(a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly initiates, communicates or circulates a report of a present, past, or future bombing, fire, offense, or other emergency that he knows is false or baseless and that would ordinarily:
(1) cause action by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
(2) place a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or
(3) prevent or interrupt the occupation of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, or aircraft, automobile, or other mode of conveyance.
(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor unless the false report is of an emergency involving a public or private institution of higher education or involving a public primary or secondary school, public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service, in which event the offense is a state jail felony.
TEXAS PENAL CODE – PENAL § 42.06. FALSE ALARM OR REPORT
After having talked with several litigation firms, one of them did point out how repugnant and egregious Pathway Church’s actions were. And, it was explained a bit like this:
Walk up to any of the Safety Team members and simply, politely, gently ask them some questions that will help them identify what went wrong in this scenario.
In February of 2018, while I was walking from inside to outside getting into the golf cart, a gentlemen from Pathway’s Scuba Steve Safety Squad was following me around. I noticed that he was looking under the air conditioning units that are between the two sets of double doors that are on the southeast side of the church.
Now, in almost 2 decades of going to Pathway, I have heard doors that shut louder than others, lights that flicker consistently, the men’s bathroom gets clogged if the pump over at the corner of the property is having problems, the push cart that holds the tables has a busted wheel, but…….
Never in ~2 decades of going to Pathway Church, have I ever seen someone running around behind someone else looking around anything & everything that a person walks near or touches looking for “something” that the individual may have “planted”.
So, here’s where we take careful note in how we interview a person.
- Remember that the Pathway’s Scuba Steve Safety Squad is full of volunteers and that it is also led by a law enforcement officer – Shane Wickson.
- There is also a behavioral pattern of these folks seemingly feeding off of hoax claims. One person starts a rumor, and another gets to ‘feel good’ about taking action to cover the initial lie.
- Never take for granted a good-ole-boy’s inability to contain his ‘excitement’ factor when he gets to play with his ‘macho-ism’.
Keeping those factors in mind, and with complete objectivity, self control, and level headed approach, here’s the interview questions.
Hey, has there ever been a time when you were at Pathway Church and you had to go look for something that someone might have planted? And, were you outside following this person around looking around where he walked and near the AC units?
Oh absolutely! There was this one time in February of 2018 that I was ___________
…..told that someone’s EX might have planted something? Yeah. That’s what happens when one person –who can’t get past the delusional fears in her head– associates something / anything on the news, to her own reality. The Amazon Package hooplah was in the news. But it’s your job, if you really want to help, to validate the reality and DEescalate the fears that don’t exist. Your not helping someone if you give a drunk a drink, right? In the same way, if you feed the demons from someone’s past, they will grow as well.
Remember our goal here: Whether it’s listening to someone with paranoid delusions or they are on the ragtag volunteer safety squad, is to let the other person come out with the information in a way that doesn’t cause confrontation and that plays off of their personality. Fast acting, pride, big brother, machoism, and hero complex all come into the factor here when listening to this person recall the incidents and events related to this situation.
So, someone had notified the church’s safety team that another individual might have planted a b_mb or something similar somewhere?
Definitely! But, don’t worry. I made sure he didn’t get away with anything. We take all threats seriously.
So, wait. There actually WAS a threat made? Well, sure! It was NOT from me, but it was about me. Someone made a hoax threat. Period. It is what it is. It happened, let’s move forward.
Instead of telling that person, “Knowingly making a false report is something we take seriously. You need to stop lying. It’s not funny. It’s not a joke. It IS a crime on both the state and federal level. Ma’am, if you’d like to go start drama, violate the court issued restraining order, and do this junk on your own – that’s one thing. But here at Church, making false claims is not something we take lightly. You need to stop.”
But, of course that didn’t happen. And, this gentlemen goes on, next month to pull an even bigger stunt.
But let’s zoom back out a minute.
