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Doug Loudenback
01-10-2006, 07:42 AM
520 W. Main (http://g.co/maps/g43nr)
10 stories
http://www.okctalk.com/images/wikiphotos/oldholidayinn1.jpg
Information & Latest News
The Former Holiday Inn, now part of Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles

This is a report of my “field” research yesterday (1/10/06) to determine how the old Holiday Inn building at 520 W. Main is being used today. You may find the results as fascinating as I did. Here’s what I learned.

As some of you know (from http://www.okctalk.com/showthread.php?t=5171&page=1 ), I’m in the process of substantially expanding my current downtown OKC map and building pics. On 1/2/2006, I took numerous new pics to further that process, including a couple of pics of the former Holiday Inn at 520 W. Main, just to the west of the Montgomery:

When I took the above pics on 1/2/06, I noticed that the building exterior had been nicely cared for and that a few automobiles were in the immediate vicinity ... see the limo at the right side of the 1st pic. That day, I went to the entrance but it was locked, natural enough, I thought, on Monday following 1/1/2006 ... building closed for a normal/governmental work day (see the OKC flag flying in the 2nd image). I figured the building (like the old Harbour Longmire, today “Main Place”), was largely used by the City of OKC. I peeked through the entrance doors and, by what I could see, the 1st floor entry was along the lines of “elegant” ... very nice looking through the glass doors.

I left the building and posted a couple of pics in the http://www.okctalk.com/showthread.php?t=5171&page=1 thread, querying if anyone knew what the current use of the old Holiday Inn was, today. None replied that they knew. One (no disrespect intended ... it was a long time ago) didn’t know there had been a Holiday Inn downtown. That illustrates why it is good to have a few old geezers hanging around, I guess, to bridge history time spans, for those who can remember!

Anyway, yesterday, I decided to make a visit to this location. I did. The front doors still did not open as would have an “open” business or government building’s front doors. To see if I could venture in (or find out something), I pressed the “Doorbell” button. Very shortly, a charming young lady came to the door. She did not immediately invite me in, but we stood in the threshold as I explained what I was about ... expanding my downtown map and images, and wondering how to identify this building. After shivering a bit (it finally turned cold again yesterday), I asked her (a 2nd time) if I could step inside, and she allowed me in.

When I entered, what I saw as a very elegantly furnished 1st floor of what would be a fine hotel ... nice chairs, furnishings all the way around ... a “reception” counter/area for guests to register, and lots of space for everyone to enjoy ... not cramped, very expanded. It was like a fine hotel.

I went with her into the “reception” area on the 1st floor, at which another nice young lady was present, behind a counter. There, I asked a few, but not many, questions, and not necessarily in this order:

(1) Was the building owned/used by the City of Oklahoma City (given the OKC flag flying in the frontage)? No.

(2) What is the building used for? The young woman who allowed me in said something like it was a character development center. I said, “You mean, like a rehabilitation center?” She said, no, it had nothing to do with rehabilitation. I asked her to explain a little. I don’t recall her exact answer, but it had to do with training programs to build character. Not really understanding and not wanting to be too nosey, I asked if I could have a brochure or something simple, and she gave me a single sheet “flyer” type of paper with the name “Character Council of Oklahoma City” at the top and which contained a picture of Mayor Cornett at the bottom. I asked if there was a website where I could read more, and the young lady gave me http://www.characterfirst.com and, later, I noticed another on the “flyer”, http://www.characterok.org . She also said that a monthly breakfast and lunch was available, the next being 1/24 at 7:00 a.m. and 1/26 at 11:45 a.m., and that I would be welcome to attend (after telephone a fellow to let him know for planning purposes). I asked about the condition of the building above the lobby level and I was told that most of them had been reconditioned, all but 2 or 3. I did not ask what they were used for. That was pretty much the extent of my visit and I left with good feelings, but still not knowing a lot more than I did in the first place.

(3) Who owns the building? On returning to my office, I looked up the address in Leonard Sullivan’s (tax assessor) pages. I found that Institute of Basic Life Principles Inc. of Hinsdale, Illinois acquired the property on 12/28/2000 in a non-cash quit claim deed transfer from Hob Lob Limited Partnership and that the building is classified as exempt from property tax.

(4) Who is Institute of Basic Life Principles Inc.? I Googled the name and found several interesting links. Its own main link is apparently http://www.iblp.org/iblp/ . At http://www.iblp.org/iblp/about/ Bill Gothard is described as the Founder and the description about him reads,
After 15 years of working with inner-city gangs, church youth groups, high school clubs, youth camps, and families in crisis, Bill wrote his master’s thesis at Wheaton Graduate School on a youth program that eventually led to seven Biblical, non-optional principles of life. Other websites are not as flattering. See http://www.midwestoutreach.org/02-Information/02-OnlineReference/02-UnorthodoxyGuide/105-IKnowSomething/Gothard-IBLP/ and http://www.apologeticsindex.org/i13.html for example. A Wikipedia description is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_in_Basic_Life_Principles and a snippet quote reads,
IBLP/Gothard touts the Basic Seminar as teaching "universal, non-optional principles of life". The "principles" are supported by Bible verses; more importantly, extensive "testimonials" are given showing how the "principles" worked for others, and how failure to apply these "principles" resulted in calamity. In several cases, the number of "testimonials" far outweighs the number of Scripture verses used to support the proposition.

The "principles", though, do not involve core Christian beliefs (such as Biblical inerrancy or salvation), but tangential areas where the general view is that Christians are free to engage or not engage in practices so long as God has not given them direction otherwise. The "principles" cover such topics as homeschooling, alternative medicine, Christian contemporary music, dating and courtship, and proper appearance (specifically for women). As such, critics claim IBLP/Gothard is teaching a legalistic view of Christianity, requiring its followers to keep extensive man-made "rules" not clearly laid out in Scripture.
A Yahoo forum is here: http://billgotharddiscussion.com/ . The forum’s description of itself:
Bill Gothard Discussion Group

A discussion of the theology and materials produced by Bill Gothard through his seminars and books, his homeschool curriculum (ATI), and other connected ministries (IBLP, Character First, Alert, Telos, Verity, etc.). This list is open to all sides -- those that use and support the materials, those concerned about problems with the materials or the organization, and those just looking for more information.

This is not a support group; it is open to critics and supporters both. This makes our group unique among those devoted to discussing Gothard's teachings. We welcome polite disagreement and debate, and we seek correction where error is found. Bring your opinions, and be prepared to support them with scripture, facts, and sound reasoning. While others are welcome to join, you should be aware that the group consists primarily of conservative Christians who take the Bible as the final authority on spiritual issues.
About the teachings/principles of the organizations, the same source says,
There are many teachings of Bill Gothard?s which are controversial, and he is not a stranger to critics. Here are several of his teachings that many have concerns about or feel are unbiblical in nature:

• Grace: Bill Gothard’s definition of grace is unbiblical and violates the Gospel of Christ.

• Hermeneutics: Bill Gothard’s use of Scripture constantly betrays a serious lack of proper hermeneutics. This includes rhemas.

• Legalism: Bill Gothard’s teachings put people in the bondage of legalism

• Umbrella of Authority: Bill Gothard’s view of authority goes beyond what Scripture describes

• The Law: Bill Gothard teaches that adherence to certain Old Testament laws is required for a godly Christian life.

• Rock Music: Bill Gothard’s strict stand on music cannot be supported by Scripture

• Generational Sins and Curses

• Spiritually Abusive: IBLP bears many of the marks of a spiritually abusive fellowship. Some would go so far as to say that the organization is cult-like

• Character: Character First! is teaching good character without Christ.

• Suspicion of modern medicine

• All diseases have a spiritual root

• Circumcision: Bill Gothard teaches that the only wise decision for Christian parents is to circumcise their sons, in spite of clear New Testament teachings that show the practice as unnecessary.

• Divorce: Bill Gothard teaches that divorce is never acceptable, and engages in odd interpretations of Christ’s words to support his view.

• Children: Bill Gothard is an advocate of no birth control and strongly encourages sterilization reversals

• Courtship and Betrothal: Bill Gothard is firmly against dating and offers courtship as only the Biblical model.

• Bill Gothard calls his way of living the Christian life "higher standards" and tells people to expect to be persecuted for them

These are just a few of the issues that have caused controversy.
I’m just a reporter here of what is probably under most Oklahoma Citian’s radar even with our heightened interest in Downtown Oklahoma City. I’m not a particularly religious person and I’d never heard of the various organizations or Bill Gothard before. This bit of research was simply born out of curiosity of what the former Holiday Inn was being used for in my expanded downtown Oklahoma City map!

