I Tried To Ask A Question At Ministry Watchman
Well, I guess my worries about Watchman’s willingness to offer judicial “ministry watches” are being steadily confirmed as they now make me their next object of vicious attack.
I have tried to be ginger yet sincere in my criticism of Fisher’s work. Ironically, Fisher has not posted on Watchman before, and I had tried voicing my concerns friend-to-friend off-line to folks involved with Watchman as soon as Fisher’s first story broke. I even promised not to say anything further about this until a week and a half after the first story broke, giving them time to put together a very lengthy and late follow up. Even now, I have reserved comment on a number of things, such as how I currently read the available evidence about the Epsteins as well as my opinion about some off-line communications with Watchman. And you will note I have tried to preserve the work Vance has done with Ligonier; also, I have made no criticism yet about Ministry Watchman in general, nor have I taken a “side” against them. Rather, I offered my sincere concern and criticism for how they were proceeding with this one story, the same sincere concern and criticism I first shared with Ministry Watchman off-line. That is all.
Given all this, it is remarkable how they have so quickly turned on me, and are now attempting to already start slinging mud on Pooh’s Think, the very web site they have been boasting as their primary ally and supporter and the very blog they have been praising. You can see how integral Pooh’s Think was to their site both in the comment threads as well as on Mark and Jen Epstein’s blogs. This is no exaggeration, and Mark and Jen Epstein are on record as praising not just my conclusions, but my method in proceeding to those conclusions. But now, after one post of criticism of Fisher’s methodology, a writer making his first time appearance, my very method here in the Wood is under attack. This is grossly unprincipled, and serves no purpose other than to prove my own worries that a judicial approach to anything and anyone has been far removed from the Watchman’s goals and motivations. If they will do this to their closest internet friends, what will they do to those they make objects of internet assassination?
I truly hope that their desire to shut my criticism up with mere thuggish insult does not end up destroying the work Frank Vance has done on the Ligonier law suit. I am certainly not afraid of the Watchman’s ability to damage the reputation of the Wood—although they might try working me pretty hard as they run through the internet with their flame throwers. But I am worried about any of the merits of Frank Vance’s original work becoming entirely undone. It was that work that gave them any original credibility to post about anything further from here, and it was that work that generated any readership at all – a good deal from Pooh’s Think (from looking at my blog statistics, it seems like it was primarily from Pooh’s Think, although I cannot be certain of that).
Whatever happens from here happens. I first sent a warning shot out after the first post from Fisher. Then, I pleaded with Watchman off-line, which led to only further worries when I saw the nature of their response. Then, I promised to give them time to get their evidence judicially in order and promised to wait. They posted the second story on Phillips that had many frightening qualities to it and did not relieve any of my culminating worries. So I posted a direct, argumentative challenge to the quality and justice of the reporting this second time round. What happens? Do they address my worries or interact with my arguments and citations? Not a bit. Rather, they just make me the next object of assassination, incoherently claiming things about me that they would have denied just two weeks ago.
In order to remain a judicious third party in this, I will not say anything further until they escalate their own attacks. Something needs to be decided about the Epsteins once this part of the story is told, but I have no intentions of addressing that issue in order to retaliate and use the Watchman’s kinds of weapons.
One Watchman-anonymous writes:
Michael, Where is your evidence of the things you allege about Wilson and what he has done to you? There is no evidence that you did NOT put something vile in Wilson’s mailbox, etc., etc., Can you prove you did not do that?
And for someone who posted under false names on his blog (when you knew you were banned) then caught by Wilson, you have a nerve coming here demanding evidence that we all know will never be forthcoming. Your insistence that Wilson ‘knew it was you’ all the time is hardly evidence. Can you prove that? Why is there a different standard for you?
Quite frankly, I have believed you only because I have read Wilson’s writings, knew of his support for Jr. and find him much like DP and the other authoritarians in many ways.
And so we have just further confirmation of my criticism so far. This is certainly an attempt at a low blow, but the Watchman-anonymous only reveals their ignorance of the contents of my web site. However, this is a good way to get out of answering my simple question I posted to this thread at Watchman. Boy, they didn’t want to let me start asking sincere questions there! Anyway, I never denied putting a condom in Wilson’s mailbox and Wilson never alleged that I did. So that settles that allegation. Secondly, I have not “demanded evidence I know they don’t have” but rather asked a very simple question; and this is my response. Thirdly, Wilson said he knew it was me all along posting as Steve/Stacey; you have his direct testimony on written record. So much for that allegation. Fourthly, I never claimed that asserting “knew it was me” functioned as evidence.
I must say, this is an interested first attempt at punishing me for criticizing Fisher’s article. This Watchman-anonymous most likely knows full well that Wilson didn’t “catch me” doing anything, but is willing to go along with Wilson’s lies to sling mud. Brother.
More disturbing, however, is the lengthy comment from Watchman himself; of course, Watchman could be five people, or he could just be Bill Clinton’s attorney having some fun. Who knows? But here is what he/she/they write:
Over time the mountain of evidence will be piled up high and methodically arranged for everyone to see for themselves, and, we predict, Mr. Metzler will be shamed into silence for his rush to judgment. That being the case we view it as strategically wise to move forward, rather than allow ourselves to get bogged down in responding to an irrelevant critique by someone who possesses next to no knowledge of the subject matter that Mr. Fisher is addressing.
