Patrick Henry College’s Faith & Reason Lecture: Rape, Domestic Violence, and Child Abuse Denialism

Baskeville_Stephen full

[Trigger warning for rape, assault, and sexual harassment denialism]This past Friday, Stephen Baskerville delivered Patrick Henry College's annual (and mandatory) Faith & Reason lecture (you can read the full text here). Baskerville has been a professor of government at Patrick Henry College since 2007. Patrick Henry College, as you may remember if you are a regular reader, was founded by Michael Farris (founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association). Farris' desire was to educate a … [Read more...]

World Magazine Minimizes the Twelve Tribes’ Abuse

Sister comforting her brother

I grew up on World Magazine. It's evangelical and conservative, but it really was fairly moderate compared to much of the other things I was exposed to. When the video of brutal caning of children came out and even Michael Farris admitted that what was going on in the Twelve Tribes sect in Germany was abuse, I fully expected World Magazine to jump solidly on the "we don't condone this, this is abuse" bandwagon. And then . . . they didn't.Let's first review what we have on video, what we know … [Read more...]

HSLDA, American Homeschooling, and the Twelve Tribes

Twelve Tribes

For anyone interested in the international influence of Christian Right and the Christian homeschool movement, the recent revelations of child abuse in the Twelve Tribes sect, or German policy toward homeschooling, all of which I touched on slightly in an article earlier this week, I have a real treat for you. Ryan Stollar has produced a gem of journalism connecting the dots and digging up links and information from the past decade or so. He has titled his piece "How American Homeschoolers … [Read more...]

The Twelve Tribes, Child Abuse, and Michael Farris


Last week, German authorities removed 40 children from the Twelve Tribes sect. Police raided a Christian sect in southern Germany, taking 40 children into foster care on suspicion they were physically abused and seizing sticks allegedly used to hit them, authorities said Friday.Members of the so-called "Twelve Tribes" sect acknowledged that they believe in spanking their children, but denied wrongdoing. The Twelve Tribes sect, founded in Tennessee in the 1970s, boasts 2,000 to 3,000 … [Read more...]

True Womanhood: Get Abused, Win a Crown!

Christian feminist blogger Caris Adel has been reviewing DeMoss and Kassian's bible study for women, True Woman 101 Divine Design, which is the same genre as Debi Pearl's Created To Be His Help Meet. When I write about Debi, I am often told that Debi is extreme, that her teachings are not widespread among evangelicals, etc. As DeMoss and Kassian reveal, however, this is incorrect. (You've heard of Kassian and DeMoss on this blog before, in a two-part guest series.) I want to quote from one s … [Read more...]

Sometimes Outward Appearances Lie


Mary's story is one of the most horrific yet posted on Homeschoolers Anonymous. I say "one of" because there are others just as bad, and some worse. Growing up, Mary was starved, thrown outside for days at a time in the cold with no coat until she nearly froze to death, and deprived of sleep as a child until she could barely stand. And yet, all those years, no one who knew her family knew any of this was going on. As for my parents, I can assure you that they were not the “fringe” in hom … [Read more...]

My Concerns about Unschooling


I have a friend who unschools her two children, and is passionate about unschooling as an educational method. Here children are ten and eight now, and she's been unschooling them since her oldest hit kindergarten. She takes them to museums and art shows and cultural festivals, she takes them to living history parks and art classes and science programs, she takes them to planetarium shows and on county geological field trips and to the library. Their home is full of material that is … [Read more...]