Jesse Morris has asked me to post his testimony of his experience as a child member of The Church of Jesus Christ Forever of Oregon, Illinois. He had posted some of it in the past on Facebook, but Facebook decided that he should not be allowed to tell what happened to him. They deleted his posts and cancelled his Facebook account. It is suspected that multiple members of the church which he escaped from had its members continually flagging his posts in order to get them taken down. Jesse has asked me to post his account on my website where Facebook cannot delete it. In this post Jesse reveals more details than he has previously.
It is my understanding that approximately a dozen people have alleged that they were abused as a direct result of the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ Forever. Some have told me they want to move on with their lives and not deal with the past, which is understandable. Others say that they want the public to know what they suffered and who caused it. They have told me that they are concerned for children still in the church and they want accountability to those who promoted the teaching that led to the abuse, which they say happened as a direct result of the church’s doctrines.
This article contains the testimony of Jesse Morris, who was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ Forever. These things happened long ago. Many of those who allege abuse are scattered to various states of the country. Jesse is now an adult with a family of his own. It is not known if the police can do anything because of the statute of limitations on these alleged offenses.
Before I present Jesse’s testimony, I want to say this: What you shall read may make your blood boil. The abuse alleged is horrendous. Since the issue is inflammatory, I urge everyone to leave the matter in the hands of the authorities. Stay away from the church property. Make no verbal threats on social media against anyone. While these people have strange doctrines, they have a right to freedom of religion, the same as anyone else. But the public also has a right to their opinion and the freedom of speech which gives everyone the right to express their view. Fortunately, there is no statute of limitations on public opinion.
I encourage everyone to give support to those brave enough to come forward and share their stories. It is important that city leaders, law enforcement agencies, and child protective services be made aware of the allegations. Hopefully, if enough people bring it to their attention, they will be vigilant and eventually sort it out.
Before we get into what Jesse has to say, I want to point out that there are several people who are alleging abuse. I want to mention just a few of them, for what they have to say lends weight and credence to Jesse’s words.
School Teacher’s Testimony…
The following Facebook post was made by a teacher in the public school system of Oregon, Illinois. She came in contact with several kids whose parents belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ Forever. For clarity sake, let me explain that the church has aliases. It is also referred to as The Perfect Church, and as The Rose.
Jesse’s Guidance Counselor at School…
Anthony Rinaldo is another person who alleges that The Church of Jesus Christ Forever caused him much suffering as a child…
Testimony of Jesse Morris
What follows are the words of Jesse Morris, whose parents were members of The Church of Jesus Christ Forever…
The church used specific scriptures to justify both the physical and psychological abuse they dealt. One of these scriptures was Matthew 17:21, “Howbeit, this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” This scripture was used out of context by the church when pressuring a person to fast.
Another verse that was applied was Proverbs 13:24 “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” This verse sums up everything the church believes in relation to discipline.
There are countless verses that the church used to encourage people to be hard workers and to avoid laziness and slothfulness. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with hard work itself. In fact, I believe it builds character. However, the church applied work as a punishment to rid a person of “meanness, rebellion, and stubbornness, etc.
These are just two examples of what the church might use to justify abuse. If you look at the testimonials of current members of the church, you’ll see that many of them touch on the idea of correction, but they never go in-depth because the actual means of correction are, without a doubt, child abuse.”
Following is a partial list of abuse that I endured while I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ Forever in Oregon, Illinois. There were many instances of psychological abuse, but I’ve chosen to omit them from this list and focus on the physical abuse.
Over the past several weeks, it’s been suggested to me that the abuse was justified as a means of correction for my many shortcomings as a teenager. Without explicitly stating that I deserved it, members of the church AND non-members who side with the church have implied that I had many faults as a teenager for which the abuse was directed. For the record, not one member of the church has a degree in psychology, sociology, counseling, psychiatry, or any other level of mental health or behavioral studies. Additionally, Kale Aluli is the only person in the church with any formal biblical training.
Without further delay:
- In 1999, at the age of 13-when I was in 7th grade, I was placed at Dwight and Ruth Miller’s home while my parents visited Hawaii. I was strongly pressured into fasting for extended periods of time. I never fasted willingly and I was known as the church member who would always cheat on his fasts. When I refrained from fasting, I endured psychological abuse and harassment.
