Lourdes’s courage in commencing a legal suit against Doug Phillips and his former cohorts is tremendously inspiring to all who have been oppressed by abusive ‘c’hristians and church leaders. This post is for all victims who have dealt with spiritual wickedness in high places. What Lourdes has dealt with is analogous to what all of us at this blog have deal with. So while I’ll be expounding my scripture text in relation to Doug Phillips’s case, feel free to apply it to your own circumstances in as much as yours are parallel.
God’s word speaks volumes about how God is able to rescue and protect the righteous while simultaneously visiting justice upon fools and scoundrels. These truths have been foreground in my mind recently, because of our sister Lourdes Torres, the young woman who was abused by Doug Phillips, the former leader of Vision Forum. (Now she’s married, her full name is Lourdes Torres-Manteufel. Congratulations to Nolan and Lourdes — we wish you a long and happy marriage!)
Lourdes’s courage in commencing a legal suit against Doug Phillips and his former cohorts is tremendously inspiring to all who have been oppressed by abusive ‘c’hristians and church leaders. This post is for all victims who have dealt with spiritual wickedness in high places. What Lourdes has dealt with is analogous to what all of us at this blog have deal with. So while I’ll be expouding my scripture text in relation to Doug Phillips’s case, feel free to apply it to your own circumstances in as much as yours are parallel.
Before giving the scripture, I need to say that I personally believe Lourdes’s account of Doug Phillip’s actions. I do not believe Doug Phillips’ response to Lourdes’ petition, or his claimed ***confession and repentance*** in his Statement of Resignation because to me his words and actions are typical of the feigned confessions/ apologies / repentance that abusers do. We know the lingo. We know it so well at this blog that we’ve even coined a term for it — we call it the language of Abuserese, and it’s a lot easier to learn than Japanese or Chinese 🙂. My comments on Doug Phillips are my personal opinion and are not intended to influence the process of the Texan courts where Lourdes’ case will be heard.
Our main scripture is 2nd Peter chapter 2, taken from the ESV.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words.
False teachers who will secretly bring in destructive heresies. Phillips and his hyper-legalist Patriarchal teaching put men, husbands, fathers and the Institution of Marriage on such a pedestal that it was idolatry. Rank idolatry. They hooked people in to this false teaching by an airbrushed promotion of ***Christian family values and godly manhood which puts women and children first*** through Home Schooling conferences and the Mens and Boys’ Titanic Society, and then enforced it with the velvet-gloved manacle of guilt-inducing covert coercion, thereby getting people, particular females, to suppress and doubt their own consciences and guidance from the Holy Spirit in order to follow, like the brainwashed animals in Animal Farm, the Big Brother Leader Phillips and his Patriarchal henchmen.
Greed and exploitation. Phillips raked in the money via his for-profit organization Vision Forum Inc. He also got lots of free or semi-free labour from young male interns, and from young women like Lourdes who was for a time a nanny in the Phillips household.
Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
- if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;
- if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
- if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
- and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard);
then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
[bullet points added for ease of reading]
Especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion . . . Phillips sexually exploited Lourdes, lied to her in to attempt to suppress her resistance, and blamed her for his wrongdoing.
TRIGGER WARNING: graphic sexual abuse descriptions that may bring back traumatic memories for victims of sexual abuse. I am quoting this here because we need to remember how disgusting and abominable sexual abuse is — how sexual sin is supremely selfish, how it turns those who perpetrate it into worms, and how it desecrates the souls and bodies of victims.
Here are paragraphs 15, 43 and 44 from Lourdes’ petition:
15. As described herein, Douglas Phillips used Ms. Torres—against her wishes and over her objections—as a personal sex object. Douglas Phillips repeatedly groped, rubbed, and touched Ms. Torres’s crotch, breasts, and other areas of her body; rubbed his penis on her; masturbated on her; forced her to watch him masturbate on her; and ejaculated upon her. This perverse and offensive conduct repeatedly took place over the course of several years.
43. While Ms. Torres was living with Douglas Phillips and his family in October of 2007, Douglas Phillips entered Ms. Torres’s bedroom and without her consent began touching her breasts, stomach, back, neck, and waist. Phillips then began to masturbate and ejaculated on her. Ms. Torres asked Phillips to stop and broke down crying. Despite Ms. Torres’s repeated requests for Phillips to stop masturbating and ejaculating on her, Phillips proceeded to return and repeat this perverse and offensive conduct. Each night that Phillips returned, Ms. Torres requested that he stop. Defendant blatantly disregarded her requests but continued to masturbate and ejaculate on her each night.
44. Douglas Phillips, on the evenings he visited Ms. Torres, persuaded her that he was not doing anything wrong, that he intended to marry Ms. Torres, and that his wife would die shortly and enable him to marry Ms. Torres. He further repeatedly told Ms. Torres that he loved her, that he would take care of her, and that what they were doing was not wrong. He also stated that if it was wrong, it was completely her fault.
. . . and despise authority. Phillips aggressively resisted the admonshment of his male colleagues and friends, leaders in the circles he moves in, when they confronted him about his sins (link); and in typical abuser style he argued about the process the men used to approach him (link).
[back to 2 Peter] Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you.
Phillips boldly and wilfully continued in his public ministry at Vision Forum for at least eight months after he confessed his sexual immorality to the only other elder at his church.Moreover, in his resignation from Vision Forum Ministries he stated “There has been serious sin in my life for which God has graciously brought me to repentance,” but that claim of repentance is spurious because his actions do not bear it out. By using the name of God to gloss up his claim of repentance, he was taking the name of God in vain — which is blasphemy. He committed the sin of blasphemy without trembling, just as Peter’s epistle tells us. And Phillips continues to show the true colors of an abuser by using the name of God in his masquerade of being a ***repentant sinner*** whilst lying, evading, obfuscating and emitting half-truths. It is also reported that he is threatening to sue three of the men who tried to be Nathans to bring him, like King David, to full confession and repentance.
They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”
Many of the people who have been sucked in to Christian Patriarchy teachings are unsteady souls. . . those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. We read many accounts from people who were been abused in childhood, incest victims, people who grew up in domestic abuse which often was unrecognized by the victim spouse and children — and how these people got sucked in to cults like Vision Forum (see, for example, Fake Someone Happy [*affiliate link]).
The loud boasts of folly, the promises of freedom, from the Doug Phillipses of this world have enticed regenerate (born again) but weak and unsteady souls into beliefs and practices that are way off beam from the pure and blessed truths of the rightly divided Word of God. And the unregenerate abusers and sociopaths — who the bible calls scoundrels — have been attracted, like bees to a honey pot, to the abundant male privilege rights and ‘c’hristian camouflage available in Christian Patriarchy.
Philips recently reiterated the godliness of his repentance and reformation (while accusing Lourdes of lying) in an interview on Ken 5, an American TV station. In the interview he blasphemed by posturing — like all false prophets do — that he knows God’s supposed purpose. Speaking of his relationship between him and his wife Beall since his sin hit the fan, Phillips said —
“I think God wanted to draw us together and do something much bigger than us or our family’s story.”
Peter is right, these false teachers speak loudly and boastfully while being slaves of corruption. Phillips is a slave, a slave to sin. A slave to his self-chosen god — his own ego that lusts for power and adulation.
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. . . . Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:7-9, 16)
Lourdes did not neglect to do good. She considered the outcome of Doug Phillips’ way of life, his lies and manipulation, his blatant and repeated disregard of her wishes, his wicked abuse of her body and soul, and she chose, RIGHTLY, to not imitate his faith, because what he said and did was not in line with the word of God. She knew that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever. She chose not to be led away by diverse and strange teachings. And she has shared what she has with us, as one more survivor of abuse who has come out of the fog. She is walking the path of truth and justice, like we all are, under the wings of our Lord who knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
* * * * * * *
Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
and princes will rule in justice.
Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
a shelter from the storm,
like streams of water in a dry place,
like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
and the ears of those who hear will give attention.
The heart of the hasty will understand and know,
and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.
The fool will no more be called noble,
nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.
For the fool speaks folly,
and his heart is busy with iniquity,
to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the LORD,
to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,
and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil;
he plans wicked schemes to ruin the poor with lying words,
even when the plea of the needy is right.
But he who is noble plans noble things,
and on noble things he stands.