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By December 18, 2010 8 Comments Read More →

Preacher hides murder conviction and causes havoc

The personable new minister at a small Virginia church hid his checkered past: adultery, fraud, violence and even murder. When his past was discovered, the preacher tried to lead a church revolt.

Read ‘We let a wolf in’: He seemed like the perfect preacher—until his flock discovered his murder conviction on WashingtonPost.com.

Link supplied by a Lovefraud reader.


Posted in: Media sociopaths

8 Comments on "Preacher hides murder conviction and causes havoc"

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  1. Redwald says:

    Even BEFORE I’ve read what the story is about…
    am I the only person who would instinctively feel cautious of someone with a name like “William M. Drumheller the Third”?
    It SOUNDS ominous, right from the start!



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  2. Ox Drover says:

    WOW!!!! Put his photo by the word “psychopath” in pictionary! If this guy isn’t a con man I never saw or heard of one! Cojones? The size of basketballs!!!!!

    What else can you say. I am at least glad that the elders of the little church were able to get control of the funds and property of the church out of this man’s hands.

    It is amazing though that 21 out of the 80+ or – of the members were still fooled enough at the end to vote for the psychopath.

    Good article. Very well illustrates the way the psychopaths work.



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  3. dancingnancies says:

    Wow. The whole 9 yards, turning people against each other, calumny against former church leaders, stealing money from the church… this guy is appalling ( but of course again, “nothing new” for a psychopath )

    Though I’m a bit surprised ( in a good way ) that one of the church trustees knew what he was..

    “They put the handcuffs on me,” Mace said later, sitting in a coffee shop about a mile from the church. “They put me in the back of the car. In front of my kids. I had to go sit in a cell and post bail. … His goal is clear. He wants to steal the church’s money. The property, it’s worth a lot. The man is a complete psychopath.”

    I think it is also very interesting to note that this Drumheller character got away with a LOT, even though his character was proven in his past ( murder, abuse, etc ) to the people that he wooed ( members of the church council ). Really speaks volumes about mind control/brainwashing and how even after being vociferously OUTED these people will still be believed by some!

    I liked how the author ended the piece, it leaves really interesting Food for Thought :

    “He had resigned the week before. He and his wife had packed up their belongings and left town, leaving the people of the little red-brick church to wonder what spiritual lessons the Lord wanted them to glean from their time with the mysterious stranger who had come into their lives, dwelt and prayed among them, and then vanished.”

    Goes to show : if an entire ~church~ congregation can be fooled by a psychopath, just brings to mind how many of these foul creatures actually run the gamut under our society’s radar. I’m betting more than we can conceive.



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  4. Redwald says:

    AFTER reading the story…

    Well, I’m glad church members were finally able to rid themselves of this walking specimen of the Ungodly. But the story does raise questions, as well as highlighting the usual observations.

    The most outstanding observation is of course the ability of psychopaths (and Drumheller does sound like a genuine psychopath), not only to take other people in, but to continue retaining their support–all in the face of what should be overwhelming suspicions, prominent red flags and clamoring alarm bells.

    This ability has a still more dangerous dimension when this type of fraudster gets ensconced in a “community” of any kind. It could be anything from a church congregation like this one, to a corporation, a neighborhood–or a government, from the Third Reich to the Soviet Union. By taking people in, the tyrant and fraudster is able not only to exploit them, but also to recruit them as allies in a war against other and wiser people. When this pernicious strategy succeeds, we end up with a world where the good and the wise are persecuted by vast armies of dupes and suckers, flocks of stupid sheeple controlled by malevolent wolves.

    That SEEMS to be what happened in this Harrisonburg case where Drumheller was able to recruit enough naïve defenders to his side to prevent the Forces of Righteousness from booting his ass out the door.

    Of course, that does raise the question of HOW he was able to continue doing this, in spite of his evil character being exposed for all to see.

    Was he really THAT good at fooling people, that they preferred to believe him over the cold hard facts being thrust in their faces?

    Or were his supporters just exceptionally naïve about a supposed “man of God”?

    Or were they so desperate to avoid admitting they’d been wrong about him–that they’d been taken in and made fools of–that they preferred to go into denial about what he was really like?

    Or was there another factor at work? Were these “Church Elders,” Robert Thomas and Gary Rexrode, such lily-white saints themselves? Or was their own record not quite so clean? Did Drumheller have a point when he nailed Thomas and Rexrode for elevating themselves to the trusteeship without a vote from the congregation? Were church members justified in resenting or being distrustful of Thomas and Rexrode’s own bid for dictatorship, and seeking to curb them on that account–only to end up as Drumheller’s puppets instead? Did these people, without realizing it, just jump from the frying pan into the fire? Did the church itself provide Drumheller with a golden opportunity to play “divide and rule”?

