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Exposing Abusers & Enablers in the National Naval Officers Association


“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”― Anne Lamott

I will not stay silent so you can stay comfortable.

It is terrible for everyone when the truth does not come out.

It is terrible for SOME when it does.

I will be publishing this blog as a new chapter in the 2021 revised edition of my memoir, BONSHEA Making Light of the Dark. I will also include this chapter of my life in my documentary, website, upcoming speaking engagements and TV/radio interviews.

Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events, obscene disrespect and betrayals are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims. What you can't say owns you. What you hide controls you.

"Without some form of public acknowledgement, all social relationships remain contaminated by the corrupt dynamics of denial and secrecy." - Judith Herman, M.D., Trauma

The balancing act of trusting your own boundaries and recognizing where people are in their own development is a continual lesson in life. I always see the potential in people rather than seeing who they are being in the present moment. As we journey with people, they will show us who they are.

Today, when people show me who they are, I BELIEVE THEM.

Although I am only one small voice, I believe a "a single pebble affects an entire ocean."

Violators cannot live with the truth; Survivors cannot live without it.


Photo of "Wings of Love" half-way house on Killingsworth in Portland, Oregon where Coral lived in the spring of 1994.

Photo Credits: Debbie Dresler

"During the period of my physical collapse, partial stroke and severe post-partum depression in the spring of 1994, my husband, Mr. Marty Warner, and his Baptist & AME pastors left me at the "Wing's of Love" half-way house on Killingsworth in Portland, Oregon, to punish and "break me" (their words) to the will of God. "The house was a shelter for ex-cons, street people and prostitutes. It was filthy and infested with rats and lice. My husband’s debt-free estate, at this time, was over a quarter- of- a million dollars. It was a frightening experience during the period of my illness/breakdown for my “abuser” ex-husband, his Christian cult leaders and religious supporters to be in charge of my “recovery program.” Three months earlier, I had a D & C due to my 3rd miscarriage from being raped by my husband. I was helpless and physically and mentally incapacitated during this time due to my breakdown and partial stroke." - Coral Anika Theill, BONSHEA Making Light of the Dark

March 10, 2021

"Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer to the soul and a trait of a TRUE COWARD.

There is nothing intelligent about not standing up for yourself. You may not win every battle.

However, everyone will at least know what you stood for - YOU -" - Shannon L. Alder

Dear Captain Damalia Brimm,

This letter has not been pleasant to write. I have learned that you can't call things out and be people pleasing at the same time. Freedom comes from not being controlled by other people's attempts at false shame, blame and guilt.

For the record, this week marks the 25th anniversary of the loss of my eight children, including my nursing infant. I am honoring my survival by writing to you. I found my voice years ago and my voice matters. It was two years ago when the incidents of obscene disrespect occurred from officers of the NNOA Quantico Chapter.

The balancing act of trusting your own boundaries and recognizing where people are in their own development is a continual lesson in life. I always see the potential in people rather than seeing who they are being in the present moment. As we journey with people, they will show us who they are. Today, when people show me who they are, I BELIEVE THEM.

I joined the NNOA because I am a civil & human rights activist as well as a reporter for the Marine Corps, wounded warriors and military. I believe racism and misogyny are so deeply intertwined that they cannot be disentangled. We really can't talk or advocate about one without talking and advocating about the other. It has been my experience that patriarchy has promoted misogyny as well as racism.

In January 2021, I attended the NNOA zoom meeting on Leadership by Col. David Everly. You mentioned at the meeting that Colonel Christopher Shaw and LtCol Natasha Everly were given awards. Could you please name the awards and why they were selected for these specific awards. I made a promise to them in 2019. I am fulfilling that promise.

Presently, I am participating in a documentary series on my life story as well as numerous interviews via TV, media and podcasts. My memoir has been used as a college text for nursing students at Linfield College, Portland, Oregon. Recently I was interviewed by an attorney from the Justice Department, constitutional lawyers, the AP, Newsweek, Reuters, Politico, Guardian, Amy Goodman: Democracy Now, Inside Edition, news journalists from Paris, France, and dozens more media outlets.

My published memoir is scheduled to be revised and re published soon. I also have a follow up letter to be sent to the Commandant of the Marine Corps and have been asked by advocates, due to my expertise, to write Secretary of Defense Austin concerning his specific concerns within the military.

