Board Suitor

Federico_Andreotti_-_The_Persistent_SuitorWe received the following question from Dan:

“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.”

To this we responded:

“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.”

There were a few more posts, so we decided to give the topic its own thread.

The account, by “Meg” is a multipart 3rd person story serialized like chapters in a romance novel on RG.  In the introduction “Meg” states:

“And then I began to hear the rumors  . . . “Did you know Bill Gothard wanted to marry you?”  . . .  a former IBLP Board Member confirmed to me that it was indeed true that Bill Gothard had thought about marrying me. He was 59 and I was 20, barely 21 when I left.”

We did speak to Bill about this today again to clarify:

  • His mother had always wanted him to marry and was praying earnestly to that end (his father, on the other hand, was praying earnestly that he would not marry :-) )  In any case, his mother was the motivation behind the situation that ended up being misreported to “Meg” decades later.
  • A Board member, Mr. B, in response to this “motivation” asked Bill in a meeting whether he was considering marriage, and whether “Meg”, who, with her family was certainly a close friend, would be a candidate.
  • Bill was clear that he was not considering marriage, not at that point and not since, God calling him to singleness.  That was his response to the group, and there it ended.
  • The notion of an almost 60 year old founder and president of an international ministry asking his Board for permission to marry . . . is just silly.  Especially given that the consensus among Bill Gothard opponents is that he never cared much for the legally required layer of the Board to influence and control aspects of the ministry God had given him.  Think it through.  Yet that story has circulated and been reacted to continuously for two years now.

Bottom line, it is wrong to suggest that Bill initiated this discussion.  He was not then, nor ever after, a “Board Suitor”.

07/20/2016 Update:

We had the privilege of speaking to one of the Board members who was at the meeting where this was discussed.  Points of note:

  • Bill was the one who brought up the general topic of marriage, asking, “What would you think if I got married?”  The Board was emphatically in favor of marriage for Bill, but given Bill’s adamant refusal to consider this, this was unusual.  He said that Bill definitely looked uncomfortable, uneasy.
  • The discussion then progressed, and various possibilities were discussed.  “Meg’s” name came up quickly, since she was obviously a good friend.  This Board member could not recall who brought her name up, but it appears to not have been Bill – Bill named a different Board member as the one who did so.  There ensued a discussion about their relative age differences with the consensus that this would not play well with supporters of the ministry.
  • The discussion ended without any conclusion, and apparently never came up again.
  • We specifically asked, and this Board member clearly affirmed that Bill at no time expressed any romantic interest in “Meg”, which he would have done if he had presented her as a candidate for marriage.
  • I mentioned the notion that he had asked permission to marry.  The former Board member laughed and said, “If Bill wanted to marry, he would find a way to do it, regardless of what the Board desired.”  This was nothing more than Bill asking for advice.

The account as told us is consistent with Bill’s version, one in which his mother and others were putting some intense pressure on him to finally relent and consider marriage.  It is also consistent with his clear affirmation that he never thought of “Meg” in a romantic way.  The much discussed Board meeting did not indicate anything different.

70 Comments

  1. Beth Beth
    April 24, 2016    

    Did you confirm this with the board from that time period?

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 24, 2016    

      Did you confirm this with the board from that time period

      Well, I spoke with one Board member . . . Bill :-) We certainly would love to any other members that will talk to us. Remember, this is from 20 years ago.

    • David David
      April 25, 2016    

      Have you even attempted to speak with these board members? Of course Bill is going to spin everything. That is what he does…has always done. And he using you as a mouthpiece for that spin.

      What you are posting is is potentially defamation. You are accusing a woman of lying about what she experienced. You better have your facts straight. It’s not up to the former board to come to you. It is up to YOU to seek them out, beg them to speak with you if you must. But for you to post this without questioning anyone but the alleged abuser is reckless.

      It wouldn’t take more than five minutes of your time to ask Bill who was the board at the time and what their current contact info is.

      • Moderator Moderator
        April 25, 2016    

        It wouldn’t take more than five minutes of your time to ask Bill who was the board at the time and what their current contact info is.

        I know who the Board member was. I am, however, accurately reporting what Bill told me which, incidentally, does not infer that “Meg” is a liar. Her statement was that multiple people told her over the years that Bill was thinking about marrying her, and that a Board member confirmed more recently that Bill was thinking about marrying her. My information clarifies how “multiple people” came to that conclusion, since it came up in a Board meeting: “Bill, have you considered Rachel as a potential spouse?” Whether his mother specifically was focusing on her or not, somehow Mr. B brought her name up. Bill told me that after once again clarifying his calling from the Lord to singleness in that venue he never mentioned it to her because he was determined to not allow these long-playing attempts by others to get him a spouse to negatively affect his relationships with young women with whom he had a close friendship. “Meg” took far, far too much from the comments that were made to her by others.

        • Pam Pam
          April 26, 2016    

          Moderator says: Bill told me that after once again clarifying his calling from the Lord to singleness in that venue…

          Just curious, in other posts the moderator says Bill was dating the girl that was on his lap. In light of the above quote, why was Bill dating? When was he called to singleness? Before or after he dated? And finally, how did God communicate to Bill he should remain single?

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 27, 2016    

            Just curious, in other posts the moderator says Bill was dating the girl that was on his lap. In light of the above quote, why was Bill dating? When was he called to singleness?

            Bill for much of his life was “delaying” marriage, as long as the Lord had called him to the packed, breathless ministry which was IBLP. “The secretary” was with Bill from almost the beginning, during the time he was becoming famous, and figuring out what the Lord wanted him to do. 20 years later things were much different.

  2. rob war rob war
    April 25, 2016    

    The story about Bill going to the board for permission to marry “Meg” is part of the published testimony of Meg on RG who is also part of the current lawsuit against Bill. I am not sure about the wisdom here in either leaking out Bill’s denial of this as well as not collaborating this story with any board member of that time. If the idea here is that Bill is so truthful that he needs no collaboration on his side is really questionable. That fact that you have not gone to any board member of that time to collaborate this demonstrates blind loyalty and obedience to Bill. Pretty sloppy investigation Alfred.

