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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tim Dunkin's Hephzibah House Faux Pas


I will begin this response to Tim Dunkin’s shoddy, one-sided, biased, opinion piece tossed around on a few corners of the internet with a disclaimer:  I am, and have been for years, very good friends with an attendee of Hephzibah House.  Having revealed this, I must add that I am writing this response not for her, but for a group of people much broader than this young woman – all those that have been victims of any kind of physical, mental, spiritual, or sexual abuse, of which I am a member.

You can reference the piece I am responding to here.

Tim Dunkin does not care about the truth.  He cares only about saving fundamentalism in America, as currently represented in this piece by the “man of God and the ministry God has called him to”, Pastor Ron Williams.  He states, “Truly, the saga of Hephzibah House is a blight and a stain upon the name of fundamentalism in America.”  He is not speaking of the allegations of abuse against HH in this statement.  Rather, he is lamenting the fact that someone has come against a fundamentalist ministry.


Tim Dunkin begins his opinion piece by listing some dangers of the internet.  He lists uncensored access (proving, as all good fundamentalists, that people’s lives need to be controlled), pornography, violent and sexually explicit videos, identity theft and hacking.  Then he equates that entire list to the accusers of HH posting on “unaccountable and anonymous” forums where they don’t have to worry about repercussions.


There is a large problem here.  Tim Dunkin is lying.  He takes great pains to maintain this lie throughout the piece in order to prove to the unfamiliar reader that those he represents (HH and those that support HH) are such victims of a coordinated attack that they need to be pitied.  Not just any coordinated attack, an anonymous one.  They are not anonymous!  These accusers of HH, who henceforth will be referred to as “survivors”, as they like to be called, have very publicly named themselves.


For instance, here is a link that lists many survivor stories, most of them by name:


And yet, even at the end of Tim Dunkin’s piece, he throws this lie against the wall, hoping it will stick. 


“Until the very one-sided presentation given on CNN, many of the "Hephzibah Haters" were hiding behind the "anonymous" label, or used pseudonymous "handles" on the various forums where they would go.”


First of all, Tim Dunkin loses a lot of credibility by coining the term “Hephzibah Haters” to refer to the survivors and even goes so far as to mock them over and over again, scornfully calling them “bleating lambs” and using all sorts of other hateful language toward individuals that have alleged abuse.  Second, you can go to CNN.com or Youtube.com and find the program on “Ungodly Discipline” and watch all the episodes for yourself.  You can see that several times CNN stated that HH would not talk to them, had no comment, or even during one surprise catch of Don Williams (current pastor of the church), Ron’s son, in a parking lot, refused to say anything except to answer in the negative that all allegations were false.  This is what is called reporting.  CNN did their due diligence in attempting to ascertain a comment and it was refused.  Then, they reported that fact.  Again, Tim Dunkin is caught in a lie.  And finally, those statements that you can read on the link I provided above were actually available long before CNN aired their program – with the names of the survivors above each statement.


There is something deeper to this allegation of Tim Dunkin’s though.  Tim expects ALL abuse victims to identify themselves before he will give them the time of day to explain their side of any story to him.  (He expects much more, which we will get into a bit later,  which makes Tim Dunkin a very dangerous man and one that, if you knew he was sitting on a jury of your peers, you would weep tears of anguish based on his biases toward certain preconceived notions of justice.)  It takes a lot for an abuse victim to come forward.  But Tim doesn’t care about that.

 
To Tim Dunkin, abuse is a numbers game.  He alleges that the survivor’s group stated that there are at least 120 victims and yet he counts only 28 statements on the survivor web site.  He considers the fact that since only 23% of the alleged survivors made a public statement, that that is proof that they are untrustworthy.  But, even if all 120 individuals had posted their statements on any site or even in court requested affidavits, Tim Dunkin had already discounted their validity.  He calls the survivor statements “unverified and unverifiable”.  How can one even begin to take both sides of any story when you consider a testimony “unverifiable”, let alone a testimony of one who has suffered abuse, which, in many instances, has only one perpetrator and no witnesses?


Ah, the subject of witnesses.  Here, Tim Dunkin goes off the rails.  He begins to quote the Bible and states that when a pastor is being accused, there needs to be two or three witnesses.  A pastor being accused!!?  In our common era, we don’t elevate people with titles, religious or not, when it comes to allegations of wrongdoing.  A pastor holds no more standing than a homeless person if they have been accused of doing something to ONE PERSON in a dark alley.  To require a certain number of witnesses for ANY act of abuse is to effectively muzzle most victims of it.  What’s more, nothing of the sort is found in the Bible anyway, speaking of witnesses with accusations against pastors.


But alas, a casual observer can now see a fatal flaw in Tim Dunkin’s argument here.  He claims that 28 individuals have provided testimony of abuse and then states that you only need two or three.  But, he is ready for you, oh high and mighty casual observer.  He redefines what a witness is in order to claim that the survivors are not true witnesses but merely…backbiters.  How does he do this?  By claiming the following:


“I think it should be obvious that anonymous internet posters passing around slander on a web forum under a "handle" are not "witnesses" by the contextually-understood meaning of the term.”


