The founder of the center where Josh Duggar received treatment following the revelation that he was molesting his sisters has been accused once again of sexual abuse by former followers. The founder, Bill Gothard, has close ties to the Duggar family, who have sent their children to the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), which also is the parent company of the homeschooling curriculum the Duggar family uses.
The IBLP was founded by Bill Gothard, who was accused in 2014 of sexually assaulting students he was “counseling” at the institute. Following the allegations, Gothard stepped down from his role in the IBLP, but the troubles have not stopped for the previously praised minister. A new lawsuit has been filed by eight new plaintiffs claiming that Gothard sexually assaulted them while under his counseling care at the institute and that they were forced to work for little to no pay.
Bill Gothard was followed closely by the Duggar family, who adhered to his every teaching. From utilizing his Christian homeschooling program to ensuring all girls in the household had Gothard’s favorite hairstyle, a long perm, the Duggars were firm believers in the Gothard way of life. However, in 2014, the family backed away from some of the more outward Gothard principles such as taming their hair and choosing a more modern choice in clothing.
With Bill Gothard making headlines for all the wrong reasons, the Duggar’s favorite minister stepped away from the Institute in Basic Life Principles. The IBLP has an interesting place in Duggar history, as it was the place Josh Duggar was sent for treatment and counseling after it was discovered he had molested four of his sisters and a family friend. Josh admitted to touching his sisters over their clothing inappropriately and was sent to the IBLP to treat his “sin nature.” Upon return, the Duggar sisters allegedly forgave their brother for the molestation and the Duggars continued on to have a successful run in reality television thanks to TLC and their hit series 19 Kids and Counting.
However, everything would change for the Duggars when the molestation was revealed to the pubic and Josh Duggar’s skeletons started flying from the closet. In addition to learning the past problems the Duggar family faced, it was also uncovered that Josh Duggar still had a problem with pornography and that he was not faithful to his wife, Anna. As a result, Josh was sent to another Christian treatment facility.
Meanwhile, problems continue to stir for Gothard as new sexual abuse allegations rear their head. The New York Daily News reports that two of the plaintiffs in a sexual abuse case against Gothard have come forward to detail the abuse they allegedly faced at the hands of the minister. Joy Simmons and Jennifer Spurlock say that Bill Gothard sexually abused them by inappropriate touching when they were under his counseling care at the IBLP. The women say that as teens, Gothard took them under his wing and counseled them on their sins forcing them to graphically detail sexual assaults against them before the minister allegedly began touching their thighs and vagina over their clothing. The girls say they were known as “Gothard girls,” which was considered a “respected” position and that everyone knew what was going on but did nothing about it.
In addition to the sexual assault, the women say Gothard also forced them to work nonstop without pay or any form of compensation aside from his spiritual counseling. Spurlock says her education was ripped from her as Gothard was not educating the teens under his care but rather using them as an unpaid workforce and for his sexual satisfaction.
“To have your education ripped from you and to have your childhood ripped from you, it’s extremely difficult. It’s just evil.”
Now the victims are coming forward, eight in total, to seek compensation for their lost wages and counseling needed to overcome the abuse. Each plaintiff is requesting $50,000 from Gothard, but the victims say no amount of compensation can undo what was done to them while they were under Gothard’s care.
NOT SURPRISING Two women detail sex abuse allegations against Bill Gothard (tied to Duggars) https://t.co/yS19eoqfXx
— Dakota (@doodlebug0) February 19, 2016
What do you think about the Duggar family continuing to support IBLP and the Gothard homeschooling program despite all of the claims against its founder Bill Gothard?
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