Mischaracterizing or Misunderstanding Codependency (Re: Sexual Betrayal, and Julie Roys Book) – Christian Abuse Survivor Community On A Witch Hunt – Introduction
Work on this post first began in April 2022, or maybe early May 2022. As I wrap this up, today’s date is May 24, 2022.
Ever since Christian journalist Julie Roys began publishing reportage of domestic abuse cover ups, or child sex abuse cover ups, by John MacArthur and his church (such as this one), various JMac (John MacArthur) defenders have come out of the wood-work to dig up any dirt on Julie Roys that they can (these people are supposed to be Christians but behave as though they’re in a JMac cult, where JMac is their cult leader).
As for me, JMac is one of those Christian guys whose opinions I occasionally agree with, but I sometimes disagree with him, depending on the topic.
Based on a few of the tweets I’ve seen by Roys over the past couple of years, I don’t think she and I share the same political views – well, I suspect that is so, at least. I’m not 100% sure.
When I politely tweeted minor disagreements with Roys in the past on political related topics, Roys did not block or mute me.
It does look to me as though JMac (John MacArthur) and his church have grossly mishandled or covered up abuse in the church going back decades, which is wrong – his Fan Boys need to recognize that, own up to it, and stop defending JMac on these points and stop harassing Julie Roys, or whomever else, for merely reporting on these things.
At any rate, Julie Roys has a site where she sometimes publishes articles about church- or Christian- related topics. Some of them involve coverage of church sex abuse scandals and so forth, and I’ve followed her Twitter account for months to keep up with church related news stories.
Beyond that, I am not familiar with Roys, I’ve never met her in real life or spoken to her by DM or by phone.(*)
The fact that Roys reports on church scandals gets some Christians very upset and angry with her, and they harass her online.
It looks like Roys wrote a book, with another woman named Kay Arthur, entitled “Redeeming the Feminine Soul: God’s Surprising Vision for Womanhood,” and it was published in 2017.
Digging Up Dirt
People who are upset with Roys for exposing JMac’s disgusting sexism and incompetence at dealing with abusers at his church caused these wacked-out, enraged, JMac Fan Boys (and maybe some James MacDonald fan boys) to dig up any perceived dirt on Roys that they could to try to demonize or discount her so the public will disregard anything she publishes about MacArthur.
(The JMac Fans are too dumb to realize pointing out any flaws with Roys still doesn’t invalidate her reports of JMac – her reporting on JMac can remain true even if one can discover something supposedly unsavory about her or her past behavior).
So the JMac Fan Club came across this “Redeeming the Feminine Soul” book Roys wrote years ago, and they began sharing excerpts of it on Twitter about a month ago.
At the time, I read excepts from that Roys book that some of these Fan Boys had scanned and posted to Twitter.
How creepy is it, by the way, that these church boys are such ass-kissers of a pastor that they felt the urge to go combing through anything Julie Roys has ever said, published, or done, all so they could find something – anything – to pounce on her with – and the abuse survivor community ate it up, too. Also weird and disturbing.
(This is also what the woke left usually does, goes digging around for ten or twenty year old tweets or articles to use to harass someone today.)
So desperate are the fan boys of some of the churches or pastors that the Roys site has published exposes on, one of them seems to have fabricated some more accusations against Roys, posted it to You Tube, where it was then picked up and shared by Roys haters and over-zealous “abuse survivor advocates” (but then, I repeat myself) on Twitter.
Roys later released a rebuttal to the video, which you can read here:
From that page:
(and this is the first time I’ve read past the first fourth of the page when I first glanced it over weeks ago, so… wow – Amy Smith’s, Ashley Easter’s, and their ‘abuse victim advocates’ pals’ obsession with, and vendetta against, Roys is worse than I first realized – I have more to say about this below):
Survivor advocates spread unsubstantiated rumors
(by Julie Roys – excerpts)
… But what’s most disheartening about Engleman’s video isn’t the video itself. Engleman has been producing angry, misleading videos for some time. Most people familiar with what happened at Harvest know to disregard them.
What’s disheartening is how a new audience is eagerly spreading Engleman’s rumors without verifying what he says. And people you’d expect to be wary of deceptive troll accounts are instead retweeting them.
For example, Amy Smith, an abuse survivor advocate, on Wednesday retweeted a tweet from an account titled “NOT Julie Roys.” The retweet advertised a “bombshell torching of Julie Roys” and linked to Engleman’s video.
[Roys includes screen shots on the page]
This is the same troll account that attacked me relentlessly for reporting child abuse coverup by John MacArthur and Grace Community Church.
[More embedded tweets on the page by Roys haters]
The account also has labeled the survivor community “#VictimhoodCulture” and attacked Lori Anne Thompson with names I won’t repeat. This seems a strange bedfellow for an abuse survivor advocate.
Yet Smith has also been retweeting Protestia and David Morrill tweets, which is bizarre given those accounts’ track record for misogyny, sensationalism, and half-truths.
Morrill has similarly ridiculed the survivor community with the “VictimhoodCulture” hashtag, and does disgusting things like mock a racial trauma counselor for his lisp.
Smith’s embrace of these fringe and hateful voices is concerning.
Smith also published a blog Friday with Engleman’s video and leading questions.
Similarly, Ashley Easter, another victim advocate, retweeted Engleman’s allegations Wednesday night.
In response to Easter’s tweet, I tweeted information showing that Engleman’s allegations had been debunked by Rob Williams and Ryan Mahoney. I also offered to provide Easter with Williams’ email so she could talk to him herself.
Easter never asked for Williams’ email, but instead defended her right to “post opinions I think are interesting.”
— end excerpts from Roy’s page —
Some of the scanned material from Roy’s book that JMac fans posted involved Roys’ discussion of how, when she was in her early 30s and was a youth ministry leader at her church, she attempted to help a 17 or 18 year old troubled teen in her church class whom she calls “Sarah” in the book.
(I assume that “Sarah” is a fabricated name. Roys does not list a last name in the excerpts I saw. In other words, and I could be mistaken – but it looks like Roys kept “Sarah” anonymous,
so why some of Roys critics online said it was wrong for Roys to divulge some of Sarah’s personal details in this book was strange to me.
Nobody outside of Roys and Sarah herself, (if Sarah even reads the book), and possibly Sarah’s mother, will ever know who “Sarah” really is, so what huge difference does it make if Roys shared some personal details about Sarah in this book?
I personally have no idea who Sarah is, as the author did not give out Sarah’s last name, and I don’t think “Sarah” is even her true first name but is a pseudonym.)
So, this all begins with outraged Fan Boys of preacher JMac (John MacArthur) bringing this book up to attack Roys over, to attack Roys with, since they are angry with her for exposing JMac for the (Link): sexist, (Link): abuser-coddling hack he is.
And soon enough, if my understanding of events is correct and in proper chronological order, the usual “abuse survivor advocates” I have seen on Twitter for years (among these, I would include Ashley Easter and Amy Smith of the “Watchkeep” blog) – and others – jumped in to the fray to essentially start hinting or depicting Roys as a groomer who (sexually, or spiritually) intentionally, maliciously, preys on 17 year old teen girls.
I think is a very, very uncharitable and inaccurate way of filtering the whole thing.
Let me pause here to say that while I have generally supported and agreed with a lot of the work the abuse survivor advocates have done in years past, I at times, on occasion, do disagree with them on some topics.
Furthermore, I think they sometimes have over-reacted and have gone over-board – in regards to things and persons such as, but not limited to, Anna Duggar (married to pedophile Josh), ex-Christian Joshua Harris, and others – in how they react to or treat people they suspect of protecting or enabling abusers.
I’ve never been comfortable with their behavior in those areas, at times, and I think in regards to Julie Roys, they’re doing the same thing to Roys.
I do think that the Left’s goal in the U.S.A. is to groom children, with their LGBTQ agenda that public school teachers insist on cramming into even math classes to kids as young as first graders
– that’s a stated goal of their “Queer Theory” in their literature (this is an issue covered by secular sources, including liberals, atheists, and/or feminists), but I am under no delusion that any and all contact an adult has with someone under the age of 18 is always a case of abuse or of grooming.
I believe that some abuse advocates online are, at times, paranoid about, and may be too quick on occasion to assume (wrongly), that some adult or another is a child abuser, a groomer, or a pedo-enabler, when that may not be the case, and they want these supposed, accused groomers or enablers burnt at a stake pronto. I find that unsettling.
Actual Abusers Tend to Keep Abuse Secret, Not Publish About It In Books
This is a point I may raise again in future posts, but:
If Julie Roys was an abuser, if her intent was to abuse (sexually or otherwise) a teen girl in one of her youth ministry classes, I don’t think she would’ve published this account of her and the teen (“Sarah”) openly in a book that’s being sold on Amazon that John MacArthur fans and Amy Smith and others have been using to beat her up with online.
What is one or two things that differentiates Roys from the known, alleged, or convicted CSAs (Clergy Sex Abusers, alleged or confirmed, such as Tullian Tchividjian or Jack Schaap) or other actual abusers?
Here’s one thing:
I’ve not known the predator pastors to publish accounts in books detailing grooming or seducing the teens or married women in their circles whom they targeted.
These men planned and knew what they were doing, and they knew it was wrong at the time and now, or they realized that their actions would be considered wrong by on-lookers, which is why they did not run around publishing books about it – or this sure is not the general practice.
Some of those predator pastors did not express remorse or wrong-doing for their actions, either.
I may have more to say about this in future posts, but again, I find it odd that if someone, an individual, were knowingly and intentionally preying on teen girls for their own kicks and giggles that they’d then go on, several years later, to openly discuss it in blog posts or books for all the world to see, and so the likes of JMac groupies, Amy Smith, Ashley Easter, and more, could rip them apart over it repeatedly and portray them as being “abusers.”
Abusers, on the individual level, who are seeking to physically, emotionally, verbally abuse, molest, or prey on someone usually do so in private, the abuser asks the target to remain silent about the abuse, and they don’t go on to write about it in books – publicizing it would be against the usual abuser s.o.p. and would be against their hidden agenda and self interest.
Keeping their abuse “hush hush” is one tool that abusers use to spend years abusing literally dozens to hundreds of children.
How dopey or uninformed are abuse advocates like Ashley Easter, Amy Smith, et al, to think someone willingly and knowingly abusing teens would pen a chapter in a book about it several years later to be sold on a book site like Amazon, if that is what they were actually doing? I find it so unlikely.
Ignorance of Codependency: The Valerie Hobbs Tweet
In the process of that Twitter conversation by abuse advocates basically dropping hints (or, some of them, coming straight out and saying) they believe Roys was abusing a teen girl in her youth church class, a lady, Dr. Valerie Hobbs, jumped into a Twitter thread where this was being discussed to unfortunately denigrate the concept of Codependency.
In that Twitter conversation about Roys, Hobbs linked to a page where Codependency was being presented as being “victim blaming” (no, Codependency is not a “victim blaming” concept – more on that issue later) by a guy named Dr. Minwalla, who, if I understand correctly, specializes in the sex addiction treatment field, who prefers the term “Betrayal Trauma.” (I will definitely have more to say about that later as well).
The page Hobbs linked to, which contains a discussion between Dr. Omar Minwalla and a podcast host, “Anne of BTR Podcast,” shows almost a total lack of understanding of Codependency, and one or both even misrepresent the concept at stages of the discussion – which I will get into more later, in a future post.
Do either of the people on that page, Anne or Dr. Minwalla, truly understand Codependency? Because my impression, based on what they said, indicates neither one really understands what it means.
(Edit, May 24, 2022:
Based on Twitter conversations I’ve had with other “abuse survivor advocates” about Roys in days past, including the person at the Twitter account “@BAccountability,” I can see that others in the “abuse advocate” community are also appallingly ignorant about what Codependency is, and I will likely be publishing another post about that later.)
The concept of Codependency is not victim blaming, nor does it give Abusers a “pass,” as so many in that thread and over at the linked-to podcast/article page suggest.
Watch Keep / Amy Smith
Amy Smith, who I followed for years on Twitter, runs a discernment / abuse survivor blog called “Watchkeep.”
Amy Smith of the Watchkeep blog wrote a post about Roys recently, with scans from the Roys book, where Amy more or less portrays Roys as a child groomer (edit: Smith has also taken this same regrettable approach on Twitter).
I disagree with Amy’s (and Ashley Easter’s) assessment of this situation, and I disagree with how she has been reacting to anyone (such as “Banjo Skeptic” or others) who’s tried pushing back on her views, or asking her for clarification.
What I’d like to do is write at least two more blog posts (or more!):
one pointing out the ignorance on display in the anti-Codependency page Hobbs linked to, where Minwalla and someone named Anne are quoted, and a dissection and critique of Amy’s Watchkeep post about the Roys book.
A lot of the “abuse survivor” advocates have really, I think, misunderstood, misrepresented, and mischaracterized Roys herself, Roys’ book, and the topic of Codependency.
Where Smith insisted on Twitter that she had not misrepresented Roys as she, Smith, provided scans of Roy’s book on the Watchkeep site so we could read Roys’ words for ourselves first hand is kind of laughable,
as I’ve no doubt that Smith did scan directly from the book, and yet, I don’t and did not accuse Smith of mis-quoting Roys, but of mischaracterizing what Roys wrote (that is what I meant when I used the word “misrepresenting” on Twitter when discussing this).
Smith and some of her abuse advocate pals on Twitter continue to portray Roys as an abuser, and I disagree with how they keep choosing to cast the Roys-Sarah relationship.
I for one never said or felt that Smith put words in Roys’ mouth, my contention with Smith and a few others so far is not that they have (to this point) misrepresented the actual words of Roys but how they are choosing to frame and (mis)interpret what Roys wrote.
Smith may be quoting Roys directly, and I read those words Smith is pointing to in her scans from Roys’ book on the Watchkeep blog, but I’ve read those same words as Smith and yet did not reach the Smith interpretation of those words of, “Oh, Roys was grooming this teen to abuse her!” I did not read the accounts in the book in that same way.
In the past, I’ve seen some of these same abuse survivor advocates, including Amy Smith – who normally do an admirable, great job of standing up for abusive victims – occasionally fall off the rails – way, way, waaaay off the rails.
Sometimes in their zeal for wanting to be pro-victim, the abusive survivor community unintentionally harms others, or they stomp all over people who, in my view, either don’t deserve it at all, or not to the degree I’m seeing.
In light of what I just read on this page by Julie Roys –
-I am now one hundred times more concerned with, and in disagreement with Amy Smith and Ashley Easter. Both these abuse advocates and their anti-Roys followers on Twitter are in the wrong.
They’re wrong in how they are interpreting the Roys book, and they’re wrong in how they’re handling the entire situation and in how they’re treating Roys. Wow. Wow. Wow.
Until I saw the latter half of that Roys post today, I was willing to be more open to Smith and Easter and assuming better about them, but after seeing that unhinged, sloppy nonsense as mentioned on that Roys page, my opinion of both ladies (Smith and Easter) is ten times lower now than it was before I began writing this post.
I guess Smith got angry at me and blocked me months ago for my one Tweet in a Roys thread, where I said something like, “I usually support what these abuse advocates do, but I think they have misrepresented Roys on this.”
I still stand by that – Smith is still chugging along doing this, still misrepresenting Roys – and yes, I say that fully aware that Smith has full page scans from some of Roys’ book on her site; you may have the scans Amy, but I don’t think you understood what you read.
(Her associate Ashley Easter is also wrong about this, as well as the Anna Duggar case. Neither one, neither Smith, Easter, or several other abuse advocates I’ve seen online, fully supports adult women victims, that’s for sure.)
I am willing to change my mind and my opinions.
If, months from now, more news from reputable sources break on either Anna Duggar or Julie Roys that causes me to re-think my positions, I’d be okay with admitting I was wrong.
But for now, from what I know so far, I don’t think I am.
I am also not associated with, or friends with, any of the other commentators or actors involved in the Julie Roys dust-up as played out on blogs and social media.
I’ve exchanged a few non-Julie Roys related DMs (and maybe a few e-mails) in years past with Julie Anne Smith (“Defend the Sheep”) on Twitter, as well as Dee of Wartburg Watch (she links to my blog here, which came as surprise to me, as I did not ask her to do so).
I’ve never met Julie Anne or Dee in person or spoken to either one by phone.
I am not personal buddies with the Banjo Skeptic guy, who did exposes on now-deceased Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias. I did tweet at him a time or two weeks ago, but that’s the extent of my acquaintanceship or interaction with him.
I am not wrapped up in the “abusive survivor” community or the “exvangelical” (ex-Christian, or progressive Christian) community, though I am familiar with some of the “exvangelical” names I see popping up in the Julie Roys situation, such as the lady who calls herself “Captain Janeway.”
I am just an average smoe with my average smoe blog here, where I’ve mostly been documenting and discussing marriage and dating trends, and where I discuss how too many Christians have set up marriage as an idol and treat single adults like trash for being single.
I sit on the fringes of all this.
In years past, I followed some of these people on Twitter or the hash tags (such as “ChurchToo”), but I am not deeply involved with any of them.
I just scroll through my Twitter feed seeing the conversations and links.
I sometimes visit the blogs of these people to read their posts about these debates or breaking news stories.
I felt the need to mention this above, because unfortunately – and this is a point I will raise again in future blog posts, I am sure – many of the “Abuse Survivor” community have turned paranoid and have turned “standing up for abuse victims” into an un-hinged, creepy, witch hunt, and they look for connections and conspiracies among any who don’t fully agree with them.
Some in the abuse survivor community assume if you don’t jump to condemn journalist Julie Roys (vis a vis an incident she mentioned in a book she published years ago), or if you don’t jump to immediately condemn Anna Duggar (married to convicted pedophile Josh), that you must secretly be connected to Roys (or to the Duggars, or others in these conversations) in some sense or another.
That is not the case for me.
I am not friends with, or close buddies with, Amy Smith, Dee of Wartburg Watch, Julie Anne Smith, Banjo Skeptic, Ashley Easter, Julie Roys, John MacArthur, James MacDonald, Anna Duggar, Mark Driscoll, or any of the other people tweeting pro or con for Julie Roys or any of the churches or pastors Roys has covered years past.
Religious wise, I don’t know what I am currently.
I was a devout Christian from childhood until my mid-40s. I have not rejected Christ, but I don’t know how much or what all I agree with of the Christian faith any more.
I am not an atheist.
I am turned off by atheists or progressive Christians who attack conservative Christians constantly and who refuse to recognize or admit to the abuse, sexism, and other problems among those in their progressive or atheist/humanist groups.
THEO BROS CHRISTIANITY
Sometimes I agree with the Theo Bros, sometimes no – it would depend on the topic.
I am not in full agreement on all subjects with the “Theo Bros” on Twitter, who are usually staunch complementarian Christians, or who are into Christian Patriarchy, many of them are either Calvinists or devotees of “John MacArthur type” Christianity.
I recognize that many of the Theo Bros do not understand abuse dynamics, which makes it easier for abuse cycles in churches to continue.
I acknowledge that the Theo Bros tend to rally the troops to defend any church or pastor credibly accused of abuse or abuse cover-up. They’d rather defend the institution then help victims of abuse, which is awful.
I do, however, agree with the Theo Bros that a lot of the leftist “woke,” “social justice” views are in error.
Social justice may be fine, but not through the neo-Marxist filters of “critical theory” and “intersectional, identity politics.”
On the other hand, the Theo Bros have the unfortunate habit of dismissing any and all legitimate concerns (such as sexism or abuse) as being “woke.”
(The Theo Bros should realize that not every criticism of the church, a pastor, or doctrine is invalid or is always based on a “woke” world view.)
On the one hand, I’m not on team Theo Bros (some of them can be very insensitive, mean spirited, patronizing, and demonstrate a lot of ignorance about sexism and abuse dynamics), but on the other, they can be correct in some of their critiques of progressive beliefs and actions.
POLITICS & ETC
I am a conservative and not in a political party. I left the Republican Party years ago.
I did not vote for Trump, but I do not hate Trump or vilify people who voted for Trump.
I do not like Biden or the Democrat Party.
I recognize that many churches often cover up sex abuse cases and are terrible at helping domestic abuse victims.
I am an ex-complementarian who recognizes that many Christian churches and denominations excuse or perpetuate sexism against women, and they often do so by appealing to complementarian beliefs, or by basing their sexist views on erroneous complementarian biblical interpretations.
I do not agree with or support far left causes and views, such as Black Lives Matter, Critical Race Theory, trans-activism, Queer Theory, Kendi’s Anti-Racism, etc.
So, I am not a “woke” liberal or a progressive, but I am a conservative who sees that sometimes, churches or conservatives get some things wrong on occasion.
But I also see at times where progressives, woke liberals, and yes, even the “abuse survivor community” goes wrong, or acts bananas.
Amy Smith of Watchkeep, & “BAccoUntability”
I followed Amy Smith of Watchkeep for years on Twitter, and we got along fine.
I just discovered a few days ago that Amy Smith blocked me on Twitter, and I have no clue why or exactly when, but maybe it was when I tweeted under a Roys comment weeks ago something like,
“I appreciate the work of the abuse survivor advocates, but I think they have terribly misrepresented Roys on this” (edit: I also discussed this up above)
Smith used to get blocked by pastors and churches, and when she did and announced it, I used to send her “Block Cake” (cake emojis) as a joke. 🍰
I do think that Amy Smith is misperceiving the Julie Roys situation with the teen girl that was mentioned in the Roys book, but that will be for another blog post, if I can get around to that.
I’m not sure who is behind the “BAaccountability” twitter account, but I have wondered if it is Amy Smith. Or possibly Ashley Easter or another well-known advocate, one who likes to have a separate Twitter account.
If you’re new to my blog, maybe that will give you some idea of where I am coming from and what I’m about.
If you, like me, have more or less been supportive or appreciative in years past of the work done by the Christian ASC (Abuse Survivor Community) –
But have been troubled by how, in the last few months (or year or two?), they’ve
- turned into rabid vigilante mobs with pitch forks who are seeing abuse where there is no abuse,
- where they are doing things such as mis-classifying typical Codependent behaviors as being “abuse,”
- and bullying and dog-piling people online
(and this, ever after the person(s) apologizes and/or pulls out of speaking engagements, etc),
we are on the same page.
Those are my views now, as of May 2022.
In the future, as weeks and months go by, if more news coverage reveals that either Julie Roys or Anna Duggar have a pattern of abusive behavior or intentionally enabled abuse, I will certainly reconsider my views on either one.
As it stands right now, I do not agree with how Roys or Anna Duggar are being portrayed by Amy Smith, Ashley Easter, or many of the other people who have made “defending victims” their cause.
Some in the ASC (Abuse Survivor Community) are now actually behaving like the churches, the abusive pastors, and condescending Theo Bros they’ve been criticizing or battling with for years.
It’s pretty astonishing to see.
But they feel they are in the right and doing God’s work, some claim to be survivors of abuse themselves, so they all believe they are allowed to act any way they want and make any claims they want. They have turned into the thing they spent years calling out. 😬😧
I currently have about three posts in progress at this blog (unpublished) in regards to the un-nerving witch hunt of Julie Roys by the abuse survivor community, and/or their total ignorance about Codependency.
Those may take me a long time to compose before I can publish those. I may have more to write about it, too, not just those 2 – 3 posts.
In between working on those posts, I have other previously scheduled posts on other subjects waiting to be auto-published by the blog, and I may post the occasional content about singleness or marriage as I go along.
I have added more commentary or fixed typos to this post after publication.
(Link): The Ex Christian, Ex-Exvangelical, Now Atheist Hits the Nail on the Head About Exvangelicals – post mentions SCCL, etc
(Link): When You’re in Imbalanced, Unfair Relationships – You’re the Free Therapist, The Supportive, Sounding Board Who Listens to Other People’s Non-Stop Complaining, But They Don’t Listen to You – re: The Toilet Function of Friendship
June 23, 2022
by Alice Peacock
The girlfriend of a man who took his own life after police wrongly branded him a paedophile has slammed the officers responsible for the blunder that led to his suicide.
Brian Temple was just 34-years-old when he died on December 31, 2017 – six months after being arrested on June 8 for allegedly stealing a pack of sausage rolls from Greggs, Teesside Live reported this week.
by AP, May 26, 2022
It took more than three centuries, but the last Salem “witch” who wasn’t has been officially pardoned.
Massachusetts lawmakers on Thursday formally exonerated Elizabeth Johnson Jr., clearing her name 329 years after she was convicted of witchcraft in 1693 and sentenced to death at the height of the Salem Witch Trials.
Johnson was never executed, but neither was she officially pardoned like others wrongly accused of witchcraft.
Lawmakers agreed to reconsider her case last year after a curious eighth-grade civics class at North Andover Middle School took up her cause and researched the legislative steps needed to clear her name.