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God’s Nobodies

MISGUIDED FAITH AND MURDER
IN THE LIFE OF
ONE AMERICAN FAMILY

Four years after his father died a hero’s death fighting a fire, Tim Ginocchetti was behind bars for killing his mother. How one tragedy led to another is a true story that puts a horrifying twist on the familiar one of bullied gay teens. In this case, the bully was the teen’s own mother, and instead of harming himself he killed her in a momentary but irreversible explosion of rage. GOD’S NOBODIES, a top-10 best-selling Kindle Single by veteran crime reporter Mark Obbie, exposes the destruction of a meek young man whose only refuge was a childlike fantasy world of his own imagination. His family’s blind obedience to their minister compounded the losses, first by turning Pam Ginocchetti against her son, and then by turning the rest of Tim’s family against his loving grandmother — the one person brave enough to take a stand for forgiveness and truth after Pam’s death. Through a searing and heartbreaking true-crime narrative, GOD’S NOBODIES teaches profound lessons about tolerance and the human spirit’s yearning for independence.

Buy this original Kindle Single here for $1.99 or at Amazon UK. Also available as an audio book from Audible.com here and in a German translation.

About the author

For updates, exclusive details, and conversations about this newly published story, follow on TwitterFacebook, and Mark Obbie’s blog

Go here for an archive of blog posts on the story, including an explanation of the title and a list of resources for families and teens

See this gallery of photos from the story

Listen to Tim Ginocchetti in excerpts from a prison interview

Author’s acknowledgements and notes on sources

Click here for details on how to download and read a Kindle Single if you do not own a Kindle device

55 thoughts on “God’s Nobodies”

  1. Riveting, Mark. The only reason I’m signing off now at Chapter 3 is to keep our reservation for dinner. It’s a marvelous read and particularly gripping given the horrible events of Friday.
    Gordon

  2. Unbelievably honest coverage of a familial tragedy. Most fasinating and very well written. My heart goes out to this amazing Grandmother. She risked everything to be supportive of her grandson. What an incredible woman! I was enthralled by this sad story, but hopeful that this young man had such a champion! God bless them both. Brother Frank and his congregation are so totally misguided in my opinion. He sounds megomanical to me. And these people that follow him like sheep need to wake up. Our God is not who they seem to believe He is. They are being preached to by someone with a giant ego who doesn’t want to be questioned. That should raise a red flag to everyone. This is not a “normal” congregation. I agree it is a cult. I hope that Tim survives his prison term and is able to be reunited with Esther. What a gift she is! Thank you, Mr. Obbie, for sharing this tale with us all. I broke away from “organized religion” some time back. I tend to like to think for myself and not be led by someone I can not always and don’t always agree with. I stick to the teachings of Christ and my relationship with God is just that, mine. I was brought up strict Southern Baptist and was in church any time the doors were open and sometime when they weren’t. Like I said, I live by the teachings of Jesus Christ. I am a Christian first and foremost. It breaks my heart that Tim was so overwhelmed by this “pastor” and his mother. Heaven help him and may he be released soon.

  3. You are a brillant writer….please let me know if i can share a legal nightmare that has occurred in my family that would inspire you to write a book and possibly help my family member miscarriage of justice be exposed.

  4. Heartbreaking. Infuriating so many of these ‘spiritual leaders’ are really hate mongers without an ounce of the true understanding of the teachings of a very loving, inclusive Jesus Christ. There is no way of knowing if this particulate ‘spiritual’ leader knows he’s misleading his followers for his own gain, or if he believes himself above mere mortals.
    Either way, I find it criminal what this ‘boy’ endured at the hands of his church and the hands of his mother. No..I do not believe murder was the answer, yet his smothering, tiny world was so depraved, it’s no wonder he just snapped.
    Though I am not gay, I am hopeful many gay organizations can reach out to this young man and help to restore his soul and to allow him to love himself.
    Bless his Gramma and shame on those who chose blind loyalty to a creepy cult leader over love…. Love of family, love of individuality, love of Christ like virtues.

  5. God’s Nobodies: Journalism, Propaganda or Worse

    The author of God’s Nobodies uses the book to advance his own anti-Christian agenda, leaving the reader to wonder when he is relating facts and when he is simply promoting that agenda. His hostility to Biblical teachings concerning homosexuality permeates the book as he equates belief in those teachings with moral bigotry and intolerance. The writer exploits the opportunity presented by a family tragedy to advance his personal ideology and professional interests, and to take pot shots at a non-denominational Christian church he knows little about but finds personally threatening. He actually attempts to stir up fear and contempt for this small group of believers. Ultimately, his target is mainstream Christians who have the audacity to embrace Biblical moral teachings that violate the orthodoxy promoted by the architects of the “new morality.”

    The author feels compelled to create a story in which facts are bent to promote his agenda, with predictable caricatures that live only in his own imagination: an intolerant, fundamentalist church led by a controlling religious zealot and a young man driven to desperation by their anti-gay message. He hopes that the reader will adopt his simplistic view of a complex and conflicted person who chose murder over the healing power of God’s love, as represented by an imperfect mother as well as the members of her church family. Turning a devoted, though misguided, mother into a monster and a son who contemplates killing her for years and who finally does so into a “meek young man,” the author promotes his book with the ridiculous claim that it “exposes the deliberate destruction” of that meek young man. (Facebook, “God’s Nobodies,” Description, https://www.facebook.com/godsnobodies/info) (emphasis supplied). The disturbing and unpopular truth that the story belies is that extreme evil is the product of a choice that some troubled souls actually make.

    That is not to say that the church community and pastor that the author purports to portray are perfect or even necessarily ideal for everyone. They would be the first to acknowledge that. But, their imperfections do not lend support to the author’s pro-homosexual brand of Christianity. Further, while everyone in a free society is entitled to his own opinion, everyone is not entitled to his own facts, especially if he claims to be writing non-fiction. Sadly, this book illustrates that truth.

    The most important fact ignored by the author is that the non-denominational Christian fellowship he portrays fits anything but the stereotypic view of bigoted religious fanatics. The author either knew or should have known that primarily because everything that the pastor preaches to the congregation is recorded and those recordings are available to anyone who asks for them. Although the author claims in his “Source Notes” to have consulted those recordings, the truth is that if he had bothered to make even a cursory examination of them, he would have discovered that those messages almost never directly address contemporary social issues, including homosexuality. One example of his failure to do so is his false claim that the pastor frequently states that God created “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” to which I refer below. (Chapter One) That assertion is baseless. Neither did the author examine the many inspirational books and articles that the pastor has written. If the caricature that the author promotes were remotely true, one would think that he could have come up with at least one intolerant allusion, some sarcastic remark (like “Adam and Steve”), some indirect evidence of bigotry, or at least one disapproval of homosexuality. He found none because he (and his silent advisors) knew better than even to look for one. Clearly, the writings that the author claimed to have consulted, he virtually ignored (except when it came time to come up with a clever, but misleading title to his work).

    To be sure, the ministry guiding the group takes an unconventional approach to Christianity: it proclaims the transforming power of redemption through Christ and allows the Holy Spirit to specifically apply the guiding principles of faith to each member of the flock. Consequently, recognizing the dynamic and diverse path that each person takes in following Jesus, the group has no fixed creed, no membership role, and no set of expectations. That is why you could find among them people of diverse political, philosophical, ethnic, racial, vocational, and even religious backgrounds or identities. The church supports an international ministry of non-denominational, non-proselytizing publications that has been hailed by Christian workers of many different denominations. Its retreat property has been used to provide dignified housing for the elderly and others and a periodic refuge to countless people (irrespective of religious affiliation), young and old, from all walks of life who yearn to hear an unvarnished message inviting them to press on for the mark of the upward call in Christ Jesus.

    Yet, all of these otherwise laudable qualities are tossed aside in favor of the author’s caricatures primarily because the church and its pastor actually believe the Bible’s teaching that homosexuality is sinful. That is hardly a model for honest journalism.

