Politician Who Gave Adopted Daughters To Rapist Thought They Were Possessed, Telepathic
This whole story about Arkansas State Rep. Justin Harris (R-Village of The Damned), who “rehomed” his adopted daughters with a man who eventually raped one of them is just getting worse and worse and worse.
The most recent revelation? The Harris family thought the girls were possessed. Like, by demons or Satan or, um, He Who Walks Behind The Rows. They also believed the girls could communicate telepathically. This particular quirk was revealed by the family’s former babysitter, Chelsea Goldsborough.
Via The Arkansas Times:
“The first night I was over there, I just broke down and cried with this little girl because I just felt so bad for her,” Goldsborough said.
According to Goldsborough, the two girls were kept in separate rooms that were outfitted with locks, alarms and video cameras. They were not allowed to be around each other because of the Harrises’ belief in demonic possession and telepathy, she said.
While Annie would be allowed to roam the house and interact with other family members, Mary was often confined to her room, Goldsborough said.
“We couldn’t ever take [Mary] out. I’d watch her from a camera. I think it’s crazy. They were adopted, so they’re going to want TLC.”
Goldsborough said the “exorcism” was performed by specialists from Alabama who came to the house to orchestrate the event. Other sources confirmed to the Times that Marsha Harris told them at least one “exorcism” was performed on the girls.
Goldsborough said the Harrises showed her “a picture of [Mary] where they’re like, ‘You can see the demon rising from her back,’ and it just looked like a little 6-year-old to me.” [Mary was 4 or 5.] The separate source close to the Harrises reported seeing a video that Marsha Harris said showed a demon interacting with one of the girls. The source said demons were an “obsession” with Marsha Harris.
The Harrises dispute these claims and say that their religious beliefs do not include exorcism. However, Goldsborough’s account is verified by multiple sources who say they heard Marsha Harris going on about demons and telepathy.
It also turns out that the Harrises have been lying about many things here, including saying they weren’t made aware of the problems the girls had. According to DHS officials, the Harrises were actually discouraged from adopting the girls in the first place, because they did not think they were prepared to deal with children coming from a seriously abusive environment. The two previous foster families also objected to the Harrises adopting the girls.
When the therapeutic foster mother argued that troubled Jeannette in particular should not be placed into the Harris home, she said, Justin Harris waved away her concerns.
“She was a kid that needed an experienced family,” the mother explained. “The problem was simple hubris. He saw it as, ‘I’m with God. God’s going to solve this.’ … There are lots of children you could adopt — you don’t need to take the most traumatized ones out of the system. He was told by many people in DHS, ‘These are not the kids you want to just jump into.’ … That’s why I’m angry. I knew [Jeannette] wouldn’t last five minutes there.”
Also disturbing! Rep. Harris also reportedly used his influence to adopt the girls in spite of all the objections from officials. According to one source, “Harris threatened to hold up the budget for the division if he didn’t get to adopt those girls.”
All of this is just so heartbreaking and sad. At first, I have to say–I honestly had a smidge of empathy for this family. I did not think they were good at apologizing or taking responsibility for their actions, but I could see how they felt that they were in some kind of tight bind and did not view them as being explicitly malicious.
However, if these allegations are true, the Harrises have done a lot more than make an incredibly stupid and illegal mistake. What they were doing to those girls was extremely abusive, regardless of what their religious beliefs are. Threatening to “hold up a budget” of a division if they don’t do what you want has to be some kind of illegal for sure.
Honestly, if they’re not being sent to jail, at the very least I hope that the daycare they run (Yeah, they run a daycare. It is called “Growing God’s Kingdom” and it gets piles of funding from the government. PILES.) is shut down. These people do not need to be anywhere near children, including, perhaps, their own.
**UPDATE** Somehow, this has actually gotten worse.