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Getting Out : Generations

letter of simpathy

from danak - Sunday, December 03, 2006
accessed 1366 times

Hello everybody!

I wasn't raised in the family and if I conclude correctly from your contri butions I am considered systemite by the people from the family. If that is a turn off for you don't read any further.

I 'stumbled' on the family when I was researching lives of River and Joaquin Phoenix. For some reason I allways felt that those guys deep inside had hidden kind of sorrow. Sure it was my feeling only - but still - a very intense one. As I found out that they were raised in the family I started to research what it meant. I didn't fully realise the meaning before I came across this site. I read about your experiences and decided to share with you the view from somebody from the outside. Why? Becouse what you wrote put a huge burden on my soul. It got worse when I watched Ricky's video. Maybe I will feel a little bit better when I'll put my feelings out of my system.

It's horrible and unimaginable that at this age and in civilized society pedophiles can live unpunished in a closed community of people and victimize further despite all the laws for child protection that we got in recent years. There is no doubt in my mind about mr. Berg - he was a pedophile. If he lived today he would be put to jail and locked away for a very, very long time. What's surprising to me is, that his accomplice miss Zerby is still free and was never questioned or punished for what she did. Is looking away and doing nothing to protect children, even more - providing children to molestor less vile than child molesting on it's own? I don't think so. If you were peddling your flesh and blood for myriads of benefits you had from it you are no better than Mr. Berg. You deserve to be punished. Same goes for all grownups in comunity - parents or no parents - who looked away and supported that kind of behavior. But what's so frightening - according to some contributors -they are still supporting it. How come people found courage to prosecute child molestors in catholic church but not in the family? A mistery to me.

Why did people from the outside join the family?

Some reasons I can think about:

transfer of personal responsibility for your life, what you believe, think or feel on somebody else (read the prophet). It's much easier if all the failures in your life you can be blamed on somebody else than make your own decisions, your own mistakes and face the music afterwards. It's much easier to let other people think instead of you than take full responsibility for your actions.

Lots of sexual partners in community including children. I can't avoid the feeling that Family was (is) safe heaven for pedophiles. What better. Working with kids all the time, almost absolute power over them and if you get caught few days of prayer (if) instead of going to jail. New, fresh kids all the time, no fear of being prosecuted and that wonderful feeling that you are doing work of God - after all it's the prophet who says so. Right?

spiritual reasons - some members of the family truly believed that they were living in the word of God and that this is path of salvation. But Jesus warns us to be vigilant of false prophets. If no sooner they should have realized their mistake when they saw what was happening to their or other people's children.

financial reasons - I can't imagine that becouse it's not in my nature but maybe for some people begging on the streets (for the God's glory ofcourse) is much more appealing than working all day five days a week and more. By the way has anyone ever seen Miss Zerby or mr. Berg begging on the street? I wonder.

I was in great dillema who sinned more. People who were molesting and abusing you or so called 'normal people' - parents or not - who did nothing to protect you. I finaly came to conclusion that vilest of the vile are parents. Those who by giving birth to child should take care of it and protect it from all harm if humanely possible. They should have told you that you are special and unique. Each and everyone of you in the eyes of God - there was nobody before like you and there will be nobody after like you. They should have told you that God loves you and that each one of you has a mission in this world, something to give to and take from this world and people around you. They should have told you that your body belongs to you - as Saint Paul says is temple of the soul - and nobody has right to do anything to you without your consent, specialy not before you are mature enough to make your own decisions. They put you to this world - they were responsible for you. You couldn't protect yourself - you had to rely on them and they betrayed you.

You didn't deserve to be brainwashed by the methods that secret services use to break foreign spys - sleep and food deprivation, torturing, fear, constant propaganda etc. I also feel that society as whole failed to protect you. Where were social services, church, police and goverment institutions when all this was happening? We (people outside family) are to blame too - for it was known that something is wrong and we did nothing.

It chilled me to the bones to watch Ricky's video. What kind of misery can make a man contemplate suicide all his life? What kind of torture can drive a man who found love in his wife away from her to end his days with murder and suicide? I can't imagine it. I also can't imagine the extent of despair, lonliness and hurting kept in his soul. May God have mercy on all of us if we can do that to our children.

