Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Long May Resign As A Fourth Accuser Comes Forward

Jim Burroway

September 24th, 2010

Black Voices reports that Bishop Eddie Long, the virulently anti-gay megachurch pastor who has been accused of improper sexual conduct with three male youth group members, may step down as pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church following his sermon on Sunday. 

This comes amid rumors that as many as thirty other young men have contacted attorney B.J. Bernstein about filing lawsuits against Long or joining existing lawsuits. Bernstein already represented three young men who alleged that Long abused his spiritual authority to seduce them with cars, money, clothes, jewelry, international trips and access to celebrities in exchange for sexual favors. Today, Bernstein filed a fourth lawsuit on behalf of another young man:

His latest accuser, Spencer LeGrande, claims he was 17 when he began a sexual relationship with Long while accompanying the bishop on a trip to Nairobi, Kenya.

LeGrande, of Charlotte, N.C., alleges in a civil suit filed Friday in DeKalb Countythat Long gave him an Ambien, a popular prescription sleep aid, followed by a “prolonged hug,” kissing and rubbing, according to the suit.

The suit claims the two shared a bed for the remainder of their trip.

LeGrande moved to North Carolina in 2009 when he became disillusioned with his relationship with Long. LeGrand’s father spoke to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and said that while he didn’t know about the relationship, there were red flags. He also said he wondered why his son’s stay in Atlanta seem to end so abruptly.

The other three lawsuits also accuse Long of using Bible verses to reinforce a spiritual connection between himself and the young [men], and  he called the young men his “spiritual sons.” ABC News has obtained two guys-with-iphones stlye photos that Long sent to one of the men in which he is seen wearing a muscle shirt and spandex.

According to the allegations, the sexual relationships began when the boys were seventeen, which is above the age of consent in Georgia. Long appears to have followed a pattern of singling out boys who did not have a strong relationship with their fathers.

Long has been among the more virulently anti-gay pastors. Sirius/XM Radio’s Michelangelo Signorile played a portion of a 2007 sermon in which Long declared, “God says you deserve death!”

[Hat tip: Alvin McEwen]

Comments

POST COMMENT | COMMENT RSS 2.0

Leonardo Ricardo
September 24th, 2010 | LINK

¨God says you deserve death¨

I wonder what God has to say about Rev. Long? Surely Long will know and we´ll know after Sundays upcoming crybabyathon for forgiveness (that will be automatic)…really it´s scary when one starts loving the sound of ones own voice and preaching dangerous stupid sh-t like that to passionate people who are themselves VULNERABLE to this superstious un-holy SLOP!

T.J.
September 24th, 2010 | LINK

Talk about a reaction formation…

Ben in Atlanta
September 24th, 2010 | LINK

Some of these numbers are coming from gossip blogs. At the moment I believe there are two additional witnesses being vetted.

If Baptists wind up reversing their position on teh ghey it could be a good thing.

Bernie
September 24th, 2010 | LINK

Ben – “If Baptists wind up reversing their position on teh ghey it could be a good thing.”

Yes that would be good thing. But I’m not holding my breath for that. It wasn’t until 1995, 130 years after the Civil War ended, that the Southern Baptist Convention issued an apology for their position on slavery.

Like I said, I ain’t holding my breath…. Look for the to apologize to teh ghey around the year 2140.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112329862

Emily K
September 24th, 2010 | LINK

“Age of Consent” is such a tricky thing. The age of 17 in my opinion is one of the worst years a teenager suffers, so fraught with selfishness, difficulty, and confusion it is.

While I think these boys were plenty old enough to consent to sexual relationships with other teens, I think the playing field is not level when a decades-older adult enters, especially one with a position of power and influence in the community.

But even if the boys had been the same age as Long, I think it still would be grounds for legal action. It amounts to sexual harassment and coercion. It doesn’t matter if the victim is “flattered” with gifts and vacations. In fact such flattery is often a sign.

He singled these people out for his coercion – boys at a vulnerable age with bad relationships with their fathers – so that he could become their “father,” a person in a position of power and influence in their lives. And he got what he wanted.

Now I want Lady Justice to get what SHE wants.

gar
September 24th, 2010 | LINK

Homeboy needs to give it up and go.

justsearching
September 25th, 2010 | LINK

I hope someone is in that church on Sunday to record what sort of bullsh!t apology/excuse-making he pulls.

Hunter
September 25th, 2010 | LINK

I can see this unfolding:

His congregation supports him, but he resigns “for the good of the church.” Ted Haggard leads a team of ministers to “rehabilitate” him. In a year or two, depending on how the suits go, he’ll be back, possibly less virulently homophobic, but I ain’t holding my breath.

