Sunday, October 30, 2005
True Confessions, Part III
My "personal bests" would have to be highjacking a wireless highspeed internet signal from what I believe was a family wifi a few floors up, giving me Internet in my room...Working very very hard to find a "way around," a hack if you will, to Characterlink, which many fondly referto as Clink. And succeeding... Disconnecting the "WAKE UP" Speakers so it wasn't sucha horrible morning, every morning... Getting a hold of Master keys... and getting copies made... Having a TV tuner on my computer, which let me watch any TV show on any given night. Movies as well... Hooking up the phone line into my room that had been disconnected so I could make phone calls...
For me, these were necessary means of survival.
Yikes, the stories I can tell. Like the time I got locked out in the courtyard at the DTC so I climbed a tree, climbed over the wall and ran around to the door to let myself back in (in my skirt, of course). Or the time I got in trouble at HQ for singing that song "Going to the Chapel" with someone while cleaning up the kitchen. Or the time I was told not to mention skiing in front of the young men because that would imply I sometimes wore pants, and that might defraud them. How about the time I and several other girls from Brook Manor broke into Mr. Gothard's office to retrieve some always-coveted junk food from the kitchen? And we can't forget the girls' swimsuit sunbathing club which met faithfully on sunny weekends in the summer on the back deck at Brook Manor. For the record: I bought my first "rock" CD and my first pair of short shorts while living at HQ. I was just driven to it.
Once I went for a walk with a young lady while staying in OKC for an OBCL function. Even though we were both adults and only visiting, certain of the Holy Order deemed it necessary to actually go and search the bushes for us. Afterall, what ELSE could a couple that went on a walk be doing besides making like rabbits... Upon returning one particularly righteous individual informed us of our sin (and subsequent lost salvation) and proudly handed down a curfew and "bedtimes". I think they built an extra wing on his celestial mansion as a prize. I think they even threatened to call our parents (oooh scary), my father would have laughed I do believe. The following year we returned engaged and reaped our ample revenge upon them with public kissing and hand-holding. Maybe one or two suffered extreme physical abnormalities from the exceedingly unholy corruption. I should repent now... or not.
According to Bill...
...the Basic Seminar is bad for business. From billgothard.com:
A Doctor Confirms the Health Benefits of Basic Seminars
Dr. Billy Boring attended a Basic Seminar when he was a medical student at the University of Texas Medical School. He began memorizing and meditating on Scripture, and his grades climbed. As a resident at the University of Texas, Southwestern Dallas, he achieved the top percentile and was voted the resident student of the year.
Over the last ten years he has sent more than 200 of his patients to the Basic Seminar and studied the results. Before attending the Seminar they averaged 4.8 doctor's visits per year. After attending the Seminar their visits to his office dropped to an average of 1.2 visits per year.
Or maybe his patients stopped coming because they were afraid he'd send them to the Advanced Seminar.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
True Confessions, Part II
More confessions. Perhaps a disclaimer is in order: "We at X-ATI Guy in no way recommend the breaking of any rules at an IBLP institution." Yeah....
All these stories happen at HQ. I've been at OTC and Indy as well, but I never did anything radically wicked there.
I gues my juciest one was when me and a friend split 3/4 of a bottle of Vodka - on campus. Then we called another friend and went bowling. All of this happened AFTER curfew, of course - we didn't get home until like 3:00. After that me and my unnamed friend went out into the woods and tried to burn the forest down, but were unfortunately unsuccessful.
I took a girl (a goth chick, no less) to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (at the Canterra IMAX) instead of going to staff meeting on saturday night.
I went with a friend to see same chick at her apartment in downtown Chicago. We left HQ at midnight or so, and got back around 5:00. We spent the evening alone in her pad listening to anime music (all unapproved, of course).
I had a bottle of 96 proof spiced rum (which I liked, and drank all of, and even got a hangover from the evening I had seven shots) and a bottle of 94 proof plum brandy (which sucked, and I didn't like and didn't drink more than a few shots from) hidden in my closet at 12 pine. I kept a bottle of Jack Daniels in my closet at Colonial (I still have some of that left, in fact).
I had a poster for Kirin Ichiban beer on my bathroom door at Colonial. I've never had the beer, I just thought it was cool to have a beerposter in my room. :P
I downloaded hundreds of gigabytes of music, movies and anime - some of which I distributed to others. I gave copies (legal and otherwise)of CDs to girls, some of whom were staff. I invited friends over (ignoring curfew) to watch movies in my room - regardless of the annoying house leaders who would peek in to find out what was going on.
As I approached the 9-month mark, I began to blatantly ignore curfew,and after the one-year mark, I would deliberately stay out for several hours PAST curfew, just on the principle of the thing.
My house leader once got on to me for staying out so late and not telling me where I was, and I lectured him for about 20 minutes about how unscriptural what he was asking me to do was. I told him that he needed to have more faith in God. That God tells us not to worry, and that (since he had told his mom that he was worried about me) we were to not talk to others about the issues we had with other people until we had brought them before the other person. A friend came to me afterwards and complimented me on a job well done. Apparently I had - again, using scripture - made him out to be an extremely bad person with no understanding of God or Christianity. I was pleased, to say the least. I feel compelled to finish the story with my regret, which is that to date, I have never managed to get along with him, and I can no longer with a clear concience state that I have no enemies.
