Doug Phillips & Vision Forum, Family Integrated Churches, Full-Quiver, Homeschool Legal Defense Association, Homeschool Movement, Modesty and Purity Teachings, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement, Personal Stories, Reconstructionist-Dominion Movement, Stay-At-Home Daughters Movement

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

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

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

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

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Julie Anne-

Thanks so much for sharing your story through your blog.  I’ve been doing a ton of thinking the past month or so since the whole Doug Phillips thing blew up.  It has been a huge wake-up call for me and I’m reading and listening to many viewpoints across the internet. I’m going through the stages of grief in a way as some of our dreams are dying. Underneath it all, I do have this feeling of finally being set free from some lies and fear we have been living with for many years.

I think our family is very similar to yours, but you are several years ahead of us on this journey.  We also touched on the fringes of the movement, have had much of the garbage infiltrate our lives and now we are at a point where I’m trying to figure out what to do.

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We have 8 kids under the age of 16, mostly girls.  My wife does an admirable job with the home education but at this point we are at the breaking point.

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The past year we have finally released the older two children to a public charter school and we are on the verge of doing the same with the younger ones.  For a while, we were heading down the familiar path–daughters preparing for motherhood, courtship, not going to college, etc…but I’ve completely soured on all of that.  Our girls are doing sports through the local schools, preparing for college and other “baby steps” towards more normal life.

I just listed to the very long podcast you were a part of on Godtalk and I was sick to my stomach thinking about the damage we may have done and could do.  My wife is still somewhat on board with the whole quiver-full thing, Above Rubies, and the other typical parties.

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This type of thinking has seriously permeated a large portion of the home schooling sub-culture to the point the subtle pressure is felt down in the trenches in local groups and cliques.  

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She still seems to be pretty enslaved to thought that she can “do it all” and somehow shelter our kids from the evil out there.  It’s a false view of spirituality I guess–the evil is out there, not in us.   I feel like it we are miserable here with no freedom or joy anymore.

My questions to you:

Would you still home-school knowing what you know now?

What would you do differently?

Do you recommend any form of discipline/training?  I’ve been drawn to love and logic and have read/listened to some of those materials. Any other advice for those of us our here who are someone in between those two camps? 

I see good and bad in both sides and think we can blend the two to some degree.  It may be a child-by-child decision to adapt to their needs and maturity, but I’m also interested in how people manage these complexities.

Thanks so much!

A Concerned Dad

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I’d like to open this up for all of us to respond.  I certainly don’t have all of the answers. How would you respond to A Concerned Dad?

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photo credit: wormwould via photopin cc

238 thoughts on “After the Doug Phillips Vision Forum Scandal: What Should We as Homeschoolers Parents Do Now?”

  1. Note that Gary blamed women for emasculating men. Gary is spouting the Fundy party politics. Which is always amusing as it gives women power over his masculinity.

    They’re after his Precious Bodily Fluids(TM).

    Which reminds me of a peppy little tune from Dr Demento many-many years ago (whose YouTube versions never have good sound quality):

    Bwahahahhahaha!

    Here come the lesbians!
    Here come the leaping lesbians!
    We’re going to please you, tease you
    Hypnotize you, try to squeeze you
    We’re going to get you if we can!
    Here come the lesbians!

    Don’t go and try to fight it
    Run away or try to hide it
    We want your loving; that’s our plan!
    Here come the lesbians!

    Ah-ah-ah
    Don’t look in the closet!
    Ah-ah-ah
    Who’s creeping down the stairs?
    Ah-ah-ah
    Who’s slipping up behind you?
    Ah-ah-ah
    Watch out; better beware!

    Ice fingers feeling, stealing
    Reaching out from floor to ceiling
    You can’t escape; you’re in our hands!
    Here come the lesbians!

    Inside your heart is racing
    When you see our shadow’s chasing
    Here come the lesbians!
    (Here come the lesbians!)
    Here come the lesbians!
    (Here come the lesbians!)
    The leaping lesbians…

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  2. I just don’t understand the thinking that somehow college equates to education. We have to come to an understanding of what true education is. What does the Bible say about education? I get the sense from what I read so far is that we are deeply indoctrinated with the world’s idea of education. Let’s get back to the Bible.

