Analysis of the Dean Butters Statement. What are the Lessons Learned?

This post is an analysis of the Dean Butters statement. It looks at the themes and issues that need to be discussed. From James MacDonald’s mental health to Harvest Bible Chapel being a family business. There is a good portion of material for people to read and process. Hopefully this will help them see the issues.

“When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.”


You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.

Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard

“It is doubtless true that religion has been the world’s psychiatrist throughout the centuries.”

Karl Menninger 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV 

There is much to discern and learn from the statement Dean Butters made. As one person said on Twitter the other day, Dean “butterized” James MacDonald. Many issues stand out in Dean’s letter  and we should look at a few of them in this post. If you have not read the Dean Butters statement you can do so in, “The Wondering Eagle Exclusive: Dean Butters Statement.” Plus you can also read about why I decided to publish the Dean Butters statement in, “Why Publish the Dean Butters Statement in Its Entirety?



Is James MacDonald a Sociopath or Mentally Ill?

Reading the Butters statement left me with one question in my mind. Is James MacDonald a sociopath or is he mentally ill? The statement reveals stories of belittlement, cruelty, abuse, anger and more. If James ran afoul of Illinois or Michigan law and submitted to court based psychiatric testing, would he be diagnosed as a malignant narcissist? Or as a sociopath? Would he sail through a polygraph with no guilt at all because sociopaths have no remorse of conscious? I am not a medically trained person but I have worked with people who have been mentally ill and known people who deal with the topic. James’ behavior paints a picture of a person dealing with alleged severe mental health issues. 


James MacDonald has No Respect for the Handicapped or Disabled

James MacDonald has no respect for those that are handicapped or disabled. Stop and consider how James acts, and then think of that stunt that he did where he acted like he is homeless. How does a person act like that and then laugh and mock someone who was disfigured in an animal attack or accident? You can read more about that homeless stunt in, “James MacDonald’s Homeless Stunt. What he Teaches as Compared with how he Acts.” How can a person be so cruel? Is this another indicator that he is a sociopath? In thinking this over here is what it also reminded me of as I reflected on this information. Donald Trump once  and laughed at a disabled reporter for the New York Times who had a joint condition. MacDonald reminds me of Trump’s cruel behavior and is similar in that regard. Its my understanding that the crippled, handicapped, maimed and more would qualify as the least of these.  To James they are people to mock and emotionally abuse. 


The Elder Board is a Failure and Harvest Can’t Reform Itself

The Elder Board is a failure at Harvest Bible Chapel. They will never be capable of leadership.  According to my understanding Greg Bradshaw gave the copy of the Butters letters to a few elders. Rick Donald, James and Steve Huston then tried to suppress the letters. Dan George gave the letters to the rest of the elders. The elders were going to terminate James MacDonald but the Mancow audiotape sped up the process. The letter writers were told that their letters would be kept secret. But here is part of the problem. Look at the elder update from February 13, 2019. In that update they state that James was fired for inappropriate language, being domineering, and anger. The description largely ignored the Dean Butters statement. Honestly I would have thought that any healthy organization upon reading the Dean Butters statement would react instantly to find out what is going on and to remove such an individual. The Harvest Bible Chapel elders left out the following material from the Dean Butters statement which included alleged sexually explicit tape, greed, theft and many more. Can I pose the question how is such an organization capable of reforming itself when it faces such issues and is slow to act? Or when it can’t act? The house is burning down and Harvest is having problems recognizing the fire even exists. 


Fred Adams is a Tool of James MacDonald 

Fred Adams is a tool of James MacDonald. Fred is useful to James MacDonald and always will be. Fred likes to pucker up and do some “Gospel Centered” rear end kissing. Fred will put his rubber stamp on what ever James wanted to do. Look and consider all the waste that took place. Stop and contemplate how James set the tone and Fred helped to create the lie about the debt. This blog believes that if Fred Adams has a license to practice accounting in Illinois it needs to be suspended. This blog believes that Fred is engaging in fraud and that local law enforcement should investigate how Fred handled the money at Harvest. 


Women Are Not Respected 

One aspect that bothered me is that women are not respected at Harvest Bible Chapel. Again going back to Dean’s statement read about all the mocking and attacking of pastor’s wives. Honestly? How often did that happen at the Act Like Men or before hand? All this crap about men leading, and James is going to belittle them because he enjoys it? What type of man would stand around and let their wife be treated in such a fashion? Reading Dean Butter’s statement resulted in me rethinking the situation Dan Haskell is in. Is the reason why what took place in front of his wife because the Harvest culture has no respect for women? What does this mean for sex abuse or sexual assault? Is there domestic abuse that has occurred and its covered up? Leadership happens from the top down and this blog believes that in this culture there is a lot of sexual abuse and domestic abuse that will also come out in time. 


Soul Care Counseling is Unprofessional and an Alleged Means to Blackmail People at Harvest 

There are several topics to pursue in regards to Soul Care. One is that it reveals that Harvest Bible Chapel, as well as many evangelicals struggle to comprehend ethics. This appears to be the new facts, confidential information that people would share in Soul Care  would then be given to James MacDonald for him to weaponize the information at his choosing. This was one of the more disturbing aspects in Dean Butters statement. This would not happen in a secular counseling session in Elgin or Palatine. If a psychologist shared confidential information the state of Illinois would suspend his license and ability to practice. Think of all the elders and their families who used Soul Care over the years. And what could some of that confidential information that was shared be? It might be information like this: 

  1. Elder A goes into to share that his wife had back surgery and that she has developed an addiction to Oxycontin. 
  2. Another Elder might share that he was caught looking at pornography at work and has a problem with Human Resources in his company. 
  3. Yet another one might share that his son has become an alcoholic because of excessive partying. 
  4. Then you might have a situation where two parents, one happens to be an Elder learns that their son is gay. 

This blog would like to pose a question. Is the reason why James MacDonald kept the Elder Board off him is because he knew about sensitive information  and could blackmail those on the elder board? For example could James have done the following? 

“Elder you’re asking too many questions about my home in Inverness. Remember when you were caught by Human Resources for looking at porn at work? Who would look at porn at work!! Was the girl cute? I know you discussed your porn problem in Soul Care but I didn’t make an issue of your porn. So back off my finances.” 

Or it could be like this…

“Elder how is your son doing? Man could he drink! What was said in Soul Care? That he could easily consume a 12 pack of Budweiser at a party. How is it that he didn’t have a DUI? How does a person so hammered get home especially when they drove there? You’re asking too many questions about my income. You aren’t qualified for Elder but I didn’t hold it against you when your son was an alcoholic. So don’t ask questions about my lifestyle.” 

Could James MacDonald have operated in such a way? Due to how the Elder Board functioned for years, yes I believe its an aspect to be considered. 


Kathy MacDonald is Complicit is the Corruption of Harvest Bible Chapel 

This blog really has not written in depth of Kathy MacDonald. Perhaps the time has come where she should be looked at in more detail. This blog would like to know was Kathy given a Harvest credit card that allowed her to go on shopping sprees? Yes people at Harvest were giving to the Lord, but in reality were they helping Kathy to sustain her shopping sprees? Do you know how many times some of the people I speak to in the Chicago area tell me that they had acquaintances that bump into Kathy when she is at Target? Perhaps Kathy could become the new mascot for the Target Corporation in Minneapolis. Kathy after reading the Butters statement is very much complicit in the corruption at Harvest. Much needs to be inquired about her role in the finances at Harvest Bible Chapel. The fact that she would also violate confidence as described by Dean is also horrific. 


Harvest Bible Chapel is a Business of the MacDonald Family

The Butters statement also teaches us the following. Some people go into the business world and open up a Chic Fil A franchise. Others could open up a small business such as a plumbing company or lawn maintenance. In the case of James MacDonald church is a business. Think of all the people who could give money. Why James has his own personal ATM machine. Its everyone who sits in the pews. For the MacDonald’s Harvest Bible Chapel was a business. It was a way to make money. The pure excess and waste that Dean Butters wrote about in the statement are quite troubling. I can’t figure out why a person would want to give money. In such a questionable entity why give money? That just baffles me. Its such a waste and you then think of the other things you could do with that money. A family vacation to create many memories. You could give it to the local homeless mission. There are so many ways you could give where the money is not enriching the MacDonald clan. 


Why Did Dean Butters Not Go into Detail About James MacDonald’s Alleged Anger Issues?

One aspect that stands out in my mind is that Dean does into great detail about so many issues. From how James weaponizes information to the financial abuses that take place. But what also stands out is the lack of information given about James MacDonald’s incidents and allegations of violence. That segment is the most banal of the entire statement.  Why is that? Is Dean afraid to put down on paper the allegations of violence that have occurred? When I read the stories of James MacDonald’s anger issues I have a growing question that I would like to pose. In a state of rage could James strike, hurt or even take someone’s life? Sometimes people do things in acts of anger  or when they are driving in fits of road rage that can destroy a person’s life. Here are a couple of examples that I found in researching. In December of 2018 in the Porterville, California area a neighbor became enraged at a dog when it urinated on his lawn. In response he took a gun and shot the dog to death.  Then there is another situation that occurred in Chester County, Pennsylvania. A driver, David Desper, was angry that he was not allowed to pass while driving and in an act of road rage pulled out a gun and shot a recent high school graduate in the head as she drove. Her car crashed into a tree and they thought it was an accident until the coroner found the bullet in an autopsy. You can read about the conviction and  sentencing and more here. James MacDonald has deep seated and serious anger issues. Is he capable of harming another individual? This is a hard and difficult question to ask but one that should be posed. The more evidence that comes forward about MacDonald the more disturbing this situation becomes. 


Harvest Bible Chapel is a Cult and the Abuse and Manipulation Mandated this Statement by Dean Being Published 

The section about baiting people to Harvest so that they can become part of the system and then give money to support James MacDonald’s excess is a reason alone why Dean Butters statement had to be published. To attempt to entice people who are broken in many ways so that they can be exploited is frankly sick. In many professions abuse reporting is mandatory. Its mandated in education, medicine, social work, and government employees. Why would evangelicals want to stay silent about such abuse? That just bothers me deeply. It weighs on me as time has gone on and has reaffirmed that this statement had to be published. 


Dean Butters is to be Respected and Singled Out for Bravery

When I read this I came to have a deep amount of respect for Dean Butters. This is a former Harvest leader who made mistakes but who tried to do the right thing. When I read this I wondered to myself, why would Dean want to leave this silent? It made no sense. Dean comes out looking well and shows that he wanted to do the right thing. What does he have to be afraid of? After all consider how in Julie Roys original article individuals like RT Maldaner, Alan Tsao and Bob Langdon went on the record. This blog hopes that the former Harvest community will reach out to Dean Butters to support and stand with him. It took some courage for him to write that statement and for doing it at the key time. 

That is all I have to say in this post. This blog has learned that Kathy MacDonald adores Lady Gaga so in that spirit I am going to leave you with one of her songs. Kathy can blast the speakers as she reads about herself on this post. Then she can plan another shopping trip to Target. 😛 

6 thoughts on “Analysis of the Dean Butters Statement. What are the Lessons Learned?

  1. Thank you Wondering Eagle for taking the time to write about these issues as well. You may want to correct the date above you have to Feb 2019, you have listed 2009. I had been a member for years and I am so grieved to learn of all the truth about James and his family, as well as the behavior of the elders and leaders. This is unfortunately a sign of the times. How anyone can deny the many statements from elders, witnesses, workers, etc is beyond me. James is no doubt a sociopath and his wife a gold digger.
    She knows what is going on and is living high on the hog. She likes her celebrity lifestyle and their family has absolutely used the bible as a business. There is no doubt they collect information from people to use against them. Harvest has done that to my family. How the love of money and fear of this evil dictator have damaged many in God’s church. The writing is on the wall Belshazzar, how sad you ignored God’s warning and hardened your heart!


    • I made the correction. Thanks for the catch. I got this up late last night and was tired. I went through it again and caught some more grammatical errors. Appreciate the feedback.


  2. Wondering Eagle, sincere thanks for your role, along with TED and Julie Roys, in helping to expose the MacDonald mafia and the criminal organization that goes by Harvest Bible Chapel and its affiliate criminal enterprises.

    Playing the Devil’s/James MacDonald advocate here, is it possible you may have over-complicated the situation, skipping the Ocam‘s Razor step?

    Is it possible that MacDonald, his family, the innumerable elders and leaders that kissed his behind (polite metaphor vs the actual sallygirl one) for so many years, including those that are still there like Collett and Bradshaw, are not complicated mental deficiencies, but simply – – wussy sallygirl punks. ( again, a more blog friendly metaphor is being used here.)

    They could not collectively fight their way out of a paper bag so they surround themselves with other spineless wusses and pretend to be chest pounding men and collectively degrade and abuse everyone around them simply because that is what wussy sallygirl punks do to make themselves feel like actual men.

    At least until they get their face bashed in a time or two and realize that that behavior is not accepted in the real world. Alas, they did not live in the real world.

    Dean Butters made it clear in his letter that MacDonald bootlickers would rather have their wives denigrated than man up and do what men do.

    Ergo, Ocam’s Razor. Yes?


    • It’s a possibility to consider. This is my analysis but there are many different ways to look at the situation. Please feel free to share your insight and experience. Those of you who were on the inside know Harvest the best. Thanks for the comment.


  3. I appreciate all the work you put into revealing truth in a world where now Churches are being infiltrated by imposters pretending to be pastors.. It takes courage and we are accountable to God, not man. The Harvest and Willow Creek scandals have has been very damaging to many.I sadly never realized how corrupt James is and to learn of how he has treated people is horrible. Praying for this truth to continue as these evil forces have come upon God’s Church. God’s got this one James, with his feet up.

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