On January 10, 2019 arguments were heard in the 18th Circuit Court of Illinois regarding several motions filed by Bill against the plaintiffs in the lawsuits against him that were dismissed a year ago. He asked for sanctions against 7 of the original 17 plaintiffs to get back some of the attorney expenses incurred, also against their legal firm for allowing a “frivolous lawsuit” to be filed. In addition and in response the plaintiffs had filed a motion for a protective order against Bill, his lawyers, members of Discovering Grace and others that had been helping with Bill’s defense.
Of the 7 plaintiffs cited, 6 came to Chicago and testified (the 7th lives in New Zealand and plead hardship). The judge imposed some severe restrictions on the proceedings, including not allowing formal opening or closing statements and limiting consideration of each plaintiff to 40 minutes, which both sides found strange. That is a like telling football coaches just before the game that each side starts on the 20 yard line without a kickoff, you have 3 downs instead of 4, and there will be no points after touchdown . . . Dramatically changes the strategy and carefully prepared plays. That adds to any number of other strange things.
1) The judge denied the request for a Protective Order. Nothing Bill, his lawyers, Discovering Grace have done is improper, citing First Amendment rights and general law.
2). He denied all requests to sanction the plaintiffs or their law firm. The matter considered here was whether a reasonable, professional attorney would even file these charges, not whether the charges were true. He concluded that the attorneys for the plaintiffs had not been professionally negligent, and that although never progressing to the point of determining truthfulness, the lawsuit filing was not “frivolous”.
Obviously we disagree with the “frivolous” aspect. There is much debriefing going on and we filed this before hearing all of the defense team analysis. They will be pouring over the transcript of this very long day. We would not be surprised to see some formal legal reaction given a number of unusual aspects.
The Lord was there and in charge. Please pray for wisdom in any next steps. While all are weary we spoke with Bill and he remains resolute in purpose to formally clear his name one way or the other as much harm has come from these baseless accusations. We will give a further analysis and details as we receive them, likely modifying this post with updates. We have been promised a transcript, although the same will be substantial in size compared to what other hearings generated. Regardless we hope to make that available publicly. Thanks to all who have been praying for Bill and for us, for IBLP, and the plaintiffs and all concerned.
Thanks for the report! I will continue praying fervently about this matter. My prayer ultimately has been and will continue to be that the Lord’s will be done, but my specific request is that Bill is totally exonerated publicly.
Sounds like the judge himself was biased, which obviously sheds a negative light on the entire fiasco. There are “righteous” judges, but many that are not. They seem to be few and far between, although more conservative type judges are being appointed, especially over the past couple of years.
Thanks for all your hard work. I dont have any “answers” at the moment but I know the Lord does.
Jeremiah 32:27…”Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”
It’s not 2018 anymore. Fix the date.
Oops, and thank you.
The consistently polite and gracious responses of the moderator as he clearly sets the record straight serves as an example to me. Thank you so much!
Maybe this has been asked before, but what is the IBLP board’s stance on the allegations and the lawsuit, and how will this outcome affect their actions?
Even though their lawyers originally suggested this action – Illinois Supreme Court Rule 137 (I think I got that right) – to recover from the plaintiffs and their well heeled lawyers some of the estimated $500,000 donor dollars wasted by IBLP on this lawsuit, they pointedly declined to join the action when Bill’s side suggested it. This in and of itself likely will not help any process of reconciliation between Bill and IBLP.
Their stance? It is clear to us that the Board fundamentally believes the plaintiffs. That was clear from the outset, 4 years ago even before any arguments were heard. Which makes this mysterious packet from the initial “investigation” even more important, as that, allegedly, is their “proof”. If the Lord wants it known He will get it out. The need for that disclosure is strongly supported by Bill and apparently recognized by friend and foe alike, just not the Board. Reasons for that are left to each person’s imagination.
Thanks for your response. However I am confused when you refer to a “packet.” What is that?
David Gibbs Jr., fast friend of Bill and IBLP, was brought in to investigate the Recovering Grace claims for the Board of Directors. He generated a “packet” of findings where were sealed and given to the BOD. No one else has seen what is in there. We understand from reliable sources that this contains a number of interviews with individuals associated with Bill, but, again, what was said was never disclosed. The findings were protected from discovery by client-attorney privilege during the recent lawsuit.
Our concern remains that this “investigation” is essentially hearsay. While statements and testimonies are not unimportant the Scriptural standard demanded by 1 Tim. 5:19 is to establish “every word” by 2-3 witnesses before accepting and considering an accusation. Over the past 4 years we have found many “testimonies” undergoing substantial revisions when formally investigated, such as was done under oath in “interogatories” during the suit, or even in following up facts provided by interviews we have conducted, results of which being taken back to the source. It is inconceivable to us that the BOD would strip a man of his ministry of 50 years on such an unscriptural basis.
It seems really unlikely that IBLP would not release the packet if it helped clear Gothard’s name. They would have no reason to hide it, since their reputation is closely tied to Gothard’s. Unless the board now has some personal vendetta it seems likely that the packet confirms the allegations, since as you said before, the board clearly believes the plaintiffs.
No, the Board has sought to separate themselves from Bill’s reputation. “It was him, not us”. Which separation allows them to continue to proceed with their vision for the ministry and its substantial resources. There is “bad blood” in there, which is clear not only in them calling the police on Bill in Big Sandy, but also had them have their lawyer pointedly get up just before the ruling was read, walk past Bill directly to the plaintiffs, and express their sorrow for all that has gone on. Obviously, should Bill ever regain the reins, they would be quickly ejected. So we would emphatically disagree. They have a ministry of reasons to hide behind a sealed packet with no beef in it.
Do you believe then that the board wanted Gothard gone before the allegations came out? Because otherwise they would have no ulterior motives.
I am saying that the full frontal Recovering Grace attack had much of their intended effect, freaking the IBLP leadership out. The threat of a lawsuit was a matter of deep concern . . . I mean . . . The suits that were filed totaled $8 million, and who knows how high it could have gone with punitive damages. They were, I suppose, “cutting their losses” as they saw it. All of that trumped any loyalties they had at a personal level. Of course, anyone with ANY beef against Bill climbed out of the woodwork to fuss. Bill was just “toxic”. They assumed that the outside forces would take care of the problem – surely 17 plaintiffs would secure some win at some level that would officially declare Bill guilty. Problem is, it never happened. And Bill is just not going away. Nor should he, until they do what God has commanded them to do and handle this Scripturally.
A great couple of verses:
“Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:”. <— No matter how scary the threats or how many are lined up to condemn, don’t become someone’s enemy before you follow every step Jesus prescribed for a brother in trouble. Matthew 12:20 “A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.“ <— Don’t run over even the smallest evidence that might lead to exoneration.
re: what we want to believe
Don’t we sons of Adam tend to believe what we hope is true? Don’t materialists want materialism to be true? Don’t we Christians want Christianity to be true? Aren’t we also guilty of confirmation bias to prove that our enemies are as bad as we say?
Which raises the question: does the IBLP board want Bill Gothard to be guilty of the accusations of his enemies? If so, why?
It is not what we want to be true, it is WHAT is true. I don’t believe in God and Christianity because I WANT it to be true, I believe because it is TRUE.
re: the truth
In her post above, Rob directs our attention to the truth. Which raises the question, which parties in the Gothard controversy are more interested in truth than wins and losses?
The attorneys? Improbable. They get paid to win, or at least to avoid losing. The BoD? Who knows? That was my point above. (And as Hally notes on 1/11, the judge and lawyers are members of the same cartel. If not quite a conflict of interest, then something near it.)
We who browse RG and DG? that’s another question.
It would be a far stretch to think any judge would find any of his fellow lawyer-friends guilty of anything. After all, this might affect their career and professional status as lawyers, maybe their livelihood, even possibly bring them into question before the Bar (some sarcasm here), and they have to protect each other. He also had to deny the “motions to sanction” as granting this against the plaintiffs would bring into question his own defense of his fellow lawyers.
Further action might be “beating a dead horse”–at least in this court. Bill’s name is already clear before heaven and many on earth. I have a sense that the Lord has other ways of further clearing Bill’s name should this be necessary.
Thank you for the encouragement, Hally. Further actions may well focus on your first paragraph. Things that are “unfair” are, at some level and in some context, generally also “illegal”. It is patently unfair to spin up a lawsuit full of $8 million of accusations to savage a man’s reputation and then happily “go on with our lives”, plaintiff and attorney alike. We know that not every injustice gets resolved on earth, and you correctly point that out. Bill could have dropped this from the getgo, meekly accepted whatever happened. But, like Paul, who “took it to a higher court” on earth when the Jews had him in court trying to destroy him – appealing “to Caesar” – Bill has felt adamantly that he has a responsibility to the Lord and His work to answer vigorously.
Practically . . . He is 83, still vigorous, planning to live to 120, but . . . 83. His entire network of friends and donors and ministry has been savaged. Most folks would retire to live with their kids and grandkids and go fishing and travel the world before dying. Bill is not “most folks” and has no other life to return to. His life was IBLP. His ability to spin up a new ministry is forever affected and tainted by these very public allegations. He has no kids, he has already travelled the world, and he has no intention of dying any time soon. SO . . . He has LOTS of time to focus on this problem. The plaintiffs expected that he would just take their “Nevermind” and leave them alone when they dropped the suit, stunning even the judge (we were in court that day). He wants more. He wants them to stand and assume responsibility for what they did and fix it. And he has, at this time, lots of time and energy to pursue it.
All being interpreted – if you think this is the last you will hear of Bill and these matters, you are likely mistaken.
Romans 12:19-21 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
I would be interested to heat why Mr. G thinks this does not apply to him.
Bill has not taken vengeance so far in any capacity. Up until the end of the hearing on 01/10/2019 Bill has never brought any action against anyone. Even in that recent “Rule 137” hearing there was a “plaintiff” side – the one seeking vengeance – and a “defense” side – the one seeking to avoid vengeance. Bill was the defendant, and the plaintiffs, 7 women of the original 17, remained plaintiffs. Requesting protection from the judge from the vengeance sought by others with that judge is not vengeance.
Re: BOD…I am going to suggest that because all on the board knew Bill they knew he was innocent. But the filing of the lawsuit frightened them into (possibly) thinking the entire ministry could be lost. If I am correct, Gibbs Jr. was the first lawyer to look into the case. Having heard his presentations in person, I believe in his honesty and integrity (as opposed to Gibbs III). If there had been anything found in that investigation (I believe) it would have been added to the lawsuit. Since very few know what was in that report, innuendoes are very effective to keep others guessing/questioning and keep the BOD “threat” alive. When the lawsuit was dropped (and BG suddenly showed up at BS), it evidently surprised the BOD and they had to come up with some excuse/story large enough to maintain their positions, salaries and other perks of their position. Looking from a distance, I cannot see any other reason for their continued betrayal of Bill. I am reminded of another BOD and their fears in John 11:48, paraphrased: If we leave Him thus alone they will come and take away both our position and our ministry.
Thank you for reporting on the lawsuit results.
I find you narrative interesting.
When the plaintiffs voluntarily withdrew their case, citing challenges with the statute of limitations, you refer to it as a “dismissed” case and suggested that the Lord had spoken.
When the judge rules against Bill and denies his claim that the lawsuit brought by the girls was frivolous and also denies his claim for financial compensation from them, you seem to cry “foul” and suggest that the judge was unfair.
It is like a football team. Every time they are victorious, the players congratulate themselves on all of their hard work and dedication. But when they lose, somehow it is always the ref’s fault.
You are trying to have it both ways. Perhaps, in denying Bill this court victory, the Lord has spoken?
You are an astute individual, James :-). Yes, we will likely continue to spin things in the direction we favor. Kind of how it works.
BTW, one clear reality that sprang out of the judge’s declarations on making his decisions was exactly how he considers the “statutes of limitations”. We cried foul when he allowed the case to continue despite EVERY plaintiff being outside that statute. On Thursday we understood a bit more. The judge stated almost at the outset of his comments that “Statute of limitations laws are fluid” in this day and age, and then went on to point out the various ways that would not apply. He was fairly liberal in his interpretation of “repressed memory”, made the point over and over that “this is not a medical condition, but a symptom”. Point being – there WAS no “statute of limitations” issue with the plaintiffs. I am guessing their very smart lawyers, three law firms worth, knew that and told them that. See, that was a misdirection on the part of the plaintiffs, that was never the reason they pulled out.
Back to “what the Lord wants”. Several things that became very clear after we began the long and very expensive and time consuming task of getting ready for this lawsuit after the judge allowing it to proceed against our fervent prayers. Had it gone our way we would NEVER have gotten any of the clear contradictions that the plaintiffs’ private chats held in opposition to their public pleadings as uncovered in “discovery”. The plaintiffs would have walked away as those denied justice, heroes, with their accusations intact for perpetuity. Instead because of the most recent action those statements were made available to the public for their consideration. Anyone who wants may click here – Motion to Sanction – and read these statements and draw their own conclusions as to the veracity of the plaintiffs and whether or not they colluded together to bring this action solely to take Bill down, vs. get redress for sexual crimes.
In the end it would have been nice to get a win here, but not a single person on the legal team that filed it expected that. Rule 137 wins are rare indeed, the standard exceedingly lofty. Perhaps the Lord knew all of that and orchestrated it just right.
There never was a desire to crush the women regardless of the outcome. In fact, Bill deliberately excluded a number of plaintiffs that he knew were dealing with extreme hardship. Trust me – had he pursued them the shock factor of statements and collusion would have increased dramatically. He deliberately let slide key testimony that could very much have helped his case to avoid damaging some of the most vulnerable. There are lots of ways to win. The best ones involve not only justice but reconciliation. To that end we continue to hope and pray.
Funny how you said Bill gave grace and let plaintiffs with particular hardships slide by. What about Emily Jaeger? In Bills public letter to her, less than one month before his sanctions against her were filed, he wrote about how incredibly concerned he was about her physical health and how the lawsuit could be damaging it. Why did Bill not see her physical health is a big enough hardship to give her the grace to let her slip by? He says in his letter how he cares for her and her wellbeing so much and yet one month later he slaps her with a motion for sanctions?
I do not speak for Bill. I am privy to some of the conversations, but not all. Actually, I asked the lawyer about the choices, and he mentioned some of the concerns there were. Emily . . . Is Emily. Emily’s situation was particularly onerous to me, given the amount of sincere effort invested in her situation, let alone the clear testimony she gave to Bill’s honor, multiple times, uncoererced as her personal letters and responses appear to be.
To then subsequently rage and revile him as she did when it was politically cool to do so was just wrong. I read every word of her bitter and scathing statement written to Bill during interogatories, several times. She told Bill – formally – that she forgave him, even as she proceeded to ready the next phase of her $500,000 lawsuit against him. If THAT is what Christian forgiveness looks like, then small wonder the world wants none of it.
Her use of the “Jane Doe” status was also really, REALLY offensive. As you likely know or can figure out, not knowing who your opponents are in a case greatly impedes your ability to defend against them. So the granting of “Doe” status is not made lightly. She claimed fear for her life from her father to get that status – but privately told her “mates” when asked about her Doe status: “I’m still a part of a very conservative/pro-Gothard community and if they found out my reputation would be ruined”. And she went out of her way to trumpet her real name – “I am Jane Doe III!” – and status as a plaintiff the split second the suit was over. Where is the “personal danger . . . Physiological, psychological and emotional distress” she told the judge that would cause her? That stinks. That is disingenuous. I bet Chuck would tell her to not do that – would you also tell her that that is wrong?
