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IS IT WORTH DYING…? Part 1
FOR CAROL BALIZET AND HER BIZARRE BELIEFS?
On Tuesday 1st May, 2001, a 31-year-old mother-of-five died in Perth, Western Australia, following the birth of her fifth child three weeks earlier. She and her husband had espoused the teachings of Carol Balizet, a self-proclaimed authority on medical issues and biblical interpretation.
WHO IS CAROL BALIZET?
Born in Dalton, Georgia, U.S.A., in 1933, the near-seventy-year-old now lives in Tampa, Florida. A former nurse, Balizet has exercised a disturbing and dangerous influence over many young families in America, Australia, and elsewhere.
The dangers are evident in her extreme and bizarre teachings and biblical distortions, and in deaths attributed to her influence - including the death of the young Western Australian mother.
By the age of forty, in 1974, Balizet was, in her own words: ’…in an absolutely desperate situation, and everything else I’d tried had failed. I was twice married and divorced, an alcoholic, a single mother of four daughters, constantly broke and in debt, an unsaved Roman Catholic, helpless and hopeless. I finally surrendered the chaotic mess of my life to Jesus, and He has eternally altered not just my situation, but also ME!’
Unfortunately, Balizet’s conversion did not lead to orthodox and biblical Christianity. She does not mention where, or in which group/church her conversion occurred. She indicates in her writings that she could not settle in any one church, and moved through a number of churches. Her writings show a clear influence of the Kenyon-Hagin-Copeland ’Word-Faith’ movement. Many of her statements echo those made by leaders in this movement - but she takes them to new extremes.
As a result of her unusual beliefs, she gave up the use of medication and left nursing after some 30 years in the profession. Subsequently she became involved in her ministry of home-birthing and wrote Born in Zion. She describes herself, and a small group of Florida-based followers:
’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 other 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.’
Almost proudly, and with a cultic persecution complex, Balizet states that she has ’…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 [churches] (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 — it’s]all worked out for my good.’
She claims that her ’life has taught me one thing: our God can do ANYTHING!…Can we trust Him? If we can’t trust HIM, then we’re really in trouble. And if not Him, who can we trust? Other people? Our own opinions and abilities? I don’t think so.’
In spite of Balizet’s claim that we can’t trust ’other people’ or ’our own opinions and abilities’, that is exactly the issue here.
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.
BALIZET’S DISTORTED OPINIONS
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.
’It began when the book BORN IN ZION was being written. At the beginning, it was called THE BIRTH OF THE MANCHILD, but God didn’t want that. Through a number of different routes, He let us know that He wanted a different name. And HE re-named it. HE gave us the new name, with abundant confirmation: BORN IN ZION.
So we began to talk about babies being born in Zion instead of in "Egypt", about Zion births as opposed to "worldly" births. We had recognized and acknowledged a difference between home birth and hospital birth for some time; now we began to contrast "faith births" and "flesh births".’
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.’
She also claims that: morning sickness is the ’result of somebody — usually, but not always, the mother — rejecting the pregnancy’; that perineal tears ’can result from past defilements’ ; that difficult and painful labours ’can be the result of the parents not agreeing with God about the subject of discipline’, and that ’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.’
Women who have had their babies in hospitals, according to Balizet, will need deliverance from all sorts of defilement and demons - as will their babies.
According to Balizet, ’Hospitals are full of demons!’ She claims that demons are attracted and drawn to:
’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.’
When a woman allows a doctor (whether male or female, but especially a male doctor) to give her a pelvic examination, she is submitting herself to ’a spirit of fornication and lust’ and a ’soul tie with the doctor’ - and will need to repent from these evils. This also applies if a doctor delivers the baby - even at home. Furthermore, according to Balizet, 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’ [a 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.’
If a mother has her baby in hospital and is given any form of pain reducing drugs or any other medication, she AND her baby will be invaded by the demons of witchcraft and sorcery. This will also further apply to the baby if he or she is given any form of medication or inoculation just after birth. According to Balizet such babies will probably grow up with bad drug problems and habit in their teens or young adulthood. All medications and drugs are tools of the Devil and linked to the demon or ’spirit of sorcery - pharmakeia.’
Balizet regards all Caesarean sections as one of the worst evils in relation to childbirth. She states:
’I am absolutely convinced that it is an abomination to God and a serious spiritual attack on our children - our children are to be conformed to the image of Christ, not of Caesar.’
Caesarean births ’render’ children unto Caesar instead of unto God, according to her.
’"Caesar" is the name of the "strong man", the satanic high prince, over organisations and sphere of humanism.’
According to her, Caesarean births 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, according to Balizet.
Medicine, in general (and obviously including childbirth), is the work of Satan, not of God, and is one of the ’seven systems’ of mainstream society, along with education, government , banking , religion , science and entertainment, which are condemned.
According to Balizet, God has revealed himself ’seven different times in Scripture as Jehovah-Something…Jehovah-Jireh of course is "I AM your Provider". Jehovah-Rapha is "I AM your Healer"; Jehovah-Tsidkenu is "I AM your Righteousness" and so on seven times. Our needs would be met by God…’
’Satan has built himself a seven-headed system (or a system built on seven mountains) as counterfeits for these seven revelations of our need-meeting God. Seven intricate, self-perpetuating, man-glorifying, unholy organizations: government, commerce, education, science, the arts, medicine and religion, which claim to provide all the things that God has promised.’
Balizet points out, quite rightly, flaws and failures in each of these seven areas, but takes them to extreme and sees nothing really worthwhile in them. In some aspects she is similar to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Christadelphians. But in her extreme rejections she goes even further than these cultic groups. She tends to see everything as black and white, all of God or all of the Devil - and all interpreted according to her opinion.
Balizet believes that human government is a counterfeit of God’s perfect government and principles for functioning as a community. This human government ’counterfeit system is used by Satan to produce tyranny and inequity from those in power, and lawlessness and rebellion in those who are governed.’
According to her, religion (all religions, including basically all expressions of the Christian Faith not practicing ’total trust in God’ as she and her followers believe) ’seduces the unwary into seeking supernatural power apart from God, with the intention of receiving worship or himself.’ She even advocates, and practices, home-churching’.
In regard to education , she claims that worldly education produces a closed mind, ignorance and deception.’ She advocates home-schooling and non-government educational programmes and activities.
When it comes to science , she claims: ’Through science, Satan is given a means to reduce us to the level of animals, to deny our spiritual dimension and our heavenly future.’
As far as the arts are concerned, Balizet believes that Satan ’uses this system to spread his profane and degrading ideas.’ She indicates that only Christians (her variety, apparently) can, and should, express themselves through edifying and wholesome creativity. She does not seem to acknowledge that it is possible for non-Christians to provide edifying and wholesome creativity.
In the area of commerce she declares: ’Satan’s system often produces greed and love of money, or poverty. He comes as a thief and devourer, and as the Harsh Taskmaster.’ She acknowledges that ’God would like us to work well at some purposeful occupation, earning our bread.’ While she doesn’t (as far as we’ve been able to see from her materials) tell people they shouldn’t use banks, she does declare that ’Mammon…is the spiritual ruler…over the rganization of money and banking’ and we cannot serve both God and Mammon.
Balizet’s most vehement, and often extremely bizarre, comments focus on the area of medicine . She claims that the medical system allows Satan to manifest his faculty as killer. She states that the medical system renders those who touch it unclean. It leaves them damaged and defiled - by death; - by invasion; - by surgery; - by nakedness. According to her the medical system is dirty, and is regarded as such by God. ’The Christians within the system aren’t going to purify it; they won’t change how God feels about drugs and unbelief and blood and defilements…They are really dirty — objectively, truly dirty…We can’t clean the medical system up. The only way out is out…We’re not able to cleanse whatiGod has called dirty; we can only avoid contact with it.’i
According to Balizet, going to a hospital means there is no trust in God - she teaches that hospitals are full of demons; they are full of actual spirits of death - including ’Moloch, the spirit of Child Death’ ; they are temples to pagan gods, where gods are worshipped and sacrifices offered through surgery on operating theatre tables; surgeons are the high priests of these foreign gods who make blood offerings and sacrifices, every time they perform any surgery on a patient (who doesn’t realise he/she is being used as a sacrificial offering); Satan increasingly uses hospitals - to disseminate disease and death.
Balizet claims that all forms of surgery are forbidden by God and misquotes passages such as Leviticus 19:28: Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD and Deuteronomy 14:1-2: You are the children of the LORD your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead, for you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession (both NIV) as her authority.
She believes that in all surgery ’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.’ She also claims and teaches that, ’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.’ These spirits will affect not only the body, but life in general for the victims of such surgery. Therefore, 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!
She claims that medical procedures bring numerous ’defilements’ through nakedness and bodily examinations; through invading the integrity of our bodies by means of hands, needles, knives, speculums endoscopes etc.
Balizet is more extreme than the Jehovah’s Witnesses when it comes to blood. Using the same erroneous use of Bible texts as the JWs she not only totally rejects all forms of blood transfusion, but also totally rejects all blood tests, blood donations, and any other use of medical blood products.
She categorically declares: ’God says the giving and receiving of blood is wrong — dangerous, forbidden — and this is true no matter what the world, the medical system, the hierarchy of the church, our own reasoning or anyone else says. These practices have a destructive effect on us…In the case of donating blood, we are giving up, pouring out, surrendering, sacrificing a part of our souls…there is a permanent forfeiture in the soul. A diminution, a deprivation , a leanness, which lasts until that soul life is called back…In the case of receiving blood…there is enormous danger…We receive not only the natural, but also a portion of the spiritual factors of that person’s heritage...we allow into our bodies the soul life of another person: that is, a portion of all the elements which comprise his soul: his intellect, emotions, will, memory…We get a portion of the donor’s demons, blood-line curses, generational sins, destructive behaviour patterns, strongholds of deception and unbelief, soul ties, emotional disturbances etc.’
Balizet makes some extremely bizarre claims and diagnoses. Some examples include: ’BLINDNESS can come from…worshipping an idol…sports - the events, the team, the stars…or persons they honor, like pastors or doctors or celebrities of any sort…Worshipping idols can cause… cataracts, glaucoma, detached retina, and other vision problems.’ ’WARTS are rooted in witchcraft…The witchcraft might be inherited, or it might be active and deliberate occultic behavior.’ ’ADULTERY can result in menstrual disorders: irregular periods, painful periods, endometriosis. It can also cause bowel cancer.’ ’DIARRHEA can result from cursing others, from showing no mercy.’ ’ARTHRITIS comes from unforgiveness.’ ’NAIL BITING, especially when the cuticle and the flesh around the nail areas are also bitten, is rooted in cannibalism.’ ’HEMORRHOIDS are a judgment from God because of defiling and abusing the things of God.’ ’BREAST INFECTION or INFLAMMATION could be indicative of some "clogging-up" of ministry or other spiritual activity.’
Getting a medical diagnosis from a GP or specialist is tantamount to rejecting God’s authority and word, and trusting in the ’arm of flesh’ - it will lead to being cursed (Balizet misuses Jeremiah 17:5 This is what the LORD says: Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD (NIV) to support her claims). When the doctor tells you that you have a problem, and especially if you belief him, you are then accepting his curse upon you. ’The man who goes into the system runs the risk of being cursed…the diagnosis spoken over him may have that effect. The doctor has been handed the authority, and his word is received as final truth and if he speaks a negative thing, it has force and effect.’
This teaching aligns itself with Carol Balizet’s teaching on faith. The influence of the Word-Faith movement is obvious throughout Balizet’s writings. She makes references to Kenneth Copeland in Born In Zion as well as articles on her website. She writes that ’FAITH is the force that releases God’s power. Faith is also Satan’s target.’ Words are important in all of this for, according to Balizet: ’Our words have power, for good or for evil. Death and life are in our words….The words which others speak over, against or about us can injure us too….We must compare what God says with what the Enemy says: OUR words will determine the outcome for us.’ ’Fear is a spiritual force just like faith; it empowers Satan just as faith looses God.’ She believes that unbelief is a sin, and the flesh, which is the realm of the senses, operates in direct opposition to faith. Acknowledging having any sickness or problems, will, according to Balizet (and other Word-Faith proponents), make them become reality. As these things are negative, they are therefore the same as curses brought down upon the one making the acknowledgement. If a doctor, or friend for that matter, suggests you have something wrong with you, that diagnosis is a curse that will become reality if it is not immediately rejected and renounced.
Carol Balizet also teaches that ’Double mindedness is an absolute barrier to receiving from God. Under any name, it is SIN.’ If you are double-minded, then NOTHING will be received from od. Hence, 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.’
Balizet attempt to authorise her bizarre teachings and claims with an atrocious misuse of the Bible, drawing parallels and meanings that are unjustifiable and nothing like the intention of the original writers. Like all cultic leaders she constantly ignores, and takes Scripture passages out of their, context.
In addition she claims visions and other direct communications from God giving her supposed medical and biblical insights further authorisation. Phrases such as: ’I have heard a lot from God about it’, ’the Lord showed me’, ’I received a vision from the Lord about…’, are scattered through Balizet’s writings in abundance.
Some of Balizet’s statements of supposed revelation and Biblical insight really leave you wondering. What does one do with this statement!?:
’Our enemy uses both the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air; one deals with attacks on natural things — cars, roofs, water heaters, washing machines and such — while the other brings on spiritual attack — depression, jealousy, fear, anxiety, addictions, etc. Two kinds of evil agents to attack two different realms.’ That’s supposed to be an example, or clarifier, of Biblical parallelism!!!
The image presented through the Home In Zion Ministries material is of happy homes, lot’s of glowingly happy pregnant young mothers, happy husbands who are high priests of their homes with submissive wives. The men probably perceive it all fairly positively. There is encouragement for a very active sex life (which most men would be happy about) and they probably believe that they are ’in charge’, with their wives being submissive.
Our experience, however, indicates that it is almost a form of feminist control, with the wives often being the more dominant partner. The wives are often sold on Balizet’s bizarre beliefs before the husbands are. It is usually the women who persuade the husbands to go along with it all. The women are able to use their sexuality, and the mystique of birth, to persuade the men. In reality, under Balizet’s teaching, it is really the ’weaker vessel’ who rules the home, quietly, from behind the scenes, but strongly.
Balizet herself doesn’t have too high opinion of men, apparently. She was twice married and divorced, and now claims the Lord to be her present Husband. She also reveals that she likes ’strong women’. ’Oh, how I admire women who aren’t WIMPS! Those women who are mighty in spirit. It doesn’t mean they’re not feminine or submitted to their husbands or content to be the "weaker vessel". Some of the most WOMANLY women I know are the strongest.’
Balizet, and her band of followers, see themselves as the remnant that truly worships God, and truly expresses faith in his almighty power. She has announced that:
’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.’
Sadly, the results of Balizet’s bizarre beliefs are not what most Christians would see to be God’s will. The teaching and practices of Balizet and her Home In Zion Ministries has a ring of Christian Science about it, with much of the Word-Faith movement as well, with dangerous consequences.
There is evidence of babies being still-born, of young children dying through medical neglect, and of mothers dying, when a call to an ambulance could have saved their lives.
Balizet and her Home In Zioon Ministries believers are cultic, heretical, bizarre and dangerous. The grossly distort God’s Written Word, dishonour Christ, and endanger lives - especially the lives of young children.
Information and direct quotes used in this article came from Balizet’s books:
Born In Zion, (2nd edit) 1992, ChristCenter Publishing International:Texas.
Christian Home - Childbirth Manual (Packet), nd, Home In Zion Ministries:Florida (?).
Egypt Or Zion, (1st edit) nd, ChristCenter Publishing International:Texas.
Healing in Zion, (2nd edit) 1995, ChristCenter Publication International:Texas.
And from numerous articles authored by her on her Internet Website (all dated 1996), especially the articles:
Birth as a Scriptural Symbol
Carol Balizet - A Short Biography
Establishing A Zion Birth Ministry
Faith- Fighting the Enemies of Faith
What Is Zion?
These, and Balizet’s other articles can be found on the Internet at:
http://users2.fdn.com/~homeinzn/ (Broken Link?)
Also quoted, is what appears to be a Home In Zion introductory newsletter ( ’Greetings from…Home In Zion Ministries’ from Tampa, Florida, but giving an Australian postal address: ’Home in Zion Ministries, P.O. Box 22, Lawton, [Queensland,] 4501’
(In Part 2 we give some further details of tragedy associated with Balizet’s bizarre beliefs, as well as the role of the group, ABOVE RUBIES, and others, in promoting Balizet.)
(From TACL Vol 22 #3 May/July 2001)