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Creflo Dollar - Twisted Roots


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When we think of childhood, we often envision a time of innocence and purity, a time when the only monsters we face are the imaginary ones in our closets. For today's guest, the monster in his world were very real. They roamed in his neighborhood, attended his church, even lived in his home, and the two people he should have depended on the most to protect them from the evils of the world, his parents, were the biggest monsters of them all. The man you're about to meet is a minister, counseling others through their own trials and ordeals, but he himself is unable to make peace with the demons from his own past. We're gonna help him find the sense of security that was always lacking in his childhood and move him toward a place of forgiveness and healing. I'm Creflo Dollar, and this is "Your World".

Creflo: The world of rape, sexual abuse, and victimization has been the only reality our next guest has ever known. Today we're going to try to bring some real healing to his heart. Ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome Bill to "Your World".

Bill Haley: Dr. Dollar.

Creflo: Good to meet you. My pleasure.

Bill: Thanks for having me.

Creflo: Well, thank you. I've been on a break for a little while, and to be able to have someone with your courage to come and to share with us today, it's a big honor. So I'd like to start off with this question. If you could briefly give us the summary of your life and what you are here to share with our television audience and local audience here today.

Bill: Sure.

Creflo: Then, again, thank you so much.

Bill: Well, I, of course, grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, to a household that was, I would say, "extremist religious". My biological father was a ordained minister. He had been in ministry since he was probably about eight or nine years old. His first church he started...

Creflo: Was this strong, law-based? You know, "Women don't wear dresses, don't makeup"?

Bill: No makeup.

Creflo: Okay.

Bill: No movies.

Creflo: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Bill: All of that, and growing up in that kind of environment was, obviously, a lot of restrictions, you know. It's just like, "Wow," who chose this life for me"? But he was a contractor. At one point, they tell me he was a master builder. He had 90 houses, buildings, going up at the same time, and the house that we lived in, back in 1977, was a house that he had built, and I can remember being a child the last day that we lived in that house, watching my uncle torch the house because the basement of the house had become infested with copperhead snakes, rattlesnakes, cottonmouth moccasins.

Creflo: What?

Bill: Yes, sir. It was just unreal. It was just unreal, and because of the condition of the house, the state took me and my sister out that home and moved us in, allowed us to stay with someone I call Aunt Mildred and Uncle Ervin. They raised us for a year, and that was the only stability I remember, being a child, around three or four years old. I was living in their house, and I can remember the last day of the year. It was right after Christmas, they had convinced the judge that they had changed and that. All of this, unbeknownst to me, my sister, she was born in '74, and he had already been incesting her from a little baby. All of this, I wasn't aware of, you know, as a child.

Creflo: Incest with her from a little baby till...

Bill: Yes, sir.

Creflo: Okay.

Bill: And we moved from our play aunt and uncle's house, to what is literally the ghetto.

Creflo: In Memphis?

Bill: In Memphis, Tennessee. And so we moved into Tulane Apartments, back in 1980, and I almost would say I'd rather have had the snakes because what was gettin' ready to happen in that small apartment was gonna be just unreal. And I can just remember growing up in that apartment. It was a corner apartment. I can remember my room was right there, where there was a big shrub, and I can just remember times when men would come into my room and rape me.

Creflo: Men would come into your room at three years old?

Bill: They would pull the screen off of the window and would come and open up the window and come in my room and rape me.

Creflo: Did your parents know that people were comin' in the room?

Bill: I believe they knew because when it started was, around that age was my biological father had began to incest me at that time.

Creflo: At three.

Bill: At three years old.

Creflo: Your biological father?

Bill: Biological father. He would walk in there. Mind you, this is a Bible-totin', used to walk the pavement, run a mission on a Saturday, goin' around prayin' for people. On Sundays, he had somewhere to go preach. I could just remember people were just braggin' about how much he loved God and how much he served God and how he was praying for their children, and their children were being delivered from drugs. And I'm just like, "I wish somebody would deliver me from this house," you know? I can just imagine him coming in with his uncircumcised self, exposed, and either he wanted oral sex, or he wanted to rape me.

Creflo: So you suffered the abuse of your biological father, who was a minister of the Gospel, who would come in and abuse you sexually from age three to...

Bill: Around, about 12 years old.

Creflo: About 12 years old. I can't even imagine what that must've been like, well, from an age, that's a baby, to 12 years old. The trauma.

Bill: Yeah.

Creflo: Do you recall throughout those years the emotion, the...

Bill: Oh, yeah.

Creflo: Describe those emotions.

Bill: Well, for one thing, after he would've incested me, he had already had been in my sister's room.

Creflo: Oh, both of you, both of his kids.

Bill: Both of his kids. So when he started out with her room, I was usually his last place, and can you believe, after you've raped both of your children, you wanna stand up and pray as a family and use the Word of God to enslave us and make us feel like we were goin' to hell because we didn't want to pray with him? And usually the "prayer meeting," as you can imagine, ended up being an argument. It ended up being him yelling. It ended up being him just being very dogmatic in the way he communicated.

Creflo: Very controlling?

Bill: Very controlling, extremely controlling. You couldn't have your eyes open. You couldn't sit a certain way. You couldn't, if you weren't, he always wanted to repeat the Lord's Prayer first. If you weren't repeating it in unison, in synchronization of everyone else, then, you know, he wanted to go and grab a belt. Now he wants to beat you, you know.

Creflo: So now you're talkin' about bein' sexually abused and physically abused.

Bill: Yes, sir.

Creflo: Where was your mother?

Bill: She was right there.

Creflo: And what did she have to say about this?

Bill: Well, she didn't have much to say other than he was her God. He could've just cursed the whole house out, and she'd be in the kitchen cooking for him.

Creflo: So do you think she knew about the sexual abuse that you and your sister were goin' through?

Bill: She had to have known 'cause she was sexually abusing us as well.

Creflo: Your... your...

Bill: Yes, sir.

Creflo: Your biological mother...

Bill: Yes, sir.

Creflo: Was sexually abusing you as well?

Bill: Yes, sir, and my sister. She was...

Creflo: So both of your biological parents were sexually abusing you and your sister?

Bill: Yes, sir.

Creflo: And they both were in ministry?

Bill: Yes, sir.

Creflo: And after the sexual abuse, would often use Scriptures?

Bill: Yes, sir.

Creflo: So help me. I wanna make sure I'm gettin' this. So there will be times where sexual abuse would take place, and then "Let's turn to the Scriptures, and then let's pray"?

Bill: Yes, sir.

Creflo: And you're, like, "What're you talkin' about"?

Bill: Exactly. So, as you can imagine, someone like me had a very big problem with respecting authority. I mean, my whole concept of authority had been just ruined, you know, when, especially the people, as you were saying, who were supposed to be the main ones protecting you and just helping you through life were the main, very ones who were not, and there was a brief time when he was back out on his adultery prowl. He would leave, and he would be gone for times, maybe weeks at a time, and at that time, I became her emotional husband, so much so that, you know, she would have me, you know, lay on top of her, you know, and she would coach me as to how to, you know, have intercourse with her. A roller coaster, I don't think could describe that.

Creflo: I've never heard anything like that before in my life, and it is so demonic in its nature that there's no other way to describe somethin' like that, and, yet when I thought, well, you know, as crazy as that is to hear, it keeps goin', doesn't it?

Bill: It does.

Creflo: Tell us about it.

Bill: It does. By this time, she'd been a housekeeper. By this time, she's also a private-duty nurse. She's leaving us at home with us now, and so she tried to help me create an outlet, and it was the Boy Scouts. They'd come to the school, and I think I was in the fifth grade by then, so I joined, and my first meeting I went, it was on a Wednesday night, went there, got my uniform and everything. So I leave the meeting just happy, like, "Wow, I'll be a Boy Scout. Maybe I'll become an Eagle Scout". And I'm walkin' home. It's about a three- or four-, five-minute walk, and I could hear footsteps behind me, and the more I walked, the more I heard the footsteps, the closer they got, until it was seven of the older boys that were scouts gang-raped me.

Creflo: What?

Bill: Yes, sir. I could remember being pushed to the ground. I could remember my clothes being ripped off of me. I could remember that night. It was so dark, they're like monsters. I could hear them laughing as they each were takin' turn. It went on for about 10 or 15 minutes until I, you know, finally got up enough strength to walk home. My mother could tell by the way I looked and the way my clothes looked that something had happened, and the only thing that she could do, only thing she offered was she brought a container of petroleum jelly to my bedside, sat it on the bed and said, "You'll be okay," and got up and walked out of the room. And even after my sister Bridgette had been, you know, raped by our father, she would do the same thing with her. She would bring the petroleum jelly. And, really, by then, I had started to develop a hatred for her.

Creflo: Yeah, because you're lookin' for some, "I've just been raped. I'm lookin' for some compassion. I'm lookin' for a hug. I'm lookin' to be held. I'm lookin' to be comforted".

Bill: Yes, sir.

Creflo: And to bring that and put it down is almost, there's so many messages that you can take from, and all of 'em are awful...

Bill: Right.

Creflo: But you didn't get what a little boy and girl should have had, the security and the affection and the safety.

Bill: Right.

Creflo: We're gon' take a short break. We'll be right back, and as we hear more from Bill, I've gotta sort out my emotions, and I'm tellin' you, when we come back, you think, "well, it can't get any worse", wow, you don't want to miss this. We'll be right back.

Creflo: Welcome back. We've been talkin' to Bill about some, I have yet to come up with the one vocabulary word to describe what you've been talkin' about. I'd like for us to continue this story because one could possibly think that this can't get even nowhere near worse than what it already is, but it did, didn't it?

Bill: It did. It really got just, it's unreal, even more unreal than that because they started havin' what they called "Fish Fry Fridays".

Creflo: Fish Fry Fridays?

Bill: Yeah.

Creflo: I think I remember some of them fish fries.

Bill: I mean, you know, as a people, we could remember people just comin' together and just havin' a good time and just eating good, however, their Fish Fry Fridays had something more sinister behind them because not only were they our parents, they were also our pimps, and every Friday for many weeks, they would invite other preachers, some of them having churches, and after they would've eaten, Bobby's catfish or whatever she had fried, her spaghetti and coleslaw, and white bread, they would give them the choice of whichever room they wanted to go in to indulge themselves, so either they chose to go in my sister's room, or they decided to come in my room, and it didn't just stop there.

Creflo: Well, hold on. Hold on. These are your biological parents?

Bill: Biological parents.

Creflo: These are ministers of the Gospel...

Bill: Yes, sir.

Creflo: Who, under the guise of a Fish Fry...

Bill: Yes, sir.

Creflo: Were pimping you and your sister out...

Bill: Yes, sir.

Creflo: To other ministers?

Bill: Other ministers, and, mind you, we're still being incested by them. So we're being pimped out, but we're also still being raped by them as well. It didn't stop until, you know, I got in a certain age but...

Creflo: That's wicked. It's criminal. It's egregious. It's every word in the English language.

Bill: Yes, sir.

Creflo: Oh, please tell me it can't get any worse than that.

Bill: Well, you know, I...

Creflo: I don't know if I, Bill, I'm tellin' you, you got it like hell, Bill. I might need to go get me a drink, you know? That's just like... oh.

Bill: I mean, you know, sometimes when I watch TV now and I see the teenage boys that go and shoot up schools, and though I don't agree with anything that they do, I can understand them because I can remember myself.

Creflo: And this is why I said during the break, Bill, "You're a miracle, man". I mean, who...

Bill: Yes, sir.

Creflo: How do you survive?

Bill: You know, I praise God because I met my spiritual mother, apostle Vetrina Washington, here. She was fellowshipping with a organization in Memphis, and I met her, and I praise God. Apostle is who the Lord used to really bring all of that out because I had forgotten it all. She took me under her wings and really began to deal with me about forgiveness and love. She's like, "Haley, I'm sorry about what you went through, but you can't stay there. You can't live your life like this. You've got to let that stuff go".

Creflo: It's just miraculous to me, and the more and more you talk, the more and more I see the hand of God in where you are today. I'm talkin' to a guy that I would probably assume to be dead.

Bill: Dead or in jail.

Creflo: Or in jail. Dead or in jail.

Bill: It's a miracle, even through today, I have never yet been clinically diagnosed, even though I know that I have issues as being bipolar or schizophrenic. I have never taken any type of psychotropic meds. I had gone from the projects in Memphis to eventually owned a home in Memphis, and here I am, a young man with a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, all of these years of experience in accounting.

Creflo: But, Bill, what you just said, I mean, did you hear his resume? That's a miracle to me.

Bill: Yeah.

Creflo: That's a miracle to me that you even could have the focus to be able to earn a bachelor's, master's, hold a job down. Now, give me about a minute to preach to you for a minute. The grace of God is God's unmerited, undeserved, unearned favor, that his love is so extravagant that he needs to satisfy his love on somebody, and with everything you have ever gone through, if I've ever met anybody that's got an excuse, if I met anybody that could say, "The reason why I'm not this" or "The reason why I did that", yet God's mighty hands has brought you up out of a ditch. It ain't no way that you have gone through what you have gone through for nothin' at all. There has got to be a generation of people who are goin' through stuff like this secretly, and if nobody shares it, it stays a secret, but today you have shined the light, the spotlight on somethin' that may be an issue in a lot of households, and people would never know, and here you sit, courageously tellin' your testimony. The devil, I believe, wanted you dead by now, but every attempt to try to wipe you off the planet, the grace of God kept showin' up and said, "No, we are not gon' let this thing happen". So I'd like for you to do somethin'. I believe that there are people who have been led by the Spirit of God to watch this broadcast today, who, as they hear your story and as they have joined you for this journey today, can probably share some similar experiences. Could you look at this camera here and speak to those people? What advice would you give someone who is right now in the middle of what God has delivered you out of? Go ahead.

Bill: I would tell them, don't let who hurt you outlive you. God has more for you. I'm sorry about what happened to you. Some of you might have stories worse than mine. Whatever the case is, God is greater, and if I could leave you with anything, I will leave you with this: Your purpose is greater than your pain.

Creflo: Wow, wow, wow, mm, wow. Ladies and gentlemen, my wrap for today's show is very simple: Through it all, God is able. And I wanna thank my guest, Bill Haley, for having the bravery to share your story with us today. It's a blessing, isn't it? Amen.
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  1. Miracle Love
    1 July 2019 00:31
    + 0 -
    Who are his parents? What is the big secret to hide who his parents are?