Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Discuss current news and trends taking place in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Moderator: William Thornton

Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby William Thornton » Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:50 pm

FBCJax fiasco the subject of the secular news in Jacksonville: Unmasked blogger blames First Baptist, Sheriff's Office

But Brunson said Rich’s persistent criticism over nearly two years indicates the writer has an “obsessive compulsive problem” and is “not very stable at all,” Brunson said.

“What you’re dealing with is a sociopath,” Brunson said.


Good to know megapastors can diagnose psychological problems.

Stray note on megapastor pay:

Brunson declined to discuss his home and salary but maintained he is one of the lowest-paid mega-church pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention.


Is the crudity "Boo ___hoo" appropriate here?

ONe of the commenters on the article put it cogently: "This is a blatant example of the church using the police for their own security force."

[Brunson] said people are welcome to criticize his preaching style and ministry goals, including the school, but usually do so openly, not anonymously.


"Welcome"? Apparently FBCJax Watchdog was welcome enough to have the local gendarmes sicced on him.

What an ugly mess. Likely to get uglier.
My stray thoughts on SBC stuff may be found at my blog, SBC Plodder
User avatar
William Thornton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12406
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Atlanta

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:40 pm

From a legal point of view, it's probably not that wise for Brunson to go around calling someone a "sociopath."

Regarding his salary, I got at least a few dollars that says Brunson makes more at FBC Jax than he did at FBC Dallas. Given that FBC Jax is one of the largest megachurches in the United States, I have a hard time believing that Brunson is one of the lowest-paid megachurch pastors in the SBC. I guess Brunson knows that his salary info won't ever go public.

With all this media attention, I hope a lawyer in the Jax-area will give the Watchdog a ring and offer some free pro-bono legal services. Put all the facts on the table and I suspect there are a half-dozen, if not more, causes of action that the Watchdog could assert in a suit.
User avatar
Big Daddy Weaver
 
Posts: 2494
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:15 am
Location: Waco, TX

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Steve Wilcox » Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:54 am

The story also ran on all three local networks news last night.

I do not know Mr. Rich, nor did I recognize him on the news.

Here is one.


http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/loca ... sJnAba0%3D
Steve Wilcox
 
Posts: 810
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:21 pm

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:35 am

Since the church got into the courts system first, what are the bets that Brunson now gets hit with a defamation of character suit?
"God will never be less than He is and does not need to be more" (John Koessler)

My blog: http://emporiadave.wordpress.com/
User avatar
Dave Roberts
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7551
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:01 pm
Location: Southside, VA

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby William Thornton » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:05 am

Watchdog reacts to Brunson's labeling of him as a 'sociopath' etc:
The Story of the Watchdog Blog - Part 1

My initial comment on the article: how sad to read the depths that Mac Brunson has sunk to. A pastor, a man supposedly called by God Himself to love and shepherd Christians, that he would unequivocally declare to a news reporter that I, one of his sheep until just recently, am "obsessive compulsive", and that I am "not stable at all", and the real humdinger that "What you're dealing with here is sociopath". Mac suddenly knows my mental state, when he has never met me, my wife, or my kids. Not one single conversation with the man and he declares me to be a sociopath.


The bulk of this blog article is a recounting of a church member's complaints and dissent with the new pastor and his actions.

This is far from over but my guess is that one major lesson here is one that should have been simple and obvious to FBCJax and its leadership: If you are obsessed with one guy's anonymous blog you give it far greater distribution and currency that it would have ever had.

If there is an obsession in this case it seems to be that the church leadership became obsessed with this one blogger.
My stray thoughts on SBC stuff may be found at my blog, SBC Plodder
User avatar
William Thornton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12406
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Atlanta

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Steve Wilcox » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:15 am

1 Corinthians 3

1.And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2.I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able .
3.For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

The carnality on both sides is STAGGERING!!!!

Chapter 6 speaks to lawsuits among believers.
Steve Wilcox
 
Posts: 810
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:21 pm

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby William Thornton » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:19 am

Baptist Planet provides a succinct summary of the issues in this case.

Let’s have all of the FBC Jax Watchdog facts

I wish someone would tell me who the people are that write Baptist Planet.
My stray thoughts on SBC stuff may be found at my blog, SBC Plodder
User avatar
William Thornton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12406
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Atlanta

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Haruo » Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:41 pm

William Thornton wrote:Baptist Planet provides a succinct summary of the issues in this case.

Let’s have all of the FBC Jax Watchdog facts

I wish someone would tell me who the people are that write Baptist Planet.

I suppose you could print out the Subpoenae Duceste Vobiscum from FBCJax or wherever (maybe they were actually on BaptistPlanet?) and white out where it says "Google" and "FBCJaxWatchdog" and fill 'em in and send 'em to the Wordpress folks... ;-)
Haruo (呂須•春男) = ᎭᎷᎣ = Leland Bryant Ross
Repeal the language taxLearn and use Esperanto
Fremont Baptist ChurchMy hymnblog
User avatar
Haruo
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12810
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 7:21 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Randy » Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:07 pm

I don't know of a single megachurch in the SBC which publishes the pastor's salary (or staff salaries) along with all their perks. Right or wrong, they trust those decisions to be made by the Personnel and Budget committees that were duly elected by the church. I tend to think it works just fine and also keeps bloggers like the Watchdog from obsessessing in their spare time.
Randy
 

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby William Thornton » Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:32 pm

Randy wrote:I don't know of a single megachurch in the SBC which publishes the pastor's salary (or staff salaries) along with all their perks. Right or wrong, they trust those decisions to be made by the Personnel and Budget committees that were duly elected by the church. I tend to think it works just fine and also keeps bloggers like the Watchdog from obsessessing in their spare time.


"Obsessessinging"? One might make a reasonable assessessment that the obsessessing here is on the part of the church. At the least one would have to conclude that secrecy and stonewalling from CHURCH MEMBERS, whose gifts fund it all, does just the opposite from what you say - it creates the atmosphere for those members whose honest questions are not being answered.

We have had this discussion before here, but what exactly is the problem with members of a church knowing what the megapastor makes?

Brunson in this case and his staff are looking like ogres. The blogger is a victim, and a beleaguered hero. Someone at FBCJax might wake up and figure this out.
My stray thoughts on SBC stuff may be found at my blog, SBC Plodder
User avatar
William Thornton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12406
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Atlanta

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Randy » Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:44 pm

I never gave my opinion about whether a pastor's salary package should be known--it just isn't in megachurches as well in most churches I know of in Texas. The key committees and their members know and make those decisions but then its up to the church as to how they want to be structured. Obviously, FBC, Jax is structured in that manner and if someone doesn't like it, perhaps they should consider joining another church. The church members voted on their organizational structure.

Sorry about the spelling of obsessing. I must have been obsessessing when I wrote it.

I hardly consider the Watchdog an innocent victim in all of this. Just read his blog posts and they speak for themselves. Perhaps there would never have been the need for his blog if he had gone in and met personally with Mac Brunson. Instead, he blogged anonymously and continually derired the pastor and staff and even encouraged people to withold their giving. In my opinion, he got exactly what he deserved.
Randy
 

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Kaylor » Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:37 pm

Randy wrote:In my opinion, he got exactly what he deserved.

Yes, but aren't we as Christians--and especially pastors--supposed to give people mercy and grace, which means not giving people what they deserve just as we have not been given what we deserve. Surely we remember that on Resurrection Sunday of all days.
Kaylor
 
Posts: 242
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:33 pm

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Randy » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:54 pm

Mercy and grace certainly are the right options but its hard to extend them when someone is blogging and disrupting the church anonymously. I stand by my statement that most of this could have been avoided if the Watchdog had simply gone in and talked with Mac when he first got upset.

