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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The victim in the Doug Phillips sex abuse case has filed a lawsuit and in doing so, has chosen to publicly reveal her identity:  Lourdes Torres. She is one brave woman.  Go, Lourdes!

 

Vision Forum Lawsuit, Doug Phillips, Lourdes Torres, Sex Abuse Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 8.19.29 AM

 UPDATE April 16, 2014. At the end of this post, we’ve added key facts and links to select news reports and blog articles. We plan to continue to grow these lists as opportunity allows.

World Net Daily has the full story and it is a long one with photos and lots of details.  In the first link below is the legal complaint:

In the complaint filed in Kendall County District Court in Texas Tuesday morning, Phillips is accused of using a woman named Lourdes Torres, now 29, as “a personal sex object” over a period of five years.

I was alerted on Sunday of another development – that Lourdes Torres (aka Victim) was married Friday evening to a former Boerne Christian Assembly member, Nolan Manteufel.

We first got a glimpse that something was up with this Facebook profile picture which was updated over the weekend:

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vision forum, Doug Phillips, Lourdes Torres, Lourdes Manteufel, Sex scandal

 

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The lawsuit gets into graphic detail.

***********Trigger alert – Sexual Content************

 

Here are graphic details in the complaint. Phillips claimed he didn’t know her Biblically.  The following paragraph shows that he knew her pretty darn well.  Scroll down to the line of asterisks to get beyond the graphic part.

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Doug Phillips Sex Abuse Lawsuit, Lourdes Torres Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 8.14.49 AM

 

 

 

 

 

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My thoughts and prayers go to the Manteufels as they start their new life together and also as their private life will become very public. This is a very sad situation for all.

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UPDATE:   I had someone ask where they can send support or gift cards. I would be happy to try to organize this. Nolan or Lourdes or David Gibbs, if you are reading this and can contact me, I think there may be a lot of people who would like to offer support in a more tangible way.  ~Julie Anne (spiritualsb@gmail dot com)

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Links on the Lourdes Torres-Manteufel Lawsuit

Against Doug Phillips, Vision Forum, Inc., & Vision Forum Ministries

PREFACE

The initial compilation of information on this lawsuit was compiled on April 16-17, 2014, by brad/futuristguy, a blogger who periodically contributes to and comments on Spiritual Sounding Board. He has been as accurate as possible in presenting this information. However, if you identify errors, additions, or information otherwise needing correction or clarification, please either post a comment in this thread or send an email with details to: SpiritualSB@gmail dot com. Concerns will be addressed as quickly as possible. Thank you.

Please note: This post is likely to be updated multiple times daily for at least the first 7 to 10 days after this story broke in the news on April 14, 2014. After that, it may be kept up periodically, or may just serve as an archive of initial responses to the story as it unfolded in that time period.

Key Facts

On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, a civil lawsuit was filed in Bexar County, Texas, on behalf of plaintiff Lourdes Torres-Manteufel. This civil suit names three defendants:

  • Douglas Phillips.
  • Vision Forum, Inc. (Mr. Phillips’ business enterprise).
  • Vision Forum Ministries, Inc. (the religious non-profit entity associated with Mr. Phillips).

The Petition/Complaint of Ms. Torres-Manteufel seeks damages of over $1 million, and requests that this be a jury trial.

Trigger Warning – Be aware that this lawsuit involves numerous issues related to sexual abuse/assault. Official documents, news reports, and blog articles may contain graphic descriptions.

Official Court Documents and Other Statements

April 15, 2014. Petition filed in Bexar County, Texas, by plaintiff Lourdes Torres-Manteufel. This link is to a 30-page PDF of the official complaint plus cover sheet filed by the plaintiff. It was posted by World Net Daily to accompany the WND news story of April 14, 2014, on the lawsuit. Note key details on the cover sheet, and the names of the attorneys for the plaintiff, their firm’s name, and official date of filing on the final page.

April 14, 2014. Response on the lawsuit/news article to World Net Daily from Jason Jakob, attorney for Douglas Phillips, Beall Phillips, and Vision Forum, Inc. This is a 2-page PDF response on behalf of two of the three defendants. It was posted by World Net Daily to accompany their WND news story of April 14, 2014, on the lawsuit.

Plaintiff, Defendants, and Their Legal Counsels

ON THE PLAINTIFF’S SIDE

  • The sole plaintiff in this case is Lourdes Torres-Manteufel.
  • David C. Gibbs III and Dustin T. Gaines of Gibbs Law Firm (Florida, TX; Washington, D.C.) serve as attorneys for the plaintiff.

Mr. Gibbs is also associated with National Center for Life and Liberty (Flower Mound, TX). He is the attorney who completed the cover sheet for the plaintiff’s Petition.

Together We Overcome: Supporting Lourdes Torres-Manteufel is a Facebook page that was started on April 16, 2014, to encourage the plaintiff in her case and cause.

ON THE DEFENDANTS’ SIDE

  • Douglas Phillips. (Mr. Phillips was formerly the President of the board at Vision Forum Ministries.)
  • Vision Forum, Inc. (Mr. Phillips’ business enterprise, sometimes abbreviated as VFI).
  • Vision Forum Ministries, Inc. (the religious non-profit entity associated with Mr. Phillips, and sometimes abbreviated as VFM).
  • Jason J. Jakob of the firm Diaz Jakob Attorneys at Law (San Antonio, TX) is attorney for two defendants: Douglas Phillips and Vision Forum, Inc.
  • At this time, the legal representation for Vision Forum Ministries is unknown.

The following are not named as defendants in this lawsuit, but still are important individuals and organizations on the defendants’ side of the issue to note for understanding the reports and resources on this lawsuit:

  • Beall Phillips, the wife of Douglas Phillips.
  • Boerne Christian Assembly, the church in Waring, Texas, where Mr. Phillips was previously an elder. It is sometimes abbreviated as BCA. Current leadership: Bob Sarratt (elder) and Jeff Horn (provision elder).

Organizational websites:

Key Individuals in the Unfolding Story

The names of the following individuals are likely to be seen in some reports and analysis of the lawsuit. They are listed here along with their main connection to the case. For key details on the roles and/or official positions (past and/or present) that some these people played, see Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 3 – The Timeline.

  • Voddie Baucham - friend of Mr. Phillips, and Pastor of Preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas.
  • Peter Bradrick – former Executive Assistant to Mr. Phillips for Vision Forum.
  • Scott Brown – Director at Vision Forum Ministries. He is also Director for the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches and elder at Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
  • Don Hart – Director at Vision Forum Ministries, and general counsel at Vision Forum, Inc.
  • Jeff Horn – provisional elder at Boerne Christian Assembly.
  • Joe Morecraft – friend of Mr. Phillips, and pastor at Chalcedon Presbyterian Church in Cumming, Georgia.
  • Jordan Muela – former Vision Forum staff member.
  • Beall Phillips – wife of Douglas Phillips.
  • Douglas Phillips – Director and board President/Treasurer at Vision Forum Ministries.
  • Howard Phillips – father of Douglas Phillips; Director and board Vice President at Vision Forum Ministries.
  • Bob Renaud – former Vision Forum assistant.
  • Bob Sarratt – elder at Boerne Christian Assembly.
  • Lourdes Torres-Manteufel – the plaintiff in a lawsuit brought against Douglas Phillips; Vision Forum, Inc.; and Vision Forum Ministries.
  • Josh Wean – Chief Financial Officer at Vision Forum Ministries.
  • Mark Weaver – a friend of Mr. Phillips from college.
  • Jim Zes – Director and board Secretary at Vision Forum Ministries.

