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    Having read through the lawsuit in full, I want to take a moment to mention ten things even I found surprising. Many of the allegations included in the lawsuit have been common knowledge since being posted in 2013 and 2014 by Recovering Grace, a website run by graduates of IBLP programs critical of Gothard and his teachings. However, the lawsuit also includes information I had not seen before. I want to focus on these points because of the questions they raise about why Gothard's abuse was not recognized and addressed earlier.

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    But I'm not actually here to talk about Gothard's new ministry, I'm here to talk about a specific article published on the Life Purpose Power Teams website. It's unclear whether Gothard or one of his staffers wrote article, which explains "how the Civil War could have been avoided," but even if it was written by a staffer it was presumably approved for publication by Gothard. And it's bad. The article lists five things that could have avoided the Civil War. I will list them one by one and respond to each.

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    Last October, ten women filed a negligence lawsuit against the Institute for Basic Life Principles (IBLP), a fundamentalist Christian organization that put on conferences for families, produced Christian-based homeschool curriculum, and often employed the teenage children of its followers. In January this lawsuit was amended to also name Bill Gothard, IBLP’s founder and president until his [Read More...]

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    I mentioned a few weeks ago that the community in which I grew up has been rocked by sexual abuse allegations against several members. Watching these situations play out has even me first hand experience with many of the excuses made for abusers and the tactics used to shift blame to their victims. What Gothard does in highlighting testimonials of women he didn't abuse is right in line with these same tactics and patterns, but it requires an ignorance of how abusers operate to work.

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    Ryan Stollar of Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out (HARO) has been knocking it out of the park lately. I deeply appreciate his advocacy and his willingness to take on big names in his efforts to prevent child abuse. Today I want to take a moment to highlight his two latest pieces, one posted on the HARO website and one posted on HARO's Homeschoolers Anonymous (HA) project website.Click through to read more!

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    Roger Ailes, the long-time chief executive director of Fox News, announced last week that he was stepping down amid sexual harassment allegations lodged against him by Gretchen Carlson numerous and other female Fox News employees, including the popular Megyn Kelly. I've noticed some interesting similarities between the allegations against Ailes and those against Bill Gothard.Click through to read more!

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    Yes, you read that right. The very first item blames the victim---the four-year-old boy---for not "crying out" when sexually abused by his teenage neighbor. IBLP materials tend to communicate a complete ignorance of the various dynamics involved in such abuse or the reasons victims often remain silent. Also? Note the square quotes around the word "victim" above, and remember that the child is four.Click through to read more!

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    Over the years, many have compared IBLP to a cult, and Gothard to a cult leader. He had that affect on people---he could command unswerving loyalty and unadulterated devotion, and render people willing to ignore the warning signs. And Perdue, it seems, is one of those who fell under his spell. I realize that none of this has anything to do with agriculture. It has a lot more to do with judgement, though---and a white old boys' club willing to ignore those trampled underfoot.Click through to read more!

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    The strange thing is that Gothard actually believes he is being scientific. Another fundamentalist leader would probably argue that the solution to crime in Chicago is for people to know Jesus, but Gothard doesn't stop there. Instead, he goes into all of this about serotonin and the "gut brain" and bright light therapy, and somehow ends by encouraging people to increase their serotonin levels by reading the Bible.

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    The Bible study in question was crafted in response to Obama's emphasis on pursuing deportation of criminal aliens rather than of all undocumented immigrants, as well as Obama's efforts to pass immigration reform with some form of amnesty and path to citizenship. But as much as I care about immigration, I was just as struck by the study's treatment of children as I was by its treatment of immigration. Click through to read more!

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