Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thanks and more questions for my father.

I would like to offer a special "thank you" to Michael Mock, Stacie, Anita, and Caroline. I'm overwhelmed. I don't even know what to say except "thank you".

I would also like to thank everyone who has been so kind in the last several weeks worth of comments. Your support has meant the world to me. My life has been very lonely...and then I log on here and read the wonderful words of wisdom being left for me.

My father has been e-mailing me in a frenzy for the last several hours. One request he had was for me to put his answers in a post rather than have him comment in comments because he claims he's having difficulty with the comment section. (?) However, I want to tell him here-and-now that: if he wants dedicated blog posts, then maybe he should create his own blog? Truly, dad! Why not? Then you could "educate us", as you claim to want to, and you wouldn't have to wait for me. In fact, if you're so proud of your life and the way you raised me, then why did you threaten me with legal action if I ever spoke your name on this blog? Also, dad, I would really like to speak to mom. I'm worried about the silence on her end and would really cherish a conversation with her.

I've tried to go back and find the comments he is referring to (those will be formatted in quotes). His answers, sent to me via several e-mails, are bolded.


Anonymous said...
By doing what? Emotionally blackmailing her into a shadow of the person she was created to be? What?

We are not blackmailing. If you are you a parent sir or madam if you are you would know that GOD asks parents to train up their children in the way that they should go.

Sandra said...
re: "holiest of commandments"

does Got Hard Dad somehow think "holy" (however he determines that) trumps "greatest" per Jesus himself? As in "37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment.39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

I don't know about Got Hard but I don't see that Jesus mentions anything about parents in there at all.

January 4, 2012 12:56 PM
Anonymous said...

By doing what? Emotionally blackmailing her into a shadow of the person she was created to be? What?

Sandra said...
BTW, Ruth, just wondering if Got Hard speaks in all caps like that in real life or just in writing?

GOD deserves to be stood out. We praise HIM by showing respect for HIS name.

Anonymous said...
So how does GothardDad explain all those OTHER Christian families leading happy servant lives outside of ATI?

Any one can pretend at showing a happy face. there are few who will be happy with their fate in HIS KINGDOM. Christians are happy people who know that they serve GOD in HIS plan. There are as we know people who profess a love for GOD and still choose to work against him and will be unhappy when faced with the judgement of the LORD who sees all.

I'm not sure who he was speaking to here because he didn't quote anyone specifically.
I think it's, possibly, meant for Cat.
Closness to OUR GOD and CREATOR depends on your obedeancec in the walk with HIM. Your feelings of a being so powerful as HIM is nice yet not the best judgement of a relationship. The example here is that I love my children closely to my heart but if they disobey the WORD of GOD I can't love them in heaven as they won't be there for me to love. I pray that you find obedience and peace through HIM that breathes into you.

What I find so (sadly) hilarious is how these patriarchalist fathers don't realize that the more they defend themselves and condemn those who don't submit to their authority, the more they reveal how thoroughly self-serving their pet submission dogmas are. Basically, their "sheltering" game is to claim their own spiritual and legal rights in order to deny those same rights to their wives and children.

This man who speaks ill of me knows me not but judges just as the LORD says we should not judge. Let he who is without sin cast the first stones so it goes. Fathers heed the call to shelter their children to grow to be there authentic self as GOD created them. What rights did i take from ****(Ruth) or her mother? Please tell me sir what you think you know about my home.

And here's another thing worth noting: Dad is very adept at utilizing the "honor your father and mother" command, yet seems not to have grasped the "provoke not your children to wrath" command, which is given directly to him.

Andrew is trying to confuse us who truly read the WORD. Children are as to parents as parents are to God. God does not to provoke us to wrath if we follow him but we are provoked when we err and swerve from that PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT HE PROSCRIBES FOR US. Keep reading Andrew and you will see the real message being fathers should not be unreasonable. PROVOKE NOT YOUR CHILDREN TO WRATH BUT BRING THEM UP IN DISCIPLINE AND INSTRUCTION IN THE LORD!
Your children are burdened by the lies and deceit you have proffered them via the heresies preached by Bill Gothard. How does a unmarried man who lived with his mother till she died, have the knowledge and the reason to teach married couple and children the right way? He doesn't. He's a charlatan who has laughed all the way to the bank. Same as Doug Phillips. I feel sorry that you have the need to be uplifted in the same manner as Christ, because Dad, you aren't Christ, nor will you ever attain the self less love and compassion that he taught.

Amal you are the liar and charlatan! Do you know the men you talk about no you do not and still you speek about them with venon that makes you easy to ignore. I don't have to abort my children to know that abortion is wrong nor do I have to have a degree in religion to follow our LORD. Bill Gothard doesn't need a marriage to know respect in human conditions and that which the Bible is clear on: Lo Children ARE A HERITAGE OF THE LORD!

What do you mean when you say your lifestyle was "set before you by the Holiest of Holies?" Did the Almighty drop by one afternoon and explain His model for holy marriages? If not, where did you first hear about the QF system? What persuaded you to try it?

Michael Mock
Every man on this earth has the WORD before him as a way of life. His model is clear to anyone who prays on the WORD. I was set upon this "Quiverfull" system as you call it when I prayed on a scripture that a trusted friendly advisor pointed out to me Psalsms 127:3. I saw how wise this council was and purposed to follow it to it's divine end and was blessed with eleven children on earth and one alrady with the LORD. When you trust you give this all to GOD.

Have you ever considered that maybe the Almighty doesn't extend that call to everyone? That maybe it's something He wanted for you, but not for everyone else - and maybe not even all of your children?

Asked and answerd. Pray on your lack of faith.
As an atheist (ex-evangelical) I feel

I will pray for your soul that you are saved before it is to late. It does not surprize me that our daughters blog attracts such trash.
Steve Bahnor said...
Hey Darth Daddy,
You see that paypal link on the sidebar? You really wanna' show your support for Ruth, start there. Your daughter is doing the do, so to speak, so get off your high horse and do your part by doing what most dads do. Pitch in and help your child realize her dreams without strings!

