Preparing To Be A Help Meet: Part 2 – Pie in the Sky

Preparing To Be A Help Meet: Part 2 – Pie in the Sky December 17, 2014

poisonpieby Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide

(Trigger Warning for abusive church behaviors.)

Ever wonder if Debi would pull her punches on friends?

She doesn’t. When a “friend” has the audacity to get a divorce from an abusive husband AND marry a different man, Debi spews out the massive misinformation created by a conspiracy to destroy the woman’s magazine.

I know it sounds crazy…but the information is a matter of public record since the woman and her second husband were brave enough to sue.

(This took me about 20 seconds to find online since I am not active in the home school community…but figured someone would write about it. Mark and Helen Hegner, Linda Dobson and Shay Seaborne worked together to publish a factual account of what really happened. These four authors deserve the utmost praise for uncovering and condensing a sick, twisted, narcissistic conspiracy into an easy to understand narrative AND taking the time to support the story with quotations from the trial and pretrial motions. )

Tragedies go a step further than disaster. Tragedies are relationships that wreck the dream of a fine prince coming to find you. The next story is a tragedy that destroyed two families.


Tragedies are when people are permanently hurt or killed.

Being judged by Debi is NOT a tragedy no matter what she claims.

There was this really cool lady who published a home school magazine that I really liked. You would think that a Christian wife and mother of many children, wouldn’t fall prey to tragedy, but she played with a possible disaster and it took her down. This is how it happened.

The woman is Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff who published Gentle Spirit and made a good living from it. She had 9 children and a husband with anger management problems.

She had in the previous year successfully protected her magazine from “request” that she disclose that her family was biracial in her speaking and magazine blurbs or be removed from publishing.

(EW. EW. EW. I feel freaking slimy having to write that.)

Cheryl met Rick Seelhoff through online discussion boards and eventually met in person at a home-schooling conference.

While at a large homeschooling convention where she was one of the leading speakers, she met a fine, spiritually man who also was one of the main speakers. The two really hit it off. He was really cool. I am not being sarcastic; he was handsome, wise and seemingly godly. Although both speakers thought they were being led of God and were walking in the truth in reality they had both just been caught up in the home school movement. As the Scripture says in 2 Timothy 3:5 they had “…a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”

Lots of DebiSpin on this one. Cheryl has documentation that shows here marriage was in deep trouble before this conference. She had confided her pastor and his wife about the troubles in her marriage and her growing relationship with Rick. She left that church to avoid any scandal due to her imminent divorce.

When the lady went back home, the two leaders had legitimate reasons to text…and they did text. At first it was ok, until the day she had an argument with her “lazy, unspirtual husband”. When she reached her lowest point, Mr. Cool knew just what to say to make her feel better. Thus they “got to know” each other in a more personal way through sharing the pain and disappointments of her marriage. Then, of course, he began sharing some of his frustrations at his wife’s lack of interest in homeschooling their children. In time he began sharing his wife’s disinterest toward intimacy.

Ew. Ew. Ew. EW!

Debi is:
A) Making shit up again.
B) The worst friend ever. (Although, I doubt she’s actually a friend of Ms. Lindsey Seelhoff)
C) Both of the above.

Cheryl had filed for divorce by June 27th since her divorce notice was published in the local paper on that date – practically, the legal papers had to have been filed before that point.

This next conference Debi brings up next spanned June 23th-25th 1994 – a period where Cheryl was most likely legally divorced.

Mrs. Magazine Lady felt his pain. At the next homeschooling conference they went out for coffee. The sweet, spiritual intimacy they had come to share thorough texting had taken their consciences to places neither of them would have allowed in a social context. At this second meeting the energy between the two of them caught them both by surprise. They were amazed at how attracted they were to each other. It felt so good, so fulfilling – love like they had never known. “It must be of God!” they thought. “Surely both of them had made a mistake and married the wrong person. Our love was meant to be”

People often think the forbidden boundary is the act of fornication. Not so. These two crossed the boundary the day they met at the first conference and decided the other person was of such interest that they wanted further contact through texting. Each act of texting was foreplay. When they finally met in person the second time they were already turned on to each other. They left their consciences further in the dirt every time they advanced their emotional intimacy through their digital communication. When they agreed to going together for coffee, it was just the next to last of many steps away from virtue.

How does Debi know about all of this? Oh, well, Cheryl’s ex-husband called one of the men who settled out of court – Greg Harris – and had him watch the two of them at a conference. Harris didn’t see anything, but decided to check that Rick was in town through lying to Rick about a lost credit card. (Classy, isn’t it..and so subtle….totally likely to be forgotten about by Rick later… OH, WAIT. NO.)

Then the pastors of the church that Cheryl had left decided to pull some vigilante church justice along with some of her competitors like Mary Pride and Sue Welsh.

(Sue Welsh had also been involved in the “Be sure to tell people you are in an interracial marriage” shit. Ew. Ew. Ew.)

At one point, the conspirators managed to write up an entire packet of “evidence” of her divorce and remarriage and sent it all over the home-schooling world.