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  3. You say “let’s get back to the Bible.” What does the Bible say is education? I think the Bible speaks of certain forms of training and wisdom, but never speaks much about job skills and career knowledge, except to say we should use our time and talents and gifts well. It goes without saying that getting the right kind of college education could help some people to use their time, talents and gifts for God. God had no problem with skilled workers and asked, for example, some skilled craftsmen to help with the temple of Solomon.

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  4. Retha, that’s my point. What jobs do college really prepare you for? Very few, except for engineering and maybe a couple others. The vast majority of degrees are worthless when it comes for earning a living.

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  5. Carmen, perhaps “worthless” is a little strong. How about “lacking in preparing our children for a good job?”

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  6. Adam, that would not be my take on post-secondary education at all. Having four children with college/university degrees and knowing many of their friends who also are well-educated, I can tell you that most, if not all, have great jobs and successful careers. I am consistently amazed at the incredible and interesting vocations some of these young people are experiencing; many of them are also travelling and meeting all sorts of people. The best part is, some of them still come to visit us and tell us about their adventures!

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  7. Carmen, that is wonderful news for your children and their friends. I know of some, too. But, there are many who have been sold on college as the gateway to a “good job” who have not this success, having to work part-time jobs that do not need a college education and have to live with their parents. And more and more this is becoming the norm, not the exception. Just read the papers. And not only that, they are graduating (if they graduate) with mountains of debt that virtually assures them they will never own a home. I know this because I’m a mortgage consultant.

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  8. A part of me leaps to Carmen’s defense (shocking I know ). I maintain that for those who can get through it with minimum debt and who have the ambition/inclination, college remains both a wonderful experience and a necessary per-requisite to advancement in most professions — more necessary than ever as the US sees the erosion of military and federal government employment and middle-class manufacturing. College isn’t supposed to teach you how to be a Vice President of Development, a law librarian, or a senior budget analyst for a municipality — though it is supposed to prepare you intellectually and emotionally to grow into those and other professions. You learn to write, read and think critically, acquire social skills, and develop science and quantitative literacy.

    Nevertheless, it is certainly true that spiraling costs and struggling economy have made college a poor choice for some persons. But mounting that legitimate critique is different from saying college is bad/worthless because it is not in the Bible or conversely that college can only be good if precedents for it can be construed from the Bible. Is that the argument that is being put forth?

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  9. Ruth, no one said that college was “bad/worthless because it was not in the Bible” nor “that college can be good if precedents for it can be construed from the Bible.” But, we have to think thru what education is according to the Bible. I suggest we all do our own study of this. You say that college is “supposed to prepare you intellectually and emotionally to grow into…professions. You learn to read and think critically, acquire social skills, and develop science and quantitative literacy.” These all can be attained without running up debt or draining the parent’s bank account over 5 years at some campus away from the family. The reason so many families adopt this model and send their children away from the family because “that’s what everyone seems to be doing.” I don’t think they really think it thru. In today’s economy (and I fear it will stay this way for a while), this just isn’t a smart model for educating oneself either financially nor practically. With the rise of the internet (think autodidact), CLEP, testing out, local community technical certificate programs, and the like, it just makes more sense today to jettison this method of educating our young.

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  10. Adam (5:10pm, 15th) Setting aside the outrageous expense that upper level education has become in our society, which is a different problem altogether, you are simply incorrect.

    We learn best when we are face to face with teachers and amongst peers. This is because we are relational creatures and because we live in a physical world. Schools together with practicums/apprenticeships have been, throughout human history, the prime way to learn to think systematically, to be given the tools for an accurate view of reality, and to practice our knowledge into skills.

    Second best is to learn individually through books and online learning. It can be done, but it is often done poorly, and it is not practical learning. I am glad of the internet and for libraries for those who are not able to learn through schools, but I would never say that it is the preferred method. I am also glad of the internet and libraries to learn what I could not get in college/university because they bolster and deepen the knowledge-paths I was set on by wonderful teachers.

    So you are also incorrect to say that people do it “because that’s what everyone seems to be doing”. People do it because it is a good way to learn and because it was de rigueur before the economy, our gov’t, and education was destroyed by neoliberals and/or neoconservatives (whichever label you prefer).

