James and Lisa Pennington Respond to Identification Abuse Claims

Lisa Pennington.

Lisa Pennington.

By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

James and Lisa Pennington responded today to their daughter Alecia’s allegations of identification abuse.

In a video posted on YouTube on February 9, 2015, Alecia claims that she was home-birthed and her parents neglected to file any birth certificate or record of any kind. They also allegedly never got her a Social Security number, have no school records for her, and have never taken her to a hospital (and thus she has no hospital records). “This leaves me with nothing to prove my identity or citizenship,” Alecia explains. “I am now 19 years old and I’m unable to get a driver’s license, get a job, go to college, get on a plane, get a bank account, or vote.” Alecia’s story has gone viral, with her video being viewed over 500,000 times and reaching the front page of Reddit. Several mainstream news sources have covered her story, including Addicting Info and The Stir.

In response, Lisa posted a YouTube video today but then promptly deleted it:

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 1.33.18 PM

Fortunately, an individual at Free Jinger transcribed the video. A transcript of Lisa’s comments is as follows:

Many of you have seen the video that our daughter has made and while we would prefer to talk to her privately that has not been an option for us because she has let us know that she does not want us talking to her at all. We have reached out to her and she has not responded. So, we feel like it’s best if we just go ahead and answer some of the questions about the video that she made. She says in the video that she does not have a birth certificate or the documentation that she needs to get a Social Security number or documentation for the things that she needs in her life. And she says in the video that we have refused and we want you to know that is 100% not true.

The thing that is true about her video is that she was born at home. And to our knowledge there was a birth certificate filed, the midwives told us you have to file a birth certificate and as far as we know there was one filed. We do not know what information was put on it and we do not have any copies of that. We are unaware of what was filed when she was born but we have no interest in holding anything back from her and we know you can get a delayed birth certificate which would be a great option for her. Apparently she’s been through a lot to try to get this documentation for herself and we didn’t know about any of that until the video came out. She has not shared anything along the way of her journey of her trying to deal with this. We didn’t know.

But we do know that we are happy to help her and sign whatever we need and give her whatever we need. We have told her we are looking for anything that might help her. And we’ve been looking through file boxes and we haven’t come across anything but we have nothing to hold back and we are perfectly thrilled to give her whatever she needs for her life.

Our older children have drivers licenses and voter registration and they go to college, they fly. They do what they want to do in their life and we want that for her as well. We don’t want to have any say in the choices that she’s making. We don’t want to control her. We love her. Let me be clear. We love her with the depth of a parent’s love. And if you’re parents then you know what that is. And we certainly want only the best for her and we want her to live her dreams. And we care about her having those things.

But we have been left out of the loop and not given the opportunity to help her in the way that we have helped the other kids so we don’t really know what to do. We are being attacked for this – the things she has said in the video and I just want to say loud and clear it is absolutely not true. We want every opportunity for her, we have offered over and over to help her and she has not responded or accepted that help. So whatever she needs now, we are happy to do, whatever we need to sign, we are happy to sign and let her move on with her life. And if she never wants to talk to us again, as heartbreaking as that would be, we don’t want to control that either, because we just want her to have the life that she wants. And so I hope that that answers some of your questions and thanks for stopping by.

There is no word on Lisa’s YouTube account, blog, Twitter, or Facebook page as to why she immediately removed the video after uploading it. Furthermore, several of Lisa’s blog posts about her daughter have been removed from her Pennington Point website. The most notable piece deleted was “The Hardest Post I Ever Wrote,” Lisa’s post from September 24, 2014 where she mentioned that Alecia had fled their home with the help of her grandparents. That post is no longer viewable on the Pennington Point, though HA has archived a PDF of it here.

Alecia’s father, James Pennington, also responded to my blog post today about Alecia’s situation. He first commented with a pseudonym, “Reasonable”:

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 1

Then he later repeated the comment with his own name:

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 1

Text is,

We want nothing but the best for Faith. We’ve told her we will sign any affidavit that will help her in the process, and that once she sends it, we’ll get it right back to her. I’ve also offered to meet with her and walk her through the process as we have with our other children.

