By Theodore Shoebat
The Duggars’ are a cult, they promote the cult organization of Bill Gothard, and many victims have come out to give their accounts on the sexual abuse he inflicted upon them. I have done an entire video exposing the Duggars’ connection with Bill Gothard, and how the Gothard cult, and those like it, resemble greatly the cult of Islam. Both give a facade of godliness, family values, and politeness, and both are filled with sexual deviances.
I understand that there are many people who admire the Duggars, I am not here to attack you, but to warn you on the cult they are promoting. The Duggars are promulgating the cult of Bill Gothard, and not only that, but Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar are planned to speak at three upcoming national conferences for Gothard’s organization. 34 women have have stated that Gothard sexually harassed them and 4 women reported being sexually assaulted.
Its hard to argue that the Duggars may not know about Gothard’s cultish ways. No one is that naive. The Duggars even received a letter from a girl named Megan Lin, telling them as one who personally suffered under Gothard’s cult the dangers of his movement:
I speak from the perspective of one who experienced firsthand sexual harassment that parallels the personal stories told on the whistleblower website, Recovering Grace. Those stories were written by girls who worked closely with Bill Gothard, who is the founder of ATI, the homeschool curriculum and training convention your family uses and attends every year. I hope that this open letter will be heard from the heart by your family and the many others who are questioning your continued involvement with this group. Today, I am a married mother of two. My objective is to convey to you as a parent the concern I have for children being brought up in the authoritarian lifestyle espoused by Gothard.
My involvement in ATI set the stage for the unwanted sexual attention that I experienced at the hands of Bill Gothard. His teachings requiring unquestioning obedience by children that were taught to me by my parents, which they gained through their training via Bill Gothard’s enormously popular Basic Seminars in the early 70s. When I was a teen, I was sent to volunteer for Gothard at his seminars and training centers. Gothard paid special attention to me, and often asked me to travel in his personal van from center to center. When he was in town, Gothard would periodically request my presence in his office for long hours and late into the night for the purpose of counseling. His behavior toward me was what I would now define as predatory in nature, although at the time because of my over-protected upbringing, I was merely confused and uncomfortable. Bill would sit or stand close to me, stroke my back or my arm, and rub his hand along my leg, as he would tell me that he believed God had brought me to his ministry for a purpose. Even though Gothard taught firmly in his seminars and materials that an unmarried man should not touch a woman in this way, Gothard did so regularly with me and other girls I knew at the time.
Gothard’s followers are astoundingly loyal, even to the detriment of the victim. This may be why personal attempts to address the issues within the ATI movement have fallen on deaf ears until the recent public disclosures on the Recovering Grace website. Once, I went to Gothard’s leadership to express my discomfort with his attentions, and was severely disciplined for my efforts by being confined to my room for weeks, even for meals. At the end of my confinement, I was once again summoned to his office, and I did not complain again. This disciplinary structure pervaded his entire ministry at varying levels, and I believe that it was a direct result of his teachings.
Mr. and Mrs. Duggar, I believe that your family has a sincere desire to live your life for the glory of God, and that you desire the best possible upbringing for your children. However, I also know that the lifestyle you have chosen for your children is more dangerous to them than it is protective of them. I am aware that you list ATI as your homeschool affiliation on your public website. I also know that your family takes a prominent role in the annual homeschool seminars ATI hosts for its families. I appeal to you to reconsider your involvement with this group. Some may suggest that Gothard’s inappropriate behaviors over the past forty years which have been carefully documented on recoveringgrace.org are personal to Gothard, and should not be attributed to his teachings or to his followers, who include your family. I do believe that Gothard saw himself as above his own rules. However, I also believe that the authority structure that he designed for his followers created the opposite of its stated intention: the so-called protections designed for women and children which includes removing the right to say “no” to a person in authority has the effect of setting these same women and children up for abuse from within. I know; it happened to me.
I have taken several excerpts from accounts of several of these women, and will quote them all here.
One victim, Charlotte, was even told that her existence was based on Bill, as she wrote herself:
I have been told I am alive because of Bill Gothard. My parents became involved in the seminars in the early 1970s, and at that time they were done with having kids. My parents told Gothard that, because of him, they were convicted to have more children. I was born in 1975, and from the get go I was told that I was special—the seventh child, God’s perfect number—and that I owed my life to Bill Gothard.
Her father, like Gothard, was a sexual predator, and was an absolute fanatic about his teachings:
My father was so deep into Gothard’s teachings, and he preached them so much, that his church board had issues with it. He was forced out of a church in Minnesota. He blamed this on the board not being willing to grow. I have my own theory of why he was forced out, though.
My father was a sexual predator. He had been forced out of churches in California and New Jersey for taking indecent liberties with young girls. My mother turned a blind eye to it all. My father’s sexual abuse of me didn’t start until we moved to a pastorate in New Jersey, when I was seven years old and got my own room.
Gothard began acting inappropriate with Charlotte, touching her breast and giving her cash to purchase certain bras that aroused him:
We would meet after dinner in his office around 7 or 8 p.m. That’s when he started really touching me. I am curvy, and he loved my breasts. He gave me cash and told me to buy bras that pushed me up more; he wanted me to always wear them when I was around him. He never wanted me to show him, though. He just liked to touch over the clothing. He would drive me home so I wouldn’t walk alone to my house in the dark. He would hold my hand and rub my leg and tell me not to tell anyone about what we did in his car.
When Charlotte told her mother, she, like a typical cultist, snapped at her daughter and called her a liar. Gothard arranged for Charlotte to return to him, and she arrived, the cult leader did some severe sexual molestation. Her fallout with Gothard eventually led to her parents rejecting her:
I told my mom about what was happening, and she told me I was lying. Bill arranged my flight back to O’Hare so we could ride back to Headquarters in the car together. That’s when he first put his hand between my legs and felt me all the way up.
There were rumors going around about Bill and me. My brother started hearing things and asked me about it. Of course I denied everything. Bill had sworn me to silence with both guilt and fear. I was the one who was at fault because I was tempting him. If I told anyone, the future of the entire ministry could be compromised. Why would I want to hinder God’s work? He told me that this was our little secret, just between us. If I told anyone, he said he would kick my family out of ATI.
“My parents blackballed me and thought I was the devil because I was sent home from Headquarters. I was a shame to the family for being sent home. I really went on a tailspin after that. I tried to take my life a number of times. I turned to sex and men to make me feel better about myself. I thought that sex was all I was worth.
I had a falling out with my parents
One victim, named Ruth, found it too emotionally difficult to describe her experiences under the Gothard cult, and so her husband wrote it, and here are his words:
When Ruth arrived at the Oak Brook headquarters at the age of 18½, all aspects of her life were controlled by Bill and his brother (who was serving as V.P. of the ministry): where she lived, what she wore and how she wore it, who she saw, where she went to church and the level of involvement she could have with it. Bill once threatened Ruth with dismissal over one male friend of hers, because he couldn’t tolerate her “lack of total commitment” to him.
And this was just over her corresponding with a young man who lived two thousand miles away. Ruth and Bill finally reached a compromise: Bill would read all of the correspondence from this young man and help her write very non-personal letters in response, while discouraging any phone calls between the two. Bill felt that his authority overshadowed Ruth’s parents’ approval of this Christian young man and their relationship.
Image was everything to Bill. Bill would send Ruth and other staff women to his brother for various training, and would preface the direction by saying, “God has given my brother special insight and direction.” These areas of “training” were normally in dress and presentation. Ruth often stated that some of the women complained that Bill’s brother even directed what kind of underwear they should wear.
One could say these young, impressionable staff members were slowly brainwashed, and “God’s blessing” was used as a means of control. Staff members who questioned anything Bill taught were forced to leave and were labeled as failures. Bill would explain that they had failed God and were resistant to God’s chain of command. Questioning was rarely tolerated by Bill and his family. The Gothards were at the top of the chain of command, as evidenced by God’s blessing on the ministry, of course.
Although he taught the highest standards of physical conduct for the sake of outward appearances, Bill started asking Ruth to sit on his lap in his office. He would invite her to come watch the stars, and they would lie on the roof of the old Headquarters building under a blanket together.
Bill would take her to dinner and have her sit next to him on the bench seat of his Olds 98. She told me that he used intimate phrases like “I
don’t know what God has planned for us,” clearly implying that there was something more to their relationship than secretary/boss.
Ruth didn’t love Bill as a suitor, but over time he trained her to rely so exclusively on him for every decision she made that she was willing to do what God commanded and marry him if he asked. While the things that they did would not be terribly unusual for a dating couple outside of the Institute, Bill’s behavior was way out of bounds for a Christian leader and boss, and a clear double standard set against Bill’s own teachings on moral purity.
Individual witnesses reported that in the late ’70s, when Bill was visiting the Northwoods, he would wait until all the staff ladies had gone to bed, and then he would knock on their door to give them a long good night hug while they were dressed in their night gowns.
Ruth often said how much all the girls hated it, but felt powerless to stop it. Ruth’s writings contain this quote, “Bill treated staff women with a level of intimacy only appropriate in marriage and did discuss marriage with several women.
He did so without consulting the parents, even though he teaches in the seminar that this is an evidence of a man with questionable motives. What good purpose could Bill have had in discussing marriage with more than one woman? If this was a means of creating loyalty to himself, it is not one we believe God can bless.”
By this point Ruth had worked at the Institute for 7½ years. Bill had interfered with every relationship she had attempted, yet he failed to move to a point of commitment. He hinted at marriage, discouraged or forbade all other relationships, and left her stuck in emotional “never-never land.” Ruth writes, “I was threatened with demotion by Bill Gothard in 1978 when I asked him to emotionally free me to date and seek to build relationships with men other than him.”
These cults are microcosms of sharia, if they were given their own nations, they would be no different from Muslim nations, with sexual deviancy, incestuous rape, sodomy, molestation, coercion and violence, being the law of the land.
The devil is extremely adaptable. He will adapt to your sense of morality, no matter how puritanical, and use it to take your own souls. He uses the morality of cults to deceive and corrupt the morally minded, and he will take those of a sanctimonious persuasion and form them into the most diabolical sects one can imagine.
Satan will take what seems to be angelic, and contrive the most sinister of doctrines. The devil will utilize morality to bring people into hell.
Let us not forget, America fought against two cults: one worshipped the Japanese emperor, and the other worshipped the Fuhrer. Both were cults of the same spirit as any cult, but they were at a national level and popularity.
We fear Islam because it has taken entire nations, but we should remember that even Muhammad began as but a local cult leader. If it was squashed at its earlier stages it would have never expanded to the degree that it is now.
The small cults that we are indifferent towards do not grow to the level they desire because they are restricted by both legality and their small numbers. If a lunatic like Gothfard ever obtained an empire, there is no doubt that he would indulge his sexual perversions to the most violent extent, he would kill his enemies and enact the severest of tyranny.
Take these cults of America, internationalize them, and that is Islam. Islam is a seemingly conservative cult, just as these other cults contain a facade of conservative precepts. These cults give an impression of family values, politeness, neatness, conformity, and perfection, and this indulges the convictions of so many people, and they fall into the deception, to the point of accepting their evils because one is so overpowered by their highly moral, though sanctimonious, presence.
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:5) But how many do not turn away? There are myriads of families and people who, being so taken by a societal and collective expectation as to what is Christian, accept whatever group of charlatans who fit the comforts of their folly and fantasy.
Islam is not some new religion that acts distinctly within its movement, but is merely no different in its nature than the other seemingly Christian groups who incessantly and duplicitously utilize the term “spiritual authority” and repetitively use to their lustful disposal the word “god” to impact the frail and feeble, the capricious and superficially pious minds of their sycophants.
Muslims enforce the hijab, and western cults will enforce on women long skirts or even veils, all for the sake of a tyrannical modesty.
Modesty is good, but tyrannical modesty always leads to cultish scandal.
These impostors, with their never ending rivers of heretical bile, are those who “lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts” (2 Timothy 3:6)
When people object to these cults, they must always expect to receive the empty piety of flatterers, whose baseless reasons for acting so are utterly built upon the sand of the servile, who will yammer with the pompousness of the conniving slave, always attacking for the sake of the tyrant who subjugates him, against the one who comes for his liberation.
They are sheep who bear the horns of goats; they come with the genteelness and docility of the former when they flock to the wolf who isolates them from the flock, but will charge with the greatest fury against the shepherd who comes to his rescue, to kill him with his horns of self-deception.
The piety of the deceived is empty. They construct a tower out of babble, ascending up to the hazy clouds of Nimrod’s guile, thinking themselves to be in Heaven when they are truly pursuing hell.
It is quite the reality, that the devil strives to isolate the sheep from the flock, just as these reprobate cultist isolate young children from society under the deceitful pretext of “protecting ourselves from temptation,” only to seclude them to the satisfaction of the cultist’s own temptations. They put them in compounds under the guise of guidance, imprison them with ugliness and bondage and call it modesty, abuse them and esteem it discipline, ravish them and call it sacrifice. They corrupt the most sheepish amongst us, and call it innocence.
These cultists are but beasts. David Koresh, Warren Jeffs, Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russel, Muhammad, are all of the same contemptible ilk, and are but bondwomen who need to be thrown out of Jerusalem.
“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers” (Philippians 3:2)