Of Bullies, Cowards and Decapitated Squirrels

*Update one year later* The “highly skilled team” Vic’s termination letter said was being hired to handle grounds and maintenance – the “team” to replace an employee of 24 years – turned out to be a 20-year-old kid. Yes, that’s who took the job of a man who had faithfully served for two decades at VCY America. It was nothing but pure malice.

squirrel Vic Eliason recently sent a job termination letter to his son-in-law, Russ Turner, who has worked at VCY America for 24 years as a quiet, faithful and honest employee who is loved and respected by his co-workers. The letter of termination was laughable, particularly the claims that the buildings and grounds department (Russ and Paul) was being “decommissioned” (right as the snow season starts), and is being replaced with a “highly skilled team.” Vic signed the letter “the Governing Board.” The letter contained not a single thank-you for 24 years of faithful service.

The chairman of the board, Randall Melchert, was shown the termination letter by a concerned local pastor who has followed the VCY debacle for some time and who has known both Tom and me and my sister and brother-in-law, Russ for years. The intervention on the part of the pastor was to seek immediate biblical mediation of a situation that has been spiraling out of control for some time. The unbelievable treatment of Tom and me as employees of over two decades apiece (see my plaque of recognition here at the 20 year mark) is ongoing, as I will point out in a moment. The organization that was contacted and that agreed to mobilize immediately to address this ungodly situation is Peacemaker Ministries. This organization goes into conflict situations in ministries and churches and attempts a biblical resolution of the issues. (As opposed to the secular courts as forbidden by Scripture. See this very clear passage here.)

Nothing was heard from Dr. Randall Melchert for 10 days. Biblical mediation was apparently a difficult consideration for VCY America. At the 10 day mark, when contacted by the pastor, Melchert stated that the pastor would “hear from Vic’s attorney” the following week. Melchert was asked to clarify. This is where the story becomes even more bizarre.

Randy Melchert told the pastor that a “decapitated squirrel” had been found on Randy’s lawn, and that the “FBI had been contacted.” The implication was that our families were somehow involved. That’s why Vic had contacted an attorney to handle things according to Melchert. (!) To date, we haven’t heard from the FBI or the police over a headless squirrel!

If blogs could have laugh tracks, it would be cued at this point. Vic Eliason has spiritually, emotionally and financially assaulted his own family members who faithfully served, each one, over two decades at VCY America, giving the most productive years of our lives to the ministry as well as tens of thousands in donations over the years. Due to my privately bringing to Vic one on one, as Scriptures instruct, some deeply entrenched Eliason family issues back in 2011, all hell proceeded to break loose. The fallout of this situation, the narcissistic abuse punishment phase, has now affected two families, both Vic’s own flesh and blood.

This latest move of Vic’s to avoid being held biblically accountable for his sinful behavior is par for the course. He has been telling people for years now that I have lost my mind, am mentally unstable, and so forth and so on, to justify our departure and has waved around his file of evidence he’s concocted (do you keep actual dossiers on people?), even as the same man has posed as a woman (“Karen”) to send pornographic hate mail to our home, to send me a hateful email traced to his home and to write lies about me and my sister under another woman’s name (“Barbara”) on a friend’s blog. (Again, traced to his own home.) In addition, Vic’s bribing our then troubled 23-year-old son to write a vicious slander letter, is well-known to Dr. Melchert who has been shown this letter as justification for our departure from VCY. The letter has been since fully retracted as fiction, as our son has repented and we have been reconciled for some time. (We have his testimony in writing.)

Melchert is well aware that all of this has transpired on his watch while he has systematically ignored our pleas for help, all of which are in writing from over the last three and a half years, none of which were even given a response. Now, another family has been impacted, and Melchert remains in full support of this disgusting behavior. (The headless squirrel story has officially earned the Laughingstock Award of the week as people who know and love us shake their heads in disbelief that Randy would even suggest such a thing. This is taking on the air of farce.)

Vic’s character assassination has gone on unstopped because his enablers have chosen to believe his breathtaking lies instead of the truth as spoken by two families of witnesses. (Scripture says let everything be established in the mouths of two or three witnesses. We have far more than that who have never been heard.) Our entire family was scheduled to meet with Melchert over a year ago, and he canceled the meeting as we were literally headed to the car.

Cowardice is an ugly thing. Cowardice in the face of moral evil, as the head of a donor-supported ministry that claims to represent Jesus Christ, is beyond ugly.

I have a message for Vic, for Randy, and for anyone else who believes that Scripture’s direct instructions on handling conflict don’t apply: We will not be bullied. We will  not stop speaking the truth about what has gone on, and no attorney letters, threats and throwing weight around by anyone of influence matters one bit. We have tried for years to get help and to resolve this in a Christ-honoring manner to no avail. Peacemakers, think about that name, were not wanted. Attorneys were. Onward Christian soldiers.

We are people made in God’s image. We are Christians. We have multiple witnesses and evidence of what has happened. You have nothing but Vic and his preposterous, vicious and defamatory lies on your side. Oh, and you have your legal counsel.

I’m sure that legal counsel will impress Jesus Christ when you meet him face to face some day to answer for your lives, Randy and Vic. Maybe you could both try some legal prior restraint tactics at the throne of Jesus. Because the commands about loving your neighbor, forgiveness, and conflict resolution among believers are for everyone else. Never the ones in charge.

The only option for those who claim to possess Jesus Christ is biblical mediation of conflict. That has been resoundingly refused by Randall Melchert, the top officer legally of VCY America, inc. It has been resoundingly rejected by Vic Eliason and Randy Melchert, men who prefer to pass on stories about headless squirrels and retain attorneys to try to stifle the truth.

