Accusations of abuse spark against the Salvation Army

Hannah Holliday, Copy Editor

While there are many false posts about charities circling the internet currently, the Salvation Army has been the subject of many posts containing accusations of abuse within the charity. 

On May 14th, Gary Crowell, former Salvation Army Lieutenant, was reported as having sexually assaulted his adopted daughter, Nicole Sprout. According to WCBS880, John Manly, an attorney for Sprout, called for others to out predators within the charity, saying, “If you have names of credibly accused predators, and we know [people] do, disclose them publicly so people will know. Stop hiding this.”

A Twitter thread from @milknmuffins made in May of 2017 has gone viral recently, as she spoke as homeless person staying at a Salvation Army shelter for “housing vulnerable women.” She stated that “the RAs are cruel and robotic” and often treat women like they’re “less than human.” She also stated that if women are thrown out and they “don’t pick their stuff up within seven days, it’s confiscated” and “sold alongside all your donations” in order to make money.

Tumblr user jackharknessday replied to a discussion on the thread saying that their family friend that worked at their local Salvation Army headquarters as a secretary witnessed the office “[take] all the Christmas donations for children in need, put them in a warehouse, and on a designated day the staff and their friends picked through them all, taking whatever they wanted.” 

The Salvation Army has responded to many accusations of abuse by reiterating its mission statement: “The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”

While there are many eyewitness accounts and charges filed, it is important to do research on one’s local Salvation Army. These are isolated incidents and it is impossible to determine if the Salvation Army as a whole is generally abusive without an official police investigation of the entire Salvation Army. If doubts arise, there are many other charities to donate to this holiday season, as outlined in an earlier article.