Doug Phillips & Vision Forum, Homeschool Movement, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement, Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Vision Forum

Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 3 – The Timeline

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This is an account of the Douglas Phillips’ sex abuse scandal as told by sources close to Phillips’ former business and ministry, Vision Forum, and church, Boerne Christian Assembly. It chronicles when people discovered the depth of his adulterous relationship and describes actions they took.

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 Note: This article is Part 3 in a series:

  1. Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 1 – The Puzzle of Control
  2. Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 2 – The Victim

 

Introduction:  There will be a bit of overlap from the previous article in order to present a complete timeline.  This article has been compiled based on information I have gathered and a timeline of notes sent to me by a person who has had a birds-eye view of Doug Phillips and his ministry for many years. Before publishing, it was checked by other sources to ensure that the account is as accurate as possible. Doug Phillips’ victim will be referred to as “Victim” throughout the article, and the Sources will remain unnamed. ~ja

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Doug Phillips, Vision Forum Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 12.03.20 PM

Over the past several months there have been many articles published about the fall of Douglas W. Phillips. Much of what has been published by a certain blog covering these stories has been exaggerated and inaccurate, motivated by bitterness and hate against Doug Phillips and his teachings more than a pure desire for the truth.

Meanwhile, several sources within the community of Boerne Christian Assembly (BCA) near San Antonio, Texas, and Vision Forum have come forward with their personal accounts. These sources have direct contact with Victim. The desire of these sources and all the people involved in this unfortunate situation is to see that Doug Phillips is never again in a leadership or ministry position.

The Victim of Doug Phillips will remain unnamed in this article, as will the Sources.

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Background

Victim and her family were members of Boerne Christian Assembly (BCA) for many years.  She and her family helped out in the Phillips home over the years, but not on a consistent basis. She did work as nanny at times for the Phillips family and cared for children on trips, but this was not a full-time job.

Doug Phillips began grooming Victim after she was legally an adult. This led to an emotional affair, and later, a physical and sexual relationship. The guarding of this adultery is at the center of Doug Phillips’ eventual downfall.

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2007 through 2010: “Grooming” Becomes Adultery

In 2007, this illicit relationship became sexual. To be clear, Doug Phillips was honest about one thing and that was that he “did not ‘know’ his victim in the biblical sense.” In 2007, the victim began spending more time in the Phillips home and with the Phillips family. She was considered a close family friend at that point. Also in 2007, Phillips employed Victim to write Jonathan Park radio drama scripts with his daughter in an effort to spend more time with her. This was a paid position and provided Doug more opportunities to spend more time with Victim in his home after his children had gone to bed.

In 2008, Doug Phillips was confronted by a member of BCA and friend of Victim, but there was no evidence to prove his guilt. Many people at this time began to notice the relationship with Doug and Victim, but no one had real and hard evidence of any wrong behavior other than it just did not look right.

In 2009, Victim’s mother caught Doug Phillips and Victim having sexual-based chat sessions in the middle of the night. Doug, his wife, Beall, and Victim’s parents met. This was the first time Doug and Beall and Victim’s parents met together. Doug confessed to having romantic feelings for Victim, but there was no acknowledgement of any sexual impropriety. At the time, Victim did not disclose any sexual impropriety, but only the romantic feelings they shared together.

In October 2010, Beall Phillips was made aware of the adulterous nature of the relationship when Victim’s mother informed her that Doug and Victim had been kissing. Also in 2010, Doug Phillips sent Victim’s parents on a vacation, perhaps as an attempt to “buy” them off.

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2011 through 2012: First Private Confrontation; Double-Life Unravels

In the summer of 2011, while in Paris, Doug was confronted by Peter Bradrick (his Vision Forum Executive Assistant) regarding the inappropriate behavior Doug was exhibiting towards Victim in public. Doug denied that anything was going on. Many people were suspicious that there was something inappropriate going on between Doug and Victim, but no one had any proof yet.

Doug told Victim they were soul mates. He told her he loved her and had promised they’d eventually get married and have children together. During these years, the relationship with Victim ebbed and flowed. Doug worked very hard at keeping prospective courters away from his victim. Victim also affirmed her affections towards Phillips.

Despite what others have claimed, Doug and Victim were not seen holding hands at the 2012 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival (founded by Doug in 2004), and Doug did not give her an engagement ring (Victim’s friend gave her a costume jewelry ring).

In December 2012, Doug’s double life began to unravel when he was caught trying to climb in Victim’s bedroom window. Victim’s father and brother chased Doug down the street with a gun until Doug stepped under a street light, revealing his identity. The relationship with Victim ended on that day, and reports that they were still seeing each other throughout 2013 are completely fabricated.

Around this time, Victim finally divulged to her parents the extent of her relationship with Doug Phillips.

After Doug Phillips was caught trying to enter Victim’s bedroom window, there was another private meeting between Doug, Beall, and Victim’s parents. They agreed to keep things quiet. BCA elder Bob Sarratt was not notified.

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January to August 2013: Cover-Up Efforts and Changes

In January 2013, Doug Phillips told Bob Sarratt that he was resigning from BCA leadership in order to spend more time with his family. This is the same reason Doug told the congregation of BCA for his stepping down. The Phillips family even sent an email to several friends and ministry leaders around the country, asking them to listen to the sermon Doug preached regarding his resignation. So, not only did Doug deceive his congregation and its elders, he misled and deceived others by leading them to believe this resignation was purely to focus on his family.

