05 April, 2006

EM:HE--The Sadie Holmes Saga Continues

After yesterday's long-winded emotional belch, I felt appropriately unChristian and hideously guilty, while still being irked. Something didn't sit well with me about this particular homeowner. So I did what I do, and researched it.

There are several places with articles on Sadie Holmes, her eponymous charity, and her struggle with drugs.

I've perhaps had too much experience with addicts, because my first reaction to any hard-luck story from a drug-user is suspicion. Time and again I've had it proven to me that drunks and junkies are, first and foremost, liars. Stephen King, an admitted addict, calls addiction the Liar's Disease.
Substance abusers lie about everything, and usually do an awesome job of it. ...Yeah, stewbums and stoners lie about the big stuff, like how much and how often, but they also lie about the small things. Mostly just to stay in practice. Ask an active alcoholic what time it is, and 9 times out of 10 he'll lie to you. ... Addictive personalities do not prosper on their own. Without unvarnished, tough-love truth-telling from their own kind — the voices that say, ''You're lying about that, Freckles'' — the addict has a tendency to fall back into his old ways. And the chief old way (other than using, of course) is lying through one's teeth.

So why do I not necessarily believe Sadie Holmes' story of being instantly cleansed of her addiction, on the spot, by Jesus? Could it be because that version, told to DELTA Ministries, differs from the version on her website? In the "Jesus" version, Sadie was instantly sobered on her road to Drugmascus on February 4, 1995. By contrast, the Sadie Holmes website version (which matches the one told to viewers of Extreme Makeover) has her "drug-free since 1999."

This all smacks of the typical addict behaviour of telling your audience exactly what they want to hear. She seems to tell the church folk that Jesus cured her, and the less religious TV folk get the up-by-the-bootstraps-with-the-help-of-community story. The Jesus-free version of the story was also used to secure Ms. Holmes a scholarship for a business degree from Bellhaven College. She continues to panhandle, with the help of the Internet. A posting to the Orlando Craigslist (now removed) requested help with painting her charity's donated bus. The original post, entitled "Extreme Makeover Home Edition Family Needs Help Again!", elicited a vitriolic response. There's no way to guage the responses to the numerous requests for donations on her website or that of the builder, Mercedes Homes. Mercedes Homes, in fact has established three seperate funds for the family's education, home maintenance and charity efforts. Not a bad payday.

As I write about this, I'm more able to discern why it bothers me. As a Christian I'm clearly told to turn the other cheek, and to be limitless in my forgiveness. I'm failing miserably in this particular instance. I feel used and manipulated. The Sadie Holmes story, to me, is very much akin to the way TV preachers beat money out of their audience. There are a lot of lies, a lot of tears and a constant hand out for more cash. Perhaps the best commentary I've heard so far comes from my ever-wise husband.

"So what if she's manipulative? She's just beat them (ABC & EM:HE) at their own game. That whole show is about manipulation and making people cry."


At 1:52 PM, April 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this Stephen King the horror writer because that picture sure doens't look like him.

At 1:54 PM, April 07, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Yes, it is Stephen King the horror writer.

The picture is of the author James Frey, about whom the article was written.

At 9:03 AM, April 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm kind of horrified too. She didn't just manipulate EM:HE, she apparently manipulated the outreach team at Delta Ministries. They used her story as a "teaching" lesson for the congregation, so add a whole bunch more people in Oregon who were manipulated.

As for her non-profit; I didn't see anything about tax receipts. So, I am wondering if it's a registered charity. It sure looks like it's just pan handling over the internet.

I mean, people used to ask if my business was "non-profit", I would answer, yes, so far, but I'm hoping to turn that around any day now.

At 1:29 PM, April 12, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really think this needs to be followed up on, I've heard (through reliable sources)that this house has already had to have repairs made to it. Damaged walls, spray painted interior walls, etc.

At 10:07 PM, April 12, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that's some research. Or rather, it's a bunch of links. Some go to ABC, some to Mercedes, some to Television Without Pity, where you post to drive traffic to your blog. And the convincer is the date inconsistency between the Delta site and her site. Or is it the King column about James Frey? I looked at your research for any evidence at all that she had perpetrated some horrible malfeasance that justified postings to message boards about her. And what I found were your postings, all coming back here, a circle of viciousness without reason, only "feeling".

The odd thing is, she is helping people who need help, which you,as a member of the "Hard Right" love to critique, but not to participate in. You'd rather rip her for being given a gift, like it is her fault. Revisit your Matthew 7, o lover of Christianity. If your God sides with you on this, he must fight with His Son all the time.

So here's some opinion for you. You are being unChristian, but most importantly, your "research" is tripe, and your conclusion is baseless innuendo. That's the great thing about self-publishing. You can drag someone's name through the mud, and at the end of the day, remain...

At 8:04 AM, April 23, 2006, Anonymous Before the blog the Word was said...

Only one question needs to be answered, is Sadie a Christian?

If Sadie has truly been "born again" in the Christian sense of the expression, this will prove to be a wonderful testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit in our day. If she hasn't, this story will have a the typical sad ending of a made for TV melodrama.

It's not for us to judge. For now it's a wonderful story of love and generosity of man. It's a model of God's Grace that provides inspiration for the down-trodden. The broken in spirit and forgotten members of our society will profit from the hope it brings. The message, clean up your life, take care of your family and do good things for others and you'll get blessed. Now what's wrong with that?

But that's not all...many others have been blessed ($$$$'s) from it not the least of which is ABC, Mercedes Homes (stupendous advertising in prime time worth millions)and last but certainly not least, Sadie Holmes and her family. This is a WIN-WIN for everybody involved or touched by the story (even if short lived).

So my friend, leave it alone... time will tell all we need to know.

Blog on my brothers/sisters

At 1:50 PM, May 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have also heard through insiders that have worked on the house after the show and they commented on the lack of cleansingness of the house. Also I would like to add if it is or isn't a non-profit organization, why isn't there any information for the "outsiders"who do not have excess to a computer to learn how to benifit from her organization,or is it just for the community around her? I do live in the area and have not heard of anyway to donate or recieve a donation.

At 5:06 PM, March 07, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I live 5 miles from Sadie Holmes (Casselberry,Fl). I was referred to her org. after the hurricanes. The person who answered asked for "donations only" & was angry when I told her I was calling for help. she referred me to another # which was Ms. Holmes cell phone. I got a voice mail again "asking for donations"!!! I was persistent & finally was told that only "clients" from her church were eligible. Then I was hung up on. So I & a friend drove to her "castle" in Altamonte. It is trashed again with scarred pit bulls in the backyard. She has a reputation still here. ABC & all you "christians" are such suckers. Call the # yourself and find out.

At 8:35 PM, June 19, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 10:46 PM, July 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been on the inside and everything that glitters isn't gold. As the word declares, A double minded man is unstable in all his ways! And, I've found her to be extremely unstable in everyway. Yes, Code Enforcement is on her trail and there are many, many other issues. And though she claims to be a woman of God, filled with His spirit she can hold her own with the best of the sailors! I say that soon all will be revealed in the light of day. Until then, many prayers will go for those in that so called homeless shelter for they are greatly mistreated!!


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