Friday, December 16, 2005

I remember when Mr. Gothard...
When my family was on staff at ITC shortly after it first opened, I volunteered to conduct tours of the building to visitors. This went fine, until one day, when Mr. Gothard was visiting, he suggested to Leadership that they should start conducting tours to visitors. When they told him that I was the "tour guide" for the place, he called me into a meeting in his office there at ITC, with his staff. I was so excited about this personal interview. I thought that Mr. Gothard would surely see what a wonderful ATI girl I was. Maybe he would even invite me to work at Headquarters!

The session began with him asking me what exactly I was telling people during the tours. I eagerly began to recite my little spiel, when, mid-sentence, I realized that he was sound asleep. I hesitated, looking up his assistant, who was attentively hovering over the chair of the sleeping Great One. He nodded encouragingly for me to continue, so I talked a little more, only to be interrupted by a snore and then a muffled choke. I stopped. I just couldn't go on. In the awful silence that followed, Mr. Gothard's eyes snapped open. He seemed not to realize that I was there. His gaze drifted across the room to where a fly was perched upon the windowsill. In an ominous voice he uttered: "SOMEONE KILL THAT FLY!"

As his solicitous aides scrambled about with newspapers and books, in search of the offending fly, he began talking to his assistant about something completely unrelated to tours at ITC. I sat there for about 15 minutes and then quietly left the room. No further mention was made or tours at ITC by Mr. Gothard. I think he forgot about them.


Blogger Viki said...

OK just to confirm... this does fall under the category of satire, right? As in... not true?

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is too good to be satire; this sounds like a true event.

5:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the girl in the story, and I can assure you - every word is the honest truth, so help me God.

5:29 AM  
Blogger Mother Superior said...

Hmm, anyone thinking this story is satire clearly hasn't spent much time around Bill.

Don't take it personally honey - he did it to everyone, everywhere. I guess that's the consequence for early rising! lol

5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweetie, I think you were the fly. The buzzing noise while he slept.


6:40 AM  
Blogger Lisalia said...

My brother, was one of the few paid Ati-ers. Mr. G gave him a dollar for quoting a Bible verse. It's funny to think how "in awe" we were of Mr. G and he turned out to be an ordinary old man.

9:53 AM  
Blogger JD said...

I'll add my voice to the witnesses of Bill's "sleepiness". I'll never forget the interview we had when I requested a job change and he fell asleep after asking me a question. I just answered and waited for him to wake up. He did wake up after a few minutes and said hmmm, and went on as if nothing happened. I have heard the diagnosis of narcolepsy and sleep apnea tossed around by medical doctors in his circle. Explains why he needs a driver for long trips.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was staying at one of the centers for a long period of time and became friends with a Family Consultant. She told me that the only way to keep ole Bill awake when talking to him was to slip him MnM's(apparently he loved them) or bring along a coffee along and take a sip every time it looked like he was slipping off(it seems he has a problem with girls drinking coffee). I always wanted to have a chat with the guy myself just to see if it was true but I'm not willing to go back to a center just to test that theory!

4:54 PM  
Blogger globalfriendshipnetwork said...

yes i trust that it should be true

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's funny is that now that I'm not "under the Influence" anymore, I'd have no problem telling BG or his yes-men that they were full of crap, but when I was an obedient little elf-slave I didn't dare even "think" that their ideas were completely mornic. I think most of us took the "honor and respect your authorities" way overboard and those said "authorities" used that to their advantage.

One memory of BG I have is him coming in to Indy late one night while I was on security detail and offering us his half-eaten tub of ice cream. For preaching healthy living, he sure had a sweet tooth. I'm pretty sure the fridge in his Indy office was full of Diet Coke.

Another fond memory was him walking into my bedroom at like 5:30AM one morning and wishing me a happy B-Day. Our door was open and my brother had just finished wishing me a good birthday when he walked by. He must have heard it and walked right in. I had a habit of waiting until the last second to jump out of bed, get dressed and go to team devotions so I of course was half-asleep trying to make those precious minutes count. I never woke up and became so clear-minded that fast in my entire life. I probably never will again..

4:23 AM  
Blogger Viki said...

Wow... yeah I never actually spent any time around BG... closest I ever got to him was standing in the croud of CI group leaders during the parent presentation. I never imagined him being anything like this.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like "the office" to me. i'd kill to see a short film written with this scene included.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous No_Way_Jose said...

This is all true! His fridge was always good for a free spritzer, coke, Snickers bar or M&Ms. If you're still at a TC, now you know where to look for a snack when you're dying for something sweet and dee-lish. =)

I never had the guts to do it (like Garrett Dauer did) but I always thought it would be funny to make a "little squeak" fart sound just as he started nodding off to see him jump and startled look around to see what happened.

I once saw Mr. G. fall asleep on a counseling call. Some poor lady in the midst of a broken marriage, etc. He fell asleep several times, always waking when there was a pause on her end and every time, he had a ready, generic answer that would fit most any situation... "Hm, that sounds significant" or turning around and asking her questions instead of addressing the questions she asked while he was sleeping. I kid you not!

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It really sounds like he has a genuine case of narcolepsy. It's very treatable...I wonder why he has never sought help for it?

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the doctor he saw for it recommended wheat rolls and fasting.

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Billy falls asleep only when sitting down then it is not narcolepsy; it's something else. Given that these reports are based on observations made with he was in his late sixties, then he is just tired, that's all. he sluring his speech? Or does he seem to get confused at times? Does he has trouble focusing or concentrating?

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just from a hard night of partying? Or it could just be complete bordom with the millions of sob stories from his admiringing fans. Who wouldn't be bored with "Bill, I need to know who should marry my daughter and oh, can I grow a beard and not got to hell? More importantly, I think my wife is cheating on me, she's wearing pants in public now."

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Does he seem to get confused at times? Does he has trouble focusing or concentrating?"

Hee hee. You might say that...

11:36 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

X-ATI guy -

Fantastic site! For those of you interested in a Biblical defense of satire . . .
This book

here really is fantastic.

The High Post

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To tell all of you:

out of 10, your maturity rating is 0.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Hughes in Calif. said...

Hi all,
A number of you have mentioned or commented about BG falling asleep, narcolepsy, and your personal sarcastic or humorous views of his continual or "well known" sleep issues. You also mention his love for M&M's and other sweets. Some of you commented about the sweets and treats in his fridge. I don't recall what he "taught" about eating sweets, etc. One commentor seemed to think that because Mr. Gothard falls asleep when he is sitting down that he does NOT have narcolepsy. Another person wondered why he didn't have the narcolepsy treated as it is very treatable, etc., etc.
Actually, I found all of the reading rather interesting and curious. (It has been a very long time since I have heard BG speak or read his material, but I do still have them in our home. I was a big BG fan, but stopped short of the homeschool program that he developed with many good people. Even though anyone can be legalistic and take Biblical quotes out of context, I had found that many of the character principals were helpful. Yes, we must have Christ and His Holy Spirit for a true life change, but God has given parents a big job of raising little sinners until those young/old ones make their own profession of faith and begin walking in the Spirit themselves. One must use discernment. Parents must also be careful not to push our children into the world by being legalistic or obsessed with rules - or away from the Light.
Thankfully, all 3 of my adult children deeply love the Lord and are raising my grandchildren to love Him. (My children all are unique and interesting in their own ways.)

However, in regards to sleepiness and narcolepsy, I am a bit familiar with it since I lived with my dad and the sleepiness for more years than I can remember. It took a long time before my parents discussed it with the doctor and then got it diagnosed. It was even longer before my mother ever explained to me that my dad had something called narcolepsy.
May I describe the symtoms that my dad displayed? Perhaps this will make things more understandable:

Whenever we would visit with adult friends or relatives, and my parents would sit down to talk with the adults, my dad always immediately fell asleep in his host's chair. He would occasionaly wake up and try to get back into the conversations and then fall quickly back to sleep. My mother would wake him up to be posite to their hosts, but he would nod off again and again.
Every Sunday my parents sat in the front pew at church when I was growing up because my mother had vision problems. As soon as the minister or pastor began preaching my dad's head would begin to bob up and down as he struggled to listen and stay awake. I don't mean a gentle nodding that is subtle. His head bobbed up and down throughout the entire sermon - right in the front and center row - in front of the pastor - every Sunday. He continued to do that for many many years.

My dad also had a bit of a sweet tooth - not to any extreme - but he always had a giant Hersey bar in our fridge that he would regularly go to and break off a square of the giant bar to eat. He also was known to love chocolate covered cherry candies -you know, the round sweet and gooey kind in a box. We would buy those for him for Christmas.
Years and years later, as an adult who began to have hypoglycemia and all the sugar problems from that, I began to wonder about Dad's chocolate bars and if they were connected to the narcolepsy and perhaps a need for an energy "pickup". (In fact, now that we have the internet, I think I will look it up and see what the connections are between it all.)

Any evening when my parents would sit down after a long day of work, and the meal and cleanup was over, if they would begin to watch TV, my dad always fell asleep right away in his chair next to my mother. My mother would always wake him up and tell him to go do all of the things he needed to do before he would be ready to go to bed.

These times of falling asleep in his chair or pew or at his visits always happened when he was sitting down.

Eventually, as he was older and around 50 yrs. of age and older, he began falling asleep while driving to work in the morning. My mother also worked and since she could not drive due to her handicap she went in the car with him. She finally mentioned to us as adults that she had a very stressful drive to work every morning before her retirement years because Daddy kept falling asleep as he drove her.
At this age he also displayed some other problems like being exhausted or depressed or something that kept him from functioning as we knew him to be.
Actually, I was married and had children before my mother even explained it, and that was during a time when Dad was displaying some real odd problems. I referred my parents to the Biblical counselors at our church where my dad readily admitted that he "couldn't make himself do things" but he told the counselor that he would work on having a better "attitude" and make himself do whatever needed to be done. (Now, let me say that this was my stepdad and he married my mother a few years after my father died when I was 5 yrs. old. This kind man helped anyone he could and was always busy doing chores or other things. My mother was handicapped and needed a lot of assistance, and he was always helping.) The Bible counselor told my dad that "it wasn't that he COULDN'T do things, but that he WOULDN'T do them". The counselor told my dad that he was being lazy. My dad was a very humble man and so he quickly agreed with the Bible counselor, and confessed his laziness and desire to get himself right. He took sheets of Scripture references to study and focus on.
I kept telling my mother that Dad was not lazy and that I was certain that there was something wrong with him because he had always been one to help others, to work and do chores and generally to be busy.

My mother was embarrassed to tell anyone at their church that their MD doctor had referred my dad to a psychiatrist. She finally told me after the appt. She said that as soon as the psychiatrist saw that my dad had previously been diagnosed with narcolepsy and he had read the name of the medication that my dad was taking for it, the psychiatrist recognized that my dad's old medication was now replaced with much newer and better prescriptions. The Dr. didn't know what dosage to prescribe, so he started with a low dose and wanted to work up to a level that would help Dad be functional again.
Well, we saw our old Daddy back right away. But still he wasn't to his full self. So, it took 3 times of increasing the dosage until my dad was really himself again.
I have always wanted to go tell the pastor that was the Biblical counselor about my dad's real explanation for his "laziness and sin problems". I don't know where he is these days.

So, all of that to say, it is really too bad that Bill Gothard isn't on medication for narcolepsy. And it is too bad that he hasn't studied narcolepsy and used it as a personal example of how the chemicals in the brain can give odd messages to other areas of the body, etc. And it also tells us how God has given doctors understanding to many of our human frailties, and they have good and useful purposes in our society.
My dad din't go to get psychoanalized, just to get important medical treatment. Psychiatrists are very helpful.
Infact, I have 2 special needs foster children who have a lot of issues and problems. The pediatric psychiatrist is the only one who really has helped me by diagnosing them with autism and one of them with mental retardation as well. Without those important diagnosis, I could not get many necessary services for them.

Well, that is the long and the short of it all. Thanks for listening. Mrs. H.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Hughes from Calif. said...

Let me know what your thoughts are or your education in the area of studying or treating narcolepsy.
Mrs. H.

4:09 PM  

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