September 21st, 2010
08:29 PM ET

CNN Exclusive: Men allege sexual coercion by prominent Atlanta pastor

See PDFs of lawsuits filed by Maurice Robinson and Anthony Flagg.

Two Georgia men have filed a lawsuit claiming that prominent Atlanta, Georgia, pastor Eddie Long coerced them into sex.

The suits, filed Tuesday in DeKalb County, Georgia, allege that Long used his position as a spiritual authority and bishop to coerce young male members and employees of his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church into sex.

"Defendant Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as Bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship," the suits allege.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church • Georgia • Leaders • Pastors • Scandal

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. honestanon

    @ Frogist

    It occurs primarily under islam, and has spread to Australia & Europe (and likely the US, but not publicized) primarily due to emigration from islamic lands. And how, pray tell, is it NOT a devi-ancy in the west? (geni!tal piercings not included... ) The rest of your post is, Frog, pretty abstruse. .. Are you talking about p0rn stars wearing studs, or a 10 year old muslim girl being forced to undergo Female GM during her summer vacation? The former I can understand. Done by choice.. creepy.. but voluntary. The latter is intolerable in any culture or under any circ-umstance. You say you're sporting a Prince Albert and you were circu-mcised as an infant according to Western or Jewish tradition? Great! How would you feel about the mohel taking off half your gl@ns (without anesthetic, and with a dirty Swiss army knife) at the age of 11? Nooooo! ... Of course not. There is no "how we view" argument involved here. It's simply a human depravity. Pretty much just torture p0rn for the islamic faithful (and a few undeveloped tribes in S. America who consider bugs a delicacy.) Any other attempt at qualification is simply mental m@sturbation. Good luck with that.

    But thanks, CNN, for your efforts to obscure real and widespread s3xual abuse by focusing on sporadically evil clergy here in the US. Day after.. day, after... day... ad nauseam. "Beware the religion that does not allow priests to marry.." and all. Yeah... we know... it's old news.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  2. Robin Fontaine

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses have a policy within their religion that protects pedophiles. The official policy is that the elders of the “Church” are supposed to handle the matter internally, without contacting the police. They do this so that shame will not be brought on the religion.

    It’s important that they keep a squeaky clean image to the public. Remember they believe they are the only “True” religion and all other Christian Churches are under the control of Satan. JW’s are not supposed to sue other JW’s or involve the police or courts. They believe these are Satan’s organizations and any crime by a JW should be dealt with internally.
    The elders will contact the police ONLY if they’re forced to by state law. Otherwise they are forced to follow official policy from headquarters. Some states require that “priests” or “pastors” report child abuse to the authorities. If they are not forced to report them than they cover it up.

    You might actually get a unreported pedophile knocking on your door next time they show up peddling pamphlets and selling “Eternal Life”.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
  3. Frogist

    @honestanon: Female circ$mcision is one of the most heinous things on the planet. But it does not just occur under Islam as you seem to be saying. Nor is it a deviancy in the west. The barabaric practice is more a condemnation of how the world views women than how any one religion views them. It's a cultural phenomenon and a statement of how we view gender that is alive and well in the west.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  4. honestanon

    Sure.. let's talk about se-xual abuse... aside from the occasional occurrence in the civilized world where it's considered a deviancy and not a religious custom..

    Remove the $ (have to get around the CNN word filter..sorry)


    Going on now – despite the British laws against it.
    World Health Org. estimates upwards of 130,000,000 young women have been mutil-ated by this heinous practice... Including 80% of Egyptian women interviewed. Even where it's prohibited by law it's still being practiced and endorsed by many islamic 'religious' leaders.

    Just facts, folks. Do the research for yourselves.

    September 22, 2010 at 1:11 am |
  5. Chitmon

    In the old days, a "pastoral" scene was supposed to be a nice thing to see.
    Welcome to the 21st Century. Don't forget your rubbers...

