Supporting Survivors of Doug Phillips’ Apostasy

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Romans 2:19-24
if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark,  an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself?

You who preach against stealing, do you steal?

You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?

You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?  You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 

As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

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As details of the Doug Phillips story have been unfolding, an increasing number of people coming forward to share what they know, what they’ve experienced.  This is to be expected.  Many people have been silenced, perhaps in fear, and have been waiting for an opportunity to come forward.

Even though they may not have been involved personally, they are still affected because they were or are part of the community.  They feel betrayed by a leader who taught and professed one message, but behaved immorally and reprehensibly behind their backs.  He acted as a fraud and this is shocking, especially taking into account that Phillips pretended to be a godly leader.

As more people share, others will likely follow suit.  I want to highlight a few comments that came in on an earlier post — they clarify what the word apostasy in this post’s title means. Then I’ll follow up with some important words to consider about how we can show support to survivors of Doug Phillips’ actions. That really is the key thing for us as a survivor community to focus on now, but those thoughts will make more sense after piecing together some information about Doug Phillips and the extent to which he lived contrary to the message he preached.

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T.W. Eston NOVEMBER 13, 2013 @ 9:57 AM (Note JA added paragraphs for easier reading.)

Julie Anne,You seemed to appreciate the last time I cross-post one of my comments that I first posted at Doug Wilson’s blog. I do so again for the same reason — to ensure that if it gets deleted from there I at least have some confidence that you will not do so yourself. Thanks for your consideration.
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Shannon, I’ll assume that you include me in “Some of these comments are ridiculous.” I can see that you’re having trouble connecting the dots. Let me help you with that in a way that, hopefully, will serve to encourage you not to be so dismissive of the seriousness of these matters. 

Scott Brown, the man from whose sermon I quoted above, the sermon that was crafted especially for, and targeted at, Doug Phillips, is one of Doug Phillips’ closest friends and confidants and has been for a number of years. Scott Brown is also one of the three Board members of Vision Forum Ministries. He’s an insider, a man who knows far more the extent of Doug Phillips’ sins (and likely crimes) than do you, or Doug Wilson. He has good cause to vote, along with the other Board Members, to dissolve Vision Forum Ministries.The Board of Vision Forum Ministries would not have taken such an extreme measure had Phillips only been guilty of the sin of cheating on his wife. Boards of lucrative and financially viable ministries don’t ever dissolve over relatively minor scandals like this one. If that were all that had been all that had been going on the board would be more than competent to handle the damage control and move forward with someone else at the helm, at least until such time as Phillips went through the necessary steps of restoration. It’s been done successfully before.

The real scandals (and likely crimes) of Douglas W. Phillips are much more damning than an “inappropriately affectionate” relationship. The extreme measure of dissolving Vision Forum Ministries is commensurate with the egregious sins of Doug Phillips that made it necessary. Scott Brown also has good cause to direct an entire sermon at Doug Phillips and to speak of him as an “apostate.” Because of Scott Brown’s knowledge, and the knowledge of the other VFM board members, all of whom were close personal friends of Doug Phillips for some years, they acted swiftly to put an end to the most important venue through which Doug Phillips perpetrates his apostasy. Scott Brown isn’t charging Phillips with apostasy as it concerns moral beliefs and teachings. He and Phillips are on the same exact doctrinal page — home schooling, patriarchy, family integrated church, stay at home daughters, quiver full, etc. Just read his statement at http://www.visionforumministries.org/home/about/the_board_of_vision_forum_mini.aspx.

When Scott Brown speaks of Doug Phillips’ apostasy he’s addressing Phillips’ sinful behavior which is diametrically opposed to the messages that Phillips preaches, one of which would be “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” But that’s only one of the ways in which Doug Phillips has become, over the period of at least ten years, apostate. There is much more long term sin in Phillips’ life than just the sin of years of adultery, and those are sins that Phillips has never repented of and likely never will. Scott Brown is now aware of some of those apostasies and over coming days and weeks will become aware of even more. We’re talking heinous sin, even criminal acts, far worse than just cheating on his wife.

As Brown points out in his sermon these sins aren’t one time events of having “fallen into sin” (your mention, Shannon, of David would be an example of “falling into sin” — Solomon would not be such an example, but it would be a good example of what Brown calls “sliding into sin”). Brown is addressing sins that Phillips “slid” into and remained in willfully and unrepentantly over years and years. He slid down the slippery slope because he was drawn in by his own pride and lust — he was enticed by sin (as we all can be), but rather than hating it he toyed with it over and over, he drew closer and closer, and once he outright acted on it he justified it rather than repent of it. Doug Phillips still hasn’t repented because repentance must be robust and thoroughgoing, as does the confessing that goes along with it. Doug Phillips’ so-called “confession” is the confession of the crafty attorney that he is. He conceals far more than he discloses. The “smell of apostasy” indeed.

Most commenters here, including Doug Wilson, seem more than eager to trust in the sincerity of the so-called confession and repentance of an apostate. But that trust will evaporate in time as more and more of Doug Phillips’ sins and crimes become widely known. I agree with Doug Wilson that it’s wrong to be gleeful over the downfall of a religious leader, though I disagree that the gleeful are by their actions necessarily “enemies of God”. I tend to agree far more with Scott Brown that Doug Phillips is apostate, and that he needs to come to repentance.

I don’t rejoice that he had to step down nine months ago as the teaching elder of the church he founded, that he’s had to resign from his ministry, and that that [sic] ministry is being dissolved. It’s all very tragic, no doubt even more so for those who had put so much of their trust in the man. I pray for Doug Phillips’ repentance because, unlike so many others here, I don’t assume an apostate is repentant merely because he says he is. I’m still waiting to see some evidence consistent with repentance. “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matt 3:8). Such fruit goes far beyond a lawyerly “confession”.

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Julie Anne  NOVEMBER 13, 2013 @ 11:54 AM 

T.W. Eston:

Feel free to continue cross-posting your comments. You obviously have a good understanding of the people involved, their ties with each other, and the culture. Your comments have been excellent and need to be seen. This is the perfect place for them :)

One question for you: You said that he had to step down as teaching elder and also from his ministry. Are you saying he was forced to, or he voluntarily did so out of his own sense of remorse? That is one piece of the puzzle that has not been made clear.

Frankly, if this is the case – that he has been forced to step down – I think the Board of Vision Forum Ministries should have made that clear in their public response.

*****

The affair was with a younger woman (girl) in her teenage years who was very involved with the ministries of both VF and the church. She also helped greatly with the family’s children as a nanny for many years.

This affair has gone on at least 10 years – although she is of age now, she was not when the affair began.

Sorry to reveal so much, I believe this to be true, and the truth sets people free.

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Julie Anne  NOVEMBER 13, 2013 @ 1:03 PM

Nikki,

Do you know this woman? (please do not name her) Is she in a safe place? Does she need help? If she needs help, please let us know. I am sure that we can spread the word and get some real help. Please feel free to contact me privately spiritualsb@ gmail.com

Edited to add: If this was a sexual abuse situation, do you know if it has been reported to authorities?

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Julie Anne  NOVEMBER 13, 2013 @ 1:26 PM 

My head is spinning. I had heard this “affair” was going on for 6 years (unverified) and that was bad enough. *If* it is true that it has been going on for 10 years, this should be a loud and clanging wake-up call to the Christian community who has long supported Phillips. They need to understand the level of secrecy and control that has been going on in the Phillips Empire for a long, long time.

You have confirmed what I have heard many places about the woman being a nanny.

To have a facade of purity and modesty, godly families, godly fathers, stay-at-home daughters who dote and serve not only fathers, but men outside their home . . . .and then beneath that veneer, violate an innocent, unsuspecting young lady is at the height of cruelty and abuse. We must be enraged at this abuse. We cannot allow this type of abuse where men can take possession of women. I am seething.

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Thanks Julie Anne for your courtesies.

I can assure you that Doug Phillips would have never ever resigned voluntarily from the church or the ministry that he founded, regardless of the sin. He was forced out in both cases. In all likelihood it was all handled much like a “plea bargain” is when someone is criminally charged: plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a lighter sentence. Doug’s public “confession” and resignation would have been a condition of that plea deal. Whether or not the winding down of VFM was something Doug knew was coming or not is subject to speculation, but my guess is he did know of it. Otherwise the odds of a nasty lawsuit would be almost 100%.

When a board of directors fires its president they need to do so in a way that minimizes the risks of litigation, even more so when we’re speaking of firing a president who is an attorney. Scott Brown and his fellow board members are no ignoramuses and they must have some very serious dirt on Doug to have acted as boldly as they have and not be worried about getting sued.

Not getting sued by the president a board fires necessitates allowing the president to save face. Therefore, boards seldom fire their presidents. They ask them to resign, i.e. tender their resignation. If anyone asks either the board or the former president they’ll say he resigned. But the fact is a forced resignation is the same as being fired.

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Nikki Ecala NOVEMBER 13, 2013 @ 2:13 PM 

Please pray for this young lady, her family and the Phillips family. This woman went unmarried all through her 20′s to be there for DP’s every need and whim. When she finally realized she could no longer continue the affair, due to God’s conviction and disgust with the hypocrisy, she made it clear she would expose him if he didn’t confess.

I believe this will slowly be revealed in public. I’m so disappointed with this ministry and the people who have used and abused my family that I don’t care if the truth hurts them anymore. They all needed a massive wakeup call and this ministry, as an entirety, needs to repent.

The lavish home that he lives in is owned by VFM. It’s just a matter of time before it’s sold. It doesn’t appear to be listed yet though, so maybe Doug is negotiating terms to buy it himself. No doubt he can easily afford to pay cash for it.

*****

Ok, that was a lot of information to absorb.  As I said earlier, when you get one account after another and they all sound alike, at some point you have to wonder how much truth is in them.  The only discrepancy I have seen is whether the affair lasted 6 years versus 10 years — and that really should not make much of a difference — even a one-week affair was too long.

I want to be very sensitive here.  Somewhere out there is a young lady who has had her life turned upside down because of this man.   Scott made this excellent comment and I want his words to stand for Spiritual Sounding Board:  Our thoughts and energies should be on survivors — doing whatever it takes to help them recover.

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Scott

NOVEMBER 13, 2013 @ 12:00 PM
My main concern is this woman. If she is in fact a minor, the authorities must be notified as it’s a serious criminal matter. She needs to be removed from her current environment and be protected. If she has reached the age of majority then she may still need help getting free from the cult like atmosphere. Resources are available and can be raised to aid her break out. If anyone finds out exactly what the situation is and what help is needed, count me it. Please let us know by posting here and I’m sure some of my business contacts and christian friends will join me in writing a check. It’s our responsibility as believers to help her if needed. While we await more information I’m hitting my knees praying about the situation. God has used this mess to greatly reduce the effluence of an evil, ego driven lier who really believes that the ends justifies the means. He has been walking over people for years, that walk just ended. He is done.

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Scott, I will absolutely let people know if there is a way we can help. Thank you for showing compassion and love where it needs to be focused, on the true victim, the woman.

