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Palimpsest

Botkin Alert. They are back on the conference circuit!

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Baba O'Riley

I was the first-born of a poor immigrant family of four kids.  My parents were very devout Catholics,  graduated from 8th grade, no high school at all, not even GED.  I graduated high school in 1970.  All four of us went to college right after high school graduation and finished in four years.  Two of us went to public colleges and two to top tier private colleges on full scholarships.  We have one Ph.d, and two M.As among us.  I think my parents were of the mind set to let us go to college, especially us three girls.  because my older cousins , three of whom were girls, all went to college,  although they were far better off financially than we were being that they were shop owners  This was in the New York area, which seemed to be a little more progressive than some other areas of the country  at the time when it came to "allowing" girls to go to college.

I have an in-law 7 years younger  than me from the midwest who scored in the 1500s on her SATs.  Her father wouldn't allow her to go to college, even though she was extremely scholarship-worthy, because he said it would be a waste of money and time since she was just going to get married anyway and stay home and take care of kids. Better she should get a job right after high school and help to support the younger brothers  and sisters.  She did go at night and eventually got a masters.  She did get married but had no children to stay home and take care of.

I came to realize what a sacrifice it was for my parents, way back in the early 70s,  to encourage me to go to college, while other parents, much better off than we were, discouraged their daughters.   I had three younger siblings and we could barely pay the rent.  I did almost work full-time  in the local supermarket while also going to college full-time, to help support the family.

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FundieGhostWriter
8 hours ago, VVV said:

Back then? I have siblings about Geoff's age and I graduated from high school in 1978 (so a little younger but not by a generation)

Yes and yes to the latest posts - but my point is that despite countless men (fundie or otherwise) born in the 20s who still had such attitudes to female education circa 1970, few spawned a Geoff. GB, thankfully, is a horrible rarity, while his father's conservatism was not a freak of nature for the time. Geoff's father said 'no' to funding his daughter's college - whereas Geoff kept his daughters out of school entirely, micromanages their lives into their mid-30s, and has prevented them from interacting with anyone but a jealously guarded cabal of the like-minded. The two men don't compare in my eyes. His father may well have been among the dinosaurs, but Geoff is an ET alien. The causes of Geoff's perversity - 50 years on -  should likely be sought elsewhere.

I'd be very interested if @notkin has stories of early warning signs of the Geoff we have today. I can't imagine he was ever a nice guy - simply led off track by the Blitz Movement. I can only think of being raised alongside him as a long slow torture. If you'll forgive me getting a little dramatic, I figure that just like excavating the childhood play space of a later-to-be-serial-killer, there must be skeletons awaiting investigation.

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Howl
On 10/26/2019 at 6:21 PM, Marian the Librarian said:

Looks like Ben, Audri and their children are breaking free, little by little. Good for them.

Also wondering if this move is as much for Audri's prospects in the music industry as it is for Ben's.  She'll be freer to do things by and for herself out from under the suffocating strictures of the Botkin borg.  

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VVV
2 hours ago, Howl said:

Also wondering if this move is as much for Audri's prospects in the music industry as it is for Ben's.  She'll be freer to do things by and for herself out from under the suffocating strictures of the Botkin borg.  

Maybe. But they are delusional if they think Audri is going to have a smooth road in Nashville. She was an excellent high school cellist, yes. She made it into one of the Texas All-State Orchestras (the second one IIRC; there are three). But there are limits to that sort of accomplishment. I have taught many violin students who have made All-State, including a few who made the top orchestra and one who was ranked third in that top orchestra one year. That does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that any of those excellent students were qualified to compete with conservatory-trained professionals. They were not.

I am not aware of Audri getting any conservatory-level training beyond high school. Nashville is full of highly trained musicians, both in the Nashville Symphony and those working as free-lancers. She isn't going to be competitive with those folks. She might get some gigs through Christian music connections, and she might be able to build a cello studio though personally I wish she wouldn't without getting more training herself. But there is a ceiling, and it is most likely a fairly low one unless she experiences the musical equivalent of winning the lottery. Yes, a few people without actual professional training end up with impressive careers but the odds aren't great.

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MamaJunebug
14 minutes ago, VVV said:

Maybe. But they are delusional if they think Audri is going to have a smooth road in Nashville. She was an excellent high school cellist, yes. She made it into one of the Texas All-State Orchestras (the second one IIRC; there are three). But there are limits to that sort of accomplishment. I have taught many violin students who have made All-State, including a few who made the top orchestra and one who was ranked third in that top orchestra one year. That does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that any of those excellent students were qualified to compete with conservatory-trained professionals. They were not.

I am not aware of Audri getting any conservatory-level training beyond high school. Nashville is full of highly trained musicians, both in the Nashville Symphony and those working as free-lancers. She isn't going to be competitive with those folks. She might get some gigs through Christian music connections, and she might be able to build a cello studio though personally I wish she wouldn't without getting more training herself. But there is a ceiling, and it is most likely a fairly low one unless she experiences the musical equivalent of winning the lottery. Yes, a few people without actual professional training end up with impressive careers but the odds aren't great.

I visit Nashville frequently and the number of permitted beggars on the streets is heart-breaking.  Many are musical artists who thought they’d have a chance in the industry. 

Go to Nashville with folks who live there and  you’re going to meet some extremely talented, attractive, ambitious, intelligent people — who are not working in the music field at all. It gets to you, if you let it. 

True story: There is a really good restaurant there that a guy built just so he’d have a place to play music.  McNamara’s, IIRC

What I’m saying is, Ben & Audri seem among the more-sensible of the Botkins, and I hope they have a plan that’s a lot more definite than, “move to Nashville and make it in the music industry!” 

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Columbia

I think their move may be more for Audri’s mental health than to find her a job. Given what our recent visitor from CKC said, and comparing that with Audri’s twitter feed, she’s probably having a very difficult time on the compound. I hope she gets the space she needs, and finds a healthy church, not one that’s riddled with leadership and authority issues like CKC. 

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MamaJunebug
1 hour ago, Columbia said:

I think their move may be more for Audri’s mental health than to find her a job. Given what our recent visitor from CKC said, and comparing that with Audri’s twitter feed, she’s probably having a very difficult time on the compound. I hope she gets the space she needs, and finds a healthy church, not one that’s riddled with leadership and authority issues like CKC. 

Don’t have Twitter - can someone kindly give me an “elevator” summary? Humblest thanks. 

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Howl

Thanks for the clarifications, y'all.  Ditto on hopes for her finding a sane church with like-minded folks.  

And congrats on them getting some distance from the T-Rex shooting range at Emotional Incest Central. 

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hoipolloi
2 hours ago, VVV said:

Nashville is full of highly trained musicians, both in the Nashville Symphony and those working as free-lancers. She isn't going to be competitive with those folks. She might get some gigs through Christian music connections, and she might be able to build a cello studio though personally I wish she wouldn't without getting more training herself.

So interesting. Do you think she could work as a session musician? 

Would love to see her branch out into a professional world of her own.

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VVV
2 hours ago, hoipolloi said:

So interesting. Do you think she could work as a session musician? 

Would love to see her branch out into a professional world of her own.

She'd be competing with all the same people for session work. Short answer: not likely.

I mean, I have bachelor's and master's degrees in performance from two of the leading music schools in the United States, 35 years of professional experience, and I would not move to Nashville with any expectation of getting a significant amount of work. Granted, there would likely be a certain amount of age discrimination in my case, but Nashville is running over with highly trained musicians who have excellent professional credentials. Some TMEA people like to think that All-State is professional level but it is not.

This actually makes me angry to think about because Audri could have been good and she could have been competitive had she been supported in post-high school music studies. It's a terrible waste.

Edited by VVV
clarification

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Tired
AnnaSofia

Moving to Franklin would put Ben and Audri in closer proximity to Audri's family, wouldn't it? Are the Verniers still in Columbia?

IIRC, the Turleys are in Franklin, so is Justice Phillips.

Edited by AnnaSofia

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VVV
43 minutes ago, AnnaSofia said:

Moving to Franklin would put Ben and Audri in closer proximity to Audri's family, wouldn't it? Are the Verniers still in Columbia?

Did they move? Audri grew up in Texas. 

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AnnaSofia

I'm pretty sure they've been in Tennessee for awhile now.

