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Bill Gothard Sexual Misconduct Investigation - Part 2


happy atheist
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I'm sure he'll still have insane influence, but I do hope he never comes back in an official leadership role. If he is reinstated, though, I'm going to avidly watch his followers try to justify it.

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I was just reading on the Meet the 11Smiths, aka the 11BoringFundies thread, and snickerz mentioned that one of the Smith sons (Jonathan) has a blog discussing the Gothard scandal.

I checked it out and found that I really like the way he lays things out at the beginning by noting that he is not presuming Gothard's guilt: "The intent of this article is not to slander Gothard, but to highlight his behavior."

He then goes on to recommend reading the stories at Recovering Grace and says,

"I've been asked a variety of questions both before and after I posted on Facebook... "Is this true?", "Are the victims credible?", "Is Gothard going to come forward?", etc. I will try to address these questions and others.

I'll be up front about it, I don't know the answer to all these questions. What I do know is that Gothard's behavior fits that of a molester, and not only does it fit, the fit is so perfect it's incredible."

He then lists characteristics of molesters from the legal text "Understanding and Litigating Childhood Sexual Abuse" and goes on to say,

"It's not that Gothard's behavior fits just one or two of these behaviors, it fits every single one of the behaviors, and in the order laid out in the table."

He then goes on to detail how, based on the stories at Recovering Grace, Gothard's behavior clearly fits every characteristic identifying a molester. Every. Single. One.

"So Gothard's behavior fits that of a molester, but does that make him one?" As I said earlier, presuming his guilt is not what I want to do. But the fact remains that his behavior fits and fits perfectly. Look at the facts, read the victim's stories, and you make up your own mind. If you come away from this believing he is completely innocent of all wrongdoing, I do have to suggest you came here with your mind already made up. Something that Scripture says makes you a fool and you should be ashamed of."

He addresses many other issues such as "Why did the victims take so long to come forward?" "Doesn't that make their stories less believable?", "Is Gothard really a child molester when all the victims were at least in their teens and most of them were adults?" "Wouldn't that make him just a sexual offender?" with clarity.

If you are interested in this issue, this blog from a young guy raised in a nominally fundamentalist family (and I'm assuming was home schooled), is certainly worth a read. It covers every issue and question that ARI apologists have proposed and shoots down each of them, in a non-confrontational way. Apparently he posted this to his facebook account first, with a lot of comments.

Definitely worth a read.

jdsmith91.blogspot.com/

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A bit more: I think the power elite at ATI are interested in only two related things: damage control and the flow of money into their bank accounts. This was true for the 1980s scandal and it is true now.

The power elite already knows very well what the issues are re: Gothard and young girls; they have been watching it play out for decades. It cannot have been any secret to those who worked closely with Gothard. The victims are important only to the extent they can be controlled and not make the organization appear bad morally corrupt. (Much harder to do these days, because internet :D)

That is why they circled the wagons and had a faux investigation, rather than real information gathering and had Gothard appear to be contrite by making a non-apology, thus normalizing everything. Nothing to see here -- move along.

It is also interesting that BG is 80 years old but they seem to have no plan for his successor, but they can't seem to be leaderless. I think they have appointed an interim figurehead leader.

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I was just reading on the Meet the 11Smiths, aka the 11BoringFundies thread, and snickerz mentioned that one of the Smith sons (Jonathan) has a blog discussing the Gothard scandal.

I checked it out and found that I really like the way he lays things out at the beginning by noting that he is not presuming Gothard's guilt: "The intent of this article is not to slander Gothard, but to highlight his behavior." ...

Yes, I thought it was surprisingly well-done too. He uses a degree of critical thought and empirical evidence that is rare in SODRT types. I certainly didn't learn it in my home school and church school experiences.

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There is enough history and knowledge of cults/group think for me to take the claims against him 100% seriously. They can use their godspeak and key words and dance around it, but the facts remain. He's an insecure little boy who got no attention otherwise so he hijacked a religion and preyed upon the insecurities of the religious.

Anyone, no matter how steeped into his world they are, who tries to justify, explain or ignore his character deserves what they get. I'm just horrified they bring their young daughter's with them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To the bolded, are they still defending him? Where are you seeing this? Links? What idiot would send their daughter into his clutches these days? :angry-banghead:

My perception is that (in contrast to the DPIAT apologists) the ATI/IBLP folks have gone very quiet when it comes to Gothard. About the only public statement I've seen is from Jim Bob Duggar when he rambled on about following God not man ... I think most of the bigger families are not speaking out publicly.

With reference to Gothard having no intention of stopping his behavior ever, has this article from RG been discussed at all? recoveringgrace.org/2014/07/when-apologies-make-it-worse/

Interesting excerpt:

I believe that there are still a lot of people defending and following Gothard. Even on the RG Facebook page, you'll find people adamantly defending Gothard's innocence. Some in this camp may become more cautious about involvement with ATI. I can see them not shipping their daughters off to HQ, but they'll still be doing wisdom booklets and going to the conferences.

Then another section of the ATI-ers HAVE stopped defending him. As you said, even Duggar in a round-about way has distanced himself from ATI. But, these people still believe the same stuff, they just think that their leader has fallen into sin. To them, that doesn't make Gothard's teachings less legitimate. I've come across many families in this camp. They're still the authority-abusing, baby-making, child-sheltering, wife-beating, scripture-twisting idiots that they've always been.

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I wonder who will hold the reins if Gothard goes down? Maybe it'll be a case like Warren Jeffs, where Gothard will still have a hold over the cult even when in prison.

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I see that Esther Staddon works at headquarters. She's got lots of group pics of Gothard.

I wonder how much "questionable" activity she's seen and ignored?

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Oh boy, I just hope Gothard will someway get pulled before court and convicted. This "investigation" of the ATI is obviously a joke. I'm pretty sure that Gothard has way more skeletons in his closet that would justif a trial.

And I'm wondering, has Gothard ever explained why he never got married? I mean, it's a bit strange that the leader of a quiverfull organisation stayed a bachelor all his life, yet is considered an authority when it comes to marriage and raising children.

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Oh boy, I just hope Gothard will someway get pulled before court and convicted. This "investigation" of the ATI is obviously a joke. I'm pretty sure that Gothard has way more skeletons in his closet that would justif a trial.

And I'm wondering, has Gothard ever explained why he never got married? I mean, it's a bit strange that the leader of a quiverfull organisation stayed a bachelor all his life, yet is considered an authority when it comes to marriage and raising children.

I agree. I think the stories on RG are just the tip of the iceberg. To the bolded, it's one of the great mysteries of life but, too be fair, Catholic priests have been getting away with it for years too.

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I agree. I think the stories on RG are just the tip of the iceberg. To the bolded, it's one of the great mysteries of life but, too be fair, Catholic priests have been getting away with it for years too.

Yeah, but Catholic priests have the excuse that their church once installed celibacy. While for Baptists, it's common that preachers are married, in fact, it's encouraged. So if you ask a Catholic priest why he never got married, the answer will be quite clear beforehand. Gothards answer however would be very interesting to hear.

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Oh boy, I just hope Gothard will someway get pulled before court and convicted. This "investigation" of the ATI is obviously a joke. I'm pretty sure that Gothard has way more skeletons in his closet that would justif a trial.

And I'm wondering, has Gothard ever explained why he never got married? I mean, it's a bit strange that the leader of a quiverfull organisation stayed a bachelor all his life, yet is considered an authority when it comes to marriage and raising children.

I think, sometimes, the leader doing it "differently" just plays even more into their myth. I can imagine an explanation from Gothard that went something like "of course I would have liked to have gotten married and had eleventy billion children. However, I sacrificed my own happiness so that I could devote myself to God's work." Now he can live alone with his young, barefoot female acolytes and tell you he did it all for you!

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Oh boy, I just hope Gothard will someway get pulled before court and convicted. This "investigation" of the ATI is obviously a joke. I'm pretty sure that Gothard has way more skeletons in his closet that would justif a trial.

And I'm wondering, has Gothard ever explained why he never got married? I mean, it's a bit strange that the leader of a quiverfull organisation stayed a bachelor all his life, yet is considered an authority when it comes to marriage and raising children.

If I remember correctly I think the official story was that he wanted to get married to a woman his age who was a widow but his mother would not approve. Since he can't go against God's his teachings about marriage and marry without his mother's blessing he remained unmarried.

This entire story is clearly bullshit, but that is what I remember hearing. You also have to realize that it isn't like he is presenting these things as his ideas about marriage, he presents them as biblical truths from God. So it doesn't matter that he never married because God is the one who created all these marriage and family rules.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I used to live in the areas where Gothard lives. One of my doctors is a short distance from a building of his. The building, in photos, looks so serene and pastoral. If you go to iblp (dot) org it is currently on rotation. It never had enough cars in the parking lot. I had no idea it was a Gothard building until today. My husband and I would talk about what the building was, and our best guess was that it was a mental institution for the very rich, so these people were housed there out of the way, never going outside. No one visited theme either and they didn't need a whole lot of staff, since they were drugged to the gills. That explained the big building, all the grounds and the lack of people and the lack of signage.

This article, many years old, showed how sick Gothard was back then. He certainly hasn't changed any http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1992 ... uildings/2

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I used to live in the areas where Gothard lives. One of my doctors is a short distance from a building of his. The building, in photos, looks so serene and pastoral. If you go to iblp (dot) org it is currently on rotation. It never had enough cars in the parking lot. I had no idea it was a Gothard building until today. My husband and I would talk about what the building was, and our best guess was that it was a mental institution for the very rich, so these people were housed there out of the way, never going outside. No one visited theme either and they didn't need a whole lot of staff, since they were drugged to the gills. That explained the big building, all the grounds and the lack of people and the lack of signage.

This article, many years old, showed how sick Gothard was back then. He certainly hasn't changed any http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1992 ... uildings/2

This one?

Y7CAIYF.jpg

I have seen government-funded nursing homes that looked like this, too, but with less acreage and probably poorer upkeep. Anyway, your mystery is solved! Empty parking lot makes me :lol:

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This one?

Y7CAIYF.jpg

I have seen government-funded nursing homes that looked like this, too, but with less acreage and probably poorer upkeep. Anyway, your mystery is solved! Empty parking lot makes me :lol:

Thanks for digging up that photo. I'd always wondered how these places looked, but was always too lazy to go to Google myself.

I sort of think the parking lots were always too empty because he was filling the inside with girls not even old enough to drive. What a creep.

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I've spent some time today on recoveringgrace.com. Oh, dear God. What a fucked up bunch. I thought fundies were, for the most part, just hyper Christian jugheads who wanted to keep their children "safe" from society. Come to find out, they're either idiots who shouldn't have bred to begin with, definitely shouldn't have had so many children, or are nuts about "purity", "virginity", and "subservience..." my heart aches for their families. It says a lot that so few of the children raised in ATI have gone that path themselves for their children. I hope the Duggar children recover some sense and pull out of that debacle, and get some education, some REAL education, for themselves, and then for their own children.

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Caveat: yes, I know not all fundamentalists are as entrenched as the ATI folk. But it frightens me that so many of these preachers can have such widespread influence. GAH!

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Recovering Grace is the most direct influence that led me here. I saw an article go by on Facebook about it, and although I hadn't ever heard of ATI or Gothard before, I've been a homeschooler for over ten years and was interested in what was going on in. I'd just heard about the Vision Forum implosion, and my own marriage was finally disintegrating, so I was really interested in anything challenging the status quo of homeschooling.

RG is one of the few sites like it where the willfully ignorant kind of went silent eventually, after the "apology" by its leader. That was refreshing.

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Yeah, but Catholic priests have the excuse that their church once installed celibacy. While for Baptists, it's common that preachers are married, in fact, it's encouraged. So if you ask a Catholic priest why he never got married, the answer will be quite clear beforehand. Gothards answer however would be very interesting to hear.

In Gothard's case it could well be an image thing. Hitler refused to marry Eva Braun until hours before their joint suicide. He kept her and prior girlfriends tightly under wraps because he thought if it was known he had a wife or even a steady girlfriend it would hurt his status as the alpha male of the Third Reich.

Another much more pleasant example of male image and matrimony were the stories around when Paul and Linda McCartney got married. Some female fans were distraught Paul was officially off the marriage market because he was so widely adored and admired. To his credit he was more interested in marrying the woman he loved than the impact on his public image.

Some of the priests I have had the most respect for have been the ones who have essentially said, "I have no business counseling married couples and find it absurd it is part of my job." There was one priest in the parish I grew up in who entered the priesthood AFTER he had raised a family to adulthood and was widowed. He was popular because he DID understand the challenges of married life and parenting first hand. A few previously and still married Episcopal priests are accepted as Catholic priests every year. I expect they are similarly in demand as that parish priest was.

I suspect Gothard's ego is big enough to have Hitler sized delusions about his status in the eyes of his cult.

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