Doug Phillips and Blissful Ignorance

The recent revelation of Doug Phillips’ long-term sexual relationship with a young lady has served to inspire a great many of his loyal followers to respond along the lines of, “We don’t know enough about it to have an opinion. It could have happened to any one of us, so far from me to judge him. Let’s just pray for Doug Phillips and his family.” Noteworthy in each and every one of these comments so far has been the total disregard for the young lady that Doug Phillips had a multi-year physical relationship with, and even any suggestion that she and her family need our prayers too. They too were betrayed, but they aren’t so much as mentioned.

Certainly prayer is an honorable thing to do in many of life’s circumstances, so I in no way find fault with that alone. However, what I do find fault in are the numerous blog comments posted not just out of ignorance, but out of what too often is a call to willful ignorance. Perhaps the single best example of this glut of sudden willful ignorance comes from Stacy McDonald. This author of Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God (published by Vision Forum, Inc.), and a regularly featured conference speaker, expert on all things “Biblical Patriarchy” to Stay At Home Daughters, recently posted this comment on Doug Wilson’s blog:

Stacy McDonald
November 5, 2013 at 3:35 pm

And where in the Bible does it say that a man who has an inappropriate relationship with a woman must quit his job? – A man who is simultaneously called to provide for his wife and children? It’s all well and good for everyone to speculate over what they think he “should” do, but the fact is we don’t KNOW all the facts. And I’m sure there are numerous and far-reaching complications – details we know nothing about, and aren’t called to know. The man repented. He stepped down from ministry. And since I’m not a part of his life, that’s all I really need to know.

Two statements especially stand out here because the one contradicts the other: “we don’t KNOW all the facts” and “The man repented.” The fact that Stacy McDonald doesn’t KNOW negates the likelihood that she could know with any confidence that Doug Phillips has repented. All that anyone knows for certain is that Doug Phillips issued a Statement Of Resignation in which he confesses to something that no one can quite figure out. More is held back and concealed than is revealed. But even if Doug were to now provide a full, complete and thorough confession that would still be a long ways off from repentance. Confession and repentance are two very separate and distinct things. This first involves statements of fact, the second involves attitudes of the heart confirmed by expressions of contrition and acts of restitution. “For godly sorrow produces repentance” (2 Cor 7:10).

All anyone knows with any certainty is that Doug Phillips confessed to some sort of nebulous “serious sin” that included “an inappropriate physical component with an unmarried woman”. If that wasn’t a pathetic enough confession, he adds the disclaimer, “While we did not ‘know’ each other in a Biblical sense, it was nevertheless inappropriately romantic and affectionate”.

That’s a crafty lawyer’s confession, but it in no way qualifies as a biblical confession, much less a statement of repentance. It does, however, fully quality for what it is entitled, a “Statement Of Resignation.” It is exactly the sort of statement one would issue to a corporate board of directors and the company shareholders. But it is nothing more than that. If anything it’s quite a bit less than that, and not even as clear and convincing as what was offered up by Gen. David H. Petraeus and his own sex scandal, when in his statement of resignation he said, “After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.” He called it what it was: an affair.

Doug Phillips has often spoken of “honor.” He should have taken his example from Gen. Pattraeus in resigning like a man and not making excuses for himself like, “we did not ‘know’ each other in a Biblical sense.” Doug Phillips rightly suffered the backlash of considerable public criticism, as well as speculation that ran the gamut of  “Just how far can you go without knowing someone in the Biblical sense?” to “Was there any sexual stuff at all, or did they just sort of maybe mouth-kiss and cuddle or something?” After having caused a mass of confusion and speculation, a week later Doug Phillips had to release a Clarification On Resignation. To his credit, Doug Phillips does at least accept responsibility, something he hadn’t done in his initial Statement Of Resignation. The second statement, however, was equally as vague and evasive in stating, “there was an inappropriate physical component with an unmarried woman”. He should have followed Gen. Petraeus’ example and just called it an affair. To refer to any of that as a “confession” is to pervert the very definition of the term. These statements aren’t genuine confessions at all. They are only what the titles purport them to be, statements of resignation.

Nevertheless, Stacy McDonald and other faithful followers of Doug Phillips and Vision Forum are eager to overlook these shams and presume that Doug Phillips must be repentant, merely on the basis that he claims to be repentant. James and Stacy McDonald have been close personal friends with the Doug Phillips family, sharing the podium with Doug at numerous home schooling events, etc. Yet, now all of a sudden Stacy McDonald, much like Sgt. Schultz, takes the “I see nothing; I know nothing” way out of the “far-reaching complications – details”. This is all very suspicious, and though Stacy McDonald intends to deflect everyone’s attention away from the Doug Phillips scandal, by her suspicious behavior she’s actually drawing more people’s attention to it. She’s not helping her friend Doug Phillips at all.

As a direct result of Stacy McDonald posting another one of her ludicrous comments at Doug Wilson’s blog, I posted the following reply:

@Alan D. Strange: “that unless we have intimate knowledge of these matters, and some here may have such, that we can say nothing more of these matters than that we ought to pray for the repentance/sanctification of all parties and the glory of Christ.”

While repeating the mantra of your peers, Alan, you are to be congratulated for at least doing something none of your peers here have done: you’ve acknowledged the possibility that there could be some people commenting here, and elsewhere, who do have intimate knowledge of Doug Phillips, his character, and the basis for his recent actions. There indeed are, and there are many more of us than you could imagine.

Among us are former business associates and partners whom Doug Phillips has defrauded by stealing our intellectual property and products, stealing our customer/donor email lists, former employees who left in utter disillusionment over the unethical practices they witnessed, former VF interns who witnessed first hand the astonishing hypocrisies and viciousness, former BCA members whom Doug has spiritually and emotionally abused, former victims of the philandering, and the many that Douglas W. Phillips has threatened to sue and intimidated into silence. Doug Phillips has accumulated many such victims for well over a decade.

Thank you Alan for at least thoughtfully considering the possibility that we do exist, which is far more than the non-thinking Stacy McDonald and others of her ilk have been willing to admit. To quote again from her comment above: “My point is we don’t know the back story – mostly because it’s none of our business.”

Her position is also a defense strategy, albeit an idiotic one: “I don’t know because I don’t want to know.” I can’t help but wonder where this woman got her education from. One thing is certain — she never took a class in logic. “I don’t know anything about it because it’s none of my business, and it’s nobody else’s business because, well, I say so. Don’t ask any questions about it so you too can remain blissfully ignorant like me. I’ve determined to bury my head in the sand and I’m instructing everyone (including men, which I’m not permitted to instruct since I’m into Patriarchy) to pay no attention to what you hear about my friend Doug Phillips. I routinely bash a lot of other people, but that’s okay because they’re bad people and it’s not gossip to publicly criticize bad people. But Doug Phillips is good because, well, I say so, and if you criticize Doug that makes you a hateful gossip who needs to repent of bitterness. I’m a really in-the-know person, and I normally have an opinion about everything, especially about people I don’t like; but that’s not hateful bitterness when I do it, because they’re bad people and deserve it. But Doug Phillips is a great guy and everyone else should like him too. But if you don’t like Doug, keep your big mouth shut and just pray for him. If I don’t know anything about this whole Doug Phillips kerfuffle, and I’m never going to know anything because it’s none of my business to know anything, that means no one else can know anything either. I’m not going to ask Doug or anyone else any hard and embarrassing questions because that would get really embarrassing for me and my husband James since we’ve been close friends with Doug and Beall all these years and we ignored all the warning signs because, well, that’s what good friends do — not say anything while their friends are sliding down the slippery slope of apostasy. So we’d better just sweep this all under the carpet. And since I don’t know anything, I can be 100% confident that Doug’s letter of resignation is sincere because, well, it’s Doug, and if Doug says so we can know it’s the truth.”

Stacy McDonald is a case study in Hegelian dialects, albeit a Three Stooges version of it, and some of the other comments here follow a similar pattern. Unlike Stacy McDonald and her ilk, there are many of us who actually do know Doug Phillips, and we know him very well. We know the back story with his so-called “repentance.” We know it’s a sham . We know he didn’t “confess” but was busted and forced to confess under considerable duress. We know that he’s already formulated his comeback plan, and we know the predictable outcome is that many thousands of gullible dupes will believe this silver tongued devil and resume sending him millions of dollars per annum, once he’s published his own Jim Bakker, “I Was Wrong” book and is “restored.” This Doug Wilson article that served to inspire the so many willfully-ignorant comments here, are proof that there can always be a bright future for religious hucksters and carnival barkers.

Thankfully a great many people aren’t following the bubble-headed example of Stacy McDonald. They’re angry because they feel betrayed by Doug Phillips and they’re not willing to just sweep this all under the carpet.


140 Responses to “Doug Phillips and Blissful Ignorance”

  1. notsurprised Says:

    I give no credence to James & Stacy Macdonald. They were nothing but “strategic friends” that were used by Doug at HIS convenience. He didn’t have THAT many real CLOSE friends and those were far and few in between. Most were strategic friends that he pulled off the shelves when he wanted to use them. They THINK they were “close friends, but they weren’t” They THINK they are doing him a favor by defending him. They aren’t. She’s a legalistic dingbat. By the way, there are VERY VERY few of his friends that are coming to his defense. VERY few. Many are scary quiet…….a few have spoken out (Pollard & Brown) but the ones that ARE speaking out, don’t make sense. Their “logic” makes no sense at all!

