One of the things I enjoy most about working online is meeting really cool people.

And one of those cool people is Emily Elizabeth Anderson from Thriving Forward. 

We met on Facebook, and it took me a while to connect the dots to realize that I had already heard of her. I enjoyed what she wrote about finding Jesus after growing up fundamentalist, but then one day I made the connection that she was one of the girls that Bill Gothard, from the Advanced Training Institute, had sexually harrassed and groomed. 

Bill Gothard ran a hyper conservative homeschooling program and conference circuit where the focus was on being under the right “umbrella of protection.” You may have seen the Gothard Umbrellas before:

According to Gothard, your main role was to live under the right authority. (Of course, these diagrams make no sense because if God has the bigger umbrella, why is there a need for any other umbrella?)

Anyway, ATI largely fell apart when a number of women came forward to say that he had sexually groomed and harrassed them as teenagers (and some much worse allegations). Emily was one of those.

Today she joins us to tell her story, and to tell what she’s passionate about now. And especially how she found the actual Jesus after she left what she now sees as a cult.

Or, as always, you can watch it on YouTube!

Timeline of the Podcast:

0:10 Intro
2:50 Emily joins the podcast!
4:30 Emily’s childhood in Fundementalism/ATI
9:45 Not ALL homeschooling is the same
11:20 The early grooming process
16:00 When Emily finally went to headquarters
21:15 The aftermath of coming forward/the lawsuit
27:00 Specifics about the organization… or cult?
39:15 Not giving up on God
45:25 Emily’s take on the state of things now
51:00 Thriving Forward
56:15 Closing encouragement

And even though this is a podcast about the problem in fundamentalist homeschooling circles, we’re not anti-homeschooling! I homeschooled my girls all the way through, and my kids are planning on homeschooling as well (as is Joanna). But we have to be aware that there are a lot of pockets of homeschooling that are not safe. 


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Things Mentioned in This Podcast:

Emily Elizabeth Anderson and Homeschooling Cult

Have you ever found Jesus after getting out of something fundamentalist? Let’s talk about it!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find BIBLICAL, HEALTHY, EVIDENCE-BASED help for their marriage. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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