I regret to say this is only one story of many of Fairhaven. This is still open for business. Please take the time to read this story and then vote HR 3126.
Here is their website: http://www.fairhavenbaptist.org
THE MEXICO MISSIONS TRIP
To whom it may concern,
This is not a dramatization, nor a story that is even 1% fictitious, if anything it has left out some details as this happened 15 years ago and is a bit fuzzy in my memory.
One of the major events that has caused an uproar recently is a Missions trip we took in the summer of 1997… this is the story as I best remember it…I was only 13 or 14 at the time. The people I mention in here were Youth Pastors and the Son and Son-in-Laws of Dr. Roger Voegtlin. I will also add the eyewitness accounts of some of those involved.
The Mexico Trip:
Here is my best shot… This was the first major trip the youth group had taken after Voegtlin and Damron took over the youth group. Whitecar was along for the ride as well…And everyone of these guys had a chip on their shoulder and something to prove. My father was along on this trip as a bus driver along with some other old timers…R.L. Grant and Dean Leslie. These guys looked up to my dad as a sort of source of wisdom I guess… As is in any youth group the younger kids are immature…thats why they are in 7th grade. A few of the kids made some stupid mistakes, some hardly worth mentioning, yet Damron felt like he needed to come down hard with an iron fist. Darcel McCoy did something silly and stupid in the shower but was accused of deliberately trying to urinate on someones tooth brush…(He didn’t) in case you were wondering… Caleb Stockman and Tom Almanza were seen on the opposite side of the road without permission and had stopped to buy a coke or something silly…nothing really offensive or a deep sin. The next day we were not allowed to eat lunch or have anything to drink…mind you this is Mexico in summertime 100+ degree temperature in the shade…(and at this point none of us knew why we were being punished) We spent the day knocking on doors and inviting people out to see a film at a mission church that we were there to help…It was nothing more than brick walls with a tin roof, as it got later people began to show up at the church and the girls were allowed to sit down with them…The guys were sent upstairs under the tin roof in a room with no windows or ventilation, we sat up there and waited and waited for about 2-3 hours (still no idea, and pretty hungry and thirsty and PO’d by this time…) After the service finished we got on the bus to head back to the compound that we were staying at and were told no one was allowed to talk. We wondered if they were finally going to feed us or at least tell us what was going on… But when we got back to the gym where we slept each night we were told to get changed and go to bed…once again, no talking. By this time I knew something was up…and didn’t think for a minute that we were going to be getting a good nights sleep… Lights had been out for about 30 minutes when the gym doors came crashing open and garbage cans went flying like an opening scene from Full Metal Jacket… And Carl Bain in all his glory yelled for us to square the deck away…now most of these kids weren’t raised in military families and had no clue they just stood there…Finally he got it across that he wanted them to clear out an area in the middle of the floor and form a circle. They then began to berate everyone in the gym, saying “You guys don’t take this serious, ‘You wanna play games?’ fine we are going to play some games!” They called Darcel, Caleb, and Tommy into the center of the circle and sat them down in chairs next to a fan and fed them steak fajitas and sandwiches, made sure they were nice and comfortable. Then began to make us do PT jumping jacks, sit-ups pushups, bends and thrusts(ask someone who has been in the military, what bends and thrusts are) then leg lifts while Steve Damron ran around the room stepping on each persons stomach saying that if they were doing it right they wouldn’t be able to feel him…All the while we were told that we were being punished because of the 3 in the middle…this went on for about an hour and a half with no stop. Finally we are told to stand up…and they pulled Darcel into the middle and told us what he had done…or what they thought he had done…And they began to force him to drink liquid…It started out with bottles of arizona tea and then 2 liters of coke and gallons of water…I literally watched his stomach swell up from the liquid he was trying to ingest…and as if this wasn’t enough…Jeff Voegtlin…and I’m quoting him and dare him to dispute it…said “Only a “NIGGER” would do something like what you did butch…” ( Darcel is an African American by the way) then they forced him to drink more water until he literally exploded vomited and urinated all over himself and what not every where… Then they made him clean it up and we went back to doing more PT while they sat him back down with his compadres…they had shut the air off in the gym as well, to make it more comfortable for us…”How thoughtful” after about another 45 min to an hour of this, they once again clarified they were punishing us as a whole due to the sins of those three guys…and that they were going to go outside for a break and kept saying they trusted that we would take care of it…As soon as they closed the doors behind them the entire 60-70 guys jumped the three in the middle…Caleb was lucky he was a bit stocky and no one wanted to mess with him…Darcel and Tommy got the brunt of it…I watched tommy’s brother Andy beat the crap out of him…hitting him with his class ring and bouncing his head off of the cement, all the while yelling that tommy had sent some poor mexicans to hell because of his playing around and not being serious… Tommy the next day could not open his eyes they were swollen shut and Im pretty sure he had one if not several concussions…both he and Darcel would have been admitted to any emergency room here in the states , but those Jerks didn’t even have the thought to check them out….