A few months ago in my official role as Founder/Director of Pinehaven Christian School’s Alumni I reported a pattern of abuse going back nearly 20 years. I reported it to Montana Child Protective Services, and Lake County Sheriffs Office. Montana CPS said Lake County should respond because we were adults now.
What happened next is a story of good old boy politics in Montana.
Michael Gehl, Lake County Deputy Coroner/Deputy Sheriff was appointed by Sheriff Lucky Larson (no relation to the Larsson clan that runs Pinehaven) to look into the claims. I note a severe conflict of interest.
The Conflict of Interest
Michael Gehl is friends with the Larssons, and has been known to attend St. Ignatius Christian Church. According to sources who are not staff at Pinehaven has been a supporter of Pinehaven. Another source claims Mike Gehl and Andy Larsson have been known to grab lunch, and have been seen at a shooting range together. Michael Gehl’s inability to look into claims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and medical neglect objectively when it directly impacts his own friends, relationships, and even religious beliefs is reason enough for him to stonewall any investigation and even go as far as to claim that I have “personal motives” in reporting abuse at Pinehaven.
Is this about me ?
Again I want to say this is not about me. I’m “paid” by my constituency to represent them in a fashion that is professional and upright. I wonder if Mike Gehl can make the same claim. Mike Gehl in a letter he convienently forwarded to the Larssons (and not to me), and to the Department of Justice claim that because of my past I should not be believed even though there are countless claims of abuse, and Pinehaven has a past history of sexual abuse.
This is about Pinehaven
Pinehaven has a past history of abuse, multiple suicide attempts, one successful suicide. And little accountability with the legal system, it fully embraces the good old boy club. It relies on its friends in Lake County to help cover up it’s problems and remain unaccountable to the general public at large, to its supporters, and and first and foremost to the children it’s assigned to protect and raise up.
What about The Larssons ?
Bob Larsson is taking this opportunity to again make a vigorous campaign stating that Pinehaven never has done anything wrong, and apparently ‘it’s all my fault’. I’m sure it’s my fault they hired a sexual abuser too. They fail to own up to their past abuses, and washed their hands of the sexual abuse claim in which a school teacher molested two girls and failed to lay the groundwork to prevent this type of abuse from occurring again. Instead of focusing on solving our claims of abuse, and addressing them. Pinehaven has taken the path of making my claims look ridiculous. Which they arent. They are VERY real. Pinehaven made bad hiring decisions and has very little support for staff or children. It’s track record is abysmal.
Let’s talk about the Larsson Boys
Bob has methodically made my character an issue but I’d ask him some simple questions. Some that land right at his own doorstep.
Have your Sons been the models of moral integrity in their own marriages ? Have they been good role models for students ?
Andy Larsson has resigned as director of Pinehaven after a myriad of rumors of years of infidelity. His own church finally asked him to step down after the proof was readily public. He was having an affair.
Jon Larsson, who once approached a former student and desired to be in a secret inappropriate relationship with her, and went as far as writing ‘love letters’ to her after she had graduated is the moral backbone of integrity that leads the school, and serves as its principal ?
Need I go into more details ? The point is if my past should come into light then so should theirs. Let’s leave our past out of it. Let’s move forward trying to help children. At this point it’s about going the legal route. But now we hit a wall. And that wall is Michael Gehl.
What we wanted to see happen
PInehaven’s Alumni insisted that children deserve protections like school counselors, access to medical staff on site to better evaluate a child’s medical needs, and background checks for ALL staff members, proper training for houseparents, proper vacation times, and days off for staff members. And ultimately needs a board of directors to see that these things are implemented to PROTECT children. We want accountability for sexual abuse, physical abuse, and medical neglect. Many of these problems are ONGOING.
What PInehaven Did
Instead of addressing these issues seriously Pinehaven has methodically entered into a smear campaign attacking my character and personality. Even going as far as publishing my name in a fundraising newsletter. While I wont deny that my character at times has really disappointed me, and those around me. I would say that all of us are human sometimes, especially those of us who have been abused, or had a not so ideal home life. But each of us has a path to redemption. I’ve owned my failures, and I walk upright towards making right the things I should have made right a long time ago. Including not standing up for child abuse, sexual abuse, medical neglect and instead cowering away in fear. This is my path to redemption. Doing what I should have done YEARS ago.
Why Michael Gehl is a monument to corruption in Lake County
Michael Gehl should have recused himself of this investigation because he is personal friends of the administration. Instead he wilingly took the case on, and was not objective one iota instead being used as a conduit to pass on false information to Chief John Strandell, Montana’s DOJ Chief.
You might wonder where Lucky Larson is on this ? He’s at home unwilling to take my call, call me back, or my attorney in my attempt to file a complaint against Deputy Sheriff Michael Gehl of St. Ignatius.