    The author’s agenda becomes clear through the exclusion of some facts and the recasting of others. Thus, the reader is never told that Tim’s diaries actually show that he contemplated murdering his mother well before his father’s tragic death fighting a fire; doing so would have contradicted the author’s determination to present Tim only as a victim of religious intolerance, as opposed to a calculated murderer. Likewise, the reader would be surprised to learn that Tim availed himself of professional psychological counseling after his father’s death, again because such a fact would have undermined the author’s belief that the people around Tim would have prevented him from seeking “professional” help, favoring only his recourse to the “controlling pastor.” Such a fact also would have introduced into the narrative the possible failure of “enlightened” mental health professionals, who are critical to the problem-solving promoted by secularists.

    Nor did the author address the obvious motive for Tim’s washing up, changing his clothes, and then waiting one hour after knifing his mother before calling 911: to ensure that she was dead and to contemplate his next move. Instead he adopts uncritically Tim’s explanation: he was “steeling himself” to cut his writs and neck, despite the presence of only superficial wounds on himself. (Chapter Three) But, if Tim was truly contemplating suicide, would he have cared about being found with clothing soaked in his mother’s blood? An objective consideration of the facts would only have underscored the deliberate and heinous nature of the murder, which the author did not wish to highlight.

    The author portrays the tendency of Tim’s mother and her family to become overly-dependent upon their pastor’s counsel (especially after John’s death) as evidence of a dangerous and sinister cult, whereas such scenarios are not uncommon among highly effective faith leaders and members of their flock, as well as in the secular relationship between a helpful therapist and his or her patient. Therapist dependency was humorously portrayed in the movie, What About Bob?, but is well-documented in the professional literature. See Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Ed., Dependent Personality Disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 4th Ed. TR) (2000); International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, Transference Neurosis (The Gale Group) (2005); Terminating Psychotherapy: A Clinician’s Guide, T. O’Donohue, M. Cucciare, Eds. (Taylor and Francis Group) (2008). But, the normative nature of such circumstances cannot be found in this book because the author’s goal is to portray this religious community as anything but normal.

    Images of pagan rituals and a “snake oil salesman” are conjured by the author’s description of a worshiper at the church kneeling before the minister and being “anointed with oils and prayed over” (the allusion is not fanciful as the author actually goes on to compare the pastor to “a hissing snake” in Chapter Two). It is notable how adding one letter to a word (rendering “oil” as “oils”) can make such a difference. But the difference seems hardly inadvertent. It helps to convert a Biblical teaching – from the Book of James that is observed by many mainstream Christian denominations, including evangelicals and the Catholic Church, relating to the “anointing with oil” – into something both strange and suspicious. The author also betrays his ignorance of the very subject that he wants the reader to believe he is qualified to speak about with authority (“mainstream” interpretations of the Bible). For example, speaking about the title of his book, he describes it in Chapter Two as deriving from the “Bible’s Book of Corinthians.” The problem? There is no such book in the Bible. The New Testament includes two letters that St. Paul addressed to Christians at Corinth, but no one with the most basic understanding of the Bible refers to a “Book of Corinthians.” And, although the main thrust of his work is designed to convince the reader that the church and its pastor have pursued a dangerous and weird interpretation of the Bible in rejecting homosexuality, nowhere does he refer to the Bible’s unequivocal teachings on the subject or on the many Christian denominations that refuse to abandon that teaching simply because it is not now politically correct.

    The author also misstates facts when he says that the pastor recently sold his “second home” at a “Thousand Islands resort” for $ 620,000. (Chapter Two) A responsible journalist-author would have researched the facts and learned from public records that there is no “first” home belonging to the pastor, the home about which he wrote was not in a “resort,” and that it had been donated to the church years prior, and was recently sold, with proceeds going only to the church. Further, there might be a story here if the author had uncovered some improper use of church property, but he did not.

    The author does invite the reader to speculate about the absence of what he calls “succession planning” at the church, despite the existence of an assistant pastor, suggesting that this “cult” may be headed toward some Jonestown-like mass tragedy when its “charismatic” leader dies. (Epilogue) Though he does not actually say that, of course, the suggestion is enough.

    The isolated and weird “personality cult” view that he promotes is not entirely consistent with other inconvenient facts, such as the successful involvement of the “cult” members in mainstream societal institutions, like the public schools, or in prominent vocations like the law, government, law-enforcement, medicine, and yes, even mental health. One would never guess, for example, that one of the pastor’s children is a psychotherapist or that the pastor of an affiliated congregation is a practicing psychologist, since such easily ascertainable facts would deeply contradict the author’s implication that the pastor he has targeted is viscerally opposed to the help that a mental health professional could afford a member of “his” congregation.

    The author also twists facts. In Chapter Two, he suggests that the failure of the sign in front of the church to advertise the times of services (which reflects the group’s avoidance of proselytizing) is really an indication that it is hostile to strangers and visitors, who while “not barred” from attending (Chapter Two), are not particularly welcome, another characteristic of isolated, religious cults. He knows that this suggestion is false since he himself attended at least one worship service “at [the pastor’s] bright, inviting church,” (“A Deeper Love,” The Oprah Magazine, online edition, at 2) (July, 2010), without revealing his identity as an investigative journalist, and was warmly received. Further, he should be aware that other newcomers are not unusual at the church services and also are genially received. Everyone is welcome at the church, and there is no denominational test for attendance at the periodic religious retreats.

    Objectivity is further tossed aside when the author falsely describes as “one of the pastor’s favorite lines from past sermons” that God created “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” found in Chapter One, at the same time ignoring the pastor’s actually repeated teaching that, “while God hates sin, He loves the sinner.” Once again, the author steers the reader clear from any objective view of the pastor that would depict him as a kind and loving guide to his congregation – a view that, oddly enough, finds support in Tim’s conflicted view of the pastor to this day, which the book conveys in the Epilogue.

    The author falsely alludes to the pastor’s “requirement” that young people read aloud Scriptural citations that are part of the church’s regular Bible Study services, describing it in Chapter Three as a “frequent flashpoint” between Tim and his mom. But, no such “requirement” existed; congregants of all ages were (and still are) invited by the pastor to read aloud the applicable Bible verses. The notion that the pastor brands people who leave the congregation (the “kingdom ministry”) as having “recrucif[ied] Christ” and deserving “complete banishment” (Chapter Two) might, if true, provide some evidence of a religious cult. The problem is that the claim also is baseless. The author points to no writing that conveys such a message and no sermon in which the pastor so much as intimates it and does not cite any other authority for such a claim. Whether the idea derived from disgruntled people who left the church and have now clustered to the determined author’s side, or is a product only of his active imagination, does not matter. No faith community should be trashed on the basis of such thin reeds.

    Vainly grasping for real evidence to support his story line, the writer goes so far as to point out that the congregants go to church well-dressed and that children and teens are well-behaved. (Chapter Two) But, since when did that become a sign of bigotry, intolerance or cultism, unless of course it betrays The Stepford Wives-type of robotic, pastoral control? The fact is that the congregants are far from perfect and make many choices, both good and bad, as we all do (the author almost admits that fact, describing at least some congregants as “well-adjusted” (Chapter Two)). They are neither robotic nor aspire to become so.

    These inaccuracies and recast facts may seem minor; yet, with no hard “evidence” of the dangerous, religious cult the author constructs, he must resort to inferences from facts like these to bring the reader to the conclusion he has pre-ordained.

    The writer thinks he has uncovered a great scandal because he happened upon someone who unwisely sought to change a young man’s voice, hoping to thereby change certain character traits or predilections. But, such a scenario is hardly atypical of conscientious parents or pastors struggling to guide young people who are themselves struggling with gender identity issues and sin. Surely, it does not warrant the writing of a book whose primary purpose is to promote the acceptance of homosexuality – by depicting the tragic “consequences” of its rejection – and then demonizing those who believe it is sinful before God. Even when measures resorted to by those involved certainly are ill-advised, they certainly do not amount to “psychological torture,” as the author claims. And they hardly serve as a justification for murder or mitigate the seriousness of such a heinous crime, as the author would have the reader believe. All well-meaning parents have expressed their love and concern for their children in unwise and ineffective ways at times. If doing so amounted to “psychological torture,” we would be witnessing a lot more such murders. Even in many dysfunctional families, children somehow seem to know that their parents really do love them, however imperfectly.

