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  1. Yes, have to admit that I studied this arcane subject for many years. I have the types of thousands of people memorized, and I still can't get away from finding myself trying to assess the types of people I meet IRL. First heard about it in 1997 when he worked with the Phoenix Suns basketball team, started following the web site in 2000-2001, was their biggest fan for about ten or so years, but started to distance myself -- while noticing he really started to go off the deep end with it -- in the early 2010s. Originally, before the family got swallowed up in smug Vision Forum Calvinistic and ATI/Gothard legalistic arrogance (which they've always cleverly hid from the sports public, if not their public social media presence), it was an interesting hypothesis with some truth to it, and Jon Niednagel (JN) was humble enough (back then, certainly not NOW) to not go too far outside the boundaries of sports when applying it. The basic idea behind Brain Types is that the 16 Myers-Briggs types are actually legit, but that they are not personalities so much as neuroscientific types that dictate some observable elements of mental and motor skills in the populace. I do think a lot of his categorizations make some sense, more or less. For example, he has LeBron James and Magic Johnson as FEAR/ESFP. This Brain Type is outgoing, smiles a lot, and is gross motor skilled with great peripheral vision. Even novice basketball fans can usually see a lot of similarity between James and Johnson, and it's interesting the two are getting a lot great in LA now that LeBron has taken his talents to Hollywood. Contrast James with Michael Jordan, whose athleticism was more of the hand-eye coordination sort, and whose inner fire and competitiveness was greater than either Johnson or James. This is because Jordan is a different type, BEIR/ISTP. Niednagel's biggest supporters are all in the world of sports, not neuroscience, because they can see he has an eye for assessing certain athletic and mental traits -- in pro athletes. Where Niednagel is far less competent is in any other branch of human behavior and skill, and when he attempts to measure less concrete, more complex behavior, such as in the world of spirituality, politics, the arts, and even personal morality. Over the years, JN has increasingly attempted to link type with human cognition and behavior in these realms, often to the most shallow and superficial conclusions. For example, he tried to link belief in gun control to the Sensing and Intuitive types. He said the Sensing types were more realistic and thus realized that we don't need gun control (JN, of course, is a Sensor, and a conservative, and this is his view). He based this on a couple of athletes who were Sensors and shared his view on gun control. A sample size of two is hardly the deep analysis he always claims to have, however, and sure enough, I've found several Sensors in the world of sports -- including Steve Kerr, whom Niednagel has always contended shares his BEIL/ISTJ Brain Type -- who believe quite strongly in gun control, and have made their views unequivocal on the subject. (The Niednagels are very prone to confirmation bias and post hoc reasoning, looking for examples that confirm their presuppositions while ignoring contrary data -- or else explaining away any seeming contrary data with the idea that humans can, after all, be influenced by their environment, too.) JN also has a bone to pick with the type he believes makes up 50% of all mankind -- ENTP/FCIR. ENTP/FCIR is believed to make up only about 5% of mankind in Myers-Briggs circles, but Niednagel has always insisted that he does Brain Typing, not personality typing, and that ENTP/FCIR comes in many "personalities," so they are prone to mistyping themselves on Myers-Briggs tests. The fact that every other person you meet is allegedly this "generic" type raises massive questions about this system, because any schmuck can look at the vast diversity of brain and learning behavior among people and realize that it's absurd to think half of human beings are exactly alike, brain-wise, and differ only in some kind of nebulous presentation of "personality" (divorcing personality from the brain, too, sounds almost magical -- what, does personality originate from somewhere else?). But that's not all -- he thinks ENTP/FCIR, a type nearly his opposite, is immoral, prone to liberalism, responsible for Darwinism, manipulative, prone to Hollywood and theoretical nonsense, over-conceptualizing the world around them, taking matters constantly out of context, and basically ruining life for the more rare, moral, and upright BEIL/ISTJ, BEAL/ISFJ, FCAL/ENFJ, and other more virtuous, realistic, contextual Brain Types. One of his favorite hypotheses in recent years is that ENTP/FCIR is right brain dominant, and thus cannot follow boundaries as well as the left. He doesn't seem to understand how interconnected the human brain is, and that the brain seldom localizes extremely to one hemisphere or the other. He's basically run with a