Alecia Pennington Wants to Obtain Her Legal Documentation: Is Spiritual “Tough Love” Preventing Lisa and James Pennington from Complying?

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Alecia Pennington needs her birth certificate and social security card to help her in her adult life. Her parents, James and Lisa Pennington have not helped her obtain these important documents. Why?

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There’s a very sad story spreading throughout social media regarding a young lady (age 19) named Alecia Faith Pennington.

She goes by Alecia. Her father calls her Faith. Hmm. Think about that for a moment.

Alecia comes from a large homeschooling family whose parents are very active in the homeschool community. Mom, Lisa, is a blogger (Hip Homeschool Momsand The Pennington Point) and speaks at conventions.  Alecia left her home abruptly.

Lisa Pennington wrote this about Alecia leaving:

On Wednesday, September 24th my life was changed forever.  My 18 year old daughter left home.  She gave us no warning, no signs that it was coming.  She didn’t try to talk to us about it or work with us.  She, with the help of my parents, just left.  And with her she took pieces of my heart that had been torn to shreds.  I cried harder that day than I ever knew was possible.  So hard that it scared my little boys and I had to go in my closet and put a pillow over my face to muffle the sobs.

 

I can relate with Lisa’s feelings and her sadness. I’ve been there, too. Well, that’s Lisa’s side of the story. Moving on to Alecia. Unfortunately, since leaving home, Alecia has been unable to start her adult life very well without much-needed documentation which she claims her parents haven’t given her.

I want you to hear straight from Alecia:

 

 

This is from her father, James Pennington, who posted the following on Facebook, along with the YouTube video:

By now many of you have seen the video that our daughter made.

We made a video response, even though we would prefer to have handled this privately. But it’s gotten bigger than just us now.

We want to say loud and clear that we love our daughter and want her to have everything she wants in life.

We have offered many times to help her and have continued to offer since the video came out. We have never refused to help.

We had no idea what she had been through trying to obtain this information until the video came out. She never told us about any of it.

We wish her every happiness. (Source)

 

 

James and Lisa Pennington have a lot of supporters. Here’s one:

jp

 

I want to say up front that my creepo meter has gone off on this story for a number of reasons. When I see that Lisa Pennington has removed pertinent blog articles and comments, that is troublesome.

Alecia set up a Twitter account under the name @HelpMeProveit, along with a Facebook page with the same name, Help Me Prove It.  Can anyone tell me why her father would have a need to buy the domain helpmeproveit.com, except as a preemptive move to keep the story from spreading?  See this link.  (Those of you familiar with my story may remember my suing pastor also bought domain names similar to the name of my former blog so as to phish readers to his site.)  It is my understanding that this is a form of cyber bullying which can have legal ramifications.

This story feels very familiar to me for a number of reasons. My daughter left home abruptly and we (and our pastor/church)  immediately labeled her as rebellious. In our culture, an adult daughter just doesn’t leave home like that. The happily-ever-after story is dad selects an approved young man for adult daughter to court and they get married. To leave from under the father’s roof on her own means she is out from under the Umbrella of Protection. To those who hold to these ideologies, Alecia would be in a very dangerous place spiritually and you can be sure that is where their primary focus is.  It’s important to note that in this culture, the relationship between adult child and parent is not the most important agenda, the adult child’s spiritual state is the real issue for them. They will likely “sacrifice” their daughter permanently as “tough love” in order to feel the pain of the absence of her family and cause her to “come back.” This is a form of shunning and spiritual manipulation.

I can recall two other public cases within the last year of well-known homeschool parents whose adult children “rebelled.”  The parents publicly say they love their adult children and want what’s best for them. They also insist that their adult children are in the wrong. They place all of their hope in God and hope their adult children will turn from their evil ways. I get it. I was one of those parents. One of those public stories seems to be moving in a positive direction after the mother publicly humbled herself. The other, not so much.

I reached out to James Pennington on Twitter to see if he would be open to a 3rd party help in the situation, whether that be me or anyone. Here is the conversation:

 

 

 

I haven’t been able to confirm from Alecia if what her father says in the last tweet is true. Based on the recent online activity of Alecia, it seems she would have reported something if they indeed connected and Alecia’s requests were being honored.

I’ve seen the way this works in similar ideological homeschool circles. If you notice in my conversation with Mr. Pennington, he seemed to struggle with saying, “yes, I’d be happy to do whatever it takes, even 3rd-party help.”  Do you sense him dragging his feet?  I think for the Pennington parents, it has to be on their terms. If you notice in the video, he tells Alecia to contact him. Yes, that would be a normal way of handling issues, but this is not normal. This is an estranged relationship and a fragile one.

