Church of Wells/YMBBA Ministries

You are not logged in. Would you like to login?

11/06/2013 2:05 am  #1

Born in Zion

A woman named Carol Balizet invented her own ministry - Home in Zion Ministries. She wrote a series of bizarre books, including "Born in Zion" - a home birth manual - published by a Word of Faith preacher in Grapevine, Texas.,204,203,200_.jpg

From Slate Magazine

Balizet is a Christian author of apocalyptic thrillers who came into her life's work when she started attending the home births of women in her Tampa community as a "spiritual midwife." This practice became what she called her "baby ministry."
A handbook of assorted papers directing expecting parents how to prepare themselves spiritually for a Zion home birth—through purging the house of demonic energy and equipping themselves with faith-healing prayers—became a self-published book, Born in Zion, that sold an estimated 400,000 mimeographed and bound copies, often distributed at churches and home-schooling conferences where Balizet would lecture.

It was customary for Balizet to bring her very young granddaughter with her to the houses of her laboring followers in Tampa or daughter sects elsewhere in Florida. Armed with a five-gallon ice-cream bucket full of crayons, Jackson would wait for hours, and once for three days, at the kitchen tables of families abiding by Balizet's home-birth prescriptions. She estimates she was with Balizet for nearly 70 births before second grade. At one birth, Balizet brought Jackson into the room to "lay hands" on an apparently stillborn, premature infant, reasoning that God would better listen to the prayers of a child. Jackson put her hands on the infant, tiny and blue, and used the "prayer warfare" she'd been taught. The child, who had not undergone any medical tests after birth, started breathing, and Jackson's belief in faith healing was cemented. "I thought I'd brought someone back from the dead. I don't think anything could have solidified my faith in God more than that."

Balizet's teachings on home birth came from extreme origins, notably the Pentecostal Word Faith movement, and as part of her teaching she said Christians must avoid the "seven systems of Satan," which included banking, public education, government, and formal religion. Jackson says Balizet herself was firm only about shunning institutional medicine. She considered it a pagan religion, with doctors serving as high priests or "sorcerers," making sacrifices through surgical incisions and offerings to Caesar and to the spirit of secular humanism through Caesarean-section births. Four of Balizet's own five daughters were delivered by C-section. Adherents were taught that medical problems in labor were of their own spiritual making, based on causes such as insufficient faith in God or disputes between the parents. It was an uncompromising conviction that has been condemned by many conservative Christians who embrace other high-commitment lifestyles—like having extremely large families or living off the grid—but it also appealed to some of that number.

"She had a very low cost, word-of-mouth business and it fit really well with the Quiverfull or evangelical fundamentalist lifestyle," says Jackson. "The idea of home births and self-sufficiency and total reliance on God—all of those things already had a market." With support from Word of Faith pastors and a scattering of influential fundamentalist women's organizations like the international women's group Above Rubies, Balizet's monthly newsletter grew to 28,000 subscribers.

Over the years, a number of families suffered from Balizet's teachings. In 2001, a 31-year-old Australian mother of five died after several weeks of severe post-childbirth hemorrhaging and swelling for which she received no medical attention. (Above Rubies' Australian director told a local TV station that the mother's trials showed she had been "seeking truth and walking in faith.") Several children died as well, including two infants in the Massachusetts Attleboro cult in 1999—their parents followed Balizet's teachings to the point of severe neglect—as well as a toddler named Harrison Johnson whom Jackson had baby-sat during a "Born in Zion" conference in her grandmother's Tampa, Fla., trailer park. In 1998, Harrison fell into a yellow-jacket nest on the grounds of the park and, after suffering 432 stings, was treated with prayer alone until he died seven hours later.

"That was incredibly shaking for me. I knew this little boy, I knew his parents. I believed in faith healing, and the newspapers were calling my grandmother a cult," says Jackson. "The other incidents I didn't find out about until 11 years later, when I Googled my grandmother's name and the word 'cult.' And that's when I found out about the other people."
In the next two months, Jackson, then 25 with her own toddler son, rapidly lost her faith. She'd already been running a blog for Balizet as part of her work for the ministry, and began her own blog. Jackson is writing a book about her childhood in Balizet's household, tentatively titled Birth and Death: Life of a Newborn Cult.
"I like to say I'm allergic to secrets," says Jackson. "I grew up in an abusive and fundamentalist childhood, so secrets and lies were par for the course. I've made the conscious decision in the last two years to be open about that."

This is where Church of Wells gets its childbirth plan. It's theology. They practice "spiritual midwifery."
What does that mean? It's American Christian "reconstructionist": non-denominational extremist Christian that takes doctrine and lifestyle far beyond conventional evangelical religion. It's part of the Quiverful movement. Doug Phillip's Vision Forum.


We’re Home in Zion Ministries, and as our name may indicate, our goal is to encourage separation from the counterfeits of the world, and entrance into what is symbolically called Zion. This is a life TOTALLY dependent on God alone. We advocate home childbirth, home schooling, home healing, often even home churching, and  ther things which accompany a separation from the world and a return to the God-centered reality of the kingdom. We want to share the experiences and testimonies of the many, many families we know who have victories in these and other areas of kingdom life. We reach out to the "seven thousand" who have not bowed the knee to Baal."
Balizet states she has been "blessed to walk through a little tribulation. I have been hauled before magistrates (I was arrested in conjunction with the home birth ministry). I have been cast out of synagogues (church leaders said, "We think you’ll be happier if you go where they believe like you do"). I’ve been investigated by the HRS; I’ve been audited by the IRS. I have been slandered and cursed and insulted and you know what? I’s [sic] all worked out for my good."

