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Joel Price – NTM missionary and child porn addict

Investigators claim to have found more than 6,000 pictures and 250 video clips of child pornography on the computer of NTM Member Joel Price. He was subsequently indicted on two counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. No charges of sexual abuse were filed and the police do not believe that he had any sexual contact with children.

Here is the timeline:

April 2008: Internet Crimes Against Children task force traced child porn being shared on the Internet to Price’s previous home

May 2008: Joel Price’s computer searched

June 2008: Joel Price resigned from his position as “Youth Pastor” with New Tribes Mission, Sanford, Florida

December 18, 2008 Joel Price is arrested by the US Marshals Service and released on $50,000 bond

December 27, 2008 The story breaks in the press. New Tribes Mission is contacted by many reporters and the NTM spokesperson tells the media that Joel Price resigned earlier in 2008. The spokesperson “thinks” it was because of the investigation.

The spokesperson also said that Joel Price had been a missionary in Venezuela, but only worked as a maintenance man, not with children. A few reporters found a copy of NTM’s publication (NTM@Work, Vol.63, No.2, November 2004) online. On page seven was a picture of Joel Price going over a Bible verse with an MK. Joel had this to say in the article: “I have recently returned to Venezuela to serve at an MK school. I am teaching senior high Bible classes and plan to start a youth ministry in the coming year.”

When NTM was contacted about this discrepancy, widely reported in local media, the spokesperson was “unavailable.”

March 2009 Joel Price pleads guilty to possession of child pornography; two charges of distributing child pornography are dismissed

May 2009 Joel Price sentenced to 63 months in federal prison

Some questions that come to mind:

Are we to believe that between April and December 2008, NTM was unaware that Joel Price had run afoul of the law? No one knew that his computer had been searched? Joel Price’s parents are NTM missionaries. His wife’s parents are NTM missionaries. No one knew? No one prepared for the inevitable questions that the press would ask?

Between his arrest on December 18 and the press inquiries a week later, did no one do any research on his past involvement with the mission, specifically his contact with children? Is the NTM spokesperson so inept as to speak to the press with no knowledge of events? Or so duplicitous as to tell an outright lie?

How did they not know that Joel Price HAD had contact with children in Venezuela? Or, if they knew, Why did they lie?

When the press found out about the discrepancy, why didn’t NTM rush to make a statement giving the painful truth? “Yes, he did have contact with children, both in Venezuela and as our Youth Pastor. I should have calibrated my earlier statement differently.” Would that have been hard?

Since Joel Price’s conviction, has NTM done an internal investigation to find out if any abuse did occur at the NTM school in Venezuela?

Oh, wait. We already know about internal investigations. I will quote from the Daytona Beach (Florida) Online Journal: “In December 2006, George Allen Goolde — a foster parent and full-time mission employee [of New Tribes Mission] – was arrested and charged with molesting four children in his care. He was convicted and is serving a 50-year prison sentence.

“At the time he was arrested, officials at the mission said its internal investigations showed ‘no incidents of concern.’”

Mark that: “No incidents of concern.” That was the finding of an internal NTM investigation. I hope the Fanda Eagles have a lot of confidence in the internal investigation that NTM is doing on their behalf.

NTM is not doing very well on investigations. They doing very poorly on transparency. Why?

News account here

confidential memo 2Note: markup is not ours

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  1. Wiki Kid
    November 11th, 2011 at 23:17 | #1

    @B. P.
    What are we going to have revealed next. First it was historical child abuse crime, then it was the cover up, now it is very recent crime with a twisting of the facts. Next week what?
    Can NTM sink any lower?

  2. B. P.
    July 30th, 2009 at 20:01 | #2

    Unbelievable! Simply Unbelievable.

    Then again, after seeing the consistent pattern of NTM as seen on this blog and as personally experienced during my time with NTM – I shouldn’t have any shock at all. It is actually encouraging to see others affirm what I knew and experienced myself, although I was told I was the problem and the “sinful one.”

  3. anonymous
    July 30th, 2009 at 19:19 | #3

    Here! Here! So WELL SAID!

    So they let pedophiles, child porn addicts and sex abusers “resign” but they “dismiss” people who don’t submit or who people like Alan Long who did what, hmm? what? had a different opinion than the leaders?

    Yikes! Something is so terribly wrong. New Tribes – are you just so dillusional with your own superiority that you can “spiritualize” this away?

    I fear for any of you who try to remain Ignorant!

  4. Gene Long
    July 30th, 2009 at 18:57 | #4

    I came across the following exchange on Bonnie’s Facebook page, and I think it is worth posting here. I have left out the names of the posters; however, since they made their comments publicly, I don’t think they would object to being identified.

    Poster A said:

    I contacted NTM. They said.

    “Yeah, this has been a tough deal for the Prices and those involved. Joel is an MK and it appears that he became involved in child pornography in some manner. We first became aware of the issue when the police came to the Price home while they were in the US, I believe on furlough, and confiscated his computer… All of those issues are handled by the authorities, so we have very little information due to their restricting information to whatever they want the public to know. There are some very hard child pornography statutes which appear to be strictly enforced. However, child pornography is a serious subject and needs to be strictly dealt with.

    “He has not been a part of the mission within days of the police confiscating his computer.”