    While the author, like other promoters of the homosexual agenda, ignores truly radical religious groups and ideologies that attempt to justify outrageous anti-homosexual conduct, such as stoning homosexuals to death and staging hateful protests at military funerals, he pushes forward with his own plan to incite in the reader, and the community at large, fear of a small Christian fellowship that has played a quiet but positive role in the community for over fifty years. The fact that he may be willfully ignorant of the beneficial effects of the group’s presence in the Greater Syracuse area (and elsewhere, including the nation’s prisons) does not mean that there is none. His slanted portrayal of the church and its pastor promotes a new form of McCarthyism that targets people who quietly strive to follow Biblical teachings. Perhaps the author would seek the arrest of clergy who proclaim unpopular Biblical precepts about sexual morality on the ground that doing so amounts to “hate speech,” as we have seen in other “progressive” countries. See Blake, H., “Christian Preacher Arrested for Saying Homosexuality is a Sin,” The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/7668448/Christian-preacher-arrested-for-saying-homosexuality-is-a-sin.html (May 2, 2010). Would he venture to launch a similar attack, for example, upon the much-better-known Amish or Catholic communities that adhere to the same beliefs or would he back away from such actions, fearful that they would expose him to the denunciation that his tactics deserve?

    Perhaps the most misleading part of the book is the author’s depiction of the “Kingdom ministry.” While the writer wants his readers to believe that it consists of people surrendering all of their rights to a charismatic and controlling minister (Chapter Two), the truth is that Jesus Himself proclaimed the Kingdom of God as the greatest treasure anyone could possess. See Matthew 13:44-46 (parables of the Buried Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price). The Kingdom is defined simply in the Lord’s Prayer, where Jesus, as man, prays to the Father, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.” Matthew 6:10. The “Kingdom” of God refers not only to the Kingdom that will be established on Earth upon Jesus’ second advent; it arises when a person surrenders his life without reservation to the King Jesus so that He becomes absolute Lord and Master of one’s life. The proclamation of that Gospel is the Kingdom ministry. Is the message of the Kingdom subject to misunderstanding and confusion? Of course, but so are many aspects of Christian belief, like predestination, freewill and the humanity of Jesus. Are the ministers who proclaim the Kingdom as frail and subject to temptation as anyone else? The answer is likewise evident. But, nothing justified the author’s misrepresentation of the message of the Kingdom to his audience. With all of the books, periodicals, and articles, as well as years of taped sermons at the disposal of the writer, can one honestly believe that he inadvertently got it wrong? Or was the story he was determined to tell written without the benefit of any real research?

    An accurate portrayal of the sad events alluded to in the book would have focused upon the choices made by flawed human beings, beginning with the well-intentioned choice made by Tim’s parents to raise him to serve God in the best way that they knew how, and ending with Tim’s horrible decision to viciously extinguish the gentle voice of his loving and devoted mother. But, then a tragedy brought about by a young man’s deliberate choice to give in to his darkest inner voices would not have advanced the author’s personal agenda. Neither honest reader nor the author can truthfully profess to know whether Tim’s behavior was the product of a conflict born of unnatural and harmful homosexual inclinations or was due to other causes. The author blindly follows the progressive explanation for the prevalence of depression and suicide among homosexuals, particularly adolescents: homophobia, thought to be especially prevalent in religious stalwarts. Most mental health professionals join that chorus.

    But, theirs is not the only possible explanation, for some can at least contemplate the prospect that (1) there is a God Who did not create men and women to be homosexual (as human anatomy seems to suggest); (2) choosing to respond to homosexual impulses by forming same-sex relationships is sinful (displeasing to God); (3) the result of repeated and deliberate sin is separation from God and entry into a zone that does not lead to happiness and fulfillment and that may in fact lead to self-loathing and hopelessness; and (4) such a circumstance could lead to clinical depression and even suicide. See generally, S. Williams, Ph.D., A Christian Psychology of and Response to Homosexuality –http://tgc-documents.s3.amazonaws.com/A%20Christian%20Psychology%20and%20
    Response%20to%20Homosexuality-1.PDF (October, 2011); G. Remafedi, S. French, M. Story, M. Resnick, & R. Blum, The Relationship Between Suicide Risk and Sexual Orientation: Results of a Population-based Study, Am. J. Public Health, 88(1): 57–60 (January, 1998).

    Nevertheless, the story does not have to end with Tim’s choice to terminate his mother’s life, followed by its wake of destructive consequences. Tim has more choices to make in life, and those who truly care about him (including his former pastor and church family) hope and pray that he chooses a penitent path back to God, embracing the standards of a righteous life that He, not man, has ordained.

    The fact remains, however, that neither the congregation nor its pastor wrote the Bible’s teachings concerning sexual morality and a clever author’s attempt to use their belief in those teachings as evidence of bigotry and intolerance says more about the agenda of the author than it does about their beliefs or those of the great majority of practicing Christians. In his effort to cast Tim as a victim of psychological torture, the author ignores the series of choices that led Tim to murder his mom; he does so only to advance his own decision to exploit a family tragedy for personal, professional and ideological gain and to use that tragedy to target a faith community for suspicion and persecution. His undertaking is hardly noble and far from honest.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: The author of this critique does not currently attend the church that is the focus of God’s Nobodies, but is familiar with, and admires the message and values that it espouses.

  6. It appears that this was composed by a group rather than one. Seems like a great deal of defending the church for not being members.Sure makes me wonder. It seems thou doest protest too loudly.

  7. Having recently finished the book I came to this site because the story is so compelling I wanted to learn more- and now feel compelled to post here.

    The author’s book can hardly be recognized from the description of commentator Thad. I am sympathetic to the concerns of Christian congregations who feel misinterpreted or maligned, having been a member of one of those outlying groups growing up in a devout Mormon family. Clarifying beliefs and dispelling myths becomes part of the bargain as you strive to represent your group.
    I imagine this duty is critically important for the leader of such a group, compelling one to turn to a Really Good offense as the best defense. Thad’s immune system appears in that overly aggressive defense mode.
    The book is actually not much about the church. Instead a brief report about a series of relationships whose dimensions and danger, like icebergs, were largely out of view. The author makes no polemics about this sects response to homosexuality, no diatribes about intolerance, no inferences about culpability. Those questions are left for the reader to raise internally, and in that regard was a certain success in Thad’s case.
    The book is remarkably restrained given the facts and the implications. A rare exemplar of journalistic integrity that shows compassion and respect for ALL of the principles, even the church- while still getting the story out. The facts of the case could so readily lend themselves to a lurid drawn out accounting- the kind that Thad was geared up to confront and which just does not materialize here.
    Thanks Mr.Obbie for your account and the additional photos and information of the site here. Good work, and I look forward to the result of your next investigation.

  8. God’s Nobodies by Mark Obbie is an easy, well balanced read of a very tragic, true story. It’s an example how obedience to God, NOT TO MAN, can override even the most destructive forces of overbearing legalism, control and manipulation through God’s love and forgiveness practiced by a loving grandma.

  9. Is Thad one individual or a committee?

    Thad’s comments on Mr. Mark Obbie’s Kindle book GOD’S NOBODIES are riddled with untruths. Even a cursory reading of his remarks reveals a vindictive spirit. Nowhere in Thad’s attack does one detect any sense of love and compassion toward Timothy Ginocchetti or his Grandmother Esther Rufo. A church should be a place toward which a soul with difficulties would gravitate. That is, it should be a refuge and a sanctuary. That it was neither is obvious. Was the Pastor so disgruntled that, in his words, his Church was implicated so that he could not have reached out and encouraged the children to embrace Timothy and Esther in a spirit of love. As things stand now the family is divided.
    Should not everyone, including Pamela Ginocchetti, rejoice that Tim’s grandmother continues to love, visit, and embrace him? Instead, Tim and his grandmother are effectively shunned and estranged from the family.

