We have sought counsel from trusted advisors, and have spent many hours in prayerful consideration before publishing this story.
My three brothers who were closest to me in age were attending college back in Indiana at the time, but my parents pulled them out of college when we joined ATI. I was in awe as I listened to the man whom I had been told was responsible for me being alive tell my parents that he wanted me to come to Headquarters. The youngest of seven children, a preacher’s daughter? I fussed so much about wanting to be outside that I became one of the first girls to work on the landscape crew. He pushed me to take a job near him, inside, but I wouldn’t.One of my brothers went straight to the IBLP Headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, to help with landscaping. What did I have to offer him, this man whom my mother almost worshiped and my father would preach about in his sermons? By mid-August I was at IBLP Headquarters by his request. My parents had told Bill about my attitude, about the boy I was seeing, and about how immoral we were for simply kissing. He knew what my father had done to me, but he called me into repentance for my own sins without confronting my father or addressing his sin.It all came to a head one night when I told one of my housemates about the long hugs Bill gave me.She got very upset and told me that I was lying, that Bill would never touch a woman.When we got back from Australia he added counseling after-hours, at night. He gave me cash and told me to buy bras that pushed me up more; he wanted me to always wear them when I was around him. He would hold my hand and rub my leg and tell me not to tell anyone about what we did in his car. I was known as Bill’s “pet.” I loved the attention, but I felt dirty.
We would meet after dinner in his office around 7 or 8 p.m. But a part of me thought this was how I was to treat “godly” men. I was turned on by Bill, but I also felt terribly guilty.
She was so upset that she reported it to one of the staff leaders.
Next thing I knew, I was called into a disciplinary meeting with a couple of senior staff members and Bill, and they confronted me about my claims.
My parents told Gothard that, because of him, they were convicted to have more children.
I was born in 1975, and from the get go I was told that I was special—the seventh child, God’s perfect number—and that I owed my life to Bill Gothard.
I am a preacher’s daughter, the youngest of seven children.