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 25, 2016    

      the idea here is that Bill is so truthful that he needs no collaboration on his side is really questionable.

      We are well aware of what “Meg” – Rachel – has published. Up to this point nobody has bothered to seek Bill’s response to that until, I guess, we raised it with him last year. Nothing to hide on his part – and, again, he emphatically denies the more salacious spins presented in the story. In any case, we are no formal mouthpiece for him but are relaying information he provided us in response to our questions. If others have facts to present to shine more light here . . . that is why we exist.

      • rob war rob war
        April 25, 2016    

        does his lawyer approve of Bill “leaking” info to you guys?

        • Moderator Moderator
          April 25, 2016    

          does his lawyer approve of Bill “leaking” info to you guys?

          I discussed our situation with Mr. Gaffney as we are obviously not interested in causing problems. As far as we know, we are in good shape. As far as “leaking” is concerned . . . nobody is “leaking”. Bill has told us many things over many years as we have gone over the RG accounts, lawsuit iterations, and other accusations with him. If we have a question about whether something is appropriate, we do run it past the lawyers. But we are an independent blog, dedicated as we have been for the past 12 years or so, to search things out. We will keep at it.

          • rob war rob war
            April 25, 2016    

            Rachel’s testimony on RG involved Bill’s sister and board members. I would think since this is part of the lawsuit against Bill that you would have done your own homework and talked to the others mentioned on the RG article to confirm or deny Bill’s story on this. You have not done this but just gone with Bill himself as if that is enough. What are you going to do when all of this is spilled out in court and Bill is proven a liar? I know you are going to say he will be exonerated. I think that really remains to be seen but going on the internet and pointing a finger at one of the plaintiffs and basically accusing her of lying because of info Bill gave you with approval of his lawyer is really questionable and if his lawyer approves even more so. I looks like CYA (pardon my French).

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 25, 2016    

            Rachel’s testimony on RG involved Bill’s sister and board members

            So, I reread the account. Bill’s sister Anne is known for being “to the point”. I strongly doubt that she used all the words and phrases ascribed to her. One of our team members spoke to her about this recently – she continues to have her strong opinions of “Meg” which we will leave alone for now. As to the Board members . . . I read of a Board member’s wife. Apparently the Board was talking about “appearances” . . . and so pointedly brought it up with Bill as to his personal intentions. We are happy to talk to anyone who has further information and wants to discuss it. Bottom line: Bill considered “Meg” an excellent secretary and a faithful friend, nothing more. Ever.

            What are you going to do when all of this is spilled out in court and Bill is proven a liar?

            But, thank God, that is not going to happen! Because Bill is not lying. Others are lying – I know that in part because some of the plaintiffs have given contradictory testimony . . . and some confided in others that they, well, made it all up. You are bound and determined that Bill is lying and EVERY other witness is telling the truth. Your prejudices have blinded you.

            So far everything Bill has told me has checked out. In some stunning ways. We shall see how it all turns out. Ultimately the Lord is judge and will separate the light from the darkness.

  3. rob war rob war
    April 25, 2016    

    Where is your proof that “some have confided in others that they made it all up”. Alfred, that’s spreading rumors and that is based on rumors. You are skating on thin ice here.

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 25, 2016    

      that’s spreading rumors and that is based on rumors

      We don’t do rumors – or if we do, we will say so. The only thin ice comes into play if something is false.

      • Pegasister Pegasister
        May 2, 2016    

        Not to butt in late on a conversation, but you didn’t answer the question. I’m relatively new to this whole controversy but I know that your comment didn’t tell where you got your info. Please explain.

        • Moderator Moderator
          May 2, 2016    

          I know that your comment didn’t tell where you got your info. Please explain.

          We have seen documents and have personally spoken with folks, so these are not idle statements. We will get more specific if the lawsuit does not proceed . . . and if it does, the information will become part of the proceedings.

          • Pegasister Pegasister
            May 3, 2016    

            I know, I’ve been reading this thread and I am aware that you have both read relevant documents and spoken with several people. But the question was asking for a very specific point, namely, where you read or who told you that several witnesses confessed to fabricating their stories. Citing general documents or interviews for a question that specific isn’t quite satisfactory.

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 3, 2016    

            And I am sorry I cannot satisfy you further. With an active lawsuit still underway there are considerable limits on what is prudent to say at this point. Those that know us and specifically know me over the years will take my comments in the light of the past track record and draw whatever conclusions seem valid. It is as good as it is going to get for the moment.

  4. Dan Dan
    May 6, 2016    

    The only way to clear this up is to review the minutes of the board meeting. Doubtful they are still around but I would be surprised if they would ever reflect that kind of discussion anyway (though they should).

    The idea that he was pursuing a dating relationship when the young woman was seen sitting on Bill’s lap was a simple cover up for the obvious. Bill never once asked her father permission for this relationship. Furthermore, common sense would suggest that if Bill had any intention of living up to the standards of his own teaching he would have removed her from his immediate supervision and not asked or expected her to come to his office way after the work day was over. If Bill was serious about pursuing a dating relationship with her then he was reckless at best or was lying to protect his own reputation at worst.

    • Moderator Moderator
      May 7, 2016    

      If Bill was serious about pursuing a dating relationship with her then he was reckless at best or was lying to protect his own reputation at worst.

      Minutes of the Board meeting. Some day if I have nothing else to do, maybe I can go hunting. The woman is with the Lord – she apparently never referred to this event to anyone which would lead them to conclude it was not up there on her list of “big things that happened”. Once again . . . Bill DID step down from the ministry in part for “defrauding”, which is basically what you said, not following his own high precepts. He didn’t DO anything :-) In hindsight, even that step seems a tad excessive, although with all of the firestorm surrounding his brother, some large response was called for. Which also explains why it was not offensive to have him slide back into his leadership role not long after.

      The woman herself stated clearly and repeatedly that Bill never crossed lines which she considered “taking advantage” of her. How that played out in her family, I do not know . . . but, again, when she was in a meeting seeking to assist others who were attempting to corner Bill, she never mentioned this or any similar event. To her, it appears, this was not righteous fodder to allow Bill to be attacked with.

      • Dan Dan
        May 8, 2016    

        I think you are being selective in your review of documentation about the young lady in question. Since I knew her well, I am extremely confident that she would disagree with your interpretation. While Bill may never have crossed the sexual boundary, I am very confident in saying that she would shout from the roof tops of his emotional abuse and manipulation. But then again maybe she did?

        • Moderator Moderator
          May 8, 2016    

          I am very confident in saying that she would shout from the roof tops of his emotional abuse and manipulation

          If this is so, perhaps you can ask her why it seems that none of this troubled her for decades . . . until coming in contact with Recovering Grace. The shouting started only after folks with an agenda came knocking . . . and made her begin to doubt Bill’s motives, something she appears to not have come to on her own. That is a pattern repeated over and over and over with these “witnesses”.

          Proverbs 16:28 “A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.”

          • Dan Dan
            May 8, 2016    

            Don’t need to ask her. It was a common theme of many conversations before she died and with her husband after.

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 8, 2016    

            I need to apologize . . . one of the problems with long pauses is that one loses the train of thought. I thought you were referring to “Meg” as the woman you knew . . . hence the comment about speaking to her. With respect to the statements that “she” made, they have indeed been all over the map. I posted elsewhere the sworn testimony of an IBLP employee that took her phone call after her name had been publicized as a witness against Bill . . .

            RD Deposition Snip

      • Sandy Sandy
        May 9, 2016    

        Alfred – you have been asked numerous times to refrain from representing the woman you are referring to. Yet you persist. Would you consider an apology and a retraction?

        • Moderator Moderator
          May 9, 2016    

          Unfortunately she is key to at least the older part of the saga, as far as claims of impropriety are concerned. The statements and documents I cite belong to those that gave permission for their use, or they were made publically.

          • Sandy Sandy
            May 9, 2016    

            You did not merely refer to statements and documents. You interpreted those statements and documents without regard for context or audience. And you clearly referred to what there is no record of her saying. Just as there is no record of what I ate for breakfast this morning – you’re really in no place to say that I didn’t eat breakfast because you, Alfred, were not kept in my personal loop.

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 10, 2016    

            And you clearly referred to what there is no record of her saying.

            I try to be so careful in my statements . . . so what, in your mind, qualifies in this regard . . . of things I refer to of which there is no record?

          • Sandy Sandy
            May 12, 2016    

            First and last, you were specifically asked by her husband to refrain from representing her. In between, there is a huge void of both context and audience, as well as no regard for any evental progression of thought. Regardless, you agreed to not represent her, and you have broken your word.

          • Moderator Moderator
            May 12, 2016    

            Regardless, you agreed to not represent her, and you have broken your word.

            Oh, I never agreed to not speak of her, indeed I have to since stories about her continue to be employed to attempt to damage Bill. She – and the bogus “Cabin Story”, now long recanted by the Smalley’s – are a major tale still published on Recovering Grace. There was a time where I suggested certain motives for her as a theory that her husband strongly disputed . . . and I appologized for theorizing at his expense. I have since spoken extensively to someone who worked and lived with her and knew her well from the time she joined IBLP (IBYC) until she left. So statements made are based on facts, and are germane to the discussion. If RG removes the Cabin Story and several other documents that use her as an alleged witness against Bill, we will have no need to continue to counter those implications with . . . the facts that we have.

  5. Moderator Moderator
    July 21, 2016    

    We recently updated the original post with new information after speaking with a Board member who was there for the meeting.

    • Sandy Sandy
      July 24, 2016    

      And I’m sure you don’t see any inconsistency in these remarks:

      DAN says there’s an RG story that says to the effect: “there is an account of a woman who claims Bill asked his Board for permission to marry her.”

      YOU say BILL says: “Board had heard a rumor that he was interested in marrying … so it was brought up in a Board meeting. Bill was asked, he indicated that this was not the case …”

      YOU say BILL says again: “A Board member … asked Bill in a meeting whether he was considering marriage …”

      YOU reiterate: “Bottom line, it is wrong to suggest that Bill initiated this discussion.”

      YOU provide an update following a conversation with a board member that was in the meeting: “Bill was the one who brought up the general topic of marriage, asking, ‘What would you think if I got married?’”

      ~~~
      Your larger point is obviously regarding the content of the conversation, whether Bill was actually romantically involved with Meg or considering marriage to her. But regardless of the salient points of the conversation, you have to admit that you have received a differing version of a story that you previously took only Bill’s word for and adamantly stood by. Yes, I realize the conclusion of the story is the same, and it’s honestly no big deal to me who brought up the marriage discussion … or even what they concluded, actually.

      Yet it’s curious that YOU apparently felt whoever initiated it made a difference by the emphasis in your 4/24 remark that, BOTTOM LINE, IT IS WRONG TO SUGGEST THAT BILL INITIATED the discussion about marriage, and a little more curious that you didn’t mind making a “point of note” on 7/20 that specifically states that, per your secondary source, BILL INITIATED the discussion about marriage.

      Again – I couldn’t care less about the conversation or the conclusion or who initiated what. It doesn’t matter to me which version is correct. I only care to point out to you, sir, that everything you have heard come from that man’s mouth may not be entirely accurate, and as such, you may want to reconsider what you’re willing to stand behind.

      The 7/20 update does seem to correlate better with Dan’s description of the RG version, which you may find curious.

      • Moderator Moderator
        July 24, 2016    

        everything you have heard come from that man’s mouth may not be entirely accurate, and as such, you may want to reconsider what you’re willing to stand behind.

