RAPED FOR GOD - PATRIARCHY & the PEOPLE OF PRAISE - Coral Anika Theill INTERVIEW
"During my marriage I was required to be a "helpmeet" in a world like the one from
My abusive husband and the PEOPLE OF PRAISE COMMUNITY leaders used coercive control, isolation and intimidation tactics and to strip me of my personhood, safety and freedoms as a United States citizen.
I have lived under a state address protection program from my abusive ex-husband,
Marty Warner, Independence, Oregon since 1999.
"My case speaks loudly of the insidious crimes that are legally permitted and condoned under the guise of church and state-sanctioned domination of males in marriage. The message that the current judicial system gives to many domestic violence and rape victims is that they are not worthy, and that no one cares. Our culture of shaming and victim blaming needs to stop. Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson has written of my story, “'BONSHEA' also illustrates the degree to which the legal system can also be used as a vehicle to further perpetuate abuse even after the victim has chosen to take a stand against the abuse.
"What I learned through these past few decades is that domestic violence, rape, child abuse and child sexual molestation is socially acceptable in our society and often in many church settings. This needs to change!
"Victims often suffer in silence in a world that prefers a 'convenience' of blissful ignorance than a confrontation with dark truth. I will not stay silent so you can be comfortable."
"The judicial system acts as the conscience of this country but we know, in most cases, that is not what happens. Those with money and power control the narrative, silence the truth and thwart justice. I want my good name restored."
"After the traumas of childhood, twenty years of subjugation to Mr. Warner and his extreme religious views, a breakdown and rapes by my husband, the treatment by the courts was a final outrage. Marital and ritual abuse evolved into legal abuse.
"I choose to not participate in the silence that protects perpetrators and isolates survivors." - Coral Anika Theill
RAPED FOR GOD - PATRIARCHY & the PEOPLE OF PRAISE: "It's an unsparing look at the depravity, rape, violence, gaslighting and abuse that are not only possible, but rampant within America's Catholic / fundamentalist cults. The harrowing story is told by a 20-year survivor of Oregon's culture of patriarchal "pro-life" extremism, which is fueled by a fanatical desire to dehumanize and oppress women, at any cost.
"You simply won't believe the things it's possible for one human being to endure. Then you'll be devastated and outraged that this kind of story can be the rule, rather than the exception, in America, even in 2021.
When you hear the phrase "religious freedom," recognize that it's nearly always code for denial of human rights. It preserves a system in which domineering, self-centered, power hungry religious zealot men routinely use a woman's children as hostages to keep them under control. They're getting away with it, because of a complicit legal system, that favors the Christian patriarchy.
"Don't look away." - Christophe Difo and Sean Prophet, Secular Radical Podcast Hosts
BY CHRISTOPHE DIFO - IF KIDS WERE RAPED BY CLOWNS AS OFTEN AS THEY ARE BY PRIESTS, IT’D BE ILLEGAL TO TAKE KIDS TO THE CIRCUS Yesterday, Sean Prophet and I interviewed Coral Anika Theill about her experience in the People of Praise cult (among other cults). To say that Coral's experience was harrowing is to grossly understate the severity of that experience. People of Praise is the cult of which Amy Coney Barrett is (or was) a part. Some of you might remember Coral as the woman who Senator Lindsey Graham refused to allow to testify at Barrett's confirmation hearing. I understand that this meme offends some of you. I understand also that some of you who are offended are progressives who agree with me on most things. But if this meme offends you, ask yourself why the underlying conduct, and the civilization-wide apparatuses that support it (both explicitly and implicitly), or that turn blind eyes to it, don't offend you more. Why does the pedophile in the windowless, white van go to prison while the pedophile in the white priest's robe goes free? Why do we progressives bemoan the GOP's unwillingness to hold trump accountable and then shrug our collective shoulders when yet another pedophilia scandal wracks the Catholic Church? That discrepancy in ethical clarity is what The Radical Secular is all about. I've rarely been as motivated to fight injustice as I am after our interview with this unbelievably courageous and resilient person. I'm honored that she was willing to share her experience with us at The Radical Secular. Certainly, her testimony elucidates why we at The Radical Secular aim, explicitly, to take religion off of the exclusive pedestal it occupies in human culture. It does not deserve to be there for all the reasons we discuss in this episode.