The week after Doug resigned, Victim and her family sat down with Bob Sarratt and told him the truth. Bob was understandably devastated and completely unsure of how to handle the situation. At that time, Victim’s family stopped attending BCA permanently and started attending a church in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Bob Sarratt, Doug and Beall Phillips, Victim, and her family all agreed to keep the sins of Doug Phillips confidential and tell no one. The elders at the Fredericksburg church became aware of the situation at the time but also had no idea what to do about it.

On February 28, Scott Brown, long-time Vision Forum friend, posted an article, “What does True Repentance Look Like?

In March, Jeff Horn becomes “provisional elder” at Boerne Christian Assembly.

Between February and August of 2013, life went on for Doug Phillips apparently as planned — until Victim started talking to people in August of 2013 and telling her story.

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August-October 2013: Cover-Up Collapses; Phillips Resigns

On August 7, 2013, Doug posted an article entitled, “True Repentance – A Key to Family Blessing.

Late August 2013, Jeff Horn at BCA found out about Doug Phillips’ sexual scandal.

On September 5-7, Doug spoke at a conference put on by FORGE Ministries, “Engage the Battle” and “Master’s Plan for Fatherhood.”

On September 9, Doug did some damage control. He met with the board of Vision Forum Ministries and confessed to them, saying he had only kissed Victim a few times and did not have intercourse with her.

In September and October, Doug was quietly planning his resignation, on his terms. He was going to step down from leadership and cancel all speaking engagements. Please be clear Doug Phillips was not doing this because he was repentant. He was doing it because he now had to.

In October, several people from the San Antonio community who had knowledge of the situation contacted one of the five men who eventually confronted Doug at his home on October 29. They alerted him to what Victim had told them. This man called the Victim to confirm what he had been told. He then called several other men to break the news to them and they went into action. This included contacting Pastor Joe Morecraft. Reports that Pastor Morecraft found out about Doug Phillips’ sins while on a trip to Greece in September 20-29, 2013, are completely false; he never found out until he was called and told about it in October 2013.

On October 29,  five men went to Doug Phillips’ home to confront him. These were: former Vision Forum associates/staffers Peter Bradrick and Jordan Muela, former Vision Forum assistant Bob Renaud, friend and pastor Joe Morecraft, and Doug’s old college friend Mark Weaver. These men took time off from their jobs, spent their own money for air fare, and flew in from various parts of the country in order to confront Doug.

Beall was present at this confrontation. Doug and Beall were furious that these long-time friends came to confront Doug. Instead of receiving the counsel of his friends, Doug spent time in the meeting trying to claim he did not commit adultery and that he was working through the situation with his local church and Vision Forum Ministries board. His longtime friends just wanted him to make a full confession and own his own sin, along the exact lines of his own email which he sent out back in August 7 entitled, “True Repentance.” Doug refused the counsel of his friends.  

On October 30, Bob Sarratt called an emergency meeting with the men of BCA so Doug could confess his sins. That same day, the Statement of Resignation by Doug Phillips was released on Vision Forum Ministries’ website.

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November 2013: Responses and Damage Control Attempts

The public posting of Doug Phillips’ resignation from Vision Forum Ministries on October 30th triggered actions on multiple fronts from organizations, prominent public figures, and private individuals. Many of these were paralleled by apparent attempts at damage control by Doug Phillips. There was also intense online scrutiny of and blogging about many of the people and organizations involved — or that were speculated to have been involved.

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Early Responses by Confronters, Victim, Vision Forum Ministries Board, and BCA

In early November of 2013, during the week after the release of Doug’s resignation letter, the five men who confronted Doug at his home revealed the details about the depth and deception of Doug’s sins to the board of Vision Forum Ministries. The Vision Forum board acted swiftly, deciding to close the entire ministry and giving the Phillips family 60 days to vacate their home, which Vision Forum owned. And, on November 11, the closing of Vision Forum Ministries was announced by the board. (Note: The board members of Vision Forum Ministries have been painted in a very poor light by a number of blogs. But, in reality, they acted very quickly and appropriately once they had received the truth. The same suspicion and speculation from a number of blogs also put in a poor light those men who confronted Doug Phillips privately and directly but to no avail.)

A week following the October 29th confrontation at the Phillips’ home, Victim had Doug and Beall Phillips served with a Cease and Desist letter in order to stop them from defaming her. This Cease and Desist letter gives evidence that there was no demonstration of true repentance from Doug Phillips. And, sadly, even his wife Beall was saying unspeakable things about the Victim to members of the community.

Also in November of 2013, Elder Bob Sarratt and Provisional Elder Jeff Horn publicly rebuked Doug Phillips in front of the BCA congregation for his adultery and his deception.  

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Some Key Response Pieces

On November 2, 2013, came the first news of anyone publicly saying they knew that Doug Phillips had stepped down as an elder at BCA. This was from Doug’s friend, Voddie Baucham — and it was published about eight months after the fact of Doug’s resignation as BCA elder.

On November 10, Scott Brown, a long-time friend of the Phillips, preached a sermon entitled, “The Smell of Apostasy.” This led people to believe Brown was preaching about the Phillips’ scandal.

On November 13, pastor and patriarchy proponent Doug Wilson mentioned the Phillips scandal in his blog post. He put the blame on the Victim, characterized her as a Delilah, and compared her to a stripper.

