Colonial dating and courtship
In this kind of environment, few hear from those who have experienced abuse.
Instead, these dissenters are silently edged out of the group before anyone has the chance to consider the truth of their position.
The famous “umbrella of protection” provides an effective example of the way of life approved by Gothard and his followers.
You are not supposed to be making your own choices; that is up to the person in charge of you.
Gothard is famous for the totalitarian level of prescriptive control he exerts over his followers.
There are prescriptions for proper marital abstinence, the way to apply cosmetics, how to run the household, and how to create a grocery list.
Inappropriate behavior by Bill Gothard or Gothard leadership? Many more learned than I have better explained the many hermeneutic problems with Bill Gothard’s teachings.
The person who takes a position of even slightly questioning—such as reporting sexual misconduct—must be opposed and blacklisted immediately.
Though I hadn’t ever subscribed to Gothard’s message, it was still a shock to me that he was alleged to be guilty of sexual harassment. But once I began to consider the issue in light of my experience working with survivors of sexual abuse, it all began to make a great deal of sense.
My parents had spoken with me about some of the things that were “off” about Gothard’s message, most notably that a single man had so much to say on marriage and child-rearing. The reality is that the essential nature of a fundamentalist society like “Gothardism” functions to shelter and sometimes even perpetuate sexual abuse.
Without an objective standard, it just becomes your word against theirs.
The fact that Bill Gothard’s teachings are subjective is made doubly destructive by the fact that, though they are based on one man’s opinions, they are presented as being taken straight from the Bible.