Networking is the key to ATI's mission. When I was knee-deep in it, it didn't occur to me that that was what our life was about. Now that I'm out, I see it for what it is.
As a kid, I was taught to be an ambassador for Jesus/God. Every move I made, every word I spoke, every thought it my head was a testimony to Jesus Christ. I was taught to be publicly charming and self-less (JOY). The goal in this, on the surface, was to be that perfect presentation of a young lady in Christ. In reality, I was a recruiter. Parents who saw my family and the way us children behaved would have to ask themselves if their children could ever be so controlled and self-less. My parents would gladly tell them that it was a possibility...if they would just give themselves over to the Lord and familiarize themselves with this program they knew. If that family was interested, numbers were exchanged and there would be an invitation extended for them to come to our home for a barbeque. The house was spotless, the children were spotless, the grounds were spotless and we all JOYfully hosted the family. We'd take the younger children from the visiting family and keep them so occupied and focused that the adults could forget they even had children and focus on listening to dad and mom sell this lifestyle. They'd encourage them through "Christian fellowship" to seek out and pray for the guidance to make the appropriate sacrifices (maybe a paycheck so mom could stay home, maybe pants for modesty's sake, maybe family planning so there'd be more "flowers", maybe public school). If the family joined up, the next phase kicked in and that was encouraging them to think of others to pass this fantastic way of life on to. Who did they know that could be prepared to accept these "truths"? If the family had international connections, my dad was especially interested and if other members knew a new family with ic's, they'd call my dad. The international connection was important for exploring international growth. Sounds like a company, right? More and more I feel like my childhood wasn't a religion as much as it was a business. We were in the business of growing a corporation and a brand. That's sad.