Friday, December 16, 2005

I remember when Mr. Gothard...
When my family was on staff at ITC shortly after it first opened, I volunteered to conduct tours of the building to visitors. This went fine, until one day, when Mr. Gothard was visiting, he suggested to Leadership that they should start conducting tours to visitors. When they told him that I was the "tour guide" for the place, he called me into a meeting in his office there at ITC, with his staff. I was so excited about this personal interview. I thought that Mr. Gothard would surely see what a wonderful ATI girl I was. Maybe he would even invite me to work at Headquarters!

The session began with him asking me what exactly I was telling people during the tours. I eagerly began to recite my little spiel, when, mid-sentence, I realized that he was sound asleep. I hesitated, looking up his assistant, who was attentively hovering over the chair of the sleeping Great One. He nodded encouragingly for me to continue, so I talked a little more, only to be interrupted by a snore and then a muffled choke. I stopped. I just couldn't go on. In the awful silence that followed, Mr. Gothard's eyes snapped open. He seemed not to realize that I was there. His gaze drifted across the room to where a fly was perched upon the windowsill. In an ominous voice he uttered: "SOMEONE KILL THAT FLY!"

As his solicitous aides scrambled about with newspapers and books, in search of the offending fly, he began talking to his assistant about something completely unrelated to tours at ITC. I sat there for about 15 minutes and then quietly left the room. No further mention was made or tours at ITC by Mr. Gothard. I think he forgot about them.

Stories from the front

Dear X-er,

Over ten years ago in the Spring, I went to the Indy training center for one of the early counseling training sessions. It was still open to both sexes and was in its early stages. When I arrived everything was gleaming, the red carpet was new, the training center was impressive to a willing participant. I was assigned a roommate and sent off to my room which happened to be a suite.

While exploring the "amenities," we discovered that the door connecting to the room next door was unlocked. My roommate, being a fun-loving girl herself, and I decided to play a prank for April Fool's Day. We sneaked into the room next door early in the morning and tic-tacked it. We put tic-tacs in their shoes, bags, beds, make-up bottles, you name it we did it. We were looking forward to getting to know these girls and having a good laugh later.

Well, we went down to the morning session and the first subject was April Fool's day complete with scripture and lectures about silliness and pranks. I never felt so guilty in my entire life, talk about humiliation, I never said one word to those girls and prayed they would never figure out who did it. My roommate and I agreed to never speak of it again.

Then came the chores, the lousy food (the wheat rolls were the only decent thing), the chores and the really "good girls." They had wavy hair, sweet voices, mentioned God or a principle in every sentence and made me feel like I would never measure up. I worked at a bank when I went to Indy and one of those girls asked how I justified working at a bank and getting people into debt.

Unfortunately I had the worst gift for a girl at Indy, exhorter with lots of points in the prophet category. If I answered the question, "what is your spiritual gift?" I would get a cautious, "oh my." If only I could have been a "mercy" or a "servant" or a "teacher." I got stuck with laundry duty and when the place flooded, I organized clean-up. One sweet faced sugary voiced girl said, "Are you an 'organizer'?" I replied, "No, I just have experience." I tried to remind myself that these were fifteen-year-olds who didn't know much about anything.

I never thought of myself as a feminist until I went to the Northwoods. I was a member of a select group of girls and guys who got to go to Michigan and help with the Character in Business thing when it first started. We were supposed to get to know the business leaders and market the program. Great, I was excited, it was my first opportunity to be involved, I wanted serve God through some sort of missions program and this looked like it might be it.

When we arrived, Mrs. Furman informed us that any slits in our skirts would need to be sewn shut, the curtain in our room had been sewn shut (did she honestly think we were going to stand in front of it naked?), and we would be eating our meals in the hall away from the cadets and business leaders and we were not to "defraud" the cadets by speaking with them, looking at them, or wearing any inappropriate navy and white garb.

What was the point of inviting us to be there? All of us were dedicated to the program, we were all 18 to 25, Christians, intelligent, and interested in careers in business and ministry, (not typical, I know) and we were being treated like harlots. Only the guys were allowed to associate with the businessmen outside of sessions, it was absolutely ridiculous. After our complaints, we were finally allowed in the dining room for the final banquet. (I don't think any of us planned on learning lessons from "God" about eating in the hall.)

I made no networking contacts, was miserable the entire time, and I had to pay to be there. Good old ATIA. I didn't even get to meet any Cadets who might have been interested in courting a good-looking, intelligent woman. I am convinced that Courtship is Mr. G's way of keeping us single and working for free.

Best wishes,
P.S. This blog is one of my favorites, I found it by typing "IBLP sucks" in Google.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Don't buy the car...
Update on Mr. Gothard's car:


From: [deleted]
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005
To: Ken Pierpont
Subject: Re: Mr. Gothard's Car

I don't have a job as I was laid off from working with a Christian ministry in March. We also found out that my wife was pregnant the same week I lost my job. It's been a hard year but we're trusting God will provide. I was also in ALERT. WAY back in the day. Would you consider giving me the car? It would mean a lot and help provide for my family.


From: Ken Pierpont
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 4:50 PM
To: [deleted]
Subject: Re: Mr. Gothard's Car


Thanks for writing. Right now someone is working on repairing Mr. Gothard's car. If you received it as a gift, it needs so much work that it would cost more to fix it than it would to purchase a car that would provide adequate transportation.

I am sorry to hear about your job. This is the worst of times of the year to be laid off. I trust you will find work soon.

Ken Pierpont

I remember when Mr. Gothard...
Reader forlibery sends in his recollections of Mr. Gothard from his days as a staffer. Have your own story? Send them here.


I only had a few, but they were enough for my lifetime.

FUCH and Such
During a seminar on the West Coast, an admiring alumnus took Mr. G and the staff out for a ride on his yacht. The alumnus happened to bring a friend who didn't know Uncle Bill from Adam. I suspect the alumnus was hoping that the aura from the master would rub off on his friend. Alas, the opposite may have occurred, as this guy entertained us with a lengthy etymology of the F word. It was entertaining, really, esp. watching Mr. G. just listen and smile at the appropriate times.

Yes Men
One thing that helped open my eyes was my observation of Mr. G's interactions with others in IBLP leadership. They treated him like a god. I expected that from the average IBLPer, but I was surprised to see people I thought would stand up to him bow down and worship. From my few observations, it appeared that nobody had the will to say, "That's the craziest thing I've ever heard!"

Except his mom. According to a friend of mine, she gave him a reality check a few times during a trip to Taiwan. He shared some rhema, and she said, "Bill, now where do you get that from? I don't see that there." And when he "suggested" a fast to everyone, she pulled out a chocolate bar and started munching away.

No Bubble Zone
Most Westerners have a "personal space bubble," but this saint is free of the inhibitions that afflict the rest of us. One time, he reclined his car seat back...all the way back, so that his head was literally in my lap. Alas, we were all "under the influence," so nobody told him to quit being rude.

The Dilbert Principle
There was one thing that made me feel sorry for the man, but I suppose it's his own fault. I had the "privilege" of being his assistant for a day, and in his directions, he treated me like a child. He couldn't just tell me to send a letter for him; he had to explain how to fold it, how to seal the envelope, and oh, remember to put a stamp on it. It was so laughable, but apparently he was accustomed to incompetent help. Scott Adams' maxim is true, at least in IBLP; only the incompetent get promoted, and the right-hand man position is reserved for the most incompetent of all.

(No offense to any ex-right-hand men out there, but that's the only conclusion I could draw from his strange behavior.)





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