ABC’s 20/20 exposes abuse within the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination.
This site experienced a surge of traffic during the time the show aired which was a confirmation to me that this is really a hot issue and a much needed topic of exploration and exposure. Tina Anderson and I have had contact in the past and I would urge all of you to head on over to her site and at least read about her experiences.
This is a fantastic opportunity to shed light on the IFB and their abusive teachings. The show does a great job of exposing what really happens. It’s not made up nor is it exaggerated. This was the type of church I was in growing up and they do a much better job of sharing what this site is trying to expose. So here is the show, or at least what’s available from Hulu.com
Here is the Press Release related to the show:
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
ABC Television Network
PRESS RELEASE – PRESS RELEASE – ENTERTAINMENT –
ON FRIDAY’S 20/20 (4/8)
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A RELIGIOUS SUB-CULTURE THAT MANY AMERICANS HAVE NEVER HEARD OF, YET WHICH HAS THOUSANDS OF CHURCHES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, CHURCHES THAT CRITICS
CLAIM CAN FOSTER PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE, ON ABC NEWS’ “20/20”
Elizabeth Vargas’ Yearlong Investigation into the Independent
Fundamental Baptist Church Airs Friday, April 8
Try to imagine the pain and humiliation of a teenage girl, just 15 years old, who says she was forced to stand in front of a New Hampshire church congregation and confess her “sin” of being pregnant. She says that, not only was she forced to confess her pregnancy, but also to ask for their forgiveness – with no mention of the man she says sexually abused her. After all, she says, the pastor told her it’s better than being stoned to death, as the bible describes. That is what Tina Anderson alleged happened to her at her ultra conservative Independent Fundamental Baptist — or IFB — church. The IFB has thousands of congregations across the country, but many people had never heard of it… That was, until another woman, Jocelyn Zichterman, began a public campaign, armed with nothing but a computer and memories of her own alleged abuse, which she says church beliefs can foster. And survivors are now coming out of the woodwork to say she’s not alone. Elizabeth Vargas’ yearlong exclusive investigation into a religious sub-culture that critics claim can foster – even cover up – physical and sexual abuse airs on “20/20,” FRIDAY, APRIL 8 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.
Critics say the church teaches a strict interpretation of the bible, including the practice known as breaking the will of the child, with some advocating that it even be applied to infants as young as two weeks old.
“I had a decision to make that either I was going to kind of curl up in the corner and be quiet or I was going to stand up for my family and tell the truth,” says Jocelyn Zichterman.
Pastor Chuck Phelps, the former pastor at Tina Anderson’s New Hampshire church, denies Tina was disciplined by the church or that there was any attempt to cover up a crime. He declined repeated interview requests but provided a statement: “Tina was involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with Mr. Ernie Willis… Tina lied to her mother and to me about this relationship.” He also said he brought the allegations to the attention of police who failed to investigate further. Ernie Willis, Tina Anderson’s alleged attacker, has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault.
Brian Fuller, the current pastor at Tina’s former IFB church, says all IFB churches operate independently and that his church has nothing to hide. He opened his doors to “20/20” cameras, was critical of how Tina’s case was handled and denounced any abusive disciplinary practices, adding: “The Bible says that I’m supposed to love my children, I’m never supposed to ever do anything out of anger or manipulation. And that’s what our people are taught here.”
“20/20” is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and Chris Cuomo. David Sloan is executive producer.
ABC News Media Relations:
Alyssa Ziegler Apple (212) 456-1624
Press release courtesy of: http://www.abcmedianet.com/web/dnr/dispDNR.aspx?id=040611_03