Victims of sadistic evangelical priest want police to investigate

Victims of sadistic evangelical priest want police to investigate December 28, 2019
Screenshot from a Moore College video

BACK in June we reported on the kinky behaviour of the Rev Jonathan Fletcher, above, a leading London evangelical who, among other things, would beat men on their bare butts with tennis shoes, and force them to give him naked massages.

When the goings-on at Fletcher’s Emmanuel Church in Wimbledon came to light in the summer, there were flurries of lurid headlines concerning allegations that he “spiritually abused” vulnerable adults. But then all went quiet until this week when it was reported that Fletcher, 77, who was banned from preaching at the church 2017, may now face a criminal investigation.

His alleged victims are seeking legal advice to see if his behaviour warrants criminal charges.

Emmanuel Church, they claim, did not take their concerns seriously, despite their reporting of the abuse. One victim said:

We don’t feel that we can go anywhere, basically. There’s no one high up that we trust.

An Emmanuel Church spokesperson  said an independent review has been commissioned into safeguarding and Fletcher, with alleged victims, is encouraged to participate.

Fletcher has denied he humiliated people or made derogatory comments about their appearance, and claims that “anything that happened was totally consensual and non-sexual” and “the punishments were a) consensual, and b) mutual”.

He said he was “deeply, deeply sorry for anybody that I have hurt or harmed in any way”, adding:

If I knew the individuals that I had harmed I would seek their forgiveness and ask to apologise.

In June this year, after an article exposing Mr Fletcher’s preaching ban, Southwark Diocese confirmed allegations had been made around his potentially “harmful” conduct against “vulnerable adults who may be seeking his spiritual guidance”.

At the time, Sarah Hall, the safeguarding officer and women’s worker at Emmanuel Church, said:

We are appalled and saddened by what has been disclosed. We apologise to all those who have been affected. Whenever we have become aware of Jonathan Fletcher seeking to minister, and although it is not our formal responsibility to do so, we have taken such steps as we can to stop him.

The church also offered “independent pastoral and counselling support” to those who came forward and added it was:

Actively taking steps to identify others in need.

Fletcher subsequently admitted to inflicting sanctions on his prayer group including:

Going without chocolate, cold baths and school-type gym punishments.

In a statement he said:

Although at the time we definitely did not think we were doing anything wrong, I’ve seen since that it could have caused much harm both to individuals and to the reputation of conservative evangelicalism for which I am profoundly sorry.

In September this year, an Anglican Ink article signed by six people, pointed out that Fletcher had reacted to allegations by writing a letter to Evangelicals Now, and that the letter was:

His only public reaction to the allegations that he has been guilty of serious and chronic abuse of power over men who regarded him as their spiritual leader.

Jonathan Fletcher’s response to the allegations is to seek to minimize them, and to feign astonishment that anyone should find his blatantly bizarre and abusive behaviour inappropriate. By this means he continues his self-deception and, drawing on the power of his previous reputation, pressurises others to share it.

He implies that he doesn’t know who he has harmed, or how he might have ‘unwittingly’ harmed them. He asks his victims to identify themselves to him, and says that he wishes to ‘beg their forgiveness’ (although he does know who some of them are).

Then, with a frankly breathtaking misinterpretation of 2 Corinthians 2:5-11, he lays upon them a duty to forgive the harm that he himself refuses to acknowledge he has done. 

In all of this, Fletcher prioritises his own reputation, and the reputation of what he calls ‘the evangelical hierarchy.’

In his choice of language and his misuse of scripture, Fletcher doesn’t seem to have recognized that it is ‘time to come clean.’  On the contrary, he appears to be trying to invoke what is left of his authority to suppress the voices of victims. 

Fletcher was once heavily involved with sado-masochistic Church of England boot camps where homosexuals were horribly abused. He was one of a number of LGBT-hating evangelicals who ran the the notorious Iwerne Trust Christian summer camp.

"She seems to want a bloody war. If we refuse to support Drumpf in his ..."

End-timers gleefully anticipate a bloody war ..."
"Depending on the sequence your interpretation of the texts leads you to think was predicted ..."

End-timers gleefully anticipate a bloody war ..."
"But they still continue to believe that various things will happen in the exact same ..."

End-timers gleefully anticipate a bloody war ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • HematitePersuasion

    And there will be persons still surprised at this constant niggling stream of sexual and personal misconduct. It must take great discipline to be that oblivious.

  • Broga

    “Going without chocolate……”

    That’s a bit over the top isn’t it? The man clearly shows no restraint.

    Being a priest I suppose he was supplying the fair trade variety.

  • Old Harry

    If only this were the past century and this fine example of British bigotry could have been dispatched to the colonies to chastise and abuse The Natives until they ‘pulled a Sepoy’ on him or the pestilence got him. Or, made a 4th rate public school head master.

  • Broga

    ” “spiritually abused” vulnerable adults. ” Is that different from ordinary abuse? Does spiritual abuse include whupping them on their butts with tennis shoes?
    And why tennis shoes? I’m not sure I know what tennis shoes are? Are they like gym shoes?

    I see we have the Archbishop Of Canterbury delivering an uplifting homily tomorrow. I have it from deep throat inside wherever he lives that it will feature a profound and inspiring message on why we can be optimistic by looking to “communities.” This looks riveting and one not to be missed.

  • Old Harry that was the way of the 19th and early to mid 20th Centuries. No doubt that the ‘loving’ father would gladly wish that he could turn back the hands of time and be exonerated and be shipped off to some colony of the British Empire, where he would be the only ‘white man’ for a hundred kilometres or so. He would be THE authority and could do as he pleased without question.

  • The Rev. Jonathon Fletcher now wishes that he was in the time of sheer ignorance, when there was no ‘internet’, no instant communication, no talking amongst victims of what he terms, victimless and harmless actions. But we are living in a world where victims speak out, and join together with each other to find and bring shame not on themselves, but on the one who took advantage of their weaknesss and hope for change.

    Why men would go to a priest or evangelical hater of gay men, for counseling is beyond me. There is no such thing as an all powerful invisible sky daddy who will remake you when younare dissatisfied with yourself. This invisible sky daddy does not exist and people who say that ‘he’ does does are decieving themselves and the public, which is by far the worst crime of all. And because of this deception, there are people who misuse and abuse the authority they have been given as a public trust: which is exactly what Mr. Jonathon Fletcher has done to an extreme. He is as guilty as ‘SIN!’

  • Freethinker

    Trained by Mother Teresa herself.

  • Raging Bee

    Fletcher … claims that … “the punishments were a) consensual, and b) mutual”.

    Um…what?! Did he ask his victims’ permission to punish them each time? And how is punishment “mutual?” Did he hurt his hand swatting his victim’s bum?