Gail's Life After CGC

Even if one believes that Gail Batke (then Gail Vanderspuy) was the victim of a malicious cult, by 1984 she had escaped.  Certainly, if this church were bad and evil, her life would have a happy ending now that she no longer had anything to do with Christ Gospel Church or Sister Hicks.  While a reasonable person might think that Gail’s life would improve and she would move on with her life – assuming all of the facts are true, Gail continues to accuse and blame Christ Gospel Church for all of the bad things happening her life, even though she has long left this group behind.

Gail begins Chapter Twenty by saying, “So, one might ask, ‘Why don’t you get on with your life?’ (page 185)."  But Gail doesn’t quite answer the question.  So she’s left a church she doesn’t like.  Why not just move on?  She writes that she can’t because she has to disprove conclusively Hicks’ teachings.  Moreover, she reacts negatively to the next two churches she attends, which she describes as too positive.  Apparently, she quits the first church because when the pastor prayed, he referred to God as “Sir.”  Gail reacts, “It was more positive stuff than I could handle.”  The next church she attends is also unacceptable, even though the pastor had personally invited her and her family over to his home.  According to Gail, “He, too, was a little too positive for me (page 190)." 

So first, ask yourself, if you’ve left a church that has hurt you, wouldn’t you want a positive experience?  Not Gail, because remember she wrote to Rev. Hicks several years later and said that God gave her a vision to destroy CGC.  But conveniently, Gail leaves this part out of her book. 


Gail spends the next chapters describing all of the “pain and anguish” she felt.  But when it comes time to list specifics, she doesn’t list anything.  According to her, most people from CGC ignored her.  A smaller number made allegedly nasty remarks.  She claims that the anguish she suffered from being ignored at one point caused her to run out of a grocery store sobbing.  But it’s unclear how being ignored would cause Gail to run out of a grocery store in tears (page 195).  Is Gail exaggerating or being melodramatic? 

 

Gail’s Relationship to Her Parents – Another Distortion?

Gail also implies that her mother effectively stopped loving her once Gail left Christ Gospel Church.  According to Gail, Bonnie refused to talk to Gail for a very long time, and when they did have contact, Bonnie was cold and distant.  “I wanted to see her, talk to her, hug her hello and goodbye, but the look in her eyes and the words from her mouth most often ended with disgust toward me,” (page 195). 

If this were true, it would be a very serious allegation.  Certainly cults do encourage people to sever relationships with people who are not also members of the cult.  If Sister Hicks had told everyone in Christ Gospel Church to shun Gail, that would be very serious. 

Gail also wrote the following regarding the “loss” of her mother: 

Losing my church, as horrible and earth shaking as that was, paled in comparison to loosing [sic] my mother.  To have her with me would have made life a lot easier to live.  I can’t put into words even these twenty plus years later, the impact of that loss from my life.  We weren’t just mother and daughter.  I was her friend and certainly thought she was mine.  Had I lost her through death with all its devastating consequences, our relationship would have remained in tact. (Pages 186-187) [emphasis added]

 

Would Gail Rather Her Mom Be Dead?

First of all, one has to analyze that last sentence which was highlighted and bold to cause one to reflect on Gail Batke’s warped point of view.  That sentence seems to imply that Gail would almost rather her mom be dead than be a member of Christ Gospel Church.  That is extremely bizarre.  Perhaps, Gail chose her words poorly. Maybe she’s just reflecting on loss.  But the phrase “our relationship would have remained in tact” seems to imply that she might prefer her mom to be gone from this earth completely than be a member of Christ Gospel Church. 

 

Gail Damages Her Own Melodramatic Accusation

In any event, Gail would have you believe that her mother no longer wants to have anything to do with her. Unfortunately for Gail’s credibility, in her sloppy attempt to say or do anything that would damage CGC regardless of the facts, she never thought twice to remove - or at least make private - all of the posts where she talks about how great her relationship with her mother is.  Please note that Gail makes her Facebook page - at least at the time of this document’s creation - completely public for the world to see. 

In 2013, less than a full year after Gail published her book For the Sake of the Children, she begins posting updates on her relationship with her mom, and these posts are all quite positive.

 







And in May of 2014, she posted a number of photos of her mother, having done her mother’s hair. 

 


 

In August 2014, Gail happily posts pics of a family outing, including her and her mother.  They all appear to be happy here.






Now, after reviewing these posts, one must ask themselves: do Gail’s own Facebook posts help or hurt Gail’s credibility?  Has her mother cut all ties with her or is Gail exaggerating for the sake of damaging Christ Gospel Church and Rev. Hicks? 


The Passing of Rev. James Ross

Gail writes on page 171, that she regrets that her step-father never believed her negative attacks on Rev. Hicks and that James never tried to make his wife accept Gail’s assertions.  (Apparently, Gail expected him to order his wife to believe Gail.  That’s ironic considering that Gail alleges that Rev. Hicks imposes her will on people too much, but here, Gail had hoped her step-dad would do the same thing.)

Gail had hoped both her parents would leave Christ Gospel Church, but she regrets that her step-father passed away before he could be convinced of all of Rev. Hicks’ alleged flaws.  James Ross was clearly her hero.  He loved her as his own daughter, and Gail goes to great lengths to portray him as a man who was duped into joining CGC rather than actively pursuing a ministerial career with CGC, although his wife of 50 years said he always wanted to be a Pentecostal preacher. 

But when James Ross passed in 2003, the funeral service was held at Christ Gospel Church.  Despite ten years of non-stop malicious and false attacks, Rev. Hicks put the past beside her and welcomed Gail to her church in order to honor James’ memory.  Not only that, Gail was allowed to sing an old song in honor of her dad. 

 

 

Gail posted this video on her Facebook page years later: during her tribute song, she holds Rev. Hicks’ hand.  In 2003, many who viewed this had hoped that this would help “bury the hatchet” and that Gail would move on with her life.  However, Gail waited another decade and wrote For the Sake of the Children. Gail desperately wants all readers to believe that Sister Hicks is not only to blame at all times, but also has terrible intentions no matter what.  But critical readers may ask themselves: if Gail attacked me as much as she attacked Rev. Hicks, posted defamatory flyers all over my neighborhood that vilified me as evil incarnate, would I openly welcome her back into my church, even on a serious occasion such as that?  Who was the real Christian in this situation? Who forgave and forgot?  And who remained obsessed and consumed with evil thoughts? 

 

                                            Gail Sells Her House at a Profit – And Blames Hicks

The pattern of making wild accusations against CGC with no evidence continues - even after Gail has left the church and decides to move away from the area in the mid 1980s.  Gail claims in Chapter Twenty-two that her husband Geoff wanted to move to Chicago to pursue work opportunities, but they couldn't move as their house in Indiana had not sold in over a year. 

One day, Gail alleges, a “drunk woman” comes to her home to buy some Amway/Avon type products.  Gail mentions that she is trying to move, and this drunk woman says that she has a friend who might be looking to buy a home. 

The drunk woman brings her friend by, and the friend agrees to buy the house for Gail’s asking price!  So Gail states that she made a nice sum on selling her home.  And yet, even in this good fortune, Gail still finds a way to weave a conspiracy theory against Rev. Hicks.  Gail claims on page 199 that Hicks somehow “forced” this woman to buy her home in order to facilitate her leaving town.  Gail is entitled to make up wild conspiracy theories, but critical readers would see this level of paranoia as bizarre. 

First, Gail had been attending Christ Gospel Church for decades.  If the “drunk woman” or her friend were members of CGC, wouldn’t Gail have known them?  Gail is happy to name names in her book, which means she knew everyone.  Who would these mysterious women be? 

Second, Christ Gospel Church - along with many evangelical churches - does not condone drinking alcohol.  Her first husband Mark was fired because he was drinking and getting drunk as an assistant pastor.  So how would this “drunk woman” even be a member of Christ Gospel Church - let alone “under the influence” of Rev. Hicks?  In her conspiracy theory, Gail never answers this.  So if this drunk woman weren’t a member of CGC, how did Hicks make this happen?  Gail makes no mention of the buyer or the drunk woman’s dress conforming to “old fashioned holiness standards,” which would identify them immediately as being members of CGC.  So did Hicks just hire an actress?  Alcoholics are notoriously unpredictable.  But the point is that someone bought Gail's house at her asking price. 

Third, in 1984, what incentive does Rev. Hicks have to run Gail out of town?  Yes, Gail went on a jihad to discredit and lie on CGC, but that wasn’t until the 1990s.  Assuming that we believe that Hicks is evil and wants to push out a potential threat, in 1984, Gail was just a former member.  Or is Gail alleging that Rev. Hicks tries to get all disgruntled former members run out of town? 

Granted, this is a small example, but it illustrates Gail’s warped thinking.  No matter what happens, even when Gail is successful and makes a nice profit, she somehow finds a way to blame Rev. Hicks. 

