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IS IT WORTH DYING…? Part 2
FOR CAROL BALIZET AND HER BIZARRE BELIEFS?
Carol Balizet, a resident of Tampa, Florida, USA, head the ’HOME IN ZION MINISTRIES’. She claims that: ’The purpose of Home in Zion Ministries is to unite and edify those within the Body of Christ who are hungry for God, committed to His goals, zealous for His glory, and yielded to His will. We want to support those who (like Peter) are getting out of the boat; and encourage those who (like Elijah) are discouraged and lonely.’
It becomes very clear from her writings that there is an exclusivism and a judgemental attitude that places those who follow her teachings as closer to God than other Christians. In an official newsletter she even lists the names used by some of the individuals and groups that she targets with her bizarre teachings, calling: ’Attention - Gideons’s Army, The Benjamin Company, The Overcomers, The Barley Field, The Manchild, The 100-fold Harvest, The Remnant.’
Balizet teaches against many things: banking (worldly economy); the medical system (no medicines, hospitals, doctors or nurses); secular education (with a preference for home schooling); worldly government; the religious system (including a preference for ’home churching’); science; the arts.
Her main Biblical distortions targets the medical system - often with vitriol. According to her, hospitals are full of demons; doctors are ’high priests’ of pagan religion, and surgeons cut into people as a sacrifice to their foreign gods; demons enter people following surgery and occupy the gap caused by the removal of an organ or tissue; children born through Caesarean birth are, as a result, handed over to Satan; taking medication opens a person to the spirit (or demon) of sorcery. 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 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.’
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.’
Some of Balizet’s claims and beliefs are so ridiculous and bizarre that they are almost laughable, but the sad reality is that there are people, especially young mothers, around the world, who are taking her claims seriously. With disastrous results.
Balizet has spread her teachings through a number of books; her Internet website, with its numerous lengthy articles; brochures; and public meetings. She has written: Born In Zion , Christian Home - Childbirth Manual (Packet), Egypt Or Zion , Healing in Zion as well as three end-times fictional books: The Seven Last Years,The Face of the Enemy,Plague. Her HIZ Ministries also has available articles/brochures she has called ’commentaries’ on topics such as: ’THE STATUS OF MIDWIFERY IN AMERICA TODAY (An overview of practices, dangers, and what’s on the way), PRINCIPLES OF ZION BIRTHS (How factors like surrendered Authority, past defilements and the donating and receiving of blood effect Zion births), FIGHTING THE ENEMIES OF FAITH (Definitions of faith, and of its enemies such as fear, impatience, the flesh, ignorance, presumption, double-mindedness, etc., and how these principles function), BALANCING FAITH: 911 ON THE BACK BURNER (Adding fleshly endeavors and ideas to our faith does NOT serve to increase this faith, but rather will diminish it!), RESTORATION AFTER ABORTION (Repentance isn’t enough - in addition to dealing with the sin, we must address defilement, soul ties, evil spirits of murder and conspiracy), RESTORATION AFTER DEFILEMENT (What is the New Covenant equivalent of the Old Testament subject of defilements, from such things as bloodshed, death, eating unclean food, sexual sin, etc.? How do we apply cleansing?), PRAYING FOR HOSPITAL-BORN BABIES (How to cancel or reverse any negative effects from the fear, violence, drugs, surrendered authority, separation, cursing and such which are often a part of hospital birth), THE CALL TO BE A MIDWIFE (What is God saying to women today about the ministry of helping other women to have babies? Do we need an education in the world and its way of functioning? Do we need to be licensed by the state?).’
UNNECESSARY DEATH AND SUFFERING
On April 6, 2001, a young, attractive Perth mother gave birth to her fifth child, a son. The 31-year-old Mrs CW had an unassisted ’Zion Home Birth’ - with no prior medical checks and no medical assistance at the birth. Several ’Zion Home Birthing’ ’spiritual midwives’ - friends and fellow believers in the extreme and bizarre teachings of Carol Balizet - were present to assist by praying (no physical assistance to be given).
During the birth CW haemorrhaged and had difficulty in completely passing the placenta. No medical assistance was sought. When Mrs CW’s mother, JR, saw her daughter some three hours after the birth she as very concerned about her daughter’s extremely pale and drawn appearance. The next day she noticed that her daughter’s condition seemed to have worsened with a burning high temperature, shallow and difficult breathing, and a deep cough. She urged medical care, but neither Mrs CW, nor her husband AW, was willing to get medical assistance.
On her third visit, JR was alarmed to see that her daughter’s condition appeared to have declined even further. When she suggested that they should pray for her daughter, the daughter, CW, told her loudly to: ’Stop! If you’re praying in fear, don’t pray!’ Her mother assured her she was praying for her out of compassion and prayed.
A day later it seemed to her mother as if CW had had a stroke, or was on some heavy drug such as morphine (but she definitely wasn’t!).
About the next day JR was alarmed to see that her daughter’s legs and ankles were swollen to at least twice their normal size. Her expressions of concern and efforts to have medical assistance brought in, were strongly resisted by both CW and her husband.
During subsequent days CW fluctuated between partial mobility and total immobility. While she assured her husband, and anyone else who expressed concern, that she was slowly improving, and was all right, relatives who visited perceived her condition as a serious deterioration to the healthy and beautiful young mother that she had been. Expressions of concern, and pleadings about getting medical assistance, were rejected out-of-hand.
Expressions of concern for newly born baby J, who seemed to have lost weight, were also rejected, and no effort made to get the baby to medical attention.
On Tuesday 1st May, 2001, the young mother-of-five died. The immediate circumstances of her death were disturbing and tragically sad.
Not long after the death, someone from Perth emailed Carol Balizet in Florida, and received a blunt response claiming the death had nothing to do with her, and anyway, CW died from a pulmonary embolism, which could have occurred anywhere - even in hospital. How Carol Balizet could know this, or be able to comment so shortly after the young Perth mother’s death, is not known (obviously the communication network was effective!). However, the coroner’s finding was definitely NOT known at that stage.
Ultimately, it became clear that the actual final cause of death appeared to be a pulmonary embolism - but there were quite a number of contributing factors that led to the blood clot to the lungs which killed her - including septicemia and several deep-vein-thromboses. It was also very clear that CW went through unnecessary agony and deep pain for much of the three weeks between the birth of her fifth child and her tragic death.
Her strongly-held religious convictions, based on the bizarre teachings of Carol Balizet, prevented her from acknowledging any pain or deterioration of her condition to others (and even to herself). And even more so, it prevented her from seeking the medical assistance and care which could have saved her those weeks of suffering, and ultimately could have saved her life.
Any cliched comments that it must have been God’s will are hollow and empty of biblical truth. It is never God’s will that preventable pain and suffering should be endured; it is never God’s will that a young husband should unnecessarily lose his life’s partner; it is never God’s will that young children, including a new-born baby, should unnecessarily be deprived of their loving and care-giving mother!
Following CW’s death, family relatives took a closer look at J, the young baby, then strongly expressed their concerns to AW, the child’s father. A midwife had initially told the father that the baby would be fine, just needed some additional fortified formula, and didn’t require hospitalisation. When relatives challenged her and told her that they would hold her responsible if anything happened to the baby she acknowledged that she was a retired midwife and no longer registered. She also then suggested that the baby should be taken to hospital. Grieving and in shock, confused, uncertain about how things had and were developing, AW took young J to Princess Margaret’s Children’s Hospital. he baby was found to have lost considerable weight (more than 3 lbs - over 1 kilogram), and also had a stomach blockage requiring an operation. The operation was approved, and after a recovery stay in hospital the baby improved significantly and was able to be taken home by his father. This all helped to prevent a possible further tragedy for the family.
THE AUSTRALIAN CONNECTION
How did Mrs. CW start on her unnecessary pathway to pain and death?
There were two connected streams: (a) Above Rubies and (b) Kingdom Living.
The Above Rubies movement was started by New Zealand born, Nancy Campbell, in the late 1970s. With her husband, Colin, a Pentecostal pastor, she moved to Australia in 1982 where Colin pioneered a church on Queensland’s Gold Coast. In 1991 they moved to the USA. Colin is no longer involved in pastoral ministry, and they have both become dependent on their Above Rubies ministry for their income. They continue to live in Tennessee, in the US. At the time of writing they have six children and 17 grand children.
Nancy Campbell describes her ministry as: ’Strengthening Families Across The World. Above Rubies is a magazine to encourage women in their high calling as wives, mothers, and homemakers. Its purpose is to uphold and strengthen family life and to raise the standard of God’s truth in the nation. The name has been chosen from Proverbs 31.10 AMP, " A capable, intelligent and virtuous woman, who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far Above Rubies or pearls."’
Above Rubies not only produces a magazine (Australia has its own local edition). Above Rubies camps and retreats for women are also throughout the year around the USA as well as around Australia. The emphasis for the camps/retreats, as well as the magazine, is, as stated above: ’to encourage women in their high calling as wives, mothers, and homemakers. Its purpose is to uphold and strengthen family life’. The magazine and programmes are made attractive to young mothers and promote Christian family life. The magazine has some excellent and helpful material for families; numerous personal stories and testimonies of family life add to the appeal; the magazine is professional and well-presented - it apparently goes out to some 90 countries, with about 130,000 copies published per issue.
However, Above Rubies also has a particular agenda.
More than anything else it promotes the claim that any form of contraception and limiting of families by choice is contrary to the Will of God, and to (in their opinion) the plain teaching of Scripture. Big families become a matter of one’s Christian commitment and faith, according to Above Rubies.
Apart from the magazine, Nancy Campbell has also written some manuals and books, mainly: ’The Power Of Motherhood (What God says about Motherhood in the Word of God)’; ’God’s Vision For Families (What the Bible says about having Children)’; ’The Family Meal Table And Hospitality’; ’A CHANGE OF HEART (This book includes 50 testimonies of couples who have had reversals from vasectomies or tubal ligations)’.
These manuals, extracts from them, along with other articles on the Above Rubies Internet website, reveal a distorted Biblical proof-texting and very strong views on the importance of large families and the rejection of all forms of contraception.
The following quotes are from some of the above named sources/materials:
’BE FRUITFUL AND MUTIPLY. The very first recorded words that man ever heard from the mouth of God were these: "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the seas, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." Genesis 1:27, 28. This was the first commandment that God gave to mankind, so it must be important. Isn’t it strange that we seek to obey God’s other commandments, but many of us refuse to obey the very first commandment?’
’God wanted the children of Israel not only to increase, but also to increase ABUNDANTLY, EXCEEDINGLY, MIGHTILY, PLENTEOUSLY and MULTITUDINOUSLY!
1. ABUNDANTLY Genesis 9:7 says, "And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein." The Hebrew word for ’abundantly’ is ’sharats’ which means ’to swarm or abound.’ The MLB translation gives a correct rendering when it says, "As for you, be fruitful and multiply, swarm over the earth and multiply it." (Exodus 1:7)’
In a chapter from her manual: ’The Power Of Motherhood’ entitled PROTECT YOUR WOMB, Nancy Campbell gives 18 points on the significance of a woman’s womb in God’s plan for humanity and the world.
Her first point is that a woman’s womb is her ’distinguishing identity’ adding: ’We must positively seek to protect our womb. There is an unprecedented attack against the wombs of women today, which is inspired by the enemy.’
She states: ’Satan hates the womb. He knew that through the womb of a woman would come the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, who would destroy his head. He knows it is through the womb of the woman that the ’godly seed’ still comes to destroy his works. Satan comes to "steal, kill and destroy." His attack is upon the womb through a number of areas:
1. Abortion where human beings, created in the image of God in the secret place of the womb, are cruelly torn apart limb by limb or slowly burned alive.
2. The Pill and IUD. Did you know that both the Pill and the IUD are abortifacients? Did you know that more babies are killed in the womb through the IUD and the Pill than even the holocaust of abortion? Your doctor doesn’t tell you this. Your pastor or minister doesn’t tell you this. Thus, many God-fearing people are ignorantly aborting their own babies. The womb, which is a sanctuary to nurture and protect life, has become an extermination camp. Satan is having a heyday! For more detailed information on this matter see companion manual, "God’s Vision for Families."
3. Permanent contraception such as Tubal ligations where the barren womb is denied the life it was created to nurture. When we decide on permanent contraception such as tubal ligation we are in actuality saying, "God, I don’t appreciate the way you made me. You did the wrong thing when you gave me a womb. It doesn’t suit my present lifestyle so I will make sure it can’t be used." Now, I know that most women don’t say those words… this is the bottom line of what we are doing. The womb never says, "It is enough"… The truth of God’s Word is eternal and true. When we go against it, we do so to our own hurt.
4. Drugs and the curse of sicknesses upon our reproductive organs.
5. Unnecessary hysterectomies…Only cancer or emergencies should necessitate such radical surgery. If you are recommended a hysterectomy, please seek a number of other opinions before making your decision. Protect your womb.
6. Curses. The sins of the parents from past generations can bring a curse upon the womb. It can also come upon us through our own sin or negative confession. We should be careful not to speak negatively about any of our reproductive organs. Guard how you speak about menstruation. When you call it ’the curse’ or other negative names, you give an opportunity for the curse of barrenness or other disorders to come to your womb. A curse on the womb can be a failure to menstruate, painful or irregular menstruation, cramps, cysts, tumors, continual miscarriage and inability to conceive - in fact, anything that affects your reproductive organs. Now please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying, that if you have one of these disorders that it is because of a curse. There are often other factors involved. But there could be a possibility.’
These comments show the influence of the Word Faith emphasis - an influence obvious in the bizarre claims of Carol Balizet, who has just taken them to a further extreme.
Nancy Campbell also states that the womb is a woman’s blessing and glory (2 separate points she elaborates).
’Conception, pregnancy and motherhood are the glory of a nation and it comes through the wombs of women.’
One of the disturbing elements of the Campbell/Above Rubies claims is that a woman’s womb is:
10. IT IS A WEAPON AGAINST SATAN.
It is the womb that conceives and nourishes the ’godly seed’ who will come forth to be the light in the darkness and who will destroy the works of Satan in this world. God is looking for an army. The greatest threat to Satan in this world is godly parents who understand God’s intentions and who will bring forth and train a godly seed to fulfil His eternal plans. God’s people have unwittingly decreased God’s army in this hour. The womb is a powerful weapon against Satan. Some women fear to bring babies into this evil world - but this is one of the greatest reasons for having children - to be the light in this dark world!
According to Campbell and her group, women are supposed to use their wombs to continuously conceive so that they can raise up an army against Satan - and if they don’t they are letting God down and are not being faithful to the Bible or the Christian Faith:
’Pharaoh said to his people, "the people of the children of Israel are MORE AND MIGHTIER than we." They were a threat to Egypt. This was God’s intention for His covenant people of Israel. And it is still His plan for His people today. He wants His people to become MORE AND MIGHTIER in the land. He wants the godly seed to be a threat to the devil. Is the Christian church a threat to the devil today? No! Instead we have given in to the enemy’s tactics to deplete the godly seed. There are some Christian couples who voice that they do not want children at all. This is opposite to God’s heartbeat and God’s Word….Instead of becoming MORE AND MIGHTIER, we are becoming less and less. Christians are having as few children as the world. Instead of obeying the Word of God, we have followed the trends of the world.’
’Now at this end time when God is looking for a people to fulfil His purposes like no other time in history, Satan is once again trying to eliminate the army of God. Over these last few decades he has been very successful. Born again, God loving Christians have fallen into His deceptive plan and helped him reduce God’s end time army. How long will we continue to become his pawns? May God help us to truly live in the kingdom of God which is the kingdom of LIFE.’
Campbell states that children are:
’ARROWS FOR GOD’S ARMY. God calls our children arrows. Psalm 127:4,5 says, "As ARROWS are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. HAPPY is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."
In the context of Bible days, arrows were for the purpose of war! We are at war today and God needs arrows for His army. God wants children born to fulfil His strategies and plans. When a warrior went out to war, how many arrows would he want in his quiver? One or two? No, he’d want to squeeze in as many as he could. The more arrows he had in his quiver, the more weapons he had to slay the enemy and the more protection he provided for himself.
Have we forgotten God’s Word which likens our children to arrows?…this is the very reason for having children. We train them to be the "light" and the "salt" in this dark world. We train and sharpen them to be "arrows" for God’s army.
