Monday, April 12, 2010


I'm taking a series break to let NLQ catch up. Speaking of that, everyone please pray (if you pray) and think of (if you want to) for Vyckie's daughter Angel. She's had a rough week and could probably use the support. Vyckie, too!

Since I'm taking a series break, this would be the time or place to ask any questions you have.


  1. After reading your thread about puberty, I'm curious about what it was like for your brothers. I mean, adolescent boys (well, all males, really) are prone to spontaneous erections and nocturnal emissions. Your brothers would have had to have had them. Was this ever discussed - did your parents ever discover them having these incredibly normal things?

  2. Yes yes I am the queen of questions. I asked you in an email what your family did for recreation growing up, but I now want to you know what YOU, the adult Ruth like to do for recreation.

  3. I've read you talk about the negatives of growing up QF but were there ever any positive sides of AFI/QF life?

  4. Stacey: Ruth wrote about some good growing-up memories here: I'm not sure how much they relate to ATI/QF, but they're positive.

    I can't think of any specific questions, but I'm curious about the way men and boys are treated by this lifestyle. Most of the personal stories I've read come from women, who obviously get the worst of it - nevertheless, it also deceives and harms men. Since ATI's so gender-polarised, I'd like to hear that side of the story. If you have any more information about how your brothers were encouraged to become big righteous manly men, I'd be interested to read it (as long as it doesn't interfere with their privacy, of course).

    Thanks for being open to questions!

  5. Are you angry at your parents for what they did to you and your siblings growing up?

    How do you feel about the siblings who chose to remain in ATIA after all the damage its done to your family?

  6. I've asked before big I'll ask again: it seems to me the QF and ATI is mostly a cauasian following. Why do you think that there are not very many ethnic minorities in the movement. Having read your bit about your education and how history is misrepresented, do you think that minorities are simply offended by the misinformation? Or do you think there is somethig else?

  7. I hope, Ruth, you are taking a break due to exams or whatever & not because of some of the postings at FJ.

    Take care.


  8. How do QF/Gothard/ATI people handle genetic illness? Let's say a QF couple finds out they are both carriers of a debilitating genetic illness like Tay Sachs, one that they have a high chance of passing on to their children and would cause the child to have a short life filled with nothing but pain. Would the couple separate, or would they continue to have kids with the reasoning that if G-d didn't want them to have sick kids he'd "close the womb?"

  9. @Lauren (re: the boys', puberty) -- I should get my brother to post here because he could answer that better than I can, obviously. From my viewpoint, I never knew anything about my brother's sexuality, other than, occasionally, we'd be asked to bleach their sheets. I think I was almost out of the house before I understood why we had to do their sheets on off days occasionally. I'm sure my dad talked to my brothers about certain things and I'm pretty sure their development was covered in ALERT training, but I could be wrong.

    @Natalie (Re: recreation)-- Before I hurt myself, I liked to hike! LOL
    I like being active and outdoors as much as possible. Probably because those things weren't "acceptable" when I was younger and I always wanted to be doing what the boys did. Hiking and camping are things I just really enjoy. I've tried rafting and I like that too. Indoor things- I like to read but I don't get to do much pleasure reading lately. I have tried scrapbooking but I'm not very talented at it. I like playing trivia games.

    Stacey said...
    I've read you talk about the negatives of growing up QF but were there ever any positive sides of AFI/QF life?

    There were good times, of course! I don't know how many of them related to ATI/QF. I guess I liked some of our young women's group stuff at Big Sandy. I liked the comraderie when people weren't trying to rat you out or one up you. It's hard for me to think fondly on all of that because most of my "friends" were no longer allowed by their parents to talk to me when I backed out of my courtship and left my home.

    @Lolly (re: the boys)--I'll really try to get Eli to come on here. He can answer your question. From my perspective- boys were treated like little emperors, with certain birth order exceptions. Boys really didn't have it bad in childhood but I think they may have had it worse as teens. Every time they looked at a girl, it could be misconstrued. If they didn't want to marry right away or get settled in a career right after high school, they were questioned about their motives and spirituality. It was hard for my older brothers to go from kids to husbands.

    Anonymous said...
    Are you angry at your parents for what they did to you and your siblings growing up?

    How do you feel about the siblings who chose to remain in ATIA after all the damage its done to your family?

    Those are very difficult questions. I don't know how to answer them. I'm angry, sure. I'm trying to discover, with time and therapy, the reasons for the anger and what to do with it. I love my family. I ache for them and the choices those still in are making because I see them going down the same road and that's hard. The short answer is that I pity them in some ways and fear for them.

  10. @Anonymous (re: minorities in ATI)-- There's subtle and overt racism in ATI. It depends on when you joined but for a while, they preached that whites should marry whites and whatever but that may have been a Southern thing more than an ATI thing. There are minority ATIers- very few of them but they exist. They tend to be recent "converts" (within teh last eight years or so). Gothard doesn't help when he talks about his history with inner city youths and how they were usually all minorities because then you start to equate troubled youth with minorities subconsciously, I think. I could be way off but that's my experience.

    I don't know enough about racial relations to know why minorities tend to not get into ATI or other really fundamental groups. Maybe it has something to do with no liking being told what to do all the time?

    @Geo (re: genetic illnesses) -- God is in charge always, if you're QF/ATI. I can't speak for every ATI/QF family but in my family, they would've had kids anyway and left it to God's will to let that child live or die. Every child is a gift to QFs, no matter how many problems or how the child's life might be.

  11. Hello Ruth,

    I was wondering, since leaving ATI what have you enjoyed most about your life now that would have been forbidden or impossible before?


  12. Ruth- I love card making/scrapbooking!

    I just came back from a wedding in St. Lucia and I cannot wait to get started on my scrapbook for that, but a alas homework comes first.

    I find it interesting that you like trivia games- with your background I would think you would not know a lot of trivia(well besides religious trivia).

  13. Hi Ruth,

    My parents always went to BG's seminar and there was always a session about allowing Satan's influences into our lives. Gothard would always warn that there would be someone there who would be possessed and wouldn't be able to tolerate what was being said and would make a scene. And sure enough, eventually someone would stand up and scream at him and need to be escorted from the building. So my question to you is was that just a set-up? or do you think it really happened? My mother swears that it was true and "really powerful" happening. I, on the other hand, think it's ridiculous and fake.

