My name is Elizabeth A. In the Assembly I was known as Beth. I was George Geftakys' private secretary from 1973 to 1977. I was motivated to tell my story after reading of "Kristin's" experience. There were so many similarities with mine. Although it didn't go as far with me, much of the psychological manipulation was exactly the same.
I am writing this after I heard about the West Los Angeles Assembly inviting George back into fellowship again. I want to help establish that George's immorality has been a very long-standing problem, in case there is any doubt in their minds about its seriousness. I hope my first-person account will help dispel any lingering misconception that what is reported on this website is just gossip.
My father was a successful American Greek businessman. My mother was a devout Catholic. All seven of us children were confirmed in the Catholic church. I went to college in Colorado, abandoned church, had a disastrous love affair, and was depressed when I graduated.
I came back home to Orange County in 1973, and ran into Ginger (Shanks) Geftakys, with whom I had gone to high school. She had been homecoming queen the year after I was. She invited me to a Bible study at the Woodcrest House in Fullerton. George impressed me as a godly, spiritual man. He spoke as if he knew about God. I was curious about it, and taken in. "A grown man talking about God??!!"
Over the weekend Diane S. shared some verses with me out of the book of Proverbs and I was born again. I immediately quit smoking. Somehow I just knew I should, and it happened instantaneously. I went to worship on Sunday, and George made a point of meeting me afterward.
Very soon I was assisting him with his letters. At the beginning, I had to learn how to do it. I typed them three or four times to get it down right. We would go out for coffee after the Bible studies with other people, counseling them. Sometimes it was just the two of us. I wanted to be near him, I wanted to be with him, because he was the voice of God. Soon I moved into his home, which was a training home with other single people living together with George and Betty. I officially became George's secretary, and began going with him to meetings. He was always saying, "I'm your real father. Your dad is not your real father."
When George was away on his "journeys" he wrote me letters. He quoted Song of Solomon in them. He bought me many gifts - books, little trinkets, even some clothes. He gave me a volume of E. B. Browning's poems, inscribed, "To My Dearest Elizabeth."
On his days off, we went to bookstores in L.A. Once when we went to a movie, he held my hand. I was with him in his car when he kissed me passionately the first time. I remember thinking, after that kiss, "Oh, shit!" Another time I was rubbing his feet, and he kissed me. Betty came by at that moment, and he quickly moved away. He kissed me passionately like that maybe half a dozen times.
Gay Mau Walker, who also lived with George and Betty at that time, happened to catch him with me. She was very upset and talked to Betty about it. Betty came to me and said, "You need to move out of our house. You and George are too close." Betty counseled me through Fenelon's book, Christian Perfection. She identified George with "the unspiritual leader" Fenelon speaks of, the one who is "in his flesh." I was devastated, but relieved that Betty was still talking to me. Betty told me about the woman who painted George's plaques. "You're not the first one, you know." She considered me another affair in George's life.
I moved out to Joannie N.'s training sisters apartment. George called me one time, "Oh, sister, God had mercy on us. He has really forgiven me. We have to keep this quiet." I said to him, "It wasn't 'us', George. Speak for yourself."
I was not the only "sister" with whom George had this kind of romantic relationship that didn't go so far as sex. There is at least one other, to my knowledge, besides myself and "Kristin".
Comments from Readers
August 30, 2008, Chaplain Steve Lowe, Orange County Juvenile Hall: "When Beth was in the juvenile ministry she was ill most of the time. Her coloring was a carrot-color and she had undiagnosed physical symptoms. I will assume fear, guilt, shame, and the felt need to hold things inside contributed to the physical problems. I will also assume that since George is out of her life and truth has emerged, she is feeling much better. Am I right?" Yes, he is right. Here's a recent pic.
August 30, 2008, anonymous: Hearing things like this causes me to see more clearly the damage done to all of us, both men and women, by the scam known as the Geftakys ministry. I too was impressed by the Assembly during my initial contacts. I too was taken in by George's portrayal of himself as a godly man, whose words were to be received with utmost seriousness.
In 1981 George preached a seminar called "The Fountain of Life", taken from the first epistle of John, in which he basically said that those who had not perfectly and decidedly turned their back on old sins were probably not saved. At that time I was struggling with my relationship with my family and the fact that I frequently lost my patience with them. As a result of George's "wonderfully anointed preaching" I spent three and a half years after that seminar doubting my salvation.
George drove people to suicide with his preaching - his way of portraying himself as the only one who is successfully living the overcoming, deeper Christian life. And all this while forcing himself on single women. And to think that a number of his lieutenants knew all along what sort of messed-up person he was! Gasoline may have a better chance of surviving the day of judgment unburnt.
September 4, 2008, Dave Mauldin: During a
fellowship at George’s home he told me indirectly that I better not try
anything sexual with the sisters. He illustrated this with a story about
Beth Alex. He said that he had led Beth Alex to Christ and this gave him the
right to protect her from brothers (like me) who were out to mess around
with the sisters. After reading this account I am very angry that Gay didn’t
do more about it. Also I am angry that she was such a strident defender of
GG during those years.
Further reading on clergy sexual abuse: