Doug Phillips & Vision Forum, Full-Quiver, Homeschool Movement, Modesty and Purity Teachings, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement, Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Spiritual Abuse, Stay-At-Home Daughters Movement, Vision Forum, Women and the Church

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

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

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And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;

Philippians 1:9-10

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I wanted to start off with this Young Turks Video discussing The Christian Patriarchy Movement or Stay-At-Home Daughters movement.  The Young Turks appeal to a secular crowd and it’s interesting to see how they analyze it.  I think their analysis is quite good.  Oh, and the feminism part at the end, if you think those ideas are whacked and there is no way a Christian would say those things, think again and Google search Kevin Swanson.  Kevin Swanson is part of this movement, friends with Doug Phillips and he regularly spews rhetoric so vile that the secular media has a heyday with it.  Gotta love that kind of “representing Christ.”

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Warning for mild profanity and plenty of snark.

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The above video has good discussion on some of the basics of Patriarchy.  However, what happens at a deeper level with the young ladies as they mature into adulthood and beyond?  

Although, the young woman involved in the Doug Phillips affair has not been identified, it is commonly known that she was young, probably just 18 years old when the relationship started.  The relationship may have lasted 10 years.  Ruth left a comment on the previous article that I was so glad to see because it’s been something that I’ve spent time thinking about, too, as far as the long-term effects of living in at home as a stay-at-home daughter.

Some people have suggested that this “affair”  (not the “Biblical know” kind of affair, as Phillips was compelled to point out) was not an abusive relationship.  I completely disagree because the young ladies who are from these circles are often repressed emotionally, unable to make the kinds of decisions that others outside the Homeschool Movement circle may be able to make much more prudently.

The big question is:  do these young ladies even possess the skills to be able to protect themselves in this environment?

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This picture was taken by my friend, a young lady who was part of the church/cult group I was in. Isn’t it beautiful?


NOVEMBER 30, 2013 @ 7:51 PM [EDIT]

Long time lurker, first time poster. What has brought me here is trying to better understand the young women I’ve come to know personally over the last year who have been severely damaged by biblical patriarchy, spiritual and physical abuse in their religious environments, and yes, autocratic fearful, ignorance based homeschooling. The plural of anecdote is not data of course — I speak only of personal observation and a long life lived. Nevertheless, these young women who have tried to venture out into the world beyond their homeschool patriarchy silos are damaged, not by the world, but by being unprepared to deal with it. They were crippled before they ever left home. It’s not the world of college that devastates them, it’s the lies they were taught before they got there and the enormous cognitive dissonance it creates when the fabric of their childhood unravels.

With all due respect, if these young, dependent, overly sheltered homeschooled young women had been exposed to the women I know who are in college environments, my professor friends and peers, or if they had met the “worldly” young people I know in college themselves or recently graduated, maybe these stay at home girls might have learned about basic things, such as what inappropriate touching is, and words such as “no.” As someone pointed out regarding Phillips’ abused victim, she would have been safer in college than as a stay at home daughter. Keeping her under cover of her father and Phillips didn’t protect her — it groomed her to be an abuse victim. Sending a homeschooled, sheltered son or daughter to college or otherwise out into the world without having ever learned to question authority and think critically would be dangerous and could be devastating but the problem isn’t with the college. It’s the mindset that elevates unquestioning obedience to earthly male authority and teaches her that she’s nothing but a womb waiting to be filled.

I firmly believe that I keep my children “safe” by equipping them with knowledge, skills, and the ability to think critically, by teaching them how to listen, and how to make good decisions for the day when I’m not there.

Lady Lydia responded:

“It’s not the world of college that devastates them, it’s the lies they were taught before they got there.”
Ruth, what lies are you referring to being taught at home? What you describe doesn’t sound like our home or ANY homeschool environment I know. Sounds like major broad brush stereotyping to me.

