(Intro) (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (En Español)
So that fateful day, not too many months after the lies, stealing, and threats, described in the part one and part two of my story, VGSr asked to meet with me and my wife at his apartment, which was near where I lived.
We went there and met him, and he had another married couple there waiting, DJ and VJ. VGSr told me that he was concerned about how I was doing spiritually. (The issue was that I had not given my weekly $$$ to the church for the previous couple of weeks). I told him that I was not sure if I wanted to remain a member of the church, and that I did not see eye to eye with the church on some different issues any more (I won't bore you with the details about the differences in beliefs right here, but might do so later for those interested in such things).
VGSr got very mad. He started telling me why I was so wrong and messed up, that I would become an enemy of God and end up going to hell...
"And if you should want to move back to [the author's home state], you better be sure that I will step in and try to convince your wife to leave you so she can stay here and be part of the church." (Strike one)
VGSr then immediately turns to my wife: "I know you love God very much, so you would obviously leave your husband so you could stay here with the church and be with God, right?" (Strike two)
(My wife does not respond.)
VGSr, leaning in towards my wife and pointing at me: "He already helped you get your papers, so you know that you don't need him any more." (Strike three)
(My wife does not respond.)
VGSr and his wife, along with DJ and VJ, were forming a unified front. For some reason I actually thought that someone else in the room would think that what was being said was crazy. But I would have been wrong. VGSr's loud wife loudly interjected to attack me. DJ, who had up to this point been a pretty good friend of mine, also mindbogglingly (to me) also tried to chime in to defend VGSr. Even DJ's wife VJ sat by giving support to VGSr's words through her body language.
So moments later, totally shellshocked by what was transpiring, I stood up and told them that the discussion was over, and my wife, baby and I left the apartment.
I talked to VGSr a couple of times after this, asking him to take back what he had said, and he refused. He instead repeated the threats each time I talked to him.
I also talked to DJ on two occasions afterwards, asking him to admit that he had been wrong in defending VGSr's threats, and he refused, trying to spin the conversation around to what he thought I was doing wrong. Damon, I was incredibly disappointed in you as both a friend and as a person for that. But you otherwise seem pretty reasonable and I think that you will some day be very, very sorry this and other things that the church has had you do.
I also went and talked to Kip, who instead of trying to fix things in any way, personally repeated VGSr's threats to me. Kip actually made these threats to me on two different occasions, saying that he would step in and try to get my wife to leave me rather than let her move somewhere where he did not have a church. Remind me again why people accuse Kip of being a cult leader and the church of being a cult?
So things had been rocky at church, but this was too much. Church leaders (and friends at that) directly threatening to try to destroy my marriage and family? I never thought I would see the day.