Public Relations Disasters

Over the past few days there have been multiple articles written detailing sexual assaults involving PCC students and alleging misconduct by the college.

Today the college has written a response to these allegations and it is a complete and unmitigated disaster.

They could have expressed concern for anybody who was a victim of sexual assault.

They could have vowed an investigation.

They could have renewed their claim to make student safety a concern.

They could have established a hotline to call or assured victims who want to come forward that they won’t be expelled for being assaulted.

Instead….they did this on a page buried in their official website:

PCCResponse
Click to embiggen

It appears that the college is determined to make as much of a PR nightmare out of these allegations as possible. I really couldn’t think of how to write a worse response than this one.

133 thoughts on “Public Relations Disasters”

  1. This is the same place that broke fire regulations by locking the door to the electrical closet because they were afraid couples were going in there and kissing. Law? We don’t need no stinking law!

  2. Indeed, this is not only a PR disaster but embodies the essence of self-glorification. It screams “If anything happened (which it didn’t), it’s their fault!”

  3. The very least they could have done is outline their SOP for reporting assault cases to the local authorities. What happens now if an assault charge is brought forward (regardless of if it prosecuted or confirmed)? They will look like complete morons who haven’t got a clue what goes on. Even if nothing at all happened, Dar-El has the gist of it – it would be difficult to imagine a sillier response.

  4. If we pour enough gasoline on this here fire, that ought to put it out, am I right, brother? Also, I see a bug crawling on my cowboy boot. This .38 special should get rid of it.

  5. As an alumni who is very familiar with the college and their “excellence” in all outward appearances, I was flabbergasted by this statement. Awkwardly worded, defensive, whiny…just bad all the way around. I agree with you, Darrell – hard to imagine it being any worse.

      1. If you’ve read any of PCC’s other official statements, you know that “intentional (mis)use of big words to make yourself sound educated” is one of its specialites. Needless use of the passive voice is another nice touch.

        1. Not exactly. A malaprop (also called malapropism) is using a word that sounds similar to the word you mean, but the word actually has a different meaning. The name refers to Mrs. Malaprop, a character in Sheridan’s play “The Rivals” (1775), who said things like “He is the very pineapple of politeness!” and “She’s as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile.”

          The PCC statement uses inflated language:
          “… when we are made knowledgeable of them” instead of “when we know of them” or “when we learn of them”

          And tautology:
          “We have no way of verifying the unverifiable stories”
          (Maybe that’s what makes them unverifiable?)
          “… that allows unfounded accusations to be spread without proof.”
          Giving the definition of “unfounded” after the word doesn’t make your case any stronger, dawg.

          Confused syntax:
          “… through recent online accounts.”
          Uh, what?

          Sentences that seem to mean something, but really don’t mean anything:
          “… an exhaustive review of our records has revealed nothing to support these claims.”
          Since you state that you have no records of the incidents, what, exactly, did you review exhaustively?

          Non sequitur:
          “Not only were such incidents never reported, but we categorically deny that any student has ever been expelled from PCC for being the victim of rape or any other crime.”
          The conjunction “but” implies that the second part of the sentence has a relationship to the first part that it does not have.
          (And everyone agrees [I think] that having been a crime victim was never the *stated* reason for an expulsion.)

          Introduction of irrelevant distractions:
          “There seems to be no defense against such attacks getting started when someone has an agenda.”
          The point isn’t what the accuser’s agenda is, it’s to what extent the accusations are true.
          “While we cannot speak for how well other institutions respond to victims of crime …”
          Who asked you to speak for “other institutions”?

          Passive voice (a classic way to try to distance the speaker from an action, as in “Mistakes were made”):
          “is being harassed and victimized”
          “that any student has ever been expelled”
          “an exhaustive review … has revealed”
          “Not only were such incidents never reported”

          Constant switching back and forth between first person and third person to refer to the same college.

          And general ham-fistedness of diction, but that’s enough for now.

  6. Many of PCC’s long time critics, and those who pose the most real danger to the college, have expressed reservations about the allegations. People naturally inclined to be sympathetic toward allegations of abuse, people who have been abused themselves and have seen coverups first hand, feel there’s something “off” about the accusations and/or accusers.

    Then PCC comes out with a PR statement like this. It should have been predictable based on their past behavior but it still shocks the conscience.

