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My parents told Bill that they, like Hannah, were giving me back to God. I hadn’t felt “pure” since my father took my virginity when I was eight years old.My parents hosted Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts (IBYC) seminars in California, and were deeply involved in the IBYC (later renamed the Institute in Basic Life Principles, or IBLP) way of life. I was put into Christian school there until the second half of first grade, when my Mom pulled me out to homeschool me. The Advanced Training Institute (ATI, Gothard’s homeschooling program) was just starting, so my parents were among the first hundred or so families to be enrolled in this new program when I started second grade. We went to a conference in Knoxville in July of 1992. I remember he wouldn’t let go of my hand, and he kept telling my parents how sweet, beautiful, and pure I was. My brother was working at Headquarters as the head landscaper.He insisted that I go on the first IBLP trip to Australia that October and paid for me to go.We were all so busy on the trip, I didn’t see much of him. He would drive me home so I wouldn’t walk alone to my house in the dark.He would pick me up in his blue classic car by a.m. There were others there, but they would leave, and he’d keep me with him to “talk.” It started out with him telling me how beautiful I was, how I inspired him, and how I made him feel alive. He would touch me and hug me after devotions and then take me to the eight o’clock staff meeting session. I began to have discord with my housemates, and I asked Bill to move me to a different house.He said the woman in charge of housing wouldn’t “let” him.I am a preacher’s daughter, the youngest of seven children.In the world I grew up in, the pastor and his family always had to be perfect.
While there will always be an element of “He-said/She-said” in stories of this nature, we have spent over eight months investigating this story.We have interviewed witnesses, some of whom have agreed to go on the record.Combining this investigation with what we have previously researched, we believe this to be credible.My father was so deep into Gothard’s teachings, and he preached them so much, that his church board had issues with it. He blamed this on the board not being willing to grow. My parents portrayed me to Bill as a sexual, rebellious teen who needed help—but I had only kissed a boy. Bill told them he would give me intensive counseling. I was a temptation to men; Bill Gothard told me that I had tempted my own father.I have my own theory of why he was forced out, though. He had been forced out of churches in California and New Jersey for taking indecent liberties with young girls. My father’s sexual abuse of me didn’t start until we moved to a pastorate in New Jersey, when I was seven years old and got my own room. Bill would call me into his office for “counseling and teaching.” I was open about my relationship with my boyfriend. I loved to be barefooted, and he would always comment on the shades of polish on my toes. He wanted all the details of my past sexual experiences. I craved Bill’s attention but felt guilty about the increasing touches he gave me.