When Doug Wilson Called My Father An Abuser

My sweet dad, wrestling with a handful of his grand babies at my kid sister's graduation last year. 

Dad and his two girls. 


Doug Wilson, my former pastor, recently had some sad and untrue things to say about our family and I would like to address some of them here.

On Tuesday, October 27th, Christ Church held a Heads of Household meeting specifically to discuss the "recent controversies", namely the Sitler and Wight/Greenfield situations. For those of you unfamiliar with this type of meeting, it is a meeting where the church leaders meet with the heads of each household or family. These are typically men or single women. The elders report on the church business and invite questions and feedback from the congregation. This last HOH meeting was unique in that the spouses were also invited - from what I understand it was packed out.

Naturally, I did not attend the meeting but I have heard a good deal about the content of it over the last few days from several trusted friends who were there. Doug Wilson led the meeting. In fact, with the exception of the Q&A segments in which attendees could ask questions, Doug spoke the entire time. As it happens, he had quite a lot to say about my family, particularly my father, Gary Greenfield.

Here's a screencap of a tweet from a couple of weeks ago, in which Doug Wilson refers to my father as someone treating me 'abusively'. His meaning was a bit confusing and then I realized Doug was referring to my dad and not my actual abuser (the man who targeted and groomed me, then sexually, emotionally, verbally, and physically abused me for over 2 years) This was very upsetting to me. My father and I enjoy a close and healthy relationship. There were some tough times after I came out about the abuse and as my parent's marriage came to an end, but I would never dream of describing my father's treatment of me as abusive, not at any point in my life.





Then, a couple of nights ago in conversation with a friend who'd attended the HOH meeting, I heard this, "At the meeting, Doug said your father was under church discipline for abusive mistreatment of his family. He said 'The way Gary treated his family was every bit as bad as the way Jamin treated [his ex-wife]'"

This remark is frightening.

I'd like to explain a bit about what Doug is referring to when he mentions Jamin's treatment of his ex-wife, the mother of their 3 beautiful children. In subsequent years Jamin was once again on trial, this time brought up on charges of felony attempted strangulation of his (now-ex) wife. Doug is comparing my father's behavior in his family with Jamin's treatment of his ex-wife. Local court records will show, to any interested party, that Jamin's "treatment" of his wife included but was not limited to: the punishing use of pornography and filthy language, violent anger, erratic driving in order to frighten and punish, physical assault, punching holes in walls, threatening to kill her, and of course the strangulation with intent to control. This abuse took place over the course of several years of marriage.

Jamin was a lying, manipulative, predatory bully.

My gentle, soft-spoken father was directly compared to him. Additionally, it was reported to me that during the meeting Doug never once referred to what happened to me at the hands of Jamin as "abuse", instead he called it things like "sexual behavior", but found it fitting to repeatedly describe my father's treatment of his family as "abuse" - this is a profound twisting of the truth.

During the aftermath of the abuse and as our family began to come apart at the seams, the stress and emotional strain on all of us, particularly on my parents, was extreme. My father is the first to admit that he was nearing an emotional break-down. He was desperate to take his family away from Moscow and Christ Church, and in his is efforts to accomplish that he exhibited some admittedly extreme behavior. There were some emotional outbursts and strong words exchanged in our family. But I image anyone that has witnessed or experienced a messy divorce can attest to the fact that extreme emotional duress can sometimes make us behave in ways we aren't proud of. That being said, my father was not abusive to us. He deeply loved his family and wanted nothing more than to protect all of us.

As my father's name is once again being dragged through the mud and his character publicly shamed, I feel a need to protect my family's honor. I reached out to each of my 4 siblings earlier today to speak with them about this matter. I also spoke with my mother (who I am blessed to have a very close relationship with). I asked each of them the following question and was given permission by each family member to post their responses.

My question to my siblings: "Do you feel that dad was abusive to you in any way, shape or form at any point in your lifetime?"

Their responses were as follows -

Zach, my older brother: "Dad never abused us! He was always really kind."

Ben, my older brother: "I don't remember dad ever being abusive to me at all. He was quiet and gentle." 

Isaac, my oldest brother: "No, dad was never abusive. I know I was a hard kid to raise and I pushed his buttons, but he never abused me."

Granted, my 3 older brothers weren't living at home when my parents went through their divorce, so they weren't exposed to a lot of went on in our home during that time. But my little sister Rosie and I were right there in the thick of it.

When I asked Rosie the same question this morning, her response was, "No. Dad was never abusive. Things got a little intense at home when he and mom were going through the divorce but he never abused me. I always knew he loved me and I know anything he ever did was done out of love and protection for me."


And finally, I described to my mother, Pat Greenfield, the way that Jamin treated his ex-wife. She was pretty horrified. I then asked her if dad, at any point in time, treated her in a way which was remotely similar to or comparable with the way that Jamin treated his ex-wife, and more specifically if dad's treatment of her during the time surrounding their divorce was anything like what I described to her. She said, "No. Absolutely not. Dad never treated us like that."

So there you have it. Each one of the Greenfield kids stating very clearly and openly that our father, Gary Greenfield, was not abusive to us, that he loved us and cared for us and wanted to protect us at all costs. And my mother clearly stating that my father's treatment of her was nothing remotely comparable to the way Jamin treated his ex-wife, as Doug claimed. Comparing my father's behavior to that of a dangerous criminal is slanderous and deceitful.

As Doug Wilson continues to try to deflect attention away from the matter at hand, he makes it very clear that he does not understand abusive relationships or how they should be dealt with. He does not understand how to support or protect victims or their families. He does not understand the gravity of the mistakes he and the elders of his church have made in dealing with situations of abuse in their church. He continues to stand firmly by the decisions he made to defend a dangerous criminal and shame a victim.

You may wonder when I'll be done talking about this. The answer is pretty simple.

When people start listening. 



Comments

  1. In my opinion, Doug is a dangerous cult-leader and a genuine sociopath. Do everything necessary to protect and defend yourselves mentally and physically from Doug and his church members at all times.

    "Terrifying" is the right word. On behalf of all your family, I'm terrified for all of you. The fact that Doug's church is eating his words up with a spoon is incomprehensible. It's insanity and it's mass psychosis.

    Be safe. If I was in your shoes, I would pack up and move out of Moscow immediately. Whatever is tying you to that place is not worth the price you're paying. I've moved locations several times in my life to get physical distance from abusive situations, and I can tell you it has real and healthy repercussions. Put yourselves out of Doug's reach. Shake the dust from your shoes.

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    1. Dash, thanks for weighing in. It's always an adventure to see what you have to say. ;-) I appreciate you input.

      And I'm sure you'll be pleased to here we are leaving Moscow in just a small handful of weeks. Our decision to leave is based on a variety of factors, but this whole mess is definitely part of it. We'll feel safer, freer, healthier, and lighter elsewhere. This really is a lovely town but it holds more pain for me than I'd like to live next to.

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    2. I am sad that you are leaving Moscow because you shouldn't have to, but I am happy for you and your family that you are moving on into the world. Never look back. God bless, and be safe.

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  2. Douglas was talking about your DAD in that tweet?? Unbelievable.

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  3. We're listening. *hugs* I'm waiting for the day people STOP listening to Doug Wilson.

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  4. God bless you. I'm sorry your family has to endure such slander.

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    1. Hi Geoffrey, thanks so much for the support. It means a lot.

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  5. I'm curious if Jamin was AT the meeting? Or the other pedophile?

    I just don't get it. How hard is it to have compassion? Your family was wrecked apart and they did everything perfectly? Come on people. Wake up! What is it going to take for folks to see the truth?? This is NOT ok, what happened here!

    Ok, let's just back up and use some simple logic. In the end of all these messes, the abusers and pedophiles are still in the church and ALL the victims are cast aside. Does this show people anything? What does that tell us? It tells us clearly and plainly that CC has no idea how to love and protect victims. None! This terrifies me.

    Thank you, Natalie for being so brave.

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    1. I agree. It tells us that there is no real love in Christ Church, or at the very least there is none being shown by Doug Wilson. It is stunning in its depth and breadth. I fear for the emotional well being of anyone in that church.

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    2. It is my understanding that Jamin did not attend the meeting (he goes to a different church now) but Steven Sitler, the other pedophile you're referring to, was there.

      Thank you for your support.

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  6. Thank you, Natalie. I am listening. I hope others do, too. Nothing gets my ire more than emotional/psychological manipulation performed by those in positions of spiritual authority. I trusted a man who was in spiritual authority over me, and he used that authority to sexually assault me. My situation is hardly similar to yours, and yours is much more damaging and difficult. I remember being 13 and being confused, excited, ashamed and vulnerable with this newfound 'woman' body suddenly thrust upon me. Even referencing something like Simone de Beauvoir's explanation of the adolescent stage of womanhood (despite her references to Freudian psychology) can give an ignorant person profound understanding into what a confused, difficult time it is and I can only hope would aid anyone's compassion. I could go on and on, but just know- I support you! :)

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    1. Hi Bethany, thank you so much for weighing in here. I'm so sorry that you experienced the pain of mistreatment and abuse.

      Thank you for your support and love, sending it right back to you!!

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  7. Your bravery and fortitude surpasses that of great men of war. You are a noble woman whose blood runs thick with courage and whose words cut to the quick like a master swordsman. God bless you, my dear daughter.

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    1. I am not a praying man, but I am praying for you, the Greenfield family, that God will wall you all about with a strong fortress to protect you from Doug Wilson and his zombie minions.

      Doug has completely lost his shit, and I fear for all of you living in that community in close proximity to an obviously malevolent "preacher" who is such an absolute and genuine menace.

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  8. It has become abundantly clear to me that Doug is abusive in how he manipulates everything to protect himself. Abuse is about a craving for or to maintain power, control, and entitlement, which is what Doug has consistently demonstrated publicly over the past few weeks. As a Christian, I am appalled at those who support him, and wonder if they too would use such methods to silence congregants hurt in their church. This is grievous evil.

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  9. You maintain remarkable grace in your expression regarding the sickly ongoing abuse that is Doug Wilson. It makes me just shake my sorry head in disbelief that Wilson will not be saved from himself and is going down straight and hard. He continues to document his own demise.

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  10. I just don't understand. How the heck is Doug Wilson qualified to define abuse? First he comes out saying that Jamin Wight isn't a sexual predator, next he claims that your father is an abuser? Douglas Wilson could benefit immensely from the reading Webster's Dictionary cover to cover.....

    I am so sorry that your family endured this nightmare, Natalie. (((HUGS)))

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Anonymous. ((hugs))

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  11. Thanks for writing about this. I am so grieved for the abuse you've experienced and continue to experience from that church. Keep doing what you're doing-- you're helping people understand and hopefully recognize these kinds of dynamics.

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    1. Thank you, Jessica. I really appreciate your words and your support.

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  12. I am stunned that Doug Wilson's tweet was about your dad. It seems like he has divided the world into 'enemies' and 'good people'. Your dad wanted to leave Moscow and Christ Church behind, therefore your dad is an 'enemy' and it's ok to imply all sorts of nastiness. How on earth could he compare your dad to Jamin??? Only in a world where "choked his wife" is as bad as "became Orthodox". Or a world where Doug feels threatened and has to find some way to convince everyone that He Was Right.



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  13. Wilson understands all too well how abusive relationships work and how they should be dealt with. It's why he's working overtime to flip the story to make you and your father the real evildoers. This is not a case of misunderstanding - it is a knowing attempt to keep himself and his machinations out of the spotlight. It is, purely and simply, an evil man doing evil deeds to protect the sad, strange "empire" he has built. You and your father are incovenient truths he must dispose of to keep control. It's sociopathic at its heart. The love of Christ would not compel such behavior; something deeper and darker - and fully intentional - is on display here.

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    1. Thank you so much, Daniel, for standing up for the truth and being an encouragement to the victim and her family. You are appreciated.

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    2. You're right. Be strong and courageous. I'll pray for you

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    3. I am impressed to hear you say so, Dan. Do you have any thoughts on what can be done?

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    4. Daniel,
      Were you asked to remove your comment by someone associated with your local church?
      You seemed to respond very strongly, then all of a sudden you deleted your comment.

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    5. Caleb, there is no doubt in my mind that Doug Wilson himself coerced Daniel to remove his comment.

      Doug, I know you're reading this. Doug Wilson, you're a fat evil sack of shit. You're not a Christian, you're a cult leader and a sociopath. Drink some more Laphroaig, you alcoholic knob.

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  15. Doug Wilson consistently proves himself to be a pompous, egomaniacal, creepy man. How he still wields influence over his flock is imponderable.

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  16. While your old pastor, Douglas Wilson, might be all the things that are mentioned- pompous, and full of himself etc. the main thing here- in this post- to make clear is that Douglas Wilson is a TWISTED LIAR. He stood before a large group of trusing church members and twisted the story into one of his own making, one that would absolve him of any wrong doing (Christians call that sin). He twisted and lied, carefully and methodically to align your father, Gary, with the pedophile. So that at the end of the "meeting" aka monologue, everyone would go home thinking that maybe they are the ones confused.

    I know, Douglas Wilson, that you troll about on the internet. Twisted liars have to, to make sure their storyline stays strong. So let me tell you straight up- you are a TWISTED LIAR. It is you that took a hurting family and destroyed them more. You have taken a family that has been kind, quiet, and trusting and YOU,DOUGLAS WILSON HAVE ABUSED THIS FAMILY.

    You have been spouting and cherry picking Bible verses long enough to know that God will not be mocked. In the end this will be made right. God have mercy on your soul if you have really and truly begun to believe the lies you have spun about Natalie and about her family.

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    1. Love you so much, Terri. As always, a table thumpin' truth teller. It's a pleasure to have you weigh in here.

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  17. That's disturbing. Very disturbing.

    I don't know what is wrong with Doug Wilson. A real priest would apologize for making a mistake. He doubles down. This is not right.

    Hugs to you and your family Natalie.

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    1. Thank you, Wayne. I appreciate the kindness. Sending love and light your way as well.

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  18. You know, in the State of Washington what happened to your father is a crime called Legal Defamation. This surprises me that people would even handle things like this not in the hands of Federal government or Supreme Courts. Instead of having convictions that direct their actions they have laws, stipulations, judges, detectives etc. Think twice before trusting a group to carry out the law when they have no actual qualifications.

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  19. Wayne, it has been my experience that extremist beliefs, religion with teeth, (as Pastor Wilson boasts) doesn't admit wrong. They have taken the lead in the Olympic race to heaven and are looking over their shoulders at all the losers they have left behind and are praying for... If you lurk around his web site you will soon see that he has many barking dogs with teeth who circle there and obey his commands. As you say, it is not right but business is business and Wilson is a businessman. He makes the decisions in all matters. He arranges for meetings of his minions and they listen to him, don't dare question.

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  20. Dash, I imagine DW has minions who are assigned the task of scouring the internet checking for discontent and malfeasance among the sheep. Making sure they are not consorting with evildoers and "enemies", and reporting back to the Cultmaster anything he needs to act upon. Doug can't spare the time to do that himself, it would take away his valuable time displaying his wonderfulness on his blog. I'm pretty sure that there is not a subject, from A-Z, that the man does not have thorough knowledge and understanding of. Or so he believes.

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    1. I'd be delighted to know in what manner and by whose hand Dougie received news of my comment up there, particularly if minions are doing the website-trawling and reporting. I can just imagine it. You might say I'm beside myself, imagining it. Rolling on the floor, even.

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  21. Is it true that you're planning to leave Moscow as a result of this slander?

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    1. Hi Bethany, we'll be leaving Moscow, yes. Our decision to leave is based on a variety of things, this included. It will be healthier for us to be elsewhere.

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  22. We are listening Natialie, thank you for telling your story.

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  23. As a former member of the CREC, i am so glad you are speaking out. There are other pastors in the CREC who are just like their idol, DW. Thank you for your bravery. Praying for you. And you are genius for answering their questions only on your blog.

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    1. Thank you so much for saying so. I appreciate your support.

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  24. As a child I was sexually abused by three different people, I'm so grateful for your blog. I'm in tears reading what you've written, because it helps to give me the bravery to keep moving forward with my life. I'm sure you know, but each day is a conscious choice to move past the things that have happened to me, and forward to joy. Thank you for reminding me that the only place I can find that joy is in the arms of Christ, and not the approval of abusive churches.

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    1. Hi Anonymous. I want to find you and wrap you in a hug. No person in existence should ever go through any abuse, let alone abuse at the hands of three different people. Your comment brought ME to tears. And yes, I know exactly what you mean about each day being a conscious choice to move past the pain and forward to joy. What a beautiful way to put that. I still occasionally find myself seeking approval from people or groups whose true interest is not in my well being. I have to stop and remind myself that I am worthy. Right here, right now, I am worthy of love, and of course you are, too.

      Sending you love and light today.

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  25. I just wanted to stop by and say how disgusted I am by Doug's latest attacks on your husband, one of the real heroes of your story. Know that you are loved and supported, and that you don't have to justify or defend yourself to anyone unless doing so supports your own healing. And neither does he.

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  26. Natalie, you are an amazingly courageous and a brave woman. I am so incredibly proud of you and thankful for your extreme vulnerability in exposing evil. I am ashamed to be associated by this person as a Christian, though, I have my doubts about this man with the amount of evil seeping out of him. I hope you have an opportunity to see Jesus without the tainted view Doug wilson and the like showed you. Praying for you, and your family.

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