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Scots cleric had a string of lovers before he killed himself

Scots cleric had a string of lovers before he killed himself

The Free Church in Scotland has launched an investigation into allegations that one of its top clerics – Reverend Dr Iain D Campbell, above – may have had affairs with as many as five women on the Isle of Lewis before he committed suicide in January.

According to this report, the allegations of adultery against Campbell, a former moderator of the Free Church General Assembly, were made by his wife Anne, and the church – known for its strict stance on adultery – has confirmed it was taking the allegations “very seriously”.

A spokesman for the church said:

We can confirm that the Free Church of Scotland are investigating allegations made in connection with the late Rev Dr Iain D Campbell. The Western Isles Presbytery are taking these allegations very seriously and acting on them in accordance with the stated practice of the Free Church of Scotland.

Glowing tributes were paid to the father of three after he died aged 53.

Widow Anne, 54, is understood to have confronted her husband after discovering deleted emails from members of his congregation.

Rev Campbell and his wife Anne

It is thought that several married women – possibly as many as five – have been named in the allegations.

Campbell tried to take his own life in hospital in Stornoway after an earlier failed suicide attempt.

He was transferred from the Western Isles Hospital to Glasgow for specialist treatment but later died.

Campbell grew up on the Isle of Lewis and studied at the University of Glasgow. He was ordained on Skye in 1988. He spent seven years on the island before returning to Lewis.

He became moderator in 2012 and was also well-known in the Free Church of Scotland as a theological writer.

The minister was pastor of Point Free Church, and of the nearby Knock Free Church on Lewis, and played a major role in reuniting the congregations following a 57-year-long split.

An obituary by Reverend James Maciver said the minister’s sudden death had:

Numbed the Western Isles Free Presbytery, and the tremors from the shock extended through the Free Church and well beyond. Such was his fitness, vigour and drive that none could have expected his demise at 53 years of age.

In 2015, the Free Church of Scotland urged MSPs not to abolish adultery laws because it would lead:

To the absolute abandonment of the institution of marriage in our culture today.

Anne Campbell declined to comment, but a statement issued on the family’s behalf said they were grieving Rev Campbell’s loss. It said:

The family have lost a husband and father. This is a personal matter and the family have requested that they be allowed to grieve in private.

The accused women are believed to be denying the allegations and consulting lawyers.

A report in The Telegraph claims that Campbell had had affairs with SEVEN women, and quoted a church source as saying:

There was never a whisper of a rumour about affairs until after he died – on such a close-knit island they would have been very difficult to keep secret. Yet Anne has supplied names of these alleged mistresses to the church. If she is right, he had been leading an extraordinary double life for years.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

23 responses to “Scots cleric had a string of lovers before he killed himself”

  1. Prior says:

    Isn’t it a terrible reflection upon religions and those ensnared by them that a man can top himself because he broke the “rules” and “sinned”. Two timing your wife isn’t a nice thing, but she may have made his sex life a miserable bore by complying with the idea that sex is dirty and nasty. She and the religion and its narrow minded followers would have made his life hellish for following a basic human instinct. He was bonded to the church because his whole life was controlled by it and what else could he have done. An ensnared man seeking a bit of sexual excitement is dead … because of another horrid dogma. Sick.

  2. Broga says:

    What will be gained by an investigation now that he is dead? Apart, of course, from the satisfaction of Christians participating in the lascivious, self righteous prying into a dead man’s life.

    The core problem for so many Christians is that they posture and publicly set for themselves a behaviour that fallible humans will be unable to keep. The result is stress and deceit.

    We atheists can be much more relaxed about life and how to behave. That does not include, for me anyway, deceiving my wife. Campbell seems to have been a deceiver and a hypocrite and it looks as if his betrayed wife will now be paying the price. So often when I meet a Christian who has to demonstrate their “faith” there seems a shallow and bogus aspect to their character.

  3. sailor1031 says:

    What will be gained? The five women still have to be punished…..

  4. David Anderson says:

    “Such was his fitness, vigour and drive that none could have expected his demise at 53 years of age.”

    Ashes to ashes
    Dust to dust
    Iif the liquor doesn’t get you
    Then the women must.

  5. L.Long says:

    Sorry but some one who has a number of sex partners (love is not involved) and can still be depressed enough to suicide…Bye! You will not be missed!!!

  6. Broga says:

    @sailor1031: Yes, the women. And I guess that none on this site can envisage the shame and humiliation to which the women will be subjected as the speculation gets going. It is stomach churning to imagine the whining, prissy, comments of that closed, tight, repressed community which will be directed at them.

  7. Broga says:

    @L.Long: I don’t think it would be the shagging that finished him. It would be the attitude of his turn the other cheek Christian friends that was too much.

  8. John the Drunkard says:

    Were these ‘normal’ affairs, such as grownup might have? Or was there abuse of power and authority?

    Of course, clergy enjoy such an inflated position that even if the participants FELT they were acting on personal feelings, the whole connection would be polluted by unequal power involved.

    No wonder they think the only reason marriage survives is the threat of punishment.

