Amended SGM Lawsuit Alleges Naked Beatings by Larry Tomczak

16 Jan

As I’ve finally calmed down enough to digest the shocking allegations in the latest SGM drama, one of the most shocking, is the allegation that Larry Tomczak  (co-founder of SGM Ministries) administered naked beatings to one of his children for over 25 years.  The following is an excerpt of the allegation.

Carla Coe was repeatedly assaulted by Defendant Tomczak and his co-conspirators during a 25-year period spanning her childhood and young adulthood.  Defendant Tomczak assaulted Carla Coe with his hands, as well as with various instruments, including but not limited to, plastic and wooden sticks.

On multiple occasions, including occasions after Carla Coe reached the age of majority, Defendant Tomczak forced Karla Coe to strip out of her clothing against her will, and be beaten on her bare buttocks.  Defendant Tomczak continued to engage in this forced undressing and beating of Carla Coe until she fled and escaped from the abuse.

On several occasions, Defendant Tomczak imprisoned Carla Coe and denied her food for extended periods of time.

Defendant Tomczak verbally admitted on one or more occasions to the individual Defendants and to the Church that he abused Carla Coe.  No one reported the beatings to the secular authority.

The assaults by Defendant Tomczak and his co-conspirators’ assaults primarily occurred in Maryland and Virgina.

You can find more of the amended lawsuit here (thanks yo Kris & Guy at SGM Survivors).

Such a short few sentences packed with a lifetime of excruciating pain.  I guess Larry Tomczak wasn’t kidding around when he penned his book God, The Rod, and Your Child’s Bod.

God, the rod, and your child's bod: The art of loving correction for Christian parents

A book in which he talks about spanking children when they are teething (in other words, less than 1 years old).

Some folks have reacted with disbelief that a young woman in her twenties would submit to this type of treatment.  I can tell you from my own experience in SGM, that many a leader in the movement spoke about spanking children that were of age.  I remember one conversation with Mark Prater, then a care group leader at Covenant Fellowship Church, in which he praised a teaching tape that spoke about a Father spanking his son who was in his late teens.  This idea that children could be spanked at just about any age, was certainly discussed by different leaders in SGM at the time that many of the alleged abuses occurred.

The other thing to understand, is that SGM preached that to obey God, one had to unquestioningly follow those put in authority above you.  For church members, it meant obeying your pastors, even when they were wrong (no kidding-I was told this by a pastor at Covenant Fellowship in my exit interview), for wives it meant their husbands, and for children it meant their parents.  Simply questioning or disagreeing with any of these “God-given” authorities was tantamount to being in full-blown rebellion to God.  This atmosphere of unquestioning obedience is a perfect breeding ground for abuse.

Another wicked aspect in SGM’s teachings was the idea that you as an individual could not trust your own feelings.  Only if a pastor or parent confirmed them were you to trust yourself.  Again, saying that you felt wronged or abused meant nothing, since your own judgement could always be called into question as flawed and horribly sinful.  Multiply this times 100 for a child who is trying to grow up in this environment and you can begin to scratch the surface of why some would allow themselves to be abused for so long.

Lastly, I just want to highlight the extreme bravery it took for these victims to come forward and tell the truth.  I’m sure for some, it will cost them many relationships.  My thoughts go out to them on this night…I hope they find the justice, peace, and refuge that should have been theirs growing up.

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7 Responses to “Amended SGM Lawsuit Alleges Naked Beatings by Larry Tomczak”

  1. Julie Anne January 16, 2013 at 6:32 am #

    I have been researching this specific part of the lawsuit for the last 2 hours and up pops this post. Thanks for your insight – as disgusting as it is. It needs to be said.

    • christianagnostic January 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Thanks….I noticed how many people were struggling to understand how this could be true. But if you’ve breathed that air, you know how intimidating and intoxicating the power these men wield over their congregations and children.

      After all, they teach that to disobey them is to disobey God.

      • Julie Anne January 16, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

        It really must be discussed. It is a whole culture, but it spread far beyond SGM. People need to understand that it is NOT isolated to SGM. My opinion is that SGM was a sort of “trendsetter” and led the way on some of these issues. I know this because I have attended and/or visited churches which use CJ materials, SGM music, etc. The culture spread through the homeschool movement, too. I will continue to expose this because now we are seeing the destruction come out as a whole generation of kids are now adults and questioning their very peculiar childhoods.

  2. opinemine January 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    My experiences with SGM and its pastors confirms the statements made at the author of this blog.

    • Julie Anne January 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

      It’s interesting. I cover a lot of abuse stories. The abuse stories seem to remain consistent, but the abuser’s side of things always seems to get changed as the story changes . . . . hmmm.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Listing of Articles Related to Amended Sovereign Grace Lawsuit | Spiritual Sounding Board - January 16, 2013

    […] Amended SGM Lawsuit Alleges Naked Beatings by Larry Tomczak – former SGM member recounts Tomczak and discusses SGM culture […]

  2. Larry Tomczak Accused of Spanking and Depriving a Female of Food and Water | The Wartburg Watch 2013 - January 19, 2013

    […] The other thing to understand, is that SGM preached that to obey God, one had to unquestioningly follow those put in authority above you.  For church members, it meant obeying your pastors, even when they were wrong (no kidding-I was told this by a pastor at Covenant Fellowship in my exit interview), for wives it meant their husbands, and for children it meant their parents.  Simply questioning or disagreeing with any of these “God-given” authorities was tantamount to being in full-blown rebellion to God.  This atmosphere of unquestioning obedience is a perfect breeding ground for abuse.' (Be sure to read the whole excellent article here).' […]

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