I really and truly wish I could help you - but the only thing I can do is pray for you. I do belive in God and I do believe in your strength. Just don't give up please! Be angry, tell them your sorrow, express your anger, kick their butts, take them to court, yell on the roof tops - just please, please, don't give up on the world. No matter what it's worthwile leaving. After this short life - eternity is waiting so please do not despair. Be brave and lots of luck!

your sister in God Dana

Reader's comments on this article

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from maryw
Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 12:12



I'm another systemite. I guess this isn't really the point of this website, but I just wanted to add my sympathy to Dana's. I hope that it's cool to do that here.

I'm a philosophy student and I stumbled across this site while researching the topic of trauma. I was actually looking for information on holocaust survivors, and this site kept coming up, so I've been having a bit of a look around it. Quite a few of the things written in the 'personal accounts' pages sound very similar to the kinds of things survivors of concentration camps say. Which is scary.

I think all of you are really amazing people, having gone through everything you've gone through and come out of it with the dignity, humanity and warmth that is evidenced in so much of this website's contents. And I find it amazing that the cult has not been scrutinised and offenders brought to justice. And how can someone like Zerby live with herself?

I'm tempted to go off on a philosophical rant, but it probably wouldn't be very interesting. I just really wanted to say-- 'yay for you guys!'-- and all the best with moving on.

(There's a philosophy book on trauma survivors called "Outliving Oneself", by Susan Brison, if anyone is interested. It mainly talks about holocaust survivors and victims of rape, but tries to abstract to more general discussions... if anyone is interested.)

(reply to this comment)

From catuireal
Saturday, February 23, 2008, 09:56

Would you please let out your "philosophical rant" next time? I think itīs important. Why not writing an article?(reply to this comment
from venus_fly_trap
Friday, December 08, 2006 - 15:48

Just remember that for many of us, our parents were the abusers in one way or another. Many of our friends fathers and mothers were the adults who sexually molested us. Our parents were part of it, mentally, physically and spiritually.
(reply to this comment)
From danak
Friday, December 08, 2006, 16:31


I truly truly believe your parents will pay for every single wrong they did to you - neglecting your education, not providing for you, abusing you, exploiting you for labor, not protecting you from evil, not loving you like good parents should, not encouraging your self esteem, giving you false values and letting alcoholic, pedophile pimp (read almighty Berg) and his worthy consort (read Zerby) - posing as God's prophet - brainwash you. All this and much more is on their soul.

Is it strange that they don't want to see the truth? That they live in denial? That they don't want to see what was truly happening in the family? Truth is so ugly, so black that a person with iota of decency left can not face it without going bonkers. If I did that to my children I wouldn't be able to live. Those who have their own children and love them understand how I feel.

Those without soul (read Zerby and her clique) are different storry. Black is their natural colour, they thrive in filth and corruption. She is minister's daughter. She can't say she doesn't know the bible. She does. She was reading it in her own family. If anybody - than she knew what Berg truly was. She knew his teacihgs were abomination. Just to mention one - incest is strictly forbiden in the bible. It's against the any law- God's or human. She knows it but she did what was to her liking without any consideration for God or even most basic human decency. She is using God as much as she was using her children and as much as she is using her followers.

God gave us free will to chose between good and evil, but when we leave this earth we have to answer for our choice. Her own son put judgement on her. Thank God I am not her. (reply to this comment

from Phoenixkidd
Friday, December 08, 2006 - 12:31

Thank you Dana, I hope your comments were genuine considering all the BS we've been fed all of our lives. What irks me even more than the S**ual abuse is the utter denial of our right to socialize with society yet at the same time working so hard to achieve goals that mean nothing today. It really hurts. Now I am 30 and feel old already, I feel I've worked too hard for no economic profit. I feel my parents are even worse off knowing they do make a decent amount of money yet today have nothing to speak of except their memories. Very sad.
(reply to this comment)
From danak
Friday, December 08, 2006, 15:01


Thanks for your comment. Yes - all I have written is sincere and comes directly from my heart. I could write much much more. I am so totaly pissed off at your parents that I have to be careful to be civil about what I say as I know that you love them no matter what. I also believe that they don't deserve that love - but love doesn't ask for reason.

You might feel old but you are not. This days you are young adult and USA is land of oportunity. You can still get better education and better life, financialy and in all other ways - just don't give up! If you could brave begging on the streets and all kinds of abuse as a kid and than found strength to get out of the cult you were born in and raised in - that shows lots of will and determination. It must be hard sometimes to hang on - just to live from day to day. You probably often despair, but believe me - we all do sometimes. I worked and studied almost all my life to become a doctor and one of the greatest revelations I had was that on the day of my graduation, with MD diploma in my hand I was no happier than before and no better person. I realised that day that titles, diplomas, even education itself doesn't give you real happiness or fulfilment. Yes ofcourse, I have a well paid job and something to show for it but believe me that doesn't bring you real happiness either. Ofcourse it's also true what one other spiritual leader once said (OSHO): It's much easier to be rich and miserable than miserable and poor. He had experience of both. I sometimes feel about my profession very much like you about your life in the family. I put so many years of hard work, living practicly in isolation before I acheved what I am today. And sometimes I still feel empty and drained. Sometimes I feel it was not worth it.

You have 30 years behind you. Experiences that most of people don't have and most of children shouldn't have. Still it is your life and future is in front of you. You can do it. Other people did it. You are no less than they are. How many times I was despairing among the books, shaking before exams, been sick becouse of tremendous responsibility I have as a surgeon. But my mother allways said - if others can do it, you can doit. You are no worse or better than they are. You can do it! And I did.

I say the same to you. If you can find out what you really and truly want in your life than you can achieve it - with all the past haunting you and with all fears of future - you can make it. If I could - you can too. Go for it! Your parents made their own decisions, their own mistakes. We all pay for our choices. You were dragged without your will to a situation where you had no choice - but now you do have your say. You make your own decisions! You said you worked so hard for no real benefit. And yes you are right - it was wrong and nobody should make children responsible for financial gain of the family - any family, not just the Family. That's sin of your parents. They will answer for it. But right now you know that you can work hard. You did in the past - for other people and like you said for false reason. Now work hard for yourself and for the things you really want - be that money, diploma or the lovely girl down the street - go for it! You can do it! I wish you lots, lots of luck and may God be with you!(reply to this comment

From EyesWideShut
Saturday, December 23, 2006, 09:23


Thank you for your sincere sentiments.

What Phoenixkid says about feeling old is true, and I believe it is the one lingering side effect, even for those of us who seem to have come through ok. I am only 31, but 95% of the new friends I make are in their 40's and 50's, which does say something about where I am at mentally.

I don't really know how to have fun, even when I drink; I don't understand the whole "woo-hoo" thing. After all is said and done, I think that leaves me with the most anger: that I could have experienced life so differently, and here I am at 30, with the wind irreparably knocked out of me. I've learned how to go on business as usual, with a new understanding of ambition, but it is a relatively empty existence. The vision is not there.

I am a young crusade come home from the wars, trying hard to find some semblance of life as a farmer; no bloody battles, no prison walls, no torture, no scabby infidels, no loss, no triumphs, no noble cause. There is but the quiet life of an average woman, the simple joys of daily accomplishment, the small pleasures of family and the good earth. With age beyond my years, I am lost to most sensations. My ears have been tuned to only react to a very high frequency; my nerves only feel when massively affected. The light touches go unnoticed, the soft sounds go unheard.

When I sit and stare into the flames after a long day, I no longer see mangled and bloody faces. I see only fire, and the wonder of fire is a mediocre comparison to the fiery high of blissfully ignorant religious fervor. I feel a fool to have ever believed there was a higher calling, and I wish I had never learned otherwise.

I look to my son to have the chance I never had; I struggle to be a content mother so that my son does not feel the effects of my frustration. I am not an alcoholic, but I have come to appreciate the mental calm that comes from drinking straight out of the bottle from time to time. First the fuzzy wobbly bliss, then the inevitable tears, and at the end, just before I nod off, the mental calmÖ

Itís no kind of life, itís an existence. Itís my existence.

In summation, if one were to examine this age that we feel, I suspect they would find that most of us grew into adulthood simultaneously to leaving the Family. Maybe this is quite simply what it feels like to live an adult life with adult responsibilities, and we donít realize how very normal we are.

