The following story was submitted by a woman who has used pseudonyms to protect the identity of her family. This is a true story, she is not afraid of sharing what has happened to her, but she wants to keep her children's names from being besmirched by what they have done with the hope that in the future her family will be restored. They know who they are and Calvary Temple will know who the family is.
My daughter Pearl ran away from home the last night of Pike Fair in 2008. She and a friend had been planning it. She was gone for four days, her friends, including her cousin Jacquelyn, knew where she was. We did not know where she was until my son Bub came and found her.
Bub asked to take her with him to Virginia for two weeks to talk to her. She called at the end of that time asking if she could complete her senior year of high school at Calvary Temple, which she had been wanting to do, but we hadn’t been able to arrange it.
My husband and I along with two of our children, Bub2 and Bean, went down for a meeting with some of the pastors at CT, and they offered to take her if she lived with a family member. My husband told me to stay and take care of her through the year because he would not take her back to NY; he did not want her up there anymore because of all the embarrassment.
So the kids and I stayed in an extended stay motel for 3 months, until my husband and I purchased a rundown short-sale townhouse, which the kids and I remodeled prior to moving in. He was in NY except for coming to visit us every other weekend. He decided to join us more permanently at Christmas of 2008.
In August of 2009, after graduation, Pearl decided to leave our home again.
I was devastated and became very discouraged; prior to her leaving, my husband and I were discussing selling the townhouse and taking the kids back to NY, after we got her enrolled in college.
I was so down and my husband was more distant than ever, and decided to wait on the decision to move back. Pearl returned home in October 2009 and was very sick with mononucleosis and strep throat. We took her to urgent care and nursed her back to health. I was so relieved to have her safe in our care. Prior to her return, we did not know where she was unless she called (during this time I was often encouraged to not answer her calls or texts by the leadership, but I thanked them for their advice and said I would make my own decisions concerning my children).
Pearl left for the third time in January of 2010. She was so sad and didn't want to leave, but said she had to. Years later, I found out she was told by leadership she was using us, and that she was not wanted since she was hurting our family, so she chose to leave for our sakes she thought. I was absolutely crushed with this last upheaval. I cried a lot, then found out she was pregnant on Valentines Day of 2010, and cried even more. It was an awful time. Then at end of February, after being rebuked often for skipping basketball games (I did not go because the bleachers hurt to sit on) I found out that my hip replacement was broken (that is why sitting and standing hurt). I had emergency replacement in New York, and the kids stayed in Virginia in school; after 2 weeks, my husband came and took me home to Virginia.
Pearl began calling when she was five months pregnant and we talked regularly. She wanted to marry, but I begged her to wait till after the baby was born. It was too hard to make good decisions when pregnant. She agreed to wait and asked to come home, but the Pastors and my husband had to approve it, which made me mad. I objected, and said she should come home. She came home to us when eight months pregnant, and her son Ray was born in November 2010. He was a wonderful baby boy, and she was a great mommy. My husband and the pastors said she had to go to work full time when Ray was one month old. I objected, thinking that she should continue college and work 10 hours or so, but raise Ray on her inheritance money. The Pastors said I was wrong, that I was godly mom and should raise Ray. I was so mad at my husband for making her do that.
She wanted to go to college, but they forced her to go to work instead. I raised Ray during the day and worked two mornings a week at Calvary’s School as a teacher’s helper; Ray came along most days. I was offered a full time position with Dr. Watkins, a neurologist of Neuroscience in Reston, Virginia. I had been working part time for him since coming to Virginia, but my husband told me to not take the job, wanting me to raise Ray, per the pastor’s orders.
In January of 2011, Pastor Ron Zarou came back to Calvary from Kenya. I did not know that he had fled the country, because there was a warrant out for his arrest for destroying families there. We were told at church that his life was threatened for the gospel sake. I had not met him before since he had been in Kenya for years.
He told my husband and I that we were going to be coming to him for counseling; we did not seek the counseling, but were instead told that we had to come. They wanted to see how it was going with Pearl back and refused to dedicate Ray in church.