In the circles I come from, parents are always right, so this would be labeled as Alecia’s problem and she is the one who has to make it right. The thought would be that she needs to humble herself and go to her parents if she wants them to help her. I highly suspect that they are forcing her to “suffer the consequences” of her “sin” and that is why they are not forthcoming with the information she needs, and requiring that she make the move to them. It’s all cloaked in “we love Faith,” but where is the humility on their side? Even if they feel they have been wronged, humility says for them to reach out to her on her terms. Show her grace in actions. Defending yourself on YouTube is not humble. Loving action would be to reach out in a way that feels safe to Alecia. 

I don’t get these parents who will give up on their adult children, publicly say they are suffering for righteousness sake because they are doing “tough love.”  This love thing seems to be very confusing to a lot of people and if it were really love, why would so many people be in so much pain?

 

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Update:  Alecia posted the following note on her Facebook page:

UPDATE: I have some wonderful news! My father has begun cooperating with us! He states he is willing to sign any documents, and give me any information he has concerning what I may need as proof.
I would also like to ask that you do not post demeaning comments about my parents. Even though I do not agree with them on many things, I would like their reputation to be protected as much as possible. Thanks!

 

 

related articles:

 

Second-Generation Homeschoolers: Will They Be Homeschool Dropouts?

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Will Second Generation homeschoolers continue with the vision given to them by their first-generation parents, or will they stagnate and decay?

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Posted on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/westernconservatory/posts/773859062683731

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Second-Generation Homeschoolers:  Will They Be Homeschool Dropouts?

by Kathi

Homeschool Dropouts is a documentary which features the children (Anna, Benjamin, David, Elizabeth and Isaac) of Geoffrey and Victoria Botkin. The Botkins have been long time leaders in the U.S. Homeschool Movement. This film was made in 2009 and the description of the film by the Western Conservatory of the Arts and Sciences says:

Five years ago, the Botkin siblings produced this documentary about the homeschooling movement after talking to their peers around the United States. In discussing the future of this movement, the film raised a number of controversial questions, examining the history of the movement and the character that would be required to sustain it into the second generation.

Today, many of the problems addressed in this film are even more apparent.

If you have 57 minutes of your precious time available, please watch. If not, I’ve done the work for you. Allow me to present my thoughts below.

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Please know that even though I homeschooled my kids for 10 years, I am still fairly new to people within the Christian Homeschool Movement. Julie Anne (and if Hester is so kind to offer assistance) would be able to answer specific questions about the Botkins. I still feel like I’m a bit of an outsider on the Christian Homeschool Movement.

The Botkin children open this documentary by lamenting about how they are hard pressed to find anyone within their circle of friends who is willing to follow their parents’ example of Biblical homeschooling. As a result, the Homeschool Movement is in a crisis. According to the Botkin clan, the young adults of today lack direction, lack vision, are moving away from their parents’ principles, and are abandoning what their parents sacrificed so much for. Young adults need to stop blaming, take stock of their own sin and take action.

In other words, this is nothing more than a propaganda film for the parents and the soon-to-be-fading leaders of the Christian Homeschool Movement. The entire focus of this video is how young adults are abandoning their parents’ views, which leads me to wonder (and wander off topic for a minute) if any of the parents’ parents homeschooled them?

I would guess that the First Generation parents were not homeschooled. Wouldn’t that mean that the homeschooling parents rejected and abandoned their parents’ views of education? Why was it alright for them to move away from what their parents thought about education, but it’s not alright for their children to educate differently? When I think about our family, my children were not educated the same way I was. Was I rejecting what my parents thought was important for education? Absolutely not. My husband and I are not my parents and we have different life circumstances and decisions to make. I don’t expect that my kids will homeschool their kids. They need to make their own life decisions based upon what is best for them and their family.

Since this video is more about the parents, it is not surprising that the problem with the impending doom of the Christian Homeschool Movement is the Second Generation: it is the sins of the Second Generation, not the weaknesses of the families or leaders, that are the problem.

These sins are:

  • The Second Generation doesn’t seek God for ourselves. The First Generation had a desperate need for God because they came out of non-Christian homes. The Second Generation doesn’t have this desperation and displays false piety and are not truly saved.
  • Second Generation Adults don’t take their sins seriously. They are careless, lukewarm, and hostile to God.
  • SGAs are proud. Kevin Swanson enters the fray here (Yay!) by stating that homeschoolers talk all the time about higher test scores, admittance into good colleges, etc. However, God isn’t interested in achievements, but is interested in how kids honor their mother and honor God. The problem with this line of thought is that K. Swan and other homeschool leaders are constantly bragging about how much better homeschooling is to public school or Christian private school. At the end of this, one Botkin child says that pride is the silent killer of the Homeschool Movement.
  • Second Generation Adults don’t engage the world. They are called to take dominion of the world (judge it, disciple it, overcome it) and Second Generation Adults are not contending for the faith.
  • Second Generation Adults are defined by laziness and complacency. The First Generation knew that life is a battleground and that they were fighting a battle. The Second Generation doesn’t care about the war. There is no room for being laid back or pursuing one’s own interests.
  • Second Generation Adults are bitter instead of grateful. Ugh! – my least favorite word ever – bitter. SGAs who were homeschooled need to stop blaming and despising their Christian parents’ homeschooling because they are despising the plan of God. The right response is to be grateful for everything done for them. My favorite line is, “Some of us were not given a very big vision, but we can take whatever we have and grow it. Even if we don’t have perfect parents.”