One problem.  We have already established that 28 people have provided testimony of their abuse and have documented it publicly.  They have named names, listed artifacts, given dates, narrated events in graphic detail, corroborated each other’s stories where other girls are named or listed, and even detailed rooms and paint colors.  Again, it was done publicly.  This is problematic for Tim.


Everything about the numbers game comes down to one simple fact.  IT ISN’T A NUMBERS GAME.  We don’t worry about percentages when someone is accused of a crime.  We don’t say, “Well, you are the only one that has come forward about allegations of abuse whereas we have files of hundreds of others that have been through the program and have not alleged a thing so, too bad!”  No.  I as a real human being require only ONE person.  Each and every one of these survivors is an individual.  They should not be lumped together in the minds of anyone, save to gather evidence and similar allegations to establish a case.  But when we are dealing with people, we must remember that it isn’t people we are dealing with; it is many individual persons that we care about.


But what about the “others”?  Surely, if Tim Dunkin is so wrapped up in how these survivors have lied (which he blatantly accuses them of many times throughout his vile piece), he would have ample documented, independent statements of what went on in HH and that the survivors are indeed making up a story, right?  Well, sort of and not really.


Tim Dunkin alludes to “many” that have come against the survivors (Tim mockingly refers to the survivors as being “few” in number to draw a contrast that isn’t there, nor is it provable).  He lists four “testimonies” that say good things about HH and even gives much space in his piece to a woman named Lucinda Pennington.  More about her in a bit.


When you read the four testimonies, you’ll notice a very curious thing.  Tim Dunkin, many times in the writing, states that the survivors are unaccountable and anonymous, using internet handles on various forums.  Oddly, the first pro-HH testimony Tim references, can be found on a forum called “The Fighting Fundamentalist”, posted by a user with the handle of “melaniej69”.  Nowhere in that testimony does it state her name or give anything close to the attention to detail that the survivor’s statements gave.  In fact, it is peppered with glowing accolades and Bible verses with a list of activities that is eerily similar to what is listed on Hephzibah House’s own website.  The other three testimonies cannot be found on the internet with a simple search and still don’t include names or other identifying information. So much for Tim Dunkin’s assertion that the “many” detractors to the HH survivors are on the up and up, posting publicly at every opportunity.  You’d think that for a guy who goes out of his way to accuse one group of flying under the radar, he would go to great lengths to contrast them with trustworthy and competent individuals.


Now to Lucinda Pennington.  I won’t spend much time on her because she can be found all over the internet.  She is a sort of rock star in the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church movement and even gave a eulogy at Patti Williams (Ron William’s wife) funeral.  She is very close with them and is hardly an independent observer.  Nonetheless, there is nothing wrong with calling upon her to refute the claims of the survivors.


The fact is, she corroborates them.  Maybe not in her book.  Maybe not in writing.  Maybe not in her  relationship with Tim Dunkin.  But, in full color, blatant as the noon day sun, on CNN.  Anderson Cooper, host of AC360 asked her if she had ever been abused at HH.  Her response was epic.  She detailed an abusive spanking episode where she was laid on the floor, a chair was placed over her back to hold her down and she was spanked.  Keep in mind; these are girls as young as 12 and as old as 18 that are subject to these abuses.  The interesting thing here is that the exact details that Lucinda spoke in defense of HH, the survivors spoke of in accusation.  This is key. 


Additionally, a commenter defending HH on Tim Dunkin’s HH piece at renewamerica.com detailed a list of abuses that matched exactly the abuses detailed in survivor statement.  Again, this is key.


We have a problem here.  Tim Dunkin’s poster-girl, Lucinda Pennington doesn’t know what abuse is.  She details it, but then says it wasn’t.  Same with this other commenter.  Can we then suspect that Tim Dunkin feels that it is perfectly acceptable to beat a young woman?  Does he think it is acceptable to force them to eat their remaining supper the next morning in addition to whatever breakfast they had to eat?  Does he think requiring them to keep a public chart of their bowel movements and menstrual cycles is not mental abuse?  Does Tim Dunkin actually believe that requiring the counting of underwear is not abuse? Or the public humiliation of requiring diapers to be worn on teenage girls when they peed during periods they were not allowed to go to the bathroom is not abuse?  I am merely listing what Lucinda and other commenters, spoke about in defense of HH, on Tim’s piece. 


The fact here is that Tim Dunkin doesn’t care if the abuse happened.  He thinks this sort of abuse is perfectly permissible.


