The Dear Driscoll Site – Re: Mark Driscoll – Christians: Stop Supporting Driscoll, any church Driscoll runs, and Stop Supporting Guys Like Him!
Update below, July 2021. (Links to the Julie Roys July 2021 part 1 and 2 Mark Driscoll related podcasts below)
I recently became aware of this new site: (Link): “Dear Driscoll.”
Currently, at the top of that web page, is this remark, to give you some background on that site’s purpose:
This site was formed out of the need to centralize articles, videos, podcasts, and other items regarding recent events at The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, AZ and historical events from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA.
…-The Dear Driscoll Team
—- end —
Currently on the main page of the site is a lengthy letter by a guy named Chad Freese who used to work at Driscoll’s church in Arizona.
Freese says he and his wife attended Driscoll’s church for awhile, and for a few weeks, Freese was even employed as the church’s director of security.
I’ve not even read through one fourth of the guy’s letter yet (I’ve only read the first few sections), and I already have some observations and concerns.
Now, this Freese person sounds like a nice and conscientious person.
In the opening of his open letter, Freese write:
…I did not see these issues [”the pastor’s immoral, unethical, and unbiblical actions”] until I became part of the inner circle where I attended meetings and participated in “top-secret conversations.”
—- end excerpt —-
Also in the opening, he states:
My wife attended Mars Hill in 2007 and 2008. My family and I began watching your sermons online in early 2018 and later moved to Phoenix that fall and began attending Trinity in person.
—- end excerpt —-
How is it that someone bothered to attend any church run by Mark Driscoll at any point in time, especially in the last five to ten to fifteen years, and walk in not realizing what a spiritually abusive bully Mark Driscoll is?
We are living in the age of the internet.
Did this Freese guy NOT “google” Driscoll prior to visiting the church?
(I am typing this out of frustration that people continue to enable jerks like Driscoll, not to shame Freese.)
How did Freese not manage to see all the online exposes, news articles, You Tube videos, and blog posts, of people who warned about Driscoll?
Some of those warnings were from former members who had been bullied, harassed, or driven away by Mark Driscoll.
If you did a web search on Mark Driscoll and/or his church prior to attending, saw the articles, pod casts, blog posts and/or You Tube videos explaining what a terrible, bullying, egotistical jerk weed Driscoll is, what drove you to attend his church in spite of the prior warnings?
Knowing what I know about Mark Driscoll, I would never, ever willingly attend a church where I know he works or attends.
I would not so much as be-friend the man or say “hello” to him if I saw him walking down the street.
On the one hand, I am truly sorry if anyone has been victimized or terrorized by Mark Driscoll, but on the other hand,
I am having a difficult time mustering up empathy for people who have heard or read about Driscoll online in this day and age and yet still choose of their own volition to associate with the man, whether that means work for him or attend his church as “Average Joe Pew Sitter.”
Through-out this open letter, Freese says things such as…
Dear Pastor Mark,
I love you and have been in constant prayer for you, your family, and the church.
To say that you are a gifted and charismatic speaker would be an understatement…
Mathew 18:15-20 tells us how to handle issues if your brother sins against you. Many of us involved tried this approach many times over with no success. We brought concerns to your pastors and other staff members on numerous occasions. I brought many items of concern up to you directly, both face to face and over the phone.
Jesus is the perfect example of servant leadership….
…What I see missing from Trinity’s leadership is the value of relationships. You talk endlessly on stage about how you are driven by results. However, the concern is the lack of true pastoring and shepherding God’s people. The relational aspect is lacking, even with those working directly for you.
…There is a lot of talking about people, but not to people. How is this relational? How is this loving? How is this Christ-like?
— end excerpts —-
I highly suspect that Driscoll may have some kind of personality disorder, something like NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), something which more or less can not be treated, as many psychologists will attest.
(Some therapists and psychologists may say technically, NPD can be treated, but they will also explain that most people who have NPD don’t see an issue with their lifestyle and thinking processes, so they won’t see the need for therapy, so they won’t try to change their narcissistic, people-using ways… so basically, it’s an accurate short cut to say that narcissists cannot be treated.)
One of the things you will learn about those with NPD, such as with sociopaths and psychopaths, is that they lack empathy.
Narcissists only care about themselves and getting their own needs met.
Narcissists do not care if they have caused you hurt feelings, damaged your career or reputation, or whatever else.
I don’t know if Mark Driscoll is a verified, diagnosed Narcissist or not, but from this layman’s perspective, he sure shares some of the traits associated with NPD, such as … lack of empathy.
