After being invited to tour the (cult) church, Ralph Hise's Democratic opponent for NC Senate received a less than warm reception, probably due to multiple cameras. As has now been reported by the Washington Post, the next day trespassing charges were filed:
A leader of a secretive evangelical congregation has persuaded a magistrate to issue trespassing charges against a North Carolina state Senate candidate who brought supporters and a TV crew along to a scheduled meeting at the church.
Democratic candidate David Wheeler says he was invited by Jane Whaley, the leader of the Word of Faith Fellowship, to visit the church in Spindale, North Carolina. The church has been accused of beating congregants to expel demons. Wheeler told The Associated Press that Whaley and other members invited him so he could see for himself that it is an open and loving church.
But when Wheeler arrived Tuesday with a former congregant, a church critic and reporters, he was told to leave. The next day, Wheeler and two people who accompanied him — a man who ran for county sheriff and a former church member — were charged with trespassing, based on another church leader’s complaint.
“If the Word of Faith thinks they are going to intimidate me they truly are living in a different world,” Wheeler said in an email to AP. “This is not Russia. Jane Whaley is not Vladimir Putin. We live in a country where open courts provide a lot of answers and I’m looking forward to our hearing to discuss their ridiculous charge.”
The complaints were filed by longtime minister Jayne Caulder. Wheeler was charged with second degree trespassing, along with John Huddle, who left the church in 2008, and Wayne Guffey, a Word of Faith Fellowship critic who was defeated earlier this year in the Republican primary by the incumbent sheriff of Rutherford County.
I actually watched this live on Facebook, and Wheeler and his entourage never went deeper than the entrance hallway, and were (as you can see) very polite. Rutherford County's mishandling of this clearly criminal operation over the years should have had Ralph Hise filing Legislation to bring this cult to justice. But instead, he allowed not only the church to continue abusing and enslaving citizens, but he also allowed local government to deteriorate into a feudal nightmare.
Needless to say, the AG's office should not move forward with prosecutorial assistance on these trespassing charges, but they most definitely should launch an investigation into the church itself, including local officials doing that church's bidding.