    1. I’ve read some of those “concerned” statements that say basically nothing could happen like that if the girls had followed the rules. It reveals a pretty narrow understanding of sexual assault and how it happens not to mention the fact that they are victim blaming. Pretty disgusting.

      1. I don’t care what rules the girls broke; they still don’t deserve to be sexually assaulted, and when they were, it’s still a crime that that the school should take very, very seriously.

        1. And just to note- we got a conviction. But at church I was still treated like I had a communicable disease. We left for another church shortly after, but the gossip followed us. Have to admit, it was a large part of why I left God entirely for 17 years.

  7. It could have been worse. They forgot to say something about how they were being “persecuted for their faith.” And about how all accusations were from bitter people who wanted to harm the cause of Christ. Maybe a little something about how “we would defend ourselves, but that would only be ‘casting our pearls before swine.'” And, the coup de grace, as demonstrated by a clueless “pastor” on another thread, about how the rapists and their defenders have a speck in their eye, but the victims and their advocates have a LOG in THEIR eye.

    You would think I coulnd’t be rendered speechless by these people anymore…

    1. Yes, it’s me. That one dude is off the charts. If I start to comment, I’m likely to go off on him like very few people have have been “gone off” on in the history of the interwebs. What a buffoon. What a imbessle. What an ultramaroon.

  8. Shorter PCC statement:
    We didn’t expel anyone for rape, y’all. They were fornicatin’.
    Now as to our standards. If students follow all our rules, nothing bad will happen to them.

    1. It reminds me of what I’ve read about rape cases in Pakistan. Women there who report rape have been jailed for “fornication.” The male rapists usually get off scot-free. This is partly a result of the Islamic tradition that it takes the testimony of two women to equal that of one man. Since in the majority of rape cases, it’s one man’s word against one woman’s, the system takes his word over hers.

      1. Good point, BG. So how different is the religious culture of Pakistan from that of the IFB, as related to women? I know that radical Islam is more stridently anti-woman than the IFB (ok, but not by much). Both cultures blame the woman for all sexual evil. Read Proverbs. It’s the same.

  9. That sure was the fastest “exhaustive review of our files” EVER. Probably took them all of 10 minutes.

    Hint: You are not going to find anything if you do not take the time to actually investigate.

    1. Exactly. Supposing that they did cover up abuse, would they have saved a record of the cover-up in a file? Of course they won’t find any evidence of a cover-up. That’s why it’s called “cover-up”!

    2. A fundie organization that is actually organized enough to actually keep records? Come on! The only record that should stand in the church is what the MoG says.

    3. I think they could have said “We are investigating the matter.”

      All they had to do is wait one week for investigative reporters to go over the police report and court records (one case reportedly went to trial, although no one can find reports of it in local media).

  10. Saddened, but not surprised. After all, fundy schools brag about their faithfulness to Ye Olde-Tyme Way. This kind of crap worked in the past. A victim had no way to really go public, even if they wanted to do so after suffering such trauma. Maybe a few friends would be told. A few letters would be written. Damage control was easier back in the old days. Simple denial and a little patience, and it all went away.

    No more. Those days are gone, Fundyful Universities of America and the Whole World Over.

    Allow me to give you a hint at a better response. Starting out a PR statement about alleged abuse at your school by bitching about how victimized you are will not win you much support. Seriously.

  11. In Samantha Field’s article (which Darrell linked to above), she says:

    ‘At the end of their meeting, the dean of women looked at Whitney and said that she was a “dirty vessel, and God can’t use a dirty vessel. He is done with you.” ‘

    If even half of that is true– even ten per cent of it– that Dean of Women should never be allowed to work with students– or with any people– again, ever.

    Christians know that God never uses anything except “dirty vessels” (meaning sinners, victims, and otherwise damaged people). That’s the only kind of person there is in this world. We also know that God is never “done with” anyone.

    At least two of the words in the name of Pensacola Christian College are lies. (I’m taking the school’s word for it that it’s in Pensacola.)

    1. Makes you wonder how God used Rahab the harlot, or Mary Magdelene, or the woman at the well, considering these were “dirty vessels” too! All a dirty vessel needs is to be washed, but this young woman is now a broken vessel, and that is really sad! PCC may have changed president’s but the PCC machine rolls on and over its students as though nothing has happened!

  12. In a former edition of their book “Life Management Under God” or somesuch, they made the statement that women often *initiate* rape by dressing immodestly.

    INITIATE it.

    My mind boggled then and it boggles now.