Since this person has not been identified, I can only surmise by what we know of this group, that women in this environment, regardless of their age, do not have a voice, PERIOD. A woman would not be able to tell a man NO. Even if she says it was mutual consent, I still wouldn’t buy it. Why?? Because Phillips is (was) a man in authority: authority at church, authority in ministry, authority in business, authority at home. She (if she came from Phillips’ church or ministry community) would have been subordinate and so any relationship with a subordinate would have wrong on his part. Not only that, if she happened to have been raised in this environment, regardless of her age, she is most likely emotionally repressed. If women in this environment have no voice, they have spent a lifetime of denying their feelings/desires/wishes.

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One last thing — although this woman may now be at the age of majority, there is a possibility that she could have been a minor when the beginnings of this “affair” occurred.  Regardless of her age, as mentioned above in the comment, she was not in a position to say “no,” and because of that, she is a victim.

I strongly urge anyone who may know her identity to please protect her. If she herself decides to discloses her identity, that’s one thing, but she should not have to see her name on the internet publicly connected with this because someone else disclosed it without permission.

Also, this woman needs to be shown the real love of Christ. What she has experienced in Patriarchy was a complete fraud. Please pray for her and all connected with her. Pray that she will have people wrapping their arms around her.

Brad (“futuristguy”) Sargent wrote the following helpful support guidelines, inspired by Isaac Asimov’s classic sci-fi Three Laws of Robotics, which provided the framework for how to protect human life in emergency situations. Something to consider in the current urgent situation especially, to be of help to the survivors of Doug Phillips’ sick system and personal victimization.

Three Aspects of Support for Promoting Survivor Recovery

1. Believe the victim, so they may come to know they can become a survivor.

2. Do nothing that will harm the survivor, either through our actions (for instance, unauthorized disclosure of someone’s name and status as a victim of abuse) — or inactions (for instance, failure to report suspected abuse or other related crimes when that is mandatory).

3. Sacrifice of ourselves to provide relational, financial, and therapeutic support — for survivors themselves and for those who directly depend on them.

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photo credit: gautsch. via photopin cc

162 comments on “Supporting Survivors of Doug Phillips’ Apostasy

  1. The good news is that a lot of the castles of certitude are poised to crumble. The bad news is that a lot of innocent people will be crushed under the collapsing walls.

    This is the time when Christians can either shine or fade.

  2. The affair was with a younger woman (girl) in her teenage years who was very involved with the ministries of both VF and the church. She also helped greatly with the family’s children as a nanny for many years.

    This affair has gone on at least 10 years – although she is of age now, she was not when the affair began.

    So it was a “Commander’s Handmaid Ofdoug” situation.

    Bet Douggie wishes he was FLDS, that would have made things SO much easier.

    I can assure you that Doug Phillips would have never ever resigned voluntarily from the church or the ministry that he founded, regardless of the sin. He was forced out in both cases. In all likelihood it was all handled much like a “plea bargain” is when someone is criminally charged: plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a lighter sentence.

    Makes me wonder if said plea bargain was a quiet way to get Douggie off the scene before the spotlight started shining on the rest of the Ministry(TM). As in suspicion of Cover-up; sacrifice the scapegoat in public, it’s all him, not us, it was Sexual (Juicy Juicy Juicy), nothing to see here, everyone move along (and Tithe, Tithe, Tithe…)

  3. “Makes me wonder if said plea bargain was a quiet way to get Douggie off the scene before the spotlight started shining on the rest of the Ministry(TM). As in suspicion of Cover-up; sacrifice the scapegoat in public, it’s all him, not us, it was Sexual (Juicy Juicy Juicy), nothing to see here, everyone move along (and Tithe, Tithe, Tithe…)”

    Yep. The Board of Directors are in full damage-control mode. There’s no telling what’s going on behind the scenes to keep this under wraps. The institution ALWAYS comes before the well-being of the people.

  4. I have two emotions as I read this. First, sadness for the woman involved, who IMHO cannot be blamed because the patriarchy taught by Doug Phillips and his friends puts women in mental infancy. My hope is that she can see her way clear to a more balanced view of Christian life. (And I say this as someone who has left the church, I don’t want her to leave her beliefs!)

    The other emotion I have is revulsion. Stark revulsion to the point of wanting to throw up over what Phillips is said to have done. If it is true (and I am still withholding some judgment on this, because we don’t have all the facts in evidence), it’s just the latest, but largest, exhibit to show how destructive patriarchy is. It doesn’t matter if it’s Reformed Christian patriarchy or FLDS patriarchy, it’s still abusive power over people to the point of slavery.

    I wish the woman healing from all the crazy that was inflicted on your life, and for Doug Phillips, I want you to come clean on what you have been doing. Why? Because you’ve affected a lot of families and they need to see for sure that the way they are raising their sons and daughters is disastrous.

    I may be outside the church now, but the fact is, Jesus didn’t live and die for patriarchy. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) That didn’t mean, “Make half the human race slaves to the other half,” which is what patriarchy does.

  5. when I heard about the affair, this is what I figured was going on since there was so much “hush, hush” about it.
    So sad for the victims (including Doug’s family) but for the girl this is tragic.
    I am so sickened by the so-called “Christianity” of these men, and yet they turn around and blame the ones beneath them- calling out gossip and defamation!
    Christ will not stand by and let His people perish- we see the true nature of these men who call themselves “men of God”. This is the start of the battle now.

  6. Southwestern Discomfort,

    I completely agree with your comment. In the Patriarchy system, girls are raised to serve men even over God. Their husbands and fathers attempt to own their faith. In many of these homes, they don’t have permission to say no, to question, to have differing opinions. They are taught to put their own desires, dreams, opinions, emotions beneath those of their fathers or even other men.

    Because of this, if they get out, it may take some time for them to even find out who they are, what they like, because thinking for themselves may be foreign to them.

  7. The worst part for me is that the women have to serve ‘the man’. They are brought up to do so, no questions asked. But when ‘the man’ is caught, they blame the woman. That is just pure evil. I wonder if he blackmailed her into this affair. “You will obey or be shunned, open to judgement/dsicipline, etc if you don’t let me do whatever I want to/with you”.

  8. That seems to be what Wilson is implying in his article – that and testosterone. How about say that the man chose to use his position of authority and coerce a young lady who was subordinate to him.

  9. I have so many friends still caught up in this and each with so many children, especially daughters affected. Currently one has a daughter in a religious “treatment facility,” known for all sorts of horrible things, because at 15 she stopped conforming to all things Vision Forum. This family has a large number of children and they are followers of Vision Forum as was my family. Another has three daughters, two of whom are 18 or over and refused to teach them anything past long division in math. These girls just sit around at home doing house work. I am sick over all this and glad we got our family out but so many are still in bondage. Praying!!

  10. “How about say that the man chose to use his position of authority and coerce a young lady who was subordinate to him.”

    THAT is how I believe this whole relationship was likely initiated. Now that it’s come out, however, there may, indeed, be some blackmailing to keep her quiet.

  11. Hendersonfamily4,
    My heart breaks for you and all of the women in this system. (And even some of the men! My own husband does not have a high school equivalent education!) It’s time to speak up. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  12. Speculating that she was underage does not help the credibility of those who are speaking out about this situation. She was not underage.

    I’m sorry this comment is so short, but I wanted to urge caution in what we are saying. We don’t need to bring more hurt to this situation than there already is. :-)

    Gotta run!

  13. Thanks, Hensersonfamily4, for sharing your experience. I think this woman who somehow was able to say “ENOUGH!!” may be a hero. She may be responsible for many families taking a serious look at what they have been practicing and once and for all denounce it as extra-biblical and man-made.

    That is my prayer.

    Those of you who have been in this environment have an open invitation to tell your story. SSB is a place where you are free to share your story (send to spiritualsb@gmail.com) You will be safe and supported here. And the most wonderful thing about sharing is that you are likely sharing something that many others will connect with.

    Sometimes it is in reading these stories that people get a wake-up call and can begin their process of healing. That is how I got my wake-up call.

    [ADDITION: Some questions have come up about what exactly it would mean to have your story shared anonymously here on Spiritual Sounding Board, and what process we use to do that. Thanks for your interest -- I'll get some details posted about that shortly, and either put them here, in a separate post or page, or both.]

    UPDATE NOVEMBER 14, 2013 – 7:50 PM – ABOUT SHARING YOUR STORY ANONYMOUSLY
    When spiritual abuse survivors contact us with their stories, our prime directive is to believe them! That said, when someone entrusts us with their accounts of what happened, what they learned, how they are moving forward, etc., we want to act responsibly with what you’ve shared. We’re glad we’ve earned your trust to be able to share your story to help all our readers, and we need to maintain their trust as well.

    So, part of our responsibility to you and to them is to discern whether this is an appropriate time to share your story publicly. We’ve found there are times when the story being shared with us was mostly meant to benefit the person who shared it to get it out of their system and be believed. There are times when taking that public isn’t in the person’s best interests. We don’t have a formula for this, but we are prayerful and discerning to determine if the person is still spiritually fragile and doesn’t need the pressure of public exposure of their story.

    Also, sometimes we need to wait while we verify details that might be confidential or otherwise expose people who are not public figures and who haven’t authorized disclosure. We might need to edit details that are inappropriate for public consumption. We might need to correspond with you a while to clarify information and make sure we understand what you’ve shared.

    All that to say, no one’s story gets used automatically, or just cut-and-pasted into a post and then published. But that gives an idea of the relational and discernment processes we typically go through with you, to work it out together. That’s part of our process to keep Spiritual Sounding Board a safe place for spiritual abuse survivors and others to read and reflect, find a constructive community, and be transformed.

    This information is also now posted on a separate page, About Sharing Your Story Anonymously . Please contact me (spiritualsb@gmail.com) if you have questions or are interested in possibly sharing your story with Spiritual Sounding Board readers. Thank you!

  14. The worst part for me is that the women have to serve ‘the man’. They are brought up to do so, no questions asked.

    “Serve” as in “Service”?

    But when ‘the man’ is caught, they blame the woman.

    That’s what Honor Killings are for. Al’lah’u Akbar.

    Sure these MenoGawd are Christian? Sounds like they’re not all that far from Salafi/Talibani Islam. Are they Calvinist? Both Calvin & Mohammed were into the Omnipotent Will of God and Predestination, and fanboys always take the original and run with it to the extremes.

  15. Also for those who are not aware Doug has issues a statement of clarification on his resignation in which he admits there was a physical component involved in his indiscretion and the woman was unmarried.

    Note the indirect language at work. “There was a physical component…” Physical? As in a physical Organ in a physical Orifice? And issued as a Clarification after the initial announcement broke.

    “(long Roman name): Have you slept with my daughter?”
    “Not slept, Caesar…”
    “Oh? Perhaps you did it standing up? Or on a couch, not a bed?”
    — BBC miniseries version of “I, Claudius”

  16. Because of this, if they get out, it may take some time for them to even find out who they are, what they like, because thinking for themselves may be foreign to them.

    “Once you have been Assimilated into the Church of the Borg, it takes a long time to come back. Just ask Seven of Nine.” — “The Church of Borg”, essay from a now-defunct blog

  17. Headless Unicorn Guy — There are more parallels between fundamentalist Christianity and fundamentalist Islam than either group would like to admit.

  18. “Please pray for the Phillips family, the Board, and the men who have made up the staff of Vision Forum Ministries. ” – words from DP’s clarification.

    Still no ” please pray for the woman I was involved with” !

