Thursday, December 13, 2007

The “anonymous flyer”

If you get bored reading about Douglas Wilson’s stunningly stupid revision of Southern slavery, then you’re missing the big picture. Yes, Wilson’s position on slavery represents his twisted worldview, but it also represents a first step of indoctrination for his loyalists. If you surrender your intellectual faculties to buy his revision, then you have given him a stronghold in your head that he will exploit. You’re fast on your way to becoming a monkey boy. And if you dismiss his Southern fantasy as just that — pure fantasy — but you still think that he has something to offer, then you have conceded no less of a stronghold to him than his loyalists, because you have made excuse for a man who has no excuse. Furthermore, if you do it once, you’ll do it again.

The Southern Slavery scandal did not hit the Palouse by accident. Douglas Wilson could have averted it easily if he had simply admitted that, in hindsight, he relied on specious arguments to overstate his case. End of story. In fact, there is no story. The whole thing goes away. But that’s not how it happened.

Early in the week of October 11, 2003, someone (no one knows who) papered downtown Moscow with a flyer advertising Wilson’s and Wilkins’ booklet Southern Slavery As It Was. The flyer made two points: First, Wilson & Wilkins wrote a book containing these quotes (and it reproduced some of the more shocking statements from the booklet) and, second, it noted that both men would be speaking at the UI in February 2004. It closed with the words “Meet the Authors!”

The flyer looked more like litter than street art, but that wasn’t the point. The point was to call attention to Southern Slavery As It Was by saturating the town with these flyers. Accordingly, someone left a stack of 50 flyers on the front desk of the Daily News who contacted Wilson to confirm the accuracy of the quotes. Unbelievably, Wilson not only confirmed the quotes, but he invited the News — with their cameraman — into his living room to discuss the biblical merits of that Peculiar Institution known as Southern slavery. He even smiled for the camera, it’s the famous photograph you see here. Two days later they splashed photo and headline on the front page.

Now, please stop for a moment of morbid introspection to reflect upon Wilson’s conduct. A so-called minister of the gospel took time out of his busy pastoral schedule to inform the local media in northern Idaho that he thought the slaves had a pretty good deal and that history has maligned the reputations of their noble masters. And as you contemplate this historical fact, remind yourself that serial paedophile Steven Sitler was raping helpless children in the Kirk and he would continue to rape lambs of the flock for another year and a half.

Now, stop for another moment to pick up your jaw.

That’s Douglas Wilson, mighty man of God.

Regardless, he got his headline, just as he wanted, and it took him exactly three days to figure out that this story had legs. Manstealing, slavery, and racism are a tough sell to a civilized audience — educated or not. So the first thing Wilson did to sidestep this controversy was use dougspeak to blame an “anonymous flyer” for his woes. Never mind that he invited the local media into his home to discuss the story; he pinned the whole thing on a mysterious “anonymous flyer” and he never let go of his scapegoat:

[Vision2020] Aaaaa? Slavery!
Mon, 13 Oct 2003 13:38:55 -0700


Related to the article in the newspaper this weekend, there is one other item you should know. The Daily News did the story on the basis of an anonymous flyer that was circulated downtown. The flyer was done in such a way that if someone was not paying close attention (as some people on this list sometimes don’t), they might think we had done it. But no, not us.



P.S. I think someone needs to write a biography soon — The Life and Times of Anonymous: A Profile in Courage.

[Vision2020] Journalistic integrity
Mon, October 27, 2003 8:52 AM


Ambrose Bierce once defined ink as a “villainous compound of tanno-gallate of iron, gum-arabic and water, chiefly used to facilitate the infection of idiocy and promote intellectual crime.”

On Friday, The Idaho Statesman picked up the article which had previously run in the Daily News. They ran it with this by-line: “Pair to give their “biblical” defense of practice at U of I conference.”
  1. The conference is not on slavery. Never has been. The Daily News really needs to quit relying on anonymous flyers as part of their crackerjack reporting team. The savings in payroll are not really worth the embarrassment.

  2. No, we are not going to give a defense of slavery at the conference.

  3. It is not a U of I conference.

  4. Having shouted their error on the front page, the Daily News had whispered a teeny correction later on. The Statesman must have missed it somehow.
I would like to ask Nathan Alford to respond, or someone at the Daily News. Who is responsible for misrepresenting our history conference in this egregious way? What are you going to do about it?


Douglas Wilson

[Vision2020] Journalistic integrity

Tuesday, October 28, 2003 12:30 PM


Greg Burton asks:

My question is will Wilson and Wilkins discuss slavery or will they not?

The answer is that no, we will not be discussing slavery. The conference is on Revolution and Modernity — Marx, Robespierre, et al.

If so, the article is accurate in my mind.

But if not, then the article is inaccurate, right? And the Daily News should correct it. The real issue in my mind here is that the Daily News is being as stubborn as the pope’s mule. The only basis they had for connecting this conference and slavery was the fact the connection was made for them by the anonymous Timid One.

Many times, too, a journalist will get a tip about something, examine the veracity and go with the information if they can confirm it elsewhere.

In this instance, the reporter confirmed with me that the conference was NOT about slavery. And the error appeared in print anyway. And the newspaper will not acknowledge it as an error.

Maybe that happened in this instance. If not, there should be a simple correction or clarification. Further, the “journalistic integrity” slug to this thread is a red herring.

What brings journalistic integrity into question is not the initial mistake (although it is at least suspect). The thing that shows a lack of journalistic integrity is the simple refusal to acknowledge that the article wrongly identified the topic of the conference. What would be lost if the Daily News said, “The article xyz wrongly identified slavery as a topic in the upcoming history conference.” They did that, the conference not about that. Why the reluctance?

The New York Times incident was about integrity and ethics, this seems more like quibbling.

It is only quibbling if you don’t mind being called a racist on AP wires across the Pacific Northwest. But I do object to it. I do not mind (at all) standing up for what I believe. I do mind being made a defender of something I loathe. Quibbling?


Douglas Wilson

[Vision2020] The end of Moscow?

Wednesday, November 26, 2003 11:41 AM


Donovan wrote to ask about my responsibility in helping to give Moscow a black eye in the PR department. What was my intent in all of this?

First, Donovan is exactly right in anticipating how I would respond. We did not print and distribute the anonymous flyers, we did not ask for a front page news story that erroneously proclaimed slavery as the topic of the conference, we did not ask for the AP to pick up the story, using that error as the hook of the story, we did not ask for certain progressives to start boycotting businesses owned by multi-racial families who happen to attend our multi-racial church (to show their opposition of racism!), and we did not ask for the subsequent torrent of shrill, humorless, and ugly denunciations. Now, according to the normal drill, whenever the progressive meat grinder goes into action, the selected victim is supposed to apologize and promise to be a good boy thereafter. But we, taking our cue from Tom Petty, are not backing down. And now Moscow has a black eye because certain people insisted on maintaining their slanderous lies at the top of their voices. . . .


Douglas Wilson

I think you get the point. The implication was plain, though Wilson never stated it outright: “The story is not true; the Daily News relied on an anonymous flyer and reported lies.” Clearly his monkey boys understood the message because if you search the Vision 20/20 archives you’ll see them swarm the Internet, advancing Wilson’s falsehood wholesale. But not once did he ever take responsibility for granting an interview to the Daily News. Without exception, he blamed this so-called “anonymous flyer.”

Now look at the flyer. Please notice that there is not one false, incorrect, or misleading representation in it, which is why Wilson confirmed the accuracy of its contents to the Daily News.

And now I have exceeded my word count. So if there’s anything you can take from this post, it’s that when Wilson screams the word “anonymous,” it’s because every word of the anonymous witness is true. And you should not make excuse for a man who has no excuse.

Thank you.


Rev. Jesse Pirschel (OPC) said...

Your blog post "anonymous flyer" shows you have no shame whatsoever. I am hoping ministers will be wise enough to not use your website as a place to launch any of their arguments. Tying the issues that you did together in that post is beyond ridiculous and shows you have a personal vendetta of some sort that has allowed you to callously bring up tragic circumstances in the lives of church families for your personal gain (or at least for the personal harm of Rev. Wilson, which clearly gives you glee).

Mark T. said...

Rev. Pirschel,

I am afraid that you have mistaken me for someone such as yourself — completely ignorant of the facts of the case, that is. Therefore, you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t share your enthusiasm. Do you know the victims? Have you spoke with them? Do you even know how many child molesters struck Christ Church during that period? Have you even read the court records? Do you know any of the facts at all?

While I am confident that you must answer “No” to these questions, I can answer “Yes” to all of them.

But let me ask you a few more questions with the hope of redirecting your righteous indignation. Can you tell me what “Pastor” Wilson’s response was to the serial paedophile whom God brought to Christ Church? Do you know how long he waited to warn the families in his charge of the possibility of the predation? Do you even know if “Pastor” Wilson bothered to warn the church of predation?

I’ll give you a day or two to compose yourself and contemplate the answers to these questions.

Thank you.

Rev. Jesse Pirschel said...

Mr. T,

Since you know so much you know where the court of original jurisdiction is on this case, right? You know the man in question is under discipline in the in the denomination whose authority he is under, right? But your diatribe is not about THAT denomination, is it? So your point falls flat.

You make the ridiculous assertion that it was because Rev. Wilson had speaking engagements that you dont consider tied to his call as a mininster that contributed to the events. Sorry, the story is much more complex than that and has a history that long predates Moscow. (but you knew all that right)

And I did read "all" the public records so your "confidence" is foolish, which brings me back to my original point, your foolishness.

So, I am fully composed, and retract nothing. Your crack reporting is weak and clearly based on your hatred for a man. Trying to link this case to the slavery issue is ridiculous, but then again your hysteria enduced "confidence" shows that you hail from the land of ridiculous. That doesnt suprise me. What does is how ministers, who should know better, pay you any mind.

Mark T. said...

Rev. Pirschel,

I’ll answer you one paragraph at a time:

1. When I referenced the “court records,” I did not mean the OPC records. I meant the Latah County records. His standing in the OPC is really moot because he’s never leaving Moscow unless he violates his probation (again) and lands in the state pen. But as long as we’re on it, did you know that Wilson withheld critical information from the OPC relative to the number of states where Sitler committed his crimes? I doubt it. And since you’re an FV sympathizer, did you know that Sitler bartered the names of victims for a softer sentence? He did this with Wilson’s approval. Now read this:

2. Your second paragraph makes no coherent sense to me, starting with the first sentence that references “a ridiculous assertion” without any point of reference.

3. Okay, you spent the last two days reading the records on the web, unless someone sent you the two (or is it three? I haven’t been to the courthouse in a while) phone-book sized files. You passed that test and I have no idea what you mean by “confidence.”

4. I never linked Sitler to slavery. I linked the Southern Slavery scandal to the serial paedophile scandal and I believe that your inability to make this distinction probably accounts for your misunderstanding, as well as your loss of self-control.

Here’s an extra-credit question: Did Wilson warn the congregation about predation?

Thank you.

Rev. Jesse Pirschel said...

Seriously, get a grip on yourself Mark. I read this materials long ago for reasons you dont need to know anything about. I know more than I care to and surely more than you do on this matter, but that is neither here nor there.

With the number of imaginative leaps you have made in the last day alone I can get a good feel for your reporting style.

1. You dont know me, yet you "know" I am completely ignorant of the facts, about this you are "confident". (I never doubted your confidence, its your competence that I question).

2. You dont know me, but you know I am an FV sympathizer. Really? In what way? Let me know I am sure you have the inside skinny on this as well.

3. You dont know me, but your certain I spent yesterday and today reading the files. Actually I spent all day yesterday at Knotts Berry farm, but hey facts arent your bag, we get it.

What kind of conversation were you thinking we could have now that you have lied about me several times in the space of a few paragraphs? What kind of credibility do you think you deserve because you can blog without a face of name? I am just hoping men from my denomination wont stoop to this level to make their points known. There are other avenues for fighting this battle. You dont print serious arguments in a gossip rag.

Rev. Jesse Pirschel said...

Now to examine your reading comprehension following you point by point (post 4).

1. When did I say anything about court records? I was just wondering if you knew how far-reaching this case was and who the responsible party was for discipline etc. It's not just a CRE problem. It’s a sin problem. But you will use anything to get at Wilson and no one thinks child molestation is good, so blame it on Wilson.

2. The point of reference was the sentence...let me type it slow...W I L S O N W A S TO B E speaking on SSAIW (the flyer remember) in process the news press questioned him, he offered to “speak” about it in an interview. None of these things, according to your article, are part of his calling. Thus, he was neglecting his real call as Pastor. Thus, serial rape was occurring and he clearly didn’t care or stop it and many lives were ruined because of the speaking engagements outside of his calling. Get it. It was your argument, remember?

3. First, you lied (again). But anything is justifiable in war! Second, the "confidence" remark was, once again, from your writing.

"While I am confident that you must answer “No” to these questions, I can answer “Yes” to all of them."

Hang with me Mr. or Mrs. T, you said "you didnt read the stuff!" then you said, "I am confident you didnt read it!". Then I said, "I did read it, so dont be confident." Then you said, "I dont understood what did you mean when you done said 'confidence'.”

Are we clear now?

4. Umm, again reading its a great tool. I didnt define "how" you linked the two, but I am pretty sure you linked the two in the original piece. You mention Sitler and then, lo and behold you link it (time, energy, pastoral calling etc.) to the slavery bruhaha. Look hard. See it. Good.

Let me ask you a question, is what your doing really seeking to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ who shed his blood for the Church? Or might there be another motive?

I can in all honesty say the only reason I am even taking part in this conversation is because junk like your website will ensure that no good comes from any of the process the church will be going through concerning the FV. Only more suspicion, bitterness and team mentality. I dont agree with Wilson on everything, but I dont think he deserves to be treated worse than an unbeliever for the sake of "the team".

Mark T. said...

Rev. Pirschel,

First, I am afraid that you have me at a distinct disadvantage by reserving the right to state as fact things you incorrectly infer, which I never imply. When I call you on it, you shift your inference and then ridicule me. So this is the last I’ll have with you unless you can demonstrate the ability to structure a coherent argument where A follows B follows C, each point supported by established facts. Furthermore, the comment must be void of typos and hysteria — sure signs of the absence of self-control.

Second, regarding the facts of the case, I accept that you say you know the facts of the case despite the compelling absence of evidence otherwise. I know that the OPC session that had jurisdiction in this case did not have all of the facts of this case because Wilson withheld critical facts from them. It’s good to know that at least someone in the OPC had the facts of the case. I wish you could have imparted them to Colville.

Third, should you gain composure and realize that your comments bring disgrace upon you, I will be happy to delete them upon your request.

Fourth, I am thankful you spent yesterday at the Country Bear Jamboree. Now I hope that you can get some much-needed rest.

Thank you.

Rev. Jesse Pirschel said...

I am fine with not moving forward as it is a waste of time (being that this site is scatology not theology).

One last question, when did Colville get their own session? Don’t mind the details M.T., just get the jabs in (and when you figure out who the session actually was, dont retract a thing, it might expose your site full of "orginal source" material for what it is in truth).

P.S. No need to delete, I will let the reader decide who and what is disgraceful.

P.P.S. Bear Country is in Disneyland.

Mark T. said...

Rev. Pirschel,

It occurred to me that you might benefit from seeing how to make your case. Please follow:

You need to understand that your argument has no facts to support it, only speculation. This puts you in the position of having to make absurd inferences or positive inquiries. In your case you chose the former and as you saw (I hope) things unwound out of control from there.

However, I believe that you should have approached this in the form of positive inquiries, which I would have happily answered. For example, instead of stating that I linked slavery to Sitler, you should have asked, “Do I understand that you believe Wilson’s position on slavery is connected to the serial paedophilia?” Of course, the answer is that I don’t believe they’re connected except in the way I outlined in “beyond ridiculous,” which, by the way, you have not answered.

And if you believe that I am driven by a vendetta and that any stick is good enough to beat Wilson, then you should have framed it in a question. For example, you could have asked, “Do you have a vendetta and do you believe that any stick is good enough to beat Wilson?” Of course, the answer is no. This leads to two questions that you did ask and I neglected to answer: “is what your [sic] doing really seeking to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ who shed his blood for the Church? Or might there be another motive?”

I affirm without hesitation that I am working for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ who shed his blood for the church. Furthermore, I have received many off-list comments from pastors thanking me for this site. You, Wilson, and a few monkey boys are the only exception. I also affirm that there might be another motive or motives and that Scripture makes clear neither you nor I could know. Therefore, as I have restrained myself from challenging your motives, I would appreciate it if you afforded me the same courtesy.

Thank you.

Rev. Jesse Pirschel said...

Mr/Mrs. T.,

Tell me how you got from my original observation,

"Tying the issues that you did together in that post is beyond ridiculous...",

that I thought you were arguing that Wilson's position on slavery was "connected" to serial child molestation?

All I was saying (from the beginning and stayed consistent with throughout) was that for you to try to say that Rev. Wilson was somehow to blame in the pedophilia case (negligence) because of his being involved in the slavery debate was ridiculous. I didn’t like how you “tied” the two together.

This can be seen by my next comment as well,
“You make the ridiculous assertion that it was because Rev. Wilson had speaking engagements that you don’t consider tied to his call as a minister that contributed to the events.”

And then when you attempted (post 4) to say I was inferring that you were saying Wilson’s position on slavery was connected to child molestation, I quickly corrected your misunderstanding,

“I didn’t define "how" you linked the two, but I am pretty sure you linked the two in the original piece. You mention Sitler and then, lo and behold you link it (time, energy, pastoral calling etc.) to the slavery brouhaha.”

Yet, Mr./Mrs. T, you still insist on continuing with your reading of the posts, even when the author of them tells you that your understanding of his words is incorrect.

So what were you saying about absurd inferences again?

Rev. Jesse Pirschel said...

Mark T. - "Therefore, as I have restrained myself from challenging your motives"

Mark T. - "And since you’re an FV sympathizer..."

Drat, not the dreaded sympathizer label! Now he knows my "motives"!

Mark T. said...

Rev. Pirschel,

This is the first thing that you have written to me that I understand:

“All I was saying (from the beginning and stayed consistent with throughout) was that for you to try to say that Rev. Wilson was somehow to blame in the pedophilia case (negligence) because of his being involved in the slavery debate was ridiculous. I didn’t like how you “tied” the two together.”

Now, let’s be clear. I never said that Wilson was to blame for the Sitler spree; I said that he neglected his flock to prosecute a war against the Palouse for the cause of self-will and I believe that this is central to our misunderstanding. I believe that Wilson has skewed priorities.

You continue:

“You make the ridiculous assertion that it was because Rev. Wilson had speaking engagements that you don’t consider tied to his call as a minister that contributed to the events.”

I never made this “ridiculous assertion,” you inferred it. This kind of miscommunication is also central to our misunderstanding.

To the point: I know that you have been following this blog for a couple of months and that my allusion to Sitler triggered something in you. The innuendo suggests an emotional attachment to the Sitler case through Colville or perhaps the overseeing church in Seattle(?). Perhaps you are related to one of the victims; perhaps you counseled a family or families; maybe you are a victim of molestation. I have no idea. I only know that your name is not on the letters sent by the Colville session so unless you were absent the days they were sent, I don’t owe you a retraction, contra your implication.

I don’t know the source of your animus toward me, but it’s clear that you waited until now to voice your opposition to me. It’s equally clear that the personal insults to a complete stranger suggest something else is happening. I don’t know and I don’t want to know. But I do know that I cannot continue with you tit for tat.

Therefore, I sincerely apologize to you for the gratuitous whacks I took at you; they were inappropriate and they conveyed the wrong message to you. I truly wish you no harm. May God bless you and your ministry.

Thank you.