Word Of Faith's Pattern Of Abuse 'Got Worse Over Time,' Says 'Broken Faith' Author


Jane Whaley was not satisfied with being a pastor's wife she believed god had bigger plans for her so she pushed against all the norms that kept her from the pulpit and found the church and spend their North Carolina called the word of faith fellowship the church's website shows people singing and smiling Jane Whaley at center stage from the outside it looks like a community of pious believers but some former members say the dangerous cult these people believe that Jane Whaley was their path to salvation and that if they did anything that went against her wishes they would get cancer and die or they would become drug addicts these are things that Jane way we would tell them it was Holbrook more he and Mitch Weiss a fellow AP reporter have been looking into abuse allegations within the church for years our colleague Rachel Martin spoke with them about their new book broken faith and just a note here the story does include descriptions of that alleged abuse there is two sides Jayme wellies yours that's sweet southern grandmotherly type and then there's the Jane that nobody sees except church members the one who screaming at the top of a longs congregants warning them that the devils have to come out it's like the Jekyll and Hyde right Holbrooke can you describe what people saw in her what was bringing them to this church I think that in the beginning when people would go to the church they were selling a lot of love yeah the members of this church they live in nice homes they drive nice cars the children are well mannered they have a Christian school so I think when a lot of families first go there everything seems great but over time Janeway Lee and her other ministers they take more and more control of your lives in fact a lot of times they'll remove children from their families home it and place them with ministers to be raised and what that does is over time sometimes those kids care more about the minister's than their own parents so it makes it difficult for families to leave so it's not a quick thing where you just walk in the door and they say Hey come on in you can come in you can never leave we're gonna take your television magazines radio all that away from you an institute all these rules it's a slow progressive thing and Mitch she when the other church leadership they would use family members against one another I mean hobar talked about how they would separate children sometimes as leverage but they got family members to serve as informants almost absolutely you have to realize they believe that Jane well it was a profit that god spoke to her and everything she said was the gospel and one of the techniques that she used what she had everybody informed on each other it was in a way she would have them tell her their deepest darkest secrets and then she kept the file of those secrets and if they threatened to leave or did something wrong she had all the evidence she needed there to keep them in line so it it was a range of emotional and psychological abuse but from interviews you did with a hundred or so former members you were able to reconstruct a pattern of a violent physical abuse can you just a lay out for us some of those more extreme examples of that yes it was something that that really got worse over time and you have to understand what her philosophy is the doctrine is is really pretty simple doubles a real and if you're a drug addict it's because you have this drug gavel if you know your alcoholic the same if you're having an affair it's the same thing there are there lawful devils and so what she would do is it was called devils and deliverance where they would have people surround you and scream at you at to get the devils out get out double yeah and and it will go on and on and on perfect example is with the baby if babies cry it wasn't because they were hungry or they had a dirty diaper it was because it was a devil inside them that was making them cry so you would have groups of people surrounding a you know in a fan and screaming until that baby would just get tired and finally you know go to sleep and not to scream it just it just to be specific this method call blasting they are they're right in front of the subject's face right there screaming into the baby's ears enter a like inches from her face exactly and that's how she started at the beginning with her congregants over time it became more and more violent it wasn't enough just to screen to scare the devils out of people now you had to punch people you had to hold them down to restrain them you had to choke them you had to do everything possible to get rid of that devil and that's when it became extremely violent that's where the people who who recounted their stories would break down to us they would tell us about their injuries and they couldn't go to doctors they couldn't be treated because they knew what would happen so they had to keep it secret but it's those beatings that that really it's still seared into their planes now they can't get rid of those images those nightmares there is a lot of suspense in this tale but it's it's not fiction I mean this is this is a real life accounting of how the church destroyed these lives but you're you're so specific I mean it reads like fiction though you could you've you're recreating dialogue how did you do that we tried to talk to as many people as we could about any particular incident that we wanted to write about let's not often interviewed him together multiple times over a period of five years really we look for please reports department social services child welfare investigation documents we have recordings from inside the church videos so we just tried to to use all the resources that we could find to tell this story in the most compelling way that we could several lawsuits have been brought against the church and its members over the years has anyone been held accountable for the abuse there are five people currently charged with assaulting a former member of the church Matthew Fenner he says that he was beaten to expel his homosexual demons back in two thousand thirteen but so far nobody's been convicted in that case and Matthew fenders waiting for justice the fact that you have the sheriff you have the district attorney all these people who have looked the

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