Two Bringing Up Bates stars have made a very surprising statement about the ministry followed and promoted by close family friends the Duggars.
Erin Bates Paine made a comment denouncing the Institute in Basic Life Principals on Instagram, following the filing of a massive lawsuit against the former head of the organization, Bill Gothard, for the alleged sexual abuse of young girls.
Five more plaintiffs just joined the suit, including three women and two men.
Now, despite the fact that both her father and father-in-law serve on the IBLP board of directors, Bates says she and her husband Chad Paine have turned their backs on the ministry in which they were raised, and that their fellow evangelical reality TV family the Duggars actively promotes.
The statement came in the comments section of this Instagram post.
A fan let Bates know that if she ever wanted to escape the IBLP lifestyles, help was available — and that's when Bates dropped the bomb.
"You have a beautiful family," Instagram user rosequartzlioness wrote. "If you and your husband ever want out of the ATI-lifestyle, there's many of us willing to lend you a hand."
"@rosequartzlioness you're so kind! We are not affiliated with the ministry or Mr. Gothard in anyway at all, nor do we support. Thank you for your concern. May God richly bless you! :)" Bates responded.
"@chad_erinpaine aren't both of your fathers on the IBLP board? And your new brother in law works for it as well? Just wondering. Regardless, you guys are adorable and seem incredibly sweet. God Bless," wrote caro_cline.
"So your family is no longer following ATI? Interesting! Would love to hear more about your views and which church you guys belong to!" asked cottoncandytotes.
Bates made it clear that she was only speaking for herself and her husband, not her father, in-laws or any other family members.
"I am speaking solely for Chad and I!" she responded. "Each family makes their own decisions. But for us, we do not support or encourage. Blessings! :)"
Then her brother, Lawson Bates, chimed in, clarifying that their dad only joined the board two years ago — Gothard resigned in 2014 — and was not aware of the accusations at the time.
"IBLP & ATI [Advanced Training Institute] are no longer affiliated with Mr Gothard," he wrote. "ALL of us make our own decisions & follow Jesus Christ. People will always let you down. Christ never will. My dad joined the board only around 2 years ago & was as unaware of accusations as anyone.
"I don't support him or his ministry," he added.
Gil Bates and Dr. Stephen Paine remain on the IBLP board of directors.
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