    Did you go to school or learn online? You have not had a good education, and I recommend you go back to learn logic and work on recomposing a world view that is big enough to include all the universe, of which God made all. Nothing less will do.

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  11. Adam,

    I think that part of the problem is that kids, these days, want to be an executive, right out of college, instead of starting at the bottom and working up. College Education is always great. It’s the students expectation that gets in the way of a successful life. College debt isn’t new. Part time jobs for college students isn’t new. Living in the parents house during college isn’t new. Frat parties isn’t new. Spring Break isn’t new. But the graduate, today, does not wish to start out in the mail-room, as he/she thinks that they are entitled, due to that degree. Draining the parent’s bank account isn’t new. College costs money for a variety of reasons. I have no idea why the Bible is even being included in the conversation about what an education is. The Apostle Paul, who was Saul, was taught by a DOCTOR of the Law. That’s pretty formal if you ask me. College Educated. Seems like you are trying to indicate that the Bible is against college education?????

    However, since you say that you are a mortgage consultant, then maybe one class that they should have taken was a budgeting class. We all know that we cannot live beyond our means. But if one budgets…and another doesn’t…the one who budgets will get that house, even with a mountain of debt from college loans, etc.

    Advice:
    Buy used cars from Craig’s List, but not from a car dealer
    Buy used furniture at garage sales, etc., and not from a Furniture Store Liquidation sale.

    Ton’s of ways to save money, while getting that expensive college education so that you can buy a house when you are ready to buy a house.

    A college graduate doesn’t need to buy a house as soon as graduation. But budgeting will get you far.

    Ed

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  12. Ed, my child is a recent college grad. All of her friends came out with 10-30 K in debts even while working part time throughout (from public institutions). There are only a handful of ~100 grads (I used to teach, so also keep tabs on others) who have found jobs in their field and the rest are now working in service jobs and many of them part time. They all drive old cars. They live together in apts to cut rent. They shop almost exclusively at second hand stores and have gardens wherever they go. I have been teaching them to can/freeze. Mortgages are not even on their screen.

    They are scrimping to pay off their debts because they are responsible kids. One fell into a health hole and now has an additional 6k in debt and the problem is not yet solved. Having nowhere to go, many of them are considering further education in specialized fields which, of course, will only add to the debt and that terrifies them.

    I am in the Detroit area, which is worse than many places in the country, but this is a national problem. Things are not as they used to be.

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  13. Patrice

    What I see around our area (increasing also) are single moms by choice (more $ from Uncle Sam than if they were married) that have up to 4 kids because that’s the maximum Obama will pay for. One I work with makes 28K a year salary,(she knows exactly how much she can earn to get the most perks) gets free health care, paid housing, food stamps, day care, free online associate degrees (to prove they are trying to get work) etc. In fact, she gets more back then she pays in taxes on her 28K job… All in all she states it is as if she earns about 65-75K a year. never went to college-first kid at 16. She’s now 25. At least she is working. Many are not.
    I see many of these moms during the day at a nearby moderate priced restaurant sipping margaritas while the college kids trying to pay back their student loans are taking their orders
    It is sad to have these college grads in this situation while there are those who rip off the system who will never work, and live off the government. Something is wrong.

    It used to be that there was a true need..now it is a vocation to take the easy way. That is if you have a functioning uterus.

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  14. PS. We know a young man of 20 that works for his dad. Dad is a Christian. Dad was an immigrant and hard worker. was saved and delivered from alcoholism.
    Son gets girlfriend pregnant, and tells us he is not getting married cause he will lose government benefits.
    Marriage is a dying institution with our youth.
    Forget the moral implications of child out of wedlock.
    Believe it or not the son says he is a Christian.
    I guess if he made a profession of faith, that can’t be taken away.

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  15. Oh, also iphone bills are paid for. And I believe the phone itself is even paid for. Will have to check but this person seems to crack her iphone frequently and gets it replaced.

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  16. JA- I wasn’t speaking of women trapped in abusive relationships.

    It wasa contrast to the discussion on unemployment for college grads with high loans.

