Getting Out : Media Reports
Repost: Peter on the Media
from thixotropic - Thursday, September 08, 2005
accessed 2512 times
Peter Speaking: "Help, I can't decide. Oh what the hell, I'll say both:
"The Lord has kept the Family in the news" and "Thanks, dear Family, for your ongoing prayers for the cessation of media coverage of this story.""
Posted By: dontaskwhereigotthis
Date: Thursday, 8 September 2005, at 8:09 p.m.
From the friend of a friend, who is a friend of another friend, who got it yesterday.
Update from Peter — September 6, 2005
Thank you so much for your faithfulness to pray against persecution and the Enemy's attempts to hinder or slow down the many victories being won through the year of strengthening! In answer to your key-empowered prayers, the Lord has continued to strengthen, protect, and bless the Family on every front.
(Jesus:) Nevertheless, the Gospel is preached, and the sample shines through even in spite of the contention. And you will shine as stars as you continue to step up to the light and let your lights so shine that they may see your good works and glorify Me. My sheep hear My voice and see through the lies and will embrace the light, My loves.
As you have heard‚ Hurricane Katrina caused a colossal amount of destruction and over a thousand deaths in the U.S. The Family there has mobilized to do what they can to help with the relief efforts. Please do pray for them, as working in these types of situations is extremely intense and taxing. You can find out what they are doing by logging on to their website at http://www.katrinareliefhome.com/. God bless all of you who are working day and night to make a difference in that situation. Mama and I and our WS Homes are keeping you in our daily prayers for your strength, anointing, protection, unity, supply, and all that you need for your Homes and those you are ministering to.
Since my last update in July, there has been ongoing media activity, although this has been limited to the U.S. for the most part. The news generated by Angela's and Ricky's deaths made the standard rounds of the newspapers first, followed by television networks, and lastly it is making the rounds in the magazine racks and the TV news magazine programs. So the Lord has kept the Family in the news, and much of the coverage in this past six weeks has at least included clear statements from our spokespeople to provide something from our side.
One program‚ NBC Dateline‚ which had been filmed and slotted to air in March, was shelved at that time but aired just recently in August. NBC Dateline had done quite a negative program featuring a second-generation detractor last year, which didn't include our side of the story at all. Our spokespeople pointed out to them how one-sided their first program had been, and it seems they made an attempt to make this program a more balanced one. Of course‚ considering the subject matter it covered, it was still quite negative, but generally speaking there was a lot more witness and explanation of our beliefs than other programs have included this year. It also included an interview from researcher Dr. James Chancellor, who wrote a book on the Family several years ago. Dr. Chancellor's comments were accurate and fair‚ and explained our beliefs regarding the Law of Love and much about our lives.
The program also included clips of Claire and quotes from her statement, which were a positive witness, as well as a testimony of our belief in repentance and forgiveness in the next life. The program ended by noting: "While the controversy over the Children of God continues, the Family claims to have some 12,000 members today, working in ministries in more than 100 countries."
In my last update, I mentioned about the article People magazine published in the States. They later published a short excerpt of a letter to the editor from an SGA, which was helpful in setting the record straight. Thanks, dear Mike, and all of you of the second generation who have stepped up to the plate to help defend the Family and make the truth be heard! Here is the excerpt that was published:
I just finished reading about the Family and had to laugh. Roselle says he only had a first-grade education at age 20. I grew up in the Family‚ and he was one of my childhood friends between the ages of 10 and 18. He was an extremely bright person. I only wish you had quoted some of us in your story as extensively as you quoted Roselle and others. It only seems fair. Since it's too late for that‚ you've got my two cents here.—Mike Moore, San Diego‚ Calif. (People Magazine, August 8, 2005)
Rolling Stone also printed excerpts of Claire's rebuttal to their article in August. However, along with it they printed a rebuttal to the rebuttal from the author of the original article, who apparently didn't take kindly to standing corrected for his biased and highly inaccurate article.
A local newspaper in one major city in the States also covered the story, while focusing on the local work, and afterwards printed the entire rebuttal our spokespeople worked on with the local Home in that city.
A few other articles and programs expected to appear have yet to do so. A company in England has been filming a documentary about Ricky and Angela's deaths over the past six months, which will apparently focus on the allegations of our detractors. Please pray that the Lord will have His way and that the producers will include the information they have received from our spokespeople, so that the program will have some balance. Please also pray against any fall-out from this program. Cosmopolitan in England did a feature story on one of our detractors, but did not contact the Family before publishing their article. Therefore it was entirely one–sided.
60 Minutes in New Zealand also did a half-hour segment on the Family. Although it was quite negative, the brethren had already received in prophecy that it would be a "tempest in a tea cup," and that seems to be the case. Apparently this program has been targeting different churches or fringe religious groups in what appears to be an anti-religious campaign, and this program was one more program in that series.
As a final point, we had mentioned to you that Jim LaMattery has been campaigning actively against the Family in the States. At this point, it appears that a popular program, called the "Dr. Phil Show," intends on airing a program with LaMattery and his extended family with the intent of furthering his cause. Dr. Phil is a psychologist and the format of the show is similar to a lot of other talk shows‚ such as "The Oprah Winfrey Show," only with a psychological "let me give you some good advice" bent. From what we have heard, the show is now airing trailers for this program, which is scheduled to air in September. This program tends to be quite sensationalistic, with secret cameras and setups to precipitate crises. Please pray against any negative fall-out from this program, and particularly that it will not be used of the Enemy to work against reconciliation and healing with former members. The program portends to be quite negative and one-sided, but the Lord through our prayers can minimize or negate any actual damage and protect His children.
Thanks, dear Family, for your ongoing prayers for the cessation of media coverage of this story. Please pray that if it is the Lord's will that the Family continues to be highlighted in the media‚ that He will allow a witness to come through and His sheep will hear His voice and discern the truth. Please also continue to pray for your media teams and PR boards as they pray, counsel, and hear from the Lord about media responses and proactive measures in their areas.
Let's also continue to pray for the strengthening of each of our Homes during this time of media battles and preparation for future persecution, that the Lord will continue to use these obstacles to strengthen us individually and as a Family for the future He has prepared for us as shining witnesses for Him. "This is your heritage, My loves—to have the greatest faith, the strongest connection, the most apparent anointing that I have given to anyone on Earth throughout all time! You will be My beacons on the Earth, and as others touch you, they too will be set alight!" (ML #3351:94, ML #3359:88).
Mama and I are so thankful for each of you and how you have weathered the storms and continue to bear witness of the truth every day as you faithfully witness, follow up, and feed His sheep! His truth is marching on every day, and grows in the hearts of the many, many lives touched by your witness! "They can't stop our rain!"
With much love,
[END OF REPOST]
I am very curious about Peter's comment on the Dr. Phil Show. He says "Please pray against any negative fall-out from this program, and particularly that it will not be used of the Enemy to work against reconciliation and healing with former members."
Does anybody have any idea what "reconciliation and healing with former members" he is referring to?