  19. I followed the link to the Vision Forum Ministries site for Doug Phillips’ “Clarification on Resignation.”

    http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/news_and_reports/clarification_on_resignation.aspx

    I appreciate the detail there. His original resignation was too vague, especially coming from one who is trained as a lawyer, a profession which requires close attention to details. The original statement seemed to me to contain the seeds of plausible deniability.

    It is therefore understandable that Mr. Phillips’ own words spawned a significant amount of recent internet speculation about the actual seriousness of his offense(s); and the appropriateness of severity in the resignation/dissolution, given his lack of clarity about the offense(s). I believe it was necessary to know at least the amount of official detail that has now been posted in order to quell that aspect of the controversies that Mr. Phillips caused.

    Still, I would take some exception to this portion of his clarification statement:

    “[...] The local church, not the Internet, is the proper forum for overseeing the details of a man’s repentance, but I just want to be clear for the sake of peace within the Body of Christ, that the tragic events we are experiencing, including the closing of Vision Forum Ministries are my fault, and that I am sincere that I should not be in leadership, but must spend this season of my life quietly walking a path of proven repentance. …”

    My discernment radar went off upon reading that. It has me wondering if there is a hidden agenda here.

    First, since his affair self-admittedly occurred over a number of years, Mr. Phillips’ current local church may NOT in truth be the best place for overseeing him in a period of repentance. Since his underlying attitudes and his overt or covert action escaped the notice of local church leaders and congregants for such a period of time (otherwise, would he not have confessed and been dealt with years ago?), how then will members of that local body overcome their own blind spots to those well-worn patterns of Mr. Phillips’ avoidance? There must be some sickness in the system, not just in his sins. I’m not sure all that seemingly needs to be addressed for the health of the church itself plus Mr. Phillips can happen at the same time.

    Second, repentance and rehabilitation are not the same as restoration to ministry. While this may indeed be a season “to spend … quietly walking a path of proven repentance,” any consideration of potential restoration to public ministry in the Body of Christ does indeed draw in far more than the Phillips’ family and their local church. If Mr. Phillips is ever even possibly to hold a role of public ministry again, I would contend that the rehabilitation process must clearly be biblical, relevant, sufficient, *and public enough* to overcome his current DISqualification from service in a public arena. And that could indeed draw in internet oversight of him. Shouldn’t those who would be in public roles of service accept public forms of accountability by those they suggest they are serving? In the digital era of immediate access, the internet IS one such tool.

    Truthfully, however, given the years of Mr. Phillips’ sinful actions and apparent simultaneous deceitful avoidance of oversight and accountability, I have significant doubts as to the possibility of his being established in the future as a man worthy of trust from the Body of Christ, nor in the public eye of politics or society as a healthy representative of Christianity.

    And while that may seem harsh, actually, I don’t believe so. No one is owed a position of public ministry or influence; sometimes it cannot be re-earned once trust is as shattered as he seems to have done in this situation. Isn’t the dissolution of the non-profit he started substantial evidence of the severity of the situation? I do wish Mr. Phillips well on his pathway ahead, and I also truly hope that he isn’t considering how a path of repentance leads to automatic restoration. To me, that would show that a rehabilitation period needs to be far longer than imagined.

  20. This whole story has been so unsettling. I was once “that woman,” after I reported a powerful religious leader for sexual misconduct, and I know exactly how terrified and isolated she must feel. Doug Phillips abused his power to exploit her trust and steal her innocence. Now, the whole world is reading his “sincere” letters of repentance and gathering around him and his family, as my offender’s supporters gathered around him. But who is supporting her? Who is gathering around her?
    I hope she is reading your blog. If she is, then she’ll know she isn’t abandoned. The community of survivors (of spiritual abuse, of clergy sexual abuse) is huge, though mostly hidden. It’s likely that thousands of us have been following this story and holding her and her family up in prayer. Thanks, Julie Anne, for affirming and supporting her so powerfully on this blog.

  21. “The local church, not the Internet, is the proper forum for overseeing the details of a man’s repentance,”

    You mean that same group who was in oversight with Doug during the “lengthy” relationship? The group that removed him (or he resigned) 9 months before he stepped down from his public appearances? That group? The group that is still promoting false teachings?

  22. “Once you have been Assimilated into the Church of the Borg, it takes a long time to come back. Just ask Seven of Nine.” — “The Church of Borg”, essay from a now-defunct blog

    Yes, these are horrible “Borg org” systems. They are hard to get out of & leave scars. I think it’s so difficult to leave because these orgs claim Godly, biblical authority. And what God-fearing person wants to go against God or the Bible? This is big-time control over lives.

    The faithful & willing are asked to serve God, but don’t realize they are sacrificing their lives to the leaders. In reality they are servicing the leaders, not God. Servicing leaders will not usually have “a physical component” (what a Doug Phillips word dance!), but there will usually be personal sacrifice to the org. The ability & freedom to say “NO” for yourself & family (& the ability to walk away from a church while still maintaining faith in Jesus) is ALWAYS okay & an uncondemnable option in healthy churches. Jesus didn’t establish buildings, empires, govts with financial donations. That’s not His directive to us either. When Jesus ascended into heaven, He said the Holy Spirit would reside in the hearts of believers. The body of the believer is the building of God. That’s awesome! :)

  23. I don’t believe that “clarification” was only meant to silence the wider blog community from discussing these events. You can just bet that the people of BCA and VFM are being given the same instructions. It’s a no talk rule. “Let the local church handle it.”
    The very people who need support have possibly been issued a gag order.

  24. Pingback: Doug Phillips “Clarifies” His Resignation Statement | H . A

  25. Phillips seems unable, like Bill Clinton, to say, I had sex with that woman.

    I always knew there was more to the story. You don’t resign, close your ministry, and make two public statements over an emotional affair or a bit of handholding.

  26. Headless Unicorn Guy — There are more parallels between fundamentalist Christianity and fundamentalist Islam than either group would like to admit.</blockquote.

    Took a look down the link to your blog, Ahab. Considering the subject matter (Holy Commander Phillips and Handmaid Ofdoug), your blog title is highly appropriate.

    And on a lighter note, a little momento from old-school Dr Demento:

    (If you can get past the commercials…)

  27. It’s difficult to look past the honorific with which Doug Phillips titles himself and believe that he’s offering up genuine repentance. Repentance comes from a humble heart, not pomposity.

    Doug Phillips has been called out many times before over his use of “Esq.”, and that’s been prior to his being embroiled in a scandal. But even now with the cloud of this scandal hanging over him he’s still sending this pompous message. To use Esq. in the context of his Statement Of Resignation, and now a second time in his Clarification On Repentance, is as stupid a thing to do as I can think of.

    Doug Phillips is a history buff and is probably aware of the English aristocratic origins of the title of nobility “Esquire.” It sends a message loud and clear: I am superior to you, the common folk. Pay homage to me. Oh, and don’t anyone forget I’m an attorney and will sue you if you say anything bad about me.

    Doug Phillips does in fact fancy himself a superior class. The prancing about in 18th century aristocratic costumes and posting pictures of his manly dress up exploits on his blog only reinforces the message of the superiority that he wreaks of.

    I have never seen any attorney bandy about Esq. the way Doug Phillips does. In fact it’s rare that attorneys use it at all. It’s pompous, prideful and pretentious. Judges are commonly referred to in court as “Your honor,” but not because it’s required. One can just as easily show respect for the office by saying, “Yes, judge” or “Yes sir” (or mam). Certainly one would never see “Esq.” or “His Honor” on a judge’s business card, letterhead or blogpost.

    The emperor has no clothes. Time to bag the title of nobility, Doug. It’s not working anymore.

  28. “I have never seen any attorney bandy about Esq. the way Doug Phillips does. In fact it’s rare that attorneys use it at all. It’s pompous, prideful and pretentious.”

    That it may be. And/or a “friendly” reminder of his “authority” in a court of law.

  29. Doug Phillips does in fact fancy himself a superior class. The prancing about in 18th century aristocratic costumes and posting pictures of his manly dress up exploits on his blog…

    NO S**T, HE REALLY DOES COSPLAY AS AN 18TH CENTURY ARISTO AND UPLOADS THE SELFIES ON HIS BLOG???????

    P.S. Prolific Conspiracy Lunatic Francis E Dec also always titled himself “Esq”. (He was a disbarred lawyer, but he always gave his name in all his kook rants as “Francis E Dec, ESQ”.)

  30. I have never seen any attorney bandy about Esq. the way Doug Phillips does.

    This subject was brought up recently on another thread and the attorneys in the conversation were saying the same thing, T.W. Esq. is not used and it’s quite ridiculous for him to use it. But I guess Phillips is . . .special.

  31. Yeah, calling yourself “Esq.” or “Dr.” when you’ve got your J.D. is bad form, except maybe for a celebratory facebook post when you graduate, because when other than graduation are you expected to puff your self up like that?

    And yep, @Headless Unicorn Guy, he really does cosplay in various old timey garb. When they did the anniversary of Normandy, he dressed up like he was storming the beaches. Pics of him in various period costume are all over his blog. He especially seems to like cosplay that makes him look rugged and manly.

  32. I know others have said things along the same lines, but one thing that seems to me to be missing from DP’s statement of resignation and its clarification is any acknowledgment of a need to make things right to the (apparently young) woman he dishonored. He speaks of his concern for his family, friends, ministry, board, staff and so on. But where is there any expression of concern for, or even acknowledgment of, the depths of devastation he no doubt inflicted upon the woman he must certainly have deemed to have been under his authority?

    Does he not recognize that his very act of speaking so publicly must be working great emotional distress, and maybe even soul shattering trauma, to his victim? He seemingly seeks to absolve himself by his heroic, take-it-like-a-man (“see how brave and forthright I am?”) confession and profession of supposed repentance. But it is all as though his victim is a non-person, even a non-entity. It is as though she may be discarded as easily as some shiny sports car he might hypothetically have been obsessively and sinfully coveting.

    All of these failings, I submit, are the natural and expected outcome of “Biblical” patriarchy (or any other ideology that elevates men to a position of authority over women). The fruit of “Biblical” patriarchy is bad indeed.

  33. Pingback: Quoting Quiverfull: How Much More ‘Clear’ Does Doug Phillips Need to Be?

  34. ABOUT SHARING YOUR STORY ANONYMOUSLY …

    As promised earlier in this thread, here is more about the process we use re: the possibility of publishing your story here on SSB anonymously (or with a pseudonym).

    When spiritual abuse survivors contact us with their stories, our prime directive is to believe them! That said, when someone entrusts us with their accounts of what happened, what they learned, how they are moving forward, etc., we want to act responsibly with what you’ve shared. We’re glad we’ve earned your trust to be able to share your story to help all our readers, and we need to maintain their trust as well.

    So, part of our responsibility to you and to them is to discern whether this is an appropriate time to share your story publicly. We’ve found there are times when the story being shared with us was mostly meant to benefit the person who shared it to get it out of their system and be believed. There are times when taking that public isn’t in the person’s best interests. We don’t have a formula for this, but we are prayerful and discerning to determine if the person is still spiritually fragile and doesn’t need the pressure of public exposure of their story.

    Also, sometimes we need to wait while we verify details that might be confidential or otherwise expose people who are not public figures and who haven’t authorized disclosure. We might need to edit details that are inappropriate for public consumption. We might need to correspond with you a while to clarify information and make sure we understand what you’ve shared.

    All that to say, no one’s story gets used automatically, or just cut-and-pasted into a post and then published. But that gives an idea of the relational and discernment processes we typically go through with you, to work it out together. That’s part of our process to keep Spiritual Sounding Board a safe place for spiritual abuse survivors and others to read and reflect, find a constructive community, and be transformed.

    This information is also now posted on a separate page, About Sharing Your Story Anonymously. Please contact me (spiritualsb@gmail.com) if you have questions or are interested in possibly sharing your story with Spiritual Sounding Board readers. Thank you!

  35. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.
    Mark 9:42 nasb

    Those who teach children blind obedience, and girls quiet submission to authority without equipping them to discern and disobey when the authority is wrong … Every one of those teachers should not be surprised when God holds them accountable when the children stumble when they get older.

    And God cannot be put off with half apologies, secrecy, “accountability” to an inner circle, and maneuvers to avoid liability. I pray that every person who laid a patriarchal stumbling block in the path of children and young women will truly repent. Whether God withholds the millstone if they do is His business.

    The courage it takes for a woman who grew up in that system to do what is right and stand up to power she was taught bever to speak back to…. That courage is so great, it can only come from God.

  36. Vision Forum Ministries is sending out the following “Go Away And Leave Us Alone” e-mail if you send them any comment via their website:

    ” Thank you for your inquiry and interest in Vision Forum Ministries (VFM).

    In light of regrettable developments, the Board of Directors for Vision Forum Ministries has determined that it is the best course of action to discontinue the operations of VFM. For this reason, we are no longer responding to inquiries received at this address. VFM’s Board of Directors believes as strongly as ever in the message of the ministry to the Christian family and pray that it will prosper in other forms as God blesses it.

    For more information about the closure of Vision Forum Ministries, visit:www.visionforum.org.

    Cordially in Christ,

    Vision Forum Customer Service”

    I should note that I got this e-mail when I sent them a note asking when Doug Phillips was going to apologize to the woman involved.

    Way to go, Vision Forum Ministries. First of all, you put forward teachings that make it well-nigh impossible for a woman to question what a man is telling her. Then when your founder is found to have fooled around, you throw the woman under the bus (by failing to apologize to her and her family). Finally, you’re trying to say, “Oh, our system still works” even as Doug Phillips’ actions affect at minimum two families, to say nothing of the families who followed Phillips’ teachings. Your responsibility (NOT) for the fallout the actions of your principal have precipitated speaks volumes, Vision Forum Ministries.

  37. I find it mind boggling that we are being told that the local church, not the Internet, is the place to handle a man’s repentance. These parachurch ministries and gurus use all media available to promote themselves and their causes. Then, when one crashes and burns morally, suddenly they run to the local church to hide. If the “local church” was so important, why did Doug spend almost 2 decades building a ministry outside of it? These men welcome any and all non-local church promotion of themselves…until they are exposed as frauds. Then suddenly they are devout believers in the “local church.” It’s ludicrous. You can’t have it both ways, boys.

  38. “Speculating that she was underage does not help the credibility of those who are speaking out about this situation. She was not underage.

    I’m sorry this comment is so short, but I wanted to urge caution in what we are saying. We don’t need to bring more hurt to this situation than there already is”

    Jen,

    I am finding your drive by very confusing. Not sure we should be worried about your credibility. Some of the speculation could have come from reading your site and piggybacking on YOUR speculations concerning the “nanny” and knowing in that world, the nanny helper can start quite young learning the mommy functions to prepare her for life. Speculating is the natural outcome when a very public personality has done the very things he has not only spent his career preaching against but made a nice living off the same message. Defining “manliness” for us.

    In fact, let me ‘speculate” even more. Since this news broke, I started to remember much of the Doug internet stuff not only concerning your story but the gang up by Matt Chauncey and others. The articles at Ministry watchman. Etc. As I looked back, I remembered that I had thought then that Doug’s brand of patriarchy seemed to be masking something else. The whole dress up thing, the drama, theatrical bent to being a “man”, the over appeals you did not find in other patriarchal groups….it was OTT. Like begging us to see him as a “man”.. We already know what guys like Scott Brown and Voddie Baucham think of women. We know what Doug really thinks of the female gender.

    Now, fast forward about 7 years. I am having a hard time believing these guys closed VFM down over adultery with a woman of age. I don’t doubt the adultery but I am more likely to call it emotional rape because of the spiritual abuse. She was most likely trained to follow men instead of Christ.

    So what is the ONE THING these guys could never explain away and would warrant it being shut down? Think like a patriarch. It would not be sex with a woman. That they could deal with. But it could be sex with a man. That would send them all running to the hills. How is that for speculating? (wink)

    Add to that I think there are some financial shenanigans these guys want to distance themselves from. But if anyone thinks Scott Brown cares about young women, they are not familiar with his cult.

    Now, you can really nail me for “speculating”. When it comes to Phillips’ I could care less about MY or your credibility. They don’t have that much control over me. I could care less what those creeps and thugs think.

  39. Ingrid,

    The “local church” has become code speak for the refuge of scoundrals. I am seeing this taught everywhere. Not just in the weird fringe patriarchal movement but in the seeker and YRR reformed worlds as well.

    My response is if they sought to market themselves OUTSIDE their “local church” in any way shape or form, they are fair game and they need to man up.

  40. If there was a “local church” in New Testament times, the term is not used in the ESV, the translation/interpretation I find it handiest to use. The word “local” itself does appear once in the ESV, at Acts 28:17, but the translators cum interpreters simply inserted this English word where there is no corresponding Greek word.

    If there was anything to which we could apply the term “local church” in New Testament times, it was simply the group of believers who happened to be in contact with each other in a given community. The “local church” did not have its own separate existence, as an organized entity, in the sense that the term “local church” is used today.

    Today, Christians are privileged to have instantaneous contact with each other by means of the Internet. To the extent the concept of “local church” has any legitimacy, it exists wherever Christians are able to fellowship, including in cyberspace.

    Doug Phillips and other advocates of patriarchy have done great damage to individuals and families everywhere. I am personally acquainted with some of these individuals and families. These advocates of an oppressive and un-Scriptural ideological agenda have propagated their destructive heresy by public means which include the Internet. I, as a member of that “local church” that meets on the Internet, will play my part, on the Internet, to hold these false teachers accountable — even if all I can do is to help expose them.

  41. Pingback: A Closer Look at Doug Phillips’ Clarification Statement | Spiritual Sounding Board

  42. Is anyone aware of a way we can financially help the young woman involved in this affair? I don’t want to know her name or anything about her, but would like to help out. God has placed her on my heart so strongly and I feel such a burden for her – we would even open up our home to her if necessary.

    As far as speculation is concerned, a number of us have wondered for the last few years how soon it would be before Doug Phillips and the other patriocentrists would embrace some form of Christian polygamy (somewhat like the FLDS). When I first heard of the resignation, the first thing that popped into my mind was that Phillips had taken another “wife”, and someone outside of the inner circle had found out.

    I don’t care one fig what these people think of me or my viewpoints – they have hurt my family enough, and they can’t hurt us anymore.

  43. @Sue:

    As far as speculation is concerned, a number of us have wondered for the last few years how soon it would be before Doug Phillips and the other patriocentrists would embrace some form of Christian polygamy (somewhat like the FLDS).

    Joseph Smith DID justify Plural Marriage(TM) with the example of the Old Testament Patriarchs…

  44. @SW Discomfort:

    Way to go, Vision Forum Ministries. First of all, you put forward teachings that make it well-nigh impossible for a woman to question what a man is telling her.

    In fluent Christianese instead of English.

    Then when your founder is found to have fooled around, you throw the woman under the bus (by failing to apologize to her and her family).

    That’s because Honor Killings will have to wait until our Quiverfull Culture Warriors have Taken Back America and Established a Truly Godly(TM) Society.

  45. Gary W: I suspect Phillips’ announcement and “clarification” make no mention of the woman because Phillips believes she “defrauded” him (or, if you hew to Doug Wilson’s view, she “Delilah-ed” him) and is, therefore, not among the injured parties in this situation. Such is the blinkered thinking of the ardent patriarchalist.

  46. Even if she did, it blows the whole patriarchal thing out of the water. If man is supposed to be the be-end all and that powerful….doesn’t say much when you get Delilah’ed. If you are that weak, especially over a period of years, maybe you shouldn’t be leading anything.

  47. Gary W: This may be OT, but I like your views on the “local church.” It makes perfect sense, and since the Bible don’t spell out what I should see as “local church”, the most sensible view is the one I’d adhere to.

  48. @kbrightbill:

    And yep, @Headless Unicorn Guy, he really does cosplay in various old timey garb. When they did the anniversary of Normandy, he dressed up like he was storming the beaches. Pics of him in various period costume are all over his blog. He especially seems to like cosplay that makes him look rugged and manly.

    One of my writing partners had an uncle who was at Omaha Beach. And another at Anzio. And one or two others at places like Saipan and Okinawa.

    If he’s cosplaying any of those, he’d BETTER be with an actual Re-Enactor Group. Otherwise, if his cosplay uniforms include such things as Jump Wings or Special Forces Berets, steer him into some Veteran who won those wings the hard way. Honor of the Regiment demands the REAL Paratrooper/SEAL/Green Beret shove those fake awards down the poser’s throat. HARD.

  49. Ingrid & Lydiasellerofpurple — In a recent “Generations with Vision” show on the Vision Forum scandal, Kevin Swanson championed local churches over parachurch organizations. Given that Swanson COLLABORATED with Vision Forum for some time, his words were very ironic.

  50. “Kevin Swanson championed local churches over parachurch organizations. Given that Swanson COLLABORATED with Vision Forum for some time, his words were very ironic.”

    Not just ironic, but hypocritical. I had to google “parachurch” to understand what they’re talking about. Wikipedia says: “Parachurch organizations are Christian faith-based organizations that work outside of and across denominations to engage in social welfare and evangelism, usually independent of church oversight.”
    Interesting. By that definition Vision Forum qualifies as a parachurch organization. It was likely “independent of church oversight.” Now that Phillips has been forced to resign and shutter Vision Forum, he hides behind the “local church” like a toddler hiding behind mommy’s skirt. Too funny. And of course Swanson wants to drop that hot parachurch potato as fast as he can, and hide behind the “local church’s” skirt as well. Manhood, anyone?

  51. Retha,

    Perhaps one reason so much is made of the “local church” is that we are conditioned to be submitted to organizations and institutions, whether governments, schools, the military, teams, clubs or whatever. We are conditioned to believe that organizations wield authority. Therefore, we tend to accept, without thinking about it, that “local churches” wield authority over our lives. Men claiming places of spiritual leadership can play on this conditioning to manipulate compliance with their agendas. It is likely that the perpetrators of this manipulation often do not even know what they are doing. The thinking is just that ingrained in us.

    Whether Doug Phillips’ appeal to the authority of the “local church” is a conscious attempt to play on our habitual submission to organizations I do not know. What I do perceive is that it is in fact an attempt to manipulate.