A fool and his money are soon parted says the WORD of the LORD. Your silly valueless morals make you blind to our commiting to give all our children a payed for life until they marry GODS CHOSEN ONE for them makes this the sillyest thing I have read all day. Do you give money to addicts sir.


  1. "Any one can pretend at showing a happy face. there are few who will be happy with their fate in HIS KINGDOM."

    Sooooo, just to be clear...non-Gothard christian families who are happy...are faking it?

  2. "What rights did i take from ****(Ruth)"

    How about the right to adequate education, the right to choose her own spouse, the right of self-determination...for starters.

  3. The problem with Darth Daddy having his own blog is that NO ONE would read it. Well, other than his fellow Got Hards. I certainly can't imagine popping over and wasting my time reading his misspelled, narcissistic, hopelessly misguided rants. Since he obviously (mistakenly) thinks that this blog is somehow providing him a platform by which to convert your sinning friends, he HAS to try to use it. And furthermore, by telling you he has difficulty with the comments, he has the additional benefit of getting his daughter to post his rants herself.

    You don’t have to do this. You are under NO obligation to be your father’s mouthpiece. You can tell him he can either figure out the comments like the rest of us, or go start his own blog. Don’t let him use you. You deserve worlds better than that.

  4. " if you're so proud of your life and the way you raised me, then why did you threaten me with legal action if I ever spoke your name on this blog?"

    Would he sue you if you ever chose to use your real name on this blog? Scary thought. Stay strong, Ruth. You have a larger support system than you realize.

  5. I definitely support the many commenters who engage your dad seriously, wittily, or with Bible verses, but I can't even read all of his gibberish on the first try, my eyes just skim away unless I force them back, except as a former editor the spelling errors do jump out.

    I hope you're getting something out of showing us his emails, Ruth, because he sure isn't. He just looks ridiculous in text.

  6. I am finally delurking in order to comment:

    UGH! Why give your father the opportunity to abuse you (and your readers?)
    Over time, I've read your blog back to the beginning and have seen absolutely nothing that demonstrates that your father loves anything but his own ego and authority. Why give him any space on your blog or your head? We can't choose our parents and we can't help loving them and wishing they would finally love us unconditionally, but we don't have to let them harangue us over and over again.

    I know you are grieving the loss of your relationship, but I don't think engaging with your father is going to do anything but distract you from your pain. Are there not more loving ways to do that?

    Believe me--things will get better and you are not being punished for anything that you did or did not do. This is just life and it really hurts sometimes. But it will get better, and surrendering to your father's hateful ways will not take you there. It will only take you back to familiar misery, which is tempting because you know the outcome of the old misery.

    I've been where you are (not gothard, but parental mental illness.) Your relationship with your family may never be healed, but you can choose to heal yourself. Preachy, I know. My heart goes out to you and I wish your strength and solace in these dark times.

    1. I'm a newcomer to your blog, not sure exactly where I got the link as I've been reading many ex-Quiverfull sites recently.

      I'd like to add my YES INDEED here to Kathie's comments. Ruth, you've been abused. Ruth's dad, you are an abuser. You deserve all the exposure Ruth cares to give you.

      But Ruth: You have the right to cut him out of your life until such time as HE repents of HIS sin of abuse and shows that repentance through a TRANSFORMED LIFE.

      Do what's right for you. Just don't let him and others like him bend your mind ever again.

      I feel for you in your separation from your mother and hope that you both find a way to escape this blowhard and have a real relationship again. Blessings to you.

  7. I dunno...

    I think Ruth is doing the world a us insight into truly twisted world of the Gothardites.

    Let Gothard Dad speak...

  8. Ooph. No one would blame you, Ruth, for setting a spam filter. You shouldn't feel a need to subject yourself to such ridiculousness.

  9. I'm with Kathie, Ruth. Since you gave him a chance to speak and he made the decision to choose to be as abusive to your friends as he was to you, it confirms that your decision to leave was correct. You can see that he has not changed. By allowing us to see his posts, we can all see that the abusive and controlling behavior is not tolerable. It took a lot of courage to leave! You did the right thing.

  10. I think it's a great idea for him to start his own blog. If he has nothing to hide, let him be like so many other evangelicals out there and let it all hang out.

    I think you've given him enough time on your blog. He's let it all hang out and has proven himself to be quite deranged. Let him do it on his own blog.

    I would argue that you are free from him by the grace of God. The amount of spiritual abuse you endured makes me angry. If he's going to use your life as propaganda for Gothardism, I say fine. I hope he'll remember to add how little he actually knew about his child's heart, pain, and suffering at his own hands--his failures as a parent need to be laid bare as well.

    James 5:11 say "As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy."

    Compassion and mercy. Even though you are hurting now, I do believe God is compassionate and merciful, and you will come through this stronger than ever.

    I'm sorry you got a bum deal on an earthly father, who is apparently compassionless and shows no mercy.

  11. Delurking to vote daddy off the island as well--you're only feeding his vanity. The small bit I've seen of him on your blog is depressingly corrosive. I'm really pulling for you--hope things get better soon. :/

  12. "A fool and his money are soon parted says the WORD of the LORD. Your silly valueless morals make you blind to our commiting to give all our children a payed for life until they marry GODS CHOSEN ONE for them makes this the sillyest thing I have read all day. Do you give money to addicts sir. "

    Classic. Quote bible verse that has no relevancy to the situation then use snide condescending remarks that don't address the original question. Sounds like my ex father-in-law and sends shivers up my spine. Run, Ruth. And don't look back. It's painful, it's soul ripping, but they never stop trying to cause pain. To admit to even a small error is akin to throwing out their entire belief systems, they just can't do it.

