Friday, July 2, 2010

49 Character Qualities of Ruth - Relationship

Note: A few weeks after my last "life story" installment, I got e-mails from someone at IBLP and a rep from Gothard asking me to stop using the character traits as lead-ins to my story. Since I don't know how I would stand legally, I'll honor the request and not re-post the traits. I will, however, keep telling my story and if one of the character lessons is directly related to the story, I feel justified in posting it as background.

The Beggining of the Relationship That Ended It All
As I've said before, my family did a lot of fellowship with other IBLP/ATI/QF families. Our house was a convenient rest stop for families travelling to and from sessions, conventions, and other gatherings. While our house wasn't terribly large, it did have a large yard and land enough to park trailers/buses/motorhomes or a fleet of vans (the general vehicle of choice for QF families).

One afternoon, as we were cleaning in preparation for yet another gathering, my dad asked to speak to me. He handed me a rake and asked me to help him level a spot under a tree for the Carson's* trailer. (NOTE* - I've obviously changed names here.) He explained that the Carson's were good friends of his (even though I'd only met them a handful of times and couldn't recall any special relationship). My dad veered off into the unexpected when he started asking me questions about my future. Dad asked if I had been praying for my future husband or if I had thought about "seriously preparing (myself) for marriage?" I don't remember what my external response to him was but I do remember thinking that I was uncomfortable with the way this conversation was going. After we'd cleared the spot, dad and I got in the cart to go back to the shed and he laid his hand on mine. He said that he'd been praying about my future husband and had received some guidance from the Lord. The Lord had guided him to the Carson family.

The Carson family had five boys. The oldest was eight years older than me (but still living at home). The youngest was two years my junior. The third boy, Jacob*, was a year older than me and I assumed that my dad was referring to this boy. Rounding out their family was Adam*. Adam was three years older than me (17, at this point). Because we weren't allowed to socialize with the boys in other families (other than brief interactions with no physical contact or real deep conversation), I didn't know the Carson boys very well. When they visited before, or when we saw them at conferences, I kept my distance and kept busy. I had no interest in any of the boys because they seemed odd to me. Jacob was, from my estimation, approachable and the most cordial of the boys. But the others were rowdy and loud and talked badly about others in a way that I found off-putting. Hearing my father say that I was now supposed to "get to know them" made me anxious. I had no experience with dating, it being forbidden, and was certainly not thinking of courting anyone at fourteen.

When the Carson's arrived, my dad greeted them warmly and, as happened with all "fellowshipping opportunities", gathered us all for a prayer. The prayer was standard procedure until my dad said, "...and Lord, please use this weekend to do your hearts and minds to new possibilities, for your Glory." As he said this, he looked at me. The prayer circle broke and for the first time in my life, I was told to go with my brothers and entertain the Carson boys while we toured the property. I protested and said that I was needed by my mother. My father grabbed my arm harshly and told me to do as I was told.

During the walk with the boys, I tried not to be noticed. I hung back. I only answered direct questions and was counting the moments until I could retreat into the relative comfort of my room. After we'd left site of the house, Adam slowed down until I had caught up with the group and he tried to make small talk. He asked me very personal questions about my faith and if I believed in the principles that certain people in our circle promoted. I'm sure I touted the party line and told him what I imagined he wanted to hear. This interrogation lasted until we got back to the house and I went to find my mother.

My mother was in the kitchen with Mrs. Carson. As soon as I entered the room, the tone changed and my mother began telling all present how skilled and capable I was in managing our home. "In fact...", said my mother, "...Ruth, why don't you take over dinner while Mrs. Carson and I watch the girls play! You don't mind, do you?" What could I say? Open contradiction was unheard of and I'd prepared dinner for many many times. I did as I was told. When we gathered at the table for the meal, my parents made multiple references to how good my cooking was and how efficient I'd been in presenting the meal. It was strange praise. Even stranger when Mr. Carson took each praise in like a bidder at an auction, smiling and nodding to his sons.


  1. I just shivered as I read this piece. I tried to place myself into that situation when I was 14... I would have been terrified and mortified all at once.

    I am so glad you got away. You are not an object at an auction. Trust God and your instinct and keep going with your education,Ruth.

    Take care.


  2. You precious thing! This is NOT Christianity!

    It sounds more like to social practices of the Stone Age tribal peoples my husband's parents worked with. Young girls are sold off to whomever their father wants to sell. It is terrifying for those girls as well.

