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The Dark Side of Fr. Oregon Representative Betsy Close and Joe Paterno: Depraved & Inhumane Part 2Coral Anika Theill for Salem-News.com
Part 2 of 6 "There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” — Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor
(SALEM) - (Part 1) The child rape and molestation scandal at Penn State is an example of what is epidemic in Oregon and throughout America. Many of us who have been victims of sex abuse crimes are ridiculed, threatened and dismissed. Those in positions of power know what has occurred, but often dismiss the victim and protect the criminal. The victim becomes invisible. Former Oregon Representative Betsy Close, just like Joe Paterno, is guilty of protecting an abuser and criminal. She fully supported my ex-husband personally and in Court in 1996. Protecting one of your own, when they have committed horrific inhumane acts against another is one of the worse offenses you can commit in life.
Marty Warner is just one man, but it took a proverbial village and the Oregon judicial system to hide over three decades of overt abuse.
While many people focus their outrage on the judicial system alone, it’s easy to lose sight of broader problems that assist in the culture of abuse -- like churches, family members and the local community. These elements, too, played a role in the corruption and silence that has allowed a man like Marty Warner, and others like him, to operate untouched for so long.
We do the perpetrators a favor when we do not speak about the abuse.
In our society, domestic violence and abuse is socially acceptable
"Evil (ignorance) is like a shadow. It has no real substance of its own; it is simply a lack of light. You cannot cause a shadow to disappear by trying to fight it, stamp on it, by railing against it, or any other form of emotional or physical resistance. In order to cause a shadow to disappear, you must shine light on it." -Shakti Gawain
My ex-husband and his religious leaders and counselors threatened me, telling me that I could not seek help for my children or report the crimes that occurred in our home. The crimes would become a “family and church secret.” One child was being secretly counseled by an unlicensed Christian counselor, Bill Heard, from Roseburg, Oregon, in the office of Pastor Ron Sutter, Bridgeport Community Chapel, Monmouth, Oregon. http://www.polkio.com/ns/gen/
Oregon law requires parents, pastors, teachers, physicians, counselors and professionals to report crimes of sexual abuse. Sadly, Pastor Ron Sutter and Bill Heard did not report the crimes of rape, child abuse and sex abuse. This church was above the law. I continue to hear from women who report that they have also been abused by Mr. Bill Heard to this day.
In the spring of 1994, after my 3rd miscarriage and D & C, my husband and his pastors left me at the “Wings of Love” half-way house on Killingsworth in Portland, Oregon to punish me and break me to the “will of God” they said.
It was a frightening experience for me during the two year episode of my breakdown for my abuser, his “cult” leaders, religious friends and supporters to be “in charge” of my “recovery program.” My brother, Don Hall, visited me at the “Wings of Love” half-way house and asked permission from my husband to let me come home with him. After several weeks, my husband finally agreed to allow me to stay with my brother for the next several months.
Mr. Bill Heard, also counseled me during the period of my breakdown in 1994, per my husband’s wishes. I was in shock and fear of these two oppressive and sick men. Mr. Heard told me I was in rebellion to God and had a proud and critical spirit. He often made fun of me, made me get on my knees and repent before him and my husband. They listed my shortcomings and sins and explained in great length all the things I had done wrong. Everything was my fault, they said. I often felt suicidal after counseling sessions with this man.
After my divorce, I asked his wife for my records. She said they had destroyed them because the Bill Gothard’s Institute agreed with her husband’s counsel and treatment of me. (I believe if I had lived in a different era, my husband and Mr. Heard would have burned me at the stake.)
After I birthed my 8th child in July 1995, I refused to attend my husband’s cults. Mr. Heard and my husband said I was in rebellion and threatened to put me in the state mental hospital. There was nothing wrong with me. I called my long term friend and adopted mother, Addie Archer, in Longview, Washington. She worked as a court reporter for the Superior Court of Washington State for 25 years and personally assisted me in my efforts to seek safety in 1995. Her legal advice through the years of my court trauma was invaluable. Addie passed away in 2010 at 81-years old.
