real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

new information on sonlight, CHEC, and Geoffrey Botkins

John Holzmann has updated his blog by posting his actual correspondence with CHEC. Here is that link.

I am left a little more puzzled by the situation and by Holzmann since I also read these glowing comments from him regarding Jeffrey Botkin (dad of the Botkins sisters who wrote So Much More.

In case anyone missed it, Cindy Kunsmann’s recent research on Jeff Botkin’s background unearthed his participation in a Bible-based cult before coming to Vision Forum. Known as one of the most spiritually abusive evangelical groups, his participation explains a lot of what has concerned many of us about both Vision Forum and the Botkin sisters’ views.

Still developing…..



  John Holzmann wrote @

Good reason(s) for puzzlement, Karen.

When I first heard about Botkin, and ordered the CDs I referenced in my series of posts, I will confess I was unaware of the entire patriarchy movement. Truly. (Amazing, isn’t it!?)

And then someone–I think it was actually one of my daughters–alerted me to the entire area of concern.

I had actually applied for an affiliate relationship with Vision Forum, hoping to market their 200-Year Plan CDs. Happily, their marketing department was dysfunctional enough, that I became aware of the issues before I linked up with them.

After reading about the RC Sproul, Jr connection and the entire defrocking episode (see also a clarifying statement), let alone the other serious (and perhaps not-so-serious [see last two external comments on this last post for reasons not to take this so seriously!) allegations against them, I really am not interested in being associated.

Thanks for permitting me to speak to the issue.

  thatmom wrote @

John, I am so glad that you have responded and I am also glad to learn that you weren’t as familiar with this movement as you are now. Many of those who come here regularly have been following what I now call the “patriocentric” movement, which is patriarchy that has moved further down the continuum away from genuine Biblical teachings. I can’t help but wonder if the rejection of Sonlight is in any way associated with your support of higher education for daughters or any views of women you might have that don’t line up with their teachings. Gender roles seems to be front and center with CHEC. In fact, Bill Roach refused to engage in any discussion with me either privately or in public when I wrote about their upcoming leadership conference.

In September of 2007 I ran a series of podcasts addressing the chief concerns of this movement and was joined by Karen Braun (Spunky Homeschool Mom) for several of them. To this day, they are the most often listened to broadcasts and I continue to hear regularly from moms and dads who are dealing with the fallout from this movement and who struggle with children who have been greatly damaged by it. You and others can listen to these here if your are interested:

On your blog today you mentioned the fact that girls are not included in the higher education and apprenticeship objectives of CHEC. This is one of the main concerns I have had and that I address in those podcasts. The Botkins sisters’ book So Much Moore and their DVD The Return of the Daughters are highly promoted within these circles and Swanson has warned that girls who go to college “will have 2 abortions and illegitimate children.” (This isn’t gossip, btw, it is a quote.) His rhetoric is over the top and yet no one seems to be holding him accountable for saying these things. When we try, we are labeled as “internet gossips.”

We have also pointed out that using Numbers 30 to “prove” that daughters are never to leave a parent’s home until she is married, as Swanson, Phillips, Baucham, and Botkin have done is a misuse of Scripture but have received no response. Phillips even refers to these teachings as part of the “grand sweep of revelation.” These teachings are considered to be non optional for genuine Christians. Are you getting more of the picture?

As far as the link to Cindy Kunsman’s blog where she has the information about Botkin’s cult-related activities, I was not the least bit surprised when I first read this. His daughters appear to be under some sort of hypnosis or mind control on the Return of the Daughters CD. I am not saying that they are, only that they “appear” to be. In fact, one mom was watching the DVD when her 4 year old daughter came in and asked “Mommy, are those real girls or are they robots.” There is something amiss.

Also, there have been several times when those who come here have commented and questioned other writings within the patriocentric camp and we cannot get any answers. We are told that ours is not to question and to do so is “gossip.” I guess the self-appointed homeschooling leadership is above questioning.

I admire your pluck for telling the truth and letting everyone know the real story. Truth is a powerful thing.

Thanks again for responding.

  thatmom wrote @

One more comment….I hope you understand that I support any young woman who chooses to stay home with her father until she is married. I do not support any teaching that says that it is the only way to live biblically and that sending a girl to college is sin. There are lots of other examples of the eisegesis these people practice, but I think you get my drift.

  Sylvia wrote @

It’s just terrible what’s been happening to the Christian home school movement.

It became obvious to me last year what a wolf in sheep’s clothing and cult leader Doug Phillips is. Same goes for Sproul Jr.

Until recently I didn’t know anything about Kevin Swanson or Geoffrey Botkin and his android daughters. If they’re that close to a
Bill Gothard cult leader like Doug Phillips it does cause a few suspicions. I was looking for stronger confirmations. Now I think I have them.

Cindy Kunzman’s story helps remove any lingering doubts I had about the Phillips/Botkin/Sproul/Swanson wolf pack and their plans for taking over the Christian home school movement and turning it into a freakish mind control cult.

  Jerzy wrote @

Hi Karen and readers,

My husband and I went to the website for the 2009 Leadership Summit being hosted by CHEC. We noticed that it is being held in Indiana. My hubby asked why would an organization in Colorado hold an event in Indiana? It’s not like Colorado doesn’t have facilities to handle this kind of event. We read further and discovered that the building is owned by Bill Gothard’s organization, Institute for Basic Life Principles.

Is there a correlation here?

  Rebecca wrote @


There most definitely is a correlation. Kevin Swanson is very close with Doug Phillips, and Doug Phillips is very close with Bill Gothard.

Check out this article by the cult-watch group Midwest Christian Outreach. In it both Phillips and Gothard are discussed.

  Jerzy wrote @

Good grief! What a tangled web they’re weaving, as they practice their deceiving!

I cannot believe all the articles and sites I’ve read and visited just following all this stuff.

Thanks for the link, Rebecca.

  thatmom wrote @

Jerzy, the last leadership summit was held in Oklahoma City at another training center owned by Bill Gothard’s ministry.

Does anyone know anyone who is attending this conference and could fill us in on the agenda?

  Gayle wrote @

I can give you a little bit of info. Mostly state leaders from the state homeschool organizations are the attendees although this last year they opened it up to anyone who was interested. In slight defense of the venue, the Gothard training centers are either free or for a really cheap price because the state leaders attend these conferences for free (including 5 meals), sons who attend with their fathers are about $90 (room and meals) and I think it is the same price for the other attendees who are not state leaders. Just a bit of info.

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