Not sure if it's current, but this site lists them as living in Columbia, Tn. https://fundamentalists.fandom.com/wiki/Vernier_Family

And Audri's sister Ellen has "Greater Nashville" on her Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellen-vernier-999a1958

At one point around four years back, Audri, Ellen, and their mother Gari were giving music lessons together with Nadia and Victoria Botkin.

I think this is their house (the Instagram account technically belongs to Ellen Vernier and Jessica Courter's business, but I believe Ellen does most of the posting)

 

Edited by AnnaSofia
I had to dig through a billion IG posts to find what I was looking for.

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VVV
3 hours ago, AnnaSofia said:

I'm pretty sure they've been in Tennessee for awhile now.

Not sure if it's current, but this site lists them as living in Columbia, Tn. https://fundamentalists.fandom.com/wiki/Vernier_Family

And Audri's sister Ellen has "Greater Nashville" on her Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellen-vernier-999a1958

At one point around four years back, Audri, Ellen, and their mother Gari were giving music lessons together with Nadia and Victoria Botkin.

I think this is their house (the Instagram account technically belongs to Ellen Vernier and Jessica Courter's business, but I believe Ellen does most of the posting)

 

Really, really, really, really wish people without proper music training wouldn't hang out a shingle as teachers but it happens all the time, and especially in fundie circles. And being "certified Suzuki" teachers means very little. Some Suzuki teachers are wonderful but it's pretty easy to get the qualification without being either an especially good player or an especially good teacher. You just pay the money and attend the week-long training sessions.

Edited by VVV

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hoipolloi
12 hours ago, VVV said:

This actually makes me angry to think about because Audri could have been good and she could have been competitive had she been supported in post-high school music studies. It's a terrible waste.

It is a waste. IIRC, her family* (but not her) was featured in Return of the Daughters (ROTD). Between them & her in-laws, Audri never had a chance.

The Christian writer & speaker, Rebecca Davis, has just written a blog post on ROTD after reading about Rachael Denhollander's recollection of having to watch it at some Christian family camp in 2008:

Quote

 

[Rebecca writes] I wrote to Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin to ask them if they would like to make a statement about their documentary The Return of the Daughters (especially in light of the fact that the lives of several of the young subjects of that video have now taken significantly different turns  from  much of what they said there).

I didn’t hear back from them, but I hope they’ll consider saying something publicly about the error of their teaching that indicates that simply staying in her father’s home under the care of her father will keep a girl safe from sexual assault.

 

ETA: * Nope - it's not Audri's family (the Verniers) in ROTD, but another one, the Valentis. The Verniers are pretty damned fundie, though, and probably didn't encourage Audri to go any further with her music.

Edited by hoipolloi
Correction & adding info

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AnnaSofia

Yeah, I don't think they were in ROTD, but Ben and Audri were featured heavily in Botkin materials for awhile, promoting the courtship method. I believe their main video was called "Marrying Well" or some such, which was hilarious mainly because they'd been married all of a hot minute when it was made.

Ellen is 25 or 26, still single, and doesn't seem to be going the courtship route; she's mentioned a "boyfriend" on her IG stories. Their younger sister, Natasha, married super young is to one of the Courter sons, and they had their first baby right away.

Their youngest brother, Justice, also married super young, and had a baby so quickly that I got the vague impression that it might have been a shotgun situation, but that's just speculation on my part.

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danvillebelle
On 10/30/2019 at 9:51 AM, VVV said:

I am not aware of Audri getting any conservatory-level training beyond high school. Nashville is full of highly trained musicians, both in the Nashville Symphony and those working as free-lancers. She isn't going to be competitive with those folks. She might get some gigs through Christian music connections, and she might be able to build a cello studio though personally I wish she wouldn't without getting more training herself. But there is a ceiling, and it is most likely a fairly low one unless she experiences the musical equivalent of winning the lottery. Yes, a few people without actual professional training end up with impressive careers but the odds aren't great.

I don't know much about Audri, but as an amateur cellist who grew up in Nashville with tons of family and friend connections at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt...um, yeah.  Someone without a degree from Blair or the equivalent  (IU, Oberlin, Julliard) and tons of connections doesn't stand a chance of doing anything but private teaching to beginners, and the competition even there would be fierce.  That was the case when *I* was there 35 years ago...Nashville has grown exponentially and I cannot imagine what it's like now.

