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Monstrous Black Sheep

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Monstrous Black Sheep

I grew up in Vision Forum style patriarchy, and hi. I'm messed up.
I wore headcoverings and spent hours preaching against the evils of rock music. I listened to Vision Forum CDs as a hobby. I went to conferences and believed in courtship and was discouraged from leaving home to visit friends for even a week, and wasn't allowed to get a job even after I turned 21.

Hi. I'm the Black Sheep.
Ask me anything.

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I had a friend message me a few hours after posting this saying "Are you Monstrous Black Sheep?" ... so I will be stepping very lightly with what I say. I'm not worried about fallout to myself an

Here's 10 fun facts about my experience with patriarchy growing up.   I only went to one Vision Forum event. Not for lack of loyalty to VF; my parents were some of their biggest financial su

I grew up in Vision Forum style patriarchy, and hi. I'm messed up. I wore headcoverings and spent hours preaching against the evils of rock music. I listened to Vision Forum CDs as a hobby. I went t

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ChickenettiLuvr

Hi @Monstrous Black Sheep. Welcome. And big congrats on making your way out.

I think there are a few of us various-flavored refugees hanging out on FJ. The process of leaving--and of deprogramming--is a struggle. A real, ongoing struggle for many of us.

I'm not even sure where to begin questioning you (which doesn't speak highly of my current state of paralegal eagle skills), but perhaps you would like to start by sharing a few of the WTH moments that started the question --->> exit process for you?  (For instance, I personally never bought into the man made rules that my particular Baptist Cult attempted to shove down my throat. I was frequently in the hot seat for asking, please show me where my Bible actually says that. They never could. So I got sent to Jesus college for further indoctrination.... But it still took me a couple decades to disentangle completely cuz family.)

 

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fluffy

Hi, I hope you are doing well. Do you experience many moments of culture shock? Also, do you think there are any positives in the uber religious culture (that you were raised in) that would improve the secular world. Thanks for taking the time to write. Sending you best wishes!  

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nickelodeon

Which VF authors and spokespeople were you most interested in? Any memories of wacky stuff you heard in those CDs?

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MamaJunebug

Welcome, welcome!  Can you tell us where you were when you heard about Doug Doing The Nanny (But Not In The Biblical Sense) and what your reaction was? PS: great screen name ! 

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lilith

I’m very curious to know how you, your family and other families you knew reacted when the Lordes/Dougie scandal came to light. And did anyone suspect beforehand? Was there gossip? 

 

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Briefly

Welcome to FJ and I am glad that you managed to get out of that lifestyle.

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Alisamer

Welcome to FJ! I'm always fascinated by the fundie types that preach the evils of rock music. I'm curious how you feel about it now, what you've listened to since you've left, and what sort of things (music and otherwise) that you've found you enjoyed now. Music and movies were such a big source of joy for me growing up, and my sisters and I still communicate sometimes using movie lines or song lyrics, and it always makes us laugh... so the culture shock differences are so interesting to me.

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RebelliousEscapee

Welcome! I'm a former VF-er too!

I'd love to know if people who still hold to the old VF viewpoints have any knowledge of Doug Phillip's current activities & whereabouts, or if they're totally oblivious to his apparent 180.  (You probably won't be able to answer this question if you've cut ties, but I'm asking anyway on the slim chance that you're still in-the-loop...)

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Elegant Mess
3 hours ago, RebelliousEscapee said:

I'd love to know if people who still hold to the old VF viewpoints have any knowledge of Doug Phillip's current activities & whereabouts, or if they're totally oblivious to his apparent 180. 

Buried somewhere in one of the older Doug Phillips threads, there was discussion that some of the old VF crowd *did* find out, thanks in part to FJs discussions of the "D W Cinematographer" Facebook account.  If I recall correctly, they initially thought we were slandering him even further, until some of them actually saw the account for themselves. 

I'd love to hear if Black Sheep has any more to add on this, too.

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Monstrous Black Sheep

I had a friend message me a few hours after posting this saying "Are you Monstrous Black Sheep?"

... so I will be stepping very lightly with what I say. I'm not worried about fallout to myself any more, but for family still in those circles, I want to be considerate.

