Caroline Matas

Institute in Basic Life Principles


1934:  Bill Gothard was born to parents Carmen and William Gothard.

1957:  Bill Gothard received his B.A. in Biblical Studies from Wheaton College.

1961:  Bill Gothard founded an inner-city Chicago-based ministry called Campus Teams.

1964:  Wheaton College invited Gothard to present a two-week seminar about his work in Chicago. Gothard named the course “Basic Youth Conflicts.”

1965:  Gothard incorporated the Basic Youth Conflicts seminar tour into his Campus Teams ministry, ultimately drawing tens of thousands of attendees per seminar.

1984:  In response to growing demand as the Christian homeschooling movement took off, Gothard launched a homeschooling curriculum and pilot program, the Advanced Training Institute of America, for around 100 families.

1989:  As the organization expanded its focus, it rebranded as the Institute in Basic Life Principles, offering seminars ranging from homeschooling to family dynamics to financial literacy.

1994:  IBLP member Ron Fuhrman founded the ALERT Academy, a paramilitary training camp for unmarried boys and men.

2004:  Discovery Health aired a one-hour documentary, 14 Children and Pregnant Again, featuring prominent IBLP family Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their super-sized family.

2010:  IBLP member Daniel Webster, a career politician who wrote the bill that legalized homeschooling in Florida in 1985, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

2011:  A group of anonymous former members of IBLP created an organization called Recovering Grace, aimed at exposing Bill Gothard’s history of impropriety and helping current and former members in their recovery.

2014:  The IBLP Board of Directors placed Bill Gothard on leave, leading to his resignation after an internal investigation revealed a history of sexual harassment and misconduct.

2015:  5 former IBLP members filed lawsuits against both Bill Gothard for his sexual abuse against them and against the IBLP itself for alleged negligence and conspiracy to conceal wrongdoing.

2021:  The IBLP’s homeschooling organization, Advanced Training Institute, announced that it would no longer enroll homeschooling families, but would continue to make homeschooling materials available to interested parties.


The Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) was the brainchild of William “Bill” W. Gothard, Jr., a man born in the midst of the Great Depression to parents committed to raising their children in the Christian faith. [Image at right] Gothard was named after his father, who served as the president of Gideons International and the executive director of the Chicago Christian Businessmen’s Committee after converting to Christianity through an early Billy Graham radio broadcast. Gothard, Jr. would later attend Graham’s alma mater, the evangelical academic flagship Wheaton College.

Self-admittedly a poor student in his younger years, Gothard told interviewers that his grades only improved when he began memorizing scripture as a teenager. Gothard would go on to center the memorization of scripture as the foundation of his own organization’s homeschooling materials. Gothard encouraged parents to instill in their children “a godly contempt for the philosophies of the world,” positing that every topic worth learning could be taught from an explicitly Christian point of view (Bockelman 1976:31).

By his college years, Gothard had concluded that most Christian ministries suffered due to their compromise with “worldly” standards. Gothard rejected the idea of moral gray areas, instead arguing that God’s absolute standards of good and evil applied to all ideas, objects, creatures, and people. Jesus even cursed a fig tree in the Bible, Gothard wrote, because it had failed to fulfill its God-given purpose of producing fruit (Gothard n.d.). Gothard pointed to the Bible’s descriptions of good and evil wives, children, and even knowledge itself as evidence that God’s universe is irrevocably bifurcated between absolute good and absolute evil. The best way to determine whether one was aligned with the good, Gothard said, was to live according to the forty-nine character qualities he identified as evidence of individuals’ Godliness.

