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Getting Out : Media Reports

Dr. Phil Show

from Bella - Thursday, August 11, 2005
accessed 3683 times

Information regarding the Dr. Phill Show

We have provided a link to our website so that you can read the invitation to the Family International to join us on the Dr. Phil Show. The show is in its final preparation and should be scheduled to air sometime in September. Please keep posted to our site for the exact date of airing.


Jim LaMattery


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from John Jr.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 07:08

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?)
Posted on and sent to The Family's media team.

My response to The Family - John Jr.

My name is John LaMattery Jr.; I appeared on the Dr. Phil show with my wife, China.

The claim of abuse that my wife, hundreds of other second generation members and ex-members, and I suffered under The Family, which we spoke of on Dr. Phil, is factual and valid. The abuse was indoctrinated and sanctioned by The Family’s founder, David Berg, and its current leaders, Zerby and Kelly. The Family would like to think it answered China’s question posed her mother by sending our old friends and peers to answer it; however, I will not accept this response, as it is a very important question that should be answered by the person to whom it was directed. I'm certain China's mother will answer it in good time because although she may now seem conflicted, ultimately she has a good core and I know that she loves her daughter.

The Family is embarrassing itself by its refusal to confront the issues of its past. They say that sexual contact with minors became an excommunicable offence in 1986; yet, Zerby wrote in 1993 that sexual fondling of minors, when done in “love”, was appropriate under “god”. How do you police a group whose religion at one point in their history made it clear that sexual contact with minors was appropriate? How do you back peddle now and try to explain to the person who lost their innocence when they were only 5 years old or to the child who got VD at 16 months (which the Australian 60 Minutes revealed in an October show) that it was supposed to be done in love; and that, if is was done in love, then they should be a-okay? Things went terribly too far. Now the children who you abused are smarter and stronger than you would have ever dreamed, and are asking you for answers. It is not the public that deserves an answer; it is your own flesh and blood, your children.

Instead of the first generation answering us directly, they have sent our old friends and peers to speak for them. The problem I have with relying on your children who remain in The Family to write statements in your defense is two fold:

1) The sexual abuse we received was not perpetrated by them; it was by their parents.
2) Sending them to your front lines because your cowardice holds you back from answering for your own mistakes exploits them once again. You are hiding behind their innocence and incapacity to think critically

No one said that it was your children, our peers, who abused us. We said it was the first generation parents. Why are they not in front of the camera defending their practices? Sending your kids out to do your dirty work by trying to discredit Daniel Roselle, China, and me is not going to get society’s attention or respect. It is so obvious that many of these kids have not been able to distinguish between what does and does not constitute “abuse”.

Trends have shown that second generation adults who have left The Family at times suffer from the inability to adapt to the outside world. They often feel lost, alone, angry and upset at their past, on top of having no bona-fide tools or credentials that will help them exist in society at large. These patterns suggest emotional and intellectual abuse, if not also sexual abuse, since it is a parent’s duty to prepare their child to function, and hopefully be happy and productive, in society. Patterns show that The Family’s parents have not provided the necessary tools for their children’s successful existence beyond The Family’s perception of life. This is one form of abuse. Simple. The Family cannot expect everyone of their children to remain members. The parents that remain must therefore put in place a system for preparing those children, who wish to leave, for the outside world. Otherwise, The Family’s idealism, whether intentional or not, functions like a prison: you violate your children’s God-given freedom to choose what lifestyle they deem appropriate, and so limit their potential to excel to the confines of your own system. This subtle form of abuse is possibly more detrimental than the graphic sexual abuse, which has gained so much pubic attention of late. It is something all second generation members, both former and current, have in common.

Some of us have fully integrated into society and become successful in our fields, be it business, scholastics, etc. I have read some of your statements on suggesting that former second generation individuals should attribute these successes to their being raised in The Family. This point is tricky. As for me, a fairly successful businessman, I attribute none of my success to The Family’s indoctrinations. If anything, The Family was strictly a motivator for me to excel in my areas of interest in order to prove to them that one can find happiness outside of their world view. My experience in The Family has thus strengthened my character, like the strength one builds by lifting weights. I feel fortunate that I have become strong enough to place my experiences properly, and thereby, sublimate the negative experiences of my past into my dreams for the future in order to produce a positive outcome. I attribute this ability to transform negative to positive to the support system of friends and family that I have discovered since leaving the family. It is my goal to extend this support to my peers, especially to those who feel alone and perhaps incapable of overcoming the almost insurmountable obstacles we face in adapting to society. I believe that those who are able have the responsibility to support those who need it, and to give voice to those who, for whichever reasons, are not currently able to articulate their past experiences.

As for the purported biased presentation of The Family on the Dr. Phil show, which many current Family members are upset and extremely angry about, understand that this is our own experience and we stand by what was presented. The only ones responsible for not defending The Family on the show are The Family’s own leaders. We invited The Family to appear a month before the show was produced. China and I invited people, Jim invited your spokesperson, as did Dr. Phil’s producers. The Family declined all invitations. Members who are upset should focus their grievances over not being represented fairly towards The Family leadership. It is out of their cowardice to face us on the media stage that you feel betrayed. Instead of facing us, they have hid behind their members, encouraging you to spam our emails and write statements of denial on your websites that go unseen and unnoticed by the public, and do nothing to reconcile our differences. They say, “He who has nothing to hide has nothing to fear.” Ask your leaders the difficult questions: what they are afraid of and why they are hiding behind you?

I want The Family to rest assured knowing that I will continue to pool my resources available to challenge The Family’s integrity and right to exist as an organization until The Family steps up to the plate and works with all of us to find closure. Here are my demands:

1) Access. Allow any and all bona-fide victims access to their abusers if the victims feel the need to pursue prosecution. This will put boundaries in your ranks and will force the paedophiles to surface, as well as bring an awareness of any sexual predators in your communities. The Family might want to establish a neutral third party to filter any allegations. This will ensure that they are willing to pay for the errors of their past and are trying to protect the children, many of whom are our brothers and sisters, which remain in their care.

2) Renounce its former leader, David Berg, and current leaders, Zerby and Kelly. It is because of these individual’s control and manipulation that my childhood and those of my peers was exploited and destroyed. By renouncing these leaders you will prove to me that you are willing to mature as an organization and are ready to make the many needed changes within your establishment.

3) Ensure that your children have the right to a full education. I support home schooling kids; I do not support The Family home schooling kids because of their inconsistencies and lack of success. The Family needs to prepare their children for life outside of the group at the age of majority, just as much as they are preparing them for life inside. Support higher education and the process of obtaining it.

4) Allow your members to join the secular workforce. Protect your children from being exploited financially and relied upon to bring in income for their homes. I do not have an issue with Boy Scouts selling cookies to raise support on occasion, but to have your children as some of your homes’ sole providers is unethical and inhumane.

I will do everything in my power to ensure that you do not establish legitimacy in my country and that any form of legitimacy you now have will be scrutinized until the above is recognized. It is your unwillingness to cooperate with us and your denial that the abuse we suffered was condoned by the top leadership which has made us your enemy. Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, for such is the kingdom of Heaven.” In your zeal to preach to the world a message of free-sex and salvation, you forgot your own children and now must accept the consequences of your actions. Many of your children are now your worst enemy and will haunt you until you realize that the damage you have inflicted on them is valid, you make sincere steps towards reconciliation, and abolish those forms of tyrannical control within your organization.

John Jr.

(reply to this comment)
From Family FGA on
Thursday, October 27, 2005, 09:32

2005, Well & Alive.

Hello all! I've just read every post on this site, and I wish I could put my arms around everyone who is suffering, and give you a big hug, and that saying "Sorry" could fix it. That can't be, but I promise you my prayers.

I doubt there are many neutral souls left, after 20 pages of this debate! But to the undecided & truth-seekers, let me tell you a bit about the The Family International of 2005. I speak as a member for well over 30 years. My father was a Protestant preacher. As a High School valedictorian, politically alert, and with eyes wide open, I joined the "Children of God", impressed by their missionary dedication. Their zeal looked a lot like what I was reading about in my New Testament, but not seeing in any church I attended.

As a group, we were radical & we were crazy---that's what it took to turn on a dropped-out drugged-out hippie generation to Christianity. Our uncompromising anti-Establishment, anti-war, anti-zombie higher education, anti-Churchianity views made news, endeared us to many of the youth, and earned us some pretty hefty enemies in just about every sphere of society. (But with a surprising number of patient parents, who admired our goals, and recognized we'd found real fulfillment.---Who in turn organized themselves into a support group, "Thank COG".) Still, we were soon being labeled religious fascists by some, communist subversives by others, & a brainwashing cult by others.

Some of this was surely brought on by our own foibles & inexperienced young leadership, full of zeal, lacking wisdom. (---and definitely NOT under David Berg's control, ha, as some suggest.) On the other hand, when people just plain don't like your message, or don't really understand you, it's amazing what kind of things they'll accuse you of, and actually believe.

But we've learned as we've grown. We started off as a group of largely teens & 20-somethings. Then we began to have our own little families. In our joy & enthusiasm, we felt that all our kids would "of course" want to follow in our footsteps. But lo & behold, somehow they "grew up", and were faced with some of the same choices WE were as teens.—whether to give their life to God in some capacity, or move on to another lifestyle. In our idealism, in some cases, we hadn't given them enough practical training to smoothly make the move to the "big bad world". But that was not across the board by any means. Meanwhile, even in those cases, they often could speak a few different languages & had a good work ethic, were clean & honest. (And may I add, no cavities, nor brain cells full of 1000's of hours of inane TV commercials, obscene cartoons, & senseless violence). Not to speak of those youth who had developed & honed artistic gifts, musical, computer skills, handymen, etc. while in the group.

Several of my own children are no longer in the Family. Their initial transition was not smooth, but having "learned how to learn" at an early age, they soon surpassed their peers in public school. One of my daughters just came out in the top 3 in her university exams, over hundreds of other students. She is guaranteed a lifetime job as an educator, and is now teaching at a prestigious European High School. Another daughter was top in her city's ballet/dance courses, and was offered entrance to a well-known academy in Paris. A son put himself through cooking school & became an in-demand chef in another European capital. Meanwhile, another daughter has continued her missionary work with the Family year upon year in some of the poorest countries in Africa, along with her husband & 4 bright, intelligent, home-schooled little kids---my grandkids, of whom I'm very proud.

For the newbies here, the Family International is not an obscure secret cult. Our work has been well documented by sociologists & academics for decades. The media has had a great time, too, inevitably picking out anything sensational they could find about the group. And admittedly, there's been plenty. We are not your average Sunday-social church on the corner.

In our earlier years, we were small and---not surprisingly---persecuted. Of course, that was also exciting to us young folks, and it did result in a certain amount of "secrecy", or shall we say, caution. This was not due to any wrongdoing or sense of guilt, but rather because much of our preachments were against the evils of the "System", the rich & influential members of which had the ability to wipe us out if they wished.

Later, more & more of our "controversial" beliefs (read: anything that Billy Graham wouldn't preach) began to be publicized in the media. And we began to accept this & get more comfortable with it. And importantly, we realized that throwing the doors open on our beliefs & Homes was the best thing we could do. Nothing to hide & everything to offer. ---A cooperative lifestyle that works, and produces some pretty wonderful & amazing young people in the process.

If that wasn't enough, now just about anything ever published within the Children of God/Family is now available on the Internet. ---Especially with the help of folks like "drcoosa" here on the website, who apparently has more time to read our Family publications than I do. He somehow hijacks this copyrighted Family material & publishes it without authorization. In fact, he pours over 30 years of publications, keeping a concordance of every "inflammatory" quote he can find. His special faculty, like one of the X-Men, is to then interject these tidbits into a discussion in the most negative & odious light possible. (Ha, ha, sorry to flame you there----you are a great debater, I grant.)

I am not defending those who committed abuses. There are sincere individuals who were hurt, obviously; and that is being well-covered in this forum. I believe some of them would be happy if the individual who mistreated them was brought to justice.

However, I must point out to our public that there is a deeper, darker, more far-reaching agenda here. It is not to make reparation & heal hurts of the past, but rather to demonize & bring down one of the most positive & fruitful missionary fellowships of our present day. From a Christian perspective----excuse me for those of you who don't know Jesus at this time---the people who are pushing this larger, more sinister agenda, have little care for God, for the sharing of Jesus' love with millions of hungry souls every year, for the bringing of encouragement & support to the needy in 100 countries around the world, with both tangible aide, as well as the intangible---satisfying that most basic human need for happiness. Not to speak of these folks wishing to terminate an unquestionably fulfilling way of life for thousands of missionaries & their families---now into three generations. No, at whatever the cost to the millions, the whole group must be brought down & disbanded to appease the few. I don't believe this is what China wants. China knows that abuse in any form is non-existent in the Family today, and that's why she was confident to bring her little son & leave him in our care, while she took care of other timely business 2 years ago (I say this by way of confirmation of the earlier post on that subject).

I promise you, David Berg & Maria were/are NOT pedophiles. Some folks here are painting a very perverse picture of two of the most loving, sacrificial, dedicated Christians you could possibly meet. Radical? Yes. Controversial? Absolutely. Weirdos? Nope. Dangerous? Never.

(Sorry, I wasn't going to get into specifics, but I've just got to address this anti-Semite question. David Berg was Jewish by descent, as is a certain percentage of the Family overall. His anger at the "Jews", as brought out in "drcoosa's" favorite quote from an emotional prayer, was as I recall specifically regarding Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians. With that stance, in a democratic world poll today, Berg would find himself in a very comfortable majority. In spite of his outburst of that moment, did Family members---who you claim were under his "control"---all pick up guns & join Hamas? [BEEP—master say...hate Jew---BEEP---must kill----BEEP...] Ha, ha, ha, give me a break! Members understood & took it in perspective & so did you if you were here. Did you go buy a gun? Book your ticket to Jerusalem? Come on! Berg's comment was no more vehement in spirit than Jesus' own proclamation, "Ye are of your father the devil!" in John chapter 8. Did Jesus teach or incite his personal 12 disciples to hatred & violence by thus saying, or by whipping the merchants out of the temple? You know the answer. (No.) So quit plucking these quotes out of context & trying, like some kind of KKK wizard, to rally a lynch mob against the Family. Some folks might actually believe you. Talk about intolerance, Inquisition, Scarlet Letter, demagoguery, etc.----woh, YOU sound dangerous. Everyone acquainted with the Family today is impressed by the impartial love they extend to people of all races & social status. As all Christians should, we oppose what we consider wrongs in society, but this does not overrule love for individuals. )

Someone earlier mentioned why not try a "sting operation" against the Family. Well, they've "been there, done that"! In the early 90's, antagonists duped officials in several countries to "rescue" hundreds of Family children, through violent police raids. Accusation: "child abuse". Never mind that extensive medical & psychological tests turned up not one case of abuse amongst the approx. 700 children taken from their parents. That's OK—the accusers weren't expecting to find abuse, as they knew there was none occurring. It was just an excuse to try & pull down the Family. All children were returned to their parents, and in some cases, damages awarded to Family members.

I read all the same literature & lived in the Homes in the period of the alleged abuse. It never crossed my mind to have sex with a little kid, nor to allow my kids to be abused by others. "Abuse" was never a Family "policy", much less an institutionalized practice, nor will it ever be. I know there WERE cases, and I don't wish to distress those folks as I say the following: Although as the British Judge pointed out, there was an overly-sexualized atmosphere in the Family, the depiction of abuse, (not only sexual, but of child-labor, extreme punishment, etc.), is just not an accurate picture of the overall Family---not in any year you choose. Home videos *, family photo albums, & honest media coverage from the past will bear out again & again, year after year, that our Homes were filled with happy, smiling, loving individuals. (* Re: Home videos: You will of course trot out the example of the notorious "dance" videos, or "nudie cutie" pictures. Those were circulated for a limited amount of time, then withdrawn. For the record, they were neither violent, ugly, nor perverse.---Unlike your favorite primetime TV shows. Indeed people from some cultures would see them & wonder what's the big deal. Anyway, no Family member has seen any of that for about 20 years. But I don't doubt that the hypocrites---who committed felonies in order to steal some of that material from locked storage to "use against" the Family---have been "enjoying" them in private ever since.)

A young man left our fellowship a while back. We're still friends, and he's now a successful businessman. He confided, "I supported those folks (an anti-Family site) for a while after I left. But I soon recognized they were 'losers' & 'complainers'." (end of quote) Please get my drift here, I am NOT saying anyone who chooses to leave the Family is a loser---not by a long-shot! Indeed, many folks who leave soon find themselves favored for their positive attitudes, humility, solution-oriented thinking, ability to build a consensus, to communicate & to handle people, and how to teamwork—simply due to the fact that those are all necessary attributes to live our cooperative missionary lifestyle.

But I am mentioning this because it is a trend of our time---which any "psychologist" should be able to identify---that people will try to blame their problems on anything they can.---They will sue the Army, their employer, their church, their parents, their school---you name it. Their woes are anybody's fault but their own.

Unfortunately in this respect, Dr. Phil may be as duped by the media as everyone else. By the way, Dr. Phil (greetings), your site invited responses from people who feel they've been the subject of rumors, slander, etc. But what recourse is there when your show is the perpetrator? Where do we go from here? The Supreme Court? Ha. Please get your researchers to dig a little deeper next time---not just scrape off the surface scum you find in a quick internet search. Why don't you get some of those employees out the door & to talk to some actual missionaries, people who are walking the walk; or at least talk to the academics who have studied us & documented our lifestyle for years. Better yet, why don't you have a talk with some of our folks, young & old? But please don't ask us to show up in a kangaroo court there, where the deck has been stacked & showbiz/therapy needs to bring in big network bucks. Meet us out on the street or during one of our volunteer activities, or come over for dinner. (But no paparazzi.) Warning: You may be UNDERwhelmed by the lack of sexual atmosphere. On the other hand, you may be impressed by the poise, spontaneity, dedication & maturity of our young people, and the sincerity & lack of guile of all. Have an open-minded talk & make your own judgment. Please don't be found to be unwittingly aiding & abetting a moral "crime" here, lured to carry someone else's unchecked baggage onboard a national TV show---a device wrapped in reasonable & truly pitiful cries for justice & closure from victims of abuse, but designed by others to hide a much more deadly payload of genuine religious persecution & the destruction of a valid & beneficial missionary movement.

I feel a little bad, because after I submit this message, I'm going to leave the forum & not come back. I'm way too busy as a missionary to continue this. But since I paid my dues & read everything up until here, I just thought I'd leave my 2-cents with the public. I will miss the sparks flying from responses to my post & my words probably being picked apart & regurgitated in the most twisted ways. Some of our older detractors (hi guys) have become very professional at this, and can find you something evil in an Easter lily.

I might add that most of our Members probably didn't see the show. Many of them work in poor countries far from Paramount Studios. They won't be writing in to this site. Their sleeves are rolled-up, and they're having a life---one that resembles Mother Teresa's more than Hugh Hefner's, despite what our detractors would have you think. It's a sacrificial life, and we (parents) have understood better now for the last 10 -15 years that not everyone wants to live it. It took us a while to let go, and like doctors wanting their kids to be doctors, give them more space. Now in our young people's training we not only emphasize life skills & attitudes that will be useful whether in or out of the group, but we do what we can to assist those who wish to go & pursue secular vocations. And we continue to support them with our unconditional love & prayers. (Thus, the rate of folks---both young & old----returning to resume missionary service in the Family after months or years of other pursuits has increased. That doesn't tend to validate the image of an abusive cult that people are struggling at every opportunity to "escape", ha.) Meanwhile, those who have stayed & devoted themselves to missionary work are generally VERY fulfilled & happy. If you want challenge, variety, excitement, to live for a cause, and to make your mark in a needy world---the Family International 2005 rocks!

Well, I'd love to rebut all the mistruths, misrepresentations, and outright lies I've read on this forum. But maybe there's no need: Just "come & see". Or contact the group via the Family website. The difference between what you will find & what some of these detractors here are claiming will be so vast that you will be tempted to believe it's a sham. But hang in there, it's as good as it looks. We're not perfect, but we have got the goods, we have the lifestyle, we have the joy, we have the love of God. "An evil tree cannot bear good fruit" ( Matthew 7:18)---we have the "good fruits". I can without hesitation commend any sincere seekers to any of our Homes or centers worldwide. (Disclaimer: This post reflects only my own opinions & is not to be taken as representative of views of other Family members or of official Family publications. SEE the Family's website at:

(reply to this comment

from mydelusion
Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 16:49


Taken off the Dr. Phil site

Children are a heritage of the Lord & the fruit of the womb is His reward. This verse sums up my feelings of the upbringing I had in The Family, and reminds me of the responsible attitude and conduct which I saw continually portrayed by my parents and caregivers throughout that upbringing. I am a second generation Family member, the oldest girl in a family of nine children. Because of my parents’ deep faith & love for the Lord I was given the privilege to be raised in what I consider the absolute best environment in the world.

Throughout my 29 years I have never personally seen nor experienced anything unloving, dangerous or damaging to myself or any other children as I grew up in Family communities all throughout Australia, India, Japan, the Philippines and New Zealand. Absolutely no form of abuse is tolerated in The Family! We were raised and still live according to the loving, Godly principles laid out in the Bible and my present lifestyle clearly reflects that for any objective inquirer who should care to hear a firsthand account from one of the allegedly “abused, deprived victims.”I live in Mexico along with my husband & our five children (ages 1-11 years old) who we feel are a reward & honor to raise. Our expanding missionary work to help the needy people of this country has many aspects ranging from giving physical aid, in the form of food, clothing, medical supplies, toys etc… to the more important spiritual aid, that of counseling, mentoring, comforting, encouraging, assisting and guiding; And this all for a very broad variety of class and culture within Mexico.

We daily interact with extremely diverse individuals from opposite walks of life i.e. orphans, delinquents, homeless families, college students, educators, lawyers, businessmen, policymakers, and officials just to name a few.

And this work is done by a team largely comprised of Family young adults ages 18 through 31, most of whom have been born & raised in The Family. The superior training that we received all of our lives has proved its value in the amazing things which we have accomplished. We were raised to be adaptable, relatable, versatile, persistent, industrious, have a strong work ethic, and we were well prepared to approach life so that we would excel in whatever capacity we chose.

Besides all the missionary work we of RESCATE are doing, there is the somewhat behind-the-scenes work of organizing, people handling, managing, accounting, organizing and fundraising. All vital to keeping our team of 28 people operational. And this took exceptional training as well! You try to run a business and then also live with your 27 other coworkers every day and notice the tact, concern, love, unselfishness, patience and countless other values needed to be productive. We were given that extra measure of morale needed by growing up in the Family.

I know that the Family in the best place for children to be raised because I lived it. –My husband lived it. –The 8 other second generation Family adults I live with lived it & we are all still living it. My eight brothers & sisters—apart from my eldest brother who moved on & has since become a very useful citizen to secular society—are all also still living it & making a difference each & every day in their respective mission fields.

April Fischer, second generation member of the Family International.

Age 30
Happily Married 11 years
Born & raised in The Family
Currently a missionary in Mexico with “Proyecto Rescate”(Project Rescue)

(reply to this comment)

Saturday, October 01, 2005 - 18:59

If I was a member of The Family I would pull a myconclusion on the message board They'll have to come out and defend themselves. Talk about a free way to get their message out straight to the Dr. Phil viewers and producers before the show airs. Just by reading the discription of the show you can tell that it's not going to be "Family" friendly.
(reply to this comment)
From Lance
Saturday, October 01, 2005, 20:33

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 I know anything about the dr. Phil show it will be individual based. The show will be about peoples personal experiences and how they can overcome them. It is not a median to attack the family as a whole, so therefore defending the family through letters is essentially denying that someone you never met experienced the things they claim to have experienced, and therefore would be supererogatory.

I mean what would they say? "This person is lying because I believe that they’re lying"? Or how about the popular argument that says abuse supposedly doesn’t occur in the family today, therefore it must not have occurred back then. Or how about the famous: "lots of people have had bad lives and these people should just count their blessings"?(reply to this comment

Saturday, October 01, 2005, 21:22

Yeah, well, that's precisely what the Family has been doing in the media for 9 months.(reply to this comment
From Lance
Saturday, October 01, 2005, 21:32

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?)

Well here is the post that I just put on dr.


I heard something very shocking recently about this cult; apparently if a member of the cult wishes to report any crime perpetrated by another member then the member who witnessed or was victim to the crime must leave the cult!!

A friend of mine dug this up for me when I told him I was going to post: they actually have it in writing, at the end of section 27 - page 52


Yes actually! I'm a 26 year old second generation former member of TFI who left the group six years ago.

My brother was kicked out of his home when he was 14 for merely being a witness to an assault case that another teenager had filed against one of the adult members in that home. At the time he was in the process of rejoining the cult so that he could be close to his personal family after being completely kicked out of the group at the age of twelve for supposedly being an instrument of the devil. All he did was stand up for himself and others when he saw all the crap that was going on(he also wore a hand-made cloth cross around his neck that certain leaders said was carrying demon spirits.)

Anyway, I don't know what it's like now but I'm sure that if any current member tried to pursue legal action against another member they would immediately be black listed as a divider of the close brotherhood of TFI and would probably leave of their own volition, or at least be strongly pressured to do so.

We are talking about an organization that takes an attack on one as an attack on many, which explains why they haven't turned over child molesters to authorities for prosecution(it doesn't help that their direct leadership is also culpable). This all for one mentality that we were raised with since infancy is really a fine example of the oppression of free will; if one cannot decide for themselves what is right or wrong, then one loses their free will. What was right is whatever the cult told us was right. I'm thankful now that I know better.

The family is what I like to term a fatalistic cult: They view themselves as the leaders in the biblical end times and ultimately the chosen people of god. They were even more fatalistic 20 years ago when they really didn't imagine that their second generation members were ever going to grow up and get smart, teenagers between the ages of 11 and 14 are given the acronym JETT's(Junior End Time Teens.) simply because they viewed us as being their shining light in the last days of the world before the coming of Christ. It isn't hard to imagine that such a cult, with such a high opinion of itself, would care very little or nothing for the legal system, or the psychological implications that go hand in hand with the abuse that those of my generation encountered. It is simply a matter of accountability and TFI's lack of it in the crucial time that me and my peers were growing up.

I can't remember where I heard or read it, but I once learned that the mark of a person who never grew up is when they ignore a problem or uncomfortable situation in the hope that it'll go away. The Family is an organization that is still trying to be those fun-loving hippies who never grew up, and as a consequence their word means nothing. Until TFI takes action that is indicative of a responsible religious organization neither I nor any free willed individual in the world will see them as anything less then a manipulative cult. (reply to this comment

from Dr. Phil Promo
Saturday, October 01, 2005 - 13:17

Click on for the upcoming show airing on Oct. 3rd, Monday. Click on for more info and discussion.
(reply to this comment)
from Dr. Phil
Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 18:52


Dr. Phil will be aired on Monday, October 3rd.

Go to for your local listing.
(reply to this comment)

from KateCoe
Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 15:22


I can't really explain why Dateline made the choices it did, but I know that the legal dept. of my piece, back in May, required that we call COG a religion or at least sect. I had to take out all the "cult" references. I expect that the producers at Dateline had the same battle.

I'm not at ACA anymore, but I try to stay current on COG and media, etc. And thanks again to all of you who spoke with or emailed or met me.

And you guys know I got cranky email from COG at work afterward.


(reply to this comment)

From Nancy
Tuesday, August 23, 2005, 16:08


There are so many people who appreciate you and all you've done to expose this evil group The Family.

Notice, though, for a moment that unlike true religions and churches like Catholicism and Scientology and even Mormonism, there is not one lawsuit out there against those of us speaking out about what The Family did to us. Why? Because they know they do not have a claim, not even for slander or defamation, because truth is an absolute defense. So, instead, the cult bolsters and whines and sends email and letters. Do they ever do a thing else? No.

Keep up the good work. In the end, good always prevails over evil.

Caryn, the lawyer you met in San Diego at the memorial, or rather one of them you met(reply to this comment
From tuneman7
Tuesday, August 23, 2005, 20:39

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?)


Any legitimate "religion" whose LEADERS were not THE MOST AGGREGIOUS ABUSERS in the group, who promoted and carried out the most horrific crimes against minors, would have filed suits against so many press organizations. I mean, if any lies were published in Rolling Stone, the group wouldn't be writing their weak-ass, ill-written, nonsensical letters to the editor, but rather going after the publishing company's cash. This is a capitalistic world after all in 2005, it's not about any cause, it's about money, and believe me, armies of lawyers would be lining up to represent the cult against a magazine like Rolling Stone, if the cult believed it had any sort of a claim for slander or defamation. There is no case/claim and there never will be.

The other thing is that the cult would have to identify themselves in a courtof law, which would open them up to the biggest counter-suit in the history of litigation.

If it were a "curch" run by church leaders, rather than the pack of criminals which run it, they wouldn't be using a child abusing idiot like Borowick to send a note to the editor. They'd be sending the lawyers in time and time again, armies of them. The lawyers would be happy to go up against the cash vaults and insurance policies media organizations have taken out to protect themselves against such suits.

Unfortunately, very few media organizations or at least the lawyers of those organizations see this. Understandable, the responsibility of an attourney is to keep the company out of liability, and they don't know any better. I will personally interview/meet with any attourney working for a media organization if need be, and share my story and that of my sister with them, as well as, documents, reports, videos, etc., of what these criminals did.

In time the group's criminal bogusness will continue to become clear and attourneys won't be concerned about this pack of criminals. They have no reason to be. Good on the lawyers for the media organizations who have published good work, as well as the journalists who have put themselves out there to get the real story about what happened to children out there, not just some weak, watered down nonsense.

And. ... guess what? How many of them has TFI sued?. . . .... -- Zero!

Some lawyers are intelligent, hopefully the track record above will enable the real story of what happened to us to get out in a way that it hasn't yet.(reply to this comment

from whatthecatdrugin
Monday, August 22, 2005 - 20:35


For those who thought Dateline sucked, maybe we can help make a difference by sending in an answer here:

Ever a Member of the group "Children of God?"

Were you a member of the "Children of God," and are having trouble adjusting to your new life?

Do know someone that is still a part of the "Children of God" aka: "The Family International" and need help getting them to leave?

