Doug Phillips & Vision Forum, Family Integrated Churches, Full-Quiver, Homeschool Movement, Lourdes Torres vs Doug Phillips lawsuit, Marriages Damaged-Destroyed by Sp. Ab., Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Spiritual Abuse, Vision Forum, Women and the Church

Doug Phillips: The Sex Abuse Lawsuit Conclusion and Epilogue of His Vision Forum Shipwreck

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Doug Phillips Lawsuit, Lourdes Torres, Sex Abuse, Vision Forum, Spiritual Abuse

 


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

It’s been a long while since there have been any updates on the Lourdes Torres vs Douglas Phillips lawsuit. Normally, I received updates from Attorney David C. Gibbs III, who represented Lourdes Torres. Either he would e-mail or text me, or I would inquire of him, and he or another attorney from his office would respond quickly.

Because of the influence Doug Phillips had in so many lives in the Christian Homeschool Movement, I’ve tried hard to get information from first-hand sources. Sadly, after several requests, I have not received any response from Attorney Gibbs’ office regarding recent updates on this case; however, Free Jinger, a website that hosts discussions on the culture, abuses, and key people in Christian fundamentalism, noted mid-May that the court case was dismissed:

 

dp
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didnothave
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I was also told by a couple of very reliable sources that the lawsuit was dismissed, settled out of court, and a gag order in place, so that would explain why we haven’t heard anything from Lourdes Torres or anyone.

I’m disappointed with the outcome of this case for a number of reasons. Although this case primarily concerned Doug Phillips’ inappropriate relationship and grooming of an underage teen, then using his position of authority as clergy, boss, and mentor to continue the relationship after she became an adult, it represented much more than that.

While Phillips’ ship has sunk, and the case has closed, it doesn’t really feel finished to me. Lourdes Torres was the sacrificial lamb who bravely spoke out about this clergy abuse. She helped to sink the ship of Doug Phillips’ ministry, Vision Forum, which had been a mainstay in the Christian homeschool community for many years. However, it feels like Phillips got away with harming much more than a Titanic-full of people. People who boarded his ship, expected a captain who would safely navigate them. They had no clue that he was going to cause a shipwreck.

One cannot say that this lawsuit only affected Lourdes Torres, Boerne Christian Assembly, and the Phillips family. As a result of Doug Phillips’ so-called ministry demise, some families have shattered and had difficulty picking up the pieces. Some have shipwrecked their faith. I read e-mails from divided spouses and families: one spouse wanted to discard the teachings of Phillips, while the other wanted to continue Phillips’ teachings. How does a family reconcile this kind of conflict?

While Doug Phillips and his family have now abandoned the idea of family-integrated churches (which he claimed was the right way to go to worship as a family), he and his family have joined a traditional church in Texas with segregated age groups (something he taught against). He also failed to abide by the church rules he helped establish when he founded the church, Boerne Christian Assembly.

In November of 2014, elders Jeff Horn and David Fry posted a note at the Boerne Christian Assembly website (which now doesn’t seem to exist) that Philips was excommunicated. Doug Phillips has done nothing to resolve that issue. No big deal for him, he just wiped his hands clean of his old life and is starting a new one with his family.

In closing the final chapter of Doug Phillips and his shipwrecked ministry, I thought it would be good to reflect on a couple of comments left here at SSB by two individuals during the height of the Doug Phillips scandal. I do not believe these two individuals have commented since that time, but they obviously had a need to share what they had gone through. Their personal stories about sex abuse and patriarchy represent real lives and most likely echo the experience of others.

 

I was sexually and spiritually abused by a spiritual leader in our church starting at age 13. Unless you have lived that experience, you cannot understand the anguish and struggle it is to be whole again with both God and self. The shame, the confusion, the lost innocence, losing the childlike faith you had in God and “Jesus loves me this I know” because you no longer “know”. S’s comments obviously show her own unhealed, bitter woundedness from her husband’s unfaithfulness, as it is a very selfish stance to ever blame the one under the control of a man of such age, authority, spiritual position and charm as DP (and my own abuser).

I was sucked into the Patriarchial [sic] mess 9 years ago when our state’s Christian homeschool conference changed from teaching us how to teach our children, to guilting us in how badly we were living as families of faith. In my own spiritual mess of striving to please God, as I was not yet whole from the abuse, I quickly fell for the charm, the smiling, happy-looking families, the mandate that to be right with God we must live their way. To have our children saved, faith-filled, strong in the Lord, we must live their way. To pass on the mantle of faithfulness that the world could not destroy in them or future generations, we must live their way–and of course, that meant buying and using what they sold.

For 3 1/2 years I wore skirts only. I finally convinced my husband to let us go to a FIC [family-integrated church]. We were all miserable, but that only meant that I was failing to “get it right”. Somehow, someway, I was missing the message. So much fear grew in me. My family, my children were not going to turn out right. I was failing them and failing God. Wow!! Exactly what my abuser had once told me, “Saying no to him was saying no to God and failing him was failing God.”

I just found out about all of this on Saturday when I came across the World magazine article on DP [Doug Phillips] someone posted on Facebook. Although we have been away from the FIC for 5 years and patriarchial [sic] thinking in general for 3, it was fresh salt to the wounds. I have thousands of $’s in materials from VF that have been sitting on shelves untouched because I have been so unsure, uncertain in what to believe. Today, I will box them up for the dump. I see freedom in my future. But for now, this is all so very painful.

Unless you have walked in any shoes similar to Victim, you CANNOT understand. To be sinned against in such a way, in the name of Jesus, is indescribable. I apologize for writing so much, but I do appreciate having a safe place to express these deep emotions. Thank you!

 

 

 

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Longtime lurker as I’ve been sorting through extricating my family from this patriarchy culture. As a father of 4 daughters, reading what this sociopath has done makes me want to meet him in a dark alley and educate him in the usefulness of Israeli special forces training. And by this I completely mean I would kick his @#$. Your pushup regimen wouldn’t help one iota Doug.

All these patriarchy wimps can ‘pray’ for him and his wife, and try to sound holier than thou with their long-winded sophistry. Deep down they are still intimidated by him and wondering if he’ll rise like a phoenix. Better to not be too overt in their dismissal right? Quietly distance because ‘its the ‘Reformed Christianese’ way to handle it, right? Some are merely swooping in to fill the patriarchy vacuum and acquire the cash flow stream that was VF.

No. Real men kick @#$ when things are obvious. Real men protect and fight when needed. This is why Lourdes’ family chased this predator down the street after he jumps out her window. They are the real men. They don’t just ‘play’ one on stage or in self-aggrandizing ‘crockumentaries’. They ended it right then and there. Looking down the barrel of a gun. Real men. With fire in their betrayed eyes. No lifts in their cowboy boots needed, Doug.

Patriarchy puts the weight of the world via Old Testament manipulation on families, then runs to the New Testament for ‘forgiveness’ when the fruit of these doctrinal entrapments are shown in the light of day. It’s called EVIL doctrine. Wolves in sheep’s clothing. We’ll know a tree by its fruits. Their brand of ‘forgiveness’ is attempting to hide it (VF Board) to protect the cash cows (I mean ‘ministries’).

