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

Beall Phillips, wife of fallen homeschool leader Doug Phillips (Vision Forum Founder), publicly responds to excommunication by former church, Boerne Christian Assembly

beall

 

Only hours after the public notice given by Doug Phillips’ former church elders regarding his excommunication (see article, Boerne Christian Assembly Excommunicates Patriarchy and Homeschool Leader Doug Phillips), Beall Phillips, the wife of Doug Phillips, has responded to the excommunication publicly on her Facebook page.  This is not the first time she has publicly spoken. A couple of months ago, she publicly responded to a statement made by HSLDA’s Michael Farris.

Here is Mrs. Phillips’ public Facebook statement:

My Personal Response to BCA

Excommunication is without a doubt the most serious sentence pronounced when a church with jurisdiction over one of its own members, after patiently and carefully following biblical process, determines that the professing Christian who is under their jurisdiction refuses to turn from clear, gross sin. But when excommunication is used as a tool for retribution, for publicity, to influence a lawsuit, or to retroactively punish someone who is not even a member of that church, it is not only an aberration from the intended Biblical purpose, but also reflects the authoritarianism that has always held a presence in a dark corner of Christianity.

Today, Boerne Christian Assembly, a church with no jurisdiction over any member of my family, and with about six remaining active member families which includes the three recently elected leaders, (some of whom are personally entangled in controversies and conflicts of interest related to a highly publicized lawsuit) has chosen to dismiss BCA’s historic principles of church government, ignore the Scriptures, and reject their duties to honor civil jurisdictions.

While my husband is not able to respond by direction of legal counsel, and I believe it is imprudent for me to speak to many of the substantive issues, I am prepared to give my full perspective when and if that becomes appropriate. My comments here will have to suffice for the present.

First, we are happy members in good standing of Hyde Park Baptist Church, a long established city church in Austin, Texas. Our experience at Hyde Park has been uplifting, redemptive, and a genuine blessing to Doug, to me, and to our children. Our pastor gave us the freedom to communicate that he “is supportive of [our] family and does not agree with the actions of these men.”

Today’s announcement comes after we had been threatened with ecclesiastical sanctions if we did not submit privileged information, documents, and legal strategies for their oversight. The new BCA government has been informed of the impropriety of this. It is a significant conflict for someone who has an adverse interest to use a threat of ecclesiastical sanction to gain information and control over someone else.

Late in November, 2013, two things happened: an internet driven campaign was coordinated with demand letters for twenty million dollars, making false charges against BCA, against the leadership of another church in the area, as well as my family and our business, and threatened litigation against all of those individuals. In December, 2013, the BCA leadership was notified in writing on our behalf that legal necessity would compel our family to change church membership. The leadership readily acknowledged the probable implosion of the church in the wake of a lawsuit in which every member of the church could be directly involved. By January, 2014, the church environment began to break apart from gossip, fear, family in-fighting, and accusations against each other. With the increasing chaos and growing conflict in the church, families began to leave. Our family asked for and was granted formal permission by the BCA church leadership to stop worshipping at BCA and to look for another church to join. That is what we did. We only attended BCA for worship about three times in 2014. After visiting a number of churches, we began worshipping at Hyde Park in March and finalized our membership in the first half of May, 2014.

After our departure from BCA and our change of membership, a significant division within the BCA leadership reached a climax, and, led by the provisional elder, resulted in the abrupt removal of the long time ordained elder. In June, we received a series of threatening letters informing us that a new government had been established at BCA and required that we leave our church and come back to them. They threatened sanctions if we did not. It was disturbing to find that the men who wrote the letters to us, representing themselves as duly elected ordained elders to us, to the community, the internet, and the media, actually were not. When this became public, they set aside many of the historical BCA election/ ordination procedures, oversaw their own election at the end of July, and assumed their present offices. Following this election, they began sending letters again. As the harassment continued, a formal offer was presented to them that disputes be resolved through an independent third party mediator like Peacemakers. That offer was rejected.

So, now we are long gone, most of the families have left the church, a new government has been installed, and a “star chamber proceeding” has convened and pronounced judgment. The idea that the leaders of one church can excommunicate a member of another orthodox church suggests a deeper problem. The disdain demonstrated for Hyde Park Baptist is a problem. The rejection of third party mediation speaks volumes. BCA’s statement has nothing to do with biblical love, with legitimate church authority, with truth, or with the Gospel. I believe it has everything to do with self interest, fear, and a mess of conflicts of interest, many related to a lawsuit.

As for my family: We are growing. We are happy. And we are pressing on, sinful Christians as we are, daily drawing on the mercy of God, trusting Him, and not intimidated by the action of today.


