Conservative Christian religious leader Bill Gothard stepped down from his ministry, Institute in Basic Life Principles, four months ago, after a recovery support group for former members detailed 34 women’s alleged experiences of sexual harassment.
This week, the ministry released a statement following up on the status of their fearless leader. The statement includes the following bit of brilliance:
In response to allegations against Bill Gothard, the board sought the facts through a confidential and thorough review process conducted by outside legal counsel. Many people were interviewed, including former board members, current and past staff members, current and past administrators, parents, and family members.
At this point, based upon those willing to be interviewed, no criminal activity has been discovered. If it had been, it would have been reported to the proper authorities immediately, as it will be in the future if any such activity is revealed.
IF there had been sexual harassment DISCOVERED it would have been reported immediately.
As if that has ever actually happened in the history of sexual abuse in the church.
When a religious system decides to do an “internal review” or investigation into accusations of abuse, I generally suspect that they have something to hide. When you have that much power over a group of people, if you don’t go seeking out an objective third party expert (like G.R.A.C.E.) to do your internal investigation, what makes you think that any victims of abuse in your ministry would actually trust you to protect them?
The IBLP statement concludes:
We are seeking and praying for a new permanent president for the IBLP ministries. Please pray with us to this end.
At least Gothard’s not being reinstated. But there’s no way a victim of abuse in IBLP could possibly trust an IBLP-run investigation to have their best interests at heart, especially with this final gem from the statement:
The Board does not believe that Mr. Gothard’s shortcomings discredit the truths of God’s Word that were taught through him.
Nothing to see here in the IBLP ministry empire! Carry on!
(via Christianity Today)