Bob Jones III Uses Chapel To Blast “Bloggers Who Ruin Lives”, BJU Withholds Audio [UPDATED]

According to several witnesses in Chapel today and student tweets, Bob Jones III railed against “bloggers who ruin lives” during today’s service. The tirade was seemingly in response to the revelation made last week regarding former BJU Chief Branding Officer Joseph Bartosch.


BJU has so far declined to upload audio of this morning’s service to Sermon Audio, as it often does for Jones’s famous attacks. If the audio is ever uploaded we’ll update this post.


63 thoughts on “Bob Jones III Uses Chapel To Blast “Bloggers Who Ruin Lives”, BJU Withholds Audio [UPDATED]

  1. Frankie Lupica

    Once a blogger came really really really close to ruining my life. Then I turned off my computer and everything seemed to go fairly well.

  2. Mark Smith

    If Bob III gives “tirades”, what is a website dedicated to attacking those tirades called? Are you better or worse than Bob III?

    FYI I never attended BJU, and I do not attend a fundamental baptist church…

    1. Glen Lawson

      One difference is that when IIIrd speaks from the pulpit or from the chair in his office, he is always correct and students, faculty and churches are supposed to get in line with what he says. If “bloggers” question his statements, they are spiritually and morally deficient and well, wrong. He is not to be questioned because he holds the truth as it is to Fundamentalism, which is to say “true Christianity.”

      “Who goes the BJU not knowing the scrutiny they are subjecting themselves to?” You go to BJU thinking it will be like the 4 times a week you spend in your local fundamentalist church, your youth group or your Christian camp. You don’t realize the extent to which the spiritual judgementalism will pervade every facet of your life such as going to bed, waking up, and whether or not you remember to get the right kind of hair cut.

      You can’t view BJU as a static target, because it is constantly moving. When I was there is the mid 80’s, there were rigid lights out and rising BELLS. (yes, there were exemptions for certain on-campus jobs), ties before lunch, no jeans on front campus, and yes, nothing that resembles actual dating. As a 21 year old, I lived under stricter rules than I had as a 14 year old in my parents fairly strict home.

      You reach a point in your education where it is all you know and you don’t think of going anywhere else. At least when I graduated, my degree meant something. My BS from BJU was actually appreciated when I went to other colleges to apply for graduate work. I do not think that would be the case today.

      I enjoyed my time at BJU. I think I got a good education there. I learned how to think and came to realize that Christian belief is a spectrum and fundamentalism sits on part of the spectrum. But I would not for a moment consider letting my children attend there. That system of belief is just not where we are as a family.

      This entire thread has fascinated me. It is a characteristic of the BJU culture to assume a defensive position and attack when beliefs/attitudes are questioned. Fundamentalists refer to this as “apologetics.” I think you came to understand the futility of questioning the relationship of the BJIII/”DorightBJU” crowd when mid-way through the post Nazi-ism is referenced.

      1. 1911man

        Glen, well-said.

        BTW, the reference to Germany I made was an effort, obviously not wise on my part, to answer Mark Smith’s point that he met two kinds of BJU grads, those who liked BJU and those that did not like BJU. I was attempting, clumsily and in-artfully I admit, to make the point that the issues plaguing BJU weren’t simply based upon personal preferences, i.e.: “There are two kinds of acts, good and evil…Mature Christians exercise their senses to discern both good and evil. (Heb.5:14) Yes, while at BJU, I saw both good and evil. Emotional attachment to BJU is not the relevant dividing issue concerning BJU/Jonesianism.”

        Your comment, “…pervade every facet of your life…” just about sums up Jonesianism.


      2. Mark Smith

        Thanks for your civil response Glen. It was truly refreshing.

        When I mentioned that life at BJU was regulated (sleeping, dating,etc) I was ridiculed for not knowing what I was talking about…seems like I was closer to the mark than certain people let on! 😉

        What is truly fascinating to me is that people like Mark, ie 1911man, are surprised to find evil at a place like BJU. Evil is everywhere on the earth. Yes, even in the church. Shoot, Judas was a disciple of Jesus! I think people associated with BJU really think they are perfect, and the students must buy into it as well. Then, they realize that isn’t the case. Next thing you know the sky has fallen.

  3. Tara-Lee Green

    lol. Just a year ago, BJU were cranky because bloggers would let them get away with supporting rape enabler Chuck Phelps, and then they had to invite GRACE to investigate their many decades of alleged abuse cover-ups. Now bloggers hold them accountable when they employ somebody who pleaded guilty to prostitute solicitation as their chief branding officer (that’s a brand to be proud of!)

    Considering the scrutiny BJU’s students are living under constantly (ask Chris Peterman what that was like) BJU should be ok with this, right?

    Maybe BJU should just start doing the right thing?

