Bill Gothard Resigns from Institute in Basic Life Principles Under Allegations of Sexual Abuse (And How to Spot the Signs of a Sexual Predator)
LTRP Note: On March 7th, Bill Gothard, the founder and president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles resigned from his position in the organization after allegations from over thirty women were made public that Gothard sexually harassed, and in one case out right sexually abused, these women while they were teens or young women. In preparing to make this announcement to Lighthouse Trails readers, we searched both secular and Christian media for a news story that would give a good representation of the situation. However, after we were unable to find such an article, we decided to post the article directly from the group—Recovering Grace—who blew the whistle on Gothard in the first place.
One of the women who has come forth is a woman named Charlotte. She has publicly testified that while she was a young homeschool teen and was sent to “work” at the Institute, Gothard preyed upon her, which led to his sexually abusing her. The cult-like, legalistic, abusively authoritative teachings1 of Bill Gothard’s Institute provided a “perfect” platform for sexual abuse to occur where young girls were not taught to defend themselves against abuse (on the contrary, the opposite occurred). According to the criteria of the Lighthouse Trails book Seducers Among Our Children written by investigative sergeant Patrick Crough, Bill Gothard fits the profile of a sexual predator.
Below the article by Recovering Grace, we have posted two excerpts, one from Seducers Among Our Children titled “What is a Sexual Predator of Children?” by Patrick Crough and one titled “A Predator’s Toolkit” written by Gregory Reid, author of The Color Pain (also published by LT). These two excerpts are given to provide some help to parents to protect their children from sexual predators. Also below are some other resources such as a recent radio interview between Patrick Crough and Jan Markell and a video preview of a DVD called The Kinsey Syndrome (Adullam Films) (exposing the truth about Alfred Kinsey who was instrumental in the high incidence of sexual molestation today). The reason Lighthouse Trails has published and carried resources like this is because statistics show that a huge percentage of boys and girls are sexually abused before they are 18 years old. There has got to be voices speaking up and protecting them. Sexual abuse scars children. As Patrick Crough says in his book, we are to be the shepherd’s of children, protecting them from the wolves.
Let us remember that God’s Word does not take harming children lightly:
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. (Matthew 18:6)
On March 6, 2014, Administrative Director David Waller communicated via email to ATI families that Mr. Gothard has “resigned as president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, its Board of Directors, and its affiliated entities.” Mr. Waller indicated the board’s desire to appoint interim leadership, and named Chris Hogan as one who “will play an active role in the upcoming conferences as president of ATI.” This follows the report on February 27 in which World Magazine confirmed that the Board of IBLP had placed Bill Gothard on administrative leave, “in order to further investigate the mounting claims of sexual harassment and misconduct that have been reported on the Recovering Grace website.”
The letter goes on to state that Mr. Gothard has “communicated to the Board of Directors his desire to follow Matthew 5:23–24 and listen to those who have ‘ought against’ him” and states that his resignation is motivated by a desire to give full attention to the issues at hand (view the full letter).
On February 3, Recovering Grace made a public case that Bill Gothard had disqualified himself from ministry by his actions. In doing so, we called for Mr. Gothard to repent and be reconciled to those who have been damaged under his ministry and teachings. While we acknowledge the range of emotions that our readers are likely feeling in light of this letter, we do not take joy in this announcement, and we understand the gravity and sadness of this situation. Mr. Gothard’s resignation will doubtless produce relief in some of our readers and deep disappointment in others. Nonetheless, we realize this is an important moment. Click here to read this entire article.
What is a Sexual Predator of Children? by Sergeant Patrick Crough (author of Seducers Among Our Children)
Some pedophiles’ deep-seated desires to have sex with children will eventually override their inner control mechanism to suppress and forgo such an action. When they choose to step out of their dark closet, they begin to reveal their true intentions as they maneuver to gain access to the very children they target. The child predator’s method of pursuing a potential victim is very similar to that of an animal hunting in the wild. Like the wolf or cougar who studies the flock to select an easy target, the child predator seeks the one who is the most vulnerable and accessible to him. He will use his profession or participation in a community program such as a church youth ministry, sports league, school activity, or recreational program to get on friendly terms with specific children and their parents.
After the predator becomes smitten with a particular child, he will critically assess the child’s circumstances. Are the parents overburdened with their responsibilities? Is the child from a broken home? Is the child a social outcast? Is the child involved in some activity at which the child predator is proficient? Can he pose as a highly sought-after coach, mentor, or tutor, appealing to the parents’ desire to nurture their children to their fullest potential and thus help procure for them the greatest scholarships and the most opportunities? These are all criteria the child predator evaluates and weighs carefully when selecting a potential victim. The predator will go to great lengths, expending a great deal of time, energy, and money to place himself in what he would perceive to be the best position possible to grant him unlimited access to children and their parents. Once the predator attains an advantageous position and wins a parent’s or guardian’s trust, he sets his diabolical plan into motion.
From a parental standpoint, the child predator is the most insidious of the three profiles because he specifically targets children. While most parents and children have been educated about “stranger danger,” the kind of individual they should be most concerned about is the one who lives undetected among them and is usually someone they know and trust. Based upon what I know of these three types of offenders, if a parent protects their child from the child predator, they will automatically be protecting them from both the pedophile and the opportunistic sex offender.
A Sexual Predator’s Toolkit by Gregory Reid (from The Color of Pain)
Note: Gregory Reid was sexually abused as a child and has written about boys but this material would be relevant for girls too.
Most “professional pedophiles” have turned molestation into a fine science. They are precise in their plans and use well tested lures and traps to get kids in a place where they can be molested. The following is a “profile of seduction,” an overview of how a predator works.
1. Drugs (Voluntary and involuntary)
2. Alcohol (To lower the victim’s inhibitions and make them confused and vulnerable)
3. Pornography (Printed and video, to lower the sexual inhibitions and arouse the victim)
4. Music, video games, etc.
The predator is current on music trends, video games, movies, etc. and their homes often look like a kid’s paradise.
5. Prestige & Status.
To a boy or teen, hanging around with a dynamic, fun adult with a nice house and a fast car is a very powerful lure, a major ego booster.
6. Money & Gifts.
Predators shower their victims with gifts and money, which is very seductive to a kid who may not have much materially, and it also puts the boy in a place of “obligation” to the giver.
7. Physical affection.
Predators can sense kids who have little affection at home, which is something every boy or teen needs, and he slowly begins giving that affection to the boy a little at a time, making him dependent on it, craving it to feel loved and liked and special.
8. Emotional support.
Predators go out of their way to listen to a boy, sympathize with his problems and offer help and advice as well as encouragement. This goes a long way with a kid who doesn’t feel like he’s worth much.
9. Sexual gratification.
Predators are experts on how to seduce, entice, arouse and sexually stimulate a boy or teen, and like it or not, it can become an addiction for the boy, especially if it’s his first sexual experience. Mix that with needed affection, and soon the boy won’t know the difference between sex and affection, love and arousal.
Time is the predator’s most powerful tool. Unlike normal adults who have lives, jobs, children, families, hobbies, and other interests and obligations which all play important but somewhat equal parts in life, the predator has a job, a career, interests, hobbies, etc., only as props to support his addiction—kids. Since this is his all consuming addiction, money, time, and interests are all expended toward this one goal—to find his fantasy child or teen and molest them, photograph them, use them. Since the other things like work and family are just asides, they have enormous amounts of time and energy to devote to the finding of kids, the luring of kids, the prepping of kids, for the seemingly endless amount of time spent listening to kids and going places with them and buying them things and doing things with them, all in hopes of the ultimate—sex with a minor.
Once a predator determines to find a victim, this is the general train of events that often follows:
1. He finds the desired child or teen.
2. Befriends them, gains their trust.
3. Gains the trust of the parents so they won’t suspect.
4. Makes the boy feel important through lots of time and personal attention, makes him feel he is more important to him than anybody.
5. Flatters him. Tells him he’s handsome, smart, etc.
6. Makes plans for private time with him,
a. Counseling him,
b. Going to movies,
c. Going to the park, video arcade, beach, pool, concerts, etc.,
d. Plans a camping trip with him,
e. Hires him to work around the house or business,
f. Helps him with his schoolwork.
7. Treats him like an adult.
8. Builds non threatening affectionate physical contact.
9. Introduces or allows “adult” activities; smoking, drinking, drugs, pornography, swearing, etc.
10. Starts slowly discussing sex, gaining as much intimate knowledge of him as possible.
11. Remolds his thinking about what is “normal sex,” eventually disclosing his “normal” desires for sex with the boy.
12. Having changed his thinking, gained his trust and dependency and accelerated physical contact, the boy is now totally vulnerable to being molested.
