Death and Chocolate;Doctor Who;Sarah Jane Smith;Lis Sladen;Third Doctor;Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart;Jon Pertwee;Jeri Massi

Death and Chocolate

Story Notes

Written by Jeri Massi

1. The Inspiration for Royalty House
2. Listening to Lis Sladen
3. Story Notes (itemized background info)

The Inspiration for Royalty House

NOTE: This story is not a story about First Baptist of Hammond, Hyles-Anderson College, Jack Hyles, Dave Hyles, or any real life entity, person, or corporate body. This story offers a commentary on the controversy regarding the Hyles Dynasty.

Death and Chocolate began as a farce about the corruption and scandal that I have documented regarding First Baptist Church of Hammond, IN and its associated, unaccredited Bible college, Hyles-Anderson College. Both institutions were run for several years by Jack Hyles with help from Hyles' son, Dave Hyles, who was made Youth Pastor at the age of 19 or 20.

First Baptist of Hammond Indiana was, for years, ranked as the World's largest Sunday School and church. Jack Hyles loudly and broadly proclaimed that this church was the greatest church since the church at Jerusalem. It must have been rather distracting for him when stories of child molestation and charges of adultery kept popping up in the late 80's and early 90's. Hyles was the subject of a book, WIZARD OF GOD, that documented his years of deceiving one of his deacons, Vic Nischik, as Hyles had an ongoing affair of the heart with Nischik's wife, Jenny.

Here's the shortened list of documented abuses from former church officers, members, or faculty at First Baptist Church of Hammond (FBC) and Hyles-Anderson College (HAC):
  • A.V. Ballenger, a deacon and bus route driver at Hyles' First Baptist Church Hammond, was convicted in March of 1993 for molesting a seven year old girl.

  • Jack Hyles' protégé Earl Reeves, pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Temple in San Diego, served eight years in prison for molesting young women and grade school girls from his congregation.

  • Hyles-Anderson Bible College graduate Jeffrey Jerrell pleaded guilty to having sex with eleven young girls from his youth congregation at Calvary Park Baptist Church's (Petersburg, VA)

  • David Hyles, Jack Hyles' son, was expelled from the pulpit and pastorate at Miller Road Baptist Church in Garland, Texas. He was charged with having committd adultery with 19 different women at the church. The story broke when a janitor found pornographic photos of Hyles having sex with a deacon's daughter. David, whose wife divorced him, later lived with Brenda Stevens and was charged in abusing her year-old son, Brent. Brent was found dead in his crib at the age of 15 months. At the coroner's inquest in 1985, Brenda was a no-show, while David Hyles pleaded the Fifth Amendment. David and Brenda Hyles later conceived a son, and named him Jack David Hyles. In March of 1999, Brenda Hyles ran him over with the family car, killing the 5-year-old boy. Brenda claimed that Jack David had fallen out of the car and she could not avoid running over him (3/25/99, St. Petersburg Times).] Many IFB pulpits are still open to Dave Hyles, in spite of his history of gross sin.

  • William S. Beith, a Hyles-Anderson College grad, founded Liberty Baptist Church in Lake Station (formerly East Gary), Indiana, and later was founder and principal of Liberty Baptist Academy (a private "Christian" school with about 160 students). He was arrested for soliciting a male prostitute.

  • Andy Beith, William's son and a former HAC student, took over as principal in 2000. He was later charged with coercing and enticing a minor, and transporting a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

  • Jim Vineyard, former bus ministry director at First Baptist of Hammond (FBC) has been charged by a pastor with describing lewd sexual acts to a young lady (sexual harassment; not a crime because Vineyard "counseled" in private, although the Scripture clearly directs that private counseling is to be from older women to younger women). Vineyard has yet to deny the charge, but he did call the preacher who confronted him "buzzard puke". This story has made the news in Oklahoma City, where Vineyard currently pastors. One young lady has come forward to accuse him of lewd speech.

  • Kerry Martin, HAC graduate and missionary who went to prison for molesting a little girl.
  • Calvin Stone, a HAC short timer sent to prison for molesting a little girl.
  • Russell K Overla, a HAC grad/pastor who pleaded guilty to molesting an 8 year old girl
  • Chester Mulligan, a Jack Hyles follower (not HAC graduate) who is charged with molesting a 14 year old girl.
  • Former Pastor Joe Combs, former Bible teacher at HAC, currently serving time for the repeated rape and abuse of his adopted daughter (found guilty, also defended by officials from Hyles-Anderson College)

  • Former Associate Pastor Timothy Lee Leonard, HAC Grad, (charged with child molestation but acquitted because child-witnesses unable to testify; one child in the chuch had venereal disease, however)

  • Deacon Mark Foeller, HAC Grad, (indicted for child molestation but acquitted because witnesses refused to testify)

  • Well, that's a tragic list.

    Last November, after Chicago TARDIS 2003, I came up with the idea of satirizing the gross corruption. I decided to depict a chocolate factory--a place where one expects innocent pleasures to abound----that claims to be the greatest Chocolate House in the world. But bodies of dead children keep coming to the surface on the grounds.

    I knew I wanted a Sarah Jane story for this, and I knew that she would become addicted to the deadly chocolates. Right after Chicago TARDIS I wrote the first episode, but then it became clear that the story would fall into a "helpless companion" piece and that was not appropriate for Sarah Jane.

    In March of 2004, I attended United Fan Con and listened to Lis Sladen speak. I had a chance to speak with her a couple times, briefly. She impressed me, and her respect for Sarah Jane impressed me. I realized that this had to be more than a "Doctor rescues helpless companion" piece. And yet, in spite of everybody expecting more proactive companions, the hero rescuing the fair maid is still an integral part of adventure fiction.

    So I developed it both ways. Sarah Jane is in over her head, but she fights a desperate battle, and wins it, and then is rescued from the part that she cannot defeat.

    What I got was a pretty grim farce, though it has its lighter moments that still point up the ironies of places like Hyles-Anderson College and Royalty House Chocolates and their fanatical claims of being paradise. But the evil that I depict cannot be depicted in any other way than the way it is shown: cruel and perverted.

    Spoilers Ahead!

    Here's a play-by-play of some of the double meanings:

    Episode One
    "Sweet Sorrow, an Account of the Tears I Shed at Royalty House, by Stephan Ischink."

    This was a nod to WIZARD OF GOD: MY LIFE WITH JACK HYLES, by Vic Nischik, the first tell-all to come out of First Baptist of Hammond, in which Mr.Nischik documented the deception of Jack Hyles that broke apart Nischik's marriage.

    * * * *
    "I'm trying to get the picture," she said, a vague answer that sounded very journalistic and often worked. It worked now. "Were you a street vendor for him?"

    Ischink nodded. "Highlers called it 'Open air clerks'" And he laughed. "Yes, I started at age 17, selling to school friends and did pretty well. So I launched out and sold them while I was studying business courses. I met my wife when she joined our cadre of Open Air Clerks. We worked together well, and we married within a year."

    In a culture of quick and cheap chocolate (with dangerous additives), you have an enslaved, impoverished army of "open air clerks".

    In the numbers culture of Hyles Fundamentalism, with its quick and cheap gospel and dangerous additives to doctrine, you have "bus workers", those who go out on Saturdays and advertise that a church bus, with games and prizes, will be picking up kids on Sunday morning. It sounds like a great idea, and for many years it was. But it's a doorway to danger and abuse of children. Several graduates, former students, and/or former teachers from First Baptist of Hammond have been charged with different degrees of assault against children. The most common charge is child molestation. The church welcomed one indicted and convicted child molester back with a standing ovation.

    * * * *
    Lawman, Sarah Jane thought, had the ruddy cheeks, blue eyes, and snow white hair of a Christmas elf. But the effect was offset by broad shoulders and a powerful build. He led them into a wide, brightly lit back room that was the size of the front room shop.

    The Doctor stared around at the gleaming stainless steel fixtures and white cabinets, deeply impressed. Lawman understood the look.

    "Yes, I specialize in hand crafted chocolates," Lawman said. He nodded at a 50 liter tank, a long, shallow, open trough, and a cylinder that lay on its side. All of these were connected by pipes, and everything was stainless steel. The cylinder, Sarah Jane noticed, sat on rockers and could be separated from the piping by a series of clamps.

    "I'm sure you understand chocolate processing, Lawman said, almost apologetically. "But I'll explain how it works."

    This section pays homage to the Christian lawyer, Voyle Glover, who wrote FUNDAMENTAL SEDUCTION, in which he collected and systematized the existing evidence of doctrinal error and corruption under the pastorate of Jack Hyles. Glover, expert in law, built a true case in his painstaking book. Whereas Jack Highlers makes cheap but addictive chocolate (similar to Hyles' cheap but addictive brand of Christianity), Clarence Lawman understands the real thing and can produce true chocolate, similar to the genuine faith of Voyle Glover that has been a comfort and an example to so many.

    * * * *
    Episode Two
    "He snatched up the book too," Sarah Jane said as she saw that the man had grabbed both.

    "He did ey?" Lawman asked, and his glance suddenly became sharp.

    "You think that's significant?" the Doctor asked.

    "It could be."

    Yes, believe it or not, in the early days of the outbreak of information on the Hyles scandals (early 90's), doughty "men of God" loyal to Jack would actually break into the houses of those they perceived as being "disloyal" and would steal their diplomas from the college or other small trophies. Evangelist George Godfrey had his honorary doctorate from Hyles-Anderson stolen. (It's okay, George. It's not like it was ever worth anything.) Others who were prepared to testify in the Foeller-Leonard cases in Michigan were followed, had their homes broken into, and eventually refused to testify.

    * * * *
    The children, who were five or six years old at the very most, saw the two uniformed men holding the luggage and sang out, "Thank you sir, Thank you sir!" as though rehearsed, their voices happy and almost triumphant.

    "Oh, you're very welcome children!" one of the men called back to them as the other smiled. "You be good boys and girls, and we'll have you back soon. Did you get your chocolates?"

    And each child held up his or her free fist, in which was clutched a narrow, oblong box. "Goodbye! Goodbye!" they called to the luggage clerks as they continued to the doors.

    "Goodbye children!" The attendant turned and smiled at the Doctor and Sarah Jane. "Happy kids, eh?"

    "Are they from a school?" the Doctor asked.

    "No, St. Nick's, sir," he said as he took the lead to guide them to their room. "This way of you will. Royalty House is a sponsor and contributor to Saint Nicholas' hospital for children. We usually have half a dozen to a dozen of them here any given weekend. He nodded back as they walked down the hall. "That lot there are outpatients for epilepsy. They have hard lives. Difficult already for them to keep friends. So the quacks at the hospital thought giving them time together might make things easier for them. They all understand if somebody has a seizure."

    Another thing you saw among the slave labor at Hyles-Anderson was those who truly were concerned about children. I purposefully depict Royalty House as a place where most of the people are dupes, not devils. But there are devils among them.

    Also, a lot of the problems and dangers at Royalty House are traced back to the way that Highlers runs the St. Nick's charity. The bevy of cases against former HAC students often stems from their bus ministries.

    * * * *
    Episode Three

    "It's a child's body, Doctor. A little boy. And he was----treated badly." And now the Brigadier took out a handkerchief and wiped it across his own forehead. "Not like anything I'd ever seen. The worst thing was done to him---I mean, the worst----"

    The first possible crime against a child ever linked to HAC was the death of Brent Stevens, who at just over a year was found to have several broken bones, all of which had been left untreated. He was removed from the house hold of Dave Hyles and Brenda Stevens. He was later returned, against the warning of Detective Paul Ciolino. Brent died at about 17 months of age, and Dave Hyles was the prime suspect. But the grand jury failed to indict him, much to Ciolino's frustration. Ciolino refused to close the case and as far as I know, it remains open. And Dave Hyles remains the prime suspect. Oddly enough, before the police ever got to the house when Dave called them (because Brent wasn't moving), Jack Hyles was already there.

    But the details that I put into the story about the first death are fiction. Death and Chocolate, after all, is merely a story, not a biography. It's a farcical treatment of the egotism and narcissism that builds a cult-like following among young people. It's not meant to depict any real person, living or dead. It's goal is to offer a commentary on the perversion of that which is meant to be kind and good when it is perverted and corrupted. Brent Stevens was never bound, and though other victims of FBC/HAC were sodomized or molested, Brent Stevens was not. He was beaten at different times until his bones were broken. Certainly, such treatment of a child is perversion enough. He died of symptoms that were consistent with Actifed poisoning.

    * * * *
    Episode Four
    "It was only water!" Highlers exclaimed. "She was doused with water from the sprinklers, that's----"

    Benton didn't miss a stride. His fist abruptly connected with the face of Dave Highlers. The young production manager hit the ground. He didn't try to stand up as Benton and the other soldier helped Sarah Jane to her feet.

    "Yes just stay there, unless you want another," Benton told him.

    "She went in against my directions." But Highlers still didn't stand up. "She got a good lesson in safety---and obedience."

    "Save it for someone who works for you, mate. Let me help you, Miss Smith."

    Over the years, as I have accrued stories of Dave Hyles, I heard a couple that involved an irate father/husband/brother coming right up to him and punching him in the face. So far, the stories always end the same way: with Dave Hyles staying on the ground when he gets decked.

    * * * *
    "We've uncovered eight distinct bodies so far," Lyons said. "We are assuming that we will find between 15 and 30. Mostly young boys."

    "Six, six boys. Two girls," the pathologist said. He got hold of himself and looked at Lethbridge Stewart. "Not like the first. Not frozen. These bodies have decomposed." But he spread his arm to indicate the length of the fringe of trees.

    "It's all a bone yard," he said. "All of it. There are bodies buried all through it. All children."

    The inspiration for this story was the fact that even during the scandals, Jack Hyles would get into his pulpit and declare that FBC was the greatest church since the church at Jerusalem. Then another case of child molestation involving HAC grads would come to the surface, like a body coming up from the earth. There were never any bodies discovered at FBC/HAC. There were accounts of molestation, of child abuse, or adultery, of fornication. It's tragic, but it lends itself to a dark satire.

    * * * *
    Episode Five
    "Hello! You know, those chandeliers are so lovely; were they made for Royalty House?" And she pointed upward.

    He beamed, at once on familiar ground. "Actually Miss, three of them came from an estate sale of a grand old house about thirty miles from here. Mr. Highlers purchased them at a very low price and then had the others made as imitations."

    Fake grandeur. Royalty House is a mere façade.
    * * * *
    Highlers burst out with a laugh. "Now look young people. Let me help you with a little quality I call determination," he said. "You see that door way back there? Way in the back?"

    About four hundred heads turned to see the back double doors. They turned back to him and nodded.

    "Now this room is packed wall to wall," he said. "But I'm determined to get back to that door, so here I go. On nothing but determination!" He came around the podium, leaped to the floor, and then started climbing directly over the seated young men. The entire crowd burst out laughing.

    "Here I go! I'm a third of the way!" he shouted.

    "That's right!" several emboldened people called from the edges.

    Jack Hyles used to do a routine like this at certain conferences. It's actually not as degrading for a chocolatier as it is for a man who claims to be entrusted with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    * * * *
    Episode Six
    As Mr. Evans removed the reel of film from the machine and turned it round to take up the leader tape, he continued to talk about Jack Highlers. The training film had acted as a tonic to him, animating him to talk about his beloved chief financial officer. Sarah Jane didn't interrupt.

    "You see it's all in determination, Miss Smith," he said. "And a good company like this one requires loyalty. That's a virtue that's become quite temporary out in the world---"

    At FBC/HAC. The prime virtue was loyalty, and it surpassed all other virtues, including honesty and integrity. This in spite of the fact that the New Testament never mentions personal loyalty as a virtue.

    * * * *
    Episode Six
    Sarah Jane flipped through to the correct tab. Then she read aloud:
    People respond to women who are ladylike and feminine. Women who serve in the Royalty House/Harbor Chocolates Sales Division must appear feminine. They are encouraged to have long hair and to wear lace and ribbons. Customers respond to women who allow them to feel like they are in charge; therefore women in the sales force must adhere to proper, demure, behavior. When dealing with in-house directives, women employees must obey immediately, without question, and without argument. Appeals may be made in writing, but women employees who display resentment or dominating behavior shall be terminated.

    Women who excel in sports develop innate leadership qualities that run contrary to a good sales representation. Therefore, women employees shall not be retained who participate in organized athletic programs or events. Male customers do not respond to masculine women, and little boys and little girls alike respond best to maternal figures who maintain a gentle and feminine demeanor. [etc.]

    Refer to Jack Hyles' book, HOW TO REAR CHILDREN, Chapter 20, "How to Make a Lady Out of a Little Girl"
    Click here if you are really curious

    * * * *
    Episode Seven
    "That's a good assessment." And he inclined his head. "But you don’t know the half of it. At the courtesy and deportment training classes, women were made to pass an inspection. They were humiliated by senior staff. If a woman's hair were not feminine enough, she was brought onto the stage and the errors pointed out. If her skirt were too tight, she was paraded before the audience and made to walk and sit to show the problem. And then they were all expected to be at the rallies for Highlers----"

    She was writing speedily. "Rallies? Like the training meetings?"

    "Women only, Miss Smith. The women were coached to sing to Highlers as he entered the room. They had women-only cheers that they did for him. One time, they made him a throne. He would come in, supposedly to talk about the latest sales issues and the numbers, but over time it became a bizarre sort of parade. He would throw money to them, and give out presents. He knew quite a lot about many of them, and he would talk about their financial needs from the microphone, even their marital problems, and praise them and hand out prizes."

    Women students at Hyles-Anderson College are subjected to similar inspections before their peers. They are also told in great detail, sometimes by male staff, of particular parts of the female anatomy that are visible or accented through clothing.

    When Jack Hyles was still alive, he had so-called "ladies meetings" with the girls in which they called him "boopsie-woopsie," sang to him, and received gifts from him (sometimes thrown from the stage).

    * * * *
    "Don't think the police will ever link Stevie to me," he said. "I know that's what you wanted. You revengeful idiot. Steven ran away. Somebody killed him. I had nothing to do with it." He grabbed her hair in back and pulled back her head, his other hand forcing her gun hand to stay in place with the muzzle under her chin. "Pull the trigger!"

    "I can't," she gasped.

    "Are you going to beg me?"


    A flicker of surprise crossed his eyes. "Still saying no. Still resentful. Still clinging to----what?" he demanded. She didn't answer. He shook her by her hair. "So do you want to live?"

    It became very important to me, especially after speaking briefly with Lis Sladen at United Fan Con about Sarah Jane, to make sure of two things: first, that each episode would have at least one scene that furthered the story and yet was entertaining in its own right. Second, that Sarah Jane should clearly display an unusual strength of character, even when under the thumb of Dave Highlers.

    I came to respect Lis Sladen enormously after hearing her speak, and I wanted to treat Sarah Jane as a character who really belongs to somebody else. And making sure that Sarah's strength is still visible, even when she's weak, was crucial. So at several points in the story, when an unwary reader may suppose that Sarah is beaten, Dave Highlers himself announces that he can see that she is still resisting him. Sarah does assume early on that she's done for, yet she endures what she endures because she is strong, not weak. Her attitude of taking him down before she is extinguished is brave, and her tenacity is profound.
    * * * *
    Episode Nine
    The Ten Rules of Developing Manhood
    1. Teach a boy strict obedience. A young boy must learn to be an obedient follower, or else he will never be worthy of leadership. He must learn how to handle followers, and so following comes first. Make your son live by strict discipline and obedience.
    2. Punish him immediately and properly. Make a big ordeal out of it. Make the punishment private, but make it immediate, proper, and plain.
    3. Insist that he participate in athletics. It is a grave danger for a boy to be indoors too much and grow up not knowing how to coordinate his body properly. This will make him effeminate. [Etc]

    Refer to Jack Hyles' book, HOW TO REAR CHILDREN, Chapter 21, "How to Make a Man Out of a Little Boy" Click here if you are really curious

    * * * *
    "Let me tell you something. We have a few problems here," Highlers snapped. He thrust a finger at the man. "But if those hospital people are trying to say that every single chocolate salesman is some sort of monster who preys on children, well, they're painting with too broad a brush!"

    "Oh yes sir," the man agreed. "We got a lot of fine folk out there, putting in an honest day's work every single day of the week."

    "Only a small minority ever lifted a hand against any children, and you listen to me!" And suddenly Dave Highlers was in his face.

    "Yes sir Mr. Highlers." The man had that look on his face that betrayed a worry about a certain bicycle chain, but Highlers ignored it. "There are child killers among tobacco processors, and rum distributors, and even in the banking industry!" he yelled.

    "Oh, right you are sir!"

    In the course of the last three years, as I have documented allegations of abuse of children in IFB churches and kept a list of those indicted and convicted, I have had more than one IFB preacher use this argument against me. I don't hear them ask after the children or discuss preventive measures to make sure that children are kept safe. What I get are accusations that I have singled them out, those poor grown men, to persecute them because I don't like Baptists. The plight of the abused remains a topic they don't bring up.

    FBC/HAC has never come clean on its record of graduates, former students, and former staff who have been charged with abuses against children. The church sided with AV Ballenger and made him a hero, and he was convicted of molesting a little girl. And so, in the world of chocolate, Dave Highlers' tantrum about the Brigadier making them "look like we're harboring a load of child killers up here," when that's precisely what they are doing, seemed suitably ironic to me.
    * * * *
    Episode Ten
    "I just want to know what spaceship dropped this Jack Highlers fellow off here!" she exclaimed, and she burst out with giggling. She leaned back in her chair, laughing with a contagious and oddly innocent merriment. "Boy, what a piece of work! A piece of work!" She looked at him in open merriment, her blue eyes dancing. She had a few freckles on her cheeks, and they contributed to the image of youth.

    The pixie-like Dr. Throgmorton is the picture of a well-integrated person: vivacious, fresh and cheerful, entirely feminine to the point of resembling a little girl, she nevertheless works on solving crimes, is a behavioral psychiatrist who can comfortably switch to Jung, and she is can read the Torah in Hebrew.

    The Brigadier begins to find her attractive but does not take any action because of her youthfulness rather than her achievement. Later in the story we see her "ministering grace" to Sarah Jane by insightfully saying the very things that Sarah Jane needs to hear----that Sarah Jane has a healthy soul, and that Sarah Jane's heart is a heart of Mercy.

    * * * *
    Androgyny is a term that gets tossed around a lot, and it's almost faddish these days to use it to describe things that have nothing to do with Androgyny as Jung used the term. So remember that the clinical definition of the term refers to a healthy way of integrating all components of being human through one's gender. That is, bringing the conscious and unconscious together to assist each other.

    In the last scene of the story, the Doctor calls out to Sarah on the basis of being a warrior. "Do you know?" he asks her, "now that you've fought with everything that was in you?"

    It's a question only a warrior can answer, because only the warrior chooses to fight to the last of his or her strength.

    But she answers him because she is qualified now to know herself by what she has suffered. The role of warrior is masculine, but Sarah Jane, without having lost her feminine identity, has attained to the level of a warrior.

    In the very next instant, they hear the birds calling and the breeze blowing, and they both realize that she will recover. He takes her hand, and for a moment they are both overcome by a tenderness and gratitude so profound that they cannot speak. This is normally considered a feminine experience, yet the Doctor is not less masculine for expressing such overpowering tenderness by the grip of his hand on hers.

    And so this is androgyny: a healthy integration that makes the female more powerful in what she is and the male more powerful in what he is. They are true to what they are, and in being true, they begin to encompass the complementary qualities that actually make their genders complete.

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    I appreciate comments from readers. Please tell me what worked for you in the story and what did not work. Did any part move too slowly? Was the story hard to get into? Were any of the characters not true to the television series? I appreciate all input.