Unhanging from Last Year’s Cliffs: Dougs and Dogs

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.[1]

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.

[1] 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.

43 thoughts on “Unhanging from Last Year’s Cliffs: Dougs and Dogs

  1. Cane: My condolences on your pooch. May he rest in peace.

    That’s one of the best summaries on the Doug Phillips matter I’ve read. It certainly does paint a different picture than most others I’ve seen.

  2. @canecaldo

    Ditto for the dog. Now I feel sorry for doug phillips what a shame and what a terrible power a womans false accusation carries. The fact that many men are still suckers for the woman crying wolf in the case of abuse.

  3. Thanks Deti and IW1.

    I felt the same way about my own thoughts on Phillips before I read the suit and checked into how these people were actually represented. The first irony is that what happened is exactly what we should expect; which doesn’t speak very well of us. The second is that the truly innocent victims are hardly mentioned at all, and when they are it is only to give condescension.

  4. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your dog.

    Thank you for writing out this summary about Doug Phillips. Though he was obviously committing sexual sin, it had nothing to do with any real or imagined patriarchy. But plenty of people with an axe to grind and an agenda have framed it as such. I guess that isn’t surprising, though.

  5. I am sorry about the dog, Cane. I hope you had a blessed start to the New Year nonetheless.

    I thought the young woman was indeed a young woman when the whole sordid mess began. It should be clear that what happened was an affair in which both parties were active participants and in which both were in sin.

    Her need to be seen as a victim is nothing more than a twisted play for absolution.

  6. Thanks, Mrs. Thiry and Elspeth.

    Her need to be seen as a victim is nothing more than a twisted play for absolution.

    But it is more…much more! Torres is making a play for money, and–I believe it likely that above both of those motives–it is a play for revenge against Phillips for not leaving his wife and marrying her.

  7. It might be revenge. I can certainly see that as a possibility. But I fear you underestimate the need for a woman to find some way, any way, for the wrong choices she made to not have been her own choices. Been there, done that and have seen too many other women do it too.

    What better way to do that (not to mention give fake comfort to your husband and parents) than to have an impartial judge rule that you were indeed, abused, used, and not at fault?

  8. @Elspeth

    But I fear you underestimate the need for a woman to find some way, any way, for the wrong choices she made to not have been her own choices.

    I did not mean we should exclude rationalization as a motive. I meant revenge is an additional motive; one which is antithetical to Christianity in several ways.

    And to marry on Friday and file suit for over a million bucks against a former lover on Tuesday…

  9. Pingback: Bad Up Good Down | Things that We have Heard and Known

  10. Sorry about your dog, that’s really terrible. My dog (middle aged and healthy) slipped the other day and had trouble getting up. I had never seen that happen before to her and for the first time I became scared for her.

    As it turned out she really had just slipped and has been perfectly fine since, but it freaks me out just thinking about it. My condolences.

    Excellent post. I don’t know anything about this case but what you posted here but if this timeline is accurate this dude’s been mud-raked.

  11. @MtC

    Obviously I can’t swear by the timeline as I personally don’t know the facts of the case. It was sourced strictly from the suit brought by LTM against Phillips. All I did was read it as if the relationship was consensual; which I believe we must assume as she admitted it was a consensual relationship and continued it for five years in the absence of threats or coercions, and in the presence of the promise of marriage.

  12. Pingback: Turning a blind eye. | Dalrock

  13. You are missing something of grave importance while you speculate Lourdes takes some blame. In the state of Texas where this took place, it legally CANNOT be consensual because Phillips was in a position of authority. http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/SOTWDocs/PE/htm/PE.22.htm

    [CC: The fact that Texas law may be imperfect is irrelevant to justice and Christian charity.

    I wondered if you would show up. No one can search the Internet for “Doug Phillips” without being exposed to your site.]

  14. it legally CANNOT be consensual because Phillips was in a position of authority.

    Really? Is that so? Then someone has already legally determined that Mrs. Torres Mauntafel (and any other women who has an affair with her pastor/teacher/counselor etc.) are not at fault. Huh. Fascinating.

  15. Bravo…you just did a pretty good parody of the blonde who oversimplifies things. Anyway, joking aside, here’s the actual wording:

    the actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual adviser

  16. I am about as far from a dumb blonde as you can possibly get, but I do know this concerning my “oversimplifying”: The truth is usually glaringly simple. It’s only when we look to absolve ourselves of responsibility for our actions that nuances and complications come into play.

    If that wording is supposed to be some kind of clarification as to why the woman who engages in n adulterous affair with a man of some authority in her life, color me unimpressed. Have you any idea how many women have affairs with pastors and professors and the like? The notion that such women are being exploited is ludicrous. What woman doesn’t have an affair with a man who is a step up from her in some way?

