**Updated: After being unapologetic, the individual sent me a private apology. I have forgiven him, so I have redacted his name. Back in the hills, however, if you shoot a coyote, you drape it over a fence as a warning to other varmints. So, I’m leaving up the post with his name redacted. Hopefully other varmints will get the message**
It started with a tweet to Ergun Caner on June 16, 2014. It has continued with over 3,980 tweets (those are those ones he hasn’t deleted), averaging roughly 18 tweets a day or about one tweet per waking hour. Each and every one of those tweets, in one way or another, were about one thing – me.
Whoever was behind that anonymous account was intentional, methodical, obsessed and pathological. They awoke in the morning, giving log-in creds to an account designed to conceal their identity, with an intention to be nastier, more vile, crass, vulgar and wicked than the day before. The anonymity was designed to protect them from the consequences of their unwholesomeness.
The sociopathy of living behind an single anonymous account designed for the sole purpose of being nasty to someone else wasn’t enough for the individual. The individual made other accounts as well, some designed to attack my wife. If truth were told and fully known, he sent tens of thousands of tweets in total, and all designed for the same purpose – to hang on to every word I said or wrote, and to coalesce with every critic I have and repeat their every critical word. In a non-hyperbolic, textbook definition of harassment, he endlessly harassed my friends or anyone who might repeat or promote our intellectual works. He claimed knowledge that he didn’t have. He lied endlessly. He created anonymous accounts designed to bolster that anonymous account and had conversations with himself, appearing to be two different people. He entered a private Facebook group which had very clear and explicit rules of no anons and no screenshots and would screenshot everything any of the eighteen-hundred plus pulpiteers may have written that could be considered controversial. He hurt innocent people sharing prayer requests and asking for advice in their personal life. The most clear way to describe his behavior was that of an obsessed sociopath.
To my knowledge, I don’t believe I’ve responded to him. Even though the block-button was quickly pressed, I would catch the periphery of his vitriol as I was tagged by people who I hadn’t blocked. I asked my friends to not interact with him, so I wouldn’t see his sociopathic hate-parade every day. Along with some non-anonymous trolls with whom he would constantly interact (Twitter analytics reveal he had more interactions with Tom Buck of FBC Lindale than anyone), this individual personified truly what it means to harass. He invaded personal pages, stalked people under false names, made private prayer requests among innocent people public, and attacked women and children.
He made fun of my newborn daughter’s premature birth weight.
He made fun of my children, and called them non-elect.
He made fun of my wife and the number of children she has had, insinuating promiscuity or abuse.
He made fun of my weight and appearance endlessly.
He’s dropped vulgarity, profanity, and coarse jesting while doing all of the above.
He has endlessly attacked – closer to hundreds than dozens of times – underage youth who are in our polemics group, and has done so in just the last few days. One young man in particular he’s attacked dozens of times. In fact, it was a 17 year-old man who was tired of being picked on by him who is the one responsible for unveiling this troll’s identity, following the bread crumbs back to [redacted] and alerting Pulpit & Pen.
And yet, I’ve not responded to him in the last two years. I’ve been silent. I don’t answer anonymous accounts for the same reason I don’t fight with ghosts. First, criticism without a name attached isn’t criticism worth listening to. Secondly, you can’t land a punch on a ghost. However, this anonymous account is no longer a ghost.
His name is [redacted], and he is the pastor of [redacted]. The church meets in a movie theater. [Redacted] describes himself as having a background in “training, coaching and sales.” While claiming to be “Reformed” personally, his church website uses all the seeker-friendly type slogans and code words to let you know that they’re relevant, refreshing, nonjudgmental and love their city and the doctrinal statement doesn’t give much information beyond generous orthodoxy. They took off from regular worship a few Sundays ago to have a time of “intentional prayer, reflection and discussion” about social justice and racism. The church has a staff of three, including [redacted] as the lead pastor, [redacted] as the “Director of Ministries”, and a worship guy.
What else do we know about [redacted]? He calls Ergun Caner his “good friend” and calls himself Caner’s “favorite Reformed friend.” He and Caner are clearly on close speaking terms, from their Twitter feed. [Redacted] also calls Russell Moore his “friend,” although that appears to be just a part of the regular celebrity-obsessed, apple-polishing adulation [redacted] has given to any number of evangelical leaders in Hudson’s sociopathy-network groups.
[Redcated]’s public profiles are squeaky clean. There is no hint of controversy or conflict on his Facebook or Twitter accounts. There is no hint of anything uncouth or morally unkempt. There is no mention of JD Hall. This is why [redacted] is a sociopath. Someone with multiple personality disorder can’t hide it that well. [Redacted], however, has secretly kept his dark, obsessed, grossly immoral side confined to anonymous social media accounts.
