(Intro) (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Para leerlo en Español)
Small bits of money lent bit by bit, and always with fervent promises of soon paying back everything, turned into thousands of dollars (yeah, I know, I was pretty dumb). Part of it was from lending a phone line in my name, which added a couple of hundred dollars every month for several months.
But it came to the point where I realized that the promises to repay were empty at best, and blatantly deceptive at worst. I watched as VGSr* spent money all over the place on many frivolous things that I would consider much less important than trying to pay back even a dollar of what he owed me. So I cut him off.
But being the wily and manipulative sort that he is, and me being the slow and over-trusting fool that I was, let myself get trapped one more time...
There was a big conference coming up out of town, and VGSr just needed to borrow my credit card to pay for a van to transport himself and other leaders visiting from out of town. I would not be lending to him, but rather to the church itself, he assured me, and the reimbursement check would be very promptly written out in my name as soon as we returned from the conference, and VGSr would take no part in touching the money.
So I lent my card, we went and returned, and went to turn in the van at the rental place. It was an hour late so they wanted to charge an extra day, an extra couple hundred dollars. VGSr seemed unconcerned and didn't think we should try to contest the extra charges. The total bill was well over a thousand dollars.
So then started the battle for reimbursement. First he told me that the church would cut me a check at the next staff meeting. Then when I asked about it, there was some problem like the check writer wasn't there or something, but the next time he would get it. Then something else. Then something else. Then I started to get a little mad so he said he would make sure it got taken care of this time. So then he calls me and tells me he has the check, but is really busy, so can he give it to me in a day or two? Fine. Then he calls and asks if it is OK if he cashes the check and gives me the money in cash, rather than a check. I say, well, OK. (Thinking, why would the check be made out in a way that he could even cash it? Shouldn't it be in my name?) Then, he tells me, some expenses came up for his daughter's school so he had to spend the money, but that he would pay me back his next paycheck. The same lies he always used to tell me!
I got mad and told him I was going to go talk to his boss, Kip. VGSr freaked out and threatened me, telling me that if I talked to Kip about it that not only would our relationship be over, he would no longer train or associate with me in any way, but that he would use his position of power to try to make my life as difficult and miserable as possible in any way that he could.
So rather than reacting like any man with even the slightest kind of balls, spine or manhood would, I buckled and closed my mouth. I let myself be threatened and bullied, by someone who was totally in the wrong. I did and said nothing.
I let VGSr steal from me, lie to me, and then bully and threaten me into silence.
And by remaining silent, I probably enabled him to do the same thing to others.
I am very, very sorry. Hopefully this post will help rectify things a little bit, even if it is very late, and not much.
Part 2, things get worse >>
*VGSr is the initials of the minister in question, one of the main leaders in the church. If you can't figure it out, he is known for leading the Latin Ministry and for having a lot of kids.