Did He Do It? – IBLP Board Action

The Board requested we not publish anything about them and refer instead back to the statement(s) that they put forward on the IBLP website as this would best express their actions and intentions.  We expressed that due to the many questions we continue to field on the reasons behind their actions we had to make some attempt to explain what we understood to be true.  Hopefully we can do this in a responsible and respectful way.

Bill was never asked to resign by the Board. He was not encouraged to resign.  In fact, the Board pleaded with him not to resign.  The Board wished instead to assume responsibility for the resolution of this matter and asked him to step aside until they could complete that task.  Bill felt he was best prepared to resolve the problems by personally contacting each offended individual.  There was a strong disagreement and, rather than limit his response, Bill resigned, as he understood it, temporarily.

The Board saw Bill as a public relations liability and knew they could not control him. For this reason they banned him from access to all IBLP facilities and prohibited all IBLP employees from assisting him in the steps ahead.  He was removed from all financial support.

The Board investigated the outstanding stories enough to conclude that there were no valid criminal or sexual impropriety claims against Bill. They have not accused him of such, are not looking to him to repent of that.  The matters that they sought repentance from involved harshness and insensitivity, pride and stubbornness, for example ignoring warnings to tighten up some of his protocols so as not to damage the reputation of the ministry.

For his part, Bill maintains that he has vigorously addressed each issue that has been brought to his attention as a means to bring closure. Board members have indicated that they are looking for more evidence of brokenness and repentance in Bill, and evidence of reconciliation with those offended.  Some of us have sat across from Bill on multiple occasions as he has asked us with emotion, “What else should I do?”.  We are not sure how to answer him.

Even though we may disagree with the way in which this has been handled we respect and continue to pray for the members of the Board that they may have God’s wisdom and courage to do what is right toward Bill and the families they serve. We are well aware that they are taking this very seriously.

Continue to Did He Do It? – Some Facts or view the previous in series, “The Cabin Story” and More

33 Comments

  1. Sam Sam
    October 30, 2015    

    “The Board saw Bill as a public relations liability and knew they could not control him. For this reason they banned him from access to all IBLP facilities and prohibited all IBLP employees from assisting him in the steps ahead. He was removed from all financial support.”

    Why would they plead with him to not resign and then immediately banish him and withdraw him from support? Those two statements seem at odds with one another? Maybe Bill misunderstood the boards decision at the outset and wanted to stay optimistic about returning although it wasn’t a reality? IBLP was very clear on their website from the first time they posted about the “Time of transition”.

    I’m curious if the statement “Bill was never asked to resign by the Board. He was not encouraged to resign. In fact, the Board pleaded with him not to resign.” is a truthful one… has anybody from your group spoken to the board or President to verify this?

    • Moderator Moderator
      November 2, 2015    

      Not at all. They were concerned that resigning would look like acknowledged guilt. They intended to conduct their own investigation, but Bill was intent in being in charge of that process. He offered his resignation once, was refused. The second time it was accepted based on his purpose to fix it himself.

      The physical separation was a legal move to assume no responsibility for what they could not control, at that point with an incomplete investigation and all. It was not based on any implied guilt.

      • Sam Sam
        November 2, 2015    

        They did do their own investigation… and Bill was not to be a part of it, he would have had a definite conflict of interest! The boards investigation is what brought them to their decision of banning him and withdrawing support. Have you checked your story with the men who made the decision, and not just Bill?

        • Moderator Moderator
          November 2, 2015    

          The investigation exonerated Bill from criminal or immoral actions. That removed the specter of him as an evil man, worthy of being banned for that reason. They did allege “inappropriate conduct” by Bill unworthy of a leader. We have gone to Board members multiple times to clarify what they are aware of. The accounts in Recovering Grace were cited along with knowledge of unknown testimonies. We took the only testimony provided us back to Bill. An clear explanation was given for the event which was passed along, and has not been responded to. Bill has not to our knowledge been confronted with any additional issues.

          • DJ DJ
            November 3, 2015    

            So do you agree with the board that Mr. Gothard engaged in conduct “unworthy of a leader?” Do you think there is any chance that the board is aware of issues that you are not?

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 3, 2015    

            Our opinion is that he should have diligently applied the accountability that others, like Billy Graham, have consistently held in place when counseling young women. We remain unconvinced that the failure to do this per se renders him unable to lead an international ministry, especially because he has spent two years being confronted and counseled on this and has openly stated his error.

            We are not sure what issues the Board may be aware of that we are not, but we were permitted several long meetings with IBLP leadership where our stated purpose was to determine that very thing. Our conclusion is that the information they have does not differ substantially from what has been stated publically. We sensed that, like ourselves, Board members were not inclined to believe every facet of every story published. We also heard reactions to the numbers continually repeated by RG leadership, of scores of hidden women reporting sexual harassment, so their knowledge and experience would also vote against that.