The meetings were horrible from the get go. He is very cruel with words, but he always believed my husband. I have since learned, that according to Calvary, men are to be obeyed even when wrong. He is very intimidating, and I never liked him but soon became terrified of him. He believed everything my husband said, but did not believe me. He inferred constantly that I was not a Christian, that I was dominating my husband, and that I was hindering the children’s relationship with their Dad. He inferred that I was mentally unstable because I cried, and that my tears were done in order to manipulate. He constantly kept asking me to start taking anti-depressants, so I made an appointment because he kept saying my emotions were over the top.
When I saw my gynecologist I told him how I was weepy, and about everything going on; I asked if I should I go on anti-depressants, but he told me no. He said that it was perfectly normal for me to cry, saying that some people get mad, but I cry. He also told me I was going through menopause. I discussed it with my sister, a nurse, and she agreed.
Ron Zarou believed anything my husband said. I hated the meetings, begging my husband to stop the lying, and not destroy me. He was in New York for about one to two weeks each month, at the farm. When gone, he would not answer his phone. On a couple occasions, he went to New York without even telling me, and I had to call his mom to find out where he was.
In June the kids had a break from school for three weeks. my husband went to New York, and after not being able to contact him, I decided to bring Bean up, where we would stay with him for a couple weeks. I did not ask him, but just came up since he was being secretive about his time up in New York. Bub2 was working full time on break, so he did not come up but stayed with Pearl and Ray.
We had a good week, but after July 4th, my husband made me take Bean and go back to Virginia. I did not want to go back, but wanted to stay another week. He was adamant, and Bub called to say I was being rebellious to Dad by not coming back, so I went back. The day I arrived back to Virginia I was called into a meeting at church with all my kids there, (I didn't know they had been called in), along with two pastors and Greer Scott. I was told that I was being marked (turned over to Satan for destruction of my flesh so soul would be saved). And was told I was leaven, and could not be in church or with family. There was no explanation. I was then asked to leave. I sobbed, and asked why, but was told to submit to chastening and then I would be allowed back.
When I came home, Pearl was horrified and went to stay with my daughter Bear, and Bub2 went to stay with Bub. Only Bean was with me since my husband was still in New York. The pastors said that my husband approved of my discipline to break me. Pearl asked what I had done and I replied that I did not know what I had done. I begged Bub to stop this, saying that it was not right and asked what I had done. He said that I had gone to NY without asking dad. The next day my husband told me by phone that they were going to take Bean from me because I was so rebellious. He was yelling at me on the phone and I was sobbing, saying no it was wrong that they could not do that and asking why. He kept saying that it was because I was so rebellious to him.
I packed up Bean and tried to get her to go to New York with me, when she asked to stop at Pastor Jeff’s (the youth leader) I agreed, but then was afraid they might take her away I told her that I would not stop. She cried and cried, and said she did not want to go be with dad, that she wanted to stay in Virginia. I told her what dad had told me, and she said dad was not telling the truth. She said the pastors would never do that. She begged to stay and I agreed. I turned around and took her back, and after church that night Bub brought her home to tell me she was leaving home because she shouldn't stay with me because I was leaven and had to be purged from her life.
It was hell. I started driving and my husband called and demanded that I return to Virginia, saying that he would be back in two days to explain my punishment. Upon his return he informed me he was putting me away in motel until I was broken. I protested saying that it was wrong, that Pastor Scott would never agree to that, that it was cultish. So he called the pastors in front of me and I heard them tell my husband that it was a great idea.
He took me to a Hyatt for three days (we had a coupon deal). Then an Extended Stay in Leesburg for two weeks, then an extended motel for five more weeks in Sterling. He took my phone, wallet and car, and brought me food every other day or so. He admonished me for not eating, saying I was manipulating him, I lost 35 pounds during that time. He warned me not to commit suicide, even though I had not mentioned it. I had been sobbing uncontrollably, telling him he could do anything he wanted to me; only to please let me go back to my children. He said I was manipulating him with my tears, and I was told I would not see the children again unless I submitted to the chastening. I was told not to try and contact anyone in NY, as they would not understand. I was told not to try to contact the children and gain their sympathy. Later on I learned they were not told anything about my exile because it would have affected them emotionally; they were told I left home and abandoned the family.
