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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Long, Hard Look at Calvary Temple


I want people to take a long, unbiased, hard look at Calvary Temple here in Sterling, and the fruit of its ministry; it may be prudent to quote Lanny Davis who wrote about political scandals, "Tell it all, tell it early, tell it yourself." Or to quote a paraphrase of Proverbs 28:13, "What we cover, God uncovers and what we uncover, God covers." Calvary Temple appeals on the premise it is doing the Word of God better than other churches. Pastor Star Scott encourages the recruitment of only the best people, using the Scripture "Commit to faithful men..." By seeking well-raised young adults and teenagers (moral, obedient, godly). 

So has anyone noticed, besides me, that this faithful, moral, godly group known as Calvary Temple, has an AWFUL LOT of litigation passing through our local county courthouse? Take a day, go there, and type in the names of members of Calvary Temple. You will find numerous restraining orders, foreclosures, unpaid back taxes, divorces and custody battles. All conveniently hushed up with comments like 'You wouldn't understand.'

Then there are the allegations involving marital infidelity of pastors and deacons inside Calvary Temple: pastor divorcing his wife and refusing to pay alimony, child support and leaving the country to hide in Kenya in order to avoid prosecution. Allegation of diamonds being smuggled into the country from Kenya by another associate pastor of Calvary Temple. Concerns from former members about confiscation of church assets of now defunct satellite churches in Maine, Richmond, and even a Spanish satellite in Sterling led by  Pastor Louis Castro, by Star Scott. Resignations of associate pastors and deacons of the church, who refuse to have anything to do with Pastor Star Scott, and are strangely quiet. Some reference of those being made to sign documents by Star Scott, ensuring their silence or suffer repercussions. Again, conveniently hushed up with 'You wouldn't understand.'

Then there is the too numerous articles and news clips regarding Calvary Temples ongoing and previous investigations:

2. In Kenya which caused one Calvary Temple pastor to flee to the U.S (  http://youtu.be/ROd4hg7YQVg)
3. Adult children who were forcibly removed from Calvary Temple and put into deprograming (http://potomacfalls.blogspot.com/2015/05/calvary-temples-contentious-history.html)

We are beginning to understand. 

Let's not forget that protesters stood on the street across from their former church for ONE YEAR on each Sunday morning to warn newcomers and inform current members of what goes on inside Calvary Temple.

Plus the ever present blogs like this one, titled: 

Shocking information about Calvary Temple church, now available to the public, help others search and connect with former church members, who tell stories that are eye opening and eerily similar. Stretching back over the past three decades. Because individuals have spoken out via social media, blogs, news interviews, and street protests, the larger community of No. Virginia and abroad is fore-warned. I think we understand.

And it becomes apparent that this supposedly 'authentic, godly, moral, gospel oriented church', which enjoys quoting from D. Wilkerson, A.W. Tower, H. Taylor, Bridges, and other good ministers, is pretending to be something it REALLY. IS. NOT. Just look at the facts. Out of the mouths of 2 or 3 witnesses, let everything be established, Matthew 18:16. He must have a good report of them which are without 1 Timothy 3:7.

We understand.

Former Calvary Temple Member

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

An Anonymous Comment to the Post Concerning "Reaching Out"

Hello. If you don't mind, I'd like to add a few comments to your article on the young adults recently contacting family after twenty long and awful years of cutting off their family.
May I ask, what about the congregants in the church; who coached them to do this horrendous deed to the kid's parents? Have they gone to 'Mitch and Anna's' parents and apologized as well? Has the pastor apologized, he who encouraged this terrible behavior of running away and hiding the kids in his own home ( a single man, at the time unmarried), and later encouraged one of the kids to change his family name to the pastor's last name? Where were the responsible Christian adults in that church? Were they complicit in such illegal activities? (encouraging a minor to run away is illegal).  Either by their silence or actively participating in hiding the kids from their parents?

Any apologies to the wounded family from these folks?

All in all, these questions being asked, it is not just the pastors who are seducing young people, the whole church is responsible for these unbiblical actions of destroying families. Also I think it is interesting that they are stealing kids from Christian homes.  It is not like they are taking and hiding kids from Buddhist or Muslim or Jewish homes. As far as I have seen, only the Christian kids are being taken, the ones raised up in Christian homes by Christian parents who are too righteous to fall under the spell of wicked leaders pretending to be pastors.  Sorry. This stuff infuriates me to no end. Cowards all I say, at least in Calvary Temple of Sterling, Virginia.

