A Warning to Commenters: Be Aware of Potential Blog Owner/Moderator Intrusiveness

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Warning to Spiritual Abuse Community regarding bloggers who may use commenters’ private email in an intrusive manner.

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An unfortunate situation with misuse of commenters’ personal email addresses has come up in the spiritual abuse survivor blogging community. It has made people feel unsafe. My response was to start to write a post about “blogger etiquette.” But really, the more I thought about it, I believe the underlying issue is not etiquette, but intrusiveness and even potentially invasion of privacy by blog owners and moderators. So this is what I’m writing about instead, and I’ll need to get specific because one of my main concerns in “defending the sheep” is to do what I can to protect spiritual abuse survivors. Many of us have been stalked, shunned, watched, put on notice or under surveillance. We don’t need someone potentially violating our email in-box with their unsolicited email contact!

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 Above is a partial screenshot of what I see on the Comment page of the WordPress blog platform.  This is the personal information that is shown on my own comment.  You can see my User ID “Julie Anne,” my website address “spiritualsoundingboard.wordpress.com,” and my email address   “spirituals@gmail.com.”  Beneath my email address is my ISP address (not shown on the screenshot).  This is the identifying information that I see on your comments, as well (you may not have listed a web address).

So, here is the problem (and at the end I’ll have several suggestions for making our commenter status safer). Blogs like Spiritual Sounding Board (SSB) which use the WordPress platform require people to give an email address in order to leave a comment on a post. Many abuse survivors use pseudonyms for their commenting, and that certainly makes good sense. But they often also use their regular personal email address since those don’t show up in comments, and only blog owners and moderators can see them. And it turns out this is not necessarily a safe choice for us commenters, on some blogs, at least.

It has come to my attention that a particular blog has used commenters’ personal email addresses for unsolicited contact – sometimes repeatedly. Specifically, the problem is with “Jen’s Gems(a blog which uses WordPress and deals with the saga of Doug Phillips, Vision Forum, and Boerne Christian Assembly issues) and T.W. Eston who both posts and moderates there. Mr. Eston has contacted people by using their commenting email address to get more information from them or to ask them to do favors. I have seen proof of this, as emails were forwarded to me by survivors who were creeped out by his actions.

T.W. and Jen’s Gems, this is an intrusive practice – please stop! I do not know any commenters who think they gave you automatic permission for follow-up contact, when they shared with you their unpublished email in order to leave a comment. Also, stop contacting other bloggers and commenters and asking favors, such as when you asked me for one of my own commenter’s email addresses. That is unethical and unprofessional, and a violation of my responsibility for my commenters’ privacy.

To Spiritual Sounding Board commenters: When you left a comment here, did you have any reason to think that gave me permission to share your email or connect you with a third-hand party who was interested in more details about your comment? Didn’t think so … and I am very careful to guard your personal information.

I felt the need to share this – and be specific – because many who read here might read Jen’s Gems as well because of their posts on stories related to Doug Phillips. So, please be aware that if you post comments at Jen’s Gems, they have your address and you may be contacted by email regarding your comments

I offer two suggestions if this privacy issue is a concern to you. First, you might want to use a different email account for comments, or even create a new email account just for posting purposes. Second, I would also recommend being very careful about your ISP addresses (use library, cells phone) when leaving comments.

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**This article was a team effort by Brad Sargent/futuristguy and JA.  Thanks, Brad!

143 comments on “A Warning to Commenters: Be Aware of Potential Blog Owner/Moderator Intrusiveness

  1. This is a huge problem. There are blogs I won’t comment on because I do not even trust them with my ISP and will not use a proxy server. I read your original blog then here for quite a while before I dared leave a comment. I learned this the hard way years back when blogging first started. I was threatened with discipline, demanded the name of my pastor for said discipline, harassed, threatened, my children threatened, etc, all because I discussed spiritual abuse. They knew the city where I lived and if one comments too freely they can usually piece enough together. It is not wise.

    I am not surprised by Jens Gems, sadly.

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  2. This reminds me of the nightmare I went through a few years ago when I was attacked, harassed and later threatened by some very bad people because I innocently posted news articles about a convicted felon on my own personal website (which I have since deleted). It got so bad that said felon discovered where I lived and my cell phone number, and called me to issue death threats to me.

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  3. Thank you for the heads up Julie. I, like many others I suspect, have been turned off by T.W. Eston. His style and manner when dealing with victims of spiritual abuse is vile. After making one comment there and being treated EXTREMLY disrespectfully I vowed not to make another and I have not. Since that time many have questioned T.W. Eston’s tone. I think as victims of spiritual abuse we need to learn to observe the clues a person gives. When a person repeatedly treats others abruptly and with a lack of respect we should RUN. I am not surprised that someone who treats others the way Eston does in public would also not respect a person’s privacy. Many of us need to show a bit more wisdom and discretion not only in our personal lives, when and where we decide to worship, but also online. Clearly too many are willing to accept abuse and what I have witnessed from T.W. Eston on the Jen’s Gem blog is abusive bullying of several of the commenters, including myself.

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  4. About 3 years ago I read a comment where the person was defending a famous pastor. I then commented by thanking him for the insight, and said i thought he had particular insights the rest of us wouldn’t have since he was on famous pastor’s staff. I knew this from the commenter’s own blog (Cripplegate), which I’d visited and commented on a few times.

    Wow, you should have seen the emails I received. He must have gone back to his own site and found my address there, then sent me a message that read “Hey Time, what gives? Why does it matter that I work for famous pastor?”

    I thought maybe he was just young and didn’t understand the value of full disclosure, so I told him it’s always good to mention when coming to an employer’s defense the fact that you are one of the staff.

    He then said, “Why is this such a big deal? I should be able to say what I want based on my own opinions without having to tell people I’m on his staff. Why are you picking on me?”

    My next email to him said, “Blessings on you brother.” I ended it at that and never went back to his blog.

    It’s not exactly retaliation, but I think it was an abuse of the email contact he garnered from his blog to sue it in contacting me about another blog and discussion entirely.

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  5. I don’t know if WordPress is like blogger, but I do allow anonymous posts for this reason. I moderate all the comments, but that is mainly for ‘spam’ purposes. Maybe there is a widget for wordpress that could allow that just for anonymous comments only.

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  6. I am not an expert on proxy servers, but maybe someone here could give a little explanation about them so that readers might know what a proxy server is and how it can help you keep your privacy.

    And good on you, JA, for blowing the whistle on this issue. You are great at nipping things in the bud as soon as you see them. 🙂

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  7. I had police in the USA contact me about a commenter. I politely told them I’d send the info requested (IP and email) after I talked with a lawyer, even though I am required by law to comply with their request.

    I did talk with a lawyer. The police got what they needed, and I was clear in the comments that is what I’d done. It was an abuse story and the guy was threatening at my blog and other places online.

    What I suggest is that commenters whose trust has been violated

    1) use a proxy and
    2) use an email addy like abuse@abuse.com, or, none@none.org until they can trust the blogger.
    3) using a throwaway email from https://www.guerrillamail.com/ is also an option

    When I see an IP – it is a general IP, so if you live in Seattle for example, I’d just see your ISP provider (if I do a trace), and the IP coming from one of what could be many of their servers in that area. I can’t find you from your IP. My blog in on WordPress.

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  8. I believe a proxy server is like a multi-layer filter that hides your ISP or IP address from others being able to detect your location….which provides you added protection in the form of anonymity. I bought the proxy hider called TOR after my horrific ordeal of being identified and threatened and hunted down several years ago.

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  9. Blog owners should never solicit commenters. The only time I ever contact a commenter is if there is some technical problem with their comment. The bigger problem I have is making sure some commenters don’t get my email address. I will get contact email I want to answer but I don’t out of fear of what they will do with my email address.

    But let’s be clear, every person who comes to our site leaves a digital trail. Some services that people use to mask their IP address don’t work. Many bloggers, myself included, use stat software that gives them a lot of information about those who visit their blog. Anonymity is impossible on the internet, and if we are going to participate in public forums then we need to realize that we are giving up some of our privacy.

    I do my best to protect those who comment on my site. I NEVER give out information about a commenter to anyone else, including another commenter. I have facilitated a connection between two commenters with permission from both parties.

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  10. Excellent advice, Bene D, thank you!

    Bruce said:

    I have facilitated a connection between two commenters with permission from both parties.

    Yes, I have done this, too, Bruce. Some wonderful friendships have been made this way, but again, it is always with the permission from both parties.

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  11. Barbara:

    There are different types of proxy servers – the kind that would be useful to commenters is an anonymous proxy.

    You can go to a proxy server web page, type in the url you want to go to. (ie: spiritual soundingboard. com) and when you leave a comment, Julie Anne wouldn’t see your real original IP out of your ISP servers – she’d see the IP generated by the proxy. It acts like a buffer.

    A popular one is hidemyass.com

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  12. JA, I appreciate your stance on this. Thank you for protecting the privacy of your comments.

    Ultimately we know there really is no privacy on the Internet, but I’m a fan of proxy servers. Some are free, but the good ones cost something. I can set mine for a city that is hundreds of miles away, even thousands.

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  13. These bullying and stalking behaviors seem to be quite common in extreme cults. Extremism is extremism regardless of the theology or even what god the cult purports to worship. Thanks for your courage, Julie Anne!

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  14. Interesting discussion. I have posted comments on a lot of blogs mostly about all that was going on with Sovereign Grace Ministries and C.J. Mahaney and I promoted a few blogs that were exposing this. I have received various emails back from blog owners asking questions about my comments or indicating they have taken down my comments and have corresponded with most who did that. Some of the emails were quite heated while others productive.

    I certainly took no offense at receiving emails back from various blog owners and felt that was better then just taking down my comments and. With some you could have a civil email discussion while others their mind was already made up and weren’t open to hearing about the sin and hypocrisy going on at SGM. Especially with being someone who leaves dissenting comments and promotion of blogs I didn’t expect to not receive emails from bloggers.

    I would certainly not recommend someone using their regular email address if they are going to post dissenting or even revealing comments on blogs. It is too easy to set up a separate email address such as using Yahoo or GMail account and would recommend that. Maybe the rules are different if someone is a casual commenter?

    Even asking for additional information I wouldn’t have an issue with as long as the person didn’t keep pestering after I declined or didn’t respond after a few emails.

    Maybe what you are saying is an assumed “unwritten rule” but not something I have ever assumed. Sometimes having a private email discussion is better than having all discussions in the comment section of a blog or the blog owner just removing my comments.

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  15. I agree with Steve240.

