We recently received a May 31, 1995 letter written to "Fellow Broadcasters," signed by Vic Eliason, Executive Director of the VCY/America radio station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Enclosed with the letter to fellow broadcasters were copies of two letters dated May 26, one to Steve Arterburn of the Minirth Meier New Life Clinics and the other to Jon Campbell, Ambassador Advertising Agency, which is a public relations agent for the Minirth Meier New Life Clinics. Also enclosed was a video titled A Family Betrayed.
Vic Eliason signed the letters to Jon Campbell (Ambassador Advertising Agency) and to Steve Arterburn (Minirth Meier New Life Clinics) and indicated that copies would be sent to: National Civil Liberties Legal Foundation; McLario and Helm Law Offices; Wiley, Rein & Fielding, Washington D.C.; N.R.B. (National Religious Broadcasters) Members and Board of Directors; and Broadcasters United Board of Reference.
In his May 31 letter to "Fellow Broadcasters," Eliason says:
A copy of this video [A Family Betrayed] was sent to Christian broadcasters after Phase I and Phase II of Matthew 18 were implemented without success.
In calling VCY/America, we were told that this matter is now public and that the letters mentioned above and the video have now been sent to numerous individuals. Eliason says:
The controversy surrounding the betrayal of Scott and Leisa Rogers, a family that called the Minirth Meier New Life Clinic for help, still rages. All facts regarding this case are documented by hard copy documentation and sworn affidavits that are available upon request, contrary to the portrayal by Minirth Meier New Life Clinics.
Eliason describes the issue as follows:
In late November or early December of 1994, Wally Vanderzwaag, station manager at WJTG, Ft. Valley, Georgia, called us and related the story of Scott and Leisa Rogers. The Rogers family were friends and listeners to WJTG who had undergone the most traumatic, horrific experience in their lives due to alleged false accusations brought against them by the Minirth Meier New Life Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia. (For a detailed account of their testimony, please reference A Family Betrayed video.)
After an in depth investigation by our team of researchers, the testimony of Scott and Leisa Rogers, along with Wally Vanderzwaag, was put on video tape. We went to great lengths to make sure of the truth of their story. False accusations, Biblically speaking, are serious business. Our Lord included the instructions regarding bearing false witness as one of The Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20)
The tape of the interview was edited and sent to Scott and Leisa Rogers and Wally Vanderzwaag for their confirmation. We wanted their words to be their words. They signed releases to this effect.
In the interest of intervention on behalf of this family who had approached the Minirth Meier Clinics, and Dr. Frank Minirth personally and unsuccessfully, VCY/ America sent the video to Dr. Minirth (on February 9, 1995/Delivery received on February 10, 1995 documented by Federal Express receipt) with a request for response accompanying the tape. This was done before anyone else saw the video or knew the contents. Dr. Minirth chose not to respond. Biblically, we were then left with the unenviable task of presenting this apparent tragedy to the Body of Christ, as instructed in Matthew 18, for resolution.
At the beginning of the video, Scott Rogers tells about listening to a Minirth Meier New Life radio program on his car radio. During the broadcast, Rogers stopped his car and called the Minirth Meier New Life Clinic because the program invited listeners to call in and because the remarks made on the program had precipitated some personal concerns. Specifically he relates, the statement was made on the program that those who are abused as children grow up to be abusers. Rogers knew he had been abused as a child and, as a result of listening to the program, now wondered if that would turn him into an abuser. He called for information and prayer, but what followed was a nightmare for Rogers and his family.
In the video Rogers relates the details of the nightmare that began with that phone call. Rogers describes step by step from that one fateful phone call to allegations against him of child sexual abuse. During the phone call to the Clinic, Rogers expressed concern that had been prompted by the program, since he had suffered many severe beatings as a child. He told the woman from the Clinic that he did not ever want to do to his children what had been done to him. That was why he called. The woman from the Minirth Meier New Life Clinic proceeded to ask him his name, phone number, address, and if he carried health insurance. After he told her the name of his insurance carrier, she insisted that he immediately check himself into a Minirth Meier New Life in-hospital treatment program. When he expressed concern about the cost ($1000 per day with a minimum stay of 14 days), she told him his insurance would pay. He assured her that he had never abused his children, but when he resisted the idea of entering their in-hospital psychiatric treatment, she threatened to call the authorities and report him for child abuse.
Eliason refers to what happened as a "betrayal of Scott and Leisa Rogers, a family that called the Minirth Meier New Life Clinic for help" (May 31).
Eliason says in his letter to Campbell:
John Scott Rogers was exonerated by the State of Georgia, [which] spent hours of evaluation with [him] and his family (some of which [have] forever scarred his three year old son), when your client, Minirth Meier allegedly spent a total of twenty minutes by phone.
Also involved in this controversy is the fact that Eliason removed the Minirth Meier New Life Clinic Radio program from VCY/America. Eliason says:
For the past eight and one half years, VCY/America has carried the Minirth Meier New Life Clinic, (simply the Minirth Meier Clinic until January 3, 1994), as a special feature. During this time VCY/ America has provided, without charge, over $1 million dollars of actual air time on radio and television to Minirth Meier. . . .
The change in VCY’s programming occurred on November 7, 1994, after several months of communication with Minirth Meier New Life Clinic regarding the removal of their program from the VCY/America Radio Network. Effective on that date Minirth Meier New Life Clinic was removed from our four (4) radio stations.
As a result of their involvement with A Family Betrayed and their termination of the Minirth Meier New Life Clinic broadcast, charges and counter charges have been made between VCY/America and the Clinic.
Eliason says in his letter to "Fellow Broadcasters":
We are appealing to you, the Body of Christ, after having seen all the facts, to judge for yourselves as to the truth or falsehood regarding the Scott and Leisa Rogers tragedy.
To obtain a copy of the VCY/America letters and the video of A Family Betrayed, call 1-800-729-9829. The video does have a warning on it saying: "Contains explicit materials." At the time of our writing this article, the letters and video are being offered free from VCY/America.
We contacted the Ambassador Advertising Agency, which represents the Minirth Meier New Life Clinic radio program, and left a message for Jon Campbell, asking if they have any information to provide in support of the Minirth Meier New Life Clinics. A woman returned the call. We explained that we were writing this article and offered to list their agency name and phone number or address for people to contact them for further information. The woman said she would call back, but she has not done so to the time of completing this issue of the newsletter.
We critiqued the psychological teachings of Frank Minirth and Paul Meier in our book Prophets of PsychoHeresy I. These chapters are now on this web site.
(PAL V3N5 * Sep-Oct '95)
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