Are you a member of the "Children of God" aka "The Family International" and you want to clear up the misconceptions the public has regarding your organization?
(reply to this comment)

from TV Guide
Friday, August 19, 2005 - 14:27


Hey y'all it looks like Dateline is doing this segment TONIGHT:

A secretive sect
And you'd think a religious group would protect and defend its children, especially one called "Children of God." That was the name of a controversial group founded in the 1960s, that preached a gospel of "free love." But many who grew up in the group say "free love," meant sexual abuse of young children. Tonight, one of them speaks out, in a haunting, tormented voice: An extraordinary videotaped message that comes from beyond the grave. He was a boy groomed to be a prophet... but doomed to a life of pain. And Keith Morrison tells us, that life would end in an explosion of violence.
(reply to this comment)

From Nick
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 05:14

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?)
OK, I am pissed. I thought that show sucked!(reply to this comment
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 15:43

Yeah, it sucked, but no red-blooded American who watched that show was going to like the cult much.(reply to this comment
From tuneman7
Monday, August 22, 2005, 19:53

True. ... true.(reply to this comment
From Dateline sucked
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 07:09

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(
The was the most disturbing portrayal of Rick to date. Steve Chancellor has no right to discuss our story, he's a Family apologist and needs to learn his place. Please people that deal with the media, make sure we own this story and don't allow producers to walk all over it. (reply to this comment
From tuneman7
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 15:23

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?)

This was a very sad situation.

ABC primetime was being done at the same time and people couldn't participate.

Borowitch continues to be the biggest criminal ass-clown known to mankind.

The show sucked open_a$%$#(reply to this comment

From Haunted
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 16:38


As opposed to sucking closed_a$%$#?????(reply to this comment

From roughneck
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 19:14

two words: "hello.jpg". (reply to this comment
From sarafina
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 12:32

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?)
They contacted us during the time we were doing interviews with primetime so at the time we couldn’t interview with them. When they asked me I told them I could interview with them after the primetime aired. They went ahead and ran a short (similar) piece back in March the day before primetime’s show just to try and beat them to it. Then they contacted us again a month after and we said we would do interviews and it was all set up but then they said the show was dropped so they had no need to interview us anymore.

The one piece that showed Elixcia was not well interviewed because they never set up an interview with her, they showed up at Ricky’s apartment with cameras as she was trying to sort through his stuff and was not prepared. Basically they just had followed her. You are right though they are lazy and did no real investigating.(reply to this comment
From Jules
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 07:19

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?)
I don't know that any of us talked to Dateline regarding Ricky. An editor contacted me sometime ago asking for photos of Ricky, but that was about it. I just now found out that this aired last night and that they used footage of me they had from an interview I did over four years ago. I think they just pieced together what they already had. They didn't even tell me they were airing this. Obviously I would like to see what was shown. Did anyone get a copy? (reply to this comment
From monger
Monday, August 22, 2005, 17:50


Peter posted the full segment on Rick, the Family and yourself online... see:

(While it lasts, about half the show is also viewable on MSN Video. For others interested, more TV coverage of the Family can be seen at )(reply to this comment

From Jules
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 11:34

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?)

I read the transcript of the show and I am furious. It makes me ill to have my name associated with a story I had no input into to whatsoever. Does anyone know who the producer was?

The claims made: That Ricky was only after money, that there was no evidence that Angela Smith was involved in sexually exploiting Ricky, and the incredibly nauseating assertion that Ricky somehow "repented" of his desperate need for vengance are obviously complete fabrications.

I did not want to say this about Dateline after the show I was previously involved in aired, as the producer of that broadcast was a decent man, but I was shocked at how incredibly lazy Dateline is about investigative journalism. I have talked to the media before, and most news shows do an incredible amount of investigation before final edits of a story.

Dateline got a number of the facts I told them directly and specifically wrong. There was obviously no research done, or they would have seen where their report was inaccurate, since much of my own story can be verified. They apparently just took accounts from a single source and then retold that story in their own words, loosing accuracy as they did so.

Here is an example. Dateline said: "The group claims that at least 25 former members of the "Children of God" killed themselves over the past 13 years. The religion itself says those numbers are exaggerated, and actually claims that the rate of suicide among former members is lower than it is for the population as a whole. There is no way to verify any of those numbers." There is a way to verify those numbers. We have listed the names of people who died due to the Family. Do some work and look them up.

NBC Dateline is not FOX News, but it is getting close. Thank goodness for real media like the NYT and Rolling Stone--even People Magazine did a better job. (reply to this comment

From %^$
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 15:46

I noticed how they have claimed Ricky got "ample financial and emotional support" upon leaving. They are of course referring to the money they then claim he demanded to keep silent. Which amounts to about one year of tuition at some american colleges, where people go who WERE GIVEN AN EDUCATION growing up, and whose mother did not have sex with them.(reply to this comment
From Disturbing Reality
Sunday, August 21, 2005, 15:05

I read the transcript of the show and, ughh, it makes me sick! Did it bother anyone else how the entire time they referred to TFI as a “church” or a “religion”? I mean WTF? Since when does a group who admits to having systematically raped and physically abused their children and masturbates to “Jesus” get classified as a religion or a church? I think it’s an insult to any religion! And I don’t even like religion!

I hope other people noticed that as well!(reply to this comment
From elementary, Watson
Sunday, August 21, 2005, 15:59

If they didn't call themselves a church or religion, they would never get away with it. They wouldn't even have the issue-avoiding line "religious persecution" to bandy about.(reply to this comment
From Houyh
Sunday, August 21, 2005, 21:11

It's interesting that the use of the word "church" in the beginning would have sent the radical congregation running towards the door! It was a dirty word back in the day. Today, TFI would love to lock onto such a term for their very salvation. They are just following the American Way! When a corporation goes bankrupt because of bad manangement, ripping off the 401K's of it's employees, or just plain being sued for a fautly product that empties its' coffers upon a huge settlement, it then merely reapplies for a new corporate name. It's all about image and soon enough the image will melt in plain view. So be hearty and party because eventually the face behind the mask will show. As for me and my lot, tonight we are enjoying a nice glass of wine!(reply to this comment
From Nancy
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 12:01

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?)
I could not agree more.

But, without sounding trite, we must have hope. We have the truth. Each one of us, and there are hundreds, no thousands, that know the truth because we lived it all first hand. One little show will be forgotten. We will not be forgotten. We will keep telling our stories until the cult is finally exposed.

I know all too well how terrible it is for us to have the cult deny over and over what happened to us. I've felt victimized myself all over again. I see how the lies they tell affect those of us in the survivor community and how it wears on us. I see survivors I know and love in pain all over again. I kills me, but I'm not afraid for a second that the little show will make any difference in the long run.

Call me naive or trite or unrealistic, I don't care, but I know as sure as the sun will rise that in the end good will triumph over evil. I know the cult will be exposed and our experiences and pain and all they put us through will be known. It is the way the world works. It is the way of all truly evil groups or organizations. In the end the truth is known and the exploiters are reviled and ridiculed.(reply to this comment
From tuneman7
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 15:51

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?)

Stay idealistic, it makes you beautiful. If we let them rob us of our idealisms, our happinesses, and our hopes, our futures and our lives, then the bad people win.

I'm not about letting them win. Not with me at least.

Keep telling your story. Keep being there for your friends. Keep succeeding at work, in school, and in life. That's how we win. We are winning.(reply to this comment

From Nancy
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 18:52

You're winning my dear, with every word you speak.(reply to this comment
From Houyh
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 07:08

The Dateline show did suck! We all know why- no real focus on the dangerous issue that The Family International really is! Still to this day they are blantantly worshipping a well-documented pedophile on their website- DAVID BERG! They will never resolve the problems with their own children until they:
1) Denounce Berg as a false prophet.
2) Cease and desist from idolizing and adoring him as their founder and master teacher and eradicate his teachings from their midst.
3) Make honest and adequate restitution to their many victims- their own children!
4) Identify the pedophiles currently residing within their community to law enforcement so that the surrounding communities in which they live are safe from these individuals
5) Learn to hold themeselves accountable for their own past acts of crimes they have committed against children.

In lieu of their inability to hold themselves accountable for the horror that they have heaped upon so many, justice and the rule of law will have to do it for them. I hope I never see such a poor spin as Dateline did on this dangerous and egregious group. I am glad that I was left out of the loop on the production of this travesty- the producers certainly didn't "get it" correctly. Who was speaking in their ears? (reply to this comment
From sarafina
Friday, August 19, 2005, 16:00

more info..I just called dateline and they said that show IS airing tonight, in CA at either 7 or 8 pm, you have to check your local tv guide or cable provider to see when Dateline is on in your area.(reply to this comment
From sarafina
Friday, August 19, 2005, 16:14

Oh, some one just told me if you are in LA it will be on at 10pm(reply to this comment
From sarafina
Friday, August 19, 2005, 16:31


Sorry, I spoke to soon and stand corrected. I guess it's chn 4 at 8pm in Los Angeles.(reply to this comment

From Peter
Friday, August 19, 2005, 17:27

Dateline is on right now on KXAN 36 in Austin, Texas. They showed the preview for all four stories and have apparently changed the title of Keith Morrison's report from "The hand that rocked the cradle" to "Little boy lost." They are showing the "Student Bodies" story now and Morrison's report will be next I think. (reply to this comment
From tudaisy
Friday, August 19, 2005, 15:32

I just ckecked the Dateline news schedule, and I didn't find any thing about this, at least not tonight, or Monday night(reply to this comment
Friday, August 19, 2005, 15:45

I got an e-mail alert that I had signed up for. It says it's one of about 4 segments in a 2-hour Dateline.(reply to this comment
from tip
Friday, August 19, 2005 - 10:50

Make sure to tell them how The Family only excommunicates people "found to have abused children" after 1988. This makes it clear that, at least before 1988, child molestation was ALLOWED and they feel it is unfair to punish sex abuse of children before 1988 because it was not considered wrong. So people such as Claire Borowik are home safe to an even larger degree, they are not even excommunicated, a punishment which does nothing to avoid future victims or help past victims.
(reply to this comment)
from Here's Wishing...
Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 19:16

Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Great job! You know they probably won't send anyone, but it would be awesome if you did get to go on televison with some current sga members and have a friendly discussion about our childhoods.
(reply to this comment)

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