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Getting Out : Generations

Time to Speak Out - by Grandma Jeannie

from Matahari - Monday, January 24, 2005
accessed 1556 times

Now a happy Grandma, with all my kids out and busy with their lives, school and families, I found myself reflecting after the recent tragic death of Ricky and Angela. The result is my letter to my kids'dad who is still in TF.

Hi C.,

It was good to hear from you. I printed up the letter you wrote about your trip to Aceh and gave it to everybody. You probably won’t get letters from the kids, because they are pretty pissed off at you for going away and leaving them. I try to get them to write, but they aren’t interested right now, especially L. and M. T. might, because he has a little better understanding of what you are trying to do, since he has been over there, but the girls are pretty bitter. T. has been really sick and I took him to the doctor yesterday, for the 3rd time in two weeks. He has bronchitis and almost had pneumonia, plus vomiting and diarrhea, then he broke out in a rash all over, which we think was a reaction to the antibiotics the dr. put him on. He is getting better now and I think will be fine by Sunday or so.

Well, your trip to Aceh must have been life-changing. I can only imagine, but probably not completely. My heart just aches, thinking of all the poor precious Indonesians who are suffering now and I wish I could do something to help them, especially the little children who lost their families and everything. I really do pray for them all through the day. I’m glad your teams are able to be there and be a help.

Thanks for sending me the attachment regarding Ricky. It brought something to mind.

I feel I need to point out to you that although I love you and a lot of the other guys there in Indonesia, who have been dear friends to me over the years, that I am diametrically opposed to Maria and Peter and do not have one bit of faith in anything they say or write. I, as you know, am not an active “enemy” of the Family, but I do not believe the Family “spin” on events that have occurred, past or present.

I think it is a terrible tragedy what happened, for all concerned. I knew Angela way back when she was Cedar, and she was always very kind and sweet to me then. She was secretary of the leadership and I was a “nobody” cook/childcare helper/laundry girl. It never seemed to matter to her, and we were friends. That was in ’71 in Houston. I grieve the loss of her life, and also Ricky’s.

You have to take a hard look at this situation and ask yourself why Mo, Maria and Peter have this kind of bad fruit. Something is wrong somewhere, for things to turn out like this.

I don’t talk to the kids about this much, but they have their own minds and are each independent thinkers and can come to their own conclusions. They’ve read the movingon website postings, including Ricky’s accounting of the Mene story and the Lord Judge Ware’s summation of the case in England, and have formed their opinions accordingly. They were the ones who found the website, and then they told me about it.

I was asked about a year or so ago to write articles for the other site which is more geared for first generation people coming out who need advice on how to transition, my “success” story or what have you. (though not really that successful, considering we are always in a financial hole!) The site managers seemed to feel that I had a positive attitude and felt they needed that on the site. I started a few articles, hoping they would be able to help someone else, but eventually I decided that I really did not have the time to invest in it because I could not get my normal stuff done every day as it was and I was just too busy. Also, I found it to be quite draining to be constantly thinking about my experiences in the Family, particularly after I left the farm and then when I went to Houston, and got treated the way I did, my kids taken away and thrown out on my butt after I had been as faithful as I was all those years. The first two years I was out I was pretty traumatized and those memories are not something I enjoy revisiting over and over, which is what I would have had to do in order to write about it. I just prefer to focus on what I’m doing now, take care of R. and the kids and try to make my life mean something now.

The reason I am telling you this is because I feel you need to understand that although I do not actively campaign against the Family, I do not believe Mo was the saint we thought he was, and I don’t have faith in his letters and certainly not in Maria and Peter. I believe Ricky’s accounting of what went on in their home while he was growing up is true. And we all read the Story of Davidito, as it came out, chapter by chapter, with pictures, so we know it is true. There’s no way it could all be lies. There are too many people who have said these things and they can’t all be lying. And if they all were, why would they want to? What would make Deborah and Ricky, and Mene and James Penn and others who know these people want to say the things they have if there’s no truth to it? What was done to them to make them hate such supposedly “saintly, loving” people? Something, obviously! Ricky was an eye witness to it, for years, and it drove him to an unimaginable end. I do not consider what he did to be heroic, to the contrary horrific, but that is the fruit of Peter and Maria, which were the fruit of Mo. It was a very sick mentality, and still is. I don’t understand how you could still be following them!

I believe many dedicated individuals in the Family have done some good over the years, with outreaching Christ to people, but there is just too much bad stuff that happened that can’t just be pushed aside and ignored. There are so, so many young people who have left the Family who have horror stories that haunt them and there are valid reasons why they are so angry. So many sweet, innocent young children who were molested by perverted, dirty old men and women! Yuck! I don’t understand how you guys can just ignore it all. What do you think happened to so many that makes them want to lash out in such a way? It’s one thing to come out with official policy statements to cover your ass as far as the law and public opinion go, but what do you really believe? Do you believe it was actually a clean safe environment for kids, but most of them just had weak faith? Why are they so angry and why do they feel so violated if it was right? If it was clean and good in God’s eyes, then why did it do so much damage to so many of these poor kids, and driven them to suicide and murder? It obviously was not! And who were the main perverts who were behind it all? Come on, get real! You have to honestly ask yourself these questions, C. It’s time to face it! You need to ask yourself how your conscience could become so jaded and calloused! You can’t just pretend it didn’t happen! It did! And look at poor Angela and Ricky’s lives. Lost forever in such a tragedy. It’s heartbreaking!

Do you remember when we were on the road in Thailand while we were in the Korat home, and Josiah came to me while we were postering and asked me to take J. (who was 12 at the time) back to the hotel room and “share” with him? Do you remember me telling him flatly NO and how disgusted I was? Well, I have thanked the Lord many many times, that inspite of the fact that I was on “probation” at the time and was supposed to do whatever I was told, that I had the guts to stand against him and vehemently refuse to do that! God Almighty! The thought of it just makes me sick all over again!

As far as I can remember, that was the only time I was ever confronted with a situation like that and I never knew personally of any other situations where children were vulnerable to sexual exploitation of the adults caring for them. But just imagine if I had been a wimp and done something like that because “leadership” told me to! It’s a damn good thing I was as “rebellious” as you always said I was! That’s probably what saved my soul!

I am honestly not trying to pick a fight here, but I feel like you need to understand where I stand on these issues. I have tried to move on with my life and so have our kids. But I must tell you, it has been a struggle. M. is really struggling, and she feels very abandoned by you. You may think your being gone from them has all been fine because R. is here, but you leaving them left a huge hole in their lives and they are pretty angry at you for it. T. and I take up for you as much as we can, but there is only so much we can do. They are all tired of me telling them that some day you will wake up and realize what a lie you have lived for so long. I know you want to serve the Lord, and that’s fine, but there are lots of other great places you could do that without all the weirdness! They have issues and they don’t even write and tell you, because they truly believe it would just fall on deaf ears. I think if you don’t attempt to open some dialogue with them, and honestly listen to them, you are really going to regret it one day.

Well, I didn’t really intend to get into all this, and I probably wouldn’t have if you had not sent that attachment of Peter & Maria’s letter, but it just hit a raw nerve when I read it, so here’s my response! I guess you’ll think twice before you do that again. Unless of course you feel I just might have a valid point or two, in which case I think you may want to write each of the kids, individually, and try to find out what is going on in their lives.

This may all just be too much for you, and if so, well, that’s pretty much what they expect anyway, so they won’t be that disappointed. My hope is, however, that you will give it some thought and proceed from there.

I better sign it off here. I’ll wait to hear back from you, if you think you can respond to this, but if you don’t I will at least feel I have spoken my peace on these issues, and my heart and soul on the matter is now on record. I have recently come to the personal conclusion that by remaining a silent survivor and not doing something to address these things, or speaking out against past abuses and Mo, Peter and Maria, I am condoning it by default!