Now, to the most egregious and curious accusation that Tim Dunkin sets forth – you have no business coming against a Christian pastor who has done such great things for the kingdom if you are not a fundamentalist and a Christian with good character.  The key here is that you must be a member of a certain group that Tim Dunkin validates in order for him to trust you.  If you are not, then anything you might say will be immediately suspect.  But it gets worse.  You can be a fundamentalist and have good character, but if you associate with any person outside of fundamentalism and a Christian with good character, you will also be discounted or called a liar.  This is a fact.  Tim Dunkin says so.  His words:


“Let's also consider the character of some of the main critics of Hephzibah House. Keep in mind, that all of what I'm about to say are things openly admitted by these people themselves, as they have indicated on these various forums. One of them is a practicing witch who follows occult practices, as well as having being involved in belly dancing and was a "sex worker" in her younger days. Another writes pornographic books (both homosexual and heterosexual), and even utilizes sexual innuendo in her comments on the "fundamental" forums that she posts to (comments which are, by the way, approved and laughed at by others on these "good Christian" forums). Another is an out and out drunkard. Yet another one is a lesbian who tried to run over some members of Hephzibah House's governing church with her car while there "protesting" with her "wife." Another couple (a former student and her husband) claim to be "good fundamental Baptists" but have openly stated that they have no problem with engaging in close fellowship with these others or having them influencing their children. Aiding and abetting the activities of these folks is a rabid atheist who has frankly stated that he wants to attack and destroy Christian ministries.”


Then he goes on to conclude:


“So, is all of this important? You bet it is. Not only are there simply some severe character issues with them, but even more, most of them have a vested interest in attacking fundamental Christian ministries. Some of them have said as much. They live lifestyles which are not only incompatible with Christianity, but whose practitioners are also, more often than not, antagonistic against Christianity. They have a positive interest in attacking ministries like Hephzibah House any way they can. They know that solid fundamental Christian ministries are their "enemies." They're open about that. People who stand for biblical principles will be disliked by them. A ministry whose purpose is to reform and salvage teenage girls from Christian homes will be hated by them. There is every reason in the world to think that these main "Hephzibah Haters" have their own agenda in attacking this ministry.”


There you have it.  All Tim Dunkin has to do as a juror is figure out who the accusers are, check their fundamentalist card, if it isn’t in good standing, declare them guilty.  Or, if that isn’t good enough, assume he knows everything about a person because they consider themselves a lesbian, not to mention his weird and unsubstantiated accusations of trying to run over someone at a protest.  What a resounding statement from a man who deems to hold the banner for renewing America.  I want nothing of his renewed America.  I want victory and justice for everyone who has been abused.


Finally, Tim Dunkin quickly speaks about the state of Indiana doing some sort of investigation of HH and exonerating them.  He doesn’t cite the case.  CNN asked every agency in Indiana that would have some sort of jurisdiction over HH.  They all declared that they didn’t, except one.  Indiana Child Protection Services said they would except that they would need a current complaint.  Just read through a few of the survivor statements and see how easy that would be.  Also, study what mental abuse does to its victims.  I know.  I am one.  But focus on the fact that there is no record of ANY investigation EVER being done on HH.  Ever.  In fact, one government official on the local news, on camera, stated this when asked if he thought it was wrong for someone to beat a young adult in the name of religion – “I don’t know.  I’ll have to check on that.”


I do know.  I don’t have to check.  Tim Dunkin is wrong.

45 comments:

  1. Thank you for not merely leaving a comment on Tim Dunkin's piece on his forum. Thank you for not merely reiterating the sentiment that "He'll get what's coming to him", as if that would mean anything except to say that you feel bad for his victims, and hope something bad will happen to him. The way you've publicly exposed him IS the way he will come to terms with his own criminal allegations, and justice will be carried out. Spread the word! Speak up now, or forever let his victims hold their piece!

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  2. Apparently he's from the Herman Cain school of Public Relations? "For every one person that comes forward with a false accusation, there are probably thousands who will say that none of that sort of activity ever came from Herman Cain." Oh, well that makes it all right then!

    Thanks, Tim Dunkin, for demonstrating to the world yet again the depths of the abuse at Hephzibah House and in the IFB. If there was no other evidence, Dunkin's article would be sufficient proof of that.

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  3. "these attacks against Hephzibah House only began in earnest about four to five years ago. So what went on prior to that, you might ask?"

    Apparently Tim also thinks that Abuse doesn’t count if it happened a long time ago.

    Does he know how many sexually abused women invite their perpetrator to her wedding?

    Does he know that only 5% of rapes are ever reported much less within a year?

    Does he know how many victims of Domestic violence still visit thier abusive parents every weekend?

    Does he know the deep and lasting damage that is caused by emotional and spiritual abuse?

    Ugh. Stuff like this makes me so sad and angry at the same time. People like Tim Dunkin are the REASON that victims of abuse stay silent.

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    1. After 20 months and some hellish months with step-dad, he did a bad enough thing that the police were going to arrest him. So, I escaped the abusive home to my grandparents, and at this time, I spoke to three different newspapers within a year of release, once my abusive stepfather was finally busted by the cops for being the abusive man he always was. This was in 1993 and 1994, I was in high school and really didn't want other kids to know, but I spoke out then, and still speak out today. Survivor, at HH, my name was Alicia Cornish. I was also there with Lucinda and I can say, she was abused too, she just wasn't as abused as at her home and accepted it as all she deserved. It is hard to move on with life after this, and those of us that keep fighting and trying to end the cycle of loosing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness over wanting to wear pants, that has to end. None of the girls I was there with seemed to have any criminal or court histories. Getting caught making goo-goo eyes with a boy your own age at church sent at least one girl there, where is the due process for the girls that go here? Continues to be my point of contention. Prison is better than HH!

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    2. Lucinda, I was there with you.

      Just curious about the BM charts, Did anyone ever force a huge enema in any of those times you described being constipated? Did you see the huge, old fashioned gallon enema kit used and the multiple staff doing it and making comments about your private parts? You may not think a forced enema is like anal rape, but to a young child never touched or looked at in that area, that felt a lot like rape for some, and they went very heavy on the water on small girls, which could have killed them.

      Just because YOU are OK with your experiences with constipation, I sure was not. They filled me up and when no poop came out, it was like those two staff ladies were finally in belief that they were not feeding me enough to pass a BM. I'm not posting my name here because I don't want the world to know they forced a big enema in me, but I'll tell you I always marked the charts after that.

      Many of us, Lucinda, see the immense sense of power you must have as a result of selling your soul to the Baptist Taliban Cult, which is exactly what it is, and you know it. But, I suppose it gives you a senses of identity and you must feel very important and special now, and as much as I want you to feel important and special, all you are is one of the few women given any voice in a patriarchal la-la-land, and your lack of proper education is quite evident based on your writing style and technique.

      When they are done with you and throw you away in the end, will it really have been worth it to defend these monsters?

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  4. "The interesting thing here is that the exact details that Lucinda spoke in defense of HH, the survivors spoke of in accusation. This is key."

    We get their bulletin every couple of months. We had a brief encounter with Ron Williams when someone sent us a copy of his article about "Subverting Parental Authority" to support claims that we had done just that when we wouldn't shun and ostracize young adults that moved out of the homes and away from the Baptist Taliban.

    Anyway, have you ever just glanced over any of their bulletins? The pictures of the girls, the titles of the articles are enough to convince me that they abuse in every way a cult can without there being obvious, physical evidences.

    Also, have you read his article about spanking children for the salvation of their souls (don't remember the exact title, but I have the entire article on my blog)? Doesn't take an 'Einstein' to discern abusive beliefs there!

    Every time one of them opens his mouth or puts pen to paper to defend their puritanical beliefs and practices, they tell on themselves.

    So, I want to thank you for doing the work. The 'blind guides' need to be exposed along with all their asinine beliefs for the rescue of those not so discerning.

    Cindy@Baptist Taliban and Beyond

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  5. I don't know about the other supposed HH supporters, but one of them was Lorraine Kenitzki. She had made statements praising HH that were posted around the web and shared by Lucinda Pennington.

    They quickly disappeared after it came out that Ms. Kenitzki was a meth addict who was in prison for shooting nad killing her boyfriend during a drug-fueled argument. William's supporters like to defame all the survivor's character, but it speaks volumes when you look at the people who support them.

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  6. Thank you for speaking up. And for being willing to wade through all that in order to expose it.

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  7. From the Tim's article:
    "There certainly is a lot of bitterness and resentment against the ministry from these former students."
    This is an emotional statement in defense of HH lacking logic while he continues on to criticize emotional responses.
    Betraying the trust of minors in your care would elicit an emotional response of hurt. That is healthy!
    Amazing that a ministry run by grown men is pitted against young women abused while the responsibility of respect is placed on the girls.
    Tim, you just made my list of Type B abusers - You are an abuser who enables these horrible abuses by the self appointed "anointed" who are not able to be held accountable and who hide behind the truth/logic that you falsely claim to adhere to.
    The message that I got was...Ministries are only to support those in power, not to help the weak and hurting.
    And I post anonymously on purpose ;) (That way Tim can ignore my post with good conscience - clearly he doesn't listen anyway!)

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  8. Tim writes, " It is part of man's sinful nature than when he can do evil to others with a reasonable assurance of being able to "get away with it," he is much more likely to do so. As conservatives, Christian or otherwise, we should be above all of that."
    I would have to turn that quote back on him and say that he and his cohorts are providing a reasonable assurance to HH of being able to get away with it by completely dismissing any claims of abuse without any serious consideration of such claims. When it comes to protecting young women who may have been abused or protecting grown men who may have abused, any Christian, any responsible adult, any human being for crying out loud, has to first look to the protection of the children. Not to say that innocent men can't and haven't ever been falsely accused, but what kind of man can dismiss the testimony of 28 women crying out for help without at least doing all possible to assure that the claims are false. Investigate it, look in to it, interview them, observe what is going on there. Of course, in the end, it appears that whether these incidents occurred or not isn't the debate but rather whether they are considered to be abusive or acceptable behaviors.
    As to the destructive lifestyle choices of the women in question (although how does he know so much about them if they are as "anonymous" as he claims?): perhaps they've been pushed so far from Christianity by the abusive behavior of so called "Christians". In fact, self-destructive behavior is a common by-product of abuse.
    Lastly, (and perhaps this displays my naivety on the whole "fundamental Christianity" movement) but when he states, "As conservative, Christian or otherwise, we should be above all of that", he seems to identify first with fellow conservatives and then with other Christians. It is as if political persuasion trumps spiritual beliefs. Does he unite himself more with a conservative than with a Christian who votes for liberals? Perhaps he sees conservative and Christian as one in the same. Perhaps he thinks Jesus would be a registered Republican if He were here today.
    I say, as Christians, conservative, liberal or otherwise, we should be above all of that. Jesus is about protecting the innocent and the helpless. About respecting the rights of all people. About love.

