Alecia Pennington Wants to Obtain Her Legal Documentation: Is Spiritual “Tough Love” Preventing Lisa and James Pennington from Complying?

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Alecia Pennington needs her birth certificate and social security card to help her in her adult life. Her parents, James and Lisa Pennington have not helped her obtain these important documents. Why?

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There’s a very sad story spreading throughout social media regarding a young lady (age 19) named Alecia Faith Pennington.

She goes by Alecia. Her father calls her Faith. Hmm. Think about that for a moment.

Alecia comes from a large homeschooling family whose parents are very active in the homeschool community. Mom, Lisa, is a blogger (Hip Homeschool Momsand The Pennington Point) and speaks at conventions.  Alecia left her home abruptly.

Lisa Pennington wrote this about Alecia leaving:

On Wednesday, September 24th my life was changed forever.  My 18 year old daughter left home.  She gave us no warning, no signs that it was coming.  She didn’t try to talk to us about it or work with us.  She, with the help of my parents, just left.  And with her she took pieces of my heart that had been torn to shreds.  I cried harder that day than I ever knew was possible.  So hard that it scared my little boys and I had to go in my closet and put a pillow over my face to muffle the sobs.

 

I can relate with Lisa’s feelings and her sadness. I’ve been there, too. Well, that’s Lisa’s side of the story. Moving on to Alecia. Unfortunately, since leaving home, Alecia has been unable to start her adult life very well without much-needed documentation which she claims her parents haven’t given her.

I want you to hear straight from Alecia:

 

 

This is from her father, James Pennington, who posted the following on Facebook, along with the YouTube video:

By now many of you have seen the video that our daughter made.

We made a video response, even though we would prefer to have handled this privately. But it’s gotten bigger than just us now.

We want to say loud and clear that we love our daughter and want her to have everything she wants in life.

We have offered many times to help her and have continued to offer since the video came out. We have never refused to help.

We had no idea what she had been through trying to obtain this information until the video came out. She never told us about any of it.

We wish her every happiness. (Source)

 

 

James and Lisa Pennington have a lot of supporters. Here’s one:

jp

 

I want to say up front that my creepo meter has gone off on this story for a number of reasons. When I see that Lisa Pennington has removed pertinent blog articles and comments, that is troublesome.

Alecia set up a Twitter account under the name @HelpMeProveit, along with a Facebook page with the same name, Help Me Prove It.  Can anyone tell me why her father would have a need to buy the domain helpmeproveit.com, except as a preemptive move to keep the story from spreading?  See this link.  (Those of you familiar with my story may remember my suing pastor also bought domain names similar to the name of my former blog so as to phish readers to his site.)  It is my understanding that this is a form of cyber bullying which can have legal ramifications.

This story feels very familiar to me for a number of reasons. My daughter left home abruptly and we (and our pastor/church)  immediately labeled her as rebellious. In our culture, an adult daughter just doesn’t leave home like that. The happily-ever-after story is dad selects an approved young man for adult daughter to court and they get married. To leave from under the father’s roof on her own means she is out from under the Umbrella of Protection. To those who hold to these ideologies, Alecia would be in a very dangerous place spiritually and you can be sure that is where their primary focus is.  It’s important to note that in this culture, the relationship between adult child and parent is not the most important agenda, the adult child’s spiritual state is the real issue for them. They will likely “sacrifice” their daughter permanently as “tough love” in order to feel the pain of the absence of her family and cause her to “come back.” This is a form of shunning and spiritual manipulation.

I can recall two other public cases within the last year of well-known homeschool parents whose adult children “rebelled.”  The parents publicly say they love their adult children and want what’s best for them. They also insist that their adult children are in the wrong. They place all of their hope in God and hope their adult children will turn from their evil ways. I get it. I was one of those parents. One of those public stories seems to be moving in a positive direction after the mother publicly humbled herself. The other, not so much.

I reached out to James Pennington on Twitter to see if he would be open to a 3rd party help in the situation, whether that be me or anyone. Here is the conversation:

 

 

 

I haven’t been able to confirm from Alecia if what her father says in the last tweet is true. Based on the recent online activity of Alecia, it seems she would have reported something if they indeed connected and Alecia’s requests were being honored.

I’ve seen the way this works in similar ideological homeschool circles. If you notice in my conversation with Mr. Pennington, he seemed to struggle with saying, “yes, I’d be happy to do whatever it takes, even 3rd-party help.”  Do you sense him dragging his feet?  I think for the Pennington parents, it has to be on their terms. If you notice in the video, he tells Alecia to contact him. Yes, that would be a normal way of handling issues, but this is not normal. This is an estranged relationship and a fragile one.

In the circles I come from, parents are always right, so this would be labeled as Alecia’s problem and she is the one who has to make it right. The thought would be that she needs to humble herself and go to her parents if she wants them to help her. I highly suspect that they are forcing her to “suffer the consequences” of her “sin” and that is why they are not forthcoming with the information she needs, and requiring that she make the move to them. It’s all cloaked in “we love Faith,” but where is the humility on their side? Even if they feel they have been wronged, humility says for them to reach out to her on her terms. Show her grace in actions. Defending yourself on YouTube is not humble. Loving action would be to reach out in a way that feels safe to Alecia. 