I wonder.(reply to this comment

From distressed
Wednesday, January 02, 2008, 03:23

I look at my own children and any other in the same way, for a change cry in happiness for something that seems so natural, something we all deserved, and at 27 feel like i should retire, in so many different ways, I end up proving my age to convince them, then to retreat to my freedom, of a fireplace, a family, and a version of peace I'm still struggling to grasp. but what breaks my heart even more is the way it still fractures my new free life, so to lose it all over again because of the pieces my soulmate isn't ready to pick up and reassemble them all just yet, and the euphoric.(spelling)? emotion involved with REAL loyalty and intention, and of all the worlds to relate to look back at a childhood with your wife but to know that tear cried in our soul too many times and for her to regress back to names that tear at me, but not enough to not hold on, or to her, its amazing how we cant choose who we love, contrary to popular belief? what is that by the way? but I'm sure we will love and cherish all the right things in way all the rest in so many ways take for granted. i just wish it wouldnt tear at these years of freedom and peace.(reply to this comment
From vix
Saturday, December 23, 2006, 11:47

[Removed at author's request] (reply to this comment
From vix
Saturday, December 23, 2006, 15:30


*This is a repost of my comment directly above, with the song lyrics corrected and the final stanza added as well because I regretted leaving it out earlier. Admin will remove my earlier comments at some point. In the meantime, apologies for the mess I'm causing in the thread.*

This is an incredible articulation of our collective plight, Sunny. Thank you, it helps to know that I am not alone. I also think you come to a remarkably astute conclusion. I think it's a great shame that we will never be able to know how normal it is to feel this way. I relate so very well to everything you say. Somehow, day after day after day, I manage to nourish the dreamer in me, hoping against hope that someday something in me will change to afford some relief. But underneath it all I know full well that it's not much more than a hollow attempt at survival by whatever means I can muster. There is a deep, dark hole in me.


They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the virgin birth.

I remember one Christmas morning
A winter's light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas tree smell
Their eyes full of tinsel and fire.

They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a silent night
They told me a fairy story
'Till I believed in the Israelite.

And I believed in Father Christmas
I looked to the sky with excited eyes
'Till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him through his disguise.

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave New Year
All anguish, pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear.

They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on earth
Hallelujah, Noel; be it Heaven or Hell
The Christmas you get you deserve.

--Emerson, Lake and Palmer

(reply to this comment

From EyesWideShut
Saturday, December 23, 2006, 14:48


Thank you for reading and relating. You must know me, but I am unfamiliar with your new name, Vix. Please write me and unveil the mystery :)

My new blog is at I posted this and several other things so far. I hope you'll visit. You are quite a writer yourself.

With pleasure,

Sunny(reply to this comment

From vix
Saturday, December 23, 2006, 15:37


I don't know you personally but we've chatted on here from time to time.

vix = vixie/vixen/Vicky

Thanks for the compliment, btw :-)

(reply to this comment

From Shaka
Saturday, December 23, 2006, 15:12

Well hello there! Very, very long time no see.(reply to this comment
From EyesWideShut
Saturday, December 23, 2006, 15:40

A very long time, indeed! Are you still in the Armed Forces?(reply to this comment
From Shaka
Saturday, December 23, 2006, 16:22

Yes actually I am writing this while sitting in that gaping asshole commonly known as Iraq. I'll be back next August. I have several years to go till I get out of the army and I'm not really sure whether I am or not when the time comes.(reply to this comment
From EyesWideShut
Sunday, December 24, 2006, 10:14

Ah, yes. Been there. Take care of your self. We miss you back here.(reply to this comment
From vix
Saturday, December 23, 2006, 11:50

[Removed at author's request] (reply to this comment
From AnnaH
Saturday, December 23, 2006, 14:03

Uhh....maybe I'm really out of it, but what spelling and grammatical errors? (reply to this comment
From vix
Saturday, December 23, 2006, 14:23

[Removed at author's request] (reply to this comment
From AnnaH
Saturday, December 23, 2006, 20:46

Wow, sometimes the human brain just automatically corrects things when you're reading them. To you, I mean...(reply to this comment

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