PLEASE SHARE! URGENT: US MARSHALS issue warrant for MELODY BANNISTER’S Arrest!! (The other side of the story)

If the news articles released regarding Melody Bannister’s children being in danger — the case I wrote about a few days ago — is all people know, they will report when they see them and put the children back in alleged danger!

The news stations are only reporting what they have been told; they don’t have the bigger backstory. Therefore I am pushing it as hard as I can, so they and the public are forced to contemplate WHAT THE CHILDREN REALLY NEED. HOW IS THAT NOT HIGHEST PRIORITY HERE?

WMBF News shared an article stating the children of Melody Bannister may be in danger, according to deputies. This is utter nonsense. The mother fled with them after they disclosed horrific abuse by their father (who was then granted custody), their grandfather, and other men.

WPMT FOX43 released a statement saying the US Marshals have issued a warrant for her arrest.

SHARING THE FOLLOWING LINKS IS NOT INTENDED AS AN ENDORSEMENT OF THE CONTENT, BUT TO ALERT THE PUBLIC TO THE BACKSTORY. AND HOPEFULLY ASK OURSELVES WHAT IN THE WORLD WOULD MAKE CHILDREN BRING ALLEGATIONS THIS HORRENDOUS (EVEN IF NOT ALL TRUE) AGAINST THE FATHER AND GRANDFATHER IF NOTHING  IS WRONG. THIS IS THE PART THAT NEEDS TO BE INVESTIGATED. (AND BY ALL MEANS, IF MOM IS GUILTY AND THE CHILDREN DID NOT SAY THOSE THINGS, MOM SHOULD BE DEALT WITH BY LAW). FOR NOW, THE KIDS NEED TO BE CARED FOR AND IF THERE IS TRAUMA WITH DAD, HE SHOULD NOT HAVE CUSTODY.

BANNISTER STORY PART ONE

BANNISTER STORY PART TWO

BANNISTER STORY PART THREE: TRIGGER WARNING!

AND IF YOU FIND THAT STORY UNBELIEVABLE, AND WONDER HOW THE ABOVE ATROCITIES ARE EVEN POSSIBLE, READ THE GHOST RAPES OF BOLIVIA. IT SHOWS CLEARLY HOW SUCH A THINGS *WOULD* BE POSSIBLE, WITHOUT A MOTHER EVER KNOWING. (This is not to say that every allegation made is true. I repeat that this is not my point. My motive is to get people to realize the extent of wickedness that is possible).

UPDATE: People are messaging and asking how it would be possible to use the bullwhip and physical abuse without leaving marks. It’s not that hard. Here is my response to them:

All the abusers have to do is put a protective layer over the children to prevent bruising/scarring, and still have the terror an a bit of pain. It’s not hard. The greatest power these sadists have is controlling the mind, instilling debilitating fear, and making their victims sound ‘crazy’ and their stories not believable. It is their best cover.
 
The Charity church in Ephrata PA (where Mose Stoltzfus was formerly a leader) had a paddle especially designed with holes in it, which they kept in a soundproof room. This, to increase aerodynamics, decrease risk of marks and bruising, and cause serious pain. (And I spoke with a family member of the individual who created it. That’s how I know the purpose and details). In that sound proof room I have numerous testimonies of babies being beaten until they went limp, including infants under a year old.
 
If a *church* (Anabaptist and ‘peace-loving’ at that) can be this conniving, why should we be surprised when others are creative in their sadism?
I reiterate that I do not know what all went on, and what each alleged perp is guilty of.  And I reiterate that even if only 10% is truth, the children need to be protected and heard. (And even IF the mom is whacko and making things up, the children need to be heard). But to write the allegations off as the imagination of children is irresponsible.
*****

WPMT FOX43: US MARSHALS ISSUE WARRANT FOR BANNISTER’S ARREST

DEPUTIES TELL WMBT NEWS: BANNISTER CHILDREN MAY BE IN DANGER (THE BANNISTER CHILDREN ARE NOT IN DANGER. I KNOW THIS WITH CERTAINTYTHIS IS INTENDED TO PLAY ON THE EMOTIONS OF THE PUBLIC. DO NOT FALL FOR IT. PLEASE DO NOT REPORT THEM IF YOU SEE THEM). What has changed in recent days? Mrs. Bannister is blogging. She is telling the children’s stories. And suddenly news stations everywhere are being alerted that her children are in danger! On what grounds?

