UPDATED: Why Eric Jackson Confessed to Raping His Sister

jackson brothers

Six Jackson Brothers Who Repeatedly Raped Their Little Sister

Scott Brown, one of the elders at Hope Baptist Church (link no longer active) in Wake Forest, North Carolina, church home to two of the six brothers accused of repeatedly raping their sister over an eight year period, recently shared the reason the Eric Jackson confessed. In a blog post titled Eric Jackson and the Power of the Gospel Brown wrote:

Now, you may have heard that Hope Baptist has two of her members in jail on sex offenses against their sister. The tragic family life of the Jacksons is almost overwhelming. It is a story we will never forget.

But how did this come to light? The reason this story is in the national news right now is because of the power of the gospel. Eric Jackson came to the church, responded to the preaching of the Word of God, recognized that he was a false convert, embraced the true gospel, and was born again. His new heart compelled him want to walk in the light. As a result, he confessed his sin.

He first went to my fellow Hope Baptist pastor, Dan Horn and confessed. We collaborated on the situation and the next day Dan called to report it to the authorities in Elizabeth City. Shortly thereafter Dan went with Eric to the authorities to turn himself in. In that meeting Eric exposed the patterns of evil in his home and his past participation in it. Finally, 18 months later when their investigation was complete, 8 of the 11 family members were indicted by a grand jury and jailed to await trial. The father and the mother, Jon and Nita Jackson are out of jail on bond.

If Jesus had not saved Eric, perhaps the devastating culture of this family could have continued, even to more generations. But the gospel transforms and shines light in dark places. Jesus was the source of light that caused things to be brought into the light, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:4-5

Paul speaks of the transforming power of the gospel to the Corinthian church. He mentions that some of them had a horrible past – adultery, homosexuality… He writes to them of the mercies of God in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

When the gospel has truly been embraced, it makes murderers former murderers. It makes idolaters former idolaters. It even makes child molesters former child molesters who walk in the light. Nothing else has that kind of power. Nothing else can break the patterns of sin that once enslaved those who have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)…

Eric Jackson is now twenty-seven years old. This means, depending on which report you believe about when the rape stopped, Jackson was around fifteen when the rape started and twenty-three to twenty-five when the rape stopped. Ponder that for a moment. He was a teenager when he started violating his sister and a grown ass man who owned a business when he stopped.

One commenter, on my other post on this sordid story, suggested that the brothers were so corrupted by their parents that they didn’t know raping their sister, age four and a half when it started and  age twelve to fourteen when it stopped, was wrong. The only proof of this claim is a subjective comment the local sheriff made in an interview. There is no proof that the brothers were so under the influence of their parents that they were powerless to stop raping their sister or didn’t know that it was wrong.

Now we have Scott Brown saying that Eric, the oldest of the molesters, did not know that raping his sister was morally wrong. It wasn’t until Brown, using the mighty power of the Word of God, showed Eric that he was a false Christian, that Eric began to see that raping his sister was wrong. Until the moment that Eric gloriously embraced the gospel of John Calvin, he had no clue that sexually molesting a child was immoral. Until the Calvinistic Holy Spirit gave life to Eric’s dead, darkened, depraved heart, he did not know that what he and his brothers did was wrong.

Those of us who are familiar with fundamentalist Calvinism have heard similar stories. Many of the “new” converts in Calvinistic churches are actually people who were already professing Christians. They were just the “wrong” kind of Christian. Calvinistic pastors are noted for their ability to persuade Christians that their non-doctrines of grace salvation is false. What better way to understand Eric Jackson’s sin and confession than to paint it as a Saul on the Road to Damascus conversion story.

Brown, of course, is an opportunist, and he is using Eric Jackson’s story to promote fundamentalist Calvinism. He even goes so far to suggest “If Jesus had not saved Eric, perhaps the devastating culture of this family could have continued, even to more generations.” If it is the Calvinistic gospel that made the difference, and so far Eric is the only Christian brother to get really, really, really saved, aren’t the rest of the brothers still rapists dead in trespasses and sin? Besides, at least two of the brothers regularly attended Hope Baptist Church. Surely they heard preaching against raping your sister? Surely they heard preaching against sexual immorality? If they heard, are they not accountable?

Calvinists love to make much of Romans 1-2 and the law of God that is written on the heart of every human. Surely, that law would tell Eric Jackson and his brothers that raping their sister is wrong? If atheists know that the raping a child is morally wrong, shouldn’t people raised in church, raised under the teachings of the Bible, even if they are not a Christian, know that they shouldn’t sexually molest children?

Brown’s blog post is quite “Biblical”, typical Calvinistic drivel. People like Brown are convinced that anyone who is not like them, a regenerated sinner brought into the glorious light by the Calvinistic gospel, is dead in trespasses and sin. We are vile, wicked, enemies of God. It’s a wonder that all of us don’t rape our siblings and children. We are helpless, in bondage to sin and Satan. Or so the Scott Brown’s of the world would have us to believe.