Reader's comments on this article
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Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 21:28
"In my last update, I mentioned about the article People magazine published in the States. They later published a short excerpt of a letter to the editor from an SGA, which was helpful in setting the record straight. Thanks, dear Mike, and all of you of the second generation who have stepped up to the plate to help defend the Family and make the truth be heard! Here is the excerpt that was published"
LOL. I feel like the vice-presidential candidate some years back that said (to Dan Quayle), "I knew John F. Kennedy and you are no John F. Kennedy." I have read rebuttals before and pointing out that Daniel Roselle was a smart kid does not even begin to rebut all facts presented in the People magazine article. That's hilarious.
It's like a lawyer sitting next his client in court and violently jumping up and saying, "Your honor, I object! I object!!! Yes, my client did commit the crime but the prosecution's witness stated it was at 4:30 PM and my client informed me that it occurred no later than 3:00 PM. Furthermore, the witness mispronounced the name of the street where the crime occured: It wasn't 3rd and Alm Street. It was 3rd and ELM street." The lawyer self-contentedly sits back down and the defendant pats him on the back and says, "Thanks for stepping up and setting the record straight."
(reply to this comment)
| From ErikMagnusLehnsher|
Thursday, September 15, 2005, 20:42
So...I'm not the only who writes old buddies in the TF and tries to dazzle them with my well-rounded arguments. :) Despite the Devil using me to spread a few doubts, I've been by and large ineffective. ;) If somebody can read James Penn's outstanding articles and not have an epiphany, I frankly can't help 'em.
The fact is I like Mike. I simply can't conjure up any ill will towards him. He's a good guy and a good dad. I figure he'll eventually leave when he's good and ready and I certainly hope it's sooner rather than later. I don't think he's necessarily placing his children in peril based on his situation but I would suspect he'll leave before his kids start praying, "Dear Jesus, please pop your big throbing penis in my mouth and fill me with your seeds."
I think when you grow up reading so much strange shit you can develop a tolerance for and it doesn't really phase you...it kind of rolls off you like water off a duck's back: "Yeah...loving Jesus...loving Shmeezuz...whatever...(yawn)...is devotions over, yet? I'm ready for Get-Out and Siesta...I hope some more of that ice cream arrives in the provisioning, etc." I think when it comes to OUR generation and OUR kids, I think parental instincts will eventually kick your ass and force you out. That's how I see it happening...and I hope I'm right.
I think deep down, any SGA that has spent their entire life reading Mo and Mama letters has to know that that '93 Summit Mama Jewels document is 100% authentic.(reply to this comment)
| From JohnnieWalker|
Thursday, September 15, 2005, 21:10
I agree. I also bear him no ill will. His communications with me were civil and by all appearances (I've never met him, only read his blog and seen photos) he's a good father.
I can see him leaving eventually, as well, although I tend to think it will be a few years yet. When you're married, it's a lot more difficult to leave if your spouse doesn't want to. In any case, I'm keeping a copy of his letters to me saved up so I can ask him for his opinion about them a couple years after he's left.
It still surprises me how so many of the SGAs who are still in the Family cannot put their childhoods in proper perspective (although, I must admit, 'proper' is somewhat relative in this case). My line of reasoning with current members of late has been one of, "If the Victor Camps weren't so bad, would you put your kids in one? What emotions would you have if you woke up one day and found out your kid was in a Victor Camp? Would you pull them out?", "If you did to your child some of the things that your parents or shepherds did to you (i.e. spankings, harsh punishment, sexually inappropriate behaviour, etc), would you think it was only a mistake made? Would you understand if your children resented you for it?"
I too, often feel it is a waste of my time to communicate with current members. I guess a part of me still feels that there is hope that my peers in TF will understand that they are all part of us, regardless of their beliefs. It's not a "us vs. them".
Ultimately, I believe, the power is in their hands to hold TF's leaders accountable (that is, if the law doesn't do so first).(reply to this comment)
|from moon beam|
Saturday, September 10, 2005 - 09:56
The article in cosmo is part of my sisters story/life (TF can't touch it) Why would she want to give her copy space to TF? Get your own goddamn article. It is a laughable complaint.
Peter you are an evil fuck.
Good luck to anyone thats going on the DR Phil show.
(reply to this comment)
Friday, September 09, 2005 - 17:50
Its strange (or perhaps unusually, not strange) what Peter dictates is “persecution” and what is “reconciliation and healing with former members”.
So, “persecution” to Peter consists of people going on the Dr Phil show and “reconciliation and healing with former members” appears to consist of getting a gag-full of James Chancellor, who tries to assume our automatic membership to his greater congregation.
If the people in TF keep being told by their proxy brain that any form of seeking justice not initiated by them is “persecution” they will never understand that this is not “us vs them”, or the “big bad world who wants to destroy us while we are fighting them off” - such a world is pure fantasy!
What this is about is a bunch of confused youths who got mixed up under the guidance of a man with evil intentions, and it is about their children who want to explain the hurt caused and try to find a way to sort out this mess. It is also about some people who committed crimes and who need to be brought to justice in order for a healing process to begin proper.
The problem is that crimes (if not many crimes) were committed by leaders of TF. These same leaders use the rather innocent members or children of members as their face to the world, trying to confuse authorities and academics that an attack on criminal leaders is also an attack on innocent members. They use the innocence of children and naďve members as their shield and try to make anyone who is seeking justice look like a blood dripping monster (case in point “Vandari).
One thing which I think needs to be done is distinguish between “the person” and “the group”. For example a few months ago my mom in a conversation said “I am TF”. This was said to my sister who was expressing outrage against the Ricky tragedy and the need to obtain justice for wrongs committed by people in TF. I realised then, and more now that what upsets me about my mom is the part of her own personality which has been replaced by TF’s group mentality. Slowly I think I am beginning to distinguish between the mother who I love and know loves me, and the one who gave up being a true parent, and who now sees TF to be protected instead of her own children.
The truth is my mom is my mother, that is fact, nothing can change that fact. The falsehood is TF, TF is the fantasy, the lie which steals parents from their children and tells them to curse their children because they are “blood dripping demons”.
What seems to confuse our parents (my mother as case in point) is that they have mixed up their own identity with that of the group. What TF does to maintain this is by keeping its members minds in a constant state of contraction, or ultra-defensiveness. Once a person believes what TF says as truth, TF begins its process of teaching its “members” to defend their truth, as if any attack on TF’s “truth” was an attack on a “member’s” own soul. When this happens in full a “member” does not see the difference between defending their own individual interest and that of those dictated by TF’s leadership. When a person’s mind is contracted and ultra-defensive/ paranoid/ fearful, they are in full “Fight or Flight” mode to which TF leaders (case in point: HMS King Peter) have their own private button, aka “The letters, GNS, etc, to make them see what they want, and do what they want.
The only way we will have our parents back is when they stop being controlled by these fear-driven fantasies. - I wonder if it will ever happen…
(reply to this comment)
| From ErikMagnusLehnsher|
Saturday, September 10, 2005, 06:53
Very well said.
I think Peter's version of reconciliation is us saying: "I'm successful because of all the love and good training and education in TF. I was angry for a while but I am sorry for that and want to reconcile with TF and my parents." (In the background Peter is singing "Come Home, Come Home, I'm calling lost sinners...Come Home").
