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Why the Maxwells do what they do


kpmom

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Sarah posted an email they received from a dad who read Keeping Our Children's Hearts.

 

He was so impressed, he's putting their suggestions into action right now;

 

"Just finished reading Keeping Our Children’s Hearts. It was an amazing book backed up with God’s Word. I started applying the principles and making changes to re-capture my 5 yr old’s heart. I have become more selfless and have let go of a lot of busy stuff around the house.

 

My wife and I love homeschooling our three children and are doing more and more to shelter our kids and ourselves from the negative influences of the world.

 

Your conference inspired us and convicted me as Dad and leader of my home to make changes. My kids are already responding in amazing ways to me and my new focus and attitude. Thanks be to God for your ministry. HE has used it in a impactful way in our family.

 

Love in Christ,

A Dad"

 

Honestly, I found his note frightening. They were already homeschooling, and were probably fundie, or fundie-light. But, it sounds like the Maxwells have tipped them into extremism, right where the Maxwells are.

 

When he says they are doing more and more to shelter the kids and themselves, you know he is talking the extreme isolationism that the Maxwells practice.

 

The Hearts book is where the Maxwells really open up about their extreme ideas. So it bothers me that anyone would find this book anything but troubling. This is the book where Steve rails against sports, friends, t.v., and even spending time with relatives. This is where he wrote about talking Christopher out of his dream of being an EMT.

 

It also worries me that he felt he needed to "recapture" his 5 year olds heart. A FIVE year old!

 

I'm wondering how he means his children are now responding to him? I hope it's not in fear, but I worry it might be.

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I have become more selfless and have let go of a lot of busy stuff around the house.

My kids are already responding in amazing ways to me and my new focus and attitude.

Sounds like he may not have been spending too much time with his kids and they're thrilled by the extra attention. That or they're confused or scared by the change and he takes that as a sign of the poor kids being "recaptured." I also find the email scary.

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I kind of feel like that post was for us. Kind of a "see we're helping people!" kind of thing.

The thing about recapturing the heart of their 5 year old really stuck out to me as well. I can just picture this dude throwing away the kid's favorite toys, books, and DVDs. :evil:

I can't imagine living life so freaking scared of everything and everyone.

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So what happens if Steve Maxwell gets his way and every family closes ranks because no one on the outside can be trusted to hold to each patriarch's standards? You'd have a complete breakdown of any kind of society because each family unit would be it's own fiefdom. There's not a single scenario I can think of where Steve's vision can lead to anything other than chaos.

Does anyone know of any Maxwell followers who have completely adopted their lifestyle and stuck with it? I've read of people incorporating a few ideas (and had trouble sticking to them) but none that drank the entire glass of Kool-Aid.

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I agree! And by the way take a good look at Sweet Relationships cover illustration. It's all about looks - a very beautiful woman with lots of eye makeup, artfully styled blonde hair and very light skin. In other words the kind of focus on a woman's looks, both God given and artificially enhanced, that Steve preaches against. Steve put a visual idol on the cover that he thinks will best market his book. When it comes to making money, hypocrisy takes over.

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So what happens if Steve Maxwell gets his way and every family closes ranks because no one on the outside can be trusted to hold to each patriarch's standards? You'd have a complete breakdown of any kind of society because each family unit would be it's own fiefdom. There's not a single scenario I can think of where Steve's vision can lead to anything other than chaos.

Does anyone know of any Maxwell followers who have completely adopted their lifestyle and stuck with it? I've read of people incorporating a few ideas (and had trouble sticking to them) but none that drank the entire glass of Kool-Aid.

I remember seeing a post on No Longer Quivering by someone whose sister married a Maxwell follower and completely severed ties with the family. There wasn't any follow-up, that I can recall, so I don't know how it played out in the long term.

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I agree! And by the way take a good look at Sweet Relationships cover illustration. It's all about looks - a very beautiful woman with lots of eye makeup, artfully styled blonde hair and very light skin. In other words the kind of focus on a woman's looks, both God given and artificially enhanced, that Steve preaches against. Steve put a visual idol on the cover that he thinks will best market his book. When it comes to making money, hypocrisy takes over.

Good catch. I never notice the paint job on the cover. That's an obvious hypocrisy that could have been easily avoided.

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Good catch. I never notice the paint job on the cover. That's an obvious hypocrisy that could have been easily avoided.

Hmmm, I think they said Joseph did the art work for the cover. So, I guess we know what he prefers in a woman.

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That email is disturbing!! It bother me that this guy changed to be more like the Maxwell's. I do have a feeling that Steve is cheering that someone wants to be more like him.