Equally culpable are the sycophants who equate Phillips with some kind of modern-day King David archetype – ‘well, he ‘fell’ but I still believe what he taught was Biblical’…are you kidding me?! This knee jerk quasi-biblical response is merely projection. They actually do (or did) view him as their king. Not Christ. Little doug fricking phillips.

They are that blind. *I* was that blind. Lock, stock and barrel. A one time conference speaker, leader in a well known ‘reformed’ church, the whole shootin’ match. Could smell the megalomania on Phillips from the first time I met him, but ignored my better judgement. Just wasn’t ‘reformed’ enough I told myself. Wrong. I was ignoring red flags because something inside me wanted to be in the ‘inner circle’ with these yahoos. That’s how a cult is designed – to make people deeply revere and subsequently want to become one of the leaders.

Strange brew because this cult is more like a network – almost like the tapes and seminar kingpins of Amway. Different leaders and power structures around the U.S. – all vying for paid speaking gigs at each other’s events. They are information and event marketers, pure and simple. These are not ministries. While small potatoes in the world of business, they still rake in hundreds of thousands a year – under the guise of 501c3 status. It’s profitable! And just like Gothard and every other deceived ‘celebrity’ minister turned information marketer – they believe their monetary ‘success’ is God’s blessing. God’s ‘approval’ on what they are doing in this world to ‘take dominion’ and reconstruct America in the vanity of their mind’s eye. And if *they have ‘God’s’ approval, who are you and I to question it? MenoGAWD syndrome in the worst sort of way.

But thank God for the Holy Spirit opening my eyes and getting my family out of this mess. We are truly free in Christ, led by the Holy Spirit and in relationship with a loving Father.

We’ll be reading about this ‘movement’ on wikipedia as another creepy anomaly history lesson in American Churchianity. Beware of future iterations of it however. The wolves have to eat until they stand before God for their duplicity.

 

 

If you were affected by Doug Phillips’ teachings on Patriarchy, the Homeschool Movement, Courtship, family-integrated churches, etc, and would like to leave an update on how you and your family are doing, I’d especially love to hear from you.

Oh, one more thing – – I checked out VisionForum.com to see if there was anything left of the site. It has changed [see updated note below]. I don’t think it is quite what Doug Phillips, Esq. had enVisioned . . . or not.

 

vision forum, doug phillips
visionforum.com

 

Edited to note:  Gary W. correctly pointed out that the Vision Forum website used the address: http://www.visionforumministries.org, not Vision Forum.com.  I’m going to leave the above photo posted because of the irony of a website named Vision Forum. To me, this aptly describes how Doug Phillips lived his life. He lived the high life, while gambling with people’s lives. ~ja

Update again:  Ok, the Vision Forum store/catalog which sold books and gender-specific toys did use the VisionForum.com site!!  The ministry used the http://www.visionforumministries.org site.

226 thoughts on “Doug Phillips: The Sex Abuse Lawsuit Conclusion and Epilogue of His Vision Forum Shipwreck”

  1. “…some families have shattered and had difficulty picking up the pieces. Some have shipwrecked their faith.”

    It’s heart-breaking what happens when one man tries to play god…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kapow …. that graphic! VisionForum.com is now a gambling website.
    What a denouement! … how perfectly it signifies the evil that was VF.

    I LOVE GladWeAreOut’s comment! Thanks for republishing it, Julie Anne.

    And devaneyjoy…. I remember reading your comment when it was first published. I want to honour you for speaking your truth. And if you want them, here are some (((((hugs)))))

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What does it mean when a lawsuit is dismissed? Does it mean the judge didn’t believe it happened? Or could Lourdes perhaps not afford to continue? I don’t understand. What a disappointing ending. 😦

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  4. Hmmm. . . I wonder if DP still owns the VisionForum.com domain name. Does anybody know how to look it up? Maybe DP has found a new, more honest if still troubling, means of separating people from their money. Eh, probably not.

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  5. I’m disappointed but not surprised that the case has been dismissed. It’s often difficult for sexual assault survivors to find justice. I hope Ms. Torres finds support and healing in the years ahead.

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  6. Sounds like this settled and agreement was made to allow the plaintiff to move for dismissal with both parties agreeing to not discuss it, thus the gag order. That’s the only logical explanation. Judges don’t normally issue gag orders when they dismiss a case, and if this case was going to be dismissed for procedural issues it would have happened long ago. I don’t think this was a Phillips win, I think it was settled and the plaintiff was paid. Exactly the way Doug would end this, keep it all quite so he can now claim, ” I can’t talk about it “. He is a weasel and a fraud, many of his followers are now hanging on every word that Scott Brown says. Some people within Christianity want someone to tell them what to do , there will always be a market for this. It appears they refuse to read God’s Word for themselves and frankly are easily manipulated by those acting like they are some authoritative voice.

    This will happen again to the ” home school community” they are a prime target lined up in the sights of clever marketers by the fear created by Home school legal defense folks ( the original home school scammers) .

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  7. Also, I’m thinking the sudden silence by formerly communicative sources is evidence that Lourdes Torres has not been denied justice. We have some indication that a gag order is in place. I’m thinking Lourdes’ silence was purchased with money, hopefully a large sum of money.

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  8. I think it was settled and the plaintiff was paid

    That’s what I’m thinking too. And I completely get going that route, it’s simplest, avoids a trial that may not go your way and all the messy details that come with that, etc..

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  9. DP just peddled another “system” or “religion” in order to get right with God. I’m glad he was exposed for what he was. I hope all affected by this distorted mess of a “ministry” find healing. BTW, if I remember correctly, when the VF statement of beliefs was up online there was not one mention of Jesus in it.

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  10. I’m a little disappointed. There is a visionforumministries.org website that appears to be what’s left of the old Vision Forum site. It brings up an announcement of the closing of Vision Forum Ministries.

    But does anybody know if Vision Forum maintained VisionForum.com (now a gambling site) as its for-profit web presence? Maybe, just maybe, we’re still onto some significant change of perspective with the gambling site.

    Either way, it occurs to me that throwing one’s lot in with these charlatans like DP is worse than gambling. With gambling there is at least a statistical possibility (not probability but possibility) that one will come out a winner.

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  11. Regarding the settlement, it strikes me that in my years of hearing from Vision Forum, it never seemed like all that marketing they did got them to be viable. So even if Phillips started working in law, or wherever, getting a significant settlement out of him seems unlikely–he was all hat and no cattle, to use the Texas proverb.

    I can’t prove it, but I suspect that James Leininger, Phillips’ long time patron, paid Torres and Phillips both to go away. His name was on a lot of the titles, and hence it could have ended up that he would have ended up suffering a lot more than Phillips would have. ( I also suspect that Leininger was the one who actually shut Vision Forum down with a call and/or a check to Phillips)

    Like I noted, I can’t prove it, and it sucks if I’m right. And that said, it’s more important to help support the survivors, because even a cursory search indicates that a LOT of them are hurting badly, many appearing to make very poor life choices as a result.

    My little attempt; if one has the tendency to believe that the Bible indicates a family integrated church, and that age and sex segregated groups are wrong, remember that the disciples were all young and male–by definition segregated by age and sex!. So the very origins of the church would seem to refute the claims of family integrated worship advocates.

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  12. We have some indication that a gag order is in place. I’m thinking Lourdes’ silence was purchased with money, hopefully a large sum of money.