I don’t get these parents who will give up on their adult children, publicly say they are suffering for righteousness sake because they are doing “tough love.”  This love thing seems to be very confusing to a lot of people and if it were really love, why would so many people be in so much pain?

 

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Update:  Alecia posted the following note on her Facebook page:

UPDATE: I have some wonderful news! My father has begun cooperating with us! He states he is willing to sign any documents, and give me any information he has concerning what I may need as proof.
I would also like to ask that you do not post demeaning comments about my parents. Even though I do not agree with them on many things, I would like their reputation to be protected as much as possible. Thanks!

 

 

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87 comments on “Alecia Pennington Wants to Obtain Her Legal Documentation: Is Spiritual “Tough Love” Preventing Lisa and James Pennington from Complying?

  1. The job of a good parent both Biblically and psychologically speaking is to prepare their children to leave home when they are of age and to flourish separately with good supportive connections intact. These parents have not planned for normal life events. In the UK, where I grew up, you are considered an adult at 18. I just don’t get this dysfunctional holding young adults back from healthy separation from their parents. It doesn’t just happen in Christian circles, but a cult mentality does lend itself to this problem more often than not. And what is truly dysfunctional is that parents of any persuasion who behave like this usually end up shunning their own children because they can’t control them by getting them to stay. It’s bizarre and entirely self-defeating.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is all about control. Period. Alecia should never have felt the need to “go public” with this to get the documentation she needs. Her parents should have done their due diligence long before this moment to make sure all of their children posses the necessary paperwork to go forward in life. These parents are utterly irresponsible!!

    Not long after I came of age my father handed me my SSN card. I already had my driver’s license. I don’t think I ever needed a copy of my birth certificate. I requested a copy in my early 30’s, just for the heck of it, while I was getting a copy of one of my kid’s. It was no big deal.

    I hope all the attention gets very uncomfortable for Mr. Pennington. He’s already being audited by the IRS for not filing a tax return since 1996.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. My daughter left home suddenly and went all the way to Arizona with two absolute strangers to WOOLF (jumping to organic farms all around the country). I basically had to give it up and love her through it all. She lost all her stuff (phone, camera, social security) and car broke down in a snow storm. She has made choices I do not agree with, however, losing her because of my own selfishness and not knowing where she is at far worse. She is now living near (or with) her boyfriend and has not entertained any desire to go to school. But what am I suppose to do? Keep her with me for the rest of my life? Hold her in spiritual bondage? Fundamentalist attitudes live in fear of hell, estrangement from God, their own past experiences which results in bizarre behaviors , including trying to keep children from experiencing the world around them. It becomes a bubble. I was in that bubble, not abused, but filled with those attitudes and teachings around me.
    Letting go of our children is necessary for them to even grow in adulthood.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I have a few thoughts on this. First, assuming the daughter’s facts to be true, I really feel for her. Second, again assuming her version is true, it will be exploited by opponents of educational freedom who only care about their own agenda. Third, with the same assumptions, the parents should make good on their stated aim of helping her prove legal presence. Fourth, she must have been a very healthy child never to have been treated in a hospital.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “she must have been a very healthy child never to have been treated in a hospital.”

    No kidding. It’s more than likely her parents “treated” her ailments with essential oils, homeopathy, herbs, and whatnot. How would I know? Been there, done that.

    I wonder if she’s ever even seen a dentist. You have to fill out SSN’s on paperwork for any kind of health care. Some home birthed, homeschooled kids literally do not exist on paper.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. BTDT: It is a little hard to believe that she has never been to a hospital. All but one of our five have been for cuts, pneumonia, etc.
    I just don’t understand homebirth as a choice. It sounds like a boomer hangover from hippy days.
    I get the idea that one does not need a document to be a person, but the practicalities of it are that in order to prove legal presence, one has to have documents.
    i don’t want to trigger anyone, but what denomination do these folks belong to?

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  7. I’m not sure about their denomination. Maybe one of the links under “related articles” has that info.

    We used Certified Professional Midwives for all 5 of our births, and had a wonderful experience. They registered all of our births for us. All I had to do was request a copy from the Dept of State Heath Services. Most of the parents in our former cult used untrained, unlicensed lay midwives from the cult. Some of those births were not registered. Most of the kids in that cult have never seen a doctor.

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  8. I’m not intending to be confrontational with you Keith. I apologize if I come across that way. This scenario is too familiar to me.

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  9. BTDT: (Hope you don’t mind me abbreviating your screen name) I saw a Texas case about “The Anchor Group”, but so far have not found anything else re: their denomination.
    May I ask why you chose homebirth? I don’t question your decision, especially since you also had a qualified professional there.
    Did those who used untrained midwives do it for any particular reason?

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  10. I’m in between classes, but can’t wait to respond when I’m at my computer. I did not have a paper birth certificate for Caboose child until last fall. Said child is now 9. There’s your teaser until I can get back to my computer and explain further.

    Like

  11. In native American context……. many question whether or not to obtain any form of identification as many ‘all natural’ parenting methods involve homebirth……

    Many wonder if they should identify their native American ancestry or not.

    The united states is unique in ‘identification’ of children thanks to the native American ‘boarding school era.’

    I personally would encourage ‘natural type’ parents to register names appropriately if they plan to participate in common holidays of European nature or even drive vehicles vs. Native American POW wows…… due to potential jealousies.

    I’m sure if this daughter had married happily at 16 we wouldn’t even hear of this complaint.

    The complaint is a spiritual issue for the daughter as she doesn’t realize that many of the ‘privileged’ registered people are bombed by higher debt due to college loans, mortgages and other such fancies that people dream of removing from their life.

    Yes I do have a husband with ‘dark native american’ hair. He is NOT an ‘illegal’ Mexican immigrant. His father attends POW wows on home tribe. European ancestry seem to be more illegal to americas in actuality. People will and can move around the earth if they want to, with or without registrations.

    The deportations of ‘illegal unregistered’ Mexican parents….. that is another story.

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  12. My family just isn’t crunchy at all. Hospital births for all five. Thank the good Lord for the docs and nurses!

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  13. @Keith,

    We actually labored and birthed at a birthing center and not at home. The midwives had medical backup at a nearby hospital for any potential complications. But they screened each birth throughout, and would refer us to a Dr. if problems arose. Thankfully, I was very healthy with each one.

    We had to fight with our minister to use the licensed midwives! Parents were pressured to use the church lay midwives. If any problem arose during a birth with them, you ended up at the hospital essentially as an unassisted childbirth. What they are doing would be illegal if they were charging.

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  14. I’m not understanding this whole thing. If what this young woman really needs is a birth certificate, why can’t her parents go to the court house and get one. They know when she was born and where. Wouldn’t she be able to get everything else as long as she had the birth certificate or am I missing something. I don’t see why it is an issue except that they want control and aren’t getting it.

    Back in the 20’s when the evil step-father was born, he did not get a birth certificate and made it through much of his life without it until there was a discrepancy in the year he was born. His proof was a family bible and that was enough to get him what he needed.

    I raised my kids so that they would be able to survive independently once they were grown. I don’t comprehend wanting less for your child whether male or female.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Regarding the immediate issue, her site says she’s got a lawyer, I would assume pro bono and getting some good publicity out of the deal, so I would guess she’s going to have her papers very soon. This is especially the case since she’s had orthodontic work, which generally indicates she’s had dental work & records. It will take some doing, but a good lawyer will figure that out quickly.

    And let’s be careful about projecting our own experiences onto this case. In this case, it’s apparent that grandparents disagree with the parents regarding religion (more?) to the point of helping her move out–not a small deal for senior citizens.

    Could be big, or could be….the grandparents have aberrant views. I’ve personally seen a lot of kids break away from their parents–I got kicked out of my dad’s house when in college for that matter (we’ve reconciled)–and let’s just say there are a wide variation of blame sources out there.

    One biggie along these lines is that failing to get documentation is not necessarily a sign of trying to control the child. I personally know people who have refused to get SSNs for their children under the impression that getting the SSN signs them up for the Panoptikon our government has set up, and because they believe they can do well without them. I disagree with that logic, but I’ve heard it a few times.

    See what I’m getting at there? Could be that the parents are total pieces of work who control the minutiae, or it could be something very different. You never know.

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  16. Do the parents ever give a reason why they didn’t get their kids birth certificates right after their births? Did I miss something? What’s the “practical” reason for this other than fear?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Monique, the lack of a birth certificate can be:

    1. The parents didn’t want to go through the hassle of getting it. It’s easy when the child is born in a hospital, something of a hassle otherwise. Laziness.

    2. Some parents believe that the presence of a birth certificate and/or SSN enables government control of their child. They’re wrong, but I’ve heard that logic.

    3. Probably some parents genuinely do withhold a birth certificate so that their child has to stay with them until the parents are ready to let them go. I’ve not seen this personally, but there is a sort of logic to it.

    Or maybe something else. My six have birth certificates and SSNs, as I don’t believe that the government that funds the NSA is going to let a little scrap of paper get in the way of what they want to do. Plus I like the tax rebates. :^)

    Like

  18. According to The Christian Science Monitor, “In Texas, midwives are required to register as well as file a birth certificate, so it is possible that Alecia’s midwife – who has reportedly refused help – either did not file or was not registered, both of which are illegal.”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2015/0212/Alecia-Pennington-can-t-prove-she-s-an-American-or-even-exists.-What-would-you-do

    And this doesn’t bother the Penningtons?

    Liked by 2 people

  19. BTDT, what our hostess says. I investigated the Constitution Party myself for a while, never could get past the David Bartonesque rhetoric, really, and many in that movement take an overtly antigovernment stance that goes well beyond the limited government stance of most “Tea Party” conservatives. Distrust of government is huge that way, and that is what I was getting at with pointing out that failure to get birth certificate/SSN may or may not be a form of control. I have no idea what the actual numbers are for “control freaks” among those who do not do birth certificates and such.

    And thank you for reminding me to read the CS Monitor–if what they’re saying is true (and they’re usually pretty good), the parents have a subpoena for information to be provided within a week, and if it doesn’t arrive, the parents will be getting some notes from the DA.

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  20. Yes, Bike Bubba. His former association with the Constitution Party, non-payment of taxes for almost 20 years (Sovereign Citizen?), undocumented births, etc, is indicative of distrust of government.

    I have read comments from those who have read Lisa’s blog of how controlling she is of her adult children. Here is just one: https://homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/when-your-very-identity-is-held-hostage-alecia-pennington-and-identification-abuse/comment-page-1/#comment-20614

    Unfortunately, since Lisa has been deleting posts and her blog seems to be down at the moment (hmmmmm), you can’t read it for yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I am a certified and licensed professional midwife who does both home and birth center births. In states where midwives are licensed, midwives MUST file a birth certificate. There is a $10,000 federal fine for each failure to do so. In states where lay midwifery is a legal and permitted, most lay midwives can register with the state to file a birth certificate and are encouraged to do so, but not compelled to do it. Most do. In states where lay midwifery is illegal, midwives cannot and will not file birth certificates as they need to keep their activities under wraps. In ANY state either parent can go to the state registrar after a birth and file a birth certificate. It helps to have the newborn seen by a physician to document their existence, but the parents can both sign a notarized affidavit testifying to the baby’s birth. So if a parent does NOT file a birth certificate, barring simple oversight, it means that they intentionally wanted to hide
    the child’s existence from the government. Many groups who believe the state will take their children away or who are in the patriots movement do not file birth certificates. If this CPA/ATT dad hasn’t filed taxes for years, as one commenter has suggested, then he is likely in the patriot movement and feels that taxes, birth certs and social security violates their constitutional rights.

    Yes, you can file a birth cert at a later date, but it is hugely problematic. A late filing can create all sorts of challenges to actually obtaining a passport as they screening process is more rigorous. I have a friend who had a home birth with a lay midwife and she delayed filing his birth certificate until he was five years old. Now that he is an adult they are trying to pull together affidavits and all kinds of documentation to prove he was born in the USA because he can’t get a passport with a delayed filing birth certificate. He is having to find and docs and get affidavits to create a cumulative preponderance of proof. This is a kid who served in the military!!! So when Alecia’s dad says that a passport is easier to get than a birth certificate he either doesn’t know what he’s talking about or he is sending her on a wild goose chase to make her situation and dependency on them seem all the more hopeless. I recommend that she contact them through a third party to seek affidavits from anyone who was present at her birth. Get them soon while the parents are still hopeful of a reconciliation, because she will need them. Get an affidavit from her pastor and a copy of her baptismal record or her baby book. ANYTHING asap before the honeymoon of contact wears off. Just because a birth cert is filed with the state it doesn’t mean the parents or the adult child have obtained a paper copy for their own records. That’s a separate step.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Sovereigns are fascinating, a religio-political cult, a tor-headed monster of Common Law and the UCC. Most people get downright angry at the government at times, but I think Sovereigns attract a combination of a certain personality, sort of narcissism and join it to a strange ahistorical ideology.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. This is interesting to me for many reasons, one being that the Penningtons used to attend the cult-church that I left. I was never very well acquainted with any of them, but remember them being nearly Mennonite in appearance, making their own clothes and such. Years after they had left that church, for what reason I know not particularly, I ran into them at an event and they seemed a little more hip and modern–I assumed it was because they wanted to get their kids married off. The girls all had matching names, Faith, Hope, Grace, etc. I am sure this is why James insists on calling her Faith.

    I find it curious that Alecia is having such a difficult time obtaining documentation–in Texas, it is usually super easy (from what I have heard) to get an SS card and other documentation, especially if you are an immigrant from down South. It may be more difficult, as someone has said, for those of more European descent.

    If the Penningtons still live where they used to live, the local judge is very pro-child, anti-abuse–if Alecia could somehow get a personal hearing with him and explain her case a little better, perhaps he could expedite something somehow.

    I feel for kids who have left their homes in this manner. It took me so much courage, including heavy support from my boyfriend and several other friends. I chose to wait to tell my parents until the day that I was moving out, because I knew that if I said anything earlier, the passive-aggressive guilt trips would be too much for me to handle. It is possible that this was Alecia’s situation as well. It’s all about survival.

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  24. Some home birthed, homeschooled kids literally do not exist on paper.

    They’re “Blanks” right out of Max Headroom.
    No paper trail, no documentation, officially they literally do not exist.

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  25. Sovereigns are fascinating, a religio-political cult, a tor-headed monster of Common Law and the UCC. Most people get downright angry at the government at times, but I think Sovereigns attract a combination of a certain personality, sort of narcissism and join it to a strange ahistorical ideology.

    Either somewhere here or at Wartburg Watch, Judge Tim once remarked that when the opening statement in your courtroom is one of the parties reading a Sovereign Citizen Manifesto, it’s not only going to be a LONG day but it can only go downhill from here.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. BTDT, what our hostess says. I investigated the Constitution Party myself for a while, never could get past the David Bartonesque rhetoric, really, and many in that movement take an overtly antigovernment stance that goes well beyond the limited government stance of most “Tea Party” conservatives.

    In other words, Bike Bubba, these guys make the Tea Party and Montana Militia look as mundane as a business memo.

    Like

  27. I always thought my parents were nutz to some degree, but these folks really take the cake. I mean he sounded sincere on the video, I was going to make a lawyer comment but most lawyers I know about 99% of them are extremely honest and ethical professionals. But being a lawyer he should know better.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. JA said:

    I’m in between classes, but can’t wait to respond when I’m at my computer. I did not have a paper birth certificate for Caboose child until last fall. Said child is now 9. There’s your teaser until I can get back to my computer and explain further.

    Ok, here’s my story. just over 9 years ago, I gave birth at home to our Caboose child. Last summer, as I was collecting vaccination records and birth certificates in order to enroll my youngest two kids in public school, I discovered Caboose’s birth certificate missing. All of a sudden it dawned on me that I had not filed the paperwork to get it. My wonderful midwife had promptly sent in her paperwork to the State, but I didn’t do my part in ordering it (at hospital births, I remember someone came to my room and had me sign the paperwork and they sent it to the State for me). I’ve never had to show a birth certificate for anything, so it just escaped me until I needed it. So my son has a birth certificate that was issued when he was 8 years old. Bad mom.

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  29. I wonder if she’s ever even seen a dentist. You have to fill out SSN’s on paperwork for any kind of health care. Some home birthed, homeschooled kids literally do not exist on paper.

    I haven’t put my children’s SS# on any health paperwork. I do put the Primary’s SS#, but that’s it. I don’t even give mine out because it’s going under my husband’s insurance. I leave it blank and they never say a thing.

    As far as some homeschooled kids not existing on paper – you better believe that is true.

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  30. The girls all had matching names, Faith, Hope, Grace, etc. I am sure this is why James insists on calling her Faith.

    I think it’s sad that a parent can’t call a child by the name they prefer. It all adds into the story to me of respect.

    Alecia’s parents chose for their children how much their children would be connected with the government via a paper trail (SS#,& birth certificate). If they would have been forthcoming with this documentation, this would be a non-issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. @Julie Anne, yes, it is all about respect. Parents in these situations often assume that they deserve respect, yet never earn it from their children, and never give it to their children.

    In my opinion, parents can choose many things for their children, but once the child is old enough to choose and chooses something different, then the parent should be all about facilitating and supporting that.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. It is not easy to prove identity without any paperwork. While cleaning out stuff over the holidays, I found a stack of affidavits that were attesting to when and where a great aunt was born. Apparently she never had a birth certificate or anything. It’s probably even harder now because of the Patriot Act and all than additional bureaucracy since 9/11

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Another comment: on her blog, Mom comments on sharing the family car with the other adult children. Do they have driver’s licenses? And if so, how did they get them without papers?

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Alecia has posted an update on her Facebook page as follows:

    UPDATE: I have some wonderful news! My father has begun cooperating with us! He states he is willing to sign any documents, and give me any information he has concerning what I may need as proof.
    I would also like to ask that you do not post demeaning comments about my parents. Even though I do not agree with them on many things, I would like their reputation to be protected as much as possible. Thanks!

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  35. brian,
    I got the opposite from the video. I did not hear sincerity, I heard we better cooperate or our reps are going to be news headlines for a long time and we don’t want people with big signs at our front door.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. JA,
    I had 3 kids and sometimes went through the list of names before I got the right one. By number 3 I thought another one would kill me during birth. Missing a piece of paper does not make you a bad mom. I am sure you are a very good Mom.

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  37. I am happy that Alecia’s parents are going to help. I think she shows a lot of integrity by wanting to protect their reputation now that she has what she needs.

    However, it seems that the Penningtons are public figures of sorts, since they are group leaders in the Texas Home School Coalition (THSC).

    http://www.thsc.org/2010/10/meet-the-pennington-family/

    I’m disappointed that a representative of the THSC, and a professed Christian, is trying to avoid rendering “to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” by not paying his taxes. We are members of the THSC, but I don’t believe we’ll associate with this organization any longer. We’ve worked hard with the IRS to pay the taxes we owe, and they have treated us fairly and professionally.

    I’m also concerned that their midwife may not be following the law by filing birth certificates for the children she helps bring into this world. It’s actions like this that jeopardize the reputation of midwifery in this state. I think perhaps the Texas Midwifery Board should investigate this midwife, and bring disciplinary action if it’s warranted.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Brenda, it might be note that sincerity doesn’t matter once the pro bono lawyer, and perhaps the local DA, start issuing subpoenas. Except for the relationship between parents and daughter, of course, which I guess is an even bigger deal in many regards than the documents.

    I would agree, by the way, that if midwives were required to file birth certificate documentation when she was born (don’t forget we can’t apply laws ex post facto/ after the fact), there ought to be some kind of investigation. That said, it’ll be hard to prove, as I can imagine people not registering as midwives and just saying that they were “doulas” there to feed jello to the mom.

    To put it gently, there is no law against insane stupidity, I guess. Maybe if the child is injured or dies, there could be an investigation, but hard to prove.

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  39. I agree, BTDT. The midwife situation is suspect, but it likely wouldn’t have mattered to them since they don’t really care about taxes, etc.

    I may have mentioned above (this week I can’t remember anything – the busiest school week of my life – I don’t know if my brain is even here at the moment – lol) I had a long talk with a young mother whose family was raised the same way and it took so much time/effort dealing with government people trying to get some decent paperwork in order for her to be able to work, get a license. These parents do not do their children any favors whatsoever.

    I’m glad the parents have responded, whether it was due to public pressure, or an attorney getting involved in the process, or just because it was the right thing to do. My hope is that they would not shut the door to communication and would love their daughter just as she is, with no strings attached.

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  40. JA said: My hope is that they would not shut the door to communication and would love their daughter just as she is, with no strings attached.

    Agree and amen. Shunning your child. I can’t even imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Another thing arguing against the “failed to provide birth certificate” for the midwife; statute of limitations is ordinarily 7 years. So unless Texas law is different in this regard, that’s probably a no-go. Best you could do is review later work by the midwife and see if she’s failed to provide certificates within the past 7 years or less.

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  42. Our daughter, adopted through foster care, came to us with an SS# provided to us by DSHS. After a few years we heard from the IRS because it turned out to be someone else’s number, and why were we claiming that employed adult as a dependent? DSHS had transposed a number or something. She was school age before she had a number that actually belonged to her. We also had issues with her birth certificate. Adopted children are issued new, amended BCs, which sometimes declare biological impossibilities as to race (in our case) and/or parental age. One of my friend’s sons was, officially, born to her in Korea when she, the adoptive mom, was 12 and living in Canada.

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  43. The Daily Mail article mentions that Lisa Pennington’s mother’s name is also Alecia–this is probably the real reason that James P. refuses to call his daughter by the name she prefers. He is making a tacit statement of his disapproval of anything related to his in-laws (besides the tacit statement of his disrespect for his daughter’s wishes).

    Also, does anyone else notice that James mentioned that they had been “helping” Alecia get a driver’s license before she left home? She is 19!!!! She should have had a DL at least three years ago.

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  44. One of my girlfriends did this to her son. She was an adoptive mother (a homeschooler) who refused to give him his birth certificate and other records, etc., when he turned 18. We stood beside him, but she wouldn’t relent. Fortunately he is free now, but bares the scars of having a control freak parent.

    Homeschoolers Anonymous is surveying homeschooled kids who’ve experience this:

    If you’re a #homeschool alum who experienced ID abuse or control, please take @HAReachingOut’s short survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2015IDAbuse

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Julie Anne wrote:

    “My hope is that they would not shut the door to communication and would love their daughter just as she is, with no strings attached.”

    That would be my hope too. When religious ideology trumps the human conscience, the milk of human kindness gets tainted at best, and at worst, it dries up altogether.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. ‘When religious ideology trumps the human conscience, the milk of human kindness gets tainted at best, and at worst, it dries up altogether’.
    The story of Jesus’ treatment at the hands of the Pharisees in a nutshell.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. If Alecia is 18, why can’t she get a copy of her SSN and birth certificate from Social Security and the Health Department (or whatever agency that handles birth certificates) directly? I would think that since she’s legally an adult, that wouldn’t be a problem.

    On the other hand, I’m not familiar with how homeschooling culture works, so maybe there’s something I’m missing here.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Tina, it sounds as though the midwife who was at the birth did not file the birth with the State. She can’t get a copy of something that doesn’t exist. Her parents may not have cared since they are anti-government (they don’t file taxes, etc).

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  49. “Her parents may not have cared since they are anti-government (they don’t file taxes, etc).” Inflammatory, dishonest, accusatory. Not filing taxes that are based on a Constitutional Amendment that was never passed and a non-existent law is not anti-government. You’re irascibly judgmental without having done your due diligence about what is none of your business. Or is the command to “mind your own business” not in your Bible?

    Oh, that you would pray and could hear God about your busybody behavior that is so out-of-bounds.

    But, you *know* you’re right, don’t you. Who needs to hear God when you already know what’s “right,” right?

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  50. Welcome to the blog, Beware of Abusive B.C. Women,

    What does BC stand for? How am I dishonest? I’ve been reading comments from their blog and their kids who have posted on Facebook. They haven’t paid taxes for quite some time. They have posted their personal information on social media and so has their daughter, so now it is up for public discussion. Maybe you should tell them to mind their own business and not be so public?

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  51. “Not filing taxes that are based on a Constitutional Amendment that was never passed and a non-existent law is not anti-government.”

    Tell that to the IRS. Good luck with that. Also, Jesus instructed his disciples to pay taxes. Do you not follow His example?

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  52. “They have posted their personal information on social media and so has their daughter, so now it is up for public discussion. Maybe you should tell them to mind their own business and not be so public?”

    I can’t remember exactly how Dee from The Wartburg Watch says it, so I’ll paraphrase it. “When people put themselves out there and say ‘look at me,’ we do. But, then they don’t get to determine what it is that we see.”

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Exactly. This person is exhibiting troll-like behavior (going from thread to thread, yet not willing to really engage) and so I am watching and ready to put him/her in moderation.

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  54. If the Pennington’s haven’t been paying taxes, couldn’t there be some large penalties and possible jail time involved?

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  55. Brenda: absolutely. Back taxes have a penalty with something like 10-15% interest, almost as bad as credit cards, and yes, jail time is a possibility, though prosecution appears to be selective. If you act like “Beware” and claim the 16th Amendment wasn’t rightly approved, you paint a target on your back, because the IRS has case law (court decisions) on their side.

    (one thing the IRS did wrongly in their document on this, FWIW, is they appealed to case law instead of statutory law–hence keeping the debate alive)

    I know this because of what my sister-in-law went through. It gets ugly REAL quick.

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  56. Julie Anne,

    Ha! Hey, we wore those glasses in the military!! Well, I was initially thinking British Columbia, Canada. But, Baptist Church makes sense. The person may be a troll, but he sounds like he’s trying to insert doctrine in his comment, that women who blog are tale bearers, aka busy bodies. In other words, your “role” as a woman is to keep your mouth shut, and let rape happen, and then let it go thru a Matthew 18 process, to where the perp walks free. That’s what I translated on the other blog post.

    Ed

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  57. I noticed on Alecia’s recent FB post that she is meeting today (prob already has) with a Texas state representative at the capitol. I hope it goes well. I’m also curious as to why that’s necessary if her father is indeed cooperating in giving her the needed information.

    I’m still in awe that one young adult has managed to bring worldwide attention to this issue. I hope it is only the beginning.

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  58. Alecia updated her FB page:

    Brief update on the meeting with Representative Farney:
    The meeting went great! I am so happy right now. Farney and her team are simply fantastic, and I’m pumped to be working with them! I think things are finally going to work out.
    Thank you all for your support, more updates to come.

    Like

  59. I’m really sad at just how many people have immediately jumped on board with the daughter based on that one video and zero knowledge of the Penningtons. I know how hard it was for me to juggle kids and I didn’t even homeschool!

    Lisa’s blog was a wonderful outlet for her and a great ministry to me, convicting me on areas such as modesty. Nor did I knock her for trying to run a biz out of her home. If you are a mom with small kids and money is tight direct marketing can be a blessing.

    I read everything both parties had to say along with a ton of negative pile on from the general public. I can forgive Lisa for not having the documents ready, with that many kids your focus isn’t always lazer sharp. And Alecia wanted to leave home, surely that could have been handled better. The Daily Mail UK article was particularly interesting because it painted the grandfather as somewhat of a wimp. Alecia wanted to leave and was adamant, he felt like he had no choice even through he tried to get her to talk it over with her parents and she again refused. He should have stayed out of it until they worked it out, Alecia could have waited to plan her exit from the nest better and certainly her parents should have followed up with the midwife.

    Making a video did not help the situation and I believe the parents in this case. You’re supposedly homeless and don’t have a ‘choice’ but you have a videocamera, your own social media accounts and an internet connection? Now the parents are on the defensive from the scum of the internet, Alecia’s YouTube page is full of really bad offers for sex in exchange for documentation and a family is still split. I find it hilarious when people get all offended that Alecia has been labeled ‘rebellious’. If she were swinging off a ball & chain half naked in a video at her age it would be considered ‘normal’.

    Finally, Lisa did not SCRUB the site as you claimed above. Apparently the server crashed from the results of having a ton of people suddenly log on to find stones to throw at her.

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  60. Zero knowledge of the Penningtons? That’s just not so. Lisa has a public blog and you only need to do a quick Google search and you will find quotes of Lisa talking about how she parents her children and a common theme is the sense of ownership she/they have over their even adult children.

    Bunnie, Alecia needs to support herself and with no means to do so because her parents haven’t given/helped her get the necessary documentation, this seemed to be a last-ditch effort.

    What random commenters say on YouTube has nothing to do with this topic. That is the nature of YouTube. I’m not sure why you even mentioned it.

    It’s not rebellious for an adult to want to leave home.

    As far as the blog goes, no, there were posts removed while the site was still up. Likely what happened was that people posted the articles because they had access to caches or The Wayback Machine and Lisa realized it looked foolish to take them down when people were going to find them via other methods. I notice that you didn’t mention the 2 separate videos from Lisa and James that were taken down.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. “He should have stayed out of it until they worked it out, Alecia could have waited to plan her exit from the nest better and certainly her parents should have followed up with the midwife. ”

    Alecia should have continued living in misery to make her parents feel good?

    It is sad that fundamentalist want their children to be miserable to make themselves feel good.

    An eighteen year old has every right to leave home, unless this isn’t America and we are against liberty, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. It looks like these people create human beings for slaves, prisoners, and puppets. These parents are on self serving power trips, making actual humans miserable for their own sadistic heartless pleasure.

    I grew up in a homeschool fundamentalist home and it ruined my life, I was miserable, I wish someone would have saved me, helped me escape.

    “I find it hilarious when people get all offended that Alecia has been labeled ‘rebellious’.”

    She is not rebellious! She is a human being who wanted peace, and freedom. Those who call her rebellious are afraid their miserable kids will escape them, and tell the world what selfish, heartless, abusive parents they have endured for eighteen miserable years. There are many parents who do not deserve to have their bottoms kissed, though that is the reason they have their trapped/slave/prison – kids.

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  62. “you will find quotes of Lisa talking about how she parents her children and a common theme is the sense of ownership she/they have over their even adult children.”

    Yep. Libby Anne did a piece on how Lisa didn’t let her adult children get drivers licenses until they were in their 20’s when she felt like they were mature enough. She finally deemed them mature enough some time after June 2014.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2015/02/the-pennington-point-on-adult-children-maturity-and-drivers-licenses.html

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  63. I bet we have just as much “knowledge of the Penningtons” as Bunnie does since Lisa’s blog is available to read. (Of course, I’m sure she didn’t write any articles about not paying the IRS since 1996.)

    Liked by 1 person

  64. Brenda R, I know that you read here often, so I’m not telling you anything new–but I think that adult children let their parents get away with this stuff because they fear the consequences if they fight back. In my case, I left and started a family with a man that my parents didn’t approve of, so they harassed me and guilt-tripped me while I was suffering through a difficult pregnancy, they alienated my siblings from me, and tried (and were partly successful) ruining my reputation in the small community where we live. They are also holding some of my belongings hostage, since I have elected to quit speaking to them. It’s a difficult dichotomy to live through, going from a home where you feel loved and cared for to some extent, then knowing when you leave that you will be totally black-balled. You want to believe that there is something good about your family and home, but you know it is impossible to stay. Also, in many cases the outside world has been so vilified that it seems terrifying. Like you said, Alecia was wise (and strong and brave) to leave.

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  65. Song,
    I’ve watched movies where the adult kids or late teens try to get away and are brought back under protest, beaten, locked up. I am sorry that your family treated you this way. It is just plain wrong. It is hard for me to wrap my head around this way of raising children. The main thing for me was to instill confidence enough in my children that would make survival on their own easier. I wanted them to in independent. I wanted them to want to be on their own. If my daughter was having a difficult pregnancy or difficult anything, you could not keep me away though.

    I did not feel loved in the home I grew up in. I was afraid most of the time. My sister and I still talk about how we used to hide and pray that we were not found. My mom was good, but I had an evil stepfather. My mom kept a few things for me when I was in between moving from place to place, but was quick to give them to me once I had a stable home. Keeping things from me–Never. As soon as we could leave–We were gone.

    I guess there are actually several reasons that adult children might allow themselves to be treated like they were still under their parents authority. I’m sure it is not easy when you are not taught to be independent and rebellious if you suggested leaving the nest. Even mother birds kick the young out of the next sooner or later–for their own good.

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  66. Brenda, thank you. I am sorry that you, too, had to grow up in a difficult situation. I know personally that childhood scars are life-long, something you fight and are haunted by every day. I am glad that you raised your children in a healthy, loving way. I will keep your words about confidence and independence in mind as I raise my daughter.

    The movies you mention are actually a good description of the way I was treated–punished for leaving… It is full of irony, supposedly they loved me so much that they didn’t want me to leave; so I was harshly “punished” for leaving. It gets complicated, all kinds of co-dependencies and neediness that may feel like love to the parent, but is not. As you say, there are actually many reasons that children allow themselves to be treated this way. I know it’s difficult to understand looking in from the outside, so I wanted to offer one part of an explanation. It is complex, and yes, sad.

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  67. Hmmmmm. I wonder if Alecia’s story (which gained international attention) has finally piqued an interest in the goings on of some in the Homeschool Movement. HARO gets a mention too.

    “Jennyfer’s story is not from some exotic cult or overseas religion. Instead she, like Alecia Pennington, ‘the girl who doesn’t exist,’ considers herself a victim of a growing extreme fundamentalist Christian home-school movement that has blossomed here in the United States.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2961897/Sexually-abused-home-schooled-offered-arranged-marriage-25-000-unable-work-didn-t-exist-extraordinary-story-victim-extreme-fundamentalists.html

    Btw, every time I read a complaint from someone saying “there’s nothing to see here,” I wonder what it is they’re trying to hide. Those of us who were previously part of this movement know exactly what they’re hiding.

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  68. Here’s a quote about HARO’s survey of homeschooled alumni who experienced some form of Identity Abuse.

    “However, an informal survey taken by the group Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out in the wake of the Pennington case found an alarming 29 percent of respondents said they found they had no access their own birth certificate by the time they turned 18 and 25 percent said they could not get to their social security card.

    Only 56 percent of 18 year-old homeschoolers had a driving license by their 18th birthday, compared with 85 percent for the country as a whole, the survey revealed – although its findings were of course limited by being self-selected and likely to be people who feel let down by their upbringing.”

    Like

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