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I feel lighter after mentioning the cult I was brought up with in yesterday's post. I've known for a while I would start discussing it in the blogosphere eventually -- but as the saying goes, "The dread is worse than the doing."
Half way through writing that post I thought, "It's time. Spit it out now!"
It matters to me how I phrase things. I've tried to say, "I was raised in a cult," and that's not right. I was raised in a home -- a loving home. My spirit and creativity was mostly encouraged. I was rarely depressed as a young person. I was protected. My parents were not abusive. For the most part they used Bill Gothard's material as a tool. Whenever we had disagreements, we would come together and try to find the "root cause" of our conflicts as Gothard had showed us to do. None of this was harmful.
I was influenced by a cult leader for many of my formative years -- I'll put it that way.
You might think of the Duggar family when you read about ATI homeschooling, but that wasn't us. I was the oldest of four. We dressed in our long skirts for the big Knoxville conference in the early 90s, but at home I was allowed to wear pants. Rock music and most movies were not allowed, but I had plenty of aunts and uncles who occasionally let me break a few rules when I visited their homes. I wasn't completely culturally illiterate!
Classical music was allowed, though my parents and siblings didn't have a taste for it. Oddly, I turned to our local classical radio station as a way to assert my independence. Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin were my teenage heartthrobs! Even now I have to be in the mood for music with a back beat. It's not my native sound.
Though my parents attended Gothard's seminars 13 times, I was only homeschooled for the last three years of high school. Before that I attended public grade school and a private middle school. Once we started homeschooling, most of my education became self-directed. I went to one Basic Seminar. I never attended an Advanced Seminar.
The real danger for me was how I was indoctrinated by Gothard's ideology when I was old enough to leave my family and go away for short jaunts to serve in his ministry. I was coaxed into making commitments I didn't fully understand. I took his teachings to heart and became quite prideful about what I considered to be my superior spiritual understanding.
So that's where I'll try to pick up next time -- my first trip abroad with 100 other students and Bill Gothard.
Hope you are well!