    Just like the underage boys who accused Michael Jackson.
    Amazing what seven figures in Hush Money with attached Gag Order can do, especially when backed with the threat of crazed fans.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. HUG, from a financial viewpoint, I agree with you that it is likely that Phillips did well by doing evil. That sucks, as I noted above. But let’s remember as well that he seemed to crave publicity more than money–he was always in front of a camera.

    But unlike Mark Driscoll and Bill Gothard, Phillips has stayed mostly quiet. He might prove me wrong yet, but it strikes me that whoever wrote the checks made sure the agreement kept him quiet for a while. I’m thinking Leininger gave him an “elizabethan collar”, rhetorically speaking.

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  14. I don’t think Jim Leininger has had anything to do with the settlement. That is the impression I have gotten after talking with several key people close to the situation.

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  15. JA: fair enough on Leininger. I still can’t wrap myself around DP funding a settlement, though, let alone agreeing to be quiet for a while. The whole deal is rather remarkable.

    Regarding the .com site, Vision Forum had a separation between the ministry and the store as far back as a decade ago or more, if I remember correctly. The question with the gambling site is whether it’s cybersquatting, or whether the site was actually sold. Or was it sold after cybersquatting and a nice letter from the lawyers of the charred hulk of visionforum.com?

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  16. Doug Wilson is still a tool.
    As long as there are people who believe in the whole “obey your leaders”doctrine, there will always be individuals who are willing to step in and tell them how to act and think (and take their money). That is why the whole authoritarian neo-Calvinist movement scares the hell out of me. I believe that parents need to teach their child real world lessons such as: Certain bad behavior will result in punishment. Hard work is usually (but not always) rewarded. Life is not always fair. And most of all be wary of anyone whole claims to have all the answer’s to life’s problems (especially in exchange for money or obedience).
    Too many children are disciplined, but are only told, “because you disobeyed” or “because I said so” (rather than explaining why their behavior is wrong). They aren’t taught reasoning skills and are sheltered from “the world” I have adult nieces who believe obedience is the ultimate virtue and do not have the life skills to discern when they are being manipulated. They don’t recognize that so called Christians can scam them, mislead them or physically hurt them.
    My heart aches for those who were harmed by “the tool’s” actions. I pray that God brings them peace and shows them that only He has a vote in their value. Doug may be off the radar, but hopefully his downfall will allow others to be more discerning in their beliefs and never be ashamed to question authority.

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  17. Ann–Altho’ you said “Doug Wilson is still a tool,” I believe you meant Doug Phillips instead. However I would still say that Doug Wilson is a tool, but that is a whole nother kettle of rotten fish!!

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  18. I hope the settlement is a nice chunk, and that it gives Lourdes the ability to rebuild her life. I’ve seen that she is taking STEM classes, and I’m happy for her – she clearly has science and math ability that she was blocked from using by the Patriarchy. With a good settlement she can also hopefully avail herself of therapy and health support, to mitigate the PTSD inflicted on her by Phillips. Nothing can make up to her for what they stole, but money gives her space and options.

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  19. This caught my attention from devaneyjoy’s story:

    I have thousands of $’s in materials from VF that have been sitting on shelves untouched because I have been so unsure, uncertain in what to believe. Today, I will box them up for the dump.

    Perhaps the most often unsolicited piece of advice given to victims of spiritual abuse is, “Do not throw the bath water with the baby.”

    How I detest the analogy. There are several shaky assumptions that come with that statement.

    The toxic system is inclusive of “the baby” (whatever that means). Going with the analogy, the bathwater is so poisoned that the baby is long dead assuming the baby was in the bathwater in the first place.
    The truth is only inside the system. In fact, depending on how toxic the system is, you may be much better off outside the system to find Jesus. Burn it down.

    I have not sit through a sermon or read a Christian book in over 10 years. I do not seek Christian resources any more in search of answers, and my spiritual life is so much better off now outside the Evangelical bubble.

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  20. Great comment, David, about Christian resources. I think those of us who followed Phillips and people like him were looking for answers. It’s sad that we spent money at conferences and books. We would have done better without it.

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  21. “Thousands of dollars in VF materials.” That’s just one family. These people made a fortune peddling their ‘way of life.’

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Does anyone know what DP is up to right now? Is he hoping to make a comeback like Bill Gothard? Although, is Gothard really making a comeback?

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  23. I probably differ in the application, but I’ve got sectors of fundagelicaldom where I agree completely with David’s point. The only reason I’d interact with anything by anyone KJVO or IBLP would be to demonstrate to the church why it is wrong, and what else it’s doing to the church. And I’m one who will read a LOT of things with which I emphatically disagree–I’ve got a fairly high tolerance for some of this.

    I’m also curious with Kathi, but I’ve got a hunch we won’t be hearing from DP much for a while. In strong fundagelical cultures, there is often a network that will work to keep this kind of thing in check–it’s got advantages and disadvantages, but I’m guessing he’s securely on their “excrement list”. There’s one in western MI and I’m sure one in TX. And Gothard, thankfully, is too old to cause much more damage–I’m more concerned about younger people with a garage full of IBLP and not much concern for copyright, ethics, or theology.

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  24. I heard that DP has been doing movies (historical-type).

    Gothard wrote 6 or 7 books in the last couple of years. He has spoken at churches/events. He is not stopping and people still follow him – even pack the place out. 😦

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  25. There will always be a market for “knowledge & education” some of which will never lead to wisdom or refine deductive reasoning skills. Unfortunately many christians go light on personal Bible study and spend lots of time and money on conferences, books, recorded teachings, and seminars. Growing up my family suffered greatly because of this, with me probably getting the worst of it (mainly due to a very strong will & not totally undeserved) and ending up viewing christianity as pretty repulsive.

    Honestly it has taken me years and years to “get over it” and heal. Still not ok with what occurred and never will be. In the end I concluded that christianity (especially the fundamentalist brand) is a very destructive religion that we need to keep a very close eye on. Christ didn’t come to create a new religion, he came to bring salvation and we really messed up. Whatever happened to: For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:30) or I have come to give you life and life more abundantly. John 10:10

    The church has destroyed christianity and left us with just another worthless religion, and a bunch of seminar / book / conference marketers as a lousey consolation prize.

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  26. Books, conferences, seminars, tapes (those of us old enough), etc. etc. I see that teampyro is having its second annual conference. I truly believe that there is a direct correlation between spiritual impoverishment and the Christian Industrial Complex.
    A couple of verses come to mind:
    always learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:7
    “but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers” II Tim 4:3
    So who are always “learning”? Who else besides conservative Evangelicals obsess over “great teaching”? Who fill their shelves with books written by teachers they have accumulated for themselves? Just sayin….
    Liberal protestants don’t do that. Catholics don’t do that. Buddhists don’t do that. Hindus don’t do that. Certainly atheists don’t do that.
    When I was new to Evangelicalism, I got raked over the coals for not having heard of John MacArthur, RC Sproul, Zane Hodges, Chuck Swindoll, etc. One Sunday at John MacArthur’s church, one of the elders singled out people who drove over 100 miles to drive to the church for MacArthur’s preaching. There was a family that traveled over 200 miles. Thunderous applause followed. I stopped going to MacArthur’s church (not God’s church) after moving over about an hour away. People could not fathom why I wouldn’t drive the distance for MacArthur’s “great teaching.”
    Yeah, MacArthur’s church is called Grace “Community” Church. Or more like “Grace” “Community” “Church.”

