Articles on this Page
- 02/26/14--18:35: _Guest Post: The Man...
- 02/27/14--18:47: _Breaking: Bill Goth...
- 03/07/14--11:14: _Bill Gothard has re...
- 04/18/14--06:28: _Shorter Bill Gothar...
- 04/19/14--02:07: _When Every Touch Is...
- 05/13/14--07:53: _Gothard’s Sex Rules...
- 05/21/14--07:48: _Debi Pearl Defends ...
- 06/13/14--02:00: _Oh Mr. Gothard!
- 09/03/14--18:01: _The Gothard-Sized S...
- 10/06/14--20:57: _Pastors and Secreta...
- 02/03/15--18:17: _Bill Gothard Was Br...
- 05/22/15--15:03: _What Did Josh Dugga...
- 07/09/15--09:58: _Sexual Predator Bil...
- 08/17/15--04:51: _Bill Gothard Explai...
- 08/17/15--05:11: _Are Women Biblicall...
- 08/23/15--20:47: _It’s Not Just about...
- 08/28/15--07:37: _Breaking: Leadershi...
- 09/04/15--07:50: _A Case for Calling ...
- 11/09/15--01:00: _Bill Gothard Defend...
- 01/07/16--10:42: _A Summary of Allega...
- 02/26/14--18:35: Guest Post: The Many Valuable Lessons I Learned at ATI
- 02/27/14--18:47: Breaking: Bill Gothard Placed on Administrative Leave
- 03/07/14--11:14: Bill Gothard has resigned . . . but is that enough?
- 04/18/14--06:28: Shorter Bill Gothard: Playing Footsie Isn’t Sexual!
- 04/19/14--02:07: When Every Touch Is Sexualized
- 05/13/14--07:53: Gothard’s Sex Rules: Marital Consent? What’s That?
- 05/21/14--07:48: Debi Pearl Defends Bill Gothard
- 06/13/14--02:00: Oh Mr. Gothard!
- 09/03/14--18:01: The Gothard-Sized Skeleton in HSLDA’s Closet
- 10/06/14--20:57: Pastors and Secretaries: Enemies of a Gothard Marriage
- 05/22/15--15:03: What Did Josh Duggar’s Counseling Look Like?
- 07/09/15--09:58: Sexual Predator Bill Gothard Defends Josh Duggar
- 08/17/15--04:51: Bill Gothard Explains Road Safety (aka How Not to Get Raped)
- 08/17/15--05:11: Are Women Biblically Required to “Cry Out” During Rape?
- 08/23/15--20:47: It’s Not Just about Josh Duggar (Some Compiled Readings)
- 09/04/15--07:50: A Case for Calling the Duggars ATI Rather Than Quiverfull
- 11/09/15--01:00: Bill Gothard Defenders Center Obedience
- 01/07/16--10:42: A Summary of Allegations against Bill Gothard and IBLP
A Guest Post by Laura. The 14 years I spent as a student in Bill Gothard's ATI taught me many valuable lessons for my life. Here are some of the highlights: Talking to a boy is dating him. Especially if either of you have romantic thoughts about the other one. To be on the safe side, it’s best never to talk with young men. (At some Training Centers, talking with a person of the opposite sex for longer than a few seconds, unless it was obviously work-related, was grounds for discipline and/or being sent home.)
WORLD magazine has just reported that the IBPL board of directors has placed Bill Gothard on "administrative leave." According to WORLD, the board of directors is now investigating the allegations of sexual misconduct which I reported on several weeks ago. Only time will tell where things go from here.
How the mighty fall. First, Doug Phillips, and now Bill Gothard, both within six months. This is huge. I do have some concerns, though. I worry that these leaders may fall while their ideology does not. Yes, Bill Gothard was a problem, a big problem, but the underlying problem is actually what he taught. I worry that these individual leaders will receive all of the blame while their ideologies are allowed to evade scrutiny.
Does Gothard honestly expect anyone to believe that a 50 or 60-year-old man could play footsie with a 16-year-old girl, hold and stroke her hands for long periods of time, caress her hair, etc., all without any "sexual intent"? Especially a 50 or 60-year-old man who leads a religious empire and teaches his followers that couples should not touch or have physical contact before marriage?
Bill Gothard has now admitted that he held hands with teenage girls in his employ, touched their feet, and caressed their hair, but he claims that none of that was sexual. I grew up in the same cohort and culture as these girls. As such, I think I need to share a bit more of my own story, because it sheds light on the significance of physical touch within purity culture. I haven't shared these things because they're quite personal and a bit embarrassing, but duty calls, so here goes.
In his textbook, Gothard covers his rules for periodic abstinence during marriage, which centers on a woman's menstrual cycle (pages 175---185). Of all of Gothard's teachings, this may be the one I'm most unfamiliar with, as it is foreign to anything taught in the evangelical church my family attended. In this post, I will cover the first pages of this section and then finish with a letter Gothard received from a follower.
In their books and on their blog, Michael and Debi have generally taken a hard line on the sexual abuse of children. Given this, Debi's response to the Bill Gothard situation seem incredibly out of place. Debi should be out there with Recovering Grace and all the rest condemning Gothard and his actions and demanding that he be punished to the full extent of the law and removed from any position of religious authority. But she's not. Instead she argues that Gothard is simply a sinner like anyone else, like you and like me, and that Recovering Grace is the the real problem here. In fact, she flat out says she is on Gothard's "side."
As you probably noticed, my computer glitched and posted this week's Created To Be His Help Meet post on Wednesday. Oops! If you haven't read that post, CTBHHM: The Question of Birth Control, feel free to do so now. But for today, I'm going to turn to some of Bill Gothard's thoughts on procreation, drawing from his Advanced Seminar Textbook.
I have just two questions: First, what time frame does "for several years" imply? Second, what does "we did not directly promote their teachings" mean? I ask these things because something has just come to my attention as a result of the investigative reporting of R. L. Stollar of Homeschoolers Anonymous---an unacknowledged elephant in HSLDA's closet.
I've been under a lot of stress lately and I'm really tired. But I try to put up a post each day to keep things active and maintain the community here, so today you get more from the Bill Gothard textbook I got my hands on. He's just so out there that blogging against his teachings is easier than many other topics, somehow. It's also familiar, in a way. So today you get to find out how pastors and secretaries can be enemies to good, godly marriages.
Is a blog an acceptable place for making allegations of abuse against a prominent religious leader? Some would say no. But if Gothard's victims had not taken to a blog to tell their stories, Gothard would still be president of IBLP, leaving a slue of new victims in his wake. I for one am thankful that those at Recovering Grace chose to forgo the "proper" channels for reporting and discussing abuse allegations.
This is why it is so troubling that Josh and his victims appear to have received counseling and treatment in-house, whether from their parents or through their like-minded church or various ATI seminars or conferences. This is why professional counseling and treatment is so important.
I suppose it's not surprising that Gothard is defending Josh, given that his own actions were in many ways so similar. In arguing that Josh touching his younger sisters' breasts and genitals isn't so bad because it was over their clothing, he defends his own actions by proxy.
Do you remember when that Saudi historian said that western women drive because they don't mind getting raped? He used the danger that occurs when a woman's car breaks down, leaving her open to sexual assault by any passerby, as a rationale for maintaining the Saudi ban on women driving. Well. Watch as this road road safety module produced by Bill Gothard's Advanced Training Institute (a program for fundamentalist homeschoolers) takes a weird turn.
Yesterday we looked at Gothard’s advice for young women in how to repel a “moral” attack (i.e., what to do if you are sexually assaulted). I want to take another look, for two reasons. First, Gothard actually misquotes the Bible, mashing verses together in such a way as to make the Bible say things it [Read More...]
This isn't just about Josh, and it isn't just about the Duggars. It's about an entire culture built upon promises it can't keep. It's about communities and leaders that promised young people that if they would only guard their emotions and save physical contact for marriage, their connection with their spouse and the sexual satisfaction they have in marriage will be more deep and meaningful than they can imagine---a promise that, for Josh and Anna like for so many other couples, turned out to be a lie.
Earlier this week Josh Duggar checked into Reformers Unanimous (RU), a Christian residential addiction treatment program in Rockford, Illinois, run by North Love Baptist Church and co-founded by the church's authoritarian Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) pastor, Paul Kingsbury. Over the past twenty-four-hours, I have spoken with numerous individuals involved with or affected by either North Love or Kingsbury. Of primary importance are allegations that Kingsbury is actively supporting an accused sex offender, Richard DeVall, who is serving as a missionary in Bolivia and is sponsored by North Love Baptist Church. If true, this would seem to disqualify Kingsbury from running a recovery program for individuals suffering from porn addiction and sex addiction, but Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches seem to run by their own rules.
I wrote recently about some of the many definitional issues surrounding the term "quiverfull." If you have not already read that post, you can do so here. But in this post I want to go farther and argue that we need to be calling the Duggars ATI, not quiverfull, because their primary identification is with Bill Gothard's Advanced Training Institute and their quiverfull beliefs stem from that organization. More generally, I would argue that accuracy demands that we be clear about what leaders and what organizations any given Christian homeschooling family follows. This is because umbrella terms like "quiverfull" or "Christian patriarchy" erase and blur distinctions that can be critically important.
In addition to not understanding the role obedience can play in priming victims for abuse or the predatory behavior of abusers in careful selecting their victims while retaining an upstanding profile around others, the Discovering Grace team also has no understanding of what physical boundaries are considered appropriate for counseling and therapy situations. That they can defend Gothard while promoting a variety of narratives that create conditions that facilitate abuse is appalling.
It has been nearly two years since Bill Gothard stepped down from leadership at his ministry, the Institute for Basic Life Principles (IBLP), amid a growing number of accusations that he sexually harassed and molested girls and young women in his employ. This past October, a group of individuals filed a negligence lawsuit against IBLP. This lawsuit has been amended, and Bill Gothard is now named as well.