A Sad Update on Julie McMahon’s Situation

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer.– Albert Camus link

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=66150&picture=woman
Woman

The next three sentences are for the attorneys: Julie did not ask me to post this update. I am doing so because I am very sad and I want our readers to pray for Julie and her children. I received the following information from a reliable source. 

Julie has made a difficult decision. As you may know, Tony Jones did not return their son, Tanner, to Julie in January as is stipulated by the parenting agreement. Since that time, Tanner has been staying with his father. It is reported that Tony has gone to court to gain custody of his son. Julie allegedly fears that he might try to do the same thing with the other two children.

Tony's alleged pursuit of this matter has been very costly for Julie. She has incurred a $6000 debt with her lawyers. There is no end in sight for the continued need for counsel in dealing with continued legal actions by her former husband. 

Julie has reportedly spoken with her son and told him how much she loves him. However, she has decided to stop fighting in the courts because she sees this as a never-ending battle. She does not have the financial means or the emotional strength to continue. However, she does sense the presence of God.

I will continue to keep the GoFundMe account open for donors. I would ask that everyone pray for Julie during this difficult time.

Comments

A Sad Update on Julie McMahon’s Situation — 259 Comments

  1. Good does not always triumph over evil in this life. But it will at the end. In the mean, you have our support Julie. Time for me to make another donation. BTW, if Tojo’s a Christian I want none of it.

  2. Julie, I remember how horrible this felt. You are in my heart.

    And I will make sure I regularly pray for Tanner, that he will be protected in the center of his being, that he will learn the truth over time, and that he will eventually return to the love that is truest and clearest.

  3. It says something about our society (and about our cultural Christianity) that a person can only fight for what’s right and true if there is enough money for lawyers and court battles.

    About 10 years ago, when I was wandering in the “evangelical wilderness,” the people in the group Tony has been part of gave me some hope that I could remain a Christian. I remained a Christian after all, but went a different route, and haven’t “had a dog in the fight” for more than 5 years. I’m so disappointed in how all of them have behaved so far, with a couple of notable exceptions. Of course, they neither know nor care about my disappointment. They’re in process, too, just like all the rest of us, and I fear have been hoodwinked for a long time, just like I was. Forcing outcomes is not loving… and it’s so hard to try to keep from doing that, in this situation particularly. I wish sitting them all in a room and whacking ’em upside the head while giving them a piece of my mind would finally do the trick… but that’s not likely, even if it were possible.

    Frustrated, and sad along with you, Dee. Still praying, believing God will open up some hearts, and as free a flow of information as is possible will change people’s minds. Thanks for your and Deb’s contribution to that openness. My work is very slow right now, but I will donate when I can cobble together at least the amount I spent on buying a couple of T’s books…

  4. Julie, there are many of us who are praying for you and for your children. I’m thankful that your voice has been heard, and I pray that God will grant you great wisdom and emotional and physical strength to endure and to know what to do in difficult and seemingly impossible circumstances. I pray that he will grant your children wisdom as well and that he will soften the hearts of those who need it and bring them to repentance.

  5. This is his revenge for her speaking out and being heard. Narcissistic rage is an unholy force, but I imagine this “victory” has soothed the injuries to his ego for the time being. I also suspect he’s playing a long con here, and has more nasty tricks up his sleeve. I respect and understand Julie’s decision, and can only imagine how she and her kids must be feeling.

  6. I have seen this too often. The absolute fatigue and financial drain that comes from dealing with a narcissist. No matter what one does it is twisted to the advantage of the NPD. And once you come to the final, final, final realization of what you are dealing with you know there will be no peace until you can sever all ties. And Julie cannot until the kids are grown and even then the drama will continue in other ways. And we have a culture (especially within Christendom) that believes those who win are right. And there is nothing more dangerous than an NPD with resources.

    I am praying for all your children as they are separated and that must be causing a lot of questions for which Julie has no real answers to make sense to them.. But I am also praying that the celebrities around Tony have their eyes opened and encourage him to not to use his son in this way. The ONLY time I have seen an NPD change a specific behavior was when someone with serious gravitas in their life confronted them. Someone whose good opinion is tied to money or fame and could cost them too much to ignore it.

    My heart just breaks that we get the justice we can afford.

  7. lemonaidfizz wrote:

    This is his revenge for her speaking out and being heard. Narcissistic rage is an unholy force, but I imagine this “victory” has soothed the injuries to his ego for the time being. I also suspect he’s playing a long con here, and has more nasty tricks up his sleeve. I respect and understand Julie’s decision, and can only imagine how she and her kids must be feeling.

    You know, that is a good way to describe an NPD’s life: the long con.

  8. Let’s think this through: what kind of a father tries to remove custody of his children from the mother? What kind of father takes his ex-wife to court endlessly and sends her in financial ruin to defend herself and her kids? How does said father expect mother to adequately provide for his children if he keeps taking her to court? This behavior is not love.

    Julie, I told you this privately, but I will say it publicly. Most people I have spoken with who have gone through horrific custody battles will tell you that while there may be a time that children are confused about what is going on, truth has a way of eventually revealing itself. I believe in my heart that Tony’s actions will come back to bite him when his children realize what he has done to you, their mother, and to them.

    What a difficult decision you have had to make. You have not abandoned your children, Julie. Your heart remains with them and deep down they know this.

  9. It is hard to believe that a judge would give custody of children to the father just because he asked for them. In this country the mother’s wishes usually come first. She can’t protect herself or her children tho without a good lawyer and surely with a case this well known there are fine Christian lawyers through the country who would do this pro boom as Christian service or if not, payments. If she won, Tony would have to pay. My daughter, several years ago, was represented in NYC by a fine public defender. I am praying for a lawyer!

  10. I’m sorry to hear this.

    Julie, I hope you’re reading the supportive comments here. Much love to you.

  11. …and this is precisely what’s wrong with Rachel Held Evans’ notion that things will somehow just work out if everyone just leaves everything to the courts. How naive.

  12. I am praying to Julie and her kids.

    This entire situation is sickening to me. I don’t understand how the courts can make a mother go to court again (costing more funds) to defend a decision that was already decided years ago. It plainly sucks.

    Again Tony and his Emergent friends prove that money wins the day. Aren’t they SO different than everyone else? 🙁

  13. So sad and angering. It is impossible to fight anything criminal or civil in our court systems without loads of money. I have friends who have incurred over $200000 in attorney fees and costs over the past year in fighting for their daughter whose birth trauma and hospital induced injuries were wrongfully diagnosed as abuse. The baby is finally back with her mom after almost a year but the battle is not over for her father. They are moving forward with appeals and civil rights law suits that could cost upwards of another $400,000 or more. I don’t say this to begin a debate about CPS, hospitals and child abuse (I have a legal background and husband is a police officer and we have never seen anything this unbelievable in our experience in the court systems) but rather to show how incredibly expensive it is to work within our court system. It is a travesty. I can’t imagine the pain of having to stop fighting for your children because of lack of money.

  14. My heart is breaking over this. I second all that Julie Anne has said above. Your children will know that you have done all you can for them and that you love them no matter what happens.

  15. This news breaks my heart for Julie & her children.
    Julie, I am so sorry. Words fail me, as tears fall. I wish I could do more to help, glad you can feel the presence of our tender Jesus. I, along will many, will continue to pray.

  16. @ Brother Maynard:
    When I think of courts, I think of Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson. They were judged *not guilty* by a jury of their peers but I doubt anyone would allow Anthony to babysit their kids or want their daughter to marry OJ.

  17. Kathi wrote:

    Your children will know that you have done all you can for them and that you love them no matter what happens.

    Thank you for saying this. Julie is learning to trust that this will be true.

  18. Aly K wrote:

    to show how incredibly expensive it is to work within our court system. It is a travesty. I can’t imagine the pain of having to stop fighting for your children because of lack of money.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Legal fees are high. And Julie has been dragged into court on a rather regular basis. Not only is it the money, it is the exhausting battle to defend yourself against accusation after accusation.

  19. There is a sadness in this story that only a mother can understand. Jesus also understands and He sees what is happening. I wish I could give you a hug but it is a bit difficult from the other side of the world. But I send my love and please know that I am praying for you and your children.

  20. Bridget wrote:

    Again Tony and his Emergent friends prove that money wins the day. Aren’t they SO different than everyone else?

    I look at Stanley Hauerwas and how he treated his mentally ill wife. That was sacrificial. Tony divorced Julie and quickly got himself a new honey. No big sacrifice there.

  21. I fear the same thing will happen to a family friend when her son turns 14. (He is 12.) His father has been badmouthing his mother to the kid for years. Ironically, dad doesn’t want anything to do with their daughter. He only grudgingly pays child support.

  22. As a man I am enraged!! This is bulls@it!! What kind of man does this? What kind of man uses children as a tool? What kind of man manipulates the justice system? This is sickening and outrageous. I hope someone, somewhere can rise up and go to bat for Julie. This so disgusts me!

  23. @ Eagle:

    Many people are supporting Julie now. “Finally, Julie is heard…..” to rift on Tony’s gushing.

    I believe that some in the Emergent movement did not handle this situation well. I think that Tony should have tried to work this out. I think it could have been done. In the long run, i believe everyone will lose from this. The Emergent folks come across as just another ho hum community with little creativity in handling conflict.

    It’s really too bad. They could have done it the way Stanley Hauerwas did it. Although I have some theological differences with him, I will always admire him. It is how you handle conflict that shows your character. Hauerwas has character.

    I also do not respect Courtney Perry’s role in this mess. I believe women are strong and can exhibit strength of character. I am not impressed.

    She should have told Tony to concentrate on his children and walked away from the situation until he did so. She is just another ho hum second wife who participated in the pain that Tony’s children have had to experience. I am grateful that she did not produce children with husband number 1 because those children would have been hurt by all of this as well.

    How terribly, terribly mundane.

  24. So sad. It’s also totally sad that so many end up in financial ruin. I have a niece, who although she is not going through anything near like this, is in the midst of a divorce. My sister actually went back to work part-time after being retired to pay for the lawyer.

  25. What the heck is wrong with all you people. If she has custody,then she needs to report a kidnapping to the police,and should have done so the minute her son was not returned. Parent or not,is irrelevant. How many times hhave we heard tthis story,only the kidnapping parent is on the run from the law! You all should counsel to go get your kid,and not let it go as a forgone conclusion. You all act as though this guy has won already. All I can say is,what a shame no one says fight onward! Call the cops and go get your boy!

  26. And if that don’t work,then two can play that game. go get him at school and take out a restraining order to keep the scofflaw ex. away from the school. If she does nothing….she will likely lose them all. No doubt he has or will have visitation. And the court will not look kindly on him breaking a court order. None of the things I talk about cost any money.

  27. If what David L says is correct, and Tony could be charged with kidnapping, then she needs to call the cop. By not returning their son, he is violating a court order.

  28. @ david L:

    Nothing is wrong with any of us. One thing you should consider before assuming we are all nuts is the possibility that there are ways to get around parental custody settlements.

    You can be sure that there are attorneys who are counseling both sides. There are things that can be claimed in order to justify not returning a child to the home. These sorts of things go on all of the time.

    And yes, these things do cost money.

  29.   __

    RUNUTZ: “Welcome To ‘De-Tokeville’?”

    (in other news…)

    What?

    Washington! D.C. christians now have a bong-a-fied excuse.

    huh?

    Pot is legal our nation’s capital.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu9IQHxsrDU

    What?

    Now you can visit Dever’s 9 Marks church in style.

    No pain man…

    Attendee: “Hey, gr8 seron pastor, wanna a hit?”

    (grin)

    hahahahaha

    Sopy

    🙂

  30. david L wrote:

    . You all act as though this guy has won already.

    NPD’s always win in the sense they never stop. He is always 10 steps ahead. there is a reason he did not leave the state for his conference in January. Did you see Tony’s conference video before it was taken down?

  31. There is also the hell the 14 year old would be put through with a battle. I don’t know about MN but here that seems to be the magic age they are part of the process.

    NPD’s tend to view their children as tools either weapons or as their supply.

  32. So sorry to hear this. Praying for Julie and her children. God is for the poor and needy. The truth will one day be shouted from the rooftops.

  33. Dee, You must not be far from me! Our power is estimated to be on tomorrow at 6:30pm. My husband surprised me with a night at the Marriott.!

  34. This is absolutely horrendous. Maybe a comment on his latest blog post where he says, “More than ever, my kids are aware that there are people on the internet who don’t like me…” might help him.

  35. dee wrote:

    One thing you should consider before assuming we are all nuts is the possibility that there are ways to get around parental custody settlements.

    Yes, and also custody agreements can and do get very complicated with who can do or not do what and when and who is required to do what and when and what exceptions there are to all the whats and whens. Sadly, I speak from experience with a certain custody agreement which impacts our lives at my house.

