cult leader Bill Gothard, and his beliefs, which range from the bizarre, like expecting followers to follow old testament food rules to the disturbing, such as his view that most mental illness are the result of "guilt and irresponsibility". It became the most popular post of all time on this blog.
Now, I'm back to talk more about him because of two troubling revelations that have come to light about him recently: new allegations of sexual abuse against him, and new information about his deep connections to the immensely powerful homeschooling group HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association.
New sexual abuse allegations:
Recovering Grace has been publishing accounts by former followers of his recently of sexual harassment and molestation. The worst account yet has been the story of a woman identified only as "Charlotte". She came to the headquarters of the Institute of Basic Life Principles, Gothard flagship organization when she was 16 to work for his organization.
During that time, Gothard while "counseling" her, blamed her for being molested by her father, saying that she had "tempted him", and then in turn, went on to have inappropriate physical contact with her himself.
She was called into a meeting with Gothard and several of his staff members later, where he denied all of this, and the staff members had told her that they didn't believe her. Several former cult members who were involved in this meeting are no longer a part of the group, have confirmed this detail to Recovering Grace
She was promptly sent away from headquarters, and back to her family, who thought that she had done something wrong to be expelled like this, and rejected her.
Read Charlotte's full account at Recovering Grace
There have also been other people coming forward lately, an avalanche of people contacting Recovering Grace with their accounts of wrongdoing by Gothard, including a woman, "Meg", who was 20 years old when she was a secretary for Bill Gothard, when she was sexually harassed by him, and was told later that he had wanted to marry her. Read her series, Sacred Grooming, starting here, it's a 6 part series in total.
Deep, disturbing connections to HSLDA:
worst of their beliefs and practices, including calling a man who forced his children to live in cages a "hero", wanting state mandatory reporter laws for child abuse (laws that require teachers, ministers, etc to report child abuse that they encounter or face prosecution), to end, and their belief that anonymous tips to child services agencies shouldn't exist.
What's just as frightening to find out, as a recent detailed report by the site Homeschoolers Anonymous shows, is that Bill Gothard apparently mentored HSLDA founder Micheal Farris, and still has deep ties to the organization.
Farris's ties to Gothard continue to this day, and HSLDA, and Gothard's followers have had a very close relationship throughout HSLDA's history. A woman name Inge Canon, who developed Gothard's "wisdom booklets" for homeschoolers in his Advanced Training Institute system, was hand picked by Farris to start HSLDA's National Center for Home Education division. In fact, Gothard's ATI system is fully endorsed by HSLDA, and recommended to their homeschool families.
There have also been many other followers of Gothard who have gone onto jobs with HSLDA and their affiliated organizations, including a former IBLP board member who went to become a board member of Patrick Henry College, which is owned by HSLDA and Micheal Farris.
Read more about this at Homeschoolers Anonymous