I Escaped From The Yellow Deli

Thursday, June 1, 2006

My name is Karen Draper. I live in Utah now but lived in Chattanooga and stayed with the "Yellow Deli" people for several weeks before making my "escape."

I just found this website after hearing from one of my friends in Chickamauga, Ga., that "they were back." Ironically, she has an audio tape of me telling my experience back then. I can remember as if it were yesterday, and I can say I am really concerned that they are back.

I read their "history" page and was shocked that they justified their child-rearing practices by using biblical passages. I watched a mother sit at eye level with her child in a high chair with /a "stick" in her hand. The oatmeal was too hot for the child to eat and every time he put his hand out to touch the food she hit his hand with the stick. When i spoke up for her to stop, I was told abruptly that I wasn't there long enough to speak to anyone about their practices. I was informed that the children did not belong to the parents. They belonged to God, therefore, there was a schedule for child rearing and the parents did not have input on where their child was and with whom.



You gave up everything you had to the commune. All I had was an old bashed-up car and $70. I had no problem giving them my car, but I did not disclose the money I had because it was ALL I had.

They believed that anything in the "outside" world was evil and they drove me to Chattanooga State where I was attending to withdraw me. When I told my counselor what I was doing he just shook his head. I told him I found Jesus and these people loved me and were going to take care of me.

You would have to understand my situation at the time to understand how I was influenced by these people. I was 21 years old and just got out of a three-year abusive relationship renting a room in a house in St Elmo, no direction and no family to turn to. They told me what I needed to hear, they loved me and God loved me and I could come and live with them. When I became convinced, two members moved me out of my little room at 3 a.m. I was driven to their commune in Dalton, Ga.

I was very familiar with the Yellow Deli for I frequented their restaurants and loved their food. I thought they were a bunch of pot smoking hippies that loved each other and lived together. What I did not know was that they did not smoke pot and they didn't eat that wonderful food they served all the sinners. That was my first "red flag." Why did the children of God living with the Yellow Deli people eat crappy food while the sinners dined like kings and queens? They also did not allow us to eat food outside the camp.

One night I was so hungry for some protein I made a deal with the women I was out with if they would stop at Wendy's I would buy them all something to eat. The women were real paranoid that they would get into trouble. Our mission that night was to buy material for "head coverings" that the women wore. Thank God they went for it. We pigged out and had a blast. I promised them we would hide all the evidence so no one would get into trouble. As far as I know they {the hierarchy} didn't find out.

Their paranoia seemed valid as they told me the story about this young man that lived there. I can't remember his name, but he was kinda slow. He was the only one there at the time that was actually getting money from the outside. He was on disability. They found out he drank a coca cola and used his Dr. Scholls shoe and spanked him in front of the congregation. So, you can see how brave these women were to risk eating a burger, fries and coke. Geez, major sinners.

Anyway there is much more to tell, but I think you get my drift. Hopefully they have changed, but I doubt it very much. I believe there is a big difference between swatting the bottom of a youngster who runs out into the street and sitting there waiting for a child to do what comes natural to them and hit them and say it's disciplining and using the word God and the Bible to justify sadistic behavior. I sincerely hope the Yellow Deli people find once again that they can't "save" Chattanooga and leave your beautiful city alone. They prey on the discarded and lost. That is the way I felt when they found me. Fortunately, I had friends and enough knowledge of how I believed God would treat me and his children to know something was terribly wrong.

Oh, by the way, after my escape from the Yellow Deli, I went back to Chattanooga State and the administrative office had not processed my paperwork, so I was only two weeks behind and I did finish and received an A.S. in social workers assistance program.

Anyway if you would like to hear more please feel free to e-mail me back. If this information is going to the Yellow Deli people, my name was Karen Brown back then. I was the one that told Gene that your people were lacking in vitamin B, that their hair was dull, their faces were broken out in acne and they were working too many hours and not getting enough sleep. Maybe you'll remember this conversation. Maybe you'll remember that poor boy you whipped and is that child still with you guys? And remember little Rachel Tuttle. You told her parents that God would heal their child and not to take it to the emergency room which was in walking distance. When they finally went with their God-given intuition and took her she had double pneumonia and would have died if they hadn't taken her.

Go back to Vermont if they like you there. Leave Chattanooga alone.

Karen Brown Draper
kbeyre@yahoo.com


No More Money For Schools

Re: County Commission Told To Fully Fund County Schools Improvement Request Would Take 28 1/2-Cent Property Tax Increase; 78 School Personnel Would Be Added No. No way. Really, NO! is not a big enough word to express my sentiments here. Even the exclamation point doesn’t add enough to do the job properly.  Mr. Coppinger said, “They are saying if you do this, we’re ... (click for more)

Collegedale's Wreck Problem

Re: Speed Limits Being Lowered On Main Collegedale Thoroughfare  I just read your story on Collegedale lowers speed limit for main thoroughfare.  It's funny the city claims they will have TDOT put up dangerous intersection signs, because last summer when it was stated in a story (possibly not by your company) that they were dropping the speed limit from 55 to 50 on ... (click for more)

1 Person Shot On Wilson Street On Wednesday Night

One person was shot on Wilson Street on Wednesday night. The incident was near Orchard Knob Avenue. A section of Roanoke Street near the shooting scene was blocked off, with multiple police units at the location. (click for more)

Woman Tells Of Having Shots Fired At Her When She Walked Into Disorder At South Germantown Road Apartment Complex

Officer Joel Gunn of the Chattanooga Police Department and a woman who was fired at after she walked into the scene of a shooting testified in court Wednesday concerning the shooting at the Chateau Royale Apartments on South Germantown Road on April 22. Coy Sims, 48, was arrested by Officer Gunn after police were called by residents of the apartment complex. On the night of the ... (click for more)

Hurricanes Whip McMinn County, 9-1, In 5-3A Baseball

(Story will be updated) )CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Three times Jordan Gorman set the table. Nick Woods punched three hits to the outfield and drove Gorman home in the third, fifth and sixth innings, powering East Hamilton to a 9-1 victory over McMinn County in the opening game of the District 5-3A baseball tournament at Cleveland High School on Wednesday. The game was delayed ... (click for more)

District 5-3A Softball Tournament Plans Finalized By Coaches

District 5-3A softball coaches are now ready for the second season. They hope their teams are, too. At a luncheon to finalize plans for the district tournament on Wednesday, the opening pairings were set in stone and play will begin Friday with three games, each starting at 5 p.m. at the highest seeded team. Second-seeded Soddy-Daisy (24-7) will host No. 7 Bradley ... (click for more)