Set Free from Silence

30 May 2015, 06:00



In this post we share a beautiful story of hope and healing, as well as highlight the shaming and victim blaming teachings of the Institute in Basic Life Principles in the areas of sexual abuse.

We realize that healing and recovery looks different for everyone. If you are struggling with the aftermath of any sort of abuse, we encourage you to seek out qualified professional counseling to help you process and heal.

1362442082I’ve been seeing a lot of news lately about the Duggars.  Comments on the stories run along the lines of, “I bet the victims didn’t receive counseling!  I bet they were just told to wear longer skirts. The culture of ATI [Advanced Training Institute] created an atmosphere of abuse.”

I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon.  I am not a Duggar victim — no, that would be too glamorous — but I am a victim of my brother’s sexual abuse. I also grew up under ATI teachings.  Most importantly, I am a victor–a strong, courageous woman who has experienced complete healing and grace.

I was five or six years old when I told my parents.  I had no idea about sex; most six-year-olds don’t.  At bedtime one random night, I overheard my dad answering a question about sex to my younger brother.  My dad’s reply was on a 5-year-old level: “Sex is such and such, and it’s only between a mommy and daddy.”

I was listening in the doorway and burst out crying.   He looked at me while I cried, “I’ve had sex, Daddy!”

I can’t imagine the pain that my dad felt at that moment.  His little girl—his only little girl out of a clan of boys, bursting into tears about something so dark.

My brother was already gone, away at a training center.  I’d had time without him.  I missed him at first.  Then I started putting away a particular pair of pajamas, the ones that unbuttoned easily.  They were pink with little flowers on them, and I found I didn’t want to wear them anymore.  My brother had liked those pajamas.

I knew when my brother came into the room at night, fondled and caressed me, that something was wrong, but I was so tired.  Maybe it was how he rushed to button up those same pajamas if he heard someone. Maybe it was how he thought to buy my silence by giving me gifts.  At five, it was hard to say what really was happening.  After I heard my dad’s explanation of sex, it was like a light dawned.  I knew for sure it was wrong.  It had gone on for at least a year.

My parents didn’t go the authorities.  If you think about it, it makes sense.  My brother was 14 years old, just like Josh Duggar.  Just a young boy.  My parents were afraid.  They were not 100% sure that we would be safe if we were reported.  They thought it was possible that not only my brother would be put in some sort of jail, but that all of us would be taken and put into foster homes.  We were a big homeschooled family, flying under the radar.  What would happen if they knew a big homeschooled family had experienced sibling sexual abuse?

My parents did immediately go to the church.  It wasn’t an ATI church, or even a very conservative one.  The pastor held a meeting where my brother apologized to me and held a couple counseling sessions with him (not me). Then he let it go.  He, like my parents, had no idea how to handle it.

I was left alone.  My mom tried to talk with me in the beginning, but she didn’t know what to say.  She told me about a sexual experience she had as a teenager, and how she was afraid she would become pregnant.  I had no idea how to process what she said.  I was seven years old.  Pregnancy?  What was that?  The only thing I took from her attempt to reach me was that mom cried.  Obviously, this was a bad subject.  Don’t talk to mom.

My brother left the house by 18.  There was a lot of friction between him and my parents.  I still cried as a 9 year old, when he left.  There was still a bond despite the past sexual abuse.

Then came the years of silence.  My family closed up.  No one talked about anything worthwhile—if we did, maybe that dark shadow would come up.  I was terrified that if I spoke, I would destroy those around me, and that the darkness I carried would break up my family.  I was filled with continual anger, but it was the only emotion I felt.  Animals were the only comfort I found.  They were possibly the only thing I had any true emotions toward.  I was mostly numb.

When I was twelve, I attended my first Basic Life Seminar.  Or maybe it was the Advanced Seminar—I don’t really know.  But I remember the part about sexual abuse.  It stuck out to me vividly that in a story about rape, the woman didn’t cry out, speak out, or ask for help.  So it was her fault too.

It was my fault. I didn’t tell anyone for a whole year at least.  It wouldn’t have happened if I had spoken up.  At twelve years old, it was hard to remember that I was only five or six when it happened.

When I was thirteen, I read in my Bible, “He heals the broken-hearted, and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3.  The first crack in my stonewall façade began.  I thought to myself, with tears streaming down my face, “I wonder if God will heal me?  It says that He can…maybe He will.”  The verse stuck out to me so strongly, I was afraid someone would read into it and know my pain.  I wrote it on a little piece of paper, and stuck it in a folder called the “dark dragon,” that I kept in my closet under some clothes.  It was the only record of my pain.  However, my view of God was changed forever.  He visited me in that room, the same room where the abuse happened, and He visited me with love.

I wanted to find this compassionate God.  I started with ATI materials. I looked up the part about sexual abuse.  I did it secretly, because I was ashamed.

The book explained that the body, soul, and spirit were different parts. It was only my body which had been abused; I should be glad that Satan didn’t abuse the spirit.  I read it and thought, “They don’t know anything about sexual abuse.  I feel like this goes straight into my soul, and it hurts every single part of me.”  I closed the book thinking they were pretty stupid, whoever wrote that book. It didn’t help at all.

Instead, I started studying the Bible because of that wonderful verse. And as I started studying the Bible, I started seeing how many of the teachings in ATI were taken out of context.  A point would be followed by many Scriptures, but none truly supported it.  I started realizing that it was all pretty silly.

That mindset helped protect me, I think, from a lot of the further trauma I could have experienced from accepting a lot of the teachings.  However, I still thought I could have stopped the abuse by saying something.  I felt guilty for my “responsibility” in the abuse, and I felt guilty that my brother had such a broken life.

In the ATI culture, I knew that no boy would ever want me as a wife. I was damaged goods, not pure, and had too much “baggage.”  When a woman prayed over us girls at church to “remain pure,” I didn’t want to be in that prayer circle.  I wasn’t pure.  If she knew my past, she wouldn’t want me there.

At fourteen, I attended a political camp where a woman, a Democrat in the House of Representatives, spoke about childhood sexual abuse, but also how she went on to be a successful career woman, a wife, and a mother.  It struck me for multiple reasons. Firstly, I didn’t know you could be a Christian and a democrat.  Secondly, that she was a wife and mother. The testimony of that Representative was my first ray of hope that I could lead a normal life.  I was hurting still, but I hoped for more of God’s healing in my life.

Years passed, and I still remained silent and alone, despite the visit from God when I was twelve.  Then it was my turn to go to a training center… and can you believe it?  I was super healed while there.

A woman spoke to us girls about her past sexual abuse.  I asked to speak to her privately. It was actually really easy to arrange; I’d been talking to a boy, and the authorities thought I needed to repent (I think God has a sense of humor—that whole situation was actually pretty funny).

As much as that woman was in ATI, she operated in the gifts of the spirit—specifically the gift of knowledge, and used it to lead me in prayer.  It wasn’t from a book, or from the ATI teachings about sexual abuse.  It was from her heart, and God moving in her.

When I arrived back at the training center from my meeting, a woman in authority asked, “How did that chat with so and so go?”

“Really great, I feel wonderful.”

“I knew you needed to talk with someone about ‘boy.’  It’s good that it’s been settled.”

I just smiled.  Little did she know that we didn’t bring ‘boy’ up once. He really wasn’t the point.

God lifted much of the heavy guilt that was on me, and set me free from the terrible weight of silence.  I felt like I could fly.

When I came home from the training center I went to college.  It was my dad’s idea, and it was only a community college, but hey—college nonetheless.  I lost friends over this decision, because ATI warned against the evil effects of college, especially on young women.

College was actually a great time, funny how it was so evil. During my college years, I researched a lot about sexual abuse, and found some surprising things. An estimated 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused.  1 in 6 guys.  There are a lot of hurting people out there, and I was definitely not alone.  The emotional and physical toll of my research horrible–I suffered from headaches and vomiting as I confronted my past.

But it was my mission at the same time—to find more healing.  He said He heals the brokenhearted, and I was doing everything I could to find that healing.

While in college, I came to the point that I wanted to tell my brother that I forgave him.  I didn’t talk with anyone about the plan–no one compelled me.  It took me months to gather courage.  I couldn’t let myself see his face him in case he denied it, so I kind of yelled it at him from down the hall of a house: “I forgive you for what you did to me.”

After about ten minutes, he called back quietly: “I’m sorry I did it.  It was evil.”

Then I met my husband.  I loved him with all my heart, but I was nervous about marriage.  I wasn’t sure I could be a great wife, or have a healthy sexual relationship.

I told him about my history. One day he said, “I want you to know that I prayed about something…”


“God asked me, ‘Would you marry her if you knew you would never have sex?”  I told the Lord, ‘Yes,’ because you’re worth it.”

All the walls started tumbling down.  Here was a man giving himself without expecting anything in return.  There wasn’t any kind of emotional protection I could throw out to a comment like that.  The healing that God began when I was twelve finished after our marriage.

I used to think that God would heal, but would leave a scar, like a remembrance of an injury.  You would heal, but you would always carry something that may give you a little pain, or a slight sickness to the gut.  I didn’t know that God would heal all the way, or so completely.  There isn’t any scar, and there isn’t any pain.  He does what he says he does.  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  I went on to have a wonderful marriage, and work in a career I love.

