I was raised in a cult. My parents didn’t know it, and I didn’t either. We thought we had found a wonderful homeschooling program called Advanced Training Institute (ATI). I started my studies under ATI in 1994 at the tender age of five and continued through the last year of school for me—2005. Actually, that was our family’s last year in ATI. We were seeing enough problems by then that we decided to quit ATI.
But we had no idea what was going on under the surface of ATI and its parent organization, Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP). Nor did we know the disgusting past history of IBLP and its president, Bill Gothard. Until now.
RecoveringGrace.org has been publishing some very disturbing reports of young ladies being sexually harassed by Bill. (See here and here). But between last week and this week, things have kicked up several more notches as they tell the story of the 1980 scandal that nearly closed IBLP (then Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts [IBYC]). There is still one more part to come, but it is already very, very obvious that Bill is a false prophet, deceiver, wolf in sheep’s clothing and cult leader.
If all this doesn’t sicken you, nothing will.
I believe it all proves what God has warned us about people like Bill who add to God’s commands:
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Colossians 2:18-23 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Titus 1:13-14 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
Lest, at this point, you are tempted to think that Gothard might actually be a brother in Christ, I’ll close with God’s judgment on the subject:
1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Let us each keep our eyes on Jesus and be led by Him alone, not by the commandments and doctrines of men!