Is Calvary Chapel Head Chuck Smith Covering for a Child Beater?
|Smith: a titan of American Christian, a gnat of a man|
Consider a scandal brewing in Visalia. There, Calvary Chapel's pastor Bob Grenier has had to fend off allegations from his own sons that he savagely beat them as children during the 1980s and 1990s. The brothers have gone to police and even Calvary Chapel head Chuck Smith with their story--no dice. Their story involves bowdlerized police reports, an uninterested district attorney's office, disbelieving faithful and an apathetic leadership--wait, are we talking about Calvary Chapel, or the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal in Orange?
|Alex and Bob Grenier, in happier times...|
Police laughed off the code of silence claims, but it took a court order for Paul and Alex to get a copy of the police report regarding their case--and when they got it, the abuse was glossed over. You can find the watered-down report and many abuse stories at the Grenier brothers' website, appropriately called Calvary Chapel Abuse. The report mentions that another Grenier brother, Geoff, lives in Newport Beach and also suffered abuse (although he's not talking). Prosecutors have declined to press charges against Pastor Grenier, citing statute of limitations.
What does Chuck Smith know? The founder of Calvary Chapel visited Visalia in early July, just a couple of weeks before the Grenier matter hit the proverbial fan. Calvary Church leaders told the Bee that the Grenier brothers came to them with the allegations, but they refuse to disclose whether they plan to investigate. But Alex Grenier alleges Smith knows more about what happens in his church than the popular image of the Hawaiian shirt-wearing, ever-grinning fogie has crafted.
"This blog is about accountability and justice," Alex writes. "Since Big Calvary likes to be a non-denomination denomination so Chuck Smith doesn't have to pay for the misdeeds of corrupt jerks like [another Calvary Chapel pastor]...then there needs to be a place where victims of other corrupt jerks like Bob Grenier can go to get help, blow the whistle on the abuse and corruption, and spread the word to warn the church per 1 Timothy 5."
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