Dropping like flies


Man. They should have a reality show. “Real sheep of Moscow, ID”


37 thoughts on “Dropping like flies

  1. The outing of former New Saint Andrews College President Roy Atwood continues with new, vituperative gusto.

    The original announcement of Atwood’s sudden departure near before the end of the last term and very charitably before Christmas contained the following not-so-subtle language:

    “At the same time, a resignation mid-year is not a trifle. Because of other recent administrative staff changes, the Board felt it needed to advance its timetable for appointing a new chief executive prior to Roy’s planned retirement at age 67. Unfortunately, because Roy is 62 and not yet in a position financially to retire at this time, he thought it best to resign, allowing the board to seek new leadership while he pursues other employment opportunities.”

    A careful reading of shows that this paragraph is a savage, malicious knee to Atwood’s groin. In other words: “We’re kicking Atwood’s sorry ass out now before the end of the term and before Christmas, and although he planned to stay until he retired and can’t afford to retire, let him eat cake now – it serves him right for crossing Douglas Wilson. And although we claim that he will continuing teaching at NSA, get this: ‘while he pursues other employment opportunities’ — he’ll be very quickly gone from New Saint Andrews and our memories.”

    But not content now with just firing Atwood unceremoniously and at an age which makes finding another position very difficult just not in Moscow, Idaho, but anywhere, his torture continues. He is now the subject of a very, very vicious whispering campaign allegedly covertly originating from members in the upper hierarchy of Douglas Wilson’s Emirate.

    Atwood must have really pissed off the egomaniacally intolerant Wilson (who calls all the shots). In the age of the internet there is no such thing as local gossip. Emails, IMs, and other private messages accelerate and transform local whispering campaigns into global epidemics. Sooner or later some of this vicious material (whether true or not) will find its way into some open website and be picked up by search engines. An understatement: this will not help Atwood’s job search.

    What a wonderful bunch of Christians!


  2. Atwood held the office of President of a college longer than any UI president ever did.
    While I was sad to see him leave, I must say the whole thing happened with great charity and no ill-will from any parties (something manifestly evident if you hang out around NSA, TRC, or CC).


  3. Hooper, cheap shots; easy accusations.

    Ask Roy Atwood yourself if you would like. Do you need an email address?
    Or just hang out around NSA, come to a Disputatio (open to public). I attended the State of the College address, which honored his work and service to the college.

    I know that in the construct you’ve created in your mind, that is impossible. But it’s all your imagination caused by your determination to see bad in Christ Church/NSA/etc.

    There’s a word for it. I’m going to use it… Here it comes… the “B” word!



  4. Hey, Moscowan is back! Didn’t I ask you who you were last time? Funny how you didn’t reply. Did I serve you bread and wine in 2012? Feels like I did. But no matter.

    Anywhoo . . . I liked Atwood. Did a fair job in a position where he held responsibility but not authority. The exit letter was odd though. It’s poor form to insult a man’s financial position when you fire him. Unless you meant to insult him? Poor form, NSA.


  5. @Moscowan,

    As Rich Gall pointed out: You didn’t respond to the clear subtext of the letter.
    as cited above

    You would be surprised where certain people hang out, and what they say (and who overhears it). Some NSA students are more difficult to muzzle than others. If you don’t dirty secrets to be out, then maybe NSA students shouldn’t be allowed to enroll at UI where their computer searches can’t be monitored and they feel less restricted when expressing their opinions and doubts.

    Roy Atwood will not be drinking to Emir Douglas Wilson’s health. Quite the contrary.


    • Ah, yes, because the opinions-in-passing of students who count speculation as a pastime is a reliable source.

      I would love to get together in person and just talk about these things with you guys; how does Bucer’s, 2pm on this Saturday sound? Some table in the smoking room. I’ll go if you go.


  6. This paragraph from New Saint Andrews, where no communication of impact goes without Douglas Wilson’s close, careful scrutiny and revision is more than just a slap at Roy Alden Atwood.

    “At the same time, a resignation mid-year is not a trifle. Because of other recent administrative staff changes, the Board felt it needed to advance its timetable for appointing a new chief executive prior to Roy’s planned retirement at age 67. Unfortunately, because Roy is 62 and not yet in a position financially to retire at this time, he thought it best to resign, allowing the board to seek new leadership while he pursues other employment opportunities.”

    Original Reference: http://www.nsa.edu/presidential-changes-at-nsa/

    Consider the cases of any potential employer assessing Atwood’s application for “other employee opportunities:” Employers now Google applicants carefully. The above passage is all over the internet. Even if NSA takes it down, it is now archived in the major search engines, and thus will pop up.

