The ‘homosexual’ world of alleged sexual predator Bishop Eddie Long: ‘follow the master’

The Bishop Eddie Long story (posted by Alvin earlier) is getting major MSM coverage, as it should. The shocking allegations were outlined by the attorney for the plaintiffs, and the charges are specific and damning.

B.J. Bernstein, the plaintiff’s attorney: “He (Bishop Long) would use biblical stories to talk about how important it was to follow your leader, and your master.  And let him know that the acts he was engaged in were not necessarily meaning he was a homosexual or that either of them was, but rather the pastor, Bishop Long, was “releasing his passion” — and “his love” for Anthony.

There’s more before and after that snippet of transcript. I was too disgusted to do more. Watch the whole video. The whispers around Long has been there for years; the level of homophobia he expressed was way too telling and look at what we see above — he can commit sodomy on those young men and describe it in such disgusting terms and conflating it with religious leadership to assert the power differential with his victims. Those are the kind of acts of a true predator.

Rick’s List covered this story and there’s now a full transcript. I have a snippet below the fold.
From the CNN transcript (full version here):

SANCHEZ: It’s a story that is shocking many Americans on this night. One of the country’s most famous Christian pastors is being accused of having sex with members of his church. Not just any members. We’re talking about teenage boys he may have met when they were as young as 14, and then according to the allegations may have had relationships with them after they had turned 16 and above.

In a lawsuit, two men in their 20s now are saying the bishop, Eddie Long, took them on trips, gave them gifts, bought them a car, gave them cash, gave them jewelry, all as a ploy to have sex with them. And they say it was the church’s money that he was giving to them.

His lawyer is denying the allegations. But I want you to listen to some of the most graphic details in this lawsuit. Straight from the attorney who shocked many tonight when she stood before cameras and told this story of Eddie Long. Here she is.

B.J. BERNSTEIN, ATTORNEY REPRESENTING PLAINTIFFS: There, the pastor started to do what adult pedophiles do with younger, younger people, which is starting to spend time with them, casually watch TV with them and lay his legs on him, and then asked him to massage him. And then start explaining to him how special he was to him. And it was special for the bishop to be able to spend time with them. They did devotional readings together. He was over there on a regular basis at this house.

Eventually, it turned into such a relationship that the bishop had a ceremony with Anthony Flag called a covenant. Within that covenant, it was essentially a marriage ceremony where there were candles, exchange of jewelry and biblical quotes given, in order for Anthony to know and for the bishop to tell him, I will always have your back and you will always have mine. He would use biblical stories to talk about how important it was to follow your leader and your master and let him know that the acts he was engaged in were not necessarily meaning that he was a homosexual or that either of them was. But rather, the pastor, Bishop Long, was releasing his passion and his love for Anthony.

Meantime, we have Maurice Robinson. And while Anthony is living in this house, he’s bought a Mustang car. He’s given money. He is on the payroll of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church as reflected by the federal tax returns. And he starts to travel with the bishop. He goes to the “W” hotel in New York’s Times Square. He goes to the “W” hotel in Dallas where Anthony specifically remembers that he saw the zoo in town and that he wished he had gone to the zoo. But instead on that trip, he accompanied the bishop everywhere the bishop went, including sharing a bed in the same hotel room on that trip and many others.

They join this church, and the next thing he knows, he starts to immediately get to know the bishop. And the bishop — this is a very handsome young man. Very charismatic young man who wants nothing more to do what a lot of young African-American males want to do like their idols of being in the music business perhaps. And he introduces them to famous people. He meets T.I. He meets Chris Tucker. He meets all — Tyler Perry. He meets all kinds of famous people in the company of Bishop Long. And Bishop Long gives him a car. In fact, Bishop Long lets him drive his Bentley automobile. That’s right, Bishop Long has a Bentley. Or the church does, whoever owns it. And allows a young man at 17, 18 years ago old to drive it around.

The feeling of power. And he gives him money. And he puts him on the New Birth Missionary payroll which again will be reflected by the 1040 forms that he received. And in fact, Anthony has just in the accounting and the payroll, over ,000 of payments on the payroll from New Birth Baptist church as an employee of a 17 or 18-year-old young man. And that’s not counting the cash, the gifts and the trips.

He, too, went on a number of trips, but for Maurice, he was a little bit tougher because his mother and father were both in his life. And yet, his mother recounts how the bishop — she thought there was nothing better for her son in their entire life to be handpicked as a personal attendant around the bishop.

Crossing the line, in which you have sexual contact of any sort with your parishioners and particularly vulnerable young men that you’re supposed to protect, it’s our belief that these two are just two of the brave ones who are willing to come forward. And I’m going to tell you now, you all are going to be chasing them around for interviews, and I’m not putting them through that. For them to sit down and reach out and tell me what happened, and it is the gory details in this complaint of the sexual acts that occur is more than enough. And we did not hide their names. This is not a John Doe lawsuit. But at the same time, they don’t need to be in front of cameras. They will tell this in a deposition and they will tell it to a judge.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

A Story Of A Predator That May Impact My LGBT Subcommunity

Trans people experience difficult transitions and difficult life experiences quite frequently. For example:

• The Task Force has pointed out that trans people has pointed out that transgender people have major employment and healthcare access issues, and that there is an epidemic of lesbian, gay, bisexual — and transgender — (LGBT) youth homelessness.

• The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has pointed out the Harsh Realities transgender students face in public schools.

• The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) frequently points out, trans people deal with poor media coverage and poor media depictions of our subcommunity and its members.

Image: Mug Shot of Patricia DyeSo it’s with great disappointment that in the real world where people who identify as transgender, transsexual, or both transgender and transsexual are an often very oppressed population, we have a Dayton Daily News story about…well, to quote the article :

…[A] 31-year-old Franklin woman accused of pretending to be a boy named Matt to help build sexual relationships with teenage girls in Springboro and Middletown.

The prosecutor in the case can’t find a felony to charge 31-year-old Patricia Dye with; the most Dye can be charged with is a misdemeanor.

Filling in the issue found in the piece:

Tracey Steele, director of Wright State University’s Criminal Justice program, said cases involving women pretending to be boys to lure girls into sexual relationships are “virtually nonexistent.”

Reactions to changes in society’s views of gender and sex expression could be fueling the outcry in the Dye case, she said.

“Today, we have greater awareness of the diversity of personal expression as well as some concrete social change, which may make some people uncomfortable,” she said.

The article adds this from Steele:

Rather than being identified simply as male or female, individual sex and gender expression are increasingly viewed “more on a continuum,” Steele said.

“The transgender community is starting to gain a lot of momentum,” said Steele, also an associate professor of sociology at Wright State.

Does the 31-year-old identify as a female-to-male (F2M) transsexual, and/or as an F2M transgender man? The article doesn’t say, but there is implication that Dye may be F2M.

But the laws in Ohio and the ordinances in Warren County apparently don’t address Dye’s alleged criminal behavior because Dye is still legally female.  Ohio’s laws against pedophilia apparently aren’t gender neutral, so it’s not a felony in Dye’s state or county for a woman to pose as a young male to engage in sexual activity with teenage girls.

It seems Dye’s alleged behavior is something to condemn, and I definitely condemn sexual predation of pre-teens and teenagers by adults.

But that said, I expect that the religious right will pick up on this story, and of course try to draw broad conclusions from it. Dye’s predation story plays into their narrative about the alleged instability of transgender people; it plays into their narrative about their belief that all trans people are all potential pederasts, pedophiles, and rapists; it plays into their narrative that trans people are scary sexual predators. That Dye is someone who may be an F2M would expand their narrative beyond their perception of the danger of male-to-females (F2Ms) having any interaction whatsoever with underage youth.

It would be nice just to point out the hypocrisy of religious right people and organizations — should they highlight this case — about their own Godly perverts. However, people in our society have met many pastors, ministers, priests an lay Christians who aren’t sexual predators, so people are aware that not every Christian is a sexual predator. Even with gays, the religious right gets almost no traction with their lies about how there is a prevalence of pedophiles in the gay community because most folk in broader society know a number of gays who aren’t pedophiles. B

ut most in our society still haven met any trans people they’re aware are trans, and definitey don’t know any trans people. Heck, outside of the LGBT community when I reveal I’m transsexual and/or transgender, I’m more often than not the first trans person most people have ever met and engaged. Given that, it’s easy to believe misconceptions and lies about people who identify as transgender, transsexual, or both transgender and transsexual.

Roz Kaveney's six axioms of trans activismSo, I’ll be watching to see if the religious right picks up on this story, and remember Roz Kaveney’s Six Axioms Of Trans Activism (especially axioms 3., 4., and 5.):

1.) Display solidarity with all our trans brothers and sisters.

2.) Build alliances by getting involved as ourselves in other areas of politics.

3.) Refuse to let journalistic and intellectual attacks on our community go unanswered – we can have and keep the moral high ground.

4.) Be creative, be smart, be ourselves, and don’t let anybody tell us who we are and what we do.

5.) Refuse the pathological model – we are not sick, just different.

6.) Refuse those politics – heterosexism, body fascism – that work against all of the above, but especially #1.

~~~~~

Further reading:

* Chicago Go Pride: Ohio Woman Accused Of ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ Ruse

* WHIO Dayton: Another Victim Comes Forward In Patricia Dye Case

* CBS News: Ohio Woman Who Posed as a Teenage Boy to “Get Girl,” Gets Charged

* UPI: Ohio: Laws Don’t Cover Case Of Fake Boy
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Letters • 07.30.10

Perception of weakness

In the article “Letter criticizes FBI’s handling of Terlingua attack,” (Dallas Voice, July 23), the Rev. Stephen Sprinkle of Brite Divinity School makes a very profound statement.

He said, regarding the victim of the attack, “I think he was targeted because he was perceived as weak and vulnerable.” He went on to elaborate that what mattered was the “perception” that the victim was “different.”

This is strikingly familiar to the story, several months ago now, of two men attacked in the Oak Lawn area by those wielding baseball bats (“Community outraged over assault,” Dallas Voice, May 21).

It was the “perception” of their vulnerability that more than likely made them the target of those who attacked them. But something made them stand out in the minds of their attackers.

It is the perception of being vulnerable that is really the issue here. It does not matter so much if someone is perceived to be “gay” so much as they are perceived to be “prey.” What was it that made them stand out in the predator’s/predators’ mind(s)?

The more we ask these questions of ourselves, the more we initiate those skill sets that allow us to think like a predator instead of prey.

A person’s gender, age, race, religion or sexual orientation are really superfluous to the issue at hand. What matters is the “perception” of vulnerability — period.

And there isn’t always safety in numbers. As the two men attacked recently will attest, four attackers still outnumber two victims, let alone if they have weapons.

I just spoke to a man in Uptown last week, late 20s and very physically fit, who was attacked by two men while on business in Atlanta. His level of fitness afforded him nothing when faced with two assailants when he was admittedly a bit “tipsy” leaving a nightclub, separated from his two friends and distracted by the new female friend he had just met inside. His two assailants knew he was vulnerable for several reasons.

Until we all ask those internal questions that only the individual can ask and then seek out the advice and training to help us fill in those gaps of vulnerability, the stories involving predator and prey will continue to be a recurring theme in our print and news media.

Jeff McKissack, speaker/instructor
DefenseByDesign.com

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 30, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas