Friday, November 25, 2011

"Ungodly Discipline" on CNN

As if we needed more reasons to hate nutty Christians, they have created cults and cultish beliefs that permit or even encourage gross forms of child abuse.  This isn't the "child abuse" that some of the "New Atheists" talk about, in which children are infected with scary images of hell.  This is systematic beatings, slavery, and psychological abuse by supposed religionists.  CNN's Anderson Cooper's special, "Ungodly Discipline," seems to have been inspired by the tragic story of a girl who was killed by parents influenced by the crazyass book, To Train up a Child.

The show was on earlier today and I was semi-shocked to find that a  horribly abusive "school" is in Indiana.  (Of course nothing would shock me about Indiana after living here for three years).  The place is called Hephzibah House, and it calls itself a "school" for teenage girls.  Some of these girls are coming out about their experiences here:  http://survivorstatements.webs.com/home.htm  I could only stomach reading a few of these stories, and they seem to report the same type of mistreatment, so I decided not to subject myself to it.

The main themes:
  • The goal of the school is to "break the will" of the girl
  • New girls are forced to have amateur pelvic exams
  • Girls who don't finish their repulsive meal will have it served to them again, cold, in addition to their next meal
  • If a girl throws up her meal, she will be forced to eat her vomit
  • Girls' communication with family is extremely limited, and all communications are monitored
  • Girls are used as slave labor for hours a day, including cleaning and renovating homes of the church's pastor and his friends
  • Beatings were frequent and random, and left bloody welts on the backside
  • Girls who failed to live up to the "standards" could be isolated from all other residents except the staff member they're "shadowing."  They even have to sleep with this staff member while on this punishment.
  • The girls have to go to the bathroom on a schedule, and yet they are forced to drink large quantities of water.  If their bladders can't obey this commandment, they are forced to wear diapers
  • Escape is impossible.  They are imprisoned by high privacy fences and watched closely.
The school and the author of the heinous book are members of the oxymoronic network of Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches.  They believe in "spiritual spanking," but it's hard to believe any child feels more spiritual after hours of spanking.

The guy who runs this school for teenage girls also runs a "college" that offers "degrees."  Notice that most of the faculty are graduates of that same college?   Doesn't that say something about the place?  Who would send their kid to that kind of place?  What is wrong with Indiana parents?   This subculture is pervasive and just plain creepy.  They are worse than anything that's been proven to be going on in Islamist or Catholic schools, including terroristic rhetoric and pedophilia.

Well... after learning about all this I'm even more ashamed to live in Indiana.  I lived in Texas for seven years and never saw anything this creepy.  (The Branch Davidians were before my time there - and they were non-Texans)  What's even worse than these places doing what they do and people believing this nonsense is that the authorities have turned a blind eye to it.  The child protective services peeps say they would need to have a current resident make a complaint, but the current residents are not allowed to communicate with the outside except through monitored phone calls to their family and mail that the prison school redacts with black magic marker.  WTF? How can this happen in America?

A survivor of a similar church set up a website here:  http://www.freedomfromabuse.net/

Kind of makes me wonder what other horrors Christians are perpetrating on helpless children.   I'd be tempted to say "God help them," but clearly God hasn't been any help to the victims of his followers.  I hope the Anderson Cooper exposé lights a fire under the authorities here.

26 comments:

Linda said...

It's ridiculous that the police or child services feel that they can't do anything. Fuck you're stupid technicalities, children who can't get help are being abused and I think that if this was any other non-religious type of institution it would've already been shut down. This is just another example of Christian privilege. Christian organizations get away with doing whatever the fuck they want in this country.

LadyAtheist said...

I agree. I would think that any accusation within the statute of limitations should be subject to investigation. How on earth can they expect prisoners to file complaints from within their prison? Stupid!

LadyAtheist said...

p.s. I read more of the horror stories from Hephzibah House last night and I had nightmares. I seriously can't imagine what it's like for those girls to endure such torture day after day. I hope this place gets shut down.

Infidel753 said...

Didn't the Catholic Church just get in a world of trouble for doing this kind of shit in Ireland? People need to be going to prison over this.

Linda said...

As for the couple who wrote "To Train Up a Child", they basically wrote a book on how to abuse children and they should be arrested. I am strongly against hitting children, and treating them like dogs. They're people and they deserve the same respect you would give anyone else. Most other modern countries have outlawed corporeal punishment... it's ILLEGAL to spank your child, as it should be. I don't have the right to hit anyone else so how come it's ok for me to hit my own kid? And doing it because it's in the bible is just extra disgusting and retarded. This stuff makes me sick.

former fetus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
former fetus said...

FRINGE CHRISTIANS are always in danger of excess.

For a more balanced approach to the problem of SIN:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Nprg5Ew6Mo

LadyAtheist said...

The problem of "sin" is that it's a fabricated notion made up to keep people in line. Threatening eternal damnation or punishment is a lot easier than treating children with love and compassion and modeling the qualities of empathy that will keep them from becoming sociopaths.

Linda said...

I agree it's all about empathy. My little boy is four and he's very considerate and aware of others feelings but so are my husband and I and we also do a lot of.... "How do you think that made her feel, sad? Wouldn't that make you feel sad if someone did that to you?". He has learned that it's wrong to hurt others, not because it's a "sin" or because he will get punished, but because he doesn't want to hurt people and make people feel bad. We don't use punishments, just teaching empathy, and he's so much nicer than the kids around him his age that get threatened with spankings or burning in a lake of fire.

LadyAtheist said...

Christians can't even claim the "golden rule" as their own. I just read the Analects of Confucious and it's in there. It's just a basic skill that makes humans living with other humans possible. Good for you for taking the time to be a real parent to your child.

Ahab said...

Dear God, it sounds like the sadistic Magdalene laundries! It's sickening that such abuses were allowed to take place under the auspice of faith.

B.R. said...

And so, the brainless wonder, Gideon, returns. Tell us, how is homosexuality the same as pederasty? Surely you won't mind enlightening us on this matter. And while you're at it, why don't you offer up your opinions on child abuse, since that is what this thread is about?

B.R. said...

So basically, you can't give me a straight answer because you have none; since when have bigoted douche-bags ever had sound reasons for their bigotry? BTW, "spittoon-head" is a ironic comment from someone whose profile pic is a medieval great helm. Now how about you provide some evidence in your next post for homosexuality and pedophilia being the same?

B.R. said...

Why does this site always attract either hapless fools like N.W.A.A.II or pompous, self-aggrandizing parasites like Gideon? The world may never know.

B.R. said...

Oh yeah, I almost forgot; please link to an unbiased study that PROVES homosexuality can only be "taught".

B.R. said...

"Unbiased? How about you give me some of your "unbiased" proof, then, Spittoon Head? Something not infested with liberal, left-wing bias and sentiment and evolutionary bullshit? Something not tainted with anti-theistic diatribe and socialist/philosophical mumbo-jumbo?"

Wow, we have a bonafide conservatard anti-intellectual rant here. It's quite a spectacle, but not very original. I'm not the one making a claim here, Gideon, and seeing as how this thread wasn't even about the gay issue to begin, I see no reason why I should help you derail the topic any further. It's funny how you had nothing to say about fundies who beat children and treat them like rabid animals. No, you just want to start a flame-war. Why?

As for the rest; that link has no statistics backing it up. How do I know this guy is telling the truth? And furthermore, even if he is, it does not prove that homosexuality and pedophilia are the same, only that the radical, political side of the gay movement is trying to shove their lifestyle down everyone's throat, much like the Religious Right.

"Forget, for a moment, that you're an incurable imbecile and take a look around."

This from the moron who thinks TOE claims humans evolved from monkeys. Oh, the Irony...

"The only condition that I can attribute to genetics is retardation, a fact that your existence proves beyond a doubt."

This coming from a Creationist homophobe who sits around all day spewing forth off-the-wall conspiracy theories on his blog, and who has yet to make a decent argument for even one of his opinions. Spare me your mental projection.

B.R. said...

And I'll ask you one final time; what is your opinion of the Christians talked about in this blog post? If your response is just going to consist of cheap insults and childish attempts to hijack the thread, don't even bother posting.

LadyAtheist said...

Note: I have moved posts from "Gideon" to the Spam folder. If you feel the need to interact with a certifiable loon, you can find him on his blog: http://houseofgideon.blogspot.com/.

Tristan D. Vick said...

Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

It is stuff like this which makes me wonder why religionists always call atheists "angry."

Seriously, they don't maybe see that we have *valid reasons for being outraged at such atrocities like this Indiana cult?

Anyway, thanks for calling this to our attention--now anytime someone tells me I am being an angry atheist I'll just say--damn right; and I have every reason to be.

B.R. said...

Just got back from walking my dog. Let the waste of oxygen masturbate on his worthless blog as long as he wants. Any attempt at conversation with him is inevitably a waste of time.

B.R. said...

Anyway, back on topic; the U.S. government needs to do something useful for once and start crushing cults like this as they rise. When someone's religion causes physical and mental abuse, it's time to step in and send some people to prison.

LadyAtheist said...

Seriously, they should NOT get a pass because of religion, and "true" Christians should be more outspoken about stuff like this. They warn their congregations about cults because they don't want to lose members, but they won't lobby their legislature to change the law? Cripes.

former fetus said...

"The problem of "sin" is that it's a fabricated notion made up to keep people in line."

Right. Fabricated by who?

Somebody, 5000 years ago–just knew that 'angle' would work with everybody.

You accuse Judaism and Christianity of just making it up as they go along. Actually it's YOU that's just making it up as you go along.

LadyAtheist said...

yeah, pretty much. Almost every religion has someone in the deep past who claims to have communicated with a god or two directly and then come up with a bunch of rules

Linda said...

Here's a link to a petition if you're interested. It's to get Amazon to stop selling books like "To Train Up A Child" that promote child abuse. Maybe we can start one to get someone to do something about Hephzibah House!
www.change.org/petitions/jeff-bezos-amazon-ceo-refuse-to-carry-books-which-advocate-the-physical-abuse-of-children

r503 said...

"they would need to have a current resident make a complaint, but the current residents are not allowed to communicate with the outside"

Even if they did have a current resident make a complaint they would probably just write it off as lies or "acting out" on the part of the poor girl. Even in non-religious abusive situations children are too often written of as unreliable witnesses with overactive imaginations.

@Linda: As disgusting as "To Train Up A Child" surely is, I can't say I'd approve banning it from the public. That would be censorship, a favorite tool of the people you're criticizing. And besides, if the book is banned it will only keep people unaware of it and help the child abusers stay under the radar.