To me, it was a fascinating find in January 2006! And, of course, I still am wondering why the City of Oklahoma City flag flies outside the premises! Fascinating!
Links
County Assessor Record (http://www.oklahomacounty.org/assessor/Searches/AN-R.asp?ACCOUNTNO=R013681440)
Gallery

Midtowner
01-10-2006, 08:14 AM
In examining the religion/organization, I see nothing suggesting that it is 'not Christian'. That it doesn't agree in Biblical inerrancy and has an interpretation of scripture not shared by many other evangelicals is immaterial really to that conclusion. I had always thought that the Holiday Inn had become the HQ for the Character Counts! program.

Interesting stuff. I had no idea.

Pete
01-10-2006, 08:35 AM
Fascinating!

Not even a month ago, I thought about the old Holiday Inn because it reopened when I worked downtown in the early 80's and I remember going there for happy hour after work. I thought it might be reopened as the need for downtown hotel rooms grows.


As far as the current use, I'm not sure what to think but I wonder how much of that big building they are actually using?

metro
01-10-2006, 09:18 AM
Actually its the international headquarters for "Character First" not Character Counts program founded by a local business man. I won't disclose too much information but if you would like more, you may go to www.characterfirst.com

This topic has actually been discussed several times on OKC Talk and you may want to do a search for more information.

Doug Loudenback
01-10-2006, 09:18 AM
In examining the religion/organization, I see nothing suggesting that it is 'not Christian'. That it doesn't agree in Biblical inerrancy and has an interpretation of scripture not shared by many other evangelicals is immaterial really to that conclusion. I had always thought that the Holiday Inn had become the HQ for the Character Counts! program.

Interesting stuff. I had no idea.

The "Character First" (www.characterfirst.com) and "Character Council of Central Oklahoma" (www.characterok.org) appear to be pieces within the larger organization, Institute in Basic Life Principles which I'm pretty sure is the same thing as "Institute OF Basic Life Principles, Inc."

Tax Assessor records show the property as follows:

Business Name: Character Training Institute
Owner: Institute of Basic Life Principles Inc
Mailing Address: 707 W Ogden Ave
City, St. & Zip: Hinsdale, IL 60521-3069

That is the same address shown for the Oklahoma element for "IBLP offices and training centers" at http://www.iblp.org/iblp/contact/
Oklahoma City Training Center
520 W. Main St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73102 405-526-0001
info@okc.iblp.org

I didn't mean to imply that the organizations are/are not Christian. I'm just reporting on what I found. Apparently the parent organization and Mr. Gothard's teachings are even more conservative in several ways that what we commonly think of when the term "Christian Conservatives" is used ... albiet in some pretty unique ways, if the quoted sources in the 1st post are accurate.

Doug Loudenback
01-10-2006, 10:13 AM
Actually its the international headquarters for "Character First" not Character Counts program founded by a local business man. I won't disclose too much information but if you would like more, you may go to www.characterfirst.com

This topic has actually been discussed several times on OKC Talk and you may want to do a search for more information.
Thanks, Metro. I just did a search for "Character First" (with the quotes) and only located your posts beginning here (other than today's posts): http://www.okctalk.com/showpost.php?p=11179&postcount=51 but, still, that really develop the topic other than scratch the surface just a little.

No big deal, but do you think that this thread is "out of line" in some way?

metro
01-10-2006, 10:27 AM
No, not out of line, just thought it could of been an update in an existing thread. Seems like their has been a lot of duplicate threads on the site lately. Anything we can do to help Todd saving bandwidth or for that matter by posting all relevant information on a topic in the same thread would better inform people who don't do searches on previously discussed issues. Thanks for your updates though!

Patrick
01-10-2006, 12:28 PM
Yeah, that's interesting Doug. Luke also went in the building last year about this time because we were all curious about what the building was being used for. I also didn't quite understand the concept.
We did learn that part of the building is used as a hotel for the people that come there for conferences of some sort about character. I guess it's a non-profit organization to try to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds or troubled people. TEaches them character which will hopefully help them get on with their life.

HOT ROD
01-10-2006, 02:11 PM
I just wonder though, couldn't they get more traditional office space in downtown and sell the hotel so it could be redeveloped into desparately needed hotel rooms?

I think the org is great and all but it seems a bit of misuse for the property if you ask me. "A headquarters???"

Doug Loudenback
01-10-2006, 02:59 PM
I guess it's a non-profit organization to try to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds or troubled people. Teaches them character which will hopefully help them get on with their life.
Yes, it's a not-for-profit deal (ala the tax exemption at the assessor's website). No, I didn't get that idea that it's about helping "disadvantaged" or "troubled" people from my coversation with the young lady who spoke with me, or from the various websites that I visited which are involved.