So in the midst of all the news about the famous homeschool family, I want to make a few points:

  • My family didn’t tell the authorities because they were afraid we would be torn apart.
  • My brother was not provided help because my parents had no idea what to do.  Think of the 14-year-olds you know.  They are just young boys.  It’s hard to think any 14-year-old would do such a thing.
  • I wasn’t given help, because I took the cue from my family and kept it all inside.  My parents looked at me and thought, “She was so little—she’s probably okay.”
  • My parents were torn apart emotionally themselves—here was a situation with a young son, whom they loved, and their little girl.  The emotional pain must have been excruciating.
  • ATI didn’t cause the abuse.  My brother caused the abuse.  I don’t think it’s necessarily caused by the teachings.  Teenage boys are a huge perpetrator of sexual abuse.  A quick online search led me to the victimsofcrime website.  Approximately one-third of abusers are teenagers.  60% of child abuse happens in the victim’s own home, or the abusers own home.  Only 14% of cases were with a stranger.
  • One of my friends at a training center said to me once, “There are so many girls who have been abused in ATI…” Why does it seem like an epidemic in ATI circles?  You have a large family, with big age gaps between older siblings to younger siblings, and adolescent boys who are home most of their day, and have a lot of contact with their siblings.  Why doesn’t it happen in other families?  Well, it does; but also, there’s usually not such large age gaps.
  • Would it have helped if I had proper counseling?  Probably.  The ATI culture was steeped in rules, religion, and shame.  I carried the shame of being used, and I carried the guilt of thinking I could have stopped it.  I carried the shame of feeling unwanted, of worthlessness because I felt I would never marry, never have children, never soar in this world.

It was all so wrong, but the light that has shined on me since has been bright and beautiful.  I have a good marriage, with a wonderful man who loves me fully.  I love him without reservation or hurt.  I don’t have children yet—but I will.  I work in a career I love.  It’s not the life laid out for me by ATI, but it’s so much better.  I have found God to be much more gracious, more loving, more amazing, and freer than I could ever imagine.

I have talked to a lot of girls (and guys) about sexual abuse since my healing.  It’s amazing to be able to tell them that Jesus heals.  It’s also an honor to be one of the first people they tell, although that also breaks my heart.

Silence is the code of sexual abuse, even when you’re not in ATI.  For years, I was held captive by my silence.  I felt alone, and afraid. Unforgiveness is the prison bars.  I didn’t realize at the time that forgiving my brother would help me, but it did.

Healing is a process, and it takes a lot of steps for it to happen.  It takes a lot of courage to face emotion and pain.  However, I have also learned that Jesus takes each step with you, and holds your hand along the way.

Lorraine is a free-spirited artist who lives in the Midwest with her husband. She grew up in ATI and wore modest but very ugly clothes. She now runs a successful small business and in her free time enjoys travel and outdoor sports. She has experienced healing and freedom, and she and her husband often minister to individuals who have experienced sexual abuse.
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. Students who have survived Gothardism tend to end up at a wide variety of places on the spiritual and theological spectrum, thus the diversity of opinions expressed on this website reflects that. For our official statement of beliefs, click here.


  1. esbee May 30, 2015 Reply

    "My family didn’t tell the authorities because they were afraid we would be torn apart."

    Our society is really screwed up. It allows all sorts of graphic sex on tv, movies, internet, magazines, (which DOES influence those who watch it especially youngsters) yet brings harsh punishment down on those who are too young to process what they see. Kids learn by monkey see-moneky do often acting without thinking. Then the authorities step in and follow protocol that literally tears families apart by putting the children in foster homes, parents in jail sometimes, the teen boy in jail where he can get abused by other perps and a label of sex offender for life. It is no wonder many families hide what has been done. This puts the victim in more pain of thinking " if I had only kept silent, my parents and siblings would not be in this fix!"

    Your story and the Duggars ( the commenters are demanding the Duggar kids be taken away from their parents and put Josh in jail and take his kids away) may help to make people aware that there needs to be an overhaul of protocol dealing differently with young perps to not put the families in more pain and anguish. A young teen boy with raging hormones is different then an adult who does the same crime.

    p.s. I am so glad that God brought healing to you and helped you through your pain. Over 55 years ago my 12 yr old twin cousins used me to practice kissing and other things in their basement and several years later when I finally told my parents, they were confronted and denied it. Yes, it messed me up in some ways (my poor husband!). No, I not had any counseling since it would cost money that I would rather spend on my horses and art.

    • Emily Anne June 12, 2015 Reply

      You are protecting the wrong people. Not the victims. Josh should have been sent away from his family back during the abuse, because they did not notify the authorities he continued to abuse-16 months, and they knew. Sexual content on TV or in the media has nothing to do with this. People don't become rapists or molesters because of what they see on TV etc. Usually, they have themselves been abused.

      What the Duggars did was illegal. I agree the foster care system needs to be changed so that children are safe there, but defending parents who deny/minimize/ what happened, who silenced the victims, and who protect/enable the abuser is the wrong thing to do. I have no doubt that the victims do not even remember all that happened to them, because they would have been pressured by their parents to keep everything quiet. Whether by direct words, or by their parents attitudes, it's very easy to intimidate a victim who is trapped in an isolated system into denial/silence, and even, horrifyingly enough, defending their molester! It's just psychological dynamics. These parents in their interview enraged everyone with their sick defenses of their 'boy'-these are the actions of those who blame victims and protect abusers. Of course, they want to keep their TV show and do more 'political' work attacking gays and transgendered people for being such a 'danger' to children yada yada....they are completely hypocrites. Why protect the offenders???? Why pretend it has to do with secular culture??? After all, the Duggars made sure that their kids did not taste one DROP of secular culture. Interesting outcome when you deprive kids of their own thoughts, feelings, and normal sexual feelings. They shamed those kids to death for ordinary sexual feelings, and teach the kids from the time they are tiny that, if they are girls, they must cover up to prevent men from having 'lustful' thoughts. They blame women if a man rapes them, for they teach that men have no control over their 'evil' urges.....the fault for Josh's mental condition lies at the feel of whoever abused him. Personally I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it was his Dad, but the family system already abuses kids by their repressive/shaming/mysogenistic practices.....getting away from this family would be the best thing that could happen to their kids, except it does involve seperation from their parents. If there was a GOOD home they could go to, run run run......I know what it's like to live in a sick family....My parents, Grandfathers, and uncle, all 'Christians' all sexually abused me. They taught that everyone has to think, feel, and believe the same. Automony not encouraged nor allowed. Sick and dysfunctional. Just like this family.

      • GuyS June 14, 2015 Reply

        Emily Anne,

        I think your comment to Esbee should be much kinder. You may of course disagree with her. No need to make this an unsafe site for open discussion.

        • Jay Rowland June 14, 2015

          Guy, I don't see Emily Anne's comment as unkind...rather shock (as she explains below) and lack of familiarity with this site and esbee. I appreciate you sticking up for esbee, though she already fends well for herself, but your comment might actually make Emily Anne feel unsafe. I know that was not your intent. It's great to have the three of you and so many other sincere and caring commenters add your voices here.

        • GuyS June 14, 2015

          Jay, perhaps you are correct, thank you.

      • Jennifer January 28, 2018 Reply

        "the fault for Josh's mental condition lies at the feel of whoever abused him."

        Um no it doesn't, bc we have no reason right now to assume he was abused. And absolutely no right at all to suggest one of his parents did it!

    • GuyS June 14, 2015 Reply

      Esbee. "Then the authorities step in and follow protocol that literally tears families apart by putting the children in foster homes, parents in jail sometimes, the teen boy in jail where he can get abused by other perps..."

      Thanks for your comment. You have a unique voice that I think adds to RG. I do not see you protecting the offenders. I see you bring us issues that most of us hate to post. I have not seen anyone else comment on the possible new abuse in jail. Send a "teen boy in jail where he can get abused by other perps" would be new abuse.

      It might not happen. Sometimes the system works. Sometimes it does not. I think that most of the time there are very caring people involved in spite of the flawed system and protocols. Perhaps it is highly unlikely that Child Protective Services would unfairly penalize a family or son.

      However, I am confident that if we were all at a RG picnic, this would be talked about by many. And there would be lots of stories that would not be politically correct to share here on RG. And perhaps Romans 13 would also be talked about. This is complicated, as others have said.

      I do not see you Esbee as pretending to have all the answers. But surely it is OK for you to comment on stuff that we care about. Good job.

    • Jennifer January 28, 2018 Reply

      Raging hormones do NOT make males rapists, much less of their own SIBLINGS. That's the kind of horrible stuff that ATL junk teaches.

    • Jennifer January 28, 2018 Reply

      What the Duggars did was indeed illegal and they failed as well with their attitude: the father actually made that horrible comment about how they don't need to be "mandatory reporters" and how he knows other families with "similar problems"!! Who else does he know is hiding abuse??

      • rob war January 29, 2018 Reply

        You are very correct. It was very revealing in the Megan Kelly interview that the time Michelle started to cry was when she stated how this made her look like a failure as a mother. So her daughters being fondled by their brother didn't make her cry, her oldest son ever touching his sister didn't make her cry, it's how all of this made her "look" to others and that it would make her look like a "failure" as a mother. So it's all about her and her carefully crafted image as the "perfect mother" that makes Michelle Duggar want to cry. What a self focused and selfish person.

        • David Pigg January 30, 2018

          Great comment,Rob; just following after Bill who created the perfect "projected image".How dare anyone criticize it!After all,he spent years developing it in his so called "innocence."

        • rob war January 31, 2018

          Thank-you David for your kind words. Jesus was very clear in the Sermon on the Mount and even elsewhere not to do things to be seen by men, not to desire the best seats in the synagogues, etc. In other words, not do to things or put yourself in a position to get praise, to be notice, to be well thought of etc. by men. What counts is God, not social position or reputation or praise etc. If your aim is to please God and be what He wants you to be, what others think should not matter and are in fact meaningless.

  2. LynnCD May 30, 2015 Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I double-loved the part where you said in your healing there was no scar. And God used ATI as part of the vehicle for healing - not BECAUSE of ATI, for the teaching on the body/soul/spirit is so badly messed up, but IN SPITE of ATI, God still orchestrated healing for you.

    There is or was a false mindset in ATI, that because parents were removing worldly influences (rock music, cabbage patch dolls, beards, blue jeans, t.v., immodest clothes, wrong friends) that somehow that would assure bright eyed, bushy tailed children who were totally pure in thought, word, and deed. Maneuver the externals and everything should be fine. The problem is what Jesus said - sin is a problem of the human heart. It is from within that the sin comes. And no changing the externals of life can take care of that - only the cross.

