Man Shares Personal Testimony of How Bill Gothard Used Bible Verses Which Led to the Abuse of Children

Personal Story of Abuse following the teachings of Bill Gothard, ATI, IBLP

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Last month, “Dash” commented on an older SSB article, Bill Gothard’s New Program/Ministry: Total Success Power Teams. He used some strong words to describe his experience:

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.

In the comments, Dash was asked to share more, and did so with me privately. I have compiled them into this article (and at least one more article). Dash’s words were difficult for me to read, especially because of my own abusive childhood, but also because of many years of teachings I was subjected to as a parent, including Gothard’s materials, so I am going to issue trigger warnings for anyone who might be triggered by childhood abuse, by spiritual abuse, etc.

Responses to Lawsuit Filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries

Dash Explains Why He is Telling His Story Now

I have chosen to share my story with you because I’m 44 years old and it’s time for me to start talking, to anyone who cares enough to listen. I’ve already lost more than half my time to Gothard, and I want my life back. He’s 80 years old and I believe he is still damaging people in alarming ways, and he is leaving behind a deeply rooted, vile and secretively violent institution that seems to be poised to grind forth in his absence and continue churning out his awful work upon the next generation. I want to put a stop to IBLP, and I want to end Gothard’s legacy as utterly as possible. Everything he has ever written, touched, or talked about is poisoned and poisonous, and it must be destroyed.

Specifically, I’d like to talk about those aspects of Gothard’s teachings which were protocols for physical abuse: examples include blanket training, beating children with rods, and the sheer exasperation of parents whose children failed the rules of the program which would result in explosions of rage and indiscriminate hitting. In particular, Gothard’s distortions of the following verse were extremely detrimental:

Proverbs 23:13- Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

Gothard devoted a great deal of written material, both IBLP and ATI, to using this verse as a premise for encouraging brutal beatings, albeit using roundabout phrasing and “soft” language which absolved him legally of any actual responsibility. At least, that’s how my parents interpreted it.

Part of my frustration in confronting Gothard stems from the fact that my family threw out a lot of Gothard’s most offensive ATI literature, some of which included blatantly racist arguments encouraging white followers to apply the “Quiverfull” practice, and to avoid miscegenation (in addition to the pamphlets encouraging beatings). So I can’t document a lot of these anecdotes. The basic literature quoting Proverbs 23:13, however, is part of the Red Book I believe; so it begins there.

“Spanking” vs Beatings

Also, I would like to be very clear about this point: “spanking” was not what we experienced in my family. These were actual beatings, ranging anywhere from five minutes to an hour or more. The beatings were delivered to the buttocks, thighs, and lower back, and sometimes the hands, fingers, and forearms (defensive injuries), in response to any perceived slight, offense, or rules violation.

Depending on the severity of the of the punishment, anything from a wooden spoon to a 3/4″x2′ dowel rod was used. My parents actually had an array of dowel rods to choose from (at least a dozen) ranging from a thin one about 1/8″ thick to the 3/4″ terror previously described. Occasionally my dad would use his belt, a heavy leather belt with a weighty brass buckle. Not often, though, because the belt would leave visible bruises.

My sister and I would go to school with huge black and purple welts across our buttocks, carefully placed so that they were covered by our clothes, and we would sit at our desks in excruciating pain with tears streaming silently down our faces. This was during our initial participation in ATI, but before we enrolled full-bore in home-schooling.

My parents were very clear that these practices were part of our Gothard instruction.

On the few occasions when I met Gothard in person, he actually stated that he believed spanking made children healthier and more successful. He would then quote the proverb about beating. He was very good about mincing words in order to evade responsibility.

If you have questions at this point, it would help the dialogue. I’m happy to type everything I can think of, but I get so bogged-down and blinded with rage that it becomes difficult to think clearly. Answering questions is very focusing for me.

(JA note:  On the next post, I have asked Dash specific questions and he responds to those questions.

I’m not interested in confronting Gothard on Christian terms, in accordance with church protocols. He forfeited that privilege decades ago. I want worldly justice. I want a genuine reckoning from the man. I want to burn his entire legacy to the ground, and stand amid the ashes and say to the world, “This was a man who ruined thousands upon thousands of lives. Nothing to see here. Please move along.”

The greatest and most dangerous fallacy that I keep hearing from Gothard apologists is the argument “Gothard my be imperfect, but his teachings are still right.” No, no and no. This is a lie: an ugly, flat-out foul and evil lie, intended to continue perpetuating Gothard’s abusive legacy. Everything Gothard teaches is wrong, all of it, even his direct Scripture quotes, because the CONTEXT is wrong. It places Gothard in the seat of worship instead of Christ. Everything Gothard ever taught or ever will teach must be discarded. If people want answers, they should listen to the Holy Spirit, and not any human teacher.

********

The Dangerous Fallacies of Gothard Apologists

I’ve stated this in a previous email, but it bears repeating. The greatest and most dangerous fallacy that I hear from Gothard apologists is the argument “Gothard may be imperfect, but his teachings are still right.” This is blatantly false. Everything Gothard teaches is wrong, all of it, even his direct Scripture quotes, because the CONTEXT is wrong. It places Gothard in the seat of worship instead of Christ.

Everything Gothard ever taught or ever will teach must be discarded. If people want answers, they should read the Bible and listen to the Holy Spirit. They should not listen to Gothard or any other human teacher; they should make up their own minds.

 he second greatest fallacy I hear from Gothard apologists is “Many families have a great experience in IBLP and ATI. If your family had a bad experience, it’s because you misinterpreted Gothard’s intentions.” This is also blatantly false. I believe Gothard does in fact intend for parents to beat their children. I would argue that anyone who claims to have had a good experience with Gothard, IBLP, or ATI is either lying, deluded, or sadists themselves. If you got 4-5 years into ATI and you actually applied everything in the publications that Gothard sent you, especially the material based on Proverbs 23:13, you would have had an identical experience to mine.

I would argue that those who believe that they had a positive experience with Gothard are the ones who are in fact misinterpreting his intentions… just as I would argue that those who defend his behavior from the ongoing accusations of sexual misconduct are deluding themselves as to his true nature, and are blind to the damage he has inflicted.