    I can just see all the women in TX who had affairs with their pastors filing lawsuits when the affairs end badly. On the grounds that they were “exploited”. Is it not possible that the men are being exploited?

  17. @Elsepth

    It’s not clear to me whom ATC addressed.

    What woman doesn’t have an affair with a man who is a step up from her in some way?

    Bingo. You stole the thunder from my next post.

  18. @Elspeth
    I apologize; it looks like I was replying to you but I wasn’t. I started typing my post before you published your post.

    Julie Anne was oversimplifying the issue by stating that “position of authority” invalidates consent. That term never even appears in the statute she linked to and if we read the actual text, “emotional dependency” based on his “spiritual adviser” role is what matters. (To me, this sounds like not only would she have to be in his thrall but she would also have to be manipulated into thinking he was some sort of gatekeeper to God.)

  19. I wondered if you would show up. No one can search the Internet for “Doug Phillips” without being exposed to your site.

    I’ll take that as a compliment. Thanks! 🙂

  20. Julie Anne: any comments on the honeymoon lawsuit? Or the fact that Torres Mauntafel appears to be a typical 20-something Facebooker (personal workout videos, selfies, Taylor Swift), not the rarefied victim-saint we kept reading about?

  21. Cane has already pointed out that Lourdes Torres Manteufel (“LTM”) was a full legal adult, over age 21, at the time Phillips and LTM are alleged to have engaged in their affair. Taking the allegations in the lawsuit as true: There was no penetration and no intercourse; just, well, Phillips’ self gratification in LTM’s presence. LTM objected to these alleged acts, was offended by them and didn’t want them to occur, despite the fact that they occurred repeatedly over at least a five year period.

    LTM never told anyone that her pastor was ejaculating on her LTM never sought help from her parents or anyone else. LTM never even told Phillips something like “hey, don’t do that anymore” or “I don’t like that”. She never even got up and walked away, or tried to resist Phillips.

    One could reasonably draw a conclusion that LTM at least didn’t object to Phillips’ conduct.


    According to her FB accounts, LTM is 30. Her husband, Nolan Manteufel, whom she married three days before she sued Phillips, is 26. She has been married to Nolan for about 8 months. Physically, LTM is an attractive woman. Her husband is a pencil thin towhead who looks like he just graduated high school. He could not be more different from Doug Phillips in mien, bearing and visage. Her wedding photo with Nolan shows him leaning into her and her slightly leaning away from him. Nolan is obviously a beta orbiter. Her FB photos show him sometimes, but mostly they depict her in workout videos showing just a bit of décolletage, selfies showing her smiling face (and the “Beautiful!” and “You go girl!” comments deposited within minutes from sycophants and beta orbiters); and photos with all the requisite pithy memes and sayings about how strong and independent and faithful she is.

    It’s not too hard to reach the conclusion that she’s just not all that into her husband and that he’s a beta orbiter. I give their marriage 5 years.

  22. Her husband, Nolan Manteufel, whom she married three days before she sued Phillips, is 26.

    The poor slob (the husband). Talk about Russian roulette.

  23. Not read any comments (here or elsewhere for that matter) and though no functional overlap in subject matter, the Cosby thing still bugs me too.

    Those repeating “its all the more believable because the claims are so similar” are brain dead to their own myopia. Its opposite day every day in Cosby bashing land. Ive no idea if he is guilty or not, but women copying story details is evidence for the defense.

  24. Re the dog…I had two go down inside 18 months. The first I took inside the vets lobby, passed him off to the techs, and left….on my way to work driving dangerously through tears.

    For the second I stayed all the way until he was gone. My then 21 year old daughter lay draped across his no-longer-giant (138 pound Giant Schnauzer in his prime, king of my neighborhood jungle to be sure) frame weeping on the floor as I sat cross legged beside her…doing the same.

    Not sure which tact was better. The next one…based on age…I have no idea. Maybe I’ll have the Doc come to the house, meaning my doc for some tranquilizer for me, and the vet come do what the vet does.

  25. An interesting development in the Lourdes Torres Manteufel (LTM) saga.

    Her facebook page formerly referred to LTM as “Lourdes Torres Manteufel”, her married name, referring to her marriage to Nolan Manteufel. At the time of her marriage in the summer of 2014, LTM was 30, Nolan was 26.

    According to publicly available online records in the District Court of Bexar County, Texas, on or about March 19, 2015, LTM filed with the court a petition for divorce from Nolan. He didn’t respond. The petition for divorce was granted in May 2015. Their marriage (such as it likely was) lasted 9 months.

    LTM now refers to herself on her facebook page as “Lourdes Torres”. Her relationship status is identified as “single”. She apparently continues to see Nolan, as there’s a photo of him on a balcony smoking a cigar and drinking a beer, and she refers to him as a “cool guy”. There’s also one of those “soulmate” apps, and she identifies Nolan as a “soulmate”.

