Campusing Letter: Northeast Baptist Edition

Read this letter and try to guess what Chuck’s crime might have been…

If you guessed “driving an 18 year old fellow-student to the bus station so he could flee this Fundy U and go live with his brother (since the only reason that he was Fundy U to start with was that he was being force by threats of violence from his parents to attend)” then you’re right on the money.

Chuck, you’re a hero in my book. Well done.

213 thoughts on “Campusing Letter: Northeast Baptist Edition”

    1. So on the morning of February 16th, 2001, Chuck is done with his penance, I mean campusing, and John is a bus ride away and gone from Fundy U. Sounds like a win-win.
      We can only hope Chuck drove himself to a bus station at somepoint.

      1. Nah, I was crazy enough to actually finish. Almost left during my senior year over the music group fiasco but I hated the idea of quitting. Looking back, it probably wasn’t worth it. I hated my senior year and the only bright spot I can remember is being able to skip chapel several days a week because I was working full time.

        I don’t regret staying as this event was my first step to leaving funadmentalism and the people who would eventually be the most influential in my exit came to the school my sophomore year. Taking John to the bus station happened the 2nd semester of my freshman year.

        1. Oh, hooray, you are Chuck, and here you are! God is good. So glad to know this!, hooray for you!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

        2. “…I donโ€™t regret staying as this event was my first step to leaving funadmentalism….”

          So you did drive yourself to the bus station and hopped on the bus out of fundyville, so to speak. ๐Ÿ˜†

        3. Great job, Chuck! Fundies despise people who have an actual moral compass & are willing to be guided it in spite of their rules.

        4. For those interested in more of the details of the events, here is a copy of the email I sent Darrell with the copy of the letter…

          Darrell,

          I have also been on the receiving end of campusing during my time at a Fundy college. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t because of rulebreaking. I was guilty of helping one of the students leave the school.

          My freshman year I was roommates with a guy named John who was forced to come to the school by his parents. According to him, his father made him come under threat of physical violence. He didn’t want to be there and made no effort to hide the fact from us. His plan was to leave school when he turned 18 and go stay with his older brother. He turned 18 during our second semester and asked me to help him out by driving him into Philadelphia so he could take a Greyhound down to his brother. I was able to arrange to borrow a car for the trip and made plans to take him into Philly a few days later. All of the guys in our room knew he was going to be leaving and there were also other students he told. When the time came to leave, he said his goodbyes and we left with a bag of his stuff. My room captain told us that he had to tell the administration what we were doing but would wait until after we left so they couldn’t try to stop us. We understood his predicament and thanked him for waiting.

          I dropped him off at the bus station and made the drive back to school. As soon as I walked in the door I was taken to the Executive Vice President’s office where I was berated for approximately 40 minutes about how I was going against ‘spiritual authority’ by helping John leave the school without their permission or the permission of his parents. He claimed that John’s brother wasn’t going to be a ‘good Christian influence’ on him because he was living with a girl. I told him they were married and not just living together and he ammended his statement to say that his wife was unsaved. No idea if that was true but what does that have to do with anything?

          Is it any wonder that we didn’t tell the school that he was planning to leave? At 18, John was considered an adult and neither the school nor his parents had any true authority to control where he chose to live. We accepted the fact that he had to wait until he was 18 to act on his decision. This type of overcontolling mentality would ultimately do in the school. I think it made it maybe 5 years after I graduated and then closed. I also believe that this was a critical event in my journey out of fundyism. I saw first-hand the control mentality and it sickened me. This and the people I met during my sophomore year would help me break free.

          I don’t know what ever happened to John. I got a couple of letters and phone calls. The sad part is that he eventually came back to the school to pick up the rest of his belongings and his father was with him. I don’t know if he made it out or not. A copy of this letter was also sent to my parents. My dad told me he was disappointed with my actions in the matter and pretty much supported the school’s position verbatim. I make no appologies for my actions and I stand by them. I believe it was the best thing for him to leave.

          I scanned the letter as received. Blurring out names and such is at your discretion. I have no objection to my actual name being used.

          Thanks,
          C_Fresh

        5. So, C_Fresh, I’m guessing that being campused did not meet its expected goal of “help[ing] you see the severity of your action and hopefully correct[ing] your behavior and reasoning.”

          I think that was awesome that you helped your roommate.

        6. Chuck, apparently the leaders of this “school” thought you deserved punishment for giving a fellow student a ride, but, under the circumstances, I think you deserved a medal.

        7. I’m a bad influence. I live with a girl.
          The “girl” is an adult, and we are married to each other, but apparently those details make no difference.

        8. Hello, Chuck Stahl. This is John Biggs, the guy you drove to the bus station in late fall of 2000 from Northeast Baptist School of Theology. I stumbled across this website and was amazed to find my story here. I am so sorry the maniacal leaders of that school punished you, but I am forever grateful for what you did that day. After I left the school, I stayed briefly with my brother, then moved back to my parents house. I stayed there off and on for around 2 years, then joined the Army and spent 10 years serving. I served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, before being injured and leaving the Army last year. I am now happily married, attending college full-time, and my wife and I are expecting our first child in Nov. I really hope you see this message, I would love to talk to you again. Thanks again.

        9. John Biggs, I’m glad to see you posted your name on here, and I’m glad to hear you have moved on with your life. 18 years after leaving that awful place, I still have dreams about it (nightmares?). There was so much mind control, indoctrination, etc. And Miller is still at it with his “fundy math.”

        10. Thank you for your kind words, sir. I too am eternally grateful/glad that I left that place. I didn’t see it then, but I see it now, that guys like Miller do far more harm than good in bringing the message of God to the world. Now that I look back, he was so hateful and even fanatical.

        11. John Biggs, I’m glad you posted the update & am thankful you got out. I also want to express my gratitude for your military service.

          C_Fresh, thanks for doing the right thing, regardless of consequences. This whole scenario has turned into something very encouraging!

        12. Hello, John!
          I’m glad to hear you’re doing so well.
          Thank you for giving us the update.

          Gary

        13. Biggs!!! It’s great to hear you’re still kicking and made it out ok. Darrell, can you pass our email addresses to each other?

  1. Please tell me that Chuck is no longer a fundy. Also, please tell me why “God-given” is not hyphenated. Never mind. I know the answer to my second question. ๐Ÿ˜•

  2. Lovely to know that the punctuation-challenged Mr. Fusco is a proponent of parental violence against offspring. Dolt. This is yet another case of why those who come here to defend fundamentalism make me want to hurl. ๐Ÿ˜ก

  3. “helping John go against his parents and their God given leadership.” yet another annoying fundyism. in high school my friend wanted to go to Liberty University. his parents agreed that it was a good choice. however word got around to pastor and he wasn’t having that. he called a meeting with my friend and his parents discussing with them all the evils (yes, evils) of going there. needless to say his parents didn’t want to upset the pastor. so.. but yeah. they’re happy to vouch for your parents as long as pastor agrees with your parents ๐Ÿ™„ yet they claim God gave authority to the parents to make decisions for their children (which he did, you just can’t really have both)

      1. Oh, you can pretty much pick your evil at LU. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But the point is, you have to put on your big boy pants and learn to make a decision for yourself. Oh wait… now I see…

        1. How about I put on my big girl britches? I’m not supposed to wear that which pertaineth to a man, ya know.

      2. hahah oh no doubt. i meant evils along the lines of the fact that they have praise and worship music, allow guys and girls to holds hands, and allow for at least a small amount of free thought

    1. I pulled my kid out of Fundy HS for the exact reason that he decided through his own free will he wanted to go to Liberty. I was thrilled as a parent but knew the staff would frown upon such a liberal choice. So rather than have my boys dream squashed by some over zealous opinions, I surprised him and said your done! Free at Last-Free at Last.

    1. I loved this from his message.

      “What if you keep getting people saved, but you can’t get them to church?”

      Ummmmmm. You didn’t get them saved. Only the Holy Spirit can do that, and they were probably just praying to get you off their back anyways.

    2. “Sometimes a brand-new Christian, someone just saved, can win more people than a seasoned veteran. Too often a seasoned veteran doesnโ€™t depend on the power of the Holy Spirit. He knows all the verses, can answer all the questions and accusations, knows all the clichรฉs, and thinks he doesnโ€™t need God to help him win souls.”

      Boy, is that last sentence the truth!

    3. A lot of interesting stuff in that, uh, “message”:

      “There is no better way to glorify Christ than to go out to some Hell-bound sinner and tell him about Jesus!” – I think he has this backward; my Bible said that Jesus said “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.”

      “Every Christian ought to do everything he can to win souls.” – Oh?! Like awaken people at 3:00 am to tell them the gospel? Like skip all church services? Please read your Bible; there is much more to the Christian life than just “winning souls” – not to mention that it is God that gives the increase; we can only bear witness to the truth.

      “In the last twenty-five years, Iโ€™ve probably preached close to ten thousand sermons.” – that’s more than one a day, ever day, for 25 years; no days off, not skipping any day. Highly improbable.

      “There is no highway to glorify the name of the Lord except the soul-winning highway” – Must be missing some parts of his Bible: “But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices, God is well pleased.” and other similar verses.

      “Some of you have been trying to get close to God by reading your Bible, having daily devotions and walking with God.” – Silly me

      1. GR, once again ,you seem to be suggesting that a fundy preacher could be guilty of…. exaggeration! I remind you of
        Rule #71
        Lying in a sermon is perfectly acceptable as long as it is done with really good intentions. (Such as proving how awesome the speaker is)
        ๐Ÿ™„

        1. โ€œThere is no highway to glorify the name of the Lord except the soul-winning highwayโ€

          Fred Schindler

          “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

          Micah 6:8

      2. Might be exageration…or it could be accurate. Tough to tell. Consider:
        Sunday School
        Sunday Morning
        Sunday Night
        Thursday night.

        That’s four a week so he’s half-way there. Add in chapel services for college and school and he may just actually be right.

        Most definitely not 10,000 unique sermons though.

        Oh, I forgot! He’s probably also counting the classes he taught at the college. I had one class with him (Preacher Men II) that we called ‘story time with Uncle Fred’ because he didn’t really teach much. Several classes in a row he told the same story about how a woman got mad at him because he wouldn’t do something she wanted (perform her daughter’s wedding?) and she told him she hoped he would get cancer.

        I got a ‘C’ in that class because I didn’t care by the time it was over and didn’t know what I was even supposed to be studying for the test.

        1. Sounds like Carl Laurent’s “Bible” classes, at HAC, in the seventies. Assignments in same were comprised of writing irate letters to elected officials. I never learned a thing about the book of Romans, until I discovered John Stott. ๐Ÿ™„

        2. I’m pretty sure I got an ‘F’ on the final in that class.

          I got an ‘F’ on a final in one of my music classes one time but I had high enough marks on everything else that I still had a good grade. Or he might have graded on a curve since Ramirez was the only one who got a good grade on it.

        3. I’m not convinced that Sunday School counts as a “sermon”, nor does teaching a class in college.

          But even granting that, 3 on Sun, 1 mid-week, 1 class, 1 for mini-message at soul-winning time, that’s 6. But seven each week, with no time off for illness, family crisis, school being out, vacation, etc… It stretches the imagination.

      3. GR, you had good answers to the sound bytes you chose. Those statements are the sort of thing that congregations would sit there and say, “Amen!” to, but they do not hold up under scrutiny.

        1. Thanks; I’m trying to practice evaluating all things by Scripture.

          Preachers would be well advised to do more thinking and less ranting in their messages.

    1. As far as I know the school is defunct. Schindler ran it into the ground after Dr. Miller left. It still would have most likely collapsed but that just sped up things.

