English Transcript - Heidi Hough's response to BCC Hacking
Hello everybody, I am making this video today to explain my side of the story about this jvl report that has come out. Very quickly, the jvl report is a new site that has just appeared that is attacking critics of BCC (Brunstad Christian Church) (:26) with hacked documents that they are calling leaked and I was one of the people who was hacked. (:32) And while I do this video I’m gonna look over here because I have a whole list of things that I want to address that are very hard to remember because there’s so much going on. I will also present a timeline of what has occurred to try to give a little clarity from my perspective. First of all, how did my information get on (:50) jvl report? Okay, I was hacked, or my information was stolen in some way. My personal documents and my personal email with my phone number and other private information was put online for everybody to see and that was a really devastating experience, of course. I’ve reported this violation to the FBI.
But first I wanna say to my friends all over the world: thank you for all the support. I feel so blessed and lucky to know you (1:18) guys. I’m sorry that I’ve been so quiet and so slow to respond. This was really draining for me, I never really wanted to become a person who was speaking about BCC. I just wanted to be somebody who was allowed to have a voice, allowed to tell my side of the story so that healing could take place and that is something that’s not really allowed in the BCC culture because it suppresses critics and the leaders sue anybody who speaks against them if they can find a way to get to them.
To the people who are in the church still, as we call it when we’re inside of it, (1:56), um, people who are in BCC, I totally get why you are upset and why you don’t know what to think. I used to be mad and disgusted by BCC critics also. Being called a cult is a horrible feeling, obviously, it’s a total insult to your intelligence and to be called brainwashed makes anybody defensive. So I wanna be clear about something. I don’t think that people are not intelligent (2:22) and not good people in BCC. I don’t think they’re dumb sheep, okay? I think there are wonderful, loving, Christian people in the church and I’m very grateful for my background there in many ways. I’m grateful for my background in the Bible, and for my background in God so that I could have a relationship as a Christian (2:40) with a higher power that was opened up to me as a little girl. So I’m very grateful for that. I’ll talk more about why I think the church is a cult in another video. I’m not gonna get into that this time. (2:53) But this is not about the individuals. This is about the leadership and the corrupt system of abuse that takes place and the lack of ability of outsiders to criticize.
So who am I, quickly? I was born in BCC, my parents met in Norway, and they started a Fellowship in Wisconsin in the US. (3:13) We then moved to Seattle to a Fellowship there, and we were at conferences at Oregon and Winnipeg and Canada. Then we moved to Connecticut to the Fellowship there, we were in Conferences at upstate New York at Victory Conference Center and at Ottowa and Ohio and Delaware and all the surrounding churches. Detroit. When I was 11, the worldwide revival swept the church and that continued until I left at 18 or more was kind of kicked out. (3:42) My whole family fell apart, my parents divorced and we were kind of erased from the memory of the church. I was very active in the revival, I was converted most of the time. I experienced an incredible amount of abuse at home from my parents, verbal, physical and emotional. (4:03) And I’m not even gonna get into it further right now that’s another story and the reason today I’m talking about this story is because I’m a writer and a filmmaker and I decided to write down my story for my own personal healing and also as I was going along so many things started becoming revealed and coming to light that I did not ever expect to encounter, that I started filming a documentary as well. (4:35) And next thing you know, I was placed as some kind of a person who is against BCC. Which really just means that I’m not for it because you’re not allowed to have any other opinions so it turns into these accusations that go back and forth. Which is very cult-like.
