Dr. Tim Levendusky named new Interim President of IBLP

14 March 2014, 15:07

Moderator

169

timTim Levendusky, PhD, has been named the new Interim President of IBLP/ATI.

IBLP released the following statement today on their website:

“As the Institute goes through a transition, it is important to have a leadership team that can review the past, evaluate the present, and plan for the future.

To help in this transition, the Board of Directors has chosen Dr. Tim Levendusky to oversee the operations of the Institute, as interim president, until a new president is selected. Many supporters and friends of the ministry are familiar with Dr. Levendusky because of his many years of service with the ministry. He began as a staff committee coordinator and regional coordinator for the Basic Seminar and then served as the director for different training centers in the United States and abroad. For the last several years, Dr. Levendusky has managed the ministry’s international work in Mongolia and South Korea.”

Bill Gothard was placed on Administrative Leave on February 27, 2014, and then resigned as President of IBLP on March 5, 2014, following allegations of misconduct. The Board of Directors is still conducting an internal investigation on these allegations.

Dr. Levendusky immediately released an official statement on the status of IBLP and the investigation. This is the first update by a member of the Board since Bill Gothard was placed on Administrative Leave two weeks ago.

All articles on this site reflect the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of other Recovering Grace contributors or the leadership of the site. Students who have survived Gothardism tend to end up at a wide variety of places on the spiritual and theological spectrum, thus the diversity of opinions expressed on this website reflects that. For our official statement of beliefs, click here.

169 Comments

  1. Steve240 March 14, 2014 Reply

    One thing that is strange about IBLP is that based on Gothard's age they really should have had a succession plan. Isn't IBLP and Bill Gothard so intertwined? Isn't it going to be hard to have IBLP if Gothard isn't around.

    Why didn't they bring in younger people to train. With all this exposed sin maybe it is good they didn't and maybe the group will just implode?

    • Michelle March 14, 2014 Reply

      At one time Rick Lambert was being groomed to take over after Bill but after a few years of being by his side constantly Rick disappeared just like many others have from the ministry. I have never even heard a rumor as to what happened to him. He was one who used to make announcements at the end of each session in Knoxville.

      • steve in ohio March 14, 2014 Reply

        Rick was our family's pastor for a year. He seldom talked about BG or Oak Brook. He had recovered from the legalism and helped our family understand grace better.

    • K March 14, 2014 Reply

      I remember being in a youth Q&A session at Big Sandy where the microphone was handed to a young lady who asked "what would ever happen to ATI/ IBLP if anything ever happened to you Mr. Gothard?"

      Personally, I was thinking it would be a great opportunity for him to declare the ministry as the Lord's and no one man's. I won't forget his response which was a smile and a comment that we had nothing to worry about because he doesn't plan on going anywhere anytime soon and that God had blessed him with good health.

      • Brumby March 15, 2014 Reply

        Wow. How conceited.

        I recall my father telling me around 96' or 97' that BG had confided in the men's session that he would indeed marry someday. Won't be holding my breath for that one.

        • R Sullivan March 15, 2014

          "...BG...would indeed marry someday." I just threw up in my mouth.

    • Friend of Levenduskys March 15, 2014 Reply

      I have known Tim Levendusky since the late 1980s when he was still working as a college professor in Texas and helping the Dallas IBLP Seminar Office part time. I have become acquainted with Angie since they married when she was in her late 30s and he was in his mid-40s. Both of them are sweet and genuine people. To respond to the speculations below, after a number of heart-wrenching miscarriages and dedicated medical attention, one child was all they were able to have. Angie was 45 and Tim was 51 when Josiah was born under excellent medical care in Korea, and he is the delight of their lives. The appointment of Tim as interim president is a surprise. Both Tim and Angie come from typical American backgrounds, and their connection with IBLP represented midlife change for both of them. They are as balanced in application of IBLP teachings as could be hoped, probably due to not having been raised in it. They have also spent the majority of their tenures with IBLP far removed from Chicago. They are processing shock as much as we all are and need our prayers. Whether IBLP/ATI will shut down or not remains to be seen, but staff is needed to helm whatever transition is yet to occur for this organization that has a larger international ministry than a domestic one at present. The Levenduskys as well as many other staff members will need alternate employment if the doors on this ministry eventually close, and that could be difficult for people who have spent decades working for a single non-profit with limited outside experience. May God bless the Levenduskys and give them strength during this crisis.

      • Pam Gall March 15, 2014 Reply

        Thank you for your comment. While I am not a fan of IBLP anymore, I am praying for the people still there. If we are going to minister grace than we really can not be sarcastic and judgmental.
        Our family was hurt by the ministry, but this man who is taking over now has not done anything to hurt me and I will pray for him as he is figuring out how to handle this mess.

  2. Shane March 14, 2014 Reply

    I hope he has some training in turning off the lights.

    • Suzi March 14, 2014 Reply

      Actually, I don't think he has....which is probably why they chose him.

    • Beverly March 14, 2014 Reply

      LOL Shane!

    • Ryan Sapp March 14, 2014 Reply

      Have me a lol at Starbucks. Nice

  3. Sarah March 14, 2014 Reply

    What I want to know...why did they put in bold text that he has a wife and son?

    • Nancy2 March 14, 2014 Reply

      Sarah you had to point that out. Now I am worried about his light weight quiver. He's been married for almost 10 years why isn't that quiver filling up?

      • Andi March 14, 2014 Reply

        They married later in life and are very thankful for the one child they were able to have. A public website is not the place to make assumptions about what may be very personal health reasons, and careless comments can be extremely hurtful.

        • Nancy2 March 14, 2014

          It was tongue in cheek.

          I also could only have one child, and have been attacked by this organization more times than I can count. It was what I have been asked for over 30 years.

          What I really believe is the board is doing what they can to temper some of their extreme teachings by appointing someone who appears a little more main stream. Dr. Levendusky isn't the picture of Mr. Gothard's ideal family. I'm not saying Dr. Levendusky isn't living Mr. Gothard's teachings just that his life isn't reflective of those teachings.

        • Ryan Sapp March 14, 2014

          Andy, your point is well taken.
          IBLP takes great pride in the fact that their two poster families have 39 kids between them.

      • corrie March 14, 2014 Reply

        As someone who has been married almost 9 years and blessed with only 1 child, (miscarriages and infertility) I hope that we don't judge too quickly. I have had people assume I didn't want more kids because I only had one. While I don't know anything personally about him I for one won't judge the number of children he has.

        • Nancy2 March 14, 2014

          I wasn't judging him by his lack of children. I was making a tongue in cheek response to Mr. Gothard's teachings. This is Mr. Gothard's organization. Only organizations like Mr. Gothard's places question marks around a person's child bearing. I am not part of this organization. I don't believe a person should jump into another couples reproductive choices, yet Mr. Gothard has for decades. So the less snarky thing to have asked is "Why is the Board choosing someone who isn't the typical image of a IBLP/ATI family?"

        • Julia Fetters March 14, 2014

          One of the parents in our parent group explained how her family and another family were at the OTC and there were 5 children combined - both families. Mr. Gothard walked up to them (I think he was to meet them there) and asked "Where are all the children?"
          I was speechless when she wrote that.

          WHO EVEN THINKS to ask such a question? Oh my. Pompous comes to mind. Unfeeling. Unthinking. No tact. Not sure what to chalk that up to except....... wrong teaching. His.

        • Nate March 16, 2014

          Julie, you forgot hypocritical. Extremely so from a guy with 0 kids.

      • AmandaH March 14, 2014 Reply

        I echo what Andi said. Many of us continue to be upset by what has happened, frustrated by the lack of response, and hopeful that justice will happen.

        But let us not stoop to snarky, unfounded, personal attacks.

        I happen to know Dr. L's wife. Our years of working at the Headquarters office overlapped for a few years. She's a beautiful person - inside and out. I've lost touch with her through the years. I was excited to hear they now have a son!

        • Nancy2 March 14, 2014

          Do you see how with Mr. Gothard's teachings this was seen as an attack? It wasn't written as an attack. I'm sorry it came across too snarky.

          I'm sure Mrs. Levendusky is perfectly lovely. Like her I could only have one child. I almost died in childbirth. I didn't feel punished by God or under His judgement. We live in a fallen world and things happen. I have been questioned by IBLP/ATI members about why God would close my womb. The desire for large families is a teaching of this organization.

          I am curious as to why this board picked someone who isn't the typical image of an IBLP/ATI family.

      • AmandaH March 14, 2014 Reply

        Nancy, I think the decision has more to do w/Dr. L's dedication and many years of service to and leadership within IBLP rather than trying to give the "typical" model a facelift.

        They have so much more to keep them busy right now.

        True, the Levendusky family portrait is quite different than the many other prominently featured ATI families. It is worth noting, Dr. L. is the interim president of IBLP and not ATI (though, they are very much the same organization). Unlike ATI, many of the IBLP families I've known or worked with have far fewer children than the poster ATI families.

        This is my experience and my opinion. Definitely not conclusive.

        • Nancy2 March 14, 2014

          I read that Dr. Levendusky has been huge in the work done in Korea and Mongolia using Character First. I also have read that Character First is seen as successful in prison ministries and provides a steady source of revenue as the Seminars are declining in numbers and influence.

          Since Character First moves more into mainstream areas I have no doubt his image has been considered along with his character. I would expect the board to see the value in both.

          I hope his character is such that he will be able to weed out the heresy in Mr. Gothard's teachings.

        • Andi March 14, 2014

          I agree, I think it's a positive sign on the board's part that they didn't look for someone who fit an "ideal ATI image." I knew Angie briefly and met Tim as well shortly after they married; they're both genuine, wonderful people. I've moved on from IBLP since leaving HQ's about 7 years ago, but I was glad to see this move made in light of recent events.

