Friday, December 16, 2005

Stories from the front

Dear X-er,

Over ten years ago in the Spring, I went to the Indy training center for one of the early counseling training sessions. It was still open to both sexes and was in its early stages. When I arrived everything was gleaming, the red carpet was new, the training center was impressive to a willing participant. I was assigned a roommate and sent off to my room which happened to be a suite.

While exploring the "amenities," we discovered that the door connecting to the room next door was unlocked. My roommate, being a fun-loving girl herself, and I decided to play a prank for April Fool's Day. We sneaked into the room next door early in the morning and tic-tacked it. We put tic-tacs in their shoes, bags, beds, make-up bottles, you name it we did it. We were looking forward to getting to know these girls and having a good laugh later.

Well, we went down to the morning session and the first subject was April Fool's day complete with scripture and lectures about silliness and pranks. I never felt so guilty in my entire life, talk about humiliation, I never said one word to those girls and prayed they would never figure out who did it. My roommate and I agreed to never speak of it again.

Then came the chores, the lousy food (the wheat rolls were the only decent thing), the chores and the really "good girls." They had wavy hair, sweet voices, mentioned God or a principle in every sentence and made me feel like I would never measure up. I worked at a bank when I went to Indy and one of those girls asked how I justified working at a bank and getting people into debt.

Unfortunately I had the worst gift for a girl at Indy, exhorter with lots of points in the prophet category. If I answered the question, "what is your spiritual gift?" I would get a cautious, "oh my." If only I could have been a "mercy" or a "servant" or a "teacher." I got stuck with laundry duty and when the place flooded, I organized clean-up. One sweet faced sugary voiced girl said, "Are you an 'organizer'?" I replied, "No, I just have experience." I tried to remind myself that these were fifteen-year-olds who didn't know much about anything.

I never thought of myself as a feminist until I went to the Northwoods. I was a member of a select group of girls and guys who got to go to Michigan and help with the Character in Business thing when it first started. We were supposed to get to know the business leaders and market the program. Great, I was excited, it was my first opportunity to be involved, I wanted serve God through some sort of missions program and this looked like it might be it.

When we arrived, Mrs. Furman informed us that any slits in our skirts would need to be sewn shut, the curtain in our room had been sewn shut (did she honestly think we were going to stand in front of it naked?), and we would be eating our meals in the hall away from the cadets and business leaders and we were not to "defraud" the cadets by speaking with them, looking at them, or wearing any inappropriate navy and white garb.

What was the point of inviting us to be there? All of us were dedicated to the program, we were all 18 to 25, Christians, intelligent, and interested in careers in business and ministry, (not typical, I know) and we were being treated like harlots. Only the guys were allowed to associate with the businessmen outside of sessions, it was absolutely ridiculous. After our complaints, we were finally allowed in the dining room for the final banquet. (I don't think any of us planned on learning lessons from "God" about eating in the hall.)

I made no networking contacts, was miserable the entire time, and I had to pay to be there. Good old ATIA. I didn't even get to meet any Cadets who might have been interested in courting a good-looking, intelligent woman. I am convinced that Courtship is Mr. G's way of keeping us single and working for free.

Best wishes,
P.S. This blog is one of my favorites, I found it by typing "IBLP sucks" in Google.


Blogger Viki said...

I'm becoming more and more thankful that my family was never able to raise the money for me to Indy or headquarters or anything like that... I wanted to way back when, but good grief, I would have been miserable!

4:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Furhman family is so crazy, does mr er i mean colonel furhman honestly think that he has what it takes to train an unarmed militia for himself or G ? Why everyone that heads up a G program a complete austere something ? I knew them b4 ALERT and they were just "squatting" at N woods. One of the F kids is a complete meanie.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which one and why?

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not everyone is weird who heads up a program, IPS is way cool!

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oak Brook College of Law is cooler... and has been distancing itself from IBLP for years now... practically from when it started. Almost the only connection that is noticable is the fact that it is at the OTC and that Big G comes to graduation.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous Above said...

The statement about cooler is all in fun of course:D

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The IPS new zealand thing looks fun. If I didn't have to wear navy and white I might consider it.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IPS, Verity, and OBCL seem like "cool" programs. Hope Verity stays the same after they leave RCI or else it will be down to IPS and OBCL...

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

heh heh...i remember that cotext of "cool" while in ATI....meaning that the building or person barely meets the criteria for maintaining basic human rights and lets you act independently for a few hours each week. as opposed to "uncool" things in ATI? still doesn't make the grade for any program to prepare you for life dealing with people who actually believe in self-respect....

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, but you don't know Oak Brook. It really isn't an ATI program anymore (and never really was). Most students stay outside of the training center in real hotels.

About 75% of students currently enrolled were not in ATI at any time. And among alumni the percentage isn't much less.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This isn't just a problem in ATI. It's a problem in many conservative and/or Christian circles. Treating young women as the cause of sin. While remaining modest is important a young woman shouldn't be treated as sinful for being a woman. Even a woman wearing the most modest attire can still cause a guy to stumble if he has sin in his heart. Let's focus on the minds and hearts of our children/teens/young adults and not so much on whether a curtain is stitched shut. If these young men can't learn to deal with lust now, how will they in the "real" world? Oh wait... are they going to move to an Amish community to avoid contact with the real world?

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too late. The Amish are getting scammed now too:

8:25 PM  
Blogger TulipGirl said...

"It's a problem in many conservative and/or Christian circles. Treating young women as the cause of sin. While remaining modest is important a young woman shouldn't be treated as sinful for being a woman."

Well said.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Lisalia said...

Are men required to dress modestly? What is modesty anyway? not showing your ankle, your collarbone your wrists? Keeping your mouth shut? Never giving your opinion? Being meek and quiet?

I am tired of Christianity repressing women, holding them back, acting as if they are less intelligent, sinful if they have a successful career outside of the home, and telling they need to follow their husbands around. (the Queen of England's husband has to walk four paces behind her in public) Why should a talented, brilliant woman stay at home and raise children. Society has lost her influence and talent. There is nothing wrong with other caregivers in the home to free a mother's time to pursue improvement and her dreams. Women have dreams beyond being barefoot and pregnant, we are just told that it is our duty to God to be a baby machine.

Stop the brainwashing!

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisalia for prez!! (of the Southern Baptist Convention)...

I too have dropped involvement with most Christian circles due to their ideas of women. Seems that most of what we know as Christianity in Western culture, and organized religion in any culture, exists primarily to make sure that their daughters don't "disgrace" others. This is the same system that denied basic human rights to minorities for centuries and still balks at the human rights movement. "But our daughters are so precious..." precious you'll publically humiliate her if she "forgets her place" or discovers some aspect of her sexuality that didn't have your consent tied with it.

If male influence and relevence can only be maintained inside of a contrived, judgmental and power-hungry setting such as Christianity, it isn't necessary, and neither is the vehicle it has clobbered to death with its frantic ramblings.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Comment. Part of the reason I am disappointed when Christianity holds women back, is that Christ treated women with respect and compassion. He gave women value in a society and culture that gave them very little freedom.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a culture that was, however, founded on the law written down (supposedly) by himself, if you rely on a literal interp of scripture for belief.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you honestly think that the "God given" culture was pure and uncorrupted by sin? Greed and ignorance go a long way towards holding groups of people back socially and financially. Where does it forbid the education of daughters in scripture? Where does it forbid women from working, creating, doctoring, learning, thinking?

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The woman in Proverbs also had servants.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wouldnt say it was christianity that represses women, i think that thats the veiw that iblp push

3:21 AM  

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