Update 4/27/15

*Note* After my dad sent us the letter on behalf of VCY America, inc., threatening to sue my family and my sister Lisa’s family for trying to get Peacemaker Ministries help in Christian mediation of this shameful situation, we have heard nothing more. No apologies, no clarifications, no explanations. That pretty well sums up the leadership at the ministry of VCY America. There is no Christian love there. Forgiveness is made much harder where there is no repentance. For the last four years we have had injury after injury. But we know that God sees all, and that He alone can help us to try to move on and not allow spiritual abuse to derail our faith. I’ve removed the original content of this post. We are in possession of the threat letter, but want to try to move on.Julie Anne Smith at Spiritual Sounding Board is one of the only ones to treat us with dignity and concern. Thank you, Julie Anne for what you did.


17 thoughts on “Update 4/27/15

  1. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Since you’re on my blog daily, Vic and Randy, sometimes more than once, did you remember that your chief engineer, Andy Eliason, is alive right now because Lisa gave of her own body in the form of a kidney to save Andy’s life? Remember that, Vic? But it was too much to let Lisa and Russ at least have the full $5,000 to at least cover one month of their needs? This is Christianity? For the record, we are aware that severance pay is taxable income. That’s why tax is taken into account when making out the check so that a full $5000 check can be issued.

  2. jessicakramasz says:

    I’m so sorry Ingrid. Having just been through our own severe employment trial in the last year and half, I know how precious every penny is. It’s heartbreaking when things like this happen, and even worse when it’s family….and compounded again when they claim to be Christians, yet have no love for their brothers (and sisters) in Christ.
    I am continuing to pray for you and your sister.

  3. healingInHim says:

    Duh … I believe this is VCY’s way of extending their “Happy New Year” tokens??!! I really want to believe that this is just fiction but I know Ingrid would not lie to us … SHE has integrity:-)
    I somewhat apologize for my snarky attitude. PRAYING for the many victims of VCY.

  4. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Tom and I want to say how much we love Russ and Lisa and their four kids, all of which are stellar people. I also want to add that I saw the sacrifice my sister made for Andy Eliason, our brother, and it is completely in character for her to give of her own body to save his life. The fact that this could be done to people like Russ and Lisa by professing “Christians” who lead a ministry is what beggars belief. Tom and I experienced the betrayal and silence of those who should have spoken up, and went through it already, but for this to happen twice is a scandal. Yes, it is scandalous that within four years, Vic was allowed to cannibalize his own family members while the castrati of the VCY board did nothing.

  5. Liam says:

    “Highly skilled” maintenance team is needed? To cut grass and vacuum? I am picturing a maintenance drill team doing synchronized snow shoveling. How sad this all is coming from Christians.

  6. starlitgardens says:

    As it was with Pharaoh, a heart which repeatedly hardens, is a sign of impending judgment. May we all learn not to tempt the Lord, but appreciate his great mercies.

  7. John says:

    After age 25-30 people cannot change, contrary to the message of evangelicals. Narcissists and Psychopaths only respond to force, such as what you have used on your blog against Vic. Shaming VCY and Vic publicly is a use of raw power against Vic as it directly cuts into his fundraising ability.

    The additional check that takes the amount over $5000 is not a sign of goodwill, but is meant to show that Vic is a generous person and therefore is to be respected. This extra $499 is not free and Vic will use this against you and Randy in the future. Vic has in no way “learned a lesson” and you must keep up a demonstrable use of force capability or he will retaliate. For those unable to behave like cold-war warriors against their own families complete separation is best.

  8. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    An interesting observation, John. As I wrote earlier, it is shameful that I have had to continually use this personal blog to report the truth and advocate for what is just, rather than the professing “Christians” at VCY America, meaning not just Vic, but the invisible and apparently impotent, deaf and mute Board of Directors, righting the wrongs, making further reports unnecessary. This issue should not have been resolved by Vic Eliason’s personal bank account, but rather by VCY America, Inc. The fact that Russ has lost his employment and insurance benefits after 24 years of service, without a just cause, has not gone away. No paltry $500 over the promised amount is going to correct the core issue and right the wrong here. Russ and Tom and I were all defrauded of our employment at VCY America. Until and unless those issues are addressed in an honorable fashion, nothing has changed.

    Additionally, I learned yesterday that the local pastor who tried to help Russ and Lisa was also sent a letter threatening them with a lawsuit. As a result, the young pastor and his wife had to get an attorney to quickly draft hasty assurances to Vic and his lawyer that they would “cease and desist” from “defamation” (such behavior as advocating for Christian mediation in this situation.) I’m calling B.S. on this, Vic and Randy and the board of VCY America that apparently approved the legal threat letter. (The threat was in the name of Vic AND VCY America, Inc.) How dare you treat a pastor and shepherd of Christ’s flock in this way, terrorizing with the threat of suing him for trying to help in this unjust situation? You have NO biblical grounds for what you have done. None. Shame on all of you.

  9. healingInHim says:

    I’m still trying to digest the recent update … Words escape me so I continue to pray.

  10. John says:

    The nature of truth and justice is a difficult one indeed. Let me respond to you from what I believe to be Vic’s point of view. All the following is strictly my opinion – a note for VCY lawyers. Vic managed to trick or outsmart the Youth for Christ organization many decades ago because he was *smarter* than anyone else, and it was through his political acumen and general intelligence that he built this VCY organization. Therefore according to his thinking, he is owed admiration and any justice or truth is determined by him.

    Quite frankly, Vic does have a point. I have heard him on the radio and he is indeed intelligent from an interpersonal point of view. I ignore the Christian stuff as I view it as right-wing agitprop to maximize fundraising from old people living on the periphery, but Vic would make a good case study of how to conquer an outpost and make it an empire over thirty years. VCY is his organization in reality if not in name, and he does have the power to hire and fire who he pleases as he in fact has demonstrated by firing his daughter and other family members.

    The question is why he would make trouble for himself by starting this war. Psychopaths tend not to anticipate nor feel pain. This makes them excellent soldiers and CEOs of publicly traded companies but poor patriarchs where sons or daughters may oppose them to their death in the end. In a similar vein the narcissist will overestimate his ability to change the opinions of another even while he inflicts maximum damage. In other words, Vic probably cannot understand why you can exist outside of his *grace* to use another religious word. He calculated that you must fold without being under his presence or protection. How could anyone survive without him? This is at heart the core of narcissistic thinking. That he does not anticipate you retaliating on your blog is from the anti-social or psychopathic part of his personality.

    Vic will never give you or any of these other people their job back until *you* apologize and submit to him in humiliation. Oh, and be sure he would only take you and the others back on a severely reduced pay scale and reduced responsibilities even if you came crawling back. Ultimately this is about conquering and Vic will conquer you or so he believes. I cannot see any middle ground.

    If it bothers you that Vic can disobey the ten commandments by using God’s name in vain, that is use the name of Christ to stir up trouble and gain lots of donations, you really can only ignore him. Vic also knows this, and he is calculating that you would not dare try to completely destroy him, as to strive against your own father would seem to be against every word that he and the church ever taught you. Moreover, he probably thinks that you do not have the intelligence to start and maintain a full-fledged war against him that would cost your family hugely and likely not defeat him unless you had the foresight and moves of an FSB officer.

    PS. There is no shame in using your resources to fight an enemy, even if that enemy is your father.

  11. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    The intent on my part is not to destroy anyone, but to at least tell others what is being done to us by a Christian organization. Many victims of ministry leaders limp or crawl away from churches and parachurch outfits, faith destroyed, finances destroyed, health destroyed, and nobody hears their stories.Because of my own strong belief that hurting others is wrong, I’ve chosen to tell our story publicly on this small blog—not to destroy anyone, but to say to the perpetrators, “You may have taken much from us, and we may continue to pay the price for your evil on multiple fronts, but we are humans made in the image of God, not trash to be discarded. You are harming others while the banner of “Jesus” flies over your ministry.” If nothing else, our story can serve as a warning to those who are too trusting of religious organizations and churches where frauds and charlatans are a dime a dozen. Just because you hear a disembodied voice over the airwaves doesn’t mean you can trust that person, even if they are against the same things you are against. I have seen the internal squalor of evangelical parachurch ministries, and all I can say is that I want nothing to do with any of that any longer. It’s not a safe place to be if you value your health, your finances, your integrity and Christian faith.

    P.S. To those intent on destroying others, what happens when your victim doesn’t die, and by God’s grace and in his strength, instead chooses to get up from the ground and tell the truth with all they have left?

  12. healingInHim says:

    Ingrid – AMEN to your last comment. Your willingness to share the truth has helped me immensely as I heal and continue to battle ‘family’ from many sides. Moments of great despair has seen God often use your insight into affirming that ” … we are humans made in the image of God, not trash to be discarded.” Flesh and blood have turned against me because they have chosen to forsake Christ – this has been a heavy blow and affected my health and well-being as there are very few that I can turn to; except for God:-)
    So once again Ingrid – I affirm and thank you and pray for you and your loved ones. I want to be one of those victims who ” …by God’s grace and in his strength, instead chooses to get up from the ground and tell the truth with all they have left”

  13. Donna says:

    “Defamation” is spreading provably false facts to third parties. It is not criticizing someone. It is not objecting to someone. It is not trying to help someone. It is not expressing an opinion.

    Further, the standard for liability is different for a public and a private figure. Under any measure, Vic Eliason and VCY would be considered “public.” For a public figure, there can be no liability unless the plaintiff proves actual malice. It is an extremely high standard and rarely proven. This was established by the U.S. Supreme Court more than 50 years ago.

    In other words, a pastor who is trying to assist someone–particularly towards reconciliation or blbilical mediation–in a dispute with a public figure could not be liable for defamation. Your father and VCY are having a lawyer make threats that are legally unfounded,

  14. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    As long as the threats serve to bully victims and truth tellers into silence, the fact that their threats are legally unfounded matters not at all to Vic and his acolytes. A reporter here in this city contacted me after she received a legal threat letter as well, before she had even covered anything of this story. Vic and Randy must be proud of their accomplishment. “If we just send out enough lawsuit threats, what has really happened will never come out!” How tragic that supposedly Christian people live in such a way that threatening to harm others, like the mafia does, is viewed as the way forward. I’m sure the reporter was really impressed with this brand of “Christianity.”

  15. Maria says:

    Does Vic Eliason not belong to a church? If Vic would cooperate, his church could help in reconciliation. If cooperation is not within Vic’s grasp, maybe discipline could be necessary.

  16. Nyssa the Hobbit says:

    I’ve seen such threats myself, a threat of a defamation suit from my abusers after they found my blog about it. Their e-mail was unclear, but they appeared to plan to sue me if I went to my priest for mediation. I went to my priest immediately, and because they were there (part of their intimidation campaign), they saw me do it. Nothing happened.

    They used pious words in their e-mail, about how they wanted to “take the mysteries” in my church, “our Lord,” and the like–while threatening me for speaking out. It’s the very same bully tactics I see written about here: talking about Christ while behaving worse than heathens. Reading the insights of commenters into Vic’s behavior, is enlightening for my own situation.

    And it means that I can encourage Ingrid to carry on. 🙂 I went ahead and did what my abusers told me not to, and they did nothing. They tried to shut me up, but I spoke up louder. Nothing. Now it’s nearly three years later and they’ve backed off quite a bit. Hopefully Vic will respond the same.

  17. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    I’m not in the least intimidated by my dad’s threats. He’s a shell of a person, more worried about his public image in his last days than the fact that his family is totally destroyed by his own hands. I speak the truth about the tragedy that has happened to us, and there is plenty more where that came from. Employees come and go, experience good and bad employment situations, there’s nothing very new or important about that. My situation and that of my other family members is especially horrific because of the trust of a lifetime that was betrayed, not only by someone who should have loved us best, but by someone who supposedly leads others to “Jesus” over the airwaves. There was no other life for us. We foolishly spent the most important years of our lives there – years we will never recover – believing that we were doing God’s work and trusting that somewhere, behind what we worked around and in spite of what we worked around, there were Christians involved who cared about us as people. I think it’s fair to say that was a joke, and a cruel one.

    Our children have had a nauseating display of hypocrisy and emotional brutality all accomplished in Jesus’ name by their grandparents, uncle and those at VCY America. The only spiritual power visible is that of the evil one. Regardless of how many faceless strangers are “blessed” and “helped” by VCY America, the place is built on the bones of the Eliason family, and no lies or spin will change that sad fact. That nobody actually cares is irrelevant. One small voice speaking truth isn’t much, but we weren’t garbage to be thrown out. We Eliason daughters and our husbands and children weren’t bags of trash like the kind Paul McClain throws out at VCY. We are people, too, made in God’s image with souls and hearts and feelings. We were as deserving of respect and kindness as anybody else. But it’s too late for that now. Time keeps flowing, like a river, to the sea, as the song says. History has been written and can’t be unwritten. Let the record show our story.

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