Vision Forum: Closed

The Closing of Vision Forum Ministries


In light of the serious sins which have resulted in Doug Phillips’s resignation from Vision Forum Ministries, the Board of Directors has determined that it is in the best interests of all involved to discontinue operations. We have stopped receiving donations, and are working through the logistical matters associated with the closing of the ministry. While we believe as strongly as ever in the message of the ministry to the Christian family, we are grieved to find it necessary to make this decision. We believe this to be the best option for the healing of all involved and the only course of action under the circumstances.


32 Responses to “Vision Forum: Closed”

  1. Maxwell Says:

    Vision Forum Ministries is closing but you can still get $5 flat rate shipping and watch a WWII film for free over at the dot com!!

  2. noturniptruck Says:

    well the dot com won’t last long because the Ministries was the ONLY thing making money.

    • Jen Says:

      We’ll see. There are many die-hard supporters, but probably not enough in the long run.

      • Maxwell Says:

        I was a die-hard supporter at one time but stopped supporting and abandoned all things VF in round 1. What convinced me that Doug was a scoundrel was NOT Jen’s story — while complelling, I don’t know Jen or have any way to tell if her story is accurate or a complete lie. What I did have, that I could see and evaluate, was Doug’s actions. I watched as he quitely removed Jen’s daughter as a contest winner — but he only deleted the link and not the actual page from the web site… until it was noted that the page was still there ans the POOF! I watched the childish games and accusations of his close supporters (Matt Chancey and the StillFedUp interns). I watched as weasle word letters of support were posted as proof that Jen was evil and Doug was right. If it hadn’t been so ugly it would have been comical… no, actually, it was still comical.

        This time, it’s different. There are not letters of support… not even weasle word ones… and no one is pointing out what a great guy Doug is. It appears that the collective board of VFM still a soul and while they are still blind to much of the message, their eyes have seen and their hearts have been pricked enough to do the right thing and close up shop. One can only hope that some brave soul will step forward with the truth.

        Mean while it’s business as usual over at

        I think even the (current) die-hards are have a very hard time with this.

        • Jen Says:

          Maxwell, I have heard that same story over and over again — people were disgusted with Doug’s actions after I told my story.

          The lack of current support is quite telling indeed. I hope those who continue to idolize him will realize the lack of public support from those who SHOULD be supporting him.

    • BrandonG Says:

      Maybe threatening to sue everyone who didn’t do exactly what you wanted to do isn’t the best long-term business plan, especially for 200 years;-). The fact of the matter is Doug Phillips = Vision Forum, he is the company.

  3. T.W. Eston Says:

    “In light of the serious sins”

    But I thought it wasn’t serious. Wasn’t he just “inappropriately romantic and affectionate” that they “did not “know” each other in a Biblical sense”? Seems like a drastic step to take in light of such a minor sin. What’s going on here? Something stinks badly.

    Just who exactly makes up the Board Of Directors of Vision Forum Ministries?

  4. T.W. Eston Says:

    The Atlantic Wire seems to have some keen insight into The Doug:

    But that doesn’t mean that the movement itself is down for the count, nor does it mean that Vision Forum and Phillips will disappear completely. Vision Forum is actually comprised of two companies: the non-profit Vision Forum ministry, which had about $3.3 million in revenue in 2011; and a for-profit with a very similar name. In resigning from the ministry, Phillips announced that he would retain control of the for-profit company. The ministry paid Phillips a salary of $44,000 a year, and gave an additional $193,176 for “labor and services” to the for-profit company in 2011. Likewise, Monday’s announcement of the closure of Vision Forum applies to the non-profit ministry only. The for-profit wing of Vision Forum is still selling downloads of Phillips’s speeches and sermons.

  5. Geoff Says:

    I’d sure like to figure out what’s behind this Facebook comment:

    Jessica Goforth Francis I happen to know from an inside source that it was fact HIGHLY inappropriate. Doug can quibble all he wants over biblically “knowing” someone but that is a bunch of hog wash. [comment edited] That’s all I can say.
    11 hours ago · 4

    If it really was that serious and went way beyond what Phillips implied in his letter or resignation (“I didn’t know her in the biblical sense”) then this is starting to add up why the board of directors would shut it all down. But there are still too many unanswered questions.