Instead, I gather that this is a "bottom up", "grass roots", teaching-thing that would start their "vision" at the lowest level, individuals, schools, wherever, and has nothing to do with a rehabilitaive perspective.

I've found nothing to suggest that it is something designed to help disadvantaged or troubled people ... the young lady specifically said, when I asked about its purpose as being "rehabilitative" ... "No", she said, when I asked.

I don't think that you will find anything on the web, their sites or others, suggesting that the ventures at this locale are intended to help those down and out or less fortunate to re-create their lives ... rather, it seems to be something that intends to educate, etc., those who are already above that level. But, maybe I'm missing something. I think, from what I've read so far, that the intent is to help people like YOU and ME get OUR thinking in order. Perhaps I've missed something, but I'm pretty sure that's the case.

The thing is ... what you see at the "local" websights ...www.characterfirst.com and www.character.org ... are local snapshots, and they don't reflect or even contain links to the property owner's more general websites which might need to be looked at, and which are the parent organization for the local websites, and I've listed some of those above. I don't intend to be judgmental, but I think that all of the inter-woven-ness of all these things is fair to consider, in arriving at an objective viewpoint about the local organizations' intentions.

Do you disagree?

Patrick
01-13-2006, 04:26 PM
Makes sense to me Doug. Still, I wonder why they'd need so much space. And I wonder who donates to this non-profit.

metro
01-16-2006, 08:55 AM
As I mentioned last year, Character First is a non-profit leadership training institute. To my knowledge, they don't bring "troubled" people in, rather leaders from all over the world come there for training. The hotel simply acts as their lodging. Leaders from high schools, college's, and beyond come there to get valuable training on mentoring and ways to inspire character in high school and college students. For more info go to www.characterfirst.com .

It is a non-profit leadership institute founded by and funded primarily by Kimray.

writerranger
01-16-2006, 01:35 PM
Actually, it's not just lodging for the Character group. It IS the headquarters. Make no mistake, it is all a creation of the very powerful Bill Gothard. This month's issue of IN THESE TIMES (not that I'm a regular reader - just saw it at Borders) features this group, and their OKC headquarters, on the cover:
http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2450/

Doug Loudenback
01-16-2006, 02:14 PM
Actually, it's not just lodging for the Character group. It IS the headquarters. Make no mistake, it is all a creation of the very powerful Bill Gothard. This month's issue of IN THESE TIMES (not that I'm a regular reader - just saw it at Borders) features this group, and their OKC headquarters, on the cover:
http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2450/

Good find, writerranger, and thanks for the link to a fascinating, if somewhat troubling, long article! Googling the book title, I found this shorter description: http://miami.indymedia.org/news/2006/01/3352.php

metro
01-16-2006, 04:28 PM
writeranger, you are correct. It is their headquarters but the staffing is somewhat minimal. The idea of using the hotel is to lodge the people coming to the training seminars

The Old Downtown Guy
01-16-2006, 04:56 PM
I had a look at their website. The underwriter is Kimray, a mid-size OKC manufacturing company that produces some oil service industry related equipment. If you go to this link, http://www.charactercities.org/ promoting a conference this summer, you will note that Larry McAtee, OKC City Council member and employee of Kimray, in the photo.

IACC (The International Association of Character Cities) Is holding the Building Cities of Character Conference on September 20-22, 2006 In Oklahoma City.

Their description of the Conference is Learn how to transform your community into a culture of good through positive character development at the 2006 Building Cities of Character Conference.

As others have stated, their mission doesn't appear to be lifting up the downtrodden, so much as defining and laying down basic values (as they see and profess them) and building a business organization or government structure on the values they have defined. I doubt that many would argue with their basic premise.

writerranger
01-16-2006, 05:42 PM
Interesting that Kimray would be involved with Gothard and makes perfect sense. Kimray is a LONGTIME supporter and local benefactor of the John Birch Society.

Doug Loudenback
01-16-2006, 06:32 PM
I doubt that many would argue with their basic premise.

What causes me concern, ODG, is the lack of straightforwardness. If what I've read so far (and I'm sure that I've just scratched the surface) makes me think of such things as ... Wolf In Sheep's Clothing and The Trojan Horse. That certainly appears to be the viewpoint at the link writearranger cited, http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2450/ .

As to their basic premise, well, that's the question, isn't it ... WHICH ONE?

The "basic premise" is evidently not just involved with character and character training, but has an unspoken (at the local websites) and much larger religious agenda if you do a little reading beyond those websites.

If I chose not to like a particular brand of Christianity (i.e., a denomination), at least most of the time I'll know up front who and what they are, because they'll tell you, up front, and will be quite proud to do so.

But, with this, there are just too many webs and things not straightforwardly spoken for me to be comfortable.

The Old Downtown Guy
01-16-2006, 06:38 PM
Interesting that Kimray would be involved with Gothard and makes perfect sense. Kimray is a LONGTIME supporter and local benefactor of the John Birch Society.

As Artie (I think) . . something on SNL used to say . . . "Very Interesting" What was that guy's name?

Now for your entertainment; the lyrics to Bob Dylan's "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues". The audio link to the bootleg album isn't working so just use your imaginatiion to recreate Bob's voice and unique singing style.

Well, I was feelin' sad and feelin' blue,
I didn't know what in the world I was gonna do,
Them Communists they wus comin' around,
They wus in the air,
They wus on the ground.
They wouldn't gimme no peace. . .

So I run down most hurriedly
And joined up with the John Birch Society,
I got me a secret membership card
And started off a-walkin' down the road.
Yee-hoo, I'm a real John Bircher now!
Look out you Commies!

Now we all agree with Hitlers' views,
Although he killed six million Jews.
It don't matter too much that he was a Fascist,
At least you can't say he was a Communist!
That's to say like if you got a cold you take a shot of malaria.

Well, I wus lookin' everywhere for them gol-darned Reds.
I got up in the mornin' 'n' looked under my bed,
Looked in the sink, behind the door,
Looked in the glove compartment of my car.
Couldn't find 'em . . .

:sofa:

I wus lookin' high an' low for them Reds everywhere,
I wus lookin' in the sink an' underneath the chair.
I looked way up my chimney hole,
I even looked deep inside my toilet bowl.
They got away . . .

Well, I wus sittin' home alone an' started to sweat,
Figured they wus in my T.V. set.
Peeked behind the picture frame,
Got a shock from my feet, hittin' right up in the brain.
Them Reds caused it!
I know they did . . . them hard-core ones.

Well, I quit my job so I could work alone,
Then I changed my name to Sherlock Holmes.
Followed some clues from my detective bag
And discovered they wus red stripes on the American flag!
That ol' Betty Ross . . .

Well, I investigated all the books in the library,
Ninety percent of 'em gotta be burned away.
I investigated all the people that I knowed,

Ninety-eight percent of them gotta go.
The other two percent are fellow Birchers . . . just like me.

Now Eisenhower, he's a Russian spy,
Lincoln, Jefferson and that Roosevelt guy.
To my knowledge there's just one man
That's really a true American: George Lincoln Rockwell.
I know for a fact he hates Commies cus he picketed the movie Exodus.

Well, I fin'ly started thinkin' straight
When I run outa things to investigate.
Couldn't imagine doin' anything else,
So now I'm sittin' home investigatin' myself!
Hope I don't find out anything . . . hmm, great God!



Copyright 1970 Special Rider Music

Doug Loudenback
03-30-2007, 10:01 PM
Actually, it's not just lodging for the Character group. It IS the headquarters. Make no mistake, it is all a creation of the very powerful Bill Gothard. This month's issue of IN THESE TIMES (not that I'm a regular reader - just saw it at Borders) features this group, and their OKC headquarters, on the cover:
Cult of Character -- In These Times (http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2450/)
Writerranger, I pretty much put this topic down after doing my January 2006 research. But, when did my blog post on "Other Hotels' history a few days ago, it all came back when I started putting that post together ... the Holiday Inn part is here: Doug Dawgz Blog: Other Downtown Hotels (http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2007/03/downtown-hotels.html#Holiday Inn) at my blog. The "Holiday Inn" part of downtown's hotel history cannot be properly told without SOME comment on the building's use today.

I've just read the post at the link you posted more than a year ago ... better late than never ... Cult of Character -- In These Times (http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/2450/) ... and, even though I did my best to keep my "Other Hotels" blog post "on topic" (ie, about hotels, not about politics or religious points of view), I am personally pleased that the great Tulsa blogger, Michael Bates, has picked up on the "seeds" in his blog post at Oklahoma City downtown hotel has "character" (BatesLine) (http://www.batesline.com/archives/003113.html) .

Michael said what I really intended and wanted to say in the 1st place, but, in reviewing my draft post on Okc "Other" hotels, I decided that most of the Gothard comments I'd planned to post detracted from the focus and purpose of the blog post itself, namely, historic stuff about Okc downtown hotels, and so I deleted a very large part of my original "draft" blog post before I posted it.

But, Tulsa's Michael Bates picked up the slack, I'm very glad to say! Other than what I've just said, I have nothing political or religious or Trojan Horse or Wolf In Sheep's Clothing kinds of things to say! :dizzy: But, I'm very glad that Michael Bates finished what I really wanted to say myself but did not in my "Other Hotels" history post!

If you've not looked over Michael Bate's web blog, you should -- it is one of the best, if not THE best, Oklahoma blogs that are on-line today: BatesLine (http://www.batesline.com/).

writerranger
03-30-2007, 10:40 PM
Doug, Thanks for the heads-up regarding the Michael Bates post about the old Holiday Inn. I went over and left a nice comment (after approval) thanking him for writing and pointing people in the right direction who want to look into the Gothard aspect further. I really like how you go out of your way in your blog to keep it non-political, non-confrontational and a fun place to visit. That was a truly exceptional post on your blog about the old hotels. I remember the novelty gift shop on the street level in the Huckins Hotel, where they used to display some rather bizarre things in their window. Of course, as a kid - I thought it was great. That post took a lot of work! I still think you missed your calling as a historian. On second thought, it's not too late - as you are proving!

----------------------

Doug Loudenback
03-30-2007, 11:25 PM
Thanks very much, writerranger! Unfortuantely, as I did not grow up in Okc (even though born here at St. Anthony's in the "year of the black penny'), I missed out on a lot of stuff that you and others are helping to educate me about during my grade school~high school days ... while I came to Okc on varsious trips during that time, I certainly missed out on a lot ... and I'm hoping that as many as possible will give me some pics so that I can experience your pleasures in the present ... like the novelty gift shop you mentioned (hint)!

Thanks for the nice comment at BatesLine ... and here ... it was kinda hard for me not to say what I really wanted to say about the Holiday Inn's history ... I held my original post as a draft for a couple of days ... but my "adult" beat down my "child" and both of them excluded my "parent" side in reaching my final posting conclusions so I wound up deleting much of what my "child' side wanted to say, but not altogether, as a good "parent" would allow! Wow, I'm getting much too weird with this! :) Ain't "transactional analysis" grand?

And, as far as being "too late" ... naw, I'm only 39! :gossip: That's true, even if one must add a few years to get to the current calendar date!

Thanks again. Appreciated.

Kerry
03-31-2007, 09:50 PM
What is a "non-cash quit claim deed transfer"?

Doug Loudenback
04-01-2007, 12:10 AM
What is a "non-cash quit claim deed transfer"?
It means that no or very small (like $10) money was exchanged for the transfer and that the grantor was transferring all title to the property that it/he/she owned but wasn't making any guaranty that it/he/she owned any. This compares to a "warranty deed" where such promises are made.

mcca7596
01-16-2012, 05:22 PM
Does anyone know what's in that?

Pete
01-16-2012, 05:29 PM
It's owned by a bible-based leadership organization called Institute for Basic Life Principles.

You may recall that in the 80's it was a renovated Holiday Inn that then fell on hard times like the rest of downtown and OKC.

http://iblp.org/iblp/

soonerguru
01-16-2012, 05:30 PM
Some kind of religious cult.

mcca7596
01-16-2012, 05:32 PM
Some kind of religious cult.

That's what I heard, and I just wanted to confirm it wasn't a rumor. How disconcerting to have in the middle of downtown...

After looking at their website, they don't look too crazy, but their "about us" page is fairly vague and doesn't give much info on their beliefs. Even if they are not a "church" per se and just do leadership training based on their own principles and beliefs, I still find it odd if there are people living there (as a repurposed hotel)?

metro
01-16-2012, 05:43 PM
Character First

http://www.characterfirst.com

Not a cult, many of this city's respected business leaders and companies use the Character First system. Don't let the Diety-phobes scare you.

http://www.characterfirst.com/programs/members/

mcca7596
01-16-2012, 05:46 PM
Character First

http://www.characterfirst.com

Not a cult, many of this city's respected business leaders and companies use the Character First system. Don't let the Diety-phobes scare you.

http://www.characterfirst.com/programs/members/

Is that related to the IBLP that Pete referenced?

