An Update from Recovering Grace

25 March 2014, 06:00

Moderator

118

Dear Recovering Grace Reader,

gracenotes

It has now been twenty days since Bill Gothard resigned as the president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP). We have been relatively quiet about these developments since our initial response on March 6 simply because we, like many of you, are waiting to see (a) whether this resignation is going to be permanent and (b) whether the IBLP board is going to issue in a timely manner a public statement on the allegations of Bill Gothard’s misconduct toward and harassment of young women, abuse of spiritual authority, and misuse of Scripture.

Although we do not have many new developments to share with our readers at this point, we thought we would at least share some things that have been transpiring behind the scenes, as well as recap some of our more public activities that you might have missed.

  • As you may know, the IBLP Board of Directors appointed Dr. Tim Levendusky as the interim president of IBLP on March 14. We and many of our readers are familiar with Dr. Levendusky, as he has previously served as the director of IBLP’s Dallas and Oklahoma City Training Centers, as well as IBLP’s international offices in Asia. Our team has reached out to Dr. Levendusky in hopes of initiating dialogue with him, and we are hopeful that this will take place in the coming weeks.
  • We have also attempted to reiterate to the IBLP Board of Directors our willingness to have direct communication with them about the issues that have been raised on our website. Back in January, we sent a packet of articles and information to the then board chairman, Dr. Billy Boring, along with the personal contact information for one of our team members. We received no response to this packet, although on February 4, another board member, Mr. Bernie Reese, did initiate a thirty-minute phone conversation with one of our team members, Dr. John Cornish. Mr. Reese asked a number of pointed questions, including the identities of the entire RG team, a question that Dr. Cornish declined to answer. Dr. Cornish answered the questions that he could, and expressed a willingness to communicate further with the board if needed. We have had no other contact with the board, and we have since learned that both Dr. Boring and Mr. Reese have resigned from the board. It is our understanding that Dr. Stephen Paine is now chairman of the board, and we have communicated to him our willingness to dialogue further.
  • Per a press release from the IBLP Board of Directors dated March 17, there is an internal investigation underway of the allegations that we have shared on our site, and “a future statement will be issued once the review is complete and submitted to the Board of Directors.” While we certainly understand the necessity for IBLP to undertake their own investigation of these matters and we look forward to seeing the subsequent report, we still hold to our previous assertion that it is imperative for the IBLP Board to bring in an independent third party to serve as the investigator of these matters.
  • On Saturday evening, March 8, Dr. Cornish and Ms. Kari Underwood from our leadership team had an approximately 90-minute phone conversation with Bill Gothard. This conversation was initiated by Bill Gothard and was mediated by a mutually agreed upon third party. The purpose of the phone call was for Mr. Gothard to listen as we explained in great detail the extent of the pain and hurt his behavior had caused to the young women who have alleged sexual harassment. Per the parameters of the conversation, Mr. Gothard was not allowed to confirm or deny the allegations, but only to communicate his clear understanding of what we had to share. While this was only the first of many steps that need to take place, we are hopeful that Mr. Gothard will choose the long and difficult path of repentance.
  • Lastly, we have mostly wrapped up our series on the scandal of 1980. Our team has worked incredibly hard to bring this information to light, and to present it in a factual manner that did not needlessly sensationalize the events that took place. We are extremely grateful to the former IBYC staff and members of the LA Seminar Committee who shared with us a vast amount of information and documentation, and we are grateful to them for the time they took to dialogue with us and answer the many questions we asked in order to be as truthful as possible about what happened. They have carried a heavy burden of truth for over three decades, and we are humbled to have been a conduit through which they were finally able to share their stories.

Please continue to pray for our team in the days ahead as we strive to continue our mission of “helping people whose lives have been impacted by the teachings of Bill Gothard, IBLP, and ATI.” The resignation of Bill Gothard was an important moment in the healing process of many, but we know and understand that there are many who are just now beginning their journey out of the darkness of man-made principles into the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because there are undoubtedly many events to unfold in the near future, we cannot say with certainty what this journey may look like. But please know we intend to continue walking this road with you until the Lord shows us that our work is completed. Until then, let’s continue to seek His face together as we experience God’s incredible, healing grace.

The RG Leadership Team

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.

118 Comments

  1. WatchingWaiting March 25, 2014 Reply

    Seems the 1980s scandal report is incomplete without the 19 page letter from Gothard about the young staff man, I think Tony was his name. It seems appropriate to show the nature of Gothard. Is this letter to be forth coming.

    • Timothy Sutterfield March 25, 2014 Reply

      I would like to read this letter too.

  2. Beth March 25, 2014 Reply

    I am very grateful for the team behind RG, for those who have shared stories, for those who have dedicated countless hours to make sure the facts are true, for those who have dug deep into emotions that had been suppressed and experiences that hadn't been forgotten.
    Those are the people who are helping us heal - THANK YOU!

    • Rachel (Bruzas) Foster March 25, 2014 Reply

      I echo this! There are many prayers going up on behalf of the RG team, for your continued wisdom, courage, and discernment. This site and it's mission is being a blessing to countless people who are in the process of understanding and healing from the deep damage done by absorbing BG's principles. Please know that you are making a difference by your efforts!

    • Sally March 26, 2014 Reply

      Thankfulness also towards those who have carried this burden but find the resolve to allow it to come to light that many, many can be spared and many freed.

    • care April 11, 2014 Reply

      If he is not prosecuted this behavior will continue-just like catholic priests. This should not be swept under the rug.

  3. The Quiet One March 25, 2014 Reply

    Thank you to each of the members of the RG team. I appreciate the sensitive, muted approach that you have taken to this issue. You have resisted the temptation to throw vitriol. I am also impressed with your willingness to continue to communicate with IBLP in spite of the lack of response. Like many other former students and members of ATI, it is my hope that the organization will shut down entirely; but I also recognize that decision must be made by the current board members - it is they who need to be convinced of the rotten foundations and the need to evacuate. I pray with you that many more will come out of the darkness that is ATI, into the light of Jesus Christ.

  4. Daniel March 25, 2014 Reply

    It is good to hear that Dr. Payne is chairman now. Both he and Levendusky strike me as men of personal integrity. While they are firm believers in the Institute "system," they are consistent and honest. I feel that they can do good work,especially together. Glad to see Dr. Boring gone- he seemed too involved in the quack medical stuff to be trustworthy in my book.

    Side note, it's interesting how many medical men have been Chairs of the Board. Dr. Hemwall, Dr. Boring, Dr. Payne, am I missing someone?

    Why is that?

    I think something that would be a good topic to explore for RG is the generation(s) of promising students that were steered away from even Christian College with the promise that character would pay the bills and open doors to amazing opportunities.

    There was a huge shift from "You don't need a degree, just have character," to "just get a degree somehow, the process really isn't that important."

    I think students in both eras suffered from major malfeasance.

    • MarkL March 25, 2014 Reply

      With my own eyes, I saw Dr. Paine give a chunk of his own son's wedding reception to publicly gush over Gothard and celebrate him, and hero worship him...talking about how he is the greatest influence in his life other than his own father. Is it just me, but is it pretty messed up when BG and his latest material becomes the center of attention at your child's wedding? Aren't the bride and groom supposed to be getting the attention at the reception? That spectacle leaves me with no confidence that things will get better. There will just be a new guru for the same bad teaching.

      • Daniel March 25, 2014 Reply

        MarkL, I agree that Drs. L and P are completely on boad with the teaching. That's why they are at the top. On the other hand,I wonder why Dr. L. was sent to the Far East? Was he causing some ripples in the heartland? "We have a special assignment for you, on the Eastern Front."

