Thursday, October 29, 2009


I was reading TWOP this morning and saw something that caused a mini-melt down. There's a picture of Jana Duggar being "blessed" by Bill Gothard, followed by a podcast with four of the Duggar girls.

If you're disturbed by the things you heard on that tape, you aint' heard nothing yet. That's the tip of the iceberg. I've been to those Gothard camps and what's publicly disclosed in materials previews and things like that podcast is only the beginning. You go in to these camps, if you had never been before, thinking that you'll enjoy fellowship with girls who live the same way you do and you are scared. Why should any girl be scared to go to camp with other girls, you might ask? It's simple. IBLP or ATI girls are supposed to be perfectly sweet, perfectly virginal, and perfectly submissive to higher authority and any normal person knows that this is an impossibility. Despite the sickeningly sweet voices and doey eyes: girls are girls. Since leaving, I've seen depressed, self-mutilating anorexics who have more self-esteem and senses of self-worth than girls I went to camp with. Take a girl from birth and tell her that she's inherantly sinful and worthless unless she is a "jewel in the crown of her father" (heavenly and earthly father). They don't say, "Be good because being good leads to better choices." or "Be careful about who you love because those choices are important." They say, "You were born with sin. If you don't fight the sin that lives inside you, then you will not be worthy of God's love and you'll end up in hell." They say, "If a man looks at you with lust, it's your fault. Ask yourself what you did to cause him to look in such a way." I have a study guide from one of those camps and I want to share what's on one of the worksheets.
Ask yourself the following questions...
1. Have I ever attracted the attention of a man and felt good about it?
2. Have I ever encouraged a man to look at you by styling your hair or face enticingly?
3. Have I ever worn an immodest style of dress to be noticed?
4. Have I ever returned the advances of a man knowingly or unknowlingly by my words or actions?
5. Have I ever wished to have a man's touch?
6. Have I ever wished a man would be tempted by my beauty, intelligence, or countenance?

It continues until you reach question twenty. It concludes with this...
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you have allowed yourself to be manipulated by Satan. Satan has entered your heart and mind to entrap you and the person you sullied with your selfish, foolish vanity and pride...

Those camps taught me that women were the cause of all that was bad with the world. The only way to redeem our souls was to completely subjugate ourselves to God. In lieu or God, the men in our lives would fill God's role. Having children was another way to begin balancing your spiritual checkbook. By having children, you were fulfilling God's command and adding warriors to the "most righteous army of God".

It doesn't matter if Jim Bob doesn't allign himself with the Quiverful "movement". He's ATI, Gothard, and IBLP. Here is what a man within that movement believes.
He believes a woman's body is not her own. It belongs to the Lord for His purposes. They frequently site the book "Our Bodies, Our Selves" as a Satanic tool because it gave women the belief that they had control over their fertility and a right to do to their bodies what they desired.
He believes children are a blessing because they can serve God. He believes he should have at least six children to fill his quiver.
He believes his wife and children should be obedient and that he is obedient to the Lord. He believes the commandment of children to obey their parents, but most fled the beliefs of their own parents.
He believes in restoring "Christian principles" to the United States and the World through any means necessary.

Where is the reality in 18 kids and Counting?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Explaining some things

I want to say thanks to the people who offered me prayers and peace in my last entry. I know that the way my father lives his QF, ATI, Gothard missionary life isn't what most people would see as "Christian". I know Jesus' love is different than that for so many Christians that I've met.

Mrs S said...
I sincerely hope you do not think all conservative, dress wearing large families are like that, Ruth. We have 6 children, wear skirts, don't cut our hair, etc. But we would *never* betroth our daughters to someone without telling her, nor would we ever allow someone to shove our daughters or call them property. I do believe in submission, and raise my children much like the Duggars, but what you're describing here does not seem like what our family does or believes, nor is it what the Duggars do or believe (and yes, I know them)Mrs S

I know, Mrs. S. I think it's possible to have large families and do it right. I think it's hard but it can be done and I'm sure you're one of those people who knows how to do it. However from what I have lived and witnessed, patriarchy can lead to situations like mine and my sisters and it's more common than I ever wanted to believe. Another thing I learned is how every family is different so what I say shouldn't be equated with how you practice or the Duggars practice their version of Christianity. I'm sorry if you feel I'm giving that feeling.

I'm tatortotcassie from the TWOP boards and I had a question about courtship I know the Duggars would never answer. I know you endured a terrible farce of a courtship but I didn't know who else to ask:If "you give pieces of your heart away" when you date, doesn't that imply love is finite and in limited supply? And if love is finite, then won't you eventually run out of love if you keep having more and more children? It just seems like a such a contradictory theory.

It's pretty complicated. I had the same question after I started pulling away because it seems like a contradiction doesn't it. My mother always explained it, as her belief, that there were two different kinds of love. Love you have for a child which can be infinite and love you have to give a sexual partner, your spouse. People in the movement will argue (and maybe they are right to a degree) that it's unquestionable that you don't love your children the same way you love your spouse so that line is easy to draw and seperate the types of love being finite or infinite. That gets rid of the quandry for them. I see it that way a bit but I also see where you're coming from as love being love and just because you love one potential lover doesn't always mean you're going to love the one you end up marrying any less. My questions were about that particular example. My "betrothed" went on to have numerous engagements and no one ever suggested to him that he loved the next betrothed less because he was supposed to have loved the others with the same amount of love. There is a double standard that I see clearly now. I was very much seen as damaged goods when I refused my intended. My father and brothers were vocal about it. Girls can (not always as Mrs. S points out) be labeled as "that girl who DIDN'T MARRY" or "that girl who's still not married and WANTS TO GO TO SCHOOL", where a boy is "taking his time", "preparing for a family", "that boy who courted that girl and then SHE backed out". I may have too much anger in me to be objective for now.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Let's get real

A member of my family found my blog and raised some questions in comments about a part of my life that is very painful. I want this to be honest and sometimes the truth hurts but it might help me to "let this go" by writing it all down. Please don't judge me.

Father, I know "In Spiritual Communion" is you. Or it could be Joseph. I am airing this here because I have been in pain. I started seeing a therapist who told me that writing down what happened in my life could help me work through who I was, who I am, and who I want to be. I'm sorry that you can't understand how much it means for me to answer these questions. Before you start in on me, I tried "giving it to God" and earnest prayer. That didn't work for me and this course of therapy and writing seems to be working. It doesn't have to work for you. This isn't about you anymore. I wish it was the case that our happiness was more important to you than your reputation within the movement. As far as that goes, why would anyone in the movement be reading my blog? It's not faith promoting or ATI approved so stop being a hypocrite!

You left your family, Ruth Mary, as sure as you left your Lord and Savior by not following His WORD. You cut your hair and dress immodestly. You disobey your parents in direct opposition to the WORD.
I didn't leave my family. I still talk to and visit my family. I still pray for you and wish for your health and happiness. You left me. Maybe not physically, but when I started having doubts about the way you raised me being the best way for me and when I was so unhappy, you turned your back on me. Do you know how much that hurt me for you to act that way? Your approval was all I wanted and you yanked it out from under me and for what reason? I just wanted to do something more than what mom was doing because she was so unhappy. I know you don't believe that but she was and I have never been more sure of anything in my life but that mom was struggling to hold it together for you. How I dress doesn't change who I am. That's an excuse to make you feel better I think. The Bible doesn't say we're supposed to dress one way over another. That's your reading of a passage that most people read differently. It's about control more than you think it is.

Why have not you shared about your relationship with these adoring fans of yours? You are impure in thought and I can imagine in your actions.
I don't have fans. I don't even have that many friends thanks to the way I was raised. You taught me to distrust the world for eighteen years. Did you ever think about how that would make me relate to the world outside your cocoon?

I was sixteen when you promised me to him. You didn't ask me if I liked him or even wanted to think about getting betrothed. You announced it in bible study like it was the next day's menu. How could giving your daughter to a man she didn't know be such a lazy event for you and mom? Why didn't you care what I wanted? What choice did I have but to go along with it while I lived under your roof because the consequences were severe and I knew it. You have said I should not have accepted the offer but you did the accepting not me. I wasn't asked. You go and have camps where you tell fathers to protect their daughters' hearts but you don't teach them to know their daughters' hearts. Why do you lie to the people you teach? I heard you tell fathers to respect the right of the daughter to choose who she will accept as a marriage proposal but that's not what you did for me or the girls. Samuel was engaged three times dad. Was that God's plan?

You didn't ask me why I ran from home the night after he gave me the ring. He threatened me, father, did you know that? He told me God told him I was his property dad. Then he shoved me away when I told him that that wasn't a word I wanted my husband to be to use. He pushed me on the ground and said I had better get use to being sweet or else. I didn't want to know what or else was. That's why I ran. I'm not ashamed of what I did. I want to be happy and you know what? That's not sinful. I don't think God created me to suffer and that's what I would have been in constant suffering with him.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Out of the closet

I "came out" to my roommate. She and I haven't gone into details about our families until today. Finally, she was looking at the pictures I have on my wall and she said, "Wow! Was that a family reunion or something?" Ha, no. That was dinner.

In other news I heard that one of my brothers wants to go to school and my father is furious. He blamed me for being a bad influence which brings me to this comment in my last post.

Brenna G said...
I couldn't read and not comment. I can't help you let the guilt go, but know that you cannot control the actions of other adults. You can only control how you deal with them. I can only imagine how hard it must be to be dealing with this. I'll keep you in my prayers

Thanks, Brenna, I appreciate that. I don't feel responsible for my mom's choices. Rather I know that my father blames me for anything that goes wrong in our family and it bothers me. If my mom has her baby early, it's not that I think I caused it or it's my fault. I just know that my father will use any excuse possible other than the real problem which is my mom shouldn't be having children at her age.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I'm sorry I took a break from blogging. School has resumed and I am swamped with classes this quarter. Then there is my mother. She's pregnant again. My sister is also pregnant. Yes sirree, we have a Duggar thing going on.

I'm not happy about this. To start with, my mom said nothing to me when I was home a few weeks back. She did look tired but after living her life I'd look tired too. I'm really worried about her. My mom's first pregnancy was in 1980. That's over 29 years ago. My eldest brother is 29, people! Rani (the youngest until now) is 13. When Rani was nine, my mom had a baby born early that passed away. That doctor told my mom not to get pregnant ever again because her uterus couldn't hold the pregnancy. She and dad stopped having sex. I guess they cheated because here she is. My mom is in her fifties. This just isn't right. She's due in three months so now of course we're in danger zone for preterm labor and delivery. Luckily there are just the four at home and one leaving soon to be married, but what is my mom going to do with one child? She won't know what to do or how to cope and she's not as young as she used to be. Because this was my worry for so many years ("Mom's having another baby for me to take care of."), I know she won't know what to do with it. True to form, this is a blessing (according to father), but it will be my fault if my mom delivers early because I should be living the lifestyle that would give my mom less stress and I'm not. When will that sort of logic stop bothering me?