In interviews, I speak about my experiences as a member/volunteer for the NNOA and how it, sadly, mirrored the abuse of my past traumas. I am known nationally and internationally as a respected author, military reporter, advocate, speaker, domestic violence, rape and spiritual abuse survivor. My traumas include long term childhood rape/beatings and physical and mental abuse, kidnappings, torture and attempted murder during my marriage. I was also abused by evangelical Baptist Christian pastors, priests and leaders including AME - African American Baptist pastors. *SPIRITUAL ABUSE

"During the period of my physical collapse and severe post-partum depression in the spring of 1994, my husband, Mr. Marty Warner, and his pastors left me at the "Wing's of Love" half-way house on Killingsworth in Portland, Oregon, to punish and "break me" (their words) to the will of God." The house was a shelter for ex-cons, street people and prostitutes.

The traumatized person who accomplishes the work of recovery and healing has the potential of becoming more integrated and more aware and conscious than the person who has endured no blatant trauma and has never had to piece together a shattered psyche.

For the past 20 years I have lived under the Attorney General's address protection program for my safety. My case history in Oregon courts has been documented by physicians and advocates, including my counselor and mentor of 24 years, Barbara A. May, PhD, RN PMHP, Professor Emerita of Nursing, Linfield College, Portland, Oregon, as one of Oregon's most violent and obscene rape and domestic violence cases.

In 2014 Major Zerbin Singleton, USMC, President of the Camp Pendleton National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) asked me to write an article about "Leadership." In a twist of events, I have written an article about how not to lead. My experience with the NNOA showed me some, if not the worst, examples of leadership, such as:

My volunteer work for the NNOA from December through March from 2015 to 2019 included contacting 40 to 50 businesses for gifts and gift certificates each year for the NNOA Ladies' Luncheon under the leadership of LtCol NaTasha Everly, USMC. Both Gail Clement and LtCol Natasha Everly asked me to assist them in raising monies and collecting gifts for the yearly NNOA Women's Luncheon. I raised approximately $10,000 to $14,000 each year. The volunteer job entailed making nearly 6 calls to each business during that time - nearly 250 calls, emails and visiting each business approximately 5 times before the manager would make a commitment to a gift.

When I had obtained nearly 30 gifts for the luncheon, LtCol Natasha Everly would ask me to contact more business managers of spas, etc. I also made gift baskets for the event each year to help raise monies. I completed this task often without my own transportation and juggling severe health issues, full time work, and Oregon family court hearings due to being legally stalked for the past 23 years - 50 court hearings to date, etc.

Many of the donors were personal friends of mine who had previously read my published memoir or read my articles for Leatherneck Magazine and my many articles, written in a volunteer capacity, for the wounded Marines/warriors. They respected me for my twenty years of volunteer work in V.A. hospitals with wounded Marines from the west to east coast.

I signed agreements/contracts that this was an event for college scholarship only and ensured them that it did not INVOLVE religion or politics. My friends/donors are in support of my survival. They are educated about the FACT that the most dangerous people for a domestic violence, rape and child abuse victims to to turn to is the church (and members) due to the ignorance and/or arrogance of Christian pastors and Catholic priests.

Please read my memoir. BONSHEÁ Making Light of the Dark, for more documentation and/or watch Spotlight, Maxima Mea Culpa: Silence in the House of God, or THE KEEPERS, a 10 part Netflix series. You also have examples of rape of Marines by your own Chaplain at Marine Corps Base Quantico.

BONSHEÁ Making Light of the Dark shares my search for freedom and light in a society based on patriarchal religion and laws. It openly speaks about the ideas and beliefs in our society which foster sexism, racism, the denigration of human rights and the intolerance of difference. My documentation exposes the dark side of human nature when all people are not valued. A healthy society must have the courage to address these issues, speak about them, examine them and bring them to light. Indifference encourages, "silent violence"-the type of violence I experienced in my home, in the community, religious circles and judicial system. Nobel laureate, Elie Wiesel states, "The indifference to suffering makes the human inhumane."

Your leaders dismissed my pleas to reschedule the Christian speaker they invited without my knowledge. Since I learned of this unexpected change a few days before the March 2019 Women's Empowerment NNOA Luncheon, I was not given time to vet her as I had done for you to protect YOUR reputation with all the businesses I contacted.

