Bill Gothard Resigns from IBLP Presidency

6 March 2014, 21:53



BillGothardOn March 6, 2014, Administrative Director David Waller communicated via email to ATI families that Mr. Gothard has “resigned as president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, its Board of Directors, and its affiliated entities.” Mr. Waller indicated the board’s desire to appoint interim leadership, and named Chris Hogan as one who “will play an active role in the upcoming conferences as president of ATI.” This follows the report on February 27 in which World Magazine confirmed that the Board of IBLP had placed Bill Gothard on administrative leave, “in order to further investigate the mounting claims of sexual harassment and misconduct that have been reported on the Recovering Grace website.”

The letter goes on to state that Mr. Gothard has “communicated to the Board of Directors his desire to follow Matthew 5:23–24 and listen to those who have ‘ought against’ him” and states that his resignation is motivated by a desire to give full attention to the issues at hand (view the full letter).

On February 3, Recovering Grace made a public case that Bill Gothard had disqualified himself from ministry by his actions. In doing so, we called for Mr. Gothard to repent and be reconciled to those who have been damaged under his ministry and teachings. While we acknowledge the range of emotions that our readers are likely feeling in light of this letter, we do not take joy in this announcement, and we understand the gravity and sadness of this situation. Mr. Gothard’s resignation will doubtless produce relief in some of our readers and deep disappointment in others. Nonetheless, we realize this is an important moment.

The Recovering Grace leadership team agrees that this is a good first step. We will pray for the senior leadership of IBLP as they begin the process of investigating and addressing the physical and spiritual abuse, as well as reexamining many of IBLP’s questionable teachings in light of Scripture. We appreciate that Mr. Hogan has reached out to Recovering Grace in the past weeks, and we believe him to be a man of integrity who understands the issues and challenges that lie ahead. We will also continue to pray for the board of IBLP, and we strongly call them to bring in an independent third-party to serve as the investigator and/or conciliator of these matters—one who has experience in investigating allegations of sexual abuse within Christian environments.

We thank our readers for your support, your comments, your phone calls and emails to the board, and especially for your response to our “Call to Prayer” today. We are sincerely grateful for a community committed to bringing truth to light, and recovering and living in grace.

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.


  1. MarkL March 6, 2014 Reply

    In case certain rumors are true, let it be known that David Gibbs would not be what most reasonable people might call an independent investigator. He is a man with a reputation for defending fundamentalist baptist people guilty of physical and sexual abuse.

    And the use of Matthew 5 makes it appear that Gothard wants eventually to return back to his kingdom, with little to no accountability to a local church.

    IBLP needs to address doctrinal error that is the source of the wickedness that is exemplified by this perversion.

    • "Hannah" March 7, 2014 Reply

      Gibbs is scheduled to speak at the ATI conference. He is by no means an unbiased third party.

      • Brumby March 7, 2014 Reply

        Whaaaattt???? WOW.

        I didn't know that.

    • Bob March 7, 2014 Reply

      If the organization dissolves, what happens to the money? Will Bill get a retirement/pension when so many other have their lives ruined financially?

      What about all the folks who tried to do what he said he did, namely, believing that they could pray money into their mailbox, and then find out, oh, wait, you have to work for it?

      Will Bill pass his jedi mind tricks on to them to teach them how to hoodwink people into giving them money?

      • Vivian March 7, 2014 Reply

        If IBLP is a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt organization, then at least in theory, if it is dissolved it is required to give all remaining assets to another 501 (c) 3. That's not to say that the board couldn't vote some big pensions/ severance packages/ bribes first.

    • Bob March 8, 2014 Reply

      In case anyone is in contact with Bill, this might aid his ability to reconcile with those who have "ought" "aught" against him, or what I like to call: "People I've screwed over"

      Not to be confused with denial: Anosognosia.

      • Taylor Joy March 9, 2014 Reply

        Yes, Anosognosia is serious, and THE most difficult part of trying to help anyone with mental illness. (I have a whole house full of ADHD, and first heard of Anosognosia in the book "Is it You, Me, or Adult ADD?")

        However, I can't help but wonder if Gothard's denial is spiritual/demonic, rather than simply brain-based.

        • Susan theriault November 15, 2014

          It is my opinion denial is spiritual/demonic.
          His influence has injured too many people to be not. His teachings have injured me since 1981.

  2. mitchell chapman March 6, 2014 Reply

    from mitchell chapman

    David Gibbs has done a lot for the Christian community so let us be more balanced with our comments or suggestions. Bill has resigned and
    he says he wants to meet with people so the next step is where and when and will this be a group setting or one on one. The Lord wants restoration and so do I.

    • MarkL March 7, 2014 Reply

      David Gibbs' "ministry", the CLA, is considered a "missionary" by many independent baptist churches. These churches send part of their limited funds to this nonprofit organization, which spent almost $2.8million in 2011 in legal services paid to none other than Gibbs own law firm, as per IRS form 990

      He is a comparatively wealthy man who makes a living off of fundamentalists who feel their liberties are being taken from them. What has he accomplished in practice? He has represented churches whose pastors have committed sexual crimes against teenagers and children and has done so in a manner than many feel has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with limited accountability and liability for his clients?

      If you consider being a part of massive coverups of abuse under the disguise being an investigator under the protection of attorney client privilege, doing " a lot for the Christian community," then I would kindly ask you to reevaluate what you feel the Christian community needs.

      • kevin March 7, 2014 Reply

        spot on regarding David Gibbs. If they have, in fact, hired him to "investigate", that sends a strong message that they are really trying to "mitigate" and CYA. They need to hire an independant firm, such as GRACE, and let the chips fall where they may, if they really desire to find the truth and want this investigation to have any credibility.
        i really don't think any victims should speak to a man conducting the investigation who is acting as de facto defense counsel for Gothard and/or the board. His purpose in such interviews would likely only be to find exculpatory information and to know what kind of defense they need to prepare for.

        • Julia Fetters March 7, 2014

          I could not agree more, Kevin. Having been part of an IFB church and having heard Mr. Gibbs, and having seen the Who's Who of his clients, David Gibbs is not unbiased. I have been watching closely to see if his name would 'pop-up' in all of this and, sure enough, there it.

          I am so thankful for the steps forward in this. It will be "thrown in reverse" if Mr. Gibbs is in any way associated with it.

          And I could not agree more with Kevin - If I were a victim, I would not give any statements whatsoever to David Gibbs or anyone working for or with him. The outcome will most likely not be a good one.

      • JessicaB March 7, 2014 Reply

        I completely agree MarkL.

        Furthermore, even if the history of Mr. Gibbs was not littered with such disheartening protection of abusers, there is no way that it is possible for Mr. Gibbs to conduct an 'independent' investigation. His relationship with IBYC goes back over 35 years, he is mentioned in board meeting notes from 1977! He is currently at the top of the list of speakers slated for the annual ATI conference this summer:, and

        While Mr. Gibbs could feasibly conduct an internal investigation, it is not at all the same as an independent one, and that seems to be in order here as we consider the serious nature of the allegations that have been presented.

      • mitchell chapman March 7, 2014 Reply

        Lisa Madigan, Illinois attorney General 100 west Randolph street Chicago, Illinois 60601 telephone number 312 814 3000. also on the website is a tab that says advocating for women. click on that tab and it will take you to the section where you can get the ball rolling.

    • Christopher Jones March 7, 2014 Reply

      The above link shows David Gibbs speaking at the First Baptist Church of Hammond just a few months ago after their influential pastor, Jack Schaap, resigned for committing statutory rape. The church board hired Gibbs to "investigate" the church further. In the speach, Gibbs does something an impartial investigator conducting a serious investigation should never do before starting an investigation: publicly praise the people he is about to "investigate."

    • "Hannah" March 7, 2014 Reply

      I don't plan to meet with him, nor do I believe his victims should be put in that position. Any apology he needs to make to me or others, can be made publicly to the world. He is a manipulator, and I will not place myself in a position to be manipulated by him.

      • David March 7, 2014 Reply

        Wise choice.

      • "Hannah" March 7, 2014 Reply

        *note*: I am not one of the sexual harrassment or molestation victims. I am a victim of the false teachings of Gothard.

  3. Rissah March 6, 2014 Reply

    meet with those who he has offended, huh? maybe he should meet with them in a courtroom, with a judge and jury...

  4. Time Marches On March 6, 2014 Reply

    David Gibbs is an attorney brought in to protect IBLP from any possible litigation and criminal charges, whether or not litigation and charges against individuals are warranted. He is not independent, and not a legitimate independent investigator in this case. He's a person who advises churches and organizations on how to shore up their insurance and lower risk factors for external criminal investigation, without regard to whether abuse takes place or not.

  5. Jess March 6, 2014 Reply

    We all want restoration, but along with restoration, must come change! Change must come from within, and although not impossible, it will be a long and painful journey for the IBLP/ATI ministry. Are they up to the task? Will there be an open mind to changing? After everything that has been brought to light, will there be a ministry and a following left to make the changes relevant? That remains to be seen!

  6. Time Marches On March 7, 2014 Reply

    So it really doesn't matter in this case how ethical Gibbs is or is not. He cannot, as a long time associate of and current counsel to IBLP, conduct an impartial and objective investigation of his own client.

  7. Larne Gabriel March 7, 2014 Reply

    As I was emailed of this earlier today it brought no joy or rejoicing only sadness and relief. The sadness is Bill’s failure to repent has brought this action on himself. My relief is that, at least for now, there will be no new victims of his inappropriate actions. My prayer is that God has prepared his heart to repent and seek forgiveness. That does not negate the consequences of his actions in a public, personal or legal arena. God commands us to give forgiveness in Matthew 18:21 & 22, but there is no requirement for reconciliation. That is up to the individual and must generally be earned back through changed behavior and actions.

    Considering the scope of his damage to the Christian community and his age it would probably take the rest of his life to accomplish the above task. Personally, I would not want to see him use this failure to develop new material or a new approach to life for the Institute. That would be version 3.0. (1.0 was pre-1980 scandal, 2.0 was post scandal and ATI) While he can be forgiven, Bill has lost his credibility over the past 40+ years of abuse to ever be a leader in the Christian community again.

    Tonight my prayers are with him, the board, his family, the staff and mostly the thousand of lives he has spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physical harmed, may God have mercy on his soul. Matthew 18:6 & 7.

    Larne Gabriel
    staff 1979-80
    author Ruth's Story

    • kevin March 7, 2014 Reply

      Amen Larne. Well said. They all need our prayers.

    • Bob March 7, 2014 Reply

      It is with great pain that I read your words, and as a former staffer who was also tossed aside like a dirty penny, I was in much need of your words of counsel.

      It is not lightly that I say these words, but I have come to the belief that Bill's life and testimony is more like those of whom John 10 speaks about, one who climbs over the wall.

      I find it difficult to believe that Bill has the ability to accept the humility required to truely make this right. It is sad to think that the peace he searched for his entire life, now that it's right within his grasp (should he truely humble himself), is probably going to be missed.

      I anticipate another attempt to use scripture to dodge from the simple fact that he is the primary driver of the ruins of many people's lives who he deceived into making themselves vulnerable to him.

      • Larne Gabriel March 7, 2014 Reply


        I am truly sorry for the damage he has caused. His walking wounded go back decades. In some ways similar to PTSD (not to minimize what our military has gone through). Bob you are probably right but we can still pray, I am always reminded of Romans 8:28;
        "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." We just have to trust Him since His final chapter has not been written yet.

        Larne Gabriel

        • Bob March 9, 2014

          True - I'm trying to find the balance between recognizing what happened and not giving into "victimhood"...

          It's difficult, much more so that I thought. I think Bill is running from facing the fact that he tricked people into being vulnerable with him.

          His responsibility is to recognize his particular brand of evil, and mine is to not let his evil prevent me from being vulnerable with the ones in my life who really matter.

