Natalie Rose Greenfield, image by author.
For background information about Doug Wilson, Jamin C. Wight, and Natalie Rose Greenfield, see The Jamin C. Wight Story: The Other Child Molester in Doug Wilson’s Closet.
Content warning: detailed description of child sexual abuse.
I’ve debated whether or not to share the following letter publicly. It was given to me last week and out of respect for certain members of my family that don’t wish to have any further publicity over all of this, I’ve kept it to myself and a few close friends. But at some point every day for the last week I’ve been struck by the nagging reminder that this is no longer about me. It’s not about my family or the painful past experiences that tore us apart at the seams. I’ve said it before, I don’t share all of this for my own personal gratification or because I’m stuck on being a victim. This is not me unwilling to heal and licking my wounds for the world to see. I share for the others. For my children, for your children, for other women or men who lost their voices when they were young and never quite found them again. By the grace of Divine Love I found my voice, and I wouldn’t sleep at night if I knew I had the power to help others and chose not to because it’s uncomfortable to talk about around the dinner table. Nobody likes talking about sexual abuse or children being hurt, and certainly no one wants to admit they could have done better or made wiser choices and thus prevented more innocent individuals from being hurt. I’m choosing not be in the latter category, so I’ll continue speaking.
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.
Jamin expressed an interest in me to my parents when I was 14 years old, months after he’d begun grooming me and had already instigated a physical relationship with me. To say I had a crush on him would be an understatement – I was completely infatuated with him, as is common for abuse victims, and had been since shortly after I met him at a church event when I was 13 years old. (No one knew the depth of my affection for him, of course, I think told my parents I thought he was pretty cool.) My parents told Jamin he could wait for me if he wanted to and they’d reassess the situation when I was 18 years old. It was made exceedingly clear that in the meantime there was to be no ‘relationship’ whatsoever. As far as my parents knew there was no relationship, and from what I can tell any “confession” they made to Doug was taken out of context and/or deliberately twisted. There’s not much more to be said about this, honestly. My parents were naive and foolish, yes. They trusted him to respect the house rules regarding their daughter, partly because he’d been vetted by their own pastor as a seminary student. He didn’t follow the rules. I’ve written about this before, here. It doesn’t change the game.
What confuses me is how this information has any relevance to Jamin’s long term physical, sexual, mental and emotional abuse of me (before, during and after the time he lived in our home) or how it constitutes Doug writing to the magistrate judge and requesting leniency for him, or how it justifies Doug blaming and shaming my father (and mother) the way he did. Doug painted a picture in which the blame is dangerously shifted to my parents and away from a criminal. Ultimately, he was rather successful at his part in this, as Jamin’s charge and sentence were greatly reduced and he went on to criminally abuse more innocent victims after a very brief stint in jail.
I feel the need to rehash this particular line that Doug typed: “I do not believe that this in any way paints Jamin as a sexual predator.” Not a sexual predator? Forgive me if I’m beating a dead horse or being too loud about an uncomfortable topic, but Jamin is most certainly a sexual predator. Let me describe a scene to you, one scene of many, many more just like it. It’s late afternoon in an old house on B Street in Moscow. A 14 year old girl goes bounces down the stairs of her family’s 8-bedroom mansion to get her favorite pair of jeans from the laundry hamper. A 24 year old man follows her down the stairs and enters the laundry room behind her. He sneaks up behind her and grabs her by the shoulders, she shrieks, then giggles. “Shhhhh! C’mere!” He says. He pulls her by the hand into the dungeon-like bathroom adjacent to the laundry room. “Jamin, stop! My mom will hear us!” the girl protests. “Then be quiet” he says, pushing down firmly on the top of her head until she buckles to her knees. She knows what he wants, it’s what he always wants and she hates it. She begins giving it to him and a minute later they hear footsteps coming down the long basement stairs. The man shoves the girl away from him, she falls backward into the laundry room and he closes the bathroom door to finish the job himself. The girl jumps to her feet, wipes her mouth and runs up the basement stairs, shaking nervously as she passes her mother on way. A close call.
But according to the pastor of Christ Church, Jamin is not a sexual predator. What is he, then? An opportunist? If only my parents had kicked him out when he expressed interest in me, than he wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to hurt me? Anyone can see this is preposterous. Jamin’s crimes were premeditated and he would still have had access to me at church and in various other settings (he did, in fact, manage to ‘still get to me’ after he’d moved out). I could tell a hundred more stories about what he did to me but they’re all sickening so I’ll leave it at one.
So what now? Why am I blogging about this again? Because we need change and it’s not happening yet. The church needs to change the way it handles sexual abuse, and until the leaders are willing to come forward and say we were gravely wrong and we want to learn how to do better we will continue to face this problem again and again and we will hear from more victims and more lives will be destroyed as this is repeatedly swept under the rug. This is not just about Doug Wilson and the other leaders of Christ Church and Trinity Reformed Church that stood behind a dangerous sexual predator and welcomed him back into the fold, believing his cries of repentance. This happens in churches everywhere. It’s an epidemic of the worst kind and it is destroying countless lives. Churches everywhere claim they know how to handle abuse within their congregation, and the church certainly can play an important role in the healing of victims, but so much more is needed. Resources, education, trained professionals, and the willingness to step back and say “we need help”. Needing help is not a weakness, and that lie only adds insult to injury for those harmed by abuse.
So what can YOU do?
Stand with me. Demand change. Share your own story of abuse within the church and if you don’t have one or if you aren’t ready to share yours, then by all means share mine. Demand that the leaders of churches stop pridefully deflecting blame and ignorantly shaming victims while they stand behind predators. Urge them to show the love of Christ to the victims.
We can’t afford to let this one slip away into the night. It will only grow.
Here’s the letter Doug wrote to the officer (click images to enlarge):