One business manager was incensed at both Col Shaw & LtCol Everly stating that there is no such thing as holding an event for women's empowerment when you abuse and disempower one of your members. The manager of Edible Arrangements returned her gift certificate for the NNOA on Saturday, the date of your event, because she had no respect for your organization. I was working full time and had no time to contact all 30 businesses.

Wegman's managers were alarmed after I called them. They asked that the two large gift baskets they donated to the NNOA women's luncheon be donated to the local SERVE food bank. I contacted LtCol NaTasha Everly about their request and she texted me back stating that she was too busy and setting up chairs.

I attended all the conference calls. No one informed me about a fundamentalist Christian speaker and organization who assisted rape and domestic violence victims that was added to the program. I was alarmed and in shock due to my own life story of abuse by fundamental evangelical leaders and organizations, my expertise and the thousands of letters I have received from women who have been abused by Christian pastors, priests and Christian shelters/organizations.

Violators cannot live with the truth; Survivors cannot live without it.

I made a call to Col Christopher Shaw and wrote both Col. Shaw and LtCol Natasha Everly a letter to share my objections to this guest. I shared my research and horrific personal experiences including the attached photo. I saved emails, voicemails and texts from this unfortunate chapter of my life.

To help you understand - the trauma I experienced due to the religious guest they invited is the same trauma you would experience if someone invited a member of the KKK to one of your events.

I shared in my March 2019 phone conversation with Col Christopher Shaw about my advocacy for rape victims, both children and adults. I shared about Professor of Law Marci A. Hamilton and her work in proposing new Statue of Limitation laws for children and adult rape victims of priests and clergy. Sadly, the Christian and Catholic church lobbyists spend millions of dollars to defeat new laws that would help rape victims. I am one of those victims. Col Shaw mentioned that he was not political. I do not agree with him. Ignorance perpetuates further abuse and pain and horror. I met Professor Hamilton in 2013 at my book signing at George Washington Law School in Washington D.C. She recently wrote an article that included my life story in VERDICT.

"It takes two to speak the truth. One to speak, and another to hear." - Henry David Thoreau

I asked both of them to return the donations I had delivered to them due to their betrayal. They responded by telling me "no, they would not return the donations."

Escaping an abusive marriage is no easy task for many evangelical women, many of whom have pastors that say

physical and mental abuse is no reason for divorce.

Dr. Bergen writes, “In a study of battered women, Bowker (1983) found that they ranked clergy members as the least helpful of those to whom they had turned for assistance. The emphasis of some religious institutions on wives’ responsibility “to obey their husbands” and the sinfulness of women’s refusal to have sexual intercourse with their husbands, perpetuate the problem of marital rape. Most researchers of marital rape agree that rape in marriage is an act of violence—an abuse of power by which a husband attempts to establish dominance and control over this wife. While the research thus far reveals no composite picture of a husband-rapist, these men are often portrayed as jealous, domineering individuals who feel a sense of entitlement to have sex with their “property.”

My story of surviving marital rape was recently published by the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault to help raise monies for rape victims: ​ #METOO RECLAMATION: A Survivors Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault - Coral Anika Theill

Sexual assault is an act of seizing power. Reclamation is the process of claiming power back. Within the pages that follow, survivors illustrate the multitude of ways they reclaim their bodies, identities, interests, mental balances, finances, futures, and more.

I expressed to Colonel Shaw that well-meaning Christ centered organizations are the worse place to send a domestic violence or rape victim. This statement is well documented by authors, advocates and professionals. When I arrived here 15 years ago in the winter, I was homeless and living out of my car. I had previously been living out of my car for three years due to ongoing abuse and trauma perpetuated by Christian pastors, elders and my ex-husband. They did not agree with the fact that I had sought safety from domestic violence and torture.

I did not have the funds for the large deposit for a small apartment so social services sent me to several local pastors and Christian organizations that had a history of assisting homeless and poverty-stricken individuals. I met with evangelical, Baptist pastors. They interviewed me about my life circumstances and past. I answered their questions honestly. I was shamed, blamed and then told I must be in some gross sin for my life to have ended up so tragically. I continue to pray, "Jesus, protect me from your followers." I regret accepting their $20.00 "gifts."

I vowed to myself after these torture sessions by cruel men, that I would never seek help from any Christian organization again. My experiences are not isolated as I have worked in a volunteer capacity with thousands of abuse and rape victims from Christian and Catholic churches/organizations for years. While I lived on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, I met and assisted the rape victims of Catholic priests. The victims had been forced to live in Catholic Indian Boarding Schools. *Please read: SOUL WOUND: Catholic Indian Boarding Schools

To this day, I assist in consoling and supporting victims who have suffered at the hands of "well-meaning" Christians. I wrote in my published memoir, "Some people are so heavenly conscious they are no earthly good." I have also suffered cruelty from several of your Christian NNOA members.

"I believe our goal should not be eliminating religion, but illuminating the tactics by which it commands obedience and discourages doubt so that people can recognize these and reject them. It is more important that we all make up our own minds, use reason to guide us, and do not passively rely on faith or authority of religious leaders. Rather than keep our thoughts in captivity, we should set them free to explore wherever they wish - to seek out different viewpoints, to question fearlessly, and most importantly, to expose all ideas to the fire of testing. The ones worth being kept will survive. Humanity has a vast potential to accomplish things as yet undreamed-of, but blind faith will never take us there. If we are to become aware of the dangers that beset us and enter into a future where we can realize this potential, this is the way we must learn to live." - Coral Anika Theill, BONSHEA Making Light of the Dark

One of my favorite authors, Judith Herman, maintains that the function of domestic violence is to preserve male supremacy. Speaking specifically of sexual violence, she says that "it is a form of terrorism by which men as a group keep women as a group frightened and submissive. . . . Perpetrators understand intuitively that the purpose of their behavior is to put women in our place and that their behavior will be condoned by other men [and women] as long as the victim is a legitimate target. Thus, women live with a fear of men which pervades all of life and which convinces women that their weakness is innate and unchangeable. The legal system is designed to protect men from the superior power of the state but not to protect women or children from the superior power of men. It therefore provides strong guarantees for the rights of the accused but essentially no guarantees for the rights of the victim. If one set out by design to devise a system for provoking intrusive post-traumatic symptoms, one could not do better than a court of law.""

The first victim to come forward and speak out about USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse was Rachael Denhollander. After ripping bare the corrupt system that allowed Nassar to sexually abuse athletes for years, she’s now turning her focus on the church she looked to for protection.

Denhollander, who is an evangelical, saw a woeful ineptness in how churches counseled victims. Speaking to Christianity Today, she said the church is no place for a victim of sexual abuse to seek help.

Church is one of the least safe places to acknowledge abuse because the way it is counseled is, more often than not, damaging to the victim,” Denhollander said. “There is an abhorrent lack of knowledge for the damage and devastation that sexual assault brings. It is with deep regret that I say the church is one of the worst places to go for help.

“[Christians] can tend to gloss over the devastation of any kind of suffering but especially sexual assault, with Christian platitudes like ‘God works all things together for good or God is sovereign,'” she continued. “Those are very good and glorious biblical truths, but when they are misapplied in a way to dampen the horror of evil, they ultimately dampen the goodness of God.

Your leaders dismissed my pleas to reschedule the speaker they invited. They did NOT care that I had not been allowed to vet this Christian organization as I had done for you TO PROTECT YOUR REPUTATION with all the businesses I contacted.

I did not attend the event due to the betrayal by your organization and because I do not support the work of the fundamental Christian organization you invited without my knowledge. Before the event on Saturday, I suggested to both Col Shaw and LtCol NaTasha Everly to ask the head of this Christian organization to speak at their church, at your NNOA meeting or invite her for next year. The response was NO.

There was no win/win and no compromise. They were done with me after using me - just like an abuser/rapist. One of your former NNOA members sat with me the night I received their response. He was appalled regarding the NNOA's response and wants nothing to do with your organization.

I attempted to communicate my concerns with the National Naval Officers Association, but there was no response. I contacted the member who sponsored me to join the NNOA, Gerald Hampton, Oceanside, California, by phone, email and Facebook, - no response. I had called him in the past about the incidents I have mentioned in this email. His response to me was to dismiss me and excuse their behavior by saying, "They are young." Age is NOT an excuse for disrespect, betrayal, and abuse - EVER!

I gained NOTHING by my membership in the NNOA. I was there to learn, assist and help. It is my belief that white people must show up, speak up and speak out about racism and white supremacy in our society. This is what I do each day and will continue to do every day until I am no longer here. And after I am gone, my writings, my voice will live forever.

