19 Jan 2011

US pastor who banned Facebook to protect marriages once testified in court to group sex with wife and church assistant

The Guardian - UK November 21, 2010

Facebook ban pastor admits to group sex

Rev Cedric Miller found to have testified to group sex with his wife and a male church assistant

Rev Cedric Miller said his wife had an extramarital affair with the church assistant and he participated in many of the encounters. Photograph: Mary Frank/AP

A pastor who said Facebook was a "portal to infidelity" – and told married church leaders to delete their accounts or resign – once testified that he took part in group sex with his wife and a male church assistant.

Rev Cedric Miller confirmed the information reported yesterday by the Asbury Park Press of Neptune, New Jersey, which cited testimony he gave in court in 2003. The activities had ended by that time.

Miller gained national attention when he issued his Facebook edict last week. He said that much of the marital counselling he has performed over the past year and a half has concerned infidelity stemming from the social networking site.

The 48-year-old leader of the Living Word Christian Fellowship church in Neptune claimed Facebook ignites old passions, and ordered about 50 married church officials to delete their accounts or resign from their leadership positions.

Miller had previously asked married congregants to share login information with their spouses, as he does. He also said he would leave the site this week.

In court testimony he gave in April 2003, Miller said his wife had an extramarital affair with an assistant at the church. Miller said he participated in many of the sexual encounters and the assistant's wife was sometimes present, too.

Miller said the activities – which occurred in the Millers' home – sometimes took place during Thursday Bible study meetings and on Sundays after church. But he said the encounters "came to a crashing halt" when several women in the church claimed they had also had sex with the assistant.

The testimony was given in connection with a criminal case against the assistant that was eventually dismissed. The names of the church assistant and his wife were not disclosed, and Miller told the newspaper that he was concerned that revisiting the incident would "irreparably" hurt some people.

"It has come to my attention that a very painful part of my past has resurfaced," Miller wrote in an email sent on Friday. Noting that his court testimony was mailed to church leaders and other pastors several years ago, Miller said, "This was resolved at that time and accordingly we will not allow it to detract from our mission at hand to save as many marriages as we can."

Miller said people must look at his Facebook directives in the proper context.

"My life as a minister, husband, father and friend has led me to the conviction that I must do all that I can to help as many people strengthen, preserve and repair the often times fragile cords of marriage," he wrote.

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