takes money for it. Not everything happens when or if we choose. No matter what else, people are hurting and this is his responsibility. And aside from people telling their truth about their experiences there is nothing left to do but wait and see. It is all very sad.

    6. I’m not involved with SCCL.

      I hear people have concerns with Reuben, but I haven’t really talked to Reuben. He’s not one of the people I talked to about this piece.

      I have been dear friends with the Benners and they have shared what they have said in TLS and outside of it. I see nothing abusive in their words. I see anger and pain. I don’t consider the expression of anger or pain abusive. It seems like many of you do. I hope, for the sake of everyone in the church (TLS and beyond) that we come to see anger as healthy, even a fruit of the Spirit. Anger is an important sign of something being unjust; it is a motivator towards peace. You and others who police their emotions and tell them that anger or cursing is abuse is one of the worst forms of emotional abuse. So I hope you reconsider.

      I also hear that you, Scared, are scared. I’m sorry about that. I am actually a peacemaker at heart and in person I’m pretty awfully shy and quiet. These sorts of conflicts terrify me, too. I know they’re not fun. When I published this post yesterday, I was shaking. That’s how scared *I* was. I hate knowing I’m going to make people upset. But it is important for me to do what I think is right and to stand with fellow abuse survivors. So I hope that you can join me in overcoming that fear and facing the anger of Jason and Wende and Danica and others and seeing why they are angry — the injustice and pain motivating that anger.

      1. I see, understand where they’re coming from, and completely understand the shakiness.

        I make no apologies for finding their anger abusive because that is abusive *to me*. It may not be to you, and I can eventually work through it, but I dislike very much being told that I am ‘tone policing’ or can’t tell other people that their angry and aggressive words are harmful while other people on this thread can tell me that by my own anger and hurt spilling out I apparently want to murder them?

        I’m sorry that Jason, Wende and Danica were hurt. I understand their concerns. I don’t see that they understand that they hurt a lot of other people in the community, and I don’t see that I’m allowed to be angry about their and your treatment of David and other members of TLS like Bruce, the alien pearl lady, the woman who went to the hospital, the couple that left TLS because of the Benners.

        I hear, I’m listening, I’m trying ot engage even though I’m terrified, but I am very serious – this is hurting your credibility because you took a side in a conflict based on your relationship with a few people, and that clouds yoru judgmnet. The kindness I’ve been shown by David probably clouds mine. But it’s a murky story, and your definition of safe space isn’t everyone’s definition. I felt much safer there than I do here where peoiple assign me murderous intent and tell me I’m sexist.

        I have to peace out because this is starting to be too much. I’m really disappointed in you, Mr. Stollar, though, for pushing all this out at the time you did in the way you did. I appreciate your courage in doing it, even though I believe what you did was wrong on a couple levels. But there’s a lot of grey.

      2. If you are policing the tones of angry, hurt people, telling them their tones are wrong or abusive, then you are tone-policing. It’s pretty simple. Being angry =/= being abusive. It might shake you, and maybe you need to take a break. That’s totally fine and acceptable. I can 100% relate. When people get angry with me, it triggers me. That’s one of my triggers and I admit it. But that doesn’t mean those angry people are abusing me. There is definitely such a thing as verbal abuse, but speaking angrily and swearing are not the same as verbal abuse.

        And I really do appreciate that you are still here, hearing and listening, despite being triggered. I respect that. Thank you for doing that.

        And I don’t care about credibility or popularity. People said Hayward and myself hurt our credibility and popularity when we spoke out against Tony Jones. People said I hurt my credibility and popularity when I spoke out against Rachel Held Evans’ treatment of Julie McMahon. People said I hurt my credibility and popularity when I speak out against Christian homeschool leader. I give 0 cares about credibility and popularity. I care about giving voice to abuse survivors. I did my due diligence in investigating all the issues in this blog post — comments, threads, and messages from all sides — and I find Jason, Wende, Danica, and others credible in their claims. I believe them as friends, but I also believe them because I have examined the evidence. It’s not a murky story. It’s pretty straightforward. As an abuse advocate, all the warning signs are here. So I had to stand up and say something.

        Injustice does not sleep while people are on vacations. So neither can justice.