    It may be in current editions also, but I don’t have access to one. If anyone does, I’d be interested to know if they have changed that position.

    1. Such statements demonstrate a complete lack of knowledge in the area of criminal psychology. Rape is not a crime of sex, it is a crime of power. There are hundreds of graduate level and higher papers detailing the psychological state and outlook of rapists, and there is no statistically relevant correlation between rape and sexuality. The most common correlation is a lack of power on the part of the victim. Grandparents, children, both genders – all are subjected to rape. There is such a large body of knowledge on this subject, there is absolutely no excuse for anyone with access to a library computer to be ignorant of it.

    2. My brother in a Christian HS has that book. And yes, it is still in there. Though I will say they took out the part about how boy/girl relationships should be a “threesome with Jesus” since I had the book.

  13. The “vice.com” article (linked to above) has a curious title: “Sexual Abuse Has Become a Huge Problem for America’s Bible Colleges.”

    Does vice.com mean that sexual abuse has only recently started occurring on a large scale? That’s clearly false. Or does it mean that it has been happening, but has only recently been “a problem” for the college administrations? That could well be true.

    1. I’m going to guess the latter. Sexual abuse at Bible colleges has long been a problem for everyone *but* the colleges, which have gone out of their way to seem very much untroubled.

  14. Love when Fundies bash the RC church over the sexual abuse of children, then when it’s in their own front yard – they are no better then the cover up that the RC church did.

    1. Thank you!!

      This whole thing makes me sick to my stomach. I read the two articles Darren linked to, and my blood pressure went through the roof.

      Twenty to forty years ago Catholic bishops were pulling this crap. (Most RCC sex-abuse cases actually occurred decades ago.) Today we have made HUGE strides in cleaning up our act. And this is verified by OUTSIDE independent monitors, not by diocesan chanceries or Vatican commissions. When we hired our version of GRACE, it was a secular body — the John Jay School of Criminal Justice — and they (John Jay) published their findings without the slightest hindrance from anyone in the Catholic hierarchy. (The John Jay study found that roughly 4% of Catholic priests had been “credibly charged” with sex abuse over a 40-year period — a figure that is roughly the same as the percentage of sex abuse across all denominations.)

      Please do not get me wrong. I am NOT minimizing the horror of the Catholic sex-abuse scandal. Believe me, Catholic laypeople — especially parents — were and are among the most vocal in calling our leaders to account over the horrible, harrowing abuse and the inexcusable coverups.

      But, at the same time, I must point out that the Catholic situation has dramatically improved. We still have a long way to go, but even the secular media concede that we have made TONS of progress in preventing and dealing with abuse cases. I can personally attest to this through my experience in my own diocese, where the diocesan chancery discovered a sexual-abuse claim in a social-media context and proactively reported the priest-perp to the police, who then arrested him. (He later confessed to the abuse, which took place several decades ago.) He is no longer in ministry or any other public role, and IIRC he now awaits sentencing.

      OK, why the rant? Because, while our abuse scandal was raging, fundy anti-Catholics were having a field day. And, all the while, their own penchant for abuse coverups exceeded anything Cardinals Law and Mahony could ever come up with. Such hypocrisy!

      OK, end of rant.

      My heart goes out to ALL the victims of abuse, no matter who the perp was. (I am the daughter of a sex-abuse victim — a non-clergy perp in her case — so this issue is close to my heart.)

      1. BTW…I’m cynical (realistic?) enough to recognize that my Church’s newfound transparency may have something to do with the massive lawsuit payouts we’ve been making to abuse victims — e.g., over $600 million in the Los Angeles Diocese alone. That’ll make you transparent in a hurry!

        All the negative publicity played a huge role, too. As an ex-Bostonian, I will always consider the Boston Globe a biased rag, but I do think the Catholic Church owes the Globe a huge debt of gratitude for its expose’ of Fathers Geoghan and Shandley et al. — the expose’ that initially brought the horrors to light. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, as they say, and the truth really will set you free!

        At the same time, I think that the Church itself — especially the laypeople — responded [mostly] to the mid-2000s scandal as it / we should have: by acknowledging the crimes and taking steps to redress them.

  15. PCC can bank on one thing: that the Fundamentalist core of preachers and their lemmings don’t care about victims of rape. And that is true: Christian Fundamentalism, in keeping with its Nietzschean culture, does not care about the weak and views women and children as the chattel of the men. PCC has tapped into a pretty hardcore center of Fundamentalism, so they may succeed in writing off the accusations. Both they and their pod churches can simply cry “persecution”.