    I just have to say again, I loved hearing how God broke through to you - with Scripture in your bedroom, through a Democrat elected official, your husband's love, and the circumstances at ATI which made you talk to the lady who prayed with you. It sounds so like how God works - His ways are past finding out, and he can't be prevented by the false teachings of ATI!

    Regarding the Duggars and their situation - they were setting themselves up to be role models and teachers by the reality TV show, and their involvement in so many conferences. It is becoming clearer and clearer that Jim Bob misrepresented the facts at BEST when going to Hutchens in 2003, and in the way he answered questions in 2006.

    Yes, so many in society do not want to deal with it, and the problem is not an exclusively ATI one. But people who purport to be leaders and teachers are held to a higher standard, and it is my considered opinion that Jim Bob's way of dealing with matters with the authorities needs to be proclaimed - and he ought to repent.

    And those girls - I pray that God works for them the same way he worked for you - not BECAUSE of how their family handled the matter, but IN SPITE of how Jim Bob and Michelle handled it.

    Again, thanks so much for sharing your story - a real example of what some call "a God thing."

  3. MatthewS May 30, 2015 Reply

    Wow, thank you for sharing your story!

    Reading this story, I am reminded how true it is that every story is unique. I think it is not uncommon for people to have scars and reminders of the suffering that happened, even though they have experienced profound healing.

    I appreciate the sensitivity here in considering the fears of the parents regarding their family. In spite of all the hypocrisy and covering up, my heart does still hurt for parents who find themselves in such an awful spot. Nothing easy about it.

    Love the concluding line, "Healing is a process, and it takes a lot of steps for it to happen. It takes a lot of courage to face emotion and pain. However, I have also learned that Jesus takes each step with you, and holds your hand along the way."

    • LynnCD May 30, 2015 Reply

      "I think it is not uncommon for people to have scars and reminders of the suffering that happened, even though they have experienced profound healing."

      Yes. If I could edit my post, I would add that caveat to it. Each person's healing is unique.

  4. Vanessa May 30, 2015 Reply

    A beautiful story about how God binds our wounds. He is compassionate!

  5. The Quiet One May 30, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for this. I have avoided, even in my comments on the last thread, speaking directly about the Duggar situation because I shared some of the same perspective, but was unsure how to say it. I was molested by a playmate almost the same age as me as a young child. The child had clearly been abused at some point. Thus, I do not see that child as being my real abuser; I am the indirect victim of some perverted adult. Children do not understand what sex is; and too often pass on what they have been taught to others with no understanding of what they are doing. The abuse of one child is like a pebble dropped into a pool of water.

  6. The Quiet One May 30, 2015 Reply

    By the way, I do still carry the scars of my experience. Although my parents took steps to protect me after it occurred, I still did not understand what had happened. It wasn't until my adolescence that I realized just what had been done to me. By then, we were in ATI, and the legalistic teaching broke my mind. I spend years in fear and mental pain. I finally found rest in Jesus Christ. However, when I am tired or stressed, the fears will reappear. I walk in my weakness in the strength of Christ; and He is sufficient.

  7. LJ May 30, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your story! I'm sure it will encourage many who have had similar experiences.

  8. Rachel May 30, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. One key to your healing, I believe, is that your brother, the perp, told you that he had sinned against you, and confessed his actions against you as "evil." Too often in these cases, there is not sincere confession and repentance on the part of the perpetrator, which makes healing and moving on for the victim so much more difficult. Also, you gave yourself permission to address and work through this trauma, including all the pain and physical manifestations of the emotional agony you were in. May your story encourage someone else to begin this painful and difficult process of working towards the healing you've experienced.

  9. Kristen May 30, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story in such a heartfelt, but redemptive way. I appreciate how you can understand your family dynamics. In a caring, loving family where bad things happen, everyone hurts, but don't always know what to do. This is one of my favorite healing verses:
    Isaiah 54:4--"Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth..."

  10. Don Rubottom May 30, 2015 Reply

    Thank you Lorraine. You have spoken to many issues that many of us have no wisdom to reflect on. Thank you for your ministry to others.
    I discovered this in I Cor. 1 after suffering a loss and finding people there for us: "3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

  11. Ruth May 30, 2015 Reply

    thank you for sharing about your healing. I was with friends recently, we all grew up in very conservative circumstances, and all had experienced or knew of familial sexual abuse. I was fortunate in realizing very young that I was not the one who had done wrong. One of the main reasons that I have been able to forgive and go thru 40 years of marriage, is by realizing that those young men are so often not prepared in any way for what puberty is doing in their bodies and how to handle those feelings. And I realize now just how unsupervised we were in large families, spending lots of time with cousins, siblings etc for hours with no one checking up on us. And of course we girls weren't well prepared either on how to avoid those situations. This subject needs some bright light shown on it.

  12. Susan May 30, 2015 Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. As I a mother of teen boys if can totally understand how terrified they would be to report this to the police. I'm not sure I would have that much courage.

    My only big criticism of the Duggars is how they could put their family on a TV show so soon after all this. Did they really think that would help them all heal?

  13. Amy May 30, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story, Lorraine! In my own life, there are many parallels w/ yours & I, too, am grateful that God worked in my life IN SPITE OF ATI, to bring healing.
    Thank you!

  14. Maria May 30, 2015 Reply

    Wow! What a beautiful story of healing. My favorite part was when you finally had enough courage to tell your brother that you forgave him (I'm sure it was a healing for him as well at least part of healing) and that he acknowledged that he was sorry and it was evil what he had done. Perhaps he realized partially how much he hurt you emotionally. Another Wow! was when you shared your husband's response to you when you shared your past with him. How beautiful!!!!! Satan meant it for evil in your life but God turned it into victory and a beautiful story of hope for me and I'm sure for many others! Because I was also molasted when I was little and I'm still in the process of healing even though it was so long ago. Time doesn't heal in these cases only Jesus can heal and walk through.. Thank you again for sharing.

  15. nicole gardner May 31, 2015 Reply

    Maybe going on a TV show right after this was the implementing of IBLP teaching that, whenever's there's a disgrace, there's to be human glorying of the people disgraced by the disgracer. There's no such cause-and-effect guaranteed in the Bible. What's more, the primary disgracer of the Duggar family wasn't Josh molesting; Josh didn't disgrace his family anywhere nearly as bad as his parents did by going on TV as a model family when there was already a police report on file. Possibly the reason they were confident enough to do so was because they were already saturated with BG's sexual abuse dogma before they started the show & therefore didn't realize that it's not the victim's fault. Thus they could neither have perceived sexual abuse for what it is, nor comprehend that the responsibility for it fell solely in their camp.

    Lorraine, thank you for high-lighting the problem & the fact that it is solved, at least in your case. I believe you when you say you are healed because there's no vindictiveness or condemnation towards others anywhere in your entire testimony. Yours is a truly remarkable experience of relationship with the Lord, authenticated by your attitudes toward Him & every other person who's ever been in your life.

    I hope to get where you are someday. There's a police report for sexual assault filed as well as court conviction & sex offender registry for the adult perps who assaulted me. I believe every adult who perpetrates such crimes should be thus dealt with. I can see that your brother & Josh Duggar should never have been condemned or post-labeled as is now being done to the latter. The media is further scratching in vain to find dirt on Josh that he's supposedly let slip with his tongue since then, but there is none. It also really upsets me that he lost his job. It's totally not fair. On the other hand, as much as I've enjoyed 19 Kids & Counting, I DO have issues with the parents who were adults when they had to face the molestation. If they'd handled it with the help of a licensed counselor, what the government would have done would've been to take Josh out of the family; they would've seen the parents as responsible & honest for reporting it for what it was had they'd done so as soon as they found out. Which they did not. Josh's record would have been cleared by the time he turned 18, he would've gotten a job other than the high-profile one the parents' publicity got for him, & his parents could not have topped their cover-up with a facade rivaling that of BG's own. (The difference is, the Duggars put on their show AFTER the sexual abuse, bg put his show on all during his).

    Josh shouldn't be getting fall-out from this, but the parents don't deserve the status of modeling before the nation as a Christian family. They were too much like BG in how they handled this.

    • Susan May 31, 2015 Reply

      It's interesting that you are sympathetic to Josh D in spite of your experience. I hope nothing new comes out about him and his repentance was genuine. I have mixed feelings about the parents. I can imagine how scared they were, but I can't figure out if they were totally ignorant of the damage from sexual abuse (not surprising with BG's teachings). I can just picture those girls having to paste on happy smiles for the cameras and stuff any pain they were experiencing. I would like to know if they got counseling - I haven't heard of any. So I'm trying to give the parents the benefit of the doubt but it all seems peculiar.

    • Susan May 31, 2015 Reply

      If they did get counseling it was probably BG style which would have done more harm, now that I think about it.

    • guy cooksey June 2, 2015 Reply

      Nicole, you are correct. I blame Jim Bob mostly for the cover up and exposing his "perfect" family to media scrutiny...all for fame and fortune--follow the money. We are flawed, imperfect people and to put up a legalistic front of moral perfection is just foolish. lastly, until we address the internet pornography that is so available and rampant I am afraid that the sexual abuse is going to get worse. Josh Mcdowell has stated that he almost has no hope for the young people of our day with their exposure to internet porn. I think he is right. How do we guard our eyes when the social media and internet are so filthy?

  16. Ileata May 31, 2015 Reply

    Love this! Thank you so much for writing it!!!

  17. LynnCD May 31, 2015 Reply

    Lorraine, your post reminds me of something remarked on at the top of this thread. God is always at work in the lives of His children. And God worked many good things through IBLP (once again, not because of many of the teachings, but in spite of them). And some of the teaching was good, and applicable; not all of it was unbiblical. And many people derived good benefits from IBLP they carry with them to this day, such as your conversation which you spoke of in your main entry.

    I also think of Pastor Fields. I heard him at the Indy TC. He was a great man. He was used to help people I know, who were very grateful for his help. Yes - God has worked through people in IBLP to accomplish good purposes.

