Kathy Kelly, founder of Voices in the Wilderness
Posted in the Kingfisher Forum
#1 Nov 7, 2007
Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private operator of prisons in the United States, has partnered with Institute in Basic Life Principles, an evangelical Christian ministry founded by Bill Gothard, to provide four- to six-month Christian rehabilitation programs aimed at reducing recidivism rates and inmate grievance reports. The optional prison program, according to the IBLP Web site, includes conflict management, relationship counseling, financial management, mentoring, scripture memorization and Bible study, and worship.
Kind of makes you wonder if the over crowding problem being driven to achieve an agenda much like those of placing key people in positions of authority not to up hold the law or that to teach school but to market an idea.
"We have concerns about this for several reasons," Don Veinot Jr., president of Midwest Christian Outreach Inc., told Sojourners. "[Bill Gothard's] teachings are not based on the Bible but rather are more akin to the teachings of behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner in their cause-and-effect relationship. It may result in better-behaved sinners, but [the programs] have not made any real changes in their adherents and have in fact resulted in numerous church and family splits. The cure was worse than the problem." Veinot is co-author of A Matter of Basic Principles, an in-depth critique of Gothard's ministry.
Gothard’s organization was set up from the start to promote him as an expert on virtually every aspect of the Christian life. He founded it as a seminar ministry under the name “Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts”(IBYC), and eventually expanded it to include literature distribution, home schooling, an “emergency resource team,” a “log cabin program,” an orphan program, a prison outreach, a “medical training institute,” an alleged law school, a “character curriculum” for public schools, a form of post-secondary education through his Advanced Training Institute, and several “training centers” scattered around the United States and overseas. Through these training centers Gothard has added the title of real estate mogul to his résumé by snapping up large buildings at bargain-basement prices.
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