The Hammer Drops: Dr. Kenneth Copley Exposed – Adoption into a Family

CC image courtesy of Flickr, Kirill Ignatyev.

Edited by Wende Benner, HA Editorial Staff

This series is written by the victim in the first person.  Many of the details are very graphic.  You have been warned.


Sometimes, good people do bad things.  Sometimes, evil people pretend they are good while fooling everyone around them.  Some have experience with the former; I have personal experience with the latter.

On the surface level, most believed my family epitomized the ideal Christian family.

Over the years, we never missed a service.  My dad was a pastor and later became a well-known name in Biblical Counseling.  He specialized in family and marital counseling.  He led the largest Sunday school class in our church.  He became a published author  and was invited to Kenya, Africa to teach pastors.  My mom was an Awana leader and a church choir member.  Nearly all of us kids took yearly awards in Awana and other activities.  I personally joined the Awana Bible quiz team as a child and took multiple awards for Christian Service and Bible Memory as a teen.  I became one of the church pianists. I also sang in the church choir and was the youth group pianist.  We had family Bible reading every day followed with prayer.  Bible memory was a daily activity.  We stayed away from movie theaters, refused to listen to rock music, and watched ourselves carefully for modesty.  Anywhere we went, people knew our name.  So surely, my parents desired to follow the Lord in all areas and desired the same for the children, right?

I was born in Seoul, Korea as Su-Yong Park.  My family lived in extreme poverty and at one month of age, my father placed me into Korea’s adoption system.  Five months later my overseas adoption was approved, and I was placed with a family who last name was Bible, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  They decided to re-christian me as Julie Anna Marie Bible, and I became part of their family.  While I could spend hours dissecting what went wrong within their home, it’s easiest to simply state I had behavioral problems and they decided they couldn’t or wouldn’t deal with them.

From what I’ve been able to piece together of my earliest years, eventually the Bible’s contacted the State and asked to have me temporarily placed with another family when I was around three years of age.

Kenneth Copley, an Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) Pastor at Normandale Baptist Church, in Bloomington, Minnesota, and his wife Elizabeth, a stay-at-home mother to their three biological children, were part of a new religious movement called The Advanced Training Institute of America. Incongruous Circumspection has written copious articles about this program so I will not go into great detail about ATI and Bill Gothard.  For reasons beyond my understanding and knowledge, they were also approved as foster parents by Minnesota and it was to their home I was redirected.

For some reason, everyone involved decided I was better off staying with the Copley’s than the Bible’s, so after months of being moved back and forth between their homes, the Copley’s were awarded full guardianship and my second adoption was finalized when I was five.  Once Ken Copley told me I had run to the Bible’s and told them, “They pull off my pants and underwear and spank me on my bare butt,” which was true.

How I wish someone had listened instead of blowing it off as a “good thing” to happen to me.

I was terribly confused and frightened during those days.  I remember each night asking myself, “Who is my mom?  Do I even HAVE a mom?  Who’s gonna be my mom tomorrow?  I thought mom was “forever” but now they’re telling me that my old mom is NOT my mom and this new woman is my mom.”  I was a very scared and uncertain little girl.

Once my adoption was final, my name was changed a third time to Ruth Esther Copley.  And thus began a nightmare from hell over the next twelve years.

To be continued.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s