In the beginning, Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook.
At first, Facebook was without world-wide exposure. In fact, Facebook was restricted to a few college campuses. Zuckerberg’s original vision was of something that would connect college students. He didn’t see it connecting everyone.
In those long-ago days, you had to be a college student to even access Facebook.
Rebecca Phillips Ketchie was one such college student. Doing graduate work, in 2005, she started a Facebook group called “Bob Jones University survivors.”
She thought it would attract grad students, or transfer students, and let them connect. The word “survivors” was never intended as a pejorative – like “surviving a tornado” or “surviving mistreatment.” It was tongue-in-cheek, like the t-shirts sold in shops along the Alaska Highway—”I drove the Alaska Highway and survived.”
And it did attract some people. And everything rocked along fine for a while, but Facebook became a phenomenon not just of college campuses, but across the nation and then around the world.
And in a matter of just a few years, Rebecca realized she needed some help. For one thing, the number of participants had multiplied beyond anything she ever expected, or even desired. For another, the entire tone of the group had changed.
Intended as a place where former students could laugh about the “good old days” when they were younger, things changed as the Disaffected began to show up. In short, Camille and the Court (in the form of St. Catherine, David Shaffer, and Dan Keller) arrived. Many threads were diverted to BJU-bashing instead of reminiscing.
Rebecca asked a few people to help her do moderation. Among those were Phil Lehman, Nancy Kepler Bean, Hannah Goodman and Leah Hayes.
Here’s the basic story. Cathy Harris joined an ongoing conversation about counselors at BJU questioning guys about whether or not they masturbated. She told her oft-repeated story of having been counseled by Walt Fremont and having Fremont ask her the same question.
A forum member named Alex (I forget his last name and can’t find anyone who remembers it) objected, saying that Walt was dead and it just wasn’t fair to accuse somebody who couldn’t defend himself. Cathy took umbrage. Camille entered the fray, in defense of Cathy.
During the argument that ensued, Alex told Camille that he was going to return in an hour and post something that he knew about Grant.
Camille went completely apeshit and began yelling loudly for somebody to ban Alex, and remove the comment. She insisted that Alex was alluding to some sort of sexual indiscretion on Grant’s part. I wonder why she assumed that?
Alex said that if they removed it, he would simply post it on the net elsewhere, which resulted in all sorts of unhappiness. (I sort of understand how Alex felt. Tell me that you’re going to remove something I said, and watch how I react.)
After the allotted hour, Alex came back with his “story.” It seems that he’d seen Grant going into chapel one day, putting a stick of chewing gum in his mouth. [For the uninitiated, chewing gum on the BJU campus was a major no-no. I don’t know if that’s still the case, but it sure was in my day.]
That’s the bare bones story. The entire thread was ultimately deleted and no screen shots remain that I know of.
Here’s Cathy’s take on it in the form of a “note” on her Facebook page:
Take note: Cathy’s encounter with Fremont occurred in 1983 when she was 18 years old.
David Reese says that the alleged “letter from Berg” is “unbelievable.” I totally agree. It is.
Below, she tells all about how Alex was bad and Leah (who was trying to moderate this little squabble) was bad.
Alex, after discussing the matter privately with Leah Hayes, agreed not to put the thread/argument back up, but allowed it all to just disappear.
Cathy says, “You know me well enough, Leah, that it take[sic] a whole lot to get me really, really angry.” Actually, it takes very little to get Cathy riled. Just one simple phrase will put her in near hysterics: “I don’t believe that, Cathy.” Try it and see.
The best I can figure out is that the incomprehensible phrase Cathy put here is supposed to be either Russian or Ukrainian swearing. This was during the period when she had “found” Elizabeth and Ed Tozar, her fake parents, and they were supposedly illiterate in English (except when “Ed” wrote a totally plagiarized essay in perfect English).
Please notice this. I’ve snipped it to emphasize it.
She’s clear here. At the beginning of her remarks, she emphasizes that she was talking about something that occurred in the 1980’s. That would have been when she was a young freshman student at Bob Jones University.
Cathy told this version of the story in 2010. She says she was an 18-year-old freshman at BJU, and was “forced” into counseling sessions with Walt Fremont and he asked her if she masturbated.
Three years later, though, she tells the same story and it’s changed:
The link is to a blog entry made the same day that she posted it on GRACE’s Facebook page.
In this version, Fremont is talking with her, not as an 18-year-old freshman student, but as a 13-year-old child. Note that she specifically says the “masturbation” incident occurred “years before.”
I wish, while Cathy is lying about Walt Fremont, she would at least learn to spell the man’s name.