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Bethel Leader Kris Vallotton Faces Charges of Sexism After His Comments Go Viral on TikTok

Image of Kris Vallotton on viral TikTok video.

Kris Vallotton, Bethel Church’s senior associate leader, abruptly removed a video from an old talk he recently shared on his YouTube channel after a person on the social media application TikTok shared a set of clips from it that went viral.

Vallotton gave the talk in 2014 for School of Worship students. He contends that the parts of his talk shared in the TikTok video, which are highly sexist in nature, were taken out of context.

Vallotton shared the old talk on September 11. Later that day, parts of it appeared on TikTok. Within a week he not only took down the video, but also posted a new roundtable discussion on YouTube with his wife Kathy as well as Cole and Cait Zick. The YouTube video, titled “Addressing Sexual Purity,” was clearly designed to do damage control.

Addressing Sexual Purity” roundtable on YouTube

Vallotton responded to viral video of himself

In an Instagram post regarding the new video recorded with his wife and the Zicks, Vallotton stated that, “understandably, anyone who saw that short video would be confused as the full context was completely missing.” He said his team took down the video of the talk so  they could review it.

The new video with his wife and the Zicks was also shared on Vallotton’s YouTube channel.

Kris Vallotton’s Instagram post advertising his “Addressing Sexual Purity” roundtable on YouTube and the Tik Tok video.

Several people, including the TikToker who created the clip of Vallotton that went viral, posted comments on YouTube calling for him to repost the video of the old talk that he’d removed.

Vallotton introduced the Zicks as the leaders of Moral Revolution, a Redding-based Christian non-profit organization. Vallotton helped start the organization that is affiliated with Bethel Church.

The Moral Revolution webpage section, “Who We Are,” offers a hodgepodge of talk about sexual “purity” and “morality,” something Vallotton is also known for talking about. Among a variety of other statements, the webpage explains the organization “envisions a society that celebrates true femininity and masculinity” and “protects the pre-born.”

Screenshot from Moral Revolution webpage.

Like Sean Feucht, the Bethel Music label artist and former worship leader at the church who is renowned for the “Let Us Worship” events he has hosted across the country, the Moral Revolution appears as a youthful hipster version of what Vallotton and Bethel Church have long been selling. Christian leaders have pivoted to attracted a younger audience as young people in the United States today are less likely than ever to follow organized religion.

Vallotton endorses his friend Sean Feucht for Congressional run in 2020 & Poster for an event they appeared at together in Washington D.C.

Viral Vallotton TikTok video

The video of Vallotton on TikTok is nearly one minute long and it was created by Rachel Spears. Spears is a blogger and podcaster whose cited goal on her webpage is to stand up against the American Evangelical Church.

The TikTok video has been viewed more than 215,00 times and counting. It also garnered more than 42,000 likes and more than 2,600 comments. It has been shared more than 1,600 times.

Guys stimulated by eyes, women by touch

The TikTok video of Vallotton begins with him stating, “Girls, I’m just going to say this to you; guys are stimulated sexually through the eyes, women through the touch.” Vallotton then followed this statement by explaining that if someone is, “like, not me,” — meaning that they disagreed with his assessment of how men and women are sexual stimulated — then, “you’re a freak.”

As it stands, this is an ignorant and sexist comment, as Vallotton expressed that it is not normal for women to be visually stimulated by men, but it is normal for men to be visually stimulated by women.

In the YouTube video, Vallotton repeated the same point he made in the TikTok video – that “women are stimulated through touch, sexually,” and men are “stimulated through eyes.”

Additional image of Vallotton on viral TikTok video.

‘If it’s not for sale, girls, don’t advertise it’

The next section of the TikTok video cuts to Vallotton explaining, “If it’s not for sale, girls, don’t advertise,” followed by, “If you fish with shark bait, you’re gonna catch sharks.”

Vallotton’s comments support the idea that if women are sexually abused by men, it is their fault for attracting them. He did what so many others in our society do when it comes to sexual abuse: blame the victim. He also sexualized women as a product that could be purchased.

Vallotton repeated this argument in the YouTube video when he explained that if women “dress a certain way,” they will stimulate men in certain ways, and thus, the stimulation of men, however that may materialize, is to be expected and is the fault of women, not men.

As Spears expressed in the comment section under the video of Vallotton on TikTok, “Our bodies are not bait,” and “If a man can be described as a shark, he is the predator.”

‘There’s always someone with a better body than yours’

In the next section of the TikTok video, Vallotton states, “There’s always someone with a better body than yours.” Regardless of the context surrounding this comment, why is the second in command at Bethel Church — behind lead pastor Bill Johnson — even saying something like this?

The video then cuts to Vallotton talking about the program for troubled youth that he and his wife Kathy started in Weaverville several years ago with the help of the Trinity County Probation Department.

‘My most promiscuous girl’

In the TikTok video clip, Vallotton referred to one of the young women who attended the Weaverville program as, “my most promiscuous girl there who was letting everybody grab her on the basketball court.”