    And this creates a profound confusion and emotional agony for people. I used to be one of them. There are many people reading here -- some like my friend Alfred -- who defend ATI down to the indefensible nth degree. And that is because, I suspect, they cannot shut out of their mind a vehicle where so much real good from God happened to their families. And since they were able to steer clear of the nonsense in teaching and action, they simply don't understand this and other sites.

    The cognitive dissonance is real. I wish I could say it better, but that is what I think goes on in so many negative comments against those who have left. You know, the bitterness accusations, and so forth. And the energy Alfred put in to try to refute most arguments raised here.

    I want to thank you, Lorraine, for what you wrote, and it appears to me that I must keep in mind the tender feelings of gratitude people have for what they would hold as God working through them through ATI, so how can it be bad, is there something wrong with your standards, etc.. It's complicated, isn't it?

    • GuyS May 31, 2015 Reply


      "It's complicated, isn't it?"

      Yes it is. Thank you for this comment. I find it difficult to talk about. It is emotional and complicated for me also. I suspect that the more years one is involved in ATI and then the inevitable loss and pain contributes to the complications. Because, as you said, God is working through it all.

      "And since they were able to steer clear of the nonsense in teaching and action, they simply don't understand this and other sites."

      Lynn, you are more charitable than I am. I would point out that many times the ability to "steer clear of the nonsense" is a deliberate refusal to follow BG's rules and guidelines. Good for them. But it would be nice to have honesty on their part on how they are only pretending to be in the program. To be in the ATI program does not allow for the "picking and choosing" they pretend as normal. Once again, good for them for protecting their families. But please be honest and admit to others how you are breaking the rules as you, "defend ATI down to the indefensible nth degree."

      • LynnCD May 31, 2015 Reply

        GuyS: "But please be honest and admit to others how you are breaking the rules as you, 'defend ATI down to the indefensible nth degree.'"

        We looked into ATI, but decided to not get involved in it. At some point I did purchase homeschool curriculum derived from IBLP (teaching numbers, with stories of "brave skunks" and "irresponsible crows" and other nonsense). But I never broke rules, because I didn't get involved.

        However, on the Gothard discussion list, I heard people talking about the ATI coordinators. Things differed in different parts of the country. Some places were very intrusive and controlling, and others were lax, I was told. And the obvious lack of controlling atmosphere may have been a factor in some of the happier experiences, especially if the families were not integrated into churches where it was frowned upon to not be part of ATI or IBLP. So yes, there may have been some "rule breaking," but it may have been on the part of the coordinators and the resultant freer atmosphere they set, as opposed to each family situation. Just a guess. I don't get much into analysis of this nature, because there are too many unknown variables.

      • LynnCD May 31, 2015 Reply

        And I'm very sorry it's still so difficult to talk about . . .

      • GuyS May 31, 2015 Reply

        LynnCD, my bad. If I was clear. you would have not felt the need to say, "But I never broke rules, because I didn't get involved."

        With 20/20 I should have added the "Alfred category", who defend ATI down to the indefensible nth degree, so it was clear I was not talking about you. Corrected sentence...

        --- I would point out that many times the "Afred category" ability to "steer clear of the nonsense" is a deliberate refusal to follow BG's rules and guidelines.---

        I know that I should not pick on Alfred. Just want to be clear with the category.

        • LynnCD May 31, 2015

          No worries. I was pretty sure you didn't mean me, but wasn't sure, so thought I would clarify.

        • GuyS May 31, 2015

          LynnCD, Ha! Times like these makes me want to join the Facebook RG group and embed Youtube videos and rant clearly. You should be thankful I have restrained myself :-) I am much more clear at speaking than writing. But I cannot afford to irritate my new friends here. Writing slows me down and makes me think more, and be kind as opposed to easy ranting.

        • LynnCD May 31, 2015

          Actually, I think that would be good to see each others on video. I write better than I can speak, though.

        • GuyS May 31, 2015

          LynnCD, thanks for the invite, will consider it.

    • Lindsey May 31, 2015 Reply

      Lynn, so I understand better, could you elaborate a little more on your experience of confusion and cognitive dissonance? Are you saying you felt defensive of IBLP when you first heard that people had problems with it?

      • LynnCD June 1, 2015 Reply

        Correct. In 2002, I had already been to multiple basic seminars, had my children in the children's institute, the anger resolution seminar, and used some homeschooling materials derived from IBLP teaching. I joined the Gothard discussion list on Yahoo in 2002. I was thinking of ATI but fortunately was prevented from going down this road. I came to my senses in 2002.

        And if you are interested in my cv, I graduated from SUNY at Buffalo in 1980 BS P.T.. I worked for many years at Miami Valley Hospital in Ohio. I took a year off and studied basic Bible and theology at Moody Bible Institute, got married, had three children, and in spite of the fine teaching I got at Moody continues to attend Basic seminars, etc.. Backing up, I heard the teaching first in college when night by night my roommate would debrief me of what she learned, and she only told me things that made sense, so that got me very interested in attending myself.

        So! What was the hook for me that kept me in? There were two physicians I know who used to faithfully go to the seminars. The first night teaching on acceptance of God's design over each life caused me to not always wish I was 10 feet or 1000 miles from my exact location. I was feeling some friction in my relationship with my parents and even though I lived 500 miles from home I sought to go home as much as possible to be with them and honor them. Then, one of my brothers became a believer. He took my parents to an evangelistic movie one evening and my parents made a public profession of repentance and faith (that meeting emphasized that Christ forgives sin, and He can forgive you, but you must receive Him by faith).

        So with very intelligent accomplished people in my life endorsing the basic seminar, some good applications I derived from it myself, and feeling happy seeing God at work in my family, I was not disposed to questioning it much. And I never went to an advanced seminar.

        I've heard it said some will only change their mind about ATI and IBLP if something bad happens to them. That was not the case with me. After I joined the Yahoo list in 2002, Mike Mahurin and others made me see the gross manipulation of Scripture going on, and Kevin Faulk and others showed how Gothard, at the training centers, hypocritically assumed authority over the youth serving there. And in the chat room some were complaining about the footsie behavior, as far back as 2005. Since the initial complaint came from a mother, who sounded like a reasonable person, that also made me distance myself, and Pastor Jones' account of young girls going to Gothard's hotel room by themselves - even if nothing happened, made me angry and disgusted with Bill back then and corroborated what this mother said in the chat room. This mother said more than one girl complained to her about it, or one girl said it happened to her and others. I forget.

        Well, this is already too long, so I will close for now.

  18. kevin May 31, 2015 Reply

    What a brave survivor you are! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I takes a lot of courage to share in the way that you have and many will benefit from your testimony. You make excellent points and I'm so glad that you have found complete healing in Christ. At the same time, I know that others, may always carry with them some degree of pain about what happened, and this is normal too.

  19. Brumby May 31, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for writing, Lorraine!

    I really appreciate your point regarding the cause of abuse. Initially, upon leaving home, I blamed all the abuse in my family on ATI. It was excruciating over the next few years to slowly realize that much of the abuse was not really directly ATI, but problems within my family, regardless or in addition to ATI. In a way, it was easier when I blamed ATI entirely for "ruining my family."

    I experienced a similar positive experience at a training center, in the midst of many negative ones. The time away from family did me much good, and the odd training center environment was much less tense and invasive than my life at home. It gave me a much needed reprieve from the constant fear and tension at home. I can now state the positive with negative - another milestone in my own healing process.

    Please write again sometime! Your story is relatable and your writing style is engaging.

    • Don Rubottom June 1, 2015 Reply

      Yes, Brumby! I believe we have established that the Institute was NOT the solution to our problems, but do not have to pin all our problems on the Institute. That can be a blame shifting game as wrong as any other. It was false, and often fruitless, but very many of our sins came in with us.

  20. P.L. May 31, 2015 Reply

    "I used to think that God would heal, but would leave a scar, like a remembrance of an injury. You would heal, but you would always carry something that may give you a little pain, or a slight sickness to the gut. I didn’t know that God would heal all the way, or so completely. There isn’t any scar, and there isn’t any pain. He does what he says he does. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

    I have read this over and over again tonight. Thank you.

  21. nicole gardner June 1, 2015 Reply

    I meant to imply that professional counseling was what the D. parents needed to get for everyone involved, & that by not doing so they were able to do a BG-style cover-up. And, as a by-product of this, mandatory reporting would've had to occur (by any licensed counselor) & things would have gone down totally different to the present day. This way, things would overall be better for everyone, especially for Josh D., had there been no cover-up/compensatory facade by the parents. As it is, this show they've put on has amounted to a time-bomb that's gotten bigger along with the show's impact as time has gone by. Josh was always strapped with the parent's bomb though he did literally nothing to construct such a thing.
    Even if there was no show, they seem to have trained him early that he was to act like nothing ever happened; the one position at that one place he ended up losing had to have been gotten in the first place by this mind-set. One that he had been brainwashed with that aided them in effecting their ends, not his, that he's now paying the price for. That one job was probably the only time that the denial-&-masking thing actually benefited him, after he'd been at it so long for them as a good son. The only thing it ever got him has been ripped out from under him. As for the girls? They never even got anything out of it to lose. And they've probably done more denial-&-masking than J. has.

    However, I concede my insistence about there needing to be professional counseling on the most major point: If there were the same kind of genuine people at BG's Little Rock compound as there were elsewhere that Lorraine & Brumby^^^^ honestly attest to there having been, then it's just as possible that other BG counselors also deviated from the script & that the D. victims as well as J. were also effectively ministered to. If so, then the parents weren't negligent regarding this most important aspect.

    But there's still the fact that they rejected the protocol that society had logistically set-up for dealing with this. They did not treat it like the serious matter that it is, evidenced by their not getting more help even though it had continued right under their noses. I'm not saying they needed to get a juvenile Officer on J.'s hind end- not at all. What they needed was professional trained eyes & ears for their own accountability as they started becoming aware of what they'd been missing for at least a year. THEY needed to do what it took to become better parents even more so than needing direct help with any of their kids. (Which was also necessary). Even if it consequentially meant J. living elsewhere. Even if he had, & things were awful for him at some center, he'd be way less destroyed than by what's UNJUSTLY culminated against him now.

    Quality counseling by real Christians working undercover at BG sites was no doubt real & effective in some (maybe many) cases. Other counselors besides Lorraine's & Brumby's^^^^ also no doubt used what the Bible says instead of his teachings. But, even if this did also occur for the D.'s kids, whatever was done for them wasn't also adequate for the parents re. what happened in their family. Or the parents- I don't mean J.- wouldn't still be apparently oblivious that child sexual abuse & how it's handled is serious enough to need what has long been readily available. Or ANY method of operation besides BG's. Rather than politicking-ESPECIALLY-while-Lone-Rangering-it (that's to what purpose the politics are employed), along with heresy & hypocrisy.

    I'm glad Lorraine didn't minimize the suffering she went through in her telling of her healing process. I wish that everyone who's ever experienced sexual abuse will read it. And I seriously hope every affected D. reads it for it's empathy & hope. Because there's a whole added dimension of suffering to their pain.

  22. Emily June 1, 2015 Reply

    I can relate to a lot of what you wrote and I'm so sorry that you went through all of that. I'm glad you're getting so much support from other commenters! But at the risk of sounding like a total jerk I'm going to focus instead on a couple things that concern me about this post. I can't help feeling that to some people going through the recovery process the message here might not sound as hopeful as it's intended to.

    ...but I was so tired...14 is just a young parents response makes sense...
    You have every right to tell your own story your own way and you're entitled to your own opinions about your own life, obviously. I just hope you realize that you don't need to make excuses for your behavior then, and you don't have to make excuses for theirs.

    One reason I reacted negatively to this, if I'm honest with myself, is because my gut reaction is to take it as a personal criticism of my own opinion: my parents didn't report my rape either, and that was absolutely beyond a shadow of a doubt the WRONG CHOICE and a really selfish one. I love them, but there's no sugar-coating that.

    Something I've observed over the years (details below)- when victims of abuse make excuses for the people who've harmed them, that's a good indication that they still have a lot of work to do. Explaining away someone else's bad choices is not the same thing as forgiving them. It's a short-cut that leads to a dead end. I've watched them climb over and wade through a lot of stuff to get back on track.

    "There isn’t any scar, and there isn’t any pain. He does what he says he does. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

    I spent 4 years in a Christian support group for women in recovery from physical, sexual and emotional abuse, 3 years facilitating that group and also two Christ-based 12-step abuse-recovery groups, become a state certified sexual assault counselor and spent dozens of hours talking it all over with a psychologist. During my support group days I read dozens of books on forgiveness and oh yeah, I read the Bible too. As I have since I was old enough to read.
    And then there was all that prayer every day.
    And 30 years after being raped, when I hear about things like this Duggar situation I realize that I still have scars.

    What am I doing wrong?
    Am I just not praying hard enough?
    Am I reading the wrong version of the Bible?
    Or does God just not love me as much as he loves you?

    I'm sure you didn't intend to offend anyone. Honestly. But also honestly? That no scars no pain stuff? That doesn't fill me with hope, that makes me feel judged. Forgotten. Defective. Or it would, if I didn't know better by now. What it makes me realize is that being scar-free, that's not even really a goal that I have. Not if it makes me forget how it feels to be one of the people I've been trying to help.

    • LynnCD June 1, 2015 Reply

      That's why I amended my comment. There are many commenters who are pointing out that some people still feel scarring. I have always found the MBTI and other more simple observations of how people differ to be helpful, at the very least in understanding all people differ so don't be quick to judge. There are some who might judge the MBTI as "secular" but I have found it freeing. Sometimes I used to think I needed to be more like someone else, who has positive qualities I lack (example E when I am a solid I), but I have learned that my need for solitude has enabled me to understand a lot more about Scripture and life. Or worse, I could judge someone as unloving when in reality they are expressing love in a way that feels right to them but not to me. There is a reason The Five Love Languages is still frequently on the NY Times best seller list.

      Beyond that, each person's path to healing is unique, just as personalities differ. Some people may not get the help they need for a long, long time, for one thing. Some may require medication, others may be able to optimize lifestyle changes of eating, sleeping, and exercise and that is sufficient for them. Some may require formal counseling, while others may not, although I tend to think abuse victims need at least to express how they feel to a caring friend, when they need to.

      Thanks for what you do to help others. Total elimination of scars may not be possible or perhaps reasonable, but comfort and encouragement certainly are. As Paul taught, if you've been through something and received the comfort of God, you can in turn comfort others, and help to strengthen them. May we all seek to encourage and comfort each other.

    • Don Rubottom June 1, 2015 Reply

      Thanks for sharing your perspective. It reminds us that any discussion of such matters will bring pain to the surface.
      Fanny Crosby wrote: "I shall know Him by the prints of the nails in His hands." Some wounds don't leave scars but many wounds do even when healing is complete. All WILL be fully healed when face to face we see the One scarred for us for "we shall be like Him", I suspect that means glorified scars and all!
      Be confident in Him, resist the temptation to compare others to yourself. Rejoice in every healing even while experiencing need. Know that He has not failed you even if another's road may be different.

    • Catsnq June 1, 2015 Reply

      Yes Emily. Thank you for having the courage to say those things.
      I had many of the same thoughts. In fact after I read the article I struggled and did not sleep much.
      The thing about " no scars, no pain" felt like a punch in the gut to me.

      • Lindsey June 1, 2015 Reply

        Catsnq and Emily,
        I totally understand.

        I was not sexually abused, but I was abused in other ways. I believe I will always have scars. It just makes sense. If an assailant severely hurt one of my limbs, it might not heal 100%, especially if part of it was damaged or severed. Therefore, it is logical to me that other aspects of my being might never be 100% after abuse.

        For example, I was settling down in bed last night when my husband swooped in from above to kiss me. This scared me to death. I froze and went into defense mode.

        I am at the point where I can recognize this as an involuntary response and explain it to my husband, but I can't seem to prevent it from happening in the first place. Maybe I will scared of things like heavy footsteps for the rest of my life.

        My goal is simply to be as functional and healthy as I can. Best wishes to you.

        • P.L. June 7, 2015

          I very much appreciate the thoughtful discussion in this thread of scars/no scars. Lindsey, I too have an involuntary fear response to a man (particularly a tall one) who comes towards me suddenly; a remnant from a brother who bullied me physically into adulthood. A more recent episode of spiritual abuse feels at the moment as though it will never heal; having 'only' a scar rather than an open wound seems a welcome prospect! But I have a dear sister who experienced a healing from childhood sexual abuse similar to that described by Lorraine; twenty and thirty years on she would echo the testimony that there is no scar. My best answer for the difference between us is that we are different in personality and emotions, and generally in the way we process. We are alike in that God has met with us both uniquely in our sorrow, and that my healing, though, expressed differently and more slowly, is no less real.

  23. Daniel June 1, 2015 Reply

    It is interesting in the IBLP diagram that it shows only the body being harmed by sexual abuse, so it's like, "well at least your spirit wasn't harmed."

    Ummmm... really? Isn't that the point of why sexual abuse is so devastating?
    In this case and others, the damage inflicted wasn't overly physical. It was emotional, relational, and psychological. Indeed it was spiritual damage.

    Use the diagram for falling off your bike and breaking your leg, not sexual abuse inflicted by someone you love and trust.

    • rob war June 2, 2015 Reply

      It is based on a false triapate view which separates out body, soul and spirit and belittles our bodies as evil. It doesn't consider that sexuality is a gift by God for the dual purpose of the bonding in marriage between a man and a woman which produces and results in new life. In that context, sex is sacred and abuse and misuse of sex is just as much a crime against the body as the soul/spirit of a person. That is why sexual abuse is so horrible. Likewise the quiver full dynamics of large families which wide age ranges and teenagers isolated at home with no proper view of one's own sexuality and their growing hormonal bodies results it appears in these sorts of behaviors. This is coupled with the submission teaching that woman and girls have to be quiet and defer to the man.

      • Don Rubottom June 2, 2015 Reply

        Rob, I don't think there is any evidence that establishing a large isolated family "results" in these sorts of behaviors any more than other lifestyles. If you want to say "just like living the most worldly pattern you can imagine" you would be fair.
        It is clear that ATI/IBLP sailed under a false flag of protecting our children and preventing evil in the home, but these sorts of behaviors happen in all lifestyles. The evil is in our descending from Adam and the only antidote is the Grace of God in Jesus Christ.
        I grant that the ATI/IBLP system deals poorly with these circumstances, but it does not cause it. That is blame shifting. In fact, to think about it, blame shifting was the reason so much emphasis was put on demons in the Knoxville conferences: of course the evil was not in US, it MUST be from demonic intrusions (through the umbrella leaks, usually). Thinking about those vile stories of rebuking demons in ATI kids makes me sick. They excused the evil in our hearts, and made parents even more fearful to leave "the system". I think I shall rebuke it all!

        • rob war June 2, 2015

          I wasn't trying to make a blame case. I am wondering out loud if there are a set of dynamics in quiver full type of families which others have pointed out on this blog that set this up for older teenage boys to work out their growing hormonal urges on their young sisters. I never implied that all large families have this problem. I think there are some very unhealthy dynamics in the IBLP where isolated homeschool children might be set up for what happen in the Duggar family. I do not think that of all big families at all and I do not think this about even quiver full types of families which ATI/IBLP are. I'm not sure what your point it because I just reiterated what some others have said here and supported with their own testimonies.

        • GuyS June 2, 2015

          Don, Ha Ha! More laughter, please I can only take so much.

        • rob war June 2, 2015

          Don, I don't think you need to jump on me like this. Homeschooled ATI children are isolated, IBLP certainly did teach that to raise
          "Godly children", they were to be isolated from the world. Others on this blog have pointed the same thing out, isolated homeschool children with large age ranges at home, with not real concept or support in understanding their own hormones and natural desires, a submissive emphasis for women and girls is a setup for what happen in the Duggar home. I don't get your problem with what I just wrote. I do not think that all large families are like this or have this problem nor do I think even homeschooled children in it of themselves have this problem. But from the testimonies here, there maybe some very unhealthy dynamics from IBLP/ATI that set this sort of familial sexual abuse going on.

        • Don Rubottom June 2, 2015

          Rob, If you had said "I wonder if" rather than stating conclusively that a quiver full family "results it appears in these sorts of behavior" you would have been more clear. I agreed with the rest of your comment, but I think it is important that this group be careful moving from recognizing the evils of ATI/IBLP and accusing the system and similar lifestyles of causing evil that exists everywhere.

        • Don Rubottom June 2, 2015

          Rob, I am sorry that you feel offended but not that I responded directly to what you asserted. In my experience, ATI families are not isolated. I've worked with tens of ATI children in the Florida State Capitol, my kids have interacted with many throughout their lives in very many circumstances. If there is a subgroup that works at isolation, they must be in much smaller communities than I have lived in (Tulsa, Tallahassee) during our ATI years.
          I also think it is unwise to blame male hormones. That falls into the same trap that Gothard promoted that males are lechers who must be protected from themselves by female modestly, segregation, etc. B.G. could not master his own lust and concluded that God's design and women were the cause of his failure. He should have found the Grace of God and learned that his design is wonderful, but his heart is dark.
          Yes, the teaching contributed to failure, but mostly because it falsely promised success through formulas and rules rather than Grace and Truth.
          I know I may seem harsh, but your "might" and "others pointed out" is about 10 days too late in the Duggar case. Set Free from Silence (the post at the head of this thread) makes it clear from a well-informed victim's perspective. I beg you to stick with facts and not speculate unless you are very clear that you are merely wondering or thinking out loud. But Christians are being persecuted in the USA because people "think" without any evidence, that the Christians are abusive, neglectful, or a hate group.
          I have seen little directly about Quiverful on RG. This site is about Gothard. Indicting Quiverful here takes me far from the grace/law points that RG seems to focus on. If you wish to post links to such other matters, I would be happy to check them out.

        • Don Rubottom June 2, 2015

          One more point that shows why you are so far off base: The Duggars are NOT isolated. I ran into them in NYC 4 years ago. They expose their kids to all kinds of people and experiences. They live their lives in the public eye (foolishly in my view). They are involved politically and in many church and other public groups. They are nothing like what you are describing. I'm no fan of theirs, but they are not monastic social drop outs.

        • rob war June 2, 2015

          you're picking a fight over nothing. Others here have made the same points I've have. There are other blogs out there saying the same sorts of observations. I don't think we help each other here if we start jumping down and picking apart each others posts. I am beginning to question my sanity in continuing with comments like yours.

        • GuyS June 2, 2015

          Rob, When Don disagreed with you in his comment, it looks to me like that is what it was, just a disagreement. As far as I can tell, you are the most popular person on RG for the last 6 months or longer. You are not a victim. Everybody likes you. It's OK if people disagree with you from time to time.

        • LynnCD June 3, 2015

          Can't (and don't want to) gauge a popularity contest here but I agree with GuyS. rob war, Don has a unique perspective here, being a lawyer, involved in state politics, and ATI. In the last week or so I've seen him disagree or issue cautions to several people in here, including me. I just let one thing go where I still held to a certain opinion, and I changed my wording on another matter. Everything is fine. It did not appear to me that Don was picking on you at all.

  24. nicole gardner June 1, 2015 Reply

    Daniel, you totally said it right there; thank-you!

  25. Tangent June 1, 2015 Reply

    No one would say of adultery, "Oh, it's okay, it's only the body that's involved". would they?

    • Daniel June 1, 2015 Reply

      Excellent point.

      "So if there is no lasting physical evidence, pain, etc, then everybody is good! Not even the body was harmed."

  26. Leslie June 1, 2015 Reply

    Or no one would say of abortion, " oh, it's Ok, it is only the body that was involved"

    • rob war June 2, 2015 Reply

      Unless you are "pro-choice" and it isn't a baby just a piece of tissue

  27. nicole gardner June 1, 2015 Reply

    Unless you're BG & then you DO go by, "oh, it's Ok, it is only the feet, lower legs, knees, hair, hands, arms, shoulders, and EITHER/OR left or right side from shoulders to feet, multiple sets of breasts and one butt, -the last three of which had my clothes as a barrier- that was involved."

    • rob war June 2, 2015 Reply

      BG also didn't have "any sexual intent" and he was just showing "fatherly" affection.

      • Don Rubottom June 2, 2015 Reply

        Or else it was merely an IBLP version of establishing authority through a footsie version of "jus primae noctis".

        • GuyS June 2, 2015

          Don, Ha! my first laugh today. You cut through again with your legal humor. Maybe BG secretly watched Braveheart.

        • GuyS June 2, 2015

          I do not mean to laugh at anyones expense. I can see that it might appear as objectifying ladies. Not my intent. I withdraw the laughter. I am sure Don meant no offense either. It is hard to keep from heaping scorn and ridicule (with laughter) on the vile evil BG.

        • The Quiet One June 2, 2015

          I was just going to comment that was another of the glaring historical inaccuracies of that film. There is no evidence that 'jus primae noctis' ever existed in medieval Europe. It seems to come from the fertile imaginations of a couple of Frenchmen in the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras (one of them being Voltaire) who decided to paint the medieval period darker than it was.

        • GuyS June 2, 2015

          TQO, I also have read what you said. So hard to get accurate history.

        • Don Rubottom June 2, 2015

          Guy, if you withdraw the laughter, my day is ruined, since I really offended Rob War today! My joke is at B.G.'s expense and he made himself a laughingstock by his own sock footedness.

        • Don Rubottom June 2, 2015

          TQO, I saw that when I was looking up the term to use it. But it is more appropriate in that its principal existence was in the imaginations of wannabe lords, some possibly wore blue suits.

        • GuyS June 2, 2015

          When I withdraw my withdraw and start laughing soon, it will be at a mental picture of BG in a blue suite with socks, auditioning for the movie Braveheart. BG foolishly acts like a wannabe lord, expecting in his imagination the standing ovations he got at the ATI conferences. Mel Gibson got the part.

          HaHaHaaaaahaaahahaa! (I know I need help) Hahahhhhahhhhahaa!!! !!

  28. nicole gardner June 2, 2015 Reply

    Well his insistence that there's no connection between physical body & the soul/spirit sure has kept him from asking his subject's (object's) forgiveness. And I wonder how much of that mindset equally drove his initial "only physical" abuse of his serfs. Not the type of lord of the manor that Mel Gibson's character would have had on his side fighting tyranny in the fiefdom, that's for sure.

  29. nicole gardner June 3, 2015 Reply

    Did you hear? No restaurant in this country has bothered handing BG a menu for the past 30 years. It seems they all don't want to waste one on him when he's proven himself so capable of helping himself to CHICKen meat wherever he goes. Preferably thighs, but, regardless, as many pieces as he can get all four of his hands on. (Even while wearing socks on his most frequent two).

    I'm not the one making a laughingsocks oughta this character. He's already done his own sketch.

    • GuyS June 3, 2015 Reply

      Nicole, Ha, I fear I have been a bad influence :-)

  30. nicole gardner June 3, 2015 Reply

    Meaning his additional felt need was entirely personal & he employed his other hand & both feet to meet it.

  31. me June 4, 2015 Reply

    I have not been able to stop thinking about that article. I want to make some comments, though I think it may be pointless to do so

    I am very, very wary of this author and of how she portrays forgiveness and healing for victims. My first red flag is that my abuser(s) liked this article. (!!!!!!)

    First of all, people need to know that this article is NOT a helpful article except to brilliantly demonstrate the one and only accepted response to abuse in these uber-conservative groups- total healing, no scars. Her testimony is the cornerstone for the narrative that controls and silences victims. You are not allowed to speak until your narrative lines up with the party line. A testimony like this was the reason I didnt bother to report. I thought I had to have my affairs in order first. And I had to do that on my own, because getting outside help would mean telling someone what happened (that is a double bind, btw) Many don't even bother talking because the repercussions to reporting are always more onerous to the victim than to the perpetrator, who gets off scot-free with a simple repentance and possibly, a one time shaming, and is then rewarded with endless wagon circling and protection. The victim however, is shamed over and over again for not instantly achieving this impossible standard of total victory and forgiveness. Oh, it is not overt aggression, it is just the acid of concerned inquiries, well meaning prayers, distance and caution exercised towards the victim but never the perp, the gradual wearing thin of patience, hushed gossip and it all is a sort of social gangrene that pushes the victim out of the circle little by little. Over time both the bystanders and the victim can begin to see this inability as possible justification for what happened to him/her. Maybe there was always this sin lurking in her heart...

    If this story is actually true, I am glad for the author, but I dont think she should be sharing it around and ministering.

    I am quiverful daughter, and four-time (four separate unrelated instances) victim of child on child abuse. I speak for myself and too many friends and acquaintances who are working through the same process. I wish I had ever seen one case that sounds like this one but no. They all seem to follow an unfortunate pattern.
    I left the home when I married 15 years ago and it took me 9 years to de-program enough to try pants in my own home.. Another couple years to stop wearing a head covering and just in the two years have I been able to BEGIN thinking about everything that happened to me without submitting to the narrative that was quite literally beaten into me. If you had asked me at age 15, 18, 21, 25, or even 28 or 30 I would have told you ALMOST EXACTLY WHAT THIS AUTHOR SAYS. But that does not mean the hurt and damage and scars are not there. It means that you are subconsciously choosing to interpret everything in the way that best benefits your survival. It means that you have not yet become safe enough or far enough away to open the door of that closet.
    I have girls in my circle that call their trauma symptoms Lyme disease, or adrenal exhaustion, or anxiety or depression or bad life choices. They are not ready yet, not far enough away for their brains to let them see what is happening. Some wont ever see. But most eventually do IME.
    I have learned that it is common to face setbacks at certain times, even to have to face the true depth of trauma after a triggering event late in life. I think this author is boasting prematurely. Has she reached the point in her marriage where the patterns have had time to play out long enough to see some of your parents patterns happening or see how no matter how hard you tried, your kids are reacting to things they don't even know happened, because even if you are silent, the trauma has shaped them? Second generation PTSD. That triggered an almost total collapse for me. Has she had a daughter and son and see them reach the ages she was and he was when it occurred? Life is not black and white, we are not books that are written in stone. Things change. You evolve. But this narrative leaves no spaces for that. That alone is concerning.
    Let me tell you about the forgiveness and healing I have seen... It is not an eraser. It is not a set point in time. It is not a checklist or tollbooth or plastic surgery. It is realizing every few months another aspect of my life and personality that were poisoned by this event and learning to let it go or how to function around it or cope with it. It is having that happen over and over and over again until you feel hopeless, but choosing to get up and fight and live. It is processing and getting closure, then realizing new stuff when your daughter turns the same age you were, and having to go through that process again.. It is getting to 12 years of marriage and finding poison planted in your relationship and fighting for it on your own because he cant and wont ever totally understand…and you wouldnt want him to anyways because that is the reason you married him, but knowing that very fact is what might destroy you. It is knowing that the process probably won’t ever end as maturity knowledge and experience only widen my understanding of who and why I am and inevitably leads to having to repeat the process.
    Forgiveness and healing are intertwined with grieving, and it is a terrible and beautiful process which is flippantly dismissed by celebrated testimonies of "no scars" and "totally healed".

    • S June 4, 2015 Reply

      Dear "me",

      I'm so sorry for the hurt and pain you have gone through, and still go through because of your abuse and other circumstances.

      While I experienced sexual abuse as a young girl, it is different than both you and the author of this article experienced. My background/upbringing is different, my healing (still on-going) is different, my triggers are different. I appreciated many things the author stated, and then there were other things I just didn't/couldn't relate to, but I didn't think the author was being flippant or "wrong", I just felt she was coming from a different place than I am. Personally, I think that's okay. I would just kindly submit to you to "allow" (if that's the correct word) her to experience her healing in her own way, and continue on with your eyes fixed on your individual healing. I pray that you will continue to receive the help necessary for you to make steps forward in your individual, married and family life. I believe that God can use each different person's experiences for His glory, even if you and I don't understand how that's possible.

      Just as an example to try to see the other point of view, and I hope it's a help - I've had 7 live children born, and two miscarriages. I also have siblings and close friends who have experienced miscarriages. While I was sad and cried when I found out my babies had died, I was never devastated - but many other people I know were and are! I felt bad at times because I was so abnormal in how I felt. Maybe it was my personality, or the stage I was in life, or where in the line of our children the babies came along, but I think for some people, none of that would have mattered, they just would have been devastated! I don't think now that that makes me wrong, it just makes me different. Just like Lorraine is different than you.

      Praying for you.

    • SeeksTruth June 4, 2015 Reply

      I love your honesty, and think your comments are worth taking seriously. Thank you.

    • Aila H June 4, 2015 Reply

      Your comment "forgiveness and healing are intertwined with grieving, and it's a terrible and beautiful process which is flippantly dismissed by celebrated testimonies of 'no scars' and 'totally healed'." is a profound statement.

    • LynnCD June 4, 2015 Reply

      Thank you for what you so eloquently describe as your unique experience dealing with this kind of horrible pain. Truly each person's path to healing is one of a kind.

    • Lindsey June 4, 2015 Reply

      Thank you very much for your story. Your words are not at all pointless.

      Your post reminds me of my early 20’s. I, too, could have written an article exactly like this one at that age. In fact, during that time, I didn’t know much, but I knew I didn’t feel good. I volunteered myself to a state mental hospital, and they kept me for a week. I thought after that week that I had resolved my psychological dilemmas. I called my father on the phone and told him that I forgave him. I meant it very sincerely, too!

      To think of that phone call now, the memory would be laughable if it was not so sad. Later in life, I learned this type of forgiveness is a common misstep taken by well meaning abuse victims. I was not even remotely healthy emotionally and mentally at that time. I am much healthier now, and it is not a coincidence that I have my father blocked on my cell phone and do not allow him in my house.

      I am not going to caution you to keep your eyes on your own healing. Everything you say is extremely valuable, and I believe part of your motivation in speaking out is to help others like yourself.

      I can attest to the fact that most Christians cannot seem to stomach a story without a happy ending, preferably no scars, no pain. Everything you say is true about protecting the abusers and alienating the abused. One of the reasons I am drawn to this site is because I have seen people show compassion to abuse victims and demand an accounting for their abuse. It is very refreshing.

      I think it is both good and right for you and others to remind people that abuse victims are not typically free of scars and pain. So many things you said are spot on and consistent with my own experiences and what I have learned and read during my journey.

      You are right when you say that a person’s perspective is often a matter of survival. You are also right when you talk about making new discoveries and healing over a long period of time. I relate to what you say about feeling hopeless but getting back up to fight, anyway. Also the part about life events triggering an awareness of the full depth of trauma. The same goes for your comments regarding marriage.

      Keep getting up to fight and kind regards to you.

    • P.L. June 7, 2015 Reply

      ". The victim however, is shamed over and over again for not instantly achieving this impossible standard of total victory and forgiveness. Oh, it is not overt aggression, it is just the acid of concerned inquiries, well meaning prayers, distance and caution exercised towards the victim but never the perp, the gradual wearing thin of patience, hushed gossip and it all is a sort of social gangrene that pushes the victim out of the circle little by little. Over time both the bystanders and the victim can begin to see this inability as possible justification for what happened to him/her."

      This is such an important description of victim-shaming...that the perpetrator is given many chances to do better, but their victim is shamed if they don't 'forgive and forget' immediately. No second chances for victims! And too often the circle even allows the perpetrator to pass judgment on whether the victim has truly 'forgiven and forgotten'! What an insult to the God of just weights and balances. Thanks for this, me.

  32. nicole gardner June 4, 2015 Reply

    Your explanation of the practical process filled in the blanks for me that I had in between reading of Lorraine's horrendous pain & supernatural healing. You describe supernatural healing, too, but more the nuts & bolts of it. Thank-you & God bless you unto completion as His Word says He someday will.

  33. Lorraine June 7, 2015 Reply

    When I wrote this article, I had no idea how people would take it. Although I've spoken about my past verbally, I've never written it in a shorter form, as it was for this. I was concerned that it would seem wrapped up and tidy on paper, when it was in reality a long and very painful journey (I am also not quite as young as the writing may make me sound). Most of all, it broke my heart that some have taken it in judgement, have felt condemned, or feel hurt. It was never my intention. I knew the "famous homeschool family" would bring up pain for many people, and I was hopeful my story could help bring hope to open wounds.

    I took seriously the many comments that I "am not fully healed." I considered it carefully. However, I can honestly say that I believe I am. I was content enough with much of my healing for many years. I guess you could say that God surprised me by healing me without that scar. God brought me through tremendous pain during the process--more than what I described. There were flashbacks, triggers, and crippling emotional pain. He also brought tremendous healing.

    Also, I have forgiven my brother. Does that mean I'm his best friend? Of course not, but that's not what forgiveness means to me. It means I'm not bitter at him, nor hate him anymore. It did take years. To make things clear, I believe pedophiles should be put in jail. Forgiveness does not mean abusers do not have consequences. I do think teenagers are possibly in a different classification than adult pedophiles (they still need a lot of intervention and help).

    Currently, I have a disease that almost took my life multiple times last year. I need emotional healing from it. I panic when I get sick again, and I wonder where God is at. I am not unacquainted with pain. Unfortunately, life has a lot of it. And just as I believed when I was younger, for healing from my brothers sexual abuse, I am now believing again for healing. It's hard. It's painful. And I still think God is good. Most of the time, at least.

    My sole intent on sharing this was to give people hope. When I read the Bible, I don't consider my story to be that far off from a blind man seeing, or a cripple walking. I consider what happened to be nothing short of miraculous. When I was a teenager, my favorite story was the one about the woman with the blood issue who touched Jesus' hem. I thought that if I could maybe catch a glimpse of Jesus, I would be healed. Now that story has reappeared again for me, with my physical disease. I would never condemn anyone for "having a scar." In fact, if I heard your story I would probably cry with you. I don't have a lot of answers for many questions. I can only be like the man in John 9, who explained his healing by, "I was blind but now I see."

    • LynnCD June 8, 2015 Reply

      Lorraine, you are in my prayers today for physical healing and relief of pain. Thank you for your follow up comment.

    • esbee June 8, 2015 Reply

      I am sure healing comes in many forms, in my case age and forgetfulness are very helpful tools and staying busy with all my projects that keep me from thinking so much about the past.

    • Emily Anne June 13, 2015 Reply

      Please don't take any of my comments as being about you or your personal healing etc. I am referring to some of the comments I've read on the site, not to you and your journey, and to some issues which come up for me. Your healing is your healing is your healing and it's not for anyone to determine what is right for you. And you are brave to write about it....Talking about it always helps people, whether we all agree about the issues or not. And it takes a lot of courage.

  34. Lindsey June 7, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for your response to everyone's comments. I am inspired that you had the courage to share your journey. I wish you good health in your current struggle.

  35. P.L. June 7, 2015 Reply

    I can see and acknowledge my own scars, and those of others, and also be very happy that you don't have any, Lorraine. I believe you, and you don't have to justify yourself. I remain encouraged by your testimony here. Peace to you.

  36. nicole gardner June 8, 2015 Reply

    Lorraine, the follow-up you just gave is real & hope-filled. The article also was. Thank-you & God bless you today & every day all though until His Day.

  37. Emily Anne June 12, 2015 Reply

    I am shocked and horrified to see people condoning parents who protected molesters and did not keep their other children, or OTHER people's children safe. I am truly dumbfounded. I thought that people coming to this site understood the dynamics of sexual/abuse cults etc. better than this.

    In the case of Josh Duggar, his actions were not childhood exploration. This was molestation, several times. His parents have lied several times, victims came to the father, not Josh 'crying'. I am still shaking my head....I don't know what to say.

    What would have happened to Josh was he would have undergone court ordered counseling, and might have been removed from the home.

    What happened instead? He continued to ABUSE and traumatized his sisters and at least ONE other girl.

    The Duggars are typical deniers/minimizers, and have no doubt silenced the victims. It was heart wrenching to watch, in an interview with two of Josh's survivors, how THEY themselves had to protect Josh, and pretend that their actual trauma was LESS than what he was going through when it all came out! I don't understand these reactions......the world is not a horrible place that you have to protect your kids from, in terms of isolating them from everyone and everything and controlling their thoughts, feelings, sexuality etc.

    I think people are vastly ignorant regarding the true dynamics of molestation etc., and can only conclude that many reading hear are Christians who just don't know any better???? I mean, I always consider that there are all kinds of Christians, and assumed that a Christian website which is showing the horrors of the Duggars Cult and it's woman hating, victim shaming, abuser supporting doctrines would have a clue...but STILL defending those who betray chilren??

    And you know what happened because the Duggars didn't go to the authorities???? Josh abused OVER and OVER. More girls were trauamtized. I don't see anyone too upset over that, in the few comments I've read. As an incest survivor I'm truly disgusted and disheartened.....this is something which treats sexaul abuse as if it is nothing, and as if it is really okay for parents, and other people, to brush it under the rug. What difference if other children are endangered, right? How would you feel if Josh had molested one of YOUR kids, and then discovered that the Duggars knew he was dangerous and did nothing about it. I am sickened by what I read here.......

    From a Survivor

    • LynnCD June 13, 2015 Reply

      Emily Anne, I'm very sorry for what you have endured, and obviously reading a few comments here has opened up old wounds. I wanted to respond to this:

      "And you know what happened because the Duggars didn't go to the authorities???? Josh abused OVER and OVER. More girls were trauamtized. I don't see anyone too upset over that, in the few comments I've read."

      May I suggest you read a few more comments. There are many people disturbed about this on this site, including me. Read my last few comments on the "discussion page."

  38. Emily Anne June 12, 2015 Reply

    Oh just a small clarification of the post I just wrote-although I don't know if it will be published or not-I was not abused by siblings, rather by my parents, an uncle, both Grandfathers, and my sixth grade teacher. I am glad that the author of this article has found healing, and is at peace. I am damaged for life, this is just how it is. I'm 60 years old and I'd say that I have maybe half as much pain as I used to....I dunno....PTSD and dissociative disorders don't go away by praying....although spirituality can be very valuable and healing.....For many many abubse simply destroys their lives, they will never be the same. I will never be who I would have been without the abuse.

    I cannot STAND to see people defend these parents who let abuse happen, deny it, minimize it is JUST like my "Christian" family......I remember my sisters being abused by my Dad, and my brother was abused also but not by my Dad. Nobody in the family besides myself remembers nor believes anything. I had the same experience when I confronted on the matter-My Mother said to me 'do you know what you have DONE!" Yes, I was the bad guy for talking about it. Blame the victim, protect the perp.

    This is a SECONDARY trauma. This is the trauma which the Duggar's girls undoubtably endured. I watched, sickened, as they betrayed themnselves in an interview minimizing what they had gone through. They had been more or less brainwashed by their Dad, I blame him essentially.

    I get so upset at this, I can't even express it. My own Dad, who is 90 years old and dying, would go around in recent years wearing a shirt which said 'I love Jesus". I have been through decades of therapy, and have researched the dynamic of sexual abuse.

    I have watched Josh Duggar's parents behave in exactly the SAME way that all enablers/deniers do. It is PREDICABLE that the abuse/deniers/minimizers will MAKE THEMSELVES out to be the victims. INEVITABLE.

    No, the girls weren't traumatized by being repeatedly molested, they are being traumatized because it's been made public! Right??? JOsh is the 'victim'! And of course, the possible loss of all that money wouldn't have anything to do with the Dad's desire to squelch the whole thing....

    This is how predators think. I read once that a man who had sexually abused a child said 'She wanted it. She walked around without her diapers on.'

    This is the same philosophy of the cult to which the Duggars belong. I am just shocked that people defend ANYONE's parents who knew about abuse and did nothing about it.

    I have read story after story after story of other survivors who's Mom told them to 'shut up' about being raped or molested, or who disbelieved them, or punished them etc. I read a lot of this at Pandy's or other online forums for survivors, or in books etc. The dynamics are EXACTLY the same, time after time.

    Usually those who protect abusers have reasons for it, often because they have been abused themselves and it reminds them of it, or for reasons such as are given as excuses for the sad excuse for parents which this brave young lady, who wrote this article, had. Betrayal is betrayal is betraysl. It's up to her regarding forgiveness, but to see comments suggesting that what her parents did, including by denying that anything ever happened, are somehow okay or in any way NORMAL just boggles my mind!

    I feel like people don't get how devestating child abuse is....that's the only explaination for it...And you know what it is VERY VERY hard to recognize JUST HOW MUCH your parents betrayed you...It hurts. It's hard for people to cope with.

    I generally feel that the Christian community is made up of all sorts of people. I don't believe that simply because my abusers were all 'Baptists' I guess would be the closest, back in the day-I don't think that all Christians are abusive. But some of the comments here just enrage me. They are on the side of the abusers, the people who hurt kids or let other people hurt kids. The ones who are part of generations of abuse.

    Undoubtably my parents were both sexually abused, I don't know how far back it goes. But to suggest that it's okay to not report child just absolutely might as well start giving excuses for the Bishops in the Catholic Church who protected peodophille priests....

    btw, the wounds don't just disappear. Some people have more healing than others, but I hate to see anyone shamed or blamed because they are more or less healed than anyone else. Spirituality or mediation or religion can all be very valuable, but I hate it when people use that to suggest that you must be doing something wrong if you aren't healed. People left paranoid and delusional from abuse don't magically heal. They take meds and go to therapy and may or may not have religion etc. as part of what they do. The same for PTSD and dissociative disorders. These are changes to the brain....anyway, that's how I feel....

  39. Vance June 26, 2015 Reply

    I want to point out that as a youngster I was involved with Basic Youth and went to several of the conventions in the Midwest. I love books so I always enjoyed getting the materials but I never read them much-I remember the book on Character. Boy, if I knew then what I do now. I remember my dad trying to give me a spanking when a teenager and I remember it being somehow related to ultra-conservative teachings-ala Bill Gothard and faulty conservative readings of Proverbs-Spare the rod and that kind of stuff. Let me tell you-it does not work for teenagers! I do remember the teaching on child abuse concerning it just being your body. I felt this was not correct but did not have the sophistication to refute this stupid idea. I am being a bit crass in order to make a point. I am glad the author knew enough to know in her heart this teaching was way out of line. Hopefully, they have retracted this teaching. To put it philosophically, I would say that we are 'embodied' souls. You cannot separate body and soul-when our bodies are weak, often our souls are disturbed. God created us as soul and body (some wish to differentiate the 'spirit' as well) thus come Judgement Day we will be united with our new bodies. This discounting of the body is an old heresy that goes back to the beginnings of the early church.

  40. SW August 21, 2015 Reply

    Any response to the latest revelations? Seems like JD is just following what he learned inside his cult, but I'd love to here a response from people who've been on the inside.

  41. Free at last September 27, 2015 Reply

    Wonderfully written. However, ATI teachings blamed me, and it led to family not helping me much. Those teaching destroyed me. '' It was just your body, get over it,'' attitude.

    My mother had horrible shame around sexual things and they were taught to avoid anything sexual in nature. I didn't tell until I was married, and sadly the person who came out of that ministry abused me and his sexual abuse of his sister was covered up. That being said, God has restored me since through another ministry and I am a whole person. I believe sexual abuse goes beyond just the physical dimension, it can cause damage deeper than any wound.

    If you are taught that when something bad happens to you to ask '' Why did God allow this to happen to you?'' it will screw you up. BG teachings.

    I do however agree that homeschooling and ATI are not the reason people abuse. I know of plenty of people who were abused by people who weren't even Christians. It knows no bounds. There is nothing new under the sun. Sexual issues are everywhere. What is sad is that the Christian church's sexual abuse stats are is as high as the worlds.
    Sex was created by GOd for good. Satan true to his nature wants to destroy everything wonderful by God. And not telling kids about sex and its wonderful plan in marriage is only setting kids up for temptation beyond them and doing a great diservice to them. Our bodies are not evil or dirty.
    I am glad your brother repented. I am glad you healed and God is wonderful and true to His nature. Blessings and thanks for this wonderfully written piece.

  42. Free at last September 27, 2015 Reply

    I was healed at BE In Health Ministries.

  43. Free at last September 27, 2015 Reply

    No One has a right to say if someone healed or not. When we are hurt we can't understand how others can be healed. I went through that for 7 years. I was sick and dying and it turns out a lot of it was indeed because of trauma I went through. Sickness was a side affect from a broken heart. However, I am healed emotionally now by the power of a Living God and His Holy Spirit. I do have to guard my heart and thoughts to stay free. I am healed so much that now since 2009 I can stand before a group of people and share my story! I am getting more confident. I don't cry when I talk about it. It doesn't consume me anymore.

  44. Free at last September 27, 2015 Reply

    I also want to add that The abuse I went through isn't me. I do not own it. It isn't mine. I am not a victim. It is something I went through, but I am clean before God. I am not dirty, used, trash, baggage or anything else. I am me. I am created by God and sin is what is filthy. Demonic beings are what drives people to sexually abuse. It isn't a disease, It is a demon.

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