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|from I Wanna Bookworm|
Friday, March 11, 2005 - 18:52
OK, so I saw this book review for "The Glass Castle" on nytimes.com and I think I'm going to read the book. It sounds to me like the author's mother was as successful as The Family in getting MyConclusioners to brag about all the countries where they've been as though that was a good in itself, rave about the unmitigated "fun" and "excitement" of living with an assortment of random fellow group members with a range of appeal, and display like a badge of honor the various "ministries" (don't get me wrong, work is honorable, but somehow the incantation of some of these ministries as prima facie proof of a good education strikes me as uninformed (to be understated) and the ministers thereof, dare I say, options deprived).
OK, here's the book review excerpt that was uncannily familiar (see http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/13/books/review/013COVERPROSE.html?8bu):
"[Jeannette Walls's chilling] memoir offers a catalog of
nightmares that the Walls children were encouraged to see as
comic or thrilling episodes in the family romance. ... Reared
by a mother who believed that kids should be left alone to
reap the educational and immunological benefits of suffering,
Jeannette Walls, her brother and two sisters rapidly
discovered that their peripatetic, hardscrabble life --
constantly moving from one bleak, dusty Southwestern mining
town to another -- had no end of painful lessons to teach
"Walls has a telling memory for detail and an appealing,
unadorned style. And there's something admirable about her
refusal to indulge in amateur psychoanalysis, to descend to
the jargon of dysfunction or theorize ... about the sources
of her parents' behavior. But what's best is the deceptive
ease with which she makes us see just how she and her
siblings were convinced that their turbulent life was a
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| From afflick|
Friday, November 03, 2006, 03:32
I read that book in one sitting and was amazed at JW's experiences. Although the sexual abuse she suffered was limited, her childhood lifestyle was very similar to mine: hastily planned travel, overnight "forsake all"s of toys and friends, lying about grandparents. JW was able to become successful in her adult life because she relied on her intelligence and guts to get her through.(reply to this comment)
Saturday, February 19, 2005 - 02:59
Before writing about the abuse I suffered in TF I feel I should point out that right now Iím very happy with my life. Iím not the least bit depressed, much less suicidal, and Iím not even upset about my upbringing Ė very few have a perfect childhood. I am writing the following because I think itís important for people to know that abuse was very widespread in the COG until the mid-90's.
Adult women fondled me and performed fellatio on me since I was 5. But I think itís the mental abuse that affected me, and I will focus on that.
Denial of education: From the age of 9 I desperately wanted to learn more than the material available in the childcare handbooks. I was interested in anything: childrenís stories, textbooks, adult literature, etc. I was forbidden from reading anything not published by the COG. In my hunger for metal activity I even memorized train and bus schedules! We moved into a "combo" when I was 10, and there were a few childrenís history books and encyclopedias in our classroom. I used to sneak them into the toilet and read them there. The material from these books were not included in our home schooling program; in fact, we didnít have a home schooling program at all; our "teachers" taught us the same simple stuff over and over again, which was all well below my age level. Most of our schooling was based on Bergís writings.
When I was 12 a "rebellious" letter I wrote to one of my peers was intercepted. I was put in isolation. I was given a list of things that were wrong with me, and half of them had to do with my desire for knowledge. I had a "demon of knowledge", among other things. I still have the list, actually.
When I was 15 I found a book about programming. I was in charge of laundry and I used to hide the book between dirty sheets, and read it as much as I could in the isolated laundry room. This was the first time in my life that I was able to learn something useful, other than very basic math, grammar, spelling and twisted history.
Child labor: From the time I was 2 years old I helped my parents sell literature on the streets. When I was 7 my father and I used to busk (sing for money) together on a walking street. When I was 12 we started selling audio tapes, and video tapes when I was 15. We also sold posters on a regular basis. I remember trying to sell "Sinless Sex" posters to couples when I was 11. I have a hard time imagining what those couples thought of me! I canít say I was "forced" to sell anything, but I knew I would get in trouble if I didnít.
Emotional Abuse: Until I was 10 my parents lived alone with me and my siblings and maybe one or two other cult members much of the time. When I was 10 we moved into a "combo", and life quickly got worse. My parents were pressured to punish their children more harshly, and I started getting punished for everything. I cooked since the age of 9 and I was usually fairly good at it; one morning in the combo I made some granola for breakfast. I had made granola dozens of times before moving into the "combo" and I never burnt it, but this time I was scared stiff that I would burn it because I knew I would be harshly spanked. Sure enough, I burned the granola, and I got spanked. What Iím trying to bring out through this example is: I was punished for everything, and it was absolutely impossible to escape punishment. When I was put in isolation at age 12, I was told I had demons because of my nervous habits of biting my fingernails and fidgeting. When I think about it now, itís no wonder I had nervous habits Ė I lived a life of constant fear.
In closing, I would like to point out that all the abuse I suffered was a direct result of Bergís letters! I was subjected to sexual contact with adults because they were trying to do what Berg told them to do. I was denied education because Berg specifically instructed COG members to deny their children education. I was used for child labor because Berg told COG members to use their children for child labor. I was harshly disciplined because Berg instructed his followers to discipline children harshly. When I think about Berg, I hope there is a hell. Death without an afterlife is just too nice for him.
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|from Chad Bryant|
Saturday, February 19, 2005 - 00:11
|from was there too|
Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 17:35
Some of my earliest memories are of "fellowships" where mass orgies took place; us kids just wandering amongst it and/or encouraged to participate if an adult took a fancy to us. In the homes during "quiet time" adults would have sex in front of the children in thier care. I was often asked to "watch your little sister" while my parents had sex in the room in front of us. weekly dance nights we we're all encouraged to strip down over the course of the evening as the adults did, many would just start having sex in room or throughout the house in the open. we had regular viewings as a home (all ages) of the fellowship videos which included "aunty's" dancing for the "king" full on stripping and masturbating, and often couples doing the hardcore. we were encouraged to "explore" each other and many of us were having sex with each other at 6 or 7. we were supposed to sleep naked all together at night, and our care takers would sleep in the nude as well, mornings would consist of watching them parade around in the nude. All the while we we're involved in varying degrees of sexual abuse, beatings, public humiliations and other than that pretty much made to perform house cleaning, cooking and other duties or taken out to "witness" usually getting dragged around in the sweltering heat/bitting cold with little or no breaks for food or water. no schooling past learning to read, "if we could read the word that was better than any education" and then given sexually explicit Berg drivel after that. am I missing anything? not what I would describe as a fit environment for raising children, but we were certainly was not foremost in our parents minds at the time.
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Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 16:38
Some of the latest (from current SGA members):
"As an SGA person brought up in the Family, I do NOT think this
situation was a case of religious persecution, but it seems to be
going that way fast.
One thing I have noticed from those who tend to write negative
stuff, and who enjoy lumping us all together, is they forget to
realize that the vast majority of current members are not screw
balls, sex maniacs, child abusers, suicidal etc. (at least I haven't
met any of late).
Most of us on the front lines are just trying to serve the Lord to
the best of our ability. In the past I think there was a lot more
man (or woman) pleasing (not talking about sex here), and sad to say
some folks didn't really think for themselves, or always encouraged
too. Since the days of the Charter people have become more
accountable for their own actions, and lives, in conjunction with
serving the Lord. The result is it seems some of us are more
independant, more on guard, but not mad. In the world but not of it.
With the way some people are stirring things up, I wonder if they
have any brains? If they keep it up, they the accuser will become
the abuser. I say to them, just stay away from my children or you'll
come to see the pearly gates sooner then you think!!!"
Sounds a little threatening there dude--maybe you should chill out and chant or something.
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|from Just one more name|
Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 06:07
Some of my first memories are of walking into a living room full of adults having sex. I lived in S. America at the time. I remember seeing my mom and other women perform half naked for the dance videos. Fortunally, I was still pretty young and was not included in the videos (3-4 yrs.).
We went back to Europe when I was 4. My parents traveled around as sheperds so we were left in the care of another couple. This "uncle" used to fondle me everytime he had a chance, until one night he finally raped me. When my mom came back I remember telling her that it hurt down there, she told me that it was nothing, that I had probably just wiped myself to hard in the toilet. After that he never touched me again but I was terrified of him. Everytime my parents had to leave again for a trip I would cry and shake all over. The first time I actually told someone about this was when I was 13-14. It was during the persecution preparations. We were asked if anything ever happened to us which we had doubts about. They wanted us to come foward with it before we blurted it to some authority. They told me that it wasn't really abuse, and that I was too small to remember exactly what happened.
