Von Ohlman Closes ‘Let Them Marry’

Von Ohlman Closes ‘Let Them Marry’ September 6, 2017

VonThis afternoon as I was traveling around Guanacaste, Costa Rica I spotted this sign outside a Chinese restaurant off Ruta 1 in Cañas right across the street from the bull fighting ring and it led me to wonder what happened to Quiverfull’s promoter of early marriage and author of a creepy and hilarious manual on marrying off your teens titled ‘What Are You Doing’.

Von has been radio-silent since his apple memes, mocking on The Young Turks show and exposure of his attempts to hold a conference on how to marry off your young teens. He disappeared right after Vyckie Garrison, Cindy Kunsman and myself got the word out about his ‘ministry’ and disturbing focus on imagining the wedding nights of nubile full-breasted teen girls.

I got home just in time to see that Vaughn has shuttered his website ‘Let Them Marry’ with this posting..

“Moving On

The modern christian church is under dramatic attack, particularly in the area of marriage. One way that this has expressed itself is in a lack of marriages themselves. Our ministry was created to address this lack.

However over the last couple of years we have tried to restart this site, but everyone of us has been too busy. In addition we have become convinced that an online ministry might not be best for the kind of ministry that is needed.

So we are shutting down this website and moving on to other areas of ministry. We hope and pray that God will continue to use us in ‘offline’ ministry.”

So he’s moving his ministry ‘off line’ just like a cockroach hiding when you flip on the lights and expose them to scrutiny. Too bad for him the Internet archives of the Way Back Machine still has plenty of snapshots of his original marrying kids off website that anyone can Google up and access. He also forgot to erase his pinterest account of his erased blog The Practical Theonomist. The Internet does not forget, Von…

Meanwhile his eldest son Joshua was married to Laura Camp and now they live in an RV while poor under-educated almost teen mom Laura is apparently an unlicensed Doula in Texas.

Here’s a question. How do you think Von will promote his young marriage theology now without the internet?

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  • bekabot

    I wouldn’t count on his disappearance from the Net, because it might be that he’s only disappearing from the visible part of the Net with the full intention of restarting his operation in some nook or cranny of the cybersphere which only persons who start out sympathetic to his views will be aware of or know how to access. Adherents of the nonreligious far-right are either planning to do this or already doing it: it wouldn’t be such a heavy lift for Ohlman to follow their example.

  • lady_black

    Unfortunately, in person. This is very disturbing.

  • Mel

    I wish I could upvote this more times. At least on the web, we could keep an eye on him and potentially offer support to young women and men snared in his crazy. Offline, I don’t even know where to start.

  • Mel

    Does it work for very long? The main advantage of the web is a potentially much larger audience, but that’s inversely proportional to how secure a site is. I know some neo-Nazi groups are moving to online, secured websites – but that lacks the publicity that Stormfront used to garner. (Good riddance to bad rubbish – but I doubt it will stay offline forever.)

    People like Ohlman are in religion for the power trip of being an all-knowing, all powerful voice. If he moves to a secured site, he’s not going to be able to attract nearly as many adherents because isolated CP groups need to find each other somehow. Conversely, once the groups find each other and start using the secured site, the information on how to access the site has many more chances to go public – the site address and passwords can be posted on a web board by a single disgruntled family member.

  • Mel

    OT: I went to Laura Ohlman’s doula site – and then I went to the site of the place that is training her to be a doula. Yikes and double yikes. She’s in training to be a doula – but I’m not entirely sure she has the 5 documented attendances at births since she’s charging a “discounted” rate of $250 dollars for her first five births. Her fee once she’s certified will be $750.

    The idea of a doula has never appealed to me – but her training seems mainly to be reading books about how to “normalize” birth, avoid C-sections, aggressively promote breastfeeding, and push VBACs. That’s harmless if a woman has an easy, straightforward birth, produces copious milk and has a baby who can latch.