    If, after a few weeks, the administration of PCC determines that they are losing money/students because of their indifference, they will change their tune, just like BJU did (at least in public, and excepting John Matzko, who apparently believes that crassness, arrogance, and indifference served him well all his life, and he’s not going to change now).

    The fact that PCC posted at all about the matter does, I think, indicate a testing of the waters. They will make the best pragmatic decisions that will keep money, prestige, and students flowing in. If that means brushing off the scandal, they will brush it off. If that means calling in a party like GRACE to investigate, they will eventually do that as well. But the strategy they adopt will be based on how much benefit the school accrues. Just like BJU’s policy changes back and forth.

    1. Yes but what keeps PCC really running is not the student body but the perpetual cash cow of A Beka Books! The college is a sunsidiary of A Beka in reality. It exists to churn out more churches and schools that will need currciulum. The only truly right with God curriculum comes from A Beka by the way…. So you can see why I have little hope things will change. Students are investment capital to keep the business of A Beka running! As long as the homeschoolers who use A Beka are not aware of the scandals all will proceed as usual, and the cash cow will continue providing its milk!

      1. I meant “sudsidiary”, sorry running on 3 hours sleep this morning! Not all of my posts or thoughts have been as clear as I would like. LOL! (Rubs tired eyes for hundredth time)

        1. Without having to specify whether more money comes from students or more money comes from books, I think it’s clear that we are both saying it will come down to money. And that is what it will come down to. If they see more profit in remaining hardline, they will remain hardline. If they see more profit in bringing in a group like G.R.A.C.E., they will do that, too.

  16. I’ll admit, my first impression from reading Samantha Field’s blog is that she comes across as having some credibility issues. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe her. I just think she has a long way to go to measure up to the way Recovering Grace laid out their accusations against Gothard, which are basically irrefutable. She lost me in her profile when she seemed to exaggerate her upbringing a bit, specifically her living in a town where a KKK Grand dragon was the only one who could be elected mayor, and then her refusal to back up that claim and others. I’m not beating up on victims, but even one false accusation discredits all the rest to many of these people.

    Regardless if she is making it all up, or half of it, or even 10%, it befuddles me that PCC responds with that kind of statement, thus giving the impression they will not take accusations seriously.

    1. I think in week we’ll have a better feel for where this goes. There are allegedly court records in the “Beth” case. That may be what encouraged PCC to release this. They know that one or more stories are easily debunked by a serious investigative reporter. That sets them up to counter future reports by saying “similar allegations have been made in the past and were disproven.”

      Or they really are just that stupid. I know they’re ham-handed at these things but there could be some cleverness here also. We’ll see. Soon.

  17. I cringe when people immediately start questioning Sam’s credibility. This is typical fundy crap — attack the messenger and don’t believe the victims. I witnessed this firsthand when I was living in Arizona back in the ’80s. A teenage girl came to live with her aunt and uncle because she was having trouble back home. I remember how we my parents warned us about her because she was “trouble” and that if we associated with her, it could ruin our testimony. Only a few months after she arrived, she alleged that the pastor had made sexual advances toward her. I can’t remember if she even accused him of rape or only of making advances. Of course, nobody believed her because the pastor was such a “godly” man, and after all, SHE had a history of being in trouble back home, so we should assume she was a liar. Who could believe her. She was so traumatized by the whole ordeal that she attempted suicide. It was all chalked up to another unsaved, unruly, troubled girl who was trying to destroy “god’s man” and we all moved on like nothing happened. A few years later, it came to light that not only had the pastor been carrying on an illicit affair with one of the girls in the “christian” school, but he had also had previous affairs with women in the church. I agree that this story Sam has shared seems unbelievable and we hate to think that it could be true, but I don’t doubt for one second that it’s possible and highly probable and I hope that I always give the victim the benefit of the doubt until they are proven to be a liar.

    1. I believe Sam’s story, or at least the most important part of it. I believe she was raped or at the very least inappropriately coerced by her former fiancé. I believe she kept silent out of a very real and well-founded fear the college would expel her for previous participation in acts the college forbids (yet are completely normal for young adults). I believe the Dean of Women’s office tried to get a confession and then referred her to counseling. I believe that counseling was very poor.

