Monday, February 20, 2012

A Botkin Update and a Botkin Success Story

I don't exactly get it myself, but many people find them fascinating, and posts about them here on this site remain among the perennially popular. I just see the family as a typical example of those who transitioned out of one cultic group to enter another, changing very few of their beliefs in the process. Spiritual abuse is spiritual abuse.

The Botkin Family seems to be ramping up for some new activities after having purchased a new camp-style compound in Tennessee which I assume means that they won't be running off to New Zealand. I've heard that “visionary lord of his home” Geoffrey Botkin is officially awaiting the birth of grandchildren now, so he can finally get cracking on that 200 Year Plan for his offspring. I'm not sure what he's going to do about his written plan to make his son Prime Minister of NZ since they no longer reside there. Maybe they tabled that idea? The revision sounds like a lot of work.

In the meanwhile, the Visionary Daughters who apparently have not yet been permitted to court have written a book of advice on how young women in homeschooling's aberrant patriarchy movement should relate to young men. (To their credit, I understand that it is not nearly as disturbing as their first book, So Much More.) Their beautiful, insightful, and well-educated cousin, has written about her honest response to her beautiful first cousins' new book. Katie Botkin who writes the review is the daughter of Geoff's brother Gregg and his wife who were both involved with the Great Commission cult under Jim McCotter in the seventies (along with Geoff) but departed from and disavowed the group's system long ago. Geoff who was recruited at about the same time as his brother remained with the Great Commission and then remained with McCotter as a business partner until 2002. His Great Commission beliefs made for an easy transition in the similar spiritually abusive system of Vision Forum.

I understand that Katie stands in stark contrast to the stay at home daughter ideal that her cousins teach, epitomizing some of the very things that her Visionary Daughter cousins warn against. But I rejoice to see that, though her parents departed from a restrictive and spiritually abusive lifestyle that they still maintain a good relationship with Geoff and “Vicky” Botkin (as “Victoria” was known to her friends in the “Saints” in the Great Commission in Norman, Oklahoma when they participated in the cultic group). Families like Gregg's and their children like Katie encourage me so much because I tend to focus on the numbers of people who contact me for help with the negative fallout which results in the lives of their children as a consequence of their own spiritual abuse experience. The second generation is often required to pay the price of pain as the lasting legacy of spiritually abusive groups.

I see Katie Botkin as a success story, and she is living proof to parents who struggle with the aftermath of spiritual abuse and the effects that it has on their children. I'm also glad that she has what I understand is a loving relationship and good communication with her extended family, even though they remain part of a such a spiritually abusive system. It is my hope that in years to come, she will be a resource and a testimony to them of what can be possible if and when they decide to depart from the system. I hope that the many parents who contact me and read here will take encouragement in Katie's example, living proof that children whose parents were involved in spiritual abuse can go on to live very full, rich, rewarding, and meaningful lives. I have heard nothing but encouraging things about her family through mutual friends and acquaintances, and that is something worth celebrating.