Be Cautious: Faux Niceness, Victim-Bullies, and Survivor Abuse Blogs
(this post has been updated below, July 5, as well as July 7, July 11, July 15)
Velour and Christiane continue to discuss TWW on Wade’s Istoria blog in this thread as late as July 14 / 15
Update to this post, a part 2:
This will be a very, very long post. You may want to get a cup off coffee while you read it.
I really do not want my blog here to turn into a running commentary on other blogs, such as TWW (The Wartburg Watch), but because I don’t feel as free to openly express myself at TWW, and that I don’t want to create any drama on other people’s blogs, I feel more comfortable posting some thoughts here on my blog.
That I don’t feel completely comfortable expressing all my views in their entirety at TWW in and of itself should be an indicator that something is amiss at TWW (and similar blogs, groups, and forums).
In this post, I believe I need to discuss certain personalities and not only general phenomenon.
I’m sorry if this makes me look as though I am being mean or petty, but in my view, certain persons have played a role in some of the negative dynamics going on at TWW.
The persons I will be focusing on the most in this post are TWW participants Velour and Christiane.
I think Deb and Dee are doing a good thing with TWW: their blog exists mostly to highlight the authoritarian natures of many churches and pastors, and the abuse that results in, and they also discuss the poor job churches do at preventing child sexual abuse – all of which is admirable.
My blog post here is not intended to be “anti TWW” or “anti Deb” or “anti Dee.” I hope it is not taken in that way.
I think most of the commentators at TWW are good, fine people – but a few are “bad apples,” and many of the rest are naive and seem blind to what is going on.
I’ve seen about two or three people who post there who I think are savvy to what’s been going on, but they don’t feel at ease coming right out and directly saying what’s on their mind on TWW. They drop mild hints instead. (Except for one fine post I spotted by member Beaker J. That is one of the few exceptions; more on that below.)
When posting to a blog such as TWW, one sort of feels a mild pressure to express their thoughts very obliquely, because the culture of the blog does not allow for direct communication.
(Direct communication is often viewed on many Christian sites, especially Abuse Recovery ones, as being mean and heartless. This is an un-spoken rule at blogs such as TWW; you pick up on it after lurking or posting there for awhile.)
I think at one time that TWW was a safe place for a person to share his or her story. If you’ve ever been hurt by a church, a doctrine, or a set of Christians, that blog was, at one time, a safe spot to share.
Somewhere in the last few months, or over the past year, things changed at TWW. It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly when things in the comment box there shifted.
LIBERAL BENT OF THE COMMENT SECTION
I’d say most commentators over there, at TWW, are politically and theologically liberal, so if, like me, you are a conservative, your views are not going to be entirely welcome, or you will have to express your conservative views in a very cautious, hesitant manner.
You’ll find yourself self-censoring your conservative views so as not to start feuds or get yelled at or be thought of as “mean.”
(By the way, this is true not only of TWW but many other spiritual abuse or abuse recovering sites, forums, blogs, and groups I’ve lurked in or posted to: for some reason I do not understand, most of them are left-wing and have un-written rules in place that pressure folks from being forth-right in general terms and/or from challenging liberal perspectives.)
I wrote another post about that here, so I don’t want to spend much more time on this subject in this blog post:
I realize that when people are hurting, they may lash out in anger.
Sometimes the healing process involves moving past the crying and sad stage to the angry, screaming, “Hulk smash!” stage.
(It’s not healthy for anyone to stay in the “Hulk” stage, however. Sometimes the anger and rage also turns into bitterness.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from having a bitter sibling, bitterness hurts the one who holds it, not the ones they are angry with.
If you are bitter, you will drive people away from you. Nobody, after all, wants to hang out with the “Perpetually Angry At The World” Jerk, but generally prefer the company of the smiling, happy, even-tempered, joking, well-adjusted.
I myself am still somewhat in the anger phase, but I at least realize it’s not good to be here – I’m aware of some of these issues and their perils.)
So, when a person is healing from about any type of abuse, they may enter the “angry” phase of recovery, where they snap and snarl at everyone and scream a lot of profanity.
I understand that Dee of TWW understands all that, which is why she will allow some of her participants (who have been victimized by churches or whomever) to express strong anger in the comments section.
To a point, I agree with that. I get it.
Sometimes, however, those who have been hurt, those who are victims, become the bully.
These “Victim Bullies” then run about, un-checked in the comment sections of web sites, terrorizing and spitting in rage at anyone and everyone who disagrees with them.
(I myself blew up at a few people about two or more years ago at TWW. I did, however, realize I was behaving like a rude jackass, so I apologized a day or so later, and then again, a few days afterwards.
Nobody asked me to apologize. I took responsibility for my actions. I also felt genuinely bad about having behaved like a jerk. I apologized by name to those I had lashed out at. For any other occasions I bit someone’s head off and didn’t apologize then: I apologize now.)
Deb does not check in so much at the TWW blog, and Dee has taken ill the last few months, so I take it that she cannot be as involved with her blog.
I don’t know what happened to the TWW moderator, “GBTC” (Guy Behind the Curtain).
Whether it’s due to lack of time and oversight, or from a misplaced sense of compassion for the “angry-hurting,” sometimes, the problematic posters at TWW (and sites like it – don’t mean to single out only TWW here), are permitted to run amok in the comment section, ripping people’s heads off.
Even wounded, hurt, and victimized people should be held accountable for their actions, and even ones on blogs for the hurting. Even on Spiritual Abuse blogs.
Allow such people a certain amount of cussing and shouting on your blog to get the angry and hurt out of their systems, fine; but to allow them to repeatedly act “bossy,” rudely, or with hostility towards others for weeks or months, no. That is not fair or responsible towards the other members.
VELOUR AT TWW
This brings me to one specific commentator at TWW named Velour. Some of this will be about her specifically, but I will also be using her to draw attention to general topics.
I wrote a bit more about Velour and her recent implosion at the TWW in the second half of my post here (under the “RC Jr Sproul” section) if you would like more background:
Non-Church, Non-Spiritual, or Secular Remedies and Treatments Don’t Always Work (Post on this blog)
In this TWW thread about RC Jr Spoul’s problems,
RC Sproul Jr Is Now a Convicted Felon Alcoholic and Is One Step Away From a Tragedy, (Post on Wartburg Watch blog)
Velour behaved like a bully.