      I believe she suffered alone, in silence for at least two or three years. My opinion is she developed some maladapted coping strategies. My fear is the apparent contradictions and gaps in the more recent allegations do, in fact, indicate one or more of them are substantially false, and she will be hurt again, this time in public.

      It’s regrettable that PCC did not and does not offer better trauma counseling.

  18. Having no association with PCC, I don’t get any of this.

    How come everyone seems to assume that on one would ever lie about this, even to get back at PCC?

    I looked at one of the stories, and sure, if it’s true, it’s horrific and PCC is terrible, but how does one decide? Do you assume the story is true because of your own experiences at PCC? Or do people just want PCC to be guilty?

    If someone posted an blog entry claiming the Darrell raped her while in school, most SFL readers would not believe the story, I dare say – probably because of the enjoyment of SFL.

    Please don’t read stuff into this; I am not saying that the women are lying, nor am I saying that PCC is in the right. For someone like me, with no association with these people or the school, I don’t understand the assumption that appears to be here that “everything PCC says is a lie/coverup” and “everything the accusers say is 100% complete and accurate”

    1. If even one of the accusations is even half-true, it’s serious.

      There isn’t just one former student making these claims, it’s more like a dozen, and their stories show a certain pattern of behavior by the school. And yes, that pattern is consistent with what we know about the school’s past behavior and its overall philosophy.

      I don’t want to convict the school’s leaders without a trial (of being an accessory after the fact, which some of these accusations amount to), but Darrell’s point, that the school’s response is a texbook case of how not to handle such a crisis, is well taken.

      1. Exactly. It’s important to remember that standards in a “court of public opinion” are different from a legal standard. No one at PCC could be convicted of anything as long as reasonable doubt exists — but it’s unsafe and frankly crazy to hold the community to the same standards as the court. When lots of accusations are coming up with a lot in common, and consistent with other practices that we do know about, it becomes *paramount* to quit saying “well, I guess we’ll never know what happened to X particular person” and start saying “we have good reason to suspect that PCC creates an atmosphere that’s conducive to predators.” That’s information that parents and students *need,* and it’s wrong to withhold it just because the legal burden of proof hasn’t been met on any individual accusation.

        1. ” It’s important to remember that standards in a “court of public opinion” are different from a legal standard. No one at PCC could be convicted of anything as long as reasonable doubt exists — but it’s unsafe and frankly crazy to hold the community to the same standards as the court.”

          YES.

          “we have good reason to suspect that PCC creates an atmosphere that’s conducive to predators”

          I am not entirely convinced that’s true. I do believe it creates an environment where people who do get victimized are afraid to seek help. Not even necessarily because of “blaming the victim” but because they adhere to rules so strictly. I remember PCC kicking out a student who saved a drowning man’s life because that student wasn’t approved to swim at that beach.

        2. “we have good reason to suspect that PCC creates an atmosphere that’s conducive to predators”

          I am not entirely convinced that’s true. I do believe it creates an environment where people who do get victimized are afraid to seek help.”

          I would add that it also creates an environment where allegations of abuse are viewed much more critically than are alibis and explanations by the accused abusers, as long as the alleged abusers are in favored groups.

          To me, an environment where people are afraid to seek help, and where those who do seek help are unlikely to be believed, is the very *definition* of “an environment conducive to abusers.”

    2. I said it up above: a lot of very ardent critics are holding back here. Not defenders but critics who have been in the game fifteen years. People who know fundamentalist scandals and are very aware of what spiritual and sexuak abuse Is. There are inconsistencies and gaps in the stories, particularly the most recent three. The fear is that this ends up hurting all the work that’s been done over the last twenty years to expose the problems. It could end badly for the people involved and cause them to be hurt further. Which is sad because if PCC had a less oppressive and more nurturing environment they may have been helped before it got to this.

    3. To have credibility, PCC needs to call in an outside investigator and let them work without interference. The RCC using the John Jay College of Criminal Justice was fantastic, and showed their commitment to full and honest disclosure. BJU using GRACE is good, if BJ would just stop screwing with them and let them work.

      Instead, PCC just says (to paraphrase Scorpio’s upthread comment) “There’s nothing to see here folks.”

      Where is the credibility in that?

    4. If PCC is serious about ensuring that PCC is a safe place to be, they would get a real, independent investigator to investigate the claims. No matter how decent the administration is, it is always possible that there is a rogue staff member doing the wrong thing. Serious accusations have been made, and they NEED to be investigated.

