Tuesday, November 08, 2005

ATI still wildly unpopular among ATI graduates

Graduates of the ATI home education program are not re-enrolling in the program in record numbers, according to recent internal documents obtained by X-ATI Guy.

As recruitment from mainstream, "worldly" Christians is not possible, ATI program directors counted on a high rate of re-enrollment by graduates of the ATI program. Unfortunately, despite an aggressive campaign by IBLP/ATI to halt the attrition rate, ATI students typically decline to enroll their own children in the home education program.

"We're worried about the ungodliness of this generation," said an ATI spokesman. "We thought ATI would create a new way of life. Instead, most former ATI students seem to have been lured away from the complex richness of the principled life."

In order to generate revenue for the ATI program, the leadership has proposed charging families to visit the organization's website.


Blogger Viki said...

Aww, people aren't re-enrolling? Gee, I wonder why! *rolls eyes* How long do you suppose it'll be before the whole ATI thing fizzles?

4:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 17 years of having our family enrolled in ATI we did not re-enroll this year. We began questioning many things seriously about 3 or 4 years ago. The past two years have been real eye openers for each of us, especially for me, the mom. We have spent pretty much the past two years deprograming by studying what the Bible really says or doesn't say about issues. We don't plan to ever re-enroll and I don't think my children will either when they have that decision to make. As far as possibly charging for access to IBLP's site, I haven't heard that, but that would be totally ridiculous! Surely they aren't serious?

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family got out last year, and I am thrilled. I am not going to re-enroll either. The longer I am away from ATI, the more mission outreach programs I see that are out there, that are just as succesfull without all the bull. And its crappy to stay in ATI only if I want to go to Romania. So yeah. Not surprised.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know of any of my friends that have enrolled (or even CONSIDERED!) their families...it's a dying breed...thank God.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really appreciated what commenter #2 said. I've been there myself and it's been so freeing and relieving to spend the time to really pray and study how God feels on certain issues.

One particularly pious ATI father offended hundreds of people at our church recently when he dogmatically stated from the pulpit that God could not and would not bless Ray Comfort's ministry because of the worldly music he uses in his outreaches. How ignorant! There is a consistent misunderstanding of God's blessing among ATI and GOthard followers. God IS blessing OTHER ministries and He IS working and doing WONDERFUL AND MARVELLOUS THINGS OUTSIDE of the Institute's pious and myopic circles.

This from someone who's been there and done that with ATI/IBLP, etc. for years.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although this is supposed to be part satire, I believe this to be completely true. I'm from one of the first 100-102 families that started this whole thing and can say with a doubt that I will never enroll my kids in ATI, if it's even around when they get to be of schooling age. From the kids, now adults, that I've met that were also in the 100-102 group, I've never met one that wanted to enroll or really have anything to do with ATI once they grew up. It would be an interesting research project to see just how many have re-enrolled. I'd also love to know how many children of the so ordained "poster people" that were paraded through Knox. every year such as Dr. Guthry, actually are even involved with ATI? We need to get someone in the records department at HQ to act as an operative : ) No wonder you see AIT opening up their "programs" to non-ATI students and the training centers with barebones staff, the core group of "volunteers" has grown up, gotten wiser, and moved on.


3:25 PM  
Blogger IDigAK said...

Amen to Poster 12:09:
"God IS blessing OTHER ministries and He IS working and doing WONDERFUL AND MARVELLOUS THINGS OUTSIDE of the Institute's pious and myopic circles."

i love that wording...pious and myopic circles...it has a poetic ring to it!

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, didn't we learn about myopia in Wisdom Book 1? ;-)

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm one of those 102 "pilot program" families as well. I went through my parents consulting Mr. Gothard on everything to where they are now. My family is no longer in the program, and my sisters are attending either public school or secular universities.

Strangely enough, we are closer, more loving, and more open with each other than when we were in ATI. We were a miserable family when we were in The Program.

Would I EVER put my children through such hell?

I hope I would love them too much.

5:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL.... go figure....
ME: hey any one wanna join ATI???
PEOPLE: why would we wanna do that?
ME: Beacause we get to were old fashioned clothes, we NEVER eat bacon AND they teach you how to jam with Mozart!!!
PEOPLE: Hooray!!! we love Mozart, we love Mozart....
ME:ahhh the satisfaction on seeing people turn to the straight and narrow path....

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Bacon? Did i miss something?

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can only think of two families from our 1989-97 involvement with ati who stayed in...and they were families of all girls who thought they'd be married by 19...are now at HQ trying to snag "proper husbands"

all 3 of my siblings attended or attend college...i graduated as well. my parents aren't involved with ati or the seminar anymore...used to be a committee, but just saw that it wasn't a logical or even acceptable way to raise a family. too bad we were already raise when they realized that...i could've used better math skills.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

was at Life Focus a few years back. Heard tell from directors who didn't know they were being listened on that the attrition rate was in excess of 90%

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when ATI cannot find enough unsuspecting conservative Christian homeschoolers to fill the gaps, then its only a matter of time.

I personally think they're at that point already.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous ATIRenegades said...

X-er, have you seen this guy's webby? Pretty startling similarites to ATI if you ask me...


1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i also am one of the original pilot families from the summer of 1984, and personally will never enroll my family in ATI, if I ever have children in future. ----very interesting about Ray Comfort. I thought for sure that (as I recall) Ray Comfort was recommended by some Leadership at Indy. I thought they had even played some videos / audiotapes of him... Maybe I'm just remembering wrong? -- About BACON: I guess there are some other families besides ours, that ate kosher foods because it seemed that Mr. Gothard was recommending that we do that. -- I still think it's a good idea to eat kosher.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Viki said...

LOL, so do I... although I don't always, like sometimes I'll have potato skins with bacon bits on them, or a cheeseburger (which is bad because you're not supposed to eat meat with cheese), but for the most part I still think kosher foods are better, at least for the health benefits

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Vegan Hunter said...

The kosher thing is interesting - I didn't know how seriously that was pushed by Gothard and how much of it was just my parents.

I've always had an aversion to pork, so moving to Germany, where annual per capita pork consumption is 117 lbs (carcass weight) was disconcerting. Shortly after I arrived, XH and I were invited to a pastor's house for dinner. They served a pork roast. Even the veggies were drenched in pig fat, and I truly didn't know how to conduct myself.

To my amusement, after a year or so of eating poultry and lean beef and tofu, my very-German XH acquired my distaste for swine.

Back to the OT though, how many of the original 102 are represented here on Xer's site? I'm curious about a few of the families we knew, but I don't want to track them down, ring them up and ask whether their kids have sprogged and re-enrolled yet ...

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, to use the words "pious" and "myopic" together is very well-done. Great writing!

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Stephie said...

I still eat kosher.... I mean, sometimes I indulge in marshmallows, but things like ham, or pork roast or even a cheese burger grosses me out.... I really don't like that stuff.... my mom brought home a bag full of Big Mac's the other day (our power was out) and she was so enthusiastic about them that I couldn't really tell her I didn't want it.... and all the cheese was like melted into the burger..... uuugh it was nasty.... to make it worse, I watched "Super Size Me" the very next day in my personal fitness class!!! EEEEWWWWWWWW!!!!!

6:32 AM  
Blogger Lisalia said...

Maybe they should just charge X-er fees to link to their site.

7:54 AM  
Blogger republicdefender said...

how can you hate hamburgers. wow are you insane. that is the life

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Stephie said...

no.... not HAMBURGERS.... just CHEESEBURGERS.... I just hate all that gooey nasty fakish cheese.... makes me sick to my stomach.... your right hambergers are the best!!!

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renegade, thank you very much for recommending Spurgeon's "Tales from the Temple" site. I have had so much enjoyment from it! Delightful!

1:44 PM  
Anonymous the Captain said...

As the child of a second year family (no my parents were obviously not holy enough to enroll in the summer of 1984, but took the plunge in October of 1984) I will burn in hell before I allow my wife and son to experience the spiritual suffocation that the institute provides. 11 years of being taught to be a spiritual sycophant; including trips to Russia, ALERT, and a year at HQs, and are among the worst experiences of my life. The example of “godly men and women” there was enough for me to become an agnostic for a while. I am still trying to dig myself out of the spiritual grave that I fell into as one of Billy G’s youth who were going to “give the world a new approach to life” BS. That new approach is one that my son will have NOTHING to do with. Among my 6 other brothers and sisters, I am pretty certain that they ALL prefer living in freedom to living according to the salvation by works that this ultra-fundamentalist organization has become.

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not being a glutton for punishment, I do not intend futher interactions with ATIA/IBLP.
I firmly believe that it would be more enjoyable to poke sharp and pointy objects at my ankles than to rejoin ATIA.
Thank you.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another 102 family here that none of us will be enrolling our kids in ATI. 3 of 6 kids have married other X-ATI kids. The oldest was married while still in ATI. The other two, me included, ended up developing friendships that turned into romance fueled partially because of the mutual understanding of our ATI past. Homeschooling is a remote consideration for me only if there is no tolerable public or private schools available.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a comment on Ray Comfort... he was a featured speaker a few years ago. Not just a youth speaker or something, but a full fledged evening speaker.

Strange how there would be that much of a disconnect.

ATI has gotten ALOT more loose over the years, and is appealing to the general Christian public alot more. Most of the readers seem to be from the old days (as was I, although I never did any of the programs. My parents were to smart for that:) They have had Comfort, Bruce Wilkinson, Elizabeth Elliott, Marvin Olasky, Joni Ericson Tada and other mainstream Christian speakers at the main conferences (those I mention were from Knoxville conferences, which haven't been held for 2 years). Tada even showed her "life story" video, which had (horrors!) CCM music in it!

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

funny the last post used the term "loose" while apparently trying to convey the idea of "more relaxed".....funny how those of us from the old days still struggle with our perception of ways of life even slightly different from the stringent terms of gothard approval!

and no, neither i nor my siblings have anything whatsoever to do with gothard or ati. i dont think our parents do either.

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I met some of my best friends through ATI, and was able to accomplish a lot of things while I was actually at HQ or Alert, but as far as the home-school bit, it was simply a control measure for my parents. As a result of currently failing to follow the principles as mandated to me from my teenage years, in spite of years of doing so, our family has been split apart. Today, my parents refuse to have a relationship with my older brothers and I simply because we did not and are not doing things the 'Gothard' way.

So, do I plan on home-educating my kids? Not really, I plan on shipping them off to boarding school like my parents had originally done. If I do home-shool, which I have no intention of doing, it would probably work out ok, because I am just a cool guy.

4:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would put it to you that your problem with ATI isn't the system, it is the way the system was implemented by your superiors (i.e. your parents).

Anyone who blindly follows any one person's philosophy is going to get screwed up.

Only following the "Gothard Way" is something that even Mr. Gothard would disapprove of, if he is truly a Bible believing Christian.

I have read alot of the posts and comments on this site. I have some knowledge of ATI and IBLP, though not as extensive as some here.

But every person who is "burned" by ATI or IBLP has one thing in common in these posts and comments. There is a blind following of the ATI/IBLP program and Mr. Gothard's teachings by the parents, and even by the "x'er" who is posting.

It seems to me that you all need to seriously look at whether it is the program, which inherintly will have flaws unless it is actually set up by God, or if it is the blind adherence to what one person says.

IBLP's ministry has been very beneficial in many ways to many people I have talked with. All of them see the need to carefully assess what is said and done by IBLP and Mr. Gothard and verify it with a correct Biblical understanding of life.

This seems to be lacking in many of your homes... and I sympathize with you. But don't fall into the trap of condemning one person for what happened to you as implemented by another without checking if the superior condoned the action or not.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Seabhag said...

To the Last Anonymous above:

Lets see. You ever heard the saying "fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me" ?? I think you are fooling yourself there. With the number of people I've encoutered who have had problems doing it the "Gothard way" and its caused at least minor conflicts in the family I'd say that there is a cooralary between the doing it the "Gothard way" and family break-ups.

Also, while Bill might claim to be shocked that anyone would think that they had to follow what he said exactly... Look at the Basic Principles; "Universal, Non-Optional." Those words don't leave a lot of room for thinking that maybe it doesn't have to be followed exactly.

It is my person opinion (and having experienced it first hand you can't say I don't know what I'm talking about), that Bill DOES expect to be obeyed, and believed. It is a standard belief with cult leaders I'm told.

Yeah, I said it, and I believe it. I don't expect you to believe it though (I hope I'm not a cult leader :-P) without looking at it with open eyes.

All that said, everything I saw while in ATI (I'm probably still registered there cause I can't convince my folks to take a good hard look at Bill, they are convinced He is the Answer), convinces me that the things Bill teaches are MENT to be taken and followed exactly.


8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"With the number of people I've encoutered who have had problems doing it the "Gothard way" and its caused at least minor conflicts in the family I'd say that there is a cooralary between the doing it the "Gothard way" and family break-ups."

Could be. Then again, it could be basic human nature not wanting to follow the leader of a family (beleive it or not, most Christians would say the father is the head of the household). Given the number of people still in the program, and the number who read this site... I think the majority are happy with it. But it is your opinion vs. mine.

Non optional... then you better follow them:) Seriously, maybe it is a mis labeling by a zelous man, or maybe the basic principle is correct, but the application is wrong, or the basic principle is correct but the details are wrong.

I would check what he has actually said and written and not what is commonly practiced.

And still, if what you read in scripture doesn't jive, don't follow it. We live in a free society, you don't have to drink the Kool Aid if you don't want to...

All I am saying, and you say it yourself, is that it is your parents who are following the crazy guy, so it isn't his fault. I am sure he does believe what he says. I would expect him to. But you don't have to, and your parents don't have to, but apparently they do. So don't blame the guy for the problems in your childhood when it was your parents actions in following him that caused the problem.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Youth Pastor from Alaska and I wanted to tell all of you We are in a war! Keep on living pure lives! Phil. 4:8 Listen to Newsboys, Steven Curtis Chapman, Third day Rebecca St. James, Petra, Wayne Watson Nicole C. Mullen Forget what is behind and press on to the goal! Strive to be Christlike every day! (I was in Indy for nine months which I regret but I press on!)