    It is highly improbable that an employer would consider anyone who is the object of such a paragraph, especially when the termination occurred before the end of a term, and the applicant is elderly.

    This paragraph is more than a kick in the balls to Atwood. It is a lethal poison pill: crafted either by or at the behest of Douglas Wilson for that purpose. The extreme irony is that as this career murdering knife is thrust into Atwood, the thrusters call themselves Christian gentlemen.

    @Our Dear Messenger: Thank you for the invitation. However, I saw your blog entry; I generally avoid those God-struck to the point of needing professional mental health intervention.


    • I usually meet with my psychiatrist every Wednesday. It’s such a heart-warming experience, the drugs are. They really help. You’re welcome to come to the office with me if you need a little hit, too.


    • If you were truly well informed you would know that Atwood immediatly had several offers, some of higher position than president of NSA.

      He’ll be just fine. I’ll be honest that I did find it odd that they mentioned his finances…

      But again, there is no I’ll will going on here. He’s still teaching in fact, and Bev is still registrar, and his son is still a prof there.

      You guys are such conspiracy theorists… 😉


  7. So his economic situation was dire, but he has been offered amazing positions that he hasn’t accepted? Look, Moscowan, I have hired and fired people before, if they need a job and a ‘promotion’ is offered, they tend not to turn that down.

    I realize I only attended logic and rhetoric at NSA, but I can see a snow job when one exists,


    • Our high school senior is really interested in attending NSA. I have had doubts about the place from day one. If anyone on this board would be willing to share some personal insight about NSA (things you think perspective students should be aware of), I would really appreciate it!


      • I’m currently an NSA student and understand the doubts. It’s easy to get a bad view of a place without actually experiencing it and knowing anyone from it personally. And, unfortunately, the internet is only interested in finding and keeping and reminding people about anything that is controversial–or, at least, tastes like it. That’s why most things you hear about NSA and Doug Wilson are going to sound bad, because the internet only records things that it finds interesting, or things that people with agendas can’t get over (note: recording accurately is not really a goal, either. People only believe the internet is accurate about things they don’t know about. But, if you know about something and read about it on the internet, chances are you’ll disagree with the digital memory. Sorry for the big parentheses. I like them). It’s a little like the competing political commercials during presidential campaigns. On both sides, they’re honestly just ridiculous (but a lot of people are, unfortunately, swayed by these commercials! Even me sometimes…they can be convincing).
        And, unfortunately, the internet does not find faithfulness and love and integrity all too interesting. And why should it? But, all of my friends here and all of the elders here in my life and the pastors and the people whose faithfulness and deep integrity goes unrecorded is the only thing I find worth meditating on. That doesn’t mean I am willfully ignorant or that I don’t know about past divisions that have taken place or disagreements that could always blossom into open conflicts, if the people are unwilling to sacrifice their opinions for the sake of peace.
        With community, I try take the same stance that I do with my family. Did my brothers do wrong by me five, ten years ago? Did I do wrong by my parents in high school? Of course. Do I remember the details of their sin and mine? No, because there has been forgiveness. The controversies you hear about are very old and the memory of them exists, because people have failed to find forgiveness on personal levels. And because there has been failure on a personal level to seek it out, they have taken their issues to a public level and tainted the reputations of Christians for complete strangers thousands of miles away! I have a lot of friends I grew up with who think I go to the school of a racist neo-Nazi. When I go home from college, they ask me questions about the school and I laugh and they are confused that I am somehow happy and sane (most of the time).
        One thing that is true (and this is incredibly controversial, so please hear me out) is this: NSA is run 100% by sinners. They are all miserable miserable sinners and, what is worse (and even more risky for anyone thinking to send their kids here), is that everyone who goes to school here is a sinner. We’re all miserable sinners up here. I am surrounded daily by the failures of my peers and my own failures and I even forget what the Gospel is sometimes. Every day, I need to be renewed in Christ. If not, the sin at NSA would start to take a toll.
        Maybe this is the Kool-Aid talking, but despite everyone being a sinner, I have found myself oddly blessed in every area of my life–blessed by sinners. What has been going on in Moscow is certainly odd, but it is certainly worth being a part of. I would call it Christian community, others might call it Doug Wilson’s empire. Sure. Fine. Call it that. He’s not even my pastor and he has never taught me (although we had a good conversation after a dinner last year), nor is he even the most “influential” person in the community. He’s just another respected brother, one of three hundred who have all led different lives, think different thoughts, but somehow live together in unity.
        That’s my perspective and, anyway, I am kind of sticking my head out here (although it’s pretty easy to do in the digital world), because the person that runs CREC memes lives in the same community as me. I’m not sure how they convinced themselves they are running this anonymously. This whole blog, frankly, is a little embarrassing–not for the community, but for the people running it. I watch the blog, because I find it amazing how far they go in their militancy. If it weren’t for CREC memes, I would be pretty removed from that species of rhetoric typically found under youtube videos.

