Monday, August 22, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Volume 9)

The Good

Really nice piece here by Darcy.

Interesting look at the parallels between authoritarian lifestyles and sociopathy here.

Just a reminder - A couple of newer resource sites...For those examining Gothardism, check out Recovering Grace, and for those examining Vision Forum, check out Rethinking Vision Forum.

Another link some of you may have noticed at the bottom of the page takes you to ill-legalism, an excellent resource for information on spiritual abuse and legalism.

A friend posted this on FB a few days ago, and I wanted to share it here...

The Bad

For some time I've wanted to write a bit about the rise of the Christian homeschooling mafia. In the absence of such an effort, allow me to provide some links (to some information that many of you may know little or nothing about) which have to do with "Christian" homeschooling, its beginnings, and its mechanisms.

First of all, homeschooling was originally a joint undertaking pursued by Christians, agnostics, and atheists alike, working in harmony to find better means of educating (not indoctrinating) their children. Raymond Moore was probably the most prominent Christian in the early days of the movement, and in his White Paper, he goes into great detail about how the "4 Pillars", Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, and Frank Costello Mike Farris, Gregg Harris, Sue Welch, and Brian Ray took advantage of the platforms built by him and others, built HSLDA (which wasn't even needed) into a culturally/religious driven monster, and through sociopathic behaviors mixed with protestant exclusivism rendered "Christian" homeschooling the dominionist, legalistic, cultic monster it is today, building on many of the ideas of the racist, theocratic, dominionist, reconstructionist fruitcake Rousas Rushdoony and others like him.

Lots of human debris has been left in the wake of this crowd, and their counterparts like Mary Pride, and now the Vision Forum crowd, in their drive for doctrinal purity and protestant exclusivism. One such person chewed up and spit out by their machine was Cheryl Lindsay Seelhoff. While some may attest that she was just another Christian homeschooling shark swimming in the pool of Christian homeschooling sharks, look at how the Christian homeschooling racketeers treated her. Such "godly" people, this crowd. I couldn't help but chuckle that the judge in the case actually had to point out to them that "biblical law" wasn't the standard in the courtroom. Fruitcakes. It's pretty sad. After reading these links, anyone still want to argue with me that "Christian" homeschooling is education-based rather than all about indoctrination?

Control=Power=Money which = more Control and Power which = more Money.

Lots of reading in these links, but important stuff.

The Ugly

I saw this on the sidebar of the video I posted above. Yikes.


  1. excellent link on socio/psychopathy. As I commented there, I find it highly synchronistic that I haven't given much thought to psychopathy since my undergrad days in psych back the 80s (and not much then, as everyone was big into behavior modification) but not four hours ago I was in a bookstore reading *The Psychopath Test, a Journey Through the Madness Industry* by Jon Ronson. I got about halfway through the book and had to put it down just as he was heading into his main thesis that psychopathy tends to gravitate to the top of industries (corporate, governmental, religious) that change the world.

    the bigger synchrony is that from the moment I picked it up, I thought "this is going to be a description of Bill Gothard and his ilk."

  2. Haha, my 5-year-old brother walked up as I was watching the Ugly video, and he made the most hilarious face. It was a mixture of disgust, disbelief, and complete bewilderment.

  3. The whole lynching of Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff makes me sick.

    I remember being at the CHEO convention when Cheryl spoke there. The rumors started flying at the convention.

  4. Wow. Talk about the Homeschool Mafia. And people wonder why I don't trust a one of 'em. I know Agenda when I see it. And those people have it written all over their faces and their writings.

  5. I would like to take issue with your comment that the HSLDA is not needed. It has been an effective advocate for homeschooling across the country. Obviously, they are not alone in their efforts to lobby for fair homeschooling laws and to protect homeschoolers from trumped up truancy charges, but I don't think they are an evil organization with only plans for Christian dominance. And while I'm sure the organization has had done some dumb things over the years, I personally know of several homeschooling families who needed their services. Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. I'm actually not sure what's bad about it, because all of my experiences with it and through it and have been positive and helpful. And not just for Christians, but for my agnostic and atheist homeschooler friends as well. I'm willing to take your word for it that they have negative aspects or origins, however, because...what doesn't?

  6. Mrs. Taft, for an in-depth look on why HSLDA is not needed, check out this link:

  7. Wow it is hard to see you begin to address homeschooling in this manner but I must reluctantly admit you are right. Many of us who are against patriarchy are reluctant to admit the extent to which homeschooling, even so called "mainstream" homeschooling plays a part. Homeschooling for a lot of us anti-patriarchy homeschooling moms is the sacred cow that is innocent in all this. I have come to realize this is not the case. The Christian homeschooling movement in the US is in and of itself a part of partriarchy and the sooner we realize and accept this the sooner we can begin to affect change that will separate homeschooling from this cult. I just began my 11th year homeschooling and started the year off going to my local Christian Homeschooling group's first meeting with my 16 year old daughter, we felt compelled to walk out of the meeting half way through. We as homeschoolers need to wake up and admit to ourselves that "Christian homeschooling in America is less about Christ and more about a quasi-cult-like set of beliefs loosely based on Christianity with a heavy dose of legalism and right-wing politics, nothing more, nothing less. For the first time since I began homeschooling I am seeing it for what it truly is and seeking to protect my children from it. Thanks Lewis for not backing down from the truth even when it is a sacred cow for many of your readers!! I would love to see more posts that deal with the role of the homeschooling movement in patriarchy. After all the modern patriarchy movement was birthed through homeschooling, it's roots are there.