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  27. I’m disappointed to read this. Do the victims in such trials need more support? Is there more we could be doing? I would love to see some precedents set in court.

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  28. Also, I’m sorry to say this but I think it is a mistake in these cases for the victim to seek out a lawyer with a “Christian” persona. They need someone whose motives are purely to represent their client. If counsel is concerned about how the lawsuit makes the “church” look, how the scandal will “reflect on Christ,” if he thinks Matt 18 has any bearing whatsoever on a legal case, or he thinks he will be a hero if he “makes peace,” then there is a conflict of interest.

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  29. David C, I agree with you entirely on the seeking after teachers and itching ears. My walk with Christ really got derailed after I discovered the Christian bookstore, sadly. Like you, I avoid all of these materials like the plague now.

    I do think that if you look into other belief systems, you will see the same dynamics going on there, as well, though the evangelical church does seem to be taking it to an art form. Writers, speakers, conferences, businesses… where there is money to be made, there will be people setting up shop.

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  30. If you look at the list of people under order 306A (gag) in the list provided by freejinger, all of those names (save DP and VF) are lawyers apparently attached to the trial. Seems odd given the fairly simple nature of the case–did defendant unfairly take advantage of plaintiff? I’m guessing that other parties got wind of something the nanny learned that involved them, too.

    Either that, or you had two guys with legal “dream teams” going at it a la OJ Simpson, and I don’t believe either could have afforded that. Either way, it does seem that at least one side had some lawyers without a “super Christian persona”, per Shy1’s comment.

    I’m guessing I’ll never learn the answers, but I can pray for those involved, especially the victims.

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  31. BTW, regarding DP and BG, I took a look at IMDB, Amazon, and such, and…let’s just say there’s a difference between writing books and acting, and selling books and selling movie tickets. Maybe I’m missing something, but I think they’re both permanently sidelined. Happier if both had been totally ejected from the game, but if we can’t get that, riding pine is the next best thing.

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  32. I am embarrassed to say I bought into the whole Vision Forum idea. Looking back I just want to gag. I mean really what kind of man plays dress-up? Or, what woman in her right mind wants to be totally submissive to her husband. Even my husband wants me to have my own opinion. I am thankful that the scandal came to light. I am sorry that the young lady had to go thru what she did, and I pray that she is healing. But, the blinders came off of my eyes, and my family is free!! I quit following anyone remotely famous in the homeschool/Christian movement. I quit supporting their “ministries” and I quit listening to anyone who tried to tell me how God wanted me to live or raise my family. Now, I just go straight to Him and skip the middle man. I have so much more joy.

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  33. I am sorry to hear how the case has ended. I get it and don’t blame Lourdes Torres for taking a settlement, its good old American jurisprudence. But that doesn’t get to the core issues. DP can say he wasn’t convicted of anything and can’t talk about it, how convenient. He has no criminal conviction against him so where is the accountability? Not even a nolo contendere? What stops him from moving onto another inveiglement? Are you counting on his conscience … good luck with that one!

    We need to do some critical thinking. As Christians we should not be duped into believing what someone or group tells us is a “Christian” way of life and is godly. We should be discerning, aware, and think for ourselves especially when someone stands to make a buck from their pontificating.

    As an old home schooler from the early home schooling days, we had many battles to fight. Guys like DP make it tougher as they supposedly come from our own ranks. Our critics just love stuff like this. I have found myself trying to explain that we are all not like this on more occasions than I care to think about.

    I have been following this case since its inception and am disheartened with the outcome. I understand Torres decision and wish her well. Thanks for allowing me to express my thoughts on this matter.

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  34. My sources suggested that part of the settlement was an affidavit from Lourdes correcting some of her public claims. If you look at the case online you will see an a court order to enforce part of the agreement, presumably . . . Producing the affidavit. I am guessing that that will be made available downstream, if correct. If not, she may have surrendered a lot of the proposed settlement to just let it all disappear.

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  35. “Patriarchy puts the weight of the world via Old Testament manipulation on families, then runs to the New Testament for ‘forgiveness’ when the fruit of these doctrinal entrapments are shown in the light of day. ”

    What an amazing quote by GladWeAreOut. He or she used to be a conference speaker…I would love to hear more from this person if they were to speak or write. Does anyone know anywhere else they have written?

    A close relative of mine’s current family has been devastated by a very similar sin to Doug Phillips’. They were quite into Vision Forum at the time. Yet I saw a marriage book by Doug and Nancy Wilson out (ie current reading) at their home a few months ago. I got all in knots, but didn’t say anything. I am kind of Asperger-y and get easily fumble-mouthed and confused when talking and would love it if there were a succinct reference page for these kind of patriarchy issues, both to get my own thoughts together and also (if requested) to share with someone.

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  36. Does anyone know whether there were charges filed against Phillips? If not- why? I keep hearing what he allegedly did was against the law. So what gives?

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  37. Cathryn, I believe not. The trick is that she was over 21 when it started–over the age of consent–and while DP’s behavior was clearly fraudulent and manipulative, it would have been very hard to prove sexual assault. There may have also been an issue with statutes of limitations–in this case and in the Bill Gothard case.

    Hence the civil suits, where one can sue when one realizes the harm that is done–in many cases that makes statutes of limitations much less relevant.

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  38. Doug knew exactly what he was doing. He groomed her while she was under age, and started the physical assaults when she was 21, and a case against him would be difficult to carry through. He had an eye to getting away with it.

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  39. I’m not aware that Lourdes went to the police. It’s possible that there could have been a criminal case opened if that happened, as it is illegal for pastors to have sexual relationships with congregants in the state of Texas. Perhaps she was not aware of this law.

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  40. The fact that this suit was settled should be no surprise to anyone. 90% to 95% of all filed lawsuits are settled, and that only includes those that are filed; the vast majority of legal disputes are never filed and result in a settlement. The actual number of all disputes settled is probably in excess of 95%. Very seldom in my former legal practice (now teach) did a case go to court. My assumption is she got a substantial though not enormous cash settlement and the parties signed a nondisclosure agreement, which would be part and parcel of a legal settlement.

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  41. I thought I recalled being told, that it is against the law in TX for a spiritual leader to have a sexual or romantic relationship with someone they counseled as a leader, pastor, etc regardless of their age. This ought to give one cause to ponder, why was Philips not charged? If not, did he do it or was there not enough evidence? If it was against the law, then even if she decided not to file charges, the state would have, through the DA. Then it causes me to wonder, was the lawsuit dismissed because it was bogus. Sorry if I’m offending all those champions of justice who don’t believe in innocent until proven guilty. It just seems kind of loose ended to me. And this girl is not the angel people purported her to be. I won’t delve into the details of that for fear of offending her fans all the more. And no I’m not a Doug Philips fan. I don’t follow trendy movements. Never have. That includes the Lourdes is an angel fan club.

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  42. You are correct, Cathryn. That is TX law. and I do not know whether this situation was reported to authorities before the civil lawsuit was filed.

    The idea that Lourdes may not be an angel is irrelevant. Even if she initiated a sexual relationship as an adult (which I do not believe happened), Doug would still have been going against TX law. No matter how you look at the situation, because of Doug’s position as a pastor, and being a person of trust, he bears the responsibility, period.

