Vision Forum Inc. to Permanently Close December 31

With the announcement on November 11, 2013 of the closing of Vision Forum Ministries numerous employees were terminated, leaving only a skeleton crew. Shorty thereafter a number of Vision Forum Inc employees were also terminated, signaling the imminent demise of VFI.

There were numerous signs even prior to the public announcement of Doug Phillips’ clergy sexual abuse (I won’t dignify it with the term “extra-marital affair” as many others have) that Vision Forum Inc, the for-profit business venture solely owned by Doug Phillips, was in serious financial trouble. Most telling of all was the absence in our mailboxes this year of the colorful Vision Forum catalog. The VF catalog has been the pride and joy of Doug Phillips for years, and it’s a significant element of his personal identity.

On the non-profit ministry side of the house, Vision Forum Ministries “postponed” the 2014 San Antonio Independent Film Festival, and the Christian Filmmakers Academy. The SAIFF was Vision Forum Ministries’ most perennially popular event ever.

saicff-large-postponed    cfa-small-postponed

Many other highly successful events, such as the Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy, also weren’t rescheduled for this year or next year, and some stopped being rescheduled from several years ago, even though they’d been well attended and profitable. From reviewing the tax returns that are still publicly available (2009, 2010, 2011) one can easily determine that millions of dollars poured into Vision Forum Ministries. The last tax return available (2011) shows:

Total Revenue $3,345,150
Total Expenses $1,734,985

That left $1,610,165 surplus at year’s end. That kind of money could have funded any number of VFM conferences and events but, instead, we saw multiple cancellations and postponements. Where have all the donations disappeared to? It would appear that Doug Phillips may have been feathering his nest for over a year in anticipation of his downfall. Either that or he might perhaps have just been squandering it on himself. The numerous lavish foreign Phillips family trips would be indicative of that, and Doug  routinely also brought along his paramour on such trips, paid for out of Vision Forum Ministries donor funds..

Throughout this same period Doug Phillips and his family were living the life of Riley. Multiple lavish trips to exotic lands, the best of accommodations, always dressed to the nines, all paid for by Vision Forum Ministries tax-deductible donor funds, including the luxurious Ancient Greece Tour barely one month prior to Doug’s resignation. Noticeably absent as a speaker was Doug Phillips (though Doug and his family were there enjoying themselves). Rev. Joe Morecraft was informed after arriving that he would have to fill in for Doug on the tour for unexplained reasons. Eventually he determined what the real reason was. Dr. Morecraft’s discovery of the sex scandal was, from all reports, personally “catastrophic” to him.

The timing of the sex scandal couldn’t have been worse for Doug Phillips. If he could have just kept the lid on it through the Christmas season it might have made a huge difference to his bank account and it would have saved many jobs, at least for a few more months.

Although Doug Phillips forbids his family from practicing Christmas because, as we know, it’s a nasty Catholic holiday, he doesn’t mind capitalizing on it to plunder the rest of us who do celebrate Catholic holidays. Vision Forum Inc rakes in huge profits at this time of year, and upwards of 90% of VFI’s annual profits happen in the fourth quarter of the year. Starting this Black Friday it will be make it or break it for Vision Forum Inc. Or will it?

Actually it won’t make any difference for the future of Vision Forum Inc. Doug Phillips intends to permanently close VFI effective December 31, 2013. In all likelihood, most if not all of the liquid assets have already been secreted away and non-liquid assets will soon be sold off. When Doug Phillips or his legal representative do formally announce the dissolution of Vision Forum Inc it will likely come with a notice of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This will afford Doug Phillips the opportunity to legally stiff any of VFI’s creditors.

The Doug Phillips family will also have to find different living accommodations, perhaps more modest, or perhaps not, depending on how well Doug has plundered the ministry and business coffers. Vision Forum Ministries owns the lavish house, as well the furnishings in it, and the family automobiles, and a great many other things, allegedly including even clothing. In effect, Doug Phillips has used Vision Forum Ministries as his personal piggy bank for years, straining all credulity when it comes to filing an honest tax return.

The board of directors has given until the end of the year for Doug and his family to move out of the ministry-owned house. The VFM board of directors will repossess (and may have already repossessed) any and all assets that Doug purchased with VFM monies for his personal use. This includes everything from automobiles, home furnishings, and perhaps even clothing. Some may view this as retaliatory on the part of the board (and perhaps it is to some degree), but the fact of the matter is they have a legal obligation to do everything they can to remedy any tax fraud and fiduciary malfeasance that Doug Phillips may have perpetrated.

The VFM board will be liquidating all VFM assets, including the house, home furnishings, office equipment and furnishings, all remaining inventory, and the Vision Forum office building at 4719 Blanco Road, San Antonio, starting January 1, 2014.

Doug’s prospects of providing for his family in Texas seem bleak. Doug’s mother is in Virginia, as are Beall’s parents, so Virginia might make an appealing place to make their next abode. Beall’s father is also an attorney.

None of this debacle came upon Doug Phillips unexpectedly. He’s been in damage control mode throughout this year, and perhaps long before this year. He’s had ample time to plan his exit strategy. With all the cash and liquid assets that Doug Phillips has likely stripped from Vision Forum Ministries Ministries and Vision Forum Inc, the Doug Phillips family will, in all likelihood, be able to live quite comfortably for the foreseeable future. Certainly long enough for the dust to settle and, in a year or two, for Doug to execute his “restoration to ministry” plan.

However, it could very well be that, in his arrogance, Doug Phillips might have come to believe that he was invincible and, thus, he may not have planned for his eventual downfall. We also need to consider the possibility that Doug may be encouraged by his family to give them some extended time away from him. Very far away. Beall’s father is an attorney, after all, and the fathers of betrayed daughters do sometimes tend to get ugly. An extended time cooling his heels in Africa with missionary brother Brad Phillips would give the wife and kids some time for healing. It could also afford Doug the opportunity of evading any government agencies that might have already opened investigations against him.

Doug Phillips is probably eager to liquidate and get out of San Antonio, posthaste. Any who have unresolved business with Doug Phillips would be wise to act accordingly.


299 Responses to “Vision Forum Inc. to Permanently Close December 31”

  1. Brandon G Says:

    I will line up to by the domain.

  2. Morgan Farmer Says:

    Karma…when it comes around, it comes around.

  3. Latoya Says:

    WooHoo!!! Fire Sale!!!!! Oh wait, isn’t it Huzzah Huzzah! I hope there’s some dollhouses and leggos for 90% off!

  4. Jen Says:

    TW, observing the extremely rapid dismantling of both a very successful ministry and a lucrative business causes me to wonder if a man could truly lose not only his “good” reputation, and his entire life’s work, but also his home, his family, his friends, his loyal cohorts, and literally everything associated with the fame and fortune of being a big fish in a small pond — all for a few kisses. Something doesn’t add up here, and the more we observe Doug’s most loyal companions pulling away, the more we realize that the old adage — “Be sure your sins will find you out” — still bears true.

    What is truly sad, though, is that Doug’s personal choices in life seriously impact numerous others in some profound ways. I am truly sad for certain Vision Forum employees (some were complicit in Doug’s dirty work, while others were not) who suddenly find themselves out of work. It is not easy for them to just go find another job, no matter what the economy is currently like. It has been drilled into their heads for years now that men do not work WITH, or FOR, women, unless it is in their own family business. Of course, owning their own business is the ultimate goal, but these men have always been employees of Doug Phillips, not entrepreneurs. What does a homeschool father with ten young children do in a situation like this when he suddenly finds himself out of work — does he compromise his convictions (albeit brainwashed ones) in order to feed his family? So sad.

    But there are others who may need to be informed that Doug Phillips intends to lock up shop and run. I know that Doug Phillips always preached against owing money to anyone, but just in case he doesn’t practice what he preaches, I hope that any small mom-and-pop business that may have provided certain products to VFI with a promise of payment later will heed this article and put the pressure on Doug to pay up now.

    However, I imagine that there are even bigger fish out there that need to know that NOW is the time to act. There is basically one month left before it will most likely be impossible to serve Doug Phillips in any capacity. Time is of the essence. This year, Doug Phillips’ Black Friday needs to be very black indeed — until he makes ALL amends necessary.

    TW, thanks again for all your hard work in helping to expose Doug Phillips for the purpose of warning others who would be wise to listen up. Great article!

    • Latoya Says:

      That’s a good point about the workers and small business creditors. I don’t know how I could live with myself having harmed so many like Doug has, especially in these troubled economic times. We all have different talents, expertise, and abilities. Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur.

    • Chris Jeub Says:

      Very well said, Jen.

  5. Sarah Says:

    T.W. I am curious how you came across
    such detailed info. I would think Doug would be keeping this pretty hush hush.

  6. onlyjesus Says:

    Yes, I was just thinking about the employees that now have nothing. My heart is aching for the families that don’t know what is going to happen to them. So sad.

  7. Sarah Says:

    Also if this is all true shouldn’t it be passed on to a major media outlet? The general public will never read it on this blog 🙂 also Peter Bradrick’s statement.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      Sarah, we’ve got our hands quite full as it is with all the investigations, interviews, and just the day to day of being “internet assassins” (to quote Doug). If you’d like to pitch in and help, contacting various media outlets would be a great thing to do. We’d very much appreciate you and anyone else doing so.

      • Angela Wittman Says:

        I am planning to compile a report and post it at Christian Liberty News. My history with DP/VF goes back to involvement with the Constitution Party (2001 – 2005) and through local political/pro-life endeavors that Jim Zess (former VF board member?) was involved in. My readership is for the most part from connections made from those associations and I owe them the truth. I’ll try to have something posted today. Thanks to TW and Jen for standing firm and continuing to compile facts and information regarding DP and VF when many (including me) were suspect of their motives.

        • Jen Says:

          Angela, that sounds very interesting. As far as I know, Jim Zes is still the secretary of the board as they close down Vision Forum Ministries.

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          Angela, I want to acknowledge what you’ve done by posting several “I was wrong” comments here, and elsewhere. You evidence a humility that is uncommon. It’s a very difficult thing for anyone to have to admit to themselves that they were duped by an eloquent carnival barker. It’s even harder to admit it publicly.

          A great many of us found ourselves caught up in Doug’s hopeful messages of healthier homes and churches through the discovery (or rediscovery) of “biblical truth.” Doesn’t every Christian want that? But what too many families figured out too late is that Doug is heavy on law and light on grace. Doug’s messages are a mixed bag: They proved beneficial to some families, and utterly devastating for so many others. Grace brings life, law bring death (2 Cor 3:6).

          The entire time Doug was bringing us his messages of hope, he was living a lie, and the lie is much bigger than just the one sex scandal. I’ve known for seven years that Doug Phillips was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and I had suspicions of it for much longer. I knew Doug personally. We were friends. Doug Phillips has many former friends. But my definition of friendship is much different from Doug’s. Sociopaths define friendship on strategic terms — on what they can get out of it — how they can use people. Once your usefulness is used up, you’re discarded. Thankfully I was able to see this early on in my relationship with Doug and I didn’t allow him to use me for long. Many others haven’t been so fortunate.

          Stay tuned for more, Angela. By Monday or Tuesday I anticipate posting a story that will likely be a bombshell.

      • notsurprised Says:

        But what too many families figured out too late is that Doug is heavy on law and light on grace.

        You just very well defined Legalism to a T! to the Nth degree

      • notsurprised Says:

        I knew Doug personally. We were friends. Doug Phillips has many former friends. But my definition of friendship is much different from Doug’s. Sociopaths define friendship on strategic terms — on what they can get out of it — how they can use people. Once your usefulness is used up, you’re discarded. Thankfully I was able to see this early on in my relationship with Doug and I didn’t allow him to use me for long. Many others haven’t been so fortunate.

        I have also seen this with Doug for a very long time. I felt so sorry for those that were defending him and calling him one of their best friends only for me to know that they were “in the strategic category”. He had very very few close, intimate friends (Bill Potter is one). What a wake up call for them especially those like Peter Bradrick, who THOUGHT he knew what his relationship was to be “disowned”. You are close with Doug if you don’t question him or challenge him. But when you do, you are seen as not loyal and he turns against you. Sociopath is right! To be honest, I am surprised Doug was as popular as he was!

  8. Sarah Says:

    @Jen , lol great work. Now to get it the public.

  9. Chuck L Says:

    Thanks for the update. This is actually my first time here. I actually didn’t know of your existence until now. I’m truly dad that I didn’t. I’ve been speaking out about Phillips and his ilk for years and have many family members caught up in this movement. Is it ok to share this on FaceBook? I think it’s one of the best things I’ve read on the subject yet. Thanks again.

  10. Allyn Morton Says:

    Let it go. God did.

    • Jen Says:

      Allyn, I understand that thinking. In one sense, I have. In another sense, God has given me a responsibility to help others who are reeling and disillusioned from watching their idol come toppling down. This is a very difficult time for thousands of believers right now.

      • Sarah Says:

        You are very right Jen. We can’t turn a blind eye and help Doug cover his tracks!

      • Allyn Morton Says:

        I just have to wonder how people fall for this in the first place. Big ministries are not of God – at all. Not one remains after a relatively short time of existence.

        • Jen Says:

          Allyn, most of the people involved in the patriarchy movement believed they were truly trying to live a holy life. They felt they had discovered a new level of holiness that most Christians had not yet discovered. Unfortunately, that was not God’s level of holiness.

      • Allyn Morton Says:

        God’s level of holiness is to live a simple life, to work with your hands and to mind your own business. But it seems there are always those who want to capitalize on the serenity of others and convince them that they haven’t found it yet.

    • notsurprised Says:

      Allyn Morton Says:
      November 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm
      Let it go. God did.

      That’s one of the things that Got Doug where he is now. People were too scared to hold him accountable and the ones that did suffered tremendous consequences (like Jen). It’s about time that we not sit back, idle, and not hold him accountable! It’s about time that this STOPS and stops yesterday!

    • OnlyJesus Says:

      How did God let it go? It seems to me He was not willing to let it go. Thus, the demise of the ministry and its affiliations. Maybe God is using Jen to show people truth.

    • E. Stephen Burnett Says:

      “Let it go. God did.”

      No, He did not. Not for those who have not repented. I strongly suggest cultivating a more-Biblical view of “letting it go,” i.e., Biblical forgiveness. (Start with the Biblically based book Unpacking Forgiveness by Chris Brauns.) God does not forgive the unrepentant, though He is always willing to do so. Our view of forgiveness should align with that (cf. Matt. 6:12). In Romans 12 the apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, warned against senses of personal vengeance, not because God has already “let it go” for the unrepentant, but because vengeance is God’s job, not ours — meaning, God has not “let it go.” In light of His pending vengeance against the unrepentant, we must love our enemies. Love includes telling the truth about them, both to their faces and to those who are being deceived by their lives. True love includes speaking the truth about what is evil.

  11. Rich Says:

    Yes, amazing work by you both. Thank you. Sorry that this is so all consuming right now.

  12. Anna Kelly Says:

    Having watched a scandal unfold in my former church, I can’t help but wonder if there might be more girls who have fallen victim. Jen and Mr. T. W. Eston, do you happen to know if there were any other girls or if there are rumors about possible other victims? I ask because, when things like this become public, that is when hopefully, other victims will feel the freedom to come forward. If there are any other girls who are victims, I suspect IF they have told their parents, the parents might have asked/forced them to be quiet, due to the bully type of actions Doug Phillips is known for. The more public this becomes, the greater the opportunity for other victims to come forward.

    • Jen Says:

      Anna, we definitely agree with you. We are not personally aware of anyone else at this time, but we hope that the more people are willing to speak out, that those who have been bullied into silence, for whatever reason, will now find the freedom to speak out as well. Doug has hurt so many in so many ways. Speaking out is often the first step in the healing process.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      Anna, let’s just say that you and I are of the same mind. Most cases of clergy sexual abuse are not perpetrated with just one victim. Once the first victim comes out and tells their story, there are often other victims who later come forward. No victim of sexual abuse wants to be the first to come forward though, and it takes a lot of courage, especially when it comes to overcoming all the mind control influence they would have been under for years in Doug Phillips’ sociological cult.

      I wish I could say that I’m confident there’s only one victim, but I have no such confidence. In fact you should be looking for another related story to be posted here soon.

      • Anna Kelly Says:

        For this abuse to have gone on for so many years, I believe there must be more. The lies he probably told said victim(s), would allow him to continue on this path. Said victim(s), if they find out there were more women, will once again potentially feel betrayed. I hope the women will have the strength to come forward. They are victims! Period! Speaking truth on what happened to them is not gossip. Unfortunately, as Christians, we have used the term “gossip” to bully brothers and sisters into silence. Scripture tells us that if a ‘brother’ calls himself a brother but does these things, we are not to even have a meal with him. People should not have been having a meal or association with Doug Phillips for several reasons as stated in this scripture passage:

        1 Cor. 5:11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

        Scripture tells us to ‘come out from among them’, ‘expose them’. False teachers, and that is just one of his many titles he holds, needs to be exposed, just as Scripture directs us.

        I pray these women will have the courage and support to come forward and let Doug Phillips feel the weight of his shame and damage and hopefully, one day, he will come to true repentance.

        I will keep reading….hoping that the truth will be revealed.

  13. Chuck L Says:

    No don’t let it go. Not yet. That time is near but there’s work to be done.

  14. Sarah Pressler Says:

    Awesome post! Thanks for the update. I feel bad for a certain family I was particularly close to – and know that this will equate to a terrible hardship for them. (Being out of work.) Although I hope it helps them see how POORLY they were being paid when the venture out into the workforce and replace their employment. I don’t know about everyone who worked there, but I know what this one family made and it was, in my opinion, a completely low-balled salary. Probably b/c Doug knew that people who worked for him were too humble to demand a fair wage. TOTAL SPECULATION but … just saying….

    • Jen Says:

      Sarah, yes, I believe this will be particularly difficult for that family, although I believe they left BCA many months ago, so they do not have the idolatry aspect to deal with. They still have the same convictions, though. And that will be very difficult. And yes, they were not paid what they were worth.

  15. Ed Says:

    Beall’s parents are not in Virginia–never have been–nor would they likely support Doug Phillips.

    • Jen Says:

      Ed, explain, please.

      • Ed Says:

        There’s nothing to explain about them not living in Virginia. They do not. Beall’s father is not practicing law now. They detected and were concerned about much of what this Board has related over the past several years, over 20 years ago. They will/would not support Doug Phillips now.

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          Ed, you made your point once already. My apologies for having included one minor out of date piece of information in this story re: Beall’s parents still living in Virginia. However, retired or not, Beall’s father is still and attorney and could cause a lot of trouble for Doug, if he were so inclined. Moreover, I never stated that Beall’s parents would “support Doug Phillips now.” I never believed that would happen. I am hopeful, nevertheless, that they would at least be willing to support Beall and the children. Feel free to correct me on this point as well, Ed, but my understanding is that Doug did a masterful job of sabotaging Beall’s relationship with her family (parental alienation). I hope that Beall can break free from Doug’s mind control and become her own person. As she does she’ll likely be able to patch things up with her folks.

        • Jen Says:

          TW, I thought one of Doug’s major premises was to honor your parents. If he alienated Beall from her own parents like that, wouldn’t that be extremely hypocritical of him?

      • Ed Says:

        I beg your pardon, TW. With respect to your remark, “you’ve made your point”–I only/simply meant to respond to Jen’s request that I explain. I also misunderstood your comment about “fathers of betrayed daughters” not understanding your meaning. I do now. Thanks and I’m sorry for any confusion. You are very correct about the alienation. Absolutely! And sadly. Beall’s mother and father never lived in Virginia. In fact, the last time they were in Virginia with anything even related to Doug Phillips was nearly 25 years ago. Apologize for posting this after Jen’s remark but I don’t seem to have the ability to “Reply” to your comment. I share your hopes, TW. Grace and peace. Ed

        • Jen Says:

          Ed, I am truly sorry to hear about Doug not honoring Beall’s parents. What confusion that must cause the children. I pray that Beall would use this situation to bring reconciliation in her own family, if at all possible. It sounds like you must know them well. Thank you for sharing with us.

      • Ed Says:

        Jen to your question about hypocrisy on the alienation of Beall’s parents. I can tell you yes and oh my goodness yes.

      • T.W. Eston Says:

        Ed, I beg your pardon, sir. It is I who owe you an apology. I’ve been putting in too many hours and hadn’t had my morning coffee yet. I failed to see that you were actually responding to Jen, not challenging me. I appreciate your participation here.

      • Anna Kelly Says:

        If Beall has been estranged from her parents all these years, this must be an incredibly difficult time for her. I hope she has some kind of support network, OUTSIDE of Vision Forum! Jen or Mr. T. W., do either of you know if she has any kind of a good support network? With all you know about the cult, Beall is in an incredibly vulnerable place. She’s stuck! I hope she’s getting the help she needs. Someone needs to help her. Does she have other siblings she’s in contact with?

  16. Beth Says:

    A picture is making its internet rounds of DP, Esq. speaking to a decent sized group at a small ampatheater setting during the Greece trip. This does not square with TW’s assertion that DP gave up these duties. He may have surrendered some speaking duties, however, proof exists that he didn’t surrender all responsibilities in that regard.

    • Anna Kelly Says:

      Regarding the picture, here is a link to that photo:

      According to the Vision Forum Blog, here is what they said about the tour and who would be speaking:

      The tour will be 9–10 days beginning in Istanbul, Turkey and ending in Athens. Your teachers will be Dr. Joe Morecraft, Bill Potter, and myself.

      • Lynne Says:

        Whoa….I know one of the people in that picture. I wasn’t sure if they were still wrapped up in this Doug Philips stuff or not. Guess they are.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      Beth, I’ve seen the picture too, and I saw it long before writing this story. It in no way negates what I’ve said. Anyone who knows Doug Phillips knows he’s an attention whore. His Clarification Of Resignation is a classic example of that. Even when publicly shamed and disgraced he can’t resist the temptation to come back and make a second appearance.

      Doug was not on the roster of conference speakers in Greece, although it was announced in advance that he would be. That didn’t prevent him from grabbing a microphone at a few select stops along the way to play the part of tour guide. The buzz at the Ancient Greek Tour was that Doug was not speaking and that he wasn’t on the speakers list. No one had ever seen that before and there was considerable speculation about it. Dr. Morecraft initially didn’t press the matter with Doug, but ultimately too many people were asking too many questions because, as everyone knows who knows anything about Doug Phillips, he would never be able to resist being a conference speaker if the opportunity were afforded him. He’s just not capable of keeping his mouth shut. This was, after all, a Vision Forum conference, so it made no sense to anyone that he wasn’t a conference speaker there.

      With so many people taking notice of that, and pressing the matter, it was just a matter of time before it leaked out that Doug had been dismissed as Teaching Elder at BCA in February. Once that slipped out it was just a matter of time before it leaked the reasons behind that.

      Speaking of pictures, where are the Ancient Greece Tour pictures? In all the years that Vision Forum has conducted tours there’s never been an case where the tour hasn’t been memorialized in loads of still photos and videos that soon find their way to the VFM web site and elsewhere. The real story here, Beth, isn’t that a tourist on the tour snapped a photo of Doug Phillips with a microphone in his hand. The real story is that any photos of the Ancient Greece Tour are so hard to come across at all. It seems to me you’ve focused on entirely the wrong issue.

      • notsurprised Says:

        it has always been more about what you DON’T see over what you DO see……..TW……..going back and looking at VF, Doug’s social media etc, you can tell alot of things.

      • Beth Says:

        TW Eston, thanks for the prompt reply. That makes more sense.

        Going back to the picture in question, it is interesting that Joe and Becky Morecraft are pictured (far upper right, Becky in the white hat, Joe in the blue shirt) with their backs turned to the speaker. That speaks volumes.

      • FormerDPfan Says:

        “Anyone who knows Doug Phillips knows he’s an attention whore.”

        Have you ever watched the Vision Forum “Amazon” video?
        There you are in the middle of one of the most beautiful places on earth, and instead of the camera panning and taking in the folra and fauna, and interesting people – there are interminably long parts of the video where the camera is focused on DP as he preaches sermons to his crew somewhere in the jungle. It’s bizarre.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    $5,700 per person???
    Nice digs on a boat for a “minister” and his family…

    • Jen Says:

      Anonymous, apparently you don’t know Doug. 🙂 Welcome to my blog! Please choose any name other than “Anonymous” or “Anon” when commenting here. It helps keep the confusion down as to who is who. Thanks!

  18. Donald Says:

    Perhaps I missed it somewhere in the OP. What or where is the source that announces the closing of As much as I’d like to think this is the case I’d prefer to hear it from a credible source. Link, or it didn’t happen.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      Sources? Insiders.

      Credible source? If not us then just who might that be? Doug Phillips, the 100% shareholder/owner of VFI? Do you really think he’s about to go public with this kind of news? Especially at this time of year when he needs to be focused on clearing out remaining inventory?

      “Link, or it didn’t happen.” That’s your prerogative to disbelieve this story, and our inside sources, but you’d be doing so without any logical basis for it. What exactly are Doug’s options now? He’s being evicted from his home that is owned by VFM, by the VFM board of directors (Scott Brown, Jim Zess, Don Hart). VFM also owns the Vision Forum office building/warehouse. We’re still waiting for confirmation that the VFM board has evicted VFI from its offices for which, as far as we can determine from the tax records, VFI has never paid any rent to VFM and which, if VFI were to have complied with the tax code, it would have had to do. No one gets to occupy a separate legal entity’s property rent free.

      For legal and tax purposes it appears that Doug has operated VFM and VFI as if they are one and the same legal entity, when they are supposed to be completely separate legal entities. In legal parlance this is called “a sham.” If and when the IRS, and perhaps the Texas Dept. of Revenue audits Doug and VFI, they’re likely to calculate all the years of VFI’s free rent at fair market rental value (likely around $7,500/mo) and attribute that as ordinary income to VFI, with civil fines, penalties, and interest. [note to Jen: as a certified tax preparer, your input on this is welcome]. The VFM board is likely to be accused of being complicit in a sham and may be examined themselves. This could prove especially interesting for board member Don Hart, who is an attorney and would have, and should have, known better. Attorneys are usually subject to a higher level of scrutiny by the tax authorities. As attorneys, Don Hart and Doug Phillips could both be subject to rather serious sanctions that extend beyond merely civil penalties.

      VFI’s eviction is fairly certain to have already happened. If VFI hasn’t receieved an eviction notice already, it most certainly will happen very soon. In most states a tenant (VFI) that occupies a building under a lease contract with the landlord (VFM) is a “Tenant at Will” and the tenant can be evicted with 30 day notice, unless the lease contract states otherwise. But in this case, since it’s likely all been operated as a sham, there probably isn’t a lease contract at all. If the VFM board wanted to be nasty about it they might be able to legally evict VFI with no advanced notice at all.

      Given all these circumstances, is it likely Doug will relocate VFI when it’s already swirling down the toilet financially? Probably not.

      Anticipating your next question: Names of our sources? Those won’t be provided here or anywhere else. We never divulge our sources unless they want to be divulged.

      • DesiringToDiscern Says:

        Something keeps popping into my thoughts. When DP made his resignation official last October, His son was on a *trip* out of the country. Many such trips have occurred in recent times. Are foreign investments/bank accounts a possibility ? Did Joshua ever get back to the US? It is sad, to us, how Joshua’s expressions have changed lately. He looks older than just 20 yrs old….and even stern/angry. So sad from how he looked as a child. (Just thoughts that have been stirring for a long while)

      • T.W. Eston Says:

        “His son was on a *trip* out of the country. Many such trips have occurred in recent times. Are foreign investments/bank accounts a possibility ?” An excellent question. Let’s hope for Josh’s sake that his father didn’t get him, or Beall, or anybody else, involved in any such thing. If it happened chances are it wasn’t done in a legal manner.

        In the article I alleged that, “most if not all of the liquid assets have already been secreted away.” Let me stipulate that there’s nothing illegal about protecting your assets, provided they really and legally are your assets (i.e. you’re not using a 501c3 ministry and a for-profit corporation as your personal piggybanks). There also wouldn’t be anything inherently immoral or illegal with moving your assets outside the country into offshore banks, brokerage accounts, annuities, etc., provided you do it legally. To do it legally, however, you have to report it to the IRS, which could defeat one of the most probable reasons why someone like Doug would hide assets offshore in the first place. If it’s shown that Doug has concealed assets illegally, he’ll be facing some very serious sanctions. That’s his problem to face. I only hope he’ll face it alone. My concern here is that he might not just be facing it alone.

        The much bigger concern would be for anyone who may have aided and abetted Doug to conceal assets illegally. They may later plead a defense that they were members of a mind control Patriarchy cult, or that as a Bible believing submissive wife, or a Bible believing honor your father son, they had no choice but to obey. In the eyes of the law it makes for a poor defense. A better defense might be “Innocent by reason of insanity.”

        Let me now illustrate the onerous consequences that come of blind obedience, dressed up as “biblical submission,” to a misguided husband, the case of Kent Hovind: When Kent Hovind was convicted of tax fraud, what most people failed to recognize as the biggest element of the case, and the easiest element to prove, was “currency structuring,” or what most people call money laundering. Most of the money laundering wasn’t done directly by Kent. He instructed his wife Jo, who was in charge of the ministry’s books and payroll, to write checks to “Cash”, each just below the cash transaction reporting (CTR) requirement of $10,000, and cash them at their bank. This occurred sometimes several times per week. Jo cashed over 200 hundred checks in four years totaling over $1.5 million. There’s nothing illegal about cashing checks, but when you “structure” the transactions to evade the bank’s reporting requirements you can be convicted of currency structuring. The penalties can be harsh.

        Kent Hovind was sentenced in 2007 to 10 years in the federal lockup. Since being convicted he’s been moved at least 10 times and is currently incarcerated at Berlin Federal Correctional Facility. Being complicit, Jo Hovind received a similar sentence. The judge mercifully later reduced Jo’s sentence to one year. At her sentencing hearing Jo pleaded that she didn’t really know anything and that, as a bible-believing wife, she was obligated to obey her husband. Though showing great mercy, the judge still put her away for a year to send a message that the “Biblically-submissive Wife Defense” won’t pass the test.

        I wish I had the confidence to say that Doug’s “Women and children first” philosophy would prevent him from using his own family members as “mules” for illicit deeds. I’d really like to be able to say that.

      • DesiringToDiscern Says:

        Another thought (probably unrelated) the Chancey’s are out of the US too…. then there is the Botkin element and New Zealand goings-on. No, couldn’t be any connection …right ? (sigh)

      • notsurprised Says:

        Another thought (probably unrelated) the Chancey’s are out of the US too…. then there is the Botkin element and New Zealand goings-on. No, couldn’t be any connection …right ?

        The Chanceys work along with Brad Phillips in Africa. I say “good riddance” to them not being in the USA and glad they are gone. They did some huge damage here. I am not sure about the whole Botkin thing but knew there was a connection to NZ but didn’ t know what.

      • DesiringToDiscern Says:

        Maybe pertinent…or not. After checking out the Botkin so-called apology this evening (from a Fpost by Voddie Ministries), I went to the NCFIC site and saw another page on NZ (that may or may not link to the Botkin business in New Zealand) but the tour to NZ video is removed. as are photos or info…if there were photos. Just weird. Lots of photos seem to be missing from the NCFI site in fact.

    • Jen Says:

      In addition to TW’s excellent answer, please be sure to stop by Vision Forum, Inc. at 4719 Blanco Rd. San Antonio, TX 78212 on January 1st and then let us know whether or not it “happened.” We would love to hear back from you then!

  19. Donald Says:

    I willingly and publicly admit that I fail to equate verbosity with quality so, although I appreciate “T.W.E”‘s reply, the facts as they stand now are that there is no reliable *public* source available that would validate the headline “Vision Forum Inc. to Permanently Close December 31”? I don’t want private sources, see. I want public sources.

    Additionally, I do not live anywhere near Texas and I did not make any claims one way or the other about VF or DP so I don’t feel it necessary to “stop by” and validate anything. Not my job.

    Synonyms abound for these tactics that you’re employing but I’ll refrain from typing out what to most everyone else is obvious.

    That being said, I’ll now reiterate: As much as I’d like to think this is the case [that will be shuttering it’s doors] I’d prefer to hear it from a credible source. Your lack of objectivity and the public giddiness by which you rail against DP and VF disqualifies you from consideration as a credible source, as difficult as that might be for your fragile ego to embrace. Yes, the mechanisms of ego defense put in to play with your reply are blatantly obvious as well.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      Donald, I expressly deny your charge of “public giddiness by which you rail against DP and VF”. Not so. I am hardly pleased or giddy by any of this.

      If by “verbosity” you mean that I’m wordy, I freely admit to this. It’s one of my shortcomings. This may annoy some of the readers. For folks like yourself who are annoyed I can only recommend that you look elsewhere for the answers you seek. Our stats, and the numerous positive comments, however, clearly indicate that many people do appreciate that I provide considerable detail to stories like this one, as well as to my comments.

      The takeaway? It’s impossible to please everyone.

    • Jen Says:

      Donald, someone has to be the first to state things publicly. Under normal circumstances, the owner of the business would be the one to announce publicly that he is closing up shop, but these are far from normal circumstances. And since there may be considerable unfinished business between Doug Phillips and/or Vision Forum vs. any number of organizations/individuals, we felt it our moral obligation to warn those who may be in the dark about this and would welcome the “heads up.” If someone owed you a lot of money and was getting ready to skip town and disappear, wouldn’t you want to know? Many would.

      I experienced this the first time I told my story as well. Many had all sorts of negative things to say about me and my blog then. Now, many of those same folks are thanking me for warning people in the first place. The warning was out there all along. People were free to take heed, or not. Same now. People are free to take heed, or not. But we take our public responsibility very seriously, even if you think someone else should have announced this first.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      Donald, I’ve deleted your last three comments/harangues (edit: six). Jen maintains a liberal comment policy here, but in my view, you’ve crossed the line. I’m fine with criticism, as long as it’s civil and constructive. Your future comments will be moderated. If you have anything in the way of constructive criticism to offer, feel free to offer it. Deny it all you want but you clearly are annoyed and, no, that’s not projection, nor do I take the least offense by it. I get annoyed by a great deal of what I read on blogs, and I’m honest enough to admit that to myself and any blogger who posts things that annoy me, while at the same time I still do my best to keep my comments civil and constructive. You, sir, have failed to do so yourself.

      Lastly, although I thought my original response should have sufficiently answered your question, it obviously didn’t answer it to your satisfaction. So I’ll try again: Neither Doug Phillips nor Vision Forum Inc. have distributed a press release announcing the imminent closing of Vision Forum Inc. Don’t look for one either. It’s unlikely to happen unless Doug finds a way to do so for some advantageous marketing purpose.

      • Sarah Says:

        I think maybe there is just frustration that there is still no official statements from any insiders. There sadly is just nobody talking public.

      • notsurprised Says:

        yes Sarah it IS frustrating but because it’s not that widely known outside of THE circle yet, they aren’t willing to talk about it publicly for fear of persecution from those inside the circle. If you are associated with the circle, you will know what I mean. You are always looking over your shoulders and behind your back. I hope that changes soon though.

        • Andrew Says:

          Amen! I was never in the “inner circle,” but my business was threatened by them. I held out & did not allow them to steal it, but it was at a huge cost. I still do not feel comfortable revealing my true identity.

  20. Donald Says:

    Also, although the VF domain expires in February of next year I wouldn’t bet on it becoming available any time soon afterwards. It takes little more than pocket change to renew, which is exactly what I’d do if I were DP. The alternative would be quite distasteful.

  21. scott Says:

    I know for a fact that several people contacted the Criminal enforcement Division of the IRS in writing to express some of the same concerns mentioned in this thread. I predict that before all this is over Doug will be filing some amended returns and paying substantial penalties (at a minimum). The vision forum board will figure out how to transfer ministry assets to the cause of their patriarchal parade, probably by funding expansion of Scott Brown’s outfit in North Carolina. He is obviously already trying to step it up. Very easy for a 501C3 to transfer funds through sponsorships, joint ventures and outright donations to another 501c3. Regardless of what happen to THE DOUG, the movement will march on further dividing God’s people, creating a special ELITE category of believer (only in their minds) and doing unfathomable damage to families. There will be more victims. Mainly the children of folks that get sucked into these dysfunctional groups.

    • Teresa Says:

      I have never followed this DP but I know people in my church that do, to the letter.

      Scott you said… the movement will march on further dividing God’s people, creating a special ELITE category of believer (only in their minds) and doing unfathomable damage to families.

      When you said that Scott, it made me think of this. This sounds just like what I came out of 5 to 6 years ago. I came out of the Word of Faith/New Apostolic Reformation movement. Similarities, different teachings. different theology, but yet the same deception, if that makes since.

      When God’s word and what Christ did on the Cross is not enough or is not sufficient for us we will go looking for more, more, more, of something and there is not but one alternative, “DECEPTION”

      Thank you Jen and T.W. Eston for keeping us updated.

    • DT Says:

      Thank you all for your hard work in presenting facts to an unknowing public and, specifically, the homeschooling community. I checked out the website for NCFIC, i.e., Scott Brown’s outfit in NC, and under the “About” tab, Doug Phillips name is still there, being invoked as a motivating factor in these other men’s lives. What a tangled mess – the Board of VF is the exact same group at NCFIC; it just appears they’ve removed Mr. Phillip’s name/bio from the list, but they forgot to remove it from the others’ narratives.

      • Jen Says:

        DT, yes, NCFIC is actually a branch off of Vision Forum Ministries. They are all the same people. I saw that they worship Doug Phillips even in their own bios. It will take a LONG time to clean up their respective websites now, since Doug Phillips permeated everything they did.

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          Jen, I suppose I’ve been quite naive regarding the patriarchy movement as my focus has been on the political arena, which has it’s own demons, so to speak. I feel as though I need to “reevalute my promotion of some “ministries” and their leaders. I’ve got some sorting out to do myself, but the grace you’ve shown me here has helped open my eyes to where I was being unbiblical in some of my thinking. Thanks and may the good Lord bless you, my sister in Christ! 🙂

        • Jen Says:

          Angela, I remember when I first learned some “dirt” about a ministry leader I held in high esteem. It was difficult to handle. In the years since, I have learned to realize that while all people are still people, that some are outright abusive while others are a bit naive about how their actions affect others. For some, this taints the message, and for others, the message remains true even if the person promoting it is less than the idol others make them out to be. Discernment is highly prized!

          I am sorry that I was the one to pull the rug out from under some of that thinking for you, Angela, but I hope you will be glad in the end that you learned to see through some tactics. The same tactics are used in both politics and religion, so it should prove to be quite valuable for you.

          I’m glad you came along here!

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          My “awakening” has been slowly going on for years. I really feel like I was sidetracked from political activism from my involvement with the Constitution Party and men I looked up to who were followers of Doug Phillips. So, in an indirect way, DP had an impact on my life. This is not to say I’m not at fault for going along with it – just saying I’m glad the good Lord lifted from the rut I was in and I’ll do my best to help others get back on the right track. 🙂

  22. Patriarchy Never Sleeps « Scarlet Letters Says:

    […] Wednesday (11/27/13), T. W. Eston over at Jen’s Gems broke the news that Vision Forum, Inc., the for-profit half of Doug Phillips’ now-crumbling empire, is slated to […]

  23. Nita Says:

    I happened across your blog and was interested in the statement that Vision Forum was closing. Your post gave a few facts, but was mostly slanderous conjecture. I then looked at your home page and was surprised to see Col 4:6 quoted in the upper right hand corner, Where is the grace, seasoned with salt? Proverbs 24:17-18 says,”Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.” How much more as the body of Christ should we pray for true repentance and God’s purifying and sanctifying work with a heart of sorrow at the calamity to all involved.

    • Angela Wittman Says:

      Dear Nita, I can relate to your comment as my first reaction was similar. There is no rejoicing from the blog owner or in any of the comments that I’ve read here. Exposing corruption within the body of Christ is something we must all do. DP and VF are public entities and as far as i know, Jen and TW are doing their Christian duty in a responsible manner; they are following good rules of journalism, IMO. I don’t think anyone here likes doing this – I certainly don’t, but if we really have love for others, we will warn them of danger.

      • Jen Says:

        Angela, thank you. I wish all my readers would seriously question and research like you did before coming to conclusions. Thank you for working alongside us in warning others so that they have the information necessary to make wise decisions.

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          Dear Jen, I praise God for those who have betrayed my trust in the past as it has kept my mind and heart open to your plight regarding DP. I know his type too well to discount what you and TW are bringing to light.
          I pray the good Lord will let me be of help to you and others involved in this matter.

  24. Breaking -Vision Forum’s For-Profit Arm to Close on Dec 31? | The Wartburg Watch 2013 Says:

    […] the whole enterprise close? Incredible story over at Jen's Gems link. Typical nonsense. Doug Phillips, the great leader of "gospel" patriarchy leaves […]

  25. OnlyJesus Says:

    Okay, I just told the kids about Doug’s “fall.” Why would I wait so long? Well, my daughter’s response shows why. She is 13, but still very naive. This was her response.
    “I thought he was a Christian. He always talks about the Bible and what about his family-they all look like Christians. But why would someone pretend to be a Christian?”
    I then proceeded to tell her that he is probably what the Bible calls a “wolf in sheeps clothing” that uses God and the Bible for their own gain. She was devastated. She thought for awhile and then said something extaordinarily funny to me. “It’s a good thing we ordered the Roman swords LAST year. I’m taking the dog for a walk.”
    While I was reluctant to crush her innocence, I realized I have kept them unaware of evil within the church.

  26. oinkjonesjoetaylor Says:

    Mr. Eston, does Doug’s resignation have anything to do with the Allosaur being taken from Pete DeRosa and given to AiG, Ken Ham?

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      It might have something to do with it, although at this juncture I wouldn’t know just how much of a factor that might have been.

      Doug Phillips’ forced resignation is the result of a slow motion derailment. It’s a veritable trainload of manure that had been rumbling, dangerously overloaded, down the tracks of self-destruction. The Phillips Southern Railway took a corner too fast, derailed, and the manure is now pouring out in slow motion.

      There’s so much tumbling out — so many people that have been abused by this man, it’s difficult to even know which stories to tell. Joe, if you’re so inclined, feel free to email me with any damning particulars you might have on the allosaur.

  27. TnT Says:

    I have numerous friends who are employed by VFI and have been told they will no longer have a job as of Dec. 31st, 2013. Tis true indeed.

  28. maureen Says:

    Each State has a WARN (worker adjustment and retaining notification) system. Company’s are supposed to report mass layoffs. I looked at Texas and didn’t see VC. If they employ over 100 full time employees employees they are supposed to report. I didn’t see that VF would be exempt unless the #of employees provide it. Just because they aren’t on the list doesn’t mean they aren’t closing. I am just wondering if they employ over 100 and if they will follow this rule….

  29. Johnny Says:

    Once again, I must remind folks to be careful about speculation. This blog can do a lot of good, but folks should stop speculating where they don’t really know the truth; case in point, this statement above: “as far as we can determine from the tax records, VFI has never paid any rent to VFM and which, if VFI were to have complied with the tax code, it would have had to do. No one gets to occupy a separate legal entity’s property rent free.”

    Well, sorry to disappoint you, but VFI has paid rent to VFM all along. No, I have not seen the records, but I have access to an inside source that told me that the rent payments were being made all along. Also, I would like to point out that all of the speculation about possible foreign investments, etc. is counterproductive in my opinion, and when the truth comes out, it will not bode well that there was so much speculation that was incorrect. Please stick to the things you are certain, or nearly certain, are true.

    I may be wrong, but it is possible that “Doug the spender” is actually near broke personally. Anyone that knows Doug knows that he is not cost-conscience, doesn’t know how to budget, and spends foolishly. Knowing this, it is conceivable to me that he is broke.

    • Jen Says:

      Johnny, you are correct that a small amount of rent was being paid, but certainly not anywhere near fair market value.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      Johnny, re: speculation, so noted. This is why I preface speculative statements with adjectives like: perhaps, maybe, it could be, theoretically, etc. I only make statements of fact when it’s been well corroborated.

      re: VFI paying rent to VFM, please show us the receipt of rental income on VFM’s tax returns. All we can account for is that Doug was paying VFM rent on the house he was occupying, and at considerably less than fair market value. I’m not a tax preparer, but I do review any ministry’s tax returns prior to making any contributions. I’ve learned the hard way that many ministries squander donations. Reviewing a tax return is one of several methods to at least get some indication of an organization’s fiscal responsibility (I haven’t found reliance on ECFA to be any guarantee, however).

      I’ve learned a few things about red flags, and VFM’s returns have them. The rental income is one of them. Jen is a certified tax preparer and she too sees nothing indicating the receipt of rental income on the office building. If VFI were paying it surely it would be on VFM’s returns, would it not? If it’s not there then that’s just another major problem that will have to be dealt with. This isn’t to say, however, that a red flag is always an obvious fraud. It’s merely to say it’s something that needs to be looked into.

      Please also review another comment I posted that relates directly to this.

      • Jen Says:

        On Vision Forum’s Form 990, it does show a small amount of rent collected. Vision Forum Ministries owns two buildings: the warehouse/office that houses Vision Forum (both ministry and business), and Doug’s house. Since Doug has previously stated that he pays rent for his home to VFI, the very small amount of rent collected could conceivably be split between the two buildings. Even if it was just for one of the buildings, it would be FAR from fair market value. Considering it must cover both buildings, it is pitifully small.

        Here are the numbers. Doug’s house has a current tax appraisal value of $681,900. Fair market rent for that particular home would be at least $5000 per month. The Vision Forum land/building was appraised at $848,600 in 2011. If we figure that Vision Forum, Inc. uses about 80% of the 28,634 square feet of the building, and that the warehouse uses 90% of that, and the retail store uses 10%, if we were to assess 2011 commercial rates for the warehouse portion and separate rents for the retail store portion, fair market value commercial rent for that particular property should be approximately $14,400 a month. Between the two properties, Vision Forum Ministries should have received approximately $232,832 in annual rents received. In reality, only $18,452 was collected by VFM between the two properties, leaving an annual shortfall of $214,380. Doesn’t seem like fair market value to me.

  30. Scott Says:

    Johnny, rent payments from Vision Forum Inc to Vision Forum Ministeries would be listed on their informational tax return, which are a public record and can easily be accessed. Sounds like the above poster has done a bit more research than you realize, and is not accepted just what he was told by someone claiming to “know”.

    Sorry but Unless you have seen the tax return, you are just speculating yourself.

    That being said, I know for a fact ( first hand knowledge ) that Vision Forum Inc is under investigation and as you said ” it will all come out”. Well at least enough for Doug Philips to be finished, down for the count as a failed business man and Patriarchal band leader. His parade is over, he is exposed and the movement is damaged beyond repair. Doug and his cult are now a laughing stock. Sure some of his followers are hurt , but they have responsibility for that as well. If you lead your family into a sink hole of looney, christian elitist wannabes , well what would you expect.

  31. Dawn Says:

    I have perused the Vision Forum website many times over the past few years and have bought a few things here and there. And today I noticed that the items for sale seem to be drastically less than in the past. This seems to validate the information contained in this blog post in my opinion

  32. ColleenInWis Says:

    scott, on 11/28 11:14 pm, said, “Regardless of what happen to THE DOUG, the movement will march on further dividing God’s people, creating a special ELITE category of believer (only in their minds) and doing unfathomable damage to families. There will be more victims. Mainly the children of folks that get sucked into these dysfunctional groups.”

    On 11/29 4:25 pm, Scott said, “His parade is over, he is exposed and the movement is damaged beyond repair. Doug and his cult are now a laughing stock.” Are there 2 different posters using the name Scott?

    Whether the movement marches on causing further damage or is crippled beyond repair in the months to come depends a large part on our prayers and on our educating others about the VF message. I just received an email from a local homeschool support group letting us all know about VF huge Black Friday sale. I’m sorting through how to respond to the acquaintance who sent it…

    • OnlyJesus Says:

      Give them a link to this blog. I wouldn’t have known all this if it weren’t for the blog. Good job guys!!!!

    • Jen Says:

      Colleen, it is entirely possible that many homeschoolers are still in the dark about what is happening.

      Thank you, OnlyJesus, for recommending that she send them here. We are working extremely hard to present the facts and the truth. People deserve to know the truth.

  33. zooey111 Says:

    “Sociopaths define friendship on strategic terms — on what they can get out of it — how they can use people. Once your usefulness is used up, you’re discarded.”
    Precisely. I have for quite some time believed that the best way to describe DP was to call him a sociopath. Tragically, a lot of folks are being hurt, now that the (would-be) “emperor” has been caught with no clothes…..Prayers for those who are hurting, and many, many thanks to those who continue to let the rest of us know what is happening in the VF debacle.

  34. noturniptruck Says:

    “Sociopaths define friendship on strategic terms — on what they can get out of it — how they can use people. Once your usefulness is used up, you’re discarded.”

    Watching Star Wars, I am reminded that Sociopaths also deal in absolutes (and so does Siths)……..I see a common thread here :/

  35. A discerning look at Biblical Patriarchy and those who abuse it | For Christ's Crown & Covenant! Says:

    […] Vision Forum Inc. to Permanently Close December 31 ( […]

  36. A discerning look at Biblical Patriarchy and those who abuse it | Christian Liberty News Says:

    […] Vision Forum Inc. to Permanently Close December 31 ( […]

  37. More on Doug Phillips and Vision Forum | A Yewnique Life Says:

    […] Vision Forum, Inc. to Permanently Close December 31. […]

  38. mike race Says:

    In an email my wife received this morning from Vision Forum it stated this near the bottom:
    “By placing an order you will be participating in our inventory liquidation sale. This means great prices for you as we liquidate our entire remaining inventory. Due to the nature of this sale, all purchases are final and returns will no longer be accepted. This is your last opportunity to buy our books, CDs, DVDs, and toys for you and your family, so get them before they’re gone!”

    • Jen Says:

      Mike, it appears that Doug Phillips is now going public with Vision Forum’s closure as well. Thank you for yet another confirmation.

      • mike race Says:

        Jen, I had my wife forward the email to TW as there were comments on another blog that there is still no verifiable proof of VFI closing. She tried to find the information on the VF blog, but that part doesn’t show in their blog post.

      • Sarah Says:

        @ Jen, this is what comes up on Vision Forum at checkout(no I didn’t buy anything) :

        Liquidation of All Inventory
        All Sales Are Final

        Dear Friends,

        By placing this order, you are participating in our inventory liquidation sale. This means great prices for you as we liquidate our entire remaining inventory. Due to the nature of this sale, all purchases are final and returns will no longer be accepted. This is your last opportunity to buy our books, CDs, DVDs and toys for you and your family, so get them before they’re gone! Please note: As we sell out of products, we may discover slight stock count discrepancies. If this occurs, we’ll inform you and adjust your order total accordingly.

        We thank you for the privilege of serving you and hope the resources you’ve received from us will bless you and your family for many years to come.


        Your Friends at Vision Forum

    • DesiringToDiscern Says:

      Bottom of email …”By placing an order you will be participating in our inventory liquidation sale. This means great prices for you as we liquidate our entire remaining inventory. Due to the nature of this sale, all purchases are final and returns will no longer be accepted. This is your last opportunity to buy our books, CDs, DVDs, and toys for you and your family, so get them before they’re gone!”

  39. TnT Says:

    Will someone please comment on Peter’s FB page and say something other than the sappy support he’s been receiving? He needs to be to called out for what he knew (and chose not to know) during the many, many years he was DP’s personal assistant. If I were more articulate and felt I had even a small voice, I would.

    • Angela Wittman Says:

      I’m not on FB – but just to read what he’s saying might be worth the effort to set up an account. 🙂

    • Sarah Pressler Says:

      You can’t post a message on his FB wall unless you are “friends” — maybe if you follow him. Frankly, he’s been as duped by everyone else in Doug’s “inner circle” and would think that any “calling out” would be perceived as an attack. For 1/3rd of his life he parroted a manipulator. He’s got quite a walk to go himself before the shackles fall off..

      • Angela Wittman Says:

        I agree with Sarah… I was going to comment as he accepted my friend request, but once I began reading his recent posts I felt as though I was witnessing a funeral. I could only think to offer my condolences, so I decided to say nothing.

        • Sarah Pressler Says:

          I think saying nothing to Peter Bradrick is probably the best. He’s dealing with the shock of the shock/awe moment experienced when reality slapped him across the face. He needs time right now – the fact that he’s speaking out AT ALL = hope for him and his family. I know this sting – it hurts. Betrayal is an awful awful feeling / situation to deal with. I do agree with Jen, he’s responsible for his own actions, but I don’t think he’s going to be able to see them for quite a while.

        • Jen Says:

          Angela, I think it is good to let Peter have some space right now. It was sad to see how many people merely want to sweep this under the rug and pretend like it is a small private sin that doesn’t really necessitate the public court. Those who choose to lead a pubic life will be scrutinized publicly. Those who choose to lead a hypocritical public life will be judged by the same standards that they have judged others. This includes both Doug and Peter, but let’s give Peter some space to figure it out for himself first.

      • DaMom Says:

        I’m not replying directly to you Sarah…there wasn’t a “reply” button left for the whole conversation, but, what you say is very wise. There’s an old saying that goes, “you don’t kick a man when he’s down.”
        This poor kid has been kicked to the side and if anyone shames him now it may have the opposite effect people are hoping for. He’s very much needed to help tell the truth of this whole debacle.

        • Sarah Pressler Says:

          He needs to FEEL the love of the Body right now.

          But – people like Stacy McDonald – call her out all you want! She’s earned it! Lol

        • DaMom Says:

          I caught onto her “mamason” attitude a long time ago. (She rules the roost and wears the from the Foxy Bubbles post).

        • Sarah Pressler Says:

          Most of those women do.

        • DesiringToDiscern Says:

          Please try and walk in love here. A LOT of people have been used/deceived. Stacy just made a post on Peter Bradrick’s FB wall. She is waking up…. perhaps discovering that she and her husband were also used. Speaking the truth in love is biblical. Recovery from all of this will be a hard road, extricating truth from the lies. Taking pot shots accomplishes nothing good. All of us here have made errors in judgement at some point in our lives. Right?

        • Sarah Pressler Says:

          I’ve never abused anyone. Stacy has hurt as many people as Doug has. Sorry if taking liberty with laughing at her downward fall offends you. She is a gossip and a divider of people. She lives in the middle of conflict, controversy and strife because she is an unhappy woman seeking attention. She needs to deal with reality – and the reality is that she has ridiculed many people because of her pride, arrogance and utter disrespect for anyone whom she determined was beneath her.

          She’s a copy cat with no original thought of her own and I hope she falls hard. Women like her deserve it.

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          Sarah, I fully agree with your assessment of Stacy McDonald. However, I also agree in part with DesiringToDiscern. No one should wish that Stacy “falls hard. Women like her deserve it.” Please tone it down with what sounds a lot like a spirit of vengeance.

          It’s to everyone’s advantage that Stacy, Peter Bradrick, and others distance themselves from Doug Phillips by denouncing him. What they are saying about Doug Phillips is largely true. In doing so I think we all appreciate that it’s likely just CYA on their part. Whatever their motives for now doing so it doesn’t negate that they are finally speaking the truth about Doug Phillips. For the time being we should be encouraging them to do that.

          After they’ve said all they have to say on the subject you can at the right time speak out against them and point out all their own hypocrisies and the harm they have also caused to so many. It’s premature for that now. I confess that I too initially reacted against they’re hypocrisies and I posted a couple of comments that I now regret.

          Let’s all hope that Stacy, Peter, and any other former promoters and enablers of Doug come to their senses and offer genuine public confessions and take steps consistent with repentance by making restitution toward all they have harmed. That may take a few weeks before they’re able to do that. Hopefully by now they know what a sham Doug Phillips’ alleged “repentance” was and they’ve figured out what repentance is supposed to look like.

        • Sarah Pressler Says:

          Yeah – I hear ya. She really causes a really strong response from me. Do. Not. Like. Her. Feel free to delete any of my comments!

      • Jen Says:

        Sarah, I agree. Peter needs some time and space to sort things out for himself right now. I pray that, in the end, he will do the right thing, but the betrayal factor here is incredibly high right now.

  40. Angela Wittman Says:

    I set up an account at FB and will try to get up to speed…

    • Angela Wittman Says:

      I’m pretty much up to speed at FB – I had canceled my account a few years ago due to privacy and other concerns. I read Mr. Bradrick’s recent posts and it sounds like he experienced a side of Doug Phillips that some of you have also witnessed firsthand. It’s good the truth is coming out and folks eyes are being opened, but it sure isn’t an easy lesson to learn. 😦 Anyway, if any of y’all would like to network through FB, just send me a “friend request.” Thank you and may the good Lord bless and keep you all in His perfect peace.

      • OnlyJesus Says:

        I, too, had cancelled my Facebook for security reasons a few years back. Last night I finally gave in and signed up again. That is too funny. I’m glad to hear your story-I was beginning to think I was the only one left without Facebook!

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          It’s kind of like a soap opera – it’s been years and most of the characters are still there! 🙂 Hey, send me a friend request. I’m happy to find a like minded FB friend. 🙂

        • OnlyJesus Says:

          I will. Blessings!

      • notsurprised Says:

        you might want to friend Voddie Baucham ministries as well…….there’s a small little explosion going on there surrounding an apology at

      • DesiringToDiscern Says:

        Stacy posted today on Peter’s wall. She is seeing the truth. It will not be easy for her and her family who thought they were friends of DP. Let’s be gracious. 🙂 and keep all concerned in our prayers that their eyes might be opened.

        • Sarah Pressler Says:

          Stacy isn’t seeing the truth. She’s interjecting herself into someone else’s drama for the sake of personal attention. She deserves nothing more than a good old fashioned shunning. I will not extend grace to Stacy McDonald until Stacy McDonald owns up to the abuse and shaming she has dished out on plenty. Until Stacy owns up for who she really is and tries to repair her spoilt reputation.

  41. Renee Says:

    I and my husband suffered for 12 years with a Doug Phillips twin. God uncovered the embezzlement and finally delivered us , and they are the most dangerous people on earth, their greed amd sensuality effectively cloaked in the volumes of Puritan works breaking their bookshelves and their silver tongues flaunting their puppet brains full of those well read BUT unheeded works.
    So thankful that the truth always eventually comes out in the light.
    Hope he will truly be given repentance and move to obscurity, and live out his days in quiet humble service. May he never have the audacity to seek a public audience again. This is beyond sad, it’s deplorable, and has effected the lives of this poor young woman he so abused, his wife and children and all family and close friends for the duration of time. My heart breaks for the victims.

    • Jen Says:

      Renee, I am so sorry that you have experienced something similar. That is always sad.

      Unfortunately, there is more than one victim here. There are literally thousands and thousands of people who have been either directly abused or indirectly impacted negatively, and severely, by Doug Phillips. We are only seeing the beginning of the fallout from this.

  42. Susan Says:

    I see that Stacy McDonald has posted on Bradrick’s fb page and seems to be on a different track now than several days ago, based on her words then and her words now.

    • Sarah Pressler Says:

      That’s because she’s a manipulative deceiver. She’s not seeing the “light” or changing her stance. She’s changing her approach to Peter because she wants to be in his “inner circle” so she can have the gossip first hand. There is NOTHING sincere about Stacy McDonald. Everything she does is to keep herself front and center of any controversy, drama or chaos. She lives for it. She’s a very unhappy woman who is an attention seeking drama queen. That’s the ONLY reason she is conversating with Peter. Some will say, “She seems sincere…” And I will say, “Yeah? Well so did Doug Phillips.”

      She’s not trustworthy.

      Peter should distance himself as far away from all of these people as possible.

      There is nothing – NOTHING – godly about Stacy McDonald.


  43. Scott Says:

    I agree with Sarah and then some on Stacy McDonald . She is a very evil woman. I remember the crap she was posting all over the Internet back when this board first started. She was defending Doug Philips and contributing to the disinformation campaign orchestrated by Little Miss Muffet and her idiot “old Spice of a man” husband. They were actually putting up websites just to attack and defame. They lied repeatedly just to defame a family and defend their little Doug.

    Sarah is 100% right, they deserve a hard fall ( like as in down the stairs of life onto the concrete of reality) . When a man insists on a young woman being uninvited from her best friend’s wedding and publicly discloses confessed sin from 20 years ago in order to defame another, YOU don’t defend him. Stacy, Little Miss Muffet and old Spice man did.

  44. Latoya Says:

    So, Jen and TW, you two are still on track for the bombshell release tomorrow, correct? So far, you two have been pretty accurate i.e. the closing announcement. I don’t care who’s sensibilities are ruffled, many fine folks are looking forward to the revelations. I bet, the stuff we’re going to learn has to do with photographic evidence, or maybe some videos.

  45. NC Says:

    Peter Bradrick speaking about Doug…..

    “When those who champion “women and children first” hide behind smooth words instead of “suffering for the weak”… When the strong take advantage of the weak, and then turn them out like so much garbage… When the strong seize the lifeboats and leave the weak drowning in the icy water… it leaves no choice for men of God other than to rise up and oppose them when they discover the truth. Woe to those that do not.”

    Peter has just validated all Jens work over the years! And look, he posted it on social media, he’s also joined the internet assassin club!
    If Peter does not figure it out real quick that he owes Jen a huge apology I have little hope for him.

  46. NC Says:

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

    God hates visionary dreaming; it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. The man who fashions a visionary ideal of community demands that it be realized by God, by others, and by himself. He enters the community of Christians with his demands, sets up his own law, and judges the brethren and God Himself accordingly. He stands adamant, a living reproach to all others in the circle of brethren. He acts as if he is the creator of the Christian community, as if his dream binds men together. When things do not go his way, he calls the effort a failure. When his ideal picture is destroyed, he sees the community going to smash. So he becomes, first an accuser of his brethren, then an accuser of God, and finally the despairing accuser of himself.

    • Jen Says:

      NC, that is a POWERFUL quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It kind of tears a big hole in Vision Forum, doesn’t it? I might have had a hard time believing it to be true had I not witnessed this exact scenario play out. Thanks.

    • ColleenInWis Says:

      “God hates visionary dreaming…” Hear, hear! Let each family and each local church cast a vision for themselves rather than following some other man’s dreams.

  47. Feeling sad/bad no longer Says:

    This may seem like an inane and off topic comment but these people namely Stacy, Jennie, Doug and the rest had me feeling like a piece of worthless you- know- what all these years. After writing Stacy on her blog a few years ago and receiving a HUMILIATING answer I never read her blog again her words were so scorching. Our family could never afford those trips of Doug’s. I was never able to do the home business thing or take extended speaking trips due to changing my own baby’s diapers,cooking our family’s meals myself, and washing our own laundry on top of homeschooling a half dozen. My husband did not/does not resemble a patriarch (Thank God!). These people took the fun and joy out of my family life. The JOY is returning as I see I am not the only one that sniffed something was/is wrong. Yes, I was initially shocked when I heard the news but no longer. I want to publicaly thank you, Jen, and T.W, for keeping up the “good fight of faith” and the rest of you for your intelligent comments. You all have me thinking. The burdensome guilt that I allowed these people to lay on me is is gone and JOY has returned!

    • Jen Says:

      I am so glad to hear that good things are beginning to come of this! Thank you for a great testimony!

    • parenting now with grace, love, and mercy Says:

      I could not have said this better myself!! For over 10 years, I dealt with the same guilt as I tried to fit into this mold. For 5 of those years, we were in a very small, homeschooling-only church where we were told how to cook, how to dress, how to do laundry, how to wash dishes (hand-washing was MUCH more virtuous than having a dishwasher), how to homeschool, etc. Even though we have been away from that church for several years, I still deal with the voice of the pastor’s wife in my head as I make decisions. In September, I made the very difficult choice to enroll my youngest child in our current, much-loved church’s preschool program. I struggled so much because I kept hearing the lines from the VF-types about the evils of it. Oh, my goodness, I am so thankful that I listened to God’s still small voice instead and accepted His gift of this opportunity for my precious little boy. He was not treated well in the womb by his birth mom and has certain behavior issues with me at home. (God has provided wonderful understanding for us, though, and we are parenting him with extra mercy and grace rather than the VF-type belief system.) Anyway, it’s been one of the best parenting decisions I have EVER made. He loves it and is doing great, and it provides me with 3 hours 2 days per week to focus in total peace on homeschooling my other kids. I have had to come down from my own high horse many times over the years as I have eaten one piece of humble pie after another due to years of pride as I sought and met even a few of the demands of the VF community.

      • Jen Says:

        Parenting, I love to hear the success stories! We can overcome the false teachings of patriarchy, and with each step you take, it will get a little bit easier.

        Washing dishes by hand is more virtuous? Now THAT is a new one to me! I hope you LOVE your dishwasher now!

        • parenting now with grace, love, and mercy Says:

          I never stopped loving it! Nor my washer or dryer or indoor plumbing or electricity or air conditioning or regular heat or garage door opener or hair dryer or highlights in my hair or nail polish or make-up or blue jeans or capris or swimming or so many other things… oh, there’s so much we all could share!

        • Jen Says:

          I’ve noticed that each FIC church has their own unique set of rules. I’m just glad you broke free from that mindset!

  48. Vision Forum Inc. – The ‘For Profit’ VF is Closing! Says:

    […] T.W. Eston of the blog Jen’s Gems is reporting that many people working at the Inc have been given notices that they are losing their jobs.  Others are reporting that if you order from Vision Forum Inc. you’ll receive notice that all sales are final and that an inventory liquidation is ongoing. Emails went out from other sources saying that FVI is having a Black Friday sale. Lots of compelling evidence that the money maker is shutting down as well at Spiritual Sounding Board […]

  49. scott Says:

    Feeling sad/bad no longer: Your post is not off topic at all, it is dead on appropriate and thank you so much for sharing it. One of the ways God has used Jen’s experience/story is to bring healing to others that were tormented by this false, man birthed concept of patriarchal elitism and the vile legalism that engulfs it. Damage has been done to families, even pushed them towards destruction by creating friction within the home. Children have been alienated from their parents and fallen away from God. Some have even denounced their faith and declared themselves unbelievers. When a young person is abused, mistreated or raised around incredible legalism there is going to be consequences.

    In my case it resulted in the suicide of a dear friend and after many years that still brings me much pain. Having read about many of the young people effected by this movement I’m grieved and at the same time very,very remorseful. We as believers should have done a much better job fighting for the disenfranchised and protecting them. We failed our brothers and sisters when we allowed this false teaching to grow into the infection that it is today.

    When Doug left Virginia, plenty of people knew he was a problem. The executive staff of the HSLDA knew he was a liar, as he was well known for embellishing his accomplishments and taking credit for successes that were a team effort. A local pastor here warned people that he was not trustworthy and was ripped to shreds by the homeschooling community. Why is it that otherwise intelligent people fell for this ? Why did we allow him to trot off to Texas and recklessly play cowboy with so many families ? Why wasn’t he exposed sooner ? How do those that actually covered for him justify such actions when they are clearly injurious to the body of Christ.

    • Jen Says:

      Scott, thank you for sharing this with us. First, I am so sorry about your friend. I knew this was bad teaching, but to result in suicide is truly playing with people’s lives. That is horrific, as Doug would say.

      I am always sad to hear of the countless people who have been adversely impacted by Doug Phillips’ teaching. It is comments like yours that keep me going, to make sure that not only does Doug Phillips never lead a wicked ministry again, but also that this patriarchy teaching is exposed for what it truly is. You have truly inspired me today!

      Why wasn’t Doug exposed sooner? Two reasons. Most people are afraid to stand up against someone popular, and we all saw what happened when I told my story the first time, so Doug’s scare tactics were very effective with most people as well. I guess that’s really one reason: FEAR. Christians should not live their lives in fear. Stand up to bullies, even popular ones!

      • Angela Wittman Says:

        Amen! And ladies, please take a look at the heroines of the faith who stood up to bullies and was blessed for doing so. 🙂 Don’t take abuse from anyone. Period.

    • Bridget Says:

      This would be a good question to ask the men at the HSLDA. For all their concern about the government possibly infringing on families’ freedoms, they certainly didn’t seem to mind sending a Christian brother off to reek havoc in the lives of thousands. It makes me wonder about the HSLDA and if there are other times they leave helpess people (maybe children) exposed to harm. How can you trust them if they let Doug go off and deceive other people?

      • Jen Says:

        Bridget, it is often difficult to know when to speak out publicly. I am sure that while Doug had his faults at HSLDA, that they probably weren’t anywhere near the level they are today, and so they had no idea of the “man” he would become. However, a statement from HSLDA would be appropriate today.

      • Number 41 Says:

        “It makes me wonder about the HSLDA and if there are other times they leave helpess people (maybe children) exposed to harm. How can you trust them if they let Doug go off and deceive other people?”

        They use appeal to fear as much as anyone. Also note their terms of service. Paying for your membership does not guarantee they will represent you. However, they will send you their scare-lerts early and often to keep you dependent on that phone call from your front porch as DCS comes-a-knockin’. And also note that they will be happy to use your funds to butt in where they see fit on other potential cases of non-members if it is deemed “important” enough by them.

        It’s why I was a member once, but only for a year. I decided it was best for me to know the law, be involved with my legislators and be my own defense, instead of one HSLDA fella trying to cover multiple states. Since then, I’ve noticed they are many times late to the party, but ride in with all the attention and take credit.

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          Michael Farris is a very presumptuous lawyer/salesman claiming that HSDLA represents all Christian home schoolers. Yet fewer than 5% of Christian home school families in the U.S have ever been HSLDA members. They don’t speak for me, or 95% of other home school families, yet they routinely claim they do, and they routinely lobby congress and state lawmakers for bills that, if Christian home schoolers would read them, would find they may not want at all.

          Mike Farris has a very long history of also scaring Christian home schoolers over Chicken Little scenarios. It’s the typical attorney ploy to raise donations and get new membership to your organization. Fear sells.

          A true founding father of Christian home schooling, and often called “the grandfather of the home school movement”, Dr. Raymond Moore exposed Farris years ago for the fearmongering charlatan and incompetent attorney that he is. I’ve long taken a dim view of Farris, and reading Ray Moore’s white paper years ago confirmed by observations. Farris is a selfish self-seeking man who, while doing some good for the home schooling community, has also caused great harm, all while lining his own pockets.

          Doug Phillips learned some valuable charlatan skills while at HSLDA, and when he left HSLDA he returned the favor by stealing HSLDA’s mail list. It was from that mail list that he was able to start Vision Forum.

        • Jen Says:

          TW, so Doug Phillips founded BCA by breaking the 9th commandment, and founded VF by breaking the 8th commandment, then went on to teach that EVERYONE ELSE should obey all TEN commandments! Makes sense to me!

        • Mary Stephens Says:

          T.W. Eston, this explains something that puzzled me – how did my parents ever start getting the Vision Forum catalog when we weren’t involved with them? I assumed that made Mary Pride “shared” her list, but this would explain it. I don’t know if we were ever members, but I think we got some mailing from HSDLA way back when.

        • Mykl Says:

          Jen, of course you’re right in pointing out hypocrisy but I hope no one thinks that if DP didn’t obey those commandments that we don’t need to.

    • Bob Says:

      Well, me thinks you wrong about Dec 31. I called over there today and they aren’t answering the phones anymore. You try to reach service and you get a message that the phones aren’t accepting calls. Me guessing the end of this week they close!

      • Jen Says:

        Bob, why am I not surprised? After we posted the article that VFI was getting ready to close Dec. 31st, I had the feeling that Doug would close it down a different day just to prove us wrong! All the signs point to a VERY quick “get out of dodge” business closing.

        • Mary Stephens Says:

          Too bad for him he’s already in Texas. Can’t use the “Gone to Texas” plan this time around. Maybe Arizona? Or maybe Puerto Rico where another anomaly that we knew “disappeared” to?

      • DesiringToDiscern Says:

        Hmm..and yet there is another email today…
        Shop Now and Save 70% Off Everything Offer Ends December 20

        This offer is valid only online, may not be applied to past offers, may not be combined with any other offers, and ends at midnight (CST) on December 20, 2013.

        By placing an order you will be participating in our inventory liquidation sale. …..

    • Refugee Says:

      Just out of curiosity, I went to the website this morning. There are no products available, but the catalog can still be downloaded. I didn’t bother to look at the catalog earlier (we were done with VF last year when our family nearly fell apart despite our best efforts to make patriarchy work). However, just now I downloaded the PDF file to remind myself what the Liberty Dolls look like.

      It’s an interesting study, in hindsight. I mean, not just the Liberty Dolls pages (didn’t even get to them yet, and may not take the time). Featured prominently on the cover is a young woman, looking intelligent and scholarly, with a magnifying glass in her hand. Go on to the next page and you see she’s in a library, and turning to share some stunning insight with another young woman at another table.

      It reminds me of when I began to question the VF message. We were watching a Botkin daughters video, I don’t know which one. They were talking about the adventure of being a woman. The adventure involved staying at home and doing research for their brother, who was in Egypt, I think, seeing the sights and filming.

      I had been uneasy about how good the VF teachings sounded and looked (from the outside, in leading families in our church who followed them), and yet how our family was showing more and more cracks, and how I felt a growing desperation and anxiety though nothing I did seemed to be helping.

      But in that moment, watching that video, the cognitive dissonance increased to the point where I could recognize it for what it was. The Botkin girls were telling me how wonderful and adventurous it was to stay at home and do research to support their brother’s real-life adventure, and all I could think was how cheated I would feel in the same situation, and how cheated I would feel on behalf of our daughters, and how cheated they would feel even if they tried to put a good face on it (which they did, for too long, trying to fit in at church and be accepted).

      It’s a fraud and a cheat and I hope that any attempts to resurrect it fail miserably.

      I cannot even bring myself to say RIP, Vision Forum. Instead, I’m hoping for the stake of holly through its heart, that horrible vampire ministry that sucked the life and joy right out of us. I feel terrible to have fallen for the lie, to have subjected our children to this lie and cheat and pseudo life. I grieve for the years and opportunities lost, and cling to the Savior in tears. I hope that I am not taking out of context the promise to restore the years the locusts have eaten.

      • Refugee Says:

        By “stake of holly” in meant to say that I hope any efforts on anyone’s part to try and resurrect the ministry in any form by any other name, fails miserably and costs the person(s) involved a great deal of their own (not some supporters’) money, wasted time, and fruitless effort.

      • PioneerHomeschooler Says:

        Bless you, Refugee, and may God bless your flight from deception straight into His arms.

      • just a shadow Says:

        Jesus will restore you and yours. Be honest with your kids. Sit down and have a thorough deconstructing of VF philosophy with them ( in a gentle way). Show them where you were wrong, and show them the steps YOU intend to take to restore what has been stolen from them. Form a plan together to walk a different path. Pray MUCH for God to open the right doors for each child’s healing. He WILL open them. YOU must be prepared to walk through the doors he opens even IF they don’t match your preconceptions. We did this with our children. God has been MORE than faithful to provide for them ( sometimes in unlikely places). Sometimes we walked through the open door set before us with fear and trembling, holding our breath, but determined to follow Jesus ALONE. IMO you must be very verbal and INTENTIONAL about showing your kids that you repent of the harm the you as a parent helped to perpetrate. They have to know, without a doubt, that from now on you seek Jesus, you seek their good, you will NO LONGER bow to the community. You will set your face to the task at hand, and kick anybody’s teeth in that tries to come near them with judgement, criticism, or abuse. YOU become the chief enabler on this earth of their healing. Let them know that you will move heaven and earth to make them whole again, with Jesus help. Then GO DO IT. Be ready for scoffing from VF people. Be ready for criticism. Kick it in the face. You and your kids belong to Jesus. Not to any group or community or church. Time to become the warrior princess. I kid you not. My kids are thriving today. They are ALL strong in their faith. We have not lost one of them. They know their parents ( and Jesus) are looking out for THEIR interests.

      • just a shadow Says:

        When there has been real harm inflicted, then words are not enough. There HAS to be restitution. Pray for God to show you what that looks like for EACH child. Cookie cutter solutions are not an option.

        • Jen Says:

          Just a Shadow, I agree about restitution. But in this case, what kind of restitution could Doug possibly make to make amends for all the ruined lives, ruined families, ruined businesses, ruined churches, etc.?

      • Refugee Says:

        Just a shadow, how long have you been in the process of healing? I am not looking for a timeline or formula, for I know it will be different for everyone, but I just wanted to know.

      • just a shadow Says:

        I don’t want to be too specific, but a couple of years. I also wanted to clarify something I said earlier. When I speak of harm inflicted, I don’t mean physical harm b/c ,if anything, we were considered “lax” by our VF friends. So, we never inflicted harm in that way. What I am referring to is placing our children in a situation that wasn’t safe emotionally – the shunning, community standards etc. that I’ve spoken of before.

        Sadly, in that movement, we forgot how to walk “by faith” and instead began to walk “by sight” : Do they look “like minded”? Yes? Must be great people! Do they have correct doctrine? Yes? Let’s have them over for dinner!
        Does the community do x, y, z? No? Then we can’t do it (sorry kids)!

        Part of healing for our family has meant repenting in front of our children of being influenced by *community pressure*. We have had to actively demonstrate that we are willing to forsake that and to again walk by faith, listening to Jesus, and not checking to see what *everyone else* thinks is right. That has put our family in some interesting places b/c God needed to drive that point home. But it has resonated with our kids and produced beautiful fruit. Our kids trust us again. They seek God again, on their own. They are decent humans who care about other people. They are trustworthy and kind. I attribute all of this to Jesus. I cannot thank Him enough for what He has done for us. Truly. I cannot even express the amount of gratitude I have – it is too vast.

        Come on over to Jesus’ side. There is fresh air here, beauty, and wonder.

        Let Jesus surprise you again. I promise you…He will.

        • Jen Says:

          Just a Shadow, thanks for sharing your walk out of legalism with us. I so appreciate all you share here.

        • Confused Says:

          Just a shadow…Interesting….could you give more details, please? I have always enjoyed Vision Forum’s products in the past for many years….I am sure that some of their philosophies inadvertently affected the ways we raised our now-grown children…What kinds of questions would you suggest our asking them regarding the way they were raised?

      • Jen Says:

        Refugee, really good insights about the vast differences promoted between girls and boys, men and women, Doug Phillips-style.

        Please keep talking here. I hope that as you process these things, it will help bring healing. It sounds to me like you are truly on the right path to healing!

  50. Required Name Says:

    From their website:

    Liquidation of All Inventory
    All Sales Are Final
    Dear Friends,
    By placing this order, you are participating in our inventory liquidation sale. This means great prices for you as we liquidate our entire remaining inventory. Due to the nature of this sale, all purchases are final and returns will no longer be accepted. This is your last opportunity to buy our books, CDs, DVDs and toys for you and your family, so get them before they’re gone! Please note: As we sell out of products, we may discover slight stock count discrepancies. If this occurs, we’ll inform you and adjust your order total accordingly.
    We thank you for the privilege of serving you and hope the resources you’ve received from us will bless you and your family for many years to come.
    Your Friends at Vision Forum

    coupon for 60% off anything they have left!

  51. Jen Says:

    This is the strangest Christmas/Cyber Monday sale I’ve seen yet:

    Monday, December 2, 2013
    Save 60% Off ALL In Stock Items!

    We want to sell EVERYTHING, so now through Saturday, December 7, we’re offering you 60% off every single item in stock! When we sell out of our products, they’re gone. We don’t have any plans to bring them back. So if you want some of our family-friendly books, CDs, DVDs, and toys, use your 60% off coupon 60OFF and shop now.

    This offer is valid only online, may not be applied to past offers, and ends at midnight (CST) on December 7, 2013.

    Shop Now and Save 60% Off All In Stock Items

    • Mary Stephens Says:

      READ: If you want some of our family-friendly books, CDs, DVDs….some of which were written, preached and masterminded by me while I was hypocritically living in sexual sin betraying my wife, kids, co-workers and all the people who followed me….shop now!

      Psalms 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

  52. DesiringToDiscern Says:

    christianworldviewfilmfestival dot com Is Phillip Telfer the new GO TO for the film festival. From what I recall…people already made their submissions to VF with the entry fee BEFORE the SAICFF shutdown was announced. AND if someone won any title at the SAICFF, they lost all distribution rights. Where do those rights go now? This gal lost hers… christiannatureofmusic dot com/reflections/2012/6/13/saying-goodbye-to-the-saicff.html#.UpvruhAiSMp Argh! Is Telfer to be trusted? We have friends who were VERY involved with VF because of the festival.

  53. Someone who cares Says:


    It is curious you quote Colossians 4:6 in the upper right corner of this page. “Let your speech always be with grace…” Your speech here is hardly graceful, and is a testimony to your hardened heart. You make a lot of accusations but never provide a source outside of your vicious circle of hate blogs. You tag this mystery woman by her relationship to the Phillips family – describing her in great detail (supposedly), then plead that no one reveals her identity. Please! You have allowed this obsession with Doug Phillips to possess your life. He owns your heart and soul! You are pathetic and miserable,and desperately need to repent of your unforgiveness. You will probably delete this post. At least you have read it. You must let go of the past offences. They are eating you alive.

    • Jen Says:

      Thanks for caring! We all make different decisions in life. My way of loving others is to warn them of potential harm.

      • Mary Stephens Says:

        Jen, ironically, one of the reasons I’ve concluded that you folks are on the level is because your articles don’t seem hardhearted, crude, hateful or ungracious. I’ve seen the contrary, and it has been a real encouragement.

        • Jen Says:

          Mary Stephens, thank you! I would like to think that I am here because I love and care about people and want what’s best for their lives and families!

    • Joyelle Says:

      For Someone who Cares, that was a very unkind, unloving and graceless post about someone whose heart you have assumed to know. You have made several accusations against Jen, displaying the same attitude for which you fault her. It would serve you well to ask questions and find out where a person’s heart is before the Lord before accusing them of sin. It is fine to disagree with Jen, or myself, or anyone else on the basis of Scriptural principles. But I caution you to be prudent and discerning before making pat judgments against another Christian’s character.

  54. Julie Says:

    What about the Blue Behemoth site? Isn’t that a Vision Forum site as well?

  55. Scott Says:

    Someone who cares: Are you for real or just a hypocrite and a total idiot to boot? You start off quoting Colossians 4:6 at Jen (basically using the scriptures as a weapon) proceed to lecture her about her speech not being graceful, and then wrap up by calling her pathetic and miserable.

    If you are just a zit covered kid, your foolishness is excusable. If you are one of Doug’s men in black interns that is suffering from losing your commander , ok that’s understandable but you are still an idiot.

    If you are an adult and this is the extent of your deductive reasoning skills………

  56. Scott Says:

    Someone who cares: Consider yourself on Double Secreat probation.

    • Someone who cares Says:

      I am surprised you allowed my previous post to stand. I thank you for that. For the record, I am a nearly 50 year old homeschool dad who raised great sons in spite of all of my many imperfections. I used to like Doug until he got weird will all of the extreme adventure stuff. I saw similar ego-driven behavior from my former pastor and had a feeling he was headed for a fall. Both of these men fell, while not a total shock, it is still so discouraging. It did help me to trust my “gut” in these matters.

      I too am concerned about much homeschool weirdness out there. My comments on this blog are not so much disagreement, but concern that for you and others who you may lead into the maze of bitterness that is such a snare. I genuinely say this in love. You must realized that you by your very presence on this blog have become a de-facto Christian leader and will need to give an accounting for your own behavior.

      I have stumbled on your site over the years and marvel at how you have allowed this man that you have chosen to hate to rule your life and emotions for so long. You are as much of a victim as any that were allegedly abused by Doug (I say allegedly not to dodge the issue – I just have no personal first hand knowledge of it). You, like many others here have allowed a root of bitterness to take hold. You have wasted too much of your life harboring this in your heart. Now that Doug has fallen, what will you and yours do? So much of your identity is wrapped up in Doug bashing. All of your efforts have done nothing to expose him. It has only served hardened your heart and others as well

      God always takes care of His church and always takes his children over His knee if they refuse the verbal correction. Ironically this is the very sign that they are indeed God’s children. If God let them get away with it, they would not be his children.

      Congratulations. This is by far the longest post I have ever made on a blog site. I am done now. Time to get back to putting my energies and ideas into things that I can do something about.

      • Jen Says:

        Dear Someone, please allow me to share a little background with you. My first requirement for myself, before going public, was to make sure that I lived not only in forgiveness toward Doug and those who hurt me, but also that I harbor no bitterness. I spent two years working through all the hurt and pain and forgiveness issues inwardly, while attempting to reconcile with Doug at the same time. When it became clear that Doug refused all further contact with me, and I heard from a couple other people that Doug had done some REALLY bad things to them as well, I felt it was my duty to publicly stand up to a bully and to warn others about a wolf in sheep’s clothing. For one year, I told my story here.

        During that year, over a million people read about the real Doug Phillips. Some heeded the warning, some did not. There were thousands of families who left patriarchy because of my story, and perhaps thousands more who chose not to get involved further with Vision Forum and their brand of patriarchy, or BCA, or Doug Phillips. There were thousands of people who told their friends about the truths they learned here. Yes, this blog had a huge impact on many people’s lives, and I don’t take that lightly. I take that responsibility VERY seriously.

        Then, I let my blog sit silently for nearly six years while I found a new life, one where most of my friends have never even heard of Doug Phillips and they don’t have a clue what I am doing here. The thought of Doug Phillips, Vision Forum, and BCA rarely crossed my mind, unless someone brought it up. I never once went to look at any of the sites, or checked up on them in any way.

        But when someone let me know that Doug had resigned, I felt that it was my responsibility to speak out again. This time, it is different. This time, many, many more people are willing to speak up and talk about what Doug Phillips has done. He has directly hurt hundreds, if not thousands of people. He has indirectly hurt thousands more. If I can help them in any way, I will. If I can prevent this from happening ever again, I will.

        I am not here out of bitterness or unforgiveness, although I am experiencing a fresh healing crisis through all this now. I am here because I want to see Doug repent from all his wickedness, but I am here far more to both warn and help others who got caught up in all this mess, because I love others. While you may not agree, deep down, I just love people and want to help in a meaningful way. God uses people. I believe God is using me in this case. I know not everyone agrees with my method, but I believe that God prepared me for this very position at this time in life.

        At the appropriate time, i will “go away,” but this blog will remain as a warning to all those who are willing to listen, and judging by dozens of “thank you”s I receive every day, there are some who appreciate being warned.

  57. When Soldiers Fall – Responding to the news about Vision Forum | Christian Liberty News Says:

    […] Vision Forum Inc. to Permanently Close December 31 ( […]

  58. On The Doug Phillips' Sex Abuse Scandal... | Sarah Pressler Says:

    […] Ministries, shut down Vision Forum Ministries, and is now in the process of closing up the shop at I can’t say we didn’t warn people – in fact, many of us have known this was coming […]

  59. NuttShell Says:

    I, for one, am so thankful that blogs like this are being written and the truth is being exposed about these men and their ministries and others like them. Just because something is not of the happy, happy, happy nature, does not negate the need and responsibility of people to expose this behavior. (Because these were very public ministries) I thank The Lord for the internet and the quick, widespread dissemination of information so people can be warned about wolves in sheep’s clothing and also heed a warning about those who even associate with them for those associates apparently did not have the gift of discernment or had self promotion goals which either of these scenarios should give people cause to pause.

  60. Lee Miller Says:

    LORD GOD, You are in heaven and we are on earth; therefore, may many words be quelled to few. But by grace, there go I. You, Jesus, are healing and redemption. Do this mightily for this family! Hold each one close to Your heart. Be glorified in this situation. You make all things new! Restore what the enemy meant for evil. Thank You Jesus. In Your name

  61. Aadel Bussinger (@TheseTempTents) Says:

    As far as Vision Forum closing, I would like to add the following information – as it bothered me when it happened and it immediately came to my mind when I first heard of Doug’s scandal breaking.

    Last spring there was thunder rumbling through the Christian blogging community because VF had apparently stopped paying it’s affiliates. They made some vague statements assuring they would pay up, then suddenly announced they were closing their affiliate program. Several bloggers that I knew personally were owed decent sums of money for advertising for Dough and his crew. Several people attempted to contact VF to find out when they would be paid their share of the affiliate sales. From what I know VF did pay out some small sums, but I believe many were left high and dry.

    This struck me as odd at the time. VF was a large company, and those were sales already made – money in the bank. Why would they not pay the affiliate cuts off money they already had? At the time, I thought they might be having money issues.

    The affilate program was closed March 26th. You can verify that on the VF website (while it is still around) but I will post it here also:

    “As of March 26th 2013, Vision Forum suspended the affiliate program until further notice. We will notify our affiliates if and when the affiliate program becomes available again. If you have any questions please contact us.” -found here:

    Seems to be just about the time Doug stepped down (quietly) from his church position. Like I said, I immediately put those two things together.

    -fellow blogger, homeschooler, and non-Koolaid drinker

    • Jen Says:

      Aadel, thank you, and welcome! I had heard that the program closed but didn’t know any specifics. I would love to heard from someone who was stiffed exactly what happened. I know others were speculating that the laws regarding taxes and affiliates had changed and thought maybe that had something to do with it, but it sounds more like Peter was borrowing to pay Paul and ran out of money somewhere along the way. Very interesting indeed! Thank you so much for sharing that with us!

      • Aadel Bussinger (@TheseTempTents) Says:

        Not sure if anyone wants to come forward, and I wasn’t an affiliate myself. So I just know there was a lot of frustration over VF not answering emails, giving vague answers, and general confusion as to why they would close down a very profitable affiliate program. If I talk to anyone who was stiffed I will send them your way!

        • Jen Says:

          Thanks, Aadel! It is very important to get the facts.

        • zooey111 Says:

          On somewhat the same lines, I am wondering (& have been wondering) abouy anyone who sends for any of the “liquidation sale” merchandise from VFI. Because with all the scrambling going on, & with a LOT of people not being aware of all that has transpired, I fear that there may be folks who write use credit/debit cards, etc…..and may never see either the stuff they order or their money again.
          This news about the affilates makes me more worried than ever about such things…..

        • Jen Says:

          Zooey111, that’s a very real possibility. I would hope Doug would not stoop that low, but desperate men do desperate things.

        • Dawn Says:

          I ordered some non DP items such as bow and arrow refill packs for my son. They were extremely cheap compared to everywhere else. The possibility of not receiving my order did cross my mind. However I did receive it in a timely manner. On the other hand there are many items that say backordered and the website says they can still get those products. I do wonder how that will end up for people

  62. Bob Says:

    From the website today:

    We Stop Selling Products on December 20 — This is Your Last Chance — Save 75%
    Use coupon code 75OFF to save 75% off everything on our website and help us liquidate our stock. This sale ends on December 20.
    We only have a limited number of products in stock, and all items will be discontinued as we run out of stock. So, if you desire some of our family-friendly books, CDs, DVDs, and toys, grab your 75% off coupon and shop now.

    • Jen Says:

      Thanks, Bob. I guess Doug didn’t see any value in actually staying open until December 31. I hope all those back-orders haven’t had monies transfer hands yet …

    • JPGR Says:

      “So, if you desire some of our family-friendly…CDs, DVDs…”

      Um, that would be a no…..

      • Scott Says:

        JPGR, thanks for that. I needed a good laugh and for some reason that just really hit me as hilarious.

        Family friendly, like what kind of family ? What family needs anything from Doug Phillips at this point.

        Family friendly, sure…..
        The Adams Family ? The Manson Family ?

  63. TJ Says:

    My wife and I are saddened to see the VF ministries bite the dust, especially for the reason that it is happening. For a number of years we purchased products from them for our eight children, enjoyed them, and got good use out of them. I am not here to argue about what DF did or did not do, but to say that many people were encouraged and rightly challenged through that ministry over the years. So, yes, we too wondered what was really happening when these “great sales” started showing up. And, yes, we placed an order about a week ago. This morning I placed a follow-up email to VF (because you’re right, you can’t call in anymore and neither could we place our order online or over the phone, it had to be done via email) to check on the status of our order. Here is the reply that I received today, Tuesday, 12/17/13:
    Thank you for contacting The Vision Forum.

    As Vision Forum has gone through big sales this month, we have sold out of almost all inventory, and will finish all sales by the end of this week.

    It is very important to us that we resolve your needs as quickly as possible. In order to accomplish this, we will make any needed corrections you bring to our attention, but may not send a response to your email.

    We regret the need to limit our communication in this way, but feel it is necessary to ensure your concerns are addressed as soon as possible. You may receive an automated email reflecting order adjustments or, when there is no other option and stock has been oversold/discontinued, an email confirming your order has been cancelled. If you receive an email about an order cancellation or adjustment that you did not request, we apologize in advance, and are only making such changes when absolutely necessary.

    Many of the order adjustments we make will effectively reduce your order total. We will never charge more to your credit card than you had originally authorized, but will charge less than the original total when unavailable items must be removed from your order. Any necessary refunds will be made back to your credit card as well.

    We thank you so much for your extended patience as we work as quickly as we can to assist you.
    Vision Forum has enjoyed these past 15 years of serving you!


    The Vision Forum Team
    So, at the present time, I do not know if we will receive all, part, or none of our order. Out c/c has not been charged yet, and was not supposed to be charged until the order shipped.

    What a Godly challenge this should be to us all: whether we claim the maxim that ‘the bigger they come the harder they fall’ or the Scripture that states “Be sure your sins will find you out.”

    Though we did not personally know DF or his family, it does seem like losing a friend when something like this happens and VF has to say good-bye. (Please understand that I am not excusing nor over-looking the wrongs that were done.)

    • Jen Says:

      TJ, welcome, and thank you for letting us know about the automated response from Vision Forum. One thing I know is that Doug Phillips is not the one writing these emails! I wish he would have at least finished up his last few business transactions with the same professionalism as at least the outward appearances always were. It is truly sad to watch this whole businistry go down in flames this way.

      One thing I can agree with here is that Doug did do some good work in challenging people to make family a priority in their lives. That was necessary. I do not agree with his legalism that followed those challenges, nor do I agree with his abominable methods of control in areas of liberty either.

      Apparently, many people are appreciative of getting a good deal.

  64. DesiringToDiscern Says:

    FINALLY! VFM found somebody who knows how to work a computer…. and close the website to one page !

  65. Thomas Says:

    They also took of the silly “Esquire” part of DP’s signature block to tidy up the announcements a bit.

  66. Jen Says:

    Today was the last day products were being sold at Vision Forum, the business. If they kept the website cleaned up according to inventory, they ended up with only 24 products left for sale. Interestingly enough, the products they seem to have the most left are “Family Strategies” and “Advanced Family Strategies.”

    Here’s my version:
    Family Strategies: Love one another.
    Advanced Family Strategies: Love one another.

    Now you have saved yourself $45!

  67. Just a shadow Says:

    Yep. Looks like its finally over.

    Thank you Jesus.

  68. Scott Says:

    Hey Jen I meant to log in over at VF and buy you a huge collection at 75% off in appreciation for what you have done with this blog! Unfortunately by the time I finished up at my shop there wasn’t much left.

    IN all seriousness, thank you for all you have done in protecting christian families from Doug Phillips with this blog. Remember when he said to you ” You’re going to pay for this”, and smugly slithered away like the snake he is ?

    Hey DOUG, YOU’RE paying for that ! God is NOT mocked and justice is coming. I truly hope your wife divorces you ( for the sake of the children and her mental health) and you spend 5 years or so in Federal Prison where you belong. Who knows maybe you can court a new boyfriend in there. (Yes we know you are monitoring this blog, ESQUIRE).

    • Jen Says:

      Scott, oh, and I SO wanted all that merchandise, too — especially the “Advanced Family Strategies” I’ve heard so much about! But, it was the thought that counts!

      The law of sowing and reaping still applies today. Perhaps Doug should have focused more on teaching sowing LOVE and he would not now be reaping grave consequences that “reak” of karma!

  69. zooey111 Says:

    “The last/final product was a Titanic poster for 75 cents”
    And how appropriate is that? 😦

  70. Scott Says:

    and Capt. Phillips was seen getting into a life boat wearing one of his wife’s evening gowns and a big floppy hat. You know Doug loves to take any possible excuse for dress up games and always has to have a hat.

  71. TJ Says:

    I just want to follow up on the post I left on Dec 17, after learning about the 75% off ‘big sale’ the VF was having. Even though there was some confusion over the order we placed with VF, it all got straightened out via email. We finally received our _complete_ order this past week, the items were packed well in the box and everything was all in tip-top shape!!

    My children have greatly appreciated the Jonathan Park adventures (CDs, books, etc.), many other fiction book series and sets, dolls and accessories, along with other toys and tools for outside use.

    Though this ministry has ended (crashed and burned?) in a way we wish it hadn’t, I’ll say again that we are very thankful for the help and encouragement that it was.

    Good-bye, VF.

  72. Steven B. Says:

    “I won’t dignify it with the term “extra-marital affair” as many others have.” Of coarse you wouldn’t, that would defeat the purpose of the blog, that is, to gossip and slander.
    I just wanted to say I have been honored to serve VF in the years past, I have been honored to serve such a store, and I do not regret working there a single day. I have seen the fruits and they are good, VF was one of the things that encouraged me to continue pursuing a career in filming.
    God was glorified, that was the most important thing here. I hope to do the same.
    VF encouraged me in my faith, challenged my faith and helped grow me as a Christian.

    I think you’ve done a great job of tearing down someone you don’t agree on about everything, you should become a reporter for CNN.
    While you sat in your chair stewing in your own hatred, Mr. Philips did something, he did more to advance the kingdom with VF then you ever did with this blog.

    • Jen Says:

      Steven B, you have seen the fruits and they are good. Apparently you missed all the rotten fruit that was conveniently thrown away as “garbage.” Yes, that is exactly how they treated me, and others. But the rotten fruit is a little closer to the tree now. Now, there is root-rot, and that will cause the whole tree to die a slow death.

    • just a shadow Says:

      Dear Steven B-former-intern-now-without-a-job:

      Did you miss the letter from Scott Brown? Is he a gossip?

      Did you miss the comments from Pastor Gifford ( a man who has pastored faithfully for decades)? Is he a gossip?

      Did you miss the comments from Peter Bradrick, Bob Renaud, Little Bear Wheeler? Are they all gossips?

      Did you miss the comments/sermons by Joe Morecraft? Is he a gossip?

      I replied to you on your other comment.

      But I’ll say it again.

      The path to easy fame/income/a pretty wife via shaking the right hands, reading the right books, holding the right theology, wearing the right costumes, being from the right families has pretty much dried up.

      Advice: Get to college quick or learn a trade.

      Then get busy.

      Do what most honest Christians do for a living:


      I know, I know, it’s not as much fun as being paid for photo ops, or fancy “mission trips”. It’s not as much fun as being paid to lecture others about your pet whims ( while not doing them). It’s not as much fun as being paid to put on conferences and hob nob with various fancy folk. It’s not as much fun as being paid to play dress up. It’s not as much fun as being able to label yourself anything you want to with *no credentials* that anyone outside of homeschooling recognizes.

      I know. It is hard to see your world burning down around you.

      It’s hard to have the rules change, isn’t it?

      Grow up.

      • Wahoo Jesus Lover Says:

        Amen! As a homeschooling mother of 24 years with 7 children (ages 30-9): 5 graduated from homeschooling, 4 graduated from college(all With honors & 2 Phi Beta Kappa’s), 1 graduated from seminary, 1 married to a distinguished judge, 1 graduating from a top Ivy League university(always ranked #1 or 2 in country) & probably becoming an English professor or lawyer, 1 Honors healthcare graduate, 1 A student pre-med and 2 still at home. All this to say, I have watched this group & similar groups, for YEARS! My contact with VF occurred when I ended up on their mailing list & my little boys were captivated by their toys. I was always wary of the ministry due to Doug Phillips praises being sung by Bill Gothard. Yes, we had SHORT dealings with his ministry many years back. My godly discerning attorney husband said Gothard made his interpretation of Scripture into STRONG Biblical mandates. In other words, he teaches Christian living in a primarily extra-Biblical manner, not sticking enough to principles; therefore, he is dangerous! We avoided that ship wreck for our impressionable children. Yet, many I know didn’t, and many of their adult children are now disillusioned & bitter & not walking with God. We praise God for His grace & the courage to follow the Holy Spirit for OUR lives, rather than follow the crowd, the Christian Crowd! As for Doug Phillips, my closer encounter with him came this past summer at Gettysburg Civil War Battlefield. It was July 4th and I found myself with a relative & my 9 yo son on top of Devil’s Den amidst this HUGE crowd of people who turned out to be a Vision Forum group. Immediately, I recognized the type of group that surrounded me. The similar attire of the girls & women told me more about them. I happened to be wearing a skirt (rare for me) too, but my slightly off the shoulder red & white bateau top (patriotic fun!) signaled I was an ‘alien’. My son disappeared among the group playing with, as it turns out, Doug’s son of similar age. As I forged my way deeper into this crowd looking for my son, I was struck by a ‘bad’ feeling. Not one adult made eye contact with me or spoke a single pleasant common ‘passer-by’ word when we had to stop to let each other by on the tiny dirt paths! Being an extrovert, I wore an open face with an open heart, ready for a Christian fellowship ‘2 second moment’ with ‘strangers’! I was astounded by the unfriendliness of the group! Strangers on the streets of NYC are more responsive & reciprocate my friendliness more than that group of Christians! Still penetrating the crowd in search of my 9 yo son, along comes Doug Phillips. I was struck by a unsettling sense that something was NOT as it appeared to be! (Note, I am a born Southerner, raised in Virginia, and now living in the deeper South since graduation from graduate school. ) First, he was dressed like a rich Southern planter in white linen pants with a straw hat walking with his hand extended behind him ‘dragging’ this woman who turned out to be his wife. What parent dresses & acts like that??? Honestly, this sight literally gave me the ‘whillies’, spiritual willies!!! As a 54 yo who has maintained a consistent walk with Jesus since age 13, I have come to trust & know when ‘my willies’ are from The Lord. This was one such time! Something was WRONG with this picture & God was showing me that. I saw a married couple that looked together, but I knew they weren’t as they appeared to be! I shuddered and finally found my son playing with Doug’s son among the big crowd. Sad. The boys were having a great, friendly, play time among the Devil’s Den rocks! No guile with children! On hindsight, I thought it odd that while I was shooting up prayers for God’s protection & searching for my young son among the dangerous cliff rocks, mama Phillips was off trailing her husband in the opposite direction with no children by her side! That said, for the past 30 years I have had children by my side. Most have now been emancipated. The 5 older ones have all become kind, independent, God loving, hard working, secular university graduated Christians who share the love of Christ with ‘the world’ without becoming ‘part of the world’, if you know what I mean. In conclusion, I am quite disturbed by the recent revelations regarding Doug Phillips, yet not surprised! I am praying, especially for all children & young adults hurt by Phillip’s sin. When a Shepherd goes astray, the lambs are hurt and unprotected. We need to focus on the lambs, while praying God would cause godly women to be confident in being assertive, not aggressive, Helpmeets! This may mean letting their ‘Deborah’ spirit God gave them speak out, for the sake & salvation of our Christian men. Jesus never said a woman was to keep silent in her own home. There’s a difference between being a ‘dripping faucet’ and a competent, capable, strong godly Proverbs 31 woman! Christian men left to themselves without female accountability, or REAL spiritual headship, don’t have good track records! So I say to the young men & women negatively affected by Doug Phillips, Carpe diem, Seize the Day! You have your whole, God-given, life before you! Be excited about that fact! Consider doing what you hadn’t considered before, pray about going to college. Work outside the home & carry the Gospel to those in need of a cool drink of Living Water:) Do all for His glory and not your own!
        God’s peace to all,
        A Wahoo Jesus Lover

        • Jen Says:

          A Wahoo Jesus Lover, welcome to my blog! I LOVED reading your story because I think I would love meeting you in real life, but it was so sad to read how separatist Doug and his followers have become. This elitist spirit is quite harmful and certainly does not display the love of Jesus or love toward one another.

          Doug was “dragging” Beall behind him? I can only imagine what this was about. Thanks for painting a picture of a glimpse into the very cultic mindset that must be obvious to outside onlookers.

    • just a shadow Says:

      You know what your problem is?

      You are just mad that your way of life will have to change now.

      You were fine with the lies, the deceit as long as you got to play ( and get paid for) participating in VF fantasy world.

      Were you one of those willing to turn a blind eye? It sure sounds like it.

      If you REALLY worked for VF then you KNOW that what is written here is not gossip.

      Ministries and businesses don’t get shut down over gossip.

      Men don’t fly into town to confront a man over gossip.

      Shame on you for wanting to silence others all b/c your playground got bulldozed.

    • DesiringToDiscern Says:

      Someone is in serious denial (Steven B.) DP advanced his OWN $$$ kingdom AND lusts of the flesh….period ! BTW, Well said JAS

    • just a shadow Says:

      Hey, Steve B –

      Sure you don’t want to throw some VF words in for good measure?

      Maybe adding the word “churlish” or “feminist” would add a nice VF flair.

      How about “non presuppositional thinker”? Hmmm? “Man centered”? “Rebellious”?

      You’re letting us down easy here.

      You can do better with the insulting, I know.

      Give it another go.

    • Sarah Says:

      @ Steve B. I believe you are right, what Doug Phillips ment for evil God used for some good. But that is no credit at all to Doug Philips. Doug Phillps mocked our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and for that he will pay dearly. God can use even a donkey for his purposes. But please please don’t insult God but give Doug Phillips that credit for anything good. His entire life was built on a lie and for that he must be called out for.

    • Observant Says:

      Steven B. Shame on you! I am utterly speechless! If you think this blog is based on hatred while DP did something maybe you need to see what he really did. Were you in the same SA community we were i? Were you not there when all those families left? Did you not ever think to truly ask why? You really did drink the kool-aid and I am afraid it addled you. You had to have seen some of the things that were going on and yet once again another “bigwig” thinks he knows it all since he was an intern and worked at VF for a short time.Part of me wants to chalk your ignorance up to your younger age and lack of wisdom from time in the adult world . Do not be blind. If DP had acted like a Christian and treated others in a Christ like manner this blog would not be here and there would not be a reason for it! . Many of us are not bitter and hate filled we are hurting and trying to sort through the terrible abuse we suffered at the hands of DP, Bob Sarratt and others of his henchmen. I pray you will never have to experience the pain we and many others have gone through.

      There are so many people he has destroyed that were not in the good old boys club like you were a privileged member to be a inner circle member of. We, by the way never wanted to be in this inner circle group nor to climb a social ladder. We had joined for fellowship only to find the real truth after it was too late and we signed our prison paper covenant. May your eyes be truly opened to the error of your ways in the fact that you have literally shot your mouth off to others who have actually been members of BCA and many of us were put on church discipline for just asking to leave after seeing gross sin and speaking up and out of our concerns. We came too close to the truth and we were treated like trash for speaking up.Better yet our lives were and lives and livelihoods were threatened to be destroyed by DP himself.

      You can go on pretending if you like, but you are so wrong in thinking the fruit was good- IT WAS ROTTEN TO THE CORE! I am reminded of the Bible verse and the reason the article was written about Pastor Gifford as Doug built his house upon the sand. The foundation was faulty from the start. Matthew 7:25- 27. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26″Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27″The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell– and great was its fall.”. Yes, DP built his BCA and VF house upon the sand and it has fallen and it was and is a great fall. Unfortunately he took many households down along with his poorly built house of sand.. I am so upset right now I think I should get off of here for a bit and cool off. God was not and is not glorified by VF because for all the good it was supposedly doing it was really doing more harm and was based on a total lie. Many of us feel there is much more to the story and in time think it will come out. Maybe the rose colored glasses you were using to film your manly romps and hazardous journeys and such with have tainted your true vision..May God have mercy on your absolutely cruel and compassion-less soul. Maybe you learned too well from your mentor and think evil is good. I just do not get this at all.

    • Steven B. Says:

      @Jen, JAS, DTD, Sarah, zooey111, Observant and Another Mom
      You’ve all proven my point of you all being shameless gossips. You’ve made up in your mind (without proof might I add) that I am an intern for VF, or that I am Steven Bowman, I’ve met the guy, he is pretty cool, he critiqued one of my films. But no, I am of a different Steven B. I can see how the confusion would take place, but that does not give you ample ground to assume.
      I am not, however, going to give you all my last name, I honestly see no way that can go right. I live in San Antonio, same city as Jen here.

      JAS, I have a job, I work for an engineering firm, I was never an intern for VF because I don’t agree with everything they believe.
      I don’t even go to the same church.
      I find it disgusting that you think I don’t work, and that my life is or was easy, I have worked at VF, but in a more humble position.
      My last day was today in fact.
      You all assume so much about me, without any evidence you’ve concluded things untrue about me, which proves that you are all gossips.

      You all hate VF and DP, it’s clear by the way you all talk about him and his business. Doug Philips is as a flawed person as all of you are, after seeing how this man acts, how he prays, he loves God. he reminded us today of how much God loves all of us. I sang a song with him today. With my friends as well.
      It was called “Be Still My Soul”, I saw a broken man today, that’s what I saw.
      God was glorified at VF, no matter what any of you say. The fact that all of you have gossiped and lied to this extent makes me sick.

      • just a shadow Says:

        What have we lied about?

      • just a shadow Says:

        And the fact that you were never a member of his church means that you know him in a very limited role.

      • Sarah Says:

        @Steve B I was simply replying to your above comment. At no point did I say you were a VF intern or worked at VF or were any specific Steve B.

      • just a shadow Says:

        There are lots of broken people in the wake of VF, Stephen, not just DP.

        The difference is, they were broken through no fault of their own.

      • Jen Says:

        Steven, well, thanks for lumping everyone all together here. I won’t do the same to you.

        I am glad that you saw a broken man in Doug Phillips today. When he takes the FIRST step toward true repentance, it will be his first step in the right direction. Until then, he is still putting on a good show for certain people, isn’t he? Because there is no true repentance there.

        What you saw today was someone who just lost his whole life. I am sorry that happened, but it was his own decisions and choices in life that led to that. What about all the people who lost their whole lives ONLY because Doug decided to pull that thread? I suppose that doesn’t matter to you, as long as you saw a “broken” man today. I could only wish that he was truly broken.

        • Steven B. Says:

          Jen, no, that isn’t true at all, and you lie when you say you know that he hasn’t truly repentant. You can’t see his heart, only God can. Your constant lies about what you call his lack of repentance is nonsense, you and I cannot see his heart, only his fruit.
          And I’ve spent time around his children, and I’ve worked at his business, and I’ve seen the people he has been around.
          I don’t know what is in your heart that drives you to do this, but know this, I see your fruit on this site and it is wicked gossip.

        • Jen Says:

          Steven, you are correct that you don’t know what is in my heart that drives me, but I will tell you that it is LOVE for people that drives me to share truth with others, even when it is hard to hear the truth.

          I came across this today. Sound familiar? “When an individual decides what truth is, any number of things can happen. To be the definer of truth makes you the dictator of morals. What is sin and what is good. What happens when sinful man dictates right and wrong? Everything goes to pot.” So how does it make you feel to realize that Doug Phillips was the definer of truth for thousands and thousands of families, that Doug dictated morals to all these homeschooling families who only wanted what was best for their own family, and to know now that Doug Phillips never lived by his own rules that he expected everyone else to live by?

          I am thinking that this is all just a bit confusing to you right now, and it should be. You were not a part of BCA. Count your blessings that you were not hurt in that way. You worked for Vision Forum for a couple years and you saw what Doug wanted you to see. You did not see how he hurt people, how he destroyed families (like mine and many others), how he destroyed businesses and churches, and how much damage his teachings have caused countless individuals and families in ways that can never be fully restored.

          Why do I keep on insisting that Doug has not repented? Because I know hundreds of these stories, and I know these people whose lives have been turned upside-down by the likes and teachings of Doug Phillips. When Doug Phillips truly repents, he will be like Zacchaeus, who willingly offer to make restitution to all he had wronged when he realized what he had done. When someone repents, truly repents, it is usually accompanied by a great sorrow for ALL their wrongs, and not just one out of thousands. I am still waiting for that day.

          You are young. Please learn from Doug’s mistakes in life, and go on to serve the Lord with great fervor and passion, all while LOVING people and truly loving God. 🙂

        • Ghirard Says:

          I’m thinking “wicked gossip” is some kind of Doug Phillips cult code language.

          “you and I cannot see his heart, only his fruit” That’s exactly the point, and exactly why it’s obvious the man hasn’t repented. Where’s the fruit of his repentance?

        • Steven B. Says:

          I find your language utterly repulsive, they aren’t a cult, no one worships DP. To my knowledge.

          I saw the fruit at VF today when we prayed, I saw the fruit when he shut down VF M, I saw the fruit when he stepped down from a high position in the church and I saw the fruit when he gave up VF inc. That was proof. The apologies or the way to asks for forgiveness from the Lady he committed adultery with, is between him and the church, that’s not our business.

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          Steven, please read my article Doug Phillips: Portrait of a Religious Sociological Cult Leader. In it I make a compelling argument that Doug Phillips is not only a religious sociological cult leader but also that he is a narcissistic sociopath. It sounds very much to me like you’ve joined his cult and are living in denial of it.

          Doug Phillips had no choice but to step down as elder at BCA. He had no choice but to give up VFI as it was inevitable that it would tank financially anyway.

          As to his clergy sexual abuse, that most certainly is our business. Doug is a very public figure and he wanted to be a public figure. He doesn’t get to now play an insignificant nobody, and he doesn’t get to hide behind some pretended church accountability, of which he has none. We’re all quite aware of his appointed yes-man “elder” Bob Sarratt and that any so-called church discipline he might be under is a complete sham.

        • Steven B. Says:

          I’ve heard the cult nonsense before, take your kool-aid somewhere else. I’m not even a member of the BCA, I am no longer affiliated with VF in any way beside having worked there once. I disagree with some of what the BCA, VF and DP do. I don’t automatically believe what he says.
          So why does it matter? You certainly aren’t in any position to call his elders or church leadership a scam. He is going to live life as a footsoldier, and there is nothing any one can do to change that.
          There is no proof of clergy sexual abuse, as that has yet to be proven, we don’t know the Lady he was in an affair with. Wild accusations from people who hate him, yeah I’ve heard it before..

          As for me? DP, VF, BCA, you guys, none of you will influence me anymore. It’s over just like you guys wanted, there is no more VF. There will be nothing to support. There is no more independent Christian film festival, it’s all going to fade into obscurity.

        • Steven B. Says:

          Jen, I am going to chalk this whole situation up to “I don’t know”, I don’t know enough to say one way or the other.
          So, I’m going to just walk away from it.. None of what has happened is my business as I have not been involved. You won’t hear disparaging comments from me anymore, I’m going to be silent on the issue.
          You’re right about this being confusing though, I’ve been trying to figure this out, I’ve found out, I can’t.
          I should have never opened my mouth….or wrote this.
          Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. Proverbs 17:27-28

          I apologize for my ignorance on the matter.

        • Jen Says:

          Steven, I want you to know that I am praying for you.

      • just a shadow Says:

        Ok. Steven R.K. B. (“Liberty or Death”) That’s a big mug of coffee you got there!

        I see that you work for the G. engineering firm. I won’t put the full name of the engineering firm here.

        I haven’t lied about anything.

        Your friend DP is hurting.

        Lots of my friends are hurting too.

        You and I both care about our friends, I guess.

        But, I will say again that if you never were part of BCA, then you really don’t know the full story.

        Lots of young people are hurting b/c of the teachings of VF.

        Are Scott Brown, Peter Bradrick, Joe Morecraft, Little Bear Wheeler, and Pastor Gifford ALL lying too, according to you?

        Are THEY hateful gossips too, according to you?

        I don’t hate DP. But I do hate the destruction VF teachings have caused.

        I am grieved over the broken families VF has left in its wake.

        I am grieved over the pain his dear wife and kids must be feeling.

        Ok. You weren’t an intern. But you have worked at VF. Quit splitting hairs. My point was that you have benefitted economically & socially from your association with VF. So you are angry that it is ending. I understand that.

        I am sorry you are hurting over the loss of your job.

        Imagine the hurt parents feel over the loss of their kids b/c of the teachings of VF.

        • Steven B. Says:

          Still assumptions that I am that Steven B., you got nothing.
          “You were fine with the lies, the deceit as long as you got to play ( and get paid for) participating in VF fantasy world.”
          Lie #1, I’m fine with lies. I am not.

          “Dear Steven B-former-intern-now-without-a-job:”
          Lie #2, I am an intern for VF, and I’m out of a job. I have a job, I was never an intern.

          “Shame on you for wanting to silence others all b/c your playground got bulldozed.”
          Lie #3, I wanted to silence people. Sure it’d be great if you all stopped gossiping, but I never wanted to silence you. But I wanted to get a word in there to so you maybe you guys may have some doubt.

          “You can do better with the insulting, I know. ”
          Lie #4, you don’t really know how well I can insult.

          “I haven’t lied about anything. ”
          Lie #5, check the above.

          What really hurts is people who are brothers and sisters in Christ using this horrid time as an opportunity to chuckle, and say “See! See! We told you! Now nothing he says matters!” That’s what made me sick, DP is a cool guy and all, but I never thought much about him until this recent event. I looked at him, I looked at the reaction and thought what if I was him. Should we be rejoicing over his sin? Or should we be over his repentance? What if I was him? It’s discouraging to see anyone Christian who is popular get heckled once they fall.
          What if I was him?
          Why should I even try to become a film director when other Christians, my brothers and sisters, are going to tell me if I ever get popular that I am not a Christian, or that my message is wicked and evil. Why should I fight? That’s the message I’m getting. That’s what I’m hurt by.
          Why should I fight, my own people won’t stand with me, no, I’ll be disowned, I should just lay down my rifle, I should just hold down in that trench and wait for God to come. Because the world doesn’t matter.
          That’s what I’m getting.

          Why should I even type this? You could twist this in every what which way, but it doesn’t matter. It’s been proven to me what this really is.

          The problem with VF was that it was tied to closely to DP, that was a flawed structure. He made a mistake, but to say God was not glorified at VF is a blatant lie, even if it was not from you, it’s a lie.

        • Just a shadow Says:

          Well, the Steven B. I found on FB is friends with the Steven Bowman aforementioned and states on FB page that he has worked for Vision Forum and is currently an administrative assistant for the G….R engineering firm. That would be some amazing coincidence to have 2 people with the same name both working for an engineering firm and vision forum and who is friends with the other Steven. But, okee-dokee.

        • Just a shadow Says:

          You did not answer my questions.

          Are Scott Brown and all the others I listed lying too, according to you?

          What does your becoming a popular film maker have to do with the discussion at hand?

          No, nobody will hate you if you become a popular film maker.

          But if you hold yourself out as a pastor, a teacher, or an elder of the church and then you have an affair with a girl half your age all the while you are selling movies on how to be godly, then if the affair is discovered you can expect people to be fairly angry with you and justifiably so.

          Who is telling you here that your still-in-the-future-message-as-a-film maker is wicked?

          What are you talking about?

          What do your comments about guns have to do with the discussion here?

        • Steven B. Says:

          Neither you mine.
          “Are Scott Brown and all the others I listed lying too, according to you?”, I don’t care if they are or aren’t. I don’t need to defend anyone, I’m only arguing about the stuff that I know, that’s it.
          You still don’t know what engineering firm I work for, there are many in and around SA. There are a lot of Steven B’s.

          I guess I babbled off for a while there. That’s what happens when I see someone isn’t interested in a coherent discussion.

          Lets make this clear, what is the point you are trying to communicate to me? That’s to the point right?

        • Molly Says:

          We are not saying that Doug’s teachings should be ignored because he made a mistake and had an affair. We are saying they should be ignored because they are not Biblical. Because they have wrought massive damage in the lives of many families. Because his teachings sell a system of behavior instead of a relationship with Jesus Christ. And because they do nothing to spread the message of salvation to the lost and dying world around us.

        • just a shadow Says:

          Steven B.-


          1. I am interested in a coherent discussion, but that is hard for me to accomplish when you are busy calling me a liar & a gossip. Gossip is something that is not true. DP’s affair is true. He said so himself.

          2. You may not know the girl with whom he had an affair, but I do. I know her personally.

          3. I also am speaking of what I know. You state you “worked there {VF} once”, but you never attended BCA.
          I am attempting to point out to you that your contact & experience with DP was and is very limited. You cannot know what happened in/at BCA b/c you never attended there.

          4. Have you been to Doug’s home? I have.

          5. Have you travelled with him? I have.

          6. My point to you is that you also are making assumptions. You are assuming that you *know* him because you
          “worked there once”.

          7. All kinds of people behave themselves during work hours at work. They have to. It’s called making a living.

          8. I also admired and trusted DP at one time – very much so. At one time, he was very dear to us. Most of us posting here would say that.

          * But then we saw things or experienced things that were very difficult. This changed things for us. *

          9. If you stood and watched a child build an enormous sand castle, and then he suddenly turned and began destroying it and then he turned and began to cry about how much the destruction of the sand castle hurt him, what would you think? Wouldn’t you wonder why he went about destroying what he had created? Would you feel sorry for him since he is the one who caused the destruction?


          I’m almost done.

          I hear the desperation in your tone when you say, “..there will be nothing left to support. There is no more independent film festival, it’s all going to fade into obscurity”

          You seem to be despondent as if Christendom is over b/c VF is closing.

          Nothing could be further from the truth.

          There is much left to support. There is even another film festival coming to town in the Spring.

          There is the gospel to spread, the lost to reach, the poor to feed & clothe.

          You spoke of “cult talk” but truly, you seem to place far too much emphasis on VF in terms of its importance to the Christian world.

          There is a whole world of Christian ministry out there.

          Jesus is still on the throne. All is not lost.

          If Jesus has plans for you to be a film maker, then He will accomplish that with or without VF.

          Your future dreams are not dependent on VF. Put your trust back in Jesus rather than in the works of one man.

        • Steven B. Says:


          1. I never said his affair wasn’t real.

          2. Then there is nothing that I can say.

          3. I worked there many times, I didn’t literally mean once. No, I never attended BCA. You are right, I cannot know what happened at BCA, and I only know DP in a limited way.

          4. Have you been to Doug’s home? No.

          5. Have you travelled with him? No.

          6. I met a couple of times, knew him in a limited manner. I worked at VF many times.

          7. This is true, but like I said, when I saw him, it looked as if he was broken.

          I’m going to ignore 9.
          “You seem to be despondent as if Christendom is over b/c VF is closing.” No, it isn’t that. I think we lost a great ally is all.
          “There is much left to support. There is even another film festival coming to town in the Spring.” Yeah, I’ve heard of them, it’s not the same, I won’t find the same encouragement, but I can reap something from it.
          “There is the gospel to spread, the lost to reach, the poor to feed & clothe.”
          And I don’t deny it, VF was an encouragement to me, as a film maker, DP didn’t directly influence even that, I was more interested in what Mr. Botkin had to say about it. When I got into film, people who helped me advance my skills were from VF, I went to the film festival and learned so much. It’s all very sad and disappointing to me, to see it go. When I said that obscurity thing, I was talking about VF’s stuff.
          Look, I haven’t been trying to say the Alamo is gone, so we might as well give up on Texas, this is all very confusing.
          I think I’m just going to back away from this situation, pray about it and ignore it. I don’t know anything besides what I know.

          “Jesus is still on the throne. All is not lost. ”
          I count this as my only hope and trust.

      • Ghirard Says:

        “It was called “Be Still My Soul”, I saw a broken man today, that’s what I saw.” That’s pretty much the sort of report I heard from the worshipers of RC Sproul Jr at St. Peter Presbyterian Church right after he’d been defrocked. Did “broken man” RC ever repent to anyone that he’d abused? No, not to a single one. In fact RC has played a big pity party for years, acting like he’s the victim — boo hoo poor me, I got defrocked. It’s so unfair. RC Jr got exactly what he deserved and Doug Phillips is suffering the natural consequences of his sins. Why are you defending the man?

        So how is broken man Phillips doing with demonstrating that his brokenness isn’t just a big pity party? Has he repented to anyone or is he only thinking of himself? Is he broke up because he’s lost his mistress? Lost his home/ Lost his business? His being broken up is really only all about him, isn’t it? When Doug Phillips starts repenting to all the people he’s swindled, cheated, threatened, harassed and abused then I’ll start to believe that his brokenness is a godly brokenness. But right now I know it’s nothing but self pity.

        Doug Phillips sings a hymn and that proves something to you? These are legitimate questions I have. I’d really like to understand what singing a hymn has to do with anything.

        What you’re saying reminds me of the professional panhandlers with their cardboard signs and the down on their luck stories scribbled out in crayon that always end with “God bless!” There’s a husband and wife professional panhandling team that I’ve seen many times pull up in a nice Cadillac. One will drop the other off to stand in a busy intersection and put on a sad face while the other hides the Caddy. Their cardboard signs say something new everyday. I see them pulling in a lot of money. I think I’ll recommend they sing hymns. It could help convince gullible Christians to be even more generous.

      • Lisa Says:

        Steven B,
        In rural GA, I often drive by an old, abandoned limestone quarry that has now filled with water. When that happens it is referred to as a quarry lake. This “lake” is the prettiest color blue/green you have ever seen! Incrediblly beautiful. The kids and I used to want to stop the truck and go for a swim there. However, I was cautious and read up on the matter. There are dangers lurking below the surface. They can have abandoned equipment in there, huge,sharp, quarry stones in there, etc…You have to know the lake in which you swim. Sometimes the dangers are not so obvious and are not seen or felt until you get deeper in the water.
        I urge you to please, please, please be careful. Read about any ministry or person you work for. Read about personality disorders. This isn’t just about DP/VF. As a filmmaker and business person, you need to always do your homework on WHO you will be working with or for.
        My husband and I learned the hard way. We moved to a small town in Georgia and we didn’t do our homework on someone we were going into business with (because it seemed like it would be digging for dirt or gossiping). Well, it turned out we went into a business with a lying narcissist and his (not much better) wife. So, please, I humbly urge you, as you navigate your future, to research who you will be working with.
        On another note, I was once friends with Ken and Devon Carpenter of Franklin Films. I am close enough, still, that, if you would like, I can call them on your behalf and maybe you can continue growing as a filmmaker.

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          Stephen B, Lisa is more right to urge caution than even she probably realizes.

          Doug Phillips has multiple film makers under non-disclosure agreements. They’re under non-disclosure not because of any standard professional reasons. These aren’t standard NDAs. They’re under non-disclosure because they know too much about Doug Phillips’ evil practices and Doug threatened them with lawsuits if they didn’t sign. They live in fear of speaking out about what they know about Doug Phillips. Why? Because Doug Phillips has threatened to sue them and destroy their lives by months and years of expensive litigation. Stop and think about it. That’s the man you revere. A man who routinely threatens people with dragging them into court and suing them for everything they’re worth. Doug Phillips is no shepherd. He’s a predator. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. Or in attorney vernacular, he’s a shark.

          I’m grateful that you showed up to defend Doug Phillips, and I’m grateful that you mentioned that you’re a film maker and that you revere Doug Phillips, at least in part, because he’s been influential in Christian film making. Indeed he has been; but he’s also been terribly destructive to the lives of many budding Christian film makers.

          Your comments are the very thing that now motivate me in writing my next article. So I’ll be posting an article soon on this very subject, and it’s about what I believe is the biggest film fraud in the history of Christian films. Some people already know about it, but your own ignorance (I mean no insult by that) is a clear indication that many people still don’t know about it, and they really need to.

        • Jen Says:

          Lisa, that was such a good comment to Steven. Thank you so much for sharing that!

  73. Another Mom Says:

    And to Steven B. I would humbly ask you to consider using the film techniques you learned at VF to do a video of what 2013 looked like similar to the one you (I think?) did at Vision Forum for 2012? It could be called a Hazardous Journey into the Bowels of Vision Forum. A documentary of sorts comparing Vision Forum to the Titanic might be a creative angle especially with the footage from this link. I think it has the potential might be a block buster at the next Christian Worldview Film Festival. And if you are not the producer of this video my sincere apologies for the confusion. But my suggestion to make a video documentary still may be useful to you.

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