Dash Believes Bill Gothard to be a Con Artist and Explains Why

I believe that Gothard is a consummate con artist. In spite of the endless documentation of the damage he has done, Gothard still manages to convince his inner circle of friends that he is a good man with good intentions who merely stumbled a little bit, and his victims are more to blame than he is for making such a big deal out of “nothing.” There are two explanations for this phenomenon:

  •  The first explanation is that genuinely hurting people, like my mother, who are desperate for real answers and a real connection with God, are easily misled by Gothard’s overpowering charm, his carefully crafted image, and his claims of secret knowledge and a special understanding of the Bible. These people are broken to begin with, and the hurt piled on hurt that Gothard inflicts is too much for them to comprehend; they defend Gothard out of reflex as all abuse victims will defend an abuser, due to Stockholm syndrome and an inability to comprehend their own damages and failures.
  • The second explanation is that Gothard appeals to genuine sadists and sociopaths, such as your commenter Alfred who obviously has zero concern for Gothard’s victims and is committed entirely to defending Gothard and behaving as vindictively toward his accusers as possible. These people are reprehensible scumbags. I would use a more graceful word to describe them, but there isn’t one.

JA note: Alfred, who was mentioned above, is Alfred Corduan, who commented on this SSB post. You can also see his comments on articles at the Gothard survivor site, Recovering Grace website, where he continually defends Bill Gothard. 

I would like to close at this time by saying that while I no longer call myself a Christian, I never gave up on Christ. I still believe in the Great Commandment:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I don’t do so well with the first part; loving God is next to impossible when I don’t know who God is, and I blame Gothard for that. I may yet end up in hell, and there’s nothing I can do about it. So I focus on the second part, and I try to love my fellow-man as best I can. That’s the best I can do. I can’t save myself. Only God can do that, if he wants to.

***

photo credit: bark via photopin cc

77 comments on “Man Shares Personal Testimony of How Bill Gothard Used Bible Verses Which Led to the Abuse of Children

  1. Dear Survivor,

    I’m SO angry at what Gothard’s false teachings have done to you! I agree–throw all that Gothard junk out!!! I finally gave myself permission to do it 2 years ago.

    Abusers crush our spirits and cause us to view God wrongly. I have trouble with it too.

    I’m JUST learning God wants to bind our wounds and heal our broken hearts.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. That’s a life wrecked right there. “You shall know them by their fruits.” And this is so clear. Thank God I didn’t go too deep in the Gothard stuff when I was a new Christian 35 years ago. I still lament that I went to both the basic and the advanced seminars. I’m sorry I ever spent a dime to support that.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. WOW Dash,

    My heart hurts for the lifetime of suffering you have experienced.i pray that God will show you His love, grace and peace. I so appreciate your honesty. Bill Gothard almost destroyed my daughter and her family also. They are still trying to dig out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Me and my siblings were destroyed too, and we didnt even attend ATI. But my parents had a few close friends in the homeschooling group who were totally given over to Gothardism, and just being close to someone who had totally bathed themselves in the koolaid, was enough to cause the same things to happen in our family. the teaching in isolation without the cultish influence of BG were enough to rot the fruit on our trees unto the 3rd generation. Yes, my children and my siblings children are even now dealing with psychological issues caused by this evil.
    I name myself an agnostic theist now. I believe that God cannot be fully known by us, and that the human belief that God can and intends to be understood is simply pride and arrogance and the root of evil. God is bigger and so beyond our capacity to know. I no longer seek certainty and answers. No man can speak for God or claim to understand the divine. I am more at peace than ever before.

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  5. Cnner, it’s hard to know what to say to you and to Dash, whose families have been destroyed by a man who does not know what love is. I’m so sorry to hear that you, too, have affected by this man’s teachings. Thank you for sharing. Ugh, how many more survivors are there?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Matthew 18 has been so distorted ,by those who are abusers, in their favor. A well meaning Christian going up against a wolf in sheep’s clothing does not stand a chance. I agree that Gothard has forfeited the right to be confronted on Matthew 18 terms. He is a slippery eel who can get around any well meaning Christian. It is time to stop being nicey nice and act like Christian warriors.

    I have been angry for some time at the havoc played out in my daughter’s family.. Several of my grandchildren have developed mental issues as a result. Also my daughter. So I can understand the anger coming forth from these posts. It is refreshing to see these issues being addressed honestly and not being hidden under a Christian veneer.

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  7. Thanks for your courage in sharing, Dash. It matters, and people will read it and think about it and maybe change in ways that you will never know. Hurting for you, and wishing/praying for healing and hope.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I think that calling BG a con artist is exactly the right way to describe this evil, twisted man. He is certainly not Christian. He is perverse–in every sense.
    Dash, & Cnner, I pray that your lives may be peaceful from here on, free from this horrible false teaching.
    I only wish I could hug you both & tell you how sorry I am that this happened to you.

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  9. Dash,

    Thank you for coming out and saying what you are saying. I wish you did not have it to say, but since you do, it needs to be said.

    The damage done by Gothard and those who enabled him is incalculable.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dash,

    I am so very sorry for the pain caused by Gothard that continues to affect well into adulthood. I wish you strength and healing. I hope telling your story will help you and many others who read it.

    “I don’t do so well with the first part; loving God is next to impossible when I don’t know who God is, and I blame Gothard for that. I may yet end up in hell, and there’s nothing I can do about it. So I focus on the second part, and I try to love my fellow-man as best I can. That’s the best I can do. I can’t save myself. Only God can do that, if he wants to.”

    Since love is from God (according to Christian beliefs), when we show love to others then we know and love God. I believe your goal of trying to love your fellow man makes you more of a Christian than Gothard and his acolytes.

    I’m so sick of what “Christian” religious extremists have done to the name of Jesus. May your voice continue to expose the fraud of Gothardism.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dash, when my eyes were being opened to spiritual abuse (nothing like the horror you were subjected to), I read a quote that stuck with me and I’ll paraphrase it here: the worst thing that spiritual abuse by authorities (Gothard, CBMW, Cornerstone Community Church, you fill in the blank) accomplishes is to absolutely separate us from the one person who can heal us…God himself. It took me two years to open what I then considered the loathsome word of God and gradually, I came to know God for the first time, without all the crappy baggage of my years of “teaching”.

    I am so heartened to learn you haven’t given up on Christ. HE HAS NOT GIVEN UP ON YOU and neither will this large community you have found who love Dash, will pray for Dash, and consider Dash a precious wounded brother. Consider yourself loved beyond measure. And should you opt to consider opening a bible one day, may I (humbly) suggest you visit tentmaker dot org, to learn about your real father, the savior of all mankind, especially those that believe. Especially Dash. Peace to you, brother.

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  12. I was thinking about this verse: Matthew 19:14 KJV -But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

    I wonder how many times this verse has been used to justify the beating of children?

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  13. “So I can understand the anger coming forth from these posts. It is refreshing to see these issues being addressed honestly and not being hidden under a Christian veneer.”

    Yes, I agree and in fact these tweets express a similar thought:

    I think that is what struck me with Dash’s comments. He doesn’t beat around the bush, but says it exactly as he sees it, from what he experienced. If you are living the consequences of this upbringing, if you can see the correlation between what is going on with you mentally today and tie it to an abusive past, it is very real, raw, and I’m glad Dash has articulated so well for us to help us understand.

    Also for the others here who have shared they have experienced similar results – -that is important to identify. If we keep covering it up by saying it didn’t happen to every family, that is minimizing someone’s reality.

    Cnner touched on something that is really important to consider – – that even though Cnner’s family did not attend ATI or hear directly from Gothard, his teachings were powerful enough to be spread through communities and cause damage. Think about how CONvincing Gothard must be that people can articulate his teachings so well to others and have them jump on the bandwagon without ever having heard a word directly from him. That’s powerful.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. The first explanation is that genuinely hurting people … are easily misled by Gothard’s overpowering charm, his carefully crafted image, and his claims of secret knowledge and a special understanding of the Bible.

    “Secret knowledge” as in “Occult Gnosis”?
    “Special Understanding” known only to an Inner Ring of Spiritual Illuminati?
    Isn’t that classic Gnosticism?

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Admin note: For those who follow SSB by subscription, I oopsied and released a post prematurely. Now I know what not to do on the WordPress phone app – lol.

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  16. Dash, Thank you for speaking out for victims of religious abuse. I can feel your rage almost jump out and connect with the anger that is so difficult to for me to express ( especially as a Southern woman)! You are speaking back to all the “Christianese” responses I receive in regards to healthy, legitimate anger. The worst for me is, *trigger alert* “Don’t let Satan steal your joy”. (I just threw up in my mouth typing that phrase).

    I wish I could just listen to you vent and then give you a big hug! Healthy anger is a way to heal. It helps you regain your power and dignity. It helps you recognize dangerous people. God gave us a whole range of emotions. Unfortunately, many churched people are more comfortable shaming the victim for his/her anger, than walking beside them and helping them stand up to the victimizer.

    Thank you JA for giving Dash this uncensored forum. I suspect you, as many of us were taught it is “unChristian” to express rage. It is so freeing to read Dash’s words, knowing we have all experienced pain, but often shamed for speaking out. Dash, you speak for so many hurting people. Thank you.

    My immediate response to reading your words is pure, boundless love.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ann, you are right – – Christians seem to tell other Christians to not feel – especially negative emotions. If God created emotions, why are we afraid of them? David used them – good and bad – in Psalms.

    They seem to forget there is such a thing as righteous anger that Jesus modeled perfectly for us. I remember the time I started saying strong words about my pastor publicly and my heartbeat raced wondering what people would make of my strong words. I realized that I must share the truth as I saw and experienced. If I had minimized any part of my experience, first of all it wouldn’t be truthful, but then people could further minimize that.

    Dash’s words are shocking, but even more shocking is the end result of lives damaged by Gothard’s teachings. The teachings must stop.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Dash – Thank you for sharing your story here. I hope that you are able to find healing and peace in your journey.

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  19. Thank you Dash. You are a hero for people who were abused by this vile unbearable misery.

    I know from my own life that dark Christianity attracts very sadistic, and sexually sadistic people.

    It makes them feel really good causing other people physical and emotional pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Dash, I love the fire in your words. I love your heart for justice. Of course, I am sickened at heart what happened to you because of Gothard’s evil teachings. If I may ask, what helped you to start to recover from all that you suffered? It is my prayer that you have taken some of the thousands steps one has to take to to get over serious abuse.

    I went through the training as a fresh faced new believer when I was in my mid 20’s. I ate it up, I am ashamed to say. I wasn’t raised in a Christian family. (If I told this story before forgive me.) I came home after the training excited to submit myself to my abusive father. I explained to him the umbrella of protection-blah blah blah and though I didn’t appreciate my dad’s response then, I get a kick out of it today.

    He said: “This is what I want you to do, get your nose out of that d*** bible, go out to a bar, have a drink & meet a real man.” I was so confused. FWIW, years later, I did meet my husband, a wonderful man, at happy hour after work. Thank God I put that red book down, however, unfortunately, I joined a different group of abusers.

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  21. Ann MARCH 27, 2015 @ 10:26 AM “I suspect you, as many of us were taught it is “unChristian” to express rage. It is so freeing to read Dash’s words, knowing we have all experienced pain, but often shamed for speaking out.”

    Ann, I was writing in my journal today about this poem I wrote years ago. I was reminiscing about how it was kinda freeing for me when I started to name the rage that was inside of me. I had been scolded so many times that I wasn’t summiting myself to the authority of the scriptures… One time with a pointed finger in my face, when I mentioned that I might be angry at God, the gavel came down with the verdict: “How dare you strive with your Maker, godly women do not get angry especially not at God.”
    The heck they don’t. I know my anger was misplaced at the time, the real culprit was the wolf in the pulpit. As I look back at this poem, I realize my fury was due to spiritual abuse. I will probably scare a few people, but as you & J.A. were discussing we are not allowed to be honest about the rage that bleeds from the wounds of abuse.

