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There are two Christian lawyers named David C. Gibbs – Jr. is the father and III is the son. This post seeks to halt the ongoing confusion about which Gibbs serves as lead attorney for Lourdes Torres-Manteufel in her civil suit against Doug Phillips and Vision Forum.
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I recently contacted David C. Gibbs, III. He is the lead attorney for Lourdes Torres-Manteufel in her civil suit against Doug Phillips plus his Vision Forum, Inc., business and his Vision Forum Ministries non-profit. I’d come up against a recurring issue on my own blog with commenters, and on other websites, about exactly which Attorney Gibbs people were talking about – Gibbs III or his father, Gibbs, Jr. I’d also gotten a number of emails and blog post comments that didn’t distinguish between the two.
- Which one was consultant to the board of Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles?
- Which one was involved in the notorious criminal trial of now-convicted pastor Jack Schaap?
Spiritual abuse survivors were outraged that Lourdes Torres-Manteufel might be placing the future of her lawsuit in the hands of someone with a notorious reputation for covering up abuse of power.
But it just didn’t seem to make sense that someone involved in those kinds of cases would take up the case against a patriarchy movement leader like Doug Phillips. So I pursued some leads from Spiritual Sounding Board commenters and others to figure things out. The confusion is understandable, really. Both are lawyers, and Gibbs III did work for/with Gibbs, Jr., at his father’s Christian Law Association (CLA) organization for a period of time. But, given the horrific abuse perpetrated in the above situations, identifying which Gibbs was involved would make a huge difference in having correct details.
The following chart was pieced together from material provided by Attorney David C. Gibbs, III, via email and from his National Center for Life and Liberty (NCLL) website. The few short statements after that were lightly edited from quotes he provided. Attorney Gibbs III then reviewed and approved them before I posted them here at Spiritual Sounding Board. [Click on the chart below to see a larger, clearer version; and click here for a downloadable PDF of this article and the chart.]
It turns out that the son is not very much like his father. The professional paths of the two Gibbs attorneys diverged when the son could not endorse his father’s old-school theology with its patriarchal philosophy.
Embarrassingly to David, his father has stood with many child abusers in the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) world over the years rather than publicly renouncing their sin. David’s father is of that old-school philosophy that tends to cover-up and hide as opposed to being transparent, open, and honest. That is why David’s father meets with Bill Gothard’s board as they try to cover-up and ignore Dr. Gothard’s immoral activities. In stark contrast, David Gibbs III is suing Doug Phillips on behalf of the woman he victimized, Lourdes Torres-Manteufel.
Attorney Gibbs III disagrees with many of the positions, decisions, and recommendations that his father and Christian Law Association support as they spend donated church money to protect and cover-up the moral failings of sinful leaders. Attorney Gibbs III supports and promotes child protection and full ministry transparency and accountability. In David’s opinion, CLA and his father have been on the wrong side of these issues for a number of years. That is one of the many reasons why David Gibbs III cannot endorse and work alongside his aging father in ministry.
About Alleged Criminal Issues
Several blog comments had alleged that Attorney Gibbs III had been arrested in Florida on charges of spousal abuse, even linking to the Florida county arrest log to where one could supposedly find the record of the arrest.
He has NO criminal record, and he and his wife have NEVER had any domestic dispute as falsely alleged in these unsubstantiated and slanderous posts. David and his wife will celebrate twenty-one years of marriage in July 2014.
About Pushing Back Against Systems of Abuse
His website bio summarizes his philosophy well.
Attorney Gibbs believes: “If it’s wrong, fight it. If it’s right, fight for it.” His life verse is Matthew 25:40, where Jesus said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
While there was an opportunity to merely copy this material from various comments online, it was important for how we do things at SSB for me to contact Attorney Gibbs III directly, and wait to post this information until I’d heard from him – even while this contains much of the exact same information. I believe we need to separate the fused identities of father and son, move past any temporary association the son had with his father’s patriarchy-supporting CLA, and embrace this man whose philosophy on abuse puts Lourdes Torres-Manteufel in good stead.
Please keep praying for Lourdes and her husband Nolan, for Attorney Gibbs III’s leadership in the progress of the lawsuit, and for the ultimate uncloaking of Vision Forum and patriarchy as a “total institution” with “bounded choice,” as Cindy Kunsman’s guest post series has been exploring in detail. This case is strategic to shining the light of truth on this dark and abusive movement.
See also the resource post on the lawsuit for more detailed information, plus references, and links.
UPDATE from Julie Anne 5/27/14: Since posting this article, a couple of commenters have provided more information regarding David Gibbs III that I was unaware of. Please read the comments. While this information is worth noting (and hopefully we can get some of it cleared up), I believe we must stand behind Lourdes and this lawsuit. Also, minor edits were made today to correct grammar and to clarify points.