        • Nancy2 March 14, 2014

          Then Andi I pray long with you that someone on the board is taking a stand to fight against those heresies taught. Too many in the body of Christ has suffered under Gothard's teaching of works with his chain of authority. It is time this organization remembers it's first love Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

          It is so easily forgotten that those of us outside this organization suffered along side those within although in a different way. Our families rejected us even when our lives were obviously dedicated to serving Jesus.

      • phyllis March 14, 2014 Reply

        We knew a Gothardite family that did not cease to harass one particular sister ad her husband because they only had two children. The Gothard disciples didn't consider them a real family. All in the name of Christian love. Good comment Nancy. The offbeat garbage that is taught through this machine is really sick.

      • kevin March 16, 2014 Reply

        Nancy,
        Excellent point. Reading a couple of the comments that follow, it is a little scary that people would not immediately recognize that your comment was tongue in cheek, to point out the absurdity of Gothard's teachings, and to think that you were attacking the Levenduskys. I think that it speaks to how deeply the teachings permeate people's lives and how they perceive things.

        This really is the world according to Gothard:

        If you only had 1, 2, or 3 children, there must be something wrong. Do you not know that children are a blessing? Having trouble conceiving? Your doctor told you that you are infertile? Don't listen to your doctors, go to page 195 of the Advanced Seminar book and follow steps 1- 4, for having children when you are barren and read all of the anecdotal stories about others who conceived when they followed my steps, despite what their doctors told them. Still not working? Are you sure that you are practicing my rules for abstinence, step 3? Have you cleansed the house for Cabbage Patch Dolls? What about Troll Dolls? What about Christian Rock or contemporary music? This too can block conception by creating spiritual warfare in the home - see Step 2. Have you interrogated your children to make sure that none of them are secretly listening to music with the wrong beat?
        Still not conceiving? Then you aren't following the steps correctly. Or perhaps..... you or your husband are hiding a secret sin that you have not repented of- what have you done to try to discover what this secret sin is?

        It's all pretty nutty. Sometimes it takes a little tongue in cheek to emphasize just how nutty some of the teachings are. The idea of judging people's level of faith or obedience to God by the number of children that they have is really rather sick, but that is clearly what was encouraged.

        • Sad March 16, 2014

          Thanks Kevin for using the reference pages of the Advanced Textbook. I think it is imperative that we continue to deconstruct the "crud" that has been published in the Basic and Advanced Texts that we were given. The only reason I have dragged mine out of storage is to use as a means of "hoited on their own petard" to borrow a bit of Shakespeare.

          I would certainly hope that with the appointment of Dr Levendusky that he could help turn around the view that one must have a large family to be blessed of God. Single, married, childless, few children, or many children, we ALL are important to the Lord. The constructs of our families are strictly a matter between us and our Maker. NOT something for outsiders to observe and pass judgement upon.

          It grieves me so to read of so many people here who have been judged harshly for having no kids, or few kids, by others within the IBLP/ATI Machine. Just unacceptable.

          I can scarcely imagine what these people would say about me - not that I would care one whit.

          Keep up the great work RG.

        • Nancy2 March 16, 2014

          Thank you! Sincerely, thank you.

    • Sad March 14, 2014 Reply

      One possibility for this is to emphasize that the new leader actually IS a husband and father, and thus can look at life as one who is actually in the situation. Instead of someone who dictates to others how to be a husband and father without having actually lived that life.

      Just a thought.

      • Tara-Lee Page March 15, 2014 Reply

        I think they are still trying to claim that Gothard committed sexual crimes because he wasn't married. New Guy is married and has a child, so he's obviously never going to sexually assault anyone (I know this assumption isn't true, several of the predators I've met were married).

        Now, I don't doubt that new guy isn't a predator - but that's just because he's not a predator. The problem never was that Gothard never married.

        • Christy Bell March 16, 2014

          It could be Tara and RG, that the problem is Gothard long ago traded the power of love for the love of power.

        • Heidi March 16, 2014

          Well stated Tara Lee, and Christy Bell.

        • phyllis March 17, 2014

          Bull's eye!! The problem never was that Gothard never married. So true Tara-Lee. The behavior he exhibits cannot be fixed by getting married. Unless one believes that narcissism, desiring tyrannical control, being manipulative, lying etc can be cured by a trip to the altar.

      • Sarah March 15, 2014 Reply

        My comment had nothing to do with him having only one child. But the fact that they bolded his family info made me wonder if it had something to do with Gothard's being single. Bolding the text implies they wanted to emphasize that for some reason.

    • Vivian March 15, 2014 Reply

      Wow.

      I was never involved in anything Gothardish, but have been following RG for a while due to people I know who were. My immediate reaction to Sarah's comment was SO different from that of the people in the discussion that followed.

      Sarah said, "why did they put in bold text that he has a wife and son?" My first thought was, they want to emphasize that this is someone with normal family relationships instead of the twisted, abusive relationships of which Bill Gothard stands accused.

      It never would have occurred to me that anyone would criticize Mr. Levendusky for having "ONLY" one son, or that his small family would be some kind of "mainstreaming" statement by the IBLP board.

      I think the fact that so many minds automatically went there is some kind of statement on how deep "quiverfull" thinking permeates.

      • Christy Bell March 16, 2014 Reply

        I think that the quiverful teaching is a conpanion to IBLP teaching if it isn't a direct offspring of Gothardism.

  4. MITCHELL GEORGE CHAPMAN March 14, 2014 Reply

    FROM MITCHELL CHAPMAN

    Thanks to the board of directors for naming of Dr. Tim Levendusky to
    help guide the Institute in the next phase of ministry.

  5. Gracie Shepherd March 14, 2014 Reply

    I guess someone has to be in charge, but I'm still crossing my fingers this means he'll just be the one in charge of liquidating everything. How long can they keep up this charade of there being any "ministry" to salvage? Gross.

  6. Detox March 14, 2014 Reply

    If the teachings of Bill Gothard have been in question even since the 1983 Transcripts I wonder why this ministry is still going on? Would the new leader adhere to his teachings? Chain of command and defrauding come to mind - just asking.

    • Christy Bell March 16, 2014 Reply

      this heresy has been going on before 83. I remember being exposed to Gothardism about 75. It's been going on because Gothard is slick and has built a repressive network around his organization

  7. MarkL March 14, 2014 Reply

    Meet the new guy...same as the old guy. The problem is the foundation is built on the sinking sand of cultish legalism and hero worship, which allowed the offenses to happen. All this says to me is that they want business as usual and refuse to acknowledge doctrinal error and the cult mentality.

  8. MarkL March 14, 2014 Reply

    From Gothard's own website,regarding his teachings on hermeneutics...

    "This (The Holy Spirit as guide of interpretation) being the case, it is also reasonable to conclude that if a person who wants to interpret Scripture has sinful habits or practices in his life that grieve the Holy Spirit and quench His power, the Holy Spirit will not reveal the truth of Scripture to such a person. In fact, God warns that such individuals will take Scripture out of context to their own destruction. (See II Peter 3:16.) This result supports the axiom that a man’s morality will dictate his theology and his philosophy."

    Bill Gothard has interpreted scripture for decades regarding courtship, parental authority, having lots of children, and many other things. By his own definition, his sinful practices prevent him from accurately interpreting theology in these areas. Therefore, the only logical step for IBLP staff and followers to take is to go and revisit his teachings and learn where they have been misguided for all of these years.

    If you value your great teacher then evaluate his teachings in light of his sinful practices and pull the plug on them.

    • Sally March 14, 2014 Reply

      Very good point Mark. Well said.

    • D..... March 15, 2014 Reply

      Great comment..... His own words betray him...

    • phyllis March 17, 2014 Reply

      Matthew 7:2 New American Standard Bible
      "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

      That should sober Mr. Gothard as it should sober all of us.

    • kevin March 17, 2014 Reply

      "if a person who wants to interpret Scripture has sinful habits or practices in his life that grieve the Holy Spirit and quench His power, the Holy Spirit will not reveal the truth of Scripture to such a person."

      By Gothard's own teachings, his revelations could not be from the Holy Spirit. Then from where did those revelations come from? Revelations that lead to shipwrecked lives, cause people to not adopt orphans, allow for abuse, cause people to not experience the joy of God's Grace and often leave the faith; who could it be that might want to reveal such teachings to a person? By his own teachings it was not the Holy Spirit, but also by the fruits we know it not to be of God. Things from God yield all good, not some mixed bag of things that seem to bring good to some people (at least initially) and then a whole bunch of strife and shipwreck to others.
      The destroyed lives, the years spent away from God's Grace, and the abuse, we know these things would not be the fruit if it was of the Holy Spirit. It's a pretty short list of who might have really revealed these things to him.

      • 'Megan' March 17, 2014 Reply

        It also downplays the actual power of the Holy Spirit. Once we have it, it's there. We may have times of backsliding, or ignoring it because of sin or whatever, but it's still there. And how about the redemptive work of Christ? So the Holy Spirit is going to ignore you completely unless you are morally righteous (according to whose standards?). Then what is the point of the Holy Spirit at all? If you can make yourself righteous on your own while the Holy Spirit is waiting on you to become righteous before deigning to guide you, what did Jesus die for?

        Sheesh, every single day I realize even more just how foul Gothard's 'gospel' really is, and thankful that I'm getting away from it!