I stumbled upon this at xfamily.org and it's so arrogant it's almost comical. The logic is so incredibly twisted, the "prophecies from Jesus"...it's almost unbelievable that they could publish this (they apparently published it in August, 2005). The deliberate transferal of responsibility or accusation from them (leadership) to common members is blantantly displayed throughout.
In Summary it says:
Even if people have legitimate grievances against TF, it's the Devil that is using and inspiring them. Even if "mistakes" occured (which the Devil made you do anyway) it's only because you're good Christians that you're suffering persecution and not because of our past...so confession and repentance aren't options that are even on the table. Probably some other BS that I couldn't even wrap my "flatlander" brain around. :)
(reply to this comment)
| From Jules|
Friday, September 09, 2005, 18:39
I have just finished reading My Life In Orange, by Tim Guest, who lived in the Bhwagan cult until he was ten.
It is an excellent book and there were a number of things that struck me while reading it: he refers to the leader as his mother's guru, he describes the bonding that he felt with other children and how bizarre and distasteful the children thought their parent's practices were. Although this was a not a Bible Based Cult, I could relate to so much of the dynamics in what was described.
I think the most profound portion of this book, in my opinion, was a letter Tim wrote to his mother as a teenager after they both were out, and the one she wrote back to him.
He said: "... You had to go on your pathetic little quest for the answer to it all, while I, too alone to cry, bounced up and down, confused and hurt ... Now I have to sort it all out -- it's me, not you, that has to eradicate the (perfectly valid while I was young) knowledge that I am alone -- there is nobody else, really. Sure you might feel guilty every now and then, but really, so what? ... Throughout my whole life you have been selfish to me. ... with all the things I needed: love, attention, all the standard and rather obvious maternal obligations. But most of all, time. Was I worth so little to you that all you could spare was 5 minutes to say good night...? For all this I do hate you, for all the times I sat, so alone, all I wanted to do was cry but I could not -- you had not taken the time to teach me how. I was worthless to you, to everyone -- how could I help but become worthless to myself?"
His mother replied: "... At the time I thought it would help me become a better person, a happier person. It didn't. ... You have every right to be angry with me about this. I did something I now see was very wrong and I regret it. It still hurts me that I did it and deprived you of something that you needed as a child. I have suffered more from this mistake than from many other because this also hurt you. An innocent child that had no choice but to put up with being left alone too much and abandoned. I am very sorry for this although I know it doesn't make it hurt any less for you. But I know we'll now get through this and end up with with an even deeper relationship which will maybe more precious and loving because of the difficulties we have gone through. I feel there is a deep love between us even though I know you have to be angry with me for a while."
In my opinion, the only way we will have our parents back is when they admit that they hurt us. So many parents who have left The Family still cannot see that. My own parents are on the fringes of the group at this point, but still cannot see that they were wrong and that their children have every right to be angry for how they failed as parents. Until they can face their failings full on and sincerely and truly apologise for them, I don't know that we will ever get them back. I have stopped hoping. (reply to this comment)
| From Benz|
Saturday, September 10, 2005, 19:45
Usually included somewhere in the text of a number of the books I’ve read over the past few years is reference to the “good enough mother” by the famed child psychologist D.W. Winnicott. One such book I recently finally finished reading after about 2 months of stopping and starting, is titled “ Politics on the Couch ”, by Andrew Samuels, a London-based professor of psychology. In it he talks about the idea of “good- enoughness” in terms of leadership and politics, taking it out of a mere “good enough mother” realm and applying it in a somewhat wider way.
What I am trying to achieve in part personally, in conjunction with regular therapy, is to redevelop the idea of the “good enough parent”, something which has not occurred in my childhood setting. Meaning, I know what my parents did hurt me, and fell way short of what a “good enough parent” would do, but I have not been able to develop my own conceptualisation of what the “good enough parent” actually is to me.
For me personally, my therapist does take on in some ways the role of a parent, and I have come to value my therapy sessions, even when I find cause to avoid them I often find I have double the build-up the following session. What my therapist has done with me on many occasions is show me ways of understanding myself, being less reactive to my own reactiveness, the list goes on, and I have to say the benefits of therapy to me have been invaluable.
One effect of the therapy is I am slowly understanding more what I expect from my parents, or feel entitled to expect, and this is giving me a platform of how to approach my parents with far more clarity when expressing what I expect from them. Another effect is because my therapist has become in some ways a “stand-in parent” I feel it has had the effect of somewhat lessening my sense of disappointment toward them, as I am no longer looking to them to fill the parental role. This seems to be giving me a greater sense of empathy than I would normally have toward my parents, and I think is giving me space to work with my parents to see if we can re-negotiate our parent-child relationship into something manageable.
One thing my parents both agree with is that they want to have a relationship with their children and grandchildren, all of whom are not in TF and do not live in the same countries as my parents. What I have reminded my parents is that any relationship they have is going to be reflected by the amount of effort and priority they place on it. If they come to “visit” their children for a month every year, they will really only ever be visitors, not parents. Also, as kids you always want to feel that if something bad happens or you need help, your parents (or one of your parents) will BE THERE to help, not off somewhere saying prayers for you, but active participation. This in turn also means that as kids we will be responsible for helping our parents, but will feel this is part of us each helping each other, like families should.
The response from my parents has been good overall. Both of my parents are still in TF, as full time 100% whateveryoucallitthesedays “membership” in mission field countries, but recent discussions (as recent as yesterday), are giving me hope that they want to be a part of their children and grandchildren’s lives.
With my parents, as they have both been in TF well over more than half their lives, I think a main obstacle is the feeling they have no place in the world. What can be done to help them become a “part of the world” again, even if only to a degree? - This obviously will depend on each individual parent, and this is one I am trying to come up with ideas for at this stage, but again surprisingly, both my parents have shown some interest in seeing what they can do. - I hope that they realise that their success in becoming “a parent” again, will most likely be directly linked to the amount of effort and priority they place on it.
The way I look at it, we have everything to gain and nothing to lose by giving our parents the opportunity to work with us at being parents again. - At the end it is our parents who will lose most if they either don’t try at all or only put in a token (ie: TF regulated) effort. - And as with everything there are some people no doubt who will justly never be able to forgive their parents for what they either did or allowed to happen, I think I am lucky that I am not one of those people. (reply to this comment)
| From farmer|
Monday, September 12, 2005, 05:46
With my parents, as they have both been in TF well over more than half their lives, I think a main obstacle is the feeling they have no place in the world. What can be done to help them become a “part of the world” again, even if only to a degree?
Benz, I am superimpressed by what you said in the above post & also in the other one in this thread...you really pinpoint very crucial things as far as the mess between FGAs (caused by them/us) and their children/offspring is concerned.I would have emailed you, but as there is no emailaddress available right now, I dare to respond here (hope, I am not offending anyone)
If your parents (I am sorry for you) & others should want to continue to be the "good" followers they pretend/imagine to be, the contact between the generations would remain to be more than difficult.