    I would add that for the blog in question that this moderator also seems to fill the role of an investigative reporter. It seems reasonable that a reporter may follow-up on any leads by asking for more information. He has often stated that he does not reveal information unless the source agrees to do so.

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  16. JA –

    I understand your concern if TW solicited you regarding information about a third party. Did you share your concerns and policies with TW and Jen, ask them their policies, and what was their response?

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  17. From observation on that blog’s comments over a period of time, it appears to me that there is an obsessive nature to exposing Doug Phillips, which at times has resulted in an attitude that might appear overly defensive and quite rude. I applaud the motives and the way He has been exposed, but, in my opinion, it only furthers the impact of spiritual abuse when a victim slowly becomes miserable and obsessed with continually taking the abuser down, when he is in fact, down already. I really wish some would step away for a while and gather their composure.

    In the independent baptist world, there have been a few victim “advocates” who have, over time, made enemies out of people that are trying to expose the same evil. When one has been a spiritual abuse victim, it’s important that he/she doesn’t misplace anger and direct it toward the wrong people. And if that person is so scarred by their own experience that they cannot interact with others in an appropriate manner, then it’s time to stop for a while for some counseling, IMHO.

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  18. steve240 and raswhiting raise some good points about comments, research, etc. However, I’m not sure they answer the core question at issue in this post, which is (as I see it) about commenter privacy and having an explicit, clear, and very visible Privacy Policy. When a Privacy Policy is published on the blog, there are no assumptions or presumptions about permission for the blog owner and/or moderator to contact a commenter. You can agree or disagree if you want, but at least you know where the blog owners/moderators stand.

    I emailed Julie Anne already to suggest she needs to add a Privacy Policy page so visitors to Spiritual Sounding Board can easily access a statement of what she does and does not do with their unpublished information — such as their email — that is visible to her as blog owner. I think her policies on the “Blog Info” page are clear about comment moderation and editing/deletion, to keep SSB as safe a place as possible for dialogue. But visitors need to know this additional stuff about the unpublished details. And if that policy stays in a post or in comment threads instead of on a separate page, it will quickly be lost.

    I checked Jen’s Gems and found there is a similar basic policy on comments, moderation, and editing under the “Comment Etiquette” page. That’s good. But I did not find a section or notice about claiming the right to follow-up with commenters using their emails, regardless for what purposes.

    Also, I believe I’ve seen other ways than emailing commenters for soliciting further information. For instance, using the comment thread instead of email to invite a specific commenter or group to either post additional information or to contact the blog owner with details. In my opinion, that has better transparency and is not invasive like an unexpected email from the blogger.

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  19. I would add that for the blog in question that this moderator also seems to fill the role of an investigative reporter. It seems reasonable that a reporter may follow-up on any leads by asking for more information. He has often stated that he does not reveal information unless the source agrees to do so.

    That’s fine and I’m not saying that anything malicious has been done. But it can feel intrusive to some, and in the years that I have been blogging, I do not see this as a normal practice. So for the benefit of my readers, many of whom are survivors, I felt it important to let them know and offer an alternate way of posting so they can feel safe, if they desire.

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  20. I understand your concern if TW solicited you regarding information about a third party. Did you share your concerns and policies with TW and Jen, ask them their policies, and what was their response?

    As noted above, I do not have a written policy here, but I have a personal policy. I had an occasion to discuss my unwritten policy. Without revealing details, it was that conversation along with other reports that led me to realize it might be important to post this article.

    No, I did not ask about Jen’s policy as I could tell by practice what they do – on their blog, on other blogs, on Facebook. They are looking for the story and actively seeking information – like a reporter. Perhaps they could add a disclaimer to that effect somewhere so there are no surprises.

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  21. For instance, using the comment thread instead of email to invite a specific commenter or group to either post additional information or to contact the blog owner with details.

    I have seen other bloggers do just that, Brad. But you know what, I think I’ve seen Jen also do that on her own blog, so it’s a mixed bag. For the record, I have not had any personal e-mailings with Jen, so I do not know if she pursues people via their e-mail address.

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  22. He has been exposed, but, in my opinion, it only furthers the impact of spiritual abuse when a victim slowly becomes miserable and obsessed with continually taking the abuser down, when he is in fact, down already.

    I am certainly not convinced that this man is “down.” I know that was not your point, but I had to throw it in there.

    And if that person is so scarred by their own experience that they cannot interact with others in an appropriate manner, then it’s time to stop for a while for some counseling, IMHO.

    That’s a good point. There are so many dynamics involved when there is abuse. Seeing a perpetrator get some form of justice is validating and beneficial, but you’re right, sometimes the anger turns to revenge and is inappropriate. There is a healthy balance. You expressed that thought well, Mark.

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  23. Brad, Re: “add a Privacy Policy page so visitors to Spiritual Sounding Board can easily access a statement of what she does and does not do with their unpublished information — such as their email — that is visible to her as blog owner.”

    Are there examples of similar blogs that have such Privacy Policies?

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  24. @raswhiting … In all this, I realized I don’t even have a clear policy on my own blog about all of what (now) appears to be necessary elements for transparency on commenting. I will rectify that soon.

    I suspect quite a few “survivor blogs” have partial statements, such as about language usage, moderation policy, comment edits/deleting by blog owner, how unpublished info will/will not be used, and/or no revealing of real names or identity/identifiying information etc. Perhaps we can all learn from this that we need to expand our statements?

    For instance, it’s not all categorized neatly, but TWW Rules of the Road has a lot of these elements already.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/about-us-the-basics/about-us-blog-rules-of-the-road/

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  25. TW and Jen may be learning as they go as well. TW seems pretty fearless in his endeavors. I’m thinking that is part of his personality and makes him able to do what he is doing. At the same time, it would be wise for him to make the connection that many people coming to that site may be timid and fearful and even reeling from spiritual abuse. It would be good for them to have clear policies and leave people alone behind the scenes unless they have asked and received an affirmative online to be contacted via their email.

    I also agree with the above commentor that some people who have experienced abuse may find it difficult to even interact on a blog due to PTSD type responses. The people on the other end probably have no idea that the offended party is struggling with this. The offended party, themselves, may not know why, or that they ARE responding this way.

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  26. Steve240 wrote:
    “I certainly took no offense at receiving emails back from various blog owners and felt that was better then just taking down my comments and. With some you could have a civil email discussion…”
    I’ve actually hoped some blogerators would email me back, so I’ve given my normal email where I’d actually see the replies. Alas, none ever have– they just delete or infinitely moderate my comment.
    I’d read warnings about one blogerator sending folks nasty emails– a certain Beaverton Graceless unBiblical leader of a handful of sheeple– but I used my normal email in an attempted comment– trying to be as transparent and graceful as possible. About a year later i checked back, and found my comment still officially in moderation. 😦

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  27. FWIW– I view TW as a hired gun. Hired guns may be very useful in good causes like exposing blackguards and scoundrels– nice guys like me can’t get anywhere. But you just need to understand that’s what they are. I’ve looked him up under what I’m 99% sure is is his real name, and he seems to be a semi-retired professional Debater. Professional Debaters never like to be shown up if someone disagrees. They’re Always Right. However, Mr ..eston has shown a bit more grace in some recent interactions.

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  28. “Professional debater” is the defacto occupation of many with the title “pastor”. So I think he’s a pastor whose church closed down, who’s fond of debating, and has lots of time to help Jen. I’m so easily swayed, my almost-certainty is now diminished by your doubts. I may need to do word studies to look for common phrases/language! I AM positive he’s NOT an insider who’s ever attended BCA or been involved in Vision Forum. He only knows what insider sources have told him. Most of those seem to be either afraid or to be putting together a lawsuit, so he states lots of things without citing sources.Very frustrating when one (like me) is just looking for the straight gossipy scoop.

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  29. thankfully I have used a separate anonymous email if I deal with them or anyone else but I agree, soliciting is not right. I also have not been happy with the “tone” that I have seen TW have with commenters, especially when he’s busted (which he was recently) and someone pressed him on it. He jumped on them and told them to DROP IT! He was wrong recently about the 17 year old that was pg at BCA etc. Now instead of it being lost in the comments, I think he should have edited the blog and made a separate blog correcting it……I get the feeling that he has a similar arrogance that DP has. Unfortunately, with their witch hunt, they are loosing credibility on some accounts.

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  30. Julie Anne, I’m astonished by the magnitude of your hypocrisy. You publish this article under the guise of concern for protecting victims of spiritual abuse, which you know very well know that I am one myself. Yet it is you who was the one who outed me for using an alias, and that based on the phone conversation we had in which I made private disclosure of that fact. You now accuse me of violating people’s confidences?

    I contacted you twice via email and asked you to remove that reference. You ignored me. Now you are baiting Dave AA to reveal my true identity (whether or not he knows is irrelevant). Julie, I would ask you to drop this campaign of personal jealousy so that we may work together, and not at odds with one another.

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  31. “Julie, I would ask you to drop this campaign of personal jealousy so that we may work together, and not at odds with one another.”

    Jealousy? Was that wise? .

    Why would she want to work “with” someone who claimed she was jealous of them? Jealous of what, pray tell?

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  32. “He was wrong recently about the 17 year old that was pg at BCA etc.”

    Was this before or after Jen came here and told people to stop speculating about DP’s mistress? (sigh)

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  33. Motivated by jealousy of TW? Baiting people like Dave AA? Outing aliases? Wow Julie Anne, you are some evil villain!

    😉
    Cheers,
    Tim

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  34. As to privacy policies, that is the one good thing that I see coming of this article or, rather, in the comment thread. A privacy policy is a very good idea and I’ll take it up with Jen.

    There is no requirement to log in to Jen’s Gems to post a comment. An email address is required but it is self-evident that one can merely make up an email address, and many of our commenters do. We literally have people enter things like noneofyourbusiness@noneofyourbusiness.com Clearly this is someone who doesn’t want to hear from us privately.

    It seems self-evident to me that when someone leaves their real email address they don’t have a problem with being contacted. But I could be wrong about that, and some of the comments here have given me food for thought.

    Lastly (and this is specifically for Julie Anne), Jen’s Gems is not Spiritual Sounding Board. I respect what you do here and that your focus, and perhaps your exclusive focus, is on aiding in the healing and recovery of spiritual abuse victims. In our phone conversation I applauded and affirmed your good work here. As you can see from the title at Jen’s Gems it is about exposing “Doug Phillips’ Ecclesiastical Tyranny and Abuse.” That’s quite different from your blog. I’ve never attempted to control you or even make a suggestion about how you should run your blog. Why are you trying to control me and Jen? Why the repeated bashing because we don’t have the same focus as you and don’t do things your way?

