I’ve received a great deal of email thanking me for exposing Doug Phillips. Much of it is from people who have personally known Doug. Many of these people would like to be in a position to expose Doug Phillips themselves, but for various reasons, they haven’t.
A common thread running through all of it is intimidation. Many feel intimidated by Doug, and many have good reason to feel intimidated. Doug Phillips has threatened many people, some with legal action, some with ecclesiastical threats such as church discipline or excommunication, even from other churches. In more than one case, I’ve received emails telling me that if they went public with their story of Doug’s unscrupulous dealings with them that he’d use his significant political resources to ruin their business, or in some cases to get them fired.
It’s a common ploy of Doug’s that he demands the names of your church elders and he threatens “church discipline” against you. Some of these people have done nothing more than write Doug to ask him a question about an apparent contradiction in his teaching, and then he threatens them. The Christian thing to do would just be to answer people’s questions. Instead, he uses his employees to shield him and they play games of evasion. The majority of questions Doug does answer are from those who agree with him already. Doug loves his fan mail and has often posted it on his blog, but he hates it when he’s challenged for hypocrisy, and with Doug Phillips there is much hypocrisy. Anyone who disagrees is either ignored, and if they’re not ignored, they’re often threatened. Doug Phillips has even threatened a few pastors.
Doug Phillips’ threats have worked. His formula has worked for years to intimidate people into silence. I know because I’ve now heard from many of them, and I’ll probably be hearing from more. My hope is that some of them will soon muster enough courage to step forward and tell their own stories for themselves. For now what will have to suffice are their emails to me. With their permission, from time to time, I’ll post the emails of those who have known Doug Phillips personally, as well as from those who have personal knowledge of my situation, or personal knowledge of how Doug has threatened others.
The specifics contained in some of the emails I’ve received are sometimes so detailed that Doug would probably be able to figure out who they were authored by. So in order to prevent Doug’s retaliation against them, I won’t post any stories or emails without their permission. I also won’t post their names without their permission. I’ll also give them the option of whether or not comments should be permitted on their email. Even if they don’t want their name used, they still may not appreciate being subjected to the kinds of verbal attacks that I don’t personally mind being subjected to.
The following is an email I received recently and have been given permission to post on my blog.
Wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your boldness with this whole Doug Phillips thing. I’m sure you’ve grown weary of hearing everybody’s advice and opinions, especially those with nothing really at stake. We had something at stake, though. This past year, our church suffered a split that just came out of the blue. It really wasn’t until you went public with your experience that we began connecting the dots. Looking back on it, I see that the Lord actually purified our body by removing the families that were causing these divisions. I have noticed that the three elders that left have really become big DP fans. And our remaining elders have made a concerted effort to be very upfront with just what we DO believe and WHY, leaving no room for unbiblical teachings. The solid teaching from our pulpit has benefited. Your boldness has helped dozens of families here!
I have also recognized a growing clique of DP homeschool families (I don’t know what else to call them). Their children sound like walking talking Vision Forum catalogs. My children have noticed and are able to discern the extra-biblical tidbits. Again, your boldness has given us a platform, as a family, to teach some important critical thinking skills and sift everything around us through scripture. As independent-thinking as I tend to be, I recognize that I had become lazy about some things. If you declared yourself Christian, and you homeschooled, you got a pass from me. I think that’s what put DP where he is today. LOTS of folks give him a pass without batting an eye.
So, thanks a million for what you were willing to do. I know your family took some blows, not to mention your marriage, friendships and even your children. Surely the Lord will see fit to restore all the broken relationships. I think you are wise to back off the whole reconciliation thing. And I think you are equally wise to continue to inform the public about this wolf. No more head butting, just investigative reporting.