Rachael Denhollander Challenges Sovereign Grace Churches to Respond Appropriately to Sex Abuse Cases

Rachael Denhollander, Sovereign Grace, Sex Abuse, Pedophiles



Rachael Denhollendar (the Christian attorney and sex abuse survivor who brought down Dr. Larry Nassar) has been very busy since the recent case of convicted pedophile Dr. Larry Nassar.

She is now taking on the task of drawing attention to how the church, specifically the leaders at Sovereign Grace Churches, have failed to handle sex abuse cases properly.

Here is a recent interview she gave on Fox news. And further down is a Facebook note with more links. Go, Rachael!!!


Here is the direct link to Rachael’s note on Facebook if you do not see the note embedded here. Some people have let me know they are not able to see Facebook notes on SSB.

Rachael has stressed that “an independent investigation of the organization’s handling of sexual and domestic violence should be required before supporting SGC.”


Posted by Rachael Denhollander on Friday, March 16, 2018

From a Bill Gothard Survivor to Other Survivors: Free Yourselves

Bill Gothard, IBLP, ATI, Institutes in Basic Life Principles, Spiritual Abuse, Sexual Abuse


The following was written by David Shere, who has been reading here for some time. He wanted to share his thoughts and advice as a Bill Gothard survivor.  This was written after the news that the plaintiffs had dismissed the lawsuit against Bill Gothard.  ~ja


From a Bill Gothard Survivor to Other Survivors:

Free Yourselves

by David M. Shere


I’m not going to discuss my background here, or my experiences with the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, or with IBLP and ATI, or even with Gothard himself. Yes, I met the man, several times in fact. I remember his dark pinstripe suits and the ever-present dusting of dandruff on his shoulders; that should be enough to verify my claim for anyone who doubts me.

I’m not going to talk about what I believe. My beliefs are irrelevant here.

I’m not going to hold myself up as a role model, because I honestly don’t care what other people think. You do you; I’m busy with my own stuff, thanks.

And most of all, I am not going to talk about God, except to say that if God exists, He will do with me as he pleases. That is the meaning of Omnipotence. If I am damned to Hell, I accept it as my fate; and no amount of begging, pleading, bargaining, or doing of good deeds from me will ever change the will of God. Believe me, I’m more than OK with it. It’s kind of nice knowing how little control anyone ever actually has over anything.

Anyway, this essay is a call out from me to all of you out there, past and present, who like me have ever known Gothard or have ever been involved with any of his programs or literature. I empathize deeply with all of you. I know that at times you feel insurmountably trapped. I know that you may even despair.

I know that many of us had hopes for the recent lawsuit, which unfortunately was simply too little and too late. I’m sure there’s nothing more frustrating than realizing decades later just how expertly you’ve been had, how deviously you’ve been played and manipulated. I’m sure Bernie Madoff’s investors had similar feelings.

Anyhow, my message is a simple one. It’s not advice, it’s not commiseration. It’s not a plan or a rule or a Beatitude or a sermon. It’s not a well-placed Bible verse. It’s not a message from God or a prophet’s exhortation. It’s simply an idea, a suggestion if you will. A recommendation.

Ready? Here it is:

Free yourselves.

Bill Gothard: Who is he? He’s nobody. He’s not a friend or a family member; he’s not a relative or an employer. He’s not the Second Coming of Jesus. He’s not your pastor or your therapist or an accredited teacher. He’s not even an acquaintance or a friend of a friend. He’s just some guy, guys.

You know what Bill Gothard is? He’s the equivalent of a salesman on one of those late night infomercials you see on cable access television, only instead of selling Thighmasters or Snuggies he’s selling “49 Non-Optional Principles” and dozens of other laughably argued, badly written, cheaply printed “theological” pamphlets. Why are we paying attention to him again?

Do you know why any of us, why any of our friends or family members or parents got sucked into Gothard’s literature in the first place? Because we were weak, that’s why. We were damaged, and we were weak. And in our moment of weakness, we turned to a man who sold us the cheap television infomercial equivalent of theology. Boy, don’t we feel dumb, right?

And you know what? THAT’S OK. Nobody’s perfect. Everyone does stupid things in moments of weakness. I still drink beer once in a while even though I know I won’t sleep as well (wine is definitely better). I still smoke cigars occasionally because they taste amazing. I still eat pizza even though it’s basically just a belly fat train wreck on a plate. We’re human, and being human means being weak and stupid occasionally.


So what’s the solution? Free yourselves.



You or someone with power over you bought you into Bill Gothard’s theological infomercial of ridiculous rules and outlandish promises. And only you can get yourself back out of it.

For those of you who are parents, using Gothard’s infomercial-theology on your kids: Your choice is easy. Throw the books away. Open your window blinds. Send your kids back to school, and find a less oppressive church to attend.

For those of you who are kids or young adults, squashed under the thumb of Gothard’s endless regulations: I feel your predicament. Your situation is once removed from the source so to speak, but the power is still in your hands, yours and yours alone. You know what you need to do to get loose. Only you can see the path you must take. Argue with your parents against Bill’s teachings. Insist on being sent back to a public school. Go away to college. Get a job. If you are being abused, contact the police and file a police report. Move in with friends. Stop going to church. Establish a presence on social media and find a support network.  Contact the good people here at Spiritual Sounding Board if you need resources.  Love yourself and defend yourself. Stand up for your life. Fight your circumstances. Whatever it takes.



Survivor Emily Jaeger Responds to Bill Gothard’s Reactions to Her Revealing She is “Jane Doe III”

Bill Gothard, sex abuse, cults, lawsuit, Emily Jaeger, freedom, IBLP


A note of introduction from Julie Anne:

Emily Jaeger is one of the sexual abuse survivors and plaintiffs in the Bill Gothard/IBLP sex abuse lawsuit. Her official statement about the lawsuit was posted on Spiritual Sounding Board a few days ago.

Then someone close to Bill Gothard contacted me. He runs the Discovering Grace website, which is devoted to supporting and defending Bill Gothard and his teachings. We communicated at length, during which he asked me if I wanted to post Bill Gothard’s response to Emily Jaeger’s statement (per Bill’s suggestion). After I declined, it was then published at Discovering Grace website.

I initially said no, because I do not want my blog to be used as a platform for an abuser. However, then I saw Emily Jaeger’s new reply to Bill Gothard’s response statement, and it made sense to me to post both.

I may have more to say later — in fact, I am thinking of doing an SSB “learn to discern” post to analyze these statements in depth. But for now, I’ll say I think his statement is a perfect opportunity to see a spiritual abuser in action, violating boundaries, and hers shows what it looks like when someone leaves the influence of a high-control environment, thinks independently, and makes their own decisions. See what you think … Continue reading

BREAKING: Lawsuit against Bill Gothard and The Institute in Basic Life Principles Dismissed

Bill Gothard, IBLP, Sex Abuse, Lawsuit


I have received the following statement from the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Bill Gothard and The Institute in Basic Life Principles.




The statement reads:

Our Statement

Due to the unique complexities of this case, including the statutes
of limitation, we have made the difficult decision to voluntarily
dismiss our lawsuit against Bill Gothard and The Institute in Basic
Life Principles. We want to make it abundantly clear that by
dismissing our lawsuit at this time, we are not recanting our
experiences or dismissing the incalculable damage that we believe
Gothard has done by his actions and certain teachings. Nor are we
disregarding that his organization chose to protect themselves
instead of those under their care.

Signed by Former Plaintiffs:
Rachel Glader Frost
Rachel Lees
Charis Wood Barker
Megan Lind
Joy Simmons
Jane Doe VI
Melody Ruth
Emily Jaeger (Jane Doe III)
Jane Doe IV
Jane Doe V
Helen Lucius (Jane Doe)
Carmen Okhmatovski
Daniel S. Dorsett Sr.
Jamie Becker Deering
Gretchen Wilkinson
Ruth Copley Burger




BREAKING: Statement from “Jane Doe” Emily Jaeger on Lawsuit Against Bill Gothard and Institute in Basic Life Principles

Bill Gothard, Institute in Basic Life Principles, Sex Abuse Lawsuit


Official Statement by Emily Jaeger (Jane Doe III)

I am Jane Doe III.

I’ve waited for a long time to say those words.

For over two years I’ve lived in the shadows. I’ve lived in fear of others. Fear of backlash, rejection, and hate. Fear of the men I was standing against and of their supporters.

Why, do you ask, am I coming out now that the lawsuit is over? Because in these two-and one-half years of fighting the biggest battle of my life, I became a new person. I am no longer that scared little girl wanting to hide under the guise of a pseudonym. I am ready to come out of those shadows. I’m ready to share my story, and this time with my name. Continue reading

Book Review Series – Lori Alexander’s “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – Ken Alexander has the Final Word

The Power of a Transformed Wife: Lori Alexander, Submission, Control, Godly Marriage


Comment and response on The Transformed Wife, 2/13/18

-by Kathi

This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews if you’d like to catch up.

Introduction & Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5   Chapter 6  Chapter 7   Chapter 8 – Part 1   Chapter 8 – Part 2    Chapter 9  Chapter 10   Chapter 11  Chapter 12   Chapter 13   Chapter 14   Chapter 15   Chapter 16   Chapter 17


Chapter 18 – A Way to a Man’s Heart… Continue reading

Valentines on Ash Wednesday


Brad Sargent, part of the SSB team, wrote this yesterday and I thought it was so good, I asked him if I could share it with you.



Valentine’s Day can be a great day or a difficult day depending on your relationship status: single, married, divorced, separated. Some people have had (or currently have) difficult marriages that taint the day. But I really liked this! This is ultimate Love. For you and Me.

Happy Valentine’s Day!



Pastor Kevin Swanson’s Blame Game When it Comes to the Dr. Larry Nassar Child Sex Abuse Cases

Kevin Swanson; Larry Nassar; Child Sex Abuse; Rachael Denhollander

Screenshot 2018-02-09 at 10.08.13 PM

Kevin Swanson from Generations.org

-by Kathi with editorial comments by Julie Anne

Kevin Swanson’s February 9, 2018 broadcast on Generations covered the recent gymnastics and sexual abuse case by now-convicted sexual predator, Dr. Larry Nassar. Right Wing Watch picked up his broadcast and noted that he blames immodesty in the sport of gymnastics for Dr. Larry Nassar’s behavior.

Julie Anne texted me at work and asked if I would be willing to write a snarky post about Swanson [JA here = is it possible to do a Kevin Swanson post sans snark? Serious question.] As much I can’t stand to listen to him speak, I decided to listen to the whole broadcast. Kathi is a glutton for punishment. I only asked if she would be willing to write about the modesty part that Right Wing Watch reported on. In fact, here is where she tells me on Messenger:

My (unfortunate) experience with listening to Swanson over the years has brought me to the understanding that he is never sympathetic to victims of sexual abuse, so I wanted to see if this broadcast would be any different. My snarky side turned to my angry side as I realized that he hasn’t changed one bit. Continue reading

A Personal Story and a Sad Conclusion When Pastors Failed to Respond Appropriately to Domestic Violence

Domestic violence, Church response, Rob Porter

Continue reading

A Preacher’s Bible? Why?


JA is scratching her head. I don’t get it. Do you?



Is Ravi Zacharias Violating his Federal Lawsuit Non-Disclosure Agreement? Does Anybody Care?

Ravi Zacharias, Online Sex Scandal, NDA, Lawsuit, Suicide emails

ravi zacharias, online sex scandal, lori anne thompson


GUEST POST by Steve Baughman

Is Ravi Zacharias Violating his Federal Lawsuit Non-Disclosure Agreement? Does Anybody Care?

by Steve Baughman

On November 9, 2017, Ravi Zacharias settled his lawsuit against Lori Anne and Brad Thompson by entering into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). The terms of the agreement are confidential. But from what Ms. Thompson says, they are highly restrictive. She told an inquiring Christian blogger shortly after the settlement, “My husband and I are, and always will be bound by confidentiality legally. All I can say now or ever say is that he dropped the lawsuit and the matter is settled.”

Ravi apparently sees it the same way. He told Christianity Today “I am legally prevented from answering or even discussing the questions and claims being made by some, other than to say that each side paid for their own legal expenses and no ministry funds were used.”  According to the magazine, “Zacharias declined to comment to CT on the image of the emails showing the apparent suicide threat, citing the nondisclosure agreement.”

This is pretty standard stuff.  A case settles on confidential terms and nobody can talk about it except to say that it has settled.

Take careful note. The Thompsons can now say nothing. And they appear to be taking their promise seriously.

What about Ravi?

Well,… not so much. Continue reading

Book Review Series – “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – “Healthy,” One of Lori’s Favorite Buzz Words

The Power of a Transformed Wife: Lori Alexander, Healthy Living



Owen, the Watch Dog, does not approve of this book.

-by Kathi

This is a book review series of The Power of a Transformed Wife by Lori Alexander. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews if you’d like to catch up.

Introduction & Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5   Chapter 6  Chapter 7   Chapter 8 – Part 1   Chapter 8 – Part 2    Chapter 9  Chapter 10   Chapter 11  Chapter 12   Chapter 13   Chapter 14   Chapter 15   Chapter 16


Chapter 17 – Serving Healthy Foods Means Healthy Families

We’re getting to the point in the book where I’m wondering why some of these chapters are even in here. I’m beginning to feel like they’re merely pages to fill up a book. The last chapter was about decluttering your home, and this one is about healthy food and DIY household cleaners. Which leads me to question:

What does this have to do with being a “transformed wife?” Continue reading

Will Those in the Real Gospel-Centered Churches Please Stand?

Gospel-Centered Movement, TGC, YRR, Calvinists, Jared Wilson

Continue reading