    It is unthinkable in a free society like the United States. Thank God (and I mean that literally! No taking the Lord's name in vain here.) you got away from your family.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again- if I had known how much the children suffer under these crazy teachings, I would not have taken a "live and let live" approach to ATI home schoolers.

    I do promise to do what I can to help any adult daughter get free from a patriarchal QF family cult.

    Hugs to you, Ruth!

  3. Interesting, Ruth. They are reading but all they can throw at you is a demand that you not use the character lessons as lead ins.


    BTW-Im referring a nationally/internationally known feminist website to your blog.

  4. Were you 14 when this happened, with Adam 17? Or were you 17, with Adam 20?

    Either is chilling, but 14 is worse.

    I'm so glad (again) that you got away from this environment.

  5. I am so sorry you had to go through this. Had a mother who was so checked out she couldn't go ninja when necessary to protect her own children from exploitation from the males in this cult...

    I have four daughters...and if their father ever tried anything like this, I would have been all over him like a pit bull.

    You need to tell ATI/IBLP to kiss your grits. You have the power in this relationship. The power to expose their cult for what it is. They have MUCH more to lose than they could ever GAIN by suing you. Jerks.

    Where is an investigative reporter when you need one?

  6. Ruth, have you seen this new website called "Raising Homemakers?"

    They seem to be in the same crowd as the Botkins and Vision Forum. It's devoted to teaching girls "homemaking arts" so that they can run a household by the time they are 12. I could not fathom why anyone would want a 12 year old to be able to run a household. Then I read the part of your post where your parents were telling the Carsons about your homemaking skills and it all made sense. I guess you have to be capable of running a household by 12 when you are expected to start being marriage material at 14.

    Keep telling your story, no matter what anybody says.

  7. My parents tried to set me up with a guy THEY liked when I was 15, he 17. I had to escape his car to save myself from being raped. These were supposedly Christian people and the only one questioning faith (me) was the resistant and, as it turned out, correct party.

    Can't share the principles, under threat? That SCREAMS cult; no "character" until you fork over buku bucks to Gothard and his merry band of wackos.

  8. Wait a minute. Does IBLP own the copyright to those 49 character traits or are they "woven throughout Scripture"? They can't play it both ways!

    Our family wasn't ATI, but we homeschooled and were saturated in IBLP materials--especially the teachings on authority. When I was in my upper teens, things were deteriorating fast in our family. I was desperately trying to do everything right, be the family's servant, etc., but to no avail. I finally wrote to Bill Gothard (since it was his program that was supposed to fix everything) to ask for advice. He responded, saying he knew other families were in similar situations, but told me to read the Psalms and pray. Maybe I could eventually write a course for girls in similar circumstances.

    It's now about 15 years later, and I've got that course put together. It's just two words of advice: "Get out!" Hmmm. Wonder if Gothard would be interested in the "fruit" his advice has borne?

    Your blog, Ruth, is another good "course" for ATI/patriarchy/qf daughters to study! :)

  9. I'm feeling anxiety in my stomach reading this. Early teenage years are awkward for all of us, but with your parents pushing a relationship with a strange boy must have been weird for you...ugh. I'm so sorry.

  10. Thanks for continuing the story. That is just horrible that your father would expect this to happen. If either one of my parents said that to me I do not know what I would say. Luckly I have GREAT parents and they would NEVER do that to me.

    Also to Naomi: I was rereading what Ruth has posted and I think she went that she was 17 and that "Adam" was 20. Although I could be wrong but that was my impression.

  11. Oh my God Ruth...that sounded like your dad was making a sales pitch! Good thing you hit the road and got out of that nut factory.

  12. God. That sounds exactly like what Josh Duggar and Anna were put through. People like that are horrid.

  13. YOU WERE FOURTEEN??????? I'm sorry, that is just effing sick. You were a CHILD, not a prize cow up for sale to the highest bidder.

    And how terribly amusing to hear that Gothard is so very insecure about his work that he won't let you quote it. Especially when it's been placed into probably the most accurate context it's ever seen...

  14. There are sooo many sad things in this story...

    1. Your only purpose (as if you are another tool in the shed) is to marry and have children - IMO, one more of the "non-optional principles"

    2. Parents exist to "enforce" that "purpose", not to be loving, supportive or help you to reach your full potential.

    3. The emotional set-up prior to the "time appointed by the father" creates an emotionally devoid woman, but further perpetuates the movement, IMO. Girls are not allowed to interact with boys, are not allowed to have boys jobs or any jobs. Girls are cut off and sequestered for the "purpose" of marriage and child-rearing only. Emotionally it seems that they were training us to be like our mothers, emotionally dead. If you have any spark of creativity as a female - you have just become the new target and they will badger you 'til you fit the mold! And the brow beating starts early in a very awkward stage.

