Thursday, February 24, 2011

#155.5: Bill Gothard

William W. Gothard stands to Pat Robertson roughly as Ray Comfort stands to Bill Dembski. He is a minister, writer, and speaker, and the founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBPL).

A staunch defender of homeschooling (to avoid having kids exposed to, you know, such satanic values as tolerance, truth, dignity, rationality, reason, sanity, evidence-based justification, sympathy, humanism and reality), Gothard and his organization publishes homeschooling material (such as “Men’s Manual” and “Our Jealous God”). Gothard’s teachings prohibit dating and rock music (including Christian rock, which is a redeeming feature, I guess, but hardly sufficient to take his name off the loon list). On the other hand, women working outside the home are characterized as “evil”. He also has a slightly curious obsession with certain toys (Cabbage Patch dolls can cause “strange, destructive behavior"). Matthew Murray was raised using Gothard’s curriculum, and he got famous. Other people who have been associated with his organization are “Taliban Dan” Webster and Sarah Palin, though the latter’s connection is admittedly a little tenuous.
To top it, Gothard claims that diseases have spiritual roots, and modern medicine is Satan’s work. You can read more about Gothard’s teachings here.
Diagnosis: The cartoon version of Pat Robertson, cultmaster Bill Gothard is so irredeemably insane that it is hard to believe he is real. Yet he is, and he continues to ensure that people’s lives are ruined at a frighteningly rapid pace. A real threat to sanity and civilization.


  1. A fair but polite assessment can be found here.

  2. There is what seems to become a very nice analysis of parts of Gothard's work here.

  3. I'm working at completing that series but have been pulled away for a time. I'm getting back to it shortly.

    Thanks for linking to it!

  4. Gothard is facing a lawsuit for the way he treated a number of young teenaged girls and women at IBLP. I think his credibility is rather null at this point.