    Also, do you think that your family was an average ATI family or do you think that you were more "extremist" for lack of a better word. What I mean is that in talking to my mother, she feels like most ATI families were nothing like yours and there are always "nuts" in every group...that most families did not act the way your father did.

  14. Cynthia --I was wondering, since leaving ATI what have you enjoyed most about your life now that would have been forbidden or impossible before?

    Hi Cynthia! I've missed you in e-mail. I hope you're okay?
    Even though it still makes me nervous, I enjoy hanging out with people (ok, young men!) without a constant sexual/marital overtone. I love getting to know people who think differently than I do. I'm not saying it's easy or not scary, but it gives me a thrill to talk to a Muslim guy or a Jewish girl because those types of associations were frowned upon.

    I'm really enjoying dating (it was forbidden). :) Harris and I are doing well despite all the odds against us.

    @Natalie (Re: trivia) -- I didn't say I won alot! :) I like trivia games because even when I lose, I can pick up random bits of information that I didn't know before.

    @Virginia - In my opinion, Gothard seeds his seminars with people who make his point.

    On a scale of 1-10, 1 being non-traditional lieral ATI, 10 being "extremely adhearant, fundamental ATI", my family was probably a nine. If my dad had his druthers, we'd have been an eleven but my mom's influence kept us from going so far. I think most ATI families run in the 1-5 range.

  15. LOL, you make me laugh Ruth. I do like playing games even though I know I probably won't win. As a young woman around your age (I'm 18months younger) I can say that hanging out with young men can be fun (wink). I am happy you are doing well with Harris!

  16. Hi Ruth! Love your blog, and I'm really happy to hear that you're enjoying your new life outside of ATI.
    Here are my questions for you:
    Have you ever met any of the Duggars?
    You mentioned the Big Sandy young women's group, I was just curious about what it was like. Did the girls ever get unsupervised time to hang out and talk together? Did most of the girls embrace the lifestyle that they were in, and look forward to courtship/marriage/a big brood of kids? Did the topic of wanting out ever come up?
    Also, have you ever met an any ATI (or X-ATI) people who were gay?
    Keep up the fabulous blogging!

  17. Hi Ruth
    I really do enjoy reading your blog. You are a very talented writer and you have a story that needs to be heard. I know you had written about your mother before and she sounds like a very strong and bright woman. I wonder, if you have any insight into, why she continues to be QF/ATI and remain under the mercy of your father? She has the support of her parents if she wants to leave, so why does she stay? Also, how modest did you have to dress? Was it like the FLDS with these giganit prairie dresses or the Duggars pre-TLC years with the plain, fumpy home-sewn dresses or was it what they call "modern modesty", like how they dress now? Last question, why did you choose to leave? I mean, obviously we can see why you did but was there a particular incident that was like the straw that broke the camels back where you said "I can't live like this anymore"? Or was it a gradual thing and you started to figure it our over time?
    Thanks so much.
    PLEASE keep writing


  18. Ruth,

    I'd love to know what it was like to go from long hair and skirts with several layers of undergarments and no shaving or deodorant to a more modern way of dress. What was it like to wear pants for the first time or cut and style your hair, dabble in makeup and accessories? I imagine that would be fun and maybe a bit intimidating. What are some of your favorite things to wear or do, fashion wise, that weren't permitted before?

    I went to Catholic school so I wore a uniform for 12 years. When I got to college I loved the being able to dress the way I wanted. Such a freedom of expression! Granted I didn't wear that uniform 24/7 it still felt very stifling to me.

    I'm glad to hear you and Harris are getting along well!

  19. I have another question that follows up on GeoBQn's question about genetic defects... how does the movement handle children and adults who are mentally ill, have a chronic illness and or physically disabled? For example, autism, diabetes or schizophrenia. Would that child get the help they need growing up? Like medication, therapy, physical therapy, etc. Would such a person as an adult get the resources they need to live? Would they be supported or ignored?

  20. Hi Ruth!

    Absolutely love the blog. I'm going to make a broad assumption that this will be covered in another posting, but I'd like to know what happened and where you were between leaving home and starting college? I know you just turned 26, and college sounds like such a new thing for you (thank doG you're there though!). What was it like? Especially watching certain television shows, reading certain books, maybe even going to a different church for the first time and hearing of a loving, merciful god instead of the vengeful one Daddy and BG preached about.


  21. Ruth thanks for answering my question, and please, try to get your brother to post. It'd be nice to get a man's perspective, because I've only heard women's.

    What I find so strange about this is that, while you were publicly shamed, in different ways, while you were going through puberty (your whole family bra shopping for you, your father's psychotic reaction to your period, marking your days on the calender for all to see), your brothers had their puberty issues kept quiet (no public shaming for staining their sheets). Such a double standard, I can't believe I'm surprised, though.

  22. Hi Ruth,

    I was wondering if any canonical literature that was religious-centric was approved? After attaining your GED (I'm assuming, given the experiences of the education of other ATIer's). Did you have a little more freedom to read classics like Paradise Lost or The Faerie Queene, for example? I think Gothard would be all over The Bower of Bliss as an even worse representation of sin than the Fall of Eden.

    Or was it just Bible, Bible and more Bible, in addition to whatever books Darth Pater approved? And because I'm already here, what books WERE you allowed to read? Did you even get to read the Little House series? That series seems to be okay for some, not for others. I'm sure Little Women was out of the question and Jane Austen an out and out feminist, despite there always being a member of the Church in every one of her books (heck, Elinor Dashwood even MARRIED a member of the clergy). I think the Brontes would have been a bit too dark, despite the fact Gothard would have loved Jane Eyre's education after she was cast out at the ripe age of 10.

    If you haven't read any of the above authors, please do! Austen is my all-time fave and I'm about as big and bad of a "wolf" as your Daddy could imagine (a-religious, pants-wearing, etc.). They get their Prince Charmings and many of them have agonizing waits for them. *winky*

  23. Hi Ruth. I was curious if you were going to say a little more about standards for modesty, particularly what you were allowed to do with your hair, makeup, and clothes. Could you braid your hair or cut it? What kind of makeup was acceptable?

  24. You mentioned that you had difficulties transitioning - in that TV shows and pop cultural references were over your head. Could you elaborate? What other things were confusing or different?

    Also, do you ever miss it?

  25. ah two people beat me to my questions (first the racism, thanks for the answer I had been wondering for a while). The other one, I'd like to state it in my way :

    were you ever honest about your feelings to the other girls you met for instance in the Big Sandy meetings. Did you get some time in smaller groups that you could trust ? Have you ever heard stories about girls leaving (from the other girls or generally) ?

