[Editors’ Note: The following is a second article on the GRACE REPORT on Bob Jones University, which up to now has only been available on our ministry web site. We are now making it available in this newsletter for the convenience of our readers who may not have read it on our web site.]
So why have I taken on the task of reading and responding to the 301-page GRACE Report and the 89-page Bob Jones University (BJU) student handbook and am now writing a second article? As I revealed in my original article, “A Critical Review of the ‘GRACE Final Report’ on Bob Jones University,” the GRACE Report survey is frightfully flawed and therefore could be completed by anyone worldwide, whether a valid respondent or not. 1 The undeserved worldwide condemnation of BJU/BJA (Bob Jones Academy) and the indiscriminate incrimination of Dr. Bob Jones III resulted in the victimization of BJU/BJA. This victimization of BJU/BJA has been systematically and scrupulously carried out by the worldwide Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Intersex (LGBTQQI) activist community as they ganged up on BJU/BJA and its chancellor, Dr. Jones III, with seemingly no one coming to their defense. I will now expand on this ill-conceived GRACE Report survey with its ill-gotten results, which could direct prospective students away from enrolling in BJU/BJA and instead enrolling at Liberty University, where Basyle (Boz) Tchividjian (the head of GRACE) is a professor: a blatant conflict of interest!
I suggest reading my original article, as it contains additional details not found here, which discount the validity of the GRACE Report. In order to clarify my background, I repeat from my article about the organization I head:
Psychoheresy Awareness Ministries has a generic Statement of Faith and I have ministered in churches representing a variety of doctrinal positions from Arminian to Calvinist and from Premillenialist to Amillenialist. Because of this, the ministry we direct does not recommend any particular church, denomination, or school. Thus, my coming to the defense of Dr. Jones III should not be considered an endorsement of BJU.
Also, I say in the original article:
While psychoheresy is the primary reason I took on this task, the auxiliary reason was because of the outright, outrageous, and outlandish recommendation against Dr. Jones III, whom I do not know.
Additionally, I do not personally know anyone at BJU/BJA or anyone who, to my knowledge, attended BJU/BJA.
The “GRACE Final Report: For the Investigatory Review of Sexual Abuse Disclosures and Institutional Responses at Bob Jones University,” will hereafter be referred to as the “GRACE Report” 2 or “GRACE” when referring to the investigatory team. GRACE, an acronym for “Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment,” is an organization formed to educate Christians “to recognize and respond to the sin of child abuse.”3
GRACE conducted an intensive and extensive search for individuals to survey regarding “Sexual Abuse Disclosures and Institutional Responses at Bob Jones University” (p. 1). GRACE also did a thorough job of advertising the availability of the online survey throughout the entire world. In this article I revisit and further document and clarify one of the major undoings of the GRACE Report and the involvement of the LGBTQQI activist community in doubly damaging and therefore sabotaging the results. I expand on both beyond my original article to dramatize the fact that the GRACE Report, though well intentioned, was scientifically and statistically speaking ill implemented and therefore should have been rejected by BJU!
Statistically Invalid GRACE Report
GRACE states in the first sentence of their Confidential Questionnaire that their purpose is “to examine the response of Bob Jones University and Academy to issues related to sexual abuse” (p. 239). The title page of the “GRACE Final Report” amplifies this purpose by stating that it is “For the investigatory review of sexual abuse disclosures and institutional responses at Bob Jones University.” I repeat from my original article, BJU/BJA had not violated the Cleary Act, which is a federal law protecting students who report alleged sexual abuse/assault acts. And while alleged sexual abuse/assault victims were penalized at BJU/BJA, they were never penalized or falsely accused for what they did not do, but only for violating their signed covenant before becoming students. The penalties, which GRACE unnecessarily and undeservedly highlighted throughout its report, apply to all BJU students who violate the same student rules. Excuse the alliteration, but the pitifully petty paroxysms of perverse remarks by students and others recorded in the GRACE Report are merely pathetic and petulant pronouncements that should not have been made or recorded, because every one of them involved a violation of their signed covenant to obey the rules.
As noted in my original article, during the thirty-plus years, from which volunteer witnesses were surveyed, there were over 50,000 students at BJU/BJA. GRACE needed what is called a “stratified sample,” described as follows:
In statistics, stratified sampling is a method of sampling from a population. In statistical surveys, when subpopulations within an overall population vary, it is advantageous to sample each subpopulation (stratum) independently.4
GRACE did not want to hear from over 50,000 individuals, but only from a stratified sample of those BJU/BJA persons who would be able to respond to questions about “sexual abuse disclosures and institutional responses at Bob Jones University.”
