My Response to CREC Internal Inquiry Questions: Part II

In this post I will continue to answer the questions posed to me by men leading the CREC Internal Inquiry. For the back story, the first post in this series can be found here.

I am answering the questions in the order in which they were asked.

What do you think should have happened to Jamin? In an ideal world, how would the church, the state, and your family have dealt with him?

In an ideal world, Jamin would have been required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. After all, that's what he is - a person who committed a crime involving a sexual act. Registering as a sex offender would mean that he would be followed by that label forever and it would mean that, to some extent, other potential victims would be protected from him. But in order for that to have happened, the church, the state, and yes, even my family, would have to needed to deal with him differently.

In an ideal world, upon hearing of the abuse the church leaders should have instructed my parents to call the police immediately. Police first, church opinions later. This was not the case. Shortly after the abuse went public, Doug Wilson told a close family friend of mine that he was very upset with my father for going to the police before hearing his (Doug's) plan. Outside of counseling my parents to press charges against my abuser, the church leaders should not have involved themselves in the legal process. 

In an ideal world, Doug Wilson would not write a letter to the police officer on the case informing him of my parent's "foolishness" and offering his personal opinion that the crimes committed against me did not "in any way paint(s) Jamin as a sexual predator." Neither would he have written to the judge presiding over the case requesting leniency for Jamin. Neither would several other men in the church have written to the court heralding Jamin's character and refusing to believe the severity of Jamin's actions. I have read these letters myself. The men who wrote those letters included but were not limited to Doug Wilson, Toby Sumpter, Mark Wintz, Keith Dimeler, Mike Lawyer, and Peter Leithart (Peter Leithart has since privately offered me a much appreciated, heartfelt apology for his trust in Jamin, among other things. I have not heard from any of the other men who wrote on Jamin's behalf. Additionally, I am only mentioning the names I can remember with 100% certainty. These letters are now sealed court documents which cannot be publicly viewed. I recently gained access to them and there were several letters written around the time of the sentencing which were not included in the sealed packet.)

In an ideal world, my parents would not have listened to the counsel given to them by the leaders of Christ Church to pursue mediation rather than a jury trial. It was my understanding (and my father's) that Christ Church felt the situation should be handled as quickly and quietly as possibly. Mediation, by nature, is strictly confidential and would accomplish the goal of secrecy while a jury trial would be very public. In hindsight, a jury trial would have been ideal. I remember the Prosecuting Attorney, Bill Thompson, telling me at the time that if the case went to trial it would undoubtedly be difficult for me as I was a legal adult and could be put on the stand, but he also assured me that he believed they would "throw the book at Jamin". With near certainty a jury trial would have meant Jamin would register as a sex offender and most likely spend many years in prison.

In an ideal world, the presiding judge would not have viewed the situation as a "teenaged homeschool love affair" and reduced Jamin's sentence to Injury To A Child, a label which did not fit his crimes. 

If the church had counseled my parents differently and stayed out of matters which did not concern them, and if the judge had discerned the situation before him more accurately, not taking into account Doug Wilson's opinion of the situation (I have no doubt the letters written to the court by Doug Wilson and various other men of good standing in the church were of some influence on the judge's decision), I believe the outcome would have been very different indeed, and I believe justice may have been done.

Do you think Jamin should have been labeled as a pedophile? What label should be put on him?

I believe the original charges were fitting. Those were 1 count of Sexual Abuse Of A Child Under 16, and two counts of Lewd Conduct With A Child Under 16. I believe a charge of Rape would have also been fitting. 

I have never personally described Jamin as a pedophile. However, during the legal proceedings, after the Prosecuting Attorney had received the results of a psychosexual evaluation that Jamin completed, he said to me and my parents, "According to these findings, Jamin is a textbook pedophile and will likely reoffend."

I believe that Jamin is a very dangerous sexual predator who has harmed several individuals (I suspect more than anyone realizes) and has successfully manipulated a great number of people, including the leaders of Christ Church and Trinity. He manipulated an entire community to lend their voices in his defense and successfully minimized his sentence. In an ideal world, the church would not become this kind of tool in the hands of an abuser. 

Jamin's case should have been recognized by the church as a clear sign that his sin patterns followed a number of recognizable and very serious labels. First, he was an abuser, any cursory investigation into what had actually happened would have revealed the patterns of manipulation and entitlement. Second, he was a predator, because he was willing to use his age, experience, and access to take advantage of a 13 year old girl in her parent's home. Finally, he was a sex offender, as I stated earlier. These labels could help people if they were used and if congregations were instructed to educate themselves about their meaning. 

Until the church is able to recognize their severely misplaced trust of a criminal and acknowledge this and other mistakes, I fear for the wellbeing of other victims in the church.

Comments

  1. You are an intelligent lady. Your words are direct and spot on. I nod my head and shout -Amen Sister- at every word you wrote. This is exactly what should have happened, EXACTLY.

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  2. Among the many things you're right about here, you are supremely right to state that "In an ideal world, the church would not become this kind of tool in the hands of an abuser." I would point out that- as you well know- Christ Church is a tool in the hands of abusers by design, not by mistaken intent. It is unavoidably obvious that Doug Wilson's only meaningful agenda is to protect NSA and Greyfriars students from any accusations no matter how heinous at all costs, as he values the income stream they represent and cannot afford to have his students' or his institution's reputation tarnished.

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    1. Excellent comment, Dash. That is what this is all about. Wilson had to minimize Jamin's crimes to uphold the reputation and $$ of the whole Wilson empire: Christ Church, NSA, etc.

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    2. Dash: "he values the income stream they represent and cannot afford to have his students' or his institution's reputation tarnished."

      It's pretty much too late for this.

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    3. What income stream? Isn't Greyfriars free and NSA very reasonably priced? 9-12k?

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  3. VERY well written! I applaud your continued courage and boldness! I can't help but wonder . . . if this had occurred in Doug Wilson's home, would he have reacted the same way? Would he shift blame to himself and his young daughter and work so hard to pardon the offender?

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  4. You are an incredible woman Natalie!

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  5. It is sad to see and also not right...but I do understand how people go down the path that these "men of the church" went down. When you honestly believe that you hold things together it is very easy to try to micromanage and exert your will. What these men forget is that true leaders shouldn't have to spin anything. Many forget that right is right. They delude themselves into thinking that mere association is enough to blemish them. And they end up aiding and abetting those same crimes in order not to appear guilty by association. Kind of messed up isn't it.

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  6. Doug Wilson is steadily blog-mocking people who feel that they have been victimized. He is clever and does not name Natalie in his posts but goes after people who complain of abuse and makes fun of their pain as if theyare sissy types who have been led astray. If they would attend his church he would deftly handle them so that they are afraid to peep more than a baaaa....
    As far as Natalie's wish to see Jamin dealt with in a healthier way, good luck with that.... Doug Wilson defines what is right for his church and the Bible will support Doug Wilson because Doug Wilson tells us what the Bible says. A bright fellow who is obsessed and does not need much sleep can go around the clock with teachings and pastoral guidance that leaves most of us dizzy just at the output!
    Nevertheless, Natalie is quite correct in every point she makes... Doug Wilson must see his error and stand up as a man to face the truth. As Dash states though, Christ Church is by design a tool for abusers. How do you reform a systemic fault that is not only denied but is touted as healthy, as religion with teeth? The bite of the Word as defined by Wilson is his pride and joy. He enjoys doing what he does to Natalie. He sees it as his role for Jesus. He cannot be swayed from this delusion.

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  7. This question is so disingenuos:
    What do you think should have happened to Jamin? IN AN IDEAL WORLD, how would the church, the state, and your family have dealt with him?

    Maybe that question could be taken down one teensy little notch to: IN AN HONEST LOVING CHURCH... And then we could take it on down the road to the present:
    IN AN HONEST "INVESTIGATION"...

    Because here's the thing, Randy Booth should have recused himself from the "investigation" for at least three reasons that I can name off the top of my head beginning in 1999 and ending with the co-authoring of a book on JUSTICE(!??) with the very guy he's "investigating." Are you friggin' kidding me??!!

    As my lawyer said when I spoke to him about this lunacy, "No fair investigation is led by someone with such an obvious personal interest in the matter. You will not find that anywhere in the world and I would think the church could do better."

    So good on ya, Natalie, for the wisdom to answer the "investigation" committee on the internet. Once again, it might be the only honest hearing you'll get.

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  8. I wanted to come online to give you some support as Doug Wilson shared the vimeos created by your husband. It seems clear to me that you are continuing to come to terms with your abusive past through art and I found the films really moving. I have a fresh sense of the terror you must have felt as a young girl who was sexually exploited. That your husband would empathetically inhabit that victimization with you is truly profound. I hope you continue to feel known and cared for during this difficult time.

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  9. It's very, very interesting to me that Doug is now trying to tarnish your family's reputations by referencing your husband's art videos. I've seen one of the videos Doug linked to on his blog. It was pretty cool, actually. Congratulations on a powerful artistic statement. I was very moved by it.

    First, as a guy with a graduate degree in music who attended a top West Coast arts school as an undergrad and studied performance art theory, this was a perfectly legitimate art video. I'm not a particular fan of male nudity, but that doesn't make it any less legitimate. And I applaud the emotional expression in the video. I applaud the honesty of it, and the courage it takes to appear before a camera with no protection, not even clothes.

    Second, I've seen all kinds of dance and video and performance art works, as well as collaborating on numerous projects, and this was very traditional for the medium, frankly. The imagery is very direct and the implications are very primitive. Nudity in art works is commonplace and respectable, demonstrating the frailty of human form. The dimly lit concrete space and the metal pipe sounds and gestures are time-honored devices.

    Third, despite the clear artistic legitimacy of the piece, Doug Wilson is trying to make like your husband's art video is evidence of some kind of sin, or something equally ridiculous. It's not, not even remotely. Doug is thoroughly demonstrating his ignorance here. Doug's stupidity is on full display in his inability to comprehend a genuine work of art, or the right to express it and the freedom to use it as a medium for emotional content.

    Bottom line: Doug Wilson is terrified of Wes's masculinity. Full stop. He should be. Wes looks like nobody to ever trifle with. There is much greater depth of nuance to the emotional expression in this video than mere masculinity, but if that's all Doug takes away from it, that should suffice.

    I am deeply, deeply sorry that you guys are still being subjected to Doug's horseshit antics. Please look after yourselves. Be safe, and be protected. Doug Wilson is clearly completely unhinged.

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    1. Dash, thanks for this beautifully written and insightful post.

      Natalie, I so deeply admire and appreciate your continuing grace, clarity and courage in this difficult situation.

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  10. I found Nate Wilson's comment (on his father's post) especially telling. He says he knows and likes your husband. Your husband has worked on his house, and has coached his son. Would he be willing for Jamin or Steve Sitler to do the same?

    What exactly was DW trying to point out? It seems his son believes his own family is perfectly safe in the presence of your husband-- how dangerous can your husband's worldview be?

    Badly done, DW, badly done.

    -Mary

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  11. The phrasing of the questions in this bogus inquiry is, to be expected, weird. An obvious, transparent whitewash is in the works, and the parties involved don't even really try to hide that fact. And the complete non sequitur of your husband's performance art being posted by Wilson proves that every time I think that Doug Wilson has sunk as low as humanly possible, he sinks even lower. Stay strong, Natalie, you have friends beyond the ones you are aware of standing with you. On this Thanksgiving, I give sincere thanks that I have not, am not, and never will be, under the influence of this pseudo Pastor. I always feel compelled when commenting about the man to emphasize to outsiders that Doug Wilson absolutely, unequivocally, does not represent the community standards of the wonderful town of Moscow. Thank God for that.

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  12. http://christpres.org/cpc-series/all-is-calm/

    "Jesus and Shame" is the name of the sermon

    Natalie,

    I have been reading your testimony/story and then I listened to this sermon. I couldn't help but think of so many things that relate to your story. The thing is your story isn't finished. I believe God is still writing it. I hope you and Wes will listen to this sermon.

    I really liked this part "The only way to wake an arrogant fool is opposition.". I really believe God is using your opposition to wake that arrogant fool (and we all know to whom I'm referring) Hint: Not Wes! Ha ha of course DW.

    Jesus loves you and Wes and your children (and that's "happy-clappy" ha ha)


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    1. Unknown, it seems to me, listening to this sermon that it does not so much apply to Ms. Greenfield but that the pastor (sic) involved in this matter might benefit by listening to it. You might consider why it has been offered to Natalie and not to the pastor (sic)?
      And this sermon on the scarlet letter (among other things) does not really apply in Greenfield's case at all.... she did not live in wrongness but was wronged and suffered the abuse as a victim. I do not agree that your sermon applies to her but I certainly see it applying the pastor (sic).

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