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Thursday, December 31, 2009 

Betrayed by a member of their own church

Atlas Shrugs writes about pastor Blake Lorenz's side of the Rifqa Bary story. He himself has been smeared, and it seems that Brian Smith, one of the members of Global Revolution Church, violated his own privacy rights by giving his mail at the time he worked at the church (as far as I know, the Lorenz's may no longer be affiliated with the church) to CAIR's lawyer for the Barys:
1. I was never told that when Rifqa Bary fled for her life that I was in violation of the law. I contacted eleven attorneys, two police officers, one judge, and the Department of Children and Families (‘DCF’) within a two-week period of Rifqa Bary’s arrival in Florida and not once was I told that I had broken any law. The affidavit of Brian Smith to the contrary is false.

2. On or about July 28, 2009, I asked Brian Smith to call DCF about Rifqa Bary. Then on July 29, 2009, I personally called DCF more than once. On or about August 5, 2009, I again called DCF in Orlando and then called the equivalent of DCF in Ohio. On or about August 5 and 6, 2009, I personally called the hotline about Rifqa Bary. This call finally resulted in Rifqa Bary being picked up by the Orlando Police Department on August 7. On that same day, August 7, I called the equivalent of DCF in Ohio and the police department in Ohio, warning them that Rifqa Bary’s life was in danger according to what she reported to me. The police officer I spoke with said he knew her life was in danger and stated that the department officials had talked to several of her friends.

3. I do know that Brian Smith called his attorney, but the only thing Brian ever told us following that conversation is that he suggested I call DCF, which I did.

4. Contrary to Brian Smith’s affidavit, he never implored me or my wife Beverly not to help Rifqa Bary, nor did he ever say that I or anyone else did anything illegal. Never in any of our staff meetings or out of staff meetings did Brian Smith say anything that had been done was illegal, nor did he voice his opinion against helping her. This can be confirmed by John Law, Wendy Law, Beverly Lorenz, Suzanna Lorenz and Laura Johnson, who all sat in our staff meetings with Brian Smith.

5. Brian Smith’s affidavit contains many other false statements. No one to my knowledge ever told Rifqa Bary to lie to the authorities. Such an allegation is outrageous. In fact, Rifqa was told specifically to tell the truth to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. At no time did I or anyone else to my knowledge bring in an expert on Islam and honor killings to talk to Rifqa Bary about those subjects. Rifqa Bary informed Beverly and me about Islam and honor killings, as we had no background in this area and had never been confronted with such matters before this time. Brian Smith calls Rifqa Bary a new convert in his affidavit, but he knew that Rifqa had been a Christian for four years, which information came from Rifqa herself. Brian Smith never sat down with Beverly and Rifqa to hear her story for an hour. Instead, Brian Smith’s account of Rifqa Bary’s story sounds almost verbatim from the account given by Rifqa’s father, not Rifqa. Beverly Lorenz never called Rifqa her “darling daughter.”

6. To my knowledge, Brian Smith is the only one who continues to have access to the post office box of Global Revolution Church. He has opened mail addressed to me personally. Instead of forwarding the mail to me without opening it, or even after opening it, he has apparently sent my mail to the attorneys for the father of Rifqa Bary in Ohio. Again, Brian Smith has done so without my consent. He has acted in a manner that is both untruthful, in filing many false statements in his affidavit, and in a manner to intentionally harm me, the reasons for which I can only speculate stem from concern that I had over his job while he worked at Global Revolution Church.
This is most astounding. A man in the service of the Lord committed a serious felony by passing on someone else's mail to forces of corruption on the outside. I hope a lawsuit is in the works for this blatant violation of the law. And I think the Barys and their lawyer are going to have to be questioned about this too. This is very serious.

Update: I corrected some potential typos I made here.

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