    4. The decisions for marriage are as awkward as we feel, emotionally trapped and corralled for one "purpose". Marry young (it precludes sin), agreements made between father and future son-in-law. A handshake, as if its a business agreement. Pre-arranged marriages don't seem to work so well unless you have a culture at large to support it. And the cycle is meant to continue...

    For those of us who realized that something was wrong in these "exchanges" with our fathers/parents, it is a long journey OUT! Realizing at the end of the path our parents had chosen for us, that it was the exchange of our souls for their reputation. And now the organization, that is in part responsible for assisting our parents in taking ownership of our souls, is asking to be left out of the "discussion", I wonder how it impacts your father's job/position within the system. Will they prop up his position and label you a rebel as he did, or will they back out of their ownership of your life and allow it to be settled as a "brothers and sisters" in Christ. I suspect that they seem to think that they still have some "authority". Whether that is based on them thinking that you are "bad marketing" for their system or simply that now they can play the legal card of copyrights and come up with some "real" authority. At best it seems that they are simply being bullies.
    Its a sad commentary that they as an organization wont allow their fruits in peoples lives to be tried! They will control the evidence that supports their brand of marketing. Is it true faith there or just big business?

    x-ATI pilot daughter

  15. I wouldn't worry very much about using the character traits as lead-ins. They are not going to sue you. Do do so would "out" your family and bring more scrutiny to their operation. I wouldn't be too concerned. You hold the power here, not them.


  16. I would say not to be afraid of them suing you because you own NOTHING. You can't pay any judgment against you and you won't be able to for years. On top of that, there would be a hearing and that would force a lot of this information out to the world. I'm sure a lawyer would donate time to help your cause, but don't ever let these people scare you into silence. They have so much more to lose than you do.

    I would, however, try to find a way to reword the traits or something so you can weave them into the story. I had lunch with a friend who is in the program but not totally nuts, and he said they chose ATI for the character building. I threw out the old 48 traits and I thought he was going to pass out in shock.

    The more people who know about this cult, the more we can confront them about their crazy beliefs. Just getting the information out to the larger population helps. I've made sure that everyone I know who admires the Duggars reads up about Dominionism.

    The only way to fight this fight is to shine the light on it. Disinfect it with sunlight.

    These people have so much more to lose than you do, Ruth.

    On a good note, I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your Nanny Family. I hope you are reading all the books you can get your hands on and that you have a nice summer.

  17. Ruth-

    I just spoke to my husband, an attorney in California, about possible legal issues in a situation like this, and he seems to think there's nothing to worry about.

    It seems that even if the actual text by Gothard is part of a work that is copyrighted, what you're doing - quoting parts of it before writing about it - eminently falls under the "fair use" exception, which includes criticism, commentary etc. You can look it up here under #107:

    It's possible, though doubtful, that the expression '49 Character Qualities' or something like that is trademarked, in which case you'll have to acknowledge it when you use that expression.

    My own suspicion is that Gothard & Co. are trying to intimidate you into not telling your story. I wouldn't take their threats seriously; and, as others have noted, they have way more to lose in any case.

    If you need legal advice, especially about free speech issues, the ACLU's legal assistance line - they have different numbers for different areas - can be particularly helpful.

  18. Margaret (CappuccinoLife)July 4, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    Wow, at 14???? That is extreme even for the most whacky folks I've run across over the years. Most would not feel a 14 yo was mature enough to begin courtship, and would continue the no-dating tack for several years beyond that. I married at 19 and have no problem with "young marriage" but your description of your father's "process" for marrying you off is chilling.

    I can only imagine the discomfort and upset that caused you. :(

  19. Margaret (CappuccinoLife)July 4, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    Since Raising Homemakers was mentioned, I thought the above post interesting. I'm sure there's plenty to find objectionable in it, but it doesn't sound like they'd have been terribly supportive of your father's method and timing either. :/

  20. The way that "the men" treat women in this cult is totally repulsive, repugnant, and disgusting. Honestly, if I was you, Ruth, I would have started planning my escape right then and there. It's like women are some sort of commodity to them, a commodity that is haggled and bargained for. These fathers are supposedly "communicating with God and God tells them what to do", etc. If you ask me, they do whatever they darn well please then pretend that God told them the right path to follow, the right action to take. Their sons are just as disgusting. I'd rather live on the Planet of the Apes that on the same planet as these disgusting ATI cultists.

