American clergywoman, doctor
and author of several books, also friend to Edna Elaine Knost and wife to Daniel Yoder.
Born as Ruth Bailey in Shelbyville, Indiana on 21 May 1948, her early life was unremarkable: she'd grown up,gone to high school, and to college, and for seven years worked as an L.P.N. Feeling herself cut out for more ambitious work, however, she went back to medical school, hoping to specialize in oncology. However, in her last year or two of medical school, she confessed to feeling overworked and overwhelmed by her new responsibilities, and increasingly sought solace in prayer and Bible reading--by the time she began her internship at Ball Hospital, her religious dementia was firmly set. Although for some time, she seems to have kept it under control enough to function, it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish her fantasies from reality.
What was clear from the start was that her views of medicine and those of Ball Hospital were at fundamental variance. Like most hospitals, there were strict policies against faith healers and unscrupulous clergy who might seize the opportunity to convert the sick and weak-minded. Ruth found this chafing, considering her new appreciation of Jesus as not only her Lord, but her Master in all things as being a call to evangelize to everyone she considered to be in need, including friends and patients. She found it difficult to understand why their supply of Gideon Bibles were not being read daily by every patient, nor why there was no hospital chaplaincy to promote Christianity as the root of all true healing. Certainly, she pointed out, there had been a great many unexplainable deaths and at least 75% of all ICU patients had reported seeing demons during her presence there, which she ascribed to the lack of the positive Christian presence that she alone could provide.
Her complaints only served to isolate her further: it's a hospital, people die, she was told. Get used to it. Ball isn't your private chapel, it's a hospital. The 'ghosts' aren't demons from Hell, they're sick people's fever dreams. No, you can't force people to go to your morning prayer meetings. Run your Bible classes on your own time. And so on. Her chief detractor was the ICU's Head Nurse, Helen, who saw Ruth to be nothing but another nurse, with less experience, who'd gotten in over her head. Her future seemed dismally mundaine, except for an often-hospitalized elderly black woman, named Pearl, who welcomed Ruth's Bible-flavored care, and often chimed in with hymns and Biblical passages of her own.
One late Fall night, Pearl confided that she was sure that the nurses were trying to kill her -- Helen had told her that she considered the next life to be a better place, and several times she'd caught her holding her hands over her, repeating strange words. Clearly, she was a witch who had marked her for sacrifice, she said. She'd heard about Voodoo, and knew. But such a good Christian as you, Dr. Ruth, would know what to do...
Jean, another nurse, volunteered that Helen had held her hands over other patients and had been seeking to learn to be a Medium at Camp Chesterfield, a nearby center for Spiritualist and Theosophist studies. She'd started an alternative medicine study group, which included Therapeutic Touch, and disliked the idea that she might be classed with an active faith healer on the floor. As for her, Jean said, she felt more comfortable with Ruth's Bible classes, but Helen had seniority, and Pearl...well, she was an old superstitious woman, and there was nothing she could do.
Returning to Pearl's room, Ruth felt herself "crushed like a bug" by the demoniac presence. At that moment, she knew exactly what she should do and how. She would pray with Pearl to be shielded by the Blood of Jesus, and transferred her out of the ICU the next day.
Following this incident, Ruth found herself even more shunned by the rest of the staff. The only one who would listen to her was a shy nurse by the name of Edna, who had a scar on her upper lip from an early cleft palate. To this day it remains unclear whether she encouraged Ruth in her fantasies, or that Ruth projected her fantasies onto this woman. What is clear is that they went from sharing meals in the cafeteria to a shared apartment to a shared bed in just a few months. Lying together, they took Demerol and other goodies from the pharmacy, while reading fantasy novels and telling each other tall tales. In them, Ruth became Rebecca , champion of the Holy Spirit, who faced down demons and disease with the power of Jesus, while Edna became the boldly glamorous Elaine, Bride of Satan Himself, able to kill with nothing more than a pointed finger, an international arms dealer and hired assassin, who'd given up her luxurious life under Rebecca's tutelage after being told to kill her.
