I have lots of little stories during my 2.5 years there, but this is one that I distinctly remember as being a big flag for the environment of control at IHOP-KC. During my time as an intern, I was once again struggling with insomnia. We shared a room with 4 young women total, and I felt concerned I was keeping everyone awake with my tossing and turning. So I chose to go into the living room of our apartment to read the Bible in hopes that it would help me to feel more relaxed/be able to sleep. My assistant leader walked in to the apartment to find me reading the Bible. She told me that I should not be out of the room, because it was past lights out. I recall trying to explain that I was just trying to read the Bible because I couldn't sleep. She informed me she would be letting our main small group leader know I was breaking the rules. The following day I was told by the main small group leader that I had what was called "T-club" (Thursday club) for breaking the rules. This was a form of punishment that was given to interns for us to have to do some kind of hard manual labor on our one day off for breaking rules. When I was given this punishment, I asked my leader "why am I being punished for reading God's word? I don't get it." She then took this question to the heads of the internship at the time. When she came back to me after discussing with the head leaders, she informed me that while I had a point, at the end of the day she had given the discipline and it could not be changed. She essentially said rules are rules, so even if I had a point that put the rule in question, it did not matter because she needed to stand by the decision that had been made. Looking back I realize how high control that situation was. Even my parents questioned it at the time, and said that it was a very extreme reaction. However, I was struggling to really hear family on anything because in my mind they "just didn't get it."

- Onething intern, then staff2006-2008