Bill Gothard’s New Program/Ministry: Total Success Power Teams

Bill Gothard launches new accountability ministry/program: Total Success Power Teams


A few weeks ago, I was given some information regarding a new “program” that Bill Gothard is promoting.  I was shocked that he’d want to get back in the saddle of ministry work so soon after resigning from the Board of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP)   Gothard founded IBLP in 1961 but was banned from participation due to accusations of sexual harassment from more than 30 women. The  IBLP Board did eventually clear him of what they called “criminal activity,” leaving unanswered questions. (Source).

I think it is important to show a timeline of events related to Gothard’s scandal:


March 5, 2014 -Mr. Gothard indicated that he wanted to follow Matthew 5:23-24 and listen to those who have “ought [sic] against” him. In considering what was in the best interests of the Institute, the Board of Directors accepted Mr. Gothard’s resignation.

April 17, 2014 – A Statement from Bill Gothard:

God has brought me to a place of greater brokenness than at any other time in my life. It is a grief to realize how my pride and insensitivity have affected so many people. I have asked the Lord to reveal the underlying causes and He is doing this.

June 17, 2014 –   IBLP statement:

We believe God still desires to use Bill Gothard for His work in the Kingdom of God, but we also believe it is important that he be held to the high standards clearly taught in the Scriptures and upheld by this ministry. At this time the Board unanimously agrees that Mr. Gothard is not permitted to serve in any counseling, leadership, or Board role within the IBLP ministry.

  June 19, 2014 – A Christian Post article quotes from the above excerpt and says:

The letter, made public by Homeschoolers Anonymous, states that Gothard referenced a “desire to follow Matthew 5:23-24 and listen to those who have ‘ought [sic] [any grievance] against’ him.” Gothard said at the time he planned to “give his full attention to this objective,” and emphasized his commitment to that objective.

Somewhere between June 19, 2014 and September 8, 2014, in less than three months, Bill Gothard sent out an e-mail information to ATI families members. Do you find it interesting that Mr. Gothard has access to ATI e-mail addresses while he is not to serve in any capacity with IBLP?  Is that appropriate?

I’d like to share some of the e-mail and commentary.

Bill Gothard’s New Objective

The new program is called Total Success Power Teams.  I don’t know about you, but that sure sounds like a multi-level marketing promo gimmick to me.  The information I received seemed credible. The design was familiar and similar to other literature I’ve seen from IBLP/Gothard.  It contained two pages giving historical background on Gothard and the last page went into more detail about the program without answering any obvious questions about the program itself. The whole thing felt like a teaser to me. Before I begin, I plugged the excerpt of Gothard’s historical background into my word counter.  The word:

  • “I” was used 33 times
  • “me” was used 8 times
  • “my” was used 11 times
  • “grace” was used 1 time
  • “God” was used 7 times

On the first page, see the picture of the large crowd, the boasting of numbers (2.7 million youth/adults have attended the seminar), the PhD credentials behind Gothard’s name, two pictures of awards or certificates, awarded to Gothard, of course. Humility?  I’m not seeing it.

Total Success Power Teams Bill gothard

The second page shows four pictures down the left side:

  1. I’m guessing it’s a picture of the Chicago Art Institute with a caption: “The La Grange Art League gave me an unexpected scholarship to take a course at the Chicago Art Institute.”
  2. The next picture shows Gothard doing chalk art, apparently in front of an audience.
  3. A photo of a packed out Basic conference in Detroit.
  4. Another shot of a Basic seminar with a packed-out crowd at the Dallas Convention Center.

If you were counting along with me, that makes a total of THREE pictures in two pages showing packed-out audiences. This seems to be a theme that he wants you to see:  Gothard gets packed-out crowds wherever he speaks. Ho hum, humility.  ::::yawn::::

The first part of Gothard’s history opens up with a woe-is-me, humble beginnings (get your tissues):

As a young boy, I certainly would have qualified for the title of “least likely to succeed.” I did not have any talents or abilities that compensated for my dismal performance in school. I flunked the first grade and barely passed the next seven grades on probation. In addition to not being able to read or remember what I read, I had a very short attention span and probably an undiagnosed case of dyslexia.

I often wondered what my future would be like, and as I approached high school I dreaded damaging the academic reputation of my two older sisters. Everything began to change when a family friend asked me, “Bill, do you really want to be successful in your life?” I immediately replied “Yes.” I was then told that if I wanted to be successful I must carry out one vital daily activity.

Then we read how God worked in Gothard’s life in amazing ways:

Something very unusual was taking place in my life. I knew that it was certainly not my doing. It was a living demonstration of God’s promise that if I was faithful in this one activity, whatever I did would prosper. This promise even extended to working with Chicago street gangs. I found a way to transform their thinking with two questions. These two questions have been 100% effective in other cities and nations.

He seems to contradict himself. He said that he was not responsible for what was happening in his life and gives God credit, yet he gives himself the kudos here:  “I found a way to transform their thinking with two questions.” That’s pretty powerful stuff Gothard has. He claims he can actually transform people’s thinking? Where’s God in this?

We see more humble bragging coming up. Isn’t it cute when you kinda sorta give God credit, but then slip yourself into the equation and give yourself the credit – kind of like magician’s sleight of hand?  Oh, no, no, no, not me, I didn’t do it, it was God, no me, no God . .oh wait . .

When I was 30 years old, God wanted to demonstrate to the world the vital importance of this activity. I put together a 30-hour seminar which explains the activity and how God rewarded me for doing it. Soon tens of thousands of youth and adults were packing out Colosseums across America. Thus far, over 2.7 million people from all walks of life have attended this seminar. They came by the enthusiastic word of mouth recommendations of their friends with no media advertising.

Yea, because for 2,000 years, our life has been in turmoil without this newfangled way of thinking.

Ok, and here we get to the crux of the matter. He’s been leading you with a carrot to bring you to the announcement of his new program. But look at what he does right here:

I’m sure that those who completed this seminar were convinced of the importance of this activity, and motivated to carry it out. However, it is doubtful that they had someone to personally encourage them to do it on a regular basis. Thus, many were overrun with daily cares and never experienced the rewards of faithfully doing it.

I too, became so busy with the ministry that I failed to continue this activity on a daily basis. Consequently the blessing of the Lord was lifted from my life and ministry.

Do you see what he did? He alluded to his moral failure in a slick way by saying, “consequently the blessing of the Lord was lifted from my life and ministry.”  He’s blaming his moral failure on not following his program (or is it God’s program? his problem? I’m sooo confused), but he also implicates others – that they, too, have probably not had the encouragement on a regular basis. The underlying message is that they probably have failed just as he has failed. I think he wants a universal pity party . . . or something.

