40 years of faulty wiring

Children of Rage – Beth Thomas and Mary Flora Bell

Rarely do I witness actual, true interviews with child abuse victims. This documentary is unique simply from that perspective. However little Beth Thomas‘s soft, sweet demeanour as she calmly reveals to her therapist Dr. Ken Magid, how she tortured animals and sexually molested her brother Jonathan are about the most bone-chilling imaginable. Beth is a pretty, brown-haired six year old in the HBO documentary Child of Rage  displayed on Youtube in 3 parts. It is an actual interview held between Beth and her psychologist, not a Hollywood production, although there is a CBS 1992 television movie entitled Child of Rage based on Beth’s life.  This HBO documentary however is the real deal.

Beth was a victim of childhood sexual abuse until she was approximately 19 months old. Her mother died when she was one year old and she and her infant brother Jonathan were left at the mercy of their sadistic father. Beth describes her father’s abuse in matter-of-fact tones and displays a crayon picture of herself lying in bed weeping as he fondles her genitalia. Her voice is as eerily calm and flat when speaking about her own abuse as it is when talking about the abuse she inflicted on her brother. By the time Beth and Jonathan were rescued by Child Services she appeared to be indelibly scarred by neglect and severe abuse. The two children were given to loving parents, Tim and Julie, who themselves had no biological children. Tim and Julie were not given any information as to the children’s abusive background. At the time of the adoption little Jonathan was 7 months old. His head was flat at the back and bulged forward at the front from being left on his back in his crib all day. He couldn’t raise his head or roll over. Beth suffered from nightmares of a “man who was falling on her and hurting her with a part of himself.”

It took approximately two months until Beth’s parents discovered the truth about Beth and Jonathan’s upbringing. They recognized that both Beth and Jonathan exhibited disturbing behaviours. Julie caught Beth masturbating several times a day until she made her own vagina bleed and had to be hospitalized. Beth poked pins into her brother and into the Thomas’s pets. As she got older, on a particularly violent occasion she smashed her brother’s head into the cement floor of their basement until he needed stitches to close a gash in his forehead. Beth’s intention was not merely to harm her brother but to kill him. She often voiced her desire to kill her entire family including her parents. Yet the most disturbing aspect of Beth’s behaviour was her complete lack of remorse and concern for her actions. She was well aware that her actions were wrong and hurtful but this didn’t matter to her. Not long after these incidents her parents brought her to a therapist named Connell Watkins, who diagnosed Beth with a severe case of Reactive Attachment Disorder. It was once known to laymen as failure to thrive although this is inaccurate as RAD is much more than that.

Reactive Attachment Disorder  is characterized by markedly disturbed and developmentally inappropriate ways of relating socially. It can take the form of a persistent failure to initiate or respond to social interactions in an appropriate way—known as the “inhibited” form—or can present itself as indiscriminate sociability, such as excessive familiarity with strangers—known as the “disinhibited form“. Beth’s condition involved a complete inability to bond with any human being and a complete lack of empathy. This is also known as sociopathy or psychopathy although those terms are not used about children under the age of 18. RAD arises from a failure to form normal attachments to primary caregivers in early childhood. This results from severe early experiences of neglect, abuse, abrupt separation from caregivers (Beth’s mother passed away when Beth was one) between the ages of six months and three years. It also results from a frequent change of caregivers, or a lack of caregiver responsiveness to a child’s communicative efforts. That Beth Thomas developed RAD is certainly beyond her control.  The assessment is not a criticism, nor is it blame against the child.  It names the cluster of symptoms Beth displayed due to her brief, harrowing life with her father.

Beth’s condition was so extreme that in April 1989 a professional therapist, Connell Watkins, removed Beth from Tim and Julie’s home and brought Beth to her own home to give her intensive behaviour modification. In spite of Beth’s dangerous behaviour the therapist was confident she could help Beth since her professional history included working successfully with extremely disturbed children, such as 9-year-old murderers. At first all of her freedom was restricted until Beth demonstrated that she could be trusted. It was a difficult transition for Beth. Children who don’t trust do not like rules. At first Beth was locked inside her bedroom at night so she couldn’t escape and hurt other children or adults in the house. She had to ask permission to do everything from play with a particular toy to getting a glass of water.   Over time these restrictions were slowly removed as Beth’s behaviour improved. Within one year of living in the house her behaviour was so recovered that Beth was permitted to share a bedroom with the therapist’s own daughter. A remarkable transition took place in Beth Thomas. She learned empathy and remorse when someone was hurt. She learned about right and wrong. When she talked about her earlier abuse of Jonathan she wept openly. She no longer talked about hating anyone or wanting to kill anyone. She didn’t abuse herself anymore. Her therapy took years to complete and Beth, like any child abuse victim, will likely live always with the consequences of her abuse.

Beth Thomas grew into a mentally healthy woman. She obtained a degree in nursing and has authored a book entitled “More Than a Thread of Hope.” She and her adoptive mother Nancy Thomas established a clinic for children with severe behaviour disturbances. Nancy Thomas wrote a book entitled Dandelion on my Pillow, Butcher Knife Beneath (Coping with Personal Problems)Nancy and Beth Thomas’ website is www.attachment.org  

Since the original posting of this blog, the author has uncovered disturbing information about Nancy Thomas and her child therapy practices.  To read a blog and watch a video about Thomas’s therapy strategies click here. **warning – video has disturbing content** In an ironic endnote, Beth’s therapist, Connell Watkins performed a fatal attachment therapy session known as a “rebirth on a 10-year girl named Candace Newmaker and in doing so, asphyxiated the child. Watkins served seven years of a sixteen year prison sentence and was forbidden from working with children ever again upon her release in 2008. Walker served 7 years of her 16 year sentence. Candace’s death became the motivation for “Candace’s Law” against attachment therapy in several states. For detailed information about Candace Newmaker’s death and Walker and Ponder’s criminal convictions click here. Although Nancy Thomas was not involved in Newmaker’s death she continues to be associated with the clinic that has been held responsible.  To read a blog criticizing Nancy Thomas’s AT parenting with children click here.

Beth’s case is reminiscent of 11-year-old Mary Flora Bell from Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Mary was also severely sexually and physically abused. Her mother was a sadomasochistic dominatrix (prostitute) who used her unfortunate daughter with her clients. As Mary grew up she exhibited significant signs of rage including the torture of animals and attempts to kill other children through strangulation, what she referred to as “massage”.  Her understanding of strangulation was not that the victim was dead but that she or he would wake up again, suggesting that perhaps her mother, Betty (nee McCrickett) suffocated then revived her daughter during prostitution sessions.Like Beth, Mary didn’t bond with her parents. Mary’s father left before she was born and Betty remarried a man named Billy Bell, an alcoholic and petty criminal. He and Betty fought constantly and Billy frequently left Betty and Mary to fend for themselves for weeks at a time. The household was in constant chaos. On 25 May 1968, the day before her 11th birthday, Mary strangled four-year-old Martin Brown to death. She was believed to have committed this crime alone. On 31 July 1968, Mary and a friend Norma Bell (no relation), strangled three-year-old Brian Howe together. Mary attempted to carve her initials into Brian’s body post-mortem using a razor and mutiliated his genitals with a pair of scissors.

Eventually Mary was convicted of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility and although only a child at the time of her conviction she was sentenced to prison “indefinitely“.  Mary ultimately served twelve years in juvenile and adult prison before she was released.  During this time, Mary mailed her mother a letter that read in part, Please Mam, put my tiny mind at ease, tell judge and jury on your knees. They will listen to your cry of ‘please’. The guilty one is you, not me. I am sorry it has to be this way.  We’ll both cry and you will go away. Tell them you are guilty, please. So then Mam, I’ll be free. Your daughter, May.”

Mary received behavioural therapy while imprisoned and, incredibly, she too developed a sense of right and wrong, and feelings of remorse for her actions. However, in 1977, during a transfer to a less secure facility, Mary escaped. She was picked up along with a fellow escapee, by two young men. Mary lost her virginity. The man with whom she had slept later sold his story to the newspapers, and claimed that she had escaped from jail so she could get pregnant. ” (She didn’t).As time went on, my nightmare was the press,” said Mary. “I never could understand what they wanted from me.” Mary was moved to a hostel a few months before her parole in 1980, and she met a married man who got her pregnant. “He said he was determined to show me I wasn’t a lesbian,” she said. “It was hard for me not to think of sex as dirty.” When she found out she was with child, she had a moral crisis of sorts: “But if I think that almost the first thing I did after twelve years in prison for killing two babes was to kill the baby in me. . .” Due to her improved character Mary was permitted to keep her daughter.

Mary, like Beth, has not re-offended.  She is living somewhere in England under an assumed name. She had to fight the legal system to have her daughter also protected with an assumed name. Mary has had three assumed identities and has moved at least five times after  being identified.  Mary is a grandmother. She worked closely with a local author named Gitta Sereny who released two accounts of Mary’s biography entitled Cries Unheard: Children Who Kill – The Story of Mary Bell”.  and The Case of Mary Bell. The first book was written after Bette’s death, a significant factor in the book’s publication.


Watch Healing RAD Through Horses at Hoofbeats to Healing
Watch Alex King Testifies (live on court-tv)
Watch Kids Behind Bars
Read blogspot Living with RAD: Child of Rage
Read Connell Watkin’s statement to Jefferson County District Court Judge Jane Tidball
Read Rebirth Therapists Get 16 Years

October 30, 2010 - Posted by | Human psychology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Yea, I watched both these documentaries in the past day, pretty scary what a lack of nurture can do to a child. Although there is no re-offense, its hard to know how their mind works—its said that with psychopaths, talk therapy and some forms of rehabilitation will only allow the subject to adapt and manipulate the situation/conversation.

    Comment by rachelnico | January 1, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi rachel…thanks for replying to my posting. It’s true what you’ve said that psychopaths use therapy to manipulate therapists and act as though they’re rehabilitated when they aren’t.

      Comment by teacher | June 26, 2011 | Reply

      • Well said! You hit the nail right on the head.

        Comment by Kris | November 22, 2011

    • i agree completely. this is asinine. i am in the field of psychiatry. these are exreme manipulators. i cannot fathom that this beth woman was able to study nursing. that’s like giving her a ticket to murder or harm hundreds of people. i am pretty disgusted… she stuck her finger in the anus of her brother, threatened death, masturbated in public, squeezed and kicked her brother in the genitals, killed animals…she should have been in a hospital permanently., and NOT as a health care provider. that is my opinion. anyone who is a psychopath can feign remorse. blaming all of this on the abuse as a child is a fallacy. many people were abused as children and go on to feel empathy, and remorse.

      Comment by V Betty Sceptikal | September 23, 2011 | Reply

      • Yes I have not only heard of but seen an overwhelming documentary involving a violent psychopath (he planned and carried out the murder of his brother when he was in his teens…something to do) and he has been in prison ever since. I think he is 40-something now. He admitted openly in this documentary that he is saying all the right things and hanging up collages with lovely words like peace and love to convince the parole committee to let him out. This video is astounding. Check its link if you are interested. (it’s creepy) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm1S_n0V5kk

        Comment by teacher | September 24, 2011

      • What does “I’m in the field of psychiatry” mean exactly? It’s a bit vague, are you a psychiatrist? I am not one myself, but your comment doesn’t seem very professional to me. “many people were abused as children and go on to feel empathy, and remorse.”, that’s true, but as a psychiatrist aren’t you supposed to know that all people don’t experience abuse in the same way, that they don’t cope with it in the same way, that they don’t have the same weak spots and strengths? I’m sorry, I do think you are entitled to your opinion, but when you start by saying “I’m in the field of” it makes you sound like you are an expert on the question, but although your comment is well written it does not sound like that of an expert at all.

        Comment by lolly | November 16, 2011

      • ■As fucked up as that is, she was a baby at the time she behaved that way, like 3, 4, 5, 6 years old. Her biological dad ripped open her vagina when she was 1 year old. And he did it all the time! Think of how fucked up children act normally even when they are loved and nurtured. Kids are little pain in the ass brats! Now imagine when from the age of 1, being sexually tortured. Normal brattiness won’t cut it for lashing out. Human nature inclines murderous actions. Don’t you ever like to imagine tragedy befalling people when they are happy and you are not? Like when someone takes your parking space, don’t you hope they get a parking ticket? Human nature will not allow itself to be ignored. Thank God that child learned the ABILITY to weep through rehab therapy. That’s a release she never had before!

        Comment by Jen | December 5, 2011

      • Dear Becky,
        Please ask yourself why exactly you find yourself in the field of psychiatry? You come off as an individual who lacks understanding, experience, and one with a pessimistic approach to this issue. Yes, the actions of a young Beth are quite disturbing and uncomfortable, but your suggestion of institutionalizing this child forever is TRULY DISGUSTING. Oh how easy it would be to simply treat children who have been subjected to severe emotional, psychological, physical and sexual abuse, by locking them up and completely ignoring and treating the underlying cause! “Let’s not even attempt to help them, they will all grow up to be sociopaths and psychopaths anyway!” You don’t seem to comprehend that with proper, extensive and intensive intervention/therapy, the chances of a child rehabilitating are more likely since their brains are still developing and pliable. I worry when I hear comments such as the one you have made, it seems you are looking for an easy answer to a complex issue. Please take an intro course in psychology, child development and sociology–if you haven’t already–and if you have, take it again! As well as gain some hands-on experience in working with abused children under the supervision of experience professionals. Also, note how you quickly disregard Beth’s achievements in not only obtaining a degree in nursing but also, establishing a clinic for children with severe behavioral issues. Note how you loathe on the negative aspects of her case, instead of applauding her success and the methods used to rehabilitate her. Yes, many people that have been abused can experience remorse and empathy, but not all cases are the same and not all people process and respond to such traumatic events the same! Let us not compare a fully developed adult with a psychopathic personality to a child, yes? Your generalizations highlight your lack of understanding, and that is the is the true fallacy here.

        Comment by Lovely Dhalia | December 5, 2011

      • “many people were abused as children and go on to feel empathy, and remorse.”

        Don’t go around insinuating that abused kids can grow up to be normal without severe intervention. That is a vicious lie. It doesn’t matter if you work in psychiatry, in fact it makes your comment worse.

        Beth was a child. Do you understand what it means to not bond due to abuse? I don’t know if you should be working in the health care profession if you have this deep lack of empathy for an abused child.

        Contrary to you, I do believe we can do a lot for these children, and we owe it to them to fight for them to be able to recover some of things that were brutally taken from them.

        Comment by Miranda | December 16, 2011

      • Why in the world would you want to keep someone in jail / locked up forever, who had no idea what they were doing? Obviously the treatment worked in Beth’s case.

        Comment by slw081066 | December 21, 2011

      • you dont really sound like your “in the field of psychiatry” maybe you have been institutionalized a few times…. that could put you “in the field” but hey lady…. i’d get your info straight and do some more research before you go yapping out nasty comments…

        Comment by Portia | February 2, 2012

      • your coment is not even close to being true because I am from an abusive childhood as well as
        regection and a screw you attitude from my peers and I have to say that I am one of the most compassionate people you will ever meet and have morals,valuse, and a soul and conscience. I still have love to share and I know that.

        Comment by Michelle | March 17, 2012

      • Thank you for writing Michelle. I am sorry to hear about your background, including the action of your peers. That should never happen to anyone.

        Comment by teacher | March 31, 2012

      • Wow you two psychiatry people are limited. So no matter what is done, once a psycho kid always a psycho kid huh? what, are they in some kind of gang?

        Comment by Sir Chance-a-lot | March 23, 2012

      • They say NOT all people who have been abused as children go on to live without feelings of remorse or empathy. Just like not everyone who smokes a cig will get addicted. It is the different chemistry each human being has, the different ways we handle situations. Like a sad movie might make you cry and I just might shrug it off. Not all learn to manipulate. The ones that go without therapy I believe learn how to be “human” through mimic and observation throughout life so yes some do manipulate but I do believe that programs (good ones) can help people be people again. It is not her fault or any abused childs fault that they were treated as horrible as they were. As you know many murderers and killers live perfectly normal loving family lives. So why treat our abused ones like they are rotten apples or ticking time bombs? It is so much easier to give up than help someone is that what your saying? Pointless? Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt.

        Comment by Saving | April 26, 2012

      • did you not read it, she CHANGED , even the therapist said so. She started feeling emotion and began controling herself you retard.

        Comment by Joe Shrout | May 28, 2012

      • I read this comment and I´m sorry, but I picture an idiot behind them words!

        Talk about one sided mind! Common now, can´t you see that there´s a possibility that she as an adult want to do good in life!? To help others with a fair amount of own suffering to drive her to help others to a better life? That´s completely natural and it was MY first though.

        Sure she COULD fake it all and be dangerous yes, but I´m saying imagine her being YOUR child for a moment? Would you lock her up for life as easy as you suggested in your comment? Isn´t there a little chance that you havn´t thought this thru? Honestly? I would suggest maybe have an eye over her progress, and it seems they had just that don´t you agree?

        If we keep locking up damage humans in fear of what could come instead of helping them, aren´t WE the killers then? Killers of LIFE… think about it…

        Christian Angelo Nilsén
        Sweden, Stockholm

        Comment by Christian | May 29, 2012

      • I agree with you in that it would be entirely difficult and unlikely for this child to “fake it all” in growing into an empathetic woman whose work seems to help many children of extreme RAD. I can’t imagine how many people could pull off a “fake” life and career for 20-odd years.

        Comment by gothrules | June 1, 2012

      • Psychiatrists… their answers are always the same… Either pump a person with a bunch of pills that may or may not work or just stick patients in a mental hospital. You guys make me sick sometimes, at least with a therapist they believe in their patients.

        Comment by Jasper | June 1, 2012

      • I don’t agree with your viewpoint. I believe there are many credible and caring psychiatrists in this world….the trick sometimes is to find them.

        Comment by gothrules | June 1, 2012

      • V Betty Sceptikal”, It is disturbing if you are indeed “in the field of psychiatry”. Because what you said would then display gross incompetence. I loathe the idea of someone seeking your help.

        Comment by Etunimi Sukunimi | June 21, 2012

      • you seem extremely heartless, this woman has worked her ass off to create a change within herself and as you can see at the end of part 3 of the documentary, her tears and hurt are brought forth by the understanding of the pain she caused….I applaud Beth Thomas and hold tremendous respect for all she has overcome

        Comment by Shantal Baker | June 27, 2012

      • I completely agree with you well said!

        Comment by Alicia | July 2, 2012

      • you’re in the field of psychiatry you said?! ….. I think you – you need your head examined!
        What you said that children with severe mental health issues should be institutionalized was not only disturbing but truly tragic and sick!
        ….. I for one would be very scared to see the treatments you use on people and of how your minipulations hold no bounderies with an ill fitted and mindless sense of direction you gush out in your comments.
        Firstly- you need to find GOD… and learn empathy.
        Secondly- You need to find internal peace because I’m judging you have none.

        Good luck and May you find the love of Jesus Christ to help you deal with your own internal convictions

        Comment by Christina | July 5, 2012

      • dude shut the fuck up u where not raped you are not “in the field” of shit you get fucked by a 12 inch whinki and not stab someone

        Comment by FUER | July 11, 2012

      • This post is old but the only thing you should be disgusted about is yourself! This little girl hated herself and this is why she acted in this way.. She was a only a child and if she would have been sent to someone like you to live with she would have never been able to live normally. You want an abused child to live in a place around other crazies her whole life?! wow what a dream come true that would have helped the poor girl ha.. it’s people like you with lack of understanding and commitment that brings out a shitty system. Grow some compassion biotch! The girl just didn’t get help she also helped herself. She must be a very strong lady, and she got a degree because she worked for it! Abused horribly, and you think her life should be horrible?! well eff u! If you were in her shoes would you want someone who doesn’t even know you, talking this filth?! She got her BSN and was once a victim of abuse and abusing others, and she got through it, so get over it! oh and other success is her being an author so shut it!

        Comment by ashlee | July 16, 2012

      • Is there absolutely no consideration upon rehabilitation? If not, that’s cruel. Especially since judgments are based on childhood behaviour.

        Comment by David Franz | August 11, 2012

      • Childhood is indeed far removed from youth and adulthood. Many incredible changes can and do happen to people during these subsequent years as Beth Thomas has truly proven.

        Comment by gothrules | August 13, 2012

      • WOW! I’m hoping your just the cleaner in a psych hospital and not an actual therapist. GOD help the people who end up having you if you are a therapist

        Comment by Freedom | February 5, 2013

      • Yes, you sound like such an expert when you can’t even punctuate.

        Comment by Clinician | April 27, 2013

      • Hey V Betty Sceptikal – Oh what rot. You are SO NOT in the field of psychiatry except maybe as a kitchen hand at a institution or the cleaner. No self respecting psychiatrist would be so utterly lacking in compassion as you appear to be. What a rotten person you seem to be. Yuk,

        Comment by Julieanne | June 22, 2013

      • I have not even begun my undergrad work, im still in community college but Im on my way to getting my doctorate and in my limited experience I have never herd a so called professional speak in such an absolute way about a person who by all means acted out in the way that any tortured human being would. It is completely understandable that she did that in more than one sense. For one, she is at a limited understanding of the world at her age, and two being that they were so busy abusing her they obviously weren’t teaching her which would set her at a deficit mentally. I think you would stand to benefit in a review of the Humanistic model of psychology because you sound as though you have no foresight, insight or compassion what so ever!

        Comment by ssgreenlighter | October 9, 2013

      • For someone who is “in the field of psychiatry” you sure show signs of dumbness! For one, someone in “the field of psychiatry” would know how to PROPERLY ADD PUNCTUATION! And for two, they would know when to CAPITALIZE and use proper grammar! Hell, we learn that in 1st grade!! To say nothing of the fact that even a layman knows that people can change! Shame on you V Betty Sceptikal!

        Comment by Diane | October 28, 2013

      • How can you be dumb enough to take a paragraph to make a point, and then completely contradict that point with the last sentence….

        Comment by Jen | January 19, 2015

    • Oh, absolutely. They are consummate manipulators and con artists. They will embrace and hold tightly to their own convoluted lies and confabulations– making therapists believe they are telling the truth when there is no truth whatsoever. It is horrifying. Unfortunately I know this all too well from first-hand experience. A child we adopted, mere days after turning 17, after being given a light slap on the cheek for disrespectful mouthing off… MUTILATED HER OWN FACE for hours afterward, rubbing and kneading it until it became reddened and swollen, and then stole her dad’s cell phone, took a picture of herself, and emailed it to an adult she knew would believe her… and as the result of her lies I was arrested and forced to spend the night in a jail cell. Fortunately the judge in the case was familiar with FASD and RAD and the resulting behavior patterns when these issues combined… and I was released under my own recognizance the next morning. However, not surprisingly, it was a rather traumatizing experience. I could not even feel safe in my own home!!! She is no longer with us, and has burned bridges behind her rapidly– having been in FOUR DIFFERENT HOMES since the end of June, not one of which families would welcome her to stay there again. That makes FIVE FAMILIES including our own in which she has worn out her welcome… she was with us for nearly nine years, and had every type of support and therapy we could manage to obtain with and for her, and still appears UNABLE to successfully be a family member. Yes, like the two girls in the article, she was abused and molested and neglected as an infant and small child, her birthmother was an alcoholic and a prostitute, and from the stories the child told, she too allowed “boyfriends” to have their way with the child. She entered the orphanage system in that country before the age of two, and had already developed the superficial charm and devious manipulativeness of the consummate con artist that is the child with RAD. My heart goes out to every parent who has ever attempted to raise a child who suffered from RAD, it seems that very few of them come through to reach a place of living successfully in the world– especially if their RAD is further complicated by FASD as this child’s was.
      :::::deep sigh::::: It was never supposed to be this way. Many of such children need extensive therapeutic intervention– the child I spoke of certainly does. We pleaded for YEARS for more help, but her manipulative lies were believed… very few people listened to us. It’s sad that at present no one wants her in their home– even moreso because she’s brought it upon herself. We just wanted to love her, to embrace her into our family, we didn’t adopt her to give up on her… but in the end, the rest of our family’s well-being needed to come first. And she needs far more help than any mere family can provide to her. I hope she gets the help she needs, it’s her only hope.

      Comment by ciao | November 27, 2011 | Reply

      • This is a tragic story for you, your family and the young woman with FASD and RAD. Truly however I don’t know that she has brought her troubles “upon herself” since her brain has been neuologically impaired by both the prenatal drinking and the horrific abuse she experienced after birth. It seems to me that this type of brain damage would preclude her from being able to fully and truly make her own decisions in life, whether for the better or the worse. In fact, she learned to survive in her environment in a manner that she learned – the adults were abusive, liars, and manipulators so in order to survive and perhaps even to please them, she became the same way. Later in life when she was among healthy people, the child learned at times to mimic the response that they now sought, at times behaving beautifully I’m sure in order to receive praise and power while all the while having a personal agenda. It certainly sounds deceitful but I truly believe this behaviour is beyond this child’s control. And being in and out of so many adoptive homes must be a lonely experience for her. Most definitely she is the losing person in this sad situation. However that you kept this child for 9 years is truly remarkable. You took a long, exhausting road but sadly it didn’t benefit anyone in the end…..and how could you know that? Kudos to you for trying so hard. it’s a sad situation for everyone.

        Comment by teacher | November 27, 2011

      • A light slap on the cheek?? The fact you’ve physically assualted an already troubled and scarred youngster is disgusting! All teens mouth off, even kids can be cheeky, but you don’t automatically respond by hitting their face especially wen they already have psychological issues…this makes it worse and fuels their anger and negative behaviour. Its like getting a kid who’s been abused and beaten for their whole life saying you’ll give them a better life only to go on and hit them yourself for bein a bit lippy (like all teens)…think this might keep scars fresh rather than help them heel, no wonder she couldn’t learn to trust if being hit was used as punishment even after she was adopted then ditched when you wondered why you weren’t making progress. Such people need sensitive care as well as sterness (and that doesn’t mean hitting) to show them they are worth loving and their is people to trust. Hitting her just reinforces people hurt lash out and can’t be trusted. I applaud you stuck it out for so long it must of been really hard but your methods would have had an adverse effect. This is coming from an abuse sufferer who remembers what it was like.

        Comment by VJE | January 27, 2012

      • VJE – I am sorry to hear about your background. It wasn’t at all fair that you had to experience such a dysfunctional childhood. I agree with you that slapping a person in the face is abusive and never healthy. In fact in Ontario, Canada a parent is only permitted to put their hands on a child to “educate” and “with reasonable force” (however you define that). To educate implies there is a cause and effect between a spank, or a slap, and an action that could (1) prove dangerous to the child and/or others (2) blaspheme against the child’s chosen religion and other undefined situations (they are assessed on a case by case basis). Responding with physical contact is rarely, if ever, beneficial, however I suspect that due to your background, a relatively minor incident would take on signicant importance, perhaps more so than this situation warrants.

        Comment by teacher | April 6, 2012

      • The bottom line is she accepted God into her heart and she understands and realizes now, the consequences and guilt that she will fell when she does these things. God and Jesus, not God alone, is the answer. Her first adoptive parents were methodist, but when she started to go to a Baptist church, she changed dramatically!

        Comment by Elizabeth | February 1, 2012

      • Hi Elizabeth. (Ironic). I agree that Beth’s outlook and behaviours improved dramatically however if I amm not mistaken, my impression of Beth’s attendance at churcvh came about after a number of behaviours had been corrected in the child, making the acceptance of Jesus possible.

        Comment by teacher | April 6, 2012

      • Wow, you are so selfish and disgusting. I can’t believe that you would slap another human in the face, especially one that is in your care and should be able to trust you not to abuse her.

        Comment by disgusted | April 5, 2012

      • You should know that someone who has been abused and in traumatic situations should not have been slapped, i do not care what they were saying, they have an illness and they could do much worse than be disrespectful. No ones hand should have given her a “light slap” on her cheek. Lets see how you would react to something like that after being raped, beaten and passed from home to home. Better she is not in your care, you obviously do not know how to contain your own frustrations let alone help someone contain theirs. I have no doubt it was hard to deal with its the actions you chose to use.

        Comment by Saving | April 26, 2012

      • You are a fucking SHIT person.

        Comment by Bob | April 26, 2012

      • I am a fucking shit person or are you referring to one of my readers? I would like to know in regard to which issue?

        Comment by teacher | April 26, 2012

      • I for one here can understand a slap in the face. There are limits!

        I wish my mom gave me a couple more when I kept testing the limits and went over them! I can´t believe people here saying “you are a shit person”. Don´t listen!

        Jesus did you miss the love and care they had for NINE years for this (impossible) kid FIVE families gave up on? HELLO!? I hate rude people on internet! THINK BEFORE POSTING SHIT!

        Of course no one should be hurt whatever reason in a perfect world. My post is to remind you that people aren´t perfect, and never will be!

        When did you make a big mistake yourself? Never? I doubt it…

        Comment by Christian | May 29, 2012

      • You did lightly slap her… A slap is a slap! Its like giving a drug addict who just got clean a small amount of that drug. An instant relapse will usually happen. The person to blame on all of her activities was you… nice job messing up that poor girls life all over again.

        Comment by Jasper | June 1, 2012

      • I hope you get help and I sincerely pray that you and people like you are never allowed to adopt children with or without issues of any kind. Life is not a fairy tale, WAKE UP!!! It was sad to hear your vicious satisfaction that your adopted daughter still hasn’t been able to find a loving family and a place to belong in this world. One thing I did get from your comments, loud and clear, is that in the nine years that she was with your family, you and your husband did absolutely nothing to improve her life. Hmmm, wonder why that is?

        Comment by Cecilia | September 30, 2012

    • i think that with psychopaths and sociopaths, well i’ve read in the DSM that you cant diagnose a child under the age of 18 with such a disorder. the brain of a 5 or 6 year old is far from developed unlike that of a late adolescent or adult. the brain of such a young child is very adaptive. look at children who have had great childhoods until sexual assault at the age of say.. 10. they may have been destined for normalcy but at that age the brain is adaptive enough that they can become completely different people and very very mentally ill, even become a threat to society and develop narcissistic personalities or psychopathic tendencies or straight out sociopaths. hmm lots to ponder

      Comment by Portia | February 2, 2012 | Reply

  2. Horrifyingly sad but thanks goodness for those who really care.

    Comment by marie | June 26, 2011 | Reply

  3. I was sexually abused by a family member until I was 12 and it’s scary to look back and see how much damage I caused people because of that. I drew sexually explicit pictures and was very violent and often thought of killing people. Although I don’t act violently now, I still have the thoughts and impulses. One thing I’ve never done though, is hurt an animal intentionally. I haven’t been able to make a solid relationship with another human, as the trust is not there but am completely bonded to my dog and cat. I was not as bad as Beth, and I’m so very thankful for that. I don’t think people understand how deep this kind of pain goes unless they’ve been there.

    Comment by Lynne | September 11, 2011 | Reply

    • That’s a terrible story. Most abusers in my opinion are sociopaths, although whether they are born that way or made into a sociopath by another abuser is hard to say. A shame your family seemed unaware of the abuse, or at least no one seemed to intervene until you were 12. Are you in ongoing counselling, hon? There is no way this trauma will heal itself and it must be a lonely life not to be able to trust anyone.

      Comment by teacher | September 11, 2011 | Reply

      • It all depends on the person and how they want to turn out. Personally I think you’re made that way just because of what I’ve seen and been through. My family was abused by the same man. No one did anything about it. When I told my mother (who was also abused by him) she told me to not tell anyone because it would “open up a can of worms”. Eventually the pain of being alone was unbearable and I cracked. I told as many people as I could until a coach of mine found out and was obligated by law to report it. Then he was criminally prosecuted, pled guilty, but the judge said he was too old to go to jail, so he got off with prohbation. A girl I know was molested by her step father when she was younger and told her mother, but her mother didn’t believe her. Her father stood up for her and pressed charges only to have her mother testify against her in court, so he got away with it. About 10 years later this same man bought alcohol for his 15 year old son and his son’s friends for a new years eve party. He raped a 14 year old girl that night. The cops came, arrested him, he got off on bond, went home and shot himself in the head. His name was christopher beller. If you search the name in google, you can read all about what he did. This girl is destroyed and it’s all because her mother didn’t believe her. She has so many problems and is far worse off than I am. Even though my mother wasn’t always there for me, she stood up against my abuser eventually, but I think it’s because she might have held some anger towards him for what he did to her.
        I did do counseling, but had really bad counselors. I recently found Beth Thomas’ website and decided to try one listed on her page, but I have yet to go. I’m hoping they will teach me how I can bond with people, because it is really lonely.

        Comment by lynne | September 13, 2011

      • Are these mothers and judges all completely mad? Too old to go to jail? Open up a can of worms? Testified against her own blood? I would walk through fire for my child. I’ve often said to people “I would take a bullet for that kid.” And I mean it. Once a bf of mine raised his voice atmy daughterwhen she was 2 1/2 and pointed at her – some silly thing about sitting on his table – I was livid. What a stupid thing to get angry about. He never saw us again. There is something psychologically very wrong with women who deny their children’s abuse. They are part of the cycle. They’ve probably grown up being abused or witnessing abuse and I suppose that is normal for them. I’d like to think if i was treated that way I would be extra diligent in protecting my own child because I wouldn’t want her to suffer what I did. That is just so sad. It seems to me the mothers and the judges are equally culpable in these cases.

        Comment by teacher | September 14, 2011

    • you are so right one may never understand how it feels to be sexually abused ,by a sick man.my heart goes out to Beth, this sick man is very lucky, that i wasnt there i would have given my own life to save this inocent child..to whom it may concern lets be for real… the reason why Beth acted out like she did…. it was the only thing that this poor child knew. until she got proffessional help..if someone slaps you in the face. would you be happy? inocent beth was hurt down to the core of her beautiful little spirit.

      Comment by Nancy | February 25, 2012 | Reply

      • Children learn what they live, isn’t that what they say? I agree wholeheartedly. Abuse forces many people to spend a lifetime trying to heal.

        Comment by teacher | March 2, 2012

    • I too was sexually abused as a child. Once by a babysitter, once by one of my mom’s ex- boyfriends, and multiple times by 2 of my cousins. My mom literally beat the babysitter with a baseball bat, slapped me in the face and called me a “slut” when I told her about her ex-boyfriend, and laughed when I told her about my cousins… My mom was a crack addict, prostitute, and was in and out of jail and prison. I became extremely sexually active before I was 13. I had sex with everyone that I could… I didn’t understand why though, I didn’t enjoy it. I hated sex and everything about it. I have never been to therapy, but with the help of a loving and understanding husbad (who started as one of my many sexual verntures and one night stands) I am slowly overcoming who I was. I have taken some psychology courses in college and understand why I did what I did. I have stood up to 2 of my tormentors (which really was the turning point in my life). I am a loving mother to all 8 of our kids. I have become a strong individual, but it wasn’t always like this. I still get extremely depressed, and for years I drank myself into oblivion and hurt my friends and family members with my actions. I am only 26 and feel like I am 50. It is a hard life to live when you suffer from abuse and neglect issues.

      Comment by i'masurvivor | May 15, 2012 | Reply

      • Do seek therapy for the very reasons you stated: “I still get extremely depressed” and “I drank myself into oblivion”. It doesn’t sound as though you are drinking anymore but it is easy to slip back into this habit especially when surviving extreme trauma.

        Comment by gothrules | May 20, 2012

    • I was sexually/Phtsically/mentally abused, beaten and left for dead many times. my mother married a child rapist not once, but twice. it doesnt go away once the abuser is no longer in your life, it keeps on. I ended up wtih Borderline Personalities Disorder, OCD, and Major Depression. I was not diagnosed until my 30’s, though the nightmares were always there, the hallucinations and voices didnt start until i was 11. So yay! i got to relive it for the rest of my life, but now i have friends to share it with that no one else can see. the older i get, the worse it gets, because my mind is not able to block out the pain and memories anymore. my subconscious is getting its ass kicked, my nightmares are getting more vivid, and i am totally no longer considered a fiunctioning member of society by the governments standards.
      My sister was the lucky one though. She had Post TraumaticStress Disorder and Bi Polar Depression, this was her metal illness reward for being gang raped by men on a back road in a car , then being severaly beaten until almost dead for telling our mom it was our step dad. she was only 7 when he gang raped her. she eventually committed suicice with ehr gun from her Security Guard job. Lucky her.
      For thsoe who dont know, it never goes away, no matter how you try, not for some of us. it haunts us, we can still smell it years after it happened, certain sounds can bring back a flood of memeires, we can still feel our bones break though it is yesrterday. the torment is always there, always…

      Comment by Sophia | December 18, 2012 | Reply

  4. “Beth Thomas grew into a mentally healthy woman. She obtained a degree in nursing and has authored a book entitled “More Than a Thread of Hope.” She and her adoptive mother Nancy Thomas established a clinic for children with severe behaviour disturbances. Nancy Thomas wrote a book entitled Dandelion on my Pillow, Butcher Knife Beneath (Coping with Personal Problems). Nancy and Beth Thomas’ website is http://www.attachment.org

    This right here is absolutely profound. I can read it a million times!

    Comment by Erik Diaz | September 13, 2011 | Reply

    • Yes I knew Beth grew into a remarkable, healthy woman and worked in a clinic with Nancy. It’s a wonderful ending to a dreadful beginning. Thanks for writing.

      Comment by teacher | September 14, 2011 | Reply

  5. Did Beth and Mary had same therapist? in Beth’s documentary i saw that he was seeing Dr. Ken Magid?

    Comment by maki | October 7, 2011 | Reply

    • No they could not possibly have! Beth lives in the States and Mary lives in England. Also Mary’s crimes took place decades before Beth was interviewed.

      Comment by teacher | October 19, 2011 | Reply

  6. Having parented a child, who had significant complex trauma early in life (abuse, profound neglect and sexual abuse) I can say this article is absolutely true. We adopted my son at the age of 4 and yes he was quite the charmer. That is with everyone on the outside, but not at home. At home we got the real, extremely disturbed kiddo. We spun our wheels in various types of therapy from age 5 until 7 1/2 when we found the approach that finally got through to him. He has now fully resolved his RAD (resolved, not cured). RAD is a neurological impairment -the brain develops erratic pathways when the baby/toddler is exposed to chronic neglect/abuse. Processing shame is a major component of attachment disorder. Once my son successfully completed therapy there was a marked difference in how he handled shameful experiences. Prior to therapy when he would strike out, attack, aggress to push me away. He had a desire to kill me, and at one point even had tools hidden in his closet to kill us with. After therapy, and to this day – he turns to me for comfort when the world roughs him up a little bit. Sure, still a bit immature for a 19 year old, but to be expected for a child who has only had the capacity for attachment for 11 years. The worst behavior we see now when his RAD scar tissue has been tweaked is irritability and defensiveness. So yes, that scar tissue will be there for life. BUT it will not impair him for life. He’s learning to see it for what it is –as part of his past, and not of his present. For those skeptics out there, I would say research RAD. The outside world is most certainly charmed by many of these kiddos, but not the family. The family gets the real deal, the crap, the pain. And when you get your child into the hands of a therapist with the proper training and skills – they cut right through the charm. Day one, my son realized that the therapist who finally was able to help him– had his number. His charm most certainly had worked with the previous 4 therapist who lacked the proper training and experience to help him. It was a long and tough journey and one we are still on. BUT I can tell you that I parent a sweet, kind, caring 19 year old young man. Because of what he has suffered, he is beyond his years in his depth of understanding, caring and concern for others. Folks you don’t get this with a con-artist. You can’t fake having a heart and soul. Those savy about RAD see through the charm in these kids, and see them for the pained, injured victims that they are.

    Comment by Karen | November 27, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you for supporting my blog. Also this is a very genuine, heartfelt response and you have revealed very personal, private information to us. I can’t imagine how difficult and heart-breaking it must have been to parent this little boy when you first adopted him and you are to be commended for keeping faith and being determined to love and help him. Most people probably wouldn’t have been that devoted. I am happy to hear this young man is much more well-adjusted and that he even experiences joy and love in his life. Truly there are ill human beings in this world who have no business “parenting” a child. This speaks to the incredible damage an abusive beginning in life does to a child.

      Comment by teacher | November 27, 2011 | Reply

  7. You dont have to be in a field of profession or be a caretaker of children with RAD to understand the victims of these hideous crimes they commited just remember that its not an excuse to do these evil acts but when they go to prison and they recieve therapy and rehabilitation after that its the victims choice to change and make a difference in the world just like Beth Thomas though she didnt go to prison but thats because she chose her lifestyle to live a healthy way thanks to her amazing mom and a spiritual human being and author Nancy Thomas and her husband(a Pastor).this really inspires me and i learned not to judge people like Beth Thomas and Norma Bell.There is hope and healing for their sorrows and pain.I thank the Lord!

    Comment by Milagros | December 1, 2011 | Reply

  8. […] Posted by GGrass What happened to the girl? What's the story? Children of Rage Read the first story about Beth Thomas. That's who the doc was […]

    Pingback by Official Chat Thread (**Read the rules before posting, or else!**) - Page 980 - Grasscity.com Forums | December 19, 2011 | Reply

    • Beth Thomas was healed by 24-hour, consistent therapy for a period of about 4 years, I believe. Her nature changed completely. She grew up to become a nurse and to work in the same clinic as her own therapist.

      Comment by teacher | March 2, 2012 | Reply

      • Her own therapist killed a child through some unproven therapy though. Beth seems lucky!

        Comment by Skeptical | May 8, 2012

  9. My heart goes out to the poor little girl and all the horrific things she endured at the hands of her father. I hope HE is locked up somewhere or dead now. Whenever I hear of men abusing children I wish they could have their penises chopped off and shoved down their throats. How could anyone hurt innocent children in such a horrific manner?
    I work with children in a high school setting who have probably been neglected in some form. It takes a lot of patience and understanding in dealing with them.
    I am ecstatic to hear she was “cured” and is a healthy law abiding member of society.Good for you all that helped those poor suffering children.

    Comment by lyn | December 29, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi Lyn. Clearly you are very emotional about Beth Thomas and other children suffering sexual abuse. However “their penises chopped off and shoved down their throats” sounds extreme and counter-productive. For one thing rape comes in many forms, not merely penile penetration. For another, such distorted angry thinking will be further reinforced should such a drastic measure be taken. I am glad your heart goes out to these children but I am somewhat concerned with your reaction to abusive fathers/guardians considering you work with teenagers. Of course they never hear you voice your beliefs in this regard, correct?

      Comment by teacher | April 6, 2012 | Reply

      • Eye for an eye. Penis for a mangled vagina!
        It’s hard to say. The abusers were often abused as children. Then again, there are those that were merely exposed to power-drunk people and learned only their ways (which wouldn’t include compassion or empathy in extreme cases).
        It’s hard to say what’s right. I fantasize about killing pedos quite often when I hear of them.
        This brain is a curious thing. I was physically abused, emotionally neglected and abused, and only a little bit physically neglected.
        I have been molested and almost kidnapped (by non-immediate-family-members). There are more than a few occasions I could have been killed or raped by strangers, but only got away with a fraction of the bad stuff.
        I was able to make it out of the very tough situations.
        At least when my mother was awake, she told me I didn’t want random men taking me because they’d probably hurt me. If I didn’t know that, I might be dead now.
        I don’t know what to say. I know for certain, that if I come across a rapist doing his/her ‘job’…. I would kill him/her, in a heartbeat.
        I don’t think I could mangle any bits, but the guy/girl would DIE and I would like it.
        Hey! I should be a pedo hunter (j/k)!
        Maybe I’m a messed up individual. I want to end ALL of the ‘cycles’. Too bad it seems impossible. Too many tough calls, and playing God. We can’t possibly know every shred of truth to know exactly what to do with people.
        I need to start looking up happy children, and happy families and happy situations and get a feel for them more. I would hate to regress and become the parents I grew up with. My children are brilliant beautiful little balls of light. If anyone does to them even a portion of what has been done to me, I will lose it. Anyone who lays a sexual finger on my children will die. They deserve a bright happy, normal life. For no other reason than me being irresponsible and bringing them to this sad world. I brought them into this hell of a world, it’s my duty to see to it that they are safe, and have the tools they need to continue to be safe and happy. Who know what we’re headed for, as a species. Times are scary.

        Comment by Destiny B. | May 20, 2012

      • I doubt your children will become victims due to your experiences and your strong convictions. Hopefully for your sake you are receiving psychological support so you can work through the confusion and pain that has been your life thus far.

        Comment by gothrules | May 20, 2012

  10. Its very horrifying what happened to Beth and her brother when left with that obvious animal they had — their biological father. It also surprised me the progress therapy can have on children who are otherwise headed for being adult psychopaths and violent dangerous sadists.

    That said, I would not be comfortable with Beth as my nurse. In no way is it Beth’s fault what happened to her, and I am so glad she was helped before it was too late, but I have to wonder in the back of my head if its a really good idea that someone with a history of such mental illness and violence be around the most vulnerable people. Sorry, I know thats harsh.

    Comment by nobody | January 23, 2012 | Reply

    • I find your comment that the father was an obvious animal to be interesting. (First, what an insult to animals!) However I’m not certain its as simple to summarize a person’s nature as simply vile or reprehensible or even bestial. Behaviours are learned. Often family dysfunctions are cyclical and it is the family that usually plants the seed of mental abnormality in people’s heads (with the obvious exception of mental illness). Certainly Beth’s father was reprehensible. I am with you on that one. I’m merely questioning his own childhood and why he believed that his severe maltreatment of his children was normal.

      Comment by teacher | March 11, 2012 | Reply

    • Hi Nobody (I don’t care for the self-reflection on that name). Beth did not suffer from a mental illness. RAD is defined as a severe and relatively uncommon disorder that can affect children. RAD is characterized by disturbed and inappropriate ways of relating socially. It can take the form of a persistent failure to initiate or respond to most social interactions in a developmentally appropriate way—known as the “inhibited” form—or can present itself as indiscriminate sociability, such as excessive familiarity with relative strangers—known as the “disinhibited form”.

      Comment by teacher | April 6, 2012 | Reply

  11. I just attended a seminar by Nancy Thomas where she explained how this extraordinary transformation came about. I believe Beth went into Nancy’s home and was rehabilitated there, as opposed to the home of Connell Watkins.

    Comment by Teacher also | January 28, 2012 | Reply

    • This is crazy! I don’t believe it not even for a second that she truly grew up to be a mentally stable women. I was sexually abused at a young age by my step father. Never told a soul for bout 4 years. I then told my mother and she did everything she could to help me. Even though it was her husband, and father of her young child she called the cops on him, and testified against him. I am only 19 years old at the moment and the first time I was abused I was only 11. I didn’t tell anyone until I was 15. I went to therapy everyday, and it helped a ton. I don’t feel how I used to feel, now I’m confident and a lot more outgoing. I am not saying that all the hurt and pain is gone now but it is much better. I never ever wanted to hurt anybody, no one. Only person I ever have hurt is myself. Abused kids I don’t think can ever grow up to be fully normal people as it truly does hurt you and affects you in a lot of different ways. Til this day I don’t trust guys, I don’t like to sleep at night. It’s terrifying. It’s a horrible thing to have to go through, but you have to be strong. I just don’t understand why she would want to hurt others, why would she want others to feel how she feels? It’s puzzling how a human being who has gone through abuse and such pain want to cause that same type of pain to others.

      Comment by Michele | February 20, 2012 | Reply

      • At the time that little Beth was reacting to her abuse. She was only 3 years old, nowhere near old enough to reason this through and seek help for herself. Consider that you were 11 when your abuse started and you held that ugly secret for four years. Beth was demonstrating what was happening to her. She knew nothing else. It was her life.

        Comment by teacher | March 2, 2012

    • Quite right. My error.

      Comment by teacher | March 2, 2012 | Reply

  12. where is jonathon the brother? hope is doing as good as she is..

    Comment by robbie | February 19, 2012 | Reply

    • The adoptive parents kept him and raised him. He is reportedly doing well.

      Comment by teacher | March 2, 2012 | Reply

  13. Beth is amazing girl, it is great to hear she has a normal, healthy life now after all she has been through. When I first watched the documentary I actually thought she would never have a normal life anymore…. I’m glad I was wrong.

    Comment by anonym | March 7, 2012 | Reply

    • Amazing what love, patience and faith can do for a child. Thanks for writing.

      Comment by teacher | March 9, 2012 | Reply

  14. There was never anything really wrong with Beth Thomas. The shrink in the documentary is asking leading questions. Ken Magid (who is featured with Beth in Child Of Rage) and Nancy Thomas (Beth’s adoptive mother) practice an unvalidated and abusive treatment called Attachment Therapy. Attachment Therapy has been condemned by the American Psychological Association. Ken Magid and Nancy Thomas were members of the “therapeutic team” that caused the suffocation death of a little girl named Candace Newmaker. There is more to this story.

    Comment by Concerned | March 8, 2012 | Reply

    • I find this comment interesting although I do not entirely agree with it and here’s why: the adoptive parents were terrorized by this child and they also stated to the camera (not to the shrink) the many abuses Beth conducted against her brother John. The mother specifically stated that Beth once asked her if she had noticed any knives were missing from the kitchen drawer and when her mother asked her what she meant the child grinned at her. This frightened the mother and she did indeed discover knives were missing that Beth had removed and placed elsewhere. Certainly this is abnormal behaviour in a 4-year-old child. Also her public masturbating is inappropriate for a child of any age. I do believe this child was sexually and physically abused and i do believe that this abuse expressed itself in her behaviour towards her family and herself. I was aware there was a 10-year-old child who died from suffocation and I also originally thought it was because of Nancy Thomas’s work. However it appears that two different people, Connell Watkins and Julie Ponder, were the therapists in that sad case. Here is a link: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/564082/detail.html Thanks for writing.

      Comment by teacher | March 9, 2012 | Reply

    • I agree that the therapists are poor – the leading questions are very unprofessional and I am sure that that was just the tip of the iceberg, but she clearly was very disturbed – her need to hurt and desire to kill are clear indicators. I am a little disquieted that she chose to go into nursing.

      Comment by Ellesar | April 25, 2012 | Reply

      • Hi Ellesar – thanks for the comment! Yes many people have commented that they are perplexed by Beth Thomas’s decision to become a nurse working with RAD children. They feel she hasn’t truly recovered from her extreme RAD and wouldn’t trust her for a minute. I’m not sure how I feel about that reaction. People heal. People change. She was sooo young when these things happened to her. I don’t see victims as perpetrators, especially children. However I don’t know that I would fully trust her as my nurse either. It’s an ongoing debate I’m afraid.

        Comment by teacher | April 25, 2012

  15. Hi my name is emily, I am a 19 year old female currrently living in portland or. When I was a baby my mom was in and out of the hospital constantly because she had severe illnesses (physical) and because of that i never got an opportunity to bond with and this continued on and on. By my 5th birthday my mom was gravely ill and a few months later she passed away i had significant behavioral issues for many years untill around age 7 when i was evaluated by psychaiatrists who diagnosed me with reactive attachment disorder of infancy or early childhood but i am now a very successful rage free 19 going to be 20 year old in july….always rrmember there is hope you just have to find it and believe in it.

    Comment by Emily | March 14, 2012 | Reply

    • Emily you have beaten the odds and should be feeling very strong and very good about yourself. Of course part of your RAD situation was your mother was not abusive, she was ill and couldn’t find the strength to bond with her infant. That may have had a part in helping you with your recovery – that and the fact that an astute relative realized you were having adjustment issues and thankfully, sought the help you needed on your behalf. Beautiful ending to a sad beginning.

      Comment by teacher | March 31, 2012 | Reply

  16. As someone who came from an abused home, I can honestly say I know exactly what Beth was going through. That said, To the person that said she should not be a nurse, If she has healed, there is nothing wrong with her profession. I think its great tht she was able to turn things round and help people. I hold no degree in child phychology but i do know from personal experiance that once you recover, there is no relapses.

    Comment by sally | April 2, 2012 | Reply

  17. Im sorry but what about the victims? They dont get to go on living.. I dont care the circumstances of her life thats NO EXCUSE for her actions.. She should of been institutionalized forever

    Comment by Gordon | April 13, 2012 | Reply

  18. I’m not sure if someone has already added this because i didn’t read all the comments I simply couldn’t. Check out this link of Beth now http://www.arc-aflc.com/newsite/chosen-child-conference.html

    Comment by Bea | April 13, 2012 | Reply

    • people deserve a second chance – especially young children before the age of 10….there is still hope they can be rehabilitated depending on how intense the program is that is offered to the child.

      Comment by teacher | April 19, 2012 | Reply

  19. First and foremost I don’t believe ANYONE should be making a DIME off treating children of abuse. That in itsself is terribly erred.
    I am a 40 yr old woman that has managed through life without doing too much damage to anyone/thing. Myself, like Beth, was abused by my father, only mine lasted until I was 5. But what I am really concerned about is, even I can only remember perhaps 2 focused years of abuse. She was removed at 19 months, I know damn good and well I could not vividly remember such details at that age and my memory recall has been solid all my life. I do NOT remember my 1st, 2nd nor 3rd birthdays.. do YOU?? Can you actually recall that memory without photographic evidence? If you say yes that I really would like to test that because I call bullshit! And those are happier recalls that most kids would recall, if possible.. do you remember being potty-trained? Exactly, neither do I, but at the time of Beth’s abuse she would have been the age of potty-training.
    I AM a victim of child abuse and molestation… but I am NOT a victim TO it, and I have learned to cope on my own, and I still see my father to this day. I have yet to harm anyone..
    The more I hear about this the less I agree.. with reasons

    Comment by AM | April 15, 2012 | Reply

    • I would not have your courage or sense of forgiveness toward my father if he had abused me. I would likely never speak to him again. Incest is unforgiveable in my book. Interesting that you cannot remember the early abuse. I believe some people do have extremely accurate and far-reaching recall of very early memories. An infant who is either being abused or is in a happy home cannot make sense of what is happening but s/he is storing up information to use in later months.

      Comment by teacher | April 18, 2012 | Reply

    • Just so we are on the same page, I am also a victim of multiple things as a child… I can describe the was my mother and father seperated when I was 11 months old to this day. I sat them both down when I was 16 and told them about the dreams I have always had about my childhood, turns out most of them were pretty freaking accurate. There were some exaggerations and some things missed, but all in all it was true. My son is 9 years old and asked me about the time his dad tried to pull him out of my arms where he lives. When my son could barely walk, his father kidnapped him by a river by his house. Life altering events are remembered at very early ages. Not everyone can remember them, but it is very possible. I am 26 years old and remember my parents seperation with vivid detail due to the fact that it was the cause of many nightmares throughout my childhood. My dreams made this night a constant reminder and memory of the things that I was aware of happening.

      Comment by i'masurvivor | May 15, 2012 | Reply

      • Yes I believe that some people have incredibly far-reaching memories. This is great when the memories are pleasant but clearly a source of trauma when not.

        Comment by gothrules | May 20, 2012

  20. I watched the documentry today and then the film.I am so glad that beth has found peace and can live a fulfilling life. I was sexually abused as a child it went on for years and when I was a teenager I found out that it had happened to my elder sister before me. She had told my mom who just hushed her up. She still wont acknowledge the abuse (it was her father) we have a semi healthy relationship . I suffer quite badly with depression I have slit my wrists and been hospitalised because of overdoses twice. I feel that Im doing well then relapse. I am currently in therapy so Im hoping I can have the peace that beth has. I am going to check out her website.

    Comment by jennifer | April 16, 2012 | Reply

    • I’m not sure what you mean by a semi-healthy relationship – to me, it is healthy or it isn’t and it sounds to me like yours is not. Your mother probably hushed up your sister because she herself was sexually abused by her father and she cannot bear to confront him or the abuse itself.

      Comment by teacher | April 18, 2012 | Reply

  21. I am no expert in child psychology by any means. However I am a schoolteacher, have my Masters Degree in Educational Administration, and have worked with children for 15 years. What I can attest to is my experience with neglected children and educational performance. If you are interested here is a powerpoint I made from authorstream:

    Comment by teacher | April 19, 2012 | Reply

  22. https://jl10ll.wordpress.com/2010/10/30/children-of-rage/ Amazing sight for all who would like to know how Beth is doing today. I thank God for the wonderful people in her life that never gave up. And so very proud of Beth and her great determination,strength,and accomplishments.Much love to you Beth.

    Comment by Susan | April 19, 2012 | Reply

  23. After her biological dad repeatedly molested her when she was 1 year old, goin through all that trauma it was relevant she (anyone !! ) could be disturbed…lucky that she was, to receive such loving parents who decided to adopt her, luckier she was she got the right medication….

    Comment by Anna Aisha Alley | April 24, 2012 | Reply

    • i agree with you about the family but i was unaware of the meds! thank you for sharing. Personally i believe the adoptive family who rehabilitated her beneath their roof were the key to healing this traumatized child.

      Comment by teacher | April 24, 2012 | Reply

  24. I am interested to know why it was considered ethical to make the documentary in the first place. It is very interesting and informative, but seems extremely inappropriate to be the subject of such an in depth film. How can a child of 6 give meaningful consent? What does that say about the therapists? And I agree with another comment that mentioned that the therapist is asking her leading questions. I trained as a social worker and I did not think that the way he was talking to her was appropriate – he suggested SO many things!

    Comment by Ellesar | April 25, 2012 | Reply

    • Yes there is no way a 6 year old child can give consent … was the consent given on her behalf? Do you consider these questions to be leading? I wonder if they simply sum up prior therapy sessions with Beth.

      Comment by teacher | April 25, 2012 | Reply

      • I am sure that the adoptive parents did give consent, but I find it extraordinary that they did. I know that this is over 20 years ago, but it just seems amazing that it would be thought OK in ANY circumstances, let alone the subject matter. The only way I can find it acceptable is if the tapes had been kept confidential until Beth was an adult, and then she allowed them to be made public. I still find that a very odd choice on Beth’s part, but at least that would have been her knowingly giving consent.

        The leading questions are a separate issue. I just feel that the therapist is far too free with suggestions of what Beth might be doing/ feeling etc. There are many occasions when he could have/ should have just said ‘can you tell me more about that’, but instead he fleshes it out a little, and from watching the docu I would say that Beth was already able to give people what they wanted, manipulate etc, so it is very likely that many of the things she said were more about that then frank answers.

        Comment by Ellesar | April 26, 2012

    • Well said! And as I understand it, the documentary was made in the late 80s and released in 1990, she was still a child when released and could not give informed consent.

      Comment by MA | February 3, 2013 | Reply

  25. Nancy Thomas, Beth Thomas’ adoptive mother was a part of Connell Watkins & Associates at the time Watkins, who appears in Child Of Rage, caused the suffocation death of a child named Candace Newmaker.

    The adults who appear in Child Of Rage practice a dangerous and unvalidated therapeutic philosophy called Attachment Therapy that has been condemned as child abuse by the American Psychological Association. Attachment Therapists routinely demonize adopted children. Note the leading questions that are being asked of the child in this documentary.

    Check out a website called Advocates For Children In Therapy for more info.

    Comment by podsnap | April 27, 2012 | Reply

    • a number of people in the social work and psychiatric field have commented that she was asked leading questions. I disagree. The child had already been through therapy and discussed what happened to her. I believe the questions were a quick summary for viewers to get us “up to speed“ on beth`s situation.
      Yes I heard that Nancy Thomas was an associate at a clinic that suffocated little 10-year-old Candace Newmaker by forcing her into a “re-birth“ type of therapy. The 2 therapists involved were Connell Watkins and Julie Ponder and were each sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment on charges related to Candace’s death. Nancy Thomas herself was not involved in Candace`s death.
      Candace`s rebirthing involved being wrapped in a flannel sheet while lying on the floor, having pillows placed on her, and being leaned on by four or five adults. Watkins and Ponder are prohibited from working with children again.

      Comment by teacher | April 28, 2012 | Reply

  26. Hmm, is the adoptive mother’s name Julie or Nancy?

    Comment by Peabody | May 9, 2012 | Reply

    • Nancy adopted Beth Thomas and Julie adopted poor little Candace.

      Comment by gothrules | May 13, 2012 | Reply

  27. The documentary said her adoptive parents were named “Tim” and “Julie”. Who is Nancy? How did she come to be Beth’s adoptive mother? Did Beth’s brother stay with Tim and Julie?

    Comment by C. Flower | May 15, 2012 | Reply

    • I wrote a follow-up blog to the original Children of Rage in this blog. It is entitled Beth Thomas, Candace Newmaker and Attachment Therapy Controversy. It explains in more detail whose who in these confusing case studies. Nancy became Beth’s adoptive mother and she and Beth have a therapy clinic for children who suffer from RAD. The Children of Rage documentary stated that Beth’s brother Jonathan remained with Tim and Julie who moved away with him. Presumably he is still a part of their family. Nancy met Beth through Connell Watkins, the therapist who killed Candace Newmaker. Nancy trained with Newmaker and she is still a proponent of Rebirthing, the therapy that killed Candace.

      Comment by gothrules | May 20, 2012 | Reply

  28. I don’t think anyone who has exhibited such violent behavior should be allowed in the healthcare field. Yes, she was an innocent child; but I don;t want anyone who has ever stuck their fingers up the brothers anus or stabbed dogs with needles to provide direct care to my loved one.

    Comment by Jenn | May 15, 2012 | Reply

    • Can’t say I agree with you. Many therapists have been abused and have themselves been abusers at one time in their lives. This is why they become therapists. They have “been there” and believe this perspective qualifies them more fully as effective therapists.

      Comment by gothrules | May 20, 2012 | Reply

  29. I think it’s important that these videos are public, and as a parent I would consent to it as well. Disorders and psychological impairments are nothing to be ashamed of and I’m a firm believer in “knowledge is power.” The more we can learn about abuse and its affects, the more empowered we become, whether we are the one who was abused or the one learning from the horrid experiences.

    Comment by Tracy | May 16, 2012 | Reply

    • Sucks for the child whose medical history will now be available to the world who had no real choice in the matter.

      Comment by MA | February 3, 2013 | Reply

      • Now a grown-up, Beth doesn’t seem too concerned about her childhood being “available to the world.” In fact she refers to it during the many workshops she offers around the country.

        Comment by gothrules | February 3, 2013

  30. I agree with the person “in the field of psychiatry” said. Though everyone has ganged up on him/her, it is quite true that the phrase “people do change” does not usually apply to psychopaths. Their brains are different from the rest of the population. They can have a charming facade and even a facade of kindness and generosity, but remain cunning and cruel to those close to them, sometimes in covert and sometimes in overt ways and, yes, they will manipulate the therapist and use the therapy to become more skilled at their psychopathy. In this case, I am especially skeptical of any “healing” that took place. The “holding therapy” technique has been deemed essentially a “quack” therapy by the American Psychological Association and the woman who was Beth’s therapist was subsequently imprisoned for killing a child. I know I wouldn’t want Beth to be my nurse or to be anywhere near my animals or children. Whatever happened to her poor, abused brother, by the way or the animals into whom she stuck “pins.”? I certainly hope that she doesn’t have any animals or children of her own. It would be great to get a real, honest follow-up from the brother about how he has coped with the abuse she inflicted and about what Beth is really like behind the charming, sweet, ostensibly empathetic facade.

    Comment by Nicole0072 | May 18, 2012 | Reply

    • there are several issues in your response. The first is about rehabilitating psychopaths. I agree this is impossible. Keeping them under control in some manner is the best we can hope for. The holding therapy is still being used. It is a controversial therapy for obvious reasons. Beth’s reputation will follow her to her grave. A shame.

      Comment by gothrules | May 20, 2012 | Reply

    • First of all Beth wasn’t BORN that way her situation created that behavior. She lacked the ability to understand how what she was doing was “wrong” and why in spite of the fact that when done to her it made her feel scared, in pain and angry. It is common knowledge that WHAT we teach our children is what they learn. Plain and simple. Teach a child violence they will grow up violent, Teach a child love and compassion and they will grow up this way. Beth wasn’t able to bond with anyone properly, didn’t receive love, care, nurturing and protection when she was little. How can anyone say she doesn’t deserve help? Or the opportunity to heal and have a normal life. As normal as one can have after such a horrid start in life. So basically you are saying “too bad her father violently tortured and abused her she isn’t worth saving? While everyone else has been restrained and taken the politically correct approach I don’t sugar coat anything. You and others like you who posses such ignorant limited mentalities are flipping idiots! Stay off the forums you contribute nothing of substance and THANK GOD none of YOU have a final say in things that matter so much. I can’t imagine how many people would be cast aside and discarded with the likes of you guys running things. Finally the holding therapy was NOT what cured her it was one of many things implemented in her treatment. Ya idiot!

      Comment by Izzabella | June 7, 2012 | Reply

      • While everyone else has been restrained and taken the politically correct approach I don’t sugar coat anything. You and others like you who posses such ignorant limited mentalities are flipping idiots! Stay off the forums you contribute nothing of substance and THANK GOD none of YOU have a final say in things that matter so much. I can’t imagine how many people would be cast aside and discarded with the likes of you guys running things. Finally the holding therapy was NOT what cured her it was one of many things implemented in her treatment. Ya idiot!

        Reading this feels SO GOOD! So thank you!
        Behavior can be learned, but there is no help for “ignorant mentalies – flipping idiots’.

        Comment by Iva | September 8, 2012

      • Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.
        Harvey Fierstein

        Comment by gothrules | September 8, 2012

      • Bravo Sister, that’s the way to tell ’em.

        Comment by Cecilia | September 30, 2012

      • Right, Beth wasn’t born that way so at the time summarized in the documentary she as a sociopath rather than a psychopath. Still we much ask, can sociopathy or psychopathy really be treated/cured? How do we know when an individual who once had sociopathy or psychopathy is truly better, or has just figured out how to manipulate individuals around zher? Is Beth active in such questionable therapy methods because she actually believes these methods are harmful, or is she involved because these manipulative and abusive methods allow help her let out some of her own remaining rage/lack of feeling. The problem is, we don’t really know enough at this point, to know the answer.

        Comment by MA | February 3, 2013

    • Beth was never a psychopath or a sociopath. These are completely different disorders…

      Comment by Mel | June 26, 2012 | Reply

  31. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/magazine/can-you-call-a-9-year-old-a-psychopath.html
    So, in light of the article above, how do you think children who are NOT victims of abuse but still appear to present with psycopathy should be treated?

    Comment by UAlreadyKnow | May 18, 2012 | Reply

    • With intensive therapy and possibly family intervention.

      Comment by gothrules | May 20, 2012 | Reply

    • Personally not being a child psychologist/psychiatrist I cannot answer that question. I should imagine the professional therapist/social worker, etc, would be able to analyze these behaviours, make an assessment (although generally speaking it cannot be psychopathy/sociopathy until the child is 18), and create a program to work against these behaviours.

      Comment by gothrules | June 27, 2012 | Reply

  32. What kind of moronic liberal system do we have that these people are allowed to go free and do as they please after a mere 12 years? One year of therapy and they are changed all of a sudden? “Oh, she’s doing just great now and has a baby of her own”, living under an assumed name so nobody will know who they are…..WHAT THE FUCK! SERIOUSLY! They should have been killed humanely or at the least institutionalized for life.
    Thanks for letting the most phsycho children in history roam free, I’m sure they probably are reformed now.

    Comment by bear | May 22, 2012 | Reply

    • I agree and disagree with your point. Many people who have been child killers should never go free or at least not until they serve an adult life sentence. In Mary’s case this took place decades ago when child murderers were even more shocking and legally confusing than they are now. I don’t think anyone was trying to be too liberal with her. I believe the people in that system may have been too inexperienced to take a fully objective look at her situation. Fortunately in this case Mary has not re-offended.

      Comment by gothrules | May 23, 2012 | Reply

    • The law is the law whether or not we agree with it. Her lack of re-offending seems to validate her transformation.

      Comment by gothrules | June 1, 2012 | Reply

    • Are you retarded? or just emotionally disfunctional?

      Comment by Cecilia | September 30, 2012 | Reply

  33. I watched the documentaries and I cannot sleep now, I am so scared. How can people be so cruel especially towards their own kids. Child abuse is the ugliest crime and should be dealt with the highest punishment.

    Comment by Sharmad | June 6, 2012 | Reply

    • I am sorry that the documentaries disturbed you to that extent. They weren’t meant to upset but rather to educate people about the extreme consequences of child abuse.

      Comment by gothrules | June 7, 2012 | Reply

  34. I grew up in a very abusive household. Fortunately, I never developed a behavior problem but I do still have trouble forming close relationships with people. My grandma tried to hide pills in my food and poison me when I was growing up, among other things. My step father physically, mentally, and (to some extent) sexually abused me. Most of my family was abusive in some way because they themselves came from abusive households. Abusive behavior is caused by many different things. Most of my family’s behavior was caused by the drugs they took or by the excessive drinking of alcohol. However in the case of my step father, he was a psychopath. Something went wrong in his brain and thus he believed that everything he did to me, my mother, and my sister was perfectly acceptable. I don’t know if I am “ok” with the way my step father treated me but to some extent I have compassion for him because he never realized that what he was doing was wrong. My younger sister exhibits a lot of the same behaviors as these children even now in her teens and I wonder if she has this unfortunate mind altering illness. My younger sister used to abuse animals, try to kill other people, and herself. My step dad took her out of the house a few years ago and we haven’t seen her since. It’s sad that she is still being abused by him and that he is allowed to get away with it because she is not a minor. I pray that my sister will one day escape my step father and that I can see her again, healed, and ready to recover from her abusive situation. Right now all I have is prayer and the hope that one day justice will be served and my step father will be convicted for his many crimes.

    Comment by ED | June 7, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you for your sincere yet disturbing response to my blog. I think I’ve heard every malignant thing an adult can do to a child and then I realize I am wrong yet again. All of these people are psychopaths. I am impressed you have compassion for your stepfather except he certainly does know right from wrong and he did know what he was doing was wrong, Ed. Your sister is certainly a sociopath and that is worrisome. That she remains with your stepfather telle me she is acclimated to his abuse and it is unlikely she will be rehabilitated anytime soon….her age has a lot to do with that.
      You have turned out very well. Who knows why some people survive with dignity and others become your poor sister? Some mysteries of the minds can never be answered.

      Comment by gothrules | June 7, 2012 | Reply

  35. If you actually READ my reply and who it was directed to you would know I wasn’t speaking to you. And as for Beth’s reputation following her to the grave that will only apply where narrow minded individuals are concerned. There is nothing wrong with her anymore. she had an issue as a child created by a monster in her life and she overcame that with help and the grace of God. I believe everything in our lives happens for a reason. Sadly some pretty crappy stuff happens to people but many people take what they have suffered and endured and use that as a means to help others. What Beth endured and overcame has given her the tools to help countless others so her suffering wasn’t for nothing. She should be respected and complimented not ridiculed and trash talked. I guess its easy for a lot of people to talk trash about someone even though what they suffered wasn’t by choice. But it’s only easy to be so narrow minded when it isn’t THEM who had to suffer such horrors. God placed these children in a position to not only heal but to finally feel love, safety and security. Beth was, saved, blessed and became a blessing to the lives she touched through her healing. I am sure her brother no doubt loves her dearly and doesn’t blame her for what happened. Some people are capable of placing blame where it belongs and some of you posting here need to learn that!

    Comment by Izzabella | June 12, 2012 | Reply

    • About a 9 on the tension scale, Izzabella. Getting angry and defensive with people whom you believe have mis-read your comment isn’t going to emphasize your viewpoint but to work against it.

      Comment by gothrules | June 12, 2012 | Reply

      • Couldn’t care less I’m just as entitled to MY opinion as anyone else and i take personal offense at people picking on someone like Beth. It’s wrong and I’ll darn well say so. At least she overcame her horrible childhood and did something good with her experience instead of ending up a substance abuser or co dependent poor poor me idiot.

        Comment by Izzabella | June 12, 2012

  36. why??

    Comment by Kailey | June 18, 2012 | Reply

    • good question….

      Comment by gothrules | June 19, 2012 | Reply

  37. Honestly, I do not see how she remember these events from 19months. Most people do not remember 4 and under. I understand she was severely abused, but how does a 19 month old remember vivid images and stuff when most 1 year old children are still learning to put the square in the square hole??????? I just think the story is super sketch. If someone could point me to a study that references 1 year old children have such abilities please do.

    Comment by Beebee | June 20, 2012 | Reply

    • i don’t believe Beth remembers these events from 19 months as reality factors, rather the video states she saw it as a dream, not that she remembered her father assaulting her. Perhaps excessive trauma does resonate in the young brain more than non-traumatic experiences.

      Comment by gothrules | June 21, 2012 | Reply

      • kk thanks I hope she continues to do well and beats the odds.

        Comment by Beebee | June 28, 2012

    • She may not remember anymore, but the behavior was already learned, and the fear was already there from it.
      I’m certain that there are things we *all* do every day, that we don’t remember the reason we started doing it that way..
      But at one point we did decide, and learned and now it is just habit. Even parts of life we don’t remember make up who we are. Our muscle memory and our short term memory triggers, are some of the things that trigger a past experience. A flashback.

      Plus, if it is a memory that is re-lived often, such as tragedy is, then you remember the memory. Which for kids is enough to remember what happened if it affected them strongly. If you remember it often, you’re likely to not forget after a while.

      And the dream she had… Horrible. The body can make SURE you don’t forget things in order to keep yourself safe. There are chemicals involved (bodily), someone who’s been through what she has, has a different chemistry about them. Their fight or flight chemicals are sometimes triggered more easily.

      I remember being about a year old. I was terrified because I was stuck in a crib, in a room, and I had no idea if anyone was home, and thought they probably weren’t since they were always busy. I thought I was alone, and had no idea if my mother would ever come back for me. I wanted to cry, but didn’t think anyone would be home to listen to me cry. It wasn’t horrible, but that was traumatic enough for me, that I never forgot.

      Comment by Destiny B. | June 21, 2012 | Reply

      • I agree with most of what you said except for muscle memory. Apparently there is no such thing…the brain has the memory and the body reacts to it.

        Comment by gothrules | June 21, 2012

      • Gothrules: You are correct there is no brain in our muscles. I was referring to the area of the brain that controls the memory that we can’t put into words. It’s a feeling. Hitting that baseball just the way you want to? …You can’t think about it, you just do it.
        Muscle memory can trigger memories, is what I was meaning. It’s a commonly used term; “muscle memory”.
        Did you know that our intestines hold a lot of info?? It is nearly more complex than our brain, and decides what to do with whatever you put into it to change our behavior, and health.

        Comment by Destiny B. | June 23, 2012

      • If my intestines are more complex than my brain and hold a lot of info they will operate on themselves and install their own colostomy bag….jk

        Comment by gothrules | June 23, 2012

    • Yes well, she doesn’t really remember. . all the behaviour she displayed was learned because of the way she was treated. she learned to relate to people through sex and abuse. and continued to do so even after she left the abusive environment. she was already too traumatised to learn to bond with her new family.

      the reason why she said she remembered is because she was told that her father abused her by the therapists or by her adoptive family. she didn’t really remember him at all. but she had flash backs and nightmares which still effected her. she remembered the abuse subconsciously.
      most first memories aren’t very significant at that age. but getting beaten and raped might stay with you.

      Comment by rowan | July 26, 2012 | Reply

      • You are so wrong and ignorant about what others remember, its not even funny. my first memories are of when i am only 6 mos old. i can describe that home, what color it was, the fact that my crib was near the front door and not in a bedroom. That was a good memory. Now for the bad memory, those started when i was 2. i remember the first time my step father raeped me, i will never forget it. to this day, i vomit when someone spits in front of me, becuase for years i didnt understand that the ejaculation in my face and mouth was not spit. 2 yr olds dont understand what semen is, and i reacted violently whenever anyone spit around me.
        to this day, and im almost 50, i can still remeber when i was 6 mos old. So could it be that hard to fathom this child remembered, and not jsut from a subconscious standpoint? You have no clue just what she remembers and how it affected her.

        Comment by Sophia | December 18, 2012

  38. I don’t even know where to start in response to some of these comments.
    As a child I suffered severe neglect and abuse and as a result suffer(ed) from RAD.
    Like Beth I hurt my sister, I hurt cats and really wanted to kill. I tried on a number of occasions to stab my father, choke my sister and would imagine using a brick to cave in my mothers skull. I was very deeply disturbed.
    I started seeing psychologists and psychiatrists from the age of 4. Ironically this was instigated by the very people who were abusing me. Therapy proved to be useless for many years. Why? Because even at that age I was able to quite easily convince the psychs that I was fine. Not because I got a kick out of outsmarting them. Not because I had a hidden agenda of flying under the radar to get away with hurting people. Not even just because I could. The theory here is rediculous. You’re creating monsters out of children. Making this more complex than it needs to be.
    Yes. We can be charming, sweet, pliable. Yes. We can be manipulative. Yes. We can be highly intelligent (I believe that this is because intelligence works in a similar way to the senses. Just as a blind person may develop a better sense of hearing, when our emotional intelligence is diminished the slack is picked up elsewhere. Just a theory nut I digress)
    It boils down to fear. Charming people, manipulating them, lying to them.. For a child like myself its not about ego or enabling myself to kill undetected. Its self preservation. All you know is abuse, neglect, pain, hate. Nobody looks after you. You look after you. As far as you’re aware the whole world is like this. Better the devil you know.
    The hurting, the desire to kill? Thats not us being evil. Our minds just don’t work the same way.
    You feel a whole ramge of emotions and you know what they are and why you feel them. Its just always been like that. You understand it. You might even be able to explain them. Congratulations for having a healthy emotional intelligence. Your brain developed the way it should have.
    All I knew was angry and scared. Thats it. I also knew a whole lot about abuse and physical pain. Its all I knew. Hurting my sister or the animals… The best way I can explain it is ‘I hurt, you hurt’ monkey see monkey do if you will. Its externalising your pain and anger. My parents? Killing them is self preservation as well as more externalising. I can’t expect you to understand anymore than you can expect an autistic to understand how you communicate. I can only try.
    So the road lookedpretty dim for me. I couldn’t form attatchments with anyone. Couldn’t make friends, couldn’t be close with extended family, you couldn’t give me a hug and I wouldn’t give you one. I learnt to mimic and pretend to get by. I talked the talk chatted to teachers and other adults and ignored other kids. I wasn’t happy I was surviving.
    But I didn’t know that I wa sad.i didn’t know what sad was.. Or happy or excited

    Lets fastforward a few years and through many psychologists and psychiatrists that saw what I wanted them to see and heard what I wanted them to hear to the day I met a psychologist named Dshould arren. Saw through my facade and helped me. Probably saved a life or two in the process as I was getting increasingly violent.
    He taught me about emotions, how to label them and when I feel them. I endured years of CBT, I even did exercises where I imagined myself walking around opening doors and talking to my younger self. Healing. I looked after that poor scared abused little girl. Told her its ok. Held her when noone else would. Slowly I healed. I learnt how to smile – and feel it. To cry – and feel it. I feel empathy. EMPATHY! It took years but I am OK. Today I am compassionate, empathetic, sympathetic, affectionate and caring. I smile and laugh when I’m happy. I cry when I’m sad. I bounce up and down when I’m excited. I’m kind and nuturing. I cry when I see an animal in pain. I have been known to walk for many kilometres with an injured animal to get it to a vet or a sanctuary.
    Forsome of you to sit there behind your computer screen and say that I’m faking it, to call me a sociopath or a psychopath is hurtful. I’ve been through hell to get where I am. Who are you to take that away from me?
    For you to say that I’m dangerous? That I should ne locked up permanantly because its only a matter of time? Darren didn’t give up on me and now I have heslthy pets, good friends, fulltime work.
    For some of you to say that children like Beth and myself

    Comment by Mel | June 26, 2012 | Reply

    • I am nothing less than amazed at many of the responses to this blog. People have written in with traumatic, heartbreaking life stories, yet clearly they have turned their lives around, as have you Mel. You are absolutely right not to give up on children of any age, especially those with RAD…..once they learn to express their emotions and trust (something they may never have done even as infants) I believe recovery is fully possible. People are capable of just about anything.

      Comment by gothrules | June 27, 2012 | Reply

    • Mel – Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!!!! I too have been getting upset by some of the negative replies. I have personally met Beth Thomas and she is a wondeful, sweet, caring, nurturing person. I would 100% trust my most vulnerable family member to her care. What so many people are missing the boat on – is exactly what you are sharing Mel in your incredible story. People can take their horrific experiences and become better people because of how they have suffered. Mel, Beth and my son are perfect examples of this. .

      My son was profoundly neglected and abused for the first 4 years of his life until we adopted him. Like you Mel, he also had RAD and conned the first 4 therapists. But not the 5th one – Art had my sons number from day one. He was 8 years old at the time – and it was tremendously hard work, for him and for me. But Art never gave up on him, and trained me to be a therapeutic parent. It takes a different parenting approach with traumatized children. Like you Mel, my son shared about wanting to kill me, at one point he had tools hidden in his closet to use for this. .

      Thank you Mel for stating so well that the only emotion a child with RAD feels is PAIN and FEAR. I do a lot of volunteer work with parents raising kids with attachment issues. One of the first things I work with the parent on understanding is that their childs behavior is ALWAYS rooted in fear. If parents can keep that it mind it helps to drive more appropriate parenting responses. We tend to treat fearful children very different then we treat angry children. Mad is nothing more than a coverup emotion. Most of the time when anyone is “mad” – it’s really a mask for something else. Not just kids with RAD, but any of us. So many times we get angry, when what is really going on is that our feelings were hurt, or we are worried about something. .

      Today my son is 19. He is a sweet, kindt, and caring young man. He is part of a Youth Leadership Network and teaches advocacy skills to youth with disabilities. AND just like Mel, I know for certain it is NOT a con. Once you learn the world view of a child with attachment issues, it becomes easier to see through the con. My son reacted very differently to shame when he was attachment disordered (he would be rejecting, hostile, aggressive) versus once his RAD was resolved (when he would turn to me for support rather than rejecting me). .

      Mel – do you mind if I share your story with an internet adoptive parent support group that I am part of? You do a fantastic job helping people to understand things from the childs point of view.

      Comment by Karen | June 28, 2012 | Reply

      • Thank you for a very powerful response. It cannot have been easy to reveal this information. It is so discouraging to realize how many unfit parents there are in this world.

        Comment by gothrules | June 28, 2012

      • I don’t mind, I’m happy to help 🙂

        Comment by Mel | June 30, 2012

    • Bless you and many blessings to you. I am happy for you, and grateful to Darren, your therapist, that worked with you to give you the best chance at the future you deserved.

      Comment by Cecilia | September 30, 2012 | Reply

    • You also have to remember it is out of self preservation, that they want you locked up. i suffered severe abuse, and is till suffer in my mind at almost 50. it doesnt go away, and thats what scares epople. people like you talk a good deal, but you act like it jsut goes away like a bad dream. no it doesnt and you know it. its like flipping a switch, you cant control it, the feelings are always there. You jsut never know when that switch will flip. i was very violent anf had multiple fights. people dint understand how violent my homelife was, and even though iw as smaller than the other children, i was violent enough to do some major damage to the bigger kids.
      If i lost a fight and they told my mother, i was beaten for losing, and i would be made to fight the child again the next day and win, or be beaten again when i got home for losing. For years i was extremely abusive to others, nto tomention how i abused myself. the only thing i never did when i got older, was harm a child. never.
      My point is as i said before. it never goes away, and it doesnt just magically disappear. i will stand up and be the one to agree that they have something to be afraid of. for some of them to say that chidlren like Beth and yourself should be locked up, i agree with them. I would have locked me up and thrown away the key, though i did not have RAD or FASD. For you to hurt others, hurt animals, and then say you are nothing to be afraid of. Do you really believe it just went away one day? that life is perfect? I for one do not.

      Comment by Sophia | December 18, 2012 | Reply

      • Locking you up and throwing away the key would have been very unfair, wouldn’t it? You were in a horrid situation in your childhood and your behaviour reflected it. Now you are an adult and I would think you aren’t abusive to anyone. You have stated you have never hurt a child and that is a wonderful thing. You have done a lot of healing on your own, in spite of the tragic consequences to your life from the abuse. No it doesn’t just go away. Sometimes trauma therapy can help somewhat, certainly at least to voice your experience and express your anger. It might be beneficial. What also angers me is the many people who knew your situation and didn’t help you. The average person in your neighbourhood might not think it through, but teachers, doctors, professionals of any sort usually are aware that a child who is extremely angry is a child in need of protection. In your case, they looked the other way. Shame on them.

        Comment by gothrules | December 18, 2012

  39. Continuation. Sorry I am on my phone.
    To say that children like Beth and myself should just be forgotten, locked up, given up on or discarded is appalling. Attitudes like that make you no better than the people who abused us in the first place. In fact you are worse because you’ll tell yourself that its a great tragedy and you’ll feel sorry for us. All the while cindemning us to a life of pain. Don’t give up on rhe children. We can heal, we can endure. We aren’t sociopaths we just don’t know any better. We have emotions we just don’t understand them. Don’t turn your back on them, you might be the only chance they have.
    Seeing these comments tonight has really deeply hurt me. It brought me to tears and yes they were REAL TEARS!
    I’m not a sociopath I am a victim of child abuse. Know the difference

    Comment by Mel | June 26, 2012 | Reply

    • Mel, I am really happy for you.
      We all have to accept that out there are not just “monsters”, but that out there are also not so inteligent and very judgmental people. But we have to understand that they can’t do any better.
      PS I am coming from a great and loving family, but I get angry by those stupid comments. And I shouldn’t.

      Comment by I | September 8, 2012 | Reply

      • I think you have the right to your anger, amethyst, as we all do, regardless of our backgrounds.

        Comment by gothrules | September 8, 2012

  40. This article is not correct. Beth’s adoptive mother was Julie Thomas, not Nancy Thomas. The photo of Nancy Thomas looks nothing like her adoptive mother either. Also, the comments about Beth become a nurse…are you kidding me?! Just because that happened and she was that way as a child does NOT mean that she needs to be punished for the rest of her life and not have a real fighting chance at a normal healthy life and career. You people seem VERY ignorant. She didn’t choose to be that way as a child. Her monster of a father did such horrible, unspeakable things to her that it caused her heart to be that way. She should, 100%, NOT be blamed for any of it. How dare you. How would you feel if it happened to your adopted child. Would you want them to be locked away forever without being given a chance. Seriously, think about all sides before you speak, or in this case post. I’m so glad she has turned out the way she did and overcame this to prove all the ignorant, judgemental people wrong. Shame on all of you.

    Comment by Tessa | June 29, 2012 | Reply

    • check this link http://reactiveattachmentdisorderlife.blogspot.ca/2008/03/child-of-rage.html

      Comment by gothrules | June 29, 2012 | Reply

    • p.s. the first adoptive mother was Julie PONDER….the woman who gave her up. That information is available in my blog

      Comment by gothrules | June 29, 2012 | Reply

    • she was abandoned by her first adoptive family, they couldn’t cope with having her back after the way she had behaved towards Jonathan. I can understand that. although it is sad. they weren’t the right family for her.
      she eventually got adopted by Nancy and her husband when she was about 8 or 9. they were the couple that took in disturbed kids. ones that had even committed murder.

      Comment by rowan | July 26, 2012 | Reply

  41. […] […]

    Pingback by Child of Rage - General Chat | July 9, 2012 | Reply

  42. Meanwhile i am wondering, not excusing, why they made such a thing out of one child dying during treatment. If it wasn’t for this woman’s dedication all of those children would be lost or dead today. It’s amazing to me that some people are able to work with kids like this and actually turn them in normal functioning members of society.

    Comment by Luisa | July 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Even one child dying is one too many. The manner in which this little girl, Candace Newmaker, died is appalling. She had several adults lying on top of her while she was forcibly wrapped in a bedsheet. She suffocated. That tells me this woman is not fit to work with children.

      Comment by gothrules | July 10, 2012 | Reply

  43. […] Children of Rage Share this:ShareEmailFacebookRedditPrint This entry was posted in Video and tagged Beth Thomas, child, child of rage, cruel sexual abuse by adminmssat. Bookmark the permalink. […]

    Pingback by Child of Rage | Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust | July 13, 2012 | Reply

  44. As someone that came from severe emotional, sexual, and physical abuse from a very young age, I can say most assuredly that a person that goes through this isn’t completely lost and shouldn’t just be locked away forever. Love heals. I now have two children of my own and a very happy, and loving marriage. I feel it’s my duty to raise them with the love and kindness that was not shown to me. I don’t walk around manipulating everyone into thinking that I’m a good person. I don’t have to. I am a good person. I am not what was done to me. I can make my own choices, and I choose not to spread around hurt and violence. Locking away someone that was abused just confirms to them what the abuse was teaching them in the first place- that they’re not worth loving. How does that help? If someone takes the time to love them, then they will learn that they are worth loving and will share that love with others.

    Comment by Passiflora | July 27, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you for responding. I don’t know where your strength comes from. Personally I don’t believe I could have survived it. Human nature is mysterious and thankfully, in terms of survivors, enduring.

      Comment by gothrules | July 31, 2012 | Reply

  45. I was severly abused as a child ,hit with tire irons,locked in a room ,forced to hold animals as they were shot in the head then told you bury them my abuser was my mother Molested by my older siblings I have lots of memories of my abuse In order to relieve my self locked in my room the closet floor was covered with urine & feces I had only the basic survival tools as a small child I was ,called repeatedly ugly ,stupid & retarded for most of my early years by my cruel mother.I was never able to get past the abuse and believe me I wouldnt wish any of my abuse on another helpless child.When you survive such horrible abuse there is a part of you that has to figh to survive being caught in a cage with a lion .that feeling never leaves you and thru years of loneliness,fear, untrusting everyone who tries to get close to you are pushed far away.Drug abuse starting at the age of seven using to medicate my pain until the age of 31 now i have been in therapy diagnosed with PTSD.Bi polar disorder with psycotic tendencies .Unless you have suffered from abuse and alone had to find help you cant understand the long road ahead .I am now 48 years old dealing with my past medicated for the rest of my life because of my mothers selfish horrible ways.To let Beth Thomas know that she is not alone would bring me some relief ,some connection with another human being .

    Comment by kim duley | August 2, 2012 | Reply

    • Whatever demons led your mother to abuse you as frightfully as you did must be extreme, however they certainly do not excuse the atrocities she committed against you. I’ve often wondered how it is that children who are abused to such an extreme go unnoticed by teachers, neighbours and other community members. The final insult to your injury, that of mental illness and a lifetime of medicating yourself, certainly is a testimony to the ongoing damage abuse brings to a child’s life.

      Comment by gothrules | August 4, 2012 | Reply

      • Hi there, I’ve been reading most of the comments written on this page and felt compelled to respond to this one because i’m a teacher. And perhaps I can provide another perspective from an educator’s point of view. Before really being in the classroom or ‘on the frontline’ (so to speak), I also felt that teachers definitely should be one of the first people to notice. Afterall, the children/students are with us for 8 hours a day (somedays more). I teach in Asia, which explains the long hours. Our typical school day/curriculum hours is from 7.40am – 5.30PM.

        Anyways, my struggle is that, when I do notice behaviors (cuts, for example), and try to address it, I find that sometimes they dont want to open up. I’m not a trained counsellor or anything, but I have spoken to our school counsellor about this, and they feel the same way – that students, for some reason, don’t want to open up. I’m not sure if it has to do with the conservative values that many Asian families hold: to not want to wash their dirty linen outside of the home. Even when speaking to the parents of the troubled teenager, the response from the parent was ‘it’s not a big issue’ and when the school suggested providing professional care with counsellors outside the school, the response was ‘we will settle it within the family, we don’t need help’.

        I think as a teacher and community member, we can (and do) try our best to do what we can, within our knowledge, our training, but for us, we face another difficulty – them being closed up. I’ve also noticed that students like to feign happiness, tell you that they are fine, deny any problems, etc. And if trained psychologists are fooled… I also find myself at a loss of what to do. I think I’ve come to think (as a way to console myself for not being able to help more) is that we can’t really help if they don’t want help (whether it’s the child/student or family/parent).

        Comment by anotherteacher | August 7, 2012

      • Thank you for writing. I am also a schoolteacher in Ontario, Canada. I teach in the elementary panel. By law, teachers must inform the administrator when there is even a suspicion of abuse, including self-harm, whether or not the child admits to it. Generally speaking, most children won’t, as you have stated correctly. However, unlike the Asian systems, we are not permitted to counsel or invite the child to discuss the abuse. That is illegal as it can be construed as “leading questioning“. The administrators in turn inform the Children’s Aid Society who are responsible for further questioning. The family is obligated to receive ongoing intervention whether or not they want it or the child will be removed from the home.

        Comment by gothrules | August 9, 2012

  46. Pay attention to the interaction between Beth and the shrink. His questions are leading and any time she hesitates or acts unsure of how to answer, he drops a “hint”. One of the women who appears in this film did jail time for killing a kid. What sane, rational, compassionate adult gives consent to allow a private therapy session between a mental health professional and a 6 yr. old to be broadcast on HBO anyhow? Did they think it was in this little girl’s best interest to be portrayed as a sociopath on national television? The Attachment Therapy cult crowd make their living off of demonizing adopted kids. They have a motive for making kids like Beth look like the devil incarnate.

    Check out a website called Advocates For Children In Therapy for more info.

    Comment by don't drink the kool-aid | August 4, 2012 | Reply

    • WELL SAID!

      Comment by MA | February 3, 2013 | Reply

  47. I am totally confused…i thought Beth’s adoptive mother’s name was Julie…but i keep seeing that her name was Nancy….so which is it???

    Comment by Mandi | August 12, 2012 | Reply

    • Julie was Beth’s original adoptive mother. She and her husband Tim gave up custody of Beth after they were unable to deal with her extreme RAD. Nancy Thomas became her 2nd and final adoptive mother.

      Comment by gothrules | August 13, 2012 | Reply

  48. I came across a somewhat interesting reference to this blog on a webpage called childmyths.blogspot.com

    Comment by Charlotte | August 20, 2012 | Reply

    • Thanks for the info! I shall check it out

      Comment by gothrules | August 21, 2012 | Reply

  49. I raised a child who had suffered severe abuse and was regarded as one of the worst of his generation where I live. He was tough work. He as an adult- would not dream of hurting another person. Mary Bell was placed in a residential school enviroment in the UK with normal, people who set boundaries for her. This was for an eight year period. Those people healed Mary. She had been badly abused, but in the 60’s the courts did not realise that, nor its impact on her. She is a survivor.

    Comment by Dee | August 23, 2012 | Reply

    • I agree that there was an extremely positive influence on Mary Bell. I’d like to know the nature and extent of the rehabilitaton therapy that aided her in becoming a happier, well-functioning individual.

      Comment by gothrules | August 23, 2012 | Reply

      • My son was successfully treated for RAD at age 8 (in 2000) using Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. This is an approach developed by Dan Hughes, PhD.

        Comment by Karen | August 24, 2012

      • I am very happy to hear of your son’s success. I haven’t heard of DDP. I am going to do a little research into it just out of curiosity.

        Comment by gothrules | August 25, 2012

      • DDP is pretty awesome. it’s a non-coercive treatment approach, but definately very effective. Parent is very involved in the treatment process. child is basically cacooned in therapeutic approach 24/7. Parent creates PLACE at home – playful, loving, accepting, curious, empathic approach. Check out Dan Hughes website for more information, I believe there is also a DDP website. You may be able to find links off this website: http://www.center4familydevelop.com

        Comment by Karen | August 29, 2012

  50. Was Beth’s adopted mother Nancy Thomas? Or was she adopted by Tim and Julie?

    Comment by Mel | August 30, 2012 | Reply

    • First adopted by Tim and Julie…they gave her up and Nancy Thomas became her second – and final – adoptive parent. That situation seems to confuse a lot of people 🙂

      Comment by gothrules | September 1, 2012 | Reply

  51. I am now 33yrs old I was taken from my bio mother at 6yrs old, frosted four years until her rights where taken. I was again molested at 12year. Then adopted two times before I became a ward of the state at 14yrs old. However my last adopted parents are the only parents I will claim and love them with all I can. I don’t think adopted parents are prepared enough. Anyways I was not wanting to hurt others just myself. I did not know how to truly love me until I was about 29yrs with two daughter and two divorces. Don’t get me wrong I love and have always loved my kids but could not let anyone else in until I loved me.

    Comment by Daphney | September 12, 2012 | Reply

  52. Is there evidence that parents spending more time with their kids is good for the kids?…

    According to Wikipedia[1], she is “doing well” and has become a pediatric nurse. (I can see risk in that, but can also imagine she has special insight and motivation in that area.) According to a blog post[2], “Beth Thomas grew into a mentally healt…

    Trackback by Quora | September 15, 2012 | Reply

  53. […] Beth Thomas and Mary Flora Bell got help and were integrated back into society to live quiet lives. But Fernandez has been charged as an adult for causing a debatably unintentional injury to his brother — which was only fatal because his mother was busy ‘surfing the internet’ for hours before eventually bringing him to the hospital. […]

    Pingback by Lil Mouse Should Rap About Child Abuse | Fork Party | October 1, 2012 | Reply

  54. Could someone explain to me about the foster/adoptive parents? The HBO documentary shows Tim and Julie, but at the end of the article it says her adoptive mother, Nancy Thomas?

    Comment by Valerie Marie Garlin | October 3, 2012 | Reply

    • Also, what happened to her younger brother, Johnathon?

      Comment by Valerie Marie Garlin | October 3, 2012 | Reply

      • I wrote a blog called John – the other side of Beth Thomas. Tim and Julie kept John so far as anyone knows. Ultimately, I don’t know what happened to him after the age of 2.

        Comment by gothrules | October 3, 2012

    • Yes indeed. Tim and Julie first adopted Beth from her abusive father. But they gave her up again 2 years later due to her violent and sexually inappropriate behaviour. Finally, Beth was adopted by Nancy Thomas and that is how she acquired the surname Thomas and became a nurse of a clinic she co-owns with her mother.

      Comment by gothrules | October 3, 2012 | Reply

  55. I’m not passing judgement on any abused children before anyone thinks I am. However, I do know first hand that a psychopath can fake empathy and tears on cue when they want to manipulate. My ex husband was a diagnosed psychopath and they are VERY dangerous people. They can also be very charming and gain sympathy from most people. Unfortunately, most people fail to realise how manipulating a psychopath can be, and because they have no conscience, they will lie to the end – about anything! They fail to take responsibility for anything. I totally understand where some of the so called ‘heartless’ comments come from – the people who made them obviously have experience with psychopaths. They will mimic and ‘mirror’ other peoples behaviour because they literally have no personality of their own. They also tend to copy those around them, whether it be copying styles of dress or listening to the same music.
    I’m not sure that someone can be ‘turned into’ a psychopath. I’m more inclined to believe that some people are born that way. We either have empathy or we don’t. Psychopaths are known to have none.
    This girl maybe wasn’t a psychopath after all if its true she’s changed – maybe she was just highly disturbed which is totally understandable. I’m not sure a young child even understands about killing people etc.
    However, please don’t ever think a psychopath can change. They will fool even the best psychiatrist. Their whole life centres around manipulating people and they are masters at it. They have no conscience and no remorse, although they will fake it constantly if that’s what it takes to get them off.
    I studied psychology and then went on to study psychopaths but I learnt the most from living with one. They’re almost not human. They see other people as objects to be used.

    Comment by Michele | November 9, 2012 | Reply

    • Yes I agree that psychopaths are incurable – because there is no empathy and because they are so good at mimicking people to act like the rest of us. However it wasn’t proven that Beth was a psychopath – only that she had RAD, which is not listed as a psychopathy in the DSM-IV-TR, to the best of my knowledge.

      Comment by gothrules | November 9, 2012 | Reply

  56. like most, i was blown away with he honesty of beth. sad story. but as someone who see’s a therapist on a regular basis, the thing i got out of it…is to remember to ALWAYS be honest with your therapist. as hard as it is…..you must be open and honest and as simple as that sounds, it can sometimes be the most difficult thing to do. you would not believe how often i hear people who say….”well i didn’t tell my therapist i was taking vicodin and drinking cause it was that important”…or that i slapped my husband, or that i have been sleeping long hours…etc etc.
    you get my point.
    the birthing thing ..it is a shame people can get away with that shit and it only further causes trouble.

    Comment by Jack jett | November 27, 2012 | Reply

    • agree with you on both points – be honest with your therapist (they’ve heard everything) and the ludicrous birthing practice. Some people probably can’t open up to a therapist for a while, so they hide what they feel is embarrassing. Hopefully over time they do share their full stories or else it is very difficult to truly help people.

      Comment by gothrules | November 27, 2012 | Reply

  57. Hey , let me clue you in on something you zombies. RAD is as rare a disorder as being born purple. If you believed that horses&^t documentary and have bought in to this “every adopted child has RAD” you are just as responsible for the deaths and abuse of these already traumatized children as the bulls$%t artists who are lining their pockets with your stupidity.If you can not be a good enough foster parent then you have no business trying. I would love to give some of you morons some of your own treatment. STOP KILLING OUR KIDS!!! If you want to know the truth take a look at childrenintherapy.org that is if you have enough brain power left.

    Comment by Stephanie Boyer | December 3, 2012 | Reply

    • a great deal of anger in your post. RAD is indeed a rare disorder but I believe it was mentioned in the Beth documentary that her case was extreme….normally a RAD child wouldn’t express such a desire to kill. RAD would be expressed as an inability to bond and sustain long-lasting relationships. I assume that by getting angry at foster parents you mean that they aren’t skilled at helping emotionally disturbed children to adapt and heal. it must be a very difficult battle for both sides – child and parents.

      Comment by gothrules | December 3, 2012 | Reply

      • @gothrules “normally a child wouldn’t express such a desire to kill.”

        Normally A CHILD WOULDN’T BE ASKED A SERIES OF EXTREMELY LEADING QUESTIONS by a fake shrink who is absolutely NOT using proper therapeutic technique or anything even remotely resembling it. Do you not get it that ANYONE can get a friggin’ SIX YEAR OLD to say anything?!

        Look up the DSM definition of Reactive Attachment Disorder. RAD is characterized by either overly withdrawn or overly friendly behavior and needs to be diagnosed before age 5 and THAT. IS. ALL.

        On what planet is it appropriate for a private therapy session involving a 6 yr. old divulging intimate details of sexual abuse to be aired on HBO? You honestly think the 6 yr. old consented to this broadcast?

        This all went down during a time of heightened mass hysteria over A) Child Sexual Abuse and B) adoptions from Russia and Romania that resulted in impoverished orphans with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder being adopted by middle-class American couples who couldn’t handle them. Do some more research before continuing to defend Nancy Thomas and her RAD cult chronies.

        Comment by Jamjar | January 11, 2013

      • You wrote a misquote of my comment: normally a RAD child wouldn’t express such a desire to kill. In other words, murderous personality traits are NOT characteristic of RAD children. Understand? Personally I wouldnt call Beth a “friggin 6-year-old.” The DSM typically lists a very basic description of most (if not all) of the listed disorders. Disorders that are controversial or can express themselves in numerous ways aren’t usually detailed with specific symptoms. RAD clearly can be expressed in numerous ways. Actually I haven’t defended Nancy Thomas. If you read my entire blog you would see I have detailed concerns about her association with Connell Watkins, and how Nancy Thomas continues her association with Watkins’ clinic. I am not aware that Beth or Jonathan were Romanian or Russian orphans with PTSD or FAS. That is a bit of a stretch. I tend to believe that many psychiatrists and psychololgists are very adept in their work. Unfortunately, there are unqualified quacks such as Connell Watkins. I am not a professional therapist (neither are you) so I am not qualified to state whether or not the “fake therapist” was indeed asking leading questions. I believe this conversation was “condensed” so to speak, in that they have already discussed Beth’s life experiences over the course of many sessions and in so doing, these are the details that emerged. The therapist shortened the information for the audience’s sake, it seems to me. If you re-read my blog, you will see that I indeed listed that RAD has 2 types – inhibited and disinhibited and that Beth was inhibited. It is anything but easy to get a child of 6 to tell outrageous lies of that sort. Children aren’t stupid and they resist being misled very strongly. That it from someone who has worked with young children for 15 years.

        Comment by gothrules | January 12, 2013

  58. @Isabella-how do you know that Beth wasn’t born that way as you put it. I am an abused adoptee. Adopted by two immature, dysfunctional people, and have been brutalized by my adoptive “mother” my whole life until I cut her out of it. And yes, I have been sexually abused. Yet I am not and have never been abusive to animals nor have I tried to kill anyone. That doesn’t mean however that I don’t have rage and hostility inside of me because I sure as hell do. I wish everyday that the monster that adopted me was dead to and quite bluntly I hate God because isn’t. Just alive and happy and not giving a damn about all she did to me. My point is however, is that there are plenty of children who have been molested and abused, yet they don’t act like Beth and Mary who is mentioned in this post. I think the reality is. is that these kids were born perhaps as killers anyway and the abuse they got set it off. Just my two cents. (And btw, attachment therapy is a crock and I don’t believe it should even exist. It is just another way to abuse adoptees for the money).

    Comment by Hanna | December 4, 2012 | Reply

    • I’m sorry to hear about your experience. The fact that you are surviving well and are not experiencing RAD is a testament to your personal strength. If you are now a mother or will be one day, I am certain you will be a very good one.

      Comment by gothrules | December 7, 2012 | Reply

      • I never experienced RAD because I don’t believe there IS a such a thing. Kids may be sad, angry, introverted, depressed because of abuse or because they are denied the knowledge of who their real parents are, but their feelings are normal. The ones with the mental/ego problems are the bitches and pricks who adopt and want to be treated like heroes. They use other people’s kids to try to heal their inferiority complex that they can’t have their own kids or exalt themselves for trying to do “God’s work”. Because adoptive parents and their problems due to infertility (psychological and they have a lot of them) are ignored because they are the paying customers, adoptees are scapegoated and slapped with labels if we don’t want to be adopted like they have paid for us to want to. Which is the basic attitude of adoptive parents-I paid for you, you be what I want-like my natural kid who loves me-YOU are supposed to make my dreams come true cause I wrote a check for that. Adoption and RAD are both two of the biggest crocks of shit on earth. And they both need to go. All of us need to start fighting a whole lot harder to get this done, and the only way is to start suing left and right..

        Comment by Hanna | December 9, 2012

      • I understand your viewpoint better with this posting. Of course children who are adopted by abusive people are going to become emotionally defensive and detached from them, that makes perfect sense and in that case, no i don’t believe RAD is the issue….clearly, the poor parenting is the issue.

        Comment by gothrules | December 10, 2012

      • I am the Bio mother of 4 and adopted mother of 13 NO PARENT adopts in order to do gods will or be “Above” others for having done so …WE SACRIFICE to have children in our lives who DONT want to be there .A very smart counselor told me I am no more then a convenient hotel for children to USE till they are 18 and can go back to there bio family . MY personal intentions was not replace parents but to keep sibling groups together . after years of therapy , cutters, run a ways , fire starters and abusers I have came to the conclusion there is no winning side .The kids are angry and the adoptive parents are the easy target . I Love my children ALL OF THEM .You cannot FIX BROKEN it has to mend on its own time and own agenda .No amount of therapy helps those who have to learn to move on grow and accept what was and who caused the hurt in the first place .For the Girl who hates her adoptive parents word of warning ..no matter how bad you perceive them they didn’t give you up they opened there hearts and homes . THEY aren’t the bad guys ,if they truly where abusive to you they didn’t put you in there home your BIO parents actions caused you to end up there ( not that it was right at all but blame those who started the cycle ) Adoptive parents are approved BY MENTAL HEALTH PEOPLE before allowing them to adopt ..Ive been gone over with a fine tooth comb over and over but NO ONE did that with the children they placed with me .I was the “Bad” guy in a lot of childrens eyes and their ability to manipulate and twist truth was a life I never new existed ! This is a no win situation for all parties . We need to re-evaluate the whole idea of adoption PERIOD !

        Comment by Chris Caudill | December 22, 2014

      • I am on your side. Difficult, traumatized children lead good people into a difficult, traumatizing life, unfortunately. But you still led and did so with a good heart.

        Comment by helthnut | December 24, 2014

    • This interview was shot in the 1980’s at the height of the reclaimed memory buzz. Not the leading questions.

      The therapist involved in this film was later convicted of a crime in connection with the death of one of her patients

      Comment by Jamjar | January 11, 2013 | Reply

      • I don’t know that Beth’s anger was about reclaimed memory. She was a little young for that. She expressed her anger in pictures, a legitimate form of communication for a young child since verbalization is difficult at that age. Yes Candace Newmaker was suffocated by Connell Watkins in a “rebirthing” therapy process.

        Comment by gothrules | January 11, 2013

  59. Poor parenting has always been an issue. I’m sorry to interfere in a yr long discussion as i have read. Hrmm i honestly find there is too much of what the writers feels which i feel that is not right. Studying psychology and understanding the terms and using sophisticated words does not make one understand fully of the situation.

    Base on facts and put your real feelings, lie down close your eyes and imagine what they go through. Sexual abuse at a later age is no different from sexual abuse from kids. Being raped, being used.

    I’m a person with personal experience as well.. and i’m a guy, I have helped certain people overcome this problem, but it all depends on the persons mindset.

    I just find these feminist issues and these people with using psychology terms and quote just extreme. If you want to deal with feminist issues i suggest you get to know the ladies in islamic cultures.

    There is nothing wrong with adoption as long as its a loving family. Do you know how it feels to have nobody to love you? Wouldn’t you want to say i love you mom or i love you dad or vice versa.

    When i watched Beth Thomas i felt what she went through, Have you seen pedophiles and even kiddy porn.. Its not a question of why do these people do such thing or calling them monsters, its not how to stop them as it will always continue.

    But how can you help the victims.

    I apologize if i rant too much, but i read disturbing selfish informations which are too negative.

    Comment by TheTruthHurts | December 14, 2012 | Reply

  60. Iv heard of these problems before its no a new thing that’s happened it’s just a shocking thing , but not all people know about this and dont take this seriously to there account , my opinion kids do this cause they struggle just because they are young dosnt mean they don’t understand things

    Comment by Kate | January 27, 2013 | Reply

    • Hi kate- thank you for reading and responding. I don’t know that I agree with you that “kids do this cause they struggle” I’m not sure what you mean by saying kids just do this. Do what? And it seems to me that Beth wasn’t struggling – she was fighting for her life. However, everyone is entitled to their opinion and thank you for sharing yours.

      Comment by gothrules | January 28, 2013 | Reply

      • hi its me kate what i mean is kids who go through a hard life do something else to get there anger out eg: beth was abused , she can not love or accsept love ita hard to explain

        Comment by kate | January 28, 2013

      • thanks for the quick response. Yes at the time I agree with you that Beth couldn’t love or accept love. It is nothing short of miraculous that someone loved her enough to change that for her.

        Comment by gothrules | January 28, 2013

      • this is kate thank you for your opinion every one has there thoughts right?

        Comment by kate | January 28, 2013

  61. have you guys clicked on the link provided on what Nancy Thomas and Beth advocate as therapy for this “disorder”???it’s very distrubing. I’m sorry but i wound never want Beth to be my nurse and to anyone I know. Look it up, it’s very sick!

    Comment by . | February 12, 2013 | Reply

  62. I’m confused. Early on it says that her adoptive mother’s name is Julie (and her father is Tim). Then it says she and her mother Nancy Thomas are attachment therapy advocates. Are we sure this is the same Beth Thomas?

    Comment by Linnie | March 3, 2013 | Reply

    • Yes – Tim and Julie were her original adoptive parents….they gave her up – Nancy Thomas became her 2nd and final adoptive mother.

      Comment by gothrules | March 4, 2013 | Reply

  63. It’s frightening to see how abused children always get the blame for everything, and get punished over and over again as if the abuse itself wasn’t enough. Beth who has probably gone through a very long and painful healing proces, still has to fight against the outside world, this time to prove she’s a trustworthy person. It’s a fight that never ends. And I wouldn’t like to feed all the kids that at some point in their lives were cruel to an animal or were unrespectful to other children’s sexuality (eg when playing doctor). It is clear that with this little girl, things were much more extreme but there was a reason for that! I hope Beth and all children in a similar situation, have come to a point where they can feel save again and relate to others, I wish them all the best and maybe finally something of a life where they don’t have to fight all the time (be it to protect themselves physically or against judgements from people).

    Comment by marleen | March 10, 2013 | Reply

    • People who have lived in difficult circumstances never completely escape bias and prejudice – a sad but true reality.

      Comment by gothrules | March 11, 2013 | Reply

  64. Wow… This is all pretty shocking, but it goes to show that anyone can be resocialized with treatment and dedication. Ironically it doesn’t even need to be socially exceptable or legal type of treatment. I guess as long as they are all shooting for the same goal, persistance pays off, regardless of the technique.

    Comment by Louis | March 24, 2013 | Reply

    • Agree wholeheartedly. People who don’t support Beth’s transformation seem to be forgetting that they compare an adult today with a child who doesn’t exist anymore. People can and do change.

      Comment by gothrules | March 25, 2013 | Reply

  65. @Izzabella I totally 100% agree with you! It is so sad how this happened in the first place. She is proof that how we raise our children is so important! To say she didn’t have a conscience I feel is wrong! She only knew what she was taught! Once she was taught love, notice how she showed love. If she had been nurtured and raised to love, she would have known it right away and this never would have happened. Thank you for your compassionate heart!

    To those of you who are acting like she belongs in a mental asylum or locked up for life, shame on you! She got help and deserves love and happiness just that same as you. How dare you all be so rude, unloving and unfeeling as to think of her as nothing more than a dog or animal She is a loving girl now and I hope she finds her happily ever after!

    Comment by Lisa Hunt | April 2, 2013 | Reply

  66. I read all through the story and comments. It is strikingly sad that there are people among us blaming abused and neglected children for their situation or thinking of a slap as an “education/correction” method. I had allot of trouble with my parents, it was obviously a problem family but stories I have read here made me feel so lucky. I have lived so little compared to some abused people that share their problems here and I needed extensive therapy for three years to feel healthy. What do you not understand about the case of Beth? It is development and if it gets maladaptive, it piles up. Those abused children were given fear and pain. Attachment theories core is the caregiver is the center of comfort and security for the child. The development goes healthy after this security is established. Never heard of Maslow’s pyrimide? If you are not secure, it means you feel fear. Those children do not want to take their rage or anger out. They are horrified with their past experiences and they can communicate only in means of what they have been provided. You may think they plan and aim most of their behaviour because they try not to be caught, but that is also what they have learned. Their abusive parents live among us and we can not point at them, they behave mostly normal among us. There are many religious proposals but psychology is science and I would recommend professional help for ones in need. Positive thinking does help, sure religion would have positive effect and help other people accept these children among them but lets not get off the track. The so called “Attachment Theraphy” has nothing to do with Attachment Theory. If any of you has seen videos of it, you can see it is not so different than exorcism. Bringing the client back to traumatic moment is used but can not be used with children who suffered such heavy abuse. The overall so called therapy is power assertion and it is still questionable how Beth got cured with it. Instead of locking up people I think you should think how you can lock pedophiles and child abusers away. It is so strange that for getting a beer you have to get 16 and to have a stupid driving licence you have to read but to conceive and foster a child you don’t need any of those.

    Comment by Turco | April 3, 2013 | Reply

    • I believe it was me who mentioned for educational and corrective purposes only. Also only reasonable force is permitted to be used, by law. Most definitely corrective-educational slapping or a swat on the backside is not to be used every day. It should be the rare exception. Once when my daughter ws 2, my father-in-law gave her quite a swat on her backside when she went to run out of the driveway and into the street, ignoring him as he shouted at her to stop. I wasn’t there so I don’t know how hard he slapped her. I think it was probably harder than was necessary but I will say this much: my daughter’s life meant more to me than concerning myself about a swat on the rear end that happened only once in her life (it never had to be repeated). I never made it a habit to use physical discipline (which I call corporal punishment) with any children. There are so many reasons it is wrong, aside from the abuse aspect.

      Comment by gothrules | April 4, 2013 | Reply

  67. Thank you for providing more information on Beth after the documentary. I recently watched it, and I couldn’t seem to find what happened to her. It’s nice to know she became a successful, healthy minded individual after the horrible things she went through as a child.

    Comment by Shannon Thompson | May 10, 2013 | Reply

    • you are more than welcome thanks for reading

      Comment by gothrules | May 10, 2013 | Reply

  68. I am forever wondering why any adult feels it is in anyway okay to put their hands on ANYBODY short of self-defense, let alone a child who is three times smaller and physically much, much weaker. To think it is okay, one must have the brain pan of a baboon. This is the mentality of a bully….PERIOD. If you can’t use your brains to deal with a truculent and disobedient child, then you should not be around them.

    As for Beth- good for you. I can relate having come from similar circumstances as far as having my boundaries violated and not having the ability or maturity to articulate what was happening to me. When the tragedy of abuse happens as an impressionable CHILD- what you LEARN is what you DO. Everything is learned behavior from the mother lion teaching her cubs to hunt for food….to the human mother teaching her child kindness and respect for others.

    Honestly? Nobody but NOBODY has a right to judge what is right or works for another person unless they have walked in the exact same shoes. Since this is not possible……what does that tell you? I know for sure I have done dumb, stupid, idiotic things as a child. As an adult, I have achieved the ability to think beyond the moment and can anticipate long term consequences- something even the most experienced and mature adults have a problem with apparently.

    Insight and judgement are not qualities we are born with. Insight and judgement are qualities that develop with experience, intellect, and plenty of introspection. Most people are NOT capable of developing these qualities unless they are provided a healthy and safe environment with which to develop them. Sadly, most people aren’t raised in perfect worlds and we all evolve…….or don’t……..according to our environments.

    Comment by seagreen415 | June 26, 2013 | Reply

    • A sad, tragic cycle for most victims and perpetrators.

      Comment by gothrules | July 13, 2013 | Reply

      • I agree with you, especially since Beth is now spreading the word of her “mothers” therapy.. which btw has been responsible for many deaths and employs things that a nurse would NEVER do (sitting on children, hitting them/making them feel physical pain etc)
        For all those wanting a happy story, I doubt this is one of them.

        Comment by Eve | September 5, 2013

    • I think beth thomas and her brother. John should. have been taken away. From the father. Soon after there mother had died. And brought them to there. Grandmother. Or. Aunt. Or any relatives that can care for. These kids and the kids would have been safe and sound

      Comment by Susan delrosario | May 29, 2014 | Reply

      • Hindsight is always a good educator.

        Comment by marilyn4ever | June 2, 2014

  69. You silly fools. I am a sociopath. My whole family is mentally disturbed, but highly intelligent. And a psychologist. Ironic? Common. What is scary is that you people severely underestimate what is out there. We tell our children there’s no such thing as monsters, when there are, they are all around us, they are our friends, children, doctors, teachers. They just don’t LOOK like monsters. A child has a hard time concealing sociopathic tendencies (as shown by Beth as a child), but as they become older and go through talk therapy, it actually makes the sociopath WORSE. Because they mimic and learn everything, they way a “normal” person learns at school, the sociopath learns behavior from people and what is expected of them and their actions and reactions. Beth is faking her life. 20 years cant be faked you say? Wrong. Sociopaths are robots. The POINT is to be fake to gain what is desired. OF COURSE she went into nursing, it gives her attention and conceals her true nature, she can hide behind the idea of recovery and giving back, and having been “treated”. never.

    Comment by Brittany | July 19, 2013 | Reply

    • A dark, frightening possibility. Don’t know that the people reading this blog are silly fools. Certainly you don’t talk to your patients that way or you wouldn’t have any. Is that what sent you into psychology? Read the book The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton.

      Comment by gothrules | July 22, 2013 | Reply

  70. I was sexually abused at 5 years old along with a 4 year girl cousin by an older relative, when I was severely abused I block it out, this can be referred as personality disassociate disorder its a way for your mind and body to cope with the abuse, I experienced anger, shame, depression as I grew older. It wasn’t until I was 10 years old that I had dreams and recollections of what happened to me. There’s is no quick solution, but all I could tell you is that my faith in Jesus Christ helped me cope with this, learn to forgive others for the hurt they inflicted on me, for if you don’t forgive them you become bitter and hateful, even to the point of hurting others. Jesus said “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” Matthew 18:6. There is no quick answer, but to love and listen to the children when they say something is wrong and give them the attention and treatment needed, and above all love them.

    Comment by Krystal | July 27, 2013 | Reply

    • your story breaks my heart. Yes I believe spirituality can heal and save people from a life of bitterness and vengeance. Spirituality comes in many forms of course; some people worship the beauty of nature; for others it’s music and so on. I find words of comfort and great wisdom in the New Testament..not the Old Testament which appears to be about vengeance and punishment. Punishment however is deserved against the mentally deficient person/s who severely abused you. They will have their day in celestial court.

      Comment by gothrules | July 28, 2013 | Reply

  71. Seriously, some people’s comments on here make me SICK. How dare you imply that abused children should be locked up? I was a victim of abuse for many years since I was 5 years old, although nowhere near as bad as kids like Beth but the sheer trauma of it made me one extremely furious and rage filled pre-teen. had it not been for an uncle of mine who I think sensed my extreme loneliness and pain, and tried to provide me with positive memories and experiences (going to the zoo, attending church weekly, etc.) I would have continued on my path of anger and who knows what would have become of me. The point is, that I was never “evil” I never experienced these negative feelings bc I enjoyed them, as a reasoning adult I look back and realize that my rage was just to cover up my incredible pain and confusion. The most basic instinct when in fear is to lash out. And to those idiots here that justify themselves by saying “this cant be true bc i experienced abuse and i didnt feel violent” you ABSOLUTE morons, have you never met anyone else that was abused? Are you actually aware you are not the only case of abuse out there and that we are not all similar little robots what will react the same way? Different people react different ways. I have a friend who had similar abuse experience as I did, however we reacted in utterly different ways. I reacted by becoming distant, introverted and carefully wary. I became determined no one would ever hurt me again and if anyone were to try I’d make them regret it. My friend on the other hand responded by becoming incredibly extroverted (she tells me its a side effect of abuse she feels the need to please evryone so that they wont hurt her) and becoming incredibly passive to abuse, to the point where I desperately feared for her life when she got attached to an abusive boyfriend bc she’s just the perfect passive victim for assholes like that and I was convinced she’d let it go on until he finally killed her. Thank God he’s gone now, but my point is that not all victims react the same. Educate yourselves and learn the damn difference between a psychopath and a traumatized child.

    Comment by quietgirl06 | August 29, 2013 | Reply

    • Clearly you are a person who is still hurting, a victim who has built a protective wall around herself, someone who hasn’t healed. I hope you are in therapy with a supportive person, or group. Keep going, girl. You’ll make it.

      Comment by gothrules | August 29, 2013 | Reply

      • hey gothrules. Great article and a pretty good written work about beth thomas. I wanted two things. I’m doing a school project and asking just your last name for my works cited page. The other is that I uncovered that the treatment beth got was not from Connell Wilkins. It was from Nancy Thomas. My proof is that, in the documentary, the woman that gives the interview to the cameras matches the photograph on attachment.org. That photograph’s caption is ‘Nancy thomas’

        Comment by Stephanie | February 21, 2014

      • Sorry if I’m too late – surname is Lahey. In the documentary Child of Rage, the end Part II and into Part III, you can watch Beth Thomas working on Connell Watkins’ farm and receiving ongoing therapy from her. Connell comments that Beth “has a great set of parents” referring to Nancy Thomas and her spouse (although I personally don’t recall a husband in the picture).

        Comment by marilyn4ever | March 15, 2014

      • Am I too late for the response to the author name? Surname Lahey. First name Lisa.

        Comment by marilyn4ever | August 24, 2014

  72. While I respect what was done for this child, it looks like there are some serious issues in this movement, looking at the situation from a broader perspective shows that this woman, with her Attachment Therapy has been responsible for numerous deaths, directly and indirectly.
    Her only “success” is Beth.
    And do we really know why? Possibly she had other forms of traditional therapy, I don’t know.
    Obviously I’m happy she is doing well, but even the theory of a secondary psychopathy is in question… nevermind the method of “curing” these children.

    When you look at the damage done kids were taken away for NO reason and put in the hands of “social workers” who seem like the psychopaths to me using this therapy (hitting, abusing, sitting on children etc). One girl died in a basement, put in a high chair and tied with duct tape (which the foster mother hid)

    I suggest people research and take things a step further before declaring this type of therapy a success story.

    There is no reason to believe this child was even a psychopath.. and because of this I do not agree with her being committed to an institution.

    These are all claims by people who want to give others a sense of hope, for their own personal gain… kind of like those conversion therapy people.

    Comment by Eve | September 5, 2013 | Reply

  73. […] that’s discussed in the documentary and that you see in this movie, check out the article, “Children of Rage – Beth Thomas and Mary Flora Bell.”  This article reports that there’s much more to this story, as serious disapproval has since […]

    Pingback by Child of Rage: Documentary about Child Abuse | The Menawa Report | September 28, 2013 | Reply

    • Yes I am aware of the blog Children of Rage- Beth Thomas and Mary Flora Bell. I wrote it.

      Comment by gothrules | October 2, 2013 | Reply

  74. […] Read more about Children of Rage – Beth Thomas (and Mary Flora Bell) […]

    Pingback by Child of Rage | Battling the Demons Within | December 28, 2013 | Reply

  75. There is one problem with this artifle. I’m using it for a school project, and I have uncovered proof that Connell Wilkins is NOT the onee who diagosed Beth Thomas. On attachment.org I found a photo of Nancy Thomas, and discovered that she is the same woman depicted in the HBO documentary “Child of Rage” I scrolled through the documentary until beth was removed from her parents’ home and made this discovery.

    Comment by Stephanie | February 21, 2014 | Reply

  76. This has probably been mentioned already, but I have not combed the comments. So, here it goes:

    I found this to be an interesting article, HOWEVER, I must mention that being a dominatrix DOES NOT MAKE SOMEONE A PROSTITUTE. Professional dominatrices DO NOT HAVE SEX WITH CLIENTS. Being a dominatrix is not about sex; BDSM is about control. Granted, there could be sexual components in sessions, but the OVERWHELMING majority of true dominatrices do NOT have intercourse with their clients.

    Comment by Anastasia Kydonieus | February 25, 2014 | Reply

    • Interesting perspective. The research on Beth’s mother called her a prostitute so it is likely that she also engaged in prostitution along with BDSM.

      Comment by marilyn4ever | March 15, 2014 | Reply

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    Comment by Blacketer | February 26, 2014 | Reply

    • thank you so much

      Comment by marilyn4ever | March 15, 2014 | Reply

  78. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Comment by asian women for love | March 3, 2014 | Reply

    • thanks for letting me know – on my end they seem to be fine

      Comment by marilyn4ever | March 15, 2014 | Reply

  79. magnificent publish, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts of this sector don’t realize this.

    You should continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

    Comment by Mirta | April 15, 2014 | Reply

    • bless your soul….thank you much!

      Comment by marilyn4ever | April 23, 2014 | Reply

  80. I’m not sure why but this blog is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.|

    Comment by Brett | May 18, 2014 | Reply

  81. Beth and john do not and never have had step parents.they have their parents who adopted them…they are the adoptive parents not step parents.i also am adopted but was never abused.

    Comment by emily davison | August 14, 2014 | Reply

    • What is the different in a step-parent and an adoptive parent?

      Comment by marilyn4ever | August 19, 2014 | Reply

  82. Many abused children CAN be rehabilitated – if they have some form of a conscience.
    What happened with Beth Thomas must be an exception, because it is either a Miracle, or a grand deception.
    FACT: You can’t learn to FEEL empathy or remorse, without a conscience. It’s impossible.
    But you CAN “learn” to fake it.
    And if you’re good…people will be suckers. They’ll believe ya. 😉
    If Beth has found her conscience in the past 25 years, then I wish her the best.

    Comment by Eric | August 15, 2014 | Reply

    • I think the early intervention and the depth of it was what saved Beth. She received 24-7 care by living with her therapist and the therapist’s family. She was only about 4 years old during her intervention so I believe this did work out for her.

      Comment by marilyn4ever | August 19, 2014 | Reply

  83. […] […]

    Pingback by heartbreaking story of child abuse... - Christian Forums | September 13, 2014 | Reply

    • thanks for the reblog!

      Comment by marilyn4ever | September 15, 2014 | Reply

  84. Remember, it’s when there’s behavior that’s obviously causing you distress,
    that they know you don’t want, but continue with it anyway that really puts them into the stalker category.

    Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy cemented the decision.
    Little bit newer from 1971, Spider-Man 2099 came to print in ’92.

    Comment by Rebekah Whitefield | October 22, 2014 | Reply

  85. […] of that condition as well. Every story I have heard of children who have had this condition such as Beth Thomas were not only abused as young children but were shipped from one foster home to another. But are […]

    Pingback by Reactive Attachment Disorder | Soul Reconciliations | October 29, 2014 | Reply

  86. […] In an excellent blog post by marilyn4ever, posted on October 30, 2010, Marilyn details Beth Thomas’s story with empathy and apparent clarity. I strongly suggest you read Beth’s post and a second post critiquing a controversial treatment program for RAD called Attachment Therapy, as well as Marilyn’s follow-up post on Attachment Therapy called Beth Thomas, Candace Newmaker and Attachment Therapy Controversy. […]

    Pingback by “Children of Rage”: The Strange Case of RAD Victim Beth Thomas and Her Re-Birthing Benefactor Connell Watkins | All Things Crime Blog | December 4, 2014 | Reply

  87. Ew. I looked at that website, lining out the AT techniques. .. Hard to understand how FORCIBLY, antagonistic, emotionally detached interactions with the kids can help the poor abused little basket cases….no sense at all.

    Comment by April Moore | January 24, 2015 | Reply

    • Don’t know that I’d call them “little basket cases.” That’s rather abusive in itself.

      Comment by helthnut | January 26, 2015 | Reply

  88. I feel this is one of the so much vital info for me.

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    Comment by üSküDar E-Ticaret | February 26, 2015 | Reply

    • thank you very much.

      Comment by helthnut | February 26, 2015 | Reply

  89. If it was your kid would u care how much help she got… (Hell no)

    Comment by Stacy Mcnatt | September 5, 2015 | Reply

    • No of course not. I might be able to forgive a child like Mary Bell if I knew about her childhood and also taking her age into consideration. She was also a victim.

      Comment by helthnut | September 17, 2015 | Reply

  90. […] Beth Thomas – proponent of attachment therapy; child-abuse victim and abuser; whose story was told in 1990 HBO documentary Child of Rage (and on whom the 1992 film Child of Rage was based); author, More Thread Than Hope; [201]; [202] […]

    Pingback by Wikipedia:Requested articles/Biography/By profession - Quorai | December 22, 2015 | Reply

  91. […] In an excellent blog post by marilyn4ever, posted on October 30, 2010, Marilyn details Beth Thomas’s story with empathy and apparent clarity. I strongly suggest you read Beth’s post and a second post critiquing a controversial treatment program for RAD called Attachment Therapy, as well as Marilyn’s follow-up post on Attachment Therapy called Beth Thomas, Candace Newmaker and Attachment Therapy Controversy. […]

    Pingback by “Children of Rage”: The Strange Case of RAD Victim Beth Thomas and Her Re-Birthing Benefactor Connell Watkins - Emiliano Morrone | February 8, 2016 | Reply

    • Thank you for the feedback.

      Comment by helthnut | February 15, 2016 | Reply

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