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  17. Patrice,

    I hear ya!! This is indeed a reality for some. And, it is indeed my point. What was the expectation of the graduate? A high paying job from the word “Graduated”?

    The job market, economy, LOCATION (i.e., Detroit) makes a big difference on if and when one will land that high paying job.

    I think my point is this: Rethink your after Graduation expectations, and make a HUGE list of alternatives. A person does NOT have to scrimp, like you mention. If a door opens in California, then close the door in Detroit.

    My ex-wife has a great saying…You Get What You Settle For

    Ed

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  18. Patrice,

    Hannah brings up a good point. How many have an iPhone? How much money per month does that cost? Unlimited this, and unlimited that, etc. Throw that phone in the trash. Get a Magic Jack…After that, pay a $100 fee, getting 5 years of free phone calls. No hidden costs, etc. I have one. Always try to find ways to save HUGE amounts of money over the long term. How many have a big screen TV that they “can’t live without”, etc.

    All these hi-tech toys, that they just cannot live without?

    Ed

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  19. Now that I read some recent comments again, I notice false accusations against me: I understand the Bible differently from Gary, and asks him difficult questions he cannot answer. Gary quotes Ruth, and calls her words my words: “Retha cleared up what I was beginning to suspect when she wrote”
    “I find the rhetorical devices Gary uses so illuminating. First, there is the assumption that I read the Bible as he does, that is, as inerrant text” ”

    Stop committing false testimony, Gary Fore: I never said that.
    Those were not my words, but now Gary can say he don’t have to answer me or any of us and can disappear with his holier-than-thou attitude intact: He is clearly better and more right than any of us because I (actually, Ruth) said that of the Bible. And he don’t have to answer anyone, he don’t even have to read enough to ascribe the correct name to text (he called me Reba earlier, now he calls Ruth Retha).

    How much do we trust the Bible reading of a man who puts that level of carefulness into his reading?

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  20. Julie Anne…That’s why you are the “smart” one!! My cell phone is pretty dumb. It’s just a track phone, pay as you go.

    I try to use my dumb cell phone for work purposes only, and I use my Magic Jack as a home phone.

    But for your job…it’s a need.

    Ed

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  21. Jason Bassett December 15th @ 3:06pm linked the Nathaniel Darnell article — hope you’re still reading since the conversation is going down another track. He does say some good things in the article. But I think he’s still making (or buying) some colossal assumptions with his “When Soldiers Fall”. Here’s Darnell’s main point:
    “However, it appears that the Lord often in His providence has had mighty Christian leaders fall in big ways if only to remind the Body of Christ not to make an idolatry of men. God did amazing miracles and exploits through men such as Moses and David, and yet such men also flubbed in some royal ways. When we see God raise up a man and do amazing things through him, it is so easy for us to begin to focus on the man and forget that it was God who raised him up and empowered him. Soon, we are giving glory to man rather than God, and coming to rely more on him than on the Lord and His Word. God has great men fail in his providence to teach us the lesson that we should never put our faith in a man—even a great man of God—ahead of Him. Doing so is simply idolatry.”
    First, he assumes Phillips is some sort of war casualty. So God made Doug “fall” for the greater good– to teach us a lesson? Doug’s “fall” is collateral damage. We can’t blame him– God has great men fall!
    There’s another assumption– far from proven, which is that Doug is (or was) a “soldier”, a mighty Christian leader, is comparable to Moses and David, was raised up and empowered by God, and is/was a great man of God. Or, just maybe, he’s a wolf who pulled lots of wool over lots of eyes.
    And an assumption– far from proven– that Doug’s battle is just– he just failed in execution. A little too much pride, too little accountability etc.

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  22. Nathaniel Darnell was Doug Phillips’ intern. He drank that thick KoolAid. He talks about a fall. No, it’s not about his little sin of the affair with the nanny. Doug Phillips is a false teacher – a wolf – who spiritually abused countless people – not only those in his own church, but scores and scores of people who bought into his legalism and extra-Biblical teachings, keeping women and daughters in bondage, being ruled over by their Patriarchal father.

    And there’s my big spew of the day.