Also during my time in Europe there was quite a few Gafms' or whatever they were called. I remember one was in a campground in Spain. I remember waking up at night and my parents were gone. I walked out to the main area where there was this huge bonfire. The adults were all half naked, some men had scarves on their head, sort of gypsy style. Most everyone was naked. They were in couples or groups having one big orgy. Some "uncle" saw me and invited me to sit next to him while he was with this other woman. He then touched me while touching this "auntie" at the same time. Finally, my mom saw me there and took me back to our tent, she never said anything about it.
When I was 7 we moved to Chile. There was a man there, his name was Apollos. He used to cozy up with us girls while reading us bedtime stories in the girls room. While he read to us he would touch us everywhere. He would also call us an have us watch while he washed his penis in the sink, sometimes he would have us help him.
When I was 9 there was this 18year old living with us. His name was Christian. I think his parents joined when he was 10 or something. He used to take care of us. He would come into our room at night and touch me and masturbate. I remember waking up to him hurting me. I would try to fall asleep on my stomach and stay like that so that he wouldn't do anything. This went on for quite a while. One day a new family came to the home. They had a beautiful blond daugther about my age. After that he stopped coming over to my bed, I found out later he started gong to the other girls bed.
At 12 I was placed in the Victor Program and a whole different set of abuse began. I was spanked repeatedly, on my bare bottom by "U. Josh". I went through 7 months silence restriction. One time they caught me talking to my mom and another spaking awaited me. I was "prayed over" on countless occasions, with exorsisms to drive the "spirit of rebeliousness" from me. I finally learned that the best way to end it all was to just agree with whatever they told me and go along with them. So I did.....I graduated from the program 2 months later.
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| From LAImmigrant|
Friday, November 03, 2006, 01:05
In the painful story you shared you mentioned that in preparation for the "persecutions", i.e. being put on trial for child abuse, they tried to get the abused children to come forward first so they could silence you, and convince you that you were "too young to remember". That was truly an act of evil on their part; silencing the voices of children whose innocence they know they betrayed.
They tried to exorcise your "spirit of rebelliousness"; that is, they wanted to break your spirit so you would be a good victim for them. I hope you continue to share your story with as many people as will listen. That would be the best way to prove they didn't break your spirit, no matter how much abuse these "people of God" gave you.
The fact that these "people" went on trial and were not given life sentences, and their sick cult broken up, is a disgrace. The authorities and judges involved completely failed the children they were entrusted with. I hope you and the other survivors never let the people involved forget their crimes, or the authorities involved forget that they let you and the other children down by letting the perpetrators go free. (reply to this comment)
| From |
Friday, November 03, 2006, 09:53
Actually, I am not aware of cult members having gone on trial and been acquitted. In the instances where the cases petered out, they did not get to trial. There were other factors like technicalities that the authorities messed up or not enough people out of the cult willing to tell the truth.(reply to this comment)
|from girl remembers|
Thursday, January 20, 2005 - 01:48
1981: I was six years old. My father and other members in the home organized a filming of nude/sexual dances to be circulated in the Family. After all the adults had finished their filming, it was the children's turn. I remember we were six girls (my two sisters, three other girls and myself) - ages 3 - 6 years old. We were coached by our parents and dressed up in only scarves. We were taught how to dance "sexy" and had to smile and look at the camera. We did many takes until our dance was good enough. The dance ended with us all dropping our scarves to reveal our little naked bodies. I know that this video circulated around the world to family homes. Berg even wrote some comment on the video after having viewed it. I was haunted for many years when uncles would say, "Oh, I remember you from that video. You were such a sexy little dancer."
1982: I was seven years old. Our home had a policy - If you went into the pool area, you had to be naked! I complained about this a lot cause it made me very uncomfortable to be playing and swimming with adults who were also naked. I was told that I was not revolutionary enough and was made to read the Word on the subject.
