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Deep Study: Physical Abuse

Some say that William Branham's strongest statements against women started to surface during the latter part of his ministry. But if you examine the messages promoting physical abuse, you will begin to ask yourself if there were deep-rooted psychological issues long before his ministry started. All of the statements promoting injury and molestation have one thing in common: they are describing the beating of women.

His instructions for abuse went far beyond normal child correction, and often included instructions for the wife:

Now, you can take some of these little two-by-fours if you want to, but that's what God said. That's what Christ said. Now, that's the truth. Oh, God be merciful. What must the great Holy Spirit think when He comes before the Father? You say, "Why you picking on us women?" All right, men, here you are. Any man that'll let his wife smoke cigarettes and wear them kind of clothes, shows what he's made out of. He's not very much of a man. That's exactly right. True. He don't love her or he'd take a board and blister her with it. You know that's the truth. Now, I don't say that to be smart. I'm telling you the truth. That's right.
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Branham would often describe how he would beat his daughters if they were caught sunbathing, and offer praise to others who would do the same to their children. His tool of choice was a "barrel slat," which is a thick piece of wood used to construct whiskey barrels. Interestingly, a company that produces these barrels is within short distance to his home in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

He would often describe the after-effects of the beatings, rendering the woman bedridden for several months or having skin so badly beaten that they could not clothe themselves. Usually these statements were followed by either praise for the beating or telling the congregation that they should do the same.

Sadly, some have.

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Branham's statements promoting abuse:

Now, you can take some of these little two-by-fours if you want to, but that's what God said. That's what Christ said. Now, that's the truth. Oh, God be merciful. What must the great Holy Spirit think when He comes before the Father? You say, "Why you picking on us women?" All right, men, here you are. Any man that'll let his wife smoke cigarettes and wear them kind of clothes, shows what he's made out of. He's not very much of a man. That's exactly right. True. He don't love her or he'd take a board and blister her with it. You know that's the truth. Now, I don't say that to be smart. I'm telling you the truth. That's right. What must the Holy Spirit think?
58-0324 HEAR.YE.HIM

Walked down on the beach there and there laid them women professed to have the Holy Ghost, laying out there, stretched out before men in bathing suits. Hmm. Brother, this might make you vomit, but let me tell you something. I've got a girl coming on myself. I said, "What are you doing, lady." I said, "Isn't that — your father a minister?" Said, "Yes, sir." I said, "Well..." Said, "I'm getting a suntan." I said, "If my girl ever stretches herself out like that, she's going to get a sun tanning, but it is going to be Charlie Branham's son, give her a tan with a barrel slat and bring her home." That's right. I'd tan her. She'd... Well, she'd remember it a long time too. Amen.

And she pulled out a cigarette. She just shows her colors, what she is, when she does it. Now, let your face get red. And you men that'll let your wife smoke cigarettes, it shows what — who's the boss around the house. That's right. Let them lay out here in these little old beach clothes and things, lay out here before men stripped down... I've got a girl at home. She might lay out to get a suntan too. But brother, if she does, she's going to get a son-tan. It'd be Charlie Branham's son with a barrel slatbehind her, bringing her home just as fast as I can bring her. That's right. I'll give her the kind of son-tanning she needs. Yes, sir. I mean that. God give us some good old... You talk about the literacy of Kentucky over here, where some of them old mammies would go back there and raise their young'ns... Why, it'd make you feel ashamed of yourself, then say, "They're ignorant." What's the matter with you? Oh, it's just...

I said, "Yes, ma'am." She gave me the bill. I marked it paid. Started to hand it to her, and one of these here old jig dancers, or ever what it is, come on with that, sawing that fiddle and carrying on, and playing some kind of a little old boogie-woogie music ever what it was; and that girl put on a little old clothes there, about enough to wad a shotgun, and it was pitiful. Listen. I got two girls, and if — if they call suntan. If one of mine, if God lets me live, she'll get a suntan if she puts it on, but Charlie Branham, my daddy's son, will give her the tan with a barrel slat just as hard as I can give it to her. That's the kind of a tanning she needs. Absolutely. Out there like that, no wonder the corruption of the world. How can you men and women... You men...