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  35. I know, Tim. I’m a monster.

    Mr. Eston: Nice job shifting the focus onto ol’ meany me.

    If there is any truth to my post, about you contacting people privately and asking them favors or hounding for information, then it is within your power to make the appropriate changes or notifications, and do it publicly. Being a spiritual abuse survivor does not entitle you to behave inappropriately to get the info you want. I shared with you privately via phone and e-mail that I found your method to be inappropriate. This should not be news to you. ’nuff said.

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  36. Dear Julie Anne,

    I am simply flabbergasted at this post. If I have done something privately that has offended you, I would expect that you would contact me privately. If someone from my blog has done something privately that has offended you, I would expect that you would contact both me and them privately. If one of MY commenters is offended by something TW or I have done, and they come to YOU to tattle, I would expect that you would send them back to talk to TW and me. I would expect that you would ask them if they have done EVERYTHING possible to resolve their problem with those who offended them.

    As parents, and certainly as homeschooling parents, this would be common practice, wouldn’t it, in training our own children on not tattling on one another? Do you allow your own children to tattle on one another and then “punish” the offended without even speaking to them to find out if there is another side to the story first? Perhaps you might be interested in this resource for teaching your children how not to grow up to be tattletales. It is for ages THREE and up. http://www.doorposts.com/details.aspx?id=5

    You know, I know most of us who have been spiritually abused, and you know that I have been (although you treat me like scum for some reason), have had Matthew 18 literally HAMMERED into us from the pulpit, and so I hesitate to go there now, but there is a reason that principle is in the Bible. Just sayin’.

    What I DO expect is that adults act like adults. I use my real name and my real email address because I am a real person who has nothing to hide. However, it is not my place to judge what name people decide to use on the internet, so you will see that my blog is FULL of commenters who use an alias. Most of those commenters also use a fake email address. That is perfectly fine with me as well. If someone provides a real email address, it is up to the blog owner to use that email address, or not. There is not any “blog etiquette” that says that blog owners/moderators are not allowed to privately write to people who comment on their blog. If there were, what would be the point in leaving an email address to begin with? That is the whole point!

    If you comment on a blog, and you do NOT want to further communicate with the blog owner/moderator, it’s simple: don’t use your real email address.

    If I was gathering email addresses and sending people the new Vision Forum catalog, as spam, that would be an article you could write about. But I am not a spammer, and never will be, so what you have insinuated in this article is just flat out wrong. In fact, this is slander to the worst degree, and you owe both TW and me a public apology.

    Please, Julie Anne. We are on the same side here. Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to work together rather than to falsely accuse us, especially without hearing both sides of a non-existent story?

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  37. Yes Tim, outing aliases. Julie Anne did that based on a phone conversation that I had with her. She was curious about my own story of spiritual abuse. In that conversation I shared that it was important, for the time being that I maintain my anonymity and for that reason I was using an alias. In her article Compelling Evidence that Vision Forum Inc. is Closing, Liquidating and Doug Phillips “Show” of Repentance Revealed on Nov 30 she stated:

    “As of yet, no one has been willing to come forward and identify themselves publicly to share these kinds of details. T.W. Eston (a pseudonym), who has recently begun submitting articles and responding to comments at Jen’s Gems blog, had this to say about the financial state that is to come upon the Phillips family.”

    Prior to that point the only other person who even knew that I was using an alias was Jen. No one had stated that I was using an alias prior to Julie Anne doing so on November 30. As such, yes, she outed me, knowing full well that I too am a victim of spiritual abuse. As such this article, to me, wreaks of hypocrisy. I now have to wonder what else she will now publicly disclose about me from our private phone conversation.

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  38. Identifying that an alias has been used is not the same as outing the person by revealing their actual name. I do not know what TW’s real name is, and I have a lot of info about the situation in San Antonio due to my prior work there and my contacts. I have not shared anything that would identify anyone, in part b/c my profession requires that I be judicious about sharing confidential information that I receive.

    I do believe we need to be very careful about revealing the real identity of people who use aliases. If they wanted to be identified, they would use their own property name.

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  39. As a journalist and researcher, I cannot imagine sending unsolicited emails to blog commenters. I would leave comments on the thread, asking for people to contact me–and I’d do it under my real name, to verify my identity. This is not an appropriate way to contact sources, especially those who have been victims of spiritual abuse. They have the right to know exactly who you are, and what your intentions might be.

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  40. I think I made myself quite clear, and I don’t know how I could have been any more clear: “Yet it is you who was the one who outed me for using an alias, and that based on the phone conversation we had in which I made private disclosure of that fact. You now accuse me of violating people’s confidences? ”

    I am not accusing Julie Anne of outing my real name. I am accusing her of publicly disclosing something I shared with her in confidence on the phone, the fact that I use an alias. I did not want that known. She made it known without my permission, even though we had agreed at the very beginning of the conversation that everything shared in that conversation would be held in confidence. I emailed her twice and asked her to remove “(a pseudonym)”. She ignored my request.

    Julie Anne appears to be very selective about who she treats as a victim of spiritual abuse. For some reason she has taken a personal dislike to me (and Jen, as well), and it’s been showing since at least Nov 30, and I would argue before that. We’d like to work out our differences with you, Julie Anne. As Jen has already said, “We are on the same side here. Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to work together”?

    We’re willing to learn from you, and we’re open to suggestions. We seem to share similar goals, but we won’t reach those goals in the same way. Moreover nothing is to be gained by this kind of article. Please contact us via email and let’s work this out.

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  41. The people you are trying to expose can easily try to discredit you as disgruntled malcontents when you start to turn on each other. Make sure your anger is not misplaced….and occasionally step away from blogging about all that is wrong to go and enjoy things that are good! Having a half way positive tone does wonders for the soul and for your own credibility.

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  42. I think you need to step away and google two words….”Jocelyn Zichterman.” Some valuable lessons in that story about how exposing spiritual abuse can be overshadowed by having the wrong attitude, IMHO.

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  43. Mark: A side note – I just now figured out that you are not the same as another long-time reader named Mark. Can you please pick an initial that I can add to your previous posts so we won’t confuse you two? thanks!

    Your last 2 comments refer to “you.” To whom are you addressing? Me? Eston or Jen? All of us?

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  44. It does not take any great sleuth to figure out that “TW Eston” is a pseudonym, not when a simple Google search makes it quite clear that “TW Eston” popped out of thin air in November with no evidence of existing before then. Free Jinger’s been talking about it being a pseudonym since before the 30th.

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  45. I’ve been schooling with the kiddos, sorry for the delay.

    Eston’s pseudonym complaint: Before ever having any personal contact with Eston, I was aware that “Eston” was a pseudonym. It seemed to be common knowledge as I had seen it discussed in the blogosphere.

    Yes, I did ignore Eston’s request to remove the word “pseudonym” from my article. At that point many people had already read the article and as I said earlier, it was already out in the blogosphere. If I were to edit the article p/Eston’s request, I’d have to make a public notation which seemed to be unnecessary attention altogether. I made a judgment call as blog owner to let it go. As it is, not one person made any mention of the pseudonym aspect. What was a big issue in Eston’s eyes was a non-issue to readers (most likely because they already knew Eston’s name was a pseudonym.)

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  46. I’d really like to drop this. Really I would. I have more I could say of Julie Anne’s less than forthright tactics than I have, including responding with evidence of another significant breach of confidentiality she committed against me that flies in the face of “protecting victims” and maintaining confidences. I can also easily refute a comment she made above by demanding that she furnish the evidence (of which she has none), but I’ve chosen to pass that over instead for the sake of pursuing a higher goal. For the sake of pursuing peace I’d rather not have to go there.

    However if comments like the one preceding keep popping up in defense of Julie Anne (and might I add the defenses so far have been pretty lame) I may have no other choice but to do disclose more. Feel free to continue commenting in Julie Anne’s defense, but I can promise you it won’t go in her favor.

    I’ve extended the hand of Christian fellowship and Jen has too. We’re willing to forgive and move on. I’d like to suggest everyone else do the same. But of course I’m only just another commenter here, so it’s entirely in Julie Anne’s hands where we go from here.

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  47. My previous reply was directed to I wish to remain Anonymous.

    Well Julie Anne, I was hoping not to have to go there, but you leave me with little option at this point.

    Julie Anne, your defense here is just as lame as the other commenters defenses. “It seemed to be common knowledge” is false. At least you qualified it with “seemed to be”. That gives you some wiggle room. Was there some speculation about it? Absolutely, but no one had confirmed that my alias was in fact an alias. You were the first to not just confirm it but to state it as a matter of fact. To do that you had to break confidences with me by disclosing what I had shared with you in confidence.

    Also significant is the fact that your first posting of the same article included direct quotes from one of my emails to you. You posted those those quotes without my permission or your prior notice that you would. Upon discovering it I immediately emailed you about it:

    30 Nov 2013 13:35:43 (PST)
    Julie,

    I appreciate your article. You’ve shed some additional light on this subject.

    I do not, however, appreciate your reference to my name being a pseudonym, nor your quoting from my email without prior permission. Quoting from a public post is one thing. Quoting from a private email is altogether different.

    The first item is a significant violation of trust. I’d ask you to immediately correct it.

    Lastly, please do me the courtesy of never quoting from my emails again without my prior permission.

    The hypocrisy of all this just boggle the mind. You publicly take me to task for contacting my own commenters on Jen’s Gems without their prior authorization. We can have a debate over the propriety of doing so, but the fact is there are at least two schools of thought on that, and both may have valid points. I’ve acknowledged here my willingness to address those concerns.

    What there shouldn’t be any debate about (and yet there strangely is) is that one does not ever disclose any information shared in confidence. Apparently your public disclosure that I was using alias, something that I shared with you in confidence, isn’t convincing enough to some of your defenders, which leaves me to assume that we’ll now start a new round of your defenders offering up equally irrational defenses for your quoting my private email in one of your articles without my authorization.

    Jen asked you for an apology. I haven’t bothered because I figured you would have done so long before now, all on your own. If you can’t see how wrong your actions have been against me then there is no point in asking for an apology. However, the offer remains open for at least pursuing peace.

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  48. I apologize for using the word “you”, since it has such an inflammatory and accusatory nuance. I intend the implication to be you, T.W., Jen, me, and most people who post comments and are passionate about exposing spiritual abuses for what they are. Sometimes people with such strong passions naturally have or develop strong personalities and can easily butt heads with one another.

    By the way, how about “L” for an initial.

    Try this link, T.W.

    http://www.jeriwho.net/jocelyn/

    For those not familiar, both Jerri Massi and Jocelyn Zichterman have spent many years justifiably exposing some of these very same type of abuses and hypocrisy in independent fundamental Baptist (IFB) circles. The attached link outlines a public dispute, and I can say that many IFB’s.