LIVE PD WANTED Video:
DETECTIVE JAMES WRIGHT (Transcribed verbatim): “We believe they’re in danger because they’re… they be..uh.. be.. belong to a religious organization that … ah… in it’s clandestine nature we just don’t have a whole lot of information on.. and… we’re concerned about the welfare because they’re unable to take care of themselves.. they don’t have any means to take care of them… Melody doesn’t have any means to take care of them…

Given the vast number of cult-like groups where children are being raped, abused, and cases still left for the community to have say, this ‘concern’ is bizarre, in my opinion.

OTHER STATIONS ISSUING THE WARNINGS WHO DO NOT LIKELY HAVE THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY (IN ABOVE LINKS), AND WHO NEED TO DO INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING ON THIS, ARE:

LEX 18 NEWS
WYFF 4

WHSV

That seems like a SILENCING TACTIC! So I did my own investigative work. The children are safe. (I will repeat this several times).  I don’t know what of the allegations are true, or if all, but (and I will repeat this) something is wrong. And that something needs to be looked into. 

TO SIGN A PETITION ON THEIR BEHALF: SAVE THE BANNISTER CHILDREN FROM SEX TRAFFICKING

 

*******

No matter how well-intentioned, this appeal to the public to ‘help the children’ is not because the children are in danger. (I have personally confirmed they are safe). It’s because a mother defied the law to do what she genuinely believes is best for her children. I have not yet saId, nor will I say that every allegation these children made is 100% as they say it was. I do not know this; I am not God. But there is nothing believable about young children whose father provides well (over six digit US dollars) and gives them ‘the good life’, making these extreme allegations if they are 100% unfounded.

SOMETHING,.. SOMETHING IS VERY, VERY WRONG! Kids who are loved and respected by parents, and well provided for, don’t give up everything to live on the run ‘just because’. Think it through. Do the math. Be logical. And then bring in SEX ABUSE PROFESSIONALS to help these kids and their mother! 

It may be true that the law found no evidence. That does not negate the validity of the children’s allegations. Children who have not experienced trauma do not have such extreme nightmares, and traumatic aftermath. These children have been interviewed by professionals who say their stories are true. I still maintain none of us are God to know with certainty every detail. But I have worked with sexual violence against children for over 10 years, and I insist further investigation is necessary. At the very least, if the children are that traumatized by their father and grandfather and other men in the community, they should not be returned to the source of their trauma. That is irresponsible.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am 100% FOR REPORTING TO THE LAW.  And I have much respect for many law enforcement officers. But, I will say this… I have yet to meet a law-enforcement officer who is truly an expert in sex crimes. I am not saying they don’t exist, I am saying I have yet to meet one. There is no way they should be the final authority on these children going back to what they say is the source of their trauma. Especially when several professionals have interviewed the children and said they are not lying. Child safety takes priority over the law, and every other thing. We, as adults across the world, HAVE A DUTY TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN at all cost.

Have we learned nothing from the Epstein case… and others? Those with means to commit crimes and ‘make them go away’ are very difficult to prosecute. And I’ve been involved in cases that ‘fell by the wayside’ with undeniable evidence (recorded confession etc). I have evidence for these cases that, if victims would ask me to do so, I would blow wide open and expose what really goes on behind the scenes. (And we all saw how the CAM/JERIAH MAST case was impacted and held accountable when I leaked evidence to the public and the media got hold of that story this summer). We, the public, have a lot more influence than we realize. Let’s use it for the most powerless among us: the children. And if even half of these allegations… nay, if even one tenth are true, these children must be protected! 

