Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Violence to History

Our next post addresses the letter that Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, wrote to the Governor of the State of Idaho during the Southern Slavery scandal of 2003–2004. In the letter Wilson references a Daily News op-ed by Dr. Dale Graden, Professor of History at the University of Idaho, which is worth republishing here for three reasons:

  1. First, between this column and the book review by Drs. Quinlan and Ramsey, you can see that the community was still piecing together the big picture surrounding Wilson and this op-ed specifically identified the community’s primary concerns relative to Wilson and the Kult at that time.

  2. Second, the existence of the op-ed helps demonstrate the inflamed state of the community at that time. I have noted repeatedly that the Daily News kept the story front and center via headlines, editorials, and letters to the editor for about five straight months, and this op-ed is one more fully documented example of this historical fact.

  3. Third, make careful note of this statement from Dr. Graden: “Efforts to have Mr. Wilson clear the record on his views about slavery, misogyny, and homosexuality have met with statements or denials that contradict the opinions clearly expressed in his extensive writings. In Wilson’s spin, the real issues have become obscured.” Does that sound familiar?

The Daily News ran this column on Saturday, December 27, 2003, which means that the News gave it a primo spot since they have no Sunday paper. A second thing you should notice about this column is that (according to my records) this was the first time that the News did not give the Kult (Wilson) a response column, which forced them to respond on their website (I shall not republish it because it has too many fabrications for me to correct).

Finally, a word about Dabney. Some of his writings make me cringe and I understand completely how he would send an academic community over the edge. There’s no escaping his racism and there’s no justification for it either. However high one may hold his Presbyterianism, he’s the farthest thing from an authority on race relations. To be sure, he’s living proof of the old Puritan’s maxim: “The best of men are still men at best.” When this controversy erupted a dear friend of mine, who is a trained historian as well, put it best, saying (I paraphrase from memory), “I understand that Dabney was a product of his culture; his environment engrained his racism into him, making it part and parcel of his theology. But this is 2003 — enough time has passed that everyone should know better.” Indeed. And the very education that Dabney withheld from an entire race of mankind should have enlightened some Southern boys to a biblical understanding of race relations. But this assumes certain people are educated. Moreover, since Wilson and Wilkins have jettisoned completely Dabney’s theology proper, they compel us to inquire exactly what it is that draws them to him.

Here is Dr. Graden’s column:

Coalition says conference undermines diversity
Members of the Moscow-Pullman community have recently raised important questions about pastor Douglas Wilson’s views on racial slavery, women, and violence against gays. In response, Mr. Wilson and some of his supporters have conducted an extensive media campaign to denounce these people as “secular humanists,” “Darwinists,” or “radical progressives” who are driven by “hatred for the historic Christian gospel.” Efforts to have Mr. Wilson clear the record on his views about slavery, misogyny, and homosexuality have met with statements or denials that contradict the opinions clearly expressed in his extensive writings. In Wilson’s spin, the real issues have become obscured. It is necessary that we place the facts before our community and explain our deep concern.

On Feb. 5–7, 2004, Credenda/Agenda’s “Ninth Annual History Conference” will be at the University of Idaho. The event is sponsored by Wilson’s congregation. Some of the featured speakers are:

  • Steven Wilkins, co-founder of the League of the South, a group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a neo-Confederate hate group. In our opinion, this group is dedicated to southern secession and racial separatism. It’s our understanding that, over the past decade, the neo-Confederate movement has recast the anti-civil rights agenda of hate groups like the KKK into religious terms.

  • George Grant, of King’s Meadow Study Center in Tennessee. Grant is a major figure in the national Christian Reconstructionist movement, which seeks to subvert the U.S. constitution and replace it with a Christian theocracy. In his 1993 book Legislating Immorality (co-authored by Mark Horne), Grant advocates the death penalty for gays, saying “[t]here is no such option for homosexual offenses” except capital punishment (pp. 186–87).

  • Douglas Wilson, pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho. Like Grant, Wilson is a national figure in the Reconstruction movement. He has been active in neo-Confederate networks since 1995. In 1996, he co-wrote (with Wilkins) a short booklet called Southern Slavery, As It Was. The book claims “[o]wning slaves is not an abomination” and alleges that African-American slave emancipation has led to “abortion, feminism, and sodomy” in today’s society (pp. 21, 11).

  • Peter Leithart, a fellow at the New St. Andrews facility. In the conservative Weekly Standard (March 26, 2001), Leithart praised Holocaust denier and Reconstructionist J. Rousas Rushdoony as an “American original.” Rushdoony’s writings on the Holocaust and German casualties draw upon views expressed by Nazi collaborator Léon de Poncis and Holocaust denier David Irving. In the New York Review of Books, Joseph Lelyveld identifies Rushdoony as a “religious zealot and Holocaust denier” (June 12, 2003).
The centerpiece of the conference is Mr. Wilson’s talk on R.L. Dabney. Dabney was a marginal religious figure in the antebellum South who has been appropriated by the neo-Confederate and Reconstructionist movements. Dabney was a secessionist, proslavery apologist, and opponent of African-American education and interracial marriages.

We are concerned that this conference could negatively affect the general climate in our community. Several of the conference speakers, moreover, do not simply express intolerant views but actively issue “a call to arms” (in the words of George Grant) for their followers to put them into action. We are concerned because this type of hate speech has led to horror in our local past — most notably with Benjamin Matthew Williams, a Moscow resident and former UI student, who murdered a gay couple and burned three synagogues in northern California in 1999.

While the conference participants have the constitutional right to express their opinions, we feel we have an equal right to voice our disagreement. In so doing, we hope to raise community consciousness and promote a greater spirit of tolerance, diversity, and mutual respect within our community. In our view, the ideas expressed by Wilkins, Wilson, and Grant advocate intolerance, undermine diversity efforts, promote aggression based upon race, gender, and sexual orientation, and do violence to historical accuracy.

We invite you to join our efforts in promoting human rights, diversity, and true toleration in the Palouse.

Dale Graden is writing for the Equality Coalition. Those wishing additional information on these topics or interested in helping may visit the “Not on the Palouse” Web site at or the UI’s office of Diversity and Human Rights at

I should note as a follow-up that the 2004 history conference was George Grant’s last appearance in Moscow. To my knowledge he has not stated publicly his reasons for this and I have no knowledge that it’s connected to this scandal, but I certainly couldn’t blame the man for wanting distance from both his past written record and this set of loons.

Thank you.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Say You’re Sorry

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matt 5:11–12)

“If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” (1 Peter 4:14–16)

“The church here in Moscow has a long way to go, and we have a lot to learn. But we have received the grace of being disgraced; we have obtained the honor of being dishonored; we have received the great compliment of being significant enough to lie about.”Douglas Wilson, January 3, 2007

Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, penned this sound bite exactly three years after his Southern Slavery scandal of 2003–2004, presumably to summarize his recollection of events. To be sure, its lofty language leaves the impression that during the controversy Wilson conformed his demeanor to the principles of Matthew 5:11–12 and 1 Peter 4:14–16. Indeed, the words are so noble that reader may be tempted to believe Wilson actually believed what he wrote here. In fact, I’ll state for the record that I believe Wilson really believed what he wrote. I must add, however, that I also believe this has not always been the case because at the height of the scandal no one witnessed him jumping for joy, though when things got out of control he began labeling his reproach as “persecution for the gospel’s sake.”

Last week we examined in excruciating detail Wilson’s outrageous conduct relative to a book review of SSAIW, written by two historians from the University of Idaho, and a few weeks ago I footnoted several of his attempts to control the media that resulted in him demanding apologies from various news sources. Today I want to begin contemplating these historical facts and the character they betray, to demonstrate what Wilson really meant when he wrote, “But we have received the grace of being disgraced; we have obtained the honor of being dishonored; we have received the great compliment of being significant enough to lie about.”

Personally, I believe that I have produced enough evidence to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord Jesus Christ was the only person who was disgraced, dishonored, and lied about during Douglas Wilson’s Southern Slavery scandal. And in case you have forgotten, Douglas Wilson disgraced, dishonored, and lied about the Son of God, both with his words and his actions, as he maintained adamantly that the thesis of his book Southern Slavery As It Was was biblical. It all started with a mind-boggling revision of American history called SSAIW; it developed as the Fearless Leader stood firm, saying, “I resolved a long time ago that I would not be ashamed of anything in the Bible”; it escalated as Wilson and members of the Kult began hurling invectives at the community, to defend the cause of the gospel and of slavery; and it escalated beyond remedy with the Kult’s offensive and deceitful PR campaign, which bombed miserably.

