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Getting Out : Inside Out

Claire Borowik regarding

from Jules - Saturday, January 29, 2005
accessed 8880 times

The Family’s spokesperson Claire Borowik has written me several times over the past few years, and did so initially after I was interviewed for Dateline in September of 2001 (she expressed her concern that speaking to the media is not a positive thing for former members to do). The emails have always been civil and in her correspondence to me, she has always expressed support for this forum. To see this web site now being attacked so bitterly by the Family is very upsetting to me, since I have always assumed that she spoke for Peter, Maria and Family members.

I have posted excerpts of our communications below. Please note that prior to these emails the following articles had been posted on this web site. My position has not changed, the policies of this web site has not changed, and all of the issues that Family members are so upset about us speaking out about had already been written about at this point.


Articles that were posted at that time:

August 04, 2001
My Jumbo Story – My account of what her own husband, Lonnie Davis, had put me through when I was 13 -

July 21, 2001
One of Our Own – About the suicide of a former member -

August 22, 2001
Big, Big Creep -

September 23, 2001
Why People Who Joined the Family Suck -

October 11, 2001
Criminal Prosecution -

November 30, 2001
You Abused Me -

December 02, 2001
Murder -

January 06, 2002
Maria Refuses – A personal letter from Maria to some young current members regarding abuse in the Family -

March 18, 2002
Is Justice On Our Side -

March 31, 2002
Destroy The Family -

April 26, 2002
Why The Family Can Never Truly Help Departing Members -

May 08, 2002
Answer from Zerby on Abuse Story -


In April of 2002, I invited Claire to come to this forum to openly and directly answer questions that people had. I explained that there was a lot of anger, but I felt that Family representatives taking the time to listen and talk directly to us about issues we had raised would be healing, helpful and beneficial all round.

She wrote me the following:


Apr 29, 2002

“Thanks for your note, I appreciate your communications and time permitting of course, I would be happy to work with you on this if you think it would be beneficial for those accessing your site. I do agree with you that the "moving on" approach is the most healthy as far as helping people to take on a new career.

For me, the main goal is to see people adjusted and progressing in their chosen career, studies, etc. after they leave the Family. Of course, their choices also play into the overall equation, but anything that can be done to assist in that process is definitely worth the time. Ado may also be able to invest some time in this.”

“All that to say, I'd be happy to be available, at least to give it a try and see if it's helpful in any way.”

“I think what you're attempting has potential for good, seeking healing, understanding and positive vibes sure beats some of the negative bitterness and hate that some of the other sites foment”


Unfortunately, after this email, I heard nothing further from either Claire or Ado about this at all.

On July 12, 2002, Claire posted an article herself on this web site.

This was an edited version of a private email to me and an immediate response to address something she felt was inaccurate. Days before (July 9) I had posted the contents of a personal letter from Maria to a young person that they had forwarded on to me.

As you can read in her own article, Claire stated that this letter was not, in fact, completely accurate and that paragraphs had been inserted into it.

I wrote her and expressed my thanks for her immediate attention to something that she believed was not accurate and factual. It has always been important to me that this web site remain true and accurate. I asked her to please continue to immediately point out specific things that have been posted that she felt not to be true. Since Claire seemed to have access to Maria’s private email, her help in keeping distortions and exaggerations off this site would be invaluable.

Her immediate attention to this issue also led me to believe that she was very familiar with this web site and read it frequently.

However, it goes without saying that this is the only “inaccuracy” she has ever addressed, despite the open invitation to do so at any time. No clarification or rebuttal was ever posted to the other articles listed above, which led me to believe that they were in fact correct.

At this time, the following articles from Ricky and Albatross had been published as well:

May 14, 2002
For Every Action, There is a Reaction – From Albatross -

May 25, 2002
The Gospel of Rebellion – From Ricky -

June 04, 2002
Life With Grandpa, The Mene Story – From Ricky -

Please note the following quotes from Claire in her email to me (which she herself also posted online)


Jul 12, 2002

“As you’re very aware from our former correspondence, we respect the right of former members to express their feelings and opinions and debate and discuss issues on forums such as your web site. Our sincere wish for those who were once part of the Family is that they can lead constructive, fulfilling lives and “move on” to whatever new goals they set for themselves once they decide they no longer wish to make serving the Lord with the Family their lifetime career.”

“I believe you have made an admirable effort through your site to assist former members in the process of “moving on” to more constructive models for their lives. There has been a real endeavor to bring about a balanced approach, and I believe, a sincere desire to represent the truth, eschewing the distortions, embellishments and falsehoods that some have regrettably resorted to.”


I suppose I just don’t understand why Claire would say one thing to me and another to the Family and the press.


Reader's comments on this article

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from justmythoughts
Sunday, January 30, 2005 - 05:46

Isn't that typical? I mean, can you EVER really trust what they say? Maybe in secret she believes one thing and in public, she feels obliged to say something else. Remember the old verse: "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways"? I think you are fooling yourself if you think you can work with the enemy. It's like Mo saying years ago that we would work with Gadaffi and the anti-Christ. It's just not gonna happen, nor can it. There is no middle of the road. Now is the time for them to stand up and be counted for who they are once and for all and to stop telling the lies. They can't hide anymore and they know it. They are FREAKING OUT, in other words. The fact that they are just NOW attacking is because they are feeling so attacked by all that is coming out and they know that they are guilty. Maybe before they thought they could say that it was just a few of you, but now, with all this evidence, that is no longer possible. Remember, it is the "hurt dog who howls". Let them howl! You are doing the right thing. Keep on speaking up.
(reply to this comment)
From Jules
Sunday, January 30, 2005, 08:21


A few things here.

To start with, I don't like it when FGAs post on here without identifying themselves as such (although it is usually obvious). A lot of the FG former members have issues with the Family's beliefs and doctrines and often go on about that. For the majority of SG former members, we couldn't care less what they believe. It is the illegal and criminal acts that we are concerned with.

Secondly, I don't think that statements such as "can you EVER really trust what they say" are helpful or accurate. My issue here is with Claire Borowik, not with some nebulous "them". Members of The Family are not "the enemy", just as people who are speaking out are not "the enemy" either. The "them" vs. "us" is not helpful at all.

Lastly, at the time when I invited Claire Borowick and Ado (aka Daniel Roselle Senior) to this forum, I was not aware of the allegations of abuse that have been made against both of them personally. It seems very insulting to those of us who have been asking for dialogue to direct us to individuals who have been personally involved in abuse themselves. (reply to this comment

From analysis of variance
Sunday, January 30, 2005, 10:23


As an FG who frequently fails to identify myself as such, my apology. I have talked at times about what The Family believes because I see certain aspects of their delusional belief system connects to the illegal and criminal acts. More to the point, I tend to view TF's end-time prophesy claptrap as contributing to the abuse in the 70s, 80s and early 90s because I believe the Smiths and many other FG perps never expected to be around long enough to pay the piper for their perverted tunes. After Berg died in the mid-90s and the year 2000 came an went without the long-predicted cataclysm, it may be dawning on some of the leadership that the Second Coming will not arrive before they have to answer for their crimes.

I could go on about how the paranoia and repressed rage inherent in The Family's end-time prophesies played out in cycles of abuse and violence, but things appear to have gotten better on that front since King David turned over the throne. Now TF's denial system is strongly reinforced by dissociative processes. These mental states are supported by TFs belief in spirit helpers, demons, and "visions" about out-of-the body otherworldly dimensions into which the faithful can retreat when the tragedy of broken lives and the realities of the walking wounded become more than even the most callous hearts can bear.

Since Borowick spends so much time in the media these days, I personally would like to see her questioned about the abuse allegations that involve her. If Larry King can ask James Penn on national television whether he ever molested a child while in TF, I think it's fair that at least one media interview involving Borowick should include the same type of questioning about her alleged history as a perpetrator. (reply to this comment

Sunday, January 30, 2005, 12:26

well-said...much better than my attempt...oh well...(reply to this comment
From Jules
Sunday, January 30, 2005, 12:13