    • Guy Cooksey April 22, 2014 Reply

      Mark, I am new to this site, and have just learned about BG and Doug Phillips yesterday. I went through IBLP back in 1989 and Advanced around 1995 and was helped by it. I am a college and seminary grad and have been a pastor for over 25 years (Church of the Nazarene). Although I have appreciated BG's "new approach" to scripture I have always taken him "with a grain of salt." This was especially so when he started putting "PhD" after his name. He always spoke against "Titles" and so I began to wonder about this. I also remember back when my wife and I were beginning to have children that I did not feel at peace about ATI. Even then (1995) I saw the extreme legalism raising its ugly head. This was confirmed when years later I began to see the fall out of ATI in broke marriages and families. Now that the sexual harassment (and maybe assault) is coming to the front I am saddened, but not surprised. Placing gifted people in extreme positions of Christian authority with no theological training or accountability is an abuse waiting to happen. This entire affair saddens me, but why should I be surprised? Truly, power corrupts--even good men and women. We just can't handle fame humbly. Period.

  9. Ryan Sapp March 14, 2014 Reply

    I will give George Maddox credit. He at least called me back. Said they are taking Bill off the web sites tomorrow. Guess they were waiting to find a replacement. Talk about going down with the ship.
    Nanana nanana hey hey hey goodbye

    • Beverly March 14, 2014 Reply

      They have actually already removed him from their website---at least most of the stuff about him.

    • John March 14, 2014 Reply

      I find it interesting that this site is supposed to be the antidote to IBLP and Mr. Gothard. It appears a lot of people are obsessed with his downfall instead of just living the walk Jesus has for your life. The focus should be on Jesus not Mr. Gothard. The real enemy is the evil one and his forces. If people want to cheer this, then it is very sad. I am speaking as one who does not go along with certain things IBLP teaches but also realizes that if one preaches freedom under grace to live however will end in bondage.

      • Lori March 15, 2014 Reply

        "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears." (Acts 20:29-31)

        Defending against false teachers is only a distraction from Christ if done with wrong motives -- and it is often very strong evidence of one's love for Christ and His sheep.

      • "Hannah" March 15, 2014 Reply

        Except that the subtitle of the website is, "a BILL GOTHARD generation shines light on his teachings..." [paraphrase]. But you're right, we shouldn't actually mention Gothard, here... Only Jesus.

      • Ryan Sapp March 15, 2014 Reply

        John,
        If you have been following this site at all you will see the comments/stories of people who's lives have been devastated by Bill Gothards teachings, influence and deceit. For as much carnage as he has created the comments are actually very forgiving.

        My Mom told me yesterday she reads every article and every comment and cries everyday. Why? She has been out for many many years now but she is processing the pain and regrets of following a teacher that influenced our lives so strongly and through his teachings drove wedges between lifelong friendships and relationships with her children and who's teachings very negatively affected her children and altered the course of their lives forever.

        People sacrificed EVERYTHING for Bill and his teachings only to find out he never really followed them himself.

        You can take it as pride, dancing on the grave, cheering his downfall or whatever you like. To use a line you would understand, ye shall know them by their fruit. My family's has 35 years of rotten fruit along with hundreds of families we know. For the damage, destruction and unfulfilled promises that can be directly correlated to him the tone on this site is rather gracious.

        Ryan

        • John March 15, 2014

          Ryan,

          I realize that there is much anger and bitterness to what has occurred. I was in ATI for one year so I cannot understand all the excruciating pain that people have gone through. I have seen much of the Christian world attending multiple types of churches and going to various Christian schools and homeschool group. I feel terrible that you were locked into what you had to go through. Anyway, I hope you will focus on the abundant life in Christ and not get bogged down with the past. As someone said it is decisions we make not the condtions of our lives that determine our destiny. A book I recommend to all here is "The Source of my Strength" by Dr. Charles Stanley. He covers multiple topics such fear, loneliness, abuse, frustration, guilt, burnout, inferiority and persecution. I know he is not perfect but his books have been great encouragement to me.

        • Chris Jones March 15, 2014

          John,

          You might want to read this article here: http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2014/03/joys-story/

          The article notes that Charles Stanley played an active roll in providing cover for Bill Gothard by trying to silence the IBLP staff and whistle-blowers who were trying to correct many of IBLP's errors back during IBLP's scandal in 1980.

        • John March 15, 2014

          Chris,

          I hear what you are saying. I guess I saw another side of him having a personal counseling session with him and receiving a hug from him after that session. He came from an abusive situation from his step father. I remember seeing him come to breakfast at pastor's conference wearing blue jeans so I considered him a down earth guy. Thanks for the link. I have seen IBLP from the beginning until now. My hope and prayer is that God will work this out somehow for good.

        • John March 16, 2014

          Hannah,

          I hear you what you are saying. I guess I am in strange position being close and yet not being apart of IBLP. I actually helped a friend get out of IBLP and he is now married and has a child. But I will take your point. I grateful to be in a church where they don't even talk about IBLP and focus on spreading the Gospel.

      • Christy Bell March 16, 2014 Reply

        John, please read the rest of this site and catch up. Gotta warn you, have a box of tissue handy because it'll break your heart, assuming you have a heart.

        • John March 16, 2014

          Christy,

          I cannot understand the pain that people have gone through but bitterness will destroy you. Don't let it. Why do you attack me? I wish people would try to be objective. So yes I have a heart. I don't know the answers. I don't why God allowed it to happen. What have I done to you? I guess you think I am defender of Bill Gothard. The answer is no. That being said I look at a lot of the comments and want to say if this is Christianity, then maybe some other religion is better because Christians appear not to forgive or be kind or loving. It just appears to be anger, hatred, vengeful retaliation.

        • "Hannah" March 16, 2014

          John, I am wondering if you can try to understand people before labeling them. And if you cannot, as you said, that's understandable. But still not label them. Consider that IBLP has finally been exposed for the sham that it is... and yet it's the victims you find fault with. This seems misplaced, to me.

          "Bitterness" as you term it, is usually transitory, and it is one of the necessary stages of grief. Sometimes grief destroys us, but we still have to go through it. Just give people time. Please? What you are seeing is some pretty raw emotion, here. We're not going to cover it all up and make everything look nice for the average visitor. We're doing "real", here.

        • Guy Cooksey April 22, 2014

          Charles Stanley IS NOT one I listen to. He is part of the problem and not the solution. His failed marriage should have disqualified him from preaching (not ministry but from leading his meg-church and preaching from a pulpit). However, just like the Institute you have people in power who love the money and the fame.

      • Nate March 17, 2014 Reply

        John,
        Your input here is illustrative of the problems that have allowed Bill Gothard to operate over decades the way he has. And for you to say that some of the comments here make you want to consider another religion, is a very immature statement. Where is the logic in saying that because someone else misapplied your faith that you would question your faith based on their misapplication? What you were observing on the site is people rejoicing after a victory in a Decades long battle to remove unrighteousness from a Christian organization. A sexual predator has sat at the highest level of a powerful Christian organization, an org where most of its members don't even believe in kissing before marriage. Gothard Has not repented either. He is trying to frame his resignation as proper Christian behavior towards an accusation.
        The people who should be criticized right now are the people who knew or should have known what was going on and did not speak out. The people on this website did something. The reason everyone here is piling on to you is because the attitude you are displaying is exactly what leads to problems like the ones with ATI. The People on the site are not perfect, no one is. Yes, they have flaws that you can probably observed by reading their writing. However, you should consider that these people might be people that you should be learning from, not People you should be trying to teach. As an observer not affiliated with ATI who spent several hours evaluating the materials on the site I have to say that your comments are about the most ill-informed that I have seen. Remove the plank from your own eye and then you will see clearly to help your brother with respect to this

        • John March 17, 2014

          Nate,

          I know people who told Mr. Gothard not to be alone with young ladies repeatedly. I understand the anger. No, I am thinking about another religion. Christianity is the only true religion. I am grateful for God's mercy and unmerited favor (grace). It does not bother me if people want to pile on. My whole point is am very close to the situation. So yes I will remove the plank. I just was trying to show that if we are not careful we can turn the world off of Christianity by not only the sin committed by the also the response. True, I made a decision to leave ATI after one year and not be under the bondage that others speak of here. I can only hope and pray everything one day is finally resolved. So thank you for your rebuke and I mean that genuinely.

    • Ed Dykstra March 17, 2014 Reply

      References to "Bill" still on the basic seminar, still there 3-17-14

      • gina March 18, 2014 Reply

        I guess they consider it premature to pull the BG media available through Embassy Institute. Besides, what would they do without the Basic Seminar, Advanced Seminar, or Anger Resolution Seminar?

        • Ryan Sapp March 22, 2014

          Maybe they need a "new" approach.

        • "Emee" March 22, 2014

          Thanks, Ryan, for the chuckle; they also might need a "paradigm shift" :)

  10. guest March 14, 2014 Reply

    An earlier statement from his wife on iblp.org:
    http://ati.iblp.org/ati/students/opportunities/seminars/

    “I went to my first Basic Seminar at the age of twelve. The Lord used Mr. Gothard’s amusing, insightful, and challenging messages to completely change my life, altering and deepening my Christian worldview, which allowed me to approach life’s problems from a Biblical frame of reference.” —Angie Levendusky

  11. Julia Fetters March 14, 2014 Reply

    " Many supporters and friends of the ministry are familiar with Dr. Levendusky because of his many years of service with the ministry." How , I ask, can this be good? Many years given to this ministry?! That is so sad - game on as usual. With bad teachings, immorality, misuse of funds, control... all this and more going on and he didn't see it or chose to saty. Honestly. I do not know the man but common sense, some logic, and doing the math says this cannot be good.

  12. esbee March 14, 2014 Reply

    now maybe with the new guy coming in do you think it would be possible that if someone disagrees with what Gothard has said is Bible truth, that they will not be labeled as bitter or rebellious, and perhaps a healthful discussion of what a scripture REALLY means might become part of the scene?

    AND since this new guy has a PHD, will he drop the crap that ATI kids should not attend college? Will women be allowed to wear pants and will he keep his nose out of how many kids a family chooses to have?

