There have been many rumors and statements going around. Simply put, the Charlie Kirk event initially contracted to be put on by Stand Up For Idaho (SUFI) has been cancelled and a lawsuit against OutWest Bible Church (OutWest) and others has commenced for damages for interference with contractual relations, etc.
Some of you may say “What – suing a Church – OutWest?” and my answer to you, plain, simple and truthfully said is YES – and the following will illustrate to you the reasons why. I know this does not make me popular with some, but popularity was never my goal. Standing up for what is right and pushing back against wrong is.
Spring and Summer of 2022
During the 2022 political season Ms. Kelly Golden approached me suggesting that SUFI record and publish video interviews of political candidates. She volunteered to assist SUFI by performing the interviews. Several of these ‘Impact’ interviews were published with great success.
During this timeframe, Ms. Golden and I ‘brainstormed’ additional ideas on what SUFI could do to continue raising awareness on political and cultural events affecting all of us. One of these ideas was to bring a nationally recognized figure to Idaho Falls to speak at a SUFI organized event. Possible invitees discussed were the likes of Glen Beck, Charlie Kirk, Rand Paul, etc.
Ms. Golden and I knew that Pastor Rick Brown (brother of Pastor Scotty Brown – OutWest’s head Pastor) had a connection with Charlie Kirk. We both decided to attempt to see if Rick Brown would contact Charlie Kirk and possibly lay the ground work for SUFI to book Charlie for an event to be put on by SUFI here in Idaho Falls. (Rick Brown is also the original founder and Pastor of Watersprings Church in Idaho Falls and is currently a co-senior Pastor with Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park, California. Rick was also to appear in the SUFI/Charlie Kirk event). On August 10, 2022, Ms. Golden reminded me to submit an ‘event request’ to Charlie Kirk’s organization, of which I did on that date.
Between the initial volunteer brainstorming sessions and November 1, 2022, efforts with Pastor Rick Brown resulted in Ms. Golden being able to be in contact with Charlie Kirk’s organization and with a tentative date and cost to have Charlie come to Idaho Falls. The tentative date would be April 29, 2023 and the cost would be $30,000.00, of which would include a $15,000.00 non-refundable deposit.
November 1, 2022
On November 1, 2022, Ms. Golden, myself, and approximately 8 other volunteers met to discuss crystallization of the event and the agreement with Charlie Kirk. Open discussion occurred on whether SUFI should host the event, possibly whether OutWest should host the event, or possibly whether a ‘new’ organization should be started to host the event. The idea of starting a ‘new’ organization was deemed unnecessary which left SUFI or OutWest. A primary concern with OutWest being too involved was that the event could be viewed as being too ‘churchy’, and OutWest’s open involvement could be detrimental because of the possibility of alienating members of the other religious communities due to differing religious views. SUFI, being nonpartisan, non-denominational, and with a farther reach across the state, seemed to be well-suited to be the host. I, on behalf of SUFI, agreed to be the host and contract holder, and to be responsible for all contractual and financial obligations associated with the event.
One consideration with SUFI being the host was the requirement for a $15,000.00 non-refundable deposit payable at contract initiation. SUFI itself did not have the full $15,000.00 for the deposit. I committed to personally make up any shortage of funds necessary for SUFI to cover the deposit and any other expenses that may arise until we were able to sell event ‘sponsorships’ to help cover expenses. ‘Sponsorship’ prices ranged from $500.00 to $5,000.00 and, depending on the level of sponsorship, consisted of special VIP tickets, other special opportunities with the speakers, advertising at the event, etc. I did offer that the other volunteers could loan or donate ‘seed money’ to help with the deposit and future expenses if they desired until we could sell ‘sponsorships’ to the event. Everyone was tasked to go sell ‘sponsorships’ for the event.
After I had committed SUFI to be responsible for the event, Ms. Golden asked me if she could be the lead (or point person) in helping plan and execute the event, including letting her remain the point of contact with Charlie Kirk’s organization. I agreed to this and asked that she begin preparing a ‘project plan’ so anyone that became involved in helping with the event would know what was going to happen and what needed to be done.
On November 28, 2022, over 3 weeks after I committed SUFI, Ms. Golden gave me a $10,000.00 ‘donation’ (as noted on their check) from OutWest to SUFI. I assumed this equated to selling two $5,000.00 ‘sponsorships’ to the event as there was no other markings on the check and nothing was said to me otherwise.
I sent, via Registered mail, the fully executed contract along with the $15,000.00 deposit to Charlie Kirk’s organization on November 30, 2022, and the ‘Stand Up for Liberty’ event was established. Charlie Kirk’s organization acknowledged receipt of the executed contract and deposit stating; “Confirmed! We received the check and we’re all set.”
