Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chicago Tribune: Abuse Allegations Aimed At Jesus People Commune

Filmmaker Jaime Prater
photo by Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune
By Manya Brachear Pashman
Tribune Reporter

A recent lawsuit and a new video documentary raise allegations of sexual abuse in decades past in a cloistered, evangelical commune in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.

Heather Kool, 38, who now lives in Georgia, alleges in the lawsuit that she was abused in the 1980s by members of Jesus People USA, one of the last vestiges of a religious movement that emerged in the renowned “Summer of Love” of 1967.

The lawsuit names the commune and the Evangelical Covenant Church, a Chicago-based denomination that has considered the Jesus People one of its congregations since 1989. Kool’s lawsuit does not identify anyone who allegedly abused her.

The legal action sets the stage for a new documentary available Friday in which Kool and a half-dozen others share their accounts of alleged abuse at the religious commune.

“I loved being part of a family,” Kool said in the film, describing her growing up in the commune. Continue Reading

1 comment:

  1. Now begins the trashing of these people and their families. It will get ugly. The Evangelical Covenant Church is using their "Bylaws" of hands off accountability, to distance themselves from the Jesus People Church. Jesus People will lie and distort these accusations as a small group of disgruntled adults who can't get over the "perception" of how it really happened. Add that to the defense of all these kids had parents whom apparently were in agreement with the guidelines set in place by the church leadership and the pot gets stirred again. This church will shoot its wounded and say "depart from us, you were never involved or supported the true vision. Jesus People has two choices. A. these are all false accusations. B. This is true and we will do what Jesus would do to restore these people. Odds are (A), B is just to much work for these spiritual giants.