Apparently we’re not the only ones who have found ourselves on the receiving end of Mr. Metzler’s sometimes convoluted and hasty judgments, as well as the standards which he seeks to impose on everyone but himself. One of Metzler’s double standards is that his presence is felt intensely on many blogs, via his prolific commenting, and yet he won’t permit anyone to comment on his own blog. Granted, Mr. Metzler does have a policy of permitting anyone to submit an article to him, which he promises to post if it meets certain criteria. Needless to say we’ve seen precious few articles posted in the Wood that are in any substantive way in opposition to anything he’s ever written.
What many people don’t know is that someone recently mirrored Mr. Metzler’s blog. It can be found at Pooh’s Think with comments. Apparently someone is attempting to assist Mr. Metzler in his philosophy on free speech.
For those who’d like to comment on Metzler’s critique of Charlie Fisher’s article, Pooh’s Think With Comments is the logical place to do it, not here. I’m told that Metzler does read the comments there and does respond.
One other noteworthy spot that’s already broken out into some interesting related discussion, and which Metzler is participating in, is Indelible Grace.
Unfortunately, the Watchman is clearly trying to make me look really bad here, but in the process fails to assert anything true about me—I guess this is becoming the Watchman’s special internet craft. I’m afraid we are dealing with some unjust men here. The Watchman is reminding me more and more of Doug Wilson in these sorts of tactics. First, Watchman claims that I have “rushed to judgment,” and I will be “shamed” once I see all the “evidence” they really do have on Phillips. However, if you recall, there were Watchman affiliates involved with getting me more quality material on Phillips not long ago in the Wood. I have no doubt they have more evidence against Phillips. When have I ever suggested they didn’t? This says nothing to Fisher’s reporting and my criticism of Fisher’s reporting. And there has been nothing in my criticism that has been “rushed to judgment.” Rather, and this is the irony of all ironies, I am the only person currently on the world wide web who has diligently sought not rushing to judgment! Everyone else commenting on this boldly takes the side of one of the two parties; but given what Watchman has thus far put out, it is unjust to publicly embrace Jen Epstein’s story through Fisher, and it is certainly not unreasonable to stand by BCA’s credible and coherent denial of Fisher’s allegations.
Second, the Watchman lies about my prolific posting to blogs. Yet, I hardly ever do this, and I have probably posted to more blogs simply defending Frank Vance than any other time. What a just friend you have in Ministry Watchman! Maybe you could be next! What would happen if Jen Epstein wrote a critical post about a story Ministry Watchman puts out once they are through using her?
Third, the Watchman deceitfully crafts his rhetoric by claiming “I will not permit” people to post to my blog. This is silly, as I have already pointed out before. I simply don’t have comment sections as do many blogs at this time. I think comments are at times a bit silly actually (as attested to the fact that Wilson has recently been asked by many supporters to consider removing them altogether on his blog—and I think he certainly should given what he allows there). This is why I have preferred to give posting privileges to anyone who wants them. And yet the Watchman libelously insinuates that I reject material challenging to me. Well, I can certainly promise you I have never done this and I ask the Watchman to produce a single instance of this—while he leaves a link to my blog in moderation as we speak! The only email I have refused thus far was a trivial and silly request from Chris Witmer, and what looks like a set up to make it look like I don’t post upon request; his post addressed nothing posted on my blog, presented no argument or clear challenge, and was primarily comprised of an email I sent to him. And yet the Watchman libelously alleges that I employ inequitable standards of posting and further implies that I have sent away a good many challenging posts due to the lack of criticism on Pooh’s Think. However, I’m afraid that the Watchman gets far more criticism than me for reasons other than my posting standards (!).
The Watchman seems to play out of Wilson’s own playbook of rhetoric at places, and speaks about my “hasty,” “irrelevant,” and “convoluted” criticism. This is remarkable; I go from brilliant, careful, and profound supporter to internet dunce with one click of a mouse. Man, I must be derranged from spiritual abuse; I just go from one cult to another, each ready to go from praise to vicious blame as soon as I critique the wrong guy or the wrong issue. Metzler is brilliant….Metzler is stupid. Metzler is right….Metzler is mentally ill and doesn’t know what he is talking about. Metzler is a good guy….Metzler viciously turned on the Epsteins. And so it goes; we play the music but you don’t dance! Kill him! But this is good. Let the reader go look at the nature of my criticism and decide for themselves. But one thing is clear: the Watchman wants to press all the right emotional buttons for Christ Church members, which is clear in his carefully chosen language. This is shear sophistry and politics and has nothing to do with truth seeking and accountability.
In sum, it is clear that the Watchman is refusing links to my blog now, and will wash me over with insult and link to every critical remark about me on the world wide web before answering a simple question from me. It is clear that he/she/they does(do) not want me a part of this discussion about Phillips and the Epsteins at all. The extent of the Watchman’s double standards is obtuse at this point. One day I have the red carpet and then the next day I’m unjustly censured from their site – only after offering one post criticizing their last post. I have more to say, but I will wait until the Watchman ups their smear campaign against me another notch. I want the story about their initiation of unjust reactions to be historically clear once the dust has settled.
P.S. And no, it is not true that I visit this carbon copy web site; it has probably been weeks since I looked at that copy carbon version of Pooh’s Think, and even before then I would show up only to find people posting as other known people, attempting to deceive me and the reader; who ever was attracted to that site was not interested in truth, so I gave up even looking at it. This is more evidence about the way Watchman uses “sources.” I do hope I don’t need to analyze Vance’s work further in light of this new evidence.