 

Gail’s Husband’s Business Fails in Chicago – Gail Blames Hicks

Now that Gail is in Chicago, her life story, in theory, should improve.  She’s no longer under the control of an evil cult, as she alleges.  But Gail can’t move on.  Gail sells her sob story to her new pastors and anyone who will listen.  But now that she’s further away from CGC, her lies increase.  Hicks is no longer just a cult leader or a con-woman, Gail now says on page 204 that she told people in Chicago that Hicks was delving into the occult.  Of course, Gail gives no description or details of how Hicks is actually doing this.  She just throws out a wild accusation with no evidence and hopes it will stick. 

According to Gail, Geoff’s plan to move to Chicago did not work out.  In fact, it must have failed because they had to go to their new church and ask for living assistance.  Things must have been bad, because Gail sent her son to live with another family back in Indiana. 

 

Gail and Geoff Beg For Money – They Blame Hicks

According to Gail, Geoff was not successful in Chicago, and as a result, they met with their new pastor to explain the situation.  Geoff blamed being in a cult for ten years as the reason they needed money now (page 205).  This is an odd thing to assert, considering that Gail’s father obviously - by Gail’s own admission and by her mother’s testimony - made a very good living doing construction work for CGC and the individual members.  Gail makes no mention of Rev. Hicks discouraging Geoff to pursue a profession or trade.  In fact, it would not be in Hicks’ own interest to do so.  If a pastor wants generous donations, they need wealthy parishioners.  So how is Geoff’s financial failures in Chicago Rev. Hicks’ fault?  At what point does Gail and her husband get to take responsibility for learning a trade and getting a job?  When does CGC stop being the cause of all bad things in Gail’s world - even when Gail is living 200 miles away? 

Gail and Geoff asked for money, but Gail makes no mention of whether or not the new pastor actually gave them anything.  In this instance, Gail’s top complaint is that Hicks has not given her enough.  The free housing is never good enough.  A draft deferral for her first husband isn’t good enough.  Nothing is ever good enough for Gail.  But a balanced reader has to ask: if Gail’s new pastor gave her no money, why does she heap praise on him and still condemn Hicks? 

 

Change Tracks

When Gail and Geoff were asking their new pastor for money, he is recorded as only giving them some helpful advice.  He asked them how a train moves in a different direction; the pastor told them, it simply “changed tracks”, someone pushes a lever, and it moves in a different direction.  The pastor was encouraging Gail and Geoff to choose powerfully and move their lives in a different direction.  How ironic that Gail put this piece of advice in her book, but clearly disregarded it. 

 

Moving Back to Kentucky

Since Geoff’s business never worked, the family couldn’t afford to live near Chicago, so they moved to Louisville, which is just across the river from Indiana.  If you had left CGC because you felt it was a cult, and it represented a serious imminent threat to you, would you then move back to that same area?  So does Gail really see Christ Gospel Church as a threat or was she simply exaggerating? 


Moreover, Gail then says that she then began repeatedly calling and writing to Hicks (pages 209 and 210). Again, if you felt that someone was actually dangerous, would you then begin contacting and harassing this person?  Or would a sane, balanced individual leave well enough alone?

 

Louisville Church Falling Out? What Happened?

Now that she’s back in Louisville, Gail states that she attended a small church with about 20 people.  And yet, this church doesn’t work out for her either…  (One would notice a pattern is forming.)  Buried at the bottom of page 212, Gail writes: 

The events surrounding the Louisville church merited a book by themselves.  The short of the story is that circumstances forced us into making a move.  After much thought and input from the children, we decided to go back across the river to Indiana.  (page 212) 

What circumstances?  The events of this small Louisville church must have been horrible if Gail would consider moving back across the river where she would have to endure the “anguish” of people ignoring her.  Moreover, Gail moved back to Jeffersonville, the headquarters of Christ Gospel Church.  Anyone who has lived in Southern Indiana knows it’s a spread out place.  Why Jeffersonville?  She could have moved to New Albany, Clarksville, Sellersburg, Corydon, Greenville.  There are loads of inexpensive places to live in Southern Indiana.  Why Jeffersonville? 

If Gail were in any real danger, why would she move back to the epicenter of where she experienced alleged harassment?  Is that what a reasonable, sane person would do? 