James also preemptively bought the domain HelpMeProveIt.com, likely to prevent Alecia from using it.

While James and Lisa have a right to respond to Alecia’s allegations, posting — then immediately deleting — videos and making comments under pseudonyms isn’t exactly a persuasive strategy.

** Update, 02/11, 4:45 pm:

James Pennington gave the following explanation for why he and Lisa are domain-squatting on HelpMeProveIt.com...

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 4.39.06 PM

57 comments

  • Pingback: When Your Very Identity is Held Hostage: Alecia Pennington and Identification Abuse | Homeschoolers Anonymous

  • So, Lisa says there’s a birth certificate…if true, it’s so stupidly simple to get a new copy of it that they should be able to produce it and prove Alecia is wrong. A delayed birth certificate is totally different, and she doesn’t seem to respond to the fact that Alecia already tried to get one and was denied, calling it a “great option for her” (it’s only an option for people who never had a birth certificate…so does she or doesn’t she?)

    But then James says they’re offering to sign any affidavit needed, as they did with their other children, effectively proving that there is no birth certificate, Alecia is telling the truth, and Lisa lied in her video. Her older sister Grace, who I’ve known personally for several years, clearly said that the

    And purchasing that domain name is definitely not a cooperative move. At this point they’re just shooting themselves in the feet repeatedly.

    • Oops. Grace said that she and her siblings don’t have birth certificates. Yet now James is insinuating that he has gone through the necessary steps to get his older children these documents. So far only Alecia’s story has been remotely consistent.

    • Her Father claims to be an attorney, so why has he not seen to it that the birth certificate was filed at some point? If the older children have their birth certificates, Dr licenses etc why did they not do the same for her? As a former child welfare worker, I suspect there was some sort of abuse of Alecei going on all her life.

      If James and Lisa claim they are willing to sign an affidavit, why have they not done so? They don’t need anyone or anything other than a notary public and VALID ID for themselves to sign one. No one lese need be present.

      Here is the form “I hereby declare, under penalty of perjury, that my name is—– my address is—– and that I am the biological and legal
      parent of———. I further declare, under penalty of perjury that I was present at the birth of——– on date and time at address.

      Notary and declarent both sign

      Done. ten minutes to type up, ten minutes at a notary office. If they live in some remote area, there are plenty of notaries who will come to them. Dad says he is an attorney. He probably has a notary in his office and for sure there are notaries in other legal, insurance, real estate and other businesses where he works.

      Or maybe he practices out of his home with no para legals.

      FYI All certified licensed midwives file the birth certificates just as the DRs and hospitals do. If they had a CERTIFIED LICENSED midwife he or she would have filed the birth certificate. So they are lying when they say a midwife delivered her. Lisa says there are older children. After the first, childbirth is easy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dad delivered her.

      There is a good reason the court turned down her petition for a delayed birth certificate, the refusal of the parents to sign an affidavit.

      • When I had to have stuff notarized, I did it at the sheriff’s office at the courthouse…could it be that Dad doesn’t want to get too close to any cops…

      • “After the first, childbirth is easy.” Uh, no. Where did you get your information from?

      • Kelli Wren Crackel

        Sweetie I completely agree with most of what you say, but I’ve given birth to three kids. It doesn’t always get easier. Otherwise though, you’re dead-on right. I homeschooled my soon to be 18 year old son, not for any religious reason, he just didn’t thrive in a public school environment. My youngest child, a daughter is doing very well in public school. That being said, I had no idea so much of the homeschool movement resulted in so many children being abused and neglected, for life, even after they are grown. These people are an embarrassment to all parents and have no right to call themselves parents or Christians.

  • There has to be MUCH more to the story if this daughter fled the home. No question. I’ve also seen a pattern of narcissistic parent-types being “clueless” (i.e, “never saw it coming”) when it comes to a teen or adult child fleeing and cutting off contact with them. I see it over and over again. If this daughter does not come back in line, the next step will be the parents accusing her of having a mental/emotional disorder.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    While James and Lisa have a right to respond to Alecia’s allegations, posting — then immediately deleting — videos and making comments under pseudonyms isn’t exactly a persuasive strategy.

    It arouses suspicion to the point of “what are they hiding?” and “admission of guilt” with overtones of gaslighting or “I reject your reality and substitute my own!”

  • The most telling of all the Pennington’s “responses” is that James Pennington preemptively bought HelpMeProveIt.com. Talk is cheap, but ACTIONS speak loud and CLEAR. There is NO reason for him to buy that website if he and his wife are so “eager” to help their daughter with this problem–unless, of course, he is a narcissistic control freak or passive aggressive and he wants to prevent his daughter from using it. What an absolutely CRUEL thing to do.

  • Seeing as Faith has contacted the Bureau of Vital Statistics and was told there is no birth record for her. No school records, no medical records, and we have parents squatting on the website “Helpmeproveit.com”. Sorry, parents, but your rebuttal/refutation and actions stink of “Cover your ass”.

    • I’m unclear what you find “fantastic” about any of this. Where is the “grace” in that statement?

      Other readers should know:

      She’s actually not giving you the full story. Her parents have never been “uncooperative” but Alecia has refused communication with them on the issues, she wants to “do it on her own”. The midwife that attended her birth didn’t file the birth certificate. The parents are not legally obligated to file, the licensed birth attendant is. SSN’s are optional – used to be you didn’t get one until you wanted to start claiming a future piece of the SS pie (which may or may not be there in the future.)

      Alecia’s older siblings have drivers licenses, voter registrations cards, jobs, college education (one is currently in the last year of law school), all of her siblings have flown (just last fall) and they are fully functioning citizens, despite not being issued government papers at birth. Alecia left home unannounced while her parents were in the process of getting her drivers license for her. Her parent’s were fully unaware of the roadblocks she has faced since she has blocked them from all communication about the issue. Her parents have offered assistance on many occasions and offered to have a mediator of Alecia’s choosing present.

      In Texas homeschooling is largely unregulated. I know this girl and she has a better high school education than I do and she holds a homeschool high school diploma which is counted as a legal document in Texas and must be accepted by colleges. My own Texas homeschooled son has been accepted at two accredited (one top-tier) universities so far.

      Her dad is a CPA and Tax Attorney. He does pay taxes, but does not by law have to claim his kids. You are not forced to take refunds or claim dependents. The IRS did sue him, the suit was dismissed and he counter sued, WON and even won attorneys fees from the IRS. Keep researching…

      There is no law in this nation saying that one must go to the hospital for anything to have medical records established. Alecia has been to a doctor – someone online commented that they found records somewhere in 2005 (I cannot confirm that) but I know she has had full orthodontia work, (braces). An orthodontist is a doctor.

      Nothing has been removed from the family blog – keep checking at lower traffic times. The servers haven’t been able to keep up with the traffic and the blog, and some posts of interest to folks for whatever reason, have crashed. Compare the current blog in a low traffic time to the archived posts. There’s nothing to hide.

      Her parents are “super religious” by some standards, I suppose, but actually, the laws in this nation protect that right. No laws have been broken here.

      • Sara,
        I applaud you standing,up for people who are clearly your friends or espouse a certain style of parening ut you are mistaken on the facts. 5 minutes of searching will find that in Texas the rules for filing birth certificates are as follows: doctors are to sign and file, if no doctor is present the emt, nurse or certified midwife are to sign and file. If no licensed healthcare professional is around, then it becomes the parents responsibility. Ultimately, it is the parents responsibility, one they failed.
        I won’t speculate whether or not they have failed by design or shiftlessness, I lack enough facts to come to a decision.

        What I can say is this: Alecia is a person any reasonable parent would be proud of. Her parents had 4 and a half months to correct their (not her) screw-up. When they didn’t, she did. Legally, effectively and with as little bad manners as humanly possible. That is enough to make anyone proud of her. Alecia not only fixed her problem but was instrumental in making it better for others in her situation, before the age of 20. I look forward to the great things she will do in the future.

        The Penningtons screwed up big time but there is the possibility of things working out.

  • I typed helpmeproveit.com ummm where is the helpful info? i don’t get it.

  • I don’t think these parents realize they were raising a child with a back bone and mind of her own, two things girls in their world aren’t supposed to have.

  • Bah. Pretty much every bit as dumb as Chris Jeub’s podcast.

  • Pure Evil..!!!, clear case of passive control by her freak parents, I hope they never see Alecia again, as they do not deserve children.

  • They’re so full of it. A midwife doesn’t file the paperwork for a birth certificate. The parents have to do it themselves. From their responses, you can tell the parents aren’t stupid, just crazy. I feel sorry for all their kids.

  • Not doubting the story but a persistent question keeps coming up for me is why since September 2014 have Alecia and her supporters not pursued a criminal case for identification abuse? I had not read that they have. Just curious if I had missed that

    • Coming from an abusive background myself, I can say that sometimes it just takes awhile. There’s a process when a person leaves a situation like that, and it can take an enormous amount of strength to file…. strength that can take awhile to build back up. It’s kinda the reason that most states have a fairly long statute of limitations for things like rape. Reporting can be very scary and can take awhile.
      Hope this helps. 🙂

      • I agree with this. Just getting out of the home would have taken incredible strength which she needs to rebuild; and all the publicity, though supportive in nature, would take a toll as well. I feel for her. Non-abused people don’t understand the internal struggle to do relatively simple things in life.

  • Eleanor, I was just about to say the same thing. Reeks of Jeub-ish-ness.

  • He’s a tax lawyer? If that’s true then he knows better than half of the American population how damaging it was to not get his child documented. There’s no way anyone should be trusting that man with their tax prep.

    • It would seem like identification abuse would be grounds for being disbarred. If he is not currently licensed, then the daughter should turn him into the state licensing board as it is is a crime to present yourself as an officer of the court (as all licensed attorneys are) when you are not, and illegal to put yourself forth as a licensed legal expert when you are not indeed licensed.

  • did anyone go and read the PDF her mother wrote? “The Hardest Post I Ever Wrote,” I don’t need to know any more about the story. I completely understand why she ran away. I’m just grateful that her grandparents were there to help her.

  • For what it’s worth–I just now purchased two domains for the next two years:

    http://www.pleasehelpmeproveit.com

    http://www.helpmeproveit.net.

    It’s been years since I’ve created a website, but I’d be happy to transfer these domains to Alecia or whoever handles her web presence.

    (xposted on the original Pennington id-abuse post)

  • I just read some of the material on Lisa Pennington’s blog about this situation. Essentially she says that everyone from commenters on her blog to her fellow church members to God has told her that she & her husband are right, and that Alecia is a prodigal daughter who is hurting her entire family for no good reason. If it is true that Alecia does not want to have contact with her parents right now, I can totally understand why. It’s pretty hard to have a conversation with people who begin from the place of “God told me we are right and you are wrong.” There’s something about valuing the opinion of the commenters on your blog over that of your own daughter that is pretty sad.

  • This is such bull. It is normal and healthy for a child to leave home at her age, and there is no excuse for them not doing everything they can to ensure that she has whatever paperwork she is supposed to have at her age to live an independent life. Instead, they’ve chosen to wallow in self-pity and throw sand in the air with vague statements about how much they want to help. It makes me feel like puking. It’s like listening to all the crap my addict ex-husband used to spout about how much he loved me and wanted to me to have a happy life and how hard he was working – BAH! All lies, nothing but lies, self-centered, self-pitying, attention-seeking lies. Pretty words. Nothing more. Love is an ACTION VERB! Not something you say when your kids go to bed at night!

  • Based on the transcript the parents’ have some explaining to do.

    “to our knowledge there was a birth certificate filed, the midwives told us you have to file a birth certificate and as far as we know there was one filed. We do not know what information was put on it and we do not have any copies of that. We are unaware of what was filed when she was born but we have no interest in holding anything back from her and we know you can get a delayed birth certificate which would be a great option for her”

    Any parent would know whether a birth certificate was filed for their children, even if there are nine of them. If they don’t know if it was filed because they left it up to someone else to take care of (is that even legal?) then they need to own up to it and go get their daughter a birth certificate.

    Then there’s the dad
    “We want nothing but the best for Faith. We’ve told her we will sign any affidavit that will help her in the process, and that once she sends it, we’ll get it right back to her. I’ve also offered to meet with her and walk her through the process as we have with our other children.”

    Is he admitting that the other kids had the same problems?

    The whole story is suspicious.

  • In the video her father recently posted, he said she should get a passport. A passport without any expedition fees or rushed shipping costs $135. If she doesn’t have a job, how does she afford a passport? If she doesn’t have any identification, how does she get a job to get the money? Go to Dad? Yeah, right. That’ll be the day.

    These parents are narcissists to the end. There is no need to go through all of this crap on the internet. Yeah, so their daughter posted a YouTube video. It’s a little embarrassing. The best response is to be adults and not be passive aggressive. All they have to do is get a copy of her birth certificate mailed to her wherever she is and just be done with all of this. Regardless of how this situation has been handled so far, it’s so very easy to finish it.

  • Rut Ro – It appears that according to the Texas Birth Registration Handbook that failing to register a live birth within 5 days is a Class C misdemeanor. There may be exceptions, but here is a link.
    http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/field/docs/Birth-Registration-Handbook.pdf

  • These are horrible parents, they just wanted her to be their slave/prisoner for life. How dare she try to escape them.

  • Some of you have zero idea what a horrible parent really is.

  • Good news: Alecia noted tonight that a lawyer offered to help her if needed, and her dad is also now cooperating in helping her obtain needed documents and sign any paperwork.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Help-Me-Prove-It/882732628415890?fref=nf

  • “On Wednesday, September 24th my life was changed forever. My 18 year old daughter left home. She gave us no warning, no signs that it was coming. She didn’t try to talk to us about it or work with us. She, with the help of my parents, just left. And with her she took pieces of my heart that had been torn to shreds.”

    Sounds to me like a control freak whack job. She was 18. She doesn’t “have” to tell you or warn you that she os planning on leaving.

    • These groups want to own human beings. They own her, she does not own her self, much like slave/prisoner. It is their children job to kiss their @ss and feel bad to make the sicko parent feel good.

      They are born to be a prisoner/slave, how dare the slave try to escape. She embraced her American right of freedom and liberty, big no-no in these misery making groups. These people should be embarrassed.

    • Sounds like Mama is feeling sorry for herself and wants some attention…talking about her sobs, including photos of her devastation, using her sons to “comfort” her….can’t these people see they need help?

  • I love how in the dad’s reply video he’s talking to her like she’s a potential client at work. Idiots.

  • Alecia’s story has made it onto Yahoo; hopefully this puts more public pressure on her parents to help her out already and do what they should have done in the first place. Best wishes to Alecia and please keep us posted on how this pans out!

  • Lisa’s email is available for anyone who wants to send her your opinions personally to lisa@thepenningtonpoint.com. According to her all of the feedback she has received is that she is right. Maybe it’s time more people tell her she’s wrong.

  • Pingback: The Pennington Point: a case study in narcissistic parenting | The Confluence

  • Please please tell me how can I help Alicia Pennington? I don’t have and have decided not to have a FB account at this time. Is there any way I can contact her – reach out to her – without a FB account?

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  • Pingback: Alecia Pennington, “The Girl Who Doesn’t Exist,” Can Now Prove She Does | Homeschoolers Anonymous

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  • Omg there’s a movie about something like this called “Dogtooth” it’s a foreign film.
    I saw it 2 years ago and it’s very eye opening!

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