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A Time To Speak

No long riding on the merry-go-round. I just had to let it go.

John Lennon


Chapter Twenty-Eight

Win

I didn't know it, but today was going to be another red-letter day for me on the Overcomers page, and for the FCU alumni community in general.

It started out just like every other Sunday. Clark and I took the kids to church, and I taught my usual class of fifth and sixth grade girls. We were going through the book of Luke and had reached the parable of the lost sheep. It's a familiar story but it's always one of my favorites.

Back home, we had our usual Sunday dinner, and then the girls went off to a friend's house around the corner. Clark lay down to take a nap, and I got on the Overcomers page.

Regina had started a new attack thread, and it had been up and getting comments for five hours. I had to look again and again to be sure of what I was seeing.

Regina

Another FCU alumnus was recently revealed to be scornful towards allegations of abuse, as you will see in the conversations below. The subject of this conversation was Katrina's heartbreaking personal story of abuse when she was a child. The first name darkened out is the piano faculty member mentioned before on this site. What I really want you to notice is what person #2 is saying


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Regina

Our very own Winifred Larramore is the one who was brave enough to send us this conversation and give us permission to use it here because she, too, realizes the harm that is caused to abuse victims when abuse stories are not taken seriously. Good job, Win.


Stan

What kind of creep would say an abuse victim is howling when they're talking about their abuse?


Regina

I don't want to give his name here, but rest assured, he's an FCU product through and through. He's not on faculty or staff, but he lives close to the university and he's on their official approved status. He's definitely a FIC.


Peter

Typical dumbass FIC. Good on Win for exposing him.


This time I didn't hesitate to call Regina. She didn't answer the first five times I called, and each time her voice mail picked up I slammed the phone down in anger. Finally, an hour and a half after I first started trying to reach her, she answered.

"Hi, Win," she said, her tone already disapproving.

"Reg," I said, trying to keep the anger out of my voice, "I asked you not to post my private conversations. Why did you do it?"

"John has been a little hostile towards the group lately. He removed all the posts he made in Overcomers, did you notice? It feels like he's trying to hide from us. And I recall that he sometimes thought we were a little extreme."

"So?" I asked.

"He was also rude to Katrina in a private conversation that they had by Messenger."

"A private conversation?"

"Yes. Katrina asked him why he was so hostile towards her, and he told her to eff off."

It was classic John. I might have smiled if I hadn't been so angry. "Why wouldn't you just publish Katrina's conversation, then? Why did you have to publish mine?"

"Because Katrina was completely traumatized by the experience. She wouldn't want to have to see his ugly remarks to her posted all over the net."

I took a deep breath. "Katrina wouldn't want to see it? What about what I would want to see? I asked you not to post that conversation. You shouldn't have done it."

"I'm sorry you're upset, but we did it for the best."

"And you twisted it into something John didn't even say!"

"I only posted exactly what you sent me."

"Take it down, please," I insisted.

"You know, Win, no private conversation on Facebook is ever really private. Just because you think nobody else will ever see it or use it doesn't mean they won't. Legally, once you send it to someone else, they can use it however they want."

It was another warning, but I still didn't get it. "I can't believe you would say that! I never gave you permission to use what I sent to you. This isn't right, Reg."

Regina hesitated. "I'll ask the moderators on the Overcomers page about it. We'll let you know what we decide. I have to go now, the kids are calling me."

Ask the moderators? What did she mean? I was a moderator!

Before I could recover from my surprise, Reg had hung up.

Of course I knew what I would find when I went back to the Overcomers page. I navigated to the control board, the area where moderators could approve new members. It was empty, and I realized that I had been removed as a moderator. I was gone, out of Reg's little circle of admirers. The merry go round was still turning, but I had just been thrown off.


John

John

Something weird is happening on Overcomers, Alecia.


Alecia

What? What are you seeing?


John

That Brian guy, whoever he really is, just posted some stuff about Win's brother.


Alecia

Win's brother? You mean Sam, right? I think she said that was his name.


John

Yeah, Sam. He put up a link to an old article about Sam embezzling from that construction company.


Alecia

For what reason?


John

I don't know. He's just talking about how sad it is when Christians are shown to be hypocrites.


Alecia

As if he has any room to talk! It's too bad nobody else realizes yet that he's a fake.


John

Brian is saying how he went to Sam's church when all this happened and how it should be a "cautionary tale" for all of us. Damn, the FCU world is small!


Alecia

Obviously he doesn't realize that Win is Sam's sister.


John

And Regina and the others are commenting about how fundy Christians are more hypocritical than any other kind of Christian.


Alecia

What about Win? What's she saying?


John

I don't know, since I still have her blocked. But I don't see anyone addressing her directly. She must not have seen this yet.


Alecia

She's going to be very angry when she does.


John

Couldn't happen to a better person.


Alecia

Do you suppose that Regina and the others know that Sam's related to Win?


John

No, they'd be jumping all over Brian's ass if they did, or at least taking down his post. But they're going along with it.


Alecia

OK, so they definitely don't know it's Win's brother. It's going to be really hard on Sam if he sees that post or hears about it. From what Win said, he really did repent.


John

I don't think Sam will ever see it. Win said he hardly ever does anything with FCU online.


Alecia

But like you said, the FCU world is a small place, and the Overcomers group has a lot of people in it. All it'll take is one person who has a friend still going to that church, and word will get back to Sam.


John

Can't say that I care.


Alecia

It's too bad someone can't warn Win about it before Sam sees it.


John

Alecia, don't even THINK of what you're thinking right now. I know what you want to do.


Alecia

It would be a nice gesture.


John

No. Just NO. Don't go there. You got bitten once, don't let it happen again. Besides, Reg and Da Fucs will jump all over Brian's ass once she tells them who Sam is.


Alecia

You're probably right, but I think I'm going to unblock Win now anyway. I want to see what's going on with her if I can.


Something about the way Regina and the others were reacting to "Brian"'s post was bothering me. Stan, Neville, Katrina, Bonita—they had all jumped on Brian's thread within minutes. Within three minutes, actually, as if they had all been waiting for it to appear. They were already making snarky comments about jail birds and money laundering and Get Out of Jail Free cards and all kinds of crap that I didn't really understand. It was almost like they had rehearsed ahead of time what they should say. And it was all based on one post made by one person, a person I knew for sure was a fake, talking about Win's brother, Sam, who wasn't even a member of this group. Whatever was going on, I wanted to keep an eye on it.

John

I think you're right, Alecia. I'm going to unblock Win too.