This article is the third in a series of investigative reports covering allegations of spiritual and sexual abuse by Jonathan Ryan, a.k.a. Jonathan Weyer, co-founder of Sick Pilgrim. Part I is here; Part II is here. This series is a collaborative effort by Simcha and Damien Fisher.
After revelations that Sick Pilgrim co-founder Jonathan Ryan has been accused of committing a series of exploitative and spiritually abusive acts against several women, St. Alphonsis Liguori Church in Zionsville, Indiana, which employs him as
Associate Pastor of Evangelization Pastoral Associate of Evangelization has not responded to inquiries about his status at the parish. The Diocese of Lafayette and the Bishop’s office have also not responded to inquiries. Ryan’s name was removed from the parish website on Monday.
Donna Provencher, who recently revealed her allegations of harrowing spiritual abuse and sexual exploitation at the hands of Ryan, said on Monday afternoon that she sent emails to the HR department of the Diocese of Lafayette, but they declined to give her any information about whether Ryan will be dismissed.
“The diocese called me today and they informed me he is being investigated but still employed there,” Provencher said.
She says the HR spokesman told her there will be no way of victims or the public getting answers about his employment because “we won’t be allowed to tell you.” Provencher says the HR spokesman said that Monday morning was “the first she was hearing of [the situation].”
Jessica Mesman Griffith, co-founder of Sick Pilgrim, who alleges Ryan sexually assaulted her, and who insisted that he be removed from their blog and that the book they co-authored be destroyed, said:
“Because, let’s face it, there is nothing more erotic to Christian girls than a guy who loves Jesus. I spoke in tongues and used my tongue,” Ryan wrote.
Ryan, who sometimes uses the name “Jonathan Weyer,” continues:
“When I reached my twenties, my thirst for spiritual recognition and power led me to becoming a Presbyterian minister (when, in my heart, I just wanted to be a history professor and writer). That was a disastrous decision that eventually blew my life apart. I got divorced and started my life over again at 41 years old. All because of choices I started making in high school: to value my reputation, to grab for power and to allow a deep-seated spiritual arrogance to rule me. I failed all three tests because I failed to remember one simple thing: when religion offers power, control and manipulation, it’s always a very, very bad thing.”
Provencher said, “and thumbing his nose at everyone while he did it.”
Near the top of the website for the Diocese of Lafayette is this message:
“The Diocese of Lafayette and the Office of Safe Environment are pleased to announce that we have been notified by the auditing firm appointed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that we are again in full compliance with all data requirements for the 2015-2016 charter audit period. The Office of Safe Environment has met all requirements since the inception of the Safe Environment Program and will continue to carry out all that is needed in order to protect our youth throughout the Diocese.”
Ryan was responsible for hiring and overseeing the St. Alphonsis Liguori youth ministry coordinator, according to an ad posted August 29, 2017.
Provencher says the Zionsville local newspaper has contacted her about her involvement in the story, and she hopes this will encourage the church to dismiss Ryan promptly.