Churchhoney February 9, 2021 Share February 9, 2021 (edited) On 2/8/2021 at 6:58 PM, GeeGolly said: So Scientology did a Super Bowl ad. It makes me wonder, how did Gothard 'advertise' his bullshit? Beginning in the late 60s/early 70s as a just-out-of-school Master's-degree-holding conservative-Christian theology guy, he cooked up a bunch of prescriptions by which he promised parents could get and keep strong control over their troublesome children, especially teens. The program he came up with was aimed at all the people skeered of the hippie drugs-and-sex rock-n-roll-loving generation. He started giving seminars around the country offering Christian parents a program by which he promised they could maintain control. It was popular and he milked it. Within a few years he was giving his talks in arenas around the country, to 10,000 at a time. From there it was a very very short hop to selling a lot more stuff -- events, books, youth camps where the sole activity is learning that your one duty in life is to obey your parents, etc. All these new products laid out his program that was aimed right straight at the big desires of fearful control freaks. Especially at Christian men, since his program was initially sold on the basis that the Devil had the current teen generation in his pocket -- "drag your son, your daughter!...in the arms of a jungle animal instinct! Mass hysteria!" But the plan Gothard offered to bring them under control conveniently also put the mother second in command to the father. So the guys got the added benefit of at least feeling like they could control their wives too, as part of the plan for controlling their children. At the same time as he was ramping up his following -- and he was very successful for quite a few years -- with his big-venue speeches, Christian homeschooling, notably white Christian homeschooling, was being pushed hard by Rushdoony and others. And it was winning in the courts and then in state legislatures. (This was happening around the same time that the government was trying to crack down on the segregation academies.)> So white Christians were getting legal permission to pull their kids out of public school and teach them -- free! -- at home. Where they'd conveniently be away from all those bad influences (the rock-n-rollers and, of course, for many, the African-Americans and other POC) and the control-freaky parents could really know they were the only influences in their kids' lives. So at the very time Gothard was going great guns with his parental seminars, he was able to grab significant percentages of this emerging market of skeerdy-cat control-freak Christian parents who were eager to be able to keep their kids totally under lock and key. He expanded his nutso program into a total homeschooling system that they could buy off the shelf and use. ANd, horrifying and laughable as that system is, it fit perfectly with all the stuff he'd been winning a lot of parents over to. And it was easy to use! All in one box of lunacy/idiocy! The timing was right for his particular con. A lot of Christian conservatives were scared by the Woodstock generation and following (feminism! gay rights! marijuana! racial-mixing! music with a back beat!). And these parents were newly liberated to lock up their kids by the new laws and court decisions supporting homeschooling. So he just kept adding onto his crazy interwoven program and coming up with new things to sell. And gradually he collected a lot of followers. Obviously, people wanted to have events to go to where they could be with the likeminded -- because the likeminded have to be pretty odd in specific ways and control-freaky as hell when what you want to share is Gothardism. But while some individual churches did see a lot of people go to Gothard -- thus making some group events involving people you already knew possible -- by and large that didn't happen. So to share their "philosophy" most of the Gothardites wanted to have another group to participate in that would actually agree with their nuttiest stuff. And that group had to be something Gothard himself ran. He built the whole thing on his message of -- I AND I ALONE WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO CONTROL YOUR CHILDREN IN THIS DANGEROUS ERA -- NOW AND FOR LIFE! .... That's the message he started with right out of college and the main message that's woven through his whole multi-faceted "program" for all those decades. He even got to the point where he was able to send missionaries out to other countries to spread it around. He had great talent as a con man -- a sense of his message and his audience and the fears and desires of the time and an ability to organize the whole thing and turn it into a little retail empire for himself. (As well as a long-term source of barefoot long-curly-locked cowed teen girls for his delectation, of course. Girls who'd spent their whole lives learning that father-figures-steeped-in-Gothard-style-craziness were the guys you had to listen to.) Edited February 10, 2021 by Churchhoney 11 8 Link to comment
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