Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mackenzie Phillips, Roman Polanski, and how America really views child abuse.

Hasn't this been a wild week for child abuse headlines? First, Mackenzie Phillips gets the ball rolling with the bombshell that her father, John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, drugged and sexually molested her when she was a teen.

The relationship continued for ten years, although she concedes 'the Stockholm syndrome' might have been at work in her head. She pleaded with people not to hate her father, which even disturbed shock radio host, Howard Stern.

There was mention about others who might have known, like fellow band member, Denny Doherty, but Mackenzie does not want to exact revenge.

Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland for drugging and sexually molesting a 13 year old girl.

This stems from an old case from the early seventies, but, then again, so were some of the incidents brought up in the Bob Gray saga. Click here if you are not familiar with Bob Gray saga, the central figure who inspired the blog you now read.

Gray was not alleged to have drugged his victims, but maybe didn't have to. The King James Version of the Bible, in the hands of a man already claiming power and absolute authority, can be the most addictive drug of them all.

How many victims have been deluded into giving a pastor unbridled authority over their lives because of a few well chosen words from scripture, with a 'gotcha' attitude to match?

Let's get back to Hollywood scandals.

Here's where things get screwy:

Most, outside of Hollywood producers, writers, and directors, agree Polanksi needs to answer for his crime. Even if the victim forgave him.

Things are different when it comes to Mackenzie!

Half of America seems to be filled with hate and anger toward her for even bringing it up. Those who would otherwise want Polanksi in jail, or the death sentence against fundamentalist preachers who molested children, have now become turncoats when it comes to accusations against John Phillips.

Excuses are made.

"She was a drug addict!

. . .has a book coming out!

. . .career's on the skids!"

What's conveniently left out of the anger is the fact it was her father, who introduced her to drugs, which helped put her career on the skids! Let's face it, if you had been raped by your father, don't you'd think you'd want some drugs to just get the thoughts out of your mind?

The Fighting Fundamentalist Forum, the primo place to discuss abuses by fundamentalist preachers, is filled with amazing posts by people ragging on Mackenzie for being on drugs in the first place!

What's weird is the people trashing Mackenzie on the FFF are also critical of abuses at places like Hephzibah House, as well as other fundamentalist predator/pastors.

If her book alleged abuse by a fundamentalist minister, would her motives even be questioned?

Why the double standard?

Take, for instance, the women accusing Ron Williams, the founder of Hephzibah House, of physical abuse. When supporters of Williams try to use the past of the HH victims against them, the critics of HH are front and center declaring how unfair it is to bring up the victim's past.

Yet, when it's Mackenzie, even the critics of HH seem to not care about bringing up the drug issue, even if it was her father who introduced her to it. How dare Mackenzie tread on our precious memories of Mamas and Papa tunes!

I'm not posting the links of these comments because I'm very disappointed in these people. For awhile, I thought they really cared about child abuse! Silly me! Concern about child abuse ALWAYS takes a backseat to whoever we happen to be scapegoating at the time.

You can sift through the posts by clicking here. Those who would otherwise defend victims of child abuse by religious figures are suddenly turning on Mackenzie Phillips, victim of a once popular musician. It's just sickening.

I think a lot of these people spent their formidable years defending rock music against the wild accusations of fundamentalist preachers. Now that we see that some accusations against popular musicians (no matter how 'out of date' they are) actually had validity, those who once defended victims (of religious abuse) suddenly lapse into an unexpected 'blame the victim' mode.

I don't see them blaming the victim when it comes to accusations against fundamentalist preachers, but when it's against their precious musical memories, somehow it becomes okay to blame a victim.

I'm sure John Phillips and Roman Polanski felt exactly like Bob Gray, Eddie Dunagan, Daryl Gilyard, and other alleged evangelical preacher/predators.

"Nobody's going to turn me in! I'm known as a great artist!"

Or, "I'm practically a 'Christian rock star'!"

Nobody will touch them. There's too much 'respect' in the waters for that. Too many people dependent on them for their financial income.

And their victims? Like Mackenzie Phillips, they have 'questionable backgrounds', according to those who defend the preachers.

Indeed, one of the first accusations I heard against a victim of Bob Gray concerned the use of marijuana by one of the accusers. How is that any different from those accusing Mackenzie of being unreliable because she had a 'needle stuck up her arm for 35 years'?

It's not just the FFF, though. Nor is child sexual abuse being mishandled only by fundamentalists, Catholics, rock stars, and film directors. Read through the comments at this Huffington Post article.

America, and the world, is still out to lunch when it comes to the issue of child sexual abuse.

There's also a lot of people spouting the ridiculous idea about John Phillips needing to be around to 'defend himself'.

How dare she wait until he's dead!

Mackenzie displayed great compassion by waiting until he was dead.

Let's face it, there's nothing more fun than a celebrity trial. Why would she want to put herself through that? You think Mackenzie is being dragged through the dirt now? Imagine how she would fare having to face her father on the witness stand!

Her background would be totally used against her.

Imagine how terrible her father would feel!

Ha! I know, you're thinking, "Why should we care?"

Those who seemingly care about John Phillips not being around to defend himself somehow miss that Mackenzie did John a great favor by not addressing the issue while he was alive. She spared him from further embarrassment, not to mention her family when the inevitable 'who knew' questions would be asked in court.

A victim's first responsibility is to herself, not the entertainment of the masses. If she had brought this up while he was alive, the issue of child abuse would most likely have been swept under the rug. She would have probably settled for an 'undisclosed amount', and that, most certainly, would have guaranteed her silence.

By not going through that fiasco, she's made it possible to shine a light on a problem that's affecting millions of people throughout the world.

NOTE: ABC News reports that since Phillips’ public admission on the Oprah Winfrey show this week, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) has seen a 26 percent jump in its hotline calls and an 83 percent increase in traffic on its Web site.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Is Tom Bennett still teaching at Trinity?

There has been an upsurge of visits to Christian School Confidential centering on my post regarding Tom Bennett. Comments posted have largely been in support of Bennett, and yet they seem to be written from the premise that Tom Bennett is still teaching at Trinity.

To my knowledge, Tom Bennett is not teaching at Trinity, and has not been at Trinity since the early eighties. I do not live in Jacksonville, though, so how would I know?

Is Tom Bennett still teaching at Trinity? Or, hanging out at Trinity?

Actually, I really don't care. For reasons I'll go into next week, I'm not about to lead a mass boycott of Trinity, or any other corporations that have horrible records when it comes to protecting children from predators. It's not even possible to do that! I'd prefer to keep my activities within the realm of 'the possible'.

I'm just curious.

Here is the article about Tom Bennett: Tom Brad Bennett - 3rd Trinity teacher with a felony?.

Here are the comments that have recently posted to that article, including my own:

Brandon Fuhrmann said...
all these alligations are lies ,lies,lies. I know Tom personaly and he is one of the finest teacher Trinity has to offer. Many of us stand by him 110%. God Bless Him and he will get through this with Gods help. AMEN!

September 18, 2009 8:04 PM
Dwayne Walker said...
You mean 'had' to offer, he's not at Trinity anymore, is he?

September 19, 2009 8:01 AM
kiersta R said...
dr tom brad bennett has so far been my favorite college professor. he is bary kind and he has never once shown any affection twords students at tca. this came as a shock to all of my fellow classmates and teachers alike. i pray that what ever mess he is in, he get his name cleared (if what i believe is true that he is clear) God bless him

September 23, 2009 7:01 PM
Dwayne Walker said...
'bary kind'? 'twords'? It's not being nit picky, it's just funny considering all the D's and C's Bennett has given toward the slightest misspellings and grammatical mistakes.

I will agree that, during my time at TCA, he did not show any 'affection' towards students at TCA. Nor vice versa. He wasn't exactly the most 'favorite' teacher because of the strict way he graded papers. He was friendly, though.

Here's the problem I have with your post. Were you a student at TCA? It sounds like you are a present day student at the Daytona State College. That said, how would you know he never showed any affection towards students at TCA? Were you a TCA student?

Bennett had not taught at TCA since the early 80's. Am I to presume you attended Trinity in the early 80's, then returned to Daytona State as an adult in 2009?

Between Brandon writing 'he is one of the finest teachers Trinity has to offer' and Kiersta writing he has never shown any affection towards students at TCA, it sounds like he is still at TCA.

Is he?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Where does child abuse really begin?

Outside of weird situations like the Bob Gray case, I really wonder if there's something embedded within fundamentalism, and even literalistic religions, that promote child abuse?

This article really has me pondering the subject:

The Christian Right Cultivates Teenage Childbirth.

The article explores the wink-wink/nudge-nudge approach some fundamentalists have taken toward teen pregnancy. On one level, they're against sex before marriage. But on a different plain, they seem to prefer young people getting married at an early age.

If you doubt this, consider this well made video circulating on YouTube about the 'Muslim Invasion'.

This 'invasion' is actually Islamic people having many children. Just by birthing lots of children, raising them as Muslims, creates a bond between their heritage, even if, in later years, they might start having doubts. The Mormons wound up controlling Utah because of their views concerning multiple wives and birthing many children.

Well, with this kind of fear, and, as the article pointed out, the hypocritical way they glossed over the pregnancy of Sarah Palin's daughter, you seem to have an older generation trying to entrap a younger generation into having children they are just not capable of raising.

What happens when you do that?

Resentment on behalf of the parent(s) toward the child for 'robbing' them of their early adult years.

Those years that could have been spent educating themselves, seeing the world, acquiring life experiences (necessary for actually imparting real values to children, btw), but now they have to stop everything because they were forbidden, or embarrassed, to think openly, and rationally, about birth control.

This sadness is eventually taken out on their children.

If they didn't have a profitable young adulthood, why should their children?

The resentment can take many forms, from physical abuse, to sexual abuse, to emotional abuse, eventually sabotaging the possibility of their children growing up to be happy, functional adults.

Of course, literal believers explain this away by suggesting, "Man isn't put here to 'be happy'! We're put here to obey God!"

Hmmm, what about 'the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' as spelled out in our Declaration of Independence?

"That's not inspired by God! It was written by that Deist, Thomas Jefferson! Besides, it's not Constitutional. It's only a Declaration!"

Interesting how when you mention 'the right to happiness', fundamentalists will suddenly backtrack on all the 'Christian founder' nonsense and finally declare what our founding fathers actually were.

It also demonstrates their true respect for our country's foundation.

One moment the Declaration of Independence is practically inspired, until it hits them where it counts. Then, it becomes 'just a declaration, not even constitutional'.

All nationalistic niceties aside:

This refusal to take responsibility for YOUR RIGHT to happiness will eventually lead to abusive behavior.

Resentment is a toxin.

Believe it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Three PSAs about sexual abuse.

Ignore the title the poster gave this PSA. It's the only one available of 'Uncle Al' available on YouTube.

These two were made by Darkness 2 Light:

View more PSA's by clicking here.

Steve Anderson makes CNN.

The guy (African American, no less!) who carried the automatic weapon to Obama's speech in Phoenix WAS AT ANDERSON'S CHURCH when Anderson made that comment.

Tomlinson, the former Secret Service dude, just cannot tell the difference between a threat and someone just being 'rude'.  Hmmm, if Anderson was a Muslim, do you think they'd be granting him that possibility? Or would Anderson be rounded up with the usual suspects?

Here's the craziness I'm used to from fundys, courtesy of Steve. In this clip, Anderson expounds on the verse concerning 'he who pisseth against the wall':

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The FFF goes mainstream!

Well, for all those people who put down the internet and message boards, it looks like a former poster from the FFF (albeit, he didn't stay long) has made the national headlines.

Steve Anderson, that preacher whose been making the national news with prayers that Obama die in office, first achieved 'national prominence' through YouTube and the Fighting Fundamentalist Forum! That message board where both the victims of Bob Gray, including Gray's supporters, met to hash out the issues.

Steve apparently went to Hyles Anderson College, then resigned.

There are other pastors out there, hitting the national spotlight, with imprecatory prayers directed toward Obama.

Wiley Drake, of the First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, CA, also prayed for his death. That's sad considering Wiley Drake had the support of the majority in Southern California after the police tried to shut him down for feeding the poor on church property. The O.C. Weekly, not the most conservative paper around, once had him listed in the 'people we like' column because of this.

Well, he's not in that column anymore!

From the Washington Post:

Colbert I. King: A dangerous kind of hate.

From the FFF:

it is sad then when people look up fundamental baptist on you tube or on the net, his name is coming up more in more.
it is sad that some people think that he represents fundamental baptists.

Here's a video of Anderson after he harassed the border patrol. He videotaped himself getting tazered:

Here's the website of his church:

Faithful Word Baptist.

Here's his blog:

Ladies and Gentlemen, the face of the fundamental Baptist! lol.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Disturbing, but fascinating.

Bob Gray once said that a good parent would be able to walk into a room of a crying infant, say, "Be quiet!", and the infant should shut up.

I heard him say that, and a bus worker heard him say that. However, I have never been able to find a written sermon that could pinpoint this child raising technique.

The disturbing part came when I heard that Bob Gray had been the de-facto counsellor for Dave Hyles after one of his sordid troubles. Dave's step-son, Brent, was found dead with broken bones and bruises. He was just an infant.

When I heard Gray was Dave's counsellor, I had to wonder if this wonderful piece of child raising advice was given to Dave, and how literally he took it!

Well, guess what? Ronald E. Williams, the brains behind Hephzibah House, a fundamentalist girl's home, has a published sermon which should send chills down your spine. He actually improves on Gray's ideas by narrowing the age range for corporal punishment down to the infant.

Ron's sermon has been brought to light, and it is pretty scary.


One thing is certain, correction with the rod should and must start very early. In fact, correction with the rod should start much earlier than our contemporary godless and irresponsible society believes is normative. The Scripture says, "Chasten thy son while there is hope and let not thy soul spare for his crying"

In this excerpt, a mother is at her wit's end. She buys a chain and lock and imprisons her daughter.

Ron to the rescue! He has 'better' advice:

I mentioned that I could give her a possible answer for her predicament. I also said, "But I doubt that you will follow through."

The mother, hearing that there might be a solution to her crisis, desperately implored, "Yes, I will take your counsel. What is your solution?"

I then proceeded to explain that the mother should get a stick that would not break and get after that daughter until the daughter asked for peace in their relationship. The mother hesitated in silence for a time on that long distance telephone call, and then seemingly made a firm commitment before me and the Lord that she would do so. She answered, "Alright, I will!" I then forgot about the mother and her call inasmuch as we receive several calls like this daily.

Three weeks later, I received a phone call from this same mother. I had forgotten who she was and was reminded of her identity only when she reminded me of the lock and chain she had purchased to secure her daughter. I remembered who she was at that point since that was a unique method of restraining the girl. I asked, "Well, what has happened since our last conversation?"

The mother replied that she had taken my advice to secure a large stick that would not break, and to quote the mother, "I wore off her behind!"

I chuckled at the mother's response and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the story. She went on to explain that she was simply amazed and dumbfounded at her daughter's change of heart following the severe thrashing that the mother gave her.

Wow! Beating with a stick works!

It's amazing the daughter is still alive, because, as Ron tells us:

"For if thou beatest him with the rod he shall not die." The condition of the promise is found in the phrase, "if thou beatest him with the rod."

Who meets this condition? Again, the original Hebrew gives us the clue. Another masculine suffix is used here indicating that the father is probably the one who shoulders the responsibility of meeting this condition.

So, if the father beats the son/daughter with a rod, God has promised they will survive. If the mother is doing the beating, we can only hope there's a survivor!

Now, I'll skip the rest of this sermon and just zoom in on the infant question:

When should a parent start using the rod of correction on a child that the Lord has brought into the family?

There is no clear and specific answer to this very good question. However, it is my opinion that the correction of children should start as soon as the need for that correction is made manifest.

Every discerning parent who has been blessed with a little child in his home realizes that his initial impression of the sweetness and the innocence of the child is in reality an illusion.

A child very quickly demonstrates his fallen, depraved nature and reveals himself to be a selfish little beast in manifold ways. As soon as the child begins to express his own self-will (and this occurs early in life) that child needs to receive correction.

My wife and I have a general goal of making sure that each of our children has his will broken by the time he reaches the age of one year. To do this, a child must receive correction when he is a small infant.

There it is! If you want to double check to make sure nothing has been taken out of context, read the sermon for yourself at:

The Correction and Salvation of Children by Ron Williams.

Ron Williams is an independent fundamental Baptist. His tax free ministry is located in Winona Lake, Indiana, home of Billy Sunday, Homer Rodeheaver, and Grace Theological Seminary.

The survivors of Hephzibah House are better organized than any group I have seen. They don't seem to get bogged down in small details, and have an open blog that posts accounts of girls who have been incarcerated at Hephzibah House.

Read survivor stories of Hephzibah House by visiting their blog,


A quick visit to the Lavender Liberal gives us this reminder from Jack Hyles.

Jack Hyles, as quoted in the Lavender Liberal:

During the formative years, yea, the infant years, the child should be spanked. As soon as his is old enough to walk away from his parents he should be spanked if he does not walk where they say he should walk. Parents should not have to remove vases and delicate glass ornaments from living room tables. A house need not become disorderly and full of riots because a baby has come. Start early in disciplining the child.

The [spanking] ritual should be deliberate and last at least ten or fifteen minutes.

Okay, so I guess I shouldn't blame Bob Gray for this piece of advice!

Obviously, Dave Hyles learned from his father.