Audio Released from Bob Jones III’s Q&A about Chuck Phelps


About two years ago, I posted a link to a transcript of a meeting held with Bob Jones III where a woman asks him some questions about his support of Chuck Phelps and his actions in not pursuing justice for Tina Anderson after her rape by Ernie Willis.

The audio from that meeting has now been released. Suffice it to say that BJIII does himself no favors by either the tone and content of his responses.

174 thoughts on “Audio Released from Bob Jones III’s Q&A about Chuck Phelps”

  1. This is such a travesty…
    This “woman is evil” simply because she’s confronting him with facts? I listened to this with my husband and he turned to me and said, “is this what you grew up with…this type of fundamental dodging and denial?” I told my him I wish my parents could listen to this (BJU grads) and he asked if I thought they could hear it-would they sit and listen to it and if they did, would they accept it?
    I am grateful for the courage this woman had to confront in a loving but firm manner and my heart goes out to Tina and the many others who have been abused as well…

    1. Agreed. I was very impressed with her ability to keep calm and rationally discuss with him. I would have been going crazy. Also, how she kept the conversation on track. He kept trying to tangent off, but she focused in on why he was allowed on the board. I know what you mean, I would like my parents to hear this, but they really have nothing to do with BJ. If it was PCC on the other hand it might be a bit more damning to them.

      1. If you can find a recent edition of the A Beka (PCC) textbook “Life Management Under God”, edited by Beka Horton, I’d love to know whether in the “how women should dress on dates” section it still says that many rapes are “initiated” by women who dress immodestly. Because that’s what it said a decade or so ago, as I recall. πŸ™

        1. I can’t think of a punishment bad enough for people who go around saying that. Rape is not caused by the way women dress.
          Even if a stark naked woman sits on your face, you still don’t have the right to rape her if she says “no.”

        2. Holy crap! I took “Life Management” and was taught out of that book and it still said that (in 2012). Too bad I threw that out. Anyone has a copy, hmu.

        3. Rape is about control. I could be butt naked in the middle of a parking lot with a group of men walking by. Some would turn their head the other way. Some would look but go on. Some would stare for awhile then go on. If some were drunk, they would probably do something stupid. But it would be the men that have an issue with control that would do what they wanted to do because that is their right in their own mind. They need to control the situation. I believe in modest dressing only because there are parts of the body that should not be exposed to the public.

  2. Chuck Phelps is reliable because he has a website!! Oh my gosh what has BJIII come to? I don’t have a whole lot of hope in the G.R.A.C.E. report, but I do think that Bob Jones was complicit in the scandal involving Phelps. I hope that travesty called BJU closes in disgrace and the proceeds go to feed the poor.

    God help us all.

    I got a worthless degree at BJU, but I never endured what many women endured who were sexually assaulted in fundamentalist circles then were ‘hushed up’ or tacitly blamed for the event.

    To hell with Bob Jones. And I mean it.

    1. Have you read any of their propaganda over the last 70 years or so? Just look at some of their defenses of segregation. This is nothing new for them!

  3. All I have to say is double standard. How come I have to “abstain from all appearance of evil” (yes, I know this is used completely out of context taking the language and twisting it all around), but when a leader is accused by most of the world for wrongdoing that a major organization would allow him to be a part of their board? I saw it so much during my fundy upbringing. The “good” kids could do no wrong or were instantly forgiven or the actions were ignored, but when I said something (that I thought was) witty or did something that the rest of the world considered normal it would be remembered for all of time. I didn’t care though, I was a fundy rebel. 😈

  4. 1. I am a BJU grad.
    2. I had to go to another school after BJU to get an accredited degree to even become a cop.
    3. I’ve had a fine career as a cop. I now oversee the police and fire service in my town.
    4. I’m planning on retiring in 2 or 3 years.
    5. I listened to the entire audio that Darrell posted.
    6. Chuck Phelps’s guy had sex with a 15 year old female.
    7. Under the law, a 15 year old is INCAPABLE of giving consent to a sex act.
    8. Chuck Phelps blamed the 15 year old girl, and made her get up and apologize to the congregation.
    9. Bob Jones kept Chuck Phelps on their board of trustees after all of this came to light.BJIII even defended Chuck Phelps in humilitating the victim.
    10. Both Bob Jones III and Chuck Phelps are defenders of the rapist, and are complicit in blaming this little girl who was victimized before she was old enough to give consent to having sex.

    11. I bet Jesus is proud of both of them.

    1. My former fundy CEO, when confronted about his support of Chuck Phelps, blasted the young man who asked him about his support. Sick.

      I too am a graduate of BJU three times! I won’t say the degrees are worthless, but I have had regrets.

      So far, I’ve not been fully convinced of either side in this debate. I just don’t know enough, and probably never will.

      As far as Zichterman is concerned, she is not the best source of anything. I’d probably cite someone more credible.

      This woman interviewing the third is having a tough time of it. Not very skilled.

      Now, people, educate me!


      1. Second thoughts:

        The woman interviewing the third, when given some space to speak, really does come thought past the 18 minute mark.

        The third is very defensive and blindly supportive of Phelps.

        okay then.

