This post is provided as a courtesy for those who have read any of the several other articles on my blog with regard to the claimed local Organic Church Ministry claimed by Jim Wright, Crossroad Junction, Fulcrum Ministries and Nathan’s Voice. Before considering the claims of Jim Wright, these are questions that need answers. If you are provided answers to any of these, please feel free to place them in the comments here for possible inclusion. Continue reading
(Note: As further evidence of the ridiculous counter-charges of Jim Wright and Marianne Wright of “Racism” Facebook deleted the Crossroad Junction Page noted in this article in March of 2015 for Multiple Community Guideline Violations which likely included recognition of the issues documented below.)
It’s somewhat sad when the following adage is demonstrated; “Racism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
While racism is indeed a very ugly thing, the ugliest thing in this current situation for Jim Wright is numbers and facts. Jim Wright is welcome to attempt to desperately change the subject. I’ll give his sad response all the attention that it deserves, which is none. Those who know me, know that “elitist racist” is not descriptive of me, and those who know Jim Wright have mostly left his blogs, social media networks and more and more he’s simply yelling into a room with an audience who has little in common with him and who simply visit his page to perform a paid like. There is little community or connection involved at Crossroad Junction.
That’s really sad when you look at it because instead of addressing this, Wright’s response is to try to spin it as a positive. It begs the question that if Wright were really sincere in his desire to reach out to the Philippines then why was it necessary for him to wait several weeks for me to point out what was happening before he announced his welcome after dwelling on it for several days? Organic Church community for Jim Wright is OK to advertise for on Facebook but in practice in his own claimed network here in Northern Virginia he cannot even produce names.
After waiting several days to apparently think through how he would respond to the numbers present in my last blog referring to him, which revealed the huge anomalies in his Facebook page activity since April 28, instead of coming forward and admitting that something was quite unusual and unexplainable, Jim Wright responded with a welcome to his new audience in the Philippines and what appears to me to be a new addition to Fulcrum Ministries. This may be a difficult thing for him to pull off, however as these people have names and profiles that can be looked at to decide how legitimate their interest in his “organizations” are or even if some of them exist in reality. Continue reading
(Note Facebook has since deleted the Crossroad Junction Page of Jim and Marianne Wright for Multiple Community Guideline Violations which likely included some of the issues demonstrated in this article.)
Jim Wright Responds with More Attempted Deception
“Bart, your paranoia runs deep. I have never used a script or any other method like you mention to do whatever it is you are describing (frankly, I couldn’t fully follow your blog) – or for any other purpose. In fact, Bart, I don’t even know what that is. I have on occasion paid for ads by Facebook on Facebook itself to promote my blog, but that’s hardly any sin.”
This is demonstrably near impossible as I will show below.
An Expert in this Arena
Pam Moore is a well-respected expert in this arena and recently provided an article that shows how to tell if somebody is using the unethical practice of buying Facebook Likes or using some sort of a script or networking following system. So, to show people how to do this I will walk through the process and show the results using Crossroad Junction on Facebook as an example. It is a classic example by any measure. Maybe Jim, since you claim you don’t understand this despite your years of blogging multiple sites, this will help to educate you a little better and jog your memory. Even if someone is not interested in this related issue, this will be valuable for anyone to show a case study in how to catch somebody using these unethical types of schemes.
How to Spot Someone Who Buys Facebook Likes or Uses a Script
(Note, Facebook ultimately deleted Jim and Marianne Wright’s Crossroad Junction Page for Multiple Community Guideline Violations which included much of what is included in this article.)
How do Internet Trolls Operate?
As I recently provided an article about Jim Wright and his internet sites of Crossroad Junction, Nathan’s Voice, Fulcrum Ministries and now Fulcrum Express I thought this might be a good opportunity to show people some of the methods that are used by online entities to try to create the illusion or the impression of a very loud voice. This gives their messages a sense of credibility for those who view them but aren’t aware of what they are doing and how they are doing it. By understanding this you’ll be less likely to be fooled by those who use what are sometimes referred to as what many see as unethical and are sometimes referred to as “Black Hat” internet techniques.
I’m using Jim Wright, Nathan’s Voice, Fulcrum Ministries, Crossroad Junction and Fulcrum Express as an example as they are currently on my mind from my research into the organizations but this is useful information for anyone to have so that they can answer questions when they are presented with internet information that they want to check to see who is actually putting it out there.
This is a Prime Example of How an Internet Troll Operates
Jim Wright’s Phony Organizations
They even talk to one another!
Over more than a year I’ve researched Nathan’s Voice, an organization local to where I live in Northern Virginia. I wanted to understand the source of some accusations that were being made against another Christian brother. As I did, I realized that there were things at work that merited attention. I looked beyond the immediate accusations and saw some clear patterns emerge that I think people who interact with Nathan’s Voice, or a myriad of other phony organizations that are a front for Jim Wright and his wife Marianne Wright, either locally or online need to be aware of aware of in evaluating the credibility of these organizations and the accusations they make. Jim Wright uses blogs as and identifies himself as Nathan’s Voice, Fulcrum Ministries and Crossroad Junction on social media. There are others he uses as well but these are the main ones at this time. Jim’s current wife Marianne, lends her name and reputation to the primary Crossroad Junction blog and for that reason, she’s addressed as well, although clearly Jim Wright is the primary violator in what these organizations do.
So Who Is Jim Wright, Really?