    It happens enough in politics, after all. Far too often we end up having to vote for a candidate just because he or she seems the lesser of two evils. Sometimes we later find out we’ve unwittingly voted for the greater of the two evils!

    Still, the Elders got their job back in the end, and Drumheller must have realized the jig was up. We should be grateful to a wise judge for requiring the congregation to put the issue to the ballot–and a secret ballot at that.

    This raises one final question. Rightly or wrongly, the story gives the impression that Drumheller’s supporters had the upper hand–prior to the election. After the election, it was clear they were only a minority, a mere 26 percent of those voting. Does this mean many of the majority who opposed Drumheller had previously been AFRAID to come out in the open and denounce him?

    If so, it shows how easily people can be intimidated, particularly if they don’t have a charismatic leader of their own to rally round. It also demonstrates once again the priceless value of the secret ballot.



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  5. Ox Drover says:

    Look at the “Jonestown” affair, the “Rev.” Tony Alamo and 1,000 others of any newspaper you want to pick up! The Mormon “Prophet” with all the wives who was extradited to Texas recently. Bernie Madoff….Bill Clinton….John Edwards….James Montgomery…



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  6. skylar says:

    Redwald,
    you said:
    “This ability has a still more dangerous dimension when this type of fraudster gets ensconced in a “community” of any kind. It could be anything from a church congregation like this one, to a corporation, a neighborhood–or a government, from the Third Reich to the Soviet Union. ”
    The book, “political ponerology” is about exactly that. It begins by explaining the different cluster Bs, what they are, how they come about, and how they interact with each other in social settings, communities and governments. The author, Andrew Lobaczewski was a Pole who grew up behind the iron curtain. He was a psychologist and made the study of evil in government his life’s work. I think you’d like it.
    You asked:
    “Did Drumheller have a point when he nailed Thomas and Rexrode for elevating themselves to the trusteeship without a vote from the congregation?”
    I noticed that too. The psychopath is an expert at emotions. He can pick out weaknesses in a person or an organization. He knows just how to test these, innocently.
    My exP would create drama filled adventures, complete with cops and robbers, or dead bodies and helicopters and assault weapons, JUST TO SEE HOW SPECIFIC INDIVIDUALS WILL REACT. Of course he was getting off on the adrenalin surges of his victims, too. But this is what he does as part of the “grooming”.
    Those elders were likely not innocents themselves, they were probably narcissists and control freaks. He could easily spot that and use it to his advantage. But it doesn’t matter, the elders could have been mother Teresa, he would have found a way to turn her compassion against her – maybe.
    In the end, the elders’ “smaller evil” was probably what protected them. A truly innocent, naive person would have just collapsed, reeling from cognitive dissonance or else he would have been sucked into DENIAL–as so many were –and simply denied that there could be something so evil that didn’t wear horns and a tail. These men were worldly and narcissistic enough to go after him.
    Who his supporters were is also an interesting thought. Certainly there were the extremely naive, but if 4% of the population are sociopaths (I believe it’s much higher) and there were one hundred members, then a handful were just loving the drama. Those “garden-variety” S’s that are too lazy to move out of mom’s basement, but give them some drama and they are full of energy, were probably actively involved in keeping the drama going.
    In another thread, I mentioned that there isn’t any organization that can’t be perverted by spaths.
    They will do it in one of two ways:
    1. oppose it with lies and slander
    or
    2. join it and behave scandelously so as to tarnish it’s reputation.

    This article brought back the last 3 years with my spath. I had joined the water association and finally ousted the long-standing secretary, by proving that she was irresponsible and creating problems. She had caused us to lose our water right, never filed taxes in 30 years, and refusing to let community members have water to their property.
    I rallied 4 of my immediate neighbors to volunteer for board positions and thought that we could at last get down to work. Turned out, 1 of those neighbors was having an affair with my spath, just out of spite. She told me she only liked dating married men. I now realize it’s not because she wants them, she just envies their wives – that’s a spath. The other neighbor that I recruited turned out to be a woman who had been my spaths drug customer and he convinced her and her meth-addict husband to move next door. It was a ploy to torment me because he had groomed them to hate me. Another board member, was a porn -addict who my spath also convinced to hate me. He would rage at me because he wanted to create by-laws that were not in accordance with IRS regs for our non-profit. He thought he could just bully me because I was so meek and nice. When I told him that it was NEVER going to happen, he resigned. There was one other board member, an old woman, who also hated me so much that her dog would try to attack me (and only me) whenever it saw me. But she loved the spath. I have no idea how he influenced her, but I know that he did.
    I know it all sounds paranoid. If I didn’t know the spath as well as I do, I would be in denial, still. But I do know him.