    For some time, Jocelyn had a very large pulpit to expose these abuses, including a whole 20/20 episode that went into the Tina Anderson case and IFB’s, as well as several CNN spots on Anderson Cooper and the like.

    It is my opinion that some of the power of that pulpit was taken away by people who were in denial about the facts of these reported abuses and wrote these type of people off as simply having an attitude problem. All of the blog and Facebook posts firing back at one another were easily used as ammunition for that false assumption.

    I for one, am glad the internet provides a level of accountability and exposure that hasn’t existed in conservative evangelicalism in some time. But it is a mixed bag. Although it is a tool to expose abuse, our own comments and the way we speak to each other can easily be used as weapons against us. I can just hear some of those people from my past saying, “Don’t listen to them, they are just a bunch of complainers who can’t even get along amongst themselves.”

    Regarding both sides of this argument, I just want to say I admire your desire not to let the status quo continue. It is my hope and prayer for you that the abuse you have suffered and the passion you now have will not become so all-consuming that your own life long happiness is affected. There is a healing element in writing about all of this, but do not let those that have abused you in the past continue to control your future. At some point, I hope we can all say, “I’m free, and I’m okay, and I’m still a faithful Christian to boot.”

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  49. I have more I could say of Julie Anne’s less than forthright tactics than I have, including responding with evidence of another significant breach of confidentiality she committed against me that flies in the face of “protecting victims” and maintaining confidences. I can also easily refute a comment she made above by demanding that she furnish the evidence (of which she has none), but I’ve chosen to pass that over instead for the sake of pursuing a higher goal. For the sake of pursuing peace I’d rather not have to go there.

    Feel free to continue commenting in Julie Anne’s defense, but I can promise you it won’t go in her favor.

    This is classic. Take note readers, Eston puts on the facade of a big hero for pursuing peace and a higher goal, yet what was said right before that? Threats. I’ve seen that pattern before. Not cool.

    I’ve extended the hand of Christian fellowship and Jen has too. We’re willing to forgive and move on

    As if I need to ask forgiveness for letting the survivor community know that if they post on Jen’s Gems, they may be contacted privately. Shoot me.

    Eston, go ahead and post whatever dirt you have on me. I don’t care.

    What you see is what you get from me. I post with my real name and even updated photo (lol). Knock of the threats, Eston. Your bully behavior is outing you.

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  50. The fact that Eston isn’t just content to bully Julie Anne, but her commenters, too, tells me that my suspicions about his real motivations and allegiances are completely correct, and I’d like to add my voice to Julie’s asking people to take precautions when interacting with him and Jen. Since I’ve already commented at Jen’s blog under my real name, it’s probably a bit too late for me to do that myself. But for the record: I don’t take kindly to threats.

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  51. Julie Anne, you have chosen to take, “I can promise you it won’t go in her favor” as a threat. It wasn’t meant as one, and I find it telling that you have chosen to ignore virtually everything else I’ve said and put those ten words under the microscope. Your confirmation bias is showing.

    It is you and your defenders who wish to continue the war of words. We do not. We’ve made it plain what our wishes are. We’re sorry you only want to keep up that bashing. My battle is not with you, and your battle shouldn’t be with me and Jen. I value what you do and I’ve told you so before. I still value what you do regardless of your contempt for me and Jen, a contempt which to us is irrational. There are civil ways of resolving differences and I’ve asked you to take this offline with us for that purpose. Clearly your mind is made up and there is no changing that.

    I withdraw.

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  52. I would say that TW’s complaints are ridiculous and have no legal basis whatsoever. He used a pseudonym. Were JA really into outing him, she could easily have published more information about him that would have clearly identified him to anyone who wanted to know. It is time to drop this matter — Everyone. The longer it goes, the more likely that TW’s real identity will become known. IT is in everyone’s interest, except for the abusers, that this discussion be dropped and, JA, if possible, deleted.

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  53. Mr. “Eston,” It was evident from your very first post on Jen’s Gems that your name was an alias. I don’t know why your knickers are in a twist over what, by November 30th, was common knowledge in the blogsophere. Deflect, deflect, and deflect some more…

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  54. This is why I was very concerned about people who are not familiar with that world getting involved with the DP debacle. It is a “Christian” world like none other. I saw it back in 07. You can include Sproul, Wilson and some others in it. Even the detractors of these Reformed celebs who come from that world are arrogant and vicious. Is it some form of OPC strangeness? Van Til? What is it? It is weird. They are the masters at turning things around on you. I mean they are good at it! They go for blood and ruination.

    Jen gives JA a Matthew 18 lesson on privacy. I do wonder which church she is going to take you before? LOL!!! (People never think that one through). I am still amused she came here on another thread to rebuke people for speculating on DP’s “nanny”/mistress. Please. Funny she did not do that “privately”? JA, you are a “tattletale”. Get in touch with your inner school marm.

    I have to agree with Sarah above. The best blogs I have seen always ask a commenter to contact them if they want to share more information. It is just a classier way to do it. Not everyone coming to abuse blogs are internet savvy. And even then they have had it drilled into their heads that anonymity is sin and using a fake email is lying.

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  55. Jen,

    To my knowledge you and I have never communicated directly. I saw no need to communicate with you regarding this situation. I did deal directly with Eston, however, the one with whom I had discussed this – and the one who was responsible for the behavior.

    Just to get this on the table: I found your tattling lecture, “act like adults,” Matthew 18 reference, and doorpost link condescending. It makes it difficult to communicate when that kind of stuff is going on, but I think I owe you a comment.

    You are correct that blog policies will vary among blogs. And people will have differing opinions on what is intrusive and what is not. You are free to continue the same way blogging as will I, and now my readers will have more information on hand should they want to comment at your place. I think full disclosure is important.

    Where did I falsely accuse? You accused me of slander and expect an apology when I shared my experience and that of others? That doesn’t make sense to me. People have felt threatened and bullied by Eston. Perhaps he is the one who owes apologies.

    We may be on the same side of exposing Phillips/Patriarchy, but when adding Eston to the mixture, I am not so sure. I do not threaten people here. I do not contact my readers privately and hound them for information or ask them for favors. If you have given Eston the keys to your blog (as a WordPress user, I know if he is moderating and posting, he has a whole lot of access), then you must trust him and his practices. So, no, because of that, we are not on the same page.

    One more thing while I’m at it. I think there is a disconnect between saying that your blog protects/defends victims, yet you allowed Eston to post a distorted picture of “Cassandra,” and a lot of revealing information has been posted in comments/posts that could lead to someone identifying her. It really doesn’t matter whether everyone in San Antonio knows her or not, her identity does not need to be discovered on the internet. On this matter, we disagree greatly.

    I appreciate some of the informative posts and the exposure of spiritual abuse. I am very sorry about the abuse you incurred, Jen, and I absolutely believe your story and believe it to be spiritually abusive. I know the emotional and spiritual toll it can take on you as an individual and also the entire family. For that, my heart goes out to you. I read your story years ago and believed it to be true then and now. I wish someone would have heeded your words years ago – it could have saved a lot of people a lot of heartache.

    Although I did not appreciate the tone in your initial comment to me, I can understand you coming to defend your blog’s name and can overlook that. In reality, I think that the issue is not so much with you, Jen, but how Eston has run your blog and dealt with people publicly and privately.

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  56. Eston are you a former pastor? Really I feel like I am witnessing a classic case of spiritual abuse happen right before my eyes. You use the same lingo that abusive pastors use, bullying, threats strong authoritative language.

    When you did that to me on Jen’s blog I had several who know me contact me via email suggesting that perhaps you were a kinist upset that I had mentioned race but after watching closely it was clear you spoke to anyone who irritated you that way although to this day I am not sure what about my comment irritated you. I can say this I copied my comment word for word and posted here at Julie’s blog and even though she did not know me at all she responded in a caring gracious manner as did all the commenters here. I was new to this blog but I was not new to Jen’s I had been reading it for years during the time she was being excommunicated. I always found her to be kind and gracious and was shocked that she allowed you the latitude she did.

    Jen if you are reading this I have seen you be nothing but kind and gracious to your readers but you need to reign in Mr. “Eston” in, he is displaying the same kind of abusive tactics to some, not all, of your long time readers that DP did to you. Meanwhile you continue to treat everyone with kindness even when they call you names. It made me wonder if Mr. “Eston” was brought on to be your alter ego, lol. I sincerely hope not but at this point I believe he is hurting not helping your blog and causing many to question your creditability. What you are doing is admirable but the way it is being done with “Eston” in charge turns the stomach of many of us.

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  57. Julie Anne, I am glad that you see Eston’s bullying exactly for what it is – simple bully immature behavior. I appreciate your openness on this blog and also the head’s up on being extra careful with private information left with comments.

    I have read your blog as well as Jen’s for a few months now. The differences are startling. I do not read (or sense) bitterness or anger or aggression on your blog at all. Sadly, I can not say the same for Jen’s.

    Jen is not the problem. I appreciate reading her firsthand account of what happened to her at BCA. I am sorry that it happened and I pray that she will be able to heal and let go of the hurt. God does not want us to remain in that pain. He desires that we have joy in our lives.

    I can relate to these survivor stories because I am a survivor of a different kind of abuse. I was sexually abused by my maternal grandfather from the age of 3 until I was 12. When I told my parents (I was an adult by then), I was blamed for what happened. I was told not to speak of it. I was threatened. I was thrown away. I honestly don’t know what was worse – the sexual abuse or the psychological abuse by my family.

    It has taken me a long time to let go of the pain and obsession to see justice done. (My grandfather has died.) But I know that God saw all that happened and I leave justice in His hands.

    The problem that I see with Eston’s “journalism” is that he has personally become so involved with the “story” that it is more about his “exposing the truth” than it is about the truth itself. He is no journalist. His writing is hearsay and conjecture. His being so upset that you mentioned him using a pseudonym speaks volumes. Seriously, who didn’t know it was a pseudonym? He is insulted that you revealed that. Who really cares? Easton does. He has created this scenario in his head with him being the “journalist” who shows everyone the evils of patriarchy etc. E G O

    I hope that Jen realizes this and distances herself from Eston because he is doing her no favors. His writing just makes her look questionable.

    I do understand the need to warn people about Phillips etc but the way they are going about it is all wrong. If one is honestly concerned about informing the flock then all the information would be given out at once and with collaboration. This releasing a little here and a little there looks like nothing more than trolling for self affirmation and popularity. How does that glorify God?

    I am sorry for this lengthy comment but these things have been on my mind for a while and Eston’s bullying was the final straw for me.

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  58. Hi Gina:

    Welcome to the blog. I appreciated your comment and concur with it.

    This part of your story hit me, especially the last sentence.

    When I told my parents (I was an adult by then), I was blamed for what happened. I was told not to speak of it. I was threatened. I was thrown away. I honestly don’t know what was worse – the sexual abuse or the psychological abuse by my family.

    This is so common. To speak of abuse to someone and have them blame, not believe, disregard what we say is like getting abused all over again, but this time, by the people who you should trust the most. It is absolutely heart-wrenching and painful. I’m glad to know you have been able to recover from such a horrific crime. I know many here can relate with you. Thanks for sharing here, Gina.

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  59. Jen if you are reading this I have seen you be nothing but kind and gracious to your readers but you need to reign in Mr. “Eston” in, he is displaying the same kind of abusive tactics to some, not all, of your long time readers that DP did to you. Meanwhile you continue to treat everyone with kindness even when they call you names.

    Good observation, Taunya.

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  60. I too hope Jen reconsiders her decision to feature “Eston” so prominently on her blog. I’m sure it’s tempting to do so, with all his promises of insider information, exclusive access, ever the bigger scoop, etc., but it’s been painfully clear he’s full of mostly hot air and bluster, if not outright lies. It’s the internet, things like this happen (see Razing Ruth and others) and they will happen again. We need to be very careful with our trust.

    He sure did know his way around the Narcissist label, though, didn’t he?

    I think Jen’s Gems has some good and valuable information for people trying to escape or avoid that lifestyle; I’d hate to see Eston’s antics discredit it.

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  61. Dear Julie Anne,

    No, you have never contacted privately – and THAT is my biggest issue with you today. You took up an offense for someone else, someone who should have gone to TW first, and then to me, and you posted publicly about an offense you took up for this anonymous commenter.

    To that commenter: please contact TW if you are offended. If that does not resolve the situation, please contact me. I promise you that Julie Anne can do NOTHING about the situation except stir up trouble, which is what she has done here today.

    Regarding my initial reply directing you to Doorposts, I used that link on purpose, for that is the level I find this post to be. I would never allow my children to behave in such a manner, at any age. I expect better of fellow homeschool moms.

    Regarding my Matthew 18 comment, please notice that I mentioned that it was a good principle, meaning that we should go privately to someone who has offended us before taking it public, if it was a private offense to begin with. I am NOT the Matthew 18 police-type. I just think there are good principles that bring about good responses.

    So, what do I find particularly offensive about this post? Other than the fact that you took up an offense for someone else, which had absolutely ZERO to do with you; and you didn’t bother contacting TW or me privately first; and you publicly post this article warning people about a perfectly legitimate use of email addresses; and you didn’t bother to find out if there was another side to the story (there always is); I have listed for you the following HIGHLY inflammatory language you used in an article that is about NOTHING. There is NO story here, Julie Anne. You have posted this HUGE warning to people that, what? We know how to use email when we want to communicate with people who comment on our blog? If that is my biggest sin, excommunicate me now!

    I get it that TW Eston is not your favorite person. That’s fine. He is one of my favorite people. He is a good friend and I trust him explicitly. We research these articles together, discuss them at length, and then he writes them because he is a much better writer than I am. I am very appreciative of his help. I have a TON on my plate right now, and I have a difficult time keeping up as it is. I couldn’t do this without TW.

    I’ll make you a deal, Julie Anne. You don’t say anything negative about my blog, or the people there, without contacting me first privately and attempting to resolve any private issues first, and I won’t say anything negative about your blog. Is that a deal? I’ll let you set your own comment/privacy policy for your blog, and you can let me set my own comment/privacy policy for my blog. I’ll let you choose who writes on your blog, and I’ll choose who writes on my blog. I’ll let you run your blog any which way you please, and you let me run my blog however I decide. Does that sound like a fair deal to you, Julie Anne?

    As to slander, I should have said “defamation,” which is a false statement that harms someone’s reputation. What is false about this particular blog post? Well, nearly everything. Did someone write to you and claim that TW wrote them an email? Oh, I am sure that part is true. But that is where the truth stops. Turning a simple email into an inflammatory post purposely purported to harm the reputation of my blog is defamation. Here are a few of your particularly inflammatory comments about this NON-issue:

    WARNING to Spiritual Abuse Community regarding bloggers who may use commenters’ private email in an INTRUSIVE manner.

    Sending an email to someone who has given you their email address is NOT intrusive

    An UNFORTUNATE situation with MISUSE of commenters’ personal email addresses has come up in the spiritual abuse survivor blogging community. It has made people feel UNSAFE.

    There was no misuse, it was not unfortunate, and no one was ever UNSAFE at any time.

    The more I thought about it, I believe the UNDERLYING ISSUE is not etiquette, but INTRUSIVENESS and even potentially INVASION OF PRIVACY by blog owners and moderators.

    Sending an email is not an invasion of privacy. It is called “communication.” There is no “underlying issue” here except to stir up trouble where none exists. An email is not “intrusive.” If someone does not want to read to an email, the “delete” button works well on every email program!

    My main concerns in “DEFENDING THE SHEEP” is to do what I can to PROTECT SPIRITUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS. Many of us have been STALKED, SHUNNED, WATCHED, PUT ON NOTICE OR UNDER SURVEILLANCE. We don’t need someone potentially violating our email in-box with their unsolicited email contact!

    Sending someone an email is not abusing sheep (we don’t have any sheep, btw), nor is it abusing spiritual abuse survivors. Sending an email is not stalking, shunning, watching, putting on notice, or putting under surveillance. Sending an email is a common, everyday practice in life today.

    This is not necessarily a SAFE CHOICE for us commenters, on some blogs, at least.

    I suppose if it was an abusive email, it might not be safe, but we do not send out abusive emails. ☺

    It has come to my attention that a particular blog has used commenters’ personal email addresses for UNSOLICITED CONTACT – sometimes repeatedly. Specifically, the problem is with “Jen’s Gems” … and T.W. Eston who both posts and moderates there. Mr. Eston has contacted people by using their commenting email address to get more information from them or to ask them to do favors. I have seen PROOF of this, as emails were forwarded to me by survivors who were creeped out by his actions.

    Julie Anne has seen proof that TW emailed a commenter. Seriously?!! That is his biggest sin? And mine is that I let him?

    T.W. and Jen’s Gems, this is an INTRUSIVE practice – please stop!

    Again, you choose your own policy, and I’ll choose mine.

    Also, stop contacting other bloggers and commenters and asking favors, such as when you asked me for one of my own commenter’s email addresses. That is unethical and unprofessional, and a VIOLATION of my responsibility for my commenters’ privacy.

    Julie Anne, if I ask you for someone’s email address, it is expected that you will ask the other person for it. That is standard practice everywhere, unless it is already public. I didn’t realize that I needed to spell out common courtesy here.

    I am very careful to GUARD your personal information.

    Against who? The boogeyman? Seriously, are we not all adults here? If this were not such a highly inflammatory personal attack against TW and me, I might actually laugh at this language!

    So, please BE AWARE that if you post comments at Jen’s Gems, they have your address and you may be contacted by email regarding your comments.

    Yes, because we must have violated the 11th commandment by emailing someone we wished to communicate with!

    Julie Anne, please. Let’s go on about the business of our respective forms of ministry without attacking one another over a non-existent offense.

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  62. Lydia!

    Bingo on your comment: “Not everyone coming to abuse blogs are internet savvy. And even then they have had it drilled into their heads that anonymity is sin and using a fake email is lying.”

    I am not internet savvy. I feel inept that I didn’t know that I should have used a fake e mail address. This whole conversation has been a education in itself.

    For the record I trust J.A. she speaks & battles for me. I trust her.

    She has arranged a few behind the scenes connections that blessed my heart, and it was with 100% mutual consent, that those connections helped me.

    Well said Lydia! From my perspective. Thank-You!

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  63. Hendersonfamily4, thank you for your kind words. No, I do not have an alter ego. 🙂 I just need help on the blog now that my life is so busy.

    Regarding the racism comment, if I remember correctly, we chose not to allow that because the last time racism came up on the blog, it was all taken in a very bad direction, and there were horrific, untrue accusations made against certain people that only caused much harm. We just decided that it was too controversial and didn’t really apply to the discussion at hand. I hope you understand. 🙂

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  64. Jen,

    I beg to differ. I would be scared if I left a comment at your blog & was pursued. I am not internet savvy & had no idea if I left a comment that you are others could contact me.

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  65. @ Jen.
    I’ve had problems with being cyber stalked before, and so I post under screen names (no, “missdaisyflower” is not my real name 🙂 ), and I’ve been on the internet for over ten years.

    I’ve had experience not only with wacko stalkers but trolls and flamers, I have my own blogs, I’ve had my own forums, so I am used to all this, but…

    When I give an e-mail address to blogs that leave me no choice but to do so (they require an e mail address before permitting folks to post), and even though I know better than to use my primary e -mail accounts, I don’t expect the people at the blog, who have access to the admin tools, to use it to e-mail me.

    That would creep me out a bit if they did so (and it has happened to me once, by some guy who was also stalking me a bit around the internet recently; he followed me around various blogs and other sites.
    He got one of my e-mail addresses by way of a blog where he is one of the writers, and an e-mail address is required to leave comments. I feel his using my e-mail to harass me further was unethical, not to mention creepy).

    The reason I go ahead and give out an e-mail address to a blog is that I assume they will use it ONLY to verify I am not a spammer, or, if I create problems on their blog, they can ban me.

    I never expect the blog owners to give my e-mail address out to other parties, or to e-mail me at that address I used to sign up at their blog with.

    I would feel more comfortable if they would leave a comment for me in public on their blog first, asking if they may e-mail me in private for additional information.

    As for T W Eston.

    His name looks like “T S Elliot,” “J K Rowling” or “S E Hinton,” 😆

    I can kind of see where and how he feels Julie Anne betrayed his trust or is operating under a double standard on some of this, but her explanation above made sense to me…

    I’ve also read enough of JA’s posts over the last year to get a sense of the kind of person she is. I don’t think she willy nilly would publicize confidential information or not maliciously.

    If you requested or expected her not to publish content from a private e-mail and especially if that happened AND your name was attached to it when it was reproduced, I can’t really defend that one. I know I would feel upset if someone published any part of a private correspondence in public. That would shake me up a little.

