Anglican Watch

Pattern of corruption emerges in Tennessee, as law enforcement comes up with new reasons to withhold Covenant church shooting evidence

Covenant Presbyterian

Anglican Watch is not big on conspiracy theories. Indeed, our experience is that government is terrible at keeping anything a secret—just ask Jack Teixeira. But having covered both the Covenant School active shooter and the death of Grant Solomon, we’re seeing a pattern of cover-up, incompetence, dishonesty, and indifference by Tennessee officials that’s nothing short of appalling.

We say that as the Nashville police department twists and turns to avoid disclosing the deceased shooter’s manifesto.

On this topic, the department initially said no. Then it said yes. A few hours later, it said no, on the basis that lawsuits were pending. 

Then, as various litigants filed briefs and motions, with several indicating there is no sign of an active investigation and thus no reason to withhold evidence, the department began making noises about how it was conducting an investigation. 

Then, the officer in charge of the investigation, Lt. Brent Gibson, claimed it would take at least a year to review the evidence. Hot damn—someone’s a slow reader.

We also view this situation through our own experience, in which the Nashville police department lied to us, falsely claiming that state law prohibits disclosure to non-residents. It is irrefutable that the law says no such thing.

Now, the school has filed pleadings, saying parents will suffer further trauma if this information is released. Here’s the salient part:

“The records sought in Petitioners’ Complaint and Petition may include and/or relate to information owned by Covenant Church, including, but not limited to, schematics of church facilities and confidential information pertaining to Covenant Church employees. Covenant Church is so situated that the disposition of this action may impair or impede its ability to protect its interests and the privacy of its employees. Therefore, intervention by Covenant Church in this action is warranted.” (emphasis added)

As to schematics, that’s nonsense, as it’s a safe bet that the facility will be renovated, with major changes made to physical security.

Apropos the privacy of employees, what information could Hale possess that isn’t public record? Home addresses of school employees are readily obtainable via even a cursory review of land records, so that’s not it. Cell phone numbers and email addresses are readily changed, so that’s not it.

Could it be that this so-called confidential information relates to the cover-up by the church and school of Perry’s repeated instances of child sexual abuse while Hale was a student? Or the fact the school and church have not met their obligations as mandatory reporters? We know the latter is accurate—the church, and by extension the school, sat on Perry’s abuse of children for at least two years. Parents, are you good with a school that does that? Let’s hope not.

In all of this, two arguments ring true:

  1. Gibson’s claim that there may be related crimes. Indeed, we are confident there are associated crimes. As in the school and the church not acting as mandated reporters under Tennessee law when John Perry was running a so-called safe house for children—then sexually abusing them. And this happened when Aiden Hale, aka Audrey Hale, was a student at the school. And in the two years that the church and school had this information, they sat on it, with the statute of limitations ultimately running out. Folks, parents and students deserve better. The instant an active pedophile is found in church, those phone lines and email accounts should be throwing flames, even as the certified letters go out. But that does not warrant withholding Hale’s writings.
  2. The parents’ claim of additional trauma rings true. But this is not a case of not wanting to read the shooter’s content—and Nothing says parents must read it. Instead, the trauma likely will come when parents learn that the church and school have a long and sordid track record of covering up their misconduct while deploying hateful fabrications to bully and intimidate whistleblowers like Austin Davis. (Full disclosure: Austin is a friend of Anglican Watch editor Eric Bonetti. We stand with Austin and categorically reject the notion that he is or ever was a threat.) In other words, we suspect parents realize there’s more to it—or they are being played by someone in a position of power, who’s saying, “You don’t really want that out there, do you?”

And we see the fun and games with the Gallatin police, the attorney general’s office, and now News Channel 5 in the Grant Solomon case. In every instance, officials think we are stupid, even as they cite a lack of evidence as a reason not to reopen the investigation. But that is the point—there is a lack of evidence because no one’s bothered to collect that evidence.

Regarding Scripps station News Channel 5, we strongly suspect Aaron Solomon intervened to suppress coverage.

And what is the common thread in this situation? It is allegations of child sexual abuse covered up by the quasi-theocracy in Nashville.

Under this theocratic construct, Christ Church, the mothership of PCA churches in the area, Covenant Church, and Grace Chapel Church can get government and law enforcement to protect their inner circle versus obeying the law. 

And in every instance, these churches can suppress issues that might damage their reputations, whether it is John Perry and his so-called safe house, the alleged murder of Grant Solomon, the rape of Gracie Solomon, or the alleged effort by Aaron Solomon to kill his wife, Dr. Angie Solomon.

It’s also helpful to take the fact patterns we see in these situations, apply them to historical cases, and analyze the problem from that perspective.

For example, what if, following her husband’s assassination, Jackie Kennedy had said, “No autopsy. No investigation.”? 

The answer seems clear: Americans would have gone ballistic with their demands for information and accountability. And we would have wondered why Jackie wanted secrecy, as if she may have had something to hide.

Yet now, we have Aaron Solomon and the wildly inept Gallatin police department shrugging and essentially saying, “Nothing to see here. Move along, move along.” 

And at Covenant School, people say, “It would be too traumatic for us, so you don’t get to learn what happened,” even as the church and school ignore calls to bring child sex abuse into the light of day. That should set off alarms in all directions.

And church members continue to ignore their egregious retaliation towards whistleblower Austin Davis, even as we hear reports that Grace Chapel Church is shunning Gracie Solomon and her mother. 

This conduct is profoundly unkind, unhelpful, and un-Christian. And the more we see this, the more we realize that these are toxic churches bent on control and reputation management versus caring for the poor and the afflicted.

Something about “As you have done to the least of these.”

We reiterate our call for transparency and accountability in all aspects of the Tennessee government, including Nashville and Gallatin. And we call on lawmakers to act impartially versus the current blind deference to a small group of churches with ties to various prominent politicians, leading to a culture of corruption and cover-up. 

And we note that accountability is impossible without transparency. Thus, the more the Nashville police department plays games, the more we see it does not want external oversight or accountability.

Finally, we note that there is strong evidence to suggest that this inner circle includes more than one wolf in sheep’s clothing. And yes, we are thinking of Aaron Solomon.

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