(Had they died or had been paralyzed this story would have taken a much different turn) We were then told to go to sleep and not talk about any of this to the girls the next day…
The doors in the shower was broken, and I couldn’t get out. I was 13yrs old and had to pee! So I went in the shower! Since I told them “I couldn’t hold it” I was forced to drink gallons of water and coke and tea until I had to pee, then made to urinate on myself. Again, this is after puking several times all over myself because of all the liquids being forced down. (tea, coke, dirty water)
I would like to add some details if I may. Sam, very well said and accurate. I remember this day like it was yesterday. Now mind the fact some of things I will say came to my knowledge years after the incident. Earlier in the day when most people were getting ready to go out canvassing, word started to ne spread around that staff was upset and people were going to be in trouble. So some people do what survival instincts prompted them to do and that was to save their own skin and tell on others. So Don Whitecar stood up and said if anyone has any information about people breaking the rules they need to come forward dorm everyone in the canvassing group would be punished. So we had people fabricating stories to save their own skin. They compiled a list of about 25 people that had “done wrong.” Since they were experts at making mountains out of mole hills, they said it was a widespread problem and needed to be dealt with. This is when Sam’s story comes into play. We also had gone to Mexico with a missions group that was not affiliated with our group and took their buses and people into chihuahua. So they put us down to bed until thwarting bus kids that came with us and the bearing precious seeds people were asleep out on the bus. While the people in the middle were eating they got the list of people out and one by one called them to the middle of the circle where Jeff Voegtlin was standing with a paddle. They were saying he was the executioner and would be administering swats. after you had been called out, they read the charges against you and decided on the how many swats you were to receive. They even had an algorithm to compute swats for some. For example they would say take the number of charges, multiply it times 3 and divide by 2. If it was an odd number that you divided by then they would ask what butt cheek you wanted half the swat on. Some were told to go butt naked for their swats. After this was done, they focused on darcel and made the kid, whose tooth brush was allegedly peed on, get his toothbrush for darcel to brush his teeth with. At the same time they told all the seniors to get their nice clothes and put them at the feet of darcel so that he would wet himself and the seniors clothes so they would be upset. Now mind touch, fairhaven staff was very good at prompting others to do their physical abuse for them. When darcel drank so much that he peed himself and the seniors clothes, they got in his face calling him names and shouting at him. They then walked out telling everyone they hoped the problem would be solved when they got back. It was not Andy who beat up tom, but I will not say who it was. People need to understand we had so much animosity, hatred and emotions stuck inside of us for so long that when the opportunity for an outlet came it came out with a vengeance. We would take our frustrations of staff out on others. After the beating, they made darcel clean the bathrooms with the toothbrush and was not allowed to pee or sleep that night.
People, this story took place 15 years ago, but I have people willing to tell their stories from recent years as well. Many of us were too afraid to tell our parents (we had been told not to tell a soul) who had signed consent forms to allow these guys to “be responsible” for us. The staff learned not too long ago Caleb Stockman had a similar picture of Tommy after he had been beaten. They came to Caleb and requested he destroy the evidence in front of them.
My father was and is the Head of the Deacon Board there and I have been forewarned that if I am responsible for getting this story out in the news that all ties will be officially severed…this is a common occurrence among many of my friends. When they speak up against abuse or disagree with the church or Dr. Voegtlin their parents are pressured into disowning them and forbidding their other chidden from speaking to them. I hope you know that I don’t hate the “church” as much as I hate the 40+ years of abuse and ruined lives it has produced…Broken Families, Broken Relationships…
Please vote now and make a difference.
It’s obvious that these programs need oversight.