The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Repeated Requests for Phillips to Stop Masturbating and Ejaculating on Her’

Posted on | April 16, 2014 | 89 Comments

Doug Phillips and his wife Beall (left); Lourdes Torres (right)

“This kind of behavior is so bizarre — no matter which version of the story you believe, even if you take Doug’s own version of the story — it’s so bizarre and inappropriate that he needs to get his life in order and not be thinking about how quickly he can come back into leadership.”
Michael Farris, Home School Legal Defense Association

Doug Phillips is an attorney by training and you might suppose he would have considered a settlement at any price preferable to the detailed lawsuit filed this week by Lourdes Torres-Manteufel.

Last fall, when Phillips confessed to an “inappropriate relationship” with his family’s babysitter, and resigned from the Christian homeschool non-profit Vision Forums Ministries, I wrote that “her identity must already be known by everyone who knows the Phillips family,” and predicted:

So she will no doubt eventually step out of the shadows and tell the whole sordid tale.
Or maybe collect a large payment to keep her mouth shut.

Let’s be honest, OK? There must be a lot of publishers who would pay good money for a Shocking Sex Scandal story like this, and if you don’t want to see the Sympathetic Victim crying on TV while she’s interviewed about her tell-all book, you gotta pay.

Alas, the same arrogance that made Phillips think he could get away with his double life — hypocritically posing as a “family values” spokesman while sexually pursuing this young girl — now evidently leads him to think he can escape the obvious consequences.

The woman was 15 when she met Phillips in 1999 through her parents’ involvement in the homeschooling movement. She was 23 when she said the relationship became sexual. She recently married Nolan Manteufel. In response to an article published at WorldNetDaily, Phillips’ attorney sent an e-mail that blamed the victim:

While it may be true that Mr. Phillips had an intermittent relationship with Mrs. Lourdes Torres-Manteufel, they never had the physical intimacy of touching and/or the exposure of genitalia, nor did the intermittent relationship escalate to sexual intercourse. Furthermore, the evidence demonstrates the relationship was consensual and often initiated, encouraged, and aggressively perpetuated by Mrs. Torres-Manteufel. It was welcomed, consensual and one in which Mrs. Torres-Manteufel repeatedly requested money, trips, jewelry, and numerous special favors from Doug Phillips.

The attorney’s e-mail said the accuser’s claims are “false, defamatory and made with malicious intent to destroy Doug Phillips, his family and his ministry.” And yet Torres-Manteufel makes these claims in a lawsuit, which suggests she intends to prove them in a court of law. Do I claim to know what transpired between her and Phillips? I do not. But I can report what she alleges in her lawsuit:

Douglas Phillips used Ms. Torres — against her wishes and over her objections — as a personal sex object. Douglas Phillips repeatedly groped, rubbed, and touched Ms. Torres’s crotch, breasts, and other areas of her body; rubbed his penis on her; masturbated on her; forced her to watch him masturbate on her; and ejaculated upon her. This perverse and offensive conduct repeatedly took place over the course of several years. . . .
Douglas Phillips — standing in a position of influence and prominence within patriarchy — methodically groomed Ms. Torres so that she would eventually participate in illicit sexual rendezvous with him promising that she could one day marry him. This grooming began when Ms. Torres was a fifteen-year-old child. . . .
Phillips promised Ms. Torres that he would marry her and that she would be the person who would have the great privilege of being his wife. . . . Phillips repeatedly told Torres that this was possible because his wife, Beall Phillips, was going to die soon. . . .
While Ms. Torres was living with Douglas Phillips and his family in October of 2007, Douglas Phillips entered Ms. Torres’s bedroom and without her consent began touching her breasts, stomach, back, neck, and waist. Phillips then began to masturbate and ejaculated on her. Ms. Torres asked Phillips to stop and broke down crying. Despite Ms. Torres’s repeated requests for Phillips to stop masturbating and ejaculating on her, Phillips proceeded to return and repeat this perverse and offensive conduct. Each night that Phillips returned, Ms. Torres requested that he stop. Defendant blatantly disregarded her requests but continued to masturbate and ejaculate on her each night.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think one request — “Hey, Mr. Phillips, stop masturbating and ejaculating on me” — should be enough.

How do we weigh her claims against the assertion by Phillips’ lawyer that this relationship “was consensual and often initiated, encouraged, and aggressively perpetuated” by the girl? Does it make any sense that she would have “initiated” this kind of behavior?

Despite the effort by Phillips’ attorney to intimidate reporters by labeling Torres-Manteufel’s allegations “false, defamatory . . . malicious” (implied: “Don’t report her claims or we might sue you”) she had been telling her tale privately for months before she sued. And from versions of the story that have emerged online, we can get an idea of how the situation was handled:

In 2007, illicit relationship became sexual…the victim began spending more time in the Phillips home and with the Phillips family. She was considered a close family friend…Phillips employed Victim to write Jonathan Park radio drama scripts with his daughter in an effort to spend more time with her. This was a paid position and provided Doug more opportunities to spend more time with Victim in his home after his children had gone to bed.
In 2009, Victim’s mother caught Doug Phillips and Victim having sexual-based chat sessions in the middle of the night. Doug, his wife, Beall, and Victim’s parents met. This was the first time Doug and Beall and Victim’s parents met together. Doug confessed to having romantic feelings for Victim, but there was no acknowledgement of any sexual impropriety.
In October 2010, Beall Phillips was made aware of the adulterous nature of the relationship when Victim’s mother informed her that Doug and Victim had been kissing.
Summer 2011 Doug told Victim they were soul mates. He told her he loved her and had promised they’d eventually get married and have children together.
In December 2012, Doug’s double life began to unravel when he was caught trying to climb in Victim’s bedroom window…followed by another private meeting between Doug, Beall, and Victim’s parents. They agreed to keep things quiet.

That is a secondhand version of the story and I cannot vouch for its accuracy. However, if it is true that the girl’s parents became aware of the problem in 2009, that his wife knew about it in 2010, and if Doug Phillips was caught trying to climb through the girl’s window (!!!) in 2012, then the specter of this sordid sex scandal has been looming like a shadow over him for at least five years.

Perhaps this train wreck could have been averted, but the same arrogance that originally caused Phillips’ behavior also caused him to think he could somehow keep the whole thing from becoming public.

And now that it has become public, Phillips has his lawyer sending threatening letters to journalists who report on the story?

“Hey, Mr. Phillips, stop masturbating and ejaculating on me.”

He should have listened the first time.

 

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Comments

  • Kirby McCain

    The wolf would have us believe he is the victim. Perhaps he’d like to join Kimberlin v. The Gamma Quadrant.

  • RS

    Sadly, there are too few young people who understand this sort of sensibility.

    Too few older people, as well.

  • checkers

    If he wants to continue the whole men are superior thing and keep women subservient why doesn’t he just convert to islam. then he can get away with it as well.

  • Mm

    Good points.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    It is a combination of both: He abused his ministry and his marriage. She abused her own common sense and dignity. In the end, he is the more culpable one. I understand we live in a litgatious society and it is what it is, but ultimately she should take some responsibility and move on.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    What’s the over/under that this is a bigger thread of hits for TOM than Duke Porn Girl Belle Knox?

  • Anon Imus

    Quibble if you like. But the church is the people, regardless of how their governing documents are written and their denominations organized.

    All too often, unscrupulous men take advantage of such bodies and use their position to further their own sinful desires?

    Do you want me to recount how many pastors and leaders of organizations just like yours I have seen fall into gross sin of the most unbelievable nature while the governing body of those organizations sat by idly or were complicit in covering up those sins?

    The church lacks discernment and is, all too often, too easily lead astray.

  • RS

    Do you want me to recount how many pastors and leaders of organizations just like yours . . .

    Overreact much? I suggest you reread the comment, because if you actually took the time to do so, you’d see there’s not much in the way of disagreement. The word “quibble” is used to describe a very minor point. My point is with the use of the word “church.” Do you mean that which is ordained by Christ (not any specific denomination/congregation) or something else? If it is the former, I disagree. If you mean individual Christians, then yes you are correct. Some individual Christians and even groups are lacking in discernment on occasion. It happens in an imperfect world.

    As for “organizations just like yours,” who knows what that means, inasmuch as you have no idea who I am or what my congregation’s history is.

    Frankly, it sounds to me you’ve decided to paint all Christians with a broad brush of corruption without taking the time to determine whether such a course of action is appropriate.

  • Julie Pascal

    It’s all somewhat situational, but you’re both really right that people don’t even consider the problem… or think that it’s actually morally wrong to think that it is a problem. But as an example… Should I apply to be a grad student of a male professor? Sure. Should I spend any appreciable working *alone* with the professor? Maybe… but only when other people are around and the door is open. If there are any reasons to think I might develop a crush (even old happily married ladies can do so!) or if there is any *hint* of interest in the other direction, that “maybe” turns to “no, never.” Should I meet with the professor on off hours alone? No. NEVER.

    Apply to other situations of life at will. It’s just stupid to put yourself in a situation that *might* get messed up. Just don’t do it. You’ll get on much better that way.

  • Anon Imus

    You defined your organization. Therefore, being familiar with such organizations and I have a very good understanding of what you are describing and I have seen terrible things happen in churches governed exactly like yours.

    Do you really want to play semantics over the “Universal Church” or the “Church Particular?” Seriously? In either case, the “church” is composed of people, who all too frequently and all too obviously lack discernment. Some of those people are members of para-church organizations like the one in this story. They too frequently lack discernment.

    You haven’t been where I have been and you haven’t seen what I have seen. And I can’t offer details without hurting people and organizations I don’t want to see hurt more. But people like Mr. Phillips are all too common in American churches and para-church organizations today.

    I am not painting any “broad strokes” here. I am simply recalling all too frequent, painful, personal experiences with self-serving “leaders.”

    Believe what you wish. I hope you can discern the next wolf who enters your life.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    When an older person in a position of authority behaves this way with a younger person over whom, and over whose family and whole life, he has great influence, it almost always “the fault” of that authority figure. Perhaps once in twenty occurrences the elder is seduced by a scheming follower, not more often.

    But clearly there is more to be found out before a definitive account can be made. Some people take the parts that move them out of a wide range of unfounded talk and assume those are the facts, and go from there. It’s not productive, sensible, or fair to those involved to speculate on it.

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  • RS

    My definition of congregational polity was made to point out where the responsibility lies: with individuals, as you seem to acknowledge. And, are there bad actors in some congregations? Of course. See, e.g. any pastor or leader who follows Rick Warren.

    And the fact that you’ve “seen terrible things happen in churches governed exactly like yours. . .” in no way tarnishes all such bodies. I’m sorry you’ve had bad personal experiences. But you seem to wish to lay blame on the Bride of Christ, where it does not lie, instead of the individuals who sinned against you and will face judgment for that one day.

  • Tom_Ohio

    For a certain class of Lawyers ( Bill Shakespeare’s favorite people) she is the new ” Altar Boy Class”
    That is the main driver. That and the media thinks it tears down ‘Religion” in general.
    If this was not a pastor, then it would be a non-story.
    Let’s put it another way, if it was a TEACHER in that weird state, then it would be a non-story
    Do all these people drink too many mint juleps in the afternoon tea sessions? How is all this strange behavior in that that state and in the south in general so non-reported that it is blasé?
    Matlock: Your honor, my client and this person’s sensibilities were both slightly dulled due to the afternoon tea
    Judge: I’ll be the judge of that, I need to see the parties in my chambers and bring several pitchers of tea
    ???

  • Anon Imus

    You keep arguing a point that you made but want to attribute to me. That doesn’t make much sense to me but if you like it, go with it.

  • Anon Imus

    Yes, this fellow just woke up one day and decided that this “girl” was the one thing worth ruining his life, his wife’s life, his kids’s lives, the girl’s life, the girl’s parents lives, the entire staff of his organization, and the existence of his organization.

    Do you really believe this is a “one-off” slip?

  • Art Deco

    No, you have a canon of Scripture because the Church collected extant writings and excluded much in circulation. God founded not a book but a Church.

  • Art Deco

    I have no clue about the details of his domestic life or his sexual history and neither do you. (And, while we are at it, the majority of Catholic priests accused of molestation had one (1) complaint lodged against them. Evidently people do not always do every thing in threes).

  • Art Deco

    She was 23 when they had intercourse. She wasn’t anywhere close to 23 when she “took up with him.”

    She knew him for a number of years before 2007, ergo he is entirely responsible for everything she does in his presence. Got it.

  • Art Deco

    You insist repeatedly she bears no responsibility for her actions between the ages of 23 and 28 and that she has a cause of civil action to boot. That’s not truth. It’s moral fraud.

  • Anon Imus

    “one complaint” does not mean “one event.” You probably don’t have much experience with any of this, and I am glad for you.

    I, on the other hand, have seen way more than I ever wanted to see.

    I suspect within a short time, there will be other revelations about Mr. Phillips. I kind of hope that I am wrong, but experience leads me to expect I am right.

  • Julie Pascal

    No.

    As evilblogladdy said… the term is “grooming”.

    And certainly she’s responsible for her own actions if I make excuses for her or not. *Explaining* how the dynamic works doesn’t mean that she’s being excused… it means that we can understand how she got into that mess. Your complete disregard of the fact that he does seem to have been *clearly* setting her up for this long before adulthood, *clearly* in a situation of inequality of power between them isn’t a good answer to Sarah’s apparent need to make this all… not *his* fault either… but make it all the fault of a philosophy of male leadership in the church and home.

    It is his fault. He was the adult. He was the “spiritual leader”. He was the person with social power.

    It’s her fault. She knew right from wrong and should have gotten herself out of there even though not a single person in her life would have believed or supported her at the time she should have gone.

    But if you don’t understand why that was particularly difficult for her, or why girls don’t manage to avoid sexual train-wrecks with older (and unavailable) men or why it’s certainly *more* his fault than hers, then think that I’m excusing her if you must.

  • Julie Pascal

    The problem with moving on is that, if this guy is a predator, moving on can facilitate him sweeping it under the rug. The fact that she was certainly also at fault means she has to accept that and deal with the people that affects, such as her husband since she’s married. But if it seems that Phillips is opposing the biblical progression of accountability, doesn’t she have a responsibility to oppose that? Does she have a responsibility to the next live-in babysitter?

  • Julie Pascal

    This is a totally different story, entirely different situation… but there is a similarity.

    I was a member of a church with a rather dynamic pastor (I’m not sure that matters) who loved to preach about the end times (not sure that matters either, but it did save him having to preach about sin) and one day, entirely out of the blue, his wife and grown children came to the church board with evidence from a private investigator that he was carrying on with either a homosexual relationship or experimentation and that the wife was leaving him and they felt that this was something the board needed to know about. The family had become suspicious and his children had hired the PI. There was proof, not hear-say.

    Understandably the board confronted him and fired him.

    He threatened to sue the church for unjustly firing him.

    I’ve thought a lot since then about what it takes, in someone’s mind, to insist that someone else is in the wrong, not you, and that invoking lawyers is somehow going to keep your world from crashing down around you, and that it’s their fault that you’re going to lose it all. And I think it might be related to the ability to live a double life, to continue to live in a make-believe world.

    And this guy Phillips threatening to sue men who he says were trying to destroy him… well, certainly his business is destroyed… his reputation is destroyed. But he’s not even trying to claim it’s not the *truth*. It’s, maybe it’s just that he’s so used to living more than one reality that he thinks everything will be okay if he can just find a way to separate his lives again.

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  • Ouida Gabriel

    Our children are subject to our authority as well. However, I’ve told my children if someone touches them inappropriately they need to scream, hit, punch, kick and try to get away. My 23 year old would have punched Phillips in the mouth and ran from the house.

    Both parties are culpable in this situation. She should have spoken up. He should not have been doing it to begin with. And from what I’ve read, Bealle and her parents knew something was going on. If that was the case then they are responsible too. Because like the commenter above, if I knew someone was trying to abuse my child, they would be in grave danger.

  • Just Saying

    She was over 21 when he started showing “special interest” so she was old enough to walk. She stuck around for a reason – maybe she enjoyed it – don’t know, don’t care. She stayed for a reason when she could have easily left. End of discussion. I get so tired of women acting like they are children unable to take an action on their own. If they want to be treated like adults they have to act like adults.

    Personally, I enjoy women in every way I want to. If they don’t like it – they can leave. If they stay I assume they enjoy it – of course, in this instance the woman is obviously looking for some type of monetary return – so she was acting as a hooker – just not one that he realized he would have to pay for.

  • Art Deco

    “one complaint” does not mean “one event.”

    No, it does not have to mean one event, but usually it does mean one event.

  • Art Deco

    I see what you’re up to and I’m not buying it, nor should anyone else.

  • trangbang68

    In a follow up story, Doug Phillips keeps telling his cell mate Big Cletus to quit slipping him the sausage where the sun don’t shine.

  • trangbang68

    In a follow up story, Doug Phillips keeps telling his cell mate Big Cletus to quit slipping him the sausage where the sun don’t shine.

  • 2jeffersonianideals1

    She is an adult. He is an adult. This was consensual. Is he a predator? Probably. Is she an opportunist? Without a doubt. 25 is not now, nor has it ever been an age considered to be a child. She just wants a payday.

  • nickshaw

    Is Phillips a cad? Yes, some men are cads.
    Is Torres a gold digger? Yes, some women are gold diggers.
    But, a lawsuit?
    Please.
    She’s just as guilty as he is.

  • Mr Black

    Umm, soooooooo yeah. This girl was clearly a willing participant and the unusual sexual antics the pair got up to were what one would expect from a sexually involved couple that were not yet to the point of having sex.
    I imagine that some time later she wished to end their affair on account of getting married and he was unable to do that gracefully, so now she’s turning it into a post-event justification of abuse, to escape culpability.
    Nothing really noteworthy here.

  • CiceroTheLatest

    Really!!!

    And where have you “heard” that? From whom? Because that sounds like a complete and total lie, heard from you. So, please, let us have the links so we can evaluate your honesty.

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  • Cyn McCollum

    Because in their world, she would have been shamed more than he, in their community.

  • George Erhard

    Family values, eh? a REAL family man would have protected this girl’s honor as he would one of his own kids… not indulged in bukkake sessions over her bed in the middle of the night.