Unfortunately, in early January 2023, after significant efforts by a number of SUFI individuals developing marketing and promotional materials, and after the event had been broadly advertised and promoted as a SUFI event (Stand Up for Liberty), Ms. Golden contended since she was ‘point’ for the event, she wanted ‘100% full and unrestricted control’ (i.e. Carte Blanche) over all aspects of the event. Whereas Ms. Golden was not, is not, and has never been an authorized representative for SUFI, letting her have Carte Blanche control would put SUFI (and myself) in significant contractual, financial, and reputational risk. Which was something I could not allow. Ms. Golden decided to bring in OutWest’s head Pastor (Scotty Brown) to intervene. Pastor Scotty Brown and Ms. Golden insinuated that since OutWest had donated to SUFI, they had a say in how the event was to be controlled. Although not required to, but in a show of goodwill and fellowship towards OutWest, I chose to try to work together and try to accommodate many of their desires. I communicated with and met with Pastor Scotty Brown and Ms. Golden on several occasions and tried in good faith to discreetly resolve the issues.
On Wednesday, February 1, 2023, I offered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to clearly identify roles, responsibilities, and authorities, while still enabling Ms. Golden to have significant control over many aspects of the event. However, on Friday February 3rd, just before an event ‘team’ meeting of which I was to participate in, Pastor Scotty Brown, Pastor Rick Brown, and Ms. Golden rejected the MOU and said they wanted the issue of control over the event brought up in the meeting. This put me in a dilemma; do I let a team of unaffiliated individuals dictate how SUFI will execute a legally binding contract of which SUFI is responsible for, or does SUFI take full control of the event?
The February 3rd meeting (which I recorded) consisted of myself and approximately 12 OutWest members including Pastor Scotty Brown, Ms. Golden and her spouse, and Pastor Rick Brown. Pastor Rick Brown took control of the meeting and after a prayer and short introduction, he told me to tell everyone what was going on and what the issues were. Again, I was in a dilemma and I had to make a decision, so I did. I explained the issues and then said that since SUFI had the legally binding contract, and was contractually and financially responsible for the contract, SUFI was taking full control over all aspects of the event. Pastor Rick Brown then had Pastor Scotty Brown and Ms. Golden tell their sides of the story. Questions and comments from the team were then taken. Towards the end of the meeting Ms. Golden’s spouse mentioned that OutWest had entered into a separate agreement with Charlie Kirk for the same day (April 29, 2023). I commented that I hoped this new agreement didn’t interfere with the SUFI/Kirk contract, and no one spoke up that it did.
At the culmination of the meeting, it was agreed by all that OutWest would back out of the event, SUFI would control the entire event, and there would be no further interference by OutWest. Pastor Rick Brown stated:
“We’re yielding to Doug, in the sense that he is, and that’s what we’re taking the lower seat. We’re taking the humble seat in the sense that if we had a vote, I don’t know anybody in the room that wouldn’t say it was Kelly’s vision, she should have ran with it, right? But it would be unanimous with the exception of Doug, but that is his position, we’re going to let him have that. Godspeed to him and what he’s going to do. I’m gonna pray for us. We’re going to close just one as long as this brings closure.”
Pastor Rick Brown then said a prayer:
“Lord, we’re sorry, we’re so human, and we kind of muddy up the waters and doing something good. But right now, Lord, we just pray for Doug and Stand Up For Idaho and this night with Charlie Kirk, we just pray for your blessing on it. We pray that we could step away from this at peace with a closure with a sense of we’ve been able to talk it out as adults make decisions autonomously and then move forward and your grace so Lord thank You that you work with people like us to help us work through things. In Jesus name, Amen.”
As the meeting was breaking up and people were dispersing, I asked Pastor Scotty Brown if he would get me the event flyers OutWest had, and any phone numbers OutWest and Ms. Golden had for Charlie Kirk. He said he would have them for me the following Monday, February 6th.
On Saturday, February 4th, I sent Charlie Kirk’s organization an email stating:
“Hi Sara and Mikey,
Kelly Golden has decided to pursue other opportunities and will no longer be a contact for the Charlie Kirk speaking event on April 29, 2023 in Idaho Falls, Idaho. I will now be the sole contact for the event. This is my email address and my phone number is (redacted). Is there a phone number where I can reach either of you in case the need arises?
We’re really looking forward to Charlie, thanks so much for your help!”
On Monday, February 6th, I met with Pastor Scotty Brown to collect the event flyers and phone numbers for Charlie Kirk, of which he gave me. The Pastor and I discussed how things had turned out. I particularly mentioned my concern with the agreement between OutWest and Charlie Kirk that was mentioned during the February 3rd meeting. I stated I hoped it didn’t interfere with the SUFI/Kirk contract because I really didn’t want any more problems. The Pastor stated he wasn’t sure what it was and he didn’t know what it was about, but he would check into it. (I recorded this meeting also). I left this meeting thinking all issues had been resolved and the event was going to go forward as agreed and affirmed at the February 3rd meeting.
On February 8th, I received the following from Charlie Kirk’s organization in response to my February 4th email to them:
I recently spoke with Kelly and she expressed that she is very much still involved. As a heads up, on February 1st the contract was redlined and changed to reflect that Outwest Bible Church would be responsible for the event. That was agreed to by both parties.”
