19-year-old Alecia Faith Pennington is a friend of mine. She left home at age eighteen, with the help of grandparents and other relatives and friends.
As a result, her family has called her a “runaway teenager” and other things, accused her of betraying them, labeled some people who gave her advice as “godless and foolish”, and in general acted in rather manipulative ways. I know some members of her family personally so I have firsthand experience with how they handle people who believe differently from them. They handle it badly.
They seem to be so deep into their fundamentalist cult that they’re totally out of touch with reality…you know, where adults actually leave their parents’ house and get jobs and start their own lives. Their children don’t have birth certificates or social security numbers, which seems to be a strategy for exerting control over the kids even after they become adults.
They claim they have offered to help her, but their help is conditional on her following their rules. They don’t want to help her establish her own adult life, they want to control her by using her civil rights as leverage.
Now she’s kind of stuck, trying to find a way to prove her citizenship so she can get on with her life.
UPDATE, 11/5/2015 – Faith has triggered a new law in Texas, through her testimony and the help of a state representative, and she now has a birth certificate!