The Shubin Report: “Analyzing Douglas Wilson’s Handling of the Steven Sitler and Jamin Wight Cases”

Readers may recall last May, when Rachel Shubin systematically took down Joseph Bayly, on the Bayly Blog, after he expressed unhappiness with Rachel Miller for discovering cover-to-cover plagiarism in the Omnibus textbook series. Rachel Shubin logically approached Joseph Bayly, using “careful deferential language which made him feel in control” — and then she dropped the hammer. It was a thing of beauty.

Rachel Shubin recently published a report titled Analyzing Douglas Wilson’s Handling of the Steven Sitler and Jamin Wight Cases. This report is a comprehensive discussion of Pastor Doug Wilson’s response to the crimes of Steven Sitler & Jamin Wight. With her permission, I call it “The Shubin Report.”

The Shubin Report is 491 pages at 42 megabytes and worth the download. It splits into two main parts: “Overview and Analysis of the Sitler Case,” pages 1–29; and “Overview and Analysis of the Wight Case with Supporting Documentation,” pages 30–108. The remainder is an exhaustive collection of primary-source documents that systematically presents the facts regarding Steven Sitler & Jamin Wight, as well as Doug Wilson’s interpretation of those facts. This work breaks new ground at several points. For example, Rachel exchanged 77 emails with Doug Wilson over a 6-week period, which he abruptly ended when he realized that she pinned him. Rachel also exchanged emails with Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson that led to interesting discoveries. And amazingly, Rachel extended her research to include John Bradbury, the original sentencing judge in Jamin Wight’s first felony conviction.

Rachel says she worked “400+ hours” on this, but methinks this an understatement (I speak from experience). However long it took, The Shubin Report is magnificent in scope & content. Everyone on Team Truth applauds her for her remarkable effort. Here is her Abstract & Introduction from Analyzing Douglas Wilson’s Handling of the Steven Sitler and Jamin Wight Cases, by Rachel Shubin:

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Abstract

In 2005, New Saint Andrews (NSA) student Steven Sitler was discovered to have been molesting the children of the family he boarded with while attending school as well as numerous other children, including many in other states. Also in 2005, Greyfriars Hall (GH) seminary student Jamin Wight was discovered to have been sexually abusing Natalie Greenfield, the young teenaged daughter of Gary and Patricia Greenfield, in whose home he boarded. The victim families in both cases were members of Christ Church (CC) in Moscow, ID, and the perpetrators each attended sister churches Christ Church and the nearby Trinity Reformed Church (TRC). In both cases, Douglas Wilson was the primary pastoral contact, and the church handling of the two cases continues to have ongoing direct effects or significant ripple effects today. Douglas Wilson’s response and handling of the two molestation/sex abuse cases are the subject of this document. To a lesser extent, the response from Christ Church/Trinity Reformed Church is included as well. This paper is intended as a reference for those who wish to have a clearer understanding of what occurred; it will aid readers in cutting through the spin and formulating their own opinions.

This document includes:

  • a synopsis of each case
  • an explanation and analyses of Mr. Wilson’s response to each
  • a lengthy email discussion between Rachel Shubin and Mr. Wilson about the two cases
  • questions and answers regarding each case from Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson, who prosecuted both cases
  • an extensive primary source documentation section.

 

Introduction

My name is Rachel Shubin, and I have been a member in good standing at Reformation Covenant Church in Portland, OR (a Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches [CREC] member church) for the past 17 years. When the whole Sitler/Wight mess came up in September, I began watching very closely. My husband and I have six children, four of whom are girls between ages 10 and 15, so this issue concerns me. I have watched with increasing alarm at the escalating attacks Doug Wilson has levied toward both Natalie Greenfield, who was the victim in the Wight case (now an adult), and her family (including her father and, inexplicably, her husband Wesley) as well as at the insults directed toward several other Christians, even prominent ones, who have criticized his handling of either or both cases (Rod Dreher, Andrew Sandlin, Boz Tchividjian, etc.).

To date, I have put in 400+ hours over the last nine months researching the whole situation, read mountains of court and other primary source documents, spoken on the phone and emailed with Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson who prosecuted both the Sitler and Wight cases, spent two months emailing back and forth with Mr. Wilson himself trying to clarify several things that still didn’t make sense to me (he answered a total of 77 questions), emailed with John Bradbury who was the judge in the Wight case, emailed with Christine Jensen who is Mr. Sitler’s parole officer, and spoken with innumerable people, many of whom were quite concerned that they remain anonymous after seeing Wilson’s public responses to criticism. Yes, that is a lot of time. However, the issue seemed and still seems grave enough to me to warrant that time; and after a monster amount of research, the problem seems even larger than it initially appeared rather than smaller. (pages vii–viii)

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8 Comments

  1. Rachel Shubin has produced an extraordinarily well-documented account of Doug Wilson’s mishandling of the sexual abuse of children under his pastoral care. The thoughtfulness and professionalism Mrs. Shubin shows in her communications with DW as well as Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson is admirable. (A personal aside: Bill Thompson and Deputy Prosecutor Mia Vowels who I have known for several years are hard working, highly skilled, and always professional in their duties both in and out of the courtroom. We are fortunate indeed that they represent our county so capably. Among their many fine characteristics is their patient responsiveness to citizen’s concerns and questions in a timely and gracious manner.)
    Doug, in sharp contrast to Mr. Thompson, comes across as a misleading, coy (hardily an admirable trait in one who places such an emphasis on being a “hard” man), and disingenuous enabler of a fixated pedophile. I for one am sick and tired of Doug’s feeble excuses on behalf of Steven Sitler and his clearly dim-witted, immature wife. Katie Sitler has proven herself to be no more trustworthy as a guardian of her child than her husband.
    How much money has Mr. Dave Sitler (father of the felon) plonked into the Christ Church collection basket (or straight into the pockets of Doug Wilson) that buys his son a place in the congregation and the vigorous defense proffered by Doug? What possible reason can be given for Ed Iverson, the man who engineered the introduction of Steven Sitler and Katie Travis, to now serve as pastor to the Colville, Washington, (hometown of the Sitlers’) CREC church. And how is Dave Sitler qualified to hold a church office at that church? Corruption in all quarters by all participants is the only reasonable answer to my questions.
    I can’t thank Rachel Shubin enough for her careful revelations and the hundreds of hours of her own time she sacrificed to finish this project. This work is worth its weight in gold.
    Rose Huskey

    1. Rose,

      I’m of the opinion that Katie is the product of an over protective family, and that she knew (at the time of her marriage) very little about abuse. Whether she is still unaware of the dynamics of abuse I do not know. I’ve only visited Idaho once, and am not acquainted with any of the people involved in meatspace, only in cyberspace.

      While Katie should be more aware now than she was when she was married, it is still possible that she may not have a solid understanding of the situation since so many of family and friends appear to be Doug Wilson loyalists.

      1. The fact that you are or were in his denomination just makes my admiration for you soar. I’ve been in or near a couple of these situations and it is scorched earth and everybody running for the hills and hiding and refusing to get involved or even look at anybody that is involved. It was only after getting burned really badly that I realized that truth and following Biblical commands were only important for a LOT of people when it was convenient. My pool of friends shrank significantly. 🙂 God bless you.

  2. Meanwhile, the CREC internal whitewashing……oops, I meant “investigation” continues. And continues. I think the Warren Commission published its findings in more timely fashion that these intrepid “investigators” are taking to publish their whitewash, um, excuse me, I mean results of their extensive “investigation”.

    1. I keep wondering when I’m going to see a lower-right-hand-corner blurb on page 1 of the local newspaper that reads “AP Network- In a long-expected and widely-anticipated turn of events, early this morning a pastor in the small college town of Moscow, ID was arrested by the FBI along with several dozen of his parishioners in a sting operation that uncovered bribery, corruption, theft, murder, and an international child pornography ring.”

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