To make a long story short, [redacted] made a mistake. He took a screenshot from the private group he was in under false pretenses, and left a clue. Without my knowledge, the Pulpit & Pen guys took that clue and a very smart guy created an spreadsheet algorithm and ran it against the data of everyone in that private group. [Redacted]’s name appeared as the possible culprit along with a few others, but from there, it was easy to narrow down. [Redacted] knew the Pulpit & Pen guys were on his trail, so he outed himself in a self-righteous twit-longer a couple days ago. His excuse…”JD is a bully.”
We do polemics. We talk about what’s wrong with evangelicalism. So we’re bullies. Get it? To remind you, he sent nearly four-thousand tweets from a single account at the rate of roughly one per waking hour attacking my wife, children, church, appearance and doing so with vulgarity, profanity and below-the-belt carnality all the while deceptively infiltrating and stalking a private group under false pretenses and hurting lots of people sharing prayer requests and concerns. Because I’m a bully.
This isn’t the first time that [redacted] has lived a double life.
[Redacted] was the pastor of [redacted], and resigned from the pastorate upon being caught in adultery with a parishioner and counselee. [Redacted] used his position of spiritual authority to poach another man’s wife. He resigned after being caught (not before). While radical grace can certainly be applied to the penitent, Hudson wasn’t penitent. Pulpit & Pen has spoken to certain members of [redacted] who give a different account of [redacted]’s supposed repentance. Furthermore, [redacted] – rather than reconciling – continued in his sin and married his mistress. When his Twitter account says, “I married out of my league,” the truth is he married outside of his marriage. Now, [redacted] and his new “wife” run the seeker-friendly plant in Alabama together.
Is this why the husband of two wives took great exception to the field of polemics that he devoted an extraordinary amount of his time over the last two years, while still during the honeymoon phase of the marriage forbidden by 1 Corinthians 7:39 and Romans 7:2? Was it for the head-pats of an evangelical celebrity that P&P riled somewhere along the way? At the end of the day, it’s hard to reconcile the inordinate time and attention [redacted] spent on his anonymous muckraking crusade with reality, and we’re left assuming that it was sheer pathological sociopathy.
Beyond [redacted], we recognize that he’s not alone in his derangement. P&P unveiled another anonymous troll last year, who spent the better part of a week in non-stop, incessant, hate-filled attacks in social media. By the time it was over, others caught on that when in an argument, she would log out of one account, log in to another, and would back herself up under a different name. Again, this is sociopathy. Whatever makes people do this speaks to the darkness of their soul, and the fact that they’re sometimes supported by non-anons like Tom Buck speaks to the sad fact that they’re unfortunately enabled in both their sin and in their dementia or other mental health issues.
[Redacted] should do the following things. First, he should seek help from a Christian counselor who specializes in the field of mental disorders. Several times, he has demonstrated a proclivity to living a double life. This isn’t healthy. Secondly, [redacted] should embrace the forgiveness that can be found in Christ for his adultery. He can be completely, totally, absolutely absolved. However, you can’t qualify for pastoral service when you and your mistress are living together under the guise of “marriage.” This is not being the husband of one wife as the Scripture defines marriage. Third, [redacted] should ask forgiveness for saying so many intentionally hurtful things in the most intentionally hurtful ways possible and going to great deceptive lengths to do so (and that forgiveness would be instantly granted).
The rest of us need to learn an important lesson as well. There really aren’t any good reasons for anonymity. Don’t foster someone else’s mental disorders or deceit by engaging with anons. Perhaps the most well-known of these anons – at least in Reformed circles – has created an elaborate backstory about the necessity for his anonymity relating to a high-power government job, but a criminal background check on his true identity reveals an altogether more likely reason for his anonymity. All of us have things to lose by speaking our minds, including me. So speak your mind freely, but put your name on it or else suffer under the well-deserved accusation of cowardice.
As someone who has suffered much because I’ve not been willing to crusade under a pseudonym, I can assure you that the price is steep but at least you don’t have to trade off your integrity in the process.
[Update: [Redacted] has shut down his personal Twitter account. He is still operating his no-longer anonymous troll account…unrepentantly. Certain men, like Tom Buck of FBC Lindale and Frank Turk, the former blogger, seem to be a great encouragement to him to stay and continue in his behavior]
[Update: Turk thinks I should be reported to the FBI for using a “telephone” to commit a crime. Apparently it’s a “crime” to expose the dude sending you 3,980 hate-tweets. Pray for Turk. He’s delusional]
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