- During this time at the Miller home, I was subjected to physical torture. It began with removing a pillow and blanket when I slept. This was during the winter in Illinois in the partially-finished basement of a large house. Every time I upset Dwight and Ruth, one more item was removed before I slept. I don’t remember the length of time, but during my stay at the Miller house, I was forced to sleep on the cement floor with a thin area-rug as a cushion. Dwight and Ruth then took my shirt from me and I slept without my shirt on the floor for several nights. Finally, they took my pants and for the majority of my stay at this house, I was sleeping in my underwear, on the floor with no blanket, pillow, or mattress, and I would lay in the fetal position while hugging myself for warmth. Dwight then moved me to another section of the basement that had no rug. I was left to sleep on the cement floor, in the same manner, while hugging myself for warmth. One night, Dwight told me to remove my underwear, as there was nothing else to remove to punish me. I lay in the position for several minutes as he stared down at me, and then allowed me to put the underwear back on.
- While staying at the Miller house, I was pressured to fast, but I would often cheat on the fasts and steal food from the cabinets or refrigerator. One day I was caught and that night, Dwight and Ruth subjected me to a torture that I had never experienced before. They assumed that I stole the food because I had a food addiction, so they forced me to eat a whole pan of fudge. After several bites, I told them that I could not eat any more. They forced me to do so anyway. They brought me to a point of sobbing and begging to not have to eat any more. I then threw up in a bowl.
- Dwight poured a glass of water and put several large spoonfuls of sugar in the water. He gave me the choice of drinking the sugared water or drinking my vomit. I don’t believe that they understood the point that they brought me to, as drinking my vomit seemed less-torture than drinking a glass of sugared water. I then picked up the bowl with my vomit and drank it.For the next 3 days, I was given food that contained high-amounts of sugar. I was forced to eat fudge-twists, peeps, pancakes with an excessive amount of syrup, and fudge squares themselves. My meals consisted only of this type of food.
- While at the Miller house, Dwight Miller pushed me outside in shin-high snow with no shoes on and he gave me a knife. I was told that it was better to enter the kingdom of heaven with only one hand. In the moment, I believed Dwight expected me to cut off my hand, so I held the knife to my hand and began cutting. Before I could draw blood, he took the knife back.
- While at the Miller house, late one night I was driven to the church at 603 Webster Street. I was made to sit in the center of a semicircle and several members of the church, including leadership, began describing how gruesome my birth was. I was called a monster and Frankenstein. I was then made to sit outside in the cold while the members of the church spoke privately. Once I began crying because of the cold, Rick Ryland stepped outside and told me to be quiet.
- While at the Miller house, Joyce Mallette forced me to remove my pants. I did so and my father showed up with a piece of wooden lattice in his hand. He then spanked my bare body so hard and for so long that I was removed from school until the bruises went away.
- While at the Miller house, Kale Aluli presented a handful of peanuts that he said he had dipped in toilet water. He then forced me to eat them.
- I left the Miller house around March, 2000.
- Sometime around the ages of 13-15, I was brought to Joyce Mallet’s house where several members of the church, including leadership, had gathered. I was told that I was becoming a glutton, and I had lied about how much food I had eaten at school. Kale Aluli then gave me the option-as a punishment-to wrestle with Joyce Mallette or receive a slap from her. I chose to be slapped, and in front of the members and leadership, Joyce Mallette slapped my face.
- Sometime between ages of 13-15, I was forced to eat my meals from our dog’s food bowl. I would be instructed to clean the dog bowl, my food would be given to me in it, and I would eat on the floor.
- Sometime between the ages of 14-16, I was made to wear dog feces in a plastic sandwich bag around my neck. Once the feces became older, I was given fresh feces to replace the old ones.
- Sometime around the ages of 14-16, I was made to dig my food out of the trash can. My food had previously been placed in it and I was forced to sort through the trash until I found my food.
- Sometime between the ages of 14-16, I was forced to take ice-cold showers as a punishment if I had spoken out of turn or gotten in trouble at school.
- When I was 15 or 16, during a church service, Laurie Ryland forced me to sit on a stool with one leg directly under me. They then placed a heavy blanket over my head and shoulders which caused my body to overheat as I sweated profusely. I was instructed to extend the leg I was not sitting on, as well as my arms. Once the leg I was sitting on began to hurt, I attempted to remove it from under me, but the members of the church forced me to sit back on it, despite the excruciating pain. They wouldn’t allow me to lower my arms or the free leg from their extended positions. Every member of the church, to my knowledge, was present and witnessed this.
