Homeschool Leader Rick Boyer, Sr. Accused Of Sexual Harassment, Grooming

By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator.

Rick Boyer, Sr. serves on the Board of Directors of the Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) and was a recent partner with HSLDA for HEAV’s Leadership Conference. Last year he made news for his statement that, “‘Abuse’ is the new ‘racism.’ As soon as you’re accused of it, you’re considered guilty.” This came in the context of Boyer publicly defending Josh Duggar, the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, after it came to light that Josh had engaged in child sexual abuse. Boyer has also defended Bill Gothard, the creator of the homeschool program ATI that the Duggars use and someone also accused by over 30 women of sexual abuse and harassment.

Today Ashley Easter, a homeschool alumna and writer, came forward with allegations against Boyer. Easter alleges that Boyer began pursuing and grooming her when she was only seventeen years old. She writes, “I was seventeen when Rick Boyer Sr. (author, speaker and founder of The Learning Parent (now Character Concepts)) first took an interest in me. I was lonely and insecure, looking for affirmation and a place to fit in the world. He was like a father figure to me.” When Boyer encouraged her to write a book, Easter says she “felt honored that such a big name homeschool leader would believe in me.”

Easter alleges that, as time went by, Boyer’s grooming escalated. She claims that he began calling her pet names, touching her, giving her full-body-contact hugs, and eventually kissing her and forcing her to kiss him. These are all classic grooming techniques of sexual abusers.

Easter says she is speaking up now because of the strong influence Boyer has in the Christian homeschooling world:

My concern is that Rick Boyer Sr. isn’t just some random guy from my former church. He is a public speaker, author, and leader in the homeschooling movement. He personally knows and has been a vocal supporter of many other leaders like the Duggar family, Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard. But he is known as “Uncle Rick” in our circles, the guy whom little children look forward to meeting in costume, and who encourages children to sit on his lap as he reads stories to them at homeschooling events. He is also on the board for HEAV (Home Educators Association of Virginia) and was involved with HSLDA’s (The Home School Legal Defense Association) National Christian Homeschool Leadership Conference. He is also a reserve deputy sheriff in Virginia.

Last year Boyer wrote the following about Bill Gothard: “[Gothard] was ACTUALLY found to be guilty of was touching some girls’ hands, hair and feet. He was honest enough to admit that these things were inappropriate and resign.” Despite being accused of the same actions and more, Boyer himself has yet to resign from the Home Educators Association of Virginia. His name continues to be listed on HEAV’s website as a member of their Board of Directors (image archived here).

UPDATE, Friday, April 15, 11:25 am Pacific:

Anne Miller, President and Executive Director of HEAV, gave the following statement to HA: “I was completely unaware of any allegations against Rick Boyer. Our board will certainly be looking into these allegations.”

Josh Duggar Checks Into Treatment Center After Porn Star Details “Very Traumatic” and “Terrifying” Sexual Encounter

By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

Increasingly disturbing revelations continue to surface in the tragic circumstances surrounding the Duggars, the former TLC celebrity family of “19 Kids and Counting.”

This last May it came to light that Josh Duggar, the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and the now-disgraced former executive of the Family Research Council’s legislative action arm, had molested five children when he was a teenager, including members of his own family. Other celebrities from the Religious Right immediately stepped up to defend Josh and minimize the horrors of child molestation, including: Rick Boyer, board member of the Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV); Matt Walsh, viral blogger and popular homeschool speaker at the Great Homeschool Conventions; Mike Huckabee, Republican Presidential hopeful endorsed by HSLDA’s Michael Farris; Ray Comfort, a popular New Zealand Christian evangelist; and Kevin Swanson, director of Generations with Vision and former executive director of the Christian Home Educators of Colorado.

Then a week ago, Gawker broke the story that Josh had paid almost $1,000 for a “guaranteed” affair via the adultery-promoting website Ashley Madison. This led Josh to publicly confess to cheating on his wife, though in his statement he appeared to blame a “pornography addiction” for leading him to that point. Josh said,

I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.


Ironically, it was then adultery — rather than the far more chilling and actual crime of molesting children — that led several of Josh’s previous defenders to finally realize the absolute seriousness of Josh’s situation. Rick Boyer said in a public Facebook post that he “was wrong” that Josh was currently living “an exemplary life.” However, Boyer also qualified that by saying he “was right in all that” regarding child molestation, namely, that Josh’s “poor sisters had been abused far more by the buzzard-like media than they ever were by Josh” (image archived here).  Similarly, Matt Walsh said in a public Facebook post that he “was wrong about the Duggar situation” (image archived here). But unlike Boyer, who had the gall to say the media “abused” molested children more than their actual molester, Walsh realized what we homeschool alumni have been saying all along: that the Duggars should never have paraded around their family on TV right after their son molested five children, including siblings. Walsh said,

The more I think about this, I realized I was too easy on the the Duggar parents as well. Jim Bob and Michelle knew that their oldest son was struggling with severe sexual sin, they knew their daughters had been abused, they knew their family was in the midst of moral and spiritual turmoil, yet they STILL decided to put themselves and their children on TV for ten years.

