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Getting Out : Seeking Justice

Ricky: Yet Another One of Us Has Fallen

from Lauren - Thursday, January 13, 2005
accessed 2345 times

Yet another of us has fallen.

Ricky’s death has affected me so deeply that I have difficulty even finding the words to describe it. I have wept, I have ranted, I have spent time in shocked silence, I have tried to cope as I stumbled through the moments, hours and days ensuing the news of the tragedy.

I never knew him personally.

To try to fathom the loss suffered by of those who were closer to him, who knew him, lived with him, were there for him, loved him and tried to help him through his pain up until the time of his death is more than I can bear.

My friends, family and loved ones have been deeply affected by Ricky’s death. Most of them never knew him personally either.

Whether he wanted it or not, Ricky’s life touched all of us in some way or other. The account-by-account detailing of his life and the way he was raised was the yardstick our parents followed in raising us. For many of us in our subconscious, Ricky was a symbol of our own twisted childhoods and own hopes for a better tomorrow, and with his death a part of us has died too.

Ricky, it is my sincerest hope that you have found in death the peace that you longed for but never found in life.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now as the dust of my shattered emotions starts to settle, and the fog begins to lift, I have begun to pull through the pieces of the resulting rubble and formulate my thoughts.

Where is the love?
Most of us in the ex-member community have never met Ricky personally, and yet the grief and pain went through our numbers like a shockwave. How is it that we, who never met him, are more profoundly touched by his tragic passing than the woman who bore him and those who raised him?

The cold and soulless news piece presented by “King” Peter to the Family Members about Ricky’s passing was one of the most shocking things I have ever come across.

Is the Truth being Obfuscated?
Family leadership has lied to its members so often and for so long, they probably don’t even realize they’re doing it anymore. Why not just tell the freakin’ truth?

Angela was not “passing through” Tucson, and WS staff members & former staff members don’t just get the urge to call Zerby’s “vindictive and bitter” son on a whim. Gabe and Amy’s original call to Ricky was calculated and done in counsel with Maria and Peter (Zerby and Kelly), and with much prayer and prophecy to feel out the situation. Anything other than this would fly in the face of their modus operandi and everything they claim to believe. Angela’s call to Ricky would have been the same, a follow up call based on the one prior and done with much prayer and prophecy.

Unless Angela was actually living in Tucson, there were only two reasons for her to be there: 1) To visit with Ricky, and 2) To take care of business at the Elderhaven oldfolks home, which is the elderly home run by Karen Zerby’s parents and Angela sat on the Board of Directors of it.

WS staff members & former staff members do not meet with ex-members unless it is to serve some specific WS or Zerby sanctified purpose. Angela was not meeting with Ricky as some sort of casual social visit just to say hi and catch up on old times. Angela met with Ricky on Zerby’s behalf. At the very least she was carrying a message from Zerby. What that message was, only those who were involved in putting it together know. But we are not stupid, we know that this is the way things work.

This entire scenario has Zerby stamped all over it.

Are They Really That Stupid?
The lack of brilliance in these people is so astounding; they should be listed in the top 10 dumbest criminal lists. Or perhaps it isn’t a lack of intelligence. Maybe it is simply cold, calculated, deliberate malice. To knowingly send Angela/Sue (Angela Smith), Ricky’s former abuser, to meet with him when they claim that he had threatened violence against them was to deliberately put her in harm’s way.

The sheer insensitivity of it ranks right up there with sending Sara Davidito (Prisca Kelley) Mene’s (Merry Berg) main tormentor to carry a message from Zerby to Mene. Or having Marc (Lonnie Davis) who is probably the #1 ranking abuser in the Family today as their spokesperson for North America.

Didn’t Jesus see it coming?
Where the hell were Zerby’s prophet powers when all of this was happening? Did Jesus WANT Angela to die? Please don’t try to tell me that Jesus has the time to tell you what He thinks of the latest Hollywood production but can’t be bothered to oh so casually mention to you that, um, yeah, you’re about to die. No matter what way you try to cut it, or what justifications, excuses and “God’s plans” lies Zerby comes up with, Zerby is one lousy prophetess and the WS prophets can’t hear from God to save their lives. – Big help that’s going to be in the “tribulation”. If Angela had never gone to see him, Ricky would still be alive today and Angela’s family would not be suffering the loss of her passing.

The Power of the Keys?
Where were they?

Zerby, are You Really Made of Stone?
While he was alive, Ricky wrote of his mother, “ It is my belief that Mama Maria never wanted to have kids--ever. I have never felt love from her the way that I've seen normal, well-adjusted parents give love to their kids. In fact, it's been just the opposite. Both Techi and I have only ever been "good assets" for them to have. We were a political commodity to be used and abused by my mother. ( Posted on by Ricky, March 28, 2002)

It would seem that in his death, nothing has changed. The first public statement from Peter (Kelly) after Ricky’s passing was a finger-pointing event placing blame on “vindictive ex-members”.

Is there a Limit to the Lies?
That The Family spokespeople would so blatantly lie to the media is nothing new, but for some reason it still hard to accept it when it happens:

Peter to the Family: “A few days ago Angela, (Joy), a Family member who lived with us for many years, who was visiting in Tucson, and who knew Pete very well, called him and asked to have dinner with him knowing that he had responded positively to Gabe and Amy’s call.”

Family PR Department to the ex-members sites: ” The Family International is sad to announce the recent death of Ricky Rodriguez, … and Angela Smith, Family member of over 30 years.”

Claire Borowick to the media: “Smith was not a member of the Family at the time she was killed and hadn't done anything to Rodriguez that would give him a motive to kill her, Borowick said.”

Either Peter and the Family PR Department were lying when they said she was a Family Member, or Borowick is lying when she says she was not. My money is on Borowick.

For Borowick to say that Angela Smith had done nothing to Ricky that would give him a motive to kill her is a bit rich considering that Family leadership published photographs of Angela Smith molesting Ricky as a young boy and sent those photos to the entire Family readership.

How Borowick is able to make the claim that Ricky never knew Angela also baffles me as along with photographic evidence that shows he did, Peter (Kelly) himself claims that Angela was a Family member who lived with them for many years.

Not only does Borowick appear to take us for complete morons, she seems to think the American Press is equally as stupid.

Was Ricky’s Death Answered Prayer?
That the Family prays against its “enemies” is no secret – an entire website could be devoted entirely to the reams of Family publications denouncing their “enemies”, praying against their “enemies”, cursing their “enemies”, slandering their “enemies” – not to mention lying about their “enemies” and still never run out of content.

It doesn’t take much to be qualified as an enemy. Usually just telling the truth about a less than exemplar childhood is enough to do it.

In September, 2002, Zerby & Kelly dealt specifically with the subject of dealing with their “antagonistic and bitter” children.

How Do We Pray Against Former Loved Ones Who Are Fighting Us?
39. (Peter:) Amen! As Mama said, and as you'll see in the prophecies that we'll read, the Lord talks a lot about the need for us to pray against these attacks, to pray against those who are seeking to hurt or destroy the Family. But often it's hard to know how to pray against certain people, because sometimes these people are your friends or your children or your parents, and it's really difficult for you to think, “Well, I've got to pray that the Lord will curse them” and that sort of thing. That's been a bother for some people, and understandably so. It's a dilemma to know how to pray the most effective prayers in situations when you're having to pray against people who were once Family members and who are now detractors or apostates who are out to do us serious damage.
41. We asked the Lord how we should pray against those who are fighting against us, and He gave the following instruction:
45. (Jesus Speaking:) I will have mercy, for they are Mine‚ but in some cases mercy would be to take them out of the way before they can hurt others even more. For the further they go in their lies and deceptions, the longer and harder the road of humility back to Me becomes, and the more they will have to repent of and make restitution for--whether here or in the next life. So your prayers for My intervention are mercy to them. The sooner they realize what they're doing and repent, the less they will have to undo.
54. The point is, you don't have to pray against those you love with damning prayers, asking Me to curse them as individuals, but you do have to pray against the Enemy's attacks through them, and the damage he wants to do to the work. You should commit them to My strong and loving hands to do whatever I know is needed to humble them, to show them the error of their ways, or else to take them out of the way so that I can save them from themselves before they do more damage. Either way, I will have mercy; I will do what I know is best. But you must pray. (End of message from Jesus.)
(Pray, Obey & Prepare, CM 3420)

For anyone reading this who might not understand Familyspeak, “take them out of the way” is a euphemism for death &/or killing.

One has to wonder if Zerby believed what she published and if so, was Angela Smith’s death an unfortunate and unexpected complication to an otherwise huge relief and “answer to Zerby’s prayer”.

Is it Too Much to Ask for a Little Empathy?
Family leadership continues to brush our pain under the rug. They continue to deny the truth of the trauma we endured as children and its resultant affect on our every day lives. They vilify us and call us names, claiming that we are vindictive and bitter.

When have they ever shown concern for one of their victims that went beyond a “be ye warmed and fed”, when have they ever offered counseling, when have they ever even indicated that they believe us?

They are not ignorant. They KNOW. They know what we went through because worse happened in their own household under their own auspices. And yet they continue to marinate in their own smug deluded sense of rightness.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ricky, my hope for a better tomorrow includes the ideal that you will have not died in vain & that one day your mother will realize, repent and make restitution for the evil she has unleashed upon the world.

Reader's comments on this article

Add a new comment on this article

from R.I.P_Ricky234
Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - 06:24

ricky i dont know why u would do this to ur slef i wish uwound;t had died.......R.i.P!!! hope god is takening very very good careof u....hopefully ill see u there one day
love u so!
p.s i know u hadarough time ut iwish u wouldnt had did that....and my irthday ison the same day!
love ya rick
love ya god
(reply to this comment)
From Um......
Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 08:42

Is this one of those 3:00am posts after a heavy night of drinking?(reply to this comment
from Cops
Thursday, January 13, 2005 - 19:06

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?)
If there's anything that I've learned from my time in TF is that they never learn or are repentant. Always looking for a way to cover their tracks and somehow say that it was for the "better good". I do hope that this time it will be different being that it was her son. Maybe now she'll think about all the other mothers that have lost children due to TF. God I hate to think of old friends of mine who still haven't wizened up to get out.
(reply to this comment)
from Nancy
Thursday, January 13, 2005 - 16:45


I could not have put it better, Lauren. Thank you for taking the time to write this. I had the same thoughts and feelings. I'm glad you put them out there on behalf of many of us.

I keep thinking, "Where is the love?" We all are mourning, like you said. Yet, the woman who gave birth to Ricky is silent and has only spoken through Kelley to place blame and then again to tell her cult members to lie to their children. It's not even human.

For all their talk of love, they don't even seem to grasp the concept. Any person who can stand by ideally and watch as their child is beaten or molested, much less order that someone else perform those acts, is not a human, much less one who can experience or share love.
(reply to this comment)

from moon beam
Thursday, January 13, 2005 - 14:11

Well done Lauren.

To add to that I have never had any such apology that they say they gave.
My abusers who I have made public have not been kicked out.
This isn't rocket science. Their own writings condemm them on all these issues in the MO letters.(Lying to the system, child abuse, etc..) For a reporter to print something from someone who never even knew Ricky must have known they are saying the party line.

(reply to this comment)
from sarafina
Thursday, January 13, 2005 - 14:05


I cannot comment on details at the moment, but not everything you are saying is accurate mainly the part about the reasons Sue met with Ricky, she was not there with some "message" from Zerby. Although I do agree with most you have written. May I suggest (no offence to anyone ) that we not speculate so early as to details of what happened and how but wait till the information is revealed. This meeting was not set up by Zerby, but by Ricky. There was also a reason. I'm sorry as I cannot fully explain everything at the moment but something will be posted soon. The main part of this article was great though and well appreciated.
(reply to this comment)

Friday, January 14, 2005, 05:10


Regardless of who set up their encounter, I am positive that Sue/Angela would not have met with Ricky without "hearing from the Lord" first. As Lauren said in her article (well-expressed btw), it's the way they always, always operate...."Zerby is one lousy prophetess and the WS prophets can’t hear from God to save their lives."

Thanks for writing this Lauren, I went through the same grief and shock and many of the same questions have bothered me.(reply to this comment

From Lauren
Thursday, January 13, 2005, 14:33

Either way, then, Family leadership has not told the truth as they claim, "A few days ago Angela, (Joy), a Family member who lived with us for many years, who was visiting in Tucson, and who knew Pete very well, called him and asked to have dinner with him knowing that he had responded positively to Gabe and Amy’s call."(reply to this comment
From sarafina
Thursday, January 13, 2005, 15:18


Some of the information got a bit mixed up during all this. It should have read Ricky called her up asking to have dinner. I was the one who asked Gabe (I'm assuming Gabe is Terry) to call Ricky as Terry is my Uncle and Ricky had wanted to speak with him. You will also notice in the first article it was Ricky's residence not hers. I know It's a bit confusing and there are many parts of the story which we are trying to put together so that everyone gets the whole picture. Aside from that , again I agree the family has out right lied about many things, I'm only making sure that what we post is factual so no mistakes can be made.(reply to this comment

From sarafina
Thursday, January 13, 2005, 15:20

oops part of my comment was cut it should have read "You will also notice in the first article it says the woman was found dead in HER apartment when it was Ricky's residence not hers."(reply to this comment
Thursday, January 13, 2005, 14:10


can you tell us when, and if, we'll be able to view the rumored video?

and if so, wil it be heavily edited?(reply to this comment

from Bella
Thursday, January 13, 2005 - 13:36

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?)
Excellent article Lauren ...
(reply to this comment)

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