A blogger posted a poorly written, long, rambling, post full of outright untruths and conjecture called, In defense of Hephzibah House.
I will warn you, this was one of the hardest blog posts I have written as the post I am attempting to review is difficult to follow.
The blogger defends the indefensible—those who emotionally, psychologically abused girls as young as 12. A place where girls were either starved or force fed. A place where, at one time, girls were physically abused by staff, including Ron Williams.
The blogger writes about gossiping, defaming and otherwise harassing Hephzibah House from which he claims are “anonymous handlers.” Former students are not anonymous. Most of those who blog about Hephzibah House aren’t anonymous. He then posts written “testimonials” praising the facility that are taken from you guessed it; the Hephzibah House webpage.
He doesn’t stop there. One of the defenders he cites is Michelle Dickey who was able to get herself banned from the Fundamental Fighting Forum (FFF). Those of you who are unaware of the FFF, go and read this site a little. Notice how venomous some of the posters are. Take a gander and come back, after you will realize that one who is kicked off that site, may not be the best example of credibility.
I find it interesting that the blogger who describes “professing Christians” who are outraged at the accounts of abuse by 200 or so former students Hephzibah House as being naive and believing the allegations without evidence.
Yet, he conveniently leaves out the correspondence Ron Williams sent to his supporters soon after the broadcast, UnGodly discipline aired about Hephzibah House.
Ron Williams Answers to Allegations
Ron Williams Letter to Supporters Rebuttal
The other is a woman who life before Hephzibah House was too awful for words. She was abused in ways words are unable to describe before being sent to Hephzibah House. The fact Hephzibah House did not sexually abuse her, made her feel safe.
This woman was used by Ron Williams and his son Don Williams to appear on Anderson Cooper a few months ago. It angers me, that they exploited this woman who has clearly suffered so much in her life. Who clearly wants badly the approval of Hephzibah House and the Williams. Then this blogger exploits her once again. Problem is, he neglects to tell the truth. Although it wasn’t her intention she verified many of the allegations such as the beatings with a chair being put over the students torso to hold the student down. Teen girls being forced to wear adult diapers. Below is this portion of the CNN Transcript.
COOPER: Fascinating report. Gary, thanks. After Gary talked to Don Williams, Hephzibah House reached out and offered to put us in touch with another former student who was willing to talk about her time in the facility.
Her name is Lucinda Pennington. Her family sent her to the school when she was 15. She stayed for three years. She joins me now.
Thanks for being with us, Lucinda. You went to this house in 1988 when you were 15. You say you liked it there. Why?
LUCINDA PENNINGTON, FORMER HEPHZIBAH HOUSE STUDENT: I did. I felt safe and secure there. It was a place for me to be able to get back on track.
COOPER: You came from an abusive family situation, and they were very supportive at Hephzibah House?
PENNINGTON: Yes, very supportive. They helped me get out of the situation that I was in and helped me in taking care of what needed to be taken care of.
COOPER: Were you ever beaten at Hephzibah House?
PENNINGTON: No, I was never beaten. I did receive a spanking, but never beaten.
COOPER: What sort of a spanking did you receive?
PENNINGTON: I had cheated on a test, and even though it had been several days, they had to wait and get contact with my parents first before they could spank me.
They took me upstairs, explained to me how it was done. I had to lay down on the floor. They held my hands and my feet and put a chair across my back. I don’t remember anything sitting on it. Granted, this was 23 years ago. I got three swats, and I was let up.
COOPER: Swats with what?
PENNINGTON: I think it was just a regular paddle. Then I was let up and sat on the couch, and we prayed and talked about, you know, I shouldn’t be cheating. Cheating is lying and then I — within the three years I only received two spankings. So it wasn’t like, you know, I got them all the time or anything like that.
COOPER: We’ve heard from other girls who were there who obviously describe what they call — refer to as abusive situations. They refer to like having to drink a lot of water and the not being allowed to go to the bathroom, being made to wear diapers. Did you see that? Did that happen to you? Why would that happen?
PENNINGTON: No. In the three years that I was there, there was only one girl that was made to wear a diaper. The situation was she had just gotten there. Hadn’t been there maybe a day, and these girls were not angels that arrived there. This girl was determined that nobody was going to tell her what to do, when to go to the bathroom. Because we did things on a timetable, on a schedule, especially during school hours, we would have breaks and recess.
She said, you’re not going to tell me when to go to the bathroom. She refused to use the bathroom. A few minutes later she asked to use the bathroom. They said no, you had the opportunity to use the bathroom.
When they told her that she needs to go when all the groups went, she said well I’m going to stand here and pee in my pants. They said that’s fine. If you do the consequence is because you won’t go to the bathroom when you’re supposed to, you’ll wear a diaper for a day.
She said I don’t care. She did it out of rebellion and spite. When they followed through with what they told her what would happen, it only took one day that she actually wore the diaper because the next day she did what she was supposed to.
COOPER: Why do you think so many girls are giving strikingly similar accounts of being abused, if that’s not what really happened? Do you think they’re lying?
PENNINGTON: I think for them some of the things were traumatic for them because they had never been in a situation where they had been told what to do. So for them to be told when to eat, when to sleep, you know, not have the freedom to do as they pleased.
Yes, they think they were abused, I guess you could say. Do I agree with that? No. I came from a situation where I knew the difference between a spanking and beating. If someone’s never been spanked, then, yes, somebody may say I was beat.
COOPER: Lucinda Pennington, I appreciate you being on and giving your perspective. Thank you so much.
PENNINGTON: All right.
In his last paragraph he clearly is untruthful. He claims that Hephzibah House is regulated by the government. In fact, all government officials and agencies have denied that they have any over-site over Hephzibah House. As a matter of fact, according to state law it is too late to make a complaint about must come from a student who is still currently enrolled to any action to take place. That is very unlikely to happen because the staff at Hephzibah House makes double dog sure the girls don’t have an opportunity to run away and report anything.
Please see the October 25, 2011 post on this blog, “Ron Williams (Hephzibah House) Praises the Lord for IN State Representative Dave Wolkins.”
Below is a list of more blogs about concerning the abusive history of Hephzibah House.
- Heal-Online (Advocacy Site that exposes both secular and religious suspected and confirmed to be abusive facilities.)