    • DaMom Says:

      The McDonald’s agenda was a turn-off for me and why I never ordered another Homeschooling Today Magazine sub. when they took over as editors.

      • Sarah Pressler Says:

        ME TOO!!! I actually called Stacy out on this very stupid, and judgmental, piece she wrote about modesty in which she attacked the character of a teenager for wearing a t-shirt. A T-SHIRT!?!?! That began the unraveling of my relationship with Doug and Beall and prompted Beall to invite me to come join her and another lady in the church for a “discussion.” Having known what happened to Jennifer, I politely declined their invite to a witch hunt… When they bought out HSToday I grieved for home schooling women and children across the country. She’s a tool, being used by a tool. They’re actually quite a pair. Maybe Stacy is the other woman. LOLOL

    • h.gual Says:

      notsurprised, can you point me to the places where Pollard and Brown have spoken out? Are they online?

    • Seeking Holiness Says:

      I am one of those “close” friends that were always kept at arms length, lest we became too close to knowing the truth about the shameful behavior that was going on for the entire time that I knew DP. Over the years, I recognized the patterns of behavior that were a part of his manipulation of people and events. We would be in his home for a gathering of only “close” friends, and he would disappear for hours, making us wait for the opportunity to speak with him while he carefully orchestrated the schedule to suit his own desires. I accompanied him on several trips around the world, and observed him, or those serving him, ignore rules/guidelines of the places which we visited, act quite rudely to our hosts, (even to the point of getting ejected from a certain venue that we were visiting), shoving people out of the way, (even members of DP’s own family), and seeing his fits of rage against those working for him, even though it was his own fault for the mistakes that were made.
      Jen, I was taught to believe that you were the evil one, and while I do not agree with you on every point of dispute with DP’s teaching, but I now understand the circumstances and the injustice that was perpetrated towards you and Mark. I can see now the manipulation of people that occurred over the years that have hurt so many people, possibly millions around the globe.
      I am personally in a time of fasting and prayer for DP’s repentance over the current situation and how it has affected my family and the entire Body of Christ.
      You may share this comment as you see fit

      • Jen Says:

        Seeking Holiness, thank you. I wish I knew who you were, but thank you for speaking out. I pray that you would now use whatever influence you have with Doug in a positive way. I also pray that you would use whatever influence you have with others in this situation. I pray that God would lead you to do the right things in this situation.

  2. Sarah Says:

    Jen, the truth is we have no facts. No one is talking! Not a soul. Not one employee. I can honestly say I have never ever seen anything like it where a situation as major as this is being kept so quiet. Do I think it is right? Not in the least. Doug owes his public an explanation. He put himself in many many positions of leadership and he has some explaining to do. It seems as if no one on the inside of all this from employees to church members to friends and family has the courage to speak. Everyone is referring to [the other woman] as the victim in all this but really it’s just gossip at this point. We really still have zero facts. Doug is keeping a very tight lid on this while thing and everyone seems to be playing along unfortunately.

    • Marian the Librarian Says:

      Sarah, I find your comment very interesting, and I agree with you – Doug is a lying liar who lies, and he needs to come clean. But why on *Earth* are the people who know the truth so afraid of telling it? What hold does Doug have over them? How can such a little, little man hold so much power??

      • NeverAgain Says:

        Doug’s audience doesn’t fear him; they fear the Lord. They don’t want to do anything that might be sinful or displeasing to the Lord. When Doug — or his minions — tells them that if they speak out, they will be talebearers, or gossipy women who go from house to house (on their computers), or worst of all, enemies of God, they take that seriously. The Vision Forum crowd is swayed by their desire to do right in God’s eyes, and Doug knows all the Scriptural buttons to push to control them.

        Just wanted to add that at Howard Phillips’s funeral last spring, Doug and Beall did not sit together. They came in — each with some of the children — and sat quite a distance apart from each other. We were surprised to see that, but we just assumed they were running late and things got chaotic. That was in early May, I believe.

        • Jen Says:

          NeverAgain, thank you for sharing about what happened at Howard’s funeral. Beall was well aware of what was happening by that point, I’m sure. I understand the struggle of trying to present one front in public while something else is going on on the inside.

      • T.W. Eston Says:

        Marian, NeverAgain has touched on an aspect of the power that “such a little, little man” (I believe he’s 5’4″, if I remember correctly) holds. It’s the fear of the wrath of God. But I also have to take exception with NeverAgain because it’s not merely God Almighty they are terrified of. They’re also terrified of Doug Phillips.

        In Is Doug Phillips a Cult Leader?, Jen states, “I am not going to list the characteristics of a heretical cult because it is quite obvious that those criteria do not apply.” I take exception with Jen on that. While Vision Forum and Bourne Christian Assembly do embrace the orthodox tenets of the biblical Christian faith, Doug Phillips also piles on many other essentials for Christian living.

        Doug Phillips claims to be a Reformed Baptist and, therefore, he would claim to believe in the 5 Solas of the Reformation. He has affirmed “Grace alone through faith alone by Christ alone.” But in practice, and through his other teachings, the gospel for Doug Phillips is “Jesus and _________.” Sola Christos — Christ alone — is insufficient. Doug Phillips propounds a legalistic works righteousness. It would be one thing if Doug Phillips offered up home schooling, Biblical Patriarchy, Quiverfull, Stay At Home Daughters, Family Integrated Church, etc. as options. But that’s not the way they’re portrayed. Rather, in each case, they are marketed as the biblical way for the Christian family and church to function, and everything else is unbiblical, sinful, pagan, worldly and wicked. All of this adds up to Doug Phillips not just running a sociological cult, but also a theological cult.

        But what especially makes Bourne Christian Assembly a theological cult and, therefore, Doug Phillips a cult leader, is the perverse and twisted image of God that he portrays to his church members. God is wrathful, punishing the enemies of “his anointed,” both in this life, and in eternity. Doug Phillips is just such an anointed one: “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” Doug Phillips teaches that, as God’s anointed, anyone who ever says anything at all negative about him is a gossip and a slanderer and will suffer God’s wrath. Gossip is taught at BCA as perhaps the greatest of all sins, and worthy of God’s most terrible wrath. Gossip is also interpreted so broadly as to include practically anything that is other than praise and adoration for Doug Phillips.

        So yes, NeverAgain, it is a wrathful God that they are terrified of. But it is Doug Phillips who indoctrinated them to be terrified of God.

        • Jen Says:

          TW, I believe Doug is 5’8″ but you are certainly correct in your portrayal of how he uses the Bible to beat the fear of God into everyone “under” him. I would, however, take exception to your understanding that Doug Phillips’ gospel is “Jesus plus _______.” In reality, Doug Phillips’ gospel is “Law plus _________.” Your list of fill-in-the-blank answers are the right answers, but his gospel does not begin with Jesus, it begins with Law. Nearly every Sunday, we were taught about the Law from the pulpit. Other than communion, I cannot remember hearing about Jesus at BCA. Maybe I missed it, but I do know that LAW was pretty much beat into us each week. Apparently, the Law is not enough to keep someone from sliding into serious sin. Perhaps Doug should try Jesus next time.

      • notsurprised Says:

        Sarah: actually many people know the details and know what’s going on…..and IF you are in the inner circle or connected to even the fringes…… will find out quickly the details. They are not pretty.

      • notsurprised Says:

        TW, I believe Doug is 5’8″ I laughed at this. I remember seeing him for the first time, many years ago and thinking…..he’s a short little dude lol

      • Johnny Says:

        Some people are waiting for the “young woman” to come forward and tell her side. She is talking to some people and given time, she may spill everything.

        BTW, Kevin Swanson has also spoken to this scandal:

        Scandal Among Christians

        “The Vision Forum announcement last week sparked a flurry of discussion in and out of the Christian church. The sons and daughters of Belial screeched with glee, while the Christians issued more gracious and thoughtful responses. Here Kevin Swanson takes a look at the wider picture of scandal and the proper response. Fear. Humility. Repentance. . . all appropriate for all of us. Take heed, lest you fall. Do remember that everybody’s a hypocrite. There are hypocrites who hide their hypocrisy. …”

      • Rich Says:

        Johnny, thanks for the Swanson quote. “The sons and daughters of Belial screeched with glee…” Swanson needs to understand that the unbelieving world SHOULD be gleeful over this mess. This is exactly what Paul said in Romans 2:24. “For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” In context, the “you” was the Jews, but in application, the “you” is EVERY believer who is living a blatant hypocritical life. Mr. Swanson, don’t you dare blame the unbelievers for something the Christians need to own. We did this, not them.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      Sarah, the truth is we do have facts — many facts. There are plenty of facts that Jen and myself personally know, and other insiders are contacting us with more facts. The big picture is falling into place, one piece at a time, like a big jigsaw puzzle. But it’s taking time for that to happen. I understand your frustration. We’d all like to see it happen faster. Patience is required.

      You’re correct in your impressions that many people in the know aren’t saying anything — employees and former employees, former interns, BCA members and former members, family and friends. Most of them are paralyzed by abject terror (not just fear) of saying anything. Is it normal for church members to be terrified of their pastor? And what is this power that Doug Phillips holds that causes even former church members to be terrified of their former pastor? Clearly Doug Phillips is no mere pastor. Doug Phillips is a cult leader (Jen has been saying so for years) who holds incredible powers over people’s minds, even years after they’re no longer in his cult.