single study that linked out-of-context thinking with men to the right hemisphere, and acts as though this is the norm for half of mankind, and that it's rampant and constant. Again, I go back to Steve Kerr. Kerr's religious and political views are polar opposite of Niednagel's. If type is so instrumental in morality and cognitive decision-making as he says it is, why has Kerr come to so many different conclusions on these important matters than JN? Sure, he and JN may have the same type, and when it comes to sports, these fellows sure seem to know what they are doing (Kerr is the coach of the highly successful Warriors NBA team). But that is sports; outside of sports, their brains and views couldn't be more different. I think it's a dangerous and disturbing contention to try and link type, particularly through cherry-picking, confirmation bias, post hoc reasoning, and small sample sizes, to more complex cognitive and moral behaviors. Perhaps some types may have some small propensities toward certain virtues or vices than others, but if this were as significant as JN makes it out to be, you'd have think the Bible authors would have been given the insight to write about Brain Types and their implications in the Scriptures. But they didn't. In short, there might be some interesting connection between the 16 type system and the brain, particularly in more concrete realms like sports. But JN has extrapolated far beyond what the data suggests, and his typing system has become more about his self-importance and high opinion of himself (especially relative to those generic ENTP/FCIR types), than about something neuroscientifically significant and meaningful. (By the way, NBA player Rasual Butler, who killed himself and his wife in a car crash back in late January after consuming numerous legal and illegal drugs, was supposed to be one of those Brain Types -- BEAL/ISFJ -- that is better at following ethical boundaries than others. Oops...)
  2. Only about 5 million photos, courtesy of Melissa Niednagel, who of course looked amazing and perfect three weeks after giving birth to an infant who of course was a perfect angel throughout the entire event. Needless to say, it was a retro hipster nightmare-- with no alcohol, as far as I could see!
  3. Hi all. Old member returning here. Some of you may remember my association with the Niednagel family. Still trying to get my Christian views and living into perspective. As with most things in life that are important, it hasn't been easy. For those unfamiliar, I was actually raised in a happy, non-legalistic, broadly conservative Christian home (WELS Lutheran first and then vaguely Pentecostal later). My brother had a tragic death in 1997, my late mother retreated into watching TBN even more than she did before (I learned later that this wasn't good, I know), my parents left church and did home-study for years after that (and became obsessed with the End Times, along with an idiosyncratic and completely unorthodox view that people can be saved after they die, hence no interest in evangelism per se), and I myself went through an agnostic period in my late teens and early twenties (2003-2005). Around that time, I also became increasingly acquainted the famous/infamous Niednagel family through their Brain Types theory and a shared interest in basketball and other sports (my late mother and I were huge basketball fans), returned to Christianity in 2005 (though not because of the Niednagels, whose version of Christianity I was still ignorant of -- but because of a vision that I was leading a fornicating and unbelieving life and would go to hell if I didn't repent), later learned all about Calvinism and ATI/Vision Forum and the Stay-At-Home Daughters movement through the Niednagels (2007-2012), subsequently got completely confused over what type of Christianity was best (2012-2013ish and beyond), got disheartened over the perceived inadequacies of my alleged "Brain Type," attended Calvary Chapel for a few years (2013-2017), then attended an IFB church for half a year (2017 through early part of this year), witnessed my mother's passing (Feb of this year), and now am with the LCMS church (April to present). My husband, whom I married in 2016 and met back in 2004 when I was agnostic, remains skeptical of theism, but has never dissuaded me from my faith when I returned to it in 2005. My father still attends Calvary Chapel, yet his laid-back theism is essentially this: Jesus is the Only Way, but there are no hills worth dying on after that (and yes, he remains convinced that people can be saved after they die, and has no interest in debating politics and religion with people, though he is supportive of Trump and doesn't think transgenderism or homosexuality is right, but refrains from judging the eternal state of such people). He's enjoying the single life, golfing, food, drink, and basically the "eat drink and be merry" type of life. He could have no more gotten into the Niednagels' version of controlling and rigid patriarchy than fly to the moon. They look down on him as a generic FCIR "Brain Type." Contrary