-anonymous bystander-

Monday, July 4, 2016

Calvary Temple is "Reaching Out"

It appears big things are happening at Calvary Temple. The word on the street is Star Scott is "allowing", even encouraging, some congregants to get in contact with their long rejected family members.

One story: Twenty years ago, "Jim" and "Karen" left Calvary Temple and began to attend another church in the area. The leadership of Calvary Temple assigned their two teenage children to live with families within CT. The son changed his last name to that of his "adopted" father. As far as I know, that was the end of any meaningful contact for Jim and Karen and their children.

Fast forward 20 years and Calvary Temple son "Mitch" and Calvary Temple daughter "Anna" have contacted their parents. They wish to have a relationship with their parents and introduce their own children to their "new" family.

When hearing this news, many other rejected family members and friends who have left CT have rejoiced for Jim and Karen and their children. Many years of prayer, fasting, protesting, and publicizing have gone into patient waiting for just this kind of event. After the initial happiness and celebration, however, most cannot help but think "maybe my children/grandchildren/husband/wife/brother/sister/aunt/uncle/cousin/friend will contact me." "Maybe this long-standing rejection of anyone who has left CT is about to change."  "Maybe Star Scott has repented and changed". "Maybe the long nightmare is about to end".

Questions, doubts, thoughts all swirl within our minds. We struggle with the desire to believe God has moved on the hearts of Calvary Temple leadership while still questioning if there is something more behind this "reconciliation". Many are quite (more than quite) suspicious of Star Scott's motives.

We ask ourselves:
  • Is it possible Star Scott has another motive for allowing contact between Mitch and Anna and their parents? Could it be the past year of public outcry against the destruction of families has motivated him to take on a kinder, gentler persona?
  • Could the ongoing Loudoun County Sheriff's Office investigation yield some very ugly charges that Star Scott would like to counteract with a good-will action?
  • Could Mitch and Anna have finally said enough is enough? Is it possible the children have realized shunning their parents is just not biblical?
  • Could Star Scott be tired of the murmuring among his members as they disagree with the policy of cutting off all those who leave CT? 
  • Could it be Star Scott has decided to allow ex-Calvary members (that have not spoken out publicly, or at least not recently) to have contact with family and friends as a way to encourage the more vocal among us to shut up? If we are quiet, will WE get to see our family/friends? In other words, is this blackmail?
  • Are the numbers in CT shrinking and with no new community members coming into the fold, are the members being encouraged to try to get the "rebellious" to come "home"?
  • And what are the shunned ones being told as to why they are suddenly allowed contact with CT members? One was told satan was not to have his way anymore by bringing division; another is allowed to attend family functions because they are not a professing Christian; another is told they never were a Christian, so they can now have contact; one is apparently allowed to have contact because they are a Christian. Confusing, isn't it?
Because ex-Calvary Temple members cannot hear/have access to the teachings (though Star Scott told a reporter everything they say is on the website and is available for anyone to access, this is a lie) we cannot help wonder how Star Scott currently communicates this new freedom of seeing loved ones to his congregation. This is a complete reversal of the general policy that forbids current CT members from having relationship with ex-CT family members, "marked" ex-members, kicked out members, etc. Star Scott is very likely spinning many scenarios that add up to the same conclusion: go ahead and contact those who are not speaking out. His true reasons are unknown, we can only surmise.

Update: since the writing of this entry, we understand that the above example is not an isolated event. Multiple families are also now hearing from estranged family members still in CT.  The common denominator? Those in Calvary Temple are now reaching out to those who have not spoken publicly against CT. 

To be continued.....





Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Re-post of Red Flags

One of the most talked about posts was called Red Flags. With some additions, I am reposting it here. As past members of Calvary Temple continue to sound a warning to the community concerning CT, we would like to remind the CT members that you have a responsibility to confront the sins of Calvary Temple leadership. By staying in Calvary Temple, supporting the pastors with your tithes and offerings, and giving the appearance of 100% support, you are part of the problem. You cannot claim innocence because you are not in leadership. We are all responsible to speak out against sin.

Calvary Temple is being investigated by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and the Virginia State Police.  Links to the articles, blogs and updates are here.

Members of my family and I attended Calvary Temple for many years. During that time we noticed many things that were very troubling. They were either scriptures that were misused or misapplied or events that were disturbing. Unfortunately, we overlooked them.

