Pooh’s Think

… with comments

Doug Wilson Sticks His Nose in the Wood

Doug Wilson has decided to put in a word or two about Ministry Watchman’s story about Phillips and Jen Epstein; he calls this next installment of his “justice” primer “Braying Contests.”

As usual, Doug Wilson is shameless. I wonder what life would be like without Doug Wilson publicly lying. Hmmm. It would be more pleasant perhaps. In this very post exhorting folks about what to do about “web slander” Wilson slanders me with respect to the post I put up last night. And then Wilson continues to refuse to let the accused [me] defend himself in the same environment where the accusations were furthered; and Wilson would never dare providing a link to Pooh’s Think.

Wilson writes:

First, if a charge has any surface plausibility (or possible “traction”) at all, do not let it go unanswered. The Scriptures are full of vigorous replies to various saucy coppersmiths. But it is not necessary to spend the rest of your life doing this, answering every detail, because the kind of heart that does this sort of thing is good at spinning out details, frequently ex nihilo, and then you have hopped on the little squirrel cage run. But if you answer the central charges forcefully, cogently, and scripturally, then this gives any fair-minded individuals who hear about it all that they need. “Okay, this is clearly a Proverbs 18:17 situation.” This is what Doug Phillips’ church recently did — and a well done to them, incidentally — and the result is that strife has now broken out between the Sunni and Shia factions of the web insurgency. To change the metaphor, when cannibals run out of missionaries, they sometimes start looking at one another sideways through squinty eyes. And this is not, incidentally, a sign of disinterested objectivity. A cannibal should not expect to be praised for his impartiality in this.

Wilson is lying here and he certainly knows it. This is another example of waiting patiently for the clear facts to disappear over the horizon of time and then lung forward with an entire re-writing of history. Interestingly, Doug Wilson had to deal with Terry Morin years later only because he started arrogantly blogging away about his own revisionist history of what happened back in 1993. The facts located in the archives of Pooh’s Think, particularly if you look at the first few months, are thick and clear. Not only did Doug Wilson or the elders refuse to answer concerns, questions, and then charges that where certainly plausible, one of my primary allegations was the fact that Wilson refused to answer my concerns and challenges! This was one of the primary problems. Doug Wilson refused to act the way Doug Phillips’ church has.

Wilson instead initiated a gruesome campaign of attacking my person, my reputation, and my social life in Christ Church—and more. Mere questions about Terry Morin were answered with harassment and intimidation; even though I was a Credenda Agenda writer, a member of Christ Church, and a more mature Grayfriar student in good standing, all of my concerns and challenges—concerns and challenges shared in common with broader society—were rejected and my efforts where simply mocked. When I finally asked Doug Jones if I could meet with the elders about Doug Wilson’s slander against Brian McLaren he first did not reply at all. When I followed up he explained that he thought I was joking. So on and so forth; the many details of the story where recorded in the Wood as that story unfolded. Only once did Christ Church offer a written response to Terry Morin during all this, which was later followed by a public statement about the public pedophilia outrage; the latter statement was more for the purpose of attacking me than providing the public with a rigorous explanation of the facts. The few formal responses from the “elders” was nothing but subterfuge and a continued strong communication that they have nothing to hear from me and that they will not cogently and forcefully answer their opponents – which is now roughly equivalent to the broader society of America.

What Doug Phillips has done is precisely what Doug Wilson has refused to do. We could only hope that Doug Wilson would want to answer “central charges forcefully, cogently, and scripturally.” What we get instead is a police report against Jen Epstein after Doug Phillips alleges to have found a used condom in his mail box. I don’t recall that being a central issue, and that is not what I would consider a forceful and cogent reply to allegations. Same goes for Wilson’s many vague allusions to me on his blog, his public statements about my mental health, his staged lynching over misquoted material taken from a censured statement of mine, his insinuation that I’m up very early and up late, late, late, at night blogging about him, his underground assault on my character within Christ Church, his encouraging of another member of the congregation to harass me with 18 emails in two days and filing a law suit against me, his contentment with his recent NSA hire shunning my small children, his complete refusal to offer any pastoral guidance to the small band of highly irrational and aggressive loyalists who publicly conduct themselves in what is now a notorious unchristian manner. But whatever you do, don’t look me in the eye and forcefully and cogently answer my arguments, evidence, primary documents, and challenges.

Wilson’s concluding advice is remarkable:

Don’t refuse to answer when they have some sort of microphone of their own. And when you answer, give an answer that is sufficient for any honest reader, and don’t trouble yourself over the dishonest readers.

It has been an entire year, and it has been Wilson’s wild refusal to answer sufficiently for any honest reader that has even allowed me to have the kind of microphone I now do. As I explained to Frank Vance:

My primary concern is to remain judicial at each stage of the game, for the protection of everyone. . . . I have no intentions on having fun turning on anybody in all this. If Wilson would offer a shred of sanity, humility, and honesty, I would have attempted to defend him more than I have at times. . . . I was and still am fully convinced that the bulk of my last post was fully consistent with the principles of equity that have motivated Pooh’s Think and that it was my duty to offer such a post – it was precisely the same thing that drove my risky defense of you with Tim Dick. Nothing has changed. I did not defend you because it helped “persuade” people to think more highly of my own circumstance.

Wilson of course knows this is true and he knows that this truth does not, once again, help his public imagine from the point of view of the intelligent observer. My determination to critique the Watchman’s latest story is certainly motivated out of a concern for equity and maintaining a reputation of just argument and reporting, not because I have run out of corrupt men to challenge (if only!). If you recall, any questioning about Leithart’s disagreement over postmodernism was met with the libelous attack from Wilson (against Kevin Johnson for example) that this was just an attempt to turn Leithart and Wilson against one another. Consistent with Wilson’s walking his talk, we now get this eager prophecy:

the result is that strife has now broken out between the Sunni and Shia factions of the web insurgency. To change the metaphor, when cannibals run out of missionaries, they sometimes start looking at one another sideways through squinty eyes. And this is not, incidentally, a sign of disinterested objectivity. A cannibal should not expect to be praised for his impartiality in this.

And all this is thick with irony too. Wilson thinks Phillips did a great job at answering allegations. But you might recall that Ministry Watchman just covered a story about Doug Wilson right before covering Phillips’ story! And what was Wilson’s reply to that? We have a rigorous series dedicated to this same story continuing right now replete with substantiated allegations against Doug Wilson. And yet where are the forceful and cogent replies from Wilson? The testimony in this new story is credible and damning, and yet you can hear a needle drop over at Anselm house after each installment here in the Wood.

And it would be good to know what it is about my last post that Wilson disagrees with. I’m curious what about it Wilson finds so slanderous and cannibal like. Wilson apparently fully agrees with my conclusion, and yet he must ridicule my desire to post this very conclusion. But that’s just Wilson, and another reason why we continue to write.


December 6, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Michael,

    Where is Wilson lying? I don’t see it.

    Comment by Dennis | December 7, 2006 | Reply

  2. “But you might recall that Ministry Watchman just covered a story about Doug Wilson right before covering Phillips’ story! And what was Wilson’s reply to that?”

    I don’t remember seeing Doug Wilson reply to that, and it was a good story too, wasn’t it Michael? Just like the story Ministry Watchman is doing on Doug Phillips. Except somehow you don’t like that story. You want to critically analyze it under a microscope and pick it to pieces. Not so anything written against Doug Wilson though. It could be the biggest piece of schlock but if it’s anti-Wilson you love it! You’ve even sung the praises of a lesbian activist news reporter for no other reason that she’s written something bad about Wilson.

    So now your a critic of Ministry Watchman when before you were their biggest fan. What happened Michael? Getting all ethical on us now? Is it because Ministry Watchman is taking attention away from the Wood and the only reason you’ve got a soapbox at all, Doug Wilson? So as long as Ministry Watchman writes about one of your personal favorite subjects you’ll support them? But as soon as they stray too far from your favorite topics you’ll attack!

    You’ve lost a lot of credibility over this one Michael. When I find myself vigorously agreeing with a Doug Wilson article that’s not a good sign for you.

    Comment by Gabe | December 7, 2006 | Reply

  3. “”Except somehow you don’t like that story.”

    Yes. “somehow” I just don’t like the story. This statement alone drips with the kind of rhetorical dishonesty now flooding the Phillips story. I certainly haven’t given any reason for not liking the story to address! Of course, “Gabe” knows that I was eagerly awaiting the Phillips story and expecting it to be good, which is evidenced in countless ways; Gabe, if you are going to keep posting under different pseudonyms, at least use change the phrases you use to make it fun (“You’ve lost a lot of credibility over this one Michael”). Hopefully, I’ve preserved any credibility at all after being initially identified with Fisher’s story.

    “You’ve even sung the praises of a lesbian activist news reporter”

    Yes! That’s it! I just “sung the praises” of Joan. Peter Kershaw’s once interesting complaint is turning into a loud roar. There have certainly been many kinists (racists) seething over the fact that I have always felt far more comfortable linking to a lesbian activist than a kinist web site. You refute yourself here: Harry Seabrook (Little Geneva) has been one of the most intelligent and prolific opponents of Doug Wilson and I wouldn’t touch his web site with a 100 mile long pole. I noticed that Ministry Watchman let in the first link ping back from Little Geneva (to “Frank Vance’s” post) about the time I came out with my criticism of Fisher’s methodology. Interesting.

    You also know full well that I have defended Doug Wilson and Christ Church many times if I found the attack grossly unjust, regardless of who it was.

    But I’ve posted on this over at the real Pooh’s Think last night. I guess you have to come here to get the news old and stale : -) I don’t have time to come back to my photocopy, so don’t expect any further replies from me here. This will no doubt just turn into Watchman’s play ground for libeling me. Go at it fellows. There hasn’t been a single intelligent reply to my mild criticism of Fisher’s methodology, but only unjust, back-stabbing, and dishonest rhetoric. So I doubt we will see anything beyond just this from here. If you want to come into the light of the real Wood, I am still accepting all requests for posts.

    Comment by Michael Metzler | December 8, 2006 | Reply

  4. Are you really Michael Metzler? He promised never to post here.

    Comment by Pooh | December 8, 2006 | Reply

  5. That’s got to be one of the weirdest most incoherent “replies” I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if anybody other than you is supposed to understand any of that but you really are sounding like a loon, and you sound paranoid too. So it’s not just Wilson who’s out to get you? Now there’s kinists out to get you too? Very strange. Michael if you’re really this starved for attention there’s a lot more healthy ways of going about getting it. What you’re doing is just self destructive.

    Thanks though for stopping by to “comment” on your own articles, even if your “response” had nothing to do with what I just said. Thanks for confirming my suspicions of you. In fact it’s even a lot worse than I thought. Like I said you’ve lost a lot of credibility, and with your latest “they’re out to get me” comments here it’s not looking any better.

    Comment by Gabe | December 8, 2006 | Reply

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