- Sometime between the ages of 15-16, Roselani Aluli-James forced me to stand up during a church service and eat a bar of soap. I was made to chew the soap and swallow it. My throat burned for the next several days. Every member of the church, to my knowledge, was present and witnessed this.
- Sometime between the ages of 15-16, I was in Kale Aluli’s apartment and he told me what hell would be like if I was to go there. He then turned on the stove and forced me to hold my hand over the heat until it burned, to simulate the fire of hell.
- When I was 17, I fled the church and flew to Florida. I was gone for one month before I ran out of money and having no other options, I returned to the church. When I arrived, Joyce Mallette asked me where I’d been and then she slapped my face. I was allowed to return home, but Kale Aluli directed my mother to cut a swath down the center of my head to humiliate me and stipulated that I sleep in a tent in the yard, defecate in a bucket, and eat my meals on the porch of the house. Under no circumstances was I to be allowed in the house. When it began snowing and I was moved to the detached and unheated garage, Kale Aluli instructed my parents to remove the space heater that I had placed in the garage because I was too comfortable.
- When I was 18, I was placed at Bob and Brenda James’ home in Portage, Michigan. There was one night that Brenda lifted my shirt, pulled fresh dog feces from the refrigerator and smeared them on my bare chest, telling me that this was what my life was.
- While I was at the James’ house, we drove back down to Illinois for the weekend. We arrived at Joshua and Roselani Aluli-James’ house. That night, I attempted an escape, but having no resources to use or place to go, I returned. The next morning, Brenda James discovered I had attempted to run away and she forced me to hold ice cubes in my hands until I admitted the truth. Roselani Aluli-James and Josh James were present.
- While I was at the James’ house in Michigan, Brenda took a paintbrush full of paint and slapped me in the face with it for talking back to her.
- While I was at the James’ house, I knew I needed to leave the church for good. I had no resources. Bob and Brenda had taken my license and kept contact information – for my siblings who had already left the church – from me, so I could not ask them for help. I was not allowed to have a phone to contact anyone, nor was I allowed on a computer. I was too naïve and brainwashed to seek out help from the police.
- I stole money and several items that I thought I could sell from Bob and Brenda and made my way to the bus station. When Brenda, who had been searching for me, walked into the bus station several hours later with her daughter Andrea, I agreed to follow her back to the car obediently. We phoned Kale Aluli, who told me that things would be better for me if I returned. Once we arrived back to the house, Bob and Brenda forced me to sign a document stating that I had stolen items and money from them and I was told that the document would go to the police if I attempted to leave the church again.
- While at the James’ house, Bob James brought me into the bathroom and wrongfully-accused me of masturbation. He then held up a butcher knife and Tabasco sauce and told me that he was going to cut my genitals off or I was going to have the sauce poured on them. When I stated my innocence, he threw me up against the wall and asked me if I wanted to fight. It wasn’t until years later that I learned that Kale Aluli had been on the phone with Bob James and directed him to bring me to the bathroom to scare me.
- There were several times throughout my teens where I was forced to sit in the family vehicle during church gatherings at the church building itself, at parks, or at other people’s homes. Despite the temperature, I was not allowed to turn on the vehicle’s AC and I was forced to urinate or defecate in a bucket in the vehicle.
- There were several times throughout my teens where I was forced to sit in a church family’s basement, in the foyer of the church, in several different bathrooms and either read the Bible or listen to the church service from there. I was deliberately not included so as to show my low stature as a member of the church.
As this will probably get deleted, I give full permission and encourage you all to copy and paste the full list where you see fit. I give full permission for this list to be shared. If you need to contact me, I can be reached on Instagram @jessetookaphoto or at my email address: email@example.com”
UPDATE: After reading Jesse’s account, his sister Marcy added this comment on Facebook…
It has taken courage and fortitude for ex-members to come forward with their testimonies. There are others who have done so anonymously. Everyone hopes these will also come forth publicly and lend their support to those who have already gone public. An allegation with a real name attached to it carries ten-times the weight of an anonymous report. If and when these do come forward they will find a community of people who care about them and will support them.
Comments are welcome. This website is a safe space for the abused. All comments are moderated. Current members of the Church of Jesus Christ will not be allowed to comment. They have their own website to speak from. Any ex-members who wish to speak of their experiences are encouraged to do so.
I encourage you to comment on both the Facebook link to this page and also comment here. Facebook regularly removes posts about this subject and when they do all comments on that post are lost forever. For that reason I encourage you to place comments here also, for the comments placed here can never be removed by Facebook. Please scroll down to comment.