Rachel Geftakys Steepleton: Part of My Story

1997-2000  Judy and David

Leaders involved at this time: David Geftakys, Jeff Lehmkuhl, Betty Geftakys, Pat Schout, Ginger Geftakys, George Geftakys, Mark Miller, Kirk Cesaretti, Dan Notti


David continued to slap Judy, and to grab her hard enough to leave fingerprint bruises. He was more worried about his position in the Work and his monetary support then about me, his daughter. He was not very kind towards Judy's heartache about my situation. In 1997, soon after I came back into their life they moved to Moro Bay and only two brothers stayed in their house. Previously, there were several brothers and families in their house.

David started to act more and more strange. At one point he became paranoid that there was someone out to get him in SLO and would not come into town. Betty was in SLO for much of this time during my pregnancy. One day she called me at work. Judy had called her from a pay phone.

David was becoming aggressive and Judy left the house in fear of physical harm. Betty asked me if I thought the testosterone David had recently begun taking was causing this aggression. I said it may be making it worse but we both knew he has been aggressive in the past, therefore his behavior cannot be solely blamed on the testosterone. Betty said she had instructed Judy to go to Jeff Lehmkuhl's home and stay there until the evening.

Betty then instructed Jeff to take Judy home and to make sure David was calm. Later, David chased Judy with a fork and plate and another time he tried to stab her with a fork.

It was also at this time that David began to be involved in pornography. At first he hid it from Judy, but later would insist that Judy let him be involved with the pornography and even participate against her will.

The following is to give you an idea of how David viewed sex in marriage. He justified the use of pornography by saying that he was not having sex with anyone or lusting after anyone, only using it to make sex with Judy more interesting. I have heard David say on a number of occasions that there is no such thing as rape in marriage due to I Cor. 7:4, "The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does." Therefore a husband can do whatever he wants with his wife's body. (Interesting that he doesn't take into consideration that according to his theory, the wife would have authority over the husband's body and would be allowed still to say, no.)

David also began to do less and less during the day. Some days he wouldn't even get out of bed. His days consisted of taking a drive, exercising, eating, drinking, wanting sex and once in a long while preparing ministry. He rarely attended a meeting, except to preach. He continued to hide money from Judy, despite having agreed not to hide the money any longer. At one point Judy had to buy her shoes at a garage sale and ration feminine products because David would not provide for basic necessities. He continued to spend large sums of money on his cars and car parts as well as pornography.

In April of 1998 Mary Jean (Hutchinson) Schout, wife of Pat Schout, died. During the funeral, Ginger and her girls stayed at David and Judy’s home. Judy confided completely in Ginger and was assured by her that action would be taken.

During this time Judy started to say she thought the way people were acting was not like Christians should act. Judy began to be treated badly when she went to meetings. They would harass her about insignificant things. One time they sent her home for being dressed inappropriately, despite the fact that David had approved her outfit prior to her leaving the house. (It was a knee length brown turtleneck sweater dress with brown opaque tights). Judy decided not to go to a meeting unless David was there. When David was there, the other leading brothers did not give her a hard time. This decision was to prevent David from being told that things were happening in a manner that made Judy look as though she was in the wrong. Judy thought that if David were always there when she was, then he would know the truth. This was an attempt to keep David from getting agitated.

Both my parents have told me that George got up in a Workers meeting and said that I had played the whore and he was not proud to have Daniel born. He said Daniel was not his great grandson and that when Liz has a child then he will be a great grandfather. When Judy was talking to Nancy Lehmkhul about the reasons why Judy would not come to a meeting or Workers meeting without [David] there, she brought this comment up. Nancy's response was, "Well, Judy it is the truth."

Judy said I was not taking money for sex therefore I was not a whore. Nancy's reply was that maybe George had just picked that word by mistake. Later Judy brought the comment George had made up to Mark Miller as an example of George talking about people in a slanderous way without any accountability or regard for the facts or the person’s recognized repentance. Mark went and talked to the other Workers in SLO and they all said that they had not heard that comment. Judy and I found this to be very frustrating.

At this time George found out about the presence of abuse in my family, by the following occurrence. One time when David was coming after Judy, she threatened to call 911. It stopped David in his tracks. George heard of this and wanted to talk to them. He took them to lunch and said that if anyone called 911 they are out of the worker's meeting. Judy explained about the abuse. George's response was that he had never heard of this. David and Judy then told George that Betty had known of the abuse. George did not respond to that statement. Judy and David told him that they both had since repented. George told Judy, "Well, you do have a sharp tongue." Then he left.

At a couple's meeting a discussion came up about if a woman should separate herself from her husband if she is being physically abused. David said the wife shouldn't leave. Brent T. had a heated public disagreement with David over this at that couple's meeting. Kirk C. had left the meeting earlier, but later he also agreed that David's idea seemed a little extreme. The end result was the Leading Brothers decided to talk with Mark and others in Fullerton and get back to everyone. I was at the next couple's meeting. Jeff got up, at the end of the meeting, when we are all putting our things away, and told us that after much prayer and speaking with Mark Miller, and Dan Notti and others in leadership in Fullerton they have decided on the following:

Since the biblical goal is reconciliation, if a woman is being attacked she should leave the house. This is because if a woman is dead she and her husband cannot reconcile. Then she should go to the leading brothers who will escort her home when they think it is safe. When the situation has cooled off the couple should then be in counseling with the leadership.

