Friday, November 4, 2011

Fred Phelps attended Bob Jones University; rape-apologist now on BJU board

I initially wanted to title this "A Tale of Two Phelps"--which I think is catchy, but lots of people might not realize WHICH Phelps I am talking about.

Yes, that one.

Bob Jones University is currently pretending that Fred Phelps did not go to their school. Is that FUNNY or what? I can remember when they would have been proud, but demonstrating at the funerals of Elizabeth Edwards and Steve Jobs? Even too embarrassing for BJU!

At left, courtesy of fabulous Camille Lewis (BJU-purge victim), is Fred Phelps' 1948 yearbook photo from Bob Jones University. Although they can try to hide their nasty history, they CAN'T erase old yearbooks owned by students.


Let's backtrack. When did I first learn about the infamous Bob Jones University Memory Hole?

I distinctly remember driving to work (in the very late 90s or very early OOs) and hearing on local talk radio that Bob Jones IV, BJU heir apparent, had been arrested for drunken driving in "the DC metro area." This would be during his brief stint at Marvin Olasky's influential WORLD magazine, headquartered in DC. I remember cackling in glee [1] and telling several people about it. This fact was also mentioned briefly (one or two lines, at most) in the Greenville News, since I promptly went snooping for it. (I NOW know I should have cut it out and saved it, but I did not yet realize the Memory Hole was in operation.)

At this time, I was borderline Opus Dei myself (saints preserve us) and was in the grip of that Old Time Religion, like really really old. I considered Protestants heretics, and the more Protestant, the more heretical. Since I live in Jesusland (see map HERE), this gave me Major Attitude. I was in the religious minority, and I enjoyed it.

I would compare my self-righteous pseudo-Opus-Dei buzz to the same buzz I got from being a Maoist for a few scant months (nobody lasts long under the Chairman)... it's a feeling of certitude that I often miss, now that I am not certain about so many things. Being existentially certain takes a lot of the hesitation, confusion and fear out of everyday life. Therefore, I totally understand the hypnotic draw of fundamentalism.

Nonetheless, I still hold BJU accountable for the fact that Greenville is just NOW emerging from its status as a cultural backwater (due to international businesses moving into the area). And our cultural-backwater-status can be laid directly at BJU's door.

Greenville County remains (according to Rick Santorum) the most conservative county in the USA. This is because, as I have written before, Bob Jones University-affiliated politicos pack local GOP precinct committee meetings and draw the Republican party to the far right on both social and economic issues. If local Republicans don't genuflect at BJU, they can lose important early-primary support. [2] It is framed as a RELIGIOUS duty (see Dominionism) to pack these meetings, as well as the State party conventions. They can then easily elect each other as delegates to the National party conventions, since they are the ones voting. They were tutored in this process decades ago (remember the Moral Majority?), and they know how it's done. (I wish liberals did, but alas, you CAN'T HERD liberals, one of those truisms that is all too true.)

Short version, we have a very backward area, with lots of nervous people that are reluctant to question BJU. No, let me amend that, SCARED. Its like that LAW AND ORDER episode I saw last night, wherein someone says about the Mafia: Do you know who you are dealing with? Indeed, BJU is the political mafia around here, and their tentacles reach very far. I can't even tell you how many Letters to the Editor I have had censored, and the name of BOB JONES UNIVERSITY edited out. Really. It is verboten to name them, just like the name of G-d.

The argument with the editorial-page-maven always goes like so: "Is it really necessary to name BJU?"

Well, I don't give a rats ass if its necessary or not, that is the LETTER I WROTE and I would like it printed in its entirety.

"But you can make your point without mentioning BJU."

1) No, I can't, since they are the ones running the joint, and 2) Can't you cut the Soviet-style repression and just print it as it is? There are no cuss words and no libelous statements, so just PRINT THE DAMN THING.

Ha. Are you kidding? Dream on, papist!

I finally understood that they were indeed In Charge of the Upstate, when this happened to me several times in succession. The one time I actually got the words Bob Jones University into print (still heavily edited, as all my letters-to-the-editor have been), they allowed a TORRENT of robotic, badly-written Stepford-student responses to it, including one from a self-identified Catholic.

The kicker was when one of my letters-to-the-editor mentioned Bob Jones VI's DUI. This was germane to the topic, which was alcohol sales and the locations of bars in the city limits. BJU had released some predictable Baptist statement about alcohol as the boogeyman and in light of BJ-IV's arrest, I thought that was damned amusing. And I said so.

The editor-maven demanded to know where I got this information... I exhaled in disgust and informed her, HER OWN NEWSPAPER PRINTED IT! She demanded to know when and where, and of course, not realizing this would ever be questioned, I could not provide this information. It was therefore going to be heavily edited, and I said, you know what? Fugedaboutit.

Okay, so I finally got it. As a failed ex-Maoist, I sure did get it: The Memory Hole. Unpleasant historic facts are ERASED by Bob Jones University, which is constantly changing its own history. Oceania has ALWAYS been at war with Eastasia! For example, the fact that their founder, Bob Jones Sr. was pro-KKK, is another little detail they have attempted to erase. (And they certainly don't like it when people celebrate "Founder's Day" by talking about the activities and beliefs of their racist founder, whom they still won't criticize.)

And now, I learn the fascinating (and thoroughly hidden) fact that Fred Phelps is a former student. This makes sense, not simply because he is a crackpot-loony tune (which they specialize in producing over there), but also because when the GLBT Christian group Soulforce came to demonstrate at Bob Jones University (see video in this post), Phelps and his people came to demonstrate against Soulforce AND Bob Jones University, which made no sense to onlookers. Wait, isn't he on their side? Why is he against BJU? Huh?

And now, we understand. Apparently, an old grudge against Dad. (What would Freud say?)


I first saw the mention of Fred, when another Phelps (apparently no relation, but I wouldn't be surprised if that fact had been carefully deep-sixed too) was appointed to the BJU Board. Many angry tweets informed me that Charles Phelps, a sincere rape apologist, is the Man of the Hour.

And WOW, is he ever.

Some background:

Once upon a time there was 15-year-old Tina Dooley. Tina was babysitting for 39-year-old Ernest Willis, a fellow church member at the Trinity Baptist Church in Concord, New Hampshire. Unfortunately, according to police, Willis was a degenerate who liked to rape teenage girls.

Tina ended up pregnant by her assailant. But instead of turning Willis in — or tuning him up behind the church. Pastor Charles Phelps had a better way to deal with the girl’s rape.

Tina and church members say Phelps forced Tina to stand before the congregation and apologize for the ‘sin’ of getting raped. According to some Tina, Willis (pictured top) offered to send her out of state to get an abortion. He also offered to punch her in the stomach really hard in hopes of inducing a miscarriage, thus saving himself a Planned Parenthood bill.

Pastor Phelps decided that neither of those options were very Biblical. So, Phelps made arrangements to send her to friends from a church Phelps had previously been the youth pastor in Colorado. Apparently, with her mother’s consent, Tina was off to Colorado to have her baby.

Police initially investigated her case, but say the probe went cold when police were unable to locate Tina.

Thirteen years later, Tina (Dooley) Anderson was located living with her husband and 3 children in Arizona.

Willis now admits he had sex with Tina, but says it was consensual. Pastor Phelps claims he reported the assault to the cops back in 1997, but they weren’t interested in pursuing the case, which pretty much sounds like baloney.
This incident was even the subject of an ABC 20/20 show.

And now, Charles Phelps is on the BJU board... they should all get along just fine!

For their part, BJU is claiming Chuck Phelps was on the board before the accusations, which is more bullshit, easily proven this time. [4] (The ex-BJU people, familiar with the Memory Hole, save everything, and God Bless them.)

More information on Bob Jones University's installation of a known rape apologist on their board:

I Support Tina Anderson (contains petition to remove Phelps)

Millstones about the neck (a must-read, to understand the psychological dynamic of the place)

How Pastor Chuck Phelps "Church Disciplined" a 15-Year-Old Pregnant Rape Victim (The well-timed period)

Illegal sexual abuse policy at Bob Jones University (Sharper Iron) [Edit: this is a fundamentalist forum, and at least one person has asked that I post a warning here, notifying readers of this fact.--DD added 10:47pm Nov 4, 2011]

Dear Board: Help Chuck Chuck (contains all the email addresses you need!)

It will be interesting to see how they dig themselves out of the Memory Hole this time. If nothing else, it sends a clear message to Christian parents: It's open season on your sweet, young, virginal daughters at BJU.

Are you sure you want to send them there?


1) As an alcoholic, I have earned the right to laugh when people get busted for anything related to alcohol consumption. (The first step is admitting you have a problem!) Especially regarding an institution that does not allow its students to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, let alone have AA on campus.

What DO you expect, in that case? Alcoholism is no respecter of persons... and that includes relatives of the founder. Get a clue.

2) It is instructive to read the list of "notable BJU graduates", which includes greedy pension-collector Senator David Thomas, Terry Haskins (former Speaker Pro Tempore, South Carolina House of Representatives), Tim LaHaye (co-author of LEFT BEHIND novel series), Senator Tim Hutchinson, Congresswoman Wendy Nanney, Congressman Sam Rohrer, Walter Fremont (((screams))) and various other conservative busybodies.

Render under Caesar? Not hardly. Do not underestimate their political influence.

Honorary degree recipients include: John Ashcroft, former SC governor David Beasley, Lindsey Graham, Jesse Helms, Lester Maddox, Ian Paisley, Chiang Kai-shek, Strom Thurmond (of course) and George Wallace.

3) Some time ago, I read an emotionally-wrenching account of a covered-up sexual assault at BJU, that I can't find now. Possibly it has been deleted since. I do remember that she was in the Art Department, if that rings any bells.

4) EDIT: Charles Phelps was, and then wasn't, on the BJU board. (He currently is.) The rather suspicious timeline, in which he is on and then off, and then back on the BJU board, is on Camille's blog, with screen-capture evidence. --DD added 8:45pm Nov 4, 2011.

5) EDIT: Fred Phelps has been added to the Wikipedia page of BJU's "notable persons", apparently since last night. ;) That was when I inspected it last, during an internet conversation about Agnes Moorehead, also mentioned. (Although she played a famous witch on TV, her money was good enough for the Jones boys!)

They have decided to cop to Fred Phelps after all, but only after calling him crazy. Oh well, better late than never!--DD added 1:14pm Nov 5, 2011.


bint alshamsa said...

Hey, I've actually heard about this. I watch lots of TrueCrime/ID channel shows and they also did a story on Tina Dooley. So, this is how they reward a man who victimize a little girl who was raped? Thanks for sharing. I hadn't heard about this latest development. You know these folks are confident that they can do whatever they want when they feel free to engage in egregiously immoral stuff like appointing this man to a leadership position.

sheila said...

Oh My God.

bryce said...

more disgusted than ever - if thatz possible !~

YogaforCynics said...

And that's the school my most-likely gay third cousin once-removed's fundamentalist parents senet him to so as to prevent him from every achieving any semblance of self realization and attempting to live an authentic life...
Lord (whatever that means) help him...

Duckingham said...

I'm curious about one of your points, "Bob Jones University is currently pretending that Fred Phelps did not go to their school." Would you mind elaborating a bit on that? Where has BJU done this? On their website? Are persons from BJU making the claim that Fred Phelps was never a student?

Anonymous said...

At least they have less scandals than the Obama Administration... you know, the most transparent administration ever. And I guess they now have as many rapes as occupy.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Duckingham, the Wikipedia link I provided -- "notable people associated with BJU"--does not include Phelps; are they saying he is not notable? He is far more well-known and notable than most of the people on those lists. Why is LaHaye included and Phelps is not? It is my understanding that LaHaye and BJ3 also had some kind of theological row, but LaHaye is still not consigned to the memory hole.

I'm told that people have attempted to add Phelps' name to the Wikipedia page, and it is always removed. (Why?)

If you will forgive the Catholicism (can't resist), there are sins of commission and SINS OF OMISSION too, and conveniently "forgetting" Phelps is a great example of the latter... when The Greenville News reported on Soulforce (mentioned in post), and interviewed BJU spokespersons--why didn't they explain why Phelps was there? Obviously, Jonathan Pait knew and decided to stay silent.

If you are going to stay silent, you have forfeited the right to give REASONS for your silence, and I can therefore assign reasons (since you have provided no others), and I assume embarrassment is the reason? What other reason is there for silence?

Pait and Co. sure had the time and inclination to explain a bunch of other bigoted, nasty, evil, homophobic crap.

Why stay quiet about FRED?

DaisyDeadhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DaisyDeadhead said...

Anonymous (i.e. COWARD), points off for being too chickenshit to sign your name. I will allow the comment to make the point:

Anonymous people = love to be nasty, but of course, I figure that is because most of them are in the 8th grade. When people are accountable for their comments (with a real name and/or link, like the other commenters here), they noticeably and readily reign in the rampant assholery. Anonymous comments are by people who want permission to act like children, which means they probably are.

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know I do not defend the Obama admin. But I realize that actually READING probably cuts into your algebra homework time or football games, right? Next time, study what I have actually SAID first, and DO NOT leave anonymous comments if you want any respect.

Thank you for you cooperation.

Anonymous said...

Hi! My first time on this blog. Thanks for posting the stuff and the comments. I found them revealing. Hard to undertsnad BJU's wierd illogic! Why they would try to pretend Chuckie baby never went there. They must be getting nervous! Good! Turn up the heat. Better they fry down here and get 'cleansed'through reentance and confession of sins, than fry down below and remain. The hot place only has a one way door. NO EXIT! So sorry for how this scandal of Phelps being put back on the BJU Board has so scandalized BJU alum and others. Glad that so many of you are doing something about it. Anyone planning an 'occupy sidewalk'protest, outside of the infamaous gulag fortress of unlimited ignorance? Keep up the eat. Keep shining the light, on this latest infamy of Greenville's fundamentalist pollution!

thewaterisfine said...

Thanks for being willing to expose the truth on this. Unfortunately history has show that BJU will only and ever change heinous, ungodly, and oppressive policies (or board members) when there is extensive outside pressure from the media and other individuals. They have made a damned terrible decision in choosing to support Phelps rather than the victim of the attack. I pray to God that they can see the mistake. Thanks also for the link to my post. :)

petition said...

Remove Chuck Phelps From Bob Jones University Board

Church rape appeal goes to high court said...

Church rape appeal goes to high court; Pastor confidentiality among issues

By Maddie Hanna / Monitor staff
November 8, 2011

Before jurors convicted Ernest Willis of forcibly raping his teenage babysitter twice in 1997, they heard testimony from his former pastor at Trinity Baptist Church, who said Willis confessed to twice having sexual contact with the 15-year-old girl and described himself as the "aggressor."

Now attorneys for Willis, who was sentenced in September to 15 to 30 years in prison, are seeking to challenge the admission of that testimony with an appeal to the state Supreme Court, asking the justices to consider whether it was a mistake for a Merrimack County Superior Court judge to decide that conversations between Willis and former Trinity Baptist pastor Chuck Phelps weren't protected by religious privilege.

The question is one of 14 listed in Willis's notice of appeal, which was accepted by the Supreme Court last month. Besides the decision to allow Phelps's testimony, public defenders Donna Brown and Brooksley Belanger want the court to consider whether Judge Larry Smukler erred in allowing other evidence to be admitted during the trial, including testimony that Willis invoked his right to an attorney in 1997 and did not at that time give a statement to the police.

In the notice of appeal, the attorneys also raise questions about Smukler's decision to deny their motions to set aside Willis's verdicts, in which they argued that jurors didn't have enough evidence to convict Willis because the victim said she couldn't remember details about the rapes. And they indicate questions about the court's decision not to dismiss certain jurors, including a woman who knew one of the witnesses.

Briefs have not yet been filed, so it's unclear what the focus of Willis's appeal will be. But all 14 questions are not likely to make it into the appeal, said Chief Appellate Defender Christopher Johnson, whose office will be handling the case going forward.

"It's certainly possible we could raise 14 issues, but that would be exceptionally unusual," Johnson said. Since the trial transcript isn't complete, the appellate defenders haven't yet reviewed the questions from Brown and Belanger and met with the attorneys to discuss the most significant issues, he said.

To win an appeal, Johnson's office must demonstrate that a significant error occurred during the trial stage of the case.

In Willis's trial in May, Judge Larry Smukler ruled before Phelps took the stand that the pastor's conversations with the defendant weren't protected by religious privilege, which is provided for in the rules governing state court proceedings.

Those rules say that an ordained minister isn't required to disclose a confession made to him in his "professional character as spiritual advisor" unless the confessor waives the privilege.

For the two conversations in question in Willis's case, Smukler said the religious privilege didn't apply because Willis's statements weren't confessions. The first conversation happened after Phelps got a call from a church member about an emergency involving the girl, Tina Anderson.

At Anderson's house, Phelps learned that girl was pregnant, and Willis was the father. He called Willis the next morning and asked him to come to his office, where Willis admitted to having sexual contact with Anderson twice, according to Phelps's testimony.


Article is too long for a blogger comment, read the rest of the article here.

This is from the Concord Monitor, Concord, NH.

BJU political influence diminished said...

JIM DAVENPORT- Associated Press - 11/12/2011 3:45:00 AM

GREENVILLE, S.C.- South Carolina's Christian conservatives, personified by Bob Jones University presidents and alums, have both made and broken presidential campaigns.

GOP candidates have for decades turned to the right to woo them after coming out of relatively moderate New Hampshire, and no Republican candidate since 1980 has become the nominee without winning South Carolina and its Bible-driven voters for whom a solid stance against abortion, gay rights and other social issues was paramount.

This year, the economy has changed the pecking order.

Evangelicals and the social issues crowd still matter _ and Republican presidential candidates are all but certain to air their positions on conservatives' concerns during a debate in Spartanburg, S.C., on Saturday. But that long-time pivotal constituency, like much of the country, is far more concerned about paychecks and food on the table. Meanwhile, the role played by the conservative Christian Bob Jones University and its leaders is waning.

Republican activist Alexia Newman runs a Spartanburg crisis pregnancy center and knows the social issues _ faith, family, abortion and same sex marriage _ are more of an undercurrent this election. Families, she said, are the fundamental economic unit _ and they need money and jobs.

"Everybody is saying people have got to have jobs _ and they do," Newman said. It's a stress on families and makes it challenge to push all the other issues. "They're all entwined," she said.

Talk to voters shopping for candidates and they're looking for anything but talk about abortion or same-sex marriages.

read the rest here

Blue Heron said...

I commend you for this post which I want to link to on the blast. I haven't been on for a while but am very happy that you are both online and a presence on the airwaves. Keep up the good work.


Lillian Endodontist Frederick said...

Wow, surprisingly I never knew this.I have been reading your blog a lot over the past few days and it has earned a place in my bookmarks.Thanks for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

Dear Daisy- i am a graduate of BJU from the 1980's. i saw some things that i considered improper at the time, but nothing like this. I mean the sexual abuse stuff. I know I was young man who was impressionable and naive but I never heard of anything like what is going on now. I disliked a lot of things at BJU but I put up with it cause I thought BJU was a "good Christian" school. I am appalled at all the allegations of abuse. I can't imagine the Administration of the college not listening and caring about such things. However I knew of sexual misconduct that went on and very quietly the students involved disappeared and all we heard about it was from the rumor mill. I truly pray that the victims get help and are vindicated- that is the abuse needs to be charged! If my child had been molested there believe me there would be hell to pay for it! I don't care about the schools image- I care about the well being of the young people in the school. Using the flimsy excuse of hurting the cause of Christ? Give me a break! Nothing hurts the cause of Christ more than to lie and cover up horrible mis-deeds! I certainly hope that BJU gets its act together. I can tell you one thing I will never ever send my kids to BJU as long as this horrific indictment still hangs over their heads and nothing is ever done about it- that being no one from the University recognizes there is a problem and that the perpetrators are held accountable for their actions. The police should have been involved in this immediately. They also need responsible reputable counselors to aid the victims of abuse.