    There are many photos of LTM on her page, mostly of her with other girl friends, doing cool girl friend things, to show others what a cool, interesting and fun life she leads.

    Anyone with any “red pill” or “manosphere” knowledge could have seen this coming from a mile away. She is attractive and slender, with just a bare hint of a thousand cock stare in her eyes. Nolan is as I described him before — a pencil thin towhead who appears much younger than his now 27 years. He’s clearly her beta orbiter, and LTM clearly didn’t want to remain married to him.

  26. That woman has on the basis of her photos ‘bad news’ written right through her. Never previously heard of her though.

    Marrying a thirty year old even when you are twenty-six is like marrying your wicked step-mother. The distance may only be four years but in emotional/biological terms it is more like twenty-four.

  27. So, what’s her damage? Is she Phillips’s “alpha widow”, or was she damaged goods before Phillips (at such a young age?)? Was that part of the reason for her fling with Phillips?

  28. @Opus

    Your comment was spot-on and drew a genuine laugh.


    I don’t know them personally, but surely one reason for her choice to have a fling with Phillips was simply her attraction to his fame and honor; and her preference for older hero-types. (I see her favorite movies are still Taken, RED, and Mom’s Night Out which featured the wise ol’ biker Trace Adkins.) She was certainly sinful like the rest of us before she ever laid eyes on Phillips.

    The idea of Alpha Widowhood as it is discussed in the Men’s Sphere is not one to which I subscribe, but women can and do get hung-up on past flames and trysts. Those are a bad idea to have.

  29. Very true, very true. Smells like “daddy issues”, or Electra complex, or whatever term is fashionable at the moment.

    So, she ran to her former lover’s opposite, quickly felt dissatisfied, dumped him but continues to string him along. Someone please slap some sense into that young man.

    How does one identify – or, more importantly, help a son identify – such a creature before she goes through her Phillips phase? Is it even possible? Does it matter (since she’ll angle for a Phillips before she settles for a younger man of lesser status)?

    Another way of asking those questions: what distinguishes an LTM from the kind of daddy’s girl that makes a good wife?

  30. @Oscar

    Is she stringing him along? Deti said she had a picture of him on her Facebook and some nice-sounding propaganda attempting to ward off criticism, but what is Nolan doing? Who knows. I don’t even have a Facebook account.

    How does one identify – or, more importantly, help a son identify – such a creature before she goes through her Phillips phase? Is it even possible?

    My answer is to be involved throughout the courtship process; whatever form that process takes. I understand (and remember!) that strong emotions cloud judgment, and also that more than one pair of eyes on a problem is a good thing. Few challenges in life are more important than mate selection. That will require that my son trusts me not to sabotage or embarrass him, and also to know that I will not support what I have not vetted. I want to meet the girl early; preferably before anything starts in an official capacity, e.g., before asking her on a date. I want to meet her family and see how they interact.

    Where was Lourdes father? I see this often, and I never understand it. Lourdes’ family were members of Phillips’ church. Phillips taught that daughters should stay home until they are married lest they become wayward. Lourdes’ father, then, at least knows what Phillips thinks of unmarried women who don’t live at home. Then Phillips asks for Lourdes to move out of her father’s home and into Phillips’ home.

    Lourdes father should have paid better attention to that. I wonder if his respect for Phillips’ position clouded his judgment? Was he simply apathetic? Too timid to confront Phillips? Was his wife harassing him and he just wanted to be left in peace?

    Another way of asking those questions: what distinguishes an LTM from the kind of daddy’s girl that makes a good wife?

    Suppose an unmarried Doug Phillips. Lourdes might have been a great wife for him! She’s not either a good wife or a bad wife by a straight up-or-down vote, or according to a series of checkboxes. Context is important (and, again, family is a huge set of context).

    If I had been Nolan’s friend and knew about the Phillips incident I would have discouraged him from Lourdes in the strongest terms possible; including a refusal to attend the wedding and a break in friendship if he persisted. (You can’t be a man’s friend and be rude to his wife.)

    When I look at Lourdes’ two Facebook pages, for the most part I see a very normal woman. That’s because it is the norm for young women to be encouraged in their narcissism, emotional incontinence, and just sheer blathering stupidity: selfies, incoherent slogans, selfies, mindless entertainment, selfies, devotion to fads, selfies, failed attempts at ironic humor, selfies, shameless lust, selfies…


    Selfies. Selfies. Selfies.

  31. These videos by Nolan might help explain it all.



    I can’t tell what “trust breach” Nolan is talking about. He says he broke her trust and didn’t do things she needed. in the second video he’s referring to his job and apparent financial problems.

