Bill Gothard PhD, Founder/President
The Institute in Basic Life Principles
Oak Brook, IL
Dear Dr. Gothard:
For the past couple years, my colleague, the Dean of Cincinnati, has been writing articles about you and your various enterprises. Before then I’d never even heard of you, your institute, your “character-building" seminars, your unaccredited medical school, your unaccredited law school, your nursing program, your Children’s Institute, your bible-centered paramilitary boot camp, your music school, your culinary arts program, your Institute of Photographic Studies, your resort-style training center in Guadalajara, your upholstery training program, your hair design program, etc. As you know, I’m just scratching the surface - the list keeps just on going and according to this 2006 In These Times cover story, The Cult of Character, business is booming:
Gothard, the 74-year-old, unmarried man at the head of the Oak Brook, Illinois-based Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) - which brings in an estimated profit of at least $63 million annually - has been in the evangelism business since 1964.
But my letter today concerns matters far more serious than earthly possessions and multi-million dollar bank accounts. Today I’m asking you to save the eternal soul of the man you support to be the next President of the United States - Mike Huckabee. Thanks again to recent articles by The Dean, I learned that you and Governor Huckabee are longtime associates and that you were photographed together at a recent “Huckabee for President” campaign event at a Houston home. I also came across a December 13 Denver Post article about Matthew Murray, the young Colorado church shooter, which includes:
Murray also claims online that he went through Bill Gothard home schooling, a fundamental Christian organization that has about 2,000 students enrolled nationally. Gothard’s program bases a curriculum on the 54 verses from the Sermon on the Mount, and its strict teachings prohibit rock & roll and television. Gothard, in an interview Wednesday, said he “didn’t recall"ever meeting the Murray family, but he was sure one of the parents was probably trained in his program. Ultimately, Gothard blames rock music for Murray’s murderous rampage. “That is the most contributing factor,” said Gothard, who is based in a small town south of Chicago. “It’d be important to see the connection between his passion to rock music and how it ultimately brought this on.” Gothard said whenever he gets calls from parents having trouble with their kids, he asks about what they listen to. “In every case, (the kid) is listening to rock music,” he said.
Here’s why I’m writing you. Though it’s been widely reported in the media, it may have escaped your attention that Gov. Huckabee not only loves rock music, he plays bass guitar in a rock band! I have located numerous photographs of him engaging in this activity. I must warn you that these images may disturb you, but you may click here to view them.
I also have a confession to make. Like Gov. Huckabee, I’ve engaged in similar activities. For the past decade, I’ve been a member of 98 Degrees, a group that performs the kind of music warned against as “unclean” and “satanic” in an article you published, Ten Scriptural Reasons Why the “Rock Beat” is Evil in Any Form. Taken from that essay, here’s a list which might be called “Bill Gothard’s Ten Commandments of Rock”:
I. THE “ROCK BEAT” DECEIVES YOUTH INTO VIOLATING THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT
II. THE “ROCK BEAT” VIOLATES GOD’S COMMAND TO “GIVE NO PLACE TO THE DEVIL”
III. THE “ROCK BEAT” MOCKS GOD’S COMMAND TO “LOVE NOT THE WORLD”
IV. THE “ROCK BEAT” DISREGARDS GOD’S COMMAND NOT TO OFFEND OTHER CHRISTIANS
V. THE “ROCK BEAT” DEFIES GOD’S COMMAND TO JUDGE ALL THINGS AS GOOD OR EVIL
VI. THE “ROCK BEAT” DISOBEYS GOD’S COMMAND TO AVOID “ALL APPEARANCE OF EVIL”
VII. THE “ROCK BEAT” CONTRADICTS GOD’S COMMAND NOT TO BE BROUGHT UNDER ITS POWER
VIII. THE “ROCK BEAT” OPPOSES GOD’S COMMAND NOT TO MIX LIGHT WITH DARKNESS
IX. THE “ROCK BEAT” IGNORES GOD’S COMMAND FOR ALL MINISTERS TO BE QUALIFIED
X. THE “ROCK BEAT” VIOLATES GOD’S COMMAND TO PROTECT OUR BODIES AS GOD’S TEMPLE
I thought our group was just having a great time making our fans happy with fun music. If only we’d known how dangerous the “ROCK BEAT” is, we might have considered musical styles like the CDs and cassettes you sell on your website, such as The Music of the Children’s Institute: Volume 1 & 2, described as “Well-loved, character-teaching songs from the 1997-1998 Children’s Institutes sung by the Carman Family.”
Anyway, steady yourself, Dr. G, because I’m about to reveal some even more shocking information about Gov. Huckabee. He recently told a New York Times reporter he wants The Rolling Stones to play at his inaugural. Get thee behind me, Mick!
Bill, do you want Their Satanic Majesties to desecrate President Huckabee’s inauguration? Do you want a Commander in Chief who willfully violates your “Ten Commandments of Rock”? Do you want “The Star-Spangled Banner” performed with the “ROCK BEAT”? I’m wondering if you stand behind your own words. I’m sure you recognize this “Commitment to Reject the Deception of the ‘Rock Beat’ in Any Form”, a pledge you have asked others to sign:
“Almighty Father, based on the authority of your Word and the testimony of others, I now purpose to remove from my life any music that contains a “ROCK BEAT”; and to replace it with melodious music that glorifies You and edifies others.”
I’m now calling on you to make a public request for your good friend Mike Huckabee to sign it, too.
And there’s not a moment to waste. As I write this, CBS News reports that the Governor is encouraging the kind of blasphemy you said caused the Colorado tragedy:
With about 150 supporters crowded around a podium set up on the tarmac of Orlando Executive airport...Mike Huckabee strode out to the strains of “Right Now” by Van Halen....
You seem to prefer quick and easy answers, such as your claim that most mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, are simply a lack of personal responsibility.
Okay, now let’s see you take some personal responsibility.
For decades, you’ve been blaming rock music for society’s problems. Now’s your chance to make an international public statement, courtesy of your good friend, Rockin’ Mike Huckabee. What do you have to say to this man who consistently violates one of your most cherished “Basic Life Principles,” a man you want to be leader of the free world?
When are you going to condemn him like you condemned young Matthew Murray?
If that question’s too tough for you, I can direct you to some character-building seminars.