There is absolutely no excuse for biblical mediation to be shut down. The only explanation possible is that the leadership of VCY America, Inc. does not believe what it claims about the authority of Scripture to govern our lives.  And silence on these matters has produced only more abuse of innocent people. That is why this is being publicly shared.  To those who say this harms the “cause of Christ”, who exactly is this Christ who sanctions lying, slander, threats and abuse of one’s own family? The perpetrator(s) alone is the one who harms the cause of Christ. God is responsible for defending his own name. The only thing silence creates is a longer list of victims. Period.

In conclusion, I would ask the leadership of Brookside Baptist Church if they agree that lawyers, not biblical mediators, should be called when there is conflict in a ministry and founding ministry family. Randy Melchert is also in leadership at Brookside Baptist. I would be most interested in their response. None expected, however.

9 thoughts on “Of Bullies, Cowards and Decapitated Squirrels

  1. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Where’s the love?

    You big men who meet behind closed doors to discuss how to shut us down—a question for you: When have any of you ever tried love? When has any one of you ever shown the slightest interest in us as people? Randy Melchert claims he “doesn’t know Russ very well.” After over 28 years as VCY America board chairman with a small staff like VCY’s, and you don’t know the good man you approved firing? Where’s the love, Randy? Where is the love, the rest of the nameless, faceless board who believe the lies you’ve been told? Yes, where is the love for us? Did you ever think of trying that? How about concern that something like this could go on so long? How about looking at root causes. How about a real heart of compassion for those unemployed suddenly who, by your own board testimony, served “continuously and faithully” for all those years? Where’s the love? If you can’t love us right in front of you, you cannot love an invisible God. Those aren’t my words, those are the words of the Bible you claim to believe.

    You have no love. None of you. But you say you have Jesus. You cannot have the real Jesus. He doesn’t operate like this.

    “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
    ~Tom and Ingrid
    I John 3:14-18

  2. Bethany says:

    Very, very sad state of affairs…:(…..But….. I am very, very happy to see the squirrel you posted has his head intact!!!

  3. Bethany Lewis says:

    Still praying for the right thing to be done by Melchert. What a horrible situation. (and I agree with the other Bethany who commented above about the squirrel!) 😉

  4. Truthinator says:

    Sad reality of things. Bravo to you and yours for doing the brave thing and getting the info out to the public. Silence only empowers the bullies. May God clean everything up and take good care of you all.

  5. jlrake says:

    It’s beyond shameful that the man who founded a ministry that has blessed me for so many years would act so despicably toward his own kin. Here’s praying for your, your sister’s and your families’ continued strength against the persecution you’re facing from a source from whom you shouldn’t be facing it and for the persecutors’ repentance and restorative reconciliation. And yay for squirrels left to live another day!

  6. Reggie & Diana Sonnenschein says:

    We are truly sorry for all you’ve had to endure. It is heart-wrenching to see the destruction that the enemy causes within families. Consider the words of our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount when he addressed the multitudes “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven; blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12) We’ll continue to pray for you, your sister, your spouses, and children.

  7. Di says:

    With regard to your father abandoning relationship with you and other family members and firing family members for apparently no just cause, I think 1Tim 5:8 applies here, in my opinion:

    8But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith AND IS WORSE THAN AN UNBELIEVER. (emphasis mine)

  8. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Thank you for that observation and Scripture. Tom and I had to leave VCY. We had no choice. Our son, hired over our objections as we knew the spiritual situation there, had been put in the middle of events that were destroying him, and we were unable to even do our jobs as Tom had had his work responsibilities removed, even the call screening he did for Crosstalk. (Taken over by our son!) When we had to leave immediately, the only one on the board who loved us enough to try to help us, Dr. E, (who resigned shortly after) tried to get some kind of severence in that I had been at VCY as employee since 1986, and Tom since 1990. We had been donors monthly our entire married lives, and Tom was a donor before that. His name is on the grand piano in the TV studio on Vliet Street as he donated toward that and so many other projects. Vic was allowed to be on the board itself (only four other men besides Vic on the board at that time.) Vic and the rest voted down Dr. E’s kindly and Christian proposal that at least we received some sort of severance pay, as we had three minor children at the time, two of which were in Christian school. I am nauseated to the point of vomiting when I realize what these men (my own father) did to us. We would have been homeless very shortly, unable to make house payments, had a miracle not happened to save the house.

    This is how “Christians” at VCY America treated us. Contrast that with the treatment Tom has had from the music world where he has worked for supplemental income since he was 17. I saw an email from a music contractor and musician friend in this city Tom has worked with for 35 years. “As always, it is an honor to work with you, Tom,” he wrote. This man has nothing in common with us from a faith or political perspective. But he knows that Tom is an honorable, kind and decent man, a hard worker and a professional. The question is, what is wrong spiritually at VCY America that my kind, good and decent Christian husband was worthy of discarding? We were non-humans, discarded with the trash.

    Dr. Melchert, what is the explanation for this, in Jesus name? Now Russ and his family are facing the same financial disaster with no wrong doing on his part. None. Produce the witnesses that Russ has done wrong. Where are the human witnesses besides Vic and his lies and files of fakery he has constructed? Where is Russ’s co-worker who has labored beside him all these years, Paul McClain? Has anyone interviewed him about Russ’s job performance (assuring him that speaking the truth will not cost him HIS job?) Produce your witnesses. Answer: You.have.none.

  9. Tim Ugrenic says:

    I have four theses to ask VCY.1)The Voice of Christian Youth? really? outdated kiddie shows and anything but a show to answer kids questions and problems of today 2)ask VCY for an annual report-where does the money really go? 3)Back in 1971 (?) VCY was successfully sued by a gay,,,,and vic eliason is still there? 4)where in the Bible does it say to mix Christianity with politics? and not one madmans interpretation of it-WHERE? Pope Eliason the First

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