Why Lourdes Torres’ Consent Doesn’t Matter

If you’re a supporter of Doug Phillips and patriarchy, you might suppose, based on the title of this post, that you’ve found a sympathizer here at Scarlet Letters. Well, I’m (not so) sorry to say that that could not be further from the truth. Hester, the local blogmistress, fully supports Ms. Torres and believes her allegations as put forth in the recent lawsuit filed against Doug Phillips, Vision Forum Ministries and Vision Forum Inc. (see here for full text). So I suppose I owe those of you who may have fallen for that deliberately provocative title up there, an explanation. Continue reading

Toxic (TBB)

The “TBB” in the name of this post means that it is part of The Big Box series. If you’re new to Scarlet Letters, read the introductory post to see what the Big Box is all about.

Last April, I attended MASSHope, New England’s largest homeschool convention. The convention began on a Friday morning, and I scheduled my Big Box article, A Home School Vision of Victory, to post automatically after I left my hotel room in the morning. When I returned from a long and tiring day in the indoctrination room teen track (read more about that here), I found that Scarlet Letters had received over a hundred hits, which at the time was a new high. A Home School Vision of Victory continued to receive large numbers of hits, and almost a year later remains the third most popular post in the Big Box. Continue reading

Hester Takes the Gen2 Survey

In December, my mother, who is still on several homeschooling mailing lists even though she’s officially retired from support group leadership, got a notice in her inbox about Brian Ray’s Gen2 Survey. Neither of us had heard of it, though apparently word had been circulating for several months (that’s what you get, I guess, for finally withdrawing, in large part, from the homeschooling community). Ray is the founder of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), and as you might expect has released many studies of homeschoolers in the past, almost all of which have been criticized for methodological flaws (see here and here). Continue reading

Robert Gifford Speaks Out

Well, at long last, a tiny bright spot seems to have appeared in the deep dark mess that is the collapse of Doug Phillips and his empire. After being out of the loop over the holidays, I decided to check Jen’s Gems to see if any updates had been posted about the final shuttering of Vision Forum Inc. (For curious readers, any attempt to search for products on visionforum.com currently yields only a page titled “Clearance” and the message “No products match the filters you selected.”) I didn’t find anything about the closing, but I did find this encouraging report by T. W. Eston about Robert Gifford, the pastor whom Doug Phillips has repeatedly referred to as his “spiritual father” and mentioned in several of the lectures I’ve critiqued in the Big Box series. Continue reading

Making Wise Decisions About College (TBB)

The “TBB” in the name of this post means that it is part of The Big Box series. If you’re new to Scarlet Letters, read the introductory post to see what the Big Box is all about.

10710906-22749604-thumbnail

You may be wondering why there’s a cake (wreck) at the top of today’s post. First, because misspelled cakes are funny, and since this particular misspelled cake is related to the topic of this week’s lecture, I wanted to put it there. (Trust me, you’ll be needing the laughs soon enough.) Second, and more importantly, because we all know that sweet, brightly colored frosting can be used to make all sorts of things palatable – even if what’s underneath is laced with poison. Such, unfortunately, is the case with Making Wise Decisions About College (hereafter referred to as MWDAC). Continue reading

Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions, Part 2: Joseph, John and Guinevere (TBB)

The “TBB” in the name of this post means that it is part of The Big Box series. If you’re new to Scarlet Letters, read the introductory post to see what The Big Box is all about.

All right, readers – Hester’s finally finished banging her head against her desk. And I hope you’ve finished that cup of coffee, because you wouldn’t want to risk spraying hot beverage out your nose when you see what Vision Forum put on the cover of Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions. Thankfully whoever designed the cover was kind enough to tell us the name of the painting they used, Edmund Blair Leighton’s The Accolade. Here’s the original. Continue reading

Defending the Fatherless (TBB)

Crossposted at Jeff Crippen and Barbara Roberts’ A Cry for Justice.

The “TBB” in the name of this post means that it is part of The Big Box series. If you’re new to Scarlet Letters, read the introductory post to see what The Big Box is all about.

Okay, readers, Hester is really back this time! After a long, long summer, I’ve finally opened my Big Box again – and pulled out Defending the Fatherless by Doug Phillips. Sounds so high-minded and noble, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, as we’ve come to expect, the problems begin almost immediately. Continue reading