Friend caught up in crazy cult church run by cop & judge (long but interesting)

Short version: My mom’s friend is involved in a cultish church, run by a local police officer and attended by a local judge. When her son stopped attending the church, they called the FBI on him, had him put in a mental hospital, and sabotaged other aspects of his life. It disturbs me that local officials with great power are involved in a cult like this.

Long version: My mom’s friend, let’s call her “Betty,” has been attending this very strange church. The “pastor” is a local county police officer, and the church services are these 12-hour marathon services, where they only get a few bathroom breaks. These services involve much “rebuking” and criticism of the membership for anything and everything. A prominent member of the church is a local county judge.

Here’s an example illustrating the weirdness of the church: During one recent 12-hour church service, a young woman raised her hand to ask for permission from the pastor to use the bathroom, because she was on her period and had overflowed her pad. The pastor proceeded to rebuke and condemn the girl for getting menstrual blood on the seat, thereby “soiling” church property - menstrual blood is “dirty” and a woman’s period is when she is cleansed of sins, etc.

Back to Betty - she has a son - let’s call him “Jason,” who is about 25 years old, and who used to attend the church with her but later became skeptical of the church and religion as a whole and stopped attending. He subsequently became active in the local Libertarian party and is actually the party’s candidate for local office in the upcoming election. He has a campaign web site which extols his Libertarian ideals. Some of the stuff he writes is a little “out there,” but pretty innocuous standard Libertarian stuff.

So the pastor has proceeded to demonize Betty’s son, constantly berating Betty about her son’s evilness. Here’s a recent example: Jason wanted to get rid of some furniture, so he offered to give it to a family from the church. Betty and Jason drove the furniture over to the family’s house, and the family invited them to stay for dinner… Well when the pastor found out about this, he got very angry at Betty and the family. He rebuked them harshly at the next church service, criticizing the family for taking the furniture and for having Jason in their house and inviting him for dinner. The pastor MADE the family give back the furniture.

Here’s where it gets worse. The pastor reported Jason to the FBI for his political writings, saying he was dangerous. I am serious!! The FBI actually began an investigation of Jason, and thoroughly interviewed Betty about her son’s activities.

Most recently, the pastor talked Betty into involuntarily committing Jason to a mental hospital!!! When Jason arrived, they interviewed him and he said he was a Libertarian candidate for Congress, and was under investigation by the FBI - which is true. When the psychiatrists heard this, they thought he was schizophrenic, and started him on anti-schizo drugs. However, after more examination they found that there was absolutely nothing wrong with Jason, and they released him after a week. When the pastor found out that Jason had been released and that Betty did not call him right away to tell him, he got very angry.

Also, Jason is scheduled to be interviewed by a local radio station in regards to his candidacy in the political race. The pastor and the judge drilled Betty to find out when and where this interview would be, and the pastor is going to call ahead of the interview to inform the reporter about how evil Jason is.

This church would be disturbing in and of itself, but the fact that it’s run by a local police officer, and attended by a local judge, it’s quite scary. One example of this is that the pastor/police officer will sit in the judge’s courtroom and monitor her. So clearly this judge’s “judgment” is being directly influenced by this wacky church and this police officer/pastor.

My question is, is there anything I can/should do to expose this?

Oh my Lord! This sounds like the plot of some crazy movie.

I don’t have any advice. I wish I did.

Wow. How does one file a complaint against a judge?

The judge is presumptively a member of the Virginia State Bar Association. They have the power to disbar him.

How to file a misconduct inquiry about a lawyer in Virginia.

However, I’m not certain that disbarrment would automatically result in this person losing his judges position. Judges are appointed in Virginia, by the General Assembly. You could contact your assemblyman.

Just for the record, the judge is a woman… I wonder, however, what power I have to complain since I am not directly involved. Perhaps I could talk to Jason and suggest that he make a complaint?

The church has Betty so brainwashed… my mom is trying very hard to help her get away from the church. Recently my mom had her friend invite Betty to his church (which is not a cult) and Betty went and enjoyed it… but I am sure that her pastor would get very angry if he found out that Betty went to another church.

Generally, local media LOVES stories about corrupt judges…

The name and location of the church in question would be a start.

Yes, I do have this - I just didn’t post it here to keep the privacy of Betty and Jason… I did Google the church but have found nothing. They are a very small and insular church. They don’t even have their own building - they meet in a school or something like that.

If I were you, I’d definitely contact the local newspaper and TV stations with your concerns about the judge.
(More than one, just in case one of the ones you contact happens to be involved in this craziness)

Judges in each state are generally not reviewed by the bar association (sitting judges are not permitted to practice law in most jurisdictions), but by a separate body. In Virginia, it’s the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission. This is their FAQ page. It is possible for anyone to file a complaint against a judge for, among other things, “allowing family, social or other relationships to influence judgment.”

