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Journey to the Heart


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For unspecified reasons, I have recently taken a special interest in Journey to the Heart (you know that Gothard camp that the older Duggar girls go to sometimes), and I found out some interesting things that I didn't know before.

 

The basics: JTTH lasts 10 days and costs $800 for non-ATI students and $500 for ATI students. It's for single people aged 13 - 30. They have separate ones for boys and girls. For young men they mention that jeans are acceptable, and to bring neat, casual clothing. Shockingly, pants, shorts and capris are allowed for young women as long as they fall under the knee! Sleeveless tops are a no-no.

 

Under "Agenda", I expected to find something about taking over the world, but instead it's a sparse list of activities based on days. Erika Shupe did not write this schedule because entire days are missing. On Thursdays:

 
This will be a day of delighting in the Lord through fasting and seeking Him.

How fun! In another place they write that "During the week there is a special day of fasting and prayer. We call it "The Day of Delighting In the Lord." Some people are not thrilled at the prospect of fasting, but when it is approached with a desire to hear from God, and a yearning to know Him more, it can be an amazing time of experiencing God's presence and reality." Maybe someone should suggest this to John Schrader for his next diet.

 

The testimonies page is especially snarkable. There is so much in Katie Ruth's testimony that I don't even know where to start. She was born in a Christian home "but on her Journey in September 2007, she experienced salvation and the powerful fruits that followed." She says she got "saved" during her journey, which is weird because she would have been at least 13 and don't they usually get "saved" around age four (David Waller did)? After Katie's journey ended she visited another ATI family who somehow contained unsaved sinners, but Katie was able to make them realize their need for salvation and they became Christian (despite already being ATfuckingI). "Last Sunday my two older sisters and I, along with my friend Carrie and her sister, went through one of the hearts that we had not yet reviewed. The Lord used this study to help me realize that I do not have a believing, sound heart." So much wtf, so little time...

 

Moving on to Courney's Journey: Courtney says "I am giving my heart back to my Dad (finally!!)... I'm SO excited and on fire for God right now I feel like it's a party!!"

 

Hannah says "I thought I looked fine as a Christian homeschool girl - I wore the skirts,...I spent nearly an hour every morning in devotions and prayer... I knew I was having some trust issues" I wouldn't send someone with trust issues to a known child molester, but okay.

 

Jared says "I struggled with my decisions to let go of rock music completely and to come totally clean, and Satan really attacked me." Maybe there should be a warning to parents that Satan has attacked campers.

 

Poor little Julia's dad died and then her mom committed suicide when she was 11. Then she went to live with her uncle and aunt and this happened: "One day, we went to our pastor's house and we watched a moving film about eternity. It scared me. I knew where I was going. I was going to Hell and it terrified me. Well, shortly after that, I asked my Uncle and Aunt to pray with me. I prayed to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior! ... I can now thank Him for the fires he took me through. I now realize if I hadn't gone through all of it, I would still be on the path to Hell."

 

Kyle admits "I really didn't want to go on the Journey to the Heart. However, it was my dad's desire that I go, so I submitted..." He also says "...once a sin is exposed, confessed, and repented of, the sin has no more power over you. This is why it is crucial when we confess our sins that we confess every detail of the particular sin so that Satan has nothing to fall back on." His group leader told them to phone their parents and confess their sins to them. Fun!

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Its not at all unheard of for people to doubt an early salvation experience. Some are even re-baptized. Events like the JTH are designed to make you rethink your commitment to God and to find it lacking. You then "purpose" to serve God with every waking moment of your life. Many people experience an emotional high after such an event. It's just basic emotional manipulation.

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Sounds to me like Julia doesn't need a religious construct of hell - she carries it around inside of her.

I heard a rumor somewhere that fundie royalty, such as the Duggars, have their kids' visits to JTTH comped by ATI. I wonder how much truth there is to that?

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Journey to the Heart sounds like a shorter version of EXCEL complete with team leaders harassing you to confess sins to them and then call your parents to confess. Except we had to fast every Sunday and the dress code was seriously stricter. At EXCEL lots of people got "saved" and "gave their hearts to their father". It is basically brainwashing and emotional manipulation.

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Journey to the Heart sounds like a shorter version of EXCEL complete with team leaders harassing you to confess sins to them and then call your parents to confess. Except we had to fast every Sunday and the dress code was seriously stricter. At EXCEL lots of people got "saved" and "gave their hearts to their father". It is basically brainwashing and emotional manipulation.

What if you didn't have sins to confess? Did you have to make stuff up?

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Journey to the Heart sounds like a shorter version of EXCEL complete with team leaders harassing you to confess sins to them and then call your parents to confess. Except we had to fast every Sunday and the dress code was seriously stricter. At EXCEL lots of people got "saved" and "gave their hearts to their father". It is basically brainwashing and emotional manipulation.

What exactly is EXCEL?

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What if you didn't have sins to confess? Did you have to make stuff up?

I sure did. :lol: They spent weeks trying to get me to confess to something and finally I just made up having a bad attitude about doing things when asked. When I called and "confessed" my parents were really confused.

EXCEL was started in the 90's and I don't know how many years it went on, they had it twice a year. It was an 8 week program for teen girls and unmarried adult women ages 16 and up. Pretty much a longer version of Journey to the Heart.

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I sure did. :lol: They spent weeks trying to get me to confess to something and finally I just made up having a bad attitude about doing things when asked. When I called and "confessed" my parents were really confused. .

So basically you were so good at putting on a Happy Countenance that they didn't realize you thought reading the Bible and cleaning the garbage bin was boring?

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Moving on to Courney's Journey: Courtney says "I am giving my heart back to my Dad (finally!!)... I'm SO excited and on fire for God right now I feel like it’s a party!!"

Ew. Ick. If you take out the word God it sounds like the description of a movie someone pays $5 for on pay-per- view. On the xxxx channels.

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