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Getting Out : Media Reports

We're at war

from J.La Mattery - Saturday, January 22, 2005
accessed 1963 times

Some media persons have recently used my quote "We’re at war with ourselves and our parents" ( Ex-sect members fear new violence - they worry about more suicides, dropping like flies, San Francisco Chronicle, 01/17/05) to imply that I am sounding a declaration of physical war against The Family International. For the record, I do not and have never condoned violence against oneself or another living being. When I realized the press misinterpreted the aforementioned quote, my initial reaction was to retract it. After careful consideration, however, I have concluded instead that I should clarify my intent behind the statement.

Ricky Rodriguez’ death came within two weeks of my own brother-in-law, Abe Braaten’s, own suicide. My family, along with Ricky’s family and friends, naturally took the brunt of media attention following the tragic circumstances surrounding both Abe and Ricky’s suicides, and then Angela’s murder. I first tried to deflect the attention until I read what The Family International had said regarding Abe’s passing.

The Family International blamed Abe’s death on a drunken accident and on my other brother-in-law, Sam McNair’s , "influence." That is when I decided to stand up for and defend Abe.

Abe and Ricky’s deaths were statements that abuses happened and that The Family International must be held responsible for them. I will not let either death sink to the bottom of a newspaper pile before The Family International listens to what their children are trying to say and changes are made. I am willing to risk my resources, finances, and name for this cause.

Do I believe this is a war in which others should die? ABSOLUTELY NOT ! I have lost two cousins, many friends, and now a brother to The Family International’s nonsense. The media is providing a short window of opportunity for our voices to be heard and the burden that has been placed on our shoulders is enormous. This is the time for each of us who have the strength to be heard to come together and shout it from the roof tops.

My hope and prayer is that The Family International will reform its practices and policies so that I can sleep knowing that our brothers and sisters still in the group are safe and that the abusers and users have been brought to justice. I DO NOT want to see another raid or another child ripped out of their bed at night to accomplish our objective. There is a delicate line we must all tread so that we may come to a peaceful resolution that will ensure no more children are hurt or more lives lost.

John La Mattery

Reader's comments on this article

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from Ex-member
Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 14:34


You're right, we've been raised to interpret the word "war" as an abstract concept that goes on in our minds and words more than actions. No one is advocating violence and whenever one of our fellow "ex-POW's" is lost to suicide it weighs on us all and only feeds the family's line about us being unstable.

Still, I can't get that line from the teen whatever-the-fuck books out of my head "Tremble ye enemy, we shall grow up." Looks like we're their worst nightmare come true. Tremble ye culties, we HAVE grown up!
(reply to this comment)

from ErikMagnusLehnsher
Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - 16:47

Good article and clarification. Thanks for sharing it.
(reply to this comment)
from niki
Monday, January 24, 2005 - 09:54


We are on your side, bro. I've seen first-hand your determination to make Abe’s life and death remembered. We're all hurting, but we have a strong support group of caring, genuine individuals, and your influence in bringing us together again is remarkable. SD memorial would’ve made Abe proud!
(reply to this comment)

from Auty
Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 08:15

Bro we are all here for you and respect you efforts and sacrifices. Please know if there is anything we, as your family, can do to help that we will be there at the drop of a hat. Hugs!
(reply to this comment)
from Nancy
Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 07:48


John, we know what you meant. We know you never implied violence as the answer. The cult twists everthing we say to their own purposes. Take heart! You are in good company with those who have been defamed and attacked by the cult.

I can't imagine how hard it must be to lose a loved one and then have to endure the added insult of the cult using their death to their own advantage. My thoughts and support are with you right now.
(reply to this comment)

from Haunted
Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 07:19

You go dude! No-one whose ever met you could ever believe you'd encourage any rash or violent action! Keep up the good work! - Joni
(reply to this comment)
from LTN
Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 04:58

This is Sam's dad. I'm very proud of what my son is doing and that he's putting himself on the line for all of you who have suffered over the years waiting for TF to admit it's guilt and come clean of its sins against you. This is taking a lot out of him and is costing him much. I pray that you appreciate him, pray for him and lend him any support in this fight. Those who know him personally know of his fine character and his pure intents to right what is wrong.

(reply to this comment)
From Appreciative
Sunday, January 23, 2005, 06:49

You can believe that we certinaly do appreciate the efforts of all who are doing so, LTN! At least I know that I am full of admiration for those who have decided to stand up and be counted. I know that it takes a great deal of courage. (reply to this comment
from Conqueror of Uranus
Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 02:52

Nice one Sam! I didn't know you still came here.
(reply to this comment)
From Oddman
Sunday, January 23, 2005, 03:08


Although lucky me, all my siblings are now out, I fully agree to above article.(reply to this comment

From J. La Mattery
Tuesday, January 25, 2005, 15:18


Thanks for the support. We're all in this game together -- stay strong.

Happy Birthday Rick.(reply to this comment

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