I was recently reminded of Star Scott once saying: "The Bible read says that {your sin} is cast into the sea of God's forgetfulness, amen?" (There is Yet One Man Pt 12 December 9, 2012). In reality, the scripture he was referring to do says something quite different. It actually says You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. I was struck by how forcefully he mis-quoted a scripture and pulled the congregation into agreement by saying "amen?" and waiting for the "amen!" response. Everyone happily agrees to a scripture that doesn't exist.

I began to think of other red flags that I or my family had allowed to go by without challenge. Many of the following can be found in other groups when studying abusive churches and cults but the following list should especially be taken note of as they are particular to Calvary Temple.
  • families or marriages breaking up when one member stops attending Calvary Temple 
  • misquoting and twisting scripture to say something other than its actual meaning (as in the above example or the now infamous "high priest" being required to marry a virgin)
  • encouragement to read only those books in the church bookstore  (that have been pre-approved by leadership)
  • being encouraged to follow Star Scott and leadership rather than the Holy Spirit (because they hear from God more than us)
  • continual emphasis on obeying the pastor
  • bible studies or book clubs requiring approval by leadership
  • discouragement of marriage counseling or marriage-related events (such as cruises) outside of Calvary Temple
  • complete lack of financial transparency or accountability
  • marriages taking place within a few short weeks without the time of getting to know each other
  • directing children to find other families to live with in the event parents stop attending CT
  • separation and isolation from natural family
  • continual criticism of other churches and pastors
  • maligning of character from the pulpit (especially of those who have stopped attending CT)
  • the respect of persons, those in the "inner circle"
  • unwritten rules - we all knew what we could say or ask and what we couldn't
  • constant adulation of Star Scott ("propping him up")
  • fear of losing salvation if you leave CT
  • warnings of bad things happening if you leave CT
  • elitism (see previous post
  • encouraging members to recruit from other churches
  • lack of accountability for the leaders
  • being told we might have to move to the church-owned rural property
  • being told we might have to bring our resources to the "feet of the apostles"
  • the cutting off from the Assemblies of God
  • insults (and false witness) directed at former members 
  • father's authority in home being weakened and even removed (I remember  Star Scott telling fathers that their only job is to enforce what is being said from the pulpit)
  • unscriptural marking
  • our children hearing intimate details of Star Scott's sex life (by Scott himself)
  • telling kids to miss college exams when young adult retreat was rescheduled to another weekend
  • daily bible reading being controlled along with assigned prayer lists rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to direct reading and prayer
  • being told that we should be studying only what Star Scott is teaching during our own study time
  • statements such as "...we can't go into the details but...."  or "I can't remember exactly but...." and saying enough that everyone in the congregation knew exactly who was being talked about 
  • statements such as "that's the kind of woman I would like to punch in the face", or they are "daughters of satan"
  • extreme corporal punishment - sometimes leaving severe bruising and causing parents and teachers to be very concerned
  • a wife being put into a hotel room for 91 days to "break" her
  • rumors of child abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse
  • rumors of the above being covered up and not reported to the police
  • being told God had placed us here and therefore could not accept a job transfer
  • being told we could not date someone we met somewhere other than inside Calvary Temple
  • the exodus of many long-time members (even those in leadership) 
  • being told to avoid or not talk to those who have left ("we have it under control")  ("if we can't convince them to do the right thing, why do you think you can?")
  • learning that our pastor had covered his sin and then misrepresented the nature of the sin when it was revealed
  • Star Scott rebuking the congregation for buying a $5.00 cup of Starbucks while his wife shops in Bloomingdales and on Rodeo Drive
  • Criticizes people taking an "expensive" vacation while he and his wife and extended family travel first class
  • Continuing to buy expensive luxury vehicles, jewels, clothing, etc. Continuing to indulge his own passions while members foot the bill
  • The pastor is always right and you are always wrong if you approach leadership with a disagreement
  • Accusing a woman of "dumpster diving" to obtain copies of credit card receipts when in reality it was his own son who revealed the extravagant purchases made and listed on the receipt
  • blaming the victims rather than the perpetrators, Star Scott admitting he had committed grievous sin that affected his family out west
I have not elaborated on these Red Flags; those of us that attended or currently attend Calvary Temple are familiar with these incidents and characteristics. Calvary Temple is a dangerous place; on the surface it is biblical but underneath it is depraved and abhorrent. When your eyes are opened to the control and abuse, you find yourself sickened that you never saw it before and thankful that you see it now.