    It may be too painfull but do you know how those families reacted if their children decided to leave ? (Did they never mentionned them again ?).

  26. Have you ever met any of the Duggars?
    You mentioned the Big Sandy young women's group, I was just curious about what it was like. Did the girls ever get unsupervised time to hang out and talk together? Did most of the girls embrace the lifestyle that they were in, and look forward to courtship/marriage/a big brood of kids? Did the topic of wanting out ever come up?
    Also, have you ever met an any ATI (or X-ATI) people who were gay?

    One at a time? :)
    Re: Duggars -- Not that I remember. I'm sure there was some point where we may have been at Big Sandy together or another common location and my family is from the area. But I have never "met" them and I don't know them personally. I've heard many first hand and second hand experiences, just none of my own.

    Big Sandy was fun, if you wanted fellowship and other like-minded friends. We almost always had adult supervision at any given time. You have to understand that if we didn't embrace the lifestyle, we didn't admit it out loud, especially in Big Sandy or some other gathering. I didn't tell my parents I wasn't in line until a few days before I bolted. You learn to subjugate the parts of you that don't fall in line for the sake of the group/family.

    Homosexuals in ATI -- same thing. I suspect there are/were some but it would've never been public and I know of only one who left because of that. I know two who were sent away to "rid themselves of the temptation".

  27. Why didn't mom leave?
    She loves my dad. Her parents were supportive, they passed away long ago. She really didn't have anywhere to go with so many small children in tow.

    How modest was your attire?
    Until we were in our teens, it was always dresses (no skirts), with bloomers and a long sleeve undershirt. In our teens, we could choose long skirts with full sleeved blouses with t-shirts under. Hose, always. The rule was "covered from ankle to wrist" in winter. In summer we could get away with half-sleeves and below the knee skirts with slips. Flip-flops were the "expressive attire".

    Why did you leave?
    I'll get to that. I'm not ready, yet, to go there. It was a lot of things but mostly pressure to marry someone I didn't see being with for the rest of my life.

    What was it like to go to dressing "normal"?
    It was an experience. I went gradual for a while and then one day just went nutso. Cut my hair, put on shorts...the next day it was back to jeans and conservative tops. It was scary. It was surreal. It was liberating. Pants felt strange for a long time but now jeans are my standard!

    I have to run!

  28. Ruth,

    First and foremost, as another "mature" student, I want to commend you on choosing to attend college as an adult. I know it's difficult at first, but I can tell you, now that I'm in my final term I don't want to leave school.

    I'm curious about your transition into college, and how your upbringing has affected your class choices and interactions with other students. I noticed that you mentioned that you get a bit of a thrill out of talking to a Muslim guy or a Jewish girl, and that also makes me wonder what the ATI views on Judaism were, especially since it seems that there are aspects of the ATI life that draw heavily from Orthodox Judaism.

    If these questions are too personal, I apologize and will understand if you choose not to answer. I also hope you're feeling a bit better and getting more comfortable with your crutches on campus, I know it's a pain to try and crutch around campus with a bag full of notebooks and school supplies.

    Thank you for sharing your story.


  29. As a wife and mom in her late 40's, I have been around the block of life for a bit, thus I have to offer the following observation: you seem to let your mom off the hook in your postings. While I understand that she has been brainwashed in order to get into/stay into this cult (yes, it IS a cult, has every single characteristic of a cult), I find her as accountable as your dad in all of this.

    From reading your earlier posts, you said that both your father and mother were asked by BG directly if they "want to be part of something big", so they prayed about it for several days, and then chose to go into it full steam ahead. It doesn't sound like either your father or your mother had a gun put to their head in order to agree to join cult, so their choice was not made under duress. Your mom let herself get indoctrinated into this mess fully while her parents were alive and would have been there to take her in while she was going through all of the brainwashing with the fundie supernanny, the prayer closets, etc. She wasn't left alone in the desert. What I'm basically saying is that there was at some point an "escape clause" from all of this, but because she "loves" your dad, then all of this B.S. was perpetrated on you kids and now all of you probably need life-long counseling.

    My childhood was far from ideal (divorced parents, growing up with dysfunctional family members, poverty, etc.), but I know one thing for certain, my mom didn't allow herself to become a patsy in the name of God or Bill Gothard (who sees himself at the level of a superior being apparently) and cause the lives of her children to become a living hell. Your mom was/is a bright and intelligent woman, an educated woman, had all of her faculties about her. My mom was an immigrant, didn't really know English, worked hard, menial jobs, went through a lot, and still she fought for her kids. I don't see any fight here, just giving up and laying on the tracks waiting for the train to run and trample you over. This isn't about love, it's about some sort of the name of love.

    I understand this post may sound judgmental and I think in a way it is, but to let someone beat my babies (blanket training), whipping, hitting with a rod, forcing them to eat liver and onions, colored oatmeal for two weeks, embarrassing and humiliating them 24/7, sorry, but at some point if I did all of that, I think that I would be just a bit "accountable" for my actions. I don't see you putting any accountability/responsibility on your other parent (your mom), rather, your dad, as hidious and revolting his actions are, gets all the brunt of the blame regarding this of this ATI cr*p. Yes, he is indeed responsible for his unbelievable actions (I still can't wrap my head around this thinking), but your mom, in my opinion, also is accountable and responsible for "what is." BOTH of your parents are guilty and should be held accountable for what they've done to their children. Granted, they perpetrated the spiritual, emotional, physical and mental abuse in different ways, still they are both responsible. Because of their joint actions, you now, are forced to put the pieces of your life together (your siblings will inevitably have to put their life together as well at some point) and if that wasn't a big enough task, then you have to constantly fight their constant guilt trips. For the love of God, I thought that this was America, the land of the free, apparently, slavery is still alive and well in Bill Gothard land. Yes, I am angry.

  30. In response to the above posting, and yes, I understand this is Ruth's blog, but I came from the same background, and I often wonder why my mom did not defend us, so I thought I'd share my thoughts, in hopes they would help Ruth, and shed light on this. My experience is that the BG/ATI cult is very much laden with lots and lots of stories of bad things that happen to people that do not remain under the "umbrella of protection." I mean really bad. This mentality permeated every aspect of our lives. So, for myself, or for my mother - "rebelling" against this could mean death or some other horrific punishment. I left home, at age 19, b/c I was about to be spanked by my father for rebelling by enrolling in college classes. I literally had to run as fast as I could w/ my parents chasing me, to get away from them. That first night away from home, I was terrified that something bad would happen to me. Occasionally, when the beatings were really bad, my mother would tell my dad to stop hitting us, but he would yell at her, and she would retreat, and I knew she put aside her maternal feelings/instincts, and I think she truly believed those feelings/instincts were just a woman's stupid emotions, and she had to at that point, "trust" my father, aka God. I vacillate between being very angry with my mother for being weak and tolerating this BS, instead of protecting her children, to feeling really sorry for her - b/c I think she truly believed this was the right thing to do, and she was terrified of the consequences of not obeying my father. My mother did get married very, very young: 19 y.o., and so I think that was part of the problem. She went from being a child, straight to getting married and popping out babies, so she didn't have much time to think or develop her own identity, etc. My parents had their first BG experience very shortly after they were saved in their early 20's, so they didn't have much time to study the Bible on their own b/f the BG cult became their version of the Bible/Christianity.
    My mother, to this day, does not make any decisions. My sisters and I are not able to discuss any plans about holidays, vacations, birthdays, etc. w/ her, b/c her automatic response is to tell us to talk to our dad, or she'll have to see what dad says. I feel like she has learned to dissociate over these years, in order to cope, and I truly am concerned about her mental health because of this. My mother is also very intelligent, and she did stand her ground on at least educating us with more materials than just the ATI curriculum, so I do thank her for that. On the other hand, if I were to handle my children the way she did (not defending), I would blame myself. So, I am not so sure why I let my mom off the hook sometimes.

  31. Thank you, Rendy for shedding light on this (I am the poster you're responding to). Thank God you got out at age 19 (this is the same time I left home as well, although my past is not of ATI/Bill Gothard, but of old country mentality mixed in with SDA legalism).

    On one hand, I wish to express an apology for my anger and ranting post, but on the other hand, I am still outraged to the core of my being to know that women would subjugate their maternal instincts (which are to protect their children from harm) because of the supposition of "serving God/their husbands." Sounds to me like a convenient out of any responsibility/accountability of what happens to their innocent children.

    Rendy, I am so sorry you went through all of this; I congratulate you for fighting for your freedom and life. It is worth it.

  32. Rendy, I should have said, "YOU are worth it." You are.:)

  33. Rendy, you said, "rebelling" against this could mean death or some other horrific punishment. First off, I DO believe you 100%. Considering everything that we've read thus far on this blog and others like it, it would not surprise me that they would justify doing practically anything that they want to others. I still can't believe that murder is allowed in the U.S. under the blanket protection of religion or religious freedom (not that I don't believe you, because I fully do). If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's to put these fundamentalist abusers out of business. Bottom line, they need their a**es kicked. If a man would beat his wife, child/ren, threaten with death, etc., in the "regular world", he would find his butt in prison. Yet, here they are in ATI/Bill Gothard land running around free terrorizing people, all under the guise of "doing it for God." Unbelievable.

  34. this discussion about how much of the blame to put on mothers is interesting. i guess i have more sympathy for the abused women, even if they did put themselves into that position. do you think that it's a matter of, they put themselves in that position because of naivety or a mistake that seemed good at the time, and then got trapped in that lifestyle to the point where they were controlled so much that they could not get out from under the system?

    or do you think that this is a case where, in the children's eyes, the father is held responsible for everything because he is the head of the household regardless of what the mother does or does not do?

  35. First of all, I should clarify. I did not mean that an ATI father, including my father, would kill a rebellious wife/child. What I meant was that BG gives so many examples of rebelling people being killed/otherwise punished by "natural" consequences. For example, if I was hit by a car, raped, stricken w/ cancer, etc., it would be because of my rebelling. Here is another, small-scale, example. My parents and some of their church members were on a mission trip in a foreign country. The women were off on their own, w/o permission from their husbands (meaning, walking down the street for an hour or so), and they got lost. My mother's response was "This is what happens when we don't stay with our husbands, and/or ask their permission." When my sister was raped, she knew better than to tell my parents or report it, because she knew that this would be viewed as a natural consequence, and thus deserved and brought on by herself, by attending a party where alcohol was served, and wearing pants to said party.
    I am so torn, like Iktomi explains, b/c is it really possible for a 60 some y.o. woman to "break free" from something she has been steeped in and controlled by since early 20's? I tend to feel really sorry for her, and believe it would not be possible to break free, but my sisters tend to think she doesn't want the responsibility of making decisions. My sisters cope by thinking that my mom didn't intentionally neglect/abuse us, b/c she spent so much time w/ us, read to us every day (good, classic literature). I sometimes think that, but then I think that if I were the mother, like I am now, I could not ever use that as an excuse to stand by and watch my husband abuse my children like my father did. Thank goodness all my sisters got out of this and did not marry any ATI/BG freaks/cult members.
    I remember being at BG headquarters and some other BG facility in the north woods of Wisconsin, and remember a girl my age (approx 16 at the time) saying that she would marry ANY BG/ATI boy, no matter who he was or what he looked like. She said that it would be such a privilege to have a husband like that. She was a girl from Baton Rouge, and so smart and sweet, and I often wonder if she was able to escape this b/f she did end up marrying one of these men.

  36. Rendy, you make excellent points. There seems to be no clear-cut, black or white answer here, that's for sure. The interesting thing is that you and others (including myself) must have known that there was something wrong with this whole system even at a young age and chose to leave. We must have all had our "ah ha" moment, when something inside of us spoke up and told us that this was all wrong. Yet, you grew up in this system, was fully raised in it, you came into it from birth and you could decipher at some point how wrong it was. Yet, others who came into it in their 20's cannot??? They never get their "ah ha" moment?? I think they do, but they choose to repress it for a variety of reasons/factors, all which make sense. Again, there is a lot of grey area here.

    I have to say that this whole ATI system/model seems just slightly removed from the FLDS.

    Rendy, thank you for all of your comments; I am so sorry for the horrific things you went through, including the rape of your sister and her feeling responsible for it. I hope that all of you are healing at your own pace and in your own time. (((Hugs))) to you and others who have been through much.

  37. Rendy, this is my last comment to you (please accept my apology for commenting so much about this one subject), but I just re-read the part where you ran away from home at age 19 because your dad was going to "spank" you (at age 19) because you "rebelled" by enrolling in college classes. You had to literally "run" from both of your parents chasing you. I am sitting here feeling just astounded, I mean, ASTOUNDED thinking that we are living in the 21st century in America and that a 19 year-old girl would literally be fleeing/running from her parents in order to not be "spanked" by her father - period - much less for enrolling in college classes. Wow!!! Just WOW!!!!

    Rendy and Ruth, PLEASE, look into getting this information out on a national level, be it by writing a book and/or by contacting national media outlets. This kind of abuse in the name of religion/religious freedom HAS to be exposed and brought down. I cannot imagine the fact that thousands of young girls (and boys) have had their lives torn to shreds by this belief system. It is very, very wrong. Rendy, cheers to you for being a brave, young woman. Cheers to your sisters too. May you always be surrounded by peace and love. :)

  38. In previous posts I have expressed disgust for Ruth's mom's role in all of this as I feel she is just as culpable. Neglect is abuse. She neglected to protect her children from the mental, physical and emotional abuse that Ruth's father doled out. That makes her equally responsible.

    Once I was able to come to terms with my mother having abused us and after it had sunk in as a reality that's when I got angry at my father. He allowed her to abuse us. He was just as much responsible for our care and upbringing as she was. It wasn't until I cam to terms with that, that they were BOTH responsible, did I really begin to heal.

    There may come a time in Ruth's healing where she has a similar epiphany about her mother's role in all this. It's part of the healing process to realize that both parents are supposed to love, care and protect you. I understand Ruth's mom may have suffered from batter wife syndrome but what I don't understand is how an educated woman with parents willing to help stayed in such a relationship (early on that is) in the name of 'love'. The kind of behavior Ruth's dad demonstrates is not love. It's sad to me that she could not see it for what it was, abuse, control and manipulation.

  39. Hi Ruth

    I was going to ask if you would ever speak out even more vocally and publicly than this [very brave] blog, but Anonymous already suggested it. Do you think you would ever pursue bringing this to national attention?


  40. I just want to add that the blame is not always black and white. I believe everyone answers to God for their own sins. Please understand I am not saying that we as the children or wives are to be blamed for our parents' actions, as I believe that those in a position of authority have a greater responsibility for their actions. But for myself, when I left home, it was not from an "ah-ha" moment. I thought I was committing a huge sin by leaving. My "sin" that I was about to get spanked for was going to college and also playing in a blues band as a college course. I am not, by any means, saying what my father did was justified. Now, all these years later, I truly believe that what my father did was completely independent of who I was as a person/daughter/child of God. I understand that now. But, when I left (ran to my car, sped off, w/ my dad holding the belt he was going to use on me, and my mother trying to block me leaving) I never in a million years thought/believed that what they were doing was wrong. I believe I was wrong, rebelling, weak, too independent and too strong-willed, and that I was going to pay dearly for my sins now. I took me many years (late into my 30's, and I am 40 now) to acknowledge that that was a cult and wrong parenting, and not my fault. My sins are my sins. I am not going to blame all my life problems on my parents. It is too easy for people to blame everything in their life on everyone else. Does this make any sense? I am a sinner, I believe that. I have made wrong choices, have wrong attitudes, willfully disobeyed God, etc. At least that is what I believe, and I do believe I am a fallen human being and in need of a Savior. But now, I have the freedom (I didn't feel I had before) to come to God and acknowledge my sins, but also truly believe those sins of my parents perpetrated on me were not my sins. So, all that to say, it gets so blurry. I would like to be able to smile and laugh at the BS my parents lived and put us through, and truthfully say I have a close relationship w/ a loving God who is not the God I was shown in my childhood, and then go my merry way. Truth is, I struggle with this daily. I struggle daily with believing who God really is. I struggle daily with bitterness. Maybe this makes no sense, and I am just rambling. All this to say, I did not get a light bulb moment at age 19 and thus leave. I so much admire Ruth that she is only in her 20's, and working this stuff out, able to verbalize it, etc. I think this is going to save her from years of heart ache. I know that the few times I visited a counselor after I left, I would never follow through, b/c deep down inside I believed that the counselor was "humanistic" and I could not "buy" what he/she was telling me, and assumed I'd be even in more trouble w/ God for going to the ungodly and humanistic professionals, rather than just repenting and moving back home.

  41. Hi Ruth,

    First Question: Do you now consider your upbringing to be a cult?
    I have been a Christian for many years and remember Gothard doing his Basic Youth Conflicts at our church in the 70's (before the split with his brother). When he started ATI he really went over the top. The way his "books" and literature are now used like the gospel and even in place of-are the no. 1 reason that many top evangelical teachers and churches consider ATI to fit the qualifications of a bonafide cult. Most mainstream Christian churches won't touch his stuff with a ten foot pole anymore. Gothard has put himself in the place of God. He has broken the first commandment: "You are to have no other God but me."

    Second Question: Where you the first to leave and if not, who left first and how are they dealing with life now and are you close?
    Prayers and Hugs for you and your new life...Sue

  42. To me, the "ah ha" moment means that your fight or flight human instinct has kicked in, something that is inherantly natural in all of us. When when I envision your dad's belt ready to "spank" you at age 19 (for "rebelling" for enrolling" in college classes" - HOGWASH!!!) - I feel like rounding up some "real men" (not these ATI/Bill Gothard following sociopaths) and having them give your dad a well-deserved, a** whooping and let him see for himself what it feels like when he does it to his own kids. As for your mom in trying to block you from escaping knowing that your dad is ready to beat the living cr*p out of you with a belt, possibly killing you, I don't have an ounce of compassion for her sorry, brainwashed self either!

    Furthermore, there is no blame, only ACCOUNTABILTIY, something I see little of with these stupid sheep/followers. I am NOT as forgiving as some when it comes to children being abused.

    As far as: "My sins are my sins. I am not going to blame all my life problems on my parents. It is too easy for people to blame everything in their life on everyone else. Does this make any sense? I am a sinner, I believe that. I have made wrong choices, have wrong attitudes, willfully disobeyed God, etc." To me, this is more brainwashed talking. I'm sick and tired of all kinds of abuse perpetrated in the name of "I'm a sinner and I deserve to be beat, punished, demeaned, walked all over, used as a doormat, punching bag, etc.

    Like I said, no, I don't buy into this "there is no accountability on my parents (including mother's) part because they're sinners and I'm a sinner and we're all a bunch of sinners that should be stoned, killed, whatever. Sounds like fundamentalist mumbo jumbo that makes me want to puke.

