Thursday, August 18, 2016

When Homestead Leaders Play Psychiatrist

The Story of Kelly Blake

[As you read this story, please say a prayer, if you are so inclined, for Johnny Fausto. He would be around 32 years old now. These tragic events must have left an indelible impact on his life. I've never even heard his name mentioned by Homestead Heritage, much less a prayer request.]

Kelly Blake was a member of Homestead Heritage's satellite church in Phoenix, Arizona. The Ambassador Church was under the tutelage of Homestead Heritage. Many Homestead elders and ministers visited frequently, and young people from the Phoenix church married members in Waco.  A few years after Kelly Blake experienced a tragic mental breakdown, the Ambassador Church minister and his family relocated to the Waco area. 

On the morning of March 20, 1998, Kelly suggested to her children they play a game of hide-and-seek. She blindfolded nine-year-old Vanessa, twelve-year-old Ray, and then fourteen-year-old Johnny and led them to a shed. She then poured gasoline over them and herself, and set them all ablaze. Vanessa and Ray died from their injuries. Kelly survived, but was left permanently disfigured. Only Johnny survived with minor injuries. (Sources here and here)
Reports surfaced of Blake's bouts with depression (true), of recently having become unemployed (untrue), of her intense religious faith (true), and that she was a poor single mother who shunned welfare (true). . . .
She does fit the mold of several women included in a 1996 University of  South Carolina study of mothers who'd killed their offspring. The study identified so-called "stressors" present in most of the cases:
Almost all the murdering mothers had two or more children whom they were raising alone in some degree of poverty. Four in five in the study suffered from diagnosable serious mental illnesses. But only one in five had been getting medication, counseling or other treatment when they'd killed. . .
In the late 1980s, Blake embraced the teachings of a small Christian congregation based in West Phoenix. The church's leaders urge parents to curb their children's contact with "evil" influences -- television, popular music, even other children. Blake dropped off the welfare rosters, and eschewed government health insurance for her children. 
(Attorneys for ComCare and Dr. Sbilris suggested in recent court pleadings that "the Ambassador Church may have caused and/or contributed to Kelly Blake's attempt to take her own life and/or the lives of her children.") . . . 
. . .Blake wasn't getting counseling, and wasn't taking any medicine to help control her chronic mental illness. She'd also had a falling-out with her church.
"They kicked her out because she said she wasn't in the Spirit, or something," Blake's son Johnny later told police. . .
In January 1998, Blake made amends with her old church. But it couldn't provide a haven from the demons of her encroaching mental illness. . .
Less than two hours had passed since the fire started. Phoenix police detective Dave Swine sat with Johnny Fausto at Maricopa Medical Center, and began an extraordinary interview.
The boy seemed eerily focused, first describing his home life.
"She wanted to be a Christian, but we didn't want to," Johnny said. "Cause they make you dress a certain way that they want you to dress, and talk a certain way they want you to talk." (Source, Emphasis added) 
In the above quoted article, it seems that the mental health system that Blake sought help from failed her miserably. However, I'm surprised that she was seeking any mental health care at all given Homestead's teachings as written in their book The Order of Perfection, Book One: God's Restored Order.
. . .[T]he much publicized and powerful institution of psychotherapy, the secular substitute for the pastoral ministry, constitutes not only one of the biggest frauds of history but also when coupled with State power one of the greatest instruments of tyranny. . .This same separation from the context of the Body now occurs with the pastoral ministry, as marriage counselors, family therapists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists and so on now provide the "expert" pastoral care for people's minds and spirits. Instead of having an accreditation from God by signs and miracles (Acts 2:22), these new psycho-pastors have accreditation from the State. As more people stand unwilling to accept responsibility before God, they fall prey to these false pastoral ministries that do not confront people with their responsibility but primarily seek to absolve them of the guilt of sin.
Chapter 14 discusses this false pastoral ministry in much greater detail, yet at this point, in contrast to God's appointed pastors who carry His authority to convict of sin, we can briefly see that those who claim this false pastoral ministry in fact hold no answers despite their widespread acceptance. The reason they now find such acceptance has nothing to do with some alleged success in helping people but rather everything to do with how they attempt to help. These false pastors (now infiltrating an apostate church and its ministries) seek to absolve people of guilty consciences not by confronting them with their responsibilities and insisting on the cleansing of repentance but rather by convincing people they are sick, mentally disturbed or emotionally ill, that is, that their behavior is not ultimately their fault but rather caused by circumstances that have befallen them, much like a person becomes infected with a disease. This is the appeal of their false pastoral ministries and the reason why people willingly embrace the myth of their therapeutic cures, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. (p. 124.)
Homestead writes that "we've always made it our goal to try to help those who need it most." (Source) They claim that "[w]e believe the very purpose of the church is to reach out to all who stand in any need of God, especially to those with broken lives, in order to bring them the hope of change and renewal." (Source) Yet, they certainly weren't much help to Kelly Blake. In fact, their views on mental health preclude their ability to help a woman with serious issues. Apparently, their "signs and miracles" accreditation wasn't very effective either. And, even more frightening, Homestead's next generation of "pastors" might only have a homeschool diploma to their name, if that. Most will be lucky to have anything above a 7th grade education, yet they will count themselves qualified to diagnose and treat serious mental health issues sin.

Quoted material from:
Adams, Blair. The Order of Perfection: Authority and Submission in the Living Order of Relationships in the Body of Christ. Book One: God's Restored Order. 1992.

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