  52. I know Scott Brown. I have been in his home, his church and was a friend to his daughter Kelly. He caused his own church to split because he was above the accountability of the people who loved him and who sought to uphold God’s Word. He is as power-posturing as Phillips and though he might say all the right things, he is a hypocrite. He is an ungodly man, portraying an image for the sake of the false doctrines of patriarchy. Perhaps he is speaking out against Phillips to distance himself? Regardless of his motivations, he has no credibility among those who have been abused and manipulated by his own pride and ungodly actions. Scott Brown should not be given a voice until he repents of his own sins against the body of Christ and acknowledges his own lack of godly leadership.

  53. Pingback: Supporting Survivors of Doug Phillips Apostasy, Part 2 | Spiritual Sounding Board

  54. @Joyelle:

    I know Scott Brown. I have been in his home, his church and was a friend to his daughter Kelly. He caused his own church to split because he was above the accountability of the people who loved him and who sought to uphold God’s Word.

    AKA He exalted his own throne above that of the Most High?

  55. Perhaps he is speaking out against Phillips to distance himself?

    In the Dilbert Zone, this is called “CYA”.

  56. There will be more “resignations” like this, as there are many high profile leaders who are fleecing their flocks in the name of God. The Scripture if very clear: “…be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23, NKJV).

  57. @Joyelle – I was there a part of the church split…the NCFIC is as dangerous if not more so than VF. It is empowering a Doug Phillips wannabe in a church near you and needs to be taken down…

  58. From the Vision Forum Blog
    http://www.visionforum.com/news/blogs/doug/default.aspx?path=/2013/11/10958/

    A Note from Doug Phillips

    Last week, I announced my resignation from the presidency of Vision Forum Ministries, a 501(c)3 organization. I retain ownership of Vision Forum, Inc., a distinct and private company, but consistent with my desires to lead a quiet life focusing on my family and serving as a foot soldier, I will not be giving speeches or running conferences at this time of my life under the banner of VFI or VFM. In addition, Doug’s Blog will become the Vision Forum Blog and will be focused on publishing reports and articles by others, along with news and information from Vision Forum, Inc.

    Posted by Doug Phillips on November 6, 2013

    Yet another note:
    Vision Forum Inc. is visionforum.com
    Vision Forum Ministries is visionforumministries.org

  59. I have read most of blogs written about the Doug Phillips sex scandal but I haven’t read how all of this originally came out of secrecy, it would seem at least, last February if not before then and it took a while for DP to step down from church last February. Does anyone know who the whistle blower was?

  60. The thing that really saddens me about all this mess is the thought that this young woman may be about to be victimized again by the horrific theology of VFM. According to the Purity Movement, she has given herself to someone who could never have been her husband. Nevermind that she was manipulated by an authority figure and lacked all autonomy to protect herself: every man in that community has been conditioned to reject such women outright as damaged goods. It’s the perfect setup for egomaniacs like Doug and his ilk; no one ever has to exercise real understanding, humility, or forgiveness in relationships. I will be praying for her.

  61. April – – that is such a good point. It is horrific to think that he is all about Purity and then helped to make her as “damaged good” in that community.

    But we in the rest of the Christian world know that there is no such thing as “damaged goods” when it comes to Christ and His redeeming work. THAT is the message that this young lady needs to hear. I pray she hears it.

  62. This is all making me more saddened and sickened by the day. It all hits too close to home for me, and the complete lack of care or compassion for the true victim is heartbreaking. I see no real repentance as yet, and I am convinced that we do not yet know the true extent of his sins. They are many and great. The whole mindset is so destructive, and seems set up to encourage and fall to sins of exactly this kind. Power corrupts, and when you set up a man with all his human faults to be lifted up, exalted and even worshiped as the ultimate authority in his world, he is almost inevitably headed for this kind of fall. Power and pride is a toxic combination. So tragic for everyone involved, not least the trail of destruction in the families that accepted him as an authority and subscribed to his teachings.

  63. One question for “Jen” if you come back to this site:

    Are you “Jen” from “Jen’s Gems”?
    First of all, I read all your blogs and appreciate all you share and agree with so much of your sentiments, however I don’t know how you can state with such certainty the “young lady” (who both you are I have known well for a number of years) was not underage when this affair BEGAN.
    I whole-heartedly disagree, but if you can, prove me wrong.

    Over 10 years ago she was a shining starlet to DP, the Boerne church and VF, this is a fact. [NOTE: JA removed content here that would have been searchable to reveal the identity of alleged victim.}

    Jen, with all do respect, I think you are mistaken to assume all this began when she was “of age” however the fact of the matter is DP, VF and all of us who have ever been involved with VF need to come clean and stop deceiving multitudes who DESERVE to know the truth!

    Not only did DP NOT apologize to this precious young woman who lived her life to serve God and obey her “authorities” but he did not apologize to the HUNDREDS of young children who looked up to him in the congregation, and VF, or to those who are now devastated by the loss of income over the now necessary collapse of this ministry due to his selfishness.

    Jen, kindly continue the dialog if you are willing (if not, I understand and respect that) but please don’t post hit and run comments, which bear questionable accuracy, as this is something DP would do. More cover ups and “drive-bys” are EXACTLY what we are trying to avoid right now. Conceal the identity of the woman, yes, I agree, but conceal horrors of what happened, I don’t.

  64. Mod note: Please be careful about posting information that could be searchable on the internet and could possibly identify the young woman involved in the Doug Phillips scandal. I do not care if she was a minor or a legal adult, I view her to be a victim and the public does not need to have access to her name. Let’s give her the dignity and respect she deserves, please.

  65. Nikki, I’ll confirm that the Jen who posted above is the blog owner of Jen’s Gems. I happen to agree with your assessment and have challenged Jen on the same issue. Her view on this particular issue is based, in part, on the fact that the young lady and Jen’s daughter were very close, and that closeness at the time gives them a better perspective. Perhaps it does. However, sometimes our closeness can also cloud our objectivity, especially where we think we’re protecting our friends, or even former friends. In doing so maybe we’re not really protecting them at all.

    I’ve asked Julie Anne to give me your email address so that I can dialogue with you further on this. Julie Anne is hyper-vigilant about privacy (no doubt motivated by having been sued by her pastor), just another reason to appreciate her. So at her suggestion I’m asking you to email her and give permission for her to give me your email address. Either that you can request my email address from her. We need to talk. I will ensure your confidentiality, and Julie Anne will, no doubt, vouch for that.

    Note to J.A. Feel free to edit this comment, deleting the second paragraph, after we’ve exchanged emails.

  66. Pingback: More on Doug Phillips and Vision Forum: More Than a Scandal | How to find a proper engagement ring

  67. Okay, I am open to the private dialog…and I genuinely apologize for writing anything that could possibly lead to the victim’s name, that was not at all my intention. I primarily wanted to point out to Jen there are reasons to believe this started when the young lady was still a minor.

  68. Nikki,
    I continue to pray for you. It takes a lot of courage to speak up when your world is crumbling.

  69. Nikki, no worries. I knew exactly what you were doing and why. I also appreciate your efforts to see the truth exposed if she really was a minor as you say. That is very important because then it changes the case to an alleged crime.

    My email is spiritualsb@ gmail.com

  70. Pingback: Huffington Post — More on Doug Phillips and Vision Forum: More Than a Scandal | Jen's Gems -- Doug Phillips' Ecclesiastical Tyranny and Abuse

  71. Hello, please message VERY IMPORTANT for GOD’S PEOPLE!

    I am witness! great tribulation is almost here! the spiritual plagues coming into all churches on earth!
    All churches on earth are spiritually apostate! They are following another jesus Revelation 17:8! the true body of Christ not in church buildings or behind the pulpit!
    Hear my testimony on video just google,”Christ testimony of the churches around the world”!

    God is calling his people out of the man made churches and their teachings on earth.
    the outpouring of God’s Spirit happens just before great tribulation Joel 2:28-30;Acts 2:16-20; Revelation 7:1-3, 13-14, Daniel 12:7,10.

    I am witness to seeing the beast ascended out of the bottomless pit. The beast is in perdition even as you read this message. This perdition is 3.5 years Dan 7:25; Rev 12:6,14,17; Rev 13:5-6; Rev 17:8.
    I am witness thru the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit of truth in seeing image of beast, his mark, and the number of his name in the people of churches on earth Revelation 15:2-3.
    The mark of beast comes from the churches Rev 16:14; Rev 13:6,7-8,16-18; Rev 18:23;1 John 2:15-17; Isaiah 9:6kjv vs. Isaiah 9:5Torah.
    The mark of the beast is spiritual. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places Eph 6:12;Matt 10:28.

    How does the devil deceive the whole world? Revelation 13:8
    thru image of man- Rom 1:23, 25; Isaiah 14:13-14; Rev 13:18; Mark 8:33; 2 Thess 2:4; Matt 24:15; Rev 17:8; Rev 6:15;Rev 19:20.
    thru churches on earth -Isaiah 14:17; Dan 7:21,25; Dan 8:12-13; Dan 11:22,31-32, ; Dan 11:39,45; Matt 24:23-26; Luke 4:5-6; Luke 17:20-23;Mark 11:17; Mark 13:1-2, 5-6; Matt 13:30.
    thru their teachings- 1 thess 5:3,Dan 9:26; Dan 11:22, 31-32;1Tim 4:1; 1Tim 1:6-10; 2Tim 2:16; 2Tim 4:3-4; Titus 1:10-11; Matt 15: 5-6; Matt 16:11; 2 Peter 2:2-3, 18-19; 1 John 4:5;Jude 1: 12,16;1 Cor 2:13; Dan 12:4; 2Tim 3:7.
    thru signs and lying wonders- Matt 7:22; Matt 24:24; 2 Thess 2:9-10;Acts 16:17; Rev 16:14; Rev 18:23; 2 Cor 11:13-15;Daniel 8:12.

    God seals his people in their homes Joel2:28-29; Acts 1:13-14; Isaiah 26:20-21;Ezekiel 9:3-4.
    In book of Daniel fourth kingdom will devour the whole earth Dan 7:23; Joel 2:3; Isaiah 14:17.
    This fourth kingdom and her beast is the mother church in Rome called,” Mystery Babylon the Great the Mother of Harlots Abominations of the earth” Rev10:7; Rev17:5. This mother church spiritually connected to ALL churches great or small of Catholics, Christians, Mormons, Jehovah witnesses. this mother church in Rome spiritually connected Babylon, the Great City, which is spiritually called, “Sodom and Egypt” 2 Thess 2:7; Rev 11:8; Rev 17:9,15,18. This spiritual city is about to receive her hour of judgement Rev 17:1-2; Rev 11:13.

    All churches around the world have same roots as mother church in Rome- pulpit /raised platform, image of man/host (idols), congregation, church buildings between the seas, communion wafer/juice, choir, instruments, celebrate winter/spring holiday-(Rev 11:10; Dan 8:12), weddings, birthdays, funerals, candles, and many more Revelation 18:22-23.

    Man made church buildings are spiritual cages of the god of this world Isaiah 14:13,17; Rev 18:2; Matt 24:24-26!

    And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God comes not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. For as the lightning, that lights out of the one part under heaven, shines unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
    Rev 18:4, And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues!
    Seek God in prayer and ask for the truth! this will save you and your family members. I did for two years asking God for the truth about the churches, her leaders and followers and about myself. Hear my testimony on video just google, “Christ testimony of the churches around the world”.

  72. Pingback: More on Doug Phillips and Vision Forum: More Than a Scandal | Literate Comments

  73. I wonder why he needed a nanny anyhow – why not do like the Duggars and have your older children raise the younger, if he’s of that mindset.

