magic cure for all the problems that ailed the youth of the late ’60s and
early ’70s could be summed up in one word: “Authority.” Everything
he taught flowed into or out of the central principle of submitting to
Gothard made authority such a basic principle to all of life that even faith itself — considered by evangelical Christians to be the most basic life pricinple — was based on it. And Gothard wasn’t talking simply about submitting to God’s authority as the basis of faith. Rather, he was talking about submitting to human authority — i.e., “those in authority” that God has placed over us. Gothard told his audience that the secret for achieving “great faith,” spiritual growth, protection from temptation and guidance in life, was complete, loyal submission to the following human authority figures: parents, government leaders, church leaders, and employers.
In order to teach this, Gothard had to ignore both the Bible and the recent lessons of world history.