        I still believe they are honest men. As problematic as the teachings are, in some areas, they were apparently being used as weapons by SOMEONE THAT DIDN'T FOLLOW THE SAME RULES, so it magnified the problems even more.

    • MarkL March 25, 2014 Reply

      The scriptures say that they will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears. It does not say that the teacher will assert themselves necessarily, but will rather be sought ought. So, in my opinion, it is the "institute" men who are as much of a problem as the teacher. They are the ones who have propped him up for so long. And if the only thing that changes is who is at the helm, then it will just be another false teacher out there to scratch the itch.

  5. mitchell chapman March 25, 2014 Reply

    FROM MITCHELL CHAPMAN

    JOHN AND KARI REPLACING BILLY AND BERNIE
    just a thought

  6. Shane March 25, 2014 Reply

    Thank you RG for your deliberate approach, gracious posture, and persistence. Praying for you and your families as this has the potential to get worse before getting better. Even if not, I know it takes a toll on your lives. Thanks.

  7. David Pigg March 25, 2014 Reply

    "Mr. Reese asked a number of pointed questions including the identities of the entire Recovering Grace team"...For which these identities were not divulged.This point never got past me,nor I'm sure past others who read these articles.And then Mr. Reese resigns.In an eternal perspective,dealing with issues such as heresy,repentance,immorality,manipulating facts,people,denigrating victims,all fall on the shoulders of those representing an eternal universal God.This God,of whom many have claimed to know and still do has been travested,and misrepresented for 40 plus years.By an organization affiliated with"Mr. Reece."I The dangers of playing softball with what John and Kari compelled Bill to listen to without comment confirming or denying the allegations cannot be overstated.No more victims.May the Lord have His way.Period.If the moral integrity of the IBLP machine were beyond reproach why would Dr. Boring and Mr.Reese resign?

    • Lori March 26, 2014 Reply

      "In an eternal perspective,dealing with issues such as heresy, repentance, immorality, manipulating facts, people, denigrating victims, all fall on the shoulders of those representing an eternal universal God. This God,of whom many have claimed to know and still do has been travested, and misrepresented for 40 plus years."

      Yes. Bill Gothard and IBLP have, and are, sinning most grievously against God himself by perverting both who He is and His precious of message of salvation to man.

    • Alan Bonjour March 26, 2014 Reply

      "If the moral integrity of the IBLP machine were beyond reproach why would Dr. Boring and Mr.Reese resign?"

      I was thinking the same thing.

      Another thought is the handing of the theological reigns to top support men who have presumably held a blind eye to the many theological problems and gross errors that were being used to drive the Great Machine. I got tossed on my ear for attempting to address several items of bent scriptural abuse, Where were these "great" men?

  8. greg r March 25, 2014 Reply

    It's been said a few times, but I'll add my "Well done, RG team" to the chorus. That hardly does justice for the job you guys are doing. BTW: having Bill neither confirm or deny but sit and lISTEN was sheer genius, must have been painful, but a great way to go.

    Keep up the good job, RGers.

  9. Anonymous March 25, 2014 Reply

    Thank you RG. We all need to continue to pray fervently. We need to keep mentally placing ourselves in Mr.Gothard's shoes... with tears in our eyes, should be our heart attitudes. It is his kindness that leads us to repentance... For by grace, there go I... It is only by his grace.....................

  10. Jeff Gill March 25, 2014 Reply

    Gothard's problem is that he kept slipping out of his own shoes (literally).

    Thank you RG Team. We all owe you a pint of your favourite beverage.

    • Anonymous March 25, 2014 Reply

      We need to keep reminding ourselves Who we are representing...a kind, merciful, patient, forgiving, loving, etc.! God...yes, who is also just...to all involved, including Mr. Gothard. May his love flow from us, his unconditional, long-suffering love... May we be bridges of his grace.

    • Brumby March 25, 2014 Reply

      @Jeff Gill: How 'bout a tall glass of non-alcoholic grape juice, like the "wine" from that wedding Jesus attended??? Lol. I have no idea what everybody else here believes, but I get a kick out of my Catholic spouse whose jaw dropped which was quickly followed by knee slaps and peels of laughter when I told him that I'd been taught that Jesus' first miracle did not include actual alcohol. He just can't get over it. :)That reminds me, BG would say that grapes and grape juice were good for settling an unsettled stomach. I always thought that was weird because whenever I have grapes in any form...well, I'll just say that my stomach is definitely NOT "settled" following such. Wow, major tangent here.

      • "Emee" March 25, 2014 Reply

        but the knee-slapping laughter that resulted was definitely worth the rabbit trail...thanks, Jeff Gill and Brumby :)

        • esbee March 25, 2014

          the miracle is not that Jesus turned the water into "grape juice" but that so many people got drunk from it!!!!

        • kevin March 26, 2014

          Yes, that was some powerful grape juice. So many of the teachings break my heart and bring me to tears when I hear the stories of those who have been damaged by them. But some of them you really have to laugh at. The teaching that it was really just grape juice and not wine is one of those. When scripture doesn't fit the teachings, just pull, squish, tear and twist the scripture until it fits. Grape juice indeed, lol.

      • Lori March 26, 2014 Reply

        Not to throw a wet blanket (I do get the humor, I really do) but there are many, many people besides Bill Gothard who have taken this stance due to convincing-sounding arguments. I was one of them.

        If you end up discussing this issue with such a person, please tread gently, unless you know without a doubt that their motivations are sinister. There are SO, so many people whose lives and families have been devastated by alcoholism.

        If you've ever been close to someone trapped by alcohol addiction (many having become addicted even before the teen years, giving it an especially strong grip on them), or a child who felt abandoned by a parent's alcohol abuse, or a parent of an alcohol-addicted adult who has grieved and prayed for years (often decades) for it to stop (I could go on about spouses, siblings, etc.), you would understand why the presentation of historical and linguistic arguments appearing to show that the Bible teaches abstention from alcohol can be so appealing.

        Given, some of these people may be attracted to this point of view out a spirit of legalism and condemnation -- but for many others, it resonates with a heartfelt desire to prevent lives from being ruined and years of indescribable and inescapable heartache.

        I'm in no way disagreeing with those of you who are employing a bit of humor here to expose BG's faulty hermeneutic (I've done plenty of that myself) but I thought some might not be aware of the above reasons for treading gently with people when disagreeing on this issue. Thanks for listening. :)

    • Ryan Sapp March 25, 2014 Reply

      Count me in Jeff

  11. Ryan Sapp March 25, 2014 Reply

    Thank you for the update RG. You guys are brilliant, patient, thorough and so so savvy.

    I want to take a minute and thank you for connecting all those involved with the Institute over the last many decades. I have moved states twice since my involvement with IBLP. I ended up in Park City Utah. The only people who have heard of Bill are in their 60's, maybe went to or heard about the seminars but were never involved.

    I really processed most of the issues on my own without input or understanding or acknowledgment from others. My parents were involved but only marginally since I am a grown adult with my own family. I developed my own life and for the most part my ATIA friends were from many life's ago and I really had no desire to reach out or relive the experiences except for the closest of personal, family friends.

    It has been very healing to see how many people have come to the same conclusions as I have on my own. It doesn't necessarily validate me but it helps me see there are others who have walked a similar path.

    My world started to change when I realized the "principles" were really based out of fear. When I had enough life experience to realize A+B does not equal C it was freeing. Once I started realizing all that you then have to deal with the hurt, pain and false mindsets. That takes time. Through this process recently I have even uncovered a few others and I'm sure there will be more.

    In the back of my mind I would google IBLP every once in a while and wonder how do people not see this garbage, how does the institute still survive. It was like the corporation that was so strong one person couldn't make a dent, so you just wrote it off and dealt with your issues( with professional help I might add which was worth every penny times 1,000)

    RG has shown us that there are many people on this journey. You are not alone. You are not crazy. If "hard" things happen in your life ie: divorce, financial troubles etc it's not because you are a bad person or dishonored God, It's because life happens.

    If there's one thought I can leave all of you with who are on this journey with me it is. It's ok to cry, it's the body's way of healing.

    • Brumby March 25, 2014 Reply

      @Ryan Sapp: I second your remarks.

      In late 2011, I stumbled across RG as I used online search engines to aid in making sense of my past with ATI. I didn't expect to find anyone else out there - I never personally knew of any ATI-ers that had "defected" like myself. I did believe and feel that I was alone in my experience. I had tried to confide in some new friends along the way - but none of them understood. They hadn't experienced anything like ATI/cult, or, they told me I was mistaken, that ATI was not a cult. RG is the only venue that I have where people "get it." That in itself creates a fair amount of healing. In searching online, I hoped to perhaps locate an obscure blog or two - anything that would present a shred of validity to my leaving ATI. RG was already there, and I'm not sure how to express how glad I am that some people spent some of their own time and effort to create a voice and healing space for the former ATI students like myself. I've relationally and geographically removed myself from my ATI roots - I don't have another venue from which to draw healing, clear thoughts, or express my thoughts/feelings.

  12. KH March 25, 2014 Reply

    "We have had no other contact with the board, and we have since learned that both Dr. Boring and Mr. Reese have resigned from the board."

    This statement jumped out at me more than anything I read. Does anyone know these men and why they may have resigned from the board?

  13. Glad to be free of this. March 25, 2014 Reply

    This is interesting to say the least esp. since those others resigned. I have to come before God and recheck my heart in this matter for bitterness towards this stuff as this teaching was a serious bummer. I find myself really upset at all this. I hate the fact God gets a bad rap because of others.
    I seriously want this to come out, and I want justice to be served. I still do not understand why the government has not been involved. Why has no one gone to the police? Covering up sexual abuse is a legal matter. This has to go beyond an internal investigation. It's like Eric Holder doing an investigation on himself. It's a joke!

    • TiaraLi March 26, 2014 Reply

      It has been said a number of times that, sadly, the statute of limitations has expired for the stories that have been shared on this site.

  14. "Emee" March 25, 2014 Reply

    Gothard was "only to communicate his clear understanding of what we had to share." Since he hasn't proven himself trustworthy, I can't say I'd believe his words, but...did he "communicate his clear understanding of ['the extent of the pain and hurt his behavior had caused to the young women who have alleged sexual harassment']"? It's not my intention to downplay that horrific hurt, but I hope someday he also realizes the extent of the pain and hurt his false teachings have caused (which wasn't limited to his followers).

    RG team, I have benefited immensely from your decision to boldly and gracefully proclaim the truth and your refusal to 'submit again to the yoke of slavery' (Galations 5:1). Thank you for exposing Gothard's false teaching; the articles pinpointing his errors have accelerated my healing process and helped lift the heavy burden of legalism from my back! Thank you for pointing me toward a true relationship with God, based solely on His grace and mercy instead of what I previously had--paralyzing shame and guilt for not achieving the 'good' behavior and standards supposedly necessary for God's approval. May God, who sees all that you've sacrificially and willingly given (both secretly and publicly), continue to lavish upon you the riches of His glorious grace (Ephesians 1:2-23) and surround you with those who will support you when you grow weary (Exodus 17:12).

  15. Glad to be free of this. March 25, 2014 Reply

    I see over and over people are upset Bill has not confessed. He has probably spoken to a lawyer. My abuser knew that after speaking to a lawyer after I came out if he kept his mouth shut nothing could be done to him. No witnesses, No physical evidence & 20 yrs ago. Maybe the only way he can be brought down is with confession. Pride won't take responsibility. He isn't going to bring himself down unless he has a broken and contrite heart and wants to confess based on a submissive heart to God. Pride is opposite of that very thing.

    • KevinW March 25, 2014 Reply

      In the Basic Seminar, Bill Gothard uses a number of anecdotes and clichés to teach about the importance of a clear conscience. He says that having a clear conscience means, never being in a position where someone says, “You offended [or wronged] me and never tried to make it right.” He tells the story of someone who did something illegal and when faced with having to clear his conscience, states, “I’d rather be in prison on the outside and free on the inside than free on the outside and in prison on the inside.”

      http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2012/01/clear-as-mud/

      • Alan Bonjour March 26, 2014 Reply

        You should wrap that up and send it to his doorstep. Better now than before the Throne.

  16. John Royalty March 25, 2014 Reply

    Whether he is a sinner or not I know not, but one thing I know, I was a burned out rock 'n roller, and a college dropout with a D+ average – before I attended my first basic seminar at Constitution Hall in 1972. I have been a practicing physician since 1981, a practicing surgeon since 1993, having passed the National Board of Examiners, general surgery boards, vascular surgery boards, and cardiothoracic surgery boards. And I probably have only followed 10% of the recommended practices from the Institute in Basic Life Principles.
    jr

    • kevin March 25, 2014 Reply

      " And I probably have only followed 10% of the recommended practices from the Institute in Basic Life Principles."

      John,
      Consider yourself lucky that you never went very deep. Many who did ended up devastated by his legalism, chain of authority teaching and works based Grace.

    • Shane March 25, 2014 Reply

      @John Royalty Welcome. If you don't mind my asking; are you endorsing what he teaches as true to the Scriptures or are you simply saying it got you off of rock n' roll and more disciplined in your life? There are multitudes of religious and non-religious systems whose adherents could give a similar testimony. That some have mildy positive experiences with Gothard has nothing to do with what Recovering Grace exists to expose; there are also multitudes of counter testimonies regarding Gothard's teachings and practices.

      My own testimony is that Gothard's eschewing of higher education, gnostic tendency to separate the world into sacred and secular, unbiblical views on music, etc. led to much confusion in my life through my undergrad degree. It was not all his fault, of course, but his teachings impacted me significantly enough that I missed out on the great opportunities of a liberal arts education. So, the issue isn't really a battle of positive v. negative testimonies, but whether what he teaches is false or true to the Scriptures. AND whether he sexually and spiritually abused people under his care.

      It's ok to have had a positive Gothard experience (I have no problem believing your experience), but please don't let that cause you to dismiss the weight of what is discussed here regarding the teachings and behaviors of Gothard.

    • esbee March 25, 2014 Reply

      You probably followed the 10% that was correct Bible teaching.

    • Dave March 25, 2014 Reply

      Sounds like you found Jesus! Never forget how God got Balaam's attention.

    • TiaraLi March 26, 2014 Reply

      "Whether he is a sinner or not I know not..."

      Well, if you'd read your bible, you'd know "for all have sinned". Bill Gothard is a sinner, as are all of us.

      Whether he's saved or not is something only God knows.

      Whether he's a criminal or not is something that he and several others who have spoken on this site know.

      Whether he's fit for a leadership position in a ministry? That's a pretty clear NO.