 

What will become of the Christian Homeschool Movement if the Second Generation Adults don’t follow in their parents’ footsteps? Of course, the freedom to homeschool will be lost. Statism will take over every aspect of our lives. And, if Second Gens are not homeschooling, they are not honoring their parents. I do not agree with this at all, especially since we are seeing a rise in homeschooling across the United States, as more parents are displeased with the school environment or curriculum choices. Where I work, I talk to parents all the time who are thinking about, or are new to homeschooling. Homeschooling is not going away any time soon.

I think the Botkin’s concern is that if the Second Generation Adults who were homeschooled don’t homeschool exactly like they did, the chance of Christian dominion over the world fades. And, as the First Generation homeschool parents and leaders age, their influence over the second and third generation begins to fade. Growing old stinks, doesn’t it?

K. Swan offers these words at the end, “I am very optimistic of the future.” He’s only optimistic if you Second Gens follow in your parent’s footsteps though. You better get busy – leading your own lives and making your own decisions!

An Update on Bethany: Almost Trapped in the Christian Patriarchy Movement

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Last year, I posted a personal story (A Young Woman’s Relationship with Her Boyfriend is Shattered by Christian Patriarchy) from “Bethany” who was struggling in a relationship with her boyfriend, whose family was involved in the Christian Patriarchy Movement influenced by the likes of Doug Phillips, Bill Gothard, etc.

I received a follow-up e-mail from Bethany, almost a year later who has written about what has happened since then. I like stories with good endings and this is one with a good ending, but it took a little bit of maneuvering to get there.

~JA

 


 

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This time a year ago, I was torn down and heart-broken because the man I was in love with had returned to the fundamentalist teachings of Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard.

Having suffered from emotional, psychological, mental, and spiritual abuse in this relationship, it’s safe to say I was a mess. I had trouble eating and sleeping. I cried so much my eyes burned all the time and I was constantly worn out from this. I was distracted frequently from thinking about him. After being so close to someone for months on end, I found it extremely difficult to learn to live without him.

 

I thank everyone at SSB, especially Julie Anne, for being there for me during this hard time. Your comments and support helped me through this break up more than you can possibly imagine. During a time when my head was telling me he was not good for me but my heart was still yearning for him, the daily reminders were very helpful.

Returning to school after the holidays was hard for me. I was scared of seeing him because I knew the pain that it would bring. I was also worried about completing a 19-hour semester while still recovering from the traumatic end of a relationship. When I returned, I decided to make a change in my daily schedule. I figured any change that I could make to my environment would be good for me since I was forced to stay at the same school as him. I stopped going to the campus ministry where we met and were in leadership together. At this point, I had also made the decision to prepare and apply for physical therapy school again. With such a heavy semester on top of my emotional, mental, and psychological baggage, I cut way back on every aspect of my life besides church and school.

Little did I know that his plan was to try to get me back under his thumb.

 

Shortly after the semester started, I noticed that I ran into him an awful lot for it to not be planned. Eventually I concluded that he had figured out my class schedule and would sit around the campus buildings just to see me come and go from classes.  These meetings were also confusing to me because I still had deep feelings for him and his behavior was so unpredictable. There would be days where he wouldn’t dare to look at me and there were days where we talked for at least an hour. I felt like I was walking on eggshells just like I did at the end of our relationship because I never knew what to expect from him.

 

On the days he decided it was okay to talk to me, he was not even pleasant. He was rude and always said hurtful things to me, which did not help my case given how fragile I was at the time. He mostly talked about how terrible aspects of my life were, from my friends and family to where and how I lived my life. He practically criticized anything he could about me. This caused me to not like him as much and helped me recover from him when I saw how unkind he was toward me. I learned, however, through my extensive study of these fundamentalist religious groups that this was his way of getting me back. I am firmly convinced that his father was feeding him instructions on how to get me back under his control. He was simply using the manipulative tactics on me that have been used on him his entire life: fear, control, and withdrawal of affection. The more I saw into his life, the more I wanted to be far from it.

 

Throughout this semester, I was still hoping that he would change and come back to me. I sought to meet with a man who was educated and trained to deal with people who have been influenced by churches with dangerous and cultic teachings. My mother came with me to this meeting for moral support. I learned a lot from this man and he educated me on the psychological tactics that my ex-boyfriend was subject to throughout his life from his father. It was a very eye-opening meeting for me but I still held onto that desire for him to see the light and come back to me. This man was more than willing to counsel him, so he asked me to open the door for him. I asked to meet him one day and was very nervous about it to say the least. I knew his response would be a defining moment in my recovery process. What resulted was very disheartening to me. When I first mentioned this man, he seemed willing to think about paying him a visit. It didn’t take him minutes, however, to talk himself out of it, become defensive, and make excuses for why he couldn’t visit the counselor. I gave him the business card anyway and decided that this ship with him had sailed.

 

By the end of the semester, I had watched him go down hill tremendously. He had dramatically changed his appearance and I knew he was not taking care of himself because he looked sickly. I knew by this point that there was no hope for us, but I wanted some answers and closure from him. I asked to meet with him one last time and he was even more unkind and rude than those little snippets of conversation I got from him throughout the semester. He gave me an ultimatum and said I had 30 minutes to speak with him. I knew he didn’t practice what he preached so I wasn’t too concerned about this time limit he had imposed upon me. I don’t remember the details of our conversation since this was back in April, but I do remember him trying to still put on his charm and act like nothing he did to me was wrong and that our whole situation was all the fault of my parents and me. I could truly see the crazy in his eyes and speech and I knew things were way beyond well with him.

In this moment I finally stood firm and called him out on his poor behavior and that I knew the truth about him and his family. I showed him that I had gained my strength back and he would never be able to control me again. Needless to say he was bewildered by my strength, but it was important for me to be able to call him out on his wrongdoings and show him that I could not be torn down again.

 

It took a whole semester for me to let go of him, but I saw him be so unkind that he made it to where it was impossible to miss him. I knew that I didn’t deserve to put up with someone like him. The Lord proved to me time and time again, and is still proving to me today, that I made the right choice to leave my life with him behind and start again. At the end of that horrible semester, I was given good news by my adviser that I was able to graduate a year early from college and apply for physical therapy school! By the grace of God, I was interviewed by this school in early September and was accepted just a few weeks later! After being told for months how stupid I was, I was overcome with joy to be one of the first picks into a doctoral program!

 

As I move forward in my life, I take a lot of lessons learned from this difficult experience with me.

For one, I learned that you can have a desire to help all people but that does not mean that all people will be helped. As much as I wanted my ex to be helped, he wouldn’t let anyone help him. This was incredibly frustrating, but I learned that people can only be helped if they want to. Second, a lot of people can be falsely mislead about you, but that does not mean that a manipulator can fool everyone. While some of the people in my life believed the lies my ex told about me, I still had friends that stood by my side and refused to be swayed by him. Thirdly, there are followers of these fundamentalist leaders that will always remain faithful to their movements, regardless of any evidence indicating that they are not good things to be associated with.

 

With the failures of Doug Phillips, Bill Gothard, and Mark Driscoll, I have watched my ex’s family continually defend their systems and teachings regardless of the abusive findings that have come out. I have also watched them slip further into madness and it horrifies me to know that there are still young children involved in this. I still love and miss all of my ex’s siblings, especially his two sweetest and youngest sisters who are around 11 and 7. Furthermore, I have learned to never put my faith in a religious movement or minister. I have noticed more how a person’s faith is completely shattered when a religious movement falls to the ground or a person is discovered as corrupt.

 

 

I have been asked on more than one occasion how I can still be a Christian after dealing with my ex and his people. My answer is simple: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold (Psalm 18:2).” On CHRIST the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. I put my faith and hope in Jesus Christ only, not in people or religious movements. When I was told that I wasn’t living for God because I wasn’t serving the man in my life as a slave and having multiple babies, I understood that these people did not speak for God on my behalf. People today are fortunate to have personal relationships with Jesus and I am so fortunate to rely on Him above everyone on this earth.

 

I hope my story encourages someone who is going through hardship to not give up. More importantly, I hope by sharing my story with you that I can lead someone who has been discouraged by Christendom to find their way back to Christ. The true Christ. Our Lord Jesus who wants us to look to Him and Him ONLY for guidance, strength, and refuge. When I decided to give my life back to Christ and away from my ex and his family, I was amazed at the ways He worked through me to glorify Him. He gave me continual evidence that I was meant to be a light on this earth and that’s not something I can do if I am hidden away to be an eternal breeder. I was also meant to use my passions and talents to serve God’s people by providing them with healthcare through physical therapy. I hope to continue to achieve great things in the name of Christ Jesus my Lord, for I have so many things to be thankful to Him for!

