Sex Scandal Hits Christian 'Patriarchal' Movement

Ex-leader, friend of Duggars, is accused of manipulating woman into encounters

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 16, 2014 2:52 PM CDT
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(Newser) – The former leader of a Christian movement popularized by the ever-growing Duggar family has been slapped with a lawsuit accusing him of sexual impropriety with a young female follower, reports Raw Story. The lawsuit is against Douglas Phillips, who resigned last year as leader of Vision Forum Ministries after admitting to an affair. The case is generating headlines because Phillips preached a brand of Christianity known as "Quiverfull" or "patriarchal" that emphasizes female submission and constant child-bearing, and the Duggars ot TLC fame were followers and friends. In fact, "it's hard to underestimate the importance of Phillips in the small world of extreme fundamentalists," writes Amanda Marcotte at the Daily Beast.

Phillips is being sued by Lourdes Torres-Manteufel, now 29, who says she first met Phillips when she was 15. The lawsuit alleges that he "methodically groomed" and manipulated her for years in the guise of a spiritual mentor, until she moved into his house as a sort of nanny around age 21. At that point, the suit says he coerced her into sexual encounters, and her lawyers maintain that she was so brainwashed she was incapable of consent. “Women within this movement are perceived to exist only for the end-goals communicated by the male leaders that perceive themselves as the ‘patriarchs’ of this world,” the lawsuit reads.

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