The Suit is Retired

blue_suit_offAnd, just like that . . . It is over. On February 26th, 2018 at 9:00am the final gavel fell on the lawsuit against Bill Gothard and IBLP that has consumed the attention of so many of us for the past 2 years. All remaining plaintiffs – 12 at this point – filed paperwork to voluntarily dismiss the charges. The original suit of 8 plaintiffs was filed toward the end of 2015 citing IBLP for negligence. Over a period of months the number of plaintiffs grew to 17, Bill was added as a defendant as well as Dr. Ken Copley and Matthew Heard. Some plaintiffs dropped early, all criminal charges were dropped, Dr. Copley was dropped.  Then, last fall, 5 more voluntarily left the suit, including the initial plaintiff, Gretchen Wilkinson. The legal team wanted the process kept silent as they worked to find a full solution, so we complied and did not report this.  The suit was to have entered the deposition stage today.  Instead, the remaining plaintiffs left. All claims – totaling around $8 million – against IBLP, Bill Gothard and other named defendants are included in the dismissal.

Our team was deeply grateful for the Board covering all expenses of legal support and protection for Bill during this time.  We remain very impressed with the skill and experience of Glenn Gaffney, the lawyer that directly represents him.

 

What We Can Say, What We Can’t Say, and What We Suspect

All of the plaintiffs made a statement on Spiritual Sounding Board today.  In the process a couple of the “Jane Does” unmasked themselves, which took some courage.  One “Doe”, Emily Jaeger, posted a lengthy statement of her own.

We have been working on a statement for some time, so will proceed with what we know and respond to details of plaintiff statements in the future.

We can say that, having being backed by two respected law firms, the collapse of the suit was not for incompetence, unlike the original debacle with their prior attorney, David Gibbs III, who was kicked off by the judge.  We can also say that no money changed hands, meaning there was no settlement, each side taking care of their own expenses.  As an elective end to the action on the plaintiff side the court leaves the matter “without prejudice”, meaning they could in theory refile the charges within one year from the drop point.

What we suspect is that the case simply fell apart.  Several of our team were privileged to support the defense with research and analysis in an official capacity – with that as background:

1) Discovery – “Discovery” is the point in the lawsuit where each side is required to provide all documents, communications, statements that reference the case and its claims. Discovery was brutal for the plaintiffs.  Several waves of defense demands produced 30,000 pages of mostly Facebook chats from and between the plaintiffs, beside other discovery documents.  This yielded crystal clear evidence of coordinated collusion between Recovering Grace, lawyers associated with RG, and the plaintiffs with the primary purpose of destroying Bill and his ministry.  Much evidence proved that the alleged “negligence” and “abuse” being claimed were stood up to make sure the lawsuit succeeded.

One plaintiff had absolutely nothing to report on things that Bill had done to her.  Faced with the threat of being dropped, that night she had a vivid dream of Bill molesting her.  When she reported it to Gibbs, he assured her it must be true, and put the dream as an actual event in the complaints.  Afterwards she agonized to others about the possibility that he had misled her, that maybe the dream was not true after all.   A plaintiff wondered if Bill’s hands might have slipped while “casting out demons” from her (a practice he does not follow, by the way).  That was also subsequently sewn into the suit.  Another was asked by a lawyer to list the worst thing Bill had ever done to her:  Her reply, “He almost kissed me once”.   For this she was asking $450,000 in damages.  Plaintiffs were openly pleading with others to help them remember – and potential witness after witness told them that, after 20 years, they simply could not remember.

The 30,000 pages of typical Facebook chats were just the beginning.  The plaintiffs had actively collaborated in several secret forums, some set up by Recovering Grace, some set up by the law firms, none of which were produced and which they were now under subpoena to present in entirety – TODAY.  We saw evidence of them preparing to delete large amounts of these interactions, which is a crime. The possibility of sanctions for failing to produce these communications after repeated judge-blessed requests to do so was very real.  It was the suspicion of the defense team that these years-long thought-to-be-private bare knuckle chats would have absolutely shredded their claims of both abuse and “inability to remember”.  And the likely inability to produce them would have cost them all a lot of money.

Legal wisdom would have cautioned them away from any discussions in any format other than audio and any that counseled them otherwise did not serve them well.  On the other hand, the plaintiffs as a group demanded that they be allowed to continue to support each other with chats, even when some on their legal team were concerned.  “Without chats there would be no lawsuit” was a statement made over and over.  So a double-edged sword:  No collaboration, no suit, yet collaboration, trading memories and strategies, supporting each other emotionally, hastened the end of the suit.

2) Statutes of Limitations – The defense lawyers were stunned when Judge Popejoy allowed the case to continue a year ago in the face of the failure of even one plaintiff to meet the statute of limitations for the type of charges being discussed. It was clear that he was giving them every benefit of every doubt.  However, the ground on which the suit was allowed to proceed in the face of that was extremely narrow.  That basis was the plaintiffs individually being able to prove that the alleged damage did not commence until a point within recent history when they first realized that they were in fact damaged.  This would require verification of a specific psychological condition that made them previously unable to remember or comprehend.  All 17 plaintiffs claimed such a condition, but they were clearly having difficulty making that case.  Several openly objected to the lawyers having inserted this clause, stating that they had no problem remembering, obviously unaware that the only reason they were still in the suit was that statement.

The reason for statutes of limitations is clear.  Over time the memories of even the sharpest mind fade, and recollection begins to mix with possibility and the tales of others. Those statutes are not designed to deprive the abused of their rights, but to keep defendants from being deprived of theirs.  In this case plaintiffs were struggling to reconstitute memories after 20 years.  Under such circumstances those “recovered memories” easily morph and adapt in amazing ways to meet the needs of the present circumstances.  This is especially true when you have a group of motivated individuals trading information back and forth.  That is completely unfair.

We watched the evolution of some of these tales over a period of time in the chats.  First there was no memory of abuse whatsoever, then came an expression or question of a possibility, then talking back and forth, encouragement . . . and finally settling on a tale that they claimed to be completely true.  In one case a plaintiff stated in the suit that Bill had touched her breasts during counseling.  She may have forgotten that she had several years prior given a report to the Hinsdale Police at the request of Recovering Grace, where the officer specifically asked her whether Bill had touched that area, or any other private area.  She stating unequivocally that he had not.  Yet when the lawsuit needed some meat, she amazingly discovered these salacious details and, thanks to the report demanded by RG, impeached herself.

3) Counter Claims – Bill has been severely damaged by claims made by Recovering Grace in general and the plaintiffs in particular, claims that were both false and driven by malice, making them “defamation”. Claims of “footsie”, a sexually charged term, is “defamation per se” if the alleged “foot activity” cannot be proven to be sexual.  Stating that “over 60 women are accusing him of “sexual harassment”” when referring to women who cannot even remotely meet the qualifications for “sexual harassment” is defamation.  Calling him a “pervert” or “molester” is, again, open and shut defamation if the “fact” cannot be proven when challenged.  Many reckless statements were made over many years.  Within current Illinois law such statements may only be prosecuted within one year of initial presentation.  Additionally, no statement made in legal pleadings may form the basis of a lawsuit for defamation.  However, if plaintiffs sue over alleged abuses, having made false statements about those abuses in the past, the statute of limitations involving defamation is waived.  Bill was preparing counter actions against several of the plaintiffs for slander on this basis.  It was a bit of a game for many of them, making bold, exaggerated if not absolutely false statements to the press with obvious malice and every intention of damaging him as much as possible.  Lawsuits are not a game.

In addition, under Tort Law an entity such as Recovering Grace conspiring to deprive someone of their reputation, their livelihood, their ministry based on false or exaggerated claims is guilty of a criminal offense.  An action to recover damages from those furiously collaborating to this end was being prepared.  It may still be brought.  This was an extremely wrongful use of the lawsuit process.

4) Return on Investment – When a personal injury firm, like the local and respected firm of Meyers and Flowers, takes a case like this “on contingency”, they typically borrow money or get investors to proceed, all on the gamble of a payout that will cover that and provide a profit. Firms like those headed by Gibbs and by Mark Bryant operate more on donations and funding from “causes”, clearly a limited funding source.  In either case, their claim on the case might be 40-50% of “winnings”.  Flowers and Bryant took the case after the disaster that Gibbs caused for the plaintiffs because they had some expectation of success.  We suspect that expectation was built on bad information, for example assuming that, in 50 years of working with troubled youth, Bill must surely have done some much more serious things than those alleged by the initial plaintiffs.  Where there is smoke, there must be fire.

Two years into the case it began to be clear that this was not going to happen.  Not only were no other secrets coming to light, the stories of plaintiffs themselves were coming apart.  It was stunning to see several plaintiffs writing impassioned emails to the new firms warning them of other plaintiffs that they knew to be liars.  A plaintiff saying “He almost kissed me” (as an adult) is not going to get a jury award, no matter how important this seems on a personal level.  One of the plaintiffs boldly proclaimed late in the game that she regularly communicates with demons, leaving the others shell-shocked.  We think the firms decided to “cut their losses” just before depositions where the real money would need to be spent, bringing each plaintiff in, some from halfway around the world.  Oh, and David Gibbs had filed a lien to get his share of the “winnings” as well, possibly encumbering the financial outcome.

5) Personal Toll – It was clear that the lawsuit took a heavy toll on the plaintiffs. Several entered counseling due to the stress.  Some had other stresses unrelated to the case that made the prospect of continuing impossible.  When faced with having to defend claims made in the suit through “interrogatories”, legal questions and answers that can form the basis of impeachment, several found the prospect impossible.  Depositions were pending where all of the available information would be brought to bear on each plaintiff, again, providing a basis for impeachment.

Additionally, we were not aware of a single plaintiff claiming support from her parents.  Several of the Does indicated they had sought anonymity, not to shield them from embarrassment from revelation of sexual abuse, but because their private networks were blissfully unaware of their actions.  Should this come out, they would be dealing with severe personal grief from pastors, churches, unhappy family members.  That is an illegitimate use of “Jane Doe” status.

As a personal note, one of the plaintiffs told of being awakened in the middle of the night deeply troubled by the status of the case, this during the time David Gibbs was removed for “malpractice”.  In her distress she cried out to the Lord, and reported the comfort and confirmation of her Savior telling her He was handling it for her.  This became a sobering moment of reflection at this end.  Our team has had similar times of anguish, crying out to the Lord for mercy and help at specific difficult junctures, for Him to intervene and straighten this all out, and also bear witness to getting the same comfort in a most specific way.  The Lord was clearly encouraging each of His children on opposite sides of this case.  Perhaps it was due to her cries that the Lord allowed the case to go another year when it really should not have.  The Lord had His Own on both sides of the Civil War, was able to give deliverance and comfort to each, and so it was here.

Regardless, most if not all of the plaintiffs suffered deeply as a result of the legal proceedings, harming their relationships, families, and with no relief in sight for some time.  So it was easy to understand why they might drop out.

 

Where Things Stand

It remains that after active, even impassioned support from three significant legal firms, none of the charges brought by the plaintiffs were deemed able to pass muster to force a settlement or convince a jury that Bill specifically or IBLP in general were negligent, let alone criminal, in their dealings with these women.  There is a chasm of difference between the lawsuit proceeding with 1 or 2 plaintiffs, and not even one claim able to continue.

Gretchen Wilkinson – pen name “Charlotte” – was the plaintiff that made the first claim of actual criminal mischief against Bill, and headlined the case, “Wilkinson vs. IBLP”.  She gave many interviews to the press, did Bill much damage with her statements.  In the end, she was one of the first to leave quietly last year, without an explanation to match her many prior public statements.

Discovery showed that the entire process, long before Gretchen, was a coordinated attack on Bill by former ATI students going through a bit of a “midlife crisis”.  Recovering Grace, founded by former student Dr. John Cornish, a music professor, served to motivate and coordinate.

  • As women came forward they were added to a secret chat group so they could share tales and get their stories in sync.
  • When the suit arrived on the horizon, with Gibbs pretending to help Bill as he simultaneously plotted with Recovering Grace to file, those lists and their experience served to speed him on his way.
  • For actual plaintiffs in the group, “A Matter of Basic Principles”, an anti-Gothard expose by Don Veinot, became required reading, apparently to get their messages coordinated.
  • A co-founder of RG recruited her sister as a plaintiff.
  • They cooked up a scheme to try to get 5% of the settlement to help fund Recovering Grace on into the future.
  • The team searched the history of “The Crossings” – closed group that has existed for decades to allow former IBLP staff members to catch up – for other disgruntled individuals, then openly posting a request for any with moral dirt on Bill to make contact. It was particularly offensive when they heralded the entire month of April each year as “Sexual Abuse Awareness Month”, trying to scare up as much trouble for Bill as possible.
  • In personal fishing expeditions of plaintiffs to prospects the message became: “This will be fun, you can hurt Bill, be a hero, stay anonymous, AND get a guaranteed $50K.  We will support you every step of the way!”  Plaintiffs got matching bracelets and a team motto, and planned a “girl’s trip” to a tropical paradise to celebrate their winnings with mimosas on the beach.
  • Some plaintiffs were in desperate financial situations and the possibilities the suit offered were too tempting. They openly struggled to come up with a story to tell that would affix them in the case.
  • Several that were not in money trouble stated that they would never have gotten involved if it were just about themselves, but wanted to help those in need get on their feet. As they discussed various end game scenarios, they cursed Bill and plotted how best to bankrupt the ministry.

The Lord is the judge of all, every heart, everyone that confesses His name, those that do not.  To have escaped the instrument carefully crafted to make all the frustrated dreams of Bill Gothard haters over a half century come true is not something we take for granted and for which we bow before Him.

 

Bill Gothard

Bill has furiously maintained his innocence of any deliberate act that caused harm to an ATI student or staff member.  I can attest that there were never any discussions of compromises to make the lawsuit go away.  I sat with Bill as he answered the interrogatories from the plaintiffs, seeking to help him recollect all of the details that would be pertinent.  There was nothing to hide, there is nothing to hide now.

Many have focused on an initial published statement years ago that “touching of hair, feet, shoulders was improper” as proof of guilt.  The plaintiff lawyers focused on this and there was deliberate effort made to make sure this was understood the way it was intended and in the context it was made.  The context:  In the middle of the crisis that engulfed Bill and the Institute others around him urged him to make this statement, and he accepted it to show his willingness to humble himself to get a discussion started.  The words used were meant to acknowledge that he had failed to realize that some things, like pulling a ponytail out of the coat of a young lady, were personally uncomfortable for some and thus should have been avoided for all.  He never once “played footsies”, a fetish with a sexual intent.  There was no “sexual harassment” possible, since there never was any sexual interest or focus.  He stated to me several times with a sense of what I interpreted as bewilderment, “I tried to limit myself to expressions of care, concern and affirmation that were safe.”   He thought he had hit that target.  For the past 4 years, 20 years after the fact, everything has been openly, publicly second-guessed.  In the light of all that has transpired, perhaps there will be a renewed willingness to actually sit down and discuss grievances in a Biblical manner, allow restoration of fellowship where a “talebearer” has created deadly rifts.

For his part Bill has written 28 books in the years that have elapsed.  He completed his most recent one, “How to Know the Will of the Lord”, in the last two weeks as all of this unfolded.  They may be considered on his websites http://billgothard.com and http://lifepurposepowerteams.com.  He is working on several new initiatives, including “Embassy University”, that will be an instrument of online training.  May the Lord overshadow him and the leadership of IBLP as they work through all that is now past, and focus on what the Lord intends to do through this 50 year old ministry in the future.

 

Parting Thoughts

We read the statements the plaintiffs made today with some interest.  In part because we have been quite involved in cataloging the statements they have made in public over the past several years.  Some of these statements have been reckless and false – that is not lawyer talk, that is the truth.  Some of them lied.  Some of their “recovered memories” are also false, as we have been able to document.  While they cannot sue for past statements, those slandered are most eager to challenge public defamation in the future, in court as necessary.

Christians are supposed to look each other in the eye and, possibly with the help of a fair arbitrator, settle their differences there, not in court.  We will help in any way we can to make that happen.  Several plaintiffs comforted themselves that they were justified in suing Bill because they have come to believe he is not saved.  That is quite a statement.  The “Higher Court” often referred to is open for Bill to plead as well.  Bill is not perfect, but he is not the evil man that most of them portrayed.  Each one stands before God for the damage done to Bill’s ministry, whatever part God sees as “for Him”.  It is time to straighten this out.