One main problem/question for people wanting to leave, considering it, seems to me, as someone who left more than 13 years ago, what you have described more eloquently: what am I going to do in the world, which I kind of fought tooth and nail?Also considering the fact - going by the many "testimonies"/biographies- that most TF-members set out before in their life, to find something more lasting & fulfilling than sheer materialism, more than "the world".You feel kind of schizophrenic in the beginning or as a traitor to that which you believed; also being a "drop out" for so long, with little skills useful to make a living, doesn't make it easier, as you noticed.Emphasis is on what you believe & that is the problem: TF-members think, they are the Lord's darlings, oh so faithful & true to the teachings of the book (s!)...problem here, they read more the "books" than THE BOOK.It takes may be someone very sensitive to these facts & TF's confusions, to help their parents & others out of TF.One of the very last things they want to be is a traitor, they fear the judgments of God ( and loosing some crown & being a shame in heaven or elsewhere) & so they continue rather with their struggle of following Zerby & Co. I bet many know in TF, that many mistakes were made, however they have this "cheap" attitude, that people are required to forgive and anyone who is holding a grudge & doesn't forgive right away everything, has a problem, is a problem (case) & therewith they rather place the problem with the unforgiving than with those who committed serious crimes.
The "lowly" follower is simply wrong by assuming they're led by a godly leadership, opposing them - the leadership - is a crime & since THE BOOK places the obdience to God above anything else, where neither statelaw - if it happened to prohibit e.g. witnessing - nor flesh & blood-relationships could interfere, well then it leaves those in TF with little to no choice (either staying & not understanding/perceiving it or waking up to it & leaving).It's also a problem of a distorted loyality: TF became somewhat the "first love" in spiritual matters, first time in life things were "understood", faith gained & you just don' t turn your back easily on "your first love".That's their perception of loyality, first (their understanding of) God & whoever believes the same...anything else ranks far below.
And by simply telling them God is dead, I think nothing is really gained with most or all of them, since believe/faith in God is something very personal & intimate & really superior to anything else for people of that kind.My comment therefore is, it'd be worthwhile to consider, helping them to see, that they actually are in the wrong crowd, lead by the wrong people (astray) & that this happened many times before in history ( a little consolation: being not the only dumb one), that we weren't the first ones with these problems & that it is actually rather more biblical & christian, not to be in TF (especially in regard to those in TF, who should really value that faith).That to prove is actually not too difficult, but needs some time & dedication.Since most is already available on the internet, it's not a surprise, that TF-leadership doesn't want the lowly members to "surf" in it.
Benz, with the wisdom you have, I hope, you can help your parents to make the best decisions.
It could be though, that some parents think, "the best 'trade' we know, is to witness" & that is to every real Christian the most important thing: to live & get out the message, the good news.As long as it pays the bills (although they cheat there /"spoiling Egypt", to the point of fraud etc.), they may be feel encouraged to continue, since any alternative in "the world" doesn't look to promising.For me however it turned out to be a gain, having left: earning my living in an honest, decent way, plus, not supporting anymore an abusive cult, which teachings are so wrong, that you should "drop out" of it rather sooner than later.Plus, you're really free to still support with time and money any "idealistic" group far better than TF.I really can't say yet, that every single act & work in TF at any time was totally wrong, but with the continual deterioration of TF - since very long!!- any consciousness-stricken person in TF should want to leave...sad to say, you can be sooo numb for a veeeeeery long time....sigh .
(reply to this comment)
| From Benz|
Monday, September 12, 2005, 14:42
Firstly, thanks for the compliments Farmer though what you’ve said has impressed me just as well. I must apologise however if I’ve given you a wise or learned impression of myself. In either case it is simply untrue. Please remember I am actually attending regular therapy sessions. Why? Because I was/ do have trouble sorting this s#|+ out. I have found myself putting myself in patterns reflecting the kind of drama I grew up with. My perceptions of “the world” have at many times been skewed and have required/ do require adjustment, and this takes time.
If anything I can only call myself “wise” for actually going to counselling, seeing a therapist. I’m not saying therapists are the be-all either, and it’s also important to find the right therapist who can actually help or who you feel connects with you, if that’s what you want to do. Then again some people just won’t need the therapy, maybe just a few punching bags :-)
At the end of the day I have to make it completely clear that the search for justice for my peers and siblings is PARAMOUNT. - It doesn’t matter how much latitude or understanding I try to show my parents, if any one who was a child in TF tells me they are seeking justice against my parent(s), I consider it my duty to ensure that proper justice is met. It will probably break my heart if this were the case but, I have made a pact with myself that in the event my parent(s) are accused of crimes, that I will not intervene to defend them. I also consider it more important that they “serve the time for the crime”, if need be, as I owe as much to those who suffered the same horrible upbringing, in many cases worse than I did. If I have to see my parents behind bars, then so be it. - Better than a prison of the guilty mind.
Also, I have to completely agree with those who feel that proper justice must be met before any reconciliation can begin. In some ways our parents have always (to my perception) shown the eager-willingness to have us “put the past behind us”, with what you said so well they have such a “ "cheap" attitude, that people are required to forgive and anyone who is holding a grudge & doesn't forgive right away everything, has a problem, is a problem (case) & therewith they rather place the problem with the unforgiving than with those who committed serious crimes” . LIKE THEY BELIEVE THEY CAN FORCE YOU TO FORGIVE THEM!! - I agree and think what you’ve done is point out a real danger we are faced with when trying to show some understanding to our parents, that is you give them an inch, and they take a mile.
At the moment however I think for many of us we hold the cards against our parents. That is, we are in a position to pretty much take it or leave it as concerns our relationship with them. They will be the ones to lose if they don’t make big efforts to actually help their kids rather than persisting with the dumb token gestures they are so good at!! - We can dictate terms of play to an extent, and it is up to our parents to come to the table. For me, as much as I want to have the family environment where I can truly respect my parents as being such, I don’t think it will ever happen to that extent. There is just too much hurt and neglect to forget. - However at some point I think we all have to decide whether there is anything in our relationships with our parents which can be salvaged or if it is better to let them go and move on - the sad truth.
I know that for the past 7 years I have not been in any position to show any grace to my parents for what they tried to force on me as a child. Further if they try to manipulate or hurt my brothers and sisters in any way that will be the end of them for me. This is my parents last chance from me. They are lucky that my brothers and sisters love them more than I do.
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| From farmer|
Wednesday, September 14, 2005, 05:19
For me, as much as I want to have the family environment where I can truly respect my parents as being such, I don’t think it will ever happen to that extent. There is just too much hurt and neglect to forget. - However at some point I think we all have to decide whether there is anything in our relationships with our parents which can be salvaged or if it is better to let them go and move on - the sad truth.
Benz, thank you very much for your reply, I really treasure that.I thought, replying to your post is more than my poor heart & brain could handle, quite a few notches too high, because of the many implications, much of it having been discussed elsewhere on this site, very deep matters...so it's really just a little attemptFirst of all, I am sorry, that I might have made you feel uneasy with my wisdom-remarks, this was not intended or foreseen.I am touched by your attitude, that you put that pretty far from you(being wise), but that in itself is another sign ; ) ...not thinking of oneself to be wise is also pretty wise.It appears to me, that we are so used to "imported" words as e.g. philosophy/philosopher, latter being the one who loves/likes wisdom, that we shun from equivalent other words in the own language.Also it seems, that often a concept of a wise man/ woman is someone living in the woods, having a long beard/gown & eating whatnot ; ) . Since it's wise to learn from own & other people's mistakes, I meant, that I felt, that you see the mistakes/sins/crimes of TF and are learning to cope with it or that you can address very well the obstacles in our/your relationship with TF.Yes, I noticed, that you seek professional help... would it mean though, wise people don't need any help?! And if it should help you any, there are a few wellmeaning people, who suggested, that I'd see a psychiatrist too ......but I care to tell you, that with the huge problems you all were left with, it's super hard to be on your own, to sort things out.This is why I think movingon.org is so important & Jules deserves a "medal" for initiating things here.
