New Gothard Revelations Hint at BJU’s Ugly History of Abuse

Recovering Grace, a website dedicated to publishing documents and stories related to abuse in Bill Gothard’s various organizations, has recently unearthed a few troubling tidbits that point to similarly abusive tactics used at BJU over the years.

Recovering Grace has been in operation since 2011, but has made headlines in recent weeks because its revelations finally reached critical mass, resulting in Gothard being put on administrative leave by his ministry, the Institute in Basic Life Principles (known as the Institue in Basic Youth Conflicts during its early days). You can read more about this news from the Washington Post and the Huffington Post, among many others.

The scandal involves a wide array of allegations spanning decades. According to dozens of victims who’ve told their stories on Recovering Grace and in its comments, Gothard and other IBYC leaders used their “spiritual authority” to control, abuse and manipulate employees, mainly young women. Gothard himself stands accused of sexual harassment and failure to report child abuse, among other things.

An investigation of this scale necessarily implicates more than one organization, and in this case BJU is among those named. In 1980, two BJU officials (only one is named, a Rev. Van Gelderen) were summoned by Gothard to help him downplay a scandal that was about to overwhelm his multi-million dollar ministry. You can read more about that scandal on Recovering Grace, but suffice to say that the two BJU men were used by Gothard in his attempt to hush up accusations of sexual harassment against Gothard’s brother. Gothard asked the two BJU officials to help convince the IBYC board not to send a letter to supporters admitting the scandal and apologizing, and they obliged. Their plot failed, however, and when the board overruled Gothard and the BJU staffers and demanded that the sexual harassment be dealt with, Van Galderen reportedly reversed his stance and regretted coming at all. This incident is a fascinating parallel to BJU’s current PR troubles, as the school clearly still clings to a strategy of withholding potentially damaging information until the story has already exploded in the media.

Most damaging in this narrative, though, is a remark Van Gelderen made to the IBYC board when trying to dissuade them from properly handling sexual abuse:

They explained that “this kind of thing had happened also at [Bob Jones] University and this is how they have always handled it there.”

This ominous declaration can only mean one thing: in the 1980s, BJU already had a firm process in place for dealing with cases of sexual harassment and scandal within its administration. Whatever else that process might entail, it’s clear from Van Gelderen’s testimony here that covering up information and keeping supporters in the dark was key. Here’s the full text of this passage:

At the end of May 1980, discussions were still ongoing as the directors and staff attempted to approve a draft for a letter explaining the situation to the seminar alumni pastors. Bill was strongly against sending out this letter, but IBYC staff and leadership had almost completely lost confidence in his judgment by this time. Bill had lost control over his staff, and he knew it. They refused to remain under Bill’s asserted authority and were insisting upon straightforward and public transparency about the scandal. Bill pulled in two men from Bob Jones University—the administrative vice president and a BJU board member, Rev. Van Geldren, to help confront the staff. The BJU delegation rebuked the staff, stating that “a letter to pastors should not be sent out, and that it was wrong to inform the pastors and supporters of the Institute what was happening.” They explained that “this kind of thing had happened also at the [Bob Jones] University and this is how they have always handled it there.” In the end, though, Bill did send out a letter. The public and the media had picked up on the story, and he decided that he needed to make a statement.

In a sharp turn of events, two days after confronting the staff, Rev. Van Geldren had already apologized to the chief pilot (who was involved in uncovering the scandal) for his blind support of Bill, and apparently informed him that he had come to the conclusion that Bill could not be trusted. Rev. Van Geldren then did what we pray many parents are doing right now as they read these reports thirty years later—he withdrew his daughter from working at the Institute.

The second incident reported by Recovering Grace involves one of BJU’s longest-serving (1967-2013) Board members, John McLario. McLario was called in by Gothard to be a replacement for his father as IBYC chairman and president. This revelation shows a strong connection between BJU and Gothard’s ministry at this time, and a willingness on McLario’s part to help smooth over the scandal that was then threatening to destroy the IBYC. McLario did more than just accept the positions at IBYC, however. On his first day as new leader of the IBYC, McLario demanded that all of Gothard’s former staff, many of whom were victims of sexual harassment, declare their allegiance to the IBYC or lose their jobs. Here’s the full quote:

The media frenzy was being held at bay with partial truths about mishandling of Institute properties. Some prominent members of the IBYC staff and of the evangelical community began to step forward to help handle things. John McLario, an attorney and executive council for Bob Jones University, was asked on July 8, 1980, to take over as IBYC president and chairman of the board. William Gothard, Sr., submitted his resignation to the IBYC board on this same day. McLario took a heavy-handed approach to what he believed to be a rebellious staff. According to one timeline, “McLario meets with the entire staff and, without anybody saying who he was, he commenced to inform the entire staff that they have one hour to decide to resign immediately from the ministry or continue to work without any more resistance or questions. This action of McLario was fully supported by the Board and Bill Gothard.” At least one of the girls who had been involved with Steve received a phone call from McLario pressing her to remain compliant and silent about all that had happened (we are told this inspired exactly the opposite reaction from her). Within days, approximately one-half of the IBYC staff had resigned or been fired…

…As is often the case in fact versus fiction, what happened next was both anti-climactic and profoundly remarkable. John McLario abruptly resigned only seventeen days after assuming Institute leadership, reportedly to avoid dealing publicly with his own alleged sexual immorality.

Drawing conclusions from these incidents is simple enough: some of BJU’s highest-ranking, longest-serving and most-respected leaders were complicit in the horrifying abuses perpetrated by Gothard and his minions upon their staff. BJU was the first place Gothard turned to when he needed people to help him cover up scandal. And according to his own words, a respected BJU leader said that BJU, even in 1980, was already long practiced in “handling” scandals in a manner meant to protect leadership and silence victims.

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89 thoughts on “New Gothard Revelations Hint at BJU’s Ugly History of Abuse

  1. Gothard/BJU Alum

    I spent many years of my childhood and adulthood in both these organizations, first Gothard’s and then BJU. I can state categorically from decades of experience that this article is correct, the coercion and silencing of dissent is very much common between the two. This leads naturally into downplaying of the inevitable scandals and ludicrous attempts to deny they even happened.

    I’m still a conservative Christian but it breaks my heard to see the connection between these two “ministries” and how they’ve both put their own success above God and loving others. I really appreciate sites like this one and Recovering Grace that tell these stories.

    1. A James

      I hate these thumbs. What in the wide world did my mere conveyance of a new link of another grad’s opinion on GRACE do to deserve a thumbs down?
      This thumbs down is slanderous.

    1. Gothard/BJU Alum

      Slander: “the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.”

      All I did was give my opinion based on many years of experience on both these organizations. Hardly slander.

      1. bjunews Post author

        Just confirming that both of the “Gothard/BJU Alum” posts are indeed from the same IP (so it’s the same person and not an impostor).

    2. A James

      Pastor John Monroe can help make up for the lack of your potential unaccredited degree in the area of slander. See March 2 AM sermon “Slander.” Despite its need for a little more balance and for less “circle the wagonism”, I believe you could only improve by listening.
      http://www.fbctaylors.org/Pages/Sermons/

    3. Bilbo Baggins

      That’s rich, coming from you “To Gothard/BJU Alum”. Bet that’s not the name you use when you file your 1040.

  2. Bilbo Baggins

    unnamed BJU Admin VP would have been Bob Wood. It’s a small, small, small world…

    1. 1911man

      I was wondering who “unnamed” was…Wood’s name was the first to pop into my mind, Bilbo… Small, small world, but I mean the McLario link. Perhaps I watched too many black and white Chicago/NYC gangster movies in my youth. In those movies they would refer to a “made” man, meaning a man had committed some sort of act of loyalty, usually murder, and this made him a trusted member of the Mafia. John McLario’s loyalty to fundamentalism, and his willingness to commit acts of loyalty on behalf of fundamentalists and their organizations, is the stuff of legends. I have come to believe – after 35 years of observation – that such ungodly loyalty is at times a form of institutional or sectarian idolatry.

      Back in the mid ’70’s, concerns arose at regarding the Masons on BJU’s board. Astute observers of the BJU crowd will note that the controversies may change but the BJU crowd and their tactics depend on duplicity and deceit. Note this story about the good John McLario in Charles Underwood’s Open Letter to Bob Jones III:

      “…According to Dr. Monroe Parker, when the question of Masonry came up at a board meeting of the university trustees, the chancellor declared that he did not know that Masonry was an issue, and that, when the present term of the Masons on the board was ended, there would be no more Masons elected. This kind of rhetoric designedly dodges the issue since the board is re-nominated and elected each year. The same Masons remained on the board.

      At the time the issue arose –- and everyone became aware that Masonry was an issue – at least one board member was concerned about whether or not a recently elected member was a Mason. He made inquiry by letter to attorney John McLario.

      Roland wrote to Dr. John McLario on September 19, 1975, and asked him, “Are you, or have you ever been, a Freemason?” Dr. McLario replied to this inquiry on September 24, 1975, as follows: “You certainly don’t know me very well or you wouldn’t ask if I am a Mason. Of course not, how ridiculous.” A short time later the following information about John McLario was found in Who’s Who in Wisconsin, 1960 edition:
      Bn.—Mar. 2, 1925, Pontiac, Mich.
      Son—John and Arlene (Tellefson) McLario
      M. –Lois J. Kleist, Aug., 19, 1950, Milwaukee, Wis.
      Cild.—Dawn D., 6; Lori L., 3.
      Educ.—Syracuse Univ.; B.A., Bob Jones Univ., 1950; LL.B., Marquettte Univ., 1953.
      Baptist (Trustee); mem., Mason; Lions; Christian Bus. Mens Comm…

      It is strange that of all the men on the Board of Trustees who are supposedly concerned about the separatist position of the university, only one was concerned enough about the issue of Freemasonry to make an inquiry about John McLario.

      Dr. Bob, as knowledgeable as you are on the subject of Freemasonry, someone apparently has put tremendous pressure on you to protect this evil order. Referring to page 74 of Handbook, Ronayne (Mah-Hah-Bone, pp. 107-108) wrote,
      …whenever a minister prays in the name of Christ in any of our assemblies, you [brother Mason] must always hold yourself in readiness, if called upon, to cut his throat from ear to ear, pull out his tongue by the roots, and bury his body at the bottom of some lake or pond. Of course, all this must be done in secret, as it was in the case of that notorious man Morgan, for both law and civilization are opposed to such barbarous crimes, but then, you know you must live up to your obligations, and so long as you have sworn to do it, by being very strict and obedient in the matter, you’ll be free from sin.