    • noturniptruck Says:

      If you know ANYTHING about the people associated with VF, it’s not hard to figure out “WHO” her “inside source is”. That made me lol

  6. Jen Says:

    I don’t know the specifics, but I trust Jessica.

  7. Geoff Says:

    Scandalous and the possibility of jail? That narrows the list of offenses considerably. One thing is for certain: Vision Forum Ministries isn’t being shut down merely over what most everyone was assuming about Doug Phillips — that he had a sexual affair with one consenting legal aged woman.

    One or more of the following criteria was not met in the single affair Doug Phillips confessed to:
    1) The woman was of legal age when the affair commenced
    2) The woman consented freely (she wasn’t forced/raped)
    3) The woman did not get pregnant by Doug Phillips
    4) The woman wasn’t paid off by Doug Phillips to buy her silence
    5) The affair did not involve perverse/deviant/fetish sexual acts
    6) The confession is comprehensive and doesn’t fail to mention a plethora of other affairs
    7) The woman was in fact a woman and not a boy
    8) The woman was in fact a woman and not a farm animal

    And of course there are numerous other possibilities too, but these are the most likely ones. Failing any of the above criteria would be reasonable cause for the board of directors to step in and compel Doug Phillips to tender his resignation (my belief is that he was compelled and that he wouldn’t have stepped down on his own).

    • Jen Says:

      There are all really serious charges, Geoff. I don’t know the truth, but I do know that it is WAY more than what Doug stated in his statement of resignation.

  8. Geoff Says:

    Some are speculating Doug Phillips’ resignation was probably over financial misappropriations/fraud. I think there’s more than ample evidence of Doug Phillips’ fraudulent character and aptitude for bilking supporters and patrons to assume that he’s also defrauded his own ministry for his personal gain. That too could have factored into why he was forced to resign. Fraud is likely a part of this, but only a part, and the real scandal is much bigger than that.

    Corporate scandals of all types (sexual, financial fraud, etc.) are commonplace, including even in Christian ministries, and Presidents are forced to resign because of them all too often. But when have we heard that an entire ministry, and a financially viable and lucrative one, was folded immediately after the resignation of its president? The real story is probably much, much bigger, and much more scandalous. It’s so big that there is no possible way for anyone to be able to minimize the fallout. Doug Phillips’ name is so interwoven with “Vision Forum” that the two are one and a blight on the name “Doug Phillips” is the death of Vision Forum.

    Vision Forum Ministries is no more, or at least it will be no more when the board of directors winds it all down (perhaps even plundering the assets for themselves), and that could take months. But Vision Forum Inc is alive and… um, probably not so well. Word is out and Christmas orders will be meager this year. Doug Phillips will no longer be welcomed at conferences of any type. Too much of the details of the scandal are yet unknown, and until the full extent of Doug’s sins (and likely crimes) are known no one in their right mind will want to take a risk on having his tainted name associated with them.

    • Jen Says:

      Geoff, this just goes to show why it is important to document and detail these patterns of behavior when a public leader is harming others privately. While I do not delight in any of this, I am glad that there have been multiple warnings and multiple stories told about Doug Phillips over the last decade. There are hundreds more, I am sure, and perhaps some will be less fearful about sharing their stories now, but this is a pattern of behavior that he could not continue forever. I pray that his abuse stops now, even if it is forced to stop rather than because of him repenting, which he has clearly not done yet.

    • DesiringToDiscern Says:

      Anyone have any idea WHY Vision Forum sent out an email today encouraging us to get this catalog ? Grand Opening of second location this weekend at Mall of America. Apparently different people but WHY would Doug promote this???

  9. Geoff Says:

    The “ick” factor in this video showing Doug Phillips pawing and obsessively touching his daughter is off the charts. When I first saw it my brain said, “That is just so creepy. But please, don’t let your mind go in the gutter pondering what kind of a relationship Doug has with his daughters. If it’s that touchy feely in front of a very large audience, it wouldn’t be good to think about how much more affectionate it must be in private.”

    I hope these comments by Dee prove to have no merit. If they are true it will be even far more horrible than I could have imagined:

    dee on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 08:13 AM said:

    @ That Bad Dog:
    We have a very good idea as to the identity of the women involved in this situation. Since no one else has written on this subject, we are waiting for some documentation. From all accounts, this was not a one time occurrence by any stretch.
    Let me put it this way. If it gets out, it will throw some doubt on the statement that women should stay at home where they will be safe as opposed to going to college.

    dee on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 08:19 AM said:

    Mr.H wrote:
    I’m especially heartbroken for the young lady involved.
    I am as well. By the way, you are perceptive that this was a young lady. Can you imagine if this scenario played out something like this. There was a young lady who did everything she was taught by Vision Forum and even was a stay at home daughter. Wouldn’t it be horrible to be taken advantage of in this situation?
    I hope that counseling and care will be afforded to whoever was involved.

    dee on Tue Nov 12, 2013 at 08:21 AM said:

    Lucy Pevensie wrote:
    Still waiting for the rest of the story.
    We believe we know the rest of the story but we need some corroboration. If what we know is true, then it casts doubt as to the safety of young women who are stay at home daughters.

    • Jen Says:

      I liked the video, personally, but there are many others things about Doug that I don’t like. I wish every father showed his children affection.

      I sincerely hope he has not done something inappropriate with one of his children. Even I would have a difficult time believing that.

      • DesiringToDiscern Says:

        I remember seeing the Faith and Doug Duet, It’s Time to Say Goodbye, and thinking the touchy was overdone and wishing that he would act that way toward his wife.I also thought that would make it challenged to sing with that going on. I saw the Duggar award video too. and getting nauseated. Petting Michelle’s hair too ! Wrong. We then watched Michelle’s husband get seriously annoyed, stepping up to fend off Doug’s inappropriate touchiness. Also, I felt badly for Beall standing there holding (and holding, and holding) the tray and not being praised by Doug one bit.

        • Jen Says:

          DesiringToDiscern, I have not watched anything from Vision Forum or Doug Phillips in more than five years, so I watched the video. I will say that that is just how Doug is. He has always been one to touch others when he is speaking to or about them, but I’ve personally never seen anything inappropriate about it.

          However, I did recognize MANY, MANY of the people in that video. MANY.

          Also, Beall would not have minded holding that tray. 🙂

    • DaMom Says:

      Geoff….I felt the same way when I saw DP fawn and touch Michelle Duggar in the Mother of the Year video–at the 5:37 mark-> First he kisses her hand, keeps holding it until they reach the podium, then moves the mic out of the way to get closer, and continues to stare at her in an intimate way (IMHO). Then embraces one side of her face and plants a kiss on the other side. He keeps looking at her adoringly, and follows through with stroking her hair and keeps his hand on her shoulder, gazing at her. At the 6:15 mark, Jim Bob gives DP an odd look and steps between his wife and DP. IMHO, he was WAY too intimate in his touching and it made me uncomfortable just watching it.
      I’m new to Jen’s site, but not to homeschooling-19 yrs. First I was introduced to Gothard’s indoctrination through the homeschooling families in our church and later heard about VF through the homeschooling community. Suffice it to say, my family did not “fit” into this group…though I gave it an honest try….we were not pliable enough for them to mold us into their way of thinking. (grin) My sassy ways and independent thinking got in the way…I could never be a doormat…too much of the “fighting Irish” within me. lol I only sought after it to be accepted within the HS community, because we were “shunned” in our church just for choosing the path of homeschooling. After awhile, we shucked both groups and went our own way. I had more in common with the secular homeschool community than I did with the Christian HS community, but have since found a more relaxed HS group that is a mix.
      I’ve since connected the dots between Christian Reconstructionism and those adherents within the HS community. I’ve posted articles about CR on our local online group, but was warned by a friend to tread lightly since many HS’ers are involved in CR. Not gonna do it…I make waves all the time.
      I’ve noticed that many are being silent on the articles I’ve been posting on my local community online HS group (not my HS support group) about DP as though it’s “taboo” to discuss it. (grin). That’s why I’ve went looking for bloggers/forums who are talking about this brou-ha-ha. I’m sorry for the families involved, but hope to see this man-made mindset collapse on itself.