Voddie Baucham, who has had ties with Doug Phillips for years with ties to family-integrated church movement also posted about the excommunication on his Facebook page.  He responds a few times to readers’ comments.

Here’s one comment in which he defends his publication of BCA’s announcement:

 

voddie

 

There’s quite a bit of interesting dialogue from Reconstructionism to polygamy.

 

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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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homeschool movement, lisa cherry, karen campbell, sex abuse

The Prevalence of Fear of Government Intrusion in the Homeschool Community

Since writing about my personal experiences of homeschooling, I have written about a cloud of fear among Christian homeschoolers. I went to Christian homeschool conferences in the 80s and 90s and there was always a strong presence of people from Homeschool Legal Defense Association HSLDA, especially using their attorneys as keynote speakers. The keynote speaker event was widely attended, usually with a packed-out crowd (at the conventions I attended). I never attended a Christian homeschool conference in which HSLDA was not present.

Back in the earlier homeschool days, I believe HSLDA perpetuated fear among homeschoolers about any type of government agency. They sent out a list of what to do if a government official came to your door and I taped it to the inside of my cupboard. I remember discussion on e-mail groups and message boards among homeschool moms about not allowing homeschool kids to play outside during normal school hours because a neighbor or someone driving by might report you for truancy. HSLDA told stories of children being yanked from their homes because certain state homeschool laws weren’t good and your child/family could be at risk. Most likely the highlighted cases were legitimate cases where homeschool freedoms were threatened, but the fear that spread among parents led to an overall distrust of the government or any of its agencies: school authorities, social service employees, police, etc.

I had one incident in the late 90s in which my children were playing with a neighbor’s dog behind our house. The dog was left alone all day and would poke his nose through the hole in the fence. My children felt sorry for him and pet him as he poked his nose through the fence. His wagging tail was their reward. However, our neighbors didn’t care for my children’s involvement in their dog’s social life and called the police (rather than coming to let us know personally, ::::sigh::::). The police came to the door and politely asked that we not interact with the neighbor’s dog. On his way out, the police officer asked if the child behind me was my son, and I affirmed that he was. The police officer left, and sadly, I explained the dog situation to my children.

Ten minutes later, the police officer came back to our front door and asked about my son – the same son he inquired of earlier. This son had a pink mark on his face and the police officer asked about it. I realized where he was going with this very quickly. Thankfully, I didn’t react in fear, but calmly told the police officer that my son was born with a port wine stain birthmark on his cheek, that he’s been seen by medical professionals and I asked him if he’d like our pediatrician or dermatologist’s contact information. He told me that was not needed. Whew!  My heart was racing like crazy!

I cannot describe the amount of fear that had gone in my mind. I felt like our family could have been the new feature story written up in the Court Report (HSLDA’s newsletter sent out to its members). Because I, too, was living in fear, my mind raced to the worse predicted outcome. Thankfully, my calm and legitimate response showed the police officer that there was nothing for him to be concerned about, my children were safe, and that was the last we saw of him.

My story is a simple one, but exemplifies the fear many of us homeschool moms experienced, either personally, or heard through friends, or friends of friends back in the 80s and 90s. Many of us seemed to live in fear: fear of government intrusion and taking away our homeschooling rights, fear of government intrusion and even taking away our children. There was a universal distrust of the government. There was an us-vs-them mentality. Some homeschool leaders came out right and said that the government was evil, from Satan. Whatever the issue was, we needed to stay as far away from the government as possible – they were not on homeschoolers’ side.

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Karen Campbell Interviews Lisa Cherry about Sex Abuse and the Homeschool Community

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Karen Campbell, a veteran homeschool mom and blogger recently interviewed Lisa Cherry from Frontline Family Ministries. Part of the interview promoted an event that Lisa Cherry put together, Sexual Abuse Prevention Week For Homeschoolers, which was held during the end of October.

I listened to the second podcast in the series and it raised some alarms for me. I think Karen and Lisa have good intentions. I appreciate that they identified the problem of sex abuse among the homeschool community. But I believe they are amiss in not acknowledging something that a lot of us moms know to be true: the Christian Homeschool Movement has perpetuated fear of the government, law enforcement, and social service agencies.

And here is the point that I want to bring home: this fear that the Homeschool Movement has perpetuated, and continues to perpetuate, is putting children in harm’s way. I will show you more examples of how the fear continues to be perpetuated even in this very recent interview.Both Karen and Lisa are respected moms in the homeschool community and people will listen to and respect their words. I’m asking you to put on your critical thinking skills as we go through the interview.