      I did not say that PCC is guilty and needs the book thrown at them. I said that the matter needs to be investigated.

      What PCC has said is that they consider themselves wonderful and they expect everybody else to believe that without an independent mediator examining the claims.

      This says:
      a) they don’t think sexual abuse is a serious issue
      b) they have refused to acknowledge that their staff is possible of making a mistake
      c) they aren’t interested in accountability should b) occur
      d) they want to make sure that any future victims know in advance just how little the college cares about them

      I think it is also clear that in a world where secular institutions understand that it will be occasionally necessary to train staff regarding sexual abuse/harassment, or to get an investigation happening, PCC considers themselves above that.

      That PCC are refusing to even allow the accusations to be investigated suggests that they are hiding something pretty major.

      And, quite frankly, statistically speaking, claims of sexual assault are rarely made up. It is one crime where the victim is absolutely stigmatized, and has very little to gain. When a victim speaks up, it takes a lot of courage to do so.

      Statistically speaking, the number of fundamentalist colleges and churches that cover up sexual abuse and pretend they’ve done the right thing has been shown to be really, really, high.

      But it’s so much easier to just say, “they’re probably lying”, isn’t it? Makes you feel better?

      1. “d) they want to make sure that any future victims know in advance just how little the college cares about them”

        On my first reading of this, it struck me as overly harsh to impute such motives to them. But on re-reading it, in light of points a), b), and c), which are obviously true, I see there’s probably some truth to d) as well.

    5. As a former student of PCC, it does not take long before you realize the true purpose of the college, which is to keep A Beka Boooks in business. This college may proveide facilities and ammnenities for students but that is the window dressing to get kids to go there! Access to these amenities is limited and often sexually segregated. The “ministry” that really matters is the printing business. PCC serves to create perpetual customers for A Beka Book. It sounds jaded but ask those who spent countless hours sweating and slaving away in the distribution center for $160/month toward their college bill. (I was a work asssistance for $160/month and worked often times 30 hours in a week while trying to maintain a 15 -18 hour credit load so I could graduate on time. That’s only $5.33/hour for a lot of hard work. Ask any DC work assistance student if they felt they got fair wages for their labor! I was one of the lucky ones who got food service duty!

      A Beka Book subsidizes each student to keep tuition low thus again making my claim that PCC is the subsidiary of A Beka more believable. Many of us are former PCC students who post at SFL. I know there are many good people at PCC faculty, staff, students, and my hope would be for PCC to leave the IFB and become more of a main stream evangelical college, but it is as crazy a place as Hyles Anderson they just have better packaging and PR! I would love the institution to reform, but also know the truth about how unlikely that is to happen.

    6. Guilt Ridden, I always enjoy the balanced approach you take! It’s easy to automatically assume the worst; the American rule is still “innocent till proven guilty”. Yes it definitely DEFINITELY needs to be looked into, but just because someone is accused doesn’t automatically mean they’re guilty.

      My former fundy church had a scandal. Some people immediately left and were convinced the allegations were true, before seeing any evidence and just hearing the charges. (Of course others went to the other extreme and were just as equally determined it was false, again without seeing the evidence.) To me, the evidence was inconclusive, but the official response was mindblowingly ridiculous and killed any remaining respect I might have had. I’m still not sure.

      This response is giving me flashbacks. But I know how easy it is for otherwise well-meaning people to get caught up in a witch hunt and twist things to fit preconceptions, whether the allegations are true or not.

  19. I went to PCC the same year as Samantha, although I didn’t know her personally (we had a lot of classes in the same building). This whole situation sickens me, but it doesn’t surprise me at all that this stuff happened at PCC. That dean of women who called her a ‘dirty vessel’ could only be Barbie Baer, which doesn’t surprise me either. I remember there being gasps and gagging sounds in chapel when our senior yearbook was dedicated to her ‘loving and servant like heart.’

    I feel guilty painting her as such a horrible person, but with her (as most of the staff) it was all about appearances and making sure nothing tarnished the school’s reputation. Sure, they would use “biblical” reasons and Scripture to back them up, but they would put PCC’s agenda first and twist whatever Scripture or reasoning to support that. I knew people on staff who genuinely cared about students and doing what was right. But they were never high up enough to make a difference and they were always in the minority. Most of them left or ‘disappeared’ because they couldn’t be a part of that place after knowing how students were treated. I guess people who’s loyalty belongs to God first and not to the school have a problem fitting in.

