We’ve rarely seen anything like the outpouring of interest in BJU activities since the bombshell GRACE report was released yesterday morning. With so much going on, here’s our summary of the various events happening in and around this landmark event.
In order to give a sense of what the report actually contains, we’ve assembled this Storify with tweets from Kimberly Kelly, a local Greenville news personality who spent much of the day yesterday tweeting highlights from the report. We are much indebted to her for this service. The hashtag #GRACEReport on Facebook and Twitter also has a good array of posts/information.
Much of the reaction so far has been disgust with Bob Jones III, Jim Berg and Bob Wood. These three, lifetime BJU leaders and anointed “men of God” all, have been revealed by the GRACE report as key actors in a “culture of fear” at BJU that prevented sexual abuse victims from getting help. In line after line of the report, top leaders of the school appeared totally ignorant of basic legal and psychological facts:
Of course, readers of this blog will be well aware that BJU has had issues with reporting sexual assault for decades, and that the responsibility for these lapses goes straight to the top. Last year, we reported that in 1980 two BJU officials helped cover up a similar scandal at another Christian organization using methods already long in use at BJU at that time. And evidence of BJU’s victim-blaming counseling methods was made public last year when a video of Bob Wood’s bewildering counseling methods was leaked.
Further highlighting the contents of the report, here’s an image we assembled highlighting BJU’s prior attempts to deflect criticism on these issues–deflections which have now been proven false. Click on the image below to enlarge.
WYFF Greenville also posted a video, including an interview with Steve Pettit in which the BJU President seems evasive about the accusations.
There’s also this. Apparently, legal action against the school may be coming next:
More Alumni Come Forward
Just today, we’ve seen two more interesting posts from BJU alumni who weren’t in the GRACE report discussing their experiences. Here’s a post talking about the shame and neglect abuse victims have felt:
And further cementing Bob Jones III’s position as chief University apologist (and liar), here’s a letter an alumni received in 2011 during the Chuck Phelps scandal. The alumnus sent us the letter today.
Here’s another image that’s been brought to light today, a description of Berg’s “Crisis Management” course at BJU. As of now this page is still live on BJU’s site despite GRACE’s recommendation to remove him from the spotlight:
Other alumni and interested parties have responded to the news in order to support the school. Sharper Iron commenters were typically dismissive, as expected. Remember that before the report several commenters predicted “a non-event.”
While many supporters have been fairly quiet since the devastating report was released, a few have taken to Twitter to voice their positive feelings:
Also of note are the comments on these posts, both criticizing and in support of the school: