Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform => The Troubled Teen Industry => Topic started by: Watchaduen on May 20, 2004, 05:24:00 PM

Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Watchaduen on May 20, 2004, 05:24:00 PM
Looks like another Bethel Academy school (all owned and operated by the Fountains) has more abuse allegations.

Sheriff says girls moved from Bethel Home in Petal

The Associated Press

PETAL ? About 40 teenage girls have been removed from a privately run, at-risk home in Petal and the case was turned over to the Forrest County Youth Court.

The girls were transferred Wednesday night from the Bethel Home to an undisclosed location for their safety, said Sheriff Billy McGee.
State Department of Human Services spokesman Rick Whitlow said Thursday the agency would have no comment.

?We?re referring all inquiries to the youth court in the county,? Whitlow said.

Under Mississippi law, Youth Court proceedings are confidential.

Sheriff Billy McGee said several state agencies ? including DHS, the attorney general? office and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality ? were at the privately owned facility for teenage girls for most of the day Wednesday.

?Apparently, the state received some complaints regarding some sort of mistreatment of the girls,? McGee said. ?I really don?t know what those complaints are, we were just called in to provide security and to transport the girls to a different location.?

The sheriff said that the parents of the girls were being notified to come and pick up their children.

?Until they are picked up from that location, they are under the custody of DHS,? he said. ?Overall, there are about 30-40 kids involved.?

McGee said the Bethel Home is located in Petal, near the Jones County line. He said the facility was operated by a church but he was not sure which one.
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Anonymous on May 20, 2004, 06:04:00 PM (
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Anonymous on May 20, 2004, 06:45:00 PM
link to a news site?
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Anonymous on May 20, 2004, 07:00:00 PM
Wow, did you read that post on the Hard Truth forum written by a 34 year old mother and former resident of Bethel?  Still waters run deep with survivors of abuse, who many years after the fact, are still trying to make sense of it all and in their own way, tell their story so that others may be spared the same fate.
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Watchaduen on May 20, 2004, 11:54:00 PM
That hardtruth forum is FULL of former victims of Bethel's tortures.  The Fountains owned and operated it then and still do.  And look, they are still abusing and torturing children for a profit.  I posted my story there along with many other victims.  If you read all of them you will see some are now adults and some are victims just getting out of that Hell hole.  They cannot believe that the Fountains were abusing children all those years ago and still getting away with it.  I truly have to thank the internet for helping me to find so many of today's victims of Bethel.  We are going to sue them with the biggest lawsuit they have ever seen.  Bethel's doors will finally shut.  Maybe some of these victims will finally have closure.
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Anonymous on May 24, 2004, 04:29:00 AM
On 2004-05-20 15:45:00, Anonymous wrote:

"link to a news site?" ... 030&Ref=AR ( ... 350&Ref=AR ( ... 371&Ref=AR (
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Watchaduen on May 25, 2004, 11:44:00 AM (
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Anonymous on May 27, 2004, 12:51:00 PM
Does anyone have any new info on what is going on? My daughter was one of the ones abused. I know DHS photographed her injuries and took her testimony. Also, has anyone contacted a lawyer to represent us and help ensure the school is closed and the perpetrators punished? I would be interested in talking to anyone involved in this incident.
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Watchaduen on May 27, 2004, 04:47:00 PM
There is already a HUGE lawsuit in process.  This started last year when the boys' compound was raided.  In one month's time the State of MS. had 25 ready, willing (complete with medical documentation) victims ready to testify to close Bethel on Aug. 26th.  Two days before the boys were supposed to be back down there all the victims rec'd a call from the Investigator that the State made yet another sneaky deal with Bethel to remain open.  Obviously the abuse never stopped.   I knew that.  Please contact me about the lawsuit.  Would love to have you join.
[email protected].  Can fill you on the details later.
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Anonymous on May 27, 2004, 11:51:00 PM
Posted May 27, 2004 3:50 PM.

Bethel Academy students irate over Bibles

Several teenagers say they are upset because they were not allowed to bring their Bibles when state officials removed them from Bethel Girls Academy in Petal last week.

?It made me feel very bad because it was one of my rights to have it with me,? said LeAnna Edgell, who was one of 38 girls removed from the Bethel home May 19 by officials with the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

?The Bible has helped me a lot over the past couple of months and I wanted to have it with me,? Edgell said.

This is just another attack on religious freedom by the librall judge McPhail. He is the same judge that persecuted Brother Wills years ago here in Hattiesburg.

I know Bubba Fountain and he would never harm any of those girls. He is a true servant of the Lord! It is so easy nowadays for any snot nosed kid to yell "RAPE" every time they don't want to submit to authority.

The state needs to stay out of the affairs of the church!!!
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Anonymous on May 28, 2004, 02:16:00 PM
Tried to e-mail you Cheryle, but AOL says you are not a valid address.
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Watchaduen on May 28, 2004, 10:02:00 PM (
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Watchaduen on June 04, 2004, 11:26:00 AM
Bethel hearing delayed

By Antoinette Konz

A hearing before a Forrest County Youth Court judge on the removal of 38 girls from a Petal school for troubled teenagers has been postponed after an attorney for several parents said he had received new information in the case.

"Based on that information, we decided to ask for a continuance. I filed the motion this (Wednesday) morning," said Michael Reed, a Hattiesburg attorney representing three parents of students who attended Bethel. "I do not know at this point when the hearing will be continued."

The hearing, which stems from a multi-agency investigation of the Bethel Girls Academy which began May 19 was to have been before Judge Michael McPhail.

Reed would not comment on the nature of the information he received. He did say, however, that some parents of the girls have been notified about some of the allegations of abuse at the Bethel home, but he would not elaborate.

"I am unable to comment on the information at this time," he said. "I will be speaking with the parents later on today."

Reed had asked for the hearing last week on behalf of parents David Bakker of Chicago, Matthew Brown of Dallas and Jason and Lori Salo of Tacoma, Wash. The parents had said they wanted to ask the judge to reconsider removing the teenagers from the youth home.

Paul Walley, a Richton attorney representing Bethel Girls Academy and its director, Herman Fountain Jr., could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Walley and Fountain have denied any allegation of wrongdoing at the school.

Bakker, whose 12-year-old daughter was one of the girls removed from Bethel, said Wednesday that he had received some documents pertaining to the home's operation over the weekend. He did not elaborate.

"As far as the items I have received, I am not so sure about how credible or reliable they are. I still have a lot of questions," Bakker said. "I just don't know what to think right now."

Officials from the state Department of Human Services and the Attorney General's office were involved in the probe. Rick Whitlow, spokesperson with DHS, said Wednesday that his agency would not comment on the Bethel investigation.

The agency has refused to provide information on whether the facility was licensed, if it had been inspected and what the agency's policies and procedures are when it comes to monitoring facilities such as Bethel.

The Hattiesburg American filed a Public Records Act request on May 25 seeking the information. DHS has 14 business days from the filing date to respond.

Forrest County District Attorney Jon Mark Weathers said Tuesday that he has received two packets containing information about the investigation of the Bethel home. He would not elaborate on the contents.

"Based on what I have seen, it merits further investigation," he said. "But I have certainly not made the conclusion that there was any violation of criminal law that took place at Bethel.

"Right now, we just need to go a little further in the investigation and try to determine the facts and the motivation of those who have made these allegations," Weathers said.

A meeting with a representative from the state Attorney General's office and Weathers is scheduled to take place on Friday, he said
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Anonymous on June 04, 2004, 02:00:00 PM
What's wrong with these parents advocating to keep their children IN this program?  Do they not believe where there is smoke ... there is fire?  

Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Watchaduen on June 29, 2004, 06:24:00 PM
Rumor has it that Bethel now has two former students.  Trying to find out now if it was two of the 38 removed or not.  Right after the raid, some of the parents were outraged that their daughters had been removed.  Not worried sick because their daughter had been removed due to allegations of abuse.  Those same parents immediately began pushing to have their daughter's retured.  Makes me ill.
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Antigen on June 29, 2004, 08:05:00 PM
On 2004-06-04 11:00:00, Anonymous wrote:

"What's wrong with these parents advocating to keep their children IN this program?  Do they not believe where there is smoke ... there is fire?  

 :???: "

No! They believe they're privy to a piece of higher enlightenment and that the rest of us are just chattering pigs.

If more people understood what's going on w/ these high demand groups, they'd be more likely to let an escaped kid use their phone and less likely to lobby to have 'those dangerous inmates' housed somewhere further from their homes.

Time's fun when you're having flies.
--Kermit the Frog

Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Watchaduen on July 08, 2004, 02:28:00 PM
Found out one of the girls sent back to Bethel is one of the 38 that the State of MS. had removed due to abuse.  This little russian girl (adopted and sent to Beth-HELL) when she was 11, will spend her teen years living there.  One victim says that this girl isn't allowed to go back home, yet all the victims and employees of Bethel Girls compound state she is a wonderful little girl and sweet disposition.  What makes the story even worse is that there is an adopted Russion brother also.  He is sentenced to spending his teen years at Bethel Boys compound.  No matter how many raids on Bethel's or children removed for abuse, these two victims are stuck there until they are 18.  Considering they spent the first part of their lives at a Russian orphanage and now will spend the rest of their growing up years at Bethel child abuse compounds, how are they ever supposed to be ready to face the world, live on their own as young adults?
Bethel tells you when to eat, sleep, forced labor all day long thrown in with some abuse.  That prepares someone for the real world?  Breaks my heart.
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Watchaduen on July 10, 2004, 02:57:00 PM
State seeking accord with girls school

Bethel Academy problems called correctable

By Lora Hines
[email protected]

State officials are negotiating with a church-based home for at-risk girls to allow the return of 38 teens removed after some alleged they were abused.

Earl Scales, an assistant state attorney general, said problems at Bethel Girls Academy near Petal can be corrected, and an agreement to allow the girls back could be reached as early as next week.

"The school serves a purpose," Scales said.
Herman Fountain Jr., the director of the home, denies the allegations of abuse.

"That's all they are, allegations," he said. "They haven't proved anything."

Fountain, however, said he doubts he can come to an agreement with the state attorney general's office.

He said he doesn't want to stop using exercise as a form of punishment, a concession the state demands.

"We're not able to discipline the girls any other way," Fountain said. "We don't use corporal punishment. (State officials) wanted us not to use exercise. I didn't agree with that."

In May, the state Department of Human Services took custody of all girls at the academy as a result of abuse allegations. Some girls told investigators they were forced to swim in a sewage pond and exercise until they vomited.

DHS spokesman Rick Whitlow would not comment and referred calls to the state Health Department. The Health Department referred calls to the attorney general's office.

It is the second investigation at the academy in less than two years. The girls academy, founded by Fountain's father, opened in 1999.

Parent complaints of abuse and neglect at the companion Bethel Boys Academy in Lucedale last year led to a similar investigation by DHS and the attorney general's office. The boys academy, also founded by Fountain's father and directed by his brother, John Fountain, agreed to adopt new policies.

The Fountains didn't admit to any wrongdoing.

Herman Fountain said the girls removed from the academy want to return.

Michael Reed, a Hattiesburg attorney for parents of some of the girls, said his clients had to find other places to send their children.

"Obviously, the allegations are of a concern," Reed said. "That's why they are taking a wait-and-see approach (with the negotiations)."

The children of Reed's clients didn't complain to investigators, Reed said. He would not identify his clients.

Melissa Lashuay of Chicago is hopeful Fountain can correct the academy's problems. Her daughter, Brittany, 14, was one of the girls removed from the academy.

Lashuay's oldest daughter, Stephanie, previously attended the academy.

"It really turned my daughter around," Lashuay said of Stephanie. "There's been such an improvement in her."

Five girls now attend the academy, Fountain said. More are to come.

He said the academy has lost about $200,000 since the girls were removed. Tuition costs $2,000 a month per student.

Academy employees have been working part-time.

Fountain said he has had to borrow $1,400 to pay the academy electric bill and $1,700 for the mortgage.

"We've been in worse shape than this," he said. "This isn't going to stop me from helping people."
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Anonymous on July 11, 2004, 09:29:00 AM
"That's all they are, allegations," he said. "They haven't proved anything."

What constitutes Proof of abuse in one of these places?
Are the 'students' expected to have it on film or tape?
Why is it that the persistent and consistent allegations aren't evidence?
How is it that even broken bones and deep bruises prove nothing?

And by the way - There is a rumor a float - and I do *stress* it is a *rumor*  
Bob Litchfield has bought Bethel boys and girls homes.

Is there anyone able to substantiate this?
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Watchaduen on July 11, 2004, 12:34:00 PM
And by the way - There is a rumor a float - and I do *stress* it is a *rumor*
Bob Litchfield has bought Bethel boys and girls homes>>>

It would have to be rumor.  Herman Fountain owns those properties outright.  Had the slaves (I mean children) build everything on them.  Charges $25,000 per year for each victim placed there.  Starves those kids so he isn't out big money on feeding those victims.  Pays the employees pennies in which he pays no taxes on.  Cash under the table for all the employees.  Why would he get rid of that cash cow and start all over?  It's obvious the state is willing to let him get away with murder.  His huge home sits directly across the street from the bethel boys compound.  Nope, he isn't going anywhere.
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Anonymous on July 13, 2004, 02:04:00 PM
Bethel made the front page of the Daily Herald newspaper the other day. ... ID=3817947 (
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: NivekOgre on July 13, 2004, 02:30:00 PM
I'm actually emailing this paper and thanking them for exposing these bastards.
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Anonymous on August 03, 2004, 04:21:00 AM
Unfortunately poor Bubba is guilty by association. As long as Herman Sr is wrapped up in the Bethel organization, his influence, meddling and bad habits (yelling, screaming, generally throwing tantrums if he doesn't get his way, etc, etc) poor Bubba is going to get thrown right in the same couldrum Herman does. Rest assured, no human on earth, judge or otherwise is going to exclude Herman sr from that Bethel operation. Herman Sr can run both those places from his living room. You see, the people at Bethel ask how high they should hop when Herman sr says "frog". Unwavering, misplaced, but still unwavering loyalty. John nor Bubba have even a fighting chance given the years Herman sr has in theat operation as well as the employee's loyalty (and God only knows why they are so loyal!)

Look at ( for a new post from Sherri Culp. Sherri and her husband were insiders for some time at Bethel.Sherri gives a perspective only an insider and a professional could give. You see that is the balance of this. If the opposition to Bethel gets so vicious they attack people in thier own ranks (I've been there) then the opposition gets to be just as bad as the opposed!

So Sherri's post to the website above is a balanced professional passionate but rational insight into what goes on daily at Bethel. To learn more about what makes Bethel tick, read the post at the website above. You may email [email protected] if you are interested in Sherri's article or would like to post your own story.
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Watchaduen on August 03, 2004, 03:08:00 PM
:grin:   Glad to see BethelTruth's site finally posting stories.  I have sent mine a long time ago.  Hope it gets put on there also.  I realize my post doesn't go into a lot of specifics other than what happened to my son.  But with court dates around the corner I don't want the Fountains knowing what kind of proof nor witnesses we have.  GOD has lead me on this long journey but HE gives me strength every day.  I only wish that the parents from years ago would have already accomplished this.  Yet these victims go home and within a few months give up the fight.  I have been working on this, finding victims, a SUPER lawfirm to take on a case of this magnitude and many, many hours spent on the phone doing my own investigative work.  I knew the evidence was out, it was just a matter of finding it.  The Fountains and a few other corrupt officials down in Miss. have finally hung themselves.
Title: Bethel Girls Academy - ABUSE
Post by: Anonymous on August 05, 2004, 11:06:00 PM
Ms Cheryle is a real trooper and as I have said before, we need to encourage her at all times. Send her your information if you were at Bethel and abused. The more credible evidence she can present, the better chance there is for the case to be a sweeping sucess.

See, that is the crux of this matter, Ms Cheryle's dilligent work, and our contributions and encouragement to her will allow a case that is so convincing the Fountains can be financially paralyzed so they can never start up such operations as the Boys or Girls home again. This must be a hands down sweeping victory for the sanctions and restrictions placed on the Fountains be strong enough to put them out of business forever.

Remember, Herman Sr. is smooth and resilient. He can turn on the charm and weazelworm his way out of just about anything. I mean my gosh, who else do you know that is a convicted felon that served prison time yet still has controlling interest in an at risk kids home? Whatever the court does will have to be so detailed and specific that there is no weasel or wiggle room for Herman Sr or the crew to slither out of this as they have so capably done so before.

Case in point is the consent decree was a joke, a slap on the wrist, a get out of jail free card! If THIS pending case does not put healthy teeth in whatever decision comes out of that courtroom, this will be no more than a slap on the wrist either. Let us hope that is not at all the case!!

I appreciate people like Ms Cheryle because seeing a thing like this through to an eqitable finish is often a long, drawn out and very expensive operation. Most of the rest of us really care too, but somehow I think there is an appointing of God given to a person or a small group to see something like this through to a sucessful finish.

Our prayers are with you, Ms Cheryle, keep the faith. Let us know if we can help.

Rod Namdoog