So why am I attacking BCC? (5:00) Well first of all I’m not. I’m telling my personal experiences and the personal experiences of others because my voice, like others’, has been denied, and erased and mocked and that’s not fair to anyone. (5:08) I want to expose BCC for its abuse and lies. And as a Christian I feel like I should. Because I don’t see Christian behavior (5:17) in a lot of the terrible things that are brushed under the rug and hidden. I know that many people have wonderful experiences there. But that does not discount the people who are cast out. The Church is like a separate universe. It’s a culture, a country, a race, a religion. (5:35) It’s a completely separate universe. And so if you leave that, you are like a refugee. Only in this case, when you come into the real world, you look totally the same, you don’t have support groups, you don’t have identity as a refugee. (5:55) You don’t know what happened. All you know is you feel guilty, bad, shame, blame, fear of hell, and condemnation. And if your family is still in the church, you’re not really allowed to speak to them. I don’t care how many people try to comment and respond to me and say how great the church is and how much it’s changed and how they enjoy talking to outsiders all the time, (6:14) and have wonderful relationships with their siblings who have left. Good for you. That is not the policy of BCC, it never has been. And hundreds and thousands of people have been brushed under the rug and erased as if they never existed. And so to be a refugee in that way (6:33) is a devastating experience. It’s like an exile. Just like in the Old Testament. And however much people in BCC want to pretend like oh, you wanted to leave, then go ahead like get out, if you’re not happy, no problem. They always say that. That’s not how that works. When you get out it’s not a ‘no problem’ situation. You’ve lost everything. And you’re not allowed to talk about it. Because if you do, you get attacked, (7:03) you get criticized, you get hacked, it makes your life even more painful and everything that you’re saying happened or every kind of recognition you’re trying to get is erased or denied or you’re called crazy. (7:17) I know the script, and I used to be just like you if you are in the church. I used to look at the outsiders as pathetic, sad, lost, bitter, demon-possessed, siding with Satan against God’s chosen group, I get it, I get it. I can see why it seems that way to you guys on the inside. (7:37) Just believe me when I tell you, this isn’t the way to treat human beings, and this isn’t the way that Jesus’ teachings go. Jesus went and found and put aside the 99 sheep that were saved and went to find the one that was lost. He didn’t dismiss that one as a sad, lost little lamb so therefore they are worthless. I have personally been called, had my stories discounted by people in the church because they said, don’t listen to her, she’s just a sad lost little girl. I don’t see how those two things connect. (8:11) Also Jesus went and found the criminals or the lost, the rejects of society and spent time with them to make a point against not hanging out with the Pharisee church leaders who followed the letter of the law but not the spirit. So that’s my opinion. Anyway.
So I am writing a memoir and producing a documentary about the church. It has nothing to do with psy-group and that is a lie. So I’ll just let you know that right now, based on this fraudulent, thieving, lying jvl report that is a slander system that appears very much like an actual psy-group operation to me so I think that they’re flipping it. That’s my opinion.
(9:00) So let’s just go over a little timeline of what has occurred. First the jvl report came out. I was the first person on it. An email I had sent to a 60 Minutes producer was hacked and revealed on there and a bunch of my private documents that included the names and faces and photos of 20 people who I’ve interviewed all over the world who’ve had similar experiences to mine. And that was for my documentary. So the jvl report said that I had been commissioned to make this by psy-group and then I’d handed it all off to 60 Minutes and gone on to my next mission like I’m some kind of Russian spy. No, no, that’s not true. Also 60 Minutes didn’t slam the door in anyone’s faces (9:51) but we’ll get to that in a second. In spring of 2017 I was contacted by a journalist named Emmanuel Rosen. He told me that he could not tell me who he was working for because they were somebody from BCC who had left who, if their name was revealed they would lose last remaining contact with their children who were still in the group. So I was told I had to help protect their name. All that Emmanuel and whoever he was working for (10:20) wanted from me was my personal story or the personal stories of anybody else who would be willing to tell it. So I shot the video that’s on YouTube and a few other videos with other members in North America and I gave those to Emmanuel and I wrote some anonymous stories about other people who did not want their names to come out. And I just shared that because I thought it was a good opportunity to just get more, let people have a platform, let people tell their story, and it was kind of around the metoo movement and just it made sense at the time and I had nothing to lose. (10:52) So that’s all that I did. Then I shared my information with the 60 Minutes producer because after Emmanuel sent one email to this producer, then the 60 Minutes producer started just talking to me. He never met Emmauel and he never spoke to him on the phone even. So there was no contact there, and nobody slammed the door. All that happened was they had better stories, and then corona happened. So they are still interested in doing the story and now they’re really interested because what’s going on is so ridiculous. (11:22) Obviously a producer from CBS does not like seeing his hacked private messages with me online. And one note about Emmanuel. When he contacted me I googled him and saw that he was a legitimate journalist and that he also had a lot of sexual harassment claims against him, so I always only met with him with another person present. So that is the extent of my supposed operations with psy-group.
(11:47) I want to quickly go back to that timeline. So this jvl report came out. A buk-voice Instagram was launched, a FB page called Smiths Unfriends was started, Kare Smith told members that they need to go to war basically, that was on September 20, don’t sue me for saying that, I can’t even provide the footage because I’ll probably get sued, but I’ve seen it all over Facebook, he goes into the whole rhetoric that was in the revival and kind of amps everybody up, and then for the first time in two years, BAL the other main leader, blogged for the first time in two years, and then, Berit, whatever her last name is, who is a PR person, like a spokesperson for BCC, she put a threat that had been, that she had recorded on the phone from years earlier, (12:46) on FB. It even had little audio like doctoring put in it to make it look like under produced but produced. So all of this came out within like 3 days to a week of each other. The Instagram page was up for just a little bit longer. What’s next on the timeline? A documentary. From NRK, the top, state-owned broadcast system in Norway, examining the financial situation in BCC. These two journalists have been following the trail of KS and BAL who were listed as two of the richest men in Norway, in 2016, for the last year straight. Is this all connected? In my opinion, obviously. (13:30) What do I think BCC leaders are desperately trying to do at the last minute? Stop the documentary through saying that they don’t feel safe because of threats, because it will have damning evidence of financial corruption. That is my opinion. And if they can’t do that, they will try to discredit everybody ever involved in criticizing them, (13:53) starting at the bottom with someone like me, and somehow trying to connect us all the way up to the top, with NRK.
