Tag Archives: Emergent

The Evidence Against Tony Jones

The situation surrounding Julie McMahon and her allegations of emotional, physical, and spiritual abuse against Tony Jones have weighed on my heart the last few weeks. I have been discouraged by how prominent members of the progressive Christian community responded to the outcries of abuse survivors. I have been shocked by the callous and thoughtless defenses given by Jones and his compatriots. My heart breaks to think of what messages are being sent by these leaders to those who have suffered abuse in the Church.

At the same time, I have been encouraged by how many people have rallied together to give Julie the chance to share her story and to speak up about their own experiences of abuse. The Twitter teach-in #NotMyProgressiveSanctuary encouraged a vitally important dialogue about how progressive Christians can make their communities and sanctuaries more welcoming for domestic violence survivors and victims (and other marginalized groups).

Throughout the last few weeks, I have sat quietly on a pile of documents several sources have sent me. These are the sources I have referenced in my responses to the statements issued by Tony Jones and Brian McLaren. I was given these documents after agreeing to strict confidentiality and I desired to respect those conditions.

Now, however, I have been released from those conditions. So I have decided to selectively share what I have so that the record can be set straight once and for all — and with evidence, most importantly. I will be citing from a total of 8 official documents. These documents are:

  • Fairview Health Services’s Pertinent Information Report of Julie McMahon Jones’s Assault Complaint from September 4, 2008;
  • Hospital Report on Julie McMahon’s Injuries from September 11, 2008;
  • Fairview Health Services’s Medical Report by Bradley Robert Williams of Julie McMahon’s Injuries from September 17, 2008;
  • Hospital Follow-Up Report on Julie McMahon’s Injuries from October 22, 2008;
  • Email from Tony Jones to Julie McMahon from December 27, 2008;
  • Denise Wilder’s Psychological Evaluation Report of Julie McMahon Jones from February 2, 2009;
  • Denise Wilder’s Psychological Evaluation Report of Anthony Jones from February 3, 2009;
  • Hennepin County Family Court Services’s Custody and Parenting Time Evaluation from May 28, 2009.

The psychological evaluations and the custody recommendation will be the primary sources for this article.

As these documents contain highly personal and sensitive information about all the involved parties (many times unrelated to the issues at hand), I have decided that I will not release the documents in their entirety. I desire to respect the privacy of Julie McMahon, Tony Jones, and their children as much as possible. So I am redacting all references to their children’s names, I am redacting any unnecessarily personal references, and I will only be sharing excerpts from the documents that are relevant to the current controversy. Since I will not be providing the entire documents, I figured I should share a gallery of the front pages of the three primary documents as evidence that I truly do possess them:

What I desire to do in this article is set forth evidence of the actual facts involved in this case — to set the record straight, as it were. So that purpose we turn:

Fact #1: Julie McMahon felt abandoned and neglected in her marriage to Tony Jones.

From Denise Wilder’s psychological evaluation of McMahon:

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Fact #2: During Wilder’s psychological evaluation, Julie McMahon claimed Tony Jones assaulted her in front of their children.

From Denise Wilder’s psychological evaluation of McMahon:

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Fact #3: 2 of Jones and McMahon’s children testified that they saw Jones assault McMahon and are frustrated that Jones has lied about the assault (and other actions).

Excerpts from the Hennepin County Family Court Services’s Custody and Parenting Time Evaluation:

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Fact #4: The police report filed concerning Jones’s alleged assault against McMahon mentions the children testified that Jones did assault McMahon.

From Denise Wilder’s psychological evaluation of Jones:

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Fact #5: Julie McMahon visited Fairview Health Services a total of 4 times from September 4, 2008 to October 22, 2008 to document and receive treatment for the alleged assault. Fairview found that McMahon did suffer from a shoulder injury.

From Fairview Health Services’s Pertinent Information Report of Julie McMahon Jones’s Assault Complaint from September 4, 2008:

Hospital ER-2From the Hospital Report on Julie McMahon’s Injuries from September 11, 2008:

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From the Fairview Health Services’s Medical Report by Bradley Robert Williams of Julie McMahon’s Injuries from September 17, 2008:

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From the Hospital Follow-Up Report on Julie McMahon’s Injuries from October 22, 2008:

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Fact #6: Wilder’s official conclusion of McMahon’s mental state was that her reactions to Jones were “normal and appropriate under the circumstances” and she was right to feel outraged over being termed “mentally ill” for suspecting Jones’s affair.

From Denise Wilder’s psychological evaluation of McMahon:

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 8.13.41 PMFact #7: Wilder found that McMahon does not suffer from bipolar or borderline personality disorder, as Jones and others had alleged.

From Denise Wilder’s psychological evaluation of McMahon:

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 8.14.06 PMFact #8: Tony Jones repeatedly pressured McMahon to perform sexual acts she was uncomfortable with; he continued to pressure her despite her being clear about her discomfort. He also lied about his pornography use to McMahon.

From Denise Wilder’s psychological evaluation of Jones:

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Fact #9: Jones ignored McMahon’s cries for help as “theatrics” that could “wreck his career.”

From Denise Wilder’s psychological evaluation of Jones:

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 8.50.13 PMFact #10: After finding out about Jones’s alleged affair with another woman, McMahon claimed that Jones told her “you will pay” if she revealed the relationship. Jones outright denied saying that.

From Denise Wilder’s psychological evaluation of Jones:

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Fact #11: Jones did in fact make such a threat, thus he lied outright in his psychological evaluation.

An excerpt from Tony Jones’s email to Julie McMahon on December 27, 2008, which included information about Jones and Courtney’s relationship and sexually explicit dialogue between them:

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Note that Jones is threatening a frivolous lawsuit. Defamation of character does not involve sharing emails of public interest.

Fact #12: Jones was diagnosed with an Axis II Narcissistic Personality Disorder, not an Axis I Disorder as he claimed here.

There is a vast difference between Axis I and Axis II diagnoses. Axis II diagnoses deal with personality disorders, not mood disorders, and thus take on a very different significance.

From Denise Wilder’s psychological evaluation of Jones:

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 8.52.32 PM Fact #13: Denise Wilder’s conclusion to her psychological evaluation of Jones determined that “he did little, if anything, to save the marriage,” “showed no recognition of the impact of his absence” on his children’s lives, demonstrated “a serious and profound lack of awareness,” and even demonstrated a “sadistic side.”

From Denise Wilder’s psychological evaluation of Jones:

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Fact #14: Tony Jones refused to act when his children were being bullied by a foster child.

From Hennepin County Family Court Services’s Custody and Parenting Time Evaluation:

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Fact #15: The Hennepin County Family Court Services found McMahon was honest in her answers and Jones was not.

From Hennepin County Family Court Services’s Custody and Parenting Time Evaluation:

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Fact #16: The Hennepin County Family Court Services recommended that Julie McMahon have sole legal and physical custody of the children.

From Hennepin County Family Court Services’s Custody and Parenting Time Evaluation:

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 8.46.35 PMIt is my hope and prayer that those who have denied the serious damage inflicted by Jones on his ex-wife and children, and turned a blind eye to his lack of accountability, will take this evidence to heart. If you care about abuse in the Church, then you — and all of us — need to start listening to those who have been hurt. We need to center their voices and take them seriously. It is tempting to believe our celebrities, but as the above evidence demonstrates, our celebrities are awfully good at disguising the skeletons in their closets.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

~ Desmond Tutu

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