Unless I state otherwise all of the information I am providing is accessible publicly online, or it is the result of interviews I’ve had with representatives of local churches, members of the local churches involved or those who have interacted online with Jim Wright. The opinions expressed are my own. I am doing this independently and on behalf of nobody but myself as a community service and to provide information that may be helpful for those who find themselves interacting with Jim Wright, Nathan’s Voice, Fulcrum Ministries, Fulcrum Express, Fulcrum Forum or Crossroad Junction or whatever subsequent group Jim may create.
Phony Victims Groups put Real Victims at Risk
Most importantly, I’m concerned for those who have been abused in a church in any manner who might be directed to contact Jim Wright or his wife Marianne. I sincerely believe that those who reach in that direction are likely to suffer harm or further abuse from this unqualified and untrustworthy source. I’m not stating that Jim or Marianne are sexual abusers themselves. I am stating however, that unqualified and unaccountable people are not whom sexual abuse victims need to be trusting.
Have you tried to talk with him about your concerns and to solve things that way?
Yes. I have contacted Jim Wright several times. I’ve asked to visit his home church and been informed that he considers me hostile and doesn’t want me present. I’ve offered to meet with him privately as well in the presence of witnesses. I’ve even offered to invite G.R.A.C.E. an organization that Jim Wright claims he’s positively associated with to mediate and Jim Wright has refused all offers and countered with none of his own. I think it’s sad this has to be done publicly. However, Jim Wright refuses to address these issues privately and so, as he chooses to attack in this manner, he must be countered in this manner.
You first looked at Jim Wright when he attacked an acquaintance of yours?
Yes. That is what motivated me to search and figure out what was going on with Jim Wright. The situation with this Christian Brother is a separate issue from what I am doing here. I am part of a group that has put together a statement regarding that and Jim Wright’s other online activities.
Beyond that however, I live in the Northern Virginia area and am a part of the christian community as well as having connections with local organic fellowships. Jim Wright claims to represent some organic networked churches and uses that claimed relationship to justify his actions in defaming other people and organizations. I feel it’s important for people to have the benefit of knowing what the background and patterns of behavior are with Jim Wright, so that they can balance that against his own carefully created and presented online persona. If you want to believe Jim Wright and what he has to say in some areas, that is up to you. At least now, you’ll know the rest of the story.
Did you have any interaction or dealings with Jim Wright before this incident?
Yes. I “met” Jim Wright online around October of 2011. In fact, he posted this message to me here on this very blog.
Jim Wright | October 9, 2011 at 8:44 am (Edit)
I say (sic) a comment you left on the Organic Church group on FB, and you said you were in the northern Virginia area. Same here. Would love to find out what’s going on regarding other organic church fellowships in the area. We have several in the Prince William County area. You can contact me through my blog.
We initially connected on Facebook and interacted a few times in different capacities. As I saw some of the things Jim Wright had to say about other people and the way he treated them, it became clear to me that he had a very narrow theological view that wasn’t particularly kind or tolerant. After Jim Wright attacked me and my beliefs by mischaracterizing a post I made, I chose to block him.
It wasn’t until I learned about his use of his blogs and social media to attack others that I unblocked him and went to see what he was doing. It was at that time that the scope of what he was doing and how he was doing it struck me. I started to ask him questions (many of which we’ll address below) about him and his organizations, and he quickly blocked me. I found him using a false screen name on Facebook as Joe Ashton in an organic church group (he confessed to it at the time and tried to pass it off) and I also caught him posting a backdated Blog Post to try and minimize the news that he’d been excommunicated from his last local church.
That’s important to know as Jim Wright is quick to claim to others that I’ve blocked him in several mediums. The truth is that Jim has done the blocking and it is him who chooses not to address this directly with me. As he doesn’t want to answer many of these questions, I’ve taken the liberty to get answers as best I can. If they are not complete, then Jim Wright had opportunities to answer them for me, and has chosen not to. Jim attempts to paint himself as a victim and martyr and conveniently leaves out key facts.
So, Who is Jim Wright?!?
This is his “blurb” on his primary blog, Crossroad Junction as copied directly on May 19, 2013. His full name is James Curtis Wright, or James C. Wright, but he usually goes by Jim Wright and he lives in Manassas, Virginia.
Jim is a church sower, public but unassuming, thinker, mentor, teacher, older brother in the faith, motivated by redemption, foe of tyrants, friend of the dispossessed, retired attorney, entrepreneur, private pilot, and so-so bass fisherman.
Well, before you start polishing his halo, spend some time looking around his postings on his blogs and in social media. You’ll quickly find that these terms are all pretty relative and self-aggrandizing.
Is Jim Wright a Church Sower?
Well … Jim Wright says he’s a church sower. Apparently Jim’s definition of a church, (and actually I don’t have a huge problem with this, but it does play on the ambiguity of the term) can include people having coffee together. I’ve asked Jim Wright to visit his home fellowship, which I believe exists, and he said no. So all I can go on is what he says publicly and looking at what evidence I’ve gathered in talking with others. It appears to me that Jim’s home church is comprised of himself, his wife, his parents (his father recently passed away), and maybe 6 -8 other people. I don’t know if these people are “regulars”. They may well be a succession of people whom Jim has made contact with through an obscure prison ministry.
Aside from what Jim self-reports, speaking with others the impression I’ve gotten is that people who meet Jim as he visits with them in prison (or their families) see him as compassionate and friendly initially. He claims to open his house and he may well do that in other capacities. Some of those who visit his “home church” however have reported to others whom I’ve interviewed that they find a stark contrast when they visit the “church” setting. They find the teaching harsh and in many cases aimed at other people and movements that are painted as “post-modern” and out of line with Jim’s beliefs. The impression I get is that the tenure of most people in this “church,” is relatively short. All comments point to the conclusion that Jim is the central figure and the model he engages in is more like the shepherding movement of the 80s and 90s which focus on spiritual covering and chains of command rather than organic church which is by definition non-hierarchical.
