Recently, there was a kerfluffle on Facebook in which one of the Christ Church deacons accused Natalie Greenfield of lying on multiple occasions. Despite repeated requests, he was unable to point out what he was referring to. Later commentary from another kirker mentioned the “parent-approved relationship” that Doug Wilson has consistently touted and which Natalie has denied. Keep in mind: this is the reason Wilson gave for blaming the Greenfields in personal letters and his letter to the judge over a decade ago; for downplaying Jamin’s crimes; for assuring the judge that Jamin is “not a predator.” This is the excuse he has given for his current treatment of Natalie and her family on his blog. This is the line he spun repeatedly at the heads of household meeting on the topic. This is the only thing he’s been able to get any sticking power with in his own congregation when he refers to her “lies.”
I’ve mentioned before that Wilson was relying on Jamin’s testimony when he made these claims, but this is made exactingly explicit in an exchange that has just been made public. Rachel Shubin put together a 499-page report (which she ended up giving to the CREC inquiry) into the topic, and e-mailed Doug with questions she had.
Doug Wilson has built his entire case for laying part of the blame for Natalie’s abuse on the Greenfields, from his letter to the judge onwards, on the word of a man he says he does not trust. Starting on page 45 of the report, there’s an email exchange between Shubin and Wilson that concretely lays out the fact that Wilson is relying on Jamin Wight’s testimony, and nothing else, when he claims that Natalie was in a “parent-approved” relationship:
RS: … From what I can tell and what you have said in the past, all of what Jamin did sexually with Natalie was beyond the knowledge of the parents, correct? Natalie has said that she was aware of no “parent-approved” relationship or secret courtship. So, three questions:
- How can Natalie have been part of a courtship she was unaware existed?
- Please define the particulars of what you understand the relationship to have been (What were the parameters? How long did the parent approved relationship/ secret courtship last?)
- Since you were not one of the primary parties involved in the relationship (those being Jamin, Natalie, and Gary and Pat), how did you find out about the courtship?
DW: Natalie could not have been in a relationship that she was unaware existed. But at least one of the parties (Jamin) says that she was very aware of it. This is why Natalie should open her journals up (if she wants the whole story told) and that would probably establish who is telling the truth at this point.
According to one source, the parameters were things like hand-holding, sitting together, etc. I am unsure how long the approved relationship existed.
I believe I found out about the courtship when the thing blew up, but do not know exactly.
RS: Have you read her journals? You’ve said that you have access to them.
DW: It is possible that I saw some back in the day, but don’t recall distinctly. I said that I had access to them because Jamin’s attorney has copies, and I thought the review committee might ask to see them. After I said that I discovered that the court seal applies not only to the copies at the courthouse, but also to any copies that Jamin’s attorney has (I presume because they were part of the plea arrangement). If we had had copies from back in the day, I don’t think the court seal would apply, but I don’t believe we do.
RS: Doug, what I really, really don’t understand with all of this is whyyyyyy do you believe the word of a man who abuses whatever women or adolescent females are naïve enough to let him get close for any length of time (as per court records pertaining to both Natalie and [redacted] and then lies to everyone he can during and afterwards all the way up to his own pastor (as per Leithart’s apology) and the court itself (perjury conviction)? And I’m not just talking about Natalie’s abuse. Jamin has a well-documented, years-long record of lying about huge things including when his own wedding was and whether or not he was drinking when he was legally bound not to do so. Please help me out here. I cannot figure out why you believe or count the testimony of any more than zero words that come out of his mouth.
DW: Simple. I don’t believe him. I don’t accept anything Jamin says as true unless it is independently confirmed. The same goes for Natalie. She has lied repeatedly also — but I can accept what she says if it is independently confirmed.
So, to recap: Wilson has “one source,” Jamin, who says one thing. Wilson appears to staunchly believes this one thing, or he would not have told everyone that it was true. The only other potential proof Wilson can offer is documentation that Wilson cannot recall ever having read and has no access to. And Wilson doesn’t know if this documentation would actually offer proof or not; he suggests Natalie publish her journals, which the court sealed, on the off chance that there’s something to substantiate his claims (that is, Jamin’s claims) in them. Natalie actually published excerpts, as it turns out, and there’s nothing there to suggest that Wilson’s line of reasoning has any basis.
So, let’s apply this same reasoning to Wilson. I’m going to hypothetically accuse Doug Wilson of lying to me about the fact that he had an affair with a woman who has hypothetically committed perjury. She’s hypothetically told me that Wilson did all kinds of untoward things to her. All I’ve got to prove it is her word on the matter. And Doug Wilson’s journals, maybe, although obviously I’ve never read them (or maybe I have… I can’t remember). I guess if Doug opens up his journals, we will know who is actually telling the truth here. Until he does, I’ll tell everyone who will listen to me that Doug is an adulterer and a liar, and that the reason he’s not publishing his journals like I’m asking him to is because he’s an adulterer and is obviously afraid of the truth coming out.
See, I do think Doug is a liar, or at least highly inconsistent in his own mind (so maybe psychologically unbalanced; he probably does mental gymnastics with himself so his contradictory realities exist in separate spheres that never touch). But even so, it would be absurd to insist that he committed adultery based on such tenuous “evidence.”
Just like it’s absurd to tell his congregation that Natalie is lying about a parent-approved relationship because Jamin Wight claimed that there was one.