Our interview with Coral will be available at noon eastern at https://www.theradicalsecular.com/podcast, on YouTube, and wherever you get your podcasts. We will never stop fighting.
INTRODUCTION for October 2021 publication of Coral Anika Theill's memoir, BONSHEA Making Light of the Dark by Christophe Difo, J.D., and Sean Prophet
Christian Fundamentalism and Patriarchy vs. Freedom, Justice and Equality
EXCERPT: “Our relationship with Coral began in September of 2020, just days after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. It had become clear that Amy Coney Barrett would be then President Donald J. Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Ginsberg on the bench. Coral was working fervently to derail Barrett’s confirmation, expressing publicly and passionately, the harrowing story of her time in People of Praise, and sounding the alarm that Barrett had been a prominent member of the same organization. Coral’s experiences at the hands of her tormentors, including members of the People of Praise, are heinous enough to disturb even the most seasoned social worker. The atrocities include serial rape, kidnapping, domestic assault, involuntary servitude, ritual humiliation, denial of medical care, financial exploitation, social ostracism, psychological torture, and disinheritance. For Coral, all of that immeasurable suffering pales in comparison to the agony she has endured as a result of her court-mandated separation and emotional alienation from her eight children. There is no language sufficient to express the extent of the physical and psychological suffering Coral has endured in the name of religion. The only thing that’s more shocking than Coral’s experience is that she survived it. We were drawn to Coral's story with both fascination and outrage. We were grateful and humbled when she accepted our invitation to appear as a guest on our show, The Radical Secular Podcast. We found her to be unbroken, unbowed, and unapologetic. She shared her story with courage and conviction and each grotesque new revelation pushed our jaws ever-closer to the floor.
We launched The Radical Secular Podcast in part to explore and expose the sorts of destructive hierarchies which animate Coral’s story. Our conversations with Coral have hardened our resolve to sound the alarm about creeping theocracy, and they have reminded us to count our comparative blessings. Our interview with Coral titled, Raped for God: The People of Praise, aired on February 15, 2021. The frightening implications of Christian fundamentalism’s infiltration of the highest court in the land motivated Coral to publish this new edition of her memoir. Every person who begins reading this defiant chronicle of Coral’s experience under the lash of Christian fundamentalism will emerge deeply concerned for the future of justice, equality, and freedom, including religious freedom, under the United States Constitution.
Coral has suffered under The American Christian Power Apparatus [ACPA’s] moral hierarchy in a manner so intimate and so cruel as to be nearly unfathomable. Her soul-baring story pierces the darkness of that theocracy and illuminates the desperate place where millions of women and girls suffer every day, in conditions that can only be described as slavery. Coral’s testimony gives those victims a voice. Her triumph and escape gives them hope.
The story you are about to read challenges each of us, especially those of us whose day-to-day lives are not obviously impacted by patriarchy and theocracy, to examine the role we play, perhaps unintentionally, in perpetuating the system of Christian privilege that inheres in patriarchy and theocracy. “American Christianity isn’t a faith or religion,” Coral confided to us in an interview, “it’s a crime syndicate.” “The Polk County Sheriffs were chasing me like I was an escaped slave. Society accepts this,” she continued. “Society accepts what they did to me. I tell every woman who buys my book and likes my story, and who is still a Christian, I can’t help you. [You] are a part of it. [You] are helping the Patriarchy. [You] women are my oppressors.”
Danelle Givner, LSW
Coral, I was already familiar with your story after reading your book, but hearing it from you personally was very powerful. You did so well by sharing your story with clarity and complete honesty. You spoke so eloquently and there is an understated elegance about you. The ability to use your very strong voice in a gentle way is such an incredibly admirable attribute. I was also watching the reactions of the interviewers and Chris, in particular, seemed at an absolute loss for words and had so much compassion for you. You are the bravest of the brave. Thank you for sharing your story.
"I'm shivering. I'm incensed. I bit back tears. Coral after reading someone's posts you think you have an idea who they are. Coral Anika Theill your posts are always so perceptive and fierce, laced with insight and power.
"But after watching you on this video I'm struck by how warm and lovely you are. You speak about the most horrific experiences with such stoic dignity.
"It IS all about patriarchy or they wouldn't have so desperately attacked everything that is feminine about you, you as a daughter, sister, wife, lover, and mother. I just love and respect you so much."
Leah Raher, Israel "I listened to this yesterday. You spoke with characteristic clarity and courage. It was an excellent platform. The interviewers were intelligent, respectful, sensitive and understanding. Well done Coral! I wrote a friend to recommend he listen as well. Looking forward to comparing notes with him in the near future. I am not a stranger to your story and yet it is upsetting to hear it every time. To me that makes sense. It should upset everyone every time. There are parallels to my childhood , specifically , having and not realizing I had a jealous , hateful mother. It is a gift to arrive at awareness , yet the inner child can not fathom it. We grow we heal we make real strides and yet, it takes a lifetime to overcome. Bravo dear friend, this podcast is a very important achievement. I hope many people listen and share."
"Thank you, Coral! That was such a well done but harrowing interview. As horrifying as the subject matter was, you were very elegant. Which speaks volumes."
"Coral Anika Theill I was very moved, in listening to your story today, by your clarity and determination to use your voice to not only tell your story so that we can understand what's happening to so many woman and children, but also to say to the perpetrators (both men and woman) that the time has come to refuse to keep their secrets. Thank you for your commitment to yourself and to the truth. I'm humbled by your courage and strength."
Coral, You have delivered and opened us to your hurt for all to feel and see. Your expressions shows the pain of many years my friend. As you were poised telling your story I closed my eyes from time to time. I felt your trembling from with in. Many can take your steadfast story to share with others as a tool to shape the lives of those in need of help.
"Thank you for be willing to go through the story again. It is so difficult and so very important."
"Coral Anika Theill I'm so sorry you're going through this. Keep speaking out! The cult of religion has caused untold suffering to women and families throughout the history of our species (both western and eastern religion). It's time people speak out about its criminality and refuse to give it any legitimacy."
"Coral, I am sorry, I am sorry that your parents were so unwell that they tortured you. If they couldn't say it, I will....I love you for continually showing me the light in the path..... carry on sister. Love to you!"
Dan Teeter "I have hot tears of rage, disgust and disbelief at the treatment you have endured in your life. The abuse of supposedly godly, yet demonically patriarchal people you have survived is beyond outrageous. Thank you for the courage to share it as it is a lesson for all of us as we navigate towards a free and equitable society. I will stand with you always in support of women everywhere. Everyone needs to hear your story. It is most likely far more common and widespread than we would think. Your bravery in its telling is outstanding and I, for one, love and appreciate the courage you have in bringing this to light. Thank you!"
Patricia Nolan Stein Thank you so much for sharing your story on the Radical Secular podcast. You’re helping women and contributing to the world in such a great way. You are appreciated.
"Wow, just wow!!! Coral's story is one of the most compelling & scary interviews I've ever heard. She is such a brave & strong women who has been through hell & back. Religion is truly at the root of the most evil acts imaginable."
"Thank you for be willing to go through the story again. It is so difficult and so very important."
Patricia Nolan Stein
"I’m in the midst of listening to this episode. Coral, I admire your courage and inner-strength. You are remarkable."
"Coral Anika Theill Absolutely chilling that people with these beliefs have infiltrated the heart of our government. So sorry you've had to suffer at the hands of a monster. "
Posted by Coral Anika Theill Handmaid Survivor & former member of
Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett's
PEOPLE OF PRAISE COMMUNITY CULT Author, Advocate, Speaker & Military Reporter Alienated & Erased Mother of 8 Memoir: BONSHEA Making Light of the Dary Reporter D.V., Rape & Ritual Abuse Victim/Survivor
Seasoned Resistance Fighter Contributing Writer for Leatherneck Magazine, "Short Rations for Marines"
& "RECLAMATION: A Survivor's Anthology"
BONSHEÁ – Yaqui Indian – meaning ‘out of the darkness into the light’
"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
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.
When you find your voice after so long....NOTHING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING CAN SILENCE YOU EVER AGAIN!
"During the period of my breakdown/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. 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
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
Photo was titled "Family of the Year" My 8 children with their father (my ex-husband) at my daughter, Hannah (Warner) Hart's Wedding in 2013, Independence, Oregon
Sadly, my older children followed their father's example and were also violent and hostile toward me. Judith Herman, M.D. writes about the tendency of abused children to cling tenaciously to the very parent who hurt them. Bessel van der Kolk tells us that people subjected to trauma and neglect are vulnerable to developing the tendency to traumatically bond with those who harm them.
