from Albatross - Monday, February 02, 2004
accessed 1772 times
The abusive first generation of Family leadership is at it again. They have waged a calculated decades long campaign to rewrite our collective history. By book burning, by patently false media and court statements, in conversations to friends, supporters, and us their children, as well as through internal publications, they have acted ruthlessly and selfishly to erase the evidence of their abusive past.
Somewhere in the early nineties and coinciding with the various persecutions, TF leadership realized that TF had placed itself and the Family as an organization in extreme jeopardy by promoting, encouraging, and participating in the wholesale sexual abuse of its children. The Family, (never quick to pick up on trends or attitudes from society at large) was brought to an appreciation of the loathing in which those who abuse children are held, only by the severe acts of several governments, and specifically by the attention awarded this issue by Justice Ward in the UK case.
Get rid of the evidence:
The Family began a series of publication purges in order to destroy any documents that could support any current and future allegations of the victims.
This included most references to Flirty fishing.
Spin the story:
Media teams and homes were set up to respond to media inquires.
Protocols were established for responding to various issues that if explored
openly and with complete honesty, would most likely result in problems for
Attack the victims:
TF then implemented a defense that is in use to this day. This defense is
is essentially as follows:
1. The victims is lying
2. The victim is bitter/vindictive/disgruntled.
3. The victim is an “apostate.” (A word of negative connotation that suggests traitors, absconders, and fugitives.)
4. The victim is too young to remember.
5. The victim is being coached by anti-cult interests.
6. The victim is a failure in society and turns his/her anger towards TF
7. The victim is a sex maniac him/herself. (The implication being that whatever he/she got, was deserved.
Build up a network of academic supporters.
The Family began a campaign to establish its bona fides in the cozy world of “new religious movements” studies,
1. The Family invited academics to “study” the group. These studies took place in sterile, supported homes, with hand picked members and media spokespersons.
2. The Family encouraged the publication of books generally favorable and sympathetic to them. TF subsequently purchased large amount of these books.
3. TF greased the palms of many of these academics through gifts. These gifts included such things as computers, cash, trips, and sexual favors, (including with second generation members). * From the 2000 FCF 990 Tax Form page 15: http://126.96.36.199/Ct0501_0600/0582/1SWRA9E.PDF
The International Religions Directory Project
Gordon Melton (Sociologist apologist for TF)
Po Box 90709
Santa Barbara, CA 93190-0709 $10,065.83
4. Any academic who did not view TF in a sympathetic light or who sought to
study the effects of TF life from the view point of the young people who
had left, were slandered, harassed, and threatened by TF and their lawyers.
In some cases Tf halted the publications of books. This suggests that TF
only supports academic freedom when it is sympathetic to TF.
The 1995 Custody case in the UK is perhaps the most through examining of TF’s doctrines to date. It must be stressed that the question before the court was not whether TF had a history of abuse and as such owed an answer to its victims. http://www.exfamily.org/art/misc/justward_ver1.html The Judge wrote extensively as to the harmful doctrines and practices of TF. The Judge found, given the changes instituted in TF and after looking at the condition of TF's children in 95, that the past abuses notwithstanding, there was insufficient cause to remove the child in question from its biological mother. He did not and was not, in a position to exculpate TF for their past abuses. The Family has however referred to their having “won” that case, as an example of their lack of guilt for at least a decade of child rape.
Peter Amsterdam/Kelly was forced to issue an acknowledgement for Berg’s hand in the abuses: (PETER): Further, in 1980 Father David's statements in his discourse entitled "The Devil Hates Sex" opened the door for sexual behavior between adults and minors, such sanctioning being a direct cause of later abusive behavior by some Family members at that time.” http://www.exfamily.org/art/exmem/peter_amsterdams_admission.shtml
The Family now considers Berg to be rehabilitated. Although deceased, he is frequently called upon to provide admonition, guidance and exhortations to Family members. His “spirit from heaven” has even been used to reverse positions and statements he held while alive.
The Family provides this glowing tribute to Berg on its website: "In November 1994, The Family commemorated his passing from this life into the next. Surely he has now heard his Savior's "Well done!" for his life of Christian service. In The Family's first 25 years, his leadership inspired The Family to personally share the Gospel with over 260 million people in over 100 countries, nearly 18 million of whom received Jesus." http://www.thefamily.org/about/davidberg.php
F. Redefining TF:
The Family has lost a large percentage of its second generation. Those of the first generation of TF who remain, are ageing and are finding that they must deal with all the accompanying factors. The Family leadership faced and faces judging several different demographics, as well as positions that although diametrically opposite, each seem essential to the survival of TF.
1. Seeking legitimacy:
TF has historicaly been rather schizophrenic about its legitimacy seeking. Even a casual reading of Family publications will make clear that TF has until recently prided itself on being in opposition to the way things are done in society and “The System.” They have however at times in the past conformed for survival sake. Now, as age and the prospect of future persecutions have begun to weight on TF, they have made a strenuous effort to appear to be nothing more than a loose federation of christian charities. They have gone to great efforts to build firewalls between their pet projects like IVM (which produces Cherub Wings Videos), and TF. They have lobbied Congress and the US Gov on the question of “religious freedom” for the past decade or so.
