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

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

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Homeschoolers Feeling the Ups and Downs of the Doug Phillips Scandal

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A comment came in yesterday and several of you have already left great comments. This morning when I woke up, I was struck with another aspect I see going on and think it is important to discuss. Here’s the original comment from Anonymous:

[EDITORIAL ADDITION, NOVEMBER 17: For those who may be new to some aspects of the patriarchy movement, the acronym FIC stands for Family-Integrated Church. In some of the articles on Doug Phillips, and movements involving homeschooling, Vision Forum, and/or patriarchy, you may also run across NCFIC, which stands for National Center for Family-Integrated Churches. Scott Brown serves as NCFIC Director, and other NCFIC board members are Don Hart and Jim Zes. All three of these men are also on the board of directors for Vision Forum Ministries, which is in the process of being dissolved.]

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Hi Everyone,

I rarely participate in online forums, so I’m really sure how to suggest something without sounding really harsh or offensive, but some people from our church have been reading around the boards looking for some insight as to how we should feel about DPs resignation. It’s a huge deal for many FICs.

I’ve noticed a lot of people suggesting that somehow the female was a victim and DP was a sex offender. Although this issue is a HUGE scandal for the VF movement and patriarchal circles, I don’t really think many people understand how DP is viewed in his community, especially by women.

MANY women revere(d) him. Many young and even married women revered him. To them he was an idyllic father/husband figure. For some women, it’s even easy to cross the line into sin of the heart.

So, I’m not quite sure where the idea came up that DP was a sex offender or that she is a victim of sexual assault. The female involved was engaged in a consensual affair, and she wasn’t underage. Doug Phillips is offensive in so many ways to normal individuals who exist outside the patriarchal realm, and I have no question after watching him speak many times that he has a deeply evil side, but there are women that look to him like a beacon of hope.

And no, the woman involved was not an employee as someone stated about. She was doing service to one of the biggest and most powerful families in her movement. These people were like her family. Why she chose to go down this road may not be as much a mystery as some believe. He painted himself as the paradigm of strong leadership and, if people can think Hitler’s leadership was worthy of following, it’s not hard to see why DP achieved so much attention.

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I’m so thankful that Anonymous commented because I am certain that his/her comment represents many voices of those who have been strongly influenced by Phillips. This is a big honkin’ deal in the Homeschool Movement. It’s shocking. Many people are continuing to read these posts (hit counts on the blog have easily tripled ever since the breaking of the story). I praise God for that. Is there confusion among the camp? I’m sure there is.

If you read through the comment, you might be able to sense the confusion, although I do not believe that Anonymous felt he/she was confused. There is waffling, the blame is shifted to the woman (this commenter also rightly acknowledges some blame with Phillips, but it seems to be minimized).

“I don’t really think many people understand how DP is viewed in his community, especially by women.”

This sentence gives us a picture that says “we really know what is going on within the community, that outsiders aren’t privy to understand.” There is a sense that those of us on the outside and are talking about the scandal just don’t get it. This is part of the spiritually abusive pattern we see so many times. It ties in with the sense of elitism that many experience in spiritually abusive churches.

There are many people reading here looking for answers, looking for how the outside world perceives the situation. They now have a sense that all was not as rosy at it had once appeared. They may still believe the underlying or general messages of Doug Phillips, but the rug has been pulled out from under them. Now what?

For some, reading the words and comments on blogs will be very difficult. There will be anger and even outrage that some are saying such rude or cruel things. Some will say that those commenting against Phillips just don’t get it. Others will connect with some words they are reading and acknowledge there is some truth.

The Doug Phillips Scandal
has Rocked the Homeschool World.

For those who are new to my blog and reading, I want to quickly give a little background. I’ve been a homeschooling mom for 22 years. I am currently homeschooling 2 children – – the last of my quiver of 7. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a homeschool mom (although I readily admit that now I am somewhat tired – hey, keeping it real!).

In the late ’90s, we lived in Virginia. At my church, maybe 10% of the families homeschooled their children. I attended HEAV (Home Educators Association of Virginia). This was the only Christian homeschooling convention I knew of. It had keynote speakers like Mike Farris and Chris Klicka, Gregg Harris, etc. I cannot remember if Doug Phillips at that time was popular enough to be a keynote speaker, but my husband and I heard him several times at the conventions. I was drawn to his message and even bought my husband a series of CDs for fathers/husbands.

I liked what he was presenting and I wanted my family to look like the family that Phillips presented to us. I didn’t quite know how I was going to pull off the Victorian-dress thing, but I figured I could do a lot of the rest. It seemed very godly to me. I held Phillips and his message in high regard and wished that people in my church would get with the program.

Since I’ve been blogging, been privy to many stories of abuse, I’ve been able to see patterns that have been troubling and some have been alarming. These are situations that I never could have imagined before, but after reading the personal accounts and understanding what has been taught in Patriarchy, in the Homeschool Movement, the dots have been connected and now I see it as a system that can breed abuse if power is given to someone undeserving.