I’m gonna say a word about Jonathan van der linden. Who is jvl? That’s the thing on the report. Jvl worked very closely as an accountant or something, at a very top level with KS and BAL. He met a escort who he fell in love with and decided to leave his wife and steal the equivalent of 8 million euros at the same time. He stole about 2,000 emails or more at the same time that were between him and the main leaders to use as blackmail. (14:33) He assumed they would leave him alone because they have so much to hide. However, they’re so used to running the show, getting their own way, being gods on earth basically, however much the members want to say that’s not true, we all know it is, in my opinion. He thought they would leave him alone and they didn’t. So there’s been a court case going on to get their money back. For years. So jvl has a lot of information. (14:59) So anybody who talks to him or works with him is not necessarily a criminal, they are somebody who is just getting information. That’s how journalism works. That’s how news works. That’s how research works. That’s what the courts are doing when they talk to him and eventually Jonathan is going to be punished for the completely crappy, illegal, pathetic thing he did, just as he’s probably doing the same thing as the leaders. Where did he get the sense of license to do that? Why did he have access to all that money? And what’s this escort culture around here? Why is BAL accusing prostitutes of doing something a few years ago but now he’s blaming people in the “psy-group” for attacking him, I can’t remember what it is and then he’s also had several fires where all of this important information burned and he’s the victim. I mean, where there’s smoke there’s fire people! But anyway that is my opinion BCC’s goal and they’re trying to connect us all and act like they’re threatened. So they’re doing everything they can to stop the documentary (16:10) because it’s going to have some damning evidence and I think that’s what they’re afraid of. This is all just about protecting the leaders. And then they can call anything that does not praise them, fake news. Because they’ve managed to draw these nebulous links between a psy-group operation and a criminal JVL, and therefore that means that nothing is true? That’s not how that works. It’s not either/or. It’s criminals and criminals and truth’s somewhere in the middle. This isn’t a big conspiracy. It’s just like, I mean the guy is sitting on emails. The court’s going to be looking at those. NRK is going to be looking at those. (16:45) They’re journalists. They’re the most professional journalists in Norway they’re going to back up everything a million times over. And why do you think Berit suddenly put out this fear-based attack thing that happened years ago that sounds like somebody from New Zealand, on her FB page. She said, I’d love to interview with NRK and represent my wonderful BCC community, but I cannot because I am in danger. Again, there is no connection. You could zoom with them in your house. Are you not zooming these days because you are in danger? You could release a statement but that puts you in danger? You could go see them in their building with protection. You could have them come to your house. So that’s not true in my opinion. It seems to me that she does not want to get herself into any kind of hot water (17:35) with perjury by denying anything or addressing anything that is proof that these journalists are bringing forward. And if she’s in danger, you know and people are threatening her, I’m sorry. Same with us. We’re being hacked. And now let’s talk about the timeline because I can tell you about somebody who actually was attacked in ‘our side’ in this silly war from a cult. By the way when I talk about fake news and all of these things, what does that remind you of? The Trump administration. (18:07) Who was the Trump administration proven to be working with among many other groups. Psy-group. In that New Yorker article they said that Mossad agents were associated with the Trump campaign. (18:17) It’s the same playbook. This is so obvious. So doesn’t this all just sound like exactly the same kind of formula? Sounds like a miniature version of the same things that are happening in America today with fake news and slander and crying religious freedom if anybody has anything to say that you don’t like.
(18:35) I wanna say also, that acting as if something’s being revealed about my documentary by hacking my documents and my emails and putting them on line is such a weird tactic that makes no sense. Because I have been open about what I’m doing. My Instagram says that I’m working on a cult doc. It links to my gofundme which has a video of me asking people to contact me to tell their stories and asking people to help fund me to be able to get to those people to film them. And that’s been up for two or three years. I have a youtube video on that bcccult website that tells about my personal story. I wrote a Huffington Post article comparing KS to Trump. (19:20) I have been very open about my opinions. And so to suddenly just hack my stuff and stick it online and be like can you believe her? She is working with psy-group because we say so. I mean, you’re being lied to if you’re believing this. It’s manipulation. It’s information manipulation. My story’s not going to change. I’m just going to keep telling the same thing over and over. Eventually supposedly the truth comes to light but we know sometimes that takes a really long time.
