Congressman McHenry- I can give a speech and file a piece of legislation…repeat

August 21, 2017 will live in history as the day of the eclipse. That comes as no surprise. There were other events on Monday. Congressman Patrick McHenry hosted a town hall meeting at Isothermal Community College. The event was well attended including several vocal constituents from Polk County as well as a large contingency from Rutherford County. The local group included many political supporters from Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF).

The first thing I noticed when arriving was the level of security. Rutherford County and State or Federal law enforcement officers were present with a requirement to pass through a hand held metal detector. This was my first town hall meeting so I had nothing to compare this to and just took in the process and the surroundings.

As I walked in, immediately I noticed the presentation area as smaller than the pictures of previous town hall meetings the Congressman had on his Facebook page. A seat was saved up front for me by my friends and I took my place on the second row. The chairs kept filling up with folks and no shock, many were members of WOFF. I understand that group continues to be very active in the local Republican Party.

After a review of the rules and a warm off-script introduction by a local party official, the Congressman took his place front and center. During his opening monologue, he included remarks about the events in Charlottesville. He said bullying and intimidation were not acceptable from any group. I agreed and made note of his remark. To his credit, he did not spend a lot of upfront time tooting his own horn. As we learned throughout the evening, there were some sour notes to be played…

Once the direction of the meeting changed and it was time for questions, I made my way to the left side and waited. It shocked me that I was first and others did not line up quickly behind me. A kind Facebook friend recorded me question and answer then posted it to my page. (here)

Before the meeting, I debated which question to ask and how to get as much mileage from my time as possible. I chose the investigation question hoping another person would bring up the recent Brazilian crisis unveiled by the Associated Press.

After reminding him that I handed him a copy of my book in January 2016, I used his remarks about bullying and intimidation to frame my question. First, was he aware of the articles? (Yes, that was a soft lead in.) Second, concerning the investigation by U.S. Attorney Jill Rose confirmed in the media last week, have you been briefed? If so, can you share your thoughts? If not, how long will it take for you to add this to your list of concerns for the citizens of Rutherford County? I sat down too quickly and missed my follow-up opportunity.

Congressman McHenry, “Yes, I am aware. No, there has been no briefing. I know what you know as an American citizen. It is an ongoing investigation and no one will know the findings until everyone knows the findings. So, that is what I will refer you to.”

Then he launches into a diatribe which includes a sad attempt at levity which came off as a sarcastic buffer to appease the large WOFF contingency. He avoids commenting on whether or not he is concerned for the victims either inside or outside. He stays away from any acknowledgement of any validity of the claims made by those exiting WOFF.

“Our system of checks and balances, you have the U.S. Attorney investigating any group; it is not a public matter. It is a private matter until they complete their investigative work. And so, we will look forward to what they find. And that has been publically confirmed by the U. S. Attorney’s office and that is how I am aware of it. In our system of government, as a member of the legislative branch I can’t…umm. I can file a piece of legislation, I can give a speech. Let’s see… I can give another speech and I can file another piece of legislation. I say this not to make light of anything. But with our system of checks and balances you have the Justice department and out legal means for the enforcement of our laws and…” He goes on to explain our government process and reinforce his inability to enforce laws.

First, He WAS making light of my concerns and my question. If all he can do is make speeches and introduce legislation, then why does he advertise his willingness to help constituents with accessing different departments of the Federal Government? On his website, under the Constituent Services tab, he displays a long list of areas he is willing to help folks. Why is it a stretch to think he would be willing to help residents of North Carolina in their struggles to recover after their time within WOFF? Especially after bragging on his Facebook page on July 12th about three bills passed in the house having to do with human trafficking?

Yes, the term “human pipeline” was used by the AP. What does this mean? According to the investigative reports, young folks were brought to the U.S. and made to work for little to no pay. This scenario is a blatant violation of the present regulations.

Do his words about his limitations contradict his own actions? Does he pick and choose who he may help and what it may gain for him? Helping victim/survivors of a controversial group which also happens to support your Party would not meet his apparent short term goal of only making speeches (taking in donations) and introducing legislation.

The rest of the meeting included other folks expressing a wide range of concerns from clean water, healthcare, safe travel on airplanes, tax reform, immigration reform and more. The room got warm in many respects. It was not all roses and candy. Some folks raised their voices…

At the conclusion, the Congressman declared this a healthy discussion on many issues and closed the meeting. Then folks rushed forward to the man who claimed all he could do was make speeches and introduce legislation. What were they seeking? I don’t know. Help with their personal situation, maybe?

After speaking to some supporters, thanking them for their encouragement, I left the meeting room and gathered outside with friends. As we discussed the evening’s events, one suggested we go back in and try to ask my second question. Though it was evident the meeting was closing down, we made our way back into the room and waited while folks had their picture made with the Congressman.

I stepped forward into his path as he was turning; if I remember right he extended his hand for a shake. I mentioned I had a question, he said he had to go. So I made it brief.

The last question

If memory serves me well, I said on July 12th on your Facebook page you mentioned the house passing three bills on human trafficking. Can you tell me how those laws would apply or help with the local situation here? (WOFF was the understood context)
It became evident he was done with being sweet. His expression tightened and he said take it to law enforcement, get an attorney… and turned and left the room.

If I am wrong on the details, I am not wrong on the impression he left with me and the group of friends witnessing the exchange. I was his first question of the evening and I was his last. The first answer contained some sarcasm. The answer to my second question was terse and direct.

After all of this, he did not mention if he read my book. And for certain, until he does, he will not have the slightest understanding of what goes on at WOFF.

Regardless, we press forward.

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(Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation ) This is post number 614.

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2 thoughts on “Congressman McHenry- I can give a speech and file a piece of legislation…repeat”

  1. I watched the video and agree how he used NLP to deflect from and subtly mock your question. Only those of us who have been VICTIMS of that type of behavior can spot it. Politicians are trained in these tactics. Make it seem like the question is answered and underhandedly move the audience into listening to a subject that is completely unrelated. Had the supportive side of the audience understood this, someone would have stood up right behind you and said, excuse me sir, but my question is if you are going to answer Mr. Huddle’s question instead of deflecting to an unrelated subject? Did you read LOCKED IN? Are you AWARE of the inner workings of Word of Faith Fellowship? I imagine if someone had done that, he would have been a bit stumped and stammered.

    With that said, your work is so incredibly commendable. These issues of cults have to be looked at, if we can find the politicians who aren’t possibly taking lobby money from them, which they’re not supposed to be doing in the first place. I’m standing alongside you, John. WE survivors are thriving and we will win this mind control abuse war.

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