What the trouble of it is today, we need some old fashion mothers like we used to have. That may sound a little flat. Up in Kentucky, they told me one time, said, "Brother Billy, ain't you from up in Kentucky?" Said, "Yes." "There's where the illiterate people live." And I said, "That's right. I'm one of them." But I want to tell you something. You take one of them old mammys up there, might not know how to... all the mathematics and so forth, might — she might not have her name in the Who's Who here on earth. But I just imagine she's got her name in Who's Who up there. That's right. Let her daughter stay out all night and come in the next morning with her make-up all over her face and her hair twisted sideways, out drunk somewhere. You know what she would do? She would teach her a lesson with a barrel slat. That's right.

Let me tell you something. You let one of their girls go out and stay all night, come in the next morning, the way some of yours does, brother, I mean there'd be a difference in that family. Yes, they sure would. She'd about blister her all over that hillside with a tobacco stick or something. You know that's the truth, and then you call her illiterate. Look. I got two girls too, I don't know what they'll come out. I see them laying out, stretched out in these yards even around here. Didn't think the south would ever allow that. I was surprised. Laying out on the streets, them little old clothes on, getting a sun tanning... My, kids might do that; I don't say they won't. But, brother, they'll get a son-tanning, but it'll my father's son, tanning with a barrel slat, as hard as I can, bringing them in. That'll be the kind of tanning they'll get. And that's what we need today, some more old fashion, God-sent Holy Ghost, that can...?... baptizing of the Spirit of God. Where the Word, preaching under the Blood a Christ-centered thing that separates. Christ hates sin. The Holy Ghost hates sin. No wonder people hate sin. No wonder people hates the Holy Ghost, I mean, is because they can't love Light when they're walking in darkness. Amen. That's true, and you know it's true.

That's what they were doing in Sodom and Gomorrah. The natural use our bodies... The men become so plain to women today, there's not even respect. They'll hardly take off their hat, men will in front of women, and they have no respect for them at all. What did it? The women done it theirself. And you all talking about juvenile delinquency and things. I think it's parent delinquency. Some of you let your girls go out and run around all night with a cigarette-smoking, cocktail-drinking party. Come in the next morning with her clothes half off her, old make-up all over her face and that, And you call the Kentucky mothers ignorant. Write her patch down with those Dogpatch, Lil' Abner, and make fun of the Kentucky mothers. That's some of my people up in there. Let one of them girls...?... it up there and, brother, I'll tell you, she wouldn't get out of bed for six months. She'd take a hickory limb and beat what clothes she had left on her off. And if you had something like that back in the church today, you'd have better. Amen. God give us the old time mothers. I've got two girls coming. I don't know what they'll be.

And I've see them laying out on the beaches half naked before man stretching themselves out there, say they get a sun-tanning. Brother, I — I may not live. But if God lets me live and keep my right mind, if one of mine does it, she'll get a son-tanning. It'll be Mr. Branham's son with a barrel slat behind her. She'll be tanned all right. She'll know where it come from too. Yes, sir.

What we need today is some good old fashion mammy's that would... I said I got two girls; they may lay stretched out, one of them one time too to get a suntan. They'll get a son-tan. But it won't be from that sun out there; it'll be with Mr. Branham's son with a barrel slat just as hard that I could reach them. They'll have a son-tanning all right. That's right. Be my father's, son doing it too. Yes, sir, it's a shame how you let down the bars.

And now, some of you talk about the illiteracy of the hillbillies up in Kentucky there. But how the old grandmas with their long bonnets and things on... You know what? They could teach some of you city people how to behave yourself. That's right. Your little Martha Ann come in of a nighttime, and mess-up all over her face, and half drunk, and smoking a cigarette, and blowing it through her nose, and the stomp her foot, and scream at you. Let her do that to one of them old Kentucky mammys one time. She'd top a hickory, boy, or take something, or a barrel slat. When she got through, she'd know who was mammy around there. If you'd do that, you wouldn't have so many wrong men, and boys and girls in the world tonight. Let one of them strip theirselves in some these old dirty clothes like you let your kids wear out here, little old shorts, and ever what they call them. And let them one time. Uh-huh. You would find out how illiterate they were. She'd beat her till she'd be so full of welts, you couldn't get the clothes over the top of them. That's what needs to be done tonight. That's right.

