Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Greenville News brainwashed by Bob Jones University

At left: Ex-faculty member Dr Camille Lewis and others at BJU Alumni Day yesterday, releasing red balloons in solidarity with victims of sexual abuse. Photo by Hannah Goodman.



I nearly titled this "Greenville News blows Bob Jones"--but as Ben Bradlee famously said in a similar situation: This is a family newspaper. Likewise, this is a family blog. Brainwashed is not the best word to describe their ass-kissing 'reportage.' The humorous initials of Bob Jones University popped into my head, and this post narrowly escaped being titled GREENVILLE NEWS GIVE BJ TO BJU.

Pretend that's the title, since that is the disgusting state of affairs we woke up to this morning in upstate South Carolina.

It isn't enough that the Greenville News totally ignored the recent appointment of a rape apologist to the board of BJU. It isn't enough that they ignored a Facebook-protest-page by students, and the threats of discipline against the students who organized it. It isn't enough that they have ignored the backroom deals by Bob Jones, that have cost Greenville County over a million dollars (at least) that we can scarcely afford. It isn't enough that they fawn all over Bob Jones and run their little just-so stories about their (19th century level) drama department, while a sex abuse scandal raged on. It isn't enough that they are too craven to investigate local right-wing politicians associated with Bob Jones University, like David Thomas--that is left to USA Today, to embarrass us nationwide with information that should have been reported on by our local so-called "newspaper." It isn't enough that they have not even covered the fact that Stephen Jones appears to be AWOL from the school he is supposed to be in charge of; much less ask why Bob Jones IV is not in charge, as he was originally intended to be. [see note below] And needless to say, there is NO investigation of the multiple accounts of ongoing psychological abuse that come out of Bob Jones University every year.

In fact, we might say that the Greenville News is busy getting in on the act and piling on the abuse, writing favorable, lovey-dovey editorials about an institution in which the ultimate authority, Bob Jones III, says to one of the faithful (about a 15-year-old girl):

Well, the truth is, she was raped but it was a consensual relationship. This man took advantage of her but she was a partner in all this. It wasn't, it was more than one time and she was a consensual person.
THIS is what Bob Jones III says, to anyone who will listen. He is not ashamed of this view. He allowed this conversation to be TAPE RECORDED, he is PROUD of his opinions. He says it was rape but "she was a partner in all this"--and do we hear any consternation from the Greenville News? Ha! Instead, we hear how great Bob Jones University is!

THESE are the scum they defend and write gushy editorials about, THE DAY AFTER the first student demonstration on record. Instead of writing about the demonstration and the subject (SEXUAL ABUSE) of the demo, they run a gushing editorial about how they are "seeking accreditation"--you know, joining the 20th (not the 21st) century at last? That's what passes for BJU news at their mouthpiece, the official campus newspaper, the Greenville News:
These changes [seeking accreditation and increasing sports opportunities] came during a week that also saw Bob Jones University accept the resignation of a board member who had attracted controversy because of the way he handled an alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl by an adult member of his church in New Hampshire in 1997. The board member, Chuck Phelps, maintains that he handled the incident properly and reported it to police; the victim disputes his account and says she was made to apologize to the church for her actions. Whatever account is most accurate, the controversy surrounding the incident should have given BJU pause in welcoming Phelps back to its board in 2009.

Phelps’ resignation was accepted following an online campaign from students and alumni that was conducted in part on a Facebook group that was called “Do Right BJU.” The university should be commended for responding to students and accepting Phelps’ resignation. This was another appropriate step taken by the university that demonstrates it understands and cares about the community’s perception of its staff, its students and the faith that it represents.
"Whatever account is most accurate????" Why don't they try, you know, REAL JOURNALISM and find out?

The so-called "changes" came this week for a REASON; they are called DEFLECTING ATTENTION and CHANGING THE SUBJECT. And I guess it works on Beth Padgett, aka Mary Elizabeth Padgett, the author and fangirl-in-chief of the Greenville News editorial page. Note that she left out the quote above from Bob Jones III, claiming that Tina Anderson consented. (Certainly, Tina Anderson is of no concern to Beth Padgett.) Padgett leaves out the fact that students were threatened about the Facebook page, instead, she implies that Phelps resignation was voluntary and not forced by circumstances and nationwide humiliation, including the ABC 20/20 story. She omits the forced pregnancy. She makes the "appropriate step" sound like it was BJU's idea--rather than a result of outraged demands by faculty, students and other community members--because they worried that THEIR DAUGHTERS WOULD NOT BE SAFE.

That's the shoddy, ridiculous level of "reporting" that Padgett and her fundamentalist friends and cronies engage in. It should not be confused with real journalism or a real newspaper.

I hope when the place is at last handed over to someone sane, there will be a RELIGIOUS-ABUSE TRIBUNAL, and the Greenville News and their fraudulent "reporters" put on trial for aiding and abetting abuse in all its forms. Thank God for bloggers; now you see why we are so important. Otherwise, the right-wing noise machine would be the only version you'd get, at least in this neck of the woods.

Thankfully, there is Spartanburg, which is close enough to cover the issue but far enough away that they aren't being totally controlled by BJU, as the Greenville News is. WSPA covered yesterday's demonstration by Bob Jones students, ignored by local media, which may be the first ever:
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- A small, but vocal, group of Bob Jones University students spoke about Monday about what they call a "conspiracy of secrecy" at the school, and within Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches. The group of roughly two dozen students and alumni wore red in unity, as they attended the University's Monday chapel service. "We're just here to say we want to listen, we're here for moral support," says alumni Clinton Verley.

Student Chris Peterman, founder of "Do Right BJU", was one of the organizers of the event. Peterman says the effort stemmed from the University's connection to Pastor Chuck Phelps, a member of the school's board of Trustees, until he resigned last week. Phelps was surrounded by controversy after a case at his former church in New Hampshire, where a parishioner was accused of raping a teenage girl. "Do Right BJU" members say even though Phelps resigned from Bob Jones' Trustees, they are still unhappy with how the administration handled the matter. "This is about awareness and support for victims," says Peterman. "We want to say we're here for you and if you want to come talk to us, we'll help you heal."

University spokesperson Brian Scoles told Seven on your Side the school has a "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to abuse, and students are encouraged to file grievances with the University.

Participants gathered at the school's fountain after chapel service to release red balloons in support of victims.
Possibly the first show of discontent in the history of BJU, and the Greenville News uses the occasion to pointedly NOT cover the story, but instead reward them with another hand-job.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live in a town that had a REAL newspaper. Wouldn't that be nice?

~*~

Note:

According to what I read online (available to anyone who does an extensive internet search), the would-be heir apparent to BJU, Bob Jones IV, lives in one of the most expensive cities in the USA, Miami. As oldest brother and next-in-line, why was he passed over for the job he was being groomed for? What does he live on? After much investigation, I can't locate any visible means of support. The rampant internet rumors are that he lives on the money of the faithful. (Now, why would he be doing that?) Also of interest is the fact that he attended Notre Dame instead of going to his own father's school (not that I blame him for seeking a REAL education, of course). BJU teaches that Catholics are evil and the Pope is the antichrist, and yet, Bob Jones III sent his namesake, Bob Jones IV to the "flagship Catholic university of North America" for a Ph.D.--which by my estimation would cost almost a cool half-million. Notre Dame ain't cheap.

So, Bob Jones III takes the money of the faithful, taught to hate Catholicism, and gives it to the most well-known Catholic college in the country, to EDUCATE his SON. Hello? Why is it okay for BJIV to go to Notre Dame, but the students of Bob Jones University are still taught vicious anti-Catholic propaganda and bigotry?

And that ain't all. As I asked, what does he do for a living? Why was he passed over for Stephen Jones, who is supposedly too sick to show up for work for the last 99 days (but as the link above shows, he sure can go to the movies, a privilege denied to the students)? Does this mean that BJIV will finally take over, since Stephen Jones appears unable to rouse himself to do anything? And why are they so secretive about these matters? Why do Bob-Jones-affiliated people freak out and run like scared rabbits when you ask them about Bob Jones IV? What's the big secret?

I wonder. If we had a REAL investigative newspaper, we might find out these things, you know?

The story is there, if someone is willing to tell it. Just like the story about David Thomas (above), we can't count on our local "newspaper" to be anything but cowardly; they won't dare touch it. I don't have the means to go to Miami or New York and hunt him down, but I hope someone else will.

Because honey, from what I hear, it's a doozy. ;)

16 comments:

D. said...

Mercy, journalism! Don't see too much of that anymore! Good job.

Stay safe, and eyes on the prize!

West said...

Hey Daisy... enjoyed the read... I'd say the Greenville News is to BJU like the Mainstream Media is to Barak Obama... Would you agree to that... That is why we have alternative sources that tell their truth also...

West said...

I hope there were no Birds harmed in the realease of those ballons... Seems to me they should all be arrested for littering...

jovan b. said...

Should you include WYCW in there too, since they also covered it on their 10pm news some hours after WSPA did?

BTW, WLOS and WMYA favors North Carolina more than South Carolina in its news coverage. But, I would at least expect them to cover this scandal, too.

CNN Report said...

CNN-December 13, 2011

A small group of students (former and current) convened upon Bob Jones University today to hold a silent protest to get the word out about sexual abuse within Independent Fundamental Baptist Christian circles. The students, some traveling as far as Michigan, wore red as a symbol of their cause and released balloons in unison to show public awareness of abuse within this segment of Christianity. The group is called “Do Right BJU” and has a sole purpose of bringing out the tradition of secrecy within Fundamentalist Christianity.

Do Right was started earlier this year in order to get Bob Jones board member, Chuck Phelps, to step down from his position. Phelps, Then pastor of Trinity Baptist church, is said to have inadequately reported the rape of Tina Anderson, a 15 year old parishioner of his church, by Ernie Willis, a business man and member of the same church. Ernie impregnated Tina and when it was figured out Tina was “Church Disciplined”. This discipline consisted of a public apology to the church, and being sent to Colorado to give birth to, and adopt out, her baby.

The story of Tina Anderson was not told until there was a posting on the Facebook group “ Independent Fundamental Baptist Cult Survivors “ about the situation. Several people took action after hearing of this injustice and sought to pursue justice for Tina Anderson. After a strong online pursuit, Ernie Willis was arrested and sentences to 15-30 years for forcible rape of a minor.

According to “Do Right BJU” Tina is not the only one that has been abused, there are many men and women that have been hurt by pastors and parishioners alike.

Chuck Phelps still remains on the board of several Christian camps and Christian mission boards.

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-717167

JoJo said...

Maybe you should start a new newspaper for your area?

Anonymous said...

Hey Daisy,

Just to so you know, when Chuck Phelps resigned from the board the Greenville News carried the story on the front page of the paper.

Also, the Greenville News is owned by the same company as the USA Today.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Anon, yes, I am aware that after they believed the hoopla was safely over, the Greenville News deigned to say something about it. But NOT while the "Do Right" BJU kids were under siege. The phrase "a day late and a dollar short" comes to mind. The fact that they did not cover the demo, even though someone wrote about it and submitted an article, is telling.

I think they expected it to be "all over"-- when in fact the IFB cults are just now being exposed. Its like expecting the Catholic church scandal to be over after only one diocese was exposed. No, just getting warmed up; lots more where that came from. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is a similar far-reaching, overarching abuse of power that has gone on unchecked for decades now. Same. You can expect many more accusations, and many more tales of abuse--sexual AND psychological--since that is what the whole place is BASED ON.

At least BJU-grad/Fox News Carolina journalist Alyssa Clemens (subject of my next post) told the truth on Facebook, when she said she would deliberately try to paint the anti-BJU protesters in the worst light she could. This is what passes for objective journalism around here, a BJU grad sent to cover a BJU demonstration. I would be curious to know if any BJU grads are working at the Greenville News and if they similarly are sent out to cover BJU events.

As for the USA Today parent company owning the Greenville News: I know this. So, why was the USA Today piece about David Thomas NOT carried locally, since it WAS in the NATIONAL USA Today edition? If I hadn't been in Texas, I would never have seen it.

more info said...

Sort of OT to the main point of the post, but--Notre Dame pays tuition for all its PhD students. (Most reputable academic PhD programs do; it's so the schools can then pay a shit "salary" to the grad students to do the work of full professors on top of their own courses and research, but still feel okay because hey, they're not paying $17K, they're really giving you $60K!).

Obviously that doesn't explain BJ4's current situation, but it's very possible he did the PhD without much family help. Which makes things even more mysterious.

It also might interest you that Notre Dame is sort of known in academic circles as a safehouse for disaffected evangelicals...

bryce said...

if BJ4 is gay, is that why westboro baptist demonstrated same time soulforce did?

now it makes sense.

all for Him said...

Well I don't know if you will post this, but I bet you read it. My question to you is; have you ever stepped foot in an Independent Baptist Church or are you just relying on your perception and misguided ideas of the people that make up the churches. Speaking for myself and our IFB church we stand on the fact that the KJV is the inerrant infallible word of God. The Bible is against all forms of fornication and adultery. The church abides by the same laws of the land that everyone else does unless those laws go against Gods Word. In the case you are referring to it should be the girls parents or guardians to charge the man with statuatoty rape. The church's responsibility would then be to bring appropriate action to both the accused and accuser if need be. After all, not all so called rapes are forced.
You seem to be taking the example of one church and putting every other one into the same category. You really should do more research before you go spouting of at the mouth the way you do. Try researching the Benghazi attack if you want to see a real media injustice. The general public has been told nothing but lies about this and almost every thing this current administration is doing. I'm certain you are a supporter of Obama just by the attacking style of your posts. Have a great day and do me a favor. Read the book of John in the Gospels. Of you don't know it is the fourth book in the new testament. This will show you Gods love but also justice for wrongdoing. Have a great day and God Bless.

Daisy Deadhead said...

Rolls up sleeves, to reply to someone annoying enough to seriously post a name like "all for Him"--actually, it should be changed to "ain't I holy and special and so much better than you are?" Since that is what it REALLY says; the proverbial WRITING ON THE WALL from the book of Daniel.

No profile though, and therefore possibly a garden-variety troll. I probably should not bother replying, but okay (sigh) -- here we go.

All for Him: Well I don't know if you will post this, but I bet you read it. My question to you is; have you ever stepped foot in an Independent Baptist Church

Have you read the posts marked BAPTIST in the left margin, or are you just lazy? (Or is that too difficult for you? Did BJU not teach you how to quickly skim content?)

Answer: of course. I even have relatives who have preached in these churches, one for about 5-6 decades.

or are you just relying on your perception and misguided ideas of the people that make up the churches.

There is nothing misguided in my ideas. Did you listen to my recent interview of Jeffrey Hoffmanm, alumni of BJU? People like him, Chris Peterman, and Camille Lewis, actual survivors of the BJU-horror, are where I get my ideas.

These folks are Christians too; so are you claiming they are lying about their experiences at BJU? Which of their statements, exactly, are untrue?

Speaking for myself and our IFB church we stand on the fact that the KJV is the inerrant infallible word of God.

But what about the 7 books edited out of that Bible by Martin Luther? (Why do you allow Luther to edit your Bible for you? Is he your Pope?)

The KJV is the infallible word of Luther and the subsequent King James committee who re-translated the existing scripture, not God. You do know all the translations wrought by the KJV? Because I sure do.

I'll be glad to discuss the Bible with you, but I prefer discussing the entire thing, not some seditious, Johnny-come-lately version introduced by an rebellious Augustinian monk who just wanted to get married. No schism or heresy here, please.

2b continued

Daisy Deadhead said...

Reply to "All for Him" continued---


All for Him: The Bible is against all forms of fornication and adultery.

Wrong. Abraham was encouraged by God to fornicate with his handmaiden to bring forth Ishmael, remember? I thought you supposedly knew the Bible? There's the link, in case you forgot.

And Abraham was founder of Old Testament-land. Did Abe get a special dispensation or something? King David, Jesus' own ancestor, had six wives. Isn't that adultery, according to Christianity? Does the king get a pass, too? Why, just because he was a king? (Does that mean present-day kings also get a pass?) Since Jesus was also a king (according to your theology), does this mean he had many wives also? (I mean, besides the one He already had, according to the Gnostic scriptures.)

The church abides by the same laws of the land that everyone else does unless those laws go against Gods Word.

In that case, why did BJU adhere to segregationist custom until they were made a national joke (2003)? Those rules were in flagrant and deliberate violation of US Civil Rights laws, such as the 1964 Civil Rights Act. You do know that, right?

Wrong again.

In the case you are referring to it should be the girls parents or guardians to charge the man with statuatoty rape.

My God... its right out of "Little House on the Prairie"... honey, this is 2014. This is not Victoria England or something.

In the case you are referring to, the girl goes to the cops, and the cops press charges. It is between law enforcement, him and her. Not churches, parents, guardians, or any other parties that might try to talk her out of it.

I think its funny how you can't quite spell "statutory"... no respect for legal earthly statutes over at BJU! LOL

The church's responsibility would then be to bring appropriate action to both the accused and accuser if need be.

The church's responsibility is to GET OUT OF THE FUCKING WAY and let law enforcement do their job.

After all, not all so called rapes are forced.

"So-called"? That depends on your definition of "force" doesn't it? Like most people at BJU, which has a very high number of sexual assaults, you likely have a pretty lax definition.

You seem to be taking the example of one church and putting every other one into the same category.

I've written about many churches and denominations on this blog, of course...I have written about Christianity in depth. Apparently, you haven't checked out any other posts. In fact, just a few days ago, I wrote about a wonderful religiously-oriented dialogue I attended. So, of course I am aware not all religious believers are evil swine. I was once a Christian myself.

In this post, I was primarily talking about the benighted and backward IFB, of course.

2b continued

Daisy Deadhead said...

Reply to "All for Him" continued --

All for Him: You really should do more research before you go spouting of at the mouth the way you do.

What did I get incorrect?

Every time I write about BJU, you BJU-androids rush forth like lemmings to tell me my facts are wrong, and yet, you never correct me and tell me what the RIGHT facts are. This means the record stands, uncorrected. How about you tell me exactly what I have wrong?

Regarding research: Unfortunately, since BJU is a cloistered cult, it is very very paranoid and secretive, so it is very hard to research the place the way I'd really like to. People are terrified to go on the record by name, and ALWAYS plead (almost in a panic!) for anonymity, just as you are also anonymous here. (I have written many times about this fear, also.) We will probably not find out just how truly evil the place is, until it totally implodes.

Why are you anonymous? Are you afraid to go on the record? Do you see how cultish that looks from the outside?

After speaking to hundreds of people afraid to go on record (like scientologists), it starts to look very weird and creepy.

Try researching the Benghazi attack if you want to see a real media injustice.

You people are hilarious! Its like you have talking points already written for you.

Already went over Benghazi HERE (page down to the end)

What exactly does Bengazi have to do with the cult of Bob Jones University and the sexual assaults allowed to be perpetrated within the silence of the cult? Please try to stay on topic. (I know that's difficult for a dedicated cultist, but try anyway.)

The general public has been told nothing but lies about this and almost every thing this current administration is doing. I'm certain you are a supporter of Obama just by the attacking style of your posts.

Wrong again, You are batting a thousand here today!

I am a Green Party member. Although I backed Obama in 2008, I have carefully chronicled my disillusionment with his politics here, in detail, and did not vote for him in 2012. Why don't YOU try doing research before you shoot off YOUR mouth? All of my words are right here in front of you, but you are either unable to research (probably too ignorant to know how, since you did attend an inferior 'school' and mindlessly repeat right-wing talking points) or you're too lazy, or you are deliberately trying to trash my reputation. In any event, not very Christian behavior, "all for Him"... but a good commercial for the half-assed Christianity they teach over there at Bob Jones University.

Have a great day and do me a favor. Read the book of John in the Gospels. Of you don't know it is the fourth book in the new testament. This will show you Gods love but also justice for wrongdoing.

I have read the book of John in all versions of the Bible, hundreds of times... including your heretical-but-nicely-written one. I was probably reading it before you were born.

Have a great day and God Bless.

Namaste. And hey, buy yourself a Douay Rheims Bible, so you can read the whole thing, as God intended. :)

Daisy Deadhead said...

Correction... RIGHT MARGIN, not left. But when I first started blogging, my tags WERE in the left margin, so not a total ditz!

Any subject in that "topics" cloud, has been covered at least 10 times (which is when the word appears in the margin). So when you all say "what about as;knjadkbns lkwlrbqg!!!!????!!!1111"... how about you check those posts first?

Show some initiative, people! Doesn't BJU teach its students ANYthing?

Anonymous said...

Daisy Deadhead, I think I love you. =)

I was the black sheep child who refused to go to BJU (and subsequently was forced to finance my education without the assistance my siblings who complied with the edict received).

I am now an old woman, and I have NO regrets! I wouldn't have lasted two minutes in this repressive-we-will-do-your-thinking-for-you-and-give-you-your-opinions "institution". My siblings who attended/graduated from BJU came out with zero critical thinking skills. They follow the opinion of the leader with blinders permanently imbedded into their skulls.

I am the one with the happy, rich, fulfilled life. And every single day of my existence that is free from such abject control and repression is a treasure.

Keep opening eyes. Every once in awhile, you might find a mind they haven't completely twisted away from reality and reach them.