Did your family dabble in Gothardism? - Printable Version
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Did your family dabble in Gothardism? - Papa Bear - 04-30-2012 09:12 AM
My parents nearly bought into Gothard's ATI homeschool curriculum. I'm glad they didn't take the plunge, as we got enough weirdness from their dabbling in Gothardism. I've been following Razing Ruth and The Commandments of Men since reading about them here. I've also explored other pages detailing people's experiences with Gothardism and, while I saw problems with it before, I am amazed at how much worse it was than I had imagined.
In his blog, Commandments of Men, Lewis Wells has complained that he feels like some people read his blog as voyeurs, getting a perverse pleasure from reading the details of his personal life. I posted a comment yesterday, telling a little of my story and explaining why I read his blog:
Quote:I agree with GinnyM. I read your blog, not as a voyeur, but with the attitude, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." I was raised in a GARBC church, not as extreme as some, but we proudly called ourselves Independent Fundamental Baptists. While we did get some good teaching, we were taught not to question the man of God. When neither the people nor fellow clergy are allowed to question a pastor or other leader, he is accountable to no one, and I have seen some of the harm that can result.
RE: Did your family dabble in Gothardism? - Discovering Life - 04-30-2012 10:08 AM
Dabble would be a good way to describe my family's involvement in all things Gothard, an occasional ATI here, a newsletter there, bought the Character Sketch books-more for a non-evolutionary look at animals than for the actual character sketches. However, the homeschool groups we were part of had families that where far more involved in Gothard. As a kid I picked up a lot of the legalism, judgementalism and warped definitions of grace from the BJU curriculum my family used, the Gothard material I read and from the Gothard families we associated with. I don't think my parents realized what was happening, they were viewing all the material from an adult perspective and with the insight of their pre-fundy life experiences and just assumed we kids were looking at it the same way. Coming out of fundyland I've slowly come to realize that my beliefs were a more extreme version of my parents and that they didn't realize it. So even though I wasn't raised on Gothard material the website http://www.recoveringgrace.org/ has been very helpful in untangling some of the Gothard teachings and beliefs I picked up.
RE: Did your family dabble in Gothardism? - MKxcomm - 04-30-2012 11:02 AM
Yep. We quit going to our private school when I was in 5th grade and we did the whole ATI shabang. Actually, my mom just used the cirriculum to rake us over the coals every morning and make us feel horrible about ourselves. That was the extent of the involvement of my parents into my education. We had to beg our parents for "real" school books so we could actually learn algebra and other things. My parents never planned for us to go to college so they never thought we'd need much more than the basics. Idiots.
RE: Did your family dabble in Gothardism? - Bob M - 04-30-2012 11:10 AM
We dabbled as adults. We were introduced to it as young marrieds. Something was just not right, but since our close friends recommended it without reservation, we went numerous times to seminars. But it became overwhelming trying to incorporate all the rules. I finally realized that it was just another Pharisaical system of legalistic living. I still have the books and notebooks and once in a while glance at them and say "Yep, legalism."
RE: Did your family dabble in Gothardism? - dramaturge - 04-30-2012 11:52 AM
My family dabbled, mostly when I was in high school. We went to a couple of Basic Seminars. We had had a few of the Character Sketches all along. I actually have my notebook from the Basic Seminar I attended. It amazes me that I bought into some of that stuff. We knew families all along that were 100% Gothard, used the ATI curriculum, went to every seminar. My aunt and uncle were ATI all along--it was the perfect setup for his controlling, emotionally abusive parenting/marriage methods. Fortunately, my parents eventually saw that the entire basis for the system was messed up rather than just the hardcore applications. Seeing some homeschooled graduates really spiral out of control after leaving the Gothard system clued them in to the abuse present. This book is a really useful exposé of the inherent problems with Gothard and ATI. I'm so very fortunate that my parents were just dabblers.
RE: Did your family dabble in Gothardism? - elfdream - 04-30-2012 12:00 PM
My in-laws (now divorced) attended one of the basic seminars and brought back their material and I perused through it.
By that time I was well on my way out of fundyism. I saw nothing there that would entice me to go back. If anything it made me want to run farther away!
RE: Did your family dabble in Gothardism? - JimE - 04-30-2012 02:08 PM
My wife and I did the Basic Seminar. I bought the Character Sketches. The Sketches had enough errors in them to scare us away. We lost interest in Gothard rather quickly.
RE: Did your family dabble in Gothardism? - C_Fresh - 05-01-2012 08:14 AM
I've gone to the basic seminar a couple of times before college. My family has a bunch of Gothard and S.M.Davis stuff. The thing that creeps me out the most is when my parents say something and the kids have to respond with "may I please make an appeal?" if they don't like it. Not sure who that came from but it sounds Gothardesque.
RE: Did your family dabble in Gothardism? - Papa Bear - 05-01-2012 08:25 AM
One thing he said that really bothered me was, "If you decide to obey, you are in rebellion."
He went on to say that anything short of unthinking obedience is rebellion. Maybe we should start a thread of harsh, heretical, and downright creepy Gothard sayings.
RE: Did your family dabble in Gothardism? - boymom - 05-01-2012 08:28 AM
(05-01-2012 08:25 AM)Papa Bear Wrote: One thing he said that really bothered me was, "If you decide to obey, you are in rebellion."
Wouldn't that be about all of them?