The “Confidential GRACE Questionnaire” used in the investigation contained 21 questions. Prior to Question 1, GRACE stated: “Please note that the GRACE Investigative Team requires that any person taking this survey provide their name and a form of contact information at the end of the survey in order for the survey to be submitted” (p. 239). GRACE reported, “During the course of the investigation, the survey was accessed 933 times and GRACE received an approximate total of 342 completed surveys” (p. 14). While there were 342 persons who completed the questionnaire and others who did not complete it, only 215 questionnaire takers “said they wished to communicate with GRACE again.”
Up to this point no one was required to provide a means of contact for GRACE in spite of their note prior to Question 1. However, the 215 were told, “we will require that you provide us either your phone or email address in order to follow-up with survey takers for the purposes of interviews and conducting the remainder of our investigation” (p. 243). All that was required of the 215 to be considered for interviewing by GRACE was one’s name and either an email address or phone number, which would be available from anywhere in the world.
The invalidation of the GRACE Report occurred because all of those who completed the survey merely volunteered and self-identified without any need to prove that they had ever been involved with Bob Jones University or Bob Jones Academy (BJU/BJA) or had personally known any alleged sexual abuse/assault victims from BJU/BJA. The most serious error and most egregious mistake made by GRACE is its acceptance of self-identified individuals in its survey without any confirmation of their true identities. In other words, the extensive, available worldwide, online survey was voluntarily completed by self-identified individuals as valid respondents,none of whom were required to prove they had at any time been at BJU/BJA or knew any alleged sexual abuse/assault victims from BJU/BJA.
I need to digress in order to demonstrate that the GRACE Report should have been rejected by BJU as it is invalidated by their survey methodology, which runs contrary to statistical requirements. All of the questionnaire completers self-identified without proof that they belonged in the stratified sample of BJU/BJA-related persons. The GRACE Report is guilty of one of the common sampling errors called “Selection Error.” 5 The error occurs because GRACE relied upon a “Voluntary Sample,” which “is made up of people who self-select into the survey. Often these folks have a strong interest in the main topic of the survey.” This voluntary sample is guilty of “Voluntary response bias,” which “occurs when sample members are self-selected volunteers.” 6 Bias is defined as “prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.”7 I demonstrate in my original article that the LGBTQQI activist community had a strong bias (prejudice) against BJU/BJA, and many were encouraged and motivated to participate in the survey, regardless of any affiliation with BJU/BJA. I will later deal with this subject.
GRACE states that “the survey was confidential but not anonymous” (p. 27). The survey was confidential, but, because GRACE did not verify the BJU/BJA relationship claimed by the self-identified individuals, the survey takers were all anonymous, even to GRACE, with one exception to be explained shortly! Essential and critical to the conclusions and recommendations of the GRACE Report is the need for a pure, proven cohort8 of BJU/BJA individuals, which GRACE nowhere in their report confirmed that they did! If any and every individual can volunteer and self-identify as part of the group, GRACE committed an egregious error of research. Because of the self-identified individuals lacking later verification with one exception, which I will discuss shortly, the GRACE Report would not normally be academically, statistically, or scientifically acceptable in peer-reviewed journals because of the lack of verification of the questionnaire completers. I label the GRACE Report on BJU as an attempted statistical study that functionally failed, and for that reason alone all 301 pages should have been rejected by BJU, particularly the ill-conceived recommendations on Dr. Jones III.
18 out of 342
There is only one exception to the lack of verification of the self-identified individuals by GRACE. Out of the 342 survey takers “approximately 50 participants [who] self-identified as victims of abuse” (p. 15) were interviewed. However, only 18 signed release forms for GRACE to access their records at BJU/BJA, which would prove they were bonified current or former BJU/BJA students. Thus, only 18 individuals were affirmed and confirmed to be valid BJU/BJA current or former students; all the rest who completed the survey would have been considered illegitimate by critical polling standards and thus rejected! Therefore, out of the 342 who completed the online survey and the approximately 50 who were interviewed, there are only 18 that GRACE can say for sure were BJU/BJA current or former students who allege that they are sexual abuse/assault victims. All the rest of the “approximately 50” who self-identified as BJU/BJA alleged sexual abuse/assault victims and all others who completed the online questionnaire should have been rejected as well.
