Saturday, July 26, 2008

Explaining Botkin Syndrome Triangulation (Part II of III): The Father/Husband Patriarch as an Idol


Karen Campbell coined the term “patriocentricity” to describe the concept and social framework conceived and promoted by those who promote Botkin Syndrome. They have termed it “Biblical patriarchy” but it is far from Biblical and does not actually reflect traditional patriarchal systems but rather a type of male hegemony. (Power must not only be established, it must be willingly yielded by subordinates without protest or constraint. It is not enough to follow and submit to the pattern in obedience to the law, but it demands a surrender if not destruction of any opposing will. “They say it cannot be taken; it must be given,” says the Merovingian character in the third film of the “Matrix” trilogy.)

From Wise Geek’s definition of hegemony:

Hegemony dates to the Greek verb hegeisthai which translates to “to lead.” Early leaders who were able to exert a great deal of control and influence over a group of people might be referred to as hegemons. A hegemon had to have a great deal of support from at least one dominating class, in order to keep the people of the state from rebelling against the leadership.

From Wikipedia on hegemony:

The processes by which a dominant culture maintains its dominant position: for example, the use of institutions to formalize power; the employment of a bureaucracy to make power seem abstract (and, therefore, not attached to any one individual); the inculcation of the populace in the ideals of the hegomonic group through education, advertising, publication, etc.; the mobilization of a police force as well as military personnel to subdue opposition.

Within this model, fleshed out extensively in “So Much More” authored by Elizabeth and Anna Sophia Botkin, all family members revolve around and serve the needs and vision of the patriarchal husband/father. The model encourages sons to “cast visions” and have callings of their own, so long as they are approved by the patriarch. Daughters may follow pursuits that are both circumscribed by the patriarchal father but also the “sphere of the home.” In other words, women must not be permitted any activity in the public square, the sole domain of men. Marriage is deemed the only “normative” role, so any premarital pursuits must be directed only towards that which will prepare the daughter for marriage and motherhood.

Even so, these pursuits must be approved by the father and must directly and indirectly serve and benefit the overall “family vision” as declared by the father. Home based businesses are strongly promoted, though they must be deemed appropriately feminine in nature as circumscribed by the concept of the so-called “Biblical patriarchy.” Daughters are permitted, however, to serve the visions of their brothers who are encouraged to have their own, independent pursuits that are not necessarily permanently directed at the family unit. A distorted interpretation of Numbers 30 serves as the only Scriptural basis for this belief.

This is idolatry, and it is not even an optional choice of children but is a required element of “multi-generational faithfulness.” This adds to the concept that the family patriarch serves to purify and sanctify all those women assigned to him. Add to this the Botkin teachings that all daughters are to be “helpmeets” to their fathers until they are given in marriage to the spouse of their father’s choice. The ideology teaches that girls should refrain from all emotional interest and attachments to potential mates, directing those only towards family members, until their father presents a suitable mate to them. Presumably, the daughter has the option to decline a particular spouse, but based upon a concept of bounded choice, this option is only an illusion. What viable choice does the daughter have to decline? Is she not required to submit to her patriarch’s will in all matters? She cannot flee the home because she has been taught that to do so is apostasy and will render her completely deserving of God’s wrath and Satan’s pleasure. Leaving the home deems her anathema. That is not choice but is bounded choice. The idolatry of the father and then the husband after marriage is non-optional.