  10. Mark’s coverage of a family tragedy was well written. He did a remarkable job relating
    the story of a young man and his grandmother who did not allow herself to condemn
    him, but instead embraced him and stood by him at a time when he needed her most.
    Thad accuses Mark of having an anti-Christian agenda. This is false. After many extensive interviews his objective was to reach others through Tim’s experience. Esther is no longer accepted by her church or her immediate family. Are these the teachings of your church? Being separated from her family is very painful to her and her prayer is that some day they will understand why she made the choice to support Timothy.
    I believe that Pamela is looking down from heaven and is so happy that Esther is still embracing and loving Timothy.

  11. Something happened with typing the blog above. Here is how it should read:

    Mark’s coverage of a family tragedy was well written. He did a remarkable job relating the story of a young man and his grandmother who did not allow herself to condemn him, but instead embraced him and stood by him at a time when he needed her most.
    Thad accuses Mark of having an anti-Christian agenda. This is false. After many extensive interviews, his objective was to reach others through Tim’s experience. Esther is no longer accepted by her church or her immediate family. Thad, are these the teachings of your church? Being separated from her family is very painful to her and her prayer is that some day they will understand why she made the choice to support Timothy. I believe that Pamela is looking down from heaven and is so happy that Esther is still embracing and loving Timothy.

  12. Having been acquainted with both the man and the ministry for many, many years, my candid assessment is the man is self-serving, vindictive, controlling, and judgmental and simply put a COWARD.

    Nimrod,
    A former Congregant and a God-Blessed defector.

    1. Thad’s comment regarding the pastor’s messages “almost never” address social issues (inferring those regarding homosexuality)sure makes it sound like perhaps occasionally (when he feels the need arises)he might and may have.

      Thad says he doe not currently attend the church, however states “newcomers are not unusual at the church services and are also genially received. Everyone is welcome at the church..” It seems it would be difficult for strangers to attend the church since there is no time of the church service posted near the church or in a local publication. I am inclined to wonder who is really distorting facts.

    1. Don’t you people know who the elusive “Thad” is? No less than a pen- name for the leader of this so-called “church”…….. BROTHER FRANK

  13. I am writing in response to “Thad’s” post of 1/16/13. Thad’s attack on “God’s Nobodies” written by Mark Obbie, forces me to address Thad’s misguided and provoking diatribe.

    In the first paragraph second line of his rant, Thad discusses the author’s anti-Christian agenda, but does not explain this claim. He continues to question his personal ideology without definition.

    Thad’s nearsighted approach to his view of the events leading up to the writing of “God’s Nobodies” leaves me wondering where Thad was during the time of these tragedies.

    Mark Obbie used professional investigative techniques to obtain truthful and accurate information. Mark had spent an enormous amount of time interviewing all involved and his facts are unimpeachable.

    I and several dozen firefighters were with John “Gino” the night of the fire on 3/7/02. I had a wonderful relationship with Gino and we became good friends over the years as were were brother firefighters together in Manlius.

    At his funeral at the Christian Apostolic Church, we were turned away by the pastor, Brother Frank. He was concerned the firefighters were taking control. We just wanted to bid farewell to our brother. We all stood outside that cold day in formation saluting our fallen brother. There were over a hundred of us.

    There are so many misrepresented untruths written by Thad that I could write reams. However, the message I offer you is very clear.

    God has given us the gift of realization and the ability to think for ourselves. We all have the right of religious choice. It is sinful for those who misinterpret the Word of the Lord and practice dictatorial methods to enhance their personal agenda and gain popularity amongst their followers. Has Brother Frank forgotten that God forgives all tho have sinned before Him? Why can’t the parishioners at the Christian Apostolic Church see that forgiveness is the Word of the Lord?

    Finally, I leave you with your own conclusions regarding the post by “Thad” who does not have the intestinal fortitude to back up his tyrannical rant with the truth about his true identity. He fails to sign his name to his own post.

  14. John Ginocchetti was my friend,we grew up together ,buddies since we were twelve , when he lived in Pennsylvania I spent entire summers with him and his family,they were the best years of my life,I have known and loved his family and the Rufo family from a very young age which makes this present situation all the more heartbreaking,when I say that I know of no two families on the face of this earth as caring, loving , and Godlike, as the Rufo and Ginocchetti families that would be no exaggeration, if you knew them as my family and I , including our church family ,you would know by no means would John have appreciated or approved of inferences casting his family or his church in such a negative light as the book GODS NOBUDDIES attempts to do, and to put it gently ,misguided comments from those with very limited knowledge of the families involved and of our church. My point however is not to engage the author of this book or the vast collection of critics that choose to ridicule us, in a point by point debate of what I believe are a multitude of inaccuracies, to give the author the benefit of the doubt ,I will leave that for the insightful reader to discern , I am writing this to give another reference from my vantage point ,I hope in this , at least I am successful. As for the letter from the firefighter above , I absolutely believe John loved his fellow firefighters and would have given his life for any one of them ,that was at the very essence of who John was ,I also know he loved his family and his church no less,I’m sure he is not happy with the present situation compounding this tragedy ,hurting all the people and institutions he loved so much .Finally, I believe that If Tim is honestly really seeking Gods forgiveness,and that of his family he will undoubtedly receive it , after all, we are all sinners in need of Gods grace and forgiveness. This is my small tribute to the best friend anyone could have, John Ginocchetti
    Mark Frateschi

  15. If one spends enough time with the teachings of Jesus, one would understand Tim has been forgiven, because he prayed for that forgiveness. I question whether Tim’s family (other than his blessed grandmother)will forgive him. So far, there is no evidence of that. Is this the result of growing up in the seclusion of one remote church? Perhaps visiting a few churches in the community which are not related to thier own church would help. God’s love and fogiveness is the main theme in many sermons. Fear and blame of sinners is not. Spending so much time worrying about or condeming the sins of others takes time away from the realization of God’s love and of promised forgiveness. At present, considering Thad’s venom, and Mark Frateschi’s doubt that Tim has sought forgiveness, perhaps the rest of Timothy’s family will not forgive him. Time will have to be relied on for that. I pray they will.

  16. To the long-winded Thads:
    It seems like your agenda is hate and justification. My Jesus weeps at the sadness of Christians who speak nothing of love, forgiveness or acceptance of their fellow man or woman, least of all congregants. It’s a shame that a vestry allows such bigotry and hurtfulness to go unchecked.

    Reading the story and being a parent, I can’t imagine that Pam or Jon didn’t love Tim in their own ways. It seems that he was an only child, which makes me even more sure of this: they would want and hope for someone in their remaining family (and probably congregation if it was like a family) to reach out to Tim. No parent would hope (no matter what was done) for their child to live in isolation and not experience the forgiveness of their church and family. Can’t someone take a stand, besides the grandmother, and honor their memory?

    To Mark F:
    John (and Pam) may have loved their family and church institution, but I believe that looking down now, they wish someone would reach out in love to their son. An institution can stand on its own, if it and what it does is above board. Yes, the compounding events (needless death of a firefighter, murder of a mother, and isolation of the grandmother) would bring much hurt and sadness to all families and caring loved ones who knew them. My heart goes out to all of them and you.

    But Mark, there sounds like some harsh judgment (probably a product of Thads’ dogma) about Tim seeking forgiveness. But who knows the boys heart? God’s grace is what enables all of us to find forgiveness of others, like the grandmother has found.