    I will NEVER understand how an institution that claims to be Christian can think it’s better to cover up abuse than confront it head on. Can’t they just be honest and say ‘we don’t know, but we are willing to find out if these incidents happened and do everything in our power to bring justice for any victims’? Is that so hard to admit?! Do they value money and appearances above God’s commands for love, grace, and justice? Have they learned nothing from what has happened with BJU, Bill Gothard, Jack Schaap, etc.? PCC deserves to shut down and crumble if it’s leadership does nothing to bring justice (or at the very least transparency) to this situation.

    Horrible abuses happen everywhere, Christian college or not. It’s ridiculous to think that within the last 40 years PCC has managed to stay immune to evils found worldwide. Even more ridiculous is for them to think that their outward rules somehow heal an internal sickness that only Jesus can cure. In any case, their response to accusations like this indicates just where their priorities lie, and that’s nowhere near Jesus.

    1. The difference between better institutions and worse institutions is not in whether or not some people do bad things (that happens everywhere), but in how the institution handles those things and the offenders.

  20. I wasn’t able to read all of the comments, so I’m sorry if someone already said this, but . . .

    Just because a girl does not report a rape when she’s in college, but rather reports it years later, DOES NOT MEAN THE RAPE DIDN’T HAPPEN. (sorry for shouting)

    It’s 2014. The reasoning that sexual abuse didn’t happen because it wasn’t reported at the time is nothing more than willful ignorance.

    1. This. Very, very much this. It may have taken this girl years, first of all, just to acquire and internalize the correct view of her rape–that it was not her fault, that it wasn’t because she wore the wrong clothes or “led him on,” but her rapist wanted to exert power and control over her. Look at how difficult it can still be for girls and women raised in environments open to sex and proactive about assault to step forward and report sexual assault, abuse, and rape. Having been completely in an environment where passive-aggressive victim blaming and undermining the autonomy of women is the standard operating procedure will make it that much more difficult, for some almost impossible, to come forward and seek justice.

      I cannot say whether this case among all the other cases is legitimate, but time and anonymity alone are NOT reasons to question an accusation of sexual assault or rape.

    1. Per Samantha Field’s response:

      “Just to clarify a few points: first, the post made it clear that the reasons PCC had for expelling Beth, David, and Whitney were fornication, deceit, and impurity, respectively.”

      1. Also:

        “The Pathway (formerly The Student Handbook) states that the college has a “due process” regarding “harassment claims.” When I asked Amy Glenn what it was, she said she couldn’t tell me.”

        1. Protocol:
          1. Claim on the internet that you’re being harassed, victimized, and attacked by unnamed person or persons.
          2. Offer no evidence of this.

          “Due Process,” as defined in “The Pathway.”

        2. I was a PCC student before the student handbook was renamed the Pathway. Naming it the Pathway does tip you off to how arrogant PCC is regarding its so called “honor code” err “pathway” . At PCC the only way to be right with God is strict adherence, and unquestioning obedience to the “Pathway” only then will God bless you!

          Is anyone else as disturbed that the rule book is referred to as “The Pathway”?

        3. It does come across as a bit presumptive because of all the spiritual connotations of the straight and narrow path. “Rule book” is just fine to me without any fancy terminology.

        4. It comes across as cultish.

          Most colleges would just call it “Rules for Students” or “Code of Conduct.”

          “The Pathway” implies that the set of rules therein lead to spiritual awakening or something similarly momentous.

        5. The Pathway, to truth and life… just follow these simple rules and you too can obtain M-O-g status, or for the young ladies in search of their MRS degree, Wife of a M-O-g status.

      2. Another blog comment by Samantha Field:

        “Ok, first of all, please read my comment policy before continuing in this conversation. Fred Clarke doesn’t moderate his comment section; I do.

        I’m going to say this once. If anyone continues making this argument, I’m not publishing it.

        First of all: based on the original post, you have absolutely no basis to say that “the attacker was not arrested.” I didn’t say either way, and I did that intentionally. My article was focused on how PCC responds to victims, not about the criminal justice system in Escambia County. I also expect commenters to educate themselves: out of ALL reported rapes, not even a third are arrested, and only a tenth even see a day in prison (and usually serve a prison sentence shorter than five years).

        The only thing a rape kit can prove is that there was DNA evidence present, and DNA evidence can be present in consensual AND non-consensual sex. The only thing it can establish is “a penis or a vagina was here.” That’s it.