Relevant Background Issues

This case holds broader significance for the Church in America, in part because the theological profile of Vision Forum represents a highly influential mix of doctrinal beliefs, family and church social practices, and Christendom culture. As the charismatic public persona of Vision Forum, Douglas Phillips has represented and role-modeled the intersection of these multiple movements (and toxic faith problems) listed below.

  • The homeschool movement, and the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
  • Patriarchy as a manifestation of the complementarian gender movement.
  • Stay-at-home daughters (SAHD).
  • The Quiverfull Movement.
  • Family Integrated Church (FIC).
  • Dominion theology, the Seven Mountains Movement.
  • Authoritarianism and hierarchical leadership. (See the “Research and Resource” section.)
  • Clergy sexual abuse, sexual abuse in the Church, failure of clergy in mandatory reporting to legal authorities of known/suspected abuse.
  • Lack of transparent accountability in some Christian non-profits.
  • Spiritual abuse, malignant ministry leadership.
  • Misuse of church discipline, shunning, and other forms of social pressure to enforce silence; and spiritual coercion to “reconcile” as a tactic to preempt legitimate confrontation and conflict resolution.
  • “Total institutions.” (See the “Research and Resource” section.)

Such topics are addressed in posts, comment threads, and links found here on Spiritual Sounding Board. Check the Category list in the right-hand navigation bar for leads. For an overview of many of these key issues as directly relate to this situation, see: Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 1 – The Puzzle of Control, by Julie Anne Smith. March 16, 2014, Spiritual Sounding Board.

Because of the past organizational interconnectedness of many individuals, agencies, and movements with the ideas and/or ministry with Vision Forum, it is likely that report and analysis articles listed in the media section below will address such issues, and various high-profile individuals and organizations associated with them.

Select Links to News Reports and Blog Posts

The following list represents select links. It is not intended to be comprehensive or complete. Not all national, international, or reposted/reblogged articles are included. Also, some preference is given to (1) in-depth report coverage and analysis, (2) articles from a Christian perspective, especially to consider the range of issues in faith and practice raised in related comment threads, and (3) news coverage in the immediate San Antonio region of Texas where local perspectives are provided.

Please note: Inclusion of a link does not imply endorsement of the perspective or conclusions presented in that article. For the first few days of this kind of breaking news story, it is especially important to capture the broadest possible range of responses to the emergence of the news. Many of the initial reactions will prove themselves to be ill-informed, offensive, and overtly defensive. However, they are still valuable to note now, because the perspectives and comments we find early on very often represent the range of views that will continue on for the duration. If we want to be as constructive as possible, we may need to deconstruct responses that are destructive.

Also, this case represents an intersection of multiple movements within certain wings of the Church, especially in America. Because of the past organizational interconnectedness with the ideas and/or ministry with Vision Forum, it is likely that many of the analysis articles listed here will address such issues as: the homeschool movement, partriarchy and the complementarian movement, stay-at-home daughters, quiverfull movement, clergy sexual abuse, lack of transparent accountability in some Christian non-profits, authoritarianism, “total institutions,” and dominion theology.

APRIL 14, 2014

World Net Daily. Christian giant sued for ‘using nanny as sex object.’ Lawsuit claims religious leader promised to marry young woman after wife dies. This article gives an extensive overview on the history of this situation and the civil suit, based primarily on interviews with Ms. Torres-Manteufel. It gives material on the related homeschooling and patriarchy movements, and also includes links to the copies of the official initial petition court document (30 pages) and a response (2 pages) from the lawyer for two of the defendants, Mr. Phillips and Vision Forum, Inc.

Culture, adventure, stillness. In which Lourdes petitions for a lifeboat, by Katie Botkin.

APRIL 15, 2014

Spiritual Sounding Board. Lourdes Torres, Alleged Victim in the Doug Phillips (Vision Forum) Sex Abuse Scandals Files Lawsuit. An early overview of the breaking news story of the lawsuit.

The Hope Blog. Godspeed, Lourdes Torres! A message of support from Ingrid Schlueter.

A Cry for Justice. Breaking news: Doug Phillips’ victim files lawsuit against Phillips and Vision Forum, by Barbara Roberts.

Statement on Facebook page of Michael Farris of HSLDA – Home School Legal Defense Association.

San Antonio Express-News. Lawsuit claims S.A. religious leader preyed on his kids’ nanny, by Abe Levy. This article is from a local newspaper near where the alleged activities took place.

Love, Joy, Feminism. Two articles – Doug Phillips: The Rest of the Story and Michael Farris, Patriarchy, and Doug Phillips: An Expose by Libby Anne.

Examiner. Duggar family linked to Douglas Phillips lawsuit? Quiverfull lifestyle dissected, by Jodi Jill.

APRIL 16, 2014

Love, Joy, FeminismMichael Farris Admits He Messed Up, by Libby Anne.

The Daily Beast. Sex Scandal Rocks The Duggars’ Christian Patriarchy Movement, by Amanda Marcotte.

Christian Post. Vision Forum Founder Doug Phillips Accused By Woman of Treating Her Like ‘Personal Sex Object’ in Lawsuit, by Morgan Lee.

Christian Post. Head of the Home School Legal Defense Association Blasts Doug Phillips’ Biblical Patriarchy Practices, by Morgan Lee. Details Michael Farris’ response to the current situation.

World. Legal complaint filed in Vision Forum case. The possibility of a messy trial brings important reminders about Christian clarity, by Jamie Dean.

1200 News Radio WOAI. Local Home Schooling Leader Named in Explosive Lawsuit, by Jim Forsyth. From a San Antonio-area radio station.

Kens 5, San Antonio. Former minister denies allegations that he kept woman as a ‘sex object’, by Joe Conger.

The Wartburg Watch. Doug Phillips’ Alleged Victim Files Lawsuit with Explosive Accusations, by Deb Martin.

The Daily Mail/Mail Online (UK). Leader of Christian ministry followed by the Duggar family from TLC’s 19 Kids And Counting is accused of using teenage girl as ‘personal sex slave’ in $1m lawsuit, by David McCormack.

No Longer Quivering. News: Media Starting to Link Duggar Family to Doug Phillips Finally, by Suzanne Calulu.

APRIL 17, 2014

1200 News Radio WOAI. Prominent Local Pastor Resonds [sic] to Sex Allegations, by Jim Forsyth. Responses by Mr. Phillips’ legal counsel, Jason Jakob, to the allegations and implications of the lawsuit.

Huffington Post Religion. Doug Phillips’ Biblical Patriarchy Scandal Moves to the Courts, by Julie Ingersoll. 