    September 21, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  6. Reality

    For truth in scandals:

    "In a statement, read out by Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi in September 2009, the Holy See stated "We know now that in the last 50 years somewhere between 1.5% and 5% of the Catholic clergy has been involved in s-exual a-buse cases," adding that this figure was comparable with that of other groups and denominations."

    “As with other religious organizations, Jehovah's Witnesses have been obliged in recent years to develop child protection policies to deal with cases of child a-buse in their congregations. Details of the policy have been published in Jehovah's Witnesses' publications and press releases issued by their Office of Public Information.[1][2] Some details are found only in letters to elders which, while solely for internal use, have been made available on the Internet.”

    “Facing calls to curb child s-ex abuse within its churches, in June the Southern Baptist Convention — the largest U.S. religious body after the Catholic Church — urged local hiring committees to conduct federal background checks but rejected a proposal to create a central database of staff and clergy who have been either convicted of or indicted on charges of mol-esting minors. The SBC decided against such a database in part because its principle of local autonomy means it cannot compel individual churches to report any information. And while the headlines regarding churches and pe-dophilia remain largely focused on Catholic parishes, the lack of hierarchical structure and systematized record-keeping in most Protestant churches makes it harder not only for church leaders to impose standards, but for interested parties to track allegations of abuse. "

    "Yet another prominent Orthodox rabbi has been charged with se-xual abuse. This time it is Rabbi Mordechai Elon, one of the foremost rabbinic leaders of the Israeli Orthodox movement and former rosh yeshiva at the flagship Yeshivat HaRav, where last year a Palestinian mounted an assault which left several students dead. The result was that students of the yeshiva and other far right Jews went on a rampage and tried to burn down the home of the family of the perpetrator of the attack. Elon’s brother is Benny, a former MK for a far-right pro-settler party."

    "A jury in Oregon ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to a former Scout who suffered s-exual ab-use as a child at the hands of his troop leader — the largest such award levied against the organization, reports The Oreg-onian.

    Attorneys for 38-year-old Kerry Lewis said the verdict exposed the organization’s “dark history with pe-dophiles and its unwillingness to come to terms with the problem.” They waved “per-version files“ around the courtroom – secret files kept by the Scouts doc-umenting claims of se-xual ab-use by troop leaders and volunteers over a 70 year-period."

    September 21, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
    • David Johnson

      You posted: ""A jury in Oregon ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to a former Scout who suffered s-exual ab-use as a child at the hands of his troop leader — the largest such award levied against the organization, reports The Oreg-onian."

      It was also rumored, the former scout received several merit badges he had ummm....earned.?

      September 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  7. Aero Windia

    Thou art O wild one doth fell thine honor! Yea hippocrits! What manner of treachery ... HEATHENS! Turn from thine transgressions least yea wilt taste hellfire and brimstone.

    September 21, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
  8. Eric G.

    "I got your back and you have got mine"?!?!?!? I'm gonna make some popcorn and get another scotch. This is gonna be great!!!!!!

    September 21, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
  9. David Johnson

    Well, if this goes badly for him, Ken Copeland could probably fit him in somewhere...And I think I know the place he would fit him in

    September 21, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
  10. David Johnson

    Article said:
    "Long frequently denounces ~omo~exual behavior. A 2007 article in the Southern Poverty Law Center's magazine called him "one of the most virulently~omophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement."

    This is too funny! Thank you CNN!

    That's a fundie for you. All 500 hypocritical pounds of him.

    September 21, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
    • Kate

      @David Johnson

      You know it'll all blow over as soon as he says he's sorry, it's the Christian Way. Apologize and all your sins are forgiven. Again. And again. And again.

      Just sayin'

      September 22, 2010 at 10:07 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Kate, I don't think you are right about this blowing over after an apology; the African American community is one of the most "omo-phobic" in the country. If the plaintiffs were young women I would agree with you but these are young men, this will not be easily forgiven.