  43. I agree that there conveniently seems to be no accountability for men in this cult. I do not believe I deserved any of the abuse meted out by my parents. And you are right - my mother will be accountable for her actions/inactions, as well as my father. You are right, I do not believe that she can hide behind the submission/female shield. At all. If that were true, then the BG cult has won. I will be accountable for my actions also, but no, I do not believe that I deserved any of that, and I do not believe any of what they did to me was justified, by any stretch of the imagination. I was just trying to explain my the thought process. And believe me, I always wonder, when I make a decision, or have any other thought process, if I am mistakenly looking at things through Bill Gothard shaded glasses. I don't want to, but I am just saying I still struggle with whether or not I am, since most of my scripture memory was during the ATI years, and thus meanings of that scripture were so twisted.

  44. I'm going to lighten the mood a bit here (I hope!):

    1. How IS the leg??? ;-)
    2. What are your plans for the summer? Will you take classes or work or both?
    3. Is it safe to tell us what year of study you're in, or does that need to remain confidential? (Completely understand if it does.)
    4. Does Harris know about your blog, and if he does, does he read it?
    5. Speaking of reading, what books have you been enjoying lately?

    And with these questions I don't mean to be disrespectful of the weight of your past; far from it. While I'm absolutely riveted by those stories, I'm also fascinated by the amazing person you're becoming!

  45. Ruth, back in December you mentioned that your sister was pregnant. Rebekah (commentor) raised a question about birth order that wasn't answered on the blog. Based on the information you gave us, I could assume the pregnant sister is in her late teens. But you never mentioned anything about any of your sisters being married. Could you please clarify?

    Also, about the shaving, you mentioned that you weren't allowed in the bathroom alone. How did you get away with shaving without anyone knowing right away?

  46. There's a sister that's pregnant? Did I miss something?

  47. Dear Ruth,

    I just stumbled upon your blog today and I have spent a bit of time reading your entries. Firstly, I would like to say that I see a great deal of strength in you for being able to confront your past and to reach out to others in an effort to heal your wounds.

    I noticed that you mentioned depression in a few entries - I myself struggle with depression and anxiety. I have been in therapy for about four years now. It is a very complex illness to struggle with. I guess I just want to tell you that I understand everything that is associated with depression and anxiety, even if I cannot understand what it was like for you to grow up as you did (since I have not had that experience myself).

    I am also a Christian, though not a fundamentalist/evangelical. I do not know how to word this, but I will try anyway: it breaks my heart to see the teachings of Christ twisted and malformed into something that resembles so little of His truth. I am so sorry that your main experience with the faith was caught up with fear, control, and humiliation. After reading about your experience, I can assure you that you will be in my prayers - that you will continue to find strength, that you will continue to make progress, and that Christ will watch over you through it all.


  48. Ruth, I don't comment much but I just wanted to say hi and that I hope you're doing well. In fact, all my comments I believe are in response to "Darth Daddy" comments. I'm out of an abusive marriage myself, as opposed to fundamentalism, and seeing those comments reminds me of my former husband's attempts to try to get me to come back to him, so they kind of set me off a titch, LOL.

    Anyway, I just wanted to give a direct wave and my best wishes. I've seen things have been a bit rough lately and figure tossing some support your way wouldn't go amiss :)

  49. I read a lot here as well, don't post too much, but wanted to add something to the conversation.

    I came out of a legalistic situation as well in the late '80's. After I married, my husband assured me that going to a counselor is not "sinful" and he encouraged me to get help dealing with my past with an alcoholic father. So, I did. Interestingly enough, I found myself in session after session talking about my mother. When I finally realized it and vocalized it to the therapist, she said something so shocking to me that it was seared into my memory. She said, "The sooner you realize that you did not have a mother or a father in your life, the better off you will be." I was extremely shocked. Twenty years later, my dad is dead and my mom is barely in my life. If I don't contact her, she doesn't contact me. It's really weird because I felt that she was the victim, the abused one. The one who loved, nurtured and cared for me. Reality has been very difficult.

    I really admire what I see here of you Ruth. Stay strong.

  50. Well, one question I have been wondering about is not about you specifically, but I thought you might have some insight: Do you think any of the Duggar children have a chance of escaping? Do you see aspects of yourself in any of them?

  51. Regarding the racial makeup of the ATI movement:

    If I had to hazard a guess, I'd imagine it has something to do with the isolation and sharp in-group/out-group distinctions in ATI. Believing that those outside the community (i.e. "the world") are evil and depraved isn't much of an encouragement to reach out to people with different cultural backgrounds, nor is it likely to make them feel included once introduced to the movement.

  52. I'd also like to know if there was/is any genuine affection shown to the kids in ATI/Bill Gothard families? Are there hugs given? Kisses? Or is it just one big Satan-fest if affection is displayed?

    Also, for Ruth or other ladies that have been in prior fundamentalist marriages and have left, is sex anything that is actually enjoyable for the woman, or is it a quick wham, bam, thank you maam, and business continues as usual? I ask this because I used to associate online with a very conservative/fundamentalist mom of 13 who said that she thinks that she actually enjoyed sex with her husband about 5 times total. She dreaded the nudge in the middle of the night (waking her up), meaning that he wanted to have sex.

    Sorry, if my questions are too blunt, if they are, please feel free to ignore. I just wonder about this as the women in this fundamentalist culture seem not much more than brood mares and unpaid household help, wonder if they actually EVER enjoy their life just a tiny bit other than the Olympic-style sport of "one-upping." Thank you.

  53. I would also like to know if QF families would continue to have Duggar-size families if not for daughters who are effectively unpaid au pairs (like the older Duggar daughters)? If a family has 10 boys, for example, how is the enormous domestic workload handled? Do church members come in and help cook, clean, etc.? Do young girls from other QF families come in to help for a few hours a day? Don't know if there were any such scenarios in your association of QF/ATI families.

  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. Lets try this again....

    I believe you Ruth. I think you are telling the truth.

    I would like to recommend a movie. M. Night Shamalan's "The Village". The plot has a neat little twist at the end when the viewer realizes who the real monsters are.

    I think God is using your blog as the remedy to the totally misrepresented Gothardism revealed in 19 Kids and Counting. The Duggars have done a couple of things that ring my hypocrisy meter. First, the contracted with TLC (unequally yoked) for the Specials and now the TV Series. Secondly, those two blinked big time when they agreed to terminate Michelle's pregnancy at 25 weeks? God decides when you get he surely would have seen them through the preeclampsia as well. And if he didn't it was God's Will. When the time came for them to really live their faith...they blinked.

  56. I just want to respond to people who speak of the Duggars. I do not feel that they are as far into the ATI/BG movement. I don't think that they go the direction that Ruth and Rendy's parents went. Michelle is a VERY informed parent, and she has say in her children's lives, it is very blatently clear. They didn't even get into ATI until they had been married over 5 years, and had 3 children. They had already decided to allow God to determine the size of their family, before BG or ATI came into their lives. So I don't think the Duggar children need to "escape"...I absolutely do not believe that there is that extreme side to their family.

    Ruth, I have never said Hi, but have read your blog word for word since the beginning. Thank you for sharing this. I have issues myself, with my place in my home, dictated by God. (I am not trying to say that I have a lowered place than my husband at all, we are very equal) What I mean, is...when you look on it from the outside, the majority of ATI seems "good" or "normal". So I can see where the appeal might be placed.

    I just don't feel that all ATI families get to this point. If they do it is sad. And I am misinformed.

    I just know that I can see the appeal (minus all the abuse, and the BAD patriarchy, because I believe patriarchy can be done right)...and it always leaves me feeling a bit outside, wondering...and thinking maybe that I might be feeling something 'wrong'. Because I can see the appeal of patriarchy done right.

    I am sorry if I didn't explain myself thoughts weren't really composed here.

  57. Lynne, I'm not BG/ATI (not even Protestant, actually -- I'm Catholic), nor am I a huge Duggar fan ... but I don't see how an early induction was anti-QF. Josie was at the borderline of viability, sure, but she DID have a chance to live, and I wouldn't think it would be very QF to allow both Michelle AND the baby to die.

    Ruth, I have a question for you ... I've been doing a lot of reading about Michael and Debi Pearl and their appalling books, especially in the wake of poor Lydia Schatz's murder. I've heard the Pearls are very influential in conservative Christian homeschooling circles. Were your parents and/or their friends big Pearl fans?

    Btw, if you'd like to see a gentler, more positive side of Christian parenting, we'd love to have you over at Several ladies there are big fans of your blog!

  58. You know what's funny? I bet Michael Pearl would sneer at Bill Gothard, and at Ruth's dad. And I do mean sneer literally.

    I imagine lots of ATI families find the Pearl's attractive, though and use their methods in conjunction with the ATI stuff. It's a case of someone with a very strong personality and voice telling them "God's way" that will guarantee heaven-bound children. Interestingly, the Pearl's aren't QF per se, and have written against patriarchalism (but at the same time publishing Debi's submission book) and betrothal type arranged marriages.

  59. aren't getting my point at all. They say that let God decide then when the going got really tough the sought help from the outside world...You can't have it both either trust God or you don't. It's easy to trust God when everything is going well.. Jim Bob prays and then tosses a coin and lets that be his answer....It's in his book...

    And I still truly think Ruth's blog is here to show what is so neatly whitewashed on TLC. I think ATI, Vision Forum and all rest of them are are rotten to their very foundations. They mislead people and take advantage of their fears. They also give the predators among us..the sociopaths and perverts a safe haven and a flock ripe for picking...

    Keep telling your truth Ruth. You are an amazing young woman to make it out in one piece.

  60. I'm also interested in your take on Michael and Debi Pearl, if you've heard of them and/or read anything of theirs. Particularly since I was given "Created To Be His Help Meet" as a wedding gift from one of my friends.

    My husband grew up in an independent fundamental Baptist home with parents who implemented some of Bill Gothard's teachings, though his mom is unable to have children (and he is adopted). From everything I've read, his family seems to be on the fringes, not involved to the core. He remembers going through the same obedience training you referenced earlier. I do know his parents think that I've been a bad influence on him and that we're both far more worldly than they would like, but they seem to be more loving and accepting of us than typical QF families would have been.

    All that to say, you're a blessing, Ruth. You help shed light on something so dark and deceptive (and also help me understand my husband's upbringing and idiosyncrasies a lot more!). God bless you, and give you the strength to continue healing from the darkness of your past.

  61. Lynne, I hear you regarding how QF wants it both ways. In essence, they want the cake and to eat it too. They are QF (like you said) when things are going their way and things are honkey-dorey. When thing start going sour, when they are in a medical bind, or some sort of predicament that requires professional medical intervention (from the evil, Satan-led people in the "world"), then they're all over it. They poo-poo science, the medical world, the professional world, etc., and portray all of it as secular, worldly, etc., until they need to use it for their benefit. Yeah, they definitely want it both ways. If they truly believe that God is in full control, then there is no need for any kind of intervention of any kind. I know this sounds mean, but truly, I am fed up with their hypocricy too.

    P.S. - I'm talking about the Duggars here.

  62. rendy, you mentioned that there is a BG retreat in northern wisconsin... sure enough i googled it... where do you live if you don't mind my asking? i live in northern wisconsin and would totally not be surprised if ATI/BG families lived nearby.

  63. Iktomi,
    I live in Colorado, but grew up in Wyoming. However, my husband is from Racine, so we visit WI often. It seems there are ATI families everywhere. Let me tell you, I was only 16 or so when I went there, but looking back, it was really freaky. Sort of like what I would imagine the FLDS gatherings to be, and sort of like the M. Knight Shymalan's The Village, or the book, Handmaiden's Tale. . . . .

  64. Ruth, I second the nomination of 'The Village' for a movie suggestion.

    You will understand it.

  65. sooooo many questions, but let's see if I can pare them down a bit.

    1) How are holidays celebrated? Not just religious ones like christmas and Easter but Independence Day and so forth? Did you ever have your birthday pre-empted by Easter?

    2) Did you have any pets, or were the children enough to take care of? I got the impression ATI is not big on pets and tends to pull the "man was given dominion over the world" bit.

    3) Did you ever go to any Gothard-sponsored conferences, retreats, or gatherings? What were they like?

    4) I recall from an earlier post (or maybe I'm imagining it, quite possible given my brain) that when you left the movement someone said, "Why? What did Bill Gothard ever do to you?" -- like it was worse you were "betraying" Bill. Is that wretched man essentially revered?

    (Not a question but a comment: I third the nom for watching "the Village." Also, it may be too dark and cynical for you at present but there are episodes of "Morel Oral" on YouTube. It's about a 12-year-old boy who's naive as they come, misconstruing Protestant teachings. Hijinks ensue.)