In 1995, I retained an attorney not only for protection against my ex, his friends, pastors and religious supporters, but also for the safety and well-being of all my eight children. My younger daughter’s needed protection as they had been sexually molested. They needed to be examined by their pediatrician and they needed professional counseling.
My older son needed safety, too, as he had been severely abused and assaulted by my ex, Mr. Warner, for several years. I had also been raped and beaten during a period of time that I could not care for myself. I reported the documented crimes committed against me and my children. Even though the crimes against me were documented, Polk County District Attorney John Fisher dismissed the charges I filed against my ex-husband.
To this day, the abusers who have confessed their crimes against my children, including sexual abuse, are allowed full contact, while I, the mother who reported the crimes, am allowed no contact with my children per Court Order. I have also been banned from contact with my children due to the fact that I do not adhere to fundamental legalistic, cult Christian ideology.
Mrs. Close continued to lie throughout her testimony. People who are economical with the truth do not do well under cross examination. She had difficulty keeping her distortions straight and her notes in order. Witnesses in the courtroom became humored. When my attorney asked her if she knew that my husband, Mr. Warner, and his attorney Mr. Mark Lawrence, had put me through 45 hours of depositions, that were abusive in nature, and numerous court hearings in the past few months, she said she was not aware of these facts.
After she finished testifying and court recessed, Judge Albin Norblad headed to the judge’s chambers. Mrs. Betsy Close stepped down from the witness stand and approached me in a very aggressive and hostile manner. Friends in the courtroom and Christopher Vasquez, an Air Force cadet, (now a pilot and Major in the Air Force) moved to protect me from her. Judge Norblad ordered her removed from the courtroom for her disorderly conduct. I have not heard from Betsy Close since the court trial in March 1996. Someday, I would like a public and written apology.
Betsy Close and other brutalist Christians is the reason I pray, “Jesus, protect me from your followers.” Many of us wonder what makes legalistic fundamental Christians so mean.
A wise man told me: "Coral, we are all born with a triangle inside of us. This triangle has three razor-sharp points. If we lie and tell un-truths to injure or harm another, it turns and makes us hurt, bleed and feel pain inside. When people become habitually ‘untruth tellers’ the triangle spins so quickly that the pointed sharp edges are worn down to a circle that just spins and spins. They no longer feel any pain when they lie.”
I believe Fr. Oregon State Rep. Betsy Close is an obstacle to women and children seeking safety and wholeness. Ms. Close holds many extreme fundamentalist beliefs that are a detriment to woman and children as well as the general community. As long as women like her are in office, women and children will have to prepare for the worse!
The five individuals, Mr. Marty Warner, Mr. Bill Heard, Mr. Brian King, Mrs. Helen Warner and State Representative Betsy Close, that were so adamant about my rights of motherhood being removed from me, were also pro-life and “Right-to-Life” activists. I found this ironic and hypocritical! (Betsy Close was a founding member of Options Pregnancy Care Centers, a private non-profit group. Marty Warner was a representative for Right to Life)
While preparing me for court, my attorney, Mr. David Gearing said, “Kathy, [Coral] people lie in court." I consoled myself throughout the years of court trials and trauma with one of my favorite quotes, "Pure truth, like pure gold, has been found unfit for circulation because men have discovered it is far more convenient to adulterate the truth, than to refine themselves." Charles Caleb Cotton, Lacon (1825)
MEMO to all Oregon State Senators and Oregon State Representatives, March 20, 2003
As a human rights advocate, and advocate for the safety of women and children, I hand delivered a MEMO coralanikatheill.
I Want Emancipated from Mr. Marty Warner and Oregon Courts in 2012
After my baby and young children were removed, my natural mothering and bonding chemicals that are so strong especially after the birth of a child went into physical and emotional shock. My survival in the coming days, months and years depended on me keeping the precious memories of being a mother and the bond I felt for my children in a detached place.