Historical Overview Posts

March 29, 2014. Spiritual Sounding Board. Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 3 – The Timeline. This select timeline was compiled by Julie Anne Smith of Spiritual Sounding Board, based on information she gathered over a period of several months, and from a timeline of notes sent to her by a Source with a long-time insider view of Doug Phillips and his ministry. It includes links to key documents/statements, such as the official resignation notice from Vision Forum Ministries, posted by Mr. Phillips, and later clarifications issued by the Vision Forum Ministries board.

Before Ms. Smith published this timeline, it was checked by other sources to ensure that the account was as accurate as possible. This timeline was posted before Doug Phillips’ alleged victim – Lourdes Torres-Manteufel – declared her identity publicly (which she did on April 14, 2014), so she is referred to as “Victim” throughout the timeline, and the Sources will remain unnamed.

Potentially Relevant Legal Information

The following posts give information that may prove relevant in this lawsuit. Check out the links and information for yourself. Also, to avoid unnecessary confusion and unhelpful speculation, please keep in mind that this is a civil suit, not a criminal trial - although it has been suggested that there may possibly be a base for certain kinds of criminal charges. Civil suits use different procedures than do criminal cases. (For instance, in a civil lawsuit, the outcome is based on a “preponderance of evidence,” not on it being “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is the standard in criminal trials.) Also, any edits made to text are noted within [square brackets].

March 23, 2014. Spiritual Sounding Board. Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 2 – The Victim. This post contains links to relevant information on clergy ethics, clergy sexual abuse, and legal information, especially as it relates to the state of Texas where the alleged sexually and spiritually abusive activities took place. Especially important to note is that Mr. Phillips’ role as an elder in Boerne Christian Assembly apparently puts him into a specific role of spiritual authority over Ms. Torres, and thus in a position of power – this uneven power dynamic would mean that this is not a situation involving interactions of a sexual nature between equal and “consenting adults.”

As with the other articles in her three-part series, author Julie Anne Smith states that she wrote “the majority of this article in my own words based on information sent to me and many hours on the phone with a specific person who has had a birds-eye view of Doug Phillips and his ministry for many years. Before publishing, it has then been checked by other sources to ensure that the account is as accurate as possible.” This article was posted before Doug Phillips’ alleged victim – Lourdes Torres-Manteufel – declared her identity publicly (which she did on April 14, 2014), so she is referred to as “Victim” throughout the timeline, and the Sources will remain unnamed.

April 15, 2014@ 1:13 PM, Comment from Amy Smith @watchkeep.

Julie Anne, The law you are referencing is in the [Texas] penal code which defines criminal activity:
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/SOTWDocs/PE/htm/PE.22.htm

Title 5. Offenses against the person.
Chapter 22. Assaultive Offenses.
Sec. 22.011. Sexual assault.
(b) A sexual assault [...] is without the consent of the other person if: [...] 10) the actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual adviser …
Texas Penal Code 22.011(b)(9): “by exploiting [the patient or former patient's] . . . emotional dependency”; and (b)(10) “by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual advisor”

April 16, 2014 @ 1:42 PM, Comment from An Attorney on SSB. ["An Attorney" is a regular commenter on spiritual abuse survivor blogs about legal matters.]

Texas law makes a pastor or similar spiritual leader using his “authority” to have sex (including “almost but not quite sex”, as in this case) with a person in his church, sect, cult, sexual assault. The presumption is a lot like statutory rape.

Two forms are important. One is the person who is incapable of saying yes (due to age or infirmity), i.e., the young and the old, and some with limited intellectual or physical capabilities. The second is someone who is effectively psychologically or emotionally incapable to saying no and making it effective. This includes those being counseled or receiving psychological care, as well as those in the situation of this poor woman.

The crime is a felony, and the convict would have to register as a sex offender.

The civil lawsuit is a different matter and does not preclude a criminal case. The Bexar County District Attorney may be investigating.

There could also be criminal implications of Beale’s behavior as well as that of board members of VFM [Vision Forum Ministries] and VFI [Vision Forum, Inc.], such as witness/victim intimidation, facilitation of the offense, etc.

And I believe the BCA [Boerne Christian Assembly] could be held civilly liable.

BTW, the insurers of VFI, VFM and BCA may or may not pay to defend the suit under the circumstances, but is likely on the hook for some portion of any civil judgment. And DP [Doug Phillips] may have had his own insurance!

Other Research and Resource Pieces

“TOTAL INSTITUTION.”Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates, by Erving Goffman (1961, Anchor Books/Doubleday, ISBN 0385000162). Several commenters on Spiritual Sounding Board have mentioned the relevance of the sociological concept of “total institution” to the systems of control allegedly implemented in and around the situations in this lawsuit. From the book’s back cover:

Asylums is an analysis of life in “total institutions” – closed worlds such as prisons, army training camps, naval vessels, board schools, monasteries, and nursing homes – where the inmates are regimented, surrounded by other inmates, and unable to leave the premises. It describes what these institutions make of the inmate, and what he or she can make of life inside them. … The first essay is a general portrait of life in a total institution. The other three consider special aspects of this existence: the initial effects of institutionalization on the inmate’s previous social relationships; the ways of adapting once in the institution; and the role of the staff in presenting to the inmate the facts of his or her situation.

“PSYCHOLOGICAL TOTALISM” / “AUTHORITARIANISM.” An isolative society need not be a theological “cult” in order to exert mind-control over its members. The driving force can be a philosophy, political paradigm, or whatever is dictated by its charismatic leader(s). The classic study on sociological “cults” of total control over an organization’s or society’s members was also published over 50 years ago, and became a pillar in what has emerged as the discipline of “trauma psychology.” Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of ‘Brainwashing’ in China, by Robert Jay Lifton (1961, 1989, University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 0807842532). For an overview and PDF summary of Dr. Lifton’s eight criteria for identifying an authoritarian organization, see: Lessons from The Hunger Games 5A – Dystopian Dynamics, Totalitarian Tactics, and Lifton’s Criteria for Identifying “Cults,” by Brad Sargent.

How Do We Discern Dystopian Dynamics and Totalitarian Tactics? POST SUMMARY: This post introduces and overviews Robert Jay Lifton’s eight criteria for totalitarian thought reform (“brainwashing”) systems. It also gives some learning exercises for two groups: survivors of spiritual abuse and their personal network, and organizational designers/leaders who want to develop healthy and sustainable ministries. Note: I have split this material into three parts so readers can receive the best benefit from it.

Part 5A prepares our thinking with a review of previous points in the series for discerning an abusive/dystopian system, thoughts on totalitarian tactics from The Hunger Games trilogy, and the “before” part of the learning exercise.

Part 5B summarizes Dr. Lifton’s system for identifying “cults” and how the various elements work together. It then explores the first four of his eight criteria, dealing with: communications, motivations, absolutism, and confession.

Part 5C explores the final four of Dr. Lifton’s eight criteria: ultimate vision, language, ideological conformity, and ostracism. It also gives the “after” part of the learning exercise, and draws out three key issues for putting “brainwashing” into perspective.

If you’d prefer to have a printable copy, I have compiled this three-part mini-series into a PDF on Robert Jay Lifton’s Eight Criteria for Identifying Authoritarian Cults. I reformatted the material so each of his criteria begins on a new page.

