Forks pastor drops suit to keep taped calls off Oprah show

The Forum / Fargo-Moorhead/November 15, 1995

The pastor of a controversial Grand Forks, N.D., church has dropped her lawsuit to stop conversations she had with a former church member from being broadcast on the Oprah Winfrey show.

The Rev. Renee Julison, a pastor of the Victory Church filed lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Fargo in May. She was suing former church members Brad and Karlene Croy of Grand Forks, Oprah Winfrey, Harpo Productions, Winfrey's productions company; NBC and Rick Ross, a cult deprogrammer from Phoenix.

Julison contended that Brad Croy illegally taped telephone conversations between her and his wife, Karlene while Karlene was a church member and gave the tapes to Ross. Julison alleged that Ross then held Karlene Croy in an isolated place against her will and forced her to renounce her religious beliefs and leave the Victory Church.

Julison also claimed that on May 20, Winfrey taped a show to be broadcast later that included parts of the taped conversations and interviews with the Croys and Ross. Julison asked for a temporary restraining order to keep the tapes from being aired, but U.S. District Judge Patrick Conmy of Bismarck denied the request.

Conmy said that since Karlene Croy was interviewed for the show, she consented, at last by inference, to Winfrey using the tape recordings.

The Croys were among six former Victory Church members who filed a lawsuit against the church and its pastors in state district court in Grand Forks in April. The former church members alleged that Julison and her husband, the Rev. Ed. Julison, and the church inflicted "intentional and negligent emotional distress and battery" on them.

Julison and the Croys couldn't be reached for comment Monday.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.