Jump to content
  • Sky
  • Blueberry
  • Slate
  • Blackcurrant
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberry
  • Orange
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Emerald
  • Chocolate
  • Charcoal
Palimpsest

Botkin Alert. They are back on the conference circuit!

Recommended Posts

JermajestyDuggar

Audri Botkin posted this on her FB Page. I haven’t completely fallen down the rabbit hole but I will give a brief overview. This woman is on the run from her husband and his father because she has claimed her four children have been sexually abused and trafficked to others by their father and grandfather. She’s been on the run for 6 months. 

Here is the interesting back story of this Melody Bannister. Her maiden name is Strackbein. She grew up fundie and part of Vision Forum. She has a blog and for the past few years has written against people in VF. She’s specifically mentioned Geoff Botkin. Audri’s father in law. And Audrey is obviously in support of this woman. 

The problem is that CPS investigated and did not find the alleged sexual abuse to be credible. Therefore they ordered the kids back to their father’s custody. She has only been able to stay on the run from the help of others. I don’t know if these people helping are fundies or ex fundies. But she’s getting help from people she knows. 

For some reason copy and paste isn’t working for me on FJ. So just google Melody Bannister for more info. Or someone else can provide the link for me. But she has a blog called lady Adelaide’s realm. 

F9C610CF-703A-4693-BC3E-C0A326CB6D66.jpeg

Here is a screen shot of Melody’s blog. I think that it’s not just a coincidence that Audri and family no longer go to Geoff’s church and have moved away from the Botkin Borg and now Audri comes out in support of this woman who has been critical of Geoff in the past.

D65703D3-CB87-4EAB-857B-E0BC95EB722B.jpeg

Edited by JermajestyDuggar
  • Upvote 2
  • WTF 7
  • Thank You 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Columbia

That is absolutely horrifying. I hope this poor mother is able to keep her children safe long enough to have justice. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JermajestyDuggar

I did like this one part of her blog from a couple years ago when describing Doug and Beall in pseudonym. They are good fake names for them:

FF1976B3-1019-4B21-AC63-DBDBAABB58EF.jpeg

Edited by JermajestyDuggar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AnnaSofia

I remember @DomWackTroll linking Melody's old blog awhile back, in one of the Doug threads.

The abuse she alleges is.... really, REALLY horrific.

Warning, this stuff is SUPER graphic. Use extreme caution in clicking the spoiler tabs or the link below if reading descriptions of abuse are triggering for you.

Spoiler

What kind of man enjoys tying a little girl down to the floor and beating her with a bullwhip as he says, “You are fat. You are ugly. You are stupid. You are worthless. Nobody will ever love you”?

What sort of human being—over six feet tall, big and intimidating—will rape his kindergarten-aged granddaughter in the darkness of his barn loft, then hand her to his longtime friend to be raped anally?

What grandfather in the world would host a circle of his friends in the top of his big red barn, where his preschooler grand-baby is forced to give them all oral sex?

What kind of man would slowly torture and slaughter a screaming baby animal in front of his gentle grandchild in the middle of the night, blood dripping from his knife, simply to instill a paralyzing terror into her heart?

***

One particular child abuse session in Tuhl’s barn loft arena (and there were many of these over the years) included a greatly honored visit from Charles Simpson himself. My tender-hearted daughter sat crumpled in the midst of a circle of chairs filled with perverted old and middle-aged men. She saw the revered white-haired “minister” arrive at the top of the barn stairs, and one of the men rise to offer him a seat.

She remembers his sinister smile and cruel laughter (which haunted her dreams for years afterward) as she was handed a machete and told to use it on the child inside the circle with her. The men all guffawed mockingly as she wept and could not do it.

https://millstonesofjustice.wordpress.com/part-3-sadism-in-a-red-barn/

Melody thinks the children were drugged, and possibly herself as well:

Spoiler

Furthermore, the children have spoken of being given strange substances in the barn that made the world swim before their eyes and caused the taunting faces of their abusers to converge together in a dizzying blur.

Is it possible that some of those same substances were covertly administered to me on the evenings when it was necessary that I have an uninterrupted night’s sleep?

Because it was not uncommon, especially in the early years, for me to wake up and check on each of my sleeping babes, be it a toddler’s bad dream or stuffy nose, a bathroom visit, or a 2 a.m. infant feeding. Not once did I discover an empty bed with a child missing from the house. That indeed would have been cause for alarm, a call to the police, and a volley of questions. How would the abusers have explained away such a scenario?

I hate to say it, but it all reminds me a little too much of those weird stories of Satanic Ritual Abuse back in the 80s. And even if she and the kids were drugged, the type of abuse she alleges surely would have left some obvious physical trauma, wouldn't it?

I don't question that abuse may have occurred, and I can't imagine going on the run for six months with four young children without a damn good reason. It's just all pretty far out there, and I really don't know what to think.

Edited by AnnaSofia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mirele

Melody Bannister's children are aged 13, 12, 11 (the girls) and 7 (boy). So not quite so young. 

I agree, I don't know quite what to think either, but there are a few things that lead me to be wary of her story. First, I don't understand why she would file for child custody in Alabama, which is a state she's not resident in, and somehow expect to get a custody change there. That's not how it works. You can't just remove your children in violation of an existing court order and expect to get a favorable hearing in another state. And then disappear to another state and yet another and another and then expect your Alabama case to continue. The only thing Alabama is going to do if Melody and family shows up at this point is arrest mom and take the kids into custody.

Second, her story is vague. There are names but no places or dates. And she loops readers in by first accusing her husband, then her father-in-law (not sure if the marriage is still intact) but as you get in, she also brings in a pedophile gang. Again, she names names, but no dates or locations. I am not saying this isn't possible, but without concrete evidence that can be followed up by law enforcement, there's...nothing. 

And that's basically what happened. The police and child protective services investigated and found nothing. 

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/northern-virginia/authorities-search-for-virginia-mother-4-kids-she-abducted-in-june/2186883/

I would feel more comfortable about this situation if Ms. Bannister reappeared with the children and let them be interviewed by the police and child protective services without her in the room. The three girls are old enough, I think, to articulate what may have happened. 

I'm also going to admit that some of Melody Bannister's supporters creep me out with their talk of Satanic Ritual Abuse, which has been entirely discredited. 

 

Edited by mirele
  • Upvote 4
  • I Agree 6
  • Thank You 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AnnaSofia

Just to clarify, when I brought up Ritual Satanic Abuse, it was because the stories sound too over the top to be believable (like the 80s Satanic Panic), not because I thought the similarity somehow lends credence to her story.

I'm not saying there wasn't some type abuse going on there, but

Spoiler

secret pedo rings that meet in a barn, vaginal and anal rapes of small children,  beatings with bullwhips, and animal sacrifice?

And she saw no sign of these things until the children told her recently? They were lashed with bullwhips and she never saw marks? Raped as very small children, and she never saw bleeding, etc.? It doesn't add up.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Howl

I didn't realize that the 200-year plan involved a family business  started by the patriarch as well. Geoff is an epic fail in that regard; I doubt the sale of their books and DVDs contribute much to the family income these days.  If it were not for T-Rex Arms they'd be poor as little church mice.  At one point, IIRC, Geoff  was involved with some kind of group that was attempting to organize this approach as a business or structured plan.  Again (IIRC) there may have been a back-to-the-land element. 

Also, for the Bannister child abuse story, I'm getting crazy Satanic Ritual Abuse vibes as well.

We know closed off, homeschooling, homechurching patriarchal families can be a set-up for emotional, physical and sexual abuse, and those elements can be used as cover for the abuse.   Abused children can also close ranks and lie to protect the family from outsiders, especially the evil CPS. 

However, child murder as well as all types of rape of young children by groups of men? I can see how an undereducated, therefore naive and therefore suggestible fundy woman could be manipulated into believing this is happening, through the influence of another person and/or something she read about demonic possession and Satan. 

 

 

Edited by Howl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mango_fandango

“Phlanders” is a brilliant surname!!
 

I know so little about Vision Forum, the Botkins/Phillipses etc (except for Doug being a tool). Is there any way I can find out even a little bit about them/the basics?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Howl
1 hour ago, mango_fandango said:

I know so little about Vision Forum, the Botkins/Phillipses etc (except for Doug being a tool). Is there any way I can find out even a little bit about them/the basics?

Here's a nice starter from Christian Headlines:  What Went Wrong? An In-depth Report on the Vision Forum Scandal

There is so much info here on fj and other websites, but  this article seems to give a good overview of what Vision Form meant in the Christian world and a timeline of sorts for the implosion of VF and what lead up to it. 