Satan hasn’t forgotten God’s Word. He knows that if he can limit the arrows from Christian parents, he can limit the light that will expose his darkness. He can limit the truth that will expose his deceptions. He can limit the arrows that will destroy his works! Yes, the enemy is scared of the godly seed. He is out to destroy it by any means he can…He seeks to limit the godly seed before it is even conceived. By doing this, he limits the army of God. If the Christian church had not listened to the humanistic lies of the enemy and limited their families, the army of God would be more powerful in the earth in this end time hour. The enemy’s camp would be trembling. Instead they are laughing. Has contraception limited the army of God even more effectively than abortion?’
She goes on to quote numerous Bible verses that refer to arrows (but NOT children!) to add ’ammunition’ for her claims that God has been let down by churches, pastors and other leaders, Christian families in general, who have used or refused to discourage the use of, contraceptives and other ways of limiting the size of families.
Her teachings show a ’dominion theology’ emphasis, as well as a Word Faith/Health and Wealth influence.
She ignores the numerous passages that reveal that the SIZE of God’s army was never an issue for God. Again and again the Scriptures record God’s Word declaring that the victory was HIS - and that what he wanted from His people (including His soldiers) was their TRUST and FAITHFULNESS. The story of Gideon is also a very clear example of this truth (read Judges chapters 6 and 7).
Nancy Campbell is against women in the workplace outside the home. Mothers who work outside the home have succumbed to one of Satan’s many seductions. She reminds them:
’When a new baby is conceived in your womb, you have eternity in your womb. You bring forth a life that will last forever and ever. Motherhood is an eternal career. It carries on into the eons of eternity. One of the greatest deceptions of Satan is to seduce mothers to be captivated with their careers and ministry outside the home so they don’t have time to create life.’
Campbell also believes that women are not to have any independence:
’Women are not meant to be out of covering for one day of their life. While she is unmarried, a daughter is under the protection and guidance of her father, until the day that he says, "I do" and "gives" her to her husband. The father has a responsibility to know before God that the man that he "gives" his daughter to on the wedding day is the one that God has chosen for her, a man who will continue to provide, protect and care for her as he has done all his life. The new bride now comes under her husband’s covering, and under this protection she can fulfil her highest calling of nurturing the children that God gives to the marriage. As she embraces her nurturing instinct, she becomes a nation builder and a nation shaper. Dear wives and mothers, please understand my heart. I do not write this to condemn anyone but to re-focus our minds on God’s highest plan, rather than the mind-set of this society.’
While Campbell and Above Rubies state many good, worthwhile, and Biblically sound things, there is also a distortion of balanced Biblical truth, with Bible verses pulled out of context and used as proof texts to support her particular viewpoints.
Most of the texts Campbell uses for her teachings are based in the Old Testament. Her misuse of texts to support her claims almost shows some desperation in her quotes from the New Testament.
A chapter on ’Fruitfulness’ in Campbell’s manual, ’God’s Vision For Families’, was republished as an article on the Internet as: ’The God of the Full House’. This article/chapter lists numerous Old Testament verses used to prove that God is against contraception and that he wants His people to have lots, and lots, and lots of children - and then some more! Then the New Testament is (mis)used to continue the claims.
She quotes from John chapter 15 to ’prove’ that God wants us all to bear fruit, much fruit and more fruit. That may be true - but it has absolutely nothing to do with the number of children one’s wife conceives or able to conceive. She acknowledges a ’spiritual’ application but still uses it in the context of fathering (and mothering) lots of hildren. Some people use the same chapter to refer to the number of converts we are to make. It has nothing to do with children, or the sizes (numbers) of people who directly join some church fellowship because of our faithful witness. The context makes it clear that the ’fruit’ Jesus is referring to is LOVE. It is a fruit of which we are to bear a great deal.
Then Campbell goes on and states Jesus was a member of a big family (Mark 6:3); she furthers adds that Jesus loves children and welcomed and drew the children to Him (Matthew 19); then she clinches her New Testament use to back up her arguments with: ’THE GOD OF THE FULL HOUSE Luke 14:23, "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." God is the God of the full house. He wants to fill eternity. He will embrace all who will come to Him in His family. Do we have the same heart that God has? Do we want to fill our homes with furniture, TV’s, and material possessions - or children?.’ This a clear case of eisegesis - not sound exegesis. She ignores the context and distorts the actual meaning of what Jesus what teaching in this passage. It had absolutely nothing whatever to do with the number of children conceived in our families!
