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Personal Accounts

The following are first hand personal accounts from survivors of abuse as children in The Family

192 accounts.
Page 6 of 20

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Original Location

justagirl - Thursday, June 20, 2002

Magic, where did YOU grow up? I grew up in the Family and I never had it good. They tried to tell us that....but it was all part of the brainwashing. They tried to make our young minds believe that everything outside the cult was horrific...remember "traumatic testimonies."
In actuality I was deprived of a basic education and a chance to have a childhood. Also, I sure wouldn't classify the time I was sexually abused as "good."

Original Location

anonymous - Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Do you realize that Berg was a pedophile? He should've ended up in prison for his crimes towards several young girls. Karen Zerby condoned it as well, so she should be prosecuted for obstruction of justice or as an accomplice to the crimes.

It makes me so angry when people act as if the group doesn't condone sexual abuse of minors when the founder and the current leader of the group are themselves guilty of child molestation/abuse.

I am a victim of sexual abuse in the Family by a pervert who read Berg's (the biggest pevert of all) publications encouraging his actions.

Original Location

EyesWideShut - Sunday, June 16, 2002

Dear dumgirl,

(What a befitting name!)

You know what, we know that we weren't "physically hurt", but we were psychologically damaged, not just by the sexual abuses but by all the abuse, especially the spiritual. And I dare say I speak for all of us that have spoken of our past abuse when I say that the point is not how hurt we were, the point is that there was a social and religious structure in place that allowed and encouraged sex between adults and children! And although apologies to each of us would be token gestures, what we're most worried about is the fact that abuses are still happening to our brothers and sisters, to our friends, to innocent children and young teenagers. As far as I'm concerned, almost everything about the Fam is abusive, and if the courts knew what life was really like in most homes they would have taken the kids away long ago. I could expound on what I mean about non-sexual abuses but I think that anybody that's worth the explaination knows what I mean already.

And, btw, I know for a fact that LOTS of girls were actually HURT, raped, bloodied, and ruined. And I can be thankful that although I was sexually abused 2 major times before the age of 9, I was not "physically hurt", if that's what you wanted to hear.

In my case, the first incident was a complete psycho. I was 5. That just grossed me out. The second incident was sort of a long term situation and took place during a time in my life when I hated my parents and I thought they didn't like me much either because I was getting huge spankings from them all the time. Everyone else in the Home had it out for me as well--at least that's how it seemed in the mind of a 9 year old--so when this pervert came along everyday wanting to fondel and kiss me, I felt that finally somebody liked me for something. Sadly that carried on through life, and although others saw me with talents and abilitys to be proud of, I always saw myself as a girl who was good for nothing more than a good lay, and it is only since leaving that I have begun to respect and appreciate everything I have to offer myself and others. The long term effects of all that childhood sexuality go on and on.

The reason for the details is so you--whoever you are--can see that although there was long term emotional distress, I am not interested in what happened to me in the past. There is no hope in catching the perpetrators, so I'd just as soon let it slip by. However, because there are still kids in the group that are being spiritually and psychologically abused--most of this at the hands of unwitting, ignorant people--myself and others cannot just walk away. We share our own examples--dated as they may be--to express each of our very personal interest in effecting a change NOW.

As for moving on, I was doing just that, then I found this site and saw that if I could turn around and use my past to save children still in jeopardy I would be helping all of them to move on too. Plus, making contact here and opening up about all kinds of things that happened has helped me in my "moving on". Time does not heal all things, it numbs them.

These things do not just go away, dumgirl.

May I suggest that you change your name? --If you want to be taken seriously, that is.

Original Location

porceleindoll - Friday, June 07, 2002

I remember the McNally incident clearly Sunny, and it was one thing I pushed out of my mind cause I didn't want to think that Ricky had crossed a line that was supposed to be taboo. He has a definite history of it though. Josiah was actually "excommed" for one day, put on babe's status and sent into Tokyo to spend a day in "prayer and Word" for molesting an adolescent at the HCS, my husband to this day is still disgusted by the hypocrisy of it, all just so he could keep doing his "important" work, and never letting the Family or the Home know what was going on. Eman also severely offended someone close to me and Newheart is a bigtime pedophile and wife-beater. Let's not forget John of Hart either. He molested some of the Jetts at the HCS when I was a Jett shepherd, I didn't know it was him for a long time, but I wrote an honest OHR about how mad I was that some guy would do that and that he deserved a punishment, and I got talked to about not being too SR (Ginny none the less). And I swallowed it, I was too afraid of trouble for myself, I had been through the whole "You're too independent and SR.." thing before, so I let it go.

What a ridiculous situation, what irony, and now the present Family youth defends a group that is so full of cover up and lies, I can't figure that part of their belief system out.

It's interesting Sarafina to know you were the "Flirty Little Teen" beware subject. How they turn a mature adult man's mistakes around and make you, or any girl, the adolescent immature product of her surroundings into the perpetrator and guilty party is not comprehendable, and now, to know that it was based on an incident concerning Josiah, who has a history of sexual abuse toward girls, who had been warned several times and in trouble for it, it's absolutely idiotic?

It makes me wonder, what god is the Family listening to, cause I can't see any way that the God I still believe in would put the blame on a child and not the adult in this case, esp. an adult who was known for his pedophility (is that a word?)

Original Location

AnonymousGotOut - Thursday, June 06, 2002

I just finished reading this and I dont know what to say, I'm in a state of shock, I've been out a little while now, but the years of Victor training and endless charades, such as shepherds taking us to the door and telling us that if we had any doubt in our minds about them being God's voice to us, and the letters, that we better walk out that door cuz god wont let us get away with it for long, one day we'll be tormented by demons like Mene if we thought thoughts like that, I'd stay in bed scared of what would happen to me, I desperately wanted to be the best Family Member and was so scared of not, years of Victor programs and isolations, I strongly believed I couldn't live without the Family and would go crazy without it. When I ended up out, I had no intention of leaving, I ended up moving out of the home, but staying on their TRF while they waited for a new 4th member, I went to visit my relatives while waiting to find another home, and that visit went on and on, I couldn't admit I had left, I was waiting to get into a home and loved the Fam and believed god's prophet with all my heart, I got into college and still couldnt say I had left, even though it sounds stupid, I just had this fear built up that I couldn't shake. I finally, 2 years later could come to grips with admitting I had left and wouldn't become insane for doing so, but I still would never believe the 'enemy's lies' spewing from evil, embittered backsliders. Even out of the Family, I was scared to read anything negative about the Family because of what I might become. I desperately shut every lie of the enemy out, getting publicly paddled for 6 demerits or when the shepherd 'felt your attitude wasn't right' is nothing compared to the effects of the conditioning we were given as Victors and DTs, 'Determined Teens', that still haunt most of us years later, no matter how successful we become. Then there are the feelings of guilt that you did nothing to stop stuff; 6 months ago, i found out that my half-sister was made to give our step-father oral-sex at age 10, she lost her virginity to him a couple years later, I was in the room and saw little things, but was so desensitized to it, I never f the images are still there no matter how many times I tried to rebuke the devil who was making me question the Lord's leadership. Unfortunately, from 11 onwards, my sister pretty much slept with anyone and everyone she could, trying to block it out. She, like me, was fiercely loyal & dedicated to the Family, she tried to keep a sample home, but when the other 3 members left her home without notice, she,now a single mom with 6 kids 6 years apart, is told to find a home or become TS. She wasnt able to make rent payments and feed her kids in that house, nearly got put onto the street, except that a friend offered to help her with the rent. Well, dear VSs dont like non-family in the house and were 'got from the Lord' that she must have broken the sharing rules, so she is out, dedicated to the Family, no help at all, 6 kids from trying to be a dedicated "go for the gold"er, and thrown out. Even if she could've gotten back in, where would she find a home? That was 2 years ago, she still believes strongly in the Family. I live my life, go to class, party, have successfully managed to block stuff out of my mind so I can go on in life and not live in the past, and I have done better than alot. But it never goes away for good, does it? The inevitable times that it all comes rushing back, such as when I read an article like this, academically I do well and have created the person that fits in, one as detached as possible from the past. Yet I can't escape what I am, have been made into by years of conditioning, I subconsciously end up making decisions to go back, though I know I dont want to. I have dated a number of girls here at college, but as intimate as we become, we are never the same, I keep trying to find creative ways to explain my past, seem like everybody else, we're so used to living a lie, 'decievers yet true', that we can't trust anybody, we become close, but it always is a guarded closeness, as if some slip will destroy us. We can't reject it, because we still are 'peculiar people' to the rest of society just below the surface -- why was being a peculiar people such a good thing before? There comes the point where we want to be ourselves, we want to stop worrying about accidentally using expressions' that noone else understands, just being able to see ourselves like before, it's that feeling that brought me where I am now. As it stands, I have found myself involved with a family girl and the current plan is to move into her home when I graduate -- I will have 2 degrees quite soon, and no debt -- I am very fortunate in some respects. Just like I didnt decide to leave, I have not decided to return, the decsions seem to make themselves, I have left it, but it wont leave me, that group has made a large part of who I am and I try to downplay it, but it seems the only option. I dont know if I described anything others here have felt, if so I'd be interested in knowing how you all here have been addressing it.