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  43. Yes, that was what I was told Julie Anne, that it is against the law whether she was of age or not, because a spiritual leader is capable of taking advantage of or manipulating someone’s weaknesses like any authority figure such as a psychologist or counselor would be, or maybe more so. Isn’t a court obligated to find out if charges were filed in such a case? It seems like there is not a full closure.

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  44. There is a possibility that there are charges still going to court though. If so he could have been let out on bail. However, usually the monetary-damages court cases come later. So I’m left scratching my head.

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  45. “And this girl is not the angel people purported her to be. I won’t delve into the details of that for fear of offending her fans all the more. And no I’m not a Doug Philips fan. I don’t follow trendy movements. Never have. That includes the Lourdes is an angel fan club”.

    Cathryn, you insinuate that Lourdes is some kind of loose woman.

    Did she personally attempt to seduce you or is this just a sliver of juicy gossip you gobbled up and cannot contain?

    I don’t know her or DP.

    But your comment says more about you and your type than it does about dirty old men and young women caught up in cults.

    Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

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  46. No Julie, I was not implying the civil case is the same as a criminal case but that there may be both simultaneously. If he were charged the case could be pending.

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  47. Salty, you seem a bit hostile. I don’t belong to any cult. Nor did I want to gossip or I would have simply stated what was said she did. Perhaps I’m not the only one needs checking dear. But you keep pushing I could post a link where I got the info, gladly.

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  48. Regardless if Lourdes initiated anything or not, in this case, she is a victim. I will delete any links that paint her as the problem in the Doug Phillips scandal. Phillips engaging in any sexual activity outside his marriage while in the role of pastor/teacher/leader makes him guilty.

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  49. Cathryn, hostile is one word you could use.

    Salty is probably another good one. 😊👍

    Victim shaming is disgusting behaviour and I don’t care for your ‘link’.

    We all know who the adulterous, perve pants is and it’s not a young female. 😂

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  50. Reading the lawyer’s comments, as well as Kathleeen’s, an ugly question comes to mind. If indeed DP was waiting until his victim was 21, with whom was he biding his time? He could have been obsessed with LT, but another possibility is that she’s not the only victim.

    Hope my musing is dead wrong here for obvious reasons.

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  51. I’ve followed this tragedy since it became public. Lourdes/Gibbs probably extracted a pretty penny. Not to say it wasn’t deserved on their part to receive and Phillips to give.

    That said, it’s time the whole “Patriarchal Community” took responsibility for the error of this movement. Yes, Phillips was one of the bigger cheerleaders and beneficiaries. But everyone involved in this movement was, ultimately, guilty of legalism. Frankly, I’m glad Phillips is attending a traditional, age-segregated church. Time for him to move on from the legalist error, too.

    What troubles me is everyone wants to blame evil Phillips for their own errors, as if they were all innocent in the Pharisaical practices. Not true. I was guilty, too. It all sounded good and, in view of the decaying culture seemed to make sense. But it wasn’t truly following the Lord. It was macho (and femino) pride showing the world and “backslidden other Christians” how serious Christians should behave. Own up and confess. And let Phillips do likewise.

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  52. What I think you are missing is that Mr Phillips sexually abused Ms Torres. As a survivor of sexual abuse, I can tell you that it never goes away. You don’t get over it. Panic attacks, nightmares, difficulty in relationships, shame, and physical pain follow you all your life, whether you are a Christian or not. We are talking about something much more serious than legalism.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. I don’t mean to minimize the sexual abuse. It was sick and he got his just desserts on that one. As I understand it, though, it was not rape (I read Gibbs’ Complaint). And I think there’s a huge difference between rape (forcible or otherwise) and exposure and touching. Nevertheless, again, a very bad thing and he got what was coming to him. And every victim of abuse (sexual or otherwise) has a choice to do the hard work (and I have sympathy here) to move on, forgive, and embrace the life God has given them, or remain a victim, unwilling to grow through the tragedy. There are wonderful, God honoring stories of rape victims who forgive their rapists, becoming more than they were before, and move on to freed lives. And then there are many stories of those who don’t.

    But the sexual abuse is really not what most have been focusing on. I’m talking about the whole church thing and the movement. I’m not trying to be callous here, but the sexual abuse story was probably a wickedly welcome event to those wanting to foment even more hate for the guy and his failed movement. And I’ve been challenging folks here — are you using the hate to cover your own culpability in the movement?

    With the help of the Spirit, I look inside my heart and see guile and hatred. No one is righteous…no, not one! The Lord said (through Jeremiah), “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Are you included in that proclamation?

    Should you look into your own heart? What will you see?

    Thanks be to God, He imputes righteousness to you and me (and Phillips and Torres and Gibbs).

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  54. And I think there’s a huge difference between rape (forcible or otherwise) and exposure and touching.

    This is why people have been referring to it as abuse. He abused his power and position. What you are doing is minimizing.

    probably a wickedly welcome event to those wanting to foment even more hate for the guy and his failed movement. And I’ve been challenging folks here — are you using the hate to cover your own culpability in the movement?

    If a ‘movement’ is harmful, it is not wicked to want to see it fail, and do no more harm.

    And how is anyone here culpable for his actions? Nonsense.

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  55. I’m going to repeat this. You do not understand the dynamics of sexual abuse. Do not ever refer to anyone’s rape as God honoring. Don’t do it. Do not compare incidents of sexual abuse and violence and speak as though you know which one is worse, or which should have harmed the victim more or less. Do not lecture victims about moving on. Do not judge victims and their recovery period.
    Estimates say that between 1 in 3 to 1 in 5 women suffer sexual abuse in their lifetimes, so you are not talking about some small group of people. Survivors are all around you, not speaking out because of the casual and cruel judgments that are handed down by people like yourself, people who do not understand how sexual abuse works. I urge you to educate yourself about the lifelong journey survivors go through after sexual abuse. Let go of this idea that forgiveness is the main problem of victims. Their problem is trauma, not whether they forgive the perpetrator. I forgive my perpetrator, in fact I never held it against him. He was a teenage boy who I now realize was almost certainly abused himself. I am still deeply affected by the trauma, more than 40 years later. That’s how trauma works.
    Because survivors are all around you, I urge you to educate yourself about us. You cause pain to survivors when you speak in ignorance, and I ask you in the name of Jesus who cares for us and helps us carry this lifelong burden, to take advantage of the information that is all around you. The book The Body Keeps Score by Besssel van der Kolk is an excellent discussion of the lifelong effects of sexual abuse, as well as other types of trauma. A simple web search will turn up plenty of good information as well.
    I wish you the best. Learning about survivors may be painful, but if you push through that, you will be doing what the Lord does, and standing with those who are despised and judged by the rest of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. Kathleen,

    Thank-You for speaking up for SA survivors. I am in my 6th decade, my CSA started when I was five years old & and I wouldn’t wish what I have gone through on anyone. Finally diagnosed properly at 45 years old with PTSD. My husband was thankful to be able to sleep through the night, after being woke up many nights, while I screamed in terror from nightmares. As I understand trauma gets downloaded into the central nervous system & the body indeed keeps score. It did in my case.

