Guidepost Solutions released their report about Bryan Loritts and the Fellowship Memphis scandal. The Summit and others are claiming that the report clears Bryan Loritts. It does not exonerate Loritts and in the process shows the deep level of issues that still exist with the Southern Baptists. The report is more of a whitewash and there are other issues like the ethical conflict of interest that exists in the report, or the fake doctorate that was not a part of the report as it was not the issue, but it shows Loritts devalued character. One issue of concern that this blog has is how Rachael Denhollender allowed herself to be used and thus rubber stamp a flawed report. Regardless this blog will still be writing about the issues of Bryan Loritts long term.
True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”
Martin Luther King
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly[a] with your God.
Micah 6:8 NIV
Fellowship Memphis at the time.
For this blog the saga that became known as the Fellowship Memphis scandal began with an email on August 14, 2016. That morning I got up, and in what I thought would be a mundane day sat down at the computer and checked my inbox. I had a note from a person of an alleged sex crime. It was a detailed note about voyeurism, the taping of people in a restroom and an alleged cover up in Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis. In my kitchen I keeled over and almost vomited. It was one of the most disturbing emails that I received. What I recall is trying to drive to church that morning and being unable to. I pulled over alongside the road and sat in my car trying to wrap my mind around what took place in an Acts 29 church in Memphis, Tennessee. The crime seemed so sick, I could not imagine it happening inside a church. I wrote a post about the situation based off the religious intelligence shared with me, That post became, “The Sordid Tale of Rick Trotter, Bryan Loritts, John Bryson and Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Presbyterian Church.” Usually at this blog I do not speak about sources and methods as I like to keep that information closely guarded. But in this situation my sources eventually went public so in this post I will use their names. This will likely be the only time this will happen in the history of this blog. After writing that above blog post Greg Selby reached out to me and told me that my post captured the story and that he was involved in the mess. Then with authority he talked about a cover up took place at Fellowship Memphis. He shared a lot of details about what Bryan Loritts did and his personal dealings with the Loritts family. This blog began to write about this issue back in 2016 and continues to do so. With the issuing of a report by Guidepost Solutions the saga took another turn, and that is how we got to this point.
Hoping for Miller & Martin and Getting a Whitewash Instead
With the entrance of Guidepost Solutions I honestly hoped that we would have a similar scenario to Miller & Martin and their Ravi Zacharias report. On February 9, 2021 Miller & Martin released a bombshell report that documented how Ravi Zacharias abused women in spas in Atlanta, Georgia and also made trips to Bangkok, Thailand where he owned condos. The report cleared up the issues with the abuse allegations and gave truth to them. In that context I privately hoped that Guidepost Solutions would be similar. I am not a believer in conspiracies but an establishment kind of guy. Instead, I would realize that truth would be a fatality with Guidepost Solutions with their report being issued. And it was a let down. I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt but I saw major flaws in their report. To write this post I held off a response, and read the report twice. I also wanted to see how it was being received in social media. So after doing this it was time to write my conclusions in this report.
There is much we need to ask about Guidepost Solutions before we can proceed forward. These are some of the questions that are raised.
- What is the goal of this report? To get to the truth or to whitewash Bryan Loritts fingerprints from the Fellowship Memphis scandal? This blog has heard that the intended goal was an “exoneration” and not a pursuit of the truth. And that this was allegedly the plan by Guidepost Solutions a couple of months back.
- How much money was paid to Guidepost Solutions from The Summit? Were the authors of the report promised bonuses if an outcome came in the favor of The Summit?
- On social media some people are claiming that since former FBI employees wrote this report that gives it credibility. Let me say that I have a deep amount of respect for the FBI. But what do we know about the employees who issued the report? Did they separate from the FBI honorably? Or did they leave under a murky cloud as sometimes happens for some who once worked in federal government? I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C. area for 15 years now and heard plenty of stories about how some people left different agencies over the years for a number of reasons. Just recently this blog profiled a Christian nationalist pastor involved in the January 6 riot at the United States Capitol. The person written about was influenced by a former FBI agent who separated under an ethical cloud who then founded a questionable ministry/organization that inspires Christian nationalists today. You can read about John Guandolo in the following post, “#PastorParler Alleged D.C. Terrorist Tyler Ethridge is Influenced by John Guandolo Whose Organization is Listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center Website as a Hate Group.” So what do we know about the Guidepost employees who worked for the FBI, in short not a lot.