Whoa!  Way to blameshift, Mr. Gothard.  Do you see that it’s the program’s fault, it’s not the fact that Mr. Gothard has been running a group like a cult, has made inappropriate emotional/sexual advances towards young ladies.  This is not a man who has recovered. This is a man who is still looking for the limelight in a new program, trying to move along really quickly from that disgrace.

For this I am deeply grieved. By God’s mercy and grace, He has brought me back and I am committed to carrying out this activity for the rest of my life. I am also determined to help as many others as I can to faithfully carry out the one thing by which God promises success in everything we do: meditating on God’s Word day and night. We will accomplish this through Total Success Power Teams.

After we read about Gothard and his compelling success story, we are led along in those two pages – – to something, but he does not disclose what. He feeds us bits and pieces of something that cause us to continue to read, that build the momentum and excitement.  What is this thing he is talking about? How can we get successful?  I want to know! How can God work through us like he did Mr. Gothard?  (I can hardly wait ::::sarcasm::::.)

And here it is – – voila:

“The Overlooked Plan to Benefit Everyone”

Did you know that you and I and everyone has overlooked a plan to benefit everyone?  He still hasn’t divulged what it is, but we’re still following that carrot stick. God’s Word says we have everything we need, but Bill Gothard tells us we have overlooked something.  Thankfully I now have this plan in my possession so that I can make the last decades of my life count. This is how Gothard sells or lures you in to his new hype.  Now, I don’t know if this “plan” costs anything, but let me continue. I feel like I’m pulling a Gothard, leading you all on. Are you ready for it?  Here it is:

The plan is basically this:  pray for everyone.  

Pray for everyone!

That’s it! Wow.  That was really powerful and profound and  . . . . original?    I think it is appropriate to throw in a couple of Bible verses right now:

What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done,
    and there is nothing new under the sun.  Ecclesiastes 1:9

Mr. Gothard, there is nothing new under the sun.  Your “overlooked” plan is nothing new.   It’s just a remake of this verse below, but you are trying to get the credit:

 Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thes 5:16-18


 Julie Anne Contacts IBLP

After getting over the initial shock that Bill Gothard, after less than three short months of his commitment saying he was going to make things right, has started something new, I wanted to hear from the horse’s mouth before posting something about it – you know, due diligence and all of that. I wanted to hear from someone – at least someone from IBLP – a voice within that organization to confirm the existence of this program. Now, I knew that Gothard was no longer connected with IBLP, but assumed with his long-standing relationship with the ministry he built, that they would have information about this new program.

So, I called IBLP headquarters.  I first connected with a young lady. Was she a teenager? I’m not sure, but her voice was very young. She was very polite (actually oozing with politeness) and wanting to help me. She said she thought she knew what I was talking about, but transferred me to a gentlemen who would surely know.

This man was aware of the new Total Success Power Teams that Gothard was promoting and launching from his home, but was very clear to say that it was not connected in any way with IBLP.  It makes me wonder how he knew so much about it if Gothard is no longer connected with IBLP.  hmmm

He told me that Gothard is trying to launch the program now and suggested if I had any further questions, I could call the phone number on the e-mail, Gothard’s home phone number. I asked if he would mind sharing it with me as I did not have the number handy, and he gave it to me. Wow, I was getting somewhere, and fast. I already had the program verified, but now the opportunity to hear from the man himself was too good to pass up, so I let my fingers do the dialing.

Discussion with Mr. Gothard

I heard a familiar voice answer the phone – his voice sounded more frail than I remember from the two seminars our family had attended in the early 90s (hmm, I’m wondering if we were counted twice in that 2.7 million number he quoted above?)  Whoa! I was talking to THE man – the guy whose face has been seen on screens all over the world giving us God’s plan for our lives.

I identified myself as Mrs. Smith (the ATI people I know use Mrs./Mr. more than first names, so I followed suit, being respectful and all) and asked, “With whom am I speaking?”  He identified himself as Bill Gothard.

Now – in full disclosure – I was in a state of “whoa!!!!!-I-am- really-talking-to-Bill Gothard” and failed to identify myself as a blogger. But my mind was on a mission and so I continued by asking several questions, about the program, who is it for, is it with IBLP, that kind of thing.

I found out that fathers sign up for it and they become part of a team. Evidently it’s some sort of accountability group concept where questions are sent out and men have meetings online. The fathers then instruct their families and encourage them to pray and meditate. He told me he was very excited about it and was encouraged about the growth he had already seen in his new program.

He spoke about meditation – that the blessing of God left him “when he was not meditating day and night.” He said that he had been meditating in the morning, but had neglected meditating at night. Notice he didn’t identify specific sin, but said, “God’s blessing left” him.  The real sin as he sees it seems to be that he was not meditating. Those of us familiar with this kind of response would label it as minimizing. It’s a way to avoid dealing with the full weight of responsibility.

One aspect of meditation I found interesting was when Gothard excitedly told me his views about meditating, specifically meditating at night. Gothard said that God instructs him at night after meditating. He said that God instructs through dreams while we are sleeping. His voice was excited as he shared this with me. Gothard said, “God’s calling in my life is to encourage people to meditate on scripture.”

The conversation was not long. It ended up with him telling me if my husband signed up that evening, he would be the 92nd man to join. I later asked my husband if he was interested in joining and he gave me a strange look (the usual wondering-what-I-was-up-to-now look) and declined the offer.

Ok, so after the shock wore off that I had just spoken with the Mr. Gothard, I realized I should have disclosed that I was a blogger. I was too busy with activities on Thursday, so I called again on Friday. He didn’t answer and I didn’t leave a voice mail as I planned to try again a couple of hours later.  What do you know, within a short period of time, my phone rang and I saw this on my Caller ID:


Bill Gothard, Total Success Power Teams


I grabbed my notebook/pencil and answered the phone. Mr. Gothard asked for my husband (you know, the man of the house, and the name on the caller ID). I told him he was not available, but I was the same Mrs. Smith who had called two days earlier. This time, I made sure to identify that I was a blogger. I mentioned that I’d like to feature his new ministry on my blog.

His tone changed immediately – a 180 degree change from our earlier conversation (you can come to your own conclusions about that tone change). He quickly corrected me and said it was not a ministry and denied being responsible for it, saying a group of people were working on this “program.”

He then told me that it would not be a good idea to report on the program.  I asked why not. This is where it got interesting.

Let’s think back – on Wednesday, I spoke with a man who was pumped up telling me about a new program/ministry. He was excited to share details about it, the growth it was experiencing, and the excitement men were sharing with him. He ended the conversation by saying he hoped to hear from my husband soon to get him signed up (before he left for church at 6:30 pm).

What had happened in less than 48 hours?  Something must have happened between Wednesday and Friday. Now the new story on Friday was this: numbers were not as good as he had hoped, they were going to have to rework things, and he said it wasn’t public. I challenged him on that by saying that he had already sent out e-mails to ATI families, so it was indeed “out there.”  He insisted that it would not be a good idea for me to report on this “program” until he had an opportunity to first announce it himself.