I no longer feel the daily joy of being a mother, and I miss that. For my wellness to remain intact, it takes an enormous amount of emotional effort, awareness and courage to keep the precious memories I have of my children in the background. The survival of the court trauma proved more difficult in some ways than surviving eighteen years in this marriage because when I finally found strength to try to get out–the help I had depended upon from the law, the court, etc., all betrayed me. Justice did not come.
I continue to long for healthy interaction with my children and miss them more than words can describe. Spiritually, I understand what has happened. I understand money and power buy justice. I rebuild my balance each day by mediation and by accepting the fact that everything for the moment is exactly as it should be because society has willed it so. I continue to pray for the highest good for all. I believe in imminent possibilities, surprises, miracles and "One Fine Day."
Presently, I have not had contact with my children for 14 years, was sued for twice that I earn as a fully disabled woman, was homeless for three years, living in my car off and on, due my ex-husband legally stalking me, i.e., forty-two court related hearings from 1996-2006. In 2004, my ex, Marty Warner, also appealed a court case to the Oregon State of Appeals, suing me for an additional $50,000 for child support. I had no monies for an attorney and was required to write my own legal brief while I was homeless. The Oregon State of Appeals dismissed my ex-husband’s appeal. Since 1995, attorney and court related fees and expenses have amounted to over $200,000.
My passport was revoked years ago due to a $5,080.00 Child Support Summary Judgment my wealthy ex-husband has against me through the Polk County District Attorney’s Office. In 2003, Judge Paula Brownhill ordered that I could not visit, write, phone or send my children gifts.
Dr. Barbara May, my mentor since 1997, has documented my domestic violence case as one of the most obscene and violent cases she has been involved with in her 30 years of psychiatric practice.
Due to the Child Support Summary Judgment hanging over my head, I could be threatened with jail time as a “punishment” and my driver’s license could be revoked. Well-meaning individuals have confronted my ex-husband this past year in regards to the judgment requesting that he dismiss it by signing a “Child Support Summary Judgment Dismissal “In Kind” Form. Mr. Warner informed them he will never dismiss the judgment.
The individuals listed below acted in a hostile manner and were a threat to my survival and safety. They claim to be Christians, but have a lot to learn about “Christed-ness and compassion.”
Advocates and supporters are welcome to contact the following people to recommend dismissal of the Child Support Summary Judgment and help right some of these wrongs.
Fr. Oregon State Representative Betsy Close, Phone: (541) 941-7593, Albany, OR 97321
Marty Warner, Phone: (503) 838-1662, Independence, OR
Pastor Ron & Marijo Sutter, Phone: (503) 623-4082, Monmouth, OR
Bill & Beverly Moerke, Phone: (509) 526-5561, 27 Sullivan Place, Walla Walla, WA,
Bernie Warner, Phone: (503) 815-2996, Sun Acres Farm, Tillamook, OR 97141
Speaking out and requesting that the violence committed against me be acknowledged and resolved is an act of self-respect, love and healing. Seeking resolution is NOT seeking revenge.
In November 2011, my trusted friend and editor, Judy Bennett, from Monmouth, Oregon contacted me. She had received a disturbing call from a woman who had attended a Christian rally nearby. The woman had met my ex-husband, Marty Warner at the rally. He told her and other individuals that I had committed suicide and was dead. Even though he claims I am dead, I continue to receive the judgment he has against me for child support each month.
Not Allowed to Attend my Brother’s Funeral
The court order sought by my ex-husband and abuser, denying me visitation privileges in 1999 also created complications in July 2009. I was not permitted to attend my own brother’s funeral. My brother’s pastor reported that my ex-husband was attending the funeral, as well as my younger children. According to the Oregon Court Order, I could be arrested for attending the funeral due to being in the same vicinity of my younger children - a violation of Judge Paula Brownhill’s court orders. I emailed the pastor my eulogy for my brother’s service.
I believe the courts and churches that are so adamant in punishing women who seek safety have not yet realized the long term ramifications for the victim. As a child, I could not have imagined that Court Orders, due to my ex-husband’s wrath, would prevent me from adequately grieving for the loss of my only brother and sibling. Only in America.
