Bill Gothard, Christian Advocate of Homeschooling, Accused of Sexually Harrassing Women and Teen Girls

(Photo: iblp.org)William G. "Bill" Gothard, founder and president of of the Institute in Basic Life Principles.
(Photo: iblp.org)William G. “Bill” Gothard, founder and president of of the Institute in Basic Life Principles.

A Christian organization dedicated to highlighting the experiences of those raised under the controversial teachings of homeschooling and family planning advocate William G. “Bill” Gothard reports that the conservative Christian minister has been accused of sexually harassing dozens of young women and teen girls who worked or volunteered with his nonprofit.

Since the organization, Recovering Grace, published the allegations from various women online, critical mentions of Gothard’s alleged sexual harassment have emerged in several publications, such as the Baptists Today News Journal, the Chicago Now blogPatheos and the American Conservative.

On Feb. 3, Recovering Grace published an explanatory letter on its shift in mission, spurred by allegations made by at least 34 different women who claim they were victims of “textbook sexual harassment” and emotional abuse at the hands of Gothard.

“We have had men and women who served in the [Institute in Basic Life Principles] leadership confirm that the allegations are true, although they felt (and often were) powerless to do anything at the time,” reads the letter on RecoveringGrace.org. “In fact, we have learned that the IBLP Board of Directors has on more than one occasion addressed this behavior with Bill Gothard, but to no lasting avail.”

In allegations going back decades, Gothard is said to have specifically targeted young women and teen girls to perform administrative duties for him at IBLP’s headquarters, where he eventually would make unwanted and inappropriate physical contact while also manipulating them emotionally.

Recovering Grace claims it has collected “enough verifiable and/or witness accounts” that make the organization “certain without the shadow of a doubt” that the allegations of ongoing sexual harassment have merit. The organization says it briefly engaged Gothard for the purposes of fostering reconciliation and eliciting his repentance but that neither has happened. In none of their email exchanges did Gothard ever “admit to or indicate that he took responsibility for any of the inappropriate behavior,” notes Recovering Grace.

George Mattix, executive international director at IBLP, told The Christian Post Thursday that the board was aware of the accusations made against Gothard and would prayerfully consider what course of action members would take before releasing any public statements. Mattix had initially passed CP’s request for comment on the allegations to the nonprofit’s attorney, whom he said subsequently turned the matter over to outside counsel.

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Source: Christian Post | Nicola Menzie