The story you are about to read reveals a side of George Geftakys that some of us will have a hard time accepting. We hear about pastors who must resign from the ministry because of falling into sexual sin. The reasons are many but often it is because the pastor let down his guard in a moment of weakness and passion.
However, this story is different. Here we read about a man who cunningly preys upon an innocent young woman, pouring out his sexual fantasies on her. The relationship portrayed here is certainly not consensual and not an "affair". He, not she, was in the place of power; it was his responsibility as the "servant of the Lord" to exercise purity and integrity, which he did not. He clearly betrayed the trust this woman had placed in him as "a man of God" and in so doing did serious injury to her soul.
As you read this story, observe the collusion that made it possible, collusion on the part of various Assembly leaders, and even George's own wife. This collusion is a seriously disturbing and sinister element.
Kristin wanted her story published out of concern for other women who might fall prey to George's sexual advances. In May, 2003, Kristin wrote a letter to the leadership in the San Francisco Assembly, primarily out of this concern.
Kristin tells the story in her own words. Subtitles were added by the editors for easier reading on a website. Each section can be read as a separate "chapter".
Willing To Do Anything
"The Lord Told Me about You"
The Trap Is Sprung
At Play in the Field of the Lord
The First (and Last) Kiss
A Private Sin?
Telling the Church
Prayer for Grace and Compassion
Comments from Readers
My name is "Kristin". This is not my real name, although my intention is not to hide my identity, only to protect myself from further injury in the future. Those who know or knew me and who read this account will be able to identify me.
I was involved in an inappropriate relationship with George Geftakys. The account of what happened is below. My motivation in publishing this story on the website is out of a responsibility I feel toward women who may find themselves in the proximity of, or in working relationship with, George Geftakys (GG). I feel it is important that as many people as possible know the truth about him. It has been difficult to write this story, and so it has been a long time in coming.
I sent letters to the leadership of the assemblies in Riverside and San Francisco briefly detailing my involvement with GG. I then outlined my concerns about their continuing to receive him in their gatherings and allowing him to preach and teach. There was either little or no response from the men to whom these letters were sent.
I have also consulted lawyers about trying to legally stop GG (other women who were also involved in an inappropriate relationship with GG have done the same). According to the law, GG and I were two consenting adults because I did not say "No" to him, and when I finally did set limits, he did not violate those limits. Therefore, I have no legal case against him.
I feel very ashamed to expose myself as openly as I do in this account, and while I have known the sweetness of forgiveness, the Bible does in fact say that it is a shame to speak of those things that are done in darkness. However, the Bible also places great value on knowing and making known the truth, and I believe in this case, it is my responsibility to make known the truth that I have.
I have sought to reconcile with all those whom I believed to have personally injured by my actions, but if I have offended you personally without realizing it, please contact me through the editors of this website. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to reconcile with you.
I have omitted everyone’s name from this account except for GG's, because I would prefer that the focus be on GG and his system, not others whose possible culpability (or lack thereof) I do not feel in the position to evaluate.
Here is the story.
I had been involved in GG's ministry in the Midwest, where I met "the saints" in my early twenties as an inexperienced believer, joined an Assembly there, and moved into a training home. I had participated in GG’s Summer School and a Mission and Training Team in the first two years of my Assembly involvement. Although quite emotionally immature, I had a very strong desire to serve God and "live for His glory", and I was trying my best to live up to all the Assembly standards that would affirm this (regular morning times, a good attitude, submission to the leadership, participation in all of the assembly activities, "entering in" in the meetings, etc.).
After two years of involvement in the Midwest Assembly, I moved overseas for college. I was earning a foreign language degree, and needed to have an immersion experience; I lived with "the saints" there as well and participated in the Assembly in that location. I loved being there.
GG visited that Assembly overseas as part of his annual Fall Journey. At the time of his visit, I was already behaving and operating according to several lies that I believed were true, and it left me very exposed to being manipulated and seduced.
I believed that serving God's servants, particularly itinerant brethren, and most of all GG, was the same as serving God Himself, and so that it was my duty to serve the itinerant brethren without limits and without refusing any requests. I believed that following God's servants was a practical demonstration of following God, and I believed that receiving affirmation from God’s servants was the same as receiving affirmation from God Himself.