        In David’s case, he was in a smaller dorm room and he only had 2 roommates and he was gagged, which I stated in the original post.”

  21. Bill Gothard a sexual predator. Goodness gracious. Is nothing sacred? I attended one of his seminars back in the early 80s in a giant auditorium (recommended by my pastor). Though I questioned some of the information he presented, I thought he was basically on the right track.

  22. Public Relations: that’s one class at PCC I probably didn’t learn anything in, which is probably just as well since they don’t know anything about it. Except we did design a logo for the Turkey Bowl with ‘XXX’ in it, which was a little awesome.

  23. What if someone offered concrete proof that sexual abuse occured. Perhaps a video tape…would they admit they were wrong all along and apologize to the victims they blamed?

    1. I’ve been in touch with the Escambia County Sheriff’s department for the past two weeks, and they’ve been incredibly helpful. I’ve asked them to collate every offense report that has something to do with sexual violence that occurred on PCC’s campus. In the quote I received (it’s going to cost me about $800 to get them all) she estimates she’ll find about 20 reports made since 2002.

      We’ll see what happens once I get them all.

      1. When you get the bill, without revealing your personal address and other sensitive information, post a copy (to disprove the scoffers) and a link of how we can help you with PayPal donations. I’m sure there are several who would be willing to donate.

        1. I’ve been thinking about doing some sort of “gofundme,” but I’m hesitant to do something like that, since I don’t want to give someone the opportunity to say “see! she stirred all of this up just so she could profit from it!”

          It’s a little depressing to think about them finding so many reports, especially since only about 5% of college-campus assaults are typically reported, and that’s on secular campuses. If she finds 20 offense reports, it means there were probably around 400 attacks in the last 12 years. That’s 33 every year.

      2. As one former PCC student to another I am sorry for what happened to you there, and even more sorry that they treated you so horrifically upon your coming forward. Keep speaking out and bring the light of truth to expose this hidden darkness at PCC. You are brave and I admire you for speaking out despite the personal costs.

      1. The outing of Bob Gray (FL) was a huge eye opener for me. After having to leave Trinity Baptist because of a covered-up history of child molestation (yes, Gibbs was working with Trinity), he was actually allowed to sell himself to other IFB churches (mine included) as a missionary and then run off to Germany. Then he was welcomed back to Trinity as a graduation speaker! How corrupt is that?

  24. From one of the two linked articles: “In the next 24 hours, she went to the hospital, reported her attack to the police, and stayed the night with her parents.”

    So.. what did the police do?

    1. Yes, this is one of the holes I’ve alluded to.

      On a PCC-related Facebook page, a poster claiming to be Beth’s friend says it went to trial. The defense claimed it was consensual rough sex. The jury allegedly bought that and the male student was found not guilty. Allegedly, PCC’s administrative records were so poor it turned into he- said, she-said. The girl became pregnant from the incident and a family court awarded the guy joint custody. He went on to graduate with honors and is now a pastor.

      That’s the story.

  25. @ Mag I’m fairly young, but the j schaap fiasco was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was a coming for a long time. I thank God that I didn’t choose to go Hyles.

  26. Stay classy, BJU.

    Rumor has it that Rod Blagojevich said his federal corruption trial was a “painful distraction” from his project of soliciting more bribes.

  27. Call it looking the other way; call it the “ostrich approach” (head in the sand); call it whatever but PCC’s actions almost defy words. Something like “reprehensible” almost doesn’t seem to be strong enough.

    1. Wow! Talk about revision! Completely rewritten, much longer, with a few key sentences left intact to fool the unwary into thinking the content really didn’t change much.

      But, did you notice their policy statement?

      “The safety and well-being of students is of utmost importance. PCC does not tolerate hazing, physical or verbal abuse, coercion, stalking, intimidation, harassment (verbal or sexual), discrimination, or any other behavior that places the health and safety of other students in jeopardy.”

      You can read it in a couple of different ways, but I assume it is written to give the impression that such abuse is not tolerated, period, when it can actually be read that …

      [List of abuses] is not tolerated if they place the health and safety of other students in jeopardy. Your heath and safety? That is another matter, and as long as the abuse only comes to you, and especially if you are not physically damaged by it (after a period of recuperation), anything goes!

      Good lawyers plus predatory instincts means you can’t even trust written policies on the face. You have to parse the language.

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