Gothard asked us to review his statement prior to its release, and we responded that the following issues would certainly be raised if he released it in the form sent to us, which he has done. Gothard acknowledges that his emphasis on outward appearance resulted in parents putting undue pressure on their children.While Gothard refers to a “wrong focus” that led to these negative consequences, we would have liked to see him reference specific teachings, rules, and principles.We also would have liked to see Gothard confess to the more clearly sexually charged behaviors he engaged in with these women—behaviors which have been confirmed by multiple women and even by witnesses where applicable.We believe that a confession of the following behaviors would have demonstrated a commitment on Gothard’s part to complete repentance and change: a) gifts of money designated for the purchase of Gothard’s preference in supportive undergarments; b) private counseling sessions with young women who worked for Gothard, wherein he requested and repeatedly dwelt upon details of these very young women’s personal sexual experiences and temptations; c) strong suggestions and/or mandates from Gothard of medical cosmetic enhancement procedures for young women who worked closely with him, as he cited their physical imperfections as “distractions” from ministry; d) dismissal of concerns about and objections to Gothard’s behavior that were raised by the young women in his employ and their families at the times of the behavior, when Gothard insisted that they misunderstood his intentions.Yet at this time, there has not been an acknowledgement of the truth from the board.We urge the board to clearly address the specific reasons for Gothard’s resignation, publicly recant the specific teachings that led to the abuses to which he has confessed, and take all measures needed to ensure that these violations against women never happen again within the ministry.We urge the IBLP board of directors to publicly address these issues, as they are now accountable for the past, present, and future of IBLP and ATI.We understand that Gothard offered his confession to the board several weeks ago, and several parties who were interviewed as part of the internal investigation have informed that they confirmed many of the allegations.
As much as we at would like to accept Gothard’s statement in good faith as a heartfelt apology, we find ourselves unable to offer a response without speaking the truth as boldly as the many IBLP and ATI alumni who have told us their stories.
Gothard also declares that he has “never kissed a girl.” This statement is a clear denial of Charlotte’s story.
He also states (as referenced above) that he has never “touched a girl immorally or with sexual intent.” We are deeply concerned for the women who have told their stories on .
Parents did not simply imitate his outlook on the Christian faith; they followed guidelines that he dictated to them as requirements for being involved in the Advanced Training Institute (ATI) home education program.
We hope to see Gothard more fully address these issues, and publicly retract the wrong teachings to which he refers. Gothard’s failure to address his disqualification for Christian leadership in ministry leaves the door open for a return to IBLP. On July 22, 1980, Gothard released a statement to seminar pastors that, in many ways, was similar to the one he released last Thursday on his personal website.