Thursday, January 10, 2008

Not So Strange Bedfellows

About the Photo: Flickr username robertstaddon states that he is the copyright owner and grants permission for the use of the unedited version of the photo with proper credit.
Excerpt from from the blog of Midwest Christian Outreach entitled "The Crux":

From"Bill Gothard King Maker?":

Huckabee announces White House bid” was the title of the article by Aaron Sadler at the Arkansas New Bureau on January 29, 2007. Outside of Arkansas not too many took notice. I had suggested to several in the media shortly afterward that they may want to keep an eye on this not very well known Arkansas politician, mostly due to his ties to Bill Gothard. This was pretty much met with a collective yawn...... According to several former employees from the late 1970s era Bill had a landing strip built at his 3,000 acre Big Bear lodge retreat in the Northwoods and he had it built to accommodate Air Force 1. I am told that he indicated God had told him that one day presidents to come to him and he wanted to be prepared. Will this happen in the near future? Well, if Bill has his way it may. It is not difficult to believe. as we pointed out in our book A Matter of Basic Principles: Bill Gothard and the Christian Life that Gothard often claims special revelation and mystical understandings of Scripture from God....

Why wouldn’t a U.S. President turn to a fellow American leader which the Chinese government has turned to for guidance in fixing their nation’s woes? After all it wouldn’t be the first time Huckabee turned to Gothard. He did so when he was Governor of Arkansas and Gothard his plan to rehabilitate prisoners....

In addition to the above past relationship between Gothard and Huckabee, they were together at a private fundraising even in Texas on December 23, 2007. One of the Gothard followers that was there, the Robert Staddon family, provided a photo of Bill Gothard, Mike Huckabee and Texas billionaires Mr. and Mrs. Dr. James Leininger on their blog. This particular page of their blog was recently taken down.

It is also my understanding from several that James Leininger is a partner in Doug Phillip’s Vision Forum. Again, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with putting your money where your belief system guides you. All of us do that. And without specifically commenting more on the views represented In James Leininger’s choices, we have done that in article and blog form, I would suggest that we probably have a better idea of why Huckabee did so well with so little money in Iowa. There was a virtual homeschooling army at his disposal through Gothard and his connections. (There is a compendium of Huckabee’s ties to Bill Gothard.)
Well, Don Veinot (author of the above excerpt), there is a quite a compendium of Leininger ties to Doug Phillips documented on the Vision Forum website. (At least there was a few days ago... I wouldn't be surprised if they begin to vanish.) Google Leininger with Doug Phillips or Vision Forum --- see what you find. Vision Forum also sells books authored by Traci Leininger, homeschool graduate. It seems to be common knowledge in homeschooling circles in San Antonio (where this blog host lived for seven years and attended the same Presbyterian church as Phillips before he officially founded his own, local church) that James Leininger was the benefactor of Vision Forum, providing the initial capital for the launch of Phillips' ministry. Hmmm. I'm not at all comfortable voting for a graduate from the spiritually abusive and mind-numbing IBLP (Gothard's training program), and I am certainly not comfortable with the Leininger connection to Doug Phillips, evangelist for another spiritually abusive system, to say the least. The fact that Phillips loves and reveres Dabney so intensely (referencing Dabney without qualifying statements about race or slavery) doesn't help matters either.
The billionaire, James Leininger, MD , sits on the IBLP board, yet approves of the outright silly and often dangerous medical and health instruction propagated by Bill Gothard (see the MCO blog article for references). As a Registered Nurse and a Doctor of Naturopathy, I believe that I am qualified to make an evaluation and offer an opinion. Gothard's health recommendations differ little from those of the spiritualist Louise Hay. As a trained hypnotherapist, I've spent a great deal of time evaluating the concept of disease owing to emotions and lifestyle after the tradition of Hay and other hypnotherapists. Both systems differ little from the Word of Faith movement, save that Gothard's and Hay's ideas are based in concepts of spiritism. Considering that I grew up in the teachings of Pentecost and participated as an adult in the Word of Faith movement for more than ten years, I know that tune well also. I'd rather be a Tulsa groupie than follow Gothard any day, but I believe that both are spiritually abusive and extreme in their teachings. And yes, I am an IBLP graduate as well.
At the time of this writing, I display an "Anyone But Hillary" icon and link to a site where they sell bumper stickers, buttons and attire displaying the motto. I posted it here as a half-hearted joke. With the knowledge of Huckabee's connection to Bill Gothard, and in consideration of Doug Phillips and his connections to both Bill Gothard and Jim Leininger, I am inclined to display an "Anyone But Huckabee" button here also. Thought reform exposure (under Gothard's program) does not for a good president make in my book!

Kathleen (Kate) said...
Cindy,When you first presented the links on the truewomanhood blog, and the ones I found, I was stunned that such a connection could be true.I have friends (famous ones) that have been openly campaigning for Huckabee's election. I'm grieved at what kind of manipulations are going on in the darkness.There are some charismatic reasons to like Mike Huckabee, but his behind the scenes stuff trouble me in no uncertain terms.That's just creepy that Gothard heard messages that "one day presidents would come to him"."Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1
January 10, 2008 3:05 PM

Will Riddle said...
This is a fascinating post as I had no knowledge of these ties, nor has anyone else picked up on it, but I'm not sure what you think is so negative about it. The fact that Huckabee has worked with other religious people on causes he believes in?
January 10, 2008 9:13 PM

Cindy said...
Mr Riddle,Have you been through the Gothard mill? I attended a church where Gothard's ideology governed the activity of the leadership, and it was devistating to many. The "umbrella of authority" doctrine did no benefit to marriages, neither good ones nor troubled ones.I believe that the teachings of Gothard represent a very virluent form of spiritual abuse that perpetuates very unhealthy relationships and seriously handicaps individuals. And that's without starting in on the health related teachings... Don Veinot mentions the Chinese using some of Gothard's materials. It's no surprise to me that Gothard's program would do well there considering that I believe that Gothard's dynamics are consistent with the dyamics identified by Robert Lifton when he counseled Chinese prison camp survivors who were brainwashed in the Korean War.You use the term "other religious people" that Huckabee has worked with. Gothard is certainly religious, but the nature of his religion, his special insights that are placed on equal footing with the Word of God and the sacerdotalism of his religious system are not what they appear to be.
Talk to those who have been all the way through the Gothard mill. Listen to Karen Campbell's podcasts on patriarchy (9/07-10/07) at Read the Gothard expose' published by the Midwest Christian Outreach mentioned in the blog post. (Read a book review here.) Read at the Gothard discussion group (Yahoo Groups). Read Robin Phillips' online book on courtship to consider the next generation fruit of the teachings of Bill Gothard. Check the Christian formus like to see what people who have been through the mill have to say. You've got quite a lot of reading to do.
January 11, 2008 3:05 AM

Cindy said...
In the event that I was too subtle, I believe that if people see Gothard or his teachings coming toward them, they need to turn around and RUN!
January 11, 2008 3:07 AM

Lindon said...
One more question: How is it a humble pastor can afford a 3,000 acre retreat and a runway to accomodate Air Force One?
January 11, 2008 7:25 AM

Cindy said...
Every time someone had a conflict at that church (and we didn't talk much about Gothard), someone would either counsel right out of Gothard's teachings, or someone would give you a photocopy of something out of some red book (or read to you from it). It's subtle stuff, and when a trusted authority figure gives you this advice or something that you're supposed to read, it has a powerful effect on most people. It's also scary when people just turn off their critical thinking in order to blindly accept everything from a trusted source.
January 11, 2008 8:44 AM

Kathleen (Kate) said...
Cindy,I'm reading through that book/article online about courtship you linked to. Wow, "happy valentine's day" (say in a monotone voice).That Lindvall is amazing to basically suggest that romantic love is to be held in "suspicion". I know the "Courtship" family who write books (they have many authors in the family, the dad being a famous homeschool dad). Whatever sells books these days, I guess.I used to believe "courtship" had all the answers (then I heard one young girl tell me about her friend's "betrothal" -- I wonder how much Lindvall's teachings affected their views, even if her relative wrote a book on courtship).
What happened to the biblical references about God's incredible, tangible, more-than-agape love for His Bride? What compells men to emotionally put themselves on the line for a woman? I believe this passionate love also included in the model Christ has for His Bride, the Church. Remember when Jesus wept over Jerusalem? Remember how God moved through the early church and Apostles with passion for the lost? What about the Song of Solomon? Does that book, as well as many passages in scripture that describe God's passionate pursuance of His Bride in love teach us anything about how we as humans relate to our own spouses? Were only our emotions and physical state affected by the Fall of Adam or were our intellect and reasoning abilities also affected by the Fall?
This dialogue and debate remind me of the ancient philosophers (forgive me if I can't name each one) who believed that the physical was all evil and such teachings (was that Plato?)
God is Sovereign. He can even change outwardly hopeless marriages and relationships into God-glorifying ones. He can also allow heartache and separation to occur in order to bring about His glory. Who can know the mind of Christ? But we have the mind of Christ, as born-again believers in Him. My point is: There are no easy preventative measures in a fallen world, and no modern books can give us the answers we need. We need His Word and His Spirit; His everlasting presence to guide us in all things.Beware of ANY man/woman/author/conference speaker who tells you another way to live righteously or in another holy manner, all for a few $$. Oh, yes, they have convinced themselves of these bits of wisdom, to be sure, but they often have 2nd mortgages and many hungry mouths to feed, too.
January 11, 2008 9:25 AM