We will never know though since he didn't...
Randy
 

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Sandy » Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:15 pm

Randy wrote:I don't know of a single megachurch in the SBC which publishes the pastor's salary (or staff salaries) along with all their perks. Right or wrong, they trust those decisions to be made by the Personnel and Budget committees that were duly elected by the church. I tend to think it works just fine and also keeps bloggers like the Watchdog from obsessessing in their spare time.


Actually, from experience and observation, few megachurches allow their members a vote on the pastor's salary package and perks, few members know what he gets, and in most cases, because of the amounts involved, they are at great pains to keep it that way. In addition, many megachurch pastors are in a position to make money off business enterprises that come about as a result of their position, such as their writing, speaking engagements and one local pastor whose ministry has a name, and a bookstore in the corner of the church building that packages and sells CD's and videos of his sermon series.

I've belonged to just two churches that qualified as "megachurches" by definition. One, North Phoenix, which was where I attended during college, was always above board in business, with every budget number and item being available to the church, a financial report presented to the congregation at business meeting, and major financial and budget decisions trusted to the church, and not just a select, exclusive committee of the pastor's private supporters and cheerleaders. In the other, here in Houston, I never saw a budget report, heard only appeals for money when it was needed in large quantities, had a hard time tracking down a financial report, and had difficulty discovering when the church conducted business meetings and when I showed up for one, was told that I didn't have the credentials to be a "voting member" and could only observe the proceedings and could not ask questions.

I guess that experience probably helped lead me to the conclusion, at least from a personal perspective, that megachurches collect too many people and too many resources in one place, and create difficulties that Jesus never intended for his church. So many of them, more than we read about, seem to descend into the depths of arguing over the perks, privileges and salaries accorded to the personality that is required to hold the operation together. Perhaps that is why the churches that Paul started, and the Christians in the scripture formed groups that met in homes, and when the group got too big for a living room, split and started a new group.

Immature church members who do not follow the dictates of scripture, but instead take their gripes about their church to cyberspace, are the product of pastors whose leadership of a congregation of thousands runs about as deep as a river in West Texas in the summertime.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 9451
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Haruo » Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:27 am

William Thornton wrote:Brunson in this case and his staff are looking like ogres. The blogger is a victim, and a beleaguered hero.

While I think this is how it looks to most outsiders (Randy being in our little group here the exception), William, it's not clear to me that any significant number of FBCJax folks see it that way, and since Randy is apparently megachurched, perhaps the difference in perception is a cultural one. It does rather make the megachurches look cultic to me, but then I'm not much of a fan of "strong pastor" models in the first place. (Not where "strong pastor" implies either a my-way-or-the-highway approach to dissent or the surrender of one's mind to not Christ but his local vicar.)
Haruo (呂須•春男) = ᎭᎷᎣ = Leland Bryant Ross
Repeal the language taxLearn and use Esperanto
Fremont Baptist ChurchMy hymnblog
User avatar
Haruo
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12810
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 7:21 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby William Thornton » Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:33 am

Randy wrote:In my opinion, he got exactly what he deserved.


While you are at it, would you mind opining what Brunson, Blount, and FBCJax deserves? At this point they (1)appear to have manufactured a legal basis for a secular law action against the blogger, (2) enlisted a biased investigator who was close to Brunson and the church, (3) took out a tresspass warrant against the blogger and his wife, (4) took vindictive action against the blogger after he had left the church, and (5) publicly, in secular news labeled the blogger a "sociopath" and "obsessive compulsive."

While you are saying that "Mercy and grace certainly are the right options but its hard to extend them when someone is blogging and disrupting the church anonymously" you seem to find it quite easy to extend mercy and grace to the church and pastor?

To Haruo: Sure, the church appears to be behind the pastor. One wonders if there is collateral damage not yet revealed.
My stray thoughts on SBC stuff may be found at my blog, SBC Plodder
User avatar
William Thornton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12406
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Atlanta

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Steve Wilcox » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:05 am

Another local article on the issue.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009 ... s_violated

Seems Mr. Rich is considering a lawsuit since he feels his "rights" were violated.