I have great compassion and empathy for those of you who are reading and trying to make sense of this. I get it. I was there. I’ve had to slowly shed the extra-biblical teachings and get back to basics.

If there is just one iota of something that you have read here that makes sense and confirms a suspicion, or answers an unanswered question, I encourage you to keep reading. Keep digging. Keep searching for answers. Search the scriptures and see if what has been taught to you lines up.

If you have questions, please feel free to ask here. I will be moderating carefully. I expect that my regular readers will treat you with utmost respect as so many of them have walked in your shoes having left difficult church situations.

If you feel uncomfortable asking publicly, you can also e-mail me (spirituals@gmail.com) or request to join the forum at spiritualsbforum@gmail.com where there is a special area set up for homeschoolers. This forum is private and many people only use their first name or a pseudonym. It is a safe place.

My heart goes out to those of you who are in a state of confusion. I remember that place well. I pray that God will reveal His truth to you and that you will not stop searching until you have that peace that surpasses all understanding.

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photo credit: rachaelvoorhees via photopin cc

159 comments on “People Affected by Doug Phillips’s Ministry: What Now?

  1. “We also pray for the woman involved, whomever she may be, that she, too, will repent of her sin if she hasn’t already . . .”

    They have transmogrified Doug Phillips’ victim into the perp.

    “We also fervently pray that the Lord will keep the howling wolves at bay, those who are gleefully delighting in our brother’s fall, those who are shrieking and cackling and frothing at the mouth, while they, themselves, wallow in the filth and glory in the stench of their own sin, even some who profess Christ. May those who are His repent of their gossip and gloating,”

    Shrieking and cackling? They are characterizing DP’s detractors as witches. How interesting that, in attributing vile conduct to us, evil personified takes the form of a woman.

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  2. Ok, I went to this blog. The writer posts to an anonymous poster …..”Anonymous”, if you’d like us to post or respond to your question/comment, you’ll have to identify yourself before we’d consider doing so. We’re not inclined to give a voice to people who hide behind anonymity. What you had to say may be legitimate, but I’m sure you understand our reasons for ensuring that those who speak to any issue on our blog do so openly and transparently. ” AND YET she has NO information on who she is on her ABOUT ME… nor do the other two contributors. Hmmmm Double standard ?

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  3. I really wish I could copy that whole blog post and make a Learn and Discern article out of it, but I haven’t been given permission to use it. It is so revealing of someone who is drinking the Kool-Aid and it is thick.

    In paragraph one there is nothing but defending this system of patriarchy: Doug Phillips happened to be one of the few men bold enough to speak those truths for many years, and we remain exceedingly thankful that the Lord raised him up for such a time as this. Doug is their hero for teaching the Word. No one else did this, but Doug did: thankful for the challenge he laid before us some many years ago to order our personal lives, as well as our family life, in a way which reflects that which is directly and principally taught in the Word. Doug’s teachings are Biblical.

    Doug, he has seemingly proven himself to be wholly repentant, taking all necessary steps to subject himself to the accountability and oversight of his church elders, to make amends where and as possible,

    This is a complete farce. He has proven nothing except that he likes attention and he hasn’t completely turned over the keys to Vision Forum. Where do we see that he has subjected himself to accountability with his elders? Where has he made amends – he has not even mentioned the victim? Repentance can only be judged over years of time, not immediately after two vague public statements.

    We also pray for the woman involved, whomever she may be, that she, too, will repent of her sin if she hasn’t already, that she will find forgiveness and restoration in that One Who paid the ultimate price for our sin, Who willingly subjected Himself to the cross that we might be spared the justly deserved eternal wrath of a Holy God.

    This is so revealing of the culture. She did it. You don’t hear anything of Doug’s sin, only a reflection of his repentance. This is the typical response to adultery: the woman is responsible. I was actually shocked to read how much responsibility they place on the woman, even though I know the pattern. To see it in writing – ACK!

    We also fervently pray that the Lord will keep the howling wolves at bay, those who are gleefully delighting in our brother’s fall, those who are shrieking and cackling and frothing at the mouth, while they, themselves, wallow in the filth and glory in the stench of their own sin, even some who profess Christ. May those who are His repent of their gossip and gloating, and may those who are without have the scales removed from their eyes and be brought into the saving knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    Yea, because everybody who looks suspiciously at this culture that Phillips created is the enemy. This shows the elitism – they have it the right way and anyone who questions, criticizes, discusses this situation is of the enemy. Doug Wilson said this. Doug Phillips in his clarification did the same. That is how cult leaders work and it trickles down to even the lowly people who will fight to defend the evil system they are living in. You do not question the “godly way we do things.” How sad. Some people will only view any discussion of this as an attack and they will take that attack as persecution. Instead of using Phillips’ scandal to question, dig deeper into God’s Word to question if all of this teaching was correct, the outside “persecution” only underscores for them that they are doing the right thing. They feel they are being persecuted for righteousness sake. “It’s the enemy attacking us so we need to hold firm to what we’ve been taught.” Sick.