It begs the question as to why Jim Wright even tries to identify himself and his home church as organic at all. In fact, recent findings in various articles online, newspaper articles and interviews with prior friends who knew Jim Wright and his parents in the 1980s make it clear that Jim Wright has very deep roots in the Shepherding Movement, which is about the most polar opposite approach to organic church that can be imagined.
Outside of that, Jim claims to be a part of a network of churches in the local community, many of which he claims he’s had a part in starting. Again, I asked him for contacts and his response to me was in an email:
The fellowships that related (sic) to each other here, as best I understand, are open to all who actually seek fellowship. That, unfortunately, does not describe you based on your numerous hostile posts on Facebook and your clearly stated intent to set yourself up as judge over them – even though you yourself have never demonstrated an ability to function in an actual local participatory fellowship. Nonetheless, I have no say over who a particular fellowship accepts into their gatherings. You can take it up with them individually. I do not control them or speak for them, but simply relate to some of them as one who helps and in a number of cases has been involved in starting them.
That’s an interesting response. If you wade through Jim’s blogs you’ll find he’s visited other local organic churches and groups and on at least one occasion used such a visit as an opportunity to trash the people, the church and their spiritual maturity. I guess when Jim has engaged in this activity himself it’s hard for him to imagine that other people wouldn’t be like him.
It’s somewhat vague too isn’t it? By the way, I have been involved in participatory fellowships, although Jim didn’t ask. I’ve visited and been part in at least one other that Jim himself visited and subsequently trashed. I have no desire to set myself up as a judge. I just want to see them and meet with the people and know who they are, how they function and what they do; no dice with Jim, however. It’s an interesting contrast however. Consider this response later when we look at how Jim claims to represent this “network.” He is essentially the sole voice and claims “elders” for whom he speaks for collectively. I guess it depends upon what hat Jim is wearing as to how well connected he is with these people. He either speaks for them or he doesn’t know them well enough to put seekers in contact.
I’ve spoken with one former participant who was a part of Jim’s home church in 2006 when it was more of a bible study apparently while Jim was in an institutional church and who has visited the group as recently and he states that he is unaware of any network of churches and suggests that Jim Wright may be using the term loosely as the home church will switch between homes and occasionally meet in other venues. The same people are essentially participating and all that is different is the location at some given time.
How about “public but unassuming”?
Well, it certainly confirms what I’ve said, that Jim Wright is a “public person”, so this is entirely appropriate to do on that basis as confirmed by Jim. “Public but unassuming” is a pretty meaningless phrase outside of that. It’s clear Jim makes many assumptions when he deals with people. Just as he did with me above in his email, Jim assumes that I’m just out to get him, rather than better understand who he is and what he claims. I haven’t met a person I’ve spoken to about Jim that describes him as humble and quiet. He is continuous in his efforts to draw attention to himself and his endeavors. He is constantly working on his public persona online and there’s very little chance if Jim has an opinion on something and you’re around that you’ll not hear it.
So, it’s certainly a nice Public Relations claim but what does it mean? I guess we’ll leave it at that.
Come on now! How about thinker?
Yes, Jim Wright is a thinker. He appears to think a lot. If you want to read through the voluminous material he has on the web (which I have) you’ll find evidence that he likes to think.
Jim Wright thinks about theology. He attended a Seminary and studied apologetics before he eventually went to Law School where he obtained a JD and focused on litigation. He’s careful to couch his representations there as it appears he didn’t graduate. Nothing wrong with that by the way, just noting it. I have some Master of Science work that I’ve done and haven’t graduated with it yet either.
Jim Wright thinks about other people who think or believe differently than he does. He thinks about why they’re wrong. He thinks about labels he can apply to them. Most of all, if he sees a way to talk to them or about them in a way that makes Jim Wright look good and attracts attention to Jim Wright, then it appears to me that he likes to think about that too. He especially likes to think about people whom he sees as having stood in his way to his desire to assume positions of influence or assume positions of leadership. Jim Wright likes to be noticed, listened to and respected. Nothing again, necessarily wrong with that, but I’ll let you decide if Jim’s desires there are balanced and healthy. But, yes.; Jim Wright can think.
Is Jim Wright a mentor?
Jim Wright says he’s a mentor. Who has he mentored? I haven’t seen any names. Again, it’s a nice word for PR work and resumes. It certainly puts him in the position of being the leader though, doesn’t it?
It would appear so. Jim represents himself as doing a lot of teaching. When you look at it carefully however, the definition appears to include mostly meeting at the jails or at his home where he provides seminars for some of his entrepreneurial endeavors or occasional counseling courses based on Theophostic Counseling. Jim and his wife Marianne represent themselves in places as being “Pastoral Counselors” based it appears on their claim to be Theophostic Prayer Ministers.
He also teaches with the organization, Emmanuel Christian Institute, an apparently unaccredited program based in the Caribbean Islands. Again, no mocking intended. It simply demonstrates the claims made on the one hand and then the reality of what is at work. Jim Wright’s advanced degree is in Law, not theology. Again though, it certainly reflects the superior position that Jim Wright believes he occupies and deserves relative to others once again. Perhaps he’s compensating for some form of disappointment in not finishing and pursuing a career in church work or theology earlier?
Is Jim Wright an Older Brother in the Faith?
Jim Wright claims to be a Christian and holds himself out as a leader, mentor, teacher etc. He appears to have some form of faith. He might even recognize yours, as long as you agree with him, or at least don’t fall into any form of “error” which he frequently labels as “post-modernism” etc. If you read his writings for any period of time like me, you may definitely come to see him as a familiar “Older Brother” as described by Jesus in one particular parable. But once again, we see the assumed position of Jim Wright relative to those who are wise enough to sit at his feet and recognize his superior position. The more you come to know Jim Wright, the more you’ll find that Jim Wright likes to assume the role of the “Older Brother” and probably doesn’t see the irony in that title.
Is Jim Wright motivated by Redemption?
I’ll leave it to you to decide that on your own. Motivations can be pretty difficult things to discern. Sometimes people may not know what is motivating them even when it’s pretty evident to others. Redemption doesn’t seem to be a very high priority the more you read and observe of Jim Wright in my opinion. Redemption ties into things like Grace, Mercy and Service.
Jim likes to pick fights and then when people respond to his aggression, he is fond of the term, “You picked the wrong guy” and goes on to present himself as a tireless crusader for whatever cause he’s claiming to represent. When he gets specific about things and goes after people, those names seem to be people from his old churches or his attempt to create a following on the internet by going after people who have a higher profile than he has and are promoting theology or methods he disagrees with. Is this Redemptive? Jim Wright appears to make more enemies than he does friends in any event.
Is Jim Wright a Foe of Tyrants?
I guess it depends on what you define as a tyrant. As best I can see, Jim Wright considers those who stand in the way of his deserved place as the focus and center of attention to be “tyrants.” He certainly speaks in many areas in theory of opposing hypothetical tyrants. When you look closer however, you find that the people he personally targets and sets himself as a foe toward, are people from his personal sphere of influence. He cloaks himself with the title “Foe of Tyrants” but in practice, it looks remarkably as if he’s got another agenda going as well. He talks a very good game, but when he actually plays the game, it’s pretty revealing whom those “tyrants” are.
They’re people from his past churches and people he has had online disagreements with in other areas. It’s one thing to speak about things in general. When you get specific however and the only people showing up on your radar screen are people you personally have had issues with before you come out with the accusations, that isn’t a foe of tyrants in my opinion. That is a muckraker and rumor-monger.
The “Tyrants” Jim Wright goes after the most are people and organizations he’s already in conflict with previously and on other matters. Examples to this include the two last local churches Jim Wright was a part of in Manassas, VA, Sovereign Grace Ministries, and Christian Authors with whom he disagrees.
Is Jim Wright a friend of the dispossessed?
He’s active with Prison Ministry as noted. He claims to speak for victims in other realms as well, and understandably in those situations it wouldn’t be normal to name such people. It’s pretty easy to claim anonymous people and when you add to that that when Jim Wright claims to speak for anonymous “victims,” “witnesses” and “elders” it’s a pretty obvious and fair question to ask whether these are real “dispossessed” people or rather just manufactured or exaggerated entities that serve the purposes that Jim Wright has independent of his claimed sympathies. It’s a pretty easy cloak to wrap yourself in, when you claim to represent victims of sexual abuse.
Of course people do and people should have strong reactions to the abuses that take place there. When you look at Jim Wright however, other than mentioning things from the media which are accessible to everyone and then you look at whom Jim Wright and his organization have actually “named” and gone after, there are mostly (maybe even only) those whom Jim Wright has had some level of personal contact with himself, and has had previous issues and then all of sudden there are huge “scandals” that come out. A reasonable person really should ask why that is the case.
A reputable organization operating in this arena should have named board members and leaders and any who have previous relationships with those accused should be recused so that any information released is not tainted with an apparent or plausible conflict of interest, in my opinion. In particular Jim Wright has claimed to base his charges at time on the testimony and representations of Keith W. Smith and his wife Jeanne Elder Smith. Keith W. Smith is a confessed academic and professional fraud that Jim Wright clearly made no effort to check his falsified credentials.
Is Jim Wright a retired attorney, entrepreneur, private pilot, and so-so bass fisherman?
Yes. As far as I can see, he is. (See! …. I can give short answers too.)
There’s evidence online besides Jim Wright’s own self-representation that he’s a retired attorney admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia. I have found no evidence that he’s admitted anywhere else but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he isn’t. The public sources for the State Bar for Virginia do not show him as an active member in its public listings and Jim would have had to request his listing to be removed, The Justia listing shows only Washington DC.
What about some of these organizations?
Thanks for reminding me! I will not address all the organizations here, because there are many other organizations tied to Jim Wright that may be involved with other partnerships or endeavors and may not be ministry related. There are old ones as well as current ones. I have no desire to go outside of that here, but I came across many others. That’s evidence to me that Jim is indeed something of an entrepreneur. How about if we start with Fulcrum Ministries?
What does Jim say that Fulcrum Ministries is?
Jim says this about Fulcrum Ministries on his Crossroad Junction personal blog.
My blog is not the web site for Fulcrum Ministries. Maybe some day we’ll get around to doing that.
In the meantime, here’s some basic information:
Fulcrum Ministries is nothing more than a legal framework – including government recognition where needed for tax or counseling confidentiality purposes – for small gatherings of believers who meet in folks’ homes, jail dormitories, homeless shelters, coffee houses and other improbable places for fellowship and to participate together in the joy of knowing Jesus. We don’t however, call ourselves “Fulcrum Ministries” or anything else – that name’s just a placeholder for legal purposes.
So it’s just a name that can be used for legal purposes?