            We attended a focused meeting that presented the direct testimony of two staff women, presumably among the worst that they were aware of, women clearly unhappy with Bill. One specific incident was presented that bothered them greatly involving late night counseling of a young lady where all others were deliberately sent away. When we took the matter back to Bill, he presented specific details of the unusual case that left him with very little other options. There was no evidence that he had ever been confronted with this to gain the details. So far we have not gotten any further response to the reply we presented. Interestingly enough, there appeared to be no knowledge of “foot tapping” and other such things, something we found noteworthy.

            Bill has not been confronted with any other challenges by the Board with respect to his conduct, issues they know about. This remains a concern to us on several fronts, especially as he has been urged to reconcile with all those he has offended and has vigorously sought to do so over the past two years.

  2. DJ DJ
    November 1, 2015    

    So, since the board didn’t ask him to resign and they have found that he did nothing wrong, when is Mr. Gothard going to be back as president at IBLP? I’ve been reading the IBLP newsletters every month and it just doesn’t seem to be the same without him. They aren’t really even doing anything anymore!

    • Sam Sam
      November 2, 2015    

      The board must have found that there was wrong doing, otherwise they would not have banned him from the premises and withdrawn all financial support. If it was temporary they would not have banned him, and would have continued giving him a salary of some sort. As the Discovering grace team stated, the board must have thought he was a liability because of his actions. Their decision was pretty severe, and we can only assume it was warranted.

      • Moderator Moderator
        November 2, 2015    

        Please read the reply to the first question.

        • DJ DJ
          November 2, 2015    

          I did read the reply to the comment above, but there are still some things that don’t make sense. From what I remember (please correct me if I’m wrong):

          1. Recovering Grace published a series of allegations in early 2012.
          2. In late February, the board placed Mr. Gothard on administrative leave so they could conduct an investigation into the allegations.
          3. A week or so later, Mr. Gothard resigned from the presidency of IBLP in order to contact individuals. What IS new information to me on this site is that you state that it was intended to be a temporary resignation. I find that very interesting.
          4. On June 17, the board released a public statement stating that while they found no illegal activity, Mr. Gothard was not “permitted to serve in any counseling, leadership, or Board role within the IBLP ministry.”
          5. Since that time there has been silence about these issues from the IBLP board, until recently when Mr. John Stancil was quoted in World Magazine as hoping that Mr. Gothard would be “returned to his ministry to continue going forward.”

          So, what I can’t figure out is if (a) the resignation was supposed to be temporary, (b) the board found him innocent of wrongdoing, and (c) at least one board member wants him to come back to IBLP, why has this not happened? The only thing I can figure is that there is some sort of coup or power struggle on the board?

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 3, 2015    

            The Board is split in its opinions on the best way forward. All that care about IBLP and Bill should continue earnestly praying for them.

          • DJ DJ
            November 3, 2015    

            Agreed that this is a matter in need of much prayer.

      • rob war rob war
        November 4, 2015    

        Do you then disagree with the board?

        • David David
          November 4, 2015    

          The board certainly disagrees with them, seeing as the opening sentence of this page states that “The Board requested we not publish anything about them.” :)

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 4, 2015    

            It is our opinion that 50 years of service, building the entire organization as no one on staff would have been able to do, millions of alumni, many of which still appear regularly after all these years to speak of the intense blessing that Bill was to them, their families . . . often with tears . . . that that would be worth much more consideration that Bill has been given in the wake of these allegations. That we believe that RG has essentially framed this entire matter driven by, we are coming to believe more and more, misinformation and wrong motives. We have made this point in several ways, and it was graciously received.

          • David David
            November 4, 2015    

            But since the board is (or was?) Bill’s umbrella of authority, who is he to question them? I’m certain by now he has made at least one appeal to them, right? If so, he (and you) should accept their decision as God’s will in this situation…assuming Bill still believes what he taught.

            Oh, and there you go again, judging motives.

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 5, 2015    

            Bill was on the Board until the day he resigned. That does make for an interesting “Umbrella” equation, yes? Who do the Board members report to?

          • David David
            November 5, 2015    

            Donors, the state of Illinois, and since this is a religious non-profit, the Lord.

            It seems that the donors have spoken as cash resources have virtually ceased to flow in over the past decade. Bill always said that finances were a sign of the Lord’s blessing, so apparently He has spoken, too. It seems that David Gibbs III is pushing the issues with the state.

            Bill always claimed the board was his umbrella except when he didn’t like what they told him. Like not to purchase the Drake hotel, for example.

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 5, 2015    

            Donors are an umbrella of authority? Government, Lord sure, same as all of us.

            If finances are a incontrovertible sign of God’s blessing or displeasure, then Job, Paul were very guilty men.

          • Helga Helga
            November 5, 2015    

            So… you don’t agree with Mr. Gothard on finances?

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 5, 2015    

            What is my context, Helga?

          • Helga Helga
            November 6, 2015    

            David wrote above, “Bill always said that finances were a sign of the Lord’s blessing.” You, Moderator, stated “If finances are a incontrovertible sign of God’s blessing or displeasure, then Job, Paul were very guilty men.” It seems to me that you are saying that you disagree with Mr. Gothard’s belief that financial blessings or a lack thereof are indicators of God’s pleasure over one’s actions.

          • David David
            November 6, 2015    

            The board of a 501(c)3 has a fiduciary responsibility to their donors to see that funds are used appropriately for the causes to which they donated. I never claimed they were an “umbrella of authority,” and seeing as that is a fictional metaphor Bill came up with for self-serving purposes, I would never use the term. You asked me who the board reports to, and they do report to their donors, either directly or indirectly.

            And I certainly don’t believe that finances are a sign of God’s blessings for the very reasons you mentioned. However, Bill did, and often used the robust wealth of the Institute as a way to convince people that God’s hand was on him.

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 6, 2015    

            Helga: “It seems to me that you are saying that you disagree with Mr. Gothard’s belief that financial blessings or a lack thereof are indicators of God’s pleasure over one’s actions.”

            Bill also quoted Philippians 4:12 “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” He said it was like breathing, abasing and abounding. So . . . it is always good to stay balanced.

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 6, 2015    

            David: “The board of a 501(c)3 has a fiduciary responsibility to their donors to see that funds are used appropriately for the causes to which they donated. ” Am playing with the technicality you are seeking to highlight, but that “authority” goes back to the government, right? There is no “Donors are an umbrella” . . . I know for a fact that some donors have asked for things to be done going forward with the ministry which have not been responded to. If it were a vested authority, those requests would have been fulfilled by law.

  3. Helga Helga
    November 2, 2015    

    I have a question regarding the board of directors. Since Recovering Grace began publishing allegations against IBLP and Mr. Gothard in 2012, the board has had three members resign (four if you count Mr. Gothard) with no public explanation for the cause of their departure. Dr. Billy Boring (the former board chairman), Bernie Reese, and Ralph Hudgens have all chosen to depart from IBLP seemingly suddenly and without reason. Do any of the members of this website know why these three board members resigned?

  4. Moderator Moderator
    November 2, 2015    

    We do not know the reason for their resignations, are even hard pressed to speculate.

    • Helga Helga
      November 2, 2015    

      Thank you for responding. I find it strange that they were not replaced. The board has lost four members since the allegations and investigation began and have only added one new board member, Dr. Levendusky.

    • carol carol
      November 15, 2015    

      Seems a bit strange when you can speculate and tell us what many other people’s motives are. Are you just choosing not to speculate on these particular people’s motives? Guess your not an equal opportunity speculator. Just calling it like I see it. Keeping things real and honest.

      • Moderator Moderator
        November 16, 2015    

        Not sure where this comment was supposed to land, Carol. Which people . . . the Board? Lead me back to the context, please.

        • Carol Carol
          November 16, 2015    

          Yes, referring to your comment about not being able to speculate on why the board members have resigned. You have shared your opinions and speculations on many others not in line with Bill but can’t seem to fathom a guess as to the motives or choices of those who would chose to leave IBLP. My guess is that they no longer wanted to be a part of this organization for what ever reason. Smart move on their part it would seem!

          • Moderator Moderator
            November 17, 2015    

            Board members resign for many reasons. Some may have agreed to serve in a capacity that involved relatively limited time and energy commitment, and were simply not able – due to family considerations – to commit to the demands that a developing scandal represented. Given that each board member is being currently sued, you can understand that. Some may have committed for a certain period of time, which was up. You are free to speculate that they left because they lost confidence in Bill – knowing the lifelong loyalty of some that resigned that seems unlikely that they would leave because they didn’t want to help see this fixed.

          • Carol Carol
            November 18, 2015    

            You are putting words in my mouth by stating “You are free to speculate that they left because they lost confidence in Bill “. Please reread my post above and see that I didn’t speculate. I was giving a guess, never mentioning what was the motivation for their choice or how they came to that decision to leave. I am guessing you don’t like it when others put words in your mouth so please try and show some respect for others and refrain from doing that yourself.
            My main point in my comments was to show that you are speculating on motives of those who disagree with Bill and IBLP all over your responses on this site. Yet, you can’t give any real comment on the motives of those who chose to end their association with IBLP. Please don’t try to change my main point. Thank you.
            As a side note, have you tried to contact those who left and, rather then speculate, ask them why they chose to leave? Might be a step to take if you really wanted to know their reasons.

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