A Letter to My Parents – Why I’m the Way I Am

Warning: this is a long, extremely personal letter, so get a drink and get comfortable. Also, the next post will give background on why I sent this letter to my parents now.

 

Mom and Papa,                                                                                          7-15-2016

I’m writing you so that there will be less chance of miscommunication between us.  And, let’s face it, if, or when, we meet in person there is the possibility of emotions getting in the way of actual talking.

You are saying that I’ve been unwilling to come and talk with you. It is true that over the past several years I have had no desire to talk about anything with you. Your standard reply, from about the time I was 11 or so, has been that you don’t know what I’m talking about, I have caused the trouble since I didn’t come to you first (even if you were the cause), I should “check my heart for sin”, and/or I’m confused, wrong, a liar. This is confusing behavior, since you taught me that when someone “has anything against you”, you must listen to them, sincerely apologize, think through what they said and make a change in behavior according to what was done wrongly. I have never observed this happen between us from either of you to me. I distinctly recall me apologizing repeatedly to you both after I brought my grievances to you, which isn’t right, since one doesn’t apologize for what others do or say to one.  Continue reading

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10 Surprising Revelations in the Lawsuit Against Bill Gothard and IBLP

This article sums up the lawsuit. I really hope justice is served for myself and all the over 30 of us who were harassed, molested, abused by this “ministry” and Gothard particularly. Libby Anne said it well here: “This isn’t simply about one more Christian organization beset with sexual scandal, it’s about power structures and beliefs that create a situation where numerous people let significant warning signs go by, either unrecognized or ignored, but unaddressed either way.”

 

I want to throw into stark relief the extreme predatory nature of Gothard’s actions.

Source: 10 Surprising Revelations in the Lawsuit Against Bill Gothard and IBLP

Doug Wilson’s Shaming Letter to the Father of an Abuse Survivor

Homeschoolers Anonymous

By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

Content warning: discussion about child sexual abuse and victim-blaming.

In 2005, on behalf of the elders of Christ Church, pastor Doug Wilson wrote a letter to a member of his church, Gary. Gary is the father of Natalie Rose Greenfield**, the young woman who was sexually abused by one of Wilson’s students from 2000-2003 when she was 13-16 years old. I previously wrote about the story of that child molestor, Jamin C. Wight, a homeschooled alumnus.

Today, Greenfield made public the letter Wilson wrote to her father in 2005. To be honest, it made me sick just to read it. The way Wilson blames Gary for his daughter’s abuse, the way he tries to manipulate Gary into extending mercy to Wilson’s 24-year-old, youth ministry-bound child molester, is simply inexcusable.

With Greenfield’s permission, I am sharing a copy of the letter below. Click the images to see larger versions:

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How I Survived Homeschooling in Bill Gothard’s Program

With much encouragement from my husband I’m sharing my experiences with Bill Gothard and the ugly influence of Gothard’s Institute for Basic Life Principles (IBLP) and Advanced Training Institute (ATI – his homeschool program) teachings on my life. After reading many of the experiences of others I felt that my story would just be redundant, since we all seem to share similarities. My husband assures me that what I learned and how I dealt with Gothard would help someone –  and so I hope.

The beginnings of what I think of as my personal “Dark Ages” started in my 13th year (Aug. 1988), a year after being pulled out of public school to home educate. There’s nothing like being told the day 7th grade started, and after taking all the trouble to get ready that morning – clothes on, check; hair done, check; makeup, check; pep talk, check – to “never mind going to school, you’ll be doing that at home from now on.” With my foot out the door and my bag over my shoulder, I thought it was a joke. When I realized they were serious and asked why, I was told that I was “out of control and rebellious, so to bring you into line you’re being taught at home.” That inspires cooperation! Continue reading

How the Fundamentalist and Patriarchal Teachings Can Create Abusive Atmospheres: Part 3

So, what do Patriarchal teachings consist of, beyond what I’ve already discussed? I think this excerpt from Wikipedia lists it succinctly for us.

*God reveals Himself as masculine, not feminine.

*God ordained distinct gender roles for man and woman as part of the created order.

*A husband and father is the head of his household, a family leader, provider, and protector. Continue reading

How the Fundamentalist and Patriarchal Teachings Can Create Abusive Atmospheres: Part 2

So Josh Duggar saw the error of his ways 12 years ago, repented and whatever else they say he did. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. According to the teachings on how to deal with abuse in the system they prescribe to, all he needed to do was repent, ask forgiveness, and take the consequences that his authority figure (Dad) subscribed. Did you notice the lack of talk about the poor girls? Other than they forgave him. Based on my own experiences within the cultish teachings, I think those girls were told what to do and say, who they were allowed to talk to, and given an excuse for Josh that most likely involved the girls somehow bringing it on themselves (i.e. you really shouldn’t have sat on his lap, it’s inappropriate to ask your brother to scratch your back, you know you’re not to be alone in a room with a boy). They were made to feel guilty for his actions. Continue reading

How the Fundamentalist and Patriarchal Teachings Can Create Abusive Atmospheres: Part 1

It’s taken me a couple of weeks, or more, since the scandal about the Duggars came to light to write my thoughts about it. You might be thinking, why bother, they don’t have anything to do with you, that’s their private business. I agree, up to a point. 1:They are public figures and as such are held to a high standard.  2: The homeschool “curriculum” they use is at the core of why Josh Duggar abused his sisters and babysitter – I too was put through the same teachings growing up.

You’re probably tired of reading about the Duggars by now. I am too. However, for me there is an intensely personal reason that I’m writing about the crap that’s hit the fan. I want to shed a little light on the teachings and atmosphere that the Duggars and thousands of other kids have been raised in since around 1970 (and before) through a particular theology, which creates a perfect atmosphere for abuse, especially sexual abuse. Continue reading