New Charges Allege Religious Leader, with ties to the Duggars, sexually abused women.
The above link takes you directly to the Washington Post article. Here are some of the "highlights" with my emphasis added:
"Ten women on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Bill Gothard, who for decades was a major force in the conservative Christian homeschooling movement, charging him and leaders in his ministry with sexual abuse, harassment and cover-up. The lawsuit is part of a battle between dozens of women and the Institute in Basic Life Principles, which was until recently an influential homeschooling ministry, and its charismatic leader Gothard, who urged Christians to focus on their “biblical character” and have large families. Gothard has never been married." Gothard, 81, resigend from the ministry in 2014 after more than 30 women had alleged that he had molested and sexually harassed women he worked with, including some who were minors.
The article is particularly sickening when it tells of some of the plaintiffs (victims) who went to Gothard for counseling after having been raped by their father, and Gothard allegedly sexually molested/abused them too.
“He was built up to a god-like state in our eyes because he was a man who could do no wrong. I looked up to him as a father figure, almost like how Catholics look up to priests, bishops or their pope,” said Wilkinson, who is now 40. " Yep. This is very common in fundamentalist churches where pew sitters are brainwashed into thinking the newest hireling is "god called" and "god's man."
And enjoy this contradiction: Gothard says he never touched anyone in a sensual way, yet he and the institute admit that what he did was "inappropriate" and "sin." What?
After he resigned in 2014, Gothard denied the sexual harassment charges, saying “God is my witness that I have never kissed a girl, nor touched any young lady in a sensual way.” What? If this is true, does he claim to have the "gift of celibacy?" Really? Is he a totally "asexual" being? At 81 years old? And yet dozens of women say otherwise in a sworn lawsuit. Unless he is gay, and therefore might have indeed never have kissed a girl or touched a female in a sensual way, these charges make sense don't they? (You fundie men don't really believe an 81-year-old straight man has never kissed a girl do you? Really?) At least Bill Cosby and Josh Duggar were married and had children when they were accused of sexual crimes against women. They didn't claim to never have kissed a girl! BUT THIS IS THE GUY MILLIONS OF CHRISTIANS TRUSTED TO TEACH THEM HOW TO LIVE BIBLICAL AND GODLY LIVES, AND HOW TO BE A GOOD HUSBAND AND FATHER! Could any man possibly be more unqualified? (Yes, one that has been faithfully married for almost 30 years with grown children but who doesn't believe in talking donkeys or the sun standing still or stoning disobedient children as the good book teaches us.)
"In 2014, IBLP conducted an internal investigation, writing in June 2014 that “no criminal activity has been discovered,” saying that what Gothard did was “inappropriate behavior” and “sin.” What, IBLP didn't believe him either? He said he never touched any young lady in a sensual way. So what was inappropriate or sinful? And you fundies must love this bit of news: The investigation was conducted by the Christian Legal Association, and the lawsuit says none of the women were contacted during the investigation. Hard to believe?
Incredible how fundamentalists still will trust these "men of God" and follow their teachings and be so blind and silent on the abuse these devils are inflicting on the most vulnerable, trusting people. It makes me sick! And it should make YOU sick too. But I wouldn't be surprised if this article "about" God's man offends you more then Gothard's actions. If so, YOU make me sick too. Peace.
I remember well how in a couple of SBC churches we attended through the years Bill Gothard and his teachings were the thing. I personally never attended a gathering of his followers but did take the course in basic life principals back in the 70s at one of the churches.We just took it for granted back then that this guy really knew what he was talking about. Little did we know that he was a single man giving advise on managing a family and raising kids. Why couldn't we see then what is obvious now?
Once again the men of " Gawd" can " Do no wrong."
What is the deal with these people who follow these guys? Are they so brainwashed?
Anon - Hard to believe we couldn't see it then. Harder to believe many don't see it now. Even with millionaire, cuff-link wearing, foot-stomping, slandering, fat, bald pompous asses gracing the stages of many 501(c)(3)s.
Anon - "Are they so brainwashed?' Hell Yes! Some are so devoted to these men they follow and the narrow teachings of these men, that they even hurt their own families if they don't agree on every jot and tittle these guys say about the bible and if they question any of the sacred text and religious dogma. It is HORSE S***! But these religions continue to decline in both number and influence. The next generation has moved on. Thankfully.
Anon, I am an alumni of a SBC Seminary.....you do not know the half of what people believe and what they follow...so blindly....so blindly....and they are afraid of the truth....
Anon - yes, many are brainwashed into a mindless stupor, but many others need desperately the affirmation of belonging to something, of being welcome somewhere. Their entire identity is invested in the approval of their church 'family' and, as DAWG said, they will hurt anybody who threatens that sense of self. It is a fact well-known to anybody who has spent time studying the problem that nearly all congregations rally to the defense of a predatory pastor, and punish and drive-off his victims, re-victimizing them.
On "brainwashed into a mindless stupor" has been INTENTIONALLY inculcated by rote education and this practice began since industrial revolution to produce workers who are more bots, the unquestioning bots that is. These are all well documented and whose current effects are our education system, mass media, boob tube and of course leaders who lead fictional lives and that fits with soap opera brainless mind consumption.
"Gothard says he never touched anyone in a sensual way" or kissed but ended up sexually molesting LOTS of women ...