  17. In responce to Mary Ross So Let me get this straight you have read a book that would take a not so smart person three hours To read and you are an expert on the dynamics at play here between the Rufo , Scrimale, Ginoccehetti families, you know what our church is all about, you know that Tim is forgiven (I cant’ make the claim to know the answer to that one way or the other) and finally, you know how many different churches I have attended in my life,you must either clairvoyant or one of those people it might take a little more than three hours to have read the book.
    Before I go any further,I need to state categorically that I”m pretty sure this” diatribe ” will not be looked at favorably by any one in my church including my pastor , you see they actually really do believe in turning the other cheek , I”m not that good of a Chrtistian yet.To be honest I”m a little tired of hearing about “this meek young man” Tim the man who wrote in his diary that he had thought about killing his mother well before his father was killed. As I have said before ,I have known Tim since he was a baby, he was any thing but meek. As for Tims ” loving grandma” I have known her and her family my entire life and I believe If you would ask her she would agree that I have extended her the same love and respect when she left our church as when she was part of our church , that goes for many of The many former members as well , people’s names I can recognise from above who for some reason have not been able to go on with their lives, I”ll use their words,” being not Christian like but being “VINDICTIVE” becouse they were not able to. Control the path our church was to follow . Finally , I think the honest reader should conclude that there is a much more sinister side to this story than even the author’s agenda to change the doctrinal biblical fact that homosexuallity is. a sin (something I don’t believe I”ve heard my pastor say. twice in over the fifty years of my life in this church , or even his drive to solicit worm ,fuzzy feelings for a ” meek young man” Who brutally stabbed his mother to death (she was also my distant cousin) while she was begging him to stop ,no, I believe the real attack is against a pastor and his church, not for anything he has said or done , but because he chooses to Stand by his convictions in proclaiming what he believes to be Gods Truth ,weither he ends up being wright or wrong , I respect his courage to stand for something, that’s slot more than I can say for most of us.

  18. GAYLA, you claim to be a christian, then call people you don’t know, never met part of an unloving, unforgiving cult…hmm. maybe you are JUDGMENTAL. Where in the bible are we called to judge others with out having true knowledge of them?

    KASSI, did you actually read the book, or did someone tell you what to say…this isn’t a “boy” it was a 21 year old MAN! You claim to know Jesus as very loving, yet you say some very hateful things…that this pastor whom you never once met is a “hate monger”
    It’s also not very Christian of you to accuse his family of having blind loyalty to a creepy cult leader…not sure where you go to church, but it sounds like an angry judgmental cult leader, you might want to check out a few other places in the community.

    Emily, I think your honest thoughts are well said, but I question just how researched this book is. It seems very one sided and slanted. There are no quotes from this church’s current paritioners, nothing from John’s family and very little from the rest of Tim’s family…Esther seems to have the floor on this one.

    CHRIS M….maybe her family isolated themselves from her to protect themselves. She did admit to taping her family to use it against them …it’s in the book

    MARY – You are pretty self righteous and judgmental. What’s that saying, don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house.

    NIMROD, name calling doesn’t sound so Christian and loving to me. Honestly I see quite a few hypocrites here –

    Oh yes, MARK L, You said “you were turned away from John Ginocchetti’s services at the Christian apostolic church.” I remember that being aired, from some speakers so those unable to get in because of space could be a part of the services…. I also rememvber seeing firemen as the pallbearers. I think at least 2 firemen spoke at the church as well. The church was packed with family, friends, community members, firemen and yes there were firemen outside, as were friends and some extended family. Maybe the pastor should have kicked Pam and Tim out so you could have sat right up front….clearly this hate agenda is that obnoxious.

    1. Mark F. and Faith G.

      Please, tell me you’re not that vindictive, narrow-minded and judgmental. Please, just tell me that so I can secure at least SOME faith in humanity for you and your church!

      Where is God’s love in all of this? Why are you so-called Christians so determined to be hurtful towards the individuals who actually care about these people, and want nothing more than to see them be at peace with all of this? In my eyes, to know Tim and Esther is to love them, yet I see no love from you, Mark F. and Faith G. Furthermore, for the church to shun Tim and Esther is absolutely UNCHRISTIAN.

      Who really has the agenda here? It is very telling that “Thad” is self-serving in his own defense. He implies that Tim’s actions were pre-meditated and that he remains unrepentant. How would he know? Does “Thad” have greater insight than the legal advisers, forensic psychologists or more importantly, is “Thad” God?

      Faith G.,
      For one who claims to be a Christian and then calls nearly everyone on this blog judgmental for stating their opinions, you seem to have quite the judgmental mind yourself! Here’s an idea..spread the word of God to all those you see as “judgmental”, then perhaps people would be more inclined to see you as an ACTUAL Christian.

      Mark F.,
      Seriously? You go straight to the defense and go so low as to imply someone is “not so smart” because of the time frame in which they read the book? For someone who claims to have so much insight, you sure seem to be grasping at straws here. Also, for someone who knows this family I would expect you to be the first in line to defend Tim and Esther! Looks like “Thad’s” teachings have you pretty snowed. How sad for you.

      I pray this church’s congregation finds and practices God’s love and uses it accordingly. God is forgiving of people’s sins, yet I see no forgiveness from you two who claim to be such followers of the Lord. I pray one day, you will see the truth, and in that truth you will truly see God.

  19. I will continue to pray that those who are unable to forgive and reach out will some day understand. God sent his son to teach us that we are forgiven and always loved. Often, when tragic events happen, love helps victums heal. I find it sad and unbelievable that this did not occur in this situation. God’s love is so much more important than all of this. His promise of forgiveness was made clear by Jesus.

  20. According to the book, Esther did not want to know the details of her daughter’s murder. I wonder if she would have gone along with the defense’s strategy of blaming Pam and the church had she known- that: 1. Tim stabbed Pam 31 times and tried to decapitate her instead of believing that she “fell unconscious from the first blow”. 2. Tim and herself would not receive any proceeds from the estate

  21. Remarks of Steve and Pauline (Rufo) Spinelli,
    Steve and Chris Rufo

    It is with great sadness that we respond to Mark Obbie’s latest attempt to sensationalize the brutal murder of our beloved sister Pamela Ginocchetti at the hands of her son Tim. The loss of a loved one always causes great sorrow. In our case; however, that grief was compounded by the many false and misleading statements made by Mr. Obbie in his book, God’s Nobodies, which he uses to advance his own personal and ideological objectives at our expense.

    Consequently, under these circumstances, we feel it is necessary to set the record straight on just a few very important facts.

    1. After Pam’s death, we did not abandon Tim for any reason, neither on account of his conscienceless act nor upon learning that he was gay. Our telephone logs, Tim’s letters and visitation records at Syracuse’s Justice Center, and at Dannemora Prison near Plattsburgh corroborate this. Contrary to our nephew Tim’s flawed interpretation, the tenor of each correspondence was never of ridicule or condemnation, but that of unconditional tolerance, love and our sincere hope for his brighter future.
    Tim knows this to be true.

    The allegation that we became suddenly “hostile” with the revelation of Tim’s homosexuality is laughable. We were suspicious, (if not certain), of Tim’s orientation in the years leading up to his crime. However, the notion that we would support Tim after the vicious cruelty of his crime, but withdraw support on his coming-out, is not only illogical but patently preposterous. It also substantiates the author’s willingness to strain the limits of common sense in concocting a one-sided narrative.

    2. Contrary to the false impression conveyed in the book, it was Tim who informed us, through a third party that he no longer wanted us to contact or visit him. This took place in December, 2007, well after he was sentenced and after we learned of the horrifying details of Pam’s murder. Until that time we had advocated for his physical safety and mental health in the prison system, visited him, and supported him with our love and forgiveness.

    3. We are not part of a fanatical religious cult as is alleged in the book, and neither were John, Pam or Tim. We attend a church that believes in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and while God hates sin, He loves every sinner. As such, it is not our place to pass judgment on anyone, knowing that through Christ’s redemptive power we can all receive mercy.

    4. To suggest that Pam, our pastor, or anyone else targeted Tim for persecution or taunting because of his homosexuality is not only false but outrageous, especially since this deceitful assertion became the narrative used by the defense attorney to obtain a more lenient verdict for Tim’s terrible crime.

    5. The author’s claim that Tim was deprived of psychological counseling after John’s death is also untrue. In fact, both our pastor and Pam encouraged Tim to seek mental health counseling. Tim did so, both at school and later in college. It was Tim who chose not to continue with counseling, a fact with which our mother and the defense attorney are well aware. Also, Tim had ample opportunity to talk with a close relative, a licensed clinical social worker who has been in professional practice with teens for over 20 years.

    6. Another fact that the author deliberately omits is that after Pam’s murder, our mother was, to the exclusion of all other family members, the only one who dealt with Tim’s criminal defense team.

    Her lone advocacy would have been embraced by her loved ones, had her goal been to portray the truth, rather than the vengeful blaming of her daughter and others for whom she had nursed mounting personal resentment through the course of many years.