      2. BRO, I have often agreed with your posts but with this one we have a serious disagreement. You need to educate yourself on this matter; it’s not hard to do, as so much has been said about this situation on this site and elsewhere. That said, I think you’ve learned something from Darrell’s posts and others’ responses.

        Statutory rape was committed and it was swept under the rug. The victim got pregnant as a result of these rapes and was forced to confess the situation as her own sexual sin. Phelps was an idiot and BJU was idiotic in supporting him. The words ‘idiot’ and ‘idiotic’ are the nicest things I can say. It doesn’t get much clearer than this, hooah?

        1. Ernie Willis was convicted of forcible rape, not just statutory rape. There really is a big difference

        2. I agree, semp, that what was done was wrong. I would never condone it.

          What I was commenting on was not the wrongness of what done to Tina Anderson, or the rightness of those who’ve had the guts to confront those who justify Tina’s rapes and her subsequent treatment, or the mishandling of the pervert, but rather the treatment of the continuing debate.

          A man like the third is quite experienced in debate and holding to a beloved belief, no matter how dellusional it may be. I would like to see guys like him brought to the place where they have to admit that they can do wrong, and have made mistakes. This takes a knowledgable and skilled debater.

          Perhaps this comes down to winning the argument since you will apparently never get these hardliners to admit that they, or their buddies, can ever do wrong. Afterall, they are the lawd’s annointed.


        3. These people actually believe they are right in all things, that’s why it is so difficult to get through to them..

        1. I disagree with her being a credible source “on anything concerning the IFB,”

          She can certainly speak about things concerning which whe has first hand knowledge or information directly from a valid source, but not ANYTHING concerning the IFB. No one can claim to have that kind of knowledge. BASSENCO is one of the most credible sources I’ve yet to come across, though there are many others (obvious just by reading SFL!)

          I would, however, certainly agree with her being a credible source on her own childhood and the IFB she experienced during those tough years.


      3. I too am a BJU graduate, became a police officer, and worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
        Rape is rape, and no one has the right to sweep it under the count rug, as is so obviously happending here. If Chuck Phelps did report a rape to the police as he states he did, but got no feed back from the police department, why didn’t he take it higher. Either he didn’t, or he didn’t mention the perpetrator. In either case, he failed, and to blame the victim is even far worse. Don’t be appaled at the Catholic priest scandal, if your doing the same thing yourselves.
        I now work in the medical field, and guess what, in the initial interview for medical treatment, questions are asked about your safety and do you feel safe in your own home. If any inkling of sexual abuse, either in home or out is suspected, it must be reported to the law enforcement agencies immediately, with feed back!!
        Why was this ever a question as to the legal and moral responsiblity of the individuals who were responsible for minors!!!!

    2. Points #7 and #8 are key. A 15-year-old cannot legally consent to sex with an adult. When Phelps knew what happened, he responded by shaming the young girl and shielding her married abuser. Very wrong for anybody to do, but especially for a man who has positioned himself as a moral and spiritual leader.
      In the same vein, BJIII’s impulse was to defend Phelps and attack Phelps’ critics.

    3. Clarification on #9 – Phelps had been on the board previously and was off because he was for a short time president of a competing school. They could have easily avoided this issue altogether and not made an effort to put him back on the board (it was already in process when this all came out) or at least waited for the whole thing to blow over and do it quietly but instead they made a conscious decision to put him back on immediately and publicly which clearly meant they backed him and his character at at time when even most of the fundy folks I knew were at the very least unsure about Phelps and his character. For example you won’t hear much support for Phelps out of Watertown, because they had just experienced the man’s character there before he left Maranatha because of irreconcilable differences with the board. When you ask people about his time there you get vague statements that sound like part of a confidentiality agreement written by lawyers.

      BJIII made a specific effort to rehab CP’s image and re-appointing him to the BJU board was a part of that. This makes it much more damning than simply not taking him off the board when there could have been “questions”

      The Investigation they did was as follows.
      1. Do we feel like Chuck got a raw deal up in Watertown when he tried to BJU-ify a school whose board wanted no part of it? Yes
      2. Is Chuck a loyal member of the Jones Crime Family and has he worked hard to back the cartel? Yes
      3. Do we really care about the facts of any case involving some worthless throwaway girl whose value to the kingdom of Jones is insignificant next to the power of the Phelps? No.

      Case Closed. All of course are my opinions, supported by plenty of eyewitness testimony from people close to the man…

        1. Oh! Thank you. But I usually try to point out subtle heresies or fallacies. There’s nothing subtle about BJIII. Anybody with a conscience can see how horrible his thinking is.

  5. I can’t bring myself to waste 24 minutes of my life on this jerk. I don’t even have to listen to know he’s a pompous self-righteous jackass. 😎

  6. Dodge, parry, obfuscate, muddy the waters…. cover-up
    Save the Ministry at all costs! No matter who you have to sacrifice to do it.
    Slander the innocent, protect the guilty, save the cash flow!

    And we wonder why the world points their collective fingers and shakes their heads at what passes for Churchianity these days.

    Under the guise of protecting the “Cause of Christ” the leaders in the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement are bring shame and dishonor to the very institution they claim to be defending.