    1. Mark Smith

      Who goes the BJU not knowing the scrutiny they are subjecting themselves to? I am continually flabergasted by people who go to BJU, then complain about not being able to date, curse, eat fast food in the dorm, or sleep in late…If you wanted to do those things why not go to another university?

      1. Waldo

        Wait, wait, wait. Who said we can’t eat fast food in the dorm? Everybody does that… including me.
        Sleep in late? Well, they get all retentive if you miss a class, but if you don’t schedule morning classes, you can sleep in until 10:50 for chapel at 11:00.

      2. Mark Smith

        Waldo, my info must be old. I was under the impression from various websites and talking with BJU grads from back in the day, that you had to be in bed by 10pm (or some other set time), and up no later than 6am (or some other early time).

      3. 1911man

        Mark Smith, I’m flabbergasted that you seem so confident in your posts when it’s obvious that you don’t know that of which you speak. Waldo’s right. I had a roommate who had graveyard security. We tried to be quiet in the AM and let him sleep until chapel. And, we pigged out on junk food in the dorm. And, I dated quite a few girls when I was there. Curses, however, were a no-no.

      4. Mark Smith

        My post was intended as humorous…stretching the truth for emphasis.

        Seriously though, a good friend is a 1982 BJU grad. No dating except to walk around the circle or whatever, lights out early, up early. There is even a website on how to survive BJU that described this!

      5. Mark Smith

        By date I mean the usual definition. Can a male BJU student swing by the female dorm, pick up a date, drive out into town, eat a meal together, go see a PG13 movie, then go to the lake and sit on a towel watching the sun set. Then return the lass after midnight?

  4. Andrea

    Abusers always attack people who betray their secrets. Abusers always try to silence and control. @Mark Smith, instead of shooting the messenger, you might want to direct your focus back to the message which BJU sends out, rather than aligning with people who try to silence dissent.

    1. Mark Smith

      I am not shooting the messenger. I am pointing out that when you point your finger at someone, 4 point in your direction…If you say Bob III rants, maybe you should consider if you have a fixation about him yourself!!!

      1. Mark Smith

        My point John, is to maybe get people to stop leveling charges around using words like “tirade”, “rapist enabler”, etc…when you yourself go on tirades, and don’t know the full details of events. Its easy to throw bombs.

      2. 1911man

        Mark Smith, not sure why you are accusing others of not “knowing the full details of events” as you seem to be the least informed person on this thread regarding BJU/Bob Jones III.

      3. Andrea

        I never said he rants. I said that he tries to silence dissent. And by your “four fingers pointing back at you” statement, no one would be allowed to talk about injustice for fear of having four fingers pointing back at themselves (which is evidintly something horrific ) There are times when people should speak out against injustice. Whether you buy into it or not, nobody really cares.

    2. Mark Smith

      1911man, can I please see the crystal ball that you use to know the full details of what happened in Chris Peterman’s life? I’ve seen screen captures of his facebook pages from before the expulsion and they aren’t exactly Christ-like! Or Tara __ (forgot last name), or Charles Phelps. You can read Charles Phelps’ mind, to KNOW that he hid the girl to avoid the church being investigated? Because if you have such a device you need to share it with the police.

      If you hang out at anti-BJU websites you find people claiming that they experienced cover-up of rapes multiple times in fundamental baptist churches. Well if they did shame on THEM. Emphasis on THEM. If you KNOW a girl was raped it is your moral obligation to report it. I think they would have if they KNEW. No, they don’t know because neither would I in their situation. They don’t have crystal balls. But it is easy to attack what you are no longer supportive of, so its all BJUs fault. Its all Bob III’s fault.

      Meanwhile, I ask for specific examples of how students are hurt at BJU by the culture there, and nothing but the above is presented except a letter complaining about a Mason on the board in the 1970s.

      I am still waiting to hear what the main problem is about BJU. All I have gotten is that Bob III is a hypocrite…well, wonder of all wonders, a human being isn’t perfect. Who would’ve thought!!!!!!

      1. 1911man

        Mark Smith, really don’t know what you are talking about, do you? No crystal ball, Dude. If all you got from reading Charles Underwood’s letter is Masonry, then either your reading comprehension level is extraordinarily low or you simply don’t want to acknowledge truth or admit how things operate at BJU. Phelps story never passed the ‘smell test’. A preacher who would force a 13-year-old to “apologize” under such conditions does not deserve the trust of a pastorate. A preacher who brought Tina and the (now-convicted) rapist before the church without warning the parents of girls about the rapist, has no business ‘tending flock’. Nowhere have I seen information indicating Phelps informed the congregation that there was a pedophile within the midst. Nowhere have I seen evidence that the (now-convicted) rapist was monitored to insure the safety of other children by his staff. I have no problem with new information, Dude. Re.: who was hurt by BJU, after you read the interracial link I provided you, tell me if Steve Keyes, Wayne Golson, Jackie and Gerald (I believe) were hurt by BJU/Bob III? Send the screen-shots you have of Chris’ Facebook to this site with instructions for them to email them to me. Again, where do you teach and is your name really “Mark Smith”?