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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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 Note: This article is Part 3 in a series:

  1. Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 1 – The Puzzle of Control
  2. Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 2 – The Victim

 

Introduction:  There will be a bit of overlap from the previous article in order to present a complete timeline.  This article has been compiled based on information I have gathered and a timeline of notes sent to me by a person who has had a birds-eye view of Doug Phillips and his ministry for many years. Before publishing, it was checked by other sources to ensure that the account is as accurate as possible. Doug Phillips’ victim will be referred to as “Victim” throughout the article, and the Sources will remain unnamed. ~ja

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Doug Phillips, Vision Forum Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 12.03.20 PM

Over the past several months there have been many articles published about the fall of Douglas W. Phillips. Much of what has been published by a certain blog covering these stories has been exaggerated and inaccurate, motivated by bitterness and hate against Doug Phillips and his teachings more than a pure desire for the truth.

Meanwhile, several sources within the community of Boerne Christian Assembly (BCA) near San Antonio, Texas, and Vision Forum have come forward with their personal accounts. These sources have direct contact with Victim. The desire of these sources and all the people involved in this unfortunate situation is to see that Doug Phillips is never again in a leadership or ministry position.

The Victim of Doug Phillips will remain unnamed in this article, as will the Sources.

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Background

Victim and her family were members of Boerne Christian Assembly (BCA) for many years.  She and her family helped out in the Phillips home over the years, but not on a consistent basis. She did work as nanny at times for the Phillips family and cared for children on trips, but this was not a full-time job.

Doug Phillips began grooming Victim after she was legally an adult. This led to an emotional affair, and later, a physical and sexual relationship. The guarding of this adultery is at the center of Doug Phillips’ eventual downfall.

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2007 through 2010: “Grooming” Becomes Adultery

In 2007, this illicit relationship became sexual. To be clear, Doug Phillips was honest about one thing and that was that he “did not ‘know’ his victim in the biblical sense.” In 2007, the victim began spending more time in the Phillips home and with the Phillips family. She was considered a close family friend at that point. Also in 2007, Phillips employed Victim to write Jonathan Park radio drama scripts with his daughter in an effort to spend more time with her. This was a paid position and provided Doug more opportunities to spend more time with Victim in his home after his children had gone to bed.

In 2008, Doug Phillips was confronted by a member of BCA and friend of Victim, but there was no evidence to prove his guilt. Many people at this time began to notice the relationship with Doug and Victim, but no one had real and hard evidence of any wrong behavior other than it just did not look right.

In 2009, Victim’s mother caught Doug Phillips and Victim having sexual-based chat sessions in the middle of the night. Doug, his wife, Beall, and Victim’s parents met. This was the first time Doug and Beall and Victim’s parents met together. Doug confessed to having romantic feelings for Victim, but there was no acknowledgement of any sexual impropriety. At the time, Victim did not disclose any sexual impropriety, but only the romantic feelings they shared together.

In October 2010, Beall Phillips was made aware of the adulterous nature of the relationship when Victim’s mother informed her that Doug and Victim had been kissing. Also in 2010, Doug Phillips sent Victim’s parents on a vacation, perhaps as an attempt to “buy” them off.

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2011 through 2012: First Private Confrontation; Double-Life Unravels

In the summer of 2011, while in Paris, Doug was confronted by Peter Bradrick (his Vision Forum Executive Assistant) regarding the inappropriate behavior Doug was exhibiting towards Victim in public. Doug denied that anything was going on. Many people were suspicious that there was something inappropriate going on between Doug and Victim, but no one had any proof yet.

Doug told Victim they were soul mates. He told her he loved her and had promised they’d eventually get married and have children together. During these years, the relationship with Victim ebbed and flowed. Doug worked very hard at keeping prospective courters away from his victim. Victim also affirmed her affections towards Phillips.

Despite what others have claimed, Doug and Victim were not seen holding hands at the 2012 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival (founded by Doug in 2004), and Doug did not give her an engagement ring (Victim’s friend gave her a costume jewelry ring).

In December 2012, Doug’s double life began to unravel when he was caught trying to climb in Victim’s bedroom window. Victim’s father and brother chased Doug down the street with a gun until Doug stepped under a street light, revealing his identity. The relationship with Victim ended on that day, and reports that they were still seeing each other throughout 2013 are completely fabricated.

Around this time, Victim finally divulged to her parents the extent of her relationship with Doug Phillips.

After Doug Phillips was caught trying to enter Victim’s bedroom window, there was another private meeting between Doug, Beall, and Victim’s parents. They agreed to keep things quiet. BCA elder Bob Sarratt was not notified.

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January to August 2013: Cover-Up Efforts and Changes

In January 2013, Doug Phillips told Bob Sarratt that he was resigning from BCA leadership in order to spend more time with his family. This is the same reason Doug told the congregation of BCA for his stepping down. The Phillips family even sent an email to several friends and ministry leaders around the country, asking them to listen to the sermon Doug preached regarding his resignation. So, not only did Doug deceive his congregation and its elders, he misled and deceived others by leading them to believe this resignation was purely to focus on his family.

The week after Doug resigned, Victim and her family sat down with Bob Sarratt and told him the truth. Bob was understandably devastated and completely unsure of how to handle the situation. At that time, Victim’s family stopped attending BCA permanently and started attending a church in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Bob Sarratt, Doug and Beall Phillips, Victim, and her family all agreed to keep the sins of Doug Phillips confidential and tell no one. The elders at the Fredericksburg church became aware of the situation at the time but also had no idea what to do about it.

On February 28, Scott Brown, long-time Vision Forum friend, posted an article, “What does True Repentance Look Like?

In March, Jeff Horn becomes “provisional elder” at Boerne Christian Assembly.

Between February and August of 2013, life went on for Doug Phillips apparently as planned — until Victim started talking to people in August of 2013 and telling her story.

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August-October 2013: Cover-Up Collapses; Phillips Resigns

On August 7, 2013, Doug posted an article entitled, “True Repentance – A Key to Family Blessing.

Late August 2013, Jeff Horn at BCA found out about Doug Phillips’ sexual scandal.

On September 5-7, Doug spoke at a conference put on by FORGE Ministries, “Engage the Battle” and “Master’s Plan for Fatherhood.”

On September 9, Doug did some damage control. He met with the board of Vision Forum Ministries and confessed to them, saying he had only kissed Victim a few times and did not have intercourse with her.

In September and October, Doug was quietly planning his resignation, on his terms. He was going to step down from leadership and cancel all speaking engagements. Please be clear Doug Phillips was not doing this because he was repentant. He was doing it because he now had to.

In October, several people from the San Antonio community who had knowledge of the situation contacted one of the five men who eventually confronted Doug at his home on October 29. They alerted him to what Victim had told them. This man called the Victim to confirm what he had been told. He then called several other men to break the news to them and they went into action. This included contacting Pastor Joe Morecraft. Reports that Pastor Morecraft found out about Doug Phillips’ sins while on a trip to Greece in September 20-29, 2013, are completely false; he never found out until he was called and told about it in October 2013.

On October 29,  five men went to Doug Phillips’ home to confront him. These were: former Vision Forum associates/staffers Peter Bradrick and Jordan Muela, former Vision Forum assistant Bob Renaud, friend and pastor Joe Morecraft, and Doug’s old college friend Mark Weaver. These men took time off from their jobs, spent their own money for air fare, and flew in from various parts of the country in order to confront Doug.