It is amazing and puzzling as to why more than half of the “approximately 50 participants” who “self-identified as victims” would not sign waivers to permit GRACE to have access to their records to prove their relationship with BJU/BJA. Because the other-than-18 individuals would not sign release forms, they too should have been rejected as participants! Because there were only 18 legitimate (proven) BJU/BJA alleged sexual abuse/assault individuals in the stratified sample, all the others should have been rejected along with every comment made by them.
Since the writing of my original article, the Greenville Police Department (GPD) investigated complaints from 13 BJU individuals. After their investigation, which included examining the 13 students’ “educational and student records,” the GPD “concluded that there is insufficient evidence to establish probable cause or prove beyond a reasonable doubt that either the faculty or administration of BJU in place at that time violated the mandatory reporting law in the cases we reviewed” (bold added).9 While I would not know for certain, the likelihood is that, of the 18 who permitted GRACE to have access to their educational records, 13 of them complained to the GPD, resulting in only 5 who may be accusers of BJU. However, the 5 may consist of some who made positive remarks (GRACE Report, pp. 59, 122) and some who criticized BJU for reasons that I debunked in my original article. All in all the GRACE Report survey sounds more like fiction than fact.
LGBTQQI Activist Community Victimized BJU/BJA
If the only thing anyone knew about the GRACE Survey was its failure to confirm the validity of those surveyed, that alone would be enough to eliminate its credibility. However, the LGBTQQI activist enemies of BJU/BJA compound, complicate, and doubly corrupt the incredulous GRACE Survey. To clarify, “activist” refers to the person and “activism” refers to the activity. Activism is defined as “a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue.”10
I demonstrate in my original article that the LGBTQQI activist community is highly organized and likely encouraged members of its community and fellow travelers to complete GRACE’s online questionnaire since there was no requirement to prove they had a right to do so. In other words, the LGBTQQI activist community was provided an opportunity by GRACE to complete the “Confidential Questionnaire,” which allowed for potential exploitation by community members who may have felt justified in their “righteous reason” to surreptitiously victimize BJU/BJA. In my original article I quoted BJU’s biblical position on the issue of life styles and desires of those who are LGBTQQI persons. This position would be extremely offensive to them and could easily serve as a rationale to rouse the LGBTQQI activist organizations worldwide to help victimize BJU/BJA covertly as their means of getting even. It is not far-fetched to suspect that members of the LGBTQQI community could lie to support their cause. In fact, even some who are regarded as the most educated people, such as research scientists, lie at times. The Scientific American did an expose on “An Epidemic of False Claims”11 and many other articles have been written about false claims (lies) made by scientists, some of whose falsified results landed them in prison. We can attest to the veracity of Jeremiah 17:9 that the “heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.”
The GRACE Report survey permitted “Personal experience/s and/or observation/s,” “Experience/s and/or observation/s of friends or family members,” “Unknown sources/Hearsay,” and “Other (Explain)” (p. 242) in addition to those who claimed to be BJU/BJA connected individuals to complete the online survey without any need to confirm or verify any of what they claimed. Since no verification was required, the online survey could have been completed by anyone and everyone in the world who wanted to do it without proof that they had ever been connected with BJU/BJA or knew anyone who was. I searched but found nothing in the GRACE Report where they verified such an affiliation. GRACE apparently unilaterally accepted all the witness testimonies as true statements without investigating to discover those that were questionable .
I will now provide additional evidence to support my contention that, because of the open door to self-identified individuals, absent later verification on the part of the cohort group, activist LGBTQQI individuals were enabled to sneak into the study to condemn BJU/BJA . I mention in my original article that Jeffrey Hoffman, who leads “a group of LGBTQQI” individuals, was interviewed by the GRACE team and completed the questionnaire. Hoffman accuses BJU of “homophobic hatred” and reveals a network of like-minded individuals nationally, such as BJUnity, “an affirming alternative for lgbt+ alumni and students of Bob Jones University,” “OneWheaton, Voiceless, CedarvilleOut, Biola Queer Underground, FUSGayAlumni, OneGeorgeFox, Baylor University’s Sexual Identity Forum, and many, many other college and alumni groups.”12 One website alone lists over 100 public, private, and Christian higher education institutions and the active LGBT organizations on their campuses.13 It is clear that the LGBTQQI activist community was greatly galvanized to support GRACE’s efforts and would be strongly motivated, through worldwide social networking, to volunteer for the GRACE survey and also to desire to be interviewed, since there was no need to prove they had ever been at BJU/BJA.