    As for your comment, Mick, on forgiving abuser, moving on, or choosing to remain a victim, your words are harmful, even if you don’t intend them to be. In my case, I willingly forgave my abusers, because I loved Jesus Christ. I was a new Christians at 28 years old and I wanted to do whatever, He asked, to please Him.

    I banged my head against the wall in prayer for years begging Jesus to please help me feel the forgiveness that I had so desperately wanted to give. Jesus didn’t answer that prayer for years, it took therapy, medication, and support to not suffer from shame, false guilt, depression, panic attacks & feelings of worthlessness. It was a dark night of the soul for me, it made absolutely no sense to me why I wasn’t healed.
    My pastor insisted if I stayed in the word, submitted myself to him & the authority of the scriptures God would heal me. God didn’t.

    It took several therapists & leaving a church that taught you are to thank God for being sexually abused as a child, not thank Him for the beauty that might eventually come from the ashes of abuse, or how the Lord might use me as a source of comfort to another wounded heart, but to actually THANK GOD that I was raped as a child. And as X pastor preached to congregation, those who refuse to give God thanks for their abuse are spitting on the authority of the scriptures & possibly hindering the Lord from healing their wounded bodies & minds.
    I plead with you to consider what Kathleen asked & please educate yourself on abuse.

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  57. “But the sexual abuse is really not what most have been focusing on. I’m talking about the whole church thing and the movement. I’m not trying to be callous here, but the sexual abuse story was probably a wickedly welcome event to those wanting to foment even more hate for the guy and his failed movement. And I’ve been challenging folks here — are you using the hate to cover your own culpability in the movement?”- Mick

    @Mick,

    Your post was really odd. Why do you speak for other people? How do you know what is in their hearts? Hatred? Not in this crowd. More like concern, sorrow, sadness over what Doug Phillips did and all of the lives he damaged.

    We have no “culpability” for someone else’s — Doug Phillips — choices in life. He’s a grown man. Nobody put a gun to his head.

    Then you add in sin leveling, that we’re all somehow equal. And now “culpable.”
    No, pal. I’m not culpable for Doug Phillips’ sick and twisted, un-Biblical teachings. No, pal, I’m not culpable for his betraying his wife. No, pal, I’m not culpable for his having a young woman come live with them and do child care so that he could sexually prey upon her.

    How old are you? You seem to lack maturity. Why don’t you know that other people didn’t cause somebody else’s bad actions? Odd. Very odd.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Kathleen S said to Mick:

    I’m going to repeat this. You do not understand the dynamics of sexual abuse. Do not ever refer to anyone’s rape as God honoring. Don’t do it. Do not compare incidents of sexual abuse and violence and speak as though you know which one is worse, or which should have harmed the victim more or less. Do not lecture victims about moving on. Do not judge victims and their recovery period.
    Estimates say that between 1 in 3 to 1 in 5 women suffer sexual abuse in their lifetimes, so you are not talking about some small group of people. Survivors are all around you, not speaking out because of the casual and cruel judgments that are handed down by people like yourself, people who do not understand how sexual abuse works. I urge you to educate yourself about the lifelong journey survivors go through after sexual abuse. Let go of this idea that forgiveness is the main problem of victims. Their problem is trauma, not whether they forgive the perpetrator.

    I agree with everything Kathleen said there (and the rest of her post).

    I’d just like to say you can apply that to about anything in life – many Christians are so obtuse or insensitive about hardships that people go through.

    Like mourning and grief. After my mother died, I had Christians scold and shame me for not “moving on” fast enough for their tastes and preferences. I was shamed for admitting to being in grief and wanting to talk to them about it – these Christians would judge me, tell me to go volunteer at charities, to “think about Jesus more,” etc, when all I wanted was for someone to sit and hold my hand as I cried and talk about my mother who was gone.

    That kind of judgmental attitude Christians displayed made my grief drag on years longer.

    If I had just had an empathetic, caring person to listen to me cry and ponder aloud about the death and what it meant to me, I likely would’ve gotten over the death much faster than I did!!! Irony, oh irony.

    So many Christians can be the absolute worst at offering effective, sensitive, or meaningful support to those who are hurting, whether they are hurting from abuse, mental health problems, divorce, death in the family, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. That post by Mick above reminds me…

    I was recently on another site, a Christian site, where someone (who is a Christian, and is known to be such), posted a meme that talked about how sin-leveling by Christians minimizes abuse and abuse’s aftermath.

    Most of us here on Julie Anne’s blog or T-W-W know what that meme is about and can relate to it.

    You know, how some Christians play the ‘sin leveling’ game. They say stuff like abuse victims are no better than the people who abuse them, we’re all sinners, all sins are equal, etc, so if you’ve been abused, you should just “get over it,” just forgive the abuser, etc.

    Some guy popped on to that thread with the meme to object and gripe that the person who posted the meme was making broad-brushed generalizations about Christians. He felt that the meme was unfair to all Christians.

    This guy also said something like evangelicals are highly competent at handling abuse cases, and confront abuse all the time.

    My mouth dropped open at his stunning ignorance. He must be living in an alternate reality.

    I politely challenged the guy’s perception and comments.

    He just kept saying over and over that I was misunderstanding him.

    So, I re-read his comments and the meme that started the disagreement. I think I understood his views just fine.

    I told him I re-read his posts and the meme and I’m pretty sure I was getting his views right. I did invite him to explain to me again exactly why he felt the meme was unfair.

    I educated him. I told him the church is most certainly NOT handling domestic violence well (or child abuse, or spiritual abuse).

    As a matter of fact, I let him know (and I cited a study, gave him the link) that pastors rarely address domestic violence from the pulpit.

    I told this guy I’ve read enough Christian spiritual / child abuse blogs over the last several years to see there is a pattern with churches and pastors that when they are confronted that abuse is taking place in their church – and that pattern is –

    Pastors and other church members typically rush to comfort THE ABUSER and blame/ shame the victim, and/or they try to “cover up’ the abuse and pretend everything is hunky-dory.

    I was like, ‘dude, is that your idea of Christians handling abuse well???’

    The guy claimed he was familiar with domestic violence topics – but from the way he wrote, seemingly denying how so many churches absolutely flounder at helping DV (or other types of abuse) victims, I told him I very much doubted his claim.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. Wow. You guys are something.

    Kathleen – grow up and move on. Bear your cross daily and walk with Him. No, the sexual abuse you apparently suffered doesn’t give you the moral right or high ground to shut others up about the topic of sexual abuse and how to grow from it. And I never said anything about rape being God honoring – you made that up to twist my point about the beauty of forgiveness into pure ugliness. You raped a beautiful sentiment with your deceit. Stop that. And stop feeling sorry for yourself.

    Daisy and Velour – I’m not pinning Phillips’ guilt on you. Never said that. You, also, are twisting my words.

    What I am saying to you and the other sympathizers of loathing victimhood is that I see No Confession from anyone about how they contributed to the legalism problem (in their own lives and the lives of those around them) that so epitomized Phillips’ movement. Phillips is guilty of that and the abuse – and got what was coming to him. You poor lambs need to own up, too. You were never commanded by God to blindly follow someone. On the contrary, you have been instructed to weigh everything. Can’t you see it? Sheesh!