  21. What Riki said, Ruth. You aren't claiming these ideas as your own but commenting on them. If you couldn't comment on things in the public domain, how could movies or books be reviewed? I think they are over stretching legal authority, which is why they "requested" you stop using them rather than sent you a legal document demanding you stop (like a cease and desist).

    If you are curious about this, your school probably has a legal aid department. They will usually give you free legal advice as long as you aren't suing the school.

    Also, the courtship thing is just creepy. At 14 my father was telling me to not get too involved with boys as they aren't very consistent at that age (ha! He didn't tell me that they don't get much better in their 30s!).

    It's sad that you were basically being inspected like a horse at an auction. I'm glad you got away from that situation and I hope that they didn't expect you to marry at such a young age.

    The more I hear about this group, the more I realize how close their ideas are to the FLDS.

  22. It's no surprise Josh Duggar was "betrothed" at 14 to Holt girl. Regardless of what the kids say, parents are in complete control of the courtships. Jinger was asked what would happen if you turned down a courtship and she responded that would never happen.At least the parents have a big say so.I find it odd they preach about marriage and breeding and hold the kids captive until the right one comes along. Two of the Maxwells are around 30 and still at home. Time's a wasting. Supporters argue there are no bars on the windows but I believe otherwise. Why else would Jana and Jon David still be at home? I know they are still young but there doesn't even seem to be any prospects.

  23. Margaret/CappuccinoLifeJuly 5, 2010 at 6:46 AM

    While I totally understand why people object to the Duggar's on many levels, I do wish uncomfirmed rumors were not passed off as fact. NLQ is honest enough to call it an uncomfirmed rumor that Josh was "betrothed" and it is unfair to NLQ to take that and make it a "factual" argument against the Duggars. Not to mention unfair to the subjects of the rumors.


    Interesting take on Gothard/ATI here. I've linked them to this blog, too. If that's not okay, I'll ask them to remove it. Just wanted to let you know in case you get an upsurge of traffic.

  25. Hey Ruth,

    You are allowed legally to post about the character qualities, etc, as long as you reference the source. Just link back to their website, or reference the book and page that it's found in. Don't let them scare you.

  26. Just found your blog today and am already hooked. I'm an ex-fundy too, though the Gothard stuff didn't surge in popularity til after I was already free - we had a different kind of fundy craziness, but that's another story for another time. Hang in there - the deprogramming of so much damaging information can be painful to the point of being physically painful, but you will get through it. You're an excellent writer and I await the next installment of your courageous story.

  27. I agree with rikitikitavi and baptistthinker. You can use the character qualities under fair use, and if you reference where you got them. (Don't reference their website; just their books. They don't need fresh traffic.)

    If they really want you to stop, make them do it legally. Make sure you back up everything, though, just in case. (You should always do this periodically anyway.)

    I'm so glad you're free of this cult. You are made in the image of God just like a man is(yes, the Bible says this). There is no reason why you should be treated like property. The Church is Christ's bride; He doesn't treat her like property. And those who call on Christ's name need to treat their brides as Christ treats the church. In the ATI world, they don't.\

    word verification: mated

  28. Hey, sweet girlie, can I take a guess as to which character quality would go with this story? I'm betting it's: Availability vs. Self-centeredness. Which is defined as "Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I am serving" and which supposedly is based on Philippians 2:20–21.

    That's from the iblp home page, to which Mr. William (Bill) Gothard holds the copyright from 2007-2010. Can't say i didn't credit the ole boy!

    Ruth, take courage, take joy, know that so many people are rooting for you and praying for you. Take care of yourself, most of all. You're not just a survivor - you are prevailing in living the life God has given you, and living it well.

    Strength!!! MJB

  29. Maybe I should have worded it a bit differently: It would be no surprise if Josh was betrothed to a Holt girl at 14 given their beliefs.

  30. "Realizing at the end of the path our parents had chosen for us, that it was the exchange of our souls for their reputation."

    Wow, X-ATI girl, that is so succint and profound!

    @Maggie Dear one, I know you think that your brand of patriarchy is wholesome, but I sincerely and adamantly disagree with you. Take warning from what you are reading here. Waiting a bit later in life to arrange her marriage would be no less devastating!! You appear to be very happy in your patriarchal marriage, and I believe you are.

    But you may change your mind some day. The shine may come off the bloom and instead of knowing all the answers, you may find yourself questioning a lot of what you know think of as cut and dried doctrinal fact.

    There is a reason that older mothers/wives are so vocal. We were once just like you, and want to spare you what is coming in the future. As a young wife/mother I was a committed fundamentalist who strongly believed in wifely submission too. Read my blog post "Poison for my marriage" to see how that worked out for me...

  31. Shadowspring, I would like to read your blog post, "Poison for my marriage." Where is the link to it? Thank you. :)

    P.S. - you are 100% correct about older women/moms being vocal (on many things).

  32. Shadowspring, I found your blog. You are an excellent writer. I won't go on about your blog because this is Ruth's, but suffice it to say that it is harder and harder for me to hang on to "Christianity" as a religion. I will hold on to Christ and his basic tenets, but that is all. I would never wish the suffering and pain (that comes with the territory of organized religion) on my worst enemy. The terrorizing of people (especially children) is the worst kind of horror imaginable - all under the guise of "serving God." It's more like very dysfunctional people serving themselves.

    Honestly, life is too short for all of this B.S. My apologies to anyone who is offended by my bluntness, but that's exactly how I feel. I no longer try to sort out anything as it pertains to organized religion. It is an exercise in futility as far as I can see. God is what man/woman makes him/her out to be. I feel saddened that children have to suffer at the delusions of their parents (like you and your sibling or Ruth and her siblings).

  33. Thank you for the kind words Dee. I was going to tell you it was an April post, and you can navigate there by clicking on my blogger name and going to my blog from there.

  34. Yet another obvious comparison to the FLDS--only this time it's a cult of monogamy! Ick, ick, ick. I'm also thinking of all the squirrelly looking nerd-boy families I've seen out there in QF blog land!

  35. Dear friend,
    I am new to your blog, and I'm starting at the beginning (desperately trying to not read the newest blogs!). Is there a blog you've written that can define all your acronyms? I don't know what ATI, TWOP, FLDS, etc mean...thankfully. If you could link me to a definition page, or if you would create a definition blog I would LOVE that. I'm only 3 posts in and am already so heartbroken at your story and it's representation of so many other women. Thank you for sharing.

  36. Shadowspring, I did not say I was in favor of arranged marriage, nor am I in an arranged marriage. I was merely pointing out the extremity of Ruth's father's behavior in comparison to the already extreme "betrothal" stuff.

    I think you do not know me very well, if at all. You do not know my husband, nor have personal insight into the inner workings of my marriage. I don't blame you for that, obviously. :) I have read your blog post before. Not a whole lot there to disagree with you about, we just come to different conclusions. I am not and never have been under the teaching of Gothard/ATI. I have publically repudiated the Pearls, regretting the fascination I had for them as a teen. I do not approve of what Ruth's father has done. I find his behavior sickening. I'm not here to make people "see the light" and go back to patriarchy. I do not have all the answers and have never claimed to.

    I am here because I can relate to the cult experience personally, and I really feel for Ruth. I want her to know that I as a conservative, QF, skirt-wearing, homeschooling, "traditional" woman believe that what was done to her is evil and twisted. If I'm remembering correctly, most of my comments to her have been sympathetic and affirming that her father was in the wrong. Does she need my input? Probably not. She doesn't know me from Adam. Let's just say I'm providing some "diversity" to the commenter stats. :D

    Negative comments I have made are in response to other commenters. I agree with their disgust at Ruth's father. I disagree with the major generalizations that are made because often times they simply are not true. And I think arguments are best made with truth and not rumor or speculation. :)

  37. To clarify, what I mean by generalizations are things like "Homeschoolers do thus and such" or "QF are like [insert horrific behavior]", which completely ignore the huge variety within both of those labels.

    It's like me saying "Oh, those environmentalists...always looking for an opportunity to commit some eco-terrorism". That would be a completely wrong and unfair generalization to make. Same as if I decided that because there have been some crazy whacko cultists who held to liberal politics over the years (check out Jim Jones's political positions. He wasn't a right-winger, for sure), that anyone who holds liberal politics is a crazy whacko cultist. That would also be a wrong generalization for me to make.

  38. I pray you are not ending this here. The "Carsons" as you call them were a wonderful family until your lies corrupted their son and made his life ruined. Your claims against him were found out to have been axagerations of the truth. The Lord sent you to him as a test and he passed still strong in his faith while you are alone without security. God is a awesome god.

  39. @Anonymous post at 9:51pm

    Your post was rather ignorant, without any substance, and full of more holes than swiss cheese. Your god, if it is that represented by ATIA and similar groups, is a false god.

  40. To Ruth's diabolical dad, two words: spell check. It won't make you less evil, but it will help you appear a little less stupid.

    To Ruth, please don't give those IBLP thugs the satisfaction of your yielding to their demands. You should continue to post as before. Next time they threaten you tell them to suck it.

  41. "axagerations"
    Ahahahaha. Go back under your rock.

  42. Anonymous @9:51pm, go do something to yourself that is physically impossible but would be most satisfying to the rest of us. Telling a 14 year old to begin to think about marriage is SICK, weirdo! His life was ruined? Chances are, they found him a sweet gullible girl without a brain. As someone who works with sex offenders, sexualizing children at ANY age is wrong, wrong, wrong. I don't care if its 7 or 17.

    Post on, Ruth. Yes, the last few posts have made me a bit squirmy, but that's my deal. And these are facts that need to be told.

    Ivy26 (I at least give myself a name, unlike some of these cowards)

  43. Anonymous at 9:51. Your comments are not surprising. The world revolves around YOU because you are a patriarchal God in your own mind and everyone should bow to you; you are the one to be worshipped. You can’t believe that Ruth exercised her own free will and it's killing you inside. You probably can’t believe that she even had any free will left after what you and her mother did to her. Apparently, your ATI brainwashing didn’t "take" 100%. You should probably look into that. There must have been some “hole” in your system. Oh, wait! I think the “hole” is that God is stronger than you and ATI combined! Sometimes, He leads people out of bondage, out of the bondage that you had planned for her at such an early age. It is just profoundly sad that people go willingly into bondage and servitude in this day and age in this country because they are led to believe that they are “following the will of God.” Sure, laugh and smirk about it as you think that you are holier and more righteous than anyone else because you won’t be laughing later as you do penance whether on this earth or in the beyond for all the pain and suffering you foisted on Ruth and anyone else you hurt. I do not say this lightly. You will pay in one way or another. You will most likely feel all the pain that you’ve incurred on little helpless souls like your children, when they did not have the strength or courage to fight back. Instead of loving your children, you loved yourself and your love of control. I won’t even get into what you’ve done to your wife because I believe that she is at least partially responsible for getting into this whole mess with you.

    As to your comment: “The Lord sent you to him as a test and he passed still strong in his faith while you are alone without security”, I have to say that while it is hilarious to me, I know that you actually believe this. So, Ruth would have passed the “test” with flying colors had she let you sell her off like a piece of meat to the highest bidder. Seems to me that the ATI creep had the better end of the deal (surprise, surprise!) as he gets a slave to bear his children, clean his house, cook his food, and someone to glorify him 24/7. Seems to me that the ATI guys are like little Napoleons in your model. Gee, I can’t imagine why Ruth wasn’t so keen on that deal. She had so much to gain from it. Let’s forget for a moment that she was undoubtedly freaked out at this whole thing considering her young age and the fact that you kept her sheltered from everything normal (that’s a given), but even if she did have the maturity to understand all that you had planned for her, what person in their right mind would go for that? I sure as h*ll know that YOU wouldn’t pick it for yourself, but of course, you’re a man, so you automatically get the better part of the deal. So, now, Ruth is without “security.” No, Ruth is without the hell hole you had planned for her and you CAN’T STAND it! That’s what this is all about. You can’t stand that BG’s ATI model is flawed. Is your commission check smaller now? We all know that the model must be presented as perfect and the fact that Ruth left blows that theory all to pieces. See, you were right when you said, “God is an awesome God.” He took his hand and laid you out in one swipe. All the years of torturing your wife and children were for nought, because your protégé, Ruth, flew the coop, and now you’re hurting. Maybe you will feel just a little of the pain that you’ve inflicted on Ruth. Of course, every time you feel it, your natural tendancy is to blame it on Ruth and then accuse her of "lying." Maybe one day you will take accountability for what you've done. That's all.

  44. Margaret/CappuccinoLifeJuly 7, 2010 at 5:35 AM

    Anonymous, two things:

    1. It is not possible to "corrupt" a person by lying about them. He is either corrupt in his own right, or not.

    2. Exaggeration or not, you yourself admit that there is some truth to Ruth's claim. Given the nature of Ruth's claim, this means that the young man in question and family members involved are not in fact the victims here.

