Hephzibah House

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Operationel status
In operation
Checked September 26, 2010

Hephzibah House is a behavior modification facility located on 508 School Street, Winona Lake, Indiana 46590. It offers spiritual treatment and confinement to girls, who have problems with temptations of teenage lives in general <Ref>Article on the homepage of the program</Ref>. Statement from their homepage:

Opposing Parents Is Opposing God's Authority

Survivors has compared the conditions at the facility as being of the standard characterizing the Roloff homes.

The program was established in 1970 by Dr. Ronald L. Williams.

The program last about 18 months. They can detain 15 - 25 girls at a time.

Program structure[redigér]

The girls are detained at an address couple of miles from the head office <Ref>The building - in fact a kind of church where the girls are detained. The garden seems to be fenced.</Ref>.

Admission process[redigér]

The admission process include a strip search, which is almost mandatory in the behavior modification industry. A male person claiming which should be have some kind of degree from health services perform a physical exam on the new girls. The webpage does unlike most professional programs in the industry not state what kind of a degree such a person have. The exam is done at the dresser room in the facility.

Emotional growth[redigér]

The girls are instructed to work on their on relationship with God. Social interacting with peers are not a part of the agenda. They operate with a talking list. The detained girls have to earn a place on the talking list. Otherwise the girls are not allowed to talk.

There is only designated talking time and only about approved subjects. girls are never to exchange personal info.

Eye contact is not allowed as the staff sees this is a form of communication.


The facility uses the Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.) workbook curriculum provided by School of Tomorrow <Ref>Accelerated Christian Education</Ref>. School of Tomorrow requries that just one person in an entire school be "certified" to use the curriculum. This certification is NOT from any state agency. It is issued by School of Tomorrow. This enables schools to use the curriculum without having any certified teachers by the State.


  • Letters: All incoming and outgoing letters are read and screened. Letters are to and from parents, sibling, and pastor only.
  • Phone: There is one monthly phone call to the parents of the detained girls. (NO Incoming calls are ever allowed). The monthly call is monitored at all times and it lasts 10 minutes. The staff will terminate the call, if any convrsation is deemed inapporpriate.
  • Visitation: The detained girls will recieve one visit from the their parents after about 3 months. There will be 2 to 3 other visits with parents and siblings after that. There are no off-campus visits during the entire program. During these visits a staff person is present at all time and the visit will end if the detained girl will bring up subjects about the character of the program.


This facility use corporal punishment

The nick-name for the paddle is called the "Rod of God" according to a statement on Fornits Webforum <Ref>hephzibah house/indiana, a thread on Fornits Webforum</Ref>.

Meals can held back until chores assigned to the individual girl has been done properly.

In the news[redigér]

June 2008 a group of former detainees held a demonstration in front of the Kosciusko County Courthouse <Ref>Former Students Demonstrate Against Local Boarding School, Times-Union, June 12 2008</Ref> <Ref>Former Hephzibah House students protest, Fox28, June 13 2008</Ref> <Ref>Strong accusations against Hephzibah House, Fox28, June 14 2008</Ref>.

External Links[redigér]

Info pages[redigér]

Survivor groups[redigér]

Message boards[redigér]


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