Monday, February 15, 2010


This blog has been a blessing to me. I've made several friends and received advice too precious to put a price on, as well as tangible help in the form of the tip jar. For that, I'm eternally grateful. It's been wonderful hearing from others who have been in my situation and come through it healthy and happy.

With all that, it saddens me to note that there have been a few negatives, too. I've wrestled greatly with posting what I'm going to post now because this blog was supposed to be about me and my journey. Surely, my family and their actions were part of my past and continue to be part of my story but I never wanted the focus of the blog to be them. Yet, I feel the need to explain what my father did very recently so that some of you might understand my hesitancy to e-mail back or entertain the numerous offers I've had to share my story in bigger venues (CNN and other news agencies included).

A while back, before Christmas, a woman started e-mailing me. Like many others, she was polite and supportive. She claimed that she'd been in ATI for a few years but that it really hadn't been what she and her husband hoped it would've been. She claimed to have children my age and then sent me information about her views on depression. In hindsight, the depression information was tinged with questionable "data" regarding the origins of depression and giving it a biblical spin. I still assumed she was just trying to help me and thanked her for the advice. After several e-mails, she began asking me questions about my life and my childhood. I trusted her and responded honestly. Her replies were always full of sympathy and she started "guessing" about my family's location and identity. She suggested that she was a person who attended our homechurch very briefly and I recalled the name. I opened up to her.

Then I received a phone call from my father. Over the course of three days, he called sixteen times and let me experience his verbal wrath. He admitted that he and one of my sisters were my "friend" on e-mail. I had opened up to my father and sister. They're very angry about my sharing my story.

So since I know they're reading, I have this to say to them. If you don't like what you're reading here or what I say to others that's too bad. I'm sorry I can't tow the party line and pretend our lives were picture perfect. The fault isn't mine for sharing it- it's yours for having us live that way. If you're proud of how you raised us then you should be proud for me to share it and if you don't like what I'm saying than here's your opportunity to correct what you see as falsehoods. Father, I'm giving you that opportunity. I swear that your comments will be allowed to be seen and never censored. You say what you need to say here and I'll do the same and we'll let the world judge us. I'm not afraid anymore. You don't have to lurk and leave comments with anonymity. Admit you're my father in your comments. I won't out you publicly if you pick a pseudonym and own what you have to say. If you continue to use my sisters against me or do one thing to them because of my blog, I will not hesitate to name names. In your last message to me, you said that I didn't "fully understand the power you hold". I think you are the one who doesn't understand.


  1. Go Ruth!!!! You have over a hundred people reading your blog, probably a lot more. You have many supporters. Most importantly, you have power over your own life.

  2. Ruth,
    I've been reading your blog for a while now, but this is my first time commenting. I just wanted to tell you that I support you and admire your strength, intelligence and courage.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. Ruth, you are a good person. That shines through all your writings. Stand courageous. You have many, many friends on here. We will all give you strength as well.


  4. Keep your head up, Ruth!
    You are so courageous and I truly admire you.
    You're so right, if your Dad really thinks what he's doing is the "right" thing, then he shouldn't be so upset that you are being honest about how you were raised.

  5. Ruth-- My heart goes out to you today. It is hard enough to trust outsiders and then to be duped via email is disgusting. I remain a faithful reader and supporter -- will keep you in my thoughts and send you lots of good vibes!!

  6. Ruth, we are behind you 100%. I can't believe that your father claims that "you don't know the power he holds." He's just pissed that he can't control you anymore. No one can control your life and your destiny but you, and it's high time that this man with insane control issues who gave you some DNA figures that out. Ruth's Dad, if you read these comments, for the love of christ get a life. And not Ruth's. She is her own person, and she's finally learning that, no thanks to you!

    Ruth, please know that you are an inspiration to so many people here. I know it's easier said than done, but please don't take what your father said to heart. He can't interfere anymore.

    I honestly wish that you knew you in real life Ruth, because I would totally be taking you for a girl's night out. *hugs* Stay strong chica!!

  7. Ruth, know that YOU are the one who holds the power. Keep telling your story and if anyone doesn't like it, that is their problem.

  8. *hugs* WOW! That is so awful :(

    You are such a strong girl.

  9. Ruth, I am so sorry you have to deal with this from your own family. Like others have said, stay strong - your honesty is a credit to you.

    That others feel the need to be anonymous or to hide their true identities speaks volumes about their honesty.

    You have the power, no-one else. x

  10. I've been a lurker here, and I just had to stop and say that I'm sorry this situation sucks, and that your family is what is making it so sucky. You are a brave woman, and I admire your strength. Stay strong, I'll be cheering for you.

  11. Ruth,

    I'm proud of you for posting this. Your father probably wants to undermine your faith in yourself by reinforcing that you can't trust "outsiders". There are times in life when we trust and love and we get burned. However, I've found that I always gain much more than I ever lose.

    Don't give up on the unknown or on people who might become your friends. Friends make everything better and help through the dark times. I'm sure your family would be thrilled if you locked yourself into your dorm room and worried about everything. But a person with an open heart is a person who can travel unlimited roads.

    Your parents raised you and you walked away. That takes enormous strength. It takes even more courage to post with conviction and not vindication. I'd be loaded for bear, but you illustrate the true Christian virtue of honesty. I hope you never lose your voice. Part of growing up is moving away from your family's values and finding out your own truth. Most people drift back toward what they know, which is fine. But you can only live the truth as you know it. Follow your heart and you'll be fine.

  12. Ruth,

    I wanted to post a quote that I have over my desk at work. When I think I've been dissed or life is unfair, I read this to remind myself that life is a journey.

    It's a quote by Ayn Rand. I hate her philosophic view of the world and most of her beliefs. However, an educated person always finds something of value in the opposition. I can pick out what I think is brilliant from what scares the pants off me.

    This is a fairly famous quote from Atlas Shrugged, which I've been reading for TEN years, but the first part of it is almost always left off. I think that part is the most brilliant of all.

    “In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours.”

    I think the do not let your spark go out part sort of reminds me of your mom. She let her spark go out and let the lonely hero in her soul perish. But I think you'll avoid that same faith. You have the best thing of all, an intransigent mind.

  13. Ruth's Father== quit threatening your child.It makes you look like a fool. She has made her decision and has left your home. Don't bully her or threaten your "so called wrath" on her siblings. It doesn't work. Nor does following false teachings and exclusivity of belief. The Lord Jesus that I believe in teaches salvation and peace, not vicious threats and empty promises.

    Ruth do what you need to do. Walk in the sunshine and know that God's grace will cover you like a blanket.

    Psalm 103:6
    The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.

  14. I'm so sorry to hear about the betrayal of your trust and the resulting issues it's caused with your family. You're absolutely right, though. If your father truly believes he's done nothing wrong, then he shouldn't have a problem with you sharing your story.

    Keep your head up, Ruth. You're incredibly strong; I'm not sure I could have done what you did/are doing.

  15. Ruth,
    It's sad and pathetic that your father is still trying to control you using fear and intimidation. So many of us are proud of you and look up to you for being so brave. I know how hard it is to go against your family, and it must be 10 time harder for you, given how you were raised.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story and opening up your private life to us. I wish you the greatest of luck, you deserve it.

  16. I'm so sorry that you are going through this with your father. You don't deserve this. I hope that you know how strong you are. I'm keeping you in my prayers.

  17. I am literally sickened that your own family would behave in such a sneaky, underhanded, mean, and above all, unchristian-like fashion. And I cannot believe the inner strength and fortitude you must have to 1) leave what you knew to be a bad situation and 2) continue to persevere and trust even after such a betrayal.

    Hang in there, Ruth. The only control and power your father has is what you give him. I agree with the others posters -- you've slipped out of his main sphere of influence and it's got him shaken. So now he's trying to shake you. Stay true to yourself. WE'RE all rooting for you.

    -- Tatortotcassie

  18. "In your last message to me, you said that I didn't "fully understand the power you hold". I think you are the one who doesn't understand. "

    Chilling, and I love it. You seem to be doing well now, and I hope no one brings you down, including your own family.
    I don't think your dad realizes that most people do not fear him or his movement. That most people won't tolerate that kind of treatment and now that you are not apart of his little circle, you aren't tolerating it either.

  19. I sympathize. I have a not-particularly-religious-but-still-crazy family, and I've gotten similar threats in the past...not for blogging about them (it's mostly my mother and she doesn't even know what a blog is), but just for not being under their control.

    Stay strong. I will share with you a quote from a poem I read in a magazine once:

    "You are only human,
    and you are master of none
    but those who fear you."

    The only power your dad really has is to try to make his family fear him. If you don't fear him, then his power doesn't really exist.

  20. That is just horrible, Ruth.

    Having been in a similar situation, I know how hard it is. Just remember that you are doing what is best for you. Embrace it.


  21. I admire your courage in leaving your parents home and starting your own life. As a "quiverful daughter" myself (I'm the oldest girl in a family of 12), who has a father who sounds quite similar to yours, I know that is not an easy thing to do. I also admire that in all this, you are choosing to respect him and your family as much as you possibly can by protecting their identity and privacy. So sad that he has has no respect for you. When I was struggling with getting out from under my father's control, remembering that I am God's daughter first and my first responsibility is to God, not my parents, helped me stand firm in my conviction that I had to get out of the toxic family situation that I was in. Your father is so wrong in thinking that he has the right to try to control your life. The only power he can have over you is what you allow him to have.
    Stay strong. I know I struggled with depression and homesickness for a few years when I first left home. 11 years later I am married to a loving (totally non-controlling) man who loves and respects me. I went to school for nursing and work full time as an RN. Sadly I still don't have a relationship with my parents. However I do maintain friendships with most of my siblings, most who have rejected my parents extreme beliefs.

    God bless you and good luck!

  22. Ruth -
    You just gave me the shivers. Like everyone else here, I am so proud of you. You have found your voice and you are not letting go of it; I want to thank you for that. I grew up in a liberal household where my dad cooked more than my mom, I was given freedom and equality. The QF/P concepts scare me and you give me hope. I'm sorry your dad was and is not who you needed but I know you have others who love you.

  23. God bless you Ruth, God bless you.

  24. Ruth, we are with you on this. I am sending prayers for you to weather this episode just as you have others.

    Mr Ruth's Father, we readers are anxiously waiting to hear your side of the story. We encourage you to put forth your views in the interst of of full disclosure of your life, just like your daughter.
    We'll be waiting to hear from you soon.

  25. Ruth,
    I've been reading your blog for a while now, but this post has moved me to delurk. I just wanted to add to the many people here by expressing my admiration and respect for you. You are displaying such courage and grace in your circumstances that it is truly awe inspiring and inspirational. Keep walking your path and know that there are many, many people rooting for you.

  26. Hey Ruth
    Typing this just echos what everyone else has said. You are on my blog list and I found your link on Free Jinger, I think you may have even been to my blog a few times. I want to thank you personally for your honesty. You are an amazing woman trying to make a journey on her own. There a lot of us who have been there (though not the exact same situation as yours) and I know we are all rooting for you! Your father has no idea what he has lost alienating a daughter as strong and beautiful as you. Keep your chip up and keep walking. You are heading the right direction, the path that is the right one for YOU.