Bernie
September 25th, 2010 | LINK

I think Hunter has nailed how this scenario is going to go down. As I commented on JMG blog a few days ago when this first broke, this is “Ted Haggard – Part Deux”

darkmoonman
September 25th, 2010 | LINK

Yet another self-hating gay man in the closet trying to make life miserable for the rest of us who don’t hate ourselves.

customartist
September 25th, 2010 | LINK

THIS seems to be the mindset of many “straight” men. They can fool around with men, a little oral, etc, but…”Oh Hell No! I’m not Gay!”

There is a disconnect. One can do the act but just cannot accept the title, even the one of Bisexual. This is planted by the fear of society. A valid concern.

To thy own self be true.

Ben in Oakland
September 25th, 2010 | LINK

It reminds me of a story I read in tom robbins’ “another roadside attraction”, truly one o the great books in the world.

I guy decides to invent a religion. He does so, and gets thousands of followers who praise his name. Finally, he gathers all of his followers together and tells them that he has fooled them and made the whole thing up.

They kill him and go on believing anyway.

Even iwth 30 young men “under his belt”, so to speak, I suspect his followers– and the Long One himself– will go on believing that crap they dish out.

What we need is for one of these a week to be found out, something well beyond “This Week in holy Crimes”.

Richard Rush
September 25th, 2010 | LINK

Ben in Oakland said,

What we need is for one of these a week to be found out, something well beyond “This Week in holy Crimes”.

This Week in Holy Crimes is one of my favorite features on Joe.My.God. But those criminals are only the tip of the iceberg. They are just the dumb ones who got caught doing something really stupid. It’s so unnecessary.

There is no endeavor in which fraudsters/scammers can function with greater impunity than the religion racket. All they have to do is work behind a religious facade, and, if they’re smart about it, their fraud is usually immune from prosecution. Religion truly does enjoy special freedoms. One of the few things that can bring them down are sex-scandals, and interestingly, those are not usually the real crimes unless they involve children. One of the most profitable lessons a con-man can learn is that religion is your best friend.

Maurice Lacunza
September 25th, 2010 | LINK

If Long does confess, the irony is that he will judged by the same rules that he used on others in his church. Thus death would be the appropriate punishment; per Long’s own words.

Jesus was ironic too. He said that the judgment you use on others is the judgement that will be used on you. However he strayed from organized religion and said that we should therefore not judge, but rather love one another.

Can the anti-gay preachers reading this understand this concept called love? I am dumbstruck by preachers everytime they open their mouths against gays. And then I find out that they open their

Eastsidejim
September 26th, 2010 | LINK

I don’t recall the exact words, but on HLN this morning, during his Sunday morning service, he issued a “non-denial” and promised to “fight” the sinners. He definitely did not explicitly deny any behavior, but implied that the alligations were an attack on him… an attack that he would fight.

Regan DuCasse
September 26th, 2010 | LINK

Long certainly isn’t going to give up his material comforts for the likes of these young men who accuse him. He’s been media savvy and heavily influencing other influential people in the country, not just his own community.

This could be about having an extramarital affair. This could be about having financial interests in a South African diamond mine that virtually enslaves other blacks.

Most of the televangelical, rich ministers, is that they MUST rail and shout against ‘sins’, but their own armor cannot show any cracks.
This is why they invest in those with little to fight him with. These are men who use women, gay identifying boys, people of lower economic class, to exploit, so that if any of them can show the cracks in the armor, they will predictably be discredited and the rich pastor can deny,deny, deny, deny.

He’s not going to give up his church. He might have some lieutenants keep it warm while this litigation plays out. But an egotist like Long will have the sort of over confidence in winning and blaming the boy’s greed to carry the day.

He’s going to try and wait it all out in his palatial home. I doubt even any settlement will put a dent in his income. He might even have and encourage his congregation to help him pay for his troubles.
Any bets?

I think this situation might go more like what happened with Michael Jackson, except without the criminal implications because Long’s accusers weren’t so young.
But I’m about as sure as I’m sitting here, he thinks he can get through this without much damage. And he likely will.

I hate the idea of that. I really do. Because what it will be spun as, is how vindictive gay people are. Especially these gay young men he did so much for and tried to help and turn from their ss attractions.
Surely Long will paint himself the victim of gay people trying to bring him down.

I saw Ted Haggard’s interview with Anderson Cooper and an openly gay pastor.
Ted Haggard was a dismissive prig who isn’t owning up to what happened and what it actually meant. He’s the insufferably immoral phony he always was. He just wants to blame being gay for being that way. The coward.

Long is that kind of coward too. We can see it, but he’s hoping no one else will or be able to disseminate why what happened, happened.
For the most part, your average homophobe isn’t that deep a person, and isn’t that capable of much introspection and analysis of the damages of the closet. They aren’t charged with being that way.
And people like Long count on that too.

Scuter
September 26th, 2010 | LINK

Funny how the ones preaching so loudly against gays are the ones that are having secret relations themselves!

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.