Obedience is listening attentively,
Obedience will take instructions joyfully,
Obedience heeds wishes of authorities,
Obedience will follow orders instantly.
For when I am busy at my work or play,
And someone calls my name, I’ll answer right away!
I’ll be ready with a smile to go the extra mile
As soon as I can say “Yes, sir!” “Yes ma’am!
Hup, two, three!” ATI Training Materials
For months now, I’ve been writing about Bill Gothard, ATI, Christian Reconstruction, Abuse, Submission, and how it is trickling into our society, changing it for the worst. One of the articles I wrote was about Bill Gothard’s adverse influence on law enforcement. There are always going to be bad cops. There are always going to be more good cops than bad ones, but the bad ones always get all the headlines. There will always be racist cops. There will always be more cops who aren’t, but the racist ones get all the headlines. That’s the way of the world. What bothers me is that, getting lost in the narrative of Michael Brown and Ferguson is the fact that Bill Gothard’s ATI Character First brainwashing techniques are part of the equation. They aren’t the only part, but they may play a greater role in the incident that one might think.
The Ferguson protests over the death Michael Brown have reached the point where they are becoming counterproductive. It was a horrible thing that happened, but things like that, unfortunately, are happening far too often in this country. Contrary to popular media hype, minorities aren’t the only ones suffering. Today, I don’t know many people who aren’t afraid of bad cops, to the point where just the thought of being stopped by one is chilling. No, most white people don’t expect to be shot dead for being white, but, trust me, white women (as do other women) have a very strong fear of being raped by these guys.
There are those who say that we who are white can’t understand what is going on because we aren’t black. We don’t have the same world view. No, we’re not black. We don’t have the same world view. I’m fortunate enough to be able to drive down the street and not be targeted because of my skin color. But, I also live in fear of, and have received death threats by white supremacists because I have spoken out against what they are doing. Let’s get something straight, here and now – any reasonable person should be terrified of these people, I don’t care what race, religion, creed, orientation, or nation of origin. They are a danger to us all. They are out there, and they are very bad people. Period.
Something else is wrong here. It is racist for those of us who are white, and are heart sick about what has happened, and what is happening to minorities in this country, to be told we don’t understand and can’t properly feel pain. Whites aren’t the only people who are bigots. I’ve encountered a few nasty minorities who are horribly bigoted. I have been banned from certain Native American tribal archives because I am white. I’ve been told I could not access records because I’m white. Never mind I was researching a book detailing atrocities committed against a group of people. I was told I was a racist because I wanted to write about it, and had no right, because of my race. My sister was attacked, years ago, and threatened by a group of minority students, because she was blond. They pushed her around, gave her a black eye, broke her glasses, and were in the process of trying to cut off her long blond hair when they were caught. That, was racist. It is racist, no matter how you look at it. I had a very dear gay friend (Anglo) who was constantly harassed by Hispanic Border Patrol agents at the Alamogordo BP check-point. He was terrified of them.
Someone I cared about was set-up and killed by a very bad cop. There was never any justice. No one paid the price. Nothing was ever done about it. It’s been about 9 years, but I was set-up and harassed by a bad cop here in New Mexico. It was terrifying. Fortunately, I was not in the car alone, and I had presence of mind not to pull over until I could do so (it was rush hour, so I had an excuse) in the parking lot of a large truck stop. There are certain rights we do have, and one of them is to motion to a traffic cop, telling them we will pull over when it is safe. The man pulled a gun on me, threatening my parents. I knew enough to keep my big fat mouth shut, get his badge number, and, once he had left, go into the truck stop (where I knew people where watching) and ask for help. One of the managers already had internal affairs on the phone for me, talking to them. It seems the cop in question eventually was sent to prison for raping women he pulled over for minor infractions. I was not wearing a seat belt. Due to a badly repaired right elbow, I have a very difficult time dealing with seat belts and, somewhere, have a doctor’s letter to that effect.
And, no, I am not foolish enough, nor stupid enough to suggest that what I’ve experienced is anything like the families of so many young, minority men have experienced. What I am stating is that we all have reason to fear out of control cops. Let’s face it, dead is dead, no matter what your gender, orientation, race, religion, or nation of origin. The reason so many black males are being mowed down by the cops is because they know they can get away with it. Trust me, they’re also picking off weaker white men, like a pack of wolves circling a buffalo calf in one of those repulsive Yellowstone nature videos.
Unfortunately, today, due to circumstances related to ‘character counts’ brainwashing techniques, men (primarily) who are going into law enforcement are being turned into little more than drones, taught to obey authority without question. They, in turn, expect we citizens to obey them, to obey their authority without questioning them. The process is being taught all over the country, in all branches of the military, in hundreds of municipalities, police departments, county sheriffs, fire departments, major corporations, and anyone else who shells out big bucks for corporate training to have better employees who are taught ‘ethics’.
It is also known as the Umbrella of Authority. Anyone who obeys those in authority, no matter what they are told to do, cannot, they are told, be held responsible for the orders given to them by a superior, parent, boss, minister, or even a leader.
Strata Leadership provides material for churches, families, schools, and businesses. They were (and still are) a division of Bill Gothard’s ATI – Advanced Training Institute. But, like a drug king-pin laundering money, Gothard’s brainwashing machine has been spread out, like an octopus, given to those who are his minions. Case in point are the Duggar Family. They are pure Gothard, spreading his propaganda, to a willing audience. Character training for cops will eventually be linked back to Gothard. If you think I’m being a little hyper about this, even some libertarians are catching on to the problem. The great irony here is that Bill Gothard is linked to Gary North, who is the brains behind Ron Paul’s rise to political glory.
Libertarian Norman Grigg penned this alarming article about Bill Gothard, Character First, and what is going on within the military and this nation’s law enforcement community for Lew Rockwell (a shocker there).
“...In the imperial hierarchy of values, obedience ranks much higher than moral integrity, particularly for those employed as agents of state-licensed violence. The Regime, both the federal level and through its state and local franchises at the state and municipal levels, has spent a great deal of money on subsidized “character” instruction, paying special attention to the military and law enforcement. The most influential contractor in this field is “Character First,” an Oklahoma City-based “leadership development” company. Predictably, its teachings emphasize obedience and “teamwork” at the expense of individual moral initiative.
Created in 1992, “Character First” is a spin-off from the Institute for Basic Life Principles, a Christian ministry whose founder, Bill Gothard, is regarded by many (including some very conservative, theologically orthodox Christians) as the leader of something akin to an authoritarian cult.
Never married himself, Gothard presents himself as something of a Rev. Sun Myung Moon-like “ideal parent,” using his Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) to teach a detailed program of marriage, family, and character development based on “Seven Principles” and “49 Traits.” Gothard’s admirers and political allies include presidential aspirants Rick Perry and Sarah Palin. Texas Congressman Sam Johnson (R-Texas) is chairman of the IBLP’s board of directors. More than a few prominent politicians (including Palin, when she was Mayor of Wasilla) have attended Gothard’s International Association of Character Cities conferences.
The worldview promoted by Gothard is severely hierarchical, with all human relationships built on a “chain of command.” From his perspective, “rights” are a fiction, that refusal to submit to “authority” is akin to “witchcraft.” And, yes, Gothard does have a “Little Red Book” outlining his teachings, but it is available only to his committed disciples. During the 1970s, hundreds of thousands of people attended mass seminars organized by Gothard, who positioned himself as a bulwark against a self-centered and subversive counterculture. Thus there’s more than a little irony in the fact that the Soviets took a shine to Gothard’s approach: In 1991 — while the Hammer & Sickle were still flying over Moscow, and the CPSU was still in charge — Gothard was invited to set up a five-acre campus in Moscow for a Russian offshoot of his Advanced Training Institute.
When one of Gothard’s followers created “Character First” in 1992, he appropriated Gothard’s “49 Character Qualities,” repackaging them in terms that would be acceptable to secular institutions. This produced a platitude-heavy catechism that differs little from what can be found in the texts on management theory and personnel motivation that clutter the business section of any chain bookstore. “Character First” propagates its message through the standard array of media products — among them a monthly newsletter, illustrated with cartoons depicting various animals as embodiments of certain desirable traits. The organization also “works with government leaders and community organizations around the world who want to promote character on a local basis,” boasting that its initiatives have been embraced by civic officials in six states and scores of cities in the U.S. and in more than a half-dozen countries abroad.
Significantly, the type of principled individualism necessary to confront and expose institutional corruption isn’t found anywhere on the “Character First” list of traits deemed essential to good character (“the inward values that determine outward actions,” as defined by “Character First”). However, the list prominently mentions “obedience” — “quickly and cheerfully carrying out the direction of those who are responsible for me”; “deference” — “limiting my freedom so I do not offend the tastes of those around me”; and “discretion” – “recognizing and avoiding words, actions, and attitudes that could bring undesirable consequences” — among the traits identifying an individual of “character.”…”
Like many of us, Grigg makes the connection that is utterly terrifying.
“...While singing about obedience and orderliness, they march in place, stand up straight and occasionally salute in unison, giving the class a slightly militaristic feel. The boys and girls are indeed in a war of sorts: They stand on the front lines of an ideological battle — popularly known as the culture war — for the souls of America’s children.
The lesson they are learning this morning has nothing to do with math or science or history; it’s about values, about morality, about set ways of how to conduct oneself. In addition to instantly obeying authority, the students are to be grateful for the chance to follow orders (“I will show appreciation/ To my authorities/ I will write them notes of gratefulness/ For all they’ve done for me”). They also are taught to “guard my eyes, ears, words and thoughts,” and are ordered to “abstain from anything which might damage or pollute my mind or body.”
The curriculum is called “Character First!” and has more ties to religion than the fact that it’s being taught inside a church building. Character First! is published by Character Training Institute (CTI) in Oklahoma City, which itself is an offshoot of the Institute of Basic Life Principles (IBLP). The Chicago-based IBLP is the brainchild of a 64-year-old evangelical Christian guru named Bill Gothard, who boasts some 2.5 million “alumni” of his Bible-based seminars, and he promises to give the world a “new approach to life.” The Character First! curriculum is directly based on Gothard’s teachings — but with overt references to God and Christianity edited out.
It is also the prototype for a form of instruction proposed as a requirement in all of Florida’s public schools.
Gothard has been accused by fellow Christians of everything from misinterpreting the Bible to ignoring spousal abuse to being a borderline cult leader. According to materials Gothard has published, his more radical ideas come from his belief in a “chain of command,” which holds that authority figures — from preachers to politicians to middle managers — are put in their elevated positions by God, and are therefore to be obeyed. Gothard doesn’t focus on the Ten Commandments — he teaches his seven “universal, non-optional Principles of Life,” and he extends those principles to what food to eat, what clothes to wear, what music to play; the “backbeat” common in rock music is evil, according to his teachings, as are chords played in the minor key, which is a subversion of God’s harmony….”
Unfortunately, this goes all the way into real life, trickling into law enforcement, where our young cops are being taught that absolute obedience, blind obedience to authority, is required. That blind obedience also includes blind obedience by those they command to stop, throw up their hands, and be arrested. Because men like Michael Brown do not blindly obey, immediately, they can be shot, at will. They are disobedient and get what they deserve. That’s the real problem here. It is a brainwashing program designed to teach cops to be more ‘ethical’. It is all over the country, in just about every state.
That is why Michael Brown died. He is not the first, nor will he be the last young man to be murdered. Unfortunately, until society’s eyes are opened to the horrific damage being done to our culture by Gothard’s program, nothing is going to change, it is only going to get worse. There is a very strong racial component to this. The problem, though, is that it isn’t just about race. That is what is being lost in the narrative. Yes, it is racial, but no, it isn’t just about race and bigotry. That is the simplistic explanation, which should tell us how bad the situation actually is.
What makes it worse is that it is difficult to believe that one of the underlying causes of the problem is even worse than racism. Until we began to understand, collectively, that there are things which are even worse and even more damaging to our society than the horrific evils of racism and bigotry we cannot stop it. When you add to it the militarization of law enforcement in this country, with men and women who have been brainwashed into believing that every form of obedience to authority is not only right and good, but required, we are on the slippery slope to a totalitarian police state based on the strange teachings of a very strange sexual pervert who literally has become the most powerful person in this nation’s history.
When racism is the simplistic explanation for why a white cop killed a young black man, well, as a nation, we’re seriously screwed, it’s that bad.