  41. Feeling triggered and dismissed by Reuben and friends, once again. Out witted by Annie , once again. No, I can’t go point-to-point with you. You will do what you can to humiliate me with your superior intellect. Abuse survivors, like me, apparently don’t matter. Ever since I have spoken up – and others, too – you have just dismissed us and mowed us over.
    Annie, for an extra punch in the gut, quoted my words, to mock me. Yes, you people are unsafe. The pearl prophet is gone, by her own choice. Bring threatened by someone is NOT okay. That person shouldn’t be in TLS. I believe you. If he’s still there, he should not be defended. He should not be in TLS.

      1. Also. I think that this is an example of why TLS really isn’t safe for survivors. TLS is run to where
        1. Anyone can say anything in their OP
        2. People are responsible for their own triggers
        3. If someone is triggered, then they aren’t allowed to talk about it

        This gives no room for protecting survivors. It gives no room for those who, like I said in my post where I left TLS, walk around like Alice who ate the growing mushroom, inadvertently and accidentally tromping all over people, to be given correction as to how their behavior comes across. Which leaves no room for reconciliation, for that person to say they are sorry, for everyone to talk it out and grow from it.

        Everyone ends up feeling silenced, and it’s not healthy.

        I’m sorry you are feeling triggered and dismissed by us. I wish we could have worked this all out in TLS, a private, smaller space. I wish we could have all expressed our own voices and been heard. Instead, David told us to stop talking, shut it down, and then issued an email from onhigh with the Final Word in the situation.

      2. This not being able to reply to any statement but having to scroll and find a reply is frustrating. Danica, my anger was not labeling anger as good or bad, but acknowledging that anger is being expressed by many people on all sides of these discussions. And I say that because many people seem to be accusing other people of expressing inappropriate anger.

    1. I was trying to not dismiss you. I am wondering why no females told my husband off when he would post his dumb ass vagina monologues. There were even a few females that alluded to wanting to have sex with him. I did not go after those women. People say crap. Especially men. I know if others would have told him to stop it that it was offensive he would have. Please use your words when offended. I do and I’m a small female. Yell!

      1. Scared, by TLS’s stated rules, you should have just ignored the fact that Reuben triggered you, and been responsible for not interacting with him. He was fully right (by TLS’s standards) to post whatever he wanted, it was on YOU, the triggered one, to avoid him.

        Ugh. Honestly that makes me cringe even writing it because it’s so heartless. But it’s exactly what the standard is in TLS. And it’s EXACTLY why TLS is not a safe space for people who have been abused.

        All I ask, all I’ve ever asked, is that David stop trying to recruit survivors of abuse into his group that is patently unsafe for them. It’s wrong.

      2. Danica,

        I followed those rules. I did not comment on Reuben’s Vagina thread, and have not spoken of my discomfort since. I would not call it triggering. Being uncomfortable with being reduced to a body part is everyday life which is why i didn’t say anything then. I was answering Bekcys question about why I didn’t tell Reuben off when he was being misogynistic. Because I can handle my discomfort and don’t need to poop on other peoples’ partys or communities. If I don’t like, I just leave.

        Worth noting that the conflict instigated within TLS by others did actually cause one woman who was a member there at the tiem to go to the hospital because she was having panic attacks. I don’t know whether she’s aware of what’s gong on now but all of you – Reuben, Becky, Danica, Annie, Wende and Jason – owe her an apology at least. she wasn’t the only one so triggered by the conflict that they had medical issues in the wake.

        Stop hurting people. Leave the TLS group be. If the group dynamics are abusive, those people have been warned, and they’re walking in with eyes open. Sounds like Jason Benner needds to have a heart to heart with Bru above; maybe David can help Annie with whoever sent her the aggressive messages; maybe RL Stollar can apologize for taking a private screenshot and making it public; maybe David can apologize for the ways he failed the community – though did he not already in an email newsletter? I don’t know that you all want reconcilation, but anyway, if all you want is to warn people, mission accomplished. You hurt people in the process, but you’ve done what you needed to, right?

    2. Jenna- My intent is not to mock. And it really really wasn’t an intent to mock when I quoted your experience. That would be a horrible thing for me to do.
      I was disturbed by that story. To me it did not sound like a safe or healthy interaction. It is interactions like that which make me believe TLS is not a “safe space”. That’s it. That was my whole point. I would never mock about something like that. It’s serious. I think you were brave to approach that person and to choose to stay even when the communication didn’t go well. Mocking that, or your honest and heartfelt words about it would just be horrible.

      I’m really sorry I sound like I’m mocking and smashing at you “with my superior intellect”. Honestly, this is just how I think- I try to organize my thoughts so they don’t get away from me in the heat of the moment.