    BTW, if you take a look at that website, you can see that they are in big-time with everything Vision Forum. I saw an article where they put together gifts to distribute at a homeschool convention. The gift was an assortment of items. I recognized Vision Forum items, CD by Botkin girls, etc.

    Look on their sidebar:

    FAVOURITE LINKS
    Answers In Genesis
    Generations With Vision (This is Kevin Swanson’s baby)
    HeartCry Missionary Society (Paul Washer)
    National Center For Family Integrated Churches (This group was originally part of Vision Forum and broke off. Scott Brown is now director)
    Vision Forum
    Voddie Baucham Ministries

    ’nuff said.

    Like

  4. I don’t question who they support. I imagine if one digs deep enough we could get their names if we wanted to but they require posters to share more than they do? Or perhaps just the posters that disagree with them??

    Like

  5. Has anyone read “Peace Child’ by Don Richardson? He was a missionary to a tribe of cannibals for whom “the heroes are men who formed friendships with the express purpose of later betraying the befriended one to be killed and eaten,” a practice known as “fattening with friendship for the slaughter.” When he read the Gospel to them, they thought Judas was the greatest hero in history. 3 years of being Jesus’ friend before throwing Him under the bus! Amazing! 3 whole years! For Phillips, it was more like 10. OK– I’m not saying Phillips was a cannibal or a Judas. But I took some time to look back through certain archives, and found the alleged victim (or alleged Delilah, if you’re Mr Wilson) over and over again, mentioned as a special friend to the Phillips family, or a big sister to the kids. Phillips plastered photos and videos (allegedly) of his alleged victim with his family– all over the world wide Internet, for crying out loud! It takes real ******* (Mr Rogers can’t say the best terms) to do something like that! The evil was of an incestuous nature, considering how he and his family looked upon the woman. But you can’t go to jail for a physical component with a friend, unless the physical component started further back, which is of course possible. Obviously, there may be other victims or financial components we don’t know about yet, and those could challenge his lawyerly skills.

    Like

  6. It doesn’t take a scandal to question the nature of the movement to which Phillips was attached. That a scandal has surfaced is not the least bit surprising.

    Like

  7. I’m revisiting this:

    “I’ve noticed a lot of people suggesting that somehow the female was a victim and DP was a sex offender. Although this issue is a HUGE scandal for the VF movement and patriarchal circles, I don’t really think many people understand how DP is viewed in his community, especially by women.

    MANY women revere(d) him. Many young and even married women revered him. To them he was an idyllic father/husband figure. For some women, it’s even easy to cross the line into sin of the heart.

    So, I’m not quite sure where the idea came up that DP was a sex offender or that she is a victim of sexual assault. The female involved was engaged in a consensual affair, and she wasn’t underage. Doug Phillips is offensive in so many ways to normal individuals who exist outside the patriarchal realm, and I have no question after watching him speak many times that he has a deeply evil side, but there are women that look to him like a beacon of hope.

    And no, the woman involved was not an employee as someone stated about. She was doing service to one of the biggest and most powerful families in her movement. These people were like her family. Why she chose to go down this road may not be as much a mystery as some believe. He painted himself as the paradigm of strong leadership and, if people can think Hitler’s leadership was worthy of following, it’s not hard to see why DP achieved so much attention.”

    ……… And I do think it is worth noting that many people, and that includes women, seem to be looking for a hero. Just see how popular celebrities are. These larger than life figures (and to be sure Phillips was a celebrity preacher) represent to the human psyche our own possibilities that we are too scared to attempt. The fear of failure is a real thing, as is the fear of success.

    And lets face it, some women, many women, are turned on by fame, fortune and power. Phillips had all three.

    So yes, I can see where women and even teenage girls might become smitten with him. That being said, has the one holding the power it is his responsibility to put out any such fires, not inflame them further.

    HOWEVER, men like him will not do so because that is why they purposely enter, or at least gravitate towards, vocations where they can eventually achieve fame and power.

    Please google “dark triad”

    I’m willing to bet that most people in positions of huge power are dark triad types.

    Like

  8. While all your comments are interesting (I couldn’t read them all I homeschool) it appears that some have formulated their own opinions as to the integrity of DP’s message. Because he has sinned, now the beginning message has no validity and all he’s ever been doing is lurking for families to hurt. This is simply not true. He is truthful and yes, he had to confess when “busted” but don’t we all sin? Don’t we all fall short? He was never trying to preach one thing and live another. This sin he chose and walked in really is not who he is. And for homeschoolers and other onlookers to summarize his life and intentions by this sin is SIN. We can talk about how it hurt us. We can talk about how it hurt our families, but mostly what we should be doing is praying for Beall and his children and for HIM for that matter! I’m surprised that most of you don’t understand that sin will approach us all….none of us will be perfect….and to see wolves like this in the homeschooling community is dreadful for all of us who should pray for our fallen comrades cuz the day will come and you KNOW it will that you will be the one in the hot seat of sin desperately wondering why the wolves are attacking you!

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