Liberal Moscow

June 11, 2006

The Sitler/Wight Story: Ongoing

Filed under: Sitler & Wight — Joan Opyr @ 20: 23 pm

Why create a topic called Sitler & Wight? Why risk pouring oil on this fire? For a couple of reasons. First, I believe that the Sitler and Wight cases should be discussed by the broader Moscow community. Steven Sitler, in particular, poses an ongoing threat. He is a serial pedophile, a sexual predator, and he’s out of jail twice a week, unsupervised, driving himself to and from court-ordered therapy. We can and should debate the sense of this matter, and we can and should discuss the role Doug Wilson, Christ Church, New St. Andrews College, and Greyfriars Seminary have played in both the Sitler and Wight cases. We should do this honestly, openly, and without fear of retaliation. I refer, of course, to the anonymous threat now looming over First Step and Vision 2020.

Those of you who have no idea what I’m talking should read the seven-page fax sent on Thursday, June 8, to First Step owner and manager, Kevin Owen. [The fax can be downloaded from this site: Kevin and First Step have been threatened with an economic boycott. The anonymous author of the fax offered Kevin an ultimatum: if First Step did not take the Vision 2020 community chat group down by 5pm Friday, June 9, the author promised to launch a bulk mail campaign against the company. As I type this, it’s Sunday, June 11, and Vision 2020 is still up and running, but I want it known that Liberal Moscow stands in solidarity with Kevin, with First Step, and with Vision 2020.

So what about Steven Sitler and Jamin Wight? I offer up this forum for your sensible, reasonable, community use. I’m no Joan of Arc, but I am willing to risk an anonymous threat or two. Good heavens, why not? I receive at least three belligerant emails every day; occasionally, I get them from the likes of The Army of God. Some jackass sending anonymous threats on a University of Idaho Copy Center fax machine is a mere piker next to the folks who brought us serial bomber Eric Rudolph. No, I am not saying, “Bring it on.” I am saying, “Get a grip.”

And so, if you don’t mind, I’ll simply repeat here some of what I have already posted to Vision 2020 on Sitler and Wight — and on Doug Wilson, Roy Atwood, and the Christ Church spin machine. The comments I’ll leave up to you . . .

Welcome to The Wilson/Atwood Spin Doctors Show.

In Episode 1, the series stars, Doug Wilson and Roy Atwood, tried to draw our attention away from the horrific story of an NSA student who molested Moscow children for 18 months. Wilson and Atwood encouraged us instead to focus instead on a load of stupid, swishy gossip on an Internet chat group. That was a smart if disgusting move, and a classic in the annals of spin. Today we treated to Episode 2, which was even worse — and even more clever — than Episode 1. Watch and learn as Wilson and Atwood tag-team a young reporter, Omie Drawhorn, forcing her story to drift from the subject of Steven Sitler, convicted pedophile, to the tired old story of “poor us,” the innocent Christian victims of continued secular attack. Pay close attention. Wilson and Atwood are truly amazing.

From the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, June 9, 2006:

“Wilson, in a letter to [Judge] Stegner dated August 19, said he hoped Sitler’s penalties would be ‘measured and limited.’

‘It’s not the same as light, but it’s not an ‘Oh, my God’ response,’ Wilson said. ‘Steven did not realize the magnitude of what he was doing. Now I
believe he does.’

Wilson and New Saint Andrews College President Roy Atwood said they feel they are being targeted.

‘This whole thing is coming from the same group of people interested in zoning code violations, tax issues and issues related to perjury,’ Wilson
said. ‘My interest is in keeping victims and their families protected.’

‘They are exploiting people’s tragedy for a political purpose. That’s beneath anybody’s reasonable treatment of other people,’ Atwood said.

‘Society is becoming more tolerant of sexual sins and perversions,’ Atwood said. ‘Homosexuality and other forms of sexual perversion are becoming

Clever, eh? First, Wilson claims that Sitler wasn’t aware of the magnitude of his crimes. He molested countless children across at least two states. He boarded with a Christ Church family who had small children, and he admits to molesting them. There’s a letter in his court file from a couple in Colville, Sitler’s home town, describing in detail what Sitler did to the couple’s two-year old daughter. Under the circumstances, why did Wilson request that Sitler’s penalty be “measured and limited?” Wilson says it’s because Sitler, who was attending NSA when he committed the Moscow crimes, didn’t understand what he was doing. Here we have a young man who’s not just in college, but in a self-described elite Christian classical college, and he doesn’t understand the “magnitude” of sexually abusing small children. What is the basis for Wilson’s assessment of Sitler’s understanding? And what change has taken place in Sitler since he was removed from NSA and placed in the tender loving care of the Idaho criminal justice system that helps him to understand the magnitude now? Does jail offer better learning opportunities than a classical Christian school?

I’m not looking forward to Episode 3 of the Wilson/Atwood Spin Doctors Show, but I do anticipate it with some interest. I wonder how long Wilson will get away with such blatant elision? He’s code-shifting here; he’s setting up his next move. What is that move? To change the subject. Let’s all stop talking about the NSA student who sexually assaulted babies and talk instead about the queers, the feminists, the atheists and the infidels are out to get Christ Church.

Never mind that Michael Metzler is not gay. Never mind that Michael Metzler is not a feminist. Forget that Michael is a devout Christian and he was, until a few weeks ago, a member of Christ Church. Michael broke this story. No one else. But notice how Wilson and Atwood manage to manipulate Omie Drawhorn’s story. Wilson begins with “Sitler didn’t know what he was doing” and quickly moves on to “the Intoleristas are out to get us.” The real kicker, however, is supplied by former University of Idaho Professor of Communication Roy Atwood. Drawhorn’s story ends with the following statement from Atwood: “Homosexuality and other forms of sexual perversion are becoming mainstream.” Why should this nonsense, of all things, be the last word in a story about Steven Sitler, NSA student, Reformed Christian, and convicted child molester? Why not end the article with a few observations about sexual abuse and the clergy? Or how about some statistics regarding child molestation among fundamentalists? This information is readily available; it’s well-documented; and, by God, it’s scientific. (Look it up. It’s also deeply disturbing.)

Pedophilia is a pathological disorder; homosexuality is not. More than 95% of all child molesters self-identify as heterosexuals, and the overall recidivism rate among convicted pedophiles is 75%. This is why Sitler should NOT be driving himself, unsupervised, to his twice weekly therapy appointments. This is also why Doug Wilson’s “measured and limited” penalty request smacks not of pastoral care but of vulgar self-interest. A lesser sentence suggests a lesser crime, and a lesser crime can be more easily spun away from the Church, away from New St. Andrews, and away from Pastor Wilson. I’d be interested to know who edited Omie Drawhorn’s article. Who decided that the last line — the line that will stick with readers — would have nothing to do with the pedophile Steven Sitler but instead be an attack on gays and lesbians? Only a very poor editor — or one who was as green as goose shit — would fail to see that an expert spinmeister was turning the Sitler sow’s ear into a bigot’s silk purse.

What’s going on here? What’s the real story? Steven Sitler drives himself to his therapy appointments. That means he’s out by himself cruising the highways and byways twice a week. Because Sitler is not yet a registered sex offender — his mug shot won’t appear on the sex offender website until he’s officially released into the community — the broader community has no idea what he looks like. Twice a week, Sitler poses a risk to every child in the county. But again, Doug Wilson has succeeded in spinning this, the real story, out of the light and spinning his favorite targets — gays, lesbians, and a McCarthyite list of shadowy secular enemies — onto center stage.

The best defense is a good offense, and Doug Wilson and Roy Atwood couldn’t be more offensive.

Joan Opyr/Auntie Establishment

PS: If you want to learn more about the Sitler and Wight cases, I refer you to the original court documents, available here:



I also highly recommend Michael Metzler’s blog,, the blog that first broke the Sitler and Wight stories. Michael’s research and documentation is meticulous. He also has a link to an analysis of these events by Dr. Terry Morin, a former elder of Community Evangelical Fellowship, Doug Wilson’s church before it became Christ Church.



  1. Today (June 13) Doug Wilson, on his “Blah and More Blah” website makes claim that this is all a coordinated attack on him and Christ Church. He was quite properly corrected by a gentleman who noted that while Doug Wilson may well be under attack (and deservedly so, IMO), that does not equate into an attack on Christ Church and all it’s members. Evidently in Doug’s strange, egotistical world, to criticize him is to criticize all his flock…..

    Comment by carlwestberg — June 13, 2006 @ 11: 11 am | Reply

  2. Perhaps Doug’s theme song should be “I am the world.” Does anyone else remember what Doug said during a Moscow City Council meeting back when we were debating the breast ordinance that was passed in response to the infamous topless car wash? He stood up and declared, “I speak for 850 people.” Funny, that. I speak only for myself. I don’t speak for my partner, my kids, my mother . . . how can you speak for 850 people? Is this hubris or megalomania? Or both?

    Comment by Joan Opyr — June 20, 2006 @ 0: 02 am | Reply

  3. Joan wrote:
    “I don’t speak for my partner, my kids, my mother . . . how can you speak for 850 people? Is this hubris or megalomania? Or both?”

    It’s BOTH!

    Comment by sslund — June 22, 2006 @ 10: 17 am | Reply

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