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  61. Mick-
    Stop your cruelty to survivors. You are harming people already harmed by violence. It is not alright, and not your place to lecture those who have suffered what you have not.
    When someone says they survived sexual assault, characterizing his or her story “apparently” is like saying you think the person is a liar. Again, cruel. Do you really think Jesus would treat people this way?

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  62. JA with her moderator hat on: Mick, your last comment was out of line. You do not have permission to tell survivors to grow up or critique them in any way. This place must remain safe for survivors. You will be in moderation if I see any more victim-blaming comments.

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  63. Hey, Mick. The way you were talking, I figured you were headed to the Milk-Bone Motel at some point. Maybe I should’ve warned you.

    Seriously, I found your comments very confusing. As far as I know, Daisy and Velour never joined Vision Forum, so I don’t understand what you mean when you say they “contributed to the legalism problem”. I know for a fact that I was never part of VF, so you can’t pin that on me.

    Your lecturing Kathleen to “grow up and move on” was just plain arrogant. You don’t get to decide how any victim recovers from abuse, or what that recovery should look like. And your talk of “contributing to the legalism problem” smells of victim blaming. Would you have said the same to a victim of child molestation? I sure hope not.

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  64. Serving – ya know some women who have had the surgery I recently had say DO NOT LAUGH because it hurrrrrts. Well, I’m so grateful that I did a plank challenge recently – I think that has helped so that laughing doesn’t hurt me. God knows I need to laugh. And you provided that tonight:

    Milk-B0ne Motel – – hahahahaha Hilarious! It took me a second or two to catch up to you, but I eventually got there 🙂 Thank you for the laugh.

    Yes, we do have a dog house for those who violate the rules here. Woof, woof!

    Liked by 1 person

  65. You’re welcome, JA. I’m glad that my comment made you laugh, and that the laughter did you good and not harm. 🙂 It amazes me that you’re taking part and even moderating here, even while you’re in recovery. Thanks for all you do.

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  66. Back when I commented last and I was referring to the remote possibility that the lawsuit might have been bogus and based on a made up story; it was immediately assumed I meant to shame a victim, that is presuming someone was a victim. Having been sexually abused myself as well as abused in other ways I think the presumption was completely misunderstood. But I never bothered to come back being as it was assumed I was victim blaming or shaming. Just to clarify, I have always been an advocate of victims and in fact used to counsel victims of domestic violence, which I had extensive training regarding, and majored in counseling in seminary. I just wanted to clarify that because I disapprove of anyone being presumed guilty of any crime before trial as well as disapproving of anyone being abused. I also come from a family of lawyers that believe in the presumption of innocence until proven guilty as our US Constitution guarantees. Or at least used to. When I brought up the accuser’s or victim’s character, my objective was to point out that a person of poor character can make up trumped up accusations about abuse. It has happened, you know. But it was assumed that I meant it is okay for a pastor or person of authority to abuse others, like what Phillips was accused of. I also pondered whether there was a gag order for the case that was never really followed up on by major media that covered this case before including WND, and some Christian news sources. I was also attempting to differentiate between criminal charges and a lawsuit for monetary damages. There never seemed to be any criminal charges against Phillips, which made me ponder whether it was a made up story. Anyhow, whenever I see a forum that is slanted the way the individual did in that case it is a turn off and made me not wish to return to your forum. Just thought I’d explain why I never returned. But I’m sure the individual accusing me was happy about that anyhow. So whatever.

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  67. Julie Anne, sorry to hear about your surgery but hope you’ve healed up nicely, whatever it was. Went through four surgeries last year (breast cancer) and had some months to recover, no recurrence. Now am praying the mass found in my xray and ultrasound isn’t cancer again. But I’m of the opinion surgery was a good invention. Whata ya think?

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  68. “Just to clarify, I have always been an advocate of victims and in fact used to counsel victims of domestic violence, which I had extensive training regarding, and majored in counseling in seminary. I just wanted to clarify that because I disapprove of anyone being presumed guilty of any crime before trial as well as disapproving of anyone being abused. I also come from a family of lawyers that believe in the presumption of innocence until proven guilty as our US Constitution guarantees.”- Cathryn

    I work in law too. A criminal trial is different than a civil trial. A criminal trial is brought by the government for crimes against society. “Innocent until proven guilty” is terminology for criminal cases only, not civil cases. Civil cases are brought by individuals (or businesses), not the state. It is about issues of liability. Did the defendant most likely do [name of tort, i.e. wrong]? Most civil litigation cases that are filed (95%) are settled via mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution (A.D.R.) or “on the court house steps” if it even gets that far, which it normally doesn’t.

    The judge in this case could have tossed the case out of court on a Motion for Summary Judgment or another motion if the judge thought the case was “bogus” and “based on a made up story”, but that didn’t happen. The judge thought there was enough evidence for the case to proceed.

    Legitimate civil cases are filed all of the time because people have legal standing to sue, even if the government doesn’t bring criminal charges (because of statute of limitations expired, evidence, and other legal issues.).

    I am surprised at your post and hostile closing “whatever”. This was her life, not yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. Velour,

    Was this a criminal act, or not? Who called the cops about this? Anyone? No one? Why?

    Why is Doug not in a jail cell under criminal charges?

    The accusations indicate sexual assault, a criminal act.

    That is what I think that Cathryn is getting at, and so am I.

    I am not looking for speculation answers, or “it’s her life” type of answers, either.

    Civil lawsuit is fine, but there should have been criminal as well.

    Why was it not there?

    Ed

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  70. Velour,

    I understand.

    But what I do not understand is why criminal justice was not sought to begin with.

    To me, that would be justice for his sexual assault.

    To me, a civil settlement is like a game show.

    You win a new car, a kitchen remodel, and a lifetime of Folders Coffee.

    There was a criminal element here.

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  71. Cathryn, Money buys justice. I thought everyone knew that. Our legal system has descended into a money making machine for lawyers, retired Judges, therapists, rehabs, etc.

    Have seen it with my eyes as a victims advocate.

    The truth is smarmy guys like Phillips rarely have to pay in any way for their use and abuse of others.

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  72. “What I am saying to you and the other sympathizers of loathing victimhood is that I see No Confession from anyone about how they contributed to the legalism problem (in their own lives and the lives of those around them) that so epitomized Phillips’ movement. Phillips is guilty of that and the abuse – and got what was coming to him. You poor lambs need to own up, too. You were never commanded by God to blindly follow someone. On the contrary, you have been instructed to weigh everything. Can’t you see it? Sheesh!”

    So what if they grow up in such a system and its all they know? It can take decades to deprogram from that sort of upbringing.

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  73. “What I am saying to you and the other sympathizers of loathing victimhood is that I see No Confession from anyone about how they contributed to the legalism problem (in their own lives and the lives of those around them) that so epitomized Phillips’ movement. Phillips is guilty of that and the abuse – and got what was coming to him. ”

    For the record, I first heard about Vision Forum online around 2006 as a fully grown adult woman. I had no idea such bizarre movements actually existed. At the time I thought the comp world of Seeker megas was bad enough.

    That is the extent of my involvement. However for people who are going to homeschool their children I can see how they might get sucked into these things because they go to a lot of trouble to look so good on the outside. And they employ thought reform tactics that include love bombing. Our society has become very mobile and we do not have the large family support that tended to protect people from overzealous charlatans. Most people want to belong to something and these charlatans are just waiting in the wings to take their money and suck them in.

