Five women have sued the Institute in Basic Life Principles, once a leader in the Christian homeschooling movement, charging that the organization and its board of directors enabled and covered up sexual abuse and harassment of interns, employees, and other participants in its programs.
Each of the plaintiffs — Gretchen Wilkinson, Charis Barker, Rachel Frost, Rachel Lees and a Jane Doe — seeks $50,000 in damages, alleging that the organization and its board acted negligently, with willful and wanton disregard for them, and engaged in a civil conspiracy to conceal the wrongdoing.
The lawsuit is the latest chapter in a long-simmering scandal that has engulfed the ministry once admired by conservative Christian parents for teaching them how to raise obedient, devout and chaste children since the 1960s. The ministry has found dedicated followers in politics, including Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), who sought to replace Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as House Speaker, and in entertainment.
Last year founder and long time President, Bill Gothard, resigned amid allegations that he had sexually harassed more than thirty female employees over the years.
Oh and who could forget this:
Earlier this year, IBLP was once again in the headlines after the gossip magazine In Touch reported that Josh Duggar, the eldest son of reality television stars and longtime Advanced Training Institute members Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, had been sent to an IBLP training center as a teenager after he admitted he had sexually abused four of his younger sisters and a family friend.
That's right, the guy who the Duggars sent their sister fondling son to in order to straighten him out, had to resign in response to charges of sexual harassment, and his organization is being sued for covering up similar activities among staff members.
Oh and Josh Duggar himself is currently in hiding in response to being outed as a customer of Ashley Madison, having admitted to a porn addiction, and being accused of paying a porn star for rough sex.
Gee, uh...anybody else seeing a pattern here?