 

photo credit: Filmstalker via photopin cc

Pastor and Homeschool Leader Scott Brown Empathizes with Turkish President who says Birth Control is Treason

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Beall Phillips, Wife of Fallen Homeschool Leader and Vision Forum Founder Doug Phillips, Publicly Responds to Excommunication by Former Church

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Fear within the Homeschool Movement Interferes with Sex Abuse Victims Getting Adequate Help and Justice for Perpetrators

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Karen Campbell’s interview with Lisa Cherry on sex abuse and the Homeschool Movement and how fear is leaving children in harm’s way

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Attention Homeschool Moms: A Potential Homeschool Mom Asks about Agenda-Free Christian Homeschool Curricula

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Christian Homeschool Curricula:  How can we find safe and agenda-free material to use?

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Doug Phillips Update, and Beall Phillips Publicly Responds to Michael Farris’ Recent Statement

Doug Phillips and family-integrated churches, his family’s new church, and Beall Phillips’ response to HSLDA’s Michael Farris’ statement

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Fallen Patriarchy Leader Doug Phillips Leaves Former Church and Becomes Member of New Church without “Letter of Transfer”

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Vision Forum’s fallen patriarchal leader, Doug Phillips, has become a member of another church without obtaining the required “letter of transfer” from the church he established and formerly led, Boerne Christian Assembly

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The Family-Integrated Church Movement is Getting Some Much-Needed Heat from Critics

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The Family-Integrated Church movement is getting some heat by critic, Pastor Shawn Mathis. Pastor Kevin Swanson is forced to make a choice: OPC or National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC)

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Christian Parental Response to Teenagers or Adult Children in Rebellion

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What is the appropriate response for Christian parents when our teenagers or adult children rebel?  Do we intervene? Let them go? Do we shun?

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To Train up a Child: Who Decides if it is Biblical or Not? When is it Abuse?

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Johann and Kimery Jorg Abuse Case: HSLDA has given us homeschool liberties, but at what cost? A closer look at homeschool freedoms and parenting and safety of children

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Elephants and SGA’s Everywhere! Coming to Terms with Homeschooling’s Pitfalls

The need of parents to both deal with the pitfalls and understand their Second Generation Adults of homeschooling (those who suffered in a high demand Christian homeschooling culture).

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Scott Brown Discusses: Jackson Brothers Alleged Sex Abuse, Brother Responds to Preaching, and Love Your Wives Webinar

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Scott Brown on the Jackson brothers sex abuse case, the gospel message, and Husbands Love Your Wives webinar

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Lourdes, Lifeboats, and Bounded Choice: Part III (Raised in a Totalist Institution)

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Using Katie Botkin’s lifeboat analogy, Cindy Kunsman explores the “Second Generation Adult” and Lourdes Torres-Mantefeuel’s alleged sex abuse by Vision Forum’s Doug Phillips

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Did Stacy McDonald and Kelly Crawford Pass the Duck Test on Patriarchy?

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Patriarchy or not Patriarchy – Stacy McDonald and Kelly Crawford respond to my recent article and reveal their true colors. Does it walk like a duck? Quack like a Duck?

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Doug Phillips’ Vision Forum Revisionist (Art) History

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Did Vision Forum revise (“photochopped,” as opposed to Photoshopped) art history to promote their Patriarchal agenda?

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Crumbling Foundation: How Do We Move on after Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard, our Spiritual Leaders, Have Failed Us?

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How do we move on spiritually when we have based our lives around the teachings of spiritual leaders like Doug Phillips or Bill Gothard who have fallen?

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Queen Bees of Homeschooling Stacy McDonald and Kelly Crawford Don’t Like the “Victim” Word in the Lourdes Torres-Manteufel vs. Doug Phillips Lawsuit

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Well-known homeschooling moms Kelly Crawford and Stacy McDonald comment regarding the “victim” word with regard to the Lourdes Torres-Manteufel vs. Doug Phillips lawsuit.

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Doug Wilson comments as follows regarding Doug Phillips’s sexual sins against Lourdes Torres-Manteufel:

Doug Wilson, Doug Phillips lawsuit, Lourdes Torres-Manteufel Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 9.20.41 PM

 

(Trigger warning for survivors of victimization by sexual abuse or assault, and/or spiritual abuse.) There has been a heated discussion at Doug Wilson’s blog on an article entitled Vice, Victims, and Vision Forum.

Wilson discusses why he thinks Lourdes Torres-Manteufel should not be called a “victim,” that it is prejudging the case to do so, especially because she was an adult when the sexual incidences occurred.

Here is this classic response from Wilson – someone who has no clue as to how sexual abuse victims respond:

But if his attentions were entirely unwelcome to her, and she was freaked out by the creepster, then we have to ask why she wasn’t down the road at the first opportunity — that night or the next morning — with Doug Phillips receiving notification of her opinion of what transpired via the sound of sirens. That’s not what happened, on anyone’s account, and so I don’t think we should identify her as a victim.