  27. Hi Ruth,

    I've been reading your blog for a bit now and just wanted to let you know that I'm keeping you in my prayers. I cannot imagine the strain and stress you must be under, and to show such grace under such family pressure is amazing. Keep up the good work, and know there are hundreds of people wishing you well!

  28. Oh yes! Go Ruth go!
    I'm so, so incredibly proud of you. It's really hard to get out from under the fist of an abusive, controlling father, even when your not living with him anymore, but you've got your voice now and I love it that you've stood up for yourself! It took me a while to do the same thing- but it does get better, believe me.
    Whenever I read your blog it makes me feel like cheering! It makes me so excited to see how you stepped out and are choosing right and wrong because YOU are choosing, not someone behind you is making you do it. You know, I still struggle with being angry and bitter at my father. It's not fair, why did it happen to me, the whole sha-bang. But I know that we both will look at life and freedom far more differently now, instead of taking it for granted. If you are ever ready, you'll be able to help other girls in the same situation, and they'll be able to open up to you when they couldn't talk to anyone else. Keep staying strong!
    The Girl in the Pink Dress

  29. Hi Ruth,
    Another first time poster today. It broke my heart that your father and sister would pose as your "friend" as a ruse to hurt you.

    There are many people who read your blog who gain strength from your courage. Please keep it up. You strengthen all of us so much. I hope you gain real strength from that knowledge. You are so brave.

  30. I am in awe of your courage and strength. I am equally in awe of your father's complete inability to comprehend what is happening here. His "anonymous" comments we've all read, combined with this recent episode, do nothing but reinforce the negative impression your readers have of his religious views. I REFUSE to believe that a benevolent God would ever condone such vile, manipulative and controlling behavior. How does deliberately deceiving your own child glorify God in any possible way?

    My wish for him, and the rest of the misogynistic leaders of the Quiverfull movement, is that when they arrive in the Great Hereafter, God looks down upon them and says "Well, you really blew that one, didn't you?" And then She smiles.

  31. Amen. Anyone who is seeking to control you through fear, intimidation, guilt, lies, deceit, condescension, or brute force is a person worth standing up to, and (more importantly) removing from your life. In fact, anyone who is trying to control you at all isn't worth a single amount of your time.

    I admire your strength and perserverence so much, and (even though I don't know you) I am so proud of your fierce resolve to rise above the oppression and tyranny you have so clearly experienced. You are an example to women everywhere, and anyone who tells you otherwise and would have you return to submission and guilt isn't coming from a place of truth and light.

    I just don't understand people who claim to be Christian but act not out of love, compassion, and a serving heart, but out of a desire to CONTROL and JUDGE and CONDEMN. Oh, they are so eager to claim that they are acting out of love and a true investment in your best interests, but they are wolves in sheep's clothing.

    Keep standing strong. We are standing here with you, right by your side.

  32. Also, (sorry, I can't help but put my lawyer hat on here), I want you to know that you may have a variety of forms of legal recourse available to you if you continue to receive an abundance of unwanted phone calls and threats. And while I'm not sure where you live, I am guessing that there are a number of lawyers that would be willing to take your case pro bono. Your school also probably has at least one attorney on staff committed to student interests. Worth looking into (even if you never pursue legal action). Legal action is obviously a dramatic step, but I always find it comforting in stressful situations to remind myself that it's available if I need it.

    So, as a commenter above noted, I don't think your father fully understands the power YOU hold.

  33. Good for you Ruth. Stay strong. You have a whole lot of support

  34. Unfortunately this describes the deceptive elements that cults use to manipulate, control, and coerce. It's just sickening when it's in the form of family. I'm writing a book about this from my own experience but it never fails to horrify me when I see others go through it, too. Hugs, Ruth.

  35. Ruth,
    I haven't yet read the 37 comments above me, because I first wanted to say that your last paragraph, your words to your father, are full of wisdom and courage. After reading your introduction, I half expected you to go on to say that you were closing down your blog. That you met your father's tactics head on makes me applaud you! I know that on some levels it must be very frightening to you, but I also know how the sense of freedom that comes from being sure of your position, however unpopular it might be. Big, big congratulations to you, dear Ruth.

    Somehow, though, I suspect that your father won't post here where others can see it. He's a coward and cowards rarely act in public ways....

    Stay strong. You are on your own, more righteous path and have every reason to be proud of yourself - not in the deadly sin kind of way, but in the way that lets you hold your head up high, knowing that you've done the right thing. I hope the experience hasn't ruined your ability to trust others. The vast majority of us wish only the very best for you!


  36. Another first time poster, but long time reader.

    I am so sorry you are going through this, but you are such a strong woman, that you will succeed! I have faith in you and so many others here have faith in you. Please, don't let your father bully you into doubting yourself.

    I don't want to put any doubt in your mind, and hope I'm wrong, but I'm scared for you. Your father threatened you. I know you've said before, they didn't know your location, and I hope he still doesn't. But, just in case you shared where you are when you thought you were making a friend, can you alert campus security? Also, I know you don't want to out your father and make problems for your siblings, but consider going to the police and getting a restraining order, if he threatens you again.

    Again, I may be way off, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

  37. First, let me make it clear I say this as a person who is a Christian:

    What your father did? He lied. He was deceitful. You didn't label his actions as such, but I have no qualms about calling it exactly what it was. So, if your dad is reading this? I would heavily suggest he repent to you for his deception and lies. He claims to be a Christian? Well, the Bible says very clearly that Satan himself is the father of lies. So in lying, your father imitated Satan, and is dishonoring the Lord.

    You have been very discreet in what you have shared, you have been very kind in protecting your family (whether or not they deserve that is of course a matter of opinion.) If your father is not man enough to speak with you here openly, then he needs to be at least man enough to leave you alone.

    And to Ruth's dad? My pastor and his wife have a family of eight children, 5 now grown and married. He was not too good to clean the toilet every day, to help his wife, to see that his wife got breaks, to treat his wife as a queen-and hello, they also managed to space their children three years apart so her body could rest. HE and SHE are people to emulate. What you did to your wife is shameful beyond belief, and don't think that Jesus did not see every single instance of how you added onto her load and did not allow anyone to lift it. I know from personal experience what it is to have babies bumper to bumper with NO help (we were far from family and my poor husband had a job that kept him out of the home for way too much time) so I have an inkling of what your wife suffered. My own husband would have been delighted for me to get whatever help I could, from anyone-because HE was not a wickedly proud and cruel person.

    I don't know about how you treat your wife now, so I am not your judge-but there is One who sees and One who knows and He is the One you will have to answer to.

  38. Ruth,

    It's a sign of your father's weakness and desperation that he did what he did, keeps doing what he's doing. A man who is ecure in his beliefs doesn't hide, doesn't bully, doesn't intimidate. Somehwere within himself, he knows that he's wrong, and tries to cover it all up with false front. Keep on doing what you're doing, and don't let yourself be changed by the small actions of a desperate man.

  39. Ruth,

    Please take care of yourself physically as well as legally and emotionally. For the first few years after getting out of my similar-to-yours family, I did not walk near vans or go anywhere alone if it could be helped. If you were emailing them, there's a chance they could've gotten sophisticated computer help and traced your location. BE CAREFUL. This kind of pathological need to control could easily justify kidnapping or violence. Please watch your back. Your father is an instrument of evil.

  40. Your strength is inspiring.
    Stay strong and never doubt that what you wrote is truth.
    Remember how many of us stand with you, cheer you on, and wish you the best in your road ahead - it will not be easy, but it will be worth it. Your clear mind, kindness, and quiet strength shine through in your writing.
    Thank you for sharing. I'm sure you are helping many you have never met.

  41. Ruth,
    ((((HUGS))) to you. Upon reading your introduction, I too was afraid you were closing down your blog. You have more courage than you will ever know. Do not let your father scare you into not living life to the fullest. You have fans out here in cyber-space cheering you on, you are a hope to others in your situation.
    If your father is ashamed of the way you were raised that is HIS fault. If he felt his parenting was Christ-spirited he would want you to share your wonderful childhood with the world. Be strong Ruth- you are a wonderful person.

  42. Ruth, your dad is a jerk, plain and simple. There's noting Godly about him. Good for you for standing up to him.

    If it comes to the point that you need to name names, you shouldn't feel bad. It sounds like your father's aberrant behavior coming to light and facing scrutiny may be the only chance that your siblings may have to have a normal, healthy life.

    I've commented here before that I really appreciate you telling your story, because otherwise I would never believe things like this really happen. Stay strong.

  43. Ruth, that is just the saddest, meanest thing I have ever heard. Your own family using your trust to betray you. :(
    I really think that speaks volumes of the cult movement that your family belongs to. A healthy church/congregation/faith will accept other beliefs too. This one has to use threats to make people stay in it.

    That's just sick and disgusting! Shame on you Ruth's dad!

    Ruth, you are such a strong and brave young woman, truly an inspiration for all of us. Please keep walking on your own path in life. I am sure that wonderful things are waiting for you! And I will use the tip jar again.

  44. I'm sorry--what a mind trip to put on you. On that thread I'm having a heck of time getting my donation thru. My paypal has a very old bank account on it, so I'll have to set up a new one.

  45. Ruth,

    I think some of the ladies up stream have had some good advice. Please have a talk with campus security about the situation. If your father knows your phone number, he can track what school you are at. Let campus police know you don't intend on leaving school or going away (just in case something happens). I would be leery to be alone with anyone in your family. If you meet them, do it in a public spot, preferably with some friends in the same room. You may want to tell your dorm leader that there are some problems and that your father has made threats against you.

    With so many tragic events on campuses, campus security tends to take these things seriously. You probably shouldn't walk by yourself late at night (which is a good rule on any campus for any female) and the advice about not standing near vans is a great one.

    You may want to start scanning everything around you and note all entrances and exits when you go into a room. You might also want to see if there are any self defense classes (either as a PE class) or as a public service offered to students.

    I think now is the time to be paranoid!
    **Hugs** I'll send along a tip soon. And maybe a Louisville Slugger as well.

  46. How incredibly evil and manipulative of your father to use your siblings to lie to you, to hurt you. :(
    Parenting fail on his end. Im guessing your sibs arent going to forget this.

    Hang in there, Ruth.

    ps. I think your father is a total wanker.

  47. Cynthia covered everything I was planning on telling you! Please, be careful and protect yourself whenever you're out. Try to stay with someone, as much as you can, and let your floormates know your approximate plans for the day, so they'll be able to tell someone if something "feels wrong."

    I also wanted to tell you that I admire your courage and strength so very much! I know things are very scary right now, but you are handling everything with amazing determination and maturity.

    I was wondering: Have you ever read anything about meditation? There is an excellent blog by Aleya and the topic for today is letting go of the negative influences around you. Her link is: .

    I hope that wasn't too forward of me, but I've found that allowing myself to release old pain was the best way to make room for new light and love. Many Blessings! Aeryn Amanda

  48. Thinking more about what Cynthia and the others have said about protecting yourself, I would also posit that your very blog does provide you with a small measure of security. So, Ruth's Dad, please be aware that your daughter has a loyal and caring following, full of the sorts of individuals who would be alarmed if 1) she suddenly stopped posting, or 2) suddenly began posting in a voice we deem unfamiliar.