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  9. Thanks IC! Let me tell you it is refreshing seeing a male perspective out there defining this abuse as abuse!

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  10. f people think his sermon about the correction and salvation of children is bad, read his sermon about the Strange Woman:
    http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2011/11/ifb-pastor-ron-williams-and-one-of-his.html

    If you look there, you'll find a link to be able to listen to the audio on the internet archive.

    My rebuttal if anyone's interested:
    http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2011/04/redeeming-dinah-errors-of-ron-williams.html

    I'm working on a detailed response to the issues with Lucinda Pennington, too. The short answer is that she's a very typical child of trauma and has suffered traumatic bonding with Williams who may have been the best father figure she ever had. A feature of thought reform programs involves pressure to reinterpret or create a fantasy version of your personal history. She uses this as a coping mechanism.

    There are also features of covert incest. The author Kenneth Adams in his book, "Silently Seduced":

    An important difference between overt and covert incest is that, while the overt victim feels abused, the covert victim feels idealized and privileged. Yet underneath, the thin mask of feeling special and privileged rests the same trauma of the overt victim: rage, anger, shame and guilt. The sense of exploitation resulting from being a parent's surrogate partner or spouse is buried behind a wall of illusion and denial. The adult covert incest victim remains stuck in a pattern of living aimed at keeping the special relationship going with the opposite-sex parent. It is a pattern of always trying to please Mommy or Daddy. In this way, the adult continues to be idealized. A privileged and special position is maintained; the pain and suffering of a lost childhood denied. Separation never occurs and feelings of being trapped in the psychological marriage deepen. This interferes with the victim's capacity for healthy intimacy and sexuality.

    Read more about covert incest here, and then look into the other authors on the sidebar if this is of interest:
    http://botkinsyndrome.blogspot.com/search/label/*book%20author%3A%20%20Adams


    Probably, the only personal power Lucinda has derives from that which RW gave her. He references Lucinda in sermons saying that her stepfathers used her as a "concubine." Lucinda is also an excellent example of the effect of abuse which results in a gross lack of self protection per her own testimony and the compulsive drive to repeat her trauma, too. Very sad woman. It's sad that Ron Williams continues to exploit her.

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  11. I must say WOW! still think signing a BM chart, and a cycle chart is abuse! NOT! there were medical reasons for the charts... Many of us girls suffered from Constipation (like myself) and needed to keep track... it was not for humiliation no one looked at what another girl marked... or cared when someone was on their period... but hey half of them claim they never had their period so I don't know what their complaint was about... signing a chart is not mental abuse and holding a girl down for her safety to receive a deserved spanking for rebellion or disobedience is not abuse! Twist it how ever you want make it sound 100x worse then it really was will not change my believe about my stay at Hephzibah House...

    This is for Cindy: Since you will Not respond to my emails for whatever reason you have! again you know nothing of my repeat trauma and the circumstances behind it! And you are so messed up on your facts... no church spanked me at 19 you have no clue what happened nor do you care because you will not have the decency to ask me for the facts!!! Except from what you get from people who are stupid and don't understand what they are reading. My Aunt you referred to.. about how my story does not add up about meeting her.... you have that all wrong... My story has never changed... people have misunderstood what I have said perhaps I will give them the benefit of the doubt...
    I have never said Pastor Williams was a father figure to me... He never was.. Now Pattie talked to me a lot when I needed someone to pray for me.. I have spoken to Pastor Williams as a counselor not a Father! Again Get your facts straight..

    Was every thing perfect at HH .. Absolutely NOT! Was it a home for disobedient , rebellious teenagers! Absolutely YES! Did staff make mistakes… act based on their human feeling sometimes… Absolutely YES! Did they ever abuse anyone Absolutely NOT! (in the three years I was there they never abused anyone)

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    1. Charlie BombalierMarch 2, 2012 at 8:18 PM

      I guess you never got paddled? Sure you were a little angel, and abuse never happened there.How did the Kool Aid taste???

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    2. Are you serious? Ok, so let me get this straight Lucinda. When I was there, I followed their rules to the letter. Always had my verses memorized, always completed chores quickly and thoroughly, never mouthed off or argued. My one "crime' was that one night I wet the bed because they would not allow me to go to the bathroom. The incident was extremely embarrassing for me, and having to tell them in front of all the other girls, even more so. So they put me in diapers and made it a point to tell all the other girls how nasty I was. Of course this further humiliation and stress added to the fact that they would refuse to let me go to bathroom when I clearly needed to only made things worse. There was also the isolation.....speaking partners? Yeah....mine left the week after I got there and for the next 8 months I was not allowed to speak to a single other person there other than staff. I got one phone call with my family the entire time I was there. Once I accidentally made eye contact with another girl. Since that was considered "communication" I was punished by not getting dinner. On top of that I was stood up in front of the entire school and raked over the coals by Naomi, who told me how worthless I was, and that I was possessed by demons and the my parents would never love me because I was so rebellious. Yeah, rebellious.....because they forced me to drink more liquid then I could hold and then refused to let me go to the bathroom. Once when were standing in line waiting for bathroom break, Naomi spotted a drop of water on the floor. It was immediately blamed on me......the fact that I hadn't had an accident was irrelevant, they were convinced I had somehow peed one drop on the floor and so as a punishment I had to scrub the brick floor of the entire building. Alone. and of course on hands and knees. My knees were bruised and blistered for days, but of course they didn't care. And all the while, while they were telling my family I was rebellious and disrespectful and refused to follow the rules....outright lies. Once while getting ready for church, I didn't move away from the mirror in the dorm fast enough to please Naomi so she grabbed me by the back of my dress and literally threw me down on the floor, But that was also my fault because that extra .5 seconds I was standing there was rebellion. So eventually, they told my parents that I was demon possessed and a hopeless case, that I would never change and they kicked me out. The day I left I got called to William's office. I was lectured sternly on what a horrible, wicked person I was and that he prayed that God would save my soul from the fires of hell, but he feared it was too late for me. I was then laid down on the floor and spanked. And by spanked I mean beat so hard and so many strikes that my buttocks were bleeding. Literally bleeding. So now how about you go and argue that was NOT abuse. If you truly believe that then I feel for you because you are more brainwashed and ignorant then I ever imagined. Furthermore, not only did they blatantly lie to my parents about how I was behaving and that they had NOT spanked me, but my parents took out a load to pay for the full 15 months I was supposed to be there in advance. They never got a dime back. As for Patty William's, she was a bitter, angry, hateful woman who specialized in degrading others ( believe calling us whore's and slut and telling us how lazy we were while all 300 lbs of her perched on her balcony above us was her specialty) and I firmly believe that she is burning in hell. What that entire family had wasn't Christianity. True Christians don't treat ANYONE that way. Oh did I mention that when I arrived home I was down to 101 lbs, from the 143 I was when I arrived there. I'm 5'9", so that is dangerously skinny. I also had a massive UTI from being forced to hold my urine for hours. 15 years later I still have nightmares about that place. So go ahead and keep deluding yourself. I feel for you, and pray that you will see the truth.

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  12. LOL- Did the girls even explain the reason why we had to count our underwear on our laundry day? Of course not! It was because some of the girls were nasty and would not change their underwear for days! GROSS and it was a girl who suggested that we count the underwear if a girl had the six pairs then they changed if not then they were GROSS and needed to learn how to take care of themselves... and no one wanted to smell them either! NOT ABUSE to count your underwear in a group home environment that taught us hygiene and how to take care of ourselves! Counting our panties was not to humiliate us but to teach us to be responsible. (and not to single anyone out)

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    1. Jeanette Merchant

      "They taught us hygiene!" I was a staff lady at HH and we had to time the showers with a timer and we were only allowed three minutes to wash our bodies. You cannot get your body clean in that amount of time.

      You don't have a very loving spirit for a Christian and your self righteous attitude is a total turn off. I think you should go read I Corinthians 13, the whole chapter, and learn how to love people which is the most important characteristic a Christian can have and give to another person! SHAME ON YOU LUCINDA!!

      Delete
  13. Cindy- Ron Williams does not exploit me... I volunteered to speak to anyone who wants to know the truth... Ron Williams did not even have to ask me!

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  14. Incongruous Circumspection You stated " Maybe not in her intimate (professional, I hope) relationship with Tim Dunkin." This is uncalled for! I have never met Mr. Tim Dunkin ever! To imply that our relationship is anything other then professional shows where your brain is and it is not on truth but on STUPID LIES not for Truth!!

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  15. "...holding a girl down for her safety to receive a deserved spanking for rebellion or disobedience is not abuse!"

    Lucinda, I think that says it all. Few people will agree with you there.

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  16. Besides, what safety? Why does a girl need to be held down for safety? That is the most laughable thing I've ever heard. Maybe the abusers were swinging so hard that if the girl moved they'd knock her head off? Um...

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    1. you obviously have never seen a teen fight back when they get disciplined... I have in the several group homes I have been in ... and yes making sure they are safe is important. The second spanking I received at HH I did not have to be restrained because they knew I was not going to fight. Most of the girls who went to HH were on their way to juvenile detention the parents put them at HH for a hope to spare them this. These girls were bad girls not Angels.

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    2. So you were beaten as a young adult. Yep. Not abuse. You have publicly stated that you work with youth as a counselor. I fear for their lives.

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    3. I never fought back. I just laid there and they still always held me down. Now in kindergarten, I took a piece of chalk and the Believers Baptist Church School in Michigan was going to paddle me (bend over the chair, 2 swats) but I was scared and ran away. The only time I fought back to my "authority figures" was when I was not feeling good (starting at age 7) into giving foot and back massages to my step-dad, and when he wanted to punish me "just for being a bastard child". I ran from him, but he was another kind of monster back then. Maybe he is different now. But the HH Monster held down girls not fighting back. I never did, I knew I was outnumbered, even a 12 year old isn't that dumb.

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  17. "Incongruous Circumspection You stated " Maybe not in her intimate (professional, I hope) relationship with Tim Dunkin." This is uncalled for!"

    Lucinda, you are correct. That was uncalled for. I have changed the text and apologize. I will not remove the possibility of you speaking to Tim Dunkin due to his intimate knowledge of many details which implies quite clearly that you have spoken with him.

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  18. "Ron Williams does not exploit me... I volunteered to speak to anyone who wants to know the truth... Ron Williams did not even have to ask me!"

    Lucinda, maybe not directly, but clearly, your understanding (by your own words) of what is or isn't abuse helps his case and he is more than willing to let you parrot his ideals. That is exploitation enough.

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  19. "...NOT ABUSE to count your underwear in a group home environment that taught us hygiene"

    Lucinda, I don't have much faith in what you consider "NOT ABUSE" anymore. I don't think anyone does after your first comment here.

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  20. Tabitha,

    Try again with your comment. Many people, including Lucinda, have said that there were beatings at HH. Lucinda even said that you had to be held down FOR SAFETY! Thus, for you to accuse HH victims of lying is a bit untoward. I deleted your comment.

    Also, you apparently have no idea what mental abuse is.

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    1. TO clarify I have never said there were beatings at HH. There were proper spankings! Yes we had to be held down for safety. HH victims are lying! They were not beat! They were spanked biblically! You Incongruous Circumspection do not know what mental abuse is if you did you would not speak to me the way you did!

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    2. Lucinda, you should stop now. You're digging your own grave.

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    3. Charlie BombalierMarch 2, 2012 at 8:22 PM

      Lucinda just contradicted herself...first she never saw ANY abuse in 3 years...now she was not only abused herself, but saw other girls getting paddled. Oh Yeah, she is believable, LOL

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    4. "spankings" do not continue until you are bleeding. Those are beatings. Spanking is what I do to my children.....not holding them down and beating the crap out of them. That's abuse, no matter what way you cut it.

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  21. I find it interesting, to say the least, that this promoter of HH can't even punctuate or type correctly!!! Way to go HH!

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  22. A screaming flailing uncooperative kid would need restrained in order to receive punishment else one of two things would happen...
    either errant blows would occur...resulting in something more akin to a beating than a spanking or HH would have to say "well i guess we can't punish this one, its just too much trouble to do it correctly" in which case every girl would soon know that the best way to avoid punishment was to throw a bigger fit. Hence HH rules and consequences would be laughable. I am sure you think so anyhow so don't bother pulling that phrase out and using it as fodder for more silly rhetoric.
    As far as silly comments on punctuation... I guess you dont actually care enough about the plight of these accusers to even stay on topic. How trivial when compared to the problems these girls are actually discussing.

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  23. "A screaming flailing uncooperative kid would need restrained in order to receive punishment else one of two things would happen..."

    They weren't kids, and it was just any old punishment. You have singlehandedly just corroborated all the beatings that you try so hard to prove never happened. You and Lucinda, both, have done an excellent job in proving to the world that abuse happens at the hand of Ron Williams and his late wife Patty. Thank you for your excellent service to all the victims by exposing the abuse against those you try to throw under the bus.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. So, with the passing of time, abuse becomes perfectly acceptable. That's a dangerous path to go down. You also use the word "kids" pretty loosely. HH keeps young women there until they turn 18. That's hardly a "kid" anymore. You should know that, as a youth counselor.

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  24. Lucinda, I will not approve any comments that are threats or that don't serve any purpose. If you desire to bring people to court over commenting on what is publicly available, that is your prerogative.

    The problem is, you accuse everyone of lying but have never put forth any proof of anything. In fact, you have done exactly the opposite by changing the definitions of beating and saying it was done properly by pre-pending the word "biblical" to it. This does nothing for your case that nobody was beaten at Hephzibah House. It only proves that you have a bias toward those that wield power with a stick.

    I suggest that you ask your employers or any professional (those who base their profession strictly on the Bible do not qualify for obvious reasons) whether or not your position on how to treat wayward or "rebellious" young adults is correct. I have a feeling they would be horrified. And if that is not the case, I pity the youth under your employer even more than I did yesterday.

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  25. I have made no threats. Just stated truth and facts and my comments to Cindy do serve a purpose for truth. I have proof they are lying. Again you know nothing about dealing with the wild (rebellious) child

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    1. There are no "rebellious" teens- only teens that are being abused who refuse to take it anymore. Teens who stand up for themselves are not "rebellious", they are RIGHT. It is RIGHT to refuse to submit to abuse. YOU and your co-religionists are evil.

      Teens are humans who deserve to have their needs met. They deserve to be listened to; to be properly nourished physically and emotionally; they deserve encouragement, recreation and time to think and dream in addition to learning to be responsible for themselves.

      If there is a God who punishes evil YOU should be very afraid. The fact that He has allowed you to represent his name as you wreak evil on the planet is some of the worst PR ever, and actually adds more weight to the argument that there is no God than the argument for the existence of God who loves.

      Delete
  26. Now you're the one with the truth problem. You DID threaten in comments that I deleted. What's worse, you are now assuming you know me other than what I have publicly made known to the world.

    You have no proof anyone is lying or you would have stated it. You have, in fact, corroborated their stories by going on the record and describing your abuse in detail. Then, you turn around and claim nobody else experienced anything that could be construed as abuse. Unfortunately for you, your definition of abuse is pre-millenial. In the Old Testament of your revered rule-book, children were murdered for giving their parents the evil eye. Oh, but it's ok. We throw out the Old Testament and only do what Jesus would do. Really? Funny...because "rod" stuff and rebellion to be beaten out of people is all OT and not NT.

    Biblical discipline is a fancy shmancy word pair and is flat-out meaningless. Killing children is Biblical discipline. Beating slaves short of death but not killing them is biblical discipline. Beating a child until they do what you want is biblical discipline. Killing people because they don't believe in god is biblical discipline. Ripping open the bellies of pregnant non-god fearing women is biblical discipline. Killing a man for spilling sperm on the floor is biblical discipline. I could go on, but I know you get the point.

    But, you wouldn't care a hill of beans about a logical reasoning argument. All you care about is proving to your little world that beating a child is god's way. But you go further, you accuse me, when I raise an eyebrow at your "Youth Counselor" title, having said openly that beating a teen and young adult is necessary to handle their "rebellion", of not knowing what it takes to deal with said youth.

    With your record of being a shill for the Williams and for child and young adult abusers, you have no business questioning others when they would rather treat another person with love, rather than power, guilt, and hatred.

    I will no longer post any of your comments here. That is, until you publicly refute claims that beating teens and young adults is right and correct in today's society. And I would urge you to do so. Your title as "Youth Counselor" and working for the government compels you to. You are, after all, a mandatory reporter of abuse.

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  27. Just a comment and you do not need to post this. It may be deleted. People that are baptist do believe in spanking their children and while most do not do it in their teenage years some still find it necessary. I have checked with the department of social services in pa. I asked them what the laws are on physical puniahment of a child. Their reaponse was that you can legally spank the child,even a teenager if that is the punishment you have chosen to use you just cannot leave welts and bruises. The dept of social services considers anyone under the age of 18 to be a minor child that is how they are referred to until 18 years old. Maybe you could define the word beating for me. Alot of people use use the word beating and its actually only a spanking. And also if my daughter was at hh i would prefer if she was that out of control that they could not spank her properly without her jumping around and putting her arms in the way i would want them to restrain her so as not to hit her arms or anything except for her butt. Which is where they are supposed to be spanked. Thats all i wanted to say.

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  28. First of all, a good Baptist, and me, for that matter, would never get our morality from the government. I get my morality from common sense, my wife and kids, and all my friends and enemies - just like everyone else does. A Baptist says they get their morality from the Bible, though if they read the Bible correctly (completely) they would see that any interpretation of morality would do.

    Secondly, those who defend HH and accuse all the victims of lying fall into the trap of saying that all forms of their discipline has been approved by the government, either directly or by lack of prosecution. Then, they turn around and tell those who accuse HH of abuse of trying to meddle in a godly affair. They can't have it both ways no matter how much they want that. But, it proves that HH and it's lovers are like any other human being - they will put more credence behind anything and anyone that agrees with them, no matter the contradiction.

    Now, I don't need to define "beating" for you. If you do a bit of research on the HH victims, you will see what I am referring to as abuse. And if you can't see it as abuse, I fear for anyone's life that you counsel or are directly in charge of.

    Please understand I am not angry with you, Anonymous. I lived abuse until I was 19. I know what it is. And, regardless of state law (look what happened to those Powell boys under state law in Utah, I believe) we need to make up our own mind what is or isn't abuse.

    My challenge to you is to find a better way. Beating a child is so damn easy and it works! Why? Because they learn to fear you and do whatever you say. Try another way. There are resources out there. Yes, they have been vilified by all Baptists and are akin to Satan coming into your home, but it isn't true. I know. I am a father of six children.

    Please keep reading and asking questions. And don't listen to me. Do a bunch of research on your own - research that isn't tainted with the "Baptist" bias - and you'll discover knew realms of thought. Your life won't be so constricted with the "what" and the "how" then.

    Love ya, kid.

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  29. Thank you for this post. It is good to see that the abuse that goes on at Hepzibah House and places like it is coming to light more and more.
    I am, at the moment, writing a novel titled "Hosanna House". It is based on homes like this, from the perspective of a victim, so your post was helpful in refreshing my memory on some aspects of HH.
    God bless.

    Chazak Amats,
    - Hannah Mills
    www.swordofink.com

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  30. My sister is a survivor of an equally horrible place that was just as abusive. New Bethany out of Arcadia, LA.

    http://www.heal-online.org/newbeth.htm

    http://newbethanysurvivors.multiply.com/

    I only escaped her fate because at 16 I fled home and hid until I turned 18.

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