The board of directors of the Institute for Basic Life Principles has placed its longtime leader Bill Gothard, 79, on “administrative leave” while the board investigates claims that he years ago engaged in sexual harassment and other misconduct.
Responding to a WORLD inquiry, board chairman Billy Boring stated, “After completion of the review the board will respond at an appropriate time, and in a biblical manner.” Until then, the statement said, Gothard “will not be involved in the operations of the ministry. The board of directors will be prayerfully appointing interim leadership.”
In the 1970s and ’80s, Gothard filled 20,000-seat auditoriums with evangelical Christians who came to hear his weeklong seminars on biblical principles and practical applications, which included warnings against rock music and exhortations to stay out of debt. His seminars, attended by more than 2.5 million people, were particularly popular with the rapidly growing homeschool community.
Today, he faces accusations of sexual misconduct by the group Recovering Grace, which has statements from 34 women regarding incidents dating back to their youth in the 1970s and thereafter. The statements concern sexual harassment and—in one case—sexual abuse that included fondling but not rape.