  74. Pingback: Huff Post: “More on Doug Phillips and Vision Forum: More Than a Scandal” | Jen's Gems -- Doug Phillips' Ecclesiastical Tyranny and Abuse

  75. Even in his confession, he requested prayers for himself, his family, the board, and *men* of VFM. Nowhere does he requests prayers for his victim or her family. Ugh.

  76. As horrible as these circumstances are, perhaps one good thing has emerged. This Vision Forum has reached its demise.

  77. It is a discusting sin for both of them, not just Doug. The girls he was having the affair with knew he was married- knew what she was doing was a sin. She is just as much in the wrong as he is.

  78. DJ, you have no idea how this whole clan works. Years ago I had a friend who was slowly deceived into the cult of the Moonies. Her parents (who were not part of it) did a very brave thing. They snatched her. They took her to a nice resort and had a deprogrammer help her to think on her own again. It was NOT an easy task. It was YEARS before she could read her bible again without cringing at the misinterpretation ringing in her mind. this is not a simple matter with the VF Boerne group.

  79. I should add…it was three intense days just getting her to say ANYTHING that was her own simple thought.

  80. “It is a discusting sin for both of them, not just DouIt is a discusting sin for both of them, not just Doug. The girls he was having the affair with knew he was married- knew what she was doing was a sin. She is just as much in the wrong as he is.”

    No she’s not.
    1. She’s not the married one so she’s not guilty of adultery, and
    2. He’s the cult leader and she is the brainwashed victim of the cult leader, and
    3. It started when she was a minor, therefore he is guilty of statutory rape

  81. I think that point 2. needs some more explanation for someone like AB Lever. We need to tell what messages this girl/ woman would have heard since childhood that would make her susceptible.

  82. @ Everyone Thanks so much for your comments here. I have been reading them and its helpful in pulling this all together. My family and I left a NCIFC church just last year in wake forest and I can testify it was very difficult. Even to the point my husband was almost titled a wolf.(Long story) I am thankful that the Lord opened our eyes, and had given us friends that have left that shared the true gospel with us. IT IS BY GRACE WE ARE SAVED NOT THE LAW!!! I want to also add that I have been thinking about a excommunication that happened while my family and I were in attendance this man was found to be acting inappropriately with a lady that was apart of a ministry he had founded. During the excommunication meeting they made all of the information known to the entire church every detail from the beginning when it had been revealed up to the excommunication meeting. It was said by one of the elders there ( and I am paraphrasing) That he had to be shamed on the scale because of the level of prominence he had within the local body and the surrounding body ( i.e he was traveling and teaching on family intergrated services). Whats so ironic one of the elders of this church that carried out this communication is also on the board of VF. Why does Mr Phillips thinks he deserves any less exposure after all he was teaching to the world. I love the families at our old church wonderful people. I pray all the time for God to reveal truth to them.

  83. Welcome Colette! I’m so glad you were able to get out. It sounds like you were in a very scary place. Have you had any repercussions after leaving? Many times people have more difficulty after they leave (i.e., shunning). I hope not.

    It was said by one of the elders there ( and I am paraphrasing) That he had to be shamed on the scale because of the level of prominence he had within the local body and the surrounding body ( i.e he was traveling and teaching on family intergrated services). Whats so ironic one of the elders of this church that carried out this communication is also on the board of VF. Why does Mr Phillips thinks he deserves any less exposure after all he was teaching to the world

    Very good point. Isn’t it interesting how they have really tried to keep this situation quiet? Maybe they would say the exposure needs to be done in church, not outside the church. I tend to disagree because Phillips had a very public ministry and was probably far more influential in his public ministry than back home. I also heard that he did not attend his own church very often because of his travels, so all the more reason for this to be exposed more publicly.

  84. “I love the families at our old church wonderful people. I pray all the time for God to reveal truth to them.”

    I would expect for every single member to vote with their feet right now and just walk out. Why on earth would anyone stay at this point?

  85. Being very well know in these circles, giving any information would lead to my identity so I can’t say much. What I will say after having left, there is pain on top of pain on top of pain. Shunning isn’t the word for it. There have been times I would have welcomed a smack in the face, something to show me I was lovable in this world, something to show me I was cared for by another human being. No, nothing…..nothing. I’m still healing, I have a long way to go. DP and this scandal has opened wounds hardly healed in my heart, exposing the fact that though I am out, in my mind and heart I am not out all the way.

  86. Hope, welcome to the blog. You are not alone in that pain. If you take a look at this thread and the comments, I’m sure you will be able to relate with some of the words: http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2013/11/23/in-the-wake-of-the-doug-phillips-affair-a-mother-grieves-and-seeks-our-prayers/

    In the SSB private forum, we have an area set up for those affected by the Homeschool Movement. The forum is still growing, but you can initiate conversation and encourage those who are going through similar trials.

    For those interested, please contact me at spiritualsb@gmail. com

  87. Hi Julie Anne, et. al.,

    I am curious if anything beyond the “official” reports from VFI & VFM or the Christian Post, etc., has been substantiated.

    Many things about the victim have been asserted, but are any confirmed?

    E.g. A nanny, married, initally underage, unmarried, an employee of VFI, ad infinitum.

    Thanks.

  88. On another thread we were talking CDD. I think I’m beginning to see why that, or any time of “submission” or “domination”, including “dominionship”, is popular in that crowd.

    Appearantly there’s some euphoric spiritual “high” you can get out of it (and Catholics have their own sub-culture of it too);

    “For many people, BDSM practices can lead to profound transcendental experiences, reminiscent of shamanic ordeals. Additionally, many have turned to various spiritual traditions to guide them ethically, or have sought to reconcile their BDSM desires with their chosen religious or spiritual tradition. BDSM spirituality groups have formed within local groups and on the Internet; there have also been BDSM support groups for members of particular religions, such as Defenders (a subgroup of the Roman Catholic DignityUSA), People of Leather Among You (connected with the Metropolitan Community Church), Black Leather Wings (for Neopagans) and Leather & Grace (for Unitarian Universalists).”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BDSM

    Odd.

  89. Many things about the victim have been asserted, but are any confirmed?

    Hugh, I have not seen anything official beyond what you mentioned coming from the board of Vision Forum Ministries.

    The consistent story I’ve read is the victim was a nanny, initially underage, and unmarried. The married and employee part that you included have not been a consistent part of the story.

    These reports come from people who claim to know the victim, or have been around the victim or the victim’s family. Nothing officially has come out from the victim or victims family ‘s far as I know. I know of several who are trying to gain access to her (reporters and others).

  90. I think it is wrong to be saying this was an abusive situation with such certainty without first hand knowledge. It took me a matter of minutes to figure out who this women was and I live in Canada. She is in most of the Vision Forum ministry pictures, videos and projects. She is always seated near Doug and its pretty obvious how fond he is of her. She seems to be a very intelligent, beautiful women to me. Not the helpless, wilting flower people are describing on this thread. I am not defending Doug on the matter of adultery but to accuse him of abusing and taken advantage of her is crossing the line without having talked to her personally. She was a grown women and its all together possible she was in love with him and didnt feel guilty about it until recently. She also has lots to answer for as she was a familiar face in the Vision Forum movement and is also guilty of 10 years of living a lie not to mention the betrayal she is guilty of considering how much Doug Phillips wife and children loved and trusted her. Lets not cry abuse until we hear it from the women herself.

  91. Sarah – We’ve gone around and around on this as new people come to the blog. You are new here. I’m glad you’re here, but please continue to read the comments all over the blog on this situation.

    If this inappropriate relationship began after she was 18 years of age, then it was not illegal unless it was not consensual.

    However, his position of authority and the way this homeschool movement culture stunts the emotional growth of girls/women, there is no way that you will ever convince me otherwise that this was not abuse. He was in a position of authority and she was not. Even in secular society, people in positions of power and trust are fired from their jobs for having sexual relationships with people who work for them.

  92. You are correct that people in positions of trust get fired for having sexual relationships but they don’t necessarily get accused of abuse. That is a very serious accusation to be making. We are talking about 10 years. That is a long time to maintain a relationship with someone. It is possible that Doug genuinely loved this woman. He risked everything for her and let it continue for 10 years. That speaks volumes to me. I think we should wait til this woman comes forward with her side of the story, if she ever does before we start accusing Doug of criminal activity. It is also slander to say someone is guilty of abuse with absolutely zero facts to back it up. We need to consider the possibility that they this was a consensual relationship given the length of time it continued. I am no stranger to abuse as myself was sexually abused for most of my childhood. This does not sound remotely like an abusive situation to me.

  93. How about genuinely loving his wife? Doug himself said it was long term. He shouldn’t be preaching standards he himself. he himself cannot meet. That’s hypocrisy.

  94. Lynette, obviously he failed as a husband. I am not endorsing his behaviour, just saying we shouldn’t be accusing him of sexual abuse!

  95. I would like to point out that “slander” is a legal term of art and you are accusing people of committing legally actionable offenses when you throw around the term (incorrectly, I might add–“slander” refers to spoken word, not written).

    More to the point, those of us who are familiar with that world can speak to the fact that the power imbalance between Doug Phillips and a stay-at-home daughter is so vast that even if no crime was committed, “consent” is murky at best. A relationship between a middle aged man and a girl who was raised in such a way as to keep her a compliant child who is not allowed to question men in authority over her is inherently abusive.

  96. Has anyone been on “Duggar Family News” Facebook page?
    the older son is accusing VF of selling real weapons to kids and also encourages the nanny to press charges.

  97. She travelled all over the world with the Phillips family, appeared in a ton of their products, sat front and center at all the conferences and film festivals and recently had a part in a theatrical movie. Isn’t it possible that she enjoyed this star treatment and finally the guilt got to her? We do not know her heart. She is a 28 year old woman. Perhaps you should watch thu footage of her. She looks to me like she is thoroughly enjoying herself. Did Doug misuse his position of authority? Absolutely! Is he guilty of 10 years of sexual abuse? Very doubtful!

  98. Sarah, you clearly don’t understand this world. Just because someone puts on a happy face for a video doesn’t mean anything. Particularly not in a world where women are expected to hide any negative feelings or emotions.

    Not only that, but you keep focusing on the fact that she was 28 when this ended. She was 17 or 18 when this began. Are you so intent on blaming this girl that you simply refuse to acknowledge that she was barely more than a child when Doug started this?

  99. Sarah mentioned that maybe Doug loved her. Maybe he did – – that wouldn’t surprise me because if wives are merely baby machines to create warriors to take over the earth, and their husband’s own their faith, control so many aspects of their life, not even allowing women to introduce guests at church because a woman cannot speak, no wonder he fell in love with someone else. Wives are squelched. He probably was lonely because of the system he helped to create.

    Sarah, you and I will go around and around on this. I’m not going to budge on my opinion. This system endorsed and taught by Phillips kept young ladies at an emotional less than their physical age. It is because of that, that she was in no position to understand the full implications of consenting (if she did indeed consent). I’m not changing my belief about it being abuse. No way.

  100. Kbrightnill, I am not intent on blaming this woman. I am only intent on not accusing someone of sexual abuse with zero proof, facts, or evidence. And considering how hush hush the Vision Forum people are keeping this the public may never know the truth.

