The Dynamics of Spiritual Abuse Within Domestic Abuse

Lori Alexander, Domestic Abuse, Spiritual Abuse



Information from Beaverton Police Department Resource Guide


-by Kathi

I have the privilege of volunteering with a local police department as a victim advocate. I consider it an honor to work with the officers at this department because I find them to be kind and compassionate toward victims of domestic abuse. During my training, I was excited to see the above information that goes in our area resource guide given to victims on scene. This was the first time I had ever seen spiritual abuse acknowledged as a component in domestic abuse.

Why is it that a police department understands that spiritual abuse happens within domestic abuse, yet the church has a difficult time identifying this?

The above is an outside-the-church perspective of indicators of spiritual abuse within domestic violence. Those of us who have been on the inside of the church for years can likely identify other signs of spiritual abuse. How many stories have we heard where the abuser is believed over the victim? How many accounts have we heard where victims were compelled to stay with their abusers due to the influence of a church leader or another Christian? How many wives have been told that they need to submit more to their husbands? How many victims have been told they need to pray more and trust God to heal their relationship? Who has heard Bible verses referencing why one should stay married and that there is no room for divorce from an abuser?

On the last book review of Lori Alexander’s The Power of a Transformed Wife, I highlighted this comment on Lori’s blog from a reader, Trey, and Lori’s response:



Comment and response on The Transformed Wife, 2/13/18


Lori followed up with a second blog post, “Christian Women are Floundering,”  which is Trey’s full comment from the original post she wrote. (Extra notation added for reference.) The following is quoted material from Lori’s post:

This post was written by Trey from a comment on this post. Yes, there were women who were terribly angry and offended with Trey for writing this and wrote that it wasn’t biblical. I added scripture to everything he wrote to prove that what he wrote was scriptural.

Here is part of what I highlighted in the earlier screenshot, with additional notes and Biblical references:

She is to submit to, serve and obey her husband in everything, as long as he does not ask her to sin. She is to do this even if her husband is mean, unreasonable and cruel and it causes her unjust suffering. (Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Peter 2:19-23; 1 Peter 3:1; 1 Peter 3:5, 6; Titus 2:5; Colossians 3:18) “For what glory is it, if, when  ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable to God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps…Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:20, 21, 23)

Yes, Lori actually provides scripture to back up Trey’s response that a woman should stay with her husband who is mean, unreasonable, cruel, and causes unjust suffering. I cannot even begin to express how this has sat with me since I read her post. To think that Lori would “mentor” a woman who is experiencing domestic abuse by telling her that her suffering is acceptable to God leaves me heart-broken and angry.

The use of scripture to keep someone in an abusive relationship is spiritual abuse.

Not to mention the fact that she applies scripture out of context. The 1 Peter 2 verses are about slaves, not wives. 1 Peter 3 discusses suffering due to expressing belief in Christ. And, she doesn’t even bother to follow up Colossians 3:18 with Colossians 3:19 which says, “Husbands love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Her sole use of scripture that tells women to submit to their husbands leaves out the prior verse, Ephesians 5:21, “Submit yourselves to one another because of your reverence for Christ.”

When I read this post, which is filled with scripture validating Trey’s view of women, I immediately knew that this is why I have such a hard time with the Bible – it’s the use of God’s word to keep some in power and others in submission, no matter the cost. This sits heavy on my heart as I think about victims who believe that they must stay in abusive relationships because the Bible says they have no way out.

Once again, Lori proves that she does not care about women. She only cares about her beliefs. Thank goodness there are others who understand the dynamics of spiritual abuse within domestic abuse.

Rachael Denhollander Challenges Sovereign Grace Churches to Respond Appropriately to Sex Abuse Cases

Rachael Denhollander, Sovereign Grace, Sex Abuse, Pedophiles



Rachael Denhollendar (the Christian attorney and sex abuse survivor who brought down Dr. Larry Nassar) has been very busy since the recent case of convicted pedophile Dr. Larry Nassar.

She is now taking on the task of drawing attention to how the church, specifically the leaders at Sovereign Grace Churches, have failed to handle sex abuse cases properly.