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I wondered what "busy" work around the house the family gave up. Dusting the ceiling fan blades daily/weekly? Oh, wait, no, not that. Polishing the kitchen cabinet doors? Prolly not that, either. Well, praise Stevhovah that the dad got his 5-year-old's heart back. Can't have those chirruns doing things like developing their own personalities or learning things they're not supposed to learn. *rolleyes*

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If this post was directed towards FJ let me say this: Steve, I know why you do what you do. It is for (1) control (2) money. You can candy coat it all you like but I see who you are.

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I have a hard time translating certain fundie-ese expressions. What does it mean, in regular English, to not "have the heart" of a 5-year-old? The child is homeschooled, so the hideous peer influence that ebil gubmint-school classmates would have on the kid is not a factor. Does it simply mean that the child does not always obey? Gasp! Sound the alarm! Satan is at work!

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Honestly, if you're lost the heart of a 5 year old, I have to think your biggest issue is not having neglected to practice family bible time in the past. 5 year olds WANT to give their hearts to their parents; I wonder as much about the backstory as the changes that have been implemented.

A semi-related thought that occurs to me every time I read one of Sarah's or (less often) Mary's posts. I spent 12 years in Catholic schools when there were a lot more nuns than there are now. Their posts, particularly their sign-offs, always remind me of letters we used to get from the nuns. Really, those girls ARE nuns...it just isn't a voluntary vocation.

It will be so interesting someday, in the afterlife, to see who was doing it right all along, but I feel pretty confident it won't be the Maxwells. Somehow I think the ticket to heaven resides not in preaching, not in polishing, but in truly helping the same people the Maxwells are so intent on keeping themselves from.

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I have a hard time translating certain fundie-ese expressions. What does it mean, in regular English, to not "have the heart" of a 5-year-old? The child is homeschooled, so the hideous peer influence that ebil gubmint-school classmates would have on the kid is not a factor. Does it simply mean that the child does not always obey? Gasp! Sound the alarm! Satan is at work!

Having your child's heart means you've stripped away their individuality, squashed their natural curiosity, need for exploration and even for rebellion, stunted their intelligence, instilled in them a fear of anyone and everything that isn't exactly like they are, ensured that they obey unquestioningly and immediately, taken away their self-determination and convinced them that there is no one outside of the family who cares about them. In short, you've created a human robot. But they're happy, Happy, HAPPY dammit.

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It will be so interesting someday, in the afterlife, to see who was doing it right all along, but I feel pretty confident it won't be the Maxwells. Somehow I think the ticket to heaven resides not in preaching, not in polishing, but in truly helping the same people the Maxwells are so intent on keeping themselves from.

Agree!!

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The Hearts book was also the first Maxwell book that brought home their extreme (even by fundie) stances. In previous books and postings, they warned against bad influences in college and such. In the Hearts book, it was the first time they spoke so negatively on non-sibling friendships, and how even teens should rarely be allowed alone time with friends (of either gender). It was then I realized the Maxwells had gone off the reservation and into their own sphere of craziness. Their stance on fun was noted in the Preparing Sons book, but I figured it was because Steve wanted to stress the importance of making work-focused kids. I guess it's really a way to prevent kids from realizing how depressing their lives were.

I haven't heard of anyone going completely Maxwell. Their followers seem to incorporate some of their more practical ideas and maybe read the Moody books. However, I've yet to hear of another fundie that hate on fun and outside friendships.

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So what happens if Steve Maxwell gets his way and every family closes ranks because no one on the outside can be trusted to hold to each patriarch's standards? You'd have a complete breakdown of any kind of society because each family unit would be it's own fiefdom. There's not a single scenario I can think of where Steve's vision can lead to anything other than chaos.

Does anyone know of any Maxwell followers who have completely adopted their lifestyle and stuck with it? I've read of people incorporating a few ideas (and had trouble sticking to them) but none that drank the entire glass of Kool-Aid.

I'd say the *wink*Shupes*chuckle* of Large Families on Purpose come pretty close. Although Erica has said she lets the kids watch a documentary while she fixes dinner. But on their computer monitor, which doesn't count as a TV!!!! :roll: And I noticed in their Easter basket post that "My Fair Lady" and some other musical DVD was in the basket.

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I have got to read this book! I'm pretty sure that I own it. I'll check tonight.

I can not wrap my mind around the extreme isolationism. I consider myself fairly close to the right end of the "normal continuum". So imho, if you out-protect me, you have crossed over into Nutty Town.

The thing is... I don't think you have to go to those extremes to "keep your children's hearts". Why do they think that isolationism is necessary??

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The Hearts book was also the first Maxwell book that brought home their extreme (even by fundie) stances. In previous books and postings, they warned against bad influences in college and such. In the Hearts book, it was the first time they spoke so negatively on non-sibling friendships, and how even teens should rarely be allowed alone time with friends (of either gender). It was then I realized the Maxwells had gone off the reservation and into their own sphere of craziness. Their stance on fun was noted in the Preparing Sons book, but I figured it was because Steve wanted to stress the importance of making work-focused kids. I guess it's really a way to prevent kids from realizing how depressing their lives were.

