A Voice For The Victims

Victimhood is a very personal thing. Many survivors of abuse are finding their voices and are making a valient effort to speak for these victims.

Some are saying that it increases the pain of the victims and that we should stop.

Others are saying that we must speak out in order to give a voice to the victims.
Josh Duggar and Words as Magic by Rebecca Diamond
What Does The Josh Duggar Dialogue Say To Assault Victims? by Stephanie Tait
It’s Not Just The Duggars by Dana of Lemon Lime Adventures
Nice girls don’t talk about stuff like this by Rebecca Diamond *Trigger Warning*

I don’t want to add to the girls’ pain but nor do I want this swept under the rug. Since there are 5 victims, some might feel one way and some might feel the other.  Also, since the information is already out, that cannot be fixed.  The only thing left to do it to work towards healing.

My main goal in posting is to expose the paradigm behind all of this in hopes of preventing situations like this in the future.  My hope is that those who are considering getting into Gothard/ATI/Patriocentric  teachings will see the danger and run away.  I also hope that those who are friendly with such families will be much  more observant.

Here is an in depth explanation of How Fundamentalism’s Teachings on Sexuality Create Predatory Behavior from Diary of an Autodidact.

Jason Harris looks at 10 things every person should be able to affirm in the face of the Duggar family tragedy.

Barefoot Betsy responds to my first link.

He Makes Pearl’s Teachings Seem Gentle

R.L. Stollar has an in depth analysis of Voddie Baucham’s teachings in The Child As Viper: How Voddie Baucham’s Theology of Children Promotes Abuse.  In it, Voddie Baucham’s teachings are compared to Michael Pearl’s teachings with this conclusion:

Baucham’s system thus ends up being more authoritarian than Pearl’s, and that is caused by the fact that Baucham not only believes in original sin (as does Pearl), but also total depravity. How Baucham applies his belief in the latter (total depravity) makes Pearl’s child training system appear gentle and weak in comparison.

This is a very long examination of Voddie Baucham’s theology followed by 3 detailed critiques:

Critique #1: Baucham’s Theology of Children is Unbiblical
Critique #2: Baucham’s Theology of Children Encourages Contempt for Children
Critique #3: Baucham’s Theology of Children Promotes Abuse

While long, it is well worth reading all the way through to the conclusion.

HSLDA Speaks Out Against Patriarchy

Michael Ferris, on behalf of HSLDA, speaks out against Bill Gothard, Doug Phillips and the teachings of Patriarchy in A Line In The Sand.  It’s a shame they still recommend abusive books, such as those by Dr. James Dobson and John Rosemond.

The Duggars Are Getting A Lot Of Attention Lately

Here is an article which explains why many of us are uncomfortable with the Duggars.

Hobby Lobby and Bill Gothard

Micah Murray explains more about Hobby Lobby’s Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs and how much Bill Gothard has influenced them. He also looks at the Duggars in this piece.

Bill Gothard Resigns

Religion News Service reports that Bill Gothard has resigned from his position after being put on administrative leave following allegations of abuse.

 For background info about Bill Gothard, please see this post from Cindy, written a few days before his resignation.

Vision Forum: Peter Bradrick Speaks

Peter Bradrick, once very close to Doug Phillips, has broken his silence. While we still have more questions than answers, this development is very much of interest to those who are following the Vision Forum saga.

Doug Phillips: “Disowns” Former Vision Forum Executive Assistant to President, Peter Bradrick, Calls Him “Destroyer” When Confronted about Sins from Spiritual Sounding Board.  In this post we are told who Peter Bradrick  is and that he has started posting some very interesting posts on Facebook publically.  Read the comments for interesting discussion.

Another interesting Facebook post from Peter Bradrick is one in which he quotes Doug Phillips talking about how real men on the Titanic gave their lives for the women and children and then adds his commentary.

“For one thousand years, this principle has guided Western civilization. Simply stated, that principle is this: the groom dies for the bride, the strong suffer for the weak, and the highest expression of love is to give one’s life for another. The men aboard the Titanic recognized their duty because they had been raised in a culture that implicitly embraced such notions. Only by returning to these foundations can we ever hope to live in a society in which men will make the self-conscious decision to die so that women and children may live. This is the true legacy of the Titanic.” Douglas Phillips

When those who champion “women and children first” hide behind smooth words instead of “suffering for the weak”… When the strong take advantage of the weak, and then turn them out like so much garbage… When the strong seize the lifeboats and leave the weak drowning in the icy water… it leaves no choice for men of God other than to rise up and oppose them when they discover the truth. Woe to those that do not.

There are some interesting responses to that post. [Read more…]

The Resignation of Doug Phillips

You have probably heard by now that Doug Phillips has resigned from his position as president of Vision Forum Ministries and and discontinued his speaking responsibilities.

When I first saw this, I did not know what to think.  On one hand, he has done so much damage to so many people and yet he appeared to be doing the right thing by stepping down from the ministry when he fell.  He sounded so repentant and I was even hopeful that he was finally going to understand grace.  Then I started reading commentary and realized the following:

1) I failed to notice that he did not express any sorrow for hurting this nameless woman.

2) It would appear that he only stepped down from the ministry (non-profit) side of Vision forum.  As far as anyone can tell, he continues to be the head of their For Profit side.   Update Nov 6: He has published confirmation of continuing his position at Vision Forum. Update Jan 21, 2014 The for profit side of Vision Forum has been shut down.

Here are a few reactions to the news of Doug Phillips’ resignation: [Read more…]

How Many Churches Allow and Even Encourage Abuse

Valerie Tarico looks at the problem of  Christian discipline leading to abuse in “Bible-based” discipline has led to child abuse in Salon Magazine.  I am seeing non-believers getting more and more concerned with this issue and rightly so.  It breaks my heart that abusive Christians are giving Christianity a bad name.  Of course, it is only natural that they are trying to find a way to stop the abuse.  My only concern with that is that their definition of abuse often includes teaching children that they are sinners in need of salvation, which is the heart of the Gospel.

Because of that article, Pastor Doug Bursch (who was raised in a grace-filled, loving home) discussed the problem with M. Dolon Hickmon on his Christian Talk Radio show, Live from Seattle 820AM.  This conversation is extremely interesting as well as important.  Dolon explains how important it is for Christians to recognize abuse.  Not only do churches fail to notice abuse, they often inadvertently encourage it.  He explains how each person listening to a sermon about spanking has a different definition for the words being used.  Both abused children and their parents assume that the word, “spanking” means exactly what they are currently doing and are being validated that they should continue, even if the pastor preaching means nothing of the sort.  Raising awareness is very important and he has a lot of hope that the book he wrote will go a long way towards that.  You can get information about his book here.  ****Warning!  Book very triggering for survivors of abuse****

 

Do The Newsboys Promote Corporal Punishment?

Dulce De Leche explains the ties that the contemporary Christian music group, The Newsboys has to the Patriarchy/Quiverfull/Stay-At-Home-Daughters movement in Why I Burned My Newsboys CDs.

Death by Submission

Misty Horner passed away in 2007 from an infection she sustained in an unassisted homebirth. Her husband and the cult they followed did not allow her to seek medical intervention during the 31 days it took for her to die. Her parents filed a wrongful death suit against her husband, Caleb Horner, his brother, John Horner and their cult which teaches extreme submission. You can read about the verdict in the El Dorado Springs Sun. This story is also covered by Fox TV. This is the first time I have heard of this story which was finally brought to my attention because the Sun article mentions Michael and Debi Pearl’s book, “Created To Be His Helpmeet.”

Old excerpts from this story can be found here.

In January of 2012 Caleb filed a wrongful termination suit against the city of Lee’s Summit which let him go after the death for which no criminal charges were filed.  I cannot seem to find any news stories with an update about this suit.

Update: Feb 15, 2013 Misty Horner wrongful death lawsuit: Horners want new trial after $108M ruling.

Discussing Tim Challies’ Reviews

Recovering Grace promotes Tim Challies’ review of Created To Be His Help Meet. Also, someone brings up his review of To Train Up A Child in the comments and discussion of the Pearls ensues which might be of interest to my readers.

 

Leaving The Patriarchy Movement

Becky at Created To Be His shares her testimony of how she fell into the false teachings of the patriarchy movement and the Pearls’ and the lessons she has learned since then.

The Vision Forum’s Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy, 16-21: Education, Transformation, and Control

Note: This is an edited and collated version of a series of posts that I made at Free Jinger in August 2011.

For much of my life, my encounters with U.S. fundamentalist Christianity were sporadic and bewildering.  I started digging into the roots of the fundamentalist mindset when I became a homeschooler and a Sunday school teacher.  As many of us have discovered, fundamentalism has become prevalent in both fields of endeavor–particularly homeschooling.

Fundamentalism, of course, is not a monolithic entity, but different fundamentalist groups share many common traits.  A particularly disturbing common trait is the fundamentalist use of exegesis.  In short, it stinks.  This incompetence exists right at the foundation: not only in interpretation, but also in basic reading comprehension.  This is a disturbing [Read more…]

Wartburg Watch Looks at Vision Forum

Wartburg Watch has posted a series on Vision Forum and Patriarchy which some of you might find interesting.