Presently there are 163 comments. I found the comments that affirmed Wilson’s stance repulsive – just as repulsive as this: The Real Doug Wilson Encouraged & Presided Over the Marriage of Serial Pedophile.

I think what was most infuriating to me were the comments from well-known women who are part of Christian Patriarchy Movement. Let’s start with Kelly Crawford. In a few days, she will be speaking fairly near me at a homeschooling conference. Look at the lineup of Patriarchs: Ken Ham, R.C. Sproul, Jr., Scott Brown, Israel Wayne, Marshall Foster. Doing a simple Google search of Doug Phillips’ name with any one of these men will yield multiple results and their connections together in “ministry” work.

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Kelly Crawford, Scott Brown, Israel Wayne, Ken Ham

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I couldn’t find much of a bio on Kelly. She is a homeschooling mom of 10. She is a speaker and blogger who once had Vision Forum affiliate ads on her blog’s sidebar. Let’s read what she has to say on Lourdes as “victim”:

Kelly Crawford, Lourdes Torres-Manteufel, Doug Phillips lawsuit Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 9.13.31 PM

Kelly Crawford

April 18, 2014 at 2:58 pm

And finally, I breathe a big sigh of “amen” for the first, that I’ve read, of real discernment over the situation, and a wise call to hold adults responsible instead of perpetuating a “victim” culture. [Emphasis added.]

Since the first pieces started popping up on the scandal, I’m saying, “why is she a victim?” We are talking, by the way, about a confident, assertive young woman and *nothing* like the mousy allusions I’ve read. Don’t ask me how I know.

“We cannot accuse Vision Forum of treating all women like little girls, and then turn around and treat all women as little girls who can’t be expected to say no to a cad at Vision Forum.” [JA note: This sentence she quotes is from Doug Wilson’s article.]

I can’t thank you enough for saying this.

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Here are two more comments on Doug Wilson’s article from another well-known woman in Christian Patriarchy Movement, Stacy McDonald. (Incidentally, this week her husband, Teaching Elder – another way of saying “pastor” in family-integrated churchesJames McDonald has jumped on the popular defend-the-Patriarchy bandwagon with his own article, The “P” Word.)

 

Stacy McDonald, Doug Phillips lawsuit, Lourdes Torres-Manteufel Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 9.16.30 PM

Thank you, Pastor Wilson! You nailed it! I’ve tried to say the same thing and was accused of not having sympathy for the “victim,” which no one can prove she was at this point.

However, I absolutely DO have sympathy for the fact that she was used by a man in power – a man she had respected and revered. She was seduced into a sinful relationship by a “religious” man who represented godliness to her. I agree there is no excuse.

She said she was told that he would marry her. She said she was told that his wife would die soon and they could be together. Sickening. She said she was in love him. Why would these words have even been significant unless she felt deceived by his promises – deceived into going along with it in some way? And then realized it was never going to happen – she was being used.

Any time an insecure young woman is cajoled into a sexual relationship by a man – especially a married man, she is being used and taken advantage of. The impact is multiplied when “religion” is involved.

But, it happens all the time with men in the business world. If she was a 23-29-year old secretary for the CEO of some big corporation, it would be similar. Or perhaps an intern to the president…

That is part of the reason men are called to protect women, which makes this disgraceful thing all the more tragic.

I realize that the fact he was a Christian leader compounds the influence he had over her emotionally, but she still owns her own sin. And I still maintain that the truest victims here are his wife and children. [Emphasis added.]

And that says nothing of the public spectacle it’s become inside and outside the church or the smug satisfaction oozing from every anti-patriarchy blog out there.

Thank you again.

“By this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme.” (2 Samuel 12:14)

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More from Stacy McDonald:

April 19, 2014 at 9:33 am

I guess I’m confused as to how asking for $10 million dollars from him and his victimized family is a cry for help. And, if she had not gone to the media, but instead sought Christian arbitration; and, if her family, her church, and the people in her community all wound up believing her, wouldn’t that be enough? Besides, “everyone” is not going to believe her anyway.

I’m not saying there shouldn’t be some sort of restitution if her claims are proven true. But the way it is being handled is causing God’s name to be slandered among the heathen (and the church).

I think if it were me, trying the case in the court of public opinion would hardly be satisfying anyway. Everything decently and in order. Isn’t that part of why we are Presbyterian? This is chaos.

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Ok, a lot of people reading articles here at Spiritual Sounding Board are connected with the Torres-Manteufel versus Phillips lawsuit. This issue of how the public views Lourdes Torres-Manteufel is important.

These two ladies – Kelly Crawford and Stacy McDonald – are highly respected in Christian Homeschooling networks, so people who adhere to Patriarchy will be inclined to follow their voices.

  • What are your thoughts on their words?
  • What do you see in their comments?
  • Is Patriarchy a safe environment for women who’ve been sexually violated?