  5. Annette

    I agree with Tara-Lee about the scrutiny aspect – once you get on the suspect list, the scrutiny is intense – practically ANY student would accumulate sufficient demerits for elevated disciplinary action with that sort of scrutiny. This also relates to the transparency issue. The internet has helped moved the world out of the secrecy of the past, and those who have nothing to hide do not mind. Those who recognize that there is more than one way of looking at things also don’t mind that the opportunity to express those views exists nor that others disagree with them. Perhaps they think that bloggers ruined this staff member’s life. I would say that his own criminal conviction has more to do with that than what people are saying about it. It’s time for BJIII to chill and accept this level of disagreement and scrutiny. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Living in his own little bubble university has lulled him into thinking that he can live in a world where everyone agrees with him (or should or they are “wrong”).

  6. formerfundy1992

    A question for Bob Jones III – Just exactly how many lives have YOU personally, and the university as a whole ruined??? I personally know of many!

    As your grandfather said “No doubt, the problem is with YOU!”

    1. Mark Smith

      Can you describe one example (please don’t use a dramatic example of rape, etc., but a more normal one) of how BJU ruins lives. I genuinely am seeking to learn.

      1. 1911man

        I’m not sure what FF1992 means by “ruined” and I don’t pretend to answer for him. I would refer you to Charles Underwood’s Open Letter to Bob Jones III, as it details the Jonesian-way of dealing harshly in the lives of others. The expulsion of Chris Peterman certainly was not right…wait until he has paid for the last semester and then expel him after BJU has been paid? The Interracial Dating Ban, institutionalized racism and bigotry. Whether or not that “ruined” lives, I do not know. However, two staffers were fired because their church accepted a married, mixed-race couple. Churches, students, applicants, etc., were blackballed over this University’s rules and teachings on this issue only to have Bob III deny any of it happened on Larry King Live! BJU’s ever shifting position on Armenianism/Calvinism, the Masonry controversy, and any number of men whose ministries have been ruined by the Joneses/BJU because they didn’t stand with BJU on thus and such issue.

    2. Mark Smith

      So you’re talking theological/doctrine issues, like calvinisnm vs Arminianism, what are Masons, etc., as opposed to ruining people just for being rule breakers. That is that people are drummed out of the university for drinking, cursing, using facebook, etc.

  7. don

    I’ve often wondered how Jonestown will operate in the Internet age of transparency when they can’t keep things under control. Evidently it isn’t going too well.

  8. Mark Smith

    Just to be clear. I served in the Marine Corps four years to pay for college, then attended only secular institutions earning a BS, MS, and a PhD. Let me assure you that HYPOCRITS ARE EVERYWHERE!

    1. Mark Fitzhenry

      Tara, Annette, ff1992, and Don got it right. And, they didn’t need to brag about how smart they think they are or use CapLok to make their points! Yes, Mark Smith, hypocrites are everywhere. Christ obviously knew this. Note His interaction with the woman at the well as contrasted with his treatment of the rich young ruler (Christ simply could not help this self-righteous religious hypocrite) and the Pharisees. If one will take an objective look, one will see a marked differences between Christ’s attitude toward common hypocrites and religious hypocrites. In fact, the differences are so obvious that even a self-proclaimed educated expert should recognize that religious hypocrites garnered special Matthew 23-level attention and passion from Christ and his disciples. Unlike you, I am a BJU grad. As such, I have witnessed, first- and second-hand, the patented self-righteous religious hypocrisy practiced at BJU. As a recipient of Jonesian hypocrisy, I know – experientially – that there is a huge difference between an institution having rules and an institution using those rules as weapons against those who point the Nathanic finger at the Joneses/BJU. I suspect ff1992 and I could both list many people who have been wounded by the Bob’s, BJU, their minions, and the leaven of religious hypocrisy that they have sown over the years. A Great Man once taught that “every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” Welcome to the internet-age, Bob Jones III!

  9. Mark Smith

    Mark Fitzhenry, I meet 2 kinds of BJU grads. Those that love the place, had a great experience there, etc. And then people like you. They condemn the place as full of religious hypocrisy and as a sewer that destroys lives.

    I don’t know you, so can you please just help me understand. Rape allegations aside since they are serious criminal charges and, presumably, relatively rare events. What happens at BJU on a daily basis that makes it a sewer that destroys lives? I seriously want to learn what you think.