"When courts blame victims and fail to hold abusers accountable, they reinforce abuser behavior, subvert justice, disempower the victims, teach children that abusive behavior is permissible and may even be rewarded, and reinforce the cycle of violence. Most batterers know they can bring criminal and contempt charges at no expense to the abusers, but they take an enormous financial and emotional cost on their victims. The result is that many abusive men drag on the litigation and file spurious claims openly acknowledging they are trying to drive their victims onto welfare or into homelessness; half of all homeless women and children in the U.S. are homeless because of domestic violence." - Joan Zorza, Esq., Batterer Manipulation and Retaliation Denial and Complicity In the Family Courts
The courts are an extension of our patriarchal heritage that views women as less valuable than men.
One of several address protection confidentiality program documents 1999 to present from Mr. Martin (Marty Warner) of Independence, Oregon and George Amiotte, Hoodsport, Washington, U.S. Marine & former unlicensed therapist for the Veteran's Administration.
Coral Anika Theill [aka Kathryn Y. (Hall) Warner] with her newborn son, Zachary David Warner, Independence, Oregon before I lost custody of my 8 children, including my nursing infant, Zachary, March 10, 1996.
Losing one’s children via family court causes inconsolable grief and a lifetime of psychic shock. Understanding the correlation between our patriarchal society and patriarchal court system has assisted me in my survival.
The five individuals, Mr. Marty Warner, Mr. Bill Heard, Mr. Brian King, Mrs. Helen Warner and Ms. Betsy Close, who were so adamant about my rights of motherhood being removed from me, were also pro-life and “Right-to-Life” activists and legalistic fundamental Christians. I found this ironic and hypocritical! (Fr. Oregon State Senator Betsy Close was a founding member of Options Pregnancy Care Centers, a private non-profit group in Corvallis, Oregon. Marty Warner was a representative for Oregon Right to Life).
“Most “pro-life” positions are not really pro-life; they are no-choice. Their positions are designed to protect traditional gender roles and patriarchal institutions and, specifically, institutional religion. The Catholic Bishops and Southern Baptist Convention—both leaders in the charge against reproductive rights-- represent traditions in which male “headship” and control of female fertility have long been tools of competition for money and power. They use moral language to advance goals that have little to do with the wellbeing of women or children or the sacred web of life that sustains us all.
My ex-husband's family fully supported him personally and in court.
My ex-husband's mother and brothers and sisters who have supported Marty Warner's decades of abuse of me [Coral Anika Theill, aka Kathy (Hall) Warner], before and after the court proceedings. They assisted him in brainwashing my eight children to hate and despise me, their mother.
My mother in law, a devout Catholic, Helen Warner, took care of my children while I was ill in 1993-1994. I underwent 6 psychological tests and passed them all before court in 1996. My ex-husband, Marty Warner, failed is one court ordered psychological exam. Judge Norblad felt comfortable with having Helen Warner, my abusive mother-in-law; assume the role of caretaker in our home. Mrs. Warner was in her 70's. She did not have to take any mental or physical exams. To Zachary, my infant son, Helen Warner, was a stranger. Zachary had never spent time with her. My daughters and her own children had been violently raped and sexually abused under "Helen Warner's care and supervision."
I was severely abused by my ex-husband, Marty Warner, and Helen Warner during my marriage and illness.
L to R: Bernie Warner, Tillamook, OR, Ed Warner, Harrington, WA, Peggy Warner, Snohomish, WA, Helen Warner (deceased, Ridgefield, WA), Marty Warner, Independence, OR, [Coral Theill's ex-husband] Donna [Warner] Bronkhorst, Snohomish, WA, Steve Warner, Everett, WA, Dennis Warner, Snohomish, WA, & Ray Warner, Vancouver, WA.
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. Throughout the years, I learned to value the horrifying scars of my childhood and past adult life as valuable raw material for soul work, that I was responsible for my life and could be a part of "creating my reality."
"The freedom that I gained when I broke my silence about the abuse I suffered I wouldn’t trade for anything. Once secrets are exposed to the light, they lose their power over you."