Saturday, March 10, 2012

Email comment- Is Gothard greedy?

I'm sitting here in the hospital with Rachel: she's been admitted for betamethasone to mature the baby's lungs in case of early delivery. No worries, though! She's not having more contractions or anything- this is just a precaution because she was slighly more effaced at her appointment Friday. Hopefully, she'll go home tomorrow morning.

An anonymous commenter left this comment on my last post and I think it deserves a fair answer.

AnonymousMar 9, 2012 04:49 PM
I might get pilloried for saying this but in the interest of fairness, I am unaware of any credible allegations ever being made that Bill Gothard has siphoned money from his organization for his personal benefit.

You won't get pilloried. You may be debated.
What do you consider "credible" allegations? I don't think there's a debate that he's benefitted greatly off of his ministry.
His organization is audited annually by an independent accounting firm charged with opining whether or not any financial malfeasance has taken place.

How do you know this? I ask in the spirit of fairness, as well. I would love to see this accounting you speak of. Also, while it would interest me to read an audit of the ministry's finances, it really wouldn't change my base problem with the organization and the man himself. See below.
Gothard has no personal trappings of wealth which argues against the idea that he is fleecing his flock for his own benefit.

This is where I have to take issue with your argument. He doesn't have to "siphon" or pilfer money away. It doesn't have to be illegal to be ethically questionable. He benefits from his conferences and books and organization. Whether he's living in a shack or a four bedroom, ranch style- he benefits from the hardship of others and that's wrong, in my opinion. I admit- people within ATI and the QF movement give money to him of their own will, no one is holding a gun to their head. However, I've seen how these large families scrimp and save to stay debt-free and make ends meet, and how their children go without, just so that they can go to Big Sandy or a conference. I've watched my own siblings shiver because we "purposed" to use less heating oil. And, yes, Gothard used to encourage families to "do whatever it took" to "participate fully" in his ministry. Was it his fault? Perhaps, not. I mean, you would be justified in arguing that my parents got carried away, too. But, it's also maddening to think that a single, childless man would be in a position to sway families like he does.

I'm unaware of any former IBLP insiders who have ever alleged financial impropriety on the part of Gothard.

Again, it doesn't have to be "impropriety". What about just "common decency"? The man encourages people to trust in the Lord...but buy his books while you're at it. Trust in the Lord...but educate your kids using this proprietary system of teaching that he profits from. Trust in the Lord...but support all of these friends of his that he gets kickbacks from. Again, it doesn't have to be illegal to fail the sniff test.

I'd be interested in seeing any contradictory evidence. Could it be that no credible news organization has "blown the cover off Gothard's scam" because, after investigating, they have concluded that there is no scam?

Who said it was a scam?
Look, I know Gothard has a legitimate business set-up. But, so does Amway. There are many companies that play by all the tax rules and run like a real businesss. But, they're just that- a business- and no one pretends otherwise. The company that makes Tylenol doesn't guarantee that taking their medication will lead you to a heavenly kingdom or protect your family or lead to spiritual satisfaction. Tylenol says, "Hey! If you have a headache, we can alleviate some of your pain." They also put a warning on the back of the bottle telling you not to abuse the medication and to get real help if it's not working. Gothard doesn't do that. He says, "If you live by these character traits and buy my books and educate your kids with my system and conferences, you'll be more right with God." Um. Who is he to sell that?


I understand that some people disagree with his teachings. However, it seems hugely unfair to the man to make unfounded allegations concerning his financial propriety simply because of those teachings. Gothard may have a number of faults, but I don't think greed is one of them.

Have you ever had the man in your house? I have. I think it's hugely unfair to the kids who grew up in that system who had experiences like mine to suggest that, just because he doesn't drive a Porsche, that he's a swell guy. To each his own, I suppose. And, he's certainly not wanting for anything.

I am truly sympathetic to Ruth's plight and the pain caused by the actions of her father. However, I would challenge anyone to cite any of Gothard's published teachings which could be reasonably construed as endorsing Ruth's father's behavior with regard to Ruth and Rachel. It just doesn't seem fair to attribute the actions of an unloving, maniachial, control freak to Gothard merely because he purports to be a Gothard adherent.


Did you read the article? His teachings ARE questionable. His statements are hurtful and can be damaging. Not only did his teachings endorse my father's way,...the man himself endorsed my father's way privately and held it up as a standard for others to follow. As I said from the beginning, my dad was there from day one...back in the "Youth Conflict" days. The scary part is: my dad isn't the exception, he's part of the norm in this environment.

59 comments:

  1. I don't have a much to add to that, but this use of "purpose" as verb, like this - "I've watched my own siblings shiver because we 'purposed' to use less heating oil." - is making me completely crazy. I know, it's English, it's one of the most mutable languages on Earth, and we use nouns as verbs and verbs as nouns all the time, but why do it with this one? There are perfectly good words already in use that describe the same concept: "choose," or "decide," or even "set out."

    Okay, random language rant done now.

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    1. It's Christianese. That's just how we talk sometimes. Along with saying using "covenant" as a verb, or saying, "I had a peace about it," instead of, "I had peace about it."

      A Christian is someone that speaketh funny. :-)

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    2. Scratch the first "saying" in that comment. I don't proofread very well this late at night.

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    3. I see what you mean, but I feel compelled to point out that even most Christians don't use the word as a verb. It seems to be a social marker for a specific subset of Christianity.

      ...And there isn't anything wrong with that, really. But the first time I ran into it, it was profoundly confusing - not least because the person using apparently had no idea that not everybody uses the word that way.

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    4. I don't think that "purpose" used in this way may be more Gothardese than Christianese.

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    5. oops. I ment to say do think, not don't think.

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    6. Cults often come up with their own set of vocabulary or use words in strange ways.

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  2. Here's to Rachel coming home tomorrow and no more contractions. (I had early contractions with #2 and spent the night in a room in labor and delivery. I told my husband it sounded like a no tell motel with all that moaning and groaning going on. She was due May 19th, born May 6th, and I had to quit my tax job the last week of tax filing. Not a happy camper was I. 8-p)

    Gothard doesn't want for anything. That huge property he's got in Michigan isn't just for families to send their errant daughters to for Journey of the Heart brainwashing. It's a very cushy cabin for him. It's his way or the highway, and that's exactly what Amway teaches too. Funny that the founders of Amway were good friends with Bill.

    Hugs to Rachel and here's hoping for a late April birthday!

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  3. As a young man forced by his parents to take part in one of the first trips to the Guadalajara "Training Center" because God told Bill that I was to go, I'd question any assertion that Bill does not afford himself luxuries while claiming them to be in service of some ministry. The GTC was not an abandoned hotel, but a multi-million dollar mansion overlooking the largest lake in Mexico, walled off and protected with several guardhouses. We were forbidden to enter an entire wing or portions of the second floor because those were "Mr. Gothard's quarters". I remember trying to mentally reconcile the "old blue car" with the opulent mansion and shaking my head.
    As a side note, back in that year, when Mexico was the up in coming model character nation to be a light unto the world(not Peru 2012), and BG was justifying the purchase of the marble mansion, he imparted the divinely-given insight that it was Mexico we were to bring into the fold because brown people could better take the message to other brown people rather than caucasians. Also, God revealed we were to embrace illegal immigrants as being in the United States by God's will, because Gothard believed the number of illegal immigrants...which I assume he assumed were all Mexican, coincided with the number of aborted children in the US, and that God was giving over His blessing to those here illegally because we had cut them off. And when you fast for a month in the luxury lodge in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, you too can find these revelations written into the Scripture.

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  4. Just a girl from FJMarch 10, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Ruth, please let us do a paypal/gift card baby shower for Rachel! I think it would lift her spirits. Please, please, please let us do this. If you want to make an amazon wish list for Rachel, we could just pick things off of that, too. Come on, readers and coffee fiend friends! Let's do this! Rachel is making a brave decision. I've made that decision and the best thing my family did for me was throw me a shower to shower me with love. Is anyone else in?

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    1. Yes, we would like to give her a....what's that phrase? Oh yes, a "love offering"

      Just a few little creature comforts and treats for you both.

      Please, let us?

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    2. I think that's a fantastic idea. Rachel is getting ready to start a whole new life, and I'd love to be able to help set her on her way.

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  5. Just a girl, I'm in!

    Michael, it is common in fundamentalist Christian circles to use purposed as a verb meaning to deliberately choose to set out on a course of action. Just another one of those language/culture differences.

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    1. Yeah, I can see it - but boy howdy, having never seen "purpose" used a verb before, it made the sentence "Purpose to find HIS purpose" darn near indecipherable.

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    3. Trying this again, while resolving to proofread better:

      I've never been able to figure out whether the use of familiar words in unfamiliar ways is a way to set the insiders apart from the outsiders, or the result of poor vocabulary on the part of the people who coin the neologisms, because the word "resolve" would work perfectly well in the context of "I've watched my own siblings shiver because we 'purposed' to use less heating oil".

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    4. Michael, II Cor. 9:7 says Christians are to give as theyare "purposed" in their hearts. Now, I don't know what original Greek word was translated to be "purposed," but that's where the use of the word comes from.

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  6. I didn't grow up in this lifestyle, but I do study religious and social movements. When we look at groups and try to evaluate them as potential cults, these are some of the following characteristics... I'm pulling these from the material I use and they are used for evaluating all sorts of groups. The following are all classic cult behaviors:
    1) Cults usually no not allow for internal criticism of the group. Dissention usually results in expulsion.
    2) The group usually tries to keep internal tension high and erode individualism
    3) Differences between insiders and outsiders are emphasized
    4) Leaders emphasize loyalty only to the leader and work to minimize other networks in the group that can challenge that relationship
    5) Leader refuse to acknowledge external secular authority like government (this allowed the group to act as they choose)
    6) Knowledge centralized with only truth coming from the leader
    7) Secretive leaders are accepted because they have special knowledge
    8) Ideas of the group cannot be questioned because they are from a higher powers and if you do question them, you question their entire way of life
    9) Roles and rules have little to no flexibility
    10) Monitoring and Modeling are frequent with little to no slack. Spying on members in the group and reporting to leader is encouraged.

    From what I've read, I think BG falls into alot of these categories, and I'd love to hear what others think about it.

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  7. Although my family wasn't in ATI, we were influenced by many of the materials, and I even attended music training at the Indianapolis Training Center in my late teens. There is definitely more to it than the "published materials" that the commenter kept mentioning. There is a whole culture of rules that are strange and non-negotiable. The requirement to wear pantyhose and close-toed shoes to even step out of my room on the all-girls floor....that really confused me (foot fetish much, Gothard?). Besides that, there was the limiting of outside contact, including mail, phone calls, and trips to town. Not to mention the video-monitored "prayer room" for solitary confinement of non-compliant people (although it was usually used to control the juvenile delinquents who were placed at the ITC for treatment). Is that system not a blatant attempt to brainwash and control people? Screw the published materials! This system was set up by Bill Gothard and continued operating under his direction...he even visited several times during my time there.

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    1. I would not send any child of mine anywhere, or go anywhere, that seriously restricted outside (or at least family/friends) contact. It's a recipe for abuse.

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    2. Yeah, the only exception to my "limited outside contact" resistance is something like military training; not only are those in training getting paid, receiving medical care as necessary, and fed, the contact is only limited -- and that limit decreases as time goes on (i.e., there's 5 minutes each the first week for the phones, by third week letters can be written during half an hour daily free time, by the end of boot camp, most of the weekend is free time). But that's expected -- anyone who enlists knows what they're getting into, the weekly schedule is available, and it's a very temporary situation.

      These schools and "training programs" that claim to be positive and happy places but abuse the children, teens, and adults who end up there? Not okay. Not the same.

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  8. Ruth,
    I am a long-time lurker, first-time commenter, and I just want to say, "bravo" to this post. I admire your critical-thinking ability, your eloquence, and your courage. Your response here was excellently stated--so much so that I felt compelled, for the first time, to join the fray by actually saying so.

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  9. Good on you. I thought that commenter was disingenuous in the extreme; if they had bothered to read any part of your blog, or the article you were talking about, they would see plenty of "specific evidence" of the danger in Gothard's teachings. Pah.

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  10. At least some of the institute's financial records are available online at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/1084523/IBLP990s-20022006

    I think this is just a part of the picture because I would expect the other branches (Alert, Character First, etc) to be incorporated in other states and have separate records.

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  11. As far as whether Gothard is directly responsible for the actions and attitudes of Ruth's father, I say yes. Obviously you won't find chapter and verse in Gothard writings to support what dad has done and said, but Gothard is fully aware of the kind of community he has created and consistently feeds that community whatever is necessary to keep the judgmentalism and comparisons going.

    This isn't new. If Gothard wanted to change the flavor of his organization and the message for the families, he has had, what?, 35 years to do it. Even after suicides, murders, adulteries, and whatever, the message is still basically the same. Yes, I would hold him responsible.

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  12. Hi Ruth,

    Well, this is a fine mess I’ve gotten myself into. I suppose that I should have realized that you’d most likely be reading the comments to your own blog. I’d like to apologize for being so dense. Understandably, for you, this issue is more than just an objective debate over Bill Gothard’s true ministry motivations. My wife read my earlier comment and said, “So, let me get this right, knowing what Ruth has gone through, you really thought that this was the appropriate forum to defend Bill Gothard?” Ouch. Hey, wait a second, I thought I was supposed to be the hammer and she the chisel.

    I’ll respond to the points and questions in your post relating to the financial issue because it sounds like you’re inviting me to do so. On the issue of the objective nature of the article and whether Gothard’s teachings are questionable, I should let you have the last word. You’ve certainly earned it from all that you’ve lived through. I’m sorry again for causing you any unnecessary grief.

    “I don't think there's a debate that he's benefited greatly off of his ministry.”
    I think that there is. His only financial benefit from his ministry for as long as it has existed is his modest annual salary (less than $80,000 per year). As you point out, the ministry sells millions of dollars of books and resources that he has written. Had he personally retained ownership of those books and resources and pocketed the profits he’d be extremely wealthy. He hasn’t. All revenues from those sales go into IBLP from which he receives nothing other than his salary. Many “ministry leaders” do exactly what you suggest, personally retain all publication and seminar royalties and fees. Gothard doesn’t. In fact, he has arranged his nonprofit status in such a way that it would be illegal for him to take any of those monies or otherwise personally use or benefit from his organization’s assets.

    “How do you know this? I ask in the spirit of fairness, as well. I would love to see this accounting you speak of.”
    That information is on the IBLP website. They are a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability requires its members to adhere to certain financial standards and annually provide an independent auditor’s report stating that they meet those standards to remain a member in good standing. The IBLP website lists the name of the independent auditor. I think that you can obtain a copy of their most recent financial statement and auditor’s report by requesting it from the ECFA. I believe it’s also a membership requirement that a member make available this report to anyone who asks.

    I do admire what you've been able to overcome in your life. No daughter should have to go through what you have gone through. You are a gifted writer with a bright future (no, that's not just my trying to climb out of the hole I dug for myself by saying something nice).

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    1. Tell me then, who owns the private jet? Northwoods? (Don't bother with the latter, I've read the story about Gothard's purchase of the property back in the late 70's/early 80's).

      I'm sure he's got quite a pile stashed away somewhere; he can live off a paltry 80 grand/yr. if everything else is a religious tax shelter/write off.

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    2. Anon, every year my husband gets a paper stating all the "benefits" his employer gives him, including his base salary. If you looked at that paper, you'd think we were in a high tax bracket. The last one they gave us had total benefits at over 6 figures! Made my eyes pop!

      How much of that do we see? As much as my husband makes in hourly wages, minus taxes, dues, Social Security, health isurance, and other sundry items. So the amount that ends up in his W2 forms is probably two thirds of that whopper number.

      All this to say that what you see isn't the whole picure. Others have mentioned other properties, paying for travel, food, clothes, and a lot of other perks that -- if you put them together in a form like the one my husband gets -- would add up to much more than $80K. What's more, as a single man, his personal cost of living is far lower than those of his married-with-umpteen-children followers, especially when you take into account they are sacrificing necessities to follow his directions on debt and purchasing the books, seminars, et al. that keep them in good standing with ATI.

      As others have already said, legal =/= moral.

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    3. Anonymous, you have a very flattering view of the accounting profession. Please allow me to moderate it a little.

      I am an accountant - I have a masters in accounting and hold a CPA license from the state I live in. I have worked as an auditor for two accounting firms, on audits of publicly and privately held corporations. I currently work in-house at a small non-profit corporation.

      An auditor's report on financial statements is quite limited. We certify, based upon our audit, that the financial statements "present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of [Company] as of [Year End] and the changes in its net assets and cash flows for the year then ended in conformity with accounting principles accepted in the United States of America."

      This report does not certify:
      - The reasonableness of compensation given to employees at any level of the organization.
      - The reasonableness of perquisites (i.e., use of company property) allowed to employees at any level.
      - Any information at all about the company's customer base.
      - An opinion as to the morality of the company, its employees, strategies, marketing tactics, or anything else.

      These questions are not part of an accountant's work. We make reasonable attempts to verify what is said in financial statements, and then we state that we have done so. That's it. All of these other judgments are good questions, but as an auditor, I do not answer them.

      Were I to be asked whether Bill Gothard is fairly compensated (a question that I could personally give an opinion about, but would not, ever, encounter professionally), I would want to examine everything. What salary does he receive? Does he receive retirement benefits? What do other employees of the company receive, and how do those amounts compare? Does he get to use a private jet? Just on company business or whenever he wants? Is he ever required to pay for its use? Does the organization provide his residence, and if so, what's it like? Where is it in relation to where the work of the organization is done? What benefits does Bill Gothard provide to the organization?

      And if I were to engage in an even more important question of personal opinion - "should Christian families pay the quoted prices for Bill Gothard's schooling materials, retreats, and all that?" - I would want to look at even more information, and I might come up with a pretty chilling answer.

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  13. You know, Anonymous, if I were you I'd stop digging because that hole is just getting deeper and deeper . . . you didn't think she'd read her own comments? Lease a clue, Mister.

    Do you have any idea how incredibly patronising you sound?

    Quoting your wife, who by the way, appears to have more sense than you do, does not make you sound any less patronising, nor does it give any sort of validation to your argument. And hey, she told you to back off. Why not take that good advice?

    'I should let you have the last word'? So very, very kind and condescending of you. How extremely gracious to admit that Ruth might possibly know what she is talking about. What do you want, a pat on the head for being kind to the little woman?

    And oh look - you're STILL defending Bill Gothard. How much is he paying you? You're obviously close enough to know exactly what's going on: do you hold the post of his public relations advisor?

    And Ruth does not need a sexist, chauvinist, fawning lickspittle like you to tell her she's 'a gifted writer with a bright future'

    Why not do the decent thing and just say - 'I'm sorry, I was wrong to defend Bill Gothard on the blog of a woman whose father has been with him for years and made his family miserable because of it, whose life has been majorly affected by the teachings he SELLS, and whose sister (expelled from and shamed by her family because she went against his teachings) is currently on bedrest trying to retain a foetus accidentally conceived at one of his camps because of the ignorance HE mandates should be the fundamental state of all women.'

    Oh grow up. Gothard is an abuser. And if you defend him, that males you an abuser too.

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  14. MAKES you an abuser . . . Freudian slip there, perhaps.

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  15. I just have a question - why do you spell your sister Rebekka's name so many different ways? Earlier, you would spell it Rebekkah. Other times, you shortened it, but instead of "Bekka" or "Bekkah", you used "Becca"?

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    1. Probably because it's not her real name. Ruth has said that she created pseudonyms for all of her sisters. Why does it matter to you?

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  16. "His only financial benefit from his ministry for as long as it has existed is his modest annual salary (less than $80,000 per year). As you point out, the ministry sells millions of dollars of books and resources that he has written. Had he personally retained ownership of those books and resources and pocketed the profits he’d be extremely wealthy. He hasn’t. All revenues from those sales go into IBLP from which he receives nothing other than his salary."

    So he pays for everything himself out of his salary? Who owns the properties he lives at? Who pays for his trips? Who pays for his food?

    Another thing to realize is that money isn't the only thing he profits by. Power is worth it's weight in gold to some people and from the way IBLP is structured, he has more 'gold' than King Midas!

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    1. Great points. And since when is $80k per year for a single man with no dependents "modest," anyway? We've supported a family of four for many years on far less.

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  17. Let's just end some of this nonsense. The salary that a person takes from a corporation they own is only a fraction of the benefits. Cars, himes, travel and acomodations are all "expenses". Not only are the not listed as salary, but they are tax-deductible expenses. Also included may be clothing (reqiired for his appearances), medical expenses, utility bills, furniture (for his offices), rented or owned proerties, hired help like maids, drivers, etc..

    Basically, mr. Gothard gets his 80K AFTER he has spent company money on all of the above. And all of those things are tax deductilbe.

    The whole ruse about the low salary taken by owners of corprations, be they profit or non is an old and tired tale. Sell it elswhere, dude.

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  18. "AnonymousMar 12, 2012 07:06 PM
    I just have a question - why do you spell your sister Rebekka's name so many different ways? Earlier, you would spell it Rebekkah. Other times, you shortened it, but instead of "Bekka" or "Bekkah", you used "Becca"?"

    All the family names used on this blog are psuedonyms, so she probably changes up the spellings... signed, Rebekah (completely unrelated to Ruth..only know her from TWOP and this blog).

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  20. Hi Ruth,
    I'm an italian journalist and i'm writing an article about QF/ATI families. I'd like to contact you in private. Can you send me an email? my email address is: lino@ilpost.it

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    1. You can reach Ruth at her e-mail address listed on the blog: It's not that hard.

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  21. If i asked it's because i can't seem to find it. I do feel like an idiot right now but could you help?

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    1. I don't know what Look is talking about--I've never seen an email address listed on this blog. This is the address Ruth uses for PayPal: razingruthpal@gmail.com

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    2. The address for contacting Ruth is razingruth at gmail.com

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  22. Did you know there's a picture of your family in the Duggar home slideshow? It looks like an older picture but you're not in it so it can't be too old. Go look.

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    1. Which slideshow are you referring to?

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    2. Go to the TLC site and pick the "home tour" or whatever. There's a picture in the slideshow that has Ruth's family without Ruth but with Rachel from a few years ago. Not very smart Ruth to have friends like the Duggars and try to be anonomous. Look for the older parents with a baby and large age gap to bigger kids. That's the Razings Ruths.
      I know Ruth's family in real life. They're great.

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    3. How rude gretchen. There was no reason for you to post this, it is very disrespectful. You know that Ruth has tried to maintain her anonymity. Who are you trying to hurt Ruth or her family?

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    4. "Great" parents do not deny their children a well-rounded education or social skills. They do not force their children to marry. They do not groom their children for abusers. They do not cast out a daughter who's fallen on hard times-- because of their own shoddy education and training, no less! They're monsters, and so are you. How dare you come here and say these things, and try to out someone who is doing her best to educate people while protecting her own life and siblings? You're a sociopath, Gretchen.

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    5. Gretchen,
      Crawl back in the hole you came from.

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    6. Ruth, please see if you can block "gretchen's" ip address, you don't need any trouble from this jerk---how unkind.

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  23. Hey Ruth, thanks for your blog. I was also raised ATI and eventually completely rejected by my family. I'm sorry for all you're going through and I'm proud that you're pursuing your dreams!

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  24. Intersting, Ruth. I'm staggered by the cost of the program, the retreats, the required clothing, the grind your own wheat bread, the no debt no matter what. I know more people live in grinding poverty than ever lived like the Duggars do today in that program, but I really cannot comprehend how some of these families even eat.

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  25. Gretchen, Ruth has explained that she wants to remain anonymous. You should respect her wishes.

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  26. Ruth, I hope you can block Gretchen from posting. She sems to be a lose cannon who is hell-bent on exposing you. How dare you Gretchen! You are mean and spiteful! Go away before someone drops a house on you. -PAM

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  27. Ruth, was your dad raised in a patriarchal-type family? just curious as to why he took up gothardism so fervently. I know from previous posts that your mom wasn't. Do you have a relationship with her side of the family?

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  28. Gretchen is a troll...you know they come on here from time to time. It's to be expected of any cult that is trying to keep the "status quo" from being over-turned.
    -Sue

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  29. For what its worth I'd compare Gothard to the late Yasir Arafat and other extremist leaders. They say one thing in public and publish things that aren't "threatening" but may be laced with messages that are only seen by their followers. But then in private where only like minded ears are hearing it they espouse their truly dangerous ideas. Perhaps Gothard hasn't PUBLISHED anything especially noxious but I very much doubt he's censoring himself during the conferences and camps and private talks. There he is surrounded by people who wouldn't betray him and who wouldn't spread his real word out there.

    Is there value to his character qualities? Perhaps. I think in some areas where children are not given the luxury of stable home lives they may not understand the idea of character and could benefit from being taught it in schools. That being said I think his idea is interesting and worthy of exploration but I wonder how valid the actual execution is. I'd like to see some qualified PhDs in child psychology put out their take on public school character building.


    Also, I don't care how someone spends their money. I do care when that money is derived from a less than honest way. Gothard is no different than those televangelists. Perhaps his house and car are more modest, but he's still wrung money out of people who don't have it via guilt and intimidation. And the kids sent to his camps are forced via guilt to "fast" and pray and reveal their innermost feelings so that they can be punished for it. That's really very wrong. To think that parents would pay for this is insane. If they want to pay for camp that's fine but camp is about having fun and making friends not beating down children. If he made so much as a penny from the degradation of a child who had no choice but to go to one these camps then he made his money in an unholy and unethical way. period.

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