Here is a recent interview she gave on Fox news. And further down is a Facebook note with more links. Go, Rachael!!!


Here is the direct link to Rachael’s note on Facebook if you do not see the note embedded here. Some people have let me know they are not able to see Facebook notes on SSB.

Rachael has stressed that “an independent investigation of the organization’s handling of sexual and domestic violence should be required before supporting SGC.”


Posted by Rachael Denhollander on Friday, March 16, 2018

From a Bill Gothard Survivor to Other Survivors: Free Yourselves

Bill Gothard, IBLP, ATI, Institutes in Basic Life Principles, Spiritual Abuse, Sexual Abuse


The following was written by David Shere, who has been reading here for some time. He wanted to share his thoughts and advice as a Bill Gothard survivor.  This was written after the news that the plaintiffs had dismissed the lawsuit against Bill Gothard.  ~ja


From a Bill Gothard Survivor to Other Survivors:

Free Yourselves

by David M. Shere Continue reading

Survivor Emily Jaeger Responds to Bill Gothard’s Reactions to Her Revealing She is “Jane Doe III”

Bill Gothard, sex abuse, cults, lawsuit, Emily Jaeger, freedom, IBLP


A note of introduction from Julie Anne:

Emily Jaeger is one of the sexual abuse survivors and plaintiffs in the Bill Gothard/IBLP sex abuse lawsuit. Her official statement about the lawsuit was posted on Spiritual Sounding Board a few days ago.

Then someone close to Bill Gothard contacted me. He runs the Discovering Grace website, which is devoted to supporting and defending Bill Gothard and his teachings. We communicated at length, during which he asked me if I wanted to post Bill Gothard’s response to Emily Jaeger’s statement (per Bill’s suggestion). After I declined, it was then published at Discovering Grace website.

I initially said no, because I do not want my blog to be used as a platform for an abuser. However, then I saw Emily Jaeger’s new reply to Bill Gothard’s response statement, and it made sense to me to post both.

I may have more to say later — in fact, I am thinking of doing an SSB “learn to discern” post to analyze these statements in depth. But for now, I’ll say I think his statement is a perfect opportunity to see a spiritual abuser in action, violating boundaries, and hers shows what it looks like when someone leaves the influence of a high-control environment, thinks independently, and makes their own decisions. See what you think … Continue reading

BREAKING: Lawsuit against Bill Gothard and The Institute in Basic Life Principles Dismissed

Bill Gothard, IBLP, Sex Abuse, Lawsuit


I have received the following statement from the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Bill Gothard and The Institute in Basic Life Principles.




The statement reads:

Our Statement

Due to the unique complexities of this case, including the statutes
of limitation, we have made the difficult decision to voluntarily
dismiss our lawsuit against Bill Gothard and The Institute in Basic
Life Principles. We want to make it abundantly clear that by
dismissing our lawsuit at this time, we are not recanting our
experiences or dismissing the incalculable damage that we believe
Gothard has done by his actions and certain teachings. Nor are we
disregarding that his organization chose to protect themselves
instead of those under their care.

Signed by Former Plaintiffs:
Rachel Glader Frost
Rachel Lees
Charis Wood Barker
Megan Lind
Joy Simmons
Jane Doe VI
Melody Ruth
Emily Jaeger (Jane Doe III)
Jane Doe IV
Jane Doe V
Helen Lucius (Jane Doe)
Carmen Okhmatovski
Daniel S. Dorsett Sr.
Jamie Becker Deering
Gretchen Wilkinson
Ruth Copley Burger




BREAKING: Statement from “Jane Doe” Emily Jaeger on Lawsuit Against Bill Gothard and Institute in Basic Life Principles

Bill Gothard, Institute in Basic Life Principles, Sex Abuse Lawsuit


Official Statement by Emily Jaeger (Jane Doe III)

I am Jane Doe III.

I’ve waited for a long time to say those words.

For over two years I’ve lived in the shadows. I’ve lived in fear of others. Fear of backlash, rejection, and hate. Fear of the men I was standing against and of their supporters.

