Dear All, I asked Carol Christie to share her story with our website. Here it is in her own words. (Note: It took CTV’s W5 1 1/2 years to bring her story to the public eye. I want to thank them for all their work.) NM
When I escaped from the clutches of the Church of Jesus Christ (Restored) in March of 2008, I closed the door on forty nighmarish years. This cult-like community had been established in the late 1960’s, when Prophet Stan King led a disgrunted group away from the mainline, Mormon-based Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, convinced as they were that it had strayed too far from traditional, fundamentalist theology. Among the rituals King “restored” was the age-old practice of polygamy.
I was forced into a life as a church wife by my unstable and fanatically-religious mother when I was eighteen. When I resisted, and tried to assert my own dreams and ambitions to become a registered nurse, I was drugged into a numb submission. According to her, this was my “calling” and God forbid if I resisted. When I fended off the first sexual advances from The Prophet, I was beaten by a woman friend of mother’s, a fellow church adherent. That was my entrance into life a farm property near Sauble Beach, Ontario, where I shared life with the Prophet, his legal wife and family, and an eventual five other church wives and their children.
I was blessed with two sons by Stan King, and our unusual lifestyle, with all its inherent workload, internal bickering between wives, and severe personal restrictions, wobbled on. The Prophet, to be fair, turned out to be an effective minister,and the church grew in numbers to about eighty in this region, and branched out to encompass a community in India, which flourished and grew to several thousand. Soon, the group was to large to worship on the farm, and a basement chapel in a member-coulple’s home in Guelph accomodated worship. In 1982, seeking still larger quarters, the church purchased a bankrupt and abandoned Ski Village property about fifteen minutes drive southeast of Owen Sound, near Chatsworth, Ontario. There, Stan King’s cluster of believers met, and there he lived until his death in 1986.
When Stan died of a stroke, the faithful chose to let his body lie in state for a week, believing that, somehow, he would be resurrected. Finally, after the stench became unbearable, someone from within contacted police, who arrived with the coroner, but who took as truth the story that this incident was the result of a grieving wife who didn’t want to part with her husband’s body. It was one of several times when authorities who could have made a difference did not investigate thoroughly.
The mantle of authority passed to a new Prophet, Fred King, the youngest of Stan’s three sons,and matters quickly went from difficult to horrible. While his father had been a peaceful, outgoing man, Fred drove the group into a new era of sinister secrecy. Visitors were no longer welcome on the Property or at worship. The outreach church in India was completely cut off. And Fred began to invoke his own notions of faith…that the way to purification in God’s eyes was through chastisement and correction. In simple terms,that meant frequent and severe beatings and verbal abuse to any he sensed were straying from a strictly-defined set of beliefs and lifestyle. I underwent countless beatings over the next 23 years, and witnessed others suffering the same treatment. Most often, this happened in the middle of our all-night Sunday worship, when the offenders were brought to the attention of the rest, and all attending, including children, took in the spectacle of physical and verbal lambasting. Fred also believed in humiliation to bring about obedience, and often would make one or another “offending” individual sit through hours of worship with his or her pants down around the ankles.
Finally, I felt I had to get out. The final beating was so bad I thought I might be killed, and I could not risk another one. I followed my eldest son, James, in my quest for freedom…he had left the year before. To my continued heartbreak, my other son, Marcus, was brainwashed enough that he could not bring himself to walk out, fearing he would “go to hell if he did”. He remains inside, working as virtual slave labour in the Mississauga-based printing company which provides most of the church’s cash-flow.
I am happier now that I believed I could be. I am free! I no longer have an “owner”! I am not “property”. I had been warned that to leave was certain doom…that the world and its people were evil. I have found exactly the opposite, and have been overwhelmed many times by the kindness of strangers, almost all of whom knew nothing of my story, but helped anyway. Happily married since October, 2009 to John, I and he have been working on getting my story out, and making a difference.
I was the first of an eventual six plaintiffs to sue, and all eventually received sizable settlements.
We have written a book, “Property!”,due for release April 8, 2013. CTV embraced my story, and a year and a half of work with them culminated with the coast-to-coast airing of my story on W5, November 17th, 2012. Through the television piece, I have been made aware of other individuals and organizations, including this one, who are pushing for an end to this travesty in the name of God.
You must be logged in to post a comment.