Try putting yourself in Lourdes’ shoes and consider taking a look at the entire Doug Wilson article for yourself – Vice, Victims, and Vision Forum – and the range of comments there. (Repeat: Trigger warning for survivors of abuse.) What words of support and encouragement would you have for Lourdes here, in response to the comments about her there?

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Patriarchy: Doug Phillips, Bill Gothard, Doug Wilson and Damage Control

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Media and blogosphere are abuzz with sex abuse stories coming from Patriarchy proponents, Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips. Gothard releases a statement, other Christian leaders defend Patriarchy.

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I tell you what, my head is spinning this week with so many items of news regarding scandals by Christian leaders, especially within Christian Patriarchy.  But one thing is very clear, Patriarchy is under the spotlight. Patriarchy defenders will be quick to blame this attack on feminists (or women bloggers), or from a society who has turned its back on “proper Biblical gender roles”, etc. This is to be expected. But there is indeed damage control going on these past months and will likely continue as investigations and court cases continue.

A couple of newsworthy items:

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Bill Gothard

Image from my old Basic Seminar Textbook (teachings by Bill Gothard)

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Bill Gothard recently issued a statement. Here is an excerpt from the middle of the statement which addresses boundaries he crossed with young ladies. Be prepared to yawn.

My wrong focus produced a further consequence. Families were made to feel that they must “measure up.” This resulted in some parents putting undue pressure on their sons and daughters in order for the family to be accepted. When there was a lack of love or consistency, sons and daughters saw this as hypocrisy and rejected it. Also, many felt that the expectations where so high that they could never measure up to them. This resulted in a feeling of deep defeat.

This emphasis on outward appearance was also manifested by bringing selected young people to serve at the Headquarters and causing others to feel rejected and offended by my favoritism. My actions of holding of hands, hugs, and touching of feet or hair with young ladies crossed the boundaries of discretion and were wrong. They demonstrated a double-standard and violated a trust. Because of the claims about me I do want to state that I have never kissed a girl nor have I touched a girl immorally or with sexual intent.

Ahem, Mr. Gothard, “touching of feet,” the kind of accounts I read from personal testimonies is not normal behavior:

Foot fetishismfoot partialismfoot worship, or podophilia is a pronounced sexual interest in feet. (Source)

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Wilsontweet

Thanks to CRECmemes.com for use of this image.  Quote refers to this article by Wilson.

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Doug Wilson, the  pastor who said this about marital sex, “A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts,” shared a few words about the Lourdes-Manteufel vs. Phillips case in this article:  Vision Forum and Confessing Your Virtues.

What’s interesting is in the first paragraph, he uses the word “affair.” Does this refer to “extra-marital affair” or “affair ” meaning an event:

Lourdes Torres-Manteufel was 15 when she met Doug Phillips, leader of Vision Forum, back in 1999. On her account, she was an adult when the relationship became sexual. The whole tangled affair is now in the courts, and it looks to become even more tangled and tawdry before we are all done.

It’s important to consider Wilson’s views on sex (the conquer/surrender) issue as we continue digging through his article. Now, keep in mind, that conquer quote had to do with marital sex. Phillips and Torres-Manteufel were not married, so how does he look at this issue for Torres-Manteufel as a single young woman who was an employee of Phillips, one of his church members under his spiritual guidance? (Bolding is done by me for emphasis.)

Now, with brazen threats of suits, Doug Phillips is disobeying the Word in a flagrant way (1 Cor. 6:1-8), and all to avoid paying consequences that he brought down on his own head. The Pauline injunction does apply to Torres-Manteufel also, but Phillips is the one was a teacher for many years, and who professed to understand this principle, and who should be willing to pay every dime he has to prevent this from becoming a greater laughingstock than it already has.

Wilson then goes on to defend Patriarchy and tells us to not view Patriarchy as the issue – that many people get abused without Patriarchy. Patriarchy is Wilson’s core belief, he must defend it. But Wilson claims it was the wrong kind of Patriarchy that caused this problem, not Patriarchy, in general.

Now, what’s interesting is this statement:

But the tell that the wrong kind of patriarchalism was operative in this (along with wrong notions of forgiveness, elder qualifications, etc.) was that after the first incident there was no insistence that Torres-Manteufel be moved to safety.

Moved to SAFETY?  Wait a minute. He just said that the Pauline injunction implies to Torres-Manteufel. If she needed to be moved to safety, that implies a risk involved to her. Oh, so this wasn’t consensual and she should have been moved to safety? Did he forget himself for a minute?  Which one is it?  Is she responsible for her part or not?  Keep in mind in the State of Texas there is a clergy ethic law that says there is no consensual relationship between pastor/church member when sex is involved, regardless of the age.

There were a couple of interesting comments in the article.  The first came from K. Swanson.  Could this be the Kevin Swanson (of Womb Tomb fame)?