It is my hope that you, your organization, leaders and members will become more informed and educated about toxic patriarchy, domestic violence, rape and the #MeToo movement in the future. Local, state and national , as well as local business leaders, were also shocked and alarmed when they learned of how Col Shaw and LtCol NaTasha Everly treated me, a domestic violence and rape advocate, in 2019. You cannot sponsor a NNOA Women's Empowerment luncheon (2019) when you have betrayed, dismissed, shamed, disrespected and disempowered one of your members. Sadly, there actions may have been business as usual.

There is a saying that I understand even more after volunteering for the NNOA - No good deed goes unpunished.

I felt not only betrayed but traumatized. I did not deserve this type of treatment. My adopted mother (a wise black woman in Texas) and friends who have served in the Marine Corps suggest another reason I was treated with obscene disrespect and betrayal. Their insights are part of the underbelly of our society. I don't wish to believe what they have suggested but it is a possibility because I KNOW that the NNOA officers would NEVER NEVER treat their own friends the way I was treated regarding this matter.

When I was contracted by Colonel Walt Ford to write for Leatherneck Magazine in 2010, the first words he said to me were, "Marines lie." As a victim of attempted murder, beatings strangulation, sexual assault (twice), theft, stalking, threats and now betrayal, lies, slander and bullying - all by MARINES - I reflect on Colonel Ford's comment often.

After speaking with numerous mentors and numerous Marines about this matter (both officers and enlisted), I will be sending a blank page with the NNOA heading along with an apology letter to the 100 plus loaal business managers I contacted and signed contracts/agreements with, bankers I met with on your behalf as well as my contacts with local high schools from 2015-2019 to restore my good name.

I will be including my experiences as a member and volunteer worker in the NNOA in my memoir, documentary and interviews to help raise the consciousness in our society. It was necessary to remove myself from your organization as I do not allow individuals to treat me with obscene disrespect. Abuse deserves no privacy.

LtCol NaTasha Everly had some choice closing words for me. In short, I was thrown away like some dirty dishrag so your organization would not have to examine your own ignorance, arrogance and predatory, abusive and obscene behavior.

We are as sick as our secrets.

Unchecked power is a very sick drug. It is the same component that causes the epidemic of abuse and rape in our society, homes, workplaces, churches, schools as well as the government and the military.

Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events, obscene disrespect and betrayals are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims. What you can't say owns you. What you hide controls you.

"Without some form of public acknowledgement, all social relationships remain contaminated by the corrupt dynamics of denial and secrecy." - Judith Herman, M.D., Trauma

I believe the NNOA underestimated me, or did not care to know me. I have been working in a volunteer capacity for over 20 years per the request of V.A. physicians, psychiatrists and decorated and wounded U.S. Marines, per their request. For years I have sat with Marines who are suicidal and/or who have given up on life. They have thanked me and shared that "I saved their life." I understand a great deal about trauma recovery and healing and know how to sit with another's raw pain, how to listen, how to encourage and honor them by not wishing to dismiss their pain. I believe that vulnerability is the highest form of courage. Even one of your own speakers - a colonel - expressed this same belief at one of your PME's several years ago. We spoke for quite a while after the PME. Vulnerability is the opposite of arrogance, ego and ignorance that many military leaders operate from.

In March 2019, I sent a text to LtCol NaTasha Everly stating that possibly she would have respected me if I had a college degree.

My background includes pilot training, court reporting, home renovation, advocacy, writing and professional modeling.

I did pursue a college degree in 2004 while living out of my car. I was given credits for my published memoir and had hoped to be a social justice attorney. I was sponsored by the local district attorney in Oregon. I worked several jobs and received straight A's that year but had to leave college due to the many court hearings I had to respond to. My ex-husband continued to legally stalk me. I was required to write a legal brief for the Oregon State of Appeals. I lived out of my car for 3 years and have lived under poverty since due to my ex and his attorneys suing me for twice that I earn as an impoverished woman.

I attended a fundraising conference at Quantico's Marine Corps Marathon Headquarters for the NNOA in place of Major Travis T. Reeves. After the conference I sent an email with the information the Marine Corps Marathon representatives gave me to your NNOA officers. I immediately received a call from Major Natasha Everly insinuating that I had committed NNOA monies for the fundraiser. Colonel Douglas Lemott had asked her to call me. Sadly, the officers/leaders of the NNOA did not read the email. I did NOT commit NNOA monies. The email included documents in the event the NNOA wished to be involve in the future. I would never commit any funds of any organization and was confused that they thought I would do so. I was insulted by her call and their insinuation.

