When I was involved with theatre programs as a kid, we played warm up games. But it wasn’t until I was in college, an acting instructor had us play “two truths and a lie”. You tell two things that are true and one thing that is a lie, and people had to guess what the lie was. The winner of this game in class was the one where no own could guess the lie. We did this to practice not doing our nervous ticks. We were advice to pick something truthful and change one thing to make it a lie or tell a believable lie.
A great acting coach or teacher will tell you acting is NOT lying and would never encourage you to pull from something fabricated to portray a character. In fact, most acting methods and techniques are about using true experiences and truthful responses to bring the character to life.
Chapter 15 came out in May 2020, a year ago! I was five months deep into knowing what was heresy and what wasn’t heresy. I absolutely made this chapter to reflect on the hypocrisy of heretical ministries.
In my original notes, it was always the plan to have what happened to Vera happen, even when I was drinking the kool-aid of heresy, but my approach was going to be different.
Where my inspiration came from for this chapter was from my imagination too.
If you read or watched anything from my “Confessions of A Valor Alumna” series, you know that I was a student at Valor Christian College founded by heretical preacher Rod Parsley. He has daughter he is grooming to carry on his heresy when he dies. Though part of me feels like the ministry will fall apart or change and become more like Bethel or the Belong Co.
As a work study student I worked in Parsley’s TV ministry: Breakthrough. In the beginning, I helped out with his daughter’s former show “Seriously TV?!” which was a magazine type show like Jimmy Fallon meets Oprah but for “Chrisitians”, supposed “Christians” anyways.
Rod’s daughter is named Ashton, in fact, in the story the character Pete’s mother is named Ashton. And yes, his mother is named after Rod’s daughter… Remember, I started writing the story in 2018 when I still believed in heresy and I thought Rod and Ashton Parsley were “generals” in the faith.
Anyhow, the real Ashton Blaire Parsley studied abroad in London one semester or one year in London… I can’t remember.
Well, after a chapel service one day, she told us something happened to her college (she did not tell us what this event was), and it devastated her. She was alone in dealing with the situation and she carried the burden alone. Then she started talking about this boy that was no good for her and she should have listened to people who told her to stay away from him. She then proceeded to tell students to stop dating people who were bad for them because they were just distractions.
For whatever reason, I felt like she told us she was like sexually assaulted in college and didn’t tell anyone. Now, I never asked her and this thought could be furtherest from the truth. I’m not trying to present this as fact, so don’t get me trouble for committing slander, because I am NOT saying this actually happened to Ashton Blaire Parsley at all, my IMAGINATION thought of it. Which is terrible, but I think my mind went there because I know a lot of women who have bee sexually assaulted and there’s a type of shame and guilt they carry that when they share what happened to them, they display certain mannerisms and avoid eye contact, and my brain translated those signs of behavior to Miss Ashton that day in chapel.
So, I had this extra random thought, what if Ashton Blaire was sexually assaulted or coerced and she got pregnant, and she ran away away to London to have her kid and place it in adoption. Trust me, this is the writer in me spinning this tale. It was this fictional thought that I conjured in MY BRAIN that birthed a similar idea revealed in Chapter 15 of “A Digital Age Courtship”.
Again, I apologize if this is a sort of spoiler… If you’re anything like me, you like spoilers! Yes, I do, I love them. For me, I enjoy watching things unfold and how it was done, not so much discovering things as they happen.
I really do hope Ashton Blaire was not traumatized sexually at all, ever! She did mention that day, after chapel, it was someone in ministry that hurt her, and that confused me.
I understand even in ministries where the truth is being promoted people can fall and hurt people because no person is perfect, but morally corrupt things happening in heretical ministries or cults happen way too much because those ministries are not rooted in the truth and there is no real Holy Spirit in the midst of the people to bring true conviction. People are allowed to just move according to their flesh and if they’re aware of any wrong they’re doing it is because at one time they may have heard the truth from scripture.
I will add this about Ashton Blaire Parsley, is a product of her environment. I think she has the sweetest of intentions and she is doing what she thinks is right. Yet, she is an adult and she can get out, if she chooses to and so far, it looks like she doesn’t intend of leaving her father’s ministry, but just following in his footsteps.
Oh, and I think I mentioned this before, in case I didn’t, Mountain Psalm is a fictional Hillsong. And November 2020 a serious scandal came out about Carl Lentz of Hillsong NYC, so… Fun fact, Ashton Blaire interviewed him for her “Seriously TV?!” show. I have more thoughts on that interview but I’m going to keep it to myself.