      September 22, 2010 at 10:35 am |
    • Kate


      Maybe, but look at the spiritual ident|ty of his mega church, charismatics by the looks of them – the guy will come out with some song and dance story about the stresses of being their Pastor, how he fell from grace, was seduced by satan, is sorry as all get out, and they'll pour on the pity factor for their forgiveness.

      Especially if he can weasel around and say it's a shakedown as he's trying to do according to a later thread. It'll be easier for them to believe that he was led astray and he's really the victim of unscrupulous people, because to do anything else (and deny him forgiveness) will require them to question everything that's been a fundamental part of their lives to this date with their involvement in his megachurch.

      Much easier for them to make like an ostrich than to face the reality they might have been scammed so completely.

      Just thinkin'

      September 22, 2010 at 10:51 am |
    • David Johnson

      I actually taped Jimmy Swaggeart's televised apology to god and viewers. It was glorious. So many tears.

      I noticed he is back on the air, selling holy books and trinkets to the faithful. *sigh*

      September 22, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Jimmy Swaggeart was not the head of an African American Church, If his accusers are paid off and quietly go away that's one thing but if it is proven that he is g ay that will be the end of his career. African Americans are fickle when it comes to someone else se xuality, I really don't know why, I'd guess, because of what Preachers like this has been teaching since emancipation.

      September 22, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  11. peace2all

    Well, the Pope is going to go absolutely bat-s#!+ over this....


    September 21, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
    • Critter

      Why should he? I mean, other than his usual batshlt-craziness...do you think he is jealous or something?
      I confess I have missed something there. Could you elaborate?

      September 21, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
    • peace2all


      LOL..!!!! Yes...it was a 'joke'.... yes.... 'jealous' 🙂

      Critter..... you know all of us..... where is your 'bull-$h!+' detector tonight...?

      Just playing pal...... 🙂


      September 22, 2010 at 2:55 am |
    • Critter


      I may have left my bullshlt detector in the barn next to my "peace2all detector"...LOL
      I thought your post looked like mud, not BS...sorry.

      Good thing I had my boots on.
      How are u this morning? Contentious? (LOL) Warlike? (more LOLs)
      no...wait...let me guess.....


      If you're wondering where everyone went, they're all at the "parting the red sea" thread – but on the link side, not this side.
      I think Kate might be back...but she hasn't actually appeared in all her shining parts yet...just conjecturin'

      September 22, 2010 at 3:08 am |
    • Critter


      Nah, I guess I was wrong. sorry.

      September 22, 2010 at 8:34 am |
    • Kate


      Wait, what?

      Just returnin'

      September 22, 2010 at 9:15 am |
    • Critter


      Welcome back!

      September 22, 2010 at 9:25 am |
    • Kate



      Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smokin'!

      Just relapsin'

      September 22, 2010 at 9:35 am |
    • Critter


      Why would anyone want to quit smoking? I absolutely love it. They're gonna have to pry that last pack from my cold, dead fingers...

      September 22, 2010 at 9:49 am |
    • Kate


      Because the United States decided to renege on yet another treaty with the People, and States have decided once more to try to steal what belongs to the Tribes and Bands, and what I could buy on rez for $$25 a carton is now going to have to spike to $60 a carton so the money grubbers can steal that money to pay for their jets and dinners at high priced restaurants while the People still end up in states of emergency every winter with huge fatality counts on rez because it seems sovereignty only applies when there's a disaster, any other time the US holds both hands out and grabs.

      Just notin'

      September 22, 2010 at 10:06 am |
    • NL

      Almost as funny as the T-shirts that call smokers "A dying breed."

      September 22, 2010 at 10:07 am |
    • Kate


      And I totally missed the joke until you pointed it out. I plead withdrawal symptoms in mitigation, but refuse to throw myself on the mercy of the court – everyone knows this one has none 😛

      Although I also note that I first read your reply as "Smokers are a dying bread", which is weird even for my readings 😛

      Just twitchin'

      September 22, 2010 at 10:13 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.