Minor Feet

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Pam, a poster, asked a series of questions in another thread about the “foot tapping”, “footsie” allegations against Bill. Still quite the top topic, it is worth its own thread.

Questions

“This is about the foot tapping behavior. So first of all, he admits it.”

WHAT he admitted to is, of course, vitally important. Bill has had a variety of familial quirks that he thought nothing of for 50 years of ministry. Tapping the feet of counselees or assistants to get their attention or to express affirmation to him has been exactly the same as tapping them on the shoulder or smiling at them in the middle of some unrelated activity. “I see you, you are important”.  It never has had sexual overtones, not for him, not for those so “tapped”.  That is fairly plain from the fact that despite open and unrestrained and public opposition to Bill and ATI for decades, nobody mentioned let alone complained about this until just the last couple of years, a coordinated and purposed effort by the group of disillusioned ex-ATI students calling themselves “Recovering Grace”.  We have seen evidence that some of those listed in the lawsuit thought nothing of “it” until contacted by others.  During the scandal involving Bill’s brother in the 1980s there was even a lawsuit alleging a sexually harassing workplace . . . Yet not a mention from any woman from that timeframe then or since about Bill and foot tapping.

So Bill admitted to not being sensitive to the emotions of some young women who were not comfortable with being touched at all, be that holding their hand during counseling, touching their shoulder, sitting close, or tapping their feet as he did on occasion.  Nothing more.

“But to WHOM does he admit doing it?”

Bill made a public statement a couple of years ago assuming responsibility for several such “quirks” that affected some in ways he never intended and certainly was not sensitive to.   We are convinced that attempts to turn this into a moral crisis were completely wrong and fueled by evil motives.

“Were there any men that received foot tapping? Were there any older people, men or ladies? Has the moderator been foot tapped by Bill? Has the moderator ever seen Bill foot tap anyone?”

One who later joined our team was “tapped”. I finally got to actually talk this through with someone. She is adamant that it was nothing more than a “quirk” of his to get someone’s attention and express attention. And, yes, she saw him tap the feet of a primary male assistant in a van they were all traveling in.

“And what does Bill say about this foot tapping as far as when it took place, in private sessions with people or out in the open?”

He has stated repeatedly that nothing was done in secret, and everything in an encouraging, affirming way. I have read him excerpts from some of the accounts posted on RG and he adamantly denied – as overtly false – a number of details that suggested otherwise. The young lady I have spoken to emphasized that this foot activity was a minor thing, maybe happening 3-4 times in as many years, without emphasis, without meaning. This was one of the women closest to Bill. As someone who – like most of us – might appreciate extra money in a stressed life there is a bit of anger at attempts to twist this into something salacious, worth getting paid $50K for. With a little creativity she could be party to the lawsuit as well . . . but that would require damaging her conscience.

“If it is innocent and not sexual in nature, then one would expect it to happen to a lot of people.”

Go back to the picture of the “Shepherd of the Hills” pastor, holding the hands of “Sammy”, the young lady he has been counseling.  Is this “sexual in nature” in anyone’s wildest imaginations? The closest comparison would be the relationship of a father – or even grandfather.  Would you expect it to happen to a lot of people in public?  Such an interaction is neither sexual – “harassment” – nor something you do to everybody.

Recap

Back in 2012 Recovering Grace, having unsuccessfully attempted to tear down Bill Gothard’s ministry by attacking his teachings and posting complaints about alleged abuse of students, decided they needed to find a way to smear him morally or it just wasn’t going to happen.  They began their fishing expedition by observing “Sexual Abuse Awareness Month” for the entire month each April, encouraging their readership to bring in their stories that related to ATI in general, maybe even IBLP staff, and Bill in particular.  During April of 2012 a woman came forward with a lengthy two part story of “abuse” by Bill . . . alleging he “sexually harassed” her by holding her hands as he counseled her and tapping her feet with his.  Soon others followed, delighted to have moral cover to redefine something previously considered innocent – albeit quirky – as a moral crime.

RG finally had something “real” to focus on and spared on effort to exploit it. We know they actively sought women out to participate since some on our team were approached. Every instance where a poster said, “He held my hands”, “he touched my feet” was taken as “a sexual harrassment event”.  They now went to a media anxious to take down another conservative Christian leader and declared that “30 women”, and then a few months later “60 women”, were accusing Bill of “sexual harrassment . . . . and worse”.