Why, do you ask, am I coming out now that the lawsuit is over? Because in these two-and one-half years of fighting the biggest battle of my life, I became a new person. I am no longer that scared little girl wanting to hide under the guise of a pseudonym. I am ready to come out of those shadows. I’m ready to share my story, and this time with my name. Continue reading

Valentines on Ash Wednesday


Brad Sargent, part of the SSB team, wrote this yesterday and I thought it was so good, I asked him if I could share it with you.



Valentine’s Day can be a great day or a difficult day depending on your relationship status: single, married, divorced, separated. Some people have had (or currently have) difficult marriages that taint the day. But I really liked this! This is ultimate Love. For you and Me.

Happy Valentine’s Day!



Pastor Kevin Swanson’s Blame Game When it Comes to the Dr. Larry Nassar Child Sex Abuse Cases

Kevin Swanson; Larry Nassar; Child Sex Abuse; Rachael Denhollander

Screenshot 2018-02-09 at 10.08.13 PM

Kevin Swanson from

-by Kathi with editorial comments by Julie Anne

Kevin Swanson’s February 9, 2018 broadcast on Generations covered the recent gymnastics and sexual abuse case by now-convicted sexual predator, Dr. Larry Nassar. Right Wing Watch picked up his broadcast and noted that he blames immodesty in the sport of gymnastics for Dr. Larry Nassar’s behavior.

Julie Anne texted me at work and asked if I would be willing to write a snarky post about Swanson [JA here = is it possible to do a Kevin Swanson post sans snark? Serious question.] As much I can’t stand to listen to him speak, I decided to listen to the whole broadcast. Kathi is a glutton for punishment. I only asked if she would be willing to write about the modesty part that Right Wing Watch reported on. In fact, here is where she tells me on Messenger:

My (unfortunate) experience with listening to Swanson over the years has brought me to the understanding that he is never sympathetic to victims of sexual abuse, so I wanted to see if this broadcast would be any different. My snarky side turned to my angry side as I realized that he hasn’t changed one bit. Continue reading

A Personal Story and a Sad Conclusion When Pastors Failed to Respond Appropriately to Domestic Violence

Domestic violence, Church response, Rob Porter

Continue reading

Is Ravi Zacharias Violating his Federal Lawsuit Non-Disclosure Agreement? Does Anybody Care?

Ravi Zacharias, Online Sex Scandal, NDA, Lawsuit, Suicide emails

ravi zacharias, online sex scandal, lori anne thompson


GUEST POST by Steve Baughman

Is Ravi Zacharias Violating his Federal Lawsuit Non-Disclosure Agreement? Does Anybody Care?

by Steve Baughman

On November 9, 2017, Ravi Zacharias settled his lawsuit against Lori Anne and Brad Thompson by entering into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). The terms of the agreement are confidential. But from what Ms. Thompson says, they are highly restrictive. She told an inquiring Christian blogger shortly after the settlement, “My husband and I are, and always will be bound by confidentiality legally. All I can say now or ever say is that he dropped the lawsuit and the matter is settled.”

Ravi apparently sees it the same way. He told Christianity Today “I am legally prevented from answering or even discussing the questions and claims being made by some, other than to say that each side paid for their own legal expenses and no ministry funds were used.”  According to the magazine, “Zacharias declined to comment to CT on the image of the emails showing the apparent suicide threat, citing the nondisclosure agreement.”

This is pretty standard stuff.  A case settles on confidential terms and nobody can talk about it except to say that it has settled.

Take careful note. The Thompsons can now say nothing. And they appear to be taking their promise seriously.

What about Ravi?

Well,… not so much. Continue reading

Will Those in the Real Gospel-Centered Churches Please Stand?

Gospel-Centered Movement, TGC, YRR, Calvinists, Jared Wilson

Continue reading

BREAKING: Pastor Trey Brunson threatened to call security on Q&A questioner re: Ravi Zacharias’ suicide email and online sexual relationship with married woman

Ravi Zacharias, Jacksonville Pastors’ Conference 2018, Threats




THIS AFTERNOON Pastor Trey Brunson threatened to call security on Q&A questioner who wished to ask about Ravi Zacharias’ admitted suicide threat and online affair with married Canadian woman.