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  66. P.S. There might be one exception to what I said above:

    I would be alarmed to get a e-mail from a blog owner, unless maybe:

    – I contacted them via e mail first;

    and/or

    – They state somewhere prominently on their blog a notice that says something like,

    “Please be aware that the blog owner(s) / administrators may e-mail you in the future, but rest assured we will never share your e-mail address with anyone unless it is with your prior permission”

    If I knew up front you may contact me via e-mail from Day One I show up to your blog, I don’t think it would freak me out so much to open my e-mail and see a notice as much, as if it happened out of the blue.

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  67. Jen,
    Your allegations are patently without substance.

    I have already recommended that this entire commentary be deleted.

    And again, JA, please delete the commentary here. It is totally inappropriate content put here by other bloggers that is defamatory toward you. This kind of flaming needs to stop. And until you receive an apology from Jen and TW, you should block them from posting here.

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  68. Jen:

    You are missing the obvious. It’s one thing to e-mail someone unsolicited, it’s a whole other to continue e-mailing after a clear “no” response. The commenter DID go to Eston first. The request to stop e-mailing was not heeded. One simple “no” should suffice. My “no” was also not respected. This is a disturbing pattern. It’s bad behavior.

    In the defense of your friend, Eston, you singlehandedly dismissed the opinions of the commenters here who pointed out they were having difficulties with Eston’s behavior. You did not show them concern by reaching out to them. It is evident by your last response that even if I had gone to you privately, it would have gotten nowhere. You just proved the necessity of the post.

    How many more people need to share this concern before you will believe them? Why is your allegiance so strong with Eston that you are missing this? How can your blog be a safe place if you are dismissing the feelings of others when they are raising a clear warning to you?

    As far as defamation is concerned, Jen, I just reread my whole post. There is nothing defamatory in it. If someone’s words are factual, it is not defamation. I have proof of what I wrote, so it was stated as a fact. When you see words like, “it is my belief,” it is automatically not defamatory. Any competent attorney would never take a case in which someone was concerned about opinions/beliefs because pinions and beliefs are never defamatory. You may not like my words (our words, it was a team effort), but that does not make them defamatory. I went through a defamation lawsuit brought on by my former pastor. You can be sure that I would not be so foolish to post a defamatory article.

    Defamation has to do with stating a known lie as a fact with the intent to harm.
    Two things must be proven in court: that the statement was a known lie PLUS there was intent to harm. If both are not proven, the case is dismissed.

    Another interesting aspect in defamation. If you believe your statement to be true (even if in fact it is not), it is still not defamatory.

    Your use of slander was incorrect. Now your definition of defamation was wrong. You might consider leaving the legal words out of this discussion.

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  69. An Attorney: I hear what you are saying, but I think this conversation is important. The dynamics displayed here are very valuable for survivors.

    As survivors, we need to learn how to discern. It’s also important for survivors to be able to air their opinions because they were so frequently prevented from doing so in their abusive churches.

    Jen and TW are in moderation. So far I have published all of their comments. But the more they comment, the more they reveal their true colors. Why should we prevent that?

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  70. Jen, thanks for your reply and I do understand why you would opt not to have that topic raised if there had been problems in the past. That is a perfectly legitimate reason and I have no problems at all with it.

    The problem I have is the way T.W. Eston responded to me. He responded in anger, to a first time commenter asking a question of another commenter. Why? Is it that he is racist? That was the question some of my friends raised after seeing his response but after I saw how others were dealt with I don’t think so. T.W. Eston has a short fuse Jen and it really is a shame because you have the patience of Job with commenters. I don’t mean to belabor this but I would ask you to take an objective look at some of Eston’s responses. Take a look at my comment and take a look at his response. Something, I don’t know what, irritated and angered him and he lit into me. It was even spoken of on another blog that I have never even commented before. Several people took note. In all my years on the internet I have never been treated that way. In fact when my husband and I approached DP and staff with formal letters of complaint over 5 years ago we were treated better. Both Voddie Baucham and The McDonald’s have been more gracious on phone conversations that went on for hours discussing concerns my husband and I had with their ministries. In my opinion “T.W” acted with less grace and tact than these people he claims to be outing. I am sure you must see this Jen because you and TW are polar opposites when it comes to this. What has got the man so angry?

    I will end here and not bring this up again but please take a look at his comment to me and others and if you have any further questions please feel free to email me. I am not using a pseudonym and I believe my email is actually published above.

    Again thanks for taking the time to address this.

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  71. Jen:

    I have followed your blog for years, and am sorry about what you have been through.

    I don’t question your intentions, permit me to issue a caution. You said:

    “There was no misuse, it was not unfortunate, and no one was ever UNSAFE at any time.”

    I believe you want commenters to be safe. However – you are writing about people who I believe have shown themselves to be dangerous, duplicitous and abusive leaders who are cornered and currently wounded because of their own behaviour.

    You know the risks – you’ve lived some of them, and now that livelihoods are at stake, you must know that some of these men could come out swinging. I think that you, TW, and Free Jinger could easily be perceived as soft targets by men who believe in shooting the messengers without a second thought.

    You know that could involve legal moves that could eventually compel you to turn over information on your blog – you know the legal system isn’t necessarily on the side of the angels. You know should that happen, you won’t have choices.

    Within the past month or so, look at Ergun Caner going after bloggers with every legal means at his disposal. How about Gordon Klingenschmitts relentless take downs of Right Wing Watch videos? The internet is littered with dead blogs, and exhausted people who, in a desire to inform, rescue and do the right thing, have faced less formidable folk than patriarchal reconstructionist narcissists used to having their own way, leaders I doubt are amused that some of their power and control is gone

    I applaud you for desiring to inform, warn and update. I can only encourage you to think through if it is naive to suggest anyone who uses your blog are safe. I think that you, TW and Free Jinger moderators have chosen to risk and hopefully weighed potential consequences and worse case scenarios as best as you can.

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  72. I don’t know the rules or accepted practices of blog owners, but personally I’d be very surprised and uncomfortable getting an email from a blog owner (with the email taken from the details required to comment on the blog). If I ever did get an email from the blog owner I’d expect the reason to be in regard to something extremely unusual and crucial.

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  73. I 100 percent agree with Jen. This entire article is unnecessary. I don’t think we needed a warning. I just assumed as intelligent adults we would know if we left our personal email address on a blog the blog owner could contact us. It is their blog by the way. If I don’t want a blog owner to have my personal email address then I leave a fake one. This isn’t rocket science. This article and thread should be deleted. Very immature. If a blog owner contacts me I’m not going to go tell another blog owner about it. Ridiculous. If there was a problem it should have been worked out privately. I’m very disappointed!

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  74. Hendersonfamlily, you said about TW Eston “He responded in anger, to a first time commenter asking a question of another commenter. Why? Is it that he is racist?” Wow! That really got my attention! You should have linked to your comment there. It wasn’t easy finding it on the Jens Gems but I eventually did. It starts at http://jensgems.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/open-letter-to-chalcedon-foundation-regarding-its-defense-of-doug-phillips/comment-page-1/#comment-17019 I thought Eston was polite. It looks more like your the angry one and your still angry about it. (Mod note: removed content by request) Also why are you accusing him of being a racist? Even asking a question like that comes off like an ugly race baiting accusation. Playing the race card just because he won’t approve a comment? Very classy.

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  75. I have been reading and enjoying both of these blogs for a while, and don’t remember which I found first.

    If Jen’s Gems had been set up right after Doug Phillips resigned so they could collect commenters’ emails and get more information, then I would have a serious problem with that. But Jen’s Gems had been around for 6-7 years before this.

    I have always assumed that blogs collected my email so they could tell if I’m a “real” person and not a spammer. If a blog allows people to post fake emails, then why try to collect them in the first place?

    I think some Internet education is in order. Both blogs should have clear policies on comments and privacy, as stated above. Commenters who want real privacy should take steps suggested above to protect their identity. And everyone should remember that there’s very little REAL privacy on the Internet — everything you do leaves an electronic trail that can be traced.

    If I had posted something on a blog and the owner followed up, I probably wouldn’t mind. But if I refused the request, I would expect them to respect that with only one request.

    I hope that this issue can be worked out behind the scenes. Each blog is trying to protect people from spiritual abuse. I hope all of you can focus on the good you’re doing, and continue to do it.

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  76. Sorry. Feel free to edit my comment, if that’s possible, and delete (Mod deleted content here). Sorry I said that part. Wasn’t nice.

    Mod note: Thanks for that. I edited the comment p/your request. ~ja

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  77. JA, I’m a regular reader here and on Jen’s blog and I’ve been helped and encouraged by both.

    I agree with your general sentiment that an abuse survivor may feel uneasy with unsolicited contact. Repeated contact after saying “enough” is downright pushy.

    However, I feel a little defensive of Jen’s blog because I think you’ve shamed her in an unnecessary way. She’s had this sort of thing done to her by her abusers, so it isn’t surprising that she is reacting in a defensive way.

    I’m disappointed by this whole controversy because I think both blogs have done a lot of good and I hate to see division over something that could most likely have been handled privately before going public.

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  78. “You know that could involve legal moves that could eventually compel you to turn over information on your blog – you know the legal system isn’t necessarily on the side of the angels. You know should that happen, you won’t have choices.”

    RB, You are exactly right. And that blog appears to go beyond “warning” and discussing the spiritual abuse of DP’s ministry/business to seeking information to prove allegations. A different enchilada!

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  79. “I am not internet savvy. I feel inept that I didn’t know that I should have used a fake e mail address. This whole conversation has been a education in itself. ”

    Gail, I am glad you are here anyway. And I hope you have learned something from this that will serve to protect you on other blogs out there. Some learn it the very hard way.

    And I read JA at her old blog and now here for almost a year before I commented. I have seen enough of the “Darwinian” Christians on the blogosphere to last a life time. Those are the survival of the fittest types that harp: if you did not know then your ignorance is your fault so we can do what we want with the information you trusted us with.

    I found JA to be very respectful over a long period of time.

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  80. GG, I did not link to my comment because as noted I copied the comment left on Jen’s site and pasted it here on Julie’s site where is was received warmly and widely discussed on November 21. That conversation went on for weeks with many here reading and commenting. In that comment or shortly there after I mentioned that I had first attempted to leave the comment on Jen’s site but it was rejected. So you did not “discover” something here that I was trying to hide or that many had not already seen. I think that thread had over 300 comments and my comment regarding race and Rushdooney was a large part of that.

    Further, if you read my comment above concerning T.W.’s response to me you will see that I state that I had several friends (all white by the way) contact me stating that they believed T.W. may be a kinist. I then state that after watching the way T.W. treated others who commented I came to the conclusion that my treatment was not race based at all because the bad treatment was extended to MANY others.

