Bill has not confessed to sexual harassment in any form, remains adamant that he was not morally improper in any way, whether legally defined as such or not. The matters he has addressed in past statements involve what most ministries consider normal boundaries for men counseling young ladies.
Bill is an idealist, and he has always considered himself in the role of a father to the young men and women under his care. As such he felt it appropriate to touch their shoulders or tap their feet in an affirming way, young men and women, and he has for 50 years held the hands of young ladies he is counseling as he speaks to their hearts, usually in front of others, in some cases large audiences. His hours are 4AM to midnight and he fills every minute, including late night counseling, which sometimes was alone with the individual. All that have observed this know that he always kept the windows uncovered, bright lights showing the room to all walking by.
However, many in the ministry were deeply concerned that failure to maintain a much higher standard of formal, accountable boundaries, especially given Bill’s interest in working with young people with severe problems, could expose a righteous ministry to the whims of unbalanced individuals fabricating stories to get attention or money. Their concerns were not unfounded.
The 7 published testimonies detail boundary issues that made them feel uncomfortable, such as long hand holding, sitting too close, touching the shoulders and feet. Some of these women openly acknowledged not being bothered by such things until making contact with the website, in a number of cases being sought out for that purpose. Bill strongly disputes a number of key elements in the accounts, again, accounts presented with the help of professional editors. That website indicates that they have many more accounts they could publish but cannot because of the need to protect the women from harassment. Based on our experience we have reason to believe that the reasons they have not done so are not driven by the need to protect identities but rather a need to protect the story. Recovering Grace continues to operate with the sole purpose of disrupting Bill Gothard’s ministry, whatever it takes.
It must also be noted that Recovering Grace has a history of banning input from those that counter their agenda. Several of us were terminated in this way after attempting to provide exonerating information, told to set up our own website. As a result the give and take on the website is definitively skewed to favor this “agenda” they cited. Somehow this doesn’t speak well to an objective perspective seeking only to promote the truth and correct problems that harm the agenda of our Lord Jesus Christ vs. an agenda of personal vengeance.