Interview with Helen Bevel
The following is the text from an interview by a person who chooses to remain anonymous and Helen Bevel, the wife of Reverend James Luther Bevel and the mother of Aaralyn Mills. This interview took place during April, 2010.
Interviewer - Good Afternoon. I’m so glad you have agreed to this interview.
Helen Bevel – Well I’m looking forward to it. Thank you for asking.
I – Now, Mrs. Bevel..
H – You can call me Helen
I – Okay, Helen you were married to Reverend James L. Bevel and the two of you had six children is that correct?
H – My late husband and I had five children, three girls and two boys. I had a daughter when I met Bevel.
I – Where you and Rev. Bevel divorced?
H – Yes, however in our tradition divorce like marriage is really just a piece of paper. I mean we were married 13 years before we made it legal in 1981. So the divorce didn’t end our marriage although many people based on the cultural norm believed we did, and acted in that manner.
I – So are you saying that in your tradition marriage is forever even though you may go thru divorce proceedings, other legal marriages, etc.
H – Yes, that is what I am saying. Marriage is an agreement and the agreement does not depend on paper or legal structures. It’s between the parties and God.
I – So what agreement did you and Rev. Bevel have?
H – Well, we agreed that the society as it is is based on a violent foundation which was rooted in the people that make up the society (including ourselves). So the next agreement was that each of us would work to eradicate from our self all aspects of the society and create a new society or system of relationships that is built on being healthy (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) and nonviolence.
I – Sounds like this agreement would include many others.
H – Yes, that is true; we further agreed to have children and to raise them to be healthy and nonviolent.
I – So excuse me for my bluntness, but wasn’t Rev. Bevel accused and found guilty of engaging in incest with one of your daughters as a minor? Did that nullify the agreement?
H – I can see how you would come to such a conclusion however, I said the agreement takes into account that we were born in sin and shaped in iniquity or a violent society and that we would work to get the violence out of ourselves. Incest and all sexual perversions are a part of this violent society. I mean no child is born a criminal. Criminal activity is something you learn. It is learned behavior not nature’s plan. Uprooting the particular malady and finding means and methods for doing this is a work in progress.
I – Do you believe that pedophilia or sexual offenders can be rehabilitated. It is a belief in the society that they can’t be healed.
H – Again the violent society has a lot of dead ends that say something can’t be done. Where there is a will there is a way, and whatever the mind of man can conceive, the mind of man can achieve. I believe that a person can be restored to the state of purity and innocence that they came to the planet with and let me add the level of health. And in that I believe this is achievable.
I – That’s interesting. How would you know if a person has overcome pedophilia? Do you chance them interacting with a child and abusing another one?
H – Well, there maybe several ways, but I know bio-feedback is one sure way. You just connect a person up to the electrodes and show them pictures of children and if they have the problem after therapy then it will show up on the register. I mean I never agreed with alcoholics anonymous (once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic). Alcoholism has a cause and the cause can be known and eliminated leaving the person whole once again. Alcoholism is not the norm, but a malady that has taken the person away from the norm. As a violent society violence is the norm and you have to understand this.
I – I hear you; I will have to do some research on biofeedback to determine the validity of what you said.
H – The lie detector test is based on bio-feedback. And let me say that “All truth carries proof.”
I – Okay. So I understand that it was your daughter that pressed charges against her father. Do you have any animosity towards Bevel for what he did?
H – I once did. It took a long time for me to overcome my hatred and animosity. There was even a time when I plotted to kill him. Once I had the means, my compassionate nature kicked in and I just wanted to see him healed. I realized that I had been forgiven for having murdered my unborn child once (abortion), which I consider a worse crime than what he did. I mean I took a child’s life, so that the child would never see the light of day. He ruined a child’s life with the possibility of her being able to heal herself. So God forgave me for my sin, who was I to not forgive another. My greatest regret is that he never experienced living void of the lie, guilt, shame and fear around what he did.
I – The lie, what are you referring to?
H – Well, Bevel never acknowledged that he did what he did.
I – Are you sure that he did do it. I mean considering his record of achievement one would have to question if he were set-up or whether there was a conspiracy to destroy his character, which is what he said happened.
H – There is a scripture that states, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemy to be at peace with him.” There is no doubt in my mind that he molested our daughter.
I – Why do you say that?
H – Well we raised our children to tell the truth. One of the only things they would get in trouble for was lying. Our daughter would never concoct a lie on her father, she loved her father and if she said he did it, he did it. Our daughter had a rich relationship with her father beyond the sexual input he imposed. They had a real father-daughter relationship.
I – What do you mean by a real father-daughter relationship?
H – I mean a relationship where daddy makes sure that you get up on time for school and have breakfast that he cooks. Where he takes you shopping, helps you resolve conflict with siblings and other, gives you good advice and engages in meaningful work projects with you. This is what I mean.
I – So you are saying that Bevel lied.
H – Yes he lied and he did not have the courage or the needed support to tell the truth.
I – What support would he need to tell the truth?
H – Well, we created an environment for our children whereby they could tell the truth without fear of punishment. The truth about anything would call for a discussion and examination of what ever the problem was. Bevel did not have any support for telling the truth. In fact many of those around him before and during the trial acted like sycophants. They would not even consider that Bevel had erred and examine all the facts. They just acted as if he needed there protection and went on to create a conspiracy theory. It is said that a good death is one where a person gets to speak the truth about themselves and reconcile with those close to them.
I - So your children were raised to tell the truth?
H – Yes. Now Bevel was not raised to tell the truth. In fact as a Black man, in order for him to maintain his life he had to tell a lie. Telling the truth was against the law just like reading.
I – What do you mean, please explain that.
H – Black men had to lie and act like it was alright when there mothers, wives, daughters and others were raped or murdered. They had to lie and pretend that they went along with White folk’s insanity. Bevel was born on Joe Peu’s Plantation in IttaBena, Mississippi, and he learned all the mannerisms of the plantation, as did everyone in the south. Of course there were some brave souls who knew the true and living God that garnished the respect of some White folk, but by and large the majority were afraid to stand up and speak and be the truth.
I – Really?
H – Yes, now when you study the plantation system you find a number of maladies that people suffer from having there origin there. The prison industrial complex is no different and the so-called justice system is not about justice but punishment. Incest has a foundation in slavery and the plantation system and sexual perversion permeates the penal systems. There is no justice and no avenue for people to be truthful, lest they accept punishment which is cruel and inhumane.
I – How is incest connected to the plantation system?
H – Well, slaves did not have the luxury of pursuing relationship on other plantations. I mean Tom, couldn’t say, “Master Joe, I’m going over to Master Sam’s Plantation to court Ms. Sue.” No, this was not possible. Slaves on a plantation had to release their sexual energy with those who were on the same plantation and most often those were relatives, especially on the small plantations. So incest proliferated. This practice didn’t just go away in the people living in the 21st century or after the Civil Rights Act or The Right to Vote Movement. There has been no therapeutic process to eradicate the trauma, ills and injuries that slavery produced for over 400 years here in the Americas. These landmark agreements which Bevel was greatly instrumental in forging were not therapeutic; they were social contracts that had limitations. Inbreeding on the plantation became the norm. The only time plantation occupants got to mate outside of family members was when the stud (who was taken from plantation to plantation) showed up or when the females were taken to the horrendous stud farms, or when the master, his sons, or the overseer or visiting White male raped the Black woman. So this type of interaction is a learned behavior which became acceptable. There is a lot of guilt and shame around it, especially when a person like Bevel realizes that it is not acceptable in the larger society, however what could he do. When you are raised to act a certain way from childhood, even if it is bad behavior, other than a therapeutic process being engaged in to correct the behavior it consists. If you were raised to speak Spanish and found yourself being punished if you spoke Spanish, you would have to learn Spanish and still your English might slip sometimes while talking.
I – I can see a lot in what you are saying. So Bevel was a product of the plantation system and incest was acceptable.
H – Correct.
I – Well, didn’t he know it was wrong?
H – I’m sure a part of him understood this, but there was the other part that was a victim of incest and sexual molestation that had not been healed. He was a victim as a child.
I – Are you saying that he had two personalities?
H – Maybe more. I believe he had many personalities.
I – How did you come to that conclusion?
H – I lived with him for 15 years. We lived together, worked together, traveled together. Most times we were inseparable. In that time I got to see a lot, but I never saw the sexual perversion. That part of him didn’t come out around me except if you look at his wanting many wives.
I – So you didn’t know he was incestuous is that correct?
H – When I met Bevel I was 22 years old and had lived a pretty sheltered life. He was 35 and completed a major part of his movement work. I didn’t know incest or sexual perversions existed. So if it did show its ugly head I probably would have been ignorant of the signs and symptoms. I was shocked when I found out about what he had done to our daughter and developed amnesia because I couldn’t cope with it. I could not understand how he could have done. It took me years and therapy to come to grips with it, just the possibility much less the acceptance that he did it. I had gotten to know the personalities of the great liberator, the problem solver, the clinician, the brother, the husband, the father the giver, the advisor, the orator, the preacher, the teacher, the farmer, the historical figure, the philosopher, the nonviolent scientist, the angry man, the physically abusive man, the man who could curse like a sailor, and the sexually promiscuous man. In my wildest dreams I could never have imagined that he would have a desire to have sex with a child. Practically every women that he met would throw herself at him, so he had a lot of women to choose from all the time. The word enigma would adequately define Bevel.
I – How is your daughter doing?
H – She is still healing as is all of our family. The trial, family disputes and breakups all of that was quite an ordeal. My daughter did what she had been told to do by her father. He told her to never let anyone oppress her and if someone tried to then she was to do whatever had to be done to eliminate the oppression. She is very brave and was torn in having to take her father to court. She and her siblings (many from other wives) attempted to reason with him outside of court, but he had pride which the Bible says goeth before a fall.
I – What lesson did you get from all of that?
H – More than anything I saw the workings of God who has shown by the example of Bevel that no matter who a person is they are fallible and subject to be in error. Man is not to be worshipped. Any good works that man (male/female) do are under the auspices of God who is due the credit. In addition I see how God put this impediment on Bevel so that the world would be forced to look at the sexual abuse of children and do something about it. I mean what more vivid example of this problem is there? The fact that it could exist in a man like Bevel is evidence that all of us, our children and future generations are not safe. Can there be a more vivid example than a man of Bevel’s caliber and achievements?. If he didn’t have this impediment he would have been damn near perfect. I like to say, “A flawed diamond is better than a perfect brick.” Bevel was a diamond that was flawed, and yet even in this state he was able to create a revolution that aided in the growth and development of man towards a nonviolent civilized status. Those who throw stones at him, need to look at their lives and wonder, what have I done in my unflawed (brick like) state. “He who is without sin let him cast the first stone.”
I – So you see all of this as an act of God?
H – Yes, God can take anyone and use them for his good work. Bevel did good works during his life; most of it was directed at healing himself of the ravages of slavery. He worked to overcome the limitations and injuries that injustice wrought. He however was incapable of overcoming his sexual addiction, because the society had not advanced a therapy capable of healing sexual perversions. So he suffered all of his life. He never knew peace, justice or forgiveness, nor the honor that is due someone who has given so much and this is the saddest part of all. Bevel set-up nonviolent clinical contexts, which I now understand more clearly now. He was seeking to heal himself. He constantly challenged himself on his lust and promiscuity. He questioned his actions and the actions of those around him. He had few peers in this. He crucified himself daily, but I didn’t understand what was at the root of his strivings and searching. He didn’t want lust to control him, but he was incapable of uprooting it because the therapies capable of doing this were not available to him.
I – Yes, Reverend Bevel did a lot of good in his lifetime, I must agree. A lot of his good works are not even known.
H – This is true. Most of the credit that is due him is given to Dr. King who was the spokesman for the organization and others, whereas Bevel was the man behind the scenes initiating actions, organizing people, teaching nonviolence, refusing to compromise, and maintaining the nonviolent posture until demands were met.
I – I heard that you are writing a book about Bevel, is this true?
H – Yes I am writing a book call “The Luthers, James and Martin, Bevel and King.”
I – Why Luther?
H – Because both of their middle names are Luther.
I – Oh, what a wonderful title and I can’t wait to read the book.
H – I am asking anyone who knew the two of them together or separately to share their experience so that I can make it a part of the book.
I – You just published two other books recently is that correct? Please tell me about them.
H – I just published two books that are available at lulu.com. They are “LunaQueen, The Divinely Feminine Art of Using A Lunar Charting Calendar For Self-Care” and “LunaQueen, The Journey From Lunatic To LunaQueen.”
I – Interesting titles. What are they about?
M – These books are designed to challenge females at their core to take a look at how their actions have led to the crisis in the world today. Females are very powerful being and our power for the most part is being used unconsciously to the detriment of all. For example females say they want to be free, however freedom entails responsibility. How can females claim to be responsible when the only so-called achievement in forty+ years is hailed as Roe vs. Wade or the right to murder and unborn child. Females waste money, time, energy and resources fighting for a so-called choice that is merely a reaction to a failure to plan. Choice does not take place after the sex act but before. Everyone knows that sex can lead to conception so the choice has to be made before the sex act, with a conscious plan as to whether to achieve or avoid conception. This is a choice that is both responsible and empowering, and it is a primary choice.
I – Didn’t you say you had an abortion earlier?
H – Yes, this is how I got involved in this line of work. I had to do recompense for my actions. There is always a price to pay for error. Mine is to bring consciousness of the unconsciousness in females that cause these things to happen. The first book provides females of all ages with a lunar charting calendar that can be used to study the self and to empower the self. It also provides a curriculum in principled living. The second book provides females with proof of lunacy and a means for examining lunatic actions and changing them to LunaQueen actions.
I – What is a lunatic?
H – A lunatic is a female or her son that is influenced by external forces with no understanding or knowledge of these forces as a result of a lack of self knowledge. You see, you can’t control what you don’t know.
I – Okay, what is a lunaqueen?
H – A lunaqueen is a female who makes knowing herself and mastering her emotions a priority, thus gaining self-control.
I – Sounds very interesting, I will have to get my copies, and I encourage all of you listening to this or reading it to do likewise. Well Helen, our time is up. I have thoroughly enjoyed this interview and I hope we can do it again in the future. Do you have some closing remarks?
H – First of all let me thank you for asking for and making this interview possible. I have enjoyed it also. In closing I would like to encourage people to take knowing themselves seriously. The world changes when individuals change. The greatest change is the change that happens within, this is what we have the power to change. We must stop looking at other people and trying to get them to change when we can’t control one cell in our own body. Forget about controlling others, make control over yourself possible. Know yourself, love yourself, and control yourself. I also want to invite readers to visit me on blogtalkradio.com at the Myeka-Live show.Thank you.