Ok so there is a workaround in case any one is experiencing this. I was worried that this would be the case. Maybe there is a better way but I couldn't figure it out and I really need to use this computer to get work done. Whatever failed failed horribly and ungracefully.
Anyways this is what I did to get things up and running, though it isn't pretty:
If there were any errors I sudo mv'd them one by one. Once I had no .files except the obvious . and .., I logged in successfully. Once logged in I moved all the dotfiles that I KNEW weren't a problem .mozilla, .cabal, .bash_aliases, .bashrc etc. back, logged out and back in again, and most things work. I will go through one by one on the remaining folders to see where the problem is and post an update once I know in a couple of days.
ctrl-alt-f2 (logged into vterm)
mv .?* dotfilesbk/
Not the end of the world but quite the PITA.