    She would have been worse than useless for me, though. I needed someone who could give me a crash course in what a C-section would be like since I had 28 hours between “Oh, shit, you’re critically ill and we need to deliver you really soon” to “Hey, Mom, look at your baby!” at 26 weeks gestation. Someone who could explain that breast milk production in first time moms who gave birth prematurely is a crap shoot. Someone who could say “Well, babies with lung issues really do better with bottles; bottles are easier to drink from so he can use every calorie to fix his lungs.”

    I had that from a) the high risk L&D nurse who I looked at about 2 hours before Spawn came with mild panic and said “So…what’s a C-section like?” b) a dairy farmer husband of mine who had told me many times that cattle lactation is a good analogue for human lactation and that 7.5 months the earliest date that most heifers who deliver early will produce milk like a full term cow as well as my mom who delivered my twin and I prematurely and struggled with production for us and finally c) everyone in the NICU because breastfeeding is nifty if it works – but lungs are critical for life.

    I was covered – but I wish Laura would get a more rounded education on birth so she could help more women – especially those who like the idea of a doula.

  • Jennny

    I have a private theory that those who claim to be ‘too busy’ in x-tian circles are often anything but and their lazy grifting ways wouldn’t wash in the real world of work. DH used to have to call various mission headquarters but found there was no point before 10am, as the switchboard would say the staff were ‘at a prayer meeting’. Try that on your secular boss, or in your stressful job as a police officer, McDonalds server etc etc etc.
    And many congratulations to NLQ on exposing his despicable ‘ministry’.

  • Tawreos

    I am willing to bet that he is on the web somewhere doing the same thing and also doing this in person through like minded churches. Christians love to claim that god called them to do the ministry that they are doing and I doubt many of them turn their backs on that calling once they have started. Also, with the way he focuses on the young ladies, I am guessing he has a second more personal reason to keep this going. He is out there somewhere, with a network of people that used to attend his events and a focus on not attracting attention.

  • Saraquill

    I’m just remembering the times he flooded the NLQ comments, being icky and relishing his perceived superiority over us. I don’t miss that.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    He made me laugh with that superiority stuff and he had his moments of amusement. But when he started trying to line up everyone elses 12 year old daughters for marriage and drooling over it he went from just goofy cluelessness to toxic.

  • There is a concerted, world wide attempt to ban child marriages that he may not want to fall afoul of. Here is a list of 16 organizations working to stop child marriage:
    I don’t even think that’s all of them.
    There is a lot of information available on how early marriage affects a girl’s education, income, health and the health of her children. Tl;dr version: child marriage is bad for girls, no matter what Von says about their breasts.

    ETA: https://www.girlsglobe.org/2017/08/23/journey-challenge-child-marriage-india/ An article from Girl’s Globe

  • lisu

    It’s because of this one-sided training that elective Caesars are heavily discouraged where I live, no matter your reasons for wanting one.

    A very dear friend of mine had a horrible birth and was refused a C-section. Her child has mild cerebral palsy as a result, and they were very fortunate it wasn’t worse. She almost bled to death while giving birth.

    She’s now pregnant again, and she had to fight the maternity system to get the high-risk classification that entitles her to a planned C-section. She’s at elevated risk of repeat problems, but she was classified as medium risk originally because she hadn’t had a C-section before. It’s basically impossible to have an elective C-section here unless you’ve already had an emergency one or wouldn’t be able to get the baby out without one. Apparently that’s how most pregnant people want the system to work!

    I know many people who wouldn’t be alive without medical intervention during birth, both mothers and babies. A doula who’s only into natural birth isn’t going to be particularly useful when everything goes completely wrong. I would also think that people having babies need support the most when that happens.

  • FQB

    The thing is, though, doulas aren’t medical professionals and a good training program will emphasize that to trainees. All they are is there to support the couple through birth. A good, experienced doula *will* have the experience to help support a couple emotionally through an emergency C-section, but as far as specifics like how best to feed a preterm infant? They ought to know that’s outside the scope of their practice and leave that to the nurses. Doulas are there to be your friend, basically, which can help in a normal birth. A good one should know that once baby is in the NICU, all she should be doing is offering her shoulder for you to cry on and maybe running out to get you breakfast.