While breastfeeding is well-supported with medical and psychological evidence, Above Rubies materials go to extremes and use numerous prooftexts (out of context) to give Biblical support to breast feeding.
We are deeply disturbed by the lack of love and understanding shown to women who are unable to conceive children when Above Rubies manuals and materials state that ’bareness is a curse’ . Nancy Campbell’s emphases on the importance of wombs, breasts, motherhood and fertility as the things that identify, bless, glorify, and endorse womanhood strongly suggests that women who are or have always been single; women who have lost their wombs or breasts as a result of cancer treatment surgery; women who are infertile, or who through a genetic accident of birth don’t have all their organs functioning productively are not really, fully women. There is little in any of her manuals to say that God still confirms them as fully loved by him as women.
We don’t have space here to give further examples of, what we believe, is inappropriate use of prooftexting which characterises much of Nancy Campbell’s material - especially that which is found in her manuals and Internet articles. The material is significant, because the manuals are used and promoted at Above Rubies camps and retreats.
The teachings of Nancy Campbell/Above Rubies are NOT identical to those of Carol Balizet.
Above Rubies does NOT teach that only unassisted home births are acceptable to God; it does NOT teach the rejection of medicines or medical assistance; it does NOT teach that medical surgery is a sacrifice to foreign gods or that children born through Caesarean birth are, as a result, handed over to Satan - in fact, the Above Rubies magazines has had positive articles on multiple Caesarean births.
However, we believe that the Above Rubies emphases on the importance of wombs, breasts, motherhood and fertility, the judgemental comments against all forms of contraception (even the ’natural’ or ’rhythm’ method), tend towards imbalance and extreme - and provide a ready groundwork for the acceptance of the more extreme and bizarre claims of Carol Balizet.
CLARIFICATION:LookOut, as a Christian Ministry has nothing against large families, or small families. We believe that families have the right to choose, for whatever reasons before God, to have large families or small families. It is appropriate for them to make those choices before God. We don’t believe that the size of one’s family is a condition of faith and commitment as a Christian, nor does the size of one’s family provide grounds (or the right) for other Christians to judge others who choose to limit their families.
Nor are we, as a Ministry against Home Birthing (a number of us were born at home and not in a hospital). Again, Christians have the right to choose to give birth in their own homes or in hospitals. Neither choice is inherently ’Christian’ or ’biblical’ - it is a matter of choice - and therefore neither choice gives ground for negatively judging others as inferior Christians or as those who are disobedient to God’s commands. In this issue our major concerns are unassisted home births where medical assistance is deliberately avoided or rejected.
THE DIRECT CONNECTION
Above Rubies and Nancy Campbell have been directly responsible for introducing Carol Balizet to many young Australian mothers.
Following the death of Mrs CW on May1, 2001, the Australian Above Rubies representative and director, Mrs Val Stares, was interviewed by Channel Nine TV. She was new to media interviews but seemed to cope fairly well. Her televised comments, however, were not the most helpful. In response to a question relating to comments from Dr Simon Townsend, the then President of the AMA, stating that medical assistance could have saved Mrs CW’s life, Val Stares responded:
’Well, the Australian Medical Association is behind their doctors. Obviously, anything new [Carol Balizet’s bizarre teachings?] is threatening and, and umm, of course, when something what they see as wrong goes wrong, and someone dies, naturally it’s just almost instinct to attack it.’
She also stated: ’I don’t see death as a failure. I don’t think Carol [Balizet] would either. I think this, this precious mother [who died in Perth] was just seeking truth and walking in faith’ [and for 3 weeks suffered and then died in enormous pain!].
The Channel Nine team referred to her as a Carol Balizet ’follower’ - though inaccurate, according to Val, it was perhaps an understandable conclusion they jumped to given her comment:
The book [Carol Balizet’s Born in Zion - which Val acknowledged she had been promoting and selling for years] advocates that you have faith in God and trust Him.’
In later correspondence with inquirers Val Stares gave a ’full account’ of her perception of the interview. It is clear she felt that she was misrepresented when the interview was aired. She expressed concern that the questions she was asked were not actually aired, only her answers. In some ways that’s irrelevant as her comments were few and brief - and she did make the comments aired on television.
She also claimed in her correspondence statement that she ’had no idea how they got my name or linked me with Home in Zion Ministries of which I know very little…I was informed that my involvement through selling the book Born in Zion linked me to these people because they had read the book and believed everything they read.’
In her statement Val Stares shared that she had not been ’threatened into the interview’ but just asked if she would agree to an interview. She sought advice from her husband, her pastor, a pastor in Perth, and her ’immediate covering in Above Rubies.’ She claimed that, ’Without exception I was warned of potential danger, but no one said, "Val don’t do it."’ She had already stated that she was aware the interview could be dangerous, ’However, I didn’t receive anything from the Lord to indicate that I wasn’t to go ahead. It would have been so easy for God to stop me, but He chose not to for reasons I cannot explain.’ Feeling she had been misrepresented, it seemed to her that God ’had chastised me as a son. If it was for a reason bigger than my understanding or imagination, then I am glad He chose me to be crucified with Him.’
We believe that in actual fact there was very little misrepresentation of Val Stares or her comments on the Channel 9 programme that went to air. Some of her comments were naÃ¯ve and insensitive (though not intentionally so), but her claim that this ’misrepresentation’ amounted to being ’crucified with Christ’ was a gross exaggeration.
Accompanying Val Stares’ correspondence was a statement from Nancy Campbell, the Founder and Editor of Above Rubies. She declared: ’We are more aware than ever that you cannot expect the truth when you watch TV shows. We also grieve that the book, Born in Zion, could have been a factor in this family refusing medical help. We also confess that although we haven’t promoted this book (we only promote our Above Rubies manuals) we have had it available for those who were interested.’
We feel that neither Val Stares, nor Nancy Campbell have been as open with the facts as they could have been in these matters.
In 1995 Nancy Campbell sent Val stares a copy of Born In Zion for her 50th birthday (a fact that Val acknowledges in her correspondence statement). Nancy had inscribed the copy she sent Val with the following comments: ’To dear Val, Happy Fiftieth Birthday! If our precious Saviour does not return, may you live another 50 years in the power and health and anointing of the Holy Spirit. Much love, Nancy.’ and with a further attached note: ’Dear Val, I’m sure you’ll love this book! I did! Would you like to make them available in Australia? Tell me what you think of it when you read it. Love, Nancy.’
LookOut records show that we began to receive inquiries about Carol Balizet and her Zion Home Birthing in 1995. Concerns were expressed by a Presbyterian minister in Queensland at the time. Our records also show that ABOVE RUBIES was responsible for first introducing some Australian Christian women to Balizet and her bizarre and distorted teachings through the promotion of Born In Zion , especially through women’s camps. Since then we’ve had inquiries from individuals and leaders/pastors from various churches and denominations (Pentecostal to Non-Pentecostal, e.g. Baptists). Most have been deeply concerned about the extremes and potential risks to life for mother and child resulting from becoming a follower of Balizet and her teachings.
Nancy Campbell declared:’we haven’t promoted this book’ but that hardly stands up to the facts. Her note to Val Stares shows she thought Val might be interested in making it available in Australia (surely that would involve some promotion?!), and Nancy had it clearly listed on her international Internet website under their ’Resource Materials’ section:
’BORN IN ZION By Carol Balizet
A book about home birth that will inspire your faith. Even if you are not interested in home birth, this book is a great faith-builder. 12.00:’
That, in anyone’s dictionary, amounts to promotion of the book!
In New Zealand Above Rubies had promoted and sold Carol Balizet’s Born In Zion , particularly at their camps and meetings they attended. Their promotion ultimately led to the establishment of several Zion Home birthing groups in New Zealand. In the lead up to the Year 2000 Above Rubies had continued their promotion of Carol Balizet’s Born In Zion and seemed to express an obsession over end-times preparation for the Y2K.
Both Val Stares and Nancy Campbell have now stated that they will no longer sell Balizet’s book - but it took the death of a young Perth mother to convince them!
(In Part 3 we will conclude this series of articles with the final instalment. It will examine the Kingdom Living and Carol Balizet in connection with the death of Mrs CW in Perth in May, as well as accounts of other deaths.)
(From TACL Vol 22 #4 Aug/Sep 2001)