Sunday, September 19, 2010

49 Character Qualities of Ruth - 22 (I think)

I was taken back to the station. Officer Barney* and Officer Crouch* (*obviously pseudonyms) spoke to me very little on the way to the station, but the questions they did ask were sympathetic. They wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing - as a minor (technically), I was a runaway. It didn't matter that I was several weeks shy of 18, I was a minor. They made sure I understood that there was a very good chance I would be sent home with my parents anyway. I understood. I had just come to far to turn back now.

We got to the station and they led me into a room. I'd only been in there a few minutes when Officer Barney came in with the attorney the Kline's had found for me. Attorney Dana* said she'd called protective services and pulled some strings but that, unless I could prove the engagement and that it was against my will, I would likely have to go home to my parents. I'd have to emancipate myself if I couldn't prove their was abuse and that process was likely to take longer than my turning 18. Proving the engagement was pretty easy. I had a ring. When I got to the Kline's, I'd taken it off my finger and tossed it into my bag. Since my possessions were taken from me when we entered the station, the ring was retrieved and catalogued as "evidence". Then there was my journal. The journal I kept could be used as evidence. The problem was that I had left it behind. The only way to get it would be through my parents and you can imagine how asking for it might not work out. We decided to call my brother and see if he could get to our house and get it under the auspices of getting me some "modest clothing". It worked. We got my journal.

Skipping ahead a few hours, when my brother arrived at the station with the journal, my attorney decided to have my brother call Adam. Adam knew I'd ran and as soon as my brother started speaking, he launched into a verbal tirade and demanded to speak to me. He made the mistake of yelling, loud enough for us all to hear, that I was "his property" and that if I didn't start "behaving as a righteous wife should" I would be "sorry". He also added that it was my "duty to submit to him in all ways a wife should". At this, the attitude in the room changed. As soon as my brother hung up, the cops started looking for reasons to keep me from going home. The answer had been staring us in the face the whole time - Adam was not a minor. Adam was an adult who had just referred to a minor as "property", with the expectation of submission and the suggestion of abuse. My lawyer asked for an immediate sitting with the presiding judge. It was granted (small municipalities do have their advantages). It was scheduled for the next day and, after being apprised of the situation by their own attorney, through my attorney, they (my parents) agreed to let me go home with my brother and to not contacting me until after the hearing.

I didn't sleep much that night. I couldn't help but fear for everyone who had helped me get as far as I'd got. I also feared that everyone who had helped me would see that I wasn't worth it and that I should just go home. It's hard to be rational at times like those and my upbringing didn't raise me to feel worthy of help. I knew that, in the morning, I would see my parents,...see my mom and maybe my siblings and I wasn't sure if I could handle that. I had this idea in my head that I was still in this alone.

The next day, I was stunned when I approached the courtroom and saw a crowd of people. In attendance were the Klines, the two cops who had first reponded to the Kline's, Officers Barney and Crouch, a social worker, and two friends of my brother's who knew Adam. My parents were there as well, with their attorney.


  1. You were fortunate enough to still be under 18 at this time. Thank God for the Klines.Take care Ruth and I will wait for your next installment.

  2. Ack! Not a cliffhanger! When IS the next installment!?

    @cranberrycottage, why do you say she was "fortunate enough" to still be under 18? If she had been over 18, there would have been no question that she couldn't have been forced to go home, no? Am I missing something?

  3. I think if she would have been 18, the situation wold have been much different. Perhaps the Klines wouldn't have put an attorney on retainer for a legal adult, because they figure she could just leave when she wanted. If she was an adult, there would be no reason to call the police, who advised Ruth of her rights, and provided sympathy and support for her. As a minor, there are certain things that are illegal, such as forcing her to marry someone over 18. (Statutory rape) Plus, if she had nowhere to go, there are more shelters and social services resources availble for minors than adults.

  4. I am still amazed at your courage. So many adults who were not brought up like you are scared to leave abusive situations.

    I have a question- Do you still believe in God? How has your view of God changed? Do you still read the Bible? I realize that you aren't as conservative as your parents but did you do any crazy things after you left ie: drinking, smoking, tattoos?

  5. Heh, you were 'engaged' to an idiot. Never thinking his conversation would be overheard, love it!

    I'm curious about the parent's attorney. Would he try to appeal to the freedom of religion aspect, or portray Ruth as a liar and crazy girl?

    Please don't go so long without the next installment, please!

  6. Thanks, Not a Fundie, that makes sense. I'm not familiar with the laws regarding forced marriage (in fact, it wasn't even on my radar). Plus where I'm from, I don't think there are any real resources for minors. But it's possible I'm just not aware of them.

    I have to agree with L.J. Utter, as well--Adam was an idiot! Usually people like that are more subtle/evil/sly, so I'm surprised he showed his true colours like that around her brother, never mind the police. I would like to have heard her brother's responses!

  7. Thank heaven for small favors: Adam's brain is small and it did you a favor. (Sorry, couldn't resist ;) I know I've written this before, but I have to do so once again: every time I think this story can't get any more bizarre, it does. My hat is off to the Klines and to the police for all their efforts, but the biggest applause goes to you, Ruth, for your courage.

    I'm with LJ: I cannot WAIT to hear what tack your parents' attorney tried. PLEASE let him have brought God's will into the argument!!! It's gonna make my whole day. ;-D

  8. Wow, Ruth. You have a strong sense of courage -- is that one of the character qualities? :)

    I'm glad that Adam's true colors showed, without a doubt, to the police. That made it much easier for them to do their job and keep you safe.

    Take care, friend. I hope that school isn't too rough on you this semester :)

  9. Lainy I was thinking that if she was a child in the eyes of the law, her older, Man, fiance, would be with an underage minor. Therefore, get nailed with something...or maybe my train of thought was off.

  10. Not a Fundie nailed it.

  11. I have to agree with L.J. Utter, as well--Adam was an idiot! Usually people like that are more subtle/evil/sly, so I'm surprised he showed his true colours like that around her brother, never mind the police.

    I'm not. He seems just as "sheltered" (read: isolate from the outside world) as Ruth was, but with a giant helping of entitlement on the side. I'd be willing to bet it never occurred to him that any upstanding, right-thinking person could see anything wrong with his little scheme.

  12. I'd say your story was unbelievable, Ruth, except that it's so very clear that it's the unvarnished truth. I am just appalled that things like this go on in our day and age in this country. But obviously, Adam was his own worst enemy and did more to help you escape his evil clutches than he ever could have imagined, I'm sure!

    Now I'm as anxious as everyone else to learn the rest of your story, so please don't make us wait too long, pretty please? I'm sure that while telling it is hard, it's probably also therapeutic, and you also probably have no idea just how much support you're developing on your behalf from people like me who've never been exposed to Gothardism except through shows like the Duggars, but who was raised Christian and believes that what these folks are doing is a dreadful perversion of Jesus's teachings. It's important for those of us who haven't known about this frightening subculture to learn about it so that we can prevent it from achieving any type of greater power in our society. It's just criminal that innocent girls like you are so often the victims of the distorted teachings of this group.

    I am just unbelievably proud of you for finding the courage to run, and I firmly believe that God's hand was in sending you to the right people. I'm not a religious person today, but I can say, without hesitation, God bless the Klines and everyone else who helped you along the way!

  13. Ruth, I applaud you for your courage. I went through a time in my life (early 80's) that I literally ran away from home in order to live a life as a free person and marry who I want and I didn't even grow up in your circumstances, however I did grow up with a mother and extended family that were from the "Old Country." There is waay to much to explain, so I won't.

    I was, fortunately, 19 so there was no problem in leaving legally, although I did "run away" - that would be an accurate way of putting it. I stupidly came back (flew from the West Coast back to the Midwest) and found out that my mother's words of her hearing me out and working things out were lies and that I was tricked into coming back. I don't know what they were thinking, but I was physically restrained from leaving. Fortunately, I yelled and screamed so loud that neighbors called the police and they arrived. I left with them, stayed with a friend for two or three days (until it was time for me to leave based on the ticket I had purchased earlier), and that was the end of that. I did end up marrying the person I wanted to and we are still married to this day. We did return a few years later and things slowly got better.

    I don't recommend you going back to your family (without armed guards) because your mom and dad are firmly entrenched in a system and they have plenty of support and connections. Be wise, Ruth, do not let your defense down. I do NOT trust people who think they are harming you because they are doing "God's work." Your mom and dad are equally responsible for not only your upbringing, but for also the fact that you had to run for your freedom. I'm aware of how hard that was. Oh, yes, it was hard for me too, but it's been almost 30 years now so there's been time to heal. But it will never be forgotten.

    I watched a re-run of "19th Wife" last night (Lifetime movie) and it's not very far from the whole situation that you were in, other than it's not a polygamous situation. Women are still property of men.

    Keep up the good work, Ruth, and know that everything works out in good time, but it will take time, probably years. Do not, for any reason, go back by yourself at any time. I know first-hand what a mistake that would be. I don't mean to be a downer, but I just don't want you to lose everything that you've worked so hard for. Basically take what I've said with a grain of salt and dispense with the rest.

    Take care. :)


  14. I keep reading and getting sidetracked thinking how would the Duggars "spin" this if it was their daughter? Glad you are ok now Ruth!

  15. TheAmbivalentEgotist said...
    Yay for the Kline's!!!!

    I agree! Three cheers for the Klines!

  16. Hopewell, I don't mean to sound argumentative but I have a hard time understanding why so many people want to connect Ruth's family with the Duggar's?

    I think Ruth's experience is her own. I am sure their are other families just like hers but I am also certain that not all fundamentalist Christians are like them either.

    I don't see any evidence of the Duggar family operating the same way as Ruth's family did. I don't share most of their beliefs but I think they are a loving family who just don't happen to be mainstream.

    I have noticed in my own life that many people lump a whole religion together out of limited experiences they have had with that denomination. I know I have done it too. Maybe this is something we should all reflect on. Why do we as humans tend to do this?

    Along with everyone else, I am amazed by Ruth's courage. She is definitely a survivor.

  17. Elizabette, the reason people lump Ruth's family in with the Duggars is that both families are/were Gothard followers, which would likely lead to both families having many of the same core beliefs. Granted, I don't think the Duggars are as extreme as Ruth family, but I KNOW there are (or at least WERE before the show SOME similarities ), such as in one of the early specials, the family went horseback riding and you could see the girls' had pantaloons, and Ruth, at one time mentioned having to wear pantaloons.

  18. *rolls eyes* Like Rebekah said, these are not just "fundamentalist Christians." The people here aren't lumping a whole religion together, the Duggars and Ruth's family follow the same "denomination" (cult).

  19. *Rolls eyes back* I think I asked a fair question.

    Until the Duggars come out and say they are following Gothard, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and believe they are members of their own home church. I don't think attending Gothard or ATI functions is proof they follow him 100%. That's just my opinion.

    I don't think what I said was out of line. I really don't understand the Duggar dislike that I see on the internet. I have a hard time understanding it. That's me. This is where my comments are coming from.

    I know that the Duggars would probably think I am going to Hell, but I really don't care. They are entitled to their beliefs as much as anyone else.

    I think Ruth's experience was terrible. I am sure both families DO share some beliefs. I just have never seen anything remotely abusive on the Duggar show. I don't see pantaloons as abuse.

    I must have a point of view that is unpopular here. I do support Ruth. I think I can support Ruth and still defend the Duggars. I don't like everything they do but then again, most people have differing opinions on childrearing anyway.

    We live in a free country and everyone indoctrinates their children in some way. We all have values of some kind or another and most parents want to instill their values on their children.Ruth's family is a terribly extreme version of that.

    Rebekeh, I appreciate your courteous explanation. At least I understand a little more where comments are coming from.

  20. Elizabette,
    The Duggar's do follow Gothard, and use his homeschool curriculum ATI. They recommend his stuff on their personal website.
    As with any religious group there are people who are more radical and extreme then others. So that's hopefully the case here. But just because we don't see it on T.V doesn't mean it's not happening. I hope it's not!! But we just don't really know.

    Resource page:

    Links page:

    The Institute for Basic Life Principals is founded by Gothard, and ATI's full name is Advance Training Institute.

