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. 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.