And, best of all, Ruth had her new patients, the special ones, that brought her great joy.
Ball Hospital couldn't really take care of them, poor things, and it was a shame, for they had leukemia, brain tumors, gall bladder problems, and...well, wasn't she the doctor? But she was part of a new experimental program, a pioneer in a new kind of medicine, that used both modern and established traditional methods to heal.
Since it was still experimental, she told her patients, they should not speak about their therapy to anyone other than herself, not even the nursing staff or other patients. She would meet with them for at least one-half hour every week. In between, they might be in a great deal of pain, so she'd arranged for them to have pain medication any time they needed it. However, they should place all hope of recovery solely at her hands, and to keep an open mind.
In her interviews, she was always tactful, though frank, and very polite. Beginning with general questions, she'd allow her patients to confide in her all manner of details. What had their childhood been like, she might ask. Were you encouraged to be imaginative or creative, to "see things"? Had you any special dolls or toys you might have saved? Did you like fairy tales or ghost stories, or collect figurines, especially of unicorns, fairies, magicians, or other supernatural beings? Had you an imaginary friend? As a teenager, were you rebellious? Did you drink or take drugs? Had you extramarital sex, or engaged in non-coital sex in marriage? Did you practice yoga, eat or shop at organic food or vegetarian establishments? Perhaps they had some interest in Asian, Egyptian, African or Native American culture, and had visited museums to view the art and religious objects of these cultures, or had reproductions of them in their homes. Had you taken meditation classes? Had they'd had an astrological chart done, or gone in for a palm reading, or played fortune-telling games at a sleep-over? Perhaps you might have liked to watch horror movies, magic acts or become interested in supernatural role-playing games. Had you ever practiced witchcraft?
Perhaps, she'd insinuate, your illness has something to do with all this. Modern medicine is only now beginning to recognize the power of the mind in healing. Could you, would you, pray with her, in the name of the Holy Spirit? Any reluctance to do so would be seized upon as further evidence -- yes, you certainly do have something wrong with you...if you want to get well, however, it might help to be a bit more cooperative. She'd give them a Bible, and ask them to read selected passages as homework, while warning them that the demons that they were beginning to see were quite real. Compliance would merit her highest reward -- an injection of Demerol, and a warm, loving smile as the patient drifted off to sleep. Yes, it was certainly a wonderful thing to see them asleep at last, in peace, and brought to the light of the Lord, delivered from Satan. Sometimes, after a demanding session, they'd sing hymns together, or she'd give them a candle to burn. Such happiness, to be the kind of doctor she wanted to be at last!
Unfortunately, it was not to be for long. In 1983, Elaine checked into the Emergency Room at another nearby hospital, her body covered in lesions and abscesses. She was incoherent, had severely overdosed on Demerol, and was near death. A social worker contacted the police, against her wishes, and this began a six-month investigation into Dr. Bailey's activities. In all, eight patients (including Edna's developmentally disabled daughter Claudia) were found to have become addicted to painkillers through Dr. Bailey's "treatments". None were suffering from any of their diagnosed ailments, but had been put through repeated courses of Demerol, barbituates and morphine. In 1984, Ruth was stripped of her license to practice medicine. They made their way to California where they became involved with pamphleteer Jack Chick, who interviewed them on three tapes, and encouraged them to write their joint memoirs in a book. They also were retained as special consultants on the occult, and helped him to write the tracts "Poor Little Witch" and "Dark Dungeons", two of his all-time best sellers.
Elaine tells of how she was marked as Satan's Own soon after birth by Helen, and for the mere 'price' of a small vial of blood, she was given free surgery and therapy to correct her cleft palate. Although her abusive, uncaring family was indifferent to the idea, she joined a Pentecostal church, and soon became a fervent member, singing in the choir and even playing guitar and drums in a small church-oriented rock band. Still, she was an unruly, unhappy child, prone to violent outbursts of superhuman strength (at one point nearly drowning the class lesbian) and strange talents, until she met Sandy, who conned her into going to Camp Chesterfield with her.
There, she was informed of her special status, and was trained by an elite corps of witches. Her life seemed to be taking a turn for the better...she'd always had had an interest in the occult, and here she was not only respected, but a valued member of the community. All was well until, on the last day, she was asked to sell her soul, in front of a large group led by the usual priestly couple and she violently refused.
Instantly, she was thrown into a packing crate, and tortured for a twenty-four hour period. When she faced the group again, she was accompanied by men with guns and whips. All at once, a huge demon appeared, and the High Priest and Priestess (aren't they always 'high'?) told her she'd be given to the demon to be tortured to death. With trembling hand, under the sting of the lash, she signed her soul away...a few days later, she returned home to a new life.
What follows is by far, the most entertaining part of the book: Elaine's rise to power, going from High Priestess in training (again, does she ever become a novice, or indeed an ordinary priest?), to Higher Priestess, to Regional Bride of Satan, to Top Regional Bride in "The Brotherhood", the name given to the modern Illuminati. Alternately titillating and bathetic, her idiosyncratic writing style tends towards tell-you-don't-show-you details ("her home was elaborate and very beautiful and she ruled with an iron hand", "much worship was given to Satan", Speaking of her own home in the cult-- "I suppose it has thirty bedrooms...also tennis courts, golf course, etc.", "Satan drank of the very expensive wines and champagnes") when speaking of her "glamorous" life. However, in her desperation to gain the reader's sympathy, Elaine bemoans and bewails that every single moment of her life in the cult she was either in pain or terrified: even the flowers in her bridal bouquet are dead thistles (surely, they should be orchids, or other fleurs du mal), and her wedding night leaves her battered and bruised. While others drank and took drugs, having hot sex with demons in wild orgies, she, along with all the others in the Satanic High Command remained chaste and sober, so as not expose themselves to would-be usurpers to their power, and indeed held in contempt anyone who stooped to having a good time --she can't even name what kinds of intoxicants were used in their Easter (shouldn't it be Good Friday?) 'triumph' over Jesus, only 'drugs and alcohol'. (Although she's also supposed to have had a martial-arts training to rival that of Black Mamba in Kill Bill, plus the protection of Satan Himself, she is supposed to have needed a bodyguard and a food taster at all times.) When she was called upon to any blood sacrifice whatsoever, she simply refused, "whatever the cost" (which doesn't seem to have included her advancement). Every other participant in The Brotherhood is invariably called "cold", or "feared and disliked by everyone". There are even "undesirables" who are even worse than the normal remorselessly homicidal Satanist -- "werwolves" who've "totally sold themselves to Satan", who act as the Sergeant at Arms at Satanic meetings-- and no amount of power can keep The Brotherhood from ordering your death at any time. In other words, which strike me as unusual for a piece of Christian confessional literature, she is so concerned to be seen in a good light, she disavows any kind of sin whatsoever: since she's always either acting out of fear, possessed by demons or has a convenient cop-out, she never truly repents. Even the "big lesbian" she'd nearly killed had tried "some of her tricks" on her, and so had it coming. So there!
The rest of the book is mostly 'Rebecca''s battles with Elaine's demons, and with Satan Himself, and these passages tend towards the repetitious, as detailed above. Also, there is detailed information on what is now called "Deliverance Theology", a controversial branch of evangelical Christianity that holds that demons and devils not only real, but are able to gain entrance to human bodies by means of "gateways" (mostly, non-evangelical Christian practices and the presence of various images and symbols), which, in lesser form, give them a "legal right" to curse and cause mayhem (one might wonder what she would have made of The King in Yellow). As in the WU above, "Father" always intervenes by giving her strength and a few David Lee Roth looking angels to fight off the infestation. After being forced out of Ball Hospital, Rebecca set up an "underground railroad" that helped as many as a thousand people out of Satanism. However, the Satanists staged a last-minute raid, in which they killed Dr. Brown's mother and various household pets, and ran the pair out of town.
What friends and relatives of Elaine's could be found failed to corroborate any of this. Yes, she was hare-lipped, but her family had paid for her bills, themselves. Her past had included a marriage, yes, that had ended in divorce when her husband had charged her with marital cruelty. Yes, she was a self-dramatizing teenager (specializing in epileptiform fits and fainting spells) but had never been a violent one -- schoolmates and former teachers alike could not recall any attempted drownings or beatings (she was supposed to have nearly ripped the jaw off a football player several times her size) -- as much as she'd been a shy girl. No Pentacostal church remembered her (though she attended the High School's Bible Club), and Camp Chesterfield had no records of an Edna Knost, or indeed any child below the age of 18 who didn't have a parent also attending classes there.
In the wake of their book, and three tapes made by Jack Chick, Dr. Bailey and Edna began to make the rounds of various church groups as speakers on Satanism and demonology as Dr. Rebecca Brown and Elaine Moses. They were an intriguing pair: Rebecca was strong, serious, competent, oddly distant, Elaine was frail, highly-strung, emotional, and prone to breaking out in tears. In retrospect, a great deal of their material came from Hal Linden's Late Great Planet Earth, and from Michael Warneke's The Satan Seller (though I mark with a loving eye her borrowings from The Stellar Almanac). Since, at the time, such things as role-playing games, Wicca, and yoga weren't well-understood by the general public, they were free to avow that AD&D contains actual spells, rituals and Satanic writing used in textbooks used by The Brotherhood, that organic food and herbal remedies had had demons placed inside them by high-ranking gurus, that Freemasons and the Vatican work closely with the Satanic Brotherhood and that all the top rock acts (not just metal, but also, say the Beatles and Beach Boys) had sold their souls to Satan. Confronted with any questions as to the truth of their statements, they would whisper to each other, finally declaring that "Father" had told them not to answer that question. Often Elaine would start crying again, or as a last resort, she would withdraw altogether, with Rebecca solemnly stating that "she might take weeks to recover" from such mistreatment. Finally, they would drop their bombshell: this very audience had been infiltrated by Satanists, pretending to be Christians, whose demons were sowing seeds of doubt even as they spoke! Acknowledging that it was the job of the pious to flush these demons into the open, they would depart.
Few churches asked them back, and while other ex-Satanists prospered in the lucrative daytime talk show circuit, the Rebecca and Elaine show remained strictly small-time. Part of this was their insistence that Elaine had indeed, married Old Scratch and that Jesus held almost daily chats with Rebecca, even to giving her to drink from a silver cup. Nonetheless, their books sold well, and Rebecca and Elaine wrote one other book together "Prepare for War", where they told more demon-fighting stories and revealed that Eucharistic churches (such as Catholicism and the Anglicans) are actually practising Witchcraft, through veneration of the Saints and particularly, of the adoration of the Eucharist. (I always thought it was somewhat Zen-like, you and a visible God in the form of a small white circular object... mano a mano, as it were.) In order to tie in with the then white-hot topic of the McMartin Preschool and other cases, it's claimed that Catholic orphanages and hospitals are active covens for the Satanic Brotherhood (where, oh where, is Maria Monk when we need her?)
It's now that we come to yet another mystery concerning Dr. Brown's interesting life: within two years of moving to California, she abruptly dropped both Jack Chick and Elaine as friends and collaborators. Despite her covenant with the Lord to live and die in the State of California, she moved to Arizona, and later, to Arkansas. Some say it was because of a quarrel the trio had over profits from the books, or that Elaine finally snapped and threatened to expose the operation. But what seems most likely was that the good Doctor had found love.
Here again, it's hard to figure out whether she's simply corroborating and elaborating, a delusional dupe of the tales of a liar or spinning a tale out of whole cloth: what stands out is the narrative again straddles the line between Michael Warneke's power fantasies and Lauren Stratford's stereotypical "frightened girl" scenario. Daniel Yoder had been born, she says to a wealthy Jewish banking family, extremely devout and, as we shall see, extremely corrupt.
At the age of six, he claimed to have been sent to a special Jewish boarding school in Switzerland run on strict "Rabbinic and Cabbalistic principles": on the first day, he was placed in a small windowless room in the basement, where he was kept prisoner. Following an escape attempt, he was lowered down a well, as the evil rabbis dumped thousands of spiders, many of them poisonous, on him, before replacing the lid of the chamber. (I can just see their beady eyes, their hairy faces and huge hooked noses as they look down, cold and cruel at the boy's plight...No, I'm talking about the spiders!) As the boy cried out in anguish, however, a blinding shaft of light pierced the darkness and two huge arms came out to cradle the child as he "slept in the arms of Jesus". Naturally, the spider bites were healed the next morning.
At puberty, he was betrothed to a girl named Kai(not a Hebrew name), who had suffered as well under the harsh realities of a Jewish upbringing, having suffered, among other things, a hysterectomy in childhood (which is treated as just SOP for a Jewish family). For many years they actively hated each other, as Daniel rose from a mailboy in his grandfather's bank at 19 to forming corporations of his own at the age of thirty. "Wealth became my play toy, Power was my God!" he relates. (This is a Jew?) At that point, his family decided that it was time to marry Kai and consolidate both families' fortunes.
Kai, however, had found Jesus, and joyously found herself with child. (It's a miracle!) She soon converted Daniel, and the pair found themselves on the lam, hiding from the hit men ordered to kill them both. However, they were caught, abducted, and flown to a tippity-top secret Jewish compound in Israel where, inside a private arena full of the highest priests and rabbis, Daniel was forced to watch Kai, his first and only love, tortured to death. (Oy, gevalt!)
Somehow, he managed to flee, and went into a cabin in the woods for a year, reading and rereading Kai's Bible. Naturally, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Messiah, Master, Lord and Redeemer, and a month later, took the brave Doctor as wife.
Not bad for a fellow who'd just been, a year before, posing as a neurosurgeon and luxury car buff, named William Joseph Stewart. Forget about a boarding school, wealth or Switzerland, he'd only had a seventh grade education and had served jail time for fraud. Nonetheless, her new partner supplied her with dozens of instructive yarns, which she spun into her last major book, Unbroken Curses.
Developing the Deliverance message of the previous books, she claims that Satan daily appears before God with petitions to curse various people, places and things, and that most problems faced by devout Christians are as the result of these curses. By purging your homes of cursed objects, repenting of participation in Satanic activities (visiting museums to see Egyptian art, for instance, covering tattoos with oil), avoiding cursed locations (Indian reservations and burial grounds, for example), and shunning cursed people (even if it's your own family) you can banish old curses, and avoid new ones. In some ways, Deliverance resembles the "Satanic" Feng Shui, in that it spiritually empowers housewives: by simply getting rid of kitschy figurines and old paperbacks from the attic, insisting that meat be eaten at family meals (vegetarianism weakens the natural demon-fighting power of the human frame), and keeping a weather eye over the kids' toys and teenagers' activities, you too can be a Spiritual Warrior!
Nowadays, Rebecca and Dan run the Wells of Joy ministry in Arkansas. They live on a farm with a variety of animals, and publish new tracts now and then. Elaine shuffled off into oblivion, and some say she went back to billing herself a witch, before dying in 1995, taking most of the story with her.
"He Came to Set the Captives Free", Whittaker House, 1992
"Prepare for War", Whittaker House, 1993
"Becoming a Vessel of Honor", self-published
"Unbroken Curses", self-published
"The Bizarre Case of Dr. Rebecca Brown",http://answers.org/satan/brown.html
"The Return of Rebecca Brown", http://www.pfo.org/curse-th.htm