  66. hey ruth
    my question is about what i've seen gothard families talk about when they say they pray to god about making decisions. if a teen/young adult told their parents (from your experience) that god was leading them to go to college or med school or to wait on marriage- would the parents give their okay? it seems like they tell the kids to "pray on it"- but even if the kid has a dissenting thought it's shot down by the parents- even if it was prayed on and it was "god's will". does that make sense? ha sorry it's a long question

  67. My experience re tee's question, is that women/children aren't really spoken to by God. God works through their authority, so God will tell the "authority" what is best for the children. Actually, not just women/children. If a man is not married, then he is still under his father's authority/umbrella. BG gave numerous examples of adult children who obeyed their father's authority. I remember some story about an adult child wanting to go to college, but his father did not want him to, so he didn't. And thus God protected this adult child, blessed him, etc.
    Just wait until Ruth discusses the "proper" aka BG sanctioned format for weddings! Ya'll will love that one.

  68. I don't understand why they would think God only talks to people through their authority - the Bible is FILLED with examples of God talking directly to women and children. Stupid, again.

  69. I can't see a difference between this cult vs. the FLDS. The only difference is the polygamy. Everything else is the same. Men have all the authority and power, women get all the cr*p (from birth until death). How awesome for the men. What an awesome cult! Yee hah!

  70. "Just wait until Ruth discusses the "proper" aka BG sanctioned format for weddings! Ya'll will love that one."

    Please tell me it isn't just like the Duggar/Keller wedding broadcast far and wide via TLC and now the internets....

    That was Kreepy enough for me.

  71. No, but there is a lot of Jewish tradition thrown in; The father plans the wedding, b/c feminism would be promoted by "allowing" the "girls" to plan their own wedding; it would be promoting feminism/lesbianism to have a female candle lighter; "obey" MUST be in the vows; only father can "give" daughter away, not mother and father, b/c that is unbiblical. Those are just off the top of my head. I'm sure Ruth has lots more, since the weddings she would have been involved with are much more recent.
    For the convenience of everyone, BG has published his own booklet on the proper order of weddings, symbolism, protocol, etc. So, in order to guarantee a divorce proof marriage, one just needs to go down and check off the suggestions in said booklet. Well, that and adhere to old testament laws regarding sex, childbirth, etc.

  72. Wow! So (according to BG), feminism and lesbianism are one. So, I guess this means that this patriarchism and gay(ism) are one too. Personally, I think some lawsuits with a few large settlements would change all of this. If you want to know how to affect change, just hit. These fundie sociopaths (both men and women, from Bill Gothard and Doug Philips to Mary Pride and Nancy Campbell) would cease to exist if their cushy lifestyle was suddenly impacted by some large $$$ settlements.

  73. Sorry, I meant (above) "just hit them with a few lawsuits"

  74. Lynne, I guess I see your point re the Duggars. I don't know much about the QF/ATI/BG attitude toward medical care, in particular toward pregnancy-related health issues.

  75. BG attitude toward medical care: BS such as "eat 10 slices of your wife's home made, fresh ground whole wheat bread, made daily, and you won't get fat"; "ulcers are caused by bitterness"; follow God's Old Testament laws re sex, and you won't get cervical cancer, miscarriage, prostate cancer"; circumcise your baby boys on the 8th day, (b/c God commands you), and they won't get sexually transmitted diseases or cancer"; father must speak to baby in utero during pregnancy, and then when mom is in labor, with a breach baby, and labor won't progress(at home of course), baby will obey his father's commands and turn around" (as opposed to GOING TO THE EVIL HOSPITAL/DOCTOR AND HAVING A C-SECTION); or pray to God to show you what false idols you have in your house (cabbage patch dolls, music with a beat, etc.) and get rid of them, so that mom's labor can progress (again, rather than seek medical attention). Ok, my blood pressure is rising, I need to sign off here.

  76. Rendy,

    That was hilarious. I completely forgot some of those crazy teachings. Definitely brought back some memories of being in Knoxville, at a Basic or Advanced and so bored and constantly falling asleep and then having to stand for ever to sing in that choir. Oh, I remember trying to get to know others my age that were hopefully normal. I felt guilty quite often cause we weren't completely following every rule that was dictated.

  77. @April 15, 2010 1:33 PM
    Anonymous said...
    Sorry, I meant (above) "just hit them with a few lawsuits"

    That has already been done...and the ex quiverfuller who sued won...

  78. I should add, that suing and winning against some in this movement hasn't seemed to slow the others down one bit.

  79. have my heartfelt sympathy....

  80. Yikes Rendy. That is scary.

    Makes me curious about the Duggar's though--Michelle's had multiple hospital births, and c-sections, and of course Josie's been in the hospital.

    And they aren't eating fresh-ground homemade whole wheat bread often, from what I can tell.

    How far on the outs would they be if they were deep into ATI but not following those rules?

    I have no moral problem with things like circumcision or homebirth (or uncircumcision or hospital birth). It's weird how things get twisted by groups like this, or promoted for bizarre reasons when one could find a perfectly rational, sane reason for doing so instead.

  81. There's a huge chasm between living at home with no support and going to college, living independently, and getting a job.

    I'm thinking that that jump probably involved charities, debt, leaving all your friends, and a whole lot of stress. Am I right? How did you manage the pain of leaving everyone behind? What were your first interactions with people like once you could talk to whomever you liked in whichever manner you liked?

  82. It didnt seem like those links were talking about a suit against the movement as much as suing for anti-trust damages.

    Id love to see a class action lawsuit against Gothard and his minions by the children who ultimately suffered at the hands of his teachings...however, law suits are expensive and so many of those who have walked away are still trying to get their poop in a group long enough to function in the real world. I dunno if a law suit is realistic. It sure is fun to think about though.

    If someone wanted to file a class action law suit against the Pearls as well, I would not be opposed. :)

  83. Unfortunately, as an attorney, I do not see a viable class action suit again BG. To even bring a single suit, you'd have to show the harm he did, prove it was a direct result of BG's teachings, and then show you spent money to get fixed. Then for a class action - you'd have to have a minimum number of plaintiff's - probably thousands, b/c it would have to be in federal court. It's a great thought, though. I think he should just bite the bullet and join the FLDS, since they seems to be synonymous - in both works' based salvation and outward standards.

  84. FLDS or the Taliban, Rendy.

  85. What is Bill Gothard like in person?


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