This phone call was a bit tense. But I had questions to ask, and interestingly, he readily responded to them.

I asked if he had reached out to the young ladies who had come forward with grievances against him:

He said he has attempted to and would love to have anyone offended contact him so he could have the opportunity to make things right.

I asked if this accountability ministry was based on fallout from last year’s allegations:

He responded that this indeed was “part of my reconciliation.”  He also said that this program is also to reinforce what “we’ve been trying to do all these years.”  He mentioned that this is God’s calling on his life – to encourage people to meditate on scripture.

Going Public

People who have been affected by Bill Gothard have the right to know about this new ministry program. People who have been harmed by this man who has “allegedly” emotionally, spiritually, and sexually harmed people have a right to know that Bill Gothard is back to the same old stuff, promoting his own works, calling it God’s works, saying we need this to have successful lives.  This is hogwash. God certainly does not need to bring a “success” program through a man who has left a lot of hurting families in his wake.

Thirty-four days have passed since the initial e-mail was sent out to ATI families. Sixteen days have passed since I last spoke to Gothard in which he said he wanted to post something about it first. He has had sufficient time to make this public.  At this point, as days go on, I cannot be certain if he has ever had the intention of going “public,” as he suggested. Additionally, the news is now public on the internet. When I first got the information, there was nothing I could find online. Now there is talk about it in the comments at the Recovering Grace site by people who have received the same e-mail. It is public.

Ironically, while Gothard is pushing this new ministry/program for accountability, who is holding HIM accountable?  Who gave him the green light to be involved/launch this new program? Who decided that he has shown repentance, shown over time, that he has not fallen back in his old ways of that he describes in his own statement of repentance from months ago?

For many years I have been building the Institute but losing my first love for the Lord. God warns “I know thy works, and thy labour . . . Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent. . . ”(Revelation 2:2, 4, 5). I was finding value and affirmation from the accomplishments of the ministry and those involved in it instead of filling this void in my life with God and His love. I have repented in deep sorrow. However, over the years many people have been offended in different ways because of my lack of genuine love.


228 comments on “Bill Gothard’s New Program/Ministry: Total Success Power Teams

  1. Alfred, I hope that the IBLP now at least understands that locking staff and volunteers in a room without food for rules violations is a felony. They are not going to get away with that these days.


  2. I am going to take a stab at Celeste’s question from WAY UP THERE;

    Is he really as untouchable as he appears to be? Is it his daring, or his posture, or that Men of the cloth have special clout? I don’t understand.

    Do people that connect with him not care that he has nearly destroyed lives, do they have consciences? I don’t understand.

    A bunch of factors, starting with no bishops to excommunicate, going on to a perception of weak evidence and a LOT of itinerant teachers. It’s therefore hard to clamp down on the bad apples.

    What you can do to help; make the case as airtight as possible and as public as necessary. We remember Alexander the coppersmith and Diotrophes because they were rebuked by Paul and John, no? Get the evidence beyond blogs and into mainstream publications and into legal documents. It’s harder to ignore that way. Send the evidence to your church’s leadership and your church association/convention/synod leadership if you think appropriate.

    And if the evidence is pretty airtight–you’ve got the CT/Sun-Times articles, 30 affidavits filed, ministry dismissal–and your church ignores it and wants to use Gothard’s (or whoever’s) work, don’t be afraid to leave. Church leadership responds to empty pews and collection plates.


  3. Bubba,

    I’m not sure if you saw the news that Mark Driscoll resigned from Mars Hill. Many people from inside and outside were calling him out and yet look at this part of his statement:

    “I want to thank you for assuring Grace and me that last Saturday that I had not disqualified myself from ministry.”

    Unreal!! So, even doing what you suggest is not foolproof.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Julie Anne: Although I pretty much hate modernity, I have to say that blogs and other independent sources of news are a big help to folks who just 15 or 20 years ago would have had no way to let the world around them know what is happening.
    This particular story is investigative journalism, which seems to be rare these days. You went to the trouble to call the subject of the story and interview him. I think that is impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. JulieAnne; agreed 100% that it is not foolproof. You can lead a horse to water, right? This is why sometimes you just have to leave. I just did a month back regarding another popular teacher’s work being used at my former church. Hard, but sometimes necessary.

    And regarding Driscoll, I would have hoped that his history of bullying, vulgarity, shock tactics, deception, association with non-Trinitarian prosperity theologians (T.D. Jakes), and some iffy theology (e.g. wives must give oral sex to husbands, etc..) would have made the conclusion you recommend. The irony is that the reason he gave for leaving is that he was being threatened–he noted it was no longer safe to serve where he was.

    I don’t condone threats, and if true, I hope those responsible are punished, but there is some poetic justice to the matter. The sad thing is that the nine elders who called for his resignation were also pretty much forced out. Shooting the messenger, I guess.


  6. Cindy K,

    to Alfred: “Do you share Gothard’s false doctrine on grace?”

    Would you mind sharing what Gothard has taught about grace?

    Thank you,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cellestebella,

    Here is one of many posts about Gothard, but this one is more recent.

    Essentially, Gothard says that because God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble, we can essentially earn grace through good works which translates into spiritual power. You get grace points that you can bank up for power. (That may be why he thinks that he was brought under scrutiny for sexual harassment. It wasn’t his sin but the fact that he wasn’t humble enough and didn’t bank up enough of God’s blessing.)

    This ties into his submission doctrine because resisting any authority is exiting God’s protection. It is a show of pride and removes God’s blessing from your life. Women are told to submit to domestic abuse because submission is a mystical power that changes people — and tolerating abuse will convert their husband from his state of abuse. It’s all part of the formula. Suffering is a means of earning grace points through humility.

    I actually have a whole list of things I’ve written about Gothard here, several of which address his doctrines about grace. I have them categorized by topic:

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Celestebella,

    I’m sorry that you “froze,” but I hope that the info helps you thaw out. Manipulation and control have the same basic elements whether they are used on groups of people or just with one person. The subtitle for one of the best books for dealing with practical problems after you get out of a group is “recovery from cults and abusive relationships.” And much of what is suffered by true believer followers of these groups is very much like battered person syndrome. You love and invest so much, it’s hard to call what you experience abuse, and it’s even harder to walk away.

    It sounds as though you are out of that abusive marriage and on your way to greater and greater wholeness.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Midwest Christian Outreach Inc. Blog — Bill Gothard; Déjà vu All Over Again

  10. Total Success Power Team hits Don Veinot’s radar, and Alfred isn’t listed in his post. Julie Anne is. 🙂

    >>>More recently accusations of sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual conduct have been made by well over 30 women most of which are posted on the Recovering Grace website . On March 5, 2014 Bill Gothard again resigned from what is now known as the Institute in Basic Life Principles. Julie Anne in her blog Bill Gothard launches new accountability ministry/program: Total Success Power Teams gives a time line of these recent events including his reason for resigning as:

    …that he wanted to follow Matthew 5:23-24 and listen to those who have “ought [sic] against” him.<<<


  11. Moderator note: Please take all of Alfred’s comments with a grain of salt. He is a Gothard friend and sympathizer. He is not an IBLP spokesman nor Gothard spokesman.