      I'm glad you didn't actually follow the ministry's teachings. Sorry that you attribute your success to the teachings that you didn't keep.

    • Ryan Sapp March 26, 2014 Reply

      I am happy for you that you experienced just enough of IBLP for it to change your life. It changed my life also.

      I would be willing to bet that the military turned more college drop outs lives around and educated them as well.

    • beenthere April 11, 2014 Reply

      John,

      I knew you in college a year or so after the seminar you mentioned and only months after my first one. You were a dedicated pre-med major and sincere, committed new Christian.

      Both of us were mid-course, secular university transfers, only recently saved. We, like the parents of many of these ATI students, were products of the Jesus movement among many high school and college students at that time, all looking for truth and stability in the pretty whacked out culture of the late 60's and early 70's.

      I don't begrudge you your experience with the Basic Seminar. I had a similar one, and we actually talked about it several times. The problem is you went on to complete and further your education in a professional field you loved. I doubt you followed the ministry extremely closely. (Nor could you have, given the hurdles to clear in your career path).

      I did as well, but later enrolled my own son, adopted with several disabilities, in ATI as a post high school apprenticeship student. I found ATI was nothing like the Basic Seminar. It proved devastating for him. (And yes, Michael, he reported the very same atmosphere you described at Headquarters.) Through frequent visits and volunteer stints, I witnessed many of the things referred to in testimonies posted on this site. Reading their accounts brought back sharp memories, along with the sickening realization of what was behind what I experienced personally (as a single mom) and saw with my own eyes. YET, I discounted them. Mr. Gothard was, after all, beyond reproach. It could not be as it appeared.

      I am now dealing with the reality (which includes real guilt) of having suspended my God-given discernment to the harm of my son and the harm of students who should have had more perceptive and interventional adults advocating for them. We, after all, did NOT grow up insolated and naïve in ATI. We were responsible, before God, to play the wary as serpents part. I have deeply apologized to my son and plan to spend a good deal of time working through the many issues with him. I'm also in the process of writing a detailed testimony of my own.

      I encourage you to read the testimonies and the long, long history of abuses posted here. I met some of these students, visited the centers often (Indianapolis, Chicago, Michigan, even Dallas and Oklahoma City) at the time some of these incidents occurred. I can assure you, I SAW some of the same behaviors (pre-cursers to the more serious allegations) along with this man's hidden pride and hardness. It is very, very troubling that we could all be so blind.

      We also have a responsibility to look very hard at that Basic Seminar and understand where the poison was that led to the abusive teachings and veil for evil it eventually produced. Doesn't your field teach you to look for underlying, maybe hidden, causes of disease and organ failure?

      Thank God we have a Savior and are recipients of His forgiveness and grace. As so many on this site have said in better ways, we throw ourselves on His mercy, truth and ability to "restore the years the locusts have eaten."

      • greg r April 11, 2014 Reply

        excellent post; let the RG crowd know when that detailed testimony comes out. Hoping things work out for healing w/ your son

  17. Heidi March 26, 2014 Reply

    "we still hold to our previous assertion that it is imperative for the IBLP Board to bring in an independent third party to serve as the investigator of these matters."

    Amen to this!

    Within the Institute they do not realize how outsiders perceive the lack of integrity of a strictly internal investigation.

    • Ryan Sapp March 26, 2014 Reply

      Especially this organization. The articles from the early 80's stated over and over how IBYC was secretive in their operations.

      Colleges investigate themselves and impose penalties before the NCAA investigates them. The NCAA is likely to impose penalties on top of the schools already self imposed penalties. Every day I am reminded how a ministry that is supposed to be above reproach hides behind secrecy.

      Has any one who has ought with Bill heard from him? He should team up with O.J. They can roam the country looking for Nicole's killer and those who have ought with Bill.

      • Larne Gabriel March 26, 2014 Reply

        Ryan,

        I'm still waiting, but what's a few more "days" after waiting 34 years. We have done what God lead us to do, now without Bill's repentance it's in God's hands. I feel at this point Gothard won't repent, his pride is too strong and his narsiatic behavior rules his actions. The staff leadership and the board are complicit in Gothard's behavior and are just as responsible as him. They too will have to answer when they face the judgement seat of Christ.

        Larne Gabriel

        • David Pigg March 27, 2014

          "They too will have to answer when they face the judgment seat of Christ."Larne, sometimes ultimate truths such as this causes the insanity, [that whatever your deeds outside of Christ's mercy and grace have seemed to accomplish],to go away.Hard hitting but right on.

      • Ryan Sapp March 26, 2014 Reply

        Honestly, being familiar with your story now and the contact/tenure you have had with Bill I am very surprised he/they haven't contacted you. I think I speak for the majority here that we will take a back seat to you and expect Bill to contact you first. Your story is one of the catalyst.

        IBLP leadership is implicit as you point out. If you look at iblp's (I don't think I'm going to capitalize anything to do with the institute from now on) web site they did not accept his first resignation. Surely you are known in the circles of the board and leadership. A call? Just one call? A simple gesture. I am so sorry. I really hope for you and us it's forthcoming...let's not hold our breath.

  18. Betty March 26, 2014 Reply

    The evidence clearly identifies BG guilty, and the charges many. The judgment needs to bring justice to all offended. Once this is completed, there will be rest. It may happen now, it may happen later. It is up to Him--The God of Justice.

    But justice will happen.

    May He give healing to our souls no matter the timing of justice. May we know His Patience as we continue to wait.

    It may be more are having opportunity to finally read RG, resulting in more healing.

    Thank you, RG, for your example to us of patiently speaking up for justice, mercy and humility. (Micah 6:8)

  19. Steve240 March 26, 2014 Reply

    Still pretty quiet on the "Friends of Mr. G" Facebook group. The only real posting is about Roger Magnuson's funeral.

    I guess all this revelation of Bill Gothard's sin has quieted his supporters there.

  20. Sad March 27, 2014 Reply

    Quote RG "Per the parameters of the conversation, Mr. Gothard was not allowed to confirm or deny the allegations, but only to communicate his clear understanding of what we had to share."

    Sounds quite likely that BG was speaking while his legal counsel was present, as they kept him from saying anything that could be used later in court against him.

    My sincerest hope is that BG and iblp take appropriate actions and not behave as they did in 1980 (though at the moment the jury is out). Or, even worse, take lead from Doug Philips / VF and sue the people who have spoken against him.

    Thoughts and prayers are with the RG team every day. Be strong and courageous dear ones. Godspeed.

    • Donna March 27, 2014 Reply

      Interesting perspective. I thought that RG set the parameters of BG not speaking.

  21. Georganne Friedrich March 27, 2014 Reply

    I am someone who greatly benefited from the Institute in the 1970's and 1980's. I was in my 20's then, and God used Bill's teachings to bring me through some turbulent dating years and lead me to a wonderful man who I married and have been happily married to for over 35 years. I still feel that many of the principles he taught are valid.


    I am saddened to read this story. I believe it. It almost sounds like Solomon in the Bible who could write the book of Proverbs, but had difficulty living it. We all need to know the truth, and we all need a Savior. Keep up the good work, RG, but just make sure that everything that you are telling us is the truth.

    • 'Megan' March 27, 2014 Reply

      Hi Georganne, you may not be aware of this, but Recovering Grace is run by an all Christian volunteer group. They have theologians, lawyers, stay at home moms, and a variety of other folks involved. Just for reference' sake, the story on Charlotte AND all the articles regarding the 80s scandal were heavily researched, cross referenced for months, and every possible step has been taken to confirm the truthfulness of each account before publishing.