But I guess is it cool to post the address and pics of the pastors house on the WWW.

After thinking about this over the weekend, it seems Mr. Rich is doing his best to come across as the victim in all this.

The church never publically announced his name, it was only known by those involved in his removal from the church.

Mr. Rich is the one that told the world he was discovered and then went to the newspaper and TV stations.
Steve Wilcox
 
Posts: 810
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:21 pm

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby SLyons » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:23 am

Steve - I try not to post here, except when you come here with misstatements.

Mr. Rich did not go to the media. His identity was discovered by Jeff Brumley, reporter of the Times Union newspaper, from Mr. Rich's name that was on the one and only publicly available document on file with the JSO: the trespass papers filed against Mr. Rich and his wife on 12/10/08. Mr. Rich never intended to go public with this. It was the church's own action of filing the trespass paper that ultimately resulted in this going so public. Ask Mr. Brumley, and he'll tell you: he contacted Mr. Rich and told him that he WAS going to do a story on this from the angle of JSO's involvement, and Mr. Rich decided it was best to speak to Jeff to give his side of the story.

TV reporters contacted Rich the next day - one of them being a reporter of TV-12, which has deep connections to FBC Jax, so again Mr. Rich thought it best to tell his side knowing they would go to FBC Jax to get their side. And Mr. Rich didn't call Mac Brunson a sociopath or mentally unstable.

The church did not publicly announce Mr. Rich's name, but they sure did to all of the deacons two nights prior to the special business meeting, exposing him as the blogger and then linking him to criminal allegations...and the information leaked quickly from the deacon's meeting to the congregation...even to his new church...so many in the congregation knew who was being disciplined on that Wed 2/25 meeting.

Sorry William to bring this up here in your forum, but I feel the need to refute the misstatements of Mr. Wilcox when he tries to post here as someone with intimate knowledge of the facts at FBC Jax.
SLyons
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:34 am
Location: Palatka, Florida

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby William Thornton » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:02 am

SLyons wrote: Sorry William to bring this up here in your forum, but I feel the need to refute the misstatements of Mr. Wilcox when he tries to post here as someone with intimate knowledge of the facts at FBC Jax.


No problem, SLyons, in recounting and expanding the facts. I know that you feel strongly about this and you are certainly welcome to offer your reading on it anytime. I just didn't want for the two of you to get into any rancor. I'm not sure but that in this instance you and Steve are both right.
My stray thoughts on SBC stuff may be found at my blog, SBC Plodder
User avatar
William Thornton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12406
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Atlanta

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Ed Pettibone » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:27 am

Ed: Steve WIlcox says in part Speaking of the no longer anonymous Watch dog, " But I guess is it cool to post the address and pics of the pastors house on the WWW" . Steve, I would like to see that house can you tell me where those pics are posted?


I don't see the problem, I have held membership in a number of churches, including 4 in Florida and I knew where each of those four pastors lived. My wife pastors a two church parish, the churches are both small and serve two distinct communities 8 mile apart but most everyone of what ever faith or those of no faith hereabouts knows where the Baptist parsonage is there is a sign on the porch.
User avatar
Ed Pettibone
 
Posts: 11963
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 3:46 pm
Location: .Burnt Hills, New York, Capital Area

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Steve Wilcox » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:36 am

SLyons wrote:Steve - I try not to post here, except when you come here with misstatements.

Mr. Rich did not go to the media. His identity was discovered by Jeff Brumley, reporter of the Times Union newspaper, from Mr. Rich's name that was on the one and only publicly available document on file with the JSO: the trespass papers filed against Mr. Rich and his wife on 12/10/08. Mr. Rich never intended to go public with this. It was the church's own action of filing the trespass paper that ultimately resulted in this going so public. Ask Mr. Brumley, and he'll tell you: he contacted Mr. Rich and told him that he WAS going to do a story on this from the angle of JSO's involvement, and Mr. Rich decided it was best to speak to Jeff to give his side of the story.

