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Getting Out : Inside Out

What's wrong with The Family

from someSGA - Sunday, January 23, 2005
accessed 1736 times

An article aimed at discovering inherent flaws in The Family.

What's wrong with The Family.

Dear members and ex-members,

I am a SGA, born and raised in The Family although I left the group 10 years ago. The main reason for me writing this article is to attempt an unbiased comparison of The Family and on the other hand life in a first world country, which most of us can trace our roots to.

Growing up in The Family is a secluded and “protected” lifestyle. One is shielded from most of the negative aspects of the world at large and is generally taught good solid morals and behaviour. Most Family members are truly committed to making the world a better place and the FGAs left secular society in order to create another culture and existence, free from greed, unhappiness, fighting and malice. This can be traced back to the “change the world” mindset of the hippies in the 60's who were unsatisfied with life, unhappy with their government and the Vietnam war.

I did not join The Family as a FGA, so I can only attempt to imagine the reasons leading up to them joining an organisation such as the “Children of God” or later “The Family”. I will, however, endeavour to list possible explanations.

1)The individual was “fed up” with hypocrisy and seemingly pointless existence.
2)The individual wanted to serve God but was “fed up” with churches.
3)The individual was unhappy and searching for true meaning.
4)They suddenly realised after initially meeting The Family that they might have some true answers to life.
5)They were addicted to drugs and it helped them in their lives to join.

The above mentioned explanations might possibly account for a large percentage of FGAs who joined. I personally think that at that time, there were so many others who were attempting alternate ways of life that it actually seemed to be a viable option. Of course, they were only taking one step at a time and not worrying (in their minds unnecessarily) about the future.

We must, however, attempt to dissect their thought patterns in order to understand why they stayed on in the group after the initial period

1)The “End time” was drawing near.
2)God had called them to serve him.
3)To convert as many as possible to their beliefs.

Of course if you believe 1) or 2) then logically one would have to stay on. To do otherwise would be against logic.

Now in the early 70's they began having children. This fact inevitably changed some aspects of their lifestyle. But one thing that didn't change was their belief in the group and their leader and God. They firmly believed that the Antichrist was about to take over the world and anticipated the tribulation. In this atmosphere one can of course imagine that “petty” things such as education weren't at the top of their priority list. Of course the tribulation hasn't started yet and many of the FGAs are becoming older and are probably starting to believe themselves finally that it won't occur at least during their lifetime.

Also, they firmly believed that secular society was inherently evil and corrupt. Of course it is very true that many aspects of secular society are far from ideal and many atrocities are committed every day and corruption prevails in many places. They might have overlooked the fact that most people are just normal civilians trying to make their way in life to the best of their ability.

Now, it is true that all parents have the “right” to choose how they raise their children, albeit, within the boundaries of the law. They have the right in some countries to home school their children, and are always allowed to choose what life they live until they reach a certain age. That is not a matter of debate here. But what is legal or your “right” is not necessarily moral or in others best interests.

Here's a good question. Which lifestyle allows for the most opportunities in life? Is it growing up in a group where you are destined from birth to be a Family member? Is growing up in that environment fair for a child? Let's see some examples from an educational point of view.

The Family

1)You travel a lot throughout the world and are able to experience different cultures.
2)Personalised attention

1) Higher education is frowned upon
2)The education you do get is in many cases non-accredited, which means that all your education could be no more than a piece of paper that gives you no opportunities.
3)Many children in The Family received a very basic education with many things lacking.

We all know what attitude The Family has towards higher education or even high school/college. That may have changed slightly in the last few years, but last I knew, they weren't supposed to send their children to system schools. The reason they give is that the influences there are too strong and weaken the kids faith, if their faith isn't strong enough to withstand going to school, then it must not be very strong at all. Reminds me of the song, “the wise man built his house upon a rock, and the foolish man built his house upon the sand”.. and one was washed away, seems like their faith is built on sand if it can be destroyed so easily.

Of course there are adverse influences in secular schools. That is inevitable. They may mention bullying, mean kids, fighting, drugs, etc. Of course it's terrible to subject children to that, but it's also unnecessary that they build resilience to it, if they are to function proficiently in secular society. They must have the background unnecessary to function in secular society if they so choose.