      But most isn’t all. A few insiders are starting to tell their stories discreetly. What really needs to happen is that they will tell their stories publicly. There are ways of making that happen while virtually eliminating the risk of a lawsuit from Doug Phillips, a threat which he has used for many years to silence insiders who might expose him.

      The threat of Doug Phillips filing a lawsuit against anyone has been reduced to nil. Doug is keenly aware that if he were to sue someone for defamation or libel for telling their story the entire legal process would blow up in his face. He’d be forced under Discovery to make full disclosure. But even that wouldn’t be the worst of it. The worst is that he’d wind up on the front page of major newspapers, as well as feature articles in the major news magazines, coast to coast, and even internationally. That’s the last thing in the world he wants.

      • Latoya Says:

        I’m sure you’re right that the people are truly terrified of Doug. Even so, I’m surprised someone on the inside hasn’t had their wake-up call nor alerted others that “the emperor has no clothes.” Some of these people surely attended church before BCA and know how a reasonable pastor behaves. I can understand fear of those who know nothing else. At this point, some of the adults probably should recognize Doug’s shtick for what it is. They need to just refer to what he preached. Titus 1;5-9 for example. He rightfully has no power and is in way a no moral authority. As for Doug filing a lawsuit, how is he going to prove slander? He’s going to sue someone who publishes an account of what happened? Track down an overseas blogger? Good luck with that if the information is in one’s “personal opinion” or a repetition what “sources said or informed me.” Free speech. I hope these folks free their minds and start to pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

      • Keith Blankenship Says:

        What does the man’s physical stature have to do with anything?

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          Such things, on their own, don’t matter and you were right to ask the question.

          Any comments about Doug’s short stature aren’t meant as any slight on Doug’s physical attributes, but on his constant need to overcompensate for his insecurities due to his short stature. That is evidenced in his obsession with having to constantly be bigger than life, the center of attention, the life of the party, the attention whore. I believe a great deal of that originated in childhood as a direct result of his short stature. His abusive behavior, especially obvious to any former BCA members, is indicative of a Napoleon complex.

          This response made me recall a time in which political correctness hadn’t completely stifled free speech and a good sense of humor. I hope everyone will take the following in good humor. I simply can’t resist now posting an old Randy Newman classic:

        • Mike Race Says:

          I was in high school when this came out. My friends made sure I heard this as I am short. Fond memories. Thanks for something lighthearted.

        • Marian the Librarian Says:

          Keith, when I referred to Doug Phillips as “a little, little man,” it had nothing to do with his physical stature.

        • Keith Blankenship Says:

          Thanks for the clarification.

        • Keith Blankenship Says:

          I think the reference is childish, and detracts from what was otherwise an interesting post. This is especially the case since the reference to his physical stature serves as the first line of your post, albeit in response to another poster, if I have read correctly.

    • End it Says:

      Doug isn’t going to spill it. He actually thinks he can contain it. It’s time for the inside people to blow this wide open so the healing can begin. This is like a two month long Band-Aid pull. Years long for some. Get it done people. This is ridiculous.

  3. Rich Says:

    I think that the “7 A’s of Confession” from Peacemaker’s Ministry would be an excellent guide to judge Doug’s repentance, from this sin and anything else he may have done.

    -Address everyone involved (All those whom you affected)
    -Avoid if, but, and maybe (Do not try to excuse your wrongs)
    -Admit specifically (Both attitudes and actions)
    -Acknowledge the hurt (Express sorrow for hurting someone)
    -Accept the consequences (Such as making restitution)
    -Alter your behavior (Change your attitudes and actions)
    -Ask for forgiveness

    • Jen Says:

      Rich, to add another “A,” that is an Awesome list! And that is why we say we do not see true repentance from Doug Phillips right now. In fact, I am trying to see if Doug has embraced even ONE of these seven steps. I do pray for true repentance on his part. With the amount of damage that Doug Phillips has done, and I continue to hear more and more about it, he would probably need to spend the rest of his life making amends, if he is serious about repenting.

  4. Todd Wilson Says:

    While, TW Eston is getting quite a bit of play time on this scandal and is most articulate…who is T.W. Eston? He or she seems to be a DP/Vision Forum expert.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      Thank you Todd for the compliment. You are correct that I’m a bit of a DP/Vision Forum expert. So is Jen. In Dougspeak we are “Internet assassins.” Whatever.

      But there are many more Doug Phillips experts too. Blog articles are just the start of the outward expression of such expertise. There will also, no doubt, be books written about Doug Phillips. In fact, as I understand it, there already is one such book available, Fake Someone Happy: The true story of the damaged daughters of American patriarchy and their emotional abuse. I expect to see more books published in coming months. The Doug Phillips sex scandal has created the necessary media buzz to ensure that any books about him will be successful.

      • Rich Says:

        Has anyone read this book? Can we get a more complete review than what is on Amazon?

        I am preaching a message on Romans 2.17-29 (Read it, it’s an amazing description of hypocrisy. This just happened to be the next passage in my preaching through Romans) this Sunday and plan to use Doug as a prime example of hypocrisy. I do regularly say that I am a hypocrite in that I never live up to the Biblical ideal or where I want to be, but admitting your own hypocrisy is half the battle, right?

        I do encourage everyone to CONTINUE to search their own hearts for bitterness and anger. I am beginning to see the real damage done by Phillips and Co. and do not doubt its veracity, but I know my own heart quickly moves in and out of anger. Thanks for the DD on this site.

        • Jen Says:

          Rich, I just became aware of this book today and plan to read it very soon. However, here is a review by someone who has read it already:

          Rich, I, too, have discovered that when I deal with forgiving those who hurt me, whether intentionally or unintentionally, that sometimes I have to go back and deal with it again. This situation with Doug Phillips is a prime example. I had long ago forgiven him and moved on in life. I rarely even thought about him or BCA anymore, and felt that there was no bitterness in my heart regarding the whole situation. But when Doug resigned, especially without truly repenting, I found that I had much pain over the whole situation and all the hurt came flooding back. I had to immediately deal with learning to forgive all over again. It is a process, not a one-time event.

        • Rich Says:

          Thanks, Jen. I can certainly see how this could open old wounds and appreciate your frankness.

          I would like to recommend my favorite book on forgiveness:

          It is so good that I hand these out to people like candy.

          The basic premise is that repentance is required in order to forgive another person. But what the offended needs to deal with is bitterness and anger. We are commanded to let go of bitterness and work toward true love for our enemies. However, we are not commanded, based on a thorough Biblical understanding of forgiveness, to forgive others without genuine repentance.

          If your readers are not familiar with this Biblical concept, they may freak out a bit at first, but I challenge folks to consider its merits. It has changed my life and many whom I know.

        • Jen Says:

          Rich, that looks like a fascinating book! Thanks.

          For me, I have “forgiven” Doug in the sense that I do not hold any anger and bitterness against him for what he has done, but that does not release him from his God-given responsibility to repent for his own actions. He is still accountable to God for what he has done. It also means that there has been no restoration of relationship and that there is no trust. When I say that I “forgive” Doug, that does not mean I absolve him from his wrong doing or that I trust him in any way whatsoever, but that his actions have no hold on my life and heart. I want what is best for him, and that would be true repentance. If he were to truly repent, relationship and trust are not automatic. Both of those aspects, in any relationship, are regained over time, depending on the depth and longevity of the hurt and abuse.

          So, I don’t know what this pastor says in his book about forgiveness, but that is how I have patterned my thinking in this area. I am sure this will be an invaluable book. Thanks again for recommending it.

      • NC Says:

        I’m not a Doug Phillips expert, but I know some of his close friends, they dress like him, wear similar hats and grow the same facial hair, does this count:)

      • Latoya Says:

        Yes, but I have to give him his due, Douggie can dress pretty sharply. I guess it comes with the charisma territory.

    • Jen Says:

      Todd, more importantly than TW being a DP/VF expert, he is my friend. I have known him for many years and I trust him. I believe that his heart is in the right place in regard to wanting not only what is best for Doug Phillips (to repent from his wickedness and abusiveness), but also in loving those who have been hurt by Doug Phillips enough to actually do something about it. TW is willing to deal with root issues that others are willing to let lie. Doug Phillips tells men to be real men, and TW is doing just that. 🙂

      • NC Says:

        “how much more can one idolize a man than to emulate his outward appearance?”

        Well, you can have a life sized cardboard poster made of him and display it in your home when he comes for a visit. Yes, this actually happened.

  5. Sarah Says:

    T.W Eston, you claim you have facts and you have spoke to insiders yet you are also keeping those facts quiet. Can you explain your reason for this? Thank you 🙂

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      Sarah, to answer that question would be to disclose strategy. Under the circumstances that would be most imprudent. I’ll merely refer back to my earlier comment: “The big picture is falling into place, one piece at a time, like a big jigsaw puzzle.” Jigsaw puzzles have to be assembled in a logical progression.

      Public disclosure of just one piece, or even a few pieces that do snap together nicely, may be of no benefit to anyone, or may just cause confusion to anyone who hasn’t been an insider. For example, the public disclosure that Doug has dressed up his interns and VF employees like Mafia goons and sent them out to intimidate bloggers into removing articles negative to Doug Phillips seems hard to swallow, even for antagonists of Doug Phillips. Insiders have no trouble believing it because, even if they hadn’t personally witnessed it, they know it’s completely consistent with his character. They know that numerous of his employees and interns have been professionally trained in “Executive Protection”, all paid for, no doubt, with Vision Forum Ministries donor funds. EP training involves the extensive use of firearms. Just notice the multiple names of Vision Forum interns and employees shown on the International Academy Of Executive Protection Agents endorsements page.

      What kind of a religious leader finds it necessary to have so many of his staff trained and certified in Executive Protection? Paranoid cult leaders, like Jim Jones, do that. Avaricious televangelists, like Benny Hinn, do that (but not even Benny Hinn has likely had nearly as many of his staff EP trained as has Doug Phillips). Pastors, however, do not do that. This only reinforces the point that Doug Phillips is a cult leader who uses threats and intimidation to silence any who would challenge him. Thankfully his impregnable fortress has tumbled to the ground. To the best of my knowledge, his Mafia goon team is no more. Former loyal staff and interns are loyal no longer.

      We still need more pieces to come together. As they do there will be more stories posted, but they need to be released in a logical progression. My disclosure that Doug Phillips has Mafia goon boys, and that he’s often used them to threaten and intimidate people, didn’t play well because we hadn’t adequately first built the case that Doug Phillips is a paranoid cult leader.

      Sarah, I’d welcome hearing from you via email. I’d welcome your sharing whatever pieces of the puzzle you might hold and, as always, Jen and I will ensure complete confidentiality.

      • notsurprised Says:

        TW Eston: what’s your email?

      • Johnny Says:

        The EP training was not paid for with VFM donor funds. Each individual paid for his own training and it had more to do with being like a Rambo than protecting Doug. There is some good and credible information/facts posted here, but folks need to be careful about stating their speculation as facts.

  6. Jen Says:

    TW, another insightful article from you. It is truly amazing how quiet it is out there from those who love Doug, but since Stacy McDonald is speaking up, albeit quite ignorantly in this case since we have zero evidence of true repentance, it does seem to only add to the confusion. Knowing Stacy a little bit, I do think she does a have a heart to truly love others and doesn’t like to see people hurt by others. Under other circumstances, if Doug’s “serious sin” with another woman was his only serious transgression, perhaps we would all be a little more apt to jump on the bandwagon with Stacy and give Doug Phillips the benefit of the doubt that he was serious about repenting. But, alas, Doug’s reputation of repeated abuse now precedes him and we must look at the pattern of horrific abusive behavior this man has demonstrated all in the name of Christ.

    If Stacy was truly concerned about not hurting others, she would have realized how much Doug Phillips hurt my family and me in 2005, and she would have realized that we were only one in a long list of people whose lives Doug Phillips has irreparably harmed and ruined. The stories I know are so sad, and I realize there are so many more painful, sad stories out there being hidden in the depths of hurting hearts. Stacy McDonald has the opportunity right now to help Doug Phillips most by helping those he has harmed.

    Is it better to give the self-appointed leader a pass just because he resigns, or is it more loving to help the downtrodden who are struggling to gain some sense of how to process all that is going on right now in the wake of seeing that yet again Doug Phillips does not practice what he preaches? Those of us who have been seriously hurt by Doug Phillips know the requirements of repentance that Doug expects from others. We are waiting to see when he will live up to the repentance article he wrote only a couple months before he resigned.

  7. DesiringToDiscern Says:

    Jen, Well said. I believe that Stacy is sincere but does not see that she, by her lenience would enable an evil-doer to continue without accountability. I am a bit surprised that she is not sympathizing more with the women/girls who are damaged from all of this, considering her past….or maybe she still blames herself in some way for her failed first marriage. I hope not.

    • Jen Says:

      DesiringToDiscern, maybe Stacy will come to realize that there are two sides to this story. Or two sides to the many, many stories of abuse and hurt by Doug Phillips. Doug is the abuser. Many are hurt and wounded.

  8. Marian the Librarian Says:

    T.W. Eston, does your collection of many facts indicate probable cause that Doug Phillips’ extramarital relationship with the young woman in question began while she was a minor? If so, local law enforcement and other appropriate authorities MUST be notified. Doug’s stated desires to “lead a quiet life focusing on my family and serving as a foot soldier,” “spend this season of my life quietly walking a path of proven repentance,” etc. are thinly-disguised code for “I hope I’m not arrested, tried, found guilty and punished.”

    If ever there were an opportunity to expose VF/NCFIC’s subservient female, stay-at-home-daughter nonsense for what it really is – fertile ground for the emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of minors – this is it, and Doug Phillips has handed it to you on a silver platter.

    • zooey111 Says:

      This is exactly what I have been thinking…..I also have been thinking “I wonder how many of these young ladies there are out there who aren’t being mentioned”.
      ‘Cause, I have an awful feeling that we are never going to know the whole story.

    • Jen Says:

      Marian, since I know more about this particular situation, allow me to answer that, please. If we had any knowledge of Doug breaking the law in this matter, you can be assured that we would take all necessary legal actions. While I agree that his wording is definitely covering up something, I sincerely doubt it is covering up sex with a minor. If I am proven wrong, then we will deal with that then.

      Regarding the various abuse of minors, I think this differs in each family. I know many young adults who came out of BCA (and similar places) who left very hurt. They are still reeling, years afterward. I know many who are still trapped in this life, some who are hurting more than others. But I also know many who have truly loving families and loving parents and they love the life they live. It is difficult to say that everyone has the same experience in patriarchy because they don’t.

      It is not easy to go public with this type of hurt. When they are ready, they will. Many never will and some are retreating even farther now. Very sad.

      • T.W. Eston Says:

        Marian, Jen and I have a difference of opinion in this matter. She’s convinced that no sex could have happened prior to the young lady turning 17 (age of legal consent in Texas). But her assumptions are based on her personal observations of the young lady with Doug Phillips, as well as the observations of Jen’s daughter who was, during the entire time up until the Epsteins were excommunicated, the young lady’s best friend. I don’t believe that personal observations are particularly determinative in such cases. Doug Phillips and the young lady would have done everything possible to conceal their affections for one another as long as possible. Indeed they did, and they managed to pull it off for a number of years. The fact was it was going on right under everyone’s noses for a long time before any suspicions arose.

        This story follows a remarkably similar pattern to many other clergy sexual abuse stories, starting from the time at which the pastor is first exposed for having “an extra-marital affair” (in quotes because this is no affair at all, but clergy sexual abuse) with a young lady. After the initial shock is absorbed by the congregation, speculation may come from outsiders that the “affair” might have began while the young lady was under the age of legal consent. The reaction by most, including many of the pastor’s detractors, is usually, “Oh, that couldn’t have possibly happened.” But after a thorough legal investigation it has often come out that the sex was going on while the girl was under the age of legal consent.

        Such was the situation in the recent Jack Schaap case. Schaap was initially investigated in his home state of Indiana but was cleared when it was found that the girl was at the age of consent (16) when the sex started. Subsequently the FBI picked up the case when they determined that Schaap had traveled with the girl to at least two other states where they engaged in sex. Those states’ age of consent was higher, and Federal age of consent is 18.

        Doug Phillips treated the young lady as “a member of the family” and she routinely traveled with him all over the country, and out of the country. With all the travel it could easily change the question of legal consent considerably.

        Based on what we know of the chronology of events the young lady was in regular contact with Doug Phillips, in his home, by the time she was 15. I see no compelling reason to assume that nothing could have happened between them while she was still under the age of legal consent. I’ll also not assume that anything did happen either. I just won’t exclude either possibility until more is known for certain.

      • Johnny Says:

        Doug cultivated an environment where many of the young ladies at BCA would stand in a circle around him fawning all over his every remark. IMO, more than one young lady at BCA has given, or had given, her heart to Doug. Doug was given a free pass to interact with these young ladies directly via email, text, or phone where other men at BCA would never have been given such direct, one-on-one access to these young ladies, many of them under age! Of course, other men would have considered such a relationship inappropriate for themselves, but yet it was ok for Doug, because, well, Doug is Doug. Where were these fathers protecting their daughters from Doug? Note, I am not saying anything happened with these other young ladies sinful, just that the environment was unhealthy at BCA in this regard and no one should be shocked at what has happened.

        • Jen Says:

          Johnny, thanks for clearing up some misperceptions. It is important that we be as accurate as possible. The truth is always the best policy.

          So it sounds like Doug not only enjoyed the attentions of so many young ladies, but he encouraged it as well. I can see how that could lead young women to believe they were special.

    • notsurprised Says:

      “T.W. Eston, does your collection of many facts indicate probable cause that Doug Phillips’ extramarital relationship with the young woman in question began while she was a minor?” I can tell you that it started when she was 18 and she is now 30.

      • Rich Says:

        What is your source?

      • T.W. Eston Says:

        Rich, notsurprised won’t be answering that question. I can appreciate that you’d like to know, but it’s just inappropriate to ask, especially in a public forum like this. If you, or anyone else has information that would refute notsurprised, and that would show that any sexual stuff started prior to the age of 17 (age of consent in Texas) let’s take it offline and email me what you know.

      • Rich Says:

        Thanks, TW. I am new here so thanks for setting me straight. My thought was that anyone could post any fact that they wanted without knowing who they are or any ability to back up what they are stating. Perhaps folks here know notsurprised so they assumed his/her insider knowledge.

      • notsurprised Says:

        I will NEVER ever reveal how I know this information or any of it. EVER. I can tell you though that many, including Jen and others can back me up and validate the information.

      • Rich Says:

        notsurprised, I totally respect your position and privacy for all involved. I apologize if I offended you through my question re: sources. I don’t know the players here and was trying to understand truth from error. You and T.W. have helped me do that.. Thank you.

  9. Sarah Says:

    T.W. Eston, I totally agree that there is an entire puzzle to piece together, however, I worry that the more time that passes the more momentum this story loses among the press. If their is fact of 10 years of adultery with a nanny and close family friend I think just that is enough to discredit him to the general public and those still standing by supporting him. Let the rest of the puzzle pieces fall together after that. The media gets bored when they don’t have any new info as does the public. Any facts at all given to the media at this point will give the story new momentum. As of today the media has has nothing to go on but Doug’s 2 statements and Vision Forum Ministries statement. So basically the media has received zero info from anyone except Doug Phillips himself. I think you have lost their attention at this point. News stories thrive on momentum and I worry this story has lost all momentum with the press and Doug is sailing along with his Black Friday sales over at Vision Forum!

    • Jen Says:

      Sarah, while I realize people thrive on sensationalism, we are talking about real people with real lives with real hurts here. Most of the people who write me privately want the information to stay private. I respect that. I am not going to keep the momentum going by either manufacturing a false momentum or by divulging other people’s secrets. They have already been hurt enough, and I will not hurt them again. When people are ready to talk, I am willing to listen. When people are ready to go public, I will be glad to help if they ask me to. Believe me, if we had all the dirty secrets all lined up in a nice, neat row, we would be keeping up the momentum, but that is not the overall purpose here.

    • Jen Says:

      Oh, Sarah, those Black Friday sales? Notice how many “shares” they are getting now. While it used to be in the hundreds (notice last year’s sale is just being recirculated again this year for comparison). The sword sale had 917 shares last time, and now all the sales this month have ZERO shares. Maybe those sales are not getting quite the response Doug anticipated.

      • onlyjesus Says:

        Homeschhool Enrichment Magazine sent out an email add to their subscribers advertising Black Friday at Vision Forum. They obviously are not afraid of being affiliated with him.

      • T.W. Eston Says:

        Thank you onlyjesus for letting us know. I used their Contact page to send them the following:

        Someone just posted this comment in my blog article:
        “Homeschhool Enrichment Magazine sent out an email add to their subscribers advertising Black Friday at Vision Forum. They obviously are not afraid of being affiliated with him.”

        I’ll assume “onlyjesus” is being truthful.

        Isn’t your publication at all concerned about the likely backlash of “being affiliated with” an organization that is owned by a man who is embroiled in a sex scandal, and who had had to resign from his ministry on October 31 as a direct result? I don’t doubt but that you’re receiving some financial consideration for doing so, but have you considered the possibility that it might cost you far more than you stand to gain?

        Hopefully they’ll respond to me via email. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I’m thinking that Vision Forum probably contracted with Homeschool Enrichment Magazine months ago and prepaid for this Black Friday email promotion. The money may already be spent and they can’t back out now. No doubt this must be a terrible embarrassment for them and it’s bound to get them a lot of angry calls and emails from their subscribers.

        • onlyjesus Says:

          Yes, I actually wrote them an email and they responded back almost immediately. They were very cordial, saying that they do not necessarily endorse D.P. and his teaching, but that they thought their homeschooling audience would have an interest in what Vision Forum sells.

      • T.W. Eston Says:

        I finally received a reply from Home School Enrichment:


        Thank you for your e-mail. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you; between the Thanksgiving holiday and the latest press deadline for the print edition of Home School Enrichment I was delayed in responding. Despite the delay, however, I still wanted to personally follow up with you regarding this matter to provide a little bit more detail.

        We did in fact recently send out an e-mail advertisement on behalf of Vision Forum as was reported in the comment on your blog. What the commenter couldn’t have known, however, was that the e-mail in question was contracted for nearly a year ago, well in advance of the time that the news regarding Mr. Phillips emerged. I want you to know, however, that we will not be contracting additional advertising with Vision Forum in the foreseeable future while we wait and see what the months ahead hold for Vision Forum as a company and Doug Phillips personally. We remain as committed as ever to family values and do not wish to communicate or imply otherwise.

        Thank you for getting in touch and for allowing us to share this additional information.

        God bless,

        Jonathan Lewis, Editor

        Home School Enrichment, Inc.

        Enriching your life, your family, your homeschool.

        • cptruthlover Says:

          Wow, TW, that took a really long time! I am thinking between my original email that they responded quickly to (and also stated that after consideration they decided to go forward) that they gathered more info. I honestly think they didn’t have all the info and there was an agreement to advertise periodically. Notice-they have not sent out anymore after we brought it up. BTW, this is OnlyJesus but wordpress made me change bc it was taken.

  10. Sarah Says:

    Wise words T.W Eston I agree with you wholeheartedly. I am only fearful of Doug being able to continue his influence on the majority of people in the world who don’t have two clues what is going on. They are basing their continued support on Doug’s two letters. If things continue on there current path I can see Vision Forum Inc. surviving this scandal and Doug being back in the limelight in a very short amount of time.

    • Jen Says:

      Sarah, I agree that seems to be Doug’s plan, but let’s hope that people are willing to come forward to make sure that never happens.

  11. Sarah Says:

    Jenn, Voddie Baucham responded to me on his Facebook page saying Doug had in fact lost his home. Do you know this to be true?

    • Jen Says:

      Sarah, would you please link to it?

      • Sarah Says:

        Jen, I am going to paste it here. It’s for public reading tho on his facebook page. Let it be clear tho that I do not lump Voddie in with Doug Phillips. They are nothing alike and I deeply respect Voddie. Voddie was the one pf the ones that broke the story on his Facebook page and he certainly has not been minimizing the gravity of the situation. Also there were hundreds of comments and Voddie responded to lots of them. He has not been sugaring coating the situation but taking it very seriously. The original post by Voddie on October 31 has disappeared over the last few days but I am thinking that was because it was possibly getting out of hand. Voddie has answered all of my questions about Doug and is always very gracious and thoughtful so I want to be sure that no one is going to be comparing the two men in anyway or bashing Voddie on here 🙂 My original question was what to tell my children about the situation and if Dougs products produced during the time of his affair are deemed unusable.

        That’s why we NEVER follow men! Every person you’ve ever listened to is a sinner. If we start determining what is true, false, right, or wrong based on whether men are worthy, we’ll have nothing to listen to or read anymore.

        As to what you tell you children, tell them that sin is real; that it is deceptive and destructive. Warn them with the words of Scripture, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)

        You definitely don’t want to communicate to them that EVERYTHING you read has been vetted as to insure a lack of sin, failure, or hypocrisy in the writer/producer since that is an impossible standard.

        Warn them about the cost of sin. Tell them how Doug has damaged his marriage, lost his home, collapsed his ministry, and devastated his family spiritually, emotionally, and financially. Tell them how the enemies of God are rejoicing right now; how people like you are in turmoil.

        Finally, remind them that we must always be on guard against sin AND over confidence:

        “For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” (1 Corinthians 4:4–5)ere is his response to me that I was referring too:

        • Jen Says:

          Sarah, thanks for sharing all that. I don’t lump anyone together, but treat each person individually, so I have nothing against Voddie. The reason I keep asking you to paste the link is that I don’t see anything on his public page. i’m thinking you must be friends to see it.

          Did you forget to actually paste the response at the end of your comment? 🙂

          For the most part, I agree with what he has to say here, but I want to be clear that I am NOT one of Doug’s enemies, nor am I rejoicing over this at all. Just the opposite. However, until I see true repentance, I want to continue warning people so that Doug does not simply show back up in a year, claiming true repentance, and attempt to reestablish himself, UNLESS it is absolutely true. So far, it is not.

  12. Jayhawk (@Jayhawk1991) Says:

    I’ve been fascinated by this whole story–It’s opened my eyes and caused me to really think through a lot of issues.

    We jumped into the homeschooling thing early on in our marriage. Back in the 2003 time frame we had already had 4 daughters and were getting ready to start up our first 2 in home schooling. Our next door neighbors were also about to embark on the homeschooling journey for their 4 daughters. We both attended a home schooling conference and happened to hear Doug speak. They absolutely HATED his message and for some reason it resonated with our vision. They decided not to home school and we went down that road enthusiastically. This lead to my wife starting to wear skits, dresses etc to maintain a feminine and modest look. We also had our girls start to wear these types of clothes.

    When we moved to CO in 2006, we finally found a family integrated church and a thriving home schooling community. We thought we had finally found our home much like Jen and her family did in TX. After a while, we drifted away from this whole movement as it became more and more of a burden and the legalism was driving us crazy. Our kids were miserable and our marriage seemed to be falling apart.

    Some things I’ve noticed-

    * Many strong women/drivers tend to be the ones who get the husbands into homeschooling, quiverful, etc. I know TW touched on this in the last post. SO TRUE with us! I know my wife has constantly been trying to mold me into some kind of super-homeschooling dad…Someone just like DOUG PHILLIPS.

    * The majority of us poor schmucks who bought into this stuff are left to fend for ourselves out here. Of course the perfect homeschooling dad would run his own business and be a financial superstar as well as be there to help out the family. We ended up having 8 kids. With each one, I saw my perfectionist wife become more and more overwhelmed. She is totally over her head at times trying to teach the kids, keep meals going, keep fit and healthy, etc. Our parents are not involved and don’t step in to help at all. This has all lead to me having to step in and help non-stop. My business has really suffered the past few years.

    * We pulled out of this whole movement and noticed the shunning that came from those in the home schooling/family integrated scene. It was a subtle looking down their nose at us. My wife and girls now wear what they want and it’s typically jeans and other cute things that Doug would cringe if he saw it. We started they playing sports since they are great athletes and it’s been blast to watch them play. They have been attending a public schooling charter school program out here that will enable them to be better prepared for college if that’s where their gifts bring them. We are still struggling with relationships struggles between my wife & me and them. I’d saw we have a good bond, but there’s a lot of resentment in their hearts towards us at times. I hope we still have time to heal that and help them walk with the Lord.

    • Jen Says:

      Jayhawk, thank you for sharing your experience. It rings true on so many levels. I am glad that you were able to find your way out before it is too late, but rather than live with the regrets of what you learned along your journey in life, I pray that you will simply learn LOVE. Love God. Love your wife. Love your kids. Love those who look down their noses at you and realize that they are prisoners of their own minds. Love breaks those prison bars.

      Thank you so much for your thoughts and insights. I pray for healing in your hearts and family.

    • J & C Harmony Says:

      Jayhawk – I appreciate you sharing your story. Like you and your family, we have had our share of struggles with the “homeschooling scene.” And while we still homeschool, we (1) haven’t participated in the homeschool conference or groups for almost a decade now, and (2) we believe it’s ok not to homeschool. My wife has been there, struggling to maintain the part of “what all this is supposed to look like.” And the burden is significant on them! She has found freemdom from that, but only by withdrawing from most everything “homeschool” related. We live in CO as well…near Denver, and would love to encourage you and your family, if there is someway to connect with you.

      • Jayhawk (@Jayhawk1991) Says:

        Thanks J&C! We haven’t been to one of those in a long time too…perhaps 10 plus years. We are trying to figure all this out still and I appreciate your offer to connect. We are in Monument CO–North of the Springs, South of Denver. Where do you reside? My email is 1991jayhawk at gmail dot com

    • Latoya Says:

      Jayhawk, I’m glad you and your wife were able to look at the situation honestly and boldly made changes as required despite social pressure. I once told a famous SAHD that it was completely unfeasible for me to home school a child with a learning disability. I lack special education expertise, time was of the essence, and I admitted that as his parent, my teaching him was not in his best interest. That went over well. Let’s just leave it at that. I don’t think these patriarchy leaders have our best interests at heart. It’s all about domination, egos, and money.

    • onlyjesus Says:

      I agree that as a homeschooling wife and mother it was me that took my husband down this road. He is always so laidback and I was always pushing for the more perfect family. Praise the lord he has opened so may individuals eyes during this scandal. As for me, I’m just a dumb sheep.

      • Jen Says:

        OnlyJesus, you are not a dumb sheep. You desired the best for your family. That is a good thing. Everything that you have learned will only strengthen you and your family in the long run. To be set free is a wondrous place to be!

    • Keith Blankenship Says:

      They oppose girl’s participation in sports? How do they justify that view? I believe in modesty, but I wonder how many of these people who advocate for amish-like apparel were themselves promiscuous. To me modesty is just common sense, i.e. what one wears while playing soccer is not right for church. Don’t wear a muscle shirt or a skirt that is too short.

      My family has home schooled because the government schools reason from a secular premise. My wife and I agreed before we married that our children should be educated with a Christian premise. Did your wife tell you why she wanted to home school? Was it discussed before you got married?

      • Jen Says:

        Keith, not only was Doug opposed to girls playing sports, but boys as well. If the whole family couldn’t do it, they didn’t participate (unless it was to go on one of Doug’s events that divided family, like the Father/Son retreats, or the Father/Daughter Teas, or the Men Only Hazardous Adventures). Hypocrisy in Doug Phillips’ world is the name of the game.

        Regarding modesty, women in Doug’s world wear long dresses ALL the time, including any forms of exercise. What we wore to church on Sunday was no different than what we wore the rest of the week.

  13. Sarah Says:

    Jenn theses were Voddies words:

    That’s why we NEVER follow men! Every person you’ve ever listened to is a sinner. If we start determining what is true, false, right, or wrong based on whether men are worthy, we’ll have nothing to listen to or read anymore.

    As to what you tell you children, tell them that sin is real; that it is deceptive and destructive. Warn them with the words of Scripture, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)

    You definitely don’t want to communicate to them that EVERYTHING you read has been vetted as to insure a lack of sin, failure, or hypocrisy in the writer/producer since that is an impossible standard.

    Warn them about the cost of sin. Tell them how Doug has damaged his marriage, lost his home, collapsed his ministry, and devastated his family spiritually, emotionally, and financially. Tell them how the enemies of God are rejoicing right now; how people like you are in turmoil.

    Finally, remind them that we must always be on guard against sin AND over confidence:

    “For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” (1 Corinthians 4:4–5)

  14. interesting Says:

    Peter Bradrick is going offline:

    Per his facebook:

    Dear friends, after a long and weary season of business failure and more recently significant shock and disappointment regarding a very tender matter close to me, I am planning on going off Facebook and other public platforms for a season. This is motivated solely because I want to focus on my private life. However, I know this will be misinterpreted by many, particularly since there has been a troubling silence regarding a recent difficult public situation. Before I go “offline” there are things that I need to share. In the coming days and weeks I will be sharing my heart with my friends regarding some difficult things that need to be said. After which, I hope to transition to a season of life focused on a new direction in business, focused on personal spiritual growth, and focused on my precious wife and children.

    I apologize to many of you who have reached out and contacted me in the past days and weeks, and to whom I have not responded. I ask for mercy and understanding knowing many of you will realize this is a VERY difficult time for me and my family. I am attempting to exercise discretion, and to faithfully exercise my limited duties in this recent situation. In line with that, I have been leery of talking to many of you to whom I owe calls, emails, texts and FB messages back to, because I am committed to not “feed the gossip mill”, or pass on dainty morsels. And just not talking has been one way I have attempted to walk a very difficult line in a very messy situation.

    Greater knowledge brings with it greater responsibility, particularly for those who have had close relationships with those involved. I’ve attempted to only communicate with people that have reason to know at this point. Please be patient with me. I promise I still love and care for each of you, and hope that you will understand.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      “In the coming days and weeks I will be sharing my heart with my friends regarding some difficult things that need to be said.”

      Chief among those things which Peter Bradrick needs to confess, not just to close personal friends but to the entire world is, “I knew about Doug’s marital infidelities for years, as did a number of other Vision Forum employees, interns, and BCA members. It was an open secret with us, and I was part of Doug’s coverup team. Me and a few others tried to confront Doug over it, but we got nowhere with him. Although Doug Phillips portrayed himself as a teacher of biblical manhood, in reality we had all been brought into the inner circle because Doug knew we all lacked the backbone and moral integrity to hold him accountable. I should have resigned from Vision Forum years ago and then publicly exposed him as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I let a lot of innocent people’s lives be destroyed for the sake of maintaining my coveted position. I sold out for money and popularity. I’m a Benedict Arnold.”

      “Greater knowledge brings with it greater responsibility.” Truer words were never spoken. You have a lot to repent of, Peter Bradrick.

      • Bridget Says:

        T.W. –

        Was Peter Bradrick employed by VF Ministries, or VF, Inc.? Not saying that it matters to his complicity in the events.

        This idea is key, “I let a lot of innocent people’s lives be destroyed for the sake of maintaining my coveted position. I sold out for money and popularity.”

        So many people wonder why men and women haven’t spoken out about the issues with Doug Phillips. I have seen this in other ministries as well and I am not saying it is right or good, but you can see how difficult it is to untangle yourself from someone like DP. Such men require you to be ALL in. They want your church life, home life, work life, etc. to be devoted to them. When people have put their relationships, incomes, and spiritual life all in the hands of one man, it is scary and difficult to walk away when you discover that they are in unrepentant sin. You walk away with no relationships (shunning), no job (often slandered and/or blackmailed making it difficult to find work), and without those who you thought were your family in Christ. Add to this that you probably live in very close physical proximity to all of these people and you find it is almost impossible to get any support. I realize that some people were quite complicit (enjoying the position, money and/or fame) in what was going on and need to repent of their part, but I’m sure that many were clueless. Hoping they all flee to their real Father!

      • Latoya Says:

        Is it possible that Peter Bradrick was seduced like everyone else in the VF crowd? He was pretty young when he joined team Doug. Peter claims that Doug was a “spiritual father.” He was probably impressionable and star struck. The confrontation he described couldn’t have been easy. I don’t know either man personally, but if the psychological relationship was as deep as he alleges, maybe Peter was in denial about the affair and the extent of Doug’s corruption. It’s hard to look up to someone and have them to be revealed as a fraud. The situation might be overwhelming given a “business failure” combined with the VF fiasco. I guess he learned that privacy is golden.

        • Jen Says:

          Latoya, yes, I do believe Peter was “seduced” like everyone else. However, he still bears responsibility for his own actions.

    • Jen Says:

      Thank you, Interesting. That was interesting indeed.

      “Greater knowledge brings with it greater responsibility.” Peter, you are very correct. However, greater knowledge of hypocrisy of a public leader MUST lead to the greater responsibility of exposing that hypocrisy publicly. Like you, I attempted to reconcile privately with Doug. When Doug treated me in a shameful and abusive way, my responsibility became toward those who might be unknowingly seduced by this shepherd in wolves’ clothing. Peter, now it is your responsibility as well. Be the man that God has prepared you to be for such a time as this. Yes, discretion is the better part of valor, but realize that this is very much a public matter by a public leader who has privately hurt and abused many, many people. You are young enough to repent from your part in this and go on to do great things in life. Learn a hard lesson now so that you do not need to learn a much more difficult lesson later.

      Thank you for sharing your hurts and your heart, Peter. Please use this time of responsibility wisely.

  15. Marian the Librarian Says:

    Johnny wrote: “Doug cultivated an environment where many of the young ladies at BCA would stand in a circle around him fawning all over his every remark. IMO, more than one young lady at BCA has given, or had given, her heart to Doug. Doug was given a free pass to interact with these young ladies directly via email, text, or phone where other men at BCA would never have been given such direct, one-on-one access to these young ladies, many of them under age! Of course, other men would have considered such a relationship inappropriate for themselves, but yet it was ok for Doug, because, well, Doug is Doug.”

    This behavior is called “grooming.” These are actions deliberately undertaken by a person with authority and power to befriend, and to establish an emotional connection with, a potential victim, setting the stage for exploitation and sexual misconduct.

    I say again: anyone with direct knowledge that this relationship MAY have begun while Doug’s victim was still a minor is legally and morally obligated to report it to the proper civil authorities, in order that they my do their jobs investigating this entire unholy, ungodly mess.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      Marian, to add some legal authority to your statement, failure to report a felony to the appropriate legal authorities is referred to as “Misprision of Felony.” Based on the state, or in this case states, and perhaps even foreign countries that the crimes (each act would be a separate charge) might have occurred, a charge of misprision of felony could carry some very serious consequences. Misprision of felony is a crime in every state, including Texas.

      In other words if you have strong reason to believe that Doug Phillips was sleeping with someone under the age of legal consent in Texas, or under the age of legal consent of any state where escorted the young lady, and you don’t report it you might ultimately be criminally charged yourself. If it becomes a federal case (such as the sexual abuse of a minor suit against Pastor Jack Schaap), federal misprision of felony can carry up to a three year prison sentence. If it’s determined that there was any complicity in a cover up the consequences to be even be much worse.

      In summation, if anyone knows anything they’d better report it to the appropriate authorities or they could be in very hot water themselves.

  16. T.W. Eston Says:

    Here’s the latest from Peter Bradrick, courtesy of a reader here who emailed it to me. This is significant:

    Peter Bradrick
    The past decade of my life has been defined by my close relationship with my mentor and former spiritual father. Those who know me recognize my longstanding, fierce commitment to his family, his work, and his legacy. As soon as I caught wind of what was going on, I became very involved in working towards fulfilling the duties of friendship and brotherhood – to confront a man who has been like a father to me for a third of my life and plead with him to truthfully confess, and to genuinely take responsibility for longstanding betrayal of everything we had fought together for with the hope of ultimate restoration.

    Friends… truth and justice are mercy. Covering sin is not mercy. (Proverbs 28:13, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”) This was the message of the men that joined me to go in person to plead with him. Men he’s called “bosom brothers”, son’s in the Lord, close friends, and a mentor of his. What for us was a tender, emotional, mission of mercy and plea for true repentance was met with something, and by someone I never could have imagined. Instead of being received as the “wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6), I was formally disowned and declared to be a “destroyer” to my face.

    There is no way to describe the soul crushing blow I was dealt that day and it’s overall impact on my life. It’s was like experiencing the scene from Braveheart… where William Wallace finds out he’s been betrayed by Robert the Bruce, over and over again. Walking away from that meeting, I couldn’t speak for hours I was so stunned. I am still physically, emotionally and spiritually broken and asking God to give me wisdom. I know many people are so very hurt and confused regarding what has transpired and my prayer for myself, my family, and everyone involved is that we look to Christ alone with hearts of love, mercy, and repentance seeking to root out the sin in our own lives. Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

  17. T.W. Eston Says:

    Peter Bradrick’s story smacks of CYA. It also smacks of victimization. Peter Bradrick is no victim — he’s an enabler and, therefore, a perp.

    I don’t doubt his story that he and several others did ultimately confront Doug Phillips, and I don’t doubt Doug’s response. His story, or at least this portion of it, is completely consistent with what inside sources have reported to me. The problem with this story is that he conceals more than he reveals. This shows that Peter Bradrick is still very much influenced by Doug Phillips from whom he was tutored in Damage Control. Peter Bradrick’s story fails to make mention of all the things that occurred prior to this final confrontation that resulted in he and Doug parting ways, including the fact that he and others had known of the “inappropriate relationship” for years and were completely passive about it. Peter Bradrick was hand picked by Doug Phillips because of Peter’s hero worship nature. Doug “mentored” Peter into becoming the useful drone that he was.

    Peter Bradrick rapidly became one of Doug Phillips’ chief enablers and enforcers. He routinely covered for Doug Phillips and threatened any who spoke out against this man whom he had come to fantasize was another William Wallace. He ultimately found out Doug Phillips was actually a Robert the Bruce in disguise. But had Peter not been blinded by his own pride and lust for position, as well as hero worship, he would have plainly seen it years earlier.

    I don’t have the least sympathy for Peter Bradrick. He owes many people a humble confession and his repentance.

  18. interesting Says:

    yes Peter started off as an intern and then was Doug’s personal assistant/slave for many years. This happened right up until he married Kelly.

  19. notsurprised Says:

    Friends… truth and justice are mercy. Covering sin is not mercy. (Proverbs 28:13, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”) This was the message of the men that joined me to go in person to plead with him. Men he’s called “bosom brothers”, son’s in the Lord, close friends, and a mentor of his. What for us was a tender, emotional, mission of mercy and plea for true repentance was met with something, and by someone I never could have imagined. Instead of being received as the “wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6), I was formally disowned and declared to be a “destroyer” to my face.

    If you guys EVER questioned if Doug is repentant or not………… have your answer.

    • notsurprised Says:

      “The problem with this story is that to conceals more than it reveals, and this shows that Peter Bradrick is still very much influenced by Doug Phillips’ damage control tactics. Peter Bradrick’s story fails to make mention of all the things that occurred prior to this final confrontation that resulted in he and Doug parting ways.”

      Can you elaborate on this TW? Can you tell us when this final confrontation took place? I can see that close people to him and the board TRIED reconciliation (Matt 18) but it didn’t work and that’s why the forced resignation in October.

      • T.W. Eston Says:

        Jen and I are working on a timeline — a chronology of events that led up to Doug Phillips being compelled to out himself on October 31. We’ll have it posted by sometime early next week and it will answer your question. The process of completing it involves corroborating stories among several insiders, and we’re anticipating hearing from more insiders in coming days. More insiders every day are losing their fear of Doug and are willing to share their own inside knowledge.

        It perhaps cannot be stated enough that we guarantee the confidentiality of our sources.

    • Jen Says:

      NotSurprised, even though I know how Doug treated me, I am still in shock to hear how Doug treated Peter and the other young men who were so loyal to him, so close to him, for so long. It is such a hard lesson to see your idol fall so hard.

      This truly does reinforce my convictions that Doug is NOT at all repentant at this time. So, so sad all the way around.

  20. Bookworm Says:

    It is obvious you are suffering a lot. I’m very sorry for the pain you and Kelly and so many more have experienced and will continue to feel because of Doug’s actions. I used to have similar beliefs and run in similar circles as you and thought I’d offer some advice I wish I’d received when I went through a devastating upheaval of my entire life and belief system.
    1. It’s going to hurt. It’ll hurt like the dickens. Especially bad is when you begin to realize that not only have you been trusting people who, to put it lightly, suck as human beings, but that what they taught was so twisted that it has made you a worse person than you want to be. It really hurt me when I realized that all those “bad people” whose arguments I had been taught to so slickly defeat and dismiss were actually wiser than I was.
    2. I suggest that you and Kelly try to do something fun every day, however little it is, and just take a break from discussing/ruminating over the overwhelming things going on. My parents used to discuss major church/world issues a lot when I was a kid. Too much. I grew up feeling the weight of the world at too early of an age and though I understand that they were trying to process their own pain and questions, it would have helped everyone in the family if they had, even in the aftermath of church splits and ministry setbacks, focused a bit more on plain old frivolity.
    3. If you guys can afford it, I would suggest individual counseling from a licensed, professional, *not religious or church-based* therapist for both you and Kelly to help in processing all this. If it’s not possible right now, then there is still a LOT of useful information online. I would suggest researching narcissism, cults, healthy personal boundaries, and dysfunctional families vs. what healthy families look like.
    4. Brene Brown has some amazing resources. It’s OK to realize you need to rethink beliefs and habits, it’s OK to make mistakes in life. What matters is that we get up and try to do better. People out in the “the world” tend to be quite forgiving of mistakes, much more so than in the milieu you have been inhabiting.
    My best to you and Kelly and the other people who feel hearbroken because of this scandal.

    • Latoya Says:

      This is sound advice for the Bradricks and anyone leaving their religion/cult, especially #2. I still need to make this a priority.

      This statement from Peter is really revealing:

      “The past decade of my life has been defined by my close relationship with my mentor and former spiritual father. Those who know me recognize my longstanding, fierce commitment to his family, his work, and his legacy. ”

      Didn’t Peter exit the FV scene around the birth of his 3rd or 4th baby? Hopefully he now prioritizes his own familiy’s needs and has an even fiercer commitment to his own work, and legacy.May he and ( especially )Doug’s victims reclaim their lives and move forward.

    • Jen Says:

      Bookworm, that is some awesome advice you have for Peter. I’m sure it applies to many, many out there. I can tell that you have “been there.” Those who have been hurt in similar ways are the best ones to come alongside and comfort those who are hurting now. Thank you for being a comforter and encouraging Peter in these things. I am sure he will have plenty to process during this time, not the least of which will be his own participation in all this. Healing, for him, will not begin until he deals with his own hurt and abuse of others, and his participation in the hypocrisy of this whole ministry.

  21. NC Says:

    I would caution anyone from being too concerned with his own legacy, but even more so another mans, young Peter has clearly been blinded by his love for a man. He is still young though, and has time to make amends and move forward in Christ alone. Peter, you wrote a heart wrenching account of your relationship with Doug and the tragic ending, don’t follow his example any longer, repent of your involvement and ask forgiveness to those you have hurt on his behalf. The good news is that you have the ability to have “fierce devotion”, imagine if that devotion was turned to serving Christ?

    • Latoya Says:

      What’s wrong with thinking about ones legacy? It’s not selfish or immoral to do this if it’s means making your family life better, improving social standing, gaining wealth, engaging in philanthropy, or just leaving the world a little better than you found it. Too much of not looking out for ones own interest under the guise of “humility” or “spirituality” is how, in part, so many were enchanted and duped.

  22. Joyelle Says:

    Well, Mr Peter Bradrick, that is true. Covering sin is not mercy. Speaking the truth in love is mercy. And it is wrong to hide behind a false definition of the word ‘gossip’ in trying to justify your silence on critical matters of truth, confession and repentance. (Did you learn how to do that from your father-in-law?) As much as you don’t want all of this mess you’re entangled in to be made public, well, you Vision Forum people are responsible for the platform you have built for yourselves. You are in the public eye. Give up your pride and humble yourself before all the people that you have sought to lead. Tell the truth! You now have the opportunity to reveal true Godly masculine leadership. Real men take responsibility for their actions and turn to Christ. Is your idolatry of Doug Phillips finally crumbling? What is the essence of your Phillips-arranged marriage once the fantasy of patriarchy blows away in the wind? You will find everything necessary for life and godliness in the Scripture. So be courageous, stand strong, and tow the line of truth as rooted in God’s Word. As long as you stand on a false ideology, your testimony will not be any more like Jesus than Doug’s testimony. The only way a man can stand is when he pursues Christ ALONE.

  23. DesiringToDiscern Says:

    Inasmuch as the step of biblical confrontation with witnesses did not cause repentance. …the next (biblical) step is to bring it before the *congregation* …those affected by VF, Phillips both publicly and privately. Peter, this is no time to go into hiding. God will be on your side as you speak the truth so that so MANY may be set FREE from this man’s hold. Bless you Peter for speaking up…but it isn’t over.

    • Sarah Says:

      Peter has not spoken up really. He posted a private status on his Facebook for friends only and one of his Facebook friends sent it to T.W. Eston. Peter probably has no idea it’s even on here. So technically there is still total silence from insiders.

  24. mcchatty Says:

    I find myself thinking about the underlings and what the future holds for them. The Bradricks(but I assume he’ll jsut burrow deeper into Scott Brown’s pockets- the Coghlans, Justin Turley- the insufferable Nathaniel Darnell(who i think might be a lawyer) It appeared for a while that they and their own patriarchal insular economy. I anticipate the vile revisionist history going deeper underground- much harder to get employment in the real world when you openly think the Confederates were the good guys. What do others think?

    • Jen Says:

      mcchatty, I, too, am concerned about those who are losing their livelihood because of Doug’s personal “choices” in life. It was bad enough how many he hurt and abused overtly, but now he is devastating the lives of those closest to him as well. I do not know what any of these, and other VF employees, will do, and am concerned that they are not prepared to work in the real world, for the most part.

      Perry has ten mouths to feed; I feel for him. But I see that he does NOT claim to work for Vision Forum on his Facebook page any more.

      Justin Turley spent several years in the real world so I think he will find his way.

      Nathaniel Darnell, I believe, has not worked for Vision Forum in quite a while. He has so many talents and abilities in life that I am sure he will be successful at whatever he chooses to do, as long as he remains humble.

      Will some of them dig even deeper into patriarchy? That is very possible. Only time will tell.

  25. Keith Blankenship Says:

    Why do people put so much trust in a mere human? We see this tame and again. I had never heard of this man until a few years ago. He does not speak for me or thousands of other home schoolers.

    • Jen Says:

      Keith, count your blessings that you are not one of the hundreds of thousands who are severely disillusioned today, standing around wondering what just happened. But there are many, many, many hurt people that Doug is leaving in his wake, and they are desperately wondering where to go from here.

  26. Corrine Says:

    Posted on Peter Bradricks FB ( not private btw) by Stacy MacDonald
    Jonathan Kayser – While Facebook may not seem like the place for something like this, keep in mind that Peter has been through a very public, traumatizing, life-changing event – and is still in the middle of it. He has stood up for the truth and been kicked in the teeth – which is actually exactly what we should expect when we stand for anything.

    Everyone is reeling. Give him a break. He isn’t gloating; he is grieving. I pray that God will give him and others the strength to defend the God-given message that has been so grievously slandered by the sin of one man.

    Peter Bradrick – We are and have been praying for you. Susan Bradrick – My heart is breaking for you and your mama’s heart. I am praying for you as well, sweet sister.

    • Corrine Says:

      Also this was on the same post on Friday the 29th
      Bob Renaud
      This is why we did what we did brother. We were not going to sit by and allow the weak to be victimized. I still believe in this doctrine even if my mentor and friend rejected it.

    • Jen Says:

      Interesting change of mind there, isn’t it, Corrine? Let’s hope Stacy comes to realize the truth before it’s too late.

  27. Concerned Says:

    Jen etal….
    Your comments on Voddie got me to thinking….. What is unbiblical about “Patriarchy” in your mind. What is Patriarchy in your mind.

    • Jen Says:

      Concerned, I did a series on that many years ago. I don’t know if I agree with myself on that now or not (you can see it on the left sidebar here), but I plan on doing another series on that in the future, when the dust settles a bit. My basic concern is using improper hermeneutics to make the Bible say whatever you want it to say.

  28. Teresa Says:

    Jen or TW,

    I have a question, if I am permitted to ask because the question is off topic

    . How did Stacy’s second husband James McDonald (whom has been married before) become an ordained minister or better yet, a minister of the gospel, considering his past. According to 1 Tim. 3 he does not qualify.

    Also, according to what this movement teaches, this man needs to keep his wife under control, just saying. I thought the internet was off limits.

    • Jen Says:

      Someone who knows the McDonalds better than I can answer more specifically, but they are in a different “denomination,” which does ordain those who have been divorced before.

      As far as James keeping Stacy under control, Doug Phillips probably cringes every time he sees her out and about on the internet! There is no set of rules for all patriarchy churches, but there are basic guidelines. Some have more freedom (the McDonalds) while others dictate every tiny detail of your life. It runs the gamut.

    • noturniptruck Says:

      How did Stacy’s second husband James McDonald (whom has been married before) become an ordained minister or better yet, a minister of the gospel, considering his past. According to 1 Tim. 3 he does not qualify.

      They are reformed Presbyterian………..and are okay with that. Doug Claims to be reformed baptist but that’s questionable

  29. DesiringToDiscern Says:

    Jen, TW, I don’t think the Moore Family is in the IN crowd with Phillips but their boys were doing nicely in the film-making arena. They did a few nice films. Ace Wonder has been squashed by Phillips, I believe….and yet tonight John Moore encourages people to move on/move ahead.
    John says…..
    I’d like to say a word to all those currently obsessing about the rise and fall of leaders…

    Keep calm and carry on. …….. ( more here) There is some truth here, perhaps?

    • Jen Says:

      I don’t know him, but the quote in full is:

      “I’d like to say a word to all those currently obsessing about the rise and fall of leaders…
      Keep calm and carry on.
      Get the information, and be done with it. Avoid moaning, mourning, and surmising. Supposing, speculating, and conjecturing, are tools of procrastination. Roll up your sleeves, and move on. Like the aftermath of a storm, staring at the wreckage does nothing. Get back at life and swing with a renewed fury and vigilance.”

      For some, this is possible. For others, it takes time to work through.

      • DesiringToDiscern Says:

        Jen, I agree. I know that my family and I still have times when we knee jerk to our past experience and this whole VF thing adds new things to deal with and sift through. I do find that we need to be able to talk through all of it… and then follow that with good news…thinks to be thankful for. We even have times of sitting around sharing what we appreciate about each other. One problem with moving on is that the *bodies* have not all been removed from the *wreck* so to speak. There needs to be recovery time. Help should be offered to the victims. Crimes should be punished. Enabling perpetrators only opens the door to future victims. We tried to speak up years ago in our sister church but to no avail. So many wounded. Not trying to downplay the issue. There needs to be a moving-on with our lives instead of simple being simply a survivor. Not easy. (Does any of this make sense?)

        • Jen Says:

          It all makes perfect sense to me, DesiringToDiscern. People need closure before healing can begin, and there is no closure yet. We may find that there will never be closure, and we will have to deal with that as well.

  30. Rob Says:

    I wonder if Doug turned the locks on his children’s bedroom doors before moving out.

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