On November 14, Doug Phillips posted a follow-up to his original statement of “repentance,” a Clarification on Resignation. He issued this second follow-up statement because the Vision Forum Ministries board believed his first statement was misleading and deceptive. The first letter made it look like this was just an emotional affair, when in fact, Doug confessed to his board and church to a “long-term inappropriate relationship.”

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2014: Recent Actions and Concluding Thoughts

On January 1, 2014, the remaining BCA elders responded to the implorings received from several godly men for them to release a statement quickly about former BCA elder Doug Phillips. The result was a pitiful statement released by the elders of BCA.

On March 13, Doug Phillips’ attorney sent a letter to three former Vision Forum associates — Bob Renaud, Jordan Muela, and Peter Bradrick — threatening a lawsuit. According to a recent article in World magazine, that letter states, “The three of you have conspired together, and with others, in an attempt to destroy Doug Phillips, his family and Vision Forum Inc.”

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Final Thoughts

This is an account of the double life of Douglas Winston Phillips, as has been exposed to date. This is not the story of a simple “emotional affair” as he had portrayed it. In fact, Doug Phillips apparently continues to refuse using the biblical definition for this illicit affair — adultery — but that is what his church elders called it, and that is what it should be called. Also, Sources note that since the BCA elders rebuked Doug publicly in November of 2013, he has allegedly been slandering the various men who stood up against him. And now his letter to three men indicates potential legal action to protect his reputation and resources. Are these the humble actions of a repentant man, as Doug Phillips himself would have people believe?

The Victim was groomed to play the role she did. Although she was apparently over the age of majority when Doug Phillips began drawing her into his orbit, the fact that he was in a clergy role of authority over her still brings in legal implications of clergy sexual abuse according to definitions in Texas state law, as noted in an earlier post. Regardless of grooming and activity, she was still his Victim. Since choosing to tell her account of the facts, which she began doing in August of 2013, she has continued moving toward healing and health as a Survivor of spiritual and sexual abuse by Doug Phillips.

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169 thoughts on “Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 3 – The Timeline”

  1. An attorney,

    What confuses me are the mingling of VF business and the ministry/church. I know churches can pretty much do what they want and are not under typical labor laws as I have a family member who is legal counsel to several megas. So was he threatening to sue the three guys associated with the non profit ministry or the VF business? Or were they part of the church?

    Sheesh! Just trying to write that gives me a headache. Can you imagine trying to sort all this out at a financial, tax and legal level? The cross over and duplication of resources must be deep.

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  2. I should also add that these three men are extremely intelligent and are quite capable of handling Doug and his foolishness.

    Good for them! I can tell you I did not think I was that capable or intelligent when I got out or I would not have been there in the first place!. In fact, I had to rethink and relearn so much that it made my head swim.

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  3. So was he threatening to sue the three guys associated with the non profit ministry or the VF business? Or were they part of the church?

    Lydia – Muela was an associate and Renaud/Bradrick were Phillips’ assistants at VF. Sometimes their work covered both the ministry and business. I’m pretty sure they all attended BCA while they lived there.

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  4. I know some people seem to feel the parents had total control over their daughters. Even young teenagers can fool their parents if they want something bad enough. Unfortunately,the victim/survivor was a fully mature woman, at least physically with desires for love and intimacy. I am sure Doug was fully aware how to “seduce” or “trick” an emotionally naive woman into an affair. He probably said and did things that allowed her to express her sexuality and the basic need to be loved. How hard it must be for parents of a woman in her late 20’s to monitor and control her actions. Even though Doug pulled the strings, she probably believed at the time she was experiencing “true love”. I would assume she lied to them to protect the relationship. She must have had a very strong desire to be loved, but Doug tricked her into believing he was her only true love. Disgusting! I guess we need to show grace to the parents, they probably were afraid of pushing her further into his arms. A tough situation to be in with a daughter at any age!!!

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  5. “Extremely intelligent” Really? But I guess it’s possible to be intelligent and blind at the same time.

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  6. Love blinds many to the reality of their situation. That kind of blindness is generally true of those who are tricked into a sexual relationship with a married man or woman.

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  7. I was referring mostly to the statement that Peter and his friends were extremely intelligent, but I guess it would apply to the lady as well.

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  8. Jeepers –

    I’m not sure how familiar you are with the Jim Jones cult, but there were highly educated people who up and left everything to go to another country and follow this charismatic leader. Intelligence does not always keep one out of harm’s way. Con artists who disguise themselves as Christian leaders are able to manipulate even the best of the best. This should be a warning to us all.

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  9. @Jeepers The men you are reffering to haven’t worked for Doug in many years. I should add here that one had to be very intelligent to be Doug’s assistant and right hand man. These men travelled to Texas confront Doug, they don’t attend BCA and aren’t his neighbours. They were not blind, suspicious with zero evidence or proof would better describe it. Bob is a published author for crying out loud. These guys weren’t Doug’s servants.

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  10. To follow up with wantingthetruth’s comments, I think it would be fair to say that Doug selected these young men because they represented him well. They knew how to interact well with people and did a lot of Doug’s leg work to free him up so that he could be where he liked to be the most: in the public spotlight.