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  7. Redwald says:

    Look at the “Jonestown” affair, the “Rev.” Tony Alamo and 1,000 others of any newspaper you want to pick up! The Mormon “Prophet” with all the wives who was extradited to Texas recently.

    Yes, cults–and cult leaders–can be a menace, Oxy. Look at the fools–some prominent fools too, like Tom Cruise and other so-called “celebrities”–who are into Scientology for instance. That’s a dangerous organization.

    Still, what struck me was the difference between cults like the above and this affair at the Harrisonburg church. The population of Jonestown was “preselected,” so to speak. What I mean is that the 900-odd disciples of Jim Jones who committed suicide with him there were not a cross-section of the normal population. If they had been, they wouldn’t have been there in the first place. By definition, they were a selection of the particular kinds of sheeple who would follow a charlatan like Jones–even to the extent of abandoning their normal lives and going with him to some godforsaken place in the Guyanan jungle. The vast majority of people would never do that, or even join an outlandish cult like his in the first place. Some small percentage would, but that’s all. So the population of Jonestown was not representative of people as a whole, but a collection of those few percent who were assembled in one place by reason of being the way they were.

    The followers of the Mormon “Prophet,” Warren Jeffs, were also atypical–not because they were a “selection” as Jones’s followers were, but because they’d been raised in the religion, as their ancestors had too. (I couldn’t remember the guy’s name either, but I cheated! I looked up “FLDS” to refresh my memory.) So this population had been preconditioned to kowtow to an “authority” like Jeffs.

    But the congregation at Harrisonburg WAS much closer to a cross-section of the normal population. At least, it was a cross-section of people who would join a (presumably mainstream) Christian church in their community. It’s one thing to discover that one or two or even five percent of people would be nutty enough to see a guy like Jim Jones as some kind of Messiah. It’s quite another to discover that 26 percent of quite ordinary people would continue supporting and trusting a guy like Drumheller even after hearing of his atrocious misdeeds.

    Incidentally I’m getting very bad vibes about Julian Assange as well. Freedom of information is all fine and dandy, but this guy is biased in what he “leaks” and no friend to America. Naturally I was skeptical to begin with that those “rape” charges might be trumped up, but the evidence is suggesting they’re genuine. For one thing Assange has too many stupid female groupies that he ruthlessly exploits–and an equally predatory attitude toward male competitors, it seems. So there’s a touch of “cult leader syndrome” about him too. We probably are better off with him in jail.

    This Mail article on Assange contained an interesting tidbit of background.



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  8. Ox Drover says:

    Great points, Redwald,

    BTW the Church of Christ is led by the elders, and once elected or appointed to that post by a congregation, the elders (must always be plural) appoint deacons and make the decisions of the church, they are supposed to be OPEN to let the congregation see and know what is going on, but they conduct the business of the church, hiring the minister and making financial decisions for the congregation. The group is not a “democracy” any more than the Catholic church is. Unless an elder is shown to be abusive or openly “sinful” like having an affair would not only unseat him, but make him ineligible for life to any church office, because he was not a “good example.” he is an elder for life.

    Much like the Catholic church and some other denominations they think that THEIRS is the only one going to heaven, and that all others, because they don’t belong to THAT group are “in error” and will not be saved. I was raised in this group, so am very familiar with their dogma. ALSO, each congregation is independent of oversight by other congregations (like some Baptist groups) and each congregation answers only to itself. Ministers are “hired” hands not leaders or authorities in the congregation, at will of the elders. In a few smaller congregations where there are not men felt qualified to be elders, the males of the congregation do sort of come to a consensus about hiring a minister or the finances of the church congregation. There are colleges and universities run by believers of these congregations for training ministers, song leaders etc. but these colleges are only “slightly” affiliated with the congregations.

    Over all they are pretty “main stream” middle class folks whose only noticable characteristic is that they will not allow instrumental music in their worship services. All male ministers, of course, and women do not speak during worship service, but most allow women to speak in Bible study classes.

    Divorce WITH REMARRIAGE of either party is allowed only for adultery, and only the innocent party may remarry and stay in good graces with the church. Divorce for other reasons is acceptable as long as the parties do not remarry. If say a man beats his wife but doesn’t cheat on her and she divorces him, IF HE REMARRIES he is considered too have committed adultery and then she may be free to remarry.

    There have been reported cases of people who were previously divorced and remarrying joining that church and separating because of the “remarriage” clause. I also know of one case where a young woman joined, and she had been involved in a robbery 10 years before in which no one was ever convicted or arrested, but since someone was accidently killed in the commission of a felony, it was 1st degree murder. The woman confessed her crime and is now doing 40 years. That is someone who definitely believes in her religion.

    Because my divorce from my husband was due to mental health issues (among other things) I was considered “not in good grace” with the church due to my remarriage to my late husband who was also divorced. No one confronted me about this openly, but I have no doubt that it was noted.

    When my egg donor had divorced my P-sperm donor she had made sure she put Adultery on the application. At that time, if she had done other wise (and she was justified in doing so) she would have been “brought before the congregation” for a public shaming if she had remarried.

    However, when we moved away from here after her remarriage into other towns following my step father’s jobs (he was a ball coach) she made sure to tell me to keep the “secret” about her previous marriage among our friends and church associations so she didn’t have to “explain” it before the church. People in THIS community already knew though, so it was no secret here.

    The number of people about 1/4th of the people in this small congregation which sided with the minister doesn’t surprise me though. The “forgiveness” thing about “forgive 70 x 7” and so on is so drummed into members of not only this sect but others as well that “even the worst can repent.”

    Yes, even the worst sinner can repent, and even change his life, but the thing is that when there is a PATTERN of deception, not just one incident, AND when there is a atmosphere of DIVISION then someone is on the wrong side.

    Any time there tends to be a “cult atmosphere” with one or two people having the “direct pipe line to god” it is a “scary” situation as far as I am concerned.

    Keep in mind Jones picked those people out of main stream society—sure they were a “chosen few” by the time they got to South America, but even then at the last minute some of them would not have WILLINGLY taken the poison and had to be murdered.

    The atmosphere with Tony Alamo when he was going to RAISE HIS WIFE SUSAN FROM THE DEAD. I mean that is a TRICK if he can do that and of course he wasn’t able to do so, but his flock did not desert him—THAT is what made it so amazing to me!!! Even after he FAILED for months to raise her from the dead, which I would have thought would have given them a CLUE that he was a fake, LOL they still stayed with him.

    Synanon, the drug-rehab turned cult in California in the 60s and 70s, was sort of the same way. I lived out there at that time and there were rumors on the street among the young kids that it was a great place to help if you were strung out. Then slowly the rumors that it was a cult started to creep out as well and I talked to a few people who had been in it and gotten out, but I was young myself and didn’t know “sheet from shoe polish” so had no idea what was really going on. Retrospectively, it is obvious.

    The same thing with the rebel mormon cults and other such sects. But if you look back at early Christianity they “had all things in common” and wolves in sheep’s clothing immediately started in to become “leaders”–which was one reason Paul didn’t take monetary support from the congregations he had started, but supported himself as a tent maker to show he had no ulterior motives.

    I have no problem with a minister of any faith being paid a living wage, but these “tele-evangelists” that live in the $25 million dollar estates and beg for money from little old ladies make me want to puke. Some of them are GIFTED speakers and their “messages” are fine, it is just that their BEHAVIOR as far as money is concerned is deplorable in my opinion.

    The guy with the Bentley is a perfect example in my opiniion of a WOLF in SHEEP’s CLOTHING—and yet, people still support him, and I guess that does make them “sheeple” as the psychopaths call us….willing to follow the leader directly to hell and back. It is sad, but I can’t criticize these people I guess because I was “sheeple-ized” by multiple psychopaths (hey, how do you like that word “sheeple-ized?” LOL)

    Julian Assange I am beginning to think is a psychopath as well. Did you see the article about his son he had with a very young girl (he stayed with her a year or two then they split when he got into trouble with the law) she raised the kid but he FOUGHT HER for years for custody. Now she and the boy are “estranged” and the boy says his mother calls him a “monster”—makes me wonder if he is “just like his father.” (to steal The name of Liane’s book for a phrase.)

    I also read an article about the down side (for the US) of the US prosecuting Julian for treason or whatever charge they trump up. It is obvious the US gov’t is highly embarrassed but you can’t get that cat back in the sack now! and punishing him might just make it skwall a lot louder! LOL

    Be interesting to see how it plays out in the press. It does frustrate the heck out of me though to see people that are obviously BADLY BEHAVED in multiple ways still held up as “rich and famous” and to be “admired” for their “talents” when the things they do or have done are DESPICABLE!

    Mr. Vick is such a sports hero when he is not killing dogs or hanging out with his former dog fighting partner in clubs where people carry guns and shoot folks. What a GREAT Guy he is on the playing field, so we will just forget about what a piece of sheet he is off the field. Let him have a dog, he already has a kid or two, so what’s the difference? Maybe next time the kid doesn’t perform he will strangle it.



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