Notables for Baker
One moar to add to the Haiti Orphange bun
Browne said Traill has never given an interview and would not comment for this story.
Bickel said her orphanage spends about $1 million annually to care for about 140 kids and received government certification. Gena Heraty, director of the special needs program at Kay Christine orphanage, said her organization spends less to house 386 children and also passed muster.
"They are very basic standards," said Heraty, who has worked in Haiti for 20 years. "I wouldn't think they are hard standards to meet."
Once called the Forever Family, the Church of Bible Understanding was founded by Traill, who lives with Browne and other members in a 12,000-square-foot home in Coral Springs, Florida.
The church was once known for its former carpet cleaning business, Christian Bros.,
and was lampooned on the TV show "Seinfeld,"
when character George Costanza hires the company and gets angry when they don't try to convert him. Browne said the episode came about because the company once cleaned comedian Jerry Seinfeld's carpets.
Former members have said they had to work for the church for free or hand over their paychecks if they had outside jobs. They lived in communal homes and sat through long prayer meetings nightly. Browne shrugged off criticism from what he calls "disgruntled" ex-members in an interview at a church warehouse near the main airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
"So many people talk so much nonsense about us," he said. "If someone had some reason or some proof of what they are claiming then I would be glad to listen because I'm interested in truth."
The church, with about 50 members and 60 non-church affiliated people employed in its business, has worked in Haiti since 1977, ferrying supplies in a private plane piloted by Traill. He said they intend to build a large orphanage for up to 1,000 children in northwestern Haiti, Browne said.
Orphanage inspections by the government's Social Welfare Institute with UNICEF's help were instituted after unregulated charities flooded the country after a devastating January 2010 earthquake.
UNICEF says that only 20 percent of the children living in such homes are actual orphans, the rest having either one or both parents alive, but placed in orphanages because their families cannot afford to care for them.
Inspectors reviewed more than 700 orphanages, rating 36 percent of them green if they met minimum standards. Forty-nine percent were rated yellow for below standards and 15 percent were rated red if they were so bad they had to be closed immediately.
Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, the social welfare agency's general director, said the government would like to close the yellow ones, but "to close a center you need to have the means to remove them."
"You need a place to put children," Villedrouin said. "You need to do research on parents, to reunite them with their families."
Technically, though, the Church of Bible Understanding's orphanage shouldn't be operating. "It's not legal," said Villedrouin. "They don't have authorization to function."