Let us hear from you.

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from Jeannie
Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 11:10

Here is the reply I got from my kids' dad, who is obviouly still very much speaking the party line of Zerby and co.Same old groupthink (or not think!) Oh well, I tried!
Dear -------,
Thanks for you note and sharing your personal feelings. Sorry to hear that you feel the way that you do about all the things that you have experienced. I guess you know what I think and I don't find anything you said too supprising. I think you forget to see the spiritual warfare that goes on and tend to look at what has happened from a rather worldly perspective but I don't think that there is much that I can do about that. I suppose that all the people that one day yelled hosanna to the king of kings and then yelled crucify him also thought that they were just getting rid of someone that was not really all that important anyway. And I guess we could also blame Judas Iscarot's suicide on the bad fruit of Jesus. I'm sure that you will consider all this irrelevant. You have to live your life and I have to live mine. I will be more than happy to meet the children when it works out to try and explain to them what has happened in their lives and in mine but I will also defend the Family, Father David, Maria and Peter with every bit of strength that is within me. If you don't believe in it anymore then that is fine with me but don't try and tear down our faith and the right to live what we believe. I know the time will come that who so ever kills us will think that he does Gods service but don't let the devil pull you into that trap like he did poor Ricky. The doubts are real and the battle is real and it has nothing to do with little incidents in Houston or Thailand or anywhere else for that matter. Please don't let these God damn apostates deceive you and rob you of your faith and trust and peace of mind. I'm really sorry that it has to be like this and that you and the children have had to suffer so much. I know that it is real and I wish that I could help, but it's hard for me to help when you don't believe in what I have to offer, so in a way my hands are tied by the decisions that you and the children have made. It's not really going to help much by me being there if there is a constant conflict in beliefs. I cannot force you to believe the way I do and in the same way neither can you force me. So if you cannot accept me for what I stand for then I don't think you are really being fare. I'm willing to accept you for the decisions that you have made and you reap the results of those decisions. I don't think you can blame me and the Family for the way things are turning out now in your lives or the bitterness that you have. If you want to see people that have really got something to complain about or worry about then come to Aceh. I don't think your little complaints about the Family will seem that important to you anymore. I'm not saying that to belittle mistakes that were made but you can only beat a dead horse so long. Everybody has problems to overcome and difficulties in life. Oh well, so much for all this. I really don't have time. It's such a waste of time. I better go. I'm praying for you all and love ya lots. Keep us in your prayers. I won't send you anymore stuff if that's what you want. I don't see how you can be so bent out of shape with someone as sweet as Maria. That in itself is really weird. Beyond my comprehesion. I guess I'm just stupid but we're here doing something instead of critizing, that's all I know. Let's just forget it all and try and help others. Sounds to me like your life was pretty positive until you got mixed up with the apostates so maybe you need to step back and see the hand writing on the wall. Same with the kids. Of course they, and the devil, are going to go after someone like Ricky with everything they've got. Just something to think about. Everyone has their perspective, some see the mud and some see the stars. I'm a little bit supprised with you to tell ya the truth. After everything we've gone through, you throw years of your life full of rich experiences out the window, everything that we taught our children to believe in. No wonder they are confused. I thought you had a little more guts than that. I'm pretty disappointed in you. What in the world where you doing all those years. Just go back to the good old Bible for Gods sake and all you were taught. It's all going to be known soon so I guess if nothing else we can just wait. Everything the Family produces that is so wonderful, there is nothing that is hateful or evil. This is the fruit of the Family. The Family lives to share Gods love to the world thru His Words. Where is all this wickedness that you speak about, what is the heart and soul of the message that we have always been taught and try to share with others. We will never be accepted because of the truth that we bare and the darkness that we expose. Okay better go for now. Keep in touch.
Lots of love,

(reply to this comment)
From Bella
Tuesday, January 25, 2005, 12:39


The saddest part of the ramble: he is not willing to let go of his own program in order to help his kids who are (even according to him) "struggling."