    And the lad is 14 years old. He is a young adolescent that cannot be treated like a toddler, and nobody has said what the boy is saying at this point. Anybody who thinks like David L seems to think, that this is straightforward and uncomplicated probably has not lived through it.

    The cultural idea that a person can run off with their latest lover, divorce without cause, and never mind the kids because ‘the kids will be alright’ probably needs a brain and heart transplant, in my opinion.

  36. lydia wrote:

    There is also the hell the 14 year old would be put through with a battle. I don’t know about MN but here that seems to be the magic age they are part of the process.
    NPD’s tend to view their children as tools either weapons or as their supply.

    True, and that doesn’t change when they’re adults.

    Julie, if it’s any help or consolation to you at all, those of us who are raised in this situation do grow up, and we do have the Holy Spirit who guides us and gives us eyes to see the truth. I was 14 when I accepted Christ, and that’s when it became harder and harder for my parents to manipulate me. Lawson says that children are “the first to recognize, and the last to admit” that something is wrong with one of their parents. However, Christ promises us that there is nothing concealed that will not be made known. I pray that you’re comforted during this time, and I pray that you and all of your children will be protected. <3

  37. Yes, I was unaware that Tony knows people at the police dept. I haven’t been following this story very closely. Him having buddies there makes it very unlikely that they’d objectively do their job.

  38. Hoppy / DavidL, local police rarely get involved in civil matters / orders, even if they aren’t pals with one of the parties. It is just not that simple. You can call them, you can show them papers, blah, blah, blah, but almost 100% of the time, if there’s no immediate danger, they will tell you to take it (the violation of orders) to the courts.

    Also, for DavidL, I have to say it’s a little insulting that you imply she/we are all too dumb to just think of the simplest solution and just pickup the phone and call 911. Really. Insulting. It speaks to how little you understand about how these things work, and to what *has* been tried / done / and under what circumstances, and how it all played out.

  39. Hanni wrote:

    In this country the mother’s wishes usually come first.

    If I’m not mistaken, this is not true in contested custody situations. That is, when fathers fight for custody they win more often than not.

    This whole thing is heartbreaking. And it’s what happens when good people stand by and “don’t take sides”.

    (Is it weird he only is going after custody of one of the children? Surely if he’s alleging that she’s a danger to the children, then it would be all of the children and not just one . . .)

  40. I believe TJ (and Courtney as well) will soon find that the fun of a WIN will be worn down quickly by the responsibility of actually parenting in real life and not just on weekends. Sadly, at that point the son will probably get a glimpse into how he’s been used as a pawn against his own mother. I pray for him and his mom both, as well as the other children.

  41. david L wrote:

    All I can say is,what a shame no one says fight onward!

    Not going to tell someone who is worn out and beaten to “fight onward”. I respect her (very difficult) choice.

  42. @ Ann:
    Our power is now on again. However, yesterday it came on and then off 8 times. I am still suspicious-our portable generator is on standby! The Marriott! What a guy!

  43. Living Liminal wrote:

    my kids are aware that there are people on the internet who don’t like me

    He’s right. I do not *like* guys who walk out on wives, take up with another honey and then keep playing legal games with custody.

    Some day those kids will be old enough to understand without Tony’s interpretation.

  44. Nancy wrote:

    And the lad is 14 years old. He is a young adolescent that cannot be treated like a toddler, and nobody has said what the boy is saying at this point.

    Can you imagine what it must be like for a 14 year old who must live with both parents, one of whom has admitted that he is NPD? And the new honey is in place. Of course, daddy likes the new honey and doesn’t like the old formerly legal wife.So he must pretend for her sake as well.

    That young man will need to play the game as well to protect himself from emotional gaming.

  45. KRT wrote:

    Also, for DavidL, I have to say it’s a little insulting that you imply she/we are all too dumb to just think of the simplest solution and just pickup the phone and call 911

    I had an elder once go after me regarding my advocacy for victims on child sex abuse on this blog. This is what he said and I am not exaggerating

    There is no problem with child sex abuse in churches. All they have to do is call the police and the problem is solved!

    This man is an elder at a church. Can you imagine what goes on there?

  46. Jeff S wrote:

    Is it weird he only is going after custody of one of the children? Surely if he’s alleging that she’s a danger to the children, then it would be all of the children and not just one

    It is weird. I am wondering if it is because the boy has reached the magic age of 14 and can say what he wants to do. I am *sure* no one is coaching him….

  47. KRT wrote:

    I believe TJ (and Courtney as well)

    I believe that Courtney is contributing to this mess. I believe that women are strong enough to express their own opinions. She could have, and should have, told Tony to get his house in order prior to taking up their sacramental relationship. It would have involved self sacrifice, something I am looking for in the situation.

  48. Jeff S wrote:

    Not going to tell someone who is worn out and beaten to “fight onward”. I respect her (very difficult) choice.

    Thank you. She is truly beaten down and exhausted but not without hope.

  49. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing”

    Rachel Held Evans- take that message to heart. You had power most of us do not have, and you did nothing.

    In fact, your “camp” has accused those of us who would do something (if we had the power) of trying to do something. Now a precious life will be forever affected by the choice you had and made wrongly.

    It is time to repent.

  50. @ david L:
    I do not know about MN but in NC, when a child is kept with a parent in violation of the custody agreement, law enforcement will usually not get involved. It is not their role to interpret court documents- they prefer that handled in court by the judge.

    We have encountered this situation numerous times with my brother and his ex-wife. She routinely refuses to return the children back to their custodial father when her weekend visitation is over (usually in retaliation for something else not gone her way.)
    The first few times, he did get police accompaniment to retrieve the children, but they could not force the mother to release them, they could only request. After that, she caught on and would either not open the door to the police or refuse their request. At that point, there is nothing they can do.
    A few years ago, both police and sheriff, stopped accompanying at all but told my brother that he is within his rights to find where they are and go and get them. He showed up at the park where they were, told the kids they were going home and did not speak to the ex-wife. In response to that, she filed a restraining order against him, the police came to his house and took the children from him and brought them back to their mother, until 3 weeks later when they went back to court and the judge ruled in his favor. After this, we created a family fund to help him pay for a lawyer. Since then, she has repeated this behavior once. My brother did not attempt to retrieve them but had the lawyer filed a contempt of court, and a few weeks later the judge found her in contempt and threatened her with arrest if she repeated her actions.
    So, all this to say: you cannot just get the police and go get your kids back. You must go through lawyers and judges and have money to pay for all of this. And if the other parent is accusing you of any misbehavior, it makes it all take more time and more money. And if you try to swoop in and physically take them back, you may end up making much more trouble for yourself and your children.
    I am so sorry for Julie and her children. Julie, keep loving your children and make the most of the time you have with them. Kids are smart and perceptive and even if they are told lies by others, they will know that you love them.

    (To be clear, my brother is not trying to keep the children from their mother. She doesn’t want full custody, she has remarried and has 2 more children in that marriage. She used to not even go get the kids half of the time when she was supposed to have them (before the contempt of court episode). She just wants to still be the one calling the shots and have them for all important events when it is fun to dress them up and show them off and she doesn’t want to pay child support. He would just like her to follow the court agreement so the children can have a scheduled and stable life.)

  51. KRT wrote:

    I believe TJ (and Courtney as well) will soon find that the fun of a WIN will be worn down quickly by the responsibility of actually parenting in real life and not just on weekends. Sadly, at that point the son will probably get a glimpse into how he’s been used as a pawn against his own mother. I pray for him and his mom both, as well as the other children.

    Sadly, this is true in my experience. Once the dopamine high of the “win” wears off, the reality of “Gee, I have to think about someone other than myself in order to parent” sets in. However, wait for the spin! “I’ve really been thinking about how I was *unjust* in coming between you and your son. I want to *graciously* give you more visitation/give you custody back, because I want to show you how f**king generous I am.” I’M SUCH A GOOD DAD!! Whew, now I can go get drunk and bask in some more applause!

  52. dee wrote:

    @ Anonymous Child of NPD/BPD Couple:
    I am sending your comment directly to Julie. Thank you for saying this.

    dee wrote:

    coming

    Thanks Dee.

  53. @ LB:
    OH MY GOSH this is manipulation at its finest! Screwtape would be pleased!! 🙁 (puke)

  54. @ LB:
    And what’s worse, is that NO ONE other than the two of them can accurately or legally testify about this, because the disordered one has such an amazing power of spin! Please advise your brother to go to http://www.bpdfamily.com, to start recording every interaction with her, SECRETLY, using some of the spy-tech style gear available on Amazon, to document everything….wait, has he already been doing this?

  55. dee wrote:

    Jeff S wrote

    It is weird. I am wondering if it is because the boy has reached the magic age of 14 and can say what he wants to do. I am *sure* no one is coaching him….

    TJ finally has some leverage to use with one of the children: a kid who is old enough for the courts to consider his preferences, a boy who is at a critical age in wanting to bond with his father, isolating him from his Mom so he can inundate him with only the info that he wants him to hear, etc. Also, by starting with just one, he can drag this whole thing out, and leave Julie in dread of it happening to each one in turn.

    This is truly a situation of injustice where we can only encourage Julie to press on in loving her children and doing the best she can and pray that the Lord will intervene on her behalf within the court system.

    Oh, and continue to call out Tony Jones on his gross misbehavior and all those who continue to support that behavior as well. I used to read Rachel Held Evans’ blog occasionally and had a lot of respect for her even when not always agreeing with all of her points. I cannot now read anything by her anymore.

  56. LB wrote:

    Also, by starting with just one, he can drag this whole thing out, and leave Julie in dread of it happening to each one in turn.

    Which is what I think ToJo is going to do. After all, Julie wasn’t Nice Enough(TM) to him. (“You weren’t Nice Enough to me” is a word-for-word justification from my NPD brother when he cheated me out of an inheritance years ago — legally airtight and spun spun spun to make him the Poor Innocent Victim defending himself, of course.)

  57. LB wrote:

    I do not know about MN but in NC, when a child is kept with a parent in violation of the custody agreement, law enforcement will usually not get involved. It is not their role to interpret court documents- they prefer that handled in court by the judge.

    Doubled when said parent in violation is a Police Chaplain which invokes the Code of Blue. Bob Greiner, Mini-Moses of Calvary Chapel Visalia, also milked the Police Chaplain/Code of Blue for all it was worth. It’s amazing how these guys can set up and groom third parties for years to decades before making their move.

  58. Jeff S wrote:

    It is time to repent.

    How can you “repent” when you wipe your mouth and announce to the world “I Have Not Sinned”?

  59. lydia wrote:

    NPD’s tend to view their children as tools either weapons or as their supply.

    As my stepmother viewed Dad & me in her blood feud against my NPD brother. I don’t know whether she was NPD too (and it turned into “the universe cannot have two centers”) or whether she got so tunnel-visioned on revenge that nothing else mattered.

    My image during that period was me standing on a stretch of single track with a train coming at me full speed from each direction; when I bailed out before the cornfield meet, I became The Evil One to both oncoming trains. There’s a reason I have little to no contact with surviving family.

  60. @ Anonymous Child of NPD/BPD Couple:
    Thanks for the resource. I’ll have to check that out. I don’t think he has employed any spy gear, but I do know that he refuses to have any face to face contact with her unless absolutely necessary and then only with someone with him, and only communicates with her by text or email which he keeps.
    I’m not sure that she has a personality disorder, she’s always seemed just like a very spoiled brat who has learned to work things to get her way and doesn’t feel like any rules apply to her, the princess. Unfortunately, my brother now has a 2nd ex-wife with whom he has 2 children also. This one is actually worse than the first and probably is diagnosable. She has threatened my sweet mother and brought her to tears on several occasions. (He sure know how to pick ’em. I’m hoping he will continue in counseling to learn why he picks to be with crazy women.)
    The 2nd ex-wife has all of a sudden become best friends with the 1st (whom she used to despise), and has told her they can help each other destroy him in court. They talk about this in front of the children, who then tell everything to their grandma (my mom). Needless, to say, the older children (of ex #1) do not ever want to go to their mom’s and get upset when it is time to leave grandmas and go see mom. So sad for everyone, but the kids know the truth- that they are being used as pawns.

  61. lydia wrote:

    david L wrote:

    . You all act as though this guy has won already.

    NPD’s always win in the sense they never stop. He is always 10 steps ahead. there is a reason he did not leave the state for his conference in January. Did you see Tony’s conference video before it was taken down?

    I learned that from 16+ years with my NPD little brother. THE NPD ALWAYS WINS. ALWAYS. All you can do is accept that He Will Always Win and You Will Always Lose and take your eternal position as dirt beneath his feet and punching bag whenever he feels like it.

    Because like a drooling fanboy with an all-consuming obsession, the NPD can devote 1000% of his time and energy to Winning. He has NO life other than “I. WIN.” You have a life, other interests than “I. WIN.” You can’t compete. He can always put more time and energy into the Chess Game than you. I have cursed God more times than I can count over “WHY COULDN’T I HAVE BEEN BORN AN NPD SOCIOPATH LIKE HIM????? A WINNER WINNER WINNER INSTEAD OF JUST A F’IN LOSER LOSER LOSER!!!!!!!”

  62. Aly K wrote:

    So sad and angering. It is impossible to fight anything criminal or civil in our court systems without loads of money.

    And like Bob Grenier, ToJo has unlimited deep pockets with the resources of his church available for unlimited use.
    “TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! TITHE!”

  63. @ Jeff S:
    RHE’s husband even provided Julie with the abuse hotline number, publicly. That is how snarky it got toward Julie. these are not nice people. well maybe they are nice when you are fawning over their blog posts and books.

  64. I haven’t been following the twists and turns of this story too closely, but this update is just saddening and angering. I can’t believe some people. I’m considering donating, if for no other reason than the encouragement to her.

    I can’t believe this scoundrel Tony is dragging the name of Christ through the mud like this.

  65. Please pardon my sarcasm here, but I thought Christians were supposed to be different.

    I’ll just resort to my usual prayer: “Jesus, save us from your professional followers.”

  66. This happened to my daughter 5 years ago. Her ex told their daughter that we(Grandparents) didn’t love her any more, and we didn’t want to see her.

    He won’t let our daughter see her either. It’s been 5 years and it still hurts badly. We miss her so much.

    I am so sorry for Julie; I have no words…

  67. I worked in child support for several years, and it always seemed to be the same scenario over and over again. Custodial parent takes action, uninvolved, non-custodial parent suddenly wants custody. It’s nothing more than revenge, and it makes me sick to my stomach. I just hope that these children are shielded somehow from Tony’s asshattery, and that whatever they aren’t shielded from will continue to allow them to see Tony for how he truly is.

  68. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    My image during that period was me standing on a stretch of single track with a train coming at me full speed from each direction; when I bailed out before the cornfield meet, I became The Evil One to both oncoming trains. There’s a reason I have little to no contact with surviving family.

    That breaks my heart. When preachers talk about sin, I wish they would focus on the “one anothers” instead of their typical focus. How we carry out basic fairness and justice as believers is more important than any culture war or purity of doctrine.

    One reason pastors don’t is because their lot are some of the worst when it comes to it. And they are quite good at making excuses for each other or trotting out instant repentance.

  69. I’m so sad to hear it. There isn’t a chance some kind attorney would represent her pro bono? Maybe an advocacy organization that could fund her case?

  70. lydia wrote:

    @ Jeff S:
    RHE’s husband even provided Julie with the abuse hotline number, publicly. That is how snarky it got toward Julie. these are not nice people. well maybe they are nice when you are fawning over their blog posts and books.

    They’re Nice when you’re sucking up to them, you mean.

    Anybody remember a long-ago TV movie called “The Bunker”? Starring Anthony Hopkins as Adolf Hitler? I remember in several of the early scenes from Speer’s POV, Hopkins portrayed AH as almost fatherly/patriarch — until the instant you differed with him in any way whatsoever or said something he didn’t want to hear; then the Teppechfresser screaming began, often followed by summary execution (hanging with piano wire).

  71. lydia wrote:

    That breaks my heart.

    Kicker is, my stepbrother and his family are pretty decent. Add my resulting distrust of family in general to both our busy schedules, and I don’t have as much contact with them as I should.

  72. @ Jeff S: I remember reading a meta-study that backs you up but now I can’t find it. Do you have a handy source for that claim?

  73. Jeff S wrote:

    If I’m not mistaken, this is not true in contested custody situations. That is, when fathers fight for custody they win more often than not.

    That is true. It is also quite common for mothers to trade a reduction in child support and distribution of assets in return for primary custody of the children.

  74. It is very encouraging to read so many people who have no difficulty seeing Tony and his actions for what they are.

    Tony, if you’re reading this (and of course you almost certainly are), the genie is out of the bottle, the cat out of the bag. No matter how much lawfare you wage you can’t stop people from seeing your behavior for what it is. Come on, man! It’s not too late to get the real help, take a deep breath, and stand down. Is there a non-litigious option for custody modification for Tanner? Why not go with that? Is the scorched earth strategy really necessary? Ironically, kind compromise and acknowledgment of your own imperfection are the only things that will cast your character in even a tiny but better light. Surely you can at least fake it a bit, for your image if not for your children?

  75. @ Banannie:
    Phyllis Chessler wrote a book about it. I can’t remember the title right now but I will look it up later. you can google her name and get a list of titles.

  76. My heart breaks for Julie. The hardest thing for a loving mom to do is totally trust their children to the Lord.

    Shame on Tony and anyone who refuses to tell this skunk that he stinks!

  77. @ Kelly:
    Perhaps there might be. However, Julie is exhausted having fought the battle for years. Please pray for her spirit.

  78. Kari wrote:

    The hardest thing for a loving mom to do is totally trust their children to the Lord.

    How right you are. Every decent mother on the fact of this planet would die for their children and feel distraught if they are taken away from them. I feel so deeply for her and can tell that you do as well.

  79. LB wrote:

    This is truly a situation of injustice where we can only encourage Julie to press on in loving her children and doing the best she can and pray that the Lord will intervene on her behalf within the court system.

    That she is doing. She loves her children deeply.

  80. lydia wrote:

    RHE

    What a joke….so strident in her criticism (for good reason) against the abused in the SGM case, given her position here seems like that was a cover for grinding her axe against those outside her theological camp.

  81. Jeff S wrote:

    Hanni wrote:
    In this country the mother’s wishes usually come first.
    If I’m not mistaken, this is not true in contested custody situations. That is, when fathers fight for custody they win more often than not.
    This whole thing is heartbreaking. And it’s what happens when good people stand by and “don’t take sides”.
    (Is it weird he only is going after custody of one of the children? Surely if he’s alleging that she’s a danger to the children, then it would be all of the children and not just one . . .)

    No. They don’t. And the notion that fathers should never have custody is also damaging to both fathers and children. But I find so few people seem to empathize with fathers who are denied access to their children.

  82. @ ar:
    I agree. The notion that one’s gender makes one more or less fit as a parent is terrible. No one here is *in any way* suggesting that fathers should not have access to their kids. Or even being uncaring about that.

  83. dee wrote:

    Legal fees are high. And Julie has been dragged into court on a rather regular basis. Not only is it the money, it is the exhausting battle to defend yourself against accusation after accusation.

    Can you publish some details regarding the case?
    For instance, what state and county is this case in?
    What is the case number?
    With that information, it may be possible to see what sort of stuff Jones’ attorneys are filing with the court to keep the litigation going. It should be public record, and some courts actually allow access to documents online. Just a thought.

  84. ar wrote:

    No. They don’t. And the notion that fathers should never have custody is also damaging to both fathers and children. But I find so few people seem to empathize with fathers who are denied access to their children.

    Tell those fathers that about 70% of dads who fight for custody, win. The simple truth is most father’s don’t fight so the conventional wisdom is that courts usually award the main custody to the mom. There are great fathers out there who want the best for their kids and feel taking them away from their mom to live with and her have visitation would hurt them.

    One of the reasons there might be less empathy for dads is because we have too many in society who are not concerned about their kids welfare. Every year our local daily prints the names of dead beat dads. It is about 4 paqes of names in tiny print. Thousands and thousands. So that becomes conventional wisdom.

    We really should take each case individually instead of automatically lumping folks into categories. It is really unfair.

  85. @ Anon:

    @Anon … Instructions and case numbers for some of the public-access information you are interested in can be found in the bottom part of this webpage:

    https://diagnosingemergent.wordpress.com/04-personal-issues-between-tony-jones-and-julie-mcmahon/

    Court Register entries are indicators for frequency of actions and other issues. However, I would also suggest that just because items are listed there for actions in a specific case, that does not give the whole story of what is going on, and we need keep that in mind.

    That’s why I’ve tried to look at many different layers and angles in this situation, because it is about far more than just “private details of a messy divorce” — there are multiple dimensions about how this has unfolded to reveal significant issues of “public pathology” to expand on what investigative reporter Becky Garrison has termed it.

  86. Lydia wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    They’re Nice when you’re sucking up to them, you mean.

    It’s about business, you know.

    “Just business” — isn’t that what they said in The Godfather?

  87. My Feedly is showing that this post is “3.19x more popular than usual”. Apparently you are hitting a nerve and reaching an audience. Keep it up.

  88. lydia wrote:

    That breaks my heart. When preachers talk about sin, I wish they would focus on the “one anothers” instead of their typical focus.

    “The ‘One Anothers'”?

    P.S. On reflection, I suspect my stepmother was hardened over the years by my brother’s NPD Uproar tactics and third-party grooming. She was always a tough cookie, but as time went on she became more bitter and tunnel-visioned on fighting my brother, until she saw all the rest of us as weapons on hand. And anyone who wasn’t 1000% on her side was One of Them.

    As for my brother, he ENJOYED pulling the manipulation strings — “DANCE, MONKEYS! DANCE!” I don’t think he was capable of stopping. Or of relating to anyone else except in terms of “I Manipulate.” With Dad, it was like a Jedi Mind Trick gesture or Scientology Tone 40 voice — no matter how much we’d warn Dad about what his youngest son was pulling, all he had to do was just speak a couple words and Dad was his obedient lapdog. When Dad remarried, he couldn’t manipulate our stepmother as he could the rest of us, so she had to be destroyed.

    That’s why hearing about ToJo or Cee Jay or MD (or others exposed on this blog) causes such an extreme reaction in me.

  89. @ Tina:
    I always write about the things that touch me or interest me. Years ago, I used to think that I was the only one interested in these topics. It is really wonderful to find others who want to discuss these things.

  90. Hi Friends,

    For everyone that has been able to donate to the fund that Dee set up (at the top of the page) for Julie M., thank you.

    For those of you that haven’t, but can afford to, please consider giving any amount to this fund. It’s what decent human beings do to help a mom in a terrible plight, and it’s what decent Christians do!

    Finally, Spring is here. Perhaps we could get creative. Host some garage/yard sales and sell our extra stuff (do some decluttering/Spring cleaning) and donate some or all of the proceeds to the fund for Julie M.

    You get the idea.

    Let’s help her get this legal bill paid down for the family law attorneys and help her with other expenses.

    Julie M, we LOVE you and we are praying for you!

  91. Brother Maynard wrote:

    …and this is precisely what’s wrong with Rachel Held Evans’ notion that things will somehow just work out if everyone just leaves everything to the courts. How naive.

    Spot on, Brother Maynard! The Emergent Crowd – Doug Pagitt at the same church with Tony Jones/business partner/friend, Brian McLaren (pastor/part of the Emergent crowd), failed to handle the Jones marriage crisis (Tony Jones’ relationship with Courtney (also married at the time), Jones leaving his wife Julie and their three young children for Courtney, in the manner laid out in the Bible: They should have told Tony Jones to step down entirely from Christian ministry/leadership and to attend to his marriage and his children. They should have demanded/fired him when he continued a relationship with Courtney. They should have also confronted her too and have offered support to HER (now ex) husband.

    They failed over and over and over again. It’s shocking how great their Biblical failures were in handling this. They enabled Tony Jones and Courtney and helped destroy two marriages and countless lives. They give their support (via letters for Tony Jones) because they still haven’t manned/womaned up and faced reality: They failed. They should be writing letters of apology and forgiveness, detailing HOW they failed.

    And these Emergent leaders are the reason that unbelievers mock God and the hypocrisy of church: Their behavior is as evil (if not more so) than that of unbelievers.

    If the only ‘Bible’ someone ever reads are these Emergent leaders’ lives, how they conducted themselves (treated Julie and her children and Courtney’s ex-husband), then they FAILED. And they, and we, know it.

    They have harmed God’s reputation before unbelievers, His name, and the church’s witness.

  92. dee wrote:

    Living Liminal wrote:
    my kids [Tony Jones] are aware that there are people on the internet who don’t like me.

    This coward – Tony Jones – is unbelievable with his drivel. He’s NOT a real man! Here’s merely a rutting, immature, male. A REAL MAN does NOT walk out on his wife and young children! A REAL man doesn’t blow it all apart for everybody else. A REAL man SACRIFICES.

    Apparently Tony Jones’ enablers (Doug Pagitt, Brian McLaren and the rest of Emergent Crowd) let Tony Jones know (wink, wink) that it was ‘all ok’: the affair, the leaving the wife and young kids, the blowing apart of two marriages’ (Tony’s to Julie and Courtney’s to her (now ex-) husband). Disgraceful!

    It must surprise Tony Jones that anyone dares to think otherwise about him on the internet and doesn’t inhabit his little world, complete with spineless, cowardly ‘yes’ men and women.

    It just goes to show that the Emergent crowd is in it for the $ and they don’t care about the Lord, the Bible, The Gospel, or standing up for what is right.

  93. Anonymous Child of NPD/BPD Couple wrote:

    @ LB:
    And what’s worse, is that NO ONE other than the two of them can accurately or legally testify about this, because the disordered one has such an amazing power of spin! Please advise your brother to go to http://www.bpdfamily.com, to start recording every interaction with her, SECRETLY, using some of the spy-tech style gear available on Amazon, to document everything….wait, has he already been doing this?

    Just a note of caution, secretly taping or recording conversations or interactions without the other person’s consent is illegal in some states. I wish it were otherwise, for just the reasons you describe.

  94. While secretly taping people is illegal in many states, there is a way around it that is admissible: a certified court reporter can take a transcript and it can be submitted. I’ve worked in law for years (including litigation, employment, and family) and this is done.

  95. Bill Kinnon wrote:

    I wonder if ToJo simply views his lawfare against Julie as a business expense — he believes he’s protecting his brand.

    Yes, Bill. They’re just in it for the $. It’s their cash cow.

  96. Michaela wrote:

    While secretly taping people is illegal in many states, there is a way around it that is admissible: a certified court reporter can take a transcript and it can be submitted. I’ve worked in law for years (including litigation, employment, and family) and this is done.

    No. That’s simply not true.

  97. XianAtty wrote:

    Michaela wrote:

    While secretly taping people is illegal in many states, there is a way around it that is admissible: a certified court reporter can take a transcript and it can be submitted. I’ve worked in law for years (including litigation, employment, and family) and this is done.

    No. That’s simply not true.

    XianAtty wrote:

    Michaela wrote:

    While secretly taping people is illegal in many states, there is a way around it that is admissible: a certified court reporter can take a transcript and it can be submitted. I’ve worked in law for years (including litigation, employment, and family) and this is done.

    No. That’s simply not true.

    You are incorrect.

  98. @ Michaela:
    Here’s the applicable California statute banning the recording of telephone calls (which are generally confidential, unless, for example, you’re calling into a radio station program) without the consent of all parties and which makes any such information inadmissible in any judicial proceeding.

    California Penal Code sec. 632. “(a) Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication, by means of any electronic amplifying or recording device, eavesdrops upon or records the confidential communication … shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars($2,500), or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year,or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment…. (d) Except as proof in an action or prosecution for violation of this section, no evidence obtained as a result of eavesdropping upon or recording a confidential communication in violation of this section shall be admissible in any judicial, administrative,
    legislative, or other proceeding.”

    On top of that, a purported transcript of a telephone call would be inadmissible as hearsay.

  99. Banannie wrote:

    Is secretly taping people illegal or inadmissible in court?

    It’s illegal in several states, IIRC, around 10 or so. Generally, information that is obtained illegally is inadmissible. Some states, like California, explicitly state that such illegally obtained information is inadmissible. You’d have to check your own state’s law. Also, if the parties are in different states, the federal statute might apply.

  100. Check the laws in your state for recording. Some states have it that only one party has to give permission…. which would be the recording party. It is legal in some states, so check the local laws.

  101. Here’s that section on Recording Phone Calls and Conversations with all the links:

    The Digital Media Law Center pages on Recording Phone Calls, Conversations, Meetings and Hearings looks fairly comprehensive on various types of recording situations, and partially addresses some state-by-state laws.

    http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/recording-phone-calls-and-conversations

    http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/recording-phone-calls-conversations-meetings-and-hearings

    http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/state-law-recording

    Different kinds of situations with recording seem to come up repeatedly in issues of abuse, where someone records phone calls or in-person visits etc. as a means to document conversations and/or encounters. Sometimes the person recording is the abuser (and they’re using this as a tool of abuse), sometimes a survivor (who is documenting abuse), sometimes a reporter or “citizen journalist”/blogger (who is using the data to inform the public). Sometimes the recording device is hidden, sometimes out in the open. Sometimes the setting is public, other times private. So, there can be a lot of different factors to consider.

    If you are a blogger, it’s important to understand that things are changing and keep up with case law that has gradually been clarifying the rights and responsibilities of bloggers and how that relates to “regular” journalists.

    Anyway, at least before ever recording a phone or in-person conversation, it is best to get familiar with the LEGAL issues involved by checking out the laws in your own state, and you may want to check with a lawyer for confirmation if there are unusual circumstances. The ETHICAL issues are another matter.

    Another source: Vegress page with state-by-state compliance on Can I Record Calls in My State?

    http://www.vegress.com/index.php/can-i-record-calls-in-my-state

  102. @ brad/futuristguy:
    Your piece looks good. I would only add that, generally, illegally obtained evidence is inadmissible in court. So, if a person violates their state’s statute by recording a conversation, not only may they find themselves in legal trouble, and hand their opponent a tool to use against them, but they are likely to find that the recording itself is of little use.

  103. @ Xianatty:
    Why not look up MN and be done with it? it is legal in my state as long as one party knows they are being taped. that is how weird it was written. Unless it has been changed due to technology.

  104. lydia wrote:

    @ Xianatty:
    Why not look up MN and be done with it? it is legal in my state as long as one party knows they are being taped. that is how weird it was written. Unless it has been changed due to technology.

    Because the discussion hasn’t been about MN law. I made a general comment, in response to a suggestion about making secret recordings, that such secret recording was illegal in some states. I only posted about California law because Michaela, who claims she’s a paralegal in California, incorrectly claimed there was a way to bypass the law. As several of us have said now, anyone who’s thinking about making secret recordings should consult their state’s law, and probably an attorney.

  105. Michaela wrote:

    Finally, Spring is here.

    You have spring where you are? We have been out of school most of this week, and there is still snow on the ground here.

  106. Banannie wrote:

    You’re my hero.

    Why, thank you … that’s the nicest thing I’ve heard all day! Of course, if Kitty Kitty the Camo Cat could talk, she might have something nice to say — although I suspect it would not be until after she has chided me with something like: “Hurry up and serve me my breakfast, you pesky slow slave!” After being fed, she’s only moderately ambivalent to human presence.

  107. @ brad/futuristguy:
    I became familiar with this a number of years ago when a friend wanted to record a pastor. You will not believe the outcome. They got it on tape that said pastor was aware of the meeting that they denied had happened. The meeting was to report pedophile behavior on the part of a church member.

    So this recording was played for the church leaders. When asked for a comment, they refused to say anything except (say this with a whine) “You recorded him. That isn’t fair.”

    Talk about turning the tables. However, they realized that the law in NC was on the side of the recorder.

  108. Xianatty wrote:

    but they are likely to find that the recording itself is of little use.

    In a situation in NC, I discovered that even with a legal recording, pastors whine that it is unfair. Unbelievable.

  109. Nancy wrote:

    You have spring where you are? We have been out of school most of this week, and there is still snow on the ground here.

    One of my husband’s partners still doesn’t have power in the supposedly southern state of NC.

  110. @ Xianatty:

    Thanks for that addition, XianAtty … I’ve added that to the segment about recordings on the page of legal/media research.

    The whole issue came up a few years ago in the defamation lawsuit against Julie Anne Smith (and I know it’s come up elsewhere, too), with church leaders coming in person to have a “conversation,” and it being recorded. Or meetings or counseling sessions being recorded.

  111. dee wrote:

    So this recording was played for the church leaders. When asked for a comment, they refused to say anything except (say this with a whine) “You recorded him. That isn’t fair.”

    “BUT THAT’S NOT FAIR!” — in Old School D&D, this was the characteristic cry of a trid player who got caught cheating. To a trid, “fair” means “I. ALWAYS. WIN.”

  112. Nancy wrote:

    Michaela wrote:

    Finally, Spring is here.

    You have spring where you are? We have been out of school most of this week, and there is still snow on the ground here.

    @Nancy,

    OK. Full disclosure: I’m in California!

  113. Xianatty wrote:

    lydia wrote:

    @ Xianatty:
    Why not look up MN and be done with it? it is legal in my state as long as one party knows they are being taped. that is how weird it was written. Unless it has been changed due to technology.

    Because the discussion hasn’t been about MN law. I made a general comment, in response to a suggestion about making secret recordings, that such secret recording was illegal in some states. I only posted about California law because Michaela, who claims she’s a paralegal in California, incorrectly claimed there was a way to bypass the law. As several of us have said now, anyone who’s thinking about making secret recordings should consult their state’s law, and probably an attorney.

    XA,
    You have mislead folks here countless times about the law, a little omission here another one there. It’s what you’ve been paid to do here, right? A hired troller.

    By the way, how is your fellow Florida resident, Emergent leader Brian McLaren?

  114. Xianatty wrote:

    @ brad/futuristguy:
    Your piece looks good. I would only add that, generally, illegally obtained evidence is inadmissible in court. So, if a person violates their state’s statute by recording a conversation, not only may they find themselves in legal trouble, and hand their opponent a tool to use against them, but they are likely to find that the recording itself is of little use.

    There is no hard and fast rule here. SOME illegally obtained evidence is inadmissible. Other evidence is admissible. Examples: A woman being ‘spanked as punishment’ by her Christian patriarchy husband secretly taped him doing it to her. The upshot? The husband was arrested. The video was admitted to court, the husband was found guilty by a jury, and the husband is in prison.

    Another example: An ex-wife was repeatedly accused by her ex-husband of hitting him during the times they were exchanging the children. He was screaming on the tape that he made “stop hitting me”, etc. She secretly taped him and her video showed that while he was screaming she never laid a hand on him. He was arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and got jail time for that stunt.

    I can think of countless other examples in the states (federal and state cases) where judges have admitted secret tapes as evidence. Again, it depends on the case and the judge.

  115. XA,

    I am familiar with California law, Florida law, and other laws. There are plenty of cases where judges to admit tapes as evidence. And you can’t claim that it’s NEVER done. I have seen judges admit it.

  116. Banannie wrote:

    Is secretly taping people illegal or inadmissible in court?

    It honestly depends on the state, it depends on the case, and it depends on the judge. I have seen plenty of tapes get admitted into evidence, say in domestic violence cases where a batterer doesn’t realize the victim is secretly taping him.

  117. Michaela wrote:

    Xianatty wrote:
    @ brad/futuristguy:
    I can think of countless other examples in the states (federal and state cases) where judges have admitted secret tapes as evidence. Again, it depends on the case and the judge.

    This depends on jurisdiction. To give an example, you MUST include information on jurisdiction for it to be valid. It is not blanket, and it does not depend on the case or the judge, but upon the laws of the particular jurisdiction.

    In jurisdictions where only one party needs to be aware of the recording, that obviously means that all other parties may or may not know. The party who is aware can be the very one making the recording. You would label this as *secret*, and perhaps it is, but the secrecy is not the key, but the relevant laws of the jurisdiction in which the recording takes place.

  118. Michaela wrote:

    XA,
    I am familiar with California law, Florida law, and other laws. There are plenty of cases where judges to admit tapes as evidence. And you can’t claim that it’s NEVER done. I have seen judges admit it.

    I don’t believe he claimed that tapes were never admitted as evidence. Again, it depends on the laws of the jurisdiction in which the recordings take place. Tapes (secret or not) are OFTEN admitted as evidence, OBVIOUSLY. This is done where laws allow, and in *some* places, *secret* recordings are allowed by law.

  119. @ Michaela:
    You’ve mixed up a number of different legal issues here. Not all secretly recorded tapes violate the statutes about secret recordings. You originally claimed a person could get around the statute by presenting a transcript of an illegally recorded call. None of what you’ve said supports that contention at all.

  120. Xianatty wrote:

    @ Michaela:
    You’ve mixed up a number of different legal issues here. Not all secretly recorded tapes violate the statutes about secret recordings. You originally claimed a person could get around the statute by presenting a transcript of an illegally recorded call. None of what you’ve said supports that contention at all.

    If XAs not one of ToJo’s attack/lapdogs (pant pant pant while ToJo pats pats pats him on the head and gives him a dog biscuit), he’s sure going out of his way to make us think he’s one. Plausibly deniable, of course.

  121. Ever noticed how NOBODY ever heard of XA, on this blog or any other, until Julie surfaced with accusations against ToJo? Suddenly he’s here, on as heavy rotation as Jimmy/Seneca used to be. Hmmmmmm…

  122. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Yes, the first thread on this issue was XA going to great lengths with legal minutia to convince us Julie was not credible. But several of us have seen what NPDs do with the legal system and were not fooled. So my radar is on.

  123. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Xianatty wrote:
    @ Michaela:
    You’ve mixed up a number of different legal issues here. Not all secretly recorded tapes violate the statutes about secret recordings. You originally claimed a person could get around the statute by presenting a transcript of an illegally recorded call. None of what you’ve said supports that contention at all.
    If XAs not one of ToJo’s attack/lapdogs (pant pant pant while ToJo pats pats pats him on the head and gives him a dog biscuit), he’s sure going out of his way to make us think he’s one. Plausibly deniable, of course.

    This feels very unkind

  124. @ Margaret:
    Sorry Margaret. that certainly was not directed at you. I certainly felt that xtian attorney had not only been very unkind to a single mom who has been put through hell by an NPD but had a focused agenda to Heep more hell upon her

  125. The only thing xtian brought up was about recording and California law she said nothing about Julie and yet still jump all over her. My concern is about showing love and kindness to all who comment here.

  126. Great if people disagree and the comment back is about what they have said. It is attacking and shaming when comments are made about the person.

  127. @ Margaret:

    I was referring to the 1000+ comment threads

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2015/01/19/what-tony-jones-should-learn-from-stanley-hauerwas-about-marriage/

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2015/02/11/brian-mclaren-responds-julies-in-and-mediation-will-be-moving-forward/

    It is ok, if we disagree, Margaret. I thought xtianatty was attacking a single mom who has few resources against a celebrity NPD who has used her and his own children horribly. I could not understand why his comments displayed a consistent pattern of trying to convince people here she was unethical over minute legal points. Those of us who have had dealing with NPD’s are well aware of how they use the legal system. And Tony was a police chaplain in addition to all his celebrity apologists. Tony has a vast internet audience who came out on several blogs to try and turn the narrative back on Tony as innocent and Julie as unhinged and unethical. It was insidious. So that is my opinion and it won’t change on this issue.

  128. Margaret wrote:

    Great if people disagree and the comment back is about what they have said. It is attacking and shaming when comments are made about the person.

    What if a commenter does not appear to be commenting in good faith? What if some of us suspect that is precisely what is happening? Are you the arbiter of shaming and attacking vs. challenging and exposing?

  129. Gram3 wrote:

    Margaret wrote:
    Great if people disagree and the comment back is about what they have said. It is attacking and shaming when comments are made about the person.
    What if a commenter does not appear to be commenting in good faith? What if some of us suspect that is precisely what is happening? Are you the arbiter of shaming and attacking vs. challenging and exposing?

    When we respond to what the person is saying we’re are not attacking and shaming the person. Yes it is great to point out errors in what the person is writing, not okay to shame attack the person. Read Tim Fall’s blog about shaming it made me think. also the bible reading on e-church on this website

    Scripture Reading: Luke 6:32-38 (Bible Gateway)

    If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
    If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
    If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you?
    Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount.
    But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return;
    and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
    Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful

  130. @ Margaret:

    What if commenters here believe that a commenter is not commenting in good faith? What if some commenters here believe that a commenter is actually perpetuating abuse by their comments, even *if* some of that commenter’s comments contain helpful information? What if some commenters here observe behavior patterns that we have observed elsewhere that are used to shame victims or minimize their story? What then? Shall we love the commenter who does that or the victim?

  131. @ Gram3:
    Sorry if that is how you interpet my comments not my intention. My whole point is respond to what is written not responding by attacking the person. It is difficult on the Internet when we are not speaking face to face. Again my intentions are not to shame anyone!

  132. Margaret wrote:

    Again my intentions are not to shame anyone!

    I appreciate that. How can we know whether a comment is acceptable? A commenter may make a comment which you believe is merely information. Some of us who work with information or communications may see a different level of message in a particular comment, and we may see tactics being used to shame or silence or perpetuate the abuse of a victim. Must we be silent because you think a comment is about what it appears to you to be about? What are the criteria for being an acceptable comment? If we believe that a commenter is perpetuating abuse, do we love the commenter or the victim?

  133. @ Gram3:
    You are right whe I question someone about being kind and caring I am shaming. Should have just commented about responding to what the person had written. Thank you for showing me this.

  134. @ Margaret:
    No problem. That’s what we do here. Learn from each other in the back and forth. This is one of the few places we can do that.

  135. @ Gram3:
    i guess I am coming from a place of a person who felt shamed on another thread. It reminded me of the mean girls in high school.

  136. Gram3 wrote:

    How can we know whether a comment is acceptable? A commenter may make a comment which you believe is merely information. Some of us who work with information or communications may see a different level of message in a particular comment, and we may see tactics being used to shame or silence or perpetuate the abuse of a victim. Must we be silent because you think a comment is about what it appears to you to be about? What are the criteria for being an acceptable comment? If we believe that a commenter is perpetuating abuse, do we love the commenter or the victim?

    I believe this is a crucial point as relates to why bother blogging and commenting. It sparked some thoughts on that topic …

    A number of blogs within abuse survivor communities allow comments, and the discussion zones there serve a number of possible purposes, such as:

    — for people to tell their own story and be heard.

    — to encourage people to keep growing beyond a label of “victim,” to grieve well, to vent well, etc., in processing their experiences.

    — to crowd-source factual information, i.e., facts, quotes, links

    — to provide a base for communal discernment, i.e., possible interpretations, possible scenarios of how things may play out.

    The latter two can be especially difficult to accomplish in a words-only forum like a blog, partly because there is no tone of voice to hear, no facial expression, no body language. And a string of words can be just plain ambiguous. And short bursts of words (or in my case, typically, long dense thought chunks) can lose the context quickly in a fast comment flow like sometimes happens here at TWW.

    The last task of communal discernment is especially tough, because it gets beyond the surface information to deeper interpretations — hopefully well reasoned, but that goal is difficult and doesn’t always get accomplished. But we still need to move from details, to discernment, to decision-making. Anyway, some people do well at reading between the lines of comments for additional information about context, culture, “tone,” etc. I tend to read for patterns over time in commenters or in the flow: consistency, questions, myopia — in short, looking for credibility of perspective.

    We each and all bring a lot of personal baggage to the table, as well as distinct abilities from our learning styles and spiritual gifts. Compositing all the information and figuring out what’s relevant vs. extraneous is just part of the task. As is attempting to discern if people are “trolling” to hijack the direction, or inject falsehood, get their kicks out of stirring people up, etc. Hopefully the commenting and evaluating process can happen with civility. But all these dimensions of discernment are crucial … those of us who have survived spiritual abuse have often become attuned to lack of discernment can lead to disastrous consequences — often of which we ourselves are proof.

    Being a Berean, in a community aimed at discernment, is perhaps one of the best protections we can develop against future abuse, and also provide practical resources to help prevent others from experiencing the traumatic things we did. So, it’s worth the struggle to communicate as required to be that kind of community.

    Final thought: The stated “prime directive” and rules at The Wartburg Watch are worth re-reading periodically. [See top navigation bar THE BASICS –> TWW RULES OF THE ROAD.]

  137. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Margaret:

    What if commenters here believe that a commenter is not commenting in good faith? What if some commenters here believe that a commenter is actually perpetuating abuse by their comments, even *if* some of that commenter’s comments contain helpful information? What if some commenters here observe behavior patterns that we have observed elsewhere that are used to shame victims or minimize their story? What then? Shall we love the commenter who does that or the victim?

    What actually perpetuates abuse is the idea that there can only be one permissible view of a given situation or that questions are a threat. If Dee thought I was helping to perpetuate abuse she would not let me post here. So, back off.

  138. @ Xianatty:
    @ brad/futuristguy:
    Brad is it okay for commenters to shame anyone with a different point of view or should we just disagree with what they write. Feels like anyone who disagrees on this blog is shamed and no one stands up for them. Is this not silencing the person who sees things differently?

  139. @ Gram3:
    Should have called out the commenters on the other thread, was surprised and didn’t know how to respond. I guess my biggest surprise was that no one called the other people on what they had written. My point let’s not shame people who have different points of view and just respond to what they write. If we only respond to their comments and do not try to shame the person than everyone has a voice.

  140. Xianatty wrote:

    So, back off.

    Back off of what? Dee draws her conclusions for her reasons, and I draw my conclusions for my reasons. I try to stay within the bounds they have set for their blog, though I have broken the rules unintentionally a few times.

  141. Re XA- addressing specifically what he/she says is always met with epic Moving Of Goalposts. It is almost impossible to have a good faith discussion with disagreements with XA. He/she does not fight fair. For all I know Dee allows it because it’s good practice for people to be able to see through Gaslighting and shady discussion tactics.

    Plenty of other people express dissenting views here and do not leave the same impression as XA. Margaret, you’re making a claim that is not borne out by observation, and is a heavy emotional appeal.

  142. @ Banannie:
    Nothing to do with emotional appeals all to do with treating people with respect. All to do with responding to the words written and not shaming the person with a different point of view. For everyone to have the opportunity to share their opinions there needs to be an understanding of responding to the words and not attacking the person who is sharing their thoughts on the topic discussed.

  143. Margaret wrote:

    Feels like anyone who disagrees on this blog is shamed and no one stands up for them. Is th

    Hi Margaret
    My husband and I went to church and then got Moe’s to go and watched The Theory of Everything. Great movie.

    This blog is probably a bit different than other Christian blogs in that we have a wide variety of readers and commenters. We have atheists, agnostics, Catholics, evangelicals, a priest,universality, Calvinists, charismatics and every permutation you can think of. I think the only thing we all agree on is that we hate child abuse and domestic violence.

    I do not restrict anyone’s comment unless they get gruesome. So many people have been shut up by their churches and I want everyone to know that no matter what they say, they will not be shut down. We have one Prime Directive-to show concern to any victim of abuse.

    We do have a community. Some of us gathered in DC last summer for Smashburger and conversation. Some of us have travelled to meet one another. In fact, Deb and I are meeting a commenter for lunch on Monday.

    People on this blog have visited one person who was stuck in ICU and later attended his baptism. Some of us call one another and write encouraging emails. Just today I got a text from a commenter in DC saying she was praying for my son.

    Because we allow freedom of expression, occasionally people get on each other’s nerves. My suggestion is to ignore a person who routinely miffs you off and instead communicate with others here. Please know this. Your voice will not be silenced here. And you get prayed for by me.

    There is lots of pain represented here. Sometimes, when there is pain, we don’t say things the way we would if things were hunky dory.

    As for disagreement, since few of us absolutely agree on many things, there will be conflicts. What I like to do is to try to see behind what is being said to figure out if I can better understand where someone is coming from. Sometimes, as I am sure many would testify too, I keep some folks around far longer than I should because I keep hoping they will realize they are being heard and they will settle down.

    I think the” guy behind the curtain” said it well to me last week. “You can’t be best friends with the whole world even though I know you want to.”

    I hope this helps. i am sorry that you have felt uncomfortable. Many of the commenters here are some of the nicest people I have ever met. i wish I could put us all together in a church.

  144. @Margaret wrote: “Brad is it okay for commenters to shame anyone with a different point of view or should we just disagree with what they write. Feels like anyone who disagrees on this blog is shamed and no one stands up for them. Is this not silencing the person who sees things differently?”

    A couple thoughts:

    I’m not sure what your definition of the word “shame” is, and it could be that some of the push-back you are getting is because you’re working from a different understanding of that term. So, it might be helpful to define/describe what your understanding of that term is, beyond attacking the person rather than the words/actions.

    If we have different definitions of “shame,” I could be doing something that you interpret as shaming but that I interpret as discerning a pattern and questioning what it means — and potentially trying to understand motives, though sometimes the impact of the words are enough to suggest something is “off” and the motives are irrelevant.

    For instance, I’ve been reading select posts on TWW for something like 7 years now. There have been past commenters on TWW who clearly have agitated a broad range of readers, and refused to listen to The Deebs when warned about specifically what they were doing that was unacceptable (e.g., rabbit trails, failure to adhere to the “prime directive,” etc.). Some learned and adjusted. Some didn’t and The Deebs decided what to do as consequences. Ultimately, whether some of those who received warnings were motivated by a harmful agenda or not could be seen as irrelevant — because they clearly refused to abide by the rules of the road.

    So, really, the people who should probably be answering these specific questions you have about conduct are Dee and Deb, as it is their blog, and part of the answers are already in the TWW Rules of the Road. Such as anything someone posts in a comment is open for discussion, no name-calling allowed, etc.

    But where is the line between shaming (especially if there’s no name-calling) or not shaming? Maybe that’s a good idea for a post …

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/about-us-the-basics/about-us-blog-rules-of-the-road/

  145. @Margaret. Well, there yuh go. Dee was responding while I was fussing around and writing stuff …

    And @Dee said, “i wish I could put us all together in a church.” Ummm … i think we know Someone who will do that for yuh! First virtual, eventually actual.

  146. I think it is impossible to be both a support community and a discerning/factual gathering community when it comes to abuse allegations. The roles are antithetical.

  147. @ Margaret: Thanks Maragaret, I’m clear on the concept.

    My contention is that such a lofty ideal for discourse is not actually possible with XA. Despite his/her apparent delight in talking about the words words words that people may or may not have actually said, he/she uniformly refuses to actually listen or respond to the substance of just about anything anyone says that doesn’t further his/her preferred topic of discussion.

    As such, it is completely reasonable for people to respond to the substance of XA’s interactive choices rather than allow him/her to bog them down in fruitless discussions of Actual Words Used.

    That said, maybe the lap dog comment was a little over the top.

  148. @ Beth: The idea that reason and compassion cannot coexist is probably responsible for some of the worst dynamics in human history.

    /end hyperbole.

  149. @ brad/futuristguy:
    Shaming is when you attack the person by making comments that are not what the person has written. Shaming is making assumptions about the person who is giving a different point of view. Atheists can have a wonderful sense of being respectful of others. Christians are not the only ones who know how to be kind and love others. Brad take a look at some of the comments on this blog and tell me they are not shutting down the voice of those who give a different point of view.

  150. @ Banannie:
    So XA has nothing to offer because she may bring up ideas or information that may be different than the rest of the people on this blog think? Is that what you are saying?

  151. Nope! Not what I’m saying. At all. Looks like you two are playing the same game. Margaret wrote:

    @ Banannie:
    So XA has nothing to offer because she may bring up ideas or information that may be different than the rest of the people on this blog think? Is that what you are saying?

  152. @ Banannie:
    Not a chance am I playing a game. So please explain what you mean about XA. All she wrote on this post was about California law.

  153. Margaret wrote:

    Brad take a look at some of the comments on this blog and tell me they are not shutting down the voice of those who give a different point of view.

    If I interpret them to be so, and if I feel led to do so, then I will do what I can to say so.

    The how of it all depends, hopefully on what seems to be most appropriate to the situation. I might do so through indirection rather than direct challenge, for instance by posting a “thought chunk” that I think could serve as a course corrective. Or I might state facts or my opinion, and post a link that gives related information that directly contradicts the person’s comment. Sometimes I’ll use reporter style and talk about a third party as Mr ABC or Ms ZYX in order to shape my statement with more civility.

    And, I also have to consider whether it really is a shut-down tactic or if I’m just being triggered by something else — for instance, anything that looks like sarcasm tends to raise an automatic negative reaction. I have to wait until I’m ready to consider a response, then re-read, and sometimes find I’ve misread.

  154. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    And, I also have to consider whether it really is a shut-down tactic or if I’m just being triggered by something else — for instance, anything that looks like sarcasm tends to raise an automatic negative reaction. I have to wait until I’m ready to consider a response, then re-read, and sometimes find I’ve misread

    Thanks Brad very good advice! Really appreciate your response.

  155. Beth wrote:

    I think it is impossible to be both a support community and a discerning/factual gathering community when it comes to abuse allegations. The roles are antithetical.

    I am coming to think this too.

  156.   __

    Back – Peddling: “Just Da Facts?”

    hmmm…

    “I think it is impossible to be both a support community and a discerning/factual gathering community when it comes to abuse allegations. The roles are antithetical.” ~Beth

    Beth,

    Hey,

      Not if you love God with all, and love your neighbor as youze sweet self…

    Take it slow, you’ll get the hang of it in no time…

    (grin)

    treading water is ok. We get dat all da time…we got an extra pair of water wings for ya,

    dive in!

    ATB

    Sopy
    __
    Inspirational relief: “Time & Love?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aQr4ozQVtA
    Bonus: Dragnet Spoof.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8s0qYLof58

    🙂

  157. Margaret wrote:

    @ Banannie:
    Not a chance am I playing a game. So please explain what you mean about XA. All she wrote on this post was about California law.

    This is something you might be missing, Margaret. Interactions have been ongoing between people over several posts and well over 1000 comments. People have had different experiences over several weeks and many posts and comments. I don’t know if you’ve had time to read all the posts and accompanying comments or not, so it’s possible that what you have experienced on the two weekend nights that you have commented is quite different than what others have experienced.

    I know for me, I read this blog for several months, reading/listening to the commentors before I commented myself. That was some years ago now, but it was helpful for me to spend time listening to gain some understanding of the commentors. Even with all that, it is still easy to stumble and step on toes, unintentionally. And sometimes I just want to call BS on someone because that is how they are continually coming across.

  158. Margaret wrote:

    Shaming is when you attack the person by making comments that are not what the person has written. Shaming is making assumptions about the person who is giving a different point of view.

    Attack? Or recognition of an agenda and calling it out? by your own definition couldn’t I say you were doing the same thing here?

    Why not show where you were attacked on the other thread you mentioned so we have a better idea. XA is not a good example as too many were on to him/ her there was an obvious agenda. S/he was desperately trying to change the narrative by dragging folks into legal minutia 6 years old. When some of us are well aware of how NPDs use the legal system.

    I will say this ….I do think someone who is obviously going after a victim should be shamed.

  159. @ Margaret:
    I put up two links for you to the threads where XAs agkenda became obvious here.

    I personally think s/he is just another Tony Jones apologist grasping at straw s. R L Stollar had another “expert” that claimed we were discriminating against Tony who has a mental illness! Clever attempt at silencing!

    Based on what I have seen take place since Sept 2014, I think the emergent/progressive movement is morally bankrupt. So yes that is shaming.

  160. Margaret, I think there is good advice in the above threads. It’s also helpful to remember that people post things for various reasons. XA has clearly displayed, over time, a tendency to downplay the suffering of Julie and her children, and to emphasis tiny legal mistakes as part of this – he/she has constantly used the ‘letter’ of the law or situation to squash the ‘spirit’ of the law or situation. The law is meant to defend the defenceless, not be used as a pedantic diversion from this. This is why his/her posting of legal things is not treated at face value, and you get what you see as disrespect and hostility. Imagine if you were in a car crash & got out bloody, in pain & bewildered, & someone ran up to you & all they did was spout bits of the local traffic laws, in case you had broken one, rather than seeing you as a hurting person & helping you. XA looks like such a person to many of us, someone who would allow Julie to bleed out whilst they quote law books at her. This is what XA’s comments reveal implicitly, even when they say other words. It reminds me of a bible verse about saying we love our brothers yet do not feed them when hungry. I would expect that an attorney would have enough self-understanding to realise that, if they really have good intentions, their style of interaction is not communicating this, & to change it. This hasn’t happened.

  161. Margaret wrote:

    Brad take a look at some of the comments on this blog and tell me they are not shutting down the voice of those who give a different point of view.

    Margaret, Shutting down would be not allowing you to comment. If this blog were shutting XA down, s/he would not be able to comment. In fact, that is exactly what many emergent/progressives did…they deleted comments/blog posts and moderated people out who had differing views. So, in effect, they did not even allow different points of view in the first place. You are commenting here and people are responding. How is that shutting you down?

  162. Beth wrote:

    I think it is impossible to be both a support community and a discerning/factual gathering community when it comes to abuse allegations. The roles are antithetical.

    If a victim/survivor’s story is featured here, the discernment has already taken place.

  163. Banannie wrote:

    @ Beth: The idea that reason and compassion cannot coexist is probably responsible for some of the worst dynamics in human history.
    /end hyperbole.

    No, I’m not trying to say that. I’m saying that fact-finding, especially in complicated situations like this one, can mean questioning a victim’s story. It is antithetical to supporting a victim, because the victim feels defensive and doubted. When this is done in public it can feel like even more of an attack, especially on a blog where the questioner is an anonymous stranger whom she can’t even see.

    Futurist Brad brought up a good point that was also discussed on the NP thread. Victims need a safe space to tell their stories. It isn’t appropriate to come to a safe space and challenge a victim on her story.

    Several blogs, including this one, have functioned as safe spaces for Julie. But in doing so, they have not functioned as fact-finding or discerning communities because to do so would mean directly challenging both parties on their stories in front of the public.

    I think fact-finding is best done privately with only the results and chosen details released. Ideally fact-finders are trusted and are well versed in abuse dynamics. I hope that at some point in this case, a thorough fact-finding investigation will be done because I think it is necessary for justice and healing.

  164. @ Margaret:

    I grew up in a Russian household where we argued at the top of lungs, bashed our hands on the table to make points and no one felt intimidated or upset. All of us have different communication styles.

    I am trying to understand what is going on with this situation. It is helpful to me when people share their raw, honest emotions. I deeply disagree with a few people on their perception of this situation. As you know, I have raised money for Julie as a tangible expression that I care about her. Those who have contributed have done the same thing.

    However, even though I disagree with some of them, I allow those comments because I am trying to allow a fair presentation of the other side of the coin. I do that a lot. I am not a universalist or an emergent yet I appreciate their point of view and try to learn from them what they believe and why they believe. It causes me to assess my own presuppositions and beliefs to see if they stand the test of disagreement.

    I love meeting people who think differently than me. It brings a richness to my life that would be lacking. If I want to have that diversity in my life, it means I have to listen even when it might feel uncomfortable. Please let me reassure that at times I feel quite uncomfortable. It is during those times that I grow in my thinking.

    Julie is no longer commenting on social media. From what I understand, she isn’t reading much as well. I sent her a kind comment from someone on this blog yesterday. She asked me to convey how grateful she is for the support she has received. That’s it. She didn’t mention the custody. She said she is holding on to her faith. I believe she is aware that there are those who are on social media who are strongly supporting Tony. I think she has accepted that.

    In the end, it is me to whom you should direct your frustration. I am the one who approves comments and allows discussion to continue. I make my decisions based on 6 years of experience with blogging. I know that I disappoint people on a daily basis with my choices.

    It is a fine line between abuse and allowing strong opinions. I am sure that I cross the line now and then. I understand that you are disturbed and I am sorry that you feel that way. There are many kind people who visit this blog. I hope that you will reach out to them and ignore the others who make you feel uncomfortable.

    For now, however, could I suggest you overlook the uncomfortable comments and discuss you thoughts with others who are interested? You are most welcome here on the blog and I do appreciate that you have shared your frustration and opinions with us.

  165. @Beth wrote: I think it is impossible to be both a support community and a discerning/factual gathering community when it comes to abuse allegations. The roles are antithetical.

    On the personal side of things, as best I understand, I tend to function in what is a paradoxical both/and paradigm where I actually embody my support through participating in fact-gathering and a reasoned discernment process. All of these dimensions require active engagement and listening and questioning and reflecting and interacting. My both/and brain-heart-gut engagement may be far more cumbersome, but for me at least it turns out to be paradox-antinomy instead of either/or-antithetical.

    I realize that could just be idiosyncratic because of my particular profile of personal experiences, spiritual giftings, and learning style “wiring.” But I believe I’ve seen similar processes at work in communities.

    On the group side of things, I think the supposed impossibility of a community that is provides both a support environment and fact-gathering/discerning is wrong. Not only is it possible, but actually has happened at several phases in the history of the Tony Jones/Julie McMahon/Emergent situation. It may not always have been on blogs, and when it was, it may not have been exactly efficient on either purpose … but both sides were still present: support and search/research.

    For instance, on the NakedPastor thread of September 5 through December 15, 2014, Julie was able (for the first time) to share her account of experiences extensively, without censure or censor, in chunks of narrative that weren’t a coherent and chronological account — but certainly gave the “gestalt” contours of what happened and many of the interior details. People listened, interacted, questioned; some believed her, some didn’t, but overall, host David Hayward facilitated an environment of support for her as a survivor.

    In my opinion, on that same thread there was also a crowd-sourcing of certain aspects of the factual history that proved invaluable to continuing the process of piecing together what happened during those many years of silence and silencing from members of the Emergent/Progressive Movement. Some of those perspectives and info-pieces came from people who knew Julie at least somewhat, others from those who didn’t but had heard horrible things about her (and who posted apologies for heeding and even passing on such gaslighting rumors). If I understand correctly, some of that information she had waited up to six years to come to light, because certain people had previously refused to speak with her. So, that element seemed productive.

    I suspect the discernment part of this kind of holistic community will always be the most difficult element to evaluate — or, for some, to tolerate or feel safe with. That is the gathering of a “spiritual MRI” of analysis, interpretations, and reasoned (or unreasoned) speculation about what narrative has been presented, additional information gathered, and who has said what, and what appears to deserve push-back for being destructive — not just deconstructive — commenting. There are multiple issues that can lead to mistrust, such as:

    * This process involves “reading between the lines,” so those who only want to look at the surface statements or exact words may get frustrated.

    * Those who give unsourced information, or who leave out crucial information, raise suspicions about their participation and whether they are leaving a trail of disinformation.

    * Those who are seen as overfocusing on an area of expertise to the exclusion of the larger picture raise wariness.

    * On many survivor blogs like TWW, commenters who skirt the edges of “the prime directive” of supportiveness for survivors should expect strong push-back. A few categories of examples from the NakedPastor come to mind where commenters disrespected the people and/or the process. (1) Expressing contrary opinions (which is allowed), but without any substantive display over time of compassion/empathy for the victim (which negates the prime directive). (2) Re-asking questions that were substantially addressed earlier, showing a lack of reading the thread. (3) Raising irrelevant issues that send the thread significantly off course, whether apparently intentional or not. (The place for those topics on TWW is the “Open Discussion” page.) (4) General dismissiveness of findings or of categories of people, without offering specific details/concrete examples from within the thread.

    Just remembered that I’d used a couple lists to summarize the kinds of comments that got push-back on the NakedPastor thread. The link is below, and see the section on Readers Guide #1: Conventions of This Conversation. That covers these, and more.

    https://diagnosingemergent.wordpress.com/09-social-media-2014-exposure-of-the-organizational-issues/

    So, there’s my take on emotional support and a reasoned fact-gathering/discernment process not being antithetical, for what it’s worth.

  166. Lydia wrote:

    So that is my opinion and it won’t change on this issue.

    I am so glad that you are expressing your opinions here. There is nothing wrong with disagreement. Sometimes people can take things quite personally. This is a blog and most people are here protected by their anonymity which i defend. One of the reason we published our names is so we could defend the majority of people who wish to be anonymous. Anonymity helps to bring out truth. Of this I am convinced.

    So, assuming that most people are anonymous, the disagreements are not personal attacks on the individual. They are disagreements on the comments expressed on this blog. My husband always laughs when someone calls us a name and I put it under the “What the world is saying about TWW. He often asks me why I don’t get mad. I usually respond this way.

    “How can you get mad when someone calls you a “spawn of Satan” snd misspells it to read “spawn of Stan?” I tend to take those things very lightly.

    Anyway, I am sure Julie is grateful for your support during this difficult time.

  167. Gram3 wrote:

    What if a commenter does not appear to be commenting in good faith?

    This is something that I think about often. It is very difficult, from my end of things, to know if we are being played or not. And there may be no way for me to find out.

    In the end, I err on the side of “the less moderating and the more openness, the better” even though that has gotten me in hot water on a number of occasions.

    However, let me say this. Sometimes, when I am trying to figure out things, I do allow some comments that may seem over the top. I usually have reasons for doing so.

    But, sometimes a few comments may slip through when we have a blog post that gets slammed with comments. That is why I appreciate our readers calling my attention to it.

  168. @ Beth:

    I disagree with you on two points. First, I do not find this to be a complicated situation at all. A marriage broke up. A couple planned one kind of life. Unexpected opportunities appeared and one of them wanted a very different life and fell in love with someone else. It happens all the time.

    What is different and what makes this abusive is that one person, diagnosed with NPD, wanted to protect his ministry and wanted to ‘win’ and along with his followers started a smear campaign to portray his ex as mentally ill when she was not and his actions justifiable. Numerous people have come forward to say that they were told this story. Bloggers have come forward to say that they have been and are being pressured to remove the wife’s story and posts.

    Second, there has been enough fact finding already. I have read everything available on this matter. I am satisfied with the fact finding that has already been done and I have seen enough. And yes, I am well versed in abuse dynamics. So I don’t need to wait while someone tries to find some bad behavior on Julie’s part to throw out there. No one acts like a saint during a divorce. There is no such thing as a perfect victim.

    Years ago, I had a friend who asked her husband to go to marriage counseling because he was so emotionally distant from her. They went to an inexperienced counselor and had session after session focused on my friend’s failings. He would fuss about the toys on the floor when he got home and she would defend herself by saying she had to start dinner and the kids emptied out their toybox. Then next time it would be about how dinner was late because she was paying attention to the kids.

    In the middle of this, my friend was diagnosed with an STD and she knew she hadn’t been unfaithful. It was discovered that her husband had been unfaithful with numerous women since they came back from the honeymoon years before. My friend’s housekeeping skills needed no further investigation.

    My point is that while we are all imperfect people, there are times when a spouse or ex-spouse behaves in ways that clearly victimize the other and in my opinion, this is one of those times.

  169. Beth wrote:

    I think it is impossible to be both a support community and a discerning/factual gathering community when it comes to abuse allegations. The roles are antithetical.

    Is this left-brain/right-brain stuff? Cause this sounds like left-brain/right-brain stuff.

  170. @ lydia:

    I’ll quote Beth, because she said it better than I would have:

    No, I’m not trying to say that. I’m saying that fact-finding, especially in complicated situations like this one, can mean questioning a victim’s story. It is antithetical to supporting a victim, because the victim feels defensive and doubted. When this is done in public it can feel like even more of an attack, especially on a blog where the questioner is an anonymous stranger whom she can’t even see.

    ——————————————————–

    I posted awhile back that I would have appreciated a knowledgeable fact-checker like Xianatty during my own NPD spouse nightmare. What most others here are seeing as a nitpicky, pro-Tony agenda, I saw as the reminder that the law is not about compassion. For good or ill, it’s about rules and statutes. When you are in the middle of the storm it’s easy to feel that everything you do and say is justified by your pain and by the fact that the other person did worse. But in an adversarial court system, any little error will be thrown in your face, and forewarned is forearmed.

    Obviously, I’m not Julie, and when she posted her distress and anger with Xianatty, I saw that I was misreading the situation from her point of view, which is the one that’s relevant here. I think that’s what Beth is saying, and why I agree.

    But still, I thought that ensuing posts calling Xianatty and Beth disgraces to their professions and speculating about Xianatty’s race and politics(relevant how?) were not really in the service of discernment. One of the side-effects of dealing with narcissists, I’ve found, is that we can get drawn into acting like them–stirring the pot, assuming we know people’s motives better than they do, interpreting any divergence of opinion as an attack on a victim. Maybe because I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of that, I overreact to it here.

    I know for certain that I sympathize and empathize with Julie and that I wish her both peace and justice.

  171. @ brad/futuristguy:

    Thanks Brad.
    Let me start by agreeing that “impossible” is too dichotomous and I will replace it with “very difficult”.

    While I also agree that fact-finding can and does happen in support communities, I think it is not the best environment for it. There was helpful information that came out of the NP thread, but most of it was information that supported Julie. That, in no way, means it is suspect – it just means that people who had information that supported Julie felt more comfortable sharing that information on that thread.

    Those who had information that did not support Julie’s version did not feel it was an appropriate place to share it – though some did in small bits and pieces. I think the exchange with Alex the Inept illustrates this. He had information that countered her story, and he wanted clarification. It wasn’t the appropriate venue though, and he was told this. The exchange with Brian McLaren illustrates it even more.

    Information that supports Julie’s story is shared – and I am in no way criticizing that. It should be. It is part of supporting a victim and an important part of the picture. But information that counters the story, or that might counter it is not freely shared on these blogs because it would be inappropriate. Nor is it even freely discussed, and again rightly so. It isn’t appropriate to challenge Julie’s story in her safe space.

    If there is credible information out there that challenges the “Tony is an abuser, Julie is a victim” narrative, it is not being publicly shared on the support blogs. It is being hinted at, here and there which in some ways makes it worse. But there needs to be an appropriate venue for considering that information. I think if there had been – if there had been a venue where both sides could have been heard and the information evaluated privately – things wouldn’t have been nearly as divisive as they are now.

  172. @ Marsha:

    Marsha, you might very well be right in your assessment of the situation, and I think most everyone commenting here would agree with you.

    I still have too many unanswered questions to make a similar conclusion, though I certainly haven’t ruled it out. I do see it as complicated, given the info I have. Perhaps I’ll be where you are later.

  173. Margaret wrote:

    @ Banannie:
    Not a chance am I playing a game. So please explain what you mean about XA. All she wrote on this post was about California law.

    Margaret,
    Do you know XA? You referred to XA as “she”.

  174. @ Beth:
    Though I’ve long read posts at TWW and SSB going back years to posts on Doug Wilson, and I’ve had great Twitter interactions with Dee, Julie Anne, and Xian Janeway long before the current situation, I didn’t comment at TWW about the Julie/Tony situation until Julie herself called me out by name here at TWW for a question I had raised on Twitter attempting to understand the situation better. She cannot have been surprised that I responded here to what she said about me here.

  175. Gail wrote:

    Do you know XA? You referred to XA as “she”.

    Funny story: I grew up in Boston which has a strong preppy culture. One preppy female name is Muffy. So, when Muff Potter started commenting I thought he was a she. One day he picked up on it and asked why I thought he was a she. I blamed it on my upbringing.

  176. @ klickvic:

    I think you have totally misunderstood me and perhaps I have misunderstood you and Beth. What I heard Beth saying is what I have heard many evangelical charlatans utter about their victims: They are too emotional to deal in facts. And it is the refrain of every tyrant out there. Ideology over people. Doctrine over people. As if those are the facts. As if hearing the victim and defending them means you can’t discern facts. That has been Tony’s position. And it has worked well for him UNTIL his victim was able to be heard.

    Here is a “fact”: The power imbalance between Julie and Tony. xtianatty did not seem to recognize how that affects the situation especially the legal situation.

    My view is more like Brad and Marsha’s. But my big problem with what you wrote above is that we ARE dealing with an NPD. And most of them are often diabolically clever and ten steps ahead of you before you even knew there was a game being played.

    The fact that Xtianatty was pulling out minute legal issues after 6 years to try and prove Julie unethical WHILE Tony was breaking the current custody agreement, spoke volumes to me. Not only that but the constant moving of goal posts when one “fact” did not work. Iguess you could say I have seen the game too often from the celeb ministry types and their fellow traveler expert apologists not to recognize it for what it was.

    If you are saying you would rather xtianatty be on YOUR side, that I can understand because s/he has an uncanny knack to change the narrative goal posts. I have no doubt it works in other venues.

    Getting to “truth” and “facts” when dealing with an NPD is NO easy task. Good luck.

  177. @ Beth:

    Just so you know, I have not withheld any comments that gave information about other points of view.

    There is on person that I planned to ban prior to the the Jones story. Said person was quite insulting about women in general. Since the banning, he has made further comments in which he does not support Julie. But since he had been banned, I refused to post them.

    As you have seen, I have allowed Xian Atty to offer contradicting information as well as you who offers that there is another side.

    It does now appear that Tony will receive custody of his older son since Julie has decided to quite fighting. This should bring some rejoicing amongst Courtney and Tony supporters. They won amidst the numbers of people who supported Julie. At least Julie knows they are people who care about her and that she is not alone.

  178. Xianatty wrote:

    Though I’ve long read posts at TWW and SSB going back years to posts on Doug Wilson

    So, what did you think of our posts? Doug Wilson certainly seems to enjoy providing fodder for outrage, doesn’t he?

  179. Beth wrote:

    Those who had information that did not support Julie’s version did not feel it was an appropriate place to share it – though some did in small bits and pieces. I think the exchange with Alex the Inept illustrates this. He had information that countered her story, and he wanted clarification. It wasn’t the appropriate venue though, and he was told this. The exchange with Brian McLaren illustrates it even more.

    In the mega world of evangelicalism there were always ‘facts’ that people could not know so they would just have to “trust” the leaders. Just trust us there are things about Julie I cannot say but would change your mind. This is so typical.

    If it was that Julie was hysterical or acting like a crazy woman….then so what? Live with an NPD or work with one who has tons of power and be gaslighted for 10 years, isolated, caring for young children while husband gallivants around the country and comes up with a spiritual wife/legal, spreads the rumor his wife is crazy and enlists ministry partners who support him in getting her committed and see if you aren’t a bit off. It did not occur to folks to question why he was leaving his kids with a crazy woman? If it was because she made MAJOR mistakes early on in custody, then I get that. Most folks who actually have a conscious make huge mistakes when dealing with NPD’s that they regret later. No good deed goes unpunished with an NPD.

    Brian McLaren is a wonderful wordsmith and he is blessed to have you as one of his apologists.

  180. @ Xianatty:

    Are you sure it went down like that? Or is that the new narrative? :o) I tend to recall it was not that pleasant on twitter.

  181. klickvic wrote:

    When you are in the middle of the storm it’s easy to feel that everything you do and say is justified by your pain and by the fact that the other person did worse. But in an adversarial court system, any little error will be thrown in your face, and forewarned is forearmed.

    I agree with this but don’t think it can work with an NPD. If you have not noticed the court is allowing an NPD to have custody of one of the kids right now. I know of an NPD whose lawyer actually fired him as a client after one court battle because it got so bad she was worried about her chances of teaching law at the University!~

  182. dee wrote:

    Xianatty wrote:

    Though I’ve long read posts at TWW and SSB going back years to posts on Doug Wilson
    _____
    So, what did you think of our posts? Doug Wilson certainly seems to enjoy providing fodder for outrage, doesn’t he?

    Oh my goodness! He seems to revel in outrage, and name-calling, and believing that everyone who disagrees with him is evil.

    The older posts I read were exposing a situation where he had not reported an abuser within his flock and had actually allowed (or urged, can’t remember all the details) a young woman to marry the abuser. And a bunch of pastors ganged up to condemn you all. I liked that you were trying to provide comfort to victims and trying get at the truth and weren’t afraid to confront “authority” to do it.

  183. klickvic wrote:

    calling Xianatty and Beth disgraces to their professions and speculating about Xianatty’s race and politics(relevant how?)

    you weren’t the only one who was troubled by those things, nor are you the only commenter to state those exact opinions. Just sayin’…

  184. Bill Kinnon wrote:

    @ Beth:
    Beth,
    What did you think of the WhyTony Scribd site, now taken down?

    I think it reflected a poor understanding of power and a poor understanding of support communities. I wish the leaders had continued to call for a neutral investigation instead of escalating things by posting those comments. I don’t share the view many seem to have towards McLaren and his statement, but I do think things would be less conflictual now if he and the others had not chosen that route. I don’t trust anything in Tony’s statement without some actual documentation, and even then I’d consider it in light of the fact that he is almost certainly twisting things to make himself look good and Julie look bad.

  185. Xianatty wrote:

    he older posts I read were exposing a situation where he had not reported an abuser within his flock and had actually allowed (or urged, can’t remember all the details) a young woman to marry the abuser. And a bunch of pastors ganged up to condemn you all.

    That one will always stay with me. Can you imagine a church encouraging such a marriage?

  186. @ dee:

    I assumed as much Dee. It never crossed my mind that you were censoring comments or information either way unless the commenter was being otherwise inappropriate.

    As for Tony supporters, I would hope they aren’t rejoicing over the custody situation. Do you really think they are? (I don’t know any, but it makes me sick to think that might be the case.) It’s a sad situation that just seems to get worse every time I turn around.

  187. Beth wrote:

    As for Tony supporters, I would hope they aren’t rejoicing over the custody situation.

    I would hope they wouldn’t but I would assume they might be pleased with the outcome.

  188. Lydia wrote:

    @ Xianatty:

    Are you sure it went down like that? Or is that the new narrative?

    oceania has always been at peace with eurasia, comrade.

  189. Lydia wrote:

    No good deed goes unpunished with an NPD.

    Makes me wish I was an NPD, i.e. a Winner instead of a Loser.

  190. Lydia wrote:

    Getting to “truth” and “facts” when dealing with an NPD is NO easy task.

    I call it a “Who’s Truth?” situation.
    Truth(TM) becomes “Whatever Advances MY Agenda.”

  191. __

    “Welcome To Da Funny Farm?”

    hmmm…

    hey dee,

    …they are probably gearing up for da next kid grab.

    (sadface)

    Sopy
    __
    ize too sad for a song…

  192. @ Margaret:

    That’s all true, but so too are verses such as

    Matt 10:16 (Jesus speaking),
    Therefore be as shrewd as snakes…

    Luke 16:8 (Jesus speaking),
    “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.
    ——
    At some point, Christians need to take off the rose colored glasses and realize there are wicked people with bent motives in their world, people who have an agenda, and sometimes, those people pretend to be angels of light or fellow sheep.

    Not everyone has your or other people’s best interests at heart.

  193. @ Beakerj:
    That is a very good description of XianAttorney’s posting.

    I also don’t know if Margaret realizes people in this thread are not pointing to just one or two posts by XA in this thread, but it’s been an on-going pattern over several threads where XA nit picks Julie’s stories, comments, or behaviors with a fine tooth comb, but does not act the same way in regards to Tony Jones.

  194. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Makes me wish I was an NPD, i.e. a Winner instead of a Loser.

    Oh no! You are not a loser and everyone here loves you just as you are.

    It is so much better to be a person who cares about others, who can have real friendships than to be someone who looks at others as people to feed his ego. and to manipulate to get what he wants. NPDs can do a great deal of damage but they miss the best of life.

  195. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Makes me wish I was an NPD, i.e. a Winner instead of a Loser.

    I hope you are kidding or something, because the HUG who comments here is not anybody who looks like a loser to me. I have seen some losers, and you are not it, just in case you were serious in that statement. I am sorry you all had to deal with what your did, and no doubt there are scars from that. But that is not being a loser.

  196. ar wrote:

    No. They don’t. And the notion that fathers should never have custody is also damaging to both fathers and children. But I find so few people seem to empathize with fathers who are denied access to their children.

    Ar, I’m a father who got custody, so I certainly don’t subscribe to the idea that fathers should never have custody.

    Saying that fathers who fight have a high win percentage is not the same as saying fathers should never have custody.

  197. Xianatty wrote:

    @ Beth:
    Though I’ve long read posts at TWW and SSB going back years to posts on Doug Wilson, and I’ve had great Twitter interactions with Dee, Julie Anne, and Xian Janeway long before the current situation, I didn’t comment at TWW about the Julie/Tony situation until Julie herself called me out by name here at TWW for a question I had raised on Twitter attempting to understand the situation better. She cannot have been surprised that I responded here to what she said about me here.

    I understand.

  198. Lydia wrote:

    I think you have totally misunderstood me and perhaps I have misunderstood you and Beth.

    Sorry for the late reply–great day with my granddaughter followed by a long day at work. Can we split the difference, since I’m the one who likes ambiguity? It’s entirely likely that I at least partially misunderstand you. It never occurred to me that I understood everything about your responses. In fact that’s kind of my point. I don’t think with the information we have here that we can definitively know another commenter’s whole agenda (excepting flagrant trolls). Even when we see a pattern, we just don’t know enough about the other person’s communication style, priorities, need to be right, whatever.

    So I think it’s a distraction to announce to other people that we know their motives and that those motives are invidious. Also–and this is me personally, not a global statement–reading those assertions of “can’t fool us,” “we know what you’re up to,” takes me right back to my 20 plus years (I guess I was a slow learner) of marriage, parenthood, and professional partnership with a narcissist. He always “knew” what my real motives were, and they were always bad. It really sucks to be on the receiving end of those judgments and I try to avoid dishing them out, even when I feel sure I’m right.

    Like some others here, no doubt I’m reacting, maybe sometimes overreacting, to my own triggers.

    Lydia wrote:
    My view is more like Brad and Marsha’s. But my big problem with what you wrote above is that we ARE dealing with an NPD. And most of them are often diabolically clever and ten steps ahead of you before you even knew there was a game being played.

    I agree–and I do have lots of experience here–that it is basically impossible to craft a sustainable mutual agreement with a narcissist. Someone who needs to be simultaneously the winner and victim is incapable of mutuality. I hope I haven’t implied that thinking forewarned is forearmed is the same as saying I know how to deal with the disorder.

    Most narcissists are endlessly strategizing, but I think we may overcredit the diabolical cleverness. They’re not cyborgs; they’re messed up, and harmful, people, and people whose schemes and often run aground on their own hubris. So many of the accusations made about me and demands made to me were so flagrantly loopy, that if I could manage to grit my teeth and not respond, they faded away. It took a long time to learn to quit defending myself, quit looking for acknowledgement or justice, or financial support for the kids, and just live my life. Very luckily for me, we never fought in court, so I was able to put that money into our household and get by.

    But I’m operating from hindsight while Julie is in the midst of the storm. My kids are grown, doing well, and we see a lot of each other. I’m close to all but a few of our old mutual friends as a couple, and I’m happily remarried. My former husband has none of that. He no longer seems diabolically clever to me, though he did for awhile, and he doesn’t loom larger than life over our children, thank goodness.

    Lydia, I’ve never doubted for a moment that your whole agenda is to support and help Julie. If we disagree about some of the places that priority has taken you, I don’t mean it to be any kind of judgment on your motives. I just respond differently based on my own personality and experiences.

  199. Oops–I tried to break Lydia’s block quote to address it in two parts. That didn’t work typographically, so it’s probably very confusing.

    Sorry. But she’ll know what I’m saying, I think, and others can skip it.

  200. klickvic wrote:

    ut I’m operating from hindsight while Julie is in the midst of the storm.

    This was part of the problem some had with xtianattornys insistence on analyzing years old legal minutia. It can take a long time to understand what you are really dealing with when it comes to NPD. And if they are celebs, even in a small pond, it is worse. Add to that a credibility with police as their chaplain and so on. Yes, their victims make very stupid mistakes.

    Why xtianattorny ignored the circumstances of NPD, TJs 12 page doc, his current breaking of a legal custody agreement and focused on the mintia became quite obvious. And it was just heaping on more abuse. S/he had the freedom to comment and we have the freedom to respond. As it should be.

    Yet with all that xtianattorny spent a lot of time on old legal minutia to try and prove Julie unethical. He even used that word. In those two threads if you don’t see an agenda then there is really nothing to discuss.

    I don’t do “motives” or “intentions”. I only do words and behavior. And based upon that from xtian atty on those two long threads is where I am coming from.

    I will say that it now seems xtianatty is trying to rehab his/her image here after those two threads.

    So that is where I am coming from.

  201. lydia wrote:

    I will say that it now seems xtianatty is trying to rehab his/her image here after those two threads.

    That’s what I would do if I were him/her. It is an indirect form of shaming. “See, I’m not so bad, so those people were totally misunderstanding what I was trying to say all along. It is about their bad judgmental attitude and not what I was actually saying.”

  202. I have no clue who Julie and her ex are and I am truly sorry for what they’ve beem thru…. But geesh , I’d be humiliated if dozens of people were armchair quarterbacking my marriage and custody battles on a blog.

    Just one big plain ugh from a person who has been through the same thing. UGH!!!

  203. Shato wrote:

    But geesh , I’d be humiliated if dozens of people

    By your comment, it is obvious that you do not understand this situation.

    The humiliation has long been felt by Julie who had to endure years of rumors that she was bat**** crazy because her former husband was quite well known in certain circles. This woman raised her three children of whom she had custody during the time the rumors were flying that she was nuts. This was known in a very public way. I am so glad that you did not have to live through such humiliation.

    She finally has some people who are supporting her through GoFundMe and other efforts. Julie now feels cared about. That is something she had’t experienced in years while her husband and his new *amazing* honey *who saved him* were regaled by their fans.I can assure you that Julie is feeling stronger now because she has some people who care about her. I am one of those people.

  204. Lydia wrote:

    ar wrote:
    No. They don’t. And the notion that fathers should never have custody is also damaging to both fathers and children. But I find so few people seem to empathize with fathers who are denied access to their children.
    Tell those fathers that about 70% of dads who fight for custody, win. The simple truth is most father’s don’t fight so the conventional wisdom is that courts usually award the main custody to the mom. There are great fathers out there who want the best for their kids and feel taking them away from their mom to live with and her have visitation would hurt them.
    One of the reasons there might be less empathy for dads is because we have too many in society who are not concerned about their kids welfare. Every year our local daily prints the names of dead beat dads. It is about 4 paqes of names in tiny print. Thousands and thousands. So that becomes conventional wisdom.
    We really should take each case individually instead of automatically lumping folks into categories. It is really unfair.

    What my brother went through trying to maintain reasonable visitation and contact with his now 20 year old son is a case study on how the courts still treat fathers like shit. And never mind the financial mess. There was a point when my brother was paying 100% of the kid’s expenses for a boarding school, which the mother wanted him at and my brother did not want at all, paying all of his incidental expenses including transportation between the mother’s home and the school, and still paying child support on top of that. The mother did not contribute a dime to the kid’s needs during that two years–neither from the child support checks or her own pocket. Court refused to adjust child support or require her to pay for anything. And the mother was actively denying visitation during that two years as well on grounds that she only saw the kid on school breaks so none of that time should be given to his dad. Court did nothing about that either. This woman actually went to court last year to extend child support in spite of their son turning 19 and being in college with all of those expenses being paid by his father. It was the only time she didn’t win, and, frankly, we figured she would.

  205. I’ve been out of the loop for a while, but just saw this. Julie, please know I am still praying for you. This is evil, but you are doing the best thing you can do right now. There is a God, though evil people choose to use and abuse. I will be praying for you.

  206. Pingback: Searching for Sunday | Red hair, black heart UNITED STATES

  207. I just posted the final segments in my site on Diagnosing the Emergent Movement. You’ll find the purposes and an expanded table of contents on page 00.

    Perhaps the most intriguing and surprising page was the final one I wrote, page 12 Toxicology: Conclusions and Recommendations. After weeks of developing pages and pages of material, I ended up going with my gut and a relatively short article. That was a surprise, but a Spirit-led one, I trust.

    Anyway, the saga is likely not at all over, but here is my contribution to helping people hopefully understand better the overall context of the institution of Emergent/Progressive Christianity.

    https://diagnosingemergent.wordpress.com/12-toxicological-conclusions-and-recommendations/

  208. Pingback: Tony Jones & the New Emergent Manifesto, Part IV | Subversive Influence