From the Author: The following video is from a 20/20 episode where Frank’s Dad was interviewed regarding the abuse of several children in his church. These children, now grown, are telling their stories and Frank’s Dad basically calls them liars. – CNN – Ungodly Discipline (Fairhaven Baptist) Chesterton Indiana – YouTube
By: Frank Voegtlin(adopted son of Dr Roger Voegtlin Founder and Pastor of Fairhaven Baptist Church)
HUMILIATION AS ABUSE
One summer morning, when I was about 11 or 12 years old I was walking to the church with my father and brother. It was early, but we boys were excited about walking Dad to his office and then getting on to day camp. By this age we worked most of the summer but were given the privilege of going to day camp at the church for 2 of the 10 weeks, and this was one of those weeks. A vacation!
In passing, Dad asked us if we had brushed our teeth that morning. My brother and I both quickly answered yes. You had to brush your teeth two times a day, every morning and every evening, we always did. No big deal. A passing question: on to the next topic. We had already been talking together for several minutes now. It was a good conversation…..or so I thought.
At that moment my father looked at me and said that he had watched us that morning and that I had not brushed my teeth. My response was typical for a child that age. Oh, I thought that I did. Do you want me to run home and brush them? By this time (a moment) his face was red as hell and I knew that I had said something wrong. He called me a liar and told me that I had intentionally not brushed my teeth because I was lazy. A lazy liar. WHAP… right across the back of the head. I stumbled. Almost fell down or maybe I did; I can’t remember. That hit to the back of my head hurt. When I came out of my daze he was really yelling at me now. I was going to get it now. He took me to his office, pulled off his belt and started hitting me. 5, 10, 20 times, I lost count. This was the worse “spanking” that I had ever received to that point.
During this beating and talking to, I was called a sissy and a girl and was told that I was worthless and that I deserved a really good punishment for being a lazy liar. I am not sure how it came about but my punishment was determined to be to wear a dress to day camp. So my mom was sent home with me to pick out a dress to wear for the day. She did. I am sure it was a pretty one but time, and I am sure a brain block, won’t let me remember what it looked like. I put the dress on over my pants and came out ready to go. My mom asked me what I was doing with my pants on. You didn’t wear pants with a dress. She made me take my pants off. We then went back to the church and I was paraded around the office and made fun of. I was then sent off to day camp for the day in the dress with directions on how to explain my attire and instructions on not to swim so no one would see my bruises.
I spent the whole day in humiliation. Everyone made fun of me and I had to endure the ridicule.