  8. @Darcy and @Mrs.Taft:

    My "day job," albeit unpaid, is working with families who have been falsely accused of child abuse or neglect. HSLDA has its place, along with organizations like The American Family Rights Association. Although we homeschooled, our family never belonged to the HSLDA, for a whole slew of reasons. But I know for a fact that families are accused of truancy, abuse, etc. simply for being different. I have worked with these families in Georgia. Some are homeschoolers and some are not, but the bottom line is that it can be very comforting and helpful to have a number to call should there be a problem. Peace of mind is priceless and I am glad families have that option.

  9. I don't doubt that HSLDA has helped some people who needed help - but I'd consider it far more the exception than the rule, and a case of even a blind squirrel finding a nut every now and then.

    ANY enterprise headed by Mike Farris and supported by men like Jim Leininger and groups like Vision Forum is gonna be dominionist agenda-driven. HSLDA is. Its purpose isn't altruistic.

    I see HSLDA as being as extremist on its side of the equation as the NEA is on its side. It's all about power, control, and money.

  10. And I get that Lewis. I really do. Most local Homeschool Associations are pretty extreme as well. Don't get me started on the graduation ceremony I attended where the fathers were handing out the diplomas and certificates when it was the mothers who actually did the teaching. My husband refused to get up and I was the only woman who gave her own child his certificate. But I digress.

    Many families struggle in order to give their children the best education they can. I know we sure struggled. It takes A LOT to truly provide an education, rather than indoctrination.

    The fear of being attacked for such a choice is what drives families to groups like the HSLDA. I don't see anybody trying to fill the gap.

  11. Dorothy - Have you looked at what Michael Farris believes, or what his organization actually does with the money? Farris is Quiverfull and believes in Christian Patriarchy. He started Patrick Henry College, which is dominionist and aims to take over the country and restore it to a theocratic government (they won't say this outright, but it's nevertheless their goal). Farris has also been tireless in lobbying against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which every country in the WORLD has signed onto except the US and Somalia (which has no functioning government to sign it). When you feed HSLDA, you feed Quiverfull, Patriarchy, and dominionism. Is that really what you want to do?

  12. This goes to everyone.

    I don't like HSLDA and this is old news to me... saw this happening in the 90's.

    Oppose the HSLDA.

    They are doing bad stuff.

    But don't oppose or condemn people who need help.


    I personally know several cases in the Pacific northwest who needed and used HSLDA help. NO ONE ELSE stood up for them. HSLDA helped even though the families weren't paying that annual fee they ask for. Several of the cases occurred before HSLDA started charging an annual fee. The families I know could NOT AFFORD the HSLDA fee.

    The fear of being attacked for such a choice is what drives families to groups like the HSLDA.
    I don't see anybody trying to fill the gap.

    Anybody care to put their money where their mouth is? For that matter, where were you when the families I mentioned needed you?

    Somebody wrote a post on NOT telling other people to "get over it" and "move on". The main argument was "You don't know, therefore don't speak." I applaude that post.

    I KNOW. But I see comments stating that they DON'T KNOW.

    It was MY friends that were almost taken away. SEVERAL TIMES.

    So unless you're going to be a solution to HSLDA, don't knock the help that some people have NEEDED to receive. Knock HSLDA. But not the people.

  13. Semperfi, I wonder where in the NW and if we knew each other. The CPS in my state is notoriously horrible, and I saw many friends' families falsely accused that the HSLDA helped. They helped my parents, as well, when the CPS came knocking at our door, though my parents mostly paid for the lawyer themselves as they could, choosing to free money up for other needy people.

    Which, incidentally, stands out as one of the most traumatizing events in my life. I'll never forget the feeling of being hunted and unsafe.

  14. @Mrs. Taft

    You and I probably did not know each other, but if you've ever heard of LHEA, it was one of the largest homeschool groups in western Canada (grew from 4 families to 200+ families). It still exists today and I have no connection to that group any more. It seems a lifetime away.

    My cousins and some of their homeschool group/s lived in Washington State at the time. I live just north of the border. Issues were occurring in both WA and BC at the time as well as other states. Educational policies regarding homeschooling were being launched by both governments that would have put government fingers where they didn't belong.

    Mike Farris and his partner were still pretty new and HSLDA was pretty small back then. His initial work was good, but towards the 90's we started hearing snippets of some of the directions he was trying to go... and then there was that annual fee. :(

    Personally, I didn't like the calls for money or the way he was always at the front line of stuff, though as a kid I could always tell that things were written the way they were because it was a lawyer covering his butt. And some of the wording reminded me of fear-tactics from propaganda. That also turned me off.

  15. Yes, Washington State, here. The fight for homeschool rights is far from over in this state; every year new measures are introduced to restrict or circumvent homeschooling. This state is very hostile to homeschooling, which isn't terribly surprising. It is a 'blue state', and homeschooling takes away from federal school funds so they dislike it.