Weighty Matters

Camille tells her Facebook friends a little sob story about her life.

She begins by telling them that she’s planning to put this story in her “Proof is in the Product” Storify page.

She says it’s bizarre. She’s not wrong about that. It is bizarre, but what is weird is her, not them.

She has little to say about the husband, Gordon, but it’s clear from the start that she has a beef with the wife, Cheryl.

So, we learn that this beef dates back 23 years. Twenty-three years. Camille remembers all about this. Must have been really awful.

Cheryl, we’re told, “confronted” Camille about her weight. We’re not told what that means, exactly.

Did Cheryl say, “Hey, Camille, I see that you’ve gained what looks like about 25 extra pounds. You need to shed that weight to travel with Dr. Bob. I can help.”

Or, was it more like, in the context of a general conversation about how hard it is to eat healthy while traveling, Cheryl said, “You know, I’m a Weight Watchers counselor. I’ve had to learn about dealing with that stuff. If anyone needs any help, let me know.”

We don’t know because Camille doesn’t say. If her comments were something like the former, they were shitty indeed. If the latter, well, not so much.

And Camille was humiliated. So she says.

Who knows how much of this is true, or how much is exaggerated, or what the real story is?

Is it possible that this happened just like Camille tells it? Sure it is. Bob Jones University sucks dirt. Thoroughly sucks dirt.

But this experience was so awful, so humiliating, so perfectly terrible that Camille remained in the school’s employ for the next sixteen years.

Pardon me if I simply cannot find my violin right now.

But then we see that Cheryl, going by the name “Cherie”, now has an IMDB listing, meaning she’s doing some acting.

This is what Camille wants you to see. A little short film.

It’s okay. It’s tawdry and amateurish, but it’s not porn. You can watch it.

Notice Camille carrying on. “This”, she says.

Really, I was expecting hard-core porn. I was almost afraid to click the link because I thought I’d get all virused or something.

And then, because Camille does some extremely childish things from time to time, she links to some gifs she made.

Cheryl said “fuck.”

Only being a good Christian, Camille uses symbols so you don’t have to read that offending word. I am not a good Christian, so I just type the word. Sometimes I say the word.


And the next one is presumably Gordon, in his little cameo role, being escorted out of the parlor.

I’m not sure what is wrong with being filmed while walking, but oh well. . .

“She taught kindergarten.” How awful. She taught kindergarten 23 years ago, and now she’s doing this.

Then we have the Marilyn Monroe movie, another short film.

I fail to see what might be the problem with that one.

Camille feels “vindicated” because Cheryl Mason “gets a pass.” For doing what? Living her life? What?

I don’t call Camille “the Great Evil Witch that all of Christendom loathes.” I call Camille the Queen. And actually, I have called her a witch once or twice. But I don’t think “all of Christendom” even knows she exists.

We’re treated to one more short video.

Corny jokes, amateur acting. So what?

Keep in mind that Camille says she’s planning to put this couple up on her Storify page. She’s doing this, not because these folks have dabbled a little bit in amateur film-making, but because Camille is carrying a grudge that is 23 years old.

Not long after I gave birth to Nathan, Dave and I saw an old friend that we hadn’t seen in quite some time. The person said when first seeing me, “Sally, you look like somebody blew you up with a bicycle pump.” I had gained a good bit of baby fat and I hadn’t lost it.

That was more than 30 years ago. I didn’t use gender-specific pronouns when describing the incident, because I can’t remember if it was a man or woman who said it. I do not know who it was. I just don’t remember.

The remark stung. All remarks about people’s weight sting. [A bit of advice. Be sensitive and don’t make them.] But all that remains in my memory is the remark itself, totally separated from the person who said it, and even from the place where it was said.

I understand hurt that lasts for years. I understand the sense of jubilation that you get when somebody who hurt you appears to stumble a bit. It’s absolutely human and completely impossible not to feel that from time to time.

But Camille intends to put these people’s photographs up on a page on the internet as though they are criminals of some sort. She’s going to blend them in with people who were arrested or convicted of sex crimes and embezzlement.

Apparently, judging from the first little film, Cheryl and Gordon Mason have moved on a bit from their former lives. So what?

Here’s another person who left Bob Jones University and moved on a bit from his former life.

His name is Rich Merritt.

He’s a friend of mine. I suspect he’s also a friend of Camille’s.

The book is about exactly what you think it might be about. It’s explicit. It’s pretty raw. And it’s fascinating reading. I own a copy.

And I have never seen Camille criticize it a single time.

So, if Camille’s criticism of the Masons is about tawdry filmmaking, why isn’t Rich on her Storify page?

Every now and then, via the miracle that is Facebook, I “run into” somebody from the Fundy Church From Hell, where we went to church for years. It’s a weird experience for me when that happens.

For one thing, how did they get so old?

But I’m also often pretty astonished that they are right there where I left them, still sitting in those same old theater seats in that same little church, listening to the same bullshit Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. They’ve been doing it for years and years.

And I am not the same. I’m so different that I might as well be living on another planet.

It happens.

It happened to Camille. She writes at length about it on her blog, in excruciating detail, as her religious ideas changed from the Baptist fundamentalism of her youth to the Calvinism she embraces today.

The difference between us, me and Camille, is that I morphed right on out the door of Christendom (as she puts it) and she didn’t.

I have no idea about Cheryl and Gordon Mason, and don’t care. I doubt they care about Camille. Cheryl might or might not even remember who Camille is.

But there you have the gist of it all.

Offend Camille Lewis, and 23 years later, she’ll still be trying to get even.


Pardon me while I do a wee bit of advertising.

This is another of Rich’s books.

It’s about everyone’s favorite university.

I loved it.

Camille likes the book, too. Ignore the poor review. It’s a great book, way better than the other stuff that comes out of BJU, you know, like some tedious thing about romancing differences.


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