      My personal opinion: if anything published here was decidedly untrue (i.e. scandals etc), IBLP would have fought back or sued in a public way, for defamation of character, lies etc, they wouldn't have beat around the bush for months and months before finally deciding to 'investigate' the accusations (using a biased investigator, no less..)

      • MikeL April 3, 2014 Reply

        "you may not be aware of this, but Recovering Grace is run by an all Christian volunteer group. They have theologians, lawyers, stay at home moms, and a variety of other folks involved. "

        You can say the same about IBLP...

  22. Julia Fetters March 27, 2014 Reply

    Thank you RG and thank you Former Staff and Committee Members. I cannot put into words how thankful so many are to you for all the time, money, energy, and thought you have all put into exposing the scandal.
    Thank you, brave women who have shared such personal stories with the world so as to see this behavior stopped.
    It seems so small just to say "thank you" but our family wants to join our voices with others' and say we are so grateful.
    We are grateful to God for starting this journey and will be praying for His grace, strength, and will for each of you.

  23. David March 28, 2014 Reply

    What is so sad is that there are hundreds of young adults who have been scarred by this para-church ministry. There are many older people who with full faith supported and encouraged IBLP, and now have egg on their faces for doing so. Many have been duped by wrong teaching wrong doctrine, and twisting of scriptures. Uncleanness and doctrinal deviation go hand in hand many times. The word went out years ago about doctrinal deviation, but few, very few listened.

  24. Chagrined March 29, 2014 Reply

    I am so glad to be officially "retired" from all forms of institutional Christianity. Gothard's behavior actually lends credence to evolution; the alpha male rides herd over the most attractive breed-worthy females and uses this in combination with his "superiority" to keep lesser males in line and in service to him. There is no "god" in what Gothard is doing. He's just a clever marketeer.

  25. Rejoicing April 1, 2014 Reply

    You know as I have read through these posts, my mouth is almost open. I read so much of a critical spirit and very little of grace of which that is what you are supposed to be about. My life has been so different from the IBLP teachings because they are Bible principles. My heart aches for the way grace has been so watered down in the church of the Lord Jesus in America. It is as if people want to use grace as a license to fulfill the fruit of the flesh instead of the true meaning of the power to not sin and to walk in the Spirit. Far to many today do not want to live by Bible principles and obedience to what the Word of God requires. Yes, you can term it legalism if you want to walk in your flesh, but I call it obedience as in John 14. My heart aches for any who were hurt in a wrong way, but I wonder what the motive is for all this criticism I have read in these posts. IBLP is not a cult and they sure do not need my defense.. My life was so different after applying those principles and God has deepened His work in my life as to Grace and the real meaning grace is. People should be on their faces that the Name of God is being drug through the mud instead of what I am reading here. Far to many want to say legalism so they can pamper the flesh and not be in repentance and living dead to the flesh--and alive unto God Romans 6. May I suggest that all who read this get alone with God every day and soak and saturate themselves in Romans 6 and ask God to make it very real to them. When we judge another, we are committing the same sin in this senseless attack on a good ministry. I see very little grace in these posts, but it sure smells like flesh of criticism, judgementalism, attack and many who have set themselves up as god to judge... When I believe that all should be on their faces before God, grieved that His Name is being drug through the mud. Could I suggest that many here might want to go to the Cross and be crucified with Christ so that He might live. I am sure this is not God's way of handling this matter. Gal 2:20

    • 'Megan' April 1, 2014 Reply

      Hi Rejoicing, please remember that many different kinds of people comment here. Many are Christian, some are not, but all are permitted to post their opinion as long as they follow the rules of the website.
      There will be a wide variety of comments, some reflecting no grace, but many do reflect grace. Perhaps if you are only recently aware of all the trouble and terrible accusations, the bluntness of some comments may shock you, and come across as ungracious. If you would read the recent conversations between many here and one Alfred Corduan, I think you would find the epitome of grace.

      I was raised with Bill Gothard's teachings. They nearly destroyed me and my walk with God. And I followed his teachings faithfully, the way he taught them. The only way I can account for his teachings actually truly helping anyone, is that God can work through anything and anyone for His will, NOT because Bill's teachings are actually gold.

      Lastly, if all these things are true, you must realize that Bill is not a good man, or a godly one, but a hireling. A false prophet. One who has damaged literally thousands of people. As such, how should Christians handle someone who is harming the flock? All things considered, I think the majority of the participants on this website are showing tremendous grace, maturity, restraint, and genuine love for Bill, that he would come to genuine repentance.

    • Jonathan April 1, 2014 Reply

      Rejoicing,

      As I read your post, I'm concerned with some of your application of Scripture. I'm not sure what you mean by "critical spirit and very little of grace." If you mean by that, that you disapprove of calling out Bill Gothard's sin, I would like to point out that the Bible clearly says that the mouths of false teachers must be stopped, for one, (Titus 1:1) and that sexual immorality is plainly a sin-which yes, must be dealt with swiftly.

      You claim that you were helped by the teachings of IBLP - but may I ask, if they couldn't keep whom all of us (including you) perceived to be a very godly man from sinning, then perhaps the principles weren't based on the truth of Scripture?

      Your musings on the issue of "cheap grace" puzzle me. Doesn't cheap grace justify the sin? I find it intriguing that you accuse RG of espousing such, but you imply that we should just have grace for Mr. Gothard and ignore his obvious sins. Isn't that cheap grace as well-justifying his sin by saying "But I had a good experience" or "He did so many good things?" When you stand before God, will he accept the excuse of "But I did so many good things" as a reason for letting you into heaven?

      Just a few thoughts for you to ponder.

    • greg r April 2, 2014 Reply

      @Rejoicing: we agree to disagree on what a 'good ministry' is
      and not at all sure why you call the work of RG 'senseless' , Like most of your post, you didn't really explain that thought, you just threw it to the wall. maybe to you it is self-evident, and doesn't need explaining.

      One small theological note: we neither make Jesus alive or dead, HE either is or HE isn't; I'm glad, really, that I don't have (or want to have, really) that power.

      Hope you keep posting, and not just 'drive by' post

    • Father With Daughters May 3, 2014 Reply

      >>>Rejoicing said: "IBLP is not a cult and they sure do not need my defense.."<<<

      Something that may be of help to someone. Any remind of Bill Gothard's organization?

      From the Cult Education Institute (http://www.culteducation.com/warningsigns.html)

      **Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.**

      *Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
      *No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
      *No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
      *Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
      *There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
      *Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
      *There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.
      *Followers feel they can never be "good enough".
      *The group/leader is always right.
      *The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

      **Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader.**

      *Extreme obsessiveness regarding the group/leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration.
      *Individual identity, the group, the leader and/or God as distinct and separate categories of existence become increasingly blurred. *Instead, in the follower's mind these identities become substantially and increasingly fused--as that person's involvement with the group/leader continues and deepens.
      *Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as "persecution".
      *Uncharacteristically stilted and seemingly programmed conversation and mannerisms, cloning of the group/leader in personal behavior.
      *Dependency upon the group/leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without group/leader involvement.
      *Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supercede any personal goals or individual interests.
      *A dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor.
      *Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader.
      *Anything the group/leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.
      *Former followers are at best-considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.

