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Leaving The Village

Leaving The Village

By Jessica Goforth & Kathleen Reynolds
Have you ever met someone who survived a CULT? Leaving The Village is a podcast about life inside Bill Gothard's cult IBLP/ATI. Hosts Jessica Goforth and Kathleen Reynolds take you behind the scenes of growing up inside, how they left, and introduce an entire cohort of survivors of radicalized religion.
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BREAKING: Sentencing for Josh Duggar
This time Jess is joined by fellow LTV team member and childhood friend, Alexis Grey, as they react to a roller coaster of emotions surrounding the sentencing trial in the Josh Duggar CSAM (child sexual assault materials) possession conviction. They go over the details of the sentencing and what it means for his family as well as survivors.
May 26, 2022
Ding Dong, The Cult is DEAD!
Can it be real? Did ATI really just finally... die?? Jess and Kit react to breaking news that the cult they grew up in and survived has officially shut down. Something they couldn't have imagined not that long ago. Visit to read the full statement.
April 28, 2022
Adulting as Cult Survivors - BONUS
Coming to you a little frazzled and a bit the worse for wear, Jess and Kit return with some hilarious late night girl talk, opening up about carving out their own lives post ATI, finding identity, and learning to cuss and swear with the best of them. ;) This episode is marked explicit but its all in good fun.
April 19, 2022
The Handmaid's Tale Book Club - Part 11
Picking up in Chapter 32 Jess and Kit continue their way through Margaret Attwood's Handmaid's Tale.
March 07, 2022
The ATI Curriculum - FINAL Section - Inside Wisdom Booklet One
And we are back with the last section of Wisdom Booklet One. Last summer we introduced you to the convoluted reality of what constitutes a complete home schooling education in the Advanced Training Institute. There are over 50 of these booklets with this same format and style. To follow along with us go to:
February 19, 2022
The Handmaid's Tale Book Club - Part 10
Jess and Kit talk power differentials and the key role of HOPE in the toxic cocktail required for authoritarian control to work while continuing through chapters 30 and 31 of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale.
February 17, 2022
We Have an Exciting Announcement!
Leaving the Village is growing! We are excited to bring you along with us and introduce you to someone we hope you enjoy as much as we do. 
February 12, 2022
The Handmaid's Tale Book Club - Part 9
We are back with fresh new episodes of our Handmaid's Tale book club, getting into chapters 27 through 29. 
February 10, 2022
BREAKING - We respond to IBLP’s statement to the media
Jess and Kit discuss IBLP’s most recent response to news media inquiries.
February 06, 2022
A New Year - A Fresh Start
Kicking off Season 3 with all the feels, Jess and Kit talk their latest life challenges, tell the story of meeting for they first time in early January, their impulsive decision to get matching tattoos, the meaning behind their tattoo, and announce tons of new content, interviews, and parts of their own story... all to come in this new year. New Year, fresh beginnings!  Mentioned in this episode: Author Heather Heath - aka: @backsliddenharlot on TikTok and her new book Lovingly Abused, available on or wherever you get your books. 
February 01, 2022
Special Edition - THE VERDICT - Josh Duggar Trial
Jess and Kit react to the Josh Duggar trial verdict.
December 16, 2021
Special Edition - The Duggar Trial
Grab a drink and hang out with Jess and Kit as they talk the Josh Duggar trial. WARNING: Triggers may abound in this episode and it includes explicit language. Listener discretion is advised. 
December 05, 2021
Part 8 - The Handmaid's Tale Book Club
Welcome back to our Handmaid’s Tale book club. Today Jess and Kit move into chapters 24 - 26. Topics of trauma bonds and the isolation that is inevitable in cult life come up as we move deeper into Margaret Atwood’s famous dystopian novel.
November 30, 2021
Why ATI is a Cult- Part 2
Jess and Kit deep dive into the last two letters of the BITE model, as they leave no real room for argument against ATI being a real cult.
October 30, 2021
Part 7- The Handmaid’s Tale Book Club
Kit and Jess deep dive into the extremely dense chapters 22 and 23 of Margaret Atwood’s classic.
October 27, 2021
Okay but, what makes ATI a CULT?
Annnnd we are back! On this episode Jess and Kit answer the number one most common question they get from listeners: what makes ATI qualify as a CULT? How does it meet specific criteria for a CULT? So using the BITE model of authoritarian control, as explained by Dr. Steven Hassan, Jess and Kit walk you step by step through exactly what makes ATI a cult. To follow along, click on the link below.
October 12, 2021
Part 6 - The Handmaid's Tale Book Club
This is episode covers chapter 18 though 21 of Margaret Atwood's poignant book, The Handmaid's Tale. 
September 15, 2021
Interview with Andy - Romance & Marriage on the Other Side
In this episode, Jess interviews Kit and her husband, Andy, as they talk candidly about how they met, what it was like revealing Kit’s background, and how they were able to forge a relationship as Kit’s was shedding her purity culture upbringing. *Some content may be inappropriate for younger listeners.
August 05, 2021
Part 5 - The Handmaid's Tale Book Club
In this section Jess and Kit tackle the difficult chapters 14-17 of Margaret Atwood’s book The Handmaid’s Tale. This part covers “the ceremony” so keep in mind the content warning: topics include sexual assault, rape, and religious abuse. Please use your discretion when listening and be aware that some topics may be inappropriate for children.
July 26, 2021
BONUS - Q&A Time! And some fun stuff too...
In this super candid 4th of July episode, Jess and Kit grab their mics to answer some listener questions and then dish about everything from their mutual obsession with Gilmore Girls, books and shows they are into lately, and on to how Kit's move is coming along. 