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  11. “To follow up with wantingthetruth’s comments, I think it would be fair to say that Doug selected these young men because they represented him well. ”

    That seems fair. I cannot understand why they would have been drawn to VF in the first place unless they agreed with that brand of patriarchy and the doctrine behind it. Perhaps it is all they had been taught growing up? There is no shame in admitting that we had blind spots and have changed our mind on certain movements or doctrines. SGM appealed to the educated middle classes for quite a while. Intelligence does not always lend itself to street smarts. Many of us have been taken in.

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  12. I know a very accomplished and intelligent young woman who has been taken advantage of by an older more experienced man. From what I understand, he took his time, spent many hours with her, and slowly broke down barriers, gently fed her with “innocent” tender moments, till she was irrevocably hooked.

    He then worked on her faith, by creating an elaborate explanation of how it’s okay to marry outside her faith as long as it’s one of God’s chosen people. He then managed to manipulate her by claiming that in a Jewish betrothal the two can sleep together without it being sin. What a bunch of hogwash! But she was in too deep to be able to think clearly by then. She is his third.

    Folks, it’s not that hard to do. It’s also not all that hard to keep the secret from the family. This young woman did for years. It’s so destructive for every person connected to them.

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  13. @Jeepers:

    “Extremely intelligent” Really? But I guess it’s possible to be intelligent and blind at the same time.

    In Old School D&D, this was described as “Intelligence 18, Wisdom 3”.

    (And when you grow up as a kid genius, isolated by your own IQ, you have a LOT of Intelligence 18/Wisdom 3 moments.)

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  14. “I don’t think it’s proper to ask this or for anyone to answer. She has been hounded enough and bombarded since this was released to the point where she has had to quit a job and move to a different town. She doesn’t need anymore “lookie loos” & Nosey people bombarding/stalking her or chasing her down in a place that’s supposed to be a safe haven. I DO know the answer, but I am not going to tell you……because I think she should be protected and this is a public forum. There are some crazy people out there.”

    This question was obviously not asked to be nosey, but to point out that going from one cultic leader to another isn’t a safe haven for anyone. It’s not about wanting to know anything, but carefully pointing out that help can’t be found within the movement itself. She needs to be protected, yes. Compassion demands that. And compassion should be our first and foremost desire for any victim of abuse. The Fredricksburg off shoot of BCA is no safe place, just a couple of con artists who disguise themselves as Christian leaders. Compassion is hoping that her safe haven isn’t and wasn’t the Bob Welch group, and hopefully help is coming from those who aren’t themselves presently deceiving many.

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  15. Obviously there is a desire by some to believe that even intelligent people can be drawn in by men like Phillips, I respectfully disagree. A broad definition of Intelligence is “to comprehend or perceive.” To suggest someone has an heightened ability to do this and can still be taken in by a guy who had a habit of abusive behavior renders the word almost meaningless, especially for a Christian who should be even more aware of behavior that is unbiblical. I’m not saying these guys have no intelligence at all, but IMHO, calling them extremely intelligent is doing them a disservice.

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  16. Jeepers,
    I think I understand where you are coming from. While I don’t understand the need to pick apart these fellows intelligence level, I guess it can help some people to process all that has gone on. However, I think that there can be a big difference between intelligence and “street smarts,” which is what I think you are more referring to. The way that most I know use the word intelligence in everyday language has to do more with book smarts and the amount of information a person knows and understands. May not be a textbook definition, but it seems to me that is the way our language is used…atleast in my part of the world. NOW…the ability to judge character and sniff out a guy like DP easily or quickly does not, I believe, directly point to someone’s intelligence level. Street smarts maybe. And this is one thing that parents do NOT give their children, by and large, deep within this movement. Of course, I don’t mean “street smarts” in the sense that parents lets their kids go run the roads and run into whatever trouble may come their way. But so many of the people who have grown up deep within this movement have not been taught to question things – especially that are within the community. They have been taught that to do so would be ungodly…especially when it comes to someone like DP who was the ring leader. So, when these guys were chosen by DP to be his ‘main men’ or whatever they were, they didn’t have the background or framework to question what DP was doing or saying. It isn’t an intelligence issue..simply life experience (or lack thereof) and the spiritual framework they had grown up in.

    So, to keep it short, this is the main reason that I do not think that being pulled in by DP for these guys or anyone else – means that they are not intelligent or have a lesser intelligence. I guess the definitions that we are using make a big difference, too…

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  17. “I don’t think it’s proper to ask this or for anyone to answer. She has been hounded enough and bombarded since this was released to the point where she has had to quit a job and move to a different town. She doesn’t need anymore “lookie loos” & Nosey people bombarding/stalking her or chasing her down in a place that’s supposed to be a safe haven. I DO know the answer, but I am not going to tell you……because I think she should be protected and this is a public forum. There are some crazy people out there.”

    Julie Anne, I don’t know if you got my email or not (due to computer problems on my end) but I accidentally ran across something late last week where I think the victim has now been outed; didn’t know if you were aware of it. I figured it was only a matter of time because of the notoriety of this case, but I sure hope that by God’s grace she can put her life back together along normal lines.

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  18. As much as possible, people should refrain from anything that would reveal or more broadly spread the identity of Victim. She has enough on her plate at present, and probably needs a great deal of compassion and healing.

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  19. Regarding intelligence. The milieu of an organization like VF mitigates against even thinking about questioning the leader. It is considered a sin to have doubts about anything being taught or to doubt the “anointing” that the leader has allegedly received from God. But these men had been out from under the organization umbrella for a while, so may have recovered a bit from those false teachings. What IS amazing to me, is that the five got together and arranged to be in one place and to confront DP. That shows a real dedication to helping undo some of the damage to which their former service to DP may have contributed.

