Doug Phillips and Why “People In Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones”

I received an email today from Joe Friday. He gave me permission to post his email as an article. I’ve also included my response.shattered-glass

from: Joe Friday
to: Watchman
cc: Frank Vance
date: Jan 24, 2007 1:38 PM
subject: Doug Phillips and racism


I’m outraged by all the “racist” slams by Matthew Chancey against you and the Epsteins. Little Geneva can take their lumps because obviously they ARE kinists, and they don’t even try to deny it. But I don’t see anything in Matt Chancey’s “investigation” that leads me to believe that any of the rest of you are kinists, or racists, or anything of the kind.

Frank, did you notice that Chancey even quoted an email from you to Michael Metzler in which you deny being a kinist? But then Chancey goes right on to accuse you all of being kinists anyway, with no proof, and in spite of your denials!

Despite Seabrook’s “wink-wink” implying that “Vance”‘ had solid Kinist credentials, “Vance” himself continued to vociferously deny any connection with Seabrook and his fellow white separatists. When Michael Metzler asked this genuine question of “Vance”—”I have a friend who is convinced you guys are kinists. Could you help me out here?”—he gave this angry reply:

Good grief! You too Michael? You’ve got to be kidding me! Why don’t you just have your friend contact me himself? What’s his agenda Michael? Trying to find some foolish ad hom excuse to derail us? Are you really so certain he’s a friend? If he wants to find some lame and completely baseless justification to dis Ministry Watchman then watch out! He might do the same to you.

Are we kinists? No. Is any Ministry Watchman writer a kinist? No.

Feel free to email any of the other Ministry Watchman authors and ask them that question.

On second thought, DON’T. It’s getting really old. If I never get asked that question again it’ll be too soon.

Yet, the ties between Ministry Watchman and Little Geneva were as strong as ever.

Your denials mean nothing to Chancey and the lack of proof means nothing. The guy’s got an obvious agenda and the truth be damned! This has got to be some of the most outrageous behavior that I’ve ever seen professing Christians perpetrate. The entire premise for Chancey’s story is guilt by association, and as far as I can see the proof for the association is weak at best. I’m having a hard time believeing that Phillips and Chancey could be Christians at all. What they’re doing is so incredibly evil.

The whole thing is so repulsive. But what makes it even more repulsive is that Doug Phillips is probably a racist! Did you know this? I’ve been suspicious of Phillips, and especially of his father, for a long time. They both have a lot of personal friendships and close ties with notorious racists, and they both have often publicly sung the praises of notorious racists! If anyone could be rightly accused of being a racist because of guilt by association it would be Doug Phillips. Matt Chancey has got his own racist connections too, including right in his own family. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

I emailed some of what I found to Lynn at Indelible Grace and she’s posted it as an article. But what I’ve sent her is just the beginning. It really hasn’t taken me much time at all to find a whole lot more. I’ve already got enough material for a few more articles. What I’d like to know is if you’d be interested in posting what I’ve uncovered? See the enclosed text file and then let me know if you’d like to do anything with it.

As far as I’m concerned Phillips could stand a big dose of his own medicine. Phillips and Chancey need to be taught to never pull a stunt like this again.

God Bless,



from: Watchman
to: Joe Friday
cc: Frank Vance
date: Jan 24, 2007 6:02 PM
subject: Re: Doug Phillips and racism


I’d like your permission to post your email on Ministry Watchman. I’m also going to give you a far more extensive reply than what I’d normally do, with the idea in mind of posting this on Ministry Watchman as an article.

Someone else had already sent us a link to your article on Indelible Grace. In fact we’ve gotten a number of emails about this. Needless to say we’re all shocked. I’m even more shocked by the Word document you sent us. For us to be accused of a sin, and falsely so, when the accuser himself is very likely guilty of that very same sin, is a very hypocritical thing.

I’ve talked this over with Frank Vance. Neither one of us are enthusiastic at this time about going down this path. I don’t want to say that what you’ve assembled is gossip, or that it’s factually wrong. You seem to have really done your homework, but it still just doesn’t seem right to us, even in spite of what Phillips is doing to us and the Epsteins. To me it seems like hitting below the belt. Just because Doug Phillips, through his “former interns” and Matt Chancey, are all hitting below the belt, it doesn’t give us the right to respond in kind.

If at all possible I’d really like to avoid our having to stoop to that level. I’m not going to say though that I’ve ruled out the possibility that it could come down to that, but I’d like to hold off for at least for a few more days to see how things develop.

Phillips is obviously now engaged in the “politics of destruction.” He’s set this up through his close friend Matt Chancey in such a way that he thinks he’s got some plausible deniability. But the reality is he doesn’t have any more plausible deniability over Mrs. Binoculars than he does with the Still Fed Up “former Vision Forum interns.” It would take a very naive person to believe that he doesn’t exercise significant influence, if not outright control, over them all. Anybody who knows the relationship between them knows that all it would take to stop this war of words is a phone call from Doug Phillips. The only reason it hasn’t stopped is because Doug Phillips doesn’t want it to stop.

Joe, let’s keep all this in perspective. The real target of these “kinist” slurs isn’t Ministry Watchman or Frank Vance. The real target isn’t even Little Geneva (like you say, Little Geneva has always acknowledged that they’re kinists, and they seem proud of it too). The only reason Little Geneva ever got thrown into Phillips’ war of words is because they are a kinist blog, and any alleged “association” with them could be spun into a guilt by association story by Chancey.

The real target of all of this is the Epsteins. Phillips did them dirty by unjustly excommunicating them. The Epsteins spent almost two years trying to be reconciled. Phillips repeatedly refused the Epsteins’ overtures. The Epsteins then took their story public, first through Ministry Watchman, and then directly with their own blogs. Phillips is now intent on destroying the Epsteins and anyone that he perceives as having aided them.

Matt Chancey is Phillips’ primary hatchet man in his political war. Here’s how Chancey’s “logic” and political strategy progresses:

  1. Chancey overlays a picture of Jen Epstein on top of Ministry Watchman’s masthead. Voila! Jen is “Mrs. Binoculars.” Any objective-thinking person with reasonably good vision can plainly see they’re not the same person. I have rebutted that Jen is “Mrs. Binoculars” as has Jen herself. For us we thought the whole story was funny. But Chancey had already made up his mind about it, and therefore that makes it so. It’s essential to Chancey’s political strategy that he be able to merge Jen Epstein with Ministry Watchman, regardless of how thin the evidence. For Chancey the facts don’t matter, so he continues on with the next in his series of conspiracy theories.
  2. Having unequivocally established to the satisfaction of his own brain that Jen Epstein is the force behind Ministry Watchman, Chancey then moves to discredit Jen Epstein, and therefore also the Ministry Watchman that she is allegedly the force behind. To do so Chancey uses an old political trick of smearing the opponent with an allegation that the public would find morally reprehensible — racism. Racists are viewed by many as being as loathsome as wife-beaters and pedophiles. The very term “racist” is emotionally charged. The same applies to the term “anti-Semite.” Brand someone a “racist” or “anit-Semite” and many people will immediately take up a “you’re guilty until you prove yourself innocent” position.
  3. Chancey makes his “racist” accusation against Jen Epstein through guilt by association. The only “evidence” of an “association” comes from a couple of comments that Jen posted on Little Geneva, as well as favorable comments by Little Geneva of the Epsteins, and links from Little Geneva to the Epsteins’ blogs.
  4. Chancey applies the same guilt by association logical fallacy to Ministry Watchman. Little Geneva has spoken favorably of Ministry Watchman and linked to Ministry Watchman, and even before Ministry Watchman existed Little Geneva linked to Frank Vance’s blog. As far as evidence goes that’s not much to go on, but in Matt Chancey’s conspiratorial world that’s all that’s necessary to brand someone a “kinist” and therefore a “racist.”

Doug Phillips’ use of “former interns” and close personal friends masquerading as “independent investigators,” who in reality are nothing but political hatchet men, is malicious and vindictive. In my view Doug Phillips has accomplished nothing but to prove what the Epsteins were saying all along — Doug Phillips refuses to be held accountable, and anyone who attempts to do so will receive a “You’ll pay for this!” response.

The Epsteins have paid, and now Phillips is trying to make us pay too for agreeing to tell their story. Even the mere act of agreeing with the Epsteins in their efforts to seek reconciliation and peacemaking with Phillips just provoked an even more vindictive response.

Where do we go from here? Right now I’m not exactly sure, but here’s some things that I am sure about:

  1. Peacemaking and reconciliation is the biblical path for the Epsteins, Doug Phillips, and Boerne Christian Assembly. Regardless of anything that’s happened in the past, differences need to be set aside and reconciliation needs to occur for the sake of the peace and purity of the church.
  2. The Epsteins have agreed to peacemaking and reconciliation as a condition of becoming members at Faith Presbyterian Church, San Antonio.
  3. In order to best facilitate reconciliation, the session of elders at FPC have required that the Epsteins take down their blog articles. The Epsteins not only did that they even requested that Ministry Watchman do the same, and we have complied.
  4. Instead of responding in kind, Doug Phillips’ cohort has only escalated their ad hominem attacks.
  5. The Epsteins have, per their elders mandate, stayed off the blogosphere, not responding to the numerous attacks against them. They’re taking a verbal lashing without defending themselves, and in so doing demonstrating their sincerity for reconciliation.
  6. The Phillips cabal has only taken advantage of the Epsteins’s weakened strategic position by escalating their attacks while the Epsteins are unable to respond.
  7. One can only conclude that Doug Phillips’ intention, and the intentions of his “former interns” and Matt Chancey, is to sabotage reconciliation.

As I said over a week ago, “I’m more than just a little skeptical that further attempts at reconciliation with Doug Phillips will be productive. But I can also appreciate that if that’s an obligation that the Epsteins’ elders have for becoming members, and if the Epsteins really want to join Faith Presbyterian Church, then they at least have to make a good faith effort.” The Epsteins have now more than demonstrated a good faith effort, and just as I suspected would happen I now have even more cause to be “skeptical that further attempts at reconciliation with Doug Phillips will be productive.”

Joe, you might be able to soon convince me that Ministry Watchman should run your “Doug Phillips Is A Racist” articles, but for right now I’m still holding out a teeny bit of hope that Phillips will come to his senses and put a stop to this vicious slander. If we continue seeing the Epsteins being slandered as “kinists” and “racists,” and if Frank Vance and others continue being slandered, then there will be no doubt left in my mind that Phillips’ intentions are to sabotage reconciliation with the Epsteins. What incentive would we have left to cooperate any further? We’re certainly not going to continue being silent while we’re being slandered.

If the slander continues I may very well be forced into reevaluating the propriety of posting your articles. But I pray it won’t ever come down to that. I really wouldn’t like having to do something like that. I don’t want to see Doug Phillips ruined, and I’m afraid that the evidence that you’ve gathered could very well do that.

I’m very confident of one thing — if what you’ve assembled were to be widely disseminated to the home school moms that are the very lifeblood of Vision Forum, it would probably be devastating to Vision Forum. So far what you’ve written hasn’t been very widely disseminated. I’m familiar with how much traffic Indelible Grace gets (Lynn has shared that information with us), and I’ll just say that Ministry Watchman’s readership is multiple times more. Giving wide dissemination of the information that you’ve documented about Phillips would not be my first choice. My first choice would be for Phillips’ reconciliation with the Epsteins and repentance.

Joe, I trust that you’re a brother in Christ and that you will be praying along with us for a successful and Christ-honoring remedy to these matters.

Yours in the bonds of Christ Jesus,


47 Comments on “Doug Phillips and Why “People In Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones””

  1. Cynthia Gee says:

    “I’m very confident of one thing — if what you’ve assembled were to be widely disseminated to the home school moms that are the very lifeblood of Vision Forum, it would probably be devastating to Vision Forum. So far what you’ve written hasn’t been very widely disseminated.”

    That could change. This story was already getting pretty well circulated around the “blogosphere” even before Joe wrote his excellent posts. With your permission, I’d like to disseminate Joe’s postings further, and I encourage Joe and everyone else here to do the same.

    I’ve been observing the Patriarchy movement for some years now, and I had always suspected that Phillips, Lancaster, MacDonald, Chancey, et al were fishy; this whole thing has confirmed it. Before all this happenned, the only people who suspected what was really going on were a handful of private observers, and groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    These folks have been making a fortune indoctrinating an entire generation of homeschooled kids with their theonomist/patriarchal doctrine, and if it weren’t for the Epstein incident, they might have gotten clean away with it.

    Check out this blog, especially comment # 31, made by the blog owner’s husband. Even the parents have been indoctrinated into believing this stuff:

    Most homeschooling moms are very well meaning, and many have been shocked to find out what Phillips really believes and what Rushdooney really taught. After being told, people are dropping links to Vision Forum right and left:

  2. praying and thinking says:

    I think that Matt Chancey’s accusation that the Epsteins are racist is as farcical as an accusation that Mark is a Chinese woman or that Jennifer is a Russian cossack soldier (complete with moustache and hat-band under the chin). I once spoke with Mark and Jennifer, a richly edifying conversation. I thought that Epstein was a Jewish name, and I asked Mark whether that was so: yes, he told me, his name is Jewish, and Mark is a Jew. Now, does that make Mark an anti-semite? I remember on Jennifer’s first blog-site, she posted serious articles on Jewish feasts and other Jewish applications which she unmistakably loved and embraced. Any one who has read much of Mark’s or of Jennifer’s blog-sites would find the accusation that they are racists absurd. Concerning Ministry Watchman, I would like to give this account: Weeks or months ago, I submitted a comment to this blog-site, in which I used a situation involving the Nazis in World War II as an analogy or illustration, and M.W. kindly wrote me that anything that might be construed as anti-semitic should be avoided. I think that M.W. is no more racist than than Ronald Reagan was communist. May I say about myself, that very little else in history has affected me so profoundly as the Shoah (the Jews’ name for the holocaust), and I most earnestly labored for a long while to present to others truthful lessons to be learned from the Shoah, especially applications for Christians to learn from that. To be a Jew is an honor, and everyone else should have a disposition of “hat in hand” toward Jews.
    M.W., in your list of 7 things you were sure about, the first one listed was the need for reconciliation, saying, “Regardless of anything that’s happened in the past, differences need to be set aside and reconciliation needs to occur for the sake of the peace and purity of the church.” I would rejoice if Doug Phillips truly repents, but apart from genuine repentance, reconciliation would leave a wolf in the pasture freer and better able than ever to devour other sheep. To reconcile and accept him without true, Biblical repentance would also be a profoundly wrong example to all who realized it, the worst thing for the testimony of the truth we profess before the world, for the good of the church, and also the worst for Doug’s eternal soul, conveying to him that he is not in such disobedience and danger for his soul. Further, I would think that the information Joe Friday has found might protect many homeschoolers — parents and children — from harm. I utterly agree with you that nothing should be done in an un-loving way, nothing remotely vengeful nor hostile, but others should be warned about such matters. To conceal that seems only to help Doug to continue in the same way.

  3. Cindy says:

    Cynthia, I am a bit shocked to find my blog statistics pointing over here and linking to my blog. Also you are mistaken in saying the comment was written by my husband. I let that comment stand as I let your comments stand. It was not written by my husband.

    It is also ironic that you are accusing me of following Doug Phillips because many people get mad at me because I don’t follow certain homeschool leaders.

    Your ability to correctly assess what is going on at my blog greatly undermines your credibility.

    I have the ability to glean from sources I might otherwise disagree with and I don’t paint with a wide brush.

  4. JW says:

    I am on the second volume of Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law and I disagree with Cynthia that the behavior of Doug Philips, as described on this blog and others, is compatible with Rushdoony’s positions. In fact, just last night I was reading a section in his book about church discipline that I considered copying to send to Doug Philips as it would serve as a reprimand to him. Last week, I read a section that made it clear to me that the behavior of Phillips and his church toward women, as described on this site and others, is contradictory to what Rushdoony said. For instance:

    It is this unity of action as one flesh, as a life in common, which gives power to the family as the central public institution. The man who acts as thought his wife were only created to obey him denies the “one flesh” aspect of marriage and assumes the role of a bachelor exercising sexual and self-serving demands over a resident woman. Instead of a marriage, there is simply cohabitation. It is the man’s will, not God’s public purpose concerning the family, which is then put into force.

    If Philips is modeling Rushdoony, my reading makes me believe that he is doing a terrible job. Please note that Rushdoony had women employees and the Chalcedon Foundation continues to employ women.

    Also, in my estimation, the Southern Poverty Law Center has no credibility.

  5. Cynthia Gee says:

    To begin with, Cindy, if Tim is not your husband, I apologise. Profusely. I could have sworn that you had referred to your husand as Tim in a previous posting, and so I assumed…
    Just goes to prove the truth of what they say about that word, “ass-umed.”
    I was wrong. If being wrong on one point undermines my credibility, so be it — I deserve to lose some credibility for such sloppy research.

    I linked to you blog not so much to point out what YOU say, but to show what Tim and other people say, and to demonstrate a trend. If linking to your blog was bad Netiquette, then I apologise for that as well. I’m a research geek: I’ve been doing research online for years, but I’ve only been blogging for a few weeks, and I don’t know all the blogging niceties yet, I’m sure. But I thought that what is written in a blog was for PUBLIC comsumption, and reasoned that linking to them was OK.

    As for following Doug Phillips, the Patriarchal movement is FAR bigger than Phillips. It also includes Dykema, MacDonald, Chancey, Wilkins, Wilson, the late Rushdooney, and many more. What you and folks like Tim have written on your blog shows that you agree at least in part with what these fellows teach. And that’s what I was trying to point out.

  6. Justice Prima says:

    I also agree with at least part of what each of those fellows teach. And I bet you do, too, if you only knew.

    As I say elsewhere, Cynthia, you are far more gracious, civil, and even-toned than Matt Chancey, but you both use a brush just as wide.

    There is nothing rude about linking a blog. But when you link a blog saying it demonstrates X when it really has very little to do with X, it’s kind of a pain for the blogger in question, who will no doubt be deluged with rude and obnoxious emails from people who should know better.

  7. Broad. Not Wide.
    As in, painting with a broad brush.
    Unless a new idiom has now made it past the malaprop stage without my notice.

  8. Cynthia Gee says:

    Justice, all Christians agree with a part of what each of those fellows teaches — they are all ministers who preach Christianity, after all.

    But it’s the rest of what they promote – the wide, common stripe of racism, hyper-patriarchy, and theonomy – that is the problem. It is this which links them together, as much as does their Christian faith; and it is this which distinguishes them from mainstream Christianity.

    The fact that they tend to associate or link to people who associate with groups like League of the South, and publish revisionist histories to children, and defend deception in the name of God, as in Wilkins case, is also problematic.

    No reputable minister would have anything to do with someone who promotes either racism OR the “honorable and necessary deception of the wicked”, yet MacDonald publishes Wilkin’s articles and Jennie Chancey sells his books, and Doug Wilson writes books in collaboration with him. And all follow Rushdoony to a greater or lesser degree.
    Now if that’s a wide brushstroke, so be it: I have used a wide brush, to highlight and point out a wide and well defined common stripe.

  9. ORU Grad says:

    “For us to be accused of a sin, and falsely so, when the accuser himself is very likely guilty of that very same sin, is a very hypocritical thing.”

    We’ve all heard these kinds of stories, haven’t we? The preacher who yells from the pulpit about “whoremongers and adulterers” and then he’s exposed for cheating on his wife with the church secretary. Or what about Oral Roberts who preached against the “evils of intoxicating spirits.” Then one of the former ORU statff members quit and wrote a book exposing how Oral had a fridge hidden out in his garage stocked with beer.

    I learned a long time ago that when a man beats the drum the loudest against a particular sin to watch out. Often times he’s doing it to deflect attention from himself because he’s guilty of that same sin. The big difference I see here though is that Oral kept his beer well hidden, whereas Phillips has hung his racist opinions out for the whole world to see. I just wonder why it’s taken most people so long to catch on though.

  10. Lynn says:

    Joe, I have reflected on the article you sent to me, and have looked up the men you reference. I think what you have proven is not that Doug is probably a racist, but that he is extremely hypocritical. Reasoning as follows:

    Doug endorses Chancey’s (pause while I gag) “independent investigation.” By Chancey’s words, and Doug’s endorsement, Doug and Matt repudiate dealings with kinsists and racists as a means of accomplishing a goal. You can’t read mrsbinoculars and not come away with that idea. Now, I am NOT speaking of Rushdoony here, but I am thinking of all the Constitution Party’s ties to blatant racists that you gave me. And Doug HAS endorsed the Constitution Party. So DOUG aligns with racists to accomplish political goals.

    You have nailed the hypocrisy big time, as I stated in my blog. And I am taking that article as a means of showing Doug and Matt how their reasoning works when applied to themselves. And to be honest, that is the reason I posted it. But in order to say “probably a racist,” you need more proof. I just want to make that clear, both on my blog, and here.

    Because Doug’s endorsement of a party that has notable racists might not be an alignment for the purpose of spreading racism, but of limiting the intrusion of the Federal Government, and issues like those. And there are other considerations.

    Let’s keep repeating that mrsbinoculars is a big diversion from the main topic, which has now gone off the internet. I only write about mrsbino because the principals can’t defend themselves, and to show what I can of the faulty reasoning.

  11. Watchman says:

    Lynn, I appreciate what you’ve done by posting Joe’s research. My initial take on it was much like your own. To me it didn’t prove that Phillips is a racist, but that he and Matt Chancey are two of the biggest hypocrites I’ve ever seen in my life. Men like that have no business of ever playing the “racist card.”

    Unfortunately, I do think however that this does go beyond mere hypocrisy. If the only research that Joe had done was what he gave to you to post then I’d completely agree with you. But apparently he’s uncovered a lot more that adds to the body of evidence. He’s already shared some of that with us and apparently he’s continuing to dig for more. It doesn’t look good.

    If Phillips had any common sense at all he’d tell Chancey to take down that ridiculous blog of his, along with Still Fed Up. Every day they remain up more and more people, including Joe, are getting even more irritated. That’s bound to just provoke a response that I’m confident Phillips will deeply regret.

  12. Joe Friday says:

    Hi Lynn.

    I respect your opinion about all this. But I still think that Doug Phillips is probably a racist, and the more that I look into it the more I’m convinced about it. I think a lot of other people will be convinced too. They just need to see all the evidence, and unlike Matt Chancey it won’t take me anywhere near 10,000 words to try and convince anyone. The evidence is a whole lot stronger that Phillips is a racist than the Epsteins and Frank Vance and Ministry Watchman are racists.

    My belief about Phillips came by applying the same Chancey “independent investigation” standards that he’s applied to Jen Epstein and Frank Vance and Ministry Watchman. If those standards are fair, biblical, and logical then we should all be able to use those same standards and apply them to Doug Phillips. I believe that we SHOULD do that and we shouldn’t be afraid to scrutinize Phillips in the same way that he wants to scrutinize others.

    If the Chancey standards of “independent investigation” are unfair, unbiblical, and logical fallacies then Doug Phillip has an obligation to step forward immediately and publicly condemn Matt Chancey’s “independent investigation.” But he hasn’t done that. By linking to Mrs. Binoculars from the Vision Forum web site Phillips gave Chancey an endorsement, and he even called it an “independent investigation” himself. Which means that Doug Phillips is also a deceiver and a liar.

    If Phillips doesn’t condemn Chancey’s “independent investigation” for the fraud that it is then he’s begging to be publicly examined himself by the same standards, and I’m more than happy to do my part.

    I don’t personally think Chancey’s standards are fair, biblical or logical, but Phillips obviously does. He started this battle and he set the rules for the battle, so unless he wants to now admit the rules are dirty and sleazy then I plan to join the war games and play by the same rules.

    I’m grateful Lynn that you posted my email. I didn’t want to have to start my own blog to do this. You’ve already got the audience and the influence, and from what I can see your audience is seriously interested. That’s why I came to you Lynn. I also came to you because it’s obvious that most of your audience are women, and most of Vision Forum’s customers are probably women. It’s important that the women know that when they buy something from Vision Forum that they’re supporting racist beliefs and historical revisionism that most Christian women would probably be appalled at.

    I’m still trying to interest Ministry Watchman in posting some articles too. I think they should and they need to. I think they need to put back up all the articles they took down. All this talk about reconciliation with Phillips. It’s a waste of time. Phillips is just out for his pound of flesh. The only hope of ever bringing a guy like that to repentance is to give him as much public exposure as possible. Even then if he does “repent” we’ll all have doubts about his sincerity, but at least the public exposure will make him accountable. Isn’t that the purpose of Ministry Watchman?

    Watchman, it’s not for me to tell you how to run your blog but I think it wasn’t all that wise for you to take those Phillips articles down. A guy like Phillips doesn’t see what you did as an act of charity. He just sees that as weakness and vulnerability. You’ve made yourself vulnerable so now he thinks he can move in for the kill. I understand that the Epsteins probably had to take their articles down, but you didn’t.

    When you deal with politicians you’ve got to come at them from a position of strength. The only thing politicians respect is power and influence. It’s like what Reagan did with Gorbachev. Before disarming Reagan dramatically ramped up our strategic nuclear weapons. He also came up with an idea that sounded insane at the time, “Mutual Assured Destruction.” That’s how you’ve got to deal with a politician like Doug Phillips. He launched the “racist nuke” for only one reason, to destroy you. He needs to know that you’re willing to launch a counterstrike, and you need to know that he’s got a whole lot more to lose than you do.

    I’ve never met any of the Phillips and I hope I never do. But I’ve read enough about them to know that they’re a bunch of politicians. Howard Phillips is a politician, trained in one of the sleaziest political settings, the Nixon administration. He raised his sons to think and act like politicians.

    Lynn, all that discussion going on at your blog now about Rahab and “righteous lying” fits the Phillips clan to a T.

    I really hope I’m proven wrong about reconciliation ever happening between the Epsteins and Doug Phillips. I’m not rejecting the idea that God is capable of making that happen. I know he can. God can do whatever it pleases him to do. But I also think that Phillips has a heart of stone and enough pride to fill the State of Texas. I came to that conclusion after reading the Epsteins’ extraordinarily well documented story on their blogs and then reading Phillips pathetic “response” on the BCA web site. I just can’t see reconciliation ever happening.

    Again Watchman, I’m not trying to tell you what to do, but I’ll just say that if it were me I’d put a deadline on it. That’s not to try and force Phillips into reconciliation. That wouldn’t be sincere reconciliation. But a realistic deadline that says “We waited as long as reasonable. Phillips obviously isn’t interested in reconciling with the Epsteins. So we’re putting our articles back up. We’re also going to run some stories about Doug Phillips being a racist. He’s accused us of being racists, and conspiring with racists. So it’s only fair that his own racial views and friendships with racists be scrutinized too, and we’re going to use the same standards that he used to judge us.”

  13. TheIronHare says:

    If the stuff about Doug Phillips that has been taken down remains down after too long a time of waiting for DP to show genuine repentance (i.e. for hell to freeze over) THAT would be bad. But the Epsteins’ good faith gesture and their willingness to work with their new church’s session, even after their awful experience of being shamelessly abused by church leaders at BCA (mostly autocratic Doug Phillips), speaks well of them and makes for a huge contrast with DP’s hateful and unreasoning animality. The Christian character the Epsteins have shown in and of itself goes a long way toward exposing the true nature of Doug Phillips and the wretched, rabid pack of depraved and deceitful individuals who constitute some of his defenders.

    – Dennis

  14. Mark Ellis says:

    Ministry Watchman,

    Wow. Wow, wow, wow. This is an amazing piece of research.

    As good as it is, Joe may well be missing quite a bit. I’ve bought a lot of Vision Forum material over the years and have found that I’ve had to be careful to preview it before giving it to my children. This is because a lot of it confirms what you and Joe are saying. There’s a strong racist undercurrent to some of these materials.

    I know I had to pull the Henty book “With Lee in Virginia” because the author ROUTINELY refers to blacks as “niggers.” He does it all the time. It’s sickening. I’ve had to “edit” the Elsie Dinsmore books because of this content, too, particularly some of the later books. Also, there was a series of two books called the “Northwoods” series or something that had some pretty bad stuff mocking blacks in it. And I was surprised to see in the Patriarch Poems book (by Phillips himself) the inclusion of men like Rudyard Kipling of “White Man’s Burden” fame. And then there’s the book by racist Teddy Roosevelt. It just goes on and on. Why would I want me kids reading this stuff?

    It is one thing to be quoting racists. It’s another thing to outright selling their writings. Pretty damning if you ask me—given the standards Phillips and Chauncy are setting.

    I don’t know if you or Joe would be interested, but I would be willing to spend a good part of the weekend documenting some of this. Since I’ve already had to tear out pages or use a black Sharpie on this stuff, it should be easy for me to find.

    Pass on my contact information to Joe and let him know I’m willing to help, if needed.

    May God bless you.

    -Mark Ellis

    (Sorry if this should have been emailed. I didn’t see an email address on the site.)

  15. Lynn says:

    “But I still think that Doug Phillips is probably a racist, and the more that I look into it the more I’m convinced about it. I think a lot of other people will be convinced too. They just need to see all the evidence, and unlike Matt Chancey it won’t take me anywhere near 10,000 words to try and convince anyone. The evidence is a whole lot stronger that Phillips is a racist than the Epsteins and Frank Vance and Ministry Watchman are racists.”

    Then . . .

    “My belief about Phillips came by applying the same Chancey “independent investigation” standards that he’s applied to Jen Epstein and Frank Vance and Ministry Watchman.”

    You are saying two things here, Joe. The top thing is you have more evidence that convinces you Doug is a racist. The next thing you say is your belief came by applying Chancey’s standards to your investigation. But you acknowledge Chancey’s site is full of smear and lacking evidence.

    Joe, if you acknowledge that your belief came about by means of engaging in political logical fallacies, then you know it is a very tenuous belief to have.

    What I would like the “homeschool mamas” to walk away with from that article I posted on my site is not that it proves Doug is probably a racist, but that by Matt Chancey’s standards it certainly does, and far more so than Chancey convinced us of anything about the Epsteins. That . . . and that they are hypocrites (you who pass judgment do the same things).

    And there’s a world of difference there.

    I think to jump shift right into talking like Matt Chancey without explaining why you are doing this is to help spread confusion. There are already people commenting to my blog who state Doug is a racist. All I can say is I don’t think what you did proved it, but it does show the hypocrisy. And by Matt Chancey’s standards, yes, Doug is far more implicated than the Epsteins. That is what people need to know who are looking into this.

  16. Joe Friday says:

    Hi Lynn.

    I tend to agree with you. My statement that “Doug Phillips is probably a racist” was intended to be in sharp contrast with Matt Chancey’s “is” accusations, but now that I look at it again I can see that there’s not nearly enough of a contrast. “Probably” is just too strong a word.

    Chancey has repeatedly used the unqualified and conclusive “is.” “Jen Epstein is Mrs. Binoculars.” “Jennifer Epstein is a key ringleader of what may be one of the largest, most far-reaching and best-organized conspiracies to defame Christian leaders ever to hit the blogosphere.” “Jennifer’s high level involvement in the Ministry Watchman scam is now a matter of public record.” “Now, however, her pragmatic collaboration with white separatist bigots is clearly revealed.” “The man hiding behind the name ‘Frank Vance’ is a closet Kinist who carefully minimizes this fact in order to protect the credibility of Ministry Watchmen.” etc.

    I see now though that my use of the word “probably” isn’t nearly enough of a qualifier, and it’s not nearly enough in contrast to Chancey’s “is” accusations. Rather than “probably” what I should have said is “may be” or “very well could be.” In the future I’ll make a point of being more careful about that.

    I also admit that this sentence was poorly worded, “My belief about Phillips came by applying the same Chancey ‘independent investigation’ standards that he’s applied to Jen Epstein and Frank Vance and Ministry Watchman.” What I should have said is, “My thesis about Phillips and racism will come by…” I agree that such a thesis, based on Matt Chancey’s own system of logical fallacies may not conclusively prove that Phillips is a racist. But I will say once again that the evidence that I’ve been gathering is much more compelling than any so-called evidence that Chancey has put out.

    Lynn, whether or not it can be proven conclusively that Doug Phillips is a racist, I do agree with what you and Watchman have said. It’s really not even necessary to prove that Phillips is a racist (although given enough research I think I may be able to come very close to that). Exposing the hypocrisy and maliciousness of Doug Phillips’ actions in all this should be more than adequate to cause many people to wonder if they can continue supporting him and his Vision Forum.

  17. Watchman says:

    Lynn, I think you’ve made a good point and I’d like to hear more from Joe about this too.

    This is the very concern that I have. Just because Phillips through his politicos has slandered us as “kinists” doesn’t make it right for us to retaliate in kind. I’d especially have a difficult time justifying it if it means we have to resort to the same strategies of employing logical fallacies and conspiracy theories.

    However, I could see doing so as an educational exercise in demonstrating Phillips’ own hypocrisy and political dirty tricks. I think this may be what Joe was driving at by “giving Phillips a taste of his own medicine.”

    I am starting to think though that what Joe’s uncovering probably does go beyond mere hypocrisy. But I’m not prepared yet to say, as Joe’s said, that “Phillips is probably a racist.” I just don’t know. I need to see more evidence.

    One thing I do know is that Phillips and Chancey have made a major blunder by making themselves liable to being scrutinized by the standard that they’ve employed against us. If Mrs. Binoculars continues to remain up then I’m going to take that as a signal from Phillips that that’s what he wants us to do.

  18. Cynthia Gee says:

    Agreed. The last time I checked, that kind of behavior is a pretty sure sign that someone is not a nice person.

    I just wrote, over on Indelible Grace,

    “And now for a reality check. Stop a minute and think, folks. We live in twenty-first century America, in a civilized (though somewhat decadent) society.

    Lately we have been discussing a group which thinks that slavery might be a moral or at least a Biblical thing; a group with at least some political associations to secessionists; a group who question whether or not women ought to vote, and whose leaders dictate which cantidates the members of their congregation are “at liberty” to vote for. And in so doing, we have been discussing them as though these people were members of a normal denomination of Christianity.”

    If you ask me, these things are screwy. They lead me to believe that the whole Patriarchy movement is a cult, and maybe a very dangerous one, given its political and secessionist connections.

    But even screwy people in cults CAN be nice. Phillips, Chancey et al, are NOT nice. Not at all. It sounds naive, it sounds simplistic, but it speaks volumes:

    1Cr 13:1 THOUGH I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal………And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

  19. Rena says:

    Cynthia, you hit the nail on the head with your post.

    It would be hard to prove that Doug Phillips and Matt Chancey are kinist unless they actually admitted it and wrote something to the effect of LG. Doubtful if that would ever happen.

    But, there is a pattern that ‘points’ to it: Starting with all the associations: Rushdooney, Dabney, Constitution party, Hyper patriarchy, glorifying the pre civil war era in writing, catalog graphics, etc. Matthew Chanceys wife writes articles about women should not vote or should only vote for whom their husbands tell them. These people live in a different ‘time’ in their minds.

    DP romanticizes that era and sells it to folks who forget all the epidemics, mothers dying in childbirth, babies not making it past 4 years, filth, pollution not to mention women were considered property and could not vote and slavery.

    All of this proves nothing but would not look good to a jury. Know what I mean?

  20. Lynn says:

    It appears from “Kate’s Chosen” blog that people who haven’t been accused of ties with kinism, *except* as an exercise in showing Matt Chancey’s logic applied to *them*, are beginning to defend themselves on the internet. In the main part of her entry, Kate says it seems people are accusing Metzler of ties with kinists, and Metzler posted something about this on his blog. In the comment section of that post, Kate goes on to inform people:

    “‘Still Fed Up’ has a good blog post about this here:

    Read this:
    ‘That Doug Phillips appreciates the work of RL Dabney – the venerable Southern theologian and adjutant General to Stonewall Jackson in the War Between the States – in no way proves he is a racist any more than does Doug’s support of George Washington and Patrick Henry does, both of whom owned slaves.'”

    Kate goes on to ask us if we “got it?” I don’t think *she* gets it. I know of NOBODY who has accused Metzler of being a kinist, or of ties with them, and the only reason we went through that exercise with Doug Phillips is to show how, using MATT CHANCEY’S REASONING, Doug is in the same boat as the Epsteins and more so. We have gone out of our way to say that all that information Joe gave so far proves nothing.

    Yet there they are, defending themselves as though we were actually accusing them, when in truth, it was Matt Chancey who bears the responsibility for all of this.

  21. Cynthia Gee says:

    Interesting, isn’t it?
    As they say, run it up the flagpole, and see who salutes.

  22. Shalom says:

    Ministry Watchman,

    Michael Metzler posted an article today accusing you of creating blogs to attack him and posting anonymous comments against him. Here’s what he said,” Wowzers. The Watchman is bleeding so fast that they now have plenty of time on their hands to creatively libel me on the internet–running out of targets I guess. Multiple sites have now been constructed to malign my reputation. One of them is fairly well done; I’m flattered.”

    The only blog I know about like that is Poohs Think With Comments. Did anyone from Ministry Watchman set that up? Have you set up any other blogs besides Ministry Watchman? Are you posting anonymous comments attacking Metzler?

  23. Watchman says:

    Shalom, the answer is no, no and no.

    Matt Chancey has definitely laid the groundwork for conspiracy theories and now many are following in his footsteps. Kate has repeatedly made baseless accusations against Jen Epstein, including even accusing Jen of calling Kate at home. In spite of the lack of any evidence Kate continues with her false accusations.

    Now Michael Metzler has joined in the fray and accuses Ministry Watchman of “creative libel.” But who’s guilty of the libeling?

    Actually, I’m not even going to use that word in Metzler’s case because it’s not the right term, and I think Metzler knows it. “Libel” seems to be one of his favorite accusations. Just Google Pooh’s Think for “libel” and see how many times it shows up in his articles. Anyone says anything negative about Metzler and he cries, “I’m being libeled.” Poor choice of words and he probably knows it.

    Metzler is guilty of bearing false witness against us, but not libel. For it to be libel it not only would need to be false, it would also have to demonstrably damage our reputation. I doubt that at this point that hardly anyone takes Metzler seriously, and who would ever take such baseless accusations as these latest ones seriously?

    Never mind that Metzler never even bothered to ask if we’ve got anything at all to do with the site (or is it “sites” — is there more than one?) that he’s gone and accused us of creating and/or commenting on. All Metzler had to do was ask. But just like Chancey it’s more expedient to just accuse with little or no proof.

    Apparently Metzler is looking for an easy target to blame. Ministry Watchman has a prominent presence and we’re already unpopular with Doug Phillips, a man that Metzler appears to have aligned himself with. It’s a lot easier for Metzler to blame us than figure out who among the numerous enemies that he’s made is now posting uncharitable things about him.

    But there’s nothing new about Metzler being taken to task and ridiculed on blogs and even thrown off blogs for his annoying behavior. Metzler even has the dubious distinction of being the fourth person to have ever been banned from Team Pyro, and apparently they’re willing to put up with quite a lot. Metzler himself has admitted that he’s been kicked off multiple blogs. Just about everywhere he goes he’s been ridiculed. Yet he wants to now single out Ministry Watchman as being the only possible source that would say something bad about him? That’s not only unjust, it’s illogical.

    Just Google Doug Wilson’s blog for “Metzler” and see how many unfavorable comments appear there, many of them also anonymous. By attacking Doug Wilson for months on end Metzler has probably made many enemies. There are probably dozens of people who have for a number of months posted many anonymous negative comments on any number of blogs against Metzler. But now he wants to blame just Ministry Watchman?

    Because of Metzler’s previous cordial relationship with Frank Vance I’ve gone out of my way to be considerate toward Metzler. But after these latest false accusations by him I’m done being considerate.

  24. Cynthia Gee says:

    Hey, look what just showed up in my mailbox…..

    From: “James McDonald” Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
    Subject: Matthew 18…
    Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 22:48:40 -0600


    Just for fun, you might want to ask me personally why I have posted articles or links on my website, The Patriarch’s Path. You have extrapolated off one article and a few links to paint me as a racist. This practice is not only cavalier with the truth; it is a violation of the 9th Commandment. Although you “corrected” your lie on your homeschoolblogger site with regard to Rev. Dale Dykema ‘s article – falsely accusing Rev. Dykema and me, by inference, of stating that only rich, white landowners should vote. Your link to that article and your insinuation still exists. To quote you, “Interesting, isn’t it?” For the record, what you are doing is called libel – a false and malicious published statement that damages the reputation of another.

    I would recommend visiting our church sometime – this will help you to visibly observe that I am certainly not a racist. And I can publicly state that neither are those whom you accuse. Have you ever met any of those you so quickly dismiss? Have you taken the time to talk to Gary DeMar, Dale Dykema , Ken Gentry, Doug Phillips – or any of the others you have slandered online? I know many of the men and women you are attacking. They are striving to do nothing more than see the Gospel preached and lives changed for God’s glory. If you are a Christian, how can you shoot at the saints? Have you read Eph 6:12 lately? Have you really read it?

    Consider this the first step in the Matthew 18 process. I ask that you remove my name from your posts and publicly apologize for your insinuations.

    I pray your comments are simply a result of misinformation. If you could, please send me details on your church affiliation. If this continues, I would like to involve your elders in our discussions. This is biblical procedure, if you are interested in following Scripture.

    In His Service,

    James M McDonald
    Homeschooling Today Magazine

  25. Cynthia Gee says:

    And, since the Reverend MacDonald wants to do the Matthew 18 process while skipping steps 1 and 2, and posting his letter publicly on my blog, here’s my response to him, in keeping with John 3:20:

    “James, given the folks whose articles you publish — Steve Wilkins and Doug Wilson, for starters, and also Doug Phillips, (whose father courted the votes of the League of the South and other secessionists) — what should I think?
    If you publish articles by racists and liars, or by liars with racist connections, you will be judged by the company you keep, even if the articles themselves have nothing to do with race. There are enough good Christian authors writing articles today that no one need publish material by people associated with secessionists and hate groups.

    Try looking at it this way. What if you visited a website, let’s say on politics, and found that many of the articles there were written by homosexuals, Communists, and pagans? Wouldn’t that lead you to suspect certain things about the owner of that website? And if the people who wrote those articles linked back to the owner of the first website, and promoted the website owner’s books, etc, what then? What would you think about him?

    Moreover, in my blog, I have not called you a racist. I originally said that Dykema advocated that voting rights be limited to rich, white men. That was an honest mistake, and I corrected it immediately, as soom as somebody pointed it out to me, and I thanked that person profusely. If you want an apology from me for that mistake, you’ve got it, big time, but the error was an honest one. I make mistakes, but I do try to be truthful and accurate in what I write. Dykema’s elitist views are repugnant enough, without painting them as any worse than they already are.

    And, if you are not a racist, I am truly sorry that I mistook you for one. However, given what I have seen on your website, I will continue to believe that you are exactly that, for as long as you continue to publish articles by racists.

    As touching Matthew 18, I believe that according to the Bible, the first step is to take the matter to your brother (or sister) privately.
    The second step is to go to him with a couple of witnesses.
    The third step is to air your grievance publically, in front of the church.

    Now, you did send a copy of this letter to my mailbox, but at the same time, you posted about it quite publically on here on my blog.

    The “blogosphere” is hardly the church, but it appears that you have decided to skip steps 1 and 2.

    But if you want to do Matthew 18, beginning with step 3, so be it. I’m publishing this response on my blog and shining the light of day on the whole thing by posting it on other blogs as well.

    As John 3:20 recommends, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sincerely, Cynthia Gee

    BTW, James… if you want to prove that you are not a racist, you might want to consider removing the articles written by the co-founder of the secessionist hate group, the League of the South — namely, Steve Wilkins — from your website, and also those by Doug Wilson. Just sayin’.”

  26. What Goes Around says:

    I think the site that Metzler is trying to pin on you is Esther’s Request. There’s now a link to it in the comments from Pooh’s Think With Comments. What a farce for Metzler to whine that he’s being libeled. Metzler is one of the most lowdown libelous creatures I’ve ever seen. Your right about his making a lot of enemies. That’s what you get wehn you spend your life slandering a popular pastor. Doug Wilson may not be perfect but he doesn’t deserve the kinds of slanderings that Metzler has put out. Here’s just one example of the slanders that Metzler has posted on his blog.

    “Douglas Wilson attributed a racist slur to the Son of God in his exegesis of Matthew 15:22–28, paraphrasing the Lord Jesus to have said, “It’s not right to give perfectly good white folk food to niggers.” Wilson’s exposition is historically unique and places his theology right alongside Harry Seabrook’s because both men attribute racism proper to their maker.”

    Michael, what goes around comes around. Now stop your whining and take your medicine.

  27. Frank Vance says:

    Did Doug Wilson really say that? What Goes Around if you’re trying to defend Doug WIlson I don’t think you’re doing a very good job of it. If Wilson actually did make a racist statement like that then I’m very concerned about it, and I can see exactly why Metzler would be concerned too.

    In order to be fair about it though I want to be able to read it in context and from a credible source. Metzler didn’t do that. He didn’t provide what I think most people would consider to be a credible source. But he at least linked to another Attack Wilson site where the quote is put in its original context. I’d just like to get it from a more credible source.

    Googling on that quote doesn’t turn up much of anything, and nothing at all from a credible source. However the quote is given in its full context once again at another Attack Wilson site, Cultists In Hats. I call these “Attack” sites because they’re obviously dedicated to the sole purpose of attacking one person and giving them no opportunity to defend themselves. They do this by the authors furnishing no contact information of any kind, and they don’t permit anyone to comment.

    Metzler has falsely accused Ministry Watchman of creating and commenting on blogs against him. One of those blogs appears to have been set by someone who’s irritated over Metzler’s refusal to permit comments on Pooh’s Think. I don’t like Metzler’s no-comment policy either, but I hardly have the interest or inclination to go to all the trouble of mirroring his blog, even if I did know how to do that.

    I agree with you What Goes Around that Metzler has made a lot of enemies, probably most of them right in his own Moscow, Idaho. He needs to look a lot closer to home to find the author(s) of those blogs.

    If I were to operate in the same unjust manner as Metzler has against us I’d accuse Metzler of being responsible for Cultists In Hats and Dougsplotch. But since I don’t have any proof that wouldn’t be fair or honest. All I have are suspicions, and I have to acknowledge that mere suspicions prove nothing. Likewise Metzler’s suspicions of me and Ministry Watchman prove nothing, especially when we’ve already denied having anything to do with any other blogs.

  28. Rena says:

    “If you could, please send me details on your church affiliation. If this continues, I would like to involve your elders in our discussions. This is biblical procedure, if you are interested in following Scripture.”

    These people crack me up.

    It is a good thing the Reformed church is no longer part of the ‘state’ or guys like this would have the magistrate coming for you, Cynthia.

  29. Corrie says:

    >>It is a good thing the Reformed church is no longer part of the ’state’ or guys like this would have the magistrate coming for you, Cynthia.

  30. Cynthia Gee says:

    That’s exactly the point I’VE been trying to make all along, with my postings here and with my entries in my on blog, Commmonsense.

    I mean, look at it: here we have this religious meme, Dominionism, whose adherents believe that instead of waiting for Jesus to return and establish His Kingdom, they should one-up Him by taking actual physical and political control of the country, and then establishing their brand of Christianity as the state religion.

    They are indoctrinating a generation of homeschooled kids through their custom written curriculum and revised histories (ahem– can you say, propaganda); they are making sure there will be plenty of homeschooled kids to indoctrinate by telling parents that it is their duty bear as many children as they possibly can, ie, the Dominionist version of the Quiverfull Movement.

    And in the Perfect World according to Rushdoony, anybody who doesn’t like all of that, and who disagrees with the state religion, should be subject to civil penalties, up to and including death by stoning.

    Gee whiz, what’s not to like?

  31. Lynn says:

    It was pointed out to me that this site, linked to in one of the above comments, has taken down all its articles and posted a new one. This one article concicely gives the blog owner’s perspective on Matt Chancey, Doug Phillips and Michael Metzler. But he or she said the blog was going too much in the direction they were going, employing their kinds of tactics, and he/she was convicted that was wrong, and so removed all previous articles.

  32. Take a Chance says:

    One goes down and another goes up! Check this out: Mrs. Binoculars With Comments. Make sure you read the about page.

  33. Take a Chance says:

    Sorry about that. The name of the about page for the new Mrs. B site is Matthew Chancey™s Independent Investigator Status.

  34. george says:

    This post is an interesting read in light of what is happening now.

    I found this comment to be ironic to say the least:

    At 10:35 AM, Frank Vance said…
    I finally got a “response” out of Doug Phillips, or at least Doug Phillips’ assistant, two weeks to the day after I sent my first email to them on Feb 22:

    Dear Mr. Vance:

    We were in the process of writing a response when a friend forwarded to our attention this very letter from you replete with (uninformed) charges and accusations against our Board which you posted on the internet. Our long standing policy precludes involving ourselves in or contributing to unaccountable internet gossip. Consequently, given your behavior, it would be in violation of our policy to respond further.


    Joshua Harris
    Assistant to the President
    (210) 340-5250, EXT. 272

  35. Watchman says:

    I appreciate the explanation by Esther about why she (or he?) took down the articles and comments about Michael Metzler. Lynn at Indelible Grace referred to it as “armchair psychology” and I agree. Once you start heading down that path it can degenerate fast. I think that Esther was wise to take it down.

    Whoever is running Pooh’s Think With Comments should seriously consider doing the same thing. What someone apparently intended as a place for people to offer thoughtful comments on Metzler’s articles has degenerated into a mob of mockers and hecklers. That’s tragic and it certainly wouldn’t serve as an inducement for Metzler to open up the comment section on his own blog.

    Lynn emailed me this morning with her concerns about this latest “With Comments” blog. Lynn believes that Mrs. Binoculars With Comments may be just a ploy by Phillips supporters to gather IP addresses. Here’s why I don’t share her concerns. Mrs. Binoculars With Comments is a WordPress blog, but more significantly it’s also hosted by WordPress. WordPress-hosted blogs, as I understand it, have no ability to install WordPress plugins. Therefore, they can’t run IP logging tools like SiteMeter or StatCounter. So merely visiting a WordPress-hosted blog presents no privacy concerns.

    But what a WordPress-hosted blog can do is track the IP addresses of commenters, and they do that very well. Posting a comments on Mrs. Binoculars With Comments does potentially pose privacy concerns, but only if the commenter is concerned about their IP address being logged, and for most people that shouldn’t be an issue at all.

    Whoever is responsible for Mrs. Binoculars With Comments did their homework about Matt Chancey, and the Matthew Chancey’s Independent Investigator Status page is well worth the read. That page alone assuages my own concerns that Mrs. Binoculars With Comments might be a ploy for Phillips supporters to log IP addresses.

    However, I do have a different concern about Mrs. Binoculars With Comments. My concern is that it will wind up going the same terrible direction that Pooh’s Think With Comments went, a gathering spot for mockers and hecklers. But given Matt Chancey’s own National Enquirer-style of “investigation” it wouldn’t surprise me if he draws a similar response.

  36. Take a Chance says:

    I checked out the comment rules at the Mrs. Binoculars with Comments site and I am hopeful that the comments won’t deteriorate into mud slinging and ad homs: “Very simple. This site is for Christians. Please handle yourself as one.”

    Hey! Maybe there’s hope after all.

  37. Lynn says:

    I’ve come to agree with your take on it. I erased the links off my blog, because I thought the “Douggie-Wuggy” poem was the start of such mocking and heckling, and I hadn’t seen the poem at that point, and I didn’t want to go down that path.

    Then I began to wonder about why people set up that site. Now, I’ve gone to the second link provided and see it was just an affectionate poem by Chancey for Doug Phillips on the occasion of his 40th, and nothing more.

    Chancey qualifies as “independent,” because he isn’t getting paid for what he is doing. But to call him objective is a stretch of Grand Canyon proportions.

    I have seen the Pooh’s Think with comments a long time ago, and won’t go there, either. I also agree that it isn’t constructive. Occasional, well-timed sarcasm is not unbiblical, but sites that degenerate into nothing but that are hurtful, IMO. Not that these sites have gone that route, but I would agree with you in cautioning against it.

  38. Watchman,

    I don’t know if I believe Chancey and Co. didn’t setup the Mrs. B with comments WP site, because the Independent Investigation page copies research that I and others at Indelible Grace found along with some fresh information showing Matt’s poem to Doug for his 40th birthday. It would be an odd tactic to further show the closeness of Chancey to Phillips, but maybe they are getting creative with their tactics, since threats and hacks aren’t working. I guess someone could possibly send a test comment so that if it was Chancey, it would not get posted.

    As to IP harvesting, you can load HTML counters in the sidebar of blogs, so it technically can track visitors. According to Stat Counter, you do loose lots of information:

    It is not recommended to choose this option as it will not be possible to record the referring link, page title and other information. Only choose this if you web host does not allow you to insert javascript into your webpage. We recommend you move to a web host that will give you proper access to your website.

    I found a random HTML counter site, and they say they can track the following:

    # Hits for the last 30 days
    # This month’s hits
    # Last year’s hits
    # Visitors by country
    # Visitors by browser used
    # Operating system stats
    # Hits versus unique visitors

    So I don’t think we can rule that out. I do however have issues with setting up mirror blogs without permission. I know I wouldn’t want to give MrsB anymore press then what is necessary, hence the reason you will never see me post a link ot it on any of my comments or articles.

  39. Watchman says:

    Brandon, I’ve got very mixed feelings about these “With Comments” blogs too. I don’t much care for the idea, which is why I’d never put one up. I debated on even approving the comment above with the link to it. The fact is though that anyone who reads this article, if they don’t already know about Mrs. Binoculars, will go looking for it. When they find it they’ll find a blog that they can’t comment on, and there may be folks who would like to comment. They’re certainly already commenting about Matt Chancey’s “independent investigation.” on other blogs.

    Perhaps though that’s really the only appropriate way of responding. Mirroring someone’s blog isn’t an appropriate way to respond to personal frustration. However, I do understand why people would become frustrated with Matt Chancey and Doug Phillips’ “former interns” who post blog articles but they don’t permit anyone to comment. The inevitable result is that someone will likely get frustrated enough to mirror their blog and open it up to comments.

  40. Watchman says:

    Late last night Frank Vance deleted some comments in this thread and then emailed me with an explanation. Among other things he believes that the latest “With Comments” blog may be exactly what Brandon says it is — a site that was set up by Chancey and Co. If it is then I agree with what Frank has told me. We shouldn’t be driving traffic to it.

    If by chance that blog wasn’t put up by Chancey and Co., and someone actually thought they were doing something that would be “helpful,” please know that it hasn’t helped. I can tell you that it’s not helping Ministry Watchman. We’re getting blamed for it and taking fire from all sides. I’d ask that you please take it down.

  41. george says:

    I think you guys nailed it on the Mrs. B with comments board.

    Now there is an apology from some teenage home-schooled kid. Right.

    He probably has a bridge to sell as well.

    I can’t imagine meeting a teenage boy who would even begin to be interested in what is going on here.

  42. Mark Burns says:

    For real, George. Some sort of kook. Really oughta get out of the house.

  43. Lynn says:

    If you look on my blog, and check the last entry (#62) on “whirled views,” you will find that the January 26 comment section of this page has a discussion of Phillips and Vision forum and racism going on over there. I posted a comment over there, and then reposted my comment on my blog.

  44. Cynthia Gee says:

    Maybe he’s a homeschooled *intern*. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, but that would mean that he perceives himself as having a stake in this, and perhabs sees himself as doing something self-sacrificing and heroic.

  45. […] Doug has left himself wide open to scrutiny on the question of racism. This isn’t to say that we personally believe that Doug is a racist. We do believe, however, that Doug has been very foolish by using his close personal friends to make “racist” allegations against others, based on nothing but guilt by association, when his own associations with known racists are so problematic. We haven’t and we won’t accuse Doug being a racist. However, we believe that the allegations against him of racism are potentially very dangerous to the home school movement. […]

  46. […] Doug has left himself wide open to scrutiny on the question of racism. This isn’t to say that we personally believe that Doug is a racist. We do believe, however, that Doug has been very foolish by using his close personal friends to make “racist” allegations against others, based on nothing but guilt by association, when his own associations with known racists are so problematic. We haven’t and we won’t accuse Doug being a racist. However, we believe that the allegations against him of racism are potentially very dangerous to the home school movement. […]

  47. Mark Epstein says:


    “george” is another example of the arrogant “Reformed types,” whether they be previously or currently “reformed.”

    There are a number of home schooled children that are much further along the education and maturity paths than their parents.

    All I can say is Praise the Lord!

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