    I would like to ask what more could of been done? In every organization there are some bad eggs. That’s what happens when you have sinners saved by grace to work with. When you find them you get rid (sic)

    Poster B responded, somewhat at length:

    Joel Price was certainly involved in child pornography “in some manner”! Six thousand images! Not many people would call that “in some manner;” maybe people who would describe the sun as “warm.”

    Of course, NO ONE is blaming NTM for Joel Price’s actions. NO ONE thinks NTM approved of it.

    However, why was NTM not more forthcoming to the press? Why did their spokesperson deny that Joel Price had been involved with children in Venezuela, when he had?

    And when the media found out about this, why was the spokesperson not available?

    Is it really hard to figure out what more could have been done?

    NTM could have been prepared, starting within days of his computer being confiscated. They could have told the full truth, not lies, to the press. They could have said, “Yes, we are thrilled that this man has been caught.” They could have started an investigation of the students who were taught by him in Venezuela, and had the reports ready for the press.

    “Child pornography is a serious subject and needs to be strictly dealt with.”

    “All of those issues are handled by the authorities.”

    Yes, child pornography is bad. Not only did Joel Price look at it, have it in his possession, he was accused of distributing it as well. Those charges were dropped in the plea bargain.

    But, NTM does not report CHILD ABUSE to the authorities on the field where it occurs? Maybe it’s not as serious as child pornography? Do we get to decide if we want to submit to “the authorities that be” based on whether we like the penalties for breaking the law or not?

    Here is something else that could be done: Start reporting every single case of child abuse to the authorities in the country where it occurs. Make it a written, strictly enforced policy. On a par with, say, two piece bathing suits for women.

    All of the stories at the time of his arrest said that Joel Price had resigned from NTM before his arrest. Resigned? Is it possible that he was allowed to resign, and he was not fired?

    I know the press sometimes gets things wrong. Maybe, when she was admitting that Joel Price actually HAD had contact with children in Venezuela, the spokesperson could have clarified that he did NOT resign, he was fired. Oh, wait. The spokesperson was unavailable at the time, so I guess she couldn’t do that.

    I think you should call NTM and ask them: Did Joel Price really resign, or did NTM take the bull by the horns and fire him?

    Speaking of fire, I would fire my press spokesperson if they didn’t tell the truth. Or, if I were the press spokesperson and my boss asked me to lie, I would quit.

    If the press had gotten it wrong through no fault of NTM’s, NTM should have gone public with the truth.

    NTM missionaries have done – and are doing – some wonderful work for the Lord. That doesn’t mean that NTM should not be accountable for these sorts of shenanigans. In fact, in light of the very important work that missionaries are doing, they should be above reproach.

    You judge how they have performed.

  5. kcf
    July 29th, 2009 at 20:36 | #5

    I am a victim of childhood sexual abuse, so this rings loud with me. It is shocking and surprising to imagine such inaction. This looks like big business to me. They (NTM) don’t want to draw attention to their broad problems in fear that they will lose funding. It is an “isolated incident” in their minds. If they open “Pandora’s Box”, it might put the whole enterprise in jeopardy. I think it is shameful. I will do what I can a keep you all in my prayers. I will share it with my friends and family.

  6. Jen
    July 29th, 2009 at 06:05 | #6

    I want to just run around screaming! Or go bash them over the head or SOMETHING.

  7. Shary Hauber
    July 28th, 2009 at 16:35 | #7

    It is time for all of us in our churches to start doing something about this attitude in the Christian community that we will cover our sins to be a good testimony. Christ came to save sinners not the self righteous.
    Mark 9:42 says “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.
    Jesus did not look kindly on those who cause children to stumble. How many MKs out of their boarding schools have rejected God? NTM should look for a millstone because it would be better for them than what they have coming from God.
    If NTM is hoping their judgment will not come until eternity, God sometimes judges now and He may use the ungodly world to do it. Just as He used the heathen to judge Israel in the Old Testament.
    We have sinned in allowing people to continue in our churches and missions who are preying on children. It has to stop.
    Bonnie, Kari and all you others are doing a wonderful job of exposing the sin in the body of Christ. May God give you boldness, strength in body and soul as you fight to expose sin. May He also give you great love for NTM, His kind of love that doesn’t want sin hid but exposed and the sinner brought to real repentance, restitution, and reconciliation. There is always hope that NTM will change. I say this even though I have not seen it happen in any mission yet, not Avant or CMA in Ivory Coast. Remember there are 25 boarding schools that have reported abuse and nothing is being done in any of them.

  8. Gene Long
    July 28th, 2009 at 12:45 | #8

    Wow! I wonder if NTM would respond to this? It certainly raises some questions.

  9. anonymous
    July 28th, 2009 at 12:13 | #9

    Fanda Eagles – it is time to lawyer up!

  10. joie
    July 28th, 2009 at 12:13 | #10

    i honestly hate to say this, but i am starting to think that something more than just sheer incompetence is going on with the leadership of ntm. something really wrong…i hate to throw the ‘e’ word around, but maybe something evil – you have to TRY to be this blind and ineffective over and over and over again. they refuse to learn, to change, or even to go by their own manual, and how many people are getting hurt in the meantime.

    before everyone jumps all over me and accuses me of calling ntm evil, please carefully read over what i said…i am not saying everyone there has ulterior or sketchy motives, but something really scary is going on. just putting it out there, man.