“When he speaks graciously, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.” Proverbs 26:25
- Idaho code protects children from sexual behavior regardless of circumstances.
- Idaho code denies that a child has moral or legal capacity to consent to sexual behavior.
- Idaho code defines a “child” as anyone under 16-years old.
- Idaho code does not have a statute called “Sexual Behavior With An Under-aged Girl,” contra Doug Wilson’s claims.
- Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, affirms the state of Idaho’s “age of consent” laws.
- And Doug Wilson does not believe that 14-year-old Natalie Greenfield was “psychologically ready to engage in consensual sex with a man ten years her senior.”
According to state law Natalie was a child; state law protected Natalie from sexual predation; Doug Wilson declared his agreement with state law.
To be clearer, state law does not admit the possibility of mitigating circumstances. It wouldn’t matter if Natalie & her parents signed a contract with Jamin Wight granting him complete license. State law would supersede the agreement because in Idaho you cannot touch a child for sexual gratification without committing a felony. These facts should end the conversation.
Unfortunately, the conversation continues.
Earlier this week Natalie posted email correspondence that she’s had with Doug Wilson after this controversy emerged and one email in particular caught my eye. Apparently Mr. Wilson no longer believes that Idaho’s “age of consent” laws applied to Natalie Greenfield at the time of her abuse and he does believe that mitigating circumstances exist:
From: Douglas Wilson
Date: Monday, September 28, 2015
To: Natalie Greenfield
Here is my belated response on your question about documentation. Basically, we have our file in the church office on the situation, which contains things like Jamin’s letters of confession, our communications with your father beyond what you posted, etc. We also have the official court transcript of everything related to Jamin’s case and trial, and which contains some significant and relevant information that you are leaving out of your public account. And last, we have access to the love letters/journals that you wrote that the court reviewed and then sealed.
We are not interested in hurting anybody, particularly you. I am simply letting you know why I am confident of the essential truthfulness of the account I sent you earlier, and why I know that the account you are giving online is misleading and false. This is why I would return to my first question — if you succeed in dragging all this out into public view, it will only hurt your mother. Why are you trying to do this to her?
As result of a plea bargain, a jury trial for Jamin was avoided, along with a lot of embarrassment for everybody. Part of that agreement meant burying the story, along with a bunch of the evidence. The reason I have been so concerned about your public airing of your perspective on it is that it is not really possible to dig up just half the story. The rest of it is going to want to come up too. One of the official court documents says about some of the sealed evidence, that “those documents contain highly intimate and potentially embarrassing facts or statements, the publication of which would be highly objectionable to reasonable persons” (5/10/06). The reasonable persons who wanted this sealed back then were you and your family. That was reasonable then, and it is reasonable now.
If you are intent on having the case retried, only this time in the court of public opinion, I would strongly advise against it. It will not help you achieve your goals, it will hurt your mother, and it will eventually result in vindicating the approach the church decided to take. But if you decide to do that, the choice is entirely up to you. However, an honest approach would be to post the entire transcript of all relevant material online. This would include the whole court transcript, along with all the material that is currently under seal. At least one previous attempt has been made to unseal that record, and has failed, but I believe that if you were the one to make the request, it would likely be granted. I am not asking you to do this. I am asking you not to. But asking you not to also includes asking you to stop posting accusations against others that can only be answered in the light of the sealed documents.
I am afraid you are being used and manipulated by others. I am afraid you have no idea of the ramifications of what you are doing.
There is a mountain of relevant material that you are leaving out. For example, do you have a copy of the letter we sent to your father two weeks after the one you posted? The letter is dated September 15, 2005. This is the letter that said, “We simply want to make sure that Natalie is protected by you in the coming months.” “What we are doing is exhorting you to make protection of Natalie your highest priority in the months to come, because we are convinced that she will need it.” This is the same letter where we said that we had “no problem with [Jamin’s] prosecution.”
If you have that letter, I think it would be a sign of your good faith and commitment to the truth if you were to post it as well. Would you do that for me?
Cordially in Christ,
Doug Wilson’s email to Natalie raises a few questions:
- When Mr. Wilson says “we have access to the love letters/journals,” who is the “we”?
- If the court sealed these documents, then how do Mr. Wilson and his minions have access to them?
- If state law prohibits the use of these documents to defend Jamin Wight, then why does Mr. Wilson want to use them to defend Jamin Wight?
- If Mr. Wilson believed that 14-year-old Natalie Greenfield was not “psychologically ready to engage in consensual sex with a man ten years her senior,” then why does he now accord credibility to the things she wrote then?
There may be legitimate answers to these questions, but I cannot think of any.
Natalie has used her blog to expose how Pastor Doug Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, defended the man who sexually abused her as a child and, understandably, Doug Wilson has not appreciated this. So he tried manipulating her into silence by hinting at his willingness to publish sealed records that he knows would harm her. Extortion of this kind is called blackmail, which is defined as “coercion involving threats to reveal substantially true or false information about a person to the public, a family member, or associates, or threats of physical harm or criminal prosecution.”
Mr. Wilson wrote,
“The reason I have been so concerned about your public airing of your perspective on it is that it is not really possible to dig up just half the story. The rest of it is going to want to come up too. One of the official court documents says about some of the sealed evidence, that ‘those documents contain highly intimate and potentially embarrassing facts or statements, the publication of which would be highly objectionable to reasonable persons.’”
Doug Wilson threatened Natalie with digging up and publishing her private journal & correspondence, which he believed were “the rest of it.” Note, however, that he attributes volition to “the rest of it,” as though he would have no role in the process: “The rest of it is going to want to come up too.” “The rest of it” wants to come up and Mr. Wilson cannot stop it. He is the messenger sent to warn Natalie.
Doug Wilson delivered on his threat and he justified his actions on Mablog:
“I told Natalie in an email a while ago that it was not possible to dig up half a corpse. But if you insist, if you demand, if you keep it up, if you finally get your story on Jezebel, the rest of the corpse comes too. So this is where we now are. You wanted the whole story, and we are almost there.” (Jezehellsbells)
Doug Wilson couched his original threat to Natalie in his concern for the truth: “I know that the account you are giving online is misleading and false.” Mr. Wilson believed that Natalie made incomplete and therefore dishonest representations, which was the pretext for his threat: “The rest of it” would come up because it was “significant and relevant information.” “The rest of it” would come up as “an honest approach.” “The rest of it” would come up to answer “accusations.” “The rest of it” would come up because it was a “mountain of relevant material.” “The rest of it” would come up as a “commitment to the truth.” Doug Wilson believed that publishing the diary of a 14-year-old rape victim on the worldwide web would set the record straight.
However, if Doug Wilson had published the court-sealed documents, he would have violated Idaho’s Criminal Contempt statute.1 That is, state law protects Natalie from her former pastor. And Mr. Wilson said his chief concern was for the truth but the court blocked him, which should have ended the conversation.
But the conversation didn’t end. Mr. Wilson had other concerns about Natalie that he failed to note in his email. So he retroactively amended the terms of his threat by changing the words “story” and “the rest of it,” in the email, to the word “corpse” in Jezehellsbells:
“. . . it is not really possible to dig up just half the story. The rest of it is going to want to come up too.” (email)
“I told Natalie in an email a while ago that it was not possible to dig up half a corpse. . . the rest of the corpse comes too.” (Jezehellsbells)
Mr. Wilson’s concern for the truthfulness of Natalie’s account evaporated. Suddenly he was concerned about digging up corpses, which reveals his true motive. He wanted to inflict pain on Natalie. And when Idaho code prohibited him from hurting her the way he originally planned, he moved to Plan B: Dig for dirt on her husband; upload his findings to his blog; and tell the world he gave her fair warning: “I told Natalie in an email a while ago that it was not possible to dig up half a corpse.”
Now we know the full story. Doug Wilson never warned Natalie that he planned to dig up corpses. He warned her that “the rest of it” would come up, and he said that “the rest of it” was her love letters and private journals. But now we see that he didn’t care if “the rest of it” came up. He cared about revenge. Natalie’s revelations embarrassed him. So he dug up a corpse and ran with it.
Doug Wilson wrote,
“we have access to the love letters/journals that you wrote that the court reviewed and then sealed . . . . those documents contain highly intimate and potentially embarrassing facts or statements, the publication of which would be highly objectionable to reasonable persons. . . . stop posting accusations against others that can only be answered in the light of the sealed documents.”
Doug Wilson deceives Natalie. His deception lies in what he says and what he ignores. For example, this statement is false: “stop posting accusations against others that can only be answered in the light of the sealed documents.” This statement is false because the State declared that those sealed documents have no evidentiary value, which is a fact Mr. Wilson ignores.
Further, Mr. Wilson indicates no desire to publish “things like Jamin’s letters of confession” as a sign of his “good faith and commitment to the truth,” because these documents would confirm Natalie, not contradict her. Jamin Wight’s confession was the prosecution’s silver bullet. Jamin Wight’s confession is the other half of this story. Put that on the web.
Excursus: Peeping Doug
Doug Wilson’s enthusiasm to publicize Natalie’s sealed records brings to mind a conversation that she recounts on her blog. She says that years after her abuse, Mr. Wilson called her into his office and began asking questions about her private life: “Are you sexually active with your boyfriend? Do you have intercourse? Oral sex? What have you done sexually with him?”
I can think of fifty reasons why Mr. Wilson would ask Natalie these questions — none of them pastoral. Indeed, Mr. Wilson’s prurient curiosity into the lurid details of Natalie’s private life looks different now that he has shown no compunction about putting this kind of information on the web. Moreover, if the sex-obsessed content on his blog represents the abundance of his heart (Matt. 12:34), then these questions reveal the depth of his obsession. Doug Wilson has a perverse interest in other people’s sex lives. Related to this, now we know where Jamin Wight learned how to manipulate & abuse women & children. Pastor Doug Wilson taught him ministry at Greyfriars’ Hall.
Doug Wilson commonly resorts to blackmail as a means of silencing kirkers who leave. Eventually some of the horror stories squeak out, but seldom on a public platform like this, which makes Mr. Wilson’s email to Natalie so valuable. So to my friends in the Kirk, beware that you confide in Doug Wilson against your best interests. Anything you say will be used against you, when things turn sour. You should also beware when he asks untoward questions about your bedroom activity. He’s digging for dirt that he may use to harm you, when things go bad. For as we have seen, he places a low premium on state law and social mores. He would rather publicly humiliate a victim of child rape than admit his mistakes.
1 It’s not against the law to threaten someone with breaking the law, but it is against the law to break the law. More to point, Doug Wilson didn’t break the law when he warned Natalie that he intended to break the law.