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  23. Education is not a bad thing, it’s beneficial. Besides loans, there are ways (savings, $ from job, employer paid, scholarships, 529 savings plans, parents, etc.) to pursue higher education. Yes, there should be a cost/benefit analysis. More & more entry-level jobs require a college degree just to get in the door. Certain technical jobs also require training beyond a high-school degree.

    “What does the Bible say about education? I get the sense from what I read so far is that we are deeply indoctrinated with the world’s idea of education. Let’s get back to the Bible.”

    Adam, I don’t understand “either/or” thinking about the Bible & education. That baffles me. Do you expect your pastor to perform surgery or prescribe your medication?

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  24. chapmaned: my daughter and friends? None of them have cable tv and they all have a computer of one sort or another. Some have iphones and I’ve been asking about them today. Most of their cell phones (iphone or otherwise) are through their parents’ family plans (that is, they pay their folks their portion of that cost or their parents pay–it varies) and some pay an extra $20 for internet access. I will tell them about Magic Jacks.

    You are very hard on these kids who are actually better people than I was at their age. There is much need in Detroit and the ones who are here right now would like to help. Moreover, it is not outrageous to want a job in the field that one has trained, towards which they’ve spent years and globs of money. I am not talking at all about “expecting a high paying” job but merely an entry level job in their fields. But they are currently reduced to service jobs. My daughter is going back to school for hydrology through the engineering end because that is a field not yet saturated.

    Yes, Detroit is particularly bad but my daughter has friends in NYC, Seattle, Philadelphia, Santa Barbara, and somewhere in North Carolina (sorry, can’t remember the town) who face similar difficulties. These kids HAVE to scrimp if they are to pay back their loans. I will not pick on them for what they spend on computer tech–it is their only luxury and also tied to the way they do relationships.

    This is the reality behind the stereotype of all those millenials who sit in their parents’ basements. This is why there are so many student loans not being paid. It is a huge hidden problem.

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  25. “Nathaniel Darnell was Doug Phillips’ intern. He drank that thick KoolAid. He talks about a fall. No, it’s not about his little sin of the affair with the nanny. Doug Phillips is a false teacher – a wolf – who spiritually abused countless people – not only those in his own church, but scores and scores of people who bought into his legalism and extra-Biblical teachings, keeping women and daughters in bondage, being ruled over by their Patriarchal father.”

    Hello! Why is it that when a celebrity preacher has an affair (this one 10years?) it’s called a fall, BUT when a follower has an affair it’s called a serious sin?

    The questions I have for followers of his teaching: Why is God to blame when a celebrity preacher has an affair? How does DP’s sin glorify God? If it does, shouldn’t we sin away to the best of our ability? God makes great men have affairs? Is it really God’s fault, not DP’s? Many comments that recommend we follow the teachings & not the teacher explain it away with these types of reasons….

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  26. “Those were not my words, but now Gary can say he don’t have to answer me or any of us and can disappear with his holier-than-thou attitude intact: He is clearly better and more right than any of us because I (actually, Ruth) said that of the Bible. And he don’t have to answer anyone, he don’t even have to read enough to ascribe the correct name to text (he called me Reba earlier, now he calls Ruth Retha).

    How much do we trust the Bible reading of a man who puts that level of carefulness into his reading?”
    I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.
    Actually, I wanted to say, I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw a deranged emu on steroids, but I thought that might confuse him. (Besides, even I know when I’m getting too snarky).

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  27. Looks like VFM didn’t shut down after all. Even though the Hazardous Journeys Society website is down, the teams are still being deployed. Photo album from trip photographer: http://goo.gl/4vM6kL

    Still living the dream!!!


    Phillips vision lives on… http://vimeo.com/62821855

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  28. My heart and prayers go out to those that have been poorly affected by the sins of DP and folding of VF. My husband and I were previously theonomists and reconstructionists. We still have many friends that are, and know many in those circles. My husband wrote a book that explains what is wrong with that theology, and I would like to share the link where it is provided free of charge to read on-line. http://www.crownrights.com/store/reconstruction.php

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  29. Because nothing says, “independent thought” like following some OTHER man just because he is a patriarchal Christian. How about all of us Christian homeschoolers stop following other people on this Earth like they are demo-gods and figure some things out for ourselves?

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