from Haunted - Monday, January 31, 2005
accessed 1109 times
The following are excerpts from a few emails I received from an FGA. I guess in all of this we sometimes forget those poor "nationals" of the many countries we were in, many of whom joined the group very young and thus were also subject to the many abuses we went through as well. I think that this is yet another sad outcome of the teachings of Berg.
I took out some things she wrote about her kids etc... as I don't want to post their stories, but she did give me permission to post most of what she wrote. Well, I'll let her words speak for themselves.
Letter from M:
I have been reading your site off and on for a while.
I was 15 years old when I met the Cog. The first time I had sex was when I was molested by an adult in the group, and then the first time I had intercourse was when I was raped by a F member during a night I stayed over at the home at New Year's Eve.
I stayed in the Cog (I think the trauma and the fact that I already came from an abusive family I could not go back to is one of the reasons) and had 4 children.
I was able to exit in 1992 with my children and so far I am the only parent who has been taking care of them.
My daughters are not on this site, but I talk to them and they are willing to go on the record with their signatures as well. They would also be willing to sign affidavits saying the (severe) sexual abuse (actually it was assault, abuse is too mild) occurred after 1986.
We were in Italy then. I knew nothing about what was happening and when I found out I asked leadership for help because I was in shock. I received a letter from Dom (of Dom and Free who had just come back from Japan where the leadership was) who wrote me basically to get over it because 'it was just sex, and sex is in the Letters."
THAT was the moment I cracked. From them it was just looking for a way out. I had long thought I was living in an asylum, but at that time I knew I had to find a way to leave. It took a while but eventually we left.
I just wanted to tell you you can have 2 more signatures, and I don't know if mine counts because those things happened to me as a minor, but it was not on US territory.
I wish you all the best in this fight for truth and justice. There are many people hoping with every shred of their being that some accountability will be found.
About your email there is MUCH I would like to say so I will just go ahead and do it now. It has been very hard to cope with the renewed amount of trauma, resonance and overwhelming emotions in the last few weeks.
It has been excruciating for years, but there is HOPE. :-) Of course, I know first hand the sense of diaspora Albatross wrote about, having experienced it in first person. Not only I lived the trauma in the group, but I came from a very difficult family background that compounded it all.
Today the only kin I have is my own children. I am alone in a country that is not my own, and the only people I am close to are the friends I am able to make. Of course it is difficult to explain to most exactly who I am and "where I am from."
You see, the Cog had the ability to take a very complex situation (such as many have out there in the world) and add a hundred fold to its tragedy. So even ppl who ended up in this group so young (and the word 'choice' still is a big trigger for me to this very day as it really does not represent the context I personally lived with) trying to escape an abusive situation at home often ended up worse off....it happens every day with run aways or other people who try to find a sense of community and love because they do not have it in their own family and end up in exploitative situations instead.
I am glad to hear that whatever I can say can be of help to anyone. That alone can enrich my own experience and sense of isolation.
I often felt I would like to tell my story somewhere. The whole thing. I never did on FGA or so called boards because I really - in many ways - do not identify with many of the so called first generation, and especially the American born again type people. I am not American, don't come from a religious background, am not a boomer, was almost invariably the youngest person in most homes I was in and felt myself that THOSE older ppl were the FGA's. (funny, huh?) Because there was no sense or understanding of normal life periods like adolescence in the F, I was an instant adult and became a parent so early, so I guess my fate of being branded as FGA comes from the fact that 1) I was not born in the group 2) I had children (not by choice - because of course only GOD can decide if you have kids-that has been one of the greatest traumas in my life)
I would feel honored to be able to have *any* of my life story posted on movingon.org, especially if that could encourage some other readers. I would even be willing to post more of it (it would be long, but worth it) and have it out there for debate or whatever reaction people may have. Up until now I felt that attempting to do that could upset some who would not welcome hearing from anybody who was not technically born in the group. It would be nice to know that it is not so, and that there is room for sharing painful experiences that could validate so many in search of healing. I could also corroborate the history of some people who post because we are all divided by a few degrees of separation and I can remember places and names that could help somebody else reconstruct their own history. It has been really moving to realize that I have known some of the people who post as very young children. I am glad to know they made it out and are reconstructing their life. Just to let you know 1) I was never in childcare 2) I have never taken care of or so much as administered punishment or demerits to anybody' children 3) I have never had sexual contact with a minor (and was freaked out at the very idea of anybody doing that) 4) have often fought and been severely punished for criticism to the way children were treated, the sexualized atmosphere, and the lack of educational possibilities
I used to feel so disempowered myself, like a child who had children and did not have a way out. That feeling of helplessness has dominated most of my life.
There were many episodes of rape. It would be good to put it all on paper. You are actually giving me the inspiration/idea to do that now so I can chronicle my own story.
I wish you all the best and would like to keep in touch. Thanks again for your reply.