    Does this new guy know why Gothard resigned? Does he know about this site? Will he be open to people wanting to tell him where Bill's non-optional interpretations and all those "10 steps to this and 7 steps to that" fail and fall short?

    But he has been associated with Character First--- the secular version which goes into the corporate and education and foreign countries.

    Maybe I am hoping he has not drunk the Kool-Aid and has an open mind. That it is ok to have an independent thought different from anyone else and not incur the wrath of GO(thar)D !!!! Am I wishing something that might be too much to deliver?

    • Shane March 14, 2014 Reply

      Those are great questions. The short answer is that cults that reach longevity go "mainstream"; drop polygamy, buy Pepsi, distance from founders, lose the blatant racism, etc. Were the organization to repent of what is false in it's teaching it would cease to exist and send its folks into the arms of Jesus' bride. I know she's a mess, but SHE is the bride of Jesus.

      These questions are why some keep reminding that the issue here is false teaching. It's not to diminish the abuse, but so that when we get to this point that our eye is not taken off the ball by the new kinder gentler false teaching.

      • Nancy2 March 14, 2014 Reply

        Amen!

      • Christy Bell March 16, 2014 Reply

        Amen and Amen!!

    • Shane March 14, 2014 Reply

      Oh and esbee- I really am cautious about asserting some diagnosis about someone's potential mental condition, but I really think one has to have some unusually strong narcissistic personality tendencies to pull off what Gothard has. I'm guessing this is not the case with the interim. That in itself will change things. Not enough but I would guess noticeably.

    • Christy Bell March 16, 2014 Reply

      "Maybe I am hoping he has not drunk the Kool-Aid and has an open mind. That it is ok to have an independent thought different from anyone else and not incur the wrath of GO(thar)D !!!!"

      Hear, hear Esbee!!

  13. Denise March 14, 2014 Reply

    I don't think the legalism will stop just because he's married. He is more legalistic than anyone I've been under in this ministry! He Beleives in the teachings of IBLP! He's hard on people but he also lived it! Good PR move!

    • Shane March 14, 2014 Reply

      Scary!

    • MichaelDixon March 14, 2014 Reply

      That's very true. I worked with him when he arrived at OTC. I think he's a good guy at heart but he lives IBLP and is very legalistic (at least when I knew him). I hope he has the wisdom in 2014 to make the right decisions.

    • Nancy2 March 14, 2014 Reply

      And this is why I questioned the Board's decision in choosing someone whose image doesn't reflect Mr. Gothard's teachings. It begs the question, "Is he a different image with the same message or is his image reflective of his convictions that are contrary to that message?" What message do they want to give their audience? Who do they see as their audience? PR is part of the landscape whether we like it or not.

    • Tangent March 17, 2014 Reply

      Listen to Denise. When she spent time at an ATI/IBLP training ceter, she and her daughters were the "Least of these, Christ's sisters" and they were not treated with the respect owed by one Christian to another.

  14. grateful March 14, 2014 Reply

    FWIW, this website's comments have become increasingly mean-spirited over the past week or so ... just an observation. I think there are some really enjoying watching this wreck unfold. I, for one, am growing weary and quite frankly, ready to move on. The whole situation is sad on many, many levels.

    • Allen March 14, 2014 Reply

      Agreed. People had better beware lest they become defined by what they are against, rather than the Christ they are for.

    • Nancy2 March 14, 2014 Reply

      grateful, if I am one of those who has caused you grief I am deeply sorry. This organization has caused me great lose due to their judgmental and superior attitudes. i have family members and friends who have been lost to me because of the false teachings they have bought into.

      My comments on childbearing may have seemed mean spirited, but I knew the reaction I would get. I knew the answer I would give loosely based on Romans 2:

      15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them.

      What was accused in me over a 30 year period would be excused by someone in the organization they support. This is the heart of the problem Mr. Gothard has created. Man cannot live the standard he has created. We need Grace because we will always fall short of God's standard and our own conscience. Without the redemption of Jesus we are totally hopeless. My intention wasn't to be mean spirited, but to point out the inability to live according to Mr. Gothard's system. Even the person that succeeds him doesn't fit his ideal.

    • Lori March 15, 2014 Reply

      On the contrary, people seem very concerned that there not be another aborted attempt to stop the IBLP abuses (spiritual, emotional, sexual, financial, etc.) as happened with the 1980 scandal. (It was not for lack of trying but the resources were not available then for concerned former staff to continue their efforts.) This is not over. The issues are far from resolved. I think it's imperative for RG and like-minded supporters to stay the course and see this through to a just conclusion as the Lord gives opportunity. Now is not the time to shrink back into silence. The board and the new interim president must be held accountable to do right by the victims and to honor the Lord by faithfulness to the truth.

    • "Hannah" March 15, 2014 Reply

      Grateful, perhaps this is just not your fight. Having not been in ATI, yourself, I don't think anyone would fault you for expending your time, elsewhere. It's hard to comprehend the complex emotions people are feeling and expressing at such a critical time, if you haven't been there.

    • Ryan Sapp March 15, 2014 Reply

      Grateful and Allen,

      If you were told your whole life to trust someone for your education, shun the establishment of higher learning only to find out that that person gets a PhD and uses it as a badge of accreditation, you would get it.

      If you had foregone every normal male/female interaction as a developing adult, held yourself above reproach and found out the very person who espoused such teachings got off on not only violating the rules he espoused but punished others for breaking them, you would get it.

      • Allen March 15, 2014 Reply

        Ryan, I get it more than you know. The same things have happened to me, and more. My point is this -- Jesus Christ is alive. He isn't in IBLP or ATI, or in anything Gothard teaches. So talk it out and go through your time of recovery. That is a need. But recover. If you allow what Gothard did to destroy your future as he did your past, who wins? This is supposed to be the recovery of grace in Christ Jesus website. But it appears that when anyone so much as suggests that grace in Christ ought to be the direction, even that is met with opposition. I can see why people are leaving.

        • "Hannah" March 16, 2014

          You know nothing of my personal recovery or lack thereof, Allen. Or of any of us. You've been on this website how long? And you're ready for us to be "healed", already? If you yourself have experience with cult involvement, you should know that the healing takes years, sometimes decades. You should know that you can't put a cult survivor on a timetable for completion of their healing. It doesn't work that way.

        • Allen March 16, 2014

          I for one have had enough of the bitterness and hate expressed by supposed Christians on this web site. This isn't the case with everyone here, but anyone who even suggests that there is a better way -- finding Christ as the solution rather than resentment -- is immediately jumped on by individuals who, having seen the error they were in, seem to have no consciousness of the Truth. People had better beware of becoming that which they despise. As for me, I'm done here. And I'm sure that will delight more than a few. I'm sure that the Gothardites who read this site are also delighted that now that the common enemy, Bill Gothard, is gone, that his enemies have begun to turn on each other.

        • "Hannah" March 16, 2014

          Don't you think that's some pretty strong accusations? I think we are pretty good about defending the victims, if that is your complaint. About respecting their need to heal in their own time and their own pace. I can't apologize for that. If it bothers you, it's okay for you to expend your time, elsewhere. You are certainly free to make that decision.

          I also think everyone should bear in mind that RG allows anyone to comment and to say what they wish, with the exception of obvious trolling or personal attacks against another commenter. So that may be why people are seeing comments all over the map... Because RG does not censor emotions. I support that.

        • phyllis March 17, 2014

          Matthew 7:2 New American Standard Bible
          "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you"

          Mr. Gothard seems to think the scripture does not apply to him. God is faithful to mete out justice according to what He has written. It is so wrong to have built this empire on principles he himself refuses to observe, yet expects others to perform flawlessly.

        • dreamer March 17, 2014

          Where has ANYONE on this website ever suggested that the grace of Jesus Christ is not the answer?

        • Recovered By GODS Grace, not a website March 18, 2014

          AMEN

      • Marcie March 15, 2014 Reply

        Well said, Ryan.

    • Sally March 15, 2014 Reply

      Loss and grief have many stages and working through them is painful. While some here might be in the stage of anger I do not blame them for we all go through that stage in the process to recover.

      In ATI/IBLP we were taught to ignore normal human feelings and "obey the principles to honor Christ". We did that and denied ourselves only to be found the fool. YES, anger is a part of recovering, anger for submitting oneself to principles instead of just following Christ and anger for the loss each of us incur. I hope we can move through those stages to a healthy place.

      Part of the huge problem is denying people the very normal human behavior we were created to experience. By denying this part is to deny part of our humanness. It is in this denying that we allowed the wool to be pulled over our eyes that allowed all manner of harm to come to us and our families. Anger and betrayal are normal feelings to process.

      There are several stages in dealing with loss and grief and we must work through all of them. I am glad Recovering Grace gives allowances for us to experience them all, for it is only when we work through them that we recover and are free to receive all the Grace our Lord planned for us. It is then we can love others through the grief process to a wholeness. We did not get here over night and we will not leave here magically overnight but the path we find, hopefully we can then share with others so they too can find the path to freedom.

    • Pam Gall March 15, 2014 Reply

      I agree with you. For the past two years I have been ministered to by the grace and truth on this website. Since the resignation, many people have seemed sarcastic and not showing grace and humility that I had come to appreciate on this site.

    • Christy Bell March 16, 2014 Reply

      Was Jesus mean spirited when he turned over tables in the temple?
      Our Lord didn't come to earth to give us pastel-colored unicorns and perpetual rainbows--he came to save us from ugly sin and hideous legalistic religion.

      Unwavering Nicey-niceness isn't Biblical Christianity--it's religiosity

  15. greg March 14, 2014 Reply

    I just hope and pray that iblp will come out in the open and call bill's sin sin, make some Biblical changes, and drop the non-Biblical "principals" of 10 steps of this and 9 steps of this and "if we walk sideways and raise our left arm then God will bless us this way",,. Chuck Lynch in his book "You can work it out" has a very interesting insight into the x number of steps to this and that in that Christ healed 3 blind people in scripture (that we are told of) and He healed them in 3 different ways, yet w/ the same positive result.
    Let's just pray that spiritual eyes will be open and apologies and confessions for past wrongs against people and families involved in iblp and ati will be forth coming. And not further excuses,,,,

    • Nancy2 March 14, 2014 Reply

      Amen!

    • Sally March 15, 2014 Reply

      THIS is the very thing that makes serving a brilliant God real. He can take any situation or dilemma that we find ourselves in and make it work to good. THAT is amazing grace.

  16. Allen March 14, 2014 Reply

    Now that Gothard has at least temporarily stepped aside, does it really matter who they appointed to lead the heretical cult? Would a good guy be better than a bad guy? This is why the issue must come back to the teachings. The Truth of God's grace needs to be proclaimed. The false teachings need to be exposed in light of the Truth. In the end, all of the revelations of scandal necessarily got people's attention and needed to be exposed so that others could be spared. But when all of this blows over people will still need to know Jesus Christ and His wonderful grace. It would be a shame if all people took away was a nothing more than a celebration that the heretic was brought down. I don't think that is ultimately what God is after. He wants people set free by the Truth.

    • Lori March 16, 2014 Reply

      Amen.

  17. Rachel March 14, 2014 Reply

    I have noticed a shift in attitude as well. There is a place for continuing to sound the call for repentance and the call to examine IBLP/ATI teachings. However, in our eagerness to see these things happen, let us not lose sight of the reason we are here on this site. Many of us are experiencing God's grace like we never have before. We are learning who God really is...a God of never-stopping, never-giving-up love who has come to rescue us by His grace--not beat us over the head because we can't measure up to His standard. He paid the price for us, with His blood--while we were still blindly rejecting Him. Instead of reacting with mean-spirited comments, let us extend some of the grace we have freely received. And, let us get on our faces and continue to pray that God, by His Holy Spirit, would bring true repentance, reveal His truth, change hearts, and also continue to mold US into the image of His Son.

  18. MD March 14, 2014 Reply

    Very well said, Rachel. Grace is too good to keep to ourselves only; we need to extend it to others.

    Its good to remember what the Lord has done already. He has indeed answered prayers. He has opened many people's eyes to the errors of
    Bill Gothard's teachings and in so doing God is restoring people to Himself and giving them fresh understanding of who He is and opening up His glorious truths to many. He has exposed and humbled Bill Gothard so that he can turn to God in repentance. The Lord has removed Bill Gothard from leadership and has placed a humble man as the interim president. No, this doesn't solve all the problems, but the Lord is indeed at work. Let us not assume that error and scandal will win the day, but rather that the Lord is mighty and able to do much more than we ask or think.

    • Christy Bell March 16, 2014 Reply

      ...and could we please pray for the victims??? Instead of shining our armor? May God protect the vulnerable from sexual and spiritual predators!!!

  19. Tara-Lee Page March 15, 2014 Reply

    I don't envy Mr Levendusky in his task. Many of the people who are still loyal to IBLP will have trouble adjusting to new leadership, since IBLP really was very much about Gothard (personality cult). Many of the people who have been burned by IBLP have no reason to trust him.

    I would like to ask him, if he is a genuine, decent guy, to please remove the CLA from any part in this matter, and please engage a truly third party, like GRACE, to help sort out this mess.

    Until we see some sort of action like that, I do not believe any real change has been made.

    • "Hannah" March 15, 2014 Reply

      Good point, Tara Lee. Time will tell whether Levendusky has the desire or the power (heheheh...) to get to the bottom of this.

    • Sally March 15, 2014 Reply

      Tara-Lee, a too agree. Truth can only be found by an independent group. Much like our current state of the Union having those within the organization try to root out any error will not happen.

  20. Andrew March 15, 2014 Reply

    I knew Tim back in the '90s, when he coordinated some Basic seminars in Upstate New York. I think he also had something to do with ATI...regional coordinator or something like that.

    I doubt he would remember me, but at the time we had quite a bit of contact. My impression back then was that he was of a different sort than many of the others in IBLP leadership. He seemed...real. He had a secular education, and didn't seem embarrassed about it. We would kick back in a staff room during a seminar with other volunteers, and he would be in the middle of the laughter and joking.

    At that time I was already on my way out of the Gothard orbit, planning a short-term trip to Brazil that would eventually lead to my life's work. Far from being disparaging, Tim encouraged me on my course of action, even though it was leading me out of ATI.

    All this to say that I see this appointment as possibly a good thing. My memory of Tim is that he is a good man. And a good man is what is needed right now.

  21. Andi March 15, 2014 Reply

    This whole process has opened a lot of wounds, and I hope Recovering Grace will now shift to helping people heal from it and move past it. Leaving wounds to fester is only going to hurt those who were hurt, not IBLP. I don't think this site needs to become grounds for criticism and scrutiny of the Levenduskys - I don't follow RG much but that doesn't seem to be the purpose it was intended for. They've stepped into a very difficult position that I certainly wouldn't want. I had hurts in my own childhood that I had to work through around age 18, it was a matter of taking them to Jesus and learning who HE really is, separate from the image I'd had from Christian people in my upbringing, and working through hurts with a Godly Christian counselor. A support group of people with the same pain I'd had would have only made things worse, unless it's purpose was for our healing.

  22. Betty March 15, 2014 Reply

    As far as how to direct energy of wounds reopening, might we pray as RG encouraged me back on 2/3/14, "...do justly, love mercy, walk humbly..."
    "?

    "..take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek, and lowly of heart--and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOUL. "

    Justice. Mercy. Humility. Meekness. Rest.

    • B. Gross March 16, 2014 Reply

      Thanks, Betty.

      Justice... Mercy... Humility.

  23. Beth March 15, 2014 Reply

    There are a lot of negative comments on here, I've noticed a tone difference. I think ppl are shifting from really searching for answers and looking at how to process and lean to being victims. I was hurt by this organization, ok it hurt me then, I'm not going to let it now, I'm not a victim I'm going to be a conqueror. It actually pushed me into the arms of God where I found grace though that is not what it intended it's what happened.

    The other thing I'd like to say is I don't know much about this guy, I've heard good and bad but I think we shouldn't just assume. If someone is in there trying to bring about justice and help ppl I want to be the last person to smear them for being willing to get their hands dirty. I will say he did acknowledge more in that letter and seemed more concerned than anything else I've seen in their public communications. To me that is something.

    • P.L. March 15, 2014 Reply

      To be fair, I think that because of the increased publicity there are also simply *more* people commenting here now, and therefore a greater variety of responses.

      • greg March 15, 2014 Reply

        Very true

      • Lori March 16, 2014 Reply

        Good point, P.L.

      • Beth March 16, 2014 Reply

        I hadn't really considered that but looking now I think you're right.

  24. Clarification March 15, 2014 Reply

    To clarify, Dr. and Mrs. Levendusky were married later in life and would have loved to have a large family, but multiple miscarriages dashed their hopes for years. Finally, as a result of advanced medical care in Korea, Angie was able to carry a baby full term. She was 45 and Tim was 51 when Josiah was born. See more information in my comment under "Friend of Levenduskys" in a reply near the top of this thread. Please be gentle with them in the comment record you lay down here. They are sensitive and loving people, as devastated as anyone to learn of the revelations.

  25. Sunflower March 15, 2014 Reply

    I guess my question is: If Warren Jeffs, or Jim Jones, or the leader of the JW's, or the Brannamites, was caught in sin, and a new leader was appointed, is it not still the same organization? Even if he's a 'good guy'? I'm having trouble understanding why anyone would even want the organization to continue at all? Does that not show that down deep a lot of us still think it was pretty good, just needed a few tweaks? I'm not enjoying this at all, or wanting to be mean-spirited, I just don't get it.
    It's like 'reforming' someone who isn't a believer. He/she has to be born again, not tweaked a bit. ALL things are to become new.

  26. Samuel Lundmark March 15, 2014 Reply

    I was a friend of Tim L., and while I disagree with him on several theological issues, I respect him as a man of integrity. I have not talked with Tim for years, but he is somewhat close to my family of origin, so I still hear things and keep up with their prayer updates. Anyway, it is my understanding that that Tim and Angie would have loved to have had more children.

    For IBLP/ATI there might be some irony, but I would think of that that as mostly due to the "spirituality comparisons" based on IBLP teachings of having lots of children, etc. rather than on Tim and Angie themselves.

    Also, in my thinking Tim being president doesn't resolve the issues in IBLP teachings and doctrine or the practical issues of practice/belief already set in motion by the movement.

    I am cautiously optimistic overall. I believe that Tim L. will deal with the issues on the table with integrity. This might mean that some of the teachings and emphases will change, however, Tim L. truly believes in the principles themselves. I suspect, while he might pare them down somewhat if he comes to the conclusion that they are not foundationally true, that he is quite strongly dedicated to the core of the IBLP basic principles.

    All that said, I am willing to extend Tim the grace of needing time to analyze all of the situations and the teachings and consider the effects of them. It will likely take quite a bit of time.

    Overall, I'm willing to withhold judgment in order to observe how things play out.

  27. Samuel Lundmark March 15, 2014 Reply

    As far as removing Bill G. from the IBLP website, I consider this move unprecedented in IBLP. IBLP never responds to rumors by changing public image in such a dramatic way without significant substantiation of the accounts. I believe this to be a huge admission.

    • kevin March 16, 2014 Reply

      "I believe this to be a huge admission."

      Indeed. If they really believed that these were just bitter individuals who were fabricating stories just to take Bill down, they would never have taken the steps that they have taken. This is no drill. They know it's real. Many of them have been around a long time and they almost certainly had to know some of these things were going on, if not the full extent of them. They may never publicly admit it following their so called internal investigation, but in their hearts they know it's real.

    • Nancy2 March 16, 2014 Reply

      Along with removing Mr. Gothard from the website two Board Directors have been removed, Dr. Billy Boring and Dr Bernie Reese.

      http://iblp.org/about-iblp/corporate-information/board-directors

      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:CIbhNHrdCl0J:iblp.org/about-iblp/corporate-information/board-directors+IBLP+Board+of+directors&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari

      Does anyone know if this was previously planned before Gothard's Administrative Leave?

      • kevin March 17, 2014 Reply

        That is very interesting Nancy. When board members quietly disappear in the middle of a crisis, it should raise eyebrows. It may be nothing, coincidence perhaps, but given the history of Bill Gothard seizing control of the board in 1980, and removing board members who challenged him, one has to wonder what is going on. There are now 3 vacancies on the board. It is interesting to note that of the 6 remaining board members, it appears that 4 of them have a history with Bill Gothard that goes back over 40 years.

  28. 'Megan' March 15, 2014 Reply

    I think part of the change in tone comes from the new and unexpected emotions that surely come with the new information. We all know our own past, opinions, and feelings on those matters, but now this is such a new and huge thing. There is a great tone of unease here I think, possibly because people are afraid that history will repeat itself, and more people hurt, our broken relationships still not restored, and indeed made worse(if Bill 'gets away with it'). I don't say that to suggest that people are 'forgetting' Christ persay, but the uncertainty and not knowing is quite possibly doing a number on all of us. I feel for all the Alfreds out there, and what they must be going through, not knowing where to turn or what to think. I feel for the victims, some who feel as if they will never be vindicated, and the hurt that must cause. I feel for Bill, in that it's possible he may be facing an eternity in a place he did not expect, if he never repents.

    • David Pigg March 16, 2014 Reply

      Megan,thank you for your comment.Sometimes when we let God be God,it can be a scary thing.Once He takes over there's no going "back",and that may have terrible consquences not on the abused,or the victims,but hardened hearts,callously denying legitimacy to the very voices they would suppress.I don't know if Bill Gothard will still try and call the shots from the sidelines or not.I still pray for the victims,and want them protected from any more abuse.Will this Levendusky see beaten sheep,loose ends of teachings with eternal consequences demanding to be refuted by more than simple political posturing?

  29. Linn March 15, 2014 Reply

    If the organization only removes Gothard, and doesn't take a careful, biblical look at its core teachings, they will only be perpetuating what Gothard put in place. They don't only need new leadership, but new insight about what Scripture actually teaches regarding grace and biblical interpretation. Without the proverbial "paradigm shift", the lies will continue to drag followers towards cult-like living. Some things are best left to die a natural death.

  30. TiaraLi March 15, 2014 Reply

    Ok, look. I've been waiting for my (non-IBLP) abuser to face justice for three years. He was charged just over three years ago. We have a guilty plea. We are just waiting for sentencing. Sentencing has been scheduled for next month. This is about the eighth date for sentencing that I have been given.

    In the last three years, every time I hear from some aspect of the court case, no matter how well I am doing at getting on with my life despite the abuse, it is an emotional jolt. I have made so many changes to my life, I am doing so much better at living my life and healing than I was when I was first bruised and battered, but that phone call - even when it's good news - will make me feel helpless and hurt all over again.

    To the people who criticise those whose comments aren't as 'got it all together' as they would like, please understand. Every time IBLP do something now, whether good or not, they will be ripping open some peoples' wounds. It will be a jolt. This does not in any way reflect the level of healing that the person is experiencing in their normal life; however, some of the hurts have been so deep and so terrible that they will resurface at times, no matter how well the person is doing at moving on with their life normally.

    Furthermore, when IBLP announces a change like this, many people are made vulnerable. They are trying to work out whether this is a move that will cause IBLP to help victims and genuinely deal with past hurts, or whether it is a step in the direction to cover up genuine hurts and act as though everything has been dealt with when it really hasn't.

    Yes, we need grace. We all need grace. It's all very well to say that the IBLP board needs to be treated with grace, but so do those who are hurting. And so do those who are upset with the way that others are dealing with their hurts. We all need grace.

    Some of the people around here have been waiting a lot longer than three years, and they tried so hard to come to terms with the fact that they will never see justice or restitution. Now hope is dancing in the shadows, and it's possible that it's just a cruel taunt.

    • Lori March 16, 2014 Reply

      Very well explained and expressed, TiaraLi.

    • Christy Bell March 16, 2014 Reply

      Hear hear.

      • Tangent March 17, 2014 Reply

        Yes, TiaraLi is right. Those who have complained about the tone of anger here to extend grace to those who have lost so much.

  31. Mike March 15, 2014 Reply

    I had two interactions with Dr. Levendusky while on staff with IBLP in the mid 90's. At HQ, I lived at Nine Pine and Tim stayed in the house as a guest for a few days, handling some business at HQ. We often hosted such guests. He was very friendly, talked to all of us guys at the house, and was very down to earth. When he left, he left a very nice thank you note with a $50 check. For guys who could barely afford macaroni, it might as well have been $500.

    Later, when I worked with the road crew for the Basic Seminar, Tim worked one or two ... don't remember specifically but he was probably in charge. After one evening we grabbed a bite to eat at a restaurant near the seminar venue. He urged all the guys to keep their suit coats on in case seminar attendees were also at the restaurant. I can't remember if we complied; I think not.

    While my interactions were brief, he struck me as a man of integrity and humility. Before we assign blame and complicity to Tim Levendusky let's see how he handles his new role. So far he's been more transparent than Bill Gothard was in 30 years.

  32. AmandaT March 15, 2014 Reply

    I've never been through the pain of IBLP/ATI. My involvement here has been extreme concern regarding the personal stories of sexual abuse, and emotional abuse, and abuse of wage and hour laws told here.
    ALL of that had to do with Bill Gothard.

    He's gone now. Is this not a happy thing for those of you who were hurt by him?
    HE is the one who perverted Scripture. HE is the one who touched young women and made others feel they were " unworthy".

    If a person who is not a despot heads IBLP/ ATI and makes changes to Gothard's legalism and patriarchial system, or at least doesn't shame and belittle people for living their lives according to their own discernment of the scriptures, then what are people wanting?

    There's a huge chance that ILBP/ATI won't recover from this. However, that will adversely affect any legal monetary settlements the victims of past abuse might receive. I don't see how you can have it both ways.

    Gothard has left the building. Let him go, and let go of him in your hurts, if you can. He only has control over you at this point if you are still tormented by his past actions.

    I pray for all who hurt and are in need of spiritual and emotional healing. I hope so much that it comes for all.

    • "Hannah" March 16, 2014 Reply

      I do think Gothard was the cause of a lot of hurts, and his resignation was a step in the right direction.

      But Gothard is IBLP, and IBLP is Gothard.

      Do you follow the train of thought so far?

      As long as IBLP is in existence, the false teachings which enable the abuse, hurt and pain, continue.

      If Tim is here to dismantle the organization and liquidate the assets, great.

      If he is here to enable the teachings to continue on, then little has changed.

      • Heidi March 16, 2014 Reply

        I agree Hannah.

      • kevin March 16, 2014 Reply

        Hannah,
        Yes, the false teachings are the very foundation of IBLP, so giving the organization a face lift, I am not of the belief that this solves the root problem. Once the false teachings are removed from the material, what is left? Paging through the Basic Seminar textbook and and Advanced today, all I see are steps to success, steps to getting more Grace, and twisted scripture. So many of the families are great families, trying to do what they believe is best for their family, but what the organization represents is not something which should be encouraged to continue.

  33. Jim K. March 15, 2014 Reply

    I'm more than willing to withhold evaluation of Dr. Tim's performance until he actually gets a chance to do the job for awhile. I'd hate to be in his shoes, for he is dealing with a most difficult situation which balances a number of factors. No doubt he is having to process all that is going on as well as everyone else has had to, so I pray that he will act wisely, compassionately and carefully.

    Jim K.

  34. gene March 16, 2014 Reply

    i went to my first iblp seminar 30 yrs ago this june. before i went i was a 22 yr old positive hopeful learning christian. even before that week was over i was put in a self righteous bondage of which i was never really the same since. 30 yrs of my life had been taken from me. some
    months ago i prayed that gothard would be forced to resign permanently. that prayer was answered. then i prayed that i would be liberated from this cultic legalistic binding mindset. that prayer is being answered thru rg. next i prayed for the termination and dissolution of iblp as an organization. hoping to bat 3 for 3....

  35. Jeff Gill March 16, 2014 Reply

    I've never had anything to with IBLP/ATI but I once saw the words 'new', 'approach' and 'life' in the same paragraph. I believe this gives me enough insight to authoritatively tell you people on this website created specifically to deal with the issues and abuse caused by Bill Gothard to stop talking so much about Bill Gothard. Also, I'm bored of this scandal now, so now that it's completely not over and there is uncertainty about where things are going can just get on with your lives? The fact that my only interaction with you people is the comments you leave on this site obviously means Bill Gothard is all you ever think about and you have no existence outside this website. I had a problem once and I got over it. Go skip through a wildflower meadow and stop whining about your past.

    --end of sarcasm--

    I actually really appreciate the level of dialogue and listening that goes on here (the above paragraph excepted, I suppose). I like that people are actually allowed to be human and not expected to play happy nice times. I think RG have handled the increase in traffic very well. Keep up the good work. There is still a long way to go.

    • greg r March 16, 2014 Reply

      what jeff said: very tough to run and moderate a blog , the RG crew is exceptional. great job, and may you find rest occaisionally

    • "Hannah" March 16, 2014 Reply

      Thank you, Jeff. I guess this is what is referred to as, "the increasing use of sarcasm". I can't think of another way to make the point in a better way. Sarcasm certainly has it's place.