I mention all that because I see this Freese guy appealing to some sense of empathy in Driscoll, trying to reason with him in this open letter, imploring him to look at what the Bible says about how to find a healthy resolution to a dispute, etc.
Freese, I hope you realize, or come to realize, that not every one in the world is as kind and nice as you apparently are.
Driscoll doesn’t care about “being biblical,” he doesn’t care if he hurt your feelings, he doesn’t care about making things right, or about making restitution.
Driscoll doesn’t care about the lives of the men and women he ruined who went to his church.
Driscoll doesn’t care if he stressed out or ruined the lives of men who used to be in his employ.
Driscoll doesn’t care about relationships (ie., maintaining mutually beneficial, healthy relationships with others).
Driscoll has demonstrated that lack of caring and concern many times over the years; it’s all laid out in blogs, pod casts, and You Tube videos by people who knew him – who worked with or for him, or who attended his church in Seattle.
Driscoll only cares about himself and staying in power.
(And money. He probably cares about earning lots of money.)
Driscoll already has a huge ego – so when you praise him and tell him what an awesome preacher and public speaker he is, you’re only feeding the monster.
Speaking of relationships. Here are a few questions of concern. I am fully aware they are personal familial questions, but it shows a pattern of how you [Mark Driscoll] treat those that should be closest to you. This pattern carries over to the church staff and their behavior.
[At this point, Freese offers a somewhat long, bulleted list of all the instances he’s aware of where Driscoll was rude or abusive towards those in the church]
— end excerpts —
So, you, Freese, eventually “saw a pattern” of bullying, insensitive, or abusive behavior among those you knew first hand while you were going to Driscoll’s Arizona church.
But dude, did you not Google Driscoll prior to all this, that is, conduct a web search on Driscoll, to see the mountain of material out there already about Driscoll from his negative behavior at his Mars Hill church in Seattle, that he ran prior to the Arizona-based church?
Driscoll’s nasty, paranoid, power-hunger personality has been well-documented going back many years!
The New York Times has a 2009 article about Mark Driscoll entitled, “Who Would Jesus Smack Down?”
Various blogs and news sites, including The Wartburg Watch, Vox, and The Driscoll Controversy, Wenatchee The Hatchet, among many others, have been educating the public online for YEARS about Driscoll’s toxicity.
Driscoll was also in trouble (Link): for plagiarism almost a decade ago.
In this day and age of the internet, where most people have access to the internet, there’s no excuse not to do any research on a church or pastor at some of your local churches, if you are “church shopping.”
If you read the reams and reams of exposes on Driscoll, seeing the many people who have testified that the man is a monster, why did you choose to attend his church anyway?
Why would anyone at this point in time keep going to a church where Driscoll (or any pastor like him) runs the joint? Why would you step foot in such a toxic environment at the out-set?
Did you think Driscoll was mean and hateful to everyone else, but surely, he’d make an exception for you and treat you real nice?
That’s not how real life works.
If you’re over the age of 40, I’d expect you to know better by now.
I can see how naive teens, 20- or even 30- somethings may not know better, but if you’re middle-aged, you know if a person has shown they are mean and nasty towards others in your circle, you know eventually they will exhibit that same behavior towards you.
You will not be an exception!
Side Note – You Will NOT Be The Exception with Abusers and Bullies – Not at Work, Not in Friendships, Nor in Dating
(This is also a good life lesson for single adult women who are dating:
If you’re a single woman who is dating a man, and you see him treating other people poorly,
or if he complains that all the women he dated before you were awful (but he claims YOU are “different,” you’re loving, and a nice, special and a great lady, and you’re not like all the mean or selfish women he dated previously),
he will eventually treat YOU poorly too,
and one day, after he leaves you, he will tell his next dating target that YOU were one of those awful women he dated before.
You will NOT be exempt from this behavior or from these aspersions!
Same is true in platonic friendships, too:
I had to learn this the hard way in my 40s.
– I met women online who, after I spent years chatting with them, I thought they were friends, but while I noted early on that they had temper problems, they would insult their other women friends to me in the early stages of our online friendships,
I never thought they’d treat me that way.
But they did!
I honestly thought I was the exception to their nasty behavior, but several years later, yep, they all turned on me and began insulting me too and began lashing out
– not because I did anything wrong or hurtful to them (I was kind to them and treated them well),
but because they have very volatile, nasty personalities and anger management problems that cause them to eventually start seeing anyone in their life as traitors and treat even friends as enemies, etc.
So that is a big, red flag to look for, whether in a church setting, dating, or friendships – the person you meet in any of these venues, how you see them treat other people is how they will eventually treat you, and it may not happen immediately – it may happen in YEARS, but it will happen.)
Here are some other assorted, troubling tid bits that Freese lays out in his open letter – Mark Driscoll and his church sound like an insane asylum:
Young Pastors and Harassment
You [Mark Driscoll] have an incredibly young crew of pastors who lack discernment and professionalism on a deep level.
They slander, gossip, and curse church congregants and volunteers.
Your pastors consistently overreact and have even harassed people and kicked them off the property for crazy reasons, such as complimenting someone’s shoes and a lady’s name.
— end excerpt—
You [Mark Driscoll] have a staff of “yes men” that will do nearly anything you request, with little to no pushback. Some of them are scared to speak up because, as history with other pastors shows, they will get fired or sued.
Yeah, as I was saying above, Driscoll sounds like a narcissist, or he likely has some other sort of personality disorder, where lack of empathy is a known hallmark.
Making appeals to Driscoll to act nicer, more loving, godly, or more “like Jesus” will fall on deaf ears.
You’re basically asking Driscoll to have and display empathy, which is a quality that some people with some types of mental health disorders are INCAPABLE or unwilling to display
(-and again, I am convinced Driscoll has some kind of mental health or personality disorder,
if not some deep-seated hang-ups that cannot be fixed by “loving” on him, or appealing to his better nature,
or asking him to “be biblical” or “act like Jesus,”
which are all common approaches that many naive, well-meaning Christians make towards guys like Driscoll.)
For some of the people with mental health disorders (depending on what those disorders are), their prime motivations may revolve around (on a deeper level), avoiding things that trigger a feeling of shame or abandonment, but on the surface, they are all about accumulating money, power, and having their egos stroked.
Another tip off for me that Driscoll may be a flaming Narcissist is this blog post at Wenatchee The Hatchet, of which I want to present you an excerpt:
Below: excerpts (I will not be pasting in the entire list or post):
See, Mark [Driscoll] cannot but help but constantly rank and evaluate whole categories and individuals on the basis of utility. Consider this set of number-ranked categories:
+1 Old Acquaintances Not in regular, meaningful contact
– Past relationships such as classmates, teammates, coworkers, neighbors, etc.
+2 Distant Relatives Little regular contact other than when obligated
– Family event (funeral, wedding, reunion, holidays)
…+8 Fellowship “Church Family”
– Bible study group, ministry partners
— end —-
That sounds very much like an NPD (narcissistic) person would do: rank people based on their usefulness to the narcissist.
One recurring theme I picked up when learning about narcissists is that they will only keep you in their life so long as they perceive you as being useful to them, so long as you are willing and capable of meeting their needs.
That Mark Driscoll has a “ranking” system where he scores people he knows personally (friends, family members, co-workers, etc) on such a system tells me he’s a user, which is indicative of narcissism.
One of your overseers, Jimmy Evans, spoke about Church Governance at The Trinity Church. He said some remarkable things about how translocal governance doesn’t work.
— end excerpt —
Slightly off topic here, but Jimmy Evans semi – regularly insults single adults in his TBN program where he gives marriage advice.
I’ve blogged on Evans before, such as:
Jimmy Evans cannot opine on marriage or singleness correctly, so I’d be suspect of him being competent at anything else in life, especially any thing relationship- or church- related.
So, returning to that section of Freese’s letter again (“Organizational Structure and Eldership”), Freese writes:
How can your [Mark Driscoll’s] overseers execute the duties required when they are translocal?
How can anyone in the church, especially staff, raise concern when the elders are not accessible and your pastors, including you, have a decorated history in mistreating people in egregious ways, including immediately kicking people out of the church for simply bringing up a serious concern?
— end —
Pardon my language, Christians who are sensitive to R-rated language, but Mark Driscoll is a pastor in name only and doesn’t give a shit about you, your needs, your feelings, or abiding by what is considered “loving, biblical” leadership.
The sooner you accept the fact that Driscoll is an abusive jerk-face who is all about himself, and that he quite possibly has a hard to treat personality disorder, the sooner you can grieve, mourn, and let go of him and your time at his church or under his teachings and move forward in life.
And learn the lesson – there are other weasels like Driscoll out there, including ones who say they are Christian!
Including ones who have a job title of “preacher.”
There have been occasions where church members have wanted to assist with planting and growing some ministry presence at other churches and organizations.
They were told this is a family business, and they needed to keep it in-house.