  13. I hear those of you saying I should "vote him off the island". Believe me, I hear you. Honestly, I can't give you a reason why I'm letting him post and respond to people other than I'm tired of listening to him use my noncommunication as an excuse. There's more to this than what's on the surface, I suppose. One thing I really want is an open communication with my mother, because I miss her and care about her, and dad has said that he would be willing to allow that if I would give him some voice. I don't know how one logically leads to the other or why he thinks it matters. And, yes, reading about NPD, I think this is definitely feeding some part of a dysfunctional relationship with dad. However, this dysfunction is all I have and if he's actually going to give it a try (communicating in a public place- which I insist on because even the safety of the internet is safer than my dealing with him one on one), I want to try. It's not hurting me to listen to him. I've heard all of this my whole life. If he's going to hold my relationship with my mom hostage just to have a limited voice here, then that's a small price for me to pay.

    I've explained this to him and he still believes this is the best way for us to communicate. He claims that he never realized his "lifestyle/calling" drew so much scrutiny and maybe I'm hoping this will wake him up. Maybe, just maybe, something said here will stick?

  14. "A fool and his money are soon parted says the WORD of the LORD."

    Er, no GothardDad, that isn't the Word of the Lord, but is a quote from Dr. John Bridges' Defence of the Government of the Church of England, 1587:

    "If they pay a penie or two pence more for the reddinesse of them...let them looke to that, a foole and his money is soone parted."

    It's a shame you can't take some time out and enrol yourself in that college you've earmarked for our Ruth, but the Word of the Lord seems to suggest that might not be the best use of your funds:

    Pro 17:16 It does a fool no good to spend money on an education, because he has no common sense.

  15. Ruth, there is a forum at We're starting a study on the ninth of the book "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse." You do not have to be a mother to join the site, but there are a lot of loving, caring women who have been where you are that could give you advice, or love, or a listening ear - away from criticism. There are several women who have left ATI families and are now happily raising families of their own. It can be done. You can do it. You are doing it. And there are people out here who are ready and willing to help you through. I think the book study would be a good place to start. <3

  16. Wow. Just, wow. I cannot believe (What am I saying ofc I can believe!) that your father just called me "trash," when I am the same commenter who urged others, on a separate post, to refrain from ad hominem attacks regarding his poor grammar. (As a MS English teacher, I've seen far worse.)

    While I may not believe in your imaginary friend, I am a devoted mother who would never abuse my daughter the way you have yours.

    Wow. I can barely find words. Due to my past experiences with the Christian Church I will say that this movement very much meets the criteria for a "cult." Here is a checklist:

    It's no surprise that those leaving would struggle to flourish outside of their isolated environment. It can take years to recover "deprogram"from it, and I think you are doing the best you can, Ruth. You will get there in the end if you keep working at it.

    **Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into airplanes.**

  17. "**Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into airplanes.** "

    And that is what happens when I type on my phone and cannot go back and edit comments!

    One of my favorite quotes, it SHOULD read:

    "Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."

    Ofc this does not mean all religions are bad, just that when people "obey without question" (Like Ruth's father seems to want her to do.) crazy stuff happens. Follow your heart, Ruth, and do what you know is right. There are a lot of people out there who care.

    1. It's still a tasteless theophobic slur, especially on a blog that has theist visitors.

      You don't have to pray to obey without question; there's plenty of that in the corporate, political, and military worlds. Plus objectivism, Scientology, and Amway. The common denominator isn't belief in god(s), it's the abusive hierarchy thing. Spiritual traditions are widespread because they fulfill a basic need that many non-atheists experience, and it is possible to fulfill that need without being nonskeptical or submitting to any authority.

      "Religion" brought us 9/11 in the same way that "science" brought us eugenics and evolutionary psychology. :P

    2. ... on the other hand he kinda dissed you there, so I guess I shouldn't be calling you out for dissing him back. Very sorry about that.

  18. I think allowing her father to post here is the best way Ruth can show that she was not exaggerating or distorting when she described her upbringing. I mean, has anyone read her father's posts and concluded that Ruth may have been too hard on him? He doesn't even seem to realize that the more he posts, the more he gives credence to her story. If anyone is serving as a witness, it's him - a witness to just how controlling and out of touch his movement is.

  19. Ruth, I think you're giving him voice on your blog so that you can feel some validation about your own feelings in regards to him. That's a perfectly valid excuse. A few months ago, I was getting abused verbally by a commenter on my blog (who obviously knew me in real life because she knew how to attack). I was moderating comments and I kept his/her comments off my blog. Internalized, I wondered if his/her words about me were right. They were able to sink into me and affect me while I didn't allow them to go public. So I actually sent the comments to a few of my friends off line and asked them if this person was off-base or saying things that everyone felt about me. Turned out they thought his/her comments were completely insane. I've since decided that if said commenter returns to my blog, I will publicly post his/her comments so that all my readers can see how irrational and insane said person is.

    It would seem to me you are doing the same thing. And it's totally all right by me.

    And, btw, GothardDad should start his own blog. I'd definitely read it. Because I'm interested in seeing into how that particular sect of society thinks (not that it would make me see "the Light" or anything). I cant stop reading blogs by all those other fundie families either. It's a sick sort of fascination. Which is why I watch the Duggars.

  20. Coleslaw, I'm not disagreeing with you, at ALL, but I think at this point NO ONE is going to doubt that Darth Daddy is a total whackadoo. My concern is that the situation could do more harm than good for her.

    Ruth, I understand what you're saying about your reasons for continuing this, but isn't there a strong possibility that your father, no matter how much leeway you grant him here, is always going to find a reason not to let you communicate with your Mom? I'd urge you to run the whole thing by your therapist and weigh the pros and cons of what you're doing.

    Again, I just don't want seeing you hurt more than you already have been. As I said, you deserve so very very much more.

  21. LOL, I am with anonymous above. I'm an atheist, so I'd like to request that if I am "trash," please recycle me. Give a hoot!

    Eventually, fundies will realize how they sound to others and will understand that what they are doing isn't "evangelizing" in any meaningful way. Wait... no they won't. That would require seeing people from outside their belief system as human beings rather than trash. How any of them expect to "love their neighbors as themselves" effectively when thinking of those neighbors as trash, I will never understand. Thank goodness I believe that all I get is one life... I'd be rather upset if I had an eternal destination and it was down to THIS CLOWN to get me there. His method is bush league.

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  24. Gotharddad said: "Michael Mock
    Every man on this earth has the WORD before him as a way of life. His model is clear to anyone who prays on the WORD."

    I'm sure you devoutly and sincerely believe this, but no. That's simply not possible. There are, according to some estimates, over 33,000 different Christian denominations in the world. Your "model" is a tiny, tiny minority among them. That is flatly impossible if God has a single model that "clear to anyone who prays on the WORD."

    1. God has more than one model...
    2. God has one model, but it is not clear...
    3. or you're using the word "clear" (or possibly "pray") in some way that does not match the common definition of the word.

    But I'll tell you what: I'll try it. I'll spend this weekend in prayer and contemplation and ask God to reveal his will for my family, my marriage, and me. In fact, I'll start here:

    Holy God of the Old and New Covenants, please reveal your will to me and help me to walk in your ways. Help my find Your holy model for my family and my life. Lead me to accordance with Your sacred will in the name of your only begotten Son, I beg you.

    There. That's a start, at least. If the Almighty's plan is as clear as you say it is, I should know soon. Are there particular scriptures (besides Psalms 127:3) that I should be reading and praying over while I'm doing this?

    "I was set upon this "Quiverfull" system as you call it when I prayed on a scripture that a trusted friendly advisor pointed out to me Psalsms 127:3. I saw how wise this council was and purposed to follow it to it's divine end and was blessed with eleven children on earth and one alrady with the LORD. When you trust you give this all to GOD."

    Okay, then. We'll start there. (Also, sorry for misspelling Quiverful. That wasn't meant as an insult or mockery. I just don't write the word very often.)

    Earlier, I asked: "Have you ever considered that maybe the Almighty doesn't extend that call to everyone? That maybe it's something He wanted for you, but not for everyone else - and maybe not even all of your children?"

    Gotharddad replied: "Asked and answerd. Pray on your lack of faith."

    Sir, you know nothing whatsoever about my faith. We are fearfully and wonderfully made; the Bible doesn't say anything about "identically." And there's no lack of faith in thinking that a Creator who creates so many different kinds of people, in so many different circumstances, in so many different parts of the world, might have different plans for different people. Or, if the idea of different plans is too much for you, think of them as alternatives and contingencies within a single Grand Plan.

    I'm not saying that anything goes, but your way is not the only way.

  25. Also:

    Ruth, you're very welcome. And actually, I think it's a good idea to put your father's responses in their own posts. These threads are attracting a lot of comments, so posting his separately makes it much easier to see when he's responded. It probably also keeps any single thread from developing untold pages of comments.

  26. Ruth, your father can figure out how to use the comment section. Please don't let him manipulate you into being his secretary and posting his emails. I understand letting him have space here to defend his viewpoints in order to give context to what you're dealing with but I worry that he's being manipulative and controlling by taking over your blog, even if it's just a few posts.

    This is your place, your safe place and he's a guest. Don't let him think otherwise. The other concern I have about him posting and people commenting is we're essentially giving him his narcissistic feed. The insight is interesting. It certainly confirms what many of us already knew (he's batshit crazy) and I'm sure the validation you feel as a result is very helpful. Just be prepared to cut him off from this narcissistic feed if it feels right to do so. He is not owed space here nor are you obligated to give it to him.

    Another alarming situation is that he is making all these demands with the promise (empty promise, I assure you!) that you can talk to your mother. No one has the right to keep you and your mom from having a relationship. NO ONE.

    Clearly your father does not view his wife, your mother, as an equal. If he did he would never think that it's his right to allow or disallow her from having a relationship with her own children. That's incredibly screwed up and abusive.

  27. Your right Michael Mock......why doesn't his model of righteousness, if it is true, in other parts of the world?Oh wait! It is! In the form of other religions!

    Women and children in submissive slavery, to a patriarchical man.

    So clearly he must have been deceived because his religious fruit is the same shape, size and colour, as gee lets say..some eastern religions, or wait! The same as the FLDS.

    I am sure, Mr. Gothard condemns the FLSDS, so why does his followers produce the same kind of fruit? Looks the same, tastes the same, smells the same.

    Maybe that darn devil has deceived them both!

  28. Ruth's dad: Sir, why do you feel it acceptable to call another father's daughter "trash"?

    Do you view your precious daughter as "trash"?

    Did not God create her in love?

    Does not God love her so much that He died for her while she was yet a sinner?

    Why, then, Sir, do you not value and treasure her? I do not witness value nor treasure in your communication with her: a loving father would be compassionate and gentle, would seek to reach out to her rather than to judge, condemn and drive a wedge between your precious child and her father.

    Sir, do you understand that keeping a mother and daughter apart is punitive, unkind, not gentle, it is unloving, does not foster peace, goodness or faithfulness? You are displaying no longsuffering in holding Ruth to your ever-changing line drawn in the sand. Ruth has given you a blog post of your own, now will you keep your word and allow Ruth and her mother to speak (and speak freely without your listening in, without threats to her mother, without interferences by you in any way)? Or will you, Sir, keep drawing a new line in the sand before you let loose of changing expectations?

    Sir, do you have no understanding or compassion towards your wife in her pain of being unable to see or speak with her daughter? Do you not hold your wife in high esteem? Perhaps your wife could accomplish what you, Sir, have not been able to accomplish. Your wife is your helpmeet, is she not, Sir? Sir, is your heart so hardened that you do not feel the pain of your wife, for any mother's heart yearns for her children. You, Sir, are causing your beloved wife pain. Is your manhood threatened, Sir, so much by this love between a mother and child that you cannot freely give your wife the God-approved gift of mothering her child?

    You, Sir, are not bearing evidence of the Fruit of the Spirit as in Galatians. You, Sir, are not evidencing the Fruit of a Christian man of faith. You, Sir, are not bearing the Light of the Joyous Hope that is a Christian's banner to the world. You, Sir, are found wanting.

    Sir, are you not a sinner saved by the unfathomable grace of God? Sir, are you not also, like the rest of us, seeking to follow the best we can? Why, Sir, then, do you set yourself up as a know-it-all? Do you, Sir, find within yourself a deeper understanding than the rest of humankind? Sir, has the Lord God of Israel set you up as a special prophet? Sir, are you with us or against us, as a fellow human walking on earth? Sir, are you with us or against us as a fellow Believer in the precious blood of Christ? Sir, are you for or against your precious daughter? Sir, are your ways working? What, Sir, has been the fruit of your ways in your family's life? Sir, has your daughter found your fruit to be delectable or despicable? Sir? Could it be that there is another way to walk out your faith than what is evidenced by your harsh behavior towards Ruth and these here, whom you have called "trash"?


  29. Ruth, I just read your posts on NLQ and I am FLOORED. I am torn between whether you should cut off all contact with this guy for your safety or whether you should let him keep posting so that he will say something so horrible that somebody will do something about what he is probably doing with the other kids.

    Reading your stories makes me want to give you a big hug, and be thankful that I can be a loving and caring mother to my free-spirited daughter. It's even more ludicrous to me that your father would call me "trash" considering how he treated/treats his family.

    If your story is true-and I'm betting it is--you are truly brave! I wish I could say I had been that strong-willed when I was placed in an oppressive religious situation at a young age. It took me a year of being removed from my family and told I was "demonic" before something finally clicked and I left. To leave your house, your brothers and sisters, in the middle of the night that way! I'm amazed. Stay strong, Ruth!

  30. Amal you are the liar and charlatan! Do you know the men you talk about no you do not and still you speek about them with venon that makes you easy to ignore. I don't have to abort my children to know that abortion is wrong nor do I have to have a degree in religion to follow our LORD. Bill Gothard doesn't need a marriage to know respect in human conditions and that which the Bible is clear on: Lo Children ARE A HERITAGE OF THE LORD!

    Wow, a liar and a charlatan, and he doesn't even spell my name correctly. I've read a lot about the people I called out. Have you? Have you seen the inconsistencies about the product they offer? I shudder to call it a religion because it's not.

    I don't think my 87 yr old mom (who I spent 7 hours in the ER with yesterday) would approve of that comment. She sir, would call you out and have you by the ear for your comments. You are the liar and you continue to show it.

    My children are my beloved. They are my gifts from God. You call yours "trash". Mine were raised to believe that they were given the grace of Christ Jesus that was freely given and accepted. Yours were raised with the threat of hellfire and the admonition to "keep sweet" or else we'll make your life miserable. Mine are happy, productive and honor their father and their mother daily. Yours are browbeaten to follow a dogma that infantilizes women.

    You don't show yourself as a very tolerant or man full of grace. You are the viper amidst the lambs.

  31. Just have a question for Darthdaddy. Do you honor your mother and father? Do you obey them? Do you still live with them?
    Did you obey them growing up? Did you honor them growing up?
    All the ways in which you conceive obedience to be in your own children do you still do that with your parents?

    Do you model good christian devotion, and obedience to your own parents?

    If they have passed away, did you do all that you expect your kids to do while they were living?
    If they are living, why, do you not abide by them? I don't hear you say anything about your own walk with your parents or honoring them or obeying them? Obviously at some point you were allowed out from underneath their umbrella of obedience/authority . When does that begin? Are you still under it?
    Are you still considered a child to them? Do they treat you as a child? When did you grow up? When were you considered a man? When are your sons considered a man?
    You still refer to Ruth as a child. Your child. Your disobedient child. When does she become an adult?
    A disobedient adult doesn't sound so sinful does implies she has her own life. Not one subject to her parents?
    When did you not become subject to your parents beliefs,wishes and commands? When did you have to stop being obedient to them?
    If you answer that Leave to Cleave thing that is not an answer because that has nothing to do with the command to honor your mother or father.
    Leave to cleave, does not, or is not the same command as obey your parents or honor your parents.
    If you say you are off the hook because they were not christian, it does not say that in the Bible.....only obey your parents if they are christians, only honor your mother and father if they are christians?
    Where does it say that?

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Dear Ruth's Dad,

    I'm sorry that your mental illness has translated into cruelty. I hope that you can get help soon.

  34. To Gotharddad:

    Thank you for your willingness to interact with Ruth’s readers. It is never easy to be the subject of harsh criticism, particularly when you feel that the critics just don’t get your viewpoint. You seem to sincerely and fervently want God’s will for your children, and, in particular, Ruth.

    Although I personally differ with Bill Gothard’s interpretation of Scripture as it relates to the Quiverfull lifestyle, I have found many of his teachings on basic life principles to be invaluable. In that regard, knowing that you also probably agree with Gothard’s teachings on these principles, I have wondered whether or not you have considered the application of a couple of those principles to your current relationship with Ruth. In particular, Gothard’s teaching regarding how to forgive those who have offended you seems relevant. He teaches that Scripture admonishes us to voluntarily invest a treasure into the life of someone who has offended us. Specifically, he says, “Ask God how He wants you to demonstrate His love to your offender. You should be able to invest in his life through prayer, words of affirmation, acts of service, or material gifts.” This principle is also emphasized in the command of Christ to go the extra mile in Matt 5:41-42 which says, “41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”

    Clearly, Ruth constitutes, at this point in your relationship, an “offender.” The clear Biblical teaching is that you need to forgive her but, more importantly, to sacrificially give her something so valuable that others (nonbelievers) will be so blown away by your love that they’ll praise God in heaven. (Matt 5:16). The principle is that our responsibility is to sacrificially love those who have offended us and have faith that God will deal with the offender without any help from us. I’d challenge you to read the comments of the blog readers to divine whether or not your actions toward Ruth have caused people to marvel at your good works and praise their God in heaven.

    The other principle that I think is applicable is Gothard’s teaching on seeking forgiveness from those we’ve offended. He says, “Instead of looking at others’ actions, remember that you are responsible for what you have done. Even if you are guilty of only 10% of the offense, you need to resolve the conflict in that relationship before you will have a clear conscience.” Do you see yourself as having done anything that requires that you seek Ruth’s forgiveness? If so, have you taken the steps Gothard recommends to be reconciled to Ruth?

    It’s always much easier to be the giver of advice than the recipient. However, sometimes the perspective of a disinterested third party can expose blind spots. Your daughter is an amazingly gifted writer with a sweet, transparent spirit. Reading between the lines, I think that Ruth is desperate for her dad’s unconditional love. My prayer for you is that you can overlook your differences with Ruth’s lifestyle and focus instead on the amazing daughter God has given you.

    Thank you again for your willingness to interact with a stranger. I do hope that you respond to the things written above, even if to show me the errors in my thinking. As one father to another, our children are too precious and life is too short and unpredictable to allow unresolved estrangement to continue.

  35. Wow, I've never posted before on your blog but have read it for a while, but I felt like I should post now. Your father is a certified nut. First off, he really seems to be very convinced of his own righteousness, wisdom, fairness and benevolence, and he's angry enough to hammer these points out in ALL CAPS. The idea that he may be wrong about anything just seems totally foreign to him.

    What about the virtues the Bible teaches about gentleness and patience? Shouldn't these be extended to children? Jesus didn't seem too harsh to his disciples even when they forsook him and fled. In fact, the only time Jesus used physical force was expelling money-changers from the temple. I'd argue that Gothard, with his business empire, is a modern day money-changer in the temple.

    If your father seems to get angry with anyone for judging him, he seems pretty comfortable judging the entire world and condemning them all for not coming to the same conclusions as him.

    The whole telling of women to "keep sweet" is just a tool used by selfish men who think women exist just to make men feel better about themselves. There's no Christ-like love there at all.

  36. Ruth, your Dad's response to my comments help to illustrate the unbiblical thinking behind this mindset. A couple examples:

    "Andrew is trying to confuse us who truly read the WORD."

    No...and this statement is revealing considering how, in his replies to others, he complains of them judging his motives.

    "Children are as to parents as parents are to God."

    This is a tricky little analogy. It almost sounds biblical--until you put it another way: "for children, their parents are God". There are many ways our relationship with our earthly father can reflect our relationship with our Heavenly Father--with one huge difference: our earthly father is not God. Thus, our earthly father should demonstrate things like humility, repentance and contriteness as he deals with his own sin nature while doing his best to bring up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

    "God does not to provoke us to wrath if we follow him but we are provoked when we err and swerve from that PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT HE PROSCRIBES FOR US."

    I'm not sure if I understood this--but it seems like he turns this verse completely on it's head. What is clearly an admonition to humility and reasonableness on the part of the earthly father becomes, instead, a further admonition for children not to "stray from the path". Did I get that right, or am I misinterpreting. What confused me was his very next statement.

    "Keep reading Andrew and you will see the real message being fathers should not be unreasonable."

    That was kind of my point. Was I not clear on that?

    One other thing--it is very revealing when he refers to an atheist commenter as "trash". If he is a true follower of Christ, then he must believe that all people--regardless of belief system or lack thereof--are created in the image of God, and are God valued enough by God for Him to sacrifice His Son for their salvation. One sinner has no business calling another sinner "trash" (see Matt. 5:22).

    Also...the book The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse was highly recommended by another commentator. I would second that recommendation.

  37. Where to begin?

    First, I was leary about you giving your father a voice on your blog, but it did prove he is just as wacky as you say he is.

    Second, I cannot believe a man would, in a sense, extort his own daughter for the right to speak to her mother. I feel sorry for your mother. Only a very damaged and scared woman would let anyone come between her and her child. NO ONE comes between me and my children, not even my husband. And the same goes in reverse...I would never come between my husband and my children. My mind is boggled.

    Finally, such horrid talk from a "Christian" man to those who do not believe. Trash? Really? Did Jesus talk this way? No, he did not. Jesus loved everyone and instructed us to love others as we love ourselves. Your father obviously loves himself very much. It is a shame he treats others who do not share his belief so horribly. And did anyone else notice that her father got especially nasty when people questioned Bill Gothard more than he did when people questioned God? Interesting.

    Ruth, I cannot imagine what a strong person you must be considering how you grew up. God made you and God loves you. He has given you so much strength. You are going to make it in this world! I can tell!


  38. The man says so little with so very many words.

  39. Ruth, I was with my Mom today. We talked about your dad and how he called you trash. She's a tough old bird (said lovingly because I hope I'm as spry as she is at 87) and she said what Bible is this man reading? He says children are a treasure and then he calls his daughter trash. What kind of hypocrite is he? She can match him verse for verse in Bible knowledge and quotes but hers is a gentle touch as opposed to his ham handed bullying. She said she would pray that he would be open to the love and graciousness of Christ Jesus and that he not you, mind you, he would change his ways and act as Christ would have.

  40. Ruth I have looked for an e-mail address to be able to contact you and haven't found it. I would like to share my story privately; we've been through a lot of the same. Pleaseplease e-mail me: elise.heffalump @ gmail . com. You're going through hell right now...keep your chin up, please contact me.

  41. I may be atheist trash but at least all my kids still love and want to be around me.

  42. " Your silly valueless morals make you blind to our commiting to give all our children a payed for life until they marry GODS CHOSEN ONE for them makes this the sillyest thing I have read all day. Do you give money to addicts sir."

    So....... This is all about money, then? Somewhere in your version of the Holy Bible it is more important (?Godly) to keep your daughters "payed" for until marrying them off? And since your plan was thwarted, you have no further use for your God-given daughter?

    Ruth, I think you can see that your father is more concerned with himself than for his family, and even God, Himself. I am a survivor of a parent with a mental illness and I *finally* learned that she (and by the looks of it, your father) played a game in which she was the only one who knew the rules, and the rules constantly changed. There is no way to 'win' this game with this type of player - NO WAY. in fact, these players are not really relatable at all - their minds are not rooted in reality.

    If you take nothing else away from these exchanges with your father, I hope it is the knowledge that what you grew up with is a person who does not feel anything for you and is incapable of understanding love; you will not change him. He is invested in the fight, not the love.

  43. Oh wow Ruth. I am speechless. I'm so sorry you had to live with such hateful words all your life. The last comment from your father in particular just beggars belief. Does your father not feel remorse or shame? This is all about control, not about love (or God) at all. How I wish all your readers (all of us that are trash, as your father thinks of us) could surround you in person and you would have all these loving arms embracing you in a real life HUGE hug. I'm not a violent person, but reading your father's comments has me wanting to bop him hard!

    Sending you much love - yes LOVE - real love, without strings or conditions or control. Something your father ought to learn about :(

  44. Ruth, I have never posted here before but I have been a long time reader and sent you a bit of money once a long time ago :) I just wanted to say that you made a comment about how your dad is right about one thing, in that your life is hard financially, relationally, etc. I really just wanted to let you know that the fact that you are living life in freedom, regardless of the hardships, makes your decisions successful. Also, as a Christian who struggles with depression and also takes medication, it does get better and you have nothing to be ashamed of. I wish I could be there with you, give you a big hug and we could talk for hours until your spirit is lightened with the truth of how awesome you are and how truly near God is to you (and not in the creepy, legalistic way described by your father). I can't find your email on the site, but if you ever need to talk with someone who struggles with depression as well, mine is


  45. Ruth,

    You are going to have to accept that no matter how much you beat your brains against the metaphorical wall, you will always have the parents you have, not the ones you want and deserve. They will continue to treat you the way you've been treated, and making you feel guilty for realizing you deserve so much better.


  46. Ruth, I hope you can move your "father" out of the room in your head, because he's wasting space and he needs to be evicted. He is a sad little figure, bloated only by vanity and arrogance. I know that you are lonely, but this will pass as you work through your grief and move on and make new friends and get on with your life. He is not going to let you talk with your mother based on how much space you give him to spew his nonsense here or anywhere else. You're absolutely right in that if wants to school the rest of us, he can start his own blog (although if he can't even figure out how to comment - not exactly rocket science - one has to wonder if he could even manage to do it - lol.

    You're doing great and you just need to keep on keepin' on.

    And if people who think differently than your father are "trash", then I'm proud to be trash. I'd rather be dead than be like him.

  47. "A fool and his money are soon parted says the WORD of the LORD. ... Do you give money to addicts sir."

    Ruth, this from Daddy makes me speechless. Is he not aware that Jesus very sternly warned his followers against calling anyone a fool? And what part in the Bible directs parents to hurl insults at their children?!

    I agree with a previous poster that no matter what you do, your parents will not change and will never provide the support you need. I'm so sorry. I pray you will find a new "adoptive" family, and that you will live a glorious, beautiful life.

  48. Ruth I don't know what to say. I'm not going to try and argue with your dad because I'm certainly not much of a religious scholar (and even if I were it seems he would twist anything intelligent I had to say into... well, you've read his posts). Stay strong Ruth, and remember that there are many of us supporting you.

  49. I am glad you are allowing your "dad" to post on here.
    We all get to see what a total loser, he really is.
    Even though things are tough for you now, I see a truly bright future ahead of you.
    You are AWESOME!!!

  50. Ruth, I've gone through a rough relationship with a mentally ill parent myself. Although my mom was not fundie, a lot of how your father acts is very familiar to how my mother acted towards me (control, manipulation, ultimatums). I recommend a book called "The Dance of Intimacy by Harriet Lerner ( The essence of the book is that these family members are unlikely to change, but we can adjust our responses to their behaviors in order to remain emotionally healthy. I found it extremely helpful, and I hope you give it a chance.

  51. Ruth, add my voice to the chorus above advising you to not post these emails from your dad - if he wants to comment, he can do so here, in the comments, on his own. You are not his secretary.

    Ruth's "dad": For all you protest about the Bible, I, a Buddhist, know that "a fool and his money are soon parted" is not in the Bible. What does that say about you?

  52. "One request he had was for me to put his answers in a post rather than have him comment in comments because he claims he's having difficulty with the comment section"

    Here's my take on it, Ruth, but if you think I'm off base feel free to ignore me.

    Your dad is still making you dance to his tune. If he can't manage the comments section, he can find someone to explain it to him. Please don't let him manipulate you this way.

    A very good book for you to read would be "Bold Love," by Dan Allendar. It's all about dealing with evil people, including those who are (or who masquerade as) Christians. To paraphrase the author (because I don't have my copy handy), "The best gift you can give to an evil person is not to let him win." When you type this stuff out for your dad, you're letting him win, which only affirms and encourages him in his sin.

  53. Mr. X.,

    Someone started out with this comment,
    "As an atheist (ex-evangelical)..."

    Your Response
    "I will pray for your soul that you are saved before it is to late. It does not surprize me that our daughters blog attracts such trash."

    Wow. How incredibly judgmental and cruel to this poster. You're cruel to your daughter and you are cruel to strangers. That is not the Christianity I was taught to practice.

    I'm done commenting to you. There is no point.