Homeschooling Hijackers mentions at Doug Phillips, Voddie Baucham and Scott Brown.

What Are Family Integrated Churches? mentions ThatMom and the family-integrated church (FIC) movement.

NCFIC, Vision Forum, and the Bottom Line discusses the history of Vision Forum as well as the business aspect.

“Divided” Lives Up To Its Name

“Divided” – A Review

Family Integrated Church Wrap-Up

Analyzing Bill Gothard’s Textbooks

Glen E. Chatfield, of The Watchman’s Bagpipes, Analyzes Bill Gothard’s IBLP Basic Seminar Textbook which could prove very useful to many, even if they do not necessarily agree with everything Brother Glen has posted.  Here is a large excerpt from his intro:

I have to state up front that the principles taught in this text are indeed good principles.  The premises of the lessons are generally to be commended.  The problem seems to be with the method of teaching, which revolves around a lot of erroneous ideas.  In my review of the text, I found the following problem areas were manifested:

1.  Misapplication of Scripture
2.  Poor teaching (this is just my opinion)
3.  Poor hermeneutics
4.  De facto claim of extra-biblical revelation
5.  Poor doctrinal teaching
6.  Superstition/mysticism
7.  Cultish teaching
8.  Lack of credibility
9.  Faulty logic
10.  Pop psychology
11.  Unbiblical teaching
12.  Personal opinion given Biblical authority
13.  Scripture twisting
14.  Legalism

What follows is a page-by-page analysis of the problems I found.

In another post he examines Bill Gothard’s ATI Textbook. He introduces that examination by saying:

This will not be a detailed analysis, but a highlight of some of what I determined to be the more problematic areas. The entire text has much misapplication and twisting of Scripture to make false claims seem Biblical.

Although the “Operational Definitions” are in the back of the text (pp.355-358), I will address them first because I think they really show where the problems lie with Gothard’s way of thinking.

The remainder of this analysis will be in page order, with as short of commentary as possible.

Stay tuned for analyses of other Gothard textbooks some day in the future.

Edited to add:
Analyzing Bill Gothard’s Textbooks – “Character Sketches – Vol 1”

Exposing False Teachings

I just found an interesting site, Midwest Christian Outreach devoted to  exposing false teachings.

They have an article about Bill Gothard and ATIdentity.

More on Bill Gothard

Vision Forum and Patriarchy

Speaking of Bill Gothard, some of my newer readers might have missed Greenegem’s post about Scriptural Tofurkey.

Two More New Blogs

Here are 2 blogs which I think might be of interest:

Rethinking Vision Forum looks like the place to send anyone who has questions about Vision Forum.  It is all about “Examining the Fallacies of Vision Forum’s ‘Godly’ Family Living.”   Since this blog links to the series to which I used to link in my sidebar, I have replaced that link with this one.

I also just found another blog about escaping from a controlling Christian family, The Eighth And Final Square by QuicksilverQueen. I am seeing a great many of these blogs.  I read these stories with great sadness.  So many parents so sure that they have found the secret of raising perfect children for God.  And then the “perfect” children grow up and leave.  They often consider their childhood a nightmare from which to escape.  They sometimes reject God and Christianity all together, but thankfully, not always.  Many of them (such as this link) are not sure what they believe and are still processing.  It breaks my heart to see that some of them have  become atheists.  I have linked to many such blogs in hopes  that their testimonies may convince parents to avoid the pitfalls into which their parents have fallen.

Understanding Biblical Gender Equality

Hope Abigail Freeman wrote to me saying

…I have written a new book called “Understanding Biblical Gender Equality”, which is free to read online at the website http://www.WalkinTruth.net

It’s brand new, the site just launched recently, and it should be available in paperback soon also. If you take a look you can see, I’m trying to “take back” 3 John 1:4.

I was in a very spiritually abusive relationship, domestic violence situation for 6 years.  As soon as I became a Christian I fell into a hole of abusive patriarchy, and it took years of the Holy Spirit working with me to get out of that hole.  This book is a compilation of what I have learned from the Bible in that process.

The book takes a very conservative methodology of scriptural analysis, and has a heavy emphasis on helping women to recognize abuse, and that God loves them and wants better for them.

Renouncing Patriocentric Teachings

pFamilyGal renounces her belief in patriocentric teachings and explains why in Freeeeedoooom.

New Book About Patriarchy

Under Much Grace discusses Jon Zens’ New Book, No Will of My Own (How Patriarchy Smothers Female Dignity and Personhood).

Betrothal

Eric M. Pazdziora writes about the Bondage of Betrothal at Quivering Daughters. This is a very good explanation of why the Courtship and Betrothal Movement is not Biblical.