I went out to dinner and a movie several times with some girls who were at HQ, and have done so several times (with different girls) since leaving. I don't know that I'd call them dates though, more like mutually agreeable rule breaking rather than anything having to do with romance. *grin*
I saw my first concert while living at HQ, a heavy metal band called Nightwish.
Speaking of heavy metal, before I got my new stereo system in my car I was driving down from Heritage towards the Staff Center right aroundcurfew on a weeknight, listening to a black metal band called Dimmu Borgir (if anyone cares, I think the song was "Progenies of the Great Apocalypse" from their latest album, Death Cult Armageddon). I was there because I was supposed to meet a girl for a few minutes, and Isaw a group of girls ahead that looked like it included her. I turned the music down a bit, rolled my window down, and pulled up besidethem. And none of the girls was the one I was expecting. I hastily spun the volume knob all the way down and had a casual chat aboutnothing with one of them, and then drove on. I don't think they ever knew. :P
I once, in an interim phase at 12 Pine during the Christmas holiday, used a friend's 100-watt-per-channel stereo system with my Sony 120watt floor speakers to rattle the ENTIRE house with Blind Guardian ("Under the Ice" and "Battlefield" were the songs played)... And thenone of the other members of the house came out of his room and mentioned how loud they were getting over at the tennis court. I think he knew - no one is THAT dumb, but I never got in trouble for it.
If anyone knows any secrets about me (from the leadership's perspective or otherwise), I'd like to know them, if they don't mindsharing. I seem to have lead a charmed life during my stay, never getting in trouble for things that lots of other people did, eventhough I KNOW the leadership knew a lot of what I did. Mr. Wait, in fact, NEVER lectured me on my SUPREMELY MESSY room, eventhough he came down like the wrath of God on my former houseleader and housemate - and my room was messier than theirs EVER was.
- s e m i r r a h g e -
New slogan for the Advanced Seminar?
Yeah, it's a repost...
Friday, October 21, 2005
Bono an IBLP alumnus?
from the interview...
How big an influence is the Bible on your songwriting? How much do you draw on its imagery, its ideas?
I don't read it as a historical book. I don't read it as, "Well, that's good advice." I let it speak to me in other ways. They call it the rhema. It's a hard word to translate from Greek, but it sort of means it changes in the moment you're in. It seems to do that for me.
We seem to have attracted an active spammer audience. Word verification is now on.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
True Confessions, Part I
We hardly anticipated the flood of e-mail when we asked for your best rule-breaking story. From quite shocking to relatively benign...my, but a lot of rebels worked for the Institute. It seems a number of you quite actively lowered "the Standard."
Here's the first installment.
I had a camera at a Counseling Seminar at HQ in '89 - '90...back when it was ATIA...during a break I was trying to take a picture of the girl I had met there as a remembrance while we were on a break one day...she was vain and didn't want me to snap it...the perfect ATIA type...long blond hair, thin...my brother was with me and took the camera to snap the picture. "They" pulled him aside and said he should not be taking pictures of girls...needless to say I never got the picture...
When my father (and consequently, my entire family) was on staff at the Indianapolis Training Center about 10 years ago, I committed a dire deed that was eventually discovered. My sister and I were very involved in a certain local church and its activities. Our involvement was met by deep suspicion among the other staff members at ITC. My sister and I were often closely questioned regarding exactly what WENT ON at youth group and during youth fellowship times. No one seemed to understand just why we attended these dubious events, or why we wanted to be involved in something so questionably moral as church.
One particular youth activity (involving ice skating) required the girls to wear pants or jeans. This was to avoid the immodesty that might result from an unexpected fall and skirts flying in the air. What was a Training Center girl to do? Desiring to be a part of the youth activity, and yet not knowing how to depart from the Training Center in jeans, I came up with a clever plan. Soon the front desk staff saw me leave in a full, modest skirt to attend my worldly youth activity. Little did they know that as soon as I closed my car door, that said skirt was quickly removed to reveal (HORRORS!) a pair of defrauding, sinful, carnal JEANS!
I was very pleased with myself until I reached the bus that was to take the youth group to the skating rink. There, to my horror, stood ANOTHER ATI GIRL FROM THE TRAINING CENTER. (She was able to attend since her parents lived in town and she was home for the weekend.) And SHE was not so carnally clad. SHE had not sunk to the depths of deception that I had. Indeed, SHE was clad in a long, flowing SKIRT, that hid not deceitful jeans.
SHE ignored me the entire time, choosing to stay close to her equally snobby sister. I prayed and hoped that she would keep her mouth shut at the ITC as much as she did to me during that horrible youth activity.
No such luck. The very next day at the Training Center was second to the Spanish Inquisition for me. My parents were informed and berated for my rebellion. I was counseled by several young girls (most of them around the age of 14) regarding my worldliness. Meanwhile, SHE settled in to bask in the new-found glow of favor that all tattlers and spies receive at any ATI establishment. I, on the other hand, drifted into the darkness of disfavor.
