Tim Anderson Writes An Open Letter to Ken Smith

This letter is reposted from the I Support Tina Anderson blog.

Ken,

I’ve been trying to understand why you have taken this so personal. You’ve latched your teeth into Tina and I wish I knew why. You commented on the I Support Tina Anderson blog and yes, I read your comments even though we did not publish them. You said some hurtful things but I won’t take that personal. If you believe that Tina is lying, that is your choice. You may post that wherever someone will let you. I fought for our country so that you might have that freedom. I have contemplated for days if I should or would respond to you. Well, I decided that I would address a few things.

First, please read http://www.scribd.com/doc/44495191/Tina-Anderson-s-Statement-to-the-Concord-Police. This is a copy of what Tina wrote to the police when they called us on my birthday about a year and a half ago and asked her to give a statement of what happened. We stand by what she wrote and what she swore under oath that her statement to the police was truthful.

Second, there were a couple things that the newspapers got wrong. Where it came from, I don’t know but someone said that Ernie was a deacon. You’ll notice in the police report that Tina never called him a deacon and never said that in the couple of interviews that she gave. That issue was quickly addressed and corrected in future articles.

Third, you say Tina lied when she agreed with Elizabeth Vargas on 20/20 that she “lost” her job. You are correct that Tina was not fired from being a teacher. We never said that she had been fired. I understand how you and others could understand it that way. There was no willful intent to deceive. The word lost was used in the context of “no longer in the possession, care, or control of someone or something” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/lost) but it was not “lost” in the sense that it was taken away.

On purpose, we did not go into the details of why Tina put in her resignation. There were a lot of things that happened that made us realize that we could not continue at this church and school. This is the church that I grew up in since I was five years old. This is the place where I attended the Christian academy from kindergarten to 12th grade. This is the college that I achieved one of my bachelor’s degrees and almost completed my master’s degree (I’d have to complete three more classes). This is where I devoted over 20 years of my life. We chose to walk away. Although it’s been brought out by others, I don’t bring up the names of these organizations because I don’t want to drag them through the mud but it’s part of our life and it’s kind of hard to hide where you’ve spent about half of your life. I have deep feelings for that place. When I say I’ve “lost” friends, it means that us and them have chosen to part ways. It means that people I’ve known all my life and all the people that Tina got to know while she was there, don’t fellowship with us. Will some of those friendships be renewed? I don’t know, maybe. I still hold out hope. There are a couple families that we do see occasionally but six people out of hundreds is not very many.

Fourth, you’re concerned about The Tina Anderson Foundation and where does the money go and how much does Tina and I receive. There might be other concerns but I’ll address the one I know about. Tina and I do not receive any money from the foundation. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, during Christmas time, we were given gas money and our hotel room paid so that we could take a week’s vacation to spend time with friends out of state. The foundation also gave us some Christmas gifts that my kids still enjoy playing with. The purpose of the foundation is stated on the website. If people want to donate to help others, that is great! If people are not comfortable with donating to this foundation, don’t. This was set up to try and make a difference in people’s lives and to give a chance for others to help. I trust and support the people and their families who run the foundation. In fact, I love them like family. All of them have meant so much to me, my wife and my kids.

Finally, Ken. I know this will not answer all your questions and you may dismiss what I have to say. That is fine. I pray that God’s peace come upon you and that you have joy in your life. God has greatly blessed me and I pray that God will also bless you also.

Sincerely,

Tim Anderson

P.S. Darrell, I know a couple of people have asked that you remove Ken Smith from SFL. You do not have to remove him on mine or my wife’s account. Ken says that he’s standing up for what he thinks is right. As long as you are willing to allow him to post, it will not bother me.

21 thoughts on “Tim Anderson Writes An Open Letter to Ken Smith”

  1. It’s called the Backfire Effect.

    As David McRaney explains it: “When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger.”

    The more evidence presented to bolster Tina Anderson’s case or to weaken Fundyland’s claims to holiness, the more the Fundies will believe that Tina is a liar.

    It is a contradictory fact of human nature: evidence which disproves your fundamental ideologies serves to reinforce your biases.

    Read Smith’s latest comment on this site. Smith has to insist that Tina’s story and the evidence which proves it “doesn’t add up to every IFB in this country being in a cult.” He himself admits he is finding “chinks in the accusers (sic) stories.”

    These “chinks” are based on his personal experience, his personal observations, his personal opinions. But they are mainly his personal psychological defense against what he perceives as an attack on his person.

    Smith writes: “when I see whole groups of people denigrated and threatened for their beliefs” but he means that he, personally feels denigrated and threatened. Whether he is or is not is irrelevant, because this is going on in his psyche.

    This is why it is important that Tina’s Marine remain vigilant in his support and care for his wife. Tina’s story strikes a huge nerve, and her courage in standing up for truth is a double blow. Those who have confused their personal identity with the infallibility of fundamentalism and its leaders will lash out at her in a very human attempt not to rethink their own bias.

    And before anyone accuses me of being purely anti-Fundy, this is a human trait. If you are human, you are susceptible, too.

    1. I found myself doing this very thing when under the Hyles regime as a young lad…you just spelled it out almost perfectly, Christopher. Very interesting and something to always be mindful of.

      1. All right, since my overly long comment was only “almost” perfect, I get to add this: “People realize that humans deceive themselves, of course, but they don’t seem to realize that they too are human.”

      2. All right, since my overly long comment was only “almost” perfect, I get to add this from a New York Times article by Daniel Gilbert: “People realize that humans deceive themselves, of course, but they don’t seem to realize that they too are human.”