Ruth followed up with a response to Lady Lydia:

Am I stereotyping, LL? Well, I was writing anecdotally, which I conceded. However, I think examples of what I write are well documented in the spiritual abuse survivor communities and religious progressive blogsphere. As I understand it, dissonance is cited as the reason why there is, apparently, a growing discrepancy between young and old evangelicals/fundamentalists on the issue of LGBTs. Ultimately, once exposed to say, an LGBT person or a liberal feminist, they can’t reconcile what they were taught with the reality of the person they meet and have come to like and respect. This extends to a critical examination of previously accepted factual, historical, scientific, and even Biblical information as well. You see examples of this painful reassessment process over and over in the spiritual abuse survivor communities, as these people present what they were taught, analyze it, and painfully come to realize that they can no longer accept it as true.

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

  1. Patrice—good points.
    And the issue of “mental illness”,,I remember that was Charles Stanley’s reason for divorcing his wife..unless I got it wrong.

    Your step dad “giving permission”

    When I was remarried and not yet a believer, I wanted a Rabbi and a RC priest to marry us because in my ignorance that’s what I thought I should do. the Priest would not marry me because I was divorced. He wanted me to get a Jewish certificate of absolution)separate from my divorce papers–it was a “religious divorce” (I think called a “Get”) from my ex. I did not want to pay the 350.00 required, so we just went with the Rabbi! I wonder if according to Jewish law, I am still married to my first!
    I would have to look into that. Never felt the need before.


  2. A question arose here that has arisen recently on the Wartburg Watch. That is, whether God tells people whom to marry. Now I do not believe that he always does so, but he did in my case. I had been married before, and we divorced b/c she was sleeping around, got pregnant, had an abortion, and went back to sleeping around. Not my idea of marriage.

    Some time later, after over a year of being single, my family and some friends began praying about my being single. I also began praying that God would reveal to me whether I should marry again, and I laid a fleece out before him that, I would know that a woman was the right one and that I should marry again if she proposed. I told no one but God about this.

    Now 35 years ago, I was standing in the choir at church, singing the invitation hymn, eyes closed, praying as I always did. I “heard” “open your eyes and see your future.” It was in my head! I did, and a young woman that I had met two weeks previously was joining the church, shaking the pastor’s hand. In the two weeks following her joining the church, we were together on several occasions, and had a date, supper at her place and a movie to follow. And after dinner and before the movie, she proposed.

    Do not tell me that God does not speak, does not provide an appropriate mate, etc. I have 35 years of sharing life with a person that is an ideal partner for me. And I heard God speak. And I saw an answer to prayer. It does not always happen, but sometimes it does. BTW, my sin was not marrying a second time, but in marrying the wrong person for the wrong reasons the first time.


  3. Hannah, yes, would be fascinating to find out why the Rabbi thought it ok to marry you. My pastor-father married unbelievers because they were not “unequally yoked” and he saw himself also as a representative of the state as well as a religious figure. He thought the RC was the “whore of Babylon” lol so he would likely have found marrying you ok. Sheesh

    I wish you all the joy and freedom of our God. This God is immensely tall and wide and so are His/Her arms.


  4. Hannah: “There really is not much in the Bible about it, except that if a man divorces a woman, she is committing adultery if she remarries.(Through no fault of her own) We can probably have a huge discussion on that.”

    In the thread others link to here, some people recommend the writings of David Instone-Brewer on divorce. In short, part of it is that he says:
    The word that gets translated “divorce” in some Bible translations and “put away” in others is actually, in the original language, a word for separation without divorce: Men leaving their wives and they cannot legally remarry, but only “live in sin” if they find a guy again. And it is not blamed on the one woman who finds a man again after the other one left: While God blames people for their own sin, this time the leaving man is blamed for his (ex-)wife’s adultery. Does this mean that she, in the eyes of God, did not commit a sin?
    I won’t answer that, but I think of the story in Gen. 38, wherin the woman who did what she had to do was testified by Judah more righteous than him, who had a choice.


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