I was stunned. They were just coming up with this now when they knew there had been abuse in my family for years. Of course, as ridiculous as their "new revelation" was, they still never followed up with David and Judy, and never counseled them, let alone ever address the abuse.

In 1999 David, my mother and Jeff Lehmkuhl met with Mark Miller about a situation involving Jeff. Judy learned Mark knew of the abuse although he was unwilling to speak about it to her face.

In September of 1999 I got married. My parents moved to Cayucos a week before my wedding. They had Mike and Cheryl Zach staying with them for a month to help them with their marital problems. Mike and Cheryl were witness to the problems and abuse. During her stay Cheryl saw Judy jump up on the counter, begging David not to attack her. Cheryl later came to Judy and asked Judy to forgive her for believing the worst about Judy. She acknowledged that Judy was living in a horrible place.

Mike and Judy went to Betty to confront her regarding her counsel to Judy over the years. Betty flatly denied any responsibility. Finally she said, "If I did what you're saying, I would be wrong and for that I am sorry." Mike and Cheryl, upon leaving promised to put in motion some sort of accountability for David both in "the Work" and in his marriage. Of course, as before, this accountability never happened.

In Cayucos, David was still aggressive. On one occasion, Judy threatened to call 911 again and David said, "Fine, I will call." He called then hung up. The sheriff came out to the house because they must investigate all "hang ups." When they knocked on the door, Judy covered her bruised arm and explained it was a mistake.

Judy got a computer with Internet access. David became even more engrossed in pornography, now on the Internet. He continued to take large amounts of testosterone.

At first Judy was put on a small dose of testosterone, by her doctor, in order to help with menopause. The doctor, whom she and David were seeing, was a weight reduction doctor. He was interested in "experimenting" with hormone therapy. He was willing to try almost anything David wanted. I worked for him for about a week.

He was a very unsavory man and asked me about my parents and my own "sex life." At David’s request, the doctor began to raise Judy's testosterone level. Judy started to notice some physical changes as a result and called the doctor to ask him to lower the level. The doctor agreed and instructed to just take less until he saw her.

Judy told David and he was not very pleased. He believed that the testosterone would raise Judy's sex drive and that was most important to him. The next day David told Judy that the doctor called and didn't want her to go off the testosterone that quickly so she needed to continue the high dose. He discouraged her from going to the doctor for the injections and insisted on injecting her himself. When Judy refused David made life miserable for her until she relented. By the time Judy left David, her testosterone level was over 5 times the normal for a woman. She has permanent physical side effects.

By this time I was married, my brother lived in San Jose, and my sister was talking about moving out. David now had lost the children he used to keep Judy and to control her.

David's actions became more dangerous and more erratic. After Judy refused to leave a function with her family and go home with him, David attempted to buy a gun. David was unable to purchase the gun, because of the restraining order I placed against him in the past. He then tried to buy one from a man in fellowship, who refused to sell it to David, because he didn't want to take a risk which a store was unwilling to take. David tried to explain away his behavior both to Judy and myself under the guise of going target or skeet shooting. Because of surrounding circumstance, evidence and past history, Judy refused to accept this excuse.

David had a large military knife that he left on his dresser. Judy asked him to put it out of sight. She didn't know how to defend herself with it and was afraid that if the house was broken into the knife would be easily accessible to be used against her. Despite having told David of her concerns, Judy continued to find the knife out after she had put it away.

One night she woke to find the knife on the pillow next to her while David was out of the house. It seemed to her David was letting her know that he could use it against her if he wanted to. Later he tried to explain away the incident to me by saying the following: "I was concerned because there was a man in the neighborhood who was just out of jail and I wanted Judy to be able to protect herself while I was on my drive, so I left the knife and phone on the bed next to her." Judy says when she found the knife on the pillow beside her head she did not find the phone. I always wondered why a husband, who was concerned for his wife's safety, left her alone, almost every night, to go on a leisurely drive. David also began to press Judy to drink, thinking it would make her more willing for his sexual advances.

In July of 2000 my parents went to meet with Mark Miller and Dan Notti in Ventura. This was the first time Mark would acknowledge to Judy that he knew she had been hit. Mark and Dan sat there and did nothing while David raged at Judy. David’s rage so upset Judy that she had to run to the bathroom to be sick. When Judy returned, Mark and Dan never addressed this display by David. They had no words of compassion or help for Judy. The end result of that meeting was Judy was no longer a Worker even though David was to continue as a Worker. David was not held to any meaningful accountability, even though the "leaders" knew he was abusing Judy.

At the end of September/beginning of October 2000 Judy left David. At first Judy was only leaving for a couple of weeks and then was going to meet with David and Charles Solomon. During those first weeks, my husband and I (who at this point had left the Assembly) went daily to help David. At first David said he had only hit Judy less than 10 times including the times he had slapped her. Then it was 6 then it was 3. Recently he told my sister he had never hit Judy, only slapped her once or twice when she was hysterical.


  Rachel's Story: Introduction 1971-1983  Judy and David  »
1984-1993  Judy and David  »
1994-1997  Rachel and David  »
1996-2001  Rachel  »
Betty Teaches on Families, and We Finally Leave  »
Conclusion, Epilogue and List of Witnesses  »


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