To the plaintiffs:  You don’t have to like Bill and you don’t have to ignore things that bothered you about Bill, but you HAVE TO TELL THE TRUTH.  And if, as many of you found, you can’t corroborate claims because nobody else can remember details from 20 years ago, then defer to the limits of human memory and do not make those claims just to hurt someone you despise.  To do so is reckless.  Lies are the devil’s work, and I am convinced some saw that up close and personal.  Each plaintiff will give account to the Lord for every word written in her name in the suit, now a permanent part of the public record.  The Lord give you the courage to clear it up.

59 Comments

  1. rob war rob war
    February 26, 2018    

    Hopefully all involved can begin to walk down the path of healing and wholeness. Praying for that for all that were a part of this.

    • Moderator Moderator
      February 26, 2018    

      Amen

  2. Robert Norvell Robert Norvell
    February 26, 2018    

    Thank you for this post it has answered a lot of questions.

  3. Tim Burpo Tim Burpo
    February 27, 2018    

    My family and I are alumni of the Institute and in the past worked on the setup team for the Dallas seminar, volunteered at the Dallas training center, and know very well the character of Mr. Gothard. So when I heard of these women accusing him of the things they did I knew immediately that it was completely false and came from the pit of hell. I prayed for Mr. Gothard many times asking the Lord that this would be the outcome so I am very glad for him. God is the judge, he sets up one and puts down another and I am so grateful that he has “put down” the Jezebel spirit in this case, that continues to do women the greatest harm in our day. God bless Mr. Gothard and IBLP.

    • Moderator Moderator
      February 27, 2018    

      Thanks, Tim. Many did not know what to think. If you read through Did He Do It? you will see that some very bad claims backed by trustworthy people like Gary Smalley made it a nightmare. Gary made a mistake, he admitted it, witnessed by multiple folk, a conclusion that few expected. Recovering Grace is a loud, massive library of bad news. With this lawsuit, 18 or so plaintiffs lining up to sue looked exceedingly bad . . . on paper. In this case it was a conspiracy of paper tigers that suddenly disappeared. Bill’s entire life seems to be a crosspatch of incredible glory and triumphs interspersed with troubles that are equally stunning. And then the Lord coming to his aid. In some way it is the life he signed up for, although we are sure he would prefer the glory parts from time to time.

  4. February 27, 2018    

    I have been rejoicing all day about this tremendous news. I have prayed daily for years about this situation as well as a number of occasions fasting. I will continue to pray that everything the rightfully belongs to Bill will be fully restored and beyond. I just spoke with him by phone and assured him of my full support and continued prayers. I am happy to do anything and everything possible to help him out in any way I can.

    Randy Davis
    Drawing Closer Ministries
    Ottumwa, Iowa

  5. Ron Hair Ron Hair
    February 27, 2018    

    What a truly outstanding job of research your team did in support of Bill‘s lawyer in providing the data needed to refute the lies of the enemy. May the Lord get great glory from the final results. May Bill continue to do his outstanding work produced from his many hours of meditation. May the false accusers come to a point of repentance that they may receive the grace and blessing of the Lord Jesus!

    • Jennifer Rodriguez Jennifer Rodriguez
      February 28, 2018    

      Amen.

  6. Andrei Popescu Andrei Popescu
    March 4, 2018    

    While many of us who knew of Bill innocence all along, the silence of the new IBLP leadership was sickening, to say the least. When riding, benefiting from, and leading the life work of one man, and sharing in the blessings God gave that work, one is expected some minimal level of loyalty, faith and public support, and that, at least from outside, was invisible. I will always be grateful for what Bill’s teachings have done for my family, church and community.

  7. Mark André Mark André
    March 6, 2018    

    It has been the test of the “bitter waters” for Bill. Yet the Lord’s truth has prevailed, and will still. It is a disgrace that such a lying propensity would drive Christian “sisters” to persevere in their ways to destroy such a ministry and its founder. God’s glory is not be toyed with nor profited from with false witnesses (Exodus 16:20). Let us rejoice now that we can go on “unspotted from the world.” Yes, we always will be grateful to the Lord and His Word, for the ministry of IBLP that is still helping so many the world over, and we thank the entire team and the board for their faithfulness to God and His people.

  8. jrespinosa jrespinosa
    March 9, 2018    

    Me and my family have being blesssed by brother Bill Gothard, I see why Satan is after such minitry and ministers. Praise the Lord for His deliverace from evil. Blessings

  9. March 9, 2018    

    Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it.
    On occasion, I have had to pleasure to make contact with Mr. Gothard, after his IBLP departure.
    I remember my thoughts as his phone was ringing during the first call: “Would this be a downer? Has he withdrawn into himself? Will I regret making the call?”
    Thankfully, he was wonderfully upbeat…yet humble enough to see this whole scenario from God’s perspective. He admitted that overseeing various ministries (hundreds of individuals, significant real estate assets) took a toll on his most fruitful conviction: meditating on scripture! There was excitement in his voice, as he testified of doing so again with renewed fervor, and seeing amazing results! His enthusiasm was infectious, and I regretted saying “goodbye” at the end, because it was so encouraging (and challenging)! He is a rich man, and he did not convey sorrow.
    Consider that:
    a) 100s of young adults are alive today, because he had the audacity to challenge couples to repent of self-indulgence, foolishness, fear, pride, or idolatry…and do what it took to get their body’s God-given procreative abilities back again. The result? Many births that would not have happened otherwise, PLUS the added bonus of grown-ups getting right with God. I venture to say that the majority of couples in IBLP did not have surgeries, and this message caused them to have a “reversal of heart.” 4-kid families became 10-kid families as a result.
    b) Many older people (Russian pensioners) were blessed once a year, by being treated with dignity and receiving (perhaps for the 1st time) the love of Jesus through Mr. G and the young people that sojourned to Russia with him. That love brought them to tears. As if that were not enough, they were blessed with a financial gift too. Beginning with Luke 14:12, Jesus says: “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
    But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
    And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.”
    This was modeled for our young people year after year…not just preached, but demonstrated. The money gift was going the 2nd mile.
    Better stop here, lest the paragraphs pile on.
    There are so many things in life I need to be grateful to God for. Mr. Gothard is one of them. Never idolized him, but always appreciated him, even though I have some differences with some of his methods. I trust he will learn to embrace 1 Corinthians 2:10 (the verse that follows: “Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard…”) “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
    God has prepared Brother Gothard for this unholy onslaught. Most men would have folded up like a cheap lawn chair, but he persevered. No…his faith persevered.
    May God reveal His “deep things” to the IBLP Board, and make things right again.
    May God also bless these accusers with “the desire & power to do His will” for the rest of their lives. Amen. DD

    • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
      March 10, 2018    

      Brother David,

      I and my family are in category “a” from your list. Mrs. K and I would not be spouses, and our ten children would not exist except for Bill Gothard. (Okay, it’s not impossible, but so improbable as to be well-nigh impossible!)

      As Thomas More said in A Man For All Seasons, “not a bad public, that.”

      DK

  10. rob war rob war
    March 15, 2018    

    Does Bill Gothard write his own comments on his own website? I found his summation of the lawsuit being withdrawn to be outrageous. To make blanket statement that (I am assuming he was talking about Dr. Cornish) that he was disillusioned because he didn’t memorize and meditate on scripture enough outrageous. To boil all one’s problems down to that is just beyond the pail. Dr. Cornish’s testimony was about how he overcame severe anxiety that was exasperated by the teachings he was raised in from Bill Gothard and IFB. Likewise, Bill’s comments about people trying to destroy him borders on paranoia and extreme self-focus. If he “memorizes” so much scripture, there should have been more humility than saying people are out to get him, ( not God but Bill). John 5:39-40, “You search the scripture because you think you have eternal life through them: even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life”. That was Jesus talking about Himself not Bill. Is the Bible a how to book or is the Bible a who is book and pointed to God?

    • Moderator Moderator
      March 15, 2018    

      Yes, everything he has there is his. Well, dictated.

