Cindy Schott came over here and commented a while back, here. Here’s what she had to say.
This is a long-ass comment but the only part that even matters slightly is the first sentence and a bit in the center.
My name is Cindy and I was roommates with Cathy Harris in Bethesda girls home in Hattiesburg Mississippi.
i lived in this hell for 1 year Cathy lived there for 4. so at least 4 years of her life I know for a fact was lived in hell.
Cindy was Cathy’s roommate and Cathy was at Bethesda for FOUR YEARS.
The rest is just how awful Bethesda was and look it up.
There is a little history here. Cathy has infiltrated at least two of the former religious girls’ homes Facebook groups and asserted that she was there. One is Bethesda. The other is Hephzibah House. With the latter, she was found to have been lying, and she abruptly changed her story and declared that she hadn’t said she was actually a resident there, but that she almost went there.
For those who don’t know about these homes, they are pretty much the legacy of a man named Lester Roloff who started a home for boys in Texas many years ago. Very religiously-oriented, these homes would make Joe Arpaio proud. They are run like military boot camps. The typical resident is a troubled teenager, in some cases with parents who are at their wits’ end.
Former residents are all over the map in terms of their assessment of their time there. Most didn’t want to go in the first place. Some of them say that it saved their lives. Others say it nearly killed them. Some, many years later, still send the places Christmas cards and family photos. Others can’t say a single nice word about it.
Cindy is obviously in the latter category.
But not content with explaining to us about what we should look up, she sent me a private message on Facebook.
So now it’s not four years, but “some time.” And “criminal charges.” Sigh.
And that was that.
Cindy has appeared again, this time on Cathy’s little page that she started so people will tell her how great she is. (She’s made dozens of these.)
Again there are only a couple of sentences that matter.
I met Cathy Harris at an unwed mothers home called Bethesda girls home in Hattiesburg Mississippi!
That doesn’t tell us anything new.
The facts I’m telling you are easy to find and there are hundreds of us! That can testify to Cathy living there!!!
Well, they didn’t teach her anything about writing complete sentences, it seems. But if there are “hundreds” who can “testify,” I’d like to see them.
The only place I can find that Cathy ever mentions being at Bethesda is in the supposed letter that Richard Harris “wrote.”
Here’s the pertinent parts.
And there’s the timeline.
According to “Richard Harris,” Cleo and Lou were arrested. That means that this arresting happened prior to February of 1977, because they couldn’t arrest a dead man.
Cathy was sent to live “in a foster home.” But they were unsaved (GASP!), so Richard Harris wanted her to come live with his family, and children’s services agreed. We aren’t told how long Cathy was in this “unsaved foster home,” but we get the impression that it wasn’t long.
They tried but Cathy was just incorrigible, so they contacted a “Christian counselor.” That “counselor,” by the way, was Walt Fremont, who taught at Bob Jones University. Dave and I both knew Walt pretty well. Cathy wants us to believe that Richard Harris contacted him three times to consult about Cathy, and once took Cathy all the way to Greenville, SC for a meeting. I strongly doubt the story.
Anyway, Walt told Harris to put Cathy at Bethesda, so he did.
But she was not at Bethesda long, it says. Not there long. She wasn’t there long because children’s services (the state) intervened and wouldn’t let her stay there.
And notice what comes next. She comes home and then they take her to see Walt in Greenville. When did they do that?
They do that after Cleo died in police custody.
Cleo died in the spring of 1979, just a bit over two years after Lou died.
So, in a somewhat-longer-than two year period, Lou and Cleo were both arrested, Lou somehow managed to go back to the farm where Cathy was living (don’t ask me, I didn’t write this shit) and blow his brains out and Cathy found him and Cleo blamed her. Cathy then went to live in a foster home, only didn’t stay and went to the Harrises who tried everything and Walt told them to send her to Bethesda and they did and then had to bring her home again because the god damned state wouldn’t let her stay there, and then Cleo died in police custody and Cathy was taken to see Walt in Greenville.
Have we got all that straight?
Here’s some other stuff that is interesting. Big pictures.
This is a page from the yearbook from Upper Bucks Christian School, which was the Christian school associated with Richard Harris’ church (Bethel Baptist Church). This is 1978. Lou had been dead for a year.
Cathy is pictured and listed as “Salina Smith.”
Here she is in 1980, two years later. At this point, Cleo had been dead for a year. Now, she’s “C. Harris.”
And this is 1981.
And there she is, graduating. Graduating from Upper Bucks Christian School.
This was not a big school. There were only about 25-30 students in each grade. If a student was there in the fall to have her photo made for the annual, and then was not there for the entire rest of the year, especially if that student was living with the school’s head administrator and using his name, don’t you think somebody would have noticed?
She was there. She attended that school, as Cathy Harris from at least the fall of 1979 until she graduated in the spring of 1983.
So why does this matter?
So Karen asks Cindy how old Cathy was when they were there, and Cindy just isn’t sure. Furthermore, she wasn’t allowed to talk with Cathy about much of anything, to the point that she had no idea how old she was or where she was from.
But they were roommates and she knew that Cathy was there for four years.
Cindy kept telling me to just go Google Bethesda. So I did.
And it’s odd.
There really isn’t a whole lot out there about it. Not nearly what Cindy implied I’d find. But one thing I did find was a link to Bethesda Girls Home Facebook page. They also have a closed group here.
On the Facebook page, Cindy had left a couple of comments.
Cindy was at Bethesda from October 21, 1980 until October 21, 1981.
You know, she was there, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, while Cathy was busy being a student at Upper Bucks Christian School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
And they were roommates.