The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
Due to the continued slander, harassment and cyberstalking of myself, my father and my family, I have decided to come forward to set the record straight regarding the circumstances surrounding my divorce from my first wife.
The outright slanderous lies that have been spread regarding myself and my father have continued for over 7 years and it is time that they come to a stop.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
Over and above our own body, spouse, and temporal possessions, we have yet another treasure, namely, honor and good report [the illustrious testimony of an upright and unsullied name and reputation], with which we cannot dispense. For it is intolerable to live among men in open shame and general contempt.
Therefore, to avoid this vice we should note that no one is allowed publicly to judge and reprove his neighbor, although he may see him sin, unless he have a command to judge and to reprove.
In order to get some proper context we have to shift gears and go all the way back to March of 2011. At the time I was still serving in the US Navy and had only been married about nine months. At that time I began wrestling with a besetting sin that I had intermittent struggles with throughout adolescence, just like many other youths. Because of my shame and guilt I did not feel I could discuss this with any one at the time including my parents, my siblings, my friends or even my spouse.
Overwhelmed by guilt, I finally confessed my struggles to my wife as a cry for help. A day later she was on a flight to visit her parents and I was gearing up for my first two month deployment on the Ohio Class Submarine, USS Alabama. Throughout the duration of my deployment my wife sent harassing emails to both me and my command. Due to their vitriolic nature, they were never delivered to me. I only learned of their existence and deletion long after the fact from my Chief.
To my shock, I was taken off the boat early on May 8th, Mother’s Day. That morning I was given a singular letter informing me that my wife had come back over the Easter holiday and gathered up as much as she could in a car and left with no intention of ever returning. I was absolutely devastated. As pained as I was by these events, there was no preparing me or my family for the storm on the horizon.
Not long after my return from deployment I was given emergency leave to address my marital struggles. I was able to contact my wife on two separate occasions before being threatened with a restraining order and commanded by my in-laws and my chain of command to have zero contact with my spouse. My hands were tied.
To make matters worse, my in-laws sent annulment papers and demanded that I sign them. Naturally, I refused to sign them for multiple reasons.
- I was dedicated to reconciling my marriage.
- An annulment can only be filed within 90 days of a marriage or if one of the parties committed fraud.
- If I were to sign the papers it would mean that I would have effectively indicted myself for fraud, when in reality I had never committed any fraud.
In late November 2011 my father-in-law phoned my father in a rage demanding that I sign the annulment papers. In that phone conversation he proceeded to explain how my wife had already “moved on” and how he was intially supportive of us reconciling our marriage, but that once he “learned the truth” he could no longer support reconciliation. When my father asked that he explain what “the truth” was, my father-in-law proceeded to claim that I was a homosexual and had had homosexual relations with a shipmate who was stationed with me at the Naval base in Groton, CT. He also claimed that this homosexual affair had resulted in that fellow getting a divorce and that through this homosexual relationship that I had contracted an STD. He also claimed that I had Sexual Deviancy Syndrome and that I could only enjoy sex if I were inflicting pain on my partner. Furthermore, he claimed that my father and mother were fully aware of all of these alleged problems that I had and that they had willfully withheld that information from my wife and her family during our courtship and by doing so had perpetrated a fraud on them.
Immediately after hanging up, my father contacted me and asked me about the allegations being made by my father-in-law. I assured him that none of them were true and that all of them were slanderous fabrications and that I had the medical records to prove that I had never had an STD. When my father called my father-in-law back and told him that we had medical records that proved that they were lying, my father-in-law added insult to injury by claiming that my father was the true author of all of the correspondences that I had with my wife during our courtship. His claim was that my father acted as a type of Cyrano de Bergerac for me in order to fool my wife into believing I loved her. They also claimed that when I was in high school my parents had “caught me” saving up for gender re-assignment surgery which I was supposedly going to spend at a “walk in clinic” somewhere in Europe. Not only were these lies malicious, they were utterly absurd! The crazy part was that my father-in-law was trying to convince my father to doubt his own memories of the events that he lived through and instead believe that this fictitious history that my father-in-law was spewing. There is a name for this type of manipulation. It’s called “gaslighting“.
The sheer outlandishness of these lies left my father stunned and utterly confused. However, it was patently clear that my in-laws were threatening to destroy both my father’s and my own reputation with these slanderous lies if we did not cave into their demands for an annulment. It was at that time that my father began speaking with our family attorney (yes the Rosebrough family has an attorney and has had one since my father was a little boy) in order to begin to wrap his brain around the problem. Our attorney advised him to contact another attorney in Chicago who specialized in fraud and defamation cases. After contacting that attorney, who agreed to take the case should it become necessary, my father had a better understanding of what legally constitutes fraud and what would be needed for my in-laws to prove that a fraud had been perpetrated. Armed with that information my father wrote to my father-in-law in early December in order to call his bluff by pointing out the obvious fact that my in-laws didn’t have a shred of evidence to support their bizarre narrative because it was a malicious fabrication. Here is part of my father’s exchange with my father-in-law, note that in these documents the names of my ex-wife and her parents are blurred in order to protect their privacy:
My in-laws cut off all contact with my father shortly after this exchange. But their message was clear, “give us what we want and grant our daughter an annulment or we will destroy your reputations with these lies”.
This sure felt a lot like blackmail!
Now the immediate question arises, “if she wanted out of the marriage so badly, then why didn’t she just file for a divorce?” The answer to that question is that my wife grew up in a very legalistic branch of Christianity. This is a community where an annulment has no consequences but a divorce can have very negative ramifications. A close friend of my wife wrote on an internet bulletin board, at the time, that my wife and I’s separation had “interfered with her endeavors” and “the application process to the seminary that she wants to attend.” In other words, the only way for her to achieve a consequence-free dissolution of our marriage was for it to be dissolved via an annulment. However, I had refused to sign the annulment papers because it would have required me to admit to having committed a fraud. But as I’ve previously stated and had communicated to them, no fraud had been committed. Clearly, being unsatisfied with that answer they were now attempting to achieve this objective by threatening to destroy my family’s reputation if I didn’t give them what they were demanding. I was literally stuck and it didn’t take long for their patience to run out.
On January 28, 2012 they made good on their threat.
In one last push to force me to agree to an annulment, my wife and her parents posted a slew of outlandishly false accusations and baseless lies on an internet message board. It was behavior that I would sooner expect from the National Enquirer than from fellow Christians.
Their lies included but were NOT limited to:
- My father was an abuser who intentionally misrepresented me to my in-laws and purposely deceived them into agreeing to the marriage.
- Note: not only is this allegation a completely fabricated lie but my in-laws are claiming through it to have the ability to divine the intentions of my father’s heart and mind. Which begs the question, “by what method were they able to ascertain my father’s intentions”?
- At the age of seventeen, my father discovered money that I had secretly saved up in order to go to Las Vegas for gender reassignment surgery (they originally told my father I was planning to go to Europe).
- Note: This never happened!
- My father originally contacted my mother-in-law under the pretense of offering assistance with her efforts to help girls abused in a Christian boarding home.
- Note: here again my in-laws are claiming the ability to see into to my father’s mind and ascertain his intentions. Yet, this is a complete lie and we have documented proof that it was my mother-in-law who initially contacted my father. He had no clue who she was or the work that she was doing until after she contacted him.
- My father approached my in-laws with the intent of finding a compliant and malleable wife and in-laws for his son.
- Note: This is also a complete lie that again presupposes the ability to divine my father’s intentions.
- My father approached my in-laws only because he believed that they were vulnerable people. Because he believed that “this type of candidate would hopefully endure all manner of mistreatment.”
- Note: This is a malicious lie that like many of the other allegations assumes the ability to read my father’s mind. My question for them would be, “what evidence can you provide to prove that my father approached you because he was purposely seeking vulnerable people who would endure all manner of mistreatment?”
- My father abused me by setting himself up as a “Cyrano de Bergerac” in order to court my wife for me by feeding conversations and responses through me via emails and on the telephone.
- This is a flat out lie! All of my correspondences with my wife during our courtship were penned or spoken by me without any input whatsoever from my father.
- That I treated my wife roughly.
- Absolutely false.
- The marriage “was fraudulent, a travesty, a trick,” perpetrated by my father.
- Again, this has zero basis in reality! I loved my wife, and had believed wholeheartedly that we would have a lasting and loving marriage. I ask, in what universe would a fraudulent, loveless marriage benefit me or my family in any way?
In response to this defamatory attack I penned a letter to confront them about their lies, slander and outrageously false narrative. Because they had forbidden me from directly contacting them, my father agreed to act as an intermediary. Here is the original email from January 29th, 2012:
Showing no remorse or repentance for their slanderous attack against myself and my father, my wife and her family instead chose to double down on their lies. Left with no other choice, my family and I were forced to seek a legal remedy for their defamation.
Here is the letter from the attorney who agreed to work with our family during the Cease and Desist phase of our defamation action.
The fight with my wife and in-laws to remove their defamatory post lasted nearly a month. It was finally resolved on February 27, 2012 when our attorney received this letter from my wife’s attorney. Please note that the reason the first paragraph is blurred out is because it contains sensitive information pertaining to my wife and I’s divorce. The second paragraph is the only paragraph that contained information pertaining to the defamation action.
Once the owners of the website where these defamatory lies were published saw this letter, they agreed to take the post down. In the midst of this slanderous blackmail, I sorrowfully filed for divorce knowing that I had Biblical grounds to do so due to my wife’s abandonment of the marriage. The divorce was finalized later in 2012 and this egregious attack finally faded into our past, at least that is what we thought.
In July 2017 my ex-mother-in-law resurrected these baseless lies and attempted to have my father defrocked. The Presiding Pastor of the AALC took the allegations very seriously and gave my family the opportunity to present our evidence and the true facts of regarding what had transpired. He then took both my ex-mother-in-law’s allegations and the documentary evidence that we provided to the Executive Committee of the AALC in order to consider the matter. Here is a copy of the email sent to my father and the leadership of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church outlining their ruling regarding these allegations.
Since the ruling of the AALC’s Executive Committee on August 3, 2017, both myself and Dr. Leins of the AALC have sent correspondence to my former-in-laws requesting that this matter be addressed via the help of a mediator. I sent my correspondence via Certified Mail on August 25, 2017 and Dr. Leins sent his correspondence on September 29, 2017. My former-in-laws have thus far refused to participate in any mediation. My personal opinion regarding why they will not meet with a mediator or pastor to discuss this matter is because they know they are guilty of slander and strong arm tactics that bordered on blackmail. Any objective third-party willing to look at the evidence will come to that exact same conclusion and call them to repentance.
Not only is the gossip that you’ve heard nothing more than a slanderous pile of lies, the people who’ve been spreading those lies are unaccountable, refuse to be held accountable and are instead ruthless, heartless, merciless, unloving, lawless, and more akin to Satan, who is the accuser of the saints, and whose native language is lies.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
I pray that this document has been helpful for you in learning the truth. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
— Joshua Rosebrough