The organizers of this event are using police tactics to keep the information from reaching the flock about their speaker, who tonight will be honored with the Lindsay Award.

Please insist that they address this issue before confirming this award on a man who threatened suicide to cover up an online affair he had with a married woman from home he received nude photos. Ravi Zacharias put his public image above the marital well-being of a Christian woman.

This may disrupt the show, but that’s the price of integrity.


UPDATE:  The person threatened was removed from the conference!

Why Aren’t Church Leaders and RZIM Board Members Asking Ravi Zacharias about the Suicide Emails and about His Online Sexual Relationship?

Ravi Zacharias, RZIM, Sex Scandal, Lawsuit


Ravi Zacharias, sex scandal, falsified credentials, lawsuit

Twitter photo

Ravi Zacharias seems to have fallen off the radar. However, he did not fall off my radar. I never signed a nondisclosure agreement. I can share more if I feel so inclined. But I don’t think I will stop speaking out about Ravi Zacharias until he comes clean. The signing of a nondisclosure agreement should make one question:  if he has nothing to hide, why was there a nondisclosure agreement?

I have received emails from donors who are wanting to see “the” emails between he and Ms. Thompson, and rightly so. If these folks are supporting a ministry, they have the right to know if their money is going to support someone who is telling the truth or not.

What I don’t understand is how did this case of internationally-known Ravi Zacharias and his sexual relationship with the married woman, Ms. Thompson, get to the point of legal action without the RZIM Board knowing the details? Does that sound normal to you? It does not to me. I was on the board of a non-profit, and all of the board members were supposed to know and kept abreast of what was going on within the organization. You better believe if there was a lawsuit going on, we would have been the first to know, and we would have known the details.

Why didn’t the RZIM Board know long before the lawsuit, before attorneys and public image rescuer, Mark DeMoss, got involved? Why didn’t Ravi Zacharias surrender his emails to the Board? Was this Mr. Zacharias’ plan all along, so that he could thwart the opportunity for his Board to have full knowledge of his online sexual relationship with Ms. Thompson? 

Continue reading

BREAKING: Leaders at Doug Wilson’s Christ Church Put Woman in Abusive Marriage Under Church Discipline

Mike Lawyer, Counseling, Abuse in Marriage, Abuse of Authority

I have been in contact with a woman named Gen, who has agreed to let me post this letter she received from Mike Lawyer, “on behalf of Christ Church Session.” Christ Church is Doug Wilson’s church in Moscow, Idaho. If you would like to learn more about Doug Wilson and his extra-biblical and spiritually abusive ways, see his name in “Categories” in the side bar.

Gen told me she was in an abusive marriage. She was not physically abused, but was emotionally, verbally, spiritually, and financially abused. She and her husband sought counseling, and were in counseling both together and separately.

Gen also told me that she didn’t respond appropriately to the abuse – that she reacted by yelling and crying. I don’t think that’s an inappropriate response to abuse, do you? That seems very normal. I’m not sure where she learned that she was responsible for her response, but that concerns me because it takes the focus off the perpetrator and places it on the survivor – as if they are both equal sinners.

This following letter was sent to Gen on January 18, 2018. Mike Lawyer has decided he knows her spiritual condition and has determined that she is not living up to being a proper wife, etc. Because of her “unwillingness” to deal with her sins, she is being put in church discipline.