With this kind of momentum it was only a matter of time before women began to surface with other embellished and fabricated accounts alleging various sexual crimes, culminating in the recent lawsuit.   It is stunning what the human heart will stoop to under the public encouragement of others let alone the hope of a big payout.  The second iteration of the lawsuit was the coup d’état, the holy grail, a detailed story by “Jane Doe II” about how Bill raped her at the Indianapolis Training Center.  The fact that this woman was well known within the Institute, her claims had been examined by authorities in two countries, and that she withdrew from the lawsuit once her claims were publicized by her lawyer are irrelevant.  There will be no retraction in the national media to correct the slanderous damage done.

RG efforts were enough to spook the IBLP board and many supporters, driving a wedge that drove Bill out without as much as a formal thank you – let alone a pension – for building up this world-wide ministry with millions of alumni over 50 years.  Recovering Grace – “Mission accomplished”!

And to think, it pretty much happened because they succeeded in labeling Bill’s foot nudging as something new and sexually charged: “Footsies”.  A “Minor Feet”!  We consider it a “Major Travesty” and will continue to do all we can to undo the mischief that has been executed against a man of God.

35 Comments

  1. Don Rubottom Don Rubottom
    April 15, 2016    

    Very said to see you assert that NOTHING inappropriate happened but that Bill’ s hand picked board were spooked into driving Bill out “without so much as a formal thank you”. Wow. This sounds like the greatest wrong of all. Of course, if there is anything at all to the dark van and under table aggressive footsie claims, and alone in hotel room shoulder rubbing claims, your entire premise collapses. Readers need to ask which is more likely: the board, having access to all information relevant, fully advised by Bill and Bill’s lawyer, refused interviews by many accusers, concluded that Bill was not qualified to lead OR the board, schooled for decades in the power to obey and overcome, wilted in fear, despite the exonerating truth, abandoning the world’s greatest moral teacher. (Just being hyperbolic, I know you don’t actually believe he is THAT great, just innocent and misunderstood.)
    To support your version of the story, you really need about 30 or 40 young men to publicly describe on this site the many times that Bill has taken his shoes off and tapped their feet, and stroked their hair, and rubbed their shoulders whether in dark vans, alone in hotel rooms or during “counseling” sessions. You know, to establish the asexual nature of all Bill’s “affirmation”. While you are collecting evidence to exonerate. You are welcome for the advice. I want you to know the truth as much as you do.

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 16, 2016    

      “Very said to see you assert that NOTHING inappropriate happened but that Bill’ s hand picked board were spooked into driving Bill out “without so much as a formal thank you”. “

      I was not so sure at the beginning . . . but in all the research, discussions, interviews since this stuff first surfaced I have come to the conclusion that there are at least interpretations if not interpolations of actual events from 20 years ago. I have interviewed IBLP leadership, I have spoken with those that have worked with him closest from each phase of his ministry, I have spoken with young ladies that worked closely with him, including some who were not thrilled with him. I have been privileged to review some of the hard evidence that is available for a number of these accusers, statements made prior and even after allegations were made in public that completely contradict their positions.

      With respect to IBLP leadership, my wife and I were granted the opportunity to speak frankly, freely and formally with a number of them. Our question was, “As members of ATI we need to know: Is Bill evil? What evidence do you have?” We were graciously and respectfully received and were given something approaching 8 hours of discussion over several meetings. I was given one piece of data I did not already have, an event that was described by staff women that left them concerned that Bill had ulterior motives. When I took this to Bill he described a situation that matched the general characteristics of the event given. His explanation made perfect sense to me, completely correct – I took it back to leadership – several communications – and have not received any further response. No one had ever taken it up with Bill directly. Since this was represented as a major smoking gun, I came away convinced even more that there were not going to be any surprises coming from the IBLP board. My perception is that they are still trying to work their way through all of this – RG stories were mentioned a lot – coupled with some unhappiness with Bill for matters unrelated to any moral accusations

      Of note was that none of those I have spoken with – and I have asked pointed questions of friend and foe alike – recalled ANY foot activity. The young woman referred to in the post is the only one I have spoken with that has seen or experienced this. I simply have to conclude that it was, as she told me, so incidental as to be inconsequential.

      “Of course, if there is anything at all to the dark van and under table aggressive footsie claims, and alone in hotel room shoulder rubbing claims, your entire premise collapses.”

