PART XX-B: Christian Reconstruction, ATI, Abuse & Submission – The Cult


Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 12.49.06 AMThis is part two of the six part series.  It is shorter than the others, but there is a reason.

Cults are defined as having various attributes:

  1. formal religious veneration – worship
  2. a system of religious beliefs & rituals
  3. a body of adherents
  4. a religion/group considered unorthodox
  5. its practitioners are unorthodox
  6. health cults provide a system of beliefs to cure diseases
  7. great devotion to a person, object, movement, work
  8. the object of such devotion
  9. often a small group practicing said devotion
  10. collective veneration and worship
  11. charismatic leader
  12. followers often disenfranchised from the mainstream of society
  13. there are rules which must be followed
  14. groups where religious differences are not the norm for the area
  15. dogmatic claims of ‘truth’
  16. separating people/families from others
  17. group which denies basic doctrines of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc.
  18. intimidation, psychological manipulation used to control members
  19. substantial financial contributions expected
  20. control over member’s private lives
  21. criticism not allowed
  22. individuality is discouraged
  23. members must demonstrate loyalty to the group
  24. blackmail may be used for control
  25. leaving the group meets with resistance
  26. abuse of individuality
  27. abuse of intimacy
  28. abuse of finances
  29. abuse of time
  30. abuse of free will
  31. foster paranoia
  32. require loss of identity
  33. force guilt complexes
  34. complete social disoriented
  35. altered world view
  36. manipulative
John D. Cornish
John D. Cornish

“...A cult of Christianity is a group of people, which claiming to be Christian, embraces a particular doctrinal system taught by an individual leader, group of leaders, or organization, which (system) denies (either explicitly or implicitly) one or more of the central doctrines of the Christian faith as taught in the sixty-six books of the Bible….”

There is something equally disturbing about the cults created by sexual predators and perverts like Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips. Did they start out as honorable men just trying to do what was right, or were their ventures in home schooling a front for child predators? Are their teachings about submission of women and girls, which have turned into a system of cults, even threatening to destroy the Southern Baptist Convention, just a front for abuse?

“…We do have a concern in the midst of these “kingdoms” crumbling and that is for the Christians who have been followers of these organizations. Many of them are sincere conservative Bible-believing Christians, and they are the ones who are going to be most hurt by what their leaders have done. For example, millions of homeschool families have sought out the teachings of Bill Gothard. As they learn that their leader has been sexually assaulting young girls for the past number of decades, will these dear families swing to the opposite of the pendulum and enter the emerging/new spirituality? We have heard rumors that this is already happening to some of them. They now realize that Gothard’s teachings were wrong; sadly, rather than finding what true biblical Christianity is, many will merely turn to another extreme and perhaps even away from God all together, blaming Him for what man has done.

This situation with homeschoolers is serious. Even Michael Wurmbrand told us that VOM has been targeting American homeschoolers with campaign literature. And it was just recently that a major homeschool curriculum CEO (from Vision Forum) stepped down after admitting to an extra-marital affair. The entire organization shut down, leaving a vacuum within the homeschool world. What is going to happen to these homeschoolers? Who or what is going to fill the void? Sadly, it may not be true Christianity….”

Heresy in the Heartland
Heresy in the Heartland

There are many tales, like this one, about what life was and is like in a world that is controlled by Bill Gothard.  There is nothing godly about it.  It is all tied up with home-schooling, and is rather disturbing.

“...Micheal Farris, in the 1980’s, became a disciple of Bill Gothard, he was drawn to Gothard’s beliefs on family size, most of all, because in the 70’s, Farris had become very anti-birth control, and was starting to feel that it ran against God’s will to limit the number of children that a family should have.

Farris’s ties to Gothard continue to this day, and HSLDA, and Gothard’s followers have had a very close relationship throughout HSLDA’s history. A woman name Inge Canon, who developed Gothard’s “wisdom booklets” for homeschoolers in his Advanced Training Institute system, was hand picked by Farris to start HSLDA’s National Center for Home Education division. In fact, Gothard’s ATI system is fully endorsed by HSLDA, and recommended to their homeschool families.

There have also been many other followers of Gothard who have gone onto jobs with HSLDA and their affiliated organizations, including a former IBLP board member who went to become a board member of Patrick Henry College, which is owned by HSLDA and Micheal Farris…”

The disturbing part is the cover-up of sexual abuse.  Evidently this is a theme in the whole movement, sexual abuse and the cover-up, there of.  Do the godly men of these Christian cults think they can get away with something like this?  Are they predators, or have they become so powerful they think the rules no longer apply to them?