  101. Sarah,

    Why are you coming to the defense of Doug Phillips? Is it something you regularly do? Did you also come to the defense of Ted Haggard? Jim Bakker? Jimmy Swagart? If not, do you come to Phillips’ defense as some sort of a psychological protective mechanism that somehow enables you to avoid coming to terms with the fact that you yourself have been following the ideology of a man who was living a lie that went to the very essence of his teaching — teaching that had somehow become very nearly the core of what your life did and still does stand for? If not, please help us. Why, exactly, would you come to this man’s defense with silly assertions about what does and does not constitute what kind of abuse?

  102. wow Julie Anne!
    I am so out of it I guess that I actually thought that was legit.
    I don’t have a FB account and had no idea someone can do that!!!
    I just read some of it and thought it was legit!

    BTW I have been researching the patriarchal movement and I understand that a daughter is serving her father by serving others families.

    Wouldn’t this take away from her time serving her own father and family?

  103. “And considering how hush hush the Vision Forum people are keeping this the public may never know the truth.”

    I’m hoping the young lady in question will write a tell-all book and have the last laugh on her perpetrator – all the way to the bank.

  104. I almost thought it was legit until I saw that word :)

    Anyone can start a FB page on whatever topic. The Duggars certainly have a following – not sure all of it would be the fan club type.

    BTW I have been researching the patriarchal movement and I understand that a daughter is serving her father by serving others families.

    Wouldn’t this take away from her time serving her own father and family?

    Funny you should ask. I was just talking to my husband about this. In this type of situation, it makes perfect sense. Phillips was highly respected – – a hero in that community. So her father would transfer his authority over to Phillips so she could help serve Phillips’ family – you know – because Phillips’ ministry is so much more important than any other ministry or family. :::sarcasm:::::

    It was most likely considered a privilege and honor to serve the Phillips family – even a sought-after position. Her father probably felt honored to have his daughter serve Phillips.

    I’d like to be a bug in the wall to know what he thinks now – – or when he found out about the intimacy of the relationship.

  105. Gary I am not a follower of Doug Phillips hyper patriarch movement. I am an intelligent person who doesn’t automatically accuse someone who has a had a 10 year affair of sexual abuse. Doug Phillips is not my favourite person in the world right now but he is still innocent until proven guilty. And so far his only accusers are people like you who have no facts whatsoever. If this woman comes forward with claims of abuse I will be heartbroken for her as much as the next person but until then I will wait for the facts.

  106. People who know this movement know that young women are not taught to think for themselves, but only to obey men, that a girl of 17/18 who grew up in that moment would, emotionally, be much younger and more scared and scarred than is visible to the public eye. People here know that she would have been told that she should obey men in general and her father and the leader (Doug) in particular. Some in those groups even teach that any time a man asks her to sin, it is her fault for not being perfectly submissive and she should obey anyway.

    Sarah, you word things as if you want to protect a man from false accusations, but you are accusing a woman of understandingly consenting to sin while you don’t know that is the case. If you don’t follow DP’s movement, would it not be wiser to assume that those who did, and who now claim to understand her circumstances, understand better?

  107. Ri Ri, you seem to have so many facts that the rest of the world does not as you just called Doug Phillips a perpetrator in your above comment so you shouldn’t need me to point you to where there is lots of video of this woman.

  108. Retha, I’m not accusing this woman of anything as of yet since I like you have zero facts. I am only saying its possible it was a consensual relationship and its possible they deeply cared about each other. I hear what you are saying about girls in this movement maybe being emotional immature. However, she still would have clearly known a relationship with another women’s husband is very wrong considering how much Vision Forum promotes sexually purity. We are all still responsible for our own behaviour. You are all claiming that she was young and childlike and wouldn’t have had a choice. You really think that carries over 10 years? Again I was sexually abused as a child and by the time I was 9 I knew it was wrong without anyone telling me and steered clear of the man as much as humanly possible until I finally told when I was 11. I think you are giving this women too little credit and painting her as a very unintelligent person.

  109. Well, at least Sarah admits that DP is not her favorite person “right now.” But come on, Sarah. You still haven’t told us what motivates you to defend somebody who is no longer your favorite person. We can argue ’til the rest of DP’s chickens come home to roost over the definition of the term abuse, but we have enough facts from DP’s own writing to know that he deeply wronged his wife, his children, those who trusted his leadership and teachings and, yes, the young woman with whom he admits to having had a physically adulterous relationship. His adultery is the fruit from which, according to Jesus, his teaching is discredited.

    As to the definition of sexual abuse, here is what I submit the Bible teaches: Any time a man adulterously touches a woman, as DP has admitted to doing, he sexually abuses her. I don’t care if she is a prostitute, it does not matter if the woman consents. The man has a duty to protect the woman from her own improvidence. This is true even where there is not a large discrepancy in ages, and it is true even where the man is not taking advantage of his elevated position. However, where the woman is young, and where the man takes advantage of discrepancies in age and power, the offense is all the more aggravated — whether or not actual laws have been broken. Or so I see it.

    Sarah, maybe you could also see it my way if you try to picture how you would feel if it were your own 18 to 28 year old daughter DP had taken advantage of.

  110. Sarah,

    One other thing. Maybe you can help me out. Try as I might, I cannot think where in the Bible it says a man is innocent until proven guilty. Is it in the Old Testament somewhere. Where do I look?

  111. “Ri Ri, you seem to have so many facts that the rest of the world does not as you just called Doug Phillips a perpetrator in your above comment so you shouldn’t need me to point you to where there is lots of video of this woman.”

    No cold hard facts. Just what I’ve read – started when she was possibly a minor, was under his authority as both a church elder/mentor and an employer (she was his nanny). Hence my use of the word “perpetrator”.

    So now, where are those videos?

  112. Note from JA:

    There are in fact videos/pictures of the nanny who is alleged to be the victim in this story, but in an effort to keep this site safe for survivors, I’m not going to allow the links to be posted here.

    Thanks!

  113. JA

    When I met the guys at the VF booth (Homeschool convention), I had no idea this was a movement. I thought that these were REAL Christian men and that they had a program that would encourage husbands to be more Godly, and make better sons. I can’t believe what I am reading about this movement.
    I spent time on Youtube watching Michelle Duggar’s Mother of the Year award ceremony (By DP and his wife -who BTW oddly stares at him the whole time he is talking ), and watched in the audience all that were ascribing to be like her.

    A woman married 26 years and 19 of those pregnant?
    Is that what women want? Is that what God wants? How could she properly nurse all those kids if she was basically pregnant all the time? Her husband is looking at her with awe. She is crying…maybe realizing that she has become a sort of fertility idol.

    As far as the nanny—I don’t get the double standard.
    A girl is under the authority of the Father (not God) to live at home till she gets married and serve the dad and her family (as the Duggar daughters do), yet this dad hired out his daughter to DP for 10 years and as a result she loses her 20’s-so she basically has not married and fulfilled her duties as Michelle Duggar has (according to DP’s award to her), has been under the “authority” not of God, but of her father who gave her over to another man who has no authority over her, yet has had authority over her, and we are supposed to believe that this is OK?

    Didn’t DP, PREVENT her from doing what he has suggested all women do?
    Get married and have tons of babies??

    The more I read about this movement the angrier I become.
    Yes, her dad must be wondering how God led him into this. ==Sarcasm==

  114. Even though she is now an adult, the seeds had already been planted in her life.
    Perhaps her worth was tied up in her obedience to what she believed was pleasing dad and thus God.
    To me, much of this movement seems like child abuse.
    It is one thing to have this abuse in the secular world, another under the “name” of God.

  115. One more—sorry—
    A child is of legal age at 18.
    Do you know that if a young adult of 18 goes to a Dr., according to the law the Dr. does not have to disclose ANYTHING to the parents?

    Where does this movement get the right to “own” a daughter in her 20’s and “require” her to live at home and serve the family?
    She is of legal age-she can do anything she wants.
    She is not bound to her father legally, and if she is to go by her government laws, she can do whatever she pleases.

    This movement is manipulation and control, and takes away the rights of the young ladies they “hold captive”. OK rant over for the day. I did find some good recipes for Thanksgiving on some Patriarchal blogs.

  116. As someone who is a recovering people pleaser, I can say this woman probably had a million thoughts in her head. She may have known it was wrong, but the way she was raised it is MORE wrong to say no or be disobedient. She was raised to serve man…any man. If she didn’t the ‘man’ would not be happy, and it is the woman’s job to keep the man happy by being obedient. See what I”m getting at here? She was d*amned if she did, and d*mned if she didn’t….literally according to their sick theology.

  117. Lynette- Yes a no win situation.
    I lived with a verbally abusive dad.
    I rebelled as soon as I could.
    It was rules without love.
    Must be harder with God in the equation.

  118. When I met the guys at the VF booth (Homeschool convention), I had no idea this was a movement. I thought that these were REAL Christian men and that they had a program that would encourage husbands to be more Godly, and make better sons.

    That’s just it!!! Gregg Harris was a genius when he got the state-run “Christian” homeschooling conventions going. This was the only place that I knew of where we could get support for homeschooling and mingle with others, listen to people who had been doing it longer than us, etc.

    I don’t know of anyone who had a clue that the state homeschool conventions were girded with Reconstructionism at its core. When I started going, this was the only thing available as far as a place to hear speakers, get practical helps on educating, get to go to a curriculum fair. The very sad thing to me now is knowing that every speaker, every book vendor had to pass the of the leaders (who also were likely connected with Reconstructionism in some way, shape or form – – some may not have known it, but by their affiliations with certain people, they may have unknowingly furthered the agenda).

    Of course there were good speakers and curricula, but mixed among that was the Reconstructionist stuff. Soon, dads as priest of the home became normal, having 8-10 kids was normal, etc.

  119. Where does this movement get the right to “own” a daughter in her 20′s and “require” her to live at home and serve the family?
    She is of legal age-she can do anything she wants.
    She is not bound to her father legally, and if she is to go by her government laws, she can do whatever she pleases.

    That is why I wrote this post: Homeschooled Adult Daughters Held Captive at Home, Prevented from Getting College Education

    and this one: Are Daughters the Biggest Threat to the Christian Patriarchy Movement and Reconstructionism?

    Of course you and I know that 18 is legal adulthood. But that doesn’t mean a thing to them (unless something happens legally and they are forced to deal with the issue in a legal sense). They have the view that parents own children until they leave the home by marriage and have Bible verses to prove this is the right way.

    But take a look at those articles. Whomever made up this crap – – (and I must tell you my panties are really in a wad over this – – I get very worked up over this topic) – – was very smart. The key to the furtherance of this Reconstructionist garbage is to convince daughters that this is God’s way, the Biblical way and that anything other than that is sinning. Daughters hold the key to this movement. Now you see why they want to keep them at home – away from college, away from outside employment where they will learn to think independently and have critical thinking skills.

  120. JA- Sorry to get you riled up ;)
    At least you got out–praise God for that.

    It is a sick twisted thing with this father- daughter stuff.
    In Judaism, it is all about the son’s.
    Why the focus so much on the daughters?
    Seems more than strange to me.

  121. A woman married 26 years and 19 of those pregnant?
    Is that what women want? Is that what God wants? How could she properly nurse all those kids if she was basically pregnant all the time? Her husband is looking at her with awe. She is crying…maybe realizing that she has become a sort of fertility idol.