    In other words, don't think for a single second that your current state of anonymity is permanent. Learning your identity wouldn't take much effort at all, nor would discovering the correct phone numbers to make contact with your local authorities, media, etc. The PR fall-out from any overt moves against your daughter's independence could make your life a nightmare, if you are indeed as highly placed in your little world as Ruth has indicated.

    Just something to consider...

  49. "I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand." - Susan B. Anthony

    (invest in some pepper spray just in case!)

  50. Ruth,

    Here's an idea. Would you be willing to 'come out' to some of us who have made donations to you via your tip jar?

    (I mention the donations specifically because this offers you some level of safety -- if we can provide specific details of the donations to you, like amount and date and method, etc., you may feel more comfortable trusting us when we give you our names and phone numbers.) You can also trace IP addresses to cities as an additional layer of protection.

    If you would, you can then email us your father's real name and address, and perhaps a photo. Having a posse of people around the world who WILL notify authorities of EXACTLY where to start if anything ever happens to you may help protect you! If your father knows that the authorities will be beating on his door pronto, perhaps he'll stick with prayer and creepy cyber-stalking instead of physical violence.

    I grew up with a very similar sort of brainwashing, and I don't see the danger as at all exaggerated or paranoid. Let us know.


  51. Having grown up in a very similar situation (my family was one of the first 100 ATIA families), I suspect your dad is/has been praying a hedge of thorns around you. Please know that this is not biblical, and do not fear that God will "get you." He does not work that way. Keep reminding yourself of that.
    Your father's threat, however, should probably be reported to the authorities. It alone is probably not grounds for a restraining order, but that will create a record. If he continues to make these threats, you could have grounds for a restraining order, or having him arrested.

  52. @Rendy: What does "praying a hedge of thorns around you" mean?

  53. Another long time lurker, first time poster here. Ruth, you have so much courage and I really can't express my admiration for your strength enough! The actions of your father go against everything Jesus preached and I'm glad to see you won't be convinced otherwise.

    Like the posts above, I strongly suggest speaking with your campus security group and with someone about your legal options - not necessarily for now, but so that if things get worse you can get straight into doing something about it. I also like the recommendation of sharing your family's info with a few trusted bloggers in case you're away for too long. Maybe you could even set up a way you could subtly notify them in case of a problem.

    Stay strong, and ((hugs))!


  54. Ruth you are an amazing young woman! I wish I had half the courage and strength you exhibit when I was your age needing to get away from my family. Took me a little longer! Stay strong.
    I agree with the poster who said to trust a couple/few of the posters who have donated to you. If for no other reason than to know that the people behind the names are truly your friends and want only the best for you.
    Your father should be ashamed of himself for his treatment of you and for using your sister (and I'm betting she had no choice in the matter).
    Stay strong!
    annie (sorry I don't have a blog)

  55. I'm Ruth's brother. I'm not sure what pseudonym she's given me in the line-up but my usual alias on the net is OuachitaE.

    My dad is a strange fellow. Guaranteed, he's reading this now and it's eating him up. There's just something in his nature that can't get over that some of us left his belief structure and don't follow Bill Gothard's teachings or Christianity as he sees it. He picks at us all but Ruth is his greatest disappointment because she was supposed to be some kind of poster child for this life and her departure made him look very foolish to a lot of people in the circle. She's more vocal about what happened then the rest of us who have moved on. Ruth hasn't hit that place where she can disconnect as much as the rest of us. She feels responsible for the kids still at home because she was as much their mother as mom was. I wish I could do more to help Ruth understand that she just needs to let it all go.

    I'm not saying anything I haven't said to her. I don't always get what she's doing with this blog, but it seems to be helping her so I will stand by her doing it.

  56. Stay strong, Ruth. A lot of us don't comment, but have learned so much from you, and support you and your freedom to write.

  57. *standing ovation*
    You are an inspiration to us all! Had it been me in your position, I am not sure I would have the strength to do what you have done. You are amazing. Keep blogging and making your voice heard! Don't be silenced!

  58. Another "lurker" and a faithful reader of your blog.

    Just want to say, that I am very proud of you for being so strong.

    You go, girl!!!

  59. Ruth,
    Stay strong! We are all here for you and we will do whatever you need us to do!
    To your dad, I say, "Judge me all you want, but keep the verdict to yourself!"
    Stay strong, Ruth! We are rooting for you!!

  60. @Ouachita,

    I'm super glad Ruth may have some familial support, but she (and you) really were truly abused, and I think it's definitely good to let people who have been hurt have space to define their own feelings and express anger as LONG as they need to, especially when they are coming from a kind of abuse that *denies* emotional expression.

    I think maybe subconsciously you understand this when you say you don't know why the blog is helping, but it seems to be and you'll stand behind her on it. But maybe explicitly you don't understand it when you tell her she needs to be able to let go and put it all behind her-- yes it hurts to see her hurt, but it hurts worse to hurt in silence and be unable to express it, so I think being angry for awhile is probably a good thing.

    Anyway, congratulations for breaking free yourself and reaching a position of inner peace!

  61. Ruth, even though I'm sure you're hurt and (rightly) angry, there's no malice in your writing and I admire that very much. Obviously, I hope that one day you can have a good, healthy relationship with your whole family, but that won't happen until your father learns the difference between respect and fear. Most of all, I hope for your safety and happiness and I can only echo most of the brilliant advice in previous comments.

    Ouachita, I'm glad Ruth has your support. What I understand from this blog is that it's valuable not only to her but to many ex-ATI readers. Thinking honestly about what's happened and giving oneself permission to feel anger is an important part of 'letting go', and Ruth has done it in such a way that it reaches more people, who in turn can share their stories and help each other.

  62. I'm also former ATI (from the same first 100 families as Rendy - perhaps I had Rendy's sister as pen pals the first 2 yrs - I'm glad, Rendy, to find others that seem to have honest perspective after leaving)

    Ruth, I understand the weight that comes with being the oldest daughter always looking out for ALL the younger siblings and always having to speak the truth especially when more lies come to hit you in the face through manipulation of your sister to act like someone to falsely get information. (That same manipulation that is wrong when used by a girl to snare a guys attention - that manipulation that SATAN uses??)

    I have never understood how parents/father...
    1. demand absolute respect from their children, while disregarding their own parents.
    2. can lie and manipulate since their position as parents/father allows them absolute and UNACCOUNTABLE authority resulting in excessive abuse and control
    3. admit no wrong, since they seem to wear a cloak of perfection (in their own minds)
    4. think that their children are just in existence to serve/make them look good as parents, never asking how they can serve their children or help to make them successful and happy adults

    I'm sorry that you had this happen to you. It will take a good amount of determination to not allow this to affect you. Its natural to always hold out for hope that somehow your father will be the father you need sometime, but it seems unlikely. It seems that those of us who had to turn our backs on the abuse also had to turn our backs on the abusers!!

    I find it hard to excuse and condone this behavior. If one has to resort to threats, there really is no love. Very, VERY SAD

    Stay strong on your journey to wholeness!!

  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

  64. Oh, I just read your brother's comment and the part about being a mom to the younger siblings still at home just broke my heart...I felt the same way, and when I learned of things that happened after I left, even though there was nothing my presence could have prevented, I was ripped open. When you have a mother who is so overwhelmed and distant, and you have to take over, there is such a bond your heart makes with those little ones, even when they are grown up (and older than you are now!) and you always want to protect them. No matter how illogical that may be.

  65. Ruth, there should be a way you can turn on "IP logging" so that you can see IPs that comments are posted from (only you would be able to see these) and unless they use some masking software, you should be able to see if multiple annonymous comments are coming from one IP. You should also have the ability to click on these and it would give you a general location of where it is. It isn't fool proof but it might help. You are a very strong woman, hang in there.

  66. Another long-time reader, but first-time poster. Ruth, you are the personification of grace. You WILL succeed, I know it!

  67. We all care for you very much, Ruth. We are all rooting for you. Know that what your father did is the epitome of cowardly, and you, our dear Ruth, are complete grace and strength. Please take advice about protecting yourself. You deserve all the happiness in the world. Stay strong. You're doing great!!

  68. Ruth's dad: Can't remember the reference, but remember the verse..

    Keep deception and lies far from me...

    If you want to deal with Ruth, be open and above board at least.

  69. Forgive me for sounding like my nonquiverfull mother when I write this, but I think it's something to consider.

    There are many, many people online who pretend to be something they aren't. Please be careful when you are talking to people. I'm not terribly surprised this happened though. Please don't be mad at that, but let me explain. In the past, there have been some comments left where you and other people have thought were left by your dad. You knew he was reading then, yet continued airing your family's dirty laundry in a very public way.

    You certainly have the right to tell the truth, but I can understand why your family wouldn't like it. Crazy and controlling people like your father do not take well to people making them look bad. Crazy controlling people will usually go to great extremes to make sure they get to stay in control. I'd take his threats pretty seriously, and from what I read into his "power I hold" comment is that he may be willing to shut you up in any way he can.

    Please talk to your RD and alert campus security to the phone calls. If he called on a landline phone, your RD probably can help you get the number changed or maybe the phone company can block his calls. If you are using a cell phone, I'd get the number changed on that too. Then I'd make any of my phone numbers unlisted. I'd also go to the admissions office and tell them what is going on and make them put a note on your file to NOT give any personal info about you to anyone without your permission. This is very important in case your father or someone who knows him finds out what college you go to. Back when I was in college, the admissions department once gave my phone number, dorm name, and my room number to someone who walked in the office and asked. Someone I wouldn't have wanted to know.

    To further protect myself, I'd also stop making threats about calling your father out. Quite frankly he doesn't sound incredibly sane, and making threats to someone like this will only make matters worse. Please be careful about what you are saying here since you know he's reading. Even if he "wins" by shutting you up, I'd much rather you give up the blog (or make it private) if you have to than to risk your safety.

    Sorry all this sounds extreme, but I've been drilled about safety from my mother from a very young age. Even if this is all talk, I'd much rather be safe than sorry.

    Your father AND your sister should be ashamed of what they did to you. Very, very sorry that they betrayed your trust.

  70. Ruth,

    I've been casually reading your blog for a few months now. Although my parents were not identified with the ATI folk, I was raised in a very conservative Christian home, and I recognize the patterns of abuse and manipulation you have experienced, that I also escaped from as a young woman.

    You seem very sweet, and very smart, but a tiny bit naive. I hope you don't take offense at my saying this. Your offer to your father (and I use the term loosely), is generous, but unnecessary.

    If the quote you provided at the end is not a paraphrase, that man has physically threatened you. I truly believe that your safety is in danger. I encourage you to report the threat to the local PD, your campus security, and to your friends in the area so they can keep an eye and an ear out.

    Please stay safe. Don't end up another statistic, Ruth.

  71. Hi Ruth,

    This is the first time I've written but I've been reading your blog for a little while now. I just graduated from college in May. I also started college as an non-traditional adult. It was haaaard but you WILL make it.

    I know you're getting a lot of advice from us complete strangers, so if you don't want to read any more, just skip most of this post and go to the end where I'll sign out and most likely say something like "Thanks so much for being willing to share your life with us." If you want to keep reading though, here's that unsolicited (but hopefully not worthless) advice:

    Ruth, I think that your speaking out is actually a tool that ultimately keeps you safe. Someone who is controlling will not be content to control you just a little (by shutting down this blog for example). The more power you give a bully, the more hungry he becomes. Think of it as the hunger the Romans felt for blood. The more they saw in their theaters/forums (why can't I remember the name of that great, big place where the gladiators fought?), the more they wanted until it became insatiable. Bullies are the same way. Hitler was not content when Paris and London told him he could have Czechoslovakia. He took it, and it only whetted his appetite for more. Eventually he turned around and took Paris and did his best to take London. History aside, what I'm trying to say is that appeasing a bully NEVER works.

  72. I know. I've been trying to live that life, walk that tightrope, end that dance for the past 6 years. And it's a heck of a dance to dance. It’s better to take a stand, if you can. Six years ago I left my controlling husband. I had to go overseas to escape him. He merely followed. He threatened every roommate/housemate I had for the first few years. He threatened their families in other countries. (Threaten me all you want. You can only kill me once. But he knew that if he threatened others, all of a sudden I would get much more upset because for some reason I felt responsible for them. I had to learn to let go of that, too. Though I also had to warn new roommates that they might be threatened. Eventually, after that no longer working for a few years, my last few roommates were no longer threatened, though I did have to move many times.) He spread lies about me to my roommates, to my old "friends", to my family, to my children, to my town; to every single person he knew that knew me. He tried to singlehandedly ruin every single relationship I had so that I had no one left to turn to but him. He pretty much succeeded. (Only a few people from my past have any contact with me now.) Except the more time went on and the more I saw him do, the more I saw WHO he was and the evil he was perpetrating.

    I had been married to him for a very long time, but it took "getting out" to allow me to see his behavior from a different (and frankly more horrific) angle. It also took time. With the perspective of time I saw him differently and I learned of more things he had been doing even while we were together. At this point, a few months don't go by where I don't find out something new about him or receive another threat of sorts, have him do something jerky, still trying to control me or hurt me in some manner, still smearing my name when he can, etc. Ruth, I am so sorry that you are learning new things about your father on a regular basis (lying, bullying, cruelty). This kind of person might change (I still believe God can work miracles), BUT men/women/people like this almost never do. Someone this toxic is best avoided if possible (of course, I know you know this.)

    Yes, I'd say go to your school. Get ALL the support you possibly can to surround yourself while you are in college. Yes, I know it all feels terribly silly and like a waste of time, and who is going to care, and you think you're over acting and..and...and, but Ruth, PLEASE go. Please. Please. Please go. Please, please, please let every single person on that campus, who is PAID to look out for your interests KNOW your story. Tell them. And keep telling them until you feel as if they truly hear you, as if they truly understand. There is an entire system built there to help students out. Utilize it to its max! Tell your advisor, tell any campus therapist you can find, tell campus security, tell any professional whose job it is to look after your best interest. Ask for financial help. Tell them your story. Ask for guidance. I didn't when I finally went to college and though I graduated in May, I look back and realize how much help I forfeited because I was too tired, too scared, too timid, too lonely and too embarrassed to ask for help. In that, he won. But I am not with him and in that, I've won. No matter what bad stuff befalls me (and plenty has) at least, I am free. I AM FREE. And no matter what happens and no matter how bad things get whenever I think about it, I find myself laughing out loud and saying, "But at least I'm not with _____!"

    I know you miss your family, but at least on your ugliest days you can know you're not living under the hell you once knew. (I'd add "You get to make your own choices" but some days, that offers me little comfort so I'll leave it at, "You're not living under the hell you once knew.")

  73. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Thank you for speaking out, so that the next person who 'comes out' will know they are not alone. Thank you for leaving a trail of bread crumbs for the next child who comes out of this awful system, and the next, and the next and the next; for the next mother who comes out; for the next father who comes out; for the grandparents and the aunts and uncles and cousins who all miss their family members so much. Thank you.

    Stay safe. Know you are loved. Know you are not alone.


  74. Lainey - "hedge of thorns" is a Gothardism. When a child or wife is "rebelling" against their husband/father, Bill Gothard instructs the husband/father to pray a hedge of thorns - loosely meaning to pray that something bad (harmful, hurtful, dangerous, brought on by God) will happen to the rebeller, and thus "force" them back into the "fold."
    When one is not rebelling, the authority figure just prays a "hedge of protection" around that person.

  75. Please go to a local gun store and look into getting some pepper spray and a taser. These WILL NOT kill someone, just cause them temporary pain if you needed to physically flee from a location.

    There may be a brief waiting period for this depending on your state, but campus police should be sympathetic and able to point you in the right direction.

    Also, please do NOT get in a car/house/confined location with a QF member of your family. If you are really tempted - say if they use the "your mom needs you" line - make them wait while you make a phone call. In this call tell a friend where you are going and who you are going there with. Say you will call again at XX point and if they do not hear from you they should call the police. You should also leave with this friend (campus police officer is okay here too) documentation of your blog and every phone call you have received so far. If it is possible take your own car.

    Even if they say you have a family member in the hospital and you must come NOW do the above steps. They will not take long and your mom can wait 60 seconds.

    I thought seriously about giving you this message in private email but I think it's better for them to see it in public.

  76. I would actually not go onto their turf at all, Ruth. I know you've gone home at least once but I would just stay away at this point. The only way to stop you from blogging and revealing the truth is for them to prevent you having internet access. They can't do that unless they lock you in a closet someplace.

    I wouldn't go back to your hometown, or any location that is an ATI/QF strong hold. If someone in your family wants to meet with you, do it in public, with a table of friends near by. You need a codeword for help that all your friends know.

    I can see them using the new baby or your mom to lure you home but you seriously need to consider not doing that. If your father has a lot to lose, then he has a lot to gain by shutting you up and locking you in a closet in his home.

  77. Hi Ruth, I'm yet another person who has been reading your blog for a while, but I don't think I've commented. This post seems to have drawn a lot of people out. I, too, can identify with your situation. My family was never officially ATI, although my mother would have liked to be, but they were on the fringes (a fact which had definite consequences for at least one of my siblings), and always agreed with and to some extent followed the Gothard teachings. I am the oldest of seven children, and I fully understand how hard it has been for you to leave, the feelings of responsibility you feel for your younger siblings, and the fear of saying too much. I was never threatened by my parents after I left, but they have certainly tried to manipulate me through my siblings, and even now, six years later, we have issues. I have moved on with my life, and ceased to give so much importance to what they think about me and my choices, but every once in a while, their true attitudes toward me surface in an ugly way, I won't lie, it still hurts. Some people, like your brother who commented above, may be able to "distance themselves" and move on; but I'm not at all sure that is the healthiest way to deal. Eventually, we all have to face the past, and when it involves the kind of people that your parents and my parents are, direct and open confrontation is sometimes necessary. So many others have said it before, but what you are doing here is courageous; you have much more courage than I had when I left, and I think that because of it you may heal that much sooner.

    I can't give you any safety advice, but I think that a lot of the commenters above me have voiced legitimate concerns; please consider some of those options. Go you for not letting your father intimidate you!

  78. Ruth,
    You are an inspiration to all of us! Stay strong!

  79. Thanks to the comments, I had a long conversation with campus police, that led to a conversation with the Dean of Students, and another conversation with my counsellor who was brought in to help explain the situation as well. We're going to take some measures to further protect my identity and change some things. I really thank all of you for your suggestions. They're welcome and I read each of them (and made notes).

  80. @Rendy: Thanks for the explanation! :)

    @Ruth: I'm glad you took more steps to protect yourself. And I'm glad they listened to you! Make sure they understand how manipulative people like that can be. I know my mom was very skilled in getting people to tell her things about me that I didn't want her to know.

  81. Way to go, Ruth! Excellent, excellent moves all around. I always believe in having as many people on your "team" as possible, and adding campus police and the Dean of Students to it was a fantastic choice. And all of us commenters are on it, as well, as you can tell from the comments above.

    Go Team Ruth!

  82. GOOD FOR YOU!!! That was the smart thing to do. And just remember, when you're feeling kind of low about everything (because you will), you've got a big bunch of people out here on the Interwebs who think you're pretty darn incredible. :-)

  83. Good for you, Ruth! You are strong and powerful in your own right. You have friends (and strangers on the internet) who care about you and will protect you. Your 'father' should think about that, before he tries anything.

    Above all else, remember that you are worth it. You're a human being, with human dignity and human rights, and you do not deserve the filth these people want to dish out at you.

  84. Just another voice of support. You have shown amazing strength and fortitude through all of this.

    Two things from previous posters:
    1) the idea of having somebody who has your father's name, address, and photo is a good one. I would recommend giving it to campus police and people you know IRL if you aren't comfortable giving it to online people. Although there are people online worthy of holding the information, I can understand being wary of it.

    2) Meditation, specifically Christian Meditation, has been helpful to me. There is a site called "" that has mp3s on it that I have found helpful.

  85. Ruth, I think you are awesome! I enjoy reading your blogs and reading your thought provoking comments at free jinger and at emily's blog. Shame on your father. Manda

  86. Hugs to you Ruth! You're an amazing woman and an inspiration to so many.

    Kudos for talking to campus police and the dean of students. Continue to add people to your team. You will be amazed how empowering doing so can be.

    You got so much fantastic advice already the only thing I wanted to add was never get into a car with any of your family or ATI crowd under any situation. Once you get into that car you are under their control. If your family needs you for whatever reason meet at a public spot and have a few friends nearby and 911 on your cell phone for easy access. If your gut tells you something isn't right, listen to it. Intuition is key. Listen and act even if later you chuckle over it. Better to laugh later than to be in a dangerous situation.

    Your father is an emotional abuser. A manipulator. A controller. He is not a man of God. He is not a Christian. He is a pathetic COWARD and should be ashamed of his actions.

    If he continues to make threats you can take legal action. It is your right.

    Think about that Ruth's dad. LEGAL action which will blow your cover and expose all your dirty secrets to your inner circle and the world. Then everyone will see what a pathetic little abusive man you are.

    Stay strong Ruth!

  87. Ruth's Father: The fact that you have to resort to threats, abuse, and now outright LIES in an attempt to manipulate your daughter is proof that you do not have Christ in your heart no matter how pious an act you put on. You are angry because your daughter is following God's plan for her life instead of yours. It's past time to take a good hard look at your own soul.

  88. Hi Ruth. I just wanted to add my voice to those of your supporters. I can't imagine what you are going through. You exhibit nothing but strength and kidness, despite whatever else you are feeling. I think all of us out here are so appreciative of your blog. I am not ATI/QF or anything else. For me, your story has reminded me how lucky I am to have grown up in a family with a strong female role model who told me I could do anything. This has been a very hard year for me, but your blog reminds me not to take anything for granted, and that feeling sorry for myself is like denying all the sacrifices my mother and father made for me so that I could succeed ... and a slap in the face to everyone who has parents who didn't and is trying to make it on their own.

    As others have said, please be safe. Like others, my mother and father cautioned me against creeps on the internet since we got it in, like, 4th grade. I hate that your father was that creep. My mom also instilled in me solid a paranoia about being safe in public. Whether or not your dad is crazy enough to harm you in some way, the advice from above commenters is solid.

    I don't know who you have as friends, but try to build your own family. The support will get you through the hard times and make the good ones so much better. Sometimes the family biology (or God, depending what you believe) has given us, isn't the right one for a person. Make your own and make your life what you want it to be. Like my mom always said, "you can be whatever you want to be."

    (Also, as soon as I get a job again I am donating to your tip jar! So, thanks for the extra motivation ;-P)

  89. I am sickened to my stomach by this latest development. There are a few things that I want to say to Ruth’s father, so here goes:

    (1) You took a beautiful and vibrant woman (your wife) who loved you enough to trust you with her heart, soul, and spirit. You took all of that and then you proceeded to suck the very soul and spirit that God Almighty put into her until she became a soulless Stepford fundie wife, a puppet that you had to control.

    Then you put that fundie Supernanny b*tch into your home in order to teach your wife how to run the household while looking hot and sexy for your selfish a*s. That fundie Supernanny b*tch should have been kicked down the basement steps. This is at least, what I would have done while I still had my wits about me.

    I’m sorry that your wife gave up her very soul in order to be/stay with you - all under the guise of doing it for the Lord. This, sir, is sacrilege in my book - using the Lord Almighty for your selfish purposes. I realize that you’re not the only monster that is doing this; I’m sure there are many in your warped, messed up, fundie, patriarchal world. You might call it a religion; I call is a frickin cult, sir. Every single thing about your so-called religion is proof that it is nothing but a cult that hates and despises women. How utterly sad.

    (2) Now that you’ve brainwashed your wife and have her where you want her (at your beckoning call and whim), you’ve tried to do the same for your children. You, sir, disgust me.

    There’s a lot more things that I want to say to you, all which are terrible and for this I’m sorry because normally I am not a nasty and mean person. But, what you have done sir, is unbelievable to the nth degree.

    To Ruth: hang in there. Every one of us is pulling for you.

    I am a wife and mom in my late 40’s. I also have a large family. Never, never, never, would I treat my children in the fashion that you’ve been treated. I have children that are probably around your age. If I could, I would give you a hug and tell you that everything will be alright. It will, indeed. Stay strong. ((Hugs))

    To Ruth's father (again), regarding your comment about not underestimating your power or something, who do you think you are? Darth Vader? Oh, I forgot. You probably don't watch movies in your fundie religion. Well, if the elders of your "church" allow you, go rent yourself a copy of "Star Wars" so that you can find out who Darth Vader is. He also has some sort of superiority complex. Good luck with all of that. How sad it is to lose a beautiful and vibrant daughter like Ruth because of your ego.

    Maybe you need to go through some de-programming to get back to your old "un-fundie" self, if that is at all possible.

  90. Living a happy life surrounded by the ones you love is the "best revenge". I speak from experience!

  91. Ruth,

    I think it's a good idea to keep your dad's identity a secret because we've got a tiny army here ready to march on his office and kick his ass.

    But in a good, loving kick ass way.

  92. Hi Ruth,

    I don't think I've ever posted here, but I'm really glad you did what you did. It's very important for people to be well-exposed. Those who are not and remain ignorant remain in the dark for life. This is not good. This is not what God (or whatever higher being one believes in, if one chooses to believe) wants. God wants us to be knowledgeable. That is why some faiths have historically been known to have amazing schools (my mother and grandmother both attended Catholic schools in Asia. Catholic schools, unlike a lot of other Christian schools strongly emphasize academics. Religion is part of daily life, yes, but the curriculum itself is secular). I do not understand why people even want their child to remain ignorant. My parents wanted me to go to the best schools I could get myself into, read books and learn about many different cultures. This is part of being what we call well-polished and sophisticated.

  93. You're awesome, Ruth. I'm glad to be part of your little army of supporters. What your father has done (and is doing) is despicable and cowardly, but your response is perfect. Something tells me he's not going to rear his head here in the comments - he knows it's his own fault everyone hates his ass.

  94. Dear Ruth: I woke up this morning with you and your plight on my mind. I already posted my comment above, most of my remarks being to your father if he's still reading.

    I had my own personal story typed up, but I went over the character limit so I'm just going to say that I went through my own private hell of sorts breaking free from my own family who was not even Quiverfull, ATI, or anything like that. Let me just say that when you’re living with people who will do anything to force you to live their way and believe what they do, they will do anything to keep you there, including physical entrapment.

    This is exactly what happened to me as I flew back home (after I left at age 19)to “talk it through” (this was a ploy). When I got there, they (certain family members) proceeded to try to physically keep me there. I struggled so hard to get away and I did everything that I could do do so, including screaming and yelling at the top of my voice. When someone is trying to trap you and make you a virtual prisoner, something happens inside of you. You feel like a trapped animal and you will do anything to get out; it’s a survival mechanism.

    To finish this story, we caused so much commotion that the neighbors must have called the police as they showed up. I left with them and there was no problem with that because I was 18+. After that ordeal, I was left with bruises on my body, but mostly the bruises inside of me were the ones that hurt me the most. When you can’t trust your own flesh and blood family not to hurt you, there isn’t much there, is it.

    Through time, I was able to make amends with my mother. She was just as much a victim as I was. In my case, it wasn't a dad that did this as my parents were long divorced, it was an aunt and uncle who were the controllers of us.

    It has taken me that full 30 years to get back to what I will call “as normal as possible”.

    I am happily married now and have a nice family. None of that would have happened had I let them take control of my soul and being, and living the life that they had in store for me. All of this was worth fighting for. A person shouldn't have to fight for the right to live a life of freedom, but unfortuntately, such is the case sometimes when we have people in our world who use the bible and other books, teachings, etc., to justify their evil actions.

    My point, Ruth, is for you to be cautious and weary of EVER going back to your family for “discussion” or “we’ll talk things out”, etc,., because most likely it will be a ploy to get you back and possibly entrap you. I don’t want to be an alarmist but I can tell you that these people think that what they are doing to you is for your own good. They are able to do a lot of horrendous things under the guise of “doing for your own good.” My family situation wasn’t nearly as legalistic and well-orchestrated or patriarchal-entrenched as your situation is, and it was bad enough. I can’t even imagine the lengths that your family would go through to get you back into “their fold.”

    Ruth, you’ve already received a lot of good and relevant advice from other people. I’m sorry for going on for so long with my own story (which is EXTREMELY edited as there are tons more things I could write), but I can remember myself being in somewhat your shoes when I was a young woman. No young woman (or man) should have to go through this. I can tell you that through time, there will be healing and you will be fine. You are on your journey to healing and freedom right now. No one has the right to take away your freedom of thought and freedom of being who you want to be. ((Hugs)).


  95. So your dad was "lyin' for Jesus". Nice.

    As far as him thinking he's so powerful, there are over 300 million people in this country and I would bet that 99% have never even heard of him, no matter who he actually is. He is a legend in his own mind, that's all. You keep on keepin' on, Ruth. You've come so far, and you can't let him or his manipulations set you back.

    Let him be a real man and post and own his comments or position, or else his opinion isn't worth the time of day.

  96. Oh Ruth, I'm sorry. We love you!

  97. I just want to encourage you to continue telling your history! Years from now you will be glad you did. It will help in more ways than you can know.
    I wish something like the internet existed for me as a young adult..a place to tell my story, my life would be so different now I believe. It is different thanks to a therapist willing to hear the whole history-all of it! The best thing I ever did was tell and tell!. You keep going strong.
    now back to studying!

  98. Dear Father of Ruth,

    You have a wonderful, strong, intelligent, capable and courageous daughter. That you would deceive her and attempt to curb the beautiful spirit within her says a lot more about you than it ever would about her. A real father does not trick his daughter, does not threaten her. He loves her unconditionally, supports her, extolls her virtues, believes in her and takes care of her. You have done none of these things for your daughter and because of that you are going to lose out on knowing the terrific person she is. It is all your loss, not hers.

    And I agree with Cynthia - we're an army of supporters who love your daughter. We'll watch out for her in the way you should. Your words will not break her spirit. She's much too good for you.

  99. Ruth's Dad,

    Proverbs 6: 16-19


    Keep writing. This is your passage out in more ways than one and you are helping others.

    Hope you are getting back on your feet post-surgery.


  100. Anonymous from February 16, 2010 5:38 PM here posting again,

    My husband and I were talking about whether this blog would even help my ATI parents, but in my experience of the 25 years of the program, I have only seen 1 parent regret that they ever made this tragic decision that splits families.

    The program is more important than the families its meant to serve. The father's image is more important than the well-being of the children entrusted to his care. The appearance and reputation of any leaders is more important than the heart and spirit of the followers. And they wonder why they are viewed as a cult?

    I have accepted the fact that my parents are grown up and have the "right" to make REALLY bad decisions for their OWN lives - I think that I owe them that respect, but I do not own them any more respect since they are not respectful people. The collateral damage that their decision caused is one that is inexcusable without the ownership claimed!

    I will offer some helpful advice which I cannot take credit for. It came from a trusted counselor (incidentally, someone my parents tried to turn against me), "If you will ever have a conversation that repairs the relationship you had, your parents will have to see you as an adult and you will have to have an adult to adult conversation". A mutually beneficial relationship will never result without MUTUAL respect. I emphasize "mutual" since self-imposed authority never expects of themselves what they demand!

    My counselor had the "privilege" of being confronted by my father for "harboring me" (a sign that there is really NO respect for anyone other than the "self-made" and "unaccountable" Father).

    How can a parents be so brash to think that they NEVER makes mistakes and if they do, that as confused, hurt children, we should just suck it up to make them look good? You are not God, you are not infallible due to your self perceived position of authority. You made mistakes, the rest of us own the mistakes we make. What lets you off the hook, dear fathers??

  101. to Ruth's father: Please tell us in what manner Ruth is doing and thinking evil or lying to us. It would be most helpful if you would give us examples. Please be more specific.


  102. Ruth,

    I am so proud of you for your beautiful kind heart, your love of honesty and your courageous stand for your right to live your OWN life!

    So much good advice from people who love you- I have nothing to add, only the one thing to which I want to shout the loudest "YES! YES! YES!"

    Keep blogging, Ruth. The truth is setting you free! It will still be here in cyberspace to help set your younger sibs free one day! Keep loving the tuth, dear one, and humbling set it out in words for the world to see.

    You are so loved, chica! ((((Ruth))))

  103. Anonymous said...
    to Ruth's father: Please tell us in what manner Ruth is doing and thinking evil or lying to us. It would be most helpful if you would give us examples. Please be more specific.

    "Ruth" which isn't even her name is a lie. It starts from the name so you see even her identity is a lie so how can anything good from telling that starting falsehood about who you are? I wouldn't mind the lie so much about her name if she were just using it to protect the innocent people around her who didn't do what it is she says they did. Like me, however, when I read I know it's about me and she's lying about me and my wife so even though I'm glad there's no names so people don't believe the lies it means her story isn't credible. Col 3:9-10
    9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,
    10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him

    She's broke the commandment not to bear false witness. If I knew nothing else about her that would be enough to sit her outside our circle as a bad influence of the world.

    By putting her story out without her mother's permission which hurts her mother greatly to read that "Ruth" thinks she is such a weak person, she is not keeping another commandment and divine principle.
    Colossians 3:20 ESV
    Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

    "Ruth's" sins would be greater than I can say here and I respect her more than she respects my wife which means I won't list them without her permission. I leave her with this and you with this passage to study.
    Deuteronomy 21:18-21 ESV
    “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear."

    1. Dear Ruth's Dad, 2 years later. Your posts are incoherently written. If you would like to make a cogent point you should go over what you have written to see if it is written in a way that is understandably written. Your writing very clearly shows that you are angry, but it also shows that you little control over your thoughts and how they are expressed. Sir, you do nothing to further your cause as you sound worse in your own writing than you do when Ruth describes you.

    2. Ruths dad, you provoke your daughter to wrath AND you do not love your wife as you love yourself nor do you love your wife as Christ loves the church. Both of these are what fathers are instructed to not do and do.

  104. Ruth's Father, you're an ass.

    And you just effectively threatened to kill your daughter.

    Ruth, I'd report this to the authorities.

  105. TO Ruth's father: I don't know scripture & verse but there is something about a father wanting so much for his children, then imagine how much Our Father in Heaven wants for us. You'll know what passage that is...

    But you see none of us recognize you ( we don't include Ruth's mother) as wanted the best for his children. Even Ruth's brother has acknowledged how awful life was growing up in your household. So is he a liar as well>? Why do 2 of your children want to 'lie' about you? Also, YOU have not given us your true name either. You are not my father - you are Ruth's father. So, your post has started off with a 'lie.'

    I want to know to you take all passages in the Bible literally. If you do, then the above reading, quite honestly, scare the hell out of me & would cause me to get as far away from you as possible!

    Jean (see I use my real name!)

  106. Ruth Father, Jesus also died for you and He loves you dearly, and would love nothing more than to see YOU come back into the fold. God is especially fond of you. That said however, keep in mind that God also said that someone who hurts a child of His (Ruth and the rest of your children) it would be better that a millstone were hung around your neck and you were drowned. Maybe God protect your dear children and poor wife.

  107. Dear Ruth's Father: Thank you for posting your version of the truth.

    First off, I'm not surprised that she is using the name, "Ruth," as she is trying to keep her identity unknown. You know that too, so why bring it up?? Let's keep it real here.

    While her name might not be her real name, I believe that her story is real. Why is that, you might ask? Because I am old enough to have been around the block a few times with this ultra-conservative, fundamentalist religion gooblety-goo and trust me, I have seen what it does to people, both the young and the adults. It does NOT bring people closer to God, it distances them not only from God, but from their family. What's so "Christian" about that? Because some demented (and yes, I mean DEMENTED so-called Christian leaders; I call them wolves in sheep clothing - have made a cottage industry of pretending to be God? You know who they are; the Bill Gothards, the Doug Philips, and the other a*ses of the patriarchal world). They better watch that Lorena Bobbit never gets ahold of them because their legalistic dogma won't mean diddly to her.

    You seem to think that because you post some bible verses about the disobedience of children that that somehow lets you off the hook for all that you've done to your wife and your chidren.

    I hope that you and Ruth as well as all of your children eventually have the type of relationship where you can respect each other, especially when your children start becoming full-fledged adults. No one can idolize you as some sort of king 24/7. Maybe it's time that you let go of trying to control everyone and everything and just enjoy life for a change. Maybe if you do this, you will lose your place in your "community" (whatever that may be), but I'd rather lose that than lose what is real and that is my spouse and my children. When you are an old man some day, none of that fundamentalist B.S. is going to matter, and if you think that being a controlling person is what's going to get you into heaven, I highly doubt that too. Just let it go for your own sake and your children's sake.

    Obviously "Ruth" sees things in a different light than you do. Why don't you try loving your family for a change and by that I mean stop trying to control them. If several of your children have already left your fold, then obviously, the system ain't working. Why don't you let go of the system and just go back to the basics which means take that huge weight off your shoulders and just relax and love your family.

    And by the way, your little happy verse up there mentioning "stoning" - are you threatening Ruth? Like I said before, just let it go and enjoy your life for a change. I wonder if you even know what that feels like anymore or if you're even allowed to. Very sad for you because somewhere deep inside of you lies a better person than what you're displaying. Bottom line is that your daughter, the rest of the children, and your wife is hundreds time more important and precious than this patriarchal world you've been sucked into. Like I said already, it that system was working, you wouldn't have the defecters that you have. Maybe the system ain't so good. Good luck.

  108. Dear Ruth's Father:

    First of all, I want you to know that I am praying for you and your whole family. Obviously, there are serious issues that need to be resolved, and it's going to take courage from every one of you to face the problems head-on and work them out.

    Second, while my heart goes out in Sympathy to Ruth, it goes out in Pity to you. You have many verses at your command about rebellious children and wickedness ... but what about Ephesians 6:4, where God commands Fathers not to provoke their children to wrath? Or Matthew 7, where Jesus says that a good earthly father does not give his child a rock when it asks for bread, or a snake when it asks for fish.

    Dear Ruth's Father, you have been led astray by the traditions of men, to a religious practise that is not compatible with Christ's Law of Love. The Law of Love demands that you lay down your life for others, not that they lay down their lives for you. God's plan for marriage is a relationship of MUTUAL honouring, submission, and sacrifice, with joyful companionship. Not a relationship in which one spouse dominates and subjugates the other.

    I Pity you, sir, because I know that if you do not take heed to your hurtful ways, you will lose everything that you hold dear in this life, and you may find yourself standing before your Maker, hearing your works pronounced "wood, hay, and stubble" rather than the gold and jewels that you hope for. I pray that God will open your eyes before it is too late.

    Ruth is no longer a child. She is an adult in the eyes of the secular authorities, and in the eyes of God. Concealing her identity is not lying; it is a means of protecting both herself and her family. She has sought to protect you even as she works out the traumas of her childhood. She clearly loves and respects you, even as she deplores your attitudes and actions.

  109. On anonymity: Ruth's father, you said,

    '"Ruth" which isn't even her name is a lie. It starts from the name so how can anything good from telling that starting falsehood about who you are?"'

    If Ruth were to give us her real name, it could lead to the identification of her entire family. It was wise to pick a pseudonym to a) protect the identities of innocent people, and b) prevent any passing idiots from doing anything illegal.

    If you are concerned about her readers being deceived, we don't consider the pseudonym important because we know very well that she needs to conceal her identity and that of her family. Like everyone else, I have been reading about a person's struggle to survive her harmful lifestyle and trying to give what help I can. I don't care whether or not that person's first name is Ruth.

    As for the 'starting falsehood about who you are', that also applies to impersonating a concerned woman in order to get information out of one's daughter.

    Colossians 3:21

  110. Oh I see, Ruth's dad is academically and mentally challenged.

    Many people blog their stories under a pseudonym for privacy sake. That is a well accepted aspect of blogging in the cyberspace world. It is not considered a lie or a deceipt. It is a socially accepted norm. I guess your black and white thinking prevents you from understanding this. Ruth calling herself 'Ruth' does not discount or diminish Ruth's story which has been told with utmost respect and embraced by so many, particularly those who have lived in the ATI/QF community and or a controlling household. I wouldn't be so kind or respectful if I were Ruth, clearly she is a better person than I.

    You can dish out the scriptures all you want by why don't you follow them yourself? You lied when you pretended to be Ruth's friend and then abused that trust to manipulate and threaten her.

    Why are you held to different standards? Do you not follow the same word of God that you hold others to? What makes you a special snowflake?

    You bear false witness in this very blog by posting anonymously. May I suggest you look up the definitition of hypocrisy. I take it you're not familiar with the concept.

    Ruth - you stay strong girl and please send this response from your father to campus police and the dean of students with his full name and a picture. The threat of stoning should not be taken lightly particularly from a man who seems to be out of touch with reality.

    Hugs to you!

    (posting with my real name!)

  111. Dear Ruth's Father:

    Would you not agree with me that by preventinf an individual from getting proper education which opens one up to the world, making him or her more well-polished and sophisticated is a sin? If keeping people in the dark and not knowledgeable about the sciences, different points of view (whether religious or not) and so forth was so bad, then missionaries around the world would not have set up schools. You see, where I come from, people like yourself would be condemned because they are preventing others from expressing themselves. It is not considered a good thing to do. It is no different from what is going on in the Middle East or what happened in Europe a thousand years ago. Ruth does not want to live in that kind of society, because that kind of society is sinful. It is a sin not to have knowledge. It is a sin to be in the dark. In fact, where I come from, no man would want to marry a woman who cannot carry on an intelligent conversation (or vice versa) since they would grow tired of each other within a week.

  112. "Father" - if in fact you are "Ruth's" "Father". You have not respected your daughter! Ruth (I will call her as I feel that I have full disclosure that is not her real name)has already given you her permission to state your beef with her and let the world judge, but you want YOUR rules. You still state that you can pretty much set all the rules, that only YOU matter... you won't reach resolution.
    Seriously, my father used that "stoning" crap on me too - you don't deserve to be a parent!!
    If you would rather control your children to the point of YOU DECIDING their death due to YOUR FEELINGS of "rebellion" - that is a SAD, SAD commentary on YOUR CHARACTER. You would rather BE RIGHT than a FATHER??

    Seriously, "FATHER" what's wrong with you??

    X-pilot ATIA daughter

  113. I hope I never get to the point in my life where I hate my children like you seem to, sir.

    What a shame.

    -Yet another ATIA daughter

  114. I've been reading the blog for a while, but this is the first time I've commented. Please don't let him discourage you, Ruth. This man is not a real 'father' in any sense of the word. He is an emotionally abusive tyrant who sees your healthy effort to separate yourself from his control and delusional worldview as an ultimate threat both to his power (as many above posters have noted) and to his tenuous sense of self. You see, domineering parents - particularly fathers - generally never achieved real, mature independence themselves. He needs the crutch of outward domination to conceal his own fundamental vulnerability. His petty and pathetic (I know they feel hurtful from personal experience, but one day you will see exactly how pathetic they are when you look back on them) attempts to frighten you are just a more dangerous version of the temper tantrum a toddler might throw upon realizing that he is not the center of attention and doesn't always get his way.

    His effort to claim your name is a perfect example. He failed you as a father and stifled all the first expressions of your free will and unique personality. You have rebuked him, and now he is still trying to suffocate you by denying your right to tell your story in your own voice, to give expression to your feelings and to journey towards full, mature autonomy on your own terms. He should be ashamed of himself, and the above poster is right to pity him. Not only is he pitable in himself, but because of it he is missing out on knowing the beautiful person we are all witnessing you become.

    You are becoming an educated, emotionally sophisticated young woman. I can tell (I teach at a highly regarded university) that you have the potential to achieve what you have set out to accomplish, both professionally and personally. It's with this in mind I would also STRONGLY urge you to take as much and as forceful legal and protective action against your father as you can. I know it will be painful for you, but please remember, you are NOT rejecting your family. They have structured a situation that leaves you no other options, and they have adopted a worldview that only lets you appear only as a sinner or a saint. It's black and white and you can't win on their stilted terms. Ruth, you have to save yourself.

    We all stand behind you, and many of us have our own experiences with abusive parents. I developed chronic insomnia that it took years to overcome because the fear my father would murder me in the vulnerable condition of sleep kept me awake at night. It has taken me years to overcome the many, interconnected legacies of emotional abuse and guilt he left me with. You can do it Ruth, and that's why he's terrified. His violent reactions are proof that you are already succeeding.

  115. Ruth's father -
    You consider a pseudonym a lie? Something meant to protect both her and your family? Perhaps then you truly do wish her ill, as well as your family? I noticed that while you flailed about grasping a straws, you yourself did not have the courage to give even your first name. Hypocrisy is thy name.

    I've yet to see Ruth bear false witness. I imagine in your mind she has, as no doubt you see yourself without error, without flaw. Each time she points out a mistake, you yell "lies, blasphemy!", instead of looking within to see if perhaps you aren't God, if perhaps you have made a mistake.

    You've made a mockery of love, a mockery of parenthood, and a mockery of your religion. You try to sound educated and pious, cherry-picking passages that seem to support you. But in doing so, you only show how little you understand the Bible, and the messages contained within.

    You'll find little support here for your hate. People will pray for you, people will support Ruth, but we will not perpetuate the lies, hate, and control that you want to spread in the name of "love" and "religion".

    Ruth, be strong, know that you're supported and care for. Take precautions to be safe, and then go out and live *your* life as your heart dictates.

    - Shari
    (my real name)

  116. Ruths mom-

    If you are reading this, here's your sign, hun.

    This, what your husband is doing to Ruth, is abuse.

    Open your eyes. Open your heart and find your spirit. Fight for your children.

    Please. Dont let more of your children be on the recieving end of this *love.*

  117. Wow. Just when I was relishing the thought that Mr. Not so Fun-die-pants was off sulking in a corner, he goes and does this.

    I'm not religious. My parents tried and I was finished with religion by the time I was 6 or 7. I admit that I see no rational or logical reason for Christianity but I have several friends who are devout in their beliefs. And who find comfort in the bible and god.

    Ruth, I hope some day you can find a comforting view of god. That you can have a zietgiest where god nourishes and comforts his followers. I'm not sure why anyone would want to be in this group your family follows. Such a dim view of god and self and the world. It's like they never made it to the new testament and are languishing in a black and white world where you kill or be killed.

    Mr. Ruth's father-- you totally negate everything that Jesus stood for. And that's expected since you seem to demand to be worshiped as a god yourself. Forget Ruth's mom's story. I want to know what happened to you that twisted you into such a bitter and for lack of a better word, limp man. What makes you feel so impotent inside that you must exert total control on the people who should love you the most? I feel sorry for you. You'll end up an old and bitter man who has no one around you because no one wants to go hang out with mean old grandfather fundiepants.

    Ruth, that was an indirect threat on your life. He's attempting to scare you into silence. Please be careful. I want you to continue to spread the word of your struggle and your successes in life. But I want you to be safe, as well.

    These people are extremists who have no respect for others or for rule of law.

    **Hugs** I hope this blog shows up for every potential new recruit family that is google-ing ATI. I hope this opens the eyes to the families seeking good home schooling alternatives and realize that it's a slippery slope to misery and domination.

    And I'm mentally sending you a gallon of Daiquiri Ice. I may get some after I see the doctor this afternoon.

    And BTW, I don't care what your name is. Why don't we just call you Rosebud and have a good laugh at your dad?

  118. Just say no to stoning! Seriously, Ruth's "Father",' the fact that you would even threaten to do such a thing, coupled with the fact that there are hundreds of internet strangers that feel more protective and parental of Ruth than you do means you're a big, fat FAIL.

    (((Ruth))) Take care of yourself.

  119. Ruth, I'm thinking of you, please let us know you're safe....

    Love, hugs & courage, Eliza

  120. Dude, even Gothard himself would repudiate you at this point.

    As to accusing your daughter of deception, uh, I'd be taking that big fat log out of your own eyeball, sir. And while we are at it, chew on this..." But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice." Guess who said that???

    Also, go reread the story of the prodigal son while you are at it.
    Ruth, out this guy. I beg you. This has gone far enough. And if you won't, those of you who have strong googlefu, out him for her!
    -connie. The one with the pastor who knows how to be a good father and husband.

  121. Ruth, I'm so sorry. You CAN do this. You can continue to live your life away from the sperm donor that threatened your safety and life. Some people in this world are not fit to be parents, and I believe your father is just one of those people. He is not a parent, he is not a father and he is not a daddy. He was and is nothing more than a sperm donor.

    I feel sorry for your mother. I'm sure she is suffering from Battered Woman Syndrome. The "person" she married has not loved her and raised her up, but has beat her down and made her miserable. I hope, for your sake and your siblings' sakes, that she will eventually stand up for you. I know, as a mother, that if ANYONE threatened my children, I would turn into the mama bear protecting my cub.

    To Ruth's sperm donor: See, to me, and I'm sure many others here, you are not a father or husband. A father, loves, nurtures, protects and guides their children and does the same for his wife. You seek to control and rule these people. How dare you threaten Ruth's safety and life! You are a sad, sad excuse for a man and human being. I hope you have to pay for those threats here on Earth before your life ends. You are sick and twisted.

    Ruth, I know you are probably not sure about contacting the people that leave you comments, now that you have been lied to and deceived. I also know that you probably have people there at school that you can talk to, but, I know there are many of us that would do anything in our power to help you and protect you. If you EVER need any help, please don't be afraid to reach out. There are ways to prove who we are in real life, and that we aren't sick and twisted people.

    Hugs to you Ruth!

    PS. I don't care that you are using a different name for your blog, and don't think it's deceiving at all. It's SMART!

  122. Ruth's Dad-- The hypocrisy in your comment is so deep that it's difficult to know where to start, so let me jump right in:

    1. Your first major fault with Ruth is that she is not using her real name? What would you have her do? Is it your preference that she use her real name, YOUR real name, and the real names of your family and children? Would this not bring tremendous shame upon your household? Is she not protecting you from shame and harm by not posting your real names on the Interest? I am truly curious. If she continues to post (as I, and a tremendous number of other hope and pray she does), what would you have her do?

    2. Your post seems to indicate that children owe a duty of blind faith and obedience to their parents. While the Bible certainly demands that we honor our fathers and mothers, it certainly doesn't counsel that we do so blindly. Indeed, Luke tells us that following Christ might very well entail repudiating our parents. And certainly Christ sets an example of refusing to abide by authority figures rife with oppression, unrighteousness, and hypocrisy when he repudiates the high religious patriarchs of the day-- the pharisees. Thus, Christians have a duty to honor their mothers and fathers but not if doing so means supporting or participating in sin. This is precisely what Ruth writes about on this blog: the sin and oppression and tyranny present in her household because of you. If what she says is true, she is certainly under no obligation to be obedient to you and, in fact, may have a Biblical obligation not to do so if doing so would result in sin.

    3. As for your reference to stoning, let me leave YOU with this passage to study: John 8:7-- "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."

    I pray that you will find peace and reconciliation in your heart and be able to overcome the deception and desire to control the people around you.

  123. Out him Ruth. Only when we turn over the stone can we see the creatures and the slime that lurks under it. You father is using his anonymity as his protection while at the same time he is threatening you.

    Ruth's father- even if she continues to protect your identity, please know we are watching closely and if you do anything to harm Ruth it will not go unpunished. You will be found.

    You see Ruth's father, the world is full of bullies- you aren't the only one. You aren't the only one that can threaten- just remember that.

  124. Ruth-- Let me echo the words of support and encouragement that you've already received. You have people all over the world supporting and cheering you on. Please remain strong. Do not let your father's jugdgmental and manipulative words lead you off of the path that you've set forth for yourself. You are such an incredibly strong person, and your words are clearly having a tremendously powerful impact on oppressed women everywhere.

    And please, take this most recent post from your father and give copies to campus police, the dean of students, and your counselors.

    I also highly, highly encourage you (and every other woman I know) to read the book "The Gift of Fear." It is, hands down, the best personal safety book on the market and has saved the lives of COUNTLESS people. I credit this book for helping me deal quickly, powerfully, and effectively with a number of dangerous situations AND eliminating the needless fear that I used to experience when I wasn't truly in danger. Please buy this book or borrow a copy from the library. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

  125. Ruth's Father,
    Making threats is just another sign of a bully. I don't think you even believe in the Love of Christ. You worship at the altar of ATI and the writings of a man who's never been married or had a relationship with a woman or had a family. That's a real accomplishment, telling people how to raise their kids without ever having done it. And I bet you have all the Pearls books too with their little 1/2 inch diameter pieces of plumbing line around the house too. Beat em into submission and they will only see you when they look up, no love of God or truth.

    Your wife and remaining children have my sympathy. Crawl back under the bridge Mr Troll and leave Ruth to live her life and learn.

    A very upset 56 year old mother and wife.

  126. Anyone who wonders if Ruth could be making this stuff up, can contact me. I often wondered if I exaggerated this stuff in my mind after so many years, but then I see in print, from Ruth and others, the very things I knew were preached/taught/forced upon women and children involved in this cult. I got the "stoning" threat all the time too. It is a daily struggle for me to believe that God loves me. Ruth, I encourage you to read The Shack. If you are like me, I equated God with my father and Bill Gothard. It took a lot of therapy to get that picture out of my mind, and after reading The Shack, I finally, after all these years, am closer to seeing God for the loving entity that he is, as opposed to some judging monster who is going to drop the bomb any second from now.
    - another ex-Pilot ATIA daughter

  127. Is Ruth's father for real or is it just an internet troll?

    The only thing he acieves with his threats is really making the ATI/Gothard movement look totaly insane and cruel.
    I somehow doubt that anyody who is anybody in that movement would be stupid enough to do it.

  128. Ruth's father is real, I am sure. Nothing he says is nothing I have never heard before from others in that cult.

  129. Ruth,

    You may want to start logging IP addresses, for future purposes. Also, keep any emails he's sent you (whether from "him" or the person he was impersonating). There is a lot of valuable information in the headers of the emails that might help law enforcement build a case, if harm should ever come your way.

    Ruth's father should realize he's not as anonymous as he thinks he is.

    Stay safe, Ruth. And let us know you are okay, if you get the chance. We're concerned for you.

  130. Ruth's Father: you're a pathetic, small, ass of a man, with no human virtue or value. You deserve nothing in life but horrible things.

    Ruth: he now has officially threatened to take your life, in print. Log the IP address, and go to the police. It's time for a restraining order.

  131. Make sure you print out hard copies of everything and make electronic back-ups (maybe forward them to an email address your family doesn't know of), in case anything happens to your original email account.

  132. Ruth,

    Firstly, I don't care that this isn't your real name. Names have nothing to do with the very real person you are. You call yourself Snow White, and your story would be no less real.

    I can only echo what my fellow supporters have said. This man, for lack of a better word, has now threatened your life. It doesn't matter if the threat was a thinly veiled biblical reference; it is a threat all the same. He means you true harm. Please, print out any and all emails and messages he has sent you (including the comments left on your blog) and take it to the campud authorities. But don't stop there. Go to the local police station of whatever town you in which you live and file a restraining order. Similar threats were made towards me by a controling, abusive boyfriend, and I went to the authorities. I know it will take a lot of courage, but please do this. I would also recommend asking the police at your local station if they offer free self-defense classes for women. Lots of police forces offer these classes, and I would look into them immediately, espeically after this latest threat.

    We love you Ruth, more than the sperm donor obviously does. We care about the person, not the appearance. Protect yourself.

    Please let us know that you are ok when you can. We worry about you because we care that much


  133. Kind of off topic..

    but are you watching/enjoying the olympics? I figured that may be new for you....esp. figure skating..

  134. Ruth stay safe and please update us all (Soulhuntress from FJ poster here). And to the sperm donor aka "father" (truly dude you gave life) I truly hope you repent of your idolatry and rage. Your god right now is Bill Gothard.

  135. OMG:

    "Ruth's" sins would be greater than I can say here and I respect her more than she respects my wife which means I won't list them without her permission. I leave her with this and you with this passage to study.
    Deuteronomy 21:18-21 ESV
    “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear."

    OMG. This is LITERALLY a death threat. Ruth, take this seriously. Take it to the police, your dean, I know you already talked to them, but just keep a record of this and document it. I fear he may mean exactly what he says here. I literally gasped when I read this passage. FATHER, note that threatening your daughter with death is ILLEGAL in this country in this century. You just committed a CRIME. And you say a pseudonym is a sin? You think we believe anything you say about your daughter "lying" about the abuse in her house, when you literally criminally threaten her on her own blog, in the open?

  136. Ruth, you have no choice but to out him now. He has made a death threat against you. You must out him so that the entire world will know who it is that has threatened you, which may be your only hedge of protection. Please alert the police, but especially the media. Out him here and your army of fans will help with the latter. Please, please out him. It is now a matter of your safety and possibly your survival. Please.

  137. Ruth,
    Please just let us know that you're safe.

  138. You know, I have to wonder if the "organization" knows what her father is posting. My boss would be a mite peeved if I were threatening to smite people.

    If ATI/Gothard have a PR person, they need to shut this man up now.

  139. How sad that Ruth's father isn't able to recognize that a very plausible reason to *NOT* use her birth name is to protect him, her mother and her siblings. Ruth's father...legally, she can change her name if she's an adult. Many writers use a pseuonym as well, no considers them to be a liar.

  140. If Ruth's father cared about Ruth at all, he'd assure her and all the rest of us that he won't hurt her. But instead, I am sure he is thinking that we all just don't "understand" God's, I mean Bill Gothard's, "basic non-optional principles" of authority, etc. It is clear that Ruth's father has chosen this BG cult over his family and their best interest. So sad.

  141. This organization, I am sure of it, is not peeved at what Ruth's dad is doing. Instead, they are all in a prayer meeting praying a hedge of thorns around Ruth, in hopes that God will smite her rebellious attitude and she will come back to the fold, tail between legs, and humbly beg forgiveness in front of and to the entire organization's staff.

  142. Ruth-
    Hey, it is simply sweet on FJ. I just wanted to write and tell you that you are an amazing woman! Your bravery in coming on here and sharing your story is really inspiring and is helping me realize that I can moved past my past. I also love your tenacity when it comes to putting you "father" and others in their place while not resorting to their tactics of name calling and threats. Keep taking the high road and let you father contiune to make himself look like a deranged psychopath.

    I do suggest CONSIDERING getting a restraining order against at least your father. It might be in your best interest to think about including other various family member and people that have threatened you. That way, if they do it again, you have legal creedence. I had to get one against my dad after he slash my tires. Also--- CONTACT CAMPUS OFFICALS! When I was going through the whole mess with my dad, my Dean of Students was there and made sure to keep me safe until I got everything squared away. Take all the procautions you can. Just because these people are family does not mean that they are uncapable or unstable enough to hurt you.

    What the hell is wrong with you? This is your daughter and you talk and treat her like this? You should be ashamed and I can promise you that you will NOT be going to heaven. Leave Ruth alone, let her move on with her life and let her grow into the woman she is destined to be. You are showing your true colors and I am embarrassed for you.

    Ruth- Out him. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You can see that you have over 100 people that care about you and have your back (and that is not counting the lurkers!).

    Best wishes

  143. Ruth, please post. The silence is deafening.
    Take care.


  144. Hey lady,

    I know this is incredibly demoralizing but you arent alone. We are here for you.

    Ruth, I asked an attorney friend of mine about the best course of action for you and she suggested the following:
    1. File a police report now. Establish a paper trail.
    2. Keep notes of the phone calls when he calls to harass you. Times, dates and content of calls.
    3. She suggests getting an attorney and to file a cease and desist letter. Again, building your paper trail.
    4. File a restraining order.

    Ruth, she has also given me permission to give you her email address if you need help. She is in IL, like myself. I dont know where you are located but if you are in IL and are in trouble, please know that I will help you, should you need it. That my attorney friend will help you out with legal advice if she can.

    You arent alone.

    -Jenny (my email addy is in your gmail account)

  145. Ruth, consider calling the state bar association of whatever state you are in. They will be able to recommend an attorney or organization that might be able to help you on a pro bono basis. Many cities and states have organizations in which attorneys volunteer to help women file restraining orders/orders of protection to help stop domestic violence. Here are some websites that may help you: (the whole site has some good resources) (list of state bar associations)

  146. Ruth, if you can, please post. We all want to make sure you're ok.

  147. Ruth, my prayer is that all ungodly "religious" prayers sent against you that are not of God would be broken off you totally and that you would know God's total peace and love for you. I pray that nothing but God's best would come your way and that you would be at peace, and that your persecutors would come to repentance.

  148. Ruth,

    "Father" needs to be reported to the proper authorities.
    He has threatened your life.


  149. Ruth just emailed me and asked me to post that she's fine. She's having a log on issue with the blog but she wanted everyone to know she's okay.

    Thanks for your concern!!!!

  150. Thanks, Cynthia!

    Ruth, glad you're okay, and I hope the login issue sorts itself out soon. One suggestion: if it does get so that you start posting just to let us know you're okay, it might be best to do it at 'random' times. Just a hunch.

  151. Thanks for the message,Cynthia. Happy to hear that you are OK, Ruth. ;-)


  152. Okay, call me paranoid, but "Cynthia" could be anyone--even Ruth's father. I have seen supportive comments from a Cynthia on here before, that doesn't mean it's the same one. Unfortunately there's no way to tell for sure. I tried clicking on Cynthia's name to see her blog, but it's either private or she doesn't have one. really could be anyone.

    I hope your login issues are solved soon, Ruth, so that the more paranoid among us can have our worries relieved!

    Sorry, but after the stoning threat, I wouldn't put anything past this creep. Ugh.

  153. Thank you so much, Cynthia. I've been worried and saying silent prayers for Ruth since yesterday. I will continue to do so, but am relieved to know that her silence is related to a technical issue.

    Sending prayers that the Light of Love surrounds you, Ruth.

  154. You know Ruth, perhaps it would be wise to totally "come out" and hit up CNN or Fox News or something. Heck, see if you can get on Oprah.

    That way, there are no more secrets. Not only that, but if you come up hurt, dead or missing or such, you will be more in the public eye. It will be harder for your father and the ATI peeps to do anything to you.

    I do pray you are well. (((Hugs)))

  155. Wow.

    Ruth, I am very sorry for what your father has done to you and your family. :( It's sickening and scary.

    I say that as a woman who is happily complementarian in marriage, married at 19, a SAHM, wholly rejects birth control, and is socially and politically rather conservative.

    I never neard of ATI until a few years ago. I never investigated it deeply, never had any interest in it. But I've heard enough to know that if it isn't already a bonafide cult, it's headed in that direction. My family was involved in a different cult when I was younger. But similar tactics. Fortunately we were all kicked out together. But I've watched that cult do similar things to friends who left on their own, and still have family there.

    What is most striking to me with these types of self-righteous people is that *any* small sin on another's part is horrendous, while in their own life, no matter how egregious a sin they commit, it's OK if it's done for "the right reasons". Your father's lies and deception being a prime example here. Decieving you, and then coming here to accuse you of deception. If it weren't so scary, it would be funny due to the sheer pathetic nature of that ploy.

    Take care of yourself. May God keep you safe and heal your broken heart.

  156. Lainey,

    I appreciate your concern and I have no way to assure you that I've been posting here since December under the name "cynthia". I don't have a blog but if you want to email at my net filter address, I can give that to you. I posted it in the thread when Ruth was considering the tip jar. It's the same address (though not my main one, since I try not to post that online due to spam bots).

    I'm not sure what I can do to prove that I did get an email from Ruth. Someone else on the FJ site got one too, so hopefully she'll post here soon.

  157. Ruth--I am so impressed every time I read your blog, at your courage, your honesty, and your wonderful written voice. I'm sending good thoughts. Stay strong!

  158. Ruth,

    I know Maggie from another forum. She is a great person, and everything she says is true. You are blessed to have her support.

  159. I also wanted to say.......I personally believe you are 100% telling the truth. Sadly, I've seen a couple spots on the internet accusing your blog of being fake (I told those people I think they are wrong as the truth is often stranger then fiction)....

    I don't blog, so maybe that's why I don't know the answer to this...but is there some way you could "prove" to them that you are in fact legitimate? I mean without giving away your identity.

  160. P.S. I forgot to tell you I met Maggie in person once.

    One of the reasons I very much believe you is that I was a nanny for a Gothard family once, so I recognize things (although their involvement was MILD compared to your family..but I remember all the legalistic manuals and junk).

  161. Ruth I am praying for you and I am prayin for your father. He's quoting archaic verses from the OT. But didn't Jesus Christ come and tell us that he was the new covenant and with him the old covenant was gone?

    I hope that you have taken the advice of the wise women who have posted here and get some legal protection. Personally I don't care what your real name is or who your father is.

    And if it helps, I'll pray a hedge around your father to wake up and smell the coffee and stop being such an ass.

  162. This is so frightening. You're in my thoughts...

  163. Just to reassure the readers here: I emailed her yesterday afternoon and received a response. Ruth is safe ~ just not feeling very well (sick) ~ and she is pretty shook up ~ but she says she is "okay."

    Hopefully, she'll be feeling well enough to provide more of an update soon.

    (((((((Hugs to Ruth)))))))

    Vyckie @ No Longer Quivering (So there is no doubt about my true identity.)

  164. Thank you, Cythia and Vyckie. I feel better now. :o)

    I hope you feel better soon, Ruth!

  165. Holy cow! HOLY COW! I! Please keep yourself safe. Please post as regularly as possible to let us know that you are safe.

    Please do as others said and keep records and do whatever you can to protect yourself. I cannot believe this, I am so flabbergasted. My jaw literally dropped when I got to that comment.

    I really wish you would accept an offer from CNN.

  166. Quote: "hedge of thorns" is a Gothardism. When a child or wife is "rebelling" against their husband/father, Bill Gothard instructs the husband/father to pray a hedge of thorns - loosely meaning to pray that something bad (harmful, hurtful, dangerous, brought on by God) will happen to the rebeller, and thus "force" them back into the "fold."
    When one is not rebelling, the authority figure just prays a "hedge of protection" around that person."

    This is witchcraft. And this from the Gothardites who so love to say, "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft".

    God bless and protect you, Ruth.

    And I am NOT using my own name. Not so a psycho like Darth Vater can see it.


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