Beall was present at this confrontation. Doug and Beall were furious that these long-time friends came to confront Doug. Instead of receiving the counsel of his friends, Doug spent time in the meeting trying to claim he did not commit adultery and that he was working through the situation with his local church and Vision Forum Ministries board. His longtime friends just wanted him to make a full confession and own his own sin, along the exact lines of his own email which he sent out back in August 7 entitled, “True Repentance.” Doug refused the counsel of his friends.  

On October 30, Bob Sarratt called an emergency meeting with the men of BCA so Doug could confess his sins. That same day, the Statement of Resignation by Doug Phillips was released on Vision Forum Ministries’ website.

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November 2013: Responses and Damage Control Attempts

The public posting of Doug Phillips’ resignation from Vision Forum Ministries on October 30th triggered actions on multiple fronts from organizations, prominent public figures, and private individuals. Many of these were paralleled by apparent attempts at damage control by Doug Phillips. There was also intense online scrutiny of and blogging about many of the people and organizations involved — or that were speculated to have been involved.

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Early Responses by Confronters, Victim, Vision Forum Ministries Board, and BCA

In early November of 2013, during the week after the release of Doug’s resignation letter, the five men who confronted Doug at his home revealed the details about the depth and deception of Doug’s sins to the board of Vision Forum Ministries. The Vision Forum board acted swiftly, deciding to close the entire ministry and giving the Phillips family 60 days to vacate their home, which Vision Forum owned. And, on November 11, the closing of Vision Forum Ministries was announced by the board. (Note: The board members of Vision Forum Ministries have been painted in a very poor light by a number of blogs. But, in reality, they acted very quickly and appropriately once they had received the truth. The same suspicion and speculation from a number of blogs also put in a poor light those men who confronted Doug Phillips privately and directly but to no avail.)

A week following the October 29th confrontation at the Phillips’ home, Victim had Doug and Beall Phillips served with a Cease and Desist letter in order to stop them from defaming her. This Cease and Desist letter gives evidence that there was no demonstration of true repentance from Doug Phillips. And, sadly, even his wife Beall was saying unspeakable things about the Victim to members of the community.

Also in November of 2013, Elder Bob Sarratt and Provisional Elder Jeff Horn publicly rebuked Doug Phillips in front of the BCA congregation for his adultery and his deception.  

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Some Key Response Pieces

On November 2, 2013, came the first news of anyone publicly saying they knew that Doug Phillips had stepped down as an elder at BCA. This was from Doug’s friend, Voddie Baucham — and it was published about eight months after the fact of Doug’s resignation as BCA elder.

On November 10, Scott Brown, a long-time friend of the Phillips, preached a sermon entitled, “The Smell of Apostasy.” This led people to believe Brown was preaching about the Phillips’ scandal.

On November 13, pastor and patriarchy proponent Doug Wilson mentioned the Phillips scandal in his blog post. He put the blame on the Victim, characterized her as a Delilah, and compared her to a stripper.

On November 14, Doug Phillips posted a follow-up to his original statement of “repentance,” a Clarification on Resignation. He issued this second follow-up statement because the Vision Forum Ministries board believed his first statement was misleading and deceptive. The first letter made it look like this was just an emotional affair, when in fact, Doug confessed to his board and church to a “long-term inappropriate relationship.”

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2014: Recent Actions and Concluding Thoughts

On January 1, 2014, the remaining BCA elders responded to the implorings received from several godly men for them to release a statement quickly about former BCA elder Doug Phillips. The result was a pitiful statement released by the elders of BCA.

On March 13, Doug Phillips’ attorney sent a letter to three former Vision Forum associates — Bob Renaud, Jordan Muela, and Peter Bradrick — threatening a lawsuit. According to a recent article in World magazine, that letter states, “The three of you have conspired together, and with others, in an attempt to destroy Doug Phillips, his family and Vision Forum Inc.”

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Final Thoughts

This is an account of the double life of Douglas Winston Phillips, as has been exposed to date. This is not the story of a simple “emotional affair” as he had portrayed it. In fact, Doug Phillips apparently continues to refuse using the biblical definition for this illicit affair — adultery — but that is what his church elders called it, and that is what it should be called. Also, Sources note that since the BCA elders rebuked Doug publicly in November of 2013, he has allegedly been slandering the various men who stood up against him. And now his letter to three men indicates potential legal action to protect his reputation and resources. Are these the humble actions of a repentant man, as Doug Phillips himself would have people believe?

The Victim was groomed to play the role she did. Although she was apparently over the age of majority when Doug Phillips began drawing her into his orbit, the fact that he was in a clergy role of authority over her still brings in legal implications of clergy sexual abuse according to definitions in Texas state law, as noted in an earlier post. Regardless of grooming and activity, she was still his Victim. Since choosing to tell her account of the facts, which she began doing in August of 2013, she has continued moving toward healing and health as a Survivor of spiritual and sexual abuse by Doug Phillips.

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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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All forms of sexual behavior or harassment with clients are unethical, even when a client invites or consents to such behavior or involvement. ~American Association of Pastoral Counselors

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Note:  This article is Part 2 in a series.  The first part is Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 1 – The Puzzle of Control.

I have written the majority of this article in my own words based on information sent to me and many hours on the phone with a specific person who has had a birds-eye view of Doug Phillips and his ministry for many years.  Before publishing, it has then been checked by other sources to ensure that the account is as accurate as possible.  Doug Phillips’ victim will be referred to as “Victim” throughout the article.  ~ja

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Doug Phillips, Vision Forum Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 12.03.20 PM

Doug Phillips

Douglas Phillips, the man who founded Vision Forum Ministries, spoke strongly about family values, modesty/purity, about the role of fathers in Christian home, loving their wives, etc. He also got himself entangled in a sexual affair with a young woman from his church.  He continued speaking at conferences and conventions with his wife by his side, acting as if their marriage was fine for many years while his heart was with another young woman.

Who was this young woman? 
How did her family not see what was going on? 
What was their response when the truth came out?

The Victim’s family were long-time members at Boerne Christian Assembly (BCA). They were a humble and hard-working family. The father spoke in broken English, the mother had better command of the English language. They were passionate folks who lived within their means. Their work ethic and good character earned them respect within the BCA community.

Another notable man, billionaire James Leininger, was also friends with the Victim’s family through BCA.  Leininger, who previously attended BCA, donated a house to Vision Forum Ministries, which became the Phillips family home while Phillips was head of the ministry. The Victim’s family had worked for the Leiningers and the Victim’s brother is currently employed at one of Leininger’s businesses.

Over the years, Victim spent time with the Phillips family. It has been reported that she was a full-time nanny.  Although she did work as a nanny and helped them in other ways from time to time, it was never full-time or on a consistent basis. She did, however, travel with the Phillips on some of their trips and helped with the children on those trips and at home.

The victim was a simple young lady. She became interested in health and fitness and educated herself in those topics.  Health and fitness became a priority for herself and consequently she was healthy and fit. At BCA, special attention is given to appropriate modesty guidelines and Victim adhered to them, i.e., she didn’t wear skirts too short, or revealing outfits.  However, even with those guidelines, nobody could miss that she was in good shape, quite attractive, and made heads turn when she entered a room.