  36. gene March 16, 2014 Reply

    i remember an intro brochure for ibyc said same org was under church oversight. turns out it never was acc to henzels and venoits book. ever notice para ch orgs evangelical werent around before late 1800's? also notice that they were almost exclusively armenian too.
    also, was christianity in the dark ages for 1930 years before gothards first presentation of basic principles? while in the book of acts the world was being turned upside down the world wasnt given a new approach to life until the mid 1960s.

  37. gene March 16, 2014 Reply

    indeed, a mans theology dictates his morality also.

  38. Samuel Lundmark March 16, 2014 Reply

    Concerning Tim, I am aware that he expressed concern to Bill Gothard years ago concerning Bill's penchant to promise more than he was ever able to deliver and encouraged Bill to stop trying to use momentum to accelerate the growth of ATI. Tim is well aware that growing a ministry using crowd psychology also works very well in reverse when things start to go bad.

    My guess is that ATI newsletters will become a bit more honest and factual even if they have a bit less pizzaz.

    My guess is that the "cult following" days are numbered for ATI/IBLP even if the teachings and applications remain somewhat the same.

  39. Sandra March 16, 2014 Reply

    I believe that it is important for many, the abused and those not abused, to realize that abuse has many forms. It appears that Bill Gothard sexually abused (as well as other abuses) many under his protection. It appears that under the influence of IBLP and ATI many have been spiritually abused.

    I come from a background of a church that was very involved with all of the above. I have attended IBLP conferences since I was 15. I listened to church leadership that that used the principles espoused by Gothard, IBLP and ATI.

    Until a tragic event happened in my life and I began counseling, I did not realize that I, personally, had been abused. I suffered verbal, emotional and psychological abuse (and was just barely saved from physical abuse) for years at the hand of a husband (and church leadership) that held to the beliefs of Gothard, etc. It wasn't until about two years after first learning of my abuse mentioned above that I realized that I had also endured spiritual abuse. (I didn't even know that such an abuse existed!)

    I am currently in counseling and just started EMDR therapy for PTSD from the above mentioned abuses. I have triggers that influence my life even today. I am a strong Christian and have sought to live my life entirely for God. By God's grace, I will overcome and live a full and redeemed life.

    I find it insensitive for those who comment here on this forum to those who have suffered abuse to say to just get over it, let it go, move on. It is vital that those who have suffered abuse find help. It is important for those who have suffered abuse to know that they are not alone.

    May God bless the mess that has been created and turn the ashes into beauty.

    • Angela March 17, 2014 Reply

      Thank you Sandra, and blessings to you. I found this site through a Facebook post. I'd never heard of ATI, although as a homeschooler, I know of families who seem to practice at least some of those beliefs (and have cut ties with us "heathens"). I don't know why I kept reading here, but I couldn't turn away. It happened to coincide with me finally admitting the extent of my husband's alcohol abuse, and as I've read and read, I've realized that there has been verbal abuse, manipulation, and controlling behavior in my marriage since the very beginning. While I've also been working with an excellent Christian counselor and getting support and counsel from many others, this site has helped me identify the abuse I've been dealing with for what it is, and to have the courage to face it head on.

      So I resonate with the hurting here. I understand completely the need to work at one' own pace, and that God walks each one through the Valley personally - it's not a group excursion. It's also not a direct road. Recovery, and grace, are messy. And awesomely sacred. Thank you all for the stories you share, the comments you make, the realness, courage, and vulnerability.

      • Tangent March 17, 2014 Reply

        We're glad you're here,Angela. The things that have been revealed here are shocking to many who believed that this man would teach them the way to follow after godliness. Now we feel totally betrayed and foolish for putting so much trust in a mere man.

  40. kevin March 16, 2014 Reply

    I'm encouraged by some of the things that have been said about Dr. Tim Levendusky. He sounds like he just might be the humble, gentle spirit that the organization needs. I also believe that his letter, while it did not share too much, in some ways may be the most transparent document put forward by them in the last 50 years. It acknowledged that there are issues that need to be investigated and suggested that things of the past, present and future need to be examined. These are all good signs. I think that many are hopeful about his appointment.

    On the other hand, what is IBLP without Bill Gothard's teachings? If ATI/IBLP is going to get a face lift and move forward, I have a number of questions:
    Are each and every one of the teachings now going to be looked at and tested against Scripture? Will outside biblical scholars be brought in to help in this process? May I recommend Dr. Ron Allen to head the committee: http://www.dts.edu/about/faculty/rallen/ ?

    Are you going to take a closer look at the Chain of Authority teaching and listen to some of the voices that have been saying for decades that this is not supported by Scripture?

    Are you going to take another look at Grace, being defined as the Desire and Power to do God's Will?

    What about the teaching about equating Grace with success and suggesting that we can earn more Grace by following the principles and steps. (p See Page 6 of the Basic Textbook; 1. The Benefit of Getting More Grace From God)

    Are you willing to go away from the concept of a one size fits all set of steps that can solve all of life's problems and the promise of success if you follow the principles and steps? Are you willing to listen to the voices of those who have been crushed when they did not get the success that was promised?

    Are you willing to stop teaching that we must follow the Old Testament Law, in complete defiance of Galatians? That we must follow the principles of the law to sew the flesh, instead of sewing the flesh by walking in the spirit? Gal 5:16 "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."

    Are you willing to stop the teachings regarding how to council those who have been sexually abused, which shames and blames the victims? Are you willing to recognize that the Chain of Authority teaching has allowed sexual abuse to occur, with the extreme power placed in the father of the home and that the teachings on how to counsel victims of sexual abuse have actually enabled it to continue and made it worse? Are you willing to encourage those who have been the victims of sexual abuse and those who have abused others to seek professional help and seek the legal authorities when abuse is discovered in the course of counseling, as required by law?
    Are you willing to abandon the teachings of Listening to an Evil Report and Taking up the Offenses of Others, which have served to take away the voice of those who have been abused?
    Are you willing to immediately cease the publication and distribution of Care Booklet 5, which discourages families from adopting and encourages them to reverse their adoptions?
    Are you willing to stop distribution of the Character Sketches until all of the unbiblical teachings have been removed- the teachings regarding Abigail as sinful for going behind her husband's back; the teaching about how Mose's big error was getting out from Pharaoh's authority; the twisted Scriptures on Dinah and Tamar and so many others?
    And beyond just ceasing these teachings and activities, are you willing to reach out to those who have been on the receiving end of this material for the past 50 years to say that it was wrong and that they may need help in unlearning these false teachings and false view of Grace? Are you willing to recognize that thousands of families have been shipwrecked and thousands more will be facing shipwreck, as they realize that the view of a God who punishes and rewards based on obedience to sets of man made principles is all wrong, and totally contrary to God's free gift of Grace? Are you willing to be there for the families as they work through this or steer them towards groups that can help them?
    Are you willing to be there for the many families who lifted Gothard up so high that they will be facing months, or even years of confusion and disillusion now that he is no longer the leader? I see a lot of denial out there still and when many of them come to terms with what has happened, it is going to be ugly. Will you be there to help turn them to Christ, as they face this reality?

    I really have to wonder what is left? If the organization is now longer a 4,5,6,7 steps to success, then what is it anymore? That seems to be the real sizzle in the steak of the organization.
    Abandoning these things and focusing on turning people to the love of Christ could be a start. But, then again, we can get that from our local church. Don't need to travel 1,500 miles and spend all that money on the conference.
    The more I think about it, I really don’t think that it should be revamped and roll forward. The troubles run too deep, and it is impossible to separate Gothard from the organization. When Hitler died and the Allies took control of Germany, people didn’t say “Okay, Hitler is gone, now let’s rebuild the Nazi party, getting rid of the bad things but keeping the good. “ No, it was taken down completely. That is not to say that IBLP = the Nazi’s or that it resembles their atrocities, but there is something to be said for that model of scraping it altogether. They do have in common that their flaws are foundational, and, this being the case, the right thing to do is to just take it down, sell the assets and compensate victims of abuse, orphans and widows.

    • Nancy2 March 16, 2014 Reply

      Kevin, all very good questions.

      Dr. Levendusky will have my continued prayers as he sifts through the tasks at hand.

      I will also be praying for RG as they help all those who come their way.

      May God bless you all.

  41. Betty March 17, 2014 Reply

    And I agree, Kevin, also. It is difficult to wait. Tim L. Is hopefully asking the same questions. And I pray he answers them justly for the victims. With mercy in mind for the victims. And with humility for the victims.

    Justice, mercy and humility are also for the guilty, though; the wrath of God will be unfathomable.

  42. Betty March 17, 2014 Reply

    And Nancy2,

    I also agree with you that I need to be praying for Tim L.
    And RG...THANKYOU.

  43. Daniel March 17, 2014 Reply

    I remember Tim L from OKC. He struck me as genuine, humble, and caring.
    The staff there at that time seemed to be growing spiritually under his leadership.

    This really seems like a decent move on IBLP's part. I hope he is given more than a figurehead role.

  44. Tsendee sisson March 17, 2014 Reply

    I worked for Tim and CTI in Mongolia. Tim wasn't great person for me. He acted very sincere and friendly if you agreed with him. He followed the guidance and words of Bill Gothard, not the Bible. I won't work for him anymore........ a lot of reasons. He isn't the sincere or good Christian what you guys say

  45. Lee March 17, 2014 Reply

    I don't know Tim, but all I can ask is: "Why would any sound-minded Christian want to work with IBLP?" I say, "Run...run away as fast as you can from all of its teachings. Stay connected only to those Christians in IBLP or ATI who love truth and honest dialogue. If a person gets defensive of the organization, run....truth loves truth. But when truth is up against denial, truth gets wounded and denial digs deeper into deception." Maybe this is why Jesus said, "Don't cast your pearls among the swine."