ETA: I have a relative with a dual degree in Music Education and Performance who lives in Nashville.  She has worked for a software firm for the last 6 years.  There are probably 100-500 applicants for any job involving music (including in the schools) in Nashville.  If she wanted to find a band job (her original goal) she'd have to go far elsewhere in TN or move to another state.

ETA again: back in the day, all the session jobs were taken by the Symphony members, including in the Christian music industry.  I have several friends who are on many a Sandi Patty/Amy Grant album.  Again, can't imagine how many session musicians are competing now with how the city has grown.

Edited by danvillebelle
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Howl
24 minutes ago, danvillebelle said:

ETA: I have a relative with a dual degree in Music Education and Performance who lives in Nashville.  She has worked for a software firm for the last 6 years. 

Maybe some of you musically inclined folks can confirm this.  I live in Austin, TX, a city with both tons of musicians as well as a center of  techy computer-y stuff.  I was listening to NPR awhile back and a local musician commented that many, many people in music also work in computer and computer related fields, the implication being that an aptitude for music translates well for certain aspects of computer work. 

Also, I very much appreciated the responses about how incredibly competitive the music scene is in Nashville.  Love it when elements of the fj hive mind respond with great insight and direct experience on a topic. 

Edited by Howl

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quiversR4hunting

This Nashville music talk makes me feel very, very sorry for K-12 school music teachers. 

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Meh
albireo
11 hours ago, AnnaSofia said:

Yeah, I don't think they were in ROTD, but Ben and Audri were featured heavily in Botkin materials for awhile, promoting the courtship method. I believe their main video was called "Marrying Well" or some such, which was hilarious mainly because they'd been married all of a hot minute when it was made.

Ellen is 25 or 26, still single, and doesn't seem to be going the courtship route; she's mentioned a "boyfriend" on her IG stories. Their younger sister, Natasha, married super young is to one of the Courter sons, and they had their first baby right away.

Their youngest brother, Justice, also married super young, and had a baby so quickly that I got the vague impression that it might have been a shotgun situation, but that's just speculation on my part.

I don't follow the Verniers all that closely, but Justice's marriage was a shotgun situation (she posted she was 11 weeks a week after the wedding) and they've announced that they are using birth control.

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AnnaSofia
24 minutes ago, albireo said:

I don't follow the Verniers all that closely, but Justice's marriage was a shotgun situation (she posted she was 11 weeks a week after the wedding) and they've announced that they are using birth control.

Thank you!

I ran across one of Justice's IG accounts awhile back, and a comment he made on one of the wedding pics came across as tense. I think it was something along the lines of "thank you to the members of my family who showed up to my wedding", implying that there was some disapproval there. Then the baby pics arrived in sort order so I kinda figured it was that, but hadn't read anything for certain.

Happy to hear they're using birth control. They're both soooo young, hopefully they can take things at their own pace.

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Marmion
On 10/30/2019 at 11:15 AM, MamaJunebug said:

I visit Nashville frequently and the number of permitted beggars on the streets is heart-breaking.  Many are musical artists who thought they’d have a chance in the industry. 

Go to Nashville with folks who live there and  you’re going to meet some extremely talented, attractive, ambitious, intelligent people — who are not working in the music field at all. It gets to you, if you let it. 

True story: There is a really good restaurant there that a guy built just so he’d have a place to play music.  McNamara’s, IIRC

What I’m saying is, Ben & Audri seem among the more-sensible of the Botkins, and I hope they have a plan that’s a lot more definite than, “move to Nashville and make it in the music industry!” 

 

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Howl
2 hours ago, AnnaSofia said:

Happy to hear they're using birth control. They're both soooo young, hopefully they can take things at their own pace.

How old were they when they married?  

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AnnaSofia
27 minutes ago, Howl said:

How old were they when they married?  

I think just barely 18?

 

Edited to add: I'm late to the party, looks like this stuff was discussed on FJ already (sorry, I don't read the pinned threads too often).

Marriage announcement:

Baby:

 

Edited by AnnaSofia

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Marian the Librarian

The Girottis (https://girottifamily.typepad.com) are regulars at Scott Brown's NCFIC conferences, and attended last week's "Hope for the Family" gathering. I've scoured their pics, but no random sightings of Botkins, or anyone else I recognize. They're pretty careful that way. Oh well...

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