    Right! Most women have a period of time where they are infertile while nursing their new babies (didn’t happen to me – I guess I was “special”), but typically, that time of infertility can space babies out naturally (space babies out – lol – I’m leaving it – need to lighten the mood here in this disgustingly depressing topic). Get this, Hannah, I’ve read many accounts that Michelle weaned early in order to be fertile more quickly. As far as the fertility idol – nothing is more applauded in this group than a woman who can put (or push out – ha!) out multitudes of babies. She is doing what God intended for her to do.

    The double standard on the nanny is very bizarre. So, the basis of this movement is make more baby warriors for Jesus, so while on one hand we have them touting: get these girls married young (the word “girls” used intentionally because some are advocating younger than 18 yrs). But then we have those stay-at-home daughters “serving” daddy. Sarah Maxwell is a beautiful daughter who is probably 30 now. She is the oldest daughter of 8 kids serving her daddy, Steve Maxwell and his home business, writing children’s books, maintaining her parents’ blog, etc. For some reason he hasn’t been able to find the proper husband for Sarah. Go figure – he has written a book on boys and discusses having a house fully paid for before his sons get married (3 of his sons have purchased homes – as in paid in full – before marriage). So, I guess he is putting his own family standard up and there is no other man out there who has a house fully paid for and all the other criteria to get Sarah mated up. Good grief. Did he have his house paid for when he married his wife?

  122. Why the focus so much on the daughters?

    Simple – – if they can’t get the daughters sold on this, there will be no available wombs to multiply this Reconstructionist seed. Daughters hold the key to this movement, but the men don’t want people to know that.

  123. This sounds very much like Mormonism.

    And what you mentioned about “tricking the body” re: nursing….that seems to go against God’s will…wouldn’t nurturing the baby through nursing and bonding take priority over “numbers”/
    Reminds me of my megachurch experience.

    All about the numbers.
    Quantity…there is power in numbers.

    What about the pride element?

    In Mormonism (I recently re-watched a VHS I had) if you couldn’t have children, it was as if you failed. There are women out there who are not fertile with hormone problems.
    What would they do?
    Would they use IVF?

  124. PS–Mormonism women…the more kids you had the better your chances of having your own planet and populating it…

    Being a god (small “g”) of your own planet. Wow, something to really strive for!

  125. Julie Anne–
    It occurs to me that many of Phillip’s supporters DON’T BELIEVE HIS STORY. That is– He did NOT know the woman in a Biblical sense, although there was a long-term physical component.
    This leaves open the possibility of all sorts of one-sided physical things which the woman MIGHT not have encouraged or consented to at all. We don’t know, of course. A *fatherly* hug held uncomfortably long, a *fatherly* kiss or three, a hand on her knee, staring into her eyes, grabbing her hand as they walked on the beach, “oh– your feet must be killing you– let me give them a massage”, groping, voyeurism etc. All these things would be considered sexual harassment (if he actually employed her), and clergy abuse (if he were actually a clergyman). It’s possible– but Doug’s supporters ASSUME she was a temptress or at least a willing accomplice.

  126. Haha! I love Diary of an Autodidact! His posts can be quite long, but they are very well researched and laid out. I’m so glad he took the time to write a post on this.

  127. That is a very well written article.
    True about the fear of s+x.
    The father-daughter purity balls are creepy to me. Unnatural.

    Many of the homeschoolers my kids knew –when they went to college got pregnant the first semester. (or in High school) I think with all the talk of purity and s+x, it was more tempting.., it was the forbidden fruit. (Facebook is a good place to see what’s going on with them!)
    One mom I knew prided herself on her great job of homeschooling and all the stuff her husband was doing (purity ball, bible studies, etc with the daughters.
    One lived as a heathen for awhile in a very “anti-Christian” job, then at 21 hooked up with an athlete and is living a well-to-do life outside of marriage with him.
    The other is living with her boyfriend.

    I think we buy into the notion that if we do x,y and z, we are guaranteed to have Godly kids.
    Are we playing God?
    How about as Jesus said, going OUT into the world to make disciples instead of building cocoons and separating completely from the world?

    I got lots of slack for putting my kids back into public school.

    Actually there was very little difference from the “worldy” believers (most of the kids were doing drugs and having s+x ) in Christian school vs the neighborhood public school.

    It was a chance for them to see reality. The world they would one day live in.
    And they are in secular colleges where there are many Christians.
    Many parents would not dream of having their kids attend a non-Christian college.

  128. It does seem that people seek retreat through the homeschooling movement and the fundamentalism from which it emerged. We are called to engage the world. How can we influence people if we avoid them? Children of Christian parents must eventually come to terms with the ‘world’ and learn how to cope with conflict. It is all about negotiation, and that can never be learned as a separatist. Parents need to prepare their children for relationships and work in the real world. That is why I never considered homeschooling adequate. Fundamentalism keeps people from fulfilling their calling to disciple the world and to serve those around them. I have learned to ignore Christian movements, because the vast majority of them are foolish.

  129. wow===– Autodidact just about says it all– Including some “not for print” language folks like me just can’t use.

  130. I wonder if Doug ever told this nanny that he was going to divorce his wife and marry her? That false promise is often why many young women stay with their married lovers year after year. Being a sheltered young lady she may have very easily fallen for that “I swear I love you and will leave my wife but being a pastor I have to do it carefully. Give me time.”

    Or maybe he was even telling her that he plans to eventually introduce Biblical polygyny into his community and that she should “hold on” until the day he can openly make her his second wife!

    Julie Anne, “That’s just it!!! Gregg Harris was a genius when he got the state-run “Christian” homeschooling conventions going. This was the only place that I knew of where we could get support for homeschooling and mingle with others, listen to people who had been doing it longer than us, etc. ”

    Just curious, did you ever run into the homeschooling Hare Krishnas at these conventions?

  131. Here’s a comment left over at Raincloud Mary’s blog;

    “For me, as a woman, being an emotional creature who is sensitive to feelings, I hear the Holy Spirit as logic. When I choose to pray instead of being guided by my emotions, a more rational, logical answer is put on my heart. This might be really difficult for men to understand. Here’s a very simple example – about toilet paper: I posted a funny cartoon about the science of the correct way to install toilet paper (over not under). A friend said, ” In homes with cats and toddlers the correct way is under so they don’t unravel the roll.” My first gut response was to concede with a “yes, I understand, okay sometimes there are exceptions.” However, I paused before writing this, something didn’t sit right. (I know, SD, for real, this is about toilet paper…well, not so fast, it is also about parenting). I said, “no, over is still the correct way, the cat should receive a water squirt to the face and the toddler needs to be told ‘NO” with a firm swat to the hand or butt.” I’m sure God does not care how my friend prefers their toilet paper. He does, however care how they raise up their child. And, for some reason that urge to speak some wisdom was perceived by me as logic and I turned away from my initial emotional/understanding response.

    I have plenty of other examples but I thought the toilet paper reveals it well. The Holy Spirit logic’d me towards giving parenting advice that warns against allowing for rebellion in our young children.”

  132. There is a huge difference between rebellion and exploration or play, and toddlers rarely have the ability to rebel. They do tend to continue to do things that seem to be fun for them, and the TP is an interesting thing to explore and play with. Discipline that focuses on it being rebellion will be less successful than discipline that understands exploration and play as natural child behavior and seeks to redirect rather than punish.

  133. You’re right in saying toddlers play and explore. That’s how they learn. They’re testing boundaries and acquiring new things. But I also think they’re capable of rebellion. The difference between discipline and punishment is this: discipline is corrective and restorative while punishment is simply vengeance. But I am tired of the psycho-babble of the last four decades which has gotten us almost nowhere. There’s something to be said about good old-fashioned discipline. People raised on it were far less neurotic than most children currently coming of age in America now.

  134. Pingback: Doug Phillips: The Patriarch and His Personal Failure | Spiritual Sounding Board

  135. What about Beall? How is she? My heart is ripped in two for her. I pray for her to survive. She must survive. She has a message that will eventually bring hope to many. The clever aspect of this patriarchy thinking is the foundational step of silencing the woman. Especially the wife. Who better knows the truth in the dark? If she won’t speak up first then this is where it ends. What starts in the dark of the bedroom. Slithers out of the bed, under the door, throughout the home and out the front door. Hurting many, many in it’s wake! Beall must survive and then thrive. Preaching a message of brokenness, repentance and Joy. There are many waiting for that word of Hope.

  136. ” The clever aspect of this patriarchy thinking is the foundational step of silencing the woman. Especially the wife. Who better knows the truth in the dark? ”

    Hear! Hear! Would be great if the two “co-wives” (Beall and the younger, hotter, tighter mistress) would team up and write a tell-all!

  137. Yes, Hopeful, we can pray for Beall to survive, to see truth, to act courageously. All things are possible with our God.

  138. Pingback: A discerning look at Biblical Patriarchy and those who abuse it | For Christ's Crown & Covenant!

  139. Pingback: A discerning look at Biblical Patriarchy and those who abuse it | Christian Liberty News

  140. Ms. Anonymous with initials AA: I haven’t changed my mind. I’m still not going to approve your posts because you have identified the person with whom Phillips had his “affair.” I view her to be a victim in this case and my blog will not be used to expose the names of victims.

  141. I am a pastor and these stories truly break my heart. I am also a retired Marine officer and what bothers me is that Doug Phillips’ actions must have been observed by many. Without sugar coating this attack on God’s people, Doug and now Bill Gothard must go to jail. For it is past time for judgment to begin with God’s household. I urge lawyers that love the Lord to put these men in jail. Both situations are beyond allegations, they are guilty and have confessed. Both situations are not a one time mistake. They are deliberate calculated sins. Confession does not heal those injured or acquit a person. “Your Honor, I am a distinguished Christian leader and I am truly sorry that for years I used my influences and knowledge to molest women, some teenage girls. I am sorry.” Judge – “OK, if you are sorry, then you may go, don’t do it again” These men are not the woman caught in the act of adultery that Jesus forgave and told her to go and sin no more. These are men, in leadership position, clearly knowing the Word of God. When the church allows people like Doug, Bill and I suspect others to go unpunished, we show the world that desperately needs Jesus that we don’t really care. Many want to know the specific details like some kind so sick novel. Shame on you. Did Moses come down the mountain and say, OK guys tell me all the details what your guys did, I want to hear ever piece of filth. No, he burned the altar down and made them drink it. Surly it made them sick and warned them to never, never, do that again. Ex 20:25,” Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies.” Not putting these type of Christian Leaders in prison is what causes the church to be a laughingstock, sadly to those who desperately need Jesus. The millions of dollars that these men have should be given to their families and also divided to those injured so they can get Godly counseling from places like Minirth and Myer. God can and will heal those injured; however, part of that healing is not allowing those that hurt them to go unpunished. God is Holy and His people must honor Him by quickly deterring this type of conduct. Deterrence must be swift, severe, and certain or it is nothing at all.
    “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). Those who fail or refuse to do good in the face of evil are sowing some dangerous seeds. They are doing nothing good as Jesus commanded them to do; they are helping evil to win and have ceased being good and have become partakers of the evil they did nothing to stop.

    Do not allow evil to triumph. Do not sit by and do nothing. Stand up and be counted, speak up against evil and speak out against evil men and their sinful deeds.

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