How One Controversial Podcaster is Combating Church Abuse

Aug 26, 2020

A true-crime podcast host has compiled a massive database of abusers and predators within a conservative religious subculture.

Eric Skwarczynski, the host of the controversial true-crime podcast, Preacher Boys, has built a database to track abuse within Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches (IFB).

Each week, Eric interviews survivors of physical and sexual abuse within the IFB, as well as mental health experts, professionals in the legal field, and authors who have written on the subject of trauma.

The show began in January, 2020 and has already surpassed 150,000 downloads and its social media accounts have reached hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

Within the first few weeks of the show, it became obvious that, while the movement is relatively small - with a mere 3,000-5,000 churches in the United States - the amount of abuse present within is staggering. It didn't take long for Eric to realize that there needed to be some clear way to keep a public record that tracks incidents of abuse within the IFB movement.

For that reason, Eric created the Abuser Database, complete with interactive map to show the locations, ministries, and individuals involved in physical or sexual abuse. It currently contains nearly 200 names, with over 150 names immediately pending addition and several more being reviewed and fact-checked.

"The most difficult part of this," Eric shares, "is that so many of these cases have little to no paper trail because they generally get buried by the organizations immediately. The names added to the site have been publicly accused or have some form of criminal record. There are a host of names I am informed of weekly that I believe are credible, yet - for legal reasons, haven't shared yet."

Several major stories involving the IFB movement have surfaced recently, including survivor Joy Ryder's massive RICO lawsuit against the First Baptist Church in Hammond, IN, Amanda Householder's viral campaign to expose abuse at Circle of Hope Boarding School in Missouri, and several cover-ups revealed at Hopewell Baptist Church in Napa, CA.

Those who have information regarding any abuse cases within an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church are encouraged to email Eric Skwarczynski at [email protected].

Those who want to hear in depth accounts beyond just the names and a short description are encouraged to tune in to the bi-weekly podcast on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, or anywhere else they consume audio content.

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