    Alfred isn’t interested in being on anyone’s radar, thank you🙂 I have no formal role . . . anywhere. I am not on staff at IBLP, and I do not speak for Bill. I am his friend, grateful for all he has done for me and the kingdom of God over many years. I wield a “muckraking shovel” from time to time as you do, Julie, since a great deal of what is published about Bill is, well, baloney. The parts that are real is of utmost concern to me as I seek to help him address those things as I am able.

    I think the general idea he has on “meditation” and “prayer” is super great . . . whether he should proceed with that now while things remain in play is another issue. From some degree of involvement I do know that for some “reconciliation” is a fancy term for doing as much damage to him as possible. Because other agendas remain that have nothing to do with seeking to correct a brother or be reconciled to him. Which reminds me of the verse that says “As much as lieth within you . . . ” when referring to coming to peace with grieved brothers and sisters in Christ. There comes a point where I hardly know what to suggest.

    As far as Grace is concerned, I think Bill has it right. The longer I live the more convinced I am of that. I find that those with the greatest problem with his teaching are either Calvinists – who believe God arbitrarily gives grace to some and withholds from others – or Universalists, who believe everybody gets it . . . and will be saved, no matter what they have done. Both positions are heresy.

    I have so little time . . . so forgive me if I don’t respond to every comment. I . . . just . . . can’t.


  12. Acorduan, if Cindy’s explanation of Gothard’s doctrine of “grace” is accurate, and you agree with it, get thee to Ephesians 2:8-10–not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Sorry. Grace is God’s work, not ours, and if we try to add to it by our works, we are confusing justification with sanctification and falling on the wrong side of the Council of Trent.

    And the allegations against Gothard are not “baloney”. They are affidavits filed by 30 individuals or more that convinced the board of IBLP that Gothard was no longer suitable for ministry. I am not familiar enough with the allegations to comment on whether they’re criminal in nature or not–though failure to pay people for hours worked certainly is criminal–but I can say that they are definitely sufficient to disqualify Gothard from ministry.

    I have to wonder if Gothard’s new foray into this has something to do with IBLP’s financial collapse over the past decade or so. If he somehow forewent Social Security in his career, he could be in heap big trouble, financially speaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Alfred:

    I’m looking through your comment to see if you answered my specific questions (bolded):

    when you found out about this program, did you encourage Gothard to continue with it? Did you endorse it? What was your response?</b?

    Is this your response? Because if so, you are beating around the bush:

    I think the general idea he has on “meditation” and “prayer” is super great . . . whether he should proceed with that now while things remain in play is another issue.

    Do you believe Gothard has sufficiently repented? Do you think he has reached out to all of the victims? Charlotte (earlier comment) said he’s only reached out to one person.>b/>

    Is this your response to my bolded question above?

    From some degree of involvement I do know that for some “reconciliation” is a fancy term for doing as much damage to him as possible. Because other agendas remain that have nothing to do with seeking to correct a brother or be reconciled to him. Which reminds me of the verse that says “As much as lieth within you . . . ” when referring to coming to peace with grieved brothers and sisters in Christ. There comes a point where I hardly know what to suggest.

    My response: Unbelievable. Un-freaking-believable.


    Ok, on to your new material:

    I am not on staff at IBLP, and I do not speak for Bill. I am his friend, grateful for all he has done for me and the kingdom of God over many years. I wield a “muckraking shovel” from time to time as you do, Julie, since a great deal of what is published about Bill is, well, baloney.

    I think a more appropriate question should be how many people has he and his teaching harmed? The Bible talks about 2 witnesses when someone is in sin. There are far more than two and you seem to ignore them. You will be held responsible for defending a false teacher, Alfred. Think about that.

    Secondly, while you say you do not speak for Bill and you are not staff, your comments came across that you were an insider and had insider information – you said son is on staff and you are close personal friend with Bill and so you used those relationships to be in the know and speak with authority about situations. A true friend and father would never, ever, put himself out there in the public sphere to fill the public in on what you know as an insider. Not appropriate whatsoever.

    The business about people who don’t like Gothard are Calvinists is laughable. Didn’t Doug Phillips also like Gothard? Pretty sure he did.

    Ok, as blog owner, I’m going to call the shots here. Your comments are annoying me. You have not answered questions directly. You are minimizing real abuse. You are minimizing false teachings. You have put yourself here on my blog as someone in the “inner circle of Bill/IBLP. Don’t do that anymore. In fact, I think I’m going to add a disclaimer to all of your previous comments so people won’t give you unwarranted credibility.

    This place is for survivors of abuse in church/church groups. IBLP and Gothard himself has admitted to some degree of harm done, obviously, so for you to sing his praises is just not appropriate.

    Oh, and this business about: “I have so little time . . . so forgive me if I don’t respond to every comment. I . . . just . . . can’t.”

    Don’t make me laugh. I’ve seen how you comment on RG. You comment when you can get away with commenting to your heart’s content. You won’t be able to do that here. So either run along, or play by my rules. ~Julie Anne

    Liked by 2 people

  14. JA,

    “Ok, as blow owner, I’m going to call the shots here.”

    I think you meant to say “blog owner?”

    JA note: HHAHAHAHAHA – what a funny typo. Totally LOLed in my quiet house. Probably scared the cats. Thanks for catching that – I fixed it. 🙂


  15. Gothard is nothing more than a narcissistic, unrepentant sexual deviate in a suit. The fact that his former org doesn’t censor him makes me sick. Where does the purification process begin if the institute is spineless?


  16. Hi Cindy K
    I had feared “getting out from under the umbrella” (my marriage) for a long time. I thought God would punish me, not take care of me, or squish me like a bug!

    I’m actually still with him, but now my thinking is changing and since past behavior is indicative of future behavior leaving seems the only sane thing to do.

    Thank you for the book recommendation.


  17. “JA note: HHAHAHAHAHA – what a funny typo. Totally LOLed in my quiet house. Probably scared the cats. Thanks for catching that – I fixed it. ”

    My kids kept asking me what was so funny. “Ummm. Nothing.”

    You are always so gracious to correct the typos in your readers’ comments when we notice them. Thank you for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I am sincerely sorry to have irritated you, Julie. I haven’t commented anywhere for some time . . . and this, apparently, was a mistake. Feel free to expunge me.


  19. Alfred, the mistake is coming to a blog presenting yourself as an insider, defending a known offender, minimizing harm done, not directly asking questions and then giving an excuse that you don’t have time to answer questions, yet you keep coming around.