After six weeks, my husband came and gave me my wallet, key, and car, telling me to pick up some clothes at home, while kids were in school, and get a job to support myself until the pastors felt I was entirely broken. I was again cautioned not to tell anyone in New York, or try to contact my kids. I was also told not to call my husband either; if he wanted to talk to me, he would initiate the call. I was to wait for calls from the Pastor Ron Zarou, and he would see if I was broken enough to come home. Pastor Zarou would call me every ten days randomly to question me and see if I was broken and repentant. I was praying constantly for God to show me how to answer him, because nothing made him happy.
He rebuked me for reading the Bible so much and encouraged me to read more of Fenelon, a catholic mystic. He rebuked me for sharing Jesus with people at work, saying that I was not worthy. He rebuked me for knowing so much of the bible. He rebuked me when he found out I had talked to a person presently in Calvary Temple. He rebuked me when I told him I had lost my phone twice. He also rebuked me when I told him I had dented my car, lied to insurance company, and after 2 days called insurance company to tell the owner of the company what I had done. She, knowing me personally, asked if I was under some stress, as it was not something I would normally do. I replied I was under stress, but that it was no excuse for lying. I lied because when I lost my phone twice, Pastor Ron Zarou made a big deal about how my instability was obvious that I was not in a good place with God. I was afraid if he knew I dented the car, he would not let me come home soon, but felt so guilty about it that I had to go and tell everything.
The next two months were hell. I was able to get job as a greeter in Dick’s Sporting Goods at the mall. I had been offered a secretarial job at doctor office, but Pastor Zarou told me not to take it since three other Calvary people worked there already. He said that it would be too conflicting for them, because they could not talk to me. My husband paid a down payment for me to get room with Taiwanese woman who barely spoke English. My paycheck was deposited in our joint account, and he had the pastor’s wife bring me the money to pay for the room. Through all of this I existed. I had my phone but did not tell anyone what was going on in Virginia, except for Pastor Wayne and Maryanne Hughes in Buffalo. They were furious, and wanted to come and get me, but I did not want them to because I felt I that would lose my kids. Later, Pastor Ron told me if they had come, I would never have been allowed back into my kid’s lives. I had to obey everything. Family and friends from NY did try reaching me, but I did not answer their calls. I did not have my phone for the first seven weeks, and after that I was too afraid to reach out to them.
After ninety-three days, my husband texted; I was so scared, that I actually called Ron Zarou to ask if it was OK. I did not want to do anything wrong. He said he had told my husband to contact me, and my husband brought me home that night after I finished my shift at work. Bean and Bub2 did not even know. They asked their dad if the pastors knew that I had been brought home. They were scared of me! I was shocked, but had been told early on that day by Ron Zarou that I was not to say anything, but let my husband make all decisions. I was not to tell the children anything about my past three months of chastening.
I found out upon return that Pearl and Ray had been kicked out of Bear’s house a month earlier because Pearl had texted Ray’s father in New York and agreed to meet him. They threw her out of the house within an hour of the discovery. They would not let her take Ray, telling her she was an unfit mom, and kept him for a week. He cried so much that my husband finally gave him back to her. She got an awful room in a basement, and I do not how she existed, but she was a good mommy. My husband would not let me see Ray or babysit him unless he was there. I was not allowed to talk to Pearl at all, and the other children avoided me and barely spoke to me after my return. My husband was very loving though and I begged him to never do this to me again, and in tears he agreed. I said that he knew this was wrong, and please never do this again, because it would kill me if he did.
I had to work at Dick’s and do side jobs. I was no longer allowed at school or even to come watch the kid’s games; in reality, I was like a slave. The kids were not encouraged to talk to me about any decisions. Decisions like whether or not they go visit a friend on Friday night or to sign any school papers had to be their Dad. I was not allowed to do the bills any longer.
I was to be silent and work which I did. I made corn bags and sold them, worked Dicks until November, cleaned rich people’s homes, and did transcription work for a company in Vienna, Virginia. I cried when no one was looking. When I went to NY, everyone worried about me, said I was like a robot, and asked what was wrong. I could not tell them anything because I was terrified they would find out.
