Getting Out : Seeking Justice
List of questions
from Albatross - Thursday, October 17, 2002
accessed 2807 times
I have been asked quite a bit over the last couple of weeks for a list of questions that may help when people begin to write about their experiences.
I have included that below, with some basic answers to those who have questions about the goal of this effort and about who it targets. This letter is addressed to those sga's still in Tf or those who may still not understand the reasons for our efforts.
The Effort to bring the abusers to Justice Sexual abuse of minors and children
There is a movement among the young people who were raised in The Family/Children of God, and have left the group. This movement is aimed at seeking justice for what are seen as a very long list of abuses.
This list includes:
Public harassments and humiliations, including beatings, Duct-tape on the mouth, silence restriction signs, duck squatting etc.
Physical and mental punishments that includes such things as compulserary labor, bread and water diets, isolation from friends, siblings and parents,
Unpaid child labor, including such things as postering for hours on the street, taking care of younger children on a daily work type basis..
Denial of medical attention.
Extremely deficient education.
Who does this effort target? Those who sexually abused children and teens.
We believe that The Family has many sincere people whose only purpose for being in The Family is to help others. We do not have anything against these people. We are specifically interested in bringing certain people to justice and to answer for their actions, they fall into the following categories:
Those who ran abusive and torturous Victor programs
Those who used physical violence on children and teens.
Those leaders who’s writings, instructions, and guidance, allowed, encouraged, mandated, covered-up for and promoted any or all of the human rights abuses that Family children endured.
Is this effort going to repeat the raids and result in the children being taken away?
Our effort is not at all aimed at taking the children away. Many of those children are our own brothers and sister. In the last few years The Family has made some big steps in improving the day-to-day life of its children. We think The Family has a long ways yet to go before all Family children have the loving care, safe environment, and adequate education they deserve, however we don’t have any evidence that suggests that removing them forcibly from their parents and families would be in their best interests.
Is this religious persecution?
The young people who have left the Family have a very wide range of beliefs. Some adhere to a belief system that is very close to the Family’s, while others are atheists. We believe that it should be the choice of the individual as to what belief system they choose. While we may have deeply held opinions about the tactics, authenticity, veracity of many of the Family’s beliefs, it is not specifically because of those beliefs that we are seeking Justice. We are simply seeking justice for the abuses of the past. If the Family were a purely secular entity, we would be seeking the same answers and would be making the same effort.
Unfortunately many of the causes of the abuses we suffered can be traced back to specific Family religious doctrines. That brings us to this very important point: while it is the ideal for everyone to be completely free to practice whatever religious belief’s, doctrines and rituals they wish, society understands that there are certain basic rules that must not be violated regardless of whether it is a religious practice of a specific group. In other words, if your doctrine says it is ok to practice adult-child sex, and society considers it to be a crime, your religion will not take priority, but rather, society will impose it’s punishment on those who violate its basic laws, regardless of where it is a religious belief or not.
What can you do to help?
This letter is not intended to convince you to leave the Family or that the Family is wrong. We are in the early stages of organizing a specific and targeted effort at obtaining justice for the abuses of the past. If you feel that you experience one or any of the abuses listed above, or if you feel that you where abused in other abuses not mentioned in the list, you can add your voice to the many who are beginning to speak out and document such things. Below you will find a list of things that may help you if you chose to write us about your experiences. In the list are questions that may offer you a place to start. It is of vital importance that your story be as factual as possible. There are sadly enough valid stories of real abuse without the need for embellishments or exaggerations.
List of questions:
Beating and violent spankings are a crime
Were you ever violently spanked?
Were you ever physically hurt out of anger?
Did you suffer injuries or scars?
Were you ever been beaten, punched, or knocked against anything?
Did you ever receive corporal punishment in front of others?
What you spanked with?
What was their stated excuse for spanking/beating you?
How severe was the spanking? I.E how many hits, what was its physical effect on you, etc?
Withholding education is also a form of abuse.
Describe your education.
Describe any punishment you may have received as a result of an attempt at obtaining more education non-family education for yourself.
Sexual abuse is a Crime
In what country did the abuse take place?
Who abused you?
How did they abuse you?
How many times did the abuse occur?
Were the shepherds notified?
Who where the shepherds at the time?
What if anything did the shepherds do about it/what did they say?
Is there another young person who suffered the same from the same abuser?
Do you know the legal name of the abuser or any of his/her family members?
Do they know where the abuser is now?
Do they know any other Family names used by the abuser?
Was the abuser in leadership position at the time?
Did the sexual abuser also physically discipline you?
Did you write Zerby or top Family leadership about this?
If so, what was the response? Do you still have the response?
How old were you at the time of the abuse(s)
It is wrong to leave a young person on their own in society without support or help with integrating.
What tools/help were you given to start your life outside the Family?
Where you sent to your grandparents/other non-cult relatives?
How much money where you given on leaving?
What was you documented education level when you left?
How old where you when you left?
There are many different stories in this category. Please feel free to write your experiences in trying to begin a new life outside TF.
The Victor program/camps were abusive.
Were you in a victor program/camp?
Where did this take place?
Who was the shepherd of the victor program?
Who was running the victor program?
How old they were you?
Provide details of abuse suffered.
Did you receive a letter of apology after the victors programs were ended?
Do they still have a copy of that apology?
If you feel like helping us by providing details of any of the above abuses you may have suffer, hopefully this list can help provide you with some details that could help in this effort. If you feel it is easier to just write without consulting a list, we can also use that.
An issue of obviously great concern when providing details of the abuses we suffered is confidentiality. Anything that is sent in response to this article will be kept between myself Daniel (Albatross), and the lawyers involved in this case. At the present any information contributed will be used for informational purposes only. It will help us put together an accurate picture of the scope, time frame and geographical occurrences of the abuses. If it is decided in the future that the accounts of your experiences could be of help in legal action against the abusers, you will be contacted directly, and your permission will be sought.
There may be those who wish to have their experiences hear, but are not yet comfortable relating them at such an early stage in this effort. Those who feel this way could just email me with a general description of what type of abuse they suffered. You may then be contacted in the future to contribute details if you wish.
The time has come for the Family leadership to realize that the lives and safety of their first generations of children are not disposable things, to be acknowledged only when it suits their purpose. The road to justice will be a long one, and results many not happen over night, however many feel that it important to start. In answering any of the above questions, or in providing us with your accounts you are helping us take that first step towards rectifying these wrongs from the past.
Contact Information: Here is the email address to write to: email@example.com:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com>
One person accesses this email address only. Daniel (Albatross)
I live in Los Angeles California.
Reader's comments on this article
Add a new comment on this article
Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 00:15
I don't know if anyone else is having this problem, but I just can't bring myself to sit down and dredge through the past. I promise Daniel, you will have my story . . .is there a deadline? Because I've had the time, but not the courage to re-live some of the past I have tried so hard to move-on and away from.
(reply to this comment)
| From anovagrrl|
Monday, December 23, 2002, 17:08
Auty & anyone who doesn't feel like dredging through the past: YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING THAT DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT TO YOU. You don't have to pick at the wounds of the past in order to get on with your life. When you're ready to visit the past, you will--and it will be OK. I was in the Family 30 years ago. Since then, I've made a career of working with abused kids & studying the family dynamics & social issues surrounding child abuse. I think what's happening on this website is one of the most empowering discoures I've run across in ages. (reply to this comment)
Monday, October 21, 2002 - 19:09
You'll have to excuse my cynicism, and after being in TF yourself you must understand my lack of trust. I don't know you from Adam, plus I've gotten Emails from Vandari & thepersoniamnow also asking for information. So the questions are: How do I know you're the only person reading our statements? How do I know you're not using our stories for personal gain? why would I trust a stranger with my deepest wounds? More importantly - Why should any of us trust you?
(reply to this comment)
| From Vandari|
Tuesday, October 29, 2002, 07:35
For good reason Vandari is a popular name right now, but that email you received didn't come from the guy who registered "Vandari" as a username here. (The only reason I bother with this is cuz it says in my profile that Vandari = Monger [seen through the Eyes of the Spirit], & I'd rather not have anyone else who received whatever it was you got thinking I sent it.) ...Over & out.(reply to this comment)
| From Deb|
Tuesday, October 29, 2002, 06:58
I've known Daniel for almost 18 years now and just saw him about a month ago, at which time we discussed this whole issue and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that what he's doing is in good faith, he's sincere and if you think about it, he's actually giving up his personal time (without pay) to help a lot people--many of whom he probably doesn't even know! Of course trust is a big issue--I know! But if you ever want the Family to pay for what they did to you, then you're gonna have to start somewhere.(reply to this comment)
| From Albatross|
Monday, October 21, 2002, 19:31
You don't have to believe me. I never said I would be the only one reading what was submited. I will repeat what I posted about confidentiality: "An issue of obviously great concern when providing details of the abuses we suffered is confidentiality. Anything that is sent in response to this article will be kept between myself Daniel (Albatross), and the LAWYERS involved in this case. At the present any information contributed will be used for informational purposes only. It will help us put together an accurate picture of the scope, time frame and geographical occurrences of the abuses. If it is decided in the future that the accounts of your experiences could be of help in legal action against the abusers, you will be contacted directly, and your permission will be sought."
I have spent several months on this site posting my thoughts, ideas, and plans. I have provided quite a bit of personal information. My identity is no secret. Your's however, is. While there is no way that I am a member of TF...it is always possible you are. You have not gone so far as to even choose an screen name. I understand the concerns you expressed. Fortunately for our efforts there are enough who do believe in the validity of what we are doing to want to be a part and contribute. And another thing: I don't send out mass emails. Those who want to see justice done read about my efforts on this site and they come to me.
(reply to this comment)
| From Nan|
Monday, October 21, 2002, 20:31
I know you. I knew you 15 years ago. You were all the kind-hearted, understanding, caring and unselfish person then, when we were teenagers, as you are now as a man. I remember how you looked out for the OC's. You tried to teach them history and geography. You worked hard to make sure they had enough to eat in a Combo where food was scarce. When many adults beat us and the OC for the smallest infraction, you protected your little class. Joe can speak for you, as well. He was in your class. You were the always the one protecting you class, and now here you are again wanting to do the same, and for children who aren't even your siblings.
I commend you Daniel for your efforts, and I think your brave to try and do something about what hundreds of us went through, yet could never change. I ran away. Others just left. But, you came back to try and help other people.
I think it's a travesty how your motives and dependability and trustworhtiness has been called into question in an article on this website. It's just wrong because anyone else who knows you knows your motives and knows you can be trusted. I hope your efforts go well and I hope you and those working with you and who tell their stories are protected.
I think those, and their are a lot of them, on this website who have known you personally should speak for you. Your postings and articles should also speak for themself. When others have been swayed by emotion and passion or personal gain or by concern for just their own siblings, you have remained rational and logical and focused. (reply to this comment)
| From conan|
Tuesday, November 12, 2002, 14:18
The person had every right to question Dan's integrity and motives. I don't know dan from adam and my own experiences of trusting someone in tf with personal confidences are, well, not pleasant experiences and more often than not I would end up with a betrayed confidence and end up hurting. while you may know dan to be a great guy, you have no right to tell everyone else to take your word for it because hey, I don't know you either.(reply to this comment)
| From Nan|
Saturday, November 16, 2002, 20:03
Uh, "you have no right?" Sounds like a damn Phil Collins song. Since when did all the moaning about rights start? I don't know you and you don't know me and you don't know Daniel and Daniel doesn't know you and Daniel and I don't know you and you and Daniel don't know me... It's getting absurd! No one is telling anyone anything. If you're too scared to say anything, then keep your mouth shut and no one will mind.
Unlike the cult, no one is forcing anyone. So, don't worry about "hurting" and being "betrayed" because, if you haven't noticed, this is not a cult and you can do as you damn well please.(reply to this comment)
| From porceleindoll|
Monday, October 21, 2002, 21:30
I know Daniel as well as my sisters Bella and Auty, we can all vouch for his sincerity though I personally haven't seen him in about a decade.
But the issues anyone has with trust are completely understandable. I don't trust many people, and esp. if you personally don't know someone and are considering sharing your innermost feelings, experiences which are private, sensitive and may hurt to remember, or things that could put your family in a potentially bad situation, I think it's good to question and find out the reliability of the person you may communicate with.(reply to this comment)
Sunday, October 20, 2002 - 13:41
Is it possible to give some specific things of what you mean by sexual "abuse"? As Auty said in a comment, until we left and realized what standards are in larger society, many of us probably did not think it was "abuse" because it was "done in love" and not ungodly systemite selfishness.