    1. Don: “Dodge, parry, obfuscate, muddy the waters…. cover-up, Save the Ministry at all costs! No matter who you have to sacrifice to do it.
      Slander the innocent, protect the guilty, save the cash flow!”

      That says it all, Don.

    2. Let’s not go overboard on who we’re sacrificing for the ministry! We aren’t going to sacrifice Chuck Phelps no matter how badly he’s done, and we’re gonna try not to sacrifice Ernie Wills until the day he’s convicted (if you can find where we’ve hidden all the evidence).

      1. But remember originally Chuck Phelps was the pastor and we all know Pastor = the Ministry. The Ministry needs money so Ernie = money and money = ministry as well. The only logical choice for sacrifice then was the underage trollop who enticed Ernie to sin in the first place.

        IFB logic isn’t all that hard once you understand how to define Ministry. And since ministry = Cause of Christ… then it must be inferred that Minister = Christ. And if Pastors actually started holding the privileged and affluent big money thither to task for there sins then how will the ministry survive?

  7. Jones takes the horrid position that a pastor who makes a young rape victim publicly confess to the “sin” of being raped and protects her perpetrator from connection with that crime is qualified for a board position at BJU. Jones clearly says the underage girl was in this as “a consensual relationship.” These are black marks on Jones & BJU that will never, ever go away. Jones is a disgrace to Jesus Christ. Jerry Kaifetz, (author of “Profaned Pulpit—The Jack Schaap Story.”)

  8. Ok…

    I work and live in Greenville, SC and have very, very close dealings with BJU. As with ANY place of “business”, there are good people and bad people associated with the university.

    There are good people who work and are associated with BJU. People I count as sincere and who love God.

    There are also, sadly, some bad people… People whom I have had to deal with who are total jerks. These people do not know where I stand with God, and if it were up to them I would best be served to burn in Hell. People with horrible attitudes, full of bitterness and hatred. People who have CURSED me to my face. God have mercy on those people.

    Overall, pray for the PEOPLE of BJU – There are some good folk, who because of the trappings of the IFB world are chained to the university cast. Let’s also not deny that the university has done some good – however, equally, there has been much aggression. Remember, that this university is run by sinners – some saved by the grace of God and some… sinners.

    1. I agree that there are some good people there. One of the university’s problems, though, is its incredible egotism and arrogance. They can’t hide it. When people who are humble and real mess up (as we all do), we are much more inclined to forgive and understand than when people sin and refuse to admit it because “we are are so HOLY how DARE anyone even consider anything we did to be a sin?!”

      1. It did happen to Joe Paterno (as mentioned in the interview), and he did more to address the issue, and it still ended his coaching career, tarnished his reputation, got his statue taken down from Penn State, and some would say hastened the end of his life.

        1. PSU’s cover-up of the whole ordeal was indeed inexcusable, and scandalous. On the other hand, once the whole thing was exposed, some heads rolled, Sandusky is in prison, and from what I understand that University had made quite a bit of progress since then in creating a culture of accountability, and openness, so that something like that doesn’t happen again. They’re doing their best to learn the right lessons (and no, I have no connections to PSU – I’ve just followed some of the news stories.)

          It’s also worth pointing out that nobody asked any of Sandusky’s victims to make a public “apology.” That’s the part of this BJU story that blows my mind.

      2. Actually, think about PETRINO, not just Paterno.

        Bobby Petrino got in a motorcycle accident while taking his 25 year old mistress (also his employee) for a ride. The University of Arkansas fired him.

        Basic self-preservation should have been enough to tell BJU not to put Phelps back on the board. It makes one wonder if they’re beholden to him in some way.

        1. I don’t think Petrino really applies, he was engaging in the wreckless sexual behavior, which BJU would fire someone for doing most likely.

          Covering up someone raping a child, or not doing enough to protect the victim is what both Joe Pa & Phelps are guilty of. Both seem to have done enough to avoid legal consequences, but Penn State & the public have a much higher level of moral expectations from their football coach than BJU does of it’s Board members.

        2. Sex with a 15 year old girl isn’t reckless sexual behavior? You’re right in that sexual sin between consenting adults is often punished more harshly than sexual predation on minors. However, my point was that a secular institution will fire people when there was no crime involved while fundagelicals will sometimes refuse to fire someone even if there is a felony conviction.

  9. Excellent point by the reporter or questioner that while Joe Paterno failed his his moral duty as a football coach to protect from , defend against, and report sexual abuse of minors, it’s incredible that BJU would have this drastically lower standard for a board member than what a public institution has for a football coach.

    1. You misyunderstand the relative importance of Football Coaches and Borad Members in today’s NFL minor Leagues, er Universities. Nevertheless, PSU’s handling of the matter shames BJU’s support of Chuck Phelps. It’s a ridiculous scandal, and reminds me of certain words about millstones.

  10. I yelled at my laptop when, at the end of the audio, BJIII kept insisting that the relationship was consensual by Tina’s own admission.

    It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Luke 17:2

      1. and his personal handlers will never let this happen again. How dare she even ask the first question, let alone badger his holiness for 25 minutes??

        1. Oh, I doubt it. Men like him think they are invincible. If he had any sense of how big his own ego is and how damaging his words are, he would have ended that interview long before 30 minutes.

    1. Hi, elfdream:

      We were given the audio last weekend by one of the participants. We were happy to release it, and we’re always happy to release any audio or documents on BJU that people want to have online. Thanks!

  11. Jones has some big stones at the end to declare the he doesn’t need prayer (or by extension accountability) to God, for his behavior.

    Seems to be assuring us that he’s more righteous than all others including God who apparently doesn’t need to worry about Jones actions. Pretty infuriating considering he had just been dressed down on public institutions that exercise more discipline and rectification of the same reprehensible behavior.

        1. I saw this on fb a couple years ago where someone offered (innocently) to pray for someone (I know that can be said passive-aggressively but in the context of the thread it was meant sincerely), and the recipient (who attended an IFB church) told her not to pray for her.

          (I was not either one of these women though both at the time were my fb friends.)

  12. Jones has had a lifetime of unchecked power and authority perpetuated by unabashed nepotism. Given man’s inherently flawed steering mechanisms and examples of failures from one end of human history to the other . . . WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Now we know.

    1. You’ll get a much better understanding if you read the assorted posts on this site about the whole matter, but here’s my unauthorized, inexpert super-condensed version:
      Ernie Willis, a middle-aged married deacon in an IFB Church, committed statutory rape of his babysitter, Tina Anderson, who was 14 and 15 years old at the time. When she became pregnant as a result, she told her mother, who took her to their pastor, Chuck Phelps, for “counseling.” Phelps coerced Tina Anderson into a public confession before the whole congregation, including apologizing to Willis’ wife. He meanwhile supported Willis and allowed him to keep his leadership position in the church (the congregation was not told that Willis was the father of Anderson’s unborn child). Phelps arranged for Tina Anderson to be sent out of town, across the country, to stay with a couple in Colorado until after the baby was born. Her baby was adopted by another couple. Willis was eventually prosecuted and given a prison sentence, but not until much later. Phelps claims he contacted the local police when he learned of the statutory rape, but that is disputed by others.
      Among Phelps’ defenders were the leadership of Bob Jones University, who did not (at first) ask Phelps to resign from the Bob Jones board of trustees, nor take steps to remove him.
      Many people, including numerous Bob Jones alumni and students, objected to the university’s position on this issue and to Phelps’ continued membership on the board. The interview here was given at the request of some concerned women.

      When this story broke, including Chuck Phelps’ role in it, many IFB leaders rallied to Phelps’ defense

      1. I would like to add that Phelps publicly claimed that Tina Anderson had a consensual sexual relationship with Willis (even though she was so very young and he was in his late 30’s), right up until the judge MADE his counseling notes be included in the trial. Phelps’ attorney fought having these notes included, but lost.

        So only then did Phelps acknowledge that Willis admitted to him that he was indeed “the aggressor”.

        IMHO Phelps and Jones are lower than pond scum.

        1. Ugh, a major mistype in my previous comment:

          Phelps’ attorney fought to have Phelps’ notes EXcluded from the trial, not included. They lost, and Phelps’ pastoral counseling notes were read, clearly showing that Willis admitted to Phelps that he was “the aggressor”.

          George, you suck.

      2. The fact the man was allowed to continue as a deacon is really the icing on the cake. People under age 16 can sin. If the facts of this case indicated the victim somehow willingly participated (they don’t) then some sort of *private* counseling and confession might– might– be appropriate. But what possible justification is there for ever keeping the guy on as a deacon?

        And BJU thought it was a good idea to have a pastor with that level of discernment on their board?

        1. Chuck Phelps’s level of discernment? Can anyone say Joshua Budgett? Phelps performed the ceremony at the halfway house for Budgett and victim’s mother when victim was little girl. Halfway house after serving time for underage sex offences. Phelps level of discernment led him to perform a ceremony for a man who committed at sex offences against a girl to a woman who had a young daughter. Guess what happened? Budgett found guilty….Wow…what discerment…. πŸ™„

    2. Here’s what I wrote about it a few years back:

      There are a few follow up posts if you’re interested in hearing me screech:

      And if your original question was actually a request for the short version of BJIII’s posted conversation, then I apologize profusely for spamming you. 😳

    3. Thank you.
      Please correct my summary if necessary:
      Man speaking Bob Jones 3rd
      Lady speaking Someone (alumnus?) doing interview with BJIII
      Chuck Phelps Pastor of man who was convicted of statutory rape
      On, then off, then back on BJU board
      Ernie Willis Man who raped 14(yo?) girl
      Decon in Phelps church
      Tina Anderson Teen victim
      Jocelyn Z. Author, Related to story how?
      Cleary report ?

        1. Thank you; I’ve read the articles you linked two (I couldn’t resist a pun on the double link). The audio and posts presume a working knowledge of the context and participants (which I don’t completely have). Cleary report and Jocelyn Zichterman are names from the audio transcript.

  13. Remind me. Why do we still care what fundies do? As the sone of a fundie pastor, I have a tendency to cry foul at all this hypocrisy as well; but I always end up thinking that we knew this all along, can’t expect a fundie to be anything other than a fundie, and have no alternative than to write them off and move on. If you’re still in a “good” fundie church, you’re still a fun die and condoning the system that produces this nonsense.