So there she is in public again, railing on Bill. Demanding that we publish her complaints. She wanted a confrontation. And, if anyone deserved to get one, it was she. The Lord is the judge of all flesh, knows it all. But . . . I am surprised to forced me to say all of this, since I would gather you would have known it.
Alfred, you can read the quotes from the hearing and the judges ruling below and it’s really simple to figure out why she became a Jane Doe III. I pray God has mercy on you and Bill for your viscous attacks on her and the other women. Having lived through the 1980 scandal and the subsequent 39 years of dealing with Bill I have no trouble believing the women’s stories!!!!!!!
“P35 of Hearing
BY MR. SOTOMAYOR:
Q. So then the — so then your affidavit to keep your identity secret, based upon the fact that you didn’t want anybody to know that your father had sexually abused you, was not the true reason for your pleadings requesting your identity be kept secret?
MR. MINCIELI: Objection to form.
THE COURT: You may answer.
BY THE WITNESS:
A. The affidavit gives two reasons, both my father and then also the second line lists the pro-Gothard community.
Q. So the truth is, you never feared any retaliation by your father or your pro-Gothard people?
Q. What is incorrect about that?
A. The reason I came out with my name is because Gaffney called my father and told him I was involved in the lawsuit before it was dismissed.
MR. SOTOMAYOR: At this point, Judge, I am going to object to the non —
THE COURT: Overruled. You asked for it.
BY MR. SOTOMAYOR:
Q. Okay. So your father told you this or — A. My father called me.
Q. — or Mr. Gaffney told you this, which one was it?
A. My father called me immediately after Gaffney called him and wanted to talk.
Q. That is what your father told you; is that correct?
Q. So you never heard from Mr. Gaffney. This was something that you believed to be accurate solely based upon your father’s statement to you, right?
A. I have a voicemail from Gaffney left on my mother’s cell phone that said he called my father. I listened to it.
Q. When did this allegedly occur?
A. December of 2017.
BY MR. MINCIELI:
Q. Is this a copy of your affidavit?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Is this the affidavit that you submitted with respect to the application for a fictitious name?
Q. I will ask you to take a look at the allegations in the affidavit on the second page.
Q. Starting with No. 12, can you read those out loud.
A. No. 12. My father does not know I am a part of this lawsuit. I am fearful that if my identity is revealed, my father will become aware of the claims I have made in this lawsuit.
Q. I will ask you to stop right there. Was that statement true at the time that you made it?
Q. Next one, Paragraph 13.
A. If my identity is revealed, my father will find out that I publicly disclosed that he sexually abused me and that will place me in personal danger, as well as cause me psychological and emotional distress.
Q. Did you believe that to be true at the time you signed this affidavit?
A. If my identity is revealed, I risk being harassed by those who are affiliated with Mr. Gothard and/or IBLP.
Q. And when you say those who are affiliated with Mr. Gothard and/or IBLP, who are you speaking about in that statement?
A. My current community, my support systems at home.
Q. Is that the church community that you were referencing in the chat that Mr. Sotomayor brought up to you?
Q. That was true at the time you signed this?
Q. And you — did you learn at some point that during the pendency of this case, Mr. Gaffney, attorney for Bill Gothard, did, in fact, contact your father and reveal the fact that you are a plaintiff in this lawsuit?
MR. SOTOMAYOR: Objection. Based upon — hearsay is what my objection is.
THE COURT: Overruled. You asked her that question in direct examination and elicited answers from her on how she knew about it and in what manner she knew about it and the voicemail that she heard that was left by Mr. Gaffney to her mother, so it’s a bizarre objection. Completely overruled. Continue on.
BY MR. MINCIELI:
Q. So at the time that it was disclosed to your father that the lawsuit — that you were a member of the lawsuit, you no longer needed — that reason for the protection was no longer present, correct?
BY MR. MINCIELI:
Q. Thank you. After the case was voluntarily nonsuited, why did you disclose your name?
A. Two reasons: My father had been told, so I had no reason to remain anonymous for that, and I am a completely different woman than I was three years ago when I filed this suit.
A. Very much so. I have a new support community that is not affiliated with Gothard anymore and I have the strength and courage to be me.
MR. MINCIELI: Your Honor, I don’t think I have anything else for this witness.
P87-90 Judge Popejoys ruling
First of all, anybody can file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations run. When I was practicing law for 21 years, I would see it all the time. Maybe a defense attorney isn’t going to pick up on the fact and you dodged a bullet and they file an answer. All wonderful.
Here, this defense did pick up on that fact. I denied any dismissal at the time because I thought it was fact-based. I did not think as a matter of law that I could say that they had missed their statute of limitations and a factual basis was required for same, in my opinion.
So then we get to this whole repressed memory aspect. Well, repressed memory is not a cause of action. It is not, per se, a medical condition. It is a symptom. It is something that can happen as a result of certain things in this world that can cause us stress.
In 1979, I found my mother eight days after she died, after she had committed suicide. And I called my father who had recently divorced my mother and he said, it’s your problem now, kid, not mine, and hung up the phone. I don’t have any repressed memory about that, obviously, I am sitting here today dealing with it one way or the other.
But lots of things can happen and lots of things can trigger repressed memories. It is not a condition, a medical condition. It is something that ostensibly might result or might be a symptom, or might come into play at some time in various people’s lives as to what is going to happen or not happen or how they deal with things in the world one way or the other.
And with it being a symptom, these individuals can testify as to whether they felt they had that symptom or didn’t feel they had that symptom. And we know from a couple of people that they don’t really think that they had the symptom of repressed memory one way or the other.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that their underlying cause of action wasn’t validly pled and there wasn’t a factual basis for it being validly pled, nor does it come into play that maybe because of that, this whole case would be dismissed because they can’t show they have repressed memories.
Well, there might be any number of things that are repressed and other things that aren’t repressed. Someone can have a good memory. It doesn’t mean they remember everything. And as I have heard from some of these women testifying today, things came up at certain times, things would be, quote, unlocked, end of quote. Things would be, quote, triggered, end of quote.
There might have been any number of things that might have done those along the way and provided a factual basis for why a cause of action potentially accrued before — or why a cause of action was still existing even though a statute of limitations time period might have passed because of a discovery rule that exists.
So when I look at the various pleadings, and I am going to go through each one, but there really isn’t any allegation of any false pleadings being filed in regard to the underlying causes of action. Did they state a cause of action? Was there a factual basis for same?
It is really whether this repressed memory was coming into play or not and could assist or could knock the whole underlying claim out in regard to the discovery aspect and repressed memory.
First of all I am passing through the mind numbing amount of cut and paste you did here. Surely you can make your points in pieces, smaller chunks. Please do that.
Somehow women making claims that they know and testify are false in pursuit of a payday of $500,000 each from Bill is OK in your world. Bad Bill, hence all means of taking him down are justified. You stand in righteous indignation on Bill exercising the courts to get his money back, but bless the women who sued to start this all off? I stand similarly speechless at times. It remains for us each to pursue the Lord, His Kingdom and righteousness and He, the judge of all flesh, will sort it out.
As to the rest, it really comes down to one salient point. Glenn did NOT call her father, no matter what she said. Glenn declared that in his response to the plaintiff comments. He left a message for the mother, which Dad heard. That negates at least half of the narrative there. Why did Sotomayor not correct her? Because, as you know, he came in to replace Glenn somewhat abruptly very late in the game. And that, apparently, escaped him.
Alfred writes: “As to the rest, it really comes down to one salient point. Glenn did NOT call her father, no matter what she said. Glenn declared that in his response to the plaintiff comments.”
How do you know that he didn’t call her dad? Who told you that? Your emphatic “did NOT” is really strong, over what appears to be a minor issue, that you even state “Sotomayor not correct her.” He apparently didn’t think it was important so I must be missing something. Where exactly did Gaffney write that?
I know because Glenn told that to the judge :-). No lawyer would risk his license over lying about something that stupid. Plaintiffs, on the other hand, have a high degree of motivation to spin the tale in their direction.
This wasn’t a win for Bill at all. Despite that you feel this was “frivolous” and these people a bunch of liars, Bill was not able to prove that at all and has lawyer bills himself now that he has to pay for. You can make all the cracks you want about the lawyer fees that either IBLP or the plaintiffs have but Bill since he did pursue this on his own, will have his own that he will have to pay for.
THAT will be a matter “in the eye of the beholder”, Rob. Considering the lawsuits were asking for $8 million just for starters, there have been lots of wins here. Read the response to James for more on that.
It isn’t matter of “eye of the beholder”, it is what happen. Bill did not win this case. You can try to spin it any way you want but Bill did not win in court and NOW he will have to pay his own lawyer fees which I suspect are big too. There were no sanctions against any lawyer on the other side. Bill did not prove that their original law suit was “frivolous”. It seems to me that if anything was “frivolous” was Bill in bringing this to begin with since you admitted that these sorts of law suits are hard to win. Now, Bill ought to get busy and write more books to pay his lawyers unless some big wealthy IBLP persona steps in to pay for them. Maybe the loyal supports of Bill ought to start a Go Fund Me account for Bill. But I think that sort of thing is not his style since he was a big fan of George Mueller.
Your perspectives are noted. We disagree, obviously. For the reasons stated, which you have also noted.
Maybe it’s time to obey Scripture and quit taking brothers to court!
Agreed! These plaintiffs should never, ever, remotely taken Bill to court. Recovering Grace should never have openly motivated for it and privately encouraged and flat out supported it. I do hope with the influence you and your family had with RG you did everything in your power to stop it.
Bill has never taken anyone to court, at least not since this team spun up 4 years ago. A lot of confusion seems to reign supreme here. Each of these women individually sued Bill for $500,000, wanting to bankrupt him and IBLP. For Bill to defend himself against them in the Circuit Court they dragged him into cost about $200K. Under the umbrella of the suit they filed he asked the same judge to make them pay IBLP that money back. That is right venue to ask for that – since they refused to allow the matters to be decided by a court of Christians, taking it to Judge Popejoy instead, it is to Judge Popejoy Bill is forced to appeal to fix it.
Bill/Institute took the state of Illinois to court regarding an adverse posession issue regarding property at the corner of Ogden Ave and HW 83 in the 80s. There might be more too. If your going to make a blanket statement I suggest a more thorough due diligence. You demand multiple witnesses and perfection from critics, you need to live up to the same standard.
No, Larne, I think we were fairly precise. “Bill has never taken anyone to court, at least not since this team spun up 4 years ago.” As to that action, folks are worried about Christians suing Christians – did that factor into it?
No, Alfred that not true! By seeking sanctions against the women, which is a court action, is taking them to court. Bill’s actions were vengeful and in line with other behavior I have witnessed. You can’t have it both ways by condemning the court action against Bill then justifying Bill’s court action action against them. I believe the judge stated he believed the women which rejects your collusion argument. What I’m not sure of, if he made that statement while you were forced to leave the courtroom (during all the testimony) or during his ruling statements where you were allowed back in. Your can enlighten us.
I, Alfred, that speak to you was not in the courtroom for the testimony, unlike the other members of our team, which is why I am eager to read 5 hours of testimony. Perhaps as a gift to the plaintiffs the opposing lawyer declared that he intended to call me as a witness, which meant I could not listen. He never did. But I memorized a whole chunk of Scripture, was praying . . . AND got great dumps of information from the others.
Again, though, you are wrong about Bill being bad here. If the widow of Luke 18 was completely justified in going to the judge to ask for relief from someone trying to sue her, well, Bill can’t be out of line. There are all kinds of laws against using the court process to punish people – drain their money, frighten them, etc.
And the judge did make a statement to the effect that he believed the women were not lying on the stand. We found that interesting. One of them – RG co-founder Kari Underwood’s sister, I believe – made very clear statements under oath as to their intention in filing the lawsuit, specifically to bring Bill and the ministry down. Waiting to get the exact words so we can highlight them here. Everyone on our side found them highly significant. We are sure she was not lying.
Most of the questioning was about “repressed memories”, and again we suspect they were telling the truth. As the judge openly noted, other lines of inquiry might have increased the squirm factor, but there was a specific legal strategy involved. And time will tell if it was correct.
But do understand that the entire legal process there was being challenged. Which is why the plaintiff’s lawyer spent about as much time on the stand as the women. Bill’s lawyers explained to us that the judge is expecting an appeal, and that sequence about believing the women was designed to appeal-proof the verdict. No judge wants his verdicts overturned – won’t be a judge too long if higher courts keep concluding he was wrong. We shall see. Once we have the transcript in hand we will be able to address your questions more directly.
The parable of the widow with the “unjust judge” never mentions a lawsuit. It was used as a parable about persistence in prayer, not as justification to sue others in court. She was seeking justice from her advisories as told by Jesus. Since widows were often the disadvantaged in society at that time, there is a double emphasis on justice for the poor, needy and weak and that God “hears” especially those prayers of the poor, needy and weak. You are reading assumptions into this to justify Bill’s actions here. Jesus didn’t mention what she had suffered at the hands of whoever, that wasn’t the point of the parable which was persistence in prayer.
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
Whatever was going on, her “adversary” was trying to take her stuff. I see a lawsuit, since a thief would get the involvement of law enforcement instead. That is what judges are for, to protect the weak from the powerful. No matter what you think on a personal level, Bill – with no stored resources – and much maligned IBLP – were the targets of a very unjust attempt to relieve them of $8 million so that 17 women – and their lawyers (40%) – could go party on the sandy, warm beaches of New Zealand. Read the Motion to Sanction! Tell me if you think that they were worthy of this money infusion, $500,000 x 60% = $300,000 each BEFORE inevitable punitive damages, which typically are much higher. Pulling that money out of the pocket of every donor, every poor ATI family, their own birth families, for the most part.
The fact that most of them didn’t even know the amounts they were suing for makes the situation all the more worse. If you don’t like to make the plaintiffs the bad guy, then focus on the law firms. They do this for a living, for fun and profit. It was interesting to see the firms patting themselves on the back for a “great victory”. Let’s see: They didn’t get a dime for their clients, they had to eat something that had to be a quarter million dollars of their own money, or of whomever staked them for this effort, their clients and they ALMOST got slapped with a judgement forcing them to pay Bill and IBLP instead . . . And this is a “great victory”? I don’t get it.
From where we sit … Yes, Bill had every right and moral obligation to plead for redress before the judge.
The opening verse is “men ought to pray and not faint…”. This is about prayer and not about Bill’s lawsuit. It has nothing to do with it. You are reading your interpretation into it to justify Bill. I’m not going to change your mind, you will read into any Bible verse what you want and juxtaposing current American justice ideas like suing into a 1st century parable about prayer.
“Current American justice” is really not the issue here, right? It is whether God considers Bill’s response to the lawsuits and plaintiffs just. This does represent God’s opinion on a just response . . . Is all. Paul too. He could have “trusted the Lord” when the Jews hired evil lawyers to lie about him. Instead . . . He appealed to a higher court.
Bill has taught you very well on how to twist the Bible. St. Paul was being charged with blasphemy which was a capital offense in those days. St Paul appealed to Caesar because he was a Roman citizen. It had nothing to do with the Jews hiring “evil lawyers” to sue St. Paul. I am always amazed at how you twist everything around. Bill has taught you very well.
That is almost funny. Blasphemy . . . Of the Jewish religion . . . Punishable by death under Roman law? :-). The Romans couldn’t care less. No, the things they cared about were terrorism, rioting, things that would destabilize the government. And here is how the lawyer for the Jews described their complaint:
5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: 6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.