      Dr. Cornish has “had it in for Bill”, and is somewhat directly responsible for the “Recovering Grace initiative”. So it is not out of bounds to see what might have driven him, tripped him up. Why do you think he fell into that OCD pattern that he seems to blame Bill for? I am not sure Bill’s explanation is any worse than any other. Meditating has been proven to be hugely life changing. It flushes our brains from a lot of garbage, much like the constant flow of water flushes out the salts in the ground so that plants can grow. I am really not sure what you find so onerous. Consider these Scriptures that speak to that.

      Joshua 1:8
      This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

      Good success. That is what I want. If that verse promises “good success”, could that have been a help to John?

      Psalm 1:2-3
      “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

      This promises that WHATEVER we do will . . . succeed. Would that not have solved his problem?

      • rob war rob war
        March 15, 2018    

        What you are going to consider successful and what I would consider “successful” are probably going to be very different. Bill called Dr. Cornish “disillusioned” and that meditation which to Bill is equated to memorization would have solved it, according to Bill. Dr. Cornish never talked about disillusionment but about extreme and debilitation anxiety which isn’t going to be solved by blowing Bible verses at it in some kind of memorization. I looks like in what I’ve read by Dr. Cornish is when he got away from ATI, IBLP and IFB was he able to overcome his anxiety and obtain peace of mind and spirit. The Bible is not a end to a means but a means to an end and that end is God. The Bible isn’t a how to book but a who is book, pointing us to God. Bill had a one dimensional which is memorize, memorize and memorize. I discussed with you before the four prong Lectio Divina approach which is read, meditate, pray and contemplate and they are all interrelated. Memorization is not the priority. You tell me this, does one have to “memorize” a Bible verse in order to meditate on it? Do you believe that one can’t meditate if something isn’t memorized? What do you think the difference might be between meditation and contemplation which Bill never mentions?

        • Moderator Moderator
          March 16, 2018    

          “Memorize” is the smallest part of what “meditation” is all about. You can’t “ruminate” unless you, well, eat. Whatever this “meditation” is, GOD says it makes EVERYTHING we do . . . work, be successful. That is an awfully broad brush to paint with, one we would certainly reject, had not the God of Eternity said it. So, there HAS to be more to this than you are seeing, Rob.

          I hope Dr. Cornish has found peace. Parts of me wonder, as fixated as he has become on all things “Bill”. When dealing with fools you laugh and walk away. It seems like NOBODY can “walk away” from Bill. So many that interact with him are somehow tied to him for life. My theory is that it is because he, as imperfect as he is, has clearly articulated what the Holy Spirit is trying to communicate to our generation. If we reject Him in our hearts, we will reject His message as proclaimed by others. It is a conscience thing. And since that part belongs to God, it refuses to stop telling us things that our minds and will have long rejected. So, somehow the human psyche comes to the conclusion that the only way to be free of Bill Gothard . . . is to destroy him. And this he, and many others, set out to accomplish.

          In any case, ALL of our problems will resolve themselves if we are aligned with God’s Word. If “whatsoever we do . . . prospers” doesn’t mean that, it doesn’t mean anything. It is interesting, the little interchange between Don Lemon of CNN and Dr. Cornish toward the end of his interview there, being brought on to explain the evil sex-starved cult that the Duggars are a part of. Here, read for yourself:

          LEMON: But I have to say it’s not just that program. Because when I spoke to my family about it, I had family members who are religious and they are not part of this program, and what they said was, you don’t need a counselor, you don’t the law. What you need to go is talk to your pastor, and I just kind of laughed in their face. It’s not just this program. It’s many people who…

          CORNISH: Right.

          LEMON: … believe that, you know, God cures everything and heals all. Well, that’s not necessarily reality…

          CORNISH: Right.

          Now, it is hard to communicate clearly at times in those kinds of interviews with the delays that go on. So, who knows what part Dr. Cornish was saying “Right” about. But it ALMOST sounded like he was agreeing with “that’s not necessarily reality” that “God cures everything and heals all.” I hope not. If our God can’t or won’t “cure everything and heal all” for us, at least things that will harm us, then He is just not much of a God at all. No better than any other imaginary deity that serves only to makes us feel better, the Marxian “opiate of the people”.

          • rob war rob war
            March 16, 2018    

            I have watched the CNN segment 3 times previously and you have to understand that quote in the context of the whole interview with included 3 other specialists and therapists concerning the Josh Duggar scandal when it broke. I thought it was well done and agreed with the points that all of them were making. Bill as well as many other copy cat people told people and taught that to solve problems all one needed was to just read the Bible which turns the Bible into something that it is not which is a how to book instead of a who is book. But to make my point and example, if you or your family is sick do you just turn to the Bible and pray about it or do you do the praying as well as go see a Doctor. That is true as well with going to see counselors and therapists etc. with problems. Yes, one prays but also one uses the tools around them like Doctors, therapist etc. Back to the Josh Duggar scandal, the point there were making in the interview was that Josh was not sent to get real therapy but sent to do construction work projects which is also similar to how Bill handled his immoral brother, just sent him off in an isolated area like Northwood with access to female staff in order to teach him to have a servant heart and supposedly “cure” him. That didn’t work for Steve and it obviously didn’t work for Josh Duggar since he went on after being married and joined an immoral web site to hook up with others. That is the context of the whole interview and even puts into context Lemon’s comment to Dr. Cornish. Like Dr. Cornish did point out in the CNN interview is that Bill Gothard was not a counselor, he was not qualified as such and that I heartily agree with.

          • Moderator Moderator
            March 16, 2018    

            You are almost making my points here.

            So . . . DO you go to the Lord, or to the doctor? 2 Chronicles 16:12 “And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians.” For Asa, at least, that was a lousy decision. With a weak, inattentive god you would most definitely reserve his involvement to . . . “comfort” issues, not real help.

            And why do you say the Bible is not a “How To” book? I don’t get that. Again, if it is really a collection of “blessed” writings of humans, absolutely. If written by all wise, all powerful God, why, you would hang on every word, and the slightest suggestion would alter the course of your life.

            So, you think a formal therapist would have helped 15 year old Josh far more than the hearty counsel of an experienced man of God? See, there we dramatically differ. Josh CONFESSED his misdeeds. No-one would ever have known. How many people do you know that would confess something that embarrassing, shameful . . . as a 15 year old? And what exactly would a therapist have done for him that brother Walker did not? We are “expert” worshipers. I think that is offensive to the Living God.

            You and I both know plenty of folks that walk out of a therapist’s office having been “cured” only to repeat the same offense or worse. Are you kidding me? :-) The track record is downright pathetic for the “experts”.

            As to being qualified to be a counselor, WHO exactly is the certifying authority for that? If God weighs in and appoints someone to that job, are you telling me that we take the perspectives of people over His? Again, it comes down to whether we are dealing with a Living Almighty God . . . or, well, somebody more or less like us.

          • Jay Jay
            March 24, 2018    

            Alfred, you are much more entertaining than Bill. All these words you write! Goodness.

            The first thought that comes to mind is that Lemon Cornish sounds like a tasty dish from across the pond. Seriously, though, the “it ALMOST sounded like” was a real stretch to put words in Cornish’s mouth.

            The verses you cite regarding meditation talk about meditating on the law. Romans is not the law (though it refers back to parts of the law), nor is the rest of the New Testament, so that may be what messed Bill up. Perhaps he meditated on the wrong things. I’m being somewhat cheeky. In any case, “whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” speaks to spiritual things more so than temporal things. Translation of that phrasing appears to be debatable, but we know that good and righteous people often do not succeed at their work here on Earth, even if done in faith and for Christ. Our prosperity is our perfection in Christ. If you agree, perhaps you can encourage Bill toward that end as he is aged and his impact continues to lessen here.

            Of these recent posts, the thing that jumped out at me is your phrase “fixated as he has become on all things ‘Bill.’” When I read that, you came to mind, for you are more fixated on Bill than anyone I’ve seen. You can’t walk away from him, and you are “somehow tied to him for life.” From there your reasoning is hard to sort out…something about rejecting Bill being equivalent to rejecting the Holy Spirit? So your conscience refuses to stop telling you that Bill is the mouthpiece of God, even though your mind and will has long rejected that equivalence? So your conscience/God is at odd with reason. It’s true that you don’t have an audience the size of Lemon’s, but you do realize that a few people read this, right? There’s no telling what you’d say if put on CNN. :)

            Finally, it seems to me that Cornish laughed and walked away almost three years ago. What’s he been posting on RG? Yet you cannot laugh and walk away from him.

          • Moderator Moderator
            March 26, 2018    

            Thank you! :-)

            Words were quoted . . . word for word. So . . . that is, actually, what he said.

            Have you tried it . . . meditating on Scripture as a habit? Pretty amazing, to those that seek the Lord that way. I don’t see anything that would spiritualize away those “successes” that are promised. Those that don’t believe the Bible to really, truly be the living Word of God, won’t put much stock in that. That is a blessing and the curse.

            I do really appreciate Bill. Haven’t found anyone quite like him for his insights. Even these last 4 years, again amazed at all the Lord has given him. My sense is that Cornish would like to walk away, but he can’t. Because of the lawsuit, he and his fellows can’t even talk about it. Maybe you know him. If I am right, he stands to answer for some pretty serious stuff. God is judge alone, and sorts it all out. Thanks to the Lord for the grace and forgiveness found in Jesus.

        • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
          March 16, 2018    

          I don’t know brother Cornish, so my speculations about him would be no better than any stranger’s. I’ll confine myself to a personal example.

          It must take a lot of energy to create and operate a web site to oppose your enemy. Is it probable that a man who immersed himself in either Lectio Divina or the Gothard meditation model ( a distinction without a difference?) would keep on seething enough to sustain a multi-year cyber-siege against his enemy?

          My own 2018 lenten meditations happen to be in the book of 1 John. It has a warning in Chapter 3. If I “do not righteousness” nor love my brother, then I am not of God. If I were doing righteousness and loving my brother, would I take on a project like launching and operating RG? How probable is that?

          So BG’s speculation that JC would be better served by meditating on scripture for peace and relief from anxiety sounds pretty reasonable to me. Either the Gothard meditation model or Lectio Divina ought to restore peace and relieve anxiety better than the RG project. Doncha think?

          • Jay Jay
            March 24, 2018    

            Hi, David. On so many posts you say that you don’t know about someone or don’t keep up with some subject, but then you comment on it anyway. If you’d take time to research before writing, perhaps your arguments would bear more weight?

            Yes, if you were doing righteousness and loving your brother, if you had the experiences documented on Recovering Grace (have you read a lot of them in order to comment as you have?), and if you had the ability, then it’s highly probable you would do what you could to protect and help your brothers and sisters who suffer the same experiences. I guess that would fall under the Disciple Action Model or the Jesus Servant/Savior Model. Just like we have to answer “Who is my neighbor,” we have to rightly answer “Who is my brother?” Gothard and Cornish are not the only brothers (and sisters).

          • rob war rob war
            March 26, 2018    

            Lectio Divina is not at all the same as Bill’s meditation method which basically boils down to rote memorization of the Bible. They are not the same things at all. Bill repeated taught and emphasized rote memorization of the Bible and that as the spring board to his vague ideas of “meditation” and if one memorizes the Bible from here to the moon, then all these goodies (more based on material blessings and contemporary success) will happen and that is why one should rote memorize the Bible, not be draw closer to God, not to become more like Jesus, not to grow spiritually but to get success and goodies. There are too many testimonies about people that followed Bill’s rote memorization means only to shipwreck their faith, only to become burned out on even reading the Bible, only to drop out of faith. On top of all of that, the extreme punishments dealt out in these ATI training centers to those that didn’t “memorize” their Bible enough. I think it is sickening. I was re-reading one of the earlier testimonies from the Indianapolis training centers where the students were suppose to memorize the book of James in it’s entirety. Now for the students that succeeded in this project, there is nothing mentioned on if they understood the book of James, but that they just punched their card so to say in order not to be punished from not memorizing the book of James. Just because someone has rote memorized the Bible doesn’t mean they understand it better, know God better, are more holy etc. The devil has memorized the Bible too and even used Bible verses to tempt Jesus.

          • Moderator Moderator
            March 27, 2018    

            I DO have to jump in here. That is a mis-characterization of what Bill teaches on “meditation”. Memorization is the tiniest part. In fact, these days he hardly talks to the “large sections”. I hear him talking a lot now about a verse a night, one verse, committed to memory prior to bedtime, to be pondered and reflected on . . . and prayed back to the Lord. I think that is exactly what David – and the Lord to Joshua – had in mind.

          • rob war rob war
            March 27, 2018    

            I haven’t mischaracterized Bill’s teaching at all. I clearly remember him emphasizing memorization in the Basic as well as the advance. Bill’s own “success” in school was based on memorizing a chapter as week, starting in the Junior High which Bill then attributed to turning around his own poor academic record in High School. Likewise, he repeatedly encouraged people to do the same and made the point to start memorization with Romans 5-8, which at the time I actually attempted to do but what I discovered was that it is difficult to “memorize” sections of scripture without an understanding of that section as well as it turns Bible reading into a punch card mentality which also in the long run leads to burn out and discouragement. Maybe now he is “modifying” it to a verse a night sort of thing but this is a modification of what he repeatedly taught through-out the years, especially in the Basic. Bill repeatedly stated memorization was the key, he used his own life and academic success as proof that memorizing a chapter a week will work. Likewise at one of the Basics I attended, I stood in line with a bunch of others to ask a question. I did get close enough before the break ended to hear him talk to someone about drug abuse. I heard him very clearly because I was close enough to him, telling this man that Bible memorization was the key to help those get over the effects of drug abuse. I am not against memorization but what I think works better, at least for me is that memorization happens more passively than actively and from the comments and testimonies I’ve read on RG, that is true for most people. Passive memorization happen when one re-reads sections of scripture over and over against in a set type of schedule. If Bill is now emphasizing a “verse a night” sort of method, that is a change in his teaching. He did not do that at all previously.

          • Moderator Moderator
            March 27, 2018    

            Big Red Notebook - Memorization

            This is scanned right out of my Big Red Notebook, step one of three steps. You will note that memorization is, even at this step, a means to an end. Bill would often say, “Memorizing Scripture is like smelling food”. So . . . does this change your perspective?

            So, to your comment on what you overheard, the one time Bill DID promote memorization for memorization’s sake was to “rebuild a broken mind”, as after drug abuse. I heard him say the same thing. Having a lot of Bible in your brain helps your brain think straighter “per se”. But . . . that was a very limited use, and NOT a part of the formal “Meditation” proposal.

          • rob war rob war
            March 27, 2018    

            Well, I appreciate the scan but it looks like this proves my point more than not. Maybe this subject ought to be an article. I do have quite a bit to say about this page and the subject of memorization as taught by Bill. In just looking at Bill’s 3 steps here, they all do revolve around memorization. In step 2, he talks about focusing on a “main word” and using then a concordance (I am assuming something like Strongs) which takes the focus off on context and typology and again I would not be a fan of expository Bible interpretation. Bill again in the third step ties back to rote memorization to do meditation which really isn’t true. Even if one looks at many verses in the Bible such as Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2, 4:4, 63:6, 77:11, 78:42, 143:5, what this small sample verses mentions is meditating or remember, thinking about etc. on God, His deeds, His power, His works and anyone can do so without the rote memorization Bill heavily promoted. Bill doesn’t mention prayer or praying to understand the Bible. Bill also doesn’t mention contemplation which is similar to meditation but is more based in prayer and listening. Anyways, maybe this ought to be further debated or discussed in a new article.

          • Moderator Moderator
            March 28, 2018    

            That is actually a great idea. Let me see what I can pull together.

  11. David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
    March 17, 2018    

    Here is the YouTube link to the CNN Cornish interview that Rob was talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rz-JjyRNqo

    (I assume this is the right one, from 5/2015)

    Now that I watched it, I see what Trump means by CNN fake news. There seemed to be an almost superstitious reverence for counseling, so long as it was from a source which they approved (which they never named). Pastors and parents were obviously deemed incompetent counselors. JC used the interview to insinuate that due to insufficient sexual coaching in ATI, victimhood for ATI girls is just a matter of time. (If cannibalism content is missing in ATI, are students more likely to be barbecued?)

    Lots of hand-wringing because the rubes in the sticks cannot know proper sexuality unless the experts from the big city coach them.

    Thanks for the offer, but some of us rubes think the counselors need counseling. Go counsel some federal judges about sexual morality if you want to be constructive. At least my kids know the difference between male and female (and the purpose of each). Do you?

    • Moderator Moderator
      March 17, 2018    

      Right. Particularly galling was the official pronouncement that ATI, a homeschooling curriculum, was devoid of information on sex. Leaving kids like Josh incapable of coping with life. First of all, I am pretty sure most homeschool or even Christian school curricula are missing sex Ed. Because virtually all parents who care enough to endure the financial and life stresses of alternate schooling dnso in part because they want t handle that stuff . . . Themselves. My kids were not raised ignorant in ATI, kinda doubt the Duggars either. That is worse than silly, since he should know better. It was a convenient misrepresentation so he could appear important on a biased program.

      As you say, sex education experts, counselors just have a lousy track record. We feel better because they have letters after their names.

  12. David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
    March 29, 2018    

    Dear brother Jay,

    “Documented” is too strong a term to describe the material we find on RG. “Claimed” would fit better. As you know, some of the RG material formed the basis for the late anti-Gothard lawsuit. This thread claims that the Charlotte story on RG got discredited.

    Accusations leveled against others are merely accusations until they get tested. From the beginning, the RG claims came from anonymous sources. The anonymity eventually evaporated, but the claims never faced any objective test.

    The late lawsuit was the obvious occasion to sort mere claims from real evidence. Would the claims be supported with documentation? Now we shall never know.

    Myself, I tried to raise questions rather than make arguments. So if my arguments fell short, hopefully my questions counted.

    You’re right. Our charity must extend to all men. That’s why we need a neutral magistrate to hear claims and counter-claims.

    You lost me re the two models you wrote about. I tried looking them up online, but nothing helpful turned up. Now there are two new entries in the vast database of stuff I don’t know.
    Yours,
    David K

    • Jay Jay
      March 30, 2018    

      David,

      Perhaps I shouldn’t have capitalized the names of those models. I created the names as I typed, and that was as a thin reference to the “Gothard meditation model” you cited. So no need to research. Just considering the model of Christ and his followers who tried to love as He loved. They were not shy in calling out sin and acting on behalf of the low and needy.

      It seems “documented” is a very correct word to describe RG, as many authors have written blog posts to document their claims, history, experiences, etc. Many comments posted by readers may be considered as documentation as well if those comments are presenting history/facts more than pure opinion or ranting. The vast accumulation of hundreds of blog posts + thousands of comments = substantial documentation of the systemic issues that riddle Bill Gothard and IBLP.

      My documentation comment was not limited to sexual allegations. Those are a subset of Bill’s noted abuses of spiritual authority. Then there are the too numerous false teachings. And the cover-ups. Many of those posts include a plethora of additional documentation. An average reader can easily draw a conclusion that Bill is a liar. Which is a huge issue, of course. How have you read the hundreds of posts and thousands of comments and come to a different conclusion?

      This thread (and others on this site) makes a lot of claims based on partial information and partial truths. “Bill told us” doesn’t hold any water. As noted with Bill, it’s hard to tell where things truthfully lie. Whether in his theology or his dealings with people, example after example shows him mixing truth with falsehoods. I don’t know if the authors of this site share the same modus operandi or if their reasoning has been swallowed up by Bill’s. But it doesn’t add up.

      • Moderator Moderator
        March 31, 2018    

        The myriads of posts on RG do not a documentation of reality make. We would have to note that the site was set up with a specific agenda out of the gates, that being to “wake folks up” to the problems with Bill that the founders found unbearable, and to “fix” those still “deceived”. So, that would not be a documentation of independent reality but an expression of the effectiveness of their “deprogramming” efforts.

        A Scripture example would be Absolam . . . Who had a personal beef with his Dad, King David, for not handling the abuses of his older half brother Amnon against his sister Tamar. So he got mad and he got busy, turning the hearts of the people against his father, one by one. Took a number of years. His “reprogramming” was very personal, finding people with problems and steering them into hating the current administration, and being loyal to him. Then, when the time was right, he called in all his favors and launched the “coup”. Sort of his version of “let’s knock Bill out of office and sue him to death”.

        This from RG’s “Who Are We?” Statement:

        “We have identified 3 groups of people as our target audience:

        The Entrapped—those who are still fully involved with IBLP and ATI. We seek to warn, plead, and persuade them to leave behind the shackles of legalism and walk in the joy that comes in seeking a vibrant relationship with the living Christ.

        The Seeking—parents who are asking questions and students who are trying to determine what they believe about critical issues. Our goal is to provide sound teaching, especially in the areas emphasized by Bill Gothard. We want to help safely guide these people from bondage to freedom without the fear and anguish that tend to accompany such a journey.

        The Recovering—those who have left ATI or IBLP and are still working through spiritual, emotional, and theological issues related to their involvement. We desire to help those in this group “reprogram” according to the truths found in God’s word. Many of us are still healing, and we want to go through this journey together.”

        There, see it?! “Reprogramming” is the word we use. Get a lot of happy people unhappy, flip their thinking so they TOO can hate Bill as much as they do.

        See, their website documents the results of that “reprogramming”. A shameful heritage to point to. And that messed up thinking resulted in the major mess of these lawsuits. We recall the unbridled anger from many of the plaintiffs against RG for at least the half of the ride that we got to watch in the chats. They started holding them responsible for the tragedy and turmoil they got sucked into. Lots of bad advice. As well they should.

        • rob war rob war
          March 31, 2018    

          RG is talking about relearning from what Bill taught them in the Bible or what Bill taught as “Biblical” or “God’s way”. That has nothing to do with how you are trying to mischaracterize it as “hating Bill”. For anyone that has been taught under heretical teachings (which is pretty broad), there is a relearning or “reprograming” that occurs because one then relearns what the Bible truly teaches or even more importantly how the Bible should be used.

          • Moderator Moderator
            March 31, 2018    

            “Reprogramming” is also what cults practice to swing folks over to their perspectives. What we do know is that a certain number of folks reacted to Bill’s teachings . . . Because it challenged them in areas that they found uncomfortable. Like “submitting” in situations where they wanted out. Letting people go who offended them instead of holding grudges or executing revenge. Doing without comforts of earthly life in lieu of rewards that nobody else can see. Accepting a lifelong burden of a large family when everyone else (seems to) live their retirement years with lots of money and freedom. Working really hard to avoid moral uncleanness which everybody else is engaging in and is fun.

            Bill took a lot of folks “out in the desert” aiming for the “promised land”, large Bible promises. After years in the desert a lot of folks wake up to ongoing deprivation and no “glory” in sight, go through a “mid-life” or “mid-trip” crisis . . . And want out. The person they blame is the fellow at the head of the line. HE deceived them, HE was harsh and unreasonable. Any tie-back to Scripture is considered unreasonable or irrelevant or inaccurate – heretical, because, well, it didn’t work out. Bill becomes the lightening rod for all tensions, stresses, unresolved problems in life. And with every added stress – and those pesky twinges of guilt – the hatred and rejection grows.

            They do hate Bill. And they have the enormous need to validate their life choices in rebellion to his direction. And that quickly became a “thing”, RG, dedicated to exactly that. And if they can get everybody else who was following Bill to follow them, why, that proves they were right. A fellowship of rebellion.

          • rob war rob war
            March 31, 2018    

            Because people disagree with Bill does not mean they “hate” him. That is a pretty big melodramatic summation. And if people do “hate” Bill, then Bill ought to follow Christ’s direct commands in the Sermon on the Mount (the basis of ATI education right?) and start “loving” his enemies. Trying to go back and sue people for defamation is not “loving” one’s enemies.

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 1, 2018    

            We cannot make people not hate us. And we do love our enemies. I know Bill does. So does the Lord. He loves them, because He is love. We are to be like Him in that respect, we read. You do know that He spanks His enemies at times, trying to get their attention. Giving your enemy everything he or she wants, is that what you think love is?

            For the record, it is becoming very clear that Bill’s request to the plaintiff lawyers to communicate his desire to find a way to land all of this quickly and easily never made it to all of them. One begins to wonder if any of them got it. All we got was a “they are not interested” beginning of the week. Bill really, truly wants this all to land. But, not with a host of lies, misrepresentations out there. Nobody would ever want any person to say that things that did happen, didn’t happen. But we are well aware of a great number of “Facts” stated in the lawsuit that never happened. We know it because the plaintiffs said so, themselves, in private. Bill wants them to correct the record. That is not unloving – a bit of ‘tough love’, maybe. But not too tough.

          • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
            April 1, 2018    

            Rob, I am glad you mentioned that term, “heretical.” No one accused BG of teaching something which contradicts the ecumenical Creeds. Absent that, we have no grounds to speak of heresy from BG.

            Fornication is something else. For the time being, that accusation has been put to bed.

          • rob war rob war
            April 1, 2018    

            Heresy is much more defined than by Nicene or Apostle’s creed which I am assuming what you are referring to. That is your definition of heresy and isn’t found anywhere else. Bill’s use of the scripture and the different teachings he came up with would be heretical if compared to historical Christian teaching.

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 1, 2018    

            Present your best proof of that, one liner or so, if you want. Bill is ANYTHING but heretical.

          • rob war rob war
            April 2, 2018    

            My “proof”? St. Paul said I Corinthians 2:2 “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified”. Bill’s teaching was everything but “Christ and Him crucified”. Let me ask you this, why does an atheistic materialistic communist system like Russia that denies God invite Bill and his character program in? Was it because Bill taught Christ and Him crucified? or because Bill’s message of problem solving and character was basically Christliness? While Bill saw it as a opportunity for himself, the only reason why an atheistic materialistic communist country would use Bill’s materials was because Christ is absent. The is also true of municipalities using his Character first program, there was no Christ. I remember Bill himself stating in one of the seminars I attended that even if a family followed the principals Bill taught and were not Christian, they would get along and be better. Bill taught about authority, yet he was not under any or even have any authority to teach. Bill reduced the Bible down to a mechanical set of “principals” that he proposed makes the world go around and if you followed them as Bill taught, one would be healthy, wealthy and wise and all of it has nothing to do with Christ and Him crucified.

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 2, 2018    

            Boy, I had a whole post assembled for this, nowhere to be seen. If this comes up twice, then you know.

            1). What we know in His presence is Jesus, and Him alone. Since the Bible is loaded with a lot of other things that God wants us to focus on, we would be wise to pay attention. This verse is sobering:

            Hebrews 6:1-6

            1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.
            4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

            He actually says that we better “move on” from the point of our salvation . . . From the “doctrine of Christ”, which is how we were saved . . . Or else we run the risk of something really bad. Christians all over the world are “falling away” from their faith . . . Because they don’t have enough grace to deal with the stresses of life. Bill has been ever focused on that – getting us ready to survive and thrive, EVEN when the inevitable tragedies come and take out breath away. Sort of like what has happened to him in the last several years. Preach it, prove it.

            2). Scripture commands us to care for orphans and widows and “do good works” to all men every bit as much as we are commanded to preach. Exactly what has been done the world over, including Russia. And yes, atheists are being saved. Two daughters recently returned from serving in Taiwan for several years. A tremendous opportunity to reach many hearts.

            3). The foundation of the Gospel . . . Is the “fear of God”, the reason that would drive us to embrace the Savior and His free gift of salvation. Ray Comfort calls the 10 Commandments the “10 Cannons”, that smash down the lies of the devil, defeat him, and bring folks to the foot of the cross. Without the foundation, people yawn if not laugh at the gospel. “CharacterFirst” lays that foundation, of character, the things God expects, which, when understood, highlight our need of salvation. Think of it as “Sunday School” for those that don’t darken the door of a church.

            4). Not under authority? Bill is definitely under authority. He greatly honored his parents, he is faithful as the member of a church of believers, and is under the laws of this great nation, which extend to the Board of Directors of this non-profit corporation. The Board gets authority from the laws that the state of Illinois have set up. Those laws say nothing about spiritual matters, only to ensure that the financial matters of the organization are kept straight so that no one is defrauded.

            There is no scripture that demands that a man of God be “under” the control of a spiritual board of directors, BTW. It is interesting to me that George Mueller, the one that cared for thousands of orphans in Bristol, England with no established income or appeals, relying only on prayer to make needs known, had no board, no governance, despite the fact that he was responsible for huge amounts of money and individuals. We demand authorities where God does not place them, because we are afraid. God is the “board” of a man of God, or else He certainly is well able to be that.

            5) “Mechanical set of principles”? First of all, is that heresy, even if true? Secondly, he is certainly not the first to focus on practical steps to accomplish great goals that God demands. Do you have any idea why John Wesley’s disciples were called “Methodists”? It was not a compliment, it was a slur. Yup, exactly that – they had a method, a series of steps and principles for all matters of faith and life. That is NOT heresy.

        • Jay Jay
          March 31, 2018    

          What you are saying does not prove your points.

          Of course RG was set up with a purpose (or agenda), as was yours. Let’s go with the word you singled out: “reprogram” in quotes, which indicates it’s not an exactness (not to be argued without considering inherent nuances, but you did anyway). “Reprogram” is their contrast with their assertion that Bill Gothard/IBLP/ATI programmed people with untruths. In the next sentence, this thought of reprogramming is tied to healing, and in fact “heal” could honestly be substituted for “reprogram” and carry the same intended meaning. Opposite of what you say, they want to “get a lot of people” “happy.” Their other statements about themselves and their efforts bear that out. You don’t like what it takes for them to help people heal and be happy, and their healing and happiness makes you unhappy.

          The RG site is very solid in substance. Again, opposite of what you say, the myriad of posts do piece together a comprehensive picture of reality. I’m not saying volume = truth. I’m saying there’s a lot of quality in that volume. Keeping with your logic, one would also conclude that the very small number of posts on your site (DG) “do not a documentation of reality make.”

          I don’t know how much of the lawsuits were a mess behind the scenes or specifics about anyone’s anger. I’m sure there’s some truth to that. But, from your way or arguing, I have reason to believe it’s not quite what you say. Perhaps some plaintiffs were angry because RG took a break from publishing and was NOT involved enough for their liking? I’m guessing that if RG ran the suit it wouldn’t be “turmoil,” but would resemble the quality of the RG site. Of course that wouldn’t guarantee any outcome, law being what it is.

          Finally, why Absolam as an example? Let’s look to Jesus again. Borrowing your phrasing: “[Jesus] had a personal beef with [the Jewish leaders of the day] for not handling the[ir] abuses of his [people]. So he got mad and he got busy, turning the hearts of the people [to] his father, one by one. Took a number of years. His ‘reprogramming’ was very personal, finding people with problems and steering them into hating the current [way], and being loyal to him. Then, when the time was right, he called in all his favors and launched the ‘coup.’ Sort of his version of ‘let’s knock [Satan] out of office and [pur]sue him to death.’”

          Jesus was very effective at “deprogramming,” thankfully.

          I have said I agree that some information on DG is true, but then I don’t like what you do with it. You don’t like RG, but what information on RG do you agree is true?

          • Moderator Moderator
            March 31, 2018    

            “You don’t like what it takes for them to help people heal and be happy, and their healing and happiness makes you unhappy.“

            The hardest thing about processing through 30,000 pages of chats was the misery that was everywhere. I guess I empirically find the opposite of “happiness” in those that claim to be “healed” from Bill. Always rounding the bend to blame something and somebody else.

            The RG site is very solid in substance.

            Will have to disagree. The sloppy nature of that exercise – despite all of their assurances to the contrary – is what produced this monstrosity. They claimed to have examined “Charlotte” – Gretchen Wilkinson – prior to sending her and her story out to the world. It was crystal clear that the bulk of her compatriots found her anything but reliable before this show ended. Interesting that she quietly slipped away a couple of months before the others, with no statement, no explanation. We could tell you some of the reasons why, some of which is very private and damaging, which includes an absolute inability to find anybody to corroborate any material part of her story. And a host raised up to oppose her. But Dr. Cornish told us personally that they had “checked into” her story and found her completely credible.

            We are limited in what we can disclose for obvious reasons. But we have told the truth. Do yourself a favor and read the entire motion, as it does disclose a number of the problems, at least with the plaintiffs included. RG was behind this lawsuit 100%.

            And that same problem proceeded to story after story that was so gleefully published, with polish and pictures. The Cabin Story has been COMPLETELY recanted by the author, yet, there it sits, exactly as they published it.

            Perhaps some plaintiffs were angry because RG took a break from publishing and was NOT involved enough for their liking?

            The plaintiffs can speak for themselves. What I saw was anger at the sense of being misled. The straw that WE feel broke the camel’s back was these secret “plaintiff forums” that the judge commanded them to turn over. One of these was set up by the current law firm at the urging of the plaintiffs, but the others were established by RG. RG, through their lawyer, promised them protection from discovery. RG also lobbied for decisions along the way as the case went through its twists and turns. Some thought RG had mishandled their stories, or were supporting people they felt were evil. In the end . . . It was so telling that the group turned to someone completely new to publish their exit statement. They could have used RG, the organ still works as evidenced in the recent statement.

            Solid? That is not an accurate statement.

            Absolam

            We are getting goofy here. There IS a chasm of difference between rebellion and what Jesus did. One is completely evil.

            what information on RG do you agree is true?

            Not much. It is perhaps enough to know that they were, up to the end, so happy to walk with those that hate Jesus and the Scriptures, let them post and complain. This was ostensibly to “help them heal”, back to your point. I would love it if anyone can point to even one person that turned from darkness to light, trusting Jesus, as a result of their efforts. Their “healing” is defined as “rejecting Gothard”. I define it as “living a happy, peaceful live with the full assurance of salvation and the power to stay away from sin.” Saw very little of that, mostly the opposite, lots of doubts and confusion, new life bending habits . . . Stuff that remains to this day.

          • Jay Jay
            April 11, 2018    

            I think you probably did see a lot of misery expressed, but you have the causality backwards. Bill isn’t responsible for all of the misery in the world, but for countless lives he was a great source of it and one reason that some went from one misery to another. The plaintiffs chose to face the source of much misery. Just like you misread that, anyone who follows your comments can guess that you might be a contortionist when it comes to bending words to fit your use.

          • Moderator Moderator
            April 12, 2018    

            The source of misery may not always be apparent. Bill is the proverbial lightening rod for wrath and hurt from miserable lives. Not all is fair, even if some might be. Some is downright unfair, these accusations. I often think of these Scriptures:

            “When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord.” (Proverbs 19:3)
            “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” (Romans 15:3)

      • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
        April 1, 2018    

        Brother Jay,

        But the lawsuit we are discussing in this thread was about sexual harassment, right? Apparently the plaintiffs didn’t think their evidence would persuade neutral parties. Yes, that’s the documentation I was thinking of.

        As for abuse of spiritual authority, is there any such thing? A church officer has ecclesiastical authority over his church brethren, but their relations are mutually consensual (and BG was no church officer). Contending Christians should resolve their disputes charitably or man up and walk away. At least that’s what we do in my church.

        The outpouring of internet complaints on RG and elsewhere does document that BG has 21st Century enemies who use the web. It proves nothing more. With the lawsuit, the sex accusers had their chance to upgrade their claims to documented fact. But they pulled out, leaving hollow claims dangling on the internet.

        I see your point about the volume of claims. But I’m not persuaded by volume only. Volume cannot covert claims into facts. Mobs generate volume, so they don’t need facts. You ask what conclusion I draw from the volume? None.

        BG is an itinerant teacher with no power to coerce his neighbors. Abuse without coercion is nonsense. To abuse me you must restrain me. Otherwise I invoke my right to walk away.

        I eventually walked away from ATI after I obtained what I wanted in my homeschooling. No ATI gestapo pursued me. If I can walk away from BG, so can others.

        • Jay Jay
          April 11, 2018    

          Dear David, I referred to RG as volume PLUS quality, not volume alone. I do not believe you have read much of it, and your comments about the plaintiffs makes one wonder if you read the statements that have been made explaining the end of the lawsuit. (Or what was the end before Bill started it up again.)

          As to ATI, you are at least my age or older, so you weren’t a homeschooled child. If your children wanted to walk away from ATI, would you really have let them? Would you not have pursued them? As children would they know enough to leave? Usually they stay in the family home and soak up everything ATI (if the family truly follows the teachings). If you, as a father, were to twist scripture or use it as a wrongly motivated coercion against your children, that would be an example of abuse of spiritual authority. I’m not saying you did that, but many parents have, and IBLP teachings enable it. Spiritual abuse is real.

          BG is not itinerant. He has a nice address and had a nice properties with lots of perks. He had a boatload of resources and great power, whether that power was over children or well known leaders. Again, I don’t think you’ve read much about how he wielded his power. That’s why your answer comes across as flippant at best.

  13. David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
    March 29, 2018    

    Dear Rob,

    You might render us all a service here. The difference between meditation and contemplation needs some ‘splainin’ (as Ricky Ricardo would say). I have assumed that “meditation” and “contemplation” are synonyms. I took for granted that he who uses the BG meditation model will end up quietly praying and listening over the Bible text he is using. At least that’s what I do. It seems to come naturally (as Annie Oakley would say). Or does Lectio Divina use a different text from the Bible?

    • rob war rob war
      March 31, 2018    

      In a quick summation, meditation and contemplation have definite overlap and similarities but the emphasis on meditation is mental understanding of scripture and contemplation emphasizes letting that section of scripture speak to you or God speaking to you in that section. Lectio Divina has been around since the earliest years of Christianity as method of engaging with the Bible on a personal level. That is very different from what Bill taught which is memorize (by rote) the Bible which if one memorizes the Bible by rote, that in it of itself will put Bible verses in one’s head which according to Bill then will by used by God in that person’s head. There is nothing about praying, there is nothing about trying to understand or learn, there is nothing about even being transformed by God or even letting God speak to your heart or spirit from the Bible. Bill’s method is based on rote memorization as the gateway to the Bible. Lectio Divina is not based at all on rote memorization as a stepping stone or gateway.

  14. Greg H Greg H
    April 4, 2018    

    As they say in talk radio, I’m a “long-time listener, first-time caller”; that is, I’ve been following the progress of the lawsuit on this site with interest, but haven’t commented until now. My question is, can you clarify the context or give the exact quote where a plaintiff “boldly proclaimed late in the game that she regularly communicates with demons”? That’s jaw-dropping to me, especially since I would assume all the plaintiffs are professing believers, and I’m surprised no one else has commented on it.

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 4, 2018    

      No, that would fall in the category of “anonymous quotes” that we would not be at liberty to identify by plaintiff. All of the plaintiffs, or at least all that were in on the social media chatting, know who this is, so, if this is important to you and you know any of them and they trust you, ask.

      • Greg H Greg H
        April 4, 2018    

        Thanks for responding to my comment so quickly! Apparently, my question wasn’t as clear as I thought; I wasn’t asking which specific plaintiff made the comment. I know you are restricted from giving quotes that identify the plaintiff, and I don’t know any of them anyway. What I meant was can you explain the situation a little? Was this person dabbling in the occult intentionally or was the contact unwelcome to them? I was just curious about the context, not who specifically was involved.

        • Moderator Moderator
          April 4, 2018    

          We have proof that this person was dabbling in the occult, but it was represented as a lifelong “thing” from childhood. The statement was made on at least two different settings, one a forum of all plaintiffs, the other to another individual plaintiff.

    • David S. Knecht Sr. David S. Knecht Sr.
      April 5, 2018    

      Yes, I was shocked by the demon claim too, brother Greg. One of many things we hear which we earnestly hope is untrue.

      Anyway…
      David K

      • Moderator Moderator
        April 5, 2018    

        Your shock would be mirrored by the other plaintiffs. Just another proof that this is far from a typical case in a typical court. Another proof to us of a cloven hoof, desperate to crush Bill Gothard. We provided the proof to RG early in this process but were summarily dismissed. So the statements did not shock us quite as much as it did the others.

  15. Kimberly DeBlock Mihok Kimberly DeBlock Mihok
    April 15, 2018    

    Well, Praise the LORD for His Deliverance!!! Rumors of false accusations drove us to Prayer some time ago, and we Rejoice that GOD has Saved His Servant!! It sounds just like Dr. Bill Gothard to be Thankful for having More Time for Meditation of God’s Word…this makes me Smile…and it also Reminds me to Keep my Focus on God!!! :) Thank You, Moderator, for continuing with your Positive Answers…Please tell Bill that we are SO THANKFUL for him!! <3 Kimberly DeBlock Mihok

    • Moderator Moderator
      April 16, 2018    

      Will pass that on to him today, I know he will deeply appreciate it. If you would like to tell him yourself, contact us via email :-)

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