        The suggested possibility that Bill was actually romantically inclined toward “Meg” – without telling her, thus taking advantage of her trust as she accepted certain behavior in a familial “grandfather” way – is the main issue here, as that mistrust is what flipped her into a position where she is now suing him. Bill is adamant that he was not considering her for marriage. So there is an enormous difference between bringing up the general topic of marriage in a policy or business way, i.e. how it would affect the ministry, and presenting himself at the Board meeting interested in marrying “Meg”. The Board member’s recollections support the former, consistent with Bill’s assertions.

        • rob war rob war
          July 24, 2016    

          I just reread the Meg story on RG. The first mention of marriage was brought up to Meg by Bill’s sister who confronted Meg which upset her and was told by Bill’s sister that the family would never approved because “she was just a girl”. This upset Meg who told Bill about it and supposedly Bill talked to his sister and got an apology. Then in section 4, a board member’s wife took it upon herself to question Meg about her intentions with Bill because according to the wife of the board member, it appeared to some on the board felt that Bill was becoming too attached to Meg and he was favoring her. What is troublesome on a number of levels is that other women took it upon themselves to go to Meg with bad assumptions about Meg when they should have stepped back and realized that the blame here isn’t Meg but a 60 year old man manipulating a 20 year old girl that was in his employ and working as his personal secretary on top of that. These gossipy shameless women don’t put the blame on the controller but a 20 year old girl far away from home and alone. I don’t see where a board member’s wife has any business going to Meg and if she and the other board members were so concerned, then they should be going to Bill about how all of this looks. If Bill brought up marriage to the board under the guise of a hypothetical and Bill is not really a hypothetical type of guy, then that should have been the big clue here on what was going on. Bill’s caring for Meg obviously went beyond the father or grandfatherly feelings here. That is obvious no matter how you and now Bill want to spin it. Maybe at 81, Bill has divorced himself from any type of romantic emotions but 21 years ago, he certainly seem to have them even if he can’t admit it.

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 24, 2016    

            What is so weird . . . is that . . . whenever a woman expresses her feelings on a romantic matter, whether for or against, that is always vigorously protected as her right . . . her word is the end of the matter. For Bill, it just can’t be – any number of folks, including, you are telling me, family and friends – are permitted to second guess and come to their own conclusions. The salient point is whether BILL ever expressed or acknowledged a romantic interest in “Meg”, either to her or to family, or friends, or the Board. THAT simply did not happen based on everything I know. Bill obviously has been very close to a number of young ladies over the years. In only one case am I aware of – Ruth – someone else heard from Bill that he was interested in that way. For her part, “Meg” did not cite a point where he expressed such feelings to her, unless I am missing something. And she, apparently, never got clues to indicate that during her tenure there. Indeed, it was all taken by her as familial affection between herself and a surogate father or grandfather . . . for many years after leaving, and years after getting married . . . up until seconds before Recovering Grace entered the scene.

          • rob war rob war
            July 24, 2016    

            Meg in her story on RG did not express romantic interests in Bill but others around them which include Bill’s sister seem to have indicated that this is what they were seeing as an observation of their relationship which seemed to be or was starting to be romantic. They also (starting with Bill’s sister) were approaching Meg with their concerns or blame or whatever instead of going to Bill. Which indicates that they were blaming Meg and not Bill. Whether Bill wants to admit it to you now or not, that’s what the relationship looks like it was heading towards. And again if black and white, cut and dry Bill would even ask the board about what would they think about him getting married which is what you are admitting to now, then he must have something bubbling around in his head, even if he couldn’t admit it to himself. You just admitted that Bill brought up the question, not anyone else. Now maybe the board thought yes, that would be wonderful Bill is true, it seems like Bill’s sister here didn’t like the idea because “Meg is just a girl” and put a kabal to the whole thing and the expired visa where Meg now had to go back to NZ was the final nail in the coffin here.

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 24, 2016    

            And again if black and white, cut and dry Bill would even ask the board about what would they think about him getting married which is what you are admitting to now, then he must have something bubbling around in his head, even if he couldn’t admit it to himself.

            Not necessarily. It can also be quite likely that something was bubbling around in those around him that was coloring their impressions of what was going on. The interviewed Board member said several times that they, the Board, were very much in favor of Bill marrying. This was kind of the “cut off” point, where, if it were to happen, it needed to happen. And from Bill’s testimony his mother was emphatically in favor of that. So . . . the family AND the Board were pondering marriage for Bill. Perhaps a family member extracted a promise to ask the Board about it. And . . . it may well be that, as reports of this meeting percolated through the inner circle, Board members wives and family and all, assumptions were made back and forth that forced them into aggressive action . . . to keep this what was assumed to be happening from happening. Which assumptions, apparently, came as a shock to both “Meg” and Bill. From all indications, “Meg” didn’t believe that any of that meant Bill was romantically inclined toward her. So . . . why are we believing it now? The only difference in the equation was that “Meg” now believes that Bill asked the Board to marry her and has reinterpreted everything in the light of that. And so far that is not borne out by the interview that we conducted.

        • Sandy Sandy
          July 25, 2016    

          And … you go off on who felt how about what, when my comment was about one specific inconsistency in your reports. It’s not even a point that, to me at least, makes a difference in the bigger story. I already stated that I’m specifically not interested in what was on Bill’s mind, and would greatly appreciate if you can pay attention this time to the point I’m trying to ask you about.

          For whatever reason YOU felt it was important, YOU said on April 24 that Bill didn’t initiate the marriage discussion with the board. It was obviously important to you, because you made it your “bottom line.”

          THEN, when reporting what you’d been told by a board member that had been present at the meeting, your first “point of note” on July 20 states that Bill brought up the marriage discussion with the board.

          Let’s try again, and I’ll start by trying to be crystal clear – I’m not asking one single thing about Meg. Nor about how Bill felt about Meg or marriage or cheeseburgers. I’m NOT asking your opinion on whether it matters who brought up the marriage discussion. I’m NOT asking for any historical information about the conversation. ALL I’m asking for is an explanation for the inconsistency in this really minor point that you apparently thought was important enough in April to make a bottom line out of, because what YOU said and what you say the BOARD MEMBER said are polar opposites.

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 25, 2016    

            YOU said on April 24 that Bill didn’t initiate the marriage discussion with the board. It was obviously important to you, because you made it your “bottom line.”

            The version I presented after talking with Bill differed in suggesting that the entire discussion was initiated by someone else, Board member Mr. B. The Board member I spoke with – not Mr. B – said that while Bill had started the general discussion, someone else brought “Meg’s” name up – not sure who. Putting the two together . . . I bet Mr. B did.

            This is over 20 years ago.

            Regardless, never at any time did he express a romantic interest in her as a potential marriage partner. It is quite a significant difference, especially since the idea that Bill was considering her for marriage – believing he had asked permission to marry her when she thought they just had a close “father-daughter” type friendship – was what so grieved her.

          • rob war rob war
            July 25, 2016    

            Alfred,
            then why did his sister assume or think this? Why did she take it upon herself to go to Meg? Whether Bill truly had romantic feeling towards Meg or just over the top Grandfatherly feelings, i don’t consider what Meg described on RG and put in her law suite to be an appropriate grandfatherly type of relationship. A grandfather doesn’t hold a granddaughter close to him and then whisper in her ear that he never has kissed a woman. Meg was clearly emotionally manipulated here. Her testimony is very similar to Ruth’s where Bill was a quasi-boy friend of sorts with secretaries in his employ. I think she really cared about Bill because that come through on RG. I also think that is why she wrote warm letters to him afterwards. But even though she cared about Bill, that doesn’t mean she didn’t realize afterwards that she was being emotionally manipulated and used.

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 25, 2016    

            i don’t consider what Meg described on RG and put in her law suite to be an appropriate grandfatherly type of relationship

            Everybody has their opinion. Bill’s friends and foes alike acknowledge that Bill has always lived in another world, an older world . . . a world of decorum as it was perhaps a century ago. What is appropriate to one is inappropriate to another. Case in point – one of RG’s executive members, Wendy, details in one RG posting how she walked around campus at HQ with her visiting brother, hand in hand . . . and got scolded for it. She also details how she felt uncomfortable as Bill clasped her hand in both of his, gazed into her eyes, and shared with her – in front of the entire assembled staff – all of the wonderful things God would being doing through her. Were either wrong? I don’t think so. Did others object? Yes. Because our hearts are corrupted, and we start seeing evil in all kinds of innocent things.

            “Meg’s” story is called “Sacred Grooming”. Every time I see it, I exclaim . . . “Grooming for WHAT?!” If Bill was leading young ladies into attachments where they would find it OK to do sexual things with him, then I would agree. But . . . he didn’t, not even once. I am sure Bill got a lot of joy out of a deep friendship with another human being, much as I connect with my daughters, grandparents with their grandkids (I haven’t any yet). The deep, completely pure, emotional connections between young ladies who love each other as sisters was always a thing of honor . . . in a day gone by. Today, it is regarded with suspicion.

            Anne has always jumped to conclusions, sometimes right, sometimes wrong. She has had to apologize on numerous occasions for laying into the wrong person for the wrong reason. Somehow the rumors got going, and the posse swung into action. It is too bad.

            I found another depiction of the “Shepherd of the Hills” relationship, this from the Hollywood movie with John Wayne. Pictured are Harry Carey and Betty Field . . . The Shepherd, a widowed pastor, and young Sammy, they spending large amounts of time together, he teaching her how to dress and talk, helping her emotionally and spiritually . . . clasping her hand in both of his as he gazes into her eyes and speaks to her heart. Grandfatherly or perverted?

            The

          • Sandy Sandy
            July 26, 2016    

            And … there you went again talking about romantic interest when I tried as hard as I could to say that none of that was at stake in my question, and I was just trying to get at the different accounts of who INITIATED the discussion.

            I’ll just remind you again that you made a “bottom line” emphatic statement that it was WRONG to suggest that Bill initiated the discussion (per Bill), then made a point that Bill initiated the discussion (per a board member – doesn’t matter which one).

            We’ll just have to leave it there. I will consider the challenge unanswered.

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 26, 2016    

            A discussion about marriage where various prospects are discussed, including a specific young woman, is a different discussion about a specific young lady for the purpose of gaining approval to marry her.

          • Sandy Sandy
            July 26, 2016    

            Ohhhhh, so you’re trying to say now that both statements can be true because there were two separate discussions. LOL, except that you said you “had the privilege of speaking to one of the Board members who was at THE meeting where THIS was discussed.”

            Just sure sounds like one in the same conversation to me. Except Bill can’t be wrong, so it must be two conversations. My bad.

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 27, 2016    

            :-) I recall several similar discussions with you . . . as we go around . . . and around.

            1) I heard “Meg’s” version of the story in print, that Bill went to the Board and asked permission to marry her.
            2) I heard Bill’s version of the story first hand, that someone else – Dr. B – brought her up in a Board meeting as a possible candidate for Bill to marry, as his mother and the Board were actually eager for him to marry. Bill reiterated his commitment to singleness, and the discussion ended.
            3) I heard another Board member’s version of the story first hand, that Bill came to the Board to ask what they thought about him getting married. In the ensuing discussion – which included the Board stating that they were very much in favor of that – someone asked about “Meg” as a possibility, seeing that Bill and she were clearly very close friends. The ensuing discussion concluded that she was not a good prospect given their age difference, and the discussion ended.
            4) I went back over this all with Bill tonight. He stressed that his mother was strongly motivating for him to find a wife, almost as much as his father was opposed to it, so he brought it up to “test the waters”. He recalls quite specifically that Dr. B brought “Meg’s” name up as perhaps “God’s answer to your mother’s prayers”. Whereupon he reiterated that he still felt that God continued to call him to single service, and the discussion ended.
            5) This was over 20 years ago.

          • Sandy Sandy
            July 27, 2016    

            So for clarity, let me just ask this simple question:

            Who initiated the discussion about marriage at the board meeting?

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 27, 2016    

            Bill initiated the general discussion about marriage at the Board meeting in deference to his mother and others who were advising him to get married.

          • rob war rob war
            July 27, 2016    

            Alfred,
            was his father still alive when all this was going on with Meg? When did his parents pass away? I always thought his father went before his mother. While his mother might have been pushing for Bill to get married, from the Meg story on RG, it seems like his sister in going to Meg was against it or at least against Meg.

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 27, 2016    

            Father was still alive at this point, at least based on a comment by another person I just interviewed that recalls his passing, that was after “Meg”. I don’t have the exact dates in front of me.

          • rob war rob war
            July 27, 2016    

            Will Sr died in 1994 and his mother passed away in 2000. Both dates are from IBLP web site and Bill’s tribute to his parents.

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 27, 2016    

            That sounds right. “Meg” preceded that timeframe, prior to 1994.

          • Sandy Sandy
            July 28, 2016    

            So you just now said that “Bill initiated the general discussion …,” which does agree with the accounts from the board member you spoke to and also the account on RG.

            But what does the last paragraph of the original article here (immediately preceding the 7/20 update) say?

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 28, 2016    

            And that is why I “updated” the original article . . . instead of just adding a comment at the end. Let it go, Sandy.

          • Sandy Sandy
            July 28, 2016    

            I’m just looking for the part where you actully admit that your “bottom line” statement in April was a miscall on your part … a hyper-defense of Bill in a case in which Bill was wrong.

            I’m NOT talking about Bill being wrong, or for whatever reason or motive he was wrong – a mistake, bad memory, deceit, or whatever, because whoever initiated the discussion seriously doesn’t matter here.

            I’m not talking about Bill, but about YOU. I’m simply asking if you can admit that you believed Bill’s testimony to be infallible when it was not. When we get this straight, I’m more than happy to let it go.

          • Sandy Sandy
            July 28, 2016    

            Pardon my edit of that next-to-last sentence:

            I’m simply asking if you can admit that you believed Bill’s testimony to be infallible when it was not, *as evidenced by* your emphatic statement in April that any variation in this insignificant detail to Bill’s account was categorically “wrong.”

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 28, 2016    

            OK, I have put up with this . . . let’s make this the end :-) Bill is not perfect, he is not infallible, his recollection of events from 20 years ago may be off a bit here or there. The bottom line remains, not that he didn’t initiate the general discussion with the Board, but that he did not initiate any discussion of “Meg” (Rachel) as a potential marriage partner, and he most certainly never asked the Board for permission to marry her.

  6. rob war rob war
    July 25, 2016    

    Alfred, whether or not Bill lives in another world, he needs to start living in the now, not in past or his ideas of the past. The excuses you are using now which you have used before are the same excuses supporter of Michael Jackson used. And that is Michael Jackson lived in his own world, marched to his own drum and just didn’t realize that having boys over to sleep with him, while reading bed time stories was wrong and inappropriate. Michael Jackson just didn’t know because he was he never had a real childhood, etc. etc. etc. All these sorts of excuses boil down to that either Bill or Michael think they are above social norms, the law, the custom etc. and they can do what they want with whoever because in their sick minds, they are not doing anything wrong even though the rest of the world sees and knows differently. This isn’t about being some kind of old fashioned guy because that old fashioned guy is now dead and gone and those days are over and it’s time for Bill even at 81 to wake up and join the rest of humanity.

    • Moderator Moderator
      July 26, 2016    

      And that is Michael Jackson lived in his own world, marched to his own drum and just didn’t realize that having boys over to sleep with him, while reading bed time stories was wrong and inappropriate

      Oh, Rob, Michael Jackson apparently did a lot more than read bedtime stories. Nobody was stressing about bedtime stories. Which brings me back to my point.

      I for one do not want Bill joining the rest of humanity. I am tired of humanity forcing itself into all of life, and the Lord out. This stuff lasts . . . just a little longer.

      • rob war rob war
        July 26, 2016    

        Well, obviously he did “more” than bedtime stories with milk. But the point I’m trying to make which is similar to your defense of Bill’s behaviors is that there were many that went on TV in Michael’s defense that swore left and right that if we just “knew” Michael that he would never do such things with boys and that he was just in his own type of world or marched to his own music etc. While Bill may tried to appear on the surface as other worldly, he really was very worldly man. He surrounded himself with beautiful young people, his teaching emphasized success. He promoted Bible memorization in order for one to have success. If you followed his ideas and teaching, one was suppose to be successful. Sorry but that is very worldly and the world focusses on success and outwards appearance. Alfred, don’t you find it a little curious the ugly, the fat, the handicapped, the kids with pimples, were never around Bill? While the Ron and Don book went to task about Bill’s “mysticism”, Bill’s mysticism involved one memorizing the Bible in order to have personal success. It wasn’t to bring one closer to God or be more like God. No, it was based on pure selfish motives. Sorry that isn’t real mysticism in the long standing tradition of Catholic and Orthodox. So maybe you want to say you don’t want to have Bill be like the rest of humanity but Bill is very much like the rest of humanity that focusses on selfishness and success and external looks.

        • Moderator Moderator
          July 27, 2016    

          many that went on TV in Michael’s defense that swore left and right that if we just “knew” Michael that he would never do such things with boys and that he was just in his own type of world or marched to his own music etc.

          And the bottom line . . . is the bottom line. It appears that Michael “did” sexual things . . . and Bill “did not”. At this point we have one witness, Gretchen (“Charlotte”) that testifies to Bill “going all the way up her skirt”, and she is in the lawsuit. It is my opinion that she is not telling the truth, based on more than just my hope. And we have another witness – “Jane Doe II” – that claimed that Bill raped her on the “bed she had made up for Mrs. Gergeni” earlier. She also claimed that Dr. Copley raped her (as a 7 year old, if you add up the dates), and her father, and untold strangers as she was a sex slave. She has withdrawn from the lawsuit. I have been told her claims were investigated years ago by the authorities, in two countries, and found groundless. I do not know what is going on with her, and I wish her no ill . . . but her claims were, of course, plastered across the Internet when she was inserted into the 2nd iteration of the lawsuit. These are to date the only claims of actual sexual impropriety on the part of Bill that I am aware that have been made. There has been every motivation in the world for abused women to come forward in the 8 months since Gibbs first filed the lawsuit. He didn’t do it, Rob . . . that is the big difference.

          don’t you find it a little curious the ugly, the fat, the handicapped, the kids with pimples, were never around Bill?

          Not curious at all, because he only promoted and displayed the attractive ones. Every “business” in the world does the same thing, and is not considered nefarious for doing so. In fact, so did the Lord – you never found any handicapped person “out in front” of the service of the temple. Strange, yes? Considering that it is the Lord who made each one like that, or allowed them to become that way – Yet GOD says that having there, serving in the temple, would “profane” His Holy things:

          “Speak to Aaron, saying, None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the Lord’s food offerings; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. He may eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy things, but he shall not go through the veil or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.” So Moses spoke to Aaron and to his sons and to all the people of Israel.” (Leviticus 17:17-24 ESV)

          Bill’s mysticism involved one memorizing the Bible in order to have personal success.

          I am not much on mysticism, but I am much on Bible. When you read Scriptures like this, BOY, you just can’t help think that meditating on Scripture will bring success:

          “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)

          “his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night . . . In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:2,3)

          Was the Lord just kidding?! I WANT that! I want good success, everything prospering.

          Sorry, this is just pure, simple Bible.

          • rob war rob war
            July 27, 2016    

            I think you just proved by point here :). While it may be typical for businesses to “display the attractive ones” was Bill trying to be a “business” or trying to do God’s work and in doing God’s work using the world’s standards of promotion of physically attractive people in order to “look good”? God told Samuel when he went to visit Jesse that God looks on the inside, not the outside. You need to balance that with OT standards that only applied to Levite priests serving at the temple. Bill is not running the temple here and there is no where else that those admonitions are used in the Bible. This is using the Bible to justify the worldly use of physically attractive people which is what Bill surrounded himself with and caused him to no longer be at IBLP. I though Bill himself as apologized either on his own web site that he emphasize too much the outward appearance. This really undercuts Bill first night of the basic where he tells people to accept God’s design for themselves. So if God’s design is that one is fat and ugly, then Bill won’t use you because Bill only used the beautiful because that looks good to others and according to you, Bill is running a business first and foremost. Is that what you are justifying here? You know Alfred, I honestly don’t think these are even your values yourself. These are really worldly standards and modes of operation. I know you like to quote the old book “Dress for Success” but really is that God’s standards? In St. James, he talked about having a double standard where people were treated better than others by how they dressed for Church. Someone shouldn’t be attracted to an organization especially a Church or para-church ministry by the physically attractive people it has. That isn’t a sign of Godliness at all. It is a sign of emphasis on worldly standards which is always about outward appearances.

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 27, 2016    

            God told Samuel when he went to visit Jesse that God looks on the inside, not the outside.

            How true. And the choice there was between two very handsome young men. Apparently handsomeness and tallness and such are markers that God uses to specify the ones He wants fronting a ministry . . . or as king. Obviously the inner man was the key, and David had both:

            “And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.”” (1 Samuel 16:12)

            And here is proof: Moses parents are listed in the “Hall of Faith Fame” in Hebrews 11, because they discerned that Moses was destined for greatness. HOW did they know, what fed their faith?

            “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.” (Hebrews 11:23)

            READ it . . . doesn’t it say exactly that?

            This really undercuts Bill first night of the basic where he tells people to accept God’s design for themselves

            Not at all! The point is that outward beauty is a specifically designated gift from God, NOT so they can get rich or get people to serve them, but so they can be the most effective leaders possible. The fact that I am 5′ 3″ and “plain” is some clue that I was not designed to be President, let alone front a company or a major ministry. People gravitate toward the tall, the handsome as they think about leadership . . . it is the way God designed us. There are exceptions, and that is OK too. I have found great advantage and power in my “limitations”. In part, I don’t threaten people with my appearance . . . I find I can go places and get things done that others cannot. I have come to find it all a great advantage, my “superpower”.

            And . . . back to the Temple. That shows us how God thinks. Outward blemishes “profane” a holy temple for earthly worship. Kindly explain that. If there ever were a place to “make a point” on such things, this is it. And this is the same God who went out of His way to include

            o a man who technically committed incest (Judah impregnated his widowed daughter-in-law thinking she was a prostitute) and the child from that union (Pharez),
            o a former prostitute from a cursed nation (Rahab),
            o a woman from another cursed race banned from entering the temple (Ruth the Moabitess),
            o a man who committed adultery and then killed her husband (David) and the offspring (Solomon)

            . . . all of those in the lineage of the Savior to make a point . . . WAS in fact making a point by banning the unlovely from the public temple service. Design IS by God . . . and one of the reasons is to steer us into the calling He has for us. Bill understood that better than most. Sorry that that is offensive in our modern perspective, one that gives out trophies to EVERYBODY for participating, that expects that the world owes them a good job, that they like, with benefits, and “safe spaces”, just for breathing.

  7. rob war rob war
    July 26, 2016    

    Another point I want to make on this Alfred is that parents glamorized by celebrity Michael Jackson that let their boys go over to his house for “sleep overs”. They probably thought they were special because their sons were asked. Is that any different than Bill going up to some pretty young girl at one of his conferences then starts telling her that she has “bright eyes” or “continence” and flatter her with comments about how he sees God has big plans for her and then flatter the parents with the invitation to work with Bill as a big honor. Both sets of parents are glamorized by the celebrity status, one a rock star the other a big name Christian but really people bowing down to the celebrity and the flattery of being by one. You aren’t going to agree with me but there is no difference here. I also don’t see much difference between the Duggars and the Kardashians in the same vein. Both have lots of kids all over the place. Both have dedicated gossip columns that follow all their moves. Both live in the lime light and seek attention. Christianity in America has bowed down to the gods of celebrity, children are sacrificed to them, candidates are endorsed due to it, people trumpet their success and riches due to God. It really is disturbing here. I read Hebrews 11, the fall of fame of OT characters and one doesn’t read in that list so called success. I think Alfred you do have better desires and inclinations that this. Does God really want us successful or faithful and faithful no matter what? Do you memorize the Bible to draw closer to God or to get something out of it? That is the same for meditation as well. The video of the One Accord where Bill opens with stating that people follow the god they think is most powerful. That is an incredible statement Alfred. It is a statement of selfish motives and desires. Do you think this Alfred yourself? Or do people seek out God because we are empty without Him, we are incomplete without God? I find all of this the most disturbing about Bill.

    • Moderator Moderator
      July 27, 2016    

      You aren’t going to agree with me but there is no difference here.

      I would be stuttering out of exasperation . . . if we were talking . . . at this point. There is a WORLD of difference, Rob!! Bill didn’t do anything – NOTHING – that would complete the “grooming” story with what he was grooming for. When you take the sex out of it . . . what was wrong with that Michael did, even in showing favor to underprivileged kids? Using his star power to help them and their families and their self-esteem? The answer – NOTHING. That is the bottom line.

  8. Outraged Outraged
    July 27, 2016    

    Rob War did an excellent job of detailing the very thoughts I had about the appearance thing.

    Alfred, your response tells me everything I need to know. You likely do not even understand how telling your comments are.

    • Moderator Moderator
      July 27, 2016    

      I find it telling that I have backed everything up with Scripture. In the end, there are no comments on that, just a rejection of ME . . . because I don’t think right. Who cares what I think. The only One who matters is the one who wrote the Bible. But . . . instead of accepting the God that has expressed Himself there as He is, we have instead created a God in our own image, after our likeness . . . since the one in the Bible rather embarrasses us at times. See . . . THAT is what is telling.

      • rob war rob war
        July 27, 2016    

        Alfred, quoting OT verses about good looking people which also includes, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Esther, , etc doesn’t justify that Bill himself seemed to single out good looking people to surround himself with especially in the female department. In fact the only person in both NT and OT where someone’s good looks were used by God was Esther, where her good looks landed her in a king’s harem which gave her access to plead to save the lives of the Jews (herself included). While Moses parents saved him by hiding him for 3 months, there is no mention later about his “good looks”. In fact, Jewish commentators believe Moses might have had a speech impediment which is why Aaron was used or needed to talk to Pharaoh. I can clearly remember on the first night with Bill talking about how God uses our looks usually implying less than handsome or pretty and that physically beautiful have more temptations etc. Well if that is true, I’m not sure why Bill wanted to surround himself with people prone to temptations. If the natural inclinations of people is to be attracted to the attractive, doesn’t that say to you that this natural draw is worldly and not spiritually bent to judge someone not by the outside but by what is on the inside? Just using your logic here, not all tall people are meant to be leaders and presidents even though you are trying to make that a case. I think Napoleon was short or shorter than the rest. But for someone like Bill to hand pick just the attractive to surround himself with undercuts his other teaching about having Godly character as being most important.

        • Moderator Moderator
          July 28, 2016    

          I am having a hard time finding a handle here . . . you say it one way, it is bad . . . say it another, not so much.

          not all tall people are meant to be leaders and presidents even though you are trying to make that a case.

          Of course! But . . . there are many leadership positions – MANY – in every realm of life. Exceptions are exceptions.

          But for someone like Bill to hand pick just the attractive to surround himself with undercuts his other teaching about having Godly character as being most important.

          Only if you ignore every point that I have been making. There can be no doubt that the presentation of the good looking, impeccably dressed and coifed young people – with excellent character, a major focus – has done more to promote Bill’s message than just about any other. You CAN have gorgeous people sporting awesome character, and I think he selected his young people well on both counts. He believes his message to be God’s message, something you may disagree with, but I believe. So . . . putting the “good looking” ones out front has furthered the acceptance of God’s words and principles in stunning ways. It is obvious why he does it. And there is good Scripture to back it up. The fact that it violates the sensibilities of some and the overarching spirit of this age is in itself not a big concern to me.

        • B Badger B Badger
          July 28, 2016    

          Napoleon was actually about 5″7″, taller than most other Frenchmen of his time. The impression of shortness was due to the work of a British cartoonist. George Washington was helped in his career by his unusual height, strength, and stamina. He ensured that his bearing was always erect and his uniform immaculate. I do believe, though, that a physically inclusive policy is a better Christian testimony.

          • Moderator Moderator
            July 28, 2016    

            Thank you . . . for that information. I did not know that.

            I will not disagree, that a “physically inclusive policy is a better Christian testimony”. Instinctively we know that to be true. We are people of extremes. There was a day where a handicap was a sign of shame, and those that were, for example, in a wheelchair, were barred from so much of life. As you may know, Joni Eareckson Tada credits counsel that Bill gave her personally during a break at a Basic Seminar, she a nobody quadriplegic there with a friend, as providing the turning point for her, spiritually. She was to have been a featured speaker at the 50th Ministry Year celebration planned for Bill back in 2014.

            Today we have come to the opposite, where we abuse any notion of individual excellence and superiority. Or preference, for that matter. Don’t believe that is right either. If Bill has a pool of thousands of young people to choose from, there is a righteous purpose in selecting based on character and appearance when choosing those to front the ministry.

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