I’ve been pondering the idea, or virtue, of forgiveness lately.
Some people’s response to me about the situation between my parents and me is that I need to forgive them so I can let it go, move on. I’m slightly puzzled, because I did/have forgiven them (multiple times, as needed, every time they re-do what they always do), but somehow by me sharing my experiences means that I haven’t forgiven them and moved on. Continue reading
Recently I became fed up with the lies, insinuations and manipulations of my parents, so I wrote a blog post about my love story to set the record straight. As you can imagine, it set off fireworks in my parents’ household and sparked outrage in some of my siblings. It wouldn’t, shouldn’t, have, except my parents have done a marvelous job indoctrinating their children from birth in their fundamental, patriarchal, narcissistic thinking and belief system.
You see, they neglected to indoctrinate and isolate me from birth, but started rather late, around the age of eleven or so and then, shortly thereafter, joined a cult. Not that I didn’t enjoy the same Bible-thumping, hell and damnation, you’re-a-sinner-and-you’ll-always-be-a-sinner teaching that my siblings got. However, by age 12 I had already enjoyed too much freedom to observe how other people interacted, decide how I was going to behave in any given situation, and begin to decide if I agreed with my parents or not. To them I was a rebel; how dare I question them on anything, think what I wanted instead of what they expected, and try to be an individual apart from them. Continue reading
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
This is my story. In it you will read of love, manipulation, control, lies, and a friendship that has stood the test of time. Continue reading
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
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
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