      **Ten signs of a safe group/leader.**

      *A safe group/leader will answer your questions without becoming judgmental and punitive.
      *A safe group/leader will disclose information such as finances and often offer an independently audited financial statement regarding budget and expenses. Safe groups and leaders will tell you more than you want to know.
      *A safe group/leader is often democratic, sharing decision making and encouraging accountability and oversight.
      *A safe group/leader may have disgruntled former followers, but will not vilify, excommunicate and forbid others from associating with them.
      *A safe group/leader will not have a paper trail of overwhelmingly negative records, books, articles and statements about them.
      *A safe group/leader will encourage family communication, community interaction and existing friendships and not feel threatened.
      *A safe group/leader will recognize reasonable boundaries and limitations when dealing with others.
      *A safe group/leader will encourage critical thinking, individual autonomy and feelings of self-esteem.
      *A safe group/leader will admit failings and mistakes and accept constructive criticism and advice.
      *A safe group/leader will not be the only source of knowledge and learning excluding everyone else, but value dialogue and the free exchange of ideas.

      • Jeff Gill May 3, 2014 Reply

        Speaking of things to remind you of ATIA, this article about daily life in North Korea took me right back: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/02/north-korea-a-day-in-the-life-pyongyang (I'm not joking. Some of the parallels are uncanny.)

  26. dreamer April 1, 2014 Reply

    --- I see very little grace in these posts, but it sure smells like flesh of criticism, judgementalism, attack and many who have set themselves up as god to judge... --

    Isn't fleshly criticism and judgementalism exactly what you are dishing out to the posters of this website?

    • Brumby April 2, 2014 Reply

      I'm a fleshly human, freely criticizing and judging on this website and off... so, yep! You got me! :)

      In a classic case of "who started it," I contend that BG did. He began putting himself in God's shoes a long time. He's finally getting a little flak for it.

  27. rowesbud April 2, 2014 Reply

    "We have also attempted to reiterate to the IBLP Board of Directors our willingness to have direct communication with them about the issues that have been raised on our website."

    Do you think you matter? Are you a thing? Does anyone know who you are besides a bunch of folks that don't have problems interesting enough to go on Jerry Springer?

    • Shane April 3, 2014 Reply

      Boom! Roasted!

  28. Shane April 3, 2014 Reply

    Boom! Roasted!

  29. Ron Moore April 3, 2014 Reply

    This is my first encounter with RG and I am disappointed. I expected to find some true Christians who would withhold judgement until an investigation has finished. Instead, I find a group that has already tried, convicted and hung the accused. The whole tone of this blog sounds a lot like 'Crucify Him!, Crucify Him!' BG is definitely not God. But neither are you. Christians, including me, have a bad habit of shooting our own wounded.
    I first went to a BG seminar in 1975. It was a great experience and has been helpful for almost forty years. Did I believe everything he said? NO! Do your own research people. Don't blame someone else if you choose to swallow everything someone says.

    • greg r April 3, 2014 Reply

      @ron moore: thank you for your post. hang around for a day or two @RG, maybe you'll change your mind, and maybe you have something to tell us

    • Shane April 3, 2014 Reply

      @Ron Moore- thanks. I needed a good laugh.

      • greg r April 3, 2014 Reply

        the part about you not being GOD ?? revelatory....

    • kevin April 3, 2014 Reply

      "I expected to find some true Christians who would withhold judgement until an investigation has finished."

      The investigation? The investigation being conducted by Bill Gothard's good friend and attorney of 40 years, who is a speaker at IBLP conventions? Do you really expect that they will be seeking the truth? I guess it's possible. We can all hope anyway.

      Your experience is fairly common. People who only went to one seminar and did not internalize too many of the teachings sometimes see it as a positive experience. Many of his teachings were extremely damaging to many people and not all are so wise as you, throwing out what they don't agree with. For some people, when a Christian leader whom they hold in very high esteem tells them that adoption is against God's will, actually believe it. And real damage happens- orphans, who might otherwise be adopted, are denied a forever family.
      http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2011/10/adoption-the-ultimate-act-of-grace/
      Or what about his teachings about sexual abuse, which shame and blame the victims? People whose parents soaked up these teachings denied their children the help they needed, allowed the abusers to continue the abuse by handling it in a twisted manner. Blame the parents because they put Bill Gothard on such a high pedestal that they believed all he taught as if it was the word of God? (By the way, that is how he presents it.) Sure, blame the parents for not seeing how bankrupt his teachings were. What about the children who were subject to continued abuse because of Gothard's teachings?
      http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2013/04/how-counseling-sexual-abuse-blames-and-shames-survivors/
      http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2013/12/good-counsel/
      Twisting teachings have real consequences. Wonderful for you if you didn't "swallow everything someone says" But those who did swallow more often than not ended up devastated in one way or another.
      And back to the investigation, the evidence against Bill Gothard is absolutely overwhelming. If you really want to learn about what happened, their are dozens and dozens of testimonies here, of his various abuses and twisting of Scripture. You can read their stories, or you can wait to hear what you would like to hear from the organization's internal investigation being conducted by Bill's good friend.

    • 'Megan' April 3, 2014 Reply

      Hi Ron Moore, please read some of the earlier articles. The reaction you see is a mix of shock, horror, disgust, anguish, and many other unpleasant emotions. I've simply seen and heard too many stories from real, named people (including my own family members) to doubt the validity of these different claims. There are approximately 50 women coming forward with claims of sexual harrassment, and dozens, if not hundreds of people who can verify many different aspects of their stories. Perhaps you have not read Robin's, Lizzie's, and some of the other stories, but if a first hand account from a named person like Robin (including her parents) isn't sufficient, plus the multitude of witnesses, then no evidence will ever be sufficient to convict. (at least, not in the eyes of Gothard supporters.) Anyway, the Bible only requires two or three witnesses, and as I said already, there are dozens if not hundreds of witnesses.

      So the reaction you see isn't a matter of 'withholding judgment'. Particularly since Bill seems to be repeating history in light of the previous scandals. This is very disturbing. There is almost zero chance of him being innocent.

      • Brumby April 9, 2014 Reply

        @Megan: Agreedio. At the very minimum, BG is a jerk and does not deserve nor qualify to be in a position of leadership and power. The fact that his leadership and power are in a spiritual line of business, is exceptionally ridiculous.

    • KH April 3, 2014 Reply

      You haven't been on this site long enough to see that RG is not in the "crucify him" game! The night of the very day day RG called for a day of prayer for Mr. Gothard we heard of his resignation! As for an investigation from the inside we all feel it should be a disinterested third party like GRACE who is currently investigating BJU.

    • KH April 3, 2014 Reply

      Also remember all the while you were receiving Mr. Gothard's teaching he was violating his very own teachings. He required everyone around him to live by his law all the while breaking it himself. I went to my first basic two months after the stuff hit the fan in 1980. If I had know then what I know now I would not have walked across a room to hear him much less spend a week at a seminar.

    • Anonymous April 8, 2014 Reply

      Thanks, Michael, for taking the time to write that. I so admire people like you "and yours" who are able to live on much less than many in our country to. I'm a "wanna be" -- but heading in the right direction... Your words convicted me because of some discomfort with a ministry a family member has participated in. Needed the warning about the materialism.

      • Anonymous April 8, 2014 Reply

        I guess I didn't add my comment in the right place...I thought I added it after Michael Heathman, April 7th...that's where it is supposed to be:)

    • Brumby April 9, 2014 Reply

      1) I did not choose to swallow everything BG said. I was a minor and was forced to live accordingly.

      2) I did my own research. I lived ATI. I analyzed and developed my own opinions and beliefs throughout my adolescence in ATI. After I left ATI, I compared ATI against the Bible, recognized that ATI is not biblical, and also that I disagree with both the Bible and ATI. Most interesting to me was that ATI did not reflect biblical teachings - the biggest lie of ATI.