(reply to this comment)
| From Albatross|
Monday, October 21, 2002, 13:05
Thanks for your question.
Here are some (but not all) actions that may be considered Sexual abuse.
~ Intercourse with a prepubescent youth.
(After puberty, the definition of child abuse varies from country to country and state to state)
~ Fondling of a child. (IE. Manipulation of a child’s private parts for purposes other than necessary health and cleanliness.)
~ Any action where the child’s hands/body parts are purposely brought into contact with an adult’s private parts. (This of course includes oral contact on private parts on or by a child.)
~ Encouraging children to engage in sex beyond the normal exploration that children do.
~ Watching children engaging in activities of a sexual nature.
~ Allowing a child to be in a situation where he/she is in direct danger of being exploited sexually. IE. In a room where an orgy is occurring. (Romantic nights)
~ Mouth to mouth contact with a child that goes beyond the mere peck of affection that many parents give.
~ Video taping any of the above actions.
~ Encouraging and teaching a child to strip nude while dancing in front of a camera.
~ The above list was specifically about prepubescent children, however, in many countries of the world any such actions with adolescents under the legal age, are illegal
~ Any sexual contact where the adult is in a position of authority over the teenager, is held up to extremely close scrutiny, whether or not the teenager was of “legal age” or both parties claim that the sex was consensual.
~ Any coerced sexual contact with a minor is sexual abuse.
The question of whether or not these things were “done in love,” is moot. The Family defined the nature of our abuse, how we were to look at it, how we were to deal with it, and how were are to supposedly forget about it. The danger to TF is that now we are beginning to realize that what we somehow felt was wrong, is indeed considered so by the overwhelming majority of society. A man/woman who molests a child, and then tells the court that he/she should be let off because the action was “done in love”, will find very little sympathy from the court or the jury. Society has preciously little patience for those who prey on children for their own gratification. Attaching a religious context or cover for such abuse will not strengthen the abuser’s defense. It may in fact put him/her in a more precarious position, as there is extra distain reserved for those who abuse under the pretext of “god’s will” or behind the cloak of religion.
The above lists of what can constitute sexual abuse are of course broad and informal. There is much more, and not everything on that list is judged with the same severity.
Our message to TF leadership and those who abused us is this: “No longer will we the victims allow you the abusers, to determine the tone of this interaction. You are now being called to answer. If all you can provide by way of answers is a hysterical and quite literal attempt to demonize your own children who are seeking answers, you have a very rough road ahead.
Instead of reaching out, you continue to believe that your only recourse it to bury your head in the sand and shout “lies, lies, lies.’ and 'religious persecution.' This will not do. There is no CAN for you to attack this time. There is no network of bitter ex-first generation members to attach this to. There is no Judge Marcovich. There is no Catholic church afraid of your religion. There is just a feeling amongst your own children that the abuses of the past cannot be dismissed with a casual wave of your hand, a couple of condescending labels such as apostates or detractors, and a proclamation that you have now changed. You struggle to find some ulterior motive for our ire. You speculate that our efforts are as an angry reaction to a failed relationship or to financial difficulty. Does the thought occur to you that the abuses themselves are motive and cause enough to cause us to keep at this until these issues is resolved?”
(reply to this comment)
| From conan|
Tuesday, November 12, 2002, 14:27
Dan, i hope you're not going to end up ahting on me as have no need for that. I had a question tho! do you realistically think that any good will come from this lawsuit? I mean, I was abused and all as well but while I wouldn't have a problem sharing my personal horror stories, I don't see what the final end will be! I hope you understand what I'm saying here! The fact of the matter is, for all the lawsuits that have been brought against the family, the family has never complied or really changed in any way because of these suits. Granted, new policies are introduced and ammended etc., but the way of life remains essentially the same. All you have to do if you don't have first hand proof yourself is just read James Penn's article on Maria and Peter's back pedalling and double speak which only end up in some newly worded "revalation" which essentially changed nothing. I hope you don't think I'm going off track here as the issue when broken down is basically us x-members trying to get retribution for a miserable past which is something the Jews have been trying to do since WW2. In my opinion, while I would love to see tf disbanded or something, I just don't see how that is going to happen.(reply to this comment)
| From JohnnieWalker|
Tuesday, November 12, 2002, 17:39
Imagine what would happen to the Family if Kelly or Zerby were found guilty of promoting child abuse or even invloved in the abuse themselves and were subsequently sentenced to time in jail for it. Would the Family continue to follow them then? Who would take their place as head of the Family? What would the Family's reaction be to find out that they have been lied to?
Contrary to your opinion, I don't think that those involved in taking the legal route on these issues are in it for retribution. If that were the case, I doubt it would be handled as logically as it has been so far. I'd say that the issue is more along the lines of preventing what took place in the past from happening again in the future. As long as Kelly and Zerby continue to defend and excuse their past actions, Family members are at risk of being exposed to those same actions.
Remember, it is not the Family's belief system and religious doctrines that are being targeted, but the abusers and promoters of abuse. If a Family member has never harmed a child physically, emotionally or sexually, they have nothing to fear.(reply to this comment)
| From Albatross|
Tuesday, November 12, 2002, 16:03
Thank you for taking the time to ask your question. You have some very valid points. I'll do my best to address them. First things first however, this whole effort I am involved in to bring the Family to justice, (while I may have several personal emotional reasons for being involved) is not built on a foundation of emotion. That being the case, I would never "hate" someone for asking questions that may seem to question what I am doing or my motives.
With regards to what the end product could be of these efforts, the simple truth is of course that we can't predict with 100% certainty what the end result of the efforts will be. We can go into this with some basic goals as principles and guides, but there are so many extenuating factors that can affect the process. Much may pivot on TF’s reactions to our various efforts and actions. To date we have seen a significantly hostile and unresponsive reaction, but that is to be expected. The Family is confident in their years of preparation, and seem to believe that loudly attacking their very own children as demon possessed blood-dripping monsters is the wise course to take.
Let’s talk about the possibility for success that a lawsuit/other legal action against TF has.
You alluded to many previous lawsuits that have been brought against TF. I am not sure that I am aware of a history of lawsuits being brought against the Family. We know of course that there have been legal actions, criminal investigations, custody cases that turn out to focus broadly on TF’s way of life etc. However, I have yet to see a case brought against TF with the scope and direction of the one, which we are currently exploring. Does scope guarantee success? Most definitely not. But having a comprehensive and well-researched plan, with people who believe in your effort, offers a greater chance of success than an emotionally charged media campaign, an indiscriminate children removing raid, or a very narrowly focused case such as the UK custody case.
And it certainty affords us greater chance of success then does complete inaction.
Let’s look at the changes that Zerby and Kelly have instituted: Those so called changes are looked at as some sort of protection for the “sins of the past.” Unfortunately for TF leadership, while those changes, -if genuine- may serve to protect them from future litigation involving future incidents of child abuse or neglect; they have absolutely no bearing on the events of the past, which are the main thrust of our efforts.
All that to say that while we don’t know exactly where this will end up, we have a very focused aim, that includes holding the leaders (specifically Zerby and Kelly) responsible, as well as those who actually practiced and encouraged the abuses. This effort is comprehensive in that it covers many areas of abuse and neglects. In my opinion something needs to be done. Our efforts are an attempt to do something about it. I cannot stand by and say that because it may be difficult, I will not make the effort. In fact, the more I learn about this whole situation, the more I see a chance at success, and the more I see the need for it. I hope I have been clear,
(reply to this comment)
| From conan|
Tuesday, November 19, 2002, 14:56
Ok Dan, You make a pretty persuasive point. I have another question tho! Are you hoping that we'll get kelly and zerby to do time or are we just hoping here that by exposing the very prevalent child abuse that many of us suffered, that tf will disband and all it's members will go to "normal" jobs and lives again?? I mean, we're talking about many of our blood family relatives still in the group. What is the ultimate goal besides exposure?? All of us x'ers know that whatever is said bad about the family, kelly and zerby have some new "angle" to prove their point of view. So...all that to say, if this suit is successful (which I certainly hope it will be) are you hoping that the exposure itself will be enough to disband the movement or are we hoping to actually bring criminal chrges against said family leadership??(reply to this comment)
| From Undecided|
Sunday, November 03, 2002, 17:32
I want to delve into this a little more. I don't believe that if you took several thousand average people and put them in a group that you would have the high percentage of pedophiles that TF had. I believe that ordinary nice people were deceived. I would only classify 2 separate occasions where I was molested.
Does that mean I wasn't abused. No! But I don't see the purpose in going after these genuinely nice men who got the wrong impression of what you were supposed to do with children.
I do believe that we deserve some acknowledgement for the pain we suffered and I personally am interested in some sort of counselling but beyond that, what purpose will it serve to 'go after' these men who probably feel shitty enough when they think back at what they did.
Now, I am speaking mainly about sexual abuse, not physical torture which falls into a completely different catagory.
There are some who were sexual abusers and completely screwed up in their brains but others thought they were doing the 'right thing'.
Obviously I believe Maria should admit things got seriously out of hand, but do these other people need to pay the price?(reply to this comment)
| From Heather|
Monday, November 04, 2002, 00:50
"Genuinely nice men"??????? This is the first time I've ever heard of child molesters being called genuinely nice men and I hope it's the last!!! You make me sick!!! And no, I seriously doubt that they're feeling "shitty" about their horrendous crimes!!! It's more like they're out their looking for their next victim!!! And since when is sexual abuse not physical torture??? You're insulting yourself and every other sexual abuse survivor!!! Yes, these perverts need to pay the price!!!!(reply to this comment)
| From Gasp|
Sunday, November 03, 2002, 22:26
You say "I am speaking mainly about sexual abuse, not physical torture which falls into a completely different catagory." Different category? How so? Are you suggesting sexual abuse is not as bad? Because that's what it sounds like you're suggesting and I can't believe my ears.
Let me tell you this: when my virgin 12-year-old belly was brutally invaded by a man in his forties, that was very painful. Would you not count that as physical torture.
But I guess to somebody like you that shepherd and his wife who sent me to "share" with him, this couple who was supposed to be my caretakers but blisfully ate me for snack, in a very "Godly" manner, mind you, saying "thank you, Jesus!" as they licked their lips...they matter to you, and my suffering, which continues, does not. Because they had been told it was alright.
Yes I'm angry. I'm veeery very angry. And it doesn't help that it seems some of my fellow survivors are siding with the abusers. I might just have to stick to my friends in the "real world" to who what I endured is horrific. I don't know what I would do without them. You're comment, "Undecided," is just freaking me out!(reply to this comment)
| From Albatross|
Sunday, November 03, 2002, 18:19
If an adult man or woman is told that it is ok to sexualy abuse a child, and acts on that, I DO believe that they should pay the price. Child abuse/molestation is a crime however one may try to parcel out the blame. Anyone who had a part in it, be it thru actual participation or thru the encouraging and promoting, deserves to be held accountable. It would be the same if someone where told that it was ok to commit murder and then on being caught for that murder were to say that they should not be held accountable because they were told that it was ok by someone else.(reply to this comment)
| From annonymous|
Monday, October 21, 2002, 18:35
What of physical abuse? Can you define it for us? Is it only those severe beatings in which I was left with marks? What is the legal standard? Is silence restriction and isolation included in abuse? What about public humilation or food and sleep deprivation? I can remember long prayer sessions which lasted most of a day or night. And what if the Family targets me for telling my story? I don't want to be like those who have testified and had their family and themselves targeted by the Family's media home and leadership. The Family attacks those who speak out, even when they are required to testify. The Family will even attack minors and try to make them look crazy like they did to Mene or try to make them look like the person in the wrong like they did to some teenagers who testified in court cases. What's going to happen to protect me and my brothers and sisters from that? Will you be able to prevent the harrassment and lies the Family is capable of? It's one thing to tell my story, but I do not want to be abused all over again or have my family suffer more than they have. Will those you know in law enforcement protect me and my family if we get involved? Just look at the Vandari GN. It talks about removing those who speak out against them, even their own children. The Family has prayed for the death of other people before. Now they're gearing up to attack their own children and trying to make their members think their children are enemies to be taken out by the Lord. If they'll do that to their own children, rather than trying to mend their history of abuses, what's going to stop them from breaking the law to get at those who tell their stories? The Vandari GN even alludes to physical violence against their children who are against them. I am one who was molested and spanked until I bled when I was a teen. Don't you think the Family will stop at nothing to cover that up? And how far will they go is what I'm asking. They're being told by Maria to pray against us. Who will protect us when they put actions to the threats alluded to in the Vandari GN? What's to stop them from slandering me like they did Mene? I'm not even as important as Mene was being Grandpa's own grand-daughter, and look what they did to her after she left and testified. I've heard of the tactics the media home uses. Are you prepared legally to protect those who tell their stories and who testify? Do you have lawyers who will or law enforcement officials who will protect the witnesses? Please, let me know. These are my concerns and those of my brothers and sisters. Other people who have experienced similar things to those I have may also be afraid to go public. (reply to this comment)
| From Albatross|
Monday, October 21, 2002, 19:53
You’ve posed some very interesting questions. I will try to address them to the best of my knowledge. You’ll forgive me I hope, if I don’t get too flowery in my answers, I have a couple of nice trouts in the kitchen awaiting my attention.