From the earliest days of his ministry, Gothard jealously protected his reputation. In an interview for an unauthorized biography written by Christian author Wilfred Bockelman in 1976, Gothard expressed his distaste for public critique and disagreement. “God’s way is to give a good report of others, and to deal privately with a person in those areas in which you don’t agree,” Gothard told Bockelman (1976:23). This emphasis on privacy extended to Gothard’s organization as a whole, whose growth was spurred largely by word of mouth. Even as Gothard’s organization grew to reach a reported 2,000,000 seminar attendees, he maintained firm control over the group’s operations. Serving as president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles from its 1961 founding as Campus Teams until his resignation in 2014, Gothard deeply influenced everything from members’ hairstyles and manner of dress to their financial decisions to their children’s courtship opportunities. Despite his focus on marriage and family relationships as the primary locus for spiritual formation, Gothard never married or had children. He continued to live with his parents into his forties. When asked why he remained single, Gothard jokingly replied, “I haven’t found a free weekend yet” (Bockelman 1976:37).

After completing his master’s degree in Christian education at Wheaton College in 1957, Bill Gothard began an organization called Campus Teams, designed to reach Chicago inner-city youth through Bible studies focusing on seven “non-optional” principles of life: design, authority, responsibility, suffering, ownership, freedom, and success. When Gothard presented his Campus Teams work in a two-week seminar for Wheaton College undergraduates in 1964, he framed these seven principles as the foundation of all “Basic Youth Conflicts.” Gothard began offering his “basic seminar” as a touring speaker, eventually drawing crowds large enough to fill the Seattle Coliseum. [Image at right]

As Gothard found success with his Basic Youth Conflicts seminar, he incorporated his family into the ministry. Gothard’s father served on his board of directors and Gothard’s brother Steve helped create many of the organization’s early publications. When Steve was accused by multiple women in the organization of sexual misconduct in the late 1970s, Gothard initially attempted to resolve the issue internally but ultimately publicly ejected Steve from the organization in 1980. The board of the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts (IBYC) was also dissatisfied with Bill Gothard himself due to his alleged misuse of funds (including non-ministry use of the organization’s private jet), his delay in addressing his brother’s misconduct, and rumors of Bill’s own sexual misconduct against female employees (“The Gothard Files” 2014). In 1980, former employees filed two lawsuits against the organization and Bill Jr., Bill Sr., and Steve Gothard for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duties, but both were ultimately dropped due to financial strain on the plaintiffs.

In 1984, the IBYC launched the Advanced Training Institute of America (ATIA, later ATI), an arm of the organization aimed at homeschooling and career training for youth. [Image at right] Families that paid for membership in the ATI received a set of homeschooling materials called “Wisdom Booklets,” workbooks that combined lessons in linguistics, history, science, law, medicine, scripture, and “character qualities” and were designed for use across age and grade levels. ATI families also pay for the opportunity to send their children to work at IBYC headquarters to receive ministry and job training, along with mentorship by Bill Gothard himself. 102 families participated in ATI’s pilot year, but enrollment quickly grew as the broader Christian homeschooling movement gained traction socially and legally during the 1980s and early 1990s (Ingersoll 2015; Kunzman 2010; Gaither 2008).

By 1989, when IBYC changed its name to the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), its homeschooling program had grown exponentially, with over 10,000 participants attending the 1990 ATIA annual conference. The 1990s were characterized by the organization’s global expansion, with IBLP establishing offices in Australia, New Zealand, Moscow, and Taiwan. By the year 2000, the IBLP claimed that more than 2,500,000 million people from more than 150 countries had attended an IBLP conference (“Home Page” 2000).

Domestically, the 1990s and 2000s saw IBLP’s expansion into more specialized offerings for youth, families, and communities, including marriage conferences, pastor training conferences, “total health” seminars, financial freedom seminars, and anger resolution trainings. In 1992, IBLP board member Thomas Hill established the “secular” face of the IBLP, an organization called Character First! that adapted Gothard’s series of character qualities for use in a variety of non-religious settings. Character First’s resources have been used by public school boards, city police forces, public and private correctional facilities, and corporations including McDonald’s and Coca Cola (Talvi 2006). Out of Character First! grew the International Association of Character Cities (IACC), founded in 1998 to implement Gothard’s character qualities in the leadership and structures of city governments. At its peak in the late 2000s, the IACC boasted over 150 verified “Character Cities” in the U.S. and forty-eight international “Character Cities” (Matas 2023).

In 1994, IBLP member Ron Fuhrman founded the ALERT Academy, a paramilitary training camp for boys and men that combined scripture memorization, endurance hiking, and formation marching drills. ALERT is housed at the organization’s current headquarters, a 2,250-acre campus in Big Sandy, Texas, which the Hobby Lobby-famous Green family sold to the IBLP for just $10 in 2000. In 2003, the IBLP began running regional family conferences to help connect local IBLP families to one another. Journey to the Heart, founded in 2007, served as an intensive spiritual retreat for IBLP teen girls and boys that included a trip to IBLP headquarters in Hinsdale, Illinois, where students were required to meet with Gothard personally.

The organization gained notoriety through the fame of some of its largest families. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of Springdale, Arkansas became household names after a 2004 Discovery Health documentary featured their fourteen homeschooled children, strict modesty and dating standards, and conservative religious and political beliefs. Throughout their original TLC reality show’s seven-year run from 2008-2015, 19 Kids and Counting (formerly 17 and 18 Kids and Counting) [Image at right] showcased the Duggars participating in IBLP events, including their attending the organization’s yearly family conference in Big Sandy, Texas; several of the Duggar boys’ participation in ALERT; and Michelle homeschooling with ATI materials. Through their association with the Duggars, Gil and Kelly Jo Bates of eastern Tennessee were featured, alongside their own supersized family of nineteen children, in their own one-season TLC show called United Bates of America and an 11-season run of a reality show called Bringing Up Bates on UpTV. Gil Bates later became an IBLP board member.

In 2011, a group of anonymous former members of IBLP created an organization called Recovering Grace, an internet-based group aimed at exposing Bill Gothard’s history of sexual impropriety and helping current and former members in their recovery. The group published nine women’s stories of being isolated, groomed, harassed, and assaulted by Gothard while they were employed at IBLP headquarters as teenagers and young adults. Adults identifying themselves as the “first ATI generation,” or the first generation of adults to have been raised in and educated with Advanced Training Institute materials, also accused the IBLP generally and Gothard specifically of using their forced and/or unpaid labor during their time “training” at headquarters. As pressure mounted around IBLP to attend to these accusations, Gothard was placed on administrative leave and ultimately resigned in 2014.

The IBLP remained in the spotlight through the late 2010s as victims sued Gothard and the IBLP for sexual abuse and cover-up of the same, respectively (“Wilkinson et al. v. Bill Gothard” 2016). Although the eighteen plaintiffs ultimately dropped the case in 2018, in part due to complexities with the statute of limitations, they reaffirmed their belief that Gothard’s actions and teachings had done “incalculable damage,” as had the IBLP’s decision to “protect themselves instead of those under their care” (Smith 2018).

The IBLP received heightened scrutiny in the 2020s as several adult children of the reality television-famous Duggar family spoke out against the organization and Gothard. Both Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo and Jill (Duggar) Dillard released memoirs decrying the organization for its legalism and “twisted” theology. Vuolo, who published Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith From Fear in 2023, wrote that Gothard’s teachings drove her to “exhaustion,” “fear,” and “paranoia” (2023:63). Dillard and her husband participated in a 2023 Amazon documentary series, Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets, where she spoke at length about her family’s participation in the IBLP and ATI. Shiny Happy People featured over a dozen former IBLP members speaking out against the organization, saying it harbored pedophiles, facilitated abuse, and “turned every father into a cult leader” (Willoughby Nason and Crist 2023).

IBLP’s ATI homeschooling program officially ended enrollment in 2021, although its curriculum remains available for purchase on IBLP’s website. IBLP still offers annual family conferences and camps, as well as gender-specific discipleship programs like Journey to the Heart and ALERT Academy. The organization also continues to run a prison ministry that reportedly serves more than 200 correctional facilities in twenty-two states.


The IBLP’s statement of beliefs is largely consistent with the stated beliefs of many conservative Protestant congregations in the United States, affirming the Bible as the inerrant word of God, Jesus Christ as the sinless son of God whose substitutionary atonement is the only path to salvation, and a literal Heaven and Hell where all people will spend eternity. As many conservative Protestant churches in the United States do, the IBLP statement of faith takes care to specify their rejection of homosexuality and transgender identities as outside of God’s intention for gender and sexual expression. So too does the IBLP’s statement of faith affirm their opposition to abortion at any stage of pregnancy.

If the IBLP can be said to have a distinctive theological feature, it is the extent to which the organization filters all other beliefs through the prism of authority structures. [Image at right] One of Gothard’s seven basic life principles, the IBLP identifies recognizing and honoring authority structures as the key to security and order within the family, church, workplace, and society. In the family, the husband is the head of the wife, who is in turn the secondary head of the children. In a church, the church’s leaders are in a position of authority over the church members. While all leaders are, themselves, subject to God’s ultimate authority, individuals are encouraged to submit to their earthly leaders even when they suspect doing so compromises God’s word, including accepting punishment they believe is too harsh or unfounded, asking their authority to point out how they might be misinterpreting a command, and “giving God time to change [their] authority’s mind” (Gothard 1979a:35).

IBLP materials routinely detail the potential consequences of stepping outside of the command of one’s earthly authorities. A young woman who marries in order to escape her strict parents, Gothard writes, might find that God will “use her husband to carry on His work” of teaching her to submit joyfully and immediately to authority (1979a:27). Indeed, the IBLP Advanced Seminar warns, stepping outside of one’s protective authority structures invites “destruction” of the body and spirit (Gothard 1986). Former members, including Jinger Duggar Vuolo, recall Gothard telling a story about a young man who was killed in a car crash because he was listening to music with a heavy drum beat, and thus failing to submit to God’s will. Gothard encouraged authorities to exercise their right to corporal punishment as a tool for cultivating their charges’ submissive spirit, advising parents that they should use a “rod of reproof” to spank their child as much as necessary “to bring the [child’s] will into submission” (1986:297). Many IBLP families, including the Duggars, promoted Michael and Debi Pearl’s To Train Up a Child, which advocated “switching” children even as newborn babies (Pearl and Pearl 1994:9).

One area in which all IBLP members are expected to submit to God’s authority is in the number of children they conceive. Members are encouraged to leave the number of children they have “up to God,”that is, to avoid using any contraceptives or natural family planning methods. Even in the case that a woman’s doctor tells her that another pregnancy would be life-threatening to her, the IBLP warns couples not to make decisions out of fear and to remember that “God has ultimate control over health” and “is also able [to] give the level of health in the mother and the child that will bring the greatest glory to Him” (Gothard 1994:41). Gothard encouraged members to undergo reversals of tubal litigations and vasectomies, even organizing a choir composed exclusively of children born after their parents had such procedures (Willingham 2023). Despite the organization’s emphasis on having as many children as possible, the IBLP generally opposes adoption due to a belief that adopted children will be afflicted by the “severe” sins of their birth parents (Gothard 1982).

Gothard’s teachings on the spiritual, cultural, and political benefits of large families were central to the growing Quiverfull movement in the 1980s and 1990s. The Quiverfull ideology draws its name and justification from Psalm 127: 3-5, “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Propagated by a number of fundamentalist and evangelical Christian leaders and organizations in the late twentieth century, the Quiverfull mindset calls for Christian families to out-breed other Americans in order to overcome the creep of secularism and atheism. As Gothard outlines in the IBLP’s advanced seminar, if one IBLP couple were to have twelve children and each of their children followed suit, in five generations their descendants would number 271,455. “The seed of this couple would certainly be mighty upon the earth!” (Gothard 1986:190). One of Gothard’s earliest acolytes, Michael Farris, built upon Gothard’s vision for the family by founding the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College, an institution catering to homeschooled students who seek to be “the tip of the spear” in the American culture wars (Rosin 2007:4; Joyce 2008).


The IBLP identifies the nuclear family home as the ideal teaching center, hospitality center, nurturing center, ministry center, and even business center of its members (Gothard 1979b). Thus, members are encouraged to homeschool their children, pursue independent employment opportunities and/or establish family businesses, and make many of their everyday goods (including food, cleaning products, and clothing) at home. Adults in the IBLP are encouraged to practice what the organization calls “financial freedom,” a path that requires living debt-free, avoiding business partnerships, and faithfully tithing at least ten percent of their income to church ministries. The organization encourages members to donate their time and money freely to the church and various ministries, including to the IBLP, and to trust that God will provide for their basic needs. One of the IBLP’s seven principles, ownership, includes the exhortation to members to follow Jesus’s example of surrender and yield their rights to wealth, to physical comforts, and to make his own decisions (“Yielding Rights” n.d.).

Wives and children are especially affected by the IBLP’s emphasis on the home as the locus of all family activity, as their sphere of interaction outside the home is extremely limited and dependent on the husband/father granting them permission to venture outside his “castle” into a demonic world “which desires to come in, plunder his home, and take captive his wife and children” (Gothard 1986:21). Daughters are encouraged to stay under their parents’ authority and roof until they marry, and their marriage itself is often arranged through the would-be husband’s ongoing conversations with the would-be wife’s father (McFarland 2010; McGowin 2018). Unmarried girls and women are often given few options to earn money or build skills outside of homemaking and raising their siblings, a reality showcased by the television-famous Duggar family, whose older daughters had “buddy teams” of younger siblings whose care and education largely fell on their shoulders.

Women in the IBLP are similarly unevenly burdened by the group’s strict modesty standards. Women and girls are instructed to avoid “eye traps” that reveal or even suggest skin on the leg, shoulders, midriff, or chest. Some styling choices encouraged among the IBLP are a result of Bill Gothard’s own aesthetic preferences. As Jinger Duggar Vuolo details in her memoir, IBLP insiders knew “Gothard’s girls,” the type that he preferred to surround himself with at headquarters, “had long, blond hair, big smiles, and petite body types” (2023:155). Gothard encouraged young women to wear their hair long and curly, to wear dresses and skirts instead of pants, and to avoid shoes that draw attention to the ankles (1986:279).

IBLP’s largest annual gathering is the week-long Family Conference held at their current headquarters in Big Sandy, Texas. Throughout the week, children attend age- and gender-specific sessions based around Gothard’s seven life principles while parents hear from speakers that include IBLP board members and members of famous families, including Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. During the conference, girls aged twelve to seventeenx participate in a Bible study called COMMIT, where they learn to “humbly serve others in their irreplaceable youth” (“Big Sandy Family Conference,” n.d.). Boys aged eight to seventeen are invited to participate in a weeklong introductory “cadet” program to ALERT Academy, a pipeline to becoming “men of God and leaders of their day,” the eventual kings of their own castle (Joyce 2009).

From its inception as Campus Teams in 1961 through 2014, the IBLP’s leadership structure featured Bill Gothard at the helm as both founder and president.  [Image at right] Throughout that time, the organization also had a board of directors, although the scandals that rocked the group during the late 1970s and early 1980s revealed that the board’s checks on Gothard’s power were more limited than they seemed. Dissatisfied board members had little recourse besides resigning from their position, as several did upon losing confidence in Gothard’s leadership in 1980. After Gothard resigned from the organization in 2014, the IBLP named longtime staff


The IBLP has received complaints from former members and staff of harassment, abuse, negligence, and labor violations since at least the late 1970s. From early reports of both Steve and Bill Gothard’s sexual misconduct toward female employees in the late 1970s through the 2015 lawsuit filed against Gothard for sexual harassment and abuse, a number of female employees and members have identified the IBLP as an unsafe environment, especially for girls and women. Although the ten plaintiffs that sued the IBLP and Bill Gothard in 2015 ultimately dropped their lawsuit due to complications with the statute of limitations, they maintain that their allegations against Gothard are backed by witnesses, credible timelines, and consistent pattern of behavior described by Gothard’s alleged victims. They further allege that the IBLP was negligent in its failure to ensure a safe working environment for the young women groomed by Gothard at headquarters, from the 1970s through 2014.

Scandals within famous IBLP families have also shone light on the relationship between IBLP teachings and the preponderance and consistent cover-up of abuse within the organization. In 2015, InTouch magazine obtained a redacted police report that the Duggar family later admitted revealed their oldest son, Josh, had molested four of his younger siblings, including one sister as young as five years old. The same year, Josh was identified as having spent nearly one thousand dollars on subscriptions to Ashley Madison, a dating site for married adults seeking affairs. Josh resigned from his high-profile position with the Family Research Council, a conservative evangelical lobbying group that opposes LGBT civil rights in the name of protecting children and families. In a 2015 interview with Fox News’s Megyn Kelly, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar defended their decision to commit to a reality show about their wholesome values in the immediate aftermath of their son’s crimes against their own daughters. Jim Bob told Kelly that many of their friends have had similar and “even worse” incidents within their own families. Noting that they put safeguards in place, including not allowing their older sons to babysit the younger children, the Duggars said Josh’s misdeeds were behind him and he was a “changed person” (Kelly 2015). In 2021, Josh was convicted on federal charges of receiving and possessing child sexual abuse materials and sentenced to over twelve years in federal prison.

Former members argue that the IBLP’s teachings helped to foster an atmosphere of abuse of power. An IBLP worksheet on counseling abuse victims asks victims to consider whether God let their abuse happen due to immodest dress, being outside of the protection of their parents, or being with evil friends. The same worksheet asks the victim whether they would choose “no physical abuse or [being] mighty in Spirit” as a result of their abuse. Other IBLP teachings advise women that they should not think of themselves as “victims” of a hostile husband, but rather “understand that we are called to suffer for righteousness” (Gothard 1979c:10). The organization’s emphasis on “discretion” as a religious edict to avoid slander, gossip, and “damaging reports” that hurt the reputation of the ministry similarly limits members’ avenues for addressing abuse.

The IBLP has also received criticism for its encouragement of corporal punishment against children. In his basic seminar lectures available for free on the IBLP website, Gothard tells parents that children must be spanked until they cry, because failure to cry is a sign that “their will is still intact! Unbroken! And their—maybe their spirit’s been damaged, but not their will” (Gothard, n.d.b). The Duggar family helped popularize Christian authors Michael and Debi Pearl’s “blanket training” method of child training and punishment, wherein a baby is placed on a blanket and is physically “corrected” every time they attempt to move from the blanket. This “blanket time” starts at just a few minutes for babies, but extends upwards of thirty minutes (Duggar and Duggar 2008:160; Joyce 2009). The Pearls’ methods, including blanket training, have been linked to the deaths of multiple children, including seven year old Lydia Charity Schatz in 2010 and thirteen year-old Hana Grace-Rose Williams in 2011 (Hodson 2011).

The 2023 documentary series Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets gave voice to a number of former IBLP members who experienced abuse within the organization and within their own families. [Image at right] One former member, Emily Elizabeth Anderson, alleges that her father sexually abused her for over a decade and that Bill Gothard not only failed to act as a mandatory reporter when she revealed the abuse to him, but also sexually groomed and abused her from the ages of thirteen to eighteen while she participated in the IBLP and ATI programs (Anderson n.d.). Anderson is one of more than thirty women who have publicly accused Gothard of sexual misconduct and the IBLP of failing to act in the best interest of victims. Following the documentary’s release, the IBLP published a statement decrying the series as containing “salacious and false” attacks designed to “mock what is good and moral in the most sensationalized way possible.” Noting that Gothard is no longer affiliated with the ministry, the statement directs readers to explore its free basic seminar, a 20+ hour series of video lectures delivered by Bill Gothard.


Image #1: William “Bill” Gothard.
Image #2: Bill Gothard at the Seattle Colesium.
Image #3: Advanced Training Institute of America 3logo.
Image #4: Advertisement for 19 Kids and Counting (formerly 17 and 18 Kids and Counting) television program.
Image #5: IBLP Authority Structure.
Image #6: IBLP organization logo.
Image #7: Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets documentary advertisement.


Anderson, Emily Elizabeth. n.d. “About,” Thriving Forward. Accessed from on 9/1/2023.

“Big Sandy Family Conference.” n.d. Accessed from on on 9/1/2023.

Bockelman, Wilfred. 1976. Gothard: The Man and His Ministry. Santa Barbara, CA: Quill Publications.

Duggar, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar. 2008. The Duggars: 20 and Counting: Raising One of America’s Largest Families—How They Do it. New York: Howard Books.

Gaither, Milton. 2008. Homeschooling: An American History. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gothard, Bill. 1994. “Questions and Answers on Infertility and Birth Control.” Basic Care Booklet 19. Oak Brook, IL: Institute in Basic Life Principles.

Gothard, Bill. 1986. Research in Principles of Life: Advanced Seminar Textbook. Oak Brook, IL: Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts.

Gothard, Bill. 1982. “Ten Reasons Why Adopted Children Tend to Have More Conflicts.” Oak Brook, IL: Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts.

Gothard, Bill. 1979a. Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts: Research in Principles of Life. Oak Brook, IL: Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts.

Gothard, Bill. 1979b. Men’s Manual. Oak Brook, IL: Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts.

Gothard, Bill. 1979c. Our Most Important Messages Grow Out of Our Greatest Weaknesses. Oak Brook, IL: Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts.

Gothard, Bill. n.d.a. Discerning God’s Will in Every Decision. Accessed from on 4 August 2023.

Gothard, Bill. n.d.b. “Basic Seminar Session 19: Genuine Love.” Accessed from on 30 August 2023.

Hodson, Jeff. 2011. “Did Hana’s Parents ‘Train’ Her to Death?” The Seattle Times, November 27. Accessed from on 1 September 2023

“Home Page.” 2000. Institute in Basic Life Principles, March 8. Accessed from on 1 September 2023.

Ingersoll, Julie. 2015. Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstruction. New York: Oxford University Press.

Joyce, Kathryn. 2009. Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement. Boston: Beacon Press.

Kelly, Megyn. 2015. “The Duggar Episode.” The Kelly File. Fox News, June 3.

Kunzman, Robert. 2010. Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling. Boston: Beacon Press.

Matas, Caroline. 2023. “Conservative Christians Insist the Toxic Theology Portrayed in the Duggar Family Doc is Fringe—but is it Really All that Different?” Religion Dispatches, June 15. Accessed from on 1 September 2023.

McFarland, Hillary. 2010. Quivering Daughters: Hope and Healing for the Daughters of Patriarchy. Dallas, TX: Darklight Press.

McGowin, Emily Hunter. 2018. Quivering Families: The Quiverfull Movement and Evangelical Theology of the Family. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Pearl, Michael and Debi Pearl. 1994. To Train Up a Child. Pleasantville, TN: Pearl Publishing.

Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets. 2023. Season 1, Episode 1, “Meet the Duggars.” Directed by Julia Willoughby Nason and Olivia Crist. Aired June 2, 2023, Prime Video.

Smith, Julie Anne. 2018. “BREAKING: Lawsuit against Bill Gothard and The Institute in Basic Life Principles Dismissed.” Spiritual Sounding Board, February 26. Accessed from on 1 September 2023.

Talvi, Silja J.A. 2006. “Cult of Character.” In These Times, January 9. Accessed from on 1 September 2023.

“The Gothard Files.” 2014. Recovering Grace, February 3. Accessed from on 1 September 2023.

Vuolo, Jinger. 2023. Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith From Fear. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

“Wilkinson et al. V. Bill Gothard & Institute in Basic Life Principles, Second Amended Complaint (unstamped, filed 2/17/16, DuPage County Circuit Court).” 2016. Scribd, February 17. Accessed from on 1 September 2023.

Willingham, A.J. 2023. “Ex-members from the religious group featured in new Duggar docuseries speak out.” CNN, June 8. Accessed from on 1 September 2023.

“Wisdom Booklets.” n.d. Accessed from on 1 September 2023.

“Yielding Rights: The Example of Jesus Christ.” n.d. Institute in Basic Life Principles. Accessed from on 1 September 2023.

Publication Date:
5 September 2023