Carol Balizet has had no theological training but reinterprets the Bible for others; she has been a nurse but has not had in-depth medical training as a medical specialist, yet she speaks and writes as a qualified medical expert on a wide variety of medical issues. Her writings clearly show that she misinterprets, distorts and misrepresents the truth in both these areas, with disturbing results. Her teachings, followed by women and couples around the world, are not balanced biblical teachings - they are Carol Balizet’s personal opinions based on her inability to interpret Scripture soundly and in context. She seems to have developed her own rules of interpretation - most of which are certainly NOT shared by the majority of Christians - from Biblical scholars to lay Christians.

A major emphasis in Balizet’s distorted teachings puts the focus on home births. But her home-birthing is with a difference. There is no medical assistance at all, for it is a heavenly birth, and not of this world. Instead of a mid-wife, spiritual assistants, who rely on hearing from God for instructions, surround the mother. These instructions from God seem never to involve physical assistance, and have even included instructions to leave when the labouring mother is having great difficulties. During the pregnancy the expectant mother is not medically examined, and the total emphasis is on a spiritual preparation.

She sees birth as a scriptural symbol. She teaches that the world we perceive is given to us to see the reality of the spiritual world, for God’s kingdom is behind the veil. Hence, God created the sun to teach us about His Son. God made a lamb to show us something of the nature of Jesus, and for the same reason, he made a lion. And so birth is an illustration - it is ’an eternal act, concerning an eternal being’, and it is also ’the means through which the female element of humanity will work out her portion of the curse in Genesis. Ch. 3’. It is also symbolic of salvation, that is, of being born again and it parallels death — ’from the womb into the world, from the world into our eternal destiny’.

"Our point of view is this: everything which exists or which happens in the natural realm is parallel to, and results from, what exists and what is happening in the spirit. We believe that both the causes and the solutions to any problem are SPIRITUAL. Like other midwives, we look for, check for and discuss possible dangers and take steps to counter them - the difference is that they’re spiritual. We do see a need for preparation for a safe and joyful delivery; we DO give prenatal care. The difference is, our attention is focussed on the spirit.

For example, having a home out of order, children in rebellion or a wife who is not in submission, can be a root cause (in the spirit) for breech births (in the natural). If there is something not lining up with God’s order, it is true in both realms. If the head doesn’t come first in the spiritual realm, the head doesn’t come first in the natural.

Or if someone in the family doesn’t want this baby born, this can cause the cord to be wrapped around the neck. That is a manifestation of a spirit of child death. If here’s been an abortion or a stillbirth in the past, we deal with the sequelae from that. Morning sickness is caused by a rejection of the pregnancy, etc., etc., etc. Many of the couples obtain a copy of my book HEALING IN ZION which has a section on "Finding the Spiritual Root to a Physical Problem".

During labor, we maintain this spiritual focus. A long, unfruitful labor? Could be pride (the Bible says pride produces a stiff neck, and the cervix is the neck of the womb - and the word "cervix" means "neck" in Latin). Ineffective labor can also be caused by words of opposition and death spoken by others about the couple’s decision to trust God. Excessive bleeding? Somewhere the soul life is being poured out. Delayed delivery of the placenta? God isn’t through yet; maybe there’s something they’re "hanging on to" which God wants them to release. I could go on with this kind of thing for pages, but this is sufficient to explain how our ministry operates."

"...the area of childbirth is full of parallels, and we are totally convinced that comprehensive preparation in the spirit realm will result in a perfect birth."
                                                                                   -- Carol Balizet, Born in Zion

These line of thinking holds the belief that women are punished with pregnancy and can redeem Eve's original sin through suffering.
Balizet made trips to Australia, where she developed followers. A Perth woman died after a Zion childbirth and several families have been prosecuted for child abuse and neglect.
Ms. Balizet has interpreted the Bible to mean that humans should not interfere with the will of God. She claims birth is a chance for a woman to have a close encounter with God and that no doctor should be allowed to participate in the process. She believes that God will heal people if they pray to Him and there is no need for humans to interfere by taking medicine. Her teachings have been linked to a sect in Attleboro, Massachusetts, which is under criminal investigation into the deaths of two sect children. 