Moreover, Gail makes no mention of any fear of moving back to Jeffersonville.  She didn’t agonize over this decision.  She didn’t say that she feared for her safety or for her children’s safety.  Just something terrible happened in Louisville, and it was so bad that she had to leave the city entirely.  What on earth could have been so bad that Gail had to leave Louisville, particularly when she was attending a church of only 20 people?  Did she happen to find another evil cult?  Did this second cult harass her and threaten her?  What are the odds?  And did this cult have such evil influence that Gail couldn’t move anywhere else in Louisville, a big, spread out city? What happened here? 

What seems far more likely is that Gail is simply a clergy killer.  She created a tremendous amount of upset and drama around Christ Gospel Church, and with her obsessive personality, she may have done it again.  Perhaps, this small Louisville church just couldn’t cope with the intensity of Gail Batke. 

 

Was Gail Fired from the Louisville Church?

One should note that friends of Gail have told other members of Christ Gospel Church that Gail had actually had a job playing the organ in this small church, and as a result, they got to live for free in the pastor’s home. Then suddenly, they lost their free rent.  Allegedly, Gail had a massive falling out with the pastor; he fired her and kicked her out of her free housing. 

Gail glosses over this.  But clearly the events were dramatic because Gail said they warranted a book by themselves.  Also, she remains silent on the names of the pastors and others who were involved.

 

Back in Jeffersonville, Gail Claims She is the New Moses of Her Time

Having left Louisville and returned to Jeffersonville, Gail remarks that Geoff had lost interest in CGC; he had moved on and didn’t want to have anything more to do with them (page 215).  Gail, on the other hand describes herself like this: 

My passion for the matter, on the other hand, was growing.  Another year had passed with countless more encounters with church members.  I was back among those I loved.  Those who still avoided me at the stores, never called for a hairdo or a bottle of cleaner or vitamins.  I felt like Moses must have felt when he saw “his” people living as slaves while he was in the palace.  How could I help my fellow brothers and sisters get freed from the strong hold over their lives? 

One can start to see that perhaps Gail is suffering from delusions of grandeur.  No one joined Christ Gospel Church to be close to Gail Moody, aka Gail Sherrill, aka Gail Vanderspuy.  So why would Gail view the CGC membership as “her people?” 

And even if the membership of CGC were Gail’s to save, how does she go about doing this?  She uses the most humiliating, dirty, and underhanded tactics.  If you’re showing someone the light, you don’t mock and ridicule them.  See Gail’s Tactics

Compare the wording on page 215 with the phrasing in Gail’s Vision.  Gail wrote directly to Hicks in 1990 and said: 

Over the past five years we have seen God’s mercies and grace given towards you.  Now God says, “it’s enough”.  As in the opening scripture, you shall proceed no further, else your folly and transgressio [sic] of God’s work will be manifest unto all men. 

As a prophetess of Jesus Christ, I call you to repentance for the bondage you’ve held over God’s people.  The Lord would say unto you as unto Pharoah [sic] “Let God’s People go”. (Gail Vanderspuy’s letter to Rev. Hicks on August 16, 1990.) 

On pages 224 and 225 of For the Sake of the Children, Gail says something else eerily similar to her “vision” letter to Rev. Hicks: 

Where do I rest from my labor of exposing the twisting of truth by the person who so influenced years of my life?  I don’t know at this juncture.  What I do know is that I love Bernice [sic] Richards Hicks and would love the opportunity to share the simple unadulterated truth with her.  I would love to see her stand in her church and declare that truth; setting hundreds free from the yoke of bondage she has placed upon them.  I’ve often dreamed of that happening. 

Compare this to another paragraph of her vision letter: 

I know you’ve had a desire for power all your life.  I also know the fear you live in constantly.  I had a vision of leading you to Jesus on your death bed.  This is why I'm [sic] writing to you.  God is a merciful God, full of compassion and ready to forgive, set free and to deliver from all works of darkness.  You have perverted God’s word long enough.  Please, I pray for you to repent and turn from this wickedness so that you life may be saved from the destruction of the devil.  (Gail Vanderspuy’s letter to Rev. Hicks on August 16, 1990.) 


For more of this, see Gail’s Vision. 

The wording is eerily similar.  Gail may try to claim that Christ Gospel Church is making up all the evil hateful letters and flyers they’ve received over the years from her, but one has to accept that the wording of these flyers (which were obviously created before 2012) is very similar to how she views herself. 

So here we are:  Nearly 25 years ago, Gail admitting that she’s obsessed with CGC.  She’s obsessed with Hicks and she’s going to “liberate” the membership of Christ Gospel Church - using any means possible. 