A PERSON COMMITS AN OFFENSE IF (s)HE KNOWINGLY INITIATES, COMMUNICATES OR CIRCULATES A REPORT OF A PRESENT, PAST, OR FUTURE BOMBING, FIRE, OFFENSE, OR OTHER EMERGENCY THAT HE KNOWS IS FALSE OR BASELESS
So, we’ve got Fake Threats from Ms. Conaway and accompanying vigilantes from Pathway Church’s Scuba Steve Safety Squad in September.
Then in October, we’ve got death threats which are proudly and publicly displayed from both Ms. Conaway’s friends who are from the extremist religious group conveniently combined with lovely affirmations from Pathway Church’s Scuba Steve Safety Squad member Ms. Katie Reames here locally.
Was this public? Absolutely! And, there’s no kind of internal filter from Ms. Conaway which says,
“Hmmm…. perhaps I should delete their comments”? Nope.
And, after watching the rest of the fake accusations from the Burleson Police Videos listening to, “He’s married.” & “If I tell you he touched me inappropriately, will you arrest him?” and more from the Sept. 16th episode, that led to this restraining order being issued to Ms. Conaway in October.
Of course then in December, we’ve got this accusation. Of course the smart savvy soccer moms & dads asked good questions like, “Wow. How long has this been going on?” Her reply, “Since September“. And, “How often has this happened?” Her reply, “Oh it’s happened 4 times!”
So……….. Let’s make sure we’ve got this straight. That’s 12 Sundays, right? And, Alexis has been “terrorized” 4 of those Sundays? So, welcome to Pathway Church everyone. Your kiddo can be terrorized every three Sundays. Just like Ms. Conaway’s kiddo!
……….wait, what? That’s not true.
That’s what happens when you feed the abusive demons from a person’s past. They get bigger and bigger and grow to out-of-control claims that make the church look bad. You don’t feed the abuse. That does NOT help the person – at all.
Yeah, um, no. Just no.
That neither ads up, nor makes any sense.
From the thousands of people who saw this post, I want to THANK the 3 that actually followed up correctly with the right interview questions validating the legitimacy of these claims. THANK YOU!
Always listen to the accusation correctly – with no confirmation bias, no gender blinders, no tin-foil hats, ask clarifying questions, and DO have absolute concern for the person making the claim.
So, now in February 2018, there’s a b_mb threat?
Let’s remember the opening statute again: A PERSON COMMITS AN OFFENSE IF (s)HE KNOWINGLY INITIATES, COMMUNICATES OR CIRCULATES A REPORT OF A PRESENT, PAST, OR FUTURE BOMBING, FIRE, OFFENSE, OR OTHER EMERGENCY THAT
(s) HE KNOWS IS FALSE OR BASELESS
That’s not a “oh, i was doing 5 miles over the speed limit” type of offense. It’s not a “whoops. i rolled through the stop sign” type of offense. The state set classification is simply a Class A Misdemeanor, but when it’s at a place of worship with a school does that make it a felony?
Wait. Does that even matter what the classification is? No! Of course not.
Who in their right mind, says that they are concerned with “Church Safety” yet does nothing once they realize it was a hoax threat? And these folks are led by a cop?
Why is there a “special few” who keep getting away with these fake threats? And, why is there a consistent LACK of any corrective action taken on the part of Pathway’s Safety Team? Even if it is a “special” or “favored” individual (i’m trying to dance around the gender issue here, but i think i’m doing a horrible job at it 😉, why not –at the very minimum– give that individual & friends a huge stern warning against making hoax threats?
When a fake threat happens ONE TIME, that’s a mistake. When a guy gives his significant other forgiveness freely fast and frequently, that’s great. But to continually have Pathway Church enable this toxic behavior is utterly egregious.
When a FAKE threat happens in September, and again in November, again in December, again in February, and again in March, that’s a PATTERN.
Allowing that pattern to continue to cycle over and over and over again with the same person (or two) consistently making HOAX threats is nothing short of DANGEROUS.
Enabling a Toxic Behavior tells the other person that it’s tolerated, that it’s totally ok to make those false threats. And, of course, they’ll continually do it.