I spent the school year of 1994-5 teaching English in a Moscow public school. All of the English teachers that year were male, except two. The next year was the first year that girls were allowed to teach on equal footing with the guys.
This was all well and good, but what really ticked me off was that that year, all English teachers had to sit through a course by a girl who had never taught in Moscow. Even those who had more experience than me had to attend the course. The biggest problem in my school, which was a special-English school and most of the 6-7th graders spoke English moderately well, was discipline. Not once did the course cover this. We spent most of the time covering how to teach really simple stuff.
After a few weeks of this, I decided to have my revenge. We were assigned "demo lessons" to do, which would be recorded on video. My roommate and I planned to make a joke of it. My roommate was assigned to teach "greetings". He would call on several of the other members of the class and practice a short dialog with them. Each time I would raise my hand and frantically wave it to be the volunteer. When he finally called on me, it went something like this:
Roommate: Hello, Robert. Shake. (Hand extended.)
Me: (Both hands in front, shaking vigorously without touching him.)
Roommate: Uh... no. Wave. (Waving.)
Me: (Hands on knees, then thrown up into the air in sport-stadium wave.)
Roommate: No, WAVE.
Me: (Doing Michael Jackson, break dance-type wave.)
Roommate: No. Sit down, Robert.
The class was laughing so hard they were crying.
A few months later, the video department edited the video into a special "English teachers video" with excerpts from a promotional video of George Mattix talking about the juvenile delinquent program at the MTC.
Mr. Mattix: These kids come to us with all sorts of... problems.
Me: (Doing the wave in slo-mo.)
A long time after, people would come up to me at the MTC and say, "Robert, wave!"
There was also the time when some Russian students would stay too late in rooms with their classmate (same gender) talking, while others were trying to work or sleep. Therefore, the rule was passed down in true Institute form that NO ONE was allowed to go to ANY room that was not theirs. Therefore, we were cut off from almost any free time fellowship with anyone outside our room except for meals. The very night we heard about it, several of us guys grabbed some spare mattresses, piled them in the hall and lay around, chatting. We weren't in anyone's room, but no one could make it down the hall. The rule lasted less than a week.
My roommate at EXCEL and I would often play Dutch Blitz together after "Lights Out" - we just pulled our thick drapes closed, put a towel against the bottom of the door, taped a card over the peephole that the team leaders looked through to see whether our lights were indeed out, and played together to our hearts' content. The door across the hallway was too small for the doorframe - the gap from the floor alone was two inches - and my roomie and I often felt sorry for the girls across the hall, who could never have gotten away with such mischief.
Most daring was the operation carried out in our last week at the training center, when my roommate looked out and saw an unopened can of Pepsi on the windowsill a floor below us. She created a "fishing line" of sorts out of a paperclip and a length of string and "snagged" the can (the occupants of the room below may have helped). After that, we and our one-floor-down neighbors began to exchange notes via this fishing line, feeling extra daring because "the Brandons" were just one floor below them. I've been out of ATI circles for so long, I can't remember who the Brandons were, just that they were Important People.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
What's your story?
We all broke rules at Headquarters and the training centers. What's your personal best? E-mail your stories here.
We're not talking about immoral or criminal behavior -- no. But of all the asinine rules created by IBLP powermongers, most could be ignored without moral consequence.
Warning: please specify whether we can republish your story (anonymously, of course) on this blog.
Indy's thriving black market
INDIANAPOLIS -- ITC officials were dismayed to discover recently that several ATI students had set up a black market and had successfully operated it for years. A Russian orphan, whose pickpocketing skills were well-honed, worked on the kitchen staff cleaning up after meals. Recognizing a capitalistic opportunity, each day he would filch delicacies from the ITC kitchen. Recruiting a partner, the two ran a healthy "Robin Hood" business with many of the ITC male residents, making the exchanges outside the multi-mirrored Cosmetology class (secrecy guaranteed by several well-placed bribes).
Students traded practically anything in exchange for food, from newspapers (particularly the Arts and Entertainment section), to valuable information on possible dangers from loyalist (rat fink) students. Young men in the Life-Focus program, often encouraged to practice "voluntary" fasting, were a major source of business.
The group pulled off its most daring stunt by stealing Mr. Gothard's birthday cake the night before the training center threw a party in his honor. Pieces of the cake were auctioned off in exchange for a TV monitor, VCR, and several DVDs (including Sixteen Candles and Fight Club).
When the ITC leadership realized food was disappearing, they engaged in frantic witchhunts to track down the thieves, which gave the black marketeers an opportunity to knock off several annoying brownnosers in a matter of weeks. The Robin Hood ring was careful to avoid direct wrongdoing, rather arranging for character assassinations in exchange for a tin of brownies or a stray bowl of ice cream. One troublesome young fellow, fond of reporting rule infractions to the leadership, was sent home after an Oprah magazine was "discovered" in his backpack. Another was accused of defrauding a young lady with his roving eyes.
The black market operated gleefully for several years before key members moved on to new opportunities. Not willing to allow his legacy to die out, one of the originals anonymously mailed a "confession" to the ITC.