Bill Gothard resigns from ministry

Bill Gothard, founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles and the ATI homeschooling program has resigned from his position as head of the organization due to 39 women saying he sexually harassed them and reports that he knew about child abuse and didn’t report it. If you’re not familiar with him, his most famous followers are the Duggar family from the reality series 19 and Counting. As someone who worked at his conferences as a teen and was part of the ATI program for several years…I’m not really surprised by this. The whole thing is basically a personality cult with a veneer of biblical ‘truth’.

The group is losing a ton of money every year and hosting around 10% of the seminars they did even from 2010 and this will probably bankrupt them altogether.

Commence sniggering over his last name.

Not surprised at all.

Horrid people, horrid teachings. So much damage done to so many people who think they are doing right and living biblically.

Sorry, I must be missing something.

The closest to amusement I see is that the name means :


Sexually harassed women-Gothard-Got Hard

Ah, I’ve only had one coffee so didn’t even see that. Since it’s pronounced Goth-ard I wasn’t looking at it that way.

The Free Jingerites have been following this scandal closely. I’m pleased beyond expressing that this is the end result. This oppressive theology has harmed countless people.

Yeah, I’ve been reading about if over there, too. I wonder how many people will support him anyway.

FAR too many. It’ll be interesting and fun to read the internecine fighting about it, ala the rise and fall to utter destruction of Vision Forum.

I think JimBob and Michelle Duggar are too heavily invested in ATI to drop out, but I can only hope that some of their older children are looking at this and realizing how fucked up it is. The Duggars have sent several of their daughters to his indoctrination conferences, so I sincerely hope nothing happened to them.

I don’t think JimBob or Michelle will actually leave, but if TLC finds a spine and starts to ask them actual questions about that belief system, they may need to publicly start to distance themselves from it. Not a bad thing, since that’ll hopefully lead some of their watchers/fans to look into and realize what an evil nest of snakes ATI/IPLP is.

Sunshine is the best cure for roaches.

Between the sexist, overbreeding, mindless, religious fanatic, Taliban wannabe Duggars and their idiotic minister one hardly who to despise more.

Eh, I was there for a good while. It’s possible to come out alive from that environment. There are several blogs and facebook pages with x-ati kids, either sharing stories of shit they did at the IBLP offices (drinking, sex, etc) or just talking to each other to get un-brainwashed. I never talked to Bill myself, but worked with several people who were, for lack of a better word, his lieutenants. They were scary, most of them. I think I’ve mentioned on here the 3 day ‘counseling’ session I was made to go to which was just fucking bizarre.

I’m sure you’re aware of Recovering Grace, Antinor1. If not, it’s a good place for stories from ex-ATI people.

The fact that you and others “came out alive” from that environment doesn’t negate the destructive nature of the teachings, or the damage done to participants. Not that I’m saying that you are negating that, just that I perceived your tone as close to “I’m fine, so it was no big deal.” If you didn’t mean it that way, I apologize.

Was your 3-day counseling session a part of the Journey to the Heart stuff, or something else?

Never heard of him, his teachings nor his ministry, let alone the Duggars, who for one brief shining moment I misread as the Buggars. But good.

I wonder if there is any actual family called The Buggers.

I didn’t mean that at all, just saying that a number of people do escape with their sanity intact. And yes, I agree that he’s a nutjob that has hurt a lot of people.

No, the counseling was because I was part of a group of like 4 people working at a seminar that talked about what we found attractive in a potential spouse. Which is wrong because your parents are supposed to find them. Courtship as defined by Gothard is all about the parents deciding.

It was also because I’m gay, guys don’t wear jewelry, I wasn’t ‘manly’ enough, and so forth.

Oh, dear, you talked about SPOUSES? That your parents didn’t pick out? No wonder you needed special brainwashing. And of course you needed special counseling because of the gay and jewelry and all.

In all seriousness, congratulations for escaping that utter nutbaggery.

To be fair to my parents, my Mom has apologized for ever getting involved with them (my Dad died before we really talked about it) and she realizes it was way too extreme.

That is really awesome, seriously. I’ve read so many stories of people whose parents never realized the abuse and torment they subjected their children to in the name of that bastard’s twisted beliefs.

Oh I almost forgot one of the best parts! (and then I’ll stop boring people with my stories). We were kept up until like 1am while they interrogated us about who started it, what was said, and all that fun stuff. Then they actually called Bill sometime between 1 and 2am to decide what should be done with us. At some point, they called our parents, I don’t know exactly when. We were immediately removed from working the seminar and had to attend it. Then driven to Indianapolis where they have a ‘training’ center which is where my Mom met me and told me were staying for the 3 day torture session.