Monthly Archives: February 2013

Frank Voegtlin’s Story – The Day I Almost Died

THE DAY I ALMOST DIED

Submitted Sept. 4, 2012 at 6:40 pm. Updated Jan. 3, 2013

From the Author:
The following video was aired on 20/20 back in April of 2010 as part of a documentary on child abuse that was taking place in the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. The person interviewed in this video is none other than Frank’s Dad.

Frank’s Story of Abuse:

I was at the end of my ropes. I had been kicked out of school for being rebellious. My primary offense was going to the movies and watching rated PG-13 and rated R movies. But it was more than that. My thoughts did not align with my adoptive father, the IFB pastor. I was on my way out. I just needed to find that way out. I had been beaten black and blue to the point that I didn’t care anymore. I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone. My life sucked and so did my dad. F- him.

Then it happened one Saturday, Mr. B. dropped my brother and I off from working all day at the cabinet shop. Dad met us at the front door. The first thing he said was for me to go straight to the basement. I saw him take Mr. B. into the living room to talk.

While I was in the basement my mind ran crazy. What do I do? Should sneak upstairs and run out the back door? Should I sneak out through the garage? No, they’re watching me. I’ll get caught and make this worse. I’ll just wait here and see what happens. And wait and wait. It seemed as if I waited forever.

Then the upstairs door finally opened and he came down. He just looked at me for a minute.

(Paraphrased conversation)

“So where do you plan on going?”

“I don’t know.”

“Liar! Your friend Frank _ ratted you out. Going to the Caribbean huh?”

“If I could get there.”

“Do you think that I’m going to let you ruin MY Ministry like that?”

Ramble, ramble, and ramble this went on for hours with no remorse on my part. I was done. I was not backing down.

“Send me to a public school and let me live my life and I’ll stay.”

“You have no power to tell me what to do, this is not a negotiation.”

Then it happened….Nickel plated, German edition, Walther 38 to my temple.

“Do you know what I am going to do?”

“No”

“I am going to kill you. You do not deserve to live. You are destroying my ministry and God is not happy with you.”

A good while of this went on. He kept pushing me around the basement with the gun to my temple only to be interrupted by an occasional phone call.

Then it happened. I really didn’t care anymore. I was done. Just kill me. Then I did it. I turned my head so that the gun was to my forehead and I was looking him in the eyes. I looked him in the eyes and said, “Go ahead and kill me. It would be better than you.” (Dying was better than living with him.)

Stun. He looked at me with glazed eyes, welling with fury and yet did not know what to say. He was shocked. He pulled the gun down and said stand there I’ll be back. And there I stood.

He eventually came back down stairs and told me that he was not going to kill me because he could not explain my body. I was then taken to the church and put in one of the offices and put under lock and key and armed guards until the next morning when ”dad” (Roger Voegtlin) and Pastor H. drove me to my natural mother’s home in Louisville, Kentucky and “ dumped” me there. He then began a campaign with his attorneys to find someone to adopt me and for me to change my name. He wanted nothing to do with me. He completely abandoned me.

Part of me did die that day.

Delaine Buhrow’s Story

It’s Better To Be Hated, Than Loved For Who You Are Not.

My name is Delaine Buhrow, of the Wisconsin Buhrows. At age 9, I was uncomfortably adopted by Pastor and Nancy Buhrow. I had yet to see the mask fully removed from Nancy, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about Pastor. It always felt like he was standing across a gulley and only felt like coming over so people could say he was great for being with me. My 3 biological siblings were adopted with me. I was the last one to say “Yes, this is what I want.” I remember them all looking over at me smiling, waiting for me to consent. My gut was telling me it wasn’t right. I didn’t want to lose my brother and sisters, and I was so hopeful that life couldn’t get worse; however, I was to be rudely awakened and damaged by how much harder things could get.

I currently have a recorded phone call were Nancy admitted to me that she didn’t want to be a mother again, and held resentment toward me in particular because I made waves. Nancy had a rough childhood, and married at 17 to escape. I pity her because she never had a chance to stand on her own feet. She took on roles to define her and never grew, just learned to appear whole. She is very insecure, from needing to gossip with women to get their take on where others are wrong, so she can feel included, to following her adult daughter’s tips and dalliances like a child. If my sister Penny said something had a particular meaning, you can bet Nancy would crack down on us, even saying it was a deliberate attempt to assassinate Pastor’s ministry.

I was a believer, but not in the Baptist sense. I believed in ghosts, Big Foot, and sea monsters. The X Files was a show I enjoyed before I went to the Buhrows. However, Baptists believe ghosts are demons, and on more than one occasion, I would get caught trying to check out a book on ghosts from the public library. Pastor would get mad and tell me how those things were of the Devil. “What has the Devil ever done for you?” My inward answer was always “Making me live with you.”

I liked to write short stories, and Nancy took huge issue to that. She thought it was plans to get rid of her. She would steal them from me, and then let my siblings make fun of them. I loved writing. I eventually gave up. This brought me to one of the most confusing things about the Baptist church and the way people were treated. If god made everyone the way he wanted them, and god makes no mistakes, then why do some Christians think they need to cut apart people? It’s not at all like encouraging someone to give up drugs or drinking. I am talking about a talent. I was talented at writing, yet discouraged at every turn. If someone who identifies as a Christian can look me in the eye and tell me that other Christians who do this just aren’t true Christians (those two words together make me nauseous, it was nothing more than a buzz word for dismissal); I have to implore them to be fierce in defense of others. Breaking down someone’s self esteem is abuse, no matter if it’s a bully on the playground, or a parent discouraging talent.

My personal interests clashed with the dogma, and I also had another big secret. I was attracted to both sexes, and knew it since kindergarten. I also was pained to think of my future, spending time with Pastor and Nancy and the family with my spouse. It seemed so hard to conceive, which for a little girl, is a huge red flag. I knew I didn’t have the heart to choose one person. I dreamed of being married to more than one man, and it felt right. Around this time, the Matthew Sheppard murder and the disrespect he suffered posthumously was in the news. I knew what homosexuality was. I knew how the culture I lived in dealt with it. I was so scared to be found out that I began to throw myself at guys my age. I was desperate to prove that I was only confused, and if I could experience sexual activity, I would straighten out. Before I even had my first kiss, I accepted what Nancy and my sister Sarah would tell me whenever they got the chance. I was a whore.

Back when I was just starting to trust Pastor and enjoy having a dad, Nancy got her undies in a psychotic knot and made up her mind that I was trying to steal her husband from her. By the time I was 10; I was menstruating and had full breasts. In the phone call I have recorded, Nancy told me she was jealous of my developing body. She had a tight little one back when she got married. She was a beauty. Today, she has the obese body a woman who has given birth 6 times deserves to carry around proudly. She told me she was miffed about how the training bras I outgrew fit her. She started making telling me I was dirty, a whore and accused me of trying to seduce her husband. In this phone call, she blames it on menopause, but she has 7 daughters, no one else has every hinted at Nancy treating them that way. Menopause is never an excuse to abuse someone. If her hormones messed her thinking and emotions and conduct up that badly, others would have noticed and should have intervened. I was 10 when this first started. When you repeatedly hear your mother tell you that you are whore or sexually indecent, you have no choice but to accept it. You don’t see it as abuse because of who is saying it.

I began to fear going calling with Pastor. I was confused about why he didn’t stand up and set the record straight about this stealing the wife spot. Obviously, if he thought it was true, why didn’t he punish me? Then a thought occurred to me, what if he was into me and I was just too scared to remember! We would go calling on Thursday nights and it would be dark and we’d be alone in the 15 passenger van. I would be so scared that something was going to happen to me.

This may seem shocking to those who lived as IFB, but Pastor did the shopping. He would ask for someone to come along, and Chris, Chad and Sarah never wanted to. I saw it as an opportunity to pick out the snack packs and chips for lunches. I enjoyed grocery shopping. I even was trusted to take half the list and get those things without Pastor’s constant presence. There were times when we came home and brought in the food, and Nancy and Sarah were just acting normal, but there were more times than ever should have occurred that I was glared and snarled at. They wanted me to know they were mad at me, but had no balls to be direct. Turns out, Nancy told Sarah that I was vying for her spot as wife.

As a lifelong insomniac, I would be in bed mulling over why I was so different. Why Me? But not so much like a pity party, this was pure self destruction, programmed by my mother. I was 11 when I first tried to commit suicide. I tried so hard to work up the courage to take pills. In the end I couldn’t do it. My gut was telling me again that if I could just be a trooper, that things would fall into place. They would, but not until I was in my early 20s.

Punishments were another thing that was twisted to the point of abuse. Pastor would spank Sarah and I when we did things wrong. But he decided that for every day we got a note sent home from school, we would get 10 swats and they accumulated. These unacceptable notes were basically full of complaints from teachers about me asking questions that were a threat to the pudding minded environment. It didn’t take long to “earn” 100 swats. I told a social worker that this was what I had as a kid, and I know that if someone with a conscience reported Pastor, I would have been saved. Pastor decided one day that swats in the triple digits wasn’t breaking me, so he had a talk with me about Christ taking my punishment for me on the cross and that he was going to take my punishments from then on. He then handed me the paddle and made me spank him. I was so shocked, I threw up. I was aware of the notion that spankings were sexual for adults. My mind instantly went there and I wanted no part of it, but for at least 2 months, he made me give him spankings.

One morning, in June, Sarah was telling me about how all the kids in our social circle would talk to her about how they hated me and thought I was fat. We were arguing and Chris and Chad joined and reiterated what Sarah was saying. Pastor and Nancy were there and listened to this fight for a bit before coming in and telling us all to shut up. However, there was no peace making like responsible parents do such as “you have friends” I snuck a big economy sized bottle of ibuprophen and read the label. It said not to ingest x amount of pills, so I took one more than it said. I wanted to die. I went back out into the living room where Sarah began her way again and told everyone what I did. For some reason, they took me to the hospital. I had to drink the charcoal and shit out all the pills. Chris, Chad, and Sarah all laughing because they found out I didn’t take enough to do the job anyway. I had to go to the psych ward. During intake, Nancy pulled on her teary eyed mask and said, “Don’t you see how much we love you? Look at what we did for you, we adopted you” Pastor sat there silently, visibly annoyed to be in such a secular environment. The next morning, I had to see the doctor, who was kind and understanding, but later the same day, he came back and told me he met with my parents, and now just thought that I was a brat seeking attention. When I got home that night, Nancy came into my room and told me she prayed one of the other patients would have snapped and killed me.

The only positive thing to come from this attempt was mandatory therapy. But of course, therapy is very taboo in the IFB culture, and Pastor shopped around to find someone Christian enough for his comfort. He found Donald Kube. In the first session, Pastor and Nancy refused to leave me with him alone. Nancy blurted out how I was trying to steal her husband and get rid of her. Kube was shocked. He sent me and Pastor out of the room and listened to Nancy, then asked to see Pastor alone. He never did meet with me alone that session. One thing I think was a part of the mind control game Nancy was playing, was she called Kube Doctor Kube. He wasn’t, he was a therapist, but Doctor sounds more authoritative, enforcing the degradation she was dishing out. Kube asked me about this husband stealing, and if Pastor was ever inappropriate with me, to which I said no, but was scared that something happened otherwise why was I being accused of it. I told him about my attractions to both genders, and how fearful I was of being caught looking at other girls. In fact, I didn’t join the sports teams in school because I was scared of being driven by lust for a female and acting on it.

Kube confided in me that he believed Pastor had no inappropriate feelings toward me, sexually at least. He felt Pastor didn’t love me, and I was part of a packaged deal in the adoption, all or none. He said Pastor described me as the “thorn in his flesh”. He told me he felt Nancy should have never been allowed to adopt, because she had admitted to not wanting to raise children again, and already had grandchildren, she wanted to be in that phase of her life.

Pastor was told that there were only so many hours that had to be completed and not one minute more was spent in those offices.

The summer before my freshman year, we were at Northland for family camp. I tried to get into the room I was staying in, but it was locked and I could hear Chris and Chad laughing. They were going through my things and found a letter a boy wrote to me where he mentioned we had kissed. This overjoyed them, and they unlocked the door, Chad shoved me into the door across the hall and held me while Chris ran to our parent’s room with the letter. Later that night, Pastor, Nancy and Penny called me into the room and told me they were homeschooling me, because I was a danger to the spiritual health of the other students because I was sexually active. You have to realize that at that family camp, we were the largest family group, and people could tell that things were off and that it had something to do with me. It was here that it was cemented in my mind that there is nothing more joyous to a Baptist than to have a family member or child who doesn’t march in step. I bet some of my family would ask Jesus for more time on Earth just to experience this sick joy one more time. It gives them a high, to be able to be pitied by their peers. Their lives are so hard because there isn’t conformity.

By Christmas of that year, Nancy found out she had health issues and would need surgery. I remember my brother Eric and his wife Jodi standing with Nancy in the kitchen talking about it. Nancy was crying and I came over to see what was wrong and Eric said it was my fault. Up until the night before the surgery, I wasn’t allowed to come see her off to the hospital. That’s how despised I was. But they realized that it was an opportunity to emotionally abuse me, making me feel like god was trying to get my attention. It was them who needed to wake the fuck up. I think the real reason I had to go along was no one wanted to stay behind with me.

Between this particular suicide attempt and my junior year, I tried to be myself and not lose my identity. It’s possible to act and say all the right things, but your soul dies after awhile. My junior year, I was having a hard time dealing with home life, so I decided to “get saved” but only in appearance because that would make them feel good. It worked for a few weeks, but then Nancy and Sarah started in on their astute “You’re faking this” Every time I did something that wasn’t right, they’d cry shenanigans and revel in it.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone who experienced abuse that I escaped to my mind quite often. It made Nancy so mad; she couldn’t get me in there. It got so bad that my day dreams blended with reality and I told some people some things as Camp CoBeAc that was obviously untrue. It wasn’t intentional, but scandalous. Eric and Jodi were complete jerks about it on the way home, saying that if they had it their way, Pastor and Nancy would put me in a mental institution and I’d never be let out. Truth is, it’s a small minded solution that puts egg on their face to this day. They label me as Schizophrenic, yet don’t have a legitimate reason for not getting me responsible treatment in my teen years. I have an actual diagnosis of PTSD and major depression. I can prove it. At no point in my life have I ever been considered a schizophrenic by a medical professional.

I got my first job at a steak house the family frequented. There I first heard Marilyn Manson, although I knew who he was. All the sermon examples drew me to him like a moth to a flame. I also realized that society as a whole wasn’t walking around miserable. It gave me hope. I knew I had a little more than a year before turning 18, and I didn’t feel like Pastor and Nancy deserved an Oscar worthy performance from me. By that time, the congregation and the local circle of IFB knew I wasn’t a sheep.

Shortly into my senior year, Sarah spent the entire Sunday school portion of church talking about how sinful and fat and ugly I was. It made no mind that there were other kids in the classroom. Most people will admit that if Sarah was focused on someone else, you felt fortunate. Pastor was away at a conference at BJU, and Nancy was making lunch at home. Sarah sat there a few feet away from Nancy, continued her rant, and I begged Nancy to call her off. Nancy at one point turned on the exhaust fan so she didn’t have to do anything. Nancy asked me to bring the plates over to the stove because the casserole was too hot. I snapped and took a plate and cracked Sarah over the head with it. It wasn’t hard enough to break the dish- it was Corelle. It shut her up though, and I’m kind of fuzzy on the details of what happened after.

A few weeks later, Nancy wanted me to do dishes, and was mad about something, so she grabbed my hair and pushed my head toward the sink. I got loose and told her to back off. She did, but as she walked away, I whipped her with the dishcloth. She pushed me over to the couch were she started humping me. I was in the fetal position, and her stomach was touching my shins. Someone called Pastor who was in a deacons meeting. Instead of being a man and dealing with his family, he called the police. The police came, and while I was outside with the officers, I told them that I wanted out of this family and what I did to Sarah a few weeks earlier. That’s what got me a night in jail. It was the first night I fell asleep instantly in years. The next day, being that it was a first offense, I got a signature bond and was let go. I tried to get away before the family showed up at the jail, but they found me. Pastor dropped off Nancy at home, called the others on his cell saying he had me, and then took me to my job, where, in front of customers, he fired me. All Vince McMahon like. I was upset about being cut off from my freedom, but this jerk wasn’t done. He took me back to the courthouse, and waited in the court room and before the judge left, he asked the judge to take me away from him because he didn’t want me in his house. The judge said he would have to go through proper channels. Pastor wasn’t used to being said no to.

A few weeks later, the family gathered under the pretense of Penny’s 40th birthday. Turns out, they were planning an exorcism. They put a chair in the center of the room, made me sit and circled around me and put their hands on me and prayed for the demon to leave me. Then they told me they were taking me to Victory Homes for Boys. I wasn’t allowed to pack my own bags. We went, and while there, had counseling from the staff. At one point, Pastor said he couldn’t think of one thing he liked about me. A few days later, on the urging of the staff, he came up with some childlike attribute he admired about me. I can’t even remember it. It must have been a lie.

I had to come back to LaCrosse, because I had a court date. It was a status hearing, which is basically, you show up, they read your name and make sure you haven’t been arrested since. You would think that Pastor was getting an award because people were lined up outside in support of him and Nancy. I had to see the judge that adopted me to them. She tried to shame me and cover her own ass, by telling me I was a bad apple. I told her I would rather go to jail then go home. I promised to run away until I was put into foster care. She thought I was an idiot and sent me to adult jail, even though LaCrosse had a juvie at the time. The police officers in booking were upset at the judge for doing such a thing. But I went and I had a good time. I got to listen to the radio and watch tv. The other inmates were kind to me and encouraged me to stand up for myself. My lawyer had lined up a church member who had a daughter my age to take me in. She had signed paperwork and everything. The day I was to leave, we were in the court room and she told the judge Pastor told her if she took me in, she’d be disciplined. Pastor didn’t want me, but he wanted to pick who took me, and it wasn’t going to be that single mother. In the end, I went home. The librarians from the local branch of the library found out I had been sitting in adult jail without violating my signature bond and told the judge they would go to the paper if she didn’t let me out. I didn’t want out.

I was kicked out of Faith Baptist “school” for writing a letter to another student telling her I didn’t consider her a friend and told her to leave me alone otherwise I’d hurt her. I admit that was wrong, but it got me out of one more situation that was wrong for me. I wound up teaching myself my senior year. By December 2004, Pastor accepted the fact that he had to let me get a job otherwise I’d have nowhere to go when I left. Although, he constantly said he was just going to take me to the Salvation Army shelter. What a big hearted, compassionate Christian!

I started working at McDonalds during the lunch hours. I was fortunate to get a higher starting wage because it was daytime. Shortly into my employment, the corporate office called my manager and asked for proof I was being homeschooled, because Pastor said I was. He came down during lunch rush. Yelling at me about how I was trying to frame him for truancy, and he grabbed me by my shirt and pulled me outside. Customers and employees and my boss saw it. They were shocked. Thankfully, it was on the camera, which I have in case I ever get sued for speaking of my experience.

Pastor went back to Faith, and got a letter from Bruce Fox, an exterminator that was called by god to be a principal but not to get a degree like a normal person, and I was allowed to go back to work. The letter said I was a student at Faith, and as the principal, he gave me permission to work during school hours. Here’s the riddle, how does a kid attend a school without being allowed to step foot on the property or get help from the teachers, and when the parents have told mandated reporters that the same kid was kicked out of that same school?

Baptist logic, if it makes us look okay, it is okay. Despite the neglect of my education, I did well enough to pass my Abeka finals and even did so before the other member of my class. If you ain’t down with that, I have two words for ya: SUCK IT!

Bruce Fox again sold his soul to the Devil by writing a letter saying I had completed the course work and was a graduate of Faith Baptist School. I received no diploma, and on the night of the graduation ceremony, Pastor preached the message. The family went but I was left to be babysat by Penny.

As a teenager, I thought about college and occupations that would suit me. I changed my mind allot, and that was seized upon by Pastor to put me down. He said it was laughable that I changed my mind so much. I got in touch with a cooking school, and met with their rep. A few days later in the car, Pastor told me he didn’t support it, because it wasn’t a Christian school. I said I wanted to learn, and that’s why I wasn’t considering a Baptist college. He was so mad he slammed on the breaks, turned to me and shouted “What’s that supposed to mean?!”

My brother Chad went to Pillsbury. I decided to visit, and applied because I wanted to reconnect with my brother. I was foolish enough to think that the guy who didn’t have time for me because he was so popular in a high school with less than 30 students would want anything to do with me in a bigger institution. I stayed in his girlfriend’s dorm room, where I told the girls that I believed nature was sacred and I loved how I felt around old trees. Her roommate accused me of worshipping nature like a witch. I shrugged and said, “If that’s how you chose to describe this feeling I have.”

I had already applied to the college. I wanted a private room because I didn’t care for sharing a room. A screw up in the mail happened, and I actually got my dismissal letter 2 days before the acceptance letter came. In it, the president of the college said that he spoke to my brother, and because I wasn’t enough of a follower, I would be detrimental to school’s spiritual environment. I could only attend if I were to share a room with a strong Christian student, and submitted to extra Bible study and prayer. I would not be allowed a private room or personal storage, because the school wasn’t legally allowed to search student’s personal totes or boxes. I felt betrayed and unloved by my own brother. It obviously wasn’t worth leaving one bad situation to join another, so I never did go. Ironically, Pillsbury shut down a few years later due to lack of attendance and finances. Hahahaha.

I turned 18, and got an apartment. Pastor gave me a letter that said he never met anyone in his life that wanted to destroy him. I guess that is his self fulfilling prophecy, because I am compelled to show them for what they really are. He even said he was changing the locks even though he made me give back the key. He also said he was the only man who would ever love me.

I made a mistake and let a couple live with me. We moved a couple months later and I found myself in a lease with a man who beat his girlfriend. So I left. I moved about Wisconsin. I had no idea what to do with my life. I still felt the need to come to church, but after awhile, it stopped.

I still felt like I owed Pastor and Nancy something. I didn’t want to lose my real siblings. I kept contact, but whenever I came around, I could hear them talking about me in the hallway saying I was trying to get their money or rob them. As if.

Things came to a head when I found out I was pregnant around Christmas 2007. I was happy, so I told Nancy. A week later, she called back and said she had arranged for my sister Martha to adopt my baby. I never planned to give him up. I decided to start talking to my birth parents as well. That’s when Nancy stopped being involved with my life. Pastor and Nancy can’t share the stage with anyone. There is this idol like loyalty to them that the other kids have. My boyfriend’s mother planned a shower for me and the baby and asked me to invite Nancy and the sisters. Nancy told me they wouldn’t come. It would be a sin for them to come because I was an unmarried mother. Chad’s wife was also pregnant and got 2 showers that were attended by members of the Buhrow family.

When things soured between me and my boyfriend, Chad admonished me to stay with him and get married because it was the right thing for my son. We did. But when I told them I was getting married to both of my kid’s dads this past summer, Nancy and Martha told me it wasn’t a marriage. That it was really a commitment to my kid’s ceremony. Even though poly marriage happened all the time with the Old Testament heroes of their faith. I just happen to not have a penis, so it’s wrong.

While I was pregnant with my first, a social worker came to me and said that someone reported me for being homeless and a prostitute and on drugs. I was able to prove I had a legit job, a home, and my obese frame discounted the drug accusation.
When Pastor and Nancy announced they were leaving LaCrosse to work for Baptists for Life of Wisconsin (their treatment of me when I was pregnant will haunt them, and I intend to ruin their ministry), a girl who had a short relationship with me told me that she wanted us to come out to them. They were going to move away, and she wouldn’t have to face them. So we did. Within an hour of telling Pastor and Nancy, someone called social services, and said I was sexually abusing my kids because I was a homosexual.

Of course, social services record all phone calls and investigates everything. They also don’t discriminate against gay parents. The social worker played the tape from both calls on me, and it was Nancy’s voice. They also told me that they didn’t find my kids to be in any danger, and warned me against having any contact with Nancy. The social worker saw her for what she was trying to do, child snatch.

A few weeks after this, my biological aunt died. I went to the funeral where the family members who didn’t attend Temple Baptist were upset that I was followed around the building and was talked about through the whole service. Pastor also didn’t mention much at all about the deceased’s life. Instead, he spoke about how he was moving away and had bought a nice house.

One of the Buhrow grandchildren, Lynn, who is a sweetheart, and I don’t hold any resentment to, confided in me as an adult that the reason she stopped talking to me when we were teenagers was because Nancy used to take her aside when she came over and tell her to report everything I said. This confused and upset Lynn, who would rather cut off contact with me than be in that position. I dare to say that Lynn was my closest friend, and I lost out on that because of Nancy’s manipulations.

On Father’s Day of this past year, Pastor had his last service at Temple Baptist. The whole family except for me was invited. Not a peep was told to me. The same summer, they had their 50th wedding anniversary party. I was unable to attend because of work and not having a car. Then Nancy fooled someone from the fringe of my age group, Liz Sella Groll, into trying to get me to be saved. Liz said “I know you love god, Delaine… I know you want a relationship with him.” I still laugh at that. She had been a friend on Facebook for only a few hours when she told me that! She knew so much and yet so little.

My biological siblings are close and my sister Chris has been pregnant twice. Both times, she didn’t tell me and even ignored an email were I asked her if she was pregnant, until I asked her if she wanted anything for the baby. Then I got a response, but I wasn’t going to send anything. This last time, Nancy “let it slip” and that’s how I found out. What does she think I will do, carve her open and eat her fetus? I sent her a Christmas card telling her that I am no longer going to expect anything from her; she can keep going getting sympathy from people for having a sister who is different. Nancy told me in the same call that she knows why my siblings won’t have anything to do with me, but feels its not her place to tell me. Notice, withholding information is a way to control. She also said that she won’t allow anyone to trash talk me in her house. HOW MAGNANIMOUS OF HER! Not that I believe it for a second.

In the recordings I have of Nancy, I asked her why she didn’t come to my wedding or come and see my kids. She just blurted out that “Jesus didn’t dine with sinners.” It took my breath away. It’s blasphemous. I asked her if Jesus hadn’t died and risen yet, how could anyone be a Christian? She stuttered and then went silent. She then said that because I have sex (which I don’t, I choose to be celibate, have been since the birth of my last child.) I reminded her that Jesus hung out with Mary Magdalene and even saved the adulterous woman from death at the hands of the religious. I know that if Jesus could speak to my family about how they view me and treat me, he would call them Whited Sepulchres. It’s all a numbers game. Which Christian can have more family members that look a part. I don’t add to their egos, so I am lower than dirt, except for fueling their persecution complexes.

I have been made aware quite a few times where members of the family said they “hated”me. To this I am comforted by 1 John 2:9-11 (KJV)

9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

Who knew that reading the Bible would give me peace about the way Christians treat me?!

Nancy told me that Jesus didn’t dine with sinners. It was her reasoning for not being there at my wedding, or baby showers and all the other big life moments I invited her to. I should have pulled a Sherlock and told her to stop talking as it lowers the intelligence of everyone on the block. According to her faith, everyone is a sinner. Even if she is implying that the disciples were saved, and therefore without sin, she is contradicting her own rules. Next time I feel like reaching out and sharing myself with my adoptive family, will someone shoot me or punch me in the gut, please?

Let’s wonder about how the Buhrow family cult can honestly say they love God. They claim that Jesus didn’t dine with sinners a reason for not having anything to do with me. Their thinking is blasphemous, because everyone is a sinner. Saying that my sexual activity is reason for them to not speak to me is wrong as well, because Jesus defended the adulterous woman.

At this point in my life, I don’t hate Jesus. There is only one Christian I know who hasn’t been churched long enough to not know how Jesus acted toward people.

David McMillian’s Story

My name is David McMillian and I would like to share my Experience in the Independent Fundamental Baptist cult.

The Abused becomes the Abuser:

My story begins with my horrific childhood. My childhood was the epitome of dysfunction and chaos. My mom was married four times and I was subjected to horrific abuse at the hands of my step-dads and others. I was molested three times and quit school at the ages of 8, 10 and 13 because everyone picked on me. Needless to say, I had no clue what a normal loving family was like. I wound up being shipped off to three different children’s homes, the last being a Christian home up in Virginia. That was my first introduction into the world of the Independent Fundamental Baptist cult.

The home made us go to a strict Independent Fundamental Baptist church and, at the home, we were not allowed to do anything without it being a sin. My entire life in the home and church for the whole five years I was there, revolved around keeping the many ridiculous rules that they enforced. Around my Junior year in high school, we had a new set of house parents. They were fresh out of Bob Jones University. For some unknown reason, they took a particular interest in me and pressured me to go to Bob Jones University (as a Christian school we would have different colleges and universities come and scope out the senior class).

After graduation, I decided to attend BJU and was taken by my house parents to Greenville, SC. It was there that I met my wonderful wife. At this point in my life, I desperately wanted to have a Godly home that resembled nothing like what I had experienced growing up. However, I had no input on how to accomplish that desire. Bible college, I thought, would offer me the “know how” on how to have the Godly home that I desired. It was the second semester of college that I met my soul-mate and my future wife. We dated about a year before I left the University for good and transferred to a small Bible college across town named Tabernacle Baptist Bible College.

I remember at BJU, our relationship was good and I was sweet and very kind back then (I hadn’t been indoctrinated yet into the extreme fringe of Fundamentalism). I wanted to please my fiance’ and serve her with all I had. All that changed, however, when I started going to Tabernacle Baptist Bible College. I now feel that there is a demonic, toxic spirit there about the role and place of a woman. They teach and preach (or at least have special speakers come in that teach this trash) that:

* Women are to be in complete and total submission to men, especially to their husbands.

* A woman has no rights, no opinion of her own, and is to never question the authority of her husband, her pastor or her father, in that order.

Why my fiancé at this point, didn’t leave me, I don’t know, because I evolved into a jerk and a down right asshole. One of my mentors, and favorite guest speakers, was an idiot, loud-mouth, crazy preacher named Phil Kidd. I loved to listen to him so much that at one time I had about 200 or more of his tapes and would go anywhere to hear him preach. I almost worshiped the man. Let’s review for a moment: Remember my past? Remember me wanting to be a Godly husband and have a Godly home? Well, now I was being “indoctrinated” and began to believe this was the way to be a Godly husband.

Funny thing about this kind of mentality is that you never hear messages about how the husband is to love his wife as Christ loved His church. (Interesting note: the famous passage out of Ephesians Chapter 5 about wives being in submission to their husbands, there are only three verses that even talk about a wife’s relationship to her husband but, a whole NINE verses that deal with a man’s responsibility to love his wife! HMMMMM?? Now, why isn’t that preached, but I digress). I have actually heard Phil Kidd say stuff like this, (Screaming the whole time so my caps are for illustrational purposes only) “BLESS GOD IF I HAD A FAT, HAG, SHORT HAIRED, LIZARD TOUNGED JEZEBEL WIFE LIKE YOU, LET ME TO TELL YOU WHAT I WOULD DO, I WOULD BEAT THE LIVING DEVIL OUT OF YOU… SOME OF YOU MEN ARE SO HENPECKED THAT YOUR WIFE’S NOT HERE AND YOU STILL WON’T SHOUT!!!!!” That is the input I was getting and I believed it hook, line and sinker.

My wife and I were married in 1990, and things were about to really get interesting. After being at Tabernacle about two years, I dropped out (so I never graduated from any Fundy land college or university) and moved to another (even worse) IFB cult church. The Church? Pleasant View Baptist, Larry K. Raines, Pastor. This was a cult in every sense of the word. This place is where I got most of my convictions against almost everything and, I believed like Phil Kidd, if it’s fun, it’s wrong, bless God!!!!

Back on the home front, things were not going well at all. My wife was not going to be bullied and pushed around like that and that caused so many unpleasant fights. I never got physical, but I did eventually break her spirit and will – which is actually taught in these circles, that your job as husband is to coral your wife’s stubborn will, which all women have. But, there were also times I used my authority to throw my weight around. I controlled what she wore. We had no TV in our house. We both never wore shorts and, she was not permitted to wear pants under any circumstances. We would have camp meetings at our church, and guess who they always picked for the Guest speaker every year? You guessed, it Phil Kidd. I couldn’t get away from this guy (at the time I didn’t want to.)

I should have paid more attention to the stuff at that church that was happening! Many things were not quite right; for instance, the shaming of people from the pulpit in a harsh manner over some of the stupidest stuff I can imagine. We would also have worship services praising the pastor and his church. The testimony time would sound something like this, (and it would last the entire service, person after person) “Pastor, I don’t know where I would be if it weren’t for you, your hard preaching and this church, you have saved my home, my life, and I just want to say I love you and I thank God for you and your Godly example”. But there was one instance that finally broke through the façade and made me think for the first time, “Okay, something is wrong here”.

Because of my past that I hadn’t dealt with yet, I had severe panic attacks, and sometimes they were during church, so I would sit in the back and if I felt one of them coming on I would graciously slip out the back into the foyer and go to the bathroom. One particular Sunday, I was sitting in my spot in the back as I felt one of those monster attacks coming on, so I did my usual routine and slipped quietly out the back so as not to disturb the service. Upon my return, the pastor stopped mid sentence in his preaching and pointed at me and said “David, If you would sit still long enough to hear anything I say then you wouldn’t be so up and down, so cold and hot in your Christian life!” I was still so engrossed in this crap that, I was upset, but figured that God had told him to tell me that.

The next Sunday, he “assigned” me a seat up near the front where he could keep an eye on me. Needless to say, I had such a bad panic attack that I almost passed out from hyperventilation. That should have shocked me into reality, but I was so indoctrinated that I believed that if I left that I was walking away from God and, would be severely punished by God and shunned by the church and its members.

Not long after this last event, I got a wake up call and I had had enough and I left. This is what happened: Every Sunday morning we would all meet in the foyer and have a men’s prayer meeting before the service. This particular Sunday was the beginning of our summer camp meeting. I was standing there with some of my friends when the pastor walked up to me and said, “During this camp meeting I want you to stay seated and keep your mouth shut, are we clear??” I thought this was kind of weird because we were a church known for shouting and running the isles, so I was a little confused and, mortified. After the prayer room was over, I grabbed my wife, stormed out as fast as I could before the service started, and never looked back!!

I wish I could say that after leaving all was okay and that I treated my precious wife with the love and dignity that she so desperately deserved, but that wasn’t the case. The poison spewing forth from the filthy mouths of these reprobates that push themselves off as ministers of the Gospel is toxic to the male ego. As if we men don’t have enough of an ego problem to begin with from the fall of Adam, this just boosts it up to a level the size of Texas and California combined. Because of what they taught me, my wife’s opinion didn’t matter to me because it was different than mine and I was always right. I never sought out her opinion or her say on any decision or anything for that matter. Can you imagine how this made her feel?. . . like she didn’t even matter to me and, in a way, she didn’t.

It’s taken me almost 20 years to detox my mind and spirit from this poison, but, I can say that I am free from the mentality that I always have to do it MY way. This is such an opposite extreme to the mentality and thinking the IFB instilled in me. The IFB taught me that it was my way or the highway.

What I think drew me into the IFB cult was that I was a wounded little boy inside looking for that father figure I never had (my father abandoned us when I was small). I was searching for meaning to my tragic past. The IFB initially fit the bill perfectly. It was a male-dominated church system and I needed an authority figure, and boy that’s what I got and more. I have since (last year) found real freedom in Christ and my past has been forgiven and forgotten. My precious wife and I are just now learning what it really means to love each other the way God intended. I no longer hold that I’m the boss over her head anymore. I have a ways to go to win her trust and to show her how beautiful she is to me and to God. During what I call the dark ages, I never complimented her on anything, so, now she doesn’t know how to take a compliment. I now lead my home by example, not dictatorship, and it sure makes for a happier and more peaceful home. This is why I wanted to share my journey, to expose the toxic teaching of the IFB cult in every area but especially in their mistreatment of women. I feel sorry for the leaders because they are just spewing what they were taught and propagating the abuse within the lives of their congregants. I HATE the teaching and the preaching that demoralizes women to a subhuman level. I pray for anyone still trapped in the IFB cult, and if you are reading this, I only have one piece of advice for you GET OUT NOW!!! To men, love your wife as you love yourself. I think maybe the reason we treat them so bad is because we haven’t learned to love ourselves first (which is a BIG no no in IFB circles). I love who I am and who I have become and NONE of it would have been possible without the love and support of my wonderful, beautiful precious wife. Thank you dear for not giving up on me when I was such a jerk, you have the patience and love of God, because I would have left ME a long time ago. God bless and thanks for reading.

From Victom to Victory,
David McMillian Gal. 2:20

Cheri’s Story of Abuse – Inter-racial Marriage

Judgmentalism is huge in legalistic churches, and as a result,  many Christians find themselves inflicting hurt without knowing it.  How?  Through their attitudes, their abrasive actions and thoughtless words.  In the Independent Fundamental Baptist Cult that I came out of, they frowned heavily upon black people and inter-racial dating.  Usually, the only black people you would see were the bus kids that were brought in each week from around the city.  However, if they were picking up too many, then the bus captain would be asked to cut back the number.  At one church I attended, the bus route was dissolved because there were too many black children being brought to church!  Cheri’s story is important because it touches on a very important topic.  That of inter-racial marriage.  Many Christians are never taught about Moses marrying an Ethiopian woman in Numbers Chapter 12.   When Miriam and Aaron complained about it, God struck Miriam with leprosy. He could not strike Aaron because he was High Priest and it would have defiled the Priesthood…nonetheless, it shows us a very important fact: God did not have a problem with Moses marrying a black woman.  Why are Christians in legalistic sects taught that it is wrong?  That God is against it?  I don’t know the answer to that.  But I did want readers to see how it affects the individuals involved.

CHERI’S STORY:

I’m glad my husband and I are no longer at First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana! I’m glad we didn’t listen to all the critics who said we should not be together because of the color of my skin. Pastor Jack Hyles said if we lived in California he would marry us because Interracial marriages are accepted there but, the people of First Baptist Church of Hammond would not accept it. He gave our marriage a 5% chance of making it. But, he said I was pretty and if I went to Hyles Anderson College, he would hire me to work for him. He said that if we had kids, people would tease them and call them Mulattoes. We faithfully continued to attend despite my feelings for the pastor and some of his followers. I asked my husband all the time while we were there, “Tell me again why we attend this church?” He would always respond, “We don’t attend for the people but for the Word of God.” This is true, but unfortunately, quite a few people of FBC made it very clear that Interracial dating is unacceptable and they were not shy in their views.

 Slowly I began breaking down inside. I found myself crying through the sermons as I sat through the services. My smile slowly became fake as I tried to become more of what they wanted. We were not on speaking terms with my in-laws for a few years and they did not attend our wedding; I was was crushed. How can Christians be so cruel? So judgmental? I finally succeeded, and in time, I won some people over and became the ‘token black girl.’ I taught 3rd grade Sunday School, became a leader in Blue Denim in Lace and was even given my own Women’s Missionary Circle… yep, you guess it, ‘The Africa Circle.’ My husband became quite busy as well with choir , singing groups, teaching Sunday School and chapels in the inter-city. Needless to say, we dug our heels in and became “FBCers.” They even asked us to be in the promo video for the new building. But, they cut my husband out of that clip. My guess was that they didn’t want to promote Interracial Marriages. I wish they knew how much PAIN they caused me and my family. We sucked it up, but those scars are still there. Many people of First Baptist Church have issues with judging and they cause a lot of pain to many Christians. Again I say I’m glad we are no longer there and this past August Tom and I celebrated our 13th year of marriage.

What Cheri and her husband experienced was emotional and spiritual abuse.  This type of abuse should not be taking place in churches.  Teaching that God is against it, is wrong. It is a lie.  Teaching that you are sinning by marrying a black person, is wrong.  It is a lie.  God does not show us in scripture at all, that he is against it.   As a matter of fact, through the story of Moses, we learn that God is for it!  We are all God’s children.  We are all loved by Him.  Prejudice based on ethnicity or skin color is wrong and we as Christians need to extend nothing but love and grace to those couples that inter-racially marry.

Amanda’s Jenkins Farmer’s Story

From the Author:amanda

Amanda Jenkins Farmer is a courageous young lady that steps out and talks about how, as a child, the preacher groomed her for sexual abuse. Her story is brief but I have put the link to her trailer on Youtube so that anyone who has suffered as she has, can learn more about her book, “Preacher’s Pet” (this is a link), where Amanda Farmer courageously recounts the sexual abuse she experienced as a girl.

Excerpt from book:

“What happens when a man you love and trust is a wolf in sheep’s clothing? How do you know whom you can trust? Can anyone really ever be trusted with your children? Discover what happens when the darkness of evil is brought to light in a story of manipulation and deceit in the church. The one place where you should be safe to worship with fellow believers turns out to be hell for a young girl. See the story unravel from its unsettling beginning to its inconceivable ending, leaving one-time believers with a lifetime of questions and uncertainty.”

Preacher’s Pet (this is a link)

Amanda’s Story:

My story started when I began attending an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in the Bible belt when I was eight years old. I attended every church service with my grandmother and I became fond of the church and its members.

When I was twelve years old, the Pastor of this church (who was old enough to be my grandfather) very slowly and carefully began to manipulate me into a relationship with him. I believe this was easy for him to do, especially since he was loved and trusted by me, as well as so many others. He led me to believe that we were in love and that God had brought us together. I believed him and hung on to every word that he said.

I was raised in this church where what the preacher said went. We all took it for the gospel. Everyone blindly followed wherever this “man of God “ led. Sadly, I did too. He took the steps in our relationship very slowly, but by the time I was thirteen everything from fondling me to oral sex to attempted intercourse was involved. He would confide in me about family troubles and other members’ issues.

I was head over heels in love with him; at least I thought that I was. I was a young, insecure schoolgirl who he made feel loved and special. He would tell me that I was the most beautiful “woman” he had ever met. He also made sure to include that his wife would commit suicide if she ever found out of his “love” for me. He knew exactly what he was doing. This went on for years, from the time I was twelve up until I was sixteen. At sixteen I met my future husband and broke free from the preacher- only to have my love for him cause me to return to him, (still in secret) after three years of marriage, at the age of twenty-one.

I continued this affair with him until I finally realized that I needed help because I was emotionally broken. I could no longer go on loving him and loving my husband. I spoke out and told my husband. He demanded that I go to the police. That was the beginning of a breakthrough for me. It has just been within the past year that I have become whole again and truly realized that what that Pastor did to me was not love, but it was ABUSE. I have realized that I was a victim of something awful. But at the same time, I have become a survivor; a survivor and a ferocious protector to my children because of what I have gone through. I truly hope that my story will help other victims and hopefully help parents become more aware of the dangers lurking around our children. Our children’s preachers, teachers, and mentors are not always who they seem to be.

Aaron Anderson’s Story

I was sent to Anchor Home for Boys when I was sixteen, in 1998-99.  While I was there, I experienced being tortured and beaten by the staff and the other children and young adults who were encouraged to participate in this form of violence by the staff. Like many others who come to one of these homes, I was defiant to their rules. I tried to run away. I made it about a half a mile through the cotton fields before I got stuck in some mud. I was found about an hour later, and then severely beaten. My ribs hurt for months after Brother Wiley kicked at them a few times. I soon learned that if I wanted to stop the pain and harm that was constantly befalling me I would have to play their game. (At the moment in my life it felt like a survival decision. it’s still does now, but it comes with a lot of guilt.) So I converted. I was tired of the all night P.T. sessions, the unconverted like myself, were so often subject to, for no reason other than, ” he’s not saved”. I saw another boy figure it out before me. One didn’t actually have to believe, one just had to play their game. And when I did it was like night and day. I was no longer kneeling on rice for hours every night or subject to what I now know as water-boarding, and just general over reactive abuse slowed down for me.

However, my life only got worse. Now that I was part of the flock, I had to keep up certain appearances, and with the very strict environment it can be easy to slip up. Never let them believe you fooled them. Never let them know you really not theirs. (That’s what I thought. but you don’t have to be a true believer to really be theirs, it’s enough just to play their game.) I had witnessed other kids ganging up on one boy, while the staff clearly was overseeing a sort of punishment by peers. On one occasion a new boy who was overweight had trouble running his laps (Punishment). Explaining to the staff that he was tired and clearly he was exhausted. The staff encouraged the other boys to tie his wrists to a golf cart; they then proceeded to drag him, crying, for over a mile.

This was the kind of behavior they wanted from us, Blind Obedience. I was made a kind of disciplinary figure for the other boys. Part of me liked it too. The feeling of superiority over another, the feeling that as long as I was giving It, I would not receive it, and it felt a kind of safe. But, at the cost of my soul, not that I believe in souls personally, but I have always believed in certain morals and conscience, and that I went against them out of fear. I’m not making excuses for myself. I knew then what I know now, that the things I was told to do and the things that were left up to me to decide for the other boys was wrong and I’ve lived every day since in regret, and remorse. . .  for Playing there game. If I could go back in time I would spit in all there faces, they could beat me to death and I would not care, for I would die a freer man than I am now.