TV reporters contacted Rich the next day - one of them being a reporter of TV-12, which has deep connections to FBC Jax, so again Mr. Rich thought it best to tell his side knowing they would go to FBC Jax to get their side. And Mr. Rich didn't call Mac Brunson a sociopath or mentally unstable.

The church did not publicly announce Mr. Rich's name, but they sure did to all of the deacons two nights prior to the special business meeting, exposing him as the blogger and then linking him to criminal allegations...and the information leaked quickly from the deacon's meeting to the congregation...even to his new church...so many in the congregation knew who was being disciplined on that Wed 2/25 meeting.

Sorry William to bring this up here in your forum, but I feel the need to refute the misstatements of Mr. Wilcox when he tries to post here as someone with intimate knowledge of the facts at FBC Jax.


Ok, I misstated and I apologize.

But I am correct in that the church did not publicize his name, as is being misunderstood by the world viewing this issue. Has Mr. Rich made that clear on his blog?

Also, it is not the churches fault a reporter confronted Mr. Rich with the matter. He brought this on himself with the blog and the way he handled it for the past months.

If he has a beef it is with Jeff Brumely, who is protected by 1st amendment that is being thrown around by those supporting Mr. Rich.

Also, he could have refused the interviews and further exposure.
Last edited by Steve Wilcox on Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:20 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Steve Wilcox
 
Posts: 810
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:21 pm

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Steve Wilcox » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:37 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed: Steve WIlcox says in part Speaking of the no longer anonymous Watch dog, " But I guess is it cool to post the address and pics of the pastors house on the WWW" . Steve, I would like to see that house can you tell me where those pics are posted?


I don't see the problem, I have held membership in a number of churches, including 4 in Florida and I knew where each of those four pastors lived. My wife pastors a two church parish, the churches are both small and serve two distinct communities 8 mile apart but most everyone of what ever faith or those of no faith hereabouts knows where the Baptist parsonage is there is a sign on the porch.


Church members knowing and the having it published on the WWW under questionable reasons are not the same.

Dr. Brunson's home is not a parsonage owned by the church.
Steve Wilcox
 
Posts: 810
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:21 pm

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Steve Wilcox » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:51 am

William Thornton wrote:ONe of the commenters on the article put it cogently: "This is a blatant example of the church using the police for their own security force."


No, not really.

Response from the Sheriff taken from HERE

I would like to clarify some information that has been reported about a recent Intelligence investigation conducted by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, regarding perceived threats against a local religious congregation.

Our agency is responsible for investigating any perceived threats and possible criminal activity that is reported to us by a citizen. We routinely share what they learn in the course of the investigation with the victim or complainant.

Suspects would not be made aware of this information, if it is gathered in an effort to determine if a threshold of criminality exists and none is found. In this case, the case was closed 11/13/08 with no further action by JSO warranted when no criminal conduct or significant threat to the church was determined to exist.

In this case, the information about suspicious behavior directed at Pastor Mac Brunson and his home and family was provided to a detective whose normal duty assignment with the JSO is to investigate possible threats against Jacksonville’s religious institutions. He is a member of our Intelligence Unit. He would have investigated this situation had the complaint come from those affiliated with a Mosque, a Synagogue, or any religious organization. This is Detective Hinson’s job as the intelligence point person for the religious community, and other designated critical infrastructure sites in Jacksonville.

All our religious institutions are a major part of Jacksonville’s critical infrastructure and we remain vigilant in investigating all perceived threats and security issues associated with those institutions. In light of recent violent incidents that have occurred in churches around the country, I think our vigilance is necessary and most appropriate to ensure public safety.

Had another officer received a similar threat or tip or raised a similar concern, Detective Hinson would have ultimately been the officer assigned to investigate. I have no issue with his investigation and there is no conflict of interest because he is affiliated with that particular congregation.