OKCisOK4me
01-16-2012, 05:58 PM
For all the whiners on this site:

I think that building should be razed! Saw it from the Civic Center a couple of weekends ago and like Mike Gundy once said, "makes me want to puke!"

Pete
01-16-2012, 06:30 PM
I'm not sure that Character First is still involved at that site.

Kimray (the manufacturing company that started Character First) sold to IBLP in 1999. IBLP lists that building as one of it's training centers:

http://iblp.org/iblp/contact/


In any event, the building is used for bible-based leadership programs of some type and is not open to the general public.

Steve
01-16-2012, 07:09 PM
Actually I think Character First could make a lot of money for their mission by selling the old hotel for conversion into apartments.

mcca7596
01-16-2012, 07:11 PM
Actually I think Character First could make a lot of money for their mission by selling the old hotel for conversion into apartments.

It almost seems inevitable at some point, with the surrounding development.

metro
01-16-2012, 07:37 PM
I'm not sure that Character First is still involved at that site.

Kimray (the manufacturing company that started Character First) sold to IBLP in 1999. IBLP lists that building as one of it's training centers:

http://iblp.org/iblp/contact/


In any event, the building is used for bible-based leadership programs of some type and is not open to the general public.
I'm positive they are still using the site.

Pete
01-17-2012, 10:12 AM
I deleted about a dozen posts that had absolutely nothing to do with the topic.

kevinpate
01-17-2012, 10:26 AM
Some info on that property (old Holiday Inn) from 2006-07 period.
http://www.okctalk.com/showthread.php?t=5262

shawnw
01-06-2014, 03:48 PM
Actually I think Character First could make a lot of money for their mission by selling the old hotel for conversion into apartments.

Steve,

Given what you know now, a year after that last post, do you still feel the same about this? More so? Less?

Steve
01-07-2014, 08:09 AM
More than ever, Shawn, due to the momentum along nearby Film Row and what's set to happen with the 21C Museum Hotel. But will it happen? I don't know. Buyers are out there. But there must be a seller.

DoctorTaco
01-07-2014, 08:59 AM
I fell into a google hole on this organization. IBLP is a weird group. Their Character First stuff seems innocuous, and their newsletter is bland but professional and has some good ideas in there. But then you see that the John Birch Society lists Character First as an affiliate organization. Then you read about the "Principles" that their leader espouses. Mix this all in with their really striking invisibility in the community and (for the most part) online, and the smell of an insular cult is all over this thing.

By which I am saying that business concerns will probably not play into the potential redevelopment of this thing.

shawnw
01-07-2014, 10:31 AM
Thanks Steve. Interesting to know there are willing buyers for this site are out there...

Dubya61
01-07-2014, 11:00 AM
I fell into a google hole on this organization. IBLP is a weird group. Their Character First stuff seems innocuous, and their newsletter is bland but professional and has some good ideas in there. But then you see that the John Birch Society lists Character First as an affiliate organization. Then you read about the "Principles" that their leader espouses. Mix this all in with their really striking invisibility in the community and (for the most part) online, and the smell of an insular cult is all over this thing.

By which I am saying that business concerns will probably not play into the potential redevelopment of this thing.

Google Hole for me, too. Like you, my spidey sense went off down the cult path.

Pete
01-07-2014, 11:35 AM
Just walking by there is weird... Lots of cars in the lot and in the porte-cochere but you can't see in and you definitely get the "visitors not welcome" vibe.

It reminds me of some of the Scientology centers out here.

hoya
01-07-2014, 12:36 PM
I saw a former client there. He was living there and doing groundswork to help pay for expenses. At first it seemed okay, but when I talked to him he said they were going to send him off to some law school in Michigan, and he was only going to have to pay however much money, and they were working to get him some loans and things like that. Thing is, you can be an attorney in Michigan without going to an ABA accredited law school, as long as it's in Michigan. Nobody else will recognize it, so you can never practice anywhere else. So you're basically going to Joe's Law School and paying a ton of money for the privelege.

Sounds like a huge scam to me.

trousers
01-07-2014, 02:12 PM
I may have missed the obvious but why doesnt this group pay property taxes?

Pete
01-07-2014, 02:19 PM
I may have missed the obvious but why doesnt this group pay property taxes?

They are a registered non-profit.

Jeepnokc
04-18-2014, 11:16 PM
When I was at my place tonight, I noticed they had a huge crane in the walled in back area of the building. Any clue what they are doing back there behind the wall?

zookeeper
04-18-2014, 11:30 PM
When I was at my place tonight, I noticed they had a huge crane in the walled in back area of the building. Any clue what they are doing back there behind the wall?

With this group? No. Telling.

borchard
04-19-2014, 06:51 AM
When I was in college back in the 80's at OU alot of my friends from the Baptist Student Union would go to the "Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts" meeting every year at The Myriad. It was part of this same organization.
I never went, but I know a few friends, after they had gone, threw away all of their "secular" music. I used to laugh because you got this big red book when you went. It reminded me of Chairman Mao :-)
But like I said, these were good, normal, Baptist kids that would go. And it was encouraged by the leaders of the Bapt. Student Union.
The only other thing I ever knew about it was that a pretty modern Christian singer, names Steve Taylor, wrote a song about the whole thing called, "I Manipulate" :cool:
Take your notebooks, turn with me
To the chapter on authority
Do you top the chain of command
Rule your family with an iron hand?

I dispense little pills of power
From my hideaway ivory tower
From the cover of Heaven's gate, I manipulate
copyright <a href="http://phonelyrics.com">http://phonelyrics.com</a>

edcrunk
05-11-2014, 02:12 PM
I went to a seminar in the late 80s. Definitely not a cult. Very Southern Baptisty.

ljbab728
05-11-2014, 10:50 PM
I went to a seminar in the late 80s. Definitely not a cult. Very Southern Baptisty.

Well, some people might think it's the same thing. ;)

Nick
05-14-2014, 01:06 PM
I went to a seminar in the late 80s. Definitely not a cult. Very Southern Baptisty.

One and the same.

Pete
11-14-2014, 11:11 AM
This organization just sold an old hotel they had been occupying in Dallas to a developer.

Would love it if they would do the same with this property in OKC:

Deal to redevelop Dallas? historic Ambassador Hotel moves ahead | Dallas Morning News (http://bizbeatblog.dallasnews.com/2014/11/deal-to-redevelop-dallas-historic-ambassador-hotel-moves-ahead.html/)

Urbanized
11-14-2014, 02:00 PM
Is capitalism a basic life principle? If so, there is hope.

Martin
11-14-2014, 02:48 PM
that holiday inn is far more architecturally significant than the building it replaced. : ) -M

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~okoklaho/photos/okla-co-courthouse-jail-c1900.jpg

HOT ROD
11-15-2014, 12:45 PM
sickening. what were our forefathers thinking?

UnFrSaKn
11-15-2014, 02:07 PM
Don't forget about the fire and the fact that it sat just like this for something like a decade. One of the last photos.

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j286/UnFrSaKn/Old%20Oklahoma%20City/Old%20Oklahoma%20County%20Courthouse/imagejpg1.jpg

Urbanized
11-15-2014, 02:13 PM
It always reminds me of the old Wichita City Hall (still standing and now a museum):

http://www.flyoverpeople.net/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Wichita-Sg-county-museum.jpg

UnFrSaKn
11-15-2014, 02:23 PM
When I visited Wichita a while back, I knew nothing about its downtown. I stumbled on that building and all I could think of was our old courthouse. Old Town blows Bricktown away as far as architecture. If you plopped the historic district of Guthrie into Bricktown, that would give you an idea.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/williamhider/sets/72157633446289249/

CS_Mike
07-24-2017, 10:41 AM
My apologies for resurrecting such an old thread, but it might be time to revisit this. With development in this area finally starting to pick up, I became curious about the current status of this building.

If I recall correctly, the previous discussion indicated little likelihood of this building being redeveloped anytime soon due to the ownership and the building's use for a religious-based nonprofit. However, I just noticed that the tenant that is indicated on Google Maps (In The Gap) has apparently moved their location to NW 23rd Street as of just last week (based on recent posts on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/inthegap.ok/). In the Gap is affiliated with Character First Education (per the history on their website, https://inthegap.org/about/history/), which appears to be the organization that was referenced in the original post. Furthermore, looking at the Character First website (http://www.characterfirsteducation.com), I saw that their parent company was called Strata Leadership, and the website indicates that Strata's HQ is located in OKC at 11600 Broadway Ext., Ste 220.

If neither Strata HQ nor In The Gap are located within the old Holiday Inn building, is this building vacant now? Could this finally be the right time for someone to approach the owner about purchasing this real estate? Does anyone know anything more about the mysterious ownership?