Saturday, July 19, 2014


A few days ago, Stacey Solie published a very thorough summary of what has been happening lately at Mars Hill.

Stacey Solie is a Seattle-based reporter, writer and editor and an adjunct at the University of Washington where she leads narrative non-fiction workshops for scientists. She has contributed to The New York Times, The Daily Beast, The Seattle Times and was the founding editor of The Science Chronicles, an environmental conservation monthly. Follow her @staceysolie

If you haven't been following, read the entire article here: Inside Mars Hill's Massive Meltdown

Some excerpts:

"As insiders begin to open up, financial scandals are also rising to the surface. Former pastors say the church is being run more like a cutthroat business, where people who give up their secular jobs to serve the church are then abruptly fired on a whim. The threat of witholding severance pay is used to secure their silence in the form of non-disclosure agreements and non-compete clauses. But several former pastors have now refused to comply.

Recently, a former member started a petition at requesting financial transparency. It asks Driscoll to reveal his salary, which is estimated by a few insiders I spoke to to be somewhere in the ballpark of $900,000, and it raises questions about how much of the $2 million donated to the church's Global Fund in the 2012-2013 fiscal year actually made it to Ethiopia and India."

"Currently, attendance is down by 1000 people at the church's Bellevue meetinghouse, a former member told me. Almost the entire staff has turned over, with an estimated 40 pastors and hundreds of staff who quit, fired or were laid off in the last two years."

"Even the subtitle of Real Marriage — "The Truth About Sex, Friendship & Love" — implies that reality has, until now, been in short supply.

In the book, co-written by Grace Driscoll, she is frank and forthcoming about the abusive relationship she was in prior to meeting Mark in high school. This previous boyfriend was possessive, controlled her schedule, stalked her, and sexually assaulted her.

This abuse contributed to her emotional numbness and dissassociation during sex, she said, and she kept the story hidden for most of her life, out of a sense of shame. She seems to be in the middle of her healing process, and does not seem to have a clear idea that being sexually assaulted was not her fault.

While Mrs. Driscoll is bravely bringing to light extremely personal struggles in her life, Mr. Driscoll seems more interested in focusing on other people.

About his childhood, he mentions a series of disturbing influences."

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