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  20. NJ – No, I did not receive your e-mail. Yes, I am aware that she has been outed. I have been in contact with the reporter and now the editor since last week and still talking. I am L.I.V.I.D. My e-mail to the editor strongly urged them to change it, even now. Not one other publication or blog has made her name public. Even the website (not blog) that wants all the juicy gossip on this case has respected her dignity and kept her name private.

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  21. I have some thoughts on the discussion about intelligence, street smarts, etc., for what they’re worth based on studies of learning styles since the late 1990s.

    I believe that, at a purely human level, it is very possible for anyone of any IQ, high or low, to be suckered into servitude by a sociopath/narcissist who knows exactly how to play people and has no guilt or conscience about doing so. It’s also possible for someone of lesser IQ NOT to get sucked into the orbit of a sociopath/narcissist, because they’re “wired” with “people smarts” or “street smarts.” I think I’ve seen both situations at play, and with both Christians and non-Christians detecting (or not detecting) abusers.

    However, the minute we put dealing with abusive people into the realm of faith, there is another dimension beyond intelligence and/versus street smarts. And here’s my biggest concern: I think we get ourselves into trouble when we don’t distinguish between mentality/intelligence and spiritual discernment.

    Discernment can be a spiritual GIFT for some, with a higher capacity that can be far more fine-tuned than the average Christian can ever manage. For the rest of us, it’s a spiritual DISCIPLINE to grow and develop over our lifetime as disciples. But that’s how any spiritual gift or discipline is, right? Those with the gift have a supernatural capacity for, say, hospitality, or teaching, or encouraging. The rest of us can practice the essence of that based on the one-another commands (welcome one another, teach one another, encourage each other) and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

    I’ve talked with Christians who’ve discerned spiritually abusive leaders. Some did this through a gift of discernment, and they say things like, “I knew the first time I met ABC that there was something really ‘off’ and that proved true” and “The hairs on the back of my neck stood up when I met XYZ, I was so creeped out *immediately* by him!” As for me personally, it was a lot slower, through the practices of discernment as a spiritual discipline. I had to compare and contrast observed behaviors against biblical mandates, and come to the general realization that I’d been “played,” and also specific ways that had happened with a spiritually abusive leader – whether they’d created a system of compliance to rules and regs, of chaos with seeming freedom, or of charm and charisma.

    So, people can unmask and/or “handle” perpetrators of abuse through natural intuitive street smarts or intentional investigation – or their supernatural counterparts in a spiritual gift of discernment, or a spiritual discipline. We just need to be careful in assuming how IQ and the unique ways that mental capacity is “wired” for any given individual relate with their level of spiritual discernment. There is a boundary here. When we believe that only “intelligent” people can discern truth and error, then we’ve crossed into a type of Gnosticism. The end result of that is, “Only smart people count.” That’s the world of Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code, not the Bible. Biblical truth is accessible to all who have the Holy Spirit, and biblical wisdom is lived out by those who lean upon the Spirit’s empowerment.

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  22. P.S. It also makes sense to me that authoritarian ministry leaders set up systems that attempt to block spiritual discernment with some of ways already pointed at. Perfectionistic teachings (what I’ve called “inerrant theology”). Hierarchical systems of unconditional trust in the leaders over you (like Bill Gothard’s umbrella of authority/protection). Playing the victim (ours is the only “true” church). All those kinds of things that are stock-in-trade tools of sociopathic dominators correspond to the techniques for “psychological totalism” — the M.O. for sociological cults — as described over 50 years ago by Robert Jay Lifton in his research on brainwashing in communist China.

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  23. JA,
    Okay, thanks. Wasn’t sure if the victim herself was one of the reporter’s sources. If not, said reporter sure must have found somebody who was willing to talk.

    brad/futuristguy- not only do Christians come in varying intelligence levels and spiritual gifting, but levels of maturity and plain old life experience. It’s easy when somebody is obnoxious, or says downright weird things to tell when they should be politely avoided and others warned. When the would-be leader is warm, friendly, charismatic, charming, etc. in person, it may take longer for those of us without the spiritual gift of discernment. Now that I think about it, it also makes a difference if you can peruse someone’s writings at your own pace without coming under direct pressure from others in your life to accept the new teachings. It’s one thing to read IBLP materials in a friend’s home the way I did, outside of the seminar setting, and come to the quick conclusion that Gothard is a serious whackadoodle. Same thing for reading the Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy on my computer screen and deciding it was a bunch of horsepoop. Very different situation to be raised in such an environment by parents who are into it whole hog, or be getting it from the pulpit and adult sunday school on a regular basis.

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  24. NJ – You won’t believe this. Just as I was in the process of responding to your comment, I got a tweet notification from the reporter who wrote the story. They have finally removed her name from the article, 6 days after publication.

    This is very important. Our voices do count!!! When we can – we should always speak up for the defenseless. We can make a difference in their lives and also bring awareness to others. I am so happy. Yes, it did take time tweeting, e-mailing, and even phone call, but it paid off. :::::ja doing the happy dance:::::

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  25. truthwillsetufree
    This question was obviously not asked to be nosey, but to point out that going from one cultic leader to another isn’t a safe haven for anyone. It’s not about wanting to know anything, but carefully pointing out that help can’t be found within the movement itself. She needs to be protected, yes. Compassion demands that. And compassion should be our first and foremost desire for any victim of abuse. The Fredricksburg off shoot of BCA is no safe place, just a couple of con artists who disguise themselves as Christian leaders. Compassion is hoping that her safe haven isn’t and wasn’t the Bob Welch group, and hopefully help is coming from those who aren’t themselves presently deceiving many.

    That’s still none of yours or any of our business. I have known who this is from day 1. I have met her & talked to her. I know Doug. I have known him for a long time. I know where she’s going but just like I am going to protect my own and my family’s privacy, hers should be protected as well and just because she was caught up with someone like DP, doesn’t mean you or anyone else have a right to know. I really don’t care what reasons you gave. She should not be hunted down like an animal.

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  26. JA- praise God. Let’s pray nobody starts doing anything on the internet so they can spread it around. I’ve never been in shoes like hers, but I know if I were starting over, perhaps starting a whole new life, I wouldn’t want this following me.

    Almighty and everlasting God, may You abundantly pour forth your grace and mercy to help this lady in her time of need. May she fully understand that nothing in all creation can separate her from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

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  27. JA, This young lady certainly has an advocate in you! Any one of us would be lucky to have you in their court when the going gets tough! A great example to those of us taught to not make waves or make someone else uncomfortable, no matter the reason (southern culture)! BTW where were you raised and were females encouraged to be outspoken?:-)

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  28. The reason it is so easy for people (intelligence aside) to become subservient to men like DP is because they are in heirarchial environments and are taught from scripture, from a young age, or from new birth in Christ, ‘that this is pleasing to God. These are God’s ways. No one is to question the interpretation of the scriptures because if you do, you are questioning God’s authority in your life.” It is a catch 22 situation. I shutter to think what some men have done in the name of God. It is devastating for many people when they come to realize what they have been taught in the name of God. I can understand why so many walk away from God. I pray that those harmed come to know God the Father who loves beyond measure.

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  29. I am so baffled about the fact that it was mentioned in this article that Victim attends church in Fredericksburg, TX. If the author is truly concerned about Victim–would it not have been better to just state that Victim now attends church somewhere other than BCA?

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  30. “September 9, Doug did some damage control. He met with the board of Vision Forum Ministries and confessed to them, saying he had only kissed Victim a few times and did not have intercourse with her.

    In early November of 2013, during the week after the release of Doug’s resignation letter, the five men who confronted Doug at his home revealed the details about the depth and deception of Doug’s sins to the board of Vision Forum Ministries. The Vision Forum board acted swiftly, deciding to close the entire ministry and giving the Phillips family 60 days to vacate their home, which Vision Forum owned. And, on November 11, the closing of Vision Forum Ministries was announced by the board. (Note: The board members of Vision Forum Ministries have been painted in a very poor light by a number of blogs. But, in reality, they acted very quickly and appropriately once they had received the truth. The same suspicion and speculation from a number of blogs also put in a poor light those men who confronted Doug Phillips privately and directly but to no avail.)”

    I hope I’m not being disrespectful here, but what bothers me most about this is the amount of time it took for any public acknowledgement by the board and action against DP. My family and I attend one of the churches directly affected by this (for my family’s sake I will not reveal which one), yet had it not been for an online article accidentally run across we would still have no idea. What is the board doing if not keeping it’s members (and especially it’s head) accountable? Is it just a nice title?

    “He had only kissed Victim a few times” – So that makes it okay to not publicly expose him then and there? He publicly preached about modesty and chastity ON A NATIONAL LEVEL!

    I’ll admit it, I’m frustrated and discouraged by the seeming lack of desire to deal with this. If DP could get away with this for so long with no accountability, what’s to say there aren’t others who are doing so even now, who are emboldened because of this? What if someone in leadership tries to do the same to one of my children? Do you really think dealing with it 6 weeks after the fact is going to send my children the right message? Or will it tell them that you only get held accountable if you are not in leadership?

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  31. Ann,

    I was raised in CA and OR. I think my outspokenness came from being abused from birth through age 19 yrs by 2 dads. I went to many adults, who instead of getting help for me, remained silent. These adults were family members, friends, even some professionals who were mandatory reporters, but failed to do their job.

    Somewhere along the line I made a vow to myself that if I ever saw someone in harm’s way, I would speak up for them and would not abandon them as I was abandoned.

    That was what made me write my initial negative Google review and original blog. I realized many had been silenced by my former pastor (and sadly, many are still silenced – to this freakin’ day).

    This is basic Christianity – – someone who comes alongside another who is defenseless gives them hope. It tells them they are not alone. It tells them they have value and have an identity in Christ. It can be pivotal in their recovery process so they can be whole and do the same for others. It is indeed a ripple effect and we all can play an integral part in so many lives.

    I had people hold my hand during my lawsuit, listen to my cries, struggles. It’s payback time and what a privilege it is to help others as I have been helped.

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  32. Char S.

    I had another comment here, but after rereading the article and getting further information, I am revising it.

    Please read the article closely. It says that she and her parents attended a church in Fredricksburg after the mess.

    The week after Doug resigned, Victim and her family sat down with Bob Sarratt and told him the truth. Bob was understandably devastated and completely unsure of how to handle the situation. At that time, Victim’s family stopped attending BCA permanently and started attending a church in Fredericksburg, Texas.