      3) Not everyone on here is Christian, much less "true" Christian, in your own terms. I'm not.

      4) It's human nature to judge, Christian or not.

      5) "BG is definitely not God. But neither are you." AGREED.

      • Shane April 9, 2014 Reply

        Whoa there Brumby! (horse lingo) I think you miss the nuance of Ron Moore's point. When he says he's disappointed to find no "true Christians" here; he's offering a compliment to the Christians and non-Christians alike.

        • Brumby April 9, 2014

          @Shane: Hmm. I don't gather that sentiment. Um, I don't really like the "whoa there" comment as a play on my username. Also, didn't mean to offend "true Christians," or whatever your and Ron Moore's points are... I apologize for that.

        • Shane April 9, 2014

          Brumby- I apologize-some jokes are just duds. The horse bit :) was just part of my sarcasm toward the "true Christian" comment.

          My point was that the "true Christian" comment, though Ron meant it as an insult, I take it as a compliment. When self-righteous Christians wonder whether I'm a Christian I have long since given up being offended.

          No need to apologize to me!

        • Brumby April 9, 2014

          @Shane: Ah, thanks for explanation. I appreciate that and I understand now. Um... so, "the horse 'bit'"...??? Lol. Anyways, no worries. :)

    • Gary Sellars May 22, 2014 Reply

      I'm sure your comments were received the way you anticipated. Objectivity seems to never be a concern when people "know they're right."

      I've always wondered about how terribly transparent yet completely oblivious people are to the true meaning of Scripture when they're gently reproved for gossip and their response is, "Well, it's the truth!!!"

      I was not surprised to see that is essentially the response among those who seem to think that until everyone is satisfied with BG's complete and thorough condemnation, then clearly, the will of God will not be done. After all, judgment triumphs over mercy, right?

      • kevin May 22, 2014 Reply

        "I was not surprised to see that is essentially the response among those who seem to think that until everyone is satisfied with BG's complete and thorough condemnation, then clearly, the will of God will not be done. After all, judgment triumphs over mercy, right?"

        Gary,
        You have a point. Since it's been over 17 days since he resigned, perhaps it is time to stop the discussion (gossip) re-install him and start sending 14 and 15 years olds his way once again.

      • greg r May 22, 2014 Reply

        If you see gossip as the crying need here, have at it. Poor , misunderstood, maligned and lonely bill.... boo hoo. Speaking on behalf of just me: I don't condemn him (we are all equally condemned/justified) I just want him gone from a place of influence. Fewer victims that way.

  30. Aila Hillberg April 6, 2014 Reply

    Ron - I encountered BG teaching through a college roommate 40 years ago. I listened to her repeat what she was learning at an IBYC seminar. I cautioned her that these teachings didn't seem legitimate to me. Apparently you didn't think they were all legit either. I came across this site several weeks ago, and have been grieved that errant teaching persisted for so long. I have also been impressed with the thoughtful and open methods used to expose the problems. I believe the RG site is providing a place of connection and healing for those damaged and hurt by BG and his teachings.

  31. Michael Heathman April 7, 2014 Reply

    Back in the day I drove truck for the Institute for Basic Youth Conflicts.
    I could never put my finger on it but I had a feeling that there was something very wrong with this ministry.
    Hardly anyone ever smiled at Oak brook. There seemed to be a dark cloud over the entire campus.
    People did not get along and I was always Happy to get on the road and get away from Oak Brook.
    I would see how people attending seminars revered Mr. Gothard and I would think to myself, if they only knew that back at headquarters in Oak Brook the staff did not get along and no one ever laughed
    The atmosphere was depressing. I had come from a fellowship where people climbed over pews to hug and show love toward one another. Once, at a staff retreat in Michigan we were told to pray for the person next to us.
    A young lady, maybe 16 years of age was sitting next to me,so I put my hand on her shoulder and prayed for her.
    Wow, was that a mistake. I was taken into a room and counseled to never touch a woman again.
    This was at a meeting with many people in a large room and as I said, we were asked to pray for the person sitting next to us. I thought this was unhealthy behavior. I thought these people had some big hang ups about touching and their bodies. Later, I found out that Steve Gothard may have been inappropriate with woman at this Michigan retreat center owned by I.B.Y.C. And people were hyper sensitive about anything that might appear immoral.
    I started to rethink my involvement with these folks. The retreat center was like a 5 star hotel.
    I had come from full time ministry where I survived on $5 per week and that was laundry money
    We spent any extra money on tracts. I was apalled at the money that was spent on everything
    Only the best of everything at Oak Brook and the Michigan retreat center near Watersmeet.
    I can recall dinners at Seminar sites that were obscene. We would thank the local city volunteers by taking them out to late dinners after evening seminars. In New Orleans we spend thousands treating volunteers to dinner every night. Staff would also go out to expensive lunches. I could not figure out if this was a ministry or a business
    It was a very strange experience. I was glad when it was over. I missed my hippie Christian friends like the saints at Jesus People U.S.A. And the Agape Force. People that lived the gospel.
    Legalism is never ok and it will crush your soul and give you the wrong concept of God's character
    God will never love you anymore or less than he already does. I hope that those that were damaged can find peace
    I was depressed for several years after I.B.Y.C. -refuse to let the legalists rob you of one moment of peace
    I wish you all peace of mind and a deep sense of being loved.
    Sincerely, Michael Heathman- Ashland Oregon

    • Heidi April 11, 2014 Reply

      Michael Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience! I especially like the wish at the end.

  32. Mary Olive Matney April 9, 2014 Reply

    I don't share your opinions about Mr. Gothard. What a clever way to get rid of him since he wouldn't retire. Kind of like what they did to Joe Paterno. Rather sad. It reminds me of the witch hunts in Salem.

    • greg r April 9, 2014 Reply

      mary olive: Mr. Gothard 'got rid of' himself....we hope. Decades of bad teaching and predatory behavior will do that. It's sad that you see him as some kind of victim. I wish him and you, the best, and in Bill's case I guess that means a sabbatical.
      pax

    • Larry April 9, 2014 Reply

      Mary,
      This is my first time to comment on RG, but something you said struck me. The larger point here is not about RG’s opinions or even your opinions. Opinions are too subject to arbitrary change, even on a daily basis. It’s kind of like the idea of guilt. It’s so easy to “feel” guilty at times when we aren’t really guilty (we do have an Accuser), but true guilt is based on fact, not emotion. Either we did, or didn’t do something wrong. Either we are guilty, or we aren’t guilty, regardless of how we feel about it.

      My wife and I went to our first seminar in 1972, and continued attend Bill’s seminars for years. Our four children eventually came along and, when old enough, went to ATI, many Knoxvilles, Oak Brook HQ Staff, Moscow, Australia, Big Sandy, Verity, etc., so we can speak “ATI” as well as any others on this site. I have always considered myself a very loyal person during my 66 years. I am willing to believe the best quickly about others, and very grudgingly change my opinions unless necessary.

      You are welcome, as we all are, to have opinions about Bill. But I would be curious what you base your positive opinions on. Loyalty? Having benefitted from some of the teachings? Seeing all the young people in blue and white singing together? I can relate to those things because I too enjoyed them. But we have to be careful that we don’t elevate what we think is right/wrong/acceptable over what God says is right/wrong/acceptable. And that is what I see going on here by many. Loyalty is a wonderful thing, but we must be careful to be loyal to our Lord and His word, first and foremost.