So to sum it up, I firmly believe that it's necessary for all children to receive a normal secular education in order for them to function seamlessly in everyday society.

I would like to focus on another aspect of growing up in The Family. From personal experience I can assert that the transition from Family life to secular is at best a turbulent one. In many cases you are out on your own to fend for yourself with no proper education, knowledge of the intricacies of society, and minimal support from your parents. Family members talk of how it's absurd to complain of not being able to function in normal society because you had it so good in The Family that the alternative is inferior but the fact is that if you aren't interested in being a missionary and want to pursue personal goals, you must do so outside of The Family.

We must accept that however strong Family members may believe that they have found the truth and that their way of life is superior, it is still, however, only their belief. There is no guarantee that their children will share their beliefs with them. I have no official figures on how many SGAs have actually left The Family, but thousands have and many more have yet to.

If we measure success by how many people continue to adhere to the lifestyle they were brought up in, then compared to secular society, The Family has utterly failed. A conservative figure of membership loss of SGAs must be at least 30% by my calculations. Are 30% of children in society rebelling against the life of their parents? 20%? Even 10%? No. Which system seems to prevail?

Why should “system” relatives have to take care of us when we leave? Usually that is a total last resort. It's not their responsibility but in many cases they feel obliged to as our parents can't or won't. Their “Family” has the first place in their lives.

Here is another sobering question. What will happen when the third generation starts leaving as well? How will their lives be? In many cases they won't even have the support that we have, as they won't have any direct relatives in the way we have. Their grandparents will be in the group, sisters and brothers, parents, and uncles. etc. If we say that many SGA relatives will have left anyway and will take care of them, which might be true, then that only exponentiates the fact that the Family's lifestyle is inherently flawed as if they had not left, then they would be completely on their own, so it becomes a necessity for there to be ex members, as The Family is not self sufficient.

The support structure that many kids come to take for granted is just not there for us. What about things like parents helping their kids buy their first home, pay for their education, support them through college? What about moral support? Parents that are proud of their children for succeeding instead of wishing they would join the group again.

What about when the FGA's grow old (it's happening as we speak), who will pay for their care and living expenses? Activated mags? I hope that will work for their sakes, but honestly I am extremely sceptical. They will probably try to get pensions from their home countries that they have never worked for or paid any taxes towards, again proving how The Family's lifestyle is flawed. If everyone lived as they do then there would be no money to pay anyone. You must contribute monetarily to society if you want to be rewarded monetarily.

This all boils down to why The Family is in fact an inferior way of living. One good way of measuring success of a system is in numbers. If everyone were to be in The Family, who would you provision off of? Who would fix your car or make your computer? What engineers would design the equipment used daily by Family members? Who would create the medicine? Hospitals? Doctors? The list is endless. What percentage of people joining The Family would it take to start to have a negative effect on the group? Let's say you had a town of 100.000 people, what if 50% of them were in The Family? How would that town run? Only having 50% of the population making money would make the town a failure. You can already see this in the places where there is a high rate of unemployment.

Family members point out that many people in society are drug addicts, or unhappy, depressed etc. Yes, that's true. That's unfortunate, although they forget conveniently to point out the many more that are happy and loving and love their children and would do anything for them. Most children in society receive so much more from their parents than we could ever dream of, but that is never mentioned.

What can we do? We can make sure that we give our children what we never had. Make sure that they are in first place in our lives and feel loved and never have to grow up with the resentment and abuse that many of use had to endure.

Which brings me to another point, why was all the extreme harshness even necessary? The silence restrictions for months on end, frequent severe corporal punishment? Isolation, deprivation of meals, etc.? Maybe because The Family's way of life doesn't come naturally. It's against the needs of the children and must be hammered into them. Doesn't seem very loving and heartfelt to me. What about you?

I hope that some current members that read this will read this with an open mind and do what is necessary to ensure that their children will not have to go through all this, or if they already have, do what they can to make amends. If internal changes in The Family are not possible, then maybe it's not the right place to be.