I also wholeheartedly believed the Assembly interpretation of Acts 20:28, that the Holy Spirit places leadership in the church, and we are to "trust God" for the leadership, even if we believe they are making mistakes. The "spiritual response" to bad leadership was to pray and trust God to correct the leaders, I believed.
I also believed that as a sister, my role was to submit to the leadership, and that God would lead me through the leadership, meaning that I was to do what I was told and not to ask questions.
I believed that "finding God’s will" was done through prayer, reading the Word, and getting counsel with those in authority, the latter bearing the majority of the weight in the decision. (If I didn't follow the leadership’s counsel, I was independent and rebellious).
I also believed that GG, as the founder and leader of the ministry, had an extra-special and close relationship with God, that he was the ultimate authority and counselor in the Assembly system, and that he was directly accountable to Christ Himself. I held to all of these beliefs very strongly, believing them to be "godly".
Beyond this, I had already done a very dangerous thing during my two years in the Assembly: I had surrendered my will to the Assembly system. I allowed the leadership in the Assembly system (the ultimate leader being GG himself) to dictate to me my basic assumptions and worldview, my basic values and belief system, and thus my behavior.
Perhaps if I had sensed any danger, I would not have given up my will as easily as I did, but I felt certain that the leaders of the Assembly were godly and wanted God’s very best; I trusted that, as God’s appointed leaders, I could safely follow their direction, leadership, and guidance.
There were some men and women in the system who did not always surrender their will (a sign that I now see as healthy), but they were often slandered in the Assembly system as "rebellious", "independent", or "willful" (all viewed as very negative characteristics).
As a young woman, inexperienced and overly-idealistic, I chose to surrender my will unquestioningly (believing that this pleased God), eventually to what ended up being an illogical and unreasonable extreme.
GG and I spent a lot of time together while he was visiting the overseas Assembly; I was appointed to take him downtown to go to the bookstores and sight-see. We talked about the testimony to Jesus (I had just read his book about it and was enthusiastic), his poetry, and the Bible.
After a few days he asked me if I had ever been interested in joining “the Work”. If I were interested, I was to write him a letter telling him so, before he would return to the Assembly again four weeks later for the seminar he would give.
When he did return, I had written the letter (I considered joining the work to be a privilege). He asked me to do many things for him, including "zoning" his meals, typing letters, and running errands for him (usually with him).
Two days before he left for the next portion of his journey, I was typing a general letter for him, and suddenly he said, "You know, it would be great if you could be my secretary…" I was surprised to hear him say that, because he already had a secretary in Fullerton, but I felt pleased — what an opportunity to serve brother G, and to serve the Lord, and to serve the saints! I told him that I would love that.
Then GG said, "Seriously, Kristin, how deeply do you want to be involved in this work?" What went through my head at this moment was how I had heard GG say that he thought he might one day be persecuted for righteousness' sake and be thrown in prison, and how those who chose to stay with him and faithfully follow Christ would be persecuted as well. I said what popped into my head to express the devotion and the loyalty that I felt: "Brother George," I said, "I would go to prison for you." At the time I was very earnest and serious.
GG looked at me for a moment and then said, "You know, the Lord told me about you a long time ago, many many years ago, before you were born. I had a dream about you." I was stunned. He didn't elaborate, and that was all that he said. I thought and thought about why GG would have had a dream about me before I had even been born, and my only conclusion was that I was supposed to be some sort of helper or companion to him, somehow wrapped up in the destiny of this holy man of God. I could hardly believe it.
Later on that day I prayed to commit myself to serving brother G, believing that following God's servant was the same as following God. I told the Lord that by His grace, I would follow brother G wherever he led, and I believed this meant until the end of GG's life.
The next day we went sight-seeing together and GG mentioned again that he had known about me long ago. Then he said, "I don’t think I'm wrong about you, but if I am, you'll never hear anything about it from me…I will just fade out of your life. You won't ever hear from me again."
I felt confused, and so I told him about the commitment to serve him that I had made to the Lord the day before. GG looked at me carefully and just nodded, and seemed to be a little quiet.
Then he asked me to stop calling him "Brother" George and asked me to call him simply George. He told me that God had done something very wonderful, had "finally" brought us together, and although he didn't know how or when, he felt that someday God wanted us to be together forever.
At first I thought he meant I was supposed to be his helper or companion, but he was speaking to me in an intimate way, and giving me long, meaningful stares. Although he did not directly say it, I began to assume that he meant I was supposed to marry him one day.
He had often told me that I reminded him of his wife when he first met her, long ago, and how interesting that was to him. What I understood was that some day when his wife was gone (at this point, she was quite ill), I was to be with GG.
Because of my faulty belief system (i.e., believing that following, serving, and even receiving commendation from GG was tantamount to believing, serving, and receiving commendation from God Himself), I also trusted GG the same way I trusted God (idolatry).
As a result, during this very strange conversation with GG, it didn't so much as cross my mind that I was in my twenties and he was a married man in his seventies, and if it had, I doubt if it would have borne any relevance at all to me in the situation. I took GG completely seriously, every word at face value. It never occurred to me that this holy man would, or even could, sin in a terrible way.
I had unconditionally believed that this was a man who had special communication with God, and that God had given him a specific work to do here on earth in this "last generation". I had made a commitment to follow him wherever he led, and although this situation didn't really make sense, it didn't enter my realm of thinking to wonder if what he said to me were actually true.
It also didn't enter my realm of thinking to think this might be an inappropriate way for him to behave toward me. He was telling me about God and His plan, and how we were involved, and I accepted it (even with its puzzling aspects) the same way I accepted his teaching about the cross — the church — the kingdom. My will had already been surrendered to GG, long before this conversation.
As we were returning home that day, GG asked, "Do you know what happened back there?" I didn’t answer, and he said, "I know you better than you know yourself. I’m closer to you than that sweater you’re wearing."
As we rode on the subway, he sat across from me and said, "I just want to look at you," with a faraway smile on his face. He began to say, "Kristin, you are my friend. Do you understand me? You are my friend.” He oddly emphasized the word "friend". I nodded, not really understanding, but wanting to please him, which I had confused with submitting to him.
I determined in my heart that I would do whatever he asked me to do, and that I would do my best to please him; if I was to marry him one day, I needed to be a submissive wife — this was very important to God, I was sure.
GG was to leave the next day to fly to Amsterdam to begin the Africa part of his journey, and that night he asked me to write to him a letter and tell him about my friend.
Essentially, he wanted me to write a love letter to him. I remember that I felt uncomfortable, because even though I was supposed to marry him one day, it seemed strange for me to write GG a love letter when he still had a wife.
However, my will being already surrendered, I said to the Lord, in conflict, "If you don’t want me to do this, please stop me. Not my will, but Thine be done," and I then proceeded to write the letter. This became a pattern over the next year: frequent and earnest prayer for God’s will to be done, as I all the while proceeded to "submit" and respond to GG’s advances.
I was very used to telling myself to "trust the Lord for the leadership"; we were taught this at every sisters' meeting I can remember in the Assembly. At this point it helped me to silence my puzzled conscience, whose voice I didn’t consider trusting against God’s servant’s own experienced voice.
Now, I believed, even more so, I could trust God for GG's leading, and if it were a mistake to "follow GG’s lead" and do the things he asked me to do, I could trust that God was in control and He could speak to GG about it. Surely if God wanted to stop GG, GG would hear God tell him that clearly. My job as a sister was to submit, to follow — I felt certain about that.
I gave GG the letter he asked me to write before he left, a letter detailing what I admired about him. I remember driving him to the airport and waiting with him there before he left on the plane. We both wept, and he prayed, thanking God for finally bringing us together.
As we sat together, he told me how he longed to spend all his days with me, "and all my nights," he added, pressing his knee against my knee. "One day…," he said. I didn't want him to press my knee like that, but I didn't tell him so. I didn't think that would please him.
Later that night, he phoned from Amsterdam and when I answered, he said, "Just hearing your voice makes me get hard!" I had never had a boyfriend and had very little experience with, or understanding of, men in general. I had never heard a man say anything like this before and I was uncomfortable, but told myself that this must be the level of intimacy that God intended for our relationship. I did not tell GG that I was uncomfortable.
In Africa, GG immediately began to write a series of essays called "The Silent Conversation", and he asked me to "critique" them by email, giving us an opportunity to correspond by email through his regular traveling companion, Roger Grant, an elder from a large Midwest assembly. We would write back and forth nearly every day.
This manuscript was supposed to be about the relationship between the Lord and His Bride, but it was a convenient way to write thinly veiled love letters back and forth. GG would refer to the Bride as "the friend', for instance, and make references to the letter that I wrote to him.
I remember thinking that if this were sin, the Lord wouldn’t bless GG there in Africa, but when I started hearing the reports of people getting saved and the way the Lord was moving, I continued to justify myself in my behavior. I also thought that perhaps the elder who was transmitting the messages would say something if this were inappropriate, but he voiced no concern to me.
After GG’s excommunication, this elder acknowledged to me that the daily frequency of the communication bothered him, but that he hadn't understood the content of the correspondence.
When GG got back to Fullerton that winter, he asked his wife’s assistant, Nancy Carter, to email me, in lieu of the Midwest elder, who had returned home. The assistant, after two exchanges, told GG she wouldn’t do it anymore and took a letter to show to his wife. This was because at the same time that GG was addressing me as his "beloved-other" in those exchanges, the assistant was also typing up his sermons for the upcoming seminar he would give, entitled, "School of the Bride III"; the seminar was about the "One" (Jesus) and His "Beloved-Other" (the Bride).
The assistant then sent me a two-sentence email (she and GG's wife both wrote it, I found out later) that said she would no longer transmit such emails, and, "It's okay to be intimate with the Lord, but not with the Lord’s servant."
I felt anguished and convicted, but a few hours later, GG called and said that the assistant had overreacted, everything was settled between them, and that "this assistant is not an artistic type anyway."
I didn’t know that Betty, GG’s wife, had been involved at all. I felt relieved, believing that everything had been made right, and I resorted to the comfortable and familiar "trust the Lord for GG’s leading". He stopped writing emails to me until he purchased a laptop and opened a personal email account to which he alone knew the password. He learned how to access emails by himself, and he then asked me to write him letters that he would receive on the laptop.
A couple of months later, during his annual Winter Journey, GG returned to my town overseas for three weeks before he went to China. The first morning he was there, we went for a walk (it was 6:30 a.m. and still dark outside), and after we had talked about our correspondence for a while, he said, "It sounds like you’re in love with your friend."
I said, "Yes, I am." I remember thinking, "Love is a choice…love is a commitment," because I didn’t really feel "in love", but I was very serious about my commitment to him. Then he said, "And I love you, Kristin." For the first time outright, he asked me to marry him (although I would have to wait), and he told me that he would die for me.
I felt numb, overwhelmed by the sentiment. We walked a little further. Then we stopped, and he said, "You could put your head on my shoulder, you know." I did as he requested, and then he put his arms around me and he patted my bottom. I was quiet, wondering if his hand had accidentally slipped.
It was there that the physical aspect of our relationship began. Over a period of three weeks, every day, the physical relationship escalated from the "hand-slipping" incident to him eventually reaching under my clothes and fondling me.
I never told him no, stubbornly "trusting the Lord for GG’s leading" even though I began to feel like an object. Saying "no" to GG would be tantamount to not submitting to my husband, I felt, because I believed he was to be my husband one day. Not submitting to him would surely be sin.
He did not kiss me on the mouth, saying he would save that until we were married. He would repeatedly and frequently find excuses to give to those around us so that we could be alone, where he could touch me and speak aloud his sexual fantasies to me (which were very perverse).
Early on, he told me that our relationship couldn’t all be one-sided; he needed me to be an active participant. I surprised myself by blurting out exactly what I was feeling, "But I don’t feel free to touch you.”
Perhaps I felt that way because he was still married - I’m not sure. I had stopped thinking, long before. He thought for a second and then said, "I agree with that." So it remained a physically one-sided relationship, in a sense. I did not initiate any physical contact with him.
He would talk about our age difference, saying that some of the brothers wouldn’t understand me marrying him, but he didn’t care what anybody thought.
I moved back to the Midwest at the end of my school year a few months later, and GG came through the Midwest to preach, as he did annually in the springtime. He made a point of spending time with me, and again we had brief physical encounters.
I remember praying a lot about my confusion over GG’s wife, and literally saying to the Lord over and over again, "He's married…Lord, he’s married…what about GG’s wife?" During one moment when I was feeling brave once, I said to GG, "I don't think this is fair to your wife," and he told me, "Don't you think I've thought of that? Don’t you?" as if to say, "That is not your concern, it's mine."
At one point I had convinced myself that I was in some sort of wife-replacement program, and that GG’s wife was fully aware of it all. When GG left the Midwest to go back to California, he asked me to get a post office box, which I did, so that we could continue our correspondence. He would play out his sexual fantasies in writing to me, explicitly, which he would also do on the phone.
I saw him again at the end of that summer at the conference known as the "Workers Seminar" in Colorado, where he preached every year to the Workers for a week. GG's wife was there as well. Earlier in the year I had been "added to the work" by GG, which I felt very glad about because I thought it validated my desire to serve God.
After the conference, GG stayed for a few nights in a hotel near the airport, while his wife stayed behind at the conference center in Colorado to rest; they did this every year. GG asked me to stay the night with him one of those nights at the hotel, saying, "We wouldn't do anything, we'd just be able to be together", but he also repeatedly told me that it was okay if I didn't feel that I could, so I chose not to. The physical encounters continued, however, and I began to feel more and more uncomfortable.
That fall, GG was again in the Midwest, and he arranged for me to drive him from one Assembly to another for itinerant ministry. I was increasingly knowing tremendous heaviness in my heart, and one time I began to express this to him, telling him what I was thinking, that I was a distraction to him and that I was not good for him.
When we pulled over to have lunch, he kissed me on the mouth for the first and only time, and I felt shocked and froze, not kissing him back. Afterward he said to me, "I did that so you could never say again that no man had ever kissed you". (He knew that I had never been kissed).
Afterward I felt very disappointed, perhaps because he had said that he wasn't going to kiss me until we were married. I also felt very insecure, because if he wasn't going to wait until we were married to kiss me, what else was going to happen before we were married?
As it turned out, that was one of our last physical encounters. Later that week, I told him tentatively on the phone, "I know you're not, but it feels like you're using me sometimes." He replied, quick as anything, "I’ve never used you. Everything we've done has been consensual." His remark made me see that he was protecting himself somehow.
I was so unused to thinking for myself that even this did not jar me into action at that moment, although it would be the seed that led to action. I began to feel a little bit trapped, but not knowing what to do or where to turn, believing nobody would understand, I kept praying, "Not my will, but Thine be done," and I kept telling myself to "trust the Lord for him". Somewhere in my deadened soul, though, a slight distrust of GG had finally been awakened. My belief in the Assembly system itself, however, remained as strong as ever.
During the following winter, after GG and I corresponded all during his "fall journey" overseas, and after a number of extremely sexually explicit phone calls after his return, I wrote him an email telling him that I could no longer continue this "secret" aspect of our relationship.
Since the kiss in the early fall, I had done a lot of thinking about submission and trusting God for the leadership, and I hadn't come to any decent conclusions, but I felt so terribly sad and heavy and guilty every time I would pick up a letter at the secret post office box, or anytime I would call GG at his hotel, long after my roommates had gone to bed.
I still believed that one day I was supposed to marry GG — I still believed that GG's dream about me was from God — and I made this clear to GG in the email, but I also told him that I couldn't write any more letters or have any more phone calls that other people couldn't read or hear, and I certainly couldn’t have any more physical encounters with him.
After he received the letter, GG phoned me and said that he had been just about ready to say the same thing to me; he agreed with me completely. Until the time when we would be married, we would have no more secret exchanges. I felt so relieved, and grateful.
To me, the dishonoring aspect of our relationship was over. My heart felt lighter than it had since before I lived overseas, and my Bible-reading (which had been daily and regular throughout this experience) took on fresh new meaning. I closed the PO box and shredded all the immoral letters, which would have been shocking to anyone who read them because they were filled with sexual imagery and fantasy.
About a month later, GG phoned and asked me to come to Fullerton to be his secretary. I really prayed, because I didn't want to go unless I felt God wanted me to go, not simply GG. I believed at the time that God was directing me to go, so in June, I moved to Fullerton to be GG's secretary.
All "secret" communication between GG and me was over; he never tried to touch me or speak inappropriately to me again. He did, however, treat me with extra care and asked me to coffee often when I first arrived (to me this was such a step down from our previous interaction, it seemed completely appropriate to me).