At various points some truly stellar folks like Johnathon Lindvall (marrying off young teenagers is great!) and Michael Farris (world’s worst lawyer judging by this fiasco) wander in and out…while Mary Pride just happens to write an “expose” on Cheryl and Rick, drive Cheryl’s magazine out of business, and substitute her OWN new magazine that was oddly similar to Cheryl’s.

Funny how “Christian love” and “driving a competitor out of business” overlapped like that…

They divorced their spouses and the two “hot lovers” married. After a few weeks of bliss, they lived in a state of constant stress and unhappiness. Now, years later, they both know that their wild attraction was just Pie In The Sky.

Debi leaves out that the stress and unhappiness were caused by a conspiracy crossing state lines to drive Cheryl out of business.

Boy, you’d think there would be laws against conspiring within an industry to drive other competitors out. Oh, wait…..THERE IS.

And Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff (she had married Rick by this point) sued their sorry asses. She won the suit against Sue Welsh. The other defendants settled out of court before the trial.

*Whoops* Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoof – YOU ROCK! *Whoops*

I haven’t been able to find any trace of PearlIndustries in this whole fiasco….except poor choice of badly paraphrasing a mostly illegal trade document that infringed on pastor-penitent rights… That’s about par for the course, really.

AntiPearl: A claim of good motives, like a claim or ignorance of the law, cannot justify or excuse a violation of federal antitrust laws, and would be no defense in this case. Summation by Judge Burgess in Seelhoff vs. Welch.


Read everything by Mel!

Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide

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  • Nea

    Ever wonder if Debi would pull her punches on friends?

    Nope. First, because she never pulls her punches; no matter how she claims to sympathize and care with the woman in a story – and that’s rare – she still sticks the knife in somehow. Most of the time she goes straight for the nasty. Second, because she has no friends. This isn’t just me being catty – Debi *herself* says that women having “gal pals” have practically become lesbians, and her daughter brags about freezing out any woman who dares talk to her.

  • Allison the Great

    If this happened in 1994, there would have been no texting. Texting didn’t come along until the early 2000’s. And what is their obsession with race and interracial marriages? It’s two people married, there’s no scandal.

    It’s interesting that to people like Mary Pride, Debi Pearl, Johnathon Lindvall, Michael Farris and all those other fuckers decided that lying is a Christian virtue, and that working together to bring down someone down and make them go out of business was a Christian virtue. I know that the inability to mind one’s own business is a fundie virtue.

  • Allison the Great

    Because being a total bitch is a Christian virtue. *eyeroll*

  • Nea

    According to Debi “hillbilly ugly – it’s worse than regular ugly” Pearl it sure is!

  • Allison the Great

    Debi is in no position to judge other people’s looks. She looks more inbred than Charles II of Spain.

  • Nea

    I meant that as a comment on the way she speaks, not the way she looks. As far as I’m going to go on the way she looks is that she strikes me as showing many of the signs of physical unhealth due to bad diet on the cover of her book.

  • Amarad

    What an appalling mess. Good on Cheryl for not caving to the bigots (why care about interracial marriage otherwise?), getting out of an abusive relationship AND suing the pants off the liars.

    Particularly in context to Monday’s NLQ article about ‘false witnesses’ that basically advocated death sentances/corporal punishment. The hypocrisy is so thick you could smack your shin on it.

    So in Debi-land, exchanging >contact information< so I could call/text/write/video with people I have met, liked, and wanted to stay in contact with…. every single time, constituted foreplay. Wow.

    I've apparently been having a MUCH better time over the years then I thought!

    "When they agreed to going together for coffee, it was just the next to last of many steps away from virtue."

    For some reason that line stood out and cracked me up. Is coffee the root of all evil now? Because I go to coffee shops all the time with friends. I need to know how much higher on the Pearl Sin-o-meter I've inched up. Do I get combo points every time I take my mom and our mutual friends for coffee?

  • Mel

    Two ideas:
    1. I grabbed the wrong scandal. An interesting point in one of the linked articles is that the defendants (Welsh et al) had a bunch of their witnesses thrown out for pointlessness – but so did Linsey Seelhoff. Her witnesses were going to be called so that she could demonstrate that OTHER people had been divorced and remarried in short order without being hounded. So maybe Debi was thinking of someone else…
    2. Debi didn’t want to have to explain what an online message board was to teenagers who were probably not even born yet and so decided to update it to texting.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Debi may not grasp the difference between “texting” and “emailing”.

  • Mel

    I was more disgusted than usual when writing this bit. I expected some kind scandal – but nothing more than the basic two couples fall apart after marrying too young and remarry.

    But it freaks me out that a publisher felt that home-schooling parents really wanted to know that Cheryl’s first marriage was interracial. I’ve read the series on Race and Home Schooling at HA, but running into that with no idea what was coming was horrifying.

    Plus, Welsh et al kept swearing they were doing this for Cheryl’s good…but seriously, it was all to shift Cheryl’s readers from her magazine to a new one by Mary Pride when her magazines were dying.

  • Allison the Great

    The way she speaks makes her ugly on the outside. Every time she tears someone down, gossips, beats a child or hurts someone, it shows on her face. That’s the way she looks to me, someone whose inner ugliness has started to show on the outside.

  • Allison the Great

    It’s not on you, it’s on Debi, and given that Debi is prone to make shit up, she probably wrote that to embellish her story.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I used to have a ‘Gentle Spirit’ subscription back in the day and I remember it suddenly stopping arriving for some time till one day I got an issue with an article inside with Cheryl talking about divorcing and remarrying and kind of thought nothing more of it. I knew none of this stuff!! I’m happy she sued those assholes!

  • 1994… wow, I was actually ONLINE at that time. As I recall we had email and primitive web services… as well as listserv discussion groups that worked through an email mailing list.
    Somehow I don’t think Debi is technologically astute enough to understand that what we have now is NOT what we had then.

  • Nea

    I doubt she cares. Either way, it’s contact with another human being that isn’t filtered through Lord and Master.

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    I remember local bulletin boards that you’d log into via your landline and a 1200 baud modem (which at the time was considered fast in comparison to the 300 baud ones…:P) which required an open node/land line or you got a busy signal.

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    I wonder how long Michael would wait to replace her with a much younger model if Debi were to suddenly keel over.

  • Nightshade

    Apparently their definition of virtue is purely (pun sort of intended) sexual, and has nothing to do with how a person treats others, or with actually showing love for another person.

  • Oh my yes, I remember dial-up! I was still USING Dial-up five years ago when I *finally* got DSL service available this far out of town.
    Dear gak, isn’t it amazing how far we’ve come?

  • Considering the fact that I doubt he can *feed* himself without her? I’d give him to the end of the week. He’d probably be taking “resumes” at the funeral, if not sooner.

  • Trollface McGee
  • Astrin Ymris

    Yes… “virtue” is defined as “not having had an illicit orgasm”.

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    Sweet Batman in a tutu! You were still using dial up only 5 years ago!? My condolences! I would have been digging the trenches myself if it got non-dial up internet hooked up to my house faster!

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    Would they be younger or older than his own children?

  • Nea

    New York minute.

  • Nea

    Younger so he can “wash them with his words,” breed up a new family of slaves, and so that she won’t be going on about how she’s achieved Titus 2 status and think she’s got something to say.

  • Nightshade

    Or being involved (knowingly or not) in someone else’s orgasm.

  • gimpi1

    Wow, I can just smell the “Christian Love™” that was shown this couple by the Christian home-schooling community. I had wondered what that horrid stench was…

    What an example for the secular world these people set… harass someone over an “interracial family,” condemn the woman (always the woman) when the marriage breaks up, and drive her out of business with rumor-mongering and conspiracy. If this is the “purity” and “sanctity” that they are trying to sell, who on earth would buy?

  • gimpi1

    “Sweet Batman in a tutu!”

    I’m totally stealing that expletive. Love it!

  • gimpi1

    I find the idea that home-schooling parents needed to know that the publisher of a magazine was in an interracial marriage cringe-worthy, too. Ick.

    And, when someone sets out to ruin you “for your own good,” the least you can do is return the favor.

  • Mel

    Somewhere along the line the “Love of Jesus” which generally meant showing genuine caring towards others or at least enough of a sense of humility to assume the sins of another should be dealt with by God became a rationale for behaving like a mob boss.

    Unfortunately, it’s not a new phenomenon. As a Catholic, I can attest to my church cycling between mob boss to caring for people for at least 1,000 years.

  • gimpi1

    I think all human organizations do that. It just shows up more in religious groups where people try to paint their actions as holy or ordained by God. I’ve seen the same sort of machinations in workplaces and social groups.

    However, some churches seem to get more than their share of authoritarian-type folks, and they seem to be among the worst at the mob-boss hustle. Also, when you can claim your political manipulation, gossip and conspiracy is God’s will, it gives you a free pass in many people’s eyes. Sad, that.

  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    I’ve been working on not using actual profanity as much, I knew I was swearing a lot when it started slipping out in conversations with my mother…I know she must be horrified with all the f-bombs she hears me use when I’m agitated 😛 Besides, I need more opportunities to use some of the more interesting images I have collected from the internet.

  • One of the consequences of living in an area that’s technologically backwards. The Husband can actually *remember* when they still had *Party Lines* out here in his childhood and people looked at him like he was an idiot for not knowing how to use that antiquated technology. His grandma *still* doesn’t really understand how the Internet works and what all’s involved in “looking stuff up”.
    I talk about how people treat technology like it’s magic, and she’s a prime example.
    As an aside, she ALSO doesn’t understand how *necessary* internet access is to maintaining the ability to do anything anymore, or that instruction manuals for appliances are often kept ONLINE instead of in a helpful printed book with the appliance. Or how companies will do hiring through the Internet rather than with paper applications. It’s really astonishing that she’s got this antiquated idea of How Things Work based on when SHE last worked and things don’t work like that anymore, and haven’t for YEARS.

  • lodrelhai
  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    Goodness gracious! I don’t know what I’d do (besides wait a really long time for pages to load, and be extremely bored) without my cable modem high speed internet. Still hate Time Warner for so many things, doesn’t matter that they’re the ones providing my internet and tv access, God help us all if they are successful someday in their attempts to merge with Comcast.