    • Aland Coons March 7, 2014 Reply

      I keep thinking about verse that says "better a milestone where hung about the neck and he we tossed into the sea". Thankfully as an IBYC Alumni and ATIA Charter family I can say I've received more good than harm. My prayers are even stronger for those who have been hurt and harmed.

  8. Jim K. March 7, 2014 Reply

    I read the letter from David Waller and found myself pondering that the IBLP board has a monumental task. This isn't about finding a replacement for Bill Gothard. This isn't about figuring out how the institute will go on. This must be the beginning of a thorough, introspective look at how the situation got to where it got over as many years as it did and figuring out how to keep it from ever happening again. The board also has a moral obligation to those young people serving at IBLP who might have been victimized in a similar manner as Charlotte, Meg and the others were. As has been said, the only way to credibly address this is with a third party.

    It isn't just Bill Gothard's charm and persona that permitted these excesses and transgressions to occur virtually unchallenged for so many years. How did one man ever become this powerful? One must look long and hard at the core belief structure, the elevation of "authority" and "loyalty" to such an extreme preeminence that the system and the leadership had to be protected at the expense of the people they were theoretically supposed to protect. Every belief system, from "chain of command" to "always giving a good report" needs to be thoroughly examined.

    If the board does nothing to address these questions - the WHY of things that happened, if it does nothing to consider all of the factors that allowed abuses and excesses to occur, then it will have learned nothing from this experience and history will simply repeat itself, though perhaps the ATI world will be a bit wiser for the wear. I don't know. In any case, the resignation of Bill Gothard is not the final chapter in this story by any stretch of the imagination. In a real sense, the hard work has just begun.

    Jim K.

    • Paula March 7, 2014 Reply

      My thoughts exactly. The system is corrupt, the teachings are corrupt and the leadership is corrupt.

      • Lois Manning March 7, 2014 Reply

        "Corrupt." Sounds like the Catholic Church under Popes John Paul and Benedict. Why does religion do this to some men? The corruption of power? Hormones? Mental weakness? Just asking...I doubt there's one answer. But men in power must ALWAYS be watched carefully and be held accountable by us women for the protection of our children.

        • TJ March 7, 2014

          Lois, you prevent a very sexist perspective. Your use of the words "men" (twice) and "hormones", and the phrase "held accountable by women" indicates you think only men can get corrupted, and women are above reproach. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way. Anyone can become corrupted, and more easily than you might think, which is why we must all continually hold each other accountable, and be held accountable to God.

        • TJ March 7, 2014

          The origins of his corruption are unclear, but the mechanism is. Rather than being willing to be held accountable (and even seeking it like great leaders do), he created an environment where he was considered infallible and above reproach. He honed a status of near worship from his following.

        • Mark March 7, 2014

          This is nothing new. We have always held our leadership in high esteem and assumed that they were above reproach. When they are not above reproach, I think there is an initial desire to deny, until the evidence is overwhelming, and then we turn on them.

          Churches are especially problematic here because we believe that our leaders are gifts given by Christ to His bride. So, people who do not blindly obey the leaders, or question leaders are generally considered to be working on behalf of the Devil.

        • Catherine March 8, 2014

          Human corruption had its beginning in Satan's 46 words to Eve, and has been with us ever since.

        • Paul VA March 9, 2014

          Lois, I think you come out and say something very important here. Even if you hold a more traditional complimentarian view of women in the Christian family, I believe that the concept of submission has gone way too far in ATIA families. The result has been marriages without boundaries where fathers can be tyrants with no accountability. If the wife has no voice then certainly the teenage or even adult children have no voice. This is not the mutual submission (see Ephesians 5 "submit to one another") intended by Paul.

    • Laura (attendee and former parent) March 7, 2014 Reply

      Well said, Jim.
      I feel the entire system is riddled with falsehood and a belief system that twists Scripture to manipulate it to mean what the man "at the top - Bill" knew would propel him alone to unquestioning authoritarian status. He has effectively removed himself from all accountability (even while insisting on our accountability) and we have witnessed the insidious damage this has wrought. Now the board is doing the same thing. Rather than seek a good name (a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches!) by inviting open accountability by way of independent investigation, the only conclusion is that this is a well thought out, financially based motivated plan to protect themselves, and the organization as a money machine and from possible legal action. Nothing appears to be different, from the board's perspective than 1980.
      That saddens me tremendously. However, things are not the same from our perspective. Times have changed. Vast distances that used to separate all alumni are but a finger-tip away now. The strength of twitter, Facebook, access to media, and more importantly, access to each other are not to be denied - as RG has admirably proven.
      I know we are not willing to let it go at this point. Something that is only has the perception of being "dealt with", we have learned from the example of 1980 can continue to do increasing devastating damage. Just as, in the Old Testament the Israelites were told to deal thoroughly with enemies, so too must we see this through. Even if Bill did not return to power, many others stand waiting to fill such shoes. As someone who has contributed the better part of my adult life to this ministry - and for the sake of my now adult children - I will only be able to give a sigh of relief when the organization is dissolved. Much of the teaching was based on falsehood, Bill is a sheep in wolf's clothing (in my opinion I can see no other option for the 40 year unrepentant pattern), and for the sake of so many thousand who are walking wounded, we must see that IBLP/ATI be dissolved. I believe it to be Biblical.

    • Helen Wachowiak May 7, 2014 Reply

      Is the David Waller mentioned in the article the same David Waller that is Josh Duggar's brother in law?

      Also since I have not yet commented on this topic I just want to say how sorry I am for the people hurt by this and that I'm grateful for people speaking out. I did like some of the IBLP materials but hmmmm some of it just never added up for me like verses linked to things that seemed to have nothing to do with the context. Anyway I feel like I have gained some wisdom from all of this - mainly to remember that I am a follower of Jesus and not this teacher or that and that some teachings, behaviors, etc are what people call "legalistic" and just to clarify in case that sounds like Christianese to someone - to me it means following a lot of rules that seem to be protective and good may actually be harmful if you're trying to earn your salvation or feeling like you have grace when you're really just feeling like you got the gold star for being a "good Christian".

      I know that wasn't very well written but maybe somebody out there will be able to make sense of that and say amen. Thanks Recovering Grace!

  9. AmandaH March 7, 2014 Reply

    Attempting to sift through BG's teachings and salvage the "ministry" of IBLP would be the equivalent to trying to untie a Gordian knot. The only salvation from such a muddled mess is to cut it loose.

    There are so many other teachers out there who are passionate about pointing others to God and His Word - and revering the Bible rather than (mis-)using, manipulating, and twisting it. IBLP is not providing a service, but rather has become a massive stumbling block to truth seekers. It's time for IBLP to close its doors and get out of the way.

    • Nancy March 7, 2014 Reply

      I agree wholeheartedly with Amanda. IBLP needs to dissolve. If only its founder Bill Gothard leaves, the damage and the false teachings remain. Steve Gothard's part in this sordid mess along with his brother Bill's lack of accountability regarding Steve remain part of the legacy of IBLP as well. I am praying for the dissolution of IBLP. This was Bill Gothard's ministry, and it should close down completely.

    • David March 7, 2014 Reply

      Of course, you are hitting the nail on the head. At this point, Gothard's resignation, while absolutely necessary, cannot undo the abuse and harm that was done over the last 40+ years. For IBLP to continue with his teachings will simply continue the spiritual damage that heresy does in people's lives. That is why this has to come back to the teachings.

      • Julia Fetters March 7, 2014 Reply

        I totally agree, Amanda. Revisionism is not the answer. All credibility of this ministry is lost. The teachings need to be addressed, the abuses, work reform for those at the centers, financial complexities and illegalities. I think it would be wise for ATI IBLP to take a lesson from Vision Forum and just cease. Close the doors. I believe Vision Forum 'saved face' in a way by so doing - admitting the defeat that was a reality.
        I am sorry for the job losses that this will necessitate and the uprooting of many. BUT there are so many wonderful Homeschooling ministries, curriculums, Co-ops, Academies that would benefit from these families - as long as they left the twisted biblical teachings behind in the closed doors of IBLP.
        Good educational choices are out there. We know. We have been utilizing some of them for 25 years. Time to close the doors and walk down the steps, without turning back.

    • TJ March 7, 2014 Reply


    • "Hannah" March 7, 2014 Reply

      Absolutely, Amanda.

  10. Mike March 7, 2014 Reply

    This news raises many questions:

    Why is David Waller, the administrative director of ATI announcing this? Why not the president of ATI, or better yet -- the Board of IBLP, especially in light of their previous statements?

    Is that it? Or can we expect a statement from the Board?

    Will the investigation (such as it is) continue? Or is that it?

    Gothard wants to "listen" to accusations, according to the letter. No statement as to the veracity of the accusations or repentance on his part. Professing a desire to listen ignores the multiple accounts already published.

    How are people supposed to reach Mr. Gothard if they want to help him in his quest to listen to his critics?

    Why is there no statement condemning inappropriate behavior?

    • Flynn March 7, 2014 Reply

      All very good questions, ones I was asking my self. This is not enough; it is a start, yes, but just the tip of the iceberg.

    • Jim K. March 7, 2014 Reply

      If Gothard is willing to listen to accusations of those who have "ought" against him, all he has to do is set his browser to Recovering Grace and start reading.

      Jim K.

      • Julia Fetters March 7, 2014 Reply


      • Dona Stroshine March 7, 2014 Reply

        I find that it's a pretty interesting use of words (BG's specialty) to use "ought" instead of "aught". It's probably just a typo that spell-check didn't catch, but "ought" means something that one should do, as in "I ought to mow the lawn while we can still find our driveway." The word "aught" means "anything". Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong; I just found the coincidence pretty interesting, and I like words.

        But seriously, it makes me so sad that every time something like this happens within the Christian community, it causes the Church to lose credibility.

        • Dona Stroshine March 7, 2014

          Strike my comment about "ought"; it can be used in the context of the article. Rats! But I still like words. Oops.

    • Paula March 8, 2014 Reply

      Having worked in insurance, I am sure he can't admit fault at least in the present situation or he opens himself and the organization up for lawsuits. We don't know what goes on behind the scenes, if there are legal cases pending, police investigations etc. They would not let that out to the public. As far as I can tell, IBLP has not put anything up on their website. I looked this morning.

  11. Kyle Floyd March 7, 2014 Reply

    My family and I were heavily involved in the seminars starting in the 70's, including ATI and all the rest. I resigned from any further activity after serving as a Local Area Coordinator and making several appeals directly to Bill about inconsistencies between the teachings and the actions! I was unaware of the sexual harassment other than getting the cover-up story about Steve. I even now am thinking of how I could have been so deceived! My heart right now would be to gather the many ones who have been injured and try to console them in some way! But I can see this website is serving an essential function in the recovery process and for that I am immensely grateful to our loving Lord Jesus Christ! I am also grateful for all those who have shared their stories and continue to be involved in this recovery process! As a father I am thrilled to see so many of you that I have met through the years involved! Thanks for your efforts and may God continue to bless you with His peace and love!

    • Jeremy Hall March 7, 2014 Reply

      Mr. Floyd - Thank you. You and your family have always meant so much to me personally and this is an example of why.

    • Brumby March 7, 2014 Reply

      I, too, only had grief with his teachings and coercions, having had zero knowledge of his indecencies. My jaw dropped this past month as I learned of this other side of his.

  12. nmgirl March 7, 2014 Reply

    Missing from the letter: Mr. Gothard will no longer have access to any IBLP/ATI resources, assets or property. Any attempts to contact current or former staff should be reported to the board.

    • eva March 7, 2014 Reply

      Bill Gothard is old enough to have retired and taken his Social Security. But if he only "earned" $600 per year his Social Security payments will be a pitifully small amount. Delaying taking Social Security is possible and can result in higher payments but at $600 per year that still doesn't seem to add up to much. No retirement on that sum. He would have to have some personal funds stored away for such a time as retirement. He "has" a cabin at the Northwoods facility - but that should be off limits for him now. Maybe the board will give him a "severance" package! And as a person on Medicare, I believe it is mandatory that you sign up for Medicare at a specified age (his surely being 65 and maybe less for his age. I think it's been raised now but was proably at 65 when he was that age).