    1. Mark Fitzhenry

      Mark Smith, I am sure there were people in 1939 Germany that loved the place and others who thought it a sewer that ruined lives. There are two kinds of acts, good and evil and there are but three sins, lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Mature Christians exercise their senses to discern both good and evil. (Heb.5:14) Yes, while at BJU, I saw both good and evil. Emotional attachment to BJU is not the relevant dividing issue concerning BJU/Jonesianism. I have no interest in spending time debating someone who thinks that the issues surrounding BJU come down to the emotional attachment to an institution and its owners and staff. But, if you are a sincere truth-seeker who is willing to familiarize himself with a subject that he wishes to debate, Google Open Letter From Charles Underwood to Bob Jones III. Yes, it’s from 1983. But, in truth, the pattern of hypocrisy detailed by CU hasn’t changed very much over the years. Give me your assessment of the letter as it pertains to the Jonesian treatment of people, biblical truth, consistency, hypocrisy, etc. Then, Google BJU and The Interracial Dating Controversy. I believe I wrote this about the subject in three or four (painfully long) missives. I wrote the articles, first, because BJU’s handling of the interracial dating controversy revealed in a dramatic fashion the Jonesian leaven of hypocrisy that I had observed in other areas. Secondly, I wrote the article because BJU’s interracial dating ban hurt innumerable lives. Christ cautioned agains religious hypocrisy by calling it a “leaven” that affects all it touches. He well-spoke because BJU’s interracial dating ban spread like leaven through its constituency. After you have researched that, and you have given your assessment (good or evil) of those things and “religious hypocrisy” and the reports that you have fielded stating that BJU is a “sewer that destroys lives”, then I would be happy to share my opinions with you. But, please know that if we communicate, it will involve a two-way exchange of ideas and questions. I will answer all of your questions, with absolute intellectual honesty and one at a time. However, I will expect you to answer my questions, with absolute intellectual honesty one at a time, as well or I will not waste time communicating with you.

      1. 1911man

        You studiously avoided my point, ie., whether or not the conduct of the organization is good or evil. Your representation that there are “two kinds of BJU grads” designedly avoids the core issue as to the nature of BJU as an organization. My point was, “Emotional attachment to BJU is not the issue concerning BJU/Jonesianism.” I loved the place while I was there!! When I found out how they treated people and dealt with issues, I was forced to change my mind. In what field is your degree?

      2. Mark Smith

        Are Mark Fitzhenry and 1911man the same person?

        OK, I read the open letter, and quite a bit of discussion about it. I am also generally aware of the inter-racial debacle.

        I am seeking what happens in the daily lives of students. To hear the rants around here, people on a daily basis are subjected to hypocrisy and insults. I thought that was the destruction. If the hypocrisy is that in the 1970s some Masons were on the board…well I guess there is some hyperbole in use.

      3. Mark Smith

        My degrees are in mathematics and physics. I am a faculty member at a secular university. What is interesting is the university I teach at has a president who has served for 16+ years. There are factions here too. Some love him, others hate him. Former employees have started anti- President X websites, listing the hypocrisy of the president and the institution. Sound familiar???

      4. 1911man

        Mark Smith, the best way one can find out what happens daily at BJU is to attend as a student. I am mystified as to why you, as a math teacher at another school and someone who professes no affiliation at all with BJU/the Joneses, would bother commenting on this blog. Why do you care about BJU and why act interested in issues that have never affected you? Why question other posters’ credibility and veracity, particularly those who have attended BJU and had dealings with the Jonesians? You accused one poster of not knowing “the full details of events”! As I have reviewed your comments, you yourself are clearly the least informed commenter with the least factual posts. Your uses of innuendo and ‘straw man’ comparisons is pitifully unpersuasive. You claim to teach at another university where “[f]ormer employees have started anti- President X websites, listing the hypocrisy of the president and the institution. Sound familiar???” What is your point, Mark Smith, other than to side-step the central elements and substance of comments pointing out BJU’s/the Joneses’ hypocrisy, duplicity, and harsh treatment of students and staff at BJU? When a BJU-grad speaks of hypocrisy with respect to BJU/the Joneses, it almost invariably involves religious hypocrisy. Had you attended BJU or taken steps to know the “full details” of its educational and religious philosophy, you would know that BJU represents itself to be a thoroughly religious institution which teaches that “there is no difference between the secular and sacred”. You seem to be trying to lump this blog in with blogs involving your school. What SPECIFICALLY links those blogs with ones like this? What SPECIFICALLY has the besieged ex-president at your secular school done that ‘sounds familiar’ and links the unwarranted criticism he is receiving with that leveled at BJ III? Did your school’s president do things like banning interracial dating, make students sign a rulebook agreeing to abide by the ban each year, preach the ban as an immutable scriptural principle in chapel, publish pamphlets in support of the ban, have his staff teach the ban to his students, fire staff over the ban, tell the local newspaper he would never lift the ban due to its biblical-basis, and then go on Larry King Live and say he never tried to support the ban from the Bible? Sorry, Mark Smith, but I cannot accept as intellectually honest a brand of discourse based upon nothing more than connivance, innuendo, and ‘straw men’, constitutes intellectual honesty. By the way, where do you teach and is Mark Smith your real name?