The fact that the medium used to communicate the messages being investigated was the internet is irrelevant. Investigations are conducted into the sources of anonymous letters, phone calls, and in this day and age websites and emails, any time it is deemed appropriate for public safety. We then look at the contents and sources of internet information regularly, as part of our investigations.

I hope this information helps clarify for citizens that this was not about “outing” a blogger, but instead was about public safety.


John H. Rutherford, Sheriff
Steve Wilcox
 
Posts: 810
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:21 pm

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby Haruo » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:58 pm

Well, it looks to me like there was still a conflict of interest in the assignment of Det. Hinson to the case, though the Sheriff's department may not have been aware of it (and still may not acknowledge it), and where the "usual" investigator has a conflict of interest it would be more appropriate to use an unusual one. And it looks to me like there is a presumption of rightness (if not righteousness) on the complainant's part and a concomitant willingness to breach confidentiality in one direction. It would have been interesting to see how Det. Hinson and the department would have handled a similar case where the blogger turned out to be one of the subordinate pastors of FBCJax and the complainant was the Diocese of St. Augustine, or perhaps a mosque.
Haruo (呂須•春男) = ᎭᎷᎣ = Leland Bryant Ross
Repeal the language taxLearn and use Esperanto
Fremont Baptist ChurchMy hymnblog
User avatar
Haruo
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12810
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 7:21 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Brunson re: blogger "sociopath...obsessive compulsive"

Postby William Thornton » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:50 pm

Steve Wilcox wrote:
William Thornton wrote:ONe of the commenters on the article put it cogently: "This is a blatant example of the church using the police for their own security force."


No, not really.

Response from the Sheriff taken from HERE

I would like to clarify some information that has been reported about a recent Intelligence investigation conducted by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, regarding perceived threats against a local religious congregation.

Our agency is responsible for investigating any perceived threats and possible criminal activity that is reported to us by a citizen. We routinely share what they learn in the course of the investigation with the victim or complainant.

Suspects would not be made aware of this information, if it is gathered in an effort to determine if a threshold of criminality exists and none is found. In this case, the case was closed 11/13/08 with no further action by JSO warranted when no criminal conduct or significant threat to the church was determined to exist.

In this case, the information about suspicious behavior directed at Pastor Mac Brunson and his home and family was provided to a detective whose normal duty assignment with the JSO is to investigate possible threats against Jacksonville’s religious institutions. He is a member of our Intelligence Unit. He would have investigated this situation had the complaint come from those affiliated with a Mosque, a Synagogue, or any religious organization. This is Detective Hinson’s job as the intelligence point person for the religious community, and other designated critical infrastructure sites in Jacksonville.

All our religious institutions are a major part of Jacksonville’s critical infrastructure and we remain vigilant in investigating all perceived threats and security issues associated with those institutions. In light of recent violent incidents that have occurred in churches around the country, I think our vigilance is necessary and most appropriate to ensure public safety.

Had another officer received a similar threat or tip or raised a similar concern, Detective Hinson would have ultimately been the officer assigned to investigate. I have no issue with his investigation and there is no conflict of interest because he is affiliated with that particular congregation.

The fact that the medium used to communicate the messages being investigated was the internet is irrelevant. Investigations are conducted into the sources of anonymous letters, phone calls, and in this day and age websites and emails, any time it is deemed appropriate for public safety. We then look at the contents and sources of internet information regularly, as part of our investigations.

I hope this information helps clarify for citizens that this was not about “outing” a blogger, but instead was about public safety.


John H. Rutherford, Sheriff


Steve, I read the response of the sheriff's department when the news was first publicized and it might be called a CYA response. I am not surprised that the man's collegues try and explain it in such a way that he, and they, have no fault in the thing which has a pungency about it with respect to the behavior of the detective.

The blogger has filed a formal complaint. Let's see where it goes.
My stray thoughts on SBC stuff may be found at my blog, SBC Plodder
User avatar
William Thornton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12406
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Atlanta

Next

Return to SBC News and Trends

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest