By Joe and Louise Krainock
We are so grateful to have this opportunity to perhaps encourage some one who may be reading this who has had some very difficult encounters with the Boston Movement. For Joe and me, it began in Poway, 13 years ago. We were met by Greg and Shelley Metten. After studying the Bible with them and getting marriage counseling from the Lindos as well, we became Christians in 1980. To this day we are thankful for God working in our lives and in the lives of the Mettens, the Brumleys and the Lindos. God’s spirit was really among the congregation. We grew in our knowledge of the Bible, God and Jesus.
Relationships were close, very tight and real. In 1986-87 Kip McKean came on the scene through reconstructions of many churches across the country; and, slowly, the hierarchy which is present in full force today, began. Joe and I were really unaware of the forming of the leadership and we didn’t see the “control of the leadership” until we got into it.
In 1983 we sold our home so that Joe could finish college and then go into the full-time ministry. In 1986 we sold our hair salon so that we could move to Boston with dreams of going on a mission team to Milan, Italy. We had hearts that would give up anything and go anywhere. In 1988 we moved to Boston where we were placed in Willie and Tonya Flores’ zone. We had been encouraged to move there (Boston) because of the training for church plantings that takes place and also we knew of so many friends who had moved there. We were told that relationships were close and Boston was on the “cutting edge”.
Boy, were we sold a bill of goods! One couple in particular told us that “Boston is different than San Diego; you are free to express yourself here and not worry about what people will think about you.” Yeah, right! As McCauley Caulkin would say, “I don’t think so!”
We had become really disappointed with the eldership. There was such control in every area of one’s life. The emphasis on evangelism was constant, which made it difficult to get close to anyone. Joe and I became Bible Talk leaders and just wanted to make our group like family, but it was hard with so many feeling the same pressure we did — to be continually “fruitful.” Everyone was constantly on a guilt trip handed down by the leadership.
In the fall of 1989 we were asked to be a part of the Los Angeles mission team. We were excited to help start a church from the ground floor up and to be in California again was a thrill! Joe and I were one of the first Christians to roll into LA from the team. It was slow at first. We had to find jobs and a home. Many of us were just barely making it financially. Most of us didn’t know where our next meal would come from.
Our little group got close and we knew this too shall pass. The leadership began to come in to LA and the work was ahead. Tom and Kelly Brown who were the lead couple, after being there for a few short months, were taken back to Boston due to what was described as “marital problems”. Kip and Elena McKean, along with Marty and Chris Fuqua who became the new lead couple, arrived in January of 1990. Things started spinning!
Joe and I had held for awhile two Bible Talks, discipled five people each, while being personally discipled and also fitting time in to study the Bible with people. Along with this, we both tried to hold down a 40-45 hour-a-week jobs and also tried not to neglect our 4-year-old daughter at the same time.
There was absolutely no time for us, for our marriage, our daughter, much less our families who lived two hours away in San Diego. We only saw our families three times in the year and a half in LA. Your lives were there for one reason only and the leaders made sure you never lost that focus. I remember Joe being advised not to go to his sister’s second marriage ceremony simply because it was her second time.
The worst of times in the 12 years plus in the Movement came through our involvement with the Flores. I remember one time coming down with the worst case of strep throat. I was unable to make the weekly Bible Talk leaders’ meeting, so Joe gave Tonya the message that I wouldn’t be there. She called me that night and rebuked me for not calling her personally. I was stunned; I didn’t know what to say in response. I guess it really hit me that Tonya was more concerned about my absence and lack of communication than my own personal health.
I realized that no matter how hard I tried, it was never good enough. All the leadership was concerned about was productivity and performance. Joe and I had put everything we had into God and the church. Joe lost his job largely due to the pressure to be at every church event. Soon after that we decided, due to our financial condition, to move to San Diego.
The Flores, especially Willie, blew his stack at Joe when told of our plans. Things were said that are unrepeatable. There was an unhealthy protection of leadership in the church. Joe called Kip McKean the following day to let him know of Willie’s reaction to our moving. Kip said he didn’t disagree with our decision to leave but that it wasn’t handled the best way.
Joe explained to him that Willie had would not allow it to be explained properly. I had a conversation with Tonya Flores the day before we left. She said that I would have to initiate a relationship with her from now on as she wasn’t going to and that was because we went against their advice. Joe was told by Kip that he had hurt Willie and he must now try to salvage the relationship. We tried to do this once we had got to San Diego, but they were not willing to resolve things.
We went to a wedding a month after we left LA and Joe approached Willie to talk with him and after a two-minute hello, Willie turned his back on Joe and started talking to another person.
I bring this up to say this, the church has manipulated and controlled people for a long time, and I pray that more people’s eyes and hearts will see this and that people will stop living in fear and guilt. The methods of control have got to stop. It has caused so much spiritual destruction in so many people’s lives that it makes us sick.
Moving to San Diego, we found the same control and manipulation we had found in Boston and Los Angeles. We were wrongfully and unbiblically “marked” because we spoke up to someone who took our concerns as being divisive rather than being concerned about things we felt were hurting the church and ultimately hurting people. The church has gotten to a point now that the only ones who are allowed to be members of the Movement are those who will do whatever the leadership says, which now includes advice.
Those who refuse to go along with this are told that they are not members and their names are put on a list so that all people in a specific zone will know who aren’t and who are members. The church will teach you that people are to be like the Bereans when you are studied with. You are told to go over the studies and develop your own convictions. “Don’t just trust in the person delivering it but you need to see it and believe it personally”. This has all gone out the door now. The purpose for this letter is not that we believe it will stop Boston, but to prevent any others from becoming a part of it.
Joe and Louise Krainock
14105 Halper Road
Poway, California 92064