Brother, sister, let me say this in my closing remark: That only remedy back again is for... You'll never... You can preach it to the people; I've done it for years. And the holiness church, the women continue to bob their hair. Every year they let their girls wear these little old shorts and things out on the streets. And then a boy will say something to her, insult her; and you, papa, you want to put the boy in jail. Brother, you're the one that needs to go for letting her go out like that. That's exactly right. And she'll get out here on the beach somewhere and stretch herself out to get a suntan in the backyard, or out somewhere with one of those clothes on, just a towel laying over her or something, and somebody make a remark about her and you'll think, "Oh, well, the little darling wanted her suntan." Listen. I've got two girls; they're little yet. I hope I live to see them women. And if one of them ever stretches herself out like, they'll get a son-tanning, but it'll be Mr. Charles Branham, my father's son, giving them a tanning with a barrel slat. And they'll really have one that they'll remember a long time too. I'm...

What we need... It's not juvenile delinquency; it's parent delinquency. It's because that the parents has neglected. And a whole lot of it is the way the church never preached it. What's the matter, brethren? Get back to the Gospel; preach old-time holiness and get it into the church again. We must have a standard.

And you come out and find Christian women laying out on the beach to get a tan. Well, I got two girls here tonight. I don't know what the future holds, but if I ever catch one of them, when she's a young woman, laying out on a beach to get a tan, she'll get a tanning all right. It won't be from the sun, it'll be Charles Branham's son with a barrel slat in his hand bringing her home, making her jump every time.

And so, I could imagine getting their little low neck waists and low backs and you know, like they do in these parties they call it evening gowns or whatmore. You know, one time in the Baptist church, I was preaching. And I've always... I've got a little piece of paper I saved out. I — I think it was out of a "Reader's Digest." They said a woman that would strip her clothes on the streets like that, in front a man, disgraces the whole woman race. That's right. It degrades them. No wonder we don't have no respect no more. They've brought it on themselves, dressing themselves out on bathing suits and getting the suntan back, they call them. I got two girls. I don't know whether I'll live, or not, that's to God. If they ever stretch themselves on a beach for a sun tan, they'll get a son-tanning; it won't be from that sun, but it'll be from Mr. Branham's son, with a barrel slat, bringing them in just hard as I can. Oh, it's a disgrace to think that our nation is polluted.

And there's nobody ever deliberately walked into sin without God warning them first. Something will tell you. Tonight there's a many a young girl out listening, and the wolf slipping up on her. You know, they got it, what they call the wolf whistle, they... the wolf whistle. And they'll whistle at these young girls. And they'll go out on the street and put on clothes that isn't becoming to a young lady. And shame on you mothers that'll let them do it. Talk about the illiteracy of Kentucky where I come from: some of those old mammies up there, you let her girl go out and do that, she'd blister her from one side to the other with a barrel slat. That's right. But, oh, you think she's popular. You learn her how to tap dance, and do all these little things, and put the clothes on her like that, and then she comes up in disgrace, you are to blame. That's exactly right.

Some of you call these old Kentucky mothers up here, how illiterate Kentucky was. Them old mammies up there, with an old sunbonnet on like that, and talk about her being so illiterate and don't know her abc's. She might not be so classy, but I tell you, let one of her daughters come in like some of yours some night, clothes twisted off of her, and lipstick all over her face, and her hair all mangled up. She won't say, "Did you have a great time, darling?" She'd grab a slat off of something, and she'd — she'd know the last time she went out. And then you call it illiteracy. Yeah. That's it.