    Last I checked, there was no official doula certification program and a weekend seminar, required reading, and attendance at births with reports about said births was about how it was done. Apprenticeship really would be more appropriate but that kind of training is rarely available. Pretty much whatever they know, though, will be gained through experience rather than formal training. But again, they are not medical professionals and are not permitted to practice as such so that needs to be taken into account.

    That said, the natural birth movement really has kind of taken on a life of it’s own and has gone a bit overboard (just a bit? hah). Doula-ing is part of that, for sure, and there’s lots of guilt going around regarding birth/childrearing choices that really ought not be there. With experience hopefully a doula realizes that there are at the very least a ton of caveats to the whole birth thing… so many ways things can go terribly terribly wrong and no amount of “switch position, visualize, and breathe” can address.

    But, I’m glad that for once one of these super-fundy types is doing something she’s actually qualified for and that likely won’t result in moms/babies dying, unlike the unlicensed midwifes of some of the other fundagelical royal families.

  • bekabot

    Okay: how does this work for you? Ohlman goes into (relative) ‘hiding’ and starts to run a dark site. His place is taken on the ‘main’ part of the Web, where most of the world hangs out, by a more diplomatic Fundagelical brother, whose job it is to talk the same language in a somewhat softer tone of voice and/or to try to achieve the same ends through marginally different means. (Think of the way the old-time segregationists switched their emphasis from secular politics to religion once their secular-political battle was lost.) That way, Ohlman still gets to inject pepper and gunpowder into his core of true believers, while his stand-in fishes for sympathy from the world outside.

    Eventually, after Ohlman starts to fade from popular memory, he reappears, perhaps in moderately chastened guise, and takes up where he left off. He may affect a slightly altered schtick, but anybody who’s willing to pay attention will be able to notice that he’s promoting the same view of life he always did. Sound plausible? (I’m not saying that all of these things have to happen, but I won’t be surprised if some of them do.)

    If Ohlman is ‘outed’ by a disappointed follower or testy family member, I’m not sure it’ll bother him unduly. Ohlman is a publicity hog, in the minor way his talents entail, and being outed will give him access to a larger audience without his having to take the responsibility for having courted them on his own initiative first. He’ll be able to pose as a wise hermit being visited in a grove or a cave. It’ll be an annoyance, maybe, but I don’t think he’ll mind — he’s the kind of man who might be gratified by that sort of commotion. JMO.

  • Ruthitchka

    Now that Von has taken down his website, how are we going to get white, underage youngsters to marry and give birth to lots of white babies so the “mud people” don’t take over America?

    The first thing that popped into my head was a racist joke I don’t remember from about 40 years ago whose punchline was that the “Chinese” man’s name was “We F***k ’em Young”. I am a horrible person, ha-ha.

  • Astrin Ymris

    I noticed the following disclaimer at the top of his site on the “shutter page”:

    “…Note: Contrary to vicious internet rumors we do not support or in any way condone child sexual activity of any sort, child marriage, or any other illegal activity. Nor do we support or condone forced marriages. We believe that parents should NOT seek a spouse for a child where that child has not actively sought for the parents to do so…”

    Which sounds good, if you didn’t know that he’d advocated for teen marriage, and considers puberty sufficient evidence of “readiness” to marry. Plus, he teaches absolute child obedience to parental demands, which makes you wonder how he’s defining a “not forced” marriage. And he’s also stated that fathers should automatically give their daughters to any “doctrinally sound” man who asks for them without any other conditions, without granting an exemption for daughters who haven’t “actively sought” for their parents to find them a husband.

    IOW, Von is engaging in some CYA. I wonder if he attracted some attention from law enforcement regarding proposed human trafficking, and that’s why he’s gone to ground?

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    That could well be. Once the story he was arranging underage marriages without a license it was carried by many papers and news organizations. It left the Salvation Army with egg on their face because they claim they had no idea he was doing that. He was charging something like $1,100 bucks to attend too. His plans were foiled when no one would host it.

  • lady_black

    Isn’t “unlicensed marriage” an oxymoron?

  • lady_black

    A doula is supposed to be just someone who is there for the woman delivering a baby.

  • texassa

    Grown ass men spending so much time salivating over teenage girls’ sexuality are disgusting. There’s no other way around it.