It’s important to understand that Doug Wilson believes that husbands are the heads of the home. He believes in Patriarchy. If husbands are the priests of the home, who do you think they would believe first, the husband or the wife? Continue reading

Rachael Denhollander, the Relentless Hero Who Loved Sacrificially, and Stopped Dr. Larry Nassar from Sexually Abusing More Girls

Rachael DenholIander, Dr. Larry Nassar, Sexual Abuse, MSU, USAG

rachael denhollander, dr. larry nassar

“Who is going to find these little girls and tell them how much they are worth?”   Rachael Denhollander


I normally write articles about church leaders or Christian groups. This is neither, but you will see soon discover that the hero in this story, Rachael Denhollander, is a Christian. In this story, you will see sacrificial love – love that puts the needs, safety, concern of others, far ahead of herself. It’s one thing to sacrifice for your family or friends, but Rachael sacrificed for strangers. She was steadfast, strong, determined, articulate, thorough, and unrelenting. She became a leader, a counselor, an encourager, a listening ear, and perhaps even a surrogate mother-like figure to many who had gone through the same horrific ordeal. For those who couldn’t speak, she became their voices; but by her bravery and courage, she empowered others to use their voice, even up until the very last day of testimonies.

This is about a highly publicized sex abuse case, not in the church, but in athletics. The Dr. Larry Nassar sex abuse case has been an important case. I like to watch cases like these to observe the tactics abusers or enablers use to hide the deviant behavior. When there’s one person who is abusing, many times there are others who enable the abuse. This is a classic case of systemic abuse just as we have seen at Penn State, in the Catholic Church (see Spotlight Movie), the Boy’s Scouts, and others.

Because of the graphic content in this post, I am issuing a trigger alert. If you have been sexually abused, this will likely be difficult to read. Use caution. Continue reading

The David and Louise Turpin Family Homeschool Cult

David and Louise Turpin, Homeschool, Cult, Abuse, Torture

David and Louise Turpin, homeschool, cult, abuse, torture, chain, padlock, quiverfull full-quiver, Christian


Most likely you have heard the news about the large homeschooling family, the Turpins, from California. The parents, David, 57, and Louise, 49, Turpin who were arrested for torture and child endangerment, with bail set at $9 million each. Here are some of the key facts:

  • David and Louise Turpin are the biological parents of 13 children ranging in age of 2 years to 29 years old.
  • They live in Perris, California, not too far from Los Angeles.
  • Their 17-yr old daughter escaped from her home early Sunday morning by climbing out of a window, and used a deactivated cell phone to contact authorities. She showed the police photos of the living conditions of the home which convinced authorities to do a welfare check at the house.
  • When authorities arrived, they found several children shackled to beds or furniture by chain and padlocks.
  • The children were found pale and extremely emaciated.
  • It was reported that the 17-yr old looked to be approximately 10 years old. The other adults, too, looked very young for their age.
  • David and Louise Anna Turpin were arrested on charges of torture and child endangerment.
  • The minor children were taken to one hospital, and the adult children were taken to another. All were given food and drink, and admitted for treatment.
  • “US reports say Louise’s parents had tried to visit their daughter and son-in-law in the past, and had to turn back at the airport when the Turpins refused to provide their street address.” Source
  • They were known to be hoarders, and the home was dark and had a foul odor.
  • The children were rarely seen outside. Neighbors had no clue there were 13 children (and adult children) living in the home.
  • They were deeply religious, and were forced to memorize chapters of the Bible
  • David Turpin registered his homeschool under the name, Sandcastle Day School in 2011.

Continue reading

Book Review Series – “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Stuffing Feelings and Pretending to Be Joyful

The Power of a Transformed Wife: Lori Alexander, Trusting God, Emotions


-by Kathi

This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews if you’d like to catch up.

Introduction & Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5   Chapter 6  Chapter 7   Chapter 8 – Part 1   Chapter 8 – Part 2    Chapter 9  Chapter 10   Chapter 11  Chapter 12   Chapter 13   Chapter 14


Chapter 15 – The Disciplined Mind: Trusting God & Doing Good

I must admit, it is getting more difficult to read through The Power of a Transformed Wife and garner up the motivation required to continue writing these reviews. I guess I need to trust God to get me through.

This entire chapter can be summed up with the following: 1) Life sucks, 2) Trust God, 3) Think good thoughts, and 4) Do good. Well, this is all fine and dandy if you’re not in an abusive relationship, dealing with anxiety or depression, dealing with a looming financial crisis, or experiencing a chronic medical condition – all of which Lori’s readers have commented on her blog or Facebook page. But, wait! Lori does deal with chronic pain, so what is her answer? Continue reading