    To the original poster, I apologize on his behalf. I do not consider you trash. I'm sorry that yet another person who claims to be a Christian treated you in such a way. Please don't hold it against the rest of us?

  54. And you liken your daughter's refusal to do what you say the same as a drug addict's as to why you won't financially support her????

    There are many many people here who would like to adopt Ruth as their daughter, leaving you and your addle-brained wife behind.

    I hope one day, she will take someone up on the offer.

  55. Dear Ruth's Dad,

    If you want to have any more comments on this blog Ruth needs to have a 10 minute uninterrupted and un-overheard conversation with her mother.

    The Internet

  56. Ruth, do you need a safe place to stay while you heal? Do you mind the Midwest? There is a place for you here if you need it. You will never be homeless.

  57. Ruth, I think you already know this, but your father is a total whackadoo on a power trip. He's a sad, crazy little man. I'm sorry you have to deal with him.

    If my father had tried to force me to marry a man like the one you chose for your daughter, I would have run like hell too. Luckily for me, my father never treated me like he owned me, and trusted my judgement. I have a wonderful husband who loves me, treats me like a princess and respects me, which is the kind of husband every woman deserves. Are you THAT kind of husband for your wife? Or do you treat your wife like a slave and as less than a partner?

  58. Ruth, if you have any inkling about liking Montana, my door is open.

  59. If you ever make it down to SoCal, I'd take you to my favorite little diner on the strand in Hermosa, buy you a mimosa and let you enjoy the sights.

    And I too second Erin's comment about letting you talk to your Mom uninterrupted, uncensored (meaning no one listening on the extensions) and free to say anything.

    To Ruth's Mom,
    How do you stand by and let your husband treat your daughter in such a way. Even if you worship him as your lord and master, doesn't it tear your heart into tiny little pieces when he calls her trash and tears her down? Stand up and be a mother. If he's beaten you down that much, I fear for the rest of your children.
    A Mom to 2 adult children.

  60. Wow, "Ruth",
    This is all very painful to read... (as well as difficult to understand your father's meaning - its all very unclear except that he seems to be seething with anger due to his lack of control)
    It reminds me of arguing with a belligerent drunk - there is simply no way to have a coherent conversation and the drunk simply keeps spewing similar incoherent statements as if he is wise, but I fear that your father will never wake from his drunken-with-power stupor to realize how cruel he is.
    How sad!
    X-ATI pilot daughter

  61. Why give him a forum? Why give him access to you? Let go.

  62. Unfortunately, you will never change him. He will up the ante for speaking to your mom if he knows he can. My father is, well, I won't get into it here but lets just say we were better off w/o him. Sad to hear but thats the reality of it. He is really good at making you feel guilty and knowing where the tiny chinks in your armor are. For this reason it is unhealthy and dangerous for you to have contact with him. The old saying goes: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." Your mom will never leave. You can't change her either. You can't rescue her. You have enough making a life for yourself so that you can live.

  63. ATI Man: Do you know how to do anything else besides spew bible quotes?
    Maybe in your world you can scare your wife and kids into being your little robots. Your daughter made a life for herself and you can't stand it because it means all of your ranting and yelling is worthless and you are worthless. That's why you need your Gothard cult to make you feel important. I dare you to have an intelligent discussion with out cherry-picking bible quotes.

  64. Ruth, thank GOD you escaped from this man! I won't call him your father as he comes across as the least fatherly person I have ever known. Please stay strong, stay safe and know people are cheering you on!

  65. On top of being a top notch asshole, your Dad is quite a skilled blasphemer as well:

    Children are as to parents as parents are to God.

  66. @Montana--I don't hate Christians, but it is people like this guy that keep me from associating with any formal religious organizations. There is just too much corruption, and the fundamental patriarchal mind set in even the most liberal Christian churches is a major turn off to me.

    Like everybody keeps urging Ruth to do, I have followed my heart, done extensive study, and it has led me to the conclusion that any god who made us in "his" image would give us the brains to discern right and wrong.

    Therefore, any scripture or doctrine I come across that seems "wrong" (doesn't sit well with my conscience) doesn't get pushed aside and rationalized. I've yet to find a religion that doesn't, at some point while I'm studying it, set off some sort of alarm bells.

    It seems like religious people pick and choose what the important parts are to them, but they will associate with religions that uphold beliefs that are clearly wrong (sexist, racist, homophobic). I'm just not willing to write off that cognitive dissonance, like so many people I know IRL seem to be able to do.

    I want to thank you for your comment because I agree, from what I have studied of the Christian faith--having grown up in it--there is no reason to call an atheist, or anybody of another faith "trash" merely on the basis that they aren't Christian. But, Ruth's father is entrenched in this cult where everybody outside of it is the enemy. If he weren't victimizing so many I would actually have pity for him.

    The worst part? I sincerely doubt he is actually praying for atheists, or me. It is such an empty thing to say, when prayer is supposed to be so important and potentially life-altering. To say it in anger the way he did, it really does reveal a lot about his character.

  67. I have never commented here before. I like your blog and think you have a lot of truth about the evil side of patriarchial sub-culture. I don't want to be overly mean towards your father (or maybe I do) but I can't really make it through his comments or even what you posted here. What is with the caps? And the obviously insincere propaganda spewing? He sounds like a reverent jihadist honestly. It is when I read these types of exchanges that I wonder if this blog is real...

  68. I like the introduction very much.

  69. It is a disgusting "man" who bargains with his wife.

    Keep up the crazy posts, Darth Daddy.
    I sent each and every person who asks about ATIA to Ruths blog. I love that you air your crazy so loudly that there is zero doubt what is at the core of ATIA and its control of children.

    Keep on keepin' on, Ruth. :D

  70. @Trashy Atheist I think if Christian churches laid aside their doctrines and focused more on "What Would Jesus Do" or even "What Would Jesus NOT Do" we'd all get closer to what the purpose of the church should be.


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