If you're a masochist that adores walls o' text, check out Jen's Gems: Doug Phillips' Ecclesiastical Tyranny and Abuse  on wordpress: Boerne Christian Assembly Excommunicates Doug Phillips: A Response

Jen Epstein Fishbourne is a total rabbit hole unto herself, but keep in mind that Boerne Christian Assembly, a tiny rural congregation near Boerne, TX, was a critical element of the entire Vision Forum dealio.  

The Botkins, Browns and other families were heavy hitters and Vision Forum royalty, but Doug Phillips, Esq is the main character. 

Spinoff storyline:  Bradrick!/Brown wedding of the century ended in a marriage that imploded spectacularly after numerous children. 

Also, Doug Phillips' life as an auteur cinematographer and camera toting bon vivant  who left Vision Forum rules and mores in the rear view mirror post-VF  is a story unto itself.  Really, the whole thing sprawls like a multi-generational James Michener saga, but with idiots.  

 

Edited by Howl
  • Upvote 7
  • Haha 7
  • I Agree 1
  • Thank You 4
  • Love 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JermajestyDuggar

Melody’s Blog is an interesting read. Because she talks about growing up in VF. Her family is made up of 6 girls and 1 boy. She says her mother ruled the household and was very controlling but pretended that the house was lead by her father when in front of other fundies. They were not higher ups in VF. I always find myself the hierarchy of cults to be fascinating. It is often who has the most money. But not always. Sometimes it’s the ones with the most charisma and connections. The things she says about VF are nothing new. It’s stuff we’ve all heard before about DP and associates. But it’s still interesting to read these things from different viewpoints. Melody’s family seems like they are still connected with a lot of VF people on FB. I’ve often wondered how much these people interact now that VF imploded like it did. Is it mostly just FB? Do they ever visit each other? Do they talk about the Tool when they get together? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hane
33 minutes ago, Howl said:

Really, the whole thing sprawls like a multi-generational James Michener saga, but with idiots.  

 

Madam, you win the interwebs today!😂
Also, thanks for showing me the reason why Lourdes is FB friends with Jen Fishbourne. 

Edited by Hane
  • Upvote 3
  • I Agree 2
  • Thank You 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AnnaSofia
2 hours ago, Howl said:

a multi-generational James Michener saga, but with idiots.  

 

OMG, I'm dying here :pb_lol:

This DESPERATELY needs to be a user title.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hoipolloi

Melody Bannister's situation is sad, though I agree with @mirele's assessment. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the marriage was an abusive one. She also isn't the first VF-connected wife to allege abuse of her children at the hands of her husband. A more believable, and also sad, case was that of Josh and Sarah Wean, in which she alleged that his corporal punishment of the children was abuse and constituted family violence. Josh Wean was VF's CFO.

The brother "Roderick" who idolized the "Phlangers" is Wesley Strackbein, a VF employee. Long history there of dedicated leg-humping and koolaid-drinking. It looks like he was Dougie's sidekick from HSLDA through the implosion of VF

Also, in reading the Strackbein family's own description of what they do today, I'm only surprised they left out duck biology:

Quote

The activities and interests of the Strackbeins are widely diverse and include entrepreneurship, building and renovating homes, filmmaking, playing classical and folk music and songs of the faith for family and friends, troubleshooting mechanical problems, cultivating vegetable and herb gardens, reading and studying history and theology (and then reading and studying more history and theology!), and actively drawing from and investing in the lives of their grandparents and extended family.

 

 

  • Upvote 4
  • I Agree 1
  • Thank You 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JermajestyDuggar
20 minutes ago, hoipolloi said:

Melody Bannister's situation is sad, though I agree with @mirele's assessment. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the marriage was an abusive one. She also isn't the first VF-connected wife to allege abuse of her children at the hands of her husband. A more believable, and also sad, case was that of Josh and Sarah Wean, in which she alleged that his corporal punishment of the children was abuse and constituted family violence. Josh Wean was VF's CFO.

The brother "Roderick" who idolized the "Phlangers" is Wesley Strackbein, a VF employee. Long history there of dedicated leg-humping and koolaid-drinking. It looks like he was Dougie's sidekick from HSLDA through the implosion of VF

Also, in reading the Strackbein family's own description of what they do today, I'm only surprised they left out duck biology:

 

 

It looks to me that her brother is still single. Which is probably a good thing. And her oldest sister who helped raise her 5 younger sisters only has 2 children and sends them to school. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Howl

Also, @mango_fandango, you can call on the fj rescue ferrets if you get too far down into  a rabbit hole, and require extraction! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
erunerune
8 hours ago, Hane said:

Madam, you win the interwebs today!😂
Also, thanks for showing me the reason why Lourdes is FB friends with Jen Fishbourne. 