      And if I were one of his victims --NO WAY would I meet with him even in the presence of others unless like someone said "in a courtroom". It would be better if the board would close the entire thing down and dissolve the organzation.

      • Mark March 7, 2014 Reply

        Or perhaps GRACE? I think that could be a way to push for an independent organization - the victims refuse to meet with the IBLP-appointed investigator unless the investigator is demonstrably independent (i.e. GRACE).

        • Melinda March 8, 2014

          I have been following this topic for a long time, some of it from back in the 80s.

          I totally agree with getting the word out and getting an independent investigation up and going.

          While David Gibbs is not a good choice for independent investigation, neither is Recovering Grace. Yes, they have done a good service, but they are not independent in this case.

          here is a statement from the 'about us' section:

          Recovering Grace is an online organization devoted to helping people whose lives have been impacted by the teachings of Bill Gothard, the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), and the Advanced Training Institute (ATI). Recovering Grace provides a unique perspective in that it was founded and is operated entirely by adults who were raised as children in Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute. We all have attended Bill Gothard’s seminars, and most of us served within the IBLP organization in some form or fashion. Among the members of our team are pastors, lawyers, teachers, accountants, businessmen, and stay-at-home moms. We have all taken different journeys, but we all have one thing in common: We survived ATI.

          While we have great appreciation for their work in getting things out there and being a place where people can come and share, they are a far, far cry from independent.

          I've read the stories, here. I heard stories over the years. This needs to be investigated.

          A note for historical law, here: This is excerpted from an article quoting an attorney working with law suits in the 80s.

          The concept of sexual harassment was not even in the dictionary in the 80s, let alone defined in the law.

          While perhaps it should have been already [and actions were not acceptable, especially by one leading and teaching the topics Gothard had developed by that time], we cannot judge the past by today's knowledge and laws. From all the testimony he had violated at least his own teachings, as well as God's, though there may not standing that what he did was against the law at the time. [going over the details and time frames may prove that he has]

          Gothard's teachings [NOT GOD'S teachings] allow far too large of areas for someone not followings God's teachings to violate the trust and much more of those under their authority, via their position or the parentage.

        • Moderator March 8, 2014

          We would agree with you that we are not the ones to do an independent investigation. Our call is for IBLP to bring in an outside third party.

        • Nancy2 March 8, 2014

          Melinda GRACE is not Recovering Grace.

          GRACE is a completely separate organization.

        • MatthewS March 8, 2014

          Good point, Nancy2, you can see how someone could get those two names confused! GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), the organization connected to Boz Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham, is entirely separate from Recovering Grace. GRACE (, not to be confused with RG, has the reputation and ability to be the kind of third party that is needed.

      • kevin March 7, 2014 Reply

        I think he was paid $ 600 per month, not per year.

        • Eva March 7, 2014

          You're right about the monthly salary. i just made a mistake. Sorry about that.

  13. David March 7, 2014 Reply

    I am glad that Bill Gothard has resigned, and I certainly hope that it is not a ploy or damage control -- I don't mean to be so skeptical, but history leaves room for that. The letter announcing his resignation seems to carry the tone that he resigned because people wanted him to resign -- had, "ought against him" -- but there was no confession of actual sin. So be it. Whatever it takes. That aside, this brings everything right back to the TEACHINGS. If IBLP and ATI continue in some form simply promoting the same destructive teachings and heresy, the damage will continue. And I have to wonder if Bill Gothard will remain as some sort of advisor, etc. It is hard for me to believe that all of his fans, and those who have rallied around him, are going to accept all of this. My prayer is that the organization might see the Truth, and in doing so, realize that it has been built upon heresy.

  14. Brumby March 7, 2014 Reply

    Sounds like he lawyered up! He's playing his cards too well.

  15. Vivian March 7, 2014 Reply

    I was not impressed with the letter. It sounded to me not terribly different from the kind of letter that would have gone out if he had simply decided to retire due to his age. It seems to be mostly about reassuring the flock that it will be "business as usual" for all aspects of the organization, and that Bill's absence won't actually change anything!

    • Gracie Shepherd March 7, 2014 Reply

      Couldn't agree more - in fact, this is what I described to a friend yesterday as the worst possible outcome of these accusations. I don't understand how anyone can honestly look at IBLP/ATI materials and be surprised that this kind of abuse happened. This wasn't just a good guy who gave into temptation or whatever. This is a culture of misogyny and extremist patriarchy, with a top-heavy authority structure that systematically teaches children any questioning of those authorities will result in a frowny face from God. My nightmare is that the families will keep using Wisdom Booklets, keep going to those obscene conferences and never realize the *why* of this abuse.

      • David March 7, 2014 Reply

        Absolutely. Which is why IBLP and ATI cannot go on -- even without the lead heretic.

      • Eric M. March 7, 2014 Reply

        @ Gracie
        "This is a culture of misogyny and extremist patriarchy..."

        I think you mistook this site for a psychology or a pop culture page.

        If IBLP is that bad, walk away and never look back. What's the benefit of dancing on the grave?

        I hope you feel better.

        • Gracie Shepherd March 7, 2014

          I don't have any current associations with the organization. I do have sisters and parents who are. Because of that, I can't just "walk away and never look back." My exposure to IBLP/ATI was most present when I was most impressionable, and that experience will always be a part of my personal/faith journey even though I've exorcised my personal demons related to this long, long ago. No dancing on graves here, just a desire to set the record straight and make sure those hurt find personal resolution.
          As far as you taking issue with my using the terms misogyny and extremist patriarchy, can you really say there's any other way to describe this culture?

        • Shane March 7, 2014

          Dude. Are you going to stand by that post? It seems unnecessarily harsh and loaded with assumptions.

          Speaking of dancing on the grave, which I don't endorse or see going on at RG: 1) a grave for the dead IBLP would be nice. 2) Jesus actually commends the Church at Ephesus' hatred for the false teaching of the so called "apostles" teaching within the church. 3) Jesus hates their teaching as well.

          Makes me think false teaching is a really big deal.

          Abuse is a really big deal as well. Both are too serious to just walk away from.

        • Meredith March 7, 2014

          When you're raised in ATI/IBLP, to "walk away and never look back" means you walk away from your parents & siblings & everything you've ever known & ever been taught. Maybe Gracie wants to actually have a relationship with her family, so she can't just "walk away and never look back."

      • Laura (attendee and former parent) March 7, 2014 Reply

        Gracie, I'm sorry Eric was so thoughtless when he replied to you. He has undoubtedly never felt the effects of a cult.

        • Gracie Shepherd March 7, 2014

          Youch, muchos gracias to all three of you for taking up my offenses haha. I think it is legitimately difficult for people looking from the outside to understand or comprehend how far-reaching and all-encroaching this weirdness really goes.

  16. Brumby March 7, 2014 Reply

    "have ‘ought against’ him” - What an understatement. Have OUGHT?! I feel this is an intentional minimization of the claims made against him.

    Third party, ASAP.

    • Beverly March 7, 2014 Reply

      Voted: Understatement of the Year!

    • David March 7, 2014 Reply

      Translated: I am sorry that you think I have sinned.

    • Susanna Wesley March 7, 2014 Reply

      Also: the correct spelling for this usage is "aught" (which is a noun meaning 'anything'), not "ought" (which is a verb indicating duty).

      • WendyA March 7, 2014 Reply

        Thank you, Susanna! I'm a professional editor, and that "ought" instead of "aught" has been driving me NUTS! The inaccurate use of this word is ironic, since I seem to recall the Wisdom Books stating very clearly that precision in word usage was extremely important.

        • Rachel March 7, 2014

          I looked up the verse in the KJV and, although may not be correct modern day English, they have quoted it correctly. "hath ought against thee"

        • Jeremy Richardson March 9, 2014

    • Laura (attendee and former parent) March 7, 2014 Reply


  17. David March 7, 2014 Reply

    If you read the resignation announcement letter, there really isn't anything new. Bill simply acknowledged that people have, "ought against him." He did not in the least confess any sin -- in fact, it sounds his resignation is being painted as a noble gesture on his part -- to obey scripture. There is nothing to prevent IBLP from continuing with his false teachings and continuing to spread the damage that they do. Indeed, they could simply continue using videos of Bill Gothard for the basic seminars -- which in many cases they had been doing anyways. Additionally, he could be back after the supposed investigation -- or he could be brought on board in some other advisory capacity or unofficial capacity. All of this is why, despite the essential of Bill's present resignation, the teachings must be exposed for the heresy they are -- most especially his authority teaching and his definition of grace. All of this aside, die-hard Gothard fans will continue to support him -- now as a martyr -- and continue to promote his teachings. Thus, the real value is that many who have not sold themselves to Bill's teachings might have their eyes opened and be spared spiritual damage.

    • pam williams January 25, 2015 Reply

      what about the duggars,they are still using gothards teachings?

  18. Allen March 7, 2014 Reply

    People are using the word, "restoration." "Restoration," in what sense? My prayer is that Bill Gothard might be personally restored to Jesus Christ. But my prayer is also that Bill would never again teach or preach his error. I also pray that IBLP would cease to exist. There are some things that do NOT fall into the category of restoration. They simply need to die a death.

    • Kyle Floyd March 7, 2014 Reply

      Allen, In my view, the restoration involves an infusion of God's grace into those harmed by the false teaching and manipulation. If a person is truly restored in Jesus Christ, the errors will cease. That's what is so marvelous about God's grace! After believing and even teaching some of these errors for years, in Christ I am able to warn others of the dangers and even rejoice with the dear ones as they are restored! (A better definition of grace is the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life, including gratitude.)

      • dreamer March 7, 2014 Reply

        Restoration can also involve God blessing a person so that their latter years are better than the former years (i.e. Job). I believe God can restore the lives of those hurt by these teachings, and can restore damaged family bonds. Let us not limit His mighty power in our lives!

    • Brumby March 7, 2014 Reply

      I learned the concept of "restoration" from Bill. I can hardly recommend that he/we go by HIS model for this process. So, count me out on this whole "restoration" idea... no deal!

  19. Lana March 7, 2014 Reply

    If he really has lawyered up then there might be some new stories that came to light after he was placed on leave. Maybe someone recent came forward, and can do something legally! Remember at every JTTH he spends ALONE time with each and every young woman. This could be far worse as there could be many more victims speaking out now that he has resigned!

    Interesting the letter, Gothard is gone, but keep sending us your money and come to our retreats....

    • anonymous March 11, 2014 Reply

      Just a note on the JTTH "alone time". As someone who has attended the Journey, I feel compelled to mention that this "alone time" was for all of about 5 minutes. As in, fill out a silly form about all your weaknesses, talk and smile, then on to the next person! I personally found it kind of funny how hyped it was, since it didn't actually fill a significant part of the experience from what I could tell, especially for those of us - like me - who were doing to be assessed for our applications for some of their opportunities overseas.
      I have spent a significant part of the last two years reading stuff on Recovering Grace and working on sorting through my own anger and hurt for the effects of IBLP in my own family. I am also sufficiently creep-ed out by the idea of young and vulnerable girls being stationed full time at HQ. However, I do feel the need to speak up about JTTH being made into a mysterious boogeyman beyond what it is.

      • Grace March 11, 2014 Reply

        I have spoken with girls after attending JTTH, and it's not always quite like that. :-/ I'm glad your experience was good. I'm sure most of them were.

  20. Nicole March 7, 2014 Reply

    The wording of the email is so saddening to me. The very use of the phrase "stories about Mr. Gothard" seems to imply a sort of fanciful, unbelievable faction that is running wild with their imaginations. Mr. Gothard is portrayed as his usual: a weary sojourner on this earth, who is taking a leave of absence to calm everybody down and settle them with a, "there, there." Theologically, the email is unrepentant: it goes out of its way to say that there will be no changes to the message; it says that the ministry is sure of itself (even if it isn't) and it lures the faithful into staying the course. So discouraging.

  21. Anne March 7, 2014 Reply

    Your comments are very sad. It is hard for me to believe that the Lord is pleased. There is no proof that Mr. Gothard has done what has been said. I am an older Christian woman who has walked with the Lord for over forty years. I have worked with women for many years and with women who have been violated by men and I certainly see major red flags. There is no question that Mr. Gothard has not always acted wisely concerning women but I have never seen any man always act wisely concerning women. The Lord says "never repay evil for evil". The meaning of evil is to cause grief and some comments seem to want to cause Mr. Gothard grief.

    • Tammy March 7, 2014 Reply

      Anne, You say: "There is no proof that Mr. Gothard has done what has been said. I am an older Christian woman who has walked with the Lord for over forty years."

      I am also an older Christian woman who has walked with the Lord for a very long time. Seriously, do you really believe their is no proof of what Bill Gothard is being accused of?? Are you going to dismiss the personal stories that have been written on Recovering Grace?

      Bill has been very silent regarding the accusations. He has not made any public statement that I am aware of stating his innocence. I would have to say that so far there is no proof that he is innocent, on the contrary.

    • 'Megan' March 7, 2014 Reply

      Anne, unfortunately in some cases there is just no help for calling a spade a spade. I have years of experience with a narcissistic person (if you're unfamiliar with the type, consider yourself blessed). His actions and words to date have lined up with narcissism, which is often a type of self worship. I do not believe he is a good man at all. Does this mean I wish him harm? NO. I do not. I wish him to be saved, repent, and try to make right what he has done. Though it would be painful for him, should he ever come to true repentance, eternally it would only benefit him. I have no ill will in my heart for him, but I cannot abide any sort of behavior that blames the victim, is evasive, and is ultimately causing so many little ones to fall. I can't and won't stand for it. Not when so many homes and hearts have been broken because of his teachings, which have served him well in hiding his sin.

      • DAVID PIGG March 12, 2014 Reply

        Here lies a problem and challenge for the Church corporate and the church individuals of the Body of Christ.Corporately the church did not succeed in dealing with the issues Gothard promoted under the smokes screen of pious spirituality too lofty for the common person to attain,only with exceptional effort.He broke accusations down to individuals disqualified to protest,with huge manipulations of hypocrisy.I am forced to do two things.See the evil in this man that I don't want to see,forgive him,but not see Gothard's platform of a hideous Kingdom,destroying,subtly the hearts of victims from the inside out.Can one battle unforgiveness in his heart, and still speak out?Especially if he feels responsible to speak for the oppressed?How does his being a member of the Body of Christ make him "called" to pray for the sheep,instead of passively acknowledging their potential destruction,under SUCH A HAUNTINGLY EVIL HEAD OF A DIFFERENT KINGDOM.I want to acknowledge unforgiveness,but I will keep on praying because I WANT to be under grace,learning as I go.Whatever spiritual state I'm in being called by grace still makes me that much more responsible from the motivation of love.

    • P.L. March 7, 2014 Reply

      Anne, The meaning of evil is not "to cause grief". Is that a Gothard definition? The biblical definition is wickedness or iniquity. Your definition would make the conviction of the Holy Spirit, which causes grief, an evil force. And it certainly is not.

      • P.L. March 7, 2014 Reply

        Anne, I will also point out that the Biblical standard is for truth to be established in the mouths of two or three witnesses. So far, there are thirty-four. To refuse to believe them is to reject the Bible's own standard for truth-telling.

    • Mark March 7, 2014 Reply

      Ezekiel 34:1-10

      Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for them.”’”

      Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: “As I live,” declares the Lord God, “surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock; therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.”’”

    • eva March 7, 2014 Reply

      Anne, I'm also an older Christian woman who has walked with The Lord for 60 years. I'm thankful that The Lord save me when I was 15. I'm still learning but just this morning we read this passage in Ephesians 5:6,11, "Let no one deceive you with empty words......And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works fo darkness, but rather expose them." I believe every story that these young women have told about being fondled, caressed, petted, hugged, touched, etc. etc. etc.. But the thing for me was the false teachings. I didn't see that at first. But later on when someone else pointed it out to me then I knew that much of it was unbiblical and false. It is sad that this has happened but Bill Gothard brought it all on himself. And now it's up to Bill Gothard, himself, to seek The Lord with repentance, asking for forgiveness of his sins and turning finally and maybe for the first time to The Lord as his saviour. And I think your statement about "never seen any man always act wisely concerning women" is just trying to give BG a big pass - he's just like every other man so what's the big deal? It is a big deal when he is doing this to young women. There are no excuses. He caused his own grief.

    • "Hannah" March 7, 2014 Reply

      What would you consider "proof"? There are now at least four seperate women who have come forward, accusing the man of molestation. What do you need? DNA evidence? Video camera footage? Gothard is not so stupid as to have let himself be caught. When will people take their blinders off?!

    • anonymous March 7, 2014 Reply

      In reply to Anne,

      I'm making myself anonymous for a reason.

      When I was 5 my cousin sexually molested me. I was one child coming forward to tell my parents. There was no proof and only one witness--ME. Thank goodness they didn't have the same level or "proof" you need.

    • Brumby March 7, 2014 Reply

      @Anne: I feel discriminated by you because I am a young (age 28) individual who is not Christian [I quote you: "I am an older Christian woman who has walked with the Lord for over forty years."]. I don't think it's right to be discriminated against because of my age or religion, or the length of time involved in my practice (or non-practice) of religion. I believe there are a mix of ages, races, and while primarily Protestant Christians, even a few varieties of that as well. The common denominator of the people who gather here is that we are all concerned about Bill's ideologies and their effect on families. As a surprise to many of us, sexual abuse has now been put on the table.

      Since you say that you do see many red flags, you may want to wait and see if any "proof" of Bill's indecent acts shows up. That's for what I'm waiting.

      I sure hope that all men who occasionally experience a decline in wisdom are not touching young girls and assaulting women during these intermittent lapses in judgment. I quote you: "There is no question that Mr. Gothard has not always acted wisely concerning women but I have never seen any man always act wisely concerning women." There is a world of difference between "not acting wisely" and sexual battery and assault. I would recommend a more definitive word choice when commenting about such sensitive topics and implications. As a previous victim of abuse, I would take offense if someone dismissed the abuse I experienced in my life as simply a man's lack of wisdom in the moment.

      If you read the Mission Statement of Recovering Grace, you will not find "repay evil for evil" in the text. I mean this somewhat sarcastically, but truthfully as well. I have to disagree with you on a personal level that you think that RG and the former BG followers here wish for ill fate of BG and his current constituents. Personally, I would be pleased to simply see him hurt no additional people, and know that current followers have a chance to change their minds, if they would like, and that previous followers have a chance to heal and move on. In no way do I wish harm. As a former ATI student, I carry an incredible amount of compassion for prior and current students of ATI. My personal enemy is psychological, spiritual, and emotional abuse: this enemy I experienced at full throttle, and I have tremendous empathy for those currently under those chains today, inside and out of ATI. I do acknowledge that there are families and students that did not experience the level of abuse that I did. I am relieved for them - and admittedly jealous. It is my understanding that not all the ATI families took Bill's teachings as literally or seriously as my family did. I feel the bondage was considerably less for these families, as they listened to their own voices of reason instead of blindly following Bill and other "model" ATI families.

      Anne, I do not mean to upset you, nor invalidate your opinion and feelings regarding these issues. I would appreciate if you would consider my perspective, as I considered yours. I do speak for myself in my response to you, and cannot claim to represent more than anyone except myself. :) Because I know it is difficult to detect merely from a typed message, I'll share with you that I'm a peaceful, easy-going gal, and rarely take this much thought nor time to respond to anyone. I share my opposing opinion with you in peace.

  22. David March 7, 2014 Reply

    "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift." (NIV)

    Obedience to this passage was the reason given for Bill Gothard's resignation. It ought to tell everyone what is next -- "be reconciled to them." That ought to be interesting if he has no intention of confessing sin. In addition, I'm sure he will never recant his teaching. In short, this may all be put back on those, "who are unwilling to forgive him." Bottom line: There was a well thought out reason why the resignation was announced just as it was. Stay tuned. He may yet be back to offer his gift -- that is, continue teaching his errors.

  23. Lana March 7, 2014 Reply

    Bill Gothard is very comparable to Warren Jeff's. Like Warren, Bill has heard from many young girls who have told then they were abused and he did nothing about it.
    In the FLDS, girls weren't allowed to be around males, if they were, they were hauled into Warren Jeffs' office and he made them confess how the attraction or kiss of whatever it was made them feel. He would get his rocks off by forcing these girls to tell him their most intimate feelings and desires regarding the opposite sex.

    Bill Gothard is the same, a narssasist a CULT leader.

    All those girls on JTTH would have meetings alone with him. He made them tell him all about the crushes and desires they were having.

    Not much difference there. And the FLDS followers still think of Warren as prophet, just like the ATI people will still bow down to Gothard and send him "love offerings"

    • kevin March 7, 2014 Reply

      Yes, they are very comparable. And yes, even though Jeffs is in prison, his most devote followers still consider him their leader. Based on some of the denial that we have seen from a number of individuals, I believe that this would also be the case with some of Gothard's followers as well, should that day come when he is locked away for his crimes against young women.

    • Laura (attendee and former parent) March 7, 2014 Reply

      The reasons the comparisons are so glaring are because they reflect the nature of all cults. Yes. IBLP/ATI is a cult. It has all the characteristic. And yes, I have often of late reflected on this. May God open our eyes.

  24. Mark R March 7, 2014 Reply

    I hope that, during his "resignation", Gothard is kept away from all IBLP property. That way, even if he never repents of his sin, he can't hurt anyone else for the time being. (And if there is a more recent event that falls within the statute of limitations, that person can feel free to come forward.)

    Long term, the only solution is the closure of IBLP. I should caution, though, that if that does happen, while winding up the organization's affairs, someone will probably offer to purchase the "intellectual property" (e.g., the ATI/IBLP material). So, in some fashion, the heretical teachings of Gothard will continue.

    • Allen March 7, 2014 Reply

      You can almost guarantee that no matter what happens, the teachings will continue. If Gothard himself renounced his teachings, it would be a great victory for Christ over the enemy, but there would still be people out there practicing them, or even forming smaller organizations doing what IBLP and ATI have been doing. This has all happened before with a few cults. The good news is that even if nothing more happens that there are those who have been salvaged from this heresy because of these efforts at this site.

  25. Heather March 7, 2014 Reply

    Has anyone researched and considered that beyond being a narcissist he also seems to have many symptoms of being a sociopath.

    Antisocial Personality Disorder is chronic, beginning in adolescence
    and continuing throughout adulthood. There are ten general

    not learning from experience
    no sense of responsibility
    inability to form meaningful relationships
    inability to control impulses
    lack of moral sense
    chronically antisocial behavior
    no change in behavior after punishment
    emotional immaturity
    lack of guilt

    • Mrs. Campbell March 7, 2014 Reply

      AMEN and AMEN!

    • CJ March 7, 2014 Reply

      Narcissitic Personality Disorder has many of the same traits, but also includes the ability to manipulate people into thinking you are charming, brilliant, wonderful, above reproach...

      • Shane March 7, 2014 Reply

        Can I add that in religious circles they'll confess sins sometimes serious ones but always to manipulate and escape the naked truth, loss of control, loss of power, etc.

    • Steve240 March 7, 2014 Reply

      This book details a strong possibility for Gothard. He may have no conscience.