Original Location

sarafina - Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Wow! That was quite alot to take in. It brings back alot of painful memories for me as I was one of those who "benefited" from the mene experince. I was in the first victor program at the H.C. in Japan. Where I witnessed and experienced the torture first hand. I also recieved one of those "public" spankings along with two other girls. We were brought in front of about 20 to 30 people and asked to pull down our pants and bend over while they paddled us. As I recall I ended up getting it the worst as I wouldn't pull down my pants and told them if they wanted my pants down they would have to hold me down and force me. Since we were in front of so many people they opted just spank me with them on. However since I was soooo mad and angry no matter how hard the spanked me I wouldn't cry, this pissed them off so much that they spanked me harder telling me to just brake and cry and it would all be over but I looked at them and said" You'll never make me cry" They we're so freaked out I think that I would be so defiant they didn't know what to do. So they locked me in a room and starved me for over a week giving me nothing to eat but some soup after about 10 days I was so weak and tired of fighting them and so hungry. (At this point all I did was stare out of the window all day while they had someone reading me" MO letter" 8hrs a day. they never left me alone they took shifts reading to me.) I finally decided to get smart and learn to "play" their sicking game. So I found some old night gown that I had(as I usuaally dressed "worldly") and put it on. took down my hair and brushed it straight wrote the OHR of the century. Usuing everything I learned from the "letters" and Bible knowing exactly what they wanted to hear and stood in front of the window with my best "heavenly" look I could muster. Our shepherd came runnig up stairs saying" I looked up and thought I saw an Angel standing in the window" "Satan has left..look how you just glow with Gods light" blah blah blah...and so I became an actress. After that all day they would make me listen to "MO letters" with head phones while doing JJT to ensure I remained free of doubts and didn't let the devil back in my thoughts but I would just put ear plugs in before putting them on and you never see them.
I know another big thing was we weren't aloud to wear bras and I refused to take mine off again I told them they'd have to hold be down and force it off me..they started to walk up to me like they were going to and I just looked at them with a look from hell and they backed up and decided to have me spend another week of prayer and fasting w/ no out door activities. (This was before the spanking one) So goes on the life there if you weren't being beaten you were being starved..what ever it took to break you.
One last thing I remember was when I asked to leave. The family always said you were free to leave any time you want..just ask. Well thats a bunch of crap. I asked many times..I begged to leave they said I was possessed and that it wasn't me talking but that the devil had taken over my thoughts..blah blah blah. and they locked me in my room till I saw it their way.
It didn't stop there I can't even begin to mention the things we went through as you got further from leadership, every Victor Program was different and every shepherd had they're own idea's and forms of punishment or exorcism. In Rome they shaved my 13yr old brothers head bald because he had good hair and was good looking and they said he was to proud and needed to be tought humiliation. They duct taped his mouth shut tell he "learned to speak as a orical of God" only letting him take the tape off at meals. I'll never forget him comming to me and me trying to take the tape off he had sores all over his mouth and it hurt him so bad trying to tear it off. I cry everytime I remember, it was horrifying. I would tell him to be strong and that one day I would run away and come back with help. I promiced him one day I'd get him out. And I did. They did alot more too..but it would take many more post to tell it all but like Ricky said when they posted what happened to Mene it opened the door for all the perverts to get away with anything by just claiming they we're getting rid of the Devil in us.

Original Location

sarafina - Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Well done Sunny! Couldn't have said it better myself. BTW for those of you who just read her post I was with her in the Victor Program and was one of those "girls" she was speaking of who had to "flash" U JO.

It started with me in the PI for the first teen training camp. I met him there and I quess was where the infatuation started I was only 13 at the time and had a "school girl crush" on him. He was so powerful and I was in awe. He visited me privately a few time times at the camp, told me how beautiful I was and how much he liked me. At night he's come to say good night and coupa feel of my brest when ever he could. I was extreemly flattered and said I liked him too. I wrote him a "love note" and placed it in his car. He said he had to leave the country soon but that he would see me again and kissed me good bye. He wrote me now and then to see how I was doing and told me this had to be our little secret. The next time I saw him we were in Japan as everyone in the PI had to evacuate. Each family put in their request as to where they wanted to go..but in the end the final dicision was left up to leadership.