Regardless of his reasoning, it’s totally unacceptable for Vallotton to claim that the girl was “promiscuous” because boys were sexually assaulting her. With this, Vallotton blamed the victim and failed to address the abusive conduct of the boys.

Screenshots of viral Vallotton video on TikTok

After trying to prove without providing any substantial evidence that he supported the Me Too movement and the empowering of women, Vallotton moved straight into addressing the minor he referred to as “promiscuous” in his YouTube video.

Vallotton briefly broke down and cried about the “very first night” of the Weaverville program. He explained that, on that night alone, he broke up five fist fights as he and his wife supposedly struggled to figure out how to keep all of the kids occupied.

Vallotton’s fake crying came off like a psychological ploy to make him look like the good guy who has been viciously and wrongly attacked because of the video on TikTok. It was as if he was saying: “Look at me. I was leading this righteous program for children who needed it – and how dare I get attacked for it.” With this, Vallotton was guilty of gaslighting.

Vallotton tried to add more to the story in the YouTube video about the girl he referred to as “promiscuous” – but he only dug himself a deeper hole. He claimed that it was normal for her to be sexually assaulted because she grew up in a single-parent “drug home” and only had a mother. Describing sexual assault as “normal” for a child is highly problematic and ignorant, regardless of the context.

He also tried to correct his comments in the TikTok video by stating that this kind of conduct was also normal for the boys because they had not been taught how to be respectable men.

Vallotton claimed over and over again in the YouTube video that his story about the girl was taken out of context. Even if it was, his labeling of the individual as his “most promiscuous girl” is highly unacceptable – and creepy. Imagine that, one of the most popular Christian leaders at greater Redding’s most powerful church, an establishment known around the world, referred to a girl as “promiscuous.”

‘That’s your dinky’

Vallotton then transitioned to blaming parents for not talking to their children about sex before secular society influences them. He claimed that parents needed to do this before their children — especially young boys — discover pornography from their friends.

In an explicit fashion, Vallotton then explained, “When you have a little child, and they’re 2-years old, and they’re touching their vagina, or touching their penis and you’re like, ‘don’t do that’, what you just did was say that there’s shame attached to sex.” Vallotton motioned to his crotch while he explained this.

The YouTube roundtable was odd, to say the least. Vallotton did almost all of the talking as his wife and the Zicks looked on.

“These are your ears, this is your nose, this is your mouth, that’s your dinky,” continued Vallotton in the YouTube video, as he, yet again, pointed to his crotch.

Vallotton pointing to his ear, mouth and crotch during the YouTube video.

Vallotton’s larger message, which is important on some level, is that it is important for parents to talk to their kids about sex. However, there was just something off with the way he went about describing this.

“You couldn’t sexually do something so wrong, that he [God] can’t totally restore you,” said a grinning Vallotton.

‘Girls’ hymens being restored’

In the last section of the TikTok video, Vallotton explained that he has seen thousands of people have their “virginity restored” and that he has received hundreds of emails about “girls’ hymens being restored.”

Vallotton added additional context to his statement about hymens in the YouTube video. He told a story about how he prayed for a woman who had previously had premarital sex to have her virginity restored, and that several months later the women contacted him to let him know that her hymen had been restored.

After he was asked by Cole Zick, Vallotton claimed that he had prayed for more of a spiritual restoration of virginity, and was surprised to hear about the restoration of the hymen.

Vallotton then claimed that after sharing the story about the restoration of the hymen in a talk several years later, the same thing happened to over twenty women who attended said talk. He also exclaimed that he started to share these “miracles” in the talks he gave.

Vallotton’s larger world of beliefs about sex and gender

Vallotton has spoken and written a great deal about sex and gender. Like Bethel Church, an institution that pushes conversion therapy on the LGBTQ+ community, his stance is profoundly homophobic. He believes that sex should only occur between men and women that are married and that marriage is only to be had between a man and a woman. He also holds an incredibly patriarchal world view, and believes that there are only two mutually exclusive genders.

He has shown himself to be highly obsessed with not only sex and gender, but also masturbation and, as seen with his comments on hymens and what he referred to as “dinkys,” sexual organs. Vallotton has also spoken a great deal about the notion of sexual purity.

Several years ago, he shared a video interview of himself on his YouTube page titled “Self-Control, Pornography, and Masturbation” that is well worth watching for anyone interested in getting more into the mind of Vallotton.

Cole Zick closed the YouTube roundtable by explaining that the TikTok video was a poor representation of Vallotton’s heart, and that it was not representative of the countless interactions he and Cait had with him. Despite this, Vallotton’s comments in the TikTok video were indeed sexist and homophobic.

Moreover, if there is nothing wrong with the comments in the in the TikTok video, why was the original source removed from YouTube and why did he and his wife, along with Cole and Cait Zick, release an additional video to do damage control?

Shawn Schwaller

Shawn Schwaller grew up in Red Bluff, California. He teaches for the Departments of History and Multicultural and Gender Studies at California State University, Chico, and has a Ph.D. in history. His research interests include the study of race and ethnic relations and identity politics in the contemporary history of California. Shawn can be reached at sschwaller@csuchico.edu

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