I think Gothard and his buddies (all men) need to have their heads examined. (Their investigation reminds me of a republican congressional panel on contraception that had invited ONLY men on their panel discussion. No women's voices.)
Fascinating world we live in.
Trouble is that we keep elevating these men and many times women up on a pedestal that none of us deserve. I hope that in my 68 years that I am not guilty of doing this. Used to we did have more respect for those with a presumed religious calling but now with the Internet and blogs we can really see things in a different light. Truth of the matter is that these people are just like the rest of us and for some of us we are just now finding that out.
you can get a picture of their Board of Directors via this blog (did the work for me),
and if one goes to Guidestar.com to review the organizations 990's as filed with the IRS, you can view 2012-2014. Assets from 2011 to 2013 dropped from $84 million to $76 million. Still lots of money within the walls of this institute. Even though their current plight and business dealings suck. Any company that operated their P & L like this organization would be out of business or replace each and every officer/BOD. How in the World do we people in the church keep throwing money at these groups??? I mean, 2011 when they are not even at their peak, $84 million?? Or you kidding me??
Interestingly...the way those people who worked with Bill Gothard who are "excusing" or overlooking/ignoring his behavior - is not much different than the people in Washington, DC, senate, congress, staff, etc. are excusing Obama's dishonest and horrible behavior towards our country....people in this world are just becoming so much more ignorant and blind to everything around them and especially people who profess to be Christians...if they really were true believers and open to the Spirit of God's teaching, they would have seen this guy for who he was "back in the day" - I know I did...back in the late 70's - I was actually attending FBC in Jax and was single and in my early 20's and I could not stand Bill Gothard or any of his ministry crap back then because I could see all of his legalist approaches to everything and they all just reminded me of Pharisees and the other jerks that Jesus had issues with...I saw him for who he was back then, even though I did not know about his issues with these women...I still knew he was an idiot..and I guess I was right! :-)
10 Revelations in the Lawsuit against Bill Gothard and IBLP
1. Gothard once gave his credit card to a girl he was grooming and told her to “fix” her clothes. When she expressed confusion, one of his assistants explained to her that Gothard was unhappy with her ankle length skirts and would like her to buy some that were calf length.
2. Gothard paid for a young woman he was grooming and sexually harassing to have cosmetic surgery to remove two skin blemishes which he called “a distraction.” The lawsuit positions this move as part of the increasing control Gothard was assuming over the young woman’s body.
3. Gothard told an 18-year-old girl who rebuffed his advances that if she had still been 17, he would have called social services and gotten her taken away from her parents.
4. Gothard tried to convince a woman to divorce her husband and take a job at headquarters because he wanted to groom and molest her daughter, who had told him she would not be without her mother. See also above.
5. Gothard once had a girl he was grooming placed in a bedroom opposite his office window “so he would know when she could come to his office, after everyone else had left.”
6. Gothard preyed on girls as young as 13, had parents send girls as young as 14 to his headquarters at his request, and assigned girls as young as 15 to be his personal assistants.
7. In the early 1990s, Gothard asked the IBLP Board of Directors for permission to marry Rachel Lees, a young woman he was grooming. At the time, he was nearly 60 and she was around 20. Gothard did not mention the subject to Rachel herself. It was not until Rachel learned two decades later that Gothard had asked the board’s permission to marry her that she recognized Gothard’s behavior as predatory.
8. Gothard told a victim of childhood abuse “that parents were to be believed over children and that children were to obey their parents no matter what, even if they were being sexually abused.” When Jane Doe II reported her father’s sexual abuse to Gothard, he immediately called her father on speakerphone and asked him if the allegations were true (not surprisingly, her father said they were not).
9. Gothard made a habit of having teenage girls come to his office alone late at night under the guise of “Bible study” or “mentoring.” This isn’t technically a new revelation, but it is striking how many of the plaintiffs refer to these late-night one-on-one sessions. For an organization that teaches that people of opposite genders should never be alone together, it is startling that this practice was allowed to continue for so many years without raising an eyebrow.
10. It was common knowledge at IBLP that Gothard took teenage girls as “pets.” It was also common knowledge that Gothard’s behavior with regard to these girls was not appropriate. At one point in the early 1990s, after Gothard asked the IBLP Board of Directors for permission to marry Rachel Lees, the board barred Gothard from having female personal assistants. This ban was never enforced, and Gothard continued his pattern.
There will always will be Gothards, Gillyards, Cosbys and others. The more pertinent question is what ENABLES these characters to spring forth and do their work? What conditions?
My thinking is there are no checks and balances. In patriarchal cultures where women have no say or voices and who are stigmatized from banding together to fight this crap happens.
So does your theology contribute to these men who become serial sexual abusers?
Does your enhancing men supremacy over women contribute to this?
(On a side note the rise of Hilter WAS due to economic theology as is being practised in EU now! Think about it. We create these monsters. Then we wonder why this one is bad when we should be looking into factors that ENABLE them)
Bill Gothard was well thought of - 4 decades ago. But he peaked so long ago most of my evangelical friends thought he was dead. I don't believe he ever spoke to the SBC Convention.
The Bible clearly warns against men who claim special respect as if from God but whose behavior denies this - as Peter wrote:
'They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children;'
Unfortunately for you, he also goes on to illustrate a great Bible lesson about such things that you ridicule in your piece:
'forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.'
I hope that in deciphering the weakness of other men you do not fall prey to your own.
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