Since long I hold the conviction though, that the sufferings the children of the older, founding generation went through, must be ultimately good for some very deep understandings.
I felt so sorry for Ricky, when he described the scene, where he watched a normal family in a park..That was really very deep & touching, it really moved me.The thing is, what especially you all had to forego in your childhood & teenageyears, plus the severe abuse, seems humanly so hard to undo.There's no practical Amazing Mr. Blunden "wormhole" in the timesphere, that I know of.To heal seems to me more something, that takes lots of time, understanding, love, compassion...some real friends.It's no consolation for you, but I also can't turn back the wheels of time, to choose/decide better then with all that I know now.A pretty dumb older generation learns at the expense of the younger one, sure that is upsetting you.I don't know if that helps you any, but often I wonder about all that which mankind has to go through, to make some progress...many mistakes being so often repeated.At times I get convicted, while I complain about my situation, that some really have/had it so much worse. It has been discussed here before & is apparently a project, but I really think, that you children of (also formerly) "cultdependant parents" should get as many accounts out of what you had been through, either by ways of a book, CD/DVDs with lots of PDF-files & in the internet on the sites, having a special section dedicated just to the biographies.The public should know as much as possible of what went on, by way of personal account.This could hardly be anything TF is against, since they are committed to the truth, right? ; ) It also helps people to decide, whether they want to support people like that anymore.
You said it, the advantages are with them, who are out, foremost the children & anyone else who has also left: first it's morally (also by biblical standard, to leave is right, to stay is dangereous, e.g. "one wife") the right thing, second it's saner, mentally & otherwise.People are better of now & I bet in the future.While those still in have a problem at least with their consciousness, with funds, with health, authorities & with increasing age.So the loosers are rather in than out.
Nobody can/should be forced by a human being to forgive, however TF knows how to play some tune to make you feel miserable...to their advantage & they've done it with countless people.Did they never read, that some big problems came not for (great) fault of the troubled?
By the way; I only saw part of BBC's "hot seat" recently, where a Pakistani woman's right activist, a female lawyer, described the sad enforcement of forgiveness on the behalf of the relatives of some abused women...it was shocking!
I think, that I am in need of a waterproof or tighter "theology of accountability". I am convinced, that the book teaches the adherence to state laws , not breaking them at leisure:
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid ; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. People are aware of that here, did it sink in with TF?
It'd be time for TF to have more fear...they don't have much real fear of the Lord...& when they get scared rightfully of the authorities, they figure, it's persecution.
It needs to be rubbed into them, as it is at least one common language (the book), they should be able to read, speak, grasp at best.
How about this one? :
Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
May be at the moment all need to focus on salvaging themselves & when strong enough, one can always help others, who are in need, also in TF, who see the smoke/light & came to the right conclusions & wish a change to the better.I wish you strength & much more.I know a bit, what it means to become pretty weak & getting back on your feet.With me though, it was a long road - after the wrong choices - to see where I let myself to be deceived, where I had no better conviction & for simple "lust" (onewife etc., not honouring totally the very private marriage) went on the "broad way" of TF.
One last thing I like to address in closing, though to my shame, the danger of false tolerance:
I was born & brought up in the capital of Germany & similar to many cities in Europe like London, Paris, Amsterdam etc.it is known to be fairly liberal, world open.. .tolerant .Live & let live, kind of the motto.I was used to see pretty "queer" forms of life & behaviour of all sorts, much/ all seemed to be allowed & possible. My moral yardstick was a bit like, as long as it doesn't hurt/damage oneself & others, it should be ok.
I was basically only a witnesser in TF, at times though responsible for some teaching & childcare & even if it wasn't my "favourable reading book", I thought I had to have some glance at "the story of Davidito", to know what's it about.It already had struck me as strange, the sex- with- grandma- stuff, besides his fondling of his daughter, Faithy, plus his saying incest being ok....but I thought so highly of Berg, I thought: ok, if it is done (the "care" for Davidito) in "The King's household", then it surely will be done in "real love"....real love happens to be good & therewith it might be ok...even if I didn't have any personal interest in living those ideas & never saw it myself being practiced by anyone, I was thinking of the " need to be tolerant ", being an old bottle wasn't the goal either.I wasn't sure, what that love up time was really all about.I had taken the words of experimenting adults for the truth, that all that wasn't harmful and the one involved couldn't answer about it yet.Berg had mentally prepared us before about it, saying how he enjoyed it so much as a kid with his mother's Mexican childcarehelper. So I assumed, anything "innocent" like that was liked by Davidito.(But you're not supposed to do anything, which offends/hurts/harms the weak/helpless either, so how could they know, be so sure??)This I just assumed & am sorry that I didn't have the right moral standard, which to have took sad to say much time until I could later say no to all these harmful ideas, after having left, for which I am truly grateful.I got my share of hurts & damages by the one wife-BS & I am thankful, that I have now finally gained a morality, I should have had already before, but may be I was too fascinated by new ideas.So I say, that I am truly sorry for having not protested before, but just coasted along, to be part of the "crowd".So I'd like to ask you for forgiveness for this false tolerance of these teachings, which proved to have harmed so many.I truly wish every one here the real healing of their wounds.
Oh..in response to your quote above...it's too late for a lot, but not really all.Some other people have missed also some parentstime, being in real missionary-groups, in boarding schools and elsewhere, but they were not harmed the way you were, a big difference, plus they weren't fed harmful ideas like you etc. etc.
So again, it's too late for some of the desired real family experiences, but I like to think, still in time for some real good experiences serving the further healing, depending now really on the parents.
That was actually the reason, why I left Combo-life in Madras, I wanted my son (1 1/2 years then & first child to me) to grow up close to us, to have a link & not leaving it to foster-group-parents.I still remember one native boy, which daily cried to be with his parents.My mind whispered, I might be selfish in leaving, but my heart said yes to leaving.
I must say though, it takes quite some time.....the change from one side to the other....Also, can't you clear that by directly asking:Dad (Mom), were you ever abusing
anyone, any minor, child in TF??Remember El Cid, he made the king swear on the Bible ; )....I'd find it very burdening, not being sure about something that important of someone as close as the parents.Wish you all all the best! (reply to this comment)
| From Benz|
Thursday, September 15, 2005, 05:28
Thanks again for your reply Farmer. Sometimes when the deepest of thoughts come up on this site I feel alone like no one else wants to discuss. I think today I had a taste of why. I had lunch with my Dad. My Dad doesn’t live here in Sydney, he lives in the Middle East where he does his “missionary work”. He is here for a visit. The type of “visit” he’s actually made a number of times since I left “TF”. He comes here and visits his kids normally for a month and goes back to life in the middle east. This time he will probably stay here for 6 weeks as all his kids are out of TF now, all five of us and 3 grandchildren, spread across 3 states and he’s got to make the rounds.
It would take too long to go into all the ways my parents have failed to be any sort of parent throughout the course of their life, and since I and my brothers and sisters have left. When my sister almost ended up in prison and had to spend 3 days in gaol before being released for being mixed up with a drug dealing boyfriend, my parents were nowhere. When my sister was cleared of all charges after months of court cases during which time she gave birth to my wonderful niece, my parents were nowhere.
When my brother almost cut off two fingers while working at a landscaping job, I guess somehow we were lucky to have my half-on-another-planet dad around even if he did leave the country a few days after the fingers were re-attached. When another of my sisters had to spend time in hospital with a serious kidney infection, my parents were nowhere. When my baby sister decided to move state, my parents were nowhere to be found.
But, they believe the WORK they do makes up for it somehow. To give you a little background, my dad left Thailand where I was living in TF as a teenager, and came to Australia for approx 18 months to 2 years to help with the Australian court cases against TF. At the time he had me convinced he was doing me a favour, that somehow this was for my good as well…..dad the fearless freedom fighter (you wish). Then he went to the Philippines for a few years with their court case. So all in all my dad has seen it fit to put TF first over his kids numerous times. Each time with blind faith that people in TF were taking care of us the way he wanted. The more it seemed that regardless of how we were treated, THAT was how he wanted us to be treated. - “The Family” told him how he wanted to raise his children, and he just kept nodding his head.
Not too smart for someone who made excellent marks in school and was in university studying to be a seismologist until he dropped out, finding TF’s wonderful lifestyle more worthwhile I suppose.
Anyways today I met up with him for lunch. I got to some serious discussions with him and remembered again why it is that it is so frustrating and stifling trying to talk sense with him. These were the things his admitted thoughts are as follows:
- The “authorities” have agreed with TF that if they excommunicate people for criminal acts that is all they have to do, no obligation to tell the authorities. He also believes that “excommunication” is the most serious punishment one can possibly receive as they are “loosing what they gave their whole life for“, and therefore a member of their group does not deserve to be criminally prosecuted for crimes.
- If someone has committed a criminal act then it is up to either the victim or the victims parents to notify the police. When I asked “what if the criminal was the parent of the victim”, be believed that the victim would know their rights and be solely responsible for taking the matter to he “authorities”. When I told him that I was never told my rights in TF, he responded that he thought TF had changed in that regard. When I told him that my brothers and sisters didn’t seem to know their rights he seemed rather silent.
- He asked me if I’d checked out the “my delusion” website. I said that I had. When I asked if he had checked out the “my delusion” site he said he had not, nor had he checked out the “moving on” site, but he KNEW that comments that were made on the Moving on site after Ricky’s death were very very bad.
- He seems to believe that if TF “say sorry” that everyone should leave them alone and take their word for it that they are all behaving themselves now.
- I told him about a plan I had, that is to post an article on this site giving anyone who was in TF an opportunity to voice anything they felt needs to be said to Cephas Cro of ASCRO, my step dad, who is coming here in a few months about the treatment so many of us received at the “Training Center” etc during the time of my teenage years & victor camps etc. I also thought it might be a good idea to involve 60 minutes to see if maybe they’d be interested in a live response to some of the comments made by this CRO, this pillar of spirituality and justice in TF. My dad wasted no time in telling me I was going to make a fool of myself if I tried to bring up stories or accounts which I had not witnessed first hand. I told him I would only speak for myself what I had seen for myself to be true, but that I would read the comments by anyone who has grievances against Cephas CRO or anyone else in TF for his response.
- It was amazing when I first mentioned 60 minutes my dad’s eyes lighted up he then began a barrage of questions asking me where I’d heard about them, who I’d spoken to etc. When I told him I knew what he was doing, trying to get information from me, he said shamelessly, “well I’m obviously not being subtle about it”, though the truth was I exposed his “interested” questions for what they really were.
- My dad continued by telling me that he had his beliefs and I have mine and he is in his right to continue to believe what he believes etc. - I believe that if someone believes they have a right to force their beliefs on children and enslave them, they have NO RIGHT TO THEIR BELIEFS!!
By the end of our lunch both my dad and I know we are on opposite sides of this. I wish it wasn’t this way. I wish he could see I just want him to admit that they are wrong, that they must stop listening to the words of mindless idiots like Zerby and Kelly. I think that one day the “big bad world” they are so afraid of IS going to throw away the rule book, and them with it…..
PS: "The Amazing Mr Blundon" was a movie I saw when only a little kid in TF, and has always had an enormous impact on me. Its strange you would use that. I've never heard anyone else even bring it up.(reply to this comment)
| From Jules|
Thursday, September 15, 2005, 18:18
Benz, I know what you mean about putting yourself out there through a discussion and feeling rather alone doing so. I for one appreciate your intelligence and thoughtful remarks a great deal.
I have also been attempting to find support over the last while for some of the issues I face and I would very much like to discuss this process, though perhaps in a different thread. Many of us have discussed the problems we face at length and, while that is an important part of recovery, perhaps it is time to also discuss possible solutions and paths to healing, as we find them.
I have now spent eight years getting to know my parents and trying to build a relationship with them. I was separated from them when I was 12, and have only ever visited them for brief periods since then. I think I have been gentle with them for the most part.
A doctor recently asked me for one word to sum up my parents, and to me it is: immature. They are still children in so many ways. They have been emotionally stunted and never emotionally developed beyond the age they were when they joined the Family.
I do love them both. They were very physically abusive to me as a child, but never sexually, and sadly, in the enviornment that we were raised in, that makes them somewhat good parents.
My parents no longer hit their children. Violence is not a part of my siblings lives the way it was for me and the brothers and sisters close to my age. I keep in contact with my siblings for this reason. If my parents were ever abusive again, I would file for custody of the remaining children, and I have told my parents this.
What you explained about "good-enoughness" was very interesting. Part of the letter from Tim's (the child raised in the Bhagwhan cult) mother that I edited out was talking about that very thing. It made sense on a precursory level but I didn't understand the reference. His mother had a degree in psychology, so perhaps she was better equiped to deal with/rationalize her behaviour.
"Up until this time [before she joined the cult, when Tim was four] I wasn't a perfect mother but I was good enough. I remember you happy and lovely."
I really have tried to make an effort with my parents. Like you, I would also be the first in line to support anyone who was abused by them and wished to press charges, but I have not heard of anyone yet who experienced more than the occasional beating, which sadly, is not illegal in most countries, but that is a different issue.
Up until very recently I talked to both my parents at least once a week on the phone. My mother recently came to visit me though. This has been a difficult year for me, and I told her if she came I would not just pretend everything was okay, the way I usually do, but we would have to talk about some serious issues.
I tried to talk to her, and explained that not only I, but all of her children feel abandoned in some way and that she has always put her faith above us. I told her I think that is wrong and that she as a mother should put the welfare of her children above her own belief in the Family (she is still a member of the group).
What adds insult to injury is that there is an ad for Family Guy (actually I never saw that part of the irony until I just typed out the title of the show) which is displayed in every streetcar (tram) here in Toronto which paraphrases what my mother said in response to me. The ad is Peter (the dad, saying to his daughter) something like "Meg honey, of course daddy loves you, but daddy also loves Star Trek, and in all fairness, Star Trek was there first."
My life is reduced to a subway ad. Perhaps there is hope of assimilation after all.
(reply to this comment)
| From Benz|
Friday, September 16, 2005, 16:32
Thanks for empathising. I agree these topics deserve their own thread. There is truly so much that deserves discussion on the topic of pro-active steps and, it is hoped, positive and equitable outcomes as concerns re-building (or in some cases building for the first time) relationships with our parents. Relationships which must be guarded, nurtured and reviewed vigorously if they are to not again become abusive and controlling as our parents have shown a tendency to be.
I also have this fear of us “becoming the monster we hate”, because of the human reaction to rise up and destroy our oppressor. - If we allow our hate to make us like our parents, contracted, afraid and in turn abusive and controlling over those we have “power” over, then we are no better than they.
This I find is the biggest challenge. Being strong enough to withstand the conditioning which is one of the main forms of control our parents (or rather TF as a group) have employed, without being overcome by the feeling that I must rise up and destroy them for their attempts at control. Now that I am more clearly able to see their controlling for what it is, I am less afraid of it. However there is often the knee-jerk reaction which occurs when I realise how much influence over my thought patterns TF have actually had, and there is often a sense of outrage when I inadvertently react to something in a TF-particular way (it feels like they are still in your head, and that you are not really you). - I’m learning to be less afraid of it now though and I think it is with coming to understand I am the projection of what I think of the world, not the memories of my parents’ projections.
On the subject of not “becoming the monster we hate” the “ Politics on the Couch ” book I referred to in my above comment quotes a great poem by W.B. Yeats which goes,
Hurrah for revolution and more cannon-shot!
A beggar upon horseback lashes a beggar on foot.
Hurrah for revolution and cannon come again!
The beggars have changed places, but the lash goes on.
This does crystallise things for me in some way where I am hesitant to be on the side of those who have a “take no prisoners” approach to cults. Mainly because I prefer a humanistic approach, and because I believe TF is a result of a/many social problems, as much as it is become a cause of social problems itself.
I agree with you that our parents are accurately defined as immature. What I think you may have but not added is the resultant “care-taker self”, a disorder which I believe many of us, their children have had to employ as a defence/ coping mechanism but now which threatens to destroy or alienate us from forming and/or keeping new relationships, now that the mechanism is no longer needed.
Finally on the subject of “good-enoughness”, I am certainly no learned person on the subject but have found a general understanding of the concept to be helpful. To explain this more I’ve copied out of “Politics on the Couch” again here:
“ As soon as the idea of good-enoughness enters in, the expectation of perfection is reduced; the inevitable paralysis that follows on massive disappointment is avoided, and we are therefore more free both to complain and to act. Similarly, at the negative end of the spectrum, the temptation to subside into terminal despair at the disgusting state of things is also reduced; relieved of our feelings of impotence, we become less likely to cede our autonomy and agency to others and more likely to take action ourselves.
Ambivalence is a psychoanalytic concept that characterises and helps to understand a whole range of developments in contemporary society: relations between the sexes, between siblings, and between children and parents; feelings about wealth creation and inequalities of wealth; attitudes to homosexuality. Ambivalence steers a middle way between love and hate by allowing them to coexist, rather than attempting to deny one or the other and thereby forcing individuals to yet greater extremes (’Beyond every fanaticism lurks a secret doubt’ said Jung.) Accepting the inevitability of ambivalence enables us to welcome the passions into political discourse without fear that they will take over .”
If we take the above discussion of “good-enoughness” and “ambivalence”, and apply it to the star-trek ad you mentioned, can we also see it in terms of showing ambivalence to the limitations or good-enough parenting? In other words, if we take that ad from a different perspective can we, instead of looking at it as “art imitating life imitating art” in a depressing way, see it for the humour it shows to the “reality” it possesses. For example, Dad has a choice between reading bedtime story to Meg or watching star trek, which one wins? The fact that it can be joked about I think is rather evidence that the society which displays that ad would have an appreciation for the irony and humour, rather than an endorsement for that as acceptable behaviour. - maybe I’m wrong….(reply to this comment)
| From ErikMagnusLehnsher|
Thursday, September 15, 2005, 19:25
Fortunately my relationship with my parents is friendly and cordial. I love them dearly and wish them well but I can't say we are particularly close. There are many things regarding our lives in TF that they are simply uncomfortable discussing and I can sense that. I suppose that discomfort is a healthy sign in a way as opposed to total mindlessness or memory loss that some parents exhibit.
I would be lying if I didn't concede that there is something in the parent/child relationship that dies when you look your parents in the eyes as a kid or teenager in TF and realize that whatever treatment leadership deems healthy for you will be supported by your parents. The physical abandonment is scary but I think it's the emotional abandonment that cuts the deepest. Even if they disagreed with something, they disempowered (is that even a word?) themselves to such a degree that they could only idly stand by.
Being a parent myself it's difficult to fathom how another parent (or my parents in particular) would put their prophet and their god before their own children. When I get home from work and my kids rush to door to greet me amid a flurry of "Daddy's home!", I always kneel down to give them a big bear hug. My heart simply overflows with love for them and every instinct in me tells me to cherish them, protect them, sacrifice for them and work hard to provide for them.
At times I can almost understand the idealism and the freedom they looked for when they joined but when it comes to the treatment of children that our parents tolerated and participated I am frankly dumbfounded. I'm completely at a loss. (reply to this comment)
| From GoldenMic|
Saturday, September 17, 2005, 10:16
I think John Bradshaw does some good work with this concept of "good enough" parents. He suggests that it is our job to configure a perspective on our parents that makes them just good enough to let us off the hook, not for their sakes, but for our own. Bradshaw contends that we are all trying to "fill the holes" in our parents' lives, having been shamed and blamed for all their failures, and expected to make sense of their exsistence in our own lives. Our job, then, it to find just enough small redeeming qualities and instances of humanity in our parents, so that we can let them off the hook and let ourselves be free of the burden of their failures. This is awfully hard when they perpetrated/allowed so much abuse in the cult. I picked up "My lIfe in Orange" this week, and was flabbergasted to read my own story yet another time in the life of a child in a cult! It was simply horrifying, yet somehow encouraging, to hear another person speak so blithely about constantly being abandoned for the guru's sake, about the endless neglect and privation, and the casual abuse. I cannot begin to say how lucky I feel that my own mother got out of the cult ten years ago, and the slow but steady healing that has occurred since then. While I will never regain my lost mother from those years, I have been fortunate enough to cobble together a "good enough" version of my Mom so that I can sometimes let go of the pain and the neglect. (reply to this comment)
| From neez|
Sunday, September 11, 2005, 01:14
Hey Benz, I just received an email from 60 minutes here in oz. I noticed you don't have an email address on your profile so you probably didn't get one.