PLEASE SHARE!!
Let the public know the other side of this story. Force it into the spotlight. I am only interested in truth and the safety of these children. We owe it to them to LET THEIR CHILD VOICES BE HEARD

As always…

Love,
~ T ~

(Part 4 of 5): What about forgiveness? (The Christian F-word?)

…Continued from Part 3

WHAT ABOUT FORGIVENESS?
Ah… forgiveness. The Christian F-word, and used almost as ruthlessly, sometimes even more so, than the F-bomb. The message it sends in the way it is often used, is not unlike flipping the birdie.

The thing is that, the F-bomb’s dreadful misrepresentation of what sex is intended to be — an expression of intimate love, not a weapon — makes intimate sexual love no less wonderful. It remains a deeply bonding act of love and intimacy. And that, in spite of it being used as a weapon by abusers.

The same is true about the way forgiveness is used and abused. It is a dreadful misrepresentation of what God intended to be one of the most freeing choices we can make. Forgiveness, when chosen by the victim without coercion, forced silence, or other religious manipulations — like the famous “you’ll go to hell if you don’t” — remains one of the most critical and beautiful steps in the victim’s healing journey.

I am asked why I don’t talk about it more in the public domain. The answer is quite simple. Because of further abuse imposed on many trauma survivors through false teaching on forgiveness, it is a topic best addressed in relationship when it comes to the intertwining with sexual abuse and victims’ healing. (This is also true of domestic violence and some other abuses of which I have less understanding). It is complex to address it in a way that is meaningful to them, so that their spirits do not shut down due to triggers and past trauma.

Sitting face to face, and speaking heart to heart creates space for interaction, exploring, inviting dialogue so that they can discover the beauty of forgiveness in safe relationship. To do it any other way is much like trying to convince a rape victim that sex is a beautiful and wonderful thing. It can’t be imposed on them. Through safety of relationship many rape victims discover safety with a spouse, and learn to love sexual intimacy. They may have ongoing flashbacks or nightmares and triggers, but in the safety of that relationship they are free to weep, to struggle and to find deeper emotional intimacy with their spouse in the process of the struggle.  I speak from experience. The emotional trauma of the past was very present at various times in our marriage, and it wasn’t unheard of for me to weep in my husband’s arms after intimacy. And it was ok. It was part of the healing for him to hold me, knowing I love him deeply while reconciling past trauma to a similar act.

When we walk victims through to a place of being able to extend forgiveness, that same gentleness, that same compassion and tenderness is necessary. To avoid sexual intimacy in our marriage would have served no good purpose. To have it forced upon me would have destroyed me. To avoid the discussion of forgiveness also serves no good purpose, but forcing it on the victim for whom it has been weaponized is deadly. Inviting victims into forgiveness is a delicate and relational process. And the trust to get there in a meaningful way requires deep listening, assuring them that what was done is wrong, and that we are willing to walk gently and patiently with them.

Forgiveness is not what most of us have been taught. It is not a commitment to silence. The Bible is full of bad stories we should know nothing about if it meant silence.

Forgiveness is not a commitment to reestablishing a relationship with the offender. Some victims choose relationship, and sometimes it is healthy. But forgiveness without reestablishing relationship is possible, and sometimes the healthiest option for the wellbeing of a traumatized person.

Forgiveness is not a promise to avoid reporting crimes to the law, or keep the offender out of prison. If a victim reports to the law, in most cases — in fact, all but one that I have been involved in — it is to prevent further victimization. I’ve heard one victim say they’re doing it to get back for the pain inflicted on them. That, in my experience with victims, is the exception. The thought of more children being victimized is overwhelming to victims, and is often the thing that drives them to report, knowing they will likely go through hell all over again, in the legal process.

Forgiveness is not saying “It’s okay”, and it certainly is not a commitment to giving a ‘second chance’ that puts others in danger. And it is not overlooking the wrongs committed. It does extend grace for the soul of the abuser to be redeemed, and even wishes that redemption for them.

Forgiveness is not a one-time choice. It is a struggle. It is choosing, day after day, with every nightmare, flashback and trigger, to say, “I forgive.” It is being honest about the depth of suffering the wrong has brought, without hating the person who wronged us. It is about acknowledging truth, and the severity of the violation.

Forgiveness is saying, “I refuse to be in bondage to the offender.” It is saying, “I release him/her from my retribution and I will see no revenge.” And that is something you can do even while sitting with a law enforcement officer to report. Because reporting to the law and doing what you can to stop the violence against the vulnerable is the right and responsible thing to do. It is not at odds with forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a beautiful thing in the life of the victim. So beautiful that it should not be thrown around carelessly in such a way that it only serves to further traumatize them and increase the struggle. Through relational exchange is the best way to invite survivors into a journey of forgiveness and a place of freedom.

Leaving anyone stuck in a place of bitterness is cruel. And, sometimes, throwing teachings like forgiveness at victims without relationship or without understanding of victimization — or even forgetting out own journey and struggle to get there — does exactly that. It serves to lock them in more deeply than before because they have not yet had their pain acknowledged and have not had opportunity to grieve.

That, my friends, is why a careless command to forgive, or a thoughtless criticism of victims who we perceive have not forgiven, is never welcome in my space.

My goal is always to move victims toward healing. Jesus confronted arrogant religious folks boldly. He never did so with the brokenhearted. And until we have tended to their broken hearts, we have no business preaching at them.

Continued… (PART 5)

As always…

With love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2019

***

ANONYMOUS SEXUAL ABUSE SURVEY BY ANABAPTIST MEDICAL DOCTOR

Some time ago, a friend told me of a medical doctor (Anabaptist) who is doing research into sexual abuse in Anabaptist communities. To take his survey visit:
Anabaptist Medical Matters

***

JASON GRAY CONCERT:
NOVEMBER 2, 2019
Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster PA
7:00pm
CONCERT TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC: Here

NOTE: Due to the concert being the celebration for survivors of abuse,
we ask that any who have sexually abused as adults not attend out of respect

November 2, 2019:  THE GATHERING, held at Lancaster Bible College, is a place where survivors of sexual assault, together with our support person(s), collectively invite God into our grief.  It is exclusively for Anabaptist survivors of sexual abuse and trusted support persons to gather for a day of acknowledging the generations of suffering and sexual violence among us. We will cry out to God, together. Come as you are in your raw brokenness, if that’s where you’re at, or in your healed togetherness. We welcome you! The itinerary is simple. It isn’t about ‘who’ or ‘how’; it is about Jesus and a safe place to meet, to grieve and heal another layer, together.

NOTE: Anyone over 18 who sexually assaulted someone – whether child or other adult – is not welcome. This does not mean they are not forgiven if they have repented. It means victims should not fear being confronted with the source of their trauma on such a vulnerable day. Security guards will be present to remove any who show up and are identified as offenders by the victims.

Until August 1, 2019, registration for the day’s events includes lunch and attendance to the evening concert with Jason Gray, whose music had brought hope and healing to countless victims. Songs like “The Wound is Where the Light Gets In“, “A Way to See in the Dark“, Sparrows“, “Nothing is Wasted“, and many more speak a language we understand.

NOTE: After August 1 concert is included dependant on availability. Once concert tickets are sold out, registrations will continue until October 1 and include lunch only.

***

If you are able to contribute to Generations Unleashed and our work with and for victims, you may donate via PayPal or e-transfer to info@generationsunleashed.com. Or visit Generations Unleashed Donate.

 

(Part 3 of 5): Healing; Boundaries & Manipulation

…Continued from Part 2...

THE ROLE OF THE SUPPORT IN VICTIMS’ HEALING
The most profound gift a support person can offer a survivor or horror is listening without judgement. This is not the same as listening without boundaries, but I’ll get to that. Listening without judgement grants the victim a safe place to begin to put words to terror that is stored in deeply emotional context rather than coherent and organized story.

This means that story is going to be messy. You might hear things you later wish you could unhear. You might be shocked when the F-bomb slides off the tongue of a sweet little woman in a cape dress and bonnet. You might not know what to make of her anger. Or her admission that she sneaks liquor into the house to self-medicate so she can survive parenting and wifely duties. But you have one gift to offer: listen without judgement. The moment you judge, that door will close and she will lock up and not trust you. And she will be loathe to trust another.

Listening without judgement does not mean you listen to details you cannot cope with or stomach. If you are sensitive but want to offer care, simply outline early in the relationship what you are able or willing to offer. (In the next section I talk about boundaries and manipulation. This falls in the boundaries department). It can be beneficial to sit together at the beginning of the relationship and write out what is agreeable to you, what you can handle, and have it available to refer back. Keep that boundary firmly and gently.

Listening without judgement also doesn’t leave someone in a place of addictions. It means you offer compassion for the suffering that led him/her there, and don’t focus on it at the moment. When the time is right, and you have given them your heart and compassion, when you have spoken truth and purpose over them, you will have permission to speak into addictions and destructive behaviours. It won’t be about ‘fixing their sin’. It will be about caring too much to leave them stuck. It will be about empowering them to overcome, rather than condemning them.

In every phase, listen and care. And do so with healthy boundaries in place to protect their wellbeing and your own.

BOUNDARIES AND MANIPULATION
Abuse victims who are forced or feel forced to hide and bury their story learn to manipulate. To keep something of that magnitude under wraps, requires lying to oneself and masquerading as healed and together when really we are falling apart. Protecting oneself also requires managing people and relationships in ways that will prevent opportunity for hurt. To do this effectively, victims master manipulation. They have needs that they cannot openly address, so to get those needs met without being forthright and honest; they manipulate the world around them.

Exemplifying healthy boundaries in relationships with victims is not only important, it is critical and it is a gift. (It is also something I wish I had known before I started meeting with victims!)

One of the ways victims manipulate is through disregarding boundaries. They often do this in such a way that they play with emotions, and make the person whose boundaries they are violating feel guilty for keeping boundaries. For example, you may say to them that you are willing to meet for coffee once a week for 90 minutes, but they are not allowed to send you text messages about their trauma because it invades your life when you want to be present with and for your family. They may disregard this and text to say something like, “I’m in a really bad space right now, and I don’t have anyone else… ” Or, more extreme, “I might as well go kill myself. No one cares anyway.”

When victims send a message like, “I’m in a really bad space right now, and I don’t have anyone else”, they are really saying, “I’m not comfortable with myself in my pain and I’d really like you to be here with me.” Critical to healing is learning to sit quietly with our pain. It is easier said than done, and easier for some than others. It takes time, for most victims of trauma to get there, so be patient, but don’t cater to the demands. It will become a habit if you do, and you will find yourself sooner than later, unable to be present for them at all… unless you are codependent, and that’s just unhealthy. But that’s another topic for another day.

Immediately upon facing a severe trigger — especially when we aren’t aware we have been triggered — we don’t see it. Reaching out in a moment like that is likely neither conscious manipulation nor conscious violating of boundaries. It is reaction to trauma, and a desperate cry. And in that moment, reassuring the victim that you care and they will be ok, might be enough. Tell them you are not available in the moment, and encourage them to journal what they are feeling and send it via email in advance of your next meeting so you can discuss it when you get together.

Alternatively, with a newer or deeply traumatized client, I gave the option of sending a request to schedule another session between regular weekly sessions. The reality is if we don’t have boundaries, we will burn out. We will begin to resent the demands of the victim, and sooner or later we will be of no use to them, and likely needing therapy ourselves. With healthy boundaries, they grow stronger and learn to be comfortable with themselves and trust themselves again, and we don’t wear out.

When the message is “I might as well kill myself”, you have to make a tough call, and how well you know the individual plays into that. Most victims know that other humans will respond to such a cry, as well we should. Whether the cry is urgent or not, makes all the difference in the appropriate response. It is one I have never ignored, and never will. However, the way I respond will in itself help with healthy boundaries.

In the past, if the victim was a young teenager, I made arrangements to meet face to face, if possible, when such a cry came in. Families have called me to come sit with youth in that place at ‘all hours’ and I made exceptions. There is a fragility to youth and especially youth in pain. They do not have the experience we have, even by age 22 to 25, to draw from and know they will be ok. Their pain really is the end of their world, and they tend to be more impulsive. They are also (in my experience) more responsive to having purpose, hope and life spoken over them.  Once with them, I ask the typical questions, “Do you have a plan?” if yes, “What is the plan?… When?… Where? …. How?” etc. If there is no plan, we have a conversation to help ground them.

When such a message comes from a known manipulator, there is a time when the best gift to give is to call in and report a suicide threat. It’s not that the person isn’t genuinely tormented and wanting to die. That can be very legitimate in manipulation cases. The problem is when they draw others into it in such a way that it causes compassion fatigue (aka burnout). It’s a form of self-sabotage that in the end costs them more than one visit from police to ensure they are ok. I have done this, and in most cases – not certain if in all – I have told the person I am making that call. If it is a game, it will end. If it is a genuine cry for help and a suicide plan, they will be offered that help.

There is so much that could be said about boundaries and manipulation in victims, that a book couldn’t contain it all. For many it has been a necessary tool for survival, and learning to undo those patterns is the best gift we can give. In all things, we need to respond with compassion and care as well as firmness and boundaries. One without the other is not a gift.

How we establish those boundaries, and when we introduce the various steps in the healing process is a matter of relationship and knowing the victim. Introducing the ‘next step’ (not meaning a particular order) before the person is ready is not productive. If they say they are not ready, respect that. Their boundaries are important too.

And that brings me to the one hot topic that has been used, abused, neglected and confused…

Continued… (PART 4)

As always…

With love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2019

***

ANONYMOUS SEXUAL ABUSE SURVEY BY ANABAPTIST MEDICAL DOCTOR

Some time ago, a friend told me of a medical doctor (Anabaptist) who is doing research into sexual abuse in Anabaptist communities. To take his survey visit:
Anabaptist Medical Matters

***

JASON GRAY CONCERT:
NOVEMBER 2, 2019
Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster PA
7:00pm
CONCERT TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC: Here

NOTE: Due to the concert being the celebration for survivors of abuse,
we ask that any who have sexually abused as adults not attend out of respect

November 2, 2019:  THE GATHERING, held at Lancaster Bible College, is a place where survivors of sexual assault, together with our support person(s), collectively invite God into our grief.  It is exclusively for Anabaptist survivors of sexual abuse and trusted support persons to gather for a day of acknowledging the generations of suffering and sexual violence among us. We will cry out to God, together. Come as you are in your raw brokenness, if that’s where you’re at, or in your healed togetherness. We welcome you! The itinerary is simple. It isn’t about ‘who’ or ‘how’; it is about Jesus and a safe place to meet, to grieve and heal another layer, together.

NOTE: Anyone over 18 who sexually assaulted someone – whether child or other adult – is not welcome. This does not mean they are not forgiven if they have repented. It means victims should not fear being confronted with the source of their trauma on such a vulnerable day. Security guards will be present to remove any who show up and are identified as offenders by the victims.

Until August 1, 2019, registration for the day’s events includes lunch and attendance to the evening concert with Jason Gray, whose music had brought hope and healing to countless victims. Songs like “The Wound is Where the Light Gets In“, “A Way to See in the Dark“, Sparrows“, “Nothing is Wasted“, and many more speak a language we understand.

NOTE: After August 1 concert is included dependant on availability. Once concert tickets are sold out, registrations will continue until October 1 and include lunch only.

***

If you are able to contribute to Generations Unleashed and our work with and for victims, you may donate via PayPal or e-transfer to info@generationsunleashed.com. Or visit Generations Unleashed Donate.