Standing on the Lies

Standing, standing, I’m standing on the lies of my source. – with apologies to Russell K. Carter

This page is going to be heavy on screen shots. I’ll link where I can to other pages to keep it as brief as possible, but I do need to tell the whole story.

It seems the Three Witches needed a villain. It couldn’t simply be that multiple people were just fed up with the lying and rumor-mongering – it had to be that there was a nefarious plot to somehow “take down” Cathy Harris, or as they see her, St. Catherine of Victimhood.


As near as I can figure out, this is Ground Zero. This is the post where the idea was first floated that Beth Murschell was somehow plotting to drive Cathy Harris to commit suicide. That’s what is meant by “Were you hoping Cathy would go the same way?”

In August, 2013, a woman named DJ Forrester (actual name was Donna Jane Roberts) had surgery. Ten months later, in March 2014, DJ died. I have covered all this controversy about the relationship between Beth and DJ already.


What I want you to see here is that rather than saying, “Wait a second. Is there really any evidence to suggest this kind of really horrible accusation?”, these people collectively began lamenting the evils of Beth Murschell.


And the violent rhetoric escalates. Now Beth is “going for the kill,” according to Maytag.

We began to see more and more comments implying that Cathy was going to kill herself, and anyone who dared disagree with her or not believe her every word was guilty of causing that.


At this point, with the stage nicely set, Maytag begins furiously blogging. Beginning with some rants about the general evilness of Beth, she ratchets it up to this. The tombstone reads: “BJU Suvivors – How many more before Beth quits?”

Before Beth quits what? Well, Fossen goes on to tell us.

page2Why, there’s your answer. How long before Beth quits pushing people to commit suicide.


Maytag uses the pseudonym “Susan” for DJ Forrester. And she informs us that DJ committed suicide after BJU fired and then rehired GRACE, because that was the “last straw.” She could handle no more. Beth had been mean and then BJU was mean.



And there you have it. Beth was to blame. DJ was dead. From there, Maytag tells us how Beth planned to do the same diabolical thing to Cathy, and she launches into the suicide story.


So Linda then posts a link to her blog everywhere, including her own page, where in typical Maytag fashion, she posts it, likes it and comments on it.

And there are more. Oh, there are lots more. We don’t know how she knows this, but she does. There are more. And they are all Beth’s fault. Or mine. Or somebody’s.


She posts a link on 2nd Edition as well.

And notice the comments. Not one single person says, “How do you know any of this?” Nope. They just pile on. Beth is evil. God worked, just in the nick of time.

And Beth’s friends aren’t “calling her out.” Wonder why that is?

It’s declared “insightful.” No evidence. Nothing. Just declarations made by a woman who has a decidedly tenuous grasp on reality.


And more comments, just totally believing all this without any question at all. Beth drove DJ to commit suicide and attempted to cause Cathy to do the same thing.

And others. Lots of others. It’s a blood bath, folks.


Then Daniel Madera picks up the baton and begins running with it. “God bless you, Linda,” he gushes.

For what? For showing how this evil woman, Beth Murschell, had cruelly plotted to drive DJ Forrester to commit suicide (reason for doing this is unknown and never stated) and is trying to do the same thing to poor, poor St. Catherine.


And Cathy comments and confirms something we already knew. Cathy Harris is the source of all this “information” about DJ. She is, of course, the one who provided the convenient screen shots “showing” that Beth “abandoned” DJ. And there is way more, she says. Way more.

Notice that she doesn’t say “Gee, I don’t really know if Beth actually plotted to do anything.” Nope. There is way more. And Chris knows it too.


So, when Maytag came over to chat with me on my wall, I found what she had to say about DJ’s “suicide” very interesting. Someone else asked her some very pointed questions about how she knew it was a suicide.


Oh, it was ruled a suicide. She tells us that over and over again.


It was not just ruled a suicide, it was officially ruled a suicide by the state of Florida.


Fossen’s source was told by the son. Oh, gee, well, that makes it absolute fact. Her source told her that the son said that it was official.


Who knew? You can just call up and get a copy for yourself. Has Maytag done this?


Well, no. She hasn’t. But you totally can do it.


Fossen just trusts her source, the source that told her that DJ’s death was officially ruled a suicide by the state of Florida. Fossen has learned well at the Camille K. Lewis School of Journalism, hasn’t she? Camille? Look at this. She deserves an A.


Here’s a reasonable suggestion. Why don’t we wait before accusing somebody of something so awful until we can verify at least the basic fact – that DJ Forrester did commit suicide?


I started to snip this a bit due to space, but she says too much here to leave anything out.

Maytag trusts her source. Period. Her source claims to have spoken with DJ’s sons and knows the official ruling of the state of Florida: suicide.

In addition, she stands by her blog. Isn’t that admirable?

Then we’re treated to a large paragraph where she informs us that children seeing claims like that about their mother is a good thing. She’s done a public service. And she hates her father. And she hates Beth.

And she’s leaving because we hate.


April chimes in to tell us that Fossen and her source are wrong.

Now then. Whatever are we to make of all this? How can we resolve the dilemma? Well, Maytag told us how already.


Okay, Maytag. Good idea.


Standing: The Reaction



These are things I know because some people told me so,
And some people know,
And some people know.

Nathan Davis, The Devil Knows

An article appeared a couple of months ago on a site called the Wartburg Watch, a religious blog of some sort, written by Dr. Camille Lewis.

Camille, who graduated from Bob Jones University (Greenville SC), then spent several years there on the faculty. After she left there… well, I’ll let her tell you herself.

I am immersed in an ongoing project to tell a more complete story of Bob Jones University’s history from the sources that are too often overlooked. Secular historians have done a great disservice by simply repeating the BJU’s scripted narrative of goodness. My project seeks to correct that blindspot. After I left BJU’s employ myself, I dredged up archival research from all over the country to understand my own departure. And I was pleasantly surprised to find so many kindred spirits among the former BJU faculty and staff.

Camille and I have shared time together off and on participating in a couple of Facebook pages devoted to the joys of witnessing the fairly rapid decline of Bob Jones University. I attended their Academy (high school) in the early sixties.

In the course of conversation rattling around these Facebook pages, and as sheer idle gossip for which I have no shame, I told a story about a teenager who was in school with me at the Academy. One evening, he shared a fairly horrific story with me about what had happened to his father just a year or so earlier, prior to my arrival.

Camille was very interested in my account. So interested, in fact, that she actually went to a bit of effort to check out the bare-boned facts of my story – basically, that the teenager existed, that he was a student there during the appropriate years, that his father did in fact die the way I was told he did.

Then Camille began to kind of gently nudge me. She wanted me to contact the young man involved and ask him to verify the story. She found out where he lived, and got the link to his web site. Since I haven’t seen the guy in fifty years, I wasn’t exactly anxious to start off a reunion with “Hi. Remember me? Do you remember that story you told me in 1963? Was it true?”

So I, well, just didn’t.

And time passed. And I assumed that she’d set the story aside. Or forgotten it. Or something.

It was something. This.


In case that is difficult to read, here you go:

There are more stories. This one’s the most tragic: Murray Havens’ family was given 24 hours to vacate their on-campus home after Mr. Havens was found dead on those premises. He was in the middle of producing an elaborate Art Gallery show for Bob Jones Jr. and had checked himself into the hospital because of stress. Junior forced him to check out and then something snapped. His death was labeled a suicide.

This is basically the story I told Camille.

Completely unvetted. As I told it to her. Without any checking with anyone. My story.

I know this because shortly after it appeared, she contacted me to tell me she had published it. I was very surprised, frankly, but delighted at first. I always thought that the Havens family deserved some justice. I assumed, of course, that she had somehow vetted the story. I assumed that she had contacted the son, or found another family member or a close friend or somebody to corroborate what I’d said.

But then, she commented that she wished one of us had been in touch with the son, but… I was stunned. What? I was the only source?

At the time, I said nothing. I know from experience that disagreeing with Camille is a good way to get your head handed to you in a paper sack.

But over the past few weeks, it’s been nagging at me. What if the son, in some internet rambling, found the story? He probably wouldn’t know I was the source. He may have told that story to a dozen people over the years. But still, this is a supposed scholarly article, a research article, written by a person who prides herself on her academic prowess, and it was never vetted. And he was my friend. He was kind to me when the people at Bob Jones were not.

I started to have questions pop into my mind, like:

1. How does Camille know I told her the truth?

Obviously, she did verify that the son is real, and that the father is who I said he was, and that he held the position at BJU at the art gallery, and that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But what about the rest of it?

I know I told her the truth about what I was told, but how does she know I wasn’t just making it up? It’s a second-hand story.

2. Even if she knew for certain that I was telling the truth, what if my memory was faulty?

This story is fifty years old. Memory is fickle. Did the son really tell me “24 hours” or was it a short time, and over the years, I just turned that into “24 hours”? I can’t really be sure. And if I can’t be sure, Camille sure as hell can’t.

What was the actual time period between the hospitalization and his release/leaving, and his suicide? Days? Weeks? I’m not sure. I think maybe two weeks. But I really am not sure.

3. What if the son was lying?

This was a teenage boy in a horrible situation. He’d lost his father in a very tragic manner and to say he was traumatized and grief-stricken is an understatement. Did he just sort of fabricate this excuse for why his dad committed suicide as a way to blame somebody other than his father? Did he just need somebody to hang it on, something that had caused it?

How would anyone know? How would Camille know?

4. What if the son was telling the truth as he saw it, but was simply wrong?

For example, what if the reason they moved out of the university–provided housing in the first twenty four hours was because his mother simply couldn’t stay in the house where her husband had killed himself? What if the school had nothing at all to do with the decision? What if the son just sort of filled that in due to grief and anger?

Did Bob Jr really talk Murray into checking out of the hospital? Did overwork cause his original breakdown?

In short, this story is totally hearsay. It’s fifty-year-old hearsay. It’s not scholarship. It’s an internet rumor taken as fact, and published as though it were fact by a woman who claims to be an “historian.” She just took a comment made on Facebook and published it.

And it’s not just a harmless human interest anecdote. It’s a story that makes a pretty terrible accusation against both an institution and a man. Hearsay.

So, after I thought about all this, and decided that this just wasn’t right, I made an attempt to contact Camille and express my concerns. I tried to message her via Facebook but discovered that I’d somehow peeved her and she had blocked me. I could not send her a message.

However, she is an administrator of a Facebook page called Truth Seeking Graduates of Bob Jones.

So I went over there and posted a comment asking her how I could contact her.

It was deleted within a couple of hours.

I tried again. Deleted yet again, in minutes. [Screen shots available upon request.] So that left me basically nowhere. She wouldn’t talk to me in private.

So, is this scholarship?



These photos were posted on Camille’s Facebook page. They appear to come from Murray Havens’ son’s annual. Surely this means that Camille has been in touch with Glen Havens, doesn’t it? And she properly vetted the story? And I’m basically full of shit?

Well, no. Right after I told the original Murray Havens story on the BJU-related forum mentioned above, Camille went to her vast library of BJU annuals. I don’t know if she has every single annual from every year, but she has a lot of them. Some of them are given to her, but she also gets them by finding them in used book stores in Greenville.


So, she pulled down the yearbook from the date of my story, and was checking to see if the Havens were in there. This is as much “vetting” as Camille appears to do. She calls this “research.”

And in doing so, she suddenly realized that she had Glen Havens’ annual in her hands.

It was a miracle.

But not exactly. Camille had purchased the annual at a used book store, where Glen (or his sibling) had apparently taken it after his mother died when he cleaned out her possessions. In other words, when I told Camille the Murray Havens story, she already had this annual in her library.


This is probably, at least in part, a reference to the annual photos Camille supplied above. However, it doesn’t matter how many “sources” Camille has for this story now, in September 2014. The fact remains that she wrote an article in February 2014 claiming that the story was true, and I was the only source at that time.

This is really not terribly difficult to understand, unless like some of these folks, you just don’t want to understand.


My personal policy with private messages is that they are just that: private. However, Camille doesn’t see it that way, and has a long history of leaking private messages all over social media and the internet and this one is no exception. Of course, she does so very selectively, snipping and clipping and altering stuff so she presents the message she wishes to convey. I present the whole thing with nothing altered.

Facebook calls her “Facebook user” because she has me blocked, but it doesn’t matter. It’s clear from the context that Camille is speaking.

And please note the times involved. This was more of an instant message type thing – both of us were posting at the same time. There is a five-minute gap between her initial message and my reply to it, a three-minute gap between my initial reply and her reply to that, and then a ten-minute gap before my last reply.

That’s because I was trying to figure out how to respond. The phrase that I have highlighted hit me like a bomb going off. It was then that I realized that she had never vetted the story. She just went with what I told her, without checking it out. I didn’t know what to say to her. I had to go think about it a bit. So I blabbered something just to end the conversation and that was it.

When I tried to contact her to discuss it several weeks later, she had blocked me and I couldn’t.

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Book Review: Out of the Miry Clay

available at Amazon

It wouldn’t take much of a guess to know that I didn’t want to read Linda Fossen’s book.

I’m not a fan of the author.

Let me repeat that so we get it right out there in front and don’t have to talk about it again. I’m not a fan of the author.

So, writing something like “I didn’t like this book” probably wouldn’t be very meaningful, considering my admitted bias. I’m quite aware of that.

However, I am a really voracious reader, and my tastes are pretty much all over the place. So, I’m going to review this book anyway, in spite of the fact that I have little to no use for the author and am biased as hell. I read this book so you don’t have to. It was a public service.

One of the first things I noticed came early in the book, in the preface area.

My siblings have each learned to deal with their ‘daddy wounds’ in their own ways.


She then asks readers to “respect their privacy.”

This is how Linda “respects their privacy.” Until very recently (June, 2014), this photo was up on Linda’s Facebook page, set to “public.” She also mentions that it was up on her web site, but it doesn’t appear to be there now.

Not only does she exhibit their photo, but she also very deliberately gives us contact information (Facebook links) for the two siblings that have them.

She also told the world that her therapist pointed out that she is the only person in the photo whose hand is “unclenched.” This seems to indicate that she is not dealing with inner turmoil, but everyone else is.

Only, all the others seem to have just gone on and lived normal lives, while Linda has dealt with one crisis after another, including suicidal tendencies and self-destructive behavior.

I’m going to look back through old photos of myself and make sure I have clenched fists. It seems to be a positive indicator of a happy life.

Note: Linda didn’t like the previous comments about the supposed “normalcy” of her siblings and went on a tirade about how they are all fucked up. This is in contrast to her, of course. She’s “normal,” married to a convicted mass murderer, morbidly obese, and living on disability. Forgive me if I just didn’t get it.

I made notes as I read. The most frequently used word in my notes was “drama.”

Mostly an autobiography, this book consists of one drama after another. Everything that happens to Linda is over the top. As a simple example, she tells about attending public school after leaving the cloistered environment of a Christian school. I did that, so I understand that there is a slight amount of culture shock. But not in Linda’s world. In her world, it’s not culture shock. It’s Linda, witnessing a seventh grade girl shoot up an overdose of heroin, “putting in the needle,” and being taken to the hospital where she barely survives. One wonders exactly where this incident happened? Was Linda stalking girls in the bathroom or something? In seventh grade? In the early seventies?

And the husband, Gary Fossen did, in fact, murder his parents and sister by just walking up to them in their home and shooting them and went to prison for doing so. The court case and subsequent appeal is public record. He tried a lame alibi (which Linda describes as a “perfect alibi”) which fell apart in short order.

And of course, Gary has a jailhouse conversion, just like a whole lot of convicts do. But he can’t have the ordinary type of conversion. Not Gary Fossen. He’s Linda’s husband, so it has to be dramatic. He is holding the smuggled-in razor blade, ready to off himself, when he sees the Bible given to him by Linda’s pedophile father (what?) and is overcome by the Holy Spirit and there you are. Saved at the last possible moment.

It’s not that she tells stories that are clearly impossible and/or ridiculous (with the exception of the accounts of her and Gary’s various healings at Benny Hinn crusades). Any of these things could have happened. And much of what she writes about probably did happen. Sort of.

Where it all gets unlikely is that it all happened to her. Over and over and over again. Nothing is plain Jane. Nothing is ever mundane. It’s all dramatic, and recounted using hyperbole.


She goes to a hearing designed to get Gary a pardon and speaks, and naturally, everyone in the room is reduced to sobbing uncontrollably while the Holy Spirit descends on the room and floods it with light. However, it apparently wasn’t a large enough Holy Spirit dose to get Gary that pardon.

And then there’s Benny. Linda loves Benny Hinn. She loves him so much she repeatedly goes to his crusades, and either she or Gary get healed every single time. It’s a miracle, I tell you!

She also very carefully informs us that she and Gary gave Benny great wads of money, enough that they were invited to a special retreat with about fifty other donor couples (I wonder what you have to donate to get a ticket to that sort of event?), where Linda, naturally, is healed yet again.

One of the best lines in the whole book is this:

By this point you may be wondering if I am a ‘Benny Hinn groupie’ and part of a fan club.

No, Linda. I was not wondering. You made it quite clear. You are.


But, sadly, and quite inexplicably, none of the healings seem to actually work. Linda requires surgery for her work-related injury (and as far as I know, remains on disability today, typing away on a computer all day long with a degree in computer science). Benny heals her of her inner turmoil, only she starts cutting herself and gets pretty suicidal right afterwards. In short, Benny is a flop. An expensive flop.

Oddly enough, the story of her alleged abuse at the hands of her father doesn’t occupy as much of the book as I thought it would. It’s graphic, but I expected worse given one of the comments on Amazon. The angst and hand-wringing continues throughout, however, along with long passages about Jesus and the Holy Spirit and all that. I mostly skimmed through the little sermonettes scattered all over.

She is, however, sort of contradictory about the issue of whether or not she actually remembers this supposed abuse. In several places, she makes remarks like this:

To every woman haunted by the memories of childhood sexual abuse locked inside of her heart and reenacted in her nightmares…[from the Dedication]

…bring all the buried things into the light. [From the Dedication, speaking of her therapist]

She speaks repeatedly of how she “buried the memories,” and relives it all in “nightmares,” with the clear implication being that she didn’t remember it.

But then, as if she’s aware that people will be critical if she admits that she had no memory of this stuff, she pops out with:

I remembered the abuse all of my life and this is what propelled me into a life of hyperactivity and compulsive behavior. I was trying to out race my pain but always knew it was there buried in my heart.


The key here is the word “remembered.” Self-styled victims who’ve “recovered memories” will often speak of “remembering,” but they don’t mean the same thing the rest of us do when we use the word. We’re talking about conscious memory. When I was about six, I fell on a concrete bench at a park and put a pretty good gash in my left shin, all the way to the bone. I still have the scar, sixty years later. I have a conscious memory of the event, although I couldn’t tell you what park or who was there other than my mother or exactly how old I was. One reason, I’m sure, that the memory stuck was that I had this constant reminder – the scar on my leg.

But that’s not the kind of “remembering” Linda is referring to here. She’s talking about alleged “body memory” or “subconscious memory.” There is no scientific evidence of any kind that such a thing exists.

The fact that she includes in her list of recommended books titles like The Courage to Heal, which is practically the bible of the recovered memory movement, says a great deal, I think.

In addition, like many alleged victims, Linda tells us all about stuff that happened when she was three years old, in very specific detail. Don’t worry if you don’t remember stuff from when you were three years old. Nobody remembers much. Memory is not a video tape, nor is it even clear photographs. It’s vague at best, and the further in time you go from the event, the more indistinct it gets.

I suppose I would have thought more of this book if it weren’t for the unavoidable fact that I have had pretty extensive dealings with Linda Fossen in the past few months, and I’ve discovered that she plays fast and loose with the truth. She requires almost nothing when it comes to evidence, and ignores anything that contradicts or discounts in any way her view of reality. She is prone to making fanciful claims out of thin air. That’s why she can watch Benny Hinn do his schtick and actually believe it. Keep that in mind. This is a woman who believes that Benny Hinn’s dog-and-pony show is real.



Here are a series of email exchanges between me and Fossen. Note that when she requested I remove her godawful book cover, I did so, even though I hadn’t violated any copyright laws at all, just because I didn’t want to have a big fight over it. [Note: I put the cover picture back. She can sue me.] Yet she wrote a rebuttal of my book review (who does that?) on her blog, and is totally butthurt about it.

Also, please note that I provide either links or information about where you can find the originals of the material I quote or reference throughout this site. I am not afraid of readers checking that out. In fact, please do. Go to Fossen’s Fantasyland Fairytale Blog and read this shit for yourself. I am not making stuff up. If you find that I’m wrong, contact me and tell me so.







Here is the applicable law. It’s from the web site that Linda’s blog provider uses. There is no hard rule about how much you can quote from somebody else’s work and still come under fair use laws, but what you can’t do is “copy its heart.” That’s why there is no rule about the number of words. If you quote the “essence” of the work, you’re infringing. If you just skirt the edges, you’re not. However, not providing attribution is never okay. We all learned this in about the sixth grade.


Here is how Linda Fossen gave me credit.

Do you see the barely visible little line below the quote? That is not a line. That is type. In size 1.


To see it, you have to do what I did. You have to first be aware that it’s type and not just a line, and then you have to copy and paste it into Word and blow it up.

Simply enlarging the type on your computer screen won’t make it large enough to see.

I’m not an attorney, but I bet that “giving credit” in such a way that your readers will not be aware that you’ve done so isn’t really “credit” at all.

But this isn’t really about a web site article or a blog. It’s about the type of person that Linda Fossen is. It’s about vindictiveness and revenge. It’s about lying and obfuscating. It’s about trying to control information and paint a false picture. It’s about manipulation and deception. And it’s about ongoing attempts not to find “truth” but to foster “truthiness.”

But perhaps Linda just learned all this from the Camille K. Lewis School of Journalism.