Posts Tagged ‘Shannon Scott’
Mechille wanted a light to shine on the repulsive depravity of Mack Ford’s lust for power and control of girls with whom he embarrassed, frightened, and controlled through a ritual sexual abuse more depraved than imaginable. Trip-girls (New Bethany girls, who traveled and sang for donations), who talk, validated Mechille’s below description of what Ford did to the children entrusted into his care. Mechille was 12-years-old
The death of our precious Mechille lit a fire that refuses to dim in Survivors of New Bethany (SoNB). Using her words (clips of public postings), Mechille speaks from the grave as she spoke truth in life.
Mechille slipped into unconsciousness while writing on Facebook about sexual abuse at New Bethany; engaged in a thread with those she considered sisters. These are her last words:
The trip girls’ silence is deafening.
In 1991, Shannon, a 20-year-old Jr. Staff, traveled with the trip-girls as second-in-command to Mack W. Ford. Shannon had absolute supervisory authority and meted out whippings as any other staff. One girl alleges Shannon broke her tailbone, beating the teenager on the altar. Shannon wrote that she was a victim of Mack Ford [Click Here]; however, we do not know when she was a victim because as an adult, she has not filed charges or corroborated victims’ claims. Refusing to speak for the girls under her tutelage at New Bethany in 1991 leaves too many without answers. Most Survivors want to forget trauma but that is not how trauma heals. Others express a fragility preventing them from facing down the hornet’s nest, known as BPSO and BPDA. Mack Ford’s depravity does not define who we were, who we are, or who we will become. Child Sexual Abuse defines the perpetrator’s lack of character, morals, and conscience.
Since Shannon works with children and is against child sexual abuse, why leave her former students, now grown women, with a burden too heavy for anyone to carry without serious consequences? Why does she refuse to speak up in support of the women under her supervision and provide encouragement for others to come forward?
On the Multiply site, Mechille wrote a letter to Mack Ford. An excerpt reads: “Shannon overheard me singing in the kitchen one day. She asked if I would want to try singing in the choir, and then she asked me to sing in the quartet. My time at NB leading up to that point was full of torture. By this time I had been brainwashed by you and Ms. Nora and Ms. Savoy, I had been beaten on numerous occasions, I had been broken down… quite frankly I was a shell”
When Shannon heard Mechille’s angelic voice, did she know that she was inviting Mechille to join a sexual predator’s fantasy? Shannon was SIX years older than Mechille. Only Shannon knows the answer because Mechille is dead.
Mechille was one of those women, who made everyone feel that she loved them most. Her heart was bigger than Texas. Taken from her birth parents, blamed for the adoptive parents’ inability to communicate, sent to New Bethany at 12, beaten by staff, molested by Mack Ford at the confusing ages of 12-14, returned to adoptive parent when NB was shuttered over sexual abuse allegations, and shortly afterward, in 1992, the adoptive parent returned her to New Bethany to live with her molester and abusers. At 14, the adoptive mother returned Mechille to her biological mother.
In an open letter to Mack W. Ford, our molester, Mechille wrote:
Why do “the other girls” [trip girls] “not want to talk about it?”
Mechille tried to keep the trip-girls’ secrets until they were strong enough. She asked her “sisters” to be strong.
Mechille was not a Keeper of the Secrets. She was a warrior, who stood alone.
On a trip to raise donations in Rhode Island, Mechille walked in on Mack Ford, “engaged in a sexual act with another girl.” “Rather than shame and being scared shitless that you [Mack W. Ford] had been caught… you manipulated me and demanded and reeled me in.”
Shannon Scott was the “adult staff member” who had the courage to come forward in 1991.
Mack W. Ford, another Preacher preying from the pulpit
“Ran away and told the cops what had happened with you [Mack Ford] that led to the home closing temporarily months earlier [Shannon gave a recording of Ford sexually abusing a girl], …. you said were false allegations?
“With not only myself but with a few others.”
What was Mack Ford doing to these children?
What happened that was so horrible women have died, lived in silence and shame for decades, felt continual regret, and held tight to the secrets that eat at the fabric of humanity.
Ultimately, Mack Ford’s disgusting, degrading, embarrassing, shaming, sexual desires, forced on children, was more than Mechille could live with. Where is the recording, the tape, where did it go? Who has a copy?
Times Picayune | Nola.com
“In late December of 1991 , a 20-year-old woman sat down in a room with a cassette recorder and two other women more than twice her age.
Tell us everything that happened, one of the older women [Nora Carter] said. Then she pressed a button to record.
Shannon Scott says she did as she was told. In five years living at New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia, La., that was one thing she knew to do.
The Associated Press reported a few days later, on Jan. 8, 1992, that New Bethany had closed. After years of legal entanglement with state and local authorities, the school had decided to send all the residents home.
Three days later, she says, one of the women handed Scott a plane ticket, directed her to a car with keys in it and instructed her to drive herself to the airport where she would board a plane back home — far away from this place where she had lived since she was 15 years old.
But New Bethany did not stay closed. By the mid-1990s, documents show, residents at the home were once again trying to draw attention to what they described to police and politicians as abusive and inhumane conditions at the compound.
These days, Scott says she doesn’t want to talk about what she told the women with the tape recorder 23 years ago. She has a new name and asks that it not be used.
She says she has never spoken to police.”
“Three days later, she says, one of the women handed Scott a plane ticket, directed her to a car with keys in it and instructed her to drive herself to the airport where she would board a plane back home”
How does that scenario play out? We are to believe that Robbie Ford handed Shannon a plane ticket to WA, told Shannon to drive herself to the airport in Shreveport, and board the plane home, leaving the car in Shreveport.