July 05, 2021
Part 4 - The Handmaid's Tale Book Club
Continuing our way through Margaret Atwood's book, The Handmaid's Tale. As Jess and Kit describe their experiences inside an authoritarian cult. 
June 26, 2021
Part 3 - The Handmaid's Tale Book Club
Picking up in Chapter 7 of Margaret Atwood's book The Handmaid's Tale, Jess and Kit share their observations and what stuck out to them. They talk honestly about motherhood and how its tangled up with fundamentalism and how that effected each of them in different ways. Grab your book and a cup of tea and join this intimate discussion. 
June 21, 2021
The ATI Curriculum - Part TWO - Inside Wisdom Booklet One
And we are back, taking you inside what passes for "education" inside the Advanced Training Institute. Bill Gothard's homeschooling cult. This time Jess and Kit dive into the linguistics section as well as the "history" section (that oddly turned out to be straight up geography. Scratch that BIBLICAL geography? Yeah...) You can access a free version of this Wisdom Booklet here:
June 10, 2021
Part 2 - The Handmaid's Tale Book Club
Moving further into the book The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood, Jess and Kit invite you along as they unpack what they are reading. Themes of patriocentric control, ways the characters find to cope, and how Jess and Kit's own experiences with an authoritarian, patriarchal cult dovetails with the story. Grab your copy of The Handmaid's Tale and a cup of tea and join us for the continuation of our Book Club. 
June 05, 2021
Cult Brainwashing 101
Join Kit as she interviews Jess about her harrowing experience in solitary confinement within the ATI training center "Prayer Room". If you have ever wondered what textbook cult brainwashing looks like, you won't want to miss this episode! 
June 04, 2021
Introducing The Handmaid's Tale Book Club
Kicking off Season Two of Leaving The Village, join Kit and Jess as they discuss the introduction to the classic dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood. They bring their unique perspective as survivors of a patriarchal, authoritarian cult and unpack the ways the novel highlights the logical result of the teachings that we find all too familiar; teachings that are eerily similar to what we were immersed in while apart of Bill Gothard's IBLP/ATI program. Feel free to read along with us and share your thoughts on our social media or with the link below.
June 01, 2021
"Please Stop Telling Us Who We Can Talk To!"
Jess and Kit sit down to chat candidly with our dear friend, author Heather Heath, about fan responses to Kit's LIVE interview with Katie Joy of Without A Crystal Ball on YouTube, May 22nd. We share our vetting process and our feelings about the outpouring of concern for us in light of the controversial nature of Katie Joy's platform. Heather sets the record straight and shares her timeless wisdom and the wit we love so much! Kit's interview on Without A Crystal Ball can be seen here:
May 23, 2021
SPECIAL EDITION - The Latest Duggar News and its Connection to ATI
While people are ultimately responsible for their own actions, Bill Gothard, ATI, and Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are in very real and practical ways responsible for the abuses Josh Duggar has been allowed to perpetrate, unchecked, for decades. Jess and Kathleen explain why in this timely episode of Leaving the Village.
May 01, 2021
BONUS episode - Kit's ITC Horror Story
In this fascinating BONUS episode Kit takes a break from her usual role of co-host as Jess interviews her about her cult training center nightmare experience. Kit will take us behind the scenes of the insular world inside the Indianapolis Training Center.
April 20, 2021
Episode 6 - The ATI Curriculum - Jess and Kit Take You Inside Wisdom Booklet One
This time, on Leaving The Village, Jess and Kit take you inside the curriculum of Bill Gothard's ATI program. Special thanks to the website Homeschoolers Anonymous for their open source copies of the Wisdom Booklets we used for this episode.
March 20, 2021
Episode 5 - Jess and Kit Watch "The Rookie"
So, what do you think happens when a couple of cult survivors watch TV? You guessed it: we geek out like crazy over the portrayal of fictionalized cults on our favorite shows. Join us as we completely spoil the "True Crime" episode from Season 3 of "The Rookie". SPOILER ALERT!!
March 19, 2021
Episode 4 - Personality? What is that?
In previous episodes Jess and Kit talked about how in Bill Gothard's cult, IBLP/ATI, one's personality could feel erased. In this episode they take a deeper look into their journey to recover from the mind control that even took their personalities from them.
February 22, 2021
In Which the Polar Vortex Screws Things Up
Just an update on what’s going on around here, and what to expect!
February 18, 2021
Episode 3 - The ATI Modesty Olympics
Modesty culture is everywhere in fundamentalism across the board but how exactly did ATI manage to take it to a whole other place? Jess and Kit talk clothing standards in the world of IBLP/ATI.
February 09, 2021
BONUS episode with ATI mom Sandi Goforth
What drew parents to enroll in ATI? How did they go from mainline evangelical to an isolationist cult? Jessica's mom shares her journey with ATI and how she came to the reality of what was really happening to their family. Don't miss this candid and intimate interview!
February 06, 2021
Episode 2 - Good Little ATI Girls?
Did Jess and Kit become the good little ATI girls they were expected to be?? Well, not quite....
January 30, 2021
BONUS Interview with ATI survivor Heather Heath
Fellow IBLP/ATI survivor, and author Heather Heath, joins us to introduce a bit of her story. You can hear her energy and determined sense of self as it propelled her out and into a whole new life. 
January 30, 2021
Episode 1 - The Cult
This is our opening episode! Here we explain the cult we grew up in and introduce you to the insular world of homeschool extremism.
January 30, 2021