      Let’s start with “dark van”. Where is that coming from? I can’t recall anyone accusing Bill of even traveling with anyone in a “dark van”. Daytime van rides, yes, large groups. As indicated, my contact saw Bill tap his male assistant . . . Not dark.

      As to “aggressive footsie”, I have read those accounts to Bill multiple times. You know, the “up the calf” claims? He was adamant that no such thing ever happened. As I have stated over and over, if Gary Smalley could get facts confused with other embellishments that were not even possible, what about young women who are trying, 20 years later, to process interaction that they – from all we know – never discussed with anyone? Did the calf brush against a table leg? Did the jerk of a chair made some accidental contact? Who knows.

      There are two women in the lawsuit alleging that Bill “exposed himself” with widely spread legs. Interesting allegation, never made before. Others that worked with Bill closely over many years have reacted to this quite strongly. Bill did sit often with his legs apart – observed by everyone that worked with him – but calling that “exposing himself?” That is an active imagination.

      “To support your version of the story, you really need about 30 or 40 young men to publicly describe on this site the many times that Bill has taken his shoes off and tapped their feet, and stroked their hair, and rubbed their shoulders whether in dark vans, alone in hotel rooms or during “counseling” sessions. “

      Nonsense. First of all, there are no 30-40 women accusing Bill of anything. That bluff is going to be called. After two extensions from the judge, crazy national publicity with the potential of some real cash, how many women were they able to collect willing to actually testify to that? 14? With all the obvious desire on our part for this to just go away, there is a certain wish that these 14 women will actually have to take a stand and . . . get examined, something they have yet to allow anyone neutral let alone friendly to Bill to do. I am aware that some in this action told others they made it all up. There are not even 14. There may not even be any.

    • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
      April 24, 2016    

      Brother Don,

      I was glad to see you speak of “claims” in your post, instead of “victims,” which is the term some people use on the Gothard blogs. Apparently some of the Gothard accusers feel confident enough about their claims to bring them before objective third parties for a public test. I think this means they are also submitting their claims to an adversarial cross-examination which will sort out mere accusers from real victims. The show is scheduled to begin on May 2. May the truth prevail.

      David K

  2. Angela Angela
    April 16, 2016    

    You know. I’ve tried to stay quiet on this whole thing on both sides of the issue. But it cannot be ignored that Bill and the Institute as a whole were militant about anyone of the opposite sex EVER touching each other in ANY way. There was never any allowance for touching even if it wasn’t “sexual charged.” Innocent kids were made to feel immoral for participating in conversations, eye glances, or any touching. Many were fired and sent home for much less. I don’t think there is any surprise that after having 20 years to grow up and think about things that those “kids” would naturally associate Bill’s actions to have the same motivations they were accused of.

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 16, 2016    

      I don’t think there is any surprise that after having 20 years to grow up and think about things that those “kids” would naturally associate Bill’s actions to have the same motivations they were accused of.

      A senior Christian leader whose job it is to counsel young people is going to be under a somewhat different set of requirements than teenage peers who are in anyone’s imagination at high risk for flirting and hormones enflamed by touches. That having been said, I have heard him appologize to one that came to him with this complaint. In particular the young man was concerned with “fraternizing”, spending time in relaxed or social modes with groups of young women. Bill aknowledged the problem, of how young men on staff would feel observing that, and, even though young people are his passion, stated he should have been more restrained.

    • Outraged Outraged
      April 19, 2016    

      I have exactly the same feelings as Angela on this whole thing. It is *this* that has some of us outraged and shaking our heads in disbelief.

      For another thing, Bill (the one you keep likening to a “father” or “grandfather” figure) was never a father or grandfather. He was as single a man as any of the teens or 20 somethings he would’ve rebuked for attempting to explain physical contact with a non-related female as “brotherly” in nature.

      He, at the very least, has not held himself to the same standard that he MONETIZED to the THRONGS of people that are so often mentioned as proof of his successful ministry. He sold all this super-duper modesty and propriety stuff to MASSES, bragging about how many people attended his seminar, and then proceeded to NOT live it out himself. That is just wrong.

      It is very repulsive to me to envision having to endure him (or anyone else) tapping my feet just because the one doing it thinks it’s ok. Uh, no. Not my feet.

      • Moderator Moderator
        April 19, 2016    

        It is *this* that has some of us outraged and shaking our heads in disbelief

        “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” (Proverbs 14:15)

        The tales are troubling if not shocking. Did you read the account in the 2nd iteration of the lawsuit 2 months ago of Jane Doe II being led up to Bill’s private quarters where he had sex with her on the bed she had recently made up for Mrs. Gergeni? That would shock anyone. Except . . . it is a 100% lie. At the point I can’t provide anything else publically except that the obvious fact she silently disappeared from the lawsuit a short time after this was published. Did you read the “Cabin Story” on RG, complete with pictures? You will see me in the comments trying to explain it . . . and finally I stated that I was “out of my depth” and stopped posting. Instead I contacted Gary Smalley directly, the source for the story. I just wanted any clarification he could provide. My jaw dropping to the floor as he replied to say that his wife had corrected him that this event never happened (Bill in remote cabin with lingerie-clad secretary on lap late at night), but what did happen was fully clothed secretary – Bill telling at least two people he was dating her and she being one that said to a coworker, “Hands off Bill – he is mine” – on his lap in his office at night in Oakbrook. NOBODY had taken the time to talk this through with Gary.

        This happens over and over. You will find comments of mine on RG stating that I accepted the accuser accounts “at face value” except for Gretchen’s (“Charlotte”). Since then I have asked everyone that I can about “foot activity”. I was first of all amazed to not find anyone – current, past staff – that recalls this, given that it was supposedly so pervasive. Then I met this woman from the same time frame as several of the accusers. She spent countless hours, on into the night, with Bill in his office – her room actually overlooked his office so she could look in and see what was going on. Her first words on this to me were, “I don’t like to call people liars, but I cannot believe what they are trying to allege here”. Then she detailed her feet being “tapped” on 3-4 occasions over several years. Also seeing a male friend, assistant, getting his feet nudged on a van ride. Completely non-sexual, of no consequence . . . a “quirk”. Bill has “quirks” as we all do – this is one of them.

        These are my experiences. I am not a complete idiot. I have no interest in going down with a ship that is sure to sink. I did my homework, I went to Bill, I went to his associates, I have contacted every accuser that would talk to me . . . my wife and I have read these RG accounts to Bill in detail on multiple occasions, looking him in the eye . . . we have heard his responses. We have checked out his explanations in every case where possible.

        It is very repulsive to me to envision having to endure him (or anyone else) tapping my feet just because the one doing it thinks it’s ok. Uh, no. Not my feet.

        All depends on what you think is going on, right? I am guessing you don’t actually know Bill, right? Very few of the “Internet Judges” do. Boy, there are some serious Scriptures that come to bear on this.

        • Outraged Outraged
          April 19, 2016    

          Sir, even the most benign stories even you tell about Bill are outrageous in the context of what he preaches/preached about modesty and propriety between the sexes. I find it incredible that you fail to recognize this.

          I am not even talking about the allegations in the lawsuits.

          • Outraged Outraged
            April 19, 2016    

            “All depends on what you think is going on, right?”

            Are you serious? That is very disturbing thing to say to someone.

            Some of my closest friends are into ATI/Gothard. I have watched this whole thing quietly and closely for a long time because I have a lot of personal relationships vested in this.

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 19, 2016    

            Are you serious? That is very disturbing thing to say to someone.

            I am confused. If you think someone has ulterior motives you feel one way, if you trust them, you feel differently. What am I missing?

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 19, 2016    

            he preaches/preached about modesty and propriety between the sexes.

            Based on your perspective he would never approve of young people ever getting together, getting married, having sex. Again, do you know Bill? This is a caricature of the man. He did enforce a high standard for the young people there, simply because mixed settings can result in all kinds of problems. Just like the “blue and white” thing, attire. That was for conferences, not for normal life. He preached freshly ground wheat to make “daily bread”, which many of us have done and made . . . but when they had white buns, likely a donation, they served that.

            And, again, “Pastor Gothard” working with the children of his friends – old enough to be a father or grandfather – might be more familiar in his dealings than would be appropriate for the average male.

        • Outraged Outraged
          April 20, 2016    

          So, he was sitting there with (a fully clothed and consenting) woman (who he said he was dating) on his lap at night, unchaperoned?

          While this may change the situation from being illegal, it does nothing to change the fact that it was highly inconsistent with the lifestyle he was collecting money teaching people about.

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 20, 2016    

            So, he was sitting there with (a fully clothed and consenting) woman (who he said he was dating) on his lap at night, unchaperoned?

            The man is at this point about 40 years old, she is in her mid-20’s. Yes, it might have been inconsistent . . . but if that is the grave trouble of his life, it wasn’t too bad. AND, he told us – my wife and I – that that particular night – working late (she was his correspondence secretary), she was in a playful mood and jumped in his lap on a whim . . . just as Gary came up and in. And these are words from her years later that were recorded by one who spoke with her and made this deposition after the scandal with his brother broke, which had also sadly engulfed her. She had every reason to be angry with Bill and everyone else, yet her recollections were not of marginal behavior but of Bill’s sincere care for her:

            DD Deposition Snip

            So . . . I don’t think this was too bad of a situation.

          • Outraged Outraged
            April 20, 2016    

            I have read and reread your response to my post a number of times now. I’ve gone and read and reread a number of prominent ATI/IBLP teachings on courtship matters.

            I would be just as shocked to hear that Dave Ramsey has racked up credit card debt that we don’t know about as I am to hear that Bill Gothard has this kind of behavior lightly excused.

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 20, 2016    

            I would be just as shocked to hear that Dave Ramsey has racked up credit card debt that we don’t know about as I am to hear that Bill Gothard has this kind of behavior lightly excused.

            Life has a way of breaking us out of hard rules and patterns that we have supported. In one of the other threads I gave an example that Bill gave in one of the early mass-conferences in Portland, OR to the assembled 11,000 . . . meaning this was not his dirty little secret. It had to do with a sheet of paper that he held up, vertically. He then folded it horizontally so it flopped when he tried to hold it up vertically. His point was that if all you do it bend the paper straight again, it will forever flop in the direction of the fold. If, however, you “hyperextend” the paper in the other direction, THEN you can get the balance of the paper standing up straight again.

            Extreme Paper Bending

            His point was that those that seek to correct imbalances in the church will be forever dogged with familiar failures . . . unless you start by “hyperextending” in the opposite direction. If you are Dave Ramsey, you command: “NO CREDIT CARDS”, let’s say. No options . . . for those that have abused debt. You say why credit cards are a technical violation of certain Scriptural commands to “owe no man anything” . . . and give many stories of people whose lives collapsed in the wake of signing up for their first credit card (yes, I am exaggerating a bit, hopefully you get the point). You get people fired up about a credit-card free life, build alternatives to credit cards, even, that solve some modern problems that require credit cards. You create the “Cult of the Credit Card Free”. Downstream someone comes and is shocked when, spending time with their hero, discover Ramsey/Gothard pulling out their credit card to buy lunch. Then they begin to understand that credit cards are in fact not evil, just easily abused . . . and those that are free from the need for credit can, in fact, use it to their advantage without “racking up debt”.

            I have had these discussions before and will surely get savaged . . . but this is how it is. I recall the first time my family visited HQ and were served the lunch the staff was having . . . and, after grinding my own wheat into flour (really nifty mill) and baking the most delicious bread for years as Bill recommended and provided lots of help towards, we were served white buns. In retrospect, it is likely the buns were a donation, as they do get . . . but . . . I learned something. Bill knew that “freshly ground daily bread” was not the be-all and end-all of Christian health . . . but in order to get a bunch of us to a point where we had the energy, motivation to do what was clearly healthier, he needed to take a public extreme stance. And it worked.

  3. Pam Pam
    April 16, 2016    

    Thank you for addressing this issue. I do have more questions though. There seems to be some inconsistencies I hope you can shed light on. Considering Bill’s teachings on modesty, appearances, sex, and interactions with the opposite sex, it seems illogical that Bill would not know that touching people’s feet is an intimate touch (as “footsie” has been around a long time) He was very strict with young people and disciplined for much less contact. According to you, he was tapping feet for decades. So how is it possible that he would not know this behavior is seen as intimate? I mean he wrote extensively on modesty and how women should dress. Why didn’t he hold himself to the same standard as the young people and especially women? I find it hard to believe that it was an innocent oversight on his part because he was teaching very specifically on proper behavior and avoiding ALL appearances of evil. (Personally, I would NOT like any man touching my feet and I would take it as being hitting on.)

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 16, 2016    

      “it seems illogical that Bill would not know that touching people’s feet is an intimate touch (as “footsie” has been around a long time)”

      And I have learned that such touches do not mean the same to every person. In my personal background my fatherless brother and I were blessed growing up by a young widow, dear friend of my Mom’s, that did all kinds of crazy things, outings, events with us. Including playing “footsie” at restaurants and laughing uproariously. It was completely harmless. Bill did it to male assistants too. My source was no sheltered ATI girl, coming to IBLP as a troubled youth. If anyone would have seen covert sexual activity for what it was, it would have been her. She knew a number of the women in the lawsuit, knew them well. She bristles at the harmless things they are trying to turn into moral events.