Victim’s parents were not opposed to her going to college. And perhaps this might have occurred had Phillips not been so involved with her.

Victim stayed closely connected with the BCA community and as a result, she was not very street-smart.  She was naive, especially about things of a sexual nature. Most likely it was because of this naivety that Doug Phillips was able to successfully groom her. It has been reported that she was groomed as a minor. This is not true. All of the sexual grooming occurred after she was a legal adult and this information has been validated by both Phillips and Victim.

What was it about Victim that attracted Phillips?  As previously mentioned, Victim’s physical beauty certainly played into the picture. But she also had an engaging personality, was kind, and loved to serve people and make them happy.

Phillips was smitten by her and eventually began grooming Victim.  The grooming of Victim eventually led to an emotional affair.  In 2007, the relationship became sexual.  Phillips was honest in that he did not “know” Victim in the physical sense, i.e., there was no sexual intercourse, but there was sexual touching.  This information has been corroborated by both Victim and Phillips a number of times.

During this time, the victim was spending much more time at the Phillips’ home and was considered to be a close family friend.

In 2007, Phillips began employing Victim to write Jonathan Parks scripts with his daughter in an effort to spend more time with her. This was a paid position. Despite what others have said, Victim was compensated for her work on Jonathan Parks project. This provided Phillips more opportunities to spend time with her in his home after the children had gone to bed.

Phillips was confronted by a member of BCA and friend of Victim in 2008, but there was no evidence to prove his guilt. Many people at this time began to notice the relationship with Phillips and Victim, but no one had real and hard evidence of any wrong behavior other than it just did not look right.

In 2009,  Victim’s mother caught Phillips and Victim having sexual-based chat sessions in the middle of the night. Doug and his wife, Beall, met with Victim’s parents. This was the first time the Doug and Beall and Victim’s parents met together. Doug confessed to having romantic feelings for Victim, but there was no acknowledgement of any sexual impropriety. At the time, Victim did not disclose any sexual impropriety, but only the feelings they shared together.

Phillips told Victim they were soul mates. He told her he loved her and had promised they’d eventually get married and have children together. During these years, the relationship with Victim ebbed and flowed. Phillips worked very hard at keeping prospective courters away from Victim. There is a story published on a specific blog about an engagement ring.  That story is not true.

There were quite a few men who expressed interest in courting Victim. But Phillips did everything he could to keep her affections turned towards him, even going as far as telling Victim, “that in every other generation of the Phillips’ family, the wife dies early, so she would only have to wait.”  This statement was not to imply in any way that Doug was planning on killing his wife. This was said based solely on the early demise of wives in the Phillips’ family.

In turn, Victim also loved Doug Phillips and was willing to wait for him so they could eventually get married.  She had a servant’s heart and seemed to “blow sunshine” in Phillips’ direction. Phillips loved this affirmation and his heart drew to hers even more.

Beall Phillips was made aware of the adulterous nature of the relationship at least by October 2010 when Victim’s mother informed her that Doug Phillips and Victim had been kissing. Beall, at this point, had enough of Victim, and began to get other young ladies to help her with the children at home and on trips.

Doug Phillips’ double life starting to unravel in December 2012 when he was caught trying to climb through Victim’s bedroom window. Victim’s father and brother chased Phillips down the street with a shotgun until Doug stepped under a street light, revealing his identity. The relationship with Victim ended on that day.

It is interesting to note that to this day, Victim admits that she has sinned, feeling that she herself should have stopped the relationship sooner.  As Victim has been sharing the story to her friends, she has made it very clear that she wants to confess her sins and wants Phillips to come clean and do the same.  She is not trying to play “victim” in order to gain anyone’s sympathy.

Where is Victim now?

Victim is living in her own apartment and attends a new church, the same church her parents attend.  She remains close with her parents.  She is employed and is doing as well as can be expected.

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Clergy Sex Abuse and Legal Considerations

This final section expresses my own understanding and opinions of this situation, based on the specifics that have been made known to me and the general patterns of abuse and victimization that I am all too aware of.

Victim’s response of accepting responsibility for “her part” in the sexual affair is very typical of those who have been sexually violated in a clergy/victim situation.  It is my firm belief that she is not to blame and she is a true victim.  She is not responsible for Doug Phillips’ fall in any way.  Doug Phillips was in a position of trust and authority over Victim.  He knew her for many years while she was a minor and earned her trust. Later, their relationship deepened and he completely crossed the line of integrity. Because of the sheltered environment in which Victim lived, Victim was naturally in a vulnerable position.  She did not have street smarts, she was unable to protect herself.  Emotionally and intellectually, Victim was not mature enough to make rational decisions that others might have been able to make had they understood the nature of sexuality, power, and control.  Doug Phillips knew she was vulnerable and he used his power over her and her vulnerabilities.

While Doug Phillips was emotionally grooming her, this did not make sense to Victim.  As Phillips made sexual advances towards Victim, she didn’t understand what was going on in her body sexually.  She was naive about sex (this, too, has been reported by Victim).  Doug Phillips stirred the feelings of sexuality in Victim that had never been awakened.  One of the challenging issues for sex abuse victims is that sex does sometimes “feel good,” even as a victim.  How does one make sense of this pleasurable experience, yet being done by someone who is an authority figure?   It can produce confusion,  shame, and guilt – and yet, we must constantly remember, Victim was the one being pursued by Phillips.

This relationship was not consensual and cannot be considered consensual by the fact that Doug Phillips was in a position of authority.  It doesn’t matter whether Victim received pleasure in her sexual encounters with Doug Phillips.  It doesn’t matter if she may have flirted with him (I’m speculating.)  The basis of this relationship can only be interpreted as abusive because of Doug Phillips’ position of authority in her life.  Doug Phillips used his position of power and trust to control and gain access to a naive young woman, and he used her for his benefit for many years while hiding under the public guise of promoting family values.  It is important to not shift blame onto the victim.  Doug Phillips, because of his position of authority, is the perpetrator here, period.

It is also important to note that, legally, the courts would see Doug Phillips in a position where he must ensure fiduciary duty.

The clergy/parishioner relationship is no different than other professional relationships where there is a fiduciary duty. The “professional”, whether it be a teacher, therapist or clergy has a fiduciary duty to whomever they have a professional relationship. A fiduciary duty is a relationship based on trust. The Latin definition for fiduciary is none other than ‘faith’. The trust or “faith” in a fiduciary duty relationship is established even before the relationship begins. The trust does not have to be earned. In most cases a person grows up with the belief system that certain professionals can be trusted with no questions asked. (Source, emphasis added.)

The most damaging myth is the belief that the sexual relationship between clergy and parishioner is a consensual affair. The reality is the sexual relationship is a sexual assault. No matter if it happened once or if the sexual relationship lasts for 30 years. A sexual relationship between clergy and parishioner can never be consensual. The power differential is too great. As with all victims of sexual assault, the parishioner victim takes on the responsibility of the assault. Thinking they must be the “cause” of this “holy man of God” falling from grace and going against his vow of celibacy or, in other denominations, the vows he took with his wife. That feeling of responsibility topped off with guilt keeps many adult victims silent. (Source, emphasis added.)