    Esther’s animosities comported well with the goals of the defense lawyers and the Author alike, depicting Tim as a victim, mitigating his guilt and blaming his mother.

    In fact, fully aware that she would be contradicted by her own family (who had the daily, engaged relationship with Pam that she did not), Esther purposely refused to share the details of months of meetings and conversations with the defense attorney, despite the objections of her husband. Remaining family members were told not to ask any questions of Tim or about the defense strategy.

    This is what caused the rift in our family.

    While the rest of the family was concerned with Tim’s several mental health issues and how they factored into the crime, the defense focused on blaming others to secure sympathy and a more lenient sentence.

    7. We could address many other important statements which the misinformed author makes in his book, but at this time we prefer to refrain from providing more publicity for his largely fictional work and adding to his campaign to equate Christian principles and moral convictions with psychological abuse and torture.

    Finally, we wish to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to all in the community who have sustained us with their love and prayers during this very difficult time.

  22. I am Pam Ginocchetti’s sister. After John’s death, I was Pam’s closest friend and confidant. In addition, both Pam and Tim, spent a great deal of time with me and my family.

    I am deeply saddened and offended by the false portrayal of my sister in Mr. Obbie’s book.

    As a mother of three boys, I am often still touched by the example of Pam’s abiding love for, and devotion to her son Tim. In addition to our frequent phone conversations, each Sunday they came to our house for lunch and would stay through the afternoon. Tim would play with my children. Never once did I hear her belittle Tim. In fact, she was very proud of him and would often relate to us his latest accomplishments. Pam was a very supportive and loving mother.

    Contrary to the author’s portrayal, she was not overbearing or abusive with Tim. While it is true that Pam worked to remedy Tim’s struggle with his voice, her intentions, unlike the book’s representation, were not due to her suspicion of his homosexuality, nor were they undertaken to ‘browbeat’ him into her concept of appropriate conduct—although, because of his own insecurity, it is apparent that he interpreted them in that way.

    Like any other loving mother, her actions were an expression of genuine concern for his future. His voice cannot be characterized as ‘normal’. Even Mr. Obbie admits Tim has “an unusual voice”. At age 21, its pitch was neither that of an adolescent boy or an adult woman or man. Pam and Tim together sought medical advice and treatment, and Tim was given voice exercises to strengthen his vocal chords. His voice, diminutive frame, his frail bearing along with feeble social skills resulted in Tim’s being rejected for college-related job opportunities. Pam saw this and was justifiably concerned for his future.

    The heartbreaking loss of John’s life caused a closer than usual bond between Pam and Tim, but it was not at all one-sided; it was one of co-dependency. As a result, Tim remained abnormally reliant on his mom, shunning relationships with friends as the ‘dweeby’, aloof introvert he had always been.

    Every mom has heard the phrase “get off my back” in one form or another from their child when we become overprotective. Why Tim didn’t assert himself in the “normal” fashion is a mystery to our whole family. At age 21 he had many alternatives. We remain heartbroken that he chose murder and are firmly convinced that he suffered from the various mental disorders as Mr. Obbie references in the book: “Tim’s untreated mental illnesses and personality disorders – depression, obsessive-compulsive, paranoia, anxiety, phobias …” This was really where the legal defense should have turned for an explanation of Tim’s act.

    In researching his book, Mr. Obbie claims to have spent days with both Tim and Esther (my mother). Yet, had he been interested in the full truth, he would have invested more than just two hours which he set aside for the rest of the family combined. Each of us was closer to Pam and Tim than her estranged mother and were free of the distorted perceptions of the murderer himself.

    But, of course, what we had to say did not fit with his agenda.

    If Pam and John were alive today, I know they would want us to get on with our lives. We are grieved by Mr. Obbie’s untruthful retelling of this story for personal gain. By it, he continues to hurt our families and prolongs our suffering.

    Pauline (Rufo) Spinelli

    1. IIf Christ is your personal Saviour, why are you attacking your mother so visciously.? No where in your response did I detect one iota of love, warmth and tenderness toward her. Shame on you.! A MOTHER

      1. You have no idea what kind of mother (and grandmother) Esther Rufo really was. If you did you would say “Shame on her!” People who have no intimate knowledge of these family dynamics have no right to comment.
        None of you who make accusations of the “lack of love” in this situation are aware of how Tim’s church stood by him and were advised not to talk to the press for fear it would cause further problems for Tim. Nor are you aware of the many prayers and demonstrations of love and support for him, nor has this love and support been withdrawn.
        As his Aunt said, her home became a second home for Tim and Pam. She and her husband became second parents to him. He was loved and treated as another son. Many special concessions were made for him, including taking him on vacations of his choice(over their own childrens’ preferences). He was showered with gifts and affection. His Uncle and Grandfather continued to visit him in Clinton, until Tim terminated this contact.
        As far as Pam, you could not find a more loving mother. Shame on all of you for demonizing a deceased woman’s good name! She celebrated Tim’s every accomplishments and supported him in every way. As far as bullying-we witnissed Tim’s many attempts to control and manipulate his mother.There is no perfect parent, but she did the best she cou ld with her complicated, intimidating son, as a single parent.
        Mark Obie, this is more about you – using an unfortunate devestating situation to attempt to climb the ladder to fame and fortune.

  23. To the family,
    I was desperately hoping to read ANY words of love from you, for your mother. Sadly, I was disappointed. I can see now that any loving or warm feelings you had for her are shattered, and you instead choose to adhere to the demands of a backwards pastor. I sincerely want to believe that you are all good, honest, caring and respectable people, because that is the way I believe your mother raised you. Just remember, a mother’s love knows no bounds…it would be such a shame to throw away that kind of love simply because you are unable to see things clearly. I will pray for you all that someday (before it’s too late) you will turn to God and ask for forgiveness for having such dark hearts, and turning your backs on the one who gave you life. God bless you.

  24. God teaches us all to love, forgive and to treat others as we would want to be treated. I have attended Frank Guliano’s “cult” called a church and I don’t hear any true Christian teachings, only a man trying to play God with the people that attend his “church”. There is no love, only a man trying to raise himmself to the same level as God. The day will come when we will all be accountable for our actions. I will pray for “Brother Frank” and the members of his so called church. Most of all I will pray for Esther & Tim. The way that their family treats them is a disgrace and most certainly not the behavior of true christians. They are simply filling their lives w/anger & hate. How can anyone think that this could possibly be God’s will?

  25. I have been able to keep my experience and memories of Rev. Giuliano a part of the distant past. It was because of the anguish that Esther was going through that I began to reflect on what had occurred to me and my family. Specifically, it was at the second reading of Thad’s blog that I caught his statement “disgruntled people who have left the church.” and then decided to make some personal comments. I believe that Thad will include me as a former member among the DISGRUNTLED.

    It was thirty-seven years ago that I moved my family from New Jersey to Syracuse in order to become a member of Rev. Giuliano’s Church. After a period of time I began to realize that many of his messages were pointed. This disturbed me and I expressed my feelings to the Pastor. It was shortly after this that I received a Certified Letter (Return receipt requested). Referring to himself, Rev. Giuliano stated in a sermon as well as in his letter to me:
    >
    “The message, addressed to the entire church, was on Releasing the Captives. Mention was made that in this new hour we could no longer serve the Lord based on our past experience with and knowledge of Christ and of one another according to the flesh (on the level of the soul), and the time had come to release anyone in the group who was either dissatisfied with or felt he/she was being repressed by this ministry.”

    Toward the end of this same letter he writes: “I see no point in your remaining in this ministry.” Obviously we were being Excommunicated! At this point two members did reach out with a brief phone call. It is significant that one of these members subsequently did leave the Church. Other than these contacts thirty-seven years ago no one else reached out to inquire about our welfare. Obviously we are being shunned.

    I would like to give another example of the dynamics and structure in the church. I was one of the Church’s Sunday School teachers. On the Sunday before I received my Excommunication letter I went to my class and found someone sitting in my chair. It was a long time church member. I asked, “What is going on?” His reply was “I was instructed to take over this class”. By whom? I asked. He replied that his instructions came from the Pastor. I was stunned. I was not told anything about this change. I was not even given a chance to say goodbye to my students for whom I cared for a great deal. Could not Rev. Giuliano have personally told me about the change? At this point all I was able to do is write a brief letter to each of my students and inform them personally that I will no longer be their teacher.