And at that point the dynamic shifted. Every shenanigan of the Fearless Leader’s failed to win anyone to his cause. But face it, slavery is a tough sell in an academic community. So Douglas Wilson did what he always does in his controversies: he turned it into a personal grudge match and in this case he fostered a grudge between him, the two UI historians, and the University of Idaho. Therefore, he escalated tensions by challenging the two historians to a debate, which they ignored. Not satisfied, the Fearless Leader pushed even harder by threatening legal action against the University of Idaho, which we shall consider below. But if we want to be consistent with Wilson’s interpretation of events, then we should conclude that when he “received the grace of being disgraced” he threatened the UI with a defamation suit. And when the UI ignored his frivolous threat, the Fearless Leader appealed to the Governor of the State of Idaho (which we shall consider in the next post), who ignored Wilson as well. Again, however, if we want to be consistent with Wilson’s memory of events, then we must conclude that when he “obtained the honor of being dishonored,” he blubbered to the governor like a spoiled little snot. And escalations reached an all-time high when the Fearless Leader uploaded to the worldwide web, which we must presume was his way of expressing gratitude to God and man that he “received the great compliment of being significant enough to lie about.” However, thus far we have not seen any instances where anyone from the community bore false witness about Wilson or the Kult, though we have documented several instances where he violated the Ninth.

The scandal culminated with a so-called history conference that closed the deal: The Fearless Leader made his neck like iron and his brow as brass, binding the Peculiar Institution to the gospel as a primary doctrine of the Christian faith and maintaining that those who disagreed with him were persecuting him for righteousness’ sake. He made it to the finish line without conceding any point of fact during the controversy (or afterwards), insisting the whole time that his book was biblical and not racist. He branded slavery on his forehead as with a hot iron, searing as many consciences as possible in the process.

Today, however, we want to consider the Fearless Leader’s email to the president of the University of Idaho. You will recall that Douglas Wilson challenged Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey to debate the thesis of SSAIW and, understandably, they ignored him. Why would anyone engage a lunatic on any point, let alone the fairytale of slaves living the good life? Therefore, one month after daring the two historians to debate him, the Fearless Leader adopted Plan B: To the stick! And on December 19, 2003, Douglas Wilson sent the following email to the president and the provost of the University of Idaho and he carbon copied his attorney, Greg Dickison:

From: Douglas
Sent: Friday, December 19, 2003 10:18 AM
Subject: Diversity Office

Dear President Michael and Provost Pitcher,

Early this week I sent a letter to Raul Sanchez in which I told him that I was grateful that he had removed the Quinlan/Ramsey piece from his website. At the same time, my letter went on to ask for an apology for its appearance in the first place. The only response I have noted thus far is the reappearance of a revised version of that same essay. The revised version is an improvement in the sense that the most sophomoric errors were removed, but the basic incendiary problems with the essay remain.

I am sure you are very busy men, and that you have better things to do than put out fires that have been started by your own diversity office. But the fact remains that the “fires” that are contained in the essay by Quinlan and Ramsey fall into two categories as far as the University of Idaho is concerned — embarrassing and dangerous. This means that they really must be dealt with, and I am sorry that I am the one who has to ask you to do it.

The embarrassing part is easy enough to ascertain. There are at least four factual errors in the first paragraph, and the rest of the essay continues the tradition. Drs. Quinlan and Ramsey make much of the fact that they are professional historians, but the demonstrable fact remains that they are extremely sloppy professional historians. I would rather have no adversaries at the University of Idaho at all, but if I must, I appreciate the fact that their scholarship is of this caliber. I want this controversy to die. But if it does not, I am extremely grateful that it is being waged against me like this.

The dangerous part is of greater concern to you, and involves the current overall situation at the University of Idaho. That concern is financial and political, not legal. Please note that this letter is not threatening a suit for defamation. I have better things to do. But it is to let you know that I have been counseled to consider it, and that the slanderous Quinlan/Ramsey piece does bring the phrase “reckless disregard for the truth” to mind. The central point is to let you know that if the facts of this particular controversy were to find their way into the hands of those who are looking for ways to hammer the University of Idaho, it would be very difficult for the UI to defend itself. In short, the University of Idaho has enough trouble going right now without your diversity office generating more of it for you.

I am a graduate of the UI, as is my wife. I have no desire whatever to be involved in a controversy with the university. I regret the current problems the UI is going through. That is why it astounds me that your diversity office has chosen to start picking new fights.

The Quinlan/Ramsey essay is slanderous, defamatory, inaccurate, sloppy, and, to the point of your concern, unnecessary. I am therefore asking you to see to it the Quinlan/Ramsey piece is pulled from the diversity office web site, and an apology put in its place. I appreciate your consideration of this request. I would be happy to meet with you in person to discuss this further if you would wish.


Douglas Wilson

For those of you just joining us, this is an accurate word-for-word reproduction of an email that Douglas Wilson really sent to the University of Idaho. This is not a joke or a prank on my part (how could I fabricate something like this?). A professing minister of the gospel threatened the University of Idaho with a libel suit because they used their website to circulate a book review of a book that he wrote to defend race-based slavery as a biblical practice. And quite frankly, I’m not sure which was more scandalous — the book or the email. Nevertheless, Wilson wrote this email after the Kult’s PR campaign failed to win any converts to the cause of slavery or the gospel, and he failed to persuade anyone of his good intentions. Think of it as the next logical step for a man who had no other options available to him — the argumentum ad baculum.

The first paragraph establishes the tone as well as the goal of the email and things quickly unwound from there. There are six points you should notice:
  1. The first thing you should notice is that Douglas Wilson refused to acknowledge that the publication in question, Southern Slavery As It Wasn’t, was a book review of a book that he co-wrote, edited, and self-published. He called it a “piece” three times and an “essay” five times, but he never acknowledged that it was a book review of his book. His email pretends as though the two historians wrote their work in a vacuum, intending to deliberately libel him. He completely ignores this critical point because he knew that if he conceded their work was a review of his book, then he would have lost all standing to complain. Books compose part of the pubic rostrum of ideas, which means they’re fair game for criticism, and if you don’t want your books criticized then you shouldn’t write. Wilson knows this and he knew it in 2003 because in 1996 he wrote and published The Contours of Post-Maturity to deride Intervarsity Press for certain books it had published. Therefore, he tried to reframe the debate so that he could fabricate a cause of action against the UI. He’s always trying to create handles and though this kind of rhetoric passes muster in the CREC, it generally leaves educated folk scratching their heads, if not wetting their pants.

  2. The second thing you should notice about this email is that the Fearless Leader played the role of legal counsel for himself and the University of Idaho, which is simply hilarious when you note the well-worn cliché: “He who would represent himself in court has a fool for an attorney.” In this case the fool gave legal advice to an adversary of his making, which I’m sure gave the legal office at UI a kick:

    . . . the basic incendiary problems with the essay remain. . . . the fact remains that the “fires” that are contained in the essay by Quinlan and Ramsey fall into two categories as far as the University of Idaho is concerned — embarrassing and dangerous. This means that they really must be dealt with . . . . The dangerous part is of greater concern to you. . . That concern is financial and political, not legal. Please note that this letter is not threatening a suit for defamation. . . But it is to let you know that I have been counseled to consider it, and that the slanderous Quinlan/Ramsey piece does bring the phrase “reckless disregard for the truth” to mind. The central point is to let you know that if the facts of this particular controversy were to find their way into the hands of those who are looking for ways to hammer the University of Idaho, it would be very difficult for the UI to defend itself. . . . The Quinlan/Ramsey essay is slanderous, defamatory, inaccurate, sloppy, and, to the point of your concern, unnecessary.

    There are four sub-points you should notice here:

    1. First, don’t think twice about Wilson’s disclaimer — “That concern is financial and political, not legal. Please note that this letter is not threatening a suit for defamation.” This is dougspeak that states the UI faced potential “financial and political” consequences for its actions, but he never defined those consequences, which explains why his email beat relentlessly the theme of legal liability. This was absolutely a threat, albeit a frivolous threat without merit.

    2. Second, notice that Wilson didn’t bother to cite any slander, libel, or defamation laws that he believed the UI violated. He simply asserted their guilt as a foregone conclusion. This is typical for the Fearless Leader. When his hole blows, he expects everyone to agree with him. It’s a settled point not subject to discussion. You must agree.

    3. Third, notice that Wilson failed to provide any citations from the book review that he believed crossed the line into defamation; in other words, he failed to demonstrate how the book review was slanderous and defamatory — he didn’t even try. He merely asserted it. I note this fact because, as a rule, you have to make a case before you can win a case and in this case he had no case. But he sure huffed and puffed.

    4. Fourth, there’s a rich irony here that most folks would probably miss: Wilson’s primary nemesis in this email, Raul Sanchez, who was head of the Office of Diversity and Human Rights at that time, earned a JD from Harvard Law School. And even though he was not the UI’s legal counsel, I am confident that he had a sufficient grasp of First Amendment law to know that the UI had every right to post the book review to its website and that the review itself did not meet the threshold for libel, let alone “reckless disregard for the truth.”

    Despite these compelling facts, the Fearless Leader demonstrated his command of the law, which rivals his command of Southern history, and delivered his expert opinion to the University of Idaho. And they didn’t even have to ask for it.

  3. The third thing you should notice about this email is Wilson’s transparent attempt to sow division between the UI administration and the UI Office of Diversity and Human Rights:

    I am sure you are very busy men, and that you have better things to do than put out fires that have been started by your own diversity office. . . . In short, the University of Idaho has enough trouble going right now without your diversity office generating more of it for you. . . . That is why it astounds me that your diversity office has chosen to start picking new fights.

    This is typical behavior from the Fearless Leader whereby he endeavors to pit one person against another or, as in this instance, one department against another. We saw him do it at Church of the King–Santa Cruz and we saw him do it with Dr. Clark and Pastor Lane. Childish stuff, I know, but the man loves to create conflicts of interest in others in order to exploit them for his own ends. Wilson’s remonstrance notwithstanding, the Office of Diversity and Human Rights did not operate as a rogue branch of the university. It performed its responsibilities according to its mission, which included to “Develop . . . & make available educational materials . . . to the University.” And whatever else is true Southern Slavery As It Wasn’t is educational.

  4. The fourth thing you should notice is how Wilson transferred the responsibility for “picking fights” from himself to the UI:

    I would rather have no adversaries at the University of Idaho at all. . . I want this controversy to die. But if it does not, I am extremely grateful that it is being waged against me like this. . . . I have no desire whatever to be involved in a controversy with the university. . . it astounds me that your diversity office has chosen to start picking new fights.

    These statements reveal a delusional mind. If he was so grateful that the UI waged its controversy with him “like this,” stating that his opponents were inept, then why would he threaten them with a suit and demand that they remove the book review from their website? Apparently he was not so grateful that they waged their controversy with him “like this.” Regardless, the point is that Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, was at the center of a community-wide controversy wherein the University of Idaho composed one part of the community. Wilson provoked and antagonized everyone who disagreed with him — including the faculty, administration, and student body of the UI (as well as WSU) — with inimical and hateful words and deeds. He picked fights with anyone who criticized him. He delivered cutting insults to anyone who corrected him. He inflamed the controversy by his refusal to acknowledge the truth about his booklet. And despite these facts, he accused the UI of picking a fight with him.

  5. The fifth thing you should notice about this email is Douglas Wilson’s goal — the one thing he hoped to achieve:

    At the same time, my letter went on to ask for an apology for its appearance in the first place. . . . I am therefore asking you to see to it the Quinlan/Ramsey piece is pulled from the diversity office web site, and an apology put in its place.

    The Fearless Leader wanted an apology. You did not misread this. The man who “received the grace of being disgraced,” the man who “obtained the honor of being dishonored,” the man who “received the great compliment of being significant enough to lie about,” asked the University of Idaho to apologize for posting a book review of SSAIW on its website because he alleged, without proof, it was slanderous and defamatory. So he wanted an apology. In fact, this email was his second official request for an apology. The man who fillets others with his serrated tongue wanted an apology. Could the little man behind the curtain be any smaller? Could the Fearless Leader be any pettier? Perhaps he wasn’t wearing his Canon Press “Literature for a life less petty” sweatshirt.

    This is not the “grace of being disgraced.” This is the disgrace of being a disgrace. It’s also the essence of hypocrisy. It’s certainly not a Christian witness. He wanted the University of Idaho to post an apology on its website for having hosted a book review of his evil book SSAIW. What? — did the UI hurt his feelings? Please pass me a Kleenex, I almost feel like crying. It’s not about slavery. It’s about sniveling. Honestly, Wilson’s demand that the UI amend for an offense that never occurred contradicts such a basic principle of Christianity that if you need an explanation, then you probably need to be born again. This is Christianity 101, which leads to my last and most important point.

  6. The last thing you should notice about this email is that while Douglas Wilson framed an argument that ignored the essential nature of the book review on the UI’s website; while he gave ridiculous legal counsel to the University of Idaho; while he tried to sow discord at the UI; while he blamed the UI for picking fights with him; and while he wasted everyone’s time by demanding an apology for a non-existent offense; Steven Sitler was raping helpless lambs of the Christ Church flock. Read it again: While Douglas Wilson prosecuted his one-man culture war for Southern slavery on the Palouse, a serial pedophile had his way, unmolested, with the dear children of the Kirk. Talk about out of touch with reality. Indeed, the Great Protector put it best when he wrote, “I have better things to do.” Unfortunately, we shall see that he really didn’t mean this because he continued to waste the valuable time of others by taking his complaint to the Governor of the State of Idaho, seeking to obtain a silly apology for this contrived offense. Behold the abundance of Douglas Wilson’s heart. This absurd demand reveals his proud selfishness in high definition. I am not sure it’s possible to demonstrate his self-absorption any better. And the thing that is most frightening is that when he reads this post (he reads every one of them), he will feel completely justified for his scandalous behavior and he will not see how his egotistical actions in any way tended to the dereliction of his pastoral duties (not that he’s a pastor; I only note this point because he plays the role in public) or shamed the gospel.
The University of Idaho answered Douglas Wilson’s email with a gracious but dismissive note; they did not pull the book review from their website; and they did not apologize. The Fearless Leader did not prevail. He lost this battle in abject humiliation. But he can hold his high, knowing that he “received the grace of being disgraced”; he “obtained the honor of being dishonored”; and he “received the great compliment of being significant enough to lie about.” And he really brought glory to God in the process.

Thank you.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

“I drank the Kool-Aid for seven years and it didn’t hurt me!”

One of the difficulties of hosting a fully documented anonymous attack blog is the amount of time it takes to gather and organize my documentation. Unlike those who have the luxury of hosting fully autonomous self-willed attack blogs, I actually have to document my facts. Of course, the irony is that they declare my documentation “slander” while they produce no evidence or arguments to support their claim. They just assert it. I suppose that’s because they are fully autonomous self-willed attack blogs. Anyway, the last few posts as well as the next few posts are all ground work for an upcoming post on the personality cult at Christ Church, Moscow. I appreciate your patience.

A couple of weeks ago during the brouhaha at Reformed Catholicism, a young man named Tim Enloe posted a passionate defense of Christ Church, Moscow, claiming that the words “cult” and “compound” do not apply there.

Tim Enloe wrote,

Mary Louise, I don’t know what you’ve been reading (I don’t care to read anonymous attack blogs or receive anonymous or vague charges against pastors, regardless of their purported “pastoral” purpose), but I lived in Moscow for 7 years and I have to say this about your “compound” remark. There is a sense of close community, perhaps even of unique community, at work in Moscow, but to call it a “compound” and invoke the word “cult” is more than a bit over the top.

Like any other community under the sun, Moscow has its problems. But if one hasn’t lived there, worshipped there, fellowshipped with them in their homes, I don’t believe it’s appropriate for one to be talking about their problems. And especially not on the basis of tales told by people one doesn’t know about circumstances one is only getting one account of, and that one account in a medium notorious for its impersonal ability to ratchet things up to levels of controversy far beyond what would ever occur in a face-to-face context. I don’t defend everything that comes out of Moscow, and I never did and do not now walk in total, uncritical lockstep with my teachers at NSA — but I lived there, worshipped there, and fellowshipped with many of those there face-to-face for 7 years. Neither “compound” nor “cult” are appropriate words to use of them.

I don’t doubt that this young man really believes what he wrote, but the very credentials he put forward to establish his authority on the matter tell us all we need to know:
  • I lived in Moscow for 7 years.

  • There is a sense of close community, perhaps even of unique community, at work in Moscow

  • But if one hasn’t lived there, worshipped there, fellowshipped with them in their homes, I don’t believe it’s appropriate for one to be talking about their problems.

  • I don’t defend everything that comes out of Moscow, and I never did and do not now walk in total, uncritical lockstep with my teachers at NSA

  • I lived there, worshipped there, and fellowshipped with many of those there face-to-face for 7 years.
Let’s say that someone lived in a spiritual compound in a non-Christian cult for seven years, during which time the leadership of the non-Christian cult systematically brainwashed him so that he could not discern right from wrong. Even worse, his brainwashing was so efficient that they excised from him his ability to think critically or independently, which meant that he always deferred to his teacher’s sound bites. After seven years of brainwashing, could that person, still in their brainwashed state, be in a position to speak with any authority on the subject? Would they even know if someone washed their brain?

Let’s let the same person — Tim Enloe — answer the question for us. Four years ago (I presume this was part of his seven-year stay in Moscow), during the Southern Slavery scandal, Mr. Enloe posted the following email to Vision 20/20. Read it and tell me if he wasn’t walking in total uncritical lockstep with his teachers at New Saint Andrews College; tell me if his sense of unique community (i.e. peer pressure) didn’t contribute to his unquestioning loyalty to the cause:

To: “Vision2020”
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2003 14:02 PM
Subject: Re: Slaves vs non slave ownership

So a guy can write a pamphlet expressing an alternative view of Southern slavery, and next thing you know he’s the focus of a full-blown internet Inquisition based on ethical absolutes that aren’t being acknowledged for what they are or from whence they came, and which cause some of their adherents to act like contemporary American culture is the highest form of good that humanity has ever produced. Why, just look at how every age of history and every other viewpoint gets summarily judged by the standards of “tolerance” emanating from 21st century American universities and those who defend their closed-minded, double-standard fulminations about same.

I was going to write an e-mail explaining why cultural imperialism was evil, but it dawned on me halfway through it that it was incredibly stupid to have to write it in the year 2003 AD. I thought we’d gotten past all that hate speech junk. This isn’t the Dark Ages, you know.

Tim Enloe
Another Backwards Christian Dupe of Wilson & Co.

The amazing thing about this post is the way he mimed Wilson’s sound bites without any critical thought whatsoever. Doug said it. I believe it. That settles it. It’s clear, however, that he could not develop substantially the thoughts behind his sound bites. He simply repeated them, by rote, just as he learned them in the compound. And even though he meant (apparently) his tag line, “Another Backwards Christian Dupe of Wilson & Co.,” as a “ha ha” preemptive answer to anyone who might suggest that he appeared quite duped by the Fearless Leader, he nevertheless presented himself as “Another Backwards Christian Dupe of Wilson & Co,” though I would strike the word “Christian.”

SSAIW was not an “alternative view of Southern slavery,” it was racist propaganda written (plagiarized) by two certifiable morons for their mindless disciples, which included Mr. Enloe. I’ve already written that Wilson uses the mythology of SSAIW as one of the critical steps in programming his disciples to accept his universe of make believe: Mr. Enloe stands as living proof of this thesis.

Rosemary Huskey’s response to Mr. Enloe still stands unanswered by him because no one at NSA taught him how to think critically.

Thank you.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Footnote for the Historians

I am aware that a few historians from a couple universities and at least one seminary are reading this blog; I know this because they have contacted me off list with minor inputs, for which I am very thankful and extremely flattered. Obviously these scholars appreciate the value of primary documents combined with honest, objective, unbiased, and dispassionate analysis in the role of history, as well as a good sense of humor.

Gentlemen, this post’s for you. And when historians document the awful Southern Slavery scandal of 2003–2004, I hope that one of them is so kind as to footnote the exceptional research of that fully documented anonymous attack blogger — Mark T. — in their historic work.

Thank you.

Very early during Douglas Wilson’s Southern Slavery scandal of 2003–2004, two historians from the University of Idaho — Drs. Sean M. Quinlan & William L. Ramsey — published a scathing rebuttal to Wilson’s and Wilkins’ fantastic revision of American history, which they titled Southern Slavery As It Wasn’t: Professional Historians Respond to Neo-Confederate Misinformation. I don’t know this, but I surmise that the Daily News’ front-page story on October 11, 2003, shocked and horrified Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey when they read it, just as the rest of the Palouse. And I don’t know this either, but I surmise that they instantly procured copies of Southern Slavery As It Was to confirm the accuracy of the Daily News’ story and once confirmed began corroborating on an informed review of the racist screed. They state the reason for their effort in their Introduction:

Why should two University of Idaho historians waste a moment thinking about this swill? It is not that Wilson and Wilkins are original or eloquent writers. At best, their work simply transcribes many of the racist arguments advanced by proslavery activists in the 1840s and 1850s. . . Even as amateur ideologues, their work is decidedly mediocre. Their thinking is confused and full of analytic and empirical errors. The booklet is replete with scholarly pretensions and cryptic references that ultimately lead nowhere. Their tone is self-consciously autodidactic, but like the Self-Taught Man in J.-P. Sartre’s Nausea they cannot understand what they have taught themselves. . . So, if their work is so hackneyed and flawed, why bother responding? If the authors of Southern Slavery, As It Was are not interested in responsible scholarship, why engage them on a scholarly level? First, they have attempted to cloak their agenda in the mantle of academic legitimacy, and, second, the booklet has circulated in that guise unopposed for seven years. It has clearly found an audience outside of academia that is unfamiliar with serious scholarship but still admires the scholarly mystique. As members of the community, we see its effects all around us. As teachers, we even see it in our classrooms, and we know too well that it will not serve the reputation of our state. It is imperative, therefore, that real historical scrutiny be focused on this unusual performance. (Southern Slavery As It Wasn’t: Professional Historians Respond to Neo-Confederate Misinformation)

Finally, I don’t know this but I surmise that they published their work one day too early without carefully proofreading it one last time, because the original version contained a total of three typos that gave the Fearless Leader all the handles he needed to thoroughly impeach their scholarship, at least in his mind. The typos involved the names of Francis Shaeffer, George Grant, and Peter Leithart, which they spelled Frances Shaeffer, Gary Grant, and Peter Leithard, and respectively.

The Francis Schaeffer typo is just that — a typo — and for all I know “Frances” may be an alternative spelling in Europe. The George Grant mistake is easily understood when you notice that they placed his name immediately after Gary DeMar’s name on a list of authors that they compiled to note primary resources for theonomists: “Its followers draw their core beliefs from the writings of Frances Shaeffer, Gary DeMar, Gary Grant, David Chilton, and Rousas John Rushdoony, among others.” It’s an obvious mistake traceable to both names beginning with the letter G. We know this because footnote 32 cites Grant’s name correctly (at least in this web version). The misspelling of Leithart’s name took place in a footnote and it was an ordinary typo pure and simple. We live in a fallen world where people make mistakes, even scholars, but three typos are not the end of the world, neither do they discredit an academic work. As I said, the historians could have proofed their manuscript one more time.

In their defense, however, I note for future historians that the atmosphere in Moscow was absolute chaos at that time. The Daily News literally kept the story on its front page roughly three to five times per week for the first two months of the scandal, while the letters to the editor were daily. Normal human beings, which presumably includes Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey, were still genuinely stunned at the discovery of Wilson’s and Wilkins’ revision, and you can see this in their response. They were angry. Indeed, call it righteous indignation for a just cause. But anger can lead to haste, which can create any number of errors, such as typos, and the paper contained three typos and, as we shall see, the Fearless Leader mercilessly prosecuted these two historians to the fullest extent of the Spelling Bee law, which leads to my next point.

While the first published critique of SSAIW contained three regrettable typos, the booklet SSAIW was chock full of plagiarized text. To be sure, it was more than good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over — it was word for word, sentence for sentence, and paragraph for paragraph. Steven “Machen” Wilkins sure knows how to squeeze the most out of his electronic-transfer errors, which doesn’t matter because Douglas Wilson co-authored, edited, and published the book Southern Slavery As It Was. He was the principal figure responsible for the book’s contents pursuant to the terms of his Canon Press contract. And the historical fact of Wilson’s and Wilkins’ plagiarism is established, including the chronological timeline of events:
  1. University of Washington historian Dr. Tracy McKenzie, who specializes in nineteenth-century American history, notified Wilson of the plagiarism “some years ago,” which was not long after Wilson published the booklet in 1996 and well before the scandal of 2003–2004:

    When Dr. [McKenzie] mentioned this problem to me on the phone some years ago, he did not give me the detailed specifics and I assumed that it must have been some kind of typo problem — and I had no idea of the magnitude of it. In his most recent letter to me, Dr. [McKenzie] said that he did not mention the plagiarism problem to me in his first letter because he did not want to seem like he was “piling on.” But I really wish he had provided me with the specifics — this is not an area where we differ at all, and the booklet in its current form would have been pulled in 1996. (“For Reasonable People”; August 5, 2004, emphasis added)

    Reasonable people of any stripe should catch the red flags here. First, an expert authority on the subject slavery in America contacted Wilson to inform him of the plagiarism, as well as other errors, and Wilson blew the man off no differently than he dismisses everyone else who tries to correct him. Second, notice how Wilson categorized “typo problems”: “I assumed that it must have been some kind of typo problem.” “Typo problems” didn’t register as a significant problem with the Fearless Leader; they were merely “some kind of typo problem,” which is a real stretch any way you cut it. How many people assume “typo problem” when a professor of American history notifies them of plagiarism in their self-published work? Third, Wilson implicitly pinned the miscommunication on Dr. McKenzie for not providing him with the specifics: “I really wish he had provided me with the specifics.” Call it a hunch, but for some reason I suspect that had Dr. McKenzie reiterated his concern about the plagiarism, the Fearless Leader would have treated him no differently than the first time he raised his concern. But I could be mistaken.

  2. After denying the possibility that SSAIW contained plagiarized text, someone actually furnished the Fearless Leader with “the specifics,” i.e. they sent side-by-side hard-copy examples of the plagiarism to Wilson so that he could see with his own eyes what he had denied for years. This happened during the week of January 19, 2004 (we don’t have the exact date), which was pert near the zenith of the Southern Slavery scandal. And when Wilson saw that the book he co-authored and edited contained boatloads of plagiarized text, he immediately and secretly pulled the book from Canon Press’ inventory:

    As some may recall, a booklet that I cowrote with Steve Wilkins entitled Southern Slavery As It Was was at the center of quite a hubbub last February. What some may not realize is that Canon Press pulled the title from their inventory around the time of that controversy. This was not because we were at all embarrassed by the thesis of the booklet, but rather because someone had informed us that there were some real problems with the citations and footnotes. We pulled the booklet immediately, revised it, and it is now awaiting republication in its new and refurbished condition. I am posting this now because some of our local Banshees have got wind of all this and have raised the cry of Plagiarism (between intermittent sobs of outrage). (“Plagiarism, Aye”; August 4, 2004, emphasis added)

  3. Wilson intended to keep his little plagiarism problem a secret and he certainly had no intention to repent publicly for his sin, but Dr. Nick Gier discovered the plagiarism during summer 2004 and began a campaign called “It’s Not About Slavery; It’s About Plagiarism” (hilarious name), which was when he began gathering signatures from academics all over the Palouse to affirm they would flunk the student who wrote that obnoxious treatise.
These facts are true. Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey published a review of SSAIW that had three typos in it and less than three months later Douglas Wilson became the second eyewitness to the crime of plagiarism in the book that he edited.

Now let’s return to those vexing typos so that you may see the Fearless Leader’s outrage at the two historians for committing the unpardonable sin in their critique of his book:

And then Rose trumpets the mojo of local professional, credentialed historians, men who do not know how to spell the names of those whom they oppose. Kind of like Churchill going after that “wicked man, Hilter, a man who must be stopped at all costs.” Footnote: see Adulf Hilter, Myne Kumpf. (Douglas Wilson, “The end of real slavery”; Vision 20/20, November 21, 2003)

This is vintage Wilson, distorting the facts in order to make handles (even his comparison of Leithart to Hitler is too much; Eichmann maybe, but not Hitler). Notice that instead of acknowledging the obvious typos as just that — typos — he made the wild claim that Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey didn’t know the names of George Grant and Peter Leithart. He continued:

Rose also points to “judicious and thoughtful” nature of their “academic review.” Her definition of judicious and thoughtful means that apparently her copy of the diatribe does not show the spittle-flecks. But why trust the professionalism of men at one hundred and fifty years when they don’t know what is going on in their own tiny, little town, just a couple blocks away? We are not talking about the points under dispute, we are talking about the fact that it is Peter Leithart, not Leithard, George Grant, not Gary Grant, etc. If you guys really intend to make these gentlemen your champions in the great contest of whose footnotes are the buffest, then may I politely suggest that some remedial work is necessary? You have a couple of Professional Historians who not ready for prime time yet. But it is not that I am demanding this — I like their work just the way it is. “Too long we have slumbered! We must do the hard, academic, Professional work that only we few Credentialed folk can do, so that we may finally stop that nefarious Wouglas Dilson as he attempts to set up a new Zion right here under our credentialed noses!” . . . . (Douglas Wilson, “The end of real slavery”; Vision 20/20, November 21, 2003)

The Fearless Leader makes a remarkable argument here: First, he argues that three ordinary typos constituted factual errors that completely discredited the work, which is an amazing claim if you remember that when an expert historian on nineteenth-century America personally informed him about his plagiarism in SSAIW, he dismissed it as “some kind of typo problem.” In other words, he held that typos didn’t affect the integrity of his historical research.

Second, he argues from the local present (Moscow, 2003) to the distant past (Deep South, antebellum era), claiming that if someone is wrong about the here and now, you cannot trust their knowledge of the there and then. But I wonder if this works backwards; for example, since Wilson is wrong about the there and then does this mean we cannot trust his perception of the here and now? Regardless, if we apply Wilson’s rule to his own work, then we must conclude him utterly incompetent in the matter of Southern history. I say this because he didn’t even get the name of his book correct on its copyright page. Notice that he referred to it as Slavery in the South, As It Was. Why trust the accuracy of a man at one hundred and fifty years when he doesn’t even know the title of his own tiny little book that he co-wrote and edited?

Third, he assumes that Vision 20/20 (or perhaps the whole community) adopted Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey as their official spokesmen and champions, and that their word was to the community what Wilson’s word was to the Kult — inerrant — which wasn’t the case at all because unlike Wilson who refused to heed any criticism of his dreadful book, Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey clearly acknowledged Wilson’s criticism of their book review and published a revised edition that contained no typos!

On the same day as his Vision 20/20 post, Wilson published an op-ed in the Moscow–Pullman Daily News, stating:

This aspect of the fracas is ironic because one of the attacks that has been leveled at me by certain local professional historians (Sean M. Quinlan and William L. Ramsey) is that our research in the slavery booklet was inadequate. But these are gentlemen who had trouble spelling the names of their adversaries. It’s George Grant, not Gary Grant, it’s Francis Schaeffer, not Frances, and Peter Leithart, not Peter Leihard.[1] People who cannot spell our names right should not be trusted with historical sources and refereed journals. . . . I think our operating assumption ought to be that we should not accept the historical credentials of anyone who cannot do enough research to find out that the history conference in February is not about slavery. . . . I am happy to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to a public discussion/debate on this issue with Quinlan and/or Ramsey. Let’s set a date at our earliest mutual convenience. (Douglas Wilson, “The conference was never about slavery”: op-ed, Moscow–Pullman Daily News, November, 21, 2003)

Obviously, this is a variation of his argument in the Vision 20/20 post, though he elevates hostilities by describing himself as an “adversary” of Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey. This is another example of the Fearless Leader’s inability to conduct normal community relations. As one man said, “For Douglas Wilson, there are only two types of people in the world — subjects and enemies.” The man has no moral ability to interact civilly with anyone who criticizes him. They become instant “enemies” — and the greater the criticism, the greater their status as “enemies.” Additionally, Wilson slipped a little lie into his op-ed when he wrote, “I think our operating assumption ought to be that we should not accept the historical credentials of anyone who cannot do enough research to find out that the history conference in February is not about slavery.” Of course, the two historians never made this representation.

Ten days later the Fearless Leader repeated his challenge for a debate:

In my newspaper column a week or so ago, I concluded by inviting Drs. Quinlan and Ramsey to debate. Not hearing anything back from them, I emailed them privately last week to reiterate the offer. After making that second offer I have not heard back either. . . . Here is the courageous step. I am now going to quote from their paper, and I did not get permission. On the second page, the writers say that it “is imperative, therefore, that real historical scrutiny be focused on this unusual performance.” I agree! Well, here is a golden opportunity for professional historians to focus some more real historical scrutiny on my little putt-putt scholarship. . . . (Douglas Wilson, “Proposed Debate”; Vision 20/20, December 1, 2003)

This is an example of the Fearless Leader’s dementia. Human beings of sound judgment do not want to argue that the slaves led happy lives on the plantation and that the Bible permits Christians to enslave fellow humans.

Ten days later Wilson continued his tirade, this time blaming UI administrator Raul Sanchez and Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey for creating the climate of hostility in Moscow:

When Raul [Sanchez] published the overheated rhetoric of Quinlan and Ramsey on his (university-owned) website (e.g. Grant is an “unabashed racist ideologue,”), the unstable on your side know how racist ideologues and their fellow travelers are to be treated. The problem is, the charge was false, all the way down to the ground. Someone needs to take responsibility for the climate. . . . (Douglas Wilson, “Climate”; Vision 20/20, December 10, 2003)

I am sure Wilson truly believed that when he stood firm for that vital Christian doctrine of slave holding, he bore no responsibility for polarizing the community, because in his mind it’s always everyone else’s fault — especially when it’s his fault. This may explain why nine days later the Fearless Leader sent this email to the president of the University of Idaho:

Drs. Quinlan and Ramsey make much of the fact that they are professional historians, but the demonstrable fact remains that they are extremely sloppy professional historians. I would rather have no adversaries at the University of Idaho at all, but if I must, I appreciate the fact that their scholarship is of this caliber. . . . The Quinlan/Ramsey essay is slanderous, defamatory, inaccurate, sloppy, and, to the point of your concern, unnecessary. I am therefore asking you to see to it the Quinlan/Ramsey piece is pulled from the diversity office web site, and an apology put in its place. (Douglas Wilson, private email to the president of the University of Idaho, December 19, 2003)

Please notice that Wilson makes no effort to demonstrate how “the Quinlan/Ramsey essay [was] slanderous, defamatory, inaccurate, sloppy, and, to the point of your concern, unnecessary.” He merely asserted it, ex cathedra, and expected the University of Idaho to bow before his judgment. He had lived in Doug’s Universe of Make Believe (DUMB) for so long that he really believed his demand for censorship carried weight.[2]

On January 22, 2003, Douglas Wilson’s son-in-law Ben Merkle, who was and still is a professor at New Saint Andrews College, announced the debut of a Kult website called, and according to this letter, it was the Kult’s official response to Drs. Quinlan’s and Ramsey’s book review of SSAIW. Here is one of the opening posts from that website (unfortunately, we do not have the whole site archived so we don’t know with certainty what the original first page said):

Wilkins and another character named George Grant. . . Wait just a second. This is worth noting. It’s pretty much obvious to us all now that George Grant took that name to throw us off, much like the way Canon Press published that book condemning racism to keep us from noticing their racism. After all, the name “Grant” makes us think of that peace loving, tolerant, lovable, huggable General Grant. Or maybe that handsome Cary Grant. Or maybe those benevolent Pell Grants. But no. Dr. Gier saw through the nominal camouflage and recognized him as none other than the neo-Confederate, white supremacist George Grant (although credit for the exposing of his twin and sidekick Gary Grant goes to Doctors Quinlan and Ramsey). Now Wilkins and Grant both have written positive things about the novel Heiland. This book appears to be about the revolutionary overthrow of a government, although none of us have read the book to preserve our own innocence. We are currently asking that anyone who has a copy of this book “volunteer” to hand it over for destruction. . . . (Ben Merkle (NSA professor and Wilson’s son-in-law), “A Favorable Review of Dr. Gier’s Upcoming Article,”, January 22, 2004)

Well, it’s not very clever but it’s clear that the Kult leadership went out of its way to manufacture another platform to get more mileage out of those three typos. Please notice again that the three errors were not merely “some kind of typo problem.” It was cause célèbre to thoroughly discredit the scholarship of Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey.

We now come to the point in time when we know that the Fearless Leader knew that SSAIW was replete with plagiarized text. As noted, he became an eyewitness to this historic fact sometime during the week of January 19, 2004. Therefore, we know with certainty that when the Fearless Leader wrote the following post for hatesplotch, he knew firsthand that SSAIW contained editorial errors that were “egregious, atrocious, embarrassing, and egregious,” otherwise known as plagiarism:

A recent critique published of Southern Slavery As It Was was what other scholars call “way scholarly.” This can be seen at a glance by simply counting the footnotes in it — forty-one of them in a mere eleven pages! Our only problem with the piece is that when these distinguished authors spit on their hands, rolled up their sleeves, and really got into the juicy bits, they (when the fever of professional historical scholarship hit) forgot to footnote those really insightful parts. So in a random fit of public spirit, we did some checking and herewith append the following footnotes to the following section, a section desperately in need of a little more scholarly festooning.

“As we see it, Wilson and Wilkins hope to whitewash the legacy of Southern history.(1) They do this, it seems, because they fantasize about a new Southern cause — an evangelical redemption, the creation of a New Jerusalem (2). They believe that the South is historically the locus of Christian regeneration (3). The South is God’s promised land for the chosen white race (4), a race that will redeem all others through blood and fire (5).”

1. As noted by Sami Rami Dumbunni in his seminal article “Great Experiments in Telepathy,” Psychic Friends Network Peer Review (Calcutta, India: Astral Whoosh Press, 1994), pp. 201–254.
2. Hal Lindsey, The Late Great State of Illinois (Carbondale, IL: Chickaboom Press, 2002), p. 62. Lindsey argues for a New Jerusalem that descends from heaven down to the Midwest, as opposed to the South, but he nevertheless gives a fair review of all the positions.
3. Quinlan and Ramsey, writing in “What All Us Scholars Instinctively Know” in Brain Barf Journal (Wouk, IO: Cow Town University Press, 1999), p. 150.
4. Karl Barth addressed this question in excruciating detail in his monumental work. See Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics (Riggins, ID: Huckleberry Press, 1988), pp. 201–222. Unfortunately, the great theologian did not come down definitively in favor of Tuscaloosa as the site of the rebuilt Temple, although this appears to be the consensus of most theologians today. See Most Theologians Review, Vol. 17, No. 3., 1998.
5. Johnny Walker Red Blood, Fire, Soil and Thunder (Toad Flats, Arkansas: Fever Pitch Publications, 1999), p. 28. The first chapter of this book is simply outstanding. Unfortunately, the quality declines shortly thereafter and Drs. Quinlan and Ramsey take no position on the alleged conspiracy between International Jewry and the alien microbes of Star System XL001. (Douglas Wilson, “Additional Footnotes for Drs. Quinlan and Ramsey,”, January 27, 2004)

Again, it’s not very clever but this acid attack makes one fact abundantly clear: The Fearless Leader positively resented Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey for challenging his scholarship. If you can’t see the bitterness dripping from Wilson’s fingertips, it’s probably because his gall has covered your screen. I’m sure that after he wrote this he had to call 911 so that paramedics could inject his spleen with more bile — and he wrote it knowing that another professional historian had just furnished him with undeniable proof that he committed plagiarism. I don’t know why Wilson made “footnotes” his point of ridicule here or in previous posts, because no one ever made footnotes an issue, except him. Of course, the irony is that he hung his hat on the phrase “real problems with the citations and footnotes” to describe his plagiarism. But the point you have to see is Wilson’s brazen hypocrisy. He thought that he could keep his dirty little secret to himself, which gave him that much more courage to lampoon Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey in public on a Kult-sponsored website. What a brave and honorable man.

Our next entry from hatesplotch is dated the week of the so-called “history” conference and by now it’s clear that he had his storyline in place — distort, misrepresent, and deride at all costs:

A public forum entitled “How Dare Christians Question Our Authority?” will be held Saturday, February 7, at 4pm at the University of Idaho Commons, Horizon/Aurora room.

The forum will discuss the ordination credentials needed before one should be allowed to open one’s lips concerning any secular/establishment orthodoxy. The forum is so concerned to uphold professional ordination standards that it has called upon Rev. Sean Quinlan and Rev. William Ramsey, experts in French medical history and the American Revolution respectively, to bring their expertise to bear on the Civil War.

Rev. Quinlan will give the lecture “French Nobility Knows Best,” and Rev. Ramsey will provide tips from the New York Times on how real historians can freely make-up words for any quotation. Stan Thomas, former director of the Campus Christian Center will give the talk, “Bring Your Scissors,” explaining how the Bible really is an Enlightenment document after all, with tips on how nice Christians can use incense to appease Enlightenment idols.

The forum was prompted by the imminent outbreak of slavery all over the Palouse. People will soon be hijacking other people on Main Street, and the state and federal governments have no means of quelling this threat. Only forums can help. Subsequent forums will discuss the forthcoming invasions of UFOs, Hobbits, and Canadians. (Simon, “hate splotch update #56: Forum on Silencing Christian Blasphemy Planned for UI,”, February 4, 2004)

Here we see “Simon,” which was a pseudonym for Wilson or one of his thugs, pound Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey. Notice the Wilsonnuendo: he implies that since they were not experts in Civil War history, they were not qualified to address SSAIW. But this is just deceit because when Dr. McKenzie tried correcting the Fearless Leader, Wilson didn’t recognize his credentials at all.

Finally, this is the last entry that we have archived from

Mr. and Mrs. Backbone [award]
Drs. Quinlan and Ramsey

Let’s not talk about the footnotes. Let’s not talk about the quality of the scholarship. We can discuss those another time. Right now, let’s talk raw courage. The Doctors wrote an article attacking local pastor Douglas Wilson, making some fanciful speculations regarding his feelings towards minorities. But rather than actually meet with the man, call him or maybe email, they took the road of scholarly research and made stuff up. (Oops. Was that a comment on scholarship?) But on top of that, when challenged to debate their work, they remained silent as the tomb and ignored the challenge. When invited several times to speak at an NSA Disputatio, they had conflicts in their schedules, they had obligations, they were very sorry, but they couldn’t quite squeeze it in. Until they received a note from on high instructing UI characters to knock off the attacks on local Christians. This was then interpreted to mean that they were not to give a defense for their work and they gleefully reported this alibi to NSA. “I would love to, I really would, but mother made me promise.” Hats off to our men of courage. (Theodore, “ANNOUNCING Awards to Community Members,”, February 10, 2004; this same post awarded the “Robespierre and the Steam Donkey: Dark Secrets” award to “Dr. Quinlan BA MA PhD Super Scholarly Extra Devastating”)

Here we see Wilson or one of his goons (most likely Wilson) using the pseudonym “Theodore” to make a familiar accusation — Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey refused to meet with Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, to discuss their book review of SSAIW before they published it. Therefore, in the spirit of Christian kindness, this entry of awarded them the “Mr. and Mrs. Backbone” award. This entry is rife with falsehoods, such as accusing the historians of “making stuff up” and stating that they “received a note from on high instructing UI characters to knock off the attacks on local Christians.” These statements bear no relation to reality and in hindsight I suspect that these were the lies he fed to his loyalists to create an air of victory for the Kult over the UI.

In the end, Wilson has left us with a written record that paints the portrait of a petulant little man who has no capacity to tolerate public criticism of any note. More importantly, with this scandal (which ran for five uninterrupted months) Wilson established for us his pattern of dealing with others, regardless of their standing in or out of the Church — abuse them, demean them, pressure them, misrepresent them, lie about them, and then beat his chest — because he is a very brave man. In fact, he is the bravest hypocrite in all the world.

Thank you.

[1] At the risk of appearing pettier than the Fearless Leader, please notice his misspelling here: Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey misspelled Leithart with the word “Leithard”; whereas Wilson represented the typo as “Leihard.” If we apply Wilson’s argument to himself, then we cannot trust him.

[2] Interestingly, less than four years before Wilson sent this email, he managed to steal a letterhead from the UI vice-president’s office so that he could wage culture war against the community, and when the UI suggested possible legal action against the Kult, Doug Jones contended, “It makes them come off as very humorless.” I guess the Fearless Leader didn’t appreciate the humor of two historians describing his book as a “catalogue of incompetence.”

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Too Much Fun in the Land of Cotton

I am having too much fun here; there really should be a law against this.

Again, thumbing through the archives looking for this and that, I came across this hilarious email exchange between a member of the Kult and Rosemary Huskey, who is one of the brightest lights on the Palouse — as a Christian and an academic.

This particular chat took place on Vision 20/20 during Wilson’s little slavery scandal of 2003–2004; it speaks for itself:

From: “Jackie Woolf”
To: “Vision2020”
Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 10:51 AM
Subject: [Vision2020] Slaves vs non-slave ownership

Seems to me, you all are making Pastor Wilson’s argument (which he has stated and re-stated many a time.)

To own a slave is not what he recommends or supports; however IF a slave is owned then treat him/her correctly and in a Godly manner. What on earth is so difficult for anyone to understand?

I just don’t get it.

There are plenty of issues that Jesus never specifically spoke about, but his general admonition still covers it all: The Golden Rules need to be remembered and followed.

Thank you.

Jackie Woolf

From: “DonaldH675”
To: “Vision2020”
Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 12:02 PM
Subject: [Vision2020] Slaves vs non-slave ownership


Is that the rule that says “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? If so, I would be glad to have Doug Wilson come clean my house, tend my grandchildren, weed my flower garden, work in my fields, sleep in my unheated shop on some filthy blankets, and cook my dinner (since I would be at church) all for free and all forever. I believe I’d change his name to Toby. He’d have lots of free time because it would be illegal on my little farm for him to read or write. If he tried to get away I probably wouldn’t even whip or brand him, but I would surely chastise him for not appreciating the situation that God had placed him in. Now that I think of it, I could also use the help of his wife and children and grandchildren (although I would probably sell off his elderly non-productive parents). I would be following the “Christian” slave-holding procedures that Doug Wilson defends as biblically based while providing him the opportunity to live out the Golden Rule. Please note: my slave holding would not be racially motivated, because I am not a racist.

I’m glad I’m not in the land of cotton, but I do agree that for most well-informed folks, the old times there are not forgotten.

Rose Huskey

The next time you have free time to scan a blog, grab yourself a cup of java and read any of these threads from Cleaning House:
Every post is as good as the one above.

“Now, Toby, fetch me my slippers, boy, and ya’ll be quiet or I’ll whip ya.”

Thank you.

A Big Fat One

You know, just when I gave ol’ Beelzeblog the benefit of the doubt, or, if you prefer, the judgment of charity, I suddenly discover documented proof that I erred unnecessarily on the side of kindness.

Of course, I speak of Sunday’s post (“Copyright Dealies”) where I republished the Fearless Leader’s taunt of Drs. Quinlan and Ramsey in the matter of their factual rebuttal to his and Wilkins’ loathsome revision of American history, when he wrote:

At the top of their paper is the most interesting copyright notice I have ever seen. After the normal copyright dealies, it says, “Please do not cite, quote, summarize, or otherwise reproduce without permission of the authors.” Not being a professional historian myself, I am unfamiliar with this kind of restriction. (emphasis added)

Yesterday I was thumbing through more data on my hard drive and discovered the original pdf that the University of Idaho freely distributed on their website during Wilson’s little slavery problem, and I noticed that the copyright notice doesn’t even remotely resemble Wilson’s characterization of it. Now, I could be wrong. The UI distributed hard copies of the pamphlet (mine is stuffed in a box somewhere in my garage) and it’s possible that those versions were not generated from the pdf, but that strikes me as unlikely. It seems even more unlikely when you note the exceptionally simple copyright notice on the pdf (below) and the strong probability that they would have taken extra precautions on the electronic version of their document because it would receive wider circulation than any hard copy. But again, I could be wrong.

Here are the first and last pages of Drs. Quinlan’s and Ramsey’s response to Wilson and Wilkins:

I wonder if it’s consistent with the Fearless Leader’s personality to tell a big fat one about someone else in order to make himself look that much more impressive. I sure hope not.

Thank you.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Nastiness Disguised as Humor

Still laying more groundwork for an upcoming post: today I want you to witness a public email exchange between three members of Christ Church, Moscow, and one member of the community, which took place on the local listserv Vision 20/20 during the Southern Slavery scandal of 2003–2004.

To set the context, the Fearless Leader had just sent an invitation to the community to join him at the Kenworthy Theatre for his “This is my town” hall meeting. As previously noted, the Kult called the town hall meeting after their two quarter-page ads (here and here) failed miserably to win anyone to the cause of Southern slavery or the Christian gospel. If I said they went over like the proverbial lead balloon, I’d be lying. It was more like the Hindenburg’s arrival in Jersey.

So Wilson adopted a more dramatic tack. The town fool rented the town’s historic stage to star in a play that he titled “On the Recent Christ Church Controversy,” and since Wilson had already offended pretty much as many people as possible, most of the participants on Vision 20/20 didn’t respond well to his invitation.

Enter a woman named Debi Robinson-Smith, who replied to the invite by quoting from the Kult’s two ads and drawing the most reasonable conclusion that a non-Christian could infer. The Fearless Leader’s answered her (and others); then she replied to him once again.

Enter the Operations Manager for Canon Press, Lucy Zoe Jones (sister of Doug Jones), who contacted Ms. Smith by off-list email, and you have to notice her manipulative approach by misquoting Ms. Smith and attributing words to her that she never wrote.

Enter Nathan Wilson, son of the Fearless Leader and at that time professor at New Saint Andrews, who took off-list umbrage at Ms. Smith’s response to Lucy Zoe Jones.

And remember, these are the folks who were supposedly trying to rehabilitate their public image after the month-long quarter-page fiascoes. The emails speak for themselves; you have to read them:

----- Original Message -----
From: “Debi Smith”
To: “Vision2020”
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2003 10:39 PM
Subject: [Vision2020] Letter of Regret

Actually, I don’t really regret not attending the Doug and pony show. I don’t regret not poking sticks at snakes either.

In the Conclusion section of Doug Jones’ adorable little monograph The Biblical Offense of [Racism], he says:

“The Biblical worldview can justifiably condemn racist attitudes and actions because such are contrary to the Word of God. Many non-Christians claim to oppose racism, but they cannot justify their condemnation. Their worldview precludes placing any significance or value on human life.”

And in their (in my humble opinion poorly written) diatribes disguised as information, the all-male Board of Christ Church has branded me and mine as fakers, humorless, joyless, and encouragers of racism and violence.

Why on earth would I expend the energy to listen to these self-congratulatory delusionaries say anything? I’m pretty clear that they reject out of hand any one who doesn’t follow their credo, and have no intention of being anywhere near the Kenworthy that night.

I vote to join Joan and other like-minded folks in a more gainful and joyous gathering at the nearest food and drink establishment not owned by anyone connected with the dougies. . . .

Just call me a happy a fun-loving unrepentant feminist humanist Pagan (and beautiful in my non-submission!!!).

Debi Robinson-Smith

----- Original Message -----

From: “Douglas”
To: “Vision2020”
Sent: Friday, December 05, 2003 12:29 PM
Subject: [Vision2020] Fwd: Town hall meeting


Allow me to continue to extend a cordial invitation to our town hall meeting. December 11, 7 pm, at the Kenworthy. We hope to answer every question we can, on the spot, and with opportunity for follow-up questions. We will be able to do this without the intervention of print media gumming up the works. Actually, that was not fair. The Argonaut and the Trib have done a really decent job in this hubbub. But back to the town hall meeting, if you have a question, or an objection, please bring it. We will address them as best we can, and as cordially as we can.

In his great book Orthodoxy, Chesterton once said, “This began to be alarming. It looked not so much as if Christianity was bad enough to include any vices, but rather as if any stick was good enough to beat Christianity with.”

The aptness of this observation, as well as the crying need for Rose to change her plans and come to our town hall meeting, is seen in the following:

Credenda Agenda, which I think of as your baby, carries an article in the current issue under the heading Femina, which positively encourages godly women to expect a divine reward if they rat out their dissenting husbands to the pastor and elders of the church. (This reporting is essential if their husbands are fools, making a stink about the church or, are unrepentant about questioning the decisions of church leadership. And that is different from life under Chairman Mao or Comrade Stalin how? And how desperate are you guys anyhow?)

First, Rose simply made up the stuff about making a stink “about the church,” and questioning “decisions of church leadership.” That was not in the column at all. Perhaps Rose has taken a course in research study methods from Quinlan and Ramsey. Oops. I really am trying to live up to certain exacting scholarship standards I just found out about recently — make that Rinlan and Quamsey.

But here is the real issue:

“You Christians teach that wives should submit to their husbands, right?”


“What if a husband is beating his wife? Then what should she do?”

At this point, this becomes a choose [sic] your own adventure novel. Suppose the (horrible) answer were:

“Nothing. She should be submissive, and just take it.”

At this point the Tolerance Police would set to caterwauling about how such Christians hate women. And that caterwauling would not obscure the fact that, on this question, they would happen to be right. A blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while. No human authority on earth is absolute, and each legitimate authority must defer to other legitimate authorities according to their respective spheres. This involves family government, church government and civil government. There are times, Rose, when a woman should call the cops. There are times when she should call her pastor or elders. I am sorry you do not appear to think so. It appears that feminism is still evolving.

So if the answer were no, as it was in the Femina column she mentions, and the wife urged to take her problem with an abusive husband to the elders, the caterwauling ascends yet again. Chairman Mao! Stalin! Returning to the quote from Chesterton, it begins to looks as though Christ Church were not bad enough to encompass any evil, but rather that any rock is good enough to throw at us.

One of the advantages of a town hall meeting is that is should make abundantly clear what our differences actually are (and they are significant), but it should also make clear that kicking puppies is not part of our liturgy. So for those whose minds are already made up, and who do not want to be confused with any facts, I hope you enjoy whatever alternative activity you select. I would recommend sitting cross-legged on the floor, fingers in ears, while singing the national anthem at a medium level. “Ohhh, say can you SEEEE . . .” Then, the day after the meeting, you can post to this forum to let us all know that you found our arguments and answers singularly unconvincing, and that you will see us at the SUB.

Bill London asked Roy Atwood about his quoted comment that “this booklet was not published as a scholarly work.” I’ll let Roy address whether the Daily News got the quote right (imagine . . . its [sic] easy if you try), and, if so, what he meant by it. But please allow my take on it for a minute. Our booklet was obviously not a scholarly work by local professional historians because we spelled all the names right, quoted our sources accurately, did not make up facts to suit ourselves, did not post our work on a government web site illegally, and we are willing to engage in debate with those who challenge our work. Consequently, we admit with shame that our booklet did not meet the Exacting Standards established by the Quinlan/Ramsey piece (“copyrighted 2003, no thinking about this work without permission from the authors!”).

Debi Robinson-Smith takes umbrage at the point we made re: “fakers, humorless, joyless, and encouragers of racism and violence.” But we were not maintaining that every last secularist is humorless, etc. We do believe that the logic of secularism tends that way, and that multitudes of secularists have followed this logic out as evidenced by the general howling in this controversy. Exceptions? Sure — Jim Fisher of the Trib. Carl and Andreas on this list, et al. But we reiterate that the fundamentalism of the left is not very attractive, rejoices in pettiness, hesitates not when it comes to circulating a lie (and when caught in a lie, simply moves on to the next one), and likes to initiate pogroms in the name of inclusive diversity. Have the deadly earnest “Not in Our Town” folks picked out an appropriate colored shape for us to have to pin on our clothes yet? I suggest a big “I” for Intolerant.

We would love to see any of you at the town hall meeting. Really. Melynda, hope your kids get better. Hope you can make it.


Douglas Wilson

----- Original Message -----
From: “Debi Smith”
To: “Vision2020”
Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2003 8:06 AM
Subject: [Vision2020] Summons to Town Hall

Thanks again for the repeated invite, Doug. I still decline. I do not believe you have anything new to add — yes, my mind is firmly closed in regards to any additional defense you might have, or “answers” to any questions you might be asked. I may be a “liberal” (whatever that means), but I am capable of recognizing the difference between a discussion and another Wilson Rant. I’ve seen you in action before, and am simply not interested in a repeat of the refrain “Jesus loves Doug, this I know because his bible tells him so”.

Those of us who are circulating the Not In Our Town sign-up sheet are from a variety of groups and interests, all of whom find your intolerance for those not of your persuasion both stupid and annoying. I do owe you a note of thanks, however. Through your creative revision of history you have inadvertently introduced me to a whole new set of friends. While you have been busily scrambling to explain yourself in every newspaper on the Palouse, I have been enjoying the company of Christians of many stripes, Buddhists, Wiccans, Pagans, Lesbians, Gays, Historians, Feminist Women of Color, Birkenstock-Wearing Old Hippies, and Balding Homer Simpson Look-Alikes.

I’m having great time, and all without your narrow Biblical interpretations, your “standards”, and especially without your “comedy”. I’m finding the company of these folks full of laughter, intelligent conversation, creativity, and joy.

So, thanks for being the narrow, rigid, lock-stepping bunch you are — it introduced me to a delightful crowd!

By the way, your personal selection of the letter “I” to mark your group is not a bad idea. I’m not in favor of this type of singling-out behavior, but whatever blows your skirt up! It might be handy to be able to identify, through the letter “I” for “idiotic”, your entire group.

Avoiding you like the plague, having lots of laughs (partly at your expense),

Debi Robinson-Smith

Ms. Smith,

I don’t know you, never spoken with you, and can’t remember why you hate me. You’re certainly free to *hate* all things Wilson; however, I find it rather strange that you would hate an entire group of people without even a discussion. To me, it smacks of ignorance.

I’m not fond of the KKK because of their hatred of people of color, their ignorance, their bitterness, and because they lump people together based on the color of their skin. I don’t hate them. I pity them and I take every opportunity to educate them. It’s difficult because they tend to be ignorant and small minded. And like you . . . their mind is solidly closed. Could you perhaps tell me how you differ from them in your hatred of all things Wilson . . . including me? I don’t intend to wear an “I” to satisfy your hatred of me. If you wouldn’t mind walking around with a sheet on, it would help so I could keep the kids away from you. I’d rather they didn’t learn your brand of hate.

I’m not fond of hypocrites either.

Lucy Zoe Jones

----- Original Message -----
From: “Debi Smith”
To: “Lucy Zoe”; “Vision2020”
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2003 12:47 PM
Subject: [Vision2020] Re: What’s the difference?

Lucy, I don’t know you, care what your beliefs are, or hate you. You were not even on my radar until you chose to contact me personally — I would never do that to you without an invitation (which you have now given me). If you review my posts, you will see I have not used the dreaded “H” word — I don’t even hate Doug. I dislike the things he stands for, I dislike his tactics, and I dislike that folks like you feel it necessary to contact me on his behalf. Nowhere in my posts did I indicate that I would force you to wear the letter “I”. That was Doug’s suggestion. A careful reading of posts would make your tirade more credible and accurate. Try to do that prior to e-mailing me again. In fact, don’t e-mail me personally, and I won’t e-mail you. Let’s keep the discussion on the V2020 list — we have nothing private to say to one another. But, thanks for the “heads up” regarding how you feel about those who dissent with Doug.

Debi Robinson-Smith

You’re taking an offline email public? Slick work.


----- Original Message -----
From: “Debi Smith”
To: “Nate Wilson”; “Vision2020”
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2003 1:43 PM
Subject: Re: OFFLINE: Re: [Vision2020] Re: What’s the difference?

You bet I did, Nate, and am doing it again with yours. From past experience with folks who disagree with my public and open sentiments, it is best to nip in the bud the harassment that can take place when folks decide to respond outside the discussion forum. Yes, we have been asked in the past (and asked one another) to take our religious discussions off-line. Seems to me, however, that Doug Wilson and his followers have assisted in keeping this discussion open and on-line. Something about goose, gander, and sauce comes to mind. . . . I don’t want to talk to any of Doug’s folks privately, and we have nothing to say to one another without witnesses. Please pass it on — I’m publicly stating here that if you don’t want unsolicited personal posts you send to me appearing in V2020, don’t send ’em. I promise to only respond publicly, having nothing to say to you that I don’t want others to hear.




I’m really not sure who else to turn to. I know you’ve said you can’t keep a secret, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. I’m desperate. Every morning I get up and drag myself to a breakfast of slippy eggs. My wife will not stop making me slippy eggs. She insists that I don’t really want eggs that are fully cooked and that slippy eggs wake me right up. I know my own mind darn it. I think. If I have to eat another slippy egg, I think I might, well, I think I might not eat them again, and then she’ll leave me. Do you know a good marital counsellor? Would you be willing to counsel us? I know that’s a lot to ask, and you never invited me to send you this letter, but I’m at the end of my tether. Could you at least tell me where the nearest needle exchange is?


----- Original Message -----
From: “Debi Smith”
To: “Nate Wilson”; “Vision2020”
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2003 3:49 PM
Subject: [Vision2020] Re: Nate Wilson’s offline reply to What’s the difference?

As you can see, the promise to publicly post Nate’s unsolicited personal messages has been ineffective. I’m somewhat surprised at the nastiness disguised as humor, but it re-enforces for me what these folks are about.

Debi R-S


Thank you.