 

On 4/16/2019 at 10:25 PM, ChickenettiLuvr said:

...perhaps you would like to start by sharing a few of the WTH moments that started the question --->> exit process for you?

 

That's a great question. It's been a really long road for me. I started to wake up when I got fed up with the idea that I was supposed to live with my parents and clean up after all my siblings and cook and accomplish nothing until some miracle man swept me up.
When at 21 I asked timidly if I could get a job just over the holidays and I was told no.
When a month or two later I had the opportunity to visit a young couple a few states away who wanted me to help them, and my parents and patriarchal people giving them advice said that I shouldn't because "I couldn't leave home until I'd learned to be content" (Apparently 'leaving home' meant even for a month).

Eventually I did leave home, and that's a long story in and of itself, and my progress out of patriarchy has been slow and steady. I lost a patriarchal suitor when I admitted to myself that I didn't want children (something I never even considered because patriarchy teaches that being childless isn't an option). I got phone calls from 14 year old girls back home, trying to evangelize me back and telling me how evil it was that I'd quit wearing headcoverings.

Again... it's a long story.
 

 

On 4/16/2019 at 10:33 PM, fluffy said:

Hi, I hope you are doing well. Do you experience many moments of culture shock? Also, do you think there are any positives in the uber religious culture (that you were raised in) that would improve the secular world.

My introduction to the real world has been more gentle than it could have been, since it's been so gradual. But yeah, there are moments of culture shock. I'd say that more common are the moments where I go "Wait... I'm allowed to do that?"
I was 23 when I went to the store for the first time alone. I was 23 when I drove a car and went somewhere, alone. I'd never been anywhere alone before in my entire life.

I'm thankful that my sheltered life gave me a sense of wonder. I read books a LOT. Old books. Old, verbose books. And that, accompanied with the social isolation that inevitably happened, gave me a tremendous imagination and a childlike wonder for the world that I am SO thankful for.

I struggle with seeing positives to the patriarchal homeschool culture because it feels like I'm being constantly slammed with new negatives that I'd never seen before. But I'm sure they're there. Eventually I'll see them more clearly.

 

On 4/16/2019 at 11:06 PM, nickelodeon said:

Which VF authors and spokespeople were you most interested in? Any memories of wacky stuff you heard in those CDs?

I was a huge fan of Voddie Baucham, Doug Phillips, Kevin Swanson, the Botkins, etc. Even when I was sunk deep in the system I had a spark of resentment towards people who peddled the hardcore stay at home daughter stuff, like Stacy McDonald. I remember my mom trying to sit me down and read Stacy's book "Maidens of Virtue" to me and I was so mad. I was also required to read Jasmine Baucham's "Joyfully At Home" and that made me angry too.  I was told that my anger was rebellion, but I couldn't help it.

Turns out my gut knew bullshit when it heard it. My spark of rebellion is what's kept me alive all these years.

I don't remember anything particularly shocking from the CDs and conferences I attended, but that was because I was buying it all. It was normal. Even the wacky, wrong, twisted stuff was normal. If I went back and revisited all that stuff I'm sure I'd be horrified. But it's still a bit of a haze.

I could tell you stories of stuff that has happened since I started to wake up, though. Stuff that makes normal people mad.
 

 

On 4/16/2019 at 11:15 PM, MamaJunebug said:

Welcome, welcome!  Can you tell us where you were when you heard about Doug Doing The Nanny (But Not In The Biblical Sense) and what your reaction was? PS: great screen name ! 

LOL
I remember the day I was told. My dad said "They're not doing the film festival this year."
"What, why??"
I don't remember exactly what he told me, but something about Doug Phillips admitted to something with a girl, it wasn't cheating, but he was resigning, or something.

The outcry in my circles was mostly "All hail Doug! He is a mighty man of God to repent, and God will surely reward him with tenfold wealth and success for his humility! Everyone sins. Do not judge; it could have been you!"

 I was still being treated as a child at this point (I was 19 I think?) So adults tried to keep me out of the loop. I only heard allusions and vague comments from my parents and other adults in my circles. But my peers in the patriarchal world were either "such a shame" or "I'm on Doug's side."

Many of them still defend him. "Vision Forum stood for good things! We can't throw it all away just because one man made a mistake."

My family visited the Botkin Compound at one point in the aftermath. I remember hearing rumors that indicated they were no longer supporting the Phillips, and that Beall was going around trying to rally people to support them, but it wasn't being met favorably by some.

There's a lot of drama. A lot of bullshit.
 

On 4/17/2019 at 12:19 AM, adidas said:

Hello and welcome! How long ago did you leave? Do you have any irl support? 

My journey out of patriarchy started about three or four years ago. I have some IRL support. I dated an amazing man who came from a very different background and rejects so many fundamentalist lies, and that was incredibly healing. I had a few IRL friends who didn't turn out to be friends. But thank God for the internet, where I've found others who have escaped the same lies and we can be all angsty and rebellious together!

Also. FreeJinger has been my guilty pleasure for quite a few years now. The snark is SO healing (and I speak for a lot of ex-fundies who read, but don't write). Keep doing what you do, y'all. You're helping us get out.

I think maybe that's why fundies are so freaking scared of you.

 

On 4/17/2019 at 2:18 AM, lilith said:

I’m very curious to know how you, your family and other families you knew reacted when the Lordes/Dougie scandal came to light. And did anyone suspect beforehand? Was there gossip? 

 

I don't want to say things for a fact that I don't know, since my family was in the second circle (We didn't know Doug & co. personally but we were friends with a lot of folks who did). My family and friends personally didn't know. But I think a lot of folks who knew him immediately at LEAST suspected that something was off (Although I don't know to what extent and what all they picked up on). You can't behave like Doug did all the time and not raise a few eyebrows of even loyal followers.

Gossip was STRONGLY discouraged. (See Scott Brown and his anti-gossip campaign). So when people did talk it was in hushed, qualified tones and never accomplished anything.

 

23 hours ago, RebelliousEscapee said:

Welcome! I'm a former VF-er too!

I'd love to know if people who still hold to the old VF viewpoints have any knowledge of Doug Phillip's current activities & whereabouts, or if they're totally oblivious to his apparent 180.  (You probably won't be able to answer this question if you've cut ties, but I'm asking anyway on the slim chance that you're still in-the-loop...) 


It depends on the social circles. I run mostly with those who have also rejected patriarchy (to varying degrees), and most of them know about Doug's forays into the burlesque. The VF followers who haven't rejected patriarchy? I don't know how much they know. I think there's a lot of head-in-the-sand going on there. "MAYBE HE MADE MISTAKES BUT WHAT HE TAUGHT WAS ALL BIBLICAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH"

On 4/17/2019 at 10:57 AM, Alisamer said:

Welcome to FJ! I'm always fascinated by the fundie types that preach the evils of rock music. I'm curious how you feel about it now, what you've listened to since you've left, and what sort of things (music and otherwise) that you've found you enjoyed now. Music and movies were such a big source of joy for me growing up, and my sisters and I still communicate sometimes using movie lines or song lyrics, and it always makes us laugh... so the culture shock differences are so interesting to me.

LOL I  remember the days when I got lectured for listening to "Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore" by the High Kings. That was considered ungodly music, let alone anything actually modern or hard.

I listen to rock now. I cuss now. I even listen to hick hop and rap and like it when my roommate turns it on (AND I LIKE IT). I even listen to metal sometimes.
Guess I'm going to hell?




 

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Lisafer

@Monstrous Black Sheep I understand your need to tread carefully, since you have friends or family still in the movement. 

Do you still consider yourself a Christian? I can identify with so much of what you say. I feel like I started bucking the "system" at about 17 or 18, but I was 21 before I worked up enough courage to move out of my parents' home. And I resented the female stay-at-home authors too. I ended up identifying with my more "masculine" traits because I hated what being a woman meant in patriarchy, and I never felt like I fit in the "meek, submissive, keeper-at-home" box. 

My mother used the "King David excuse" for what Dougie did. You know, how King David committed adultery and murder, but he repented and was a man of God, blah blah blah. Now I think she prefers to ignore the fact that Dougie left VF and is prancing around Europe with burlesque dancers. It's kind of hard to keep using the King David excuse at this point, for sure!

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Howl
32 minutes ago, Monstrous Black Sheep said:

I even listen to hick hop

Oh my gosh, I just googled "hick hop" and it's a thing.  Will do some listening tomorrow. 

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Monstrous Black Sheep

LOL Hick hop is definitely a thing. The joys of living in redneck country.

 

2 hours ago, Lisafer said:

Do you still consider yourself a Christian?

Yes, but I've rejected almost everything I was taught about Christianity. I don't believe in institutionalized religion (Church buildings, sermons, pastors, etc), I'm egalitarian (I believe men and women have equal authority and rights), I believe in energy work, I don't believe that marriage means what they think it means, the list goes on.

Most Christians have or are in the process of rejecting me. Which I understand, since I agree with almost none of their values any more.

I'm curious to see where I end up in the long run once I've settled out of all this turmoil.

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Lisafer
1 minute ago, Monstrous Black Sheep said:

LOL Hick hop is definitely a thing. The joys of living in redneck country.

 

Yes, but I've rejected almost everything I was taught about Christianity. I don't believe in institutionalized religion (Church buildings, sermons, pastors, etc), I'm egalitarian (I believe men and women have equal authority and rights), I believe in energy work, I don't believe that marriage means what they think it means, the list goes on.

Most Christians have or are in the process of rejecting me. Which I understand, since I agree with almost none of their values any more.

I'm curious to see where I end up in the long run once I've settled out of all this turmoil.

I hope you will find "your people" eventually. I've definitely found a lot of unexpected friends along my path! Trying to fit in to Christianity became very painful for me after a certain point, and I don't follow that religion now. Whatever you believe, I hope you are finding happiness. 

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luv2laugh

@Monstrous Black Sheep can you give some insight on what happened with Kelly and Peter Bradrick? I thought divorce wasn’t allowed? Is Kelly still involved with VF? I know she remarried?

@Monstrous Black Sheep is Darby as arrogant as she comes across as? She seems really snotty online and in FB groups I’ve (temporarily) been in with her. She seems to think she’s some sort of Queen or something. 

Also, were you involved with IBLP by chance?

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Monstrous Black Sheep

Here's 10 fun facts about my experience with patriarchy growing up.
 

  1. I only went to one Vision Forum event. Not for lack of loyalty to VF; my parents were some of their biggest financial supporters (through purchases and donations), but because of distance.
  2. The one event I did attend was the 200 Year Plan: An exclusive conference for a small number of families held in San Antonio. The speakers were the Botkin and Phillips families. After the conference, Doug invited everyone over to his house, and my family went. Doug spent the entire time taking one of the men for a walk, and completely ignored the other guests.
  3. My strongest memory of Peter Bradrick (Family friend until the fallout) was of him addressing my 14 year old self as "girl"
  4. I spent years of emotional agony (to the point of developing adrenal fatigue in my early 20s) over guilt because I had a crush... believing that having a crush was one of the most sinful things that I could do.
  5. I lost a close childhood friend when he moved away because I believed it was wrong to be friends with boys.
  6. When I told my parents that I wasn't coming back home from my out-of-state visit, they were counseled by patriarchalist Andrea Schwartz (who also contacted the friends I was living with at the time) that "I needed to come home because it would be too hard for them to parent me at such a distance."
    I was 22.
  7. Our state homeschool organization put on "Mother-Daughter Teas." They were the definition of awkward suffering, but I later thanked my Dad that he never took me to a VF Father Daughter retreat. Y I K E S.
  8. People like me who rejected patriarchy, particularly girls who left home, were spoken of in hushed tones. They'd "Gone off the deep end" and were shunned and not spoken of. I really wish I could contact all of them and hear their stories. They found freedom.
  9. FreeJinger was seen as some kind of monster. A threat. Something you did NOT touch with a ten foot pole. I learned about it through the Patriarch's Wives group (I wasn't in it, but my mother was). It became my guilty pleasure, but nobody knew about it. I would have gotten in so much trouble.
  10. Frump pride is real. I remember going to town with my mother and scads of siblings, dressed in a long denim skirt and one or two shirts (NO CHEST MUST SHOW) and feeling proud of how we stuck out. I didn't realize that we weren't a witness, we were just a side show. But oh my goodness the LEVEL of holier-than-thou pride I felt when I scornfully looked at those hussy women in PANTS.
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Monstrous Black Sheep
22 minutes ago, luv2laugh said:

@Monstrous Black Sheep can you give some insight on what happened with Kelly and Peter Bradrick? I thought divorce wasn’t allowed? Is Kelly still involved with VF? I know she remarried?