    Outrage

    As anger gathers up in force,
    my mind and tongue are
    set on a collision course.
    What am I to do with all
    that goes on inside?
    How do I tame all the hurt
    in me that still resides?
    Is there any hope for my
    humanity at the cross?
    When will I learn to sit
    in silence and process all the loss?
    How do I exercise self-control,
    when I want to butcher
    my enemies soul?
    There must be a way to
    contain this pain
    boiling over from
    heart and brain
    that wants to attack
    in the spirit of Cain.
    Oh Lord,
    My prayer is that You would supply,
    calm to the rage that intensifies…
    Unleash the tears I need to weep
    from the well of agony that runs so deep.
    Help me now to pause and consider,
    the damage my anger will cause
    when I am so broken and triggered.
    May I hone in on what it is I really need,
    when my anger & hurt are spewing
    at full speed.
    Remind me Lord to contemplate,
    to discern what is triggering my hate,
    and to wait on You to retaliate.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. I thank you for sharing your story and pray that you do not give one more minute to this horrible man. Your healing is long over due, but I realize that it is not easily done. Child abuse is a terrible crime.

    No one with these types of “imperfections” should be able to teach, preach or even sit in the church pews. Anyone who promotes such vile acts towards anyone should not only be put out of the church they should be in prison. They are as guilty of the beatings against children as the parents that would listen to them teach this blasphemy.

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  23. Yes, lots of Christians are afraid to feel, and they are uncomfortable with the honest emotions of other people, too. Sometimes they even think they have the right to take it upon themselves to try to govern other people’s emotions, deciding for them what and when they can/should feel, or not feel. They are not usually happy and comfortable again until they have warped reality and made the victim the problem. How I wish people like this would learn to back off and stop with the unkind and disdainful assumptions, judgments, condemnations and attempts to control.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Hmm. I have to say yes and no to Gothard or ‘the pearls’ being the perpetrators of ‘abuse’ in the ”rod of correction’ culture created among Christian groups of various sorts. Read the book ‘raising godly tomatoes’ and there is more evidence of how to use ‘rod of correction’ in the correct manner. When talking with the actual Jewish or Hebrew people or investigating how the man JESUS himself was educated….. one will find that the use of the rod has to be as gentle as that of a Shepherd caring for sheep. It should never be used on a child over the age of three because by that time the scripture is incorporated into the mind to bring forth good character simply by repetition of psalms and proverbs. Blaming GOTHARD for wicked parents who go overboard with their sheep doesn’t seem to solve this puzzle and riddle of manic depressives, abortive fantasy adults that show up later in life because the Nazi world view appears to be so ‘perfect.’ in other words it is like blaming HITLER for the murder of millions of Jewish people rather than looking each individual to them selves and their own error. It is like blaming ‘St. Augustine’ for the crusades. It is like blaming Martin Luther for WWII. It is like blaming the Arabs for the Muslim religion……. It is like blaming the founders of the USA for the destruction and demolition of the Native Americans and abuses that followed. “boarding school era’ It is like blaming the native Americans for ‘social dysfunction’ and poverty in USA…..

    We live in a world of confused adults who believe in murder of unborn potential children, murder of people of different races (black, native american, Jewish, non-muslim etc) rather than simple trust in holy spirit to nourish, protect guide adults and children to heavenly existence here on earth.

    I look at teachings of Gothatd or any other ‘rod of correction’ instructor as a doctor, offering the prescription in appropriate contents, but apparently there is not enough wisdom in the parent of the patient so the parent becomes abusive and without control in following directions on the prescription bottle.

    Wisdom wisdom wisdom…… it does not nor ever will it ever come from man. Holy spirit and regular study of scripture. Only source available. Parents should investigate http://www.gordontraining.com and do research on how native Americans corrected their children….. very wise and insightful in relation to the buffalo……

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  25. Going deep into why adults need wisdom….. but the Muslims invented the ‘wall clock’ or divided the day into 24 hour segments. The Koran mentions a little here and there about Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the coat of many colors. But no regard to accuracy and truth in wording. The religious practices include beating children with a ‘rod of correction’ until the children actually bleed. This practice is done in a social fashion as if the child is getting tattoos and its ‘cool’ to the child to be beaten. Sometimes I find this to be true is that adults who were given a few lashes as children want to blame the ‘teacher’ of the adult…… rather than understanding the origin of the child’s sin and application to overcome it through the power of the holy spirit AND forgiveness of out of control guardians. For some reason we do not hear of the Muslim or various Muslim professors in college as being cult-leaders or leading people astray from the truth…… of the gospel or the message of the scripture.

    Just saying. Wisdom will tell you it is the parents who are being led by man ‘bill gothard’ and not by holy spirit to guide. It doesn’t do any good to not forgive fallen teachers and parents. The sting will bite back.

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  26. Hmm, lauraraggedy. I am having difficulty knowing where you are coming from. Hitler should not be blamed for the Holicaust? Obviously there were myriads of people under him that used their agency wrongly. Do the victims care who did the greater or lesser wrong? I don’t think so.

    My concern at this point us for those who suffered needlessly. They don’t care who started it, they just know it was wrong and they are bearing the scars to prove It. We all know it started from Satan, who has many false prophets. Bill Gothard being one. Many people were foolish in following him. Our concern needs to be with those suffering and not in shifting blame

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Blaming GOTHARD for wicked parents who go overboard with their sheep doesn’t seem to solve this puzzle and riddle of manic depressives, abortive fantasy adults that show up later in life because the Nazi world view appears to be so ‘perfect.’

    Wait a minute – the parents were following the teachings of wicked Gothard. The parents were misguided, trying to raise up godly children.

    What is an abortive fantasy adult? Maybe my brain is on Spring break, I’m not following you.

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  28. I’ll interject here and point out that lauraraggedy sounds exactly like yet another Gothard apologist. What’s really disturbing and grotesque is her idea that the “rod of correction” is perfectly OK if applied “gently.” This is equivalent to saying “It’s OK to cut someone with a knife as long as you draw only the appropriate amount of blood.” See how crazy that sounds? Why is it, then, that beating someone with a stick is supposed to be OK? Beating someone and cutting them are equivalent. Even the legal system says so.

