IL- High profile Protestant minister acted "inappropriately"
For immediate release: Thursday, June 19, 2014
A controversial Chicago-based religious group is admitting that a high profile Protestant pastor acted “inappropriately” with teenaged girls.
Our hearts ache for the dozens of women who as teens and young adults were sexually harassed by Rev. Bill Gothard. We share the hurt they must feel because Gothard's church superiors who acted so tardily and so inadequately.
Gothard should never be around kids, not now, not ever. The Institute in Basic Life Principles should fire him and do everything possible to prevent him from hurting more innocent youngsters. And they should aggressively and publicly beg others who saw, suspected or suffered Gothard's hurtful acts to come forward, get help and call police.
We strongly suspect that Gothard or his church supervisors have broken the law, either by molesting kids, destroying evidence, stonewalling police, deceiving prosecutors, endangering others or similar offenses. We beg those with any knowledge or suspicions of wrongdoing by Gothard or IBLP officials to contact law enforcement agencies promptly.
We are also very troubled by Gothard's wish to “work with and encourage young people . . . on a personal basis.” No parent should trust him. His church colleagues and supervisors should aggressively warn families about him and do all in their power to make sure he stays way from youngsters.
Finally, we applaud the courage and compassion of Kari Underwood and others who have exposed this dangerous preacher and given hope to his victims.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.