Personal testimonies of finding true freedom through God's matchless grace.

Articles about how Bill Gothard mishandles the Bible to support his legalistic viewpoint.

Living and thriving through the grace of God.

Stories and accounts of the destruction caused by the teachings of Bill Gothard.

Category Archives: The Destructive Effects of ATI & IBLP

The Promise of a Thousand Anecdotes

7 January 2013, 06:00

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Expectation vs RealityObjects in anecdotes may be less glorious than they appear.

A recurring question in the comments sections of Recovering Grace and for former ATI (Advanced Training Institute) students who share their stories elsewhere, is how and why loving parents would stay in such a program. Two explanations have been explored on this site, and I’d like to posit and explore a third. The first explanation: […]

The Ravages of Guilt

8 October 2012, 06:00

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“If you say anything, I will tie up your family, just like I tie you up. Then I will make you sit there and watch as I kill each one of them in front of you. Will I kill you? No! You I will leave alive, so that you can spend every day of your […]

How to Spiritually Manipulate Young People in Six Easy Steps

27 July 2012, 06:00

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Step 1. Present a test that supposedly measures one’s love for God. Every Christian young person desires to love God, of course, and will be excited to confirm their commitment to their Savior! Step 2. Present scripture out of context that insinuates that one is God’s enemy if they fail the test. This heightens the […]

Life Inside

7 May 2012, 06:00

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My family joined ATI when I was five in 1984. We were members of the pilot family program (the first 100 families). I don’t know what ATI is now, I only know it as it was for me: A very strict Christian home school program. I hear they have changed some things, but that doesn’t […]

We Were Elite, Super Special Christians

16 March 2012, 06:00

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“You are the best of the best.” “You are on the front lines of the Christian battle.” “You are like the Marines of the Christian faith.” What Christian young person would not want to hear those words?  Every single one of us wants to be special.  We all want to belong to something bigger than […]

The Thing About Purity

12 January 2012, 08:30

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The funny thing about purity is how the pursuit of it drove so many people into utter promiscuity. Odd statement, I know. But let me explain. It wasn’t the concept of being or remaining pure that led me to that room where I reached the pinnacle of my self-destruction one night. It was a process […]

We Must Not Be Trying Hard Enough

8 December 2011, 06:05

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If I had come across a site like Recovering Grace five years ago, I would have surfed on. For one thing, ATI wasn’t a part of my life any more. Sure, I knew of a few families that had imploded after several years of ATI, but then, they were kind of dysfunctional to begin with. […]

Vow vs. Relationship

1 December 2011, 06:31

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I was saved at the age of 5. I remember where I was and the basic content of the conversation with my dad that led up to me accepting the gift of eternal life. Over the next 8 years, I don’t remember many specifics about my life as a Christian. I do remember a hunger […]

Tragic Misguidance: Gothard’s View on Mental Health Treatment and the Petit Family Murders

17 November 2011, 06:00

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Benedict, Joshua, Naomi and Jude Komisarjevsky

On November 6, 2011, Recovering Grace blogged about a news article on Joshua Komisarjevsky’s family and their involvement with Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute (ATI). This is my take on that sad story.  Jennifer, Michaela, and Hayley Petit. Three lives cut tragically short in a brutal robbery, rape, and murder. William Petit, sole survivor of […]

Forced Family Relationships

10 November 2011, 06:03

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The Advanced Training Institute (ATI) encouraged strong family relationships. This was a big draw for many families–seeing the tight-knit, glowing families that hinted of yesteryear’s ideals. But some ATI parents took it upon themselves to force this family ideal in order to be the perfect ATI family. Most homeschoolers I know outside of ATI have […]