However, there is nothing in the OP to indicate that there is a basis to file a complaint against this judge. The OP essentially says that the judge is a member of a church; that church holds longer than normal meetings; the head of that church is a police officer; that police officer is very controlling when acting as head of the church; that police officer has sat in on sessions in the judge’s courtroom (which are by law required to be open to the public).

I’m not the OP, so maybe there’s more to this, but I don’t see a basis for a complaint.

This is a possibility… but speaking as a former newspaper reporter myself, it might be hard since I don’t have any real proof, only a story. Local news outlets might be hesitant to pick up this story since it would be hard to flesh it out, unless you went undercover for an extended period of time…

I agree, it’s hard to get any solid proof. Like I said above, you’d have to go undercover for a while, and examine the judge’s cases for evidence of bias.

But it’s still scary as hell that someone who sits in judgment and has so much power is involved in something like this, and who is under the control of a wacko pastor/police officer. It’s also very disturbing what they’ve done to Jason, Betty’s son.

The legitimate complaint that I see, first, is that the mental institution that Jason was taken to held him for a full week. On the basis of completely accurate and factual statements that he made that they didn’t care to check.
That is completely unsat. And needs to have an elephant fall on them for that. May I suggest that you direct Jason to contact NAMI, and let their local media contact help him start making a fuss about that?

Alas, if he did that, there’d be enough people to believe the “where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” and doom his candidacy based on that. I can understand if he’d prefer to wait until after the election cycle, though he’d probably do better to strike while the iron’s hot.

BTW, it may be that the pastor has already put himself into hot water: I believe that making malicious and misleading reports to any police agency, including the FBI, is a misdemenor, and may even be a crime. Either way, it may be enough to cost the paster his police job.

Again, the one who needs to make the complaint is Jason and if he hasn’t told the FBI that he believes this investigation to be motivated by spite and malice, he should.

Yes I agree with you on all points - however, I’m not in contact with Jason, although I do have his e-mail address from his campaign web site, which I have seen… maybe I will contact him. It seems to me that many injustices have been done to him.

It’s hard to believe that a mental hospital can hold you against your will for that long, and drug you for an ailment they have no proof you have, based on your political writings (even if they are extreme).

I doubt that the reason was his political writing - rather the word of his closest family saying he was dangerously disconnected from reality.

As for how long people can be held against their will. It varies from state to state. In NY it’s 72 hours max to hold someone without a court hearing. (With 96 hours being allowed over the weekend.) And even there, a social worker is supposed to interview the patient and address his or her concerns. AIUI the treatment you describe, in NY, would open up the facility to kidnapping charges, as well as malpractice.

Wait–so the cop or the judge rebuked that one woman re menstrual blood for getting it on what? The desks? The auditorium seats? :confused: Does this church bring in its own seats?

Call the local paper or news channel–they would like a local story like this one. You can do it anonymously.

Yes, the pastor/police officer angrily rebuked the girl publicly for “soiling” the seat (don’t know what type of seat) with menstrual blood, since menstrual blood, by definition, is “dirty” since menstruation is a woman being cleaned of sin - and how dare she allow that to happen in a holy place.

What eleneanor is confused about is why the pastor would care so much about that even though they meet ad hoc in a school, which I guess is infused with Holy for their 12 hour marathons and then goes back to being farted on (and worse) by students the rest of the time.

These people aren’t rational. Its concentrated evil that women ooze out their hoohas during that time and she allowed it to leak and thus taint the holy atmosphere with her corruption. Because of this, all of them are now stained with her blood and might not be able to get in Heaven, because its washed the blood of Jeebus off of them. If they pray real hard, however, they might just be able to convince Jeebus they’re sorry and they won’t let it happen again.

(On a serious note, they might very well do some kind of “purification ritual”/covering things up with sacred cloths before a service.)

If whatshername’s Libertarian son is old enough to run for congress, how the hell could she “involuntarily commit” him to a mental institution? How can a church use a school building to hold its meetings in unless the school district rents its buildings out for public use? As far as your involvement with your mother’s friend goes, I’d recommend staying out of the entire affair. If any adult person is willing to voluntarily sit through twelve hours of insanity on a repetitive basis, there isn’t much to be done IMHO.

I don’t think he actually cared about a blood-stained chair - it’s that the pastor wants to keep firm control over every aspect of the church members’ lives, including only allowing a few bathroom breaks during the long service. So this girl dared to raise her hand to ask to go to the bathroom, and he decided he had to humiliate her to teach her a lesson or keep her in line. That’s what it seems like to me. It was also an opportunity for him to denigrate and belittle women. Who know what is going through this guy’s mind, he’s clearly a wacko.