Out of curiosity, what would Jesus say about this? Isn’t the Church the body of Christ, not a building or business, and are we not called to go out and spread the Gospel?
As Ron Wheeler shared: “You can’t preach Jesus and then force your people to not compete with you in spreading the gospel.”
— end —
It’s not “about Jesus” or “spreading the Gospel” – not with Mark Driscoll or people like him.
If you or any former Mark Driscoll church attendee still honestly thinks Driscoll is a “true Christian,” or you think Driscoll actually gives a fig about other people or about spreading the Christian faith, you will continue to be duped by Driscoll and others like him.
I was barely a minute or two into the briefing when you [Mark Driscoll] interrupted me to give me an overview of your background as a Pastor. You proceeded to talk endlessly about yourself, saying things like,
“I have the fastest growing church in the nation. I have the largest ministry presence in the southwest United States. My content reaches more people per month than any other church, and in December alone, I hit over 10 million people around the globe. Every church in the valley is shutting down, and I am exploding. It’s miraculous how quickly I have grown.”
— end —
I’m not a psychiatrist, licensed therapist… but… I’ve lived long enough, and have read enough articles BY actual mental health professionals to tell you, Driscoll shows the signs of having Narcissism (or something else equally bad).
So of course, Driscoll is going to brag about himself and make the Christian faith all about him, him, and him. I would expect nothing less.
It was all about numbers [to Mark Driscoll]. It was apparent to me that “It’s all about Driscoll.”
— end —
Then there are eye popping admissions like this:
You [Mark Driscoll] struggled with balancing the paranoia with your ego, to the point of installing a firearm safe with assault rifles in your office and even having your detail carry collapsible carbines around campus.
…Having your entourage escort you from the parking lot to your office, to the sanctuary and back to the office, then back to the parking lot, and even driving you to and from your house is a tad dramatic and over the top by any stretch of the imagination.
— end excerpts —
The reality is nobody cares enough about Mark Driscoll to want to physically harm him. That is a fantasy he lives with – he wants and needs attention and to believe he’s more important than he is.
Under the (Link): “Isolation” section:
People put you [Mark Driscoll] on a pedestal and treated you like a deity, as this was the dynamic created by you and your staff.
Somewhere along the way, it all changed.
— end excerpt —
WOW! to this next part:
Pastor Mark, you are doing the same thing here at Trinity. You currently have an engineering team working on drafting the plans to blast a hole through the concrete and steel wall backstage to have a private entrance into your office from behind stage so you “don’t have to deal with being interrupted by people.”
— end excerpts —
Under the (Link): “Covid” section of the letter, Freese mentions that although some of the church staff had COVID in December, that they didn’t inform church members of it, and they didn’t close the church, but continued operating as usual.
Which prompted Freese to say:
It was apparent the church was more concerned with numbers than people’s health.
—- end excerpts —
At another point, Freese seems to be saying that a church staffer, a ‘Paul W.,’ may have suspected child abuse by another church staffer but a church staffer (that same security member, Paul W.) was dismissed over it:
This happened [staffer Paul W. was kicked out of the church] because he attempted to report an incident that involved a staff member, and it would be too damning for the church and the Driscoll brand.
—- end —-
Other tid bits from this open letter:
You [Mark Driscoll] and your staff’s paranoia are on a whole other level which was the driving factor in this situation spinning out of control.
—- end —-
That sounds like a vast under statement!
Then there’s this weirdness:
On Wednesday, March 24th, 2021, you [Mark Driscoll] discovered that Angelo Manuele’s 15-year-old son had kissed your 17-year-old daughter. Brandon pulled Vince into his office to question him about the incident, to which he got angry and went off on him, a kid two years younger than your daughter.
—- end —-
In regards to that same dispute above (this is referring to Driscoll church employees):
William was pushing for information and wanted to know what was going on. Landon yelled at William, “shut the f*ck up and just do your f*cking job!”.
— end excerpt —
That excessive amount of unnecessary anger, getting upset over two teens consensually kissing, and the number of “F bombs” signals something is very, very wrong, unhealthy, and toxic about Mark Driscoll and most of those who choose to associate with him.
None of that reads like “loving, Christ-like,” or even normal, behavior to me.
And especially this:
In another Angelo [father of teen boy Vincent, who Driscoll was fine threatening, or having his security team harass] security meeting, you and Brandon discussed how you had tripled your litigation fund to approximately $10 million. You said something along the lines of
“If Angelo crosses me, I will just bankrupt him and bleed him dry in court. It is a numbers game. I guarantee you he runs out of money before I do.”