2. Remaining revolutionary:
With all this effort at legitimization, TF faces a dilemma. How to retain the control that is the integral part of the Family experience, while at the same time protecting TF from the “system.” This dilemma explains the constant jerking back and forth between some levels of permissiveness and the excommunications of whole countries with the accompanying “tightening up of TF.” There is a fundamental clash between the needs of the older generation for legitimacy and security in their own small private “charity” efforts, and their long held need to believe that they are different, unique, elite and god’s endtime army. (Different especially in the context of sexual freedoms). This explains their seemingly suicidal devotion to rolling out new and increasingly more bizarre doctrines such as the Loving Jesus Revolution, the uniting of the generations prophecies etc.
My personal experience with this reinventing of Family History:
My father Ado, who I last spoke to on January 5th of 2003, is as far as I know, a continental officer for TF in the US. His portfolio involves working with young people. I am going to list his reactions to issues that affect us all.
Suicides: Last time I called him was to express my frustration with the string of suicides by SGA’s who had left TF. I told him that TF has a responsibility to look into it. He response was that suicides happen all the time, and that there is no way to make any connection between the deaths of these young people and the TF. We talked about the child abuse issuse. He eventually agreed to look into setting up a panel comprised of experts and advocates that also included victim’s representatives and TF representatives to investigate allegations of abuse. He said he would talk to his superiors about it. I told him that accusations against the very highest in TF would have to be addressed as well. I have not heard back from him since,13 months later.
Sharing schedule for 12 and 13 year olds: I obtained a document that I remember reading back when I was a young teen in Japan. In that document my father along with Ginny and Elaine, (of Ricky) who were teen shepherds at the HCS in Tateyama, discuss the sharing schedule they set up for the teens. They described in detail the “trials” some of the teen girls were having with having to sleep with, for example a 13 year old, and worried that they might get pregnant. The teen shepherds discuss their concern for the legal ramifications if a young teen did get pregnant in Japan. I paraphrase: “While we would love for them all to get pregnant, it could cause some serious problems with the authorities here in Japan.” When I confronted my father over the phone, reading directly from the text, he said that he could not remember ever saying those things or having been to any such meeting. He stated that unless he could get a copy with proof that it was published, he would have to say that he never said such a thing. I questioned his denial as I was there and as a 12 year old remember being asked by Ricky (McNally) if I would be willing to “share” with the daughter of Zebulon Gepetto, who was 13 years old at the time. I also remember reading the published minutes of those notes.
Publications that supported Adult/child sex : I asked my father to explain the letters that supported and promoted adult child sex. I listed a few and actually read from some. He said he would get back to me. When I heard back he told me that he and my mother (Kanah) had prayed about it and did not feel that there was anything in the Family’s writings that could be construed as having encouraged Adult/child sex. This is curious since Peter Amsterdam himself told the Judge in the UK the following: in 1980 Father David's statements in his discourse entitled "The Devil Hates Sex" opened the door for sexual behavior between adults and minors, such sanctioning being a direct cause of later abusive behavior by some Family members at that time. It seems that Peter’s comments were meant only to appease the Judge and when questioned in private, the CO for North America responsible for young people denies any such thing.
Flirty Fishing: To my mother’s credit, when I pressed her on her attitude towards Ffing, said that yes, she had done it and that yes she was proud to have done it. She did have some difficulty with my referring to her as a whore for god. I reminded her that that is what Berg referred to her and the other ffers as.
Sara Davidito: It has recently come to my attention that my parents will be moving to Texas (San Antonio) with Sara Davidito, who is perhaps the most infamous and unrepentant child abuser in Family history. She is notorious for having bragged about her sexual interaction with the child in her charge. If there was to be any doubt, she provided photographic documentation in the Davidito Book, which was published as a childcare manual for TF, and of course later burned. (Copies still exist) I have second hand information that recounts Sara’s attempt to explain away ffing to a young person who was familiar with TF, but had never been in it. She firstly told him that his girlfriend (who has been in) was too young to have known what really happened. She said that ffing was very much like dating that goes on in society. That Family women would be at a bar or a club, and maybe happen to meet someone, and perhaps they would exchange numbers, and perhaps after some calls back and forth “just like in society at large” they would maybe get together and date. But that it was never about the sex. This is ironic coming from Sara Davidito who perhaps with the exception of Zerby herself, is the most notorious “whore for god,” with ample published evidence to support a much more sordid account of ffing than she is now putting out.
JUST LIKE IN SOCIETY:
I find it ironic that as an answer to almost everything, TF and individual members point to “society” as a means to justify themselves. I.E. “Society at large has abusers, but it’s not indicative of everyone.” For a group of people who spent so long fighting against “THE SYSTEM”, they sure are eager to draw comparisons.
The bottom line is that the TF is trying to rewrite history. They hope to exculpate themselves, and if that means ignoring the crimes and the pain of the victims of abuse, they are not at all adverse to that. The only things that stand in the way of their freedom are the voices we raise in protest, and the actions taken against them. I’m not worried at all. They are going to get their comeuppance, and it will be sweet.