    If you are willing to answer questions directly, that would be a good start.


  20. I did not misrepresent myself. I have met with Bill on several occasions, and he did present his program to me. I thought it was useful to add what I know to the dialog, that IBLP is completely uninvolved and not even friendly to the new program. So . . . that was probably enough. I completely misread you – should not have stuck my neck out. Again, my apologies.


  21. I did not misrepresent myself. I have met with Bill on several occasions, and he did present his program to me. I thought it was useful to add what I know to the dialog, that IBLP is completely uninvolved and not even friendly to the new program. So . . . that was probably enough. I completely misread you – should not have stuck my neck out. Again, my apologies.

    So how about answering these questions directly:

    What did you say to him when he presented the program to you?

    Did you tell BG this program was not appropriate considering his moral failures? Did you encourage him to stop it? Did you alert IBLP that he was working on it?

    I’m ignoring the “woe is me” mantra. It’s just not helpful to the conversation.


  22. Alfred,

    It sounds to me like you are deflecting. The problem here isn’t about Julie Anne’s alleged “irritation.” Maybe you are projecting your own irritation on to her? Maybe you are offended that people here have called you out? I believe you may be “sincerely sorry” that people asked you questions that you are unwilling to answer.

    And now this: “I completely misread you – should not have stuck my neck out. Again, my apologies.”

    Stuck your neck out for whom, exactly? For the young women who Gothard sexually abused?


  23. JA,

    Alfred comes across as moderate but insufferably glib; it’s obvious he’s not interested in engaging in a dialog in which he will be held responsible for what he says or have to answer a single question put to him that does not further his agenda. Appears to be no part of his makeup. This should surprise absolutely no one who knows about those with whom he associates.


  24. Alfred is certainly true to form here. He consistently displays at least one hallmark of an abusive personality himself: refusal to answer questions directly and with integrity, while attempting to spin, change the subject, and put those who are trying to pin him down on the defensive.

    It’s just so pathetic at this point – and utterly, tediously predictable. Or maybe just pitiful. What a sad, miserable man.


  25. I might have missed it but just to be sure, I wanted to include here Gothard’s definition of grace. Several have asked and commented on it. Here it is: “the desire and power to do God’s will”. Am I misinterpreting this – it sounds like it’s something I DO.

    And just to be clear–Alfred doesn’t know me from Adam and so I’m not sure why he said “Eva, I love you.”


  26. I am trying to disappear, but it is not working🙂 Eva: you and I have a long track record over on “Recovering Grace”, right? Unless I misfired on that.

    As far as “Grace” is concerned, that is correct . . . grace is “desire (motivation) and power (ability)”. It is so in the Lord, as He has the motivation and ability to help us . . . and Jesus was full of grace as He desired to save us and came to do it. That is ALSO what God does in us, to enable us to, first of all, trust Him, be saved, and then to live the Christian life. All those things are unnatural to us, hence that “desire and power” comes directly from God. The best expression of that is in a verse that has no reference to the word “grace”:

    “12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil 2)

    Honestly, I don’t mind answering your questions, Julie, but I hate the notion of being vilified . . . where you don’t even know me. If it is possible for me to have my opinions and not expect to be savaged here, I will happily engage your questions. Up to a point. This appears not to be a “safe place” for me. Which may be fine for you – and I am bracing myself for the jeers to follow . . . but could explain to you why I am not all that interested in continuing.


  27. Well Alfred, the jeers are deserved when one spins and incessantly plays games.

    Why don’t you just answer JA’s questions point by point, calling them out #1, #2, #3? That is so simple.

    And when you deem this “not a safe place”, what are you concerned about? Is someone going to reach through the world wide web and physically grab you (such as Gothard has done to various and sundry young ladies…remember, this has more-or-less been admitted, otherwise the discipline he’s under is a travesty)? No, of course not.

    JA did not ask unfair or rude questions. Just answer them like a normal human being, then perhaps we will see that you are not at all a sociopath but just a reasonable person who’s hemming and hawing out of loyalty to a friend.


  28. “I am trying to disappear, but it is not working”

    How dreadful it must feel to be forced to read and comment here.

    “Honestly, I don’t mind answering your questions, Julie [Anne]” (I corrected the name for you, Alfred.)

    How lovely. We’re all ears. Or, rather, eyes, to be more precise.


  29. BTDT – What’s very cool about having an ongoing community is seeing people who once who lived in fear because of having been involved in cults or spiritually abusive churches, now present themselves as confident and willing to challenge when they see something as off. It’s very exciting to see that growth in you. I frequently say “woohoo” when I read your comments 🙂 So cool!


  30. Why did Alfred Corduran change his name to acorduran? Even if we’ve had “discussions” on RG, that doesn’t mean you know me at all. Just so you all know, I’m old enough to be his mother. That’s a scary thought.


  31. Eva, I don’t know what’s going on, but most of his posts, I have had to approve (this may be a WordPress glitch). Some of them have come in as “acorduan” and I have changed them to “Alfred Corduan” the way he initially posted, just for consistency. I see that I missed that one. I’ll change it now. Thanks!


  32. Alfred, here is the situation as I see it. Gothard is a sexual predator who preyed on young girls of a certain physical type. It does not matter that he didn’t rape them or see them naked or any of the defenses you and he have given. He still used them and frightened them. When they stood up to them he vilified them and even had some of them locked up and deprived of food, a serious felony. The evidence is overwhelming. Many girls have come forward and there are corroborative witnesses. Any one can see that he chose to surround himself with girls of a certain physical type instead of qualified people to do the needed work.

    He is a sick and twisted man and his theology and instructions are sick and twisted too.

    I know it and you know it. You are having trouble reconciling how much of your life and your family life has been consumed with this man with what you now know. If you could dismiss the evidence (everyone is lying or misunderstanding), you would do it and stop engaging with the rest of us. But you can’t because you are troubled.

    Gothard is 80 years old. He has wasted his life and learned nothing. Do you want to end up like that? Look, we all make mistakes, we all go down side paths from time to time. Don’t let your connection to Gothard define your life! Read the Bible for yourself. Study it. I think you will find it liberating. Follow Jesus, not man!


  33. Alfred,

    Could you please explain how Gothard teaches that we obtain the grace that God gives us. I agree that it is God that gives each man the measure of grace that he has as His sovereign act — Paul said this clearly in the Word.

    Before I ever heard of Don Veinot or his organization MCO, I found Gothard’s teaching disturbing. In Scripture and per the grammatical historical hermeneutic which concerns how the word “grace” was understood when it was used in the New Testament, grace means nothing more than “unmerited favor.” That definition or meaning did not change when Paul used it, and that is the supported opinion from the world of counter-cult apologists.

