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bal maiden

AMA with former ATI member

nelliebelle1197

This is a reminder that we are not here to dox the AMA writer. But rip her ridiculous story all to hell. I mean rip it. But just don’t dox her.

Message added by nelliebelle1197

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bal maiden

This AMA is the best I’ve ever seen on ATI. She talks about the courtship market and how marriages are arranged, refers to ATI as a ‘rape cult’ and how many families (spoiler: all) have sexual abuse taking place, talks about how Hobby Lobby gave Gothard the Big Sandy property, how she speculates that ALERT is the equivalent of the FLDS booting young men to minimize competition for predators,  and so many other interesting points and ideas which have shocked me, and I have followed ATI since the early 2000s. Worth reading every bit of the thread, as a lot if revealed in follow up answers as well. 

Edited by bal maiden
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JermajestyDuggar

Thanks! Now I have some reading to do. I’m not a fast reader so I’ll be gone for awhile, lol.

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Howl

This is all pretty mindblowing.  I'm having a bit of trouble following the reddit thread format, but what I did see was horrifying. 

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Eponine

This was such a fascinating thread. I do wonder how much everything she is saying applies across the board for ATI families - particularly about sexual abuse occurring in every family she knows of. If that is true for nearly every ATI family...wow.

All the info about ATI's political influence is also really interesting. I think we knew generally that they are deeply influential but I didn't realize how closely tied Hobby Lobby is to Gothard.

ETA: We all kind of went WTF at the Duggars' comments that sexual abuse is very common in families, but this AMA puts that idea in a new perspective for me. In their world, it possibly is extremely common and therefore normalized, which sheds some light on their reaction to Josh's actions.

Edited by Eponine
adding another thought

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Howl

The weirdness with Gothard's abuse -- according to Jay's Motorcycle, he chose almost exclusively 2nd-born* girls with an existing history of sexual abuse.  I didn't think he could be creepier or more repellent, but, just, I have no words.  How did Gothard know about prior sexual abuse? He did a one-on-one interview with each girl and asked.   

Also, this is so beyond bizarre, each girl in a Gothard family household was supposed to track her period on the family calendar. 

Also, the likelihood that Josh's abuse of his sisters was much more severe than originally publicized...

*Gothard apparently had bizarre beliefs associating certain characteristics with birth order. 

 

 

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singsingsing

I know they were verified, but did anyone else get Razing Ruth vibes? I have no idea how the mods over there verify people anyway...

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Beermeet
21 minutes ago, singsingsing said:

I know they were verified, but did anyone else get Razing Ruth vibes? I have no idea how the mods over there verify people anyway...

I read this a few days ago. I was wanting to share here because I wasn't sure what to make of it.   The Keller dad stuff is what did it for me. The whole thing is OTT.  But, that and this person rejecting Diane Sawyer because not enough money to do an interview just seems like bullshit.  They style of writing is off too. The bragging on how smart she is.  I was waiting for a $10,000 constipated fish to show up. 

Edited by Beermeet
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Eponine
11 minutes ago, singsingsing said:

I know they were verified, but did anyone else get Razing Ruth vibes? I have no idea how the mods over there verify people anyway...

I thought about this - one thing that makes this user somewhat more credible to me is that she doesn't focus so narrowly on her own trauma but gives a lot of general information about ATI as a whole. It doesn't strike me as a sympathy or money grab like RR. I would also like to know how people are verified there.

I don't really have an opinion about the complete truthfulness of her personal story, but the more interesting parts are about Gothard and ATI, anyway. And as far as I can see the things she's saying about those topics are consistent with what we've heard before or able to be corroborated to an extent.

The speculation about the Kellers strikes me as pretty far out there.

What gave me shady vibes was the whole discussion of "mainstream media" trying to use her research/stories. I think many media organizations wouldn't hesitate to exploit someone's personal story, but I doubt that they would completely drop the topic just because they couldn't get one individual on board.

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Howl
16 minutes ago, singsingsing said:

I know they were verified, but did anyone else get Razing Ruth vibes? I have no idea how the mods over there verify people anyway...

Good point!  As my best friend always says, "More will be revealed!". 

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singsingsing

I definitely don’t think it’s a money grab. I meant Razing Ruth vibes in the generally disingenuous/inventing stories of high drama sense. 

They clearly know a lot about IBLP, but it’s nothing an outsider who follows it closely wouldn’t also know. Actually, I don’t think there was anything I hadn’t heard before, and I haven’t followed the IBLP/ATI drama all that closely.

It’s also possible for someone to have actually been involved with the cult at a young age but still make stuff up.

Again, not saying that’s the case, just that the writing style, dramatic claims, and regurgitation of old internet rumours (like all the girls tracking their cycles on the family calendar) gives me pause.

In the end it’s kind of irrelevant, because again, she’s not really saying anything that’s not already out there, and anyone is allowed to speculate.

There was a really interesting post from someone formerly involved in Bethel (the church that’s currently attempting to resurrect a dead toddler) on r/fundiesnark recently, which is a great example of something that rings true because it’s written in a straightforward informative style.

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JermajestyDuggar

I think that with all the info she provided about herself, it would probably be pretty easy for people on Reddit to figure out who she is. I’m not saying anyone should go and doxx her. I’m just saying that if she is lying about some things, it will likely come out eventually. 

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AmazonGrace

I don't know enough about the group to believe or not to believe her but this seems a pretty extreme claim. 

Spoiler

 

Jays_Motorcycle

212 points·3 days ago

I am unaware of any ATI / IBLP family in which sexual abuse didn't happen.

 

I guess it depends on what you define as sexual abuse and she might have witnessed or have confidantes who have witnessed unspeakable things, so i'm not saying it's not true but still,  I'm wondering  how the heck she would know what happens in every  ATI family.

(Maybe she means that all families that she has intimate knowledge of have had abuse?  IDK.) 

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Beermeet

Kinda has a Pickles' writing undertone.  

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DalmatianCat
14 minutes ago, AmazonGrace said:

I don't know enough about the group to believe or not to believe her but this seems a pretty extreme claim. 

  Hide contents

 

Jays_Motorcycle

212 points·3 days ago

I am unaware of any ATI / IBLP family in which sexual abuse didn't happen.

 

I guess it depends on what you define as sexual abuse and she might have witnessed or have confidantes who have witnessed unspeakable things, so i'm not saying it's not true but still,  I'm wondering  how the heck she would know what happens in every  ATI family.

(Maybe she means that all families that she has intimate knowledge of have had abuse?  IDK.) 

Agree...I knew many ATI families on the West Coast long before the Duggars were a thing and most of their children are all well-adjusted today and haven’t come out with claims of abuse. There’s definitely some that have been abused...absolutely! but I’m always wary of the word “every”. Ten years is a remarkably small time to be involved in an organization that began in the late 80s/early 90s. Before the Duggars the big cool family was the Voellers (probably others that I can’t remember). From what I’ve observed, though, I think ATI culture was different in different parts of the country and ATI families out west weren’t as cult-like as families in the south/east.

Edited by DalmatianCat

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apandaaries

Glad this was posted! I’ve been reading it over on Reddit. 
I’m inclined to believe her. There is a lot of shocking information, but that’s also true of FLDS families and other cults, especially hyper patriarchal ones. It would make the Duggar claims about sexual abuse being extraordinarily common more understandable. 
It is the internet, so I suppose we’ll learn with time. Lots of people doubted the Josh rumors when they were “just” online, and look how that turned out. 

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Eponine
11 minutes ago, AmazonGrace said:
  Reveal hidden contents

 

Jays_Motorcycle

212 points·3 days ago

I am unaware of any ATI / IBLP family in which sexual abuse didn't happen.

 

(Maybe she means that all families that she has intimate knowledge of have had abuse?  IDK.) 

This is the feeling I got from what she's saying - every family she knew of had it, so extrapolating that means she thinks they all do. It also seems to be a pretty wide range of stuff - she says everything from fathers raping their daughters regularly to siblings doing the kinds of things Josh Duggar did. She emphasizes that there is no concept of consent in ATI culture.

I don't have a hard time believing that all (or almost all) the families she knew had sexual abuse. With that many family members, children in families being responsible for looking after each other, and their fucked up relationship with sexuality, I am not that surprised about the claim (though I'm not going to say I think that means *every* ATI family has it).

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Beermeet

What do you guys think of the Pa Keller stuff?  He's supplying prison men for David to screw in exchange for marrying Pris?  Forget everything else, that is some shit. This person is saying that Pa Keller has a whole gay sex trafficking thing going on. This person should go the police with this stuff, speak to the media, not do a Reddit AMA. 

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singsingsing
9 minutes ago, Beermeet said:

What do you guys think of the Pa Keller stuff?  He's supplying prison men for David to screw in exchange for marrying Pris?  Forget everything else, that is some shit. This person is saying that Pa Keller has a whole gay sex trafficking thing going on. This person should go the police with this stuff, speak to the media, not do a Reddit AMA. 

Yeah, I think it’s totally ridiculous. I don’t really buy this idea that Pa Keller has dirt on the golden families and that’s why he keeps making good matches for his kids, either.

First of all, she contradicted herself by saying that Josh married Anna because something was seriously wrong with Josh and he couldn’t do any better. So which is it? Pa Keller can’t be making amazing matches for his kids AND his kids are marrying the rejects/problem kids at the same time. Also, she claimed every single family had sexual abuse, so why would Josh be uniquely awful?

But secondly, the Kellers are not dirt poor. They have a large property, a tennis court, etc. and have always been really involved in the cult. I don’t see how they’re so much worse than the Wallers, Duggars, etc. just because they live in a mobile home? Weren’t the Duggars still living in their tiny two bedroom ranch when Josh started courting Anna?

Plus, half of the Keller kids have left the cult. If Pa Keller were truly that shady, surely one of them would have outed him by now? 

I do think there’s something to her theory that Jim Bob hasn’t matched his kids with other ATI big wig families because he wants to run his own little kingdom. But I don’t think the marriages are totally arranged. I absolutely do not believe that Jim Bob would have let Jeremy Vuolo get a foot in the door if he were 100% arranging his children’s marriages. He must have known immediately that Jeremy was not one he could recruit into Jim Bob serfdom and he never seemed very enthusiastic about the match.