Christian homeschool parents want to have complete oversight and control of their children - they feel a biblical responsibility for their children and don’t want someone else having that responsibility. I get that. But what if a parent is a perpetrator? What if the perpetrator is someone they know from church, from their homeschool co-op, etc? What, then is their responsibility?

In the interview, Karen Campbell (KC) says this:

KC: Now, when we’re talking about sexual abuse, it doesn’t, you don’t have to go very far to find somebody you know in your life who has, has struggled through this. And I will bet most of us can list people that we have known who have shared with us and I’ll bet you very few of those people were homeschooled. I will bet they were mostly, for the most part in public school.

I do not think it is appropriate for Karen to make a blanket statement sexual abuse cases between those who have been homeschooled and those who have gone to public school. This speculation, “I’ll bet,”  is not based on fact. If Karen wants to say something like this publicly, it’s important that she back it up, not endorse a long-standing agenda within the Christian homeschool community that public schools are inferior or the problem. Christians, of all people, should be committed to truth, not rhetoric.

Let’s look at some data about sexual abuse:

  • An estimated 60% of perpetrators of sexual abuse are known to the child but are not family members, e.g., family friends, babysitters, child care providers, neighbors.
  • About 30% of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are family members.
  • Only about 10% of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are strangers to the child. (National Sex Offender Public Website)

 

While most homeschooling parents would never sexually abuse their children or want to put their child in harm’s way, if their child has been sexually abused, the above statistics indicate that 60% of the perpetrators were known to the child, 30% of the perpetrators were family members, and only 10% were strangers. So, in looking at those statistics, each child who has been sexually abused, whether that child was homeschooled, or sent to public or private school, has a 90% chance of being sexually abused by either someone he/she knows, or a family member. It really doesn’t have to do with homeschool or public school, as Karen seemed to be implying earlier.

Kaylyn, the daughter of Lisa Cherry (LC), was sexually violated by someone the family knew. He was part of the church Kaylyn’s father pastored. Kaylyn was homeschooled, and she was a victim – note, she was part of the 90% of victims whose perpetrator was either part of the family or someone the family knew.

While Lisa Cherry and Karen Campbell are trying to directly address abuse issues, and I applaud them for that, they are missing that the fear perpetrated by the Homeschool Movement has put homeschool families in harm’s way.

Case in point, read some of these words from Lisa Cherry as she is interviewed by Karen Campbell. They are discussing Kaylyn’s story (Cherry’s daughter), and what has been going on in the homeschool community as sexual abuse stories are coming to light.  My responses: JA response in black. I bolded for emphasis, Karen Campbell = KC, Lisa Cherry = LC  We jump right into the interview as the topic of sex abuse is discussed by Lisa Cherry.

Portions of Transcribed Interview

LC: And I, and I, you know, again, I don’t want to minimize and say we don’t have any problems because we’re people. People in any culture right now will have problems because the devil roams around seeking whom he may devour. It’s a part of the human problem. We’re in an oversexualized culture.

JA response: So first the problem identified, sex abuse, is blamed on Satan – not a human who sinned. This is not an appropriate way to look at sex abuse and is not biblical. Sexual abuse is perpetrated by sinful people. Satan is not the perpetrator. In scripture we read of people committing the sin of sexual immorality, not Satan (1-corinthians 6:12-20). 

Lisa Cherry continues:

But as a community, it’s very important that we not ignore where we might be vulnerable. Instead, we become wise. Now I know that there’s some places online that are saying we need the government to step in, we need more regulation, we need to protect our kids, we need to have more rules, we need to have more laws. Karen, I don’t believe that’s the answer.

JA response: Of course not, not when you believe the government is of Satan. This is what we as homeschool parents been taught for years.

KC: No

JA response: Note that Karen goes along with Lisa.  Karen has been in the homeschool community for years and has followed the same fear bandwagon and continues to perpetuate it.

LC: I don’t believe the government will be able to protect from these kinds of very sensitive things.  

JA response: This is false. Of course the government is not perfect, but the government can and does remove children from harmful environments.  The government can arrest, prosecute and convict offenders and make sure justice is served.

LC: I think, I believe that God placed families together to provide protection for children.

JA response: That’s fine and dandy when it works, but what about when it doesn’t work? What about when a parent is an abuser or fails to properly protect their children, then what? 

LC: At the same time, I do think it’s time for us to update our own homes. So I’ve put together an event coming up now the last week of October, October 26-31. A five-day event. And I just decided we need to do something. We’ve seen enough spectacular cases. We’ve seen HSLDA try to help us with them. We’ve seen people writing about it.  Let’s just stand up as homeschoolers right now and let’s put a week worth of training together. Let’s find some of the best experts in the country that can teach us what we might need to know so that even though the culture is rolling out of control, we will not be rolling out of control.