One important point to ponder would be that FGAs made a choice to join the family, the same applies for those who join The Family after having received a secular upbringing. They are fully equipped to function in The Family as they have chosen, their upbringing doesn't seem to impede their ability to function there. But they made a choice, we didn't. It seems very ironic that the very upbringing that FGAs received themselves and are not willing to provide to their children, enables a very diverse selection of choices, while The Family upbringing provides one way and greatly impedes all others. Which one is then the better one? I'll leave it to you to decide.

I wish all of you the best and sincerely hope that you will be able to make the best of your lives and will feel fulfilled despite difficult circumstances.

Best regards,

Just some SGA.

Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. - why so many departures?

Reader's comments on this article

Add a new comment on this article

from catuireal
Saturday, February 23, 2008 - 08:58

Ambitious!!! You would never be able to accomplish the goal of putting forth "what´s wrong with TFI" with one article. That would take several thousands of pages. I wonder who would have such a sacrificial love for mankind to take the job. But for sure we´d need an big interdisciplinary team...
(reply to this comment)
from thinker711
Monday, January 24, 2005 - 09:49

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?)

Someone needs to ask the Family point blank whether they believe Ricky was abused as a child. The Family has "apologized" for abuses that occurred in the past, but they always blame it on individuals who abused the Law of Love. However, the real problem is that the family has a twisted definition of child abuse. They do not consider what they did to Mene, Ricky, Davida, and Techi to be abusive because "it was done in love." In reality, however, the Law of Love as practiced by Berg, Zeby, and et al. amounted to child abuse. The Family has not recognized this and their "apologies" are simply them backpedaling out of potential legal problems. To date, they have not admitted that they are responsible for and were directly involved in child abuse.

That is why the Family needs to be asked on television whether "Davidito" was abused. If they say no, then it will go to show that their definition of child abuse is twisted since a perusal of the Davidito book clearly shows that he was abused. If they say yes, then they have to admit that the abuse came from the top and that they are all guilty of abuse and responsible for ALL of the abuse that occurred in the Family.

(reply to this comment)

from banal_commentator
Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 21:25

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?)

"1)The individual was “fed up” with hypocrisy and seemingly pointless existence.
2)The individual wanted to serve God but was “fed up” with churches.
3)The individual was unhappy and searching for true meaning.
4)They suddenly realised after initially meeting The Family that they might have some true answers to life.
5)They were addicted to drugs and it helped them in their lives to join"

Puh le fucking ease. What bullshit reasons. This is exactly what our parents have told us are the reasons why they joined. Why don't they all just face up to the fact that they were and still are, a bunch of lazy, ungreatful, dysfunctional, bratty little babyboomers, who refused to appreciate the american life and instead decided to go live in a perpetual state of childlike simplicity where there are no real problems, for they can all be solved by listening to their prophet or their proverbial 'mama.' And where there is no point in trying, trying is hard anyway, and besides "we'll always have the afterlife." (sorry, that wasn't a proper sentence).

It amazes me that even when some of us leave and of course, hate the cult, it is still easy to forget how much of our reasoning and world view is based on or downright regurgitated from the warped nonsensical sap crap that they repeated so much till we believed it. Guys, before you speak about anything, examine where you got these ideas, and actually think about what you're saying!
(reply to this comment)

From catuireal
Saturday, February 23, 2008, 08:53

Its very important to reexamine ones' frame of mind. Many former members seem to have a hard time getting rid of the Family inside of them. But I think it´s naive to completely disconsider the social impact of the individual religious experience. It might be easy to discredit TFI´s religiosity, but your reasoning falls in contradictoriety with the empirical evidence that there are many flourishing religions around. It looks like you believe all FGAs lie constantly about their own personnal experience. If I was to act like everyone is lier a priori I wouln´t take anything of what you said. Much weaker than the article itself. And remember - americans are a minority in TFI.(reply to this comment
From Fish
Monday, January 24, 2005, 06:06

Indeed.(reply to this comment
Monday, January 24, 2005, 02:40

You forgot no. 6

6) The individual was fucking estatic that , not only can you now make any one sleep with you (to show how "in the spirit" they are) but you can "do" babies and children too!

And God's gonna protect ya, he will take away those naughty people who think it's wrong to molest children. Praise the fukin Lord. I am saved, saved from an existance where I can only fuck people over 18.

"But Daddy ,I am not saved"

(reply to this comment

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