Tag Archives: Michael Becketts

2017 – A year to remember…

Hands for Hope
Hands for Hope and Action

During 2017, many new people became aware of the ongoing, complex and often surreal drama which surrounds Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF). This is a good reason to recap several important events which happened that brought much more attention to the often secretive and closed “church” in Spindale NC.

Starting February 27th, the Associated Press released the first of several articles which detailed abuses inside of WOFF. “Ex-congregants reveal years of ungodly abuse…” These accounts came from 43 survivors who lived inside WOFF and subsequently left at different times. The testimonials covered by this release and the subsequent articles throughout the year, resulted in a proverbial ongoing “indictment hearing” for the WOFF leadership as well as several local and State officials. The AP’s site (here) serves as the central hub for the many articles, videos and audio files unveiled after almost two years of investigation. The information gleaned from survivor accounts, court documents, recordings and intense research served to alert government officials and thus open several investigations into possible abuses, instances of fraud and wrong doings by WOFF in the United States and Brazil.

March 6th – “Ex-sect members tell AP: Prosecutors obstructed abuse cases“- was the next release which told of meetings inside Jane Whaley’s office where two members who served as Assistant District Attorneys in Burke County were involved in coaching members how to answer questions posed by various investigators. Also, present in these sessions was a church member who served as a social worker in Cleveland County. Not long after the AP release, Frank Webster and Chris Back were no longer employed as Assistant District Attorneys and Lori Cornelius decided to leave her position as a social worker for Cleveland County. Continue reading 2017 – A year to remember…

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NC DHHS not bound by Compromised Settlement from June 2005

In November, I sent an email to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) asking for action to initiate a Judicial Review of the Compromised Settlement (Settlement) filed June 21, 2005 in the civil case between Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) and the Rutherford County Department of Social Services (RCDSS). I also asked for the replacement of Director John Carroll. Later that day, I received a call from Michael Becketts, the Assistant Secretary of the NC DHHS. He acknowledged my email and asked for a face to face meeting to discuss my concerns. The meeting took place this past Monday. Julie Cronin, the Assistant General Counsel for the NC DHHS was also present for the meeting.

We began with a short recap of why we were meeting which included Mr. Beckett’s voicing his concern for what I thought was going on in Rutherford County –specifically as it related to the RC DSS. After a short summary of my involvement with WOFF including my time inside and since leaving in July of 2008, I explained my perspective of the civil action which resulted in the Settlement. My remarks included the mistakes made by RC DSS workers stemming from what I believed was a lack of training on dealing with members of a closed religious subculture. I suggested some resources for training in the area of interviewing children from closed subcultures and both seemed receptive to the information. Continue reading NC DHHS not bound by Compromised Settlement from June 2005

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