Soon after this event, I attended the NNOA monthly meeting and sat at a table alone. A male member of the NNOA sat down in front of me and rudely asked, "Why are you here.? What are you doing here? I did not know how to respond to him and did not feel welcome. I asked him, "Do you mean at Quantico or here at the meeting?" He answered, "At the meeting?" I answered him by sharing how I moved here, my advocacy and volunteer work with wounded warriors and volunteer work in V.A. hospitals from the west coast to the east coast, as well as my articles for Leatherneck Magazine about the Montford Point Marines, PST, TBI and suicide prevention as well as a published exclusive interview with Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos. I am a contributing write for "Short Rations for Marines." Proceeds from the book raised over $10,000 for the Semper Fi fund, wounded warriors & the Fisher House. I shared I was a volunteer with the USO and National Museum of the Marine Corps and that I had recently interviewed Gen. Walter Gaskin, USMC Ret. I asked him, "Did I answer your question?" He said, "No." To put it lightly, I was confused.

In the months that followed I was haunted by the incident and asked him if he had a few minutes (in public) to explain his response to me. He always said he was busy - no response. This is not leadership. I have copies of emails regarding this incident.

I attended an NNOA scholarship meeting committee meeting headed by Colonel David Everly. I was serving on the committee with Colonel Robert Clements. We were discussing ideas about raising more monies. I had been calling and visiting many of the local banks on the behalf of the NNOA and mentioned an idea that would involve making a few calls. Col Everly stated that my suggestion would take away from their family time. Great point. I was making nearly 250 calls per year for the NNOA. I wonder if my time mattered?

I will never forget a inappropriate comment that a female member of the NNOA made to me in 2016. I was attending one of the women's NNOA luncheon meetings. She learned that I had cancelled my trip to Oregon. She asked me why I cancelled my trip and I told her that I was too traumatized to travel to the state where my ex-husband and 8 children lived. (I had not seen my children for nearly 20 years.) She responded and said, "I don’t know what your problem is, Coral. Your children are grown up. *I had lost custody of my 8 children, including my nursing baby, when I sought safety and a divorce in 1996. Her crude comment traumatized me.

I shared her response with my friends who are advocates and mentors. They use her comment as one example of EXTREME IGNORANCE of how society further abuses domestic violence and rape victims.

The woman I am speaking about is an honored member in the NNOA. I am not. I later traveled to Oregon six months later. It was a dangerous trip for me.

At another NNOA women's luncheon meeting this same member also accused me of committing crimes. I kindly responded to her that her accusation was not true. At this point I began to feel UNSAFE as a member of the NNOA and wondered if there was some undercurrent of prejudice toward me. *Please see attached document about SAFE PEOPLE VS. UNSAFE PEOPLE.

Losing permanent custody and visitation of your children feels like being doused in oil and set on fire. Healing is slow and difficult. The pain never goes away. One doctor describes removing a nursing infant from a mother similar to castrating a man. I still wake up with night terrors. The memory of being forced to give up my children is a continual torment to my body, mind and soul. On March 10, 1996, I was forced, by an Order of the Court, and by my ex-husband, Marty Warner, his attorney, his family and religious supporters, to do something that raged against my good conscience, my common sense and against all my motherly instincts. After a temporary custody hearing, a Court Order signed by Judge Albin Norblad forcibly removed my nursing baby and two youngest children from me. I obeyed the Court Order and gave my children over to my ex-husband. I drove to the hospital, rented a breast-pump and later collapsed and went into shock. I could not understand what had happened and why. I have not yet recovered from the shock; perhaps I never will.... When I sought safety for my children and myself in January 1996, the Court allowed me to live in hiding with my young children prior to the court hearings, due to the testimony and affidavits of numerous witnesses. I retained an attorney and reported the crimes that had been committed against my children and me. ​The price for my own safety and freedom in 1996 was an imposed, unnatural and unwanted separation from my eight children, including my nursing infant. The injustice committed against me is not just the physical separation from my children, but the willful desecration of the mother-child relationship and bond, a sacred spiritual and emotional entity.

"Removing a mother’s children from her, when she has committed no crime, is cruel and unusual punishment. The physical, mental, and emotional toll of surviving the negligence, abuse and trauma from the individuals who are part of my story will last forever.

Although I risked everything to escape from my ex-husband, and in some ways I lost everything, I have never been more sane or more sure that the choices I made were the only choices I could make and survive.

Battered women may lose their babies and children, their homes, their friends and their livelihood. Survivors of childhood abuse will often even lose their families. Rarely does society recognize the dimensions and long-lasting effects of this reality for the victim. After over a decade of personally seeking assistance from advocacy groups on a local, state and national level, the advocacy system, as is, has offered me nothing.

Many mothers who seek safety from abuse are routinely prohibited from having even the most basic contact with their own children, not because they were unfit parents, but because they were outspent, out represented, and out-maneuvered in a court atmosphere that seems to favor those who inflict domestic violence.

I have been an active civil rights advocate for most of my life, a member of the NAACP and am a Board Member for the Montford Point Marines of America, Inc. and a recipient of the Lester Granger Award. I understand that African-Americans have reason to mistrust white people. I also mistrust many white people, especially racists fundamental Christians and Catholics. I lived in an all-black neighborhood in the south several years ago when our neighborhood was terrorized by the KKK. I also had the privilege of living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. I was an advocate for the children and adults who had been raped by Catholic priests while living at Catholic Indian Boarding Schools as well as Christian pastors. I was regularly stopped by tribal police, searched and threatened with jail until their elders instructed the police not to harass me, that I was a ‘friend.’ Due their traumas, Christians and Catholics are warned to stay away.

I have also endured my share of abuse while attending military social events. Numerous individuals (all African-American women and men) have made obscene and bigoted remarks towards me. At one event I was bullied and harassed. I left for my safety and was chased into the parking lot. I no longer attend the The Virginia Black History Month Gala, organized by William Jones, because many of the individuals who sat at the tables for "special guests" were the Marines and their wives and Navy officers who had abused me, slandered and betrayed me. I reported disrespect and abuse issues to both the National Naval Officers Association and National Montford Point Marine officers. Instead of hearing me, they dismissed me and gave my abusers awards and some were promoted!

My message to the NNOA Women's luncheon committee who betrayed and shamed me: “What woman here is so enamored of her own oppression that she cannot see her own heel print upon another woman's face?” - Audre Lorde

After years of being a victim of a smear campaign by the members of the National Montford Point Marine Association, I joined your organization in 2014 believing you were different and would be treated with mutual respect. I was mistaken.

The examples I have shared above are traits of cowards and bullies, not leaders.

From my experiences in the NNOA, many of your members are pseudo-Christians and pseudo leaders. Your treatment of me resembles how cult leaders act and respond to their members. I believe good leadership empowers people. Good leaders DO NOT WIELD AUTHORITY OR POWER.

It is my hope that the acts of obscene disrespect, dishonesty and abuse against me be acknowledged and resolved. In the event there would be apologies in the future, I want the apologies in written and public form from the Quantico Commander and the Board of Directors of the National Naval Officers Association. At this point, apologies from the individuals involved would be inappropriate.

I hope you and the NNOA will find evolved mentors and create positive changes.

I no longer embrace the ideological rigidity and doctrines of patriarchal religions and “fundamental Christianity,” but wish to help those who are being abused “in the name of God.” My social media sites receives over 1 million views a month. In the past 20 years I have received thousands of letters from trauma survivors - all of them were abused by clergy and priests.

After attending the NNOA Quantico and Camp Pendleton chapter meetings, I realized your meetings would be uncomfortable for my Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Mormon, Atheists or Agnostic friends (as well as many other faiths) who served in the military. Your meetings included opening and closing prayers that only served Christians and Catholics. The NNOA is not inclusive. *Please review PLEASE RESPECT MY RELIGION "Is My Religion Tolerant?"

Many of you would most likely tell me that you attend a "good church." I would respond by telling you, "I am the woman in the back of your "good church" who was abused and tortured by your "good pastor." I escaped and lived to tell my story. Due to my published memoir, BONSHEA Making Light of the Dark, trauma survivors regularly contact me. They share they were abused by the same pastors who abused me.

Next time, when you wish to support a domestic violence advocate, I would highly recommend you begin by treating your own member, a nationally and internationally known domestic violence and rape advocate, victim and survivor with some level of human decency and mutual respect.

I am a civilian and was a member and volunteer for the NNOA. I am NOT Col Shaw's and LtCol Natasha Everly's subordinate. I am their equal.

I’ve been thinking about what it would be like in today’s environment to be a “good” cop, Marine or soldier who believes in true justice, equality and the ideals of the Constitution. Peer pressure applied within a uniformed organization is intense and can be quite heavy handed. Go along to get along. Don’t be a rat. Stand with your brothers and sisters. It requires immense courage to stand up for what’s right against the tide of peer pressure.

Because of my life’s history I think of the 1968 My Lai Massacre.

Lieutenant William Calley led his unit in a slaughter of old men, women and children of a Vietnamese village. There were soldiers in that unit who simply went along to get along; did horrendous things they didn’t know they were capable of doing; and later regretted it. It was only because another soldier and his helicopter crew flying overhead saw what was happening and took steps to stop it that it ended. For doing the “right thing” Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson was not rewarded. Just the opposite. The military culture and its supporters made his life miserable for many years.

In the months and years to come, I suspect many “good” cops, Marines and soldiers will be faced with a tough decision just as Hugh Thompson Jr.

The National Naval Officers Association as well as the National Montford Point Marine Association already showed me who they are regarding addressing abuse and disrespect - shun, shame and discard the victim.

There are not always two sides to every story. Our determination to pursue truth by setting up a fight between two sides leads us to assume that every issue has two sides--no more, no less. But if you always assume there must be an 'other side' you may end up scouring the margins of science or the fringes of lunacy to find it. This explains, in part, the bizarre phenomenon of Holocaust denial, among other denials, and that river flows through lots of courtrooms.

After six decades of severe abuse and traumas as well as twenty years of surviving abusive Christian/Catholic clergy, leaders, members and cults, my experiences in the NNOA has left ash on my tongue.


Coral Anika Theill

Author, Advocate, Speaker & Military Reporter

D.V., Rape & Ritual Abuse Victim/Survivor

Handmaid Survivor & former member of Supreme Court Justice


Contributing writer for Leatherneck Magazine, Short Rations

I choose to not participate in the silence that protects perpetrators and isolates survivors.

BONSHEÁ – Yaqui Indian – meaning ‘out of the darkness into the light


Colonel William C. Bentley, III, USMC

Commandant of the Marine Corps General David H. Berger

SgtMaj Christopher J. Adams


1. Think they have it all together instead

of admitting their weaknesses.

2. Are defensive instead of open to feedback. 3. Are self-righteous instead of humble. 4. Only apologize instead of changing their behavior. 5. Avoid working on their problems instead of dealing with them. 6. Demand trust, instead of earning it. 7. Believe they are perfect instead of admitting their faults. 8. Blame others instead of taking responsibility. 9. Will lie instead of being honest. 10. Are stagnant instead of growing. 11. Avoid closeness instead of connecting. 12. Are only concerned about "I" instead of "we" (not relationship centered) 13. Resist freedom instead of encouraging it. 14. Condemn us instead of forgiving us. 15. Stay in parent/child roles instead of relating as equals. 16. Are unstable over time instead of being consistent. 17. Are a negative influence on us, rather than a positive one. 18. Gossip instead of keeping our confidences. SAFE PEOPLE 1. Value love - connection - have the ability to trust. 2. Value responsibility (take responsibility for themselves and value that in others) Neither overly dependent on others nor codependent - feeling responsible for others 3. Value honesty - ability to be known - transparent -who they really are.

4. Working on their own issues 5. Respond to truth 6. Have a good track record (may fail, but learn from failure and move on, are in progress of making a good track record even if this is a new beginning for them) 7. Can be observed and tested - see them in interactions with other people (test them with a small part of yourself, share a part of your heart and see what happens) 8. Bear good fruit in your life by being with them (encourage you to grow individually and in your connection with other people)

"I have spent long hours trying to make some sense of my life and have come to the conclusion that when horror overcomes us the only response possible is to remember what happened and tell the story." - Coral Anika Theill, Bonshea Making Light of the Dark

"To those who abuse: the sin is yours, the crime is yours, and the shame is yours. To those who PROTECT the perpetrators: blaming the victims only masks the evil within, making you as guilty as those who abuse. STAND UP for the innocent or go down with the rest." - Flora Jessop

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