to what the Niednagels think, I don't think that's an entirely bad thing. So I've pretty much seen and analyzed the whole spectrum of conservative Christianity, even as I approach merely my mid-thirties. I'm now at the stage of, what is truly important? I don't believe secularism, liberalism, or other faiths hold the answers from what I've perceived and studied -- but conservative Protestant Christianity is so divided that it's been tough to navigate the terrains, especially since my parents weren't exactly theologically rigorous themselves. Becoming affiliated with the Niednagels, and witnessing the hair-splitting tendencies of Calvinists, really opened my eyes. I also learned about all kinds of other things my less-than-systematic parents ignored, like how the Pentecostal dispensationalism my mother embraced for the final twenty or so years of her life is COMPLETELY at odds with the Wisconsin Synod Lutheran upbringing she touted so much, how my father is perceived as theologically weak even by Calvary Chapel standards, and just how little doctrine my parents imparted compared to other conservative Christian factions. My parents were always like, "this doesn't pertain to salvation, so don't worry about it!" Even in somewhat more stringent Calvary Chapel circles, the message always is, "it's a relationship, not a religion" -- way too fluffy for the likes of Calvinism! The Niednagels and other Calvinists, instead, were always like, "you need to engage the analytic concrete left brain more, Christianity is about rules and regulations which you abstract right brainers struggle with meeting, you need to analyze Scripture in context with the left brain instead of your dominant right brain, God may be love but that is not all He is, holiness is a mandate, women are property" etc. Not convinced either of these extremes are good anymore, tbh. I wouldn't say my parents were outright Antinomians, but they were close. And I do think there are Scriptural and practical problems with that. But I'm also skeptical of the pride, hypocrisy, and legalism of the Niednagels and other Calvinists. I don't think their way is Scripturally right or balanced, either. I like the LCMS because I think their doctrines make the most sense, theologically and practically. I don't want to write a treatise here, so if you want further analysis of these people and groups, and how their beliefs, doctrines, and practices pertain to Scripture (or lack thereof), feel free to ask. I'm just giving background for context here to start. Oh, and if you follow Michelle Lesley's web site, I was the one who recently asked about the Great Commission and women's roles.
  4. What is going on? I've noticed over the years the Niednagels and Thomases have been getting more relaxed on the rules, but the newest blog post, with pics from Micaiah and Taralyn's wedding, shows wine and beer consumption as well as the bride in a bikini top! I guess good for them.
  5. hoipolloi

    Micaiah Thomas is Engaged!

    OMG, the sky is falling -- one of the bachelor brothers of Melissa Thomas Neidnagel is engaged. Not only is she wearing rather tight capris but it looks like the first kiss will have occurred before the wedding.
  6. I want to thank Jordan Niednagel, from my heart, for ten years of so beautifully documenting the wild and wacky world of Dominionism! Who can forget all the awesome, candid photos of dozens of Vision Forum events? The unintentionally hilarious (and revealing) home videos? The intimate tour of the interior of the Botkin home? The hot, half-naked brothers-in-law? (Wait, wut?) Congrats, Jordan, on a job well done under oftentimes trying circumstances. VF may be gone, but our mem’ries live on in your always stunning pics and always asinine commentary. http://www.niednagel.com/blog.htm
  7. I was over on the Niednagel Facebook pages (I'm a little obsessed with them) and was thinking about Danielle Voeller Niednagel. I remembered that there had been some sort of scandal involving her father Jim, who was big with Gothard ministries, having an affair with his secretary and leaving his wife Lori and their 8 kids. I googled Jim and Lori and came upon a site that quoted some of their child-raising tips from a Gothard discussion group in 1999. The discussion group promotes blanket training, beating babies as young as six months, and not giving kids any time to play. Here is the site I got it off of: democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x4173778 The quoted discussion group is about half-way down the page. Here they talk about beating 6 month old babies Michelle Duggar talks about blanket training, but Lori Voeller explains exactly how it is done. Here Lori explains her views on play. I know we've covered a lot of what is said here, but I don't remember ever seeing this particular piece before. The cruelty and abuse I read about here makes me wonder about Danielle Voeller Niednagel and how she is raising her kids. I can only assume that she is implementing many of her parents' techniques. So sad.
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