Jamin Wight, Another Pedophile in Doug Wilson’s Camp, along with the Rest of the Story

"No more lies. No more cover up. No more face-saving. It's time for the church to admit wrongdoing…"

Natalie Rose Greenfield

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=37918&picture=womanWoman

It has been nearly a decade since another child molester in Doug Wilson's camp, Jamin Wright, was arraigned and informed that serious charges were being brought against him.  According to a post over at the Homeschoolers Anonymous website, Wight was The Other Skeleton in Doug Wilson's Closet.  Here is an excellent synopsis of what occurred:

Jamin C. Wight was a homeschool alumnus. Wight was attending Greyfriars Hall, a ministerial training program founded by Doug Wilson that, according to the program’s website, “consists of approximately three years of study with two colloquia a year under the oversight of the board of elders of Christ Church.” Between the years of 2000 and 2003, Wight — who was 24 years old at the time — groomed and sexually abused a young girl who was only 13 years old when the abuse began. (Wight was only charged for abuse that occurred over 1 year, from 2001 to 2002, but the abuse survivor today says the abuse actually happened over a span of 3 years, from the time she was 13 until she was 16.) Like Wight, the 13 year old girl was also homeschooled. Wight was a boarder at the home where the girl lived, the home being part of Wilson’s student boarding network among Christ Church’s parishioners.

The abuse wrecked havoc on the abused girl. She began experiencing insomnia, stomach ulcers, and panic attacks; she suffered serious behavioral problems, mood swings, and painful flashbacks. In 2004, when she was 17 years old, she confided in a friend about the abuse. That friend convinced her to go to her parents and the police and press charges. This began a long and difficult process for the abuse survivor, a process which reached fruition on August 17, 2005. On that day, after receiving word of the abuse, the girl’s mother filed a criminal complaint against Wight. A warrant for Wight’s arrest was issued the next day. On August 24, 2005, a search warrant was issued the Latah County, Idaho district court for Wight’s personal possessions that provided evidence of the abuse. Court documents show that on October 28, 2005, Wight was arraigned and informed that three charges were being brought against him, one count of Sex Abuse Against a Child and two counts of Lewd Conduct With a Child Under Sixteen Years of Age. Wight pled not guilty to all three charges. Then on May 12, 2006, Wight’s charges were reduced to a Felony Offense of Injury to a Child. Wight pled guilty to that much-reduced charge and was able to made a deal such that he only had to serve 4-6 months in the North Idaho Correctional Institution.

During his court hearings, documents reveal that Wight and his legal team attempted to argue that the 13 year old girl he had groomed and abused had consented to their sexual activities.

Hellooooo!  A thirteen year old child CANNOT consent to sex.  She was a child for heaven's sake!  What a shame that Wight served such a short sentence.

A week after a warrant was issued to search through Jamin Wight's possessions, Doug Wilson sent the following letter to the victim's father. 

http://natalierose-livewithpassion.blogspot.com/2015/09/when-doug-wrote-to-my-father.html

When Doug Wrote to My FatherScreen Shots of Doug Wilson's Letter to Natalie's Father

We are grateful that Jamin Wight's victim, Natalie Rose Greenfield (who is now 28), has come forward with her side of the story and has revealed this deplorable correspondence written by Wilson a decade ago.  In the last few days Natalie has published a post entitled "When Doug Wrote to My Father".  Here is what she wrote:

It's been a while since I've blogged here. My general sentiment when it comes to blogging about my experience of sexual abuse within the church is to 'write when the spirit says write' and it's been over a year since I've felt the need to do so. This was my last post, if you're a first-time reader here you can fill yourself in on my backstory there. But in light of the recent and rather broad coverage of the Steven Sitler situation (and tangentially the Jamin Wight situation) I feel the need to issue a current statement of my own and do a little dismantling.

There seems to be a sentiment shared by many of Doug Wilson's supporters that I am something of a banshee – bitter, angry and screaming lies and slander about the way Christ Church handled the abuse and everything that followed. Only the thing is, I'm not. I desire change, not vengeance. I'm not even worried about getting some personal apology from the church for the pain inflicted on me. Is a mass apology warranted? Absolutely. Are drastic changes in the way the church at large handles sexual abuse called for? Most definitely. But my own personal agenda actually has very little to do with me and everything to do with other innocent women and children in the church.

Every aspect of my story is true, insomuch as it is my perception of the way things happened and unfolded. While I'm pretty certain I know exactly what was in the heart of the criminal who took my innocence and broke my spirit, I can't pretend to know what was in the heart of Doug and the elders when they stood behind him, and I certainly can't pretend to know the reasoning behind leaving me out in the cold with no support, no love, compassion, or empathy, not even so much as a consoling pat on the back for all I'd been through. But I have my own theory. There's a couple of ideas about this lack of support I received floating around and I've heard them over the years – one of them is that the church leaders didn't feel they were in a position to reach out to me because my father had expressly told them to stay away from his family and reaching out to me would be disrespecting his position as head of our household, which may be true, except there's a problem with that theory, one that thickens the plot. In the letter pictured below from Doug Wilson to my father, Doug, writing on behalf of the elders of Christ Church, clearly places a great deal of blame on my father for the abuse I suffered and treats him with a coldness and severity that I find heartbreaking. I truly cannot image being a father who'd just found out his daughter was horrifically abused for years under his roof and then being told his "sin and folly" of not protecting her is equally as distressing as the sins of the criminal who molested his little girl for years. My father was a destroyed man when I came out about my abuse, and what father wouldn't be? His tears of sadness and broken-ness went on for years, and still to this day he breaks down on occasion and begs my forgiveness for the hurt I suffered, and I always tell him the same thing: It's not your fault. Because it wasn't. I was taken advantage of by a predator who carefully calculated and carried out his crime and he was good at it. He knew how to not get caught and boy was he a master liar. While he lived with our family we had a joke that Jamin Wight could "Wight Wash" things because he was so skilled at successfully shifting blame away from himself in any given situation. The Prosecuting Attorney on the case stated that based on the psycho-sexual evaluation Jamin completed during his short stay at Cottonwood Prison, he was a 'textbook pedophile' and at high risk to re-offend with crimes of violent and sexual nature, which of course he did, not with a child as far as anyone knows but with his (now ex) wife. How my father could be placed at a similar level of blame to this monster is completely unfathomable to me. My father's response was shock and injury, and while I know there were many previous instances of him realizing this church was not a place particularly well-versed in exhibiting the love of Christ, I believe this was something of a nail in the coffin for him, as would be expected. I recently spoke with my father about the details of his additional communication with Doug concerning my abuse and it is true that my father told them to stay away from his family, but not until after he saw the despicable way the situation was being handled. In hindsight, perhaps it's a good thing I wasn't much ministered to. I knew I was being blamed for a good deal of the 'sexual sin' in my abuse from Jamin (not strictly from Doug but also from many other individuals in the church, mostly men and many of whom I had previously considered to be like older brothers to me, who wrote to the judge citing varying degrees of unladylike behaviors and temptress-like qualities I possessed as a 13 year old girl), and while the damage the deafening silence did to my psyche was extensive, it's now clear to me they had no idea what they were doing. Not a clue. Doug's daughter, Rachel, admitted as much when we met for coffee late last year to discuss her father's involvement and my misgivings. She wasn't privy to many of the details surrounding the situation but her general impression was that nobody really knew what to do for me. Considering their utter lack of knowledge in dealing with sexual abuse, I shudder to think of what support would have looked like, had I received any. In all fairness to my father, it seems to me that if the church's version of 'support' for him was any indication of the nature of what might have been extended to me, I'd have told them to stay the hell away, too. Isn't it plain to see? My father was protecting me from what he perceived as potential further harm. From the beginning, Wilson's intention was not to support me but rather to deflect any blame or responsibility for what had happened. After all, it wouldn't look good that a member in good standing with the church and attending Greyfriar's Seminary (and very close to being placed as a pastor of a congregation, I might add) had abused a young girl for the duration of his studies toward a career in pastoral work. Blame the father, swiftly and disproportionately, and perhaps people would be distracted. Defend the criminal and plead for mercy on his behalf and perhaps his crimes wouldn't seem quite so horrendous. Believe his cries of repentance, welcome him back into the fold, and everybody goes home happy.

Except the family ripped apart by abuse. Fortunately for Wilson, several problematic members of said family left the church hastily and with gaping wounds, making it that much easier to paint them as impulsive crazies, embittered and wayward, unwilling to stay and talk it out like big kids.

So Doug's current reasoning of respecting the privacy of church members who have confessed sins to him and confided secrets in him during sessions of pastoral counseling doesn't hold much water from where I stand, not in this case anyway. Yes, my parent's marriage crumbled and yes, it was messy and of course it had to do with all the shenanigans surrounding the abuse. But that's no secret. The relentless shaming and mud-slinging my father experienced afterward that in his own words brought him "to a lower place than any man can go to and still be alive"? That might have been a bit of a secret, but not anymore.

No more lies. No more cover up. No more face-saving. It's time for the church to admit wrongdoing.

We are all human and we make mistakes and sometimes they're really big ones that hurt a lot of people, and after that happens it's time to say 'I'm sorry' and figure out how you can do things differently in the future so nobody else gets hurt. That's how I'd explain it to my children, anyhow. Even they understand how to stand up for the small kid on the playground who can't defend himself against the bully. That's what Christ would have done, that's what the church needs to do.

And while this post is not specifically about how we can do things differently in the future to prevent the rampant sexual abuse that takes place in churches worldwide (that's a topic for another post altogether) let's please start by doing one thing: Stop writing letters to the judicial system requesting leniency for and lauding the character of sexual criminals. Resounding support from men in positions of leadership and with good reputations among their followers are bound to have quite an effect on a judge's opinion of a defendant's character. Especially when the victims are children and teens scarred by abuse and who cannot yet speak for themselves and adequately tell their own stories. Young people who have been shamed into silence from every direction.

This is where I stand: I am not bitter but I am earnest and unashamed. I have nothing to hide, I have told my story and will continue to do so and not because I love telling it, I hate telling it. Believe me when I say it hurts and it dredges up all kinds of old pains that I would love to be rid of forever, but I have to tell it. Because if there is even the smallest chance that telling my story means another little girl doesn't have to someday, then I will tell it everyday for the rest of my life.

Katie Botkin, a journalist and advocate for truth and change, published the following message last Thursday.

Dear members of Christ Church, Trinity and the CREC at large,

I know and love many of you. It’s important that you know that I don’t hate Doug Wilson, that I bear him no ill-will, and that, if I am proven wrong about him, I will issue a public apology or factual correction. From the many letters of communication I’ve seen between Wilson, his elders, and various people they have deemed to be under church discipline or potentially warranting it, the CREC is stringent in wanting specific confession of specific sins to the specific audience they deem to be in need of it. Because my blog is public, and because I’m making public statements about him, and because I hold myself to journalistic/factual integrity, I’m demanding something similar from myself. And this is pretty normal: the magazine that I run will print corrections and re-vamps digital copies if we inadvertently make a factual error; if we were to back the wrong candidate, so to speak (the magazine does not address politics, but you get my drift) we would make public note of this.

But I want Doug Wilson to hold himself to the same standard.

And this is where he has spectacularly, and very publicly, failed.

Even if you think that Wilson is in the right in the Sitler/Wight situations, despite more and more people within the church coming forward to voice their concerns to the contrary, do you think that Wilson has never made a pastoral error in the public sphere? That all the name-calling on his blog, all the factual statements he’s made, everything — it’s all above reproach? That Wilson has never done a single thing in the entire course of his ministry that should require him to have said “you know, I was wrong about this, and I’m sorry”?

I’ve scoured his blog, his books, personal letters from him and his elders, and I’ve never seen him apologize or admit fault for a single specific thing (other than some general “this was badly worded” or some other waffling non-apology). I’ve asked others to do the same. If, in fact, anyone can point me to a place where Wilson made public apology over something in the past, I’ll be happy to amend this post.

So, given all of this: is Wilson the kind of demigod who actually never does anything wrong, or is he the kind of demigod who deflects his wrongdoing, bad decisions and poor pastoral choices onto other people and other situations?

To read the rest of her post, click here.

And over the weekend, Natalie's father, Gary Greenfield, wrote an Open Letter To Doug Wilson Who Is Yet Again Seeking To Impose Harm Upon The Innocent.

Here is a portion of what he had to say:

Dear Doug, 

This is Gary Greenfield and I'm going to reminisce a bit here. It's been a long time since we've interacted with each other and it's been a long time since we first met in 1976 when you were playing guitar in the Christian fellowship we both attended as young men still in college. You advanced quickly from guitarist to teacher after the older teacher/pastor ran off with a young lady in a our very small group and you ended up taking over as our teacher. From the first time I heard you teach, I knew you were going to become a dynamic and renown Christian leader. Why? You were endowed from the very beginning of your ministry with a knack for teaching in a very powerful and compelling manner that was unique, fresh and forceful. Just as Jesus says, the student will be become greater than the teacher, I think the charisma of your father, who was a great teacher and evangelist was passed on to you and you ended up building your ministry on the shoulders of your father. 

I still look fondly back on the days when you would faithfully drive down to Lewiston from Moscow every Sunday to teach the small band of converts that met in the living room of our tiny home. That gathering evolved into Port Cities Evangelical Fellowship and our friendship grew as we both led that group as elders for something like ten years. I still remember computers being something of a novelty back then and you talked about how much one of those contraptions could help you to become a more prolific writer and I ended up purchasing your first computer for you. It brought me great joy to know I was helping you to practice your gift of writing and teaching for the benefit of helping more students and young families to become better grounded in the truths of God's word. 

During those early years of living out our faith as zealous and committed followers of Jesus Christ, we were filled with innocence, exuberance, sincerity and a great hope in the power of the gospel to change lives in significant ways first in Moscow and Pullman, then Lewiston and Clarkson and eventually the entire country. Early on, we were just a bunch of folks, young and old who loved Jesus with a desire to live out our lives without hypocrisy or fakery and we were ready to take the world captive for Jesus Christ. I also remember the day I opened up my computer to a message from you asking me to review the formation document for what was then to be called, The Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Christians. I opened it, read it, and closed it and I never responded to your request for input. 

Something in my heart told me that this was a bandwagon that I was not going to jump onto. I had been adverse to organised religion since I was a little seven year old crying boy who was forced to go to confession to talk to a man I didn't know who was hidden behind a screen in a dark little closet. Maybe my fears of being alone in a dark closet with a man I didn't know stemmed from being sexually abused by my uncle when I was two years old. Maybe a lot of problems I encountered in my early years or even perhaps even later years were a result of sexual abuse that was kept a secret for most of my life and when I finally did get up the courage to talk to someone, I was an older man and I told my Mom. Her response was a total emotional shut down, she couldn't cope and refused to believe it or talk about it and that was the end of it. For all of my life, I've lived with traumatising memories that I have found too repulsive and too embarrassing to talk about to anyone…

To read the rest of Gary Greenfield's open letter to Doug Wilson, go here.  We would like to emphasize one paragraph in the remainder of the letter that we believe reveals Gary's tender heart toward his daughter (see below).

I can also say with all conviction of heart that my wife and I did the very best we knew how to raise up our children in the ways of the Lord. Were we perfect in doing so, of course not, but I can say with all confidence that we gave our hearts, minds and souls to taking care of our children, to giving them childhoods with rich and fun memories while making every effort to protect them from the pitfalls and dangers of this broken world. We even homeschooled our kids because we wanted to protect them from the evils of the world, yet ironically, the evils of the world found their way into the bedroom of my teenage daughter. Even now as I contemplate what took place only feet from our bedroom, the tears flow from my eyes and my breaths become gasps of grief and I mourn and lament, knowing that my daughter will have to live with such filthy memories from her youth. I know what she's going through because I've been there and I've lived through it. It was different though for her, because when she finally told us what had been occurring within our home, we believed her, we embraced her, we loved her, we supported and we grieved with her. That was something I never experienced as a little boy who was sexually abused. Nobody comforted me, nobody helped me work through the trauma, nobody believed me and now as I share what I've never shared with anyone, the tears flow and my heart is sad, yet, I know with all confidence that ever since I was a little innocent boy, even though my own parents couldn’t care for the wounds inflicted by my perverted uncle, I know God did and has and will continue to heal my wounds and take care of me until the day I pass from this life to next and even into all eternity and He will make all things new again. 

Gary goes on to reveal that he and his wife finally divorced and that her loyalties lie with Doug Wilson and Christ Church. 

Given that Doug Wilson was heavily involved in two pedophile situations a decade ago, one has to wonder what other skeletons may be hiding in his closet. 

We are proud of both Natalie and her father for coming forward.  It is not easy to talk of a tragedy that caused such deep wounds.  We hope you will join us in praying Natalie and her family.

Comments

Jamin Wight, Another Pedophile in Doug Wilson’s Camp, along with the Rest of the Story — 291 Comments

  1. That last paragraph by Gary…. My gosh. I can’t imagine.

    How many men and women that we see every day are hiding this in their past? How many kids are out there dealing with this right now? How many more….? With the attitudes expressed by Wilson being shared by so many others, there will be so many more. That’s heartbreaking.

    I’m sickened by the lack of interest I’ve seen from many. I used to be one who didn’t care. I’m sickened by that.

  2. @ Deb:
    A nutjob pastor out in the middle of nowhere doing this sort of thing is one thing, but the most disheartening part of this whole affair is the silence of his big-name peers, and the rabid defense of him by his fans – even people not connected to him.

    I’ve never felt more disconnected from Christianity as it manifests itself in America.

  3. I am struck mute from what I just read. God help us turn pastors, elders, & ministry leaders out on their collective butts from platforms that increasingly inflict evil on their congregations and such dishonor on the name & kingdom of God.

  4. ” . . . the most disheartening part of this whole affair is the silence of his big-name peers, and the rabid defense of him by his fans – even people not connected to him.”

    I am in complete agreement.

  5. @ GovPappy:

    Amen! As our guest post on Friday stated, why the silence from Doug Wilson's colleagues in the Reformed corner of Christendom? I think they're just a bunch of wimps!

  6. What a beautiful young woman is the victim and what a loving man is her father. What courage it took for both of them to share their stories. Prayers for healing and wholeness for both of them.

    There are just no words for the cruelty in the letter to the father and I almost couldn’t get my breath in reading that someone could be denied communion for “failing to protect” their daughter in “this process.” It is so oppressive. What on earth did that mean? Did they have a specific way that that was to be carried out? I must admit that I remain able to be shocked by the overwhelming control that some church leaders seek to extend.

    And WHAT IS WITH THE COURT SYSTEM IN MOSCOW? Two predators get off with hardly any jail time. 3 years of abuse and he can plead to one count of a much reduced charge and get a very short period of time in jail.

    If a father can be excommunicated at that church for intending to protect his daughter but failing, can church leaders be excommunicated for failing to protect their congregants?

  7. Connecting some dots …

    @Deb said near the end of this post: “Gary goes on to reveal that he and his wife finally divorced and that her loyalties lie with Doug Wilson and Christ Church.”

    Gary states that his ex-wife’s name is Pat in his “An Open Letter To Doug Wilson Who Is Yet Again Seeking To Impose Harm Upon The Innocent.”

    This has all helped explain the comment– and so-called “offer” — by Douglas Wilson on Katie Botkin’s post on “The Letter on Christ Church’s Stationery” where he posted this:

    Douglas Wilson said:

    September 11, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Katie, I will state here what I said in the comments on my blog. If you post a release in writing from Gary, Pat, and Natalie, giving me permission to answer the question posed by this letter — e.g. why did we say Gary failed to protect his daughter — I would be delighted to answer the question.

    http://kbotkin.com/2015/09/10/the-letter-on-christ-church-stationary/#comment-8167

    It struck me as off when I first read Mr. Wilson’s comment a few days ago. Now it makes sense, having read additional background posts, and putting it together now.

    Assuming it is accurate that Pat’s loyalties align with Mr. Wilson, et al, it would seem he can “play” the Pat piece as he wills and she would be amenable to his moves — whether perhaps to try creating a wedge between others, or to give or withhold Pat’s permission as befits the match at the moment so he can/can’t answer because she did/didn’t give permission. And then if he really does respond, will it be a real response, given the apparent paucity of clarity that seems his pattern for duplicity? Think of the multitudinous scenarios!

    However, just because someone is apparently a good chess player doesn’t mean he/she is a just person. And isn’t righteousness a large part of what this is about?

  8. Oh, these precious souls. Lord have mercy. Protect them from any further abuse and pain at the hands of Doug Wilson or any of his ilk. Thank you, Natalie(and your dear father) for modeling courageous love, honesty and forgiveness in the face of unthinkable things. You are remarkable. I will pray for you.

  9. And, btw, I live in Idaho– it really is not the “middle of nowhere,” although I thought it was prior to moving here. Moscow is a college town (home to University of Idaho) and sister city to Pullman,WA (home to Washington State University). Wilson’s extensive writing on classical education and the Christian has had much influence in both the homeschool and private school worlds. I shudder to think of the ripple effects of his thoughts, training and worldview on the many students who have had any contact, even degrees removed, from such a man. in discussing this with my husband (after I was taken to task on Twitter by a Wilsonite who scolded me for daring to impune PASTOR Wilson), my husband sagely noted that simply BEING a pastor does not place one above reproach if one’s actions and words are not themselves above reproach. According to everything I understand about the Biblical qualifications for elders and pastors, Doug Wilson is utterly disqualified.

  10. Deb wrote:

    Amen! As our guest post on Friday stated, why the silence from Doug Wilson’s colleagues in the Reformed corner of Christendom?

    “ONE OF US! ONE OF US! GOOBLE! GOBBLE! ONE OF US!”
    — Todd Browning, Freaks

  11. Wouldn’t it be nice to see DW’s reformed buddies speak to the tragedy of sexual abuse in the church and, specifically, these sordid matters in Christ Church with the same zealousness and fervor as some doctrinal issue they would die on a hill for?

  12. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    “Gary goes on to reveal that he and his wife finally divorced and that her loyalties lie with Doug Wilson and Christ Church.”

    There are some things that seem inexplicable to me. I recall reading of another Moscow following the Russian revolution and the Lenin’s first major wave of executions. A witness spoke of the loneliness of those being individually killed that some hugged their executioners before submitting to the final act. I have no idea how this plays in the victim’s psyche, latching onto their tormentor or executioner. However it works there is something seriously twisted in Moscow.

  13. Bill M wrote:

    A witness spoke of the loneliness of those being individually killed that some hugged their executioners before submitting to the final act. I have no idea how this plays in the victim’s psyche, latching onto their tormentor or executioner. However it works there is something seriously twisted in Moscow.

    Some of this — and both Moscows — sounds like it could be Stockholm Syndrome, in which the victim overidentifies with the victimizer and sees the abuser as good. Thinking of Patty Hearst here as an example.

    Another thought of what could be coming into play in the Soviet Moscow is “touch deprivation.” I recall reading about a medieval king who ran his own sort of social experiment on orphaned infants, having them touched only when fed, washed, and changed — no holding, cuddling, or comforting when they cried. They all died. Humans are not designed for such isolation — physical or emotional.

    At any rate, in ecosystem terms, it gives the appearance of positive symbiosis, namely commensalism where both parties benefit, but in reality is it parasitism where one benefits at the (usually deadly) expense of the other.

    I don’t know if touch deprivation is covered in the encyclopedic book I have on essays in Trauma Psychology, but if I can find it amongst my book boxes, I’ll add whatever details seem relevant. I know that book has a chapter on Stockholm Syndrome.

  14. @ Lisa:
    I wasn’t actually referring to Wilson in my comment, although it certainly did look like I was (my apologies!) – I grew up under a nutjob pastor in the middle of nowhere and he was more on my mind. That sort of thing is going to happen and there’s not much help for it. Thankfully most nutjobs have no real influence (although, I’m testament enough to the damage that is still done under such men).

    Wilson reminds me of one of those small-time nutjobs though, just with huge influence. He thinks he can bluster and twist (twist even his own words!) and hoodwink everyone to not question him, and apparently it works enough that his peers don’t question him. It’s mystifying.

  15. This is the mega-book I was referring to, in case anyone is interested in research. It looks to be a foundational work from 20 years ago with most topics probably updated in other separate books since then, but this was the first and was almost 1,100 pages! Even just reading the table of contents is worth a look.

    International Handbook of Traumatic Stress Syndromes

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0306437953

    The first chapter was written by Robert Jay Lifton who did much of the original research on social conditioning, “brainwashing,” and the “psychology of totalism” in the 1950s with former prisoners released from Communist China. His work on that and many other historic situations involving exception stress and trauma provided a base for much of what we still use in identifying high-demand organizations, cults, techniques of grooming, etc.

    One application point here being that you could use Dr. Lifton’s 8 criteria for identifying a sociological cult on the corpus of material from Douglas Wilson to analyze it for specific indicators of control systems.

  16. For those new to Lifton’s eight criteria for total-control cults, here’s a list. The initial phrase is what he titled that particular indicator, and the short description that follows is my summary of his more extended development of it.

    1. Milieu Control – restrict what communication modes are allowed.

    2. Mystical Manipulation – appeal to some higher purpose, as set by the leader or organization.

    3. The Demand for Purity – require purity of thinking, that is, with a black-and-white mentality where every view our group holds is absolutely correct.

    4. The Cult of Confession – use a radical level of personal confession to unburden people from their crimes (real or imagined) against the organization and realign them with its principles.

    5. The “Sacred Science” – promote our moral vision as ultimate: Our way of life is the only right one.

    6. Loading the Language – create code words and insider jargon that reduce complex problems to simplistic solutions, and condense categories into judgmental labels.

    7. Doctrine Over Person – require people to conform to our perfect system of truth so that individuality is eradicated and sublime conformity is the sacred norm.

    8. The Dispensing of Existence – exercise the “right” to decide who has the right to exist in public and who needs to be isolated or excommunicated.

    If you’re interested in studying these more in depth, see this post (The Hunger Games Trilogy Part 5A) and the two that follow it (5B and 5C). Part 5C has some reflection/discussion questions for abuse survivors and for organizational developers.

    https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/the-hunger-games-trilogy-5a/

  17. Deb wrote:

    Amen! As our guest post on Friday stated, why the silence from Doug Wilson’s colleagues in the Reformed corner of Christendom? I think they’re just a bunch of wimps!

    To wit, the Gospel Coalition’s promotion of Wilson’s latest book, and publication of none of the comments (mine among them) criticizing them for publicizing Wilson right at this time and failing to mention the controversy swirling around him. But, you have to remember, that was the same day that TGC also began promoting its 2016 shindig in earnest, and CJ Mahaney is also taking center-stage again.

    I’d also note that attorneys regularly attempt to try and bring up the idea of culpability, even if a minor is involved. It’s not often you find it in criminal cases, for the obvious reason that the law defines the minimum age at which one can consent to sex. But it regularly comes up in civil cases. I remember a recent case involving the Los Angeles Unified School District, which used this very argument and the LAUSD, and their attorneys, caught a lot of grief. The problem is, from the attorneys’ standpoint, it could be considered malpractice to not mention this in a civil case. I’m not justifying this at all, but I am pointing out why it happens. Again, though, bringing up the notion of a child below the age of consent actually consenting is pretty crass in a criminal case, but I’m sure it happens, as here.

  18. GovPappy wrote:

    apparently it works enough that his peers don’t question him. It’s mystifying.

    Because, according to Piper, he “gets” the gospel. He may be able to explain the theology, but how in the world a man such as DW can be said to “get” the gospel of Jesus in any real meaning of the words “get the gospel”, I don’t know.

    The silence of his colleagues – in this case, in the Mahaney case (concerning cover-up of child rape, but also blackmailing his co-pastors, allegedly) makes one thing very clear: they don’t want to confront ugly and inconvenient truths as long as the dollars keep rolling, and as long as they can stroke each other’s egos.

    Disgusting!

    PS: What strikes me on reading many communications by these men (Driscoll, Chandler et al., Wilson, etc.) is how much they treat adult members of their churches as if they were underage children not intellectually or legally able to make their own decisions. The condescending tone of voice and phrase, the chiding and scolding, the contempt of it all – terrible!

    Wilson is the worst, but by no means the only one.

  19. OK, so I’m about to state the really obvious, and something that Abi Miah has already picked up on. But sometimes the obvious is worth stating.

    Our interest in writing this is primarily to see to it that no one does anything to make a bad situation worse…

    Which is to say, our interest in writing this is primarily political.

    The elders were very distressed over the way Jamin took sinful advantage of your daughter, but we also have to say that we were just as distressed at your extremely poor judgement as a father and protector.

    As Abi (and others) notes, they nowhere express distress over their own extremely poor judgement as elders and protectors of the congregation, Wight’s very serious repeat offending took place entirely under not only their noses but their aegis. It was they who implicitly declared Wight a member in good standing and cleared him to board with a family in the congregation.

    If they, as men, were unable and/or unwilling to shoulder the responsibilities attached to eldership, then they should not dare to meddle with the authority that is clearly above them; particularly, for instance, the withholding of bread and wine from a professing follower of Jesus.

    Finally, in the oft-quoted verse from Ephesians 5:

    Wives, submit to your OWN husbands as to the Lord

    The word I’ve emphasised might be the most important word in the sentence, but it is the one most frequently ignored. I say this with some circumspection and fear, because from thousands of miles away it’s easy to miss just how monstrously personal this chain of events is. But If indeed Gary’s wife (and Natalie’s mother) has left him, out of loyalty to the church leadership, then that leadership will naturally point out this verse to her and require that she return to her family as – in this context – the Lord requires.

  20. Eagle wrote:

    Why are evangelical Christians terrible at conflict resolution?

    Good question, but I’ll put my attempt to answer it on the Open Discussion page because it will venture somewhat off topic. On the plus side, it’ll have some good bits from Futuristic Brad too.

  21. mirele wrote:

    To wit, the Gospel Coalition’s promotion of Wilson’s latest book, and publication of none of the comments (mine among them) criticizing them for publicizing Wilson right at this time and failing to mention the controversy swirling around him.

    My own comment to that article (which, of course, never saw the light of day) was as follows:

    “FYI to the Gospel Coalition: You’ve been called out by Mike Sloan and Beth Hart at Vintage 73. As a fellow child of God, I suggest you listen to them.”

    Concise and to the point, I thought. But apparently too threatening for them. Gutless, aren’t they?

  22. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    And there’s the little indicator which shows us exactly what they’re about – where submission to the husband clashes with submission to the elders. The husband’s authority loses.

    Are they treating him like an unbeliever? How did they let them separate and have her remain in good standing? I don’t know what DW’s views on divorce are, but I know what’s typical.

    Not to compare two theological systems which may or may not have similar views on divorce, but it’s an interesting juxtaposition between this and the Karen/TVC situation as far as divorce goes. When the crime was insubordination to elders by the husband, divorce is allowed (apparently?) and the wife can remain in good standing. When the crime is pedophilia, again by the husband, divorce is not allowed, and church discipline ensues for the woman who does not submit to that ruling by the elders.

    What is this?

  23. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    As Abi (and others) notes, they nowhere express distress over their own extremely poor judgement as elders and protectors of the congregation, Wight’s very serious repeat offending took place entirely under not only their noses but their aegis

    That’s a very telling and good point. It goes strongly against Douglas Wilson and the eldership having dealt with the way they ought to have done.

    You cannot blame the father nor the eldership for not seeing what was going on behind their backs as it were, but once it came to light it seems to me to be rather pointless to then blame just the father for failing to see a problem was going on. It would be better to say ‘we all got it wrong’.

    I’m not sure the eldership can plead innocence that they didn’t ‘see’ what was going on in secret. I still believe that if they were truly filled with the Spirit and prayed accordingly, God would show them what was going on one way or another; they are meant to be overseers, not overlookers. I don’t believe such spiritual enablement was limited to the NT apostles and their immediate circle.

  24. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    Some of this — and both Moscows — sounds like it could be Stockholm Syndrome, in which the victim overidentifies with the victimizer and sees the abuser as good. Thinking of Patty Hearst here as an example.

    It is my understanding from studying the Stockholm Syndrome years ago that the victim learns to identify with the abuser in an effort to stay safe as well. As being a “member” of the dangerous group assures some measure of safety.

  25. My heart is breaking for Gary and Natalie. What in the world is wrong with her mother? How could she transfer her allegiance from her husband to Wilson? How can she continue to be a member of a church where her daughter’s abuser remained a member in good standing?

    I am confused about where Wight is in regard to Wilson’s church. Apparently he abused his wife. Did that finally get him kicked out or was he forgiven again? There doesn’t appear to be any recognition on Wilson’s part that he was wrong in his assessment of Wight’s character, you know other than the little problem of his abusing a child for three years. I can’t even believe I am writing that phrase – assessment of his character – as if the abuse of Natalie doesn’t tell us everything we need to know about him. Apparently that wasn’t enough for Wilson though. Why doesn’t he get it now?

  26. @ Deb:

    And it’s not because no comments have been submitted! Please be aware that you can (and should) leave your comments at the the review author’s email at Houston Baptist University: lmarkos@hbu.edu

    This is the last line of Professor Markos’ review of Doug Wilson’s book:

    “And it’s precisely that spirit, one which permeates every chapter of Writers to Read, that allows Wilson to emerge as a humble co-reader rather than an opinionated critic.”

  27. I have stated this before, and will state it again. I am a 55 year old professional male, and I fully support the Dee’s exposing all of this inexcusable behavior. The lack of transparency, control, shaming, etc, etc, by so-called Christian leaders, and the lack of others “leaders” to call out this behavior is beyond comprehension. These elders might be able to put down the Dee’ s for being women, but if I had the time I might do the same thing they are doing. It is about time that someone turns over the tables of the present day ” money changers in the temple”. The words of Christ stating that how you treat the “least of them” is how you treat ME come to mind. Clearly, theses “Christain leaders” sure got that command backwards…

  28. GovPappy wrote:

    t the most disheartening part of this whole affair is the silence of his big-name peers, and the rabid defense of him by his fans – even people not connected to him.

    Yep-Wilson is the darling of the inner circles of the NeoCalvinists. They love him and his in your face attitude. Why? I think many of them want to have a nice little enclave of which they are the autocrat in residence as well.

  29. Abi Miah wrote:

    I almost couldn’t get my breath in reading that someone could be denied communion for “failing to protect” their daughter in “this process.

    Abi Miah wrote:

    If a father can be excommunicated at that church for intending to protect his daughter but failing, can church leaders be excommunicated for failing to protect their congregants?

    Communion is for sinners, not for the self righteous Pharisees . Who shared the Last Supper with Jesus? All of them had sinned, and would sin. Jesus new that and still offered them the bread and the wine and washed their feet as well.

    Doug Wilson has got it backwards. He is the Pharisee who believe he has the right to keep people away from the table. In his choices, we see just who he thinks he is. It is deeply concerning that people actually believe that he has the right to judge who gets communion and who doesn’t. They are a bunch of hypocrites in that church and Doug leads the pack.

  30. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    Assuming it is accurate that Pat’s loyalties align with Mr. Wilson, et al, it would seem he can “play” the Pat piece as he wills and she would be amenable to his moves — whether perhaps to try creating a wedge between others, or to give or withhold Pat’s permission as befits the match at the moment so he can/can’t answer because she did/didn’t give permission.

    I saw this one as well! Good for you, Brad. It appears that Pat has decided to she is loyal. She will regret that decision one day.

  31. Deb wrote:

    It is interesting that there are no comments…

    Yes, I commented on it. Asked why they were prepared to overlook errant theology, gross pastoral negligence and narcissicism. Of course my comment didn’t see the light of day.

  32. Lisa wrote:

    I was taken to task on Twitter by a Wilsonite who scolded me for daring to impune PASTOR Wilson),

    Lemmings….all of them.

  33. Bill M wrote:

    However it works there is something seriously twisted in Moscow.

    Sounds like a good name for a rock group

    “Seriously Twisted in Moscow.”

  34. Marsha wrote:

    What in the world is wrong with her mother? How could she transfer her allegiance from her husband to Wilson?

    Simple. She’s a member of a cult. Few people in that situation find the strength to leave, as her husband did.

  35. dee wrote:

    I think many of them want to have a nice little enclave of which they are the autocrat in residence as well.

    That’s also why they admire CJ Mahaney and support him to the hilt.

  36. mirele wrote:

    To wit, the Gospel Coalition’s promotion of Wilson’s latest book, and publication of none of the comments (mine among them) criticizing them for publicizing Wilson right at this time and failing to mention the controversy swirling around him.

    The boys who run that blog pretend they are men but they act like a junior high clique that does not let anyone insult one their buddies. They are afraid of words.

  37. Gus wrote:

    hat strikes me on reading many communications by these men (Driscoll, Chandler et al., Wilson, etc.) is how much they treat adult members of their churches as if they were underage children not intellectually or legally able to make their own decisions. The condescending tone of voice and phrase, the chiding and scolding, the contempt of it all – terrible!
    Wilson is the worst, but by no means the only one.

    And that is why people are leaving churches.

  38. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    As Abi (and others) notes, they nowhere express distress over their own extremely poor judgement as elders and protectors of the congregation, Wight’s very serious repeat offending took place entirely under not only their noses but their aegis.

    For some guy who pretends he is an Oxford don while sitting in Moscow Idaho, he has a singular ability to ignore his own sins. Does he eve mention his own failings? I mean real failings, not the “I didn’t know how to delete comments on Disquis and I am so sorry.”

  39. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    “FYI to the Gospel Coalition: You’ve been called out by Mike Sloan and Beth Hart at Vintage 73. As a fellow child of God, I suggest you listen to them.”
    Concise and to the point, I thought. But apparently too threatening for them. Gutless, aren’t they?

    They are little boys pretending they are men because they can grow a beard. If a terrorist was taking over a train, I wouldn’t wait for them to respond….

  40. @ Marsha:
    Wilson is still defending how he handled the Wight situation. So, somehow, Wight must be still in the good graces of Wilson. Rather inconvenient that he went on to hurt his wife just like it was inconvenient Sitler went on to play “let’s get sexually stimulated” with a baby. This forces Doug to pretend that whatever they are doing is no big whoop since Doug and his *Kirk* (they love to pretend, don’t they) elders always get it right.

  41. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    These elders might be able to put down the Dee’ s for being women, but if I had the time I might do the same thing they are doing. I

    Thank you for saying this. In fact, I do have the time to be doing this although I have trouble with keeping up with the communications by emails. We are not beholden to any in this abusive crowd. God gave us the time and the passion to confront the evil in our churches.

    I, for one, got sick and tired of hearing self righteous evangelicals pointing at the Catholic church while hiding these abusers in their own churches. We are no better than the Catholic church in this regard in spite of our supposedly superior doctrine.

  42. Marsha wrote:

    What in the world is wrong with her mother? How could she transfer her allegiance from her husband to Wilson?

    Perhaps to assuage the guilt she must feel about what happened to her daughter under her own roof. Natalie’s father says he remains tortured to this day; I can presume no less of a response from her mother.

    We can go to great lengths to avoid guilt. Those who brought the prostitute to Jesus for stoning turned away from the (literal) execution of their own laws–the height of their power and standing in the community–to avoid the sting of guilt that Jesus inflicted on them. If need be, we will go so far as to alter our perception of reality to try to pretend away guilt.

    Gary’s testimony and the Christ Church letter make it apparent that Wilson saw Gary as a threat to his authority. Perhaps Wilson took advantage of the situation to influence her mother away from her father and ensure a “friendly witness.” He may have groomed her, using her guilt as a tool to draw her away from her husband and daughter. If he did, she may be as much a victim as anyone else in this sad, sordid saga.

  43. If this whole thing with DW did not want to make me sick to my stomach, that letter from DW, posted above, would also make me laugh. DW goes on about how the father needs to document everything, and then DW sends out a letter like that!! He provides no evidence for his position to be critical/blame the father, yet he does not provide any evidence the father did anything wrong?? In my professional world, DW would be eaten alive.. but then, the pseudo thinking/wordsmithing/self contradictions, and that these NeoCals Gospel Coalition put forward would be cut to shreds in my professional world… a proof is their not posting or deleting comments…. if they truly had the “TRUTH” they would be able to stand the light…

  44. Cobber2076 wrote:

    He may have groomed her, using her guilt as a tool to draw her away from her husband and daughter.

    Just like Sitler & Wight groomed their prey?

  45. dee wrote:

    Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:
    These elders might be able to put down the Dee’ s for being women, but if I had the time I might do the same thing they are doing. I
    Thank you for saying this. In fact, I do have the time to be doing this although I have trouble with keeping up with the communications by emails. We are not beholden to any in this abusive crowd. God gave us the time and the passion to confront the evil in our churches.
    I, for one, got sick and tired of hearing self righteous evangelicals pointing at the Catholic church while hiding these abusers in their own churches. We are no better than the Catholic church in this regard in spite of our supposedly superior doctrine.

    Amen

  46. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Cobber2076 wrote:

    He may have groomed her, using her guilt as a tool to draw her away from her husband and daughter.

    Just like Sitler & Wight groomed their prey?

    Precisely.

  47. One thing that is very weird about these colleges/seminary that DW runs is the boarding setup. Its not normal to have young adults long term boarding with families from the church. Why can’t they live in a dorms or apartments like a normal school. Obviously we readers know the answer to this question. I am also from Idaho and I remember having a conversation once with someone who went to NSA college and thinking that it was strange that they were living with a family instead of being out on there own or with other classmates. In the best case its just stifling maturity and in the worst case its putting children at risk as we can see.

  48. For those trying to leave comments on blogs and similar but finding your comments deleterated, I have a suggestion. Why not try reverse Poe-ing?

    We occasionally see a fanboy/girl posting here praising some church CEO or other with some helpful observations on the evil that lies at the heart of all Wartburgers. Occasionally, those comments are deliberate parodies – we have some ex-Elevators, for instance – praising Pastor Sauce (or whoever) to the skies and denouncing all the hate here.

    So, just for a larf, someone could try posting a comment full of effusive praise for TGC and all its heroes, adding a bit of badly-written poetry for good measure?

  49. Thankfully I read DW’s letter on an empty stomach this morning. This WAS NOT taking “sinful advantage ” of someone. This WAS a crime. This use of religious jargon to cover irresponsible behavior is getting old. DW’s letter should be of grave concern to every Christian, parent, and sane person with breath in their lungs.

    Big thanks Deebs.

  50. May wrote:

    Yes, I commented on it. Asked why they were prepared to overlook errant theology, gross pastoral negligence and narcissicism. Of course my comment didn’t see the light of day.

    Same here. I basically just left a comment saying they should read the Vintage73 article before promoting Wilson’s books. It has not been approved so far.

  51. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    Good idea. But it seems this particular blog-post is just not publishing any comments…Also, they’d gather from my email address what I was doing.

    I’d love to read all the comments that people have tried to leave – I’m getting a feeling that most of them were negative.

  52. I’m really curious how Doug Wilson is able to write three or four articles a day on his blog, pastor a church, run a small denomination, prepare sermons, write books, and counsel congregants (one said he has counseled them for 100s of hours). I’m glad his church members are okay with all his extra activities. I wonder if anyone knows the actual hours he spends on his different pursuits.

  53. Victorious wrote:

    It is my understanding from studying the Stockholm Syndrome years ago that the victim learns to identify with the abuser in an effort to stay safe as well. As being a “member” of the dangerous group assures some measure of safety.

    I thought some more about this and see I need to study up about Stockholm Syndrome, and this situation.

    Kidnapping or hijacking, where there’s a more abrupt adoption of allegiance with one’s abuser, don’t necessarily have the same psychological dynamics or goals as when someone willingly develops allegiance over time to become a commender, enforcer, drone for the system they’ve been immersed in.

  54. dee wrote:

    (Done)Just Watching wrote:

    God help us turn pastors, elders, & ministry leaders out on their collective butts

    Better yet, do not sign membership contracts and do not give them any money.

    Yep. All of the above.

  55. I had no idea that Natalie’s father had been through the same kind of horrors that she was forced to survive. Not only of being sexually abused by an older man, but of being humiliated by the very same pastors and elders, and blamed for the crimes committed against them, over which they had no control. Makes me sick at heart, but I’m at least glad that they have each other to lean on, and don’t have to battle this darkness alone.

    May God be with them both.

  56. @ Andrea:

    Years ago, I interviews some people as part of an oral history project about the Depression. One of the women grew up in a boarding house run by her mother, and she described how today’s homes are just not suitable for that. Their boarders, for example, were housed on a floor separate from the family’s bedrooms, and there were locks on all doors. In addition, many families with daughters simply would not take in male boarders. I find it interesting that Wilson and his cronies like to pick and choose relics from the past or from other cultures, but they refuse to acknowledge or practice the necessary context.

    It’s as if some naive person, facing the dilemma of what to do with out of town students, said, “I know! In the Anne of Green Gables books, the students stayed in boarding houses! We won’t bother to find out what makes a suitable boarding house, or what the local laws are, we will just convince our church families that this is a wonderful and godly thing for them to do!”

  57. I don’t have time to say anything other than this:

    the fact that DW hasn’t take JA and Dee up on their offer to meet speaks volume about him. Volumes.

  58. One comment now appears at the TGC review of Doug Wilson’s book. Someone named Brian left this comment: “Good review. Thanks for the recommendation!”

    I guess they can now claim they didn’t censor everyone.

  59. refugee wrote:

    http://mirroringgrace.blogspot.com/2015/09/why-we-left-crec-part-1-engagement.html?spref=fb&m=1

    A relevant blog post. It helped me to understand what the mindset of the young woman was, as she courted abd eventually married Steven Subtler.

    I meant to say “helped me to understand what the mindset of the young woman possibly was…”

    On pondering the facebook discussion that led me to this post (linked on a previous comment here at TWW), it sounds to me that there is a stirring in the ranks, that feels remarkably like what happened as Mars Hill began the long slide into oblivion.

    If I understand rightly, how Facebook works, there are more thoughts and testimonies (and protestations, and accusations of bitterness and such) found on FB if you search the hash tag #healthekirk.

  60. singleman wrote:

    One comment now appears at the TGC review of Doug Wilson’s book. Someone named Brian left this comment: “Good review. Thanks for the recommendation!”
    I guess they can now claim they didn’t censor everyone.

    And that is such a controversial review.

    It reminds me of a writing class I had to take, where, for one paper, the genre was persuasion. We each had to get up in front of the class and read our papers.

    For that paper, some people picked topics such as abortion or the death penalty. One guy, though? His topic? His argument was: people should eat right and get plenty of exercise.

    Yeah, like that position is really controversial and is going to get any push back. LOL.

    The rest of us picked strong topics that started impassioned debates in that class, but after that guy read his paper arguing that people should eat healthy and exercise, the silence was deafening. You could hear crickets chirping when he was done.

  61. Abi Miah wrote:

    And WHAT IS WITH THE COURT SYSTEM IN MOSCOW? Two predators get off with hardly any jail time. 3 years of abuse and he can plead to one count of a much reduced charge and get a very short period of time in jail.

    Whatever the Kirk(TM) wants, the Kirk(TM) gets?
    Judges, prosecutors, and cops?

  62. Bridget wrote:

    I’m really curious how Doug Wilson is able to write three or four articles a day on his blog, pastor a church, run a small denomination, prepare sermons, write books, and counsel congregants (one said he has counseled them for 100s of hours).

    Uncredited ghostwriters?
    Or “research” a la Bee Jay Driscoll’s books? (copy/paste, copy/paste, copy/paste…)

  63. dee wrote:

    @ Bunsen Honeydew:
    Doctrine is far more important than child sex abuse. Se abuse is forgivable. Bad doctrine sends people to hell in their world.

    Purity of Ideology, Comrades.
    Purity of Ideology.

  64. dee wrote:

    I saw this one as well! Good for you, Brad. It appears that Pat has decided to she is loyal

    Harley Quinn has found her Joker.

  65. Bridget wrote:

    I’m really curious how Doug Wilson is able to write three or four articles a day on his blog, pastor a church, run a small denomination, prepare sermons, write books, and counsel congregants (one said he has counseled them for 100s of hours).

    He has his wimminz doing all the scut work. You know: bathing and clothing him, trimming his beard, shopping for his toiletries and tobacco, cleaning his desk/chairs/bed/toilets/floors/windows, buying&cooking&serving his food from morning eggs to late night whiskey, ordering his books, fulfilling his sexual desires, tidying up his online techno disabilities and weak grammar.

    For any manlier-type jobs, he has 100 willing minz: auto repairs, mowing, weeding, electrical/plumbing, janitoring, painting/restoration. w00t

    Altogether, he is completely free to pontificate and stick his nose into the private affairs of anyone who lets him. To his heart’s content.

    Everyone needs some wimminz and maybe a minz or two. If they were all robots, I’d sacrifice quite a lot to have a few for myself. lol

  66. Patrice wrote:

    He has his wimminz doing all the scut work. You know: bathing and clothing him, trimming his beard, shopping for his toiletries and tobacco, cleaning his desk/chairs/bed/toilets/floors/windows…

    I just saw a new page about Bill Gothard the other day that said he made the young women get on their hands and knees at his organization and scrub stains out of carpeting by hand (with spoons), even though the guy who worked as a janitor told him that their carpet scrubbing machine could do a better / faster job.

  67. @ Cobber2076:
    Your last paragraph is little more than speculation. Wilson has been very successful at fielding this kind of thing. Unless he is lying through his teeth, Sitler has not been guilty of raping his son, internet claims notwithstanding. Wilson left a comment at Bayly’s:

    Somebody said in the thread above that Steven Sitler re-offended. But there is no reason for saying this. He has not re-offended. That is a factual error that is now in wide circulation, and it is a factual error that is doing real damage to real people in real time. The disagreement before the judge is over whether certain possible indicators are worrisome enough to more strictly define or restrict the terms of Steven’s probation. It is not whether he should go to prison again for a re-offense.

    This kind of rumour mill doesn’t help the situation at all. If Wilson did make a crass failure in how he dealt with the matter, and that may well be true, this kind of thing is never going to persuade him to see this.

    I tried commenting on ‘Ellie’s translation of Doug Wilson’s letter’, but it never made it. A fairly low-key comment to the effect that Wilson is a good barack room lawyer, and that much of what she ‘translated’ he could rightly dismiss as speculation. It didn’t bother me, but it did show partisanship is not confined to one side.

    I’m still agnostic about what went on. One thing I’m pretty sure about is that it is not possible to get to the bottom of this by reading the internet.

  68. From the letter that was written:


    “…,but we also have to say that we were just as distressed at your extremely poor judgment as a father and protector. We understand that you have confessed your sin and folly in this…”

    “……we have considered whether or not we should suspend you from the Supper for your dereliction of your duties as a father….recognizing that it has always been your INTENT to protect your daughter”.

    Sorry, you cannot have it both ways. Either it was “sin and folly that he did not protect his daughter (!!!!????) or it “has always been your INTENT to protect your daughter”.

    On the one hand, they are saying he “sinfully” did not protect his daughter, and on the other hand they are saying that they knew his intent was to protect her.

    Wilson here completely contradicts himself while ignoring the fact that SIN IS ALL ABOUT INTENT. If this father “intended” to protect his daughter but somehow was unable to, then that is not sin. It is not sin to be systematically and thoroughly deceived by someone you trust. And then to be called out this way by the very same person who was encouraging that misplaced trust????

    This letter is just horrendous. I cannot begin to fathom what it must have felt like to receive it. I am so sorry for the vile treatment this family endured.

  69. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    Kidnapping or hijacking, where there’s a more abrupt adoption of allegiance with one’s abuser, don’t necessarily have the same psychological dynamics or goals as when someone willingly develops allegiance over time to become a commender, enforcer, drone for the system they’ve been immersed in.

    I also thought about the “Learned Helplessness” behavior that might contribute to the passivity of those involved in Patriarchal communities. Just thinking out loud here….

  70. singleman wrote:

    One comment now appears at the TGC review of Doug Wilson’s book. Someone named Brian left this comment: “Good review. Thanks for the recommendation!”
    I guess they can now claim they didn’t censor everyone.

    That one is mine. I had previously left a comment linking to the Vintage73 article saying he should read that before recommending Wilson’s stuff. Interesting thing is, I left it under the same Disqus ID so I’m sure he could tell they were from the same person – if he wanted to.

    It is certainly his prerogative to publish the comments he wants. But it doesn’t do much to engender trust or to expect him to be fair and balanced. In other words, not very “Gospelly”.

  71. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Cobber2076 wrote:

    He may have groomed her, using her guilt as a tool to draw her away from her husband and daughter.

    Just like Sitler & Wight groomed their prey?

    I left my former church primarily because I saw so many people being used and abused. The odd part in several cases was their wives were quite involved and leaving was apparently out of the question. So the dictum has bee modified to “submit to your husband only as he submits to the pastor”. How about submit to one another and if you see your spouse being abused don’t transfer your loyalty to their abuser.

    The game they play is less about building one another up and more about putting hooks into people so the can’t leave without tearing flesh.

  72. @ Sad:
    I’m not sure… you can have the best intent in the world and still have poor judgment. That’s more folly than sin, though the end result can be just as devastating.

  73. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    I thought some more about this and see I need to study up about Stockholm Syndrome, and this situation.

    Your identification of “touch deprivation” sounds like the explanation of executions in Moscow of the old Soviet Union. The motivation for a wife and mother to side with the pastor over their husband and abused daughter I don’t have an explanation for, only that it reminded me of the odd behaviors we can exhibit in abuse cases. That the pastor will likely take refuge in the wife and mother staying in the church is part of the twisted picture.

  74. Victorious wrote:

    I also thought about the “Learned Helplessness” behavior that might contribute to the passivity of those involved in Patriarchal communities. Just thinking out loud here…

    That makes sense to me … especially for people who are “pawns” in and “applauders” of the system that keeps them entrapped, and those who are “avoiders” who sense something is wrong but don’t do anything about it.

    Which reminds me that a year or so ago, I posted a first version of my “Pyramid of Responsibility” for 10 different roles in toxic organizations.

    https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/responsibility-for-spiritual-abuse-part-2b/

    I’ve been thinking through how that relates with the stuff I posted recently about different susceptibilities we may have that make us vulnerable to being drawn in by authoritarian leaders. I’m wondering if those who play roles in the lower layers of the pyramid (i.e., pawns, applauders, avoiders) have issues that are more on the learned helplessness and grooming-for-passivity side of things. And as you go up the layers (extinguishers, reinforcers, propagators, perpetrators), the more active involvement there is, the more choices to support the system and its top leaders. So, will see where those thought exercises on vulnerabilities and passivity level lead …

    I’ve also worked on a parallel “Pyramid of Advocacy” in support of abuse survivors [hasn’t been posted], where there can be progression in involvement for coming alongside people in a recovery process. I feel like it helps to think about the polar opposites in these two systems — abuse versus advocacy — by flipping the roles and turning the descriptions of behaviors inside out to figure out what the “redemptive opposite” is.

    For instance, in earlier posts on TWW about my Pullman/Moscow experiences, I talked about the “hospital church” for survivors of the authoritarian wars in various churches there. The people there were redemptive agents for the Kingdom who helped keep my faith alive …

    Anyway, the kinds of susceptibilities and the kinds of grooming that go on … definitely food for thought.

  75. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Abi Miah wrote:
    And WHAT IS WITH THE COURT SYSTEM IN MOSCOW? Two predators get off with hardly any jail time. 3 years of abuse and he can plead to one count of a much reduced charge and get a very short period of time in jail.
    Whatever the Kirk(TM) wants, the Kirk(TM) gets?
    Judges, prosecutors, and cops?

    But how? Unless there are strong personal connections that someone knows about and people from Moscow commenting on blogs have not yet mentioned it to my knowledge. It’s like both church and state gone awry in protecting further victims. Without the state being off the rails as well, there would have been no marriage for Stitler, for instance, because he would have rightfully been serving a life sentence.

  76. I had no idea that Moscow ID was a City of Refuge for child molesters. Must have missed that in the Old Testament.

  77. @ Ken:

    I’m still agnostic about what went on. One thing I’m pretty sure about is that it is not possible to get to the bottom of this by reading the internet.

    I do agree that we don’t know the exact details of the ongoing case (obviously, because it’s ongoing), but I think it is clear from the public reports and documentation that whatever it is, it’s not good. I think it’s also clear from the public reports and documentation that Wilson was wrong to marry Sitler in the first place. Hopefully the CPS investigation will help get to the bottom of all this.

  78. Christiane wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck:
    I don’t think fundamentalist-evangelicals accept ‘dialogue’ as anything but something to be feared.

    I think it’s even a matter of redefining “dialogue” as “authority talks, everybody listens, nods, says “uh huh” and “amen.” Anything else is rebellion and bitterness.

  79. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    So, just for a larf, someone could try posting a comment full of effusive praise for TGC and all its heroes, adding a bit of badly-written poetry for good measure?

    If anyone does this, I want to hear about it and read it.

  80. Brian wrote:

    singleman wrote:
    One comment now appears at the TGC review of Doug Wilson’s book. Someone named Brian left this comment: “Good review. Thanks for the recommendation!”
    I guess they can now claim they didn’t censor everyone.

    That one is mine. I had previously left a comment linking to the Vintage73 article saying he should read that before recommending Wilson’s stuff. Interesting thing is, I left it under the same Disqus ID so I’m sure he could tell they were from the same person – if he wanted to.
    It is certainly his prerogative to publish the comments he wants. But it doesn’t do much to engender trust or to expect him to be fair and balanced. In other words, not very “Gospelly”.

    Thanks for doing this little test Brian so we can be certain they are censoring comments.

  81. Bill M wrote:

    The game they play is less about building one another up and more about putting hooks into people so the can’t leave without tearing flesh.

    I think it’s made doubly hard by Protestant* teaching about ‘heaven’ & ‘hell’. If you’re not on board with what they deem fit and necessary, the conclusion is inescapable, you were probably never ‘saved’ or ‘regenerated’ in the first place, and that in and of itself is a huge fear factor.
    All the more reason to knuckle under and hoe the row even harder in hopes of beating the odds.

    *although Catholicism posits a third option, namely purgatory.

  82. @ Brian:
    @ Deb:

    Now, is anyone going to put something like this on there?

    Thank you for the helpful review. It was a breath of fresh air in this world that wants to tear down godly authority. It is so nice to see someone giving honor and respect to this paragon of virtue and humility.

  83. Bridget wrote:

    @ Rebecca Prewett:

    Plus, many boarding houses were run by men and women who had no children, or their children were gone from the home.

    You’re right — in fact, I think that was far more common.

  84. @ refugee:
    That’s true, but how awful would it be to load a grieving father with that guilt – calling his intention to protect his daughter folly AND sin, all the while ignoring your own church’s part in it? And then turn around and fail to protect a newborn from harm yourself and try to spin out of it?

  85. No More Perfect wrote:

    the fact that DW hasn’t take JA and Dee up on their offer to meet speaks volume about him. Volumes.

    You know, not that I want to squander what remains of my vacation time for this year, but if JA and Dee were to go to Moscow, I wouldn’t mind going along, although I’d probably just sit there. Seriously, my public persona is “let’s blend into the wallpaper.” You learn a lot that way.

  86. singleman wrote:

    One comment now appears at the TGC review of Doug Wilson’s book. Someone named Brian left this comment: “Good review. Thanks for the recommendation!”
    I guess they can now claim they didn’t censor everyone.

    I guess we now know that they did actually read all the comments and decide some weren’t gospelly enough to see the precious light of day.

  87. Dave A A wrote:

    He Brews 13:17!

    In case it seems I just pulled is outta my hat, I just read an official email by a kirkelder of Trinity Reformed Church (sista Kirk of The Kirk) to Peter Roise (former friend of Jamin Wight and now former TRC member). It concludes:
    “We have developed some counseling protocol guidelines to our pastors who may face similar complicated situations in the future. These protocols aim to make the distinction between “friend” and “pastor” more clear and call for additional elder involvement at various points.
    At this point we are satisfied that due diligence has been done. We do not believe there is any further need for review. We hope that you will be able to receive this report in the spirit intended and submit to this decision with grace (Heb.13:17).
    Blessings in Christ, on behalf of the session,
    Chris Schlect
    https://www.facebook.com/peter.roise/posts/10207687175075380

  88. mirele wrote:

    No More Perfect wrote:
    the fact that DW hasn’t take JA and Dee up on their offer to meet speaks volume about him. Volumes.
    You know, not that I want to squander what remains of my vacation time for this year, but if JA and Dee were to go to Moscow, I wouldn’t mind going along, although I’d probably just sit there. Seriously, my public persona is “let’s blend into the wallpaper.” You learn a lot that way.

    My persona is similar. We can be wallpaper twins! 😉

    But, really, I wonder if Dee and JA had been men if DW would have replied to their offer.

  89. Sad wrote:

    We understand that you have confessed your sin and folly in this…

    Not only what you said, Sad, but Wilson also states that the father has “confessed his sin and folly.” (I personally don’t see what he needed to confess.) However if the father did confess – then why withhold communion from him, while giving it to the repentant perpetrator????? Wilson seems to be measuring out punishment to the father in this case. After reading what Gary has written on other sites, it seems that Wilson had a problem with Gary outside of the issue with Gary’s daughter.

  90. Two things seem very clear to me. One, DW and his supporters and other “leaders” like him do not understand anything about pedophilia and child sexual abuse (or choose not to understand). Two, women and children are in some ways expendable in their world. They seem willing to sacrifice both if it means that a man might be able to attain his “right” to marry and serve as lord and master of his home, even if he has absolutely no business marrying and “leading” anyone.

  91. refugee wrote:

    On pondering the facebook discussion that led me to this post (linked on a previous comment here at TWW), it sounds to me that there is a stirring in the ranks, that feels remarkably like what happened as Mars Hill began the long slide into oblivion.

    I was thinking just the same thing. People are feeling more free to go public– even Doug’s friends the Bayly Bros have publicly taken exception with his “open letter”. In smaller scale, something like Tripp and Chandler criticizing Driscoll.

  92. dee wrote:

    I, for one, got sick and tired of hearing self righteous evangelicals pointing at the Catholic church while hiding these abusers in their own churches. We are no better than the Catholic church in this regard in spite of our supposedly superior doctrine.

    And the Catholic Church has implemented wide-ranging reforms over the last few years, in an attempt to address the problem and right it.

    But since there is no over-riding authority over all the different Protestant factions, it’s hard to see how massive reform can take place.

  93. “suspend from the Lord’s Supper”

    Good Lord!! I have a feeling that Jesus suspended this whole weird bunch from the “supper” years ago!! What a mess!

  94. Dave A A wrote:

    refugee wrote:
    On pondering the facebook discussion that led me to this post (linked on a previous comment here at TWW), it sounds to me that there is a stirring in the ranks, that feels remarkably like what happened as Mars Hill began the long slide into oblivion.
    I was thinking just the same thing. People are feeling more free to go public– even Doug’s friends the Bayly Bros have publicly taken exception with his “open letter”. In smaller scale, something like Tripp and Chandler criticizing Driscoll.

    While the Bayly Bros. publicly disagreed with Wilson, and others criticized Driscoll (Tripp and Chandler), I think the real example of freedom is when – what TWW posters like to call pewpotatoes/pewpeons – come out of these controlled environments and start addressing the problems. The average Joe and Sue Christian exposing the wrongdoing and shining a light on the abuse. These are the folks that were made to feel as though they should trust their leaders and not question them. Now they are breaking out of the Follower mode and that is an encouraging thing to behold. No wonder some of the loyalists of DW don’t like Facebook.

  95. mirele wrote:

    No More Perfect wrote:
    the fact that DW hasn’t take JA and Dee up on their offer to meet speaks volume about him. Volumes.
    You know, not that I want to squander what remains of my vacation time for this year, but if JA and Dee were to go to Moscow, I wouldn’t mind going along, although I’d probably just sit there. Seriously, my public persona is “let’s blend into the wallpaper.” You learn a lot that way.

    DW wouldn’t meet with women in an advisory capacity – unless perhaps it was him advising them.

  96. Marsha wrote:

    I am confused about where Wight is in regard to Wilson’s church. Apparently he abused his wife. Did that finally get him kicked out or was he forgiven again? There doesn’t appear to be any recognition on Wilson’s part that he was wrong in his assessment of Wight’s character,

    dee wrote:

    @ Marsha:
    Wilson is still defending how he handled the Wight situation. So, somehow, Wight must be still in the good graces of Wilson. Rather inconvenient that he went on to hurt his wife…

    I agree with you both on Wilson’s failure to recognize any deficiencies in assessment/handling. But I’m with Marsha on the confusion. I’ve read some things indicating Wight is NOT in Wilson’s good graces any longer. Dee– do you have any original sources about possible abuse of his wife? Or about his leaving or staying in Kirk? I can’t find anything but unverifiable assertions about anything but the divorce– no arrest or charges, and no statements by Kirkelders.

  97. Andrea wrote:

    One thing that is very weird about these colleges/seminary that DW runs is the boarding setup. Its not normal to have young adults long term boarding with families from the church. Why can’t they live in a dorms or apartments like a normal school. Obviously we readers know the answer to this question. I am also from Idaho and I remember having a conversation once with someone who went to NSA college and thinking that it was strange that they were living with a family instead of being out on there own or with other classmates. In the best case its just stifling maturity and in the worst case its putting children at risk as we can see.

    I hear ya, but I’d say that there are certain situations when boarding students is a good thing – the foreign student exchange program for example.

  98. In addition to no “centralized” authority, many/most sects of protestantism think they are doing “it” the “right way/better way than everyone else”… hence the >10,000 sects! If many think they are doing it better, admitting they are covering up such things means that they don’t have the “right way”????

    PL wrote:

    dee wrote:
    I, for one, got sick and tired of hearing self righteous evangelicals pointing at the Catholic church while hiding these abusers in their own churches. We are no better than the Catholic church in this regard in spite of our supposedly superior doctrine.
    And the Catholic Church has implemented wide-ranging reforms over the last few years, in an attempt to address the problem and right it.
    But since there is no over-riding authority over all the different Protestant factions, it’s hard to see how massive reform can take place.

  99. Darlene wrote:

    The average Joe and Sue Christian exposing the wrongdoing and shining a light on the abuse

    Or in this case Peter and Claire Roise. This will likely cost them a lot.

  100. This isn’t anything comparable to the horrible abuse, but the attitude of the pastor and church reminds me of someone I used to be friends with. She had betrayed me in a particular way (long story) and when confronted told me that, if it came to a choice between the group (i.e. singles group) and a friend (i.e. me), she would always choose for the good of the group. I promptly told her we were no longer good friends.

  101. DW’s latest blog post, “The Cruci-Defiled” is just another way to deflect constructive criticism and justify himself. Albeit, all in cloaked gospely language. He’s digging his heals in deeper and deeper. It really is a sad sight to behold.

  102. Okay, got it. R Stollar tweeted a screenshot of Wight’s domestic violence conviction. He was charged with attempted strangulation for an incident which occurred on 2/20/13 and found guilty of domestic violence without a traumatic injury on 10/29/14. He received a small fine and a 30 day jail sentence.

  103. Darlene wrote:

    Folks: A conversation is going on over at Facebook among CREC and ex-CREC members that I think is very revealing. I honestly hope more in the CREC begin to hold the leadership accountable. If you’re interested, here is the link.
    https://www.facebook.com/peter.roise?fref=ts

    I saw that last night and there was quite a debate. Now all the comments debating Peter Roise are gone. Did Peter delete or did the opposition decide en masse to delete their posts?

  104. @ Darlene:

    I can’t bring myself to read DW’s latest self-serving blog-post.

    Like Tony Jones (another narcissist) he can’t give up.

  105. Former CLC’er wrote:

    She had betrayed me in a particular way (long story) and when confronted told me that, if it came to a choice between the group (i.e. singles group) and a friend (i.e. me), she would always choose for the good of the group.

    “For the Collective, Comrade.”

  106. Jeffrey wrote:

    In addition to no “centralized” authority, many/most sects of protestantism think they are doing “it” the “right way/better way than everyone else”… hence the >10,000 sects!

    Ten Thousand One True Ways, each denouncing all the others as Heretics, Apostates, and Infidels.

  107. GC wrote:

    Two, women and children are in some ways expendable in their world. They seem willing to sacrifice both if it means that a man might be able to attain his “right” to marry and serve as lord and master of his home, even if he has absolutely no business marrying and “leading” anyone.

    Remember how Doug Phillips ESQUIRE(TM) was into Cosplay but wouldn’t admit to it?

    Well, this is Cosplaying the (Pre-Christian) Roman Paterfamilias, and the wife and children are just the necessary pieces of equipment.

  108. Darlene wrote:

    DW’s latest blog post, “The Cruci-Defiled” is just another way to deflect constructive criticism and justify himself. Albeit, all in cloaked gospely language. He’s digging his heals in deeper and deeper. It really is a sad sight to behold.

    It is a sad sight. But it also stands as a stark example to me of “how not to…” whatever it is that DW is doing. How not to handle serial pedophiles…how not to respond to concerns…how not to protect women and children…how not to deal with your own mistakes and serious lapses of judgment…how not to point people to Christ…He’s kind of like one big cautionary tale.

    I wrote this, which doesn’t deal with DW specifically, but with the fake, generic admissions of being a sinner. Duh, so are we all. http://rebeccaprewett.com/2015/09/15/fake-repentance-and-fake-apologies/

  109. Ken, I disagree that one cannot tell what is going on in the Sitler case by using the Internet and therefore we should not have an opinion. We don’t know everything because Sitler’s polygraph test results are sealed but we do have agreed-upon facts which are not being disputed and court documents which have been posted.

    Did Sitler reoffend? We don’t know. Sitler has confessed to contact with his baby son which led to sexual stimulation. We can’t tell whether normal contact (holding him, changing a diaper) caused him to react this way or whether it was illegal conduct. Sitler has been unable to pass a lie detector test even though he admitted to the arousal during the tests and because of this, his probation officer is very worried that he has done more than he is admitting. Wilson insisting that Sitler has NOT reoffended is speculation.

    Being aroused by a baby just a few months old is very very aberrant. A man with that kind of response cannot be a fit parent or husband and church elders ought not to have done any match making involving Sitler. The judge was correct in calling Sitler a high risk for reoffending and Wilson was wrong to support the marriage.

    Wilson insists that his letter did not call for leniency, but it is publicly available, I read it, and it is most certainly a letter of support for Sitler.

    Wilson has blogged and blogged on this for years but has yet to address the concern of the critics for any children Sitler might have. Obviously, a baby born to a serial pedophile who finds him sexually attractive is much more at risk than the child of parents who are attracted to adults.

    What else do you need to know, Ken?

  110. GovPappy wrote:

    @ refugee:
    That’s true, but how awful would it be to load a grieving father with that guilt – calling his intention to protect his daughter folly AND sin, all the while ignoring your own church’s part in it? And then turn around and fail to protect a newborn from harm yourself and try to spin out of it?

    Folly, because the church likely dulled his natural instinct… but though they accuse him of folly, I should imagine they were the cause of his folly in the first place.

    Did they tell him it was his duty? Did they flatter him, and/or put him under obligation? Did they give him a sales job — stimulating, god-honoring conversation at the dinner table, a fine role model for his children to look up to, a young man he could mentor and encourage…?

  111. I wonder what kind of “hold” DW has over the elders of the church. It must be pretty strong. Maybe he is threatening them with telling vicious lies about them and their spouses. Plus to have Natalie’s mom side with DW just doesn’t make sense at all to me. What kind of brainwashing did he do to her? I just can’t figure this out in my brain. Something has to be going that we don’t know about yet. Maybe this is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the same thing I feel about the Duggar family. We are just beginning to see how strange their family is.

  112. @ Marsha:
    Thanks. I’ll check it out. 30 days— Wow!! That’ll make him think twice next time, huh?
    After –what was it– 4 months before?
    I just saw Natalie posted on 01/04/2013 that he’d been under church discipline already for abusing his wife and kids. Sounds like her prediction came partly true:
    “Even now, I’m nearly certain the authorities will not be involved in this latest case of abuse, which is a terrible thing because it means someone else will be hurt. It will be handled quietly and quickly so as not to disturb the reputation of the church. The age old story.”

  113. Darlene wrote:

    DW wouldn’t meet with women in an advisory capacity – unless perhaps it was him advising them.

    I know that–he’d rather talk to my headship. Thing is, that’s not how I was raised. My late father wouldn’t have been my headship and my brother would say unprintable things if I asked him to be my headship, even as a joke.

  114. Quick factual correction: that letter from Doug to Gary had been lost for a long time. Katie Botkin tracked it down and shared it with Natalie/got permission to post it from Natalie and Gary (that’s why she posts it before Natalie). I’m sure Natalie would have shared it before now if she’d had it.

  115. Abi Miah wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Folks: A conversation is going on over at Facebook among CREC and ex-CREC members that I think is very revealing. I honestly hope more in the CREC begin to hold the leadership accountable. If you’re interested, here is the link.
    https://www.facebook.com/peter.roise?fref=ts

    I saw that last night and there was quite a debate. Now all the comments debating Peter Roise are gone. Did Peter delete or did the opposition decide en masse to delete their posts?

    I don’t think Peter would have deleted opposing comments. He seemed very thoughtful, along with courageous and determined, in his posts.

  116. Dave A A wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    The average Joe and Sue Christian exposing the wrongdoing and shining a light on the abuse
    Or in this case Peter and Claire Roise. This will likely cost them a lot.

    I imagine that most in their former community (whether blindly following the leadership, or uneasy but quiet) will shun them. Some will quietly continue the relationship, and others who have left, of course, won’t have to worry about repercussions of not-shunning as much as the ones who are in the “kirk” and still have a conscience.

  117. harley wrote:

    I wonder what kind of “hold” DW has over the elders of the church. It must be pretty strong. Maybe he is threatening them with telling vicious lies about them and their spouses. Plus to have Natalie’s mom side with DW just doesn’t make sense at all to me. What kind of brainwashing did he do to her? I just can’t figure this out in my brain. Something has to be going that we don’t know about yet. Maybe this is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the same thing I feel about the Duggar family. We are just beginning to see how strange their family is.

    Harley, the brainwashing is so very strong. I could not even begin to see it, until I had been out for a few weeks. (Went to a church very similar to DWs, that held him up as a model to follow and invited him to speak on more than one occasion.) For the longest time, I thought the problem I had (likely cognitive dissonance) was *me*, sin in me, my sin, whatever, and not anything in the church and culture. Because our teens overheard gossip (they were pariahs, not part of the gossiping crowd, but they have good hearing and the gossips were remarkably careless and arrogant), they had a clearer picture than I did.

    DW blamed the husband for not protecting the daughter, which gave the wife permission to blame the husband. That would certainly drive a wedge of resentment between them. If the husband was perceived as a threat, then driving him out of the church while retaining the loyalty of the wife would be rather more of a coup for the leaders, than a shame, I should imagine.

  118. @ Marsha:
    And this is just it. We have a pretty good picture of what’s going on. It seems some folks are stuck in this default mode of hoping that there’s information out there that makes everything better and sensible and the church/pastor can ride off into the sunset blameless.

    I hope for that too, as a Christian. Unfortunately, when’s the last time a scandal has turned out less than initially reported? My general cheery optimism has taken a beating.

    Unfortunately, the popular mode of handling scandal for the human race seems to be cover-up, BY DEFAULT. I’ve accepted that. It’s really not so difficult to understand.

  119. Darlene wrote:

    I think the real example of freedom is when – what TWW posters like to call pewpotatoes/pewpeons – come out of these controlled environments and start addressing the problems.

    Yes, pew potatoes! 🙂

  120. When something so horribly traumatic happens to a child — like ongoing sexual abuse — and it comes to light, it’s often like a bomb going off in the family. Everybody is wounded in the fallout. Chaos ensues. It is very difficult for parents not to play the blame game with each other, or to look for a scapegoat. We shouldn’t be surprised when a marriage breaks up in the aftermath, especially if the pastor is quick to blame one of the parents for not protecting the child from abuse.

  121. Abi Miah wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    Folks: A conversation is going on over at Facebook among CREC and ex-CREC members that I think is very revealing. I honestly hope more in the CREC begin to hold the leadership accountable. If you’re interested, here is the link.
    https://www.facebook.com/peter.roise?fref=ts
    I saw that last night and there was quite a debate. Now all the comments debating Peter Roise are gone. Did Peter delete or did the opposition decide en masse to delete their posts?

    I was there today and as far as I know, the comments are still up.

  122. Darlene wrote:

    DW’s latest blog post, “The Cruci-Defiled” is just another way to deflect constructive criticism and justify himself.

    Isn’t this the second or third post he’s written in about a week’s time defending himself? It seems a little excessive.

  123. TWW readers: I think all of you should know that as of today, Peter Leithart, the man who was Wight’s pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Idaho has written a letter expressing sorrow regarding the wrongs he committed in the Wight case. At the end of the letter he said, “I was naive about the effect that the abuse had on the victim’s family. I recently asked her and her parents to forgive my pastoral failures, which they have done.” Here is the link to the entire letter.

    https://www.facebook.com/peter.roise/posts/10207687175075380

  124. ^^^Be sure to scroll all the way down that Facebook entry to the end in order to read the letter by Peter Leithart.

  125. “……we have considered whether or not we should suspend you from the Supper for your dereliction of your duties as a father…”

    So, what does DW do with a father who did two things: was in dereliction of his duties as father by not protecting his child, AND took sinful advantage of his child? Because that is what Sitler did. Is he still drinking the cup? Or has he been suspended from the Supper?

    Time for the Christ Church elders to request different letters be written….. Like they have a say…. Lol

  126. Heather wrote:

    So, what does DW do with a father who did two things: was in dereliction of his duties as father by not protecting his child, AND took sinful advantage of his child? Because that is what Sitler did. Is he still drinking the cup? Or has he been suspended from the Supper?

    He’s PASTOR’s Court Favorite.
    What do you think?

  127. GovPappy wrote:

    A nutjob pastor out in the middle of nowhere doing this sort of thing is one thing, but the most disheartening part of this whole affair is the silence of his big-name peers, and the rabid defense of him by his fans

    This is the problem! If the problem was just Wilson, it would still be a problem, but nearly or the magnitude we have. The fact that the Gospel Gliteratti can go out and speak out against the Supreme Court, emergent, the Pope, etc., but suddenly lose their voice when it comes to their Reformed buddies says a lot about the NeoCal and complementarian movement. They say that complementarians defend women and children, but do they?

    “To be silent in the face of evil is evil itself. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dietrich Bonnhoeffer

  128. GovPappy wrote:

    Not to compare two theological systems which may or may not have similar views on divorce, but it’s an interesting juxtaposition between this and the Karen/TVC situation as far as divorce goes.

    This is because the bigger issue is their control. Even more important than doctrine is authority. God is sovereign over all, and they as his appointed under shepherds, are in control of their own realms, divine right! The doctrine and the patriarchy go to support the hierarchy, which has them on top.

  129. @ Darlene:
    This reply to Leithart is worthy of repeating in full:
    Natalie Rose Greenfield Those words…I’ve imagined hearing or reading those words thousands of times in the last 10 years of my life. The power your words of humility have in my heart is profound, but it pales in comparison with the power they have to start conversations on a much larger scale – conversations that desperately need to be had. We go one step at a time, thank you for YOUR step. Your words are like balm.
    Like · Reply · 19 · 33 mins

  130. Ken wrote:

    @ Cobber2076:
    Your last paragraph is little more than speculation.

    So was my first. Thus my use of “perhaps,” “apparent’,” “may,” “if,” etc. I thought it was obvious that I wasn’t trading in certainties.

    Wilson has been very successful at fielding this kind of thing. Unless he is lying through his teeth, Sitler has not been guilty of raping his son…

    I wasn’t pitching anything to Wilson and I wasn’t discussing Sitler. Did you read what I wrote?

    If Wilson did make a crass failure in how he dealt with the matter, and that may well be true, this kind of thing is never going to persuade him to see this.

    I wasn’t trying to persuade Wilson, or anyone else, of anything. As for Wilson’s “crass failure,” his letter to Natalie’s father is evidence enough of failure as a pastor, crass or otherwise.

    One thing I’m pretty sure about is that it is not possible to get to the bottom of this by reading the internet.

    I don’t disagree, but I wasn’t trying to get to the bottom of anything. I simply answered a question. I speculated that guilt over what had happened to her daughter may have moved Natalie’s mother to side with Wilson. I didn’t say so, but my intent was to suggest that, perhaps, we should reserve judgement of her actions.

    I have daughters. I don’t know how I would react if something similar happened to one of them under my roof, but I suspect that guilt would play a big role–especially if my pastor communicated to me that my spouse were just as much to blame as the rapist. I believe that letter was, in part, a wedge aimed at dividing that family to help save the face of Wilson and his church, and that moves me to extend grace to the mother. Yes, that’s speculation, but given the circumstances it is not out of bounds and not unwarranted.

  131. Dumb question: Why does everyone call it the kirk? Is that what the people who attend call it? Is it part of the British bowler hats thing? Just curious.

  132. Abi Miah wrote:

    Dumb question: Why does everyone call it the kirk? Is that what the people who attend call it? Is it part of the British bowler hats thing? Just curious.

    It’s a common Scottish word for church. Perhaps to associate Christ Church with the Scottish reformation and its Calvinist/Presbyterian church outgrowth?

  133. Abi Miah wrote:

    Is that what the people who attend call it?

    Yes. Or used to, at least. Wilson wrote one book “Mother Kirk: Essays on Church Life”.

  134. Finally, one former pastor from another church involved in this case who has given an apology to Natalie and her family and asked for forgiveness. It was posted yesterday.

    https://www.facebook.com/Leithart

    “A message from Peter J. Leithart

    I write this with a great deal of reluctance. I have refrained from making any public statements about the recent internet turmoil over two sexual abuse incidents that took place in Moscow, Idaho while I worked there as a faculty member at New St Andrews College and served as pastor of Trinity Reformed Church. I have been concerned that anything I say would add fuel to an overheated debate.

    Besides, I’m ambivalent about the wisdom of hashing through these terrible events on media that are poorly suited to the careful, sensitive treatment that sexual abuse demands. Evil must be exposed, but I doubt that the internet is the best place to do it. Inevitably, the ones who are most wholly forgotten are the ones who were most deeply damaged.

    A few friends, though, have urged me to say something publicly, since, as has been reported, I was pastor of one of the abusers. These friends thought it would be useful for me to clarify my actions and offer my retrospective assessment of my performance as pastor. Other leaders from Trinity or Christ Church might see things differently, and my comments below are not intended as criticism of them or anyone else. I speak only for myself.

    First, I was pastor at Trinity Reformed Church when a member of the church, Jamin Wight, was charged with sexually abuse of a minor, a young teenage girl. By the time I learned of the abuse, it had ceased.

    Second, the report implies that I sided with Jamin. That is accurate in some ways. I did sit with him in court, as the report claims; I visited and wrote to Jamin while he was in his court-ordered program; I continued to be his friend and pastor. I believed, and still believe, that I had a duty to provide pastoral counsel and care to Jamin. Neither I nor the other elders at Trinity ignored or excused Jamin’s sin, and there was no attempt on my part or Doug Wilson’s to cover it up.

    Third, it is true, as was reported, that Jamin remained a member “in good standing” at Trinity. That means that he did not come under formal church discipline and was not excommunicated. It does not mean we excused his sin. We rebuked him, and I and the elders of Trinity admonished him repeatedly to repent fully. At the time, I believed he was repentant.

    It is clear now that I made major errors of judgment. Fundamentally, I misjudged Jamin, badly. I thought he was a godly young man who had fallen into sin. That was wrong. In the course of trying to pastor Jamin through other crises in his life, I came to realize that he is deceptive and highly manipulative, and that I allowed him to manipulate me. A number of the things I said about Jamin to the congregation and court at the time his abuse was uncovered were spun in Jamin’s favor; I am ashamed to realize that I used Jamin’s talking points. Though I never doubted that Jamin was guilty, I trusted his account of the circumstances more readily and longer than I should have, and conversely I disbelieved the victim’s parents (to the best of my recollection, I had no direct contact with the victim, who was a member of Christ Church). I should have seen through Jamin, and didn’t.

    As a result, I didn’t appreciate how much damage Jamin did and I was naive about the effect that the abuse had on the victim’s family. I recently asked her and her parents to forgive my pastoral failures, which they have done.

    – Peter J. Leithart”

  135. @ Dave A A:
    Of course, the do still call it The Kirk, silly me. The website is christkirkdotcom.
    I like to call it The Kirk for 2 reasons. Christ Church reminds me of a fine Church of Ireland cathedral, just down the street from St Patrick’s.
    And I think of a Star Trek episode where a robot seeking to destroy anything imperfect tells the captain, “You are The Kirk– the creator.” (Which is a mistake, and the robot thusly imperfect.)

  136. Dave A A wrote:

    Dave A A wrote:

    He Brews 13:17!

    In case it seems I just pulled is outta my hat, I just read an official email by a kirkelder of Trinity Reformed Church (sista Kirk of The Kirk) to Peter Roise (former friend of Jamin Wight and now former TRC member). It concludes:
    “We have developed some counseling protocol guidelines to our pastors who may face similar complicated situations in the future. These protocols aim to make the distinction between “friend” and “pastor” more clear and call for additional elder involvement at various points.
    At this point we are satisfied that due diligence has been done. We do not believe there is any further need for review. We hope that you will be able to receive this report in the spirit intended and submit to this decision with grace (Heb.13:17).
    Blessings in Christ, on behalf of the session,
    Chris Schlect
    https://www.facebook.com/peter.roise/posts/10207687175075380

    In other words, “butt out and let the *experts* (elders) handle things. We’ll decide what appropriate role you are allowed to play, in every situation.”

  137. The NSA boarding house issue has been a subject of conversation for several years in Moscow. The story begins forty years ago with Doug Wilson’s brother Evan. In the 1980’s Evan and his wife Leslie purchased a lovely home in a prestigious area of Moscow with beautiful Victorian and Queen Anne homes from the turn of the last century. Their home was admirably suited to become a boarding house for Christian students attending the University of Idaho. When Logos School was founded Evan was a faculty member, and also an early church officer. However, theological differences with Doug led to the firing of Evan from the school faculty and removal as a church officer. Evan continued to serve his own flock and eventually founded his own non-denominational church, All Souls.
    Although Doug and his younger brother have been estranged for many years, I do not know if the old conflicts continue at the present time.

    I believe the primary reason Doug encourages boarding houses for NSA students is the power of doling out financial opportunities in exchange for loyalty. The money that boarding students bring in allows families to purchase larger homes while contributing to increased family income. The majority of Christ Church wives do not work outside the home and handle the daily tasks of managing the boarding houses. At one time most of the elders ran boarding houses, frequently with three or four boarders to a home. This of course is a double edge sword. The generous income from boarders is irresistible in a single income household. On the other hand, if one weren’t in good graces with Doug one could lose that income over night. It is/was a way to ensure loyalty.

    Boarding houses are monitored by conditional use permits in Moscow.
    Prior to the changes in ordinance they were not allowed in residential neighborhoods. Christ Church boarding house owners ignored the statute. I do not know how many NSA boarding houses exist in Moscow at this time, but I am sure they are still popular income sources within the church. In other times the NSA website was not so vaguely coy about how to find a boarding situation. Now, they pretend to be disassociated from the process. However, I am certain that they will happily provide the names and address of homeowners who offer boarding opportunities.
    This is just one more example of the ways Doug ties financial benefit into church attendance and loyalty.
    Rose Huskey

  138. The hyperlinks I posted with this message did not come through.
    Readers can find out more by googling

    The hyperlinks to this post did not come through. To learn more about Evan and Leslie Wilson’s home google: Big Haus Moscow Idaho

    Evan Wilson church can be found by googling All Souls Church Moscow Idaho Spokesman Review Newspaper

    Moscow City Ordinance governing boarding houses can be found by googling City of Moscow Idaho boarding house ordinances.

    Google New Saint Andrews College student housing to check out the vague mention of boarding.

    Rose

  139. @ Cobber2076:
    Perhaps I came over a bit heavy-handed, but I wasn’t attacking you! I was trying to get across that there is a lot of speculation going on at the moment on the net, and I’m not convinced it is doing any good. In fact the reverse, because it confirms Douglas Wilson in his attitude that no-one can tell him anything.

    I’ve read enough of him to see this as a very possible character weakness. It doesn’t really matter if this means you can’t get him to change a stance on a doctrinal issue, that is not normally an issue of life and death, but it is a very real weakness if you cannot get him to change his mind on a pastoral issue which may actually be a matter of life and death, or as in this case, where very real harm could be done.

  140. @ Marsha:
    Marsha, I have in mind Wilson’s comments on Boz, with whom it would appear he is not having a private conversation (unless it is so private no-one else knows about it). Frankly I wish he would, as I don’t think anything else is likely to do much good.

    Boz doesn’t have an earthly about what I know or don’t know, counseled or did not counsel, said or did not say …

    What don’t I know? What books haven’t I read? On the basis of my ignorance, determined from afar, what books did I have Steven read? What was the outline of my counsel to Steven? What did I say to him? What did I say the root problem was? Well, Boz doesn’t know, does he?

    This is the problem with distant third parties trying to comment on what exactly went on. Now I’m sure some really do try to be as factual and objective as possible, but as far as comboxes are concerned, some of them leave more than a little to be desired.

    I do agree with you that there is more than enough in the public domain for believers to express legitimate concern at his actions, parallel for instance with Driscoll’s carryings on. The particular sin/crime in this case is about as bad as it can get when it comes to sexual immorality. An occasional comment does appear on Wilson’s blog from someone who in no wise could be considered a “hater”, and they too fail to find a satisfactory answer to their concerns. That damages his credibility in a way that saying ‘he preaches marital rape from the pulpit’ never could.

  141. Marsha wrote:

    Okay, got it. R Stollar tweeted a screenshot of Wight’s domestic violence conviction. He was charged with attempted strangulation for an incident which occurred on 2/20/13 and found guilty of domestic violence without a traumatic injury on 10/29/14. He received a small fine and a 30 day jail sentence.

    WHAT??? (she shrieked). Attempting to strangle someone is apparently a minor matter in Moscow. (The resemblances between the 2 Moscows seem to be multiplying.

  142. ” In other times the NSA website was not so vaguely coy about how to find a boarding situation. Now, they pretend to be disassociated from the process. ”

    If you know when they used to state things differently (roughly), it may be possible to find references to past policies using the Internet Wayback Machine (web.archive.org)

  143. Ken wrote:

    @
    I was trying to get across that there is a lot of speculation going on at the moment on the net, and I’m not convinced it is doing any good. In fact the reverse, because it confirms Douglas Wilson in his attitude that no-one can tell him anything.
    I’ve read enough of him to see this as a very possible character weakness. It doesn’t really matter if this means you can’t get him to change a stance on a doctrinal issue, that is not normally an issue of life and death, but it is a very real weakness if you cannot get him to change his mind on a pastoral issue which may actually be a matter of life and death, or as in this case, where very real harm could be done.

    I agree with you. When one is dealing with a person in power, whether in secular power or ecclesiastical power, and especially in a public debate, all it really takes is one small instance of over-stepping (either getting a fact wrong, name-calling, etc.) to undo one’s whole case. I am not sure of the psychology of this, but I have seen it play out in real life time and again. When attempting to speak to power, make sure your nose is 100% clean. I think this is especially the case when the target is not just the person in power but also people within his sphere of influence. People are going to give their pastors the benefit of the doubt. 1) he’s a leader and 2) he’s a religious leader. The initial data that contradicts their first impression will be explained away. We ALL do this in our lives when we begin to get data that contradicts a belief we hold. So the initial data will typically not topple the edifice of belief in the overall wonderfulness of the pastor, especially if he “preaches good sermons” because Protestant Christians tend to forget 1 Cor 13 and assume that good doctrine= good character. So any kind of misinformation given by those in opposition will be used by their brains to suggest that the source of this new information is corrupt. And certainly any kind of language that could be read as all-out attack will be met with defensive counter-attack by those who still believe in the good character of their pastor. It’s a good thing to keep in mind when commenting on message boards if a person wants to persuade as opposed to preach to the choir.

  144. @ Ken:
    My apologies; I pounded the keys harder than I should have in my response.

    I agree with you that our online chatter will not move Wilson away from his views or change his attitude. He’s too arrogant and self-assured (“unteachable” comes to mind) to believe that our arguments, speculation, even recitation of facts, hold any weight. But the community around him–the church, the “denomination,” the town–can still be swayed. Witness Peter Leithart’s statement last night for a glimpse of what can happen to those in Wilson’s orbit.

    I also agree with you that Wilson has a serious character weakness; it damages his ability to pastor, and the evidences of that are many. The letter to Gary, any number of arrogant postings to his blog, the increasing frequency of his defenses and protestations in the wake of the Sitler affair and the exhumation of the Wight affair–all support your view. Maybe I should be less cynical, but I don’t think Wilson will ever come to the place of humility and confession that Peter Leithart has reached. I believe there’s still hope for those he has led astray, and that’s where our conversations can (and hopefully will) do some good.

    Thanks for engaging with me. I’m new at conversing in the comments and I appreciate your patience.

  145. refugee wrote:

    We hope that you will be able to receive this report in the spirit intended and submit to this decision with grace (Heb.13:17).
    Blessings in Christ, on behalf of the session,
    Chris Schlect

    An elder that signs off like this is an elder to run from.

  146. @ Velour:

    I seem to be a most ungracious voice in all of this. Peter Leithart openly apologized after this scandal was made public and his name was attached to it. He gave a noble-sounding excuse for his prior silence. There was no “whatever I have to do, whatever is asked of me, I will do in order to make things right with all offended parties.” Yet all praise him for his humility. He did the very least he had to do to salvage his reputation and position. Think of it: Natalie Rose accepted his apology in a recent Facebook comment; so this is the first time she’s heard an apology from him? He has been aware of these sins for years and he just now got around to it?

    We just don’t seem to want to get that there is no accountability for any “Christian leader” who has acquired for himself any degree of public persona. He doesn’t “have to” do anything. No one can hold him to the accountability standard of 1 Timothy, and I don’t recall any leader so broken by his sins against the flock ever relinquishing his position, salary, and status to become simply a member of the flock, humbly working with his own hands, cleaning the bathrooms and delivering meals.

  147. From Peter Leithart’s Facebook post: (I capitalized the last paragraph because I don’t know how to modify the font on these comments.)

    It is clear now that I made major errors of judgment. Fundamentally, I misjudged Jamin, badly. I thought he was a godly young man who had fallen into sin. That was wrong. In the course of trying to pastor Jamin through other crises in his life, I came to realize that he is deceptive and highly manipulative, and that I allowed him to manipulate me. A number of the things I said about Jamin to the congregation and court at the time his abuse was uncovered were spun in Jamin’s favor; I am ashamed to realize that I used Jamin’s talking points. Though I never doubted that Jamin was guilty, I trusted his account of the circumstances more readily and longer than I should have, and conversely I disbelieved the victim’s parents (to the best of my recollection, I had no direct contact with the victim, who was a member of Christ Church). I should have seen through Jamin, and didn’t.

    As a result, I didn’t appreciate how much damage Jamin did and I was naive about the effect that the abuse had on the victim’s family. I RECENTLY ASKED her and her parents to forgive my pastoral failures, which they have done.

    – Peter J. Leithart

  148. @ Cobber2076:
    No problem. I know I sometimes come across as officious, not intentionally, but unfortunately it just happens! And once posted, it’s too late!

  149. Abi Miah wrote:

    When attempting to speak to power, make sure your nose is 100% clean.

    And nobody’s nose is 100% clean.
    Remember all those confidential FBI files on Hillary’s desk?

  150. Bridget wrote:

    refugee wrote:
    We hope that you will be able to receive this report in the spirit intended and submit to this decision with grace (Heb.13:17).
    Blessings in Christ, on behalf of the session,
    Chris Schlect
    An elder that signs off like this is an elder to run from.

    Ah yes….written in super sweet Christianese. Because if you don’t submit to OUR decision with GRACE, we will have to DISCIPLINE you.

  151. @ Darlene:

    “I was naive about the effect that the abuse had on the victim’s family…”
    +++++++++++++++

    it is very good of Peter Leithart to have taken responsibility for his previous reaction. but this statement he made is amazing to me. has imagination been turned off in his subculture? what forever for? why has empathy been snuffed? was it never allowed to develop?

  152. elastigirl wrote:

    …but this statement he made is amazing to me. has imagination been turned off in his subculture? what forever for? why has empathy been snuffed? was it never allowed to develop?

    Yes on all counts, but DEFINITELY yes on the first: “has imaginstion been turned off in his subculture?” Just look at the art, fiction , and movies (especially attempts at F&SF) coming out of the Christianese bubble compared to the mainstream. They call it “Jesus Junk” for a reason, and anyone with imagination or creativity has the choice of doing Jesus Junk propaganda or going over the Berlin Wall.

    And “what forever for?” Because in that Bubble, imagination is Worldly and Fleshly. Anything that doesn’t Save Souls and Sell That Fire Insurance is Of The Devil.

    And as for the last two, “why has empathy been snuffed? was it never allowed to develop?”, that’s more of an abusive hierarchy. Empathy is a liability next to climbing the POWER structure over the pewpeons. Empathy is a liability when you might have to throw them under the bus to advance or protect yourself or Prove to PASTOR/Dictator that you’re Worthy and Godly Enough to be his next Court Favorite. Just look at power structures of old monarchies or contemporary dictatorships. Abuse or Be Abused. Look at the picture of Fearless Leader and everybody stomp harder.

  153. Janet Varin wrote:

    It is clear now that I made major errors of judgment. Fundamentally, I misjudged Jamin, badly. I thought he was a godly young man who had fallen into sin. That was wrong. In the course of trying to pastor Jamin through other crises in his life, I came to realize that he is deceptive and highly manipulative, and that I allowed him to manipulate me. A number of the things I said about Jamin to the congregation and court at the time his abuse was uncovered were spun in Jamin’s favor; I am ashamed to realize that I used Jamin’s talking points. Though I never doubted that Jamin was guilty, I trusted his account of the circumstances more readily and longer than I should have, and conversely I disbelieved the victim’s parents (to the best of my recollection, I had no direct contact with the victim, who was a member of Christ Church). I should have seen through Jamin, and didn’t.

    This reminds me of an incident in the memoirs of John Douglas, retired FBI profiler (and one of the first generation of profilers) specializing in serial killers.

    He was making a presentation to a psychiatric professional association, detailing sociopathic manipulation and how to prepare for a “long con”. His type example was serial killer Edmund Kemper (two meters tall, 150 kilos, IQ 140), whom he had interviewed in prison as part of his research.

    Kemper racked up six kills while under psychiatric care as a condition of his parole for a prior charge. He worked a long con on the shrink who reported favorable progress while killing/dismembering/necro-raping six victims and hanging out with cop drinking buddies at a cop bar. Able to compartmentalize so nobody other than his victims suspected him. (Until he escalated to his real target all along — his incredibly-abusive mother.)

    After the presentation, one of the shrinks in the audience came up to Douglas, looking very jumpy and distraught. In private, he told Douglas that he was Kemper’s psychiatrist, the one who didn’t suspect a thing. That HE was the shrink Kemper had conned (using that word). According to the memoir, he sounded somewhat like the above Leithart’s Facebook post.

  154. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Darlene:
    “I was naive about the effect that the abuse had on the victim’s family…”
    +++++++++++++++
    it is very good of Peter Leithart to have taken responsibility for his previous reaction. but this statement he made is amazing to me. has imagination been turned off in his subculture? what forever for? why has empathy been snuffed? was it never allowed to develop?

    Yes, empathy is snuffed. I am not speaking to the subculture of those particular churches but in general in the Neocal movement and its affiliates. For one thing, a subculture where the pastor is the all-out unquestionable authority is very attractive to narcissists, who by definition are lacking in empathy. But they get away with that because the larger theological teachings emphasize right (rigid) thinking over love. So they have very rigid categories for determining sin. They cannot allow themselves to let perhaps their gut empathy keep them from their main job of rooting out sin. Keep in mind that apparently in many church cultures affected by Neocalvinism, rooting out members’ sin is considered of primary importance in dealing with issues. They don’t seem to have any sense of proportion of sin or any sense that attending to wounds and grief might actually be the most important thing in any given situation. As many have noted in this blog, there seems to be an absence of trust for the Holy Spirit to convict individuals outside of the imposition of the opinion of their leaders as to what is sinful in their lives. So if those are the things that you truly believe with all your heart are most important, it is not surprising that love/empathy get shoved aside.

  155. Janet Varin wrote:

    I seem to be a most ungracious voice in all of this. Peter Leithart openly apologized after this scandal was made public and his name was attached to it. He gave a noble-sounding excuse for his prior silence. There was no “whatever I have to do, whatever is asked of me, I will do in order to make things right with all offended parties.” Yet all praise him for his humility. He did the very least he had to do to salvage his reputation and position. Think of it: Natalie Rose accepted his apology in a recent Facebook comment; so this is the first time she’s heard an apology from him? He has been aware of these sins for years and he just now got around to it?

    @Janet,

    Good questions…why now? Apparently there is still unfinished business as Natalie’s father Gary Greenfield posted this over at Katie Botkin’s website yesterday at 10:21 p.m. about Peter’s letter:

    “Dear Peter, As I stated in my last letter to you, yes, I do forgive you for your pastoral failures in regards to the way you dealt with Natalie’s abuse. What you have to this day neglected to repent of is your complicity in ripping our marriage apart with your own abusive and irresponsible accusations against me in front of my wife. When we came to you for pastoral care regarding our marriage, I knew I was going into the lions den when we met with you but I was desperate to win my wife back and she is the one who insisted on meeting with you. It is still vivid in my memory watching my wife break down emotionally and run out of the restaurant we met at because of your accusations against me of being a heretic and idolator because I was embracing the ancient faith of Eastern Orthodoxy.”

    http://kbotkin.com/2015/09/10/the-letter-on-christ-church-stationary/#comment-8282

  156. Rose Huskey wrote:

    This is just one more example of the ways Doug ties financial benefit into church attendance and loyalty.
    Rose Huskey

    Thank you for that explanation, Rose. It makes sense.

  157. Ken wrote:

    (Doug Wilson said) Boz doesn’t have an earthly about what I know or don’t know, counseled or did not counsel, said or did not say …

    What don’t I know? What books haven’t I read? On the basis of my ignorance, determined from afar, what books did I have Steven read? What was the outline of my counsel to Steven? What did I say to him? What did I say the root problem was? Well, Boz doesn’t know, does he?

    (Ken said) This is the problem with distant third parties trying to comment on what exactly went on.

    I think I disagree with the point you’re trying to make. You are, charitably, taking Wilson at his word, and it sounds reasonable to you. Perhaps you have a vast experience with manipulators and I am about to try and teach you how to suck eggs, in a manner of speaking, but I read Wilson’s words completely differently in the context of the situation.

    This would be a reasonable argument, if it were a reasonable man making it. However, Wilson is well known for obfuscating with fancy wordsmithing. If he is clearly in the right, he will come out and clearly express it. If he cannot defend his actions in clear language, he raises as much dust and confusion as possible, disguised as elegant or complex-sounding language.

    I see these objections to Boz T’s concerns in the same light as Wilson insisting that he get written permission from Pat, the girl’s mother (who remained loyal to Wilson for whatever reason, even though Wilson blamed the girl and the father in addition to the pedophile), before he comment on the something-or-other that the mother hadn’t even been involved in, from what I remember.

    The words ring with righteous arrogance. I have actually met Wilson on more than one occasion, and have sat under his teaching, so I think I understand the tone, perhaps better than you might, perhaps not. (I was hoodwinked by these people for quite awhile.)

    One favored technique of gaslighters, obfuscators, and (I forget what term I actually want to employ, but it’s a term for people who try to direct your attention to something, when something else is actually happening) is to tell you that you don’t know the entire story, and therefore you have no right (evidently) to express any opinion at all on the matter, except the “approved” opinion of the person who is spinning the story. In this case, Wilson himself.

    I don’t know if I’m making sense; it’s been very stressful around here and I am currently avoiding reality for a blessed hour.

  158. @ refugee:
    In other words, these objections would mean more if they came from an honest man. I am not so certain of Wilson’s honesty and integrity, and not because of what others have said about him, but from reading his own words, straight from his keyboard and not taken out of context by someone quoting him.

  159. elastigirl wrote:

    it is very good of Peter Leithart to have taken responsibility for his previous reaction. but this statement he made is amazing to me. has imagination been turned off in his subculture? what forever for? why has empathy been snuffed? was it never allowed to develop?

    Elastigirl, well put. Imagination and empathy are such important qualities for Christians — and so many Christian thinkers and leaders never even seem to realize it.

  160. Janet Varin wrote:

    (I capitalized the last paragraph because I don’t know how to modify the font on these comments.)

    Janet, just fyi

    When you highlight some text and quote it, look at how it appears in the comment box before you post. See the [blockquote] and [/blockquote] bracketing the text? The principle is the same for bold and italicized text.

    You italicize by typing a less-than-sign, followed by the letters em, followed by a greater-than sign.

    Then type the text. Then close the special font (see next line).

    To close, you type a less-than-sign, a slash that goes from lower left to upper right, then the letters em, then the greater-than-sign.

    It would look something like this (if it works in this medium)
    I am going to quote with [em]italicized text[/em] and everything else will be normal text.

    To bold, you simply put the word strong in place of (in the italics instructions) the letters em.
    I am going to emphasize with [strong]bold text[/strong] and everything else will be as usual.

    Just replace the square brackets with angle brackets (less-than and greater-than symbols). And don’t forget to close the special text, or *everything* that follows will be bolded and/or italicized. It can be tricky.

    Hope this helps.

  161. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:
    …but this statement he made is amazing to me. has imagination been turned off in his subculture? what forever for? why has empathy been snuffed? was it never allowed to develop?
    Yes on all counts, but DEFINITELY yes on the first: “has imaginstion been turned off in his subculture?” Just look at the art, fiction , and movies (especially attempts at F&SF) coming out of the Christianese bubble compared to the mainstream. They call it “Jesus Junk” for a reason, and anyone with imagination or creativity has the choice of doing Jesus Junk propaganda or going over the Berlin Wall.
    And “what forever for?” Because in that Bubble, imagination is Worldly and Fleshly. Anything that doesn’t Save Souls and Sell That Fire Insurance is Of The Devil.
    And as for the last two, “why has empathy been snuffed? was it never allowed to develop?”, that’s more of an abusive hierarchy. Empathy is a liability next to climbing the POWER structure over the pewpeons. Empathy is a liability when you might have to throw them under the bus to advance or protect yourself or Prove to PASTOR/Dictator that you’re Worthy and Godly Enough to be his next Court Favorite. Just look at power structures of old monarchies or contemporary dictatorships. Abuse or Be Abused. Look at the picture of Fearless Leader and everybody stomp harder.

    Not only that, but Peter Leithart is of the intellectual neo-reformers crowd. These people adore arguing abstract, abstruse theological points. Listening to their erudite discussions, one feels one is breathing rarefied air. The gospel is supposed to be clear and so simple a child can understand it, but these men seem to enjoy obfuscating it as an intellectual exercise.

  162. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    refugee wrote:
    people who try to direct your attention to something, when something else is actually happening)
    “Deflectors”?

    That might be it. It’s a contender, anyhow.

  163. Just when you think it can’t get any worse…it does. These pedophiles are dyed-in-the-wool psychopaths. Any grace you would extend to them is worthless. You may as well be talking to a rotted piece of wood. They are beyond redemption and will say anything when caught. They find opportunities in places where kids are available and what better place than a closed off cult? Stroke the ego of the narcissist who runs the joint and your golden. All you can do is protect your kids as best you can. If that makes me un-Christian…well, I’ve handed in my Christian membership card, so…

  164. Jack wrote:

    They find opportunities in places where kids are available

    Hi Jack,
    I posted the link to Pastor Jimmy Hinton’s very good 2-hour video on child sexual abuse in the church at the top of the page here under the Interesting tab, Movies etc section for those who would like to watch a video on the topic.

    Jimmy turned in his pastor/father for sexually abusing children in the church they have both pastored, a Church of Christ denomination. His father is serving a life sentence in prison for sexually abusing 23 known victims. Jimmy and the rest of his family (including his mom Clara Hinton at the Finding a Healing Place blog) have become advocates for victims and prevention.

  165. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    refugee wrote:
    people who try to direct your attention to something, when something else is actually happening)
    “Deflectors”?

    The art of misdirection. Wilson and his ilk are as good at it as any dealer of three-card monte.

  166. refugee wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:
    …but this statement he made is amazing to me. has imagination been turned off in his subculture? what forever for? why has empathy been snuffed? was it never allowed to develop?
    Yes on all counts, but DEFINITELY yes on the first: “has imaginstion been turned off in his subculture?” Just look at the art, fiction , and movies (especially attempts at F&SF) coming out of the Christianese bubble compared to the mainstream. They call it “Jesus Junk” for a reason, and anyone with imagination or creativity has the choice of doing Jesus Junk propaganda or going over the Berlin Wall.
    And “what forever for?” Because in that Bubble, imagination is Worldly and Fleshly. Anything that doesn’t Save Souls and Sell That Fire Insurance is Of The Devil.
    And as for the last two, “why has empathy been snuffed? was it never allowed to develop?”, that’s more of an abusive hierarchy. Empathy is a liability next to climbing the POWER structure over the pewpeons. Empathy is a liability when you might have to throw them under the bus to advance or protect yourself or Prove to PASTOR/Dictator that you’re Worthy and Godly Enough to be his next Court Favorite. Just look at power structures of old monarchies or contemporary dictatorships. Abuse or Be Abused. Look at the picture of Fearless Leader and everybody stomp harder.

    Not only that, but Peter Leithart is of the intellectual neo-reformers crowd. These people adore arguing abstract, abstruse theological points. Listening to their erudite discussions, one feels one is breathing rarefied air. The gospel is supposed to be clear and so simple a child can understand it, but these men seem to enjoy obfuscating it as an intellectual exercise.

    I think the point I was trying to make was that scripture knowledge becomes a matter of the head, excluding the heart.

  167. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    They call it “Jesus Junk” for a reason, and anyone with imagination or creativity has the choice of doing Jesus Junk propaganda or going over the Berlin Wall.

    And “what forever for?” Because in that Bubble, imagination is Worldly and Fleshly. Anything that doesn’t Save Souls and Sell That Fire Insurance is Of The Devil.

    Yup, over the Berlin Wall.

  168. Velour wrote:

    Apparently there is still unfinished business

    Doesn’t Paul teach that believers ought to stay with an unbelieving spouse? And Peter teaches that a wife might win her unbelieving husband without a word? (If he were an unbeliever, which he’s not)
    I’m reminded of this story:
    http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2012/08/07/can-spiritual-abuse-destroy-a-marriage-pauls-story/
    Which concludes, “I have left the church and now I’m trying to pick up the pieces of my shattered life. My soon-to-be ex-wife has remained loyal to the church and to this day still makes excuses for the Pastors actions.”

  169. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    refugee wrote:
    people who try to direct your attention to something, when something else is actually happening)
    “Deflectors”?

    Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain….Wizard of Oz! 😉

  170. Highlighting this new comment on katie botkin’s blog, from “Former CREC Church Member”

    “As an example, it came out that Steven Sitler molested children in R.C. Sproul Jr’s church where Sitler spent the summer immediately before heading off to Moscow and NSA. It appears that R.C. Sproul Jr. did pretty much the same thing that Wilson did and covered it up.”

    I hadn’t heard about this. Anyone else?

  171. refugee wrote:

    I have actually met Wilson on more than one occasion, and have sat under his teaching, so I think I understand the tone, perhaps better than you might,

    You are obviously in a much better position than I am to guage his character. I’m glad you added this comment, as I don’t want to exercise that non-gift of the Spirit the gift of gullibility!

    I can only go by what he writes which makes getting at what he is really like much harder, though not impossible to gain a rough idea.

    This actually a good illustration of trying to assess what went on and what went wrong by Internet. I’ve appreciated some of his writing, but I cannot imagine ever being at home in his church. I can’t help but think it would take over my entire life. Been there, done that, and come out of the other end! Someone once said that as a rule of thumb (i.e. not too seriously) ‘God wants a tenth of your money and a seventh of your time’, meaning most of your time and money is for ‘normal’ life that occurs outside of churchy activities.

  172. refugee wrote:

    it’s been very stressful around here and I am currently avoiding reality for a blessed hour.

    Nearly missed this. In my opinion, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a rest from ‘church’. Come away and rest awhile. If going to church in effect is little more than allowing others to pour cold water on your faith, you are better of out of it.

    I doubt very much if it is actually church you want to have a break from, rather the politics and sundry carryings on, the things that do not build you up in your most holy faith, but rather undermine it.

  173. The commenter at Katie’s blog also asserts that Sitler had over 200 victims, and that Doug Wilson knew this. “He confessed to molesting multiple children in multiple states, something like close to 200 children, and Wilson well knew it too.”

    I wonder if the Deebs could follow up with this person?

  174. @ rike:

    The commentor should take any additional information they have to the police in Moscow, ID. It is a bit hard to believe that Law Enforcement didn’t bring all charges they had against Sitler. If other people have come forward since then, they should go to the police. Wilson is not the answer for protection.

  175. @ rike:

    It was mentioned a couple of times only in passing around 2005 when Sitler was first exposed. Nothing more than that. To my knowledge no one from Jr’s church ever came forward.

    The only one that handled it properly was the OPC church in Collville WA.

  176. Hey Deebs, in reading the pulpit and pen link from Darlene, it seems you can add another new name to ever growing list of insults–leeches.

    I think I might have to “chortle” about that all day long…and whatever other things we “survivor blog” people like to do. Cheers!

  177. Darlene wrote:

    Wartburg Watch readers, guess who has addressed the Sitler case. J.D. Hall. Hey Dee, he mentioned you and TWW.
    http://pulpitandpen.org/2015/09/14/douglas-wilson-pedophiles-and-pastors/

    Thanks for the link Darlene. I hastily read it, and got the impression DW is known and highly regarded
    by Hall. Hall’s summary of the Sitler situation?

    “it seems that the crime committed by Douglas Wilson is his shameful lack of omniscience – and how dare he not be omniscient.”

  178. Janet quotes Hall:
    Janet Varin wrote:

    and how dare he not be omniscient.”

    Wow, Hall. That was pretty pathetic. Miss the point much? Miss it completely?
    It’s time for you worthless leaders to get a clue.
    No one is asking of omniscience. But a thimble full of decency and half ounce of common sense would be a great start since you all seem to have none.

  179. Hall’s take on the matter is so bad I will not bother to read it again, but I seem to recall he states that Katie was fully “cognizant” of the realities of marrying a man with Sitler’s background and she was fully aware of his background.

    This my friends is what we call filling in some blanks and creating a narrative that is very self-serving. She has been a bit of an unknown in this whole situation, but all evidence has pointed to her being a woman who is naive and immersed in the patriarchy culture, which means she as female was not an absolute free agent but under someone’s covering, fully embracing the leading and advice of males in her sphere of influence. For a culture steeped in patriarchy to say she married of her own free will is being disingenuous. Do not the males in authority pick and approve the suitor?

  180. @ Mara:

    Omniscience wasn’t needed. Common sense is all it would have taken to prevent this train wreck.

  181. JeffT wrote:

    I had no idea that Moscow ID was a City of Refuge for child molesters. Must have missed that in the Old Testament.

    It’s probably in the Gospel of Saint Wombat the Scratchy. 😉

  182. Darlene wrote:

    Wartburg Watch readers, guess who has addressed the Sitler case. J.D. Hall. Hey Dee, he mentioned you and TWW.
    http://pulpitandpen.org/2015/09/14/douglas-wilson-pedophiles-and-pastors/

    Wow! Just when you think ‘ole JD couldn’t go any lower, he outdoes himself. And he just can’t resist hurling childish insults at uppity wimmin who dare question any megalomaniac who self-appoints themselves as a ‘minister’.

    As noted above, JD, as usual, completely misses the point. The point being that DW let his buddy act as matchmaker for a serial child molester. That he actually officiated the wedding despite all the alarms raised elsewhere, no omniscience required, so a vulnerable woman was sent into the arms of a child molester with DW’s consent. That, when a child in DW’s congregation is molested, DW ignores the child and the family like they’re trash in order to ‘minister’ and advocate for the child molester. And on, and on.

    With JD’s complete lack of Christian love and doctrines of oppression, being the target of his rants means your on the Christian side of things, because whatever JD’s selling is a pension of it.

  183. @ Janet Varin:
    I read the link, and one sentence that stood out was that Sitler is the one who committed the crimes. No-one else is guilty of this, the worst they could be accused of is failing to prevent crime or underestimating its seriousness or the abiltiy to manipulate such perpetrators can manage.

    I remember a program on UK TV featuring what had happened to people who had briefly been in the limelight for something. This included two social workers who had failed to prevent abuse and I believe the eventual murder of a child. I recollected at the time the press were all over them for this failure, they were hated and villified. They of course had to live with the consequences of their mistakes after the headlines had moved on.

    The point is, and I commented on this to my better half during the program, that it was the step-father and mother who were guilty of the crime, of the neglect and only them. They are the ones to whom the guilt applies. It seemed grossly unfair to hound the social workers as if they were more or less party to the crime.

    There is some parallel with the current case. I’m not saying the social workers or Douglas Wilson be absolved from criticism for a failure of judgement or unwillingness to act when they should, but this must not be at the expense of seeing the real culprit is the person actually committing the deed.

    Anyway, I’m off for my hols now, so an absence of commenting is due to this reason.

  184. rike wrote:

    The commenter at Katie’s blog also asserts that Sitler had over 200 victims, and that Doug Wilson knew this. “He confessed to molesting multiple children in multiple states, something like close to 200 children, and Wilson well knew it too.”

    I wonder if the Deebs could follow up with this person?

    It seems, from what I have been reading, that Idaho’s criminal laws and punishments are very weak. Even its citizens have been on Facebook, outraged at this mess and how is it that Sitler isn’t in prison.

    I think if the commenter knows information that Sitler has sexually abused children in multiple states that it would be a safer route to report it to the F.B.I.

  185. JeffT wrote:

    That he actually officiated the wedding despite all the alarms raised elsewhere, no omniscience required, so a vulnerable woman was sent into the arms of a child molester with DW’s consent.

    And standing direct orders to “Go Forth and Multiply”.
    Preferably every nine months.

  186. refugee wrote:

    Not only that, but Peter Leithart is of the intellectual neo-reformers crowd. These people adore arguing abstract, abstruse theological points.

    Party Ideologists.
    Party Intellectuals.

    Sure the “rarified air” isn’t the smell of their own farts?
    POOT! SNIFF! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH….

  187. Don’t think this has beenlinked, from someone named Sarah. Encouraging:

    https://thenewblogproject.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/letter-to-a-brother-in-christ/

    “My confidence is increased by taking counsel with other friends who have left the CREC or similar church environments and by the fact that Boz Tchividjian, who knows much more than I will ever have to about abuse in Christian environments, shares the same concerns (not to mention Julie Anne Smith, Dee Parsons, and Rachel Miller; all are very informed on abuse; I do not agree with all of them theologically, sometimes on very important points, but I do trust the combined wisdom of these sources when it comes to their areas of expertise).”

  188. Bunsen Honeydew wrote:

    For a culture steeped in patriarchy to say she married of her own free will is being disingenuous

    According to CREC Memes’ blog in Moscow, Idaho, young women in Moscow are trained to think that something is wrong with them if they aren’t married at a young age, that their failure to marry and have children means that they have completely failed as women. At 23, Katie was considered to be an old maid.

  189. @ Velour:

    The commenter at Katie’s blog also asserts that Sitler had over 200 victims

    I think if the commenter knows information that Sitler has sexually abused children in multiple states that it would be a safer route to report it to the F.B.I.

    Definitely. That’s a big accusation and if it’s true it needs to get to the proper authorities ASAP.

  190. Mara wrote:

    Janet quotes Hall:
    Janet Varin wrote:

    and how dare he not be omniscient.”

    Wow, Hall. That was pretty pathetic. Miss the point much? Miss it completely?
    It’s time for you worthless leaders to get a clue.
    No one is asking of omniscience. But a thimble full of decency and half ounce of common sense would be a great start since you all seem to have none.

    How about asking him to be “wise as a serpent and innocent (or is it “gentle”?) as a dove”?

  191. Bunsen Honeydew wrote:

    but all evidence has pointed to her being a woman who is naive and immersed in the patriarchy culture, which means she as female was not an absolute free agent but under someone’s covering, fully embracing the leading and advice of males in her sphere of influence. For a culture steeped in patriarchy to say she married of her own free will is being disingenuous. Do not the males in authority pick and approve the suitor?

    Have you read the blog by the woman who went through a courtship in the CREC and broke it off with great difficulty? It was linked from Peter Roice’s Facebook entries with the hash tag #healthekirk.

  192. FYI:

    I will be in the Moscow, Idaho area on Friday and Saturday (9/18-19) and would love to meet with those who have growing concerns about Pastor Doug Wilson of Christ Church and associates.

    The gathering will be private, confidential, and with the intent of sharing and supporting one another.
    If you would like to join, please contact me at spiritualsb@gmail.com
    Thanks, Julie Anne

  193. Ken wrote:

    They are the ones to whom the guilt applies. It seemed grossly unfair to hound the social workers as if they were more or less party to the crime.

    I’m not sure that there is an effort to transfer the guilt from Sitler to Wilson, but to determine the level of Wilson’s complicity. I think the analogy of the social workers breaks down on a number of fronts. I’m having trouble seeing Wilson as a simple servant, trying to do his best, and being vilified for normal human error.

  194. Another article from the blog in Moscow, Idaho, that has done an excellent job of covering the Sitler case and documenting everything.

    If you have the opportunity to support this Idaho bunch of bloggers and post some supportive comments, that would be nice for them to hear! You can really tell that they have worked incredibly hard.
    http://moscowid.net/2015/09/17/the-open-letter-part-4-ministering-to-broken-people/?utm_content=buffer5e0fb&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  195. @ Julie Anne:
    Oh good! Not a long trip for you, I think?

    Who knows what person may be able to get some help from a kind blogging stranger?

    You go girl.

    🙂

  196. Bill M wrote:

    I’m having trouble seeing Wilson as a simple servant, trying to do his best, and being vilified for normal human error.

    So am I.
    DW’s involved up to his eyebrows and (more important) his EGO.

  197. refugee wrote:

    Have you read the blog by the woman who went through a courtship in the CREC and broke it off with great difficulty? It was linked from Peter Roice’s Facebook entries with the hash tag #healthekirk.

    Can you give us a URL instead of “hashtag hashtag hashtag”?

  198. Velour wrote:

    young women in Moscow are trained to think that something is wrong with them if they aren’t married at a young age, that their failure to marry and have children means that they have completely failed as women. At 23, Katie was considered to be an old maid.

    And at 23, that’s at least 5 years she could have been making (5) babies for Pastor and Kirk.

  199. Deb, Dee:

    I’ve been noticing three “website down/does not exist” situations in three days.

    Interesting that this started happening when you blogged against Pastor PCCP and the Kirk…

  200. Bunsen Honeydew wrote:

    Wouldn’t it be nice to see DW’s reformed buddies speak to the tragedy of sexual abuse in the church and, specifically, these sordid matters in Christ Church with the same zealousness and fervor as some doctrinal issue they would die on a hill for?

    But therein lies the problem. The hill they are willing to die on is control and authority (headship, whatever the jargon word of the week is for that craving for power). In order to establish and maintain power, they have doctrinally bought into a fantasy that if the husband is the head of the family and they are the head of all the husbands, they are too perfectly ordered for this sort of mess. So, when the authority lovers all begin to show their true colours and pedophiles begin to pop up, the only thing their silly doctrines allow, is to either blame the victim or sweep it under a rug called “nothing to see here” (or both). Piper’s doctrine, in particular is so focused on men being in charge of women that his is preaching a heresy (since the third century) to enforce it. It is in his teachings on Jesus being the subordinate member of the Trinity (I won’t bore you). Why he is willing to preach a heresy is because he needs to have some sort of doctrinal backing that keeps women lower than men. Why? because in their neo-cal world they are the top authority and no one can question it (if they tie it to the Trinity, most people non-educated in church doctrine/dogma will back off). Not me, of course 😉 I gleefully tell everyone John Piper is preaching heresy. I suspect Doug Wilson agrees with him, but haven’t checked, if so – he is a heretic too 🙂

  201. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    refugee wrote:

    Have you read the blog by the woman who went through a courtship in the CREC and broke it off with great difficulty? It was linked from Peter Roice’s Facebook entries with the hash tag #healthekirk.

    Can you give us a URL instead of “hashtag hashtag hashtag”?

    Sorry, working from my phone with spotty internet.

  202. Q wrote:

    Is this it?

    This testimony against DW’s way of doing church, courtship, and headship is pretty damning.
    I’m pretty sure Katie was also told by the elders to trust her head. No matter what he was, said, or did.

    Saying that a female under their influence is ever even allowed to make decisions independent of her ‘head’, well, those elders are being quite dishonest.

  203. Val wrote:

    I gleefully tell everyone John Piper is preaching heresy.

    Me too. Not exactly a popular stance where I live. Don’t care. Maybe at least they will start listening closely and questioning what he teaches. Of course, most of the YRR here are using Piper cut and paste sermons, too.

  204. Mara wrote:

    This testimony against DW’s way of doing church, courtship, and headship is pretty damning.
    I’m pretty sure Katie was also told by the elders to trust her head. No matter what he was, said, or did.
    Saying that a female under their influence is ever even allowed to make decisions independent of her ‘head’, well, those elders are being quite dishonest.

    This male headship, old fashioned gender roles, gender complementarian, patriarchy stuff also didn’t work out for the Duggar family, either.
    It didn’t keep their son out of sexual trouble nor did it protect their female baby sitter or the sisters.

    There is a problem with male headship / gender comp teachings – it’s not just with how it’s implemented. At the root, it’s sexist and unbiblical.

  205. Ken wrote:

    Somebody said in the thread above that Steven Sitler re-offended. But there is no reason for saying this. He has not re-offended. That is a factual error that is now in wide circulation, and it is a factual error that is doing real damage to real people in real time. The disagreement before the judge is over whether certain possible indicators are worrisome enough to more strictly define or restrict the terms of Steven’s probation. It is not whether he should go to prison again for a re-offense.
    This kind of rumour mill doesn’t help the situation at all.

    (I added bold)

    You complain about rumours, but you are not dealing in facts either. You believe or hope he has not re-offended, but cannot make the factual statement that he did not. The “certain possible indicators” which may be “worrisome enough to more strictly define or restrict the terms of Steven’s probation” is clues that he may – for all they know – have re-offended but they cannot prove it above reasonable doubt.

  206. Victorious wrote:

    I also thought about the “Learned Helplessness” behavior that might contribute to the passivity of those involved in Patriarchal communities. Just thinking out loud here….

    To go against your Spiritual Leader is to go against God himself who has appointed your Spiritual Leader to protect you from your own sinful flesh. There is a strong thread of superstition in this system which mimics animism, IMO. This particular cultic system is built on FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) and Leader Veneration rather than love and respect for one’s brothers and sisters in Christ. For people like me who have seen the dirty inside, at one level it is not difficult to understand intellectually. Emotionally and spiritually it is very difficult to comprehend why people do the things they do in cults generally and in this cult specifically.

  207. @ Darlene:
    I do not believe a word from the mouth of Peter Leithart. His statement is, IMO, political posturing of the kind Matt Chandler did when Driscoll was melting down. Make no mistake about it. Peter Leithart and James Jordan are the theologians behind Doug Wilson. They have their own think tank that is not as closely associated with the fortunes in Moscow. It is those two and the other Recons/Federal Visionists who made Doug Wilson. They own him just as much as all of the Driscoll enablers own him. Leithart comes across as learned and Jordan comes across as a deep thinker. These are men who have been about power since the late 70’s at least. Sorry if my bitterness is showing, but I just want people to understand the context for Leithart’s “apology.”

  208. Cobber2076 wrote:

    But the community around him–the church, the “denomination,” the town–can still be swayed. Witness Peter Leithart’s statement last night for a glimpse of what can happen to those in Wilson’s orbit.

    Leithart’s post is self-serving in the same way that so many others had self-serving posts about Driscoll. There was Matt Chandler. And Paul Tripp. And Tim Keller. IMO what they wrote when the Driscoll situation became unrecoverable is very similar to what Leithart posted. Leithart and his “fellows” at Theopolis have not recanted their authoritarian views regarding women and the laity. But Wilson has become an embarrassment. Leithart has a long history before TRC.

  209. elastigirl wrote:

    this statement he made is amazing to me. has imagination been turned off in his subculture? what forever for? why has empathy been snuffed? was it never allowed to develop?

    Peter Leithart is a big reason why the subculture is the way it is, so he understands it better than most. I believe there was a parting of the ways between Theopolis and Moscow and Theopolis does not want to be burdened by Wilson’s baggage now that they cannot cover it up. This has happened before with the Recons/FV and it will happen again because they all view themselves as kings.

  210. Mara wrote:

    Jamin’s victim’s witness against both Jamin and DW. Explicit, Trigger alert.
    http://natalierose-livewithpassion.blogspot.com/2015/09/yes-were-still-talking-about-this.html

    The comments section of the Moscow Mablog’s Godly Woman article now has the following peculiar thread:
    ___
    −This comment was deleted.

    BJ Guest
    9 hours ago
    Please go away…
    _
    ryansather BJ
    5 hours ago
    that sort of attitude exposes the main issue, caring more for maintaining power and control vs caring for those who are most vulnerable

    BJ ryansather
    4 hours ago
    You are an idiot.

    ryansather BJ
    4 hours ago
    Such intelligent banter…blessings brother.
    For HIs glory and the joy of all peoples!!
    Ryan
    —-
    Of course, it’s extra peculiar because Doug deleted the original comment by Ryan, which linked Natalie’s article.

  211. @ Dave A A:

    And here is the next comment from Susan Gail trying to shame Ryan for exposing the dark underbelly of DW’s messed up world.

    “Your regular thread jack efforts are tiresome.

    Are you a self styled modern day Isaiah parading around naked to draw attention to Christkirk’s impending doom if their elders don’t repent?

    Stop being lazy and get out from behind your keyboard. Get to Moscow, march into the service , and save the day.”

  212. THANK YOU! QUITE RIGHT! Peter Leithart’s presence in my denomination (the PCA) has been a source of great shame upon our whole communion. Yes, his “Federal Vision” nonsense was just that, nonsense. But all of that was in the realm of ideas, and everybody has to make up their own mind about the things we believe. But his destructive, unethical, abusive ACTIONS that harmed the real, actual lives of real, actual human beings — that is, in a manner of speaking, unforgivable. I believe he is gone out of our denomination now. If he is not then we should still be ashamed of ourselves, those of us in the Presbyterian Church in America.

    Gram3 wrote:

    @ Darlene:
    I do not believe a word from the mouth of Peter Leithart. His statement is, IMO, political posturing of the kind Matt Chandler did when Driscoll was melting down. Make no mistake about it. Peter Leithart and James Jordan are the theologians behind Doug Wilson. They have their own think tank that is not as closely associated with the fortunes in Moscow. It is those two and the other Recons/Federal Visionists who made Doug Wilson. They own him just as much as all of the Driscoll enablers own him. Leithart comes across as learned and Jordan comes across as a deep thinker. These are men who have been about power since the late 70’s at least. Sorry if my bitterness is showing, but I just want people to understand the context for Leithart’s “apology.”

  213. Thank you, and quite right, for this comment as well!

    Gram3 wrote:

    Cobber2076 wrote:
    But the community around him–the church, the “denomination,” the town–can still be swayed. Witness Peter Leithart’s statement last night for a glimpse of what can happen to those in Wilson’s orbit.
    Leithart’s post is self-serving in the same way that so many others had self-serving posts about Driscoll. There was Matt Chandler. And Paul Tripp. And Tim Keller. IMO what they wrote when the Driscoll situation became unrecoverable is very similar to what Leithart posted. Leithart and his “fellows” at Theopolis have not recanted their authoritarian views regarding women and the laity. But Wilson has become an embarrassment. Leithart has a long history before TRC.

  214. EXACTLY EXACTLY EXACTLY. Your comments are always so spot-on.

    Gram3 wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:
    this statement he made is amazing to me. has imagination been turned off in his subculture? what forever for? why has empathy been snuffed? was it never allowed to develop?
    Peter Leithart is a big reason why the subculture is the way it is, so he understands it better than most. I believe there was a parting of the ways between Theopolis and Moscow and Theopolis does not want to be burdened by Wilson’s baggage now that they cannot cover it up. This has happened before with the Recons/FV and it will happen again because they all view themselves as kings.

  215. Yes, We’re Still Talking About This.
    http://natalierose-livewithpassion.blogspot.com/2015/09/yes-were-still-talking-about-this.html

    Pictured below is a letter Doug Wilson wrote to the officer on my case on August 22nd, 2005.

    In it he tells of a ‘secret relationship’ which my parents knowingly allowed Jamin and I to enter into.

    He says this relationship was hidden from the broader community and though my parents didn’t realize there was ‘sexual behavior occurring’ between Jamin and I, they were aware that we were interested in each other and invited Jamin to live in our home.

    Doug goes on to say that it is important to note what kind of criminal this information makes Jamin. He says “I do not believe that this in any way paints Jamin as a sexual predator.”

    Oh boy. I’m not entirely sure where to begin with this one.

  216. @ Mara:
    I’ve seen this “if you really cared, you’d go to Moscow” stuff before.
    Come to our place and sit down in person! My cynical side thinks this is so a star chamber can be arranged.

  217. Gram3 wrote:

    To go against your Spiritual Leader is to go against God himself who has appointed your Spiritual Leader to protect you from your own sinful flesh.

    Isn’t that “Romish Priestcraft”?

    There is a strong thread of superstition in this system which mimics animism, IMO.

    As in “Obey or I’ll summon my spirits to Put a Curse on You”?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBPmi-C2KRM

  218. Dave A A wrote:

    Come to our place and sit down in person! My cynical side thinks this is so a star chamber can be arranged.

    Or a quiet “Disappearance” (i.e. Assassination & Coverup).
    At least if this was a Spy Thriller….

  219. pcapastor wrote:

    his “Federal Vision” nonsense was just that, nonsense. But all of that was in the realm of ideas, and everybody has to make up their own mind about the things we believe. But his destructive, unethical, abusive ACTIONS that harmed the real, actual lives of real, actual human beings — that is, in a manner of speaking, unforgivable.

    I think that ideas have consequences, and his ideas along with the other Recons/FV have created so much family and church strife because they are opposed to the pure Gospel. I’ve watched these guys morph from taking dominion via the government to taking dominion via liturgical “reform.” The one thing that has not changed is that they are preaching another gospel. One based on power and elitism. People think this is Reformed theology. It is not Reformed at all, and I hate that people assume that classically Reformed people think the way that these people think. In Baptist circles, people think that the classically Reformed are like these new radical YRR types or the Founders guys who are lurching close to the precipice of true hyper-Calvinism. In some ways, there are parallels between the attempted takeover of Reformed denoms by the Theonomists/Recons/FV and the takeover by the Founderites/YRR of the SBC and its entities. Both of these movements are parasitical, IMO, but most people do not understand this.

    I think that Traditional SBCers and PCAers have a lot in common at the grassroots level, but that gets obscured by the Guys At The Top who seem to be only concerned with preserving their own positions, whether that is in the backrooms of the SBC or the PCA.

  220. @ Dave A A:

    Sure, but a response to it to show how childish the whole thing is could be, “How about you come over here and make me.”

    But they have nothing substantial to say on the topic so the nanny-nanny-boo-boo-stick-your-head-in-doo-doo defense is all they’ve got.
    And the worst part. They are clueless at how infantile they truly are.

  221. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    As in “Obey or I’ll summon my spirits to Put a Curse on You”?

    I was thinking of their practice of imprecatory prayers against the “enemies of God” which coincidentally happen to be people who raise questions about these Spiritual Leaders and Gurus. Then there is the Gothardism/Shepherding notion of “covering” or “umbrellas” which always struck me as superstitious. And self-serving for the “shepherds” who push these teachings conveniently.

  222. Gram3 wrote:

    I was thinking of their practice of imprecatory prayers against the “enemies of God”

    Because we all know Jesus never said: “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
    And Paul never wrote: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”

    Some other guys must have said and wrote those things.

  223. @ Dave A A:

    I don’t comprehend why they say that. I can care from a distance. I can read Doug Wilson’s posts just fine from my home where I am and draw conclusions from my home.

  224. @ Hester:
    Of course Wilson could go see her on her “turf”, since she’s offered to meet with him.
    When he was commenting with Natalie Greenfield around 10 days ago, he said she was free to ask him anything. She asked a couple very important questions, but he didn’t reply (at least in the first week). But a full reading of Wilson’s comment indicates she could ask him anything IN THE CONTEXT of a face-to-face sit-down. Or, technically: You can ask me anything…. Doesn’t mean I’ll answer!

  225. Mara wrote:

    Jamin’s victim’s witness against both Jamin and DW. Explicit, Trigger alert.
    http://natalierose-livewithpassion.blogspot.com/2015/09/yes-were-still-talking-about-this.html

    DW’s response is shocking for the blame he assigns to the parents (a whole paragraph of it!) , who are also victims, while arguing for leniency for Wight, who committed a crime…. but not really one that deserves the “injustice” of a harsh penalty, according to DW. What pompous claptrap.

    Natalie’s testimony contradicts DW’s about the situation as well.

    This is just one shocking thing after another. I hope that some of those who have been inside the groupthink of this system can begin to open their eyes as to how other Christians outside the bubble perceive this.

    Natalie is one courageous woman. I applaud her for her open stance that will protect other victims.

  226. Abi Miah wrote:

    I hope that some of those who have been inside the groupthink of this system can begin to open their eyes as to how other Christians outside the bubble perceive this.

    I hope so, too. However, the people inside this bubble have been conditioned to see those who disagree with them as enemies of God. Or godless feminist rebels. Or males who have been emasculated by godless feminist rebels. I thought that would happen with Mahaney, then Driscoll, then The Village, then so many other things that I’ve lost count. Most people are going to believe whatever disturbs them the least and carries the smallest social cost. We used to call it the quest for personal peace and security.

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  228. Gram3 wrote:

    I was thinking of their practice of imprecatory prayers against the “enemies of God”

    “O GREAT CHEMOSH! O GREAT BAAL! SEND DEATH AND DESTRUCTION DOWN UPON THESE MY ENEMIES!”
    — line from some Fifties “Bible Epic” movie

  229. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “O GREAT CHEMOSH! O GREAT BAAL! SEND DEATH AND DESTRUCTION DOWN UPON THESE MY ENEMIES!”
    — line from some Fifties “Bible Epic” movie

    It works better if you say it in Latin and really works well if you *chant* it in Latin if you are in Federal Vision land. Semi-seriously.

  230. “matters that have apparently caused much hilarity and Scotch drinking in Moscow, Idaho.”

    Hah. Good soundbite.

  231. His final question: “We eagerly await enlightenment as to which of the standard simplistic categories Rod is to be assigned and thus dismissed.”

    And the answer was “none of the above”. DW chose to rise above it all, to adopt the tone of a grieved and patient superior or teacher, faced with a student’s carelessness and shallow research methods. At least, that’s what is blog post sounded like to me when I read it this morning.

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  233. @ refugee:
    He’ll leave the other stuff to his fans this time. But of course, there’s the cartoon of a guy (himself) before a judge (critics).
    A few days ago he described himself as walking up to the gallows (with Trueman and other critics as hangmen, of course.) then a coupe weeks ago the cartoon was of a bearded fellow being burned at the stake.
    I’m thinking of compiling a list of terms he and fans have used in just the last month to describe his horrid, heart wrenching abuse at the keyboards of those who disagree with him. Bile venom pillory crucify mocker slander bitter etc

  234. @ Dave A A:

    Please do! Compile the cartoons and statements. It would make a wonderful article here at TWW highlighting Doug Wilson’s woes at the hands of the so many out to get him! Ha! He does have a way of making it all about him doesn’t he now.

  235. Gram3 wrote:

    Most people are going to believe whatever disturbs them the least and carries the smallest social cost. We used to call it the quest for personal peace and security.

    Great insight, Gram3.

  236. @ Mara:
    Thanks for those links– I think– Just read Mrs W’s comments on the Femina blog–ugh!
    In addition to threatening to spill all the icky dirty beans about Natalie’s horrid abusive dad, she explains why she can’t post some comments, cause then she’d have to tell secrets about the commenter, in order to explain the comment away….

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