    1. Sites like this help people who are still trying to find their way out. Also, it helps us understand the incorrect mindset so that we might not drag our own fundie thought patterns into our next (hopefully healthier) church experience.

    2. There are so many still in the system who are being harmed and who don’t have the strength to get out. Often they are minors or women who believe that God will honestly get them if they dare to disobey their authority figure. I got out – but honestly I would have had it much harder getting out if it weren’t for SFL. By posting here, I hope to help others who are heartbroken to see that what happened was wrong, and there is life after the IFB. It is possible to leave and to heal. If I stay silent because I’m so grateful I was able to get out, then I’m really being very selfish with my freedom, aren’t I?

    3. Because:

      1. It’s fun to kick against mindless authoritarianism. 😎

      2. It’s not necessarily true that you can’t expect a fundy to be anything other than a fundy. This place is filled with ex-fundies. And in leaving that sort of absolutist mindset, there’s a process of figuring out what parts are worth keeping, and what parts are better off left behind. That’s not an easy process, and it helps to have others to talk it over with. It helps to see just where all the flaws are in fundy-think are, and why what just doesn’t seem right actually isn’t. And to see that others have gone through bad fundy experiences, too.

      3. Abuse isn’t as powerful when exposed to the light.

      1. Plus, understanding the lies and doublespeak helped keep me from falling into another just as spiritually damaging sect. When you start to hear the same spiritually abusive nonsense over and over and are able to identify it as such, you start to realize that the majority of evangelicalism is just fundy-lite.

  14. It’s appalling to me that he can say that Tina was raped, and in the same breath insist that the relationship was consensual. (“You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”)

    That said, we do know he was telling the truth when he repeatedly stated that BJU’s reputation is the most important thing to the school. That’s likely why they won’t get rid of Phelps – because as bad as it looks to have him on the board, they think it would look even worse to fire him and essentially admit that they screwed up.

    For fundies in power, the only thing more fearful than getting caught in a mistake is to have to publicly admit it.

    1. Actually, Phelps eventually resigned from the board, just days before BJU’s first ever student-led protest. I think the alumni put pressure to bear as well.

      The fallout from that? Well, google Chris Peterman or search for him on this site. Another failure of BJU.

  15. I’ve always wondered if the MBBC board knew this was coming down the pike and it resulted in Chuck leaving. It might be too much of a liability. It was presented to the MBBC following that there was a difference in philosophy, never explaining what that difference was. That is the type of explanation that comes, when you don’t really want to explain. Can’t blame MBBC if they wanted him to go.

    1. That might be true, however, there were definitely other reasons for disagreement between the board and Phelps. While not much is known about the differences between Phelps and the board is publicly known, there are some other things that were done more in the light of day that provide insight.

      There was the fact that he behaved like an arrogant asshole. Not just on campus…he was no longer the fundy mannagawd CEO of an isolated fortress of fundamentalism and was expected to deal with other people and their perspective as well as honor their authority and roles. He reportedly did not adjust well to not being solely in charge of everything within his realm. Lets also just say he was much more comfortable being in charge of a church than being part of one someone else was in charge of, and behaved like a petulant spoiled child when his opinions on ministry philosophy and standards were not treated like a papal bull.

  16. When Stephen Jones became president, I had a BJU board member tell he was glad, because he didn’t think that Stephen would “shoot from the hip” as much as BJUIII. Of course JR and III, both had the reputation for embarrassing their following, by blurting something out when frustrated.

  17. The transcript was bad enough, but it takes audio to convey the arrogance and condescension on IIIRD’s part here. There is no possibility of damage control on this.

  18. If I were to pole the remaining saved in the country we would find that Bob Jones U has done more for the cause of Christ than the children on this socalled website that hide behind there computers and air there grievances.

    God bless BJUIII and his strength to stand against this wanton woman. It is a feat I could not muster, personally.

    1. And how would you know who is saved and who isn’t?
      (uh-oh there’s a fundie conundrum)

      Wait, sooo, are you saying that the remaining saved folks in this country would actually have personal knowledge of a third-rate empire builder? Do you really think that outside of the Fundiedome Christians even know who the Joneses are? πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ™„

      1. I moved 1.5 hours from Greenville and became friends with many good Christian people who didn’t know about Bob Jones. It was refreshing. I now live in the mountain west and no one in my church has ever heard of BJU. Is this heaven?

    2. A pole is a mast or a pipe that sticks up from the ground. For example, a pole is something upon which a flag flies. It is a noun.

      A poll is either a place where one votes or a series of questions asked of people. It may be a verb or a noun.

      I have Bachelors and Masters degrees from a regionally accredited university.

      And, Bob Jones University has created more agnostics and atheists than it has created followers of Christ.

      1. Bob Jones has been poling (not polling) their students, and sending quite a few of their grads out to pole their communities for decades! πŸ™‚

    3. Ladies and gentlemen, my first POEst, and my festivus gift to you (hence the pole, the airing of grievances, and the feats of strength references). Happy IFB-free holidays.

      1. Brilliant! The clues were so well ingrained in a fundy fog that I missed them altogether, the mispelling of pole was a clue to me, but not for the right reasons.