      5. Mark Smith

        OK, the real problem is the inter-racial ban. I got it.

        That aside, why the personal attak? I am not attacking you personally. I am an outside observer. I have known many who attended BJU. Some love it, some thought it was just ok. As an observer of human behavior the love/hate relationship at BJU is fascinating to me. I am not attacking anyone, simply trying to understand.

        The main thing I am trying to understand, and apparently this hasn’t been clear, is whether the problem at BJU is just from the top, you keep bringing up Bob IIIs problems for example, or is it the everyday student experience with other students and faculty, etc.

      6. Mark Smith

        I will agree, 1911man, that the inter-racial relationship policy was nothing but a feature of the southern culture that BJU humg on to. It was NEVER right or Biblical.

      7. 1911man

        Mark Smith, your comment, “Intellectual honesty includes starting with mentioning Nazi Germany?” was way, way out of line with the context. I was attempting to re-direct your attention to the underlying issues (the evaluation of good behavior v. evil behavior) rather than to frame the discussion as simply being one of equally valid personal likes and dislikes and emotional attachment. My point was: “Mature Christians exercise their senses to discern both good and evil. (Heb.5:14) Yes, while at BJU, I saw both good and evil. Emotional attachment to BJU is not the relevant dividing issue concerning BJU/Jonesianism.” For you to ignore the point, and everything else I wrote, and paint my comments as a wacky reference to Nazism borders on irrationality.
        You said, “I will agree, 1911man, that the inter-racial relationship policy was nothing but a feature of the southern culture that BJU humg on to. It was NEVER right or Biblical.” I don’t believe I can agree with that. Yes, Bob Jones Sr. had KKK ties, but until the LK Live interview, the Joneses always based their dating ban on the Bible. If you will take the time to go to: perhaps many of your questions will be answered and you will be informed enough to see that the Joneses/BJU handle practically every issue that comes down the pike, religious, interpersonal, etc., in a distinctive Jonesian way. It’s a well-established pattern of behavior that is not limited to a single issue.

      8. Mark Smith

        I’m saying BJU sinned by using the Bible to defend inter-racial dating and marriage ban. The Bible simply does not support denying inter-racial relationships as a general rule.

  10. Mark Smith

    I am also trying to understand if the problem with BJU, as the average poster here understands it, is with the high leadership (Bob III, Deans, board, etc), or is the real problem the run of the mill student leader making life miserable in the dorms by pointing out small problems like shirt not being tucked in, while they themselves have serious moral failings that no one catches.

    1. 1911man

      Mark, some of the dorm supes are very fine, mature, discerning, sincere, fair-minded people. Yes, in my day there were a couple of petty, over-zealous, hypocritical guys. Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s, said, ‘Of all the things a leader does, nothing is more important than setting a good example.” I believe the leaven of hypocrisy at BJU started from the top and worked its way down to the student body. At least, that is the way it affected me. And, I was wholly unaware of its affect on me and on my faith. Up until 1991 or ’92, if anyone uttered a negative remark about the Joneses or BJU to me, I would simply dis-believe it and take great comfort in my own ‘spiritual superiority’ to the one who failed to see the spiritual superiority of everything Jones.

  11. Mark Smith

    Do fundamentalists really think the Jones’ hover above the ground as they walk? He is a man like you. He sins. He does good. He needs Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

  12. Andrea

    A guy named Mark Smith who feels the need to let everyone know (for no applicable reason) that he has a PhD and degrees in math and physics….oh and was also a marine. Sounds legit.

    1. Mark Smith

      Andrea, thank you for your humble spirit. It is refreshing. Your love and grace flows out of the internet into my heart.

      A poster had asked what my degrees were in since I said I worked as a college faculty member. The point about the Marine Corps (and in colleges) was to say that I had worked in large institutions and found people to be, in general, hypocrites, me included.

      1. Andrea

        Funny, I wasn’t trying for any of those things, but that’s awesome that you want to police my “spirit” I imagine that you’ll find it doesn’t match up to your standards. And sorry but I don’t believe your credentials. In the world of the internet, yours sound a little magical.

      2. Mark Smith

        Andrea, I can verify every credential, but why does it matter to you? Is it impossible that a Marine earned a PhD. I don’t get it. Why the attack?

  13. Mark Smith

    I will leave you all now. Obviously, most of the posters here feel Bob III is some special evil kind of person. Since I never went to BJU, I can never know how evil he truly is. Apparently, BJU exists to train men to help other rape girls, and to ruin people’s lives. I truly hope you all can learn to get some perspective one day, and to move on.