The response from Charlie Kirk’s organization obviously caught me by surprise. I immediately contacted Pastor Scotty Brown and asked what was going on, and what about what was agreed to and prayed about on February 3rd? He said things had changed. I again stated I didn’t want any problems, especially legal ones. He said he wanted to talk with Ms. Golden and would get back with me. He texted me later asking me if I would sit down with him and Ms. Golden the following morning, February 9th. I said “of course…”.
The February 9th meeting with Pastor Scotty Brown and Ms. Golden was not pleasant at all. (I recorded it also). I stated they had illegally interfered with an existing contract and, if necessary, I would seek legal action against them. Pastor Scotty Brown said “bring it on!” I was in shock!
Charlie Kirk’s organization sent me a copy of the ‘redlined’ contract they mentioned in their February 8th email and which effectively nullified the SUFI/Kirk contract. The redlined contract was signed on February 1st, 2023 by OutWest’s Pastor “Scotty Brown”.
Pastor Scotty Brown had signed the ‘redlined’ contract 2 days before the February 3rd meeting, although he never said anything about it during the February 3rd meeting and he let everyone in that meeting believe SUFI still had a contract with Charlie Kirk. Then on February 6th he denied knowing what the contract was about.
(I am uncertain at this point why Charlie Kirk’s organization chose to nullify the SUFI/Kirk contract without contacting me (the contract signatory) directly. I have reached out to them but they have yet to respond. I will get to the bottom of this also.)
I later found out that OutWest had somehow orchestrated it so that all ticket sales went to OutWest rather than SUFI, even though the event ticket agent ‘iTickets’ had accepted SUFI’s IRS documents to enable ticket sales to be distributed to SUFI and had acknowledged this by saying “Thanks so much! You’re all set.”. This is why there is confusion on the event and likely why iTickets sent out the following:
“To All of Our Ticket Holders,
It Has Come to Our Attention That There Has Been some Confusing Information Put out Regarding the Upcoming April 29 Event (Previously Titled “Stand up for Liberty”) with Charlie Kirk.
Without Going into Detail, Outwest Had Begun the Process of Bringing Charlie and Rick to Town and Invited Stand up for Idaho to Be Part of This Event, Due to Their Political Interests and Conservative Values.
As the Planning Proceeded, Sufi Chose Not to Continue the Partnership. However, Charlie and Rick Are Still Scheduled to Come on April 29 at the Shiloh Inn “Snake River Event Center.”
To Honor Sufi’s Decision, We Have Removed Their Logo from Our Marketing, and Changed the Event Name to “Fight for Freedom.”
Please Be Assured, Any Tickets Bought Under the “Stand up for Liberty” Name Will Be Honored at This Event.
You As the Purchaser Don’t Need to Do Anything. We Are Excited to Have You Join Us! We Apologize for the Confusion and Any Stress That It May Have Caused.
If You Have Any Questions, Please Feel Free to Email (redacted) or Call (redacted).
Thank You so Much for Understanding,
The Outwest Team”
The statement provided by iTickets and OutWest is not true. OutWest contends they were in a ‘partnership’ with SUFI however OutWest was not a party to the SUFI/Kirk contract, they had absolutely no contractual or financial responsibility for the SUFI/Kirk contract, and no discussion of ‘partnership’ between SUFI and OutWest ever occurred. Therefore, SUFI did not choose “… Not to Continue the Partnership”, no partnership existed. OutWest also states “To Honor Sufi’s Decision, We Have Removed Their Logo from Our Marketing, and Changed the Event Name to “Fight for Freedom.”, they fail to mention it took a restraining order and court hearing to stop them from using SUFI materials and designs.
Therefore, the original SUFI event “Stand Up for Liberty” at Melaleuca Global Headquarters is cancelled in its entirety, and OutWest’s event is a new separate event. SUFI is now proceeding with legal actions against OutWest for its illegal interference and will continue legal proceedings against OutWest and any individuals as necessary to expose and remedy these wrongdoings. (Copies of both the SUFI/Kirk contract and the OutWest/Kirk contract are attached.)
Many people have already reached out to me saying they purchased tickets for the SUFI event, but given the circumstances they do not want to support OutWest’s event. If you too are in this position and iTickets/OutWest will not refund your purchase (with fees), let me know and I will add them to the damages claims in the legal proceedings against OutWest.
My family and I have endured countless sleepless nights agonizing over what I should do about this situation. I contemplated whether to take action against OutWest or to just let it go. But then someone close to me asked me; “What does Stand Up For Idaho stand for? Doesn’t it stand for truth, honesty, integrity, openness, and fairness? If you don’t stand up and push back against this, then what will you really stand up against?”
Our country is in a crisis today because of the lack of morality and integrity, and the unwillingness to stand up for what is right and to push back on what is wrong. Everyone needs to look in the mirror and ask themselves; “What do I stand for?”
A pdf of this email is attached. Please feel free to contact me if you like.