      Typical fundy stuff, everything was the student’s fault. I think they made it about four years after I graduated. So somewhere around ’08 I’d say.

        1. Notice its Fundamentalist Baptist Bible Colleges though. That sounds a lot more believeable.

          The two schools mentioned in C.K.’s bio would be Northeast and International Baptist Bible College (?) in Long Island, NY. Think that one is closed or on the verge of closing as well.

        2. Here’s some Fundy math:
          “Dr.” Miller says, “Nearly 90,000,000 Americans live in the Atlantic coast states from Washington D.C. to Boston.”

          Here are the Atlantic Coast states from Washington, D.C. to Boston, with their populations according to the most recent (2010) Census:

          Washington, D.C. 601,723
          Maryland 5,773,552
          Delaware 897,934
          Pennsylvania 12,702,379
          New Jersey 8,791,894
          New York 19,378,102
          Connecticut 3,574,097
          Rhode Island 1,316,470
          Massachusetts 6,547,629

          Total: 59,583,780

          Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population

          I’m including Washington, D.C. here, even though it is not a state. I haven’t included East Coast states north of Massachusetts or south of Washington, D.C., because they are not “from Washington, D.C. to Boston.” I’m counting the whole population of these states, including foreign nationals, even though “Dr.” Miller only cites “Americans.”

          So, is 59 and a half million “nearly” 90 million? If “Dr.” Miller believes it is, I’d like to do some business with him!

          He must think that the same rules apply to counting population that Fundies use when they count church membership, college enrollments, or the number of souls they have “saved.”
          Either that, or he learned his arithmetic at his own college.

    1. While that is a great idea, I don’t think it would have worked near HAC. They took the girls to the laundromat once a week on a bus (and if you missed the laundry bus you better hope you had enough clean clothes to last two weeks because there were no alternative opportunities. The year I left they put in washers and driers at the end of each dorm wing which took away that one little breath of freedom… “Laundry day” I don’t know what the guys did about laundry. Either way, they had that whole situation locked down for us.

  4. Is “so as to” proper grammar? I’ve heard it all the time, and probably used it a few times but it seems rather awkward. I also am a big fan of “you may not socialize with you sweetheart”. I think that’s probably some kind of ban on applying corporal punishment to the primate, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yes, the phrase “so as to”, in and of itself, is proper (for example: “Live in such a way so as to bring glory to God.”).

      Their usage here is acceptable; by putting the “so as to” at the beginning of the sentence, they are emphasizing the purpose of the correction more than the correction itself… I think they are OK on this one.

    2. I think thatโ€™s probably some kind of ban on applying corporal punishment to the primate, right?

      I’m not sure whether to classify that phrasing as a euphemism of a euphemism, or a euphemism of a dysphemism. ๐Ÿ˜•

    3. LOL, I just figured out the veiled reference about corporal punishment of the primate.

      Actually, I don’t ever remember that being mentioned during my time there. I do remember a very uncomfortable [wow, George almost got in a very Freudian misspelling right there] moment in either Baptist or Church History class where Miller was talking about how the reproductive organs had an impressive number of pleasure sensors. This was in a mixed class at 7:30 AM. I have no idea how he got off [heh heh] on that rabbit trail. There was a lot of awkward squirming among the students. Probably not unlike many a fundy’s wedding night. ๐Ÿ˜•

  5. HAH!!! I just noticed the ‘in private’ part about not socializing with your sweetheart (I didn’t have one anyway). There was no such thing as ‘in private’ socializing. You had to be in a group and dates had to have a 3rd person. The closest you could come to ‘private’ was if you were in the cafeteria area and it happened to be empty (rare).

    Its not like you could go in the teachers lounge and watch unapproved DVDs on somebody’s laptop. Oh wait, I did do that over Christmas break one year. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Though there were three of us and the girl fell asleep on the other guy’s shoulder. There were certain perks to being building security, like having keys ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  6. Hmmm, I thought an 18-year-old was an adult. If this young man wanted to leave school and go live with his brother (assuming that the brother was agreeable to this) it was his right. If his parents didn’t like it, that was too bad. I’m glad the “campusing” was only for two weeks, I’m sure it was worth it to Chuck to help his friend out. I hope everything turned out well for John. I wonder what happened to him later on. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I am the “John” in the post about the Northeastern Baptist School of Theology “campusing letter.” issued to username C_Fresh. I am alive and well and extremely grateful for C_Fresh’s help in leaving that insane college. I stumbled upon this site by accident, and found my story here. I am interested in getting in contact with C_Fresh to thank him personally for what he did.

  7. As some people have already mentioned, the spelling/grammar of this letter is atrocious. So bad, in fact, that I can’t help but bring it up again myself. “In affect”? The idea that this is from a “school” is terrifying.

    1. The two most glaring errors that stand out to me are under the third check mark. It should be “your sweetheart” and “in effect” not “in affect.” Many people misuse effect and affect. Effect is a noun and affect is a verb. As for the former, it seems strange that such a letter would say something like “your sweetheart” rather than girlfriend or fiance, or something of that nature. ๐Ÿ˜•

      1. Effect can be used as a verb, however, as in, “In order to effect change …” It’s not often used, though, unless the author wants to annoy people and get them to start Googling whether or not s/he used the word erroneously. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Can some of the grammar police around here help me with the second sentence? How can a letter be the outcome of a meeting? Shouldn’t it be something like this letter details the actions that need to be taken after our meeting???

    Bravo Chuck. Cheers to you and I tip my hat.

    1. The disciplinary committe decided that I would be campused for my actions; the letter was the written notice of the decision made in the meeting.

      Actually, I was campused immediately after it happened. The two weeks started several days after that when I had been before the committee. I was able to successfully make my case for early release to Dr. Fusco since I would technically be campused longer than my sentence if the end date was not adjusted. :mrgreen:

      I should point out that of all the high-ups at the school, Dr. Fusco is the one I still have a good deal of respect for. He was a decent guy (former drummer too) and was usually pretty reasonable unless he had to toe the school line.