    That being said, I do not give Bob III a pass. BJU made mistakes. The inter-racial policy was definitely one. There were others, but not worth typing out. Regardless, I hope you all can learn to move on rather than to burn with hate at BJU. It is obvious that many of you do.

    As far as Tara ____, I still don’t see, reading all that is available, watching the ABC report, etc, how so many are absolutely convinced that Chuck Phelps led a conspiracy to cover it up. But, most of you do. So be it.

    Have a blessed day and may you lean on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

  14. 1911man

    I suspect “Mark Smith” obviously not his name, was simply a troll. Mark Smith, you only saw what you wanted to see, ignored what did not comport with your personal views, and twisted and distorted everything else. You also have an irritating knack for taking a set of facts or statements and drawing from them the most absurd, unsupported, intellectually dishonest conclusions. Ridicule seems to be your chief tool in civil discourse. Conspiracy with Phelps? Not sure if anyone said that. Phelps’ handling of the church meeting (the one with the rapist and Tina asking the congregation for “forgiveness” where the rapist merely confessed to unspecified ‘unfaithfulness’ to his wife without mentioning that he had RAPED and IMPREGNATED the underaged girl who was sharing the platform with him and Phelps that night) constituted, at best, a deceptive cover-up. The fact that Phelps never warned the congregation or the visiting parents of teen girls that a known (and, eventually convicted) pedophile was roaming freely within the midst would disqualify him to be my pastor. You seem to have all the answers Dr. Smug and Condescending. Can you explain why a pastor would allow a known pedophile unfettered access to other unsuspecting girls and why anyone with young daughters should ever trust Phelps as a pastor? Oh, I remember, you don’t answer questions; you just ask them!

    1. Mark Smith

      1911, first, I am avoiding nothing, as you imply. The Tara situation is an interesting one, but it isn’t a great example of sexual abuse cover-ups supposedly happening at BJU. Why? First, Tara never attended BJU. Phelps’ only direct connection was that he was on the board. Guilt by association? So, I don’t get why, even if Phelps covered up a crime, how that directly related to BJU. A board member would’ve done a crime…nothing more or less.

      Second, none of the offenses happened at the church, limiting the role Phelps and the church had in the crime.

      Third, and its been a while since I read up on the situation so I am going from memory, the situation was chaotic at best. Tara was 15/16 as I recall, I’ve heard both, and I honestly don’t know what her age was. You claimed above that she was 13. That was wrong. Tara was from a “broken” home. Either her father or step-father, was serving time for child abuse…She takes a job as a baby sitter. At this point accounts differ. Tara now claims she was raped by the man. OK. At the time reports said she was consentually involved in a relationship with him. Now we can argue whether she could consent, and that is fair, but I think she told her mother and Phelps that it was consentual. Phelps reports it, but Tara did not want to talk to the police…that is why the police couldn’t further pursue the case originally. So the issue got dropped by the police. Phelps sends the girl to Colorado to have the kid, and life went on.

      Phelps also had some kind of public meeting to report that the man had sinned, and also Tara. In these situations, as a pastor you have to be careful. You just can’t announce “Joe here raped a girl…so watch out”. That would open you up to lawsuits! Also, reports disagree as to what Tara did at that meeting. She claims she had to say she had sex, Phelps doesn’t (as I recall). I don’t know what happened.

      To me, Phelps acted as a Pastor who thought the man had a “consentual” affair with a 16 year old girl. Ugly, but these things happen. It was not Phelps job to prosecute the guy. You also cannot announce that someone is a rapist. What you could do is ban a person from the property. I think Phelps didn’t do that because he thought the relationship was consentual.

      So, to me, it was an ugly situation with no great answer. I am sure there are other more clear cut examples of abuse out there, Tara’s wasn’t. In my opinion Phelps did a reasonable job and I don’t see how this directly connects to BJU.

  15. 1911man

    Mark Smith, you back already?

    Thot you had taken your final bow with that parting pot-shot at the blog’s commenters, mis-guided haters, in your eyes: “Regardless, I hope you all can learn to move on rather than to burn with hate at BJU. It is obvious that many of you do.”

    You wrote: “As far as Tara ____, I still don’t see, reading all that is available, watching the ABC report, etc, how so many are absolutely convinced that Chuck Phelps led a conspiracy to cover it up. But, most of you do. So be it.”

    Who is “Tara”? Do you mean Tina Anderson? Who is “Joe”? Do you mean Ernest Willis? You started undermining your credibility right from the start. You either didn’t read “all that is available, watching the ABC report, etc.,” or you are simply unable to comprehend and interpret facts.

    You claim to be a “Good speller” but the word is spelled “consensual”.

