Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Christian Dem in NC printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:03:37 PM EST

Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half a century.  He was one of the pioneers of the Christian homeschooling movement, but is probably best known to us as one of the leaders of the Quiverfull movement.  Indeed, the most famous Quiverfull family of them all, the Duggars, are big fans of his.  He's rubbed noses with the likes of Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee and Sonny Perdue.  Back when Sarah Palin was just the mayor of Wasilla, she attended one of Gothard's conferences and had Wasilla adopt his "Character Cities" program.

But that's in jeopardy after the board of the ministry he founded, the Institute for Basic Life Principles, placed him on administrative leave amid allegations that he sexually harassed female employees and failed to report child abuse.  The bulk of these claims, which go back as far as the 1970s, have been posted at Recovering Grace, a Website run by former Gothard followers.

The allegations against Gothard dovetail with financial woes. In recent years, IBLP’s net revenue has dropped significantly, and the ministry is losing money. In 2009, it reported a net income loss of $1 million. It lost $4.1 million in 2011, and $3.5 million in 2012, according to its most recently available tax forms. Its net assets dropped from $92 million in 2010 to $81 million in 2012.

Since it started as a class at Gothard’s alma mater, Wheaton College, in 1961, more than 2.5 million people have gone through his “basic seminar” training on authority, success and other issues. IBLP held 504 seminars in 2010, but that number dropped to fewer than 50 in 2012.

The financial decline came around the same time that the whistle-blowing website Recovering Grace was formed in 2011. A string of allegations has been posted on the website, including one alleging Gothard molested a woman who was underage in the early 1990s. Four articles allege Gothard engaged in sexual harassment, and four articles allege his failure to report child abuse to Child Protective Services.

Calls placed to IBLP Thursday and Friday were not immediately returned.

Some of the stories are absolutely gut-wrenching.  Among them:
  • "Ruth," who worked for Gothard from 1970 to 1980--the last seven years as his personal secretary--reports that Gothard not only interfered with all of her relationships, but also frequently peeked in on female staffers in their nightgowns on retreats.  She died of breast cancer in 1994, and her husband Larne shared her story.
  • "Lizzie,"who worked for Gothard from 1994 to 1998, claims that Gothard touched her, stroked her hair and played footsie with her on numerous occasions.  She also claims that Gothard had been warned as early as 1997 by his own board about taking girls as young as 15 on trips and acting inappropriately on those trips--and yet, his behavior didn't change.
  • "Annette" was taken in by Gothard after fleeing from an abusive environment at her home.  She claims Gothard took advantage of her in a sordid and despicable way--touching and petting her in much the same way that "Lizzie" experienced.
  • ""Charlotte" writes that not long after she started working for Gothard at age 16, he began playing footsie with her.  It progressed to hand-holding and hugging, and then to touching her breasts.  On one occasion, they were coming home from a conference, and he put his hand up her legs and felt her all the way up.  Incredibly, this was actually the second time she's been molested like this--her preacher father had been molesting her since she was seven years old.  Two fellow staffers, "Dixie" and "Ryan," corroborated Charlotte's account of what happened to her.
  • "Grace" writes that soon after she came to work for Gothard in 1999, he deliberately tried to get her to play footsie with him.  It continued for her entire yearlong commitment to work for him.  When she told her parents--who had been devoted to Gothard's teachings since she was six--they didn't believe her.  As she put it, "they chose to believe that the man they followed and trusted with their lives — and the life of their first-born daughter — was infallible."
  • "Rachel" says that when she went to work for Gothard, he stroked her hair, rubbed her legs and played footsie with her.  She said that what happeed to her was similar to what other girls experienced, and can also vouch for what happened to "Charlotte."

This isn't the first time that Gothard has been under fire.  Back in 1980, his ministry was almost destroyed when it emerged that his brother Steve had been having sex with students and staffers.  It was a lot easier for fundies to survive dumdum bullets back then, though.

IBLP board chairman Billy Boring says that the board will respond "at an appropriate time" once the review is complete.  The only acceptable response, if it hasn't happened already, is to call the police.  And if this is at all true--and there's little reason to doubt it is, based on reading what Recovering Grace has gleaned--it doesn't matter if Gothard is 79 years old.  He needs to go to prison.

So Gothard, basically is a pedo, just like a lot of other religious men. Unfortunately, if he goes to prison, it will just be another case of "persecution" of a Christian. The fundies seem to think, like Lot, that their daughters are not worth much.

by phatkhat on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:49:41 PM EST

Nice post. hello friends this is a awesome place and good game this game is very interesting the risk full live information here click this link read my article risk online game video board game this game is very famous in Asia play the game with your friends i sure like it.

by Thanos on Thu Sep 27, 2018 at 02:31:47 AM EST

Disable people are also part of our society we should include them in all aspects of life. Every person has some talent and ability the things to polish them to show that skills in a good way and now I'm able to check papersowl review to manage college task. The child with down syndrome should be encouraged enough so that they can live and enjoy their life.

by PatriciaJones on Mon Oct 28, 2019 at 11:31:39 PM EST
In this post we are discussing about the religious matter. I am a person who is not that much interested in religious things so I used to skipp all the things related to it but when it comes to human right it is important to protect the rights of the people without looking your caste and religion and those who are interested to know about the current discussion you can go through the post attorney for Postmates accident

by Kaitlyn John on Wed Sep 23, 2020 at 10:12:47 AM EST

Child abuse is becoming a trend nowadays. It is really heartbreaking to know the count of the child abuse that is happening every day. It is really very pathetic how the country is going or where it targeted email campaign ideas is the actual indepence that we are not facing nowadays. people should be given strict and heavy punishments so that they won't be repeating it.

by mosesantony2013 on Tue Feb 11, 2020 at 05:41:46 AM EST

This is just sad, Child abuse and did nothing. The woman did nothing, there are always a lot of ways when there is a gun pointed at you.

by skincare21 on Tue May 26, 2020 at 06:42:46 AM EST

One thing I love about this place is the prices. The services here are on ponit, which have helped me quite a lot. All of this is free of cost, they do not cost you any money, which is why I love this place.

by LeeAppleby on Tue Sep 08, 2020 at 04:16:35 AM EST

HP Board 12th Model Papers 2021 - Students should solve the subject-wise HPBOSE Class 12th sample papers to understand the exam pattern and difficulty level in a better way. Himachal Pradesh Board (HPBOSE) has HP 12th Blueprint uploaded the HP Board 12th model papers on its official website, HP Board Class 12th sample papers are created on the basis of final question papers. Hence, students appearing for HP Board 12th exams 2021 should download and solve the HP Board 12th model papers to prepare better and in the right direction. Also, solving the HP Board 12th model papers 2021 helps students to learn the time management during the final exams to be conducted in March 2021.

by ashu on Thu Sep 24, 2020 at 09:50:48 AM EST

Online business classes can be so boring, but not this [url=https:/]one[/url]o n how to come up with good brand names.  I loved the challenging activities, which activated my mind like never before.

by daniyal on Wed Feb 17, 2021 at 03:53:35 AM EST

Online business classes can be so boring,one but not this one on how to come up with good brand names.  I loved the challenging activities, which activated my mind like never before.

by daniyal on Wed Feb 17, 2021 at 04:54:22 AM EST

I think some strict actions should be taken against such intolerance behavior, I am happy that you have shared some news over here. Please go through analytical essay conclusion and leave your comments as soon as possible because I am looking forward from your side.

by kosor on Wed Feb 02, 2022 at 01:42:59 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (374 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (198 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (110 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (101 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (113 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (144 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (126 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (118 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (250 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (64 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (161 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (176 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (70 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (80 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (218 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (253 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (107 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (211 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (165 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (163 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (169 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (156 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (130 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (330 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (148 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (90 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (214 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.