Bryan Loritts Was Engaged in a Cover-Up
Despite what the Guidepost Solutions report claims here is what we know. There was a cover up at Fellowship Memphis. People have lived in fear over these last number of years. This blog has heard that Bryan Loritts has gone onto Facebook and bullied people into not asking questions about Fellowship Memphis scandal or posting about what has happened to the infamous IPhone. Plus Loritts is alleged to have also bullied people and claim there are no minors on the film. A guilty person in the view of this blog does not try and cover, obfuscate or lie. And yet when I spoke with people over the last few years they also convey the same message. Greg Selby faced the threat of church discipline over his threat to take this situation public. Why? Because Bryan Loritts wanted to cover it up. But the greatest indicator of a cover up in the view of this blogger is when Bryan Loritts put his own flesh and blood, his own children second to his publishing career, conference presentations and money. How much are Bryan Loritts’ children worth to him? The profit from the next Kainos Conference. That’s it his love for his children is secondary to the money he receives in the Christian Industrial Complex. All of this speaks volumes. And here is another question for Guidepost Solutions especially since the organization boasts of hiring former FBI employees. As a part of the process did they do a psychological profile of Bryan Loritts and ask him to submit to a polygraph to see if he was telling the truth? A psychological profile could also help determine if Loritts is a narcissist or sociopath. If that is the case that could create problems for a polygrapher. But as a part of this report did Bryan Loritts submit to a polygraph to see if he was telling the truth? It could have been an investigative tool that helped clear the air.
The Ethical Issues in the Report
The Guidepost Solutions report had some ethical issues in the view of this blog that need to be examined. In the report it discusses how Summit’s IT administrator Alex Choi worked at recovery of emails and evidence. This is a conflict of interest and how do we know that Alex Choi did indeed turn over all the evidence to Guidepost? Could you imagine a similar scenario in a crime situation ? Could you imagine a child porn suspect telling law enforcement “Yeah hey I’ll have my party search my hard drives and turn over whatever they find.” Of course not. But it also shows the flaws in Guidepost, consider how they describe themselves. “Guidepost Solutions is a leader in domestic and international investigations, compliance solutions, monitoring, and security and technology consulting. We work wherever your needs take us – whether on the ground around the globe – or from one of our offices located in Bogotá, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Oakland, Palm Beach, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore, and Washington, DC.” This is an organization that touts its recruitment of people from the intelligence community here in Washington, D.C. Here in the D.C. area you have a lot of talented individuals who used to work at the National Security Agency or Cybercom who have separated and began their own start ups that focus on cyber security, or cyber issues. Why didn’t Guidepost Solutions bring on an independent examiner who could look at Bryan Loritts hard drives and any older devices who is familiar with cyber exploitation. After all Guidepost touts its employees who come from the intelligence community and they can’t do better than Alex Choi, the IT administrator at The Summit? This is en epic fail. Its the fox guarding the hen house. In the view of this blog this is a major flaw.
The other concern deals with the issue of nepotism in the the report. Two of the people in the report are related to Bryan Loritts. Let’s be honest they have a vested interest to see him exonerated in this report and their testimony and behavior is also going to reflect that as well. In the report their testimony should be treated more cautiously due to their relationship with the person being investigated. They are not neutral. In contrast Jennifer Baker and Greg Selby are far more neutral as they are not related by blood. Thus, Jennifer and Greg’s testimony carries more weight then either Loritts family member.
The Summit Practicing Due Diligence? Honestly?
The Guidepost Solutions report credits The Summit for doing due diligence. In that spirit its flawed especially with some of what I learned about the investigation. As I explained above we don’t know why The Summit chose Guidepost. We don’t have a clue and that factors into this situation as well. What we do know is that when they started their work it was all toward Bryan Lorrits. Greg Selby and Jennifer Baker waited, and waited and it finally took an email from Julie Roys to Guidepost to get them going on the investigation. Is that what J.D. Greear thinks of when it comes to due diligence? Or transparency? Moving to protect the brand with the casualty being truth? There are so many times in writing this blog that I wish I could be a fly on the wall listening to the discussions behind the scenes. At The Summit when it comes to Guidepost that is more true than ever.
How Rachael Denhollander Threw Jennifer Baker Under the Bus
This next section is hard to write. But its something that I have noticed and given some thought to before saying what I believe needs to be said. Let me begin by saying I am aware of Rachael Denhollander’s story and I am sorry about what happened when she was younger. I wish people like Larry Nassar did not exist and that abuse she endured never occurred. And while I do have respect for her this blog remains concerned that Rachael was used in the Summit’s process and that she rubber stamped a flawed report that ultimately threw Jennifer Baker under the bus. I arrived at that conclusion after reading about her comments regarding Guidepost in the Houston Chronicle. Here is what she told the newspaper. “Summit’s decision to pursue an independent review of this situation was a healthy and needed step.” And then the part that troubled me. “The framework of bringing in a skilled credible firm , fully waiving privilege and providing avenues for anonymous and confidential reporting is critical in making it possible to obtain the information.” And with that second sentence in the view of this blog Rachael Denhollander rubber stamped a flawed report and gave it legitimacy. While this blog believes in independent reviews, Guidepost Solutions report has issues, and with a flawed document Rachael Denhollander established a terrible precedent. After all now its case closed! Nothing to see here! Next! And in the corner stands J.D Greear with a grin like the cat that swallowed the canary. Not only did Greear get a report that he views favorably but he co-opted one of his critics in the process. If this is going to be what Rachael is going to do moving forward than she is going to hurt more individuals and deny them justice in the end. Jennifer Baker has been dealing with this situation for almost ten years now. And Jennifer deserved better. Within the Southern Baptists Convention Caring Well has now changed to Cover Up Well. All J.D. Greear needs to do now is to have SBC seminaries establish a class called, “How a Baptist Pastor Covers Up Sex Abuse 101.” But in this situation the greatest injustice happened to Jennifer Baker. And Rachael is responsible for that aspect. Again its not easy to say but its something that needs to be stated.
