Believing Jane: Reflections on a Rape and it’s Cover-Up at The Master’s College & Seminary

believingjane

On this fine afternoon as thunder rumbles outside my window, my blood is boiling and my “injustice antenna” is sounding alarms. I just read a well-documented account of the rape of a Master’s College student. Her rapist was a student at the Master’s Seminary. Both of these institutions are associated with John MacArthur’s church Grace Community Church. When college and church staff learned of the rape, instead of supporting the victim, she was blamed, called to repent, and kicked out of school. You can read the full story on Marcy Preheim’s website at http://www.marcipreheim.com/2017/09/18/do-you-see-me/ but I will also provide a summary of the situation.

Jane (not her real name) was a 21 year old student at the Master’s College studying to become a Biblical Counselor. In her courses, she learned all about how to deal with situations of rape, including the importance of reporting it to the police. On a school break, she went to a restaurant with some friends who were students at the Master’s Seminary. (The restaurant was an approved location according to the strict guidelines for student behavior.) Also at the restaurant was a friend of her friends (also a Master’s Seminary student) who offered to buy her a drink. She said yes, and he brought her a Coke. But the coke was drugged. After she blacked out, the stranger carried her to his room where he raped her, drugged her again, and put her in a dress that was against the school dress code. He also repeatedly offered her alcohol to drink.

When Jane finally was conscious enough to realized that she had been drugged and raped, she confidently went to the police, knowing the importance of reporting such matters. She then spoke with her Residence Director, who was shocked–not at her rape, but at her use of alcohol and drugs. She was assigned a Biblical Counselor as well, who assured her that the only way to make this better would be to marry her rapist. She was also made to go see Rick Holland, the college pastor at Grace Community Church. He asked for all the details she could remember about her rape, much to her discomfort. (This is sexual harassment, by the way.) Rick consulted with Pastor John MacArthur and together they told her that she would be kicked out of school for violating school standards against alcohol and drugs. They were also angry that she had reported the situation to the police.

Jane was shocked at how people were responding to her, which was not at all in line with how she had been taught in her counseling classes to respond to allegations of rape. She was later contacted saying that she could finish her final year at the Master’s College under a few conditions. She found out that her rapist had confessed to raping her, specifically noting that their sex was not consensual. However, she was required to apologize to her rapist for her part in the matter. The second condition was she must consent to regular counseling sessions with her rapist. She refused, and was subsequently barred from campus. Up to that point she had received all A’s for her classes, but when she was expelled, the school changed all her grades to F’s. When she sought to further her education elsewhere, the appearance of her flunking out of college made that extremely difficult. After she left the Master’s College, she continued to receive messages from people associated with the Master’s College and Grace Community Church calling her to repent for fornication and drinking alcohol. The story was circulated that she was expelled for sleeping around and using drugs/alcohol.

That is Jane’s Story. She asks, do you see me? And yes, Jane! We see you! And I for one believe you! What happened to you, the rape itself, was a horrific crime! And the cover up and blame that ensued at the hands of “godly men and women” is unconscionable!

I know there are those who will blame Jane for coming forward with her story, for uncovering these “deeds of darkness.” Others will persecute her for daring to question their favorite Christian celebrities. Some will assume that she’s lying because of John MacArthur’s reputation and fame, even though she has documented evidence of the whole situation as well as a corroborating witness.

But for myself, I believe Jane. And I applaud her courage in speaking the truth.

I’ve heard enough stories like Jane’s to know that it’s possible for even famous Evangelical educational institutions and pastors to so grossly and horrificly mismanage cases of rape. I know that false allegations of rape are extremely rare. I also believe that faulty views on sexuality, authority, consent, gender roles, and submission played heavily into her story.
So I believe Jane. And I am angry at the injustice she experienced–the crime of rape, yes. But also the further injustice of being blamed, disbelieved, disciplined, and silenced as if she had been the perpetrator instead of the victim.

I also call to repentance the people at the Master’s College and Seminary who blamed and oppressed Jane. I call to repentance Rick Holland for his sexual harassment and punishment of Jane. And I call to repentance John MacArthur for participating in disciplining Jane for her drug and alcohol use (which was forced upon her!). These men and women have erred greatly and have caused harm to Jane and to the name of Christ. The best things for them to do now is to: acknowledge their wrong; repent; seek to make restitution to Jane, including clearing her name; seriously consider resigning from their jobs; and examine what sort of distorted theology can contribute to such gross injustice.

