Jeff Crippen is not safe. He is the man he preaches against. I had been warned, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I was wrong. I started this blog with my first post in an effort to expose his abuse in order to warn abuse victims to prevent him from hurting anyone else. I documented his abuse hiding in plain sight.
In this second post, I am presenting further confirmation of his pattern of abuse. I was contacted by an individual who self-identified as someone who had attended Jeff’s church in Tillamook. With the individual’s permission, I am providing excerpts of our direct message conversations. I am using a pseudonym, Chris, to protect the individual’s identity. I believe Chris. Words in square brackets are my edits to condense information while providing clarity.
“Jeff Crippen is absolutely abusive, narcissistic, and everything he claims to be against…”
“I’ve wished many times that all of those who were there would speak out, but the overall consensus seems to be that everyone just wants to remain quiet and move on. Many of those were complicit in [his abuse], until they fell in the wrong side of it. Some have apologized. Others haven’t. I do understand [due to geographical proximity to Jeff]. If we were all to speak up, I would feel more bold about it.”
“I don’t know if you’ve heard anything from anyone who actually attended his church. It’s nothing like he rewrote that history to be. We weren’t all ‘unsaved’. It was a warm and loving community that he killed.”
“As I researched and wrote I could see his real character uncovered…”
“I wish more people knew. Much of his writing seems to make it obvious, but he’s still so widely recommended…”
“Tillamook is a small community of …[close] to 5,000 now… During its largest, the church may have approached 180-200 people…it continued to shrink thereafter.
[Note: Jeff, in a June 6, 2018 post entitled, “The Reason Churches Protect Abusers and Cast Out Victims,” stated his church is down to 30 people now. Hyperlink is provided later in this post.]
I have read Crippen’s letter to other pastors following the abuse scandal that rocked his church.[https://cryingoutforjustice.blog/2012/09/06/abuse-and-pastors-an-open-letter-from-a-pastor-to-pastors/.] As a matter of fact, I know the families involved…These were my people. I had great hope when I read that, and everything Jeff was [blogging about]. I hoped he had changed. That he would begin seeking out those he had abused and hurt, repenting, and seeking forgiveness. However, those who were still in the church continued to leave, and with them were coming more of the same stories. He hadn’t changed. His focus simply had, but his desire for control remained the same. [Emphasis Mine]
I have many idyllic…memories in the church… However, tides began to shift slowly under Crippen. The theology became Reformed, and with it, women were allowed fewer and fewer liberties. This he more or less conceded in his letter [to pastors.] Women weren’t even allowed …prayer requests in Sunday school. They had to tell a man to voice them [which was problematic for any families without fathers or sons present. Crippen’s advice if a woman was abused:] ‘Submit…and trust God.’”
“Being in that church was more or less like being the frog that was slowly boiled to death. You didn’t realize how much things had changed until one day you realized your life had been sucked out of you [particularly for the women who couldn’t voice prayer requests and if they asked a question; they] were told ‘you shouldn’t even be thinking to ask those things.’”
“On Wednesday nights Crippen would read biographies of Christian missionaries. I remember one in which the figure beat a boy. Not this man’s finer moment. But Crippen and [some] other men in church thought it was great that this Christian leader was keeping this boy in line—all because the boy wouldn’t recite the Lord’s prayer to him—a stranger.
But despite everything, Crippen tries to depict in his blog about all of these [conflicts] that happened in his congregation not being [his fault, being the fault of his congregants], I can assure you, he was just as [culpable]. After Crippen’s open letter [to pastors], one family left because the man [in the family] was discipling a young man outside the church’s supervision. This family had been in the church for 30 years. Crippen asked him to stop [discipling the boy], because it wasn’t an approved church activity. He didn’t, because he didn’t believe he needed the church’s permission to disciple a teenage boy who’d asked him to do so. Later, Crippen told this man’s adult son (who had grown up in the church) that he didn’t believe his parents were saved because they weren’t submitting to the church. I’ll say it again. This is after Crippen’s [open] letter [to pastors].
“Most who have left Crippen’s church simply want to silently melt into the background… However, it has been discussed that it’s amazing the way he’s painted himself a victim of his congregation. That has left us all absolutely dumbfounded.
I realize that apart from an act of God, light will likely never be shed on Jeff Crippen, and who he actually is. I can only hope that, perhaps, those who are familiar enough with how intelligent abusers are could perhaps leave a small window in their minds open for the possibility that Jeff, too, is one who has managed to talk a good talk while simultaneously exerting powerful control over his own congregation.
However, I can assure you, that he has not lost numbers from his congregation over ditching patriarchy, or any number of things he espouses. It has been, quite simply, because he himself is a power-hungry spiritual abuser of his flock…
So much more happened over so many years, and this is simply the bare (very bare) bones of it, and it was hard to write even this. All I ask is…consideration that Jeff might, too, be an abuser, and one that used his intelligence and clever manipulation into a platform for himself.
Have you seen any of his more recent posts in which he’s profiling people under pseudonyms? He confidently condemns the entire community…[of Tillamook] as evil, and justifies his abandoning ministry to that community. He also states that he believes the vast majority of those he’s pastored have never been saved.”
“I didn’t see that. I haven’t been following his websites. I just glanced now. I see he’s profiled three people on his most recent Light for Dark Times post, making them sound like liars steeped in sin. Where did he state he’s abandoning ministry to the community? I believe you. I’d just be interested to read it…”
“This one: https://web.archive.org/web/20210904002322/https:/lightfordarktimes.com/2021/01/22/an-appearance-of-godliness-case-studies-in-evil-part-11/ He actually did it [abandoned ministry to the community] while I was still there…But he’s [now] admitting it publicly… He says his “energies were not to be expended any longer ministering to this community.”