    My take on this is that he had absolutely no idea what he was dealing with. She wasn’t sexually attracted to him, was refusing sex, was distancing herself. He was getting shit tested to beat the band; he is failing those tests left and right; he was getting increasingly frustrated and lashing out, and she left. He was dealing with a woman who married him because she needed something to cling to; she no longer needs him for that; he no longer serves a purpose in her life,

    He cannot accept that his marriage is over and that she never wanted him in the first place. He has taken it all on himself and doesn’t want to accept Lourdes’ role in it all.

    This is a textbook case of woman marrying beta orbiter, losing what little attraction was there, and her refusing him sex. She’s blaming him for it all, and he’s buying it.

    The worst part of it is the cringeworthy videos which he’s MADE PUBLIC in an attempt to win Lourdes back. He’s doing all the things women tell men to do — make public displays of emotion; wear your heart on your sleeve; show your pain and fear; It will fail, as it always does, and he won’t be able to figure it out.

    Lourdes is not coming back. It is over, and it will be over forever.

  32. @ Cane Caldo says:
    August 3, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    “Is she stringing him along? Deti said she had a picture of him on her Facebook and some nice-sounding propaganda attempting to ward off criticism, but what is Nolan doing?”

    He’s sitting in a chair on an apartment balcony smoking a cigar, and she says she’s doing algebra homework while he’s out there. It sure looks to me like she’s stringing him along. I could be wrong.

    She also has a photo of her ex-husband’s brother remodeling an old house, and she complements his looks in the caption, which is… weird.

    “That will require that my son trusts me not to sabotage or embarrass him”

    Definitely important. My guess is that mom would have a tougher time with that.

    “and also to know that I will not support what I have not vetted.”

    Tough love. Might even be tougher on the parents.

    “Where was Lourdes father?”

    The same question occurred to me.

    “If I had been Nolan’s friend and knew about the Phillips incident I would have discouraged him from Lourdes in the strongest terms possible; including a refusal to attend the wedding and a break in friendship if he persisted. (You can’t be a man’s friend and be rude to his wife.)”

    Tough love again. You rarely see that.

    “Selfies. Selfies. Selfies.”

    I do have a FB account, and so does my wife. They’re both chock full of photos of the kids (easiest way to share them with family and friends), only a handful of photos of us, and not one selfie anywhere. It hadn’t occurred to me how self-absorbed a person would have to be to constantly photograph themselves.

    I suppose that’s one advantage of social media. They make self-absorbed people easier to identify.

  33. @Oscar

    Tough love again. You rarely see that.

    This is one with which I actually have experience. I told one of my closest friends that I could not support his marriage to a particularly dissolute woman, and would not attend the wedding. We haven’t hung out since that conversation. Within a couple years she divorced him, and took half the value of the house his parents had gifted them as a wedding present. I have talked to him a couple times since, but he showed no interest in resuming the friendship.

  34. The Lourdes Torres lawsuit against Doug Phillips and Vision Forum Inc. was dismissed in late 2015 or early 2016 according to the website for the Bexar County, Texas District Court Clerk docket sheet for the case.

    There was a notation of a mediation, then a motion to enforce settlement. That means the parties all got together in a big meeting and worked to settle the case. An agreement was reached. Apparently there was some delay in consummating the settlement because a motion to enforce it was filed. There were notices of jury trial filed, likely meaning the settlement had momentarily fallen apart and the parties would go to trial. Then in May 2016 Lourdes Torres dismissed the case and the judge entered an order dismissing the case “with prejudice”, meaning it cannot be refilled and the dispute is considered resolved forever. That means, at least to me, Lourdes, Doug, and VF got together and worked it out. The terms of the case resolution are not disclosed. We don’t know if it involves a money payment, but almost all the time, cases like this are resolved with some money changing hands from defendant (Phillips and VF) to plaintiff (Lourdes). There’s been a total media blackout on this. Probably because no one really cares to cover it, I presume.

  35. Doug Phillips appears to have retreated almost completely into private life. I can’t find a single public word Phillips has uttered or written about this since the story broke. He hasn’t said anything about this even since the lawsuit was resolved and dismissed. Usually you get a public statement like “glad it’s over” or “was resolved”, but he hasn’t said even that. His wife Beall has a Facebook page and she said something about their excommunication from their church, but nothing else even after the lawsuit was resolved. Apparently she’s still married to Doug. There’s a Wikipedia page on Doug, but the last update was a note that the Torres lawsuit was dismissed.

    No ‘whatever happened to’ stories. What he or Beall are doing for a living is a mystery. Can’t find out anything, really. Apparently he’s not trying to do a Ted Haggard or Jimmy Swaggart and make a comeback, at least not yet.

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