►Morning sickness - the "result of somebody — usually, but not always, the mother — rejecting the pregnancy."
►Perineal tears - caused by "past defilements."
►Long difficult painful labor - "the result of the parents not agreeing with God about the subject of discipline."
►Hospitals have demonic spirits - "nudity, fear, pain, greed, lust, unbelief, drugs, death — these things are all abundantly present in hospitals, and it’s no wonder demons are there as well." Women who have had hospital births and their babies will need deliverance from "defilement and demons."
►Medical pelvic examination by male or female doc - submission to "a spirit of fornication and lust" and a "soul tie with the doctor" requiring repentence. This also applies to a doctor delivering a baby - even a home birth.
►The father is the priest of the home and the route God has chosen to bring healing and blessing to his children, therefore he should be the first to lay hands on his new born child and so claim his priestly authority over the child. However, when a child is "born in the system" [medically-assisted birth] the doctor is the first to "lay hands" on the baby and so "the source of authority is the doctor, not the father."
►Pain drugs and other medication - the woman and the baby will be invaded by demons of witchcraft and sorcery.  
►Medication and inoculations given to the newborn - causes problems with drugs in teens and young adulthood. All medications and drugs are tools of the Devil and linked to the demon or "spirit of sorcery - pharmakeia."
►Caesarean birth will release "a spirit of Caesar" which "is typified by despotic, humanistic man ruling without the Spirit or wisdom of God." This is expressed before the birth by women (perhaps influenced by the doctor) choosing the actual date for the birth of their child, instead of waiting on God’s time for the child to be delivered. This is a rejection of God’s authority and an example of people trying to be God. "Caesar is the name of the "strong man", the satanic high prince, over organisations and sphere of humanism." 
►Surgery is forbidden by God - "...there is always a spirit of sacrifice, for the shedding of blood and the relinquishing of tissue is a rite of sacrifice, no matter how righteous and beneficial we may consider it. There’s also a spirit of mutilation."
"In addition, there are specific spirits which are left within the body — sort of in exchange for the tissue which is taken out — and the spirits align with the specific organ which was removed or mutilated. For example, a hysterectomy will leave a spirit of barrenness and infertility; a vasectomy will leave a spirit of sterility."
This not only affects the body, but life in general. Those who have had hysterectomies or vasectomies, will probably experience barrenness and sterility in their careers, finances, and will probably be unable to make or keep friends.
►Medical diagnosis is rejecting God's authority and word, and trusting in the "arm of flesh" and leads to being cursed.
►Blindness, cataracts, glaucoma, detached retina, and other vision problems - "worshipping idols…sports - the events, the team, the stars…or persons they honor, like pastors or doctors or celebrities of any sort…"
►Warts are "rooted in witchcraft…The witchcraft might be inherited, or it might be active and deliberate occultic behavior."
►Menstrual disorders and endometriosis, and bowel cancer - caused by adultery.
►Diarrhea - caused by cursing others and showing no mercy.
►Arthritis - caused by unforgiveness.
►Nail biting - rooted in cannibalism.
►Hemorrhoids - "a judgment from God because of defiling and abusing the things of God."
►Mastitis - a 'clogging-up' of ministry or other spiritual activity."
►To expect God to heal, and at the same time to see a doctor, is to be "double-minded": "We can choose faith in God or faith in something else." To call on the medical system is to lack faith in God and "the consequences of not living by faith are profound. For time and for eternity."

So I guess their friend and advocate Jeff W. is not only guilty of worshipping idols, but then indulged demonic sacrifice when he suffered from glaucoma and sought medical attention and had corrective surgery? Or is it alright because he's a man?

Carol Balizet:

With no intention of being elitist or prideful, we are convinced that there is a holy Remnant being separated out from the Church at large, in the same way that Jesus separated out Peter, James and John for a slightly different walk and different relationship with Himself from that of the other disciples. This "inner circle" was with Him as He raised Jairus’ daughter and on the Mount of Transfiguration. They were His closest friends. And in light of this concept, let me say that one meaning of the Biblical word "Zion" is this place, this position, this realm of special closeness.
To understand a life in Zion, we can run down the list of "threes" and see what constitutes this Third Realm. These people - those who dwell in Zion - are behind the veil, beholding the face of the Father; they are Baptized by fire and suffering into conformity to His death; they are worshiping God in Spirit and truth from the Promised Land; they minister to God from within the Holy of Holies because they have surrendered, yielded, died to self.

This is the end-time army of God, the Manchild of Revelation 12 who is caught up to the throne of God to reign.

Cory McLaughlin and Dylan McCabe started this NRM (New Religious Movement). They "learned about evangelizing" and street-preaching from videos, holding weekly bible study and prayer meetings and monthly all-night prayer sessions.  

These videos would show guys going out and witnessing to people on the streets, using the Ten Commandments to show them that they are not good people.

Cory convinced Dan and Kristin Pursley that God was punishing her with miscarriages for not "letting Him be in control of the womb." Truly astonishing (and a bit embarrassing) that these very young men just out of their teens were able to speak authoritatively to their teenaged girlfriends and wives about women's health issues! Armed with 17th-century medical misinformation from the spiritual midwife, no doubt.
By then, the "Church of Arlington" had grown from seven to fourteen with the core group of men they have now: Ryan Ringnald, the Morris brothers, the Trudeau brothers, Salvador and Tiffany Martinez, Kevin Fessler, Jordan and Nickie Fraker, Masao Gonthier. Oddly, they never say when Jake Gardner joined them.  


Last edited by anon (11/06/2013 2:13 am)


11/06/2013 4:24 pm  #2

Re: Born in Zion

Daniel Pursley has Carol Balizet's book, "Born in Zion." And no doubt he has the Quiverfull movement books, Nancy Campbell (Above Rubies), Rachel Scott, and has probably taken Doug Phillips' Vision Forum courses, conveniently located right there in Texas.
This business is misunderstood to be a women's issue; simply about Suzy Homemaker and the virtuous return to staying home with your kids. That's not what it is.

The Quiverfull conviction does not follow from any official church doctrine. It’s a cross-denominational movement among evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants who have adopted some Catholic arguments against contraception and who have spread their ideas through the booming conservative homeschooling community.

It's about politics and national agenda. It's about Focus on the Family and James Dobson​. It's about building Warriors for God to take on 'the enemies in the gate'. Fulfilling goals of Christian domination in government and business at a national and international level. It's a men's movement. It's really nothing to do with women and motherhood at all, but really about the Christian Patriarchy movement.

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement 
By Kathryn Joyce

Kathryn Joyce's fascinating introduction to the world of the patriarchy movement and Quiverfull families examines the twenty-first-century women and men who proclaim self-sacrifice and submission as model virtues of womanhood—and as modes of warfare on behalf of Christ. Here, women live within stringently enforced doctrines of wifely submission and male headship, and live by the Quiverfull philosophy of letting God give them as many children as possible so as to win the religion and culture wars through demographic means.

From Chapter Thirteen, pp 158-163

Rachel Scott lectures frequently on the plague of miscarriages -

Woroniecki sent pamphlets to Andrea Yates, much like Church of Wells' warnings and strategies.