        If you have any more questions, I’d be happy to answer them. We could take it somewhere else–you can get to my blog by clicking my name.


      • Hey, full disclosure, I’m not an NSA student (I attended a DIFFERENT classical, Christian, liberal arts school . . . and was very happy with my experience).

        What I have understood from former NSA students (yes, this is secondhand, but I have it on good authority) I have spoken to is that some of their issues were:
        –gender inequality. Male students receive preferential treatment. Female students have very limited roles in the life of the community, etc.
        –free/original thought outside lines the faculty deemed acceptable was not encouraged
        –the churches there (which students are STRONGLY encouraged to attend) can be quite controlling and authoritarian.
        –some faculty were seriously under-qualified
        –the hierarchical atmosphere can leave students feeling estranged and unhappy, even though they were promised a loving community.
        –students later discovered that they created/nurtured habits of arrogance and feelings of superiority, as a result of that community’s culture, which they later had to unlearn.

        —Worst of all, though, is that Doug Wilson has more than once failed to appropriately handle sexual abuse cases in his community, “forgiving” abusers/rapists rather than supporting their victims. I could not recommend being part of that community to anyone.— This is the blog of one of the victims; she was abused by a student at Greyfriars: http://natalierose-livewithpassion.blogspot.com/2010/07/no-more-tape-over-my-mouth.html

        Like I said, I chose not to attend NSA myself despite strong encouragement from some in my community, because I knew I would be very unhappy there. There are several other schools with similar programs to NSA popping up all over the country. If it’s the education that interests you, I would recommend doing some research; I think many excellent options exist.

        As regards Mr. Warner’s accusation about the “militancy” of this blog, please understand, people I know and care about dearly have been very much hurt by the CREC/NSA/Doug Wilson. I think there is a small (but growing) group of us out there who are trying to deal with our negative experience and show others what it truly looks like. Maybe a time will come for people to formally write up their experiences, but for now this blog really does offer a little comfort to some of us who don’t yet even know what to say.

        Liked by 1 person

      • As an NSA grad, I can echo what Caleb said.

        The problem with second-hand news like that of Sarah’s is that in any small community there will be some people who’s expectations were not met. I wish she had given NSA a try.

        The idea that male students get preferential treatment, or don’t have a role in the life of the college is just ludicrous. Believe me – ask my sister 🙂 Some of the brightest current students are female.

        So once again, from first hand experience, I want to echo what Caleb said.

        Come visit Sarah!



      • I’m sticking with my belief that people in leadership having habits of ignoring sexual abuse is a big warning sign and say no.

        Believe me, Daniel, I grew up in the CREC, I have many friends who went there and think NSA is the best thing since . . . the Inklings, I guess. But it’s not just hearsay to listen to my other friends and believe their stories.

        Honestly, I don’t know many, if any, young women in the CREC whether at NSA or not who have truly been encouraged in academics. I have heard reports however from some who pursued higher education (Masters or above) but were told not to use it, because single women shouldn’t teach anyone. That’s not exclusively NSA, but that’s a part of the broader culture which whether directly or not keeps women in their place. Believe me, I’ve lived in the culture; I know Moscow people. I don’t think y’all are all evil . . . I just know that if I’d gone to NSA, I wouldn’t have received the encouragement I needed to keep going with my academic life.


      • Sorry, that should read “I’m going to stick with my belief . . . and say ‘no.'”

        Blah blah blah agreement blah blah blah ginger.


      • DeeBee, I graduated from NSA in 2003. I think my views are well documented here and I doubt it is any surprise that I think my degree from NSA is worthless. When I signed up for it’s classes, I had never heard of Wilson outside of his joint effort with Doug Jones (since estranged from Moscow) Angels in the Architecture. I was far more familiar with Dr. Peter Leithart (also since estranged from Moscow) from his work in First Things. I saw him there, the list of books I was to read, the tuition I’d pay and I agreed: I would pay those men that amount of money to make me read the books listed.

        That said, I wasn’t impressed while there, and am even more disappointed from a distance. While there it was more a competition of how much a student could read in any given week. I wrote a few papers for professors and quickly found that if I wrote a paper that I knew the “professor” (hard to apply that to a person with a Masters from U. of I. but, whatever) agreed with, I got a guaranteed A. If I disagreed with the professor, even citing good sources, I could count on not getting a good grade. Once I realized the game afoot, I only wrote papers I knew the profs would like and my GPA rose to 3.7ish, even though I was employed full time running a local coffee shop in town. Even “difficult” professors really just threw the kitchen sink at their students and then picked a small list of subjects that they expected deep knowledge on. If you guessed wrong about the exam topics, you were screwed.

        But the lack of academic seriousness is only one aspect. The list of NSA scandals is quite detailed. From the marijuana scandal of 1999, the casino scandal of 2000, the Federal Vision kerfuffle of 2002, the child molestation scandals of 2002 and 2003, to the long history of people with legitimate educations (Dr. Schuler, Dr. Leithart, Dr. Atwood, Messers Jones and Schwandt) leaving and people related to or married into the Wilson clan being given jobs in the college (Gordon, Nate, Ben and even Jankovich being put on the board) I don’t consider my education at NSA to be a legit degree. It is a home school college run for a specific family.

        For those of you who attend NSA now, I’d like to point out three categories of graduates: Those who work for Populi and EMSI in Moscow, those who came back to NSA to teach, and those who left Moscow. That last category is strangely silent or hostile to their education there. Where is Josh Bero? Peter Moore? Charles Van Someran? I’d add more, but dare not lest I embarrass my friends. There were a bunch from my four years at NSA who went Anglican, Orthodox, Agnostic and Catholic. Why did they do that? What happened? The tales of Alumni in regards to their Alma Mater it seems are infrequently kind when they do not directly benefit financially from that connection.

        But, of course, I understand. You are at the college your parents sent you to and are paying good money for. Best of luck to you. But ask yourself, which category describes you? And how do you see that playing out for you?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rich,

        Twelve years. Twelve years is a long time. A lot has changed. How old was the institution then? About ten years old? New Saint Andrews wasn’t even a teenager yet.

        As for which category I am in, it’s to be determined, but I am working towards the goal of writing fiction for a living! Woohoo! The great thing about that goal is that no one believes me, except for myself (for now; I’m working on it in the best way, by going into my room and locking the door and sitting down to write). I like low expectations. But, I trust me. Besides him being a dirty, rotten sinner (besides him being a “brother ass”), he’s got some mildly okay things to say about himself, who is me.
        On the more “rebellious” side, I plan sometime down the road to do a L’Abri/Big Haus sort of thing. I have been obsessed with monasticism as a calling since high school (the zeal of which has waxed and waned: but I have been open about my interest in it. I had a conversation with Douglas Wilson about his thoughts on it. We disagreed, which of course, at that point, he demanded I recant or pay a fine of fifty sesterces).
        Besides writing and monasticism, intentional communities (the philosophy of them, the applications of them, why they exist, etc) is kind of my jam. I love that stuff. I actually got a chance to talk to Shane Claiborne a few years back and ask him what the difference was between his evangelism to the poor and a Muslim’s evangelism to the poor. He said, “Collaboration is important…” I was hoping he’d say the Gospel, but I’ll give him the benefit of a doubt. It was a long night, he had gotten no sleep, and had nothing to eat. Leaving, I regretted not running to McDonald’s and getting him a Big Mac meal, but it’s just as well: he probably would have been conflicted about the meat. I get it. I love the taste of Big Macs (I’ve been a fast-foodphile since middle school), but I usually stay my hand after the last french fry and look at the crumpled wrappers and ask myself, “Was it worth it? Was it worth it?” I forget about the feelings of guilt when I go to bed, because it’s hard for me to stay awake to feel guilty when I’m asleep.
        I’m not interested in working at EMSI, I am not interested in leaving Moscow, and I am not interested in teaching at NSA. Luckily for me, there are so many things I can do after college, specifically with my degree, that I am pretty happy with the degree I am working on getting. Daniel is in media. Have you heard of the Heids? What about my older brother, who is doing engineering in Illinois? Gibbs is teaching in Florida and a number of his students are actually students at NSA. Davey H is at Princeton (a full ride scholarship, if I understand it). Wovaks, ConsignCloud are businesses (add them to that populi/EMSI list). There’s more coming.
        I could name drop all day–and the institution is only a little over twenty years old.
        Concerning the lack of qualified faculty: why does everyone ignore Dr. Edwards? Dr. Stokes? Dr. Grieser? Dr. Macintosh? Dr. Erb? Dr. Erb! He’s a gift from God! We don’t deserve him. Why does no one mention these guys? They are ridiculously over-qualified for the places they are filling right now. NSA, for its size, hardly “deserves” them. We’re exceedingly privileged with who we have. I’m privileged to be paying the price I am paying (read: cheap) to be taught by these guys. And no, I am not employed by NSA to say this. Would be nice, though.
        Thanks for asking what I’m interested in doing! I appreciate your interest, although you did phrase it in a funny way (I took the liberty of reading between the lines).
        An extra note: Me and one of my classmates were main actors in two separate film projects, both led by different directors. You should add that as one of your categories (an exclamation here included to digitally symbolize and seal my light-heartedness)! If your radar is coded only to sense albatrosses, a submarine is not going to show up on your radar. Looking at your pro-albatross, anti-submarine radar, though, I think we would both agree that it’s a little unfair to conclude, “Well, I guess there aren’t submarines in these here parts.”