That’s what Jim says.
Is that how Fulcrum Ministries acts?
Not in my opinion. Fulcrum Ministries, as best as I can see is one legal entity that Jim Wright has created, which provides him the means to pretty much present anything he does or says publicly as part of a larger network of people which in turn he uses to try to amplify his own voice and his own importance.
Well, for one thing, Fulcrum Ministries is often used as a created entity in Jim’s other blogs, which “speaks.”
What do you mean by that?
When you read announcements and statements in these blogs the name of the “person” speaking often is “Fulcrum Ministries” and it uses terms such as “we” and “our.”
That seems odd? I thought Jim said it was just a legal placeholder and he and these unnamed other people didn’t call themselves “Fulcrum Ministries?”
That’s what he said. It’s not how he functions with it however.
So when Fulcrum Ministries speaks, who does the talking?
I have seen no evidence that is ever anyone other than Jim Wright.
But who else is he speaking for?
I don’t know. Jim Wright doesn’t say. He makes claims to be speaking for, depending upon the circumstance, the fellowships collectively, the other “elders” in those fellowships, and then in other contexts for victims, witnesses, the “dispossessed” etc. I’ve never seen any evidence however that there actually are other people who put their names to his statements, identify themselves and stand behind him in the public actions he takes.
Are you saying that there aren’t other people?
I’m saying I don’t know. I only see Jim Wright speaking. I hear claims of others. I don’t see them and they aren’t identified in anything but general terms. When I ask to contact them to visit a fellowship, I’m met with a brick wall. I contact the “official web site” of some of these organizations under Fulcrum Ministries and all the points of contact go exclusively to Jim Wright. I ask if there is any other representative of the organization to speak with, and I receive no reply.
This is what Jim Wright apparently defines as being “hostile.” He holds himself as the point of contact for multiple organizations, but the only voice I hear and the only person I see is Jim Wright. That is not normal. A network of organic churches is not a secret society. It is a fair question to ask, “What is Jim Wright hiding?” Are these organizations real or are they just a form of an internet “megaphone” to make someone’s voice louder?
Jim likes to write about “cults.” Jim is the only face for all these claimed people. If that doesn’t smell of “cult” then I don’t know what does. Jim has accused other organic leaders of having poor track records in churches planted that haven’t lasted and can’t be tracked. Jim Wright holds himself up as a standard for organic church and he can’t verify, name or provide contacts for the ones he claims currently exist. Again a former member of the house church who attended as recently as a year ago, is not aware of any other fellowships that exist outside of the core group in the one home church that has meetings in other locations with essentially the same people in part or whole.
I get the impression that Jim Wright and his organizations may just be something like a movie stage set for an old Hollywood western. There’s just one set of old shacks and buildings but when a movie is going to be shot, stage hands make facades on the outside to create whatever image the script calls for. Fulcrum Ministries by being an ambiguous organization used as an umbrella for this network of organic churches, can take on any facade that Jim Wright’s script calls for, in my estimation. So when Jim Wright says it’s just a legal placeholder, in one sense he’s saying it can be whatever he wants it to be. It does “speak”. It does claim to “do” things. It provides for interesting “theater” when it “acts”.
There’s no reason however, that I can see to believe that Fulcrum Ministries is anything other than Jim Wright, acting according to Jim Wright’s dictates and needs. I am and I believe anyone else should be, completely skeptical of anything Jim Wright claims to say on behalf of unnamed others. I’m not saying there couldn’t be others. I just strongly suspect they are not the numbers nor is there any real formal collaboration to the degree that Jim Wright presents and leads people to believe and I won’t believe it until I have more than Jim Wright’s claims to the contrary.
Can you give me an example of what you mean?
Jim Wright claims repeatedly that he is an “Organic Sower” and represents a network of fellowships. Jim Wright however, until at least 2009 was a part of local Institutional Churches in the Northern Virginia area. He mentions them repeatedly on his blogs by name and names individuals and pastors with whom he has “issues” or “concerns”. To look at the claims you’d think that each church is led by a coalition of demons set upon destroying the Kingdom of God collectively.
After Jim left both of these churches, the last one by excommunication which he tried to hide, and began to use his blog sites to blast them as strongly as he could to “warn others” of the dangers that were there, Jim appears to have decided that organic or participatory church was what he wanted to be involved in and so he took the step of coming out of these Institutional Churches and presents himself online now as organic churches.
However, Jim did something following that, that seems rather odd and demonstrates what I mean about allowing Fulcrum Ministries to become whatever his specific needs in a specific time require. Jim actually contacted the local Ministerium of Institutional churches in Manassas Virginia, in which both of his former churches were a part, and sought admission as a representative of “Fulcrum Ministries.”
What? Why would Jim do something like that?
You’d have to ask Jim I guess. It’s my understanding that he attended a meeting or two and then fell away, but the fact remains, that for at least a short time, Jim effectively represented Fulcrum Ministries as an organized church or ministry seeking standing and seating with the other local Institutional Churches in the area.
Why would he want to be a part of a Ministerium that included two Churches he was so vigorously attacking in public?
I don’t know. There’s some fairly evident reasons that might present themselves I think. If you’re aggressively attempting to shame two churches and pastors, then getting yourself into a forum where just your presence can be perceived as a further statement against them, is pretty heady stuff for an angry and bitter person who is attempting to take his pound of flesh as it were. Also, more charitably, it may be that he was attempting to explore it as an avenue to get more exposure to his vision for his network of ministries. It certainly makes no sense however that he would attempt to define himself as a local Institutional Church.