    • Jolene March 10, 2014 Reply

      Hi Heather,

      I might be able to help you out a little bit. Yes, I've considered BG to either have both narcissistic personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder; if not a full-blown diagnosis, then certainly many characteristics of these disorders. He fits the pattern of antisocials who never get help because they do not think they have any issues/difficulties/problems. The issues become public when they do something against the law and get caught. I'm a Christian Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and I deeply feel compassion for him, one, to have become this way, and two, did anyone ever try to help him as a pre-teen/adolescent when these patterns of thinking and behavior are established? And yes, I deeply hurt for those people I've read about on RG. So much collateral damage. Only psychiatrists can diagnose personality disorders, so I can merely point out what I see. (If you need more info, I will dig out my DSM-IV-TR.) Grace and peace. Jolene

  26. Jeff Stephens March 7, 2014 Reply

    I've been in corporate communications for 30 years, and Gothard's plea to be reconciled to those he's hurt is a classic attempt to direct our focus away from him, by pointing to those he's hurt. It's a subtle, but effective method, also serving to confuse the issues. His first priority should not be reconciliation, but 1)stopping his own thought and behavioral patterns, and 2) truly and sincerely admitting to all his indiscretions and wrong-doing in a public forum. I say public, because he is a public figure and has take full advantage of that during his career.

  27. Sheryl March 7, 2014 Reply

    Speaking of BASIC LIFE PRINCIPLES, Try going to court and explaining to the judge that IBLP needs to correct their doctrinal error so that their leader can quit sexually molesting children...learn to recognize crimes! Just call it what it is and learn to recognize the settings that produce these kinds of crimes and quite contributing to these religious settings!

    • Brumby March 7, 2014 Reply

      @Sheryl: I agree. Crime is crime. I am sad that so much time has passed for these women who were directly physically and emotionally abused by BG, and I have immense concern for the women that may still be being used by him up until now. I trust that any abuse that he has been doing recently has been stopped due to his absence, and these girls can be cared for and can begin their journey of healing. What a disappointment for so many Christian families who were trying to do the "right" or "best" thing for their kids.

  28. prefer to keep it quiet March 7, 2014 Reply

    My first thought about this was He is using scripture to scape goat out of this. NOt only is there no repentance or even a total denial of teh accusations but using scripture to have his accuseres to be brought to him so he can hear their case against him. As a former victim of sexual abuse, after yrs. of stuffing it when I finally got the nerve to come forward the last thing I wanted to do was go to the abuser and see his face only to deny it to my face in front of others. One reason many girls and women rarely take this stuff to court is being raked over the coals and having to look the person in the face yet again. The person who abused me sexually from a very small child came out of IBLP and married my sister. Yrs later, we discovered that he had abused his sister as well growing up and his family covered it up and thought that if he was married off it would take care of his issues. Well, where there is sin it will manifest. What came out of this man was totally demonic, and a woman wasn't going to cure his perverted need for young girls. This is the fruit of Bill's teaching as well deception around the world. I was raised under this Bill's teaching and though I faired better than many, it was twisted into making us a slave to the law and condemnation. I am all for modesty, however obviously it doesn't matter what one wears, if the guy has a sexual perversion, just like in Warren Jeffs case no female is safe. The man who abused me did't ever confess, I was made out to be a total liar. Over yrs. many things came to light. there is never just one victim. This person went to a lawyer, since the statute of limitations was up the only way he could get in trouble with the law was to admit it. He never did and is still free. Because his sin was covered many woman and girls are recovering. If they cover Bill's sin they will answer to God and it won't go well for them. We need to beg GOd for this to be brought to light, total light and that his sin won't be covered. I am making this a matter of daily prayer. Vengance is mine I will repay says the Lord. May He be glorified and His name be cleared of those who Use Him as a way to cover their sin.

    • P.L. March 7, 2014 Reply

      @prefer to keep it quiet, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing. I never quite know what to say to someone who has been so abused...I just want to wish you grace and peace, light and truth on your journey.

  29. JPB March 7, 2014 Reply

    So this is the definition of grace? Publicly flogging someone over footsie incidents while claiming to be helping in recovery? What ever happened to "let her who is without sin cast the first stone in?"

    Satan has hung up his bag of tricks, and is dancing with glee as the fundamentalists take public shots at each other. His (Satan's) work has been completed without him ever having to become involved.

    And we're puzzled why non-believers want nothing to do with today's church.

    • Dave March 7, 2014 Reply

      JPB - I prefer to think that grace is best seen in the person and work of Jesus.

      One of the places we see grace in Him is in the story to which you refer, the one where the Pharisees bring a woman caught in the act of adultery. You remember the Pharisees? They were the ones who taught the Law and separation and condemnation. They were often condemned by Jesus for their cruelty and hypocrisy. He even called them names, names that were appropriately descriptive.

      And in the story you mention, Jesus kneels beside the woman so no one could throw a stone at her without hitting Him. That's grace. And He reminded them of their sin as they judged her. That's grace. And, when it was all over, He told her that He did not condemn her. That's grace.

      Now, let's see. There is a powerful group of religious leaders bringing the condemnation against a defenseless woman caught in an act which required a man, but he is not condemned. I see in this a cover-up. I see gross abuse of authority and religious leadership. I see hypocrisy, even to the point of cruelty. And I see brokenness and shame and sin washed away by the love of God in Jesus.

      You are right. This story is a great illustration for us today! And, yes, grace is in all of it.

    • MarkL March 7, 2014 Reply

      Firstly, if you have read the accusations, then you know there was more than footsie going on....unless you have chosen to keep blinders on and deny numerous accounts.

      Secondly, scripture is fairly clear that we should mark false teachers and wolves as what they are. We don't want to attract converts into cults.

      Thirdly, what Gothard did was Satan's work. Putting light to the wickedness is the Christian's duty.

      Finally, unbelievers are not in the church today, because they have rejected or are ignorant of the gospel, and they will not be able to stand before God and use quarrels within the church as an excuse. That logic states that we should cover up abuse and false teaching to protect the reputation of God and the church. Allow me to point out to you that God doesn't need our protection. We need his. And the church doesn't need our coverups either because Christ established it and said even the gates of hell would not prevail against it.

    • KH March 7, 2014 Reply

      JPB your "drive-by-comment" is a flagrant disregard of the facts presented by RG, the 34 women claiming abuse and thousands of others who have experienced the bondage and turmoil of many of the false teachings of Mr. Gothard. Your use of the phrase "publicy flogging" demonstrates that you refuse to look at evidence or that you haven't taken the time to read this website.

      My first encounter with Mr. Gothard was at an IBYC in September 1980. I can tell you this, had I known what took place prior to the August of 1980 (which is very well documented by the way) I wouldn't have walked across the room to listen to what Mr. Gothard had to say mischief less spend a week at that seminar! Yet thousands still flock to his conferences listening to a man who covered up the tawdry and vile things his family committed!

      When you have taken time to educate yourself with the overwhelming testimonies on this website then come back and and tell me if you can accuse us of a public flogging!

      P.S. I am a former ATI father (1988-1999) who has asked his six children for their forgiveness!

      • KH March 7, 2014 Reply

        mischief = much, Sorry for not proofing!

    • Beth March 7, 2014 Reply

      I want nothing to do with the church because I see churches not holding each other accountable but instead covering up crap. I hate most churches because I see the same system I grew up in a few times over that assumes the God given role of government and doesn't report illegal actions to the proper authorities. I find many churches repulsive because they claim to be Christian yet have lower moral standards than non-Christians. A honest church is a rare gem.

      So I disagree with you, bringing illegal action out in the open is not what gives churches a bad rap, is allowing it to happen that does and then how it's dealt with.

    • Shane March 7, 2014 Reply

      @JPB How is it that you know so much about what Satan is doing? Mhhhh?

  30. Me March 7, 2014 Reply

    Has anybody made the connection that David Waller is married to the sister of Anna Duggar? We all new the Duggars were heavily invested into ATI, but it's interesting to connect the dots here.

    • MarkL March 7, 2014 Reply

      Unless the Duggars are directly involved, I don't wish to see them tarnished through all of this. There were links with them and Doug Phillips as well, but I'm not going to hold someone else's sin on their account. The Duggars are very much influenced by ATI, but David Waller being the husband of their daughter-in-law's sister doesn't really mean much to me.

      I don't agree with the Duggar's philosophy on many things, but they seem to be like genuinely nice people who love God. I hope they see the fall of people like Gothard and Phillips and examine their own views on the extremities of patriarchy and the quiverfull movement. Things like this are only the symptoms. The root problem is the foundation of false doctrine.

      • TLC March 7, 2014 Reply

        I disagree. The Duggars are now public figures due to their long-running TV show and as such, their lives are under loser scrutiny than if they were still private citizens. Yes, they seem to be "genuinely nice" people. But so did Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips.

        I think the public needs to know where the Duggars get their values from. Bill Gothard spoke personally at David Waller's wedding. There's more than just a casual connection here. They had to scrub their website when Doug Phillips resigned, and they had to do it again when Gothard took his leave of absence. These families are very closely connected, and the Duggars are often held up as their "shining example" of success for these programs.

        And while all those kids "seem" happy, do they get a chance to speak their minds? From what I've read from multiple sources, they don't. And the cameras never show the blanket training methods used on the babies. If you haven't heard about that, then check out "To Train Up a Child" by Michael Pearl. And then come back here and explain to me why you're supposed to beat a baby who's trying to crawl off a blanket to get a toy.

        Sorry, but I think the world needs to know about the dark foundation upon which the Duggar family rests its so-called morals and values. It's not as happy or "pure" as it looks, IMHO.

        • MarkL March 8, 2014

          The point I'm trying to make is that I'm not personally going to try to connect the dots to make villains of the Duggars. David Waller isn't a member of their family. He isn't even an "in-law." He is an "in-law" of an "in-law."

          I think bringing their name up only deflects attention from Gothard on to them. And this scandal is Bill Gothard's to bear alone.

          Having said that, I believe doctrinal error and biblical illiteracy has contributed to their life choices, and I am not in agreement with their philosophy. They are responsible for their child rearing philosophies, but not Bill Gothard's immorality.

          They could be the devil incarnate for all I know. There is no way I can discern that from a reality television show and a few books.

        • JPU March 10, 2014

          TLC, are you someone representing the TV station that the Duggars' show is on? If so, I wouldn't be surprised if you, or the film crew, have tried to interview BG but were unable to. Are you able to confirm that?

      • Me March 7, 2014 Reply

        I didn't mean I wanted to see the Duggars tarnished, I think they seem like perfectly nice people. I only meant that by having the Duggars name connected to ATI and IBLP, perhaps this story could get more coverage and less people would be less inclined to join this organization.

        • MarkL March 8, 2014

          I know what you mean, and they do bring more public interest, but it irks me when they get mentioned in an article about Gothard or Doug Phillips and become the topic instead of the false teacher.

          I really hate we are at the point where public exposure is the only way to handle these situations, but fundamentalism has refused to take care of its own issues, and this is the last option to stop abuses. If Gothard would have been kicked to the curb years ago, we wouldn't be here.

      • kevin March 7, 2014 Reply

        i don't want to see them tarnished either. But, I would like them own up to the reality that they have promoted ATI and influenced many, possibly thousands, and directly or indirectly steered them to IBLP/ATI. Over the last couple years I have spoken to many families either in ATI or influenced in some capacity by Gothard, trying to caution them. Many times I would hear "But what about the Duggars? Don't you like them? They are so wholesome. It seems to be working for them"
        I even emailed Jim Bob to ask him to prayerfully reconsider his association with Bill Gothard. Ironically, I received a canned email response from him, which steered me to Bill Gothard programs.
        They too are victims. But, I would hope that they would educate themselves on all of the information that RG has put out there and look to heal their family from the false and harmful teachings. It would also be nice if God could do a work in them, to encourage them to use their position to reach out to their followers to say "Sorry folks, we were wrong about this man. Please re-examine all that he has taught you"

        • MarkL March 8, 2014

          I don't contest what you are saying at all. People with public platforms ought to think very carefully before they give ringing endorsements of ministries. And they ought to learn that lesson after Phillips and Gothard fell.

          But whoever signed up for ATI has to bear some responsibility for following the Duggars, too. It amazes me to watch people obsess over them and the Bates and want to follow every little detail of their lives, like some sort of evangelical groupies.

          But this gets into a more personal passion of mine. I'm sick of para church organizations. People should be encouraging others to be more involved in their churches and less involved in following the practical life philosophies of some self-appointed guru.

  31. Steve240 March 7, 2014 Reply

    There is an old saying that for every rat you find means that there a number that you don't find.

    I am sure the same applies to Bill Gothard. For ever reported case of sexual harrassment I am sure there are many more that haven't been reported and may never be.

    I am also undewhelmed by the resignation letter. I am skeptical much will happen but hopefully something will.

  32. Mike March 7, 2014 Reply

    The timing of this report is interesting as well. It was released on a Thursday night. Having worked in media, this speaks of street smarts in burying what could be a hot news story. Usually by Friday, everyone is longing for the weekend and not wanting to take in the news. Friday night would be a better timing to totally bury the story, but Thursday night is the next best thing. Releasing it on a Monday morning would be theoretical suicide in comparison.

    Ironically, the initial news about BG being placed on administrative leave also broke on a Thursday. My hat is off to IBLP for being truly wise as a serpent in this case.

  33. Cyndi March 7, 2014 Reply

    I shared this story on the ATI Parent Recovery Facebook page, and feel I should post it here somewhere.

    <<Ok, we have thought and thought about this. Here is our story of how we got hoodwinked.

    My sister and I attended BYC first in 1971. At the time, I was single and seriously involved with a non-Christian guy. (I think this is why our strong Christian parents paid for us to go). I learned about the Chain of Command and realized that I had made a terrible mistake in dating (wow, did I just write the "d" word?) a non-Christian against my parents desires, and being outside the umbrella of my parents' authority was a bad place to be. So I immediately ended the relationship with that boy. Then, in continued submission to my parents, I asked them what I should do about work. I had a job and was tiring of it, and they said "just quit, something better will come along.". So I quit. And soon I was asked to be a secretary at a local Christian school (oops, now I have written the "s" word.) The job was wonderful, and I was so glad I had listened to my parents on both counts. Bill Gothard really knew what he was talking about.

    The boss at my Christian school suggested I quit at the school after the first year and attend Bible school. My parents thought it was a great idea. So I did. That is where I met my husband and am now married 38 years with 9 kids (yes, several of them were Gothard-kids, but several were adopted (oh, I just used the "a" word, we really didn't buy into the anti adoption beliefs taught so strongly by BG.)

    Back to meeting my husband, Paul. He became a Christian in 1971 (we had not met), and within a couple months, he attended his first BYC in Seattle among thousands upon thousands of people. He sat there and learned about the Chain of Authority. He had been a rebellious, druggie, motor cycle gangster, and now a brand new Christian. So following the BYC teachings, he moved home, asked his parents for forgiveness and told them that he learned that he needed to submit to them even though he was 24. His father told him to clean the garage, mow the lawn and a bunch of other silly stuff, which Paul did. Pretty soon, his parents were very interested in what had happened to Paul and asked to attend his church. They did and ended up being saved and becoming godly parents (and later grandparents to our kids.) They said they thought he should be in the ministry, so in obedience to them (now he was 26), he went to Bible school, met me, we got married, graduated from Bible school and have been in ministry ever since. We attended BYC every single time it came to our area. Bill Gothard was right-on!

    More and more teaching crept in, and since everything we had learned from BYC was so incredibly life changing, we naturally bought into it all. When ATI started, we enrolled our 3 children in the 2nd year. We had a Gothard-gap, and 6 years later, BG finally got to us about our small family so we had more children (whom are wonderful, we love dearly and we are SO glad to have them). This BG had a way of expounding on the Word of God, and we bought into it all. Afterall, such wonderful things had already happened into our lives.

    We had a few disagreements with (now) IBLP and ATIA, like my husband always wore a beard (the dreaded "b" word), and I didn't wear a hair covering.

    Then God led us to adopt 4 orphans from overseas. So we were further out of compliance.

    To shorten the whole story, we had a serious situation come up with a daughter who worked at headquarters where we were very let down by some lies and lackadaisical behavior by headquarters staff. It was nothing moral, but really dealt us a low blow. We slunk away in disbelief and sadness. Our painful situation got worst but by then we had left IBLP. (God healed our family situation apart from IBLP.)

    Most recently we have totally turned against courtship because of a danger we never realized, even after we had a successful courtship and marriage of one child. Our younger daughter later had a disastrous courtship, and we shockingly realized that in courtship, you have the commitment before the couple even really know each other. Our daughter fought to remain committed and confidential in an abusive and damaged relationship, and finally after her engagement, she had to break it off. (He was the son of 2 drs., the mom left her profession to stay home and homeschool their children. The father was a stellar Christian dr. in our community. It should have been an A+ courtship.) We realized that the relationship would never have gotten to an engagement if it had been a dating relationship, getting to know each other, while maintaining a commitment to purity.

    We can clearly see how we and others got so completely into IBLP and ATI because of early huge successes in our personal lives. When those early situations worked out so well, why we wanted that for our whole family and our whole lives! This man had easy to follow steps that obviously led to exactly what every Christian family wants! We had experienced a few of those and now wanted the rest. I know how we were hoodwinked.

    • Ryan Sapp March 8, 2014 Reply

      Are my mom posing under a different name???jk
      As I have talked with my mom over the last month and she has been dealing with how my parents ever got roped into Atia (we were 3rd year). I see how Bills timing was impeccable with the "Hippie, free love" generation who were looking for answers, found God and wanted to follow Him. You didn't want your kids to make the same mistakes you did. He gave you a blue print, although never tested. The rules were accepted as you wanted godly children and young adults. He preyed on those looking for answers. As a parent of three myself I know you would sacrifice anything for your kids well being. So many in your generation did with the best of intentions.

      Ps. Courtship could be his most asinine teaching. How many women ended up in "lifelong" marriages that are completely unfulfilling and not a good match and they had no voice in the matter.

      • Cyndi March 8, 2014 Reply

        Ryan, there are MANY divorces from those courtships. Also many unmarried people now in their late 30's because their parents would never agree to any relationships.

        I know of one first year ATI family with 2 unmarried sons in their late 30's, and 1 divorced daughter. The daughter was a victim of an ATI courtship.

        Then add in his teaching on divorce. So the courtship/divorce victims feel they are committing adultery if they remarried.

        The worst part is that if he had not "touched" those girls who have come forward, we still might be believing him.

  34. Ann March 7, 2014 Reply

    I believe that the governmental authorities must be involved in the investigation. Much is being said about the statute of limitations having expired for most of the victims, but please note that these statutes vary from state to state and with the nature of the offense.

    In many communities there is support for victims who come forward. I personally volunteered as a sexual assault advocate and was present with the victims as they reported the offense and as they went through the investigation and court process. I also provided info regarding crime victim compension funds which covered some counseling sessions. I am a Christian and provided these services in the government entities. There are other advocates out there like me who would consider it an honor to stand with you, should you decide to pursue your options with the authorities.

    If you we're victimized please don't assume that it's too late to pursue it legally without further investigation.

    • kevin March 8, 2014 Reply

      "There are other advocates out there like me who would consider it an honor to stand with you, should you decide to pursue your options with the authorities.

      If you we're victimized please don't assume that it's too late to pursue it legally without further investigation."

      I hope that they take your advice and take you up on your offer. He needs to be prosecuted. Justice will not be served until he is behind bars where he can not harm any more young women.

  35. Mel Hurst March 8, 2014 Reply

    After the recent case of domestic violence in Lancaster County where a man went to prison for spanking (beating)his wife, I have become deeply involved with efforts to bring this abominable evil to light. The more I learn about this issue, the more consistent the patterns become of all types of abusers.
    1. They accuse (project) others of the actions they are guilty of.
    2. They surround themselves with a group of supporters.
    3. They attempt to make themselves look like the victim.
    4. They are very rarely rehabilitated.
    5. They rarely acknowledhe their guilt.
    6. They are usually comtrolling to the extreme.
    7. Victims are usually made to feel like no one will believe them.
    8. Seemingly responsible people usually respond incorrectly.
    9. Victims require lengthy periods of restoration to health.
    10. Within the church many are those who look and smell good.

  36. Ryan Sapp March 8, 2014 Reply

    First off I have enjoyed seeing comments from many of the same people. Seeing your heart, compassion, sense of justice and humor has been great. I think it's part if the healing process for many. I also know that for every response there's probably hundreds reading who don't post but share the same sentiments.

    Having lost contact with the institute for the last 20 years the following is an assumption that could be totally wrong. With Bills lifestyle of constant meetings, showings, appearances and being 79 years old I bet technology has completely passed him by. I can't see him sitting down and researching anything on a computer or understanding the power of the internet. (Unless it's porn in his parents basement, couldn't resist)

    He still has said nothing directly. It doesn't matter that they make their releases on Thursday, it's a valid point, but it's not going to work this time. Google his name, it's not 1980 anymore. I don't know that he will ever understand the breath of people who have ought against him or the power of the internet to connect those people.

    RG holds the keys with the names and stories of the victims. I don't see them being open to share with a third party they aren't comfortable with. It may take some arm twisting but everything will come out as it should. I think who ever is running RG is brilliant.

    • Andrew M. R. Kelly March 9, 2014 Reply

      A number of my comments have not made it through the moderators, but I sincerely hope this one will do.

      Brethren when you speak of abuse how many of you actually know what it is in experience? Whilst being abused can scarcely be something to boast in or for that matter something to even speak of in finality of the calling and purposes of God in our lives, abuse is only as real as your experience of it is real.

      I am saying this because I note that the belief in a trichotomous distinction in the character or make up of what constitutes an individual is being pressed in and of itself as a false doctrine.

      How do you suppose the Lord would minister to someone who wept in their sleep until the day they were saved? How do you suppose the Lord would address years of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual abuse. Torture, sexual abuse, mental distress and continuous hateful speech? How will the Lord deal with these things?

      They are dealt with by the very same means that the Lord deals with luxury, boasting, self seeking, independence, flattery, egotism and a host of similar things which represent the opposite experience of life for the one who has known only comfort and pleasure.

      Be very careful what you throw away whilst you are all so busy expiating on what abuse really means. The world is full of more terrible things than we are even able to imagine. The Lord permits them all. Why do you suppose that is? And what will you say to the Lord when He comes again to judge the living and the dead and he asks you why you invested so much of your time concerning yourself with outward things? By your healing of the mind and by your self seeking you are making yourself more fit for hell than you were in your unbelief.

      You may say that the wounded heart is a wounded inner self. I would say that the wounded heart is yourself. You are wounded by life. You may say that you need healing. I would say you are healed if you have Christ. If you make your focus the mind and no more, then you have done no more than to make yourself complete in yourself. This is not the gospel nor is it the meaning of Christ's death. In God's sight completeness is turning away from your own wounds in life and comprehending Christ wounded for you. If we did that and spent less time looking to our own offences we would be more profitable servants altogether.

      Brethren I was tortured as a child for more than ten years. I wept in my sleep until I was saved. I very nearly destroyed myself in response to it and I very nearly destroyed others as well in my anger. No one came to lay a hand on me and whisper peace. Instead those who were set to protect me came in the night and laid wast to my body and mind. In Christ these things are as nothing. They are all of the flesh. In Christ we are to be more than mere men. If you believe that you can uncover the flesh and heal it by means of the mind itself you will simply become a more fully self driven person. In the end all you will have is yourself. You will know little of the life of Christ working in you.

      Don't throw away the most precious part of the inner life of Christ in you, for an outer garment of the mind.

      • Moderator March 9, 2014 Reply

        Andrew, thank you for visiting and commenting, and for sharing part of your story and your perspective.

        The one previous comment from you which was not approved contained some name-calling, such as "self righteous prigs". We welcome all perspectives at Recovering Grace (RG) but ask that the comments be couched in temperate language, in the spirit of 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, and also be pertinent to the topic at hand. When we block comments, it is generally because one of these two characteristics is lacking. Our approval of a comment does not demonstrate agreement or disagreement with the views expressed therein, but only that it is civil and pertinent to the discussion.

        • Andrew M. R. Kelly March 9, 2014

          In England the term prig isn't an insult it is a form of English pertaining to the illumination of an attitude. I suppose I must have had my reasons for saying it. I do see that people are offended by plain speech. It has always been this way. I also see that in the end all things are presented as our opinion or our experience or our view.

          I have to say that I am completely lost in many of the comments on this site. Mr Gothard is not being simply challenged because of the inappropriateness of his personal actions towards female staff as well as in some instances others. He is being taken down so that his teachings can be taken down. I have read things which go way beyond what is reasonable and righteous. Still as long as we don't say anything which comes across as name calling others we will be just fine I am sure.

      • Shane March 10, 2014 Reply

        @Andrew I'm deeply sorry for the abuse perpetrated against you. It is a wretched evil!

      • Joe March 11, 2014 Reply

        Andrew, as a victim yourself, I'm surprised you aren't a more ardent supporter of "taking down" both Bill Gothard and his teachings. As a person, Bill is at worst a criminal offender, and at best not fit for any type of ministry. His teachings, on the other hand, at worst have an amount of criminal liability associated with them, and at best heresy. His teachings are horrendous and have led to tens of thousands of ruined lives, broken relationships and soul crushing depression. I would probably not be considered a Christian by many on this site, so I am not concerned about your speech or temperate language. what I find ridiculous is the protection of a man by people like you who look (very hard) to find the good in his teachings when the bad hides in plain site. It's ignorant, and despite your excellent grasp of the english language, your point of view invalidates itself when you blatantly ignore teachings like Gothard's.

  37. Nancy March 8, 2014 Reply

    Finally the story hits a Chicago newspaper.

    Some different information in this article than I have seen previously, too.

  38. kevin March 8, 2014 Reply

    Unfortunately, it does appear there is confirmation that the law firm of Gibbs and Associates has been retained to conduct the investigation.

    From the Chigago Sun Times:

    "Seth Kraus, of the law firm Gibbs and Associates in Cincinnati, said the firm is conducting a review of the allegations. That review is at the request of its client, the Christian Law Association, which was asked by the institute’s board to do an outside review, Kraus said."

  39. No name at this time March 8, 2014 Reply

    Hello, you may or may not want to publish this, but I wanted to try and get the word out that victims of Bill Gothard, present and past employees should not speak with or sign anything presented by David Gibbs or anyone from the Christian Law Association.

    When Jack Schaap at First Baptist Hammond raped the school girl, Gibbs came to "investigate" and actually told potential victims from the pulpit to contact him instead of law enforcement. And of course, not another word was ever uttered publicly about the results of this much lauded "investigation."

    That video was on Youtube and may still be there. There is more discussion of the CLA asking another victim, an adult woman, to sign an agreement of some kind that favored her not speaking out.

    Kind regards to everyone at RG, you guys have done a beautiful job. God bless you.

  40. No Name for now March 8, 2014 Reply

    More info on reasons why no one should trust criminal defense attorney David Gibbs:

    • Chris Jones March 8, 2014 Reply

      Gibbs should not be trusted to conduct a transparent and impartial investigation of IBLP, but the author of this blog incorrectly identifies Gibbs as a criminal defense attorney when he is not a criminal defense attorney and he did not represent Jack Schaap. Gibbs represented the church. Schaap had another attorney represent him at trial.

      • No Name for Now March 9, 2014 Reply

        Thank you for that correction Chris. Gibbs did not represent child rapist Jack Schapp as a criminal defense attorney.

        Gibbs was/is involved in defending the church that helped cover up the crime, First Baptist Church Hammond.

        He and his son were also involved in the rape case of Tina Anderson. If memory serves, their client was Chuck Phelps, the pastor that forced Tina to apologize in front of the church for having sex when Phelps knew that Tina was raped at age 15, she didn't "have sex."

        The CLA presents itself as a ministry to churches...

  41. Amy March 8, 2014 Reply

    I just found a diagram of BG's guidelines for counseling victims of sexual abuse. I had never seen it before and I was sickened! He attempts to place the blame on the victim and downplay the seriousness of the crime! It is posted here and several other places online. Who was given these guidelines? I am floored if BG placed teenage ATI students at his training and counseling centers in the position of counseling sexual abuse victims? Equipping them with THIS? The diagram itself is pretty damning evidence for false theology and spiritual abuse! As if a man is not entirely at fault for rape or molestation if his victim flirted or dressed immodestly! As if an abuse victim (given a choice, which she clearly WASN"T given) should choose to be raped and "mighty in spirit" rather than no physical abuse! This sort of counsel seems as though it would have legal ramifications? I would love to see a RG post on this!

    • Kevin March 8, 2014 Reply

      Yes Amy, that diagram is incredibly disturbing. Recovering Grace published an article on that previously. Here is the link:

      • Amy March 9, 2014 Reply

        Thank you Kevin! I read the post and (as usual) RG did a great job of exposing the harm in this teaching and refuting it point by point from a sound biblical perspective. So thankful for the smart, articulate authors who reacted not with sputtering outrage like I did :) but with calm, God-honoring truth. I have been praying for the RG staff, who have never lost their Christ-centered focus through all this. I will continue to pray that as the stage broadens and the world begins to see this all unfold, people of integrity, with a commitment to truth and grace and genuine restoration, will continue to persevere. One way we bring glory to Christ's name is to continue to respond not like the world, but like disciples of Christ!

        • An Ex Ati Mom March 10, 2014

          I'd like to hear more of Andrew's perspective.

  42. Ryan Sapp March 9, 2014 Reply

    Having watched the YouTube video of Gibbs and the Baptist Church I will say this. They came out and made a public statement that they let be recorded and posted on YouTube. I know nothing about the church but it seems that they were transparent and wanted to find the truth and rectify the situation.

    IBLP is acting like an organization that is covering up and clawing for survival rather than hitting the air waves like this church did. The board "saved" that church by acting swiftly and decisively. Maybe the IBLP board should apprentice under that baptist church's board. They could learn a few things.

    • No Name for Now March 9, 2014 Reply

      Ryan, that church in Hammond has a long history of covering up for child molesters and adultery under the leadership of Jack Hyles and then later Jack Schapp.

      The video with David Gibbs praising the people he was supposed to investigate happened LONG after a regular citizen found out about the crime and went to the District Attorney.

    • horse March 10, 2014 Reply

      Considering all the men in white coats sitting behind Jack Schaap (presumably church leaders) while he gives his unbelievably perverted "polishing the sword" sermon, I would not recommend the Hammond church board as any kind of mentors. Maybe they woke up and saved the church, but considering what they sat and watched before their eyes and did nothing (this sermon was given countless times), they are certainly not role models.

      I don't want to take this thread too far off topic by linking to the sermon, but you can see it on Youtube. If you do, notice the men behind Jack Schaap and ask yourself if they are role models. (Don't mean to be too harsh. I'm sure you didn't know.)

      • Ryan Sapp March 10, 2014 Reply

        Kinda my point.

      • Ryan Sapp March 10, 2014 Reply

        Thank you for clarifying. You know where I stand.

  43. Tess March 9, 2014 Reply

    Wow, I had not heard of any of this and it has been going on for all of these years? In the late 70's I attended a church that pushed Gothard's teachings like it was gospel and I never felt comfortable with parts of it. Now I understand why. If I had spoken up at the time, I would have been thought of as being rebellious. I was also going through one of the most depressed times of my life.
    I was lucky enough to study on my own and get a better understanding of the freedom we have in Christ, even in the midst of these teachings.
    One of the teachings really appealed to me, the umbrella theory that I would have special protection if I submitted to my husband. I was fearful and protection sounded very inviting to me. I blindly trusted him for many things and now I regret it dearly. I won't go into detail, but I am now facing old age with little financial security. That part of the teaching stayed with us long after we left that church. This is one area that I may never be able to completely free myself of.

    • Renea March 10, 2014 Reply

      Check out Great for women.

  44. Rosie March 10, 2014 Reply

    Just found this article (link posted by a FB friend) and thought y'all might be interested:

    • Angel March 10, 2014 Reply

      That is an outstanding post!

  45. Jeff Gill March 10, 2014 Reply

    I just composed an email to the IBLP board letting them know that a truly independent investigation was essential and that a Gibbs investigation was by no stretch of the imagination independent. I tried to find direct contact details for the boards members. I found two – three if you count the contact form on one of the board member's company website. Interestingly, the Bates family website has been taken offline very recently.

    • Jeff Gill March 12, 2014 Reply

      In the interests of accuracy, the Bates family website is back online.

      Of minor interest: David Gibbs Jr has been moved from the top of the IBLP Regional Conference speakers list to second from the bottom. It's good to see that IBLP is clearing up any potential conflicts of interest. Sarcastic lol.

  46. Desert Viking March 11, 2014 Reply


    My thoughts exactly! How can anyone be sure that Gothard didn't go further? And even if he didn't further victimize young women who worked for the organization, who's to say that he didn't patronize prostitutes or escorts?

    Unlike a famous evangelist or Christian personality, he wasn't that well known outside certain Christian circles, and hence unrecognizable. He could've used a false name, too.

    But I hope he didn't go further. What he did with the women employees was bad enough.

  47. Patti March 12, 2014 Reply

    I am so furious at this idiot (Bill Gothard) whom I think is an evil, fake, phony person and I have absolutely NO compassion for him whatsoever...he has been used by the enemy for years...and has been a fraud and so many people have been deceived and abused by him....i hope a class action lawsuit is filed by these women and that they sue him and that he goes to jail for the rest of his life. I work for a labor and employment lawyer and most of these stories are legitimate sexual harassment issues, but the problem is that there is problem a time span problem where too much time has passed and they may not be able to sue because of that particular thing (not sure what Illinois law says about that sort of thing). I have known this guy is a fraud for over 25 years and have despised his legalistic and condemnation approach to believers, and I have known people who have lost their heart for God because of this abusive crap that he has perpetuated....I am definitely an advocate for him to get punished for what he has done!!!

    • Patti March 12, 2014 Reply

      and some people say we shouldn't judge....yeah right...we are supposed to be "fruit inspectors" especially of other believers who profess to know Him but who do things contrary to the character of God or the Scripture and this guy's fruit is so rotten and disgusting...throw him in the trash can. He has had numerous opportunities to repent and be sorry for what he has done..he won't start now...he is a disgusting pig and deserves nothing but to be punished..I think hell is even enough punishment for him...maybe he should be castrated!!!!!

      • KH March 12, 2014 Reply

        Patti, I can understand your massive dislike for Mr. Gothard. Please remember that Jesus had compassion for the thief on the cross, we too, must give this over to Jesus who shows compassion on all, and yes, that means Mr. Gothard. What Mr. Gothard did is repulsive and disgusting but, our own sin is repulsive and disgusting to Jesus as well. My pastor says that the ground at the cross is level, no sin is greater or lesser than the other person. Mr. Gothard DOES need to repent of his sin, he DOES need to reconcile with ALL THOSE who he abused, falsely accused, erroneously sent home, etc. He DOES need to leave ALL ministry. As far as I'm concerned the entire IBLP and all organizations should cease to exist because of unscriptural teaching.

        If you haven't done so, please read the prayers offered up last Thursday when RG members spent a day of prayer for Mr. Gothard, The IBLP Board, current ATI families as well as all those who lay wounded, both students and parents.

        Please do not give any ammo to those who still blindly follow him and defend his teaching and standing. As this website is about Recovering Grace may we be examples of that same thought and likeness of character.

  48. David March 12, 2014 Reply

    What is conspicuous by it's absence in all of these accounts of Gothard's relationships with girls is that there never seemed to be any woman his own age around him. Did he ever evidence the slightest friendship or interest in women his own age? I wasn't there, so I don't know. But if the answer is no, then that fact is almost as telling as his relationships with girls 40 years his junior.

  49. […] is ongoing as the organization puts him on administrative leave initially but finally he resigned.  Many former employees have also confirmed the allegations to be true.  I won’t comment […]

  50. […] 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 […]

  51. David Loggans March 28, 2014 Reply

    Vines Expository Dictionary says in Volume 4: Set - Z page 167 point c. Noun akatharsia Unclean (b) moral, 1 Thess. 2:3 (suggestive of the fact that sensuality and evil doctrine are frequently associated);
    There have been those for years saying that Bill's doctrine is tainted at best. He twists the scriptures to make them say what he wants. When in a pinch he has "New Insights" from scriptures which conveniently brings the scriptures in line with what fits his situation.

  52. fireflight April 7, 2014 Reply

    I'd like to add my voice to the chorus of former IBLP members calling for a full and complete investigation from an objective and disinterested outside party, as well as full and complete disclosure for the purpose of healing and restoration. The complex "authority" system set up by IBLP has given immunity to those in leadership through the years, and is one of the principle reasons we are having to have this conversation. It is quintessential that Gothard and those who, through action or inaction, enabled him, be held accountable under the self-same principles and doctrines they've proclaimed.

    Many families have trusted Gothard, the organizations he founded, and the principles he stood for. I suspect my family is not the only one that was wounded by our association with them. I have learned through hard experience that your trust is only as good as its object. Beware.

  53. Frank April 13, 2014 Reply

    Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Paul made mistakes, we don't throw out the New Testament Epistles. Peter made mistakes, we didn't throw out his teachings. If Mr. Gothard is guilty, does that make his teaching all wrong?

    If one or two people make accusation it is like looking at a a star or two. However, if there are thirty valid claims we maybe looking at a constellation. If that is so, where are the police? and civil authorities? If you don't like certain lawyers investigating, then let the women make official complaints with the courts.

    The whole plan of redemption was set in motion to restore Adam and Eve's children. If Mr. Gothard is guilty, then let it be proven in a court of law. Then, those involved should seek his repentance.

    Who agreed with everything that was taught in the seminars? Yet, there is great value in much of it. Just because he made mistakes does not mean that all the teaching is garbage.

    • horse April 14, 2014 Reply

      I would encourage you to spend more time reading on this site. Your questions are understandable, and further reading will help address them. There are now over 50 women who have come forward. The moderators at RC have explained that they tell each woman to seek legal counsel to see what her options are. For many, the statute of limitations has run out. For others, we can't assume they're not doing exactly what you suggest, pursing legal action. As far as the baby with the bath water, I would recommend the series of articles on this site under "Articles" "Upon Further Review: Twisted Scriptures."

      No one is saying that anyone who makes mistakes must be teaching garbage. I think the articles I have suggested will help you understand what is in fact being said on this site about why the teachings are at issue.

      • Alfred Corduan April 14, 2014 Reply

        50 women . . . I have not seen 50 stories, but of those posted one (1) has accused him of actual sexual mischief (groping). An account I and others strongly doubt the veracity of. Yes . . . read the stories . . . read them all.

    • P.L. April 14, 2014 Reply

      Calling 'sin' a 'mistake' is a classic sign of someone who is unrepentant and of those who defend them.

      It is a characteristic of repentant sinners that they are okay with speaking the truth about what they've done, because they've already spoken it to God anyway.

  54. […] a leader at this level is ousted or steps down, questions like these come to mind. In the wake of revelations of sexual harassment and abuse […]

  55. […] Dr. John Stancil. In the three months since these men released their initial statement concerning Gothard’s resignation from IBLP on March 17, we have been cautiously hopeful that the board would ultimately do the […]

  56. Tom Huntford July 23, 2015 Reply

    Grace, mercy, and peace, be multiplied to all who call upon our lord Jesus Christ in verity and truth, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior!

    Very sad, in 3 ways:

    1. That so many people did not have a firm enough grasp of their Bibles to spot the many departures in Bill Gothard's materials, and led their families into years of false burdens. By the grace of God (the way God saved me, I should be an 8-point Calvinist!), I came out of the New Age movement into the Kingdom of God. Wanting to serve God in every aspect of life, as a father I led my family to homeschool in order glorify God by avoiding the vile things they teach kids in school these days; to wear clothing that is modest without question--yes, dresses; to wear the headcovering in obedience to 1 Cor 11. But when I ran across Bill Gothard, I immediately saw lots of things that were (perhaps) a personal discipline for him, but which were false burdens when applied as general rules for life. Many will follow teachers. Those of us who teach (speaking to myself here, for I too could be deceived) come under a greater judgment.

    2. The many who have been hurt, defiled, betrayed. I cannot express my sorrow. Just, please, turn to the true and living God, and READ HIS WORD AND LIVE BY IT, AND IT ALONE, AND ALL OF IT, RIGHTLY DIVIDED!! Don't go to a church or movement or book that is just as full of additions, the only difference being that it is in the opposite theological direction. I see this a lot. Which brings me to...

    3. The sad avalanche into carnality and disobedience that many families are taking as they break free of the bondage of Mr. Gothard's teachings. You know, purity of speech is a command of Christ; modesty is a command of Christ. Headcoverings are a command of the Scripture. Obedience to elders of the church, parents, and husbands are commands of Christ. They don't have anything to do with Bill Gothard or any other man. Yet, I see people careening away from legitimate obedience in areas like this, as they run from endless false burdens and, as it turns out, some things completely contrary to Scripture, which I never had heard of until I came across this site. I fear that many are just as ignorant of God's Word now, as they were when they went in to ILBP. Sadly, in this avalanche, families that once properly wore clothing that covered the attractive parts, now show up advertising themselves just like the world!

    This does nothing but disgrace grace, and sets the stage for the next movement that reacts to the vomitous version of grace which seems to permeate so much of what passes for the Kingdom of God here in America. In fact, there are already movements doing that very thing. Check out the "Church of Wells". Check out the resurgent interest in the "early church", and versions of the Gospel that require entire obedience to the Sermon on the Mount as a condition for salvation. (I have been 'invited into the Kingdom' because of expressing my hope as founded upon faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ!). Yes, in an opposite direction along the same plane, those who just want to honor the Lord in everything, but, like the ILBP people, are not ruthless with themselves about staying within the bounds of Scripture, will do just about anything to break free from the bondage to a "church" that has so lost touch with the power of the Holy Spirit, that it cannot conceive of surviving any other way than by staying one-half-step behind our society's mad dash into decadence! It is so sad to see so many who made the mistake of joining ILBP, becoming now part of a group of people who name the name of Christ, but turn the grace of God into lasciviousness, and spurn thorough obedience to his commands (through his apostles, in the Epistles and Acts, and when on the earth in the flesh) as mere legalism.

    I daresay, that if those who understand justification by faith, apart from works, being a new creature in Christ, and "not your own", would pant and thirst, and live in a holy way that is "worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called"; if those who understand somewhat of the freedom we have in Christ would also acknowledge themselves slaves of Christ bought with a price, and seek to live in a way that is unquestionable in its obedience--that many of these aberrant versions of holiness would never come about. Let me be blunt: if those who claim to have partaken of the HOLY spirit were not showing up in public dressed like no whore would have dressed earlier than 1964 or so, you probably wouldn't have so many who have a heartfelt desire to serve the Lord with everything they have--potentially pillars of the Church--seek and be captivated by these groups that can legitimately point to the Church at large and say, "Carnal!"


    Grace and peace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.

    • Don Rubottom July 24, 2015 Reply

      Thank you for your observations. I would ask you to explain where the Bible commands dresses for females (I assume you did not mean dresses for men, you were not specific). Jesus said it is not what goes INTO a man that defiles him, but what comes out. Accordingly I ask you to explain why the woman must cover the "attractive" parts(not the man who should cover his eyes) and not that the heart must be cleansed so that lust is not stimulated by sight of God's beautiful creation? I ask in the extreme to emphasize that many of us who previously over-emphasized modesty, rather than heart purity, have turned to a more grace filled, less judgmental approach than you express. I can't imagine those here who have expressed sincere devotion to Christ would dress in any truly immodest way, but I do see many of us not judging others for what they wear as you seem to do and as Gothard taught us to do. By honestly reflecting on the Word, I have come to recognize that it is my heart, not the dress of females, that causes lust. Further, I can purely love and respect a woman dressed very immodestly when I recognize that any hunger in her for attention or connection can only be filled by Christ, and not by any male she may be trying to attract.
      Finally, children are told to obey, but where are wives told to "obey" imperfect husbands? Genesis 3 is a curse, not God's design for marriage. That design is "naked and unashamed", "helper suited to" and shared dominion of agreeable love: Ish and Isha, NOT Baal and servant (Hos. 2:16). In this, there is no authority or domination, but mutual submission and mutual self-giving: as Christ loves the Church and gave...
      I hope that you seek dialogue and not merely to come "straighten us out". You are correct in stating that the WORD is our only guide and source.

    • esbee July 24, 2015 Reply

      I have a few questions about what you wrote if you have the time to clarify...

      "Headcoverings are a command of the Scripture."

      Is this for women only, if so then are baseball caps and cowboy hats an appropriate covering? Can a woman wear pants or jeans and still be modest? Where would you draw a line on length of dress or shorts that says immodest? what about neckline?

      " Obedience to elders of the church, parents, and husbands are commands of Christ."

      how far are we to obey these authorities? Can they tell us what to wear, where to live, what to eat, what car to buy, how many pets to have? to what extent are they to be obeyed? What is the division of their authority? How does a Christian know when to obey a command from them and when to question it? Is to question or refuse a command from one of these authorities a sin? If a Christian does something they feel is not sin and one of these authorities says not to do it, must they be obeyed?

      You said that there are some who leave Gothardism and become very worldly, not doing what you said is commanded in the Word. What about those who become atheist?

      • mike slaney August 7, 2019 Reply

        Not that this answer will help convince you, but yes. Head coverings were practiced in the OT and commanded by Paul In the NT ( ICor 11:15) BTY the word Covering is two Greek words, one is the natural and the over the is to put on or around. Both are used in these texts. Those who wish to justify the first only do the WORD a disservice. This passage and the rest to follow tells the believer What to do and why, the why is the most important and often overlooked. more could be said but ask the Spirit to take you further.

    • rob war July 24, 2015 Reply

      With all due respect Tom,you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. On one hand, you are saying people need to be free from Gothard and his rules, then on the other hand, you are claiming that people that leave Gothard are becoming worldly and a sign of that according to you is women wearing paints, people not obeying and women not wearing head coverings. If you are so concern about the head coverings, I would suggest a pre-vatican II Latin Mass where women still wear the mantillas. So based on the head covering issue with you, 99% of Protestants then (using your standard here) are worldly and in disobedience. You honestly have more in common with the "Rad Trads" pre-vatican II Latin only nuts than any Protestant. If that is the company you like, more power to you. I also hope you realize that the standard of dress from actual Bible times, not 1950's America, had men and women dressing not too much differently from each other. Men didn't wear pants and both sexes wore rope like clothes. Likewise and using your standards here, Scottish men dressing in traditional kilts are being disobedient because they are wearing "shirts" like (according to you) women should be wearing. You can't have it both ways. You are telling people that they need to obey the "word" but how does one really interpret this since so many read different things into the Bible and all of them are claiming that they are being true to the "word".

    • Don Rubottom July 28, 2015 Reply

      Tom, I think this is where many of us are; do you accept Paul's teaching? From Colossians 2:
      "16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
      20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh."

  57. Sarah K. July 29, 2015 Reply

    I wish I were a person of many words; those I do use will be straight from my heart.

    Many of us have made the gross error of establishing ourselves and our walk with God in a more parallel fashion, comparing ourselves with others who appear more godly, and failing only to try and try again. Futile.

    The singular attempt to look at God alone may appear as not godly behavior, but is a giant step in the direction of establishing that vertical relationship with Him, instead of the horizontal excuse of a competitive system in which we must fail.

    I pray His mercy on ALL true seekers.

    • Don Rubottom July 29, 2015 Reply

      Your conciseness is refreshing!

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