Rome should care because he was fomenting trouble. Again, Paul could have just committed himself to God’s care and let things spin out as they would, but he didn’t. He exercised his rights as a Roman citizen and pursued justice, relief under the law. Paul himself would later write that those judges were actually “Servants of God for good” (Romans 13:4), making this exactly the right place for a Christian to seek for help.
Considering that St. Paul was beheaded under Nero, I’m not so sure what is so funny. The reason riots broke out among the Jews first was because they considered what St. Paul was teaching was blasphemous and upsetting. St. Paul before his conversion was participating in going after Christians and was there for St. Stephen death, the first martyr. If you think all of this is funny, that’s a pretty dark sense of humor.
Was not wanting to be disrespectful . . . But . . . I did find the notion of the world of Rome putting people to death for violating Jewish religious laws hard to process.
Your write: “Bill can’t be out of line. There are all kinds of laws against using the court process to punish people – drain their money, frighten them, etc. “
Bill was trying to drain their money and frighten them. That is vengeful at its very core and Romans 12:19 is very clear, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” As a self-appointed spiritual leader who is under no one’s authority Bill should well know he will be judged to a higher standard James 3:1, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” and should set an example to the flock, Galatian 5 (fruits of the spirit) and the last verse 26, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Each person is responsible for their own actions and Bill is no exception and should know better.
If you, Larne, get robbed and then refuse to prosecute because of all you just published, I will take you seriously. I know the Amish do that. But I bet the Amish have councils of believers that also step in to mediate such things. The plaintiffs would have no part of any mediation, demanding to meet him in court.
Regardless, please confirm that your understanding of “not taking vengeance” means you will never take anyone to court or allow actions on your behalf to recover things stolen from you. The verses you quoted, BTW, are not entailed to just believers.
There is a big difference between seeking justice for being “robbed” and suing someone in order to recoup lawyer fees. The first one is a crime, robbery, the second is a “frivolous” lawsuit that Bill very specifically taught AGAINST repeatedly in his seminars. I already know your rebuttal, well these women were “suing” Bill and IBLP. The difference between them and Bill is that they were not traveling the world teaching one cannot sue another in court. These women likewise were looking for some justice in being sexually harassed by Bill, which is a crime in many difference context. They also withdrew their lawsuit. Bill did not need to seek justice for a crime. Nor would this bring back Bill to IBLP or even give him his “reputation” back even if he was successful which HE WAS NOT.
And it may be that you did not understand what Bill taught either. In any case, be aware that the plaintiffs based their justification of this action on Bill not being saved, so this is hardly an action between believers, right? And 1 Cor. 6 is specifically lobbying for justice served, only handled within the church rather than without. The same Paul that taught that God will deliver His children from the injustice of the ungodly with a mighty hand also “appealed unto Caesar”. Boy, I see a balance there, don’t you?
IF I see you decrying the role RG had in heavily prompting this action against Bill just as vigorously – with at least as many words and posts, although I would expect 10-fold more considering the damage they were seeking to inflict – then I will listen with both ears. Until then, I am having a hard time believing that the Lord told you to say that.
Alfred your argument is bazar, there is a difference between a criminal complaint and a civil complaint. This is also evident in scripture where there are disputes between neighbors and those regarding breaking God’s laws, no different than today, as evident in the Bill Crosby and OJ Simpson cases. Personally, I could care less what the Amish do, they don’t set an example for anyone but themselves.
The verses you quote regarding not suing is 1 Corinthians 6:1-2, “When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?” The key word in verse 1 is “dare”, in Greek, Τολμᾷ (tolma, Strong’s 5111) it means “to have courage, to be bold or boldness”. It is not a not a probation like “thou shall not” but implies a better way. I would generally agree a better way to take it to the church, but that has not worked in the past 40 years with Bill.
Dr. Chuck Lynch a member of LaGrange Bible Church where Bill was also a member, tried that in 1981 but they refused to deal with it and Chuck was told by the pastor that they were in the middle of a building project. (When cashflow and convictions collide, cashflow always wins.) They were approached again in 2014 but because Bill was no longer a member, so they refused. Where Bill was attending at the time (2014-15), he was also not a member and thus not subject to church discipline. The pastor at the time was one of three men Bill said were mentoring him. We shared with Bill we would be willing to discuss the matter with those mentors, but Bill did not make that opportunity available. In fact, when we questioned Bill about it, he stated his pastor said it was better to wait to join the church when this problem was over. Why, no membership, no discipline? Bill wants to set the ground rules and control the circumstances. This also happen the previous year in August and September of 2013. Our Denver meeting was also mediation, Bill had no board of Elders to appeal to nor was he a member of a congregation. Other attempts were also tried over the years by many, including us.
I don’t blame the women for not wanting anything to do with that. Bill can be a brutal adversary, In Denver Bill invited Gary Smalley to come with him, only to find Gary siding with us. Bill didn’t follow through on the important issues of repentance and that was clear in our June 24, 2015 “Failure to Repent: Tell It to the Church” letter (http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2015/06/failure-to-repent-tell-it-to-the-church/). On the last day of our meeting in Denver I asked Bill how he viewed the road ahead regarding fixing the problem he created. For the first time in the meeting he smiled and started telling us about the billionaire who was going to fund his new ministry of fixing the gang violence in Chicago. He went on and on, he never got the fact he had damage countless lives by his sinful, unrepentant behavior. For the past 50 years this has always been about Bill, driven by his pride.
What difference do you see? Scripturally, I mean. Was the “adversary” pursuing the widow criminal, or civilly offensive?
So explain how this relates to 1 Cor. 6? If I read it right, context and all, Paul was specifically focused on sexual defrauding, divorce matters. We have disputes between “neighbors” and church law and “The Law” and Roman government law. The Church is competent to try all matters, even though the “servants of God for good”, i.e. the civil authorities, have a role there too. Right?
And this is key to me: You actively, furiously supported this lawsuit with your time, money, making trips, talking to lawyers, helping the plaintiffs in every way you could. Your current very up-to-date information suggests you continue in that role. For all I know you might even have been there 🙂 having never actually met you. Please explain your actions in the light of whatever it is that you are trying to land here.
So I just double-checked with Bill. The way he remembers it the LaGrange Bible Church was bothered by the fact that they were essentially step one in the process with Bill. No church wants to get involved at the phase where everybody is fussing at each other – the point of the 2-3 witnesses is to “establish every word”, examine the alleged offenses, build a case with witnesses. Since those steps had not been taken LGBC felt they were dealing with hearsay at that point. If I remember correctly Tony Guhr came at them savagely. Can’t blame them for deflecting that. Much like he came at everything and everybody, including all present and former Board members, recently.
As to recently, no Bill was not a member so that was outside their formal jurisdiction. But truth be told, at the behest of the IBLP Board Bill met for some time in an accountability role with Dr. Don Wood, former chairman of the LGBC board, trusted by all. At the end of that time all issues he had were addressed to his full scriptural satisfaction and he even had a formal statement drafted to that effect.
And, Bill did have a pastor, different church and, for the record, he and the assistant pastor have been actively involved in seeking to bring Bill and the IBLP Board together. They met with each side independently, then together several times. As I heard the upshot the representative of the Board that met last with Bill and his pastors for the purpose of addressing Bill’s concerns declined to engage on any matter of substance declaring those issues “IBLP issues” and thus outside the scope of a local pastor. Seemed like a convenient shift of position to avoid having to give account. No other venue was offered to address these “IBLP issues”. So that is where we sit.
Let’s make note of the fact that your entire focus there, Denver Committee and all, was bringing Bill to heel for matters that happened in the late 1970s. “Lack of Repentance”, one of those nebulous extra-Biblical phrases that means whatever the beholder wants. Interesting to me is that Jesus said,
“Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4)
So simple. We are not to check on “repentance level” – “Take heed”. We are to accept the humbling act of “I repent” or “I am sorry”, really, as sufficient to forgive once again . . . and move on.
You ultimately came down to a statement that you demanded that Bill sign. That included a confession that he knowingly put secretaries, including Ruth, into harm’s way by sending them to support Steve at the Northwoods, given his acknowledged failures in the past. You knew that Bill takes that accusation very personally and that, for reasons discussed at length with you all, he cannot, in good conscience, sign that. I believe, as I am looking back at my notes, there was a statement under consideration at the time showing revisions to reflect that . . . but, if I recall correctly, at the end that was rejected at your end with a revert back to the thing Bill could not sign. Regardless, with the lawsuits spinning up the time for statements was over. That kind of is the point. So many things can be resolved person to person that become hardened in place when either party enters the courtroom.
Whatever you imagine, Gary is hardly on anyone side. He and Bill remained friends all the way to the end. You have seen statements he has made completely exonerating Bill. Sounds like Bill has another which he will get to me so I can post alongside the first (“Did He Do It”)
Bill is anything but brutal. You and I both know that he quickly assumes responsibility in a situation and works to rectify it. I have never heard him, when challenged, start arguing – he always finds the part that he has some role in and asks forgiveness.
As with any public figure, especially in the church, Bill gets more than his share of attacks. Part of the territory. Not everybody is going to get their matter resolved fully because, well, some can’t be. But he tries.
Bill spoke just the other day of a meeting with a disgruntled team member, one whose unresolved story was featured in the Veinot book. He relayed how he went into that gathering with every intention to not respond in any substantive way. Yet with the help of a counseling technique Chris Hogan created – and there implemented – called “Courageous Conversations”, he got a completely different understanding of the matter, how he had wronged the offended individual, and ended up resolving it in an emphatically substantive way not even remotely on the table minutes prior. He marveled at how his perspectives had changed so dramatically. There are better and not so good ways to bring people, especially people who are constantly under attack, to see things your way. Maybe with a bit more patience you might have gotten where you wanted, or at least to a mutually acceptable place to land. Throwing your weight behind the unscriptural legal action was not the way. We give up on people so quickly – God has that long-suffering that sees it through.
I grew up in ATI, looking up to Bill Gothard and believing his teachings. I dedicated my efforts and my prayers to trying to live according to those standards. It was the life of a Pharisee. I didn’t know it was a cult until I was 25.
I never interacted with Bill persinally, but his teachings have left permanent scars on my heart and mind. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Unfortunately, teaching people hate and blasphemy isn’t illegal and I have no legal recourse against him on this earth. I do believe that the Bible is right that teacher’s like him will be held to a higher standard on judgment day. He will be held responsible for every person he led away from the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
Read Galatians and consider all the teachings Bill gave us that Paul renounces as being totally outside of the Gospel. I found freedom in Christ only after denouncing ATI altogether.
Sorry to hear it, ATI Alumnus. If you have found freedom you should not have to hide behind an alias, right? In any case, we stand ready to work through this with you. Galatians we know and love. Perhaps you could start with the 15 part sequence on “Grace” in the menu? Or put your specific concerns here, if you would like. We are not aware of any hate or blasphemy being taught, but await your clarification. It is what we are here for.
Spiritual freedom and a desire for anonymity on the Internet are not mutually exclusive.
Those free are free from concern about what others think. Because Jesus stands with them, the Lord of the Universe. Cowards universally hide in the shadows, or do the proverbial “crop dusting” run, zoom in to dump a load, then flee. Whatever “ATI Alumnus” has as issues, they are not interested in the exposure to the light that a dialogue like this forces. They might discover that their problems are less the fault of Bill or IBLP or ATI or even their parents . . . And may in fact be theirs. Or we might all learn something, leading to more general answers. People who cut others off want to be “free” from them and their influence. Generally, I have found, that really doesn’t work. Somehow those people and issues have a way of finding us throughout our entire life.
“All being interpreted – if you think this is the last you will hear of Bill and these matters, you are likely mistaken.”
All being interpreted, Bill continues to get bad counsel and make poor decisions. Continuing to pursue his alleged victims in court will not resuscitate his reputation and legacy. It further damages them.
That is sort of the same advice he was given a few years ago when this all started. Basically . . . Give up, take your 83 year old self home, go fishing, enjoy life as best you can. Bill just doesn’t see that as right. Certainly not God’s will. He claims he gets his advice from the Lord. Time will tell. The Lord writes last chapters, and this book is far from finished.
The Lord writes chapters through many people, and the rest of this book will likely be written by people much younger than us. I’m pretty sure those writers will be the people you enjoy antagonizing now.
My children often see things differently than I do. I’m sure that with your large number of offspring that a number will grow to see your commentary and reasoning much differently than you’d like. Seems that you love them a lot, and I hope you don’t shout them down when they say the Lord showed them that Bill was wrong all along. Would you let Jesus reach you through one of your children?
We can all learn from our children, truth be told. It is generally more likely that children stand to learn from their parents, don’t you think? Experience and all. I know that the old I get, the smarter my parents look.
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
― Mark Twain
Of course children learn from their parents, both good and bad. The flip side of the Mark Twain quote is that as children age they also see their parents’ weaknesses and errors.
Also about the Twain quote, if you ever used that on your children [because the general meaning is good], you might learn some thing from them if they tell you that Twain’s father died when Twain was 11. And the quote was probably made up after Twain died. See: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/10/10/twain-father/
There is a lot that we parents don’t get right. Still, we try our best.
Agree that we parents get a lot wrong. What does not follow is that our children get less wrong. The assumption by each new generation that they are a lot smarter than their parents seems to continually be proven wrong. Which is the point Twain is making . . . And I make as well. The young are continually exhorted in Scripture to honor the older ones. Here is a particularly spicy one:
“The eye that mocketh at his father,
and despiseth to obey his mother,
the ravens of the valley shall pick it out,
and the young eagles shall eat it.”
Parents are NEVER exhorted to honor their children. Not once. There is a point to ponder.
We found it interesting that, to our knowledge, not a single plaintiff had their parent’s support in this little misadventure. If that is not the case I expect we will hear about it, but in every case I can think of, the plaintiffs admitted that their parents would have been deeply grieved to know they were part of the action against Bill. Several sought “Doe” status for that reason.
re: antagonizing the young for fun
Brother Jay, be fair. What gives you the impression that anyone enjoys antagonizing anyone? That would be a heinous pleasure.
I am sure that the judge citing First Amendment rights (of free speech) also applies to RG, these women, Venoit’s book and the many other blogs and articles that talk about Bill, his teaching and his behaviors. That cuts both ways. That applies to both sides in this. I highly doubt that was just about Bill and DG here.
This Motion for Protective Order was specifically about several of us, by name, with very specific requests of the judge to protect them from . . . Our “bullying”. A number of folks indicated their hope that the judge would sort of shut us down, at least from references to these plaintiffs. We were happy to be vindicated.
And you guys have not wanted to “shut them down”?
“Shut them down”? That is an interesting term. Maybe you can explain how you came to that conclusion. We most definitely were interested in shutting the lawsuit down, completely wrong action. As to complaints that others have against Bill, you are well aware that we have sought from the getgo to get folks together with Bill to work things out. The worst offenses still have the same, at least initial, Scriptural, Jesus ordained solution. That matter is heard between them privately. If it is not addressed and corrected then there is a tribunal of sorts, the grieved one with 2-3 others, to “establish every word”. When that is done there are 3-4 individuals in the world that have proof of evil and of non-repentance. THEN larger measures are employed as necessary. Of course, the charged one also gets a chance then to examine and challenge the claims and prove himself innocent. So . . . “Shut them down”? Not even remotely. We have always wanted these things handled Biblically. It CAN be done. How much less expensive than, say, wasting other people’s money to the tune of a half million dollars. Unless, of course, the entire procedure is just a front for a grand attempt at vengeance. Which we most definitely have worked to “shut down”.
“Shut them down” was your term. I just used it in in reverse. There is nothing Biblical about Bill, to say that Bill just wants to be Biblical is laughable. He didn’t pursue this with no money to pay his own lawyers in order to “shut down” the previous lawsuit that had already been withdrawn by the previous 17 plaintiffs. To call the previous lawsuit “frivolous”, Bill had to show that these people KNOWINGLY lied then Bill could recoup his own lawyer fees to do so and use it as a launching pad to go after IBLP in order to be reinstated. THAT DIDN’T happen for Bill. You can twist this anyway you want and are trying to do so. Bill had the chance when they withdrew the previous suit, to walk off and IBLP did cover his lawyer fees because they were both defendants together. Bill didn’t have to go back. Now, he got 6 of the 7 to testify in court live and the results are, Bill didn’t “prove” them liars and frivolous. I would suggest the old saying, “be careful what you wish for”. Bill’s name is not cleared in a court of law. Bill now has big lawyer fees himself to pay. Bill is not back at IBLP. This was a foolish choice on his part to continue with no job to pay for all of this. And “shut them down” is your term, not mine.
OK, I found the “shut down” phrase, the plaintiffs were trying to “shut down” Discovering Grace. We would love to “shut down” Recovering Grace. But to apply that to the plaintiffs isn’t correct.
Bill has money to pay his lawyers. You assume a great deal. Folks have supported these specific efforts because they felt it necessary. And the Lord has been supplying generally. I think I can share . . . We are helping Bill and the lawyers out a tad as “go-fers”. One task was to acquire the transcript, which contains some very interesting testimony. We presented the amount of the fee to Bill – and he made a bit of an exclamation as two checks that had come in that day in general support matched the amount almost to the dollar (and the amount we presented was an estimate only). Exact numbers were $1,478 estimate vs. $1,499 in checks. That stuff has been happening all of the time. I had to take some photocopies of checks in the past just to have my own documentation. Money coming in for some extensive dental work, again virtually to the dollar. The Lord is better at covering his bills than IBLP is, although . . . We emphatically believe they should have covered that as well. In fact, they should have joined since it was their money Bill was trying to recover. We already passed on Bill’s stated intent – to us twice – to return recovered monies to IBLP, so you are wrong on that point as well.
Given that they have refused to speak with him or enter any objective mediation aimed at reconciliation, engaging the plaintiffs in the fabrications leading to these lawsuits has been a top priority for Bill. It has not been a waste of time or money, and I assure you it is not over. We DID show that they knowingly lied. Did you read the Motion to Sanction? It is a bit lawyer-talk, but it is pretty easy to see . . . “In the suit you said this happened, but here you denied it, as well as here and here.” The judge did not say they didn’t lie. He just said that the LAWYERS were not criminal in filing the suit based on what they knew at the time. We still disagree, and that point may be made in other venues.
Bill is a lot further down the road to clearing his name than he would have been had he quit last February. All those contradictions by the 7 plaintiffs would have remained hidden in the protected discovery . . . But now they are in the public record. And you have not read the transcript yet.
So . . . Time will tell if Bill was foolish. From where we sit, not foolish in the least. Maybe you will change your mind at some point as well.
re: split the difference?
Does anyone else get the impression that the judge decided to split the difference and call it a day? That his version of balance was to deny motions on both sides and make it a tied score?
That’s what you want to think because that is how you view the justice system which is judges just flip a coin and split the difference and call it a day. This latest round in the court was due to Bill and his lawyers. This wasn’t a divorce case.
No, the latest round was both sides. Their side was asking for the judge to muzzle us. We won that. Our side was asking their side – plaintiffs or lawyers – to pay back the money they wasted. We did not win that. I think that is where David is going.
re: gift quantities aligning with need quantities
It is really fascinating to see those gift amounts align with the need amounts. Bill Gothard has testified about such phenomena for many decades. The pattern continues.
There is a saying that if something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Yes, Bill has given “testimony” of money coming his way in the “exact amount” needed and as proof (which has already been done here), a copy or facsimile of the check is produced as proof. The skeptic in me concerning Bill, that these sorts of “favors” are not more prearranged or that the sender of the money does not have some kind of foreknowledge of the amount needed by Bill. I don’t believe people just out of the blue just sent Bill odd figures with cents. But these sorts of stories by Bill give him the aurora of “God’s favor” on Bill. That again is suspect considering the recent events in his life with court rulings, police escorts and banning from the ministry he founded. But again, I will plead skeptic concerning Bill while his supporters will see these “favors” as God’s providence. Again, if it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t.
Well, that would place Bill in the same place as the worst scammers and scumbags we know. That is a leap that would be even more than many of his worst enemies would not be able to take. If you believe that, there is nothing else we have to talk about.
re: too good to be true?
Both Bill Gothard of the 20th Century and George Müller of the 19th Century made similar claims of having exact needs supplied exactly and without soliciting anyone except God. Are they true?
I know of no independent evidence, but my own faith would thrive if I had such experiences, that’s for sure! I would be like the boy (in both the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain) receiving exactly as he asked.
Actually, saying “your own faith would thrive if I had such experiences…” is a pretty sad statement and pretty much comes from the Santa Claus/candy machine mentality of too much Christianity in our country and American culture. You can call it name it/claim it or “Biblical principals” guaranteed to give success or whatever, but Bill Gothard, WoF, Pat Robertson etc. all are part of this. These “magic check” stories from Bill not only give others the impression that “God’s favor” is with him but has the effect on someone like you in that you feel that you “don’t” have this sort of “thriving faith” or these sorts of things would happen to you. If that is the effect of this, it is pretty sad.
Apparently Jesus approves of sons receiving lawful things they petition of their fathers. Otherwise would he have used that example in both the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain?
It must be a real tear-jerker for Satan (even evil men do it), but Jesus seems to approve.
Both Matthew 7:11 and Luke 11:13 say the same thing yet Luke has an addendum at the end “give the Holy Spirit”, which seems to indicate the emphasis on spiritual than material temporal as you seem to want to use it for. Both “sermons” emphasize seeking spiritual things ie. God above anything else.
A general principle that Dads do good things for their kids. The Holy Spirit brings authority, energy, wisdom that makes all of life go better.
RE: “Such experiences”…
Many years ago I was seriously without funds for quite some time. When I got the mail, I wouldn’t open it because I didn’t want to depress myself. Once I found some cash hanging on the handle of my front door. But this next one is rather funny–to me.
During this time I had only enough to just barely pay my necessary ongoing expenses–never any extra. I unexpectedly received $200 extra. I was upstairs sewing and praying. “Lord, I never have extra money. What is this for?” The impression came, “Your dishwasher is going to go out.” My daughter was downstairs in the kitchen and I called to her and asked her to check on the dishwasher, which was running. She said, “Mom, there is water all over the floor coming from the DW.” The funny part was I could just “see” the Lord leaning back in his desk chair, one arm thrown over the back of the chair, laughing with me. The $200 paid for the repair of the DW.
Also during this time I experienced the “clothes waxed not old, and the feet did not swell” of the Children of Israel in the Wilderness. (Neh 9:21)
Through the years I have had other such experiences of the Lord’s timely deliverances. Faith is increased by experiences of our own, but also by the testimony of others, such as BG and Mueller.
Thank you, Hally, for that testimony. It is a major encouragement.
“And the judge did make a statement to the effect that he believed the women were not lying on the stand.”
I find it very significant that the judge believes the women. And with so many that have brought accusations, one has to try really hard to believe that what all of them have testified to is imaginary. You have stated that the Board believes the women. The judge has stated that he believes the women. Answer: demonize the Board and the judge.
Truth has a way of winning in the end.
Don’t read too much into that statement. Actually, we can’t stop you, but as tempting as it would be to you it would not be wise. The matters under discussion in the courtroom were very emphatically NOT the plaintiff accusations against Bill . . . But rather their contradictions. There can be no doubt that they each had a number of such between their pleadings in the case and their private, unguarded comments. We know that the lawyers put a whole lotta stuff in their under each of their names that they did not see before the filing. Several of the plaintiffs wrote a letter to the Bryant firm to that effect, asking for inaccuracies to be corrected. Guess what? They never were. So . . . THEY were as much a victim in this matter of false pleadings as perp. Why Bill’s lawyer called their attorney to the stand as much if not more than the women.
Believeable? Perhaps. The judge had a vested interest in discouraging an appeal, and that type of statement was made deliberately to undergird that. But to the extent that they were truthful, it represented the realities of a messed up legal process as much as anything.
“The judge had a vested interest…”
A few weeks back, during the Kavanaugh hearing, I remember reading that the “Me too” movement was influencing lawyers and judges to favor the “victims” in spite of the evidence. I wondered if this was going to be an influence with the judge and lawyers in this case or if the judge would be an advocate in favor of the evidence.
It is truly a “messed up legal process.” No longer is it “innocent until proven guilty.”
Good afternoon Alfred,
I would like to publicly be very clear about something: You can never “shut down” Recovering Grace.
You have every first amendment right to sit over here on your copycat blog lying about me, my RG colleagues, and the victims, but that cannot change the truth.
You and Bill have concocted this fantastic conspiracy about how I was unable to cope with life and set out on some sort of revenge crusade. Along the way I recruited a bunch of feeble-minded women to lie in hopes of “taking him down,” and somehow managed to get Bill’s greatest allies (the IBLP board) to turn on him. You and Bill have published this libelous narrative for over a year now, but my conscience is clear.
The truth is that in 2011 I had no interest in Bill Gothard, sexual abuse advocacy, whistle-blowing or anything of the sort. While people like you seem to have nothing better to do than sit around on the internet and talk Gothard, I was 10 years removed from anything to do with ATI/IBLP. I was busy finishing up my doctoral seminary work, serving a church as a worship pastor, building a composing career, and raising two young children.
Then my colleagues and I felt the unmistakable call of God to speak truth to the world about the decay and rot that was at the core of Gothardism, IBLP, and ATI. I honestly didn’t have the time or resources to devote to it, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that it had to be done.
We had no idea the things we would learn.
Within the first month I had a friend reach out to me to say they had witnessed Bill going into a young lady’s bedroom at the Indianapolis Training Center, and I told him he had to have been mistaken; that Bill was a false teacher, sure, but not sexually immoral.
Alfred, you can scream conspiracy into the four winds of the internet all you want, but I remember the shock and pain of reading each and every email or message that came from another woman who was abused by Bill in some manner. There was no conspiracy. Only pain, trauma, and confusion. One victim after another. After another. And another.
Even up until last week, Bill continued to victimize seven of these women, refusing to drop the motion for sanctions unless they would perjure themselves by signing an affidavit stating that all of their claims were false. Thankfully, the judge saw through it.
I also vividly remember multiple phone calls with the late Gary Smalley in which he told me that he saw Ruthie on Bill’s lap that night in the Northwoods, regardless of when and where it happened. He spoke of the pain of Bill cutting him off after he confronted Bill about his behavior with the female staff. He spoke of how both Gothard brothers sought to hire women who were sexual active and had difficult relationships with their fathers.
I could go on and on about what we learned, why we did what we did, and how we did what we did. I could tell you about the things we didn’t make public because we just couldn’t corroborate enough or because the victim wasn’t ready to be public. But I can say this: there was never a second that we didn’t give every effort to act with integrity before God and man. You will never believe that, of course, but frankly, that doesn’t bother me. I know the truth.
And so, Alfred Corduan, you will never shut down Recovering Grace.
Even if tomorrow the blog disappeared from the internet forever, the truth has already been proclaimed, and the truth sets people free. Lives have been changed, families have been healed, and many people have found freedom in Christ. And that’s not something that any man can shut down.
Thank you for writing, John. It has been a long time.
O. First of all, I was never of any illusion that I, personally, could shut your blog down. A lawsuit for defamation, conspiracy to deprive someone of their livelihood for malice might accomplish something like that, but otherwise, it is what it is. It is interesting that the wave of “ATI Student Mid-Life Crisis” which appears to have fueled most of what RG was has largely run its course. Perhaps that is of the Lord, perhaps of the devil, but perhaps either way the Lord perhaps has set Himself to make it stop.
O. There is much more to this “libelous crusade” than you will admit. There are women that you called “sisters in Christ” that have been absolutely proven to be agents of Satan. Literally, not figuratively. Plaintiffs pleading with the lawyers to not believe other plaintiffs whom they knew to be liars – we have it in writing. If you really don’t know what I am talking about, sit down with them, they were all aware and the rest were shocked, angry, and frightened. You aided, encouraged, supported this $8 million lawsuit between Christians with all your might. And you were very open about your own motivations in your testimony that you posted long before RG was a thing.
O. “Bill going into a young lady’s bedroom at the Indianapolis Training Center,”. One of your biggest crimes against the Lord is refusing to obey Him in handling accusations against “an elder”, let alone ANY believer. If you had put out any serious effort toward that end you would have discovered that virtually nothing you screamed to the world was as it was told you. We did interview one woman with a similar claim, ITC. After we checked her story – many visits to her apartment after hours when she was ready for bed – she explained that she realized that Bill had come to her apartment – not bedroom – exactly once when she was ready for bed and that there was no way he could have known at that point in the day this was the case. You might want to check with her, although if it is the same woman, she made it quite clear to us that she wishes to have no further part in this.
Another woman claimed in an earlier iteration of the lawsuit (Doe II) that Bill had raped her on the very bed she had just made up under the direction of the ITC staff. Pretty juicy stuff. She also claimed that Dr. Copley raped her, and her father raped her . . . AND that she was raped by countless strangers as she was trafficked as a sex slave. If you add up her dates you will find she would have been . . . 7 years old. And she failed to mention that law enforcement in Indy AND her home nation investigated her claims at the time, and found them without merit. She quickly dropped out. Maybe it was she?
You mentioned speaking with Gary Smalley. You would have done well to speak to his wife. As you well know – or should know – she absolutely confirmed that the event – Ruth on Bill’s lap was NOT at Northwoods but at HQ, his office. And rather than being in a “sheer nightgown” as he had suggested, she was normally attired. And, of course, when you breathlessly published that slander you failed to note that the cabin where this was said to have happened didn’t even exist until after Gary left the ministry. Or that Bill had told Gary and the Board that he was “dating” her. Gary personally told me that he accepted his wife’s account as the correct one, told the “Denver Committee” the same. I am really baffled why you keep on presenting untruths here. Whatever Gary may have told you, well, he subsequently changed his story. Told Larne, Bill Wood. Ask them. Maybe if you had not “believed every word” and checked into it, his reversal and recollection would have happened on your watch and it would not be so embarrassing.
In point of fact, several years ago, you had an interchange with me – Facebook – where you told us of a verified citing of Bill that very week . . . With a young woman . . . On Navy Pier. I told you that Bill laughed when I asked him about that, telling me that he has never in his life set foot on that iconic entertainment venue in Chicago. You recall I pleaded with you to “help us trap Bill in a lie”, to provide the facts to corner him, and that if he was lying all of us would abandon our efforts to assist him. That was not something you wanted to do. In discovery we received a lot of chats between you, your staff, plaintiffs, and lo and behold, that very account was discussed. Most interesting was that one of your trusted lieutenants expressed her suspicion that it might be fabricated. So . . . It makes sense now. It was just a poignant example of the miscarriage of your responsibility to Jesus and the Body of Christ perpetrated by you and yours in your endless attempts to take vengeance on a man you hated. So much of this – is on you.
O. Bill was abusing 7 women by calling out their lies and asking the judge to give him back the money wasted on their frivolous lawsuit? Not even close. I don’t suppose you consider it abuse to claim $500,000 in damages because Bill “almost kissed me once”, as one plaintiff explained his worst offense towards her . . . Or $500,000 for events that were literal dreams, as one plaintiff explained to her mates . . . Or for the multiple plaintiffs that plead unsuccessful with their lawyers to change key attestations in the suit which they had never seen and considered false – but other do. Allegations so flimsy that four (4) professional law firms could not even connect on a single count of “negligence” let alone a criminal matter, forcing them ALL to drop out. I recall MONTHS before the final dismissal the opposing lawyers telegraphing to our side that they were down to a single plaintiff that they were building their entire endgame around, basically admitting that they had nothing with the others. And given the judge’s statements in the ruling about “statues of limitations”, it is clear that THAT was not a reason why the lawyers got cold feet.
No, sorry, you can’t pin that on Bill. The fact that the judge allowed this Motion to continue, then even ordering the “Evidentiary Hearing” as he did, forcing the women to all show up on a cold January morning would tell you, would tell ANY lawyer, that he was taking this claim that the lawsuit was frivolous extremely seriously. The substantial legal minds I tapped assured me at the point of filing that the judge would squish it on the first hearing. The women escaped by the skin of their teeth. And you bear large responsibility for goading them into this in the first place.
I know you are proud of what you have done. The Lord is the judge of all flesh. He will examine you as He most certainly examines Bill and each woman that has made a public claim against him. Perhaps a day will come when you will regret your part in it. Not my call. If I could, I would shut RG down for good. Until then may the unsleeping eyes of the Lord continue to read and examine every statement published there. To whatever extent there are lies or malice, even hatred, may He note and consider Bill and have mercy on him in light of all that He has allowed as a result.
“We know that the lawyers put a whole lotta stuff in their under each of their names that they did not see before the filing. Several of the plaintiffs wrote a letter to the Bryant firm to that effect, asking for inaccuracies to be corrected. Guess what? They never were. So . . . THEY were as much a victim in this matter of false pleadings as perp. ”
This is an issue. It is not uncommon for attorneys to embellish in their statements that they submit to the court. I know this from first hand experience, in which I had to correct some false statements made by my attorney on my behalf. It should never happen, and the fact that it does helps perpetuate the negative stereotype that attorneys will say and do anything. Their attorneys should have corrected the statements, if the plaintiffs request them to do so. I would think they could risk a great deal if they were to proceed with inaccuracies, especially when their own clients have brought said inaccuracies to their attention.
That being said, the fact that the plaintiffs went out of their way to write a letter to the attorneys, in an attempt to get the attorneys to correct false statements, while it diminishes further the view that we hold of attorneys, if that is even possible, adds credibility to the women, in that getting the facts that were incorrect corrected was important enough to actually request, in writing, that the corrections be made.
Well, it should be noted that only two of the plaintiffs wrote the letter. They noted that to their knowledge none of the plaintiffs had seen the suit before being filed. That leaves 15 that never bothered to make that fact known. Not sure what that says about veracity. Especially considering that not a bit of the testimony was ever changed.
Funny you should say all that. I didn’t see you in the courtroom. Where were you?
Page 92-93 Court Transcript Jan 10, 2019, The Judge Popejoy didn’t mince any words!
“I have now been on the bench for 21 years and I was an attorney for 21 years before that. I am a pretty good read, I think, as to how people are sitting, conducting themselves, acting or the like, as to whether, in my opinion, they are trustworthy and credible, or whether they are being impeached or are sitting there not necessarily being impeached, but aren’t necessarily testifying to facts that they believed to be true.
I did not find that in any of the seven women that testified. I found their testimony to be credible. I saw the manner and demeanor that they utilized while testifying to be credible. I saw them answering questions forthright. I saw them struggling with the legal system as to what happens in this courtroom, in a similar way that they struggled with the legal system in understanding what are proper causes of action and what aren’t proper causes of action and what make them up and what don’t make them up.
They are lay people, they are lay individuals, and as such, an attorney can assist them in determining various things like that.”
Reference has been made to that elsewhere, thank you for quoting it. That was an interesting statement. In part because the plaintiffs were never called upon to defend their accusations. The lawyer focused only on the narrow issue of “repressed memories”. Turns out you can drive a truck through that term, at least up to the point where it has to be validated. We are completely sure that most of the plaintiffs struggled with recalling details of “Bill’s abuse”. We would suggest that it was because it never happened. But memories do that. We witnessed several of the plaintiffs struggling to “come up with stuff” to the point that at least two of them complained of headaches. Pleading with others to help them remember. If I read it once I read it a dozen times, those contacted saying something like, “Girl, I am so proud of you for doing this! You are so brave. But, sorry, I don’t remember anything.”
So, yes, they were truthful about their struggles to recall. Had we been in an actual trial of the matters at hand, with them having to not only “recall” but back it up, it would have been far different. Why do you suppose that 5 of the plaintiffs dropped out at the point they were to have submitted signed, notarized statements in defense of their claims? Why did the rest all drop out just before depositions, which is opposing lawyers finding ways to get you to impeach yourself?
AND . . . When I brought that up to our lawyers – seasoned veterans – they instantly replied that THAT was the judge seeking to “appeal-proof” his verdict. The higher court will have to decide if the judge messed up. Putting all of his reputation down on the side he ruled for discourages the next level up from taking the case. Time will tell.
Page 101-102 Court Transcript Jan 10, 2019 Judge Popejoy is as plain as you can get!
“You don’t have to hit certain body parts for it to be sexual in nature one way or the other. And what is overt and what is not overt, clearly, clearly subjective determinations. What Mr. Gothard might think is not sexual touching, an individual might think is sexual touching.
And if that individual has a valid basis for thinking that it is sexual touching, that survives a 137 motion based on the objective reasonableness of the filing. A trier of fact would, if this case continued, make the ultimate determination of whether, quote, non-overtly sexual touching of non-intimate body parts, end of quote, was rising to the level to find liability for the alleged sexual abuse.”
Right. Remember, this is not the judge finding “for” the plaintiffs, that their claims were real. Just that the nature of what they claimed could pass the test of the 137 rule, the rule that says that lawyers have to “reasonably” check out the nature of the claims and prohibits them from filing cases around claims that they reasonably expect can never be proven. The opposing side claimed this as a big win. It was the avoidance of a big loss. Sanctions against lawyers for even filing such a thing. You can understand why such a Rule 137 filing rarely succeeds. But if it had, and we had a good shot, it would have absolutely declared the plaintiffs guilty of breaking the law.
If you had kept reading:
If that excites you, yay! But it actually says nothing about the veracity of their claims. We still think they made a lot if not all of it up. In fact, we know that to be the case as is demonstrated in their off-the-record conversations. And there were many more with the other plaintiffs not included in this filing. And would have been boatloads more if we had gotten the secret chat groups that they told us repeatedly we had, but lied about it.
The judge said he found them reasonable and credible. You can cry all you want that they are liars but that is not what happen in the court. The judge believed them and you have in many ways made excuses on your own blog about Bill touching girls just like a play in Branson, that Bill felt he had a call to minister to girls and that he deliberately surrounded himself with pretty girls. Your own defenses of Bill also support that he couldn’t keep his hands to himself.
The judge, again, was only speaking to the questions they were asked on the stand. Which related almost entirely to them having “repressed memories”. Goodness, one of them – Frost – went so far as to say she “tried to repress my memories” in an interview she gave a magazine. Memories are a fun game to play with. So, yes, it appears they believed they had “repressed memories”. So the primary basis of the 137 Sanctions request would be undermined.
On that note, I hear that some of the women that accused Judge Kavanaugh even took lie detector tests – and passed – when making their stories. So far several have come forward to declare that it was . . . A lie. Without a formal trial, well, such things are worth something, but not much.
If I could I would show you a host of comments from private chats that make their claims unbelievable. Taking a phrase from the judge’s playbook in defending his decision that the suit was legitimately filed – “In Totality” there was never a case to be made for any of the women. And if there had been, you can be sure the 4 firms employed to do that – Gibbs III (NCLL), Meyers & Flowers, Mark Bryant Firm, and David Bryant Firm – would have found a way to do it.
The term “repressed memories” can be problematic to truth. A closely related term is “split personality” caused by continued abuse of a young child that causes physical pain, fear and unmanageable anxiety. Splitting the personality into two (or more) is the attempt of the child to live in another reality, as is “repressed memory” of the incidents, where the child can escape emotionally from the continued or repeated abuse.
“Repressed memories” can be used as a “hot button” issue because it is difficult to detect from lying, except by an experienced professional. Because the abuser is often a relative, a (loved) father, step father, grandfather, or uncle, etc., the memory is repressed and/or shunted to another individual (or personality).
The Ford-Kavanaugh hearings were a good example of a sexual abuse victim with repressed memory. Did you notice the “little girl voice” and demeanor when she was testifying? This was reasonable evidence that she was abused—as a child—just not by Kavanaugh. She was apparently able to pass a lie detector test, but not able to name her abuser/s. She was so good at acting or lying she was able to train others on how to pass a lie detector test. This is not to condemn her, but to indicate the effects of real abuse. Here is where discernment by a trained professional would have been helpful in determining truth.
A trained professional in sexual abuse healing and recovery would have been able to testify that the actions alleged by the plaintiffs against Bill did not rise to the level that could possibly cause split personalities and repressed memories.
Christ warned about the dangers of social media when He said, “Every idle word…they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment.” In spite of multiple law firms and the lawyer-embellished wording, the $8 million dollar tsunami that was threatening to drown Bill suddenly, quietly subsided into the ocean as all of the plaintiffs walked away. Once again Christ said, “Peace, be still” to the threatening waves.
If God was with Bill and his ministry, why would He let “this” happen? The same thing happened to Joseph, and the answer was given by Joseph to his brothers: You meant it for harm, but the Lord meant it for good. The last chapters for Bill have not yet been revealed….stay tuned as God’s plan for Bill unfolds.
Nor is the story finished for the plaintiffs: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” Heb. 12:14. There is forgiveness and healing available for all by repentance, confession, giving and seeking forgiveness. 1 John 1:9. The really, really tragic thing is to think that of the many who have been negatively influenced by this whole situation, and have taken up, and continue to take up, a reproach, some may never recover.
That was a wise and well thought out response.
I find it interesting that some of the women in question revolted against the extra claims that the law firm added to the boilerplate of the suit.
Either they were diabolically clever enough to realize that part of the boilerplate wasn’t very supportable, thus reduced the chance of their eventual monetary compensation, OR they had enough integrity to separate truth from fiction- adding additional credence to their claims.
Let me guess, you are more in favor of the former than the latter?
When the sun sets we favor the truth, as painful and inconvenient as that may be. This entire initiative started from just that intent, to either exonerate Bill, or, if not possible, to be the means of seeing it fixed, hopefully him restored. The plaintiffs were uncomfortable with things that were placed in under their names, not all boilerplate. Several quailed openly about having to go through interogatories for that very reason. What the lawyers guided them into saying, they could not defend.
“When the sun sets we favor the truth, as painful and inconvenient as that may be.”
In another post, you admitted that you “spin” facts to favor Bill. You said:
“Yes, we will likely continue to spin things in the direction we favor. Kind of how it works.”
Both statements can’t be true. If you were seeking truth, you would not be spinning things in Bill’s favor, in your attempt to influence public opinion. In my observation, the entire site, and your efforts, seems more of an attempt to spin, rather than seeking of the truth.
:-). Spin is just focusing on the positive. The benefit of the doubt goes to Bill. It is not lying. And if it can’t be spun that way then we do what we must. It is really not that confusing.
We mentioned the little interaction with the founder of RG several years ago, telling us that Bill was seen taking in the sights at Navy Pier in Chicago with a minor girl that very week. Our spin is that it didn’t happen because Bill said he has never even been to Navy Pier once in his 83 years. If, however, Dr. Cornish or his staff ever get around to presenting us with the facts that make that conclusion not possible, then we will do what we must. BTW, the person who reported the sighting claimed to have taken a picture, or tried to. That would pretty well nail it down, right? Of course, even RG staff pondering the story appeared uneasy with some of the supposed dialog, like Bill demanding him to erase the picture from his phone. A number of us laughed. Bill only recently got a mobile phone and barely knows how to use it yet. Taking pictures? He hasn’t a clue. So – that was rather humorous. I am sure that entire event was someone’s convenient, vivid imagination.
Regardless we asked for any corroboration, given that Dr. Cornish was convinced it was true. Whatever convinced him, we wanted to see it. That is because, as we said, when the sun sets, we want the truth. It is a purpose and reputation we furiously protect. If you think we haven’t, we will take that most seriously.
Because charity thinketh no evil, of course we must spin positively until evidence turns up which rules out the positive.
“Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything — God and our friends and ourselves included — as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.”
— C.S. Lewis
We had already discussed the Navy Pier. Earlier, you made it sound like this was a recent incident, now you are claiming that this was “several years ago”. Which is it? While you live in the Chicago area, I have visited Chicago a number of times and pointed out to you that one can easily walk up and down the water way along Lake Michigan and even walk out on the Navy Pier to the end without even going into the shop/restaurant areas or visit the amusement area. I have done this with family more than once. Bill can turn around and tell you with a straight face that “he never visited Navy Pier yet very easily and possible walk around or near it which a lot of people do due (as well as bike ride etc.). I put my hat with Dr. Cornish.
That is so strange. First of all, there is no hat with Dr. Cornish. Near as I can tell he figured out it was bogus. But . . . The event was reported to RG on August 6, 2015. Bill would have been 81. The notion of him strolling up and down in downtown Chicago, let alone Navy Pier, at night . . . With a chick on his arm . . . In a city where, at least years ago, most everyone knew him . . . The likelihood of someone recognizing him is high . . . AND giving intelligent instructions about phone pictures . . . Is beyond belief. And the person making the claim was very focused on the fact that he was “walking the Pier” (quote), the place.
I just find it amazing . . . That against all obvious to the contrary, believing Bill to be wicked makes more sense to some folks than him being innocent. It just smacks of hatred.
Dr. Cornish didn’t bring up the Navy Pier incident, you did again in your attempted rebuttal to him. He didn’t say whether he thought it was bogus or not. If he reported it to you then I don’t think he thought it was bogus, you are just trying to put that on him. Even in 2015 which is four years ago doesn’t put Bill at 81 and I also don’t think Bill is any long so famous and recognizable in Chicago as you make him out to be or want him to be. I can see this whole thing to be very plausible and the way that Bill seems to compartmentalize things, he can tell you with a straight face that he never went to the Navy Pier because he never rode the ferris wheel etc. there but can walk around in the evening with a “chick” on his arms in that area of Chicago which a lot of people do do at night while it is all lit up probably hoping no one would either see him or recognize him. That is a busy place in the evening.
OK, he was 80 :-). Those that know him, including some that hate him, find the story implausible. You don’t. Now we know where we all stand and can move on.
Charity doesn’t LIE nor does charity cover up sins with lies.
Could you please provide a link to the hearing transcript – the one Larne quoted from? Is this available online for public access? I really appreciate reading directly myself. 🙂
I am fairly sure we will be able to post the copy we have at some point, all $1,500 worth. Currently the legal team is pouring over it. When we get that OK we will put up a link.
Sarah, you can find the transcript here: http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2019/02/their-day-in-court-part-one/ It’s posted through links that correspond with summaries of the testimonies/courtroom proceedings. A three-part series. Very informative, as it is written by someone who was in the room the whole day.
We were in the room all day too :-). We will do a debrief on the comments there at some point.
re: charity doesn’t lie
Rob proffered that axiom on 1/29. Does it apply to both plaintiffs and defendents? If so, what would change about the lawsuit?
to the moderator on 1-26-19
Yes, I don’t “personally” know Bill Gothard. However, you do have 2 regular and somewhat regular posters that have worked for Bill and have known him “personally” longer that you have and from both of their testimonies of their experiences with Bill, it is not that favorable. Likewise, the IBLP “personally” knows Bill, I think very well since they were put on the board by Bill as friends and this group that “personally” knows Bill called the police on him in Texas in order to remove him from the premise. And there are hundreds of comments and testimonies on a number of blogs of people that “personally” know Bill, have worked for Bill or were “counseled” by Bill and the end summation is that those that “personally ” know Bill other than yourself does not add up to a favorable picture of Bill.
“Unfavorable” is one thing, likely to take an underage girl on a fun night at Navy Pier? I doubt any of those you noted would think Bill capable of that. It is ludicrous enough to engender some hilarity. Boy, we have stated and restated this several times.
Well, you haven’t had anyone that “hates” Bill come forward to say that they think this is bogus. This matches the already published testimonies of different girls that have stated Bill took them out to spend time together. I see it as totally plausible. Park at the Navy Pier and walk along Lake Michigan. It would be better to have had a picture from a cell phone, but even if so, you would probably say it was doctored or not clear or a set up or not true. This matches the other stories, I think it happen as reported to you. The repeated excuses have not cleared Bill at all and ring hollow. The repeated testimonies of all these other people are just too consistent to say they are all lies and misunderstandings. Bill telling you he has never “been” there sounds laughable and false.
Nonsense! The RG deputy herself stated in the chat that some of that didn’t sound like Bill at all. In fact, you appear to be the only one I have heard committing to it. IF this were credible, you can be sure Dr. Cornish and his entire staff would have eagerly presented us with all the facts they could muster, given that I threw down the gauntlet on this, ready to stop supporting Bill if he were lying. I mean, they have an EYE WITNESS! That was, in fact, the reason for him directly contacting us in the chat where he brought this up, eager to enlighten us so we could do the right thing and stop defending Bill.
OK, let’s make that the last comment . . . Between us, on this topic . . . Unless you get more information :-). We have both stated and restated our positions repeatedly without variation.
re: Mark Twain and Yogi Berra
Brother Jay made a good point casting doubt on whether Mark Twain actually authored the words I attributed to him. This calls to mind one of my favorite quotes. Yogi Berra allegedly once quipped, “I never said most of the things I said.”
I think that Jay’s point was that Mark Twain was probably not talking directly about himself considering that he lost his own father at age 11. Since Mark Twain was a social commentator, the quote could have either been an observation of his own children or other’s children.
re: Twain, Berra, Gothard
Agreed that Twain was not speaking autobiographically in the famous quote. And the linked page made the same point.
But I still like Yogi Berra quotes better than Mark Twain quotes, especially these: https://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/09/the-50-greatest-yogi-berra-quotes
Much as I like Bill Gothard, Yogi Berra beats him on humor.
Accusations are not evidence only evidence is evidence.
The testimony of victims most certainly is considered evidence in every court of law, at every level.
The testimony of individuals is important, but not considered fact until proven. Because witnesses lie, or are confused, or have false recollections that they may sincerely believe. That is why there is a legal process, to examine such witnesses, to impeach them, possibly, or validate them with corroborating testimony. And, to expose an assumption, a victim is not a victim, legally, until that process has completed . . . And their testimony is believed. No guilt, in other words, until proven so. I think that is Fishbowl’s point.
“The testimony of individuals is important, but not considered fact until proven”
What I said is true and you know it. You’re playing games with words. I said that the testimony of individuals is evidence. You have been around courts of law enough to know this is true. Of course evidence of something does not make it fact. But testimony of victims or alleged victims is absolutely evidence. In this case there are scores of women who claim that inappropriate touching and activity occurred, some of it pretty extreme. This does not make it fact, of course. And even if there were 10,000 who made such claims it would not make it fact. Though it gets harder and harder to close one’s eyes and pretend that nothing happened, when you have so many women accusing him of doing bad things to them.
And and I don’t agree that you have summarized Fishbowl’s point. One thing that is said over and over by the die hard Gothard supporters is that there is no evidence. This is patently false. You may choose not to believe the evidence, you may choose not to believe the scores of women who claim that he did terrible things to them, but don’t keep repeating that there isn’t any evidence. Say that you don’t believe the evidence. Say that they are lying, if that is what you believe, but it is ignorant to keep saying that there isn’t any evidence.
WELL . . . If that “evidence” has made its way into court with a lot of motivation and money on the line, motivated and top notch lawyers driving it forward, it is not unreasonable to conclude that a multitude of accusers precipitously leaving the case would lend strong support to the argument that there is no evidence. That would be where we land. And hence the desire to oppose your assertion. If you haven’t heard about the McMartin Preschool case in California, look it up. “Sexual Abuse Hysteria” is what they, in the end, called the large amount of testimony evidence – 41 giving testimony for 360 allegedly abused children – provided against the owners and operators of that preschool when the entire case fell apart. Turns out it started with one (1) mentally unstable woman. And it was all . . . Fake, every bit of it.
re: dying hard
Though on a much smaller scale than either Gothard or McMartin, false accusations might also arrive at our own doorstep.
Recently a county detective arrived at my door with an allegation that my teen son had stolen some property. Two witnesses agreed about the alleged theft.
Rather than answer the detective’s questions, I directed my own questions to him. The detective had only hearsay and no warrant, so I was able to politely turn him away with only a gospel tract for his trouble.
Fortunately the accusation turned out to be bogus; a smokescreen created to obscure the accuser’s own negligence.
If Gothard support dies hard, does it die any harder than anti-Gothard hate?
re: testimony of witnesses as evidence
Maybe. But neither all testimony nor all witnesses are created equal.
Doesn’t due process hear only testimony given under oath under penalty of perjury? Isn’t that much weightier than internet gossip?
And doesn’t it provide for cross-examination of witnesses?
“No guilt, in other words, until proven so”
If an offense was committed, there is guilt, period. Bill Cosby was accused by over 50 women of rape. Due to statute of limitations, only one accusation was brought to trial, as only one fell within the statute. A court of law has found him guilty of one rape. If, in fact, he committed 50 rapes, he is guilty of all 50 rapes, even if the statute of limitations would prevent prosecution of the other 49. Because someone is not prosecuted for a crime, does not mean that they are not guilty of that crime.
Whatever :-). Bill never abused a single woman in 50 years of ministry. If you know any so abused, bring them to our attention. We have never shied away from the truth. Much of our earliest investigation was with fear and trembling, because we had purposed to follow it where it led, and then respond as a fellow member of the “Household of Faith” should. The fear is gone, has been for some time. Every path we have pursued has fallen apart, and the experience with this most expensive and ultimately unjust legal action has followed suit.
IF you personally do not have any verifiable testimony, evidence to the contrary, you stand accountable before God to lend your voice and reputation to suggest otherwise. We are just weary, so weary of it. The Lord hold each of us, Bill included, and each accuser or whisperer accountable for what is done with respect to this matter. The time of “ignorance” is over. Everyone has enough real information out in public to see clearly.
Re: dying hard to David.
I’m not sure how this unfortunate incident with your son is similar to Bill’s situation. People usually don’t falsely accuse someone of stealing for the sake of just blaming someone, unless these two just saw your son in the area before these items (tools?) became missing. But witnessing someone in the vicinity of items missing or stolen is not the same as first hand accounts of Bill’s interaction with all these girls. They are not the same situation at all and can’t be connected to make some blanket idea that anyone can just be falsely accused of a crime. Bill did not prove any of these people liars in court. Coming out and falsely accusing some of a crime is a crime in itself which is called filing a false police report. Maybe your son in his lawn care business was near missing tools from a garage or left the door open for them to be taken. Yes, that doesn’t mean at all he took them. My guess was that these two witnesses saw him in the area. That’s not the same as Bill surrounding himself with young pretty girls in the guise of ministry or work. Of which the later has been admitted to by Bill’s internet defense.
And, right now, in the news, we have an example of an intelligent individual who is now suspected of deliberately staging an alleged attack to destroy someone he hates. People including very important public people, threw their reputations and support behind him because it seemed so believable.
It happens all the time. We have at least four “first hand witnesses” who have testified to things that cannot have happened . . . Three of them have a history of mental illness, lies in the past and people who are prepared to testify that they are liars. Other plaintiffs called them “liars”. The largest portion of the plaintiffs freely admitted that they were there primarily to support the “actually abused women”. Just like McMartin Preschool . . . One mentally unstable woman dragged 42 witnesses and coast to coast news media, including a very public involvement by the California State attorney, into a devastating lie.
And again, Rob. This is bigger than you or I, or even Bill. If God has worked through Bill and His kingdom has been greatly advanced through his obedience, then this is very much in His radar. Every time you speak as though you basically know that Bill is guilty, you would be poking the Lord in His eye. If the Lord doesn’t care too much about Bill you are probably safe. Are you prepared to assume the consequences for that? In the Smollett case, there may be some serious political repercussions for not having the wisdom to not get involved before the matter was established. With the Lord the consequences are so much more serious.
re: temptation common to man
The example from current events cited above shows how commonly men yield to one particular temptation; the false witness.
My teenager’s case was a mild one, but it fits. A motivated party (motivated by guilt, hate, greed, whatever) fabricated an evil report against his neighbor to serve an agenda.
My accuser was a local mother who believed her boy’s false story. (By his own negligence, the boy had lost an expensive toy, so he accused my son of stealing it.)
The false witness must be common enough among men that God devoted the Ninth Commandment to forbidding it.
The Chicago story started out with an shaky start with someone just walking around in down town Chicago in the wee hours of the morning during an Artic vortex and just happen to come across two others walking around at the same time with Maga hats on during this deep freeze. That should have given anyone with half a brain a pause. This stupidity has nothing to do with Bill Gothard and the abuse of women in his organizations going all the way back to the 70s.
I also want to make perfectly clear to you that I do not consider Bill as either a “man of God” or someone that hears from God or someone that God is using at all. To tell me to watch “consequences” is just so over the top, ridiculous and actually s spiritual threat which you have no business making to anyone.
You are entitled to your opinions, but here we are going to do better. You have made that clear. We disagree. We both stand and give account to the Lord. So let’s move on to things of substance, to discuss new information or courses of action toward resolving all of this. Rather than repeatedly restate your prejudices. There are other places that welcome that.
Thank you for posting the link to the transcripts. This whole exercise exercise did not go as Gothard had imagined.
Good for the IBLP board for expressing their regret to the young women for what they have had to endure through all of this, as communicated by their attorney, Mr. Dawidiuk:
“Mr. Dawidiuk stood up from the defense table and moved to speak to Mr. Mincieli. “I’d like to say something, if that’s okay.” Then, without waiting for Mr. Mincieli’s response, he turned to us, “As their attorney, I don’t normally allow my clients to speak directly to the opposing side, but they would very much like to say something to you, so I am doing it for them. The members of the Board just want you to know that they deeply regret that you ladies had to be here today, and for what you have had to go through these last three years. They deeply regret it.”
I don’t imagine that Bill Gothard regrets what the women have had to endure, but I believe he probably deeply regrets pursing this legal action. It did not make him look good at all. And if he does not regret it, he is deeply out of touch with reality.
:-). It seems SO hard to get the facts straight. Let’s try again, shall we?
17 – 18, actually, to start – individuals pursued legal action against Bill Gothard. Each ONE was claiming $500,000 in damages, which totals to . . . $8 million. That before the punitive damages that they would have undoubtedly gone for, since you can never get enough money. Do those 17 individuals regret filing this outrageous and frivolous lawsuit against Bill? I have no direct knowledge, but I do expect that every one of them has had moments of regret. I know the three law firms involved in this action do . . . Regret it.
The first one, headed by nationally acclaimed lawyer David Gibbs III had the embarrassment of having their star summarily kicked off the case – with lots of “English” from the judge – for ethical violations. We were not informed of the results of the ABA investigation into his actions, but based on phone calls we got it appeared to still going on in 2017.
The other two law firms who took over had to have consume something approaching a half million dollars in contingency – free, hoping for a big payday – work pursuing their part of this. When it became crystal clear that not one of the plaintiffs actually had a cause that would survive to trial they talked their clients into quitting. And THEN got to deal with Bill returning to the judge to exercise his rights as a defendant under “Illinois Supreme Court Rule 137” to ask for his money back because the firms and the plaintiffs had – again – committed ethical violations in pursuing this matter which they had to have known was perpetrating fraud on the court. The judge could have squashed this effort, did not, let it play out, even ordering the plaintiffs and lawyer to appear on a cold, cold winter morning in Chicago to answer for how it was this ever got filed. The judge ended up with an enormous hour-long verdict of denial, with a lot of words demonstrating, we think, that he knew there were some good reasons he shouldn’t deny it . . . And that there would undoubtedly be an appeal. To NOT have denied it would have been a big professional embarrassment to the well known law firm that he has had a long history of interactions with.
Does the IBLP Board regret all that went on here? We would expect that they would. And, if what they did in the courtroom was unjust as well, essentially justifying what these women have done, perhaps they will live to regret it even more if the Lord weighs in in a different direction. That, of course, is His business, and we know that while He is always just and full of mercy He has objectives that do not always match ours.
But . . . Does Bill regret defending himself against this travesty? We can assure you, he does not. Told us the same just yesterday. One side or the other is definitely out of touch with at least the Lord’s reality. May He make His mind plain and glorify His name before all.
“Do those 17 individuals regret filing this outrageous and frivolous lawsuit against Bill?”
The judge did not agree with you and Bill Gothard, that the lawsuit was frivolous and I expect that if you took all the people on the planet that agree with you on this, you could fit them in a phone booth.
“And, if what they did in the courtroom was unjust as well, essentially justifying what these women have done, perhaps they will live to regret it even more if the Lord weighs in in a different direction.”
You’re always talking about how the Lord will bring justice and how he has not written the final chapter here. I think it is pretty clear that the Lord has spoken.
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
The ministry that Bill founded 50+ years ago has been taken away from him. That would seem to be a pretty big millstone of sorts around his neck.
First of all, you are way off on your estimate of people who care about Bill. It is the proverbial “silent majority” as evidenced by the fact that hardly a day goes by when 1 or more reach out to express their love and offer support. Secondly, we never cease to be amazed at how the failure of Bill to secure what would be a complete public exoneration with a little used and rarely successful legal option is the Lord speaking more dramatically than He has in some of the incredible deliverance He has executed up to this point. 7 years of Recovering Grace, 17 plaintiffs, 1,000 counts, low threshold for success (civil suit), 3 law firms, $500,000 in legal costs . . . And the result is close to a million dollars of lost money, one law firm kicked out for cause, and no win. Other than the side effect of making him appear toxic because of all the allegations spooking the board to cut him loose without compensation. Which they freely admit was the goal, and is in fact unjust let alone illegal and the reason for continuing legal activity even as we speak. We feel that the Lord has spoken in many ways.
Even setbacks have served to help in ways not anticipated. If the judge had done what he should have back in 2015 and dismissed all claims under the very clear statues of limitations, there would have been no examination of any of the facts and the revelations found in 60K pages of discovery documents. Which the legal team is still working through. In the mean time Bill has written 30 books and started several new efforts that have some people really excited.
As far as millstones are concerned, that is definitely a problem if he has done anything like “stumbling” the little ones. He doesn’t believe he has done that, and so far we agree. If you have proof that he did, produce it, let’s deal with it. If you can’t, you just slandered an innocent man of God. And THAT caries its own set of consequences with the same One watching out for the little ones.
I really wonder if you truly understand legal issues and parlance. The judge’s statement explained why he let it go regardless of the statute of limitations. In fact, the statute of limitations does not start until a person is made aware of an incident. This has been covered and ruled on before.
If you learn you had goods stolen from you thirty years ago, but you never knew it then, and the statute of limitations has run out already, you may indeed legally pursue action against the person who robbed you. The statute starts counting from the moment you were made aware of it, not from the moment of incidence.
Judge Popejoy knows this. That is why he said what he said about it all being fluid. There are ways to get around it. A similar case with Dr. Bob Gray in Jacksonville, FL. Repressed memory played a big part in that too.
This decision was in no way a win for Bill. I am looking forward to seeing how that appeal goes. The transcripts make it all pretty clear from where I sit.
There is truth in what you say, although it is far from absolute. One thing we have now that was not available in 2015 when the judge allowed the case to proceed is a ton of evidence that the plaintiffs were well aware decades ago of the details they are now claiming constitute “sexual harassment” or even “abuse”. What changed was the interpretation of things they previously considered innocent and wholesome.
Classic example is Rachel Lees. Up to just a few months before she became a member of the suit she was writing joyful, grateful letters to Bill, birth announcements, continuous unsolicited, special and detailed expressions of her love for all Bill had done for her. On one fateful day a friend of hers called her to ask, “Did you know that Bill asked the Board to marry you?” This statement completely upended her life. Suddenly everything was reinterpreted as an expression of not care, like a father, grandfather, pastor, but as a hormone driven physical love. Every gift, every touch, every expression became sexual in nature. Nothing about any of that was different, just assigned a different motive.
And that was really too bad. We interviewed the source of this suggestion (http://www.discoveringgrace.com/2016/04/24/board-suitor/) and he freely admitted to us that, although Bill came to the Board to ask their advice on him getting married this late in life, something his mother still greatly favored, he had no recollection of who brought Rachel’s name up as a possible candidate. Bill is quite clear on who did, and it was not he. So while the topic was broached, it was not an expression of Bill’s intent or desire. His interactions with her had been and continued to be without compromise.
The other plaintiffs for the most part had similar experiences. The moment they reinterpreted what they considered normal and good as sexual, in virtually every case when others told them it was . . . At that point they became upset and uneasy. THAT is not a situation that the statute of limitations was designed to stretch to accommodate. In fact the entire nature of “Sexual Harassment” is something that is unpleasant or threatening at the time it is happening. If a boss asks a secretary out on a date, or even openly pursues her sexually, if she finds it acceptible it is not “sexual harassment”. The company may object for other reasons, but not because of “sexual harassment”. If she accepts such things and then later starts to hate him, she is a liar if she claims “sexual harassment” for the prior activity.
And to claim that she had no idea she was being “harassed” at the time begs the question. The whole point is to be “harassed”. If you don’t consider it harassment at the time it is happening, you do NOT have the right to redefine it as such decades after the fact. THAT is exactly why the statutes of limitations on sexual harassment exist. It takes a very unfair cudgel out of the hand of those that in desperate times suddenly have a need for cash or a need to hurt someone they now hate.
Anyone can call Bill up and tell him that they love him or support him. There is no public outpouring of support for Bill from anyone else but the moderator here. Anyone privately can say anything, but there is no one coming out publicly. Bill can tell you all he want that he receives a so called phone call a day from someone. I also don’t see Bill being invited back by the likes of the Duggars or Bates at their kids weddings like he use to. I don’t see where Bill is being invited back to speak at any Church anywhere. There certainly is no update either here or on Bill’s own web site. You can try to trump up the support for Bill but the reality is that it isn’t there at all but by a handful of people. If he receives a phone call a day, that is only 365 people coming forward to tell him so. That is a pretty small fraction of the hundred thousands that you have trumpeted as attending his seminars and program.
And one more point, I think if you are still going to make remarks about lawyer fees of the other side, you ought to make public Bill’s lawyer fees, especially the fees that he caused himself in pursuing the latest action that he lost as well as the upcoming appeal which is totally insane.
And one more final point. Bill was very clear on Wednesday night of the basic seminar that there were “no rights”. I find it totally ironic that you defend Bill’s continued pursuit of these legal actions as “his right to defend himself”. Just another nail in the coffin of hypocrisy of Bill Gothard.
We, ourselves here, that run this blog, a number of us also help out with some of Bill’s correspondence and social media needs. So what was said was first hand, not from Bill.
Public folks continue to “lay low” but they are in continuous contact with Bill . . . Helping him, seeing to his needs. That is a fact that we here see first hand.
Bill gets invitations to speak all the time. And he goes to speak. We can’t keep up with him, lots of frequent flyer miles.
Bills bills are his own matter. The Lord has been supplying.
Boy, you weren’t listening too well on Wednesday night :-). It isn’t that we don’t have rights, it is just that we yield them to the Lord. Paul had a right to legal protection from harm as a Roman citizen – he yielded all of his rights to the Lord, and then the Lord told him to exercise that one. And Bill has “turned the other cheek” a great deal. But, as the wisest man that ever lived said:
Ecclesiastes 3:8. “A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
Jesus, meek and mild, turned His cheek to those that smote Him. One day He is returning with fiery vengeance on all of His adversaries, as well as ours. There is a time . . . But that time is not endless.
You have shifted your story here. First you state that Bill gets “calls” everyday which would imply a phone. Now you are saying that you and whoever else “help” Bill with his “correspondence” which seems to imply snail mail and probably email? Email and snail mail are not phone calls which is what you originally trumpeted as “support” for Bill. But this also brings up as how very not so private it is for anyone to correspond with Bill and that he has to have “help” is doing mail and getting so called “help” also implies he isn’t as robust as you try to paint him. Again, all this correspondence was requested by the girl’s defense team was not given over.
Hold on. Both can and are very much true. Few people have Bill’s direct phone number. Most folks send a note of gratefulness to his Facebook page, his website, his email, which is where some of us come in. We forward things on to him, or we put folks in direct contact with him.
As to the “correspondence” not being turned over to the “girl’s team” . . . Where did you get that notion? I am really curious, since I have yet to hear any complaint to that end. All discoverable correspondence was turned over by Bill’s side, the same not being true fo the other side. Letters and email between Bill and any plaintiff or discussing the case with other than his legal team. So, please do clarify what you are talking about.
re: no regrets
It is remarkable that Bill Gothard has no regrets about his legal defense. Some fights we choose, while others are imposed upon us. Fortunate the man who can reflect upon the aftermath without regrets.
“Fortunate the man who can reflect upon the aftermath without regrets.”
David, this could be put another way:
Foolish is the man who can not learn from the past and does not have the humility to admit when he has made a mistake.
re: fortune or folly
On 3/3 above, brother James issued a sound warning; we sinners can confuse clear conscience with complacency, cheerfulness with cluelessness. In fact, he understated the case.
The accusations leveled at Gothard exceeded mere mistakes. They are more like spiritual treachery; abuse of trust. The accusers insisted that Gothard’s offense was so heinous that nothing less than a six-figure award could justly compensate them. When that effort seemed futile, they withdrew their suit. Next, both adversaries tried legal moves which were denied.
Because Caesar’s court never tried the suit, all the relevant facts never came into public view.
IBLP expressed regrets. Gothard denied regrets. We have no record of whether any accusers have regrets. Are the regret-free parties fortunate or foolish? They themselves are certain to find out. Meanwhile the rest of us must be occupied with our own fortune or folly.
“First of all, you are way off on your estimate of people who care about Bill.”
I see what you did there. You are equating believing Bill is innocent to caring for him. That’s a logical fallacy. Caring about Bill and wanting him to repent are not mutually exclusive. Just because a brother or sister does not have the same view of the situation as you do, does not mean that they don’t care about Bill. In fact, probably the most caring thing that a person can do is to want repentance and restoration for another brother.
” If you can’t, you just slandered an innocent man of God. And THAT caries its own set of consequences with the same One watching out for the little ones.”
There you go again. I have watched you do this over and over again to Rob and others. You directly or indirectly threaten the Lord’s wrath on anyone who disagrees with your point of view in this situation. It is getting old. And it is using the Lord’s name in vain.
Since your world view seems largely shaped by imagining God as someone who is just waiting to punish and unleash his wrath on people, there is something that you may want to ponder. If God speaks of millstones for those who would offend the young ones, what is to become of those who enable the offenders, rather than encouraging them and assisting them in repenting?
Of course not. The group of those who believe Bill to be guilty and still care for him is small. The group that cares about him personally and is convinced of his innocence is quite large.
There is an old adage that talks about shoes that fit. We all fail in many ways. Certain things do, however, get God’s attention far more than others. And messing with one of God’s “special ones” is in that category. So I didn’t misspeak or misuse the name of the Lord. If Bill is special, then you and a few other folk have a problem. If not, you are fine. Precisely what what said. It frankly is better to not openly judge or condemn others unless we are absolutely forced to do so. Running over one of those lines, even inadvertently, can cost us dearly. That sword swings both ways.
re: threats or warnings
We keyboard warriors are impotent to threaten. But we have both OT and NT precedents of watchman-setting. As per Isaiah or John the Baptist, it might be meet to warn the ignorant of their peril. Even Jesus (who had power to threaten) indirectly warned people to awaken and avoid ditches.
There is a huge difference between warnings in the Bible for violations of God’s laws and disagreements over Bill Gothard. Disagreements over Bill Gothard do not at all rise to the level that justify someone calling down “God’s wrath” on those that disagree with Bill Gothard.
“The group of those who believe Bill to be guilty and still care for him is small. The group that cares about him personally and is convinced of his innocence is quite large.”
There is a curious respect due to individuals who have shown a consistent willingness to bend and stretch to the extreme to protect and defend those they care about or believe to have been wrongly accused. To that end, Alfred, you deserve a healthy dose of respect if for nothing other than your endurance and persistence in this role you have chosen for yourself. I can only imagine how exhausting and time consuming this has been for you – and others – these past several years. You have certainly proven your faithfulness to Bill many times over and I do hope he genuinely understands and appreciates the many sacrifices you have made in this arena.
There is a generation of us out there who also invested years or in my families case, multiple decades – working, believing, supporting and at times, defending Bill as well. I think you would be surprised by the number of folks out there, that you believe is small, who care about Bill even while believing him to be guilty of much of what has been alleged. I am even reasonably confident you would find some on the other side of this lawsuit that would identify themselves within that category as well – you may scoff if you like, but I’ve known many of them since we served together on staff or crossed paths as apprenticeship students, etc.
I’m confident about this, not because we necessarily believe Bill is deserving of our care or concern (none of us are, truly), but because we’ve recovered what we believe to be a healthy understanding of the redeeming power and reality of grace.
The trouble with narcissists, and to be blunt, I believe Bill suffers keenly from this personality disorder, is that they view people primarily as resources unless or until their usefulness is determined to have reached it’s end. At that point, they are only good for being discarded or dismissed, often in harsh and/or humiliating fashion. Bill is not unlike Trump in this way… As long as you are loyal, useful, and consistently sing his praises, you can remain friends and you might even accomplish some good things. The moment anything changes in that equation though, and the pattern is pretty well established for what happens next.
I can only imagine what these past 5-6 years have been like for Bill. To find himself questioned and accused, to lose his position and his status as a respected evangelical/homeschool leader, to experience his legacy severely damaged. To even be barred from coming onto property of the ministry he once led. That is indeed sad. Sad too, and no less important, are the many damaged lives left in his wake through all those years that he actively injured regardless of whether or not it was his intent to do so.
I know that folks like you are out there, but I do not believe it to be large. We all have an echo chamber that amplifies our perspectives. We here are forced to hear from – get yelled at from – all sides and are rarely afforded that luxury.
The “narcissist” is an interesting creature that has arisen in our pop culture on all sides. Like the “legalist” most people think they know what this is, but I wonder. I am particularly impressed by the lack of such a designation – or equivalent term – in Scripture. That tells me that maybe there really is no such animal, and it is merely a straw man to take our frustrations out on.
See, folks like, say, Trump or Bill – and there are many more like them, like Steve Jobs, Walt Disney – are big and powerful and get a lot accomplished in their lives. Far more than that average bear. To do so they tend to value things much differently than those around them, causing them to react much differently as well. The price of success appears often to be . . . Relationships. Maybe it is a bad trade, but it is interesting how the masses love the results.
The last few years have been hard on everyone who cares about what Bill has built and taught, and it has been hard on Bill. That scenario is not uncommon even in scripture where God will try great men and women by taking most everything and everyone away. Even Paul, the greatest of the great, lived it:
2 Timothy 4:16. “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”
Philippians 1:15-16. “Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:”
2 Timothy 1:15. “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me”
Bill loves to say, “God writes last chapters”. This book is not done yet.
Many calls for Bill Gothard to repent come from third parties who feel certain that Bill Gothard owes apologies to others, though not to themselves. This calls to mind a satiric email to Jesus which urged him “in the spirit of love and prudence” to repent for nine shortcomings. Here is the link: http://www.firstcause.org/blog/a-letter-to-jesus
Isn’t the man behind that blog, York, use to work with Bill? It seems like most of the emphasis of the blog is about “leadership” yet I see very little there that talk about what Jesus said about leadership, which is to be a servant and to serve. Anyway, satirical works like the so called letter that is trying to describe “faults” of Jesus actions using modern political ideas in some of them, can tend to border on the profane and flippant. Maybe you like that sort of stuff. I liken this “letter” to an Easter sign I read about saying “Jesus nailed it” which makes a mockery out of one of the most horrific deaths anyone can suffer. The author of the article found it profane and flippant which I would agree and is my impression of this satirical letter.
re: Dan York
Dan York is a missionary’s son, 1981 graduate of West Point, and retired major general in the U.S. Army Reserves.
I totally agree with the Moderator here. And I think Alfred has done a great job swatting flies, and providing balance to the discussion.
I have been quietly monitoring the whole situation here for a long time.
Many years ago I attended several of the Basic Youth Conflicts Seminars, and I benefited greatly. What I learned at these seminars provided a new structure to my thinking that has always helped me untangle complicated situations.
I think my last seminar attended was in about 1983. After attending eight full 32-hour seminars, I figured I nearly had it all memorized. So I moved on. However, I did enjoy getting birthday cards from Bill for many years.
I have always said if I were to list the top ten people who have influenced my life in the most significant way, I would have to include Bill Gothard on that list.
Many years later, I inadvertently discovered some problems had developed within this ministry. This seemed to stem from the ATI part of the ministry. And I have to plead my own ignorance because I have not been involved in the ATI part of Bill’s ministry. However, in reading comments and stories on the RG web site, it seems some people had some minor doctrinal disputes, and some people objected to certain restrictive guidelines pertaining to clothing and activities, etc. And then a few people objected to special attention they had received from Bill, suggesting it was too close and personal. But the bottom line is that it seemed there were some people who were out to destroy Bill and his ministry.
This left my head spinning. This did not make any sense to me, based on what I know about Bill Gothard.
Doctrinal issues are very important to me. But I accept the fact that not everyone agrees entirely on certain doctrinal issues. I was raised in a good Lutheran Church that was very evangelical. However, as a young adult I migrated to a Baptist Church. And that meant I had some doctrinal things to untangle. And I have resolved these issues based on scripture. But I do not think any less of the nice people from my former Lutheran Church. They are all good people who love the Lord.
So if some people feel Bill Gothard’s doctrine is slightly different than theirs, or if Bill is misapplying a bible passage that isn’t quite the correct fit, does that mean we should seek to destroy his ministry? It seems some people feel that way. And I do not understand that.
I mentioned how much I appreciated Bill’s teaching at the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts. The seminar included some really good content. But I never assumed for a moment that Bill Gothard was “infallible.” Or that he was not capable of error. (No bible teacher or preacher is totally infallible.)
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Did I accept everything that Bill Gothard said? The answer is no. I accepted maybe 80% or 90% of what I learned at the Basic Seminar. And the other 10% to 20%? I just set that aside for later contemplation. (I am not suggesting he was teaching errors, but maybe I wasn’t ready spiritually to adopt certain things he proposed. We are all at a different point in our spiritual growth.)
Participation in the ATI ministries was entirely voluntary. (Although I suppose some younger people had that decision made for them by their parents.) If you disagree with ATI and their teachings, why not just go your own way? Why are these people seemingly trying to destroy the ministry?
And lastly, with respect to the females who have suggested Bill Gothard acted inappropriately, I found all of these allegations to be quite unbelievable. They were either exaggerating what they experienced, or in some cases, totally fabricated a false narrative. And I am relieved that their lack of credibility has become known through the lawsuit discovery process, etc.
Granted, I am an outsider. I am not in the inner circle. But from my vantage point, I believe Bill Gothard to be a man of great character. My opinion about Bill has not changed since the days at his seminars where I would run up to the front during break time where Bill would be talking to a small group of people asking questions. And I wanted to hear everything that Bill said.
I am disheartened by the people who seem to be on the attack against Bill. It is as if Bill has “wronged them” in some way. But if that were true, the appropriate (Christian) response would be to simply forgive him. And then move on. Because it doesn’t seem like that is happening here, then we are left to conclude that Satan is fueling this relentless attack against Bill Gothard and his ministry. And that doesn’t surprise me at all.
Pertaining to this lawsuit, I have no objection to the way Bill has handled this. I have been employed as a litigation specialist for many years handling all types of insurance claims and litigation. So I am quite familiar with the dynamics of litigation. (And it is not a perfect system.)
Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to contribute to this discussion.
re: Minnesota Coyote comments on 3/5
Blessed are the peacemakers. Brother Coyote said he does peacemaking as a trade and he sounds like a peacemaker in spirit.
“IBLP expressed regrets. Gothard denied regrets. We have no record of whether any accusers have regrets. ”
At one point there was a public statement that was issued by Bill Gothard, in which he appeared to express regret for touching the young ladies, while denying the more serious charges:
“My actions of holding of hands, hugs, and touching of feet or hair with young ladies crossed the boundaries of discretion and were wrong. They demonstrated a double-standard and violated a trust”
If memory serves, Alfred has stated that Bill Gothard no longer stands by this statement. Perhaps he can clarify that now. If he no longer stands by this statement, why? If it was because it was interpreted by some as to be more of an extreme confession than intended, then why not clarify what was meant. It seems pretty specific about the type of touching that he is admitting to, and that he knows it was wrong. Does he no longer stand by these words because he now claims that these were not his own words, or does he not stand by them because he no longer has regrets and no longer feels that these actions were wrong?
Well, will give it another go here. I suppose if the same question is asked over and over we shall have to break out another OP.
In the maelstrom of attacks that surrounded the Board cutting him loose Bill’s head was spinning as much as the rest of us. The number of times he looked at me, or my wife and I, with a bewildered look and said something like, “I don’t remember any of that. I am not calling _____ a liar, but I have no recollection of that at all.”
At that time many were stating that otherwise innocent things simply looked bad enough to warrant them not to be done, and with the roar of opposition he really didn’t have much of a response. Did he hold hands? Yes, out in the open with many people looking on, even in front of large groups he would clasp a young lady’s hand in both of his and speak to something deep and personal. Hugs? Sure . . . Like a Dad or Grandpa or pastor. Hair? As we stated several times when push came to shove to answer to situations like that, under penalty of perjury, Bill could only recall one such event, flipping a ponytail out of a young woman’s coat. Feet? We interviewed one woman that recalled him nudging her feet on several occasions to get her attention. As a girl who had been abused by others and ended up in the court system as a result she was in a position to state emphatically that it was not even remotely sensual. And she observed Bill similarly tapping the feet of his primary male assistant in similar manner during a van ride. It was . . . Nothing.
So Bill never once felt he had sinned or was inappropriate in any objective way. But given that EVERYONE was yelling at him he was willing to accept an external standard of things that others regarded as “inappropriate” in our culture in this day and age. The difference would be seen, by analogy, in old standards for parents of spanking, where it was normal in a day gone by to “beat their butts” until they could not sit down, vs. today, where the same behavior might get you arrested. Nothing has changed about the behavior being right or wrong, with the Bible solidly behind the whacking . . . But “inappropriate” today due to a change in cultural sensitivities. The world Bill grew up in was much more innocent.
The statement was his attempt to humble himself to accept a new way of looking at otherwise innocent things. The statement also strongly proclaimed his innocence from any sexual intent, motivation. There was much made of it, as a “confession”. It was anything but a “confession”, completely taken wrongly. He regretted it quickly and as quickly as possible found a way for it to disappear.
And, yes, he emphatically retracts that part of that statement.
“And, yes, he emphatically retracts that part of that statement”
How do you know that he emphatically retracts it? He apparently has taken it down from his social media. That is not the same as a public retraction. People post things and then take them down all the time, and it does not necessarily mean that there has been a retraction. I see no comment on his website that he retracts it. The statement was made publicly, any retraction should also be made publicly, with a statement clearly stating this.
In this matter we can state this with permission and authority. That statement does not represent his perspectives. The opposing side in the lawsuit was going to try to drive a truck through there, like so many others have done. They were seeking to resurrect it. Bill made it clear that he was completely misled on the nature of the concerns against him. The things that were put forward in the lawsuit, posted after the statement was made, made that crystal clear. So, no, he does not claim responsibility for, confess to anything that may be objectively called “inappropriate” behavior with anyone. Accidentally violating the personal sensibilities of someone – say sending white flowers to a Chinese wedding, which that culture takes that a sign of death – is the type of mistake he took responsibility for as ‘inappropriate’. It used to be OK to give “holy kisses” to the old ladies in church, but now they will sue you . . . Kind of thing. It used to be honorable to grasp a young woman’s hand to help her in or out of a vehicle, but now I guess they will claim sexual harassment so best left to themselves . . . kind of “impropriety”. Nobody else means “inappropriate” that way here, rendering his statement moot, null and void. He does retract it. He has published other statements since then after killing that one which he does affirm.
I guess that backtracking explanation of why he said what he said works for you and David and a few others.
I think he could have claimed that space aliens came down and forced him to make that statement at laser gun point, and you would have accepted it.
Now that is petty to the point of being criminal. I entered the scene just after he posted it. I have spoken to him about what he wrote and what he meant intently and repeatedly. In part because it became a full section of response in interrogatories. I have spoken with the one that was with him when he wrote it, who may actually have crafted it for him. I was there when it was dumped, I have clarified his reasons for that with him, helped him post several other statements to replace it.
So sad to seem to be happy about a man of God falling down. Unless you hate him you would be thrilled to understand that what he wrote there then never meant acknowledgement of sexual impropriety. Love “thinks not evil” and “believes all things”, eager to believe the good.
“Love “thinks not evil” and “believes all things”, eager to believe the good.”
Interesting that you should quote that scripture. Ask yourself if this was on your heart when you said the terrible things that you said about the men on the Board of Directors. Ask yourself if this was on your heart when you said what you have repeatedly said about the women, the alleged victims of Bill Gothard.
If you would, please cite some examples of the terrible things that came to your attention. We have tried to be as factual as possible. Occasionally emotions will get the best of us and we do attempt to recover.
HOWEVER . . . The immediate comments referred to factual information that would exonerate instead of implicate. The difficulty it seems in getting that considered. It is in such a situation where the difference between “tough love” and “hatred” is most clearly revealed.
I don’t have hours to go back and find every single thing you have said, but here are just a few examples:
You have accused the men on the Board of Directors of theft and plotting to take control of his ministry for themselves:
Moderator: “THEY have repeatedly defied him, despised him, unjustly taken control of 50 years fruit of his ministry to retool it into their own image.”
“It is theft, taking control of the ministry that the Lord gave him and he labored his entire life to further, taking nothing for himself.”
In another post, you compared them to Nazis, taking the property of the Jews.
With Big Sandy, you have accused them of entrapment and committing a nefarious scheme full of deceit:
Moderator: “Bill WAS entrapped, a cleverly staged procedure to get a “Yes” out of his mouth in response to, “Did you refuse to leave?” “
James: “You make this sound like such a nefarious scheme.”
Moderator: “Yes, yes it was. It was carefully orchestrated, including the deceit with the meeting . . .”
You have repeatedly called his accusers liars, motivated by greed. You have also said that they are just disgruntled former ATI students, which I assume you are including others besides just the alleged victims:
Moderator:“Bill was forced out – involuntarily, against his wishes – by a whirlwind smear campaign orchestrated by a dedicated group of disgruntaled former ATI students, a “mid life crisis” fueled by social media.”
Thank you for making that effort. We have said a lot of things. We continue to affirm those positions:
1). The Board unjustly took the ministry away from Bill without anything approaching a Scriptural basis or process. The reasons for that are speculation but . . . None of them are good. Even if they had a solid case, evidence they themselves only know, out of love they would work with Bill to restore him. Bring accountability, openly disclose the matters, bring about a scenario whereby he can be cleared or “fixed”. They have made no effort toward this end.
2). We stand by the entrapment accusation and the accusation of deceit. One of our team was onsite and witnessed it all first hand.
3). A number of the plaintiffs are liars. In fact some wrote letters to their attorneys accusing others of being liars. The “Motion to Sanction” clearly highlights statements made in the lawsuit pleadings being contradicted by statements to one another and to friends. One plaintiff confided in her sister that she “made it up”.
Some are motivated by greed. That was confirmed by a private communication with someone in the middle of the entire lawsuit initiative. Some plaintiffs got involved OVERTLY to help others get money so they could move away from their parents and finally have a life of their own. They were apparently all looking forward to a joint victory vacation on the sunny beaches of New Zealand consuming alcohol, as the ringleaders proposed, and as they presented to each new plaintiff as she joined them. That is in the “Motion to Sanction” as well. The collusion is well known and documented, even acknowledged on the witness stand in the last hearing.
The truth is not always pleasant. It needs to be balanced, is another point. But we do not consider the above as anything other than stating “what is” for the purpose of hopefully finding a better way to be.
re: improbable vs. true
On 3/11 brother James gave us an improbable scenario of space aliens coercing a confession from Bill Gothard. That was worth a smirk and eye roll, but it does raise a serious point about whether we ought to rule out improbabilities. We see a good example in Acts 17 when Paul was preaching on Mars Hill, and again in Acts 24-26 when he was hauled into court. In each case Paul shocked his listeners by rubbing their noses in things which were improbable but true. In those cases the great improbability was the resurrection of Jesus.
Concerning Bill Gothard, improbability is a two-edged sword.
Minnesota Coyote and I think it improbable that Bill Gothard is guilty of the offenses whereof he is accused. Brother James thinks Gothard’s denial is improbable.
I believe space alien coercion is improbable and false. I think the resurrection of Jesus is equally improbable but true.
During the late lawsuit, we the public were denied enough facts to settle whether Gothard or his enemies were speaking truth or error. We had access neither to lawsuit discovery documents nor to the IBLP investigation.
May truth prevail, however improbable.
“May truth prevail, however improbable.”
Well said and Amen to that! We must always seek the truth, and never hide from it.
“For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.”
Many would argue that this is why we are where we are. Things done in secret have been made known. And, now we have a leader who has been removed, due to said things becoming known.
Alfred waits patiently for the last chapter. Perhaps we are further into the last chapter than he realizes and the Lord’s will has been done. Or perhaps………..?
Those possibilities are always there. But you will have to admit a certain similarity as well to tests of great men of God where the Lord intervened and spoke quite clearly in the end. It does seem strange that if the Lord intended to destroy Bill “for cause” He would not allow his persecutors to succeed and prosper. Which gives me hope that the final chapter may not be along the lines of the pictures you are painting.
“But you will have to admit a certain similarity as well to tests of great men of God where the Lord intervened and spoke quite clearly in the end. ”
I can see why you perceive this, because you believe there has been unjust persecution.
I’ve observed many times as you have compared Bill Gothard’s struggles to those of biblical characters, Paul, David, Moses, and even Jesus. What becomes increasingly apparent is that there are those who view Gothard with a certain grandiosity of biblical proportions, so it is not surprising that such comparisons are made. I do believe that at some point something will happen which will cause you to say: “See, God has spoken.” But, I doubt that it will have anything to do with restoration to leadership at IBLP.
And why do you doubt that? If the Lord is in it, it will happen. At the beginning of this nightmare, I wonder if you would have said, “He may beat some of these legal charges, but I doubt Bill will get off scot-free”. But he did. To the point that what the plaintiffs tout as their “day in court” was themselves not being found liable for lawsuit fraud. The plaintiffs comfort their hearts because they helped engineer Bill’s separation from IBLP. The Lord could unravel that evil as well if He wanted.
“And why do you doubt that? If the Lord is in it, it will happen.”
With so many accusing him of sexual harassment and sexual molestation, it is unimaginable that he will be restored to the leadership of IBLP. Can God make anything happen if He wants to? Sure. If He wants to, He can allow Alfred to set a new world record in the long jump next month. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I don’t see this happening, maybe even that it’s unimaginable. But, God could make it happen, if He wanted.
Along those same lines, if God wants to restore Gothard to leadership He can and will do so. I don’t pretend to know all things in God’s plan, but, as with my doubts about you setting the long jump world record, I’m going to say that restoration to IBLP leadership is almost certainly not going to happen, with the caveat that God can make anything happen, of course.
God has had plenty of time to restore him, if that was His will. He has not done so. If my math is right, Gothard was 79 when he resigned. He is now 84 years old. Judge Popejoy said that he does not believe that the women lied. The Board appears to believe the women, and they also have the benefit of the investigation in their hands.
The optics are very, very bad. I’m not sure you understand how bad they are. The voluntary withdrawal of a lawsuit is not vindication. That is not how it works. Not even one of the alleged victims has recanted her story and they said so upon the withdrawal of the lawsuit.
Be honest . . . Was the current endgame scenario at all likely in your perspectives, say 2 years ago? Given everything you just said? And even now, there are things I could tell you about reversals on key fronts that might shock you. But I can’t. In the end it is, as we both acknowledge, the Lord’s business to straighten out. He is the only one that can get it right. But . . . Failure for Him to act on a timeline that makes sense to us does not imply a particular perspective. He very, very deliberate and patient.