      For me, the things that I have been reading on RG over time, and then starting to hear from some of my ‘now adult’ kids, are factual indications of the apparently long continuing patterns of Bill’s personal and sexual behavior that are wrong, some punishable by law were the statute of limitations not expired. Facts, based on the testimony of many from a span of years, have shaped what I think of Bill now. I have been convinced by the preponderance of evidence from so many that he is guilty of sexual predatory acts. Not to mention that he apparently has a history of violating the hearts and minds of some of the people in his trust and care, violating scripture by not living up to the higher standard of a teacher of scripture, denying his guilt before God and man, and refusing to be under any authority (in real terms.)

      Our long history with Bill and ATI made it hard to accept what we were starting to hear and see. I guess subjective heart change often takes time. So the RG readers expecting others to instantly change opinions about Bill and years of experiences with ATI are being somewhat unrealistic. Sometimes our hearts demand time to adjust to what our heads are learning. Give us grace.

      • Shane April 9, 2014 Reply

        Thanks Larry for commenting. Very well said.

      • Kevin April 9, 2014 Reply

        Larry,
        Thank you for sharing your story. Excellent points and very well said.

    • Kevin April 9, 2014 Reply

      @mary, Sounds to me like someone is bitter.

      • greg r April 9, 2014 Reply

        But very to the point... and maybe a one-timer

    • Shane April 9, 2014 Reply

      Mary Olive- Is this satire? Or are you really defending Gothard with Joe Paterno. Cause...well nevermind. I agree that whatever was right and good that should have been done in the JoPA situation is what should happen in the Gothard situation.

    • kevin April 9, 2014 Reply

      Mary,
      Interesting that you would use the Joe Paterno example of what "they" did to these men to get rid of them.
      There were 10 children who testified that Jerry Sandusky had molested them in the Penn State scandal, to which you refer. Do you honestly believe that all ten of them made up these stories of abuse, as a "clever way" to get rid of Joe Paterno? Do you honestly believe that the 50 women who have accused Bill Gothard of sexual abuse and/or harassment are making up their stories, as a clever way to get rid of him? I guess it is just a little amazing to me that someone could actually think that way.
      Perhaps your comparison is a good analogy, however, as I do see many parallels.
      Both situations involved the abuse and/or harassment of numerous young people. In the Penn State situation it was 10 who testified- with Bill Gothard, there are 50 so far who have come forward.
      In both cases, despite what other things were achieved in their lifetimes, these men will be remembered for sexually abusing children, or covering up the sexual abuse of children. One look at their Wikipedia pages will tell you how such men are remembered:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gothard
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Sandusky
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Paterno

      They will always have that big asterisk next to their name, for the rest of recorded history.

      In both cases, there have appeared die-hard defenders, who defend these abusers and proclaim their innocence, stating the victims are all lying just to bring them down, no matter how many victims speak up, 10, 35, 50.
      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/12/jerry-sandusky-dottie-sandusky-today-child-abuser/6316305/

      The abuser in the Penn State/Joe Paterno scandal, Jerry Sandusky, will spend the rest of his life behind bars. If justice is served, perhaps this will be yet another parallel that we are able to use from your example, if and when Bill Gothard is brought to justice.

  33. Mary Olive Matney April 9, 2014 Reply

    What does it mean "your comment is awaiting moderation"? Do you mean censorship? If so, then I feel sorry for you. The truth will come out one way or another, and for that, I am grateful.

    • Beverly April 9, 2014 Reply

      I take it you don't read or comment on blogs very often. "Your comment is awaiting moderation" happens on pretty much every blog either the first time you comment or every time you comment, depending on how the blog chooses to set up incoming comments. If a blog doesn't moderate comments you probably wouldn't want to read it, because it gets spammed by bots and Viagra ads.

    • Brumby April 9, 2014 Reply

      @Mary Olive Matney: Well, I feel you've answered your own ponderings. The truth did come out in the end. So why are you harping on all of us??? Geez, lady.

      • greg r April 9, 2014 Reply

        funny, I was rejoicing ...um, WITH her about that also.. yes , the truth does come out..

  34. Mary Olive April 11, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for your replies. I appreciated all of them except Brumby's, but Larry's especially made sense, and Kevin did a nice comparative study. Thanks to Beverly for your explanation.

    I first attended IBLP in 1998 and went to the basic, advanced and anger resolution seminars. When my oldest daughter and her family joined ATI, I went to the regional conferences with them. They dropped out in 2009 after their new pastor told them IBLP/ATI was a cult.

    In 2008, I remarried (against Mr. Gothard's counsel) and have been very happy. My husband and I have attended the regional conferences each year since they were opened up to all alumni.

    Mr. Gothard has been very humble, encouraging, understandable and dedicated to his ministry when I've observed him. We're disappointed that he won't be at the Sacramento conference this year. We'll miss him. He's always been very kind to us and we enjoy the teachings. We like being debt-free, living frugally and modestly, and understanding God's design for men and women.

    Yes, I've noticed some inconsistencies between what is taught and what is practiced, and know that is because we are all human, except Christ.

    • greg r April 11, 2014 Reply

      Your experience with Bill and his seminars seems to be mostly, almost entirely positive. That's something to be grateful for. I'm still hopeful that Bill gets a very extended leave, and gives teaching anything biblical a rest (I doubt that happens). maybe he could teach ESL or something, but sine he's the 'bible guy', I'm not holding my breath.

    • 'Megan' April 11, 2014 Reply

      Mary Olive, just throwing this perspective out there; the unpleasant stories that are coming out, are from people who knew Gothard 'behind the scenes', not from folks who had pleasant interactions with his public persona from time to time. I'm glad you had a good experience.

    • Brumby April 11, 2014 Reply

      @Mary Olive: Thanks for the shout out. :)

      • greg r April 11, 2014 Reply

        shane the celebrity preacher...and then brumby the good girl gone bad (why do I get the picture of NCIS Abby ???)

    • Gary Sellars May 22, 2014 Reply

      Christ is human also. Thankfully, He is also God.

  35. Mary Olive April 11, 2014 Reply

    We'll miss Roger Magnusen at this year's conference, too. He was an amazing person with an incredible mind and was an inspiration to us.

    I do believe that David Gibbs, Jr. will be fair and just in his investigation of Mr. Gothard's alleged activities. I understand that David was hired by the IBLP board and has good rapport with Mr. Gothard. We are praying for them all.

    • Don Rubottom May 22, 2014 Reply

      I find it concerning that David Gibbs, Sr., is speaking at the regional conference while David Gibbs, Jr., is conducting an "objective" investigation. Is there any rush to judgment, endorsing the continuation of the ministry? Will Gibbs receive any honorarium for speaking at the conference? Has Magnusen backed away from IBLP?

      • Elizabeth May 22, 2014 Reply

        There are two David Gibbs.

        David Gibbs, Jr. is older and is BG's friend and conference speaker. He is the one doing the investigation.

        David Gibbs III is his son and not involved with RG as far as I know.

        Magnuson is no longer alive.

        • Don Rubottom May 27, 2014

          So is the Gibbs who is investigating the one scheduled to speak to an ATI conference this summer? That is worse than a law partner speaking. His participation would constitute an endorsement of that which he is called to investigate.

  36. Pingback : Bill Gothard Breaks Silence on Harassment Claims by 30 Women | The Chronicles

  37. Pingback : Our Response to the IBLP Board Statement | Recovering Grace

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