However, several saints in Fullerton picked up on GG's attention toward me, and a few spoke to me about it, the first time anyone had done so. I was concerned about being a bad testimony, and so I stopped spending any time with him at all, apart from work; thankfully, I had plenty of stewardships and consequences to use as good excuses not to spend time with him.
Betty, GG's wife, and I did not speak to one another all summer, although I saw her nearly every day. At the Workers’ Seminar that August, GG was preaching about walking in the light with our co-laborers, and there was a day of prayer where we were all supposed to go pray with those with whom we co-labored in the work.
I felt very convicted that I worked in the same house as Betty, but hadn't walked in the light with her, and I went to tell GG that I wanted to walk in the light with her. He told me not to, but I felt very strongly that God wanted me to do it; I felt almost compelled to do it, in the same way I did when I stopped the "secret" relationship with GG months before.
So I went to Betty and told her that I hadn't been walking in the light with her, and she pulled out her Bible and asked me if I had had "unseemly behavior" with GG. I said yes, and began to weep, and asked her forgiveness. She told me when I went home to Fullerton to talk and pray with her assistant until she herself would return a few weeks later.
Before I left the Seminar, I spoke about my conversation with Betty to Jeri Grant, to the wife of Roger, the Midwest elder who had originally transmitted email correspondence between GG and me. She told me that many people had been concerned and had been praying for me; a prominent itinerant brother and his wife from the Midwest, for instance, had been very concerned.
The following summer, I thanked Jeri for praying for me, and she said, "Well, it's nice to know that we have friends when we do stupid things, isn't it?" At that time I felt stung by her comment, although I felt that it was well-deserved. I didn't make the connection that these women's remarks were an indication that system-wide collusion had been occurring for months, at the very least, amongst some of the leaders and their wives.
Although many in authority seemed to identify "a problem", it was very difficult, or perhaps impossible, for anyone to address in a meaningful and straightforward manner either the problem or its underlying causes.
When I returned to Fullerton, I confessed to Nancy, Betty's assistant, that I had had a wrong relationship with GG, but I never told her about the physical aspects; I wasn't sure that I should do that. I also didn't tell her about the dream or the marriage proposal.
When Betty arrived home, I talked to her more in-depth about the relationship, and I was prepared to tell her every detail, if need be. I said to her, "I don’t know how much you want to know," and she told me that she didn't want to hear any of the details.
So, I didn't tell her about the marriage proposal, the dream, the physical aspects, anything. I remember thinking at that time that GG and I had not "committed immorality" because to me, that meant intercourse, but I don't recall Betty ever asking me directly about that. I may have somehow communicated that to her, however. I know that she told the elders later that I had told her the relationship was not immoral, but I don't ever remember saying that to her.
Betty and I began to pray together on a daily basis, and we went through a book together about the interior life by Teresa of Avila. She would talk to me about the relationship, telling me that a man would only go as far as a woman would let him. She acknowledged that GG had a part in it, but that would not be our focus.
I felt so horrible and guilty about the whole thing, and at the time I was very thankful for her forgiveness and help. I didn't realize that she was trying to protect her husband and his ministry (another example of collusion). I realized sometime during the times we spent together that I was probably never meant to marry GG after all.
In the early fall, I phoned Roger Grant, the Midwest elder who had transmitted correspondence originally between GG and me. I told him that I had repented of the relationship with GG, and that I had made things right with Betty.
About a week later, I called him back to tell him that the relationship had been physical, although not "consummated", the only word I could think of to explain to him the reality of the situation.
He was concerned that the relationship was not going to start again, and that I was not going to begin writing letters again to GG on this year’s "Fall Journey", and I emphatically said NO, that it was over. He asked me what I thought needed to be done, and I told him that I would leave the Work, go back to the Midwest, make a public confession, whatever.
He asked me why I thought people needed to know about it, and I explained that I had lived a double life in front of my roommates, for instance, and that I should make that right. He told me he didn't think I needed to do that, that he would confront GG, and then hand the issue over to two of the elders in Fullerton, since I was under their local leadership.
This elder phoned back a couple of weeks later to clarify what I meant by "a physical relationship". I started by telling him that GG kissed me once. He clarified that it was a romantic kiss. Then I was searching for the words to tell him what else happened ("fondling" wasn’t in my Assembly vocabulary), and I couldn’t find the words. He finally said, "If GG says that he never laid a hand on you?" "That would be a lie," I said, and that was the end of the conversation. He understood that GG had kissed and touched me.
This elder did confront GG on the last day of the Fall Journey overseas, and GG said he never laid a hand on me. The elder apparently believed GG, and communicated this to the two Fullerton elders, and they spoke with GG briefly about it when he returned home from his journey.
I never knew that they thought GG neither kissed me nor touched me; I operated under the assumption that they knew. I was waiting for them to send me home and kick me out of the Work, but that never happened.
One of the elders, Mark Miller, and I did sit down together soon after GG returned. He asked me, "So, what do you think of yourself?” I didn’t know what he meant. I told him that there were things that I didn't know if I should tell him, meaning about the marriage proposal and the dream (I wasn't sure if I had confessed enough or not) and he said, "I don’t know if you should tell me either.”"
Then I said, "If there’s anything you want to know about what happened between GG and me, please ask." He said, "Am I asking?" We prayed at the end of the meeting, and that was it.
I never considered "leaving fellowship"; I was 100% committed to what I believed was God’s corporate will for the Body of Christ, the New Testament pattern that I believed we were following so closely in the Assembly. I didn't think anything was wrong with the "system" (and I wouldn’t have dared to call it that — I believed it was a living organism, after all, the "true expression of Christ on earth").
I was willing to do whatever the leadership decided needed to be done upon the disclosure of my sin, and it seemed to me at that point that their choice was to do nothing. I felt angry at GG, but I thought he was protected by God as God's appointed leader and founder of the assembly; for the sake of the "testimony", I believed that this was a good thing. It had all been a terrible mistake, I felt; perhaps God was covering for the mistake. I failed to understand that the system that GG created was covering his sin for him.
I continued to work for GG for just over a year more; it was very difficult at first, and Betty would often be a peacemaker between GG and me, as I had a very bad attitude and felt a lot of anger toward him at first. Betty encouraged me to work in unity with him.
I did ask his forgiveness for lying to him (meaning, I lied to him that I loved him and that I would follow him anywhere, and I lied to him that I would marry him. The one time that I spoke to him after his excommunication, he bellowed at me, "I'm not speaking with you! You are a liar! You have told me that you are a liar!"). I began to work for Betty more and more in the final months, living in her home when GG was gone, and traveling with her.
A little over a year after I had confessed the relationship to the Midwest elder, the saints were really praying for revival in Fullerton, and I had discussed with several friends about what hinders revival: hidden sin. Privately, I wondered if my "hidden sin" with GG was preventing revival in Fullerton. It just didn't seem right, the way the relationship had been covered up.
I began to speak of this often to GG and Betty, who both told me that private sin was private sin and it had been dealt with, and if I were to publicly confess, I would bring down the whole ministry. Betty admonished me that I still had a guilty conscience — didn't I know I had been forgiven?
Betty also admitted to me at one point that perhaps I was right, about the hidden sin preventing revival, but that I was surely not the one to disclose the sin. I felt very frustrated, because it seemed like they didn't value revival, but I also wondered if they were right about "private sin"; I also didn’t want to bring down the whole ministry, and I felt very unsure about what to do.
Around the same time that winter, a sister who had observed GG's attention toward me when I first moved to Fullerton went to GG and asked him about his relationship with me. He told her that he never laid a hand on me, and then he told me this the next day, very matter-of-factly.
I don't know why, but even after all that had happened, I was stunned that he could lie outright so easily, and then act like he expected me to swallow the lie as well. I asked him, "Would you like me to enumerate to you the ways that our relationship was physical?"
We went around in circles for a while, but finally he acknowledged to me that there were physical, immoral, and sexual aspects to our relationship. He said he'd pray that God would show him about his lying, and he apologized to me, telling me that he was truly sorry. I asked his forgiveness again, as well. I assumed that our "private sin" had been settled, taken care of.
