By Julie Anne
There is now overwhelming evidence that the for-profit arm of Vision Forum is indeed closing at the end of the year. Also, there are public statements alluding Doug Phillips’ public statement of repentance was not genuine.
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To save some time, I will relay each new development and brief summary in no particular order. At the end of the post, I will post a timeline so you can see how it all fits together.
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Compelling Evidence of the End-of-Year Closing of Vision Forum Business
The biggest news you may have heard is that T. W. Eston at Jen’s Gems is reporting that Vision Forum, Inc., the for-profit arm, will be closing effective December 31, 2013. I’ve asked Mr. Eston if he could provide source information and he has respectfully declined in order to preserve his sources’ anonymity.
Today there were two new comments confirming Eston’s assertions of Vision Forum, Inc., closing:
November 29, 2013 at 1:32 pm
I have numerous friends who are employed by VFI and have been told they will no longer have a job as of Dec. 31st, 2013. Tis true indeed.
November 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm
ditto! I can also verify that!
This most recent comment is the most revealing, seemingly coming straight from Vision Forum:
In an email my wife received this morning from Vision Forum it stated this near the bottom:
“By placing an order you will be participating in our inventory liquidation sale. This means great prices for you as we liquidate our entire remaining inventory. Due to the nature of this sale, all purchases are final and returns will no longer be accepted. This is your last opportunity to buy our books, CDs, DVDs, and toys for you and your family, so get them before they’re gone!”
Be sure to take a look at the post, because there is a lot of information – especially in the comments. But please keep in mind that none of it is confirmed with identifiable sources. I checked the Vision Forum site and the Vision Forum blog and there is no notice of this.
Incidentally, SSB blog reader loveoneanother, left this comment Monday:
Home School Enrichment Magazine just sent me a Black Friday ad for Vision Forum’s Catalog. I could see Vision Forum sending it to me, but another homeschool company? Doesn’t that seem like an inappropriate endorsement given the circumstances? Maybe I am reading into it too much!
loveoneanother forwarded the e-mail to me and I took a screenshot of part of it:
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You can see similar ads on the Vision Forum, Inc., website. I’ll keep you posted if I get more credible information. (I guess it doesn’t bother this homeschool business to promote Vision Forum’s wares, even under the current circumstances.)
Today at the Vision Forum site they are announcing the last day of Black Friday sale with 50% off everything. Maybe tomorrow will be 70% off everything?
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San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival is Postponed for 2014
I’d like to bring your attention to another business venture (he’d probably say “ministry) of Phillips and Vision Forum. In 2004, Doug Phillips founded the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival (SAICFF) which boasted of a competition with generous cash rewards (approximately $100,000). Just 10 days before Phillips’ first public statement, the following announcement was posted on the SAICFF website and Facebook page:
Update Oct. 21, 2013: The Christian Filmmakers Academy and SAICFF for 2014 have been postponed. Due in part to financial concerns and for other reasons, the Board of Vision Forum Ministries is looking to bring greater accountability to our practices and events, and therefore is allowing more time before launching this significant event once again. October 22
Did you catch the phrase, “financial concerns and for other reasons?” Inquiring minds want to know what other reasons.
Some notable friends of Doug Phillips weighed in on the conversation on the Facebook page announcement as people expressed their sadness about the cancellation:
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Were these men privy to Phillips’ personal affair and troubles? I wonder if we will ever find out.
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Voddie Baucham Reveals the Phillips Family Personal Damage Brought on by The “Esquire”
Voddie Baucham has revealed more information that I have not seen published elsewhere. (Baucham was the first to publicly confirm that Phillips was no longer teaching elder at Boerne Christian Assembly.) A Facebook reader asked on Baucham’s Facebook page:
I am struggling with these questions as a homeschooling mom who has a huge amount of Vision Forum products in her home therefore has allowed my children to be taught by Doug Phillips. What do I tell them? That he was living a lie? Of course the Bible is the final authority on everything. Basically if you were to come forward with a similar confession what weight would all the books that you have written carry?
You can read the entire response here. In the response, Baucham disclosed that Doug has lost his home due to the scandal:
Warn them about the cost of sin. Tell them how Doug has damaged his marriage, lost his home, collapsed his ministry, and devastated his family spiritually, emotionally, and financially. Tell them how the enemies of God are rejoicing right now; how people like you are in turmoil.
This was not any small home, but a 6,000 SF home. Sadly, I predict a major lifestyle change for the Phillips family.