1986: I was eleven years old. John Darjeeling (Indian nationality) would corner me and my nine year old sister and rub against us and try to kiss us. We finally told my mom and she calmly spoke to the home shepherds who asked him to stop.
1986: I was twelve years old. Francis (British) fell in love with me. He carried on his sordid affection for me for over a year. He would write me love letters, love songs, trick me into situations where he would fondle me, kiss me, etc!!! He managed to make me his partner for road trips often and would of course make sure that we shared a double bed. My parents were the home shepherds and Francis would write his OHRs to them and confess his love for me. Neither my parents nor Francis' wife ever talked to me about it or made his stop.
1987: I was thirteen years old. I was sent to The Teen Training Home. Any affection or flirting was forbidden between the teens. BUT a dirty old man, one of the teen shepherds, Paul (a.k.a. Gordon, married to Shuly) would regularly get me to baby sit his kids at night where he would come in and fondle, masturbate and make out with me. HYPOCRITE!
1988: I was thirteen years old. I was participating in nationwide training camps (lasting three months). All of the women coming through the training camps (well over 100) whether they were trainees, on staff or a leader, were encouraged to "volunteer" for performing full nudity dances on video. Berg had sent out a written request for this because "it was a time when he was feeling discouraged and weak - it would provide him encouragement". Most of the women participated. This whole project (lasting several days) was kept secret from the male trainees. The instructions we were given were: "During your dance, you must strip to full nudity and masturbate". I was not comfortable with any of this, but was encouraged to do it because "Only Grandpa's home will see the video". I managed to do my dance without masturbating. That evening all the staff at the camp (approx. 30-50 adults) gathered for a "surprise" - the viewing of the dances that had been filmed. I almost died when my dance came on. I protested, but was booed. I ended up running out of the room while 30-50 adults watched my 13yr old naked body dance on video.
1987: I was thirteen years old. During dance night in my home I was encouraged to do a sexy dance for everyone (50 or so teens and adults)
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| From Jessica|
Thursday, January 20, 2005, 01:50
1990: I was 15 years old. John Paul (older adult) always arranged for me to be his outreach partner. We would go on week long road trips where we would always share a hotel room. He would get into my bed almost every night and would do everything but penetrate me. He said, ďI know youíre only a child, but when I have sex with you I think of you as an adult.Ē The home shepherds continued sending us on road trips together for half a year and always provisioned us the hotel room. HOW NAŌVE WERE THEY??!
I have only listed my personal experiences. I have witnessed many first had account and have heard first hand accounts from others of their abuse. I will not list them, but rather stick to my personal experiences.(reply to this comment)
|from Another girl|
Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 23:40
Prior to 1986 - Sometime during my early childhood either age 4, 5 or 6 one of the women took me to one of her "fish" in the PI who was a doctor. My memory is very limited. I remember seeing the guy who was white and had a 70s hairstyle. They put me in one of his exam sections on an exam table and pulled the curtain closed and danced out of my sight (I snuck a peak). She stayed outside the exam section, and he came in to where I was. I have lost all memory of what happened there, but I do remember crying in fear and walking away from the clinic. What haunts me about this memory is that I still have fears that come from memories of his clinic. I get really freaked out by white tiles on the walls except in bathrooms and kitchens. Listening to that horrid scraping violin(?) music (think M.A.S.H. theme) makes me want to curl up and die. Although I cannot speak of any abuse that happened there, I know that something was not right with that situation. I have never told my mom about this incident.
1986(?) - In the PI, when I was 6 years old a 15 year old daughter of high shepherds sexually molested and physically abused me in the neighboring selah home of Berg and Zerby. She made me do sexual things to her in the bathroom with the lights out. She would also drag me through the house finding objects to spank me with and would spank me for what seemed like an eternity. I held a grudge against this girl all my life, until recently in chat I was able to learn that she has moved on with her life. Reading other experiences on this website I have come to understand that her abuse of me was not her fault. She grew up in the same environment as me and acted out what she learned was right. I have never contacted her directly, but I have forgiven her for what she did to me. I place the blame on every adult who was in that home for teaching her how to do what she did, and on Berg and Zerby. Because I have forgiven her I will not name her.
1992 - 1994 - In Sweden a man who went by John Little had the responsibility of taking care of toddlers. The Jetts and Teens would take turns helping the child-care workers. During my shift with John, he would ask me to bath the 2 - 3 year old boys. Eventually he started asking me to clean their private parts in detail. When I refused to do it, he gave me a big lecture on how I need to learn how to please men. He used his own body as an example of what he wanted me to do. Several of us girls shared our horror at working with him, but I personally never told anyone of authority.
Compared to most my experiences may seem mild, but they haunt me still, and affect the way I live my life now. For example I cannot stand any affection from women, including basic hugs, etc. In TF my biggest NWO (need work on) was sharing affection with others. The only person who I am ever affectionate with in my current life is my boyfriend. I hug my guy friends and my brothers. But if a girl so much as touches me I get a chill up my spine, and I have yet to find a nice way of saying "Get your hands off of me!"
When I read the transcript of that recent show, I was so unbelievably angry. I am completely outraged by Claire Borowik for 2 reasons. One is because in her home in Baltimore (aka the DC Media home), one of the women - maybe even Claire herself - would talk to me about how she went FFing with my mom, and knew us back in PI. That would mean she was probably there when the first incident occured, and maybe it was even her who took me to see the doctor. Who knows? The other thing that sickens me about her is how she says each situation would have been individually reported and handled. Well I never reported shit because we lived in an environment of fear and belief that adults could only be right. The adults always seemed to gang up together whenever we presented issues about the others to them.
The closest I ever got to telling my mom about my experiences was when a teen was watching us one night at bedtime. I started telling her stories, some true and some not. I was blending it in as a fairy tale sort of thing, and I told her about the abuse by the teen girl. The next day she told my mom everything I had said. Rather than realizing that I had been blending my story, my mom was so upset that I had lied and made up stories. She even knew some of the stuff I had said to be true, but she was so pressed with what wasn't that she hardly paid attention. I think she was most upset by the story I made up about breaking a condom which caused my brother to be conceived. Well I got enough demerits to miss the next movie night, and was spanked as well. I swore then that I would never tell her anything about what happened.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 23:28
Great idea. I think ppl should mention if they did or didn't recieve an official apology & hear of any(legal) action taken against the guilty party. Since they're saying they've had a system setup to deal with this all this time.
Not only is it strange that they need some type of coporate body setup to tell them not to diddle their kids, it's a lot worse that there isn't a single case of any offenders being handed over to law enforcement anywhere. Not even from the "occasional" cases that they admit happened in the past.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 22:54
When I was 6 a male member made me touch his penis under the blankets. When I was 7 another male member made me lay on top of him naked, he was naked too. I never told my parents because I was embarrassed and did not understand. I don't know if my parents would have left at that time had I told them. What people don't realize is that when you're a kid and you know about sex from the time you're 2 it is difficult to know when to say hey that's wrong or I'm telling my parents, because you don't know right from wrong yet. But the embarrassment and confusion never goes and it comes back to haunt you.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 22:38
I was 13 in the HCS. This was supposed to be the big shining example. I was sexually assaulted by one of the home leaders. I'm 31 now and I'm still not over it.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 21:50
1987: While in the Osaka School in Japan, I was molested and raped repeatedly by one of the teen shepherds who slept in the next room. My parents were not at the school at the time. I told my sister and she told her shepherd. She was told to keep silent and help me get the victory over lying. I was put on silence restriction for a month.
1990: While in the home in Elgg Switzerland I was molested by two different adult men. One was Stefan Shaff, the other went by Tim. I did tell my mother this time. She was furious and tried to protect me. She never did succeed in convincing the home shepherds to do anything about it. Stefan was later made a Jett shepherd in charge of me! He used to spank me for any reason he could think of but never did molest me again. I think he was scared of my mother.
I was beaten inumerable times for laughable reasons. I would not eat brewers yeast is a good example.
None of these men have ever faced the consequences of their actions. I face them every day. It has taken years of therapy to get me some semblance of a normal life. I still do not eat brewers yeast.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 21:39
Hello??? I had this exact idea, except I said to do it via email. I even sent my idea to albatross to ask him to give suggestions on the statement this morning. Amazing! Great minds think alike!
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