You make some excellent points here. I agree with you that detached analysis of the beliefs of the Family can provide a great deal of understanding into the nature of crimes committed by some of its members. What I was referring to, and I should have been more clear, are the calls for Family members to renounce “unscriptural” doctrines. This distracts from the very specific questions and topics that have been asked by those speaking out which relate to the response of Family leadership to abuse in the group. Many Family members have been told that people speaking to the media are attacking their “faith” and “lifestyle”, which unless they are currently abusing children, is not true. It is unfortunate when comments are made by anonymous FGs that seem to lend credence to those false allegations.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about what you so aptly describe as dissociative processes. The fact that Claire and Family leaders immediately blamed former members for Ricky’s actions, despite the fact that many of us have never met him, was certainly in line with their doctrines. Problems within the group and of members are always blamed on, as you stated, “otherworldly dimensions” or other (often racist) stereotypes. Bed wetting was the result of a talisman. Berg’s “illness” was actually a demon called Oplexicon and not alcohol poisoning as a result of substance abuse. Problems in the world were a result of “the god damn anti-christ jews”. SGs speaking out are a result of Vandari demons and not because they might actually want to be heard. This seems to have escalated in recent years with legions of demons being named for every problem that has come up at all. Rather than take any sort of responsibility, the blame is always placed on some outside threat that members must battle against.

The reaction from Family spokespeople and some members towards the people who have spoken out about their own experiences as a child in the group has been “you were not abused” or “so what if you were, millions of people had it worse”, or just “get over it, we don’t care”. Some Family members do not seem to understand that this type of reaction to a victim of childhood abuse is what makes people recoil in horror. Society does not like child abusers and cannot relate to people who are so unfeeling and out of touch that they attack their own victims.

What is truly ironic is that The Family’s mission statement as posted on their web site states: “We in The Family seek to comfort, help and minister to those in need, endeavoring to follow the model of Jesus, who said His ministry was to ‘preach the Gospel to the poor... to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord’”. Apparently this does not apply to us. (reply to this comment

From analysis of variance
Sunday, January 30, 2005, 19:13


I brought up my concern with dissociative processes because I do not look forward to hearing from Ricky and Angela via a Family prophesy like the one given on Rick Dupuy. If people in TF encouraged to space out and go to fantasy land, they can make the implications of this nightmare into sweetness and light with a story about how everything's hunky-dorey in the great bye-and-bye.

Blaming former members for Ricky's actions isn't so much a case of dissociative process as one of misattribution. Steve Kent wrote an article on this called "Misattribution and Social Control in the Children of God." Misattribution is a fairly complicated topic, so it might be more helpful to simply put it in the category of "thinking errors."

It is a pretty obvious thinking error to attribute Ricky's actions to former members when he clearly states in his video that his homicidal thoughts began at age 9 in response to the beatings and his suicidal thoughts began after the teen training period.

Projection is another process that appears to take place. Projection is attributing unacceptable and unwanted aspects of oneself (or the group as a whole) onto others. I've always thought the image of blood-sucking Vandari was a case of Family women who have destroyed & devoured their young projecting unacceptable self images onto the children who have survived.

Official Family responses in this latest round of media attention on the issue of child abuse make them look calloused and clueless. Society as a whole has come a long way in its understanding of childhood trauma and its psychological sequelae in adult life.

This constant excuse I hear that problems in TF are no worse than that of the general public and certainly not as bad as places like Africa makes me want to shake the idiots until their teeth rattle. First of all, the only way to prove claims about problems in TF versus the general public is through statistical inference, and TF would never allow independent researchers take a random sample, because they'd have to provide a complete list of everyone who's currently in the cult. Secondly, so what if child maltreatment is worse in impoverished Third World countries? That doesn't justify failing to provide your children with an adequate education. Yet another thinking error: It's called rationalization. (reply to this comment

From Marc
Sunday, January 30, 2005, 12:26

Yes. Their response of, "So what if you were abused; millions of children had it worse. What about those child-soldiers in Africa? Or, what about those child sex-slaves in x?" This is like telling a girl who was just raped, "Oh! Come on! You didn't have it that bad! He could have murdered you." It is disgusting! Comparing our experiences with the worse case possible is a lame attempt to "put it into perspective".(reply to this comment
From Listener
Sunday, January 30, 2005, 08:39


But, they are in denial, and for you to just realize that and stop hoping they will change could be part of your healing. They are deