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In addition to his role as pastor, Wilson is also a co-founder of New St. Female preachers are, naturally, out of the question. It is easy to paint Wilson and other Biblical patriarchalists as a small, backwards, and increasingly irrelevant group of Christians. It would appear not.
Wilson has 22, Twitter followers; almost as many people as the population of Moscow, Idaho. He helped establish the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches , a denomination that has grown from a handful of churches when it began in to nearly now. His website, Dougwils. But what happens when the lights come up on the choir and some of its members are suffering? A theology that domesticates women will, ultimately, devalue them. It will see them as complicit in their own abuse.
It will make them hate themselves until they repent or run away.
Greenfield grew up in Lewiston, Idaho, the second-largest city in the northern part of the state, until her family moved to Moscow when she was There, her parents bought a large house where they would eventually offer room and board to college-aged students living in Moscow. Most attended New St.
One of those Greyfriars students, Jamin Wight, moved into the Greenfield home when he was 23 and Natalie was Wight would go to classes during the day, meeting regularly with elders from Christ Church, learning about church history and studying Greek and Hebrew to become a more effective minister. Prior to moving in with the Greenfields, Wight expressed a romantic interest in Natalie to her parents. It would have been wisest at that point for the Greenfields to send Wight packing. But in a belief system where the highest good for girls is to marry and have children, it makes some kind of twisted sense that you would want to keep a potential suitor—and a seminarian, at that!
Jamin lived with the Greenfields for a year and a half. He never relented in his abuse of Natalie, who thought that she was in love with him. He also exhibited some of the tell-tale signs of an abuser: He told Natalie she was a slut and if she told anyone about what happened she could never find another man who would love her.
He was jealous of Natalie, lecturing her for what he perceived to be her flirtations with other boys. From the outside, everything has to look fine, and I learned how to do that really well. He did, but Wight still came by the house at times on the pretense of picking up forgotten items, and forced Natalie to give him sexual favors in the basement or in his car.
When he finally stopped coming around, Natalie was sixteen and at the outset of years of insomnia, PTSD, flashbacks, depression, and social anxiety. She thought she would bear the burden of her relationship with Wight in silence, because she was sure she was somehow responsible for it. The next day, they called the police.
On all three charges, Wight pled not guilty. During the proceedings, court documents reflect that Wight had expressed a desire to become a youth minister and worried aloud what this verdict would do to his career path, as well as any future hopes he had of marriage. He pled guilty to Injury of a Child and made a deal that allowed him to serve four to six months at the North Idaho Correctional Facility. As the truth of the abuse came to light, Doug Wilson tried to play arbiter.
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He met with Wight. They wanted Gary to know that they had thought about withholding communion from him—a serious form of church discipline—because of his dereliction of duty as a father. Another letter , from Wilson to the police officer assigned to the case, was even worse. Why are people attracted to Doug Wilson? Gary Greenfield and his wife separated not long after the incident came to light, a painful and awkward split. Some Fessenden teachers were good, but there were a few who participated in the cruelty-based social structure.
I was shocked and absolutely terrified. Burnham announced in a grave tone that a relatively new teacher had been dismissed. The reason? As I recall, the teacher had been caught serving alcohol to a student in his quarters on campus. A teacher at Fessenden, serving alcohol to a boy who was at most 15 years old Fessy only went up to 9th grade. Besides the hiring, training, and policy issues that allowed this to happen, what sort of culture had to be in place for a teacher to think that it was OK to invite a boy to your room and give him beer or booze?
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A lot of the boys there were no girls at the Fessenden School were children of the wealthy, who were parked there by their parents who were seeking some sort of Americanized version of a British boarding school, with apple-cheeked young preppies marching around in blazers and ties. But it was pretty sad, especially for some of the youngest boys. If they were lucky, they got to go home for the weekend. Every weekend, I would see small packs from this group walking down to the local village center to buy candy and magazines.
My parents, who still live in the area, tell me that the same sad ritual continues. I have only a few positive memories of the school. There was a winter nature trip to Western Mass. There was also a hands-on experience learning about computers and programming from Mr. That sparked an interest in technology that continues to this day I am a publisher of how-to guides about LinkedIn, Google Drive, Twitter, etc.
But most of my time there was not fun. As a parent, I would never consider putting my own kids through such an experience, even before the news that just came to light. That was bad enough, but the letter I just received from the current Fessenden headmaster David Stettler reproduced below is positively horrifying. As recently as the late s, a teacher was apparently engaged in sexual contact with a just-graduated student, and was fired in June In my mind, a hierarchical school culture that is buttressed by cruelty and physical bullying, aided by successive administrations who wanted to sweep allegations of abuse under the rug, led to repeated incidents of this nature, and needless emotional trauma for the victims.
Although Fessenden undoubtedly wants this news to disappear, they should be doing everything in their power to:.
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According to the article:. The victims were between 10 and 13 years old at the time of the alleged assaults. As educators they should be learning from their mistakes. The Newton Tab article can be read here.
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The Boston Globe also has an article. The timeline of the Fessenden School lawsuit is not certain. Note that the timeline of abuse started in the s, according to alumni who have left comments on this blog. Please scroll down the page to see their stories. On May 8 , the Boston Globe Spotlight team published an investigation of rampant sexual abuse at Fessenden and other New England prep schools.
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There are many stories from some of the brave former Fessy students who stepped forward. See some of the data from the report and my reaction on Spotlight exposes more abuse at Fessenden and other prep schools. Why no investigation? A note about comments: You are solely responsible for the comments that you leave on this blog post. Under Section of the Communications Decency Act, the author of this blog and the hosting service are not liable for comments left by readers. Home Posts tagged 'Fessenden'.
These predators committed sickening acts of sexual and physical abuse, scarring their victims for life. You can read some of the accounts written by former Fessenden student victims here. When students and alumni reported abuse by these predators to administrators, they were ignored or kicked out of school. Predators were allowed to remain at the school, and in many cases were able to abuse children for years. When predators left the school, future employers including other prep schools across New England were not notified of the reported incidents, opening up the possibility that the abuse continued at those schools.
When the Suffolk County DAs office in investigated a Boston-area pedophile ring that included two Fessenden faculty members, Fessenden administrators led by then Headmaster Robert Coffin claimed that no abuse of students had taken place on campus: This was a lie, and as a result of the statements by administrators to authorities and parents, no investigation was initiated at the school.
Some other things to keep in mind: David Stettler only told alumni about some of the earlier cases in , and only because the Boston Globe had just reported some of the cases. In other words, it was damage control , not an effort to promote transparency or justice.
No Fessenden administrator, board member, or legal counsel has ever been cited for negligence in failing to report abuse of children at the Fessenden School. The child predators were able to get away with their crimes for years at Fessenden, and possibly continue their activities after they left. They got away with these sickening crimes, scot-free. The victims were left without support , ashamed of what had happened to them and traumatized by the abuse. Many have been unable to come to terms with what they experienced, and as adults became addicted to drugs or suffered problems relating to people.
Some committed suicide. No Fessenden faculty member has ever been prosecuted for sexual abuse of Fessenden students. To read more about this terrible affair, read these posts: Fessenden School abuse scandal: It gets worse Spotlight: More abuse at Fessenden and other schools. The Board of Trustees and I believed that it was time to shine a light on this issue that has too often, and for too long, been hidden in societal shadows. From time to time over the past seven years, I have followed up to share with you what we had learned.
As I approach my retirement from Fessenden, it feels appropriate to update you again. Upon the release of my letter and subsequent interview and article in The Boston Globe, a number of alumni from the s and s came forward to tell of the abuses that they had suffered.