A Case for Calling the Duggars ATI Rather Than Quiverfull


I wrote recently about some of the many definitional issues surrounding the term "quiverfull." If you have not already read that post, you can do so here. But in this post I want to go farther and argue that we need to be calling the Duggars ATI, not quiverfull, because their primary identification is with Bill Gothard's Advanced Training Institute and their quiverfull beliefs stem from that organization. More generally, I would argue that accuracy demands that we be clear about what leaders and … [Read more...]

Breaking: Leadership of Josh Duggar’s Treatment Center Allegedly Involved in Sex Abuse Coverup


Earlier this week Josh Duggar checked into Reformers Unanimous (RU), a Christian residential addiction treatment program in Rockford, Illinois, run by North Love Baptist Church and co-founded by the church's authoritarian Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) pastor, Paul Kingsbury. Over the past twenty-four-hours, I have spoken with a number of individuals involved with or affected by either North Love or Kingsbury. Of primary importance are allegations that Kingsbury is actively su … [Read more...]

It’s Not Just about Josh Duggar (Some Compiled Readings)


In the aftermath of the revelation that Josh Duggar had an Ashley Madison account, I want to pause to promote some articles making some good points. First and foremost is this absolutely superb blog post by Elizabeth Esther, who points out that this is not just about Josh Duggar:This isn't just about Josh Duggar. It's about an entire system of abuse (see also my article for TIME magazine). This isn't just about one guy's sexual screw-ups. It's about American Christian culture as a WHOLE and … [Read more...]

Are Women Biblically Required to “Cry Out” During Rape?


Yesterday we looked at Gothard's advice for young women in how to repel a "moral" attack (i.e., what to do if you are sexually assaulted). I want to take another look, for two reasons. First, Gothard actually misquotes the Bible, mashing verses together in such a way as to make the Bible say things it directly doesn't. I do not understand how he can do this and yet be so revered by so many as a man who loves and teaches the Bible. Second, Gothard isn't the only one to use apply these verses to … [Read more...]

Bill Gothard Explains Road Safety (aka How Not to Get Raped)


Do you remember when that Saudi historian said that western women drive because they don't mind getting raped? He used the danger that occurs when a woman's car breaks down, leaving her open to sexual assault by any passerby, as a rationale for maintaining the Saudi ban on women driving. Well. Watch as this road safety module produced by Bill Gothard's Advanced Training Institute (a program for fundamentalist homeschoolers) takes a weird turn.(I was sent this module via Wende Benner of H … [Read more...]

Sexual Predator Bill Gothard Defends Josh Duggar


Bill Gothard has come out in defense of Josh Duggar.'This is really quite different to what you think. It has been overblown, it is not like he is a sexual predator, he was a teenage boy. 'What he did, touching over the clothing, is not nearly what you think it is. It was wrong, but unfortunately there's a lot of this going on in many families today.'So does everyone remember when Gothard resigned from leadership of IBLP eighteen months ago after dozens of women accused him of … [Read more...]

What Did Josh Duggar’s Counseling Look Like?

By Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP staff.) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This week the news broke that Josh Duggar sexually molested at least five girls in two families while he was a teen. I can't say for sure what Josh Duggar's counseling looked like, though it appears it was handled in-house, through the family and likely also through the church and Christian ministries the family follows, such as Bill Gothard's Advanced Training Institute (ATI). What I can do is speak to the sort of counseling Bill Gothard and ATI provide.The Duggars have long been avid foll … [Read more...]