D.L. Chandler

Hobby Lobby Donated Funds To Cult Minister Accused Of Molestation


Religious conservatives and pro-family advocates rejoiced Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled family-owned companies won’t have to pay for contraceptives. Hobby Lobby, one of the companies at the center of the matter, funded the movement of a controversial minister accused of running a cult and molesting a number of women.

Bill Gothard founded the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) in 1961, which is known for teaching conservative values, promoting homeschooling and large families. Gothard’s institute has been in decline since 2009, and he has stepped down as the president of the group this year amid allegations of sexual misconduct involving 34 women.

Hobby Lobby, which is a national craft store chain and its owners the Green family, funded the IBLP for over a decade. An investigative report from Mother Jones takes care to unveil the lucrative Green and Gothard connection, which also highlighted former members of Gothard’s group who have come forward by way of the Recovering Grace organization.

More from Mother Jones:

Gothard made national news in March when he resigned from the Institute after a website posted the accounts of more than 30 women who accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching. One of his accusers said he molested her when she was 17. In a statement he issued in April, Gothard noted, “God has brought me to a place of greater brokenness than at any other time in my life…I have asked the Lord to reveal the underlying causes and He is doing this.”

Gothard further stated, “My actions of holding of hands, hugs, and touching of feet or hair with young ladies crossed the boundaries of discretion and were wrong.” But he claimed, “I have never kissed a girl nor have I touched a girl immorally or with sexual intent.” Testimonials of the accusers, which include tales of creepy and harrowing encounters with Gothard, suggest otherwise.

The Duggar family, stars of the reality TV series 19 and Counting, were once part of Gothard’s ministry and was asked by one of the victims to distance themselves which they’ve done. Gothard’s past supporters also include Mike Huckabee, Sarah Pallin and other extreme Right figures.

Gothard has denied any wrongdoing to Mother Jones, even though he’s apologized repeatedly.

This basically means Gothard needs more people.


Photo: DangApricot/Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

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