    I have a brief comment with respect to my brother Anthony who also moved from New Jersey to Syracuse for Rev. Giuliano’s ministry. Anthony had several conversations with Rev. Giuliano during which he also expressed some disagreement. Subsequently my brother also received a letter from the Pastor in which he is called spiritually blind as well as your failure to clearly see and address yourself to the real issue. Two other relevant statements made in the same letter were:(1) God’s purpose in bringing you and your family to Syracuse was to take you out of a church calling and place you in a Kingdom calling and (2) my spirit is saddened to see you forfeit your calling to the Kingdom. My brother has long since moved back to New Jersey.

    What has happened since my Excommunication? We found other churches where God’s presence is present. Our three daughters have married and are raising their children and grandchildren in God’s love.
    >
    Esther has been vilified and blamed for implicating the church despite the many legal documents evidence to the contrary. How children can savagely attack their mother is incomprehensible and unconscionable. This does not compute with their professed Christianity albeit, the kingdom ministry, the highest calling. Biblical, Christian teachings should not engender mean-spirited, vindictive congregants. No where in her children’s blogs do I detect any expression of pain that one would expect when a mother (who is still living) is not a substantive part of one’s life. Through all the evident hostility has at least a tear been shed?

    My purpose in writing this blog is not to demean the Pastor or the Church, but to simply point out that serious mistakes were made in the past and continue to be made now.

    A final comment: I have referred to letters written to my brother and to me. For anyone who is interested these letters are available to read. This definitely includes the Excommunication Letter. I continue to live in this area and can easily be found.

    Hugo Polichemi

    1. A couple of weeks ago my friend in lecture class gave me his Kindle to read “God’s Nobodies” and told me to go and read the blogs on the computer. Man O Man, What an education in sociology! This religious group is from Mars. These are ministries that I’m just learning about. This Giuliano leader could fit the category of Jim Jones and David Koresh. The unmitigated chutzpah of the schmuck. He wanted a guy to leave his church ministry and be a part of his Kingdom ministry(whatever these are I’m going to learn). I’m assuming that his Kingdom ministry is composed of an elite group. The arrogance of the guy. Is his Kingdom here on earth or on Mars? I’m going to learn more of these ministries and perhaps write a paper for my senior assignment. Others want to borrow the Kindle and read about these ministries –and maybe hold group discussions.

      A Mensch

  26. In response to Niomi Polichemi cook
    You begin by reminding us of Gods love and forgiveness, than you proceed to trash my pastor and my church, a church that I don’t believe you have attended for thirty year,obvious question, where is your love and forgiveness?

  27. In response to Hugo Polichemi
    I too have had disagreements with my pastor Frank Giuliano in the past , I’m still here,if on the other hand, and this is supposition of coarse, I would have tried to undermined him Or tried to subvert his ministry , I might have a little trepidation in opening my mail.
    As I have stated before this is not (at least for some people) as much about Tim or Esther for that matter,but more about using this tragedy to try to tear down a man and his ministry,it seems some people will won’t be happy in a church or any where else for that matter, unless their opinions are validated, or better yet ,
    they themselves are holding the strings.

  28. Wikipedia’s definition of SPIRITUAL ABUSE:

    Spiritual abuse is a serious form of abuse which occurs when a person in a cult-religious authority or a person with a unique spiritual practice misleads and maltreats another person in the name of a deity (god) or church or in the mystery of any spiritual concept. Spiritual abuse often refers to an abuser using spiritual or cult-religious rank in taking advantage of the victim’s spirituality (mentality and passion on spiritual matters) by putting the victim in a state of unquestioning obedience to an abusive authority. Spiritual abuse refers to the use of spiritual knowledge to deprive, torture, degrade, isolate, control, or (in rare and extreme cases) even kill others. It is used by evil-minded spiritualists, sometimes, including cult-religious leaders, to gain advantage, dominate, or exercise control over others. Being an “action of man,” in worst case scenarios, spiritual abuse can otherwise be considered a form of “spiritual terrorism.”
    Spiritual abuse is the maltreatment of a person ostensibly in the name of a god, deity, faith, cult-religion, or church, whether habitual or not, and includes any of the following:

    *Psychological and emotional abuse with the objective of unnatural domination and control of the victim for self-aggrandizing purposes by the perpetrator;

    *Physical abuse that includes physical injury, deprivation of sustenance;
    Sexual abuse;

    *Any act by deeds or words that demean, humiliate or shame the natural worth and dignity of a person as a human being;

    *Submission to spiritual authority without any right to disagree; intimidation;
    Unreasonable control of a person’s basic right (personal autonomy) to make their own decisions (freewill, volition) on spiritual or natural matters;

    *False accusation and repeated criticism by negatively labeling a person as disobedient, rebellious, lacking faith, demonized, apostate, enemy of the church or a deity (a god);

    *Actions aimed at prevention from or ineterference with a person’s practice or system faith or spirituality;

    *Isolationism, separation, disenfranchisement, or estrangement from family and friends outside the group due to cult-religious or spiritual affiliation and indigenous beliefs;

    *Exclusivity and elitism: dismissal of outsiders’ criticism on the purported basis that the assessment, opinions, and criticism of the critic is invalid because he/she does not understand or rejects the unorthodox nuances of the belief system of the group or group guru; it is not uncommon for outside critics to be accused of being or being influenced by a demon;

    *Esotericism: withholding information and giving of information only to a selected few; hidden agendas and requirements revealed to members only as they successfully advance through various stages of “spiritual enlightenment,” which in reality is unorthodox, unproven, indigenous doctrines, beliefs, and/or practices;[1]

    *Conformity to an unorthodox, unproven, or unnatural, and often spiritually or even naturally dangerous unconventional cult-religious view or worldview and practice;

    *Practice of spiritualism, mysticism, and/or unproven or unorthodox doctrines and theology;[2]

    *Hostility and disenfranchisement that includes shunning, relational aggression, parental alienation) or persecution;

    *Apotheosis or de facto deification of the leadership: exaltation of the primary leader(s) to a God-like status in and over the group;[3]

    *Financial exploitation and enslavement of adherents with inordinate and burdensome required financial support (“donations”) to the financial needs of the group, which often includes a self-aggrandizing personal financial lifestyle of the leadership that far exceeds the median lifestyle of the group adherents.[3]

    Despite the comparative frequency of spiritual abuse, those types of behaviour and actions which are today classified as spiritual abuse can be seen to be prohibited in the major texts and scriptures of numerous cult-religious traditions. Indeed, in the Christian Bible, spiritually abusive behaviour is condemned as being one of the worst forms of sin due to its capacity to diminish, undermine, or even to destroy an individual’s relationship with a deity or a god.

    ***Perhaps not ALL of these key elements are demonstrated in the Christian Apostolic Church, but there are certainly enough to make one wonder! You be the judge…***

    1. PLEASE NOTE IN PARTICULAR: *Hostility and disenfranchisement that includes shunning, relational aggression, parental alienation) or persecution;