~ On the physical abuse: I hesitate to list everything that could possibly constitute physical abuse. If you experienced something that was sever enough that you believe could possibly be physical abuse, then it would of course be of interest to those working on the legal aspect of this effort.
A determination could then be made as to what, if anything can be done. There is a general feeling that much of the punishment that occurred in the victor programs might fall under the category of abuse. If you have the time, you might be interested in skimming thru the judgment of Justice ward to see the abuses that he found particularly egregious.
~ You expressed quite a bit of concern about the “Family targeting” those who speak out.
Given TF’s reaction and handling of past instances when victims spoke out, this is a valid concern. There is a reason why this effort is being done with cautious deliberation. While it may be true that TF will try to attack the character and motives of those who are intimately involved in this effort, it becomes difficult for them to try to impugn the character of at least several hundred of their children all recounting very similar experiences. Of course I will not be able to prevent the “ lies and harassment “ you suggest TF is capable of. It comes down to this; this is so much bigger than just a few people going after TF.
The Vandari Gn has been suggested by some is a veiled threat against our safety. I will reserve my personal opinions on that, however, in the hypothetical event that there are those who in defense of Tf decide to take this out of the realm of the “spiritual” It would be those who are organizing this effort who would be most likely to bear the brunt. I have reconciled myself with that unlikely possibility.
I have never requested that those with accounts of abuse go public. If you are afraid to do so, I am not sure where that impression came from. We are talking about a concerted effort that does not lay the burden of obtaining justice on one single victim. There are those who think that obtaining justice is an impossibility or not worth the effort. I am not inclined to try to convince those people. My efforts are real, focused and deliberate. It has not escaped us that there will need to be some public faces to this effort. There are those who are prepared to shoulder that responsibility. The hope is that most everyone can go about his or her live with the minimum of disruption. My posting offers the chance for those who wish to tell their story to be active participants every step of this effort. If at anytime they feel they would rather not be an active part, I have indicated that it is our intention to provide for easy fulfillment of such wishes. This is not about hurting the victims all over again.
I wish you the best of luck as you think these things thru.
Ultimately this effort is about all those who were abused in TF but does not require the participation of all those who were victimized.
Best wishes as you decide where to go with this,
(reply to this comment)
Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 16:53
I've already send it to some of my friend, some still in, some already out.
Question: Some of us have already written you with our stories, or with permission to use the ones already posted here. Would it be helpful for us to answer these questions also, so as to give you a clearer picture?
(reply to this comment)
| From Albatross|
Monday, October 21, 2002, 12:08
Thank you for giving me permission to use your story. If you have the time and are inclined to help by giving as many specific as you can, that would be great. Otherwise, you did provided your generalise account of what you experienced, and when the time comes for more specifics, I can get in touch with you. All that to say that whatever you have the time and interest in sharing at this time I welcome. Hopefuly the above list will be a help should you chose to provide us with more detail at theis time.
Daniel Albatross(reply to this comment)
| From Auty|
Tuesday, October 22, 2002, 00:08
Hi Daniel, in regards to specifics, forgive me if I've missed this in the posting . . .do you want DATEs, NAMEs of the abusers, etc? Also, as far as the personal level, do you also need our first & last names, addresses and all that stuff? Do these need to be notorized? etc?(reply to this comment)