Everyone wanted to go to Japan but only so many could. Jo later said he used his influance as a what ever he was to have our family move to Japan. He said "see I promiced to watch over you and keep you close." He said many times how much he wished he could sleep with me. (at the time I was in the V.P.) He lived next door and would request me to bring over his laundry all the time and then pull me in the bathroom and unzip my top and fondle me. By this tome I was 15. He said if I let him, he'd see what he could do about making it easyier on me over at the V.P. Which he did. At least he kept his word. Lol Well he finaly got cought and got sent back to M/M house for retraining...and where he confessed it all and blamed it all on me. Saying how I seduced him ect. I got in so much trouble! They brought me in front of the whole school and read "Flirty teens bewhare" our name were deleated from the letter. I'll never forget how angry I was at him for letting me take all the heat for that. I saw him here in San Diego a couple years ago when I went with Allen (Patrick) to the Research Center out here to sign his devorice papers to his wife sharron so she could marry Paul Papers as Allen had left the family and she had wanted to stay. We walk in and there was Jo. I hadn't seen him since what happened at the H.C.S He hadn't changed a bit (except for looking old and tired) He said how much he missed me and was sorry and asked to take me out and catch up for old times sake. I thought what the hell I had alot of questions and wanted to know where alot of people were and since he was a CRO I thought he might know. Well he takes me to a bar and orders us some drinks. I said " I thought you can drink in the family and he's like"Oh sure we can now" so he has a couple drinks(actually quite a few) and starts tell me he's been waiting for years to sleep with me and had feelings for me and why don't I take him home with me. I explained I lived with my boy friend and that I had no desire to sleep with someone as old as my Grandpa.( I thought if you were in the family you weren't aloud to sleep with exmembers) He said we could get a hotel room or something. I kept saying no and went home. He kept calling me so I finally changed my phone number.

There were alot more similar events with other leaders and shepherds and when in the family I thought this type of behavior was "normal" and not to bad. And if you would have asked me I would have said no I wasn't molested I liked the attention. But now being out of the family I relised that no adult should ever be fondling a 13 yr old girl it isn't normal even if they don't mind it. Out here you'd go to jail for it. We never thought we were being molested as we weren't forced into it physicaly...but we were mentaly and they did take advantage of our youth and our ignorance of the subject.
But this to Dom if you want to read some more torture stories go to "Faith No More" under "life with grandpa..the Mene story" I wrote a couple things that did happen to me along those lines.

Original Location

Chiara - Monday, June 03, 2002

That is so typical of the Family. I know they say that this all happened in the past and pretend to be all horrified and promise that these things don't still happen but I know of a case that has happened in the last year to the 12 year old sister (who is still in the Family) of a good friend of mine. When my friend confronted the parents they couldn't care less about it and acted like she was making it up.

Their attitude is so sickening and infuriating and this example was just proof that they absolutely do not care and they still would rather close their eyes and pretend that these things don't happen just like when we were young.

Original Location

spring - Sunday, June 02, 2002

That whole "answer from the Lord" is the biggest piece of shit I've ever seen! They obviously have no idea of the kind of trauma created by being raped as a child if they think that just "letting go" of it is going to make things any better. Makes me so mad!

When I was 7 (and living in Spain, incidentally) it became common practice for my younger sister and I to get farmed out to the older guys for them to play with. Basically it consisted of giving a lot of hand jobs to some really disgusting creeps.

When I was 9 some guy who was living in our home decided that he was going to bless me by taking me to his bed every night to have fun with. Ugh! I couldn't tell my parents because I couldn't figure out if they would think that was a good thing or a bad thing.

And then there was the series of "childcare helpers" who thought it would be nice to "help out" a prepubescent girl by introducing her to the finer points of "lovemaking".

I can't exactly say I was raped - at least not in the traditional sense - but the experience resulted in a lot of things for me to have to get over as I grew up. I did try to talk about it when I was still in TF (when they were trying to maintain that no abuse had ever happened) but just got the "so sorry that happened" story. Nobody cares about getting rid of these people! How many times are we supposed to forgive, anyways?

Anyways, Kate, hang in there. I hope you can work around any resulting issues. I have been out 7 years and sometimes it's still a struggle. Good luck!

Original Location

Pumpkin - Thursday, May 23, 2002

It definitely wasn't guilt, or not having a place in society. I wrote more about it under Lovers-Sex. At the time when it got really bad, I was being sexually abused at the time. It had a lot to with that and my family knew what was going on and didn't get me any help. Basically I ws ignored at my house, public school was a daily nightmare and there was a lot of physical abuse going on after school and then at night, the sexual abuse. Basically, I didn't have any reason to live. Every day was like torture and I only saw one way out. I've gotten help now, I'm in a Survivors group and therapy among other things but I still struggle with it when things get bad because like I said it's a habit of thinking that it's a way out and it is but just not one I want to choose right now. Hope that clarifys it.

192 accounts.
Page 6 of 20

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