Teach, the Children Well
I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything
You held me down, but I got up (hey!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, your hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready ’cause I had enough
I see it all, I see it now.
Katy Perry, “Roar”
June 25, 1981
Laura A. Blake
June 7, 1983 – Former student Affidavit of Facts
Robert Stewart of BPSO informed child’s (police officer) father of cult behavior, abuse allegations, whipped until blood oozed from buttock trauma, and brainwashed child.
Deputy Sheriff McCarthy
P.O. Box 328
Arcadia, LA 71001
Letter copied to:
Governor Dave Treen
Rep. Jamie Fair
Sen. Foster Campbell
Sen. Charles Benham
Rep. Loy Weaver
Woody Jenkins (who later visited the home and cleared NB of all wrongdoing)
In a secretive manner, Rev. Mack Ford hand-picked girls each time D.H.H.R. came.
The girls were led to believe the D.H.H.R. were preachers.
Only girls who would say the right things were allowed to talk to D.H.H.R.
Girls were pulled out of school, late-night preparation, cleaning up NB, removing paddles, and making certain we knew what to say.
If we had known they were D.H.H.R., we would have told them the truth.
I started seeing through this because of the deceit (nothing to hide, then why lie?).
Staff threatened, “Remember, we have the advantage over you.”
Girls were too scared to speak the truth.
They preached if we wore pants, cut our hair, wore makeup, or watched TV we would go to hell.
My friend, Lisa, was abused when she told the truth.
She was locked in with a staff who applied constant pressure on her and she cracked from all the pressure.
She was so stressed, her hair began falling out and she started shaking all the time.
Another girl, D.S., was beaten by several staff.
I saw Mack Ford hit her in the face with his fists.
Others helped beat D.S. and her face was purple, her lips were puffy, she had two black eyes, and they busted a blood vessel in one eye.
Mack Ford kicked a six-year old boy in the back, while on the bus and no one could help him.
When we didn’t say the right things, we were beaten with a 2 x 4, leaving bruises from knees to buttocks.
19-year-old Mary Lou tried to leave, Mack Ford hit her repeatedly in the face, and told her he would kill her before he let her leave. I saw her face afterward.
Girls were non-compliant and Mack Ford went into a rage during church services, saying he prayed that Copperhead snakes would “latch onto the legs” of disobedient girls.
Within days, snakes were found in the girls’ dormitory.
Rumors of lesbians caused Mack Ford to order any girl sick with the flu, be given penicillin shots.
Mack Ford, Nora Carter, Claire Shipman, Celia Romero, Ernest Mitchell, and David Arbitelle knew what was going on and they participated in abusing girls.
DATED: June 7, 1983
Lisa B. Blanchard
Prepare for Mack Ford’s enemy, the Fire Marshall.
On several occasions, Mack Ford ordered us to prepare for official’s visit.
Helped Nora Carter, working throughout the night, removing trunks from windows, doors, and pathways.
Removed chains from doors.
Emptied medicine cabinet and remove locks before social services visited.
Staff’s indifference to the levels of pain to which we were submitted, went beyond inhumane.
Dr. May, from Shreveport, supplied quantities of medication; although, staff rarely dispensed medication.
With 102 fever, a throat infection, sweating, shaking, and spitting infection and blood, staff required we work Bible conferences, walk the halls at night as security.
Denied medication until the blood and puss was obvious.
Unprepared to reenter school once home.
Returned to New Bethany to avoid dropping out of high school.
July 8, 1996 – Former student Affidavit of Facts
Entered the New Bethany program on August 14, 1993
Forced “Sister Treatment” – Child on Child Abuse
“Holding down a girl wasn’t just keeping a girl down, it was beating her down till the girl got tired Usually we would slap her around. kick her in the head. punch her, etc and at all times there was always a staff or older person who would tell the dorm girls to get to their rooms and shut all doors so they could not see us doing our “evil deed.”
The Abuse Affidavits, outlining the incessant and varied abuse of children residing at New Bethany at different years, swear under oath to the Abuse listed in each Affidavit.