Roberta Ford told this author that she took Shannon to the airport in the wee hours of the morning.
“Shannon Scott says the other person who was in the room at the time she gave her report was Nora Carter. She’s 72 now, goes by Nora Carter Shepherd, lives in Indiana and said she can’t figure out why women who were residents at New Bethany can’t stop dwelling on what happened to them there.
“That’s so long ago, a person should have been able to go on with their life,” she said in a phone interview.
Shepherd won’t discuss Scott’s memory of the tape-recorded conversation. “I did what was needed to be done. That’s all I’m going to say.”
Several of the former residents who talked to NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune and others who commented online over the years say they remember Shepherd for her wide and forceful swing with a paddle. Asked about the reports of physical abuse at the home — and the memories some of these women have of her — Shepherd said the standards for abuse back then were not the same as today. She said adults today could get in trouble for “looking crooked” at a child.
“No punishment was ever administered unless Mack Ford sent down a directive to do it,” she said. “I don’t know about physical abuse. I know some of the kids there had never had any correction in their lives and that’s why their lives were out of control.”
Asked if she ever knew of sexual abuse there, Shepherd says she was unaware.
Then, she qualifies it.
“Not with any children,” she said.
She paused and then declined to go into detail.”
Where is Justice? Where are the women who know what happened to one another and who remain in denial?
The silenced will be shouting from the roof tops!
Teach children to stand against evil and to stand for what is right and good. You are stronger than you know and no one has to go through this alone.
- The Long Road to New Bethany and Back
By Rebecca Catalanello | Photos and Video by Kathleen Flynn
The above expose’ is the most amazing piece of journalism I’ve read about child sexual abuse when no one has been charged with a crime. The reporters followed us around for days and went with us to the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office. BPSO refused to take Jennifer’s statement because Sheriff Ballance was mad as an old wet hen. He knew the reporters caught his actions and Ballance gave them an interview.
- At the Gates
Jennifer Halter remembers seeing her mother wipe her eyes as she steered the car.
“What’s wrong, Mom?” asked Halter, then 14.
“Nothing,” said her mom.
The road to the small town seemed to stretch forever.
- Together in Room 723
On a Wednesday night last December, five women gathered in Room 723 of the Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino in Shreveport.
- Are you ready?
The first time it happened, Halter says, she had asked to go to the bathroom.
- We need to report a rape
Fifty miles east of Shreveport, wind whipped through the nearly empty parking lot outside the Arcadia courthouse. Temperatures hovered in the mid-30s.
You are not alone | Speaking with the survivors of New Bethany
- More than a decade after the closing of New Bethany Home for Girls, women are coming forward with tales of physical and emotional mistreatment, and sexual abuse.
- Reporters approach New Bethany founder Mack Ford.
- Bienville Parish Sheriff John Ballance remembers a runaway from New Bethany.
- Former New Bethany resident Teresa Frye brings abuse allegations to light.
- Heaven or Hell? Thirty years of turmoil at New Bethany
In late December of 1991, a 20-year-old woman [ Shannon Mary Scott Sims ] sat down in a room with a cassette recorder and two other women more than twice her age.
Tell us everything that happened, one of the older women [ Nora Carter Shepherd ] said. Then she pressed a button to record.
Shannon [Mary] Scott [Sims] says she did as she was told. In five years living at New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia, La., that was one thing she knew to do.
- The lost girls
For three decades starting in the early 1970s, New Bethany took girls no one wanted. It was the outreach ministry of Mack Ford, a high school dropout who worked for a time as a tire repairman before he said he heard God’s call to preach.
- I will be back
Tara Cummings had just turned 12 when she arrived at New Bethany in 1982 after law enforcement was notified that her adoptive father, a minister, had severely beaten her, records show.
- New allegations of abuse
Because Scott [ Shannon Mary Scott Sims ] won’t talk about the details of that taped interview in 1991, it’s not clear what New Bethany leaders knew or suspected when they closed the home, albeit temporarily.
- Standards of abuse
Shannon Scott says the other person who was in the room at the time she gave her report was Nora Carter. She’s 72 now, goes by Nora Carter Shepherd, lives in Indiana and said she can’t figure out why women who were residents at New Bethany can’t stop dwelling on what happened to them there.
- Key Events in the History of New Bethany
1971 – New Bethany Home for Girls is founded in Arcadia, La., by Mack Ford, a preacher with the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Church denomination.
Through 2014 – January: A fourth woman in Massilon, Ohio, confirms making a report to her local law enforcement claiming sexual abuse by Mack Ford.
- Breaking open the gates
Teresa Frye knows that what she is about to say could make some people angry but she needs to say it anyway. “It’s wrong,” the 46-year-old says in her North Carolina twang, “for me to say that it’s perfectly acceptable for an adult survivor of sexual abuse to stay silent about what happened to them.”
- The Runaway
The girl rose from the ditch like an animal in headlights.
In 32 years, Ralph and Elizabeth Jordan haven’t forgotten the sight.
“We just saw a kid,” Elizabeth Jordan remembers. “I thought if she was desperate enough to come out of the ditch, something was wrong.”
- Escape Attempt
Rebecca Silva was 14 that August night she decided to run. She had been at New Bethany about a year.
- About this story
Reporter Rebecca Catalanello and photojournalist Kathleen Flynn, both of NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, spent Dec. 4 to 7, 2013, in Shreveport with Halter and several other women as they set out for the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office, where Halter made her report, and later, to New Bethany Home for Girls.