        As for people who have left being “strangely” silent, I suspect it’s because most of them are busy raising families and participating in the communities they are now part of. Who knows, though–it could always be insidious. Somehow. Silence. Insidious. Insidious silence…conspiracy…silence…mafia…
        They were murdered!

        There are so many stories and the story of this community is still being told. It didn’t stop in 2003 when you left. When I say about I am about to say, I kind of feel like the opposite of Mother Theresa, but:

        Come visit, Rich!


  8. I’ve been patient. Chirp chirp. Dr. Atwood still without a job when he’s too poor to work with NSA. Is he collecting unemployment? I wonder how many of those offers he refused are looking better all the time.


  9. Atwood teaching at NSA, when he used to be The Man (Douglas Wilson = The God) and now Bennie Merkle (Wilson’s hapless as a teacher/preacher son-in-law), The Boredom Bomb, is The Man?

    Two comments:

    Like many NSA faculty & staff, Atwood is badly damaged goods. Previous posts on this site have mentioned his serious problems at UI, not the least was his zipper, thus finding employment while hiding his past makes Atwood’s job search more difficult

    Wilson likes to hire damaged or irregular goods as this makes Wilson’s control easier over them — his hires have less options than others to move elsewhere.

    Here is the puzzler. One of Wilson’s undeniable talents and one which he uses carefully and well is in his choice of names/titles/etc. If so, then why appoint Bennie Merkle?

    Let’s face it. “Bennie Merkle” is a name most likely to be given the character in a vaudeville skit or slapstick movie who is always the butt of jokes or pranks. What parent in their right mind would choose a school whose president suffered having the name “Bennie Merkle?”

    Maybe the rumor about Wilson’s more frequent mental lapses has some substance.


  10. Whoa! What a big step up! Morthland [Big Time] College.

    “Jordan said the college employs up to 32 people whose salaries total more than $30,000 per month. About $500,000 is currently generated annually in the local economy as the result of Morthland’s opening, the mayor said, noting student enrollment has grown to about 70 students from 11 when the school opened.”

    Some remarks:



  11. Moscowan, I’ve always wondered what it feels like to be Bagdad Bob. Now that I know someone who does that (YOU, silly!), how does it work for you to explain the impossible while defending the indefensible?

    https://youtu.be/yfAeMtcURg0 – in case you don’t get the reference. Child. Or Foucashon. Either or.

    And Dr.Atwood went from CEO of a “respectable” college to Morthland? I have a college in Minneapolis that is selling Ocean Front Property. Maybe we should talk!


  12. @crecmemes:

    Douglas Wilson Enterprises specializes in recruiting, misleading, using/abusing, and fleecing congregants of the type who would see nothing wrong wit a street named Ocean View Drive in Minneapolis.

    I am not a fan of Atwood, having knowledge of his various activities over a span of 25 years, none-the-less I can feel sorry for someone who was knifed in the back, castrated, and forced to relocate at his time of life to an institution called locally Mothland College.

    Add the humiliation of being rewarded for years of service, and without whom New Saint Andrews would have never received their pathetic, really-doesn’t-count accreditation, of being replaced the Dr. Deadly Boredom, Douglas Wilson’s inept son-in-law, Bennie (yes, this is his real name) Merkle, it is a wonder that Atwood didn’t choose a quicker way out.


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