13. The predator plans the time and place where there will be no suspicion or interference or time constraints.
14. After prepping him with alcohol, pornography, etc., while he has broken down the walls enough to start molesting him, he tells him:
All guys do it.
He knows some of his friends who do it.
He loves him.
The boy is “turned on” and that’s normal and means he wants it too.
Guilt is wrong.
He’s the greatest kid in the world.
15. After he’s molested him, he makes the boy feel he started it, threatens to tell if he has to, tells him he will be destroyed if the boy tells—whatever it takes to keep him quiet.
16. After he has outgrown his attraction for him, the predator keeps the photos or videos as a memento and searches for a new kid.
This is a general picture that doesn’t fit every victim or every predator, but fits many of them, and in that respect it is very painfully accurate. Knowing your enemy is half the battle in stopping him.
Below: Preview of The Kinsey Syndrome
by Roger Oakland
Understand the Times
(author of Faith Undone: the emerging church—a new reformation or an end-time deception)
Stimulating images that provide spiritual experiences are an essential element of the emerging church. While many are bewildered as to why their churches are darkening their sanctuaries and setting up prayer stations with candles, incense, and icons, promoters of the emerging church movement say they know exactly what they are doing. Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Fellowship explains:
Everything in the service needs to preach–architecture, lighting, songs, prayers, fellowship, the smell–it all preaches. All five senses must be engaged to experience God.1
Often, Christians who have been attending church all their lives find the changes their pastors are implementing disconcerting, as they see the trend away from Bible teaching to multi-sensory stimulation. Dan Kimball quotes an older gentleman who had expressed his concerns about the implementation of an emerging style of mystical worship:
Dan, why did you use incense? I am not sure I like walking over to those prayer stations with all those props; can’t we just pray from our seats? Why aren’t you just preaching just the Bible? I wasn’t too comfortable when you had those times of silence, and it’s a little too dark in there for me.2
The comment by this gentleman in his seventies is typical of the comments I hear from many as I travel and speak at conferences around North America. But comments like this not only come from the elderly; many younger people are saying the same things. Both young and old are becoming concerned as they see multi-sensory mystical worship replace the preaching and teaching of the Word.
Nevertheless, Kimball and many others are convinced they are on the right path based on their view that emerging generations desire a multi-sensory worship experience. For example, in a chapter of Kimball’s book titled “Creating a Sacred Space for Vintage Worship” Kimball states:
[A]esthetics is not an end in itself. But in our culture, which is becoming more multi-sensory and less respectful of God, we have a responsibility to pay attention to the design of the space where we assemble regularly. In the emerging culture, darkness represents spirituality. We see this in Buddhist temples, as well as Catholic and Orthodox churches. Darkness communicates that something serious is happening.3
Kimball further states:
How ironic that returning to a raw and ancient form of worship is now seen as new and even cutting edge. We are simply going back to a vintage form of worship which has been around for as long as the church has been in existence.4
Of course, that is not really true. There is no evidence in the Bible that the disciples or the early church turned to a “raw” form of worship, especially one that needed darkness to help them feel more spiritual. If the early believers were in darkness, it would have been because they were meeting in secret to avoid arrest. To insinuate they were thinking about multi-sensory practices is an insult to their courage and devotion to God. Nowhere in Scripture is there even a hint of this. (For more on the emerging church, read Faith Undone.)
1. “The National Reevaluation Forum: The Story of the Gathering,”(Youth Leader Networks – NEXT Special Edition, 1999, click here),pp. 3-8, citing Mark Driscoll, “Themes of the Emerging Church.”
2. Dan Kimball, The Emerging Church, p. 127.
3. Ibid., p. 136.
4. Ibid., p. 169.
LTRP Note: We are re-posting this 2011 article because this is even more of an issue than it was in 2011. Posted for informational and research purposes.
By KATE SHELLNUTT
Certain Holy Week observances long affiliated with more liturgical traditions are being re-purposed and incorporated into evangelical congregations, home to increasing numbers of former Catholics and mainline Protestants.
Leading up to the children’s egg hunts and contemporary worship services this Easter, it was not unlikely to see Lenten reflections, Maundy Thursday meals or even Stations of the Cross at a Baptist church.
Carlos Ichter never observed Lent or Holy Week in the Baptist congregation where he grew up, but Tallowood Baptist Church — where Ichter serves as a worship minister — has commemorated the Last Supper and the crucifixion in the days leading up to Easter for more than a decade.
“I’ve been asked a few times, ‘What is this Maundy Thursday?’ It is a foreign idea for some, but once you explain it to them, they see it’s scriptural and it makes sense,” he said. “There are a lot of good things that Roman Catholics do that I think everybody should be open to. … It’s not a Catholic thing or a Baptist thing, it’s a biblical thing.” (Click here to continue reading.)
Good News – Obama Administration Allows Christian Homeschooling Family Seeking Asylum to Stay in U.S.
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration has decided to allow a Christian homeschooling family from Germany to remain in the country after initially battling the family in court as they sought asylum in the United States.
As previously reported, Ewe and Hannelore Romeike have been battling the matter in the courts for several years while continuing to raise their six children in rural Tennessee. The Romeike family fled to the United States in 2008 after German authorities demanded that they stop homeschooling in violation of national law.
Homeschooling was made illegal in the country in 1938 under the dictatorship of Adolph Hitler, and the law has never been repealed, but rather strengthened. In 2007, the German Supreme Court ruled that the country’s mandate that children be sent to public school is necessary to “counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies.”
German officials have been cracking down on families that keep their sons and daughters at home, and have threatened them with fines, imprisonment and even the removal of the children from the household. The Romeike children were taken from their parents for a time before fleeing to the United States for refuge.
Article: One World Religion
A recent meeting of ministers associated with the prosperity-preaching Word of Faith branch of charismatic Christianity received a surprise announcement: Pope Francis had sent a message to the conference. It was something of a historic moment.
Beginning around the thirty-minute mark of the above video, Francis speaks in Italian and English subtitles are provided at the bottom. As part of his greeting, the pope chose to highlight two themes, his joy at their desire to worship together in prayer to the Father for the Spirit to come and his yearning for Christians to become one again.
Francis described the current state of Christianity as one of separated families, by which he meant both biological families and the family of God. It was not lost on the Holy Father that the fractures in Christianity are also fractures between individuals. He asks, “Who is to blame for this separation?” and answers, “We all share the blame. We have all sinned.” Such a statement expresses the fraternity Francis wishes to restore, nothing more, nothing less. He went on to say that his desire is for this separation to end and a communion to begin again.
Click here to read this entire article and to see the video. Please watch this video using the utmost discernment. You will see how far the evangelical church has fallen.
Mennonite churches have not historically focused on the man made religious rituals in the 40 days leading to Easter.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of an ancient but relatively new tradition that the Mennonites have taken on, as the following examples from the March 2014 issue of their Mennonite Brethren Herald magazine confirm.
What I like about Lent
by Dora Dueck
Lent was not part of my experience growing up in a Mennonite church. It was something that “others” did (read: Catholics), and when one is young, what those others do often seems vastly inferior to what one’s own people do. We celebrated Good Friday and Easter and that was enough. Lent had an aura of gloominess and “works righteousness” about it, and we were beyond all that striving and uncertainty and climbing the stairs to heaven on our knees. (I speak as a child.)
But in the meanwhile, many Mennonite churches, including my own, have adopted various practices of the liturgical calendar, and I’ve come to appreciate Lent’s invitation to reflection, to deep consideration of Christ and the cross, to give up or to take on. To see oneself as one is: as in the words of Thomas Merton, “I walk from region to region of my soul and I discover that I am a bombed city.” To hear oneself named “Beloved” in the midst of that desolation.
One can do this any time, of course, but Ash Wednesday with its formal beginning and the six Sundays leading up to Easter with their liturgies and sermons and reminders are helps along the way.
So it’s a good time. But one of the things I like best about Lent is that it’s not a big deal in the wider culture. It’s not commercial. Having ashes imposed (I love that word for this ritual) to mark repentance and awareness of being “dust” seems by now, in fact, the strange activity of a strange minority . . .
Note: Thomas Merton is thought to be the greatest popularizer of interspirituality and said “I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity … I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.” Click here for more.
LTRP Note: The following photo is posted here for informational and research purposes only and not intended as an endorsement of this event in any way. On the contrary, Lighthouse Trails has grave concern for the ecumenical/Road to Rome path that the evangelical church is clearly on at this time. Also see our new post by Roger Oakland titled “The Unification of Hyper-charismatics and the Catholic Church,” showing how fast things are changing.