That phrase made me so happy too ☺️

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kpmom
10 hours ago, mango_fandango said:

“Phlanders” is a brilliant surname!!
 

 

Agree!  And I'm going to think "Dilwyn" every time I see a picture of the tool from now on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kylolo
On 12/13/2019 at 9:28 PM, JermajestyDuggar said:

Audri Botkin posted this on her FB Page. I haven’t completely fallen down the rabbit hole but I will give a brief overview. This woman is on the run from her husband and his father because she has claimed her four children have been sexually abused and trafficked to others by their father and grandfather. She’s been on the run for 6 months. 

Here is the interesting back story of this Melody Bannister. Her maiden name is Strackbein. She grew up fundie and part of Vision Forum. She has a blog and for the past few years has written against people in VF. She’s specifically mentioned Geoff Botkin. Audri’s father in law. And Audrey is obviously in support of this woman. 

The problem is that CPS investigated and did not find the alleged sexual abuse to be credible. Therefore they ordered the kids back to their father’s custody. She has only been able to stay on the run from the help of others. I don’t know if these people helping are fundies or ex fundies. But she’s getting help from people she knows. 

For some reason copy and paste isn’t working for me on FJ. So just google Melody Bannister for more info. Or someone else can provide the link for me. 

There was an article in the local paper last week about these kids being spotted in my city. 

I don’t know the truth obviously but the mother doesn’t seem to be the clearly stable one, either.

Edited by Kylolo
Eliminate double word choice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
apandaaries
5 hours ago, Kylolo said:

There was an article in the local paper last week about these kids being spotted in my city. 

I don’t know the truth obviously but the mother doesn’t seem to be the clearly stable one, either.

Any links to share? Por favor?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Banyan
On 12/15/2019 at 7:23 PM, Kylolo said:

There was an article in the local paper last week about these kids being spotted in my city. 

I don’t know the truth obviously but the mother doesn’t seem to be the clearly stable one, either.

In light of what Melody Bannister grew up with is it reasonable for anyone to actually expect her to be "stable"? She's blogged extensively about her forced indoctrination in a "shepherding" cult and subsequent escape. Even if she's not stable (although that's not at all what two licensed therapists have said of her) that wouldn't of itself be a reasonable basis to discredit her allegations of child abuse by her husband and father-in-law.

Now it's also more than just her own testimony of what her children have allegedly told her. There's also a disinterested third party's testimony, Tim Yarbrough. To me he seems credible.

Not to be missed is Dr. Carol Lieberman's "Mom and Kids Flee for Their Lives from Sex Traffickers!"

This is a pretty major story that warrants its own dedicated FJ thread.

Edited by Banyan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Banyan
On 12/13/2019 at 8:28 PM, JermajestyDuggar said:

Here is the interesting back story of this Melody Bannister. Her maiden name is Strackbein. She grew up fundie and part of Vision Forum. She has a blog and for the past few years has written against people in VF. She’s specifically mentioned Geoff Botkin. Audri’s father in law. And Audrey is obviously in support of this woman. 

Melody Strackbein-Bannister used to write for Recovering Daughters, which seems to have gone offline for some reason 😞. Still in the Wayback Machine though. It seems she was less than enthusiastic with the Vision Forum stuff and took quite a bit of grief from mom for her “independent spirit.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marian the Librarian

[Agree that the Melody Strackbein-Bannister story is big enough for its own thread.]

Meanwhile, back at the Botkin Ranch...new post on Anna-Sofia's FB page! Big sis kvells about baby brother Lucas receiving "Young Entrepreneur of the Year" award from the Hickman County Chamber of Commerce. Picture is only available to the Select, but a mosey over to Hickman Co. CofC's FB photos yields these...and so much more!! Such an adoring sisterly gaze...

Screen Shot 2019-12-23 at 10.41.08 AM.png

Screen Shot 2019-12-23 at 10.42.43 AM.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thoughtful
Spoiler

1067733232_Botkin-ASenormousescissors.png.ffadaa0d46bbaf94721aaf267df8e510.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.