In the beginning of December my husband made me go with him to New York for ten days leaving kids alone in townhouse. I did not want to go because they were young, but I was told to obey. After we got back I was doing a sales show for corn bags when Pearl came with Ray to talk to my husband. My daughter-in-law Aeron and Bub showed up and were very displeased to see my husband talking to Pearl. In church the next night, they rebuked him in front of several people in church for speaking to Pearl. Then Bub asked me if I had anything to say. I stood up and told Bub that I was so ashamed of him. I said that he had no right to humiliate his father like that publicly, and if he wanted to speak with his daughter he had every right. That night I was kicked out of church a second time. My husband was a pawn in the pastor’s hands; he did whatever they said.
So for two weeks I was not allowed to talk to family, go to school events, or any church. After church on Christmas Day in 2011, Bub, Aeron, my husband, Bub2, and Bean came home. The kids cried as Bub told me that I was a great mother and my husband said I was good wife (their words not mine), but I was still in darkness and needed to be broken further. So I was being kicked out of house again and was told to go away and support myself. They said that maybe in two or eight months (Bub’s words) I would be allowed back if I submitted to the chastening of the Lord. I cried, and said that this was wrong, and Bub said I was 90% good but 10% darkness. I told him he was nuts, and asked how could he judge that. I would never give myself a rating that good; and said that he could not take away my kids. He replied that they would leave on their own, which they did. I cried and asked my husband why, and he said, “I don't know, it doesn't seem right does it?”
Then I called Pastor Wayne and Maryanne in New York and told them. They were appalled, and talked to my husband, telling him that he was nuts and to go get our kids (whom Bub had taken away). I packed a suitcase, got in my car, and drove to New York, sobbing all the way. I called Jackie half way there and told her what had happened and she cried. My husband followed me and was very kind. He stayed with me at a house in New York that the farm owned for two weeks. He alternately led me to believe he knew it was wrong and we would go get the kids by force and bring them back here. Then sometimes he would scream at me that I was being rebellious and needed to submit and go back and take my punishment again.
After he left me in New York with promises to call and bring Bean and Bub2 home here he cleaned out our bank account. My husband then filed for custody of Bean, being counseled to by church, even though she was living with Bear. I was served in January and felt like I died. I could not believe he was doing this. He had lied and given me false hope yet again, so I used my credit card to retain a lawyer. My husband would not speak to me after he left in January, not answering my calls or text messages. That continued until December of 2013; then, almost 23 months later, he began to text me out of the blue.
The court gave me Bean, but said I had to put her in foster care if she ran away, which she had threatened to do. I refused to have her go through the hell of foster care, but the court said that she had legal right to choose her school and church since she was fifteen years old. I could do nothing but try and reason with her. I was told that we had to live in Virginia.
It has been a horrible nightmare, and I have not wanted to write down even this much, which is not even the whole story. But finding out that an individual is being “lovebombed” by my own children, and knowing what will happen to her and her family if she gets sucked in to Calvary Temple has enabled me to write down some of my story.
It is much bigger and much worse. I have learned so much about all the families like mine that have been destroyed down through the years by the church. People do not say anything because, by and large, like me they are just plain good folks, and can hardly believe it is happening, let alone try and explain how it is happening. I have not wanted to even talk about this, but wanted to just keep reaching out to my children, thinking that somehow they will listen and realize how evil it is to do this. I have reached out to Pastor Scott, but he does not respond. Everyone that was a pastor or deacon and has left the church is afraid of him. They say he can hurt you if you speak up. They all say its best to be silent, and forget your children and move on until God opens their eyes. How does a mother forget her children?
How does anyone explain this? So I stay hidden, cry often, write my children, and pray. I know God is going to bring justice one day, and my children will be with me again, and I am waiting for them.
Our purpose is to reach out and warn people who may be looking into taking their family to Calvary and to show those who have left Calvary that they are not alone. If people need authentication of this story they can email: firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and references will be provided.