Of course, back in May, Walsh just dismissed people saying this very thing in the flippant way he always treats people with different opinions than his own.

After Josh’s Ashley Madison account became public, secret profiles of Josh’s on Facebook and OKCupid also surfaced. These profiles revealed his private online relationships with strippers and porn stars, including a relatively new porn star named Danica Dillon.

Today Danica revealed the full extent of her relationship with Josh — namely, that while Josh’s wife Anna was pregnant with their fourth child, Josh allegedly forced Danica into having “very traumatic” and “terrifying” rough sex without the use of protection. Though Danica is taking pains to claim the sex was “consensual,” the fact that Josh exchanged money for sex that Danica clearly was not comfortable with — considering both her fear of his use of force as well as his unwillingness to use protection — indicates very clearly full and enthusiastic consent wasn’t important to Josh. Danica says that Josh was “basically tossing me around like I was a rag doll.”

Furthermore, Josh’s unwillingness to use protection clearly puts not only himself and Danica in danger of sexually transmitted diseases, but also Josh’s wife Anna – who was completely oblivious to Josh’s extraordinarily risky and abusive sexual actions.

My heart continues to break for Anna and I really hope she can receive help if she wants it.

Anna was raised in a conservative Christian homeschooling environment that promoted sexual purity until marriage at all costs. Purity was guaranteed as the sure-fire way to stay safe from romantic heartbreak and sexual diseases. Yet now Anna has to deal with the potential devastation of those very things despite following the purity script. At this point we have no idea how many sex workers Josh forced into having unprotected sex with him and thus potentially exposed Anna to any resulting diseases.

This is yet another tragic example of why we need to rethink how homeschooling parents teach their child about “purity”: Sexuality and sexual health are far more complicated than the white picket fence and white wedding dress fantasies of purity culture. When two young people engage in betrothal or courtship and hardly get the opportunity to have personal, private, one-on-one conversations with each other, they have no idea if their spouse, for example, experienced sexual abuse as a child. So even if your spouse never engaged in willing, premarital sex, you don’t know if your spouse is STD-free. That’s something couples need to talk about, even couples who grew up “pure.” And if your spouse cheats on you like Josh did, he might not think about the importance of protection, and thereby place you at risk for STDs — without you even knowing about it. This is why realism in sex and relationship education is desperately important — and potentially life-saving.

In the wake of Danica Dillon’s allegations, Michelle Duggar today wrote on her blog that, “Yesterday Josh checked himself into a long-term treatment center.” An image of her full statement follows:

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Text is:

We are so thankful for the outpouring of love, care and prayers for our family during this most difficult situation with Josh. As parents we are so deeply grieved by our son’s decisions and actions. His wrong choices have deeply hurt his precious wife and children and have negatively affected so many others. He has also brought great insult to the values and faith we hold dear. Yesterday Josh checked himself into a long-term treatment center. For him it will be a long journey toward wholeness and recovery. We pray that in this he comes to complete repentance and sincere change. In the meantime, we will be offering our love, care and devoted support to Anna and our grandchildren as she also receives counsel and help for her own heart and future. During this time we continue to look to God—He is our rock and comfort. We ask for your continued prayers for our entire family.

When it became public several months ago that Josh had molested five children, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar originally claimed that they had sent him to a “faith-based” treatment center run by Bill Gothard, whose sexual abuse counseling material blames victims for their own abuse and discourages wives from leaving husbands who molest their children. Similarly, it is rumored that Josh has again been sent to a “faith-based” treatment center, this time Reformers Unanimous (RU). RU, which offers treatment for pornography addiction and sex addiction, is run by Paul Kingsbury. Kingsbury has zero academic credentials in counseling, medicine, or therapy. Though he calls himself a “Doctor” due to two honorary degrees, his highest actual level of education is a Bachelor of Arts from Hyles-Anderson College, an unaccredited Independent Fundamentalist Baptist college. Kingsbury was mentored in his career by Dr. Jack Hyles, who infamously defended child molestors in the church he founded, First Baptist Church of Hammond.

However, as of the time of publication, the Duggar family has yet to officially confirm where Josh checked himself into.

Josh Duggar Withdraws From Teaching Them Diligently Convention

By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

In the wake of public revelations that he was reported for child sexual abuse, Josh Duggar has withdrawn from speaking at an upcoming Teaching Them Diligently (TTD) homeschool convention.

The convention, which will be held on May 28-30, 2015, in Sandusky, Ohio, will likely have around 7,000 attendees. TTD is a for-profit homeschool convention company run by David and Leslie Nunnery and a primary competitor with the other most-known, for-profit homeschool convention company, Brennan and Mary Jo Dean’s Great Homeschool Conventions. Notable speakers at the TTD Sandusky convention include the Benham Brothers (alumni of Bill Gothard’s homeschool program, ATI, just like Josh Duggar), James Dobson, and Ken Ham.

In a statement published on May 22, 2015, David Nunnery announced that Josh Duggar had personally withdrawn from speaking at the convention. (You can view the original statement here or as an archived PDF here.) The text of the statement is as follows:

Dear Teach Them Diligently and CHEO Families,

This is our fourth year running Teach Them Diligently Convention which is a ministry that God has used in miraculous ways in the hearts and minds of families across the country. The longer we continue our tenure and stewardship of this ministry, the more convinced we become of this single truth–that God is completely in control. He Reigns, and He is working mightily all around us.

Yesterday, we heard the completely unexpected news regarding Josh Duggar. Since then, Josh Duggar has withdrawn as a speaker at Teach Them Diligently in Sandusky. While we could fret or argue over what is truth and what is gossip in the recent media reports, we would rather change the focus for a moment to what God has in store for the families that will be arriving on Thursday for Teach Them Diligently in Sandusky, OH.

God never wastes these opportunities, and we are confident that God is about to do something amazing. Despite the disappointment and disbelief that accompanies news like we have heard, we have come to expect that through disappointments, we will witness God working mightily! As our family was praying both for the Duggar family and that God would show us His perfect will for TTDSandusky next week, we found that He had already been at work, and we are so excited to share with you what He has done.

T.C. Stallings, a Cleveland native who played football at the University of Louisville and starred in the Kendrick Brothers’ films TC Stallings in War Room The MovieCourageous and War Room the upcoming movie about prayer, will be stepping in to kick-off our event. He is a godly man who currently serves as a pastor in California. (Also, this veteran homeschool dad confided in us that he makes frequent trips home to visit Cedar Point Amusement Park.) We are convinced that God has specifically chosen him to lay the foundation for what God will do throughout the weekend.

With everything that has happened over the last few days, including  how T. C. Stallings was available on such short notice., there is no doubt that God has given a message specifically to T.C. Stallings that the families at Teach Them Diligently in Sandusky need to hear. You do not want to miss the Thursday 5 pm keynote!

We cannot wait to see you all next week in Sandusky!

David Nunnery

Not everyone supported Duggar’s decision to withdraw, however. In fact, some people were irate with TTD, thinking that TTD forced Duggar to withdraw. Examples of push back on TTD’s Facebook page include:

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Other notable people rushing to Josh Duggar’s defense include Christian evangelist Ray Comfort, HEAV board member Rick Boyer, and Republican Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee.

Ray Comfort Threatens to Stop Watching TLC After Network Drops Duggars

By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

Ray Comfort, the New Zealand Christian evangelist who famously encouraged Kirk Cameron to become an evangelist as well, has come to the defense of Josh Duggar, the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar who was accused of (and has somewhat admitted to) child sexual abuse and incest.

In a recent Facebook post Comfort says that,

I saw that The Learning Channel dropped “19 Kids and Counting” from their line-up, so we dropped The Learning Channel from our personal lineup. If they change their minds, so will we.

Here is an image of Comfort’s statement:

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Comfort’s declaration is clearly meant to imply that TLC went overboard in their response to the child molestation accusations against Duggar. And in so minimizing the significance of the allegations against Josh Duggar, Comfort sadly joins other Christian homeschool celebrities including HEAV board member Rick Boyer and Republican Presidential hopeful (and Michael Farris favorite) Mike Huckabee.

HEAV’s Rick Boyer Defends Josh Duggar and Bill Gothard, Claims “Abuse is the New Racism”

By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

“Jim Bob just radiates Christ.”

~ Doug Phillips at the 2009 Men’s Leadership Summit

Rick Boyer, board member of Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) and recent partner with HSLDA for HEAV’s March 2015 Leadership Conference, has publicly defended Josh Duggar, the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar who was accused of (and has somewhat admitted to) child sexual abuse and incest. Boyer also defended Bill Gothard, the creator of the homeschool program ATI that the Duggars use and someone also accused by over 30 women of sexual abuse and harassment.

Boyer made the comments on a Facebook page. The following is the text from Boyer’s 3 statements:

Sometimes things are not what they appear at a distance. With all respect to everybody who has an opinion, I will unequivocally say that the Duggars are one of the happiest, holiest, humblest families I have ever met. Yes, I’ve met them. I’ve been in their home. I’ve been in their church. I am proud to call them my friends. Why don’t the critics ask the Duggar kids what they think of their oldest brother? Because they’d say he’s a sinner-which you and I are too, by the way-and he’s repented and he’s proven that he’s changed and they love and respect him. As for Bill Gothard, I am personally acquainted with him and I have a friend very close to that ministry. He was thoroughly investigated and what he was ACTUALLY found to be guilty of was touching some girls’ hands, hair and feet. He was honest enough to admit that these things were inappropriate and resign. But good grief, how does that compare with what most people are guilty of? All this piling on by people who are not in a position to really know, is just exactly what our enemies, human and spiritual, were hoping for. So many Christians are suckers.

“Abuse” is the new “racism.” As soon as you’re accused of it, you’re considered guilty. Just what would you like the Duggars to have done? Turn all their kids over to a godless psychologist? Maybe one supplied by the local public school system where “abuse” is so unheard of? Should they have skinned Josh alive, rolled him in salt and hung him on a meathook? They guy sinned, repented, changed, and lived an exemplary life for TWELVE YEARS before a tabloid spent thousands of dollars sending a team to Arkansas to go door to door trying to dig up dirt on this exemplary family. How much would it cost them to find dirt on YOU? Would they have to dig that hard? Do you hear Josh’s sisters railing against him? Not, it’s not the victims howling for scalps, it’s pagans and gullible Christians, eagerly grabbing the bait and shooting their own wounded. Ok, go ahead and follow the crowd. I am taking a stand here and now, and you may quote me anywhere you care to. The Duggars are an exemplary family and I wish I were half the man that Jim Bob Duggar is. I hope I have made myself clear. Let the chips fall where God guides them.

OH, I almost forgot: I love Bill Gothard and his ministry has been the most helpful influence in the development of my family. His teaching, and the teaching of others who learned from him has transformed my life and that of my wife as well, who is the most admired woman I know. We owe much of the blessing we’ve seen on our family of 16 to IBLP (although we are not members of ATI.) I highly recommend Bill’s basic and advanced conferences and I believe every Christian would benefit by attending. Is Bill a sinner? Yes. Did he ever claim to be anything else? No. The Apostle Paul was a sinner too but he was surely one of the most godly men in the New Testament age. I firmly believe that Bill Gothard is one of the most godly men in this age. Perfect? No. Just about a hundred times closer to God than I am (And I make and effort). Have you ever spent THIRTY days in prayer and fasting just to draw closer to God? Have you ever risked your life to witness to Chicago street gangs? Have you ever spent most of your time away from home, when you hate to travel, for the sake of ministering to others? Think carefully before you cast the first stone. There. I hope I haven’t pulled too many punches.

Images of Boyer’s comments can be viewed in full below:

Not only is Boyer a major fan of Bill Gothard and Josh Duggar, he also is a strict adherent to Christian patriarchy and the Quiverfull movement, as he detailed in his 2011 book Take Back the Land: Inspiring a New Generation to Lead America. Despite this, HSLDA recently partnered with Boyer and HEAV during HEAV’s Leadership Conference in March 2015. The conference’s theme was “Essentials of a Strong Organization,” with HSLDA ironically teaching “how to design policies that protect children from abuse in your support group” while Boyer — who apparently thinks nonconsensually “touching some girls’ hands, hair and feet” isn’t that bad and is “abuse,” not abuse — taught about “training leaders, not survivors.”

This is not the first time HSLDA has promoted Boyer. HSLDA also promoted Boyer’s “Take Back the Land” conference to their members as well as included (and continue to include) his book advocating patriarchy, The Hands-on Dadin their website’s recommended resources.

Apparently Rick Boyer can easily cross Michael Farris and HSLDA’s “line in the sand.”

Boyer is not the only member of the Religious Right who has defended Josh Duggar. Republican Presidential hopeful and Michael Farris favorite Mike Huckabee also defended the alleged child molestor. Huckabee’s defense provoked a heartfelt response from Christian anti-abuse advocate Mary DeMuth. “God’s reputation is not marred when we dare to dignify the victim,” argues DeMuth, nor is God’s reputation marred when we “get them the help they need, send the perpetrator to get help (and/or punish him/her for a crime), and say, ‘Yes, this happened and it was wrong.'”

Farris and HSLDA’s Facebook pages have been silent since the news of Josh Duggar’s alleged criminal actions, with only Farris posting, and merely about a bike ride at that.