In Memory of Survivor, Advocate, Friend Mechille Searles

CP Traveler and Chuckles Travels are sad to report that New Bethany Girls Home Survivor Mechille Lenee Searles has left us far too soon.

Mechille Lenee Searles
Our Survivor Sister
Our Friend
Our Inspiration
Forever In Our Hearts
3-3-1977 to 6-18-2012

Mechille was brave.  Mechille shared her vulnerabilities of her own past, to bring awareness and justice for fellow New Bethany Survivors.

Mechille had been placed at New Bethany in 1990 at the tender age of 13 years old.  Mechille had been placed in foster care.  As is a dirty little secret that few are aware of, many foster children who “acted out” ended up  in places like New Bethany and the Roloff Enterprises Homes to be “helped.”  Foster care benefits were paid by local and state governments while Mack Ford, Lester Roloff etc. traveled the country collecting money after girls like Mechille gave the coached tear inducing testimonies about how the homes would close.  The preacher would tell how “his girls and boys” would be lost to hell, (or to a life of crime, drugs, or death) if the duped church members didn’t dig deep into their purse and wallet when the collection plate was passed.

At one point, Mechille told the authorities that Mack Ford had abused her in every way possible.  New Bethany was closed temporarily by the State of Louisiana during the time Mechille was imprisoned behind that fence.  Mechille told of how Mack Ford had abused her in every way.  No one would listen at the time.  When Mack Ford was allowed to re-open New Bethany, Mechille was again sent back by her foster-mother.

Below is a letter from Mechille to Mack Ford in her own words.  Even a S&M Blogger was horrified by what Mechille alleged Mack Ford had done:

Dear Mack Ford,

Does it haunt you?
What you did to me?  What you did
to us, hundreds of survivors with many of stories to tell of the abuse.  You did not stop at one type of abuse, you
were an offender of disgusting and cruel, just evil intentions.  You have destroyed more lives by means of
sexual, physical, spiritual, emotional and verbal abuse.  You were a master manipulator and used your
power to get us to do what you wanted like a master manipulates strings on
puppets.  We were your puppets.  There to fulfill your sick, sadistic and delusional
desires and needs.  

Nothing ever stops all of these feelings and the pain
attached to them.  I can infinitely say
that I have taken that pain that you gave to me Mack Ford and I have put it on
display instead of setting it free… so that is what I am here to do now.  Set ME free.
You will be giving me myself back today whether you want to or not.

Just hearing your name and the memories come flooding back
again.  I remember like yesterday when it
all started happening.  A trip girl had
left the home and gone after her year and Miss Shannon overheard me singing in
the kitchen one day.  She asked if I
would want to try singing in the choir, and then she asked me to sing in the
quartet.  My time at NB leading up to
that point was full of torture.  By this
time I had been brainwashed by you and Ms. Nora and Ms. Savoy, I had been
beaten on numerous occasions, I had been broken down… quite frankly I was a
shell then.  My heart, my identity had
been stolen… the spiritual abuse was unspeakable… you people had me scared to
death of God.  You should live the rest
of your days knowing you drove a wedge between God and survivors of NB.  You and your staff used Gods name to
manipulate people to conform to your ideologies and the other sick things that
gave you your jollies, all in the name of God.
Since life at NB I have resigned to think that God was just an uncaring
bystander, yawning while you mastered your craft of abuse, power and
manipulation of my very own soul.  One
thing is for certain that I know now… God got some very bad publicity from you
and your staff as you all falsely represented him for personal gain.  Just learning now that he really is a God of
love and forgiveness kind of makes me sad because in my mind you deserve nothing
of the sort from God.  But it is all
between him and you now I guess.  But I
will say the spiritual abuse I endured, that others endured at your hands and
delivery method of his word is unforgivable to me.  You robbed me of a relationship with God for
years to come after NB, and I tell ya… there were times I needed him
desperately but you had left me afraid so much so I isolated myself from my
spiritual self.  This is on you… just don’t
ask me for the forgiveness because I am not willing to give that to you for
your unforgivable crimes.

As I write you… I am ready to tell the world the truth.  Your truth Mack Ford… not only did you prey
on me spiritually, psychologically and physically abused me… it is time that I
break the silence once and for all that you were guilty of sexually abusing me
and manipulating me too… again all in the name of God you sicko.  I remember when it started… you would call on
me every night to give my “testimony” and you coached me on what to say.  You would wait until I was done and then make
me stand there and look at the congregation … telling the people to take a deep
look into my eyes as they told the story of the pain and trauma I had endured
as a child… and then you would gloat that you saved me.  You would make me stand there while offering
was being collected and sing some woe is me song.  Then the day would come when in the middle of
Rhode Island, that I would walk in on you engaged in a sexual act with another
girl and rather than shame and being scared shitless that you had been caught…
you manipulated me and demanded and reeled me in.  Remember telling me that a man could smell a
woman and you proceeded to tell me that this smell was what caused men into
temptation?   Again, all in the name of
God.   I witnessed other means of your predator
like ways with not only myself but with a few others.  You had me so scared, us so scared and full
of shame that we would not breathe a word only until shit hit the fan for you
and you were accused by an adult staff member who had the courage to come
forward to your wife and Ms. Nora.  It is
sad really thinking back on the events.
I realize the truth is that we were all there to meet your needs in one
way or another, whether it would be for financial gain, sexual needs and power
trips.  You never had one intention of
helping one wayward child; in fact you screwed up hundreds.  You used your power to gratify your selfish,
sick needs with not regard to the harm and pain and years of shame you were
inflicting on innocent children.  Not one
of us deserved it Mack Ford… not one of us.

And sickest of all your attempts to find sexual fulfillment of
children you had an obligation to protect, build and serve.  You lied to everyone!  Our families, multitudes of churches across
the nation… you lied and said we were safe with you when in fact Mack Ford you
were a predator of the worst kind.  You
lied to your wife even.  Who knows how
many years and how many other girls/boys you preyed upon.  But you were so cocky in light of all of the
events you created.  As a matter of fact,
when I got sent back to the home and ran away and told the cops what had happened
with you that led to the home closing temporarily months earlier, you had the
balls to march into the police station with your wife to face off with me and
what you said were false allegations?
Then the funny thing is you loaded me and the other girls up in the van
and sent us to hide out at a church in Texas, telling the staff to call my mom
while I was there and have her come and pick me up for good… I was no longer
welcome.  I guess opening my mouth to the
police made me a liability to you to great because I knew and had been through
too much with you.  It was no surprise at
the time that your wife huddled with you in the police station and called me a
liar when she believed me just a few months before and closed the home
down.  You are a master manipulator… why
would she be exempt from your manipulation.
And the police even???  Of course
y’all totally screwed me after the tape I had made with other girls for your
wife and in the presence of Ms. Nora was suddenly non-existent when the police
asked about it.  Well whatever, how were
you to expect that the truth would ever escape me even if I had kept my mouth
shut for years.  Although I am disgusted
that you are not rotting away in a prison cell right now, I still have the
power!  I have the power to tell the
others the truth and I have the power to make certain that you will once again
have to re-live what you did even if it is simply by me resurrecting the issues
by means of this letter.  I HAVE THE
POWER!  You will ultimately pay for this
even if it is not now… you will pay… God will not allow you to escape your
deeds.  He knows the truth and he will
hold you accountable…  Your actions were
very abusive and very illegal!
Regardless of the fact that you had a multitude of support and a huge following,
it is evident that even you knew and planned it all out like a master
planner.  You preyed on wayward, troubled
teens and children because you knew we would be the easy ones to dis-credit and
the easiest to convince the world that we were liars out to hurt you and get
back at our parents as you so often liked to claim.

I demand that you will now give me my space back… I am the
truth and you are the liar… now the world will know at least my side even if
the others choose to remain quiet.  So
finally I am letting you go… and I just pray that your paranoia keeps you up at
night… that your conscious is eating you alive and that you will never have the
power to hurt another soul before your time to go comes.


Mechille fought ferociously against abuse long after she left New Bethany.  

In November 2011, Mechille was a whistle-blower against Summit Ridge Psychiatric Hospital.  A transgender teen told Mechille that an employee of the hospital told the teen he looked like a clown because the teen was wearing  his wig that he wore prior to being admitted to Summit Ridge.  A few hours later the teen was found dead. 

According to

“Later in the morning, Mechille said, she saw Reese in an outdoor smoking area, doubled over against a concrete wall. She said he was distraught over an encounter with a hospital employee who asked why he was wearing makeup.

“That’s what I choose to do,” Reese said he responded. “It’s what I do on the outside.”

The employee, Reese told Mechille, responded: “You look like a clown.”

“Hold your head up high,” Mechille said she told Reese. “You go tell him to go to hell.”

“A few hours later,” she said, “he was found dead.”

At the time, Mechille also was the administrator of a facebook page which she named, “Justice for Sonya.”  Mechille chose the name because “Sonya” was the name Reese wished to go by.

CP and Chuckles are confident that if we could see her tonight,  Mechille would have a front row seat right at Jesus’ feet.   She’s telling Jesus everything.  Jesus isn’t telling her that she is a liar.  Jesus isn’t telling her that she should have “just moved on.”  Jesus isn’t asking, “Why didn’t you just forgive and forget?”

No. Jesus isn’t saying any of those cruel words and so many others Mechille heard all these years.

I’ll tell you what Jesus is doing.

Jesus is listening.  He is taking down every word.  Then when Mechille is done talking, HE is the One who will say,  “Well done, My good and faithful servant,” as HE wipes her tears away.

Jesus will wipe away Mechille’s tears, but her abusers?  He will remember what Mack Ford and others did.  Soon, old Mack Ford will be standing before Jesus.  Instead of “Well done…..,” Mack (and others like him) will hear, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”  Matthew 25:41


9 thoughts on “In Memory of Survivor, Advocate, Friend Mechille Searles

  1. Thanks for this wonderful post about our beautiful and brave Mechille. I do not believe she is anywhere but at peace.

  2. You are right, Mechille will be with Christ now, only I think that like the little children she will be on his lap with his arms around her. Mechille, your life was too short – but was filled too long with pain and horror. You are at peace … and I thank you speaking up. Not all children are able to do that. You did …and you are blessed forever….

  3. What a tragic story! Your insightful
    remarks @ what, even well meaning people
    will tell those of us who are trying to
    heal from wolves in sheep’s clothing
    like this pervert—that we need to just
    move on, forgive even when a users
    don’t even ask for forgiveness drives
    the spiritual injury deeper and lets
    the perpetrator skate!
    I truly pray that places like this, BJU,
    Baptist & fundamentalist churches
    would cease their destructive,
    intentional, spiritual abuses OR be
    exposed for the horrible harm they
    arrogantly inflict on those they can
    Mary P

  4. That foster care business is an outrage… the conservatives who supposedly care so much about govt funds, “waste, fraud and abuse”–don’t seem too worried that inept people like this collect significant govt money per child, like some assembly line, and they have no credentials at all to deal with such kids.

    Awful! :(

  5. May she finally rest in peace….but I wish she could have lived to see justice done to those who were cruel to her.

    I wish she would have seen her testimony carry the weight it should have.

    • She has already seen it. She has walked into an eternity that has no beginning and no end. She knows it all – the things that we can only see the shadows of. Jesus has taken Mechille unto Himself, and she has no more questions, no more hurt, no more scars. . . . . . . . Bless His holy name forever.

  6. Pingback: Unto the Least of These…..Part One « chucklestravels

  7. Pingback: Timothy Johnson Has Blood on His Hands | chucklestravels

  8. Pingback: Survivors of New Bethany mark the 1st anniversary of Mechille Searles’ death | #BattleOfOurTimes.Com


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