    If you would like to address me in the future kindly take the time to read what I have written without giving into anger before you respond. I understand that for whatever reason the word “race” set you off and you immediately felt it necessary to accuse me of playing the “race card,” whatever that is. But a thoughtful and rational cool headed reading of my comment would have shown that I disregarded race and concluded that T.W. simply has a abrupt style that quote, “turned the stomach of many.”

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  81. GG (8, 9:34pm) if you receive many bewildering insults throughout your life, and they turn out, say 80% of the time, to be because you have white skin, your automatic first thought to an incomprehensible rejection will be “Here we go again.” We learn by experience.

    But what Hendersonfamily4 said was that he/she checked with others and then did some research on it and realized that this was a pattern of response and that it was not necessarily racist. Then he/she made a generous conclusion and explained that process in a comment here. It is impressive and I have much respect for Hendersonfamily4.

    That you immediately jumped to a different conclusion without carefully reading what was written shows that it is you who pulled the (anti) race card canard. You also drew from past experience but yours was a much less personal, vital and conclusive experience than that of Hendersonfamily4—in fact, more hearsay than personal experience. And you jumped to a conclusion that was the opposite of generosity.

    It would be very good to learn the process that Hendersonfamily4 presented. Christians in general (and I’m not talking to you here, but all of us) are in deep need of this process, especially when confronted with criticisms by those outside the faith. Instant claims of persecution are foolish.

    TW does some of the same “instant jump” insofar as he immediately claims victimhood and turns to attack, even including veiled threats. This is never a useful way to handle disagreements, insults, criticisms. And it really has nothing at all to do with Christ.

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  82. @Julie Anne Of course if I told a blogger not to contact me and they continued to do so that would be a completely different story. However if it was TW I would have contacted Jen immediately and given her the chance to handle it.

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  83. “Then he/she made a generous conclusion and explained that process in a comment here. It is impressive and I have much respect for Hendersonfamily4.”

    Thank you Patrice

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  84. That’s fine, Sarah, and your prerogative. In making my decision, I looked at the larger picture:

    Many people have publicly aired their concern about Eston’s behavior on this thread, over at Jen’s Gems for some time now, and I’ve seen it discussed elsewhere. This is a public situation as well as private, and what is Jen’s response? Defend Eston.

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  85. I apologize to TW for my statements yesterday, which only added fuel to the fire. It doesn’t help to speculate about the identity of the messenger, when there is an important message to get out. I was wrong, and I’m sorry. Henceforth, I will confine my speculations to the parcel of rogues who are currently distancing themselves from Phillips, pretending they held him accountable, pretending they didn’t know what they knew when they knew it, and proceeding with business as usual while hoping to rake in Doug’s share of the market. If these guys would tell the truth, folks like me, JA, Jen and TW could stop speculating.
    Speaking of which— two very interesting recent articles about holding “church elders” accountable and “disciplining” elders here: https://ncfic.org/blog/

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  86. Dave AA, Re: “Henceforth, I will confine my speculations to the parcel of rogues who are currently distancing themselves from Phillips, pretending they held him accountable, pretending they didn’t know what they knew when they knew it, and proceeding with business as usual while hoping to rake in Doug’s share of the market.”

    Good decision.

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  87. Moderator note:

    There are a few comments being held in moderation. Long-time readers know that I rarely hold comments in moderation – even ones in which I am criticized. However, I have had some people suggest to me that there may be a “sock puppet” trying to disrupt the blog. A sock puppet is someone who uses a different online identity in order to deceive – essentially, they come to a blog to stir up trouble.

    If your comment is stuck in moderation and you are not a sock puppet, feel free to contact me at spiritualsb@ gmail dot com to discuss this with me privately. I may be convinced to publish the comment – – or maybe the comment can be reworded.

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  88. I think TW Eston and Frank Vance (another alias) are the same person. Look it up. That explains his savvy and longstanding relationship with Jen. I am so very tired of seeing him threaten other people. Doug Phillips is the ultimate tale of how power corrupts, but you know what, it cuts both ways and two wrongs don’t make a right. The tone of jens blog changed a lot when TW showed up and it feels like he’s running his own little fiefdom over there, bashing anyone that dares to question the king.

    What upsets me more than anything is seeing him come over here to bully Julie:

    “I’m astonished by the magnitude of your hypocrisy.”

    “…drop this campaign of personal jealousy…”

    “Why are you trying to control me and Jen?”

    “Julie Anne appears to be very selective about who she treats as a victim of spiritual abuse.” <– No, she is an equal opportunity critic of people who abuse power

    "For some reason she has taken a personal dislike to me…" <— Could it be because of your abrasive, threatening tone on your blog and this one?

    "I have more I could say of Julie Anne’s less than forthright tactics… For the sake of pursuing peace I’d rather not have to go there." <— JA you better zip it

    "However if comments like the one preceding keep popping up in defense of Julie Anne (and might I add the defenses so far have been pretty lame) I may have no other choice but to do disclose more." <— JA's friends better zip it to

    "Feel free to continue commenting in Julie Anne’s defense, but I can promise you it won’t go in her favor." <— Zippity, zip, zip it… OR ELSE!

    "I’ve extended the hand of Christian fellowship…. We’re willing to forgive and move on…. it’s entirely in Julie Anne’s hands where we go from here." <— I've threatened you… but I'm a nice guy… but you better zip it.

    "Well Julie Anne, I was hoping not to have to go there, but you leave me with little option at this point." <— I've threatened you… you didn't obey… now you will pay.

    Lovely.

    Unlike TW Threatston, JA proves that you don't have to stoop to threats, half truths and personal attacks in order bring light to this story. Keep up the good work Julie and don't I know it need not be said… but don't every let a bully win, it only makes it worse for everyone else they meet in the future.

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  89. Thanks for confirming that I’m being censored. Nice excuse too that I may be a sock puppet. Had to look that up. Very classy. I don’t know how this is suppose to be a place of healing with this kind of treatment. You have the last word. I’m done here.

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  90. So GG enters a touchy comment thread and before even completely reading a comment, jumps headlong into judgment, then takes part of it back (which is honored), and then becomes angry because he’s put into moderation due to the sensitivity of the thread and his own rashness. Which everyone is able to read because he gets through moderation and thus wasn’t censored after all but unless he comes back, he will not know. Whooosshhhh

    GG, “class”, by which I suppose you mean civility/courtesy, isn’t something I’d be appealing to, if I were you.

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  91. I think GG’s post this morning originally went into moderation because of a keyword that was used, not for any other reason. But . . . . after reading it while it was in moderation, I decided to not publish it and stew on it for a while after considering the concerns that others had about sock puppets.

    And now you know . . . the rest of the story.

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  92. GG, I also didn’t know what a sock puppet was.

    Which is why it is WRONG to assume commenters (even long-time commenters) know anything about the internet, unwritten rules/policies, blogging/commenting protocols. The only think one can know for sure about them is what they type in their comments!

    Look, blogs for spiritual abuse victims must know, even expect their commenters are commenting with incredible courage. Commenters may be stepping out on a limb. They may be nervous. They may still be afraid, have flashbacks, etc. They may be in current danger. Anonymity may be the only reason some may comment. These blogs may be the first place and only forum they feel comfortable sharing their experiences.

    Spiritual abuse blogs NEED to treat their commenters with extreme care. Period. Even more than what run-of-the-mill discussion blogs might do.

    Personally, I would be taken-aback if I were contacted via email, unless I gave clear permission to allow so ahead of time. I can’t imagine how it might scare the boots off someone wanting only to voice their opinion or experience, with zero contact.

    WHAT IF THEIR ABUSER (HUSBAND, PASTOR, ELDER, FRIEND, PARENT, ETC.) HAD ACCESS TO THEIR EMAIL? HELLO?

    These blogs REQUIRE email address to comment. If email address was optional, I suspect many would not provide it.

    An email address tied to a name does NOT mean the person doesn’t mind being contacted. To assume this is to make big mistake. To assume this is quite possibly putting the person at unnecessary risk. I am deeply concerned with any abuse blog, blog owners, blog contributors that don’t get this simple fact.

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  93. WHAT IF THEIR ABUSER (HUSBAND, PASTOR, ELDER, FRIEND, PARENT, ETC.) HAD ACCESS TO THEIR EMAIL? HELLO?

    Oh my goodness, A Mom, what a good point!!

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  94. A Mom – I loved your comment. Moderating is not a piece-of-cake job. I don’t know that I would have done this blog thing had all of the challenges been explained to me up front. I, too, had to look up sock puppet when the concern was raised to me.

    This part of your comment is so important:

    WHAT IF THEIR ABUSER (HUSBAND, PASTOR, ELDER, FRIEND, PARENT, ETC.) HAD ACCESS TO THEIR EMAIL? HELLO?

    I suspect I’ve had between 5 and 10 people tell me NOT to contact them via e-mail because of this very reason. Abuse blogs are very different from other blogs and sometimes lives are at stake. This is a very real concern.

    The internet is a crazy place. Denny Burk and Pyromaniac and many other bloggers will not allow comments from people who do not disclose first and last name (how they can prove the names are legitimate is a whole other story). I have always allowed anonymous comments because there are legitimate fears in posting real names if abusers find out (my friend, Meaghan, was added to my defamation lawsuit when she decided to comment on my blog using her real name). This sent a clear signal to any former or current BGBC members: that if you dare to make a negative public comment about Chuck O’Neal, you might find yourself in court. That is scary.

    What you see publicly on the blog is only part of the story. There are also e-mails I get behind the scenes telling me how to run the blog, sharing concerns, etc.

    The reality is that I have to do what I feel is best for the most people. My default mode is to always defend survivors (which is why I made the unprecedented action to remove key comments on the Schlueter/Driscoll thread when asked by someone).

    Add to all of this, there are people who do not like what I do and will fabricate stories, start websites/blog posts to put me out. The caliber of comments and credibility here by my commenters, and the content of the posts obviously make me and the blog a threat to reputations if I – and my readers in the comments are exposing stuff.

    But because of this, some people will resort to behaving very un-Christlike to discredit me, my reputation, or even attempt to trash my family (remember Fred Butler who intentionally posted gossip fed to him about my adult daughter saying she left our home/church because of her sexual immorality). Of course this was completely false, but the outrage and public response to this forced him to publicly apologize (he removed the apology 2 wks later). Butler is a current Bible teacher at Grace Community Church and is a long-time employee at Grace to You – -John MacArthur’s area. This is only one example of the kinds of tactics people, even respected Bible teachers, will resort to when they feel I am threatening the mission or their ministry or a friend’s ministry – – which by the way, probably never was God’s ministry.

    This is serious business and when there is a moderation situation going on, you better believe it is because of stuff going on behind the scenes or on the blog that cause me great concern.

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  95. “Abuse blogs are very different from other blogs and sometimes lives are at stake. This is a very real concern.”

    JA, I am so glad you seem to have understood this in the past & relieved you continue to get this. Owning and/or moderating an abuse blog is a big responsibility for sure. Lives are at stake. This is no joke. The hurt & hurting need to be front & center in ALL our minds, whether we are the ones who own, moderate, comment or read.

    “My default mode is to always defend survivors…”

    Yes! This is the point. They need to be cared for & protected. Otherwise, it looks like something else.

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  96. Yuck Yuck Yuck. Have been reading both blogs. First time I’ve ever followed blogs. Totally turned off by both blogs now. I knew DP was messed up before his failures became public but have been collecting info because I know people taken in by him. Plus my legalistic upbringing makes this debacle hit close to home. In spite of TWO Easton’s heavy handed ways I’ll probably still choose Jen’s blog over this one. I’ve left this blog feeling horrible so many times cause we wear skirts, homeschool and don’t do youth group or Sun. school though we don’t believe others who do to be sinning. This blog and comments make me feel like a bad Mom for honoring my husbands wishes concerning these things. This blog “war” pushed me to take sides..So sad. Cannot imagine how those who were taken in by DP and are still on the fence will think after this public spat by those helping to out him.

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  97. momof6 – You’re a first-time commenter, but I’ve got to be completely honest – your comment has me completely puzzled.

    I’ve left this blog feeling horrible so many times cause we wear skirts, homeschool and don’t do youth group or Sun. school though we don’t believe others who do to be sinning. This blog and comments make me feel like a bad Mom for honoring my husbands wishes concerning these things.

    When was the last time we’ve had discussions about women wearing skirts, homeschooling, not doing youth group, Sunday school, etc? Where is all of that coming from? I just do not have the time nor desire to concern myself about these trivial issues. My regular readers do not judge like that. In fact, some of my regular readers are homeschooling moms who are dresses-only and don’t do youth groups. These types of issues are nothing compared to spiritual abuse.

    Do we talk badly about honoring husbands here? I haven’t seen it. When a wife is loved and cherished, I think a natural response is to honor her husband. I sure would.

    momof6, this is not about sides, this is about respecting survivors and their feelings, defending the oppressed, helping people get out of destructive and abusive situations.

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  98. lydiasellerofpurple January 9, 2014 @ 6:30 AM “Gail, I am glad you are here anyway. And I hope you have learned something from this that will serve to protect you on other blogs out there. Some learn it the very hard way.”

    Thank-you Lydia.

    I am learning. You are a wealth of information & you have a heart. Between you & Gary W. I wish that you two could collaborate and write a book that I could refer to for those times the old tapes hammer me. And also to share with my broken, bruised friends who have no idea that is was man’s doctrine that ruined their hope in Jesus.

    BTW Is it permissible for me to copy & e mail some of your comments ? As I said I am not internet savvy. Grateful for you.

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  99. Gosh Gail, How kind. I am honored. Of course. I cannot help it, I have really had it with what is going on out there in Christendom. My goal is to help folks get strong and independent of the gurus. I can remember being totally intimidated by the gurus. It took a long time to make my way out of that.

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  100. Pingback: Creating and Sustaining a Safer Blogging Environment | futuristguy

  101. Pingback: Creating and Sustaining a Safer Blogging Environment – A Guest Post by Brad/Futuristguy | Spiritual Sounding Board

  102. LSOP. Thank-You. I wish I had the fire in my belly that you & J.A. have. You are helping more than you might know on this side. Bless You, I am processing & have learned from your words & wisdom. Thank You! Glad that is OK to share your words, I have a few buddies who have been absolutely crushed by doctrines of dead men.

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  103. Not sure if my 2c will help anything here, but I’m unaware that a blogger has access to commenters’ email addresses. I always assumed it was a requirement of the host/platform, and not the blogger. Is this a WordPress thing? I just searched my comments page, and I can’t find commenters’ email addresses anywhere. The only access I have to an email address is if a commenter posts a website link where their email address is purposely given on their own webpage or blogger profile.

    I’ve read blogs for over a decade, blogged for 9 years, tweaked every known setting on my blog, left thousands of comments (many on “enemy” sites), had ultra-sensitive narcissist types use rabbit ears to “hunt me down” and flame me in my comments section, been in all kinds of debates… but I’ve never known anybody to contact me by email as a result of posting a comment on their blog. It would have startled even me. When commenting, and a blog says “your email address will not be shared with anybody”, I’ve always assumed that meant it wouldn’t even be shared with the blogger. Yes, there is the “notify me of additional comments by email” box that I may check, but I was under the impression that it was just a service to commenters available from the host. Am I naive here? Please tell me, and I promise to not be offended. 🙂

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  104. Hey Steve:

    You probably remember my old BGBC Survivors blog was a Blogger blog just like yours. SSB is WordPress. You guessed it – -WordPress is not the same as Blogger. I could not see e-mail address on Blogger, but I can on WordPress. I’m not sure about other blogging platforms, however.

    Kind of keeping in with the theme of this, today last night someone had a change of heart about comments on an old thread. This person used their real first name and was afraid that someone might be able to identify them – – again, for me, it comes down to protect the survivors first.

    With the Word Press platform, I was able to swap out the name with a new pseudonym, including all corresponding comments which included the real first name. With Blogger, I would have been either forced to leave it as is or delete comments (and corresponding comments). That’s a nice feature of WP.

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  105. JA, this helps a good deal to know. I have a WP account, but just to re-direct people to my Blogger blog who happen to click through to it because of my WP hostile takeover misdirect of my own comments!

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  106. Hello.

    I am writing to tell you that I became aware of this Vision Forum Kerfluffle from a news article. . .then started to follow it.

    Please excuse the rambling of this message. There are a couple points I wanted to share with you.

    I am a Christian, have my Masters Degree, a wife, mom, a full time job, a good life. I can’t imagine where I would be without my education. I do not agree whatsoever with these people who want girls to stay home, wait for a guy, and be attentive and obedient to their dad while they do so. But I do see that, that thought process is out there, and followed by many.

    That said, I wanted to share with you that I stumbled upon your blog from reading this really good site called Free Jinger.

    Your blog? I really like it. I like that you seem above board and fair, not judgmental, and not holding yourself up as the end all, the judge and jury. There have been commenters on the internet, and bloggers on the internet, who for whatever reason have appointed themselves the gatekeeper. I think that is just as bad as the people they are feeling justified in judging. But that is usually how it goes, right? 🙂

    You should check out Free Jinger. It is like your blog, clear thinking people, not judging, but critiqueing and giving input for discussion.

    Thank you for your blog.

    🙂
    Shelby

    Like

  107. Hey Shelby,

    Thanks for kind words. I am familiar with Free Jinger (the name of the site cracks me up nearly every time I read it). If you are not used to colorful language, you might need to put on sunglasses. But the people there seem to have a pretty good grip of the atrocities going on in these hyper-controlling fundy groups.

    Wow, you are a Christian woman, have a good life, AND A full-time job. Those are some fighting words in some “Christian” camps. Not here!

    Like

  108. I want to add comment by Jen to this thread so that I have it documented. This comment was made by Jen at her blog this morning.

    It is an interesting comment from Jen because further up this thread, we see that she first wrongly accuses me of slander and then defamation.

    If there is anyone who can make a claim of defamation, it could be me. I believe Jen is knowingly saying false information with the intent to harm. She knows I am telling the truth because WomanforFreedom validated it as well as TW Eston who later apologized to her for his part in repeatedly contacting W4F against her wishes. (That was the whole point of my post – about bloggers who contact commenters and especially continue to contact against their wishes.)

    Jen Says:
    January 13, 2014 at 9:46 am
    InChristAlone, there was another blogger (JA) who wrote a blog article full of lies about us last week. WFF is apologizing for her part in it, for which I am very grateful.

    And for the record, I do not believe W4F had anything to apologize about. It’s not wrong for a survivor to speak out when she feels she is being harassed. That’s what survivor blogs are all about – – helping people get their voice back and take a stand against people who behave in bully ways.

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  109. JA,

    Apparently, WFF felt a need to apologize and ask them to forgive her.

    I do have one question for you because I read TW comment to WFF

    You said: as TW Eston who later apologized to her for his part in repeatedly contacting W4F against her wishes.

    He did not say that he repeatedly contact her against her wishes…. in his comment….please show where he said that.

    Also her wishes were that we can all get pass this, so make we should heed her words…just saying.

    Like

  110. Teresa:

    Whether Eston publicly admits that he was repeatedly asked to stop contacting someone is not my concern. I know how he dealt with me personally and I am not the only one who has experienced it.

    In fact, even on Jen’s site, people have said his behavior is like a bully and neither Jen nor Eston have done anything to rectify the situation.

    This morning Jen called me a liar on her site and then called me a liar here, yet she failed to provide proof. What I said about her was quoted from her words and linked, so if she was lying in her own quote, I am not responsible for that.

    Like

  111. Well,

    WFF is the bigger person for asking everyone to forgive. Maybe “both” blogs should heed her example and do the same because this is not bringing glory and honor the Jesus Chirst. This is so sad all many levels…..

    Like

  112. Teresa: Before your comment, the last comment was at 9:04 AM – it is now 6:37 pm. The reason I posted Jen’s comment at 9:04 AM is because she is using legal terms against me: slander, defamation, and now lying on a public forum about me to others. I now have a screen shot of it for my files. As a blogger who has been sued, I understand about covering my tracks.

    You are the one who is keeping it going now.

    Like

  113. “WFF is the bigger person for asking everyone to forgive. Maybe “both” blogs should heed her example and do the same because this is not bringing glory and honor the Jesus Chirst. This is so sad all many levels…..”

    What is not bringing glory and honor to Christ? Not having a backchannel? Not shutting up? Seriously, This sort of declaration of “I am a better Christian” because I do not defend myself or speak out is old hat. It is part of the fundy/Cal/Patriarchy that is sooooooooo old and when analyzed…not true at all. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. It is another “red flag”.

    Glory and honor to Christ includes transparency, not private back channels to control information flow. This is not about “forgiveness” as some seem to think. You seem to want to make forgiveness about “agreement” or “shutting up”. How shallow. Forgiveness does not mean we do not clarify or discuss situations. That is the typical “shut up” doctrine used in the name of Christ by the fundy/cal/patriarchal crowd. It is all they know. (Fundy includes the IFB types who are equal opportunity offenders of legalism and trying to control others)

    Like

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