Local Woman Overcomes Life in Religious Cult

June 17, 2011 Updated Jun 17, 2011 at 11:32 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

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June 17, 2011 Updated Jun 17, 2011 at 11:32 PM EDT


(WKBW)
Lockport, NY

Isetta Ware clocking in to her second job Friday night at Mighty Taco after just completing an eight hour shift as a document processor in Williamsville. In addition to her neatly pressed uniform, Ware almost always wears a smile on her face. The 33 year old graduated from Niagara University last month with a 3.5 GPA.

"Niagara University, their deans list is 3.25, so I'm well over that. So to do that well, I definitely credit that to my faith in the Lord," said Ware.

Her faith in the Lord was instilled in her by her father back in Tyler, Texas. Ware and one of her older sisters showed us video of the two bedroom shack where they lived along with their seven other brothers and sisters, mother and father.

"We slept on floors tables, we put tables together people would sleep on tables. There was an old raggedy couch in there, we slept on the couch," remembered Ware.

There was no bathroom, no running water or electricity in the house. Ware's father was a traveling evangelist who became an isolationist when ware was about three years old. The children were kept out of school so the older kids taught the younger children by reading from the Bible. Their father made a makeshift pulpit in the middle of the house, where the family was forced to endure his sermons for hours on end, sometimes even using the bathroom on themselves, afraid of leaving his service.

In 1991, Ware's mother's relatives from western New York travelled to Texas to check on the family after not seeing them for years. They brought the family clothes, toys and much needed food.

"You're talking about hunger pains...we felt hunger pains," commented Ware.

Soon after the family began to realize their father's total control and domination over their lives was not of the Bible at all.

"My oldest brothers Gene and Christopher...they left first," recalled Ware.

The boys lived in the woods until they found work in town. Eventually the rest of the brothers and sisters and even their mother, left their father. Ware, her sister and mother now live in western New York trying to keep their memories thousands of miles away.

"It takes a period of years for that person to gain control of your mind and once they have it they have it for a good while and for some people, permanently they stay in those situations," sated Ware.

Ware's father still lives in Tyler, Texas alone. She has not seen or spoken to him in almost 10 years. Sadly one of Ware's brothers later committed suicide.