Bill Gothard on administrative leave following abuse allegations

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Jay's picture

Well, good.  Not sure what else I can really add to that. 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Julie Anne's picture

Thank you, Jim, for moving it.  (I've never posted a new article here and don't know what I'm doing, so if I did it wrong, thanks for fixing it for me.)


JD Miller posted an excellent comment that is very important on the other thread:


My concern is that even if Bill Gothard steps down and retires, that his false doctrine will continue to be spread by his loyal followers who will never believe that he did any of this.  I first began to look closely at Gothard, not because of sexual allegations, but because a family that had been to his seminars had brought a bunch of false doctrine into the church.  If his replacement continues to argue that all debt is wrong, all Christians must circumcise their children, no teenage boy should talk to a teenage girl unless absolutely necessary, etc, etc, then we still have a problem that will continue to divide the church.


Here's an additional problem that I see.  The Board has asked him to step down while the BOARD investigates.  This is the same board which has been there all these years while allegations were mounting.  Why didn't they investigate earlier?  Why now?  Because the story hit mainstream media?  Was there some magical number before they would start investigating - - was it the number of personal stories  - - currently the Recovering Grace website has 34 personal accounts.  

As with all legalistic and false teachings, there comes spiritual abuse and with spiritual abuse comes confusion and many times such emotional/spiritual chaos that people leave the church/Christianity altogether.  Of course this likely occurred with the young women who said he groomed them.  Imagine in a culture where modesty and purity is held to such a strict standard and the top leader whom you are told to submit to/respect is crossing the lines sexually.  What utter confusion for these young ladies.  I am so tired of the complacency when it comes to abuse in church.  

Here is another article that came out today from a young man who was homeschooled with Gothard's curricula, ATI, and worked there.  Also, please take a close look at the sex abuse counseling sheet taught in Gothard's materials.  It asks a victim if they were responsible for sex abuse by the way they dressed, the friends they had, etc.  That is absolutely ridiculous.  Now imagine a young lady who was sexually groomed by Gothard and the self-reflection she would had to do wondering what she did to cause Gothard to act inappropriately towards her.  Can you imagine the crazy cycle in her head, the self-blame, self-guilt, shame?   


Susan R's picture


I agree Julie- the people who were 'in charge' and allowed all of this to happen are the ones who are going to investigate? Yeah- let's have the wolves convene to figure out which one ate the sheep, and how they are going to prevent more sheep from being attacked? Sheesh.

Next up - Bill Clinton teaching classes on abstinence and fidelity. 

While I believe it is important to help victims deal with the implications of their actions (regardless of their innocence, they will feel guilty and wonder what they did 'wrong' or could have done differently), counseling should never even hint that the victim was responsible for the behavior of the perpetrator. Predators actively and with malice aforethought seek out the vulnerable. The kind of teaching propagated by Gothardism begins to tear down the walls of self-preservation and common sense at a very early age. 

Jonathan Charles's picture

Just an anecdote: When my dad was a young pastor in the 70's, he went to a Gothard conference and Gothard declared that Christian parents should not adopt children from unsaved parents.  He reasoned that the sins of parents are visited upon their children so that in adopting children from unsaved parents, Christian parents are "asking for trouble."  My father wrote Gothard off back then. 

Jay's picture

Per WORLD Magazine:

Bill Gothard has resigned as president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) and from its board and affiliates.  

The announcement came Thursday night in a letter to families associated with the IBLP’s Advanced Training Institute from David Waller, ATI’s administrative director.

Gothard’s resignation comes just days after IBLP’s board of directors placed its longtime leader on “administrative leave” while it investigated claims that the 79-year-old years ago engaged in sexual harassment and other misconduct. Attorney David Gibbs of the Christian Law Association, who has been conducting the investigation, did not respond to repeated attempts by WORLD requesting comment on the nature of the investigation.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells