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Getting Out : Generations

Assisting the healing process of the second generation...

from rixil - Monday, January 31, 2005
accessed 1623 times

I'm writing this letter in hope that a third party's point of view might be helpful... My intended audience is first generation members whose children have left the Family.

It is likely that I've met your son or daughter, and in more cases than not, they are doing what society would consider well. Most of the ex-members that I have met are succeeding due to a competitive edge that drives them forward. At the same time, most of them harbor demons that they would rather not discuss, as the people who can help them attain closure are not willing to participate in their healing process. The human conscience is as fragile as it is amazing, and often times the things that drive us to succeed are also the same things that can destroy us.

I know Daniel Roselle. While I know that he is both famous and infamous around here, I can't say I've met a more polite and genuine fellow. John LaMattery and I are also very close, and I can tell you that he is an honest caring father without a mean or vindictive bone in his body.

In all, I've met fifty or so former members, and spent considerable time with about fifteen of those fifty. Of those fifteen that I've had the opportunity to spend a reasonable amount of time with, I know that at least half of them were sexually abused while in the Family. I know this because either they or people close to them have told me, sometimes in painful detail, about the abuses they suffered.

Even if I take into consideration a large statistical error due to the small sample size of the ex-members that I know, the percentage of sexually abused individuals who have left the family is staggering.

So why do I care? Because my wife is an ex-member and many of the people in my new extended family are ex-members as well. Even though I have never witnessed or been sent to Victor's, the lingo and past realities of the family are prominent in my life.

While my wife tells me that she was not sexually abused, not all of her brothers and sisters were so lucky. As the media takes interest in the Family's past transgressions, the abuse that they suffered has come bubbling to the surface of each of their consciousnesses. They don't want blood, they just want to attain closure, and want the perpetrators of these heinous acts to be put on trial for their actions.

As Claire Borowik was interviewed on Primetime, I had trouble comforting my wife as she nervously paced around our residence, telling me that she felt like she was going to vomit. This is far from an isolated incident. On more than one occasion my wife has broken down and told me that she is afraid that she has been brainwashed to the point that she will one day rejoin the family against her own will. All I can do is listen, try to comfort her, and tell that I won't let that happen to her. Keep in mind that my wife is one of the merely psychologically abused, 'lucky ones'.

So what is my point? That if you (first generation members) take accountability for placing your children in an abusive environment, it will go a long way towards helping them put their negative experiences in the Family behind them...

My wife's father, John LaMattery (not to be confused with his son of the same name that I spoke of before) has done just that. I am extremely proud of him, and a somewhat in awe of him for doing that. While it would be easier for my wife and I to ignore the olive branch he has extended, we would like to move forward, as the name of this site suggests.

What John is attempting to do is what I am urging each of you first generation members to do as well. Reconnect with your children. Talk to them about the past, and any abuse that they may have suffered. Be humble, help them, internalize what they say, accept it, and take accountability for your actions.

As a first generation parent, what do you have to lose by following this example?

While only you can answer that question, I can tell you what you have to gain. The respect of your child. My wife, who did not invite her father to our wedding because of his past transgressions, is now communicating with him.

Isn't the respect of your children worth fighting for?

The irony here is that by not working through the past with your children, you will have made the decision that the 'Family' is more important than your biological family.

As an outsider, I cannot see how anyone would make that choice if they put any real thought into it. Furthermore, I cannot see how anyone who claims to be a Christian can not at least put the needs of their biological family on par with the 'Family'.

If you decide not to take accountability for choosing to bring your children into the 'Family', then you are choosing the 'Family' over your biological family, and your kids would be best served to move on without you.

Please make the correct choice for you and your kids...



Reader's comments on this article

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from Jim LaMattery
Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 09:52

Mike is exact. For years the parents of these children have been given the choice to put their offspring first before The Family. They could have had both their belief and convictions toward their God, as well as the respect and desire to be loved by their children. Many parents will come to this startling realization. It will be a real salvation for them and their families as it has been for mine. My brother, John LaMattery, who has stood up for his children has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it can and should be done. Great has been his reward.
Demonizing your children has been a greater mistake than even the abusive practices that have come to light. When you deny that you have harmed them, you condemn them to confusion-Great Confusion. Standing against their fathers and mothers seems the greatest of crimes. The damage done to them by standing up for the truth of their particular situations without the support and comfort and acceptance that is their familial right, is in my estimation, the reason that some of these kids have committed suicide. Suicide is a complete loss of faith. What they know to be true about their parents, a truth that is harbored like a lie in the hearts and tounges of their parents, is an unbearable burden placed upon their souls. Parents have placed their children in the most dangerous of roads- they have placed them between what they believe as God and the acceptance of love they so deserve. It is a sin that keeps them separated from the full enjoyment of a loving relationship with whom they should share the most; their fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers. Why hasn't Daniel Roselle's parents and family stood up to the call that has now placed before them? If Daniel were to commit suicide, would they hear then? Karen Zerby did not hear her son's voice. It was the voice of a child who desired nothing more than to be a little boy, free from the choices of his parents. Didn't the God she says gave her free will and choice, give Ricky that same choice? I think that many parents removed the possibility of choice from their children in hopes that they were doing God's will. But those parents had free choice to join the Children of God. Their children did not 'choose' enlistment in what their parents chose. These children are not "ex-members" of anything. They, at best, were held against their will. They, at best, can only be called hostages.
Their parents rejected the world and system. Many for damn good reasons. Now they need to reject the system they built to replace it, particularly for their children's sake. I'd love to hear feedback from these parents. Where is Mr. and Mrs. Roselle? Why have you remained silent? There is no harm in the truth and the light.
Sincerely, Jim LaMattery

(reply to this comment)
From Bella
Tuesday, February 01, 2005, 10:41

Really good point Uncle Jim. (reply to this comment
from Nikisan
Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 05:06



It feels wonderful to have your support. You have given it in many different ways (advice, encouragement, and brotherly concern), but thank you for making it vocal and public. Your third party perspective is much appreciated in this highly charged and complex vortex of relations. Thank you.

Love ur kid sis.
(reply to this comment)

from xhrisl
Monday, January 31, 2005 - 19:06

A word of thanks for articulating this point so well.
(reply to this comment)
from Bella
Monday, January 31, 2005 - 10:10

Thank you for taking the time to write this. Thank you also for once again being a rock not only to me, but to my family, during this time where we once again must re-visit and deal with our past. I have so much love and respect for you.
(reply to this comment)
Monday, January 31, 2005, 15:54



I do not know you personally but I have read your posts and may I allow myself to say that with a partner like this, no wonder you have exuded that waft of familial contentment! That, to me, is "living well" at its most important level. In my wildest dreams, I would have a partner with the character that your "rock" shows in this article.

While I do not hold out such lofty hopes for myself as attainable because of the damage done to me in the cult, I wish you many many years of happiness and family and I doff my hat in recognition of your accomplishments!(reply to this comment

From Deb
Tuesday, February 01, 2005, 23:20

for lack of time and eloquence, i have to say "ditto" to this one, bella. love you guys! you're a huge part of my life and i will always be there for you, mike and the meal! ciao babe! :>(reply to this comment
From Bella
Monday, January 31, 2005, 20:48

Oh my! What a nice compliment! Thank you. I sincerely appreciate that. I too wish you many years of happiness.(reply to this comment
from LTN
Monday, January 31, 2005 - 06:20

Mike I'm proud to call you my son-in-law. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being there for Win through these many tough years. Thank you for your love for me and faith in me.

I know your letter will help someone and hopefully a lot of someones.

I love you,

(reply to this comment)

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