    Now they do add stuff to their homeschool program, maybe they can see how much it's lacking?? And it would make sense that they would be a part of a home church. They are to far away to attend the same church as Gothard.

  21. "Rebekeh, I appreciate your courteous explanation. At least I understand a little more where comments are coming from."

    You're quite welcome. I think if I explain a little bit further, it might help you out a bit more (and my intent is to continue to be corteous). First of all, Bill Gothard's organization is not a's an organization. Secondly, in order to use the ATIA curriculum, go to the conferences, etc (which the Duggars do), they HAVE to be part of the organization to do that stuff.

    Note: ATIA isn't the only aspect of the BG organization, that's just his home school program. He also runs the IBLP (Institute for Basic Life Principles) program and some other stuff. Ruth could probably better clarify the web of all his organizations.

    Also, Duggars were recently featured on BG's homepage as speakers for a BG conference (I'm not sure if it's past or coming).

    Also on their earlier specials they were a little more obvious about being Gothard followers. They've hidden it more and more as time goes on.

  22. proof here :

  23. So when did your brother leave the ATI/Quiverfull/Gothard fold? It's good you had family members that supported you when you were trying to leave such a toxic situation.

  24. Rebekeh,

    Wow, thanks for all the information. I wish the Duggars would be more forthcoming about their beliefs and explain their association with Gothard. If it's their belief they ought not to be ashamed of it and go ahead and own it. I would be very interested to hear their take on things.
    Anna sure didn't look like a forced bride. I would love to hear them comment on families that force.
    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to further explain.
    Back to the original subject....I am also anxiously waiting the next installment!

  25. Ruth can confirm, but Gothard holds camps for teens, adults and couples in addition to the homeschool conferences. The Bates family recently posted a group picture of the teen boy's summer conference and it looks like Joseph Duggar is sitting in the front row.

    Also, JD and Jana had to meet a few Gothardite pre-reqs before they could go on that "mission" trip last June.

    They may come off as a wacky Christian family on their show, but the speech JB and Michelle gave during a "Voters Values" conference in DC last week was chilling. A quick google search should yield you the YouTube version.

    Make no mistake, they are in this as deep as Ruth's family; they are the new superstars to draw unsuspecting people in, typically women who are attracted to thie sweet wives and pink-cheeked children. Ruth has shared that was her well-educated mother's initial attraction. By the time the wife realizes it's all a crock of crapola, she's five kids deep and has no means of support to leave.

  26. I think there has been evidence as to how controlled the Duggar girls are. In the episode from last season where J.B. drags the oldest 5 girls (no boys) to give blood. He didn't ask them if they wanted to give he told them they were going to. The only reason Joy didn't have to was because she wasn't old enough by law.

  27. I know Im not the moderator or anything, but could we try to stay on topic?

  28. I'm surprised that when the subject of Bill Gothard comes up, everyone wants to talk about the Duggars but nobody mentions Matthew Murray.

  29. Wow. Ruth that is all so fortuitous- the concerned lawyer with CPS connections, the phone call, the ability to get an emergency hearing the next day, your brother being able to get your journal...sweet.

    I am so happy for you, dear.

  30. Dave L,

    Lets not forget about David Ludwig and Kara Beth Borden. David Ludwig came from a Gothardite family.

  31. Or as long as we are talking about home school graduates not able to cope with life- Couty Alexander.

    It is being dominated and controlled that warps these young minds- not "the devil" as most of these parents will fall back on. Sad.

  32. @TheAmbivalentEgotist,
    I had no idea David was Gothardite. I was friends with Kara Beth's older sister. Oddly enough, was thinking about them all this morning...then came here and read your comment.

  33. Hurrah for not being alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  34. Hi Ruth, you are a young woman of tremendous character. In this episode you showed the exact "character quality" that you needed to:

    "Endurance vs. Giving up

    The inward strength to withstand stress to accomplish God’s best (Galatians 6:9)"

    I love to see the way you found the strength and true character to 'spit in the eye' of the people who thought they could crush, control, and own you.


  35. I hope Adam is still single....that means no poor woman is forced to be married to a guy who views her as 'property.'


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