Jane asks “Do you see me?”

Yes, Jane, we do. We see you and we believe you.

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10 thoughts on “Believing Jane: Reflections on a Rape and it’s Cover-Up at The Master’s College & Seminary”

  1. I believe you Jane. You are not alone in your rape and subsequent injustice forced on you. I hear you, understand you and think you are brave.

  2. This is horrible! I most definitely believe Jane. I cannot imagine anyone coming out with a story like this for the fun of it, especially as if she had willingly slept with this guy and intentionally taken drugs and alcohol, she would’ve gotten away with it if she’d kept her mouth shut. And that the guy admitted to raping her! I wonder what happened to him. Probably got a few demerits and then offered forgiveness to Jane for making life so difficult for him for awhile there…

  3. I read this story after hearing about it and don’t doubt it could be true because I know someone who was similarly abused at Masters College and when she tried to do something about it was treated very similarly to how “Jane” says she was treated. Even if Jane is fictional, I am certain there has been similar foul play at Masters, and high ranking Masters officials not only know it, they have conspired to “make it go away”, even when doing so required blaming the victim and failing to properly report the crimes.

    I know what happened to another girl, I’ll call her “Sandy”, and was greatly angered over the outrageous way Masters Officials treated her after she was systematically abused and raped by someone they continue to employ even today.

    Sandy first met her married abuser when she was working as a Jr High in Santa Clarita, he was her “mentor”, and used his position of authority, force, pain and threats to take advantage of her. He was a history teacher at the same school. During that time I was not completely aware of what she was going through, but was very aware of the bruises he left on her in the process and even knew she had to get medical treatment. Only later on did I find out he’d been manhandling her after class and using so much force that she has scar tissue in her chest as a result. She was young, new to the school and afraid he really could get her fired if she tried to report him. Later I also learned he did the same thing to at least 1 other young teacher who was in a similar position. Eventually he moved on to a Christian high school in the Antelope Valley, but not before raping Sandy more than once. I’m guessing he had to give a testimonial before he was hired at the Christian school, I’d sure like to see that pack of lies. These days he works for Masters College, where I’m sure he also had to give a testimonial and I expect he lied there too.

    Sandy was so devastated that several years later she still couldn’t put it behind her so she confided with a pastor and he contacted officials at Masters College and convinced her to share her abuse with them. She met with the Director of Human Resources, and the Chief Financial Officer. Initially they spoke as thought they were incensed and for a while led her to believe they were going to fire him, but then the process got a bit more complicated and they asked her to write a statement, which she did. They took the statement that Sandy wrote and rewrote it, then asked her to sign it and she refused. Then things got ugly because they had redacted everything damming, like references to the violence. By the time they were thorough with her they were practically accusing her of either making the whole thing up or causing him to want to violate her.

    Then they spoke to her abuser, who they say admitted he’d had “an inappropriate relationship”, but without addressing any of the details, including the rapes and physical abuse that resulted in doctor’s visits, also said he’d repented and told his wife. I don’t know what Church you go to but where I attend repentance would have included restitution to the victim which they know never happened, and of course they should have also revisited his pre-employment testimonial.

    After that Masters Staff turned the tables on Sandy, even outright telling her that it was her own fault that she’d been abused and raped by him, and of course he continues to work for Masters to this day.

    Grace Community and even John McArthur were involved with this case, so it’s not like Sandy’s rapist got off because she wasn’t willing to take it to the top. Sandy does suspect some of the administrators who also knew what happened may have left Masters College because of how they treated her.

    This was a few years ago and Sandy has been in therapy ever since those so called “Christians” sold out their Christian faith, (if they really ever had it to begin with), and put protecting their business ahead of doing what’s right and protecting other potential victims from this predator.

    I can’t tell if Jane’s story is true, but I’m absolutely sure Masters College knows they have predators and are doing exactly what the Catholic Church tried to do when people reported abuse to them… They blame the victim and protect the predator. I know there are many good Christians at Masters, but it’s obviously a for profit organization that completely lacks the good Christian morals they pretend they espouse and embrace. I would never give them a recommendation.

  4. Thanks for your report on this situation. Could you list the documentation so that everyone can be aware of it? It’s a shame that people may not believe her when it is, as you say, well-documented. Thank you!

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