      That said, it sounds like there is likely no way I can talk to you that won’t be upsetting and triggering. Out of respect for that I will not respond to your comments anymore.

      Again- I’m very sorry my words have caused you distress.

  42. I would just like to point out another thing that made TLS unsafe for me, that I am seeing recreated here.

    When Wende spoke passionately about her abuse, she was shut down for being too forceful.

    When Becky was honest about her anger, she was shut down for being too mean.

    When I addressed the group about something that triggered me, I was too emotional.

    But when Annie spoke rationally and logically, she was shut down for being too intellectual and speaking over peoples’ heads.

    Basically, you cannot disagree with David Hayward if:
    1. You do it in too forceful of a tone
    2. You have too much anger behind it
    3. You have too much hurt behind it
    4. You are calm and reasoned.

    In other words … you cannot disagree with David Hayward. Period. Any and all disagreement with him will be shut down for one reason or another. The only way to get along in that group is to not cross the leader, and carefully avoid any appearance of disagreeing with teh group as a whole.

    What you see here, folks, is what we experienced in TLS. It might be healthy for some. It was not healthy for me.

    1. ^^^^ That is the exact same way I experienced Jason & Wende. I’m an abuse survivor yet I was not allowed to disagree on any level or have a different opinion, because when I disagreee imperfectly and with a lot of emotion I was boxed in as being soft on abuse (horrifically untrue). If we all applied the communication tactics we are each advocating for here the initial conflict in TLS plus the following conflict two weeks later in TLS wouldn’t have occurred in the first place, imo.

      I wish it was possible to work this all out with everyone involved, I really do. I believe there are legitimate issues being brought forth by all parties, yet I also see things being blown way out of proportion and pieces of truth being twisted into huge untruths. I believe there are incredible people advocating sincerely and lovingly for abuse survivors all around this table. I believe the shitstorms have cause chaos and confusion. I believe taking it to this court of public opinion though may have indeed been the death knoll for any possibility arising of unknotting all the massive jumbles of threads throughout. I’m sickened by all of this. The original issues wounded so many, and now the way the conflict is being handled is wounding everyone plus more people all over again. As a survivor of many forms of abuse this has all only served to hurt me. I haven’t gained anything from all this. I feel I have had no voice since the first moment I spoke in TLS on the homeschooling thread. I was silenced, accused, and assumed to frankly be a bitch who thought she knew it all. If you knew me you would know this is hilariously far from the actual truth. Did I express myself perfectly? Of course not, I had my buttons pushed and I responded with a lot of emotion. I was not received in that place because I wasn’t agreeing totally with homeschool abuse survivors. I’m actually in the process of moving my own children out of homeschooling into public school for various reasons, I understand on a personal level how a HS environment can get unhealthy, although I myself was never homeschooled. I’ve experienced verbal abuse by parents, physical abuse by parents, sexual abuse by 3 people (daycare worker, date rape in high school, and my senior pastor), and spiritual/clergy abuse.

      I desire a community where help and healing can flourish. If not TLS then where? DH made many mistakes. Honestly no-one was without error in all of this. But at the end of the day what is most important? It saddens me that resolution cannot be found, that common ground cannot be found, even if it’s to agree to disagree. TLS isn’t unsafe for all abuse survivors, but it certainly isn’t the place for all survivors, I agree on that. But as they say, why throw the baby out with the bath water? (I’ve never really liked that phrase but I couldn’t think of a better one).

      This has all spun terribly out of control and it needs to be over so those of us who truly desire to get back to the business of being abuse survivors can do it without all this conflict taking away from it.

      You’ve shared your concerns about DH and TLS, when will this war be deemed over? When can we call a truce?

      1. When Hayward acknowledges and communicates with the ones he has hurt and ceases his passive-aggressive campaigns against them.

        It’s really pretty simple.

      2. Stollar if you’re waiting for David, why not shut down comments till he returns like he did, so he doesn’t get trashed while away. By the stolen screenshot above, that would be the 18th. That would be courteous, and i think the people involved have stated their issues. Just a thought.

      3. I’m not waiting for David. He doesn’t owe me an apology. Others are due that apology.

        And I don’t care if he’s on vacation. He has already used his vacation to call people “attackers.” That’s a ridiculous cop-out.

  43. WTF is a “fuck thread?” I am getting the sense that it is a thread where people are allowed to just pile on one person. How can anyone consider a community that allows that kind of thing safe for abuse survivors or for anyone else?

    What I am seeing from the current TLS people is a lot of fear of conflict. I am not seeing how Danica, Jason, Wende, etc. could possibly have expressed their disagreement with what was happening in ways that the current TLS people are comfortable with. It doesn’t seem like the TLS people are comfortable with *any* open disagreement–they prefer a social norm of people just ignoring whatever they don’t like.

    The problem is that when people just ignore what they don’t like, abuse goes unchallenged and problems go unaddressed. That, I think, is the crux of Danica’s criticism of the TLS community norms. I get that not everybody is comfortable with conflict, but sometimes conflict is necessary. I don’t want to be unsympathetic to people who are having serious panic attacks and the like, but I don’t think that communities should function in unhealthy ways just because some people are frightened of healthy discourse.

    1. I have never seen a fuck thread applied to an individual. They are used to express frustration with work, life, sports, etc.

      1. I saw too. It may not have specifically included names (I don’t remember), but anyone could tell it was directed specifically at the Benners.

      2. Hi Bru- there were two started right after the homeschool thread. One was a fuck thread that referenced things the benners said on that comment thread, the other was a passive aggressive vent thread referencing the same thing. They were deleted within a few minutes, shortly after I commented that they seemed out of line. They were started by the husband and wife who were upset during that thread.

      3. There was no “fuck thread” referencing the benner’s. There were posts from upset people trying to understand what the heck happened, apologies were made, emotions expressed, and then that husband and wife both left TLS in order to hopefully mitigate any further unnecessary drama and protect themselves.

      1. Wordstoasilentgod- actually- there was. It was up about 10 minutes, I commented that it seemed unhelpful and unlikely to help de-escalate. That it was inappropriate and passive aggressive. It was then taken down. I don’t have screenshots of that one, but I’m not wrong. Or lying.

  44. That being said, Becky, I do think your comment about thinking people want to murder your family was seriously out of line. When some people arguing for a position escalate conflict, it often makes the other people arguing for the same position look bad.

  45. My murder reply was OTT. I admit that. To show how anger and hate come out I put that in there. Everyone wants to go back to what was said and how mean I was when I got mad. God forbid a female get pissed. I told people when I joined that I had a temper. I truly felt that perhaps scared would be happier if she indeed knew we were dead. Overly dramatic? of course it is. This whole damn situation is overly dramatic.

    I personally don’t care what happens with David or TLS. Being there was a waste of time and money for me. I feel tainted and gross for having been part of TLS. I have never lost my temper as badly as I did there. TLS brought out the very worst in me. I am not okay with that. Meeting all those people was the very worst thing that I have had happen to me save a few.

    Again sorry about the murder me remark. Drama major here and I tend to go OTT.

    Still need a director to say bring it back down dearie…..

    I’m not hateful, but I do not have any tolerance for BS. I do hate that I joined TLS. God worst thing ever.

    1. Oh and Christine, It was not me thinking that people want to murder my family. It was Would that make you happy to murder my family. See I want to know just how far the hate runs. Because if saying fecking gobshites makes you that afraid and hateful towards someone then dear lord get some happy drugs.

      I would like to know how deep the hate runs. I don’t actually have hate towards anyone here today. Annoyance yes, hate NO. Do I think anyone is being a fecking gobshite today? Not here, other words perhaps. But I won’t share.

      I told my friends I was done. But I keep getting sucked back in….now I’m feeling gross again.


    2. I appreciate the apology, although I know I’m not one of the people to whom it was owed. I think it is really important, when fighting abuse and abusers, to make sure that our own tactics and behaviour remain ethical. I’m fine with expressing righteous anger and have done it many times myself, but there are certain lines that I try very hard not to cross.

      1. Christine, I gave the apology for whom it may concern. I won’t apologize for my personality. Being dramatic is part of who I am. I am not going to change. I felt pure hate coming from scared and Molie, and Jenna. Remember I am an empath. I still want to know how deep it runs. and I was serious because I do get suicidal tendencies. And It really does annoy me beyond belief that a Irish term sent them into such a tailspin. Would a more vile and disgusting term have been better? OH and I am not here fighting for abuse and abusers I’m fighting for my own life at this point. I know who you are, but no idea who scared, Molie, or Jenna are and it is freaking me out. Because instead of talking about David all they have done is throw accusations, and past sins I’m my face. Things I apologized for before I left TLS. See and now I’m getting angry. Damn it.

        I hate TLS. I used to be happier and nicer before them.

    3. Hey Becky,
      I don’t know you. I’ve been reading these comments as an outside observer (which is probably wrong of me… I know I have a bad tendency to want to watch drama unfold) With that being said I wish I could meet you in person. A lot of what you have written has cracked me up and I too get carried away and say overly dramatic things. I really want to start using the phrase fecking gobshite but I think it’ll sound fake coming from me having an American accent and all. And I can’t tell you how many times ppl have pushed me away for being too intense when sometimes situations call for a passionate response. Sorry you had such a terrible experience… But from the little I know about you through reading this, YOU’RE FREAKING AWESOME 🙂

  46. Danica, I’m sorry that you feel no one was there to support in TLS, in the raw pearls incidents. That thread is definitely disturbing. I had no other way to read the thread, except as literal. There was no context that I should read it metaphorically. Having someone describe a foreign object enter them sounds, at best, strange, at worst, delusional.

    Danica’s statement addendum that it was group consensus that we could never challenge ToJo, Gothard or others, should they find themselves in TLS is wrong. I am not comfortable with this concept. I thought I said it at the time, but apologize if I hadn’t made myself clear. The raw pearls lady needed to be challenged.

    The aftermath of the whole scenario (including this post) makes me sad. I do not see David as the pastor Reuben tries to portray him as being. Nor do I see David as providing a perfect “safe space” for anyone. I know he is trying, and from my perspective, open about his mistakes.

    As for the PM exchanges between some of you and David, I believe you. I haven’t had that experience. I’m sorry that has been the case.

    as for the whole scenario, I have read the entire comments before responding. I really want to disengage from the scenario, as I don’t know the way forward in peace and reconciliation. But I feel I must continue to keep space for Danica, Annie, Reuben, Becky, Jason, Wende, Shade, and Rick. Your voices and concerns need to be listened to, not swept under the rug of forgetfulness.

    I may not say a lot on the issue as it continues, but know this, I am listening. I care for you as people, and hope that you can find the peace and reconciliation you need.

    1. “Your voices and concerns need to be listened to, not swept under the rug of forgetfulness.”

      I appreciate that you are approaching the situation with that goal, Doug. That is my hope and prayer as well. Thanks for being willing to listen and engage.

      1. I want to also. I don’t hate you or want to cause you harm. I just want to forget about all of that. It was awful. I don’t blame David. Or you, personally, though you’ve admitted to being the worst version of yourself in there. I think a lot of people were bad versionsT of themselves in that conflict. Thank you for apologizing. I see Reuben has apologized. The other man that made an arguably sexist post apologized to the group as well. Perhaps with a couple more rounds of apologies we can put this behind us.

    2. Thank you, Doug. Really.

      And to be honest, I remember there were one or two people (probably you) who said they were not comfortable with people bringing abusive doctrine in. But as a whole, the group said they would allow it, as did one of the mods, who I presumed spoke for David. And David did not refute this when he came back, but instead defended the prophet and said that everyone needs to be able to speak about their journey regardless of how it comes across.

      And thus, Jason’s very apt ‘Lord of the Flies’ descriptor. One or two dissenting voices (8 or 9 dissenting voices) get shouted down by the whole.

      It’s not healthy.

  47. TLS folks, I told you why I left. I told you it was because I was threatening to people, and it made them afraid to speak out. I apologized and left in absolute humility immediately. I told you all on the spot. This harping on it like it is still happening today is insanity. This blame game of how I am sending people to the hospital is ludicrous. My issue is with David, first and foremost, and my issue is with the social dynamic he has created, which leads to hundreds of posts where Chris is off on psychoanalysis of the former members, David is making excuses to shut down comments on his blog, Kristie is telling you hypervigilant people (us) need not apply at TLS, but need to get professional help, and this goes on for hundreds of comments.

    If you want to blame me for imploding TLS, cool. Because it needs to implode. But I won’t take the credit.

    Here is David’s exact words a couple days ago:

    “I never ever block people. But when they threaten me and TLS, and use abusive speech, I do. That’s only happened a few times in all nakedpastor’s years.”

    My entire conversation with David is on display. I posted it for all of you, and offered it to anyone who asked. I don’t give a damn what it makes me look like. What I care about is that people see the real David Hayward.

    Make it about vagina if you like.

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