  9. barriejohn says:

    The women are going to be publicly identified and drummed out of the church in accordance with the stated practice of the Free Church of Scotland, aren’t they? That’s what this is all about.

    https://freechurch.org/news/the-late-rev.-dr-iain-d.-campbell

  10. CoastalMaineBird says:

    It seems to me like this is proof that Mr. Campbell doesn’t even believe in the heaven and hell he likely preached/write/spoke about.

    After all, isn’t suicide a mortal sin? Isn’t it hell-worthy, according to the church? (I don’t know about this particular denomination).

    So, he would choose eternal torment over the embarrassment of facing his congregation? Seems like an unlikely choice.

    On the other hand, if he feels that hell is a myth, then it’s a simple choice of pain (life) or no pain (death).

  11. 1859 says:

    Barry? Is this not a typo – The ‘Knock Free’ Church? Or am I missing the joke? It is a rainy day after all.

    Once took a local bus ride on Lewis many moons ago – strange, strange place. The converted garage I rented had notices everywhere forbidding me to hang out washing on a Sunday with the warning that if I played the radio on the sabbath the landlord would switch off the electricity. Although I know what I am about to say is totally un-PC, the bus I took seemed full of weird eccentrics chewing their knuckles, twitching and shouting at the windows. It was so extreme I thought I was on a ‘special’ chartered bus from the local looney bin, but I was on a ‘normal’ local bus bringing people from the surrounding wasteland into Stornoway. Stupid though it sounds, to me the whole place felt like a very inbred community that had spawned aliens.

  12. Barry Duke says:

    No typo 1859: https://freechurch.org/im-new/find-a-church/western-isles/knock

    I tried, and failed, to suppress a laugh when I typed that.

  13. Robster says:

    Glad this silly fellow was not my “doctor”!

  14. tonye says:

    Strangely I actually know an atheist from IOL.

    Many years ago he told me that he goes to church with his wife every week and was active in that community.

    He also mentioned that the only reason that he did it, was to prevent his wife, who he loves deeply, from being ostracised.

  15. Gill says:

    Knock? Good job it wasn’t in Orkney or Shetland. There’s a place called Twat there

  16. Newspaniard says:

    @Barry. Bad news day? This site turned into News of the World for one day. MORE DIVORCES! MORE VICARS IN DRAG! (No… wait a minute…)

  17. gedediah says:

    Very sad someone could be driven to suicide for breaking the rules of an imaginary overlord. If there’s goint to be an investigation it should be into how they clean up the toxic environment they’ve created.

  18. barriejohn says:

    Gedediah: Yes, I think Newspaniard misses the point. The man may well have been a hypocrite and a liar, but this is a sad case. I suffered for years as a closet homosexual amongst religious loonies, and metaphorically flagellated myself daily over my “moral weakness”, fearing that I was not truly “born again” and heading for the flames of hell. Unless you’ve experienced that sort of thing I don’t think that you can really understand it. Also, unless I am very much mistaken, the details of these affairs are now going to be made public, and those concerned possibly named and perhaps excommunicated from the church (or at the very least forced to “repent”). Religion can be cruel, vindictive and nasty when it wants to be, rather than kind, forgiving and compassionate, as its adherents always boast.

  19. Newspaniard says:

    @barriejohn. What I was getting at was,”Why is this trivia, sad but still trivia in the world view, in this column?” Europe is being invaded without resistance. Our country’s law enforcement has been taken over by islam protection societies with anti-islam protesters being locked up daily. Our politicians are blinkered by political correctness and yet all we have today is a sad story about a straight vicar who committed suicide. Barry, if there is nothing to print then don’t print it. There are plenty of stories ignored by MSN on TROP.

  20. Edwin Salter says:

    Assuming it’s true, we have another reminder of hypocrisy in religious office. A dishonourable man has mucked up his own life and, by exploitation, the marriages of other families who trusted him and the trappings so diligently acquired.
    Rather doubt if god & sin played much part in his suicide. Perhaps he had enough basic morality to see the harms of deceit, some inner shame, but no capacity to try and make repairs. Perhaps it was all likely to come out soon and he couldn’t face the consequences (he might have had to be honest).
    True it’s a micro-event in the world, but if it disenchants some from an unpleasant church (the wife’s disclosure seems vengefully self-righteous and if the congregation are all like that they may get what they deserve) and generally spreads warranted disgrace, then good.
    (Religion and the natural body – what appalling unacceptance, psychologically so very revealing,)

  21. Metropolis says:

    1859 – your completely irrelevant comment says more about you than about anyone else. It must be a burden to possess such superiority over these lowly fools you move amongst.
    Don’t hurry back…

  22. Lee.M says:

    How sad that so many people feel the need to comment so disgustingly about gossip and slander. It happens in every village, town and city and nobody is perfect. For once people should maybe think of the children he leaves behind. As for you comment, 1859, what an arrogant excuse for a decent human being you are. Clearly have no morals and what you state about the bus of people, is absolutely shocking. How people like you are allowed to say that about decent people, is beyond me. Talk about narrow minded. As previously said, don’t hurry back.