Having worked with activist groups on the right and the left, I say the obvious. Individuals in activist groups on the right and on the left actually lie in their zeal to accomplish their goals. Some of the ones who were LGBTQQI individuals or fellow travelers, who merely completed the questionnaire and were not personally interviewed by GRACE, may have lied as a means of attacking BJU/BJA for what they regard as “homophobic hatred.” They may have lied about being students at BJU/BJA and/or lied in answer to the questionnaire questions. Knowing the extent and intent of the LGBTQQI activist community and their hatred of conservative institutions such as BJU/BJA that take a biblical view of their sexual activity, I conclude that this anti-BJU/BJA, LGBTQQI activist community lied in their zeal to bring down BJU/BJA and its chancellor, Dr. Jones III. Because of GRACE’s careless methodology, neither GRACE nor BJU/BJA would know for sure whether or not the questionnaire-only completers and those who did not sign a release form actually attended BJU/BJA or were ever sexually abused/assaulted victims in that their assertions were never affirmed or confirmed for sure.
I repeat from my original article in which I provide ample proof that, after searching the internet and visiting numerous LGBTQQI oriented sites, I conclude: GRACE has had the overwhelming support of the worldwide LGBTQQI activist community; this internationally connected LGBTQQI group supported the reinstatement of GRACE, which had been terminated by BJU; and many of those non-BJU/BJA LGBTQQI individuals were among those who responded, completed the questionnaire, and desired to be interviewed, even though they were not qualified to do so.
In spite of the scientific and academic evidence to the contrary, the GRACE Report was sensationalized and sensualized by the press internationally without a statistically valid base from which to do so. I also conclude that the international LGBTQQI activist community was in a lynch-mob frenzy to bring down BJU/BJA and its chancellor, Dr. Jones III, and it was done with the naïve and unsuspecting help of GRACE with its worldwide open-door policy of who could complete the “Confidential Questionnaire” absent verification and absent proof that what was alleged was true. GRACE unwittingly issued their Report based upon a statistically invalid survey and BJU unsuspectingly received and believed it. BJU/BJA and its chancellor, Dr. Jones III, were naively led like lambs to the slaughter by the GRACE organization, which was apparently clueless regarding statistical polling standards.
BJU and BJA have suffered from the carelessly cruel crucifixion of the school by the invalid GRACE Report Survey. Though it was likely done in ignorance, GRACE needs to seek forgiveness for the statistically and scientifically insupportable and unjustified international calamity caused to the reputation of BJU/BJA and its chancellor, Dr. Jones III. Also, GRACE has done a great disservice to some of the very individuals it purports to defend and needs to seek forgiveness from all sexual abuse/assault victims of violence for the unwise and unwittingly senseless accusations made on their behalf, based on an incredibly corrupt survey.
1 Martin Bobgan, “A Critical Review of the ‘GRACE Final Report’ on Bob Jones University,” www.pamweb.org.
2 GRACE Final Report: For the Investigatory Review of Sexual Abuse Disclosures and Institutional Responses at Bob Jones University, http://www.sccadvasa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Final-Report.pdf. Hereafter page references to this report will be in parentheses within the text. Also, all references to GRACE apply to the organization or team.
4 “Stratified Sampling,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratified_sampling, 9/17/2015.
5 Qualtrics, “5 Common Sampling Errors,” www.qualtrics.com.
6 Stat Trek, “Voluntary Sample,” www.stattreck.com
7 Yahoo Dictionary, search.yahoo.com.
8 “A cohort is a group of people who share a common characteristic or experience within a defined period,” https//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohort_study, 9/9/2015.
9 City of Greenville Police Media Release, July 20, 2015, www.greenvillescgov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/443.
10 Merriam Webster, “activism,” www.mirriam-webster.com.
11 John P. A, Ioannidis, “An Epidemic of False Claims, Scientific American, June 2011, www.scientificamerican.com.
12 BJUnity website: http://bjunity.
(PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, July-August 2017, Vol. 25, No.4)