As of yet, no one has been willing to come forward and identify themselves publicly to share these kinds of details. T.W. Eston (a pseudonym), who has recently begun submitting articles and responding to comments at Jen’s Gems blog, had this to say about the financial state that is to come upon the Phillips family. Eston has been given this information by unnamed informants:
The board of directors has given until the end of the year for Doug and his family to move out of the ministry-owned house. The VFM board of directors will repossess (and may have already repossessed) any and all assets that Doug purchased with VFM monies for his personal use. This includes everything from automobiles, home furnishings, and perhaps even clothing. Some may view this as retaliatory on the part of the board (and perhaps it is to some degree), but the fact of the matter is they have a legal obligation to do everything they can to remedy any tax fraud and fiduciary malfeasance that Doug Phillips may have perpetrated.
The VFM board will be liquidating all VFM assets, including the house, home furnishings, office equipment and furnishings, all remaining inventory, and the Vision Forum office building at 4719 Blanco Road, San Antonio, starting January 1, 2014.
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Vision Forum YouTube Videos
On the Vision Forum’s YouTube page, there are quite a few new videos which were uploaded late September and early October, just about a month before Phillip’s announced he was stepping down from Vision Forum Ministries in his public statement. This is a screenshot of the page in case it disappears, but presently, you can see the videos here. The videos uploaded were part of the Vision Forum, Inc., for-profit arm and are advertisements for products in the Vision Forum catalog. Why would someone make the effort to produce a bunch of videos if they thought their business ship was sinking? This action convinces me that Phillips had full intentions of keeping his Vision Forum business afloat.
Narcissists think like that. Just like the captain of the Titanic, they think they are invincible.
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In my snooping, I stumbled across something that could be part of the financial/business puzzle with regard to the Vision Forum business. Vision Forum, Inc., had an affiliate program which was suspended late March of 2013. This is what the website looked like before the program was suspended: And this is what it looks like now:
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This may or may not be significant, but I haven’t seen anyone discuss it and the new change occurred the month following Phillips stepping down or being forced out of his teaching elder position at Boerne Christian Assembly in February of 2013.
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The Secret of Happiness in the Home
According to the FORGE (Families Obediently Restoring Godly Education) Ministries website, FORGE Ministries hosted a conference on September 5-7, 2013, in which Phillips spoke. Phillips’ messages included:
Session 1: The Doctrine of Fatherhood From Genesis to Revelation, Doug Phillips
And get a load of this next title:
Session 7: The Secret of Happiness in the Home, Psalm 128. Doug Phillips
Do you think he canvassed his wife, Beall and his household to get a big “Amen” for that?
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Ancient Greece Tour
Vision Forum offered an Ancient Greece Tour and posted about it on their website. Phillips was slated to teach on the tour, but ended up not teaching. Did something come to light between the publishing of the trip itinerary and the actual trip that prevented Phillips from teaching? Here is an excerpt from the website indicating Phillips would be teaching:
The Lord answered our prayers by granting us a top-of-the-line cruise ship, dedicated to our group. The tour will be 9-10 days beginning in Istanbul, Turkey and ending in Athens. Your teachers will be Dr. Joe Morecraft, Bill Potter, and myself.
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Public “Show” of Repentance by Doug Phillips
Last night, I posted an article, Doug Phillips: “Disowns” Former Vision Forum Executive Assistant to President, Peter Bradrick, Calls Him “Destroyer” When Confronted about Sins about Peter Bradrick coming out publicly on his Facebook page which he recently made public. There is another revealing comment I found here from someone in the inner circle of Doug Phillips, Bob Renaud:
This is more clear evidence that Phillips has not repented as he has led us to believe by his two public statements.
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February of 2013: seems to be the month that most people agree that he stepped down from Boerne Christian Assembly where he was one of two teaching elders (pastors).
March 26, 2013: The Vision Forum, Inc., affiliate program at Vision Forum, Inc., was suspended.
August 2013: A blog article by Doug Phillips, True Repentance. Was he really thinking about his own repentance when he wrote/posted this article? Or was this to benefit someone else?
September 5-7, 2013: Phillips spoke at the FORGE Ministries conference.
September 20-20, 2013: Ancient Greece Tour in which Phillips was slated to teach, but did NOT.
September 2013: Many Vision Forum advertising videos were uploaded to the Vision Forum YouTube account.
October 21, 2013: Board of Vision Forum Ministries canceled the Christian Filmakers Academy and events connected with San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival (SAIFCC) (just 10 days before Phillips’ first public statement)
October 31, 2013: Phillips issues first public statement
November 11, 2013: Vision Forum Board announces the closing of Vision Forum Ministries.
November 14, 2013: Doug Phillips issued “clarification” statement which only muddied the waters.
November 26-27, 2013: Peter Bradrick comes forward publicly to share his involvement and pain.
November 28-29, 2013: People coming out publicly on Peter Bradrick’s Facebook pageinsinuating that Doug Phillips profession of repentance may not be genuine.
November 30, 2013: Notice on Vision Forum correspondence that they are liquidating inventory.