See also:

“Why Adult Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse Are Not To Blame” By Mark Scheffers, M.Div., M.S.W., Child Trauma Assessment Center, Western Michigan University.

Understanding sexual abuse by a church leader or caregiver.

It is also important to note that there are states in which clergy falls within fiduciary duty laws and codes of ethics:

Fiduciary duty refers to the responsibility of licensed caregivers (doctors, therapists, lawyers, social workers, etc.) to “do no harm.”  Society’s expectation of these caregivers is that they will attend to the needs of those in their care.

All forms of sexual behavior or harassment with clients are unethical, even when a client invites or consents to such behavior or involvement. Sexual behavior is defined as, but not limited to, all forms of overt and covert seductive speech, gestures, and behavior as well as physical contact of a sexual nature; harassment is defined as but not limited to, repeated comments, gestures or physical contacts of a sexual nature.

We recognize that the therapist/client relationship involves a power imbalance, the residual effects of which are operative following the termination of the therapy relationship. Therefore, all sexual behavior or harassment as defined in Principle III, G with former clients is unethical. (American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Code of Ethics, emphasis in the original)

Caregivers are prohibited by state criminal statutes, fiduciary duty laws, and by codes of ethics from exploiting their clients or patients to meet their own emotional and psychological needs.

One important note: This illicit relationship occurred in Texas, and Texas is a state in which it is a crime for clergy to have sexual relations with a congregant. The relevant section of the Texas Penal Code are below (emphasis added).

Texas Penal Code Chapter 5. (22.011)

Title 5. Offenses against the person.
Chapter 22. Assaultive Offenses.
Sec. 22.011. Sexual assault.
(b) A sexual assault [...] is without the consent of the other person if: [...] 10) the actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual adviser …

Texas Penal Code 22.011(b)(9): “by exploiting [the patient or former patient's] .  .  . emotional dependency”; and (b)(10) “by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual advisor”

So, while Victim said her involvement with Doug Phillips was consensual, by law, it was not consensual in that Doug Phillips, acting as clergy, was in a position of trust to “do no harm,” but he violated this position of trust over her.  While Doug Phillips is on his high horse threatening to sue Muela, Renaud, and Bradrick, methinks he should drop the threat against those innocent gentlemen and lawyer up because he was in the WRONG state to be violating clergy ethics laws.

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Related links:

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

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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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Continue reading

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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My perspective on his life is different —appreciation, gratitude, disagreement, sadness.  His life is a reminder that whether your name is Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, or Steve Jobs, in the end, your physical body becomes food for worms.  More importantly, your eternal soul faces the same Judge that every human must stand before.  This is just one reason why human idolatry is folly.  We must never worship men (future worm food), but only the Lord.

~Doug Phillips, on the occasion of Steve Jobs’ death

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Doug Phillips, Vision Forum Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 12.03.20 PM

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Doug Phillips grew his Vision Forum business and ministry upon the foundation of men leading the generational vision of the family, raising young girls into godly motherhood, boys into spiritual leaders of their families.  How could Doug Phillips speak and write of godly manhood/fatherhood, tell men to protect women and children first over the last decade, while at the same time harm women and children by his sexual exploits?  It has been unfathomable to so many who have watched this man and his ministry grow from its inception to now.

When Doug Phillips posted October 30th, 2013, that he was stepping down and the ensuing scandal was brought to light, there was a lot of interest in the story.  People of course were shocked that this pillar in the Homeschool Movement and his influence that extended even further into mainstream Christianity could have fallen so deeply into sin and disgrace.

Who knew what and when?  How could this have gone on for so long undetected?  Why hadn’t anyone done anything about it sooner?   Where were his church elders and why hadn’t they done anything earlier?  Who was helping him cover up this sin?  And, most importantly, why isn’t anyone speaking out now to shed more light into what happened?

As I’ve been reading commentary on various blogs and social media for the past few months, I’ve had some thoughts about this saga:

  • No one has been willing to publicly share what they know and identify themselves (except for minor details).
  • There are anonymous commenters on blogs and articles with bits of “factual” information.
  • There is a lot of back-fighting going on between people who have bits of information.
  • Different interpretations of events can confuse matters.
  • Some have been careless to disclose “insider” information to make a story and their motives are suspect.

Several weeks ago, I was sent an e-mail asking if I was interested in helping to “set the record straight” with regard to the Doug Phillips story.  I wasn’t exactly sure what this meant, because I didn’t know who the sources were, how close they were to the situation, what their intentions were, or even how to verify the sources, etc.  I wanted to know why they wanted to ask me to publish it and for what purpose.

After several back-and-forth e-mails, I eventually had a lengthy phone conversation with a person who compiled information to send to me to post.  But here was the problem.  This person was not a source – not a first-hand witness – but an intermediary.   This did not sit right with me.

Although, reading through the material, the information sounded much more legitimate than the stories I had read elsewhere, how could I with integrity and honesty post information from a third-party who had nothing directly to do with the Phillips scandal?  I couldn’t do it.  I told this person that I would need to speak directly with one of the key people involved.  This message was relayed to the primary source person.

So here is what has happened.  I have spent approximately 5 hours on the phone with 2 people in separate conversations regarding this information to be published.  I have gone through the document sent me point by point with the primary source person, typing my own notes to make sure I understand what happened correctly.  We have also exchanged e-mails.

But why did they reach out to me and ask it to be published on my blog?  What were their intentions?  While articles and speculations, alleged witnesses and testimonies have surfaced on various blog sites, some who have been close to the situation over an extended length of time have been dismayed at what has been portrayed as truth.  I was told that my blog was selected because I hadn’t posted farfetched stories and fabrications.  They saw that my goal was to only publish truth as best as possible.

Now, regarding this key person I spoke with:  I will not disclose any names, but I checked this person out pretty carefully.  One thing about Doug Phillips is he liked to be in the public spotlight and many of the people he worked with were also in the public spotlight with him. So, it’s quite easy to find key people online, hear their voices and compare those to the phone call voices for verification purposes.  I have done that.  I have also asked key questions in which I had answers from other sources to see if they could be answered correctly.  They were.

I am in the process of compiling the original notes with mine into new articles.  There may be 2-3 articles depending on the length.  To ensure accuracy, each article will be sent to the primary source, who will then send it out to others close to the situation for verification and approval before it will be published.

So here’s the deal: to the best of my ability, I have assessed to make sure that my source is indeed who he/she says he/she is and was close to the situation to have important details and know the inner workings of Doug Phillips.  I believe having one source this close to the situation is much more beneficial than making stories out of bits of information from various sources.  I think in doing so, we will get a better and more accurate picture of what has happened over a span of time.

Why is this important?  Some articles that have been published online have come about as a result of multiple sources.  What we’ve seen are stories and “facts” changing as more information has come available.  This is not a very reliable way of getting information and can lead to the necessity of cleaning up misinformation.

Another issue is very important that I touched on above.  Motivation is very integral in writing articles.  I’ve been very concerned that some online articles may be disingenuous because there seems to be an underlying motivation of revenge against Doug Phillips rather than reporting with integrity for truth.  Other source people involved with my source have been concerned about this as well.  People are hurt when there are exaggerations and untruths.  This should not be a mission to pull the rug out from under a ministry or person, but to expose the truth.

So, stay tuned.  Barring time constraints and back-and-forth e-mailing for verification among sources, I will try to get these posts up within the next two weeks.

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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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Restoring What the Locust Has Eaten: Two Years of Blogging Milestone Today and Gratefulness

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Two years of blogging, two years of growth, hope for those hurt by church abuse

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Kevin Swanson Defends Bill Gothard’s Sexual Harassment Charges While Publicly Trash Talks Blogs

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Kevin Swanson defends his friend, Bill Gothard against accusations of sexual harassment, while accusing Spiritual Sounding Board and Patheos.com blogs of dancing on the grave of Christian fundamentalism and Biblical Christianity.

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Learn to Discern: Response to the Doug Phillips Sex Abuse Scandal

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Learn to discern – taking a closer look at a response to the Doug Phillips sex abuse scandal

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How do you warn someone about a dangerous spiritual group? What if that person is your spouse?

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How do you warn someone about a dangerous or spiritually abusive leader or group?  What if that someone is your spouse?

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TW Eston, Co-Blogger at Jen’s Gems blog is a Rushdoony Fan and a Kinist?

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TW Eston blogs with Jen at Jen’s Gems blog who has been exposing Doug Phillips of Vision Forum.  It’s been pretty obvious that he is a fan of Rushdoony, but he’s also Kinist?

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Christian Patriarchy Movement Pressures Stay-at-Home Daughters to Choose Whom She Will Serve First: Daddy or God

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Who is benefiting by keeping grown adult daughters at home and single?  A look at Christian Patriarchy espoused by Doug Phillips; Steve and Teri Maxwell and their daughter, Sarah; and Geoffrey and Victoria Botkin and their daughters, Anna Sofia and Elizabeth.

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Disturbing Reconstructionist Connections with Oscar Nominee Film, “Alone Yet Not Alone”

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The “Christian” film, “Alone Yet Not Alone” has received a nomination for Best Original Song, sung by Joni Eareckson Tada, but what questionable activity propelled it to that spot and who are some of the people connected with this film and the Christian film industry?

Continue reading

Kevin Swanson Continues a Year Later with Same Womb Tomb Rhetoric

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Popular homeschool leader Pastor Kevin Swanson continues to give unsubstantiated claims about birth control pills being “womb tombs” despite apologizing for misunderstanding in the media storm he created last year. Continue reading

The Christian Patriarchy Movement’s Dark Secret of Wife Spanking

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As Doug Phillips and his Vision Forum ministry is sinking, stories of abuse among Christian Patriarchy are surfacing:  domestic violence, wife spanking, etc, among other well-known circles such as RC Sproul, Jr., etc.

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Boerne Christian Assembly Elders Release Statement Regarding Doug Phillips of Vision Forum

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Boerne Christian Assembly elders Bob Sarratt and Jeff Horn release statement regarding Doug Phillips.

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A Young Woman’s Relationship with Her Boyfriend is Shattered by Christian Patriarchy

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Personal story of a relationship broken by legalistic pressures brought on by teachings from Doug Phillips, Vision Forum and Christian Patriarchy ideology within the Homeschool Movement.

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The Blogging Community Takes on the Destructive Subculture of the Homeschool Movement

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Bloggers are taking on the destructive subculture of the Homeschool Movement and calling homeschool leaders out for their extra-Biblical practices and abusive patriarchy.

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When Your Religious Leader Falls Off the Pedestal

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Cindy Kunsman responds to fallen spiritual leaders and spiritual abuse after the Doug Phillips scandal.

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After the Doug Phillips Vision Forum Scandal: What Should We as Homeschoolers Parents Do Now?

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The Doug Phillips Vision Forum scandal has left homeschooling families reeling and questioning:   what now, where do we go from here?  What about Patriarchy, Full-Quiver, Courtship, Parenting? A Concerned Dad asks some great questions.

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Over the weekend, I got an excellent e-mail from A Concerned Dad who probably echoes the thoughts of many homeschool parents as we try to make sense of the Doug Phillips scandal. He gave me permission to share it here.

Many of us were sold a bill of goods under his teachings and now the rug has been pulled out from beneath us.  What now?

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Continue reading

Doug Phillips: “The Twinkle of Wonder is All about Me”

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Doug Phillips, promoter of Patriarchy, homeschooling, Family-Integrated Churches, Reconstructionism, courtship, Christian film production is featured in this video:  The Power of Music in Film

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Nine months ago – - possibly around the time Phillips was booted out of his teaching elder gig at Boerne Christian Assembly – - this video was uploaded.  The title of this article is a direct quote from the video.  Need I say any more?

Sorry, I cannot seem to embed the video here.  As inconvenient as it is to click on links, I don’t think you’ll want to miss this one.

Disclaimer:  Please empty mouth of food contents and wait for stomach to digest all food before watching.

Click here:

The Power of Music in Film

from Douglas Phillips on Vimeo.

Doug Phillips & Vision Forum: Multi-Generational Faithfulness and Video of Young Boy Explaining the Importance of Having Many Children for 10 Generations

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I’d like to spotlight some of the common teachings and practices that Doug Phillips and Vision Forum promoted.  Many of these teachings go far beyond Doug Phillips and Vision Forum and have spread via homeschool networking, family-integrated church networking, the internet.

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Does the Doug Phillips et al Brand of “Biblical Patriarchy” Groom Stay-at-Home Daughters to be Victims of Abuse?

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In some conservative Biblical Patriarchal circles, young ladies remain at home, sheltered, under the protection of their father.  They are generally not allowed to work outside the home or attend college.  This is in order to “protect” them from worldly influence.  Could this practice be setting up these young ladies for abuse?

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Compelling Evidence that Vision Forum Inc. is Closing, Liquidating and Doug Phillips “Show” of Repentance Revealed

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There is now overwhelming evidence that the for-profit arm of Vision Forum is indeed closing at the end of the year.  Also, there are public statements alluding Doug Phillips’ public statement of repentance was not genuine. Continue reading

Doug Phillips: “Disowns” Former Vision Forum Executive Assistant to President, Peter Bradrick, Calls Him “Destroyer” When Confronted about Sins

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Peter Bradrick, former intern, former Executive Assistant to the President at Vision Forum Shares Publicly That He is “Disowned” and Declared as “Destroyer” by Doug Phillips of Vision Forum Continue reading

In the Wake of the Doug Phillips Affair, a Mother Grieves and Seeks Our Prayers

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The Doug Phillips affair has touched many lives.  Read as a mother cries out for prayer as she “fostered some pretty difficult beliefs” on her children by adhering to teachings in the Homeschool Movement and Doug Phillips and Vision Forum. Continue reading

Chalcedon Foundation Privately Donated Funds to Joe Taylor to Help His Legal Defense Against Doug Phillips

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Chalcedon Foundation discloses they privately contributed to Joe Taylor’s legal defense against Doug Phillips, and discussion on Reconstructionism and “Biblical Patriarchy”

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People Affected by Doug Phillips’s Ministry: What Now?

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Prominent homeschool and Christian leader Doug Phillips has fallen.  What happens with those he has led?  Where do they find their foundation again?

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