JA response: Ok, so Lisa touches on the reality that there are some real problems. She has to, her daughter was a victim, and she is using her daughter’s story as a platform within the homeschool community. But pay attention to what she says about the government. It’s the same anti-government mantra. It seems she is saying, “So we know there’s a problem, but we can’t go to the government for help, we have to do it ourselves and that’s why I’ve put together this new conference to put these important issues on the table.”  We’ll see this thought continue.

Further in the interview:

KC: And we have temptations and we have vulnerabilities. In some ways more vulnerability because we tend to not want anybody to know we have a problem. And so…

JA response: Why do we not want anyone to know?  Because of fear – the same fear that we’ve been exposed to for years in the homeschool movement. 

LC: Yeah, Karen, let me, let me speak a word on that because, um, you know, when this happened to us, it became my worst nightmare. Because never in my life did we need more help because we had a very serious situation going on here with a child that was in a dangerous condition. I was afraid that people would, um, would blame our homeschooling. I was afraid, in some sense, I was afraid that, uh, maybe the social service would misconstrue what my daughter was saying and that we would be blamed. You know, as homeschoolers we can have a lot of fear.

JA response: Let’s look at the underscored sentence. She was afraid that if she reported, people would blame her homeschooling?

When you call authorities because your daughter was sexually violated and think “they” are going to be concerned about what method your daughter is educated?  That’s your first thought?  Where is that coming from? I believe that’s coming from the fear perpetuated in the homeschool movement that getting the government involved in our families could threaten our collective rights to homeschool our children.  In other words, your actions (even legitimate actions) could have an effect on the rights of other parents to homeschool if things go wrong. 

When your daughter is sexually violated, a parent’s first concern should be safety of their child and other children  - that a sexual predator is on the loose. The first thought should not be, “I’m afraid they are going to take away my right to homeschool my children.”   [updated this section for clarification]

KC: Oh yeah.

JA response: Ok, here we go, look at this underlying fear and how it affected this family during their crisis.  The Cherry family had to trust someone in order to get their daughter help. Well, even God’s Word talks about submitting to governing authorities and if Christians would do what God’s Word says, the government is God’s vehicle by which sexual perpetrators can be tried, convicted, and punished. God endorses this system, yet we read so many homeschoolers turning away from it and calling it an enemy of God. Ok, which one is it?  Either these verses are in the Bible or they are not. Is God’s Word truth, or is it not? If it is not, does HSLDA and their ilk have a special anti-government Bible translation, or what? What does God’s word say about civil authorities? Are they good or evil? 

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.  For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. Romans 13:1-5

Back to the interview:

LC: You know. What, what’s gonna happen? What if I reach out and it doesn’t go well?  And we hear all these stories of, of, you know, maybe the social service people coming to your front door. And so that put more pressure on us. And here’s what I’d have to say about that.

JA response: Ironically, my friend, Boz Tchividjian, founder of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) was a speaker at the above-referenced conference. I can guarantee you that he did not paint the government and social services out to be evil. He encourages people to first report to authorities if there are concerns about sex abuse. I sure hope Boz’s sessions were well attended. He does not buy into these kinds of fears.

Cherry continues:

LC: You know, we serve a heavenly Father who loves us and in the middle of our deepest pain, He opened a path for help in front of us.

JA response: Yes, He did, it’s all written out for you in Romans 13- use the civil authorities when there is just cause to do so. That’s why they are there.

LC: My path won’t be your path. He has plans that can get us out of this mess. But, being willing, under wise counsel, to bring problems to light and to get help is wisdom.

Trying to bury problems, pretend they’re not there, cooperate with the one who works in darkness, and that won’t bring healing. And so though it, it may feel. Now we need wisdom in the way we do it. I can’t just recommend that you just run right out to anybody and start pouring your soul out. You, you need to have wise counsel. You need to know where you’re going for your help. But, you know, if the first person isn’t able to help ya, pick yourself back up and go and look for somebody else.

KC: Yes

LC: You know, because I had to go several places before we could get some help. But there are people in the body of Christ who will listen, who’ve been there, and uh, and they will support us in prayer.

JA response: I urge people, once again, when there is suspected sexual abuse, report it to civil authorities, as God’s ordained authority in the civil world, to get perpetrators brought to justice.  Then, after civil authorities are called, go to friends and counsel for spiritual guidance and support.  The first response is so important so that trained professionals can investigate and make sure the perpetrator is investigated and the victim is no longer in harm’s way.

 

 

Late edit: This tweet came in after I sent the link to this article on Twitter:

 

 

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Special thanks to Kathi for transcribing the podcast and sharing it with me.

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

Continue reading

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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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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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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