    You wrote: “You claimed above that she was 13. That was wrong.” I referred to “the underaged girl”. Tina was “15” according to the Concord Monitor (CM) and was not of age to engage in consensual sex.

    You wrote: “Tara now claims she was raped by the man. OK.” What is “OK” about being raped, Mark Smith?

    The CM reports a different story than the one you are trying to paint. I guess, with reading “all that is available…” you missed this news flash: “Ernest Willis, 51, of Gilford was arrested last week and charged with two counts of rape and two counts of having sex with a minor. The woman said Willis raped her twice, once while he was teaching her to drive and a second time in her Concord home while her family was away.”

    You seem to have missed – in your exhaustive reading of all that is available – the details included in the report that Willis was convicted: “Willis, 52, of Gilford, was found guilty of three counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and one count of felonious sexual assault for raping Tina Anderson twice in 1997, when she was his 15-year-old babysitter.”

    You make a vague, unsupported claim: “Phelps also had some kind of public meeting to report that the man had sinned, and also Tara…Also, reports disagree as to what Tara did at that meeting. She claims she had to say she had sex, Phelps doesn’t (as I recall).” However, the CM reported: “Anderson, Phelps and former church members agree that Anderson appeared before the congregation as Phelps read a letter written for her as an apology for putting herself in a compromising position by not distancing herself from Willis. Anderson describes the experience as having to ask for forgiveness for getting pregnant. Phelps said the public apology was not a shaming but an opportunity for church members to reach out to Anderson. Willis, who Phelps says he believed would be arrested shortly, was asked to apologize to the congregation for being unfaithful to his wife.” In Tina’s police report, she indicates that the congregation was deceived by not being told the connection between Willis, whose “marital infidelity” consisted of raping Tina, and Tina, who got pregnant by being raped! She also indicated she was shipped off to Colorado within a few days of Phelps learning of the rape, certainly not evidence that Phelps had informed the police Tina was being moved out of their jurisdiction post haste.

    You said: “In these situations, as a pastor you have to be careful. You just can’t announce “Joe here raped a girl…so watch out”. That would open you up to lawsuits!” Ernest admitted to having sex with, and impregnating, Tina, an underaged minor, to Phelps. Phelps knew the baby was Ernie’s. The truth is an affirmative defense for slander. No, it’s better not to tell the parents their is a child predator in the church – in the community as well – who is a faithful tither!

    You wrote: “You also cannot announce that someone is a rapist. What you could do is ban a person from the property. I think Phelps didn’t do that because he thought the relationship was consentual…In my opinion Phelps did a reasonable job and I don’t see how this directly connects to BJU.”

    Willis gave a tacit admission of (statutory) rape when he admitted to fathering the baby with an underaged minor. By not warning the parents and teens of Willis’ admitted behavior, Phelps violated the trust the parents and children put in him as their pastor. By not warning others, Phelps allowed a child rapist unfettered access to the children in the church and in the community. The jury, after hearing all the testimony, didn’t believe Ernie’s “consensual sex” story at all.

    Mark Smith, after observing your low regard for truth and facts, and the sloppy, haphazard way you assemble and process information, your opinions don’t carry much weight with regard to Phelps and whether or not he should be on BJU’s board. Maybe you can recommend him to the board of your school if you think he’s such an upright fellow.

    Not hiding anything, eh, Mark Smith? I still haven’t received that special, incriminating information you claimed you had which discredited Chris Peterman and proved how just and upright BJU was for expelling him. And, what is your real name and where do you teach?

    “Mark Smith,” next time you choose an identity and renew posting comments on this site about BJU and all the ‘haters’ who invent petty, trivial, or untrue things to dislike about BJU, why not make up a more entertaining identity for yourself? A Marine Math teacher at a plain ol’ secular school isn’t exciting. Maybe you could claim to be the Navy Seal who killed Osama bin “Tara” Laden and that you are now a CIA spook who poses as an Ivy League professor with a Phd. in fiction writing or Eastern Mysticism!

    Whoever you really are, I think you should work for BJU in its new WorldWideWeb Blog Psy-ops and Counter-Measures Department. Talk about a master at “branding”. Your only motives for commenting on this site seemed to be to stroke your own ego or “brand” everyone here as a “hater”.

    1. Mark Smith

      Also, my name is Mark Smith…hard to believe, huh. Do you know how insulting that is? I am a Marine Corps veteram, 1993-1997. I earned a BS, MS, and PhD. I won’t mention the name of the college I work at because it is simply none of your business.

      What is your name 1911man? Where do you work?

      I never said Phelps did everything right. I never said I had evidence that exonerated BJU in the Chris Peterman situation. If you want to see screen captures of his facebook go to Sharper Iron. That is where I saw them. I have no inside information. I have ABSOLUTELY NO CONNECTION to BJU or Bob III.

