Family Cult

Traumatic Childhood

"My father believed that he was the chosen servant of Jesus Christ. I mean, he was fanatical about it," says Jeanne. "It was like he was God himself."

 

"My father described himself as a preacher. He told us God had ordained him to rule over this earth, and my father was going to do whatever it took to make us submit and that our lives did not consist of anything but to serve him," says Sarah, Jeanne's younger sister.

Another sibling, Miriam, shares her painful remembrances. "My dad had a bell, and when he rang it, we had to do what he needed, which could be anything from changing his socks, washing his feet, changing his clothes," she says.

"I watched my sister Miriam go through a lot. I saw my sister Miriam be put in the closet and beaten," recalls Sarah. She says no one in the household was exempt from mistreatment. "We were starving. We would eat the dog food in order to stay alive. My father was always on the road, because that was his way to keep us from authorities, to keep us brainwashed and to keep us under his control."

Jeanne says that when she was just 8 years old, she was forced to become a mother to her younger siblings. "By the time I was 19, I was responsible for seven children. My whole existence was consumed. I did not go anywhere or do anything without those seven children," she recalls. "I fed them, I bathed them, I went through all of the daily routines."

"Jeanne was like a second mom in our family," adds her brother, Nathan. "She would cook, do laundry."

Jeanne says that not only was she beaten on a regular basis, she was forced to do the unspeakable. "I was molested and raped from the time I was 5 years old " by my father " until I was 27 years old," she says.

"My dad would have sex with my older sister, Jeanne. I remember waking up numerous times and seeing my father in bed with my sister Jeanne and on top of her," says Sarah.

"I could see and hear Dad, what sounded to me like having sex with Jeanne, and Jeanne would be crying and screaming, and Dad would repeatedly punch her in the kidneys and just keep telling her to shut up," Miriam says.

Jeanne recounts a graphic incident. "The worst experience for me was when he introduced me to oral sex. He took me in the bathroom, and he made me get on my knees. I refused. I started crying. He said, ‘I'm the chosen servant of Jesus Christ. You've just insulted Almighty God. You're going to go to hell for this,'" she wails, tears streaming down her face. "He started smacking my face, and blood was gushing out of my teeth. He started screaming at me, 'You'd better swallow that blood.' He said, ‘Your mother's going to find out, she's going to see the blood all over the place.'"

"I would never wish her to be raped by my father and abused like that," says Miriam.

Jeanne joins Dr. Phil onstage. "You believe that your father really believed that he was a chosen servant of God?" he asks.  

"Yes," she says quietly.

"I think it's hard for people to understand, but this was the only influence, instruction, guidance, exposure you ever had, correct?" Dr. Phil inquires. "Because he kept you isolated."

"That's correct," Jeanne replies.

"Was there ever a time when you were being abused that you had any sense, ‘This isn't the way life is supposed to be,' or was it just all that you knew?"

"It's all that I knew."

Observing that Jeanne says her father often used biblical quotes to justify his actions, Dr. Phil says, "With regard to the sex acts, he used Adam and Eve's scripture to talk about that. What would he say to you about that?"

"He would say that I was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, and that God had given me to him to do these things to me, that it was his right, because I was his daughter," Jeanne responds.

"When you look back on that now, what's your reaction to him telling you that and forcing you to do these things?" Dr. Phil inquires.

"It's so appalling. It's beyond words to understand that this thing could have actually happened to me," Jeanne answers. 

Dr. Phil continues his indictment of Jeanne's father. "You were sent to him to have sex, that was your purpose, and if you didn't perform oral sex, it was an offense to God, and he told you that you were nothing but a [expletive] prostitute, and that's all you would ever be," he says, reading his note cards.


"That's correct," she says.  

"How old were you when he was telling you these things?"

"Ten years old, 11. Somewhere around there."

"What would trigger the beatings?"

 

"There were many things that would trigger the beatings. He would come in sometimes and say I had a bad look on my face. Anything he decided and he deemed was wrong, he would take me in to use the excuse to get me in the back room."

"What happened in the back room?"

"He would take off all my clothes and he would beat me," she says, her eyes welling in remembrance. "He'd be grabbing me and beating me at the same time. It wasn't just once; it was a daily occurrence for me. Then when he was done beating me, he would throw me on the bed and do whatever he pleased with me."

"What did you say to yourself when this was going on?"

"I would say, ‘This isn't me. This isn't happening to me. This is somebody else."

"How did you feel when he was arrested?" Dr. Phil asks.

"It was like a ton of bricks was lifted off me. And I was like, ‘It's about time,'" she replies through tears.

 

"So even though this is in your past, it haunts you today and your ‘father,' this chosen servant of God, is now serving 180 years in prison," Dr. Phil muses.

"That's correct."