Last edited by Hythlodaeus (11/06/2013 4:27 pm)


11/06/2013 11:59 pm  #3

Re: Born in Zion

Christians must avoid the "seven systems of Satan," which included banking, public education, government, and formal religion.

So, you won't be collecting social security now will you? 

Fun fact:

 Self-employed Amish do not pay Social Security tax. Those employed by non- Amish employers do pay Social Security tax. The Amish do pay real estate, state and federal income taxes, county taxes, sales tax, etc.

The Amish do not collect Social Security benefits, nor would they collect unemployment or welfare funds. Self sufficiency is the Amish community's answer to government aid programs. Section 310 of the Medicare section of the Social Security act has a sub-section that permits individuals to apply for exemption from the self-employment tax if he is a member of a religious body that is conscientiously opposed to Social Security benefits but that makes reasonable provision of taking care of their own elderly or dependent members.

Hyth, where did you get that list of rules? I'm fascinated. 


11/08/2013 6:34 pm  #5

Re: Born in Zion

Hythlodaeus, the section above that lists the beliefs, is that in the book? I tried locating one to purchase without any luck. Some of the wording is almost verbatim  to what our son-in-law wrote in the first email to us in Sept, 2011. That my husband should be " king and priest of our home". That he was in sin for allowing a contentious woman to remain under his roof.  Reading some of that stuff was almost like déjà vu!


12/10/2013 6:16 pm  #6

Re: Born in Zion

Kjdean49 wrote:

Hythlodaeus, the section above that lists the beliefs, is that in the book?

Yes, it is.

When a teenage, poor, pregnant girl in FL pleaded with Carol Balizet to become her midwife for her delivery, Balizet hesitated, knowing her own incapabilities in this department. However, after much prayer, God pressed on her heart to accept this offer and help the poverty stricken girl. This was just the beginning. After news spread, her ministry as a midwife grew, so did her faith in the Lord. 
This book is a must read for those interested in home births.

Paperback, 189 pages
Published 1992 by ChristCenter Publications International



12/10/2013 7:02 pm  #7

Re: Born in Zion

by Jill Barrett

*Born in Zion* is a book by Christian "childbirth minister" Carol Balizet, who "ministers" to women during their home births. Balizet calls herself a midwife as well as a childbirth minister. Having had all of my four children at home, and having studied home birth and midwifery for almost eight years, I am familiar enough with genuine, highly skilled midwives to say that whatever Balizet's ministry may be, it is certainly not midwifery. Furthermore, while she claims to be a Christian midwife, her teachings on childbirth are thoroughly unbiblical and even dangerous.

There is hardly a page in *Born in Zion* which does not strike me, and many other Christian home birth advocates, as blasphemous, heretical, or ludicrous in one way or another. Therefore, I will just "hit the high spots"--the contents of the book which I found most offensive and patently false from an orthodox Christian perspective.                                                                                            
                     NAME IT AND CLAIM IT
The Bible teacher who seems to have most influenced Balizet's theology is Kenneth Copeland (79). If you take Copeland's heretical word-of-faith, name-it-and-claim-it teachings, and apply them to childbirth, you have Balizet's thinking in a nutshell. Like Copeland, she teaches that our words have inherent spiritual power. Not only everything in heaven and on earth, but even God Himself is a slave to our words. Our positive confessions force God to move in our favor, and our
negative confessions render Him powerless to help us. Balizet is constantly praising the power of God, but the god who emerges from her book is all but powerless-- hemmed in on every side by faithless Christians, the wrong kinds of prayers, sin, and most of all, Satan.

Balizet's deity is not sovereign. He is only in control of what Christians forcibly wrest from Satan and his minions. Limits are "imposed [on him] by our unbelief or by our failure to ask" (97). He is also limited by our sin (32). He does as much in childbirth as "He is allowed to do" (156). His will and power "are ESTABLISHED [sic] by our prayer" (102). "God is honorable never to breach the sovereignty of a human will" (43).
Indeed, Balizet's "God" wants to bless us. It is "not His will" for us to suffer complications, problems, and pain (130). But the sin in our lives just won't let him take our pain and problems from us. Everywhere there is sin, which Balizet calls "leaven," Satan has a "ground" and "legal right" (38) to make bad things happen to us. If we do not take control of a situation--if we do not move by "our choice" from "the flesh realm into the realm of the spirit" (151) and onto "miracle territory" (32)--then Satan has control by default. God hopes that Balizet and other spirit-filled warriors will take sovereignty from Satan, but at no time is He Himself sovereign over anything or anybody. Christian will and faith duke it out with demons, and "God" sits in the stands cheering for the Christians. 
How does this compare with what Scripture says about God? No one resists His will (Rom. 9:19). His plans cannot be thwarted (Job 42:2). He does whatever He pleases (Ps. 115:3). Ho one can stay His hand (Dan. 4:35) or turn back His outstretched hand (Isa. 14:27). His mercy does not depend on any will or work of man (Rom. 9:16).
Balizet does not worship an Almighty God. Satan is almighty in Balizet's theology, unless she decides to be almighty instead. 