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Swanson, Doug Phillips, Patriarchy, Doug Phillips, sex abuse lawsuit Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 9.22.25 AM

Kevin Swanson, Doug  Phillips, Doug Wilson, Patriarchy, sex abuse lawsuit Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 9.25.19 AM

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Michael Farris, founder of Homeschool Legal Defense Fund Association (HSLDA) and founder of Patrick Henry College has now come out against Doug Phillips. Doug Phillips at one point was an attorney working at HSLDA. It was after his work at HSLDA that he moved to San Antonio area and started Vision Forum.

I appreciate the fact that he is now coming out against Phillips, but it’s a little late. Farris’ primary place for promoting HSLDA has been at homeschool conventions which were essentially a Patriarchal Pleasure Party. This has been going on for over two decades now. So, I suppose again Farris has problems with Phillips’ brand of Patriarchy, but the rest of Patriarchy is okay? (And I haven’t even touched the rape culture at Patrick Henry College which does not receive Title IX funding, so they are exempt from reporting alleged sex abuse cases.) I am concerned when a college that is heavily into law, seems to sneak around the Title IX issue, leaving young women more vulnerable if they are sexually violated on campus.

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Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard have wreaked havoc on Patriarchy. Proponents of Patriarchy will be quick to say that these two men were in sin and believed in the wrong kind of Patriarchy, because when Patriarchy works the right way, it is beautiful, yada yada.

It’s not a matter of what kind of Patriarchy, or the wrong kind of Patriarchy, or substituting a nicer word. When women are treated as objects, as personal property, when they are not allowed to question, to think for themselves, that is wrong. When a woman has to surrender to a man who uses sex to “conquer” her, that is wrong. When a woman must go through her husband as mediator to get to God, that is wrong.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Pastor Jeff Crippen’s article, Attitudes that Promote Abuse in the Church: Major System Flush Needed, he touches on Patriarchy and legalism which is something that were in both Phillips’ and Gothard’s teachings. Jeff brilliantly shared about abuse in the church with an illustration of his hot tub needing maintenance. I think you will appreciate this brief article and the simple truths he presented.

Consider the following kinds of unhealthy, disease-breeding germs that inevitably start growing if we neglect the regular maintenance of the application of God’s truth:

  • Patriarchy: the notion that men, by virtue of being men, are superior to women (who are inferior, more faulty beings by virtue of being women),
  • Legalism: the teaching and practice that announces (overtly or covertly) that faith alone in Christ alone is not sufficient to be justified and loved by God. Works on our part must be added to Christ’s work.  This is a particularly nasty spiritual bacteria that doesn’t get flushed out easily. We need regular doses of a loud and clear announcement that Christ is our righteousness! Perhaps banners by the front door of the church, behind the pulpit, on the….well, all over the place.

 

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Lourdes Torres-Manteufel vs Doug Phillips Lawsuit Informational Resource Page

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This is an ongoing reference post following the Lourdes Torres-Manteufel vs. Douglas Phillips lawsuit. It includes key information on the case, court documents, background story, key individuals, links to news articles, etc.

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Continue reading

Lourdes Torres, Alleged Victim in the Doug Phillips (Vision Forum) Sex Abuse Scandals Files Lawsuit

 

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Lourdes Torres, alleged victim in sex abuse scandal with Douglas Phillips of Vision Forum, has filed a lawsuit against Douglas Phillips

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Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 3 – The Timeline

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This is an account of the Douglas Phillips’ sex abuse scandal as told by sources close to Phillips’ former business and ministry, Vision Forum, and church, Boerne Christian Assembly. It chronicles when people discovered the depth of his adulterous relationship and describes actions they took.

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Homeschool Mom Responds to the Doug Phillips Scandal and His Influence in Patriarchy, Christian Homeschool Movement and Conferences

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A homeschool mother responds to the influence of Doug Phillips in Patriarchy, in the Homeschool Movement, in Christian Homeschool Conferences, and how it has affected her family and her faith.

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Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 2 – The Victim

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The Account of Doug Phillips and the Victim

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BREAKING: Doug Phillips Threatens Lawsuit Against Former Vision Forum Associates Who Had Earlier Confronted Him about His Sexual Sins

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Months after issuing public apologies, Doug Phillips threatens legal action against three former Vision Forum associates, Jordan Muela, Peter Bradrick, and Bob Renaud.

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Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 1 – The Puzzle of Control

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Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight:  The Puzzle, Types of Control by Church Leaders, Vision Forum, Boerne Christian Assembly, and a Characterization of Phillips

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Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Introduction

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Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight:  Introduction

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How Influential Was Doug Phillips and His Teachings?

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Taking a look at Doug Phillips’ strong influence in the Homeschool Movement and Family-Integrated Church movement

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