We are as Sick as Our Secrets
In 2003, my ex and his attorney filed a Motion of Contempt against me due to attending my 16 year old son’s football game at Santiam Christian School, at my son’s request. At the game, my ex-husband violently abused my 11 year old daughter, Hannah. There were many witnesses, including me; charges against my ex were filed with the Corvallis Police Department, children and parents shared their testimony. The abuse charge against Mr. Warner was dismissed due to Mr. Warner’s and Hannah’s testimony that “nothing happened.” Children living with abusers learn that accepting abuse and keeping quiet is “safety.” Secrecy and denial become a way of life. A few years ago, my ex-husband served as a foster parent for a troubled 15 year old boy from Bridgeport Community Chapel.
In the years that followed, due to severe brainwashing, my children shun me and some of my children have written me “hate letters,” My adult children have invited batterers, rapists and child abusers/molesters to their weddings and events, but I, their mother who protected them, am not welcome.
When I am no longer here, who are my children going to hate and blame?
I have spent long hours trying to make some sense of my life and have come to the conclusion when horror overcomes us the only response possible is to remember what happened and tell the story.
"When the content of the story cannot resolve the irrationality of such suffering, of any suffering, the act of telling the story can be the one valid moral response, the sole way to give what happened a meaning. Hopefully in writing, telling the story, it can give the suffering ultimate significance and meaning to an experience of a destruction of meaning." –Robert H. Hopcke, There Are No Accidents
The traumatized person who accomplishes the work of recovery and healing has the potential of becoming more integrated and more aware and conscious than the person who has endured no blatant trauma and has never had to piece together a shattered psyche.
Once on the other side, (of our crisis), one must look back and throw down a footbridge, for followers to use. When you have "jumped outside of the given", there is an obligation to share with others what you learned. You must not only tell how you got there, but the process of survival as well. Someone must have the wisdom, courage and strength to live their truth fearlessly. That someone becomes "the living bridge."
I hope Betsy Close will step down from running for political office and seek the professional and spiritual help she needs. Mrs. Close is an “unsafe person.” www.salem-news.com/articles/february202011/safe-people-ms.php
Sadly, Betsy Close exemplifies the saying, “If you can’t be a good example, you will just have to be a horrible warning.”
The Dark Side of Fr. Oregon Representative Betsy Close and Joe Paterno: Depraved & Inhumane: Part 1
(To be Continued in Part 3)
1 “Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype” by Clarissa Estes, Ph.D.
Radio Program: Listen to Coral Theill's guest appearance on the "Majority United" Radio Program, Feb. 13, 2012: www.blogtalkradio.com/
Jan. 11, 2012: Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Calls on Congress to Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act www.salem-news.com/articles/january112012/vava-revival.php
Coral Anika Theill, reporter and advocate, is author of "BONSHEA: Making Light of the Dark." Her published works address abuse, trauma recovery and healing from post-traumatic stress and most recently, wounded Marines, the Warrior Games and Montford Point Marines.
Her writings have encouraged and inspired numerous trauma victims and wounded Marines/soldiers recovering from PTS and TBI. Coral's positive insights as a survivor have also earned the respect of clinical therapists, advocates, attorneys, professors and authors. BONSHEA has been used as a college text for nursing students at Linfield College, Portland, Oregon and can be ordered at: http://amazon.com, http://barnesandnoble.com or http:// iUniverse.com
"Those who serve may already know the toll of having to kill or be killed, but civilian society should also recognize that those who go into battle defending our way of life pay a price. I feel a deep gratitude to our servicemen and women and believe our society needs to do more to respect, understand and support those returning from deployment in conflict zones.” – Coral Anika Theill, Contributing Writer for Leatherneck Magazine
The Commandant of the Marine Corps on Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury and Invisible Battle Scars: Confronting the Stigma of PTS and TBI www.woundedwarriorregiment.org/documents/pao/Leatherneck_Oct_PTS_TBI.pdf
Catch Coral's military articles published on Salem-News.com at this link
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