Saturday, February 9, 2019

A Botkin by Any Other Name....?

After almost ten years of faithful service, my MacBook may be granted retirement.  I'm toughing things out with an iPad until a replacement arrives next week.  The Google Blogger platform and the iPad don't interface well, and I'm weary of hunt and peck single hand typing and the frustrations of autocorrect that doesn't!  They prove to be a great hindrance as I aspire to meet my objectives as stated here.

In the interim, No Longer Quivering (NLQ) and Patheos expressed interest in hosting blog posts discussing why I moved all of my dated blog content into draft.  It all started with a letter and the man at my door.  My postman, Joseph, has been really considerate to my husband and me.  This past year in particular involved crutches, walkers, and a whole new lock on our lesser used post box because we couldn’t get the thing open.

So Joseph shows up at the door this week, very upset because I apparently missed a previous delivery attempt.  He said that “the two girls” called the postal station, seemed surprised that I didn’t know who he was talking about, and to the best that I could discern, they talked to him or someone at the post office and suspected that he and I both were guilty of something suspicious.  A part of my brain was thinking, “Did he really just say that someone phoned the post office?”  My reading glasses were in the other room, and I juggled with the different things that he asked me to sign while I tried to also hide behind the door because my top half lacked the appropriately modest, supportive garments that I would otherwise wear if I were receiving male guests.  He also seemed way too stressed for me to ask him to wait for me to grab the windbreaker that I keep close at hand for just such occasions.  I honestly may have misunderstood him because of how very awkward it all was amidst many competing pragmatic factors.

Because of the barrage of weirdness of the delivery process, in light of the nature of my self-employment in forensic medical record review, I felt sure that it had to be something from a law office.  When I first started to digest it, as I glanced at and donned my granny readers at the opposite end of my apartment...  Well, for about the first ten minutes as I skimmed through the letter with my glasses on my face, half of my brain tried to recall whether I’d been communicating with a paralegal who’d written to me via the wrong address, if I could remember their name, all while wondering why they didn’t write on letterhead.  I kept rifling back and forth through the pages, scanning the first and last ones in particular to figure out what case file they could be concerned about.  

Bombarded with so many strange factors at once, I half wondered if I’d fallen in front of the TV while watching The Twilight Zone and was actually dreaming.  “How many hours had it been since my last Benadryl?”  Perhaps I’d accidentally taken two doses and fell asleep or was just still groggy from them?

“Wait.. Botkin?  Are these the names of Geoff Botkin’s girls?”

Monday, February 4, 2019

Closed for RECONSTRUCTION (Ha, ha)

A dozen years ago when I began blogging, I hoped to bring a very specific message to a group of Christians about what must be one of the most unpopular topics on the planet.  Some call it spiritual abuse, while other disciplines describe the same dynamics as thought reform, undue influence, and the like, but it is really just describing different vantages on what the Apostle Paul called ‘the works of the flesh.’  Some people seem to suffer little, while others bear the teeth marks of the wolf, and those wounds always look the same.

As my friend Janet put it, I helped a good many people figure out what had happened to them by giving them the construct and language that they needed to describe the experience that they had in their church.  “I helped people figure out that they weren’t crazy!” 

Twelve years and more than a thousand posts ago, only a few resources like this blog existed, and most of them were not Christian friendly.  I wrote about how my life and the lives of my same aged peers had been impacted by the culture of Christian homeschooling throughout my childbearing years.  Today, things are different.  Nearly all of the ‘ministries’  that I wrote about suffered some scandal of some variety — scandals of their own making.  The never-been-kissed-couple divorced, the patriarch practically schtupped the nanny, the babies have been proudly buried in the backyard, and that guy that kissed dating goodbye started singing an entirely different tune.  A bully ran off to the third world, and I heard that his daughter wrote about her regret over the role she placed in the performance.  The young stay-at-home-daughters are still doing just that —twelve prime childbearing years later.  And I don’t think that Gothard still gets the footsie action that he once enjoyed.  (If you’re unfamiliar with that reference, you really don’t want to know,)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Gary Demar, My Confirmation Bias, and the Learning Curve

Below is a post that I wrote in January 2010. At the time, I was chewing on my own questions about whether I only saw what I wanted to see in some of the religious oriented organizations that we supported. Finding these discrepancies in the mission of Gary DeMar's American Vision published in the early 1990s and what it claimed in 2010 helped me put much of that into perspective. It wasn't just me.

Some say that this subculture fringe went berserk when Y2K didn't result in a shut down of society. (Many who followed Theonomy – the idea that God's laws should be our civil law – believed that if they stored enough gold, guns, and preserved food, they'd get to take over the country when computers failed.) It was about that time that they became more open about their more questionable teachings and behaviors, and some say that it resulted from their angst of frustration. If Y2K was a factor, it's all the more ironic that Demar became caught up in the aftermath. He wrote a very good book about Last Days Madness. For all his effort, he may have fallen into millennial madness anyway.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

#TGC16 and Soveriegn Grace: Break the Story. Break the Silence.
I'm watching the film Spotlight, and I stopped it because my husband came home from work. I'll finish watching it in a bit. I needed to express this much before I do.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Ugly Underbelly of Racism in the Fringe End of Christian Homeschooling: A Call for Personal Accounts

12Feb19 Addendum:  while a good bit of this blog is currently sitting in draft while I wait on a new computer, I’ve restored this post.  Because the Botkin daughters are subject to bounded choice as SGAs, and because they allege that they don’t understand what I’ve termed “Botkin Syndrome” and believe that I’ve exploited their name while accusing their family of a felony, in the spirit of compassion, I wish to edit to remove the moniker.  I claimed it initially as a theological term which their tradition is known to have a terrible habit of themselves, and they claim that it is a diagnosis (that might be found in the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual).  An in-depth, four part description of Second Generation Adults (SGA) and bounded choice can be read at Spiritual Sounding Board.
Though I understand that Homeschoolers Anonymous is now inactive, the cult education effort defines them as SGAs of the Christian homeschooling movement.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Revisiting Shepherding's History and Influence in Light of the Scandal at Sovereign Grace Ministries

CJ Mahaney

Former members of Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM, formerly called “People of Destiny” or PDI) recently filed a class action lawsuit against the church system and individuals within it, seeking justice for the myriad of abuses they suffered as the church tried to cover up many incidences of both physical and sexual abuse.

 As people ask how so many ministers could repeatedly participate in such cruel activities, it seemed to be a good time to revisit the history of the Shepherding Discipleship Movement (henceforth abbreviated here as “Shepherding”), Evangelical Christianity's attempt at ecclesiocentricity (making church activity central to the church member's life so that specific events of their personal life become subject to governance by church leaders).

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What to do with the CNP? (It's not the CNP exactly but rather the growing fringe within it.)

Since referencing Jim McCotter as a member of the Council for National Policy, I’ve received some emails asking more about the group and what I though of it. Some Christians have never really heard of the Council. If you asked me about them 15 years ago, I would have told you that they were on of the most important organization in the United States. Many people who I loved and looked up to with love and admiration were members and participants. Watching the events of recent years unfold, I have a very mixed and contradictory opinion of the group that I once revered so highly, often believing what I was told to believe. Aside from general knowledge that I’ve gained while reading and interacting with Christian Reconstructionists, I think the book that put more of this together for me was Pat Robertson’s “New World Order.” I don’t know whether others consider that to be a good source of information in a condensed form, but that book certainly, for me and my Pentecostal roots, argued well for the need for the CNP. (I don’t recall if the book actually discusses the group, as it has been about 15 years since I’ve read it.)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Who is Geoffrey Botkin? A Vision Forum Recruit from the Cult of the Great Commission

Revised 02Feb13
Revised Introduction, 14Feb2019

A few days ago, I received a registered, restricted access letter from the daughters of Geoffrey Botkin (GB).  They allege that I have profited somehow by hijacking their family name, and while I never dreamed that I was so powerful, they claim that I all but destroyed their family’s ability to support themselves.

Of notable mention in the letter was a reference to this “Who Is GB?” post..  If you find broken links in this and other material, please note that I’ve put my entire blog into draft to provide myself time to prayerfully consider the family’s claims about specific matters that they found painfully difficult.  I was willing to pend everything here for careful review in a spirit of cooperation and empathy, and I do because I don’t believe that these daughters have any true agency under the system that the family advocates.  I attest to the veracity of the core information.