    Liked by 5 people

  29. First, thanks, Dash, for sharing your story. It is sickening how many people have been ruined or permanently scarred by this narcissist, sociopath monster. Sharing your story is difficult I know, but oh so helpful to so many. I never would have felt comfortable really standing up to my abusers if I hadn’t read the personal stories shared here and elsewhere.

    Second, lauraraggedy is indeed sounding like a Gothard apologist–or an apologist for any of these “Christian” leader-abuser types. As the rhetoric goes, these men meant well, but had their words twisted by people who should have been listening more carefully. I think that Gothard meant for these people to beat and abuse their children, because he cares about nothing but power, and he wants to be worshipped by people who are the same. I have never encountered any children of Gothard followers who have not endured physical abuse at some level, along with intense emotional abuse. People seem to think that emotional abuse is in a different category, not really abuse somehow–having experienced it, I know that it can be as bad or worse than physical abuse.

    Lauraraggedy says she looks at Gothard as a doctor with a prescription, and the parent of the patient simply does not have enough wisdom to follow the prescription properly. I look at Gothard as giving a prescription that is far too harsh, for a problem that does not exist. I have never seen a child that simply wanted to be evil, as Gothard and his ilk claim of all children. Children are born good, and only become mean or “evil” if they are harshly abused and given reason to feel that they need to fend for or defend themselves. Gothard’s prescription is like a doctor prescribing lye to be poured on bare skin–where there wasn’t a problem before, there is now an ugly wound that will leave a horrible scar.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. gm370, Thank you for sharing your heartfelt poem. Reading your words resonates so well with my inner experience!
    lauraraggity, your words appear to come from a purely cognitive/theoretical point of view. When dealing with trauma, this type of “explanation” generally re-traumatizes a victim.(yes, I have a graduate degree in psychology). The mind can rationalize all types of behavior, but in reality abuse will seriously effect the functioning of a person. I believe responses similar to yours come from someone who has either been fortunate enough to escape childhood trauma or a person who is still trying to justify abusive behavior. I pray you are the former.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Dash,

    Thank you so much for your honesty, and for telling us in unvarnished terms what you’ve been through and where you are now. We all need to hear it, in order to understand just how harmful Gothard’s teachings are.

    Laura (Raggedy),

    It doesn’t sound like you’ve been listening seriously to anything Dash has said here. He comes here with raw pain and trauma, and you respond with justification and blame-shifting?

    I’ve seen various posts from you these past few months. Many of them have left me scratching my head, wondering what you’re trying to say. Your comments on this page simply disgusted me. Are you actually defending Bill Gothard? You even compared him to a doctor doling out a prescription. Song of a River had a great response to this:

    Gothard’s prescription is like a doctor prescribing lye to be poured on bare skin–where there wasn’t a problem before, there is now an ugly wound that will leave a horrible scar.

    Put more succinctly, Gothard isn’t a doctor; he’s a quack. A conman, first bemoaning a problem that doesn’t exist, and then selling snake-oil to solve that problem.

    Honestly, Laura, given stories like Dash’s, and the accusations that he fondled and sexually harassed teenage girls, I’m amazed that you can find anything positive about him, or any value in his teachings.

    Liked by 4 people

  32. I’ll interject here and point out that lauraraggedy sounds exactly like yet another Gothard apologist.

    I’m out of town with a friend on Spring Break and haven’t been able to respond as thoroughly (especially when I’m responding from my phone).

    One of the more troubling things I have to think about is when I read a comment in which someone defends a known abuser. I like SSB to be a safe place for all survivors and I also value free expression of speech. Lauraraggedy’s comments stung and confused me, but mostly, I was thinking about you, Dash, and what it must be like for you to read that comment after sharing so honestly from your experience. Serving did a stellar job at cutting to the chase. He seems to have a knack at remembering people and their previous comments and seeing patterns. I’m sorry that you once again had to deal with this nonsense. (Song of a River’s comment was excellent, too.)

    Lauraraggedy said:

    Blaming GOTHARD for wicked parents who go overboard with their sheep doesn’t seem to solve this puzzle and riddle of manic depressives, abortive fantasy adults that show up later in life because the Nazi world view appears to be so ‘perfect.’ in other words it is like blaming HITLER for the murder of millions of Jewish people rather than looking each individual to them selves and their own error.

    This is just plain whacked. I don’t even know what to do with the above nonsense.

    I look at teachings of Gothatd or any other ‘rod of correction’ instructor as a doctor, offering the prescription in appropriate contents, but apparently there is not enough wisdom in the parent of the patient so the parent becomes abusive and without control in following directions on the prescription bottle.

    Here we have a common “blame the parent” theme instead of blaming the source of the problem. The blame lies on Gothard, the creator of his own philosophies he put together. He is about control and created a cult following through the use of manipulation, twisting scripture, and being able to con emotionally vulnerable people into following the letter of the law of his views of parenting/discipline. While it is true that some parents who followed ATI did not go to the extremes that Dash describes, there is plenty of evidence from personal accounts that many parents did in fact take his teachings and abuse their children.

    So, do we deny Dash’s and other’s experience because some parents chose not to beat/abuse their children? Absolutely not. For the parents who abused their children, I have a hunch that if we gathered them together and discussed what these now adult children experienced, they would say they fully believed they were following spiritual principles taught by Gothard. Many would defend their actions to this day. And that is why I believe Dash is speaking out now and why I will continue to allow SSB to be a place where people can share their experiences with abusive Gothard teachings.

    Liked by 4 people

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

  34. I sure appreciate the sharp minds who responded to lauraraggedy, I was confused & floored by her comment, so thank you guys. So if the (gentle) rod should never be used on a child after three, at what age does a parent start hitting their children? As infants, toddlers? I find that horrifying and no less than abuse, unless I am misunderstanding her comment. Give me a break on incorporating the psalms & proverbs into the minds of a child under three.

    lauraraggedy said: “one will find that the use of the rod has to be as gentle as that of a Shepherd caring for sheep. It should never be used on a child over the age of three because by that time the scripture is incorporated into the mind to bring forth good character simply by repetition of psalms and proverbs.”

