Dowling To assure flexibility and lasting value, information system designs and product selection must be guided by an architectural plan for infrastructure and applications systems.
He conducted his cult in the wide-open view of the church, and for twenty or thirty years, he was wildly successful. It sounded innocuous—even boring. His homeschooling branch was The Advanced Training Institute. Who would hear those names and suspect it was crammed full of twisted Scripture and damaging legalistic ideas?
If the past thirty years is any indication—almost nobody. He held massive seminars and taught thousands of people at the same time. He separated the young people from their parents and short-circuited communication between them. What he taught us was more extreme than what he said to our parents—but he used the same terminology.
He taught our parents that any questioning from us was rebellion. Meanwhile, he flashed that smile of his and said that he was building strong families. Who could object to that goal?
He had no centralized church. Which resulted in his most brilliant method: Gothard tells us to do this. It was a challenge to my personal belief system. We will fight for a revered leader to an extent, but we often will fight for our own beliefs until death.
All we can say is that we attended seminars and followed a certain homeschool curriculum. It sounds pretty bland, in fact. Innocuous, boring, and spiritually devastating.
Sara Roberts Jones spent her teen years under the teachings of Bill Gothard, including attending Excel at the Dallas training center, the counseling seminar at the Indianapolis training center, working on staff at the Oklahoma City training center, teaching Children's Institutes in several cities, and attending the Knoxville conference six summers.
She spent 15 subsequent years unlearning those teachings.
She blogs at SaraRobertsJones. All articles on this site reflect the views of the author s and do not necessarily reflect the views of other Recovering Grace contributors or the leadership of the site.The Midterm Elections are fast approaching.
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