“I’ve been going through his [old blog] posts, looking for a couple in particular that I haven’t found yet. This one disturbs me, but maybe because I was there for so long: you-were-right-all-along-lets-start-listening-to-the-spirit-of-christ. So very many people were excommunicated by Jeff, and shunned. I’m not sure who ‘Mr. Pillar’ is, but I’m doubtful that whoever they were discussing deserved excommunication.”
“This is Jeff, 100%: https://cryingoutforjustice.blog/2014/07/07/abusers-expose-themselves-some-early-warning-signs-to-watch-for/. He described himself. He was always ascribing motives to others.”
“Here he accuses the congregation of abusing him from the start: https://cryingoutforjustice.blog/2014/04/30/how-abuse-steals-away-the-connections-we-need-for-emotional-health/.”
“And this. He claims outrage over finding this shortly after coming to the church in the early 90s:.https://cryingoutforjustice.blog/2013/07/22/a-typical-horror-story-from-an-old-box-of-church-records/ Yet [after he came, nothing was reason enough for divorce except adultery].”
“I spent much time scrolling through last night. He makes so many claims of abuse by the congregation towards him. I imagine it sounds plausible if you don’t know him well. And many of his elders did become abusive towards the congregation as well. However, Jeff was most definitely highly abusive, but he’s always the victim in his retellings.”
“It was clearly a huge issue to him when members were concerned that he was moving to Beaver, which is a community south of Tillamook, and the church is located slightly north of Tillamook. Most families lived within 10 minutes of the church, and he was moving about 30 minutes from the church—so by tiny town standards, not close at all. The concern was that he wouldn’t be available to care for members. However, I recall him saying at one point that his responsibility as pastor was to preach the word, not provide pastoral care, or something to that effect. And frankly, [people] got virtually nothing from him. There were other supportive members, but he gave the typical advice, and didn’t really get involved. That, compounded by the ever increasing spiritual abuse made for some really horrific years.”
“I feel like it’s all so fragmented, and probably difficult to see if you weren’t there. I can totally understand saying ‘yeah!’ if you don’t know, but so many of his examples of being abused himself are really fuzzy. The church, including the elders, turned into a legalistic, toxic mess under him. There are always people in a congregation who have issues, but he completely changed it.”
“He mentioned in one of his articles that a church can shrink either because the pastor is abusive, or because the people aren’t saved and can’t tolerate the gospel, and his is the latter. Nope.”
“I get what you are saying. That’s why I had such a hard time writing the paper and it took me months (on and off). I had been warned, but gave him the benefit of the doubt and I was wrong. His treatment of Barbara, his ignoring my comments, followed by his sabotaging the ACFJ web site completely blew his cover/disguise with me. The more I dug into researching, the angrier I got. His abuse hides in plain sight. The pattern became clear, but to illustrate it I had to draw a picture from a bazillion fragments. I used a few church illustrations that he wrote about where he played the victim, but he was clearly the aggressor. I’ve wondered if you were familiar with the actual situations. I don’t have it in front of me, but he was abusive of a couple women leading music and tried to claim a woman leading a Bible study in her home had to be accountable to the church / that the study belongs to the church.”
“I’ve read those. I’m pretty sure…who the woman leading music was… He pretty much killed any music stuff… Choir died. Children’s choir died. Everything had to be to his exact specifications and approval.”
“I do very much recall some upset about the fact that the church adjourned at noon, and [he] was stubborn about the fact that he always preached until noon. So that meant that church wouldn’t get out until at least 12:20. Eventually, he preached until at least 12:15 or 12:20. A minimum of an hour.”
“I still can’t read the book of Romans. He spent 3 years, I think, preaching through it. A minimum of an hour per Sunday. Basically, beating us over the head with it. Lots of ‘if you do, x, y, or z, you probably aren’t saved.’”
“He profiles a bunch of people here: http://web.archive.org/web/20210904003444/https:/lightfordarktimes.com/2019/05/24/let-me-show-you-what-a-den-of-robbers-church-really-looks-like-an-inside-view/…The ‘Jack’ of ‘Jack and Jill’ did have trouble controlling his temper—after he had a stroke at an unexpectedly early age… Jeff clearly has zero grace for that… He lumps him into the category of abuser.”
“I’m noticing that most of his profiling seems to be from ‘really’ early on in his time at the church. There was a significant exodus then. However, he mostly ignores when people started to leave much later. That’s when he was really at the height of his oppression, in the early 2000s and later. But people who had stuck around, and even been complicit with him as elders, etc., for years and years—even a decade or more, left after 2010, because they finally caught his bad side.”
“…It’s like a flood gate has been opened… Remember the case that ‘blew things’ open for Jeff and prompted his open letter? It was a teenage boy…sexually molesting a little girl… this post talks about that: http://web.archive.org/web/20210904004417/https:/lightfordarktimes.com/2018/06/06/the-reason-churches-protect-abusers-and-cast-out-victims-is-that-they-do-not-fear-a-holy-god/
When the teenage boy molested the girl, the entire family [of the teenager] was placed under church discipline. Banning the entire family from the [communion] table is extra-biblical. “
“Oh, I also just remembered that every time someone left (and it was often, especially after about 2000), Jeff, and many others would say, ‘Well, I guess the Lord is just making us more and more like minded.’”
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This ends the excerpts. Tillamook has spoken. This is just the tip of the iceberg, many more details and examples were provided, but have been excluded from the post in order to protect the anonymity and privacy of those involved.
Note: Hyperlinks to Crippen’s posts at the Crying Out for Justice blog go directly to the ACFJ blog which is not under his control. However, hyperlinks to his Light for Dark Times posts are directed to archived web pages in case he decides to take them down and also to preclude his blog from receiving referrals from my blog.