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone have real stats on retention? would love to see some!

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey...I'm an ex-ATI girl...actually, since my family is still in ATI and they count all children as still being in "the program", Headquarters probably thinks I am still ATI. We started in 1988, but since we are missionaries and were out of the country a lot (plus a lack of piles of money when we were home), we didn't get as involved in all the "opportunities". I did EXCEL, a brother did a food course at Indy, a sis did RUTH and a CI, and of course there were numerous Basics and Advanced Seminars...and KNOXVILLE, of course. But two of my brothers and I graduated from college and another sister is going to college next fall. I guess you could say we (weren't)aren't a model ATI family.
A shout out to all EXCEL III girls..."First Session, Blue Gate"!! Here's a song for all of you!!
O give me a home, where we smell waffle cones, away up on the fourth floor!
Where it’s lights out at nine-thirty, so you’d better hurry,
Or the assistants will knock on your door!
Oh, home at EXCEL, where the food is superb we can tell,
Where the walks are so long, and the stairs make you strong,
And when dessert comes we all throng!
Also, a shout-out to all the girls who waited forever in the hall before going in to the rehearsals for the Student Choir...so they could push and shove to get to sit by a BOY!! Some things STILL crack me up!!
I did wanna say...things are loosening up a bit...I actually went with my family to the Big Sandy conference last year and girls were wearing sandals and flip-flops to sessions...and not everyone was wearing navy and white!! My sisters and friends even ran into other girls besides us who were changing into pants in the bathroom after the last session...of course, putting their skirts back on over them till they got to the car!! But the ALERT guys were warned that they needed to quit talking to us girls...I guess some things never change!!
I will have to bookmark this site...it's pretty good...a good balance between the "ATI was crap" and the "We're so holy" camps!!
When I find it, I will have to come back and post a funny thing that I and some friends wrote at Big Sandy last year...called "Planet ATI".
Take care, serve God, and don't let anyone tell you that the only real Christians are ones who wear nametags!!

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the boys ever told why they should not talk to the girls?

5:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The inhabitants of Planet ATI can be characterized by their large families. The females of this species are also identified by their long skirts. Their young, characterized by their bright, shining eyes, tend to wear a lot of navy and white. These humanoids love to gather together, attach nametags to their clothing, and sit for long periods of time to take notes. They love to sing hymns—especially “When We See Christ.” Their speech patterns are also unique, and those not of their species may find it hard to understand when they speak of “spiritual gifts,” their years in “the program,” the “opportunities” they have been involved in, and so on. The most common means by which they can be distinguished is by their usual means of transportation—15 passenger vans!!

Questions people ask when meeting someone new:
*Where are you from?
*Do you have brothers and sisters?
*What do you do?

Questions ATI people ask when meeting someone new:
*What’s your spiritual gift?
*How many brothers and sisters do you have?
*How long has your family been in the program?
*What opportunities have you done?

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been outta the "program" 10 yrs! I'm free!

Love this quote by (great genius heretic) Joseph Campbell:

"The wicked thing about both the little and the great 'collective faiths', prehistoric and historic, is that they all, without exception, pretend to hold encompassed in their ritualized mythologies all of the truth ever to be known.

"They are therefore cursed, and they curse all who accept them, with what I shall call the 'error of the found truth,' or, in mythological language, the sin against the Holy Ghost.
"They set up against the revelations of the spirit the barriers of their own petrified belief, and, therefore, within the ban of their control, mythology, as they shape it, serves the end only of binding potential individuals to whatever system of sentiments may have seemed to the shapers of the past (now sanctified as saints, sages, ancestors or even gods) to be appropriate to their concept of a great society."

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have always thought $750 for a wisdom book is way too expensive and rediculous. You could buy a childs school books for 2 subjects for all of his 12 grades for that. My Mother unfortunatly is too blind to see this.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Indigo said...

I always wondered if anybody noticed how G endorsed his stuff (wisdom books and more of his wishy-washy literature) as pretty much THE way to raise your family, but it was SO expensive??? I figured out how much my parents had been spending on all this ATI crap my junior year and about passed out. Geez. It took them years to make the cautious and more expensive upgrade to COLOR wisdom books (OMG the world stopped turning!!) Most of his stuff is shabbily authored, full of stuffy vernacular, and unimaginatively designed. Maybe I'm small minded, but as a child the illustrations in the book looked like scrappy xerox copies...not very interest inspiring.

7:06 PM  

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