So I’m confused? Is Fulcrum Ministries an Organic Church network or an Institutional Church?
That’s the point. When you create an amorphous, ambiguous loose organization, and you’re the only public voice and person representing it, you can present it however you want it to appear. When you’re attacking two other local churches, you can make yourself an Institutional Church. If you’re attacking leading voices and authors in the organic church community, then you can make yourself not only an organic fellowship, but claim that every meeting you’ve had in a prison dorm, halfway house, home or even just meeting in a coffee shop is now part of a network of organic churches. It’s especially easy if you refuse to answer questions about who you are and who you represent. You can maintain the image of speaking for a large contingency of unnamed and unnumbered people.
Might they be there? I suppose, but have you ever called a church or ministry or person before and asked to visit because you’re curious and want to see them and then been told not to come? Even if you think someone is “hostile” or “skeptical” can you imagine Jesus telling somebody not to come to meet him and hear him? There’s certainly a lot of questions to ask. I wouldn’t accept the claim of anything terribly large or extensive without more than just Jim Wright’s word. The past “organic churches” that Jim Wright claims to have founded with his parents, are now tied in primarily to Sovereign Grace Ministries and again there’s strong tones present from the Shepherding Movement of the 70s and 80s.
What are these other organizations that are part of Fulcrum Ministries?
Jim identifies the following as the organizations of his legal framework on his blog as:
Pastoral Counseling: The link to this service goes to a post on Jim’s Crossroad Junction blog, where you find out that the Pastoral Counselor is Jim Wright. Jim has no known credentials in Pastoral Counseling. He claims training in Theophostic Prayer Ministry. Theophostic Prayer Ministries goes to great lengths to make clear that they are not a counseling organization and offer no credentials.
Fostering Indigenous Churches: The link to this service goes to a post on Jim’s Crossroad Junction blog where you find out that the Church Planter, Sower, Foster-Parent is Jim Wright.
Redemption Homes: The link to this service goes to another WordPress Website, with 5 blog articles by Fulcrum Ministries (the framework speaks!) and, you guessed it, Jim Wright.
Nathan’s Voice: This link to this service goes to another blog site, which claims to be about helping victims of abusive churches and exploitive (sic) church leaders. There are no names given as to who comprise this voice in the about section, and the blog articles are all written by either (and this get repetitive) Fulcrum Ministries and Jim Wright.
In other words, Fulcrum Ministries and Jim Wright are the only voices and there’s no reason to believe that Fulcrum Ministries is anything or anyone other than Jim Wright in terms of who speaks, responds and acts on behalf of “Nathan’s Voice.”
Let’s take a closer look at Nathan’s Voice however, because that’s where Jim Wright launches many of his attacks.
OK. So Nathan’s Voice has no other names you can see identified other than Fulcrum Ministries and Jim Wright. Why does that matter?
Victims advocate groups are unusual entities in many ways. There has certainly been many public instances of scandal and cover-ups and a growing awareness of instances of abuse in Churches and involving Spiritual leaders. Often those who are victimized, have great difficulty speaking out for many reasons including pain, trauma, embarrassment, shame, the loss of spiritual community and fellowship, a tendency on the part of congregations to not want to believe the accusations etc. It’s entirely appropriate for there to be some level of anonymity for victims. It’s even appropriate for there to be at times some level of anonymity for witnesses, for similar reasons, although there’s certainly something to be said for people being accused to have the right to face their accusers and the witnesses, but that often is something that takes time and process to arrive at.
There’s no reason that I can see however for those who are the representatives of the organization not to be named. In fact, that’s pretty much essential. The reputations and the credibility of those of the organization who are screening situations is foundational to the credibility of their voices collectively. That’s what is so puzzling about why Jim Wright refuses to name his collaborators whether they be fellow board members, elders, counselors in the community etc.
Jim speaks highly of one other such organization which is called The Hope of Survivors. If you look at that site and click on the “Corporate” tab, you’ll find you can easily access the names of those who serve as leaders and volunteers in the organization. The Board of Directors is clearly identified. You find no such element for Nathan’s Voice. I find it hard to believe that any credible public organization claiming to speak for victims of sexual abuse would not provide the names and credentials of its board and leaders but Nathan’s Voice doesn’t and we’re left to dig into the blog articles to see that it is Jim Wright and Fulcrum Ministries alone that are the contacts, the voice and none others except those that Jim Wright asks us to trust are there behind the scenes.
That’s what it looks like to you?
Yes. It’s not hard to see that if you look at the voices represented, there is only Jim Wright and Fulcrum Ministries named. Fulcrum Ministries seems to be what is used when actual accusations are being made toward actual people other than general articles or references to people in the media which are public. That’s pretty straight forward, by having an organization make the accusation, you provide liability control and you also put in place layers that people have to go through in order to find out who is making the charges if there’s a desire to hold whomever is making charges accountable. So if you are the person making such a charge, and your personal concern is cloaking yourself from liability and responsibility for those claims then it might be a plausible strategy to create an organization, put it under another organization, and then speak with those two layers of separation from yourself in order to create a barrier and make it harder and more expensive for someone to find out who you really are.
I’m saying that while it isn’t too terribly hard to see through the organization to know that Jim Wright is the only point of contact and spokesman, that most people who come upon a blog article making such a claim, are going to take it at face value and presume that these other entities are more than a group of unnamed people with Jim Wright doing all the talking. For many people the perception becomes the reality. Articles like this are linked to on other blogs and spread on social media and people who have never heard of Jim Wright, Fulcrum Ministries and Nathan’s Voice assume this is something like a news release, or a reputable organization with named representatives and board members who are carefully screening the information they might put out which if wrong, has the potential to have devastating impact on somebody’s life and reputation. Would you want to be the target of accusations from a possible committee of one?
