Doug Phillips & Vision Forum, Homeschool Movement, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement, Reconstructionist-Dominion Movement, Spiritual Abuse, Stay-At-Home Daughters Movement, Women and the Church

Supporting Survivors of Doug Phillips’ Apostasy

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

You who preach against stealing, do you steal?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Julie Anne  NOVEMBER 13, 2013 @ 11:54 AM 

T.W. Eston:

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

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

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

*****

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

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

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

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Julie Anne  NOVEMBER 13, 2013 @ 1:03 PM

Nikki,

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

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

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Julie Anne  NOVEMBER 13, 2013 @ 1:26 PM 

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

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

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

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Thanks Julie Anne for your courtesies.

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

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

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

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Nikki Ecala NOVEMBER 13, 2013 @ 2:13 PM 

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

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

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

*****

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

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

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Scott

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three Aspects of Support for Promoting Survivor Recovery

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

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

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

Related articles:

photo credit: gautsch. via photopin cc

165 thoughts on “Supporting Survivors of Doug Phillips’ Apostasy”

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

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

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

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  2. Hi Julie Anne, et. al.,

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

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

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

    Thanks.

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

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

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

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

    Odd.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  16. Sarah,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  19. I almost thought it was legit until I saw that word 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  25. Sarah,

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

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

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

    So now, where are those videos?

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  27. Note from JA:

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

    Thanks!

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  28. JA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  35. JA- Sorry to get you riled up 😉
    At least you got out–praise God for that.

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

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

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

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

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  37. Why the focus so much on the daughters?

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

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  38. This sounds very much like Mormonism.

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

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

    What about the pride element?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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