The Rebekah Chronicles (an excerpt)

by Jon Williams



This book has been a work of love for several years. As with any book, it is almost complete, but it is not nearly done as every time I read it I make little changes here and there.
If you know me, you know that I was adopted. If you don’t you do now. My father, the one who adopted me, and my only father, just to be clear was pastoring a small Baptist church in Corpus Christi when he met Lester Roloff. That is where the story begins for me.

A few years ago I met my biological mother and have grown close with her and have learned her story. I have also learned the stories of many of the survivors of the Roloff Homes for Girls and have uncovered untold secrets.

The characters in this book are based on mosaics of real experiences of women who have lived through the Roloff Homes and had the courage to share them with me.  All are real experiences, no one woman, I hope, experienced them all.

This book is dedicated to the survivors.

Chapter 2

January 2nd, 1980
Nacogdoches, Texas
6:55 A.M.

Linda gazed back at her house as it grew smaller and smaller in the distance as she rode to the bus station with her dad, Austin Skinner. Mr. Skinner didn’t say much as he drove his 1967 Chevy on that chilly East Texas morning; in fact, he never said much, but Linda discerned that he was deep in thought. When the street on which she had grown up disappeared as they turned a corner, Linda turned in her seat and leaned against her dad’s arm. He was wearing a faded flannel shirt and well-worn blue jeans with a hole right above the right knee. Linda breathed in deeply, knowing that it would be the last time for several months that she would be able to smell her dad’s scent. There was something comforting and refreshing about that smell, and for a moment she thought about asking him if she could take his shirt along with her, but quickly dismissed that idea.

They pulled into the dilapidated Greyhound station at 7:02 A.M. Not many people were around, but Bus Number 2 was sitting in its stall with a sign that said, “Houston / Corpus Christi”. That was her ride. Linda felt her heart skip a beat as she realized that busstopthis was it – this was the time to say goodbye. She only had one bag, a small duffel bag with a few changes of clothes and some toiletries in it. Linda could have packed more, but she wisely predicted that some of the other girls at the Home might have been thieves. Mr. Skinner grabbed her bag from the trunk, and held it in his right hand as he slammed the lid and began walking towards the bus. Walking along side her father, Linda said to him in a voice barely louder than a whisper, “I’m so sorry, dad.”

Then she looked up at his face and saw there were tears in his eyes. This was the first time she had seen him cry since the day in 1968 when his mother had passed away! He looked away, and for a moment it seemed as though he wasn’t going to say anything, but then he sucked in a deep breath and said something that she’d never forget. “It’s all my fault,” he continued in his Cajun accent, “If I had spent more time with you, and less time worrying about my own problems, then this wouldn’t have happened. Don’t apologize. And don’t worry about me; I’ll be here when you get back. Linda, I love ya’.

His eyes got teary again right as the bus driver blew into his whistle and shouted, “Bus Leaves in Two Minutes!”

Linda hugged her father. It was an embrace like she’d never experienced before. The sincerity and veracity in the way her father hugged her was reassuring and electrifying at the same time. She squeezed him back with all the strength she could muster. Then Austin pulled away and said, “You better get on your bus, Tiger.”

“Tiger,” Linda thought, “He hasn’t used that nickname for me since I was 7 years old!”

Then aloud she said, “Yes, Daddy, I’ll see you soon.”

Climbing aboard, she took one last look at her father standing there on the sidewalk. She waved, and he waved back and then began to walk back towards his car. Finding a seat, she settled in for the long ride to Corpus and the Rebekah Home for Girls.

Waco, Texas
12:19 P.M.

Elizabeth Agnes and Thelma Smith met every Monday for lunch at the quaint “Charmed Café” in Waco. Both ladies were striking Southern Belles who had aged gracefully, and had many things in common, the biggest being that they were both widows. The pair enjoyed talking about most everything: the latest arthritis medications, their kids who seldom called or wrote, impolite young people, (What’s the world coming to? Kids weren’t like that in the gold ole’ days!), etc… Today, however, was different. Today, Agnes was determined to let Elizabeth know that her New Year’s Resolution was to “Step-Up and Step-Out” as her pastor had counseled. Previous experience had taught her that resolutions never became reality unless she told somebody her plans, that way she had to at least attempt to achieve her goals or risk being called a liar!


When their orders had been placed, Elizabeth spoke up while the waiter delivered glasses of water for each of them, “Thelma, I’ve been thinking that I am getting old, and haven’t accomplished much these past few years. I really feel that I should help somebody or volunteer somewhere, but I don’t know what I can do!”

Without missing a beat, the Thelma, a devout Methodist, looked over the top of her gold horn-rimmed glasses across the table at Agnes, “But darlin’, you have that wonderful spare bedroom in your house,” Thelma went on as Elizabeth’s face lit up, “Why don’t you find a young woman who needs a chance in life to stay with you? Besides, you aren’t getting any younger, and Lord knows you could use a little help around the house!”

The waiter stepped in and delivered the salads the women had requested. After ensuring everything was okay with them he meandered over to the adjoining table, and the ladies continued with their conversation. “I think that’s what I’m going to do, Thelma, I’ll find a girl who needs my help, and I’ll help her.” Elizabeth said.

In the back of her mind, Elizabeth reminded herself to ask around to see if there were any such young ladies in need of help as the conversation quickly turned to talk about the hostage crisis in Iran and Ronald Regan, the former actor and governor who was running for President.


January 5th, 1980
Denison, Texas
10:03 A.M. 

The whirr of the upright vacuum cleaner made it impossible for anyone to hear her loud humming as Nancy cleaned the small house which she and Earl called home for now.  Of course, nobody could have heard her anyways because Earl was at work. When she cleaned, she often daydreamed about moving back to Southern California where she had grown up, and where most of her family still resided. Once a month she called her mom in National City because long distance was too expensive for anything other than sporadic use. Tomorrow was the day set aside for the call. Nancy couldn’t wait to talk to her mother because there was so much information to convey. The Holidays in Texas had gone by in a blur, and most importantly, the very real possibility that she and Earl would soon have a child they could call their very own!

Just then, her phone began to ring. Nancy didn’t hear it until the third or fourth ring due to the noise of the vacuum. When she reached the phone after running across the living room to the kitchen, she answered, “Hello?”

“I’m calling for Nancy Johnson,” said the pleasant female voice on the other end of the line.

“Speaking,” Nancy replied.

“Mrs. Johnson, I’m calling from the Rebekah Home for Girls in Corpus Christi. We’re just letting you know that the girl who you are sponsoring has arrived at the Home, and is in good health and spirits.” The voice went on as though it was a routine phone call, “She appears to be about 3 months along, and is expecting in late July. We’ll keep you informed of her progress.”

Nancy’s pulse quickened as she listened to the strange voice on the other end of the line. Then, as curtly as the call had begun, it was ended.

Corpus Christi, Texas
Rebekah Home for Girls, Roloff Ministries Incorporated
4:34 P.M.

Linda looked around the dining hall as she gripped her cafeteria style tray and made her way through the military style buffet line. She asked the “lunch room lady” for chicken, green beans, rice, and some of the green foamy dessert with jello bits in it. The end of her third day in the Home couldn’t have come fast enough. When she had first arrived, the staff had seemed very nice; 733179Margaret was an elderly and somewhat plump lady who met her at the bus station had greeted her with a big hug, and chatted about everything from the weather to her grandchildren during the entire 45 minute drive to the facility. The friendly voice was a welcome change to Linda after hours of sitting alone in contemplative silence on the bus. Once out of the city they passed miles and miles of farmland. Margaret noted that the Home was surrounded by about one hundred acres of active farmland which helped feed the residents. Upon their arrival at Rebekah Home for Girls, another lady, this one younger and thinner with silky black hair came out to welcome them. Debbie, as Linda would come to know her, didn’t hesitate in picking up Linda’s duffel bag and saying, “Follow me!”

With hardly enough time to thank her driver, Linda said, “Okay,” and to Margaret, “Thank you”.

Debbie led an out of breath Linda into and through the main house pointing out such things as, “There’s the living room, no TV, just approved books, don’t want no worldly influences, Sister May is our librarian“, and “That’s the dining hall where you’ll be eating your meals, Sister Erma is our cook”, “The Chapel is on the left, you will be going to a chapel service every day, Brother Roloff preaches at most of the services”.

Linda had noticed several girls dressed in long sleeved shirts and skirts that went to their ankles cleaning different areas of the house as she walked through. Each girl either had a braid or a bun hairstyle. Motioning towards one of them she asked, “I know that I’m supposed to help out around here to help pay for everything. What exactly am I supposed to do?”

“In the morning, I’ll introduce you to Brother Roloff who is the Headmaster of this facility and Gideon’s Home for Boys down the road.” Debbie went on, “He’ll decide what he thinks you will be good at, and then assign you to a staff member who will give you a list of tasks every morning; each staff member is in charge of a certain part of the ministry, and we all work together for the glory of God.”

Linda thought it strange that she would refer to everybody as either “brother” or “sister” and also the overtly religious way that Debbie talked. It didn’t seem to be a bad thing, just something that Linda would have to get used to.

“We’re here.” Debbie announced. “This is your room. You will be sharing it with a nice girl about your age from Houston whose name is Beth. Go ahead and make yourself at home, dinner is in about two hours. After dinner, we’ll get some new clothes for you to wear. We want you to be modest.”

As Linda wondered what was so immodest about a Stephen F. Austin University sweatshirt along with jeans, Debbie handed Linda her bag and excused herself, leaving Linda alone to explore the confines of her new room. The walls were paneled with the wood panels that were very prevalent in the 70s and 80s, two neatly made twin beds were in the center of the room with a single nightstand between them having a small lamp on top of it. On the wall closest to the ends of the beds was a pair of upright dressers each with 5 drawers. There were several personal items on top of the dresser that was closest to the window, and a small teddy bear was sitting on top of the pillow of the bed on the same side, therefore Linda assumed that Beth was already residing on that side of the room. Linda set her single bag down on the floor and plopped down on the bed and looked up at the ceiling. “I’m here,” she thought, “In six months I’ll have this baby, and be able to go home and get back to my life!”

But looking down at her plate of food, she realized that it was going to be a desperately long seven months. Not one of the girls at the Home looked happy to be there. In a whispered conversation with her roommate Beth while unpacking, Linda learned that many of the girls were forced to pay “penance” for their sins. Sins, Linda would later learn, were loosely defined as anything one of the staff members didn’t approve of, such as not making your bed neatly enough, not singing “joyfully” enough in chapel, not eating all of the food on your plate at mealtimes, etc… Girls that hadn’t “invited Jesus into their hearts” were tremendously persecuted by being spanked, whipped, and confined in the basement – sometimes handcuffed to beds, sometimes forced to clean the long hallways with toothbrushes. Beth confided to Linda, “Just pretend to hate the girls they are punishing and act as though you are “saved”, and they’ll leave you alone.”

“YOUNG LADY, COME WITH ME!” The blinding light of the now open door caught the two girls by surprise. “BETH MILLER, GOD IS GOING TO PUNISH YOU FOR TALKING ABOUT HIS WORKERS LIKE THAT!”

The night shift must have been listening all along. What Linda and Beth didn’t know is that there was a hidden microphone in their room which allowed workers to listen whenever they felt like it. Beth began to cry as the burly “orderlies” quickly rushed over to her bed and plucked her right out of the sheets almost ripping her nightgown over her head! They dragged her out of the room kicking and screaming, and slammed the door behind them. Linda could hear them dragging her down the hallway, and as quickly as the commotion had begun it was over. However, the evidence of the struggle remained in that Beth’s bedspread was on the floor next to her bed. Linda was very quiet as she ultimately understood that the people running the Home weren’t at all like the brochure had advertised.

Linda tried to stifle the sobs that involuntarily arose from deep within her body. “I was only trying to do what was best for my black,and,white,crying,girl,intense,mood,woman-a59ce7a986f348494dcc1a03a75dfb0a_h_thumb[2]baby and me,” she thought, “I didn’t mean to trap myself in hell on earth.” She sat up for much of the night hardly daring to breath. Hoping Beth would return to the room, Linda didn’t want to fall asleep; she needn’t have worried herself, unbeknownst to Linda, Beth was now sitting on the floor of the “solitary confinement” room. After over 2 hours of interrogation by “Brother Roloff” about her attitude and “what else” she and Linda talked about, Lester finally said, “That’s all for tonight. I am confining you to three days and three nights in solitary confinement. After that, you’ll be on probation. I’m disappointed in you young lady, I’ll never be able to completely trust you again.”

Beth’s response in her mind was, “I’ve never trusted you,” but she didn’t dare to verbalize that particular thought.

Almost on cue a pair of orderlies dressed completely in white entered the interrogation room and grabbed Beth by the shoulders and led her to the south end of the main hallway. Opening the very last door at the end of the hall, the orderly on her right wordlessly motioned for her to enter. Beth’s last bit of energy had been sapped from her body several hours before, and she willingly passed through the entrance. The room, if you could call it that was not much more than a large closet. The plywood walls were completely bare, and the cement floor was stained with a substance that Beth couldn’t quite make out. There was a strange odor emanating from the room. As she grew accustomed to her new surroundings, the door was unexpectedly slammed behind her, which startled the already frightened teen.

The two girls sat in silence on opposite ends of the Home, each wondering what the future held in this, the Rebekah Home for Girls.



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117 thoughts on “The Rebekah Chronicles (an excerpt)

  1. This is so sad.Already going through a seperation from family and friends these girls needed love not this harsh handling. I am a Christian woman and this is not showing the love of Christ.

  2. What basement? Its Corpus Christi, Texas which is near the Gulf of Mexico. The food was ick but thats because Lester Roloff only allowed health food to be served. Rebekah Home was a home for girls that had been in trouble with the law, it wasn’t the Gladney home for pregnant teens. Many girls that were there were given the choice of Rebekah or jail and they chose Rebekah. The bun hairstyle is also wrong. The girls had normal, shoulder leanth hair. Fundamental Baptists (the stricter ones) do not believe women should wear pants. The girls were required to wear dresses. Culottes were allowed for P.E. if I remember correctly.

    • Many of the girls were not in trouble with the law…the one young girl I knew was sent there for listening to worldly music, talking to boys and having a smart mouth. She had no choice in going, as was often the case. Jail would have been a better choice for many of these ladies.

  3. Caron,
    Thank you for your comments.
    This is a mosaic of experiences from the Roloff Homes. While the Rebekah Home is being used in name, I have toured several, and the Bethesda outside Hattiesburg did have a basement which was used for confinement and penance. You are incorrect about the hairstyles. The girls were allowed to wear their hair in buns or braided buns in order to keep it out of their faces while they were working, at least that’s what I have been told by several of them.
    One of them was forced to live in a chicken coop along with the chickens for 5 days in the Mississippi heat.
    Most of them were drugged.
    And yes, the Rebekah home was a home for “troubled” teens at one point. A baby mill at another.
    The bottom line here is that there are many many folks who Roloff had convinced he was a great guy. I’m just allowing the women who were girls at the time to tell their story through me… and remain anonymous as they have families now.

    • They were not drugged. The home in Mississippi was a home for adults recovering from addictions. The home in Corpus was for teen girls.

    • I think you have taken the worst of made up stories and fabricated this tall take. I was in the Rebekah Home for Girls and, while I know things got bad in the 80’s, I think this is much exagerated. I left there in 1978 and it wasn’t even close to what you described here. In 1978, it was a home for wayward teenage girls and Bethesda was for unwed mothers. Bethesda was much stricter than rebekah, but not hearly what you describe here. Yes church was forced and bible memorization was mandatory, as was school. I’m telling you, I do not follow their teachings, am not a “convert” and I live my life the way I choose. I have not attended church since I was a teenager, but the Rebekah Home for Girls is the only reason I am alive. I would like to know what you actually know for a fact, Jon Williams.

      • Lori, and Caron
        I do know for a fact about Bethesda, it def was not an antebellum home, lol it was cinder blocks, and there was a chicken coop. I was there in 80, it was for unwed mothers and others.(not just for unwed mothers) I KNOW there was abuse, physically and mentally, since I lived in that hell. So unless you were there, please only speak of what you know of for sure, not spectulation. Something was wrong in all of Roloff’s homes, there are way too many people who have stated on their on experiences in what and how they were treated in the roloff home they were sent too.

      • Just because it didn’t happen to you doesn’t mean it didn’t happen to others . Christian people are just that people . I don’t agree when you say things like that didn’t happen you weren’t always there.

    • Jon, you are wrong. I was at Hattiesburg and there was no basement. I also worked at Rebekah and there were no orderlies anywhere. I worked at night sometime in the dorm and there was no listening in on the girls. The majority of the girls sent to Rebekah were sent by the state. You need to talk to Caron and more of the girls that God helped why there.

      • Wow, seems like a group of you cult members has decided to troll this thread today.

        Apparently you are all illiterate as well.

        This is not a journalistic endeavor, it is an attempt to tell the story from the victims’ perspective from a “mosaic” approach. I’m sure you’ve seen movies based on true stories…

        Also, if you’ll look above, you’ll see that Caron has apologized for her statements and recanted them in the light of so many similar stories by victims of Roloff.

        Finally, if your comment contains an insult, those in the know truly know that you are one of “them”. Hyles, Ruckman, and Roloff leading the KJO crowd of “bulldog Christians” who refuse to turn to other cheek and show God’s love and mercy to any.

        It is your attitudes and comments which are more telling about you cult members more than anything. I truly do feel sorry for you.

  4. Also, the Hattisburg home was an Antebellum home from the Civil war era and was comfortable and nicely decorated. The Corpus buildings were modern and clean. Air conditioning, carpet and everything else one would expect from a facility. The chicken coop story is ridiculous because it wasn’t even a home for girls. It was adults. The adults chose to be there. So I think they could choose to get out of chicken coop. Please get your facts straight.

      • I am not interested in your link because you are a bad writer who is not interested in facts, only sensationalism. You know nothing about me, my backrgound, where I get my information or why I seem to have such intimate knowledge of this place. I noticed you did not ask. thats because you don’t care about the truth. You made the assumption/accusation that I am a KJO Baptist, whatever that is. This just reinforces what I believe about your writing. You would be perfect for the Weekly World News. Maybe we can get a picture of you and Bill Clinton shaking hands with an alien.

      • Caron. I was in the Home in Mississippi. It was NOT a home for adults dealing with addictions. It was a home for teenage girls.

        I was not a bad girl. I had been a horribly abused girl and was sent to this home to get me away from CPS in my state.

        It was raided and closed by the authorities of the state of Mississippi, then reopened a few months later in Missouri where “students” most certainly were drugged!

        You’re 100% wrong.i.

      • People like you, Jon, should be exposed for the fraud you are. I know Lester Roloff, and while he was very strict and extremely religious, he truly believed, from his heard, that he was doing the right thing. He NEVER met with the girls like you described here and NEVER pronounced sentence on anyone like you described here. The only time ANY girls was separated from the rest was when she was a danger to herself or others. I believe Caron Trout is much closer to correct that you. You sir have given me a new light, to doubt all such reports of abuse and neglect reported by the media. You really should be ashamed of yourself.

      • Lori, if that is your real name, in my encounters with Roloff loyalists, there is one interesting common theme that I continue to run in to, and that is even though the man has been dead for almost 32 years, they still refer to him as though they “know” him, in the present tense (we’ve already encountered this in Porfie’s response earlier in this thread).

        This type of loyalism is commonly referred to as human worship, or cultism. Yes, Lester Roloff was the leader of a cult.

        To be attacked by a member of his cult, even one who claims that she was not, but her language gave her away, is a badge of honor to me.

        You, ma’am, are the fraud who should be ashamed of herself.

    • Please let me know when your book is out, I was at Rebekah in 1984-1985. The picture of the home that is in your excerpt above made me feel like I had been kicked in the stomach. I cannot believe everything that I had forgotten until I saw that picture…

      • i really feel for all hurt in this horrible situation and yes pls let me know when u have your book out your writing is captivating even if the subject is unsavory. major cudos for telling the truth of these women’s plight. and ignore Caron she is just one of those people that can’t stand to have a victim’s story told right. Believes that victims had it coming or some such BS.

      • I agree. I felt, as a mosaic, it was a very accurate depiction of the homes. The feelings the girls were experiencing were exactly the feelings I, and all of the girls who were there when I was, felt upon arriving in Rebekah. I don’t understand how people can defend the atrocities that took place there.

  5. I would have to agree more with Caron than with you Jon. Brother Roloff is not the monster that you are portraying. I’m 66 yrs old, and I’ve known Lestor Roloff for most of my life. Attended his services, and ate in the Come and Dine. The way the girls sing in the Rebekah Home for girls Choir is heaven sent. Not a sign of distress. Brother Roloff gave his life rescuing these little girls from danger and dangerous people.

    • Moreno, if you know Lester Roloff as well as you say, I can not understand why you would have the nerve to defend him. Lester Roloff was the biggest self centered hypocrite I have ever known.

    • He might of wanted that and had good intention but the people that handled it apparently had to much power and if nothing was wrong what would it hurt for the state to take a look only guilty people have things to hide.

  6. Caron,
    Where do you get you info? Bethesda was NOT an adult home! So yes, you are completely 100% WRONG! I know, I was there, I am one of those that was a “Jezebel”,decided by the workers at the home. For punishment, when the girls were swimming in
    the pool, we “Jezebels” were the ones scrubbing the sides of the pool with a cup of soap and a toothbrush! We were drugged, memories of that time didn’t come to me for years, so yes I know what hell on earth is!
    You need to really shut up and quit making a fool out of yourself!
    One more thing, when I was in the home Bethesda, my dad paid for my stay, then I found out so did my baby’s adoptive family, so just off of my stay, they made over 600.00 a month, plus free slavery!

    • I never used the word Bethesda. Bro Roloff did have a home from adults with addiction issues. It was a an Antebellum home. I thought it was in Hattisburg, Mississippi. He had a boys home in Zapata. An older boys home on an island. An old folks home. and of course Rebekah. I was with my mother the day he was arrested for not getting a state license. I was in the court room the day the state prosecutor cursed at him. Lester Roloff saved a lot of lives. He was a really sweet man. I saw a lot of things.Quit picking on me.

      • Caron,
        I’m not trying to be a horses butt about this, but you went to his church right? You followed his preaching right? But did you ever live in one of his homes? There lays the difference, remember the saying you never know what goes on behind closed doors? Well Roloff let the public see one persona, while his homes were completely ran another way!
        Just go google Lester Roloff homes, you’ll see what and how much abuse was going on, and how it still affects a lot of us to this day! I would say for every 10 girls, 9 were abused.
        Lets not make this into a hate group, it’ll get us nowhere. But please remember things do happen to people and its not always good. Roloff homes were evil. I know, I lived it, I still remember being made to read the bible on my knees where they put rice, ever kneed on hard rice before? For hours? Try it, then tell me it wasn’t abuse!

      • Ok Caron, I’ll bite, how do you know such intimate things about the roloff homes?
        I don’t know that you do. Being that Bethesda is in Petal, Ms. Not Hattiesburg. You know nothing of our pain and suffering. You stated he SAVED a lot of lives. Bull crap! He crushed a hell of a lot more lives!

      • I seem to remember hearing this story from the at the time. The way it was told to me at the time was that girls went to the authorities and made up lies. They later recounted the stories and the AG would not stop the investigation. What we were always told was that a girl died at another “home” in South Texas that wasn’t related to Roloffs homes. People kept confusing that home with the Roloff homes. This is what I was told. I personally saw the Corpus Christi Caller Times bend and twist stories and print total falsehoods. I’ve never believed any news story I’ve read since. I was just a kid being taken around to protests by my parents. I’m just telling people what I remember, I was raised in a FBC church so I have plenty of stories of my own regarding abuse and corruption and cover ups that I witnessed in my own church. Maybe the stories of abuse are just so horrific that people like me have a hard time imagining how anyone could do that to another person.

      • Caron, you were told what Roloff told the world, he lied. That’s the bottom line. He let the world know one thing, and kept hell in his homes. There was no love, heck, there was nothing close to Godly love.
        The sad part of it all, are the people who ended up there, now we know what cult is. And you know what? I can’t stand preachers, after 2 or 3 months I start getting angry at him, and its not his fault, it’s having flash backs of having a preacher damn us to hell for a mistake we made as a teenager. There was nothing but hate there at the home. I got pregnant, I didn’t drink, or do drugs, yet I was a ” JEZEBEL”. Life really sucked before I was sent to Bethesda, but I sucked the life out of me. And that I will never get past.

      • For what its worth, AD, I understand about never getting past the anger and bad memories of the abuse. I just didn’t know it was happening there. My father was very abusive and he threatened to send me there at least once a week when I was a young as 10. He was a huge supporter of Roloff and I wondered at the time what Bro Roloff was think if he knew the truth about my father. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

      • Caron,
        There’s nothing to forgive you for, you were misinformed. And also I’ve heard a couple of girls say they were treated good. But now they were the girls whose parents had MONEY and donated to the roloff causes

      • There were a few girls that were treated good. They were called leaders. 90 percent of us were treated worse than prisoners. I lived it for 13 months and I haven’t been to church since. They said they were Christians. I just couldn’t trust anybody again.

      • Laura, your right. Church is hard for me too, but I know there is a God and he loves us. Just like I know roloff twisted the bible to the way he wanted too, yet I’m still not ready, and I probably still have anger issues. I know I don’t like to get close to people, and I’m wrong for that. But it is what it is.

  7. Porfie, if you’re 66 years old, then Lester Roloff died when you were 36. You obviously made that up.
    So let’s get on with the rest of your statement… and Caron’s.

    This isn’t a newspaper expose. I’m not interested in what you guys saw from the pews. I’m not interested in the tours you took on the days that he gave his public tours! This is a book from the perspective of the girls who were in the homes. The ones who I interviewed. This is their story from their perspective. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Caron, if this was an objective news story, then yes, your accusation would have merit, but since it’s not it is little more than a pot calling a kettle black.

    • Jodi,
      You can easily google many of the horrific abuses until the book is released. Many of the survivors do wish to remain anonymous and have support groups which are private and will not let others in. Out of respect for them I will not be giving out any of those group names. I won’t be releasing the book until I know for sure that the book is 100% ready. I’ve been working on this for 6 years so far, so it may be 3 more weeks or 6 more years. Who knows. 😛

  8. Wow! I have read this exerpt and am interested in reading all of it! It isn’t easy trying to piece together stories from so many different objectives. You have my attention! I worked in a State facility for about six months and had seen a lot that shouldn’t have been going on, but people are people and if you don’t agree with them (the above) is what happens. Looking forward to reading the rest.

  9. No need for further discussion Jon. As you will one day know the truth. For now, satisfy yourself with those stories. Stay thirsty my friend!

    • Wow – Porfie, that’s IT? That’s your response? No fact, no data, nothing you can use to document your claims (and I too thought it was odd that you referred to your relationship with Rolloff in the ‘present tense’). Amazing!
      “One day”?? That day is now – and we now know the truth about happened in these homes Now. This is that day, Porfie. Even in his final hours, The Wild Maverick, Rolloff wasn’t about let even Mother Nature tell him what to do. He was going to show that storm who was boss and not only did he lose his own life, he killed the girls who were with him.
      You see, Porfie, while I did not (or as you would say ‘ do not ‘ ) know Lester Rolloff, I do know this personality quite well. When you live in a world where you are never challenged by those around you – when you live in a world where no one dares say ‘no’ to you – when you live on a daily diet of total compliance – and when you Never, ever, have to flex the muscle of compromise – that muscle begins to atrophy and you begin to live in an alternative reality. Just as Rolloff did. I’m sure he meant well at once time, but he surrendered character for the cancer of ego.
      If it had been just one story, I might have doubted – but it’s not just one story, Porfie – it’s a cascading, torrential waterfall of stories coming from those who lived it, and I have researched it for some 30 years now.
      The evidence is overwhelming and scripture is always accurate: “Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully.” Jer. 48:10

  10. How awful! To say they are Christ followers and to treat people in such a way is wrong. We are to love and to spread the Word of the gospel. Not punish people for their “sins” that these people think are sins. I pray to God that these women have found the real truth about God’s love.

  11. I was one of the tgirls there back in the 70’s and Roloff started with a good idea but it wasn’t even aware of what went on half the time in the home. He was too busy preaching on the radio and church service! I was there when Mamma and Papa ran the place and we go beat and abuse and there was sex between the so called preachers and staff. Bad place ! No one bealive us girls because we where troubled teens and until they let alot of us go at one time and we all went to different states and told the same stories did no one listen! Damn this brings back BAD memories!

    • Linda, I agree with you totally. No one knows unless they’ve been there. This blog was hard to take, it is awesome. I had to keep myself from crying cause I had to get to work. But it ticks me off when people paint roloff as a saint, that he def wasn’t. He knew what was going on, he let the homes abuse people, yet he stood up and preached to the world that he needed money, money, money, and more money to supposedly run these homes, yet many parents, churches, and even the adoptive parents paid for the room and board. People saying they know him personally, only saw what he let the public see. Lester roloff was the “evil incarnate” that roamed this earth!

      • I would like to know more about the Bethesda home in Petal/Hattiesburg, MS. I was adopted in 1978 and I believe my birth mother was at this place.

      • Are you looking for her? My son, whom I gave up at birth found me when he was 18 he will be 34 this year. We are in touch though in different states. But we do see each other when we can, but we also talk or text. I’m one of the lucky ones whose child will let me be involved in their life, he’s given me 2 beautiful grand kids and a wonderful daughter in law.
        We both had questions about Bethesda, so he took me there( totally dif state) our first road trip together!
        It was a good trip, but it brought back bad memories also. That place was a hell hole. If you find your birth mother, she may feel she has no rights to you, as we were told we pregnant girls were un deserving, whores, jezebels( I hate that word) so we did not deserve our babies. They belonged with God fearing families, and not us sinners. Oh yeah it was such a loving, spiritual, Godly home,( NOT EVEN CLOSE). They beat you, you prayed on your knees with rice under them for hours at a time, you had roloff tapes in the background during sleep, they gave you pills ( supposedly vitamins) the pills are what cause so many of us to have memory lapses. But you know what ate my cabbage? Is restroom privaleges, if you had to do #1 you got 1 sheet of toilet paper, if you did # 2 you got 2 sheets, and shame on you if you got the craps, you were shit out of luck.
        And chores? What I joke. You used a horse brush to make the carpet uniform, you were on your knees to pick lint and trash( was never any trash), you gathered and washed eggs, and they best be spotless.
        I could go on and on, but all it does is sadden and anger me at the same time. God is love and forgiveness. I know that but after Bethesda I’ve never reconciled with it.
        So if you find her, be aware, she’ll feel guilty, I did, I still do. I don’t feel I’m his mother like I am to my others, and I know it’s because someone else raised him, that wasn’t a whore or a jezebel. But you know what? He invited and still invites me into his and his families life. I’ll take what I can. I have to say, I really really am proud of him! He’s an awesome young man

    • I’m so sorry that happend to you no one should be treated like that. I understand the pain and hurt it tears you up. I never understood people like that until I realized there just not right there brain is retired. Its up to all of us to change the future are job is to protect the children love them and stand up for them if we see abuse . Stop them are call the police tell someone. Do something please please there just kids.

  12. Caron & Porfie sound like so many Catholic did when their leaders where being accused of the atrocities they committed.
    Many people thought the world of Lester Roloff my grandparents were two of them & both had a hard time believing in the things that came to light. But my grandfather also said that…”that many people from that many different areas couldn’t all be “storying”! Far too many of the same instances told from past employees & victims for it not to be true. While some good was done through Lester Roloff’s time, the bad negated and overshadowed the good. Just as in any religion or way of life you have your good and bad and the bad succeed for so long because they are good at bullying and deceiving.
    Caron you claim you don’t need to look at the link Jon provided, then go dig up the 1973 case filed against Roloff by the Texas Attorney General if you don’t believe what he’s writing they site 16 cases of woman that came forward and to accuse Roloff and his staff of abuse, and that’s just here in Texas!!

    • Wow Ashton! You said everything so well! I thank you for saying all you did. It was and it is the truth, lester roloff homes evil. Thank you for saying what I felt in words I couldn’t have done myself!

    • Did I ever say abuses didn’t occur? I was there in 1973. I saw the girls set couches on fire and throw them out the windows. I just want people to understand that the girls and boys that were taken in weren’t innocent little lambs themselves. They were criminals. Prostitutes, drug addicts, you name it. I want people to realize that. I never personally saw abuses but these girls weren’t Susie from the soda shoppe either.

      • Caron,
        Get off your soap box! Most of these kids WERE NOT criminals, prostitutes, drug addicts as you like to freaking say, they were kids from regular homes who’s parents didn’t want to deal with, they were kids who were raped, molested, and beaten by their parents, they were kids who IF they did drugs were trying to fog out their abuse! We were told we would find LOVE, UNDERSTANDING, and COMPASSION….HAH what a barrel of fresking lies! Most of those kids left one kind of abuse, to end up in another batch of abuse! Learn about GOD’S LOVE? When? Kneeling on rice, scrubbing the pool on your knees on rocky concrete with a freaking toothbrush? Cleaning the carpet with a horses brush and making the carpet all go one way? Getting 1 sheet of toilet paper when you peed, 2 sheets when you pooped? And if you had diaherria? Oh well better get all your shit out the first time, cause there wasn’t a second time! So Caron, no you personally do not know what the hell you are talking about! I’ve lived it, and some things that I took away from there is I never had less than 50 tools of toilet paper, if my kids need or want a news toothbrush I have at least 5 extras at all time! But most of all I learned hate and bitterness from lester roloff, because he was an evil man! He thought abuse would set everyone straight! Ha! the truth comes out, there are more abused stories out there about the roloff homes, than there are stories of being saved, loved, and nurtured through Christ, because of lester roloff. Choirs singing? Oh yeah anything to get away for a few hours and not worry about being punished

      • I lived there for 13 months. I was not on drugs or a prostitute. I just had a step mother that didn’t want to deal with me. It was as bad as bad as they say.

      • Thats what they were telling everyone. Including my parents. So my mom and dad were lied to. My mother would never have supported this organization if she had known that. I apologize for hurting everyones feelings. I was lied to as well.

      • I was lied too and so were my parents and a lot of other people. I am truly sorry for what you went through.

      • They told people a lot of things, and a lot of it was lies. I have a close friend who was in another Roloff home mainly because her mom didn’t want to deal with children and wanted to party with another man while her husband was stationed overseas. My friend’s sister was sent to Rebekah because she was pregnant and accused the mom’s boyfriend of raping her; my friend (her sister) was there because she ran away after the same man kept coming into her room at night.

      • I was raised in the FBC so I’m very familiar with what they do. I’m sorry your friend had some a bad home life.

      • Caron,
        First of all.. are you friggen kidding me??? I was there before you, these things DID happen, and most of us WERE NOT criminals, or prostitutes or drug addicts!! MOST of us were NOT do you hear me? The horrific things DID happen! When I saw the photo of Rebekah Home, it was like someone took a sledge hammer and slammed me right in the middle of my solar plexus. I felt the bile rise to the back of my throat, and began to get sick to my stomach, then I see YOU write this statement and honestly, I am furious! I have to calm myself some before I continue or I am sure I’ll say something in anger that I may regret.
        I don’t know about when you were there, but when I was there, MOST of us were NOT criminals.
        I got the crap beat out of me, I was black and blue for two weeks for having a book called The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. JUST FOR HAVING A BOOK that wasn’t a bible. Not because I did anything bad, but because I had an unauthorized book. Oh I could go on and on, but I wont. I may have even said to much already, but lets get one thing very very clear…WHEN I WAS THERE MOST OF THE GIRLS WERE NOT CRIMINALS, DRUG ADDICTS OR back it up .. he had other homes for for men and women who were prostitutes, homes for unwed mother’s, homes for drug addicts.. Rebekah was NOT one of those homes.

      • The average age of the girls in the home when i was there was 15, i was there two yrs and met only one girl that was ALMOST 17. We were all in awe of her..”adventures”. Of course we had to talk about it on the sly because talking about our past, or even our future dreams (if they didn’t include being a missionary, or singing for god,warranted a beating.

      • Caron.
        I was sent to Rebekah because I liked a boy in my class at school, I was 15 and so was he, we never kissed and I had never used drugs. My Dad brought me there so I wouldn’t become :”Worldly”. I ruined my life from that day on. I am now 52 and still have nightmares from that place

      • Pam, I feel your pain. I’m 51 yrs old, and still have problems. I was in Bethesdain 80, and was not a BAD girl, just was pregnant,(looking for love somewhere, cause parents were drunks) yet treated like a Jezebel and told we were Jezebels. Roloff homes left a whole lot people scarred for life.
        The ones who were helped were few and far between.

    • I just read the 1973 case against Roloff and other articles. I have lived in this area since 1966. As a little girl in the late 60’s and early 70’s, I remember seeing the Rebekah Home for girls building when my mother would drive us to Corpus via the ‘back roads’. I never imagined what was going on inside, but (seriously) the building always scared me, especially when my mother told me it was a place for little girls that didn’t listen to their mom. Now it is very sad for me to imagine that while I was passing the building that some little girls were being abused. So very sad.

  13. Caron & Porfie sound like so many Catholic did when their leaders where being accused of the atrocities they committed.
    Many people thought the world of Lester Roloff my grandparents were two of them & both had a hard time believing in the things that came to light. But my grandfather also said that…”that many people from that many different areas couldn’t all be “storying”! Far too many of the same instances told from past employees & victims for it not to be true. While some good was done through Lester Roloff’s time, the bad negated and overshadowed the good. Just as in any religion or way of life you have your good and bad and the bad succeed for so long because they are good at bullying and deceiving.
    Caron you claim you don’t need to look at the link Jon provided, then go dig up the 1973 case filed against Roloff by the Texas Attorney General if you don’t believe what he’s writing they site 16 cases of woman that came forward and to accuse Roloff and his staff of abuse, and that’s just here in Texas!!

  14. This sounds all too familiar. Brought back some not so memorable times in my late teenage years when I was placed in the Rebekah Home for Girls.

  15. OMG it makes me sick to read this. I pray that the girls have put this behind them as much as they can . God Bless all of you.

  16. Like I told Jon Ashton, you too will one day know the truth! And the truth will set you free. Therefore, you won’t have to spread second hand knowledge around. I don’t believe in religion. Especially not the Catholic church! Religion is from the pit of hell. All of them. God sent us Jesus. In him will I trust. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it. Trust in the Lord. Not man!

    • Ok Porfie,
      You act as if you have personal info about all of these homes and how they were ran. So you are one of those that either ran a home or was a leader at a roloff home. If not then please don’t say anymore, your spewing trash, until you’ve lived the hell we lived in you have no room to speak. I’ve lived it, and it wasn’t pretty, but I do know that God took care of that evil man, he died 2 years after I left. Also look up all info about ALL of the homes roloff ran, there you’ll see way more horror stories, than redemption stories. That in itself, lets a person know that something definitely was wrong with the homes.

      • He died in a horrific plan crash. It think it was 1982 or 83. What years were your there, AD?

      • Really A.D. You still don’t get it! Your hatred for Roloff has made you blind. Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath, (Eph. 4:26).You can’t blame, what others have done on one man. Each one of us is responsible for our actions (Ro. 15:10). Brother Roloff can still be heard from coast to coast. Here in Corpus Christi, I listen to him on AM 1030. He went on to be with the Lord on November 2, 1982. It was believed design problems, where the tail section came off caused the crash. Cessna paid the Roloff Evangelistic Enterprises, Inc. for the aircraft. Undisclosed amounts were also given to the families of the four young ladies(Honeybee Quartet), that perished with Roloff. Most of the amounts given by Cessna, were unselfishly assigned by the affected families to the Roloff Evangelistic Enterprises as a memorial to their dear loved ones, to carry on the work for which the four young ladies and Brother Roloff died.

      • Porfie,
        I just said a prayer for you. You’ve let roloff and his beliefs, make you a cult follower. I know, I too was a fool at one time. But my God, ( who is loving) set me straight.
        You stated that each man is responsible for his own actions, I believe that too. That’s why I know that his death was God’s way of getting rid of the evil incarnate. Yes a few others had to die, but what’s a few too hundreds, if not thousands, of lives he was set out to destroy, or has already destroyed?
        Hatred? Me hate roloff? He’s not worth my time to be wasted on him. I don’t hate him( I don’t hate anyone) but I do despise what he stood for. He was nothing but a money hungry man.
        You said you can hear him coast to coast now, really? Must not be much following since he only gets am stations. Also many many people have never heard of him, and when they google him, they read all the good things hi supposedly has done, then they read the horror stories of what kids were put through! Then they say “he was like a Jim jones cult huh”
        I notice also you still evaded my questions, how do you know him? Did you run a home? We’re you a leader?
        And one other thing, in one of your earlier posts, you told Ashton not to spread secondhand knowledge( once he learns the truth) well let me tell you, my knowledge is NOT secondhand, I lived in Roloff’s hell home.

      • I agree with you Porfie. I don’t know what went on behind closed doors but I also believe holding on to rage can be be just as bad or worse than what one experienced at the time. . If one continues to relive the pain over and over, they can pass it on to their children and loved ones. Every minute one spends thinking of passed hurts is a minute they didn’t spend loving their family and friends and the blessings in their life now. Forgiving an abuser does not condone what they did. It frees a person who was abused as a child to go on and lead a healthy life. There are lessons to be learned though each experience in our lives.

  17. Hi Caron,
    Yes he died in a plane crash in 82, I felt sorry for that families of the girls who perished also. But I was happy to know I’ll never hear his voice again, (radio,tv,etc.) and that maybe the homes would finally close for good. He’ll have to answer to God on judgement day, and its not going to be pretty. When were you there? What home were you in?

    • In 1973-1975, my dad was totally into all thing Roloff. Instead of family vacations as we had always had, we spent our summers at the Rebecka home. I was 10 years old when it all started. My life went from being a regular kid to being at protests and even sitting in the court room while Roloff was on the witness stand. Roloff Enterprises was in a court battle with the state over licensing. He (Roloff) believed it to be a separation of church and state issue. Some of the state requirements such as food type and the teaching of sex education were against his beliefs. I was there the day some girls threw burning couches out a window of a dorm. I was very traumatized by what I witnessed. I did not know the stories of abuse were true. I was told the girls lied to the newspaper. When I see those kids with Westboro Baptist Church being taken to protests, it brings it all back. My parents actually believed they were doing the right thing by having my sister and I there. Protests are for grown folks. Not children.

      • Awww Caron, sorry you went through that as a child, those girls were probably acting out in anger and frustration. They were put in the homes wether they wanted to be there or not. Like you not wanting to protest, they too didn’t have a choice. Hell was all they knew there.

  18. When I was growing up, my dad was an independent Baptist preacher. We had “Brother Roloff” in our home several times as he preached revivals for our church. Sometimes, he would bring some of his girls to sing. My heart breaks for these girls, and I am so glad that they are able to tell their stories through your writing. Thank you for seeing the importance of their voices being heard. May God grant them much grace as they continue to live with the memories.

  19. A.D. God didn’t get rid of Roloff. And God does not do away with evil people. If he did , this world would be empty. But God will help you with your pain, if you let him. And I’m not evading your question. I was neither. But that’s not important. I attended his services. Never became a member of his church cuz as I stated before, I don’t belong to any religion on this earth. I belong to the Church of God. God who gave us his son, Jesus. Jesus Christ who gave his life for you and I. And not only us but whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life…

  20. I am very interested in learning more about the connection that Elizabeth Agnes and Thelma Smith have with the young ladies. Please advise when you publish the book. This is one that I would love to have in my collection to read over & over and pray that we as a nation can end all of these homes once & for all. I truly believe that there are still some of these “homes” out there and the young people are still being abused.

    • I agree Cherish. I was in the Rebekah Home for 13 months. I was talked in to coming to NC to help in another girls home here. The couple that run the home used to help Roloff in TX. They treated me just like I was in the home instead of helping. Needless to say I left due to the way I was treated. I was 18 and going to college. Don’t know if they are still running the home. I left and never looked back.

  21. Wow! I was at the Rebekah home for girls in 1976. It was either go to the home or juvenile for a year. I did not know that horrible abuse was going on! I am really freaked out about this. Maybe I didn’t get abused because I conformed pretty quickly to the bible teachings, I did what I was told, kept my mouth shut and was only 15 and scared to death at the time. I don’t know. This is very upsetting to me. The stay at the home with the constant Bible reading made my hate for my parents fade away and replaced it with love. I even went on tours with the choir on a big bus from state to state, church to church, singing for them while Bro Roloff preached. I loved him. I thought that he and his homes were salvaging destroyed lives like mine! Thehome helped me. I feel so horrible that a place that helped me so much has destroyed others! I’m very upset and sad. How could I have been so blind?

  22. I too was at rebekah from 74-76 and it saved my life as well. Yes old fashioned, but love and guidance was in the air, I was involved in most areas and the abuse that I have read about astounds me as well, both the Weatherfords and the Cameron’s, as I observed were kind strict at times loving and understanding……prayers for you girls that experienced something that I was unaware of and if it happened while I was there I’m sorry I did not notice to Help. Leann Heil (rebekah graduate 1976

  23. I was in roloff`s Rebekah home for 13 months, I was not a drug head or in trouble with the law I was put there because my parents did not want to deal with me, I seen many abuses and punishment, I am a 51 year old woman and it still plays with my mind.the problems I have faced over the years can be looked up on line,suvivors of this kind of a home are made out to be liars and freaks,research more before you post stuff you have no idea of what we went thru!!

  24. I’ve been thinking a lot about my stay in the Rebekah home since I found this blog and have been reading around the internet of other women’s experiences. I’m starting to remember bits and pieces now more clearly. I remember getting caught one night saying worldly things with my roommate and getting called to the office one at a time to be corrected for thinking that way.I also remember that a girl I had gone to public school with got sent there and we were told not to hang around each other because we would be bad for each other. Also I knew that if I hung out with her I couldn’t keep up my ‘holy’ reputation. So I abandoned my friend cause i was afraid of how I would be treated. My first month there I was paddled a lot until I learned how to act. I didn’t want to lose the privileges I had worked so hard to gain. I secretly told her to act like a strong christian if she wanted to survive her stay here in peace.

  25. This whole comment thread makes me so sad. My sister was sent to Rebekah. She was a real “hellion”(smirk)…she listened to worldly music, was boy crazy and had a smart mouth…much like my own kids as teenagers, it turns out.

    I have come to firmly believe more girls had substance abuse issues *after* leaving the home than going in. For those who were addicts, prostitutes, etc…not a single one of them deserved the treatment they receives. Every one of them now deserves (at the very least) an apology from the family that abandoned them to Lester Roloff as well as whatever “church” made it possible for them to be introduced to the family.

    Perhaps some were better off for going to these places (it’s hard to believe, but if someone feels that way about their personal experience, I digress),..but at what cost? Especially knowing there was a better way.

    I am truly sorry for those of you who have suffered, not only then, but continue to be mentally and emotionally haunted .

  26. I was adopted in August 1970 and my birth mother was also in the Rebekah Home and I would love to speak with you regarding this and would love to hear more of your story Jon and how you found your birth mother. Any help you can give me is greatly appreciated.

  27. Dont know where you got your fax from friend, but I was in Rebekah 80-81 and alot of your stuff is way way off….It was much much worse. And we didnt wear skirts to our ankles lol or long sleves. they were below the knee, but not to the floor.

  28. Touring the homes and living or working in the homes are two completely different things. I worked there, my parents and two sisters worked there, one sister was in one of the homes. My children and some of my nieces and nephews and a sister went to the schools So I think I know what I am talking about when I say that Bro. Roloff was a good Godly man. He was very strict but had a very big heart and loved the girls, boys, and adults that were in the homes. The girls had to wear dresses below their knees but not to the ankles. Their hair styles were normal. Many of the girls didn’t like the homes because they were made to live by rules and that is the reason most of them were there, they didn’t like rules. Many times the Roloff Homes was a last chance for a man, woman, boy, or girl to stay out of prison, so there had to be rules. Just like with any family if one doesn’t abide by the rules then there is punishment, whether it be a time out or being grounded or a spanking. I’m sure as in any institution or children’s home there are people that go to the extreme and do things that are wrong and those people should be dealt with and punished and removed but I would say for the most part the people in charge were good people trying to help the girls, boys, and adults they were responsible for. I saw lots of laughter and the girls enjoying their life. They had to do some work but nothing more than what would be expected of a child in their home, cleaning up after themselves, helping with the housework, working in a garden or with some of the farm animals. The Rebekah Home for Girls was a working farm with cows, goats, and fields of delicious vegetables and fruits to feed the girls.

    I don’t think someone can tour a facility after it has been closed for years and really know what happened there.

  29. I was a Rebekah girl and was in the choir and came back as a worker for a year, yes it was a different way of life, no TV, no candy or soda, only healthy foods, no rock music or make up, yes we had to wear dresses to our knees. I made alot of good friends and we actually had fun there. I was never abused, or locked up. Some of these stories amaze me as I never saw this stuff happen. I was 15 when my family sent me there, as I kept running away. You could get a spanking with the paddle which was called licks, it wasn’t a beating it was like a few swats and it didn’t hurt, your pride more than anything.And it wasn’t due to not living the way they wanted you too, it was if you were being a brat and not following the rules, some times it was due to cussing or being mean to another girl or talking back to the workers, just like being at home and having no respect for your elders. Yes we had to clean our rooms but not with a toothbrush we actually had nice rooms with private bathrooms. If you needed any hygiene products you just went to the office and they would give you what you needed. There was no cost. Once in a while they would take the girls into town to go shopping and we got to stop and have ice cream which would be a treat. No one ever doped us either. It was your choice to eat or not to eat, they never forced anything on you. We did have to listen to the broadcast 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night, it was Bro Roloff preaching. We also as a big group would recite Bible passages and memorize them chapters at a time.. Its been 30 years for me and I can remember a little of the chapters we use to recite from memory. Like I said I have good memories from Rebekah. There was one worker who I didn’t care for but she left shortly after I arrived. We had Granny and Pa Pa they were the kindest and most loving people I have ever met. Yes I knew Bro Roloff, I stood right behind him in the choir. I agree if people are abusive to kids they should pay the price but I truly cant ever remember being abused.

  30. Jon, it appears that you have an agenda not only regarding the Roloff Homes but with Christians and Christianity in general. You have closed your ears and heart to the ladies that are telling you that they were there in the homes and they weren’t abused. They never saw abuse and they were happy and had made some lifelong friends. You also keep calling those of us that truly know what happened at the Roloff Homes cult members, you are so wrong. In a cult the devotion and worship is directed at a person but with true Christianity the respect, devotion, and worship is directed at God. That is what Bro. Roloff was all about, his desire and mission was to help people that were hurting or in trouble and to point them to Christ, it wasn’t about Bro. Roloff.

    You are a decent writer and have a very vivid imagination but haven’t you heard that a great writer writes about what they know. You keep mentioning that your book is not a “journalistic endeavor”, that is very clear because a good journalist investigates both sides of a story and reports honestly about that story. So yes it is very clear that your book is fiction, a story that you have concocted .

    Finally I will address your total disrespect for anyone on this thread that has posted something that you don’t like. You have gone so low as to call people illiterate which isn’t the point of your book or this thread, you have just chosen to be unkind. You have indeed shown with this thread what kind of writer and person you are and I feel very sorry for you!

    • Annabelle,

      You have proven yourself to be wrong as well as the rest of your Roloff supporting friends who have apparently been forwarding this blog around in hopes of generating comments in support of your god.

      As to your accusations.

      1. My agenda is this: To give the victims of Lester Roloff a voice. I am certain that there are plenty of folks out there who saw him with rose-colored glasses, yourself included. I’m sure that he did accomplish some good… even Adolph Hitler accomplished some good as the Interstate Highway system in the USA can be directly attributed to the Autobahn system he designed in Germany and Eisenhower based his design off that. (There are other examples, but Hitler was an evil man as was Roloff, and even evil men accomplish good inadvertently because Romans 8:28 is a law and a promise.) That leads me into my next point. I do not have an agenda against Christians, I am one. I do however have an agenda against illiteracy. You and your friends have taken it upon yourselves to pick and choose which threads you respond to and which ones you don’t, choosing to personally attack me and my motives (even though you don’t know me from Adam) and leaving the victims alone. I am still awaiting one of you to apologize to the hundreds of victims in the many Roloff support groups across facebook. In fact, Amber, on of the commenters above has described her abuse where she was forced to pray for upwards of 7 hours while kneeling on grains of rice and not permitted to move. She was forced to perform penance by cleaning toilets with toothbrushes. Another thing. Pregnant women and girls sometimes have bowel issues during pregnancies. Between 1979 and 1982, the Bethesda girls were given 2 sheets of toilet paper each time they went to the bathroom, whether they went #1 or #2… I can’t imagine the embarrassment and torture that particular idiosynchrocy brought to many. Finally, and this will be the last comment I allow, I have possession of testimony that Lester Roloff actively covered up rape in at least 2 of his homes between the workers and the girls who stayed there. I am personally disgusted that it took Texas so long to kick the Roloff homes out!

      As to your comment as to what kind of person I am… well, let me tell you what kind of person I am. I love God, my family, and Texas. I love freedom and liberty. I love music, and I love writing. I dislike anybody that tries to take away anybody else’s freedom and liberty. Free exercise of religion. I dislike folks who cherry pick arguments and create straw-men fallacious arguments (as you have) in order to make your pre-conceived notions appear real and valid. (Only communists do that – See? that’s what you just did to me).

      At any rate, I am calling this conversation closed at this point. When my book comes out, you can read it. Until then, you Roloff worshippers can continue to worship your false god. If you do have a seance, I would be interested in attending, for documentation’s sake, since you all seem to talk about him in the present tense all the time. Hmmm… Book 2, “Life After Lester, The Necromancer Years”

      The rest of us Christians will continue carrying on.

  31. You mention communism, I think a definition would be only allowing on this thread what you want on this thread. That’s a pretty small world in which to live.

    Also, you are the one that decided to attack a dead man and his ministries without allowing for full disclosure, you only want to publish what you think will sell a book, drama!

  32. How about full disclosure on some of this:

    2/ 14/74-Roloff goes to jail:,1903047&dq=lester+roloff&hl=en
    8/14/76: Lawsuit:,2380428&dq=lester+roloff&hl=en
    5/23/79-Roloff fails to report an attempted stabbing at one of his homes:,847234&dq=lester+roloff&hl=en,197260&dq=lester+roloff&hl=en
    6/14/79-Roloff ordered by judge to get his facilities licensed:,1742589&dq=lester+roloff&hl=en
    10/21/79-more abuse allegations:,4727672&dq=lester+roloff&hl=en
    11/1/79-Roloff going to court:,304383&dq=lester+roloff&hl=en
    12/12/79-Rebekah opens back up:,625584&dq=lester+roloff&hl=en
    1/25/80- Roloff getting’ political:,3435886&dq=lester+roloff&hl=en
    4/18/81-Roloff transfers ownership of his homes to the church so the state can’t
    inspect them:
    2/7/82-Roloff defends his “trainees” who run a home in Ga.:,636569&dq=lester+roloff&hl=en
    2/24/82- judge orders that 70 inmates of Roloff’s be interviewed:,4216385&dq=lester+roloff&hl=en
    3/5/82- from the NEW YORK TIMES, also featuring David Gibbs, Jr., and Bob Wills, testimony of abuse by inmates:

  33. I’m very, very curious how you know that we were drugged? I was there 1979-1980 and not one girl that I remember had her period the entire time we were there. Some of us have often wondered if that is because we were drugged.

  34. I would like to thank everyone here who said they were sorry this happened to us. I’m 48, I was there when I was 14 -15 and it still hurts. I can’t walk into a church without sobbing. I have no relationship with god, he terrifies me. Someone saying they’re sorry this happened means a lot. Really, thank you.

  35. Rebekah Cronicles book byJohn Smith! Mr Smith my name is Jessica I am 35 years old my mother was in the Bethesda home for girls I know in at least 79 my birthday is April the 6th of 1979 I would love to speak with you email you! I read your blog about how you were writing a book back in April of 2013 it’s January of 2015 and I wonder if you have any new blogs or did you get your book out if you could please reply back to me I have a lot of stories to shareI think that I was one of the babies that were literally forced to be adopted in fact I’m almost 85% sure if you could get back with me I would really appreciate it I’m looking for my birth mother now!

  36. Rebekah Cronicles book byJohn Smith! Mr Smith my name is Jessica I am 35 years old my mother was in the Bethesda home for girls I know in at least 79 my birthday is April the 6th of 1979 I would love to speak with you email you! I read your blog about how you were writing a book back in April of 2013 it’s January of 2015 and I wonder if you have any new blogs or did you get your book out if you could please reply back to me I have a lot of stories to shareI think that I was one of the babies that were literally forced to be adopted in fact I’m almost 85% sure if you could get back with me I would really appreciate it I’m looking for my birth mother now! Also are their any support groups out there for the bathesda babies I don’t know if the women know or not but their babies almost all of them went to roloff supporters, and know alot of us were terribly abused!alot of the women were forced to give their babies up! My adopted grandfather was one of those extremist and he met my birth mother not my adoptive parents! Her name was then in 1979 Christina Ann Mount!,supposively and she was from Indiana! Supposively her parents were divorced and she was sent there by her father who is ashamed of her for being pregnant with me supposedly my father died in a car accident while she was pregnant however they said they don’t know if she was just saying that to cover up for the guy so that he wouldn’t get in trouble or what if anyone out there knows her knows how I can get in contact with her I’d love to hear from you

  37. Hi Jon: Did you (or anyone reading this blog) ever hear of a girl that went missing/ran away from any girl’s home in 1980 (Rebekah or New Bethany in Louisiana)? I’m working to find the identity of a girl murdered on Halloween 1980 in Walker County TX. She was possibly a runaway from Rebekah Home. Any help is greatly appreciated!! Here’s one of Walker County Doe’s websites:

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