Velour was not a victim – not in that thread.
Even though Velour, was, I suppose, in her mind, on some kind of crusade to defend alcoholic Christians from perceived slights, her poor treatment of others in the thread was not excusable.
As far as I could ascertain, it was this comment by Barbara Roberts (Link to Comment) that set Velour off:
Hi Dee and Deb, just a couple of things you might want to correct in this part of your post:
>> Heart breaking tragedy is not an excuse for substance abuse. Sproul Jr. needs serous help.
I learned an important lesson while working in an alcoholic hospital when I was young. Tragedy does not cause alcoholism. Alcoholism is an excuse to drink and every alcoholic in the world usually tries to find an excuse to drink.<<
Serous help? Haha. Sounds like needs a blood transfusion! …. which is not that far off base: he needs to be born again as this persistent pattern of behaviour shows he is NOT regenerate and is NOT in Christ at all. I wonder whether RC Sproul Senior has accepted that fact yet? I doubt it.
And I’m sure you didn’t mean ‘Alcoholism is an excuse to drink’ — I’m pretty sure you meant something like “Alcoholics use tragedy as an excuse to drink….”
R C Sproul Junior needs to be put out of the church and that needs to be very publicly done because he has been so significant at Ligonier. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13.
// end post by Barbara Roberts
1 Corinthians 5:11-13 reads:
But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
From that post by Roberts, Velour’s ire began.
Velour proceeded not only to jump on Barbara Roberts but also went after Julie Anne and someone named “H.A.” She later started jumping down my throat in that thread.
Later in that thread, Barbara replied to Velour. I did feel that Barbara’s tone was a little terse, and I’m not a fan of terseness myself. But I don’t feel that Barbara’s terse comeback or her original post warranted Velour’s wrath.
While Roberts may have been terse with Velour in that thread, Velour herself got terse with another TWW participant named Jeannette Altes months ago, a woman who used to post a link to her GoFundMe page on every single TWW thread for over a year.
Here is Jeanette helping Velour to figure out the amount of fees to take out for Shauna’s GoFundMe – Link to Comment.
In the open thread, Velour got quite short and snippy in tone with Altes (that’s how it came across to me).
It starts out with Velour advising Jeannette to get on to disability.
Velour gets more and more insistent that Jeannette try disability.
Jeannette replied (link):
Velour, I hear you and have great respect for what you do here at TWW. And I am very aware of the situation as you have stated it.
That said, I request to know whether you are speaking on behalf of Dee and Deb and/or the TWW community.
…It feels like my request for assistance had offended you. If so, I am sorry.
If Dee or Deb would like me to stop posting these requests, I will certainly do so. I never expected or wanted this situation to go this long.
Thank you for all the prayers and support you have given.
// end Jeannette quote
Of course, Uppity Bimbo’s response to Jeannette in that same thread was not sugar coated.
Velour, behaving as though she owns the blog, tells Jeannette (comment link):
My concern for you, and I hear that in other comments from other people here, is that you have declined suggestions from everyone in the TWW community about how to generate an income and pay your expenses.
You said you have a long-term disability. If that is the case, a physician should be able to certify you for disability/monthly check and would know your medical history and condition.
I was asked to formally take over some pages when TWW is released in a new format.
The TWW community will have, and presently has, other emergency situations that people are facing and they will require our financial assistance to stabilize their situations.
Please see a social worker about your situation, discuss what services are available for you, and come up with an action plan.
// end Velour quote
Not only is the response a little on the snippy side (and it sure bothered Velour when Roberts was snippy with her on another thread), but Velour seemed to adopt this view that because Dee gave her more official blog duties, that she has ownership in the blog.
Velour can now command others around in other threads, is the mindset I was picking up from her.
I notice too that while Velour was ready to tell Jeannette to hit the road jack with her fund-raising, that she was patient and oh-so-nice in trying to raise funds for Shauna.
Someone sent me a private note two or more days ago saying Dee said in some post that Velour told Dee she would never return to TWW.
I went back to TWW and went up and down the threads, where I found the post this person was telling me about.
Here is what Dee said (comment link):
To our readers
It appears that Velour will not be returning to TWW. This was not the wish of the Deebs-far from it. We have not had any difficult conversations with her. We tried desperately to communicate with her but she said she does not have any time to talk with us because she lives on the West.Coast and we are on the East coast. I know, it is something which could be overcome. She has asked me not to try to communicate with her again. So, I told her she was loved and have backed off.
Once again, as a thread becomes more about a commenter’s personal concerns than the subject matter at hand, things go off track. I am so sorry this happened.
// end Dee quote
After that remark, several people chimed in to essentially say, “Oh no, poor Velour, I hope she returns.” (One sample response here.)
Christiane’s response here.
The post revolved around a topic [alcoholism, but specifically R C Jr Sproul] that is volatile. When it is discussed even in microcosm, there are emotions and reactions that are unpredictable and people respond accordingly. No one’s fault. It happens. Such is the pain of alcholism’s impact on so many. So many.
// end Christiane quote
No, it was not the “volatility” of the topic that got to people. It was Velour’s demeanor that got to people. Velour was being very rude and obnoxious to anyone in the comment section who did not fully agree with her.
In that thread, Ken G said:
I’m not surprised that Velour left and will not return. In fact she was told,
“Start your own blog Velour & come back to normal participation here.”
There does seem to be some kind of lack of tolerance for different views. I made some observations about the AOG churches and responses became very defensive, even accusing me of calling people who attend AOG churches, “stupid.”
// end Ken G
Ken G was referring to this post by Beaker J.
Excerpt (from Beaker J written to Velour):
Sorry Velour, you have & are taking this much too far. I’ll email Dee with my concerns later but let me state them for you now so this is public:
* Since starting to comment here you have taken an oddly proprietory tone, as though not-quite that this is your blog, but that somehow you act as ‘hostess’ of the comments here.
At first I thought maybe the Deebs had asked you to do this to help out, but then I realised it was just how you did things, maybe I misread you & what did it matter anyway. Clearly it does matter now as you are gatekeeping this thread & deciding who is behaving as a Christian here.
I happen to agree totally with Beaker J’s view there.
Velour absolutely began to behave as though TWW was her blog.
To Ken G: learn like many of the others there must learn: Velour was the bully, not the victim, in that thread.
Velour, though, continues to think of herself as a Victim of that thread, if her recent comments on Wade Burleson’s “Istoria Ministries” blog is any indication (more on that below).
TOO DEPENDENT ON A SITE, SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME THERE
A reminder for you:
Here is what Dee said (comment link) on TWW in regards to Velour saying adieu:
We tried desperately to communicate with her [Velour] but she said she does not have any time to talk with us because she lives on the West.Coast and we are on the East coast.
// end quote
I am not comprehending this – how can Velour “not have the time” to chat with Deb and Dee, when she posted to TWW at all times of day and night, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day?
I will have to guess here, but I think Velour began posting to TWW sometime around 2015?
(I think I started posting there regularly around 2013 or 2014. I was on there before Velour was.)
Velour began posting there quite frequently once she joined.
Velour was spending an inordinate amount of time on the TWW blog – she was on seven days a week, almost 24 hour a day.
I don’t believe trying to get one’s emotional needs met only, or primarily, at a blog, and spending that much time on a blog, is mentally healthy for a person, nor is it, in my opinion, a sign of mental stability.
I’ve posted to TWW a lot myself in the past, but in the last few months, I’ve lessened my participation, for various reasons.
Even when I was posting at TWW a lot, I would sometimes, on some days, turn my computer off to go on a walk, watch a movie, or go read a book. If I got online, I would sometimes stay away from TWW to visit other sites.
I didn’t often see Velour taking those sorts of breaks.
Any time I would drop in to TWW to lurk after days of skipping the place, I could see from the time stamps on Velour’s posts that she was practically living on that blog, day in and day out.
When one considers the heavy amount of time Velour was investing to TWW, as well as the fact that Dee allowed Velour to be in charge of a Prayer List page on the blog, I think she got the feeling that she was a co-owner of the blog.
So, Beaker J’s post above is absolutely accurate: Velour had this tone about her, as though TWW was her blog, or as though she was the official second moderator, and so she could dictate to others how and what to comment.
And this tone and behavior was extremely arrogant and condescending, and it came to a head in the “RC Sproul Jr Is Now a Convicted Felon Alcoholic and Is One Step Away From a Tragedy” thread.
ON TWW MODERATING – GUY BEHIND THE CURTAIN MODERATOR
By the way, where was TWW’s moderator during all that, during The Great Velour Melt Down? The GBTC (Guy Behind the Curtain)?
Why didn’t he jump in to ask Velour to play nicely?
That moderator guy used to watch the comment box like a hawk, micro-managing things. If you got a period out of place, he’d give you a stern and tersely-worded warning. (I’m not a fan of micro-management, by the way. It’s very annoying.)
I once was permanently banned from TWW about two years ago, because, I was not formatting URLs to TWW moderator guy’s preference (I was using A HREF tags, not full URLs), and I was inserting asterisks into words (such as typing “S*x” for “Sex”) which really annoyed him (I guess it created more work for him, because he had to hang out more in the blog’s admin area).
So GBTC banned me.
I was incredulous when I found out it was a PERMANENT ban.
The moderator guy later fumed, when he contacted me, that he had told me repeatedly to stop using asterisks or A HREFs, and so on.
Well, okay. (In some cases, I just forgot: who cares if someone uses A HREF, or whatever).
But really, to permanently put someone on ice over something so trivial?
OTHER SPIRITUAL ABUSE BLOGS MAY NOT SUPPORT YOU, EITHER
About that time, I went to Julie Anne’s SSB (“Spiritual Sounding Board” blog) to well, sound off, that I was upset over having been banned at TWW over something so stupid.
After all, TWW (and blogs like it), claim to support victims, and the hurting, and so on. But here they were banning me over a silly reason?
I like Julie Anne, I do, but I was disappointed that she basically told me on her blog when I posted about my anger and disappointment with TWW to quiet down about it – she didn’t want me airing my grievances about TWW on her blog.
Where else was I to go? (I don’t even think I had this ‘Daisy’ blog at that time.)
There’s another lesson in there for you: if you have been hurt by one Abuse Survivor Blog (and banned in the process), and try to discuss it at another Abuse Survivor Blog, the owner of the second blog may be reluctant to let you discuss your experiences, if he or she is cozy friends with the first blog that banned you.
You will sort of be victimized a second time, all over again. Such fun.
After about 8 or 9 months, I finally e-mailed Deb and Dee. I acknowledged it’s their blog to run as they see fit, but honestly, permanently banning someone for mistyping words or using A HREF tags was incredibly petty and, well, very dumb.
I explained to them that I used to be a moderator at a heavily- trafficked Christian board many years ago, and in the several years there, I only used the Permanent Ban Hammer on a very few, select, very egregious cases. I never blocked anyone for trivial things such as poor HTML formatting.
At most, I would revoke a hot-headed person’s posting privilege for 2 or 3 days, so they could cool off, then they were permitted to resume posting.
At any rate, the TWW team lifted my ban, and I was allowed to post there once more, so I started posting again.
But I do wonder about a set of blog owners that are okay with putting the perma-ban on someone for how they type their links.
VELOUR CLAIMING SHE IS BANNED FROM TWW BLOG
Given that Deb and Dee and/or their Moderator Dude will ban people over offenses as trivial as link formation, it’s hard for me to say how accurate or honest Velour’s claim is, that she has been banned from TWW.
In this thread, in the comment section, at the Istoria Ministry Blog, owned by Wade Burleson, Velour says to Christiane:
[Date of post: June 30, 2017, link to the comment]
No, they blocked me from commenting at all on TWW because I brought up the issue of addiction.
This is an issue of addiction. I’m not excusing RC2. But there is an epidemic of
addiction in the church, among the clergy and the folks in the pews (including among women). They offered no hope and help to those who are suffering from addictions, spouses, children, and friends, and what can be done.
It was full of condemnation and relentless put downs of those addicted. I have received horrible follow-ups on social media from some of those people. Drama, drama and more drama.
Many people should go to Al-Anon in my opinion and learn to work on their own lives in the face of addiction.
I was going to ask you to take over the Prayer List, since I won’t be coming back. I think that you are a woman of prayer and mercy and would be a good fit for that role.
Thanks for standing up for Harley. She’s a friend of mine.
// end Velour quote
I want to pick this post apart.
As for offering no hope to addicts: Velour over-promotes secular medicine and treatment plans.
The truth is that secular medicine and psychology do not work for everyone who tries those approaches, and in my view, it’s just as bad to offer people false hope as no hope.
See this post for more:
Non-Church, Non-Spiritual, or Secular Remedies and Treatments Don’t Always Work (Post on this blog)
And this one:
Problems with A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) (Post on this blog)
Drama, drama and more drama.
// end Velour quote
Yes. Velour was responsible for creating all the drama, drama, drama on that thread. She should take responsibility for that, instead of acting like it was due to everyone else.
First of all, I suspect that what went on behind the scenes is that Dee contacted Velour privately and asked her to please voluntarily curtail her participation on TWW blog.
But Velour was probably incensed or hurt by that request, since she feels she was the Victim in that thread, who was merely defending the Hurting Alcoholics, so she’s wording things to suggest she has been banned, when all that happened is that Dee probably asked her to just stay off the blog for 2 or 3 days.
Now, it’s possible Velour was literally banned from posting.
Maybe Dee had her moderator, GBTC, put Velour’s name or e-mail address on their blog’s ban filter.
That could be. Seeing as how I was perma-banned at one time at TWW over the innocuous offense of using ‘A HREF’ tags for links, I’d say anything is possible over there with the banning; God only knows.
Secondly, Velour wrote:
No, they blocked me from commenting at all on TWW because I brought up the issue of addiction.
// end Velour quote
Velour is being disingenuous. The topic was about R C Sproul Jr in particular in the TWW thread in question, not about addiction in general.
Had anyone wanted to talk about addiction in general, I don’t think most in the thread would’ve minded: it’s not WHAT Velour was talking about that rankled people there, it was the HOW.
Velour was being smug and obnoxious to everyone in the thread. That was the turn-off, not necessarily the substance of her beliefs.
It was full of condemnation and relentless put downs of those addicted.
// End Quote
Was it? I doubt it was. I haven’t read 100% of the responses on the thread. But from what I did see, nobody was bashing alcoholics. I have several alcoholics in my family, which I think I even mentioned in the thread.
ADDICTS ARE NOT VICTIMS
Velour desperately wants to view any and all addicts as poor, little victims. They are not.
Some addicts leave a trail of destruction behind them.
My brother (who was an alcoholic) married a crack addict (his wife later moved on to heroin).
Let me tell you something about this addict wife: she would regularly steal money from my brother, take his possessions, and that of her son’s (son from a previous marriage), to “hawk” the items at a pawn shop to get money to buy more drugs.
A lot of addicts behave in this manner. They will rob and steal from other people to fund their drug habits. Some lose their jobs due to being sloshed all the time.
Addicts are not always sweet, lovable types – and it’s not your job, mine, or a church’s to “clean them up.” One cannot love an addict out of an addiction, either. No amount of warm fuzzies is going to get someone to stop using alcohol or crack.
Such is addiction that the only person that can stop a person from using is the addict him- or herself. Hence, all the talk in those treatment programs Velour is so fond of promoting that drop words and phrases such as “enabling” and “hitting bottom.”
Maybe the nicest thing a family and church could do is kick an alcoholic out of a church – maybe that would help that person “hit bottom” and point them in the right direction. Why not consider that as an option? Why is it “condemning” to think of that or wonder about it?
But why does Velour not acknowledge that a lot of addicts prey on people? Addicts victimize people, they create victims. Where is Velour’s concern for the victims of addicts?
In the early stages of that Sproul Jr. thread at TWW, Velour asked how I would feel if a church banned me for my former clinical depression or for having anxiety.
I told her, as far as I’m aware, unlike drunkness, there is no Bible verse that instructs Christians to dis-fellowship a person with depression or anxiety.
There are, however, Bible verses that say to ‘expel the drunkard from among you,’ and not to select for leadership positions men prone to drinking too much wine.
Also, my depression and anxiety basically only hurt myself, not those around me. (I don’t rob people to fund an “anxiety habit.” LOL.)
In another post in that same thread, Velour said:
This is the video of a former pastor who is in recovery from alcohol that I wanted to post at Wartburg, but I was blocked from doing so.
// end Velour quote
She seems to be saying she cannot post to that blog any further. That was not what Dee indicated in her public post.
Showing a stunning lack of self-insight and self-awareness, Velour also told Christiane on the Istoria Blog (Comment Link):
No, I won’t be back. I was treated terribly, what was posted about me by her was untrue,
I asked her to correct it, she knew I was tied up. And she refused. She threatened me in an email and said that she would post my email and everyone would discuss it and that “no one would buy [my] ‘excuse’.” Because I’m busy? Because I don’t have time this week and I am tied up with my job?
I don’t need this kind of drama.
Is this her health problem and her medication? What is going on over there?
I have never gotten so many nasty social media private conversations as from the people over there. Just bizarre. But for the grace of God there go any of us, tumbling into the pit and chains of addiction.
//end Velour quote
I very well wondered the same things about Velour. What is going on with her? Her behavior on that thread (and a bit prior) was obnoxious, erratic, and irrational.
Velour thinks she was treated terribly? No, oh, no. She was the one treating others terribly.
Velour was the one creating all the drama on that thread, not Dee, not myself, not Julie Anne, or anyone else. It was her, all her.
But for the grace of God there go any of us, tumbling into the pit and chains of addiction.
//end Velour quote
I don’t think so. People choose how to deal with the stress of life.
Some choose to turn to drugs and alcohol, some food, and some, like me, go on jogs or watch cute cat videos on You Tube.
So please, don’t leave this impression that anyone and everyone is prone to using a substance to cope with life.
I also see Velour threw HA’s apology to her back in his face, or she’s using it as leverage (link to comment):
(comment by) H.A. on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 08:30 PM said:
Velour wrote (Velour quoting Mae):
Ugh…..the nastiness continues.
Verbal bullying is not appreciated, nor warranted.
Please Velour give it up….turn the other cheek, as you have been demanding others do.
Maybe you haven’t read all of the comments?
We have – thank you Lord – made progress. H.A. apologized to me today for the verbal barbs that H.A. repeatedly directed at me and asked for forgiveness. I accepted.
H.A. said that it was an old coping skill and apologized. I accepted.
– – – – –
I can see you’re now using my apology and request for forgiveness as some sort of trophy, i.e. “Ahah, chalk one up for me! I won!” Now you’re demanding Barbara and Julie Anne must do the same or you’ll just keep reminding them over and over and over again what meanies they are. I don’t think you’ve forgiven me or you wouldn’t be doing this.
Although I was sincere in asking for your forgiveness, because it’s the right thing to do, I also had another very important reason: it was to set an example, an example not for Barbara and Julie Anne, but for you. I’d hoped that you might come to see a need to humble yourself. Instead your bullying just continues.
// end H.A. post quote
Yes, H.A. has Velour pegged correctly there. The one doing the bullying was Velour.
I’d have to guess that TWW member “Christiane” began posting to TWW some time in 2016.
Christiane presents herself as being a very loving, caring person. She is not.
Christiane cannot and should not be trusted by Velour, or by anyone.
Christiane pretends to be very nice, but she is not. She uses her flowery, sweet language to paper over her real intent and her anger and her barbs.
Christiane will say fawning, nice things about you one moment but then the next day, slyly and cattily rip you apart in another thread. She has done that to me at least once at TWW that I can recall. She allowed her “Nice Lady Mask” to slip momentarily.
Christiane will cozy up to you on a blog so long as she perceives you as being a member in good standing, one who is well-liked by other commentators.
The moment she deduces you have fallen out of favor and are disliked by other members, she won’t bother defending you or speaking so nicely about you.
I was brought up by a highly codependent mother who communicated in the same fake, sweet way Christiane does – and my mother raised me to be and to talk in the same way; for many years, I did not let anger show openly, but I was a very passive aggressive person.
Christiane – and even Velour – will not come right out in a post and tell you to “Eff off” if they are angry at you, no. They will write a very (on the surface of it) civil sounding post, three to 20 paragraphs long, basically telling you in super nice language to “Go Eff Off.”
And I find that polite “go eff off” to be as rude as the blatant “F_ck you!” one sees on other sites. Both are pretty bad, but at least the “F_ck you” is more honest and concise (unlike my very long blog posts!)
So I recognize the style.
Christiane’s first agenda seemed to be promoting Roman Catholicism at TWW, in a very stealthy manner. That may still be part of her agenda for posting at TWW and at Wade Burleson’s blog and where else else she is haunting online.
After having learned that Christiane has been on other blogs and forums in the past – some Christian related – and she was posting under other names on those blogs and sites and employed similar tactics – feigning innocence and sweetness while quietly slipping a knife into other people’s ribs – I now wonder if she’s up to something more sinister.
I’ve read about people who are NPDs or sociopaths or other mentally unstable individuals who lack empathy and who enjoy preying on vulnerable people for kicks and amusement.
I wonder now if Christane falls into that category, so I was quite creeped out to see this post at TWW that she wrote (excerpts):
(comments by Christiane):
This is so true. Many people have emerged from terrible experiences with a determination to warn others of the dangers of predatory people who prey on the innocent in ‘church’ settings.
I have seen TWW as a sanctuary for recovering victims but also as a place where SURVIVORS could help prevent further victimization from occurring (or at least make an effort in that direction) …..
If a place like TWW can offer a sanctuary that takes in wounded victims of clergy abuse, offers them a voice that had been denied to them and offers a place for them to share their experiences;
//end Christiane quotes
It sounds to me as though Christiane knows TWW’s audience all too well, the way a lioness on the hunt studies a pack of gazelles, seeking which one is the weakest member of the herd to pick off.
If Christiane is toying with people’s minds and emotions, what a better hunting ground than a blog that is quite open about catering to the wounded, hurting, and victimized?
Even if that is not Christiane’s purpose, she inadvertently tosses people aside. When Velour asked Christiane publicly at Wade’s blog to please contact her in private via e-mail, Christian refused, saying she only takes e-mails from family members – which sounds like a brush off to me.
How must Velour feel about this, if she’s perceptive enough to realize that Christiane is blowing her off? She would probably feel hurt and betrayed to realize this woman who presented herself as a true-blue friend on a blog over a period of months is now refusing to be there for her now, when she’s obviously upset.
Christiane is a passive-aggressive person who has some kind of agenda -promoting Roman Catholicism and who knows what else? But in spite of all her flowery and sweet talk, she does not genuinely care about the people with whom she is corresponding on these sites.
As Velour and Christiane began hi-jacking the TWW comment box to do their odd duet, I noticed that other people stopped participating as much there. Threads used to get over 100 comments per thread, with many different people posting, but no more.
At any rate, I think TWW could be a much better place to post, and a safer place, if Christiane were given the heave-ho.
At the very least, if an ounce of Christiane truly cares at all about other people (if she truly believes in the sugary- sweet sounding pablum she writes) she will voluntarily leave TWW and blogs like it, or at least curtail her participation.
Just remember that just because a person treats you nice on a forum, group, or blog and uses nice-sounding words with you, does not mean that the person is nice, nor does it mean that this person has your best interests at heart, nor does it mean that the person really cares about you.
July 5, 2017 —– U-P-D-A-T-E
I was privately sent a link to the comment page of Istoria Ministry’s blog comments. (I had not been to that page since I last posted this on my blog about 3 days ago. This is the first day I’ve been back on the internet in two days.)
I’ve skimmed over a few of the comments.
Apparently, Velour and Christiane are still chatting about these incidents, and Velour is referring to some of us (all of us, or those at TWW?) as being “angry people.”
Velour is still refusing to accept responsibility for her behavior.
A post or two from that comment page (link to Wade’s Istoria Blog’s comment page):
Post by Velour:
Thanks. I read the comments. It doesn’t really explain what happened (except for the ‘core group’ remark).
But like I said, I’m not going back over there. It was a very irresponsible piece to publish, in my opinion, considering this problem (addiction) is an epidemic in the church. To make it about one guy (a problem pastor) who mathematically represents a much greater problem is simply wrong in my book. No help and hope were offered. No real resources. Sigh. The problem pastor’s wife showed up to defend her husband, and no one offered help to her. The ‘dog piling’ just continued. This is a wife who is in a terrible position: she loves her husband and he has some very serious problems. She should have been shown love, compassion, and proper help.
I don’t believe that “H.A.” (who is new) who was behind that T.W.W. article about the problem pastor should have been given a forum for his ferocious and inappropriate anger. When anyone disagreed with him he spewed his caustic remarks at people right and left.
Please join me in praying for everyone.
// End Velour quotes
Velour was actually quite angry at “H.A.” and several others in the thread. She’s got it completely opposite.
By the way, I notice that when Velour suggested to Christiane that Christiane get a web-based e-mail account with G-Mail (which I also sugggested in the comments on this page today), Christiane replied to Velour:
I’ll talk to the family about your suggestion [to open a G-Mail account, so Velour and Christane can e-mail each other].
You are right that the situation with that comment was ‘sad’. I join you in praying for all involved. Have a great Fourth!
// end Christiane quote
Mmm-hmm. I can about tell you what happened with that: Christiane thought about Velour’s “set up a G-Mail account” suggestion for about a split second before tossing it in her circular file.
If Velour is reading this post:
I’ve said this before a time or two, but Christiane doesn’t care about you. I doubt Christiane will ever e-mail you. If she should (and I highly doubt she will), she’ll just send you more sweetly-worded messages of what she thinks you want to hear. Velour: Christiane does not have your best interests at heart.
Velour said to Christiane on Wade’s blog (why is Wade allowing this to continue, I wonder?):
Thanks for the update. I’ll pray for peoples’ concerns.
There are, in my opinion, lots of unhealthy people at The Wartburg Watch blog who want to take other peoples’ inventories and not their own. It’s not a healthy blog and I won’t be back. I know about half-a-dozen people who are also not coming back to that blog for very similar reasons and they’ve called, emailed me, and sent me messages via Facebook. They’ve reached their limit. (It’ very negative too, the articles. Do we ever hear anything positive?)
I am aware that the person you mention above. Sad. Oh well.
// end Velour quote
Pot meet kettle. Velour brought up some of the personal things I shared about myself on that blog in months past to sort of use against me later in that thread (tying to compare depression with alcoholism, for instance).
“Take inventories” – that sounds like Alcoholics Anonymous lingo.
As I said on a previous post of mine (I think it may have been this one), it’s not wise to apply 12 step program advice or concepts to people who are not alcoholics or addicts.
(I went through this with my brother, who was in AA, and an alcoholic – I don’t drink and never have. My brother has tried to apply AA concepts to me, but those concepts are not applicable to me.)
Velour is not taking her “own inventory.” She isn’t owning up to her misbehavior on that TWW thread. She is pointing fingers at other people, so, since she likes 12-step lingo: I will ask her what AA sponsors ask drinkers: What Role Did You Play In That?
Velour’s attitudes and behavior were unhealthy.
Velour was being rude, condescending, and obnoxious to people at TWW in the “Sproul Jr” thread whose opinions differed from hers.
In addition, and quite oddly, Velour was angry at me because my personal life experience (that doctor- prescribed medications and secular therapy did not help me) did not support her position that secular therapy and medications are always a guarantee for anyone who tries them.
How strange and irrational to depict my lived reality as being too “debbie downer,” so I should just shut up about it, butt out of the conversation, and go away.
The truth is what it is: therapy, psychiatry, and medications did not help me personally, but I never told others not to try those things; I just inform people to have realistic expectations when they go to see a psychologist or try medications.
Regarding this remark by Velour to Christiane:
(It’ [TWW blog] very negative too, the articles. Do we ever hear anything positive?)
// end Velour quote
This is a rather bogus criticism. TWW is a spiritual abuse blog, so are you expecting all the stories they run there to be sunshine, snails, and puppy dog tails?
How uplifting and positive do you really expect stories about pastors covering up child sex abuse to be?
Yes, a lot of that is negative, but it’s necessary work, and it’s negative by nature.
The problem is that there are preachers who are spiritually abusing adults and adults molesting children, and churches are covering this up – the problem is not with Deb and Dee reporting on those stories.
Velour to Christiane on Wade’s site (link again):
Anonymous [Velour] said…
You have a lovely 4th too.
I prayed for all of those angry people over at The Wartburg Watch blog. I will pray for them for 30 days.
// end Velour quote
The angry people at TWW? Is she serious? Velour was the angry one, not the TWW commentators – not initially, anyway; not until she pushed some of us with her behavior. Velour is practicing projection there.
By the way, I know the Christiane types of the world well enough to know she is likely visiting this blog post on a continual basis to see if there’s anything new here, and she’ll probably run back over to Wade’s blog to breathlessly inform Velour about my new blog post additions.
Why doesn’t Christiane just post here, on this blog post? Both she and Velour can post here, if they like.
July 7, 2017 —– U-P-D-A-T-E (more than one here)
A member below (see this blog page’s comment box, comment here – link will open in new window) visited Wade’s Istoria blog the other day, and posted a copy of Velour’s newest comments to this blog’s page, below.
Velour is still not taking responsibility, last I saw, for her behavior in the TWW Sproul Jr. thread. She is also refusing to speak directly to people, but talking past them to Christiane (i.e., passive aggressive behavior).
TWW July 7, 2017 Post “A Reflection on the Difficulties of Internet Conflict”
That TWW post is dated Friday, July 7, 2017.
In it, Dee alludes to Velour without mentioning Velour’s name, and includes screen captures presumably from e-mails from Velour.
In those e-mails, Velour states she is too busy with her job to return calls to Dee.
She also quite oddly tells Dee in one e-mail to “attend 30 Al-Anon meetings.”
Why would or should Dee attend 30 Al-Anon meetings, or even one?
Does Velour think that every one at TWW is anti-alcoholic, and if only they attended support meetings for family of addicts, they would discover some new found compassion they are currently lacking?
I don’t think Velour ever grasped that nobody on that thread hates alcoholics or addicts.
Barbara Roberts’ feels unrepentant addicts who claim to be Christian shouldn’t be allowed among other Christians, but that was about the extent of negativity about that in that thread.
I have alcoholics on one side of my family, and I don’t hate them – not for their alcoholism, and I mentioned some of this on that thread.
Unless Velour is herself an addict, or family member to one, I am not grasping this deep-seated, very emotional reaction by her to anyone there who doesn’t automatically jump in full agreement to all her views about addiction, such as, how should churches deal with addicts, appropriate treatment programs, etc. Strange stuff.
July 11, 2017 —– U-P-D-A-T-E
I’ve not been back on the internet since today (three days off line).
People in the comments on this page say below that Velour and Christiane continue to post at Wade’s blog (“Istoria Ministires”) about TWW.
Someone named Victorious (comment link) asked Christiane to please give Velour Christiane’s e-mail address, so that their conversation could move to e-mail (and off Wade’s blog).
Christiane responds to the request (comment link) with a big, fat no – no surprise there!
There is nothing preventing Christiane from establishing a secondary e-mail with Google Mail, Hot Mail, or Yahoo Mail, only that she has no true interest in being Velour’s friend (her friendship on the blogs is all for show).
Velour depicts Dee wanting to speak with her by phone and/or to post Velour’s e-mails to the TWW blog as being “threats” (comment link). Were they really threats? Maybe they were not, and Velour is only taking them that way.
In that same comment, Velour once more says she finds Dee’s behavior bizarre – well, so too is Velour’s. Velour will not own up to her part in what occurred.
In another post to Christiane (here – dated July 7), Velour says that Dee was “totally out of line”.
Well, maybe, maybe not – without knowing exactly what went down in private, but it all sounds like it’s based on perception. Maybe Velour took any private comments from Dee the wrong way.
Velour was publicly rude, condescending, and obnoxious to a few people (including myself) on that TWW Sproul thread. At least two people (and probably more) contacted Dee privately via e-mail to let her know about it.
I think Dee had to take action because Velour was going bonkers on the comment box on TWW.
At one point, Deb (of TWW) asks Velour (comment link) to remove some TWW- related content from Velour’s blog:
Because Velour has taken such a strong public stand against The Wartburg Watch, I would appreciate her removing the following from her website (https://gbfsvchurchabuse.org/):
45 TWW re-posts
24 EChurch re-posts
Velour has made it patently clear that she will no longer be commenting on our blog. Given the exorbitant amount of time she has previously spent at TWW, she should now have an abundance of time to comply with my request.
// end quote
Hi Deb (Wanda Martin),
To be clear, I haven’t taken “a strong public stand against The Wartburg Watch.”
I’ve taken a strong public stand against being lied about and Dee’s unethical behavior.
I am gone at work and oral surgery appointments in another city miles away in my “free” time. I did not “refuse” to talk to Dee as she stated in her comment to readers about me. I am not available. Big difference.
I asked Dee to correct the record to readers and what she wrote about me in my response to her email to me. She would not. Instead Dee threatened me that she would post my emails for discussion. That is completely out of line and unethical.
Dee made good on her unethical threat and wrote a hit-piece about me, including my private emails…
…Dee blocked me from commenting at all on The Wartburg Watch
/// end Veloour quote
Dee never referred to Velour by name in that post (the TWW post was later redacted to remove screen shots of Velour’s e-mails). One would have to already be familiar with the incidents that went down there to know who or what exactly Dee was referring to.
If some of what Velour wrote is true to Deb there, I can’t say as though I find Dee and Deb to be totally in the okay in this, either – if it’s true they misrepresented Velour or used screen shots of her e-mails to threaten her with.
I don’t think either side comes out smelling like a rose, here, if any of what Velour is saying is accurate (but is it? I think she may have misunderstood Dee’s remarks or motives).
On the other hand, Velour instigated the entire matter – not just in the Sproul thread, but for months before that, when she behaved as though she “owned” the blog, and would take on a bit of a “bossy” tone towards others in the comment box.
In an earlier post on the page, Velour said this to Christiane:
And another outraged Wartburg Watch reader contacted me after Dee Parson’s hit piece about me and said that Dee has become like the tyrants she writes about.
The person said she was gobsmacked by Dee’s viciousness and that she too would NEVER return to The Wartburg Watch blog, that its tenor has changed, and she (like many others) wants no part of it.
She wanted to know why “EXACTLY” that Dee would write such an article. She said Dee’s veiled threat came across loud and clear.
// end Velour quote
Velour was instrumental in changing the tone and tenor of the comments section at TWW over the last year or more, though.
Beaker left a very level-headed response to Velour here (comment link – dated July 8).
At some stage, Deb or Dee stepped in to apologize to Wade on Wade’s blog that the drama over-flowed on his site.
Deb also, in a separate post, asked Velour to remove TWW from Velour’s blog’s blog roll (comment link). I understand Deb being upset with Velour, but I don’t think I’d ask Velour to remove TWW’s link from her own blog.
Velour replies by telling Deb to change TWW’s post about Velour first (comment link)
Someone named Anonymous said (dated July 8, comment link):
Read the blog post and have scrolled to the comments. Wow, what a bizarre and odd thread!
Since it’s public, I guess anyone can join in!
1) If Velour has her own blog, why is she posting here?
2) What kind of family does Christiane need permission from to set up an anonymous gmail or outlook account where Velour and herself can share all the *hugs* they want?
My only guess is that a public forum is what’s desired – Velour’s blog probably doesn’t get much traffic and private email correspondence is well….not seen by anyone and therefore no attention.
Although how much attention the tail end of week old blog gets, I have no idea. Oh yeah, I found it!
Have fun storming the castle!
// end Anon quote
Many good points there by Anonymous. (That was not me, by the way. I have not posted to that thread at Wade’s blog. If I did, I would sign my name in there somewhere. I have not been on the internet at all for the dates of July 7, 8, or 9)
Velour eventually chipped in to threaten Deb and Dee with some kind of legal action.
Hi Deb (Wanda Martin),
A Wartburg Watch reader just contacted me and read your statement here to me. The Wartburg Watch reader wanted to know when you and Dee plan on removing your unethical article about me from The Wartburg Watch?
// end Velour quote
Wade replies that he is not going to moderate the comment block on his own blog (comment link)
Deb (comment link) apologies to Wade about the conflict on his blog.
Michele rightly points out that Christiane was contributing to the kerfuffle on Wade’s blog (comment link).
I so far have left one post to Wade’s thread (comment link) and here is what I said (I did not make any posts to that thread prior to today, July 11, nor do I have plans to return at this time):
Sorry to Wade’s readers for the off-topic intrusion.
About a week or more ago, a reader named Velour at TWW (Wartburg Watch blog) got angry when another member there, Barbara, made a comment about churches “kicking out” alcoholics.
Velour then went on a rampage down that thread, biting off the heads of several people, including me, who were confused by her posts, or who did not totally agree with her views about alcohol treatment.
Imagine Godzilla (or Kitten-Zilla) stomping on Tokyo. It was like that, but not as cute or amusing.
I published a blog post on my Daisy blog about a week or more ago about all this stuff, linked to that post in a single comment at TWW (Wartburg Watch blog) precisely so anyone from that blog (including Velour and Chrisitane) could post about it there, rather than take TWW or this blog or some other site off-track.
This is the first post I have made to this thread.
To the person above who wrote:
anonymous when pigs fly
Sat Jul 08, 05:41:00 PM 2017”
// end quote
I assume you are accusing some Anonymous poster above of being me, Daisy? That was NOT me who made that post.
I have not even been on the internet at all since July 5 or 6 (I have not been on the internet on July 7, 8, or 9 [edit: I don’t think I was online on July 10, either -edit: I may be getting some of my dates mixed up – I may have been online on the 7th? but I was definitely not online on Saturday (8th), or Sunday, or Monday (10th) – I was sick in bed most of that time]), and the post to which you refer was made on July 8.
If I post here, I will sign off my name as “Daisy.”
– – – – – – –
This is the first (and hopefully last) post I will make to this thread.
I don’t know why Velour and/or Christiane don’t avail themselves of another avenue – such as my Daisy blog thread about this, or Velour’s own blog – to discuss this further.
Or, Christiane could totally make a G-Mail or Yahoo Mail address and give it to Velour.
// end my quote on Wade’s blog
Prediction (and I may be wrong): rather than come over to THIS blog to reply to me, Velour and or Christiane will likely reply to my comment at WADE’S blog.
July 15, 2017 —– U-P-D-A-T-E
As of July 14 and 15, Velour and Christiane continue to discuss TWW here (on the “Istoria” blog).
Partial quote by Velour on that thread, to Christiane:
…. People were reeling from the hateful comments [on Wartburg Watch blog] about those who struggle with the compulsion to drink, because for many of them that’s their struggle too. I have heard from many of them who no longer deem the community at The Wartburg Watch a ‘safe place’.
Those comments from many readers drove them further into shame and secrecy with their addictions.
They reached out to me, because they know that I will listen and offer help. They know that I will not shame them. They have a bona fide medical problem that changes the brain and the body. (Go to youtube to see the changes.)
[Source: July 14, 2017 Post]
// end Velour quote
What “hateful” comments is she referring to? Up to the time I ducked out of that thread, I did not see any hateful comments by anyone in regards to addicts.
Unless Velour continues to view Robert’s early comment about “kicking out” alcoholics in view of 1 Corinthians to be “hateful.”
But is it hateful? Why can this topic not be discussed and debated? I did a post here about it:
At least so far as my last main post to that Sproul Jr. thread on TWW, I did not see anyone shaming addicts or alcoholics.
Can Velour provide specific examples (with links, too, maybe) to any posts by commentators at TWW that she believes to be shaming and hateful?
I provided examples in my post here by alcoholics who say that attending 12 step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous did not help them – Velour thinks it’s “hateful” or “hopeless” to point this out, but, Velour (if you’re reading this), this is simply a fact of life.
I am only quoting what some alcoholics themselves have said.
It’s a fact of life that 12 step programs and secular psychiatry do not help everyone who tries them.
Some things in life require other methods, and sometimes in life, there is no answer or solution for a problem. That is me being realistic, not me trying to discourage people.
July 16, 2017 —– U-P-D-A-T-E
Velour is still on Istoria blog, and she left me a comment there, in which she took my views and actions out of context but accused me of doing so to her (no, I did not).
Here is a link to Velour’s July 15 comment to me on Istoria blog.
I basically reiterated in those two posts what I said in this blog post.
As I said, I don’t want to turn my Daisy blog into a never-ending dissection of TWW or other blogs (I’d prefer to discuss the yuckiness of complementarianism and other subjects), but I can’t discuss this at Julie Anne’s SSB blog, or she might get upset, and I sure don’t feel I can say some of these things openly at TWW itself, which leaves me with using my own blog.
If you’ve been wounded by a church, doctrine, or a group of Christians, I don’t know if TWW is an altogether safe spot for you to post your woes to – not right now. Maybe a year or more ago, yes, and maybe later on, but not now. Some funky, disturbing things have changed in the comment section.
You might want to e-mail Dee and Deb in private with your story, rather than go to the comment box.
If you do post to TWW publicly about your problems or abuse you have endured, you might want to limit your time there.
Instead of posting at TWW day after day, 365 days per year, maybe limit yourself to once or twice per day or per month.
If the TWW blog continues on course, with Christiane and those like her – passive aggressive types who play deceptive mind games with people who also act like they own the blog – permitted to remain and run wild in the comment section, I would think participation there will continue to drop off.
If you would like to use my blog, this post, to chime in and voice your concerns and observations about any of this (or about abuse blogs in general, it doesn’t have to be about TWW in particular), please feel free.
I will, though, have to approve posts by any new-comers in the moderator section. My blog does not allow un-registered newbies to post right away. You – your posts – have to be approved first.
Some days, I do not log into this account at all, so if you post, please do not be discouraged or get frustrated if you post something and it does not appear on the blog for several days or a week or more.
This post may be edited in the future to include new links, thoughts, or observations.
More Posts, on this Blog: