Two Years After The Fall

Tales from the Cult is a website dedicated to preserving important artifacts from a church in Eau Claire where horrific spiritual abuse took place over several years. If you haven’t read the About This Site page, please do so before reading any article here.

Well hello again. It’s been awhile. My last post was published just slightly under a year ago. In all honesty, I expected that to be it. I had some high hopes that perhaps the financial investigation would result in some legal consequences that would force Doug back to the area to stand trial, but, that didn’t happen. Although that’s actually a post for another day. Which brings me to why I’m back.

It would appear Doug is at it again. Or maybe still. At the very least, he was pretty quiet on my radar for the last year. That changed a few weeks ago, back in December. The Narrow Pathway (the “church” Doug started with Nate in Grapevine, Texas) published a new post on his “church’s” website. It was quite a doozy, and it was both painful and funny to read. This is also the first time, to my knowledge, that Doug and Company have tried to go after me personally. I got my own little paragraph amongst the nonsense.

Here is a PDF of what appears on their webpage.1 Take a few minutes to read it. You may have noticed they were kind enough to link to my website. I started getting a significant uptick in traffic on December 15th, 2016, so I presume that’s when the article went up on the website.

Before going any further, I’d like to contribute what I think is a huge, bright, glowing red flag:

The entire contents of their “church” website is dedicated to slandering their biological family members, former friends and colleagues.

That article they deleted a long time ago sure was creepy and cultish, but at least it had some beliefs and organizational vision. But just think about that – here’s someone carrying the title of Pastor who fled a state when their theology raised some serious red flags (followed then by a bunch of legal and financial issues) and then started another cult in Texas, and their entire public persona is dedicated to trashing their families. Now, if I was truly trying to bring God’s peace, love, and compassion to His people, and I wanted to walk (as Doug often quipped at Valleybrook) the “straight and narrow path2” to run the church with integrity, I sure wouldn’t devote my entire web presence to trashing my family. This is the nonsense Scientology pulls – disagree with us or stand in the way of our delusions, and we’ll try and trash your life.

Next I want to point out the thinly-veiled threats in this letter. Namely, this one:

Something that has fascinated me in the middle of all this drama is that people have been so bold in their attack. I mean, Doug knows things about some of you that have the potential to ruin your lives, if he ever told.

If you were linked to this blog from Doug’s cult’s website, I want you to read those two sentences again, and really consider them. Is this any way for a pastor to behave? Is this a man you want to follow? One who would dangle any information you ever told him above your head, to try and control you or seek revenge upon you? Something you told him in confidence, or perhaps something you never wanted to divulge in the first place until he had worked on you so long you broke down?

Is that the kind of “church” that you’d want to be a part of? One where the Pastor has no qualms about trashing his friends and family, publicly, on the website for the church? Or at the very least, a Pastor who allows his staff to do the same? Sounds like a cult to me. But, that brings me to my next point.

Let’s talk about who wrote this latest post. Personally, I don’t think Jessica wrote it. It sounds very much like Doug, and very similar to the voice used in the letter “Nate” sent to his biological parents. In contrast to that, the letter “Jessica” attached at the bottom to her biological father, that sounds more like Jessica to me. The other part of this post that, for me, points to Doug writing it rather than Jessica comes at the very end:

Attached below is the actual resignation letter that no one got to hear. I wanted to attach it because it means a great deal to me for you to hear our heart.

I’ve actually seen that letter before, so I can vouch that it is indeed what was sent to the Overseers. But, it’s Doug and Nate’s resignation letter, not Jessica’s. So it seems (to me at least, but please draw your own conclusions) that Doug kind of “dropped character” at the end there and forgot he was supposed to be writing as Jessica. Even if Jessica did write this letter, it is absolutely and clearly influenced by Doug’s own venom and toxicity. At the very least, Doug hasn’t changed a bit since I’ve known him. He still is trying to turn families against each other, and drive wedges further in relationships. And guess what? The people on “his” side of the wedge wind up totally and completely dependent on him. Because what else do they have? They just told their families to get lost.

Next, let’s go to what I consider the most disgusting part of this letter. All throughout this latest post, “Jessica” talks about her father Greg. It’s pretty horrible stuff, but it pales in comparison to the letter “she” attached at the end. It’s basically a “goodbye forever” letter, where she completely tears into him for what he may or may not have done in his life. It was really horrifying to read, but not because of what it contained, but rather what it represented.

I don’t particularly believe 90% of what’s in that letter, especially after talking with people who knew Greg far better than I did.3 But that’s not the point, the point is that Doug has allowed a letter that is only intended to slander an individual to take a front and center position on his cult’s website. There is nothing to be gained by the public knowing anything in that letter. Greg’s family life is no one’s business but his family’s. This doesn’t need to be aired on the internet.

Here’s my request to you: please consider that maybe you don’t need to read it. It shouldn’t be on the internet, but it is. At the same time, my goals here are to preserve information so that Doug can’t hide behind a lack thereof, as well as bring necessary information to light. So if you decide that it’s necessary and you do want to read it, here it is. I realize that both asking you to not read it and then linking it is pretty contradictory, but I hope you understand why. I’m saddened that a family is being publicly destroyed, but I feel obligated to not purposely conceal information. And, I would rather you read it here in a PDF than give Doug’s site any credibility by navigating to it.

Finally, I just want to bring this all together. This latest letter from Doug’s camp continues to paint a more complete picture of how dark he really is. He has “outed” a lot of personal information that he had no business of doing. He has threatened that he could easily reveal more in an attempt to ruin lives. The only way this man exists online is in a negative fashion – his entire website is devoted to hate against family members and former colleagues.

This blog post is just part one of several I have planned. There have been a few developments over the past year that I haven’t posted about, simply because this all felt rather “over.” Clearly, it’s not. So, coming soon:

  1. Extra details on the financial investigation of Valleybrook Church in the wake of Doug’s departure and the lack of pursuit of legal action by the church.
  2. The Chosen podcast I’ve been promising for months and months. I’m not sure why I kept forgetting to post it. But, it’s happening, along with a few comments on the theology of it.
  3. A comparison between the way Doug runs The Narrow Pathway (and how he ran Valleybrook) and the way David Miscavige runs Scientology – one of the most widely known cults in existence.

Before I close, I want to thank the former Valleybrook members that took time out of their lives to sit down and talk with me over the past few weeks, so that I could put together a cohesive narrative and make sure I had my facts straight. There’s clearly more of a cost to this now that Doug is calling specific people out on his website, so I appreciate anyone who is willing to speak out against a tyrant. Without them, he would be able to continue hurting people, completely unchecked. When I heard that an already-established church in Texas had read this blog back when I started it and distanced themselves from Doug’s attempts to join their leadership team…well, that’s why I started doing this.

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  1. As per my usual modus operandi on this website, I’m dedicated to making sure Doug can’t hide behind anonymity or lack of information. So if he ever decides to delete something again off his website, that’s cool, I’ve got a record of it here. 
  2. I wonder how he decided on the name for his new cult… 
  3. I only ever interacted with Greg at Valleybrook – we didn’t have a relationship outside of that. But, he was always very kind to me and was always excited to hear about how I was doing at college.