Is SOS Blackwell's "Character" program a front for Gothard evangelical cult?
From a reader via email
Ken Blackwell is also affiliated with Character First! of Oklahoma City, widely reported to be a front for evangelist Bill Gothard's so-called "Cult of Character" Blackwell was keynote speaker at the Gothard "Character Cities" 2004 national conference
Gothard is the head of a Chicago-area multi-million dollar product-driven evangelical organization - seminars, book sales, videos, etc. - which has been linked to widely-reported child abuse investigations in Florida and Indianapolis. The Florida program has been linked to a Jeb Bush appointee
Gothard's evangelical followers install the "Character Cities" program into local governments. These are thinly-veiled quasi-religious training organizations with an explicit authoritarian message. The programs have been established in these Ohio cities and towns: Archbold, Cincinnati, Greenville, and Napoleon. Jim Petro's former running mate Phil Heimlich established the Cincinnati chapter, which has been conducting "Character" training seminars with the Cincinnati Police and Fire departments since year 2001
The Cincinnati story has been covered only by a Cincinnati blog Phil Heimlich has refused to answer questions about his involvement with Gothard or the "Character Cities" program. It is not known if Mr. Heimlich has a financial interest in the Cincinnati "Character" program, however, the AZ state treasurer was the subject of a recent lengthy expose which revealed he had been receiving commissions from the "Character" program after installing it in that state
Is the "Character" program being run out of the Secretary of State's office by Assistant Secretary of State Monty Lobb also a front for the Gothard cult?