  45. WHEE!!! I wondered if Darth Daddy would be able to hold back, and obviously he just. plain. couldn't.

    Buddy, you're off your nut if you think ANYONE is going to agree with your point of view on this subject. Well, wait. Warren Jeffs thought marrying children was a good idea, too, and lookie where that got him. Minus the polygamy (and I'll bet you wouldn't mind dipping your toe into THAT pond), what you attempted to do was no different.

    Ruth AND your other daughters AND your wife ARE PEOPLE. They have brains and souls and they have NOT been placed on this earth as your chattel. Shocking, I know.

    But seriously, you really ought to save your energy for your hate-filled prayers and quit posting here. All you do is reinforce our steadfast conviction that you are, indeed, a complete and utter misogynistic whackjob.

  46. Anon, quit axagerating. It greeves me muchly.

  47. Lolz, Lolly! I too am muchly greeved by Anon...

  48. Her "lies" ruined his life, but he passed his test still strong in the Lord? Seems like a contradiction there...

    Ruth, my heart goes out to you. I've hated match-making attempts from people...but I wasn't 14, and it wasn't my controlling father. I wish I could hug you and tell you how strong you are.

  49. Dear Darth Daddy,

    How ironic you jump out when it's been proven your threats about lawsuits are a bunch of hot air. It serves as a reminder to whom you REALLY answer and it ain't God. If you didn't fear GOTHARD, you wouldn't be here posting threats to your daughter every time your GOD's ivory tower (and yours, by extension) is threatened by the TRUTH.

    Just remember, your buddy Gothard believes himself on par with the real deal God. If you didn't know the leader of this insidious (look it up) CULT and instead directly worshiped GOD as REAL Christians do, you would be supportive of your daughter and her right as a human being with FREE WILL to CHOOSE her future. Nope, can't do that with a cult; then the "wolves" might find out what's really going on inside the worlds of ATI/IBLP/VF, et. al.

    If I believed in Hell, I'd no doubt see you there one day for what you've done to your wife and children.

  50. Given that ATI makes their 49 Character Qualities publicly available for free download at I'm not sure they can claim any sort of protection of internal or private info. At best I'd say you need to cite your source material for copyright - but somehow I doubt that's what they're hoping for.

    As to that nightmarish pseudo-auction your father inflicted on you, I can't even begin to imagine how lost and confused you must have felt. And they expect girls to become loving and willing wives to these boys they've never met before?

    I am so, so glad you escaped from that, and hope your sisters who are still home find their freedom too.

  51. Ruth, I look forward to reading more of your story. If "anonymous" is so convinced you are lying, he should post his own blog, with details that rival yours, rather than simply throwing accusations at you.

  52. Anonymous (aka Daddy Darth) doesn't want to publish a blog because it would just emphasis his ties to the cult. He just wants to shut Ruth up.

    If the character traits are publicly available then they have no right to ask Ruth to stop using them. Ruth, if they have any legal standing, they will serve you with legal papers. Anything short of that is a bluff and they are trying to scare you.

    Rock on!

    As for the creepy family and the attempts to marry you off, I'm glad you got away. When you are having a bad day, think about the fact that you are free to decide when and who you marry. That ought to put a smile on your face.

  53. You need to look into copyright laws as they pertain to information published on the internet. I remember good ole Emily's lawyer threats and her attempts to copyright everything b/c people were quoting her insanity left and right on other blogs.

    As others said, a simple citation (Gothard, Title of publication, year) should do the trick.

  54. I just found your site a few days ago. While I grew up ATIA, my parents wisely kept us at arms length from the craziness...something for which I will be eternally grateful. My first conference was the one in Oklahoma City, followed by several in Knoxville. I also went to Russia once, and did two weeks at the Indianapolis Training Center.

    All of that to say this: your story rings absolutely true with what I observed while in "the program". If there is anyone who doubts what your are saying, I, for one, do not.

    Your Character Quality titles are very creative and entertaining, and I hope you continue to use them in some way.

    Please keep blogging! Not only is it therapeutic to you, it helps expose the dangers in Bill Gothard's approach to God's Word.

  55. Honestly, Id wait until the cease and desist letter arrived in the mail.

    Once they have identified you publicly, then you would be in a great spot to return the favor with the various media folks who have expressed interest in your story.

