Thursday, September 17, 2009

I loathe lukewarm fence-sitting whiners

Since discovering that my grandmother was a cult leader, in a late-night Google session just over a year ago, I've been emailing site owners on any home birth or private blog that promotes her book, asking them to stop. A few people did so immediately; several were impossible to contact. (Some of these are early geocities pages, with old aol email addresses, but they're still out there being all toxic on the internet, like the KKK's site or

But some women just don't want to offend anyone. Here's the email I sent out.
I am the granddaughter of Carol Balizet, author of two of the books you recommend on your [redacted] site. I wanted to alert you that several people have died as a result of following her extremist teachings (some during child birth, and some later on.) The reliance on faith she recommends in her books is nonsensical, requiring birth attendants and laboring mothers to ignore physical symptoms of birth complications and instead merely pray and take no steps to protect the life of the mother or the child.

Carol Balizet was a hypocrite in the end, getting a hip replacement surgery after telling her followers for years to abstain from all medical care. She has been classified as a cult leader by multiple cult experts. I've provided a set of links at the end of this email with further information about Carol, her former ministry, and just a few of the deaths that have resulted from her teachings.

I have written to you previously, to ask you to please remove your endorsement of her teachings.

I am begging you - please remove her books from your list of recommendations. "Born in Zion" in particular led to death of two young boys (one who died from medical ignorance immediately after his birth, and one who was slowly starved to death) in a group which came to be known as "the Attleboro Sect".

If you have further questions or concerns, I would be happy to answer them. Please feel free to contact me. My primary concern is with halting her message wherever I find it. I understand and respect a woman's desire to have her child in whichever way seems safest and most comfortable for her. But the advice given in "Born in Zion" is considered heretical by the majority of Christians, is medically dangerous, and has proven to be deadly. Please, please, please - take her name down. Don't recommend these books any longer, or else the blood of future children is on your hands, too.

With regards,
Angela Jackson

Further information:

If you would like more resources beyond these (including the several books on child death, child abuse, and heretical teachings that she appears in) I would be more than happy to provide them.
I'll give her tremendous credit for replying within the hour. I don't think I can give her reply much credit though.
Thanks for contacting me with your concerns. Yes, you wrote to me previously, and I answered you at some length. I told you that I’d consider modifying the statement, and I will, but in the process of thinking through exactly how to word it, your request was pushed to the back burner. (I am a very busy homeschooling mother of eight who is heavily involved with our church, my children’s ballet company, and a national writer’s group.)

It isn’t that I have no regard for what you’ve told me, but I loathe knee-jerk or hysterical reactions of any sort—either for or against a cause. I’ll definitely read the links you’ve provided and think some more on the subject

Maybe it's different if you haven't read every story, and followed it all the way from tragic death announcement, back through the history of the family, of where things went wrong - following the story through the legal battle, and wondering who I hated the most in all of this, Gig for teaching dangerous nonsense, or the fools who unquestioningly believed her. (Worst. run-on. sentence. EVER.) I just can't put this "on the back burner" myself. What's more, I don't see how she can think that there could be some sort of fence-sitting middle ground between "teachings that kill people" and "NOT teachings that kill people". (Fallacy of the middle ground? Law of non-contradiction? I don't know. I'm tired and annoyed.)

Certainly I reject the notion of an absolute black and white world, but some things are binary. Either you believe in a god(s) or you're an atheist (sorry whiners! There is no "I neither believe nor disbelieve." As soon as you don't believe, you're one of us. Mwahahahhaha!) Either Hitler was a monster or you're screwed in the head. Either Obama was born in the US or he wasn't - (none of this "Gee, there are still questions" you lying scum GOP congressmen). (Obama was born here.) (It's sad I have to take a whole other parenthetical just to clearly state something that every retarded second grader should know.) (Sorry if I offended my retarded second grade readers, but kudos to you for exploring your atheist side at such a young age!)

Ahem. Sometimes I avoid the most difficult topics with lots of asides and stupid jokes. Something about humor being a defense mechanism. I don't know, I was really bad at counseling as a kid. Mostly I just played with the cool colored water toys that every school guidance counselor seems to have. (I finally asked one counselor if they all ordered them from a catalog. She said yes.)

My mom told me earlier today she had to stop and just reflect after she wrote the sentence, "Most of the deaths my mother caused were due to this book, which is actually the mildest but which had the widest distribution." I don't know how many of my readers out there can non-fictionally start a sentence with "Most of the deaths my grandmother caused" or "Most of the children my grandmother killed". It's rather odd that I can. You might think I'd be used to it by now, but I'm not sure that I ever will be. What would it be like to be Hitler's child, and to live on long enough to hate everything he'd stood for? I can imagine it, at least.

I compared Gig to Hitler in my own head for the first time in fifth grade, long before I'd ever heard of Godwin's Law. Heck, I wasn't even thinking of it in terms of death. I'm not sure any children had died yet at that point. I just remember sitting in the back of the classroom during social studies, watching a black-and-white video of a short, stiff man talking to a crowd of thousands. I remember my teacher saying the word "charisma" at some point, and thinking, "Oh that's what it's called."

How the hell can you be wishy-washy on Hitler? Or my grandmother? Both are monsters, but one is still alive. I won't be sorry when she goes, and yet I'm sure I'll cry. How can you love someone that you know has killed so many?

(Life cheers me up when I find binary "That's what she said!" comic strips for my blog.)