What makes you think that might be going on?
Nathan’s Voice has been up as a blog site for about two years. Jim Wright claims that Nathan’s Voice has helped “hundreds” of people with different forms of assistance. He doesn’t say who they are (understandably in many cases) nor does he say where they are or in what context they’ve been helped. Counseling could simply refer to the different forms of counseling that Wright and wife provide in their own activities or they may have other counselors that they refer people to. It’s an odd claim however because the Wrights are Theophostic Prayer Ministers and not legitimate pastoral counselors at all.
Wright, as I’ve noted before and I’m willing to correct this if he contacts me, doesn’t appear to be a practicing attorney admitted to the State Bar in Virginia based on the public listings in online directories I’ve examined. He may have other attorney’s whom he’s connected with in Virginia who are sympathetic or supportive to his cause. Again, I see no reason that such relationships wouldn’t be disclosed or such people on the “board” named. We only have Jim Wright to contact and he’s the only one speaking.
In the two years that Nathan’s Voice has been online as a blog, there have been two public accusations of abuse or identifying abusers.
That seems unusual for an organization that’s helped hundreds doesn’t it?
Yes, I think it does.
So who are the two accusations directed toward?
One of Wright’s former churches and an author in the Organic Church community whom Jim Wright has been attempting to confront on theological matters for more than 2 years.
What? Both of them have ties to Jim Wright personally?
Certainly the former church is a personal connection.
The national author Wright has never met, but people from Wright’s former churches that I’ve spoken with have told me that Wright actually has given out books by that author and supported his writings early on while he was exploring “organic church.” If you read Wright’s blogs you will see that early on, he tried to engage with the author publicly and after a short period of time, the author stopped interacting with him due to the growing volume of public contacts and the escalating tone of challenge and disagreement with the author in several areas mostly having to do with theology and what Jim Wright decried as “post-modernism” at work.
Jim Wright also likes to repeatedly attack Sovereign Grace Ministries and claim that he’s involved in lawsuits against them. Even there though, Jim Wright has a personal grudge and vendetta at work because Sovereign Grace Ministries took over New Covenant Church in Arnold MD, that was founded by Jim’s father Bob Wright and this “replant” is apparently supported too by the “organic church fellowships” that appear really to just have been run of the mill, garden variety Shepherding Movement hierarchical cell groups.
So Jim Wright has strong opinions?
Yes he does. He describes himself as evangelical with a reformed bent.
That means he has strong ties to the fundamentalist movement in general, has participated in the past with pro-life organizations, and has strongly opposed influences in theology such as liberalism and neo-orthodoxy. Jim Wright though for some odd reason in other places doesn’t like being associated with “Fundamentalists” even though he and his dad, Bob Wright freely used the term in their political activism.
Why should I care about that? I don’t even really know that that means.
I just state it so you know that Jim strongly believes that if you don’t accept his particular narrow view of theology that he sees you as a threat to stand against and oppose. This type of activity is typically known as “Heresy Hunting” and Jim Wright is quite active in it.
So that’s what happened with this other person who was accused by Nathan’s Voice?
After continued escalation, over a period of about a year, then accusations of sexual impropriety came out.
So you’re saying that there’s only been two accusations made by Nathan’s Voice and both were people with whom Jim Wright had other issues?
Yes. I’m saying that.
Wouldn’t a reputable victim’s organization recuse someone who had other issues with a potential public announcement that could ruin somebody’s life and reputation?
Yes. I think that would be the case. Such a person would certainly not be utilized in reviewing such a situation and then speaking as the sole voice of the organization. That would create a very clear conflict of interest and the appearance of a personal vendetta that a credible organization would want to avoid.
Jim Wright could clear that up of course immediately by giving names and contact information of board members and professionals involved (if any), and he’s been asked, but he won’t do it. When I’ve asked in social media he has blocked me. When I’ve asked by email and form submission he’s ignored me.
It also raises the very serious question that if Jim Wright isn’t being transparent where he can and should be with fellow leaders of the Nathan’s Voice organization, then what is happening with the anonymous victims and witnesses behind the scenes?
So why isn’t Nathan’s Voice using someone else to speak?
I don’t know. Ask Jim Wright. Perhaps there’s nobody else who can do it?
So what do you suggest someone should do when Jim Wright begins to visit their forums, blogs or Social Media?
I can’t tell other people what to do, but my recommendation would be to be very careful. Be prepared for highly judgmental evaluations that will be measured by what Jim Wright believes is going on. Labeling is likely with words like, “post-modern”, gnostic, or existential being thrown around a lot. You can expect a lot of references to his network of churches and organizations to try and establish credibility and convince you that Jim Wright is somebody who is important and should be listened to.
Overall, I’d suggest simply ignoring him, or once the escalation is noticed to go ahead and block him or remove him from your group or community. He’s used to it. He’s been banned on many websites and in many social media forums. Often he’ll then take the “conversation” and put it up on his own blog where he can continue the conversation (really a monologue) and pronounce the final disposition of the issue which will be exactly what he stated in the first place.
What should I do when I see accusations made by Jim Wright against people and churches?
Well, of course, even a stopped clock is right occasionally, but based upon Jim Wright’s personal history and track record any such accusations he comes forward with, should in my opinion, be treated with extreme suspicion and remain that way until there’s actual evidence with other people putting their names and reputations alongside of Jim’s and his organizations. Absent of that, you should just consider it the speaking out for attention of a man who has been hurt and frustrated in achieving his place with the visions of his organizations and you should especially check to see what relationship Jim Wright has had with those accused. To this point, the only people who have merited that attention have connections to him that provide an explanation to possible motives outside of the way he attempts to portray himself as a crusader and friend to the weak.
What should I do if Jim Wright targets me, my church, my friends or my church leaders?
Realize that Jim Wright doesn’t have a great deal of credibility online. His past accusations haven’t been picked up by more credible blog sources or Christian Media. Facebook has deleted his Crossroad Junction account for multiple Community Guidelines Violations. In most cases, just ignore him. Engaging with him provides him with a platform to expand his accusations and continue in the image he wants to present to you and the way he wants to present you.
If the charges are especially outrageous and serious, and you want to pursue it, you could pursue some form of libel charges. Know however that such actions are typically pretty expensive. Jim Wright in fact creates multiple groups and LLC specifically for the purpose of protecting himself against litigation which he seems to expect and in a twisted way, maybe even invite.
Although Jim Wright may not be an admitted attorney in the venue you’re acting in, he can act as his own attorney and I suspect he would actually enjoy being sued in this manner. It gives him the additional platform to speak from as a martyr for his cause, and it allows him the position to use every tool at his disposal as a litigator to tie things up in court, increase your costs while he works for himself and then in the end to probably make some sort of settlement that will not be public but which in the end he can claim victory. Add to that the layers of corporate separation that he’s set up and it could be a long, expensive and emotionally draining endeavor. So that leaves Jim Wright and his organizations with a lot of barriers to keep you from holding them accountable. The costs of pursuing such an action could be very high.
Jim Wright’s blogs are currently all hosted on WordPress as the content server and they do have terms of service that provide recourse outside of the law. In addition, there are ways to file complaints if you believe Wright has violated those terms of service.
Check out the terms of service at: http://en.wordpress.com/tos/
Complaints can be filed at: http://en.support.wordpress.com/disputes/
A good way to confirm the information related to Jim Wright’s Blogs and Organizations is here: http://www.domaintools.com/
Also, you can link to this blog and website as it’s been around for a while and is a pretty thorough reference that provides a lot of information. Many blogs and organizations have deleted Jim Wright from participating based on the information presented in this blog.
What if I have any questions about you and what you’re doing here?
I’m accessible on my blog here and I give information about myself. I’m not an organization. I’m not trying to pretend to be anybody or anything I’m not. I’m simply using my blog to give my experiences, the results of my looking at Jim Wright based on my local proximity to him, and my opinion based upon my observation of his online activities. Leave a comment on this article if you like. All comments on my blog are moderated and don’t go up unless I’ve reviewed and approved them. So don’t assume your comments will be posted if they aren’t germane to the issue. Jim Wright has made it clear on his blog that he will not post any responses on his blog countering his accusations unless they pretty much are just a declaration of surrender and agreement to his accusations.
I’m not quite so unrealistic and impressed with myself. If I find I can improve this blog article for accuracy I will gladly update it. My intent in doing this is to make people aware of who Mr Wright is, what his organizations are and what to consider when engaging with him. I have no desire to harm him. I simply wish to contain some of the harm he appears to enjoy doing and the attention he likes to attract to himself. As he does this in the public eye, he’s as open to public examination as the people he seeks to “expose”.
This article is solely my possession and speaks for no-one else but me. These comments represent my good faith effort to accurately convey my opinions and findings as I’ve examined these issues. I am willing to make corrections as needed.
Aren’t you concerned about what Jim Wright might do to you for asking these hard questions?
Well, if history is any indicator, I likely will become a target for Jim Wright. I accept that. He’s made it clear he doesn’t like me, my beliefs or my questions.
I think there’s something very important here however. Independent of whether any of the accusations that Nathan’s Voice is making are true or not, it is not right for an organization taking it upon themselves to make them, to not be as transparent as possible and held to the highest standard possible itself. Anything that even smacks of vigilante justice and the personal destruction of churches and church leaders in the end is not helpful to the cause of genuine victims and witnesses.
There are any number of alternatives to the way Fulcrum Ministries and Nathan’s Voice in particular are operating in this instance that wouldn’t leave the concerns being expressed here open to these basic criticisms. Either of these situations could have been handed over to other organizations where no such issues or apparent conflicts of interest existed. Jim Wright cannot be claiming to speak for victims when his own motives and desires present even the slightest hint of a personal agenda. When charges are released publicly as they have been, there has to be some level of internal control and balance that doesn’t risk making exaggerated or even fabricated claims.
If I have to take a hit for being the only person brave enough to stand up to Jim Wright to bring these issues to light and ask the tough questions then I’m willing to do it. This goes beyond my concern for my friend and asks Who is Jim Wright and these organizations and how can they operate in this manner without these questions being addressed and answered? Without that there’s no basis of credibility and we’re left to simply wait and see who will be next in the cross-hairs. If it’s me, then so be it.
(Note: True to form, Jim Wright has frantically tried to defame me in many ways including trying to label as a stalker, a cult leader and a sexual abuse promoter. This was the basis in part of Crossroad Junction being thrown off of Facebook. That should tell you something.)
According to this post made by Jim Wright in 2010, he was part of a group expelled from a United Methodist Church in what was probably the mid to late 1970s. Note that this post was less than a year after being excommunicated from his local Church in Manassas VA in 2009, and at the time he was still representing himself as a “Church” and his position as a “Minister.”