        PDF Link

        My second favorite quote from the article: “And yet, if decision-makers are more biased than they realize, they are less biased than the rest of us suspect. Research shows that while people underestimate the influence of self-interest on their own judgments and decisions, they overestimate its influence on others.”

    2. “Read Smith’s latest comment on this site. Smith has to insist that Tina’s story and the evidence which proves it “doesn’t add up to every IFB in this country being in a cult.” He himself admits he is finding “chinks in the accusers (sic) stories.”
      These “chinks” are based on his personal experience, his personal observations, his personal opinions. But they are mainly his personal psychological defense against what he perceives as an attack on his person.”

      Now son, that’s a whole lot of words for somebody to waste on being so off base. I almost had to chuckle a little bit.

      I’m not an IFB and the lies I caught this group telling (some which were admitted to, some were excused away, and some still dangle out there) had nothing at all to do with me personally or really even in any situation I’d been involved in personally.

      But rights right and wrong is still wrong. Being a victim of something, even if it’s rape of incest don’t give you no right to start libeling good people in churches across this land as pedophiles in a conspiracy and calling those good Christian people cult members.

      Ya’ll had a better case against the mythical IFB hydra” before you went to Crazy Town on the Crazy Train. And you had a much better case before you started sitting back and urging on a woman to fight your battles when she obviously wasn’t on level ground enough to fight her own. Then a bunch of ya’ll started stabbing her in the back when she started going bat s*** crazy. When she needed your help and some honest advice to get control of herself instead of going off the rails, a bunch of you’ll just gave her the keys and the money she needs to get the tank filled than watched shaking your heads while she drove your cause over the cliff.

      Don’t blame me because ya’ll imploded and lost over half the members at the Facebook site.

      1. “Now son, that’s a whole lot of words for somebody to waste on being so off base. I almost had to chuckle a little bit.”

        See this? This here’s condescension. It makes you sound like an asshole.

        Oh, and the southern grammatical devolution thing you’re doing doesn’t make you sound any less disingenuous.

  2. Thanks for this. I wish I had seen it earlier. I just wasted a bunch of time trying to respond rationally to Ken Smith’s irrationality. Should have just let it be…..

  3. Exactly AmazedByGrace
    It is simply unconscienable that Mr. Ken could say the things he’s saying…
    This reminds me of my father. You can state the truth till you are blue in the face but because of their close-minded, narrow view of the world (which of course if the definition of a cult) they are simply unable to grasp reality. Truth=Reality.

    and then…and then to victimize the victim…??!!
    “Is this not what it means to know me…” Jer 22:16 They only prove that they lack spiritual discernment and know nothing of the spirit of the law because they are swallowed up in a dense fog contrived by letter of the law.
    I try very, very hard to have pity for them rather than anger…

    1. It’s pretty unbelievable, Black Sheep. Check out his reply to me under “FBFI Rallies to Defend Chuck Phelps” in which he calls me a “horrible mother.” That’s WELL beyond the line in my opinion.

      1. Actually his exact wording was “Such a bad job as a mother…” and check out the context. No calling out the bad guys, just point a finger at the innocent parties. Oh wait, he’s good at that! :*(

  4. Maybe many fundies don’t believe in statutory rape and “age of consent” laws. The fundie sub-culture still has no problem with teenagers getting married (and even before they finish high school). For many fundies the three most important things in life is to get saved, marry a good Christian and make fundie babies. (Education and job skills but damned)
    Throughout history (and still in parts of the third world like West Virginia) a girl becomes a woman when she has her first period. Not when the evil secular state picks an arbitrary age like 18. As soon as a girl bled for the first time she could be married off. In fundie logic, its god and not the state who decides when a girl becomes a woman.
    I do not believe the bible is a word of god, but for the sake of argument, if the story of the Virgin Mary was true, she was not a 22 year old white college graduate, but a brown skinned young teenage girl. Women in bible times were property and marriage was a financial arrangement. Teenaged “women” were married off as soon as possible. Given that life expediency was about 30 years, if teenage girls were getting married and having children, the human race had been extinct a long time ago.
    Then there is the story of an old King David spending his nights with a young beautiful virgin in order to regain his virility (I guess having at least 1,000 sexual partners would wear any man out)
    Also in the Old Testament a rape victim could escape the death penalty by marrying her rapist.
    Almost every first time mother in the bible was a teenager. In “bible times” a 15 year old female was not a girl but a woman and was available for marriage and sex.
    Maybe fundie men like Chuck Phelps and Ken Smith shound admit this; they don’t see teenage girls as children, but young adult Lolita like temptresses.
    And maybe they should immigrate to Saudi Arabia.

  5. @Ken Smith

    In the fact that you (Ken Smith) are not an IFB puts you at an immediate disadvantage to those of us who grew up in IFB churches.
    We KNOW its a pattern. Not a few isolated concerns.
    No, it is NOT always a reality.
    But the amount of power that is SO many times given to one man (the pastor) in IFB churches exudes potential danger in so many ways. I never had a pastor openly guilty of public or private sexual sin, but there were other trusted male leaders in the church that were – and I have personal experience, witnesses & documents to back up my information.

    I am Presbyterian in belief, but I attend the Baptist church with my husband – this church IS very different from any other independent church I’ve ever been in, and I appreciate it.

    But you cannot understand the depths & and far-reaching arm of this problem in the majority of IFB unless you have been immersed in it as we have….so please don’t deign to know more than those who have lived it.

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