I haven't heard of anyone going completely Maxwell. Their followers seem to incorporate some of their more practical ideas and maybe read the Moody books. However, I've yet to hear of another fundie that hate on fun and outside friendships.

I'm pretty sure we don't hear of the families that are completely Maxwellised cause they give up the idol of the Internet. It's ok for the Maxwell's, cause they use it for "ministry", but I could see their followers refraining from blogging etc because it could become an idol.

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I agree! And by the way take a good look at Sweet Relationships cover illustration. It's all about looks - a very beautiful woman with lots of eye makeup, artfully styled blonde hair and very light skin. In other words the kind of focus on a woman's looks, both God given and artificially enhanced, that Steve preaches against. Steve put a visual idol on the cover that he thinks will best market his book. When it comes to making money, hypocrisy takes over.

I'm surprised the square miles between Topeka, Kansas and Leavenworth, Kansas, haven't burned up, fallen into a giant hole, burned some more from underground and then spewed out the biggest fart of sulphuric gas ever known to man. Steve is so like his counterpart at Topeka's Westboro hardly-Baptist definitely-no-Church-I've-ever-heard-of, Fred Phelps, Sr.

I've just completed reading "Banished" about the life within, and exit from the WBC by Lauren Drain, who was physically sent packing from her parents' home at age 21 and essentially told she would never again see her parents or siblings. Lauren writes of the different rules W"B""C" members who are Phelpses by marriage or birth, and those few who aren't. One set of double-standards has to do with the young women's make-up - Lauren wasn't allowed any, but her friends who were Fred's granddaughters could and did wear all they liked.

There were other double-sets-of-rules, of course, but the painted tartlette on the Maxwell book vis-a-vis what Terified and St-h-v-h preach brought that one to mind.

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Given Steve's history of editing whatever he doesn't like, who knows what "A Dad" really said, if anything at all.

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Sarah posted an email they received from a dad who read Keeping Our Children's Hearts.

He was so impressed, he's putting their suggestions into action right now;

"Just finished reading Keeping Our Children’s Hearts. It was an amazing book backed up with God’s Word. I started applying the principles and making changes to re-capture my 5 yr old’s heart. I have become more selfless and have let go of a lot of busy stuff around the house.

My wife and I love homeschooling our three children and are doing more and more to shelter our kids and ourselves from the negative influences of the world.

Your conference inspired us and convicted me as Dad and leader of my home to make changes. My kids are already responding in amazing ways to me and my new focus and attitude. Thanks be to God for your ministry. HE has used it in a impactful way in our family.

Love in Christ,

A Dad"

That letter makes me sad. :cry:

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I thought about calling up my dad to ask him what he'd say to that, but I know he'd say it's creepy as hell. And sad. But then, my dad has always followed the philosophy that it was his job to make sure that I could function independently in the world, which I appreciate. Back in the day, when I was applying for unis, my mum was desperate to keep me closer to home. Dad convinced her to say nothing, and let me go. He reasoned that I'd be happy to come home. And he was right. As soon as term was over, I was on my way home and stayed till the last minute. All in all, I spent more time at home than any of my friends who had gone to uni nearby. In fundie speak, their way of "keeping my heart" was to let me go.

And that is also one of the reasons why I find Stevehova's approach terribly short-sighted. He's not immortal. What happens if Sarah really never marries? What happens if one day, she finds herself an old woman, dependent on her brothers? What happens if the rest of the family doesn't want to take care of her, or can't afford it? Or maybe one day, she wakes up and realizes just how trapped she is, because the "dream" she was raised for never came true, and she lacks the skills to make it in the world? Should that happen, I'd imagine, she'd feel bitter and resentful towards her parents.

It's a bit futile to feel sorry for Sarah, since she'd probably scoff at my sympathy for her. But I'm feeling a bit mushy, and now wish that I could take her by the hand, and show her that there's life beyond the Maxhellian cage. And that there are an awful lot of believers and unbelievers out in the world, who are good and kind people, and sometimes more Christian than those who shout the loudest. But that's not going to happen. And my dad wouldn't feel nearly as mushy as I, but use a few choice words to describe what he'd think of Stevehova's philosophies - not one for mincing words, my dad.

eta for riffles

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In fundie speak, their way of "keeping my heart" was to let me go.

And that's the one that works. My sisters and I were never pressured, for example, to go to Mass and the sacraments the way most of our Catholic friends and cousins were--and we wound up the ones who were the most observant. My sisters are, to this day; I was, until I was about 55.

I think that, deep down inside, Stevehovah isn't confident that his way has any intrinsic allure. He realizes that it is in fact grim and joyless, so much so that something as minor as Little League or a Disney movie would throw open the door and his kids would go rushing out, never to return.

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