    Liked by 1 person

  35. “gm370, Thank you for sharing your heartfelt poem. Reading your words resonates so well with my inner experience!”

    Thanks Ann!

    I told a dear friend after I shared it that I was going to hide under my covers, because it sure wasn’t very lady-like and what kind of a gawdly woman talks like that.
    I am from the north, so I don’t carry any southern lady baggage. But, as you know, speaking honest & from the gut just enrages the religious elite. Gail

    Like

  36. Just for the record: Julie Anne, thank you again for hosting this conversation and I’m OK with engaging people like lauraraggedy in debate. Handled properly, these people expose themselves for what they are and that’s beneficial to the point I wish to make. It’s no problem for me, it actually makes me feel better to see this dialogue.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. I saw about ten minutes of a Gothard “nuremberg” rally minus the jack boots and brown shirts back in the early to mid 80’s I think it was. I was very young but still I knew the guy was a tool. I took some hits from the more spiritual folks in my fellowship about what a worldly carnal Christian I was lacking discipline and discernment. Barf. I still think my observation was correct given what we know now about the clown. I am also with Dash I would love to see Gothard and his ilk do the I need to use the restroom dance during discovery when the hard questions are being asked. I am so sorry Dash for what this guy and his ilk did to you and your parents as well. My parents loathed evangelical religion, especially my father he hated it and it utterly disgusted him. Good for him. I am very glad he instilled in me a cynical streak a mile wide when it comes to religion.

    Like

  38. Just for the record: Julie Anne, thank you again for hosting this conversation and I’m OK with engaging people like lauraraggedy in debate. Handled properly, these people expose themselves for what they are and that’s beneficial to the point I wish to make. It’s no problem for me, it actually makes me feel better to see this dialogue.

    Dash,

    I was going to say I’m happy to host this conversation, but really, I’m disgusted to host it, but I think you know what I mean. It’s disgusting to even have to post these articles, but they need to be posted, so thank you, again, for being very frank about your experience and sharing your conclusions (which I agree with, btw).

    I’m glad it’s no problem for you. Some survivors will be triggered by blame-shifting response. Yet, other survivors have shared with me that watching commenters engage someone who blame-shifts helps them to have clarity in what they experienced.

    I’ll be working on Part 2 of your post soon (hopefully Monday). I have a 5-hour drive home tomorrow and also an update on the Doug Phillips/Lourdes Torres-Manteufel lawsuit.

    Like

  39. To Lauraraggedy, all I can think to say is, HUH???
    OK, so far, she says that Bill Gothard is not to blame for the fact that people are doing what he tells them to do & beating their children bloody, and Adolf Hitler is not to blame for the Holocaust, and what kind of cheap drugs are you ON, lady???

    I seriously need to get the word out, to avoid your supplier, ’cause (to quote a dear friend) “you be trippin”.
    And that IS being kind. I have to be kind here; Julie Anne doesn’t need a bunch of rude language garbaging up her site.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. lauraraggedy said: “one will find that the use of the rod has to be as gentle as that of a Shepherd caring for sheep. It should never be used on a child over the age of three because by that time the scripture is incorporated into the mind to bring forth good character simply by repetition of psalms and proverbs.”

    Why would a child under the age of 3 know anything about psalms and proverbs, much less know what they mean. At that age they barely understand “Peter, James and John in an itty, bitty sail boat” or Noah and the ark. At 3 they might think it is cool that animals went on the boat 2 x 2. They have no comprehension of psalms and proverbs.

    The only thing that corporal punishment ever did to a child is to make them cower down in a corner, run for their very lives or make them mean. Eph 6:4 in the NLT says: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord”. That tells me that gentleness, letting children know what is expected not only by telling them what to do but showing them by your own actions and leading a godly life is how to raise children. That whole rod thing is taken way too far in a wrong direction.

    I am right there with Gail. That whole Hitler thing had me floored. Why wouldn’t he be held accountable? He started that whole ordeal and ordered his armies to kill innocent people. I said before up thread that Gothard is just as responsible as the parents who got into this beating of their children thing. Both are responsible and accountable for their crimes.

    Liked by 3 people

  41. @Gail

    “So if the (gentle) rod should never be used on a child after three, at what age does a parent start hitting their children? As infants, toddlers?”

    In my former cult’s child training classes we were taught that we should get the majority of our children’s spankings in before they turned three. 😦 And, yes, we were taught to start swatting them at 3-4 months if they would not be still while changing their diaper. 😦 I still have my notes from those classes. I just referred to them to verify.

    We were also taught to blanket train them before they turned 2 so that they would lay still and nap on their blanket during the cult’s 3-5 hour long Sunday services. In blanket training, the child is spanked every time s/he gets off of the blanket. They eventually “learn” to stay on the blanket or else. All so the “elders” aren’t disrupted during the service.

    My oldest two got the brunt of it. I was really good at doing things “by the book” so to speak. It makes me sick to think of it now. By the time my third came along I just couldn’t do it any more.

    I still don’t know exactly where they got their “child training” ideas from. Gothard, the Pearls, Tomczak, Baucham? IDK. It seems various “Christians” had some variations on these themes.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Wait a minute! Is lauraraggedy (3/27/15 @ 7:02PM) making the point that to criticize Bill Gothard is akin to being a teacher of Mohammadanism? I find her a bit difficult to follow (and I hope I have misunderstood), but if that is what she is saying, that’s just not acceptable.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. BTDT, The whole swatting infants and blanket training makes me want to cry. What unhappy children and eventually adults they must become. An infant that won’t be still during a diaper change is when I would blow on their tummy to make them laugh, of course putting a diaper over the boys just in case. It is time to maybe do a little dance with baby, not swat them. I don’t comprehend ever hitting a baby.

    Blanket training is an excuse to hurt little children. A play pen can be purchased most anywhere. They aren’t going very far in one. A 3 to 5 hour Sunday service?? I wouldn’t be able to be quiet or stay still and I am over the hill and going down that side pretty quickly. I don’t understand people where children are basically not welcome to be children.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. BTDT,
    The word monsters come to mind. Can you imagine Jesus swatting a 3 month old baby?
    My heart hurts reading what evil teaches parents to do to the most innocent creatures on earth.
    I hate that I worshipped/followed Dr. Dobson & his teaching. Would love to find my old wooden spoon and use it on his backside today. It is so hard for me to forgive myself for swatting my firstborn at 3 years old with that weapon. Thank God I didn’t know about “Gothard, the Pearls, Tomczak, Baucham”
    And praise to our tender Lord for awakening my heart, like He did for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Amen Ladies,
    People who teach this abuse are monsters. I see our precious Lord and how loving he was to little children and wonder where this mind set of harming children comes from. It certainly was not from Jesus. Satan is having a field day.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Julie Anne,
    If you are referring to the play pen that I suggested instead of blanket training, I think my daughter is getting hers from jcp.

    Like

  47. If you are referring to the comment I deleted – no, this is me being a dork on my cell phone. I was texting my daughter and somehow it switched to WordPress. I’ve done this before and I don’t know how. Lol.

    So evidently I not only sent out a text, I was informed that I created and published a post with gibberish. Hahaha. Ok. I better put my phone away.

    Like

  48. Julie Anne,
    Now that is funny. The comment fit right in and I thought you were just putting in a little sarcasm. lol

    Like

  49. I’ve seen lots of the “argumentum ad Hitlerum” fallacy in online debates before, but that’s the first time I’ve ever seen someone try to defend their own side by comparing them to Nazis and drawing an analogy from their leader to Hitler.

    Godwin’s Law EPIC FAIL.

    Liked by 3 people

  50. Are people so lost today that they have no clue how to love their children? Are they so lacking in common sense that they can’t just have fun changing the baby’s diaper? I’m afraid that many grew up in homes where parental love was not present and they are very insecure when it comes to parenting. It seems a little silly to have rules about changing the baby’s diaper.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Kay, the argument that Gothard and other evangelical literalists make is this: “We’re all born into sin, therefore children are evil sinners from the moment of birth and they must be punished immediately lest they fall unrepentant into eternal hellfire.” It sounds crazy to anyone with a modicum of compassion or decency or common sense even, but that’s the belief that underlies these sorts of hideous abuses.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. That’s it exactly, Dash. I didn’t hear about spanking babies from Gothard, but did personally hear it from the Pearls. I remember being taught if you say no to your baby and your baby does not respond accordingly (“obey”), the sting of the rod will teach them “no.” And I remember them specifically using the diaper changing time as an example of when to use the rod. Also, I remember hearing about setting up traps for toddlers to test them to see if they would be obedient or not. I’ve got to stop now – – ugh – this stuff messes with my head.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. It’s sickening, for certain. I can confirm that some of Gothard’s late-stage ATI literature did in fact espouse “blanket training” for babies and toddlers.

    Gothard more than any other movement leader seems to have been very careful to cover his tracks, most likely for fear of legal repercussions.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. I’ve been thinking about Gothard’s underlying intentions for his programs as a whole, and I believe it can best be summarized this way: Gothard, ultimately, does not seem to believe in faith. Gothard seems to believe deeply in a secret gospel of salvation of self by works, where mere belief and faith are not enough for his God.

    I don’t say this in a vacuum, either; this was confirmed to me by one of Gothard’s right-hand men in the 90’s, a very strange pastor named Jim Logan. Jim believed very sincerely in demonic activity and the supernatural, and he once stated to me point blank “Jesus is not enough. People need more than that.” The entire IBLP movement is based on distrust of the Gospels, and a paranoid notion that salvation must be earned by good behavior. Hence the “49 Non-Optional Principles” and all the rest of the nonsense that Gothard teaches. All of which is in direct contradiction to the following:

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    —–
    Acts 16:27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

    28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

    29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

    30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

    31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. Oh, Dash, that is the wickedest, most poisonous lie Gothard has espoused! To declare that Jesus Christ is not enough, that people need more is sheer blasphemy. No wonder he covers his tracks; he would have to, in order to get folks to listen to him.
    Gothard is of his father the devil, & it is satan’s work that he has been doing all these years.

    Like

  56. Dash, thankyou for your further input in addition to the original post. As one who managed to escape the scourge of Gothardism while growing up, I didn’t know too much about his theology. I’ve suspected for some time that a false gospel undergirded his entire system, but didn’t know enough to say for certain. It may be that Gothard believes his own hype, but I also see him as a naturally gifted communicator who figured out how to ride and exploit the tidal wave of social change starting in the 1960s.

    I think it was Tullian Tchivijian who said Jesus + nothing = everything. I’m thinking that if BG doesn’t trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of his sins while engaging in some MASSIVE repentance during the time he has left, he runs the serious risk of finding himself on the last day being told “I never knew you”.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. JA: Cnner touched on something that is really important to consider – – that even though Cnner’s family did not attend ATI or hear directly from Gothard, his teachings were powerful enough to be spread through communities and cause damage. Think about how CONvincing Gothard must be that people can articulate his teachings so well to others and have them jump on the bandwagon without ever having heard a word directly from him. That’s powerful.

    EXACTLY! We never went to a Gothard event, we did not homeschool with ATI (wanted to, but –thankfully– couldn’t afford it). But his teachings infused the christian homeschool community. We heard it embedded in the teachings of conference speakers, in the books we read for encouragement and instruction, got it from the older homeschooling families in our support group who mentored us and shared from their experience.

    We are what I think is called “collateral damage.”

    And it is still horrific, whether it came directly from the man himself, or from others who took in and then disseminated his teachings, often as if it were their own hard-won “wisdom” they were sharing, without even mentioning his name.

    I shudder to think I might have passed on some of these concepts, myself, to others, when I became an “older mom” in our support group. All unwitting, because at that point our family had not yet started to show cracks, was not yet falling apart, and we thought maybe it was working — and what we were really succeeding in, was teaching our children to wear smiling masks over their pain.

    God forgive me.

    Like

  58. Maybe there should be a trigger warning added to this comment, as well as the one I’m quoting here.

    Lauraraggedy said: I look at teachings of Gothatd or any other ‘rod of correction’ instructor as a doctor, offering the prescription in appropriate contents, but apparently there is not enough wisdom in the parent of the patient so the parent becomes abusive and without control in following directions on the prescription bottle.

    Oh, no. No no no no no no no no.

    I’m sure others have answered this, and far more eloquently than I could hope to. But I had to stop in the reading at this point to respond.

    I perceive the opinion expressed above as sheer poison. Blame the victim. I keep running into this amongst Gothardites and Vision Forum apologists. They insist the blame is not on the teacher (the doctor and his “appropriate” prescription) but on the ones who mis-applied what they handed out.

    My perception is that the teacher/”doctor” mis-applied scripture in the first place. Like a pharmacist mixing poison into a legitimate prescription. Doesn’t matter whether the parents gave the “proper” dose or misused the prescription. The point is, they were taking poison, and forcing it down their children’s throats as well.

    No. No. Hmm mmm. Not buying it. Not any more.

    Like

  59. BTDT: I still don’t know exactly where they got their “child training” ideas from. Gothard, the Pearls, Tomczak, Baucham? IDK. It seems various “Christians” had some variations on these themes.

    Don’t forget the Ezzos. They were very popular at the time our second-youngest was born. Since discredited, I think. But they were super-rigid in their approach. Oddly enough, it worked well with our autistic child — to a point. The kid needed regimentation to be able to deal with the world. It didn’t work so well with the next child, though.

    Like

  60. Admin note: Lauraraggedy is now in moderation after a recent comment on the Doug Phillips lawsuit update. I see a pattern of making light of abusive leaders and I’m uncomfortable allowing her comments to go through without a moderator looking at them first – especially when she’s telling stories.

    Additionally, she posted a comment on the new article, but failed to engage any of the many concerns expressed to her in this thread. Sorry, but that’s just not cool with me.

    Like

  61. Thank you, Dash. I appreciate your openness and honesty.

    The Gothard families we knew all made it look so good from the outside. We never knew it was a sham until some of them started falling apart, years later. Even then, it took our own family nearly shattering (and no assurance, yet, that we’ll ever be able to repair some relationships) for us to see and begin to understand causation.

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  62. (and, to add to my comment above, I’m confused nowadays, as to how “legitimate” the prescription given in scripture might be. Sorry if I implied that scripture is the right way, the only way, to go, and that the only fault of the “teacher/doctor” — false prophet, anyone? — is that they took it out of context or mixed some of their own teachings in with it. I’m not sure of anything, anymore.)

    Like

  63. We are what I think is called “collateral damage.”
    And it is still horrific, whether it came directly from the man himself, or from others who took in and then disseminated his teachings, often as if it were their own hard-won “wisdom” they were sharing, without even mentioning his name.

    I shudder to think I might have passed on some of these concepts, myself, to others, when I became an “older mom” in our support group. All unwitting, because at that point our family had not yet started to show cracks, was not yet falling apart, and we thought maybe it was working — and what we were really succeeding in, was teaching our children to wear smiling masks over their pain.

    God forgive me.

    Ditto to all of the above, refugee! This is my experience, too!

    Like

  64. I don’t know much about Gothard besides some fairly odd things he recommends for couples–things like waiting seven days after the end of a woman’s period before a married couple resumes sexual relations. That my wife and I dismiss with a grateful look at Matthew 5–Christ has fulfilled the law, and that’s our basic response to Gothard. Gothard tends to recycle Moses and impose it in the age of grace, hence it’s a nonstarter for us.

    Ezzo’s mistakes are somewhat different. He doesn’t build on Mosaic law, but rather more or less scientific management–see the initial four hour intervals specified in Babywise for feeding. Where do you get that? Interval between arrival at work and lunch, folks. Thankfully he’s revised that to 3 and then 2.5 hour intervals, but all in all, it’s an attempt to handle the incoming product in a uniform way. You’ll see that also in GKGW with the “interrupt rule” and the notion that chastisement can impart forgiveness/grace to children. Torah? Nope. Worker discipline? Bingo!

    So we chose to demand feed and use the family bed while our daughters were going to a colleague of Dr. Bucknam, who coauthored Baby-Foolish while yet in his residency–we were actually in his office on his 40th birthday and did the math.

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  65. @JulieAnne:

    I didn’t hear about spanking babies from Gothard, but did personally hear it from the Pearls. I remember being taught if you say no to your baby and your baby does not respond accordingly (“obey”), the sting of the rod will teach them “no.” And I remember them specifically using the diaper changing time as an example of when to use the rod. Also, I remember hearing about setting up traps for toddlers to test them to see if they would be obedient or not. I’ve got to stop now – – ugh – this stuff messes with my head.

    “Under cover of Heaven’s Gate
    I. MANIPULATE.
    — Steve Taylor

    Like

  66. Gothard, ultimately, does not seem to believe in faith. Gothard seems to believe deeply in a secret gospel of salvation of self by works, where mere belief and faith are not enough for his God.

    This.

    I could elaborate but not politely. I keep ending up with sentences that go something like “Gothard is just a superstitious magician who uses Scripture like voodoo and thinks Cabbage Patch dolls are Satanic purveyors of evil, which should come as no surprise with such a mindset.”

    Like

  67. Pingback: Victim of Bill Gothard’s Teachings Speaks out about Josh Duggard Scandal, Mike Huckabee: Bill Gothard’s Dangerous Agenda and Influence in Political Arena and Society at Large | Spiritual Sounding Board

  68. It wasn’t Gothard’s fault totally, it was everyone’s fault that was involved with Gothard. First of all I want to say that Bill sent people home from his seminars telling them to read the bible for themselves and to meditate on scriptures. But the people wanted to be involved with Bill’s homeschool program. People failed to read verses like Micah 7:5 that tells us not to trust in a guide. Had they truly done what Bill suggested in his seminar, which is meditating on God’s instructions, they would have looked to God more than Bill.

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  69. Pingback: Victim of Bill Gothard’s Teachings Shares Emotional Aftermath | Spiritual Sounding Board

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