Homeschool leader disavows ‘patriarchy’


Posted Aug. 28, 2014

Longtime homeschool attorney and advocate Michael P. Farris, who founded the Home School Legal Defense Association in 1983 and founded Patrick Henry College in 2000, issued a public statement Wednesday distancing himself from “patriarchy.” Specifically, he criticized the teachings of two leaders formerly popular among homeschoolers, Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard, who both recently stepped down from ministries amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Phillips, an attorney himself, worked with Farris at HSLDA for six years. He went on to launch The Vision Forum Inc. and Vision Forum Ministries with his wife Beall. Last year, Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum Ministries after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with a young woman. The ministry closed soon after.

Gothard was a longtime ministry leader who drew thousands of families to weeklong seminars in the 1970s and ’80s, teaching practical applications of biblical principles and warning against debt and rock music. He resigned as president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles in March amid allegations of sexual misconduct with multiple young women. (Gothard admitted to crossing the “boundaries of discretion” with some young women but denied any “sexual intent.”)

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