Scary Excerpt from Quiverfull: Part 3 April 9, 2009

Scary Excerpt from Quiverfull: Part 3

I’ve been reading Kathryn Joyce‘s Quiverfull and several passages scare the living $#!& out of me.

Like this one, describing a patriarch’s long-term plans for his family:

One of Geoffrey Botkin’s catchiest contributions to patriarchy is his branding of the dominion vision in his “two-hundred-year plan for multigenerational faithfulness”: a concept that started as an Excel spreadsheet he put together stretching from his marriage in 1980 to his projected death, in 2038, to the culmination of his vision in 2180. It has since become a cornerstone of the Vision Forum message and the focus of a new three-day ministry conference teaching Vision Forum followers to emulate Botkin’s ambitious plan.

Botkin’s personal plan plots major family accomplishments on his Excel sheet — both completed and those they aim for, such as books published, films made, churches planted — and priorities are set out for the family that will unfold over the course of generations: a thorough listing of goals set down for generations of children yet unborn. The generations themselves are projected as well: Botkin’s sons (still unmarried) are listed with their projected marriage dates, the projected births and number of their children, and their projected deaths. His grandsons and great-grandsons are charted as well until two hundred years’ worth of Botkin heirs and accomplishments have accumulated. At the end of his two-hundred-year plan, Botkins estimates that he’ll have been the patriarch of some 186,000 male descendants, all of whom, he is confident, will begin their own two-hundred-year plans modeled on Botkin’s ideals…

(p. 229)

Sleep well!

Another excerpt coming soon.

(My interview with the author is here.)

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  • dfledermaus

    At the end of his two-hundred-year plan, Botkins estimates that he’ll have been the patriarch of some 186,000 male descendants, all of whom, he is confident, will begin their own two-hundred-year plans modeled on Botkin’s ideals…

    Ods Botkins! He certainly takes a lot on faith!

    Incidently, the archaic English phrase “Ods bodkins” is a reference to “God’s little dagger” with which He pricks the unwary…

    One wonders which one Botkins is- the unwary or the… well, you know!

  • jemand

    ah, the human inability to understand exponential functions… has he done the math for his 400 year plan? 35 billion male Botkin heirs. 600 years? 6 QUADRILLION!! Whatever Geoffrey is smoking I want some of it. I realize you’re scared of it, to me it’s too ridiculous for these numbers to be scary, 6 quadrillion Botkins would starve on this planet’s resources in approximately a week.

    Also amazing is the fact he only lists male descendants– I shouldn’t be surprised, women are just walking incubators you know! But it’s still odd to run up against it again.

  • I really don’t like your bed time stories, Hemant =(

  • Kate

    Yeah really – you’ve gotta stop posting these at night before we go to sleep. 🙁

  • bill

    i would like to see this plan fall apart due to inbreeding due confusion from the sheer numbers. how the hell was he supposed to know that was his sister? he has 17 of them….

  • calico

    Botkin’s daughters have a super-creepy blog called Visionary Daughters, where they lay out all kinds of great ideas for how girls and young women can turn their brains off and voluntarily enslave themselves to their fathers, brothers, husbands, etc. So if you want the s*!t scared out of you even harder, you can check it out.

    Also, a group of smart (very conservative, but thinking, to their credit) Christian women have an extremely long, ongoing takedown of the patriarchy movement (because it gets even scarier than just quiverfull) at a blog called True Womanhood in the New Millennium. It’s basically a series of open threads, and if you have a couple of months to spend wading through it you may find that your brain has melted, but you understand this movement pretty well.

    Why do I know this? I’m totally claiming research for a novel. I might even write it one day.

  • lindsey

    Horrifying! I can’t wait til I can get it from the library. I have it on hold but it’s taking forever.

  • Chal

    He’s creating his own private army. o.0

    Now I’m never going to sleep. Damn you Excel and your high levels of usability!

  • Simon

    That’s fucking creepy. I wonder what will happen when one of his son turns gay. The odds are definitively there for it happening.

  • «bønez_brigade»

    I took the “Are you a FOOL?” quiz at the Visionary Daughters site, and here’s the damage:

    Quiz Finished!
    Your score: D
    O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. – Proverbs 8:5

    13 questions were on the quiz; and after every single question, I was assaulted with 4-10 Babble verses (mostly from Proverbs). And, since “[t]his test was made as a tool to help us ‘examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the LORD.'”, I guess ‘D’ means failure.

    Thankfully, plenty of bare skin was visible in the periphery whilst taking the quiz; and, needless to say, I didn’t spend much time reading the aforementioned verses.

  • geru

    That’s fucking creepy. I wonder what will happen when one of his son turns gay.

    Most probably a suicide.

    Or something much worse perhaps, since it seems like most of America’s worst serial killers have had some sorts of repressed gay tendencies. It would be interesting to know how many deaths have been caused by this kind of religiously motivated repression alone. And not to mention the overall effect on the quality of life on an individual, who has to live in shame and denial of himself.

    But I guess this drives desperate people to seek help from religion, so it all evens out for the churches, right?

  • Twin-Skies


    Ironically, the court jester/fool is one of the few people in the king’s court that can ridicule and criticise the ruler to his face without fear of punishment.

  • @calico, thank you for the blog links. I’m writing a novel too.

  • jemand

    so if this guy convinces 100 other families to start this program… it’ll take them only 80 years to reach 10 billion people between them. These are seriously funny numbers. Exponential population growth… Of course he was starting the clock from 1980 so he’s still in the pretty early stages of his plan…

  • Chelsea


  • Scott

    This sounds like some kind of giant Christian multilevel marketing scheme. At the end of it, the world loses.

  • Kat

    On the bright side… here’s one fundementalist who apparently doesn’t think the world as we know it will come to an end “any day now”…

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