He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. Albert Einstein

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. Abraham Lincoln

But everything exposed by the light becomes visible--and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. Ephesians 5:13

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. John 3:20

Monday, May 30, 2016

How Star Scott Creates Division

One of the ways Star Scott brings division to the body of Christ is by ironically talking of unity among the members of Calvary Temple. At first glance, it seems he is promoting a church that is of one accord, all being under the umbrella of Jesus' lordship. Upon further examination, however, we begin to see how the so-called harmony and community is actually a method of isolating one (very) small part of the "church" and pitting it against the rest of the church. Here are his own words as he instructs the members of Calvary Temple to separate themselves from the Body of Christ:

"Are you confident that what we as a community have, do we truly believe that the words that as we mark individuals here is having its effect. Now some here have taken it upon themselves to be the exception. 'Just [want to] talk to them spend a few words with these people, talk a little bit'. We have to be of one accord. Paul says when you are gathered together and my spirit is there and Jesus is there - you don't have a right to walk beyond it. 'well it was an opportunity to speak'. what will you say that the Holy Ghost hasn't already spoken." 
(this was from a recording in the Spring of 2015. Star Scott, in his quest to be "in the light" and transparent, telling everyone "you can hear everything we say on the internet", abruptly removed his current teachings from the CT website.)
Star Scott's message - "you don't have a right to walk beyond it" - is spoken with all authority and righteous indignation. But it reveals something beyond a so-called desire to be a loving pastoral shepherd looking out for his sheep. It shifts trust in God to trust in (one) man. Instructing the members of CT to not only avoid speaking with those who have left, but if they do, they have "walked beyond biblical order", is bringing fear and control rather than trust in God. Mr Scott takes away any opportunity for the members to be led of God in their daily lives. They enter the workplace or community with the decision already made for them that should they encounter one of the "rebellious, lost sheep", they are not to speak with them. To do so would be "out of order and walking beyond the instruction of the designated authority". But that is not what God asks of His children. He instructs them:

"I will lead you in the way you should go". (Psalm 32:8)                    

"You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me." (Psalm 73:24). 

"But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law." (Galatians 5:18).

Prior to Star Scott's admonition to the members to avoid walking in the Spirit, he first informs them that all those who have left are to be unilaterally condemned. He does this swiftly with just one sentence:

"thinking more highly of yourself and my people love to have it so. We are all familiar with this scripture, its one of the chief whining points of those that are no longer among us."

Just think about that statement for a minute. Many of those Star Scott is referring to are brothers and sisters in Christ. They are pursuing God, fellowshipping with other believers, and ministering to the saved and unsaved alike. Some are wounded and still recovering from the harm done to them while in Calvary Temple. (of which many members are unaware.) And some have made a decision to no longer follow God. Yet Star Scott despises them all for the same reason - they have spoken against his supremacy. They no longer recognize Star Scott as the authority in their lives.

(And in regard Scott's above statement, I have to say I am impressed with his ability to cover all bases in one sentence. First, he quotes a scripture (well, two scriptures sandwiched together) to give himself some authority. He draws everyone into his inner circle of eliteness by saying "we are all familiar".  In other words, we all think alike, you are one of us. And he then uses an inflammatory, derogatory word - whining - to condemn ALL who have left CT. And finally, he finishes with a biblical sounding phrase - those that are no longer among us - to further cement the shunning of ALL. In other words all that have left are not one of us. Well done, Bob.)

(and the phrase "one of the chief whining points" reveals his true heart, not the heart of a tender and compassionate shepherd searching for a lost sheep, but the heart of an angry man fearful of losing control.)

Are the members and leadership of Calvary Temple truly interested in the spiritual welfare of those who have left their fold? If so, when coming upon them in the community, why do they turn away and refuse to speak? Why not have a conversation and show the love of Jesus? Perhaps it is because they cannot display what they do not have. If the members of CT are "so well taught" (as they have been told again and again), and know the scriptures "better than most pastors", and are heads and shoulders above the rest of the church, how is it they are not capable of speaking to a few misguided lost souls? Are the members of CT so weak that they will be adversely affected by a few "whiners"?

And this begs the question - why is Star Scott so adamant about keeping his members away from those who disagree with some of his teachings? Because it is dangerous to his own little kingdom and threatens his dominion.