  29. After reading the book, God’s Nobodies, I have come to the conclusion (as others before me already have), that the pastor of this church and it’s congregation are comparable to a cult. When a pastor of any church refers to himself as a “prophet”, it should raise a large red flag to the congregants. Frank Giuliano, you are simply a man, and you use your teachings to manipulate your congregation.
    The sadness lies within the people who make up this “church”. The unfortunate souls who have either been born into it or have been members for several years, are not encouraged to learn that any other way exists. In fact, they are told that to seek any other way of religious life (and by this I mean any other way of religious life other than Frank Giuliano’s) is displeasing to God.
    While reading this book, it becomes clear that the people who make up this congregation lack the ability to direct their own lives. It would seem they need “Brother Frank” (I would refer to him simply as Frank) to give them direction on every aspect of their existence. They seek his counsel on virtually everything, whether it be medical advice, how to manage their money, where they choose to spend their time, or yes, even if they should shun and disown their own flesh and blood. Having this knowledge I would be inclined to ask, “What other “church” does this?”
    I can speak from experience of abuse and what it can do to a person’s mental stability over a prolonged period of time. I suffered abuse in a different way than Tim, but I know the very real effects it can have on a person’s ability to function in everyday life. Before reading this book and knowing all the facts, I jumped to the inevitable conclusion, “Why didn’t he just leave?” I now understand that in fact, Tim had nowhere to turn. Every single one of his family members belonged to the church, and he knew that if he simply left, he would never be able to reunite with any of them. To leave the church meant to sever all ties with his family. Not to mention he would be subjected to ridicule, shame and humiliation from the pulpit. Esther, being the strong-minded, intuitive and intelligent person she is, was and is the only member of his family to see the truth, and I believe that is why she was excommunicated.
    I accept the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior, I always have. Esther’s family (especially her own children) should be ashamed for turning their backs on their mother. You all have your own minds, and God has blessed us with the ability to practice free will. I plead with you, do not follow a simple man of flesh in order to do God’s will, but instead search your own hearts and minds to seek a solution to the problem.
    What I personally know of Esther, I have found her to be a very kind, loving and strong person. I admire her for standing by her grandson, Tim. She demonstrates more than anyone the power of love and forgiveness!

  30. Wow, Heather P., can you read? The family totally came out and said “we did not abandon Tim for any reason”, why are you beating a dead horse and insisting that they did? Furthermore, what kind of Christian judges situations they have no knowledge of other than information provided in a one-sided book? Have you ever been to this church/ met this family or are you just making uneducated statements based on ignorance? Here’s a more relevant definition for you:

    Definition of Hypocrite:
    a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion.

    That’s from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, not Wikipedia, by the way. Your information sources are sorely lacking.

    1. You’re right Tiffany, they “totally” did say that. My information is based on personal knowledge and relationships with the main people involved, and the definition was in an effort to inform the general public of what spiritual abuse is, and to let people judge for themselves whether or not that is what truly took place in this situation. I will not be so bold as to imply either way whether my opinions are Christian or not, however, name calling isn’t a very Christian act. I’m sure your own religious leader would say the same. At least I would pray that he/she would.

  31. Such narrow minded people who leave comments that have no right. Nobody knows the truth but God and if im right God is the only person with the right to judge and cast blame. Shame on all the people casting blame on a church, pastor or the people who were murdered. If you have not attended my church than shame on you for casting fslse comments. For those who have I will pray for you. All the people who are blamming the family and church for not being there for Tim or Esther have no idea of the kindness, love and support thay was extended to them.

  32. To Danielle, Please reread Heather’s post. She does know the people involved. What kindness, love or support has been extended to Tim or Esther from your church members during the past five years?

    Also, you made the statement “Nobody knows the truth but God and if I am right, God is the only person with the right to judge and cast blame.” This statement brings three thoughts to mind.

    1. Each person writing, including you, does not know all the truth.

    2. God, as I understand, is not a person.

    3. God does not cast blame. God loves. God forgives.

    I pray for you.

  33. Also in response to Danielle E.,

    This love and support for Tim and Esther you speak of, was that before or after they were shunned, isolated and turned away from the church and their family? Could all this lip-service be based on outright lies?? Obviously some people have no issues lying for this church. Troubling.

  34. All the people posting here where were you when this was happening??? Not there!!!! The facts are there is no justifying MURDER!!! Tim could have got in his car and left if it was bad, he was an adult. But no he brutally stabbed his mother Repeatedly while she was begging and praying for him to stop then bashed her head with a clock, Really. I dont care what was so called done Murder can not be justified! The church never shunned either Tim or Esther but continually prayed for them and visited Tim until Tim requested not to see visitors anymore so it was Tim and Esther that shunned the church get it right. Mary Ross wasn’t God made in the likeness of man born as a baby from Mary oh but that’s right you people like to nit pick. You surely have no right to preach to me. Talk about love where is any love, compassion or kindness shown from any of your mouths? Yet you demand for us to show it which shows how little you truly know because there was more than anyone can describe. You all like to cast blame and criticize defaming a dead woman’s name who did nothing wrong!! Also if anyone truly knew John and the loving person he was knows how much his church meant to him yet you all criticize our church calling it a cult! Shame on all you! the devil is shown through your nasty comments saying where is compassion, love or forgiveness for Esther or Tim you people all make me sick. Instead of posting why dont all of you go visit Tim? That would do more than casting nasty comments on a comment board oh that’s right cause for you guys its all just lip-service. lol hypocrites. Seems like this author has issues of his own sexuality in question, for him to be so defensive of Time so called being gay. many people are gay and do not murder! For anyone to post here trying to justify Murder needs to attend a church and hear the true word of God, not just things they want to hear so they do not get offended because God forbid the message doesn’t coddle you.

    1. Danielle E.,

      Please realize no one is justifying murder. Nor is anyone placing sole blame on either Pam or the church. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, so it is only natural for those of us who care about Tim and Esther to voice ours. It is sad that you find the real love and support shown to them as sickening. I cannot speak for all, but be sure there is no lip-service on my part, and I believe Tim would welcome visitors from the church so long as they are not there to judge, criticize and shame him for being who he is. Those of us who spread God’s message of love and forgiveness embrace and love others for who they are. Sadly, we have yet to see any such message from your congregation. Based on your angry comment above, I can only conclude that it must have been a church day.

  35. Heather everyone is blamming all our church and the members, yet where were all of you loyal supporters at the time? Everyone accepted Tim and did not judge him. There were signs when i was young (as he was also) that something wasnt right and he was always accepted by all. There is so much that you do not know. Yet you say you spread Gods message of love and forgiveness embrace and love others for who they are. Your such a hypocrite, in your end sentence you bash me and my church yet again for venting frustration to people who place comments from one side. Obviously you are one of Esters friends and good for you but please dont place comments that you have No realization of the full truth but one side actually 3 Tim, Esther and Mark O, all of which are distorted and each looking for personal Gain. I have nothing to gain but nasty comments spewed to me from “uneducated” people (in the sense of this case). Tim”s gain is sympathy and early release, Esther sympathy and monetary gain and Mark fame. Nobody ever shunned Esther or Tim it was the other way around. Esther left the church by CHOICE on her own free will not for lack of love or support. where is her love for her deceased daughter???? Not there nor ever was. Tim was visited and called regularly by family and HE refused them, and not for being judged, please yet another uneducated comment. I love how all these people can post these comments by reading a book! I hope that you do not believe all you read from books and the paper as everything that is printed is not the full truth or it wouldnt sell. Heather P maybe you should of gone to church yesterday instead of trying to preach to me! These posts can go back and forth forever so do something constuctive Heather go with Esther and visit Tim.

  36. Notwithstanding these difficult years, as a wife, mother, and grandmother, I am able to say that despite all that has occurred, God has sustained me and has been my Rock and He knows the whole truth!

  37. Danielle:
    No one has claimed that there is justification for murder. However, are we not able to forgive even in the most extreme circumstances? No, we are not hypocrites, and yes, we are Esther’s friends. And, Danielle, your claim that Tim is looking for sympathy, Esther for monetary gain and the author for fame is simply outrageous. Your comments about this situation are despicable. You judge Esther’s love for her daughter Pamela, you are doing the very thing you are accusing others of doing.

  38. By the way Danielle, for your information, we did not draw our conclusions by reading the book Gods Nobodies. You seem to indicate that you know all the intricate details of this conflict. How are you privy to this? Did you live with Esther? Are you a member of the family? You are very quick to condemn her and anyone that will support her. Well, we are not members of her family, but we are her friends. And, yes, we are aware of all that has transpired since her daughter Pamela was killed. She has never ever condemned her, she simply said that mistakes were made and for that she has been vilified. If you had a child or grandchild in Tim’s predicament, would you turn your back on him? Is this what God wants from us? I don’t think so. And, the sooner we all learn to forgive and stop throwing punches at Esther and Tim, the better we will all be.

  39. Feel fortunate to have found this and it breaks my heart. I’m very proud that the grandmother stood up for Tim inspite of the personal cost she risked.

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