    It does not say that she and her parents are currently at a church in Fredricksburg. The article did not identify where she goes to church now.

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  33. “Obviously there is a desire by some to believe that even intelligent people can be drawn in by men like Phillips, I respectfully disagree. A broad definition of Intelligence is “to comprehend or perceive.” To suggest someone has an heightened ability to do this and can still be taken in by a guy who had a habit of abusive behavior renders the word almost meaningless, especially for a Christian who should be even more aware of behavior that is unbiblical. I’m not saying these guys have no intelligence at all, but IMHO, calling them extremely intelligent is doing them a disservice.”

    There are tons of reasons intelligent people get involved in cultish groups. And it could start with how you are raised. What is your normal? It could be one went to work there and has a mortgage so looks the other way. It could be because we are a transient society and you have moved away for a job and need some social supports and they love bombed you (This was a big factor with SGM, I have heard)

    Now, as to intelligence. There are several types. Daniel Goleman wrote a very interesting book about Emotional Intelligence. You might be surprised to learn that brilliant people are often very easy to take advantage of by the street smart players/sociopaths and narcissists.

    I would assume you would agree that Albert Einstein was very intelligent? He had to paint his front door red because he could never find his house.

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  34. “I was raised in CA and OR. I think my outspokenness came from being abused from birth through age 19 yrs by 2 dads. I went to many adults, who instead of getting help for me, remained silent. These adults were family members, friends, even some professionals who were mandatory reporters, but failed to do their job.”

    This makes me furious! How many precious children have had to live this way? This is why we report even if we are not sure but suspect. We just do it and let the pros investigate.

    “Somewhere along the line I made a vow to myself that if I ever saw someone in harm’s way, I would speak up for them and would not abandon them as I was abandoned.”

    Amen. And God Bless you!~!~! May others be inspired to do the same.

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  35. I hope everyone here reads JA’s response to me about her abuse. Her response makes her a hero in my book. Even today, many adults blind themselves to “unpleasantness” around them (their word for abuse and neglect) to make their lives easier. Instead of walking beside someone who is suffering, they rationalize horrible behavior as God’s will and victims as being bitter and lacking faith. I am dealing with some childhood issues (at 57) and learning to set boundaries. JA, obviously your childhood had been far from ideal, but you didn’t check out, kill yourself, identify with abusers (therefore bully others yourself) or allow an authority figure to bully you as an adult. Your example shows us, no matter our experiences, we can have a voice against oppression and teach others, by example, to speak out!! I am sure you are passing this compassion and bravery down to your children. I hope they all become lawyers!!!! 🙂

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  36. Julie Anne,

    I heard Frank Peretti speak today on “The Wounded Spirit” and he said basically what you just said; (paraphrased) that God doesn’t give us strength so that we can dominate or abuse others, He gives us strength so that we can stand up and protect the weaker ones.

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  37. Wow! That was incredible of you to try so hard to protect her, Julie Anne! And such a wonderful and courageous vow you made, before that. Must be the fiery red hair!

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  38. “I heard Frank Peretti speak today on “The Wounded Spirit” and he said basically what you just said; (paraphrased) that God doesn’t give us strength so that we can dominate or abuse others, He gives us strength so that we can stand up and protect the weaker ones.”

    Wow. I love that. Needs to be tweeted but I have no followers. :o)

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  39. Frank Peretti was on Focus on the Family yesterday and the day before. It was SUCH a good program! It was heart-breaking to hear of the abuse he endured, but just so wonderful to hear how he’s used his platform to speak up for “wounded spirits”. I’d highly recommend listening.

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  40. A big part of the problem is the “covering” and “spiritual authority” heresies taught in many churches. They create an expectation of subservience to the leaders that is not truly set forth in the Bible. And then there is the total misapplication of “touch not God’s anointed”.

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  41. “The desire of these sources and all the people involved in this unfortunate situation is to see that Doug Phillips is never again in a leadership or ministry position.”

    DP has a great deal to repent of and should be held accountable for the crimes he has committed. But the motivation quoted above is unbiblical. There are numerous examples in the Bible of God bringing to repentance and using for His Kindgom men and women who formerly led despicable lives.

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  42. Do I sense some bitterness toward Doug Wilson? I read his post a couple weeks ago, and as the comments above about his blogpost were so incredibly misconstrued, I had to go reread the article.

    In context, DW is noting how easily macho men could be attracted to such a movement that on the outside appears godly, but since it’s really driven by carnal male energy instead of true spiritual fruit, that makes that leader much more susceptible to sexual sin and manipulation.

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  43. I agree with Bob. I appreciated the timeline and most of it seemed good and fair ……. until you got to Doug Wilson. I read that post when it came out and didn’t think that Doug Wilson was attacking the victim or even really defending DP.

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  44. I just read the Doug Wilson post mentioned too, and it is *nothing* like how it was characterized here.

    Wilson did NOT put the blame on the Victim, he did NOT characterize her as a Delilah (or anything else), and he did NOT compare her to a stripper.

    I’m sorry, but I can read. It’s almost impossible to believe that you are doing anything but willfully misrepresenting what Wilson said. Which makes me wonder about your integrity overall.

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  45. This is very well done. How are the Phillip’s children doing? I can’t imagine what they are going through, realizing that their dad is a hypocrite.

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  46. Paul,

    I haven’t heard how the Phillips children are doing. I have noticed that Beall Phillips has opened her Facebook page to the public and is posting cute family pictures – – this is recent – most likely an attempt to paint a public image. What else is new?