Please do some research on abusive churches and their tactics and see if you recognize Calvary Temple or Star Scott. Here is just a sampling of what you will find:
  •  In an unhealthy church disagreement with the pastor is considered disloyalty and is virtually equal to disobeying God. Spiritual language is used to disguise the manipulation that is going on. Questioners are labeled rebellious, insubordinate, and disruptive to the harmony of the body. (Recovering From Churches That Abuse by Ron Enroth).
  • The majority of the time, former members are publicly ridiculed and humiliated before the church, and members are told not to associate in any way with any former members. (Churches That Abuse by Ron Enroth)
  • When a pastor tells his congregation that those who leave his church or disobey his authority are in danger of God’s wrath, you can be sure this man is operating in a spirit of control. He is attempting to use fear as a carnal means of keeping people in his church. The line usually goes like this: “If you leave our church, the blessing of God will be lifted from your life, and you will miss God’s will.” Another version says, “If you leave our church, you will be in rebellion, and Satan will be free to bring havoc into your life. ” Fear is the motivation behind such comments -- not love. You can be sure that this type of reasoning is not from God. Jesus never motivated men out of fear. In a controlling church, fear is a form of manipulation. Instead of motivating people through love and servanthood, a controlling church tries to motivate through manipulation. When people do leave, they are labeled rebellious, or the rest of the congregation is given the explanation that they left because they had become offended. In an unhealthy church, there is never a good reason why anyone should leave. Regardless of the situation, the people who leave are always the “problem.” (CBN Ministries),
  • Anyone who goes against the leader’s authority is publicly shamed for their actions. Then they are cut off from the congregation and treated as outcasts. Those who are still in the flock are warned to not have any interaction with those who have been shunned. (http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/7-signs-of-abusive-leadership/)
  • Shaming – Spiritually abusive ministries often publicly shame their followers. Leaders in such groups misuse confidential information and share it widely in order to humiliate people. Or they bad-mouth people who have left the group. This maintains an atmosphere of fear, degradation, and disempowerment. (https://libertyforcaptives.com/2013/05/09/ten-major-symptoms-of-spiritual-abuse/)
  • Information from ex-members is often labeled as “lies” and members are advised to not respond to ex-members who initiate contact. In some cases responding to the ex-member at all is strongly discouraged. In such a church system as this, the members are easily manipulated and turned against their brothers and sisters in Christ... Jesus said that the unrepentant believer, after two warnings, is to be treated as “a gentile or tax collector”. {This}means to not relate to them as you would a brother. It does not mean to cut off all contact. Jesus himself interacted with Gentiles, including tax collectors. In many abusive church systems the purpose of excommunication and shunning has little to do with the Biblical goal of restoration and more to do with personal agenda. Typically, the intention is to keep those who have left from sharing their reasons for leaving with those in the church. http://www.jennifercotti.com/2013/03/02/characteristics-of-an-unhealthy-abusive-church/)
  • There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil. (Rick Ross) 
  • Healthy churches see themselves as one small part of the body of Christ, and as such, part of the fellowship of believers throughout the world and throughout time. In abusive churches, however, there is an emphasis on the specialness of this particular body and why we need to keep ourselves separate from all the corrupted churches and inferior churches that are 'out there'. (http://dory.typepad.com/wittenberg_gate/2005/05/controlling_per_1.html)
  • Once you are gone is it as if you never existed. Your former friends will not talk to you because you are a heretic. (http://abusivechurch.org/signs-of-abuse/)
  • Creating an environment of fear in leaving. Any deserters are punished by shunning, and are vilified and marginalized by ridicule before and/or after they leave. This creates a profoundly deep subconscious fear in the existing members to never leave, so this won’t happen to them. Anything outside of the group is inferior and of Satan. It is evil. There is no rule or doctrine more pure, or better, than the group’s. Outside is failure and disaster. (http://www.wickedshepherds.com/MindControl.html)
  • You've noticed a pattern of people leaving the fellowship, but you hesitate to ask your pastor about it and don't like to delve into the reasons behind the exits. (http://www.thehopeofsurvivors.com/news_notes/covering_abusive_Pastor.php)

Star Scott says "what will you say that the Holy Ghost hasn't already spoken". But the word teaches that the Holy Ghost speaks through US, the believers, the children of God. If you also believe that, then why are you not allowing Him to speak through YOU? We are no longer in Old Testament times when we heard through a man, Jesus came to give us access to the Father by the Holy Spirit. And why are you allowing the leadership of Calvary Temple to cut you off from friends and family just because we left your church building? Many of us took our faith with us when we left the building. Thankfully, He goes with us wherever we go. 

Years have gone by, families remain divided, lives have been destroyed, but people are now speaking out against these atrocities. Do not tell yourselves that it is because those who have left are "bitter". Those who have not spoken out receive the exact same treatment as those who are vocal. So don't blame the messengers, it has been done to any and all that dared to disagree with Star Scott and chose to leave Calvary Temple.