    Though Gothard would agree that God first offers us unmerited favor when we place our faith in Him for the first time, Gothard teaches that for the ongoing process of sanctification, one must demonstrate the attitude of humility and servitude to merit grace as a Believer. This is how God continues to “give grace to the humble.” A “work of humlity,” if you will, in Gothard’s estimation comes about by submission to authority through a very rigid chain of command. You’re not permitted to sin, but one must submit to parents/circumstances/abuse/servitude/someone else’s “vision” to bank up the reward of grace to have power for living the Christian life. He demonstrates this understanding directly in what he told Julie Anne:

    >>>The reason that God’s favor and blessing left Gothard came about because he failed to meditate on the Word to a great enough of a degree.<<<

    For people outside of Gothard's influence and informal logical fallacy bombardment, the kerygma of what he's teaching means that man is responsible for his own standing with God through works of submission. Submission is pitted against critical thinking/discernment and is given higher significance — as some kind of magic key to obtain more power (to serve God). This is nothing more than salvation by works. The first dispensing of grace is free — then it must be sought out through humility and humiliation in many cases. This does little more than create a sense of moral disengagement which destroys discernment and creates the illusion that the buck for responsibility for one's actions gets passed on to one's authority.

    This is not faith, Alfred. This describes nothing more than salvation by works which begins the moment after one accepts Christ and a mystical type of freewillism.


  34. Dear Alfred,

    I can see plainly that you’re facing a number of questions (mostly from Julie Anne) and comments. I appreciate that it can be daunting for new readers on SSB’s comment threads. But I’d like to give you a few things to think about.

    You say that this blog is “not a safe place” for you. Well, it’s not primarily meant for you. Julie Anne runs this site to be a safe place for victims of abuse, especially spiritual abuse. And you’re not a victim, at least not in the sense of Charlotte and many other women. I do fear that you’ve been groomed by Bill Gothard, both personally and through your family, not to be abused but to support him. It pains me to think that he might be using you this way. At the same time, you seem very reluctant to acknowledge, despite the evidence and testimonies, that Gothard is an abuser. While I sympathize with your discomfort, you have to realize that anyone who defends or apologizes for abusive leaders is going to have a tough time here.

    You also said (quite a few comments ago) that you had “misread” Julie Anne. That makes me wonder what exactly you were expecting when you first spoke up on this thread. Yes, JA is a Christian woman, and a homeschooling mom. She has also suffered spiritual abuse first hand, and admitted to thinking long and hard about her experiences. I imagine that she is very alert to the warning signs of abusive behaviour, as are many of the readers here. If they notice any red flags in your words or attitude, they will call you out on it.

    If you continue to defend your friend, you cannot expect to be treated with kid gloves. However, if you give straight answers and engage in dialogue honestly, you can at least hope for things to go a little easier for you. Please consider that, brother.


  35. Marsha,

    I agree with you and am reminded of what Walter Martin used to say. As Christians, it’s not just enough to have sound doctrine. One must also produce good fruit. He said that we need the fruit of “the life lived and the doctrine taught.” Gothard has regularly failed on both accounts, and he’s shown no humility in the company of Christians outside of His sphere of influence.

    Gothard teaches that one must submit to God’s hammer and chisel of authority which works to craft a person, transforming them from rock to faceted jewel. The crux of this process is submission to authority. Sadly, Gothard has resisted accountability among fellow Christians for whom he should present himself as a living epistle to be known and read of all men. He goes through the motions of pretense, claiming that he wants to be accountable, but he has bugged out several times, as I understand matters directly from Don Veinot. If submission and humility are so essential to the Christian life, then how is it that Gothard did not return to MCO to show himself accountable, especially after his recent resignation and scandal?

    All he’s managed to do has been to spin new fables out of his own old lies to which he himself cannot obtain, just like the Pharisees did.


  36. Let me add this to those who would say, “He’s just human and needs compassion.” I agree that this is the case, but God doesn’t forgive us if we don’t put our faith in Him and then repent of wrongdoing. I don’t get a free pass for being a good person or for doing some good works. Even if I live a “godly” life (as this is frequently used as a modifier for Gothard), I don’t get to circumvent justice. I must become justified in God’s sight through repentance before I am shown mercy. And as a teacher, he is held to a higher standard — not because he “keeps watch” for anyone’s soul but because he’s propagated misinformation about the meaning of Scripture, making God nothing more than the cosmic bellhop.


  37. Victoria, “So glad my parents were smart and spiritual enough to resist this man”

    I am one of those parents who according to you was neither smart nor spiritual enough, along with many thousands. There are 50 families in my town who were shining lights of how to raise big happy families, with obedient children who were busy serving the Lord and becoming accomplished in many areas. They were paraded at the annual convention in Knoxville. I was raise in an alcoholic home and had been taught to put on appearances and make everything look good. I married carefully wanting a godly home and children who would be mighty in Spirit. My young husband and I (we were 23!!) boarded a large bus with our church family and went to Detroit every night for 6 days and proudly claimed our life-time membership and RED notebook as a badge of honor in our church. The rest is history. I have begged forgiveness of my children for the decisions we made to join the IBLP/ATI cult. Financial crisis ended our home educating after 16 years so we dropped out with shame in 2005. My husband considers me a failure as a mother and wife, because I took our children to private schools and brokered deals to get full scholarships for them, then I returned to university to renew my certification (HI JA!!) after 25 years since college days. This was paid for by the state of OHIO so debt free education. Our marriage was then all but dead because I helped my daughters to get into universities (again with mega scholarships, because of their outstanding scores and talents). But I broke every Gothard rule for family and my husband then began to blame me for going against him and ruining our family. I have worked 3-5 part time jobs every year since then to try to gain the financial ground to make a future for my family.
    In January I was jolted into this pain again, when GOTHARD and PHILLIPS crisises rocked my world. We were deeply involved with Phillips ministry also throughout our home educating years. I know both of these men very well and was truly deceived, hoodwinked, brain washed, you name it.
    I wanted a Godly family that would break the chains of dysfunction in my family of origin.I wish I would have been smarter and more spiritual like your parents. So I will own your condemning words the rest of my life, along with the scars from raising my children in the ATI cult.


  38. Deb,

    You should be proud of yourself! You found a way out! High fives and {hugs} from me. I think it is great that you have put your kids through school. I keep encouraging my daughter to find something she loves and her dad and I will make it happen.

    I get the allure of Gothard and Vision Forum – those idyllic homes and situations portrayed in their materials, it’s hard not to want that.

    But, your daughters do know better, because you changed course. Good for you!


  39. Deb, please do not beat yourself up. You did the best you could with what you knew then. You must have done a great job with homeschooling for your kids to do so well with scholarships and it is wonderful that you made sure your daughters got a good education.

    None of us are perfect parents. Every one of us makes mistakes. It is important for our children to see us admitting to our mistakes and growing as people. If they knew they were loved and I bet they did, that counts for a lot.


  40. Alfred will walk the line just short of abusiveness, he is passionate but sincere, and can take a punch, even if he will systematically avoid answering direct questions. He will claim inside knowledge but not disclose it, or disclose what has been confided in secret, so it’s never a quite balanced conversation. I pray that he will recognize that this is not the place to throw punches, because this is a recovery room.

    I do believe it is healthy and beneficial for those here to defend their positions against such as Alfred. For, despite the runaround sometimes, such dialogue can refine your own views, and help define the views of all. No need for strawmen when you have a genuine opponent in the debate. But don’t let him make you crazy. He can have effect.

    Be patient if you can. I believe interacting with you, if you are able, may help Alfred understand the harm and understand the damage of both legalism and direct abuse, as hard as it is to face. He is not void of empathy. I do not mean to suggest that you do more than you are able. You have no obligation to tolerate the intolerable. I merely see those who stand becoming stronger through a challenge to explain and defend one’s position.

    I for one admire and applaud your stand. The above article is excellent investigative journalism and has provided to many families both important information and valuable insight that are unavailable elsewhere due to the absence of transparency inside the Gothard bubble. To those who think that all critical information about a fallen false teacher should be withheld from the church, I say tell it to the church. Shine the light of truth.


  41. “I wanted a Godly family that would break the chains of dysfunction in my family of origin.”

    Bravo to you, Deb! That’s not a bad thing to desire at all. I think that those of us who come from dysfunctional families (speaking of myself here) lacked the nurturing and guidance to discern what we were getting ourselves in to.

    I agree with Marsha saying,”You did the best you could with what you knew then.” One of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes is, “You did then what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.” I’m grateful that you and I know better now.


  42. I for one admire and applaud your stand. The above article is excellent investigative journalism and has provided to many families both important information and valuable insight that are unavailable elsewhere due to the absence of transparency inside the Gothard bubble. To those who think that all critical information about a fallen false teacher should be withheld from the church, I say tell it to the church. Shine the light of truth.

    Thank you, Don. The article took a while to put together, but it was done for the many “Debs” out there (and their families) who need to see that they are/were not going crazy. Some people who have been following Gothard for years have had something in their gut that tells them that something is off, but they can’t put their finger on it. This kind of discussion I think helps – especially from those who have been involved in the program first hand. I greatly appreciate their voices and know that sometimes it’s painful to stir up the uncomfortable feelings, but I think it is doing some good.


  43. Deb and others,

    I didn’t contribute to Gothard, save to attend the IBLP once, but I did give lots of money over the years to a church and a seminary that used his material and viewpoints extensively. We used to send money to both Sprouls. We supported Chalcedon, American Vision, and the Constitution Party. I gave these folks the money to be able to take their harmful ideas and requirements and helped them harm people, basically. I aided and abetted what they’ve done.

    We all get duped from time to time, and it’s the best people with the earnest hearts that get duped. Love hopes and believes all things, and loving people are loyal. But when we trust, we take risks, and if we are deceived or follow someone else who is deceived, we suffer. That is human, and whether people will admit it or not, it is a common human experience.

    Even Alfred is trying, showing loyalty to someone he loves and sticks by what he believes is true. But I pray that he will one day come to see that he’s also aiding and abetting terrible things that have had life-long, life-altering, sometimes life long debilitating effects on so many, particularly those who are raised under the legalism of Gothard and those like him.

    May God anoint the ears of those who truly love Him to receive and discern the truth so that they can hear it and receive it. God watches over His Word to perform it, and I always pray that it will be the undoing of people who follow the Gothards of the world. Jesus said that those who are of the truth hear Him. And He’s bringing us all together in the knowledge of the truth so that we might be in unity. May it be true, and amen.


  44. What an amazing personal journey, Cindy. And look how God has used you to free so many people from emotional and spiritual chains by your ministry work over the years. You’ve taught me so much. Thank you, friend.


  45. That’s very kind of you to say, friend. 🙂 […despite the rumors to the contrary. ;)]

    My goal is to be much less heretical when I leave this life than I was when I embarked on it. I was once in the cult of striving. Then, I fell upon the Rock and was broken, and I’m sure that I have some falls ahead. I pray that the Rock that Rolled my Blues Away doesn’t fall on me one day.


  46. Cindy K,
    A simple thot popped up just now as I read your 9:30 pm. The easiest way to give something up is to replace it with something else. Perhaps BG followers don’t walk away from his teachings because they don’t believe there is anything true to replace it with. They fear they would be left standing naked and believe there are no other clothes available to put on. BG has clothed them with half truths for years and years, a very complicated form of brainwashing. Then they reinforced it, by reteaching it to those who mean the most to them; their children. And so now there are multiple generations who are skeptical of any one who would suggest giving all that up.

    I am speaking of members in my own family. As I have carefully suggested that they take a look at RC website or drop other bits of info, their reply is the one BG taught them to reply with, ‘his teaching is scriptural’. From the 70’s and on, he has encouraged his cult followers they they do not have to defend their ‘position’ with any one. They simply say that BG is teaching scripture.

    They believe, genuinely that real truth is the lie. BG stands with Hitler.

    And they live as tho’ the opposite of following BG is certain death to their soul. They are going to their graves, literally, defending BG.


  47. I put two books in my Amazon shopping cart that I’ve meant to purchase for a while now. I believe Cindy K has recommended both of them on SSB before. One is “Take Back Your Life” by Janja Lalich, and the other is “Trauma and Recovery” by Judith Herman. I read one of the reviews on Herman’s book that showed me why blogs like SSB and the community here can be so helpful in the process of enabling victims in recovery.

    The reviewer quotes Herman: “It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering.”

    The reviewer goes on to write: “I would guess that most people recovering from trauma have experienced the dynamic of those around them “taking the side of the perpetrator.” Without understanding why they are doing so only compounds the suffering the survivor experiences, and intensifies the feeling that one is tainted, bad, or defective for having been traumatized in the first place. In exploring the cultural dynamics of collective repression and denial, Herman does a great service to those who must heal and re-enter a culture which can sometimes be seen to be in league with the perpetrators in our world.”

    I believe that’s why the articles and comments at SSB can play a vital role in the process of healing from abuse. Here we are validated. Here someone “share[s] the burden of [our] pain.”


  48. I think our defender friend here has not been personally exposed to someone who has experienced the kind of abuse perpetuated by the likes of Gothard. Its very easy to ignore stories while sitting at a desk. I too was not abused by Gothard or his teachings. But my heart breaks for the many victims, both the woman he sexually abused and the many many families who were harmed by his false teachings. As I have revealed here and there, my husband was and continues to be emotionally and financially abused by his ex-wife. Those wounds are very deep and may not be healed this side of heaven. As someone who loves this incredible man, my job is not to tell him why he is wrong or justify the abuser’s many actions that may have been done in the disguise of love. My job is to support him, to hold his hand, to ask questions, to comfort, to encourage, and to love. Those jobs apply to all of us who choose to love those we encounter in life who have suffered abuse of any kind.

    Mr. Corduan, my husband, a big strong man, still cries out in his sleep as he suffers nightmares from his abuse. Take heed of the stories you are hearing from the victims of Mr. Gothard and remember that you do not know all of their pain. You aren’t there when their soul cries out for any sort of mercy, for someone to hear their story and to believe them. Show compassion and tell them that they are valued, that you see their wounds and that you cry with them. Compassion means “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” Your admiration and respect for Mr. Gothard cannot supersede this need for compassion towards those who have been hurt by him.


  49. Does anyone remember Gothard telling seminar attendees to write a statement in the syllabus; it was to the effect of never showing any non-attendee the contents in the syllabus, because they may mock it and bring accusations against the ministry???


  50. Vaguely, yes, after Ann mentioned it. I never attended, but family members did as did my pastor at that time. That Red Notebook was a status symbol, the second Bible. As I think of it, I wonder if I did attend once and never went back. I think I must have, since I do have real pictures in my mind. I think I must have had a red notebook because of the umbrella, etc. Hum…. Those early 70’s involved college, engagement, father dying of a brain tumor, marriage, ongoing college.

    This return of memory just now is a little upsetting. I wonder if BG’s influence on my pastor’s teachings and perhaps my little bit of teaching by BG, possibly, helped influence my choice to agree to a poor choice of engagement and marriage. It would have been significant in pre- marital counseling. Also, those Sunday evening church sermons, maybe not so much in the AM services. That’s all for right now. Ugh.


  51. Celeste,

    You wrote, The easiest way to give something up is to replace it with something else.

    This is actually a huge component of “change theory” and related psychology. Jesus said that about the house being cleansed but seven more come in to occupy if the house is left empty.

    I call it “switching drugs of choice” or cults of choice. You’re spot on.


  52. My parents, brother and I attended many of Bill Gothard’s seminars in the 80’s. His teachings on the “chain of authority” were used by my dad to further justify his abusive behavior. My parents were volunteers, so I had the chance to meet Bill in the flesh. I’d say I was around 14 or so (just a guess). He walked around the room where the volunteers were gathered like he was a movie star. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of fear when I met him. Looking in his eyes frightened me and I walked away. In his eyes, I was one step above the dog in my family hierarchy.

    Furthermore, I wanted to laugh when he talked about any music with a beat being from Satan. Really? Then again, backward masking was all the rage back then. I can still remember the feeling of horror when my parents found Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty albums in my room. To my dismay, they were promptly thrown away in the trash bin. I’ll never forgive Bill for that… just kidding. Really.


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  55. I am a survivor of Gothard’s cult. I experienced unspeakable physical, sexual, and emotional abuse from my mother and father, who were at one point among Gothard’s “model parents.” Gothard is not human. Gothard does not deserve compassion. Gothard is not a man, and he does not have the slightest shred of decency or humanity within him. Bill Gothard is a monster in human form, and as far as I am concerned, he can’t die soon enough.


  56. I am a survivor of Gothard’s cult. I experienced unspeakable physical, sexual, and emotional abuse from my mother and father, who were at one point among Gothard’s “model parents.”

    Welcome to the blog. I am so sorry to hear of the pain you have endured as a result of Gothard’s very bad teachings. How are you doing now? I wish you grace and peace.


  57. Julie Anne and Marsha, thanks for the replies. I’m doing as well as can be expected. I have PTSD as a result of my experiences with my family and with Gothard, which makes my life very difficult. I hold my parents primarily to blame for what went on under our roof, but as I research the IBLP and ATI aftermath, I’m beginning to wonder if my injuries do not belong solely and entirely on Gothard’s doorstep. My parents were victims as well, after all.

    My mother fell prey to Gothard’s teachings as a result of her own trauma; she was sexually abused by her alcoholic father as a teenager in the 50’s/60’s, and her experience with IBYC in the 70’s was part of her seeking help and resolution for her own pain. My father went along with all of it out of love for my mother, which made the results a thousand times more unspeakable. Our family’s horror story with Gothard was a long downward spiral that lasted nearly 25 years, culminating in my parents divorce, which was the best thing for all of us.

    To those who defend Gothard, I say this: You are liars and cowards. You are legalistic, petty, unfeeling, remorseless sadists, and you do not love. You don’t know the love of God, the love of man, or even the most basic love of self. You are perpetrators of hatred and abuse, and I do not pray for you and I do not have compassion for you. My own connection to God has gone dark for over 20 years, so I do not claim to be a Christian. I can only say that I would rather spend an eternity in hell than 5 more minutes with your version of “God.”

    IBLP is the very embodiment of evil, as is Bill Gothard himself. I believe the man is clearly insane. He deserves no defense of any kind.


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  59. I couldn’t get your comments out of my head and felt they needed a wider audience rather than this old comment from Oct 2014, so I copied them into a new article. I think others will likely find your comments and relate with them. My readers will likely respond to the new article and I hope you are able to interact with them. You are valued and welcome here. ~Julie Anne

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  60. Pingback: Man Shares Personal Testimony of How Bill Gothard Used Bible Verses Which Led to the Abuse of Children | Spiritual Sounding Board

  61. Pingback: Man Shares Personal Testimony of How Bill Gothard Used Bible Verses Which Led to the Abuse of Children | Homeschoolers Anonymous

  62. To hell with gothard and his teachings. He has ruined my life. Almost 25 years old, never had a relationship with a girl. His teachings of “having desires for the opposite sex are sinfull and satanic” ( his very words to me at the journey to the heart program) had left so much guilt and shame I some how managed to turn off any natural drive for procreation, and relationships…….at 16! To this day I am that way. I knew from day one of my parents involment in iblp that something was cultish about it then at the first conference my suspicions were confirmed. Life was hell growing up under gothards “reign”. Everything from how many buttons were on my shirt to what my future career would be was dictated by ” what gothard says is holy”. The list goes on and on and on. He and his teachings have ruined my life in ways too many to list here. What I will say though is since I’ve turned 18 and rejected iblp’s bs, both my parents and myself have received letters of “excommunication” from “friends”. I tell them well I guess getting rid of you was easier then I thought.


  63. Great post about bill. Never saw his line about dyslexia. Worked for him during the late 70’s. Left in the mass exodus. Always wondered if he was dysletic. Too many things never added up. This makes everything I know about the man make sense. Between his family and his disability he is still suffering from emotional trauma he endured as a child. That’s why he changed when he realized you were not interested in his program. You represented a threat to his sense of self. He is like a alcoholic and alcohol. He can never get enough validation because he never received any as a child.


  64. Pingback: Spiritual Sounding Board: The Legacy That a Defamation Lawsuit Left to the Survivor Community | Spiritual Sounding Board

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