      After Roland proved to you that McLario was a Mason—as listed in Who’s Who in Wisconsin — he was called by McLario. In a letter to me, Roland described what transpired in the following words:
      ‘…McLario called me and admitted that he had been to a couple of Masonic meetings about 18 years before. He then asked me if that would make him a Mason (keep in mind that it was a highly educated attorney who asked me that question). I then asked Dr. McLario if he had taken any oaths, and he said that he had taken a couple. I then told him that he was at least a second degree Mason. When he asked me what to do about it, I said that we had asked our people who were Masons who wished to come out to renounce the god of Masonry and their oaths and obligations to the order before two or three adult witnesses on the basis of Matthew 18:16. A couple of weeks later I received a letter form Dr. McLario. In the letter he said, without being at all specific, that he had done what I had suggested. A short time after that, I wrote to him and told him that I had been asked to write an article on Masonry, and I asked him if I could use his testimony about coming out of Masonry in that article. He wrote back immediately and said that I COULD NOT USE HIS TESTIMONY.’

      [Underwood continued] Dr. McLario has since been elevated to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Bob Jones University. He could not be trusted to tell the truth regarding his affiliation with Masonry, but he can be trusted with the affairs of a Christian university? I think this distinctly reveals the trend of BJU in approving idolatry and deceit.”

      You can find the entire letter on the bjutypepad.com. BJU, the same deceit and duplicity, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

      1. A James

        Due to BJU not having publicly released or publicly made available bylaws, board governance (including the recent changes last year), board members, etc., they exude the feel of a secret society. One can easily know these things, for example, at Clemson University’s website http://www.clemson.edu/administration/bot/ I had chalked it up more to a fundy quirk, but maybe there is more to it than that. Why is it so hard to find out basic information on the governance of BJU?

        I also thought I had seen somewhere people’s question marks about III being member of groups that had high-level masons–whether that’s a past or present concern, I don’t know.
        So…McLario…since they’ve had the shakeup and resizing of the board last year…how many McLario related people are still on it? Is John McLario still on the Executive Committee or at least on an honorary type committee? Then there is Dawn and Joe Helm someway connected to McLario/Board…III continues to have close ties to Brookside Baptist (Helm, etc.).

        I see this comment from Truth at

        “And oh. Joe Helm is married to McLario’s youngest and Randy Melchert is married to McLario’s middle daughter (their son Randy is familiar to many of you and owns radio stations in WI) and McLario’s oldest daughter (Dawn Akam) is on the board herself. It’s another dynasty. SACS will see this little power family here. So Larry, if you’re reading, you’ve gotta get out all the power families if you think this school is going to have any future. Not just the Joneses — and that includes Barba and Jordan, you know. But the McLarios too. What? You can’t do that? You have to keep certain families close? Why?”

        Anyway, thanks for the history, 1911…curioser and curioser.

  3. A James

    I just learned that Gothard was never married as he doled out marriage advice. That maxes out the creepy in the creep for me. That was probably partially slanderous given the “creep” word. If you see a Legolas comment sometime, it’s just me being inspired to reincarnate by Bilbo. Or I could be Bert, William or Tom…”Slander yesterday, slalnder today, and blimey, if it don’t look like slander again tomorrer.”

  4. JP

    I had a friend who was home schooled with ATI materials. He went to a meeting (I think that it was a summer camp) and realized that it was a cult. Over the years, I have picked up on the fact that many BJU churches are very much involved with Gothard. The lack of biblical discernment is disturbing.

    1. David Hanson

      I don’t believe that Bob Jones University has been institutionally close to Gothard for years (or perhaps ever). First of all, the majority of Gothard’s teachings are at best extra-biblical if not heretical. Secondly, Gothard teaches against going to a college or university. During the eight years I taught at BJU (2001-2009), I never heard Gothard mentioned once. While teaching computer science, I took 4 graduate Biblical counseling classes, a graduate New Testament class, and two history classes. I have never heard Gothard mentioned or discuss while I was there.

      1. A James

        Okay, here are my two cents’ worth or less concerning Hanson’s remarks in case they help connect any dots. For the most part, I would agree…there was a distance on an surface/institutional level between Gothard/BJU. Some probably can’t imagine a place being more “legalistic” than BJU…if you can manage it, Gothard’s would be it. We have some family friends that are all-out Gothard. It took a long time for them to accept our friendship–we were liberals in their mind…a terrible worldy influence placed by the devil most likely. if you knew our family, you’d be rolling on the floor at the concept. So, yes, to a loyal Gothardite, BJU is liberal…not to be trusted…not to be attended.

        However, in contrast to your BJU experience…I did know those in leadership that did not openly all-out endorse Gothard, but did have kindly comments here and there with some mention having gone to sessions. (To be fair, yes, I heard not-so-kindly comments.) I specifically remember Dr. Yost mentioning Gothard from time to time. I’m not here to say any one was a hard-core Gothard on the campus, but just saying…there might have been some influences from it here and there.

      2. tewjr

        Gothard did not start teaching against college until the 80’s, when he developed his homeschooling curriculum and started advocating for “apprenticeship” instead of higher learning. Before then, in the 70’s, churches like Southside would load up buses with congregants to go to the seminar in Atlanta. My mother was one of these, and I have friends whose BJU faculty/staff parents also went. I think the association between Gothard and BJU has died off in recent years, but at one time it was fairly strong.

      3. A James

        tewjr,
        That is what I was coming back up here to say. The more research I do, the more what you say is validated. They may not have been close in recent years…but Hansons “perhaps ever” is not accurate. At some point they must have drifted with BJU not keeping such close ties (maybe since that bad situation). But for Gothard to turn so readily to BJU people for support that involve Wood, Van Gelderen, III, and McLario were easily involved…You simply cannot say they were not “close”.
        This link reveals their easy relationship.
        http://www.pagepusher.com/view-book/AMatterOfBasicPrinciples

      4. Dan Edds

        Sorry to disappoint you Mr. Hanson, but in the summer of 1980 Rev. Vangeldren who was a pastor in the Chicago area and I believe a member of the Board of Trustees at BJU, along with a senior vice president, who’s name I believe was Bob Wood, and if my memory is correct, Bob Jones lll, all showed up at Bill Gothard’s headquarters and condemned the staff for being rebellious and disloyal. They were in fact, telling us to get back in line with a man (Bill Gothard) who’s youngest brother and our Executive Vice President was engaging in clear and deliberate sexual abuse and harassment. The abuse included everything up to and including sexual intercourse. Bill Gothard new about it, had known about it for years and did nothing but send his brother more female staff to be his victims. Girls had told Bil in explicit terms exactly what Steve was asking them to do, where he was touching them, etc. So you might say we were all just a little upset to discover that our the man we admired so much was doing nothing to stop sexual abuse and harassment,

        The response of Mr. Wood, VanGeldren, and Jones lll was to down play the sex over the public success of the ministry. This is an exact quote from Mr. Wood: “when this sort of thing happens at Bob Jones University, we shove it under a rug and keep right on going”. I remember it clearly because it was so shocking.

  5. David Hanson

    It is too bad that Dr. Wayne Van Gelderen, Sr picked Bill Gothard out of the frying pan for his brother’s misdeeds. But Dr. Van Gelderen was not an official of Bob Jones University, which implies that he was under the control of Bob Jones University. He was a graduate of BJU but he was not an officer of the organization. At the time of the Gothard rescue, he was the pastor of an independent Baptist Church in Downers Grove, Illinois (which unfortunately had issues of child abuse also after Dr. Van Gelderen’s tenure). Dr. Van was my pastor a few years later and we loved him dearly (he passed away in the late 90’s). He was less than perfect in his judgement of men as are all of us. Only God knows whats in man’s heart.

    1. turkbenistan

      If being a board member of Bob Jones does not qualify as being an officer of BJU, then I’m not sure what does. I notice you say nothing about your former pastor being accompanied by Bob Wood. Was he also not an officer of Bob Jones University? Nice try, Sir, but I don’t buy it. BJU has always maintained secretive relationships like this with other ministries so that if something goes wrong, they can put forth the type of defense you just put forth.

      Oh and by the way, of course only God knows a man’s heart. I suppose only God really knows Stalin’s heart so we should give him the benefit of the doubt, eh? How about Obama? Surely only God knows his heart, so don’t ever speak against his motives, right? Quit making excuses for these corrupt, power hungry people.

    2. A James

      I appreciate your perspective from your experiences. I’ve read through them several times so that I don’t pick any unnecessary “fights”. This one though is where I have to respectfully disagree…as to the degree of influence Van Gelderen, Sr./BJU had on each other. Where above I said that Gothard/BJU relationship wasn’t readily seen surface level (from my years’ experience at least)…this cannot be said of the VG/BJU relationship. Just surface level information that is publicly known conveys solid influential ties. The Van Gelderen and the Jones family were like apple pie and ice cream…fundamentalism and rules…french fries and ketchup…amazing and grace… When one thought Van Gelderen, one also thought BJU. To say he was neither an official or being under control of BJU is a dismissal that really made me question your full grasp of the situation. Peas in a pod…Luigi and Mario…Bible Conference and offerings… Everyone just KNEW…I’m at a loss as to why you didn’t realize it, or don’t acknowledge it.

      Please pardon the length. I think the following marks on a timeline (of many marks available) here are important for gauging whether we dismiss BJU/Van Gelderen influence with Gothard.

      1) As Turk said: “If being a board member of Bob Jones does not qualify as being an officer of BJU, then I’m not sure what does.” The Executive Committee and then the Board under them have and are the power at BJU.

      2) FBF is fairly synonymous with BJU…so goes the FBFI, so goes BJU and vice versa. “In 1961, the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International called a meeting at Marquette Manor, which resulted in the formation of Baptist World Mission. Pastor Augsburger accepted the position as the first president and incorporated BWM in Illinois. Four years later, Pastor Augsburger left the pastorate at Marquette Manor to become president of Denver Baptist Bible College. In December 1966, Dr. Wayne Van Gelderen, Sr. assumed the pastorate at Marquette Manor. ”

      3) “In November 1971, Bob Jones, Jr. and Bob Jones III were dropped from the cooperating board of the The Sword to be replaced by Jerry Falwell and Curtis Hutson.[31] In 1976, Jones, Ian Paisley, and Wayne Van Gelderen organized their own “World Congress of Fundamentalists” in Edinburgh.” This is as tight as tight can get, Hanson.

      4) 1980 – Gothard happenings…so to dismiss VG away as just a pastorate at an independent Baptist church…no, this simply won’t do for objectivity.

      5) http://minutemenministries.org/about/history/ (Jim VG)
      “In the summer of 1983 while Jim was youth pastor at the Marquette Manor Baptist Church the decision was made to send out three teams. Jim stayed home and directed things from afar while Tim Chevalier, Juan Moreno and John Van Gelderen led teams all over the US. Marquette Manor financed the teams and lost $10,000 over the summer. Dr. Van Gelderen, Sr., Jim’s dad and the pastor of MMBC, was glad to helped birth the ministry, but knew the church could not sustain those kind of losses. He called Dr. Bob Jones III and asked if Bob Jones University would be interested in having the teams operate from there. Dr. Bob was glad for the call because there had been some talk about starting something like this, but the consensus was that the Van Gelderens were starting something and let’s see how it is going to go. Well the Lord was in it and BJU became the new home of the Minutemen Evangelistic Team. At the same time a new theme was developed called The War. The teams were Army vs. Navy. The change was due to the ministry becoming nationwide and there was a sense that a theme was needed that had nationwide appeal…. In 1998 the Minutemen Evangelistic Team became an independent ministry. The Lord burdened Jim that his was the step that was needed. Bob Jones University was extremely gracious to the ministry and assisted in their launching out. Jim has a deep appreciation the key part BJU had in the development and nurturing of the ministry.

      6) 1997 Calvary Contender – “DR. VAN GELDEREN’S HOME-GOING – Fundamentalist leader Dr. Wayne Van Gelderen Sr. went home to be with his Lord March 9. He is survived by five children. Of the three we have met, Jim and John are evangelists and Wayne Jr. is a pastor. The memorial service was held March 13 in the latter’s Falls Baptist Church, Menomonee Falls, Wis. , with Dr. Ed Nelson officiating (assisted by Dr. Frank Bumpus). There were testimonies by his children, and friends such as Dr. Bob Jones III. Dr. Van Gelderen pastored several churches, and for 27 years, the historic Marquette Manor Baptist Church (Chicago area). A special tribute was held at MMBC March 14, with MMBC Pastor Mark Simmons officiating. Dr. Van Gelderen served on many fundamental boards, including: Bob Jones University, Baptist World Mission, and Fundamental Baptist Fellowship.”

      The connection isn’t quite so tight these days. Though, Wayne, Jr. still remains on FBFI board http://fbfi.org/board-executive/ there has been tension/not so many warm fuzzies as BJU loosens up with standards. Falls (VGJr. church) has begun their own College of Ministry http://bcmedu.org/ The pics on the website are reminiscent of the BJU of old–still need your tried and true denim skirts, gals. “Many years ago, the late Dr. Wayne Van Gelderen, Sr. expressed his burden for a new fundamental college that would train leaders for the local church through the local church. His son, Pastor Wayne Van Gelderen, Jr., shared that burden, and, with the overwhelming support of the people of Falls Baptist Church, established Baptist College of Ministry in the summer of 1998.” “In a day when old-fashioned, conservative Bible Christianity and standards of holiness are routinely belittled, Baptist College of Ministry and Theological Seminary stands ready to help committed young people who have determined that the unchanging Word of God must be proclaimed clearly and authoritatively in this present age.” I see the line up for FBFI speakers this year at Faith includes:
      Steve Hankins
      Mark Minnick
      Clarence Sexton
      John Vaughn
      Wayne Van Gelderen
      Joe Willis
      This is a motley bunch of fundamentalists…3 representing BJU’s current shifting mode (Minnick on the far right, Vaughn in the middle, Hankins on the left of that wee spectrum), Sexton (KJV only, Sword, etc.), VG representing more of a traditional BJU…and I don’t know who Willis is. Either VGJr. will shift over enough to not have to sssssseparate, or he will have to speak up against the direction of the FBFI/BJU to be consistent with clear fundamentalist views of the past. It’s a little eerie to hear his daddy which sounds so much like Jr. and a younger III.
      http://www.greatpreachers.org/evangelicalism.html

      Wayne Van Gelderen, Sr., wrote about “A NEW SOFTNESS WITHIN FUNDAMENTALISM.” He said: “In the 50s and 60s, the Conservative Baptists were the Fundamentalists–the Separatists among Baptists in the North. They had fought a noble battle, but finally had to come out of the old Northern Baptist Convention in the 60s. Soon after the separation and the formation of the CBA, there began to emerge a strange spirit. Many began to feel that we needed to be more ‘Christian,’ more practical, more communicative, MORE GENTLE in our stand for God. The terms ‘SOFT CORE’ and ‘hard core’ were used to describe the two camps that emerged. The soft policy was to be practical at the expense of being righteous. The results sought for were more important than the means. These compromisers believed that part of the movement was too hard. Over 400 churches left in a division in the 60s. These real fundamentalist churches blossomed and multiplied in the 70s. Now, in the 90s, some of us see a reenactment of the past. There is a new emphasis on methodology and P.R. to grow churches. This new methodology is market-oriented and geared to please the people. NOT OFFENDING IS THE CARDINAL VIRTUE. Personal separation and holiness are pushed back into the dark ages. In spite of greatly increased open sin, THE CONDEMNATION IS SOFTENED. … In every generation our battles must be refought. The generation that does not follow the old paths will die as did evangelicalism in England” (Calvary Contender, May 1, 1995).

      Kindred spirits, dear friends, fellow warriors in fundamentalism…do not dismiss the likely influence.

    3. A James

      Again, this link helps us here, too (page 10 onward).
      http://www.pagepusher.com/view-book/AMatterOfBasicPrinciples
      The team that came to help Gothard included Wood (VP) with Van Gelderen (board member) and III (President) recommending McLario (board member). This was a joint effort that was indeed BJU led.

      We now see in this document that VanGelderen’s daughter also worked at Gothard’s site.
      This was not some casual relationship, and whether BJU people ultimately removed themselves from influence with Gothard taking back over is not some cause for celebration. They did not expose Gothard’s teaching or his ways. It was a condemning underreaction…and some serious rotten fruit for us to be suspicious of.

      1. turkbenistan

        Excellent research A James. You have a lot more patience than I have. If you don’t mind my asking, what is your profession?

  6. David Hanson

    I didn’t mention Bob Wood because when Dr. Van Gelderen related the Bill Gothard’s brother incident to me, he never mentioned Bob Wood. “Corrupt, power hungry people” — to my knowledge I don’t know a single one of these either at BJU or at the independent Baptist churches where I have been a member (Marquette Manor Baptist in Downers Grove, Tri-County Baptist in Katy, TX; Faith Baptist in Sandwich, IL; and Faith Baptist in Taylors, SC). Or for that matter in the Southern Baptist Church (Friendship Baptist in the Tampa Bay area) where we are now members.
    I do know imperfect people who as far a I know are striving to please God. And I am not blind that there are also some wolves among the sheep that are not striving to please God but I don’t know who they are.

    1. A James

      Hopefully, there will be more brevity and levity with my response to this comment. I must say, Hanson, your resume of church membership is quite colorful–experience being in a church where “The King James Version (1611 version, 1769 edition) is read exclusively from the pulpit” to a BJU fundamental/separatist churches, to Faith heart of the FBFI, to a Southern Baptist? What exactly do you believe 😉 I also have to wonder where on the hierarchy of commitment and leadership level you were in these churches. None of my business and not asking for details…but from FBFI Faith to Southern Baptist? My head is spinning.

      I am quite alarmed that you aren’t more open about distinguishing sheep from wolves. I am concerned that you might not be wiling to weigh in potential motives. I pray you will stay alert so that you will properly recognize and defend truth even on matters such as these. I don’t claim to have full information on facts/motives. And maybe I am misreading your information/views/motives. I’m just trying to just throw in things I know to help put the puzzle pieces together to keep institutions/leaders accountable.

      The most obvious reason for my concern lies with this statement:
      ” ‘Corrupt, power hungry people’ — to my knowledge I don’t know a single one of these either at BJU or at the independent Baptist churches where I have been a member.” I’m trying to believe you, but I cannot. I usually can be found in an independent Baptist/Bible church if not a conservative Presbyterian…and I haven’t been to one yet that hasn’t had, if not corrupt, then at least power hungry people. Oh, the stories! How did you escape it?

      The one that shocks me the most is your having known the Van Gelderens/Marquette. You are beginning to strike me as one of those “circle the wagon” types I’ve been hearing about. I’m trying hard to withhold final judgment. The Van Gelderens/Falls Baptist are the perfect example of a “power hungry” church…though conservative in some ways I can appreciate, it was/is all about family power (just as people are concerned about BJU and the overarching power of the Jones and McLario families). The VG’s were in complete control and gave the marching orders. Potentially a prime example of nepotism. How could you miss it? This is based on fact from enough trusted people that I know that have served there faithfully…tried to be a positive influence in spite of it…respectfully left to get away from the suffocating air in that type of church. Falls can do whatever they want and how they want. People are free to worship and serve where they please. But it does not help in the cause of truth to gloss over when our churches or leaders are as you said “less than perfect”.

      Every group has its chickens coming home to roost. There is no group that is beyond needing accountability and housecleaning After typing all of this, I think we ought to be more alert and prayerful concerning these comments that were made:
      Gothard/BJU Alum: “…coercion and silencing of dissent is very much common between the two. This leads naturally into downplaying of the inevitable scandals and ludicrous attempts to deny they even happened.”
      Turk: “BJU has always maintained secretive relationships like this with other ministries so that if something goes wrong, they can put forth the type of defense you just put forth.”
      Instead of dismissing possible concerns, we ought to be prayerful that BJU, etc. will be humble and wise in the days ahead.

      I failed at brevity and levity…but I am finished for now, I think 🙂

      1. A James

        Whoa. I’m getting input from others saying I’m the one not doing justice to Falls/Van Gelderen…that I’m being too nice…just when I was feeling guilty about maybe being too mean. They say Van Gelderen had way more overtones of Gothard style leadership/adherence/guilt trip tactics than BJU. That could be added to the idea of VG being more sympathetic to the plight of Gothard.

      2. David Hanson

        A little history:
        Wayne Van Gelderen, Jr. is the Pastor of Falls Baptist and was the founder of Baptist College of Ministry with his brothers. Wayne Van Gelderen, Sr., was the Pastor of Marquette Manor Church in Downer’s Grove which is close to Gothard’s campus (in the early 90’s when we were there Gothard sometimes attended our Church — in the morning service a van load of his “students” also attended). Sr. passed away in early 1997 which is more than a year before BCM opened. On the BCM history webpage, they state that Sr. was supportive of the founding of BCM. Sr. left Marquette Manor in 1993, I believe, and we left in 1994 due to one of my many job transfers, and I never had a opportunity to talk with him again as he moved to Florida and we moved to Texas. (So Sr. dealt with Gothard and Jr. with Falls and BCM. In youro writing, I don’t think this was clear. I just realized that it may be a little muddier than this — Jr. was an assistant pastor under Sr. sometime before we were members at MMBC.)

