Amended Lawsuit Against Bill Gothard: Text

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By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinaor

Today, ten women filed an amended lawsuit against Bill Gothard, the former director of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) and creator of IBLP’s immensely popular homeschool program, the Advanced Training Institute (ATI). The women accuse Gothard of not only sexual harassment and abuse (as the original lawsuit with five women alleged), but also of rape. They also are suing IBLP for negligence in responding to reports of abuse.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey interviewed Gothard for the Washington Post concerning the lawsuit on Wednesday. Gothard denied the charges, telling Bailey, “Never in my life have I touched a girl sexually. I’m shocked to even hear that.”

HA has obtained a copy of the text of the lawsuit, which is now public record. You can read the lawsuit in is entirety here. Content warning for the lawsuit text: the text contains detailed descriptions of sexual abuse and rape, including child sexual abuse.

18 comments

  • He talked to a newspaper about in-process litigation. I’m stunned.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      “In-process litigation.”
      FORTY Counts, TEN Plaintiffs, 117 pages.
      Some of the forty counts read like Bill Cosby without the date-rape drugs.
      With coverup conspiracy angle on each and every one.
      No wonder The LOOORD(TM) is Leading IBLP (and all their a$$et$) to relocate to a new Ministry(TM) inTexas…

    • Either he’s 1) not the brightest bulb in the lamp; 2) given his advanced age, in the throes of dementia and therefore did not realize he should not be talking to a reporter; 3) actually arrogant, narcissistic and delusional enough to truly believe that he did nothing wrong, and even if he did, it’s all good ‘cuz his god will forgive him and everybody sins anyhow; or 4) all of the above.

      May ATI be driven into bankruptcy and oblivion. And maybe it is time to consider repealing or at least changing the First Amendment, so that churches and all other religions organizations can be taxed, licensed and regulated like every other organization that deals with children. Time and again, churches, ministries and other religious organizations have proven they are incompetent, incapable, unable and downright unwilling to police themselves and remove abusers and predators from their midst. One can even argue that churches and religious organizations actively create, attract, protect and nurture sexual predators and abusers. Since they cannot or will not police themselves, it is past time for others to do it for them.

      • As an ex-journalist, the First Amendment is perhaps the most ingenuous human government idea of all time. But yeah, Eleanor and I have had conversations about internal vs. external regulation!

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        I go with (4).

        As for (2), we’re seeing the same regarding Pat Robertson. But NOBODY dares tell the CELEBRITY anything other than what the CELEBRITY wants to hear, Christian coat of paint or no.

  • Most abuse victims, sexual and otherwise, want only an admission of guilt and for the TRUTH to be told. This brings the most healing by far! For Bill Gothard to say, ‘I did this, and I was wrong!” Since that has not been forthcoming to date, and it appears as if the lies and wickedness will continue; I hope these courageous women get EVERY CENT they are asking for and then some. Bill G. and his ignominious board of directors (past and present) need to experience the same pecuniary damage they have perpetrated on these women. This is a real and understated reality for those who have experienced the type of emotional, mental, and spiritual duress perpetrated on these women at a vulnerable, formative, and innocent stage in their young lives. I applaud them for taking a stand against evil in spite of the PTSD and other challenges they undoubtedly face.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      For Bill Gothard to say, ‘I did this, and I was wrong!”

      GAWD’s Anointed Can Never Be Wrong.
      GAWD’s Anointed Can Do No Wrong.
      (And the MenaGAWD have Honorary Doctorates and Chapter-and-Verse Proof Texts to back them up.)

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    So Got Hard did more to his interns than play footsie and feel them up.
    A lot more.
    Flat-out RAPE under cover of Authority (i.e. Divine Right).
    Can’t even use the Douggie ESQUIRE defense (“I did not know her In The Biblical Sense”).
    Now we know why Got Hard never married — cramp his style (i.e. stuck with an AGING partner).
    Gives a whole new meaning to “Doing the LOOORD’s work,” doesn’t it?

    • you are painfully witty sometimes.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        More like painfully pissed off.

        I went through emotional abuse as a kid (NOT from my parents, from my master manipulator younger brother — “DANCE, MONKEY! DANCE!”). Coupled with the side effects of being a Cold War Kid Genius, the damage is still there some 40-50 years later.

        In my time in various fandoms, I have known a lot of fen who were seriously abused — emotionally and/or physically — and went into fannish obsessions as a matter of survival.

        And one FORMER friend (and a mentor in what later became Furry Fandom) turned out to be a sexual predator. (Outed himself when he hit 30, in what was probably the most spectacular case of premature mid-life crisis I’ve ever seen. That reputation later got him banned from several cities’ SF conventions — on request of the fannish Gay communities in those cities.) He never got into my pants, but looking back I think he might have been grooming me as he did so many others.

  • I didn’t know about Gothard’s teachings about adopted children–not that I’m surprised. Does anyone have a link to somewhere where this is captured in writing?

  • Pingback: What the Lawsuit Against Bill Gothard and IBLP Means to Me | Let Me Be Foolish

  • After reading the amended complaint, I’m hoping that the demand for a jury doesn’t lead anyone to believe this is a shoe-in for Gothard’s victims. IBLP has lots and lots of money on their side. And behind the money are powerful people who are going to try their damndest to protect their IBLP “investment”. There are differences, which I’m sure plenty would be ready to point out, but there are also similarities to what happened exactly 1 yr ago when a “no true bill” was returned by the grand jury in Bienville Parish, La. when the sexual abuse victims of Mack Ford (New Bethany Girls Home) ripped themselves open to complete strangers to testify against him. The victims were told by the DA that the crimes were committed within the applicable SOLs, but the grand jury, upon deliberation, was told that the SOLs had expired. Dwayne Walker put it best when he called the whole thing “political theater”, and I totally agree with him. I know this case against IBLP is civil, while the case against Ford was criminal, but it was all for “show”, to appease those hoping for justice, but with no real intent to serve it.

    Our ultimate failure was doing exactly as instructed by those who said they were on the side of the victims, but with no plan B in case things went awry. And awry on steroids is exactly the way it went. As sorry as I am to say this, DGIII representing the victims, IMO, is like letting the fox guard the henhouse. His father defended Mack Ford, and spoke publicly in his defense on several occasions during the years the New Bethany home operated. Just please, please, please, keep your eyes and ears open for any HINT of the development of “political theater”. If DGIII is truly on the side of the victims, then he needs to dig deep into the rabbit hole and find out who the real movers and shakers are behind all this, and MAKE IT PUBLIC. If he doesn’t, then that should tell everyone what they need to know about him. Thanks for reading.

    • Your comment is very important and you have put to words one of my biggest concerns….

      “As sorry as I am to say this, DGIII representing the victims, IMO, is like letting the fox guard the henhouse. His father defended Mack Ford, and spoke publicly in his defense on several occasions during the years the New Bethany home operated. Just please, please, please, keep your eyes and ears open for any HINT of the development of “political theater”. If DGIII is truly on the side of the victims, then he needs to dig deep into the rabbit hole and find out who the real movers and shakers are behind all this, and MAKE IT PUBLIC. If he doesn’t, then that should tell everyone what they need to know about him.”

      I truly wish these victims had representation that had NO ties whatsoever to IBLP.
      That is who will dig down and put ALL of the dirty laundry on display.
      For this lawsuit to be successful that is what must happen.

  • Recovering Grace has a review of the IBLP booklet on adoption. http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2011/10/adoption-the-ultimate-act-of-grace/

  • Pingback: A Summary of Allegations against Bill Gothard and IBLP | Homeschoolers Anonymous

  • Pingback: Bill Gothard’s Abuse is Not a Surprise | Wide Open Ground

  • Pingback: Bill Gothard’s Abuse is Not a Surprise | Homeschoolers Anonymous

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