Doug Phillips: Peace Maker or Truth Silencer?

02-07-13-saicff-beallOne year ago, the theme of the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival seemed to be “Defending the Defenseless.”  This festival came only days on the heels of Doug Phillips being found in a compromising position with “Cassandra” and the subsequent sudden departure of her family from the beloved church they had attended for nearly thirteen years.  Putting women and children first, and defending the defenseless, seemed to be the farthest thing from Doug Phillips’ mind as he stood front and center on the stage and continued to hide his deep, dark secrets from his adoring fans. At that time, no one knew he had quietly stepped down as elder, stating that he wanted to spend more time with his family.  The reality is that he probably turned on the charm in order to save his marriage after having been caught.  He waited until after the film festival to “confess” his sins to Bob Sarratt, the only other elder at BCA, a “yes man” who was very good at keeping Doug’s sins secret for the next nine months.

saicff postponedWhen Vision Forum Ministries announced online last October that the 9th annual San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival was first postponed, and then cancelled, it sparked waves of confusion and frustration for the filmmakers and their families who had worked so diligently to meet the film submission deadline which was only days away.  Rather than emailing those on the SAICFF list and telling them of the postponement and cancellation, and with absolutely no explanation of why Vision Forum Ministries’ most popular annual event was being suddenly dropped at the last moment, the grapevine soon became the de facto form of communication within this small, but tightly knit, troop of independent Christian film makers.  One by one, they contacted each other in utter disbelief: “How could this happen?  We just spent the last year of our lives working on making another film, and now what?”

Ten days later, when Doug Phillips announced his resignation from Vision Forum Ministries, it began to make some sense.  But did it really?  Or did it actually cause more questions and more confusion?  After all, according to World Magazine’s April 5, 2014 cover story article about Doug Phillips, the five men who confronted Doug Phillips on his doorstep did so the day before he resigned, which was October 30, 2013.  If that is true, why did Vision Forum cancel the film festival ten days prior to Doug being confronted?  I’m guessing there’s a whole lot more to this story than meets the eye, including why Scott Brown knew, at the latest, by September 9, 2013, and still allowed Doug Phillips to continue on with his duties as normal.

At this exact same time, a pastor in Illinois, Philip Telfer, was moving his family down to the San Antonio area to become the new pastor at Living Water Fellowship, which is Little Bear Wheeler’s church in the “community” here.  Although Pastor Telfer had gone to a couple of the film festivals put on by Vision Forum and submitted a couple films himself, he had no interest in patriarchy whatsoever.  Coming from an inner-city youth ministry in Chicago, patriarchy was a totally foreign concept to Pastor Telfer. Like so many other filmmakers and individuals who were just there to observe, they attended Vision Forum’s San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival simply because it was the only game in town for Christian films.

Not desiring all that work and talent to be wasted and discouraged, Pastor Telfer naively thought that it shouldn’t be too difficult to put together a new film festival for everyone who was already expecting one, so he went to Little Bear with his idea of simply providing an avenue for a film festival.  In his mind, he just needed to find a venue, pick a date relatively close to the original date, and organize it.  Little Bear thought he was nuts!  He had no idea of the politics behind Doug Phillips’ resignation and that he would now be painting a large target on his back for stepping on such sacred ground.  Not to be daunted, however, Pastor Telfer set out to provide a safe place for Christian filmmakers to gather and continue their annual film festival traditions.

CWFFWhen I first heard of this initiative, I was a bit dubious.  What were his real motives?  Is this just another ministry rising up to promote more patriarchy?  Is this man trying to make a name for himself on someone else’s coattails?  The only thing I knew about him was that one of our mutual friends was in ministry together with Pastor Telfer, in a ministry called Media Talk 101.  That was encouraging enough to me to check it out since I knew my friend, a humble man who dearly loves the Lord, was definitely not into patriarchy, although he is a godly family man.  I considered attending the new Christian Worldview Film Festival, held March 11-15, 2014, but I wasn’t really interested in just being a spy.  That didn’t seem like a good idea, so I thought about it for a long time.

I have been going to school for quite a while now to become a certified health coach and my area of emphasis is in learning how to help people who are going through traumatic events, or who have not healed from the stress and trauma and pain of past events in life.  Not only have I experienced much trauma and pain from the excommunication and all the aftermath from that, especially with my children, but I have also experienced a tremendous amount of agonizing and heartbreaking ordeals and upheavals in the last decade or so.  God has taught me many ways to not only handle the stress and emotion and pain that accompany these difficulties in life, but also how to bring about the level of healing that actually makes me stronger and a much better person because of attending the University of Hard Knocks.

With Doug Phillips’ resignation came a mass of chaos, confusion, pain, and deep wounds within the “community,” both local and nationwide.  Even many of those who thought they had finally put their differences with Doug Phillips in the past and had moved forward in life suddenly found themselves looking hurt in the mirror one more time.  And it was very confusing.  As TW Eston and I continued to write articles here after Doug’s resignation, the comments, both here and elsewhere, were filled with, first, denial, then anger accompanied by deep hurt.  In any grieving process, these two are the first stages of how we respond emotionally in any situation where we have loss.  Bargaining and depression are the next stages before finally coming to terms with accepting the loss.  For some, going through these five stages of grieving happens very rapidly, but for others, it takes a very long period of time, while there are many who never reach the last stage of acceptance, allowing one to move forward in life.  When we “bury” our feelings and emotions from a hurtful experience in life, we find ourselves stuck somewhere in this grieving process, unable to truly move forward freely in life.  Others remain in the anger stage forever.

Telling my story online seven years ago was a cathartic process for me, and for those who followed along, many saw me go through these stages right in this blog.  I am grateful that God brought me through the grieving process to the healing point of acceptance so that I could move forward in my own life, partly because I was able to respond to this whole recent debacle without personally involving myself the way I did the first time around.  This allowed me to be much more objective.  It also allowed me to be able to empathize with those who just had the rug pulled out from underneath them.  I have read the comments and followed the conversations here and there, both online and in real life, with greater insight and compassion.

Healing from emotional pain is one of the life’s most transforming events ever.  It is more powerful than the initial trauma.  So, as I considered whether or not I should attend this year’s new Christian film festival, I realized that what I most wanted to do was to help bring healing to a hurting community.  How could I do that?  I decided to sign up as a volunteer and see what happened.  Although I could have used a fake name to get in the door, I knew that if I was going to bring healing to this hurting community that I needed to be just me, so I signed up online with my real name.  When the volunteer coordinator called me to talk to me about volunteering, I was surprised to find that she also attended BCA, but I was just going to go with the flow here, since my only goal was to bring healing to a hurting community. After we talked, she decided to have me “manage” the registration desk for the majority of the film festival.  That meant that my face would be the first one everyone saw when they entered the front door.  I knew I could use this opportunity for good!

With less than two days to go before the film festival began, I got the phone call.  I’ve heard this so many times before.  I either get a letter, an email, or a phone call, but they all say pretty much the same thing:  “Don’t ever darken the doors here again.”  I was fully prepared for the fact that this may be just another door slammed in my face, but when Philip Telfer called me to tell me that someone had emailed him, concerned about what might happen if I showed up at the film festival, I was pleasantly surprised when, instead, he asked me to have dinner with him and his wife that evening.  I knew they were super busy getting ready for the film festival, so I was honored that he would give me his time and give me the opportunity to speak for myself.  I found both Pastor Telfer and his wife to be wonderful people, and we easily fell into much laughter and a delightful conversation together!  It turned out that we both had the same goals in this film festival:  to bring healing to a hurting community.

HEROI am happy to report that the first annual Christian Worldview Film Festival was drama-free.  There was no idol who everyone was clamoring to see, but rather a servant-leader who was not only available whenever he was needed, but also just milled about and interacted with everyone in attendance.  If there was a mafia dressed in black, packing pieces, I did not see them.  What I did see were hundreds of happy people, excited to see old friends again, enjoying all the workshops, films, and special events that filled the week!  And I enjoyed being there to greet every single person each day.  As I saw those I had not seen in 8-10 years, I attempted to go out of my way to give each one of them a hug.  My goal was to hug every person I knew from my days in the “community.”  But what I found instead was that most of those who I had not seen in a long time were the first to want to give me a hug instead!  There was even one family that currently attends BCA who wanted to hug me.  Although I was not wearing a name tag, apparently, there were some who recognized my picture from online and came up to speak to me.  One lady, upon confirming who I was, gave me a big hug and just said, “Thank you!” with tears in her eyes. One small step for healing, one giant leap for the “community.”

I really did have a wonderful time there.  There were a few conversations about Doug Phillips and Vision Forum, but for the most part, these people were here to focus on moving forward, not looking backward.  I went to a few films.  I really enjoyed a couple, like Hero and Creed of Gold.  There were a few I didn’t care for as well, but for me, that was not the main point.  I also attended a lecture by Rich Christiano because I heard he was controversial.  I wanted to hear that for myself. It was sad to see that certain young filmmakers did not show up, simply because it was not organized by Vision Forum.

Imagine the irony, then, of coming off the high of the first step toward healing, the first step toward making peace in this hurting “community,” of finding out in World’s article that Doug Phillips sent a letter, through his attorney, of course, threatening to sue three of the men who showed up on his doorstep that fateful day in October, 2013.  This letter was mailed March 13, 2014, right smack in the middle of the Christian Worldview Film Festival.  While many of us were working to bringing healing to a hurting community, Doug Phillips, obviously hurting himself that he was not the star of the show this year, was busy stirring up strife instead. The letter to Bob Renaud and Peter Bradrick (Doug Phillips’ former personal assistants) and Jordan Muela (former intern/VF employee) stated, in part: “the three of you have conspired together, and with others, in an attempt to destroy Doug Phillips, his family and Vision Forum Inc.”

internsThis immediately brings to mind several questions.  If there were five men standing on Doug Phillips’ doorstep on that red letter day in October, why were only these three threatened with a lawsuit?  Why not Dr. Joe Morecraft, who immediately preached a sermon about Doug Phillips’ fall, although he did not name him by name; and Mark Weaver, Doug’s close college friend?  I would posit that it has everything to do with the tiny little word found at the end of the sentence quoted above — “Inc.”  It seems readily apparent to me that while Doug Phillips rightfully acknowledged his responsibility to step down from ministry (albeit months and years too late, and only under duress), that he had every intention of keeping the business side of Vision Forum going strong, while he took a breather for a year or so from public speaking, and then he would pick up the reins once again, ready to lead the charge of his Vision Forum Ministries brigade, onward to victory over the evils of the real world.

Apparently, Doug Phillips believes that these three young men, whom he personally trained, not only in the patriarchal way of life but also in how to use any means possible to attain the desired results, were somehow responsible for destroying his business.  Pragmatism ruled the day in this business/ministry of Vision Forum, while love, respect, relationship, and all ethics were thrown to the wind.  So what did these three young men do to merit the threat of Doug Phillips suing them?  They broke the “No Gossip” rule.  Never mind that the “No Gossip” rule is not to be found anywhere in Scripture.  Never mind that there is no law that contains this supposed “No Gossip” rule.  Never mind that one current BCA member recently stood up and said that this “No Gossip” rule does not exist, even in the face of hundreds of others who state otherwise.  The “No Gossip” rule was originally put into place to keep people from speaking about what was happening between Doug Phillips and Joe Taylor, and it grew in intensity and reach ever since.  The “No Gossip” rule has kept hundreds of hurting people, and families, from sharing their pain and hurts with anyone, for fear of retribution for breaking the “No Gossip” rule, even long after they left BCA or the “community.”

So what was this great sin that Bob Renaud, Peter Bradrick, and Jordan Muela committed?  What was this juicy gossip that they shared, that would merit the level of a defamation lawsuit?  Although Peter Bradrick’s Facebook page has since been closed, Peter shared his pain of being disowned by a man he considered to be both a father and a mentor to him.  Bob Renaud shared a few other details, showing that he and Peter had worked together to confront a man they both deeply loved.  Jordan Muela wrote a heartfelt Facebook article, “How Silence Enables Abuse.”  Although he did not name Doug Phillips (if I remember correctly), everyone in the community knew who he was speaking about.  (He has since hid his Facebook page, so I do not have access to the article now.)

ndarnlIn addition to these three young men speaking out, there were a few others who have spoken publicly as well.  Apparently, Doug Phillips does not consider the others to be a threat, but one that has spoken out in favor of everyone keeping silent is Nathaniel Darnell.  His most recent article about how to respond to the allegations of the nature being made against Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard caused quite a stir when he suggested that the young women should go to their elders if they were sexually abused.  I guess he forgot that that’s exactly what got them into that situation to begin with.

Although no one I personally know from BCA and the community has publicly apologized to me, nor even really said anything about my situation, there have been a handful who have privately apologized. On a personal note, I will say that as I read each of the articles and comments above, as well as those by Nolan Manteufel and Ryan Short, that I have shed many tears.  For me, they were healing tears, because at least I was not the lone person out here warning those I love that danger lurks nearby.  Finally someone else was seeing it as well.  It is truly tragic that it had to come at such a heavy price.  Nathan Barnes, another former VF intern/employee, posted this status on Facebook recently:

The laws of friendship require a discovery of that which endangers one another. You would count him unworthy the name of a friend, who knowing a thief or an incendiary to lurk in your family, with a design to kill, or rob, or burn your house, would conceal it from you, and not acquaint you with it on his own accord. There is no such thief, murderer, incendiary, as sin: it more endangers us, and those concernments that are more precious than goods, or house, or life; and that most endangers us, by which the Lord’s anger is already kindled against us. Silence or concealment in this case is treachery. He is the most faithful friend, and worthy of most esteem and affection, that deals most plainly with us, in reference to the discovery of our sin. He that is reserved in this case is but a false friend, a mere pretender to love, whereas, indeed, he hates his brother in his heart.  Clarkson, David (1865). The Practical Works of David Clarkson Retrieved from

gobobSo why are all these statements made by Bob Renaud, Peter Bradrick, and Jordan Muela libelous to the point of warranting a lawsuit? Apparently, I Cor. 6 is magically erased from Doug Phillips’ Bible, but beyond the “sin” of violating the “No Gossip” rule, Doug Phillips seems to think that these three men conspired together to destroy the business half of Vision Forum.  By Doug’s own actions, he destroyed Vision Forum ministries, which closed on November 11, 2013, although he has threatened to make legal claims against the remaining Vision Forum Ministries board as well.  At first, he made it known that Doug still owned the business side of Vision Forum, but by November 27, 2013, we announced on this blog that Vision Forum, Inc., the business, would be closing permanently by December 31, 2013.  Unless Doug Phillips was actually following our lead, we correctly reported this event.  Most likely, we were not the first to know that Vision Forum, Inc. would be closing their doors, so this decision was probably made several days earlier than November 27, 2013.  Look at the comments made by Peter Bradrick and Bob Renaud again. The only comment made publicly before we announced that Vision Forum, Inc. was closing was made by Bob Renaud on October 22, 2013: “Your sins will find you out so it’s best to follow Lanny’s advice: ‘Tell it early. Tell it all. Tell it yourself.’” (This comment causes me to question World Magazine’s timeline for the front door confrontation, unless Bob was just sending a message out ahead of time.)  But all those other comments and articles were posted after Doug Phillips had already decided to close his business.

The only person who destroyed Vision Forum, both the ministry and the business, was Doug Phillips himself.  The only person who destroyed Doug Phillips’ reputation was Doug Phillips himself.  While the words of his former interns and close associates deeply hurt him, they were the wounds of friends who loved him enough to publicly rebuke a sinning leader, in the hopes of restoring him to his senses, and to a right relationship with God.  As Doug Phillips once stated in church, when a man falls for a woman, all common sense goes right out the window.  How prophetically true, in his case.

On August 7, 2013, Doug Phillips wrote a brilliant article about “True Repentance.”  What happened that prompted this article we’re not sure at this point, but now seems like a good time to remind Doug of some key points that he made: “Those who remain unrepentant should not expect the blessing of the Lord. Unrepentance is not only an impediment to the very object of our life—true unity with God—but it leads to the judgment of the Lord. It is the single greatest roadblock to family vision.”  Doug goes on to list six elements of godly sorrow that produce true repentance: brokenness, forsaking sin, truth telling, acceptance of responsibility, restitution, and peace.

From day one, we have been saying that Doug Phillips did not show any evidence of true repentance in his public statements.  I know him well enough to read between the crafty wording clever disguised as godly sorrow.  If Doug’s recent threats of legal action against his close friends and his former board members are any indication of where his heart is right now, these acts of retribution rather than restitution openly belie his words of resignation that are still publicly displayed for all to see.  Although I had held out a tiny spark of hope that Doug Phillips would truly repent, in the manner he himself prescribes, his blame shifting, his arrogance, his refusal to accept responsibility for tearing down his own house and ministry, and his insistence that others pay him restitution instead, all point to his stirring up even more strife rather than being the one who brings peace and healing to a hurting community.

In his latest article, TW Eston presciently stated:

Doug Phillips is hasty to resort to legal intimidation. He has legally threatened dozens of people. To my knowledge Doug Phillips has never actually taken anyone to trial. Rather, he only threatens to take them to court, but out of the goodness of his heart he agrees to settle with them out of court, provided they keep their mouths shut, i.e. they must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Are Non-Disclosure Agreements biblical? In certain cases an NDA may be appropriate, and they may not necessarily in all cases be expressly unbiblical. However, they should never be used if the underlying motive is to silence critics and cover up unrepentant sin. The purposes for which Doug Phillips has so frequently coerced the signing of NDA’s is only intended to silence those who would speak out against his egregious sins and hold him accountable for his duplicity and corruption. Doug Phillips’ habitual use of NDAs has allowed him to cover up a huge amount of sin, both his own sins and the sins of his accomplices.

But let us not be too hasty to judge Doug Phillips’ latest attempts to take his brothers to public court.  Perhaps he has found I Cor. 6 in his Bible after all, and has mentioned the possibility of Christian conciliation instead. On the surface, appealing to Peacemaker Ministries sounds promising, but what is Doug Phillips’ track record with these types of situations? The first instance of using Peacemaker Ministries, that I am aware of, was when Mark and I asked Doug Phillips to go to mediation with us, through the trained Peacemaker counselors at Faith PCA here locally.  The first thing we were required to do was to clean up all derogatory comments, whether they were ours or others, to refrain from saying that we were repentant, and to be silent.  Since I had diligently sought to fully forgive Doug Phillips, and all those involved, privately in my heart before telling my story publicly (a public leader’s sins need to be made known to the same degree that their teachings are), and I was already extremely cautious in using my words carefully, it was a difficult decision to abide by these rules during the conciliation process.  But for the greater good of bringing healing to the situation at hand, we did so willingly.

A couple months later, after an emotionally charged meeting between Doug Phillips and the elders at Faith PCA (two of whom were also the Christian conciliators for Peacemaker Ministries), we were informed that Doug Phillips refused any reconciliation with us. Doug Phillips told the elders that there is only one way for the Epsteins to be reconciled with me; they must come to me and repent fully without any equivocation of everything that we excommunicated them for, and they also have to repent for blogging about me. We were also invited by these Christian conciliators to never darken the door of their church again.  When asked about the situation privately, one of the Christian conciliator elders remarked, “We f***ed up.”  That was Doug Phillips’ first interaction with Peacemaker, that I am aware of.

PeacemakerEncouraged by even the thought of Christian conciliation, Joe Taylor thought he would attempt the same offer of mediation through Peacemaker. As you can see by TW Eston’s latest article on Joe Taylor, not only did Doug Phillips refuse Joe Taylor’s offer of using Christians to mediate, but he also took him to court.  Two strikes for Doug Phillips.

But what happens when Doug Phillips decides he wants to be the one to call for mediation through Peacemaker Ministries?  Rumor has it that Beall Phillips asked Peacemaker to mediate between Doug Phillips and Cassandra and her family before this all went public.  Knowing that Peacemaker always requires silence on both sides during and after conciliation, this would have been a perfect way to forever keep Doug Phillips’ adultery hidden, allowing the family to continue their opulent lifestyle and the public fame and glory that they so enjoyed.  However, Cassandra was wise enough to decline such an arrangement, and so was Peacemaker Ministries.  Having met with Doug Phillips before, they probably knew it would not be a prudent case to take on. Three strikes.

Doug Mac girlsAs I consider the possibility of Peacemaker having taken that particular case, I cringe at the tremendous amount of damage that would have mounted had Doug Phillips been allowed to continue on as if nothing had ever happened.  This is one of the reasons why using Peacemaker Ministries can be a very bad idea.  While I readily acknowledge that many people have been helped through this ministry, I wonder how many others have actually been allowed to cover their sin, or worse yet, continue in their sinful lifestyle, because of this requirement of forever remaining silent.

In my training as a professional health coach, I have found that unresolved emotional pain causes more health problems, not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well, than any other aspect of health.  I remember when Mark, my first husband, required me to never speak about my adultery in the first couple years of our marriage, even though I had fully repented from it.  There were times during those fifteen years of silence when I wanted to be able to share with others how God brought me through that time in my life and what I learned and how I repented and moved forward in life (although Mark never found it in his heart to forgive me).  As the years went on, that enforced silence built up inside me and caused me deep turmoil.  When Doug Phillips took it upon himself to tell the church about my adultery, which had happened 15 years earlier and for which Doug Phillips himself agreed that he saw true repentance in me, and I was now free to talk about it, it was like a load of bricks was finally lifted off my back.  While Doug Phillips certainly had no business sharing a pastoral confidence which Mark had shared with him privately, it ended up being one of the most freeing things that ever happened to me, and I was now on the road to being healed emotionally.

Peter BradrickTo Peter Bradrick, Bob Renaud, and Jordan Muela:  Don’t fall for it!  You all know Doug Phillips well enough to know that his offer of going to Peacemaker Ministries is for one purpose only:  to shut you up.  Confidentiality rules the day in Peacemaker’s mediation process.  While a public trial can bring to light every single detail and expose all the dirt on every side, Peacemaker goes to the opposite extreme and covers up all sin.  Bob, with your legal training, you know that Doug Phillips does not have any legal grounds against you three.  Yes, the easy thing to do is to settle quietly behind the scenes and go on about your life.  But the right thing to do takes much more work, and only a man with great integrity will do the right thing.

This is not about making peace.  This is all about silencing the truth.  “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” is a principle that applies to many different aspects of life.  Everyone who sat under Doug Phillips’ teachings and ministry needs to know the truth now so that each person, each family, each BCA member, each VF employee and board member, can be set free, emotionally and spiritually, to begin healing that will lead to acceptance of what has happened, in order to move forward in life.  May we all we be stronger and wiser for having walked this journey, but may we learn to love and forgive as we begin our new paths in life.


298 Responses to “Doug Phillips: Peace Maker or Truth Silencer?”

  1. Joe Mavarich Says:

    TThis is so sad how this man tricked my family for years

    • Jen Says:

      Yes, Joe. That is very sad. Time for healing now.

    • Andrew McDonald Says:

      Well get ready for more of the same! Jen wrote, ‘ I’m guessing there’s a whole lot more to this story than meets the eye, including why Scott Brown knew, at the latest, by September 9, 2013, and still allowed Doug Phillips to continue on with his duties as normal.’ The reason is because he wants to plead out of the whole situation and then move into the vacuum created. He has already started his own intern program and I imagine he will recreate everything he can under his new power structure. I personally believe he is grooming folks to move into the lower pyramid slots with the new and improved FIC movement. Naturally it will have all the earmarks of his old hero’s gig. I think he is mad at Peter B. for posting on Face Book. I’ve had two people come up to me who saw Peter go up to his mom-n-law, give her a hug and then by pass his father-n-law. Likely he’s been balled out royally for his gossip. Remember it was Scott who delivered the big “No Gossip” message that dp bought and published for sale at VF. As I’ve said before, many of these patriarchal types have trouble relating to in-laws and this is another case in point. We were told by the Bradricks, years ago, about the trouble Mike was having with his wife’s sister’s family and I have spoken with an in-law of SB’s who was/is being shunned by the Brown family. It is not strange that these legalists have interpersonal relationship issues. At the house church we were told more than once, when someone was not well received, that they ‘were not like-minded’. I recall one family had moved a great distance to be at the house church and we were told privately that they were not ‘really’ homeschoolers because they used Abeka videos!! Oh the shame! Keep your eye on NCFIC and Christian Heritage, mark them. I won’t go as far as to say the sky is falling but I would call for a storm watch; that’s just a word to the wise.

      • oneh20 Says:

        What makes one “really” a homeschooler in the NCFIC? As well as your perspective, Andrew, I’d love a woman’s perspective too.

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          The remark about ‘really’ being a homeschooler was made by the Bradricks years ago. I am not sure what makes a ‘real’ homeschooler for the NCFIC but I’m sure it’s just a little more of what you’re not doing yet and always will be. lol

        • Gladys Says:

          The good news is that Christian Heretic of Washington in conjunction with the National Center For Insulated Families (NCFIF) has an exclusive offer of dynamic teaching by an almost nationally known homeschooling parent! Get the set of DVDs or CDs with Study Guide. Soon you will be as good as them (see photo). DVD set: $250.99, CD set: $175.99, Study Guide: $85.99. But wait there’s more! Order now and get a bonus set of photos of the speaker and his family worshipping, eating, gardening and vacationing together, suitable for framing. Plus a free pamphlet with a complete list of our other resources. (A limited number of VHS and compact cassette are still available ask now.) Call to get your own copy of our bucolic summer catalog or come to our website. Be sure to come to the NCFIF Family In Harmony Conference this summer at Huntsville, Alabama. Sign up now for special rates!

        • Gladys Says:

          I was just jokin! I am strong support of the NCFIC! Scot Brown is a breath of fresh air and way better than Dug Phillips. For one thing he’s taller, plus I don’t think he never did no woman no wrong. Everytime I talked with Dug I was lookin at the top of his hed plus he treated me like a hick! All churches that practice age segregation is wrong. Plain and simple! Just look it up. You’ll see. Now some narrow minded folks, an I’m talkn’ bout you Shawn Mathes!!, say that the scriptures are taken out of context but that’s just their pinion and is not really so important when you consider the end results an you don’t need no ged to know that. My church is family intergrated and we are the best church around. Believe me I can tell some real hum dingers about the other churches round bouts here an how messed up they are!! Find a FIC church and start to see godliness bloom in your family then you’ll see how horrible the others really are and how blessed it is to be doing god’s best! Like momma used to say whenever us kids wanted to do something she didn’t like: “Do god’s best and forget the rest!” And believe me Momma knew all the crap other families were involved in and it wasn’t just small potatoes either! Sure there may be some problems but we got rid of the bad apple! Now it’s high time to dry those tears and get back on the horse! Join a real church, join a FIC church! It’s like a secret club, gotta luv it!

  2. Rich Says:

    Jen, how courageous of you to attend the film festival! I love this–taking risks for healing, for relationships, for truth, for God’s glory.

    • Jen Says:

      Rich, Doug Phillips should be the one to bring healing to this broken and hurting community, but if he won’t do it, I guess a woman will step in to pick up the pieces. 🙂

    • mike race Says:

      So glad to hear about the process of healing taking place. It really is sad concerning the arrogance with DP. Continuing to pray for Elohim’s intervention and bringing His peace to the whole thing.

    • bonnie k. Says:

      What a great report about Pastor Telfer, his wife, and about your volunteering at the film festival! I don’t know any of you guys personally, but I found that report very encouraging. We all need a little good news now and then.

  3. raswhiting Says:

    Excellent article and good advice for those being threatened. Thank you, Jen.

    I am glad to hear that the film festival went so well for everyone, including Jen.

    I agree that the Peacemakers model does not work well when one party is abusive, manipulative, and narcissistic. Some “trained and certified” peacemakers seem clueless about abuse, or so we found in an abusive church situation. We had to cut off the process since the counselors were regularly imposing don’t talk restraints both during conciliation sessions and outside these. They also continually wanted us to make unwarranted concessions and confessions so as to be nice or to meet the abuser half-way, or they were excusing his behavior. They even allowed or ignored abusive and manipulative behaviors and words during the conciliation meetings. Unreal.

    • Jen Says:

      RAS, thank you for sharing that experience with us. I have not had any interaction with them other than what I stated in my article, so hearing what really happens in these sessions is valuable information. Thanks.

  4. Mom Says:

    I wondered if the three who are being threatened with lawsuit had to sign a NDA of some kind while they were working for DP. That would explain why the other two men are not being threatened by DP. He has no legal grounds to bind them.

    • Jen Says:

      Mom, I thought about that, but if they had to sign a NDA already, I can guarantee that they would NOT be speaking out now. They know all too well what happened to Joe Taylor when he violated that.

      • PioneerHomeschooler Says:

        Unless, Jen, they believe that the center of gravity has shifted in regards to public opinion and that they would be safer now?

        • Jen Says:

          Pioneer, public opinion doesn’t sway the judge in an NDA infraction. 🙂

        • PioneerHomeschooler Says:

          I understand that, but if he’s trying to preserve future viability it would be risky to start taking highly visible action against the ones who are now viewed way more sympathetically than he is. He’s smart enough to know that that would be cutting off his nose to spite his face. I could be wrong, but I think it’s a possibility.

        • Jen Says:

          Pioneer, I believe all logic and common sense has gone out the window for Doug right now. 🙂

        • PioneerHomeschooler Says:

          That could very well be. Maybe his only motive now is revenge.

        • Jen Says:

          Revenge is a very powerful motive, and one that God claims only for Himself. There is a reason for that.

      • Truthseeker Says:

        There was no NDA.

  5. T.W. Eston Says:

    Terrific article Jen! It’s good to see you writing again.

    In light of the release of World Magazine’s article (something that Jen and I knew since early February was in the works), it’s appropriate to disclose additional details. More details will be disclosed as we are at liberty to do so:

    “Rumor has it that Beall Phillips asked Peacemaker to mediate between Doug Phillips and Cassandra and her family before this all went public.”

    I appreciate why Jen is couching the particulars in these terms, but I have no qualms about confirming that this is no mere “rumor.” Doug Phillips used his wife, Beall, to contact not just Peacemaker Ministries in general, but specifically the Elders of Faith Presbyterian Church of San Antonio, of which several of their Elders are trained in Christian mediation through Peacemaker Ministries. Doug Phillips pressed Beall into service for the purpose of brokering a Christian mediation deal between Doug and Cassandra. Doug Phillips initiated this because of his fears of a pending lawsuit by Cassandra.

    His scheme never got off the ground. Doug Phillips has zero credibility with Faith PCA. They’d already been burned before by Doug Phillips, and they’re not gullible enough to allow themselves to be set up to get burned twice. Some of the evidence for Doug Phillips’ duplicity against not just Jen and her family, but also against Faith PCA, can be found on the Boerne Christian Assembly web site. The BCA web site had been set up by Doug Phillips for no other purpose at the time than to be a public response to Jen’s Gems (quite unusual in the history of church web sites). Indeed, the vast majority of the site’s contents for the first few years of its existence were BCA/Phillips responses to Jen’s exposés.

    In typical Doug Phillips lawyerly fashion his Faith PCA Responds article selectively quotes from the private correspondence of Faith Presbyterian Church, San Antonio, after the Faith PCA Elders expressly told Doug Phillips that any of their correspondence to him was strictly confidential and that he could not use their correspondence for creating any articles, making any public statements, or quoting any portion thereof.

    Doug Phillips blatantly violated their agreement by selectively quoting from their correspondence, taking their statements out of context, and publicly misrepresenting them. And yes, Jen is absolutely correct when she says that one of those Faith PCA elders later acknowledged, after realizing he’d been hoodwinked by Doug Phillips, “We f**ked up!”

    Needless to say when Beall Phillips approached Faith PCA and asked them to broker a mediation deal between Doug and Cassandra she received a less than an enthusiastic reply. The Faith PCA Elders knew by then that Doug Phillips was just using them in a ploy to prevent Cassandra from later filing a civil lawsuit. As part of Peacemaker Ministries mediation the parties generally sign a waiver agreeing that they will not later sue, or even publicly disparage, those that they are mediating with.

    Doug Phillips used a similar strategy to silence Joe Taylor and the DeRosas (although it wasn’t done through Peacemaker Ministries). Phillips threatened to sue Taylor, but he offered to set aside a lawsuit should Taylor agree to binding arbitration. This was all done under the guise of 1 Cor. 6 because (as everyone should know by now) Doug Phillips is all about using the Bible when it’s strategically and financially advantageous to do so. Joe Taylor and Pete DeRosa showed up in person for the arbitration, but Doug Phillips didn’t. He sent his attorney instead. Since one of the purposes of that arbitration was to facilitate reconciliation between the parties, one has to wonder how reconciliation could have been facilitated by Doug Phillips through his proxy. Needless to say the arbitration accomplished nothing in the way of reconciliation.

    In the end Joe Taylor and the DeRosas were legally silenced from speaking out against Doug Phillips (not that Pete DeRosa was ever morally or ethically able to have spoken out anyway). Silencing Joe Taylor, in particular, was precisely Phillips’ goal. It’s Doug Phillips’ goal to this day regarding anyone who has any dirt on him.

    The reason Doug Phillips had his attorney send threatening letters to Peter Bradrick, Bob Renaud and Jordan Muela is because they know where the bodies are buried, and that worries Doug Phillips greatly. Joe Morecraft and Mark Weaver are not in the know.

    Doug Phillips is a creature of habit, which makes him easy to predict. As I’ve written in my articles, and commented on before numerous times, and as Jen has confirmed, when worried over the probability of public exposure Doug Phillips is quick to threaten to sue. But the last thing he wants is to actually go to court with anyone who knows where the bodies are buried. Doug Phillips will do everything he can to avoid the legal process known as “Discovery.” He has everything to lose and nothing to gain from suing insiders like Bradrick, Renaud and Muela. As such the threat of litigation is nothing but a ruse. Unfortunately the naive have been all too easily intimidated by Phillips and foolishly believed that he’d make good on a lawsuit. So they take the bait when he offers (like the good 1 Cor. 6 Christian that he is) to mediate the dispute out of court instead.

    Threatening lawsuits against his critics is a Doug Phillips’ strong arm tactic to coerce them into agreeing to Alternative Dispute Resolution (mediation or arbitration). ADR then becomes the tool to forever silence his critics, all rationalized under the biblical admonishment, “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?” If suing a brother in civil court is unbiblical then it is equally unbiblical to threaten to sue them. Moreover it is incredibly hypocritical to threaten to sue but then extend the olive branch of Christian mediation, when your only intention is to force them into mediation as a means of permanently silencing them.

    • Jen Says:

      TW, thank you for filling in more of the details, especially regarding the legal nature of all that is involved here.

      Doug Phillips threatens to sue people, usually individually or as a family, and because it is just one or two, or in this case, three people, it is easy to feel the weight of the threat of a lawsuit, and the painless way is to keep quiet and pretend that the elephant in the middle of the room does not exist. I know one particular family who did this and not only did they all but lose their business, but they lost their health and their sense of peace and well being as well. This family has cowered in fear of Doug Phillips for years now. And they are not the only ones.

      Here’s the deal. If everyone had something important to share, and if you’ve been hurt by Doug Phillips in any way, your story is important, then the strength would be in the numbers of hurt people standing up to one bully. Is everyone going to let this bully oppress the rest of us into silence, or are we going to unite together and stand up for righteousness?

    • bonnie k. Says:

      I do hope your twiced-used phrase “where the bodies are buried” is just a figure of speech.

  6. Ann Says:

    Jen, It took great courage to attend the film festival and face people you haven’t seen in years. I am glad it worked out so well! I wonder how Doug would have fared if he had shown up. My only question is about Beall. Do you think she ever considers the damage Doug’s narcissistic actions does to their children? Are there people who would help her disengage from Doug or has she burned all of her bridges? Thanks, Ann

    • Jen Says:

      Ann, thank you.

      As for how Doug would have fared if he had shown up, it all would have depended on his motive and attitude in doing so, just as it did mine. If I shunned those who have shunned me for nine years now, it could have created quite a scene, and caused even more pain and suffering for people. Given his attitude in World’s article, I am very glad he did not show up. He is not ready for that yet.

      As for Beall, I do know that she still has the BCA members standing by her side, but they are also standing by Doug as well, so I’m not sure that is healthy for either of them. Although I have had very little interaction with Beall in the last nine years, when I knew her during our time at BCA, she would bend over backward to support her husband in everything he said and did. Did she ever question him privately? If so, she would have been sinning (according to her). so she has brainwashed her own self into blindly following her husband no matter what. They also believe that ALL divorce is sin, so that is not an option either. Does she consider how her husband’s actions influence her children? Absolutely. But not in the way you are thinking. No, even though he committed adultery against her, I am certain that she still fully believes that he has brought his children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and that we are all their enemies. Nothing could be further from the truth, unfortunately. At this point, she is in some serious emotional bondage that she has no interest in letting go.

  7. Observer Says:

    The parallels between Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard are eerie. I think it is very easy to think one cannot be deceived and here we all are… I hope someone puts this all together so that there is some warning (not that the Bible is not enough for it warns over and over again about wolves in sheep’s clothing and Pharisees who are corrupt). There was something in me that thought that I would never be so blind to a Jimmy Swaggert, or Jimmy Baker. After all, I am smarter than that or I know my Bible better than that. But I was wrong. We should all take heed to depend on Jesus alone.

    • Jen Says:

      I do believe that both Doug Phillips’ and Bill Gothard’s fall from being idols at the same time is God speaking to us. Every generation has their own blind spot, and this was ours. Some serious Bible study needs to be in our near future.

      • Ryan Outler Says:

        I don’t trust any of these Homeschool Superstars. They get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to go these homeschool conventions and tell people how conservative they are and how good of leaders they are. Doug Phillips, Scott Brown, Ken Ham, Bill Gothard, Kevin Swanson, RC Sproul Jr., I wouldn’t let any of these guys anywhere near my daughters, that is for sure! The ones that are preaching the loudest are usually the ones hiding something.

        • Jen Says:

          Ryan, while I understand that it could look that way, I think we always need to be careful not to overgeneralize and paint with too broad a brush. Let’s always treat each person as a unique individual. Sometimes there are people who have really good things to share and they truly have no ulterior motives or no hidden agendas or secret, alternative lifestyles.

          The key, for me, is knowing how to think critically for yourself.

        • Susanne Says:

          But Jen, if they are creating too much money and fame for themselves, how sincere can they really be? That is pretty much my standard for questioning.

        • Thankful Says:

          My understanding is that Mr Gothard, lived in a tiny dorm-like apartment and did not even own a vehicle. I believe his salary…if any, was negligible. I do not know about the others.

        • Eva Says:

          Thankful, you are wrong if you believe the story about Bill Gothard only taking a small salary and living an austere life. He traveled for awhile in a LearJet owned by IBLP, he owned an old car which cost the “ministry” a lot of money to keep going. He did take a small “salary” but had all his bills paid by the “ministry”. If he wanted it he could get it. I don’t think he suffered in any way financially. It was all a show so he didn’t have to pay income tax and it looked good to those who were paying IBLP large amounts of money (that they could ill afford) to be in his programs.

  8. Walking in Freedom Says:

    Once again, thank you for taking the time to expose the evil that is Doug Phillips.

  9. Grace Alone Says:

    Thanks, again!

  10. cptruthlover Says:

    Couldn’t beleive he would have the audacity to stab these three men all over again after the hurt he has caused them. I pray for their families and I am glad to hear that people are coming together in love. Thank you for all the insight to help people think more clearly about a man that most of us could not even fathom exists. I think it is hard for people to reconcile the biblical nature of his words, with the actions he takes. Although, I am glad we are seeing more of his true character so that we can confirm in our minds that, yes, he truly is an unrepentant, selfish man.

    • Jen Says:

      CP, the real man is becoming more and more public now. Sadly. I pray that he would meditate on his own “True Repentance” article, and that he would experience the true love of God in his life.

  11. oneh20 Says:

    Jen, I have Jordan’s article reposted on my fb.

    • noturniptruck Says:

      I find it interesting that while DP is going around trying to scare people with threats and lawsuits, he’s running scared trying to keep her from suing HIM. I hope she does. I hope she takes him to task…….and gets justice. I hope DP gets a huge dose and taste of his own evil medicine!

  12. Robert Says:

    Joe Morecraft recently released a video about the whole “gossip” subject, refuting the VF/NCFIC view:

    Thank God for the few good men standing up to these patriarchal groups.

    • Jen Says:

      “You are duty bound to expose evil speech and evil character in a public teacher.” This short clip from Joe Morecraft is excellent! Thank you for sharing this, Robert.

  13. noturniptruck Says:

    I also find it interesting that you, Jen were the bad guy and labeled as “psycho” with some “within” and now…….that all the details are in the World mag article, people are all of a sudden reading the details in shock. But it has been here the whole time………TAKE YOUR BLINDERS OFF PEOPLE!

    • Jen Says:

      NoTurnipTruck, yes, World Magazine has really said nothing new. I’ve been saying these things for years. I pray that more people would open their eyes now.

  14. NoMoreCelebrityIdols Says:

    Interesting that Phillips would be blaming people for his business going away when Phillips was already laying people off back in Sep 2013 due to the business being in serious financial trouble before any of those young men spoke out. It is widely known that the VF business has not been making it financially for years.

    • Jen Says:

      NoMoreCelebrityIdols, those three young men, Bob Renaud, Peter Bradrick, and Jordan Muela, are perhaps not aware of the financial struggles in the end. I pray that they will read this and use this information to help them stand up to Doug Phillips and do the right thing.

      I wondered why so many were being let go in September, right before the fourth quarter rush. Thanks for filling us in.

      • noturniptruck Says:

        I know that Peter & Bob knew that VF has been holding on by a thread for YEARS…….atleast 3 before they shut down. Jim L was constantly bailing them out. Not sure what Jordan knew.

  15. Liberty V. Says:

    When I heard Mr. Telfer was going to organize a film festival I knew there would not be a lot of pomp and pride flying around with him and the organizers of this event! Phillip is a very humble servant of Christ from what I can tell.
    Is Don Hart still acting as DP’s attorney? I was not sure if he has also abandoned Phillips after he was exposed or if he is functioning in a “yes man” position here and still sending these threatening letters as in the Joe Taylor debacle.

    • noturniptruck Says:

      Don Hart dropped that fool (DP) like a hot potato after he found out the truth of what DP REALLY did. He originally represented him……….until he found out the actual truth.

      • angelasamber Says:

        That’s good to hear, as we had considered subscribing to his (Don Hart’s) legal defense service, Heritage Defense, but had second thoughts when we found out he was associated with DP. If he is not really one of Doug’s yes men, than that lays to rest some of our concerns.

        • nt12many Says:

          We subscribed to that Defense association for a year and were not impressed. There was no communication from them, only one mailing acknowledging that we had joined and only one or two changes to the website. I left a question on the website and via phone and got an answer via email five months later…and the answer was short and non-specific.

          HSLDA (on the other hand) have called us back within minutes even when we had a crisis that wasn’t due to homeschooling but due to a foster child. They recommended a local lawyer, advised us of our rights and comforted us in a terrible and scary situation.

          My two cents!

        • angelasamber Says:

          Good to know, thank you!

        • Chas Says:

          I wouldn’t pay Don Hart for his so called legal defense service. I wouldn’t have Don Hart do anything for me. Even if he offered to do it for free I wouldn’t accept it. Too risky. I definitely wouldn’t give him money. You won’t get anything for it. You’ll find it out as soon as you need to call for legal help.

          Just because Hart ran away from Phillips over his sexual escapades doesn’t make Hart an honest man. All it means is he was saving his own a**. He’s as dodgy as ever and he’s no competent attorney.

        • Jen Says:

          angelasamber, Don Hart is one of Doug’s biggest “yes men” ever. However, when he found out about what Doug had really done, I believe that he dropped him at that point just to protect his own reputation as a lawyer. The difference between Doug Phillips and Don Hart is negligible at best. Don Hart was responsible for threatening to sue countless individuals and families and businesses on Doug’s behalf. Beware.

        • noturniptruck Says:

          I agree with all that Jen E said……..Don Hart is NOT to be trusted………take what she said as the truth……I wouldn’t go near him with a 10′ pole and don’t see much difference between he & DP except MAYBE he didn’t cheat on his wife………..

        • nt12many Says:

          Just got this today from Heritage Defense. I haven’t gotten a single email from them for a year. I guess they’ve stepped up their game but this article is not even well-written.

    • Jen Says:

      Liberty V., Thank you for your testimony about Philip Telfer’s character. That is great to know!

      As for Don Hart, I have heard he is no longer representing Doug, and if What World reports is true, Doug Phillips is considering taken action against all the Vision Forum board members, which would include Don Hart. That discovery process should be quite telling!

      • noturniptruck Says:

        good grief………..when is Doug going to give it a rest……….when is he going to realize that going around and suing people is NOT going to work? That he tore his ministry down BY HIS BARE HANDS AND NO ONE ELSE’S??? grow some and man up dude…….he just proves over and over and over that he is completely and utterly unrepentant. Plus he’s going to use up any and all funds that he has suing people and put his family in the poor house……..I hope C takes him to task………….Karma……….lots and lots of Karma.

        • End it Says:

          He’s a sociopath. He truly believes he is right. Therefore all people who speak out against him must be sued. They are wrong, they must be punished.

        • Jen Says:

          End it, I know some people will take exception to this, but with my current training, I sincerely believe that even those labeled as “sociopaths” can be healed from that as well. The key is that they must truly want to be like Jesus instead. I am trained in helping people find emotional healing from these types of “labels.”

  16. angelasamber Says:

    Thank you for continuing to expose the truth about this wolf in sheep’s clothing. The saddest fact about this whole thing is that he is not an anomaly. Between my husband and myself, we can count more than a dozen former pastors in the reformed/sovereign grace circles who have fallen in just such a way. It makes us tremble and take more care for ourselves.

    I’m just curious why people keep attempting anonymity in regards to the mistress. You mention a multitude of details that point to a certain individual, and you also mention that she was in the wedding party at one of the “community’s” high-profile weddings. The Phillips’ nanny, L.T., was in the wedding party at the Bradrick wedding, so I think in addition to the details you have provided, it would be fairly safe to assume that she is the mistress. Also, I understand the main focus here is elder abuse, but I find it hard to believe that she had no fault in the matter, and I think keeping her identity a secret is protecting someone who ought to be exposed. She gave up her right to be anonymous the first time she engaged in sexual intimacy with Doug, regardless of how she may have been coerced. Doug preached that biblical law required the death penalty for adultery, so he ought to be put to death. But biblical law also states that when a woman is raped, but she does not “cry out,” (i.e. our modern day parallel would be to report the actions to the civil authority), then the fornication is considered to be consensual and she has no right to seek to prosecute her alleged attacker. I’m not trying to challenge or criticize you, just puzzled as to why she is being protected and put forth as the innocent victim.

    • cptruthlover Says:

      Praise the Lord we no longer must adhere to the Old Testament law. The letter of the law kills, but Jesus saves. God knew the law was something we could never keep and it was meant to point us to Jesus.

      That being said, we do not kill those who fornicate and we also do not marry off our daughters who have been violated to their abusers.

      There are many reasons Why a woman does not cry out if she is sexually abused. You would not beleive the amount of women who are raped that do not say anything because it would put them through all that turmoil again. I am not saying that is what happened in this situation, but your suggestion that sexual assault is considered consensual if no one is told is aweful.

      • angelasamber Says:

        I understand that the whole subject of theonomy vs antinomianism is a huge subject, and it was not my intention to start a debate on that topic. My main point was that it seems unfair to put all the blame on DP, and none whatsoever on his consenting mistress. She sinned against God and her fellow man, regardless of how she may be portrayed as a hero or a victim. I am in no way excusing doug or minimizing his guilt, but sin is sin, and she should be exposed equally with Doug, as she was a partner in his crime. She allowed it to happen, and she allowed it to go on. Period.

        • noturniptruck Says:

          you are right Angela. @Jen E: do you think we will ever hear a public apology and asking for repentance from C?

        • Jen Says:

          NoTurnipTruck, I’m not quite sure what you are asking here, but from what I have observed, Cassandra is hurting and healing, but quite repentant. She appears to love the Lord very much. She is not going to speak out publicly while there is still a possibility of legal action.

        • noturniptruck Says:

          okay thanks for the clarification here Jen.

    • Jen Says:

      angelasamber, I agree with your assessment of Doug’s nanny. Yes, she readily admits that she was in the wrong as well. I am just attempting to keep the focus on Doug Phillips in this particular blog. Although she was wrong as well, Doug Phillips has a greater responsibility because he was in a position of authority, not only as her elder, but also as her employer.

      • Observer Says:

        Beyond the elder and employer question is another issue: Was there a “grooming” towards this woman and her family when she was at a more vulnerable age (not the age of the adultery)? She will face a terrible time for her sin.
        But the cross is there for everyone— for David the King, for Rahab the prostitute and for all of us…..

        • Jen Says:

          Observer, I never observed any “grooming” before she was 18. However, in looking back, I believe the attraction began when was 18.

        • Observer Says:

          Jen: Okay. Well then more difficult to access and judge. It would be more like when the rest of us send our freshman girls off to college then something happens with a married man. The biblical example would be more of King David. Bathsheba is named and she suffers terribly in the loss of her son and husband and husband’s family. However, the preponderance of the blame and shame is carried by David who plans the adultery, the murder and who is in the position of authority.

        • noturniptruck Says:

          there might have been some “grooming” behind the scenes………they did know each other well before she turned 18. It might have been plausible that DP specifically waited until she was 18 to make a move…….but that’s just a totally random guess.

        • Jen Says:

          NoTurnipTruck, if there was any “grooming” going on before 18, he hid it well. Cassandra and my daughter were best friends for those years and we knew her very well.

  17. Bbb Says:

    We found the festival engaging – much more helpful to our mission with film – and very humble. I am not so bold to say our film and award here – but we were very pleased with the outcome of our entry 🙂 The final evening was more like a worship service – plus I loved the fun lighthearted digs here and there at each other, at themselves, and a little bit at the SAICFF – they were not ill-willed, just funny and to the point. For instance – having all the children come up as judges. I don’t know if it was intended, but it spoke volumes about this being about the people. Other fun included the modest prizes jokes, etc. Telfer was so humble on stage. The entertainment was down home – the schedule the entire week was spot on – on time, start and stop times, very smooth from our end. Jen – I wish I would have noticed you were the greeter. I did see you and speak to you almost every day. You will just have to wonder 🙂

    I also want to publicly state that Castle Rock Baptist church was so gracious to support this festival. It was the perfect location and the staff and workers on campus were so polite and helpful. I tended to wander around a bit with some time to kill, I enjoyed this older but well-kept campus and all the nooks for sitting and working, waiting, texting, etc. That is what church is about people. A staff and congregation that shares their building, unlocks their doors, opens their arms to other denominations. People with long hair, short hair, shorts, jeans, suits, dresses – all welcome. My favorite thing was the sign in the parking lot when you left – “You are now entering your mission field.” Just awesome.

    Thanks so much for mentioning this festival and bragging on PT. I thought he stood in the gap beautifully.

  18. Mack Says:

    Jen, I just want to say that I appreciate how, in spite of your past with Doug Phillips, you have clearly grown in grace and are balancing your desire for justice and shedding light on the teachings,deception, and true spiritual abuse with the need to be calm and rational about it. I was happy to read your post and feel like I got something out of it without having to pick out speculation presented as fact and extreme bias presented as undeniable truth.

    There are certain other blogs out there, started in the name of justice and exposing abuse, which have, over time,taken a turn for the irrational…especially recently. It is good to hear from you again, as these irrational voices seem to be taking precedence on the “spiritual abuse” blog scene, if there is one of those. The danger when that happens, in my opinion, is that they may begin to make faulty claims, ignore relevant facts, present half truths, dismiss anyone who disagrees on any point as a victim blamer, and paint only the desired picture they hope to have. When that happens, it is no better of a tactic than that used by the people they are trying to expose, and it turns their blog into a National Enquirer of spiritual abuse stories, filled with a lot of truth mixed with garbage and slander.

    When you have something to say, I’m glad to read it. When you are silent for a while, that’s cool, too. As for the others, I think it’s time for many of them to try taking a hiatus to gather their senses and reevaluate what they are trying to accomplish. There is a lot of stuff that needs to be exposed out there, but sometimes some people hurt their own cause by the way they behave.

    • Jen Says:

      Thanks, Mack! I appreciate your good words. I am not going to talk just to hear myself talk here. I do want to begin changing the tone of the blog toward an emphasis on healing and learning biblical truth, as I have time, but if there are important stories about Doug Phillips that come up along the way, I will continue to report on those as well.

    • HisEzer Says:

      Mack, I could not agree with you more. Some are actually doing more harm then good in the process of shining the light on spiritual abuse, and I have encountered much resistance when attempting to share my concerns with them.

      • Jen Says:

        It is truly difficult to find places and people able to actually help people recover from spiritual abuse. I pray for more people to be trained in this area.

        • Rich Says:

          I so agree. I had to stop reading one of those blogs for the same reasons. I felt trampled on (not quite absued) by the anti-abusers. Weird. Jen, your blog is kind and truth-centered. Keep up the good work.

        • Jen Says:

          Thanks, Rich. God has used these situations in my own life to change my own heart toward others.

  19. Jean Says:

    Jen, been speaking to several women from Texas who were in ATI as well as the DP crowd. Double the cup for them in unscriptural lies that created a strong chain of bondage. I thank God they have seen the Truth of Grace and mercy! They have been set free, but we both know that this road to letting go of chains will take a long while. I am grateful for your post and, if God wills, I am going to share the post with them.
    I do have a question, however. Do you know if Tim Lyles is DP’s new lawyer?
    Again, thank you for transparency and for showing us the meaning of amazing grace.

    • Jen Says:

      Jean, if Tim Lyles is Doug’s attorney, there may be a conflict of interest there, since he has been on the board of VF, Inc. from almost the beginning. If that is the case, then Bob Renaud should ask him to recuse himself because he knows too much from an insider’s perspective.

      As far as all these people who are reeling from both Doug and Bill’s recent resignations, I am now a certified health coach, trained to help people heal from this. As an insider myself, I can understand perhaps more so than any other counselor. Feel free to pass on my info to anyone who wants healing. I approach this from a bio-individual basis, knowing that each person has to go through their own healing process.

      • Jean Says:

        I will… Thank you. I will give them information this week.

        • DesiringToDiscern Says:

          Jean, the TX. ATI group was quite divergent. They had their own *standards* apart from ATI materials. I knew to avoid them. The ones I met in many areas of the US are not at all like those folks. There are no *standards* handed down from ATI. I have met ATI people who run the gamut as far as how they look, their family boundaries, curriculum, etc. One thing I know is that a few of the parents made their own rules that did not come from ATI. Some parents in general are good parents and some are awful parents….on their own…without blaming a group…. home-schooled or not. Some eat granola, some eat fruit loops. Some parents are fruit loops….. but not all. 🙂

  20. Ann Says:

    I totally disagree with Angela about Doug’s victim. First she did not lie to or cheat on her spouse. I have quoted elsewhere, “adultery isn’t about who you lie with, but whom you lie to.” Doug lied to his wife ad children. The victim had been raised in a very narrow world under Doug’s teaching from a young age. Everyone around her seemed to “worship” him and his teachings. The victim was taught obedience to men of God. Once Beall became aware that something was fishy around 2009, she did not call out her husband. If Beall was tolerating it, what does that tell the victim? Doug was caught climbing through the victim’s window at the end of 2013. Fortunately her family chased him out. Lastly, there was a huge imbalance of power. How does a young impressionable woman, from a poor family, stand up to her father’s boss who is educated, wealthy and much older. We know from others that Doug is extremely charismatic and fooled many people around him for years. I am impressed that the victim is woman enough to admit t that what she was involved in was wrong. This shows a maturity I have yet to see from Doug. I pray for healing for both the victim and Doug’s children. Ann

    • Jen Says:

      Ann, while they were both wrong, the burden lies much more heavily on Doug’s side, to be sure. If Beall did not know before 2009, she was simply being blind. Others knew long before that. As for Doug climbing through the window, I’m thinking your date may be off a bit. 🙂

    • tgbtg Says:

      If it was 2013, that’s NOT a good sign (or demonstration that C is repentant). I believe Jen indicates that 2013 is NOT correct. I do not know WHAT year it was (2012?), but regardless of the year, WHAT happened to women and children first in the eyes of C’s father and/or brothers????? From the sound of it the whole FAMILY is now complicit is this—to have knowledge of it and do nothing/help hide the sin. It breaks my heart—grieves me–but also brings a wave of righteous anger. Oh, so much healing to be done……..oh, so much.

      • Truthseeker Says:

        @tgbtg Doug Phillips was caught by Cassandra’s family climbing in her window in December of 2012. Things ended between Doug and Cassandra that day. @Jen In your above comment you say “from your observation of Cassandra”, have you been able to speak with her?

      • Jen Says:

        From what I hear, and I’m not ABSOLUTELY certain of this, they were caught more than once, just over a year ago, and both families knew about, or at least suspected, it for a while, but didn’t do anything until they were “caught.”

        • NoMoreCelebrityIdols Says:

          If true, the time line that is, then everyone that knew about it before The Doug resigned as elder at BCA in 2013 is complicit, including Beall, C’s brother, and C’s parents, in allowing The Doug to continue as an elder knowing that he was no longer qualified to serve.

        • Half truths abound Says:

          Yes, BUT, there was significant pressure placed on C’s family to keep it quiet.

    • Latoya Says:

      @Ann I don’t completely disagree with what you’re saying about C.I agree with the imbalance of power aspect. No doubt C might have had a lack of confidence, or even self-worth thanks to the indoctrination she received. Like you, I say she is a victim.

      I also can understand Angela’s point of view as well. C may have been taught obedience to “Men of God,” but that cult also talked about “turning girl’s heart’s to their fathers” (and that phrase is icky.) With all of the banging on about purity, chivalry and Biblical femininity, let’s assume the 10 Commandments were covered at some point (maybe a former or current BCA member could say otherwise). C had to know what she was doing wasn’t right…well before whenever she was caught by whoever. People who’ve been cheated on or have adulterers for parents may not find C all that sympathetic because she was legally an adult.

      Unless I’ve read it incorrectly, people are asserting that Doug did not groom C before the age of 18. I’d say C without fault if she was groomed by Doug as a minor and her parents were completely asleep at the wheel. (Personally, I’m not convinced that grooming didn’t take place. This makes me think of Eddie Long to some degree.) Assuming she wasn’t groomed, it would be hard to understand how C could care for Beall’s kids, smile in their faces, pretend to be kind to Beall and then get involved with Beall’s husband.

      I know everyone disagrees, but I say C might have been groomed by Doug before age 18 and for that reason, she is a victim.

      And there’s no denying it, Doug has no business preaching and cashing in on others…he can’t get his own act together.

  21. wakingup Says:

    Jen, I have a lot of respect for you. Thank you for leading the way in lovingly exposing the truth, and for leading the way to forgiveness. EVERYONE ELSE INVOLVED: learn from her example and speak up courageously!

  22. Ann Says:

    2012? 🙂

  23. notsurprised Says:

    I am constantly amazed (sadly) at other bloggers who aren’t really connected to VF & Doug like you are who discredit you guys when they aren’t even involved. This is NOT a competition! Yet, they act like they are superior or there’s this battle for power and who has what info etc. People need to remember the focus here is Doug……..and making sure he NEVER is in “ministry” again. Not only that, to make sure he doesn’t ever have as much power and control as he once did.

    Wouldn’t it be quite interesting for him to keep suing others with frivolous lawsuits and then he doesn’t have enough money to defend himself against C or survive? Time will tell………..

    • NoMoreCelebrityIdols Says:

      The Doug only threatens to sue…he would never follow through. Can you imagine what would come out under discovery? Plus, he has little chance of winning with the wide public exposure of this and his very public life which raises the bar on slander to a very high level. The Doug likes to threaten people to intimidate them into silence. You see that when people receive his letters and close down their FB accounts, etc. People need to “man up” and stand up to this tyrannical bully!

    • Not Fooled Anymore Says:

      notsurprirsed, thank you for posting this. This has increasingly bothered my spouse and I as time is going by in regards to others posting and saying they ( the blogger) that don’t have any connections to VF, BCA or Doug are casting doubt upon others comments and experiences. Not trying to discount the source, but the “source” may have some connections, but we all must remember we do not know if said sources, though well meaning, are even remotely connected or are hearing things second hand and then giving them to others to post.. The things said may be accurate, but there may be more to it than that as they maybe did not happen to see everything in the whole big picture. Or they may be a great source, but each person only sees what they are exposed to and others may have seen more or less in many things regarding Doug, ( I am not just referring to the Cassandra incident, but to all things being posted about this community,Doug, BCA and VF) .

      I would like to remind everyone who has been directly involved with DP, BCA and VF, like us, in some ways directly with all three, that each person and group of people is going to have some of their own takes on what they saw and experienced in regards to the years they were involved.Your age may play into how you viewed and experienced things and what your responsibilities were. If you were an intern, you were privy to things my family may not have been, then in the years we were involved we know what we personally experienced and we know if was not good and can verify and defend what we saw and experienced. Employees who did not go to BCA may not have seen what those at BCA did and so on. Point is this was a big enough group and depending on where you were in the “inner” circle, “outer” circle or whatever else, you will possibly have a different piece of the puzzle and it does not make one source more important than the other as all who were involved are sources who have been greatly hurt for many,many years. No matter who a source is they have value and should not be discredited just because someone else thinks they did not see something. Just as I stated you just may not have seen a particular part of what all that went on at BCA or elsewhere and should not discredit if someone else did.

      Now someone else with a different set of friends in the same community may not have seen what we saw, but saw some other things. I do truly believe there are so many facets to the crazy running of BCA, VF and Doug’s antics that we may never know it all or it may take a long time to unravel it all and see where each person’s piece of the puzzle fits. So I plead with those posting, blogging and writing to respect that others may have seen things you may not have and stop casting doubt upon what others have verified and posted. It is not a contest, it is a way to try to resolve the truth and problems. If you truly know a fact to be incorrect, then please state the correction kindly and lovingly to help us all work through this sad situation so this community, people outed from it and those still involved can continue to heal. Most of all we want the truth to come out and for those who have been greatly damaged by this man to be restored. Facts may be true, but an honest error in dates may occur. I do not think people are trying to do so purposely, Who would have thought we would all be trying to put these pieces together years later and dates, stories and eye witness accounts may honestly be a bit foggy, etc and folks are trying to do their best. Consider that! Thank you!

    • Jess Says:

      I am surprised that you posted a link to this article, T.W. I thought one of the goals of this blog was to keep Cassandra’s identity secret? Did that change since evidently she has been talking more publicly?

      • shhhhhhh Says:

        you will be happy to know Jess, that the author of the article above has changed Cassandra’s real name to “unmarried woman” to try to protect her identity, although those “in the know” already know her and who she is and it was public for 6 days, it has been changed.

        • Jess Says:

          That is wonderful – too bad it was publicized and then people were directed to it…but glad it is no longer there. Thanks for the update!

  24. DesiringToDiscern Says:

    So this is a threat at this point? those guys should know how DP works and NOT cave in to DP

  25. notsurprised Says:

    FYI, there is a 3 part article and timeline and details of what actually went on with DP & Cassandra at

    • Truthseeker Says:

      SSB timeline is accurate.

    • Truthseeker Says:

      I am puzzled as to why the timeline on SSB is not being promoted here.

      • Christine V. Says:

        This DP is a sick man. I pray to God that the Phillips children can somehow be spared being damaged by their morally insane parents.

        • shhhhhhh Says:

          maybe because the blog posts and comments over there are negative towards Jen & TW? ALOT OF THEM! people need to understand that this is NOT a competition. This is about getting the truth out. SSB needs to STOP discrediting people and focus on the truth and making sure DP NEVER goes into the ministry of ANY type again……..they are allies and not enemies against DP!!!

  26. msh Says:

    I came upon your post after reading the World magazine article. I then went back and read your personal story. I just thank God for the grace and mercy He bestowed upon our family and the wisdom he showed my husband so many years ago. We were in a very similar situation of Spiritual Abuse and if we had continued down that path without questioning and by blindly accepting what a man told us our family would have been destroyed. I am grateful that God gave us the ability to discern truth from his Word and not of the mindset to accept something as truth simply because it came from leadership within the church. As it is it has taken me almost 15 years to reach the point of even slightly trusting a pastor/preacher again and I’m not sure I ever will put my trust in a man again.

    Unfortunately this pattern of abuse in churches isn’t limited to large homeschool communities or large Christian ministries, it has trickled down to the smallest of congregations where the church was once the sanctuary against evil and instead has become the protectors of it.

  27. Brenda Karl Says:

    This is off subject, but I am hoping that you or your readers might be able to help me. I am putting together a power point presentation/speech to enlighten people about the dangers of Biblical patriarchy/FIC churches and their abuse of women. I’ve seen several slides/memes/posters on screen (?) that mimic the movement, but really cause you to think. One I found recently was of a mom and her daughter, dressed much like you see the adds in the 50’s and they are cooking together. The meme presents the mom as saying something like, “Oh, no dear. Dreams are something that Satan gives you to keep you from making a great dinner.” Something like that? Anyway…I can’t find it now and I was hoping that if you are anyone out there could point me in the right direction , I would truly be grateful. Any memes are welcome, but that one in particular I would love to find. I think everyone needs to be warned about this movement. Thanks for your help.

    • oneh20 Says:

      Just have to step in a bit.. Brenda, Please just keep in mind that not all FIC’s are the same. I belong to an FIC and its very diverse. Some of the families are quite patriarchal, but the women are treated with so much love, tenderness, and respect, its incredible. Like many things in the news about Christians, pro lifers, etc., the bad stuff gets the press, so please remember that not all things are represented with balance. I think Jen would concur. I’m not saying that there aren’t problems, but I think memes, etc. don’t actually help address the issue. Instead, they tend to generalize and create just as much unhealthy group think as do *some FIC’s, etc. Good “luck” with your presentation – praying for accuracy and balance… God bless.

    • shhhhhhh Says:

      whoaaaaaaaaaa………Brenda! We also attend an FIC……..we are totally not as you describe at all. I am not only offended by your assessment but also by the fact that you are doing a broad brushed judgement that ALL FIC’s are like that. They are not. Some are as different as day & night. You are treading on very treacherous territory there. Have you attended or been to more than one FIC? like really attended. I think you are doing nothing but slandering and being divisive to the Body of Christ. Not all (including ours) want to be like Scott Brown’s church or BCA. In fact, we don’t want to be anything like that.

      • Cindy Lacy Says:

        I agree, shhhhhhh. We also attend an FIC and are very happy there. We give each other the freedom to be different; for example, some families are very “skirts only” and others are not. Also, some families do not believe in any form of birth control and others do. Some families are keeping their daughters at home until they get married and others are not. I think this is how the body of Christ should be; loving each other and giving freedom for the differences. When we try to force people into one way to do things, we start having problems.

        • PioneerHomeschooler Says:

          Does anyone else see the irony in “giving freedom” for families to “keep their daughters at home until they get married”? I understand what you are saying about making room for different views, but I know daughters who are literally being kept prisoner in their homes under this view. I wonder if these young women think they are being given the same freedom you are championing? (I’m in an FIC as well, but to us “family-integrated” doesn’t mean forcing 24 year old daughters to serve their fathers until those fathers arrange a marriage for them, or forbidding them to go to college.)

        • Cindy Lacy Says:

          This is to Pioneer Homeschooler. I worded that terribly. The daughter I have in mind wants to be at home during this single period of her life. And, by being home I do not mean “imprisoned in the home”. She has been a nanny of sorts, I use that word carefully due to DP’s situation, in two different homes. She also writes for a Teen fiction magazine and has written her own trilogy that she would like to get published. For her college was not something she desired. And, this daughter in particular, is very against arranged marriage.

        • PioneerHomeschooler Says:

          Cindy, that’s very good to hear. And yes, isn’t a shame that perfectly good words end up with baggage because of DP’s and others’ sins.

          FTR, though, I am still concerned about the feeling in some FIC’s that it’s okay to give people the latitude to oppress their grown daughters if that’s what they’re “led” to do. This is going on in our circle of acquaintances (not in our church) and it is painful and dangerous and in at least one case we know of, possibly illegal. I’m perfectly okay with worshiping in a congregation who has diversity in dress, head covering, birth control, Bible translations, etc. I am not okay with being part of a church that either condones or looks the other way while families force, extort or coerce their grown children, no matter the gender, into situations that set them up for abuse inside or outside the family.

        • PioneerHomeschooler Says:

          “There are many churches sucked into this movement without knowing what some of the leaders promote.”

          So true, Shawn. So true.

        • elastigirl Says:

          What strikes me is daughters who “stay at home until they get married” are not getting marketable skills. Since marriage is no guarantee, but death and taxes are, should her parent(s) have untimely deaths what happens then? Responsible parenting/living is raising kids to be able to support themselves financially, and to be able to do it well.

        • Reasonable Says:

          This is the 21st Century. You can learn marketable skills at home and make money marketing them. To claim all stay at home daughters are abused or ill prepared for life is painting with quite a broad brush.

      • Brenda Karl Says:

        Dear Shhhhhhh,
        If you reread my post you will see that I said I was doing a presentation on “Biblical Patriarchy/FIC Churches and how they are abusive to women”. I should have said, how they are “spiritually abusive to women”. Although my presentation was much more about Biblical Patriarchy, and I used the Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy as published by Vision Forum(At one time NCFIC was definitely promoting these tenets as part of their belief structure) If your church has embraced these tenets, I would presume that they were spiritually abuse to women. Consider what David Henke of Watchman Inc, said, “Abusive religions must distinguish themselves from all other religions so they can claim to be distinctive and therefore special to God. This is usually done by majoring on minor issues such as prophecy (?or patriarchy ?), carrying biblical law to extremes, or using strange methods of biblical interpretation. The imbalanced spiritual hobby-horse thus produced represents unique knowledge or practices which seem to validate the group’s claim to special status with God.” Jen also addresses it in a former post where she has a series on the Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy.

        To answer your questions, yes, I am very familiar with FIC, having attended three for quite some time, one of which my husband was the pastor. I’m not here to argue whether or not your church is abusive or not. I am also not here to be divisive. I gave my presentation to be a warning.that Biblical Patriarchy, as presented by it’s own promoters, is abusive to women. It’s that simple, it’s the truth, and if you are uncomfortable with that…well, we must agree to disagree.

        • Shawn Mathis Says:

          Hello Brenda, I think your story of attending three FIC and your husband/pastor leading one may be worth interviewing about. I write for the as the Denver Christian Perspectives Examiner and have studied the FIC for several years (here’s a lecture of my take of the NCFIC as an outsider:

          I know Tenant of Biblical Patriarchy were linked at NCFIC for many years. I have not studied that angle much and would also be interested in your presentation and experience. There are many churches sucked into this movement without knowing what some of the leaders promote. Please email me (see my name with link)

  28. Anew Says:

    I do get weary of seeing stories of clergy sex abuse in which said clergy rarely get jail time or a substantial personal suit awarded to the victims. The only recent situation is the Catholic church pedophile priest cases perhaps? Also, though I don’t really follow them much there are situations that Joyce Meyers and Beth Moore speak of in their childhoods of being sexually abused but I don’t see that their abusers were ever hauled into court (lack of evidence or statute of limitations?). There is now this widespread case involving Bill Gothard and women are writing and detailing what happened but the focus seems to be on his stepping down from his ministry but there is no indication he is being charged with anything.

    Others have posted on various sites that they too were assaulted by clergy or members of the church or others of their acquaintance but with no further statements that this person was held on a criminal charge.

    There is a focus on people not listening to the victim,things being covered up, “recovery” of the victim including forgiveness by the victim as if the guilty party will not be held accountable to any great extent. Arguments over the age of the victim at the time of the assault , the extent or frequency of the assault, the “cooperation” of the victim, and on and on.

    In the case of affairs as a type of betrayal of a clergyman to his wife,family,friends and congregation the consequences seem mitigated by the coverup,don’t talk about it method and acceptance instead of a divorce, by the wife.

    What is the message being sent here to women,to men,to the young,to Christians? Where is the justice? Where is the severe warning and stark punishment? Yes losing a business, a church position and people’s good opinion of you is justified but some of these situations deserve jail time.

    Sometimes these things go on for years and years or might involve numerous victims. The huge ripple effect of the wicked behavior is nauseating.

  29. Anew Says:

    Do all these stories of abuse and/or infidelity have a common thread? The reasons I have seen so far are on various sites are:

    1. All men are sinners (and women,too) so these things happen
    2 Some men are perverted in their sexual nature (as in pedophiles or serial adulterers)
    3 There are those who are sociopathic with no social conscience and so are not inhibited by conscience
    4 It’s the wife”s fault for not taking care to keep her husband sexually satisfied or feeling confident about himself
    5 A congregation is a candy shop of women waiting to adore a charismatic man
    6 He feels he deserves good things in life and that may include what he wants from females (or possibly males or children)
    7It’s the churches fault because it is too condemning when these behaviors are revealed
    8 It’s the churches fault because they cover up and keep hidden when these behaviors are revealed
    9 Men aren’t naturally monogamous so they are acting naturally when doing otherwise
    10 The men were tricked into this by Jezebels or overwhelming sexual attraction
    Ok I will add my own to this list of possible excuses: they are rotten,self centered horn dogs that actually don’t want to keep a rein on their sexual desires and vaguely hope they won’t be caught but figure even if they are caught they are so loved and admired (maybe even by the person they are having sex with) or feel they have such a grip through grooming,intimidation or fear on the other person, that the consequences won’t be that severe or at the time,they just don’t care. They want it all! And often do get it all for a long time! The adulation,the paycheck,the wife,the children ,the ability to influence greatly,the control over others, annnnddd the women on the side or the indulgence of their perversion of the day. White washed sepulchres!

  30. Maxwell Says:

    And if you read through the court filling two things become apparent… 1) Doug Phillips is a pervert and 2) the young lady seemed to be the recipient of Doug’s “affections” not the initiator.

    • zooey111 Says:

      Exactly right, Maxwell. She was the victim of a perverse sociopath, who went about putting on religious airs.

      Note that the court papers, which contain explicit descriptions of DP’s behaviour, may be extremely triggering to those who may have experienced sexual abuse in the past.

    • JPGR Says:

      It’s actually stronger than that. According to the lawsuit filing, she NEVER (as in never ever) consented. She is suing him for (among other things) sexual battery. He touched her, without consent, on numerous occasions. This was NOT an affair (according to her lawsuit, of course). This was abuse and battery.

      Of course, as we all know, the filing of a lawsuit does not make it truth. But it is an important point that we note that she absolutely is not admitting to any affair or anything consensual at all.

  31. tgbtg Says:

    The Titanic sank 102 years ago today. Sadly the (thought-to-be) unsinkable Mr. Phillips is called to account.

    • Jen Says:

      tgbtg, yes, that was the first thing that came to mind when I realized that the suit was filed on April 15. Vision Forum was founded on the principle of protecting women and children in the sinking of the Titanic. How ironic that violating that principle would ultimately sink his ship.

  32. Shawn Mathis Says:

    From the WND article (has a link to the complaint): “The lawsuit claims Vision Forum Ministries’ board was made aware of Phillips’ behavior in January or February of 2013, but continued to keep Phillips in the highest position of leadership until “it was apparent that Phillips’ behavior toward Ms. Torres could no longer remain confidential.” Also, it states that the board strategized “how it could bring Phillips to a place where he could make a ‘comeback’ and regain public leadership of the ministry.”

    Scott Brown was on that board:

    So, we wait to see how this suit settles and what evidence is brought forward.

    • bonnie k. Says:

      “how this suit settles”
      Interesting wording because sometimes there is a possibility of things being settled without a trial. However, according to this article
      the plantiff offered to settle for $10 million. I’d say the plantiff’s attorney had a good sense of humor.

      • Andrew McDonald Says:

        Just read the article. Did anyone else catch the quote?
        “I think God wanted to draw us together and do something much bigger than us or our family’s story,” said Phillips.
        Like Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “I’ll be back.”

        • bonnie k. Says:

          Yes, when Doug stepped down from VFM last fall, Dr. Julie Ingersoll had an opinion piece in a major newspaper in which she observed that men like Doug have a pattern of regrouping (my wording). Also, the lawsuit filed this week mentions (fact 37) that the board was trying to strategize a “comeback” for Doug to be in a position to “regain the public leadership of the ministry.”

        • txmomof8 Says:

          The way that was phrased in the article though, it almost sounded like Beall was the one who said that. Either way – whether Doug or Beall – that’s just crazy and shows how there is absolutely no godly sorrow that leads to repentance. Grievous.

        • Candid Chloe Says:

          That ridiculous interview made me think of another Arnold Schwarzenegger quote…

    • Andrew McDonald Says:

      All the rats are leaving the sinking ship. Do not trust Scott Brown or any of the interns who likely knew long before the poop hit the fan. Read up on SB. Having been around some of these folks I speak from experience. I have been told to not gossip, that the folks may have changed. While this may be true I doubt it. If your church is a member of NCFIC pray that your leadership will have real wisdom to see through the smoke screen and not get involved beyond being on the list. Better still why not just trust God to bring those He wants to your church? Ever hear of George Mueller? If someone asked me I would say: Stay away from Scott Brown and the interns who likely knew all along and now play the hero because of some sermon or heroic confrontation they did way late in the game. Honestly I hope they get their pants sued off. Scoot Brown knew and did nothing until he had no choice as did some of the interns.

      • Shawn Mathis Says:

        Hello Andrew, what you say about Mr. Brown may be true but from my vantage point I only have your say and the undocumented evidence of the complaint. Thus, as I said, I wait.

        • Jen Says:

          I also have the word of an eye witness on that, but I will let them speak for themselves, if they choose to do so.

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          I maybe wrong but I have seen a trend amongst these men who are LORDS of their family, they often have trouble with the wife’s parents and they are divisive. We were in a house church run by big fans of DP and were taught that all other churches were wrong. It took us two years to finally get into another church because we had trouble letting go of the teachings. God has taken care of us through it all plus my wife’s husband had major issues of his own that God had to deal with; I wasn’t saved, just religious, legalism was a good fit for me. I could be wrong but I’ve spoken with a very close family member who has felt the results of not playing ball with SB. They ended up being shunned and SB turned people against them. That also happened to us when we left the house church. Look at their history. Scott B had major trouble in a former church and DP, by M. Farris’s testimony, had trouble in HSDL. All I’m saying is just be very careful. Jesus told us about such men.

        • Shawn Mathis Says:

          Andrew, I can appreciate where you are coming from and such advice would work one-on-one. That is why I’ve been watching these men and their movement and writing about them. So, I published a book on FICs, radical homeschooling and the unknown history of Christian education and Sunday school:

          I cannot write about them or their ministries since I am not there. But what their sloppy history and legalistic theology is easy to document and publish to warn others.

        • Shawn Mathis Says:

          And if a book is too much (easy read of 100 pages), then my lecture at the Presbytery of the Midwest (OPC) is a little over an hour and includes new evidence of the nascent legalism of Phillips’ spawn, the NCFIC:

    • Jen Says:

      Shawn, I think Scott Brown (and Bob Sarratt) are just as culpable in this as Doug Phillips. To not only cover up this type of behavior but for Scott Brown, Don Hart, Jim Zes, Josh Wean, and Doug’s father to continue to promote Doug Phillips’ leadership of teaching about the biblical family is unconscionable. I don’t usually say this, but shame on those men.

  33. Michele Says:

    Dear Jen,

    I realized that I need to apologize to you publicly. You warned me about Doug Phillips in late 2005, at your home after a CM meeting. We had just moved to TX, and begun attending BCA. We were so sure God had moved us there to place us in BCA… I did not believe you. I was shocked, and alarmed by the things you said, but I trusted the comments of others about your character and disregarded the things you said. Mostly. I am sorry that I hurt you. I am sorry that I added to the disparaging of your character. But I also want you to know, that from that night that we talked, I have been wary. It kept us from getting as deep as we would have. We looked at things more critically, always knowing in the back of our minds that the things you said were possible. Then, as others came forward to us, there was a peg to hang those claims on. More perspective. I’m not being as clear as I wish. Mostly, I want my apology to be public. And I want you to know that you made a difference. And even though I did not really heed you, you helped protect us.

    • Jen Says:

      Dear Michele,

      Thank you so much for making a public apology to me. While I have had a few private apologies, there is great healing power in public apologies for situations like this. I am glad that I met you and that what I said made a difference. I was only the messenger, but even if what I said planted a seed of doubt in people’s minds, it was better than going into the situation blind.

      I pray that this will continue to open people’s eyes to the truth, and that truth will set people free from the tremendous bondage found in the legalism of Doug Phillips’ patriarchy system.

      Thank you so much for that public apology! You made my day!

  34. Em Says:

    Sorry – I didn’t see another way to contact you. Did you see this that was posted on 4/16/14 on a San Antonio tv station website?

    • Jen Says:

      Em, thank you for sharing the link with us. For those of us who know Doug and Beall, we know all too well what the looks on their faces mean.

      • Tammy S Says:

        I thought the looks on their faces just looked exhausted from trying to cover up the guilt…but now I am curious. What do those looks mean other than that?

        • Jen Says:

          The looks on their aged, stressed faces are condemning, judging looks, combined with condescension. This is the “look” they both have when they think they are right and everyone else is wrong. I have seen that look so many times that I would recognize it in an instant.

          I am so glad that Kens5 posted that picture because it truly is worth a thousand words to those of us who know them. That look says, “ZERO repentance.”

        • notsurprised Says:

          I agree about “their looks”. I have seen the same thing. Also I thought DP looked “gaunt” like he had lost weight as well………..are you & TW going to address this or write an article about it or no?

      • Molly Says:

        Looks like condescension to me. Like they’re on the verge of rolling their eyes, like “really? THAT’S what she said? Sigh.” They don’t look sad to me, that’s for sure!

        Also, do I detect a hint of mocking or scorn in the headline? “Allegations that He Kept a Woman as a Sex Object.” That is pretty inflammatory. I sense a deliberate choice of words there by the news organization.

    • Jen Says:

      I did not see a video when I first saw this story, but it seems that Kens5 posted a video later in the day, if anyone wants to see the video.

      • NeverAgain Says:

        There was a moment during the video when Doug’s eyes flashed in anger. It was just for a moment.

        Does anyone think Doug really has $10 million to pay off this lawsuit? Does Lourdes know something we don’t?

        • bonnie k. Says:

          I think that was just the plantiff’s way of saying “not interested in settling.” IOW, set the price so high you know it can’t be accepted.

      • LawProf Says:

        I watched the video without the sound, they both look the same to me: smug and angry, downright irritated that an insignificant insect–the help, no less!–has caused THEM so much trouble. If I’m any judge of body language, DP is not a million miles from repentance, brokenness, anything of the sort. He seemed to be keeping a very close tight-jawed monitor of the Mrs when she was speaking as well. Just looking at the guy, how’d you like to spend time in private with that?

  35. EyesWideOpen Says:

    They looked ticked. Like, “I will find you and you WILL pay for embarrassing me.”

    • Not Fooled Anymore Says:

      A look some of us have seen in the past and know unfortunately.

      • Observer Says:

        Outsider perspective: this interview does not help their case at all. And from a PR point of view, they looked really, really bad. He already admitted to physical relationship in the confession and now he is saying that it was mostly an Internet relationship? He would lose EVERYTHING over an “Internet” relationship? Major credibility issues.

        • Jen Says:

          Now it is time to downplay the significance of it, but it is far too late for that.

          Bob Renaud was right last October, when he said, “Tell it yourself. Tell it early. Tell it all.”

  36. notsurprised Says:

    interesting comparisons from SSB. Doug is having NO problems lying and purging himself already and he hasn’t gone to court yet. This is going to be fun. Got popcorn anyone?

    A B Lever
    APRIL 17, 2014 @ 9:57 AM
    Point: DP’s attny. claims that Mrs.M is attempting (by herself) to ruin DP. Didn’t Duggie claim recently that a certain trio of men were doing that.. and threatened them with a lawsuit ?
    AND the other odd thing… DP wrote : “Some reading the words of my resignation have questioned if there was an inappropriate physical component with an unmarried woman. There was, and it was intermittent over a period of years.”
    Yet His attny. writes- “they never had the physical intimacy of touching”. WHOOPS ! Perhaps his attny. should study the basic information prior to court.

    • Andrew McDonald Says:

      “inappropriate physical component” you have to admire the craftiness of these lawyers. Remember they haven’t yet defined these terms so it leaves the field pretty wide open. It’s like talking with a rebellious person who says one thing and then later insists that it meant something quite different than what the average person would infer it to mean. Perhaps by “they never had the physical intimacy of touching” his lawyer means that it was not reciprocal; it was never a ‘they’ it was only a ‘he’. Time will tell but it would not surprise me at all that the court sees a whole new ‘component’ to the facts once DP’s lawyer friend is finished explaining everything.

      • bonnie k. Says:

        One problem I see with this case is that determining the “facts” will rely mostly on the credibility of the plantiff and defendant. In other words, there is probably no way to *prove* that the physical component was what the plantiff alleges. So the case will have to be about whether the circumstantial evidence makes the plantiff believable. So, I think the case will have to focus a lot on the “total institution” aspect.

        • Reality Says:

          Allosaur incident helps the plaintiff make a case for the failure of the “total institution”, IMO

        • bonnie k. Says:

          (this is in reply to Reality–not sure how to put it in the proper location)
          What do you mean by failure of the “total institution”? The plantiff is not trying to make a case for the *failure* of the “total institution.” The plantiff is arguing that the “total institution” succeeded so well that the plantiff had no options to escape the vulnerability and manipulation that she experienced.

        • DesiringToDiscern Says:

          My sincere hope is that MANY who know the truth about him and his business/*ministry*/*church* will step forward in this matter. This young woman is very brave and deserves witness testimony support as to the nature of this whole creepy nest of (thinking of a one-word description)………………

        • Reality Says:

          I guess I should have been clear with context. If the “total institution” is supposed to keep the Christian congregation safe from sociopathic predators then it failed in its mission. If its goal is to keep the “good ole boys” safe in their power positions then it succeeded.

        • LawProf Says:

          Take a look at the complaint, it goes over the top in establishing the “total institution” aspect.

  37. Tammy S Says:

    Jen, I am very glad you had already posted this article questioning “Peace-maker or Truth-Silencer.” Because I had read this, when I read the news story referenced above, the truth was so plain to see. However, I realized that if I had just seen this story on the news without any prior information about the whole situation, that Doug’s claim about the plaintiff not being willing to seek peaceable “reconciliation” would have made him more believable to me. Knowing that this is his tactic to keep her silent and “why” she wasn’t willing to do this makes so much sense. But he sure is a crafty one. There are probably many who will believe that she just isn’t willing to do the “christian” thing and go to mediation with him.

  38. C Lacy Says:

    This article really helped me deal with some of the stuff that is going on. I would be interested to know what others think.

    • Observer Says:

      C Lacy:
      We may indeed be facing a seismic shift. It is interesting that someone is attempting to diagnose one while in the midst of it. But Kudos for trying and I agree with the historical overview perspective. The call for the pendulum not to over swing is an excellent point. Also the “hill to die on” is good. There was a slight “edge” against young earth and modest dress people which I wish was absent. I have always been puzzled by the “herd” mentality as homeschooling really is supposed to be very decentralized. If one goes from California to Pennsylvania to Michigan, homeschoolers look remarkably similar. Technology and these sad events will aid in decentralization.

      Interesting that this article echoes in an ironic fashion what Doug Phillips says in the TV interview. This is bigger than himself and his family (paraphrase). Too many people in the homeschooling movement (including the Lourdes family) worshipped Doug Phillips.

      “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:1-3)

      Final caveat. We face perilous times in the US. We still need leaders in the homeschooling movement to face the challenges which will come our way–criminalizing homeschooling (like Germany), the oversight of homeschooling from UN, the perception from colleges about homeschoolers’ admittance and on and on.

      Article was great.

      • JourneyGirl Says:

        Observer, i just want to note that whatever “edge” against young earth creation and modest dress that may have been perceived in Isreal’s tone, was not against either issue. He was merely pointing out a trend. I know him personally, and he adheres to very modest dress with his wife and daughters (long skirts/dresses/headcovering) and he is also a young earth creationist (at least, the last time i asked him).

        • Observer Says:

          JourneyGirl: Thank you. I was reacting solely to his article and its tone to a wider audience (who has no knowledge of his background). I thought the article very thought provoking. He actually is getting a lot of play for which I am grateful for.

    • Shawn Mathis Says:

      From my knowledge of the movement, Israel’s historical assessment is spot-on. From what others have told me from their experience, there is a changing face of stereotypical homeschooling. So, overall, a helpful article.

      I do want to point something out that tends to get lost by many writers on homeschooling. This is illustrated by Wayne’s own language: “My concern is that the homeschooling movement may lose a passion for the pursuit of God and His truth.”

      I, too, have the same concern…sort of. The ‘homeschooling movement”–by his own admission–is an amorphous movement. A better way to think about this is to be concerned with Christians losing the pursuit of God and His Truth–whether homeschoolers or not. We should think of Christian homeschoolers first as Christians who have churches they attend. Thus, when visiting a conference, they should be Bareans and evaluate what they heard, even to the point of using the gifts of the church: ask your pastor’s opinion. This will help mitigate the cult of personality (think: Phillips) problem in some homeschooling circles.

      Just some thoughts.

      • Andrew McDonald Says:

        I imagine, by now, no one is unaware of DP’s unacceptability as a conference speaker or spiritual leader. Same for Gothard. But there remains some whose beginnings and associations indicate PROBLEMS. They are the ones I am concerned about. DP’s situation, now moving into court, will take care of itself. There is the bigger picture. It is time for us to take care for other brothers and sisters who, unaware, are likely candidates for DP’s old associates who are waiting in the wings to take his place. They are just as dangerous and some seem to be cloaking themselves in serious messages of regret and information, pointing to DP or BG as they slip into the driver’s seat. Beware. I know we fight not against flesh and blood but that is not to say that flesh and blood (people) are not used as instruments of deception in the strategies of the dark. Appearing as angels of light they are like clouds with no rain and our Lord Jesus warned us about them.

        • Observer Says:

          My goodness. It seems everyone now has access to tons of information. People can accept or reject Patriarchy based on those who espouse it and their definition. The point has been that we are not to follow people, but God. The fall of two giants within months is almost supernatural and excellent for the homeschooling movement moving forward. Much better than a horrid drip, drip, drip over years.

          If people are so silly as to follow more men, I just don’t know what to think other than they deserve what happens next.

        • Molly Says:

          All you can do is try to share truth with them and pray for them. You can’t force people to believe what is right and shun these false teachers. Believe me, I’ve tried. It’s very heartbreaking, but God is faithful. If the scales can come off your eyes, they can come off the eyes of your leadership, too.

      • C Lacy Says:

        I hadn’t caught that, but I agree. We need to be Christians first.

  39. Shawn Mathis Says:

    FYI: Phillips works are disappearing over the internet:

    • DesiringToDiscern Says:

      Maybe those guys want to disassociate from him. Maybe DP’s lawyer is attempting to remove evidence of DPs *doctrine* prior to the trial….which would be futile.

    • JourneyGirl Says:

      It’s called “Whitewashing the tomb of unbiblical doctrines.” They are scrubbing Phillips’ name off the teachings and making way for the New and Improved Tenets of Patriarchy. Those who aren’t discerning will be duped into believing and following those who re-package patriarchal teachings to seem more palatable, while distancing themselves from the marring name of Doug Phillips. Watch the wolves. They run in packs in the darkness.

  40. Dom Walk Says:

    From the complaint. Your Vision Forum donations hard at work…

    “As time passed, Ms. Torres was invited on various trips with the family (to many states like Hawaii, Virginia, and Florida. Ms. Torres was even invited to go on trips outside of the country). Ms. Torres’s expenses were always paid on these trips and many times, if her family was invited, their expenses were also paid. Ms. Torres’s family was not financially in a position to participate in many of these trips apart from Douglas Phillips’s financial support.”

  41. Andrew McDonald Says:

    This is a plea to all those who have written here: Please pray for our church. We had a church split some years ago that, as much as I can understand, was blamed on Calvinism. Since then we have joined NCFIC with no vote (that I know of) just suddenly we were members. After that we had Scott Brown do an NCFIC event using our facilities. Today he is preaching at the evening service. I am afraid Journey Girl is right in her assessment and that our church leadership has been fooled. Our pastor is young, he has already spoken at NCFIC functions. is a great fan of SB and Doug Wilson too. Both these men have unconfessed rebellion with their churches/denominations and have been kicked out. I think they are divisive pure and simple. I believe we need God to open the eyes of our leaders, even more scary is that maybe our leaders know exactly where they’re headed and I don’t want to go there. But we have many friends here. It is hard. I find myself wanting to run.

    • DesiringToDiscern Says:

      Andrew……………. follow that leading and RUN !!!!! Joseph did it from Potiphar’s wife. another Joseph ran with baby Jesus. You will regret staying. You are not the leadership of that church. You cannot lead the leaders. You do not need to take yourself and your family over the cliff with that leadership. Follow the true and loving Shepherd. We had to leave. We sincerely miss the friendships and fellowship but we KNOW that we did the right thing in leaving.

      • Andrew McDonald Says:

        You sound like you had a similar situation. I cannot speak to many folks for fear of getting in trouble. If you would like to talk you can ask Jen to give my contact info to you. I am a new Christian and frankly it seems a shame to get saved in a place that is going off course. I love the people! My Heavenly Father has been so good to me and to my family. Thanks for your prayers.

      • Molly Says:

        I have also been in the same situation. I would not necessarily run. I think you should keep praying for your church and your leadership and listen for God’s direction. In my own church, it was the pastor who fell under the spell of Phillips. A small (but vocal) group also wanted patriarchy. Eventually, they (the pastor and the small group) are the ones who left. We have a new pastor now, one truly committed to preaching the Good News and the Word of God, and our church is thriving again. So many times I wanted to leave. My heart was broken over and over as I watched my best friends walk out. But in the end, staying was the right decision. I do not know if it is the right decision for you and your spouse. I will say a prayer for you for wisdom and a prayer that the church as a whole would reject these false prophets!

    • JourneyGirl Says:

      Andrew, yes, I have been following your comments and have been praying for you and your church fellowship. I noted that Scott was speaking at a conference in WA this past weekend, and wondered where he’d speak on Sunday. I know him, his former friends, and people who attend his current group (i can’t call it a church). Will keep praying as you seek to walk in wisdom and discern what the Lord would have you to do. May He bless you as live out Biblical truth.

      • Andrew McDonald Says:

        What do you think of SB? Is he on the level? I’ve spoken w/a family member (by marriage) and it seems he is not good news.

    • Shawn Mathis Says:

      Andrew, You may find the following well-documented lecture on the NCFIC and Scott Brown’s nascent legalism helpful. Use the information with caution, eg. simply throwing it at your pastor will likely not work if he is this deep into the movement. Others who know your situation may know best how to present the information. At the least you should listen to the 1 hour lecture,

      [audio src="" /]

      Or the book link above for more detail (its an easy 100 page read).

      Here is one pastor/professor’s eye-witness of the talk:
      “I was there and Shawn’s talk was accurate, irenic, and critical. Thanks, Shawn, for your faithfulness to Christ’s church.

      His work on this is a blessing for the church, encouraging us in the things that we need to hear about the family, while reminding us that what we need is the gospel, not an agenda that renders biblical doctrine less important than a congregation being “family-integrated” and not “age-segregated.”

      The FIC movement does indeed deny Christian liberty and impose burdens on church members by insisting that many good churches that preach the gospel are not what they should be…” []

      For peace in Christ’s church and help for His sheep,
      yours in Christ,

      • Andrew McDonald Says:

        Thank you Shawn, will listen to it and pass it along too.

      • Andrew McDonald Says:

        woke up at 2 am today and finished listening to the message ( a little echoey!). Forwarded it to a friend too. Is there a better audio copy anywhere? Looked up your book too, will also purchase that. My spouse n I are still praying as we are not into the movement wholesale but our leader is full of profuse admiration for SB and an advocate for NCFIC. Calls to a family member (of SB) and other input seems to indicate he is an excellent successor for Doug Phillips. Better suited than Doug Wilson who is too controversial but, hey, it’s a big tent and there’ll still be room for him too. Life goes on. I confess that in our spiritual journey we seem to have been attracted to these types >sigh<. The consolation is that we were, at least, looking for the truth and God has been faithful along the way.

        • Observer Says:

          Andrew: Can’t you just ask nicely to leadership about the “unbiblical” things like the admonition to stay away from ‘age-segregated’ churches without naming names? Seems to me the test is ALWAYS scripture, not people (then one has anti-idols which is not so good either. And know that we are all ruled by grace. And Jesus did love Pharisees also (Nicodemus). So to engage that way?

      • Shawn Mathis Says:

        Sorry all: I do not have a better copy. It was a new church building and they had not added wall coverings to help with the acoustics. Here is a link to the documented handout:

        I may publish my notes at I want this publicized since it is so well documented. I’ll probably write a “how to talk to your pastor about the NCFIC” sometime. I know people are concerned and they can find much free info at my blog:

        (more stuff in my book). It’s the facts. And careful reading. If the leaders cannot offer the basic facts of history that even unbelievers can verify, then why trust them with the Bible wherein even Christian disagree?

    • oneh20 Says:

      Andrew, I’m in an extremely similar boat. I love them so much. I’m so torn. I can’t get into the details bc this blog is monitored by so many. Really hurting over this. Praying hard.

      • Andrew McDonald Says:

        Dear Oneh20,
        Yes, I have had one person guess who I was already. They no longer attend. My spouse and I are praying hard. We will pray for you as well. Since we likely agree with mutual confidentiality feel free to ask Jen for my contact info. It is a small world and, you’re right, many folks are reading this blog. It has been good to see other’s are in similar circumstances. I do not agree with one comment that started out with “Oh goodness…” and then went on to say no one should fall victim anymore since DP is out there for all to see. Well if that were true then we should have learned a long time ago cause DP is nothing new. They come as angels of light to tear apart the body of Christ and the Bible says it’s gonna get worse. We need to protect one another and pray, Pray, PRAY for our pastors and each other!

        • oneh20 Says:

          I’m definitely praying for our pastors and the families…. And now for you and yours and the others… Yes, I think Jen has been quite busy, but if its possible to share email addresses privately, I’m all for it.

        • Humbled by Grace Says:

          Hi Andrew, we are still attending, just recently it has been at home watching the live feed. We are still praying for the church and pastor. I think people on this blog need to know that our pastor/church DOES preach the Gospel that is why it is so galling that the Patriarchy/NCFIC/etc. has crept in. Our family was watching yesterday morning and when Scott Brown got behind the podium we all pretty much got up and left the room. It was horrible to see/hear him praying/preaching knowing what we know about him. My cry is that our pastor would at least open his eyes enough to do due diligence on this group. He has daughters of his own and I would think that he would at least do this before he let a young man have access to them, same as a shepherd guarding God’s flock. I knew Scott Brown was in town because of the conference this past weekend but it was still somewhat of a shock to see him yesterday. Our family didn’t go to the conference this year, we had gone every year since it began, but since our eyes have been opened to what this movement/speakers are all about we just couldn’t stomach it any longer. I am so grateful that God revealed this truth to us. As long as the pastor continues to preach the Gospel we will keep attending, but if the Gospel is sacrificed or put on a back burner to give more air time to Old Testament rules for living, Patriarchy or NCFIC mumbo jumbo we WILL find a different church to be apart of and fellowship with. Our families can still fellowship together regardless of where we may or may not attend. It is wonderful to know such precious brothers and sisters in Christ, and I hope we can claim these friendships throughout our lives.

      • Shawn Mathis Says:

        oneh20: I hope they read it. And the book. And listen to the lecture…and try to prove them wrong. They have lived in an echo chamber for so long (in the pews and behind the pulpits) that critical thinking about their own position is almost impossible (I speak as a man). But with God all things are possible. Keep praying. And fast if need be. And I’ll keep praying for you and others. My heart goes out to you and others who have contacted me personally for advice and help over this movement.

        In fact, I ask all of you to pray for me. I am in a unique position to influence some members of this movement from “my end” as it were. The issue of the NCFIC confession has risen to the level of a Presbytery asking me to lecture on the movement (see the link in the previous comment). And, of course, I published a book on the FIC, radical homeschooling and the (true) history of Sunday school and Christian education–with a good dose of Gospel and Christian Liberty (both things minimized in the NCFIC). And I am writing about it through the fall of Doug Phillips. I want to help. And writing and teaching is how I can help.

        • oneh20 Says:

          Shawn, Thank you. I listened to thirty minutes tonight and am looking forward to when I can hear the rest. I tried to contact you on another link with your name, but the email didn’t pull up on my end. And yes, I will pray for you – and for those who hear you out.

        • nt12many Says:

          Since SB was in Wa state for that conference…and I live in Wa. Could one of you email me privately through my website and tell me the name of the church? I want to warn people. Thank you. I can be contacted at

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          nt12many: Our church still preaches the gospel 100% which is what makes the situation tough; it’s like having a child who has one bad friend and they won’t listen to council. That being said: People need to be aware of the nascent legalism that ANY and ALL of the churches on the NCFIC site can get involved in. Given our fallen human nature it is not possible to fully follow the goals of NCFIC without this eventually happening. Remember that the real goal is NOT accurate salvific doctrine (see the membership roles) but adherence to family integration as they teach it. NOTE: There does seem to be, in all these groups, a grooming of potential families to draw folks into the system. Don’t worry if your older; they seem to like younger, seeking, photogenic, articulate, and non-quirky couples; having well behaved kids is a bonus but as long as child bearing is still viable it’s OK, they’ll work with ya!

        • Shawn Mathis Says:

          Andrew: If you church is otherwise faithful to God and His Christ but confused on this matter, it may not be as bad as it appears. Your pastor may be encouraged in good things he had not thought of before (even a broken clock is right twice a day!). So, he may just need a few choice questions (based upon the known answers of my research). But I hesitate to offer too much advice since I am not there. Pay attention. Take good notes. Ask thoughtful questions. And pray. And love.

        • Humbled by Grace Says:

          Thank you Shawn Mathis ~ this is exactly how I feel about Andrew McDonald’s and my church/pastor. I love the Gospel preaching, the care and outreach, missions and soul winning that our church practices and encourages. I am just very uncomfortable with these (Patriarchy, NCFIC etc.) ideas and doctrines and their most vocal proponents coming in along side RIGHT teaching. Another local NCFIC church folded over the summer and now many of their previous members are joining our church, The founders of Christian Heritage go here now, their son and his family moved here (after the Doug Phillips fallout) and are attending and then her father spoke/prayed/taught yesterday. I think that our pastor perhaps has been swept up into the thrill of being in the “IN” crowd and maybe has lost some discernment that he would normally exercise. nt12many if you would like to warn people, I suggest that you have individuals look up the NCFIC website. It has a listing of member churches that you can search by state.

        • Shawn Mathis Says:

          Never heard of Christian Heritage.

        • Outmywindow Says:

          I don’t know where my reply will end up (hopefully in sequence), but to elaborate on Christian Heritage, the founder referred to is Michael Bradrick. His son Peter, who was closely associated with and then attempted to confront Doug Phillips (and is now being threatened by a lawsuit), is married to Scott Brown’s daughter Kelly. Another board member, Neil Craig, ran the Vision Forum download website until it changed hands a few months ago. Doug Phillips, James McDonald, R. C. Sproul, Jr., Kevin Swanson and Geoff Botkin (and family) have all been regular speakers at CH conferences, so even though Christian Heritage is way out in Washington, I think of them as pretty big fish in the pond of patriarchy.

          Thank you for your ministry, Shawn and Jen. I have been following the sad world of patriarchy for several years as a concerned observer, and will continue to pray for more followers and churches to see it for what it really is.

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          Outmywindow: FYI, check out the origins of Christian Heritage. Dig deep. A more apt name would be ‘Phillips Heritage’. When I first saw the site I laughed out loud, it looks like a VF clone: all colonial and pastural, very bucolic. Deceptive. CH came out of a lawsuit brought by M. Bradrick involving WATCH (Washington Assoc. of Teaching Christian Homeschoolers). WATCH was gone and out of the ashes came CH. Another dubious origin that seems common in the ilk. Scott Brown, kicked out of a church, started his new adventure, Doug Wilson the same, R.C. Sproul Jr. ditto. Hey folks look at their beginnings to get a clue. I learned of the lawsuit from the man who headed WATCH. I called him again when the DP stuff hit the fan as I wanted to reaffirm the account and it was still the same. Having had personal experience with the heads of CH none of this surprises me. To my shame I took part, regretfully and repentantly, in the administration of ‘discipline’ against others associated. It took some time to recover from it all. These folks and others like them, are the Judiazers of our age. Ultimately law becomes more important; eventually making it fundamental: Saved by grace, completed by law. These seem a very litigious bunch, although on the face of it you’d never know. The public sees a whole different image of sweetness and light, just don’t cross them. There, now I’ve violated the No Gossip law but I do so only to warn the sheep and with regret that these situations even exist. Pray for the discernment of your church leadership.

        • Outmywindow Says:

          Andrew, yes, I have been reminded (by you?) of how Christian Heritage came to be (i.e. The WATCH takeover). We were not as involved with homeschooling at the time, so we turned our head away and “poof”, WATCH was gone and CH had appeared. Amazing! 😛 I have friends who say these various leaders are wonderful, godly people, and perhaps they appear so unless someone stands in the way of their objectives.

        • Outmywindow Says:

          The emoticon in my last comment was not supposed to look like a happy face…far from it…Wordpress did not translate well.

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          to Outmywindow: Yep, we saw a video and were so impressed by the Braderick’s that we got involved. I rue the day, except that God used it all. The only trouble with becoming aware is that some folks will condemn you as a Gladys Kravits type. That is only because they do not know the rest of the story. They’ll tell you ‘that’s history’ and ‘people change’. While that may be true I have yet to hear of any apologies or repentance from these leaders, they justify their actions, excuse it and then call other’s gossips. That is not a good sign. The Bible warns us of these ones but, regrettably, we are slow learners. Only after our falling out did I start to look and that is how I ended up calling Randy Flem from WATCH years ago and then again this year to refresh my memory. He has not forgotten. After I met Scott Brown I began researching him and ultimately spoke with a family member, everything I learned has made me more weary of the hyper Patriarchal movement. Bottom line is that the folks want the chief seats and are fleecing the sheep. Pray for discernment and thank God for ‘gossips’ that warn others of the troubles and confusion from buying into these movements. Remember, rat poison is 99.9% good stuff. Special thanks to Jen for this site and her work.

    • Dom Walk Says:

      Andrew, my recommendation would be to get your family out of there. If you’re not sure about making a hard break, just take a hiatus and visit some good gospel-preaching churches in your area. You’ll know after a month or two whether you should make the full break. To the extent possible, maintain your fellowship with friends that are still there. You can be a blessing to them in that capacity. I’ve quite a bit of experience with this, if you want to ask Jen for my contact information. God’s blessings and guidance to you and your family.

  42. matt Says:

    This sucks. No new Doug stories in almost a week! I need my daily dose of Doug!

    I wish he’d get it over with and sign a reality TV deal and start letting the cameras follow him around immediately. Now THAT would be some great television.

  43. Observer Says:

    Jen, TW:

    If you have not already seen this, you will find it interesting. The parallels between Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard are spooky.

    • DesiringToDiscern Says:

      Utterly ridiculous comparison. DP and BCA are/were totally fear-based. Threats of all sorts, intimidation, legal threats, intense berating in front of the *church* Actual immoral acts committed by DP and others. The SILENCING of the members (gossip rule). The huge amounts of money given with no accountability. The lies… re: Pastor Gifford, The Allosaurus, etc… It seems *interesting* that this so-called comparison of the 2 men and the so-called truths re: Gothard (none earlier than over 30 years ago) popping up at approx. the same time as DP being exposed for heinous evils. Does no one else here smell a RAT?? DP berated Gothard and had an abnormal dislike for him. I am not excusing improprieties in Gothard’s past but the allegations are not even close to the DP atrocities ! ..and even THAT is not the issue here. Please stay focused on the DP issue. There is MUCH more beneath the VF/VFM/DP/SB surface.

      • Andrew McDonald Says:

        Please ask jan for my contact information. Id like to ask some questions about SB if I can.


      • Molly Says:

        The true issue is the false gospel of works-based grace that both DP and BG espouse. I have found much similarities between the teachings of Gothard and the teachings of Doug Phillips, although you are correct that their methods of intimidation and fraud are different. But BG used plenty of intimidation tactics of his own. The similarities are there, and I think the comparison is timely.

        • Observer Says:

          Molly: Thank you.
          Desiring to Discern: I think some of the stories that are available to Gothard’s situation are apt (if old). There was no mechanism 30 years ago in which to disseminate information that is pertinent to these kinds of hyper-legalistic situations.

        • Molly Says:

          If you’re talking about the sexual harassment, there are stories that are way less than 30 years old. If you mean the false doctrine, it continues to this day. Not sure why the “30 years” figure is being thrown out there.

  44. afewthingstoday Says:

    For more background on Scott Brown, read this description of his daughter Kelly’s experiences as a quiverfull wife. The post, from June 2012, also includes a video that Kelly and her husband Peter Bradrick made to wish Doug Phillips a Happy Birthday. They made the video from the hospital just a few days after the birth of their fifth baby in less than six years, with a caesarean for at least the third baby and perhaps more. These are not easy surgeries from which to recover. It’s advised to wait at least a year before going through the physical toll of another pregnancy.

    Scott Brown’s ideas on family are dangerous for women. How could he have parented common sense and self-concern out of his own daughter? How could he stand by and allow his son-in-law Peter to abuse Kelly’s health?

    The quiverfull/militant fecundity movement that’s coming out of this group makes no sense. God saves individuals. God can raise up even an only child to be the next great evangelist to bring revival and repentance to America. A newborn is not a Christian, there’s no sure guarantee that our children will choose to follow Christ. They are only guaranteed to be…. white.

    In the real world, the undeniable burden of too many children in one family can lead to bitterness and burnout for everyone involved. Stories of this are found on the Free Jinger forums.

    If the leaders of the NCFIC and quiverfull believe in predestination into the chosen by birth, well that is just another can of worms and another reason to run from these leaders such as Scott Brown.

    • DesiringToDiscern Says:

      The misplaced devotion to DP is so sad. The last thing on a new mother’s mind (or a new daddy’s mind) would be to make a video for a non-family member’s birthday greeting. She needed/deserved the attention and devotion from her husband and he should be adoring HER and his new BABY …not DeePee

    • Andrew McDonald Says:

      Dear friends,
      On saturday I finished reading ‘Fake Someone Happy’ by Charlie Newton. I read it in one sitting and so did my wife right after me. It is so sobering. Although the names were changed some folks were identifiable by their roles or actions. One of the main characters illustrated the sad case of Kelly. Brainwashed and in a place where reality recognition is shunned as disobedience or rebellion, living in a dream world where everyone surely must know it is a big show but no one is sure who else knows it; afraid to ask since it might be the end of everything, every relationship they have. Pray for Kelly.
      We spent two years at a house church run by Mike and Susan Bradrick (heads of Christian Heritage that replaced WATCH via legal shenanigans), it was like being in the Twilight Zone. When we left others were warned to ‘leave us alone’. We had dared to question authority. I see myself and other sheep when I see Kelly or others in lock step; mindless minions of these ‘great men of god!!’
      Scott Brown has already started his own intern program (hand me the barf bag someone!) and I imagine he will recreate everything he can. I hope he will get a live in nanny. I personally believe he is grooming folks to move into the lower pyramid slots with the new and improved NCFIC movement; growing to meet the needs of the community.
      Keep your eye on NCFIC and Christian Heritage, mark them. I won’t go as far as to say the sky is falling but I would call for a storm watch; that’s just a word to the wise.

      • afewthingstoday Says:

        Yes, it’s so sad. Even Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies saying “The womb is such a powerful weapon; it’s a weapon against the enemy,” is so creepy it just gives me the chills.

        From the interview: “Campbell says if believers don’t starting reproducing in large numbers, biblical Christianity will lose its voice. “We look across the Islamic world and we see that they are outnumbering us in their family size, and they are in many places and many countries taking over those nations, without a jihad, just by multiplication,”

        That’s wrong. She’s going at it backwards. Sharing the gospel and Christian love isn’t about an “enemy” of flesh and blood (i.e. Muslims in her view). Babies born into Islamic families are not automatically anti-Christian, people are not the enemy! People can change, we are not bound by our birth. And the world isn’t won by numbers. The quiverfull/Scott Brown, NCFIC view is so defeatist. Saying God needs numbers shows their limited view of God’s power. He uses the faithful few raised in love, like Gideon, or Moses.

        In fact, having an impossible number of children; enforcing strict, harsh discipline in a religious way… well that very often backfires. I know so many children of this culture who are second generation who’ve become atheist, or liberal or Muslim just to spite their destroyed childhoods. And then what of all the mothers who sacrificed health and quality time not being able to truly love the blessings God gave them? Wasted.

        These people need to be honest and admit they’re promoting racist eugenics and a religion of control.

        • Seth Huckstead Says:

          My family was interviewed by NPR in that segment. We have more children since than, but our explanation for family size, use of safe birth control, and consideration of mental and physical health of the mother and father was completely expunged (not to mention that at the time we said we used a food bank it was not state run, but rather part of the support the seminary I attended provided to its students to offset living expenses–our point was that while it was and is tough to have a large family, God provides in our times of need).

          The reporter who filed the piece apologized for the editing her superiors at NPR did on that report. We even explained that while we agree with Campbell in respect to the fact that a large family is a blessing, that to many people forgo in the pursuit of wealth, we had qualms regarding her book because it was poorly researched, had many un-biblical interpretations, and lacked grace in regard to the various circumstances that people face in regard to child-bearing and care.

          Our goal was to offer a nuanced counterpoint to Mrs. Campbell and VF–large families are a blessing and we should never regret the children we have been given. However, God has given us knowledge and common grace expressed through medicine and research that allows us to use wisdom in regard to spacing and even number of children. This includes pushing physical and emotional/mental boundries (yes, I believe that depression and mental illness are real and that psychology has a lot to tell us about God’s extraordinary design of the body and soul of man. Just like the heart, or pancreas, the mind can be broken as well).

          Lastly, as a Reformed Christian, I do believe that the first place for kingdom work is in the home. My children are the primary group of individuals to whom I preach the Gospel. My wife and I cling to the promise that God ordinarily (notice I am not saying will certainly) work his saving grace through his covenant people and their seed (that is if you adhere to covenant theology). This does not at all negate the preaching of the Gospel to our neighbors as well as the nations. God wants to grow the church from within (through families) and without (through preaching and missions). Therefore I don’t necessarily disagree with the military analogy (it is used in Psalm 128) in regard to the power of the womb and the effect that large families have on culture and society. It is radical, it is confrontational, it does emphasize that it is a spiritual battle we are facing. It tells us that a major spiritual battle is occurring in our own homes.

          The real issue here is the structure and roles of husband, wife, father, mother, church and civil government. Where NCIFC and VF have gone wrong is that they have changed God’s model. The father is simply the head of the home, not a servant leader. He is not humble, does not appologize, and is not accountable to his wife and family. He is not gentle, but provokes his children to wrath. The idea of submission is held over a wife’s head, with no thought to a man’s own role to love his wife as Christ does the church (think about that men, and you will quickly shut your mouth). Men are taught that headship means simply that he is the boss, but take little time to reflect that they are the representative of the family which God holds to account for all the failings of the home. Christian headship and father hood means humility, patience and grace. There is no formal church structure to hold men accountable or for congregants to appeal. There is an unbalance view of the state, so the law is not involved in matters the church has no business deciding.

          Overall, we are seeing with Doug Phillips, and so many other cases, of God’s warning against allowing untested, untrained, and novice believers put into leadership positions. It tells us that they will fall into the snare and condemnation of the Devil. We need to stop looking for worldly success and intelligence as the primary per-requisites for our leaders. What we need are qualifiably Godly men to rise up and lead. In the same manner we need qualifiably Godly women to teach biblical truths in regard to what real godliness looks like. I am certain it does not look like a home on the cover of Martha Stewert’s Living.

  45. Robin Says:

    Well, Jen, I do not even have the mental capacity right now to comment intelligently, but prior to reading this, I also read your 12 part story via, and I felt physically ill. My head felt like it was going to explode from reading the torture of what you went through. It cannot be defended, and was absolutely horrifying to read. I couldn’t believe you kept going back for more and just kept screaming, “Please make it stop!” in my head. As a sister in Christ, I am just so sorry that you went through this.

  46. Scott Says:

    You are ” really a homeschooler ” when your hair is buzzed so close that it looks like some sort of industrial brush at a truck wash pit, and it makes your ears look like satellite panels hovering around your head.

    If you send me an email saying that was a run on sentence , it’s confirmed. You are a homeschooler.

  47. NeverAgain Says:

    Eyeglasses are a telltale sign of a real homeschooler.

  48. T Says:

    This story is not shocking. Doug’s broken theology has sent him spiraling towards this outcome for a long time. What’s shocking here, Jen, is that you’re publicly questioning the validity of his confession and repentance, as though that could ever be your call to make. Isn’t that exactly what Doug did to you?

    You claim to know he’s insincere because of how well you know him. But by that logic, he was in an equally valid position to question your repentance at BCA. And in light of everything that’s happened since then, it appears he wasn’t far off base.

    Your behavior over the last several years has been well documented on your family’s blogs (not to mention Facebook), yet whenever you’re called out, you feign deep righteous indignation that someone would presume to know your heart, since that’s a matter between you and God. You claim grace for yourself and dispense none to Doug. How can you do this?

    At least Doug made a confession. And only time will tell if it was genuine. But what about you? How can you look back over the last several years and feel no shame? How can you look at your affairs, your divorces, the heartache of your children, and still believe your time is best spent on Doug Phillips? When will you stop blaming him for your choices?

    I understand that Doug deeply hurt you, and Lourdes deeply hurt Natasha. There is no excuse for what happened to you. But justice belongs to God. Whether Doug’s apology is sincere is not for you to decide. Rise above this. Don’t stoop to his level.

    “You should not gloat over your brother
    in the day of his misfortune,
    nor rejoice over the people of Judah
    in the day of their destruction,
    nor boast so much
    in the day of their trouble.
    You should not march through the gates of my people
    in the day of their disaster,
    nor gloat over them in their calamity
    in the day of their disaster,
    nor seize their wealth
    in the day of their disaster.
    You should not wait at the crossroads
    to cut down their fugitives,
    nor hand over their survivors
    in the day of their trouble.
    The day of the LORD is near
    for all nations.
    As you have done, it will be done to you;
    your deeds will return upon your own head.”

  49. Michael Says:


    Have you finished with this story as far as the blog goes? Just curious. Thank you for seeing this through.

  50. Shawn Mathis Says:

    Not exactly related to Doug, but a friend of Doug’s has been told to remove his church’s name from Doug/Brown’s family integrated church confession of the NCFIC:

    • JourneyGirl Says:

      Appears to me that Swanson is just backtracking for the sake of his standing with the OPC. Denominational politics, as it were. We all know he tows the party line with the patriarchal ideologies of the NCFIC. It will be interesting to see what Swanson does with his relationship with S Brown.

  51. Andrew McDonald Says:

    You can’t imagine how happy I was to read this! Absolutely great news. I hope more folks will start reading the confession and watching the application of these divisive beliefs. The ship (I pray) maybe sinking. We need to pray that other’s will start looking at NCFIC in the light of whole scriptures instead of the fractured ones the NCFIC uses to prop up their sad position. Reminds me of how appropriate the name of S. Brown’s propaganda piece movie was.

  52. Andrew McDonald Says:

    Some of you know my concerns as I have written on Jen’s Gems a bit. People are still suffering from Doug Phillips’ abuse and speaking out is part of the process of healing. I began thinking about those like him: Men desiring control. I’ve posted about that and gave details of the past and present situations in my own life and church. Some details were specifically about Scott Brown and as a result someone alerted the leader of my church and I was eventually called into a private meeting and confronted. I do not deny that some good has come alongside the wrong teachings, there has been much good done, but the wrong teachings are never justified by adjacent successes. Successes are really God’s department and to His credit not ours. He gets the glory. Justifying the error by mention of the benefit only makes the situation more tragic, it does not validate the error. Since the leader knows I post here I’ve decided to respond here. You may well ask what is my background and how dare I say these things? Glad you asked: I am a great sinner who has a greater Savior, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and trying to follow after the Great Shepherd who invites us all to follow Him. I say these things not because I am worthy I say them because the TRUTH is worthy and, lastly, because folks need to be warned.

    An Open Letter to my former leader:

    When you confronted me about posting on this blog; you showed up with a stack of paper and mentioned over 100 pages written. I thought that seemed like a lot. In order to get an accurate idea of what I said in the posts and the volume of the entries, I went through the site and copied them all. I posted 66 messages, printable in less than 23 pages, not even close to the ‘over 100 pages’ mentioned. Most posts were short and, contrary to your ‘concern’, took little time away from my family. Some were late at night as the matter was heavy on my heart.

    No posts were purposefully inflammatory; they were my experiences or opinions based on prayer and investigation. That the posts were truthful is bolstered by the fact that they eventually identified me. Most were inquiries about Doug Phillip’s close associate Scott Brown. Scott Brown was initially my concern. Some posts were sincere inquiry seeking counsel.

    I contacted people who knew Scott Brown to confirm that he had problems; the events were confirmed by personal testimony and church records. These events were never cleared up. (

    As it turns out your belief that Scott Brown is ‘one of the godliest men’ you know is based solely on your experience with him. I continued to research and began to post in December of 2013. NONE of the posts were made until after I’d spoken with you. My concerns were effectively dismissed. After I told you that the posts were mine you moved to the old standby tactic of all authoritarian leaders: accuse and intimidate. You accused me of being a gossip and a busy body even though you knew that I came to you with each concern and you also knew I had not broadcast it about the church. Am I a gossip? Like Doug Phillips has said, ‘He who defines the terms wins’. But my intent was not to get the ‘juicy stuff’ as you said it was only to get at the truth, to protect against wrong teachings and to warn you.

    I am sure that I am not the only one with concerns over these matters. Yet many will say nothing as they understand the reception and repercussions of doing so. This lack of freedom to speak is not surprising to anyone on this blog. It thrives in all cultish environs where perfunctory dismissal of differing opinions seems to be the order of the day. I am not sure who told you about this blog but it really matters little to me. I imagine it is another concerned person in the church and I am glad they are concerned. I hope they continue to dig into the details. If they do they will discover the truth. I do not regret warning others or checking into folks presented as ‘teachers’ or ‘authorities’; it is the obligation of any follower of Christ and especially one who leads in any capacity to ‘know the well from which they drink’. We are charged to be Bereans, to see ‘if these things be so’.

    I went through the NCFIC site to see just how deeply entrenched you were. It was a task to be sure. I found your presence pervasive and realized your course had been set firmly. I discovered that the beliefs along these lines were nothing new they began even before you came here. You testified to that in your phone interview on the NCFIC blog. The beliefs were fostered, in part, by and through Doug Wilson and his disciples.

    At your first church experience you expressed frustration at trying to ‘replicate the ministries’ of your sending church. You say it caused burn out and ended with the eventual abandonment of Jr. Church. In the phone interview with Scott Brown you said a youth pastor gave you a booklet by Christopher Schlect. The pamphlet explained why people should remove their children from Sunday School and youth ministries and how such activities are anti-Biblical.

    When I researched Schlect I found he was a member of the Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Christians. (CREC is a denomination/sect started by Doug Wilson in 1998 surrounded by dubious activities and shenanigans.) I saw that he was a teacher at New Saint Andrews college (Doug Wilson’s college). His pamphlet was published by Canon Press (Doug Wilson’s company). Then I recalled your response when I tried to caution you about Doug Wilson, after you gave out one of his books at a men’s retreat. I researched DW, and then came to you. I warned you and you said he was a friend. I thought you were just trying to get a book published. Now it makes sense, you were already a follower. My warning was years too late.

    After your church plant you found an established church to implement your newly adopted ideas. In the interview you declare that you came to the church and began your ‘5 year deprogramming’ plan. You following very exactly Paul Washer’s counsel on his You Tube video for ‘Reforming a Church’. ( Gaining their confidence, by teaching on relevant issues like the family, you moved right along ‘letting some ministries die gracefully’ rather than axing them. Although I’m not sure how any ministry dies gracefully.

    You have also followed the example of Scott Brown. When he got in a tight spot he called for a ‘vote of confidence’ ( I recalled the same ploy used at church when people voiced concern at a congregational meeting just after Scott Brown had been there. You called for a vote of confidence and it worked. In retrospect that was a sad, sad day. If the vote had been the other way the church would have been saved from much trouble. The whole event seemed out of place, the timing of the ploy may have been a tad off, perhaps a bit overplayed, but hey, it worked. It was a watershed moment.

    Those who knew something was wrong likely knew they’d just lost their church. Trouble was that they lacked the expertise of the better communicator. Mark this, they did not lose because they were wrong, they lost because they were not as articulate, as organized, as winsome and because they got too emotional over the issue. They had the disadvantage because they did not really know what was being played at. Few did. They were colorfully painted as aggressive, arrogant, close minded, slightly ignorant and off base. Some colors were true and that lent credence to the others.

    You had the power, after all the church is a ‘pastor rule’ church and it was your prerogative. When this all started I wonder if the sheep saw the big picture. I am sure the idea of changes for the ‘good’ of the congregation seemed good. Some, in fact, were good; that they were based on an unBiblical foundation was far from their minds. Did they know? I doubt it. Scott Brown was the first real clue but it was already too late, the wheels had been set in motion. I have to respect what you’ve accomplished even though the church had to split to get there. I have learned from this: I will NEVER attend a ‘pastor rule’ church again; sadly human nature is just too corrupt for such a rule.

    I did consider revealing myself on the blog. I thought it was perhaps even courageous since you implied that to be posting on the blog under a pseudonym was cowardly and sinful. Blasphemous, you said about the site, although I still cannot see that one; I see no contempt or lack of reverence for God on the site. Yet I’ve decided not to reveal myself as it would reduce this to a personality contest. The contest should be the truth against the lie. It may take awhile but the truth will always win. Some do not think too deeply about much and it is not their fault. If it wasn’t for Scott Brown I would not have thought more. Not knowing was easier.

    When I first began all this I did it because I thought you were being charmed or won over by these people. I wanted to warn you. I was wrong. I was quizzical at the reception of the information I had retrieved, for two reasons, first it is very likely true, and second I thought you’d appreciate the time and effort involved in an effort to warn you. Instead you told me I should be a ‘spy or a detective’ that I should stay off the internet.

    Your challenge to pray about what I was doing caused me to go to prayer and to the NCFIC site again. I combed through it and found the phone interview mentioned, then I knew by your own admission, you had come to the church with a preconceived notion, inspired by the followers of the beliefs espoused by NCFIC. Unbeknownst to the church membership you began to work it out. They should have known the whole plan, they did not. Doing it this way was wrong. An announcement posted by NCFIC, about the telephone interview you and two other pastors participated in, stated, ‘What these men dared to do was not easy. But, with much prayer, teaching, and faithfulness these pastors have made significant strides in dismantling various worldly practices in their churches!’ (see: ) I do not think that the church you came to, after a failed church plant, had ‘various worldly practices’ going on. I know you could say, ‘Well that’s what they wrote I never said that.’ That fits nicely with the plausible deniability that the NCFIC and all their followers always seem to have.

    Your accusation of my demeaning you (by mentioning that you were young) is not fair, as if I am against you personally. I am not. The fact is you are young, you are just as susceptible to spiritual deception as anyone else and as a leader you’re even more likely to be targeted than others for deception. On this site I said you were young and asked people to pray, as I told you this was not meant as a slam. I still ask that, now even more fervently.

    In researching this situation I can’t tell you how many people sounded like Sgt. Shultz from the old Hogan’s Heroes show, ‘I know nothing!’ or the TV evangelist’s ‘Don’t touch God’s anointed’. If I did not know the people involved I might ask, ‘Who has bewitched you?’ Except I know who bewitched you for I was bewitched by the same crowd.

    In 2006 the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International said the FIC was ‘errant and schismatic’. They pretty much sum it up:

    • It encourages schism in the local church bodies by encouraging its adherents to change the theology and philosophy of the churches of which they are members.

    • It does violence to local church authority, calling on local church members to leave their churches when the church does not bow to the philosophical demands of the movement.

    • It espouses an ecclesiology based upon the family that is not based upon the New Testament but rather is an adaptation of Old Testament patriarchy.

    • It falsely lays the claim that the destruction of the family in the U.S. is solely the fault of age-graded ministries in local churches. We contend that this is a simplistic and therefore false accusation.

    • It espouses a postmillennial theology that is contradictory to a dispensational understanding of Scripture.

    • It is oddly inclusive, basing fellowship on a particular philosophy of ministry rather than on the great fundamentals of the faith.

    I do not say that anyone involved in the NCFIC is lacking salvation. Salvation does not hinge on these things singularly but the efficacy of the salvation message can be clouded by them, the Christian walk can be hindered by them and unity will certainly suffer from them. I urge you to step down from involvement with these people, as Ken Swanson has done, and just pastor your church; the people love you, they do not need someone in ‘substantial’ agreement with NCFIC. (Gotta love those nebulous words they always provide a convenient back door if things get hot!) The people need you to stand for God, for His Word and lead. And be honest with them, if they want to go the direction you intend then great but give them a voice in the matter.


    For more information about

    Scott Brown look here:

    for Doug Wilson look here:
    His school:

    • Andrew McDonald Says:

      Update: This letter has certainly identified me as I put it into the hands of church leadership before I decided to post it and parts of it (like the statement from the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International) were given to alert leadership to the hazards of the NCFIC. Already my family has been turned away from by some folks who will no longer come to our home because of, as one dear saint said, some ‘offense’. Naturally unexplained. Another hung up their phone when I called. Others just stopped communicating. We are funny and predictable creatures upon which God has lavished his love. We should do likewise even in the face of shunning. In the end God will prevail and we will understand, one day, just why we did the things we did and how it was right or wrong; for God’s glory or our own. In the meantime we must continue to look to Jesus. As I remember my own tremendous sinfulness, that was covered by His grace, how can I hold anything against anyone under the spell of errant practices masquerading as godliness? Rather we need to continue to pray for one another and love one another. My situation is rather light compared to some of you but the solution is all the same: Look to Jesus! If you’re one of the friends from our old church then remember what an old friend told me, ‘There’s two sides to every pancake.’
      God Bless,

      • Andrew McDonald Says:

        UPDATE: I was told yesterday that the pastor called a congregational meeting where they were told that I’d posted ‘lies’ on the web about him and the church. That explains the responses we’re getting. Oh well. Funny thing is just before I got the phone call about the meeting I’d told my wife we were probably excommunicated in abstentia; not too far from wrong on that one! Explains the cold shoulders we’re getting. I wonder how many are quietly starting to ask themselves, ‘How could so many folks who’ve left all be wrong?’ Maybe Marcellus got it right, ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.’

        • Humbled by Grace Says:

          I am so sorry to hear this Andrew! I am disgusted with the pride and arrogance he has puffed himself up with and the miserly and deceived people he has aligned himself and our church with! It is such a shame to see and hear the dreaded outcome we were hoping against. We obviously stopped going, first to the conferences, then to church in person, now not even watching or listening to his sermons. I am physically sick at the thought of more precious souls being lead astray no matter how slightly. I hurt so much especially for your dear wife, anyone who knows her, knows she is a true humble servant of the Lord only wanting to please HIM and show HIS love to others. How DARE a mere man tell anyone to treat her with anything but the highest respect, honor and favor. And you are blacklisted and LIED about by him in turn, for only wanting to be a Berean and learn and study to show yourself approved and to lead your family correctly.. Since we know that others from our congregation ARE reading these posts, let me tell those of you reading ~ Do your own DUE DILIGENCE!!!! Don’t blindly follow any MAN, no matter how charismatic, charming or seemingly humble he presents himself. Search out these things for yourself, read just the the facts; you can find them and they are verifiable! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but there are certain facts that are undeniable and if you choose to ignore them, you do so at your own peril! Christ was angry and sinned not! God help me to do the same!!!! I will call your precious wife and my dear FRIEND tomorrow. Your WHOLE family is in my earnest prayers!!! God bless you.

    • Andrew McDonald Says:

      telephone interview where the course of events were predetermined:

      [audio src="" /]

  53. Michele Says:

    Did anyone see this??

    Hypocrisy is a bitch..

    • Nick Says:

      so… reading that link it appears they are more deeply concerned about Doug leaving without a letter of transfer, than of Doug’s actual philandering????

      what is this, i don’t even….. /brainmelt

  54. Shawn Mathis Says:

    Hopefully, if Boerne church cannot get the other church to act like Christians, they will inform the world the name of that church.

    • NeverAgain Says:

      Shawn, I’m no fan of DP, but where in the Bible does it say you need a letter of transfer to change churches?

      I wonder if the Phillips family just wanted to start afresh at a new church and was refused the freedom to leave BCA. Some churches (especially the kind DP associated with, which is why Michele is correct in saying what she did about hypocrisy) can be ridiculously difficult about allowing members to leave. “You’re married to the church” and all that. If that was the case, I don’t blame DP for just leaving. I do hope he learns that the burdens he placed on others when he was riding high with power can be grievously hard to bear.

    • Molly Says:

      What do you mean by “act like Christians?”

      • Shawn Mathis Says:

        Hello Molly, What I meant by “act like a Christian” was the fact that the other church should at least acknowledge the concerns of Boerne Christian church. If that other church ignores Boernes efforts to at least communicate their concerns with Phillips, then they are not acting like Christians who are called to make a reasonable effort to deal with disagreements–there is an obvious problem of sin and reconciliation here; church leaders should be the first to seek out reconciliation between offended parties and not help propagate that wall of offense by ignoring the pleas of another church. Even if Boerne is wrong in their assessment of Phllips, it is but Christian love that should move the other church to make a reasonable effort to dialogue. But I do not know the details of this case beyond Boerne’s own testimony.

        • Molly Says:

          Thank you for clarifying. I agree that the other churches need to deal with the accusations against Phillips and not blindly stick their heads in the sand, or he will just be free to wreak havoc in a new setting.

  55. Shawn Mathis Says:

    Dear NeverAgain: A letter of transfer is part and parcel of church membership, since church membership is part and parcel of “submitting to one another” and to “obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls” [Eph. 5:21; Heb. 13:17]. [Naturally, this verse does not mean “absolute” submission. And a letter of transfer for those who say “this is not the church for me” is easily given in most mature churches [in conservative Reformed and Presbyterian at any rate]. Since the elders of the church are charged with watching our souls [relatively speaking, not absolutely like the Holy Spirit], that would include any legitimate means to accomplish that: so, when meeting with the session to talk about how blessed I am by the pastor, the elders will take notes to that effect. Where in the bible is note-taking? It’s not. But it is. It is because God’s bible is not designed to micromanage our lives or the church. It is common sense to take official notes of serious or public business to avoid future confusion. Church membership is the same.

    Similarly, a letter of transfer avoids the confusion of wandering Christians: the new church is essentially told that the member coming their way is one in good and regular standing. They are Christians who are not in trouble. Thus, there is a formal and public recognition of a Christian moving between elders who are called to watch their souls. When a parent watches the soul of their child (are responsible toward them), they do not let the child (or young teenager) just wander off, but are sure that the proper authorities (teacher, other parents) are in the know. When bosses send a worker to another location, it is with formal paperwork (the dreaded HR department). The first example is to show the intimate love the church should have for each other (not to call church members children!). The second example is to illustrate the formal nature of membership and transfers.

    More importantly, would you not want to warn another church that Doug is coming their way?! But that cannot happen if there are no membership borders between churches! In the worst case, a church can abuse membership vows by holding over peoples heads [like you said “married to the church” mentality]–but at least they can still physically leave and find a church that will take them in. BUT the best case, is a church NOT transferring another Doug Phillips and then WARNING the other church about Doug–neither of which can happen with no membership or transfers. Without it, dangerous people (not just leaders, I’ve seen this first hand) just flee one church and cause problems at another b/c the other church was left in the dark. Something to think about.

    For more, please read this:

    • meginoz Says:

      That was very helpful, Shawn.

    • Molly Says:

      I’ve been a Christian since childhood, and a church member for years. I had never even heard of a letter of transfer until I started reading this blog. Maybe it is a denominational thing? I have friends and family members across different denominations, and none of them have ever said that a letter of transfer was required to change churches. Frankly, it seems ridiculous to me.

      • NeverAgain Says:

        It’s a common practice in Southern Baptist churches. I understand why it’s done (because they want to know that you have been baptized and are a member in good standing, plus it makes record-keeping easier for the church), but it’s not a Biblical requirement for being a Christian. It’s sort of an extra-Biblical thing. As I said earlier, some churches (especially the kind DP and SB associated with) are tyrannical about holding membership vows over people’s heads. They’ve turned a “good practice” into a legalistic, guilt-inducing nightmare.

        • Nick Says:

          It is definitely an extra-biblical thing, and Shawn Mathis post above is just a glimpse into the convolutions that can arise when churches adopt para-church organizational practices inspired from corporations and social fraternity groups.

          I mean, where in the Scripture does it detail that you are to VOW a membership to a specific geographical group of believers? That’s insanity.

      • Cindy Says:

        Molly, it seems ridiculous to me too.

  56. Scott Says:

    Andrew you did a great job and walked in truth. Prediction: Time will vindicate you just as it did our Dear Gem of a Jen. It took years but exposure came. Those that scorned her, mocked, disparaged her family and uninvited her daughter to her best friends wedding , NOW look like idiots & FOOLS. If I attended your former church I would be following you out the door and thanking God for using you to show me what a incompetent pastor I was placing myself under.

    Shawn, what you write is true in concept, but in practice I have seen way too many people, entire families abused by their church. Personally I will never join another church. Been there, done that . Never again.

    I regret not following my attorney’s advice and suing my former church. I could have turned their lights out for good and many families would have been spared great pain. I will alway feel some guilt for just walking away from that fight.

    • Andrew McDonald Says:

      Scott I do not know that my former pastor is ‘incompetent’ he certainly has the skill to lead although I do feel he is not, at present, scripturally suitable. The pastor never told the congregation the whole truth about the direction he wanted to go and so folks were taken in. I might have stayed until I understood, by his own admission, that he came with an agenda that was not known.

      Once I knew that the congregation had been deceived I hardly had a choice. I was late in leaving as we lost about 100 souls after SB showed, was given the platform and praised with unmerited enthusiasm. So I suppose I was a slow learner. I love my former pastor and all the folks there. I think that pride and being unteachable will always hinder following God’s way. I am just as susceptible to that!

      By posting here I have been accused by one family of not following scriptural directions for an offense but they do not understand the whole picture. I might have stayed until I understood, by his own admission, that he came with an agenda that was not fully known. Once I knew that the congregation had been deceived I hardly had a choice. I was late in leaving as we lost about 100 souls after Scot Brown showed, was given the platform and praised with unmerited enthusiasm. So I suppose I was a slow learner.

      Yet, by God’s great grace I finally came to Christ out of deep moral sin. God used the pastor in that process so he will always be precious to me. I only desire that he be open to be used by God: more, by NCFIC: not at all; that he be honest, less controlling, teachable and humble. Those traps are ones we can all fall into but when a leader does it affects the whole body. Those attributes split the church, in contrast the fruit of the spirit would have united the body.

      • Humbled by Grace Says:

        Amen Andrew.

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          Dear HbG, So sad to see all this happen. It is just a shame. Hope you all are doing well. I think of you often and hope and pray God’s best for you.

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          Haven’t been here for a while now. Only got spurred on with our recent experiences of shunning and working through that. Horrible business really. Anyway got to see some of your kin the other day and were refreshed by the visit. Hope to see you all soon.

  57. Shawn Mathis Says:

    Evaluating part of Doug’s continuing heritage: Pastoral evaluation of the family integrated church movement, 8 part series:

  58. Scott Says:

    So does anyone know when Ex-nanny vs. Doug Phillips hits the court room ?

  59. Shawn Mathis Says:

    Phillips legacy lives on homeschooling organizations: Understanding Generations Radio’s diatribe against World magazine, critics

  60. Shawn Mathis Says:

    The origin of Doug Phillip’s “Uniting Church and Home” matches his sinful pattern; one more thing to repent of:
    A different kind of uniting church and home: interview with Eric Wallace

  61. Gid'on Eilat FKA Mark Epstein Says:

    It’s been quite some time since I’ve actually sat down to read anything on this blog. However, Doug’s exposure and resignation are just the beginning of what “should be” a mountain of litigation against this so-called “pastor.” Perhaps then Phillips will receive the attention that he deserves instead of the glossing over so much of the human price paid for his transgressions. For example, I found World Magazine’s article deficient as to the depth of just how bad this scandal is with respect to its genesis and totality of its “swath of destruction.” Focusing on three interns that were willing participants in Phillips’ behavior is rather disingenuous and does not represent even a bit of investigative journalism. In essence, co-conspirators were portrayed as victims instead of perpetrators. This said, it should also be noted that long before the cult word was used, I considered BCA a cult, Doug Phillips a stereotypical sociopath (even though the DSM-V no longer uses this term), and the Vision Forum interns to be willing slaves to whatever Doug instructed. The lies and distortions found in their initial defamation/slander of Jennifer are only rivalled by the outrageous libels found in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, probably the most well known anti-Semitic screed. As to Phillips’ willingness to actually repent, an idea explored in other comments on this blog, my two cents is “don’t hold your breath.” Phillips owes our children a grovelling apology and a begging for forgiveness before he even reaches out to Jennifer and me. And, knowing Doug so well, this is just not going to happen. Frankly, I’m mostly interested in just how far he and his attorney are willing to go during the civil trial, as I’m sure we will see the “old” Doug viciously attacking the plaintiff’s character as he portrays himself a victim of her feminine wiles.

  62. Robert Says:

    Pastor Joe Morecraft has a new video on patriarchy!

    • Erik Says:

      Morecraft says, “If any child speaks disrespectfully of his mother or father, he deserves to be arrested by the civil magistrate, and if found guilty in a court of law, executed…”

      • Paul Says:

        He is paraphrasing the words of Jesus who, in turn, is quoting the Old Testament. Morecroft’s aim here is to show that mother’s are on a par with father’s in terms of the honor and respect they should receive. Morecroft is not saying that this principle should be the law today.

        • Paul Says:

          It seems I am persona non-grata. Many posts made after mine and mine are still awaiting moderation. There is a hint if ever there was one.

        • Jen Says:

          So sorry, Paul. Everyone’s first comment here must be approved, but after that, they all post freely. I rarely look at comments that are pending approval. You are certainly welcome to comment here!

        • Paul Says:

          Lol. Thanks Jen. I didn’t clue-in on the reason.

      • NeverAgain Says:

        I liked this video! (what I could see of it; the “free” content ran out after about three minutes) Dr. Morecraft was quoting and then paraphrasing Jesus in that sentence.

        Did you hear the part about how Dr. Morecraft felt physically ill when he heard a colleague (who could it have been??) saying that husbands were supposed to be prophets, priests, and kings in their own households? I love his comeback to that assertion!

    • Andrew McDonald Says:

      The problems with the patriarchal teaching generally and the NCFIC particularly, is that they make preferential issues theological issues through misinterpreted and misapplied scriptures. While they teach ‘father leadership’ they seem to end up with and actually attract strong, over controlling leaders who dictate based on their current hobby horse. They drive out those who will not submit and attract those looking for an outward form of Christianity. Therefore members become preoccupied with outward forms of obedience applied to clothing, schooling, entertainment, etcetera rather than the inward transformation that only the Holy Spirit brings. They end up with more ‘Family/Father’ Worship than God Worship with dictatorial family and church leaders; often the servant-leader becoming nonexistent. In a humorous sort of way I have seen many of the families actually run by the mom who dictates behind the scenes to a submissive husband. BUT this must be covert! Public displays of this are strongly frowned upon.

      • Humbled by Grace Says:

        So true Andrew.

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          Yep. I remember, at a church, when a new wall was being put in to turn a central room into two class rooms. (When we found out Children’s Church was evolutionary, darwinistic and didn’t follow the ‘normative Biblical pattern’ we didn’t need the bigger room anymore.) But the resulting hallway was so narrow a person in a wheelchair would have problems navigating with other people there. So I mentioned it to the leader and he said that it was planned that way. End of discussion. Then I recalled from the movie ‘The Climb’ a situation where a character goes to a man’s son to get something done. So I caught his wife in the hallway and in general conversation commented that two baby strollers would have a difficult time passing one another and just 12 inches wider would solve the problem. Voila! The wall was moved and the hallway was wider. The plans must have changed. I got a little chuckle out of that and, more importantly, the church got a more useable hallway.

  63. Paul Says:

    I should have added he is paraphrasing Jesus in Matthew 15:4

  64. Mom Says:

    Well said Andrew. I have lived it and I agree with your assessment.

  65. M.S. Says:

    Is L. going to get her day in court?…or is DP off the hook for now ? 😦 Either way… He will have Judgement Day

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