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AmazonGrace
Quote

 

Jays_Motorcycle

72 points·3 days ago

There are actually quite a few ATI/IBLP murderers. The mainstream media is just too self-absorbed to make the connections.

 

Any idea who this could be? 

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singsingsing
5 minutes ago, AmazonGrace said:

Any idea who this could be? 

She claimed that Andrea and Rusty Yates were IBLP, maybe that’s who she’s talking about?

But ‘quite a few’ is a pretty big claim, and the whole ‘mainstream media is too self-absorbed to make the connections’ thing sounds like pure conspiracy.

Edited by singsingsing

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Palimpsest
31 minutes ago, Beermeet said:

What do you guys think of the Pa Keller stuff?  He's supplying prison men for David to screw in exchange for marrying Pris?  Forget everything else, that is some shit. This person is saying that Pa Keller has a whole gay sex trafficking thing going on. This person should go the police with this stuff, speak to the media, not do a Reddit AMA. 

And how!  If it isn't just rampant speculation.

I'm inclined to believe that this person was former IBLP and ATI and was able to provide proof of that to the Reddit mods.  I'm not inclined to believe some of the wilder speculation (like about Pa Keller).   

1 hour ago, singsingsing said:

It’s also possible for someone to have actually been involved with the cult at a young age but still make stuff up.

This.  And sensational speculation gets a lot of positive attention from those prone to confirmation bias.

What is accurate:  most of the background stuff like Gothard's link to the Green family and political links, the old sex scandal with Steve Gothard, and David Gothard's guilty plea and prison sentence for securities fraud and grand theft. 

Also the details of the stories of Gothard (and other staff members) that were published on Recovering Grace, and the contents of the sexual abuse lawsuit against IBLP and Gothard.  I've linked to those details with trigger warnings here.

But very little new information is there in the AMA.  All that is common knowledge for everyone who followed it closely and discussed it here on FJ.  However it is news to me that the plaintiffs have a "hearing scheduled for 2020."  They had dismissed the case (without prejudice) so if they are considering refiling in IL possibly with new victims within the SOL, that hasn't been made public yet.  We'll see.  It is also news to me that Alfred has a whole load of Gothard supporters line up trying to reinstate the old Billy Goat Gothard.

There are also quite a few inaccuracies.  Andrea and Rusty Yates were not Gothardites but Michael Woroniecki followers,  David Waller is the Director of ATI not the president. The police report on Josh did not mention digital penetration ...

But I just skimmed the AMA.

Just an FYI,  Jays_Motorcycle, if I'm reading reddit correctly, claims to be an FJ member.  Most of their speculation  about victims would be against the rules here.  

Perhaps they will identify themselves.

10 minutes ago, AmazonGrace said:

Any idea who this could be? 

See above on Andrea Yates.  Not Gothardite.

And nope.  I also wonder why an "IBLP church" that has eight (8) members serving time for child abuse and child pornography escaped all media attention.  If nothing else, people like the Wartburg Watch folk tend to keep an eye out for that sort of thing.

Edited by Palimpsest
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erunerune

I’m a bit confused by her expressed desire to expose ATI and help women who are exploited and abused within that organization in light of her account of refusing to work w/a reputable media outlet that would not provide compensation or sufficient credit for her research.

I understand (taking her account at face value for the moment) that she has been through a lot and has sustained a great deal of trauma, and I have empathy for her. At some point, though, wouldn’t handing over her evidence to help others outweigh the financial/producer credit aspect? Again, I’m not in her shoes, just doing the thought experiment based on the horrifying details she shared as her experience.

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AmazonGrace
19 minutes ago, singsingsing said:

She claimed that Andrea and Rusty Yates were IBLP, maybe that’s who she’s talking about?

But ‘quite a few’ is a pretty big claim, and the whole ‘mainstream media is too self-absorbed to make the connections’ thing sounds like pure conspiracy.

I took her to mean, others besides Andrea Yates. 

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Palimpsest
2 hours ago, singsingsing said:

I definitely don’t think it’s a money grab. I meant Razing Ruth vibes in the generally disingenuous/inventing stories of high drama sense. 

I'll just add that the person behind RR (Possum) fooled NLQ (who defended her like rabid weasels for far too long) as well as many people on FJ for years.  She also had dozens of different personas, and most of them were more about emotional vampirism than hard cash.  

23 minutes ago, erunerune said:

I’m a bit confused by her expressed desire to expose ATI and help women who are exploited and abused within that organization in light of her account of refusing to work w/a reputable media outlet that would not provide compensation or sufficient credit for her research.

Well, one of the Possum's many identities claimed to have been a scriptwriter for House!  

13 minutes ago, AmazonGrace said:

I took her to mean, others besides Andrea Yates. 

Again, Andrea and Rusty Yates were not IBLP.

 

Edited by Palimpsest

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thoughtful

She may have lost me at The Vasectomy Reversal Choir.

If Steve Maxwell is reading reddit, though, I bet he just slapped his forehead like the people in the old V8 ads.

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