By the mid-’80s, some of them were fighting with each other in the courts.Bill famously stated in his early seminars that, although he was open to marrying, he was devoted to his ministry and had postponed marriage to give his time to it.In the space of less than twelve months, from the early months of 1980 until January of 1981, a multi-million dollar ministry suffered a massive public blow that nearly crippled it.The blow came from within its own ranks, and among the headlines were phrases like “gross immorality,” “failure to maintain confidence of staff,” and “refusal to address sin.” Yet somehow, within three years, The Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts (IBYC) had not only recovered from the scandal, but had launched an even loftier offshoot ministry that continues in some capacity to the present day. More importantly, what happened after the Scandal that made it all go away?
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” Proverbs (NASB) Pride seems to have dogged Bill from the beginning of his time in ministry.
It is significant that the structure of his ministry placed Bill in a position where he would not have to experience that humiliation again. He had done something big and probably in his mind eternally important, and his parents and most of his siblings were riding the wave with him.
We don’t think anyone can really begrudge Bill that feeling of pride in his accomplishments.
We know that the Gothard family was both fractured and insular.
They called each other out on missteps when necessary, but for the most part they kept each others’ secrets. By the time the Scandal was over, though, Bill had banished one brother and had begun to alienate a sister.