He blames you at the end of the letter for the kids being messed up! Umm... What about you, dad?

Sad but very typical of the Zerby-ites.

(reply to this comment

From Jeannie
Tuesday, January 25, 2005, 14:25

He always blamed me when anything went wrong. Well, when the family kicked me out (for having the "guts" he says I haven't got) to stand up and speak out about retraining programs, and other harsh policies, he knew it was wrong but did not have the "guts" to stand up for me when he knew I was right. So I had 5 of my 6 my kids taken away and out I was. Kids went to Mexico with him, where they lived in a combo while he went to a unit. They sometimes saw him every 3 months or so! I had no contact with some of them for 3 years, (4 years with my oldest!)them for. Surprise surprise, the boys started to misbehave(I wonder why!) and they sent two of them to me because they were troublemakers in the combo, thank God!
Eventually they all came to their senses and left to come and be with me!Well, believe me you guys aren't the only ones who have been through hell, believe me!
Good thing is,the story has a happy ending! I'm remarried to the love of my life, all the kids are out, and we are MOVING ON with our lives! So hang in there, guys, it gets better as you give it your best day by day!
Lesson learned?--- Be as gutsy as you can, and you'll make it in the end!(reply to this comment
From Bella
Tuesday, January 25, 2005, 14:29


Sounds sort of like us - we were taken away (myself and 4 siblings) from our mom and were not allowed to see her for 10 (yes, 10) years. Good to know your kids are back with you.(reply to this comment

From Jeannie
Tuesday, January 25, 2005, 17:37

I'm sorry, Bella. 10 years is a long time. Are you in touch with her now? If so, I hope you all were able to reconnect and really pick up where you left off. It takes some effort, but sure is worth it when your mom or child is your best friend and most enthuiastic cheerleader! I hope it's like that for you. My kids have just been great to me. We sure do appreciate each other now! All the best and thanks for your sweet comments. Bless you!(reply to this comment
From Haunted
Tuesday, January 25, 2005, 12:07

This is so sad, sorry. I guess you just can't help so many years of constant brainwashing (figuritivly speaking). (reply to this comment
Tuesday, January 25, 2005, 12:47

Thank you for sharing this with us. It is very reassuring to have a first-generation former member reaffirm so rationally and understandingly our position. I know it must be very discouraging & frustrating to receive a response like his... it's nice to know that I'm not the only one. I am trying to keep an open relationship with my parents for the sake of my younger brothers who are still with them. It seems that every time I write I get the same crap. (reply to this comment
from LTN
Monday, January 24, 2005 - 20:12

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Dear Jeannie,
Thank you very much for posting your letter. It is so calm and so full of love and understanding for your children's father (I presume your former husband). Very sweet.

I wonder if you would mind keeping this thread open by posting any responses that he might make on your letter? This would be very helpful in shedding more light on current members feelings and attitudes towards these requests like yours. I know this is asking a lot of you but I would be very interested in following this story.

Thanks again for your precious time to write him and to post on the site.
(reply to this comment)
From Jeannie
Monday, January 24, 2005, 23:23

Well, I did get a reply, but it was not really a very good one. It pretty much was what we were expecting. I did think about posting it, but it was rather disappointing. He pretty much missed the point and so he had to retaliate with the blame game and turn it around on me and on all you guys and stuff like that.Anyway, I will post it since you asked me to, and hope it helps someone, somehow.(reply to this comment
From dave
Monday, January 24, 2005, 23:52

thanks for your article, i felt it was sincere and touched on many good points. i would like to read the response as well.(reply to this comment
from ErikMagnusLehnsher
Monday, January 24, 2005 - 19:05

Thanks for sharing your letter. Best wishes to you and kids.
(reply to this comment)
from MeccaM74
Monday, January 24, 2005 - 17:28

It was great to read your letter. Thank you for posting your letter for all of us to read. I feel very much like you in many ways and it's good to hear of someone else putting those thoughts into words. Good luck!
(reply to this comment)

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