The Testimony of Charlotte Wells
A Former Roman Catholic Carmelite Nun.
Charlotte was born in 1898, and entered the convent in approximately the year of 1910. She experienced salvation in 1945, and began giving this testimony in the next few years following her conversion throughout the United States and Canada. (Charlotte is a pseudonym, she never gave her real name in public.)
First of all I always want to tell folks that I am not giving this testimony because I have any ill feeling in my heart toward the Roman Catholic people. I couldn't be a Christian if I still had bitterness in my heart. God delivered me from all bitterness and strife one day and made Himself real to me in the power of the Holy Spirit. And so, when I give this testimony, I'm giving it because after God saved me, He delivered me out of the convent and out of bondage to darkness, the Lord laid a burden upon my heart to give this testimony that others might know what plight the convents are. And so as you listen carefully this afternoon, I trust that I'll not say one thing that will leave any feeling in your heart whatsoever that I don't carry a burden for the Roman Catholic people. I don't like the things they do. I don't agree with the things they teach, but I covet their souls for Jesus. I'm interested in their souls. I believe that when Jesus went to Calvary, He died that you and I might know Him. And therefore they're just as precious as your soul and my soul. So I'm interested.
DESIRE TO WORK FOR GOD
First of all, as we get into this testimony, having been born into Roman Catholicism, I didn't know anything else, not knowing the Word of God, because we didn't have the Bible in our home. We had never heard anything about this wonderful plan of salvation. And so, naturally, I grew up in that Roman Catholic home as a child knowing only the catechism, knowing only the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. And because I loved the Lord, and because I wanted to do something for Him--I wanted to give Him my life--I didn't know of any other way for a Roman Catholic girl to give her life to God other than by entering a convent.
After going to the confessional box there, naturally I'm under the influence of my Father confessor, the Roman Catholic priest--his influence over my life--one day I made up my mind, through his influence and one of my teachers in the parochial school that I wanted to be a little sister. At that time I thought of being a sister of the Open Order. But as I went on into this up until the time I took my White Veil, sixteen at a half years of age, everything was beautiful. I really didn't have any fear in my heart whatsoever. Everything that was taught to me was similar to along the lines of what I had been taught in the Church before I had entered the convent.
And so one day, after making up my mind to enter a convent--I remember that particular day--two of the sisters came home with me from school. They were my teachers. And when we arrived at my father's home that afternoon, our Father confessor was in the home likewise. I often say when I was a little girl, children were seen and not heard. You didn't talk when you was a child, at least you didn't in my family, in my home, unless you were spoken to. And I remember I listened to them carry on a conversation. And then I had moved over close enough to my father to ask him if I could say something. That was a bit out of the ordinary. And he permitted me to talk. And I said, "Dad, I want to go into a convent." And I'll tell you that priest took it up quickly. They had already been influencing me.
My father broke down and began to cry, not because he was sad, but he was very happy. My mother came over and took me in her arms and she too wept tears---she was very happy. Those were not tears of sadness because their little girl was giving her life to the convent to pray for lost humanity. And naturally, my family was very thrilled about it. And I was too.
INTO THE CONVENT
But anyway, I didn't go for about a year after that. And then the time come when I got myself ready and my mother prepared things for me. They took me. And they didn't have a place close enough to my father's and mother's home, so I think they took me around a thousand miles away from home where I entered a convent boarding school. I lacked about three months being thirteen years of age--just as a girl. I look back on it now, and think... my...homesick. I was so homesick! Well, my mommy and daddy, they stayed three days with me and then they left. I became so homesick. Naturally, I was just a baby away from home. When I was a little girl, you know, I never spent a night away from my mother. And I surely had never gone any place without my family. And naturally there was close ties in my family, and I was very lonely and very homesick. But I'll never forget after that mother told me, "Good-bye." And I knew they were traveling a long distance away from me. And I had never realized in my heart I'll never see them again. Naturally I hadn't planned it like that because I'd planned to be a sister of the Open Order.
Listen carefully to this portion of the testimony then you'll understand just why I'm saying some of the things that I am saying. Now oftentimes we say the priest selects his materials through the confessional box, because at seven years of age I went to confessional. At seven years of age I would always, when I'd come into the church first, I'd sit over at the feet of a crucifix...rather the Virgin Mary and then over at the feet of the crucifix, and I'd ask the Virgin Mary to help me make a good confession...because I was a child and my heart was honest. And I knew that the priest taught us to always make a good confession--keep nothing back--tell everything if I expected absolution from any sin that I might have committed.
And so I would ask the Virgin Mary to help me make a good confession. And I would ask Jesus to help me make a good confession. And, you know, I'll assure you after I lived in the convent for a short period of time, now I had to go on with my schooling I had just finished the eighth grade. And they promised me to give me a high school education and som e college education. But I ended up less college. I got mostly just high school training. And they gave that to me all right. I took it under some terrible difficulties and strains and all that and it was rather difficult. But they gave it to me for which I appreciate it very very much. But I'll assure you after they put me through the crucial training that we must go through to become a little initiate entering a convent. The training is very outstanding as far as a nun is concerned. And you know what it's all about after you've been in there a little while.
So now I've entered the convent. And for just a few minutes we want to tell you just a little bit how we live, what we eat, how we sleep. As I take you into the convent, and tell you those things, you'll understand a little bit more about my testimony.
THE WHITE VEIL
First, as I entered the convent, as just a small child and went on to school, I was being trained. But the day came when I was about fourteen and a half when the Mother Superior began telling me about the White Veil. And I didn't know too much about it. By taking the White Veil, they told me that I would become the spouse or the Bride of Jesus Christ. There would be a ceremony. And I would be dressed in a wedding garment.
And on this particular morning, they told me at nine o'clock they would dress me up in a wedding garment. Now, you're wondering where that came from, and how they got the wedding clothes for the little nun. Well, Mother Superior sits down and writes a letter to my father and tells him how much money she wants. And then, whatever she asks, my father sends it. And she, the little buying sister goes out and buy the material, and the wedding garments are made by the nuns of the cloister. (I'm still Open Order now.)
And of course, whatever they asked him he said he would send out the money for the wedding garment. We don't know these things at the very beginning of our testimony, but after you live in a convent for a little while, you learn to know they would ask my father for a hundred dollars and he'd send it. They would use maybe a third of that for the wedding garment. They would keep the rest of it, and my father would never know the difference. Neither did I until I'd lived in a convent for a period of time and I had to make some of the wedding clothes. And then I knew the value of them, and what they cost. And I knew of the money that came in because I was one of the older nuns.
The time came, of course, when I walked down that aisle and I was dressed in a wedding garment. And you know, in the convent, I used to walk the fourteen stations of the cross the fourteen steps that Jesus carried the cross of Calvary, but after I made up my mind to take the White Veil, never again did I walk. I wanted to be worthy. I wanted to be holy enough to become the spouse, the bride, of Jesus Christ. And so I would get down on my knees and would crawl the fourteen stations--quite a distance. But I crawled them every Friday morning. I felt it would make me holy. I felt it would draw me closer to God. It would make me worthy of the step that I was going to take. And that's what I wanted more than anything in the world. I would like to impress on your hearts--every little girl that enters a convent that I know anything about, that child has the desire to live for God. That child has a desire to give her heart and mind and soul to God.
Now many many people make this remark and we hear it from various types of folks who say only bad women go into convents. That isn't true. There are movie stars who go into convents. And they've lived out in the world and no doubt they are sinners and all of that. But they go in when they're women--they know what they're doing. And they go in only because the Roman Catholic Church is going to receive not only thousands, but yea well up into the millions of dollars. And they don't mind who they take in as they can get a lot of money out of that individual.
But the ordinary little girl, that goes in as a child--she's just a child--and she goes in there with her heart and mind and soul just as clean as any child could be. I say that because sometimes we hear a lot of things that are really not true.
Now, after we become the spouse of Jesus Christ--I want you to listen carefully to this, and then you can follow me into the rest of the testimony--we are now looked upon as married women. We are the spouse or the Bride of Jesus Christ.
BECOMING THE BRIDE OF CHRIST
Now the priest teaches every little girl that will take the White Veil they'll become the bride of Christ. He teaches her to believe that her family will be saved. It doesn't make any difference how many banks they rob, how many stores they rob. It doesn't make any difference how they drink and smoke and carouse and live out in this sinful world and do all the things that sinners do. It doesn't make a bit of difference. Our family will be saved if we continue to live in the convent and give our lives to the convent and to the Church, we can rest assured that other members of our immediate family will be saved.
And you know that there are many little children that are influenced and enticed to go into convents because we realize that it will be the salvation for our families. And sometimes, in a Roman Catholic family, the children grow up and leave the Roman Catholic Church and go out into the deepest of sin. And so every little girl who enters into the convent is hoping by her sacrificing so much--home and mother and daddy--everything that a child loves--her family will be saved regardless of what sins they commit. And of course we're children and our minds are immature and we don't know any better. It's so easy to instill things like this into the hearts and minds of little children .. and the priests are really very good at it.
And of course we looked upon our priest--our Father confessor--I looked upon him as God. He's the only god I knew anything about. To me he was infallible. I didn't think he could sin. I didn't think that he would lie. I didn't think that he ever made a mistake. I looked upon him as the holiest of holies, because I didn't know a god, but I did know the Roman Catholic priest. And to me, I looked to him for everything that I asked of God, so to speak, I believed the priest could give it to me.
And so the day comes with all of us. Now as we are going in I want you to listen carefully--after taking the White Veil things are beautiful. I'm sixteen and a half years of age. Everyone's good to me. And I'm living in the convent and I haven't seen anything yet, because no little girl--we're not subject to a Roman Catholic Priest until we're twenty-one years of age. And as we get in this next vow, then you'll understand, we don't know about this. This is kept from the little sisters until we've taken our Black Veil and then it's too late.
I don't carry the keys to those double doors and there's no way for me to come out. The priest will tell all over the whole United States and other countries--that sisters and nuns, rather, can walk out of convents when they want to. I spent twenty-two years there, I did everything that I could do to get out. I've carried tablespoons with me into the dungeon and tried to dig down into that dirt because it's no floors in those cases. But I never yet found myself digging far enough to dig out of a convent with a tablespoon and that's about the only incident. Because when we're using the spade--and we do have to do hard, heavy work--when we use a spade we're being guarded--we're being watched by two older nuns and they're going to report on us--and I'll assure you you're not going to try and dig out with a spade. You wouldn't get very far anyway, because they built and made those convents so little nuns can never escape. That was their purpose in building them. And they'll never get out unless God makes a way. But I believe God's making a way for nuns and little girls to come out of the convent.
THE BLACK VEIL
Alright, now when the time comes, I think I was eighteen when the Mother began talking to me. I planned to come out, see, after my white veil I wanted to be a little nursing assistant in the Roman Church. But the Mother Superior--I suppose she was watching my life--I suppose she realized I had much endurance, I had a strong body. And I believe the woman was watching me, because one day she asked me into her office. And she began to tell me, "Charlotte, you have a strong body." And she said, "I believe you have the possibilities of making a good nun. Of course you will. I believe you're the type that would be willing to give up home--give up mother and daddy--give up everything you love out in the world--and the world so to speak--and hide yourself away behind convent doors. Because I believe you're the kind that would hide back there and be willing to sacrifice and live in crucial poverty that you might pray for lost humanity." She said, "I believe you're the kind that would be willing to suffer." Because we're taught to believe, as nuns, that as we suffer our loved ones and your loved ones that are already in a priest's purgatory will be delivered from purgatory sooner because of our suffering.
She knew I was willing to suffer. I didn't murmur. I didn't complain. She knew all about it. She's watching my life, and that's the reason she began to tell me about the Black Veil. And then, of course, you know, I didn't know too much about a cloistered nun. I didn't know their lives. I didn't know how they live. I didn't know what they done, but, you know, this woman proceeded to tell me.
Now we hear a lot of people try to tell me in the various places that we travel and go...I hear a lot of Roman Catholics try to tell me, "I've been in so many cloisters. I know all about them." But you know a Roman Catholic can lie to you. And they don't have to go to confession and tell the priest about the lie that they've told, because they're lying to protect their faith. They can tell any lie they want to to protect their faith and never go to the confessional box and tell the priest about it.
They can do more than that. They can steal up to forty dollars. And they don't have to tell the priest about it. They don't have to say one word about it in the confessional box. They are taught that. Every Roman Catholic knows it. And every Roman Catholic--you'd be horrified to know how many of them steal up to that amount. And many of them lie. We've dealt with them. I've dealt with hundreds and hundreds of them. I see a good many of them fall in the altar and cry out to God to save them. And you know before they get saved, they look into my face and hold my hand and lie to me. But after God gets a hold of their heart, then they want to make right what they told me because they realize they've lied about it. But as long as they're Roman Catholic, they're permitted to lie. And it's the saddest thing. You can't expect them to know God, because God does not condone sin.
I don't care who you are. I don't believe God condones sin. And I don't believe He's going to condone it in the Roman Catholic people, even though they're being misled and they're being blinded and led into ways that are going to lead them into a devil's hell. I believe that with all of my heart, because I've lived in a convent. I know something about how these people live and what they do.
Now the day comes. She told me, "Charlotte, you have to be willing to spill your blood. Jesus shed His upon Calvary." She said, "You have to be willing to do penance. Heavy penance," She said, "You'll have to be willing to live in crucial poverty." Now already I'm living in the pit of poverty, but I thought that was going to make me holier, and draw me closer to God, and would make me a better nun. And so I'm willing to live in that poverty.
LAYING IN A CASKET
And then on this particular morning, she told me what I would be wearing. She said, "You'll spend nine hours in a casket." And she explained a number of things to me. That's the most I knew about it. And I didn't find that out until I had taken my White Veil.
And so, on this particular morning, I'm twenty-one years of age. But sixty days previous to my being twenty-one years of age, I'm going to sign some papers that they place in front of me. And those papers are this--I'm going to sign away every bit of inheritance that I might have received from my family after they're dead. Of course I signed that over to the Roman Catholic Church. And oftentimes I say the Roman Catholic priests are enticing girls--not only their background, not only their strong bodies, their strong minds and strong wills--but he's enticing girls where mothers and fathers have much property. And they are constantly fishing for the material things of this life. Why? Because when that child enters the convent they're going to get a portion of her money--of her father's money.
And I often say even salvation in the Roman Catholic Church is going to cost you plenty of money. More than you know anything about. And so they don't mind commercializing off of that child and the inheritance that would have come to her.
A FUNERAL SHROUD INSTEAD OF A WEDDING GARMENT
And so on this particular morning I told the Mother Superior, "Give me a little while to think it over." She didn't make me do it. No one did. But I thought it over for a couple of years, and then one day I told her. I think I'm going to hide away behind the convent doors, because I believed I could give more time to God. I could pray more. I would be in a position where I could inflict more pain upon my body because we're taught to believe that God smiles down out of Heaven as we do penance-- whatever the suffering might be. And I didn't know any better,
because, I often say, if you could only look into the hearts of little Nuns, if you are a Christian, you would immediately cry out before God in behalf of those little girls, because truly we are heathens. It doesn't make any difference the amount of education we may have. We are still heathens. We know nothing about this lovely Christ -- nothing about the plan of salvation. And we're living as hermits in the Convent.
And so on this particular morning I come walking down an aisle again. And, may I say, on the morning before, I can't go into it too deep, because I would never be able to cover enough of it so you could understand it -- but this morning I'm walking down that aisle, but I don't have a wedding garment on. I have a funeral shroud. Its made of dark red velvet. And it's way down to the floor. And I'm walking down that aisle. Now I know what I'm going to do. The casket is already made by the Nuns of the Cloister -- very rough wood, and it's sitting right out here. And I know when I come down there that I'll step into that casket and lay my body down. And I'm going to spend nine hours in there. And two little Nuns will come and cover me up with a heavy black cloth we call a heavy drape material. And, you know, it's so heavily incensed that I feel like I will smother to death. And I have to stay there.
Now, I know when I come out of that casket I'll never leave the Convent again. I know I'll never see my mother and father again. I'll never go home again. I'll always live behind convent doors and when I die my body will be buried there. They told me that. So I knew it even before I done it. Its a great price to pay and then to find out that Convents are not religious orders as we were taught and as we were trained. It's quite a disappointment to a young girl that's given her life to God and willing to give up so much and sacrifice so much. I'll assure you, it was a disappointment.
And so after I spent some time. You say, "What did you do when you lay in that casket?" What do you think I did? I spilled every tear in my body. I remembered every lovely thing my mother done for me. I remembered her voice. I remembered the gathering around the table. I remembered the times when she would play with us. I remembered the things that she said to me. I remembered what a marvelous cook she was. Everything, as a little girl growing up in that home, I remembered it, laying in that casket - knowing I'll never hear her voice again. I'll never see her face again. I'll never put my feet under her table again -- enjoy her good cooking. I knew all that. And so maybe for four hours I spilled all the tears within my body because it was so hard. And I knew I'd get homesick. I knew I'll want to see her someday, but I gave it all up. What for? For the love of God I thought. I didn't know any better.
And I'll assure you those were nine long hours. And then I seemingly got a'hold of myself, and I thought this, "Charlotte, now you're going to make the best Carmelite Nun," because everything I've ever done even now in the convent I do give my best. I'd try to give everything that I had regardless of what I might do. And so I did in the Convent. I gave the best that I have. And I wanted to be the best Nun that I could possibly be. And the other Superior knew that. And, don't worry, the priests knew all about it, too.
VOWS SIGNED IN BLOOD
Now, I realize after I walk out of that casket they're going to take me like this. Over here, right back here, is a room. They call it the Mother Superior's Room. Now, I'd never been in that particular room, so I don't know what she has in there. But you know when I walk in there this time the Mother Superior sits me down in a straight-back, hard-bottom chair. And immediately then I'm going to take three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. And you know, as I take those vows, she opens a little place in the lobe of my ear and takes out a portion of blood, because I must sign every vow in my own blood.
And after that happens, then I'm going to take the vow of poverty. Now when I sign that vow, I sign it thus, that I'm willing to live in crucial poverty the balance of my life as long as I live. And what that poverty's like, of course, we don't know.
And then my next vow, I'm going to do a vow of chastity. And you know this vow, of course you know what it means. I'm taught to believe that I'm married to Jesus Christ. I'm His bride. I'll always remain a virgin. I'll never legally marry a man in this world because I have become the spouse or the bride of Jesus Christ.
After the Bishop married me to Christ, he placed a ring on my finger. And that meant I'm sealed to Christ. I'm married to Him and I accepted it because I didn't know any better.
And now here I am taking a vow that I would always remain a virgin because I'm the bride of Christ. And I want you to listen carefully.
And then of course my last vow of obedience. Now, when we sign that vow, I'll assure you, already I know what obedience means. I'm living in a convent. And there they demand absolute obedience. You don't get by with anything. Not even for two minutes. I mean, you don't get by with it. You have to realize what obedience means. And they demand it. And you learn to know it. And you're much wiser the more quickly you learn it and you obey it. And you give them absolute obedience.
Alright, now. What does it mean to sign vows like this? Let me tell you this. It means more than you folks will ever know because most people that I know anything about, they know very little about obedience. Oh, in a sense, yes. But you'll never know what a little Nun knows about obedience, I'll assure that one thing, unless you've lived in the convent.
Alright, that particular vow when I signed it in my own blood, it done something to me, because, after I signed those vows, do you realize that I signed away everything I have -- my human rights? I have become a mechanical human being now. I can't sit down until they tell me to. I don't dare to get up until they tell me to. I can't lie down until they tell me to. And neither do I dare to I get up. I cannot eat until they tell me to. And what I see I don't see. What I hear I don't hear. What I feel I don't feel. I've become a mechanical human being, but you're not aware of that until you have signed all these vows. Then you realize, "Here I am -- a mechanical human being." And, of course, I belong to Rome now, I'll assure you that right now.
Alright, after these particular vows, we become forgotten women in the convent. In just a short while you'll understand what I'm talking about. Now, immediately after I've taken those vows, then the Mother Superior is going to take away my name and give me the name of a patron saint. She teaches me to believe that whatever happens to me in the convent, I can pray to that patron saint and she will intercede for me and get my prayers through to God, because I'm not holy enough to stand in the presence of God.
It isn't a wonder the little Nuns can never get closer to God. We have always been taught that we'll never be holy enough to stand in His presence. And we always have to go through somebody else in order to get a prayer through to God. And we believe it because we don't know any better.
ALL FORMER IDENTIFICATION LOST
And so now all identification of who Charlotte was is going to be put away, it'll be taken away from me. And if you knew me and would come to the convent and call for my family name they'd tell you there isn't such a person as that. I don't exist. Even though I'm right there, because I'm writing under another name.
Now the Mother Superior is going to cut every bit of hair off of my head. And when she cuts it with the scissors she puts the clippers on it. And I mean there's nothing left. I just don't have one speck of hair left on my head. And, of course, if you could be a Nun you would understand the heavy head-gear that we have to wear would be so cumbersome to have hair and so cumbersome to take care of it, we don't have any way of taking care of it in the convent. There are no combs in the convent. And so you can imagine how hard it would be for us to take care of a head of hair. It's not necessary that we have a comb after they finish with us.
Alright now. This is my Black Veil. These are my perpetual vows, we'll call them. I'm there and I'm going to stay there.
Now, you know, up until this time I received a letter once a month from my family. And I wrote a letter out of that convent once a month to my family. Even though, when I would write that letter, I had no doubt they marked out a lot of it, because when I would receive a letter from my family there was so much of it blacked out until there was no sense to the letter. And, oh, I'd weep over those black marks. I was wondering what my mother was trying to say to me. And don't worry, you never got to know what she wanted to to say to you, because they blacked it out.
And so they break your hearts many many times and you're lonely anyway because I had no friends in the convent. I'll assure you, even though there was a hundred and eighty on my particular wing, not one of those Nuns were my friend and neither was I a friend to them, because we are not allowed to be friends in the Convent. We are all policemen or detectives watching each other that's to find something to tell. And the little Nun who finds something to tell on the other Nuns, she stands in good favour with the Mother Superior. And then the Mother teaches that Nun to believe that when she stands in good favour with the Mother Superior, she's standing in good favour with God. And so that little Nun, of course, will want that, and she'll tell a lot of things, maybe that are not even true, on the other little Nuns.
Alright. Now, after all of this has transpired and after all of this has happened. Everything I have is gone, I've sold my soul for a mess of theological pottage, because, not only are we destroyed in our bodies, many of us in our minds. And many of us, if we die in the Convent, we've lost our souls.
And so it's a serious thing. And I surely covet your prayers for little Nuns behind cloistered convent doors. They'll never hear this Gospel. They'll never know the Christ that you folk know tonight. They'll never pray to Him as you people pray to Him. They'll never feel His blessings as you people feel them. So put them on your hearts and pray for them. They surely need much prayer.
Alright, now As I walk into that room and all of this is transpiring, now, bless you heart, I don't know what's going to be in the next room. After this has transpired, and I've taken the vows that I will always remain a virgin, I will never legally marry in this world because I'm the spouse of Christ. And then after this, and the Mother Superior leads me out into another room, or rather she opens the doors, and I'm to be sent into that room.
"THE PRIEST IS THE HOLY GHOST"
And when I walk out in that room I see something that I have never seen before. I see a Roman Catholic Priest dressed in a holy habit. He walks over to me and locks his arm in my arm which he had never done in the first part of my convent life. I never had a priest to insult me in any way. I never had one of them to even be unkind to me in the first part of my convent experience. But here he is now. And of course I didn't understand what it was all about. And I didn't know what in the world the man expected of me. But you know I pulled from him because I felt highly insulted. And I pulled from him and I said, "Shame on you." And it made him very angry for a minute. And the Mother Superior must have heard my voice, because she came out immediately, and she said, "Oh," and they called me by my Church name. She said, "After you've been in the convent a little while you won't feel this way. The rest of us felt the same way you do."
And you know the priest's body is sanctified. And therefore it is not a sin for us to give the priests our bodies. In other words, they teach every little Nun this: As the Holy Ghost placed a germ in Mary's womb, and Jesus Christ was born, so the Priest is the Holy Ghost, and therefore it isn't a sin for us to bare his children. And let me tell you, that's what they come into the convent for. No other purpose in all of this world do priests come into the convent but to rob those precious little girls of their virtue. And I'll assure you, we'll be telling you a little later in the testimony just what they really do after they come in under those particular deals.
But may I say, now every bridge has been burned out from under me. There's no way back. I can't get out of the convent, even though I pled. Oh, how I pled with that priest, "Send for my father. I want to go home. I don't want to go any farther." Only to laugh in my face. And, let me tell you, that's when you stand alone. And you don't know who to turn to. And you're a victim of circumstances. And you live in the convent because there is no other way to get out of the convent. And, I'll assure you, I stayed in the convent until God made a way for me to come out.
And so after all of this, my mail was stopped. I'll never receive another bit of mail from my family. Never another letter. I belong to the Pope. I belong to Rome. And then after all of this, the Mother Superior, after taking me through these particular vows the priest has invited me to go to the Bridal Chamber. You say, "Did you go?" No. Definitely not. I didn't enter the convent to be a bad woman. It would have been much easier to stay out of the convent to be a bad woman. You wouldn't go into the convent and live in the poverty we lived in and to suffer as we suffered to be a bad woman. No girl would do that. It would have been much easier to stay out of the convent if I wanted to be a bad woman. But I went there to give my heart and life to God. And that was the only purpose I had in going there.
And here this priest is and of course I didn't go into the Bridal Chamber with him. I had a strong body then. One of us would have been wounded because I would have fought until the last drop of blood. And you know it made them very very angry, I'll assure you. But I didn't go to the Bridal Chamber with him.
BEFORE A DEAD NUN FOR ONE HOUR
But now I'm going to have to go to penance the next morning, and of course this'll be a heavier penance because of what I'd done already. And when the Mother Superior says, "We're going to do penance the next morning," I'm going to be initiated as a Carmelite Nun. And I remember when she walked with me down into that particular place it was a dark room. Now remember, I lived above on the first floor until my Black Veil. After the Black Veil, they take me one story under the ground. And I live there from then on until God delivered me. I didn't live in the top part of the buildings at all.
But you know, as we walked into this room it's dark and it's very cold. And when we walked in, we came from back there somewhere. We come walking towards the front. And I walked along beside the Mother Superior. And when I got near the front I saw those little candles burning. Anywhere in the convent you'll find the seven candles burning. And when I came a little closer I saw the candles, but I couldn't see anything else. And I wondered what is she going to do to me. That's the thing in our hearts and we can't get away from it, because we had fear.
And when I come a little closer I saw something lying on a board there. And, you know, when I came real close then I realized here's a little Nun lying on that board. I called it a cooling board because it was that. And just as long as her body. And there she was. And when I could see where the candles flickered down on her face I realized that child is dead. And, oh, I wanted so much to say, "How did she die? Why is she here? How long do you keep her here?" But, you remember, I signed away every human right. And so I can't say one word, but I stood looking.
And then the Mother Superior said, "You stand vigil over this dead body for one hour." And at the end of the hour a little bell is tapped and another Nun will come to relieve me. And may I say, I was advised every so many minutes I would have to walk out to that little body and sprinkle holy water and ashes over the body and say, "Peace be unto you." And I did exactly what they told me to do. Oh, it was a terrible feeling. I'm not afraid of the dead. Its the live people we have to be very cautious about. And I wasn't afraid of that little dead Nun, but, oh, my heart ached for her.
And you know after the bell tapped and I realized my hour had gone, the Nun who come to relieve us comes back here somewhere. And of course we walked on our tip-toes. No noise was made in the convent. And they don't speak, they just touch you. And of course, my being down there with that little dead Nun, and I was full of fear, when that girl laid her hand on my shoulder I let out a scream -- a horrible scream - from fear - just fear.
THE FLAGELLATION WHIP
And, you know, I didn't mean to do it. I didn't break that rule on purpose, but I was scared. And immediately, of course, I had to come before the Mother Superior and that's when I first learned to know, one of the first times, about a dungeon. They didn't tell me there were dungeons in the convents. And she put me in such a dirty, dark place, with no floor in it for three days and nights. And I didn't get any food and any water. And I'll assure you I didn't scream any more. I tried so hard not to break the rules of screaming, because there is a dungeon and I know they'll put you in it. And, let me tell you right now, it's not a nice place to be. After you've been in one of those places you'll know what it feels like.
Alright now. I'll say this before I go any farther that Popery is a masterpiece of Satan. I said it's a masterpiece of Satan with his lying wonders and its traditions and its deception. It's a terrible thing when you know about it. And so as I come down into this room, she took me, and let me look at this little girl, the penance is over, the very next morning she said again to me, "Charlotte, you're going to do penance." Not the next morning -- it was three days after because I spent three days and nights in the dungeon, the fourth, fifth morning, whichever it was, she said, "You're going to do penance." She took me down into another room - not the same room. And when we come walking down this time I could see that big piece of wood, but I didn't know what it was. And when I came a little closer there was a cross. It was made of heavy timber. I might say it was maybe eight or ten feet high. Very heavy. And that cross was sitting on an incline like that. And she had me walk over here at the base of the cross, and she said, "Now strip your clothes off." And I took my clothes off. And then she made me -- down to my waistline -- then she made me drape my body over the foot of that cross, and she pulled my hands underneath and bound them to my feet. And then, you know, that's where I learned to spill my blood. And she had not told me how, and neither could I ask how I would spill it.
And she gave two little Nuns that came with her a flagellation whip. I might call it a bamboo pole. It's about this long—it's about that big around. And it has six straps on it about this long. And on the end of either of those straps is a sharp piece of metal. And those little Nuns, either was given one of these whips, and they stood on either side of the cross. Now, at the same time those girls began whipping my body. And I mean when that metal hit my body it would break the hide, of course. It would cut into the flesh and I spilled blood. And it was running down to the floor. That's my flagellation whipping. That is where I spill my blood as Jesus shed His upon Calvary.
And of course I'm human. It wounded. It hurt. It was very painful. After the whipping is over they don't bathe my body. They put my clothing back on my body and I have to go the rest of the day.
When the night comes and I stand in front of my cell, there -- I have to stand there to undress with our backs to each other. And then when I went in, oh... I couldn't sleep that night. I just wasn't a bit sleepy because I couldn't take off all my clothes. They had dried in those wounds. And it was terrible. I didn't take them off for several nights.
THE NUNS' DIET
And, I'll assure you, when I came before my food, I didn't want my cup of black coffee. In the morning we get a cup of black coffee they serve in a tin cup. We can have no milk and no sugar of any type. And we have one slice of bread that's made by the Nuns of the Cloister. They weighed it. It weighs four ounces. That's all I get for breakfast. And then of course in the evening I get a bowl of soup. And that's fresh vegetables cooked together. There's no seasoning in the soup whatsoever, and a half a slice of bread. And three times a week they give me a half a glass of skim milk. That consists of my food three hundred and sixty five days in the year. And I began losing weight very rapidly, I'll assure you, because I didn't have enough food to eat. I don't know the day I went to bed without a hungry stomach. Sometimes it would be so hungry I couldn't sleep. The pain was gnawing. You can't hardly stand it. And you know you're only going to get that one slice of bread the next morning. That doesn't fill you up. And of course we have to work hard all day long. And I'll assure you... those little Nuns, and I covet your prayers for them. They need your prayers in more ways than one because you'll go to bed with a full stomach tonight. And you're very comfortable right now. But I'll assure you there's not one of them that's comfortable. They're hungry and they're sick and they're wounded and they're hurt and they're heartsick and homesick -- and discouraged. And worst of all, seemingly, they have no hope. No hope.
You and I are looking forward to the day when we're going to see Jesus. They have no hope whatsoever. And I surely hope you don't forget to pray for them. Alright. That was terrible, I'll assure you.
SUSPENDED BY THE THUMBS
And then in a few mornings after this the Mother Superior is taking me back for another initiation. And when I go into the penance chamber this morning -- we come from a place up here-- and we're going to walk back along like that clear to the back. And you know it's quite a ways back here, and I went - part of it's a tunnel. And then I come out into a room. And I walk through into that room. And when I get way back there I see those candles burning. And I see something else. There's ropes hanging down from the ceiling. And, oh, I'm so scared. I wonder what the ropes are for, and what's she going to do? After these two penance you begin to have a lot of fear in your heart.
And so I can't say anything and I walk back there. And you know I saw the ropes. Real plain. What are they doing hanging down from that ceiling? Then she tells me, "You go over there against the wall." About that close to the wall. And I have to stand sideways like this. And she asks me to put up both of my thumbs. And I did. And then she pulled one rope down. And there's a metal band fastened securely. And she fastens that around the joint of my thumb. Then the other one comes down and it fastens around this thumb. And there I am standing there like this facing the wall. And then, you know, she comes over here to the end - there's a...whatever you want to call it, she starts winding. And I start moving. And she's taking me right up in the air. And, you know, when she gets me so just my toes are on the floor - just on my tip-toes - she fastens it. And there I hang. And all the weight of my body is on my thumbs and on my toes. Not a word is said. No one speaks a word. And she walks out of that room and locks the door.
If you know what it means to hear a key locking a door, and know that I'm strung up there like that... you'll never know unless you're a Nun. And when that woman walked out I didn't know how long I'll stay there -- how long that woman will leave me there.
And you know, they didn't come to give me food. They brought me no water. And I thought, "Is this it? Am I going to die back here just like this?" And within a few hours... you can imagine. I'm still a human being. My muscles began to scream out with the pain. I was suffering. And that woman let me hang. And no one come near. And what good would it do for me to cry? You can spill every tear in your body. Nobody will hear you. There's no one there to care how many tears you spill.
And so I just hung there. And finally I began, seemingly I felt like I couldn't stand it - I'll surely die if they don't come and get me quickly. And I felt as if I was beginning to swell. I don't know how long went by, and she opened the door one morning and she had something for me to eat. And the water was in a pan. And it was potatoes. And those potatoes were not good to eat. They were in a pan. And there's a shelf over there on the wall that she can adjust to the height of the Nun. And, you know, she pulled it out. Now, I'm not against the wall. I'm about this far from it. But to get that food... she puts it there, and she said, "This is your food." And she walks out. Now, how am I going to get it?
She didn't let my hands down. But this is what you learn. And you struggle to get it. I'm hungry. I mean I'm so thirsty I feel like I'm going mad. And to get it I discovered that this hand goes high and this one will come down a little bit. And I'll keep right on going higher if I lean. I have to reach higher with this one, this one will automatically let down. And to get that water and that food, I mean, I had to get it like the dogs and cats. And I lapped as much of it as I could because I'm so thirsty. And get those potatoes I tried as hard as I could because I'm hungry. I mean I'm hungry. And I got as much of it as I could, naturally. But I was hungry.
That's the way she fed me for a while and then she released the bonds on my hands and on my feet. I shouldn't have said on my feet. She didn't release the bonds. She let me hang there for nine days and nine nights. I almost got it mixed up with one of the other penance that I wanna get to you asap; I hung nine days and nine nights in this position.
And let me say, the time came when I was so swollen here, and naturally I could see myself puffing out here. I felt like the eyes were coming out of my head. I felt like my arms were apart. They were two or three sizes their normal size. I felt like I was that way all over my body. And I was like a boil. I was in real suffering.
And then on the ninth day she comes in. And she releases the bonds from my hands and my body. She lets me down on the floor. Now I go down and I can't walk. I'll assure you I didn't walk. I didn't walk for a long time. But you know what, there's two little Nuns that carry me out. One gets under my feet and the other under my shoulders. And they carry me in the infirmary, and lay me on a slab of wood. And there they cut the clothing from my body. And let me tell you right now, nobody but God will ever know -- I'm covered with vermin and filth. Why? I'm hanging there in my own human filth. There are no toilet facilities. Right behind me is a stool. And they have running water in it, and the lid is down and they have sharp nails driven through that lid. If I break my ropes and fall on that, I would suffer terribly.
And this is the life of a Carmelite -- a little Nun behind cloistered doors - after they've already deceived us -- disillusioned us and got us back there. Then this is the life that we're living. And these are the things that we're going to have to do. I'll assure you, it isn't anything funny.
And then I remember, as I lived on in that place, oh, let me tell you, we have to get up out of our bed for 4:30 in the morning. The Mother Superior taps the bell, and that means five minutes to dress. And may I say to you folk, it's not five and a half minutes. You better get that clothing on in five minutes. I failed one time, and I had to be punished for doing it, but I never failed again in all the years in the convent.
And you know when we're finished dressing then we're going to start marching. And we march by the Mother Superior. And that Mother Superior is going to appoint us to an office duty every morning. It might be scrubbing. It might be ironing. It might be washing. It might be doing some hard work. But I have to work one hour. Then we'll go in and gather around the table, and we'll find sitting in front of us our tin cupful of coffee and our slice of bread.
And then, of course, we have hard work to do. I think there were twelve tubs in the convent that I lived in. And we washed on the old-fashioned washboard. We have the old fat iron that you heat on the stove.
And, you know, it wouldn't be so bad if we just had our own clothing in the convent. But the priests bring great bundles of clothing and put them in there because he can get them done for nothing. And we have to do that clothing on top of it. We work very very hard. And they're not able to work because they don't have enough food to keep body, mind and soul together. And those little girls are living under these particular circumstances.
And, I say, we're women without a country. And I mean just exactly what I say. Women without a country. Now we belong to the Pope. Anything they want to inflict upon my body they can do it. And all the howling I do, if I should howl, it wouldn't make any difference because nobody is going to hear me. And they have no idea that I'll ever leave the convent. The plan is that I'll die there and be buried there.
VISITING THE CONVENT
Now you say, "Charlotte, can you go into the convent?" Any one of you folks can go into a closed convent -- into the speak room. And there is an outside chapel that you can walk into of any that I know anything about. But you know, don't you just go in there to wander around not to have some place to go, because you might meet something that you're not expecting. If you go there you go prepared to take food to some little girl that's in there. And be sure that you know who you're taking it to. And when you go, as you walk up toward the front of the building, like this, you'll see a bell. And you know what to do because it will tell you. You press a button there and there'll be a gate swing out. It has about three shelves on it. And, of course, you've brought something for someone that you know in the convent. It might be the mother coming to visit her daughter.
And, you know, when that bell is tapped, the Mother Superior is back here behind the big black veil. Now that's a big black gate there. And there's heavy folds of black material clear across there. And you can't go back there. You'll never see the Mother Superior, but she'll answer you through the black veil.
And you might say, "I've brought some homemade candy for my daughter." And you might ask the Mother Superior to let you speak to her. You can't see her, but you can speak to her.
You know, the mother will call that lovely little girl, and call her out on the other side of the grail, and of course you can't see her. And you know what, the mother will speak to her and say, "Honey, are you happy here?" And that little Nun will say, "Mother, I'm very happy."
You say, "Why did she say that?"
Well, bless your heart, don't you know that the Mother Superior is standing there? And if we didn't say that, after our mother had gone, then God only knows what the Mother Superior will do to the little Nun. And so we just lie to our mother.
And then the mother will say, "Do you have plenty to eat?" And that little Nun will answer and say, "We have plenty to eat." But, I tell you that mother will go home. She'll prepare a lovely meal for the rest of the family. But if she could look in and see our table and see what her little girl is eating, if she could look into her little girl's eyes after she's been there three or four years, she'd see those eyes are back in her head. She'd see that her little body's began to waste away. I'll assure that mother that she'll never eat another meal at home. No, never. You'd never enjoy another meal if you could see your child after she'd been in a convent for a period of time. But these things of course are under cover, and we have to take what they give us.
FEAR OF THE MOTHER SUPERIOR
Alright, now they can make us do anything. Here we are, the Mother Superior and I might be down in the laundry room washing. And I told you how we wash. And its a cement floor. And, well, doing the type of laundry we do - some of it's very heavy - the water slops out on the floor. And, oh, it's such a mess. We'd walk in it. And you know, then, here comes the Mother Superior.
And to me, our Mother Superior, I'd just as soon you turn loose a lion that's very hungry and let it come walking down that aisle as to see a Mother Superior in a convent. I was scared to death of her. Every time I saw that woman, somebody had to suffer. And we're afraid of her and she knows we're afraid of her. Because she's cruel. Her heart is calloused.
And here she comes. And, you know, there we are washing. And, I'll tell you, that when she comes - and we know... we feel her presence before we ever see her. We know her footsteps. And, you know, we'll wash a little harder. But when she gets down to where we are, she might address me. And she'll say, "Now, you come out here." And I'm out there like a flash because I'm scared. And then she'll say, "Prostrate yourself down there and lick so many crosses on that floor." That's a cement floor. And, of course, I have to prostrate my body and lick those crosses. And those are not little tiny crosses. As far as I reach, I'll have to lick those crosses.
And she watches my countenance. If I don't like it, and she knows that I don't like it, then she might say, "Ten" - she might say, "Twenty-five." And, you know, then the next morning she may walk back through there again and because she saw something in my face that made her to know I didn't like what she wanted me to do, she may call me again. And my tongue, by this time, is sore. It's bleeding, but I have to lick the crosses on the floor again.
And then they do the same way by compelling us to crawl. They'll compel you to crawl. And, may I say, it could be up and down an aisle like this ten times. And it'll not be on a beautiful rug like this. It'll be on a floor that you know what you're crawling on.
And, you know, I'm crawling, and I have to crawl like this - upright. And my, my... my knees. Don't they hurt! And I might make it five or six times. And then I might not have enough strength to go the other three or four times. And I'll faint. But she'll pour some cold water on me and tell me to crawl again.
And, may I say, then I'll try to finish it out. And maybe the next day she compels me to crawl again. By this time there's scabs on my knees. I mean, those knees are sore. But I must crawl again.
This is the life of a little Nun. We're doing penance. And then she teaches us to believe that God is looking down out of Heaven - He's smiling His approval upon those little girls. And God is made happy through our suffering. And because we are heathens - we don't know any better - we've never read the Bible. We've never had any Scripture. And so those little Nuns are ignorant of the Word of God. You know, we are just raised under the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. And we know nothing about this lovely Gospel of Jesus Christ. And so we have to do these things.
PRAYING ON A BOARD OF TORTURE
Then the Mother Superior might walk through the cell door -- by the way, in our cells, there's nothing in there but the Virgin Mary, and, that is, she's holding the baby Jesus. And there's the Crucifix. And then we have a prayer board. And by the way, I'll assure you folks, that you'll never want to lean on our prayer board. We lean on it everyday if we are able to walk under our own power. It is a board about this high from the ground. And there are two leading up like this one. And this one is about that wide. I'm going to drop my knees down on it. And there's sharp wires coming up through that board. And then, this one up here, I prostrate my arms on, there's going to be sharp wires.
After all, I told you we were going to suffer. We're going to do penance. And this is a part of my suffering.
And as I lean on that prayer board, I'm praying for lost humanity. And I'm believing as I suffer that my grandmother will be released from a priest's purgatory sooner, because of my suffering. And I kneel there longer, sometimes. Oh, it's terrible, but we don't know any better. So we do that, because that's all that little Nuns know. And we believe it.
And there we are. And we are locked in our cells. Every night the key is turned in those doors. We can't get up and come out of there. And then, more than that, seven minutes to twelve - we go to bed, at nine thirty the lights are out - seven minutes to twelve, there's two little Nuns appointed to unlock every door. Every little Nun again gets on her feet, dresses in full dress, goes into the inner chapel, and there we again pray one hour for lost humanity.
We don't get very much sleep. That's why. And we don't have enough food and we work hard and we suffer much. That's why our bodies are so broken.
That's why we seemingly don't have enough strength to carry on after we live there.
SUFFERING TO BE SPARED DAYS IN PURGATORY
But I'd like to say this to you before I go any farther. Now, I did those very things. And we're taught to believe that as we spill our own blood - now, WE must do this - if I whip my body, if I torment it, or torture it in any way that I spill blood, I'm taught to believe, that I'll have one hundred less days to spend in purgatory.
Now, you know, we have no hope. Those little Nuns don't look forward to anything. You may think they do, but we don't. Why? After you live in a Convent ten years, I began to realize the Virgin Mary is just a piece of metal. She's a statue. I began to realize Saint Peter's just a statue. I began to realize that the statue of Jesus is just a piece of metal. In other words, we come to the place to believe that our God is a dead God. And, I'll assure you, after you live in a convent long enough, not at first - no, no - but after we've suffered enough, after we've seemingly fallen down at the feet of those statues and spilled our tears on them, and have begged them to intercede and get a prayer through to God, and years go by and no prayer is answered, then we begin to realize we have a dead God.
And so on it goes.
And so those precious little girls, we're taught to believe that as we whip our bodies, or burn our bodies, or torture our bodies, and spill blood that we'll have one hundred less days to spend in purgatory. We believe in a literal purgatory. And that literal purgatory is a fire and it's going to burn. And we're going to feel the flames of fire.
PURGATORY IS THE PRIESTS' POCKET BOOK
And you know when I say Nuns are forgotten women, just who do you folk think is going to say a prayer, or go over and pay the priest to have a high mass for a little Nun that's in the convent? I wonder who's going to? Why? Because they'll not even be notified. When many of those little Nuns die, there's no notification of it whatsoever. A parent won't even know when they're dead. So, who's going to pray us out of purgatory? Or rather, buy us out of purgatory? No. We realize after we're in there a period of time that there is no Purgatory.
Of course, you know there isn't, and I know there isn't. And there is no purgatory. The only purgatory the Roman Catholic people have is a priest's pocket. And they're filling his pockets with coins in order to pray for the dead.
And, may I say, there are thousands and thousands of Roman Catholics -- in the month of November, may I say to you, in United States, two years ago -- in the month of November the Roman Catholic priests praying masses for the dead of the Roman Catholic people in this country, in one month, collected twenty-two million dollars for masses said for dead Roman Catholics. That's just a little idea, or sample, of what's going on in this country.
And still there are thousands of mothers that'll work their fingers to the bone to go over there and give the priest another five dollars to say a mass for a loved one that's in Purgatory, because that mother believes there is a Purgatory.
In the Convent, they have a painting of Purgatory. And there's nothing in the room but just that painting. And, you know, every Friday we have to walk around that painting. And when we walk around it, I would you could look at the little Nuns' faces.
What do I see? The painting, as you would walk around it, looks like it's a big deep hole out there. And there are people down in there. And the flames of fire is lapping around the bodies of those people. And their hands are outstretched like this. And the Mother will say to the little Nuns, "You'd better go and put another penance on your body. Those people are begging to get out of that fire." And because we're heathens, we don't know any better, I might go someplace in the convent and maybe I'll burn my body real bad. Maybe I'll torture it some way and spill some more blood, because as I suffer I believe they're going to get out of that place where a priest puts them.
And there are millions of people, so to speak, in Purgatory that your priest has put there. And when he knows that its the biggest fraud there is in the world... he knows there's not a bit of truth to it. And, bless your heart, I often say you take Purgatory Mass away from the Roman Catholic Church you'll rob her of nine tenths of her living. She'll starve to death, if you would take it away from her. She commercializes, not only off of the living, but off of the dead. And on and on it goes.
Alright. It doesn't bother the Mother Superior to take one of those dear, little girls... And, may I say, you know, when the priests come into the convents, they come as our Father Confessors. Once a month we go to confession. And we don't want to go, don't you worry. I many's a' time have gone in the very back row. I didn't want to go in there. I know who's out there. One of them... I may not know the particular man, but I know he's a priest. And I know those priests. I certainly have seen them enough. I've lived there long enough. I certainly have had contact with every one of them. And, I'll assure you this one thing, I don't trust one single one of those in the convent.
Now, we're not telling you about every priest. I don't know all the priests. I'm just talking about the Convent in my personal Testimony of Convent Life.
And, you know, we know something about what's out in that room. And, here we are, we know we're going to confession today. It may take all day long. And here he comes. And I have never seen a Roman Catholic Priest come into the Convent that I was in without intoxicating liquor under his belt.
And I say a man or a woman, regardless of who you may be, when you get liquor under your belt, you're not a man. Neither are you a woman. You become an animal and a beast.
And so we have a beast sitting out there. There a straight-back, hard-bottom chair. No other furniture but the Crucifix and the Virgin Mary. But here is he is sitting on that chair right out there in the middle of that room. Now here a little girl has to walk out there alone. And she has to kneel down. Think of it.
Why, bless your heart, I really, sometimes... I'm saved now. I'm out of the Convent, and I now look back at that Roman Catholic priest, and I often say, "I'm sure he was a twin brother to the devil," because he's full of sin. He's full of vice. He's full of corruption.
And we go out there and kneel down at his knees. Now, you're a lucky girl if you get away from that man without being destroyed. Why, he's drunk. He's a beast. He's not a man. Oh, he has a holy habit on. He's an ordained Roman Catholic Priest.
And so, I'll assure you, we don't like to go to Confession. But we must go once a month. And those little girls can't help themselves. And nobody comes out into that room but the priest and I. Until it's all over and then we can come back. And the next one will have to come. And, I'll assure you, we don't appreciate that day.
And those little girls don't know any better. They don't know anything about the plan of salvation. They don't know that Jesus went to Calvary and died for them. They don't know that He shed His blood for them. Those little girls know nothing about it, because to me, as I repeat again, the Bible was a hidden book to every one of the those little girls.
And so, now, they can do things like this. Now, if a Roman Catholic Priest comes into the Convent he may go to the Mother Superior and ask her to permit him to go into the cell where one of the Nuns are. And, you know, that Mother with her carnal mind and her carnal heart - and she's very hard and very carnal - and she is the mother, many times, of many illegitimate children - they belong to the priest... and, you know, she'll take that priest. And he's drinking - she knows it. They bring liquor in with them. Sometimes some of the Nuns will drink with him, and the Mother usually drinks with him. And it's really a terrible place, it is, not a religious order. It does not live up to that name whatsoever.
But here she brings that priest into one of our cells. Now, I wonder if you realize how serious it is. That Roman Catholic priest, he has liquor under his belt, we know that. But he has a big, strong body. He's had three square meals of food every day of his life. He can eat all the food that he wants.
But, you know, there's a little Nun that may have a broken body. And she may not have very much strength. And what did he come into that cell for? For nothing other than to destroy that little Nun.
I often say I wish the government could walk into a Convent just about the time one of those priests are let in the cell. The Mother will turn a key in the lock, and you're locked in there with that priest.
Now, we have no way to defend ourselves. And I often say - I've had to nurse those little girls - I'm an R.N.. I've got my nurse's training by going through the tunnel over to the hospital as I lived in an Open Order Convent. But, may I say, after that priest is taken out of there, if you could look upon the body of that little Nun, she looks like something you've thrown out in a hog pen. And a half a dozen old sows have just mauled that child's body. And this is convent life!
I can understand why your priests are calling over the phone every day or two and screaming their heads off because I'm in this city giving this testimony. But, may I say to you, I don't mind if they continue to scream. I don't mind what they do. I'm not one bit afraid of them. I'll continue to give this testimony - as long as God gives me strength I'll be giving this testimony regardless of your priests or your bishops in this country.
I know what I'm doing. I know what I'm saying. And I'm not afraid of anybody in all of this world. I'm a child of God. And I believe God won't let anybody put a hand on me until my work is finished. And then, I often say, I don't care what you do to my body after I leave this body. I'm sure I don't mind. And so I will continue to give the testimony regardless of what your priests think about it, because I think God saved me to pull the cover off of convents. I believe He saved me to uncloak those places that are riding under the cloak of religion. I believe that with all of my heart. I'll assure you I do.
Now, if I refuse to give my body - you know we're just supposed to give our bodies voluntarily to those priests. Many times the Nuns are overpowered. But if I refuse to give my body voluntarily to them, then you know he becomes very angry. And he goes immediately to the Mother Superior. Then when two carnal minds come together, they can invent things that you and I... we don't have enough evil in our heart to invent things like that. We don't have enough sin in our lives to even think up such terrible things. And when those two carnal minds come together, the next time, I want you to know, they're all ready.
Now, the Mother Superior might say to me in a day or two, we're going to do penance. Now the penance that they'll inflict on me is something that the Mother Superior and the priest have invented. And it can be very, very cruel.
They might take me down into one of the dirty dungeons. And there's no floors in those places. And, you know, they have a place down there - there are rods about three feet long. They have them, buried down into cement. And at the top of it there's a ring about this big, out, sticking out of the ground. They have some leather straps fastened there. And when they take me down there they put my foot, either foot, through those rings and then they strap my ankles securely.
Now, I'm standing with my feet in those rings. Alright, they're going out of there. And they're going to leave me locked up in that place by myself. And it's a dirty place. Well, I might stand there for two or three hours if I have strength enough in my body.
Well what do you think is going to happen to me then? I can't stand any longer. Sometimes we faint. Sometimes we just become exhausted and we go down. But when I go down it flips my ankles over like that, and I can't do anything about it. I don't have any strength for me to get up. I may have to lie in that position for two or three days and no one will come near. They won't give you a bite of food. They won't bring me one drop of water.
But I must stay there. And the next thing you feel is the bugs crawling over my body and the mice running over me. And I still have to stay there.
I can understand why they don't want me to uncover. They don't want the world to know these things are going on. No priest in this country wants it. And if he doesn't want the world to know it then they'd better be pretty careful that nobody ever gets out of the convent after they've spent a few years back there.
My God i greater than all the outside forces. My God can reach His hand over into those convents - this country or any other country - and make a way for a girl to come out and He won't have to ask the bishop to help Him. He won't have to ask the priest to help Him. But God can make a way for us to come out. I'll assure you of that.
Well, on it goes. Then sometimes the priests come and they get angry at us because we refuse to sin with them voluntarily. And you know, after awhile, the Nuns bodies' are broken after we're there awhile. And many, many's a' times to have him slap you in the mouth is a terrible thing. I've had my front teeth knocked out. I know what it's all about. And then he gets you down on the floor and then kick you in the stomach.
Many of those precious little girls have babies under their heart. And it doesn't bother the priest to kick you in the stomach with a baby under your heart. He doesn't mind. The baby's going to be killed anyway, because those babies are born in the convent. Why wouldn't babies be born when you run places like this under the cloak of religion? The world thinks it's religious orders.
And there are babies born in there. And most of the babies are premature. And many of them are abnormal. Very, very seldom do we ever see a normal baby.
You say, "Sister Charlotte, do you dare to say that?" I most definitely do dare to say this. And I intend to keep on saying it. Why? I delivered those babies with these hands. And what I've seen with my eyes and I've done with my hands... I just challenge the whole world to say it isn't true. And the only way they can ever prove it isn't true, they'll have to open - if they ever serve a summons on me, and call me into court, I'll assure you this one thing - convents are coming open. And then the world is going to know what convents really are.
BABIES BORN IN THE CONVENT
And they'll have to open them to vindicate my testimony, because I know what I'll do if they ever serve a summons on me. I've been before the highest laws we have in the United States. I know what I'm doing. I know what I can say. And I'm not one bit afraid to say it, because I've been a part of this. I've been connected with this system twenty-two years behind Convent doors. And it is a terrible thing.
--- a little Nun, looking forward to that day when her precious baby would be born. Most of you dear mothers.. Oh, you have everything ready. The beautiful nursery, all the baby's beautiful clothes you made. Everything is lovely. You're looking forward to that precious, little, immortal soul that's going to be born into your home. And everything is ready. And, oh, I would you could see that little Nun. She's not looking forward to that. There won't ever be a blanket around it's body. They'll never even - they'll never bathe that baby's body. But it can only live four or five hours. And then the Mother Superior will take that baby and put her fingers in it's nostrils and cover it's mouth and snuff it's little life out.
And why do they build the lime pits in the Convents? What is the reason for building it if it isn't to kill the babies? And that baby will be taken into the lime pit, and chemical lime is put over it's body. And that's the end of babies.
Oh, when I think about it! That's why I try to challenge people, "Pray." If you know how to pray, you know how to contact God, pray and ask God to deliver the girls from behind Convent doors. In other words, pray that God will make a way for every Convent in the United States to be opened and to let the government go in. And when the government goes in you won't have to worry. The Convents will be opened, the Nuns will be taken out and they'll be closed up just as they opened the Convents in old Mexico in 1934.
There are no Convents in old Mexico. Every cloister it is opened. And they found all of the corruption back there - the lime pits. If any of you are taking a vacation, go over into old Mexico. The government owns them. They're public museums. And go through the Convent. Look with your own eyes, touch with your own hands, and then come home and see if you believe my testimony. It'll stir every bit of that blood in your veins! I mean, it'll do something to you that nothing else has ever been able to do. Go through them and look at them. Go into the dungeons. Go into the tunnels. Go through the lime pits. Look at the skulls - rooms of skulls over there. And then ask the guides where they come from. And go and see all the devices of torture they placed upon the bodies of the little Nuns. Go into their cells and look at their beds, and see for yourself.
Oh, yes. You can go. It'll cost you twenty-five cents to go through each one of them. You look at those things, and see them for yourself, and then come home, and maybe it'll give you a greater burden to pray for little girls that have been enticed behind Convent doors by the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.
I wonder how you would feel if this was your child. And remember I have a mother and daddy, or had one. And they loved me just as much as you love your children. And when they let me go into the Convent, I'm sure my mother and daddy didn't expect these things to happen because they didn't know. They never dreamed a Convent was like this.
But, you know, I wonder how'd you feel if you could walk in someday and - out there in this particular room - that floor is built for this purpose. There's a partition right out there. And there's just a little thing they can touch - it automatically opens. And you know there's a deep hole underneath that floor. And this little Nun has done something. I can't tell you what she done, because I wasn't there when she done it. But she's done something. And to them it's very serious. And when they bring her, they bring her to this particular place. Her little hands and feet are going to be bound securely. They're going to drop her in that horrible, horrible pit. And then they're going to put the boards back down. No one will ever know. Oh, there's plenty of chemical lime down there. But, you know, they don't do that.
Six little Nuns have to walk around that hole. We'll chant as we walk around that hole. We don't want any evil spirits to come out into the Convent. So we sprinkle holy water over that hole. And we may walk for six hours. And then they'll appoint six more Nuns. And on and on it goes, until we hear the last moan. And that's the end of the little Nun they placed down there. No, she'll never be delivered from the Convent.
But does it bother you to know that that little Nun will die and be lost? Does that bother you? It bothers me, because I didn't know Jesus. I couldn't tell her about God. I didn't know Him, myself. But it bothers me very, very much. But God won't hold me accountable. Her blood will not be on my hands because I didn't know the Lord, and I couldn't tell her about it. And so on it goes.
Then I wonder how you would like to see it. Here we are, a body of those little Nuns. On this particular morning the Mother Superior might say this: "We're all going to be lined up here." And I don't know what she's lining me up for. And then, you know, there might ten of us. There might be fifteen of us, and then she'll tell us all to strip. And we have to take every stitch of our clothing off. We're certainly not anything beautiful to look at. Our eyes are back in our head. Our cheeks are fallen in. Our bodies are wasted. God only knows what we look like, because I never saw myself in twenty-two years.
I didn't know I had grey hair. I didn't know I had lines in my face. I didn't know how old I was. I only found that out about six years ago. You know nothing about what you look like.
And here we are lined up. And here comes two or three Roman Catholic priests with liquor under their belt. And there they're going to march in front of those nude girls and choose the girl they want to take to the cell with them.
These are Convents. Cloistered Convents. Not Open Orders.
MADE TO HATE
The priest can do anything he wants to and hide behind the cloak of religion. Then that same Roman Catholic priest will go back into the Roman Catholic churches. And there he'll say mass. And there he'll go into the confessional box and make those poor people believe he can give them absolution from their sins when he's full of sin. When he's full of corruption and vice. Still he acts as their god. What a terrible thing it is. And on it goes.
Well, I lived there. Now, all the time these things are going on, what do you think is happening inside of Charlotte? God love your heart, I didn't know people could hold so much hatred and bitterness. And it went on and on and on. I was filled with bitterness and hatred. And I mean it continued to build. I began in my heart to think, "When I can get the Mother Superior in a certain place, I'll kill her."
Isn't it awful to get murder in our hearts? I didn't go into the Convent with a heart like that. Nor a mind like that. But I began to plan murder in the Convent. How I could kill her, or how I could kill a Roman Catholic priest. And on and on it goes.
And, oh, I tell you, everytime she'd inflict something awful on my body that I'd have to suffer so terribly, when I could think sensibly again then I would begin to plan, "How could I kill that woman?" And on it goes.
Well, after all, you can't help it. For instance, I wonder how you would feel. The Mother Superior - here she is. And she's going to sit me down in a chair. And, you know, that chair is a straight-back, hard bottom. And I don't have any hair. She's going to take everything off my head. And, you know, she's going to put my hands like this - they'll be out here in stocks. And I'm going to have to bend my head over like that in order to put the stocks across my neck.
And I'm fastened securely. And over my head there is a faucet of water. And you know... there is a faucet of water just above my head. And my head's over. Now that Mother's going to turn that water on. Just a drop. And a drop will just come about this fast. It'll hit me right there on the back of my head. And, you know, I can't move either way. I sit there. One hour. Two hours. Three hours. Four hours. What do you think is going on? I'm sitting there. I can't move. I do everything to get away from that drop of water in the same spot on my head. Why, God love your heart, if you could look in, you'd see that I'm frothing at the mouth. You'd see those little girls, they're trying so hard to move. To get away from that water. And they let her stay there sometimes ten hours. All day long.
Many, many times a little Nun cracks up completely. She goes stark, raving mad under this particular penance. What in the world do they do with her? I'll tell you in a few minutes. Don't you worry. They have a place for her, after we go mad in the Convent. They take care of us. They have places for the little Nuns. There's places built down there for us.
A CHANCE FOR REVENGE
Well on it goes. Well, you know, these things went on and went on and went on. And it was terrible. But, you know, I began to plan and plan and plan. After she'd done something like that to me - it's terrible - one day the Mother Superior took violently ill.
You say, "Who would take her place?" There are about three, sometimes they have four, older Nuns. And they always pick the one that's hard. The one that seemingly is carnal - that one that has no conscience - to be a Mother Superior. And she works under this one. One day, if something happens to the main Mother Superior, another one will take her place. And on it goes.
But, you know, this particular day they sent word to me, "The Mother Superior..." I was to come into her room. She's very sick. And, quicker than lightning, I began to think, "If I got in that Mother Superior's room, I know what I'll do." You know, after all, I'm a sinner. I'm a Nun, but I'm a sinner. And I don't know God. And I have a lot of hatred in my heart.
And I walk in that room - they have called in an outside Roman Catholic doctor. She's a very sick woman. And he has left all orders. And they left the medicine and everything. Now, I'm supposed to take care of her. And that was wonderful. I do take care of her. All day long I did what they told me to do - what I'm supposed to do. And those particular tablets - I knew what they were, and what they would do and I knew what she was taking them for.
But anyway, all day long, I gave her her medicine. I done everything I'm supposed to. All evening long. Why? I want to be sure what I'm doing. What I do, I have to be careful.
And, you know, I waited until one o'clock in the morning. Why? Because every night those little Nuns have to be gotten up and go chant from seven minutes till twelve to one. I thought I'll wait til all the Nuns go back to bed then I'm going to do something. And, bless your heart, after they were all back in their beds, I'll tell you what I did. I took five or six of those tablets. I was only supposed to take one in a half a glass of water every so often and give it to her. But, because of the type they were and what type of tablet it was, I knew what it would do.
I put six of them in glass of water and stirred them up. And I gave them to her. I knew she would go into convulsions that would twist her completely out of shape. I knew that woman would suffer a million deaths within twenty-five minutes. I knew that. And I thought, "I'm going to watch her suffer, because she has punished us. She has hurt us so many thousands of times. I'll watch her suffer."
Isn't it terrible to think a child can live in a place like that long enough until she has the same kind of a heart, almost, the Mother Superior has. But that's what comes when sin gets in your life.
And so I waited. You know, I gave them to her. And something happened to me. I got scared. And I looked at that woman as she began to change color. And I couldn't find her pulse. I couldn't find her respiration. I was frightened. And I thought, "Oh, what shall I do?" If they find her dead, only God knows what they'll do to me.
I'll tell you what I did. I got that stomach pump and pumped as quick as I could. I pumped that woman's stomach. I massaged that woman. I done everything there was to do. And, oh, thank God she didn't die. I said, I thank God.
INTO THE LOCKED DOORS BELOW
But, you know, I sat down by the bed and held her hand, and watched her carefully until the respiration came back normal - until her pulse was normal and I felt she would live. And I thought of another thing. I'll do this, then. I saw where her keys were hid in her shelf right there in her own room. Saw them on a big chain or a big ring. And I thought, "I'm going to take those keys. I'm going down into that dungeon." There's a... when I say down, this is two storeys under the ground. I'm going someplace where she's always wandered. It's a solid wall like that. And clear up to the back end of that wall there's one door. And it's heavy. It's always locked. And I've heard her tell me scores of times, and I'm sure she has the others, "Don't ever try to go through that door."
What in the world is over there? And why does she tell us that? We can't get through it. It's locked. But, you know, I wondered what was back there. Because when they had me in the dungeon for a long time once, I heard screams under the ground. I heard such blood-curdling screams. And I knew there was some girls locked up somewhere. And so I'm going through there if I find the key.
And so I got her keys and I went into that particular place. And when I got back there - it took a while to do it, I want you to know, to find the key. But, oh, it did unlock that door. I walk through that door and I walk into a hall. The hall, I would say, was maybe five feet wide, maybe wider than that. That's just a guess.
And, anyway, on the other side of the hall there were a number of cells over there. Small rooms. And they had real heavy doors. And in those cells were little Nuns. And when I went up to the first one, near the top of the door there was a little place about this long, its about that wide, and it has iron bars going across there.
And I looked right into the face of a little Nun that I knew. One that I'd sit across the table from. One that I'd prayed with in the chapel. I knew that girl. And here she is. And they had chains and locked chains around either of her wrists. And around her waistline.
And I said, "When did you have something to eat last?"
And no answer.
"How long you been here?"
I went down to the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth. And the stench was getting so bad, I couldn't stand it. And, you know, those little girls would not talk. Why?
NUNS IN THE DUNGEON
And, you know, those little girls would not talk. Why?
I lived in the Convent, you know, a long time. I don't care if I was two miles under the Convent, way back there, we were working back there. And we'd whisper. The next day I'd have to suffer because the convents are wired. And the Mother Superior can hear every voice. Every whisper. And then somebody tells. And you're in some serious trouble.
And those Nuns had been there long enough. What had they done? I don't know. But those Nuns supposed to have cracked up mentally. And so they have to put them in those chains. And when they die, they can't fall down to the floor. They'll just drop in those chains and slump. When they go in there they don't give them any more food. --- that's a slow death.
And so, as I saw all of that, I became so sick from the terrible stench, because many of them are already dead. Now I don't know how long they'd been dead.
I came out of there and walked up back to this room where the Mother Superior was. And she was lying there sleeping. And I watched her carefully and she slept 'til the next day. Oh, long, long hours and didn't awaken. And when she did, she said, "I had a long sleep." And I said, "Yes." They let me take care of her for three days. And, you know, the third day... I don't know.
You say, "Did she ever find out you done that?" Well, not yet. I hoped she didn't while I was there.
HOPE OF ESCAPE
But anyway, in three days they put me out in the kitchen. In other words, when we go to the kitchen, six of us go for a six week period. And this particular time they put me out in the kitchen with five other little Nuns. What am I there for? I'm doing the kitchen work. I'm going to do all the cooking that's done out there, and take care of the work in the kitchen.
And so when I went out in the kitchen, we have a long table back here. And it's a work table. And our vegetables will be prepared for the soup. And that's what we were doing - all six of us.
And something happened.
Our kitchen is a very large room. And a very long room. Not as wide as it is long. And over at one end of it, you'll find over here the stair steps leading - about four - leading down into the landing right there. Over there is a big heavy outside door. But here, there's a landing. Our garbage cans sit there. And right here is a stairway - cement one - leading down one story under the ground. Now, I'm up on first floor in this kitchen.
Alright, as I'm in there, and we're there working, something happened. Somebody touched a garbage can. You know, all my Convent life we are taught never to break silence. We don't dare to make noises in the Convent. We are punished for them. And when something touched the garbage can, that's a noise. Who in the world... six others, and we're all together... who's touching the garbage can?
I reeled around, and they reeled around. And we saw a man.
And, you know, that man was picking up the full can, and leaving an empty one. I'd never seen that before. I've been in that Convent for years in the kitchen, but I never saw anything like that happen.
I believe God had His hands on me. With all my heart I believe it.
And you say, "What happened?"
Well, we turned around quickly because, to us, it's a mortal sin to look upon a man other than a Roman Catholic priest. Now, I mean, we turned around quick and went to our work.
But, you know, I thought, "If that man comes back again to get another full can, I'm going to give him a note and I'm going to ask him if I can run out with him."
But, I didn't do that. But, you know what I did? When we run out of something in the kitchen there's a pencil hanging up there on a chain. And, bless your heart, I have to, or whoever it is runs out, you have to write it on a tab. And of course I stole a piece of paper off of a sack. And I thought, "I'll carry that little piece of paper in my skirt pocket. And every time I can get a'hold of that pencil, I'm going to write a word or two on the note. And that's what I did. It took quite a while to do it.
But, oh, I watched that garbage can. Every time I could take the garbage down there I did. And, you know, when it was just about full, and I thought, "The next evening it'll be full when we put all the garbage in it." And so that afternoon, I broke my Crucifix, and I laid it up on a shelf. And I had a hard time doing it, because they're watching me. But I did it. And I laid it up on the shelf. And I did that to have a way to get back to that room, of course.
And when our dinner work is over, our supper dishes, everybody has to go out at the same time. And we march by the Mother Superior. And, you know, when I march by I stopped and said, "Please, may I speak to you?"
And I did. And I said, "Mother Superior, I broke my crucifix and I left it in the kitchen. May I go for it?"
And, of course, no Nun goes without her crucifix. And she said, "How did you break it?"
I lied to her. Everything she asked me, I lied to her. You say, "Why did you lie?" She lies to us. And we're all sinners, so we all lie. And it doesn't make any difference in there.
And so we lied. And I lied, too. Finally she said, "You go get the crucifix and come right back."
And that's all I wanted anyway. I have to have a reason. You can't go back into the kitchen after you left it.
And so I didn't go for the crucifix. But she thought I did, and run for this tin can. Why? That night when I put my garbage in there, I put a note right on top of that garbage and left the lid off, which I was not supposed to do.
And, you know, I said on the note to the garbage man, "If you get this, won't you please help me out? Won't you do something to help the little Nuns out?"
I told him about those nineteen cells down there, and those nineteen Nuns in them. I told him about some of the babies that had been killed. I told him some other little Nuns that are locked up in the dungeons and they're bound with chains. I told him a 'plenty. And I said, "Won't you help us? And if you will, please leave a note under the empty can."
That's what I went back for. And when I lifted up the can and found a note, you don't know how I felt. I froze to the floor. I was so scared I didn't know what to do.
I picked that piece of paper up and I read. And this is what that man said: "I'm leaving that door unlocked, and I'll leave the big iron gate unlocked. You come out."
OUTSIDE THE CONVENT
Oh, let me tell you, that's almost more than you'd ever... Why, I never dreamed I'd get out of the Convent. I never thought of ever getting out. I wanted out. But you say.. Oh, yes, I, when I collect myself, I reached over and turned the knob. And, do you know, it was open? I walked out of that Convent, and I slammed it to. I was sure the lock was on it. And I got out to the big iron gate. But, oh, he had me trapped.
That iron gate was just as locked as it was ever locked. You don't know what it done to me to stand there looking at the iron gate. And locked out of the Convent! I have no right out there! You can't imagine!
I don't know if I groaned right there. I don't know. I know I suffered enough, because I'm scared half to death. And what do I do if I go back and pound on that door? What will they do with me?
And, oh, the fear that grips your heart. And you say, "What did you do?"
I didn't have any shoes and stockings on. I'd worn those out years ago.
When I think of the Roman Catholic being the richest church in the world, and they let those little Nuns go winter and summer without any shoes and they're without any hose - living in crucial poverty - I wonder how they can do it. Hungry as we are. Your priests are all nice and fat. But little Nuns are so hungry. I wonder how they do it sometimes.
You say, "What did you do, Charlotte?" Well, I'll tell you I just took a hold of that big old iron gate and I tried to climb it. That's all there was for me to do. And up, about a foot and a half from the top, is a ledge about six inches wide. I thought if I could get high enough to get my knee on the ledge, I'm safe. And I did. I got one knee on the ledge, but by this time I don't have any strength left either. And, you know, I thought, "What'll I do? I'll put one foot over. Then I'll get the other over." Then I realized, you know, I had three skirts on. My skirts are gathered on a belt and they're clear down to my ankles. My veil, of course, is down to my knees in front and that long in the back. How will I ever get over those sharp points?
And I thought, "I can't go down. I don't have strength enough." So, I'll have to jump. And if I jump, I'll break every bone because I was broken in body, of course. And you know I thought of what I'll do. Well, I pulled all my clothing up around my body. And held them with one hand. And then I thought, "Ill have to jump."
And, you know, they have a buzzer in the convent. And when a little Nun tried to escape, and they catch her, they put a buzzer on. And, oh, the priests tell you they don't come to the convent. I would you could see the priests then. You'll find a good many of them there. And they are immediately are after that Nun. They don't want her out. If she comes out of that convent, she's going to give a testimony someday. And it'll pull the cloak off of convents. And I'll assure you they don't intend for us to get out.
And so as I let loose of the top of that gate and I made that jump, I just didn't make it. My clothing caught on top of those points and I hung there. But I'd let loose. And I often say, you know, I don't know what I looked like. I didn't know I had grey hairs. But I've often said, "Maybe my hair turned grey there." Maybe you'll never know what I'd suffered hanging there on top of that gate, knowing that buzzer can go on any minute. And then what would they do to me?
I was scared. So I thought I'd try to wiggle my body and swing it. If I could get back far enough to grab that gate with one hand, maybe I can help myself. And I did. And then with the other hand I tried to pry the snappers loose on my skirt. And they'd let me fall between them.
Do you know what happened to me? I hit the ground. I was out. I was unconscious for a while. I don't know how long. We have no way to tell. But when I came to, I had a shoulder broken, and my arm was broken right in here. The flesh - the bone had snapped right through my flesh because I didn't have any meat on me. I thought, "What'll I do?" And I realized I'm on the outside. "Where am I going?" Where do you think you'd go?
I'm not in the United States. I'm in another country. And I don't know a thing about that country. When they took me over there, I was so heavily veiled. And they took me from that particular cart or train to the convent. I was so heavily veiled I couldn't see anything. And I don't know where I am. I don't know where to go. I didn't know if I had any people. I didn't know if I had anybody in the world. And I'm a pauper. I don't have any money. And I'm hungry. And my body's broken. And I'm hurt now.
Where do you think you'd go? I tell you it's something to think about. I just started away to get away from the convent. And I did. And I started moving away. And all the leaves were falling, and they made so much noise. And I was scared. And I kept on moving. And finally dark overtook me - or rather - there's no twilight in that part of the country - it just drops off into darkness.
And, you know, I saw this little building beside the road. I thought I'd crawl in it. It was a doghouse or maybe a chicken-coop or something. But it's dirty. And I crawled in there because I was shaking and scared. And I laid in there for a little while to get a hold of myself. And then I thought, "I'll have to travel. It's dark. And it's safer for me."
So I got out and traveled that night. And the next day I hid behind pieces of board and tin that was piled up against an old building. And all day long, imagine, hiding in that hot place. And hungry as I was with broken bones. Do you realize what it's all about? No. You'll never know. But I do.
And then, you know, when night came again I have to go, because I'm going to get away from the convent. I'm afraid to rap on somebody's door. Remember, I'm scared. I don't know, I might rap on a Roman Catholic's door. They will immediately notify the priest and I'll be taken back to the Convent. And I'd rather they killed me than take me back. And so I didn't.
RESCUED BY A LOVING COUPLE
But I went on and on and on. And then the next night, or next day I hid out in an old straw stack. And then that afternoon on the third day, I was scared then, because this arm was swollen as tight as it could swell, and I was having to carry it in the other hand. And all my fingers began to turn blue. And I realized gangrene poisoning set in. And, you know, nobody to do anything for you. And I realized I'm going to die just like a rat beside the road. That's a terrible feeling. And I thought, "What'll I do? I'll just get out and go a little sooner. Maybe I'll have to rap on somebody's door."
That's what I did. I remember as I walked out, I don't know how far, I saw this lamp. It was an old-fashioned lamp burning. Very poor house. No paint on it. Now, I knew those were poor people. So I walked up to the screen door and I rapped on it. And a tall man came to the door. He was rather old. And I said, "Please may I have a drink of water?"
And do you know that old man didn't answer me. But he walked back into the house and he called his wife. And, God bless her heart, she's like most old-fashioned mothers. She came to the door, and she didn't say, "Who are you?" Or, "What do you want?" Thank God, there are a lot of good people in this world.
That dear little woman just pushed that door open and said, "Won't you come in and sit down?" Do you know that's the most beautiful music I'd ever heard in my life? I should say I'll come in and sit down!
And she pulled out a chair. And I sat down on it. I was glad to sit down. And, you know, their house was poor. There was no rugs on the floor of any type. A table cloth. Red-checkered table cloth on the table. A little old stove over there in the corner and there was a fire in it. And that woman put some milk in a pan and heated it and brought it over to me.
And, you know, I'm hungry. I don't have any manners. I forgot how to act. I forgot a lot of things in twenty-two years.
And I grabbed that glass of milk before she ever set it down. And I gobbled it down. I'm so hungry. I felt like I'm going stark mad. And I took it instantly. And the moment it touched my stomach, of course, I couldn't retain it. I lost it. I haven't had any whole milk in twenty-two years. You can understand why I couldn't take it.
And she knew what to do. She went out into the kitchen and she heated some water - or rather over to the stove - and heated some water. And, bless her heart, she put sugar in that water and brought it over to me. And she sat down and gave it to me from a spoon.
I took every bit of it. Oh, it was good. It was nourishing. And then the daddy walked over by me and he said, "Now tell us who you are and where you come from."
I began to cry. I was scared then. I said, "I run away from the convent and I'm not going back."
And he said, "What happened to you?" My hand was laying up on the table.
And I said, "Well, I tried to get over the gate and I fell and I'm hurt."
And, you know, he said, "We'll have to call a doctor."
And, bless your sweet life, then I really became hysterical. I got up from the table. I was going to run back outside and they wouldn't let me.
He said, "Wait a minute. We're not going to hurt you. You're hurt. You'll have to have help.
I said, "I don't have any money and I don't have any people. And I can't pay a doctor bill."
Of course, I was just in a terrible mess, if you want to know it. And that man said to me, "I'm going after a doctor." He said, "And he's not a Roman Catholic. Neither am I."
TO THE HOSPITAL
And that dear man didn't have a car, but he hitched up a horse and buggy. And he drove nine miles to get a doctor. The doctor came out in his car. And when he got out to the place - he got there ahead of the man. And when the doctor walked in and walked around me. He just kept walking around and he was swearing. Maybe he didn't realize it was a terrible effect on me.
When he stopped and looked at me... of course he was mad. He was mad. Why was he mad? He was mad because he was looking at something that was supposed to be a human being. And I didn't even look up to him, being I was in such a horrible condition.
So finally he calmed down and he came over to me and said, "I'll have to take you over to the Hospital tonight."
Oh, I became hysterical. I said, "I don't want to go. Please don't make me go."
And then he sat down carefully and took my hand. And he began to say, "I'm not going to hurt you. You have to have help. And I want to help you."
That doctor took me into the hospital that night and that's how I learned how much I weighed. He weighed me and I weighed exactly eighty-nine pounds. I weigh a hundred and seventy-eight right now.
And then, you know, he took me into surgery. And, of course, they tried to get the swelling and the inflammation out of my hand that they might do something for me. It took about twelve - thirteen - days.
And then, of course, by this time is started to knit, and they had to break it over again and put it in a cast. I did a lot of suffering.
Well, you know, one day, a way was made for me to be released from the hospital. Who did they release me to? I begged to go out with those old people to stay with them. And they let me go, because they'd been good to me and I trusted them.
And the doctor wanted to take me out to his home. I was in that hospital three and a half months. And they took me out there for a period of time. And then one day this same doctor, he
INTO THE BIBLE
And of course I was believing her.
Do you know what I'd do every night? I'd go home from church with that woman. I'd say, "You go to bed, but let me go to the basement." I'd lay my Bible down on a chair, and there I challenged God. And I'd say, "God, did you hear what the preacher said? Did you hear it, God?" And then I'd throw out everything I could remember that the preacher said.
I said, "God, you heard every word, didn't you, now, if you're God? And the Bible is the Word of God. And God you're real. I want what those people have. But if you're not God, and the Word of God is not your Word, then, God, please don't give to me what those people have."
Let me tell you, I challenged God. I put Him to a test. God will not give you anything that's not of God. Don't you worry.
And every night I continued to do that - four or five nights - and I didn't eat either. I couldn't sleep. And I've lost my appetite. And I was losing a lot of weight. It was terrific.
But, you know, one night, I come back to church. And out of the clear blue sky, right in the middle of that man's service, I just got out of my seat. And with both hands up in the air I come running right straight down an aisle like this and I fell in that altar and I cried out, "My God, forgive me for all my sins." I was a sinner.
I mean, God met me there! Praise His wonderful name! There was a pool of water on that floor. I was sorry for everything that I did in the convent. I stole potato peelings. I stole bread. I told lies. I called the Mother Superior names under my breath. And I want you to know that God met me down there and He forgave me of every sin there was in my life. And how I thank and praise Him for it. Praise His wonderful name.
God's been very good to me. Very good to me.
May I say to you, God means more to me than all the material wealth you have in this city. I'd rather have Jesus than anything you might have, because I've found Him to be the best friend that I've ever known. I can tell Him anything I want to tell Him, and he won't call you up and tell you what I told Him. I can sit at His feet and tell Him, every day of my life, "Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you." And every secret of my heart I can pour out to Him, and I don't worry about Him calling you up and telling you what I told Him.
He's the best friend you'll ever have. He's able to save you. He's able to deliver you. He's able to loose you from the things of this world. Set you free to know Him. Praise His name.
I have a wonderful God. I love Him--supremely. I'd rather have Jesus than anything that you might have. God is real in my life. Really wonderful. My God delivered me out of the convent.
Pray for me. I need much prayer. I'll be going places where it's predominantly Roman Catholic. I'll have to suffer much, but I'm willing to suffer for Jesus that I might tell someone about Him. And give my testimony of a dear little Nun that girls might be spared from convents. So, pray for me, won't you.
God bless you.
Charlotte Wells is the pseudonym for Charlotte Keckler.
Sister Charlotte Keckler - Part 1. You tube 58:03.
Sister Charlotte Keckler - Part 2. You tube 59:25.
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