  46. KM March 18, 2014 Reply

    Interesting, in the letter regarding Gothard resigning, it says that the board has instructed Bill to have nothing to do with the ministry until an investigation has been completed. RIGHT BESIDE this article is a link to BG's blog.

    • Donna March 19, 2014 Reply

      Yes, I noticed that too. I wonder if this indicates a lack of integrity on the part of the Board, or perhaps it is an oversight. Perhaps, the problem here is as someone else wrote, "IBLP is Bill Gothard and Bill Gothard is IBLP". It is difficult to conceive how Bill Gothard can be rejected, but all the teachings and trappings remain untouched.

      As I've said before I've never been in ATI, but I was recently told that at least the Regional Conference at Big Sandy, Tx is open to non-ATI members and is seen more as just another home schooling conference rather than ATI training. Does anyone know if there are many in attendance at these conferences besides ATI families? I am curious because I don't know any young families who have any affiliation or association with ATI. I live in the Dallas-Ft Worth area, and after 25+ years of home schooling (my children are all grown now), I know that various geographic areas tend to "support" different home school methodologies, curricula, etc.

  47. Becky March 20, 2014 Reply

    This actually wasnt the first statement iblp made about the scandal/accusations. Mr G's assistant made a statement to the ati families a week after the magazine article was published.

  48. esbee March 20, 2014 Reply

    I was not sure where to put this comment but apparently law enforcement officials, in the wake of the Catholic church waking up, are now going after, ARRESTING and CHARGING those who fail to report to the proper authorities after they find out about any sexual molesting.

    So Mr. New Guy, the board and many others at ATI, may be in hot water if he does not report what he knows to the police.

    Among the latest arrests is the wife of a fallen minister charged with not reporting what her husband was doing to a little girl.........

    and closer to home..........

    MY former pastor was arrested for not reporting his son's sexual misconduct with a minor when the girl came to them and reported it to the church leaders. (I helped homeschool his family with the ATI materials back almost 30 years ago. The accused son was only a little tyke at the time.)

    The link is to a warning about those in the know need to report it or they could be arrested.

    http://www.gallagherpost.com/gallagher_post/docs/Lessons%20from%20VineLife%2011-6-2013.pdf

  49. Grace March 21, 2014 Reply

    Since there are no doubt thousands of people who have followed, adhered to, or studied the IBLP/ATI teachings on some level to some extent or another, and I really don't believe that all thousands would all testify to having been damaged or abused by the ministry -- in fact, no doubt thousands would still testify to benefits received from the ministry -- are all of these people's testimonies to be simply chalked up to poor dupes who were brainwashed by a powermonger? OK, I am an example of someone (a mother of 6) who has honestly received a lot of benefit from the ministry and from my own personal (altho' limited) interactions with BG on several occasions (brief conversations and counseling), including 5 or 6 conferences and being in ATI for a couple years. The simple reason for this is that God is faithful to use His Word, and many of the teachings were rich in the Word.

    I will not accept the label of being a "Gothardite" because I never was, but I did respect and love BG as a brother in Christ who, as far as I knew, truly and greatly loved the Lord. I do not wish to minimize the suffering, anguish, or abuse of any of those who suffered and who are voicing their feelings and experiences on this site, but I also want to be a voice for the reality of people who were strengthened in their walk of faith, greatly spurred on to love the Lore more, inspired to love the Word of God more and toward maturity. I received personal help to get out of an abusive marriage, my children received much help, and I received a LOT of love and support from many staff, from BG, and from many who were involved in the ministry. I believe it is a testimony to God's faithfulness to use His Word and His servants, in spite of their shortcomings and sins, to bring people to Himself.

    Is there no way to preserve the ministry with the good, the truth, the good Scriptural insights (such as so many insights from the Sermon on the Mount and the Psalm 1 blessing of meditation on the Word)?

    I am praying that God will be glorified and purify His Church and that the ministry of His truth will be purified and strengthened. May we all forsake our own "agendas" -- such as all our personal ideas about the future of IBLP/ATI, etc. -- and just seek God and His Word more fervently in all of this, for all involved!

    • Vivian March 21, 2014 Reply

      Grace,

      I appreciate what you're saying, but a number of people who have been deeply into the teachings of IBLP for a while say that even the examples of "good" that you cite, such as the insights on the Sermon on the Mount, are actually not good insights at all. Bill Gothard's whole approach to studying scripture is not based on good scholarship, and he thus draws a lot of incorrect conclusions that lead people astray theologically. He pulls words out of context and assigns them meaning that is not to be found in the context of the original. If you are still basing your understanding of the Bible on what you learned from IBLP, then unfortunately you are probably still embracing a lot of ideas that the mainstream Church has studied and found to be untrue. That is why so many want to see IBLP completely disbanded, because even apart from the actual abuse, it continues to perpetuate an inadequate and warped view of God's Word.

  50. Lee March 23, 2014 Reply

    Dear Grace,

    I don't know how beautiful your children are, but be thankful if they are average in looks. If you had a stunningly, beautiful blonde daughter you may be singing a different tune. When someone like Bill Gothard, a serial predator, is lit up by his favorite prey, families get destroyed. Many people thought Jerry Sandusky was a nice guy too. He "helped" a lot of young boys and single mothers during the years that he ran his non-profit at Penn State. But for people like Aaron Fisher and his mother Dawn, the help of Jerry Sandusky was a nightmare.

    We must guard our hearts on using the subjective benefits we may have gained from our time with ATI or IBLP. Our subjective benefits are meaningless in the light of the pain and suffering of those who were molested by Bill Gothard. Please remember. Predators are not big scary monsters. They are almost always people we know and trust who have mastered the villainous art of identifying their prey, gaining their trust, and devouring the innocent victims. Your husband may have abused you. But Bill Gothard abused at least 30 young women. Multiple your abuse x 30 and see if you can still give Bill Gothard any respect. Abuse in any form is simply unacceptable. We must not tolerate it as a body of believers. I am thankful that you are out of your abusive marriage. To God be the glory. Jesus saved you, not IBLP or ATI. God's Peace.

  51. thankful March 24, 2014 Reply

    I have watched this organization and received some of it's materials to investigate if they would be a good match for my family. I never made the move to join due to several concerns. Now that this scandal along with Vision Forum which was another ministry I investigated, I am just in a stunned state. I have noted some similarities in these particular falls. 1) No accountability for the leaders or their conduct, 2) Sexual sin that is minimized by non-confessional resignations because intercourse did not occur, 3) A prolonged "grooming" of under-aged victims (I am a former social worker and worked with a sexual predator counseling group for a bit.) 4) An underlying racism that permeated the materials (I am from a minority group and this jumped out at me right away). And finally, 5) When the dust settles, there were many people who knew what was going on, at least in part for a prolonged period of time, but few brave enough to incur the wrath of the leader with a confrontation. (Jack Schapp and Eddie Long are a few other names that come to mind) This fall of Mr. Gothard affects more people than you suspect. The details that are being shared here and on other cites by the victims and those of the "inner circle" are very helpful in assisting others in avoiding and freeing themselves from this type of entanglement. This type of abuse is not limited to the "legalistic cults". I belong to a liberal congregation. My family is being shunned by certain ones (including the pastor) because we are not liberal enough. We are considered "legalists" and being homeschoolers is seen as just plain "weird". The doctrine at our church is morphing into a "Liberation Theology" and we are not going with the program, so we are being marginalized. I see some of the same traits in the leadership at my church that have been described from the iblp/ati/vision forum victims. All the power focused at the top in one man, no elders or men with the power or position to effectively challenge the leader, bullying from the pulpit, the no-gossip rule (except when someone gossips with the pastor to let him know that others are gossiping), and a general abuse of power. My family is on our way out, but due to certain circumstances beyond our control, cannot leave yet. It is so helpful to know that what I am seeing at my church is not me being "legalistic" or having a "critical spirit", but seeing the signs of the "pride going before a fall". The voices of the survivors are helping me to survive my own ordeal. I will be forever grateful for all their stories though their pain, hurt, resentment, or whatever other emotions that come through as they tell their side. May Jesus comfort you through it all and give you "beauty for ashes".

    Blessings,
    A very thankful mom

    • P.L. March 24, 2014 Reply

      Wow, how enlightening to see a story of spiritual abuse in a liberal congregation rather than a conservative one. My own experience was with an abusive pastor who was conservative, but not legalistic. Sin is neither blue nor red, and leaders who seek an inappropriate level of control over their congregation have similar characteristics everywhere. Thanks for that reminder. I too could not leave the abusive church immediately due to unique circumstances and understand how heartwrenching it can be to remain even temporarily in a place you are shunned and mistreated. I'm praying God's blessings and protection over you, sister.

  52. Pingback : An Update from Recovering Grace | Recovering Grace

  53. Jeanne April 8, 2014 Reply

    I attended my first Gothard seminar (BYC) in 1968 when I was 21 years old. I really took it no further than that first seminar, which at that time was all the rage. I'm older than most of you who have posted here, but there are some things I would like to share. During the years, I have witnessed MANY leaders in the church fall from grace. I toyed with the idea of leaving the church too, not leaving God but the church . . and I struggled with my own unconfessed sin as well. Bottom line--I could not live without Jesus Christ in my life, and only him. Today, I have been seeking him with my whole heart, to appear before him without unconfessed sin in my life (are we all confessing?) and with clean hands. We worship God, not some person named _________________. There comes a time when we need to step up to the plate and make sure that we're living the life, not a lie. Am I committed to praying for our leaders as well as fellow believers? Am I willing to confront another believer in love?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.