Anyways, here's the email if you(or anyone else) are interested:
I'm a producer with the Australian 60 Minutes program. I'm emailing
you through the Moving On website. We're trying to contact people who were children in The Family in Australia and have now grown up and are willing to talk about their experiences. If this applies to you, or to anyone you know, I'd be very grateful if you could contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org)
All the best
Producer, 60 Minutes
Nine Network Australia
Tel: 00 61 2 9965 4635
Mob: 00 61 412 258 617
Email: email@example.com (reply to this comment)
Friday, September 09, 2005 - 17:22
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?
(I'm sure the Family's "Rapid Media Response Team" has been sending them emails for some time now.)
(reply to this comment)
|from Big Sister|
Friday, September 09, 2005 - 16:24
I checked out the katerinareliefhome site for myself. While it is kind that the possibly well-meaning cult members want to help in the crisis I was still disturbed by this quote on their site: "About 30 children prayed with us (in Houston) to receive the Lord and afterwards they insisted we eat their delicious Bar B Qued roast beef. It was a truly memorable day!"
How can they possibly justify eating donated food meant for evacuees who have NOTHING!
It reminds me of seeing my cult sister "fund raise" for disaster relief and then sell the goods she receives and keep the money or just keep the stuff, sometimes. She has explained to me that she always keeps some of the "gifts" because people recognize her special status as a missionary and want to give her rewards all the time. Her sense of entitlement was embarassing to me.
(reply to this comment)
Friday, September 09, 2005 - 06:34
Does anyone know when the documentary that is supposed to be being made in the UK is going to be aired and on what channel?
(reply to this comment)
Thursday, September 08, 2005 - 23:40
Does anybody know what coverage this refers to:
"A local newspaper in one major city in the States also covered the story, while focusing on the local work, and afterwards printed the entire rebuttal our spokespeople worked on with the local Home in that city."
(reply to this comment)
| From Intern|
Friday, September 09, 2005, 16:29
Maybe they meant this article:
Humble Observer. August 3, 2005
Charitable donation of cult income?
The Family group here in Houston is formally known as the World Mission of Faith, Inc. According to IRS documents, the group enjoys a tax exemption status under section 501(c) and 501(c)a of the code. Operating as the Family Care Foundation dba Family Care Foundation International, with their attorney Victoria Davenport as the registered agent, the group is also exempt from paying state sales tax on goods and services. On their Web site, www.thefamily.org describing Family Communities, it states, "Some Missionary members and a few Family disciples take on secular employment, but most dedicate their full time and efforts to their mission."
According to Wells, "The first motivation of the group is to bring the gospel to 'those in need.' The Family has no formal church building. Time on the streets counseling is our church."
The money that is so generously put into their outstretched hands and plastic buckets is used to pay rent, buy food, and in general provide a living, tax free, for members of the group. Most of the members do not have secular jobs and live communally in order to minimize expenses. They do not, for the most part, own homes. They rent so they can easily move about the nation or to foreign countries. "Ten percent of the take is tithed directly to The Family headquarters; the remaining funds come into one 'pot' for the maintenance and support of the mission." Wells said.
The Family Care Foundation, yet another branch of the Family Aid Project, claims they are called by the Red Cross and FEMA during disasters. However, the Red Cross in Houston said it does not call this group as one of their first responding agencies. Several years ago, one of their emergency response team leaders was a "missionary" volunteering his time to the Red Cross. That was the extent of the involvement, according to the Red Cross officials. According to the FEMA office in Washington, D.C., as well as the FEMA office in Texas, they have never heard of this group.
Having an office in Washington, D.C. and using the names of Red Cross and FEMA on Family Aid brochures and fliers are attempts to legitimize the group as a true charitable organization.
http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Humble_Observer:_Charitable_donation_or_cult_income%3F(reply to this comment)
| From Big Sister|
Saturday, September 10, 2005, 14:30
I was curious about the rebuttal too. Here it is; published on 8/24/05:
The Observer recently published an article about my church in your Aug. 4 edition, and I would like to make a few clarifications on points that were inaccurate and that misrepresented my church.
You imply in your article that members of our church are out everyday in the city of Houston soliciting.
That is a misrepresentation of our missionary work that I personally find offensive as the primary mission of our fellowship is not to fundraise, but rather to bring the Gospel to the needy, which we do in a multitude of ways around the globe ranging from encouraging and assisting the elderly, the sick and the disadvantaged; working to rehabilitate drug addicts and gang members; offering personal counseling in prisons and juvenile detention centers; assisting in humanitarian efforts, disaster relief and refugee camps and staging benefit performances for the underprivileged in many different countries. Our members frequently work with relief organizations--both international and regional--to bring food, supplies, comfort, help and encouragement to people in distress or hardship. Obviously, work of this nature requires the support of others, as does any other charitable work.
Our members are not known by "a myriad of names." Like any other church or organization, different charities have different names-which explains why a certain project would be "Family Aid Project," yet still be affiliated to the Family International. The World Mission of Faith / Family Aid Project is my wife's ministry and mine and is completely run, financed and directed from our office in Houston. The Family Care Foundation is not a 'branch of,' nor an affiliate of the Family Aid Project (as you misstated in your article).
I find particularly objectionable your use of the word "cult." This is a politically loaded term, used to foment prejudice and intolerance. Sociologists of religion have agreed that this is not a useful term scientifically but simply a media buzzword to elevate levels of prejudice. I find your usage of this term to be discriminatory.
I would appreciate it if you would publish this for the record.
Director, Family Aid Project
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Monday, September 12, 2005, 13:18
Question: Jeff Wells is Peter Amsterdam? If so, where did that name come from? I thought his name was Kelly or something.
Is he directly denying that The Family Care Foundation is an affiliate or “branch” of TFI?
These people have nothing better to bitch about, other than the media calling their retarded group a “cult”?
They have so many opinions about stupid shit, while their own children continue dying slowly, without ever having experienced love, care, and support from their own parents.
They never answer direct questions or rebut direct accusations; they just get distracted trying to explain or correct technical misinterpretations, and completely ignore the true issue, the much more important issue.
I wonder, will they ever really care enough to answer these simple yes or no questions:
Did you, or did you not neglect your children?
As a direct cause of your neglect were they or were they not abused systematically over long periods of time mentally, emotionally, physically and sexually?
Did you or did you not abandon them when they decided not to follow in your lifelong footsteps?
Have you or have you not tried to reconcile with them, acknowledging that you have ultimately hurt and neglected them, and that you would now like to make amends?
Have you or have you not continued to neglect them while they struggle through life to try to find their own true calling?
Do you or do you not try and support your children (although many are adults), in every way possible, to assure they will have a happy and fulfilling life?
I could go on and on. There are so many questions that the first generation members need to be asked, I wood have to write a book to be able to cover them all.
Every single person on this earth makes a big decision to have or not have a child, and when they choose to have a child, they ultimately choose to be responsible for the well being of that child. Children are not disposable possessions; children are life long responsibilities.
No sick, blind, drunk, delusional, child abusing, incest loving, child rapping, psycho “prophet” or “prophetess” should ever be able to relieve any person on this earth of the responsibility he or she took upon themselves when deciding to have a child, much less 8+ children! And No one, should ever, ever, be able to fool anyone into believing that they know what’s best for them and their family!(reply to this comment)