Get up high. That's what you have to do in the spiritual atmosphere. Don't stay down here like a chicken. Fly away of it. Get away. Chickens, every old rat coming out of a barn will catch him. Yes, sir. If you don't take it no farther than just, "Join the church, and come every Sunday, and we'll have a little bunco game, and we'll play croquet in the back yard." That's not what it is, brother. "Have a soup supper and pay our pastor off," and all of these... "Put on your bathing suits, and go swimming, get a suntan." You need a son-tan. I got two girls. They may try it one of these days, and they're going to get a tanning from a son, but not the s-u-n; the s-o-n of Mr. Branham, be with the barrel slatbehind them, just as hard as I can...?... That's what they need, is that kind of a tanning. Yes, sir. Oh, my.

Now, I've got two girls. They may do it sometime. But brother, when they do... Stretch out on the bank somewhere, said "for suntan." They'll get a son-tan. It'll be Mr. Charlie Branham's son with a slat in his hand. They'll get tanned all right. There's no doubt about that. That'll be my father's son that does that. See? But now, that — that today... And they were supposed to be civilized.

You talk about juvenile delinquency, I say it's parent delinquency. You talk about the ignorance of the Kentucky people, some of them old mammies out there... Let their daughters come home of a morning with lipstick all over their face, and hair all twisted up, and clothes half off of them, half...?... with a cigarette in their hand, they'd take a barrel slat, or one of them hickory saplings out there, and she'd know when she went out the next time. Then you say illiterate. They can teach this bunch of hoodlums how to raise children. That's... Oh, maybe I oughtn't to have said that. Well, no. I don't take it back. I said that when the Holy Spirit was anointing me. That's right, exactly right. Yes, sir. Today, huh... Oh, my.

You talk about some of the ignorance of Kentucky; talk about that state that I come from, the ignorance of those people down there. I don't know. Sometimes I wonder. Let one of their daughters come in of a morning with her hair all twisted up, and manicure over her face, all night long with some little Ricky with a flattop haircut. I'll tell you, she'll — she'll know the next time she goes out; get a barrel slat, or a limb off of a hickory there, and just skin her down. And I tell you, you all talking about juvenile delinquency; there's so many papers talking about it. I think it's parent delinquency, instead...?... the old golden rule hanging with all them ten commandments hanging on it... Take a young'n out there, and shuck him down a little bit, you wouldn't have so much, saying, "Poor little Ricky. You're nice. You didn't mean to do bad, Martha." She — she needs a good beating, is what she needs. The Bible said, "Spare the rod, you spoil your child," and that's exactly right. You'll never find nothing any better.

On my home they had the ten commandments hanging up over the door on a hickory stick about that long. And, brother, I had all ten of them across my back, and up and down my legs, pretty near every day. It done me good though. I'll tell you, Pop took me out behind the house, and I danced a little jig. But I knowed not to do it the next time, when he got through with me. There'd be a whole lot better life, if we had some more daddies to do that today. He never struck me one lick but what I honor him tonight for it. When I looked in the casket, and seen his gray hair on the side of his head, I stood there and tears dropped upon his face. I said, "Daddy, I helped put them there. God help me." That's right. I respected my daddy. He was a daddy that would make me do right. Yes, sir. We need more like that today.

Talk about the illiteracy of Kentucky. Some of us people live out of there...?... how it's done go out up there... But let me tell you something. If some of those old mammys would let their... See their daughter out, carrying on the way some of them do down here on these beaches, brother, she wouldn't get up out of bed for a week. She wouldn't be able. She'd top one of them hickory trees and beat what skirt she had on her left, off. And I think if we practiced that a whole lot more around Palm Beach, and the rest of the places around here, we'd have a better social standing and a better moral in the country. Amen. That may be old fashioned, flat-footed, brother, but it's the truth coming from God's Word. I believe that we get out of our places and things. It's the Truth.

You talk about the illiteracy of Kentucky, brother, you all got a long ways to go before you come up to them up there. That's right. Let one of them gals come in like that and watch what that little old mammy with that little old sunbonnet on will do. She'd say, "Get yourself over here with a hickory limb, brother." I mean she won't get out of the house for three or four days, 'cause she wouldn't be able. That's right. And then you say, "She's crazy."