This story continues to sicken me and Brown’s opportunism and explanation only makes it worse. While I am sure that there was tremendous dysfunction in the Jackson home, it does not excuse the brothers for raping their little sister. I don’t believe for a moment that none of them knew what they were doing was wrong. Unless they were raised as feral animals, they had to know that what they were doing is wrong; especially by the time the brothers became adults.

All that matters now is that girl the brothers abused get the help she needs. There are also two other children to consider. Brown says there are 11 people in the Jackson family. The parents, the six brothers who are in jail, and the girl who was molested. This leaves two other children. Nothing has been reported about them, their age, or sex.

I hope in the coming days that investigative reporters will focus on the patriarchal and hierarchical authority structures found in the Jackson home and churches like Hope Baptist Church. This movement deserves to be thoroughly investigated. I am convinced that once this happens, others will be less likely to be sucked into their pernicious, soul killing, damaging beliefs. We now know, thanks to the Doug Phillips’ sex scandal and Bill Gothard’s sex scandal, that these beliefs can and do lead to gross manipulation and abuse of others. These kind of churches give the appearance of being safe places for families and children, but in some cases they are anything but. Behind the manipulation and abuse is a Bible that is used by men to control others.

Updated

Four of the six Jackson brothers pleaded guilty to sexually molesting their little sister. Eric and Matthew Jackson each pleaded guilty to first degree sex offense and were sentenced to twelve to fifteen years in prison. Nathaniel and Benjamin Jackson each pleaded guilty to multiple counts of incest and were sentenced to twenty four months in prison. Aaron Jackson, Jon Marc Jackson, and parents John and Nita Jackson, have yet to plead guilty or are awaiting trial.

Raw Story reports:

Four homeschooled brothers pleaded guilty Thursday to molesting their younger sister from the time she was 4 years old until she was almost 15 – and their parents and two other brothers still face charges related to the case.

The oldest brother confessed in December 2012 to molesting the girl after becoming a born-again Christian, and a pastor from the Baptist church in Wake Forest, North Carolina, contacted authorities the following day.

“He confided in his pastor and his pastor told him that was wrong and not the way normal families are,” said Perquimans County Sheriff Eric Tilley.

Eric Jackson, then 25, told authorities that he and all five of his brothers had sexually abused their younger sister for a decade, and authorities say their parents knew but did nothing to stop the abuse.

An elder at Hope Baptist Church, which Jackson and another brother attended, compared the pattern of abuse to other “horrible” sins such as adultery and homosexuality.

“If Jesus had not saved Eric, perhaps the devastating culture of this family could have continued, even to more generations,” wrote elder Scott Brown. “But the gospel transforms and shines light in dark places. Jesus was the source of light that caused things to be brought into the light.”

Eight of the family’s 11 members have been indicted in the case — which bears similarities to newly revealed claims that reality TV stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar may have covered up their eldest son’s molestation of his sisters and other girls.

The victim in the Jackson case told investigators that she believed she would go to hell if she told anyone about the assaults, which she said took place at least twice a week…

…The girl told authorities her mother had witnessed at least one assault and walked away.

After the eldest brother — who was the first to abuse his sister — contacted authorities, the parents fled with the victim to Colorado.

But the family was tracked down, and the girl was taken into custody by the Department of Human Services and confirmed the confessed claims of her brothers.

Tilley, the sheriff, said the family was “bizarre” and the father held “anti-government” and “anti-school” beliefs.

The eldest brother had difficulty writing his own name when he met with investigators.

“The children were home schooled with very limited education,” Tilley said. “They were very private and the whole yard has a fence around it — like a little compound. They’re very different.”

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11 Comments

  1. Geoff

    I see that, yet again, homeschooling features in the story.

    Reply
    1. Brian

      Without wishing to derail the subject matter of this thread, does this comment condemn home-schooling, and perhaps suggest that public schooling prevents abuse….? I am not sure if you approves of home schooling, unschooling, deschooling, private schooling or what.. perhaps you could elaborate, Geoff?
      My kids have been through the mill in this regard over the years and are now unschooled and have been for about 7 years… nothing beats it in my experience but it needs a parent who is willing to be with their kids and let them lead.

      Reply
  2. Troy

    I wonder why they called the authorities? They just needed to pay their Dad the bride price and then marry her.

    Reply
  3. yulaffin

    I see there is no mention of what happened to the sister. Did she receive any therapy and support or was she ignored because “female and worthless and it was probably her fault”? But Eric gets a pat on the head for confessing and getting right with God. This is disgusting.

    Reply
  4. Tara

    If they didn’t know it was wrong until Jesus finally pointed his flashlight on the matter, then why didn’t they ever have sex with their 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and so forth younger sister in public, as the urge would strike?
    You know how it is. We’ve all had those days when we’re especially turned on. I often get like that at the beach, for example. There’s plenty of place and space to satisfy those often sudden and intense urges. Thankfully, I don’t have to wait for the flashlight of Jesus to illuminate the ethical, moral and societal implications of satisfying urges in random places, as they occur, with random beach goers and certainly not children.
    The arguments these people make for why they did what they did reflect
    A- A ridiculous assumption that those of us asking WTH are outright stupid
    B- A complete lack of moral fortitude from the offender, (until the “Illumination’)
    C- A complete lack of accountability, remorse and true understanding for the heartbreaking effects of the sexualization of a child.
    D- The high probability of repeat offenses, since the offender’s psyche has not been addressed and treated. Glory Hallejulah is not an emotional health wand of wonder.

    Ugh. Just ugh. Ick. Yuck. Is there a parallel universe? Is it better than this one?

    Reply
  5. Brian

    I am not sure who suggested that these fucks felt it was alright to abuse their sibling but I do know that it was not the Devil or Jeebus or our dear Heavenly Woo-Woo. Abuse is learned and passed on from generation to generation. When it is ascribed to magical forces like Evil or Sin, then it becomes something we can turn away from and go pray and weep. But if we face that it is history repeating itself, then we have a human responsibility to stand up and do something worthwhile, to stop kneeling and begging.
    I don’t believe that the boys thought it was the right thing to do and yet it was the thing to do. Sick fucks prefer to harm; they enjoy harming and they condone it in their hearts. They also accept it as the way it goes in their families, so I guess I would suggest that for all intents and purposes, they are approving of one another. They KNOW and they approve.

    Reply
    1. Tara

      Brian, that first paragraph is so spot on. This is the crux of it all.

      Reply
  6. Daniel Wilcox

    Raping their little sister for years:-(–this story is so horrific, obscene, it’s hard to believe.

    But what’s even worse, is that the God of Calvinism of Hope Baptist Church, according to most Calvinist leaders, actually plans/foreordains/will every such rape, (and every murder, every slaughter, every damn evil there is), and supposedly for “his own glory.”

    That’s what a famous Calvinist leader lectured to us listeners years ago. I got so upset and still am very angry at that speaker and at Calvinism all these years later.

    Reply
  7. Connie

    I am looking at a perfect storm of patriarchy and the firm belief that women are less than, jezebels sent to torment poor godly men. If I understand the facts above, the son started when he was a teenager and the daughter was four. I have ideas of what I’D like to do to the boy but I’m sure it would get me arrested.

    Again, no sense of humor as officials push the idea there is no morality or virtue without Christ. Life has taught me there are a bamzillion labels to define people but how they act let’s one know if they can be trusted.

    Reply
  8. Don P

    Like most relationships, Hope Baptist Church all started out as an inspiring, encouraging family church. The idea of a ‘Family Church’ was to include your children in worship, rather than depending on church-y-daycare so you can rock out during the main worship while being entertained by ‘adult’ themed sermons.

    Things went along well until Doug Phillips aka ‘the trinket salesman’ showed up as Scott’s BFF and that (2) of the original founders of HBC removed themselves (due to a difference of ‘vision’), leaving Scott Brown as the leader.
    God reminds us that the devil goes to church as Matthew 7:16 warns us ‘You shall know them by their fruit’

    You would of had to of been deaf, blind and unable to smell the rotten apples that began to spill out of the Scott Brown/Doug Phillips venue when things became increasingly wacky in ‘Brownsville’.
    Those who remained I believe genuinely tried to bring the church back on course, but instead were pushed out. Browns supporters were mostly weak willed men who relied on Brown to enforce their paternal rule, or were simply bully’s who enjoyed what they perceived as their God-given right to control and dominate their wives and family members.

    And they are still there.

    Here is the point of all this, evil is everywhere but it always shows its true face.
    It can be your place of work, the Home Owners Association, Chamber of Commerce and yes.. your Cross decorated building where you choose to worship.

    However, God gave each of us free will and his word to guide you through this life (and save us from death).
    As parents, we fail our families when we allow someone to Bible’Splain bullet points that support our selfish issues, rather than reading the Bible, in context for what we truly need to understand.
    Bruce, no doubt you were witness to some pretty horrific examples of mind control and manipulation in your years of work in the church. Anytime we put our faith into church leaders and members, we can expect to be betrayed, accused and sold out on a pretty regular basis.. pretty much everything that happened to Jesus and more.

    Reply
  9. Brian

    Like most relationships, Hope Baptist Church all started out as an inspiring, encouraging family church. The idea of a ‘Family Church’ was to include your children in worship, rather than depending on church-y-daycare so you can rock out during the main worship while being entertained by ‘adult’ themed sermons.

    Bullshit, what evidence is there for such an outlandish statement? The church was begun to do what it did! Blame one, blame all but it did just what it was designed to do, Harm People!

    Reply

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