@Monstrous Black Sheep is Darby as arrogant as she comes across as? She seems really snotty online and in FB groups I’ve (temporarily) been in with her. She seems to think she’s some sort of Queen or something. 

Also, were you involved with IBLP by chance?

I can't give insight on either question, honestly. I never knew the Sprouls (completely different circles; VF hardly even published his sermons or had him at conferences).

I knew the Peter and Kelly Bradrick family when their first two children were very small and they were 'happily married." I was young at the time and remember thinking that I wanted a marriage just like theirs. When they lived in San Antonio, Kelly was miserable (very depressed, isolated, ripped away from her community in N. Carolina). When they moved back to NC, the only notable thing I remember was that she addressed Peter as "Sir" a lot. She seemed less depressed there, but again, I was a child.

I was not involved in IBLP. My family learned about patriarchy through the VF catalogue and pretty much stuck with that vein of patriarchy for the duration.

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Columbia
4 hours ago, Monstrous Black Sheep said:

My family visited the Botkin Compound at one point in the aftermath. I remember hearing rumors that indicated they were no longer supporting the Phillips, and that Beall was going around trying to rally people to support them, but it wasn't being met favorably by some.

What are the Botkins like? The whole family seems so aloof. I listened to Victoria’s “She Shall Be Called Woman” CDs and she seems incredibly judgmental and passive aggressive. The daughters seem to take after her. Geoff just seems creepy. What was your impression of them? Do you think there’s any truth to the rumors that Geoff may be dealing with some ongoing health issues?

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Monstrous Black Sheep
2 minutes ago, Columbia said:

What are the Botkins like? The whole family seems so aloof. I listened to Victoria’s “She Shall Be Called Woman” CDs and she seems incredibly judgmental and passive aggressive. The daughters seem to take after her. Geoff just seems creepy. What was your impression of them? Do you think there’s any truth to the rumors that Geoff may be dealing with some ongoing health issues?

 

Geoff has health issues. I won't elaborate, but that much is true. I feel for him.

We never saw or spent a lot of time with the Botkins, partly because of distance and partly because they are aloof and hard to get ahold of. 

I always connect very well with Elizabeth, but she's the only one who has ever taken time to really engage and spend time with me. I wish she and Anna Sophia could be free. They have so much potential.

I think the girls are just brainwashed. I don't know about the rest of the family. I know that there was a point where I was as convicted as they seem to be. But Anna and Elizabeth also seem pretty miserable. They talk about leaving their own ambitions to fulfill the men's callings, but you can see the wistfulness and frustration.
 

Geoff is very.... commanding. Firm. Victoria was always kind and she remembered me and  asked about my parents even after years of not seeing us. I remember thinking that their family seemed very down to earth and real back when I was a kid. I really liked them, but as I've gotten older I've seen more of the dark side.

It seems like they (the girls) realize some of the issues with VF. But they don't take it far enough to reject the ideologies that caused the issues in the first place.

Patriarchy is a prison. I just wish they wouldn't try to imprison others alongside themselves.

 

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SrMaryEloquentia
4 hours ago, Monstrous Black Sheep said:

Frump pride is real. I remember going to town with my mother and scads of siblings, dressed in a long denim skirt and one or two shirts (NO CHEST MUST SHOW) and feeling proud of how we stuck out. I didn't realize that we weren't a witness, we were just a side show. But oh my goodness the LEVEL of holier-than-thou pride I felt when I scornfully looked at those hussy women in PANTS.

Thank you so much for your insights!

Actually, modest fashion bloggers were my gateway fundies… Do you feel that clothing was / is an important part of VF ideology? Was clothing important to you on your way out? How do you dress now, or do you feel that‘s not important?

 

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