Seminar leader Bill Gothard was back at the helm last month of his troubled Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts (IBYC). Gothard had stepped down temporarily as corporation president and from the five-member IBYC board of directors during an organizational crisis in July. But after three weeks, the board restored the IBYC founder to both former positions.
Gothard remained on a temporary leave of absence from administrative duties, according to board chairman Gustav Hemwall, an Oak Park, Illinois, medical doctor. Gothard was spending time in study and prayer, as well as developing new teaching material that would incorporate “lessons that have been learned” through the recent problems, said Hemwall. The seminars would continue by videotape, he said, while adding his belief that the IBYC “is now on the long road to recovery.”
For a number of veteran institute staff members and volunteer workers, however, Gothard’s restoration came prematurely. Several IBYC area committees had canceled upcoming seminars. A number of staff members had resigned: still unresolved, they said, are many alleged inconsistencies between Gothard’s teachings in his popular 32-hour, six-day seminars, and his own actions.
Additional staff members left the institute last month. Hemwall acknowledged that “some key people” had left, but said replacements had been found. Bill Wood, recently departed administrative director of the IBYC’s Oak Brook, Illinois, headquarters, listed in a telephone interview the names of 28 full-time workers who had left since the crisis began.
Aside from 10 persons involved in immorality, Wood said, at least 20 others had been dismissed or, like himself, had resigned in dissatisfaction over developments at the IBYC. These, he said, included ...1
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