The Fake Doctorate Shows Bryan’s Character Flaws Also
The Guidepost Solutions report focused just on the Fellowship Memphis scandal about Rikc Trotter. But that is not the only criteria to measure Bryan Loritts character. Last year Julie Roys wrote about how Bryan Loritts had a fake doctorate that he touted. You can read about it in, ““Dr. Bryan Loritts” Touts Questionable Doctorate from School with “F” Rating.” Why is that issue not a consideration of Bryan Loritts character? Lying is lying no? In many ways lying about your academic background can be a cause for many problems. For example a number of years ago the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s dean of admissions, Marilee Jones resigned due to lying about her degree. In some states people can be prosecuted for lying about a a fake degree. As Bryan Loritts has fled across the country is this part of the reason why he never went to Michigan? Because he could be prosecuted there for lying about this issue? Here’s a question I would like to ask especially with Bryan Loritts touting a fake degree. Would Guidepost Solutions hire a person who lied about their academic background? If its not a problem maybe Bryan Loritts can work at Guidepost.
Greg Selby and Jennifer Baker are the Heroes in this Story and they Deserve the Thanks of Many
This blog is concerned first and foremost for the well being of both Jennifer Baker and Greg Selby. Their fortitude is one of deep respect. This blog has known and worked them over the last five years. Jennifer has spoken out when other people have gone silent, became scared or distanced themselves from her. She has had to deal with a cult like organization that has had pseudo organizations in the past which tried to silence her, Other people have been afraid to speak up, but not Jennifer and this blog thinks the world of her and deeply respects her. The same holds true for Greg Selby. He challenged Bryan Loritts from the very beginning when this broke. The other day in a phone call he lamented the toll this scandal has had on his own personal time and his family. Here is it, ten years later and Bryan Loritts is still running from the truth and Greg just wanted Bryan Loritts to admit that he covered up the scandal, and to step aside for a brief amount of time and make things right. He wants accountability. Is anything more to be expected of a man who did expository preaching who called on men to be responsible and take a stand for Jesus? Why is Bryan Loritts now exempt from his own teaching?
In the end many in the SBC and modern day evangelicalism owe a debt of gratitude to Jennifer Baker and Greg Selby. When J.D. Greear’s The Summit thinks twice about covering up a sex abuse situation in the church headed by the President of the SBC, no doubt it will be because of Jennifer Baker’s and Greg Selby’s efforts. Truth and justice stand on their side where as corrupt, decadence, deceit and fraud stand on the side of Bryan Loritts and J.D. Greear.
The Fellowship Memphis Scandal is not Over
The Fellowship Memphis scandal is far from over. Deep down I was hoping for an honest and solid report that ended this topic. I deeply respected the Miller & Martin report and was hoping Guidepost Solutions would do something similar They did not. I was hoping to be able to let this issue go, but do to what happened I will not and am bracing for the long term. This blog will continue to write about the issues with Bryan Loritts and welcomes all stories that pertain to him. And while Guidepost did not exonerate Bryan Loritts the report still contains flaws that work against it. A number of those flaws were looked up above. It was really interesting in the view of this blog that on the same day this report dropped David and Nancy French published a story about the Pete Newman situation at Camp Kanakuk in Missouri. Pete Newman is the most prolific molester in the state of Missouri serving two life terms. And yet before sentencing Newman was brought into Fellowship Memphis allegedly with the blessing of Bryan Loritts and helped write criteria for Fellowship Memphis. Think about that, a man waiting to be sentenced for a prolific amount of sex crimes atone point was allowed to develop the curriculum at Fellowship Memphis. So as I wind this post down there is one think that can be said about the Guidepost Solutions report. There is one thing that it did well. In the end it was an indictment of modern evangelicalism and revealed how it is a cesspool of corruption, abuse, fraud and deceit. The bottom dwellers are people like Bryan Loritts and J.D. Greear. The Guidepost report makes clear that evangelicalism is ingrained with corruption, and that corruption is not going any where at all.