      “So how is it possible that he would not know this behavior is seen as intimate? I mean he wrote extensively on modesty and how women should dress.”

      And maybe it was because this was “no big deal”. Or shouldn’t have been. Our culture has corrupted so much. What about hand-holding? The scene from the “Shepherd of the Hills” play I caught depicts something that for 100 years was regarded as sweet and encouraging. We live in a sewer society.

      Titus 1:15

      “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”

      “(Personally, I would NOT like any man touching my feet and I would take it as being hitting on.)”

      I get that, and that is the point my wife and I have brought to Bill. Every person – especially every woman in the matter of touches – is different. The motive is irrelevant. One of the women in the suit complained violently about Bill putting his hand on her back to help her into a van. Once regarded as an act of chivalry . . . well . . . for some, not so much. But . . . that is how you take it . . . and if you don’t like it, you say so. I have yet to hear of an instance where any young lady made note of something that bothered her and that situation was repeated.

      • Sharon Lee Sharon Lee
        April 19, 2016    

        Alfred,

        Hmmmm….. A dear friend of your mom played ‘footsie’ with you and your siblings…..Really?!?!

        It would be prudent for you to familiarize yourself with EXACTLY what you are referring or admitting to:
        A Google Search defines ‘footsie’:
        ‘Footsie’ is an intimate and playful way to flirt. It’s usually done secretly when others are not around which makes it a little extra mischievous and fun.
        Here is the link to describe just how it is ‘played’.
        http://www.wikihow.com/Play-Footsie

        I am much older than you. Discreet, under the table ‘footsie flirting’ was practiced when I was a young girl. I feel certain that this ‘seductive teasing’ is a distraction that has been enjoyed for a very long time….

        This activity is initiated SHOE-LESS, Alfred. There are NO shoes in place. If the ‘initiator’ is not bare footed, at most, the feet display ONLY stockings or socks.

        These ladies testimonies are NOT describing ‘foot tapping’. (READ their assertions void of your present bias.)
        No doubt, as young girls, they did NOT know the proper term to give this unwanted and unprovoked assault on their naivety.
        Consequently, when their stories were acknowledged then accepted as factual by RG, the appropriate locution (‘footsie’)
        was then indicated.

        There are numerous RG testimonies describing and affirming, in truth, ‘this sexual assault’. Bill, when confronted, opted to distort the ladies’ accounts of what actually took place then misrepresented his offenses as mere ‘foot tapping’. He further elaborated in his attempts to distract from the truth by stating these incidents were nothing more than a ‘tap of affirmation’. He equated this action with a ‘tap on the shoulder or hand’. (Perhaps there were purposeful ‘foot taps of affirmation with his shoes on that were evidenced in public’.) Clearly, this is NOT what the women are describing!!

        Motive IS everything in determining anything within the christian realm!! What IS the reason behind whatever we do??

        Alfred, I am choosing my words carefully. Every attempt at being sympathetic of your overwhelming devotion to your friend has been made. If this were a dilemma involving one of your children, you would do everything possible to ‘discover all salient facts prior to making a determination or judgment’. You know that true christian love ‘leaves no stone unturned when seeking truth’. Would you consider changing your approach regarding any further research or investigation? As you interact with your beloved friend, perhaps you can change your strategy to one that is more conducive to extracting truthfulness…. (As I began to type this evening, I am ever mindful of Ephesians 3:20.) Just as you are heartbroken and angry over what you feel is an unjustified attack toward Bill, attempt to understand the heartache and bitterness those of us defending the women are experiencing. Most significant is the underlying, unfathomable grief they attempt to reveal in their letters. Individually and collectively, we ALL feel it paramount to arrive at God’s truth.

        Ultimately, even IF a court of law should find Bill blameless, what will be the ‘eternal repercussions’ IF he is not???

        In Christ….

        • Moderator Moderator
          April 19, 2016    

          It would be prudent for you to familiarize yourself with EXACTLY what you are referring or admitting to

          I am noting that foot activity under the table was a joke then, and, reflecting on it almost 50 years later (how old do you think I am?), I remain of the same opinion. Just because some people are into “foot fetishes” doesn’t mean everyone is. Such a thing has never had sexual connotation to me – why besmirch everyone by demanding it be so taken? See, this is the problem. To the impure, nothing is pure. I recall a day when holding hands with a sibling or dear friend of the same gender was sweet . . . now it means something terrible. No, it doesn’t.

          These ladies testimonies are NOT describing ‘foot tapping’. (READ their assertions void of your present bias.)

          I have read them many times. I talked this through in detail with a real, live woman who experienced “this” with Bill. Sorry, *I* think there is some creative exaggeration going on. No, I know this is the case. Right along with accusing Bill of “exposing himself” because he routinely sits with his legs apart. Remember, this was 20 years ago, or more. And you are going to tell me that the mind is not going to move this along to fit some evil thing that can actually harm Bill? I have seen the testimonies of these very women, years after they were allegedly so abused, effusive in their love and respect for Bill, unsolicited comments. How did we get from such a happy, peaceful disposition, certainly not talking about this to anyone else for decades, to abused and savaged and unable to cope and in need of monetary remuneration? It just doesn’t fit, Sharon.

          Motive IS everything in determining anything within the christian realm!!

          Agreed! Please humor me and again view the image of the Branson pastor holding the hands of his young friend. What evil motive would he have? Why must Bill have evil motives?

          attempt to understand the heartache and bitterness those of us defending the women are experiencing.

          I am curious, Sharon. Do you know any of these women personally, are able to interact with them, corroborate their accounts? Or are you simply responding to the well polished accounts that RG has set forward? Yes, RG has professional editors at their disposal, and they use them. Again, MY investigation, my discussions suggest that these are at best exaggerations.

          Ultimately, even IF a court of law should find Bill blameless, what will be the ‘eternal repercussions’ IF he is not???

          Wow. Have you ever considered that this sword can also swing back in the other direction? Should RG prevail in their intent and Bill is condemned and washed away – and he is NOT guilty – what will the Lord do to those who did this deed, and those who helped them? If you knew half the stuff I know, you would be not speaking as you are. I say that with an open heart and conscience before the Lord.

          • Outraged Outraged
            April 19, 2016    

            You need to be careful not to presume that any who ponder this whole thing is doing so of malicious intent. Some, like myself, lose sleep over it, realizing that if I come to a different conclusion about ATI/Gothard than the people in the circles that I am currently in, I will be looking at losing my church home and my friends as well.

            It is a terrible thing for a moderator of such a board as this to pronounce judgements on people without knowing the stories of the ones posting.

            I think I have pretty much read all the posts on this website. I find your tone to be condescending and rude. I don’t say that lightly. I am trying to look at this objectively and, yes, optimistically because I have so much to gain and so much to lose….

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 19, 2016    

            It is a terrible thing for a moderator of such a board as this to pronounce judgements on people without knowing the stories of the ones posting.

            For the last 5 years or so – and long before that if you count the Yahoo forum – folks have savaged Bill and his reputation unfettered. Some of us have stepped up and done our research and found a lot of baloney mixed in there. Things that have unjustly harmed Bill and a ministry that many regard as God ordained and key in the battle against all that the devil is doing in these last days. It is distressing. So forgive me for reacting a bit when, in the face of considerable evidence to the contrary, some continue to accept every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of Recovering Grace. If someone puts pen to paper, they must be believed, as long as they oppose Bill. Recovering Grace has met every technical standard for defamation . . . so . . . I wonder what the Lord of all of our spirits thinks about it? The judgments, if any, come from Him. At what point will there be some accountability?

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 19, 2016    

            You need to be careful not to presume that any who ponder this whole thing is doing so of malicious intent.

            On further reflection . . . I am sorry for coming off universally combative. I see certain arguments, phrases, and I react. You are right – I don’t know all that goes on. Jesus does, and He expects me to assume the best until I know otherwise otherwise. I apologize.

        • Dan Dan
          May 17, 2016    

          Carefully and well stated Sharon

  4. Dan Dan
    April 21, 2016    

    On the RG website there is an account of a woman who claims Bill asked his Board for permission to marry her. Not sure if I have this exactly correct but I think this was the essence of it. Have you ever confirmed this with either the Board or Bill? Just curious.

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 22, 2016    

      On the RG website there is an account of a woman who claims Bill asked his Board for permission to marry her

      Bill discussed that account with us last year. What actually happened was that Board had heard a rumor that he was interested in marrying this young woman . . . so it was brought up in a Board meeting. Bill was asked, he indicated that this was not the case . . . and that was the end of that.

      • Pam Pam
        April 22, 2016    

        Moderator, were you able to interview any of the board members or anyone else to confirm Bill’s account?

        • Moderator Moderator
          April 22, 2016    

          Moderator, were you able to interview any of the board members or anyone else to confirm Bill’s account?

          I have not. This is over 20 years ago. If you know who I can and should talk to, let me know. I will clarify with Bill as well. There was a bit more to the story that I am not recalling . . . others were interested in Bill marrying, perhaps one of his siblings or his father and put this young woman’s name forward to the Board. It may even have been a Board member. Regardless, it is completely false that Bill intiated this discussion.

      • David David
        April 22, 2016    

        “Bill was asked, he indicated that this was not the case . . . and that was the end of that.”

        And there it is, crystal clear…the philosophy of this entire website:

        “Bill said it, Alfred believes it, and that settles it.”

        • Moderator Moderator
          April 22, 2016    

          And there it is, crystal clear…the philosophy of this entire website:

          “Bill said it, Alfred believes it, and that settles it.”

          If you have something substantive to add, David, go ahead and do it. You do know that the only version of this is the account told in the enormously long romance novel on RG. As Scripture says, “his neighbor cometh and searcheth him”. I took the story to the best source I know – the only person I know who was there – and got a very different tale. Everything he told me lines up with what “Meg” was told, that her name came up in a Board meeting . . . so Bill was “thinking” about that marriage possibility . . . because her name was brought up by others to ask if he had considered and was interested, others feeling he should marry. He was not interested in pursuing marriage with her or anyone . . . that “that was the end of that” :-)

          And, come on . . . one of the most prominent evangelical leaders in the country, President and founder of an international ministry boasting millions of alumni . . . asking permission of his Board to marry?! Think about it . . . that . . . is silly.

          • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
            April 23, 2016    

            Brother, I agree. Not only would it be silly to solicit a ministry board for permission to marry, it would be girly. Had I been on such a board and been so solicited, I would have advised Bill to man up and marry the woman if he wants to. Leave the board out of it. Permission from a woman’s father? Yes! That is old-fashioned, manly, and honorable. But a board of directors? Not so much. Borderline goofy, though harmless. Here is the old-fashioned way to do it: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/05/15/asking-a-womans-father-for-her-hand-in-marriage/

            Long live love,
            David K

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 23, 2016    

            Had I been on such a board and been so solicited, I would have advised Bill to man up and marry the woman if he wants to

            Common sense starts to prevail! :-) This may be worth its own thread . . . Going to see if I can split it off.

  5. David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
    April 24, 2016    

    Just so you know your wit isn’t wasted, I finally got the pun on “minor feat” in your title. Pretty cute.

    David K

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 24, 2016    

      :-)

  6. Eric Eric
    June 17, 2016    

    I think you should get your theology and doctrine from the Bible insread of the Shepard of the Hills. your example from the Shepard of theHills would get a male publicly humiliated and sent packing if they were holding hands. bill should be setting an example instead od do as I say not as I do.

    let ask you a question. please answer yes or no AND why. up chicago way there is a church called truth and deliverance international ministries. would ayou allow former staff member David gardner to minister to your wife and daughters by holding their hands touching their hair and to get their attention and encourage them by foot tapping?

    • Moderator Moderator
      June 17, 2016    

      Shepard of theHills would get a male publicly humiliated and sent packing

      That IS kind of the point. In a day gone by . . . this was considered sweet and noble and a blessing . . . In our corrupted modern that that most definitely has a problem figuring out the difference between good and evil . . . it is considered really bad. By some. Especially those wanting to find fault with the “The Shepherd” because he made them made.

      there is a church called truth and deliverance international ministries. would ayou allow former staff member David gardner to minister to your wife and daughters by holding their hands touching their hair and to get their attention and encourage them by foot tapping?

      Sorry, can’t answer yes or no. We don’t allow random people access to our family in ways like that that are reserved for “family”. I don’t know David, so . . . how can I answer? I do know that other major pastors have laughed at what is being attempted here . . . since those that ARE like fathers to their flock are not affaid to give a touch of care in a time of need, a pat of compassion. It is not evil, it is not perverted. Those that have attempted to damage the ministry of the Lord through Bill by this reprehensible means will surely give account to Him.

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