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  47. “I have noticed that Beall Phillips has opened her Facebook page to the public and is posting cute family pictures – – this is recent – most likely an attempt to paint a public image.”

    That is very disturbing. I have tried to give Beall the benefit of the doubt in all this, but using her family photos to solicit sympathy is a bit low.

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  48. Thank you for the reply. I will be praying for those kids.

    One other thing. In your research, have you found out why guys like Voddie, Scott Brown and Kevin Swanson have not spoken up about this? They ran in his circles and were friends with him. Did they not see these tendencies? If not, they know now, but they have remained mostly silent. Kevin mentioned it in one of his shows, but didn’t really say much. These guys are quick to pounce on other false teachers and such, but when it comes from within their circles they don’t seem to say much. Don’t get me wrong, I like Voddie and a lot of what those guys say, but they have to say something, no? Thoughts?

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  49. Paul, I think they are having a hard time knowing what to say. All of those guys defend patriarchy in their actions. Kevin Swanson fully endorses it, yet just recently came out with an article saying he’s against it. They are squirming and back peddling big time.

    What some of them are doing is trying to keep the focus on the actual sin/abuse in order to distance that aspect from Patriarchy.

    They really need to be quiet because some of them are digging bigger holes for themselves and they are being watched like hawks now.

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  50. Patriarchy IS BIBLICAL.. Both in the NT & OT.. Now that being said it was only in the christian era that women found the ability to have protection and rights to being treated with love and to be given respect.

    I don’t know anything about this issue within this one church other than what I read above in the article.
    However this isn’t an issue of patriarchy.. so much of a man of “power” using God’s name to validate his own human sexual desires which GOD says are sin if used outside of marriage. He had a wife.. He should have fulfilled his needs within that forum!

    As far as that goes.. He has dishonored God and his role as a leader in any church.. EVER!

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  51. “Patriarchy IS BIBLICAL.. Both in the NT & OT.. Now that being said it was only in the christian era that women found the ability to have protection and rights to being treated with love and to be given respect. ”

    Tonia, Can you explain what you mean by “Biblical”. Do you mean that it was God’s intention or that it is simply in scripture as a result of separation from God.

    “However this isn’t an issue of patriarchy.. so much of a man of “power” using God’s name to validate his own human sexual desires which GOD says are sin if used outside of marriage. He had a wife.. He should have fulfilled his needs within that forum!”

    What you describe IS patriarchy right after you said it was not an issue of patriarchy. Patriarchy is about power. Male rule. Adult Believers follow Christ. Not mere humans for being male.

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  52. “Do I sense some bitterness toward Doug Wilson?”

    That is an interesting choice of descriptor: Bitterness?

    That would be a strange emotion to have for a man who has promoted marriage and children for a pedophile to a judge, written a pro slavery book and describes “biblical” sex in marriage as a war metaphor.

    Disgust would be a better descripter.

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  53. Amen. And there is a lot of stuff in the Bible (aka “biblical”) that is NOT CHRISTIAN!!!

    Child sacrifice, stealing your brother’s birthright and becoming the patriarch as a result, having a woman’s husband killed in battle and taking her as your wife, talking donkey, chattel slavery, killing the prophets (preachers), drowning a herd of pigs, etc., etc. Patriarchy is in the OT, but not really in the NT unless one twists and misinterprets the text from the Greek, ignoring the society of the day. Patriarchy is biblical (in the bible) but not Christian. Pharisees are in the NT and are not Christian, but we have a lot of them in the pulpits of Christian churches today!

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  54. An Attorney is surely correct to say that patriarchy is not really in the NT. Acts 2:29 refers back to the OT patriarch David. Heb. 7:4 refers back to the OT patriarch Abraham. There is also a reference to the OT patriarchs in Acts 7:8-9. That’s it, at least so far as I can find in the ESV.

    Only one NT passage that I can think of addresses anything touching on patriarchy. Jesus said, “And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9 ESV). If we are not to call any man our father on earth, how dare we defer to any man as a ruling father, which is what patriarch means (from the Gk. patēr, father + archōn, ruler).

    Personally, I deem patriarchy to belong to the same Biblical categories as adultery, incest, bestiality, rape and slavery. Oh, but I am forgetting. A surprising number of the advocates of patriarchy also defend the practice of slavery.

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  55. I have been following this horrorshow and this blog for a while now. I felt most posts on this case were a little biased but informative and felt no need to respond. *full disclaimer* I am a patriarchist and make no bones about it. This is a VERY fair and unbiased account of the case. Sad but true. Good job to those who worked on it. Pray for all involved. The b******s need it as much as the victim… Probably more.

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  56. These people are obviously not Christians. I’m not judging but just because they go to church and have biblical sounding businesses means nothing. It just works for them. ajc

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Disturbing to read, absolutely disgusting behavior on Wilson’s part. However, “Victim” infers that she was a teenager. This all happened when she was in her 20’s. The bedroom window debacle? She was 27 years old. She participated in adultery and was an adult. Set the record straight.

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  58. Jill (whose gmail address shows a man’s name),

    You are full of it. The link you posted (and I deleted), links to an men’s rights blog where women are treated as objects. I don’t care of Lourdes initiated any sexual encounter, Texas law says it is illegal for a pastor to have sex with a congregant. Your victim blaming is not welcome here.

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