        Ref: my beliefs on the Bible — I believe that the Bible is the Word of God — I believe that the original autographs of Scripture are inspired and without error. I believe that reliable translations in any language are also the Word of God including English translations such as The Geneva Bible, Tynsdale’s Bible, KJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, and NKJV. I use the ESV for Bible study. All the churches that I listed use only the KJV Bible from the pulpit (including our current SBC Church). They are either KJV preferred or KJV only (but not making it a major or only doctrine of the Church). It is unimportant to me which reliable translation my Church uses. It is important to me what they believe about the original autographs. It is also important that they don’t attribute to God, words that He never spoke, such as what I heard a pastor in an independent Baptist Church do. The pastor told his congregation that “God says to use the KJV”. We never returned to that church again (after the service I told him that he couldn’t make that statement — he didn’t agree with me). The experience did encourage me to read several books about the origins of the English Bible and the various English translations.

        Ref: leadership positions — we attended the services at our Churches faithfully — when I wasn’t traveling on business, I ministered in a number of ministries in these churches such as deaf, usher, and Awana. Except for Faith Baptist in Taylors (9 years), we were never at a Church more than a few years due to moves. Until recently I have not been in any leadership position (although I once was on a pulpit committee). I am the music director of our current Church.

      3. A James

        I hesitate to respond since on my screen, my lengthy “timeline” comment still shows “comment awaiting moderation.” I don’t want to assume you’ve read some of my comments when you haven’t. It appears you might have since you mention dates. Thanks for the clarification on some dates and which VG we are referring to and when. I was getting mighty confused. So, with your info there’s even more info that VG and Gothard had interaction apart. The key is did VG ever warn his people of the over-the-top teachings of Gothard or not. Do you know?

        1. David Hanson

          Your question, did Van, Sr. warn his flock about Gothard’s teachings?
          Since we became members of MMBC several years after Van, Sr. saved Bill Gothard’s bacon so to speak, I don’t know what was said to the congregation at that time. I don’t recall Gothard being mentioned from the pulpit while we were members. I think Van, Sr. may have told me personally to be careful about using the Gothard programs (I and the members of my family had been recently saved).
          It has been 20 years since we were members of MMBC and 21 years since Van, Sr. was pastor of MMBC, so I don’t recall the details, though. At that time, I had no idea that there was anything amiss with Gothard’s doctrine but I don’t recall any of our members were involved with the Gothard programs either.
          It was later, at Tri-County Baptist in Katy, where we were the only family in the Church who were not involved in the Gothard programs that I learned about his extrabiblical and heretical doctrines. I hated and still hate what he was doing and I saw that it was very unhealthy in our Church. We stayed in the Church anyway since Gothardism was not preached from the pulpit and other than suggestions that we needed to attend Gothard’s programs like everyone else, we were left alone. The programs were never presented in our Church building but always at some other Church’s facilities or some other building.

        2. bjunews Post author

          Sorry A James–your comments got filtered as spam for some reason. I’ve added them!

      4. A James

        Thanks for the interaction and for filling in the blanks of your experience. You must know that I find relief seeing you call out Gothard’s teachings as willingly as openly as you did.

        Can you tell me if my lengthy “timeline” comment is showing up on your screen? I can’t comment much more until I know those details have passed between us…I hope that won’t tempt you to lie 😉

      5. A James

        Thanks, BJU News. With all these thumbs of rejection and being condemned as spam…it’s hard, really hard… 😉

      6. A James

        This link one more time:
        http://www.pagepusher.com/view-book/AMatterOfBasicPrinciples (esp. page 10 onward)
        And so, now that I know more than I did when I originally responded to this post…this was not some casual relationship. Van Gelderen, III. Wood, McLario were Gothard’s choice of help. They reprimanded the staff, quelled dissent, moved the institution forward…and though Gothard was reinstated and there seems to have been a distancing of BJU after that…we now realize, that with as much as they knew, that Gothard’s destructive teachings/leadership style were not openly rebuked from the pulpit by BJU team.

        1. 1911man

          “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

          “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
          Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.” I Timothy 5

          Religious leaders are to be accountable to others. At some level, religious leaders are to be self-policing. They are to be blameless, or above reproach.

          Religious leaders are to protect “the least of these” which would certainly include young women.

          A lack of accountability with the religious leaders of BJU/FBFI-styled fundamentalism has allowed ‘a miniature sick society’ to develop. Whether it is called a “good ol’ boy” network, cult, or wacky religious sect, it’s all the same…people within the particular sub-culture are, by necessity, lied to, deceived, manipulated, abused, etc., in order to perpetuate the interests of the leaders and organizations that profit from the particular religious sect. Hypocrisy permeates such societies.

          The most hypocritical leader within BJU-styled fundamentalism seems to be Bob Jones III and this is why I’m not optimistic regarding BJU honestly and forthrightly addressing the present controversy. No discerning person who has reviewed Bob Jones III’s handling of controversy after controversy over the past 45 years would trust Bob Jones III to honestly handle the present controversy.

          But it’s not just Bob Jones III. Bob Jones III could not succeed in his lying and duplicity without the silent assent of the administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, and students of BJU or the network of little groveling, sycophantic preacher pups and churches that supply BJU with new devotees.

          I came to this inescapable conclusion when I discussed Bob Jones III’s evil doings with the late Dr. Walter Fremont, Dean of Education at BJU back in the ’90’s. Dr. Fremont was my favorite professor and one of the most influential men in my life at the time. (Incidentally, some of the issues I discussed with Dr. Fremont involved a few hushed up molestations at Bob Jone III”s church, Northside Baptist in N. Charleston, SC! Jones worked to hush up that controversy and supported his preacher crony, John Stevens.) Fremont’s disingenuous handling of Bob Jones III’s duplicity and dishonesty was textbook Jonesianism: ignore the facts and attack the motivations of the truth-seeker, truth be damned! What a sad revelation into the power of religious hypocrisy to subvert a fellow’s religious thinking and professional ethics!

          In the 1970’s, Charles Underwood, BJU’s first Director of Church Planting, predicted that ‘Bob Jones Jr. will ruin BJU and Bob Jones III will get the blame.’ I’m not so sure that Bob Jr. ruined BJU all by himself. Bob the Third has done more than his share to ruin BJU and its reputation. This certain: Lying has sustained BJU thus far. The leaven of hypocrisy has permeated every facet of BJU. Those who continue to support BJU with silent assent, or who actively defend the Joneses, BJU, and their religious cronies, are partakers of the evil done by their leadership. It seems clear, though, that BJU’s base of supporting preachers, churches, and organizations will continue to rot from the inside and their religious sect will eventually disintegrate as more and more light is shined on BJU, BJU-styled fundamentalism, Bob Jones III, the FBFI, and their cronies by the internet.

          Beware the leaven of the Jonesians, which is hypocrisy. Speak out for truth. Don’t be afraid to point the Nathanic finger at fundamentalist preachers and leaders who don’t have the guts to protect “the least of these” or vulnerable people.

    2. 1911man

      Mr. Hanson, I am a 1980 BJU grad. I married a Marquette girl..in fact, van Gelderen Sr. performed the ceremony. I have met many people within the FBF circle who could, and would, join you in stating, ““Corrupt, power hungry people” — to my knowledge I don’t know a single one of these either at BJU or at the independent Baptist churches where I have been a member.”
      I have followed the BJU/FBF crowd from 1973 to 2014. I watched the John R. Rice controversy, Jack Hyles debacle, BJU board Masonry cover up, the van Impe hit, the BJU Calvinism purge, the interracial dating ban deceit and duplicity, the BJ III/Northside/FBFI controversy, etc., etc., etc. Until 1991, I was convinced that BJU, the Joneses, and their FBF associates were fine Christians. Since that time the Joneses have shown themselves – at least to those with the wit and the discernment to notice – to be duplicitous hypocrites driven by pragmatic expediency. They are, as a group of leaders, truly power hungry religious brokers guided by little more than their individual or institutional self-interests.
      Your comments about “imperfect people” who you think “are striving to please God” neatly dodges this issue and amounts to nothing more than over-spiritualized nonsense. Your admission that you don’t have the sense to identify “some wolves among the sheep” indicates that you don’t have the discernment to conceal your own ignorance….not judging, mind you! Just thinking that blind followers are who blind leaders lead the best!
      But, it really isn’t my intent to ridicule willful ignorance…if you are happy in your ignorance, then who am I to interrupt such bliss? Ignorance is bliss!
      But I would suggest that before you grant a blanket pardon to the fine leaders within your orbit, you first take an perfunctory glance at Christ’s teachings in Matthew 7:15-20 commanding us to beware of ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing. If Christ’s commands aren’t your cup of tea, and that appears to be the case in this instance, you might read M. Scott Peck’s book, People of the Lie. Not sure when it was published, but I truly wish I had read the book People of the Lie when I started BJU in 1977. Had I read it back then – and applied the information contained therein with a bit of rudimentary discernment – I could have avoided many, many of the corrupt, evil, and power hungry people that oversee BJU-styled fundamentalism. Here are a couple of quotes from the book:

      “It is not their sins per se that characterize evil people, rather it is the subtlety and persistence and consistency of their sins. This is because the central defect of the evil is not the sin but the refusal to acknowledge it.” People Of the Lie, Dr. M. Scott Peck

      “What possesses them, drives [evil people]? Basically, it is fear. They are terrified that the pretense will break down and they will be exposed to the world and to themselves. They are continually frightened that they will come face-to-face with their own evil.”

      “The evil hate the light – the light of goodness that shows them up, the light of scrutiny that exposes them, the light of truth that penetrates their deception.”

      “This book is entitled People of the Lie because lying is both a cause and a manifestation of evil. It is partly by their lying that we recognize the evil.”

      Mr. Hanson, if you are a tithing’, joinin’ Baptist who supports and funds fundamentalist organizations and truly don’t have the sense to tell the wolves from the sheep, it might be worth your while to read People of the Lie.
      Here is a link to a 2007 article I wrote on People of the Lie that might help you: http://bju.typepad.com/bjuexposed/2007/07/pastoral-prevar.html

      1. David Hanson

        Ref. Wolves in Sheep’s clothing — we are talking about sexual abuse or immorality concerning Gothard and earlier his brother. I have been accused twice of not being an adequate wolf discerner (I remind you that we are not talking about a wolf teaching false doctrine where we can compare what is said to Scripture) in the matter of sexual abuse or sexual immorality. How do you know what is being done in secret? At Churches where I have been a member, a deacon was sexually abusing his daughter at home, a youth pastor was sexually abusing a teen (I am not sure of the location), a coach was sexually abusing the same teen, a deacon was committing sexual immorality with two college students in his home, and a Sr. pastor had an inappropriate, at least, relationship with a female church member. These men except the coach were all married and I have never heard of evidence that even their wives knew of their actions (until God brought everything to light through the victim’s testimony or in one case cell phone records).

        1. 1911man

          Mr. Hanson, I don’t believe the statement you made regarding “[c]orrupt, power hungry people” was limited to sexual abuse or the cover-up of such abuse. Nor do I believe Matthew 7’s context regarding “fruit” limits the passage to doctrine to the exclusion of corrupt conduct: “By their fruits ye shall know them”. I shared A James’ concerns within the context of your statement. My assessment – based upon your own admissions – is that you have little or no Matthew 7 discernment. Or, perhaps, you have deliberately withheld discernment in an effort to ‘circle the wagons’ and protect fundamentalism. While corruption and hunger for power may include false teaching, I know of many corrupt, power-hungry pharisaical fundamentalists whose doctrine is outwardly pure but whose fruits are as corrupt as the Pharisees in Christ’s time. Perhaps this also escaped your notice but this sort of hypocrisy constitutes a leaven that seems to have permeated the entire fundamentalist movement. So, I agreed with A James when he wrote,

          “The most obvious reason for my concern lies with this statement:
          ” ‘Corrupt, power hungry people’ — to my knowledge I don’t know a single one of these either at BJU or at the independent Baptist churches where I have been a member.” I’m trying to believe you, but I cannot. I usually can be found in an independent Baptist/Bible church if not a conservative Presbyterian…and I haven’t been to one yet that hasn’t had, if not corrupt, then at least power hungry people. Oh, the stories! How did you escape it?

          The one that shocks me the most is your having known the Van Gelderens/Marquette. You are beginning to strike me as one of those “circle the wagon” types I’ve been hearing about. I’m trying hard to withhold final judgment. The Van Gelderens/Falls Baptist are the perfect example of a “power hungry” church…though conservative in some ways I can appreciate, it was/is all about family power (just as people are concerned about BJU and the overarching power of the Jones and McLario families). The VG’s were in complete control and gave the marching orders. Potentially a prime example of nepotism. How could you miss it? This is based on fact from enough trusted people that I know that have served there faithfully…tried to be a positive influence in spite of it…respectfully left to get away from the suffocating air in that type of church.”

          I am not as well informed as others may be regarding the doings of the van Gelderen’s over the past 20 or so years – I studiously avoid BJU-trained preachers who have not followed Paul’s example and have publicly renounced the hidden things of dishonesty in their religious professions. However, unlike you, many other people, including myself, have witnessed many, many instances of corruption, evil doing, lying, deceit, duplicity, hypocrisy, and hunger for power done by the Joneses and others at BJU over the past 50 years. Like A James, I could tell story after story. The fact that you say you have no “knowledge” of these types of conduct by the Joneses/BJU does not argue in support of your position.

          Mr. Hanson, take a few minutes to look at the facts and to inspect the “fruit” of Bob Jones III and BJU as demonstrated in just one controversy involving BJU and Bob Jones III: Joneses’ interracial dating ban. Visit http://bju.typepad.com/bjuexposed/bju_dr_bob_jones_iii_and_the_interracial_dating_ban_controversy/ I believe that if you are an honest, discerning fair-minded man, you will see evidence of all the corruption and hunger for power that has come to characterize Bob Jones III, BJU, fundamentalism, and those they have leavened with their distinctive brand of Jonesian hypocrisy.

      2. A James

        I’m going to quote 1911 because it is what best reflects what I might muddle otherwise: “Nor do I believe Matthew 7′s context regarding “fruit” limits the passage to doctrine to the exclusion of corrupt conduct: “By their fruits ye shall know them”.

        A wolf in sheep’s clothing isn’t merely someone who might teach a major false doctrine–it’s a duplicitous someone to watch out for–and their fruit (actions) can help you identify them. So, yes, Hanson, this would include the subject that “we are talking about sexual abuse or immorality concerning Gothard and earlier his brother”. What does their fruit show? How did they handle these situations? How did they treat the “least of these”? Did they break the law? Did they cover up for one another rather than letting situations come to light in order to protect their institutions or power hold? As I type that, these look like some major breeches to me. I can’t put that put this on a lesser scale than other “tenets of the faith”…I can’t believe I’m typing this, but rather I had to endure a bonafide KJV 1611 no exceptions preacher than someone who chooses twisted reasoning with abuse, etc. By that fruit we indeed will know more of their hearts and be warned to take heed of what else is coming out of their mouths.

        If they are already leading their churches/followers in an unbiblical manner (and I believe most independent Baptist churches that lack a plurality and accountabilitiy of elders or proper congregational input lend themselves to the unbiblical dictator style leadership)–this is more fruit that we should stay on guard that they might be twisting teaching/reasoning on other issues.

        “(I remind you that we are not talking about a wolf teaching false doctrine where we can compare what is said to Scripture) in the matter of sexual abuse or sexual immorality. How do you know what is being done in secret?” Exactly! There is duplicity, there is cunningness…we are to beware and keep an eye on their fruit so that we aren’t caught off guard or inadvertently a part of their secret deeds.

        From a perfunctory glance at 1911’s site…he is farther along in his conclusions and knowledge regarding the IFB, etc. than I am. As much benefit of the doubt as I try to give to fundamentalism, I still say we do ourselves and our concern to accurately reflect the Gospel to others NO FAVORS by not continually evaluating and proving all things coming out of our own churches and institutions. (By the way 1911, I have happened upon your site throughout the years…fancy meeting you here 🙂

        On a personal note: 1911 said “to be duplicitous hypocrites driven by pragmatic expediency. They are, as a group of leaders, truly power hungry religious brokers guided by little more than their individual or institutional self-interests.” I probably look like an odd duck in all of this commotion…I am more recently trying to have dialogue about BJU because, though some might have called me blindly loyal in the past, I see more and more cause to wonder what is going on at BJU behind the scenes. It just seems to me that they are worried about their numbers and their money…a flailing support base…and they are making schizophrenic non-transparent decisions that don’t instill credibility or confidence. Pragmatism is the fruit..

      3. baldjonesgrad

        Dear 1911man,
        You and I graduated from BJU in 1980. I know that was when graduating classes were larger than they are currently. I was in the school of religion & worked at the Information Desk. Interesting, this small world. We may have been acquainted.

      4. A James

        I might not go so far on a public forum at this point in time to say that Wood, III, Van Gelderen, McLario are wolves in sheep’s clothing…but it’s looking more and more suspicious. I will say this, that given more knowledge
        (http://www.pagepusher.com/view-book/AMatterOfBasicPrinciples) on how involved and knowledgeable this BJU team were with his damaging teachings/leadership styles…that they are at the least guilty of not protecting the flock by not holding Gothard accountable and warning people publicly/adequately. What damage was done to future followers by not exposing him? and one can only reasonably ask, Why this fruit from them?

    1. A James

      I wish someone would go over there and provide some balance to those comments–they are driving me to distraction, but I’m not sure my fingers of destruction are up to the task.

  7. Pingback: Plot Thickens At Bob Jones University | Christian Reforms

  8. 1911man

    A James, re.: “From a perfunctory glance at 1911′s site…he is farther along in his conclusions and knowledge regarding the IFB, etc. than I am. As much benefit of the doubt as I try to give to fundamentalism, I still say we do ourselves and our concern to accurately reflect the Gospel to others NO FAVORS by not continually evaluating and proving all things coming out of our own churches and institutions. (By the way 1911, I have happened upon your site throughout the years…fancy meeting you here :)”
    When I started the BJU Exposed weblog, there wasn’t much internet “light” being directed toward BJU…BOY, THINGS HAVE CHANGED!!! I started the BJU Exposed weblog because the Jonesians kept messing with me and lying about things. I finally decided enough is enough…let’s shed some light on the Joneses, Jonesianism, and the Jonesians who support them.

    The internet has proven to be a great equalizer. That Peterson fellow who challenged BJU on Phelps really proved that BJU couldn’t get away with their duplicity and double-dealing with the truth and then cover it up later…it’s out in the open now…too bad the internet wasn’t operational when Bob Jones Jr. was pounding heads and taking names! Talk about Shakespearean drama!!

    But, what I attempted to do was to give people an opportunity to look at how the Joneses/BJU operate. Bob Jones Sr. always said, “A crisis doesn’t make a man, it reveals a man.” The controversies or crisis that Bob Jones III faced revealed a fellow who never hesitated to lie when faced with an embarrassing crisis. Take his Interracial Dating Ban debacle. He and his minions sold the ban as a Biblical principle, preached it from the chapel platform, defied the United States of America, claimed the USA was persecuting BJU for a biblical stand, blah, blah, blah. And, in 2000, when Bob Jones III went on Larry King Live to announce the end of the interracial ban, Bob Jones III claimed BJU never tried to base the ban on Scripture when King asked Bob Jones III for the Scripture on which the ban was based. Bob Jones III’s lying response to the nation is as follows:

    “No, we can’t back it up with a verse from the Bible. We never have tried to, we have never tried to do that. But we have said there is a principle here, an overriding principle of the one world government. But let me tell you how insignificant this is. Students never hear it preached. There have been four, five, six generations of students that graduated from there have never heard this preached in our chapel or taught in our school…”

    Seems like good ol’ Bob forgot about the staffers who were fired after their church granted membership to a racially-mixed couple. And, the Rule was in the Rule Book all students read and signed at the beginning of each years, etc., etc., etc.!!!!

    Why bring this up in the context of a discussion about allegations of cover up of sexual abuse, etc.? Because through the years, BJU, the Joneses, the FBFI, and that crowd have never been honest, transparent, or forthright about any of the controversies that has involved them, their colleagues, their ministries, or fundamentalism!!! Never! Ever!

    Look at each one of the controversies Charles Underwood addresses in his Open Letter to Bob Jones III and discerning readers will see a distinctively Jonesian and unique pattern of deceit, duplicity, and hypocritical double-dealing with the truth and with the lives of good men and (apparently) young women.

    If anyone can read the Underwood letter and the BJU weblog account of BJU’s and Bob Jones III’s handling of the Interracial Dating Ban Scandal and make a convincing argument in favor of trusting the BJU crowd to do the right thing with respect to this current controversy involving young women, then I will personally kneel before Bob the Third, kiss His Holiness III’s ring, and declare my undying loyalty to His Grace III til my last breath….But, it just ain’t gonna happen!

    I have seen corruption boil and bubble
    Till it o’er-run the stew; laws for all faults,
    But faults so countenanced, that the strong statutes
    Stand like the forfeits in a barber’s shop,
    As much in mock as mark., Measure for Measure

    1. A James

      1911, intriguing! Thanks for the behind the scenes account.

      I hope to go back and read your documentation…some of this would be for a second or third time…but this time without such a suspicious glare. I had kept some of your experiences/conclusions in the back of my mind over the years regardless of my suspicions about your “bitterness” and “malicious intent” 🙂 It’s probably part of what helped me keep some open-mindedness in a remote corner of my mind. So, there you have a testimonial!

      “The internet has proven to be a great equalizer” reminds me of BJg saying earlier something like, “it’s a new day of accountability”. I hear many preachers decrying the social media…some suspicious fruit there, maybe, with their attitude…I would think those that have nothing to hide they wouldn’t be so offended at rising to the challenge of it. At the least, couldn’t it be a platform for ministry? 🙂 They say how harmful and destructive it all is, I can only see it helping keep those that have a humble and wise heart right before God and man. If nothing else, it could sharpen their skills at defending the faith. So many pros to it all! What are a few colorful words thrown at you or thumbs down or being sentenced to spam for the sake of truth? (Giving myself a pep talk, here.)

      “A crisis doesn’t make a man, it reveals a man.” An appropriate blast from the past for sure!

      It will be interesting to see how all of this develops and unfolds…what will go down in the history books as to their choices under such a magnifying glass. You’re keeping a paper trail, right? Okay, so the Larry King thing doesn’t give us hope. I do remember the sinking feeling I had watching the replays of that. Doing right and doing wrong all at the same time. And he did it without flinching. And I have regularly tried in my mind to excuse how he said/what he said. But never was convinced enough to publicly defend him.

      “make a convincing argument in favor of trusting the BJU crowd to do the right thing with respect to this current controversy” I’ll be working on a convincing argument for the fun of it. My best argument is that they are actually regarding the media? And that the social media’s reaction/perception is influential with SACS? And that there was such a variety of outcry in the media over this? And that other organizations are coming under similar scrutiny so they will all be less likely to sweep these things under the rug? And that they have lately been pragmatic about things that would boost their enrollment numbers? And that they actually left dissenting comments up on the BJU facebook page? That there’s a sleeping giant of influence? That they reinstated GRACE?

      If I think of anything better, I’ll let you know. But, please, no kneeling before them. We need a culture of humility over there!

      O! it is excellent
      To have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous
      To use it like a giant. (Measure for Measure)

      1. 1911man

        I have wrestled against fundamentalists since 1991. It started with Northside Baptist and involved money and the molestation of children. I didn’t always handle things in the best way. It is always hard to deal with religious tyranny. Dafoe said, “Of all the things with which mankind is cursed, religious tyranny is the worst.”

        One of the great dangers in fundamentalism is the subversion of faith by religious leaders erecting manmade standards that are higher/different than God’s standards. I see quite a few demoralized fundamentalists. I’m not a Calvinist in a strict sort of manner, but I was appalled at Charles Underwood’s account of how BJU, Bob Jr., and Bob III fired their Calvinist Bible Faculty and replaced them with Armenians…It appeared to be a strategic move by the Joneses, one designed to appeal to the more accessible Baptist-types rather than the Presbyterians….funny thing. After the Joneses started excoriating the BJU Calvinist graduates for emphasizing the Calvinistic doctrines they were taught at BJU, the Joneses embraced the most controversial Calvinist on the planet, Ian Paisley!!! Like Jack van Impe liked to say, “Consistency, thou art a jewel!”

        A James, I would encourage everyone who deals with fundamentalists/IFB’ers and FBFI’ers to read People of the Lie. Underwood’s Open Letter to Bob Jones III sets down the Jonesian-pattern of duplicity, deceit, and religious tyranny and hypocrisy about as well as anyone. I know it’s painfully wordy (if brevity is the soul of wit, I figure I’m not halfway there!) but the four- or five-part article on the BJU Exposed weblog details the greatest controversy BJU/Jones III engaged in, the Interracial Dating Ban Debacle. It truly reveals not just how big a liar Bob Jones III has been through the years. But such a liar cannot succeed without help, and that fact reveals the abject dishonesty and gutlessness of the administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni of BJU. Religious hypocrisy is a leaven which has thoroughly affected every facet of the Jonesian World. Sad, really. In the final analysis, these people cannot be trusted to deal with important issues honestly and forthrightly.

      2. A James

        Turk turned it down. 1911 for president? (BTW, is 1911 a joke against 1611? or is there some other significance?)

        “But such a liar cannot succeed without help, and that fact reveals the abject dishonesty and gutlessness of the administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni of BJU.”

        This has been my biggest brain twister lately. I’ve gotten a few takes on why people are loyal to the faculty, etc. even though they stand against so much of the University’s actions. I see their reasonings–I admire the willingness to consider the quandry of faculty…and I understand from experience how it’s hard to make a final conclusion/break from a system that you disagree with.

        HOWEVER, Where is the line…at what point is there blood on anyone else’s hands besides the president/executive committee? Where is the line between judging the administration imperfect vs. corrupt? I wouldn’t say I have separated fully from the university yet…but I would say that once I make that final decision for my own life and family, I will not hesitate to highly question those that remain there…and be sorely tempted to call them partakers in the evil deeds.

        Consider the worst kind of cult (if you don’t think the IFB is)…would you be so gracious to those adults that helped serve the Kool-Aid? What if that Kool-Aid was fatal to you and yours?

        I have no answers, do you?

  9. A James

    Trying to share this with a straight face. The latest from an alumni association e-mail this evening:

    “Announcing our first alumni golf fellowship
    It’s not a competitive tournament, it’s a fellowship for alumni who enjoy golf.
    On Monday, May 19 at the Purgatory Golf Club in Noblesville, Indiana, Indianapolis area alumni will be hosting this fun event for any alumni who would like to attend. Alumni in the Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and Cincinnati areas will receive email invitations to register for the event. If you live outside those areas and would still like to attend, contact our office (alumni@bju.edu) and we will include you in the invitation list.
    We want all our alumni to be aware of this event. We invite other alumni to contact us should they be interested in hosting an event such as this in their own area.”

    Oh, we’re aware…very aware. Never a dull moment from our alma mater these days!

    1. 1911man

      A James said, “(BTW, is 1911 a joke against 1611? or is there some other significance?)” LOL, A James!! I collect and shoot John Browning’s 1911 .45 ACP pistols! The pistol is amazing and is entering it’s second century still near the top of the defensive pistol heap. I’ve been collecting and shooting them for over 35 years. No significance. Not sure if the Apostle Paul used the 1611 but I bet he would have used a 1911 if given a half a chance!

  10. baldjonesgrad

    To David Hanson:
    You and I are undoubtedly polar opposites on almost everything. I am a liberal Democrat (albeit BJU grad, 1980) who questioned everything I ever learned at BJU–and threw much of it out. I am a straight male, pro-gun control, and am in favor of same sex marriage and against the death penalty and the wars we wage. I am committed to feeding the poor and housing the homeless.

    However, allow me to take just a moment and compliment you on your gracious responses. I see that you (like I) have white hair. We earned them all, didn’t we? Thank you for participating on this site. I enjoy reading your measured, unemotional responses. Rather than attack the person, you express your opinions on the issues. Rather rare, isn’t it?
    Blessings,
    BJg

  11. turkbenistan

    Listen baldjonesgrad, there is nothing honorable about being measured and unemotional. And there is nothing honorable about merely having a hoary head. But it is honorable to get angry when someone defends people WHO ABUSE CHILDREN PHYSICALLY, EMOTIONALLY, AND IN SOME CASES SEXUALLY, AND DEFEND ABUSERS OF CHILDREN.

    I can promise you this, baldjonesgrad, if you were in public one day and I saw some redneck attack you with the intent of hurting you, or your wife, or one of your children, I would stomp that person into the ground, and be pretty damn emotional about it, and I believe you would be glad for my emotion.

    Did Jesus merely address the issues in a measured, unemotional manner when he cleansed the temple? But I digress. I usually don’t bring in Biblical examples because I don’t believe BJU’ers have any real respect for Jesus’ teachings, and even most “pagans” have a clearer conception of right and wrong than those at BJ.

    So yes, I get emotional when people defend those that hurt innocent children. And I will till my dying breath. Got it?

    1. baldjonesgrad

      Turkbenistan,
      I really do appreciate the passion that you bring to the conversation. I am in no way condoning or supporting those who molest children, rape women, or cover for those who do. From the thread, I don’t see that Mr. Hanson has been doing that. It may be a matter of “secondary separation”, however.

      I’ve spent a career as a police officer and am nearing retirement. I’ve put more than my fair share of rapists, molesters, and murderers in jail. I, too, share your passion for justice. I also appreciate it when people can speak civilly to each other, even when we disagree.
      Blessings,
      BJg

    2. A James

      Got it. Never lose your emotion, Turk.

      I just noticed your Biblical example…I try not to get chapter and versey, too…but as I was making a pathetic attempt at being measured down below, I kept thinking of more and more Bible examples of Heaven-endorsed emotion.

      I am copying/pasting/saving your speech to read should I ever be tempted to be apathetic.
      Are you ordained? Do you have 15 years of ministerial experience? We need a president to help us make a break from the past. And keep the chapel platform hot. You might be the one.

      Seriously, that was inspirational.

      1. turkbenistan

        Thank you for the support and compliment. After reading your posts over the last few months, I have no doubt that your words are sincere.

        According to its website, BJU is looking for someone that is an Alumni. Alas, I am not. I am currently employed by a university in a foreign country, one of the largest (universities) in the world. My wife is a full professor at the same university.
        A James, I think you are a kind, well-intentioned, thoughtful person. I don’t know how old you are, or what you living circumstances are, but my most sincere advice to you (and to anyone else reading this blog that has spent the majority of his or her life in fundamentalist circles) is to get as far away from the influence of the BJU culture as you can for at least ten to fifteen years, preferably in a foreign country where you are forced to adapt to a different culture. This will give you a chance to get some perspective. I mean this with all my heart. Just do it! After 9/11, I heard a man on the radio say, “If your life seems to be going in circles, jump out.” That’s what I did, and as Frost noted, it has made all the difference.

        Peace.

    3. 1911man

      Turk, this sounds like good advice: “…get as far away from the influence of the BJU culture as you can for at least ten to fifteen years, preferably in a foreign country where you are forced to adapt to a different culture. This will give you a chance to get some perspective.” I left fundamentalism. Unfortunately, some of the fundamentalist kept screwing with me for years after I tried to leave them behind, hence the BJU Exposed weblog. At least now, they steer clear of me because they know I won’t reward their evil doing with silent assent: “them that sin, rebuke before all that others will be afraid.” Those of you fellows who are tithin’, joinin’, amenin’, IFB’ers, make sure to tell your preacher that you are watching him and that you won’t hesitate to publicly hold him accountable. These little IFB preacher tyrants need to know that they are surrounded by discerning men who aren’t afraid to take them to task if they mess up.

      I have stepped foot in only one IFB church in the last 15 years. I did it for my kids. Just one look around, seeing the shallow, mind-numbed, bigoted people, the Sort of the Lord literature on the table, I felt sick. I knew I could never go back to that environment. The little preacher tyrant, a BJU grad named Timothy Butler, freaked out when he found out that somebody with a set of manly orbs had visited his little fiefdom. I check around later and found out that he had purged the church of anyone who didn’t suit him. Butler left shortly after I visited. Now the church has another one of these little tyrants. These one-off IFB churches are dangerous places and are simply incapable of addressing evil doing internally. Mark them and stay away from them.

      1. A James

        1911, I did happen to see your comment way up above and responded there. As for this…was “Sort of the Lord” a typo? It’s too hilarious to be a typo. Anyway, I’m listening to you all. Currently, after many awful stories, we have a very non-typical IFB pastor. We make it a point when he does something non-IFBish to tell him how pleased we are. He heartily enjoys that…and how unIFBish to not mind us critiquing his leadership. This, I’m sure, is just a brief underpass on the IFB road. We’ve been on the brink of church discipline three times while in leadership positions–calling the Protestant Popes out over financial coverups, over bringing people’s specific sins to light from the pulpit, and, and the last one? Well, I’m still not sure how we offended him…left all before they had the pleasure of our company on the church platform.

        Allow me one amen? “Mark them and stay away from them.”
        Oh, one more? “Them that sin, rebuke before all that others will be afraid.”

      2. A James

        “bringing people’s specific sins to light”…that didn’t come out right. I don’t mean preaching on specific sins…I mean, before talking to people privately about a concern or “sin”–being a bully behind the pulpit and calling out people’s names and “sins”…of course this would be the same mog that when he walks down the road, he can hear God talking to him…and his favorite passage was, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you” to the neglect of all others concerning himself including the one you referenced, 1911, “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.”

  12. A James

    BJg, I just now see you have responded to Turk. I am just now finishing up this lengthy comment seeking your opinion. I had forgotten your career experience…that makes me even more interested in getting your thoughts about concerns/dangers of underreacting from a profesional level. Bear with me if you have time. Also, what do you mean by a “secondary separation” issue?
    ——————
    I was wondering when you would come back over here, Baldy. I wasn’t going to comment today (to spare us all), but you have me concerned about my concerns. I will try to be unemotional and measured and brief (and you know none of those are easy for me)…help me out here–in the short time of our acquaintance, we usually have some similar reactions. Not that we always have to, but still…I’m at a loss.

    First, I’m assuming you read all of Hanson’s comments from his first entry. No, no, first let me also say that I appreciate Hanson’s willingness to participate. Thank you, Hanson. I did not mean to imply (if it seemed I was) with my unmeasured and emotional responses that I didn’t want you here. It’s good to work through the perspectives. Forgive me if you thought I was attacking you personally rather than fussing through some of your ideas.

    Second, I’m assuming you read all of Hanson’s comments from his first entry onward. I’ll have to be honest and admit my continued gut and most genuine reactions to your comment are more like Turks. I’ve read through your comment again…are your compliments merely to compliment his tone, or were you fully endorsing his thoughts? Maybe you weren’t trying to get into the actual topic at hand, so…I’m double checking on this.

    My concern with Hanson goes under the umbrella of “underreaction”. This concerns me because this seems to be the main reason BJU is in the hot seat with GRACE…an underreaction to very serious matters.

    Here are the bases for my concern of underreaction…do you find them to be invalid? (I can take it. Be honest. After all the thumbs down and being filtered into spam, I’ll be okay.) After all is said and typed, these details still bother me.

    1) Underreaction to the Van Gelderen/BJU connection/possible ramifications/influence. “But Dr. Van Gelderen was not an official of Bob Jones University, which implies that he was under the control of Bob Jones University. He was a graduate of BJU but he was not an officer of the organization. At the time of the Gothard rescue, he was the pastor of an independent Baptist Church in Downers Grove, Illinois….”

    2) Underreaction by a seeming overprotection of those that are in question.
    “At the time of the Gothard rescue, he was the pastor of an independent Baptist Church in Downers Grove, Illinois (which unfortunately had issues of child abuse also after Dr. Van Gelderen’s tenure).” “Pastor of Marquette Manor Church in Downer’s Grove which is close to Gothard’s campus (in the early 90′s when we were there Gothard sometimes attended our Church — in the morning service a van load of his “students” also attended).”

    3) Underreaction to “power hungry people”
    “…to my knowledge I don’t know a single one of these either at BJU or at the independent Baptist churches where I have been a member” Even though to his knowledge he doesn’t know of a single one, I continue to disconcerted at the lack of acknowledgement that family-run churches and the governance style of many IFB churches/institutions are an easy breeding the coverup/circle the wagon mentality–i.e. power hungry.

    4) Underreaction conveyed through some disconcerting dissonance. “…where we were the only family in the Church who were not involved in the Gothard programs that I learned about his extrabiblical and heretical doctrines. I hated and still hate what he was doing and I saw that it was very unhealthy in our Church.” As I said, it was a relief to see that he views Gothard programs as extrabiblical and heretical. So, I’m at a loss at why he doesn’t carry over that emotion/concern by understanding or partially commiseration in our concerns/emotion about the influence/connections to Gothard. This is an uncertain sound that I’m hearing. Underreaction.

    As an aside, to add to Hanson’s comments that he doesn’t remember VGSr. openly endorsing or warning from the pulpit about Gothard…another acquaintance of mine (who interestingly enough attended similar time frame as Hanson) verified similarly. That acquaintance went on to say, “But why didn’t he?” Yes, I am relieved he didn’t endorse, but why didn’t he openly warn his own people…more fruit here…more red flags.

    4) Underreaction to “offending the least of these”. This one is the most serious to me.
    “…we are talking about sexual abuse or immorality concerning Gothard and earlier his brother. I have been accused twice of not being an adequate wolf discerner (I remind you that we are not talking about a wolf teaching false doctrine where we can compare what is said to Scripture) in the matter of sexual abuse or sexual immorality.” This seems to place ABUSE issues in a lesser category or and to brush off attempts to uncover coverups as of no use.

    Baldy, in your experience, is there any educating done so that people know the “signs” or “trigger situations” for abuse? Pardon me for not having time to dig up professional lingo. I know, since GRACE, BJU has had some training sessions to educate employees to be more alert. I simply find Hanson’s lack of expecting or mere hoping that others in the church could have known/seen signs/could have done more as more justification for our concern for an underreaction.

    He goes on to say, “How do you know what is being done in secret? At Churches where I have been a member, a deacon was sexually abusing his daughter at home, a youth pastor was sexually abusing a teen (I am not sure of the location), a coach was sexually abusing the same teen, a deacon was committing sexual immorality with two college students in his home, and a Sr. pastor had an inappropriate, at least, relationship with a female church member. These men except the coach were all married and I have never heard of evidence that even their wives knew of their actions (until God brought everything to light through the victim’s testimony or in one case cell phone records).”

    I just got mad for the first time in this whole discussion. After reading that, allow me to be unmeasured and emotional…I do not know Hanson’s one-on-one personality…maybe he is very laid back and flexible…but there is potentially a serious lack of outrage at the leadership in these wonderful churches he’s been in. I’m yelling here: deacon…youth pastor…coach…deacon…and A SENIOR PASTOR HAD AN INAPPROPRIATE AT LEAST RELATIONSHIP WITH A FEMALE CHURCH MEMBER AND HE KNOWS NO CORRUPT OR POWER HUNGRY PEOPLE?

    Ran across these for those that still care about this topic…
    Here are a couple of SFU quotes on the VGs: “Yep, pretty much, one of the strangest experiences of my childhood was hearing the three brothers preach at a youth conference. Never had I heard such strange applications of obscure passages in the OT regarding dress code, dating, and what flagellation of the flesh was required to be godly. Really nice people, but when preaching time came, wow, just wow.”

    and “Anything any of the Van Gelderens do makes me RUN. That church is VERY cultish. Two of my friends from college did their student teaching at that Christian school, and they were completely miserable the whole time.”

    BJU News Twitter referenced this post concerning growing up in Gothardism. http://redemptionpictures.com/2014/02/28/bill-gothard-homeschool-cult/
    Please go at least look at the copy of the “counseling sexual abuse” page. Much of this same type of underreaction/guilt trip laden advice to the offender is what some of those that are testifying to GRACE claim happened at BJU with Berg/Wood especially. I’m yelling again…quote from that Gothard page: “If you had to choose no spiritual abuse or being mighty in spirit–which would you choose” Heaven help us.

    If these names being tossed around that seem to have some similar chilling beliefs/attitudes have also been protecting each other…if we can’t even allow a question mark because of our otherwise love or respect for our leaders, we are underreacting at least and sinning at most. I don’t know how all the dots are connected with persons/places/beliefs/influence/power/abuse allegations. I do not mean to overreact if I am. I do know, though, it is high time to act correctly by provoking our churches and institutions to in turn act correctly–to reflect God accurately.

    “Hate evil, and love good,
    and establish justice in the gate”
    “I hate, I despise your feasts,
    and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
    Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them;
    and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,
    I will not look upon them.
    Take away from me the noise of your songs;
    to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
    But let justice roll down like waters,
    and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

  13. baldjonesgrad

    A James,
    I will re-read your post above again, and will likely respond again. I’m a bit short on time, so this has to be brief. First of all, I am only peripherally aware of Bill Gothard and ATI. When I was at BJU I heard of him, but that’s all. Mr. Hanson is correct in that Mr. Van Gelderen was a BJU board of trustees member at that time. I never knew him to be on faculty or staff. I have a bit of an issue with equating VG as being an extension of BJU. He was a regular speaker in chapel, etc, I realize.

    Candidly, as I read through the thread (twice quickly, without going to the linked pages to educate myself) I felt that the tenor of the conversation was getting a bit too confrontational. And while I agreed with the content of most of what I read directed toward Mr. Hanson, I felt that it was becoming a bit disrespectful. And yet, as I read his posts in reply, he came across as measured and controlled. So you asked: “are your compliments merely to compliment his tone, or were you fully endorsing his thoughts?” In NO WAY am I endorsing his thoughts. I’m complimenting his low keyed approach. I NEVER saw any indication (or did I miss it?) that Mr. Hanson himself was personally involved in covering up rapes or molestations. (Did I miss that?) He was speaking up in defense of VG. Thus, my question about “secondary separation.” That was a big issue when I was at BJU. (Secondary separation=I have to separate from someone not because we differ theologically, but because of whom he chooses to associate with.)

    Bloggers can name call and shout at each other, but I think that does little to sway the person we’re arguing with. It’s the old catching more flies with honey thing. If someone insults you, are you more or less likely to be swayed by their speech? Admittedly, I was fairly confrontational with a BJU prof on this blog, but that was due to the allegations of direct (rather than secondary) involvement with the aftermath of the Tina Anderson tragedy. So I called him out, directly and confrontationally and asked him to respond. He chose not to do so.

    I am a big fan of being measured in speech. I’ve been quite successful over the years gaining confessions from criminals, but it was NEVER accomplished by insulting them. I had my best successes when I became like a “father” to the homicide suspect, and he or she confessed. That worked far better than anger or insults. Currently, I have 75 people under my command, and I have to be very measured and careful in my speech. So, I admire that quality in a person, particularly when I’m engaged in a vigorous “discussion” with them.

    In dealing with victims of rape or molestation, we must be very kind to them. Our default position should be that we believe them.

    You asked, “Baldy, in your experience, is there any educating done so that people know the “signs” or “trigger situations” for abuse?” I thought about this question, and it’s a good one. I tend to watch children’s and teen’s faces. Are the facial expressions consistent? In other words, does their entire face smile, or just their mouth? If their eyes don’t spontaneously smile it makes me watch closer. I’ve seen that characteristic in many victims of sexual abuse. But that’s not clinical knowledge or scientifically proven. It’s just street cop stuff.

    I hope this answers a few of your concerns above. I’ll re-read your post over the weekend and respond again, if needed.
    Blessings to you,
    BJg

  14. A James

    Got your response–thanks! Thought I’d quickly respond in case it saves you time from trying to convince me further of some of your thoughts on some particulars.

    1) Though I am adamant about the close bonds and influence between VG/BJ and being a board member is as much “official” as you can get at BJU–they are more in charge than the administration–I will readily acknowledge that the VG particular regarding Gothard isn’t nearly as alarming as Dr. Wood’s involvement/influence. Many details are beginning to surface about the striking similariities/ key counseling philosophies that those two parroted…and Dr. Wood, well, we know that clear connection.

    2) Hanson, I apologize for being too confrontational or a bit disrespectful. I do not have a hoary head…and I do slip into sincere expression of alarm…youth and honesty can result in or be misconstrued as disrespect…especially on paper…I usually type as I am reacting and sorting through my own thoughts–a stream of consciousness of sorts…and knowing you are older, I really did work hard at presenting my disagreements. I know. I have a long way to go. I don’t think I can ever be low-key. I think I’ll just slink away.

    3) IN NO WAY am I asserting he is/was personally involved in covering up. Just seeking balance that we don’t inadvertently cover up cover ups.

    4) Secondary Separation. Gotcha. Thought this was some cop usage of the term perhaps rather than a fundy usage of the term. Wanting to be fully informed in case.

    5) Don’t hold out too much hope for me in holding down my drama. Sigh.

    6) “If someone insults you, are you more or less likely to be swayed by their speech?” In the blogosphere? It’s only to be expected. Don’t blog if you want a garden party. It actually gets my adrenaline going and my synapses firing…and make me pathetically try sharpen my debate points. I’ll have to get up the nerve and see if I actually insulted Hanson up above. I usually don’t…or if I’m teasing and I think it might be taken as an insult I usually try to add an emoticon. Insulting or belittling a victim? No way. I’d be in “Turk mode” defending them.

    7) Yes, I’ve heard that idea before (facial expressions). As far as Trigger Situations, I’ve heard some churches or read their policies on protection…of course, background checks, including things like always having two adult workers in a group or counseling sessions…if mixed group, then a male and female chaperone…the wife counseling alongside the husband…just common sense things to give hopefully an extra accountability layer…I’m sure there are tons more out there…of course a sense of openness between leadership and constituency–not a “we” vs. “you” mentality or a “leadership can never be wrong” mentality…hopefully more churches/institutions will be more forward thinking in this area.

    Oh, me. This is the closest i’ve come to wanting to end my short blog commenting career.

  15. A James

    Worth the read. Excerpt from A Matter of Basic Principles:
    http://www.pagepusher.com/view-book/AMatterOfBasicPrinciples

    A commenter at The American Conservative (pingback above) referenced the link to the excerpt. BJU’s name enters the scene on page 10, but the whole document is interesting per our discussion.
    “Damage Control Begins
    The department managers met on Wednesday morning, May 28 to construct a letter which would be sent out to all alumni pastors to explain what was going on at the Institute. At 11:30 Dr. Bob Wood, administrative vice president of Bob Jones University, came in to lead the staff Bible study. After the study, Bill met with Wood and Rev. Van Geldren (board member of Bob Jones University) and somehow convinced them that the Institute staff was rebelling against him. In all likelihood, these men were unaware of the extent and gravity of Gothard’s own failures and lack of accountability. But without confirming the truth and accuracy of the information that they received from Bill, they met with the directors and staff that afternoon and rebuked them for challenging Bill’s authority…”

    The commenter at TAC also noted this:
    “These self-described Independent Fundamentalist leaders were very much interconnected with one another, albeit not formally “networked.” In the times of Gothard’s workshops best attendance, it was not unusual for many people affiliated with Bob Jones University to be in attendance. Interestingly enough, Bill Gothard and Bob Wood are both documented with promoting and teaching the digusting “throw-away-parts” doctrine to rape survivors: the soul is the *permanent* part of a woman/human while the body parts that were harmed in the rape are temporal, literally “throw-away,” so the rape (or molestation or incest) survivor can just forgive the abuser/rapist and give it all over to God and move on with life. Bill Gothard’s teaching of this idea is available in print from his training materials and there is a video of Bob Wood teaching the same thing. I have no idea who came up with the teaching first, but there is plenty of documentation that they knew each other.”

    (GRACE interviewees have noted similar counseling from Berg/Wood as this Gothard advice: http://www.recoveringgrace.org/media/Counseling_Sexual_Abuse.jpeg)

    and in case you are new to the discussion:

    Don’t forget The Video: http://bjunews.com/2013/03/01/are-you-willing-to-get-over-it-video-of-bob-woods-seminar-on-abuse-counseling-surfaces-at-the-worst-possible-time-for-bju/)

    and don’t forget The Audio: http://bjunews.com/2013/12/14/audio-from-bob-jones-iiis-infamous-consensual-rape-interview-leaked/

  16. A James

    “While I have hope that this project will be of great value to our students, clearly, the last few weeks have been a painful distraction from our focus on the current students that God has entrusted to us.”
    A “painful distraction” is what they consider working with the GRACE to be?

    (Click “open photo viewer” for full info.)

  17. turkbenistan

    @ A James:

    I can no longer waste my time over at that other blog with people that are willfully ignorant. Bob Jones is a sinking ship. I’m done.

    1. A James

      Turk,
      How did you know I check back here just in case?!
      I guess I’ve known all along it would come to this. I think most over there understand it’s a sinking ship, or that it at least has serious perhaps insurmountable problems and are just getting relief by talking about it? Maybe not. I don’t doubt more of us will say, “I’m done”, I feel the vibes, I think. Either way, if you all talk separately apart from That Blog, well, to you all, thanks for trying–and I did enjoy meeting you all. Maybe things will get better over there? If not, God’s best always to you all…till we meet at another place or post or at least “on the other side” 🙂

    2. A James

      Turk, sorry, just found this to be hilarious. I was googling about a topic, and this came up in the search:
      “BJU Quietly Cuts Four More Majors [Update: No] | BJU News
      bjunews.com/2014/03/03/bju-quietly-cuts-four-more-majors/‎
      Mar 3, 2014 – turkbenistan March 4, 2014 at 4:16 AM. Oooooh, the gloves come off, LOL. Better watch yourself A James. Next, he may punch you in the arm …”
      Memories in a Google search! Again, it’s been fun 🙂

  18. A James

    Just in case, fyi.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/16/sex-scandal-rocks-the-duggars-christian-patriarchy-movement.html
    “Similarly, both Bob Jones University and Patrick Henry College—schools that were established in no small part to give these homeschooled and sheltered kids from far Christian right backgrounds a place to go to college—have been at the center of accusations of indifference and even of allegedly covering up reported sexual abuse on campus.”

  19. turkbenistan

    Sure is quiet around here. I think everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think a lot of people are thinking, “Damn…we might actually löse our jobs (gulp).”

    1. A James

      Eerily quiet. Like an “anything you say or do may be used against you” quiet. Should we also take heed? Gave you some thumb ups since there’s nothing else to do here 🙂

    1. A James

      Interesting, yes, even for a simple informative link. I think I must have toughened up over the months…I simply sigh instead of having paranoia. Nonetheless, I guess I should cut back my non-substantive chatter here, too, in case it will increase activity otherwise–so save your nunchucks for now. Someway I’ll find you when it’s a real emergency, home slice (and yes, I had to look that up to get culturally relevant 🙂

      1. A James

        How fun. A thumbs down so quickly–somewhere within 2 1/2 hours. Meet ya elsewhere, Turk, as paranoia sets in…

    1. A James

      If I had to guess at the proliferation of thumbs down even on my simple informative links, I would guess it’s Anson Mills checking back here and providing balance.

  20. NukeMan

    Hi! I’m brandynew to this blog, but it has been interesting. Didn’t graduate from BJU, but attended at what appears to be the same time as some of you – can’t keep the names straight. I attended fall ’77 to ’80. Dropped out to go to G’ville Tech in pursuit of a pre-Engineering degree. I will note that I made wine in the trunk of my car using bananas and other foodstuffs provided in the Sunday evening lunch bags in the dorm – remember those! As for the 1911 ACP, whatever handgun u carry for personal defense must start with a “4”; recommendation from a joint FBI, CIA, ATF task force after a bank robbery wen horribly bad for the good guys. Can’t really provide useful input to the topic, but just am remembering that BJU is where I met the love of my life of 33 years this month, and all I had to do was wear a tie and walk to the other end of campus for a hot meal! Go Bryan!

  21. Clara English

    Fourth paragraph, penultimate sentence typo – “Van Galderen” instead of “Van Gelderen”. Not judging, just bringing it to your attention for correction.

  22. Pingback: GRACE Aftermath: Docs, Tweets, Images and Media Coverage | BJU News

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