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Mrs JR writes of the death of her daughter, Mrs CW:

A HEARTBROKEN MOTHER’S STORY - This is the story of my 31-year-old daughter, a devoted wife and mother, who had a Zion Birth on 6 April 2001 which resulted in her death on 1 May 2001, leaving five motherless children.

About three years ago, my daughter and her husband were influenced by the teachings in a book which came into their hands called Born in Zion. This book was written by a woman from America named Carol Balizet. Through believing the teachings in this book and attending meetings about Zion Births, my daughter and her husband became convinced that an unassisted home birth was a wonderful experience and that they would be richly blessed by God if they forsook all medicines and avoided doctors and midwives during pregnancy and home childbirth. This is all well and good if everything goes according to plan.

Back in 1997, the couple planned an ordinary homebirth for their third baby with a midwife in attendance. However, the baby was born before the midwife arrived. Because there were no complications with this birth, the couple believed that there was no reason why they should not have a Zion Birth next time. All went well for the Zion Birth of their fourth baby and he sailed into the world in July 1999 weighing 11 pounds.

Subsequently my daughter gave birth to her fifth baby, also a Zion Birth, on 6 April 2001. The baby, who weighed 10lb 2oz, was born very quickly but my daughter bled for three hours whilst delivering the placenta, the blood loss leaving her very weak and bedridden. She could barely speak beyond a whisper. I expressed grave concern at her condition but she said God was healing her. Although she must have been in a great deal of pain, she made no complaint.

I visited the house every day following the birth and pleaded with the couple to get medical attention. One day it seemed as though my daughter had had a stroke. Her speech was slurred and she was incoherent.

On day five, I was alarmed to see that my daughter’s legs and ankles were swollen to at least twice their normal size. She was still unable to walk and I was concerned at the possibility of deep vein thrombosis.

A few days before she died, when I raised further questions about her condition, my daughter told me to leave the house.

My daughter died before my eyes over three and a half weeks. An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be septicaemia and a pulmonary thrombo-embolism which travelled from her legs (confirmed at autopsy to have had several deep vein thrombosis), to her lungs.

The autopsy has revealed that Caroline had: septicaemia, pneumonia, a pulmonary thrombo-embolism, complicating uterine infection and venous thrombosis of the legs, infection of the womb, uterus was enlarged, lungs congested, areas of death of lung tissue, enlarged spleen caused through septicaemia, strep in lungs consistent with pneumonia, endometrium was infected and profusely eroded.

The suffering and death of this young mother had been preventable. Basic medical care during the pregnancy and at the time of the birth would have prevented the complications that led to her pain and death. The reason why this medical attention was not sought was the faith the couple had put in American former nurse, Carol Balizet, and her bizarre beliefs.

Bizarre Balizet Beliefs

Carol Balizet, a resident of Tampa, Florida, USA, heads the ‘HOME IN ZION MINISTRIES’. She claims that: ‘The purpose of Home in Zion Ministries is to unite and edify those within the Body of Christ who are hungry for God, committed to His goals, zealous for His glory, and yielded to His will. We want to support those who (like Peter) are getting out of the boat; and encourage those who (like Elijah) are discouraged and lonely.’

It becomes very clear from her writings that there is an exclusivism and a judgemental attitude that places those who follow her teachings as closer to God than other Christians. In an official newsletter she even lists the names used by some of the individuals and groups that she targets with her bizarre teachings, calling: ‘Attention - Gideons’s Army, The Benjamin Company, The Overcomers, The Barley Field, The Manchild, The 100-fold Harvest, The Remnant.’

Balizet teaches against many things: banking (worldly economy); the medical system (no medicines, hospitals, doctors or nurses); secular education (with a preference for home schooling); worldly government; the religious system (including a preference for ‘home churching’); science; the arts.

Her main Biblical distortions targets the medical system - often with vitriol. According to her, hospitals are full of demons; doctors are ‘high priests’ of pagan religion, and surgeons cut into people as a sacrifice to their foreign gods; demons enter people following surgery and occupy the gap caused by the removal of an organ or tissue; children born through Caesarean birth are, as a result, handed over to Satan; taking medication opens a person to the spirit (or demon) of sorcery. Getting a medical diagnosis from a GP or specialist is tantamount to rejecting God’s authority and word, and trusting in the ‘arm of flesh’ - it will lead to being cursed.

(See Parts 1 & 2 of this series in our magazine, TAKE A CLOSER LOOK, May/July and August/September 2001 issues - or on our website: - for more specific details about Balizet’s beliefs and the part played by ABOVE RUBIES in promoting her in Australia.)

Balizet is not the only person who believes in home births, or even unassisted home births.

Also in Florida are some licensed Christian midwives operating under the very similar name of: Zion Childbirth Ministries - see their website at:

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:46 AM on Mar. 3, 2011 in Pregnancy

Answers (11)
  • I wouldn't do it and would be against it if any friends or family decided to do this too.

    Answer by jenn4443 at 5:55 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • God gave me common sense and the ability to use it.

    Answer by luvmygrlz at 7:18 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • brainwashing...again. ..only by book

    Answer by shay1130 at 7:50 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • i really see no difference between having a strong faith in doctors and having a strong faith in God. What I am saying is that there are so many deaths every year at the hands of medical dr.'s, but people believe that they did the best they could, they did all they could, they made the best choice for them and their families at the should be ok for people to believe the same when they choose God over dr.s.
    200,000 deaths a year are from preventable medical mistakes.
    if i had to choose between hospital birth and unassisted, i would choose unassisted, and place our lives completely in God's hands.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 7:57 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • I don't think this is so much a case of believing in unassisted birth as it is a case of someone believing "god" will heal them and not seek out medical care when it is truly needed. Most who have an unassisted birth do intense research and know that if an emergency arises, the safest thing to do is seek out medical assistance. Unfortunately, this woman let her faith in god override her common sense.

    99% of births are done in the hospital but yet the U.S still has high maternal mortality rates...that are INCREASING. If the hospital were the safest place to give birth, this wouldn't be the case.

    Answer by MrsMWF at 8:58 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • okay i couldnt read all of this because to me it just sounds like something that was from the 1800s when women didnt have a choice..if someone is going to choose to do something so careless nowadays when we know all the things that can go wrong with pregnancy and childbirth then that shows ignorance in those people...i am a strong believer in God but i do not see a point in putting yourself or your baby at risk just to prove a theory in a book written by another person as truth because God is going to be involved in this no matter if there is a doctor midwife or no one at all to help reason to do something that could kill you just because you think he isnt going to need a doctor or medical professional help you

    Answer by ahsot1230 at 9:04 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • maybe her faith wasnt deep enough

    Answer by shay1130 at 9:08 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • Jesus gave us science and art and medicine. He gave us the ability and knowledge and curiosity to learn how to keep ourselves healthy and safe. Honestly the women who goes to the hospital, chooses an epidural then asks for a c-section because of exhaustion could have just as close a relationship to God as the woman who gives birth at home with only her husband present.

    Personally if you have prenatal care to identify and eliminate possible problems and are well educated to identify problems during labor and delivery, and aren't afraid or stupid enough to not call for help when something happens then I don't see a problem with unassisted birth if that is what you want, I wouldn't but to each her own. This couples problem was their unwillingness to use the help that was made possible through the gifts God has given to his creation. This was foolish, and created a very sad ending.

    Answer by JoyfulJ at 9:50 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • I agree with MrsMWF. She didn't die because she had an unassisted home birth but because there were signs of problems afterwards and she didn't seek medical treatment. it is a very sad story.

    Answer by Stefanie83 at 11:35 AM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • The problem here isn't with UC, it's with not seeking medical attention when it was warranted. She could have successfully UC'd and seen a doctor after, when she started getting sick. OR, she could have birthed in a hospital, and had the same problem.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 12:08 PM on Mar. 3, 2011

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