In response, Sister Lisa, at Soul Liberty Faith, writes about Betrothal and the Works of The Flesh in which she discusses how her family approached the concept after leaving legalism behind.

Analyzing the Schatz Tragedy

Cindy, from Under Much Grace, analyzes what causes people like Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz to harm their children in a new series:
Why Good People Make Dangerous Choices (Pondering Pearl and Lydia Schatz)

An Introduction

Part I: Virtue In Place of Unquestioned Obedience.

Part II: How Dehumanization (and Declaring War Against Family Members) Causes Moral Disengagement

Part III: Defining Aggression as Normal, Acceptable, and Desired Behavior

An Addendum Note About Lydia Schatz and the Correction She Suffered for a Mispronounced Word: Liberian Adoption and Reactive Attachment Disorder

Part IV: The Milgram Experiment and the Pressure to Commit Evil for the Common Good

Part V: Pondering the Atrocities of the Jewish Holocaust and its Relationship to the Study of Obedience

Bad Apples or Bad Barrels? The Short and Long Versions of Zimbardo on the Lucifer Effect

Part VI: The Calm Before the Storm Following the Schatzes’ “Guilty” Pleas

Part VII: The Breaking the “Diabolical Will” of Infants in the IFB – Even at Hephzibah House

Part VIII: There But For Grace

Part IX: Using the Milgram Study to Understand How Pearl Becomes Appealing

Part X: The Schatz Family is Not Unique

Series on First Time Obedience

Cindy of Under Much Grace has posted part 5 of her series about First Time Obedience: Revisiting First Time Obedience: Finding New Alternatives

For your convenience I will paste here the links to the rest of the series along with her descriptions:

  • A review of the submission required under multigenerational faithfulness as Vision Forum’s carryover from Bill Gothard’s submission teachings with various examples of this demand for unquestioned obedience without credulity. First post specifically examining “First Time Obedience” in young children.
  • A review of the principle of sacerdotalism and parental convenience (as a control issue in dysfunctional families) as rationales for requiring “First Time Obedience” and “leaps of faith” required under multigenerational faithfulness.
  • Review of the tendency to make every banal daily activity one of great eternal spiritual significance as a consequence of works-based salvation. Includes a discussion of viewing personality traits that do not fit the belief system’s paradigm as sinful as well as the building up of all gender related activities as sacramental for the impartation of inward sanctification.
  • Blog host’s personal experience with inherent personality traits treated by parents as sin, the idolatry of seeking parental approval, and the consequences of requiring unquestioned submission with the use of guilt and shame that predisposes one to easy brainwashing and compliance with thought reform. Includes a section from Biderman’s Chart of Coercion addressing the powerful effects of devaluing individuals in religious settings.
  • Discussion of the development of how perfectionism, works-based salvation and First Time Obedience squelch problem-solving skill and prevent the development of critical thinking under the guise of multigenerational faithfulness.

A specific review of the theological problems in Voddie Baucham’s defense of First Time Obedience as well as the refutation of the practice from Scripture. Echos concerns noted in this previous blog post concerning Baucham’s “Family Driven Faith” book.

More Blog Posts About Bill Gothard

A Quiver Full of Information has a bunch of new posts about Bill Gothard. Here are  the ones I find most interesting:

Shadowspring’s testimony:
Bill Gothard has negativley affected my life….
Bill Gothard has negativley affected my life part 2

More about Webster in this post from Alternet.org, Cultish Christian Leader Teaches Women Should Submit to Husbands — Victims of His “Submission Theology” Speak Out (Not a Christian site. Tagged Mainstream)

The Wartburg Watch looks at Quiverfull Then and Now. This exposé connects “the terrible tragedy that occurred in Colorado in December 2007” with IBLP curriculum.

The Wartberg Watch has some other very interesting exposés:
The Real Reason for the Quiverfull Movement
Doug Phillips-Homeschooling Guru and QF Proponent
Sisterhood of the Stay-at-Home Daughters

Donna’s testimony and excellent exposé: My Stand Against IBLP (Being Real).

 

 

Wife Only Submission vs Mutual Submission

I have noticed a confusion about the difference between WOS (Wife Only Submission) and MS (Mutual Submission) so I would like to clarify the difference and add some thoughts.

WOS is the belief that, in marriage, husbands are not obligated/called to submit to their wives out of reverence for Christ.

MS is the believe that husbands and wives are both obligated/called to submit to their spouse (and others) out of reverence for Christ.

WOS is often tied with patriarchy — which is the philosophy that, in marriage, the male has authority over his wife due to his gender.

In my opinion, patriarchy can be mostly-healthy, when the man is choosing sacrificial love towards his wife and/or when he uses his perceived authority in wise and godly ways — which would generally include trust, respect some ‘delegation’ of that perceived authority, etc.

In that ‘mostly-healthy patriarchy’ case, WOS is not what is truly going on — because ‘sacrificial love’ fits the Biblical definition of ‘submission’, even if neither spouse would use that word for it, and even though it depends on the (in my opinion, inaccurate) perception of inherent male authority. If the husband is submitting to his wife (by loving her sacrificially) that is a MS scenario, and anything else is just semantics.

The reason WOS (the idea that males are not obligated/called to submit to their wives out of reverence for Christ) is a bigger problem than ‘mostly-healthy patriarchy’ is because if men do not submit to their wives (no matter what vocabulary they prefer to use about it) they are not obeying God’s commands to them, and that’s a problem — often a problem that has effects on many others (the wife, children, children’s spouses, grandchildren). It’s hard for me to see people ‘normalizing’ the disobedience of one gender, while twisting the obedience of the other gender to compensate for it.

Now I believe that the NT describes a situation in which a husband had legal and civic responsibility over his wife, who was, by law his property. He had the full authority granted to him by the Roman government, and he could not ignore it. No one could.

Therefore I find it quite understandable that, in reading the New Testament some readers would draw the conclusion that because that hierarchy is described in the Bible, it is to be understood as ‘the right thing’ for Christians. I hold nothing against people who have honestly come to this conclusion — it’s easy to come by!

Patriarchy was the building block of Roman society. Equality between men and women would have been illegal. Therefore the New Testament gives commands as-to how a man with legal/civic authority is still capable of submitting to his wife, and is not exempt from the command to do so.

Therefore I consider marriages that involve ‘presumed authority’ of the male, ONLY WHEN combined with proper Christian submission (to each other) — to be within the Bible’s definition of a godly way to live.

Patriarchy-with-mutual-submission worked for the 1st Century Roman Christians, and it can work for our brothers and sisters if they want it to. We have no place to stand against them as if their conclusions and choices were sin.

What can’t work (as far as I can possibly see) is patriarchy-without-mutual-submission… because the belief that some Christians are free not to submit to other Christians (for reasons of gender and marital status) is completely out of step with the Bible — encouraging disobedience to direct commandments as well as disregarding the very core of the character of the Christlife.

Patriarchy can hurt people — and does — but it does not always hurt people, and it can be done ‘well’ according to the New Testament.

WOS (the belief that husbands are free to behave unsubmissively towards their wives) is the real poison. Living with someone who claims Christ but lives with a me-before-you attitude, and believes and preaches that it is right and proper to do so… that’s just not right… and people are definitely going to get hurt.

Uncovering More Horrors

As we probe the underbelly of the damage done by the Patriarchy Movement and even Corporeal Punishment in general, eventually we will uncover even more horrors.  I have avoided “going there” for quite some time, preferring to skirt the issue,  as it seemed unnecessary to bring up in polite society.  However, this blog post from Under Much Grace, explains the necessity of broaching the topic and is written with a technical tone rather than a sensational one.

Looking at Bill Gothard

Dulce de Leche has shared some memories of Bill Gothard’s seminars and how his teachings affected her during her formative years in, Peering Underneath the Umbrella: Musings on Gothardism.  This is an exposé as well as a testimony as she gives us an inside look at Gothard’s teachings.

Speaking of Bill Gothard, E. Stephen Burnett has an interesting post at Quivering Daughters called, Bill Gothard and Patriarchy: Re-routed Feminism? which analyzes a quote from Bill Gothard about submission and looks at why so many of Patriarchy’s promoters are women.

Testing the Spirit of Quiverfull

Kristen Rosser has started a series over at NLQ called, Testing the Spirit of Quiverfull. I think this checklist of sorts actually pertains to all Patriarchy teachings. This is good reading for someone who is dabbling with Quiverfull/Patriarchy and thinking that they can separate the “meat from the bones.”  These posts are written specifically for those  “who have chosen to accept the Bible as authoritative for faith and practice. ”

Here are the posts so far:
Testing the Spirit of Quiverfull: Isolation
Testing the Spirit of Quiverfull: Hierarchy & Control
Testing the Spirit of Quiverfull: Perfectionism & Elitism

Speaking Out Against Patriarchy

Here is Rebecca Diamond’s testimony and explanation of what she has against Patriarchy. Note to the easily offended: she does give this post a PG-13 rating.

And here is an exposé of the dark underbelly of the Father and Daughter Retreat offered by Vision forum. This is not for the faint of heart.