    Its going to be interesting, Ruth, to see which way this goes when one of those ATIA fundie whackos stalking your blog goes far enough to out you elsewhere or even here.
    All it will do is embarrass your family and Mr. Gothard. While I dont mind that though, I know it would bother you.

    Ultimately, Im guessing it will be your family that is thrown under the bus to protect Mr. Gothards reputation.

    The rage these fundie Gothardites express on this blog is more potent an explanation of why you left than perhaps even your own words.
    I hope they continue to leave the comments they do. It will help your readers who did not grow up Gothard to understand where you are coming from. It allows them to see the hatred that simmers just below the holier-than-thou surface.

    Hang in there, Ruth. They would have come after you with real lawyers instead of the pretend internet ones or reps if they actually had a case against you.


  56. I can't believe you all are falling for this.

  57. O, Anonymous of 7:39AM, enlighten us! Show us the error of our ways! Clearly you have wisdom to impart; please do so! You could even get wild and crazy and share your identity!

    And pigs could fly, but you just never know...

  58. Anonymous at 7:30 a.m., I agree, please enlighten us. Are we going to start up the shanigan again about Ruth not being real, or is it about ATI not being real, or is it about Ruth's abuse not being real, or maybe it's about you and your ilk being full of cr*p. I suspect the latter.

  59. How about an actual point-by-point refute of Ruth's claims?
    Instead of just the occasional hit-and-run shadowy/threatening/stupid comments?

  60. They can't refute anything Ruth posts point by point because the school of the dinning room table doesn't teach logic, debate or reasoning. They only teach submission and ignorance.

  61. You know, to me "good marriage material" means that a woman can help provide for the family, and this includes a good education. Gothard and his people don't seem to allow for that. They don't want sophistication, either, I think and definitely do not turn the women into ladies. People who go around spreading the Word of God the way they do and prevent people from gaining knowledge like faiths who DO believe in that (e.g. Roman Catholics and Episcopalians/Anglicans) are just sad, sad people. Women need to have a good education to rear children. And no, a "good education" does not stop in Grade 8. A good education should include reading a wide variety of books, including ones which you might find "off"/scary and possibly even a bit "immoral." It's sad that people like Gothard are like this.

  62. It's not that it's A school of the dining room table, it's that particular school of the dining room table. (School of the dining room table=home schooling, right?)

    My daughter and son are excelling at life after being home schooled. BUT they were not stuck with crappy religious curriculum either.

    Home school was meant to bring freedom- the whole world your classroom!

    Religious zealots have taken a wonderful idea and used it to isolate and control their kids. It sucks!

    This is one home school mom in favor of more regulation! I'm doing a good job. I have nothing to fear. I am quite sure Ruth's parents can not say the same.

  63. Ruth, I'm dyin' to read the next installment and find out what happened! Ignore Daddy Darth and post again soon, please!!!! :D

  64. Shadowspring,

    We've discussed this before. I'm not a huge proponent of home schooling, but it can be done well by educated parents.

    When I use SOTDRT, it usually means fundie madness (barely educated moms teaching bad curriculum to a horde of kids. So, not a swipe of home schooling but rather of this particular flavor of educating kids to be submissive and unquestioning.

    I'm not seeing that any of these kids would debate anything with an adult, and worse, that they aren't given any tools to create a rational debate.

    I'm sure they are taught "we're right and what we say is infallible". The problem is, when they come to Ruth's site and take issue with what she says, they can't actually debate it. They can smite her down with the wrath of god but they can't deconstruct her argument because they weren't taught critical thinking.

    That's all! I'm sure many home schooled kids are taught this.

    I'm just trying to poke Darth Daddy and encourage them to use all that free time at home to teach their children!

  65. Ruth, You seriously need to write a book if you aren't already. Your story is fascinating. Thank God you got away from that life.

  66. Okay, sorry! I totally get you.

    Sorry to bring it up again.

    I feel bad for all the kids who have suffered a mediocre education at home. It really sucks!

  67. Her "lies" ruined his life, but he passed his test still strong in the Lord? Seems like a contradiction there...

    Internal contradiction seems to be a hallmark of Darth Daddy's posts (and, by extension, his thinking). Remember when Ruth related the time one of his "friends" made her kiss her brother inappropriately? He insisted both that it never happened and that Ruth should be ashamed for having done that to her brother.

    Clearly his only objective is to heap as much disapprobation as possible on her, without regard to truth or even internal consistency.


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