Now, you say, "Brother Branham, you're really beating us women." All right. Here you men are. Any man that'll let his wife smoke cigarettes and wear clothes like that, it shows what he's made out of. He's not much man to him, a man that would do that. God give us old fashion, borned again, sainted, godly homes. Juvenile delinquency will be no more. It isn't juvenile delinquency; it's parent delinquency. They had the old wood shed and the big hickory limb laying over the door. That's discipline in our home. All right. You say, "Now, Brother Branham, I... We shouldn't hear that kind of stuff." You should hear it. That's right.

They talk about the illiteracy of Kentucky mountains. You see it in this here dogpatch stuff. Some of them old mammies out there could come here to Hollywood and teach you modern mothers how to raise your kids. You let her kid come in one night with her hair all messed up, and lips... slips, (what do you call that?) make-up stuff they put on their face, and her dress all squeezed to one side, and been out all night, drunk, brother, she'd get one of them limbs off the top of that hickory tree and she'd never go out no more. I tell you, she'd... And if you had a little more of that, you'd have a better Hollywood around here, and a better nation. That's right. It's true. "Just try to be modern," that — that's one of the tricks of the devil.

They talk about juvenile delinquency; it's parent delinquency, what's the matter. Then talk about the literacy of Kentucky. Some of them old mammys out there, let their daughter come in the way some of the women do, five o'clock in the morning, and messed up over their face, and their hair bulled out like that. She'd take a limb off a hickory tree, and she'd take the rest of the clothes off her, and the hide with it. Then call that illiteracy. God knows we need some more mammys like that. That's exactly right.

I hear them talk about the illiteracy of the Kentucky mothers up around in the part of the country where we come from, up there. Now, they may be, they wouldn't... might not know right and left hand but you let one of their girls come in one night with their hair all turned inside out, and her clothes all off of her, and lipstick smeared all over her face and like that, and some little half-drunk, sallow, cigarette sucker bring her daughter in around daylight: I tell you, she won't be able to get out of the bed for three months. I'll just guarantee you that now. Yes, sir. You talk about illiteracy, we... that's... We need more of them kind of mamas (Yes, sir, yes, sir.) that'll — that'll bring back discipline. In our home we had the Ten Commandments, they hung over the door, hickory with all ten of them, out on the end like that. And I tell you, we got our — we got our education off of that. Um-hum. That's right. I can see my father, yet, reach over and say, "William..." I'd say, "Oh, my." I knew what was coming. But I — I'm glad he did it. That's right.

You're a father and mother, and you tell your children, "You go over there, I'll give you a whipping." If you love that child, and he transgresses your laws, you'll keep your word. That's right. But if you let him go on, "Well, that's all right." Do it again. See? That's what makes all these here little Melindas, and Rickys, and so forth around. That's what makes juvenile delinquency. Some of them talk about the ignorance of the people in the mountains of Tennessee and Kentucky. I tell you, some of them old mammies out there would teach some of these modern Jezebels how to raise a young'un. Right. Let one of their young'uns come in with their — woman, night, girl, with their clothes all twisted on her, being out with Ricky all night long somewhere, loved up in a car; and say, "Have a good time, dear?" She'd take a hickory limb off one of them trees, and she wouldn't get out of the house for another year. Certainly. Then say it's ignorance. They know more about it than... Oh, I better shut up there. All right. Go on.

And then you call the Kentuckians an — an illiterate bunch. You let some Kentuckian, old-fashion mother, see her girl come out on the street, back there in them mountains, with a little pair of shorts on, like you and grandma and the rest of you wear. Let her come in, of a morning, and her clothes half off of her, twisted up, and her manicure, lipsticks, or whatever it is, all over her face, been out with some little Ricky all night long, in a hot rod, running around, come in. She would blister her, one of them hickory limbs, she couldn't get up out of the bed for six months.

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