      1. Right I get all of that, but a letter is not an outcome. If the letter was the outcome than all that would have happened is that they sent you a letter. The letter details the outcome, but in and of itself it is not an outcome. That’s my point. And I just made my first martini after visiting the Toot Oriole.

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          Most important piece of advice I can give you is to look at http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/Main_Page It is an amazingly detailed wiki for all things KoL. It helped me so much as a new player.

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          My player name is BC_Goldman. Look me up if you’ve a mind and I’ll give you more pointers.

        2. A letter can be the outcome of a meeting; if the committee decided to send a letter, the letter is an outcome, but obviously not “the” outcome, since there were other ones.

          Again, it’s not the best phrasing, but I think it passes inspection.

    1. I like the idea of the “Purple Heart of Sanity” and second the motion. =)

      I think you showed true integrity in this situation, Chuck–something the school administration here seemed to lack.

  9. Yes, Chuck, you did a good thing. And by saying what I’m about to say, I’m not trying to diminish what you did in any way or say you didn’t do the right thing. Because I think you probably had no way of knowing this then (though the administration should have).

    Calling Child Protective Services prior to John turning 18 would have been an excellent option as well, and people need to know that. Threatening bodily harm is illegal no matter what the age of the recipient; it should be especially heinous and reported right away if it is happening to a minor. The fact that John went somewhere absolutely hated based on that threat tells me that it wouldn’t have been the first time he would have been beaten.

    Millstones and the deep blue sea.

    1. In fairness, however (and maybe Chuck can add details), sometimes we use the phrase “threaten bodily harm” as a semi-humorous exaggeration: ‘The only reason I’m doing this drudge job is that my wife threatened my with bodily harm if I didn’t get a job’.

      Or, ‘My parents threatened me with bodily harm if I didn’t pass my courses.’

      The fact that John later returned with his father implies that his statement was an exaggeration.

      I’ve also heard parents say things like ‘If you do X, I’ll thrash you within an inch of your life.’ or ‘… spank you so hard you won’t sit down for a month.’ I take such as exaggeration; it may be unwise to say such things in today’s climate.

      When I listen to people telling about the things they did growing up, I often tell people that I didn’t dare do such things, for fear of my life if my parents should find out. I don’t really mean that; I did fear getting in trouble, but I never once thought that my parents would actually kill me for doing something wrong.

      I’m just saying that without better evidence (and again, Chuck may be able to supply it), I consider such statements to be exaggeration.

      1. I don’t know if he (John) was exaggerating or not. As I recall, he was a pretty serious guy so I tend to believe that his dad did threaten him. If his dad would have followed through on the threat is not something I can determine.

      2. In the average community, I might agree with you, GuiltRidden.

        However, this is fundamentalism we’re talking about. And the number of preachers blatantly recommending beatings and the number of parents who feel the need to control their child’s behavior by any means possible is so high that it is highly likely these were not empty threats.

        1. Clara; I was in Independent Fundamental Baptist churches (each getting stricter than the last) for 30+ years until the Lord opened my eyes… In all that time, I never, ever heard any pastor advocate “beating” children. They did advocate corporal punishment, but that is not beating them.

          So, although I have heard of horrific stories of some IFB families treating their children horribly, I do not believe in painting all fundamentalists with that brush.

          My experience as a teen/college student was that many of us preferred to blame our parents for where we were & what we did (“I couldn’t do that – my parents would kill me!”).

          My point is that we do not know and should not assume guilt; the fact that he later returned with his father indicates that he was exaggerating. But yes, there are wackos out there, and it MAY be that this was a case. But I think that some clearer proof of abuse should be needed before making such accusations.

        2. @GR – you admittedly don’t have any experience with abuse and abusers, so you can be expected to not see this one clearly…the fact that he returned with his father in no way indicates he was exaggerating or lying. This would be extremely common for an abused child/young person to still be under the control of the abuser. Why do they go back? Well, if I understood that I would have my own TV show and you would believe me. How common? Well, we are talking well over 50% of victims return to their abusers even after being removed or finding the strength to leave – there is pathology there that makes no sense in the logical world you seem to live in, but its still very real.

        1. Oh, heavens, yes, these were quite incendiary! I am old, yes. In fact I am a little surprised they mean nothing to you guys! How times have changed. Still, I would never use them. One Never Knows.

        2. “Elevator operator” is a new one to me. I don’t even know what it means (if not someone who literally operates an elevator).
          “Jungle bunny” I have (unfortunately) heard before, and it’s easy to imagine what “chocolate drop” is getting at.

        3. I’ve never heard any of these terms; maybe because I wasn’t around racists in and out of church growing up (I’ve heard that many of the HAC staff were very racist in their attitudes, for example).

  10. Way to go Chuck!!

    Northeast must be (have been?) pretty liberal if you get to keep your job and still participate in ministry opportunities after you’re a convicted sinner sentenced to campus ๐Ÿ˜‰

    At BJU sinners like that must cut off all worldly ties.

  11. What a great story…never gets old. From the guy who is responsible for turning every young person at that “college”/school/church “against their preacher” to the guy who ran his own underground railroad….well played. One of these days you’ll get a raise at church lol

    1. Thanks, I just wish I had been more sure-footed and open like you guys were when we were in school.I tried to keep on the down-low as much as possible. If anything, I should be thanking you for helping me find my way out.

      I’m trying to make up for it by influencing my siblings. Sisters are a long shot. Brothers are looking more promising. One sees the outside but still isn’t ready to make the jump. Hoping to keep the other one level so he doesn’t go crazy when he gets older.

      I’ve contemplated ‘coming out’ to my family that I’m not a Fundy any more but don’t know what would happen. I want to keep ties for their sake and hope I can keep nudging them all (including my parents) towards freedom.

      1. The ‘coming out’ metaphor resonates strongly with me. Admitting that you are no longer in the in-group can be quite traumatic. I did so several years after leaving bible college.

        It didn’t go particularly well; I gave my parents the benefit of the doubt that they would be grown ups about it. They were civil, but they were also very angry with me.

        In some cases coming out that you are not a fundy can be as physically dangerous as coming out that you are gay.

        1. Yes, I chose the term essentially because of the potential ‘risk’ involved. I don’t think my parents would go that far. Much more likely that they would cut ties with me. I’ve already seen it happen within my extended family when I was younger. My family was on the receiving end of it.

        2. My mom wouldn’t speak to me for a month. It was a very nice month. I think she was regrouping though, because she just changed tactics after that. Its a good thing she still has a couple other daughters she can be proud of.

        3. Oh! Darrell!
          Here’s a good audience-participation topic:

          Have you “come out” to family members or others about no longer being a Fundamentalist? If so, what was it like? What were the consequences, short-term and long-term?

      2. I would say go for it if you feel it’s a matter of honesty. No one wants to actively hide “who they are”.

        It’s weird because theologically you’re still in the same camp but being able to see (much less work with) the theological/cultural divide is hard for many.

        1. I hear ya.

          My philosophy is that I don’t advertise my values but I’ll tell you if you ask. That’s how I’ve handled things with my family so far. Made for an interesting conversation with my sisters on inter-racial marriage. And another one with my mom about women wearing pants.

          My hope is to keep things friendly enough that I can influence some of them out of fundyland. I only made it out because I went to college. If I hadn’t, I would be like my one brother who doesn’t hold all the fundy values but doesn’t want to walk away either.

      3. Congrats on getting out, C.

        I graduated from a well known Fundy U, and kept my concerns to myself during those years as well. So many people got kicked out or “black listed” because they discussed sermons or theology in less than adoring terms… I credit making it all four years to keeping my mouth shut. I’m convinced that reasoning with Fundys is more effective when they are living on their own, looking at life through their own eyes instead of living within the brain-washing reaches of a school.

        1. I can so identify with that! I used to have to “walk on eggshells” and be very careful of the people with whom I discussed things I saw wrong in the extremist camp.

          I still consider myself a fundamentalist; I just disagree with evil and wrong things done by some of the high-profile leadership.

          As a growing, changing, learning human being, of course, the above may change some day, but I don’t feel the need to “come out” to friends who are caught up in extremist aspects. I try to make them think… asking questions is good because they think they are superior to me if I am asking them.

  12. My son will be 18 in less than a year. While he chose to go to Bible College, and it is not a Fundy one, and I realize that we as parents are probably not even on the same PLANET as the parents of Chuck’s roommate, I believe that if my son wanted to leave college and go ANYWHERE I would much rather he did it with a friend or a roommate than to go by himself, trying to hitchhike or trusting a stranger. The dangers are much greater if he had just taken off and tried to reach his brother without any help. His parents and the school should have been GRATEFUL that someone was there for him. Geez, I have seen young men get KILLED from this kind of parenting. (truly I have)

        1. I’ve thought about it but I think it would look weird all by itself. Maybe I can come up with some type of gallery to go with it. That would look cool.

  13. I always am hesitant to comment on the grammar of another person because sometimes I make mistakes too. That being said, if a COLLEGE sends out a letter with this many flaws in it that NOBODY caught before it was sent, well, that is just shameful. I just noticed another one in the last sentence. The number is all wrong. “Others” and “Decisions” are plural forms of the word, and then “Life” is singular. Anyone who has BEEN to college should have learned this, so how is it that the dean and or his assistant/secretary didn’t catch it. (Or the missing “r” before “sweetheart” or the incorrect use of “affect” or several other poorly constructed sentences? When I was in school they bragged about what a superior education we were getting over that of the wicked evil public schools. I am beginning to doubt the truthfullness of that claim.

    1. The sad part is that I don’t remember noticing the errors when I originally received it. Or this time around until people pointed them out. Though I guess I only skimmed it when I dug it out to submit. A version with red pen corrections might be interesting.

      Wouldn’t be surprised if Schindler had this done up and Fusco just put his signature on it as the Dean of Students. Of course if that was the case, I don’t know why he just wouldn’t have put it in his own name.

        1. lol, Schindler’s list ๐Ÿ˜†

          Oh, I heard he had a list all right…apparently of those who were out to ruin his ministry. I think I know most of the people who would have been on it.

          The idea that HE might have been ruining it himself apparently never crossed his mind.

    2. You are BEGINNING to doubt it, Sims? Lucky you, to not find it out the first time you taught school with teachers who had had a REAL education! Maxine Barber was an excellent lit teacher, so that was very sound teaching, but otherwise, I learned from my BJU teacher curricula, when I was out there teaching!! As far as Bible knowledge, total bust. I read the Bible through annually, using the One Year Bible, and pssst! I change versions every few years! Currently loving the NLT. Plus, I read C.S. Lewis and John Stott along with my daily Bible selection. I have learned so much MORE that way, and have, by the mercy and grace of Jesus, UNlearned so much CRAP from HAC!

      1. I learned while I taught. I taught Junior High for several years after graduation. I made it my mission that they would never know how much I DIDN’T know (and I don’t think they did) But I learned most of what I now know during that time. Sad really. I spent so much time reading (catching up) after I got *out* that I wish I had just done that instead and not wasted all the money and time I spent in the gulag.

  14. I like the grammatical mistakes (two in the third bullet point). That’s just a nice little touch. I can only assume the dean was so enraged at Chuck’s behavior that the added thought of S-E-X even in suppressed fundie ways caused him to forget the “r” in “you” and that “affect” is not the same thing as “effect.”

  15. Maybe it’s just me, but the tone of this letter just seemed so gleeful. Like, “Yes! We punished one! Look what great Christian leaders we are. Wait til I tell the rest of the guys on the deacon board!”

  16. I’m kind of intrigued by those happy-looking check marks next to the delineation of restrictions. They look altogether too cheerful to match the tone of this letter. Wouldn’t asterix have been a better choice?

      1. Hoist with my own petard! That’s what I get for sometimes commenting other people’s grammar! I was in a hurry and didn’t bother looking it up. Next time I’ll just say “star”! ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. I have a deep concern about these fundamentalist bible colleges treating young adults as if they are still children under the age of 18. Grounding, that is for 15 year olds, not for a grown man of 20. I share some of the concerns here, about the draconian rules of these places. It sounds like some are more into power, control and legalism. Even as a Christian I find myself thinking I would want to flee one of those places. Guess they emphasize all the ultra-authoritarianism for future blindly obedient Dominionists. Hey on my blog, I admit Satan’s workers are infiltrating the fundamentalist churches too.

    1. I’ve been thinking about this a lot as well, since a few days ago when the post about BJU level 2 restrictions came out and all the stuff one could receive demerits for. I thought about all the money parents and sometimes the students themselves are spending to receive an education in these places and they’re being treated like children being punished for the minutest “offenses.” College is supposed to be a transition between childhood and adulthood but these colleges seem to be taking them back into small childhood by treating them like 5-year-olds. I’m so glad I didn’t grow up fundy and go to colleges like this. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

      1. I saw the demerits post on here too, though I did not comment. I found it all extremely silly. They seem more strict then 19th century boarding schools in England for children.

        You are right, these are supposed to be young people who are transitioning into adulthood, how are they supposed to function, being treated like they are 12 years old? The world is a very different place so what does all this sheltering do? I believe a lot of Christian parents somehow got the idea they could ‘FORCE’ their children into being Christians and in making the same life decisions, yes train a child in the way they will go, but that doesn’t mean locking them in a room or forcing them to go to a college they do not want to at the age of 18. There is some really crazy authoritarianism going on out there, on my blog I talk about the SAHD ‘stay at home daughters” movement, patriarchy etc, where some are teaching total blind obedience to parents as some sort of Christian duty even into adulthood, it’s not! It is something very skewed. I may do an article on this. I ‘disobeyed’ my parents leaving the Catholic church and becoming a UU and then later when I became a Christian in the first place but these were my own adult decisions. Their crack-downs on these young people will only ensure more trouble, there is a Bible verse that speaks that says fathers do not bring your children to wrath. Do they really think their silly endless rules are going to “control” young adult children in the modern world? When I heard about the Hyles Anderson rule about women not being able to leave the campus from someone who used to go there, I said, “That is a rule I would have broke.” What is this the Taliban? On one blog article, I referred to those who want to oppress a 20 year old female who wants to leave campus to buy a package of ramen noodles. This also shows an inherent distrust in young people where its about control from the outside rather then having internal “controls” and being led by God INSIDE.

        You are right the fact that these young adults are paying for an education at these establishments and being treated like 12 year olds is beyond offensive. I also believe it does nothing in preparing them for adulthood and making their OWN godly decisions.

        1. When I left HAC and moved into my own apartment, in order to teach at the fundy high school down the road, I did not know how to start my own checking account, how to balance a checkbook, how to pump my own gas, and a host of other practical, every day stuff. The young man at the bank, my own age of 21, had to teach me how to do my checkbook! He could not believe it, and asked me about my background. I came from an authoritarian home, like so many teens who are then headed off to fundy colleges, and the private girls’ high school I attended did not think girls needed to know such things, either. I learned so much that I should have already known by that age! I am thankful to say that each of my now-grown children had their own checking and savings accounts by age 15, had part-time jobs by age 16, had their own used car also, and were able to budget their earnings, pump their gas, etc. All of them are much more independent than I ever was, which was my goal for them. I am thrilled to say that it worked! BTW, all three have gone to/are attending secular universities or private NON-BIBLE colleges. None have become satan-worshippers yet, though one does have two tattoos, two think an occasional drink is okay if one is legally old enough, and all three can and do think for themselves.

        2. That was one of the really frustrating parts about that school. They claimed we were adults when it was convenient for them (like when they thought we were doing something ‘immature’) but in actuality treated us as children.

          We had to sign out of the school if we left campus (2 hr limit unless working or filled out travel permission 24 hrs prior). If you lived in one of the houses, you had to sign out to go to the house and sign in on the house sheet. It was just pure idiocity.

        3. Good comments, Biblebeleiver. You’re right on when you say that overly stringent rules imply distrust of their students. That was so discouraging to me. Up until I actually got on campus, I was viewed as being so mature and godly for choosing to attend BJU instead of a secular school. Once I got there, the atmosphere was more like “you’re a potential evil-doer and we’re going to have all these strict rules in place to keep you from doing bad.” I was so frustrated with that. I didn’t plan on having sex before marriage, but did they REALLY have to have separate tables for guys and girls in the library?

        4. It was the same thing at PCC. When someone broke the rules, some of the staff/faculty would roll their eyes and say something about “these adults acting like children.” Most of the rules were things that any sane person would only demand of children in the first place. Not that adults acting immature is good, but PCC really had no right to complain since they treated them no better than children.

    2. This is one of the many reasons why I’m SO grateful to have attended a non-fundy Christian school. I’ll never forget upon starting there hearing the president say, and I paraphrase: “We see this as our last chance to treat you as children or our first chance to treat you as adults. We choose to treat you as a adults….There is a little room for leeway in our rules, a little room for interpretation by individual RAs. Now, if you want more structure, there are other Christian colleges that would be happy to provide it.” Gee, I wonder which ones he was talking about. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Speaking of their rules, he also said, “Yes, we have rules here, and while some of them are Biblical, others are merely institutional preferences; they’re just ways we have decided to live as a community of Christians. We make a distinction between Biblical mandates and institutional preferences.” As I grew up fundy, that was revolutionary to me!

      And I am happy to tell you the name of that particular non-fundy school: Cedarville University. (http://www.cedarville.edu) God bless them.

      Oh and BB: Fundy-ness is all ABOUT control. Even when they don’t realize it! (Denial–it’s not a river in Egypt. My parents are champions at it. ๐Ÿ™ )

  18. When I attended my fundie high school in the 1980, there was a student I hung out with. She was cute, smart, funny, musically talented and very nice. She could have hung out with the in-crowd, but her preferred to hang out โ€œwith the freaks and goonsโ€. But she had a dark cloud hanging over her, when she graduated high school, she had four choices, marriage, the military, BJU or living on the streets. She did not like either option. She just wanted to go to a local college and study music.
    She went off to BJU and was sick most of the time. She eventually ran away, shacked up with some local guy and got pregnant. Soon she was back with her parents. Later she married a former classmate who was in the military to just get away from the whole situation. (He always had a crash on her, she did not feel the same, but was convinced her could learn to love him) That marriage did not last long. Last I heard her life was a mess, she was a poor single mother with a series of loser and abusive boyfriends.
    When I talked to another former classmate a few years ago, I mentioned we should have found a family for her to live with after she turned 18. There was a fifth option none of us had thought about! There were many families at my church and school who were no fans of BJU. I am sure we could have found someone. College was cheap back then, with a full time job and a host family, she could have been independent by the time she finished college.
    I still have nieces and nephews in fundie land. While their parents are not strict, I had told of some of them, if they want to get out, they can live with me or my brother when they turn 18.
    It would be nice is such a network existed for students wishing to escape HAC or BJU. Host families willing to take in students wishing to escape the Fundie U prisons.

    1. I agree with your heart attitude. Must caution, however, that there are parents/pastors/whatevers who, despite the young person’s legal majority, would try to make life miserable for all involved. This is not so say this makes it a bust. Rather it is merely a caveat to consider well, and to be prepared. ๐Ÿ˜

    2. I have a sis-in-law who can’t decide if she’s fundy or not. She wavers unpredictably, and her two older kids are going nuts. I wouldn’t be surprised if the almost 17 y.o. niece comes to live with us after HS. Maybe it won’t ever happen, but she is more than welcome. The next kid is only 13, so he still has endure for a few years.

      Even worse, last week, I posted a general, mildy negative post on Facebook, and my sis-in-law flipped out and now I can’t communicate with them anymore. The post had nothing to do with any of them, but apparently I am a bad influence. Of course, I think I am one of the few voices of sanity and good reason in their lives, but oh well. ๐Ÿ˜•

  19. Seriously, we need an underground railroad for these kids! I know many people that were stuck in Fundystan who had it so bad (myself and my baby sister included) that they contemplated suicide often. Threats of violence or threats of sending kids to one of many IFB reform schools make them petrified of leaving! I wish there were a network for them!!! Way to go Chuck!

        1. Oh, sorry, that didn’t answer the question. Three who committed suicide because of the insanity of fundy-ism. One of them wrote a letter that still makes me cry just thinking about it.

        2. Yes, tragic.
          Whenever I hear of such suicides I wish I, or someone, could have been there to try to talk them out of it.
          Of course, some people can’t be talked out of it by anybody.

          I just heard last week of a young woman who killed herself, apparently because her parents insisted on her going to university when she wanted to attend a chef school instead. It seems to me that there were many possible solutions to this problem, all of which would have been preferable to her death, but I guess it didn’t look that way to her.

        3. Fundies also deny depression is a legitimate physical condition. Untreated depression also factors in with many suicides.

    1. So, what would be call ourselves? The Wayward Souls Liberation Front? And we’d break into fundy institutions and colleges and kidnap those kids in the middle of the night and hide ’em out at our giant abandoned secret mansion?

      Dude, it’s my dreeeam.

    1. Ok. You asked for it. ๐Ÿ˜€

      First and foremost, this is a business letter. It is not a friendly note. Use Charles instead of Chuck, and the “Dear ______ ,” format is out. The first two lines, while maybe technically correct, are incredibly awkward and should be taken out and shot. I would replace them with one sentence like so: “As a result of your recent meeting with Dr. Miller, the administration has decided on the consequences outlined in this letter.”

      “We are very disappointed with the part you had. . . .” That indicates that their disappointment is with the part. Was simply helping him to the bus station not heroic enough? What could Chuck do to make his part more pleasing to the administration? Oooooh! You mean you were disappointed with HIM for the part he had. I get it now. . . . ๐Ÿ™„

      “His parents and their God given [sic] authority.” Besides the obvious, there is a deeper problem here. I can understand if they had said “parents and YOUR. . . authority” but to indicate that the school administration is also the parents’ authority is wrong. Simply wrong.

      Have I only reached the third sentence? ๐Ÿ˜ฏ I have better things to do with my life than this. . . I think I’ll stop here. You all get the point anyways. . . :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

        1. Or they were thinking of how the Spartans treated the helots, which isn’t entirely different from how Fundamentalists would treat everyone who’s not them if they could get away with it. I’d leave out the ‘murdering a random foreigner in Spartan territory as rite of passage to manhood’ part but I’m not entirely certain some of these folks *wouldn’t* go for that.

  20. Congrats on making it out, Chuck. I had similar experiences at the Fundy U I attended, although it involved my younger brother and a girl, not a roommate. I recently sat my mom down and explained I was no longer a fundamentalist and really not even a Baptist anymore. She didn’t take it so well…

  21. Chuck’s sin wasn’t driving the friend to the bus station. His sin was not displaying the joy that only occurs at Fundy U. I’m sure all those restrictions served to bring his spirit back in line with the man o’gid.

  22. I laugh at this, I was kicked out of my little fundy college for……

    GETTING MARRIED

    That’s right folks. I got married during the semester.
    I was 22. I had 2 jobs and lived off campus. My wife wasn’t going to school at the time and was helping a family homeschool. So we decided to get married and then move in together. I am guessing if we just moved in together and skipped the wedding, I might have still been able to go to school.
    How? Well you don’t send out invitations when you ‘shack up’ and someone decided to turn me in via the invitation.
    Nice.

        1. Just trying to talk with some of these people is equivalent to the gom jabbar IMO. ๐Ÿ™

    1. We had to get permission a whole semester ahead of time to get married. We had been engaged for almost a year already and because we hadn’t gotten permission we had to wait another half year. My husband suggested we just go ahead and get married without permission, but I was sure that would have sent us straight to hell.

        1. Oops, not a year; a semester. Still, it’s weird. I’d never think: 1) Get engaged, 2) tell our parents, 3) tell my friends, 4) notify my university. Wha????

        2. I think what they were trying to avoid were the cases where a couple just wanted to have sex and didn’t really think it through. I don’t know for sure. Either way, I think that is up to the couple and their families to decide, not the school. We also had to go to Jack Hyles and get “permission” before we could turn in our slips to be approved. My “counselling session” lasted about 5 minutes or less. He asked a few pointless questions and told me he saw no reason we shouldn’t get married (whew!) Good thing since thirty three years later it turned out we are still married, so I guess he was right. What a great prophet.

  23. And exactly how is this institution different in terms of the way it treats its students from a madrassa in Pakistan? The line seems to get blurrier every day…

  24. I confess to knowing very little about this school, but I wonder if they only objected to Chuck going against the parents’ “God-given authority” because it would keep him at the school. Would they have been so quick to defend their authority if they demanded that he leave the school, or would they have tried to argue that he was an adult now and could stay if he wanted?

    I’ve noticed that, at many Fundy U’s (mine included), the administration defends parental authority right up until one of those parents make a complaint or try to go against them. Then suddenly those parents are “fighting against God.”

    For what it’s worth, I join the voices of many here in commending you for your actions, Chuck. Helping someone to get out of an abusive situation is a great thing.

  25. I heard a story of a student who was “campused.” During that time his family came from the mid-west to visit him and he was not allowed to visit with them. Enraged, his parents though alot of demands, took him home never to return to the college.

    This idea of “Campusing” is totally out of line

  26. I went to this school from 1993-1995. I was visiting my girlfriend at the time, 2 hours away (with the school’s permission). While there, an ice storm struck and I had to stay at her house overnight (with her parents’ permission–I slept in the living room). The result? I was “campussed” for a month.

    That was the beginning of the end for me with right-wing fundamentalism. Four months later, I packed my stuff and left…never looked back.

    I moved on with my life, having been a pastor for 7 years. I no longer practice my faith. I went to law school and am very happy practicing as an attorney.

    My years at Northeast were two of the worst of my life.

  27. Ahhh, the “Parental Authority” dilemma.

    My son at Northland Christian College (now called Northland International University) made friends with a girl. She told him that her parents were after her to come home to stay after the semester was over.

    Well, at the beginning of the next semester she got sick. She went home. And her parents started monitoring her facebook account. At one point her cell phone got lost — it turned out that her parents had taken it because she was talking with my son, but they hadn’t admitted it.

    They then began to tell her that she could not use her computer in her room. She had to use it in the living room where her parents could look if they wanted.

    She wanted to get a job. They refused to let her. They as much as dared her to try to get out of the house. At church she was required to stay very close to her parents. If she tried to talk to anyone away from them she got punished.

    When she could, she communicated this over Skype and Facebook. Her parents called her rebellious. Her father slapped her. Her parents had a boy in mind for her to marry, even though she was not interested.

    (As a side note, her father is Korean. He had been adopted and brought to the US when he was 12, but it seemed that his basic attitudes regarding family and ownership of the daughters was still Korean. And add to that Christian fundamentalism and … )

    Well, she cried out for help. My son tried calling her pastor, but her pastor believed in parental ownership and that the child, no matter how old, was to be completely submissive. (She was 20 years old, BTW). Her parents cut off the internet, so when she was allowed to go to the public library, she would contact my son.

    My son arranged to go up and “visit.” He was not going to be allowed to stay at the house. He had to stay at a motel. There was a wedding the family was going to attend, and he went with them. But on the way to the reception, since he had the girl in his car, he diverted out of traffic at a time they would be unnoticed, took her home, got some of her things, and helped her run away.

    She came and stayed at our house and moved in with my daughter. We introduced her to books she had not been allowed to read, to freedom and to (horror of horrors!) the movie theater where she got to watch Harry Potter!

    We tried to help reconciliation with the parents. All they would do is accuse us of subverting their authority. I was still in the IFB, and my pastor was appalled that we had helped her run away. To him, the abuse was not as much a consideration as the authority issue. But still, he tried as well to work with her pastor and her parents.

    Finally, she agreed to go back home. There was the promise of family counseling. Things were better, for about a month.

    The family counseling turned into the counselor plus the parents accusing her of being rebellious. She was not allowed to talk, and when she did her story was not believed by the counselor. The parents presented themselves as guiltless except for a few minor things. Her pastor was of no help, either.

    Although she was able to get a job, it was always under the watchful eye of the parents. No shopping afterward. She always had to come straight home. And her ability to contact anyone outside the house was limited.

    Eventually she was able to contact my son, and arrangements were made for him to come get her once again.

    My son and this girl are now married. She struggles with guilt feelings. I would still classify her as a fundamentalist, though my son is clearly not one. Her parents are finally beginning to accept the fact that she is married, but they still won’t talk directly to my son.

    Parents are not always right. They are frequently dead wrong. Children are not possessions to use or abuse.

    We tried to do the right thing, and I think my daughter-in-law is better off for it. But I found that IFB pastors will not stand up for the rights of the children, even after they are adults. And IFB pastors and counselors will not believe stories of abuse, no matter how credible. Children are always the liars and adults are always telling the truth.

    Suffice it to say that this further increased my hatred of the IFB and of fundamentalism in general.

    1. rtgmath–what a horrible story, but not at all unusual. I hope she continues to grow as a person; I would recommend she find a counselor that specializes in cult mentalities to help her heal and move on. Fundamentalism is a cult, no doubt.

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