                     DEMONS, DEMONS EVERYWHERE
Since Satan is so much more powerful than "God" in Balizet's theology, it stands to reason that she would be obsessed with demon activity. Balizet sees demons around every corner: demons who have not only the ability but the Christian-given right to steal, kill, and destroy. Territorial demons have control over entire cities such as Lakeland, Florida. [The demon who controls Lakeland is named Denominationalism (30).] In addition to our negative confessions, demons emanate and operate from the following: nearby nudist colonies in the form of the "spirit of nudity" (34); the ashes of cremated people (40); charms, talismans, and anything occultic (40); inanimate objects, especially any kind of statue or figurine (41-44); stolen property (41); record albums with "ghastly" cover art (42); owls (46); frogs, lizards, cockroaches, spiders, and houseflies (87). Unless you "come against" these ubiquitous dark forces with all the spiritual power you can muster, you are at their mercy.
The Word of God never even *hints* that Satan had this kind of power before he was defeated at Calvary, much less now that Jesus has mopped up the floor with him. Satan had to ask God's permission to hurt Job, for God had a hedge of protection around Job (Job 1:10-12; 2:6). Satan had to ask Jesus's permission to sift Peter like wheat (Luke 22:31). Without God's say-so, Satan can do nothing! I suppose some people think that the Christian faith is more glamorous with sovereign Satanic powers lurking everywhere that only their positive confessions can vanquish. I prefer to place my faith in the sovereign, omnipotent
God of the Bible.

                       BOSSING GOD AROUND
There are two ways to pray, Balizet says: "You can stand on earth and pray up to heaven, asking God to do something. Or, you can take your rightful position in heaven and pray DOWN TO EARTH [sic], commanding things to happen" (163).
Born in Zion is full of folks deciding what God's will ought to be (invariably what is easiest and most pleasurable for them) and "commanding" it to happen as if they were God Himself. Why prostrate yourself before a mysterious and majestic God? Why yield; why trust? Enthrone yourself in "God"'s place and "God" will yield to you! He is bound to your faith and must obey your pronouncements! He doesn't do whatever he pleases, no matter what the Psalmist wrote, he does as you please, if you are bold enough to name it and claim it! You want a quick and painless birth? Command it to happen, just as if you are God, and it will happen! (25, 163-64). Balizet says these are times when "you can see the power that created the universe flowing through YOUR veins and working through YOUR voice [sic] and there's nothing in creation that can stop you" (104).
With Balizet able to move "God" off his throne at will, it's no wonder that when Balizet offers up a prayer of thanks, she imagines that God responds by glorifying her: " ‘Thank you, Lord,' I whispered. And He spoke back to me. ‘No,' he said. ‘I thank YOU.' Glory! (55). 
But the Bible says: "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him
again?" (Rom. 11:33-35).

                        GOD TOLD ME. . .
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of *Born in Zion* is the subjective revelation--what Balizet calls a "word from the Lord," a prophecy, or a Rhema. I counted 34 claims in Born in Zion that people heard directly from God. Virtually none of these claims are verified except by another "Spirit-baptized" person agreeing with them. "God almost always confirms things in this way" [by believers agreeing together], says Balizet (88). In another instance, Balizet says that one Rhema must be valid because a) God would not allow it to be "brought forth" otherwise, and b) the woman who prophesied would not speak for God unless she was "very sure of the anointing" (5). In yet another instance, a mother tells Balizet that "God" told her that "if you had undertaken your labor in the presence of this statue [of Julius Caesar], you would have had a Caesarean." Balizet nodded. "It made sense," Balizet explains (47).
However, it is clear in the Bible that all prophets and teachers are to have their messages examined and tested *by Scripture.* If someone claims to speak for God, and his messages contradict the revealed Law-Word of God, he must be rejected as a false prophet, *even if he works miracles* (Deut. 13). Now that the canon of Scripture is closed, God is not giving new, special revelation. The Word of God is the *whole* counsel of God and contains all that we need (1 Tim. 3:15-17). If God was still manifesting Himself as a little voice in our heads, the Bible would become only supplementary to what we are hearing directly from Him. The Old Holy Word given to someone else eons ago, is trumped by the New Holy Word which is specifically for you in your present situation. 
For example, in one Rhema, "God" tells Balizet to abandon a birthing mother who is suffering from hemorrhage and going into shock. "It's a lie. Ignore it. Go home," says "God." Balizet takes her assistant and walks out, leaving the dismayed young couple to manage the birth (81). Whatever happened to "let your yea be yea and your nay be nay?" (Matt. 5:37). Christ taught that "Yes, yes" is sufficient for an oath or vow that is binding on believers. To say "I'll be there for you" is the same as saying, "I swear in the name of God that I will be there for you." The swearing part is unnecessary, so don't swear, just say what you mean and mean what you say, Jesus said. In the case of Balizet, a divorced woman, if she binds herself to an obligation, that obligation cannot be nullified (Num. 30:9). This poor young woman believed that she was getting a midwife to support her through labor and birth. But of course, God's Law about keeping contractual obligations is just his Old Word. It cannot overrule the titillating Rhema you received five minutes ago. As Balizet says, "You have to do what you believe God has told you to do" (23). 
On another occasion, "God" revealed to Balizet what was hindering him from making a birth as perfect as he wanted it to be. Some people were praying against the birth and stalling the labor. Could not the true God have merely ignored them and accomplished His will, if indeed a faster labor was His will? "For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it?" (Isa. 14:24). No, it was up to Balizet to "[bind] the power of these prayers" so that "God" could speed up the labor. We can also toss out Daniel 4:35, which says, "He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among all the inhabitants of the earth." "God" has given Balizet a new prophecy that she is in control of her own life: "The result of this situation is up to you. . . what you think, what you say, and how you pray will determine the outcome of this dealing" (160).
In another instance, a young father "speaks God's perfect will" that his baby be born "within one hour" and he is born in "exactly sixty minutes" (25). Has this man uttered a false prophecy, which under God's Holy Law is a *capital* offense, or can God not tell time?
Balizet also claims that God told her: "It is never my will to move those I love away from Life and Light and Love. It is My will to heal, to restore and to perfect. . ." (45). Whoever said this, it certainly was not the God of the Bible. Tell this balderdash to Paul, who gloried in his infirmities (2 Cor. 12:7-10). Tell it to Jeremiah the author of Lamentations. Tell it to all the saints who have been martyred for the cross: that none of their pain and suffering was ever God's will for their lives, but that their lack of faith left them at the mercy of Satan.

