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A Twisted Faith: A Minister's Obsession and the Murder That Destroyed a Church Hardcover – March 30, 2010
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Best Books of the 2010, True Crime --Suspense Magazine
Gregg Olsen returns to true crime with BANG! In A Twisted Faith, Olsen has delivered a true crime story that reads like fiction but is OH. SO. TRUE. --True Crime Book Reviews
From the Back Cover
As seen on NBC's Dateline
His sin was adultery.
He counseled young couples at a small church in Bainbridge Island, Washington―and convinced young women that having sex with him was part of God's plan. But that wasn't the worst of Youth Pastor Nick Hacheney's unspeakable sins. The tragic house fire that ultimately consumed the life of his soft-spoken wife was no act of God…
His crime was murder.
What demons drove a highly respected minister to commit the most sinful of crimes? How did five women―including Hacheney's own mother-in-law―fall prey to his seductions? Combining firsthand confessions, erotically charged emails, and one woman's chilling prophecies, bestselling author Gregg Olsen paints a shocking portrait of a church, a community, and a man of the cloth who turned out to be a wolf in sheep's clothing…
Gregg Olsen's books are:
"Searing and brilliant."―Ann Rule
"Riveting and deeply disturbing…Olsen does a superior job."―Cleveland Plain Dealer--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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There is much good about the way the Protestant, Revivalist faith Traditions "do" church. In those traditions, the individual is responsible for his/her relationship to God and for how that relationship is expressed in life. If, however, a person uses the freedom of such a tradition to assert that "God has commanded" certain things to happen, it is also the responsibility of those in that tradition to challenge the validity of those commands. If the "prophet" (person claiming her/his words are from God) has a strong personality or speaks long or loud enough (or is sufficiently manipulative) such challenges can be quieted with devastating results. Nick Hacheney possessed such personality traits and the folks of Christ Community Church in Bremerton, Washington, suffered the results. How such devastation occurred is the focus of this frighteningly authentic, often raw, book by an experienced True Crime author.
Nick Hacheney married the beautiful, reserved Dawn Tienhaara shortly after they met while attending Bible College. His enthusiasm and passion soon landed him a position as Youth Pastor of Christ Community. Within a short time of taking that post, he made a deep connection with a "prophetess," Sandy Glass, in that fellowship. The "prophecies" these two "received" were frequent and vague but were accepted with open hearts by most of the congregants. When Dawn died in a house fire on December 26, 1997, the church rushed to support their Youth Pastor. Within a month of this tragedy, Nick was sexually involved with a married member of that Church. By the end of the year, the number would grow to include 3 others, including Dawn's Mother. When his behavior was eventually questioned, 2 years later, it was discovered that Pastor Nick had been "inappropriate" (to varying degrees) with every female (except one) in the church he then served. By the time he was convicted of Dawn's murder, two church fellowships were in ruin as a direct result of his actions.
This book is very well written from the point of view toward exposing the perils of sick religion, unchallenged "pronouncements" in that context and a culture that requires women to unquestioningly be at the service of, and submitted to, the men "in authority over them." Mr. Olsen also does an excellent job of portraying how declaring that one speaks for God can be powerful weapon in the hands of unscrupulous users (which has ALWAYS been the case). Had any of the women found the power, or had been empowered, to speak their own truth-to-power, much of the destruction they suffered would not have occurred and it is possible the death of Dawn Hacheney would have been averted. It is when they do begin to speak their Truth that the destruction ends.
The story does not glorify a crime or a criminal. The majority of it is focused on the peripheral players who were as victimized almost as much as was Dawn. The language is frequently graphic and the description of the crime scene, including the victim, is detailed.
When any abuse, especially sexual abuse, occurs in any setting, it is tragic. When the abuse occurs within the context of a trusted community (religious group, civic organization, sports teams, etc.) it cause all such groups to be suspect. Hopefully, the more such crimes are exposed, the more power everyone will have to speak up when something seems "not right" rather than remain silent for fear of being wrong. The cost of silence when there is harm being done is paid in human suffering. The cost of questioning suspected abuse and being wrong is an apology. The tally sheet seems to be obvious.