Bill Gothard Threatens Recovering Grace with a $1,000,000 Lawsuit

By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

Earlier today, Recovering Grace reported on their Facebook page that Bill Gothard is threatening the whistleblowing organization with a lawsuit. Glenn Gaffney of Gaffney & Gaffney PC, who is representing Gothard against the now-eighteen former employees and students suing him and the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) for sexual harassment and assault, issued a letter to RG, declaring that, “Demand is hereby made upon any and all of your clients that have posted false and defamatory statements on the Recovering Grace website to immediately remove them.” If RG does not oblige, Gaffney threatens that “those persons can anticipate a counter-claim or cross-claim against them” for the purposes of seeking $1,000,000 or more in damages.

Recovering Grace responded to the legal threats on their Facebook page, saying, “While every story that we have ever published was with the knowledge that we might one day have to defend our decisions in a court of law, it is nonetheless disturbing to see these threats in print.”

The full texts of Recovering Grace’s post and Gaffney’s letter follow, along with a screenshot of them:

Dear friends, we wanted to share with you the following letter that was forwarded to Recovering Grace by the law firm representing the plaintiffs suing Bill Gothard and IBLP. While every story that we have ever published was with the knowledge that we might one day have to defend our decisions in a court of law, it is nonetheless disturbing to see these threats in print. Your continued prayers are appreciated.


Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 12.51.15 PMCounsel — It is unfortunate that Plaintiffs’ attorneys feel the need to circulate these pleadings to the press. Just remember this once the Court rules on the pending motions to disqualify.

Also, demand is hereby made upon any and all of your clients that have posted false and defamatory statements on the Recovering Grace website to immediately remove them.

Those persons can anticipate a counter-claim or cross-claim against them, in conjunction with the principals behind that website, for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress seeking actual and punitive damages in an amount in excess of $1,000,000 (with such an award after expenses be payable to an appropriate not for profit organization) along with such other injunctive and equitable relief the Court deems just.

Every day those postings remain in the public domain undoubtedly will enhance the damages recovery.

Glenn Gaffney
Gaffney & Gaffney PC
1771 Bloomingdale Rd.
Glendale Heights, Il 60139

15 thoughts on “Bill Gothard Threatens Recovering Grace with a $1,000,000 Lawsuit

  1. Emilie February 19, 2016 / 3:53 pm

    Standard Operating Procedure for these folks. Sure, take the posts all off the public domain but I sure as hell hope someone has saved every last posting because they will be vindicated. Intimidation and the use of large quantities of money will be up against solid evidence. May they be able to hold on against these and similar monsters.


    • Headless Unicorn Guy February 20, 2016 / 2:06 pm

      It’s called “An Example Must Be Made”.

      Make an Example of one and you silence a hundred.


    • Susan's Saddle Stands February 25, 2016 / 5:50 am

      the letter asks that only false statements be removed… I am sure most, if not all of what was written, will remain on RG.
      The more I think about it, the more it seems that BG will be hoisting his own canard if he goes forward with a lawsuit and it all goes to court where witnesses will be brought in to tell their stories–THEN EVERYTHING goes on record and out in the open.


  2. waterthecamels February 19, 2016 / 6:09 pm

    If they have been truthful, there is nothing to fear, and nothing to retract. I sure hope NO ONE embellished a single account or story. All it takes is one untruthful story to discredit everyone.


    • Brian February 19, 2016 / 9:47 pm

      Listen, waterthecamels, when people are abused they do not summon photographic memory to recount their harm. You know this, right, and yet you make this statement… Shock does awful things to memory sometimes and if someone or two or whatever ’embellished’ then they did so from shock, from post-traumatic shock.
      How many have claimed they were harmed? One or two? No, closer to twenty now?
      I completely disagree with your statement. The perpetrator discredits everyone already! And you suggest that one wrong turn makes it all a loss, discredits all? Wrong.
      I do not find it at all easy to discount all the charges claimed. The pattern is very clear to me and I do not know the perpetrator or any of the victims. What I do know is that the lawyers will do their utmost to undermine those who were harmed and their stories will be imperfectly told. But the perpetrator will be outed, is outed.
      Patriarchal Christianity is a scourge, a curse. They care only about serving their master and will not stand with those harmed by the boss. These despicable people would allow this to go on forever. They have given up human freedom, human decency. They are God’s mob.


      • Headless Unicorn Guy February 21, 2016 / 11:57 am

        How many have claimed they were harmed? One or two? No, closer to twenty now?

        Twenty definitely establishes a PATTERN. And adds credibility.
        Just ask Bill Cosby (if his attorneys – plural – will let you).


      • Nomo Landhos February 23, 2016 / 10:28 am

        How SICK that these patriarchs/narcistos insist on claiming they do what they do, for God, as if he needs anyone to hustle and bamboozle as they do ! They are a mob alright…I think they would wear the title “Godsters” proudly like a badge.


      • waterthecamels March 4, 2016 / 2:22 pm

        You misunderstood my comment entirely, but on some key point you are wrong. It does matter if they embellish their stories. You take an oath in court and if you lie about anything you purger yourself. A judge will not buy the claim “I was under duress and therefore not responsible for any lies in might have said.” One lie can set the man free. One lie can create mistrial and then no one gets justice. One lie from someone with an ax to grind or who embellished events no mattyer the reason ruins the credibility of all honest victims because the the lies will be used to throw all others out!


  3. Serving Kids in Japan February 19, 2016 / 7:23 pm

    *sigh* So typical of the rich and powerful who have something to hide, and think they can do so most efficiently by shutting people up.

    It hasn’t worked for Chuck O’Neal (who tried suing Julie Anne Smith), and I can’t see it working for Gothard.


  4. Dee Parsons February 20, 2016 / 9:40 am

    Recofvring Grace will win this, hands’ down Gothard and sharks MUST prove that the allegations are not only false but that, in posting those statements at Recovering Grace, that RG knew they were false. Stand firm, folks. If you believe that it was true when you posted it, you are in the clear, no.matter.what!

    They know it and they are merely trying to be intimidating like the good™ Christian they represent.

    Please let The Wartburg Watch know if we can be of assistance.


    • R.L. Stollar February 20, 2016 / 9:51 am

      Thanks, Dee. If they do need to do a fundraiser, we will let everyone know. A threat to Recovering Grace is a threat to all of us fighting abuse.


  5. lmanningok February 20, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    For whatever it’s worth from this Secular Humanist, you have my support. Jesus wasn’t a Christian, but he hated hypocrites, too. So did Paul. Stand firm.


  6. Timber St. James February 21, 2016 / 8:31 am

    Earlier comments are correct; this is obviously wall papering. Permit me one ex-fan-boy moment: I always believed in every lawsuit Bill filed, but clearly he became a wall paper fan in his declining years. This one is about legacy, nothing more.


  7. Brian March 4, 2016 / 9:35 pm

    @waterthecamels, I think it is important to understand that the post-traumatic effects of abuse can easily lead to imperfect memory. This is quite different than intentional embellishment. I assume that is what you are saying then because you are aware that a witness’ statement can still be valid if it expressed inexactly because of trauma.


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