  10. Geoff Says:

    This just posted on the Christian Post:
    “Wesley Strackbein, a spokesperson for Vision Forum, told The Christian Post that while the non-profit will cease to exist, the board is currently deliberating on whether the organizations’ conferences, workshops, film festival (which was canceled a week before Phillips’ announcement) and other programs, will continue apart from the organization.”

    I had strong suspicions this is exactly what would happen. It’s the golden opportunity for Scott Brown and Co. to step in and pick the choicest fruits from the Vision Forum tree before they take an ax to the roots.

    Does anyone know if Doug and family have been booted from the luxurious house he’s been living in for years that’s owned by Vision Forum Ministries? Will the house be sold?

  11. Geoff Says:

    From the same article:

    “Despite Phillips’ extramarital relationship, a Vision Forum spokesperson confirmed that Phillips and his wife Beall, are not divorcing. The couple has eight children and they have been members of the Quiverfull Movement, a belief system that encourages Christians to eschew birth control.”

    That one made me laugh! A Vision Forum spokesperson? Is that the spokesperson who speaks for Beall Phillips? Oh, wait! There isn’t one of those. Doug and Doug alone is her spokesperson. And if the VF spokesperson spoke to Beall did he speak to her in private? And even if that happened how do we know what her real intentions are?

    If Beall were planning on filing for divorce she wouldn’t be dumb enough to talk about it publicly, and especially to Doug. She’s married to a sneaky attorney! She knows better than to announce her intentions. She’d play her cards close to the vest. From what I’ve heard of Beall she’s no dumb twit.

    If Doug does get served with divorce papers he’ll never see it coming.

    • noturniptruck Says:

      yep it will be like Tom Cruise and come out of no where………and it will catch him blindsided BUT I am not sure if she can get out from under him to do it……..or without him knowing since he tracks EVERYTHING and EVERYTHING is in VF’s & Doug’s name………

  12. T.W. Eston Says:

    Cross-posting this from what I just left on Doug Wilson’s blog:

    Shannon, I’ll assume that you include me in “Some of these comments are ridiculous.” I can see that you’re having trouble connecting the dots. Let me help you with that in a way that, hopefully, will serve to encourage you not to be so dismissive of the seriousness of these matters.

    Scott Brown, the man from whose sermon I quoted above, the sermon that was crafted especially for, and targeted at, Doug Phillips, is one of Doug Phillips’ closest friends and confidants and has been for a number of years. Scott Brown is also one of the three Board members of Vision Forum Ministries. He’s an insider, a man who knows far more the extent of Doug Phillips’ sins (and likely crimes) than do you, or Doug Wilson. He has good cause to vote, along with the other Board Members, to dissolve Vision Forum Ministries.

    The Board of Vision Forum Ministries would not have taken such an extreme measure had Phillips only been guilty of the sin of cheating on his wife. Boards of lucrative and financially viable ministries don’t ever dissolve over relatively minor scandals like this one. If that were all that had been going on the board would be more than competent to handle the damage control and move forward with someone else at the helm, at least until such time as Phillips went through the necessary steps of restoration. It’s been done successfully before. The real scandals (and likely crimes) of Douglas W. Phillips are much more damning than an “inappropriately affectionate” relationship. The extreme measure of dissolving Vision Forum Ministries is commensurate with the egregious sins of Doug Phillips that made it necessary.

    Scott Brown also has good cause to direct an entire sermon at Doug Phillips and to speak of him as an “apostate.” Because of Scott Brown’s knowledge, and the knowledge of the other VFM board members, all of whom were close personal friends of Doug Phillips for some years, they acted swiftly to put an end to the most important venue through which Doug Phillips perpetrates his apostasy. Scott Brown isn’t charging Phillips with apostasy as it concerns moral beliefs and teachings. He and Phillips are on the same exact doctrinal page — home schooling, patriarchy, family integrated church, stay at home daughters, quiver full, etc. Just read his statement at When Scott Brown speaks of Doug Phillips’ apostasy he’s addressing Phillips’ sinful behavior which is diametrically opposed to the messages that Phillips preaches, one of which would be “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” But that’s only one of the ways in which Doug Phillips has become, over the period of at least ten years, apostate. There is much more long term sin in Phillips’ life than just the sin of years of adultery, and those are sins that Phillips has never repented of and likely never will.

    Scott Brown is now aware of some of those apostasies and over coming days and weeks will become aware of even more. We’re talking heinous sin, even criminal acts, far worse than just cheating on his wife. As Brown points out in his sermon these sins aren’t one time events of having “fallen into sin” (your mention, Shannon, of David would be an example of “falling into sin” — Solomon would not be such an example, but it would be a good example of what Brown calls “sliding into sin”). Brown is addressing sins that Phillips “slid” into and remained in willfully and unrepentantly over years and years. He slid down the slippery slope because he was drawn in by his own pride and lust — he was enticed by sin (as we all can be), but rather than hating it he toyed with it over and over, he drew closer and closer, and once he outright acted on it he justified it rather than repent of it.

    Doug Phillips still hasn’t repented because repentance must be robust and thoroughgoing, as does the confessing that goes along with it. Doug Phillips’ so-called “confession” is the confession of the crafty attorney that he is. He conceals far more than he discloses. The “smell of apostasy” indeed. Most commenters here, including Doug Wilson, seem more than eager to trust in the sincerity of the so-called confession and repentance of an apostate. But that trust will evaporate in time as more and more of Doug Phillips’ sins and crimes become widely known.

    I agree with Doug Wilson that it’s wrong to be gleeful over the downfall of a religious leader, though I disagree that the gleeful are by their actions necessarily “enemies of God”. I tend to agree far more with Scott Brown that Doug Phillips is apostate, and that he needs to come to repentance. I don’t rejoice that he had to step down nine months ago as the teaching elder of the church he founded, that he’s had to resign from his ministry, and that that ministry is being dissolved. It’s all very tragic, no doubt even more so for those who had put so much of their trust in the man. I pray for Doug Phillips’ repentance because, unlike so many others here, I don’t assume an apostate is repentant merely because he says he is. I’m still waiting to see some evidence consistent with repentance. “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matt 3:8). Such fruit goes far beyond a lawyerly “confession”.

  13. DesiringToDiscern Says:

    Does anyone have any idea WHY Vision Forum sent out an email today encouraging people to get this catalog for boys ? Apparently different people own/run it, but WHY would Doug promote this through VF email ??? WEIRD!

  14. TJacobs Says:

    The video clip linked here of Doug Phillips singing with his daughter Faith shows an extremely nervous daughter being reassured by her father. For sure, as he stated before they sang, he is extremely proud of his daughter, but you shouldn’t imply any sexual deviance toward his daughter.

    And no one should be taking pleasure from and celebrating someone else’s sinf; it is not the mark of a Christian to do so.

    Mr. Phillips has brought shame on the church and the glory of God by his actions, but for any professing Christian to revel in his fall is appalling. What is Christlike about that kind of behavior at all? When you mock a fellow Christian you dishonor Christ and His church.

    May everyone who has done so here confess, repent and then get on with living a quiet life to the glory of God.

    • Jen Says:

      Tjacobs, since I don’t know specifically to whom you are referring, I will field your comment.

      You are very correct that we should revel in his fall. I assure you that is not my intention here. I am actually very sorry that it had to come to this point; however, if this is what it takes in order to keep Doug from continuing to abuse and harm and hurt the thousands of people he has been unloving toward, then I am glad that at least the abuse will come to a stop. And I am here to make sure that it does not happen again — or that I can at least do my part in warning, warning, warning people about who Doug Phillips truly is.

      It is not this one little sin that is the issue. Far from it. This is a habitual pattern of lording it over other people, in hundreds of different ways. For some reason, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

      I John tells us something extremely important: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

      Doug’s behavior toward others was NOT loving. I pray that Doug uses this time in his life to spend time KNOWING God.

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