Gail concludes her book by making a number of theological disagreements with Hicks on “holiness” standards. She mocks Hicks’ studying the Bible in Hebrew and criticizes the church for some its other beliefs, in particular, using the Old Testament in the way that they do.  She attacks Hicks, but lists a number of complaints that atheists use all the time to condemn all organized religion - that’s it’s just a means to control people. 

Gail believes that each person should study the Bible and find God for themselves.  But Gail can’t keep it that civil for very long.  She goes on to make a number of allegations that the church is engaged in illegal activity, but she never mentions these activities before in her book, and she certainly doesn’t describe them in any detail. She even takes a few pot-shots at Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Catholic Church. 

In one sense, Gail’s diatribe against Hicks (and by extension all Pentecostals or all organized religion) is fine. She’s free to analyze the Bible and interpret it as she sees fit.  But a mere fifteen pages of cursory analysis from a woman who barely got a GED isn’t exactly a “best seller” or suitable for publication at Harvard or Stanford, where Gail claims to have studied.  To any thoughtful reader, once you read other people’s evidence on their interactions with Gail, and once you see her “handiwork” of flyers filled with hate and lies, one thing is clear, in order to “free her people”, Gail becomes the very thing she claims that she hates about Hicks:  an obsessive control freak who ruins people’s lives. 

 

Questions for Gail to Answer

So we know from her own book - and from outside evidence - that Gail has a vision to destroy Christ Gospel Church by any means necessary.  Her jihad will allow her to use any number of tactics to defame and discredit Rev. Hicks and her church.  But if we’re supposed to take Gail seriously, that she’s a real Christian dedicated to helping people - rather than just fantasizing about an aggrandized version of herself - we need to look at her actions since 1987 when she finishes describing her book. 

Rather than moving on with her life as Geoff did - who ultimately divorced Gail - she can’t help herself.  Gail claims to be a good Christian, but what good works has she produced?  When we look at Gail’s Tactics, we see anything that’s far from Christ-like behavior. 

Christ Gospel Church has a history of performing missionary work - what missionary work has Gail done? Some Christ Gospel members use their vacation days to go to developing countries and help sick children.  Has Gail ever done that? 

Gail claims she knows the Bible very well and wants to “liberate” people who have been duped – as she and her father apparently were.  Why could she not start her own church?  This is not meant to be a joke.  Gail makes some very serious allegations.  And it’s clear that she views herself as a Moses-like figure.  But while she’s happy to spread lies, she’s never had enough commitment or conviction to stand at a pulpit and preach a gospel that she endorses, attract and hold a crowd, and consistently minister to them - being there through their triumphs, marriages, births, failures, disappointments, and funerals.  Gail wants to view herself as “on par” with Rev. Hicks, but she’s never had the courage to do the things that Hicks did. 

If Gail is committed to just making more money and living a comfortable lifestyle, why didn’t she just become a beautician?  But rather than using her hardships as motivation to construct something, her refusal to take responsibility for her life, and always blaming Hicks, means that she is actually just letting herself off the hook. Outside of writing a book full of lies and distortions and tricking the local media into printing her lies, she’s done very little with her life. 

Rev. B. R. Hicks watched both her father and her older sister die at a young age.  She lost all of her worldly possessions, family, and status in the community.  Her mother put her in an orphan’s home so she could snag a new man.  She had to work long hours caring for younger children, yet she grabbed every opportunity to learn, to serve, and won a scholarship to a special school, and at a time when women were not even expected to graduate high school - she completed a business college certificate so that she would always have usable skills to fall back on.  She took all that adversity, and created a large religious organization, just by being passionate, committed, and diligent to her calling - studying and sharing the Bible.  Anyone is free to disagree with her beliefs, but no one can take away from the fact that she did something extraordinary.  Gail has not. 

Gail wants very badly to be the person who is on par with Rev. Hicks, but Gail Batke has never taken any action that would make her extraordinary.  Yes, she’s free to criticize Christ Gospel Church, but powerful, successful people aren’t only against what they hate.  They stand for something, and they take actions in the midst of difficult circumstances. 

When things get difficult for Gail, she whines and complains.  She blames Rev. Hicks, and she gets vindictive and crazy.  Ironically on page 221, her criticism of Hicks is an accurate description of herself. 

“If there was any truth in the explanations…, it was too distorted and embellished with lies for a sane person to attempt disseminating [sic] (page 221).” 

Gail has some nerve saying that, given her own vision and tactics.  You’re free to make your own judgment on Rev. Hicks, on Pentecostal Christians, their beliefs and religious practices.  But Gail’s version of events don’t make sense.  Any legitimate criticism she might have made is drowned in a sea of lies.