When a person gets you to react once, they know that you’ll react to it again (and again and again), and that’s not good.
Your goal in diffusing and deescalating is to stay calm, validate the truth, and filter out the false.
Fake threats shouldn’t be enabled for one person to simply instigate hatred for another person. Hoax threats against a church is not something to throw around about a spouse simply because the lady didn’t get her way, and fake threats are not to be used to gain attention from one or two people.
I still marvel at what Pathway Church has done & the fact that they have no desire to make a public statement of correction. But why should they? They did it again in March!
I get that you wanted to be the hero, stroke the ego, and play off the damsel in distress. But sometimes, when people like Patrick and Kevin (from the “Safety Team”) don’t listen when I ask them to DEescalate her claims so that she’s not found violating the court ordered restraining order, then you wind up doing the person more harm than good. Go play Scuba Steve Safety Squad at Pathway. Validate the curiosity. But do NOT ever ignore the person actually making the false threats.
When I brought Faith to Pathway Church, I trusted you folks to help – not hurt.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a man, a woman, a lesbian trapped in a hermaphrodites body, if they are married, single, or dating, taking hormone replacement meds who identifies as a bisexual triceratops riding a unicycle, or what their story is.
Always reach out to the person who ACTUALLY made the false claim in the first place. They might need your help. They do NOT need your toxic enabling! The person making the HOAX threat (about someone else) is wanting your attention.
Do not feed the demons from their abusive past. Give them a healthy opportunity to find authentic healing.
Hey, thanks for your concern. Can you tell us why you’re making this claim?
Some people suffer from their past hurts. And, even after their previous situation is gone, they still harbor and hold on to their old beliefs. When an individual does not heal from abuse, they can then go on to abuse others. People make false claims for various reasons. As soon as a violent threat is identified as fake, then the drama needs to stop and your safety team needs to resolve what is going on with the person.
Always follow up with the person being accused.
Don’t ever think that you can’t walk up to someone and ask simple, social, friendly questions like: Hey, how’s it going? How are things at home? How’s your personal life? Often times initiating that dialogue will elicit better informed and educated assessments of the person making the false claims. The reply in this situation would be something like, “It’s been better. But I’m ok. I’ve been trying to find post-abuse specific counseling because I’m worried that her past is creeping back up to haunt her. Just last week she still thinks that her first EX is going to kidnap Aubree, Alexis, and Katelyn. Know any good therapists?”
For the Person making the false threats, have Boundaries with Love
The person making the false threats to the church might be simply attempting to instigate attention or trying to discredit another person. That’s typical in suburbia-ville where everyone knows everyone. However, you never want to validate, escalate, and amplify that person’s claims as soon as they are determined to be invalid. It’s ok to love them & at the same time, it is healthy to not allow them a position of representing the church in a greeter, coordinator, or the point-of-contact for anything ‘church related’. Until and unless the original situation is resolved with acknowledgement, understanding, and a commitment to not make any further false claims, then it is ok if the person maintains a healthy yet loving separation for a while.
Time heals all of nothing. It’s a choice.
If the person is willing to chose to heal from the false accusation, great. IF, for any reason, they continue the cycle of creating fake stories and using someone else’s name in those hoax threats against the church, then you know that reconciliation & healthy relationships should not be entered into quite yet. Remember that you control yourself only. IF the other person does not choose to heal, then love them, say hi in the lobby, and keep your church safe.
Never let a LIE CONTROL your church
If the person simply refuses any self guided correction and refuses any church initiated suggestions, then it’s time to say something like: Your abusive fear mongering will NOT dictate the actions of this church, it’s safety team, will not steal from community resources, and we will not take part in a lie. If you can not stop (especially after the 1st, 2nd, or subsequent event), then we need to take better steps to get you the help you need.
Your House of Worship is a place to be PROTECTED.
not used as the local drama club
One of the best phrases for someone making false and outlandish accusations is:
Listen to what you’re saying.