By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator
In a curious turn of events, Beall Phillips — wife of disgraced homeschool leader Doug Phillips, who was accused of sexual assaulting his family’s nanny — has come out swinging against HSLDA’s Michael Farris. Yesterday Farris released his white paper “A Line in the Sand,” where he criticized both Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard, saying, “The philosophies of Gothard and Phillips damage people in multiple ways.” The white paper got the attention of both WORLD Magazine and Shawn Mathis at the Examiner.
Earlier today, however, Beall Phillips left both a public comment on HSLDA’s Facebook page as well as a public status on her own Facebook page accusing Farris of nothing less than lies and misrepresentation. (This is not the first time Beall has gone to bat for her husband. In April of this year she appeared on a local television show with her husband, declaring that, “I think God wanted to draw us together and do something much bigger than us or our family’s story.”) Beall argued there were “gross errors” in Farris’s accusations, such as:
(1) Doug Phillips never taught “that women in general should be subject to men in general,” Beall says, pointing to the fact that, “For about the last 6 years, you and I have sat around the same table for board meetings. Yes, you and I (a woman) were on the same board.”
(2) Despite Michael Farris claiming that patriarchy teaches “Women should not vote,” Beall says, “I have voted as my conscience dictated since I was 18. So do my sons and so will my daughters.”
Here is the full text of Beall’s statement (which, note, is apparently “part one” of a series of statements):
Well, Mike, your article about Doug was, at the very least, in bad taste, and your representation of what Doug and I believe and what we have taught through Vision Forum was rife with gross error.
I have known you for 23 years. I have seen you in many circumstances, some admirable, some not admirable. For about the last 6 years, you and I have sat around the same table for board meetings. Yes, you and I (a woman) were on the same board. You came to Doug’s dad’s funeral in April 2013 with some kind words. Somehow I missed the letter of compassion and concern for my family this year. You have my email address and phone number.
I know, it’s so much faster and easier and cleaner to publish an article and put it on the Internet for how many thousands of people?
How much courage does it take to kick a man who is out of business, out of ministry, and publicly humiliated?
Your caricature of our views would be humorous if it were not so grossly offensive.
Let me help you with a couple of things. I have voted as my conscience dictated since I was 18. So do my sons and so will my daughters. I’m glad for Vickie that she is not under Dennis Rodman’s authority. And I am glad that I am not under your authority. I would choose my husband again any day.
Maybe we can discuss all the other concoctions in your article over coffee sometime. My daughters might want to join us to speak for themselves. If you will sit and listen to them.
Until then, please take my family off your membership list immediately. I do not think you are qualified to represent my children or me in any capacity.
Doug has chosen not to respond, but I will not sit idly by while you use your bully pulpit to malign and misrepresent my husband, my company (yes, I, a woman, was an employee of Vision Forum) my family, and myself.
Please note, this is part one of my response as well.
(You can view a PDF of the statement archived on HA here.)
This conflict — bordering on drama – ironically goes to show the utmost importance of what people like Libby Anne and myself have been saying: Michael Farris does not understand patriarchy and that actually matters. It matters a whole hell of lot.
When someone like Farris constructs straw men of people like Doug Phillips, that helps no one. It obfuscates the real issues and alienates through misrepresentation the people that need to see the damage that their ideas have on people. It also raises the suspicion that Farris is not actually interested in dismantling patriarchy and is more interested in throwing under the bus people who are already down or those against which he already has vendettas.
Straw men do not help homeschool kids or alumni — and they do not help Farris, either, especially when someone like Beall Phillips calls his bluff. In fact, it makes our job of helping homeschool kids and alumni that much harder.
Instead of obfuscating, the big names in fundamentalist Christian homeschooling need to confront their toxic ideologies head-on.
But to them, They Can Do No Wrong.
They Say So Themselves!
Beall Phillips is sooooooo GROSS. Her husband “Doug Phillips” is a misogynistic, creepy, pervert. As a matter of fact, all these MEN are. They want female slaves, as someone who was sexually abused as a little girl, it is hurtful, demeaning, and abusive. I do not have a drip of respect for any of these creepy loser men. They remind me of Ariel Castro.
It seems Beall cares a lot more about her vile husband then he cares about her, but that is how it is Christian world.
And as long as she is (First) Wife of the Big Man, she gets to be Queen Bee over all the other women in the cult. Having him keeboarping his Handmaid(s) is just the price to pay for her own Rank and Privileges. And the oh-so-delicious taste of POWER.
There can be only one Queen in the insect hive.
Thank you Headless Unicorn Guy, you are very clever. I love your clever comments.
You know, I used to feel horribly sorry for Mrs. Phillips, as well as for Lourdes.
But then I read the threatening letter Mrs. Phillips sent Lourdes, to keep the latter quiet about being sexually abused by Mr. Phillips. (Found in the comments section of Spiritual Sounding Board, posted April 18th by “brad/futuristguy”).
And now, Guest, I totally agree with you. This is just gross and vile. And I’m glad Lourdes was brave enough to stand up REGARDLESS. I probably would not have been so brave.
Also Guest, I am glad you’ve found the HA community, and I wish you all the healing in the world.
Thank you Hattie;) You are super sweet;)
Can’t figure out why/ how a grown-ass woman like Beall would let Dougie hide behind her skirts. I also watched a clip from an interview they gave to a local news station and he appeared to me to be afraid of her. She’s definitely calling the shots.
It’s a common dynamic. The Submissive Little Ladies(TM) leading their Big Strong Hubbies around, pulling strings behind the scenes.
Show me a Manly Man Male Supremacist, and I’ll show you a guy who’s getting P-whipped behind closed doors by She Who Must Be Obeyed in Secret. And taking it out on other wimmen, whether sexually or abusively. “ME MAN! REALLY! ME MAN! RAWR! (if it’s ok with you, dear…)”
First Wife of the Commander ESQUIRE.
Always outranks any mere Handmaid.
And QUEEN BEE of all those Subcommanders’ Wives.
Much as the hypocrisy and finger-pointing of Farris’ statement stings, but so does that of Beall Phillips for me. I found this sentence very telling:
“I’m glad for Vickie that she is not under Dennis Rodman’s authority. And I am glad that I am not under your authority. I would choose my husband again any day.”
So…if she were married to Farris, she *would* be under his authority? That’s what I’m hearing, anyway. Sorry, but Vision Forum *does* teach that women are or should be subservient to men. Good for Beall Phillips for standing up to him, I guess? But she could have spent a little more time calling him out on his hypocrisy than denying his claims. Farris’ statement was hugely hypocritical, but it was also pretty spot on.
I hate to see these kind of things.
Beall Phillips obviously has no real interest in truth and justice! Her hysterical obfuscation here only serves to point out the depths to which she and Doug have sunk.
If anyone actually knows beall and/or doug, you would clearly be able to see that beall did not write the comment on MF’s Facebook page. There are clearly three clues as to why this is: 1.) the length of the comment and promise of a follow up “part two”. Doug’s commentary when his name or his agenda are in any way attacked is ALWAYS extremely long and overdone, 2.) has anyone observed beall since this fiasco came to light (on tv interviews etc?) or sat in a room with her and Doug when they are “grieved” over something? She is silent, looks pained and forlorn and if she speaks it is softly, gently, in a submissive spirit, and 3.) the most important clue as to who actually wrote this comment is the actual verbiage itself. “Rife with gross error” is doug’s language, not beall’s. Read through it all again. Read through past blogs and papers and manifestos and you will get a sense of his language and style of communicating. If you have had any experience personally with them, you will clearly see the clues. And if this is indeed Doug posting as Beall, makes you wonder where else he is playing his game… Think about it.
You Got It!!!!! That’s a slip when he said “my company”!!!!! Catch up people. This guy is sooooo consumed with himself.
And discuss over coffee, No descent “chaste” women would invite a discussion with a man over coffee!!!!! That’s guy to guy talk. What about the Id chose my husband again over you any day, whatever. What wife after an affair takes an out right “he’s the greatest” attitude. Even if she stands behind him she knows better than to be bold about it. Not to mention the dominating tones here, this IS NOT the grieving wife!!!!
But…but…Vision Forum *did* teach that women should not vote. Of course all of that has been scrubbed, but jensgems (I know, I know), has preserved this old VF blog post/article: http://jensgems.wordpress.com/2007/08/15/vision-forum-god-does-not-allow-women-to-vote/
Maybe Beall was just exempt from that teaching as well, being part of the elite and all.
Here ya go!
So, following linnea’s link, we find that:
“affirming a woman’s right to vote” was an “unmitigated disaster”.
You know, I don’t think homeschool alumni are to blame for making the old guard look bad. The old guard appears to be handling that themselves quite well.
Per the claims that patriarchy doesn’t teach that all women submit to all men, technically that is true. I’m pretty sure submission is reserved just for husbands and wives, i.e. that particular man has authority over that particular woman. This is why Beall can say she’s not under Dennis Rodman’s authority.
HOWEVER, patriarchy does teach that women should not be the “functional equals” of men in public spaces. This was baldly stated in the Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy that used to be on the Vision Forum Ministries website. (I captured the page before the site went down so I could reference it whenever I needed, and now I see why that was good decision!)
Relevant sections (emphasis mine):
If anyone except Hester needs the so-called “Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy”, they are quoted, one by one, on this page, highlighted in orange, and then discussed: http://tenetsofbiblicalpatriarchy.blogspot.com/ (The first, orange-highlighted, words in each post are the tenets.)
I know for a fact Doug DID teach that women’s suffrage was a bad thing. I have the audio to prove it and I documented it on my blog. It’s in his lecture What’s a Girl to Do?
“What happened when we adopted the nineteenth amendment was we stopped being a nation of families and we became a nation of individuals. Prior to that, the family was represented in the gates of the land by the head of the home. Now the wife cancels the husband, the husband cancels the wife. And you see, this is what feminism has done to you. Instead of thinking as a family unit, thinking as one, where the two become one and they colabor together, you think of yourself as I’m the wife, and he’s the husband, and I’ve got my deal and he’s got his deal, and the twain shall never come together. This is the egalitarian spirit of feminism.”
I have no reason to doubt Beall’s word that she regularly votes, but if she’s telling the truth, then Doug has spent years holding his own family to a different standard than the one he taught everyone else. If this was pragmatic (i.e., women’s suffrage was bad but conservative women have to vote in order to outnumber liberal women), then I guess as much as he went on about “principles” in the Bible, they weren’t all that important when it came to winning elections.
There are even more quotes about women’s suffrage from other patriocentrist leaders (I believe Phil Lancaster?) that have been documented by others. So if Farris said patriocentrists teach women shouldn’t vote, for certain leaders that’s not a straw man at all.
This whole idea that VF never taught that women shouldn’t vote is a load of hooey. I used to be on a first name basis with Doug, I’ve traveled with him, stayed at this house attended his church, attended his “Witherspoon school of law and public policy.” Even without the above link, even if Doug never said that women should not vote, he surrounded himself and endorsed people who did.
Oh, but only for an agenda. Once he got his hell on earth he’d have stopped it immediately.
Beall Phillips: “How much courage does it take to kick a man who is out of business, out of ministry, and publicly humiliated?”
Stop making your husband out to be a martyr; he sexually asaulted a young woman. THAT is NOT Mr. Farris’s doing no matter how lame and self-serving he is in waiting to come forward and weigh in on Doug and Bill Gothard.
Homeschoolers are not members of a cult and Farris is not our leader. Therefore, it is not his place to dispute or preach against views differing from his. We are free people who can believe as we choose so long as our beliefs do no harm.
The same applies for anyone else. He previously had qualms about their views, but now he has evidence that these views are not only incorrect but harmful. His timing for speaking out shows wisdom. It is not as if he knew these men were sexually abusing people and didn’t tell anyone, helping to cover for them, as your other examples lead us to believe!He simply now has the proof: the actions of these men, plus the testimony of the finished product from children who were raised in such homes. It is his job to say, “Homeschooling and homeschoolers are not about this. This is not who we are.” And he did! There are too many dangerously incorrect stereotypes about homeschooling;we don’t need this. You word picture of the defenseless dead is ridiculously absurd!
Take into account the people who have been subject to this model of “patriarchy”! In my family each of Farris’s bullet points WERE the norm, and I rejoice in reading his calm, factual treatment of the topic. Patriarchy has hurt families and caused chaos in mine. It has torn our family apart rather than bringing it together. I’m sure the experience has been different for each person and each family, as “Patriarchy” can be interpreted and practiced in many ways. However, don’t discount Farris’s message. People who set themselves up as a “mouthpiece of God” have to deal with their own consequences.
We do need to enter into relationships with each other with open minds and open hearts. Beall has struggled, will continue to struggle, and I understand the pain of seeing someone who is important to you torn apart by critics. I can see where she is coming from. There should be no hatred on either side. We have to show the world that to be Christians is to love; not to criticize, bash, tear down, hate. Every conversation should be approached with humility: none of us has all the answers.