I worked at a church for several years and then left because I could no longer stand to be lied to by the pastor. Several other people left at the same time I did for a variety of reasons, most of which I don't even know. Because I was very friendly and popular, many were hurt by my leaving and called or questioned why I left. I would not talk to them to tell them why, as I had seen him call others "reviler" and gossips and "Jezabels" for leaving long before I left, so I tried to just go quietly. This pastor then held a public meeting after church on a Sun morning and told the poeple to shun me. I have suffered great emotional turmoil and lost friendships. He has spread many more lies then this...how can I make him stop? Hundreds of people have suffered this same plight. HELP!
The pastor lied to the church, saying I influenced & spoke to these other people that were leaving, as some of them were friends of mine. I have not spoken to them about this! He told them I gossiped/slandered him, I did not. He told them I tried to get a restraining order against him. I did no such thing. He said I influenced others into leaving,I did not. When I resigned, I told both he & the "leadership' I would only correspond through writing, in email or letter so every word would be documented. I have suffered emotionally, physically making me ill, sought counseling & lost many long time friendships as a result of this abuse. I have had to re-established myself a trustworthy volunteer/faithful servant. He told other pastors I left the church because he tried to "speak truth into" my life & I "would not receive it"! In reality, it was the other way around. He continues to call me a "reviler". This has been one of the most painful experiences of my life.
In my state (Washington), this would fall under the intentional tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress. Check with a local attorney to see whether your state has a similar intentional tort.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Some States recognize a "pastor-penitent" privilege which prevents the courts from requiring a pastor to testify regarding what a person confesses in a confidential setting.
As far as I know, there is no special privilege which allows pastors to commit defamation of character.
Perhaps you should call an attorney to discuss the details of your particular circumstances.
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