                          REALITY IS WHAT I MAKE IT
If it is dangerous to have a so-called midwife attending you in childbirth who believes that Satan is controlling your birth unless she takes control, and who believes that at any moment God could tell her to walk out on you, it is more dangerous still to have a birth attendant who believes that reality is whatever she decides it is. 
If Balizet is your "childbirth minister" and you suffer a complication of childbirth, she will deny it and rebuke Satan, whom she thinks is trying to manipulate her senses into believing that you are having a problem (80). She will also "rebuke the spirit of child-death" (93) if your baby is born not breathing--she has waited nearly half an hour for a newborn to begin breathing (153). Since Balizet worships a god who never wants anything unpleasant to happen to Christians, nothing bad *does* happen to Christians as long as they remain in the "spirit realm." But if they confess, or even secretly fear, that what they are seeing in the "sight realm" (14, 80) is real, then Satan has been empowered to make it really, really real (79). I find it interesting that when Balizet was arrested for practicing midwifery without a license--following another apparent case of walking out on a couple just before a birth, who later filed charges against her--she never once suspected that the courtroom or prosecutor were mere mirages with no actual substance or power to imprison her (157-62, 164-66). Seems that a threat to Balizet's freedom is more credible in her eyes than a threat to the life of a childbearing woman or her baby. On that ground alone, she has no right to call herself a midwife.

                           MEDICINE IS EVIL
As if all this weren't bad enough, Balizet believes that to receive any medical care whatsoever is a sin. It is yielding to the "world system" (167) and to the "arm of flesh." (84). 
Furthermore, taking any drug for any reason is sorcery according to Balizet (171). She refers to people who have never ingested drugs of any kind as "undefiled" and "virgins" (174), and incredibly, even denounces medicinal wine (170), which Paul recommended to Timothy! (1 Tim. 5:23). Several statements in *Born in Zion* made me laugh out loud, and one of them was this remark by Balizet's sister: "I don't think you can be used to raise the dead if you've just taken aspirin for a headache" (176).
Balizet believes that getting a Caesarean Section is a particularly abominable sin. All women who have had Caesareans have "the same spirit," the "spirit of Caesar," who is one and the same with "the Strong Man, the Satanic high prince over the organization and sphere of humanism" because they have "rendered their babies unto Caesar" rather than to God (48). In other words, women with Caesarean scars are idol-worshipers who are demon possessed.
I am trying hard to be dispassionate here, but I have friends who have had Caesareans for very good reasons. As dispassionately as possible, then, this is Pharisaism at its worst. Balizet is adding to God's Law and placing a burden of guilt on women who have had Caesareans.
      Balizet's superstition about who the Caesarean Section is named for does not overrule the testimony of Christ. Jesus Himself said that sick people have need of a doctor (Matt. 9:12), and women with placental problems and pelvic abnormalities are not sinning by seeing a gynecologist and having Caesarean surgery. "Woe unto them who call evil good, and good evil!" (Isa. 5:20).

                            TRUE CHRISTIAN MIDWIFERY
Balizet is not completely true to her own beliefs in attending births, and I am grateful for that. She resorts to the "arm of flesh" and uses a bulb syringe to suction out a baby's airways after birth (66), instead of casting out the Mucus Demon or some other such foolishness. 
In light of this, I do not see how Balizet can condemn midwives who do not just wait for God to shoot the baby into their waiting arms, but use their God-given gifts and knowledge to perform manipulative deliveries, to remove placental fragments and blood clots, and, in the case of complications, to make a diagnosis and seek medical attention. Does it really take more faith to exude a cloud of hot air rebuking demons and "speaking the will of the Lord into the situation" (81)--as if Balizet has a clue what His will is--than to use true midwifery skills to care for a woman having a baby? Balizet has done manipulative deliveries when "God spoke to her" (67). How is that superior to the real midwife, who considers herself to have standing orders from Above to serve to the very best of her knowledge and ability? 
Should God need to audibly tell us to give physical assistance to someone who is physically suffering or in danger, when we have agreed to help that person? What is the difference between dismissing the needy with "be warmed and be filled" (James 2:16) and telling a woman having a baby that she isn't really hurting, isn't really bleeding, isn't really at risk--and that she should examine her life carefully for sin that might be keeping God from intervening in her birth? What a Job's comforter Balizet turns out to be! How uncharitable her charity!

It will be regrettable if Zion Birth becomes everyone's idea of Christian midwifery. It isn't Christian, and it isn't midwifery.

A Testimony

Dear Charity,

I just read the article about the book, "Born in Zion". If only I had read it a month ago. A little baby might be alive tonight.

In the early morning last week my friend went into labor with her 5th child. She has had all the other children at home also but with a midwife present. No complications. This was to be her first "Born in Zion" birth.
Let me back up and say that a couple of weeks earlier she had had an episode of bleeding. She thought her water had broken. It was blood. She lost a lot of blood but after a few hours, and a lot of praying, the bleeding stopped. From the morning her labor began until early the following morning she labored, lost enormous amounts of blood and slipped in and out of consciousness. She also passed clots. No one did anything but pray and command. The little baby was born finally after more than 24 hours combined labor and pushing and never took a breath.

I have been devastated by this and tormented by it. I love my friend and her husband both but I feel that their baby died as a result of their choosing to respond to this with prayers and not to go to the hospital. I do not blame them. They have been deceived into following false doctrine by the book, "Born In Zion". I am not opposed to homebirthing. I have had several children at home myself. But to tell people that even in a clear medical emergency they cannot seek medical care is outrageous.

