Saturday, February 2, 2013

Story of Baby S. as witnessed by Susan Grotte 15


Sundays at Hephzibah house were dominated by Church.

I sat in a metal folding chair trying not to squirm since I had no fat left to cushion the hard seat beneath me. I was in the last of 5 rows of 6 girls interspersed with 4 staff ladies. The Hephzibah girls and Hephzibah staff, along with their children made up the entire congregation in the little unfinished basement room. Behind me I heard the familiar sounds of little baby S nursing away during the service. It felt good to know that sweet Mrs. K. was behind me. She would not be quick to find fault in my posture or how my hair was curled. The rhythmic sounds of a suckling baby were soothing and normal sounds in this surreal world.

Back straight, eyes forward. I tried to pay attention to the long winded sermon and take good notes. Notes were turned in after every service and checked to make sure we paid attention to the service and were not daydreaming. If staff did not like your notes it was a paddling offense. Ron Williams had a theory that young people who were not engaged in busy work were lusting and enjoying lascivious fantasies.

My feet were cold and my back ached but otherwise the sermon was a nice reprieve from the normal stress of daily life at Hephzibah house.

Ron Williams deep voice filled the small room. He dwarfed the tiny podium.

Patti Williams sat on the left side of the room with all eight children in a row. There was always a well worn paddle laying on the seat beside her. It was not unusual to see her paddle her children for wiggling or making noise during the long sermons. The youngest was Seth, perhaps two years old and the darling irrepressible Benjamin was just four years old. I do not recall a service where that poor little boy did not get a severe beating. I was amazed how undaunted and happy he remained. Seth seemed dull. He just sat and sucked his fingers. He showed no signs of normal 2 year old curiosity and wonder. Maybe that is what a successfully broken will would looked like in a two year old. I found it profoundly disturbing.

Suddenly there was movement. I sensed rather than saw Mrs. K. stand up behind me. I dared not turn my head but up front Mrs Williams also hefted her wide girth out of her metal chair. It creaked loudly in protest. At just 40, Patti Williams was fat, slovenly and mean as a snake. Her grey hair in a stringy bun she stood looking back behind me towards the Mrs. K. and baby S. She had picked up the small paddle. A hard, tight smile crossed her humorless face. Mrs. K. had now made her way into my line of vision.

Mrs. K. was clearly upset as she carried her tiny baby towards the front of the chapel.

Ron Williams just droned on.

My stomach clenched. What was this???

Patti guided Mrs. K. into a small walled off area at the front of the room. The area was meant to be a closet one day. Now it had no door and served to store extra folding chairs. The two women entered the narrow room I had a partial view of the inside of the room but could no longer see Mrs. K. and the baby past Patti’s wide back.

Ron Williams kept preaching.

NO! Oh NO!”

I was frozen. Staring straight ahead and gripping my pencil in horror.

WHACK!!

The baby SCREAMED.

We heard every powerful, stinging blow of the paddle hitting that tiny baby. It went on and on, every time there was a pause and I thought it was over it started up again.

Ron Williams actually stopped preaching. Grinning from ear to ear he made a fist and moved it enthusiastically across his body like a diabolical cheerleader, “Hit him again Sister! Hit him again!”

No one moved. No one DID anything. The babies cries were becoming strangled as he choked and he seemed to gasp dangerously between blows.

Go get that baby Susan!” The voice in my head was screaming, “DO SOMETHING!”

I stared straight ahead as Ron Williams resumed his droning sermon. I thought of twenty scenarios where I saved that baby, but I sat glued to my seat. My blood ran cold.

The crying stopped before the blows stopped. Soon Mrs. K. stepped out from behind the wall she was sobbing and clinging to her baby Patti was right behind her with a huge self satisfied smile on her corpulent face, now red from exertion.

The baby was quiet. A spooky unnatural quiet. I watched the little bundle for signs of life intently until I saw his little chest heave showing he was indeed breathing.

How hard would you have to hit a baby to make him stop crying? Why would we all just sit there and let it happen?

I realized I had not taken any notes for several minutes. Somehow, knowing I would be paddled for that offense gave me a bizarre moment of satisfaction . A form of penance for my cowardice.

Everyone took their places.

Ron Williams droned on.



~ By Susan Grotte

44 comments:

  1. This makes me so sick. :( I don't understand what prompted this assault, though. Was the baby being disruptive? Even most of the hard-core spankers I know don't spank for no reason. (Obviously there is no reason to spank a baby, please don't misunderstand me!) And I'm not questioning the veracity of the story, just trying to wrap my mind around it.

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  2. This man is pure evil, but there are people who follow his twisted theology on child-rearing as if he were infallible. Disgusting! This is one instance where there should not be so much freedom of religion. Thanks for posting your eyewitness experiences. I would like to see all these homes shut down. Parents shouldn't be sending their young away for someone else to raise. There are plenty of options.

    Cindy@Baptist Taliban Memoirs

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  3. Anna, Baby S did nothing that I could tell was in any way disruptive of the service. I was only aware of him nursing (which was typical) before this incident.

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    1. my speculation is maybe that bit the mommy while nursing? NOT that I think that a baby should be spanked for that I absolutely do not, but some of those hard core spankers do that...What I can wrap my brain around is how the mom of that baby didn't just flee or fight it off or something...I'm also surprised she & her husband didn't leave the school for good. Or was Mrs. K a daughter of the Williams..I guess that would explain it partially.

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    2. *the baby, not "that" & CAN'T wrap my brain around not can..
      ~Rebekah

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    3. & hadn't seen the comment below where someone already offered that theory.

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  4. MiChelle Miron4/27/11, 4:00 PM

    I have no words for the sadness I feel after reading this. Thank God that one less abuser is on this planet!

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  5. These people have chosen to be blind reality. They think that their sick and twisted doctrine of child rearing works, but realistically they know that they have failed as parents. Some of their children don't talk to them anymore. Some of their children have rebelled by marrying unapproved spouses. And some of their children have dirty secrets just like the rest of us. But what the William's biggests failure is their decision to not accept the fact that God created man to have a "FREE WILL".

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  6. I think all of them will get paid back ond day!! I have a very dear friend that was there too. I think Ron and Patti Williams will one day rot in hell!!

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  7. Ron and Patty have fundamentally denied the true Gospel. They made a bunch of new rules for how a girl could be saved and rules on how even the appearance of sin could keep a young girl from receiving true forgiveness and restoration. They denied that every girl was also created in the image of God. There is no longer Male or Female.

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  8. I don't understand how this place can still exist. What has and is being done to stop it? What can be done?

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  9. Jeanette Merchant (former HH staff lady)5/3/11, 5:25 PM

    My mom and I saw Wenda clamp her hand over her infant baby's mouth so she didn't make any noises while the Almighty Ron was preaching. We will NEVER forget the look of fear on that poor baby's face. I also saw Patti grab her youngest son by the scruff of his collar and pull him up off of the ground and yell in his face. I feel sorry for the William's children and grandchildren. I hope they are strong enough to flee the compound and never look back.

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  10. Consciously and continuously creating suffering and misery for others, is the greatest evil in this world. A leader/ pastor should know how to honor/ respect the humanity/ dignity of his dependants/ flock better than anyone else, or he'd be a perpetrator of evil himself. This Williams and his collaborators (meaning staff members who acted upon his will and command) are the very example of the sort of inhumanity from which the evils of dictatorship and totalitarianism stem. Bloodsports for cowards, no more, no less, but always terrible enough to make one shudder with fear... or tremble with rage. Better yet, to survive, to bear witness, and to call to account the facilitators and perpetrators of the crime of inhumanity that causes so much pain and horror to so many.

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  11. Jeanette I am so sorry you had to witness that. It never leaves you, does it?

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    1. Jeanette Merchant6/14/13, 1:37 AM

      No,it never does. A mother's love is natural and Proverbs 31 says that kindness is the hallmark of a Godly woman.

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  12. Thank you JP Scheffer for the encouraging words.

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  13. I heard Patti -or Mrs. R as I knew her- is dead and I'm pretty sure rotting in HELL WHERE SHE BELONGS!

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  14. I read this, and I almost vomited.

    I hope they both burn.

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  15. My guess would be that the baby was biting while nursing, and Patti told Mrs. K that the baby needed to be paddled for that...Mrs K protested that she couldn't possibly do that, and so Patti offered to do it for her. That poor little baby!

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  16. I am sorry that you had to endure this Jeanette.I remember Naomi being paddled 8 times during a church service.She was 8 months oldBut..church members complained and said it was disturbing, that is when they began their Believer's chapel in 1977.Us girls were not happy.Patti prided herself on how godly she was disciplining her child during worship.I believe she said that was part of her worship an she showed great disdain for the "sentimental" feelings of the church members..So sad.

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  17. God's word has much to say about this kind of atrocity. It can be explained as a variation of child sacrifice practiced since ancient times. A loathsome offering to a vile false god [Molech, i.e. Satan] in exchange for favors and power.

    I also believe that the sadistic abuse of girls (and boys) falls into this category.

    The Lord Jesus Christ will judge diabolical sins and those who practice them accordingly.

    Jeremiah 32:34-35
    34 But they put their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. 35 They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

    Leviticus 20:3
    I will also set My face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech, so as to defile My sanctuary and to profane My holy name.

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  18. I can't understand why this mother just obediently let that happen. She was an adult and not a child,why couldn't she say NO! I as a mother just could never allow that, I would kill first. Also, where was her husband, surely he too could have stopped this. I am not condemning in any way, the Williams' were clearly sadists and nothing they did had anything to do with Jesus'love who directed that we should all become as little children and not beat the life out of them. But wondering, were even the adults brainwashed or petrified or what. You have to be in a mind controlled situation to go against every mother's instinct and allow someone to beat your child sadistically in that way.

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    1. I was there and I do not understand it. There is something about that kind of environment that twisted your ability to tell right from wrong. I suspect his mother overrode her natural protective instincts because she believed the Williams when they said it was child abuse to NOT break your child's will.

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  19. Did this really happen??? I know the amish will sometime give a baby a smack on the bottom to startle and redirect their attention, but actually paddle a baby? Wtf? And how have they never been reported to Child Services and lost their kids? This is insane! My stomach is heaving right now. I know they paddled the girls sometimes, but babies? Sickening.

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  20. This absolutely did happen. The paddle was about 14 inches long and maybe 2 inches wide (smaller than the paddles used on us girls) My stomach still heaves every time I think about it.

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  21. Oh such sadness- makes my heart hurt!! I know that these people did not have the understanding of who the Holy Spirit is and Christs love. Jesus Christ is the lover of souls and the Redeemer of man. Satan is the destroyer and enslaver of mankind. These people were of Satan and knew not the love of God.
    Paraphrased from Gods Word.....If one does anything to one of these children, it would be better for a millstone to be tied around your neck and be thrown into the sea.

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    1. This is a beautiful post. Thank you Faith.

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  23. Susan, I finally looked up this site and am heartbroken at what the girls had to and are still enduring. I can not hold back the tears thinking of the pain inflicted and the poor parents that sent their daughters there not knowing what they would experience. There is trauma to be healed on both sides. Protection of children should be a high priority in our world. I am so sorry for all who were and are there. My heart and prayers are with you. I will tell everyone I know to look up this site.
    Ann Rautio

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  25. Thank you so much Ann. The only way to stop Ron Williams is to make sure people are aware of what really goes on behind that fence. Please share this site and Lord willing at least one child will be spared the agony of being falsely imprisoned by this egotistical madman.
    I wish I could say that all who claim to be preachers and ministers were indeed servants of Christ. Sadly our prosperous society has made the business of ministry profitable enough to draw in the most unsavory characters.

    ~Susan

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  26. Thank you Ann. The best way to quit John Williams is always to make certain folks are aware of precisely what really proceeds behind in which fence. Make sure you discuss this website as well as Lord ready no less than one youngster will be able to escape the particular pain to become incorrectly caught with this egotistical madman.
    I wish I really could claim that most which claim to be preachers and ministers had been indeed servants of Dinosaur. Regretfully our own effective modern society has made the process of ministry worthwhile ample to draw the most unsavory characters.
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  27. Susan, I am sooooo happy that someone has posted something about this. I was there when the last baby was an infant. I can recall Patti beating the youngest with a wooden spoon, and hitting him well over 30 times. It was aweful!!! I witnessed MANY beatings to the infants as well as the older children. This is absolutely the truth, and I like you could do nothing about it. It still hurts my heart to know that I just sat there and did nothing. I had even tried to code a message to my pastors and parents in my letters, but they never understood or broke the code. They knew nothing till I returned home, and then it was soooo bizarre sounding they didn't believe me.........I was still just "troubled". Still suffering the damage today!

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    1. As horrible as this all is, I think that's kinda cool you tried to code a message..too bad they didn't catch on (& too bad you hadn't had a code from childhood)...I wish some of the girls knew Braille or something & the Willimans didn't.. ~Rebekah

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  32. I have only begun the process of reading everything about Ron and Patti Williams, I've barely gotten through what's available here regarding them and the "Siberian Gulag" they've been running under the guise of a place of religion and this knowledge has made me physically ill. I struggle to understand from the view of an "outsider" who was raised in a fairly moderate/liberal Christian home, how a congregation and those of other churches can support doctrine such as what Williams has been delivering from the pulpit - and to encourage people to send their daughters to a place where he and his wife have total control and relinquish all parental ability to have a say - they can't pull their child out, they can't speak to them without supervision, they don't even have the ability to know if the things that they are told they must send are actually getting to their child! How controlled by the message of fear these congregants must be to have so many bear witness and many who endured the abuse coming forth with their stories and still the abuse continues! Babies do not need breaking, children do not need breaking! They need love and guidance! I read a post where Ron drew a comparison to himself and Jacob - in what way exactly is not said, but I am wondering if he's been hiding victims of when he let his "flesh" control him...and I wonder what in his childhood (and it must have been often and terrible) created such a monster. I won't even discount the possibility that his wife took the initiative to deliver the cruelest "punishments" because it seemed the only logical course of action with the message his words were delivering. He may have talked a lot about it, but she delighted in acting out the words. She found herself in a position of having power that his 'business' created, it was her duty and job to help him to have a successful career. His own children and grandchildren didn't end up in his family because that's how God wanted it, at least not the God I believe in. God isn't about smiting sinners, abusing children, and subjugating not just women but the men in congregations with doctrine like Williams', the men simply aren't seeing that they're doing things according to a man's orders not what God is telling them. There are supposed to be many false prophets, and they're the fools who think that false prophets can only come from the "world".

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