ABUSE & VIOLENCE IN THE CHURCH, Bill Gothard, Bill Gothard & IBLP Lawsuit, IBLP and ATI

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

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


Official Statement by Emily Jaeger (Jane Doe III)

I am Jane Doe III.

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

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

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

I had so many hopes for this lawsuit. I was going to expose Bill Gothard for who I believe he really is. I was going to make sure he never hurt another innocent young girl or woman in the same way he hurt me. I was going to hold the IBLP accountable for protecting themselves and choosing to ignore years of alleged abuse. I was going to take back my power!

In a way, I believe we did ultimately fulfill some of those goals with the lawsuit. We did the right thing morally, ethically, and legally. We came out with our stories and warned others. Bill may think he walked away free, but the truth is, the world now knows who he really is. As far as power against Bill, this ultimately does not come by testifying on a witness stand. It comes from living a free life covered by grace!

Still, I never dreamt that the end would come this way.

When the decision was made to voluntarily dismiss the suit, I felt my whole world collapse around me. This wasn’t at all how it was supposed to end. What about justice? What about facing these men in court and forcing them to look into my eyes as I gave my account of their actions?

Yes, it still hurts. A LOT. We want justice on this earth. It’s sickening to think of such evil prevailing. We fought a good fight and it ended far too soon. That’s the bad news. But here’s the good news:

  1. The case has been transferred to a higher court now. And the righteous Judge of that court always brings justice. I believe Bill and the IBLP will one day be forced to give an account of their actions and there will be no ability to lie, no way to defend themselves.

  2. I am finally free. Free to speak out. Free to share my story. Free to live loved and to have fun with dating and build a new life and career for myself without an enormous secret burdening my shoulders and eating away at my emotional energy. The world is open before me.

However, just because I am free doesn’t mean I know how to live free.

While the lawsuit didn’t become my identity, it did become a part of me, and I don’t quite know how to function or live life “normally” now. It is said that an animal who has been tethered by a 10-foot chain for years still won’t move beyond that 10-foot radius after they are freed. That is me. The cage door is open, the shackles are off, and I don’t know how to live in freedom. Yet.

Right now, instead of living free, I’m severely bruised. In the weeks since dismissing the lawsuit, I’ve been to hell and back. I lived in a combat zone for years, and suddenly the war is over. The adrenaline I’ve lived off for so long has finally run out, and my body has been flooded with a rush of mixed hormones and extreme emotions. I’ve fought through multiple panic attacks and sleepless nights, and my counselor has officially diagnosed me with PTSD. But this isn’t the end of my story. Bill hasn’t won. My story has just begun.

Every January I pick a new word for the year. For 2018 my word was “Courage”. I picked this because I believed 2018 was the year I would need immense courage to fight in this lawsuit. However, I’m now realizing I will need courage not to fight, but to learn how to LIVE beyond the fight.

And so, let the living begin!

~ Emily Jaeger


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

  1. Now ole Billy can do the same thing Doug Phillips did, lie. Make a case for it being dismissed because the action had no merits. Unfortunately attorneys only fight battles with a pile of gold at the end of the fight.

    Still the organization has been exposed. To me, anyone having anything to do with Gothard or his cult now is a scumbag and complicit in sex crimes. I view them the same as a child molester or rapist. They can’t deny knowledge of what has been going on for years. When you tolerate or go along to get along with these types of associations you are as bad as the offender. Churches that support that organization are cults by definition and scripturally they are called stumbling blocks. It says they are better drown with a mill stone around their neck. Now there is an idea. It would take a huge stone to sink Gothard’s inflated sense of self importance , but it would be a biblical end to a horrible human being and predator.


  2. Emily, because you and so many others were brave, the truth about Gothard’s abusive activities is out. As an example, a pastor in my church recently refuted a Gothard supporter after this person made a comment in an adult study group. People are reading, talking, and understanding because you and your colleagues gave us the truth.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Emily, so proud of you for writing this out of your new found courage. You said it well! Hold your head high. None of us get it right all the time; relating to others, that is. It is trial and error for all of us every day. Be gentle with yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emily – Thank you for your courage to stand up to, fight against, and expose Bill Gothard and IBLP. I wish you continued healing and growth as you move on and live free!


  5. Amen! Beautiful letter. Somebody smart once said, “the best revenge is a good life.” God can restore the parts of our lives that have been stolen, ten fold over, and often that work happens outside of our worldly justice system.


  6. not only courage Emily, but GRIT… these trials/difficulties build perseverance and endurance and character… God will not waste your journey… you are moving from victim to victor… and you will help others do the same… He will continue to use you for His Kingdom, bringing truth, love, encouragement to help heal and equip others who have been harmed to use their voice and find healing… and then they will help heal and equip others… bless your heart… https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Emily,
    Your word for 2018 is “Courage” and you have already demonstrated incredible courage and we are just two months into the new year. My word for the year is “Enough.” The two words are beautifully intertwined. When we have the courage to stand up for ourselves, to speak truth to darkness, to prioritize our own recovery we are screaming “ENOUGH!” to the predators in our midst.

    Hang on and hang in there–you are on the right course and I am incredibly proud of you


  8. Now ole Billy can do the same thing Doug Phillips did, lie. Make a case for it being dismissed because the action had no merits.

    SGM did the exact same thing… Mark Prater added enough spin to make anybody dizzy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for your courage to speak out and tell your story. Even if you do not see BG (I can’t even say his name) get justice on this earth, your telling the truth has done a world of good for those of us raised with IBLP/ATI ideas.
    My parents went to his seminars as new Christians back in the early 70s and swallowed most of what they were taught as truth. They joined ATI in 1984 when I was going into 5th grade. Even though we got out of ATI after 3 yrs due to them not liking the intrusiveness of the system (which thankfully meant we did not participate in any of the headquarters mess!), I and my whole family still swallowed an awful lot of poison in the materials. Some of it I had come to see over the years, but it was Recovering Grace and the courageous stories and truth telling of so many that was really the deep ditch digger that God used to awaken me to the true horrors and heresy of BG’s teachings.
    It was a really emotional and overwhelming year for me when all of this broke, but God has brought me through and He is faithful! We can be more than conquerors because we are loved—fully known and fully loved, forever loved—by Jesus, the great lover of our souls.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear Emily,
    You have done a valuable and inspiring thing to expose that pervert. You and all the other women have empowered many others who are experiencing the insufferable indignity under patriarchal systems. Since it’s very obvious that – for whatever reason – (your) god (and everyone else’s according to the posters) was unable/unwilling to do anything about a predator, I hope you realize how much power you have as an individual. You are a good person and did not deserve to have this happen to you. I hope you realize that you – and you alone – have the power to control your own life. All the best to you!


  11. However, I’m now realizing I will need courage not to fight, but to learn how to LIVE beyond the fight. ~ Emily Jaeger

    What a great line. Very meaningful to me. Different circumstances but really appreciate how positive this message is Emily.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Now ole Billy can do the same thing Doug Phillips did, lie. Make a case for it being dismissed because the action had no merits.

    Which is the Official Party Line.

    Got Hard can now wipe his mouth, announce “I Have Not Sinned”, and return in Triumph to the chorus of “AAAAAAAAA-MENNNNNNN! AVE DIVINA CAESAR! IO, TRIOMPHE!”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Boatliving, I removed 3 of your comments that seemed to duplicate this one (except for one comment in which you shamed the survivors for selecting that attorney). We don’t shame survivors here, we support them. ~Julie Anne

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Boatliving, I have been to Gothard’s seminars. I know what it’s like to sit under his teachings and the damage they cause. I am very sympathetic to those who have been harmed by him. The problem I am having with your posts is that you are telling Emily what to do, telling her she shouldn’t have sued, telling her she picked the wrong attorney. These are not encouraging, supporting, but shaming. Feel free to support Emily and I will let your comment go through. ~ja

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I don’t support what the attorney did. It led to Emily getting smacked by Gothard again and him exposing all her personal information (which was horrible of him). I’m glad that people can see it as this is really what Bill is all about but at a great price to her. Quite frankly I don’t know how she is doing it, that would have been devastating. Bill is just sealing his hole deeper and deeper. He just repaid her evil for good, now evil will never leave his house.

    The man is insane. I will tell you the rest of my story with Bill. I hadn’t talked with Bill for 35 years. Last year I decided to call his ministry to see how he was doing. His sister put him on the phone for me to talk to. I finally was able to tell him my testimony. He asked me how many kids I had, gave me his phone number which I got rid of and then asked to talk to my husband. He wanted us to get involved in this new thing he was doing, getting groups of 10 men across the country. We got our list of those 10 and no one ever called nor did we call any of them. I don’t plan on talking to him, God showed me he is demon possessed. I’m done with him. He’s creepy. It is like it is all involved with pedogate and pizzagate.

    I’m finished. I seriously think he is definitely involved with what is going on in the government with pedogate. He just probably sitting back and watching all us with his brother. Too much of his story is like the SRA survivor stories like the cabin up in Michigan and the big ranch in Texas. It is strange!!!! Have you ever read Cathy O’Brien’s SRA Survivor story. Sounds like her, she was taken to cabins in Michigan and big ranches where they hunted her. I really do believe that this is what Bill might be involved in. Those poor kids in that homeschool. I came this close to my kids being there. I think I’m done on here. This stuff makes me sick, makes me want to puke. I think I’m just going to stop talking about it. Nothing we can do about it anymore anyway, it is just going to get worse as time goes on. Time to get prepped and get to your safe place. Thanks for the ear.


  16. “He just repaid her evil for good”

    No, boatliving. Emily suing Bill was not evil. It was good. He deserved to be sued. Please stop putting any blame on her.


  17. JA, I think that’s what boatliving was trying to say. 🙂 (my opinion, anyway)
    Sounds to me like boatliving is hurting, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi Carmen,
    Yes, I also believe boatliving is hurting. Boatliving has also tried to tell Emily that she was wrong (sinful) for suing Gothard (I have not approved the comments). Those kinds of comments are not welcome. Emily already sued him. It’s not boatliving’s place to criticize Emily – especially on a blog that supports survivors.


  19. Like SGM, I think there is a base problem. If you’re not one of the victim archetypes, chances are you had an okay or good experience with the ministry. Gothard did not abuse every last person who showed up on campus. I know some people who worked for him and didn’t have any issues. Those are the sorts of people who are now viciously attacking the victims. Why?

    Part of that is that, assuming Gothard is as evil as the victim accounts portray, these people who were blissfully ignorant are doubting themselves. Did he abuse them? How could they have missed that he was such a creep; that he was doing this stuff under their noses. So, the rationalization gears start working and all the sudden they have this epiphany (repeated over and over) that they really were a good judge of character – nothing wrong with them. Gothard can’t be that evil or they would have known. In their minds, the problem is that the victims are lying.


  20. My dear, thank you for speaking out. I am a sexual abuse survivor, a survivor of domestic violence, a mental health RN, and a grateful believer. We cannot speak truth without a penalty in this world, but know that much good does come from your bravery. So many are hiding behind a religious facade and perpetrating their abuse. Never underestimate the power of your voice, and of course we know our G-d will not be underestimated.


  21. I am sorry to hear about your time with the group was horrendous. I hope you have a wonderful life after it. My question is how much of the abuse goes on in the group and how frequently? I wishing you the best and hope joy comes to you


  22. When someone shows an antipathy towards biblical standards it makes me doubt the integrity of anything else they say. If a man says they believe that sex should be saved for marriage and someone else says they like to pick up partners at bars it always strikes me as odd that some people have been trained by the Godless media to automatically assume that the moral man is a liar and a hypocrite that probably rapes women and kids, while the immoral man is probably a fun-loving guy who would be great to party with.

    It is ok with me if you don’t want to live a life by a set of higher standards, but to say those standards are evil because they ask too much of you is preposterous. Do people refuse to hire graduates of Harvard and choose the community college graduate instead because higher standards are bad? I honestly do not live up to the standards that are taught by IBLP, but I know that following them would give me a more blessed life. We reap the consequences for our own choices. To blame others for what we do or allow others to do to us is a cop out that prevents true growth.


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