        I bow to you…most excellent work.

    4. For the record, I make no claim that I have done anything at all for the cause of Christ, whatever that phrase may mean. I am just a poor sinner trying to make my way in the world.

      But whenever anyone, however great, claims that their own mighty acts make up for any transgressions, watch out.

    5. Yikes, are you a BJU grad? If so, what does that say about BJU’s academic standards? I’ve seen some pretty horrible spelling on the Interwebs, but yours takes the cake.

        1. Did you know that if you pinch your nose closed and say the word “gullible” out loud it sounds exactly like “orange”?

    6. My friend, It was a Poe. Not quite a Christmas Poe, where I will rail against Baal bushes and stores that wish you an ungodly happy holidays, but a Festivus Poe. Much more fun.

    7. Dear Sanctified:

      Salvation is of and by the grace of the Lord. What interest have saved people in work-quantifying polls?

      Christian Socialist

  19. Although a 15 year old cannot legally consent, it is reasonable to say they could emotionally consent. I’ve known some pretty sinful teenagers, back when I was one. The hard, if not impossible, part is determining the age that someone willfully participates in a given sin, and is responsible to God. There is clearly a difference between a toddler and and a teenager’s ability to participate in immorality, but I don’t want to be given the responsible of determining if someone was old enough to know better. Its wise to defer to the law in that matter and leave it up to God as to whether a minor has anything to confess to Him.

    Minor or not, where did the ridiculous idea come from that states repentance and discipline requires public humiliation before the whole church?

    1. And even if a minor does emotionally consent, it doesn’t change the fact that a man in his 30’s going after a 14 year old is a pervert and a manipulative predator.

    2. This is entirely incorrect. It is empirically not possible for a 15 yo to consent, legally or emotionally. You should really rethink this comment.

    3. No, Larry,they cannot legally consent precisely because they cannot emotionally consent. That’s why the law is what it is.

      Where’s that excellent blog post written by a survivor of multiple statutory rapes? Anyone? Where she explained why a young girl can’t give true consent? It was after that judge said a rape victim was guilty because she was mature for her age…

      1. The laws vary by jurisdiction.

        I think this whole habit of reducing sex offenses to a matter of an arbitrary legal limit misses a greater issue– taking advantage of someone is still wrong if the victim is 25. The deacon behaved in a predatory fashion and was allowed to remain in his position. The vulnerable person was publically humiliated and shipped out of state.

    4. Why is it always the Larrys? I knew a Larry once who totally creeped me out. Turned out he was beating and raping his wife. I could totally imagine him justifying the rape of a minor like this.


    5. A 15 year old can understand enough to physically say yes to an adult. But the adult always has the responsibility to do the right thing and say no. Legally, and morally. Always. That’s what “being the adult” is all about. The only question anyone need concern themselves with is what the adult needs to repent of/be tried for. The minor is the victim.

      1. Yes. And dropping the “she consented” line is a great way to distract attention away from that and get people to feuding about the distinction between statutory and forcible rape, etc.

        But I believe the perp was convicted of forcible rape?

      2. Good point.

        Even if she had a terrible home life or grew up where sex was no big deal and she wanted it, he is still a pervert for going after her. Reminds of what some people said about Jack Schaap (or maybe he said it?) that it was all her and he just couldn’t help himself. Poor puny little man couldn’t control himself around a teenager.

        Larry, I see what you’re saying. She COULD have sought it out and that wouldn’t be right either. Still makes him despicable to take advantage of her. But I don’t think that’s the case here, wasn’t she a long-time church member or am I thinking of something else?

    6. No. NO! Larry,

      On May 27, 2011, Ernest Willis, a New Hampshire man accused of raping and fathering a child with a 15-year-old girl from his church in 1997, was found guilty of *three counts* of FORCIBLE RAPE and a count of felonious sexual assault.

      In September 2011, Willis was sentenced to 15-30 years in prison.

      Willis appealed and in August 2013 the NH Supreme Court UNANIMOUSLY denied Willis’ appeal.

      Forcible rape in NO WAY is consensual. AND as others have already said 14 or 15 year-old girls cannot legally consent precisely because they cannot emotionally consent to an adult.

      There was NO immorality here on Tina Anderson’s part. NONE.

      Bob III knew these convictions too as this was recorded AFTER the verdict and conviction was handed down.

      Jesus must be very so proud of those who blame the innocent for the FORCIBLE RAPE–the crime of Tina Anderson’s perpetrator and former man-o-gawd who covered for the perp. πŸ‘Ώ

      1. Geez, I don’t know how I missed Larry’s comment.

        Larry, how about Ernie being old enough to know right from wrong? Oh wait, that doesn’t count because he’s a man of gawd who was a married adult and father of two. You’re right, he was much too young to know that having non-consensual sex with someone wrong. I can see how you wouldn’t want to make the determination of his culpability/the age of accountability.

  20. The good “Men of God” club forget that the effects of sexual misconduct in the Scripture NEVER go away!

    Look at David. He repented. He still saw his family torn apart, lost the kingdom temporarily, and he and the nation suffered horribly. And it never ended.

    Chuck Phelps enabled a rapist. He virtually raped that girl in church when he made her, the victim, apologize to her attacker in church! Bob Jones enabled Chuck Phelps.

    People see what they want to see. They think that somehow, because they are “godly” in their own eyes that they always make the right decisions. They see victims as deserving what they got, “asking for it.”

    I will watch the video later today. But BJIII’s arrogance in the matter is unbecoming a person looking to serve the Lord.

    1. The very brave woman asking the questions is not Janet Mefford. She is a brave alumnae of BJU who has daughters who will NEVER go to BJU. Why would anybody send their daughters to a school where the chancellor and the grandson of the founder believes that rape can be consensual?

    2. Uh, no…I have never heard Janet Mefford be that calm and reasonable for this length of time.

      Plus isn’t BJU a major advertiser on her show? Not sure she would be allowed to be the antagonist in this particular setting.

  21. This recording confirms my belief that IFB pastors/leadership will always throw the victim under the bus in order to protect their own personal kingdoms on this earth.

  22. Dear SFL Reader:

    Years ago, I served on a committee mandated to investigate allegations of abuse by church leaders – sexual, physical or psychological. We soon learned that abusers retain an extensive array of verbal stratagems that includes [but is not limited to] rationalizing, blame shifting, non-answers, irrelevant statements, evasive answers, denials, minimizing of one’s role in the abuse, minimizing the wrongness of the abuse, reshaping the meaning of statements or events, doubting/questioning/discounting facts, counter explanations, challenging of the questions and the questioning the questioner’s motives. The list is seemingly endless.

    Those involved in such inquiries see abusers adopt and use such stratagems time and again as standard linguistic convention. Abusers fall onto these conventions and speech patterns to hedge themselves, to guard their careers, and to present themselves in the best possible light. And they do it all the time.

    As a committee, we also role played scenarios where someone posed as an abuser. This was an illuminating experience. Even among themselves, committee members found that tempers flare at evasive, sleaze-driven replies. Those who posed as abusers reported feeling very uncomfortable as they played out the exercise.

    Over time, our committee learned that every interruption resulted in a 2-4 minute reminder of the gravity of the accusations, their hurtfulness, followed by reminders of the difficulty of pastoral ministry, and that they [the abuser] agreed to be interviewed, an appeal for fairness, an appeal to let procedure do its work, etc., etc.

    Those who role-played as abusers said repeatedly that they lengthened replies as much as possible hoping to wear-down committee, and to expire committee’s time and thus evade delving deeply into the issues at hand.

    Committee eventually realized that most often, the best approach was to say nothing, thereby feeding rope endlessly until the one being questioned hung themselves with it. In other words, we allowed people to talk about multiple things to reveal their character.

    From my perspective, the clip’s significance is this: Triplesticks adopts and uses adroitly linguistic conventions employed consistently by perpetrators of spiritual, sexual and physical abuse. This doesn’t address whether or not Triplesticks has ever abused; it merely notes that under questioning, he adopts linguistic thinking/speaking patterns that are indistinguishable from the former.

    Earlier, I implied that the list of conventions was not exhaustive, but merely representative. We could easily add duplicitous hypocrisy. While feigning accountability, abusers/Triplesticks consistently refuse accountability to any outside authority. They do this precisely by relying on answers that are not answers, and then dismiss further questions in the pretense that they have answered. That sounds like a denial of accountability to me.

    Why does Triplesticks employ the linguistic convention of abusive persons?

    Christian Socialist

    1. Amen and amen.

      There are ways in which a person can act to demonstrate good will and a concern for truth.

      And then there are ways in which a person will act if they wish to avoid the consequences of their behavior.

      BJ3 displays then second speech pattern. When confronted with that fact, he continues to behave that way.

    2. Well, your use of “Triplesticks” certainly marks you as a genuine BJ’er… I thought me and my friends were the only ones to use that appellation.

  23. Oooh. Listening to this sickens my stomach.

    It lessens my opinion of Doctor Bob III. A lot.

    He very much wants others to fully accept his opinion in this difference of opinion. He does not at all want to understand the opinion of others.

    And he believes that the sexual relationship between Tina Anderson and Ernie Willis was consensual on her part, even though it was a rape. He does not allow in his mind the fact that an adult can easily manipulate a child into “consenting” to something, or even into appearing to initiate something.

    He criticized the interviewer for not getting all the facts, but he is not at all interested in looking at the trial transcripts. And he justifies everything, everything. “Tina Anderson was happy before she got all stirred up about this.”

    Frankly, even if Phelps felt he did nothing wrong, he should have apologized for not continuing to pursue justice for the girl. He should apologize for allowing the rapist to remain in the church. He should apologize for having the girl say she was sorry to her rapist in front of the church, as if she was responsible. Maybe Phelps felt that was right at the time. However, seeing the hurt caused by those things should cause pity and sorrow to come forth from a man who is truly interested in the lives of his people.

    Doctor Bob III, like most fundamentalists, is much more worried about reputation and control than in the truth. He might reject such judgment. He would reject it. We will simply have to have a difference of opinion.

    And frankly, in the marketplace of opinions, Doctor Bob III’s really doesn’t matter as much as he thinks it does. Nor does it make the opinions of those who disagree with him of less worth.

    1. If I remember, Phelps had Willis confess in church to “adultery” not “the rape of a minor” which would have been truthful. When the church members heard “adultery”, you can bet they never thought the other person was his 15-year-old babysitter.

  24. I was wondering, did the III’rd know and give consent to the conversation being recorded? I have not listened to the tape yet and I do not remember seeing it in the transcript. Just wondering.

    1. South Carolina is a one party state, so as long as one party to a conversation is aware of the recording it is legal.

  25. The leaking of this audio is undoubtedly an act of divine providence. It reveals the IFB mentality for what it is without giving them the ability to cry “gossip!” That said, they will undoubtedly still cry foul because they have made accountable based on their own words rather than the crafting of an image (i.e. idol?). This audio of BJ3 is a major nail in the IFB coffin. With each passing year the common IQ denominator of parents willing to entrust their children to these repressive and arrogant institutions is progressively lowered. Sadly, as long as that figure is in double digits, the uniformed and blindly loyal will continue to unwittingly bring their offspring to the altar and hand Father Abraham the knife disguised as a scepter.

  26. Very sad, very sad indeed. III doesn’t come off well at all and sounds terrible. The interviewer does her best to keep him on task and seems to hold her own. This recording does help me see the big picture and solidifies my attitude of distrust toward the IFB. I saw a lot of the same attitudes (like most who post on this site)–covering for pedophiles and shuffling them off to other places to prey on others. Youth pastors that couldn’t keep their hands to themselves…God have mercy.

  27. I just wanted to remind everyone that Tina gave her statement to the police and her facts have never changed. I know it’s hard to remember all the facts and everything that happened.

    You may read it here at

    And if you’d like to watch the 20/20 episode, you can see that here

    There was never consent in any way, shape, or form, on Tina’s part.

    1. Thank you for standing by Tina. While many of us can agree to disagree about many things, I do think most of us abhor what happened to Tina and how awful her pastor was to her. Bob Jones III’s defense of Chuck Phelps not only reveals his abject lack of understanding about the human condition, it also proves his own depravity. This man should not be the chancellor of any school. If he had an ounce of sense and the least bit of shame, he would resign, and move out of Greenville where he can live the rest of life reflecting on the harm he and his “university” have done to countless people through decades of spiritual, emotional, and, in some cases (Bob Jones Academy), physical abuse. BJU is not a safe place for women. I hope as students prepare to leave later in the week, they will pack everything and spend their Christmas vacation praying if BJU really is the place for them.

  28. Just wondering hypothetically: If Chuck Phelps’ 15 year old daughter was statutorily raped by a mid-thirties inner-city gang banger, would he have “contacted the police 4 times”, let almost 2 decades pass with no investigation, then reluctantly turn over evidence to implicate and assist the government in convicting the accused?

    One. Thinks. Not.

    1. Meh. It’s possible.

      On the one hand, IFB folks often have a two tiered system of treatment of people, where the inner circle is treated with great respect while those outside are treated like trash.

      On the other hand, if Phelps is a sociopath or narcissist, which many IFB pastors seem to have traits of, then it’s quite possible that he is unable to feel any empathy or genuine love for the victim, even if she is his own child. He may well rationalise the situation based on what he has to gain and lose from various actions; if the perp is a large supporter of his ministry, then it would be best for him to hush it up. If, however, the perp was a troublemaker who threatened his authority, then it would be profitable for him to report to the police. Either way, it would be about what profits him rather than the victim.

  29. I know that Bob Jones will survive this latest hiccup and the most recent resignation (in some shape or form) but how is the school really doing? It sounds like the school will have to downsize or adopt a more moderate/normal/accountable position. Do other IFB schools stand to gain by BJU’s decline or this an overall trend in IFB schools? It seems to be that the smaller IFB schools are suffering from a dearth of students but it may be a case of “seeing what I want to see”.

    1. Attendance is down overall in IFBdum colleges. Regionally accredited and relatively moderate schools like Clearwater and Maranatha may be doing better.

      I don’t think a single incident like this will break the university. I don’t think Chris Peterson’s actions broke the university. I doubt the GRACE report will unless there’s some huge bombshells in it, and even then a dramatic collapse is unlikely. Jack and Dave Hyles’ didn’t destroy HAC and Schaap didn’t polish them off, either.

      The pattern for troubled ministries seems to be a steady erosion of attendance numbers and financial support. Over time the decline is very noticeable, but in the short run the losses seem to be minor.

  30. Is it just me or does Bob Jones 3 sound like the instructor from the movie Dodgeball? The 5 D’s of pastoring in the IFB are dodge, duck, dive, dip and dodge? I could see through this man back when I was in high school and we visited BJU for nationals and he spoke to us in chapel. The school gave a creepy vibe to me then, even more so now!

  31. It’s amazing how “investigations” occur! I have found that TYPICALLY when a “church” investigates — its cuz they are covering crap up FIRST BEFORE anyone can actually bring the truth to light!

  32. This audio is just more evidence if the lack of real godliness at BJU. Bob Jones III is no more a Christian spiritual leader than David Koresh was.

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