Carol Balizet persuades people that going to the hospital would be delivering up the woman and child to Satan. That it would be double-minded. Giving glory for the child to man and robbing it from God. How can you take the glory from God for a life He created with His own hands? This is pure heresy.

I am angry. I too have been waiting for this child to be born. I too had my heart and emotions wrapped up in this pregnancy. I too was eagerly anticipating seeing her and holding her and feeling her beautiful soft skin. I feel as though I have lost my own child.
I also feel guilty. Why didn't I research that awful book when first I heard of it? Why didn't I search the web and find your article before all this took place? Why didn't I say these things to her the first time she had a bleeding episode? Why didn't any of us that know and love them do anything? We 
didn't want to intrude, we didn't want to bother them. It's their choice. It's their business. 

Charity, it's time for Christians to wake up and smell the coffee. There is a battle going on for us and for our children. We must be bold and courageous, speaking the truth to each other in love. Better a friend gets offended and angry than that a baby dies because we remained silent. The friend will get over it. This baby will never get another chance at life. Praise God she is with the Father in glory now. It is the only consolation.

Thanks for listening. And...if anyone is considering reading that book or doing things her way, don't. People are dying out there. Exam it next to the plum line of God's word. You will find it does not stand up. Seems like there should be some accountability on her [Carol Balizet's] part since babies and moms have died from listening to her. What do you think?

God Bless you!



12/28/2013 3:04 pm  #8

Re: Born in Zion

It's time to revisit 'Born in Zion'. There's been a number of babies born to the Church of Wells in the past 6 to 8 weeks. Where were these new babies born? Did the mothers get appropriate prenatal care? Did these adult women receive adequate 20th-century modern medical attention? Were preventable birth defects and avoidable congential conditions identified and treated? How are the mamas and babies doing? Are they well? 


11/10/2014 5:31 pm  #9

Re: Born in Zion

No doubt they also have The Seven Last Years.

What will the End Times be like? The fictional account presented in The Seven Last Years offers some startling glimpses! This brand-new edition of the 250,000-copy bestseller is sure to evoke as strong a response from you as it did from these prominent people:
"This book hits you like an earthquake! You can't put it down until you've read it all." -- David Wilkerson

Probably this one as well...

Chosen Books Pub Co (1989 and 1994)

Then there's the Christian Childbirth Conference workbook written with Stephen Bell (1980). 

Stephen Bell
The KEY Ministries Publications
3201 West Pipeline Road
Euless TX 76040
(817) 283-1700


11/10/2014 9:32 pm  #10

Re: Born in Zion

"Did my mother ever beat me? No. But she brought her mother into our home and our lives, to be our caretaker, and she allowed my Giggy [Carol Balizet] to beat us. She read Focus on the Family and justified ritual, frequent abuse. She never meted out the blows herself - she wanted to be the Good One that we liked, after all. And it was a good scheme for a long time. For years I was convinced my mom was the Good Parent. Now I realize: I didn't have one of those."

Long Story Short
Angie Jackson

My story? My grandmother wrote a fiction end times thriller that sold on the NY Times Best list for 18 weeks in the religion category, back in (I think) 1979. At the same time, she delivered a couple babies - for a girl at church, for my mom. She was a nurse at that time, and did have some medical experience, but no midwifery or obstetrics experience. A "baby ministry" started, where my granmdother would tell pregnant women why God wanted them to have their babies at home, without a doctor or a midwife, but with a "spiritual midwife" or birth attendant (read: her). She made up a handbook for those meetings, which eventually got turned into the book "Born in Zion". It was published by a Word of Faith pastor in Texas and over the next two decades it spread to the far corners of fringe society - all the way from the Florida trailer park where we ran the cult to daughter sects in Australia and New Zealand. She wrote other books which were even more extreme in their message, but they didn't sell as well. I don't think anyone bought "Egypt or Zion" or "Healing in Zion" as their first book of dogma. They were much more legalistic, which is hard to imagine if you've read Born in Zion, heh. 

I was born the same year the book was published the first time. (She had four editions, but none of them were actually *edited*. She just stuck new forwards and updates into the newer editions.) Like my older siblings and three younger cousins, I was born at home with no access to medical personnel or equipment. My mom and dad had separated while I was in the womb, so my grandmother lived with us to take care of the house and kids while my mom went to school and work. (She finished her PhD when I was 8 or 9, so I don't really remember her much before then, even though we lived in the same house.)

The homebirth was what my grandma was best known for, but it was only the tip of the iceberg. She advocated total reliance on God for everything, and total isolationism from the "seven world systems": education, religion, commerce, science, entertainment, medicine, and government. She said those things in her books, but the only one we lived 100% was complete abstinence from the medical system. We were born at home, never saw a pediatrician, never got vaccines. I stepped on a rusty carpenter's nail in my cousin's back yard. It went clean through my foot, but I didn't get taken to the hospital for a tetanus shot. We also never locked our house or our cars, because that would putting our faith in man and man-made things, rather than in our heavenly provider and protector.

Because of the isolationism, we were cut off from all other sources of help or information. And then she told us that we weren't allowed to do anything to protect ourselves from danger, that we had to just rely on God and not lift a finger to prevent a bad thing. Instead of trying to solve a physical problem or treat a physical illness, we were supposed to discern the "root cause" in the "spirit realm" that was the *actual* problem. Because I was born into this mentality, being taught that my imagination was a more reliable source of knformation than my five sense, it's given some problems. I spent a few years as a kid, on and off, worrying that I was imaginary, that I was a dream some other girl was having, or that I was invisible or translucent. My world was so insubstnatial, I didn't believe I had physical substance. Add a serotonin imbalance and a childhood filled with neglect, abuse, and trauma (my grandmother ran over and killed a pedestrian, while I was in the front seat, when I was 7), and I gotta say, I'm pretty pissed at religion.

At first I was just mad at cults, but then I realized - we went to Christian school some of those years. We went to public school for most. We had guidance counselors (and I talked to mine - a LOT). My brother reported we were being abused to HRS when I was 8 and he was 12, but they did a lazy half-assed job and shut the case without recognizing how hellish it was (because my sister and I were so brainwashed, we cried and defended our grandmother from the allegations from our wicked, sinful, rebellious brother - which I totally regret now). In retaltion for the report, my grandmother kicked my brother out, and he was shipped across teh country to California to live with our dead beat musician dad. It was a horrible threat to my sense of security, the idea that you could get kicked out of the family if you didn't toe the line.

Thet cult itself was nebulous. It was families and home churches and small country churches across the US and the Oz. There was no central authority, and in some definitions she techinically wasn't a cult leader. She wasn't interested in the work involved in actually caring what any of them were doing. She wanted attention, and she wanted to not have to work. She was never ambitious enough or organized enough to make a central authority out of it, or to make a lot of money. We never *really* lived on a compound (just a bunch of families in a trailer park) and most of us went to other churches at the same time. The vast majority of her followers were out of state, and she kept in touch with them through a monthly newsletter/catalog, then through a website, and eventually through a blog. I worked for her cult's office (which was just the kitchen of her single-wide mobile home) putting together that newsletter, that website and that blog, and shipping out her books and teaching tapes to dozens of people a week, from the time I was 12 till some nebulous time in my early twenties. (It was never a full-time job: whenever I went to my grandma's house, she had something I could do for $10 or $12 an hour, so I did it.)

Last spring I was taking a class on US history the Age of Jackson, (1800-1850s). One of the social/cultural trends of that period we studied was the Second Great Awakening, a protestant religious revival movement that spawned a lot of early native cults. Joseph Smith founded the Mormons and Brigham Young trekked them out to Utah (which is impressive as hell, I will grant them that!). The Shakers attracted a lot of widows with kids as converts, because they were a celibacy cult. A woman could provide for her family by living comunally like this. A lot of utopian societies were started, on all different things - enlightenment, health and wellness from Alexander Graham (of cracker fame).

And the Oneida utopia was founded by the charismatic horndog John Humphrey Noyes. Everybody who joined was married to everybody else of the opposite sex (each woman to every man, and each man to every woman). However, they had a major policy against, ahem, completion of the sex act and engaged instead in "male continence". (No, they did not just masturbate after. I asked the professor.) They lived communally and started a silverware company, which is still owned by the desendents of that original utopian society today. Which is pretty neat and an example of why I like history.

It was also a pivotal moment in my life, one of the most life-altering. Everyone else in class was so clearly thrown by the way this community lived. They found it utterly foreign and couldn't relate to the motives or reasons these people had for doing something so completely different from the mainstream. And it made me realize, like a light clicking in my mind, my childhood was just as foreign. I could relate to the Oneida members, especially the second generation, product of chosen exceptions when a man was permitted to impregnate a woman. (Most of the time it was the leader who got to do the impregnating, because he claimed to have spiritually superior semen.) The cult split up over disagreement about deflowering virgin girls - who should get to do it and how old the girls ought to be before it's done. And as weird as all that sounds, and even though my cult had nothing like polygamy or polyamory in it, I felt a connection on some deep level.

So much so that later that night I Googled my grandmother's name and the word "cult". Here's the search results that come up today for it, which are largely the same. More news articles have come down in the meantime, or you have to pay to access them as archives. There were horrible stories of children who died, one who was starved to death because his parents thought God wanted him to go back to breastfeeding from an underfed woman, after he'd been on solid foods. His brother who died shortly after birth, because his parents didn't know to aspirate him and it's thought he slowly suffucated from blocked miconium in his wind pipe. (It's thought, rather than known conclusively, because the parents buried both bodies in a state park, rather than reporting their deaths at the times they occurred.) These were followers of my grandmother. The man who ran that sect, that cult, used her book and her words to justify his actions. She wrote the manifesto for any arrogant prick, a blue print to follow, to keep people in submission and terror, and to get your own ego stroked on a near constant basis. She created Be a Prophet 101, but no one recognized it for that at the time, or at least no one I was talking to.

That night started the 6-8 week jump from being a creationist Christian true believer to an outspoken atheist. Once I realize I've made a mistake, I don't want to keep doing it. And it's been a little over a year now. I'm blogging and writing a book about growing up in the cult and why we have to reform the laws that allow religious exemptions for medical neglect and pissing off my relatives. So that's the short version. The book will be the long version. I'll let you know when that's finished. 


Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum

©2012-2018 all rights reserved.

This is a conversation, an open dialogue, in the tradition of Free Speech. The purpose is to promote independent investigation, public debate and dialogue on cult and mind control issues critical to our social and individual well-being. Statements made reflect the writer's opinion. This forum acts to provide a space for electronic medium of information transfer, with the explicit understanding that each user will independently evaluate it and carefully make up his or her own mind as to its factual accuracy and usefulness. Independent individuals, organizations, authors, researchers, academicians and contributors may be exercising constitutional rights of petition, free speech, participation in government, or freedom of religion in researching, evaluating and freely discussing any matter. These discussions or statements may be constitutionally-protected opinions, speculation, allegations, satire, fiction, or religious beliefs or religious opinions of independent individuals, organizations or authors and as such, may or may not be factual.