(19:48) Let’s get back to that timeline. On August 13 of this year and don’t forget that it is now October something, 17th, two months ago, I was contacted and I believe that is how I was hacked. I’ll tell that in a minute but I just want to point out that KS made that speech about young people rising up to fight back and defend themselves and violence is the answer or whatever he said, it was something along those lines. He said that on September 20. At the beginning of October all of those other things came out that I mentioned. So, Instagram, FB, jvl report, BAL blogging, Berit posting the threat. So they whipped everything up, and this is all meant to, I believe, make the report from NRK not come out. Or at least discredit it so at least they don’t lose the whole thing they’ve got going on. (20:40)
So now that you remember that timeline let’s go back to August 13. On August 13 I was contacted by somebody in the church pretending to want to have an open dialogue with me. I believe that is how I was hacked. I will tell you more in a moment. Also on August 13, I have been told that jvl was approached in Amsterdam and offered a hundred or two hundred thousand dollar bribe to hand over his external hard drive. It appears he may have done that, because if you see the latest report on jvl, Oscar Floor’s actual private iphone texts are showing up to JVL, and iphone hardware is one of the hardest OS in the entire world to hack so it looks like something happened there. And then on August 14, I also know or have been told (21:27) that Ben van Wihje, who also is included on this jvl report was attacked in his home with his wife and daughter and his laptop stolen. He got a photo of the Audi as it drove off, the police caught them hours later, and they are sitting in a jail in Amsterdam waiting for a court hearing in November and they refuse to say who they work for. So all of this is taking place at the same time. So we’re the ones being attacked honestly, all we were doing before was trying to expose facts about finances and about personal stories.
(22:00) When I was contacted, I just wanna say, it’s just so sad honestly, I just feel so bad for this young man he’s like 22 years old, he thought he was being super clever and James Bond-y to contact me and say that he wanted to have a real conversation. And I didn’t want to answer, I have a lot of other things going on but I thought about it for about a week and I felt like it would be the Christian thing to respond. I figured he’d probably been sent by someone higher up to try and catch me in some kind of slander (22:25) and then record it and be able to sue me that way. So I thought I’d be careful what I said, and I knew that I had very, very deeply protected my computer with second-step authentication and passwords a mile long and all different and everything. What I didn’t know is that somebody can hack you once you open an email I guess and respond if you click on links. So he sent me youtube and Zoom links. And so when I did respond finally, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, I have an email tracking system and I can see when people open my emails. That email when I responded was opened about 18 times. The next 6 or 7 exchanges that we had were all opened 18 or 20 times. So that was super weird, and I knew something was up, and I could see that it had been forwarded, but I just didn’t really care because I didn’t know that you could get a back door through a computer that way. Now I know. (23:08) And meanwhile, there was always the chance that he really wanted to have an open dialogue and since that’s the first time any Smith Friend’s member had or BCC member had ever contacted me and said that I was like, I gotta run with this because yeah, why not? Why don’t we have a youtube channel where both sides talk to each other? I mean, that is what a democracy is. That is what normal human behavior should look like. He also suggested to me I think that we should re-brand BCC cult, and call it Smith’s Unfriends. Lo and behold, magically, a few weeks after that, Smith’s Unfriends appears online run by a young Norwegian man in Norway right when the jvl report comes out. So they’re just using the same playbook and sending it around. I talked to him a little bit, and then I realized later, I forgot that his family is friends, very close with family in the church that runs a computer, deep-dive engineering software company thing. So yeah everybody’s just working together and I feel bad for him. (24:06) I tried to talk to him about God and Jesus and I was excited to just have a conversation about real things and he was pretending like he was recording us and then later on we got into the conversation and I said we should record this one too after we thought we were done and then he hit record and that was the first time he was actually recording, he looked a little guilty like he got caught then, (24:25) it was all just a big, creepy scam.
And I will say that I was contacted and I’d like to give a shout-out to Heidi Janz, who has a new last name now, who I knew when we would go to the conferences in Winnipeg, thank you. Thank you for the Instagram message, Heidi. Thank you for writing me and saying you remember me as a little girl and that you’ve had a much different experience in BCC and that you remember some of the experiences I had and they were similar for you in the Revival and that you do feel it’s changed a lot and that you’re very happy now and that you hope I find peace. That was very sweet of you. And other than one other message from Wendy Timm from Connecticut who now lives in Seattle, about ten years ago, that is the only two messages that I think I’ve ever received that were genuinely kind or thoughtful or even recognized me as a human being that you grew up with. Thank you for that. Thank you.
Why is BCC a cult?
First of all, I think it’s more of a cult now than it even was then, in a lot of ways. So every time people tell me it’s changed, as if I don’t know that, I just roll my eyes because that is not a defense because it’s worse.