SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) is holding a sidewalk news conference in Hollywood today regarding Jack Michael Loo, a Presbyterian pastor and therapist who allegedly manipulated and exploited a female patient and congregant for many years. Loo is being sued for exploitation and faces charges of clergy sexual misconduct. The victim, Carol Ann Carlson, is speaking publicly for the first time.
The story is another shocking example of horrific abuses of power by people in positions of authority and trust.
I’m posting the media advisory for today’s news conference below. I realize that most of you will be reading this after the fact, but I believe it’s important that victims be given the opportunity to give voice to their stories in as many ways possible. I wish Ms. Carlson all the best in her suit and in her recovery.
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Pastor/therapist is sued for exploitation
He faces clergy sexual misconduct lawsuit
His victim speaks publicly for the first time
She sought counseling from him but was “manipulated” for years
Former US Congressional chaplain, prominent author & minister is also implicated in case
Despite pending litigation, until now, accused predator has never been publicly exposed before
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, sex abuse victims will disclose and discuss a lawsuit that charges that
— a minister/therapist cunningly manipulated and sexually exploited a highly vulnerable patient and congregant,
— a female church elder “conspired” with the predator to “control, manipulate and isolate” the victim,
—a former chaplain to the US Congress helped intimidate the victim, and
— other church officials knew about the abuse for years and did nothing to stop it.
They’ll also try to hand deliver a letter to church officials urging them to
— seek out any others who have been manipulated by the cleric, and
— adopt a plan to monitor church counselors and protect those who are being counseled
Tuesday, November 17, 1:00 p.m.
Outside the Hollywood Presbyterian Church, 1760 N. Gower St., (corner of Carlos Ave.) in Hollywood CA
Three-four abuse victims, including the victim (who lives in Irvine, is speaking publicly for the first time and is suing the pastor and the church). They belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org).
According to the lawsuit, in 1987, a Presbyterian pastor and therapist, Jack Michael Loo, carefully began “isolating” a “highly vulnerable” patient and congregant, Carol Ann Carlson, suffocating her personal life, and positioning himself “as (her) sole provider of family associations and friendship.”
Using therapy sessions to gain her trust, Loo manipulated her vulnerabilities, “deepened her reliance on him” and convinced her that he loved her. In 1995, “during a particularly vulnerable point in (her) life,” Loo “manipulated Carlson for his personal sexual gratification” and had sex with her against her will, “causing her deep and unending remorse and pain, mental suffering, anxiety, confusion, loss of esteem and the inability to engage in meaningful relationships with other people . . . robbing (her) of her dignity and the future she so desperately desired – marriage, children, and family.”
At the time, Loo headed the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. From 1993-2008, he was pastor of the Presbyterian Church of the Master in Mission Viejo.
To prevent Carlson from breaking free, Loo “demeaned” and “ridiculed” her, threatening to tell friends she was ‘crazy, sick and dangerous’ and that she had “committed adultery,” the suit says. He also “induced her to loan him funds that he refused to repay” and pledged he’d “always take care of (her)” as long as she “protected him” by keeping silent. His exploitation of her continued through 2006.
Carlson first sought help from Loo at the suggestion of Rev. Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie, a former senior pastor of Hollywood Presbyterian who went on to be the chaplain of the Congress for 8 years (1995-2003).
In front of Ogilvie, Loo admitted his exploitation and threatened Carlson, saying he “would destroy (her) and see that her psychology license would be revoked.” The suit says that Ogilvie misused the power and his authority and his ministerial office to silence Carlson and told Carlson “that she would go to hell if she exposed the truth.
Ogilvie, now retired, has written 49 books, and had a daily radio show for 10 years and a nationally syndicated TV show for 17 years.
In the late 1990s, the suit charges that Loo “commissioned” a female church deacon to monitor Carlson’s every move so that she could not break free from Loo.
Carlson had entered therapy in great pain because she was sexually abused as a child by her dad’s best friend and her dad committed suicide. Her mother suffered from sometimes life-threatening alcohol addictions which resulted in her being involuntarily and repeatedly committed to treatment centers.
Loo lives in Orange County, Carlson lives in Irvine. Loo is represented by Paul A. de Lorimier of McKay, Graham & de Lorimier (213.386.6900). Carlson is represented by attorneys Michele M. Betti and Chad Franks (760.500.5451).
The suit, filed in the Orange County Superior Court, seeks a jury trial, unspecified damages and changes within church policy relating to pastors providing therapy.
Esther Hatield 562 673 9442, David Clohessy 314 566 9790, Joelle Casteix 949 322 7434, Barbara Dorris 314 862 7688