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  74. Mick –

    You said,

    “With the help of the Spirit, I look inside my heart and see guile and hatred. No one is righteous…no, not one! The Lord said (through Jeremiah), “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Are you included in that proclamation?”

    Are you a Christian? Yet you claim “your heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; and who can understand it?” Where is the life of Christ in you?

    Liked by 1 person

  75. @Ed Chapman,

    Civil litigation is not about winning new cars, appliances, and a life-time supply of coffee. The concept comes from the Common Law in England about “making people whole” for wrongs (torts) that were done to them. Money is the most common way of “making people whole” and has been used for thousands of years to do that. Injunctions – to court order someone to do something or to stop doing something – are another civil remedy (think restraining orders, reinstatement to jobs, changing something that was defective).

    Yes, these acts against the plaintiff also constitute criminal acts. But we don’t know what the jurisdiction (Texas) thought. Don’t think she would have gotten justice and would have been fine through that process, when the whole point would be for defense attorneys to vigorously defend Phillips and make her look like garbage.

    Look at what the victim in the Brock Turner case was just put through in my county (Santa Clara County, California) and that was with TWO witnesses (men) who saw Turner raping her when she was unconscious, outside by a dumpster. Turner’s dad dismissed the whole thing as “twenty minutes of action”. The judge (Persky) let Turner spend just a summer in jail so as “not to ruin his life.” And he Turner and should have ended up in state prison. International outrage about how Turner was coddled by the judge kicked the California legislature into gear to change the law so that there was mandatory sentencing, not judicial discretion, in a case like this.

    She was a female, 15 years old, and Phillips was a powerful man in an ultra conservative system (and an attorney to boot) when he started honing in on her.

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  76. Velour, thank you for explaining some legal details. I am not a lawyer, did not say I was. So that is why I did not and still do not understand why criminal charges were never filed against Doug Philips. I was told it is against the law in his state, Texas, for a spiritual leader who provides some sort of counsel to their alleged victim to have an intimate, sexual, romantic sort of relationship with those whom they provide that sort of service, mentor ship, counseling, guidance, etc as a shepherd to the flock of God. I assume for the same reasons it is unethical for a psychologist, doctor, college professor to do that sort of thing,only for more reasons being the spiritual or religious aspects of the relationship.

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  77. Velour, when I said, “whatever” I was not referring to the woman filing the lawsuit against Doug Philips, as you implied. I was referring to the person accusing me of being a victim- shamer or rather of victim shaming. I preferred to be polite an not mention the person’s name.

    I do not consider the presumption of innocence (which even a judge in a civil lawsuit would have to have until evidence was presented to verify the lawsuit’s validity) victim shaming. Victim shaming would be saying the person had no right to claim they were victimized or attempt to pursue a lawsuit. Victim shaming would be saying the person did anything to deserve being victimized, for example sinned, wore provocative clothing, worked as a bar tender around men at night, was a prostitute when she was raped, drank on campus violating campus rules, etc.

    Sadly the public usually presumes guilt. But I also was a news reporter and it is an automatic reflex for me to attempt to be unbiased.

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  78. “She was a female, 15 years old, and Phillips was a powerful man in an ultra conservative system (and an attorney to boot) when he started honing in on her.”

    I am not sure that people can understand the brainwashing that goes on with children/teens raised in these environments nor the grooming process within that world. Everything from females subject to males to first time obedience. Couple that with everyone you know coming from that world. I am amazed she tried anything legal.

    Often settlements come about because people don’t want discovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  79. “With the help of the Spirit, I look inside my heart and see guile and hatred. No one is righteous…no, not one! The Lord said (through Jeremiah), “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Are you included in that proclamation?”

    Thanks Mickey for the warning. I suggest we lock up the kids and hide the silver when you are around. Too bad the Cross/Resurrection was not helpful for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. One thing that caught my attention early on when reading about the VF world and other Reformed spin offs or big cheeses is how much they mess each other over. There were always promises, stacked deck mediations,, threats, deceptions, owing money to this printer or that restorer. It was just business as usual to them. When it all exploded, I think Phillips was very concerned about creditors. Ironically, he put a lot in his wife’s name. Oh the irony.

    I don’t think this man wanted discovery. As to a criminal case, just think of his 10 kids all testifying that Lourdes was never alone with him. It could be that simple. They do what daddy says.

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  81. Velour,

    Thank you very much for your reply. You laid it out extremely well.

    Without getting all theological and such, which seems to get me in trouble with some people here, from a bible standpoint, usually civil payments were made based on a loss due to an accident. But I understand where you are coming from in your explanation.

    Doug, being a lawyer, to me, is a key factor. I remember that element of him being a lawyer in setting up a “church court” so to speak.

    When you state, and I know it is true, that he began grooming her at age 15, that shows that she was a minor, and that in itself should have piled up more criminal charges against him. There was indeed motive for his actions of a criminal nature.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the civil litigation. But there should have been criminal charges, and a conviction, and jail time, and prison time.

    Thank’s Velour,

    Ed

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  82. “I do not consider the presumption of innocence (which even a judge in a civil lawsuit would have to have until evidence was presented to verify the lawsuit’s validity)” – Cathryn

    The terms you are using – “presumption of innocence” – are for criminal law not civil litigation and judges do not “presume innocence” in civil litigation since “guilt’ (or not guilty) is for criminal cases
    .
    In criminal law a jury (if it’s not a ‘bench trial’ before a judge) must believe ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that a defendant is guilty, because of the loss of constitutional freedoms that come with guilt and a conviction.

    In civil litigation a jury must believe the “preponderance of the evidence”. And there only has to be a 51% belief that the defendant is liable (responsible) for the wrongs/torts, versus a 49% that the defendant is not liable.

    A defendant who is found “liable” for wrong doing (torts/wrongs) still retains their freedoms under the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution.

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  83. “I do not consider the presumption of innocence (which even a judge in a civil lawsuit would have to have until evidence was presented to verify the lawsuit’s validity)” – Cathryn

    For those that may not know, criminal law and civil law have different laws and rules they are required to follow. The “presumption of innocence” shown toward a defendant in a criminal case is spelled out in law and various rules. The judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys follow this because it is a legal requirement under U.S. law, state law, Constitutional Law, and court precedents. It’s not just that they think it’s a good idea.

    In civil cases (lawsuits) there are a different set of laws, rules, and precedents that guide judges that they, plaintiff’s and defense attorneys must follow.

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  84. If they had sought and obtained a criminal conviction, they could have sought a civil solution – cash – in the wake much more effectively. More money for both the lawyers and the plaintiff. My sense is that would have been far from a slam dunk, and had they lost that, the civil trial would have been correspondingly that much more difficult.

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  85. Thanks for asking. The new team restructured the Gibbs version to have each of the 14 plaintiffs now claiming “repressed memories” and decades long ignorance of the actual damage of the alleged crimes as a “condition”, only recently cured. This to get past the statutes of limitations that would otherwise preclude the claims. They also added two more named defendants. The defendants have filed motions to dismiss the suit as frivolous and out of statute of limitations. Let alone wrong venue. And inappropriate court for the type of claims being made. Two hearings are pending, one Sept. 29 and another Nov. 30.

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