You followed that up with, “In fact, that goes for anyone.” You continued to talk horribly about Angelo and said,
“Hell, he’s a broke-ass dad that could not financially take care of his son. He only tithes $25 per month. He doesn’t have much money so bankrupting him will be easy.”
— end excerpts —-
As he goes on, Freese mentions that members, or at least staffers, of Driscoll’s church have their social media accounts monitored – and not just for content, but Driscoll wants to know who the staff follows or friends on social media.
Talk about controlling behavior and paranoia.
Freese also explains how Driscoll has cameras stationed all around the church grounds, and that his security team eavesdrops on conversations people are having, including volunteers, via these camera recordings.
Freese also mentions Driscoll’s bizarre “spectrum of trust” thing, where people are rated in such a way that only those with the best ratings have access to Driscoll and his family
(again, nobody actually cares that much about Driscoll or his family – not enough to harm them. Driscoll wants to think he’s famous or important enough that he has stalkers and people who want to take him out.
But nobody gives this guy that much thought. It’s all in his imagination.)
I’m not surprised to see the casual sexism of Team Driscoll:
Pastor Brandon [guy who works at Driscoll’s church] stated, “the wives [of church members] are too emotional and can’t cut personal friendships with people the church no longer associates with. The men do not typically have that problem, but if they can’t get their wives under control and lead their houses effectively, then their score drops too”.
—- end —
Nice stereotypes – women are “emotional,” and husbands should “get their wives under control…” Such sexist horseshit – but this is Mark Driscoll and his church, so I’m not terribly surprised.
Down the page, Freese enumerates other issues with Driscoll, like how Driscoll threatens people with lawsuits, and so on.
Also discussed – Driscoll’s wife tells women in the church to unfriend (defriend? whatever the word is) people she and/or her spouse Mark to not trust or approve of.
Towards the end, he writes (this is directed towards Driscoll):
Please [Mark Driscoll,] repent, resign, and step down and away from Trinity. The Trinity Church family needs a Senior Pastor that can lead by a Biblical example.
—- end —-
That’s not going to happen.
That will never happen.
I apologize for being so repetitive, but – Driscoll has deep-seated mental health issues.
As Driscoll is not going to step down, nor ever offer genuine apologies or make amends with anyone, the best thing anyone could do is to stay away from him.
That includes: stop attending his church if you are – quit! Leave!
And do not support Driscoll by purchasing any of his books or other materials, whether via Amazon or his online presence (his church site or where ever he asks for donations, tithes, or sells his content).
If Driscoll wants to earn a pay check, let him get a “non-religious” type occupation where he has no authority over other employees.
I’m not big into the liberal “cancel culture,” but Driscoll is obviously unsuited to work as a pastor, and, I’d argue, he should not be in any sort of management position over anyone else, because he is a workplace bully.
UPDATES. July 2021
There is a part one and a part two below.
The cultic activities of Mark Driscoll and The Trinity Church have escalated to a whole new level. As Julie’s guests describe on this edition of The Roys Report, Driscoll is now sending cease and desist letters, threatening to sue whistleblowers.
And the threat is not in vain. Driscoll reportedly has amassed a $10 million dollar litigation fund to sue whistleblowers into oblivion.
Despite this, two men cannot remain silent. And on this edition of The Roys Report, they’ll tell you the stories Mark Driscoll doesn’t want you to hear.
You’ll hear about a couple who reported their concerns about a staff member violating child safety protocols, who were then abruptly kicked out of the church the same day.
You’ll hear about Mark’s abusive behavior towards his staff behind closed doors—and the “yes men” who take it. And you’ll hear about the paranoid claims Driscoll makes about his days at Mars Hill, claiming people were trying to kill him and members of his family, and that’s why they all have PTSD.
Hinn also said Driscoll offers pastors whom he privately coaches something called the “Driscoll contract.” This reportedly is a contract that ensures that the lead pastor is paid a “ridiculous amount of money if fired, and basically makes it so that he cannot be fired (except for blatant adultery).”
She says Mark Driscoll’s cult-like demand for loyalty has driven a wedge in her family. Simply because Monea associated with a family that had been kicked out of Driscoll’s new church, The Trinity Church, her daughter and son-in-law severed their relationships with Monea, her husband, and their four other kids.
(Link): Obnoxious and Sexist Preacher Mark Driscoll Wants Christian Singles to Stay Single Indefinitely – And Even Though Unwanted, Prolonged Singleness has Been a Huge Issue For Christian Singles for A Couple Decades Now – Driscoll: ‘Christians should not marry pro choicers’
(Link): Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias