Back in October, I had started the second post on the scandal surrounding Doug Phillips, but it was crap; just lede-burying crap. That was deleted.
As I read the legal complaint of Lourdes Torres Mauntafel I was irritated by the fact that the accusations against Doug Phillips aren’t always rendered along an easily discernible or believable timeline. I am suspicious this was deliberately arranged to be confusing. A demonstration of a pattern of abusive behavior would carry more force if the alleged instances were arranged into an actual pattern. In addition to confused timelines, the document only mentions Ms. Torres Mauntalel’s age once:“This grooming began when Ms. Torres was a fifteen-year-old child.” Otherwise, the complaint is devoid of any reference to her age. I believe this is intended to leave the reader with the false impression that Lourdes Torres Mauntafel was a teenager throughout her entire relationship with Doug Phillips.
That much I knew to be false, so I started from the other end. I laid out the pattern reported in the legal complaint and then let it show me what it was demonstrating. (For the purposes of this timeline I assuming that something along the lines of the accusations occurred.)
11/1999: Lourdes Torres meets Doug Phillips when her family met the Phillips family at a conference. At that time, Lourdes is fifteen.
12/1999 – 12/2006: Nothing untoward is accused. Lourdes reaches the age of 21. This is important. Whatever transpired between Torres and Phillips, we should bear in mind that she was a fully grown woman who had reached the age of full majority in every sphere of life.
01/2007: Phillips begins to compliment her and request her help caring for the Phillips children in his and with projects at his office.
07/2007: Phillips begins to touch Torres with familiarity and fondness; massaging her neck, rubbing her leg, etc. He also begins texting her frequently, sending her emails, and instant messaging.
10/2007: Phillips asks Torres and her family to move in with him while they are between homes. Torres and Phillips begin having sexual encounters in her room. Phillips tells Torres that he wants to marry her. Torres is 22.
11/2007: The Torres family moves out. Mrs. Phillips stops requesting Torres come to the Phillips house.
11/2007-12/2012: Mr. Phillips begins requesting Torres’ help directly whenever he can. She obliges, and for the next five years they engage in sexual activity whenever they are alone. Torres is 27.
01/2013: Torres breaks off the five-year long affair. Later that month, Phillips is chased away from Torres’ window by her father. Torres is 27 or 28.
02/2013: Torres and her family report Phillips’ behavior to his organization and church, and then depart.
04/11/2014: Torres marries Mauntafel. It is a Friday.
04/15/2014: The day the legal document is rendered to the courts; the Tuesday following her marriage. Of all the Christian marriage celebrations I’ve heard, suing the man with whom one carried on a five year affair for over $1,000,000 takes the wedding cake. Torres is 29.
04/16/2014: The “Together We Overcome: Supporting Lourdes Torres Mauntafel” Facebook page comes into existence. Here she posts selfies; proclaims fad diets; posts videos of herself exercising; hocks childish paintings; gushes the empowering wisdom of Oprah and Cindy Crawford…she even dedicated the sentiments of Keith Urban’s you-go-grrl “Stupid Boy” to Doug Phillips, and “Shake It Off” (Taylor Swift’s move-along-harlot anthem) to herself.
The legal complaint carefully caricatures Torres Mauntafel as a helpless teenager caught in the patriarchal web of the powerful overlord Phillips, but we’ve established now that Torres was a full-flegded adult over the entire course of their affair. It should be mentioned somewhere that there are sex acts described within the complaint. The authors do their best to make it seem as if Torres assumed the role of a mannequin whenever Phillips was around, but any imaginings of the descriptions reveal that she must–at least sometimes–have been in outright cooperation.
Torres’ complaint explains that this is because of the insidious are fearful power of the “patriarchy model” and the “patriarchy movement”. Yet there is no accusation of physical (or even the popular and vague “verbal abuse”) against Phillips. He has no monetary hold over her; no lien or promissory. Her family was in no danger, and their livelihood did not depend on Phillips. We must ask what kind of power did this malevolent patriarchy movement threaten over Torres and her family?
The answer is: None. The Torres family left the church straightaway. They informed the Vision Forum organization and Phillips’ church of Phillips’ transgressions without incident or reprisal. In fact, Phillips resigned from VF, quit pastoring, and gave up speaking at conferences. He has been disavowed and vilified by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, and virtually every other organization with which he ever had relations. He was pilloried in the media and on the Internet. The church he founded even reinstated the membership he had abandoned just so they could ex-communicate him…for show. This is testimony for the strength of anything but patriarchy.
This is the most powerless movement since move- was butted against -ment. While the legal document repeatedly tries to sell ideas about patriarchy as the source of Torres’ problems, the truth is that any form of patriarchy beyond the nominal is never demonstrated in the document. None of the actions of either Phillips or Torres resemble anything like patriarchy. As far as I can tell, patriarchy (of any kind) played exactly one tiny role in the whole affair: Once Torres’ father found out his daughter had been carrying on with their pastor, he put an end to it.
 I cannot imagine what Mr. Mauntafel was thinking when he decided to marry her. Did he know about her plan to spend their honeymoon in revenge? Does he ever wonder if he is merely a plot point in that plan; a crude demonstration of her desirability to be shoved in Phillips’ face? What does he think when–after mere months of marriage–he reads his wife use Facebook to publicly tell off the man whom she let ejaculate on her for five years? Is he bothered that on her own Facebook page, she has “Taken”, “RED”, and “Moms’ Night Out” listed as her three favorite movies? The common factor in each is that the hero is a middle-aged, craggy, bad-boy; not a reedy, young, towheaded nice-guy like himself.
My dog never did go off to die. The tumor in his mouth alternately grew and then was torn off by his constant worrying of it. At the end there was an explosive growth–the bulge doubling within a week–and then a last tear which would not stop bleeding. We kept him outside that night and hoped that it would subside, but he was still drooling blood the next morning. We took him to the vet and left after the sedative. I regret that I had to render him to another.
For a couple weeks after I still got the same old feeling as if he were supposed to be underfoot. Years of habitual response had to be laid aside; as several times I caught myself walking towards the backdoor to let him back in.