      I’m just a fool who thought he’d dialogue on the internet. For that, I apologize for bothering you! Go back to your BJU hating. It suits you well 1911man.

  16. Mark Smith

    Wow…I intended to not comment any more after that post you referred to, but I realized I hadn’t commented on the Tina situation as you asked. Yes, I wrote Tara. I got the name twisted in my head. Sorry. My mistake. I realize now that the internet is not a good format to discuss this. You simply misinterpret everything I write. I assume that if we were in person I could make my points clear, but, alas, as you think I am a phantom person, that cannot be.

    My reference to “Joe” was “Joe Blow”, a generic person. In the specific Tina case, at the time of the meeting, the police were still investigating. You simply can’t stand up in a church and say “someone has accused Tom (generic person’s name) of rape. So, we’re kicking him out of the church. I recommend you avoid him”. Surely you know that sir…

    Why all the focus on spelling. Who really cares if a typist messes up now and then. Really??? Is this site a term paper?

    In all sincerity, the point of mentioning a PhD and the Marine Corps was to show my experience in education and in large organizations so as to counteract not having attended BJU. It was not to be arrogant or condescending. However, the problem seems to be that I don’t agree with you, so I must be wrong.

    My intent in posting here over the last year was to learn what people who are opposing Bob III and BJU think. I have tried to learn what the issues are. What I have found is when you ask you get attacked…which is curious.

  17. 1911man

    Your statement: “someone has accused Tom (generic person’s name) of rape. So, we’re kicking him out of the church. I recommend you avoid him”. Surely you know that sir…” Your fact pattern – obviously designed to deflect attention from Phelps’ – doesn’t fit the fact pattern involving Phelps, Willis, Tina, their church.

    Ernie Willis told Phelps he was the one who impregnated Tina, a 15 year old girl. Such a confession would not give rise to a [counter] claim that Phelps had made a wild, unsubstantiated, slanderous accusation against Ernie: Ernie admitted to Phelps that Ernie rape and impregnated Tina Anderson, an underaged girl. Can’t be any clearer than that, Dude.

    The problem is that you are either intentionally dissembling to prove that Phelps acted properly, have an utter disregard for established facts, or you don’t have the wit or will to understand newspaper-level English. I’ve concluded that, hard as you “have tried to learn what the issues are” that you probably are, for whatever reason, unable to learn. You feel attacked because you kept ignoring facts, had an irritating habit of drawing absurd, illogical, and apparently self-serving conclusions that had not connection with reality.

    Peace and Grace.

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  19. Carleton

    BJU is one of the most consistent and largest advertisers in World Magazine over the past year — they routinely have two full-page ads, often in the most expensive spots. No other school is doing anything close to this. What is ironic is that in all this advertising, a school would typically want to highlight their “big names” and what name is bigger at BJU than Bob Jones? He is there! Come to Bob Jones U and meet Bob Jones III, the highest ranking person in the school, and his son, Stephen Jones. But they don’t even make public BJIII’s chapel talks. It’s like for all the obligatory praise of the man, there is also the awareness that this is not the person they want to represent what going to school there is about. That is too bad — for everyone.

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  21. Steve Jones

    Sad for BJ and sad for Christians…Media has always mocked them and disgruntled students I see all the time cheering BJs woes as they seek to justify their current sinful lifestyle…
    BJs past character does not reflect a school that would knowingly shelter sex abusers…I think the stories I am hearing are not fairly executed and are reported as statements and tidbits without full disclosure…poor journalism … BUT…
    I hope the truth gets fairly thrust into the open…that BJ admits where wrong and that Christians stop the mud slinging… I’m for Grace and BJU reconnecting and bringing to light whatever….the world media will be all over it…be careful brothers and sisters for Christ’s sake!

  22. WWJD

    Talking to Mark Fitzhenry/1911 is like trying to explain something to a wall. I’ve met him in real life. He’s arrogant and petulant, unwilling to consider any point of view outside of his own. He will twist your words into something else entirely. His wife is the same way. They were actually excommunicated from a church for attacking them in a similar way, and they ended up trying to sue the church for “damages.” Super Christian of you, Mark. All the long-winded and essentially unsupported blog posts in the world do not give credence to your narrow-minded ideas–ideas you “support” with Biblical references taken out of context. You spend all your time looking for ways to prove (to everyone else as well as yourself) that you’re right, that’s you’re better than everyone else. Being so intolerant only makes what you say seem even less credible. Know that online and in real life you are impressing no one with your long-winded arguments. Your racist and sexist views (I’m referring to what I’ve heard in real-life conversations with you, not this thread exclusively) only alienate the people that you’re trying to impress. Actions speak louder than words. If you acted on your beliefs instead of blowing smoke about them for hours on end you might be one step closer to real Christianity and charity.

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