Right at that time, one of the Fullerton elders who supposedly knew the story asked me if GG had kissed me, and I wondered why he was asking. I was afraid, however, of bringing down the ministry, and I was unclear about the "private sin” issue, so I said evasively, "Who told you that?" He didn’t answer. I told him that everything was clear between GG and I, everything had been made right (which I believed was true), and the elder asked me nothing more about it.
Sadly, then, I never really had any intention to "expose" GG, because I felt that our "private sin" had been dealt with. However, the week that preceded GG's excommunication in Fullerton, two things happened: I stopped working for GG and Betty (there was no more money coming in for my "gift" salary, which was less than minimum wage); and also, a brother had approached me at the start of the week to see if I would "spend time" with him.
I had a lot of respect for this brother, and knowing that he saw only an exterior image of me, I wanted him to have a full understanding of who I was, even if that meant he might want to make another choice for a wife.
I talked to the same Fullerton elder about this, and he suggested that I ask the pursuing brother to pray about whether he'd like to know about my past, something to do with GG.
On Tuesday night of that week, I did so. The next day, Wednesday, happened to be my last day of work for GG, and that night, I went out to coffee with this brother, who told me that he would like to know what I was talking about. I began to tell him what I had told Roger Grant, the Midwest elder, on the phone, thinking that this brother's reaction would not be any different.
Instead, he became all grave and serious, and then very angry, and I was amazed. Then he calmed down, and made it safe for me to talk, but wanted to know the whole story, from beginning to end, and he led me through the whole thing, helping to give me words for which previously I had had no words.
The next morning, this brother phoned Mark Miller, the Fullerton elder to tell him what happened, and then confronted GG, who was leaving for San Francisco that morning. The brother told GG that I had confessed to an inappropriate relationship with GG.
GG said, "I don’t know what you know." The brother said, "I know everything." Apparently, the look on GG's face said a lot; GG had been so caught off guard that the brother saw "cracks" that morning in GG that were usually deeply covered up.
GG tried to downplay the issue and diffuse the situation by pressuring the brother, saying, "If this comes out now, it will bring down a world-wide ministry, and do you want to be responsible for that?" Indirectly, GG was admitting guilt. GG's whole response to the confrontation seemed to be clear evidence to the brother of GG's knowledge of his own guilt. GG left to go to San Francisco that morning without directly admitting any involvement with me, however.
In the meantime, Mark Miller phoned at least one other sister with whom he suspected GG had also had a relationship, and she confirmed it. (I spoke with her later, and she said that GG had talked to her as well about the dream God had given him, told her that he would marry her if he could, and had her open a secret P.O. box.)
Later that day, I told the Fullerton elders the whole story for the first time, surprised that they suddenly cared, but feeling terribly guilty for not doing it sooner. GG would not return the elders’ phone calls to him in San Francisco until Saturday, when he refused to discuss the situation with the Fullerton elders and refused to come home. On Sunday, the ex-communication letter was read as well as the "step-down" letter from the leadership.
There are many who have cared for me during this time, and many more that I may never know who have prayed for me, and I feel so grateful. May God reward you for such compassion and care. As far as the other women involved over the years, please believe me that they are real women with stories similar to mine, and similar reasons for not speaking up sooner. Some have been hurt far worse than I have, and have lives much more complex. On their behalf, I request much grace and compassion.
April, 2003, anonymous: Unfortunately most of us didn't came to the right conclusions about G until the Lord blew it all up. Truly the Lord did it. While the Leading Brothers were attempting to deal with George's denial of culpability with David and Judy the Lord fulfilled these two promises.
Ezekiel 16:37, "Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness."
Ezekiel 23:22, "Therefore, O Aholibah, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy mind is alienated, and I will bring them against thee on every side."
Even then and even now people struggle to believe George's immorality. We have been so naive. We understood nothing about giving George power and control. I talk to women constantly who can't understand how George could have taken emotional or sexual advantage over a sister without her consent. You would think reading the papers about the Catholic scandal would educate us. When did George ever do anything with the consent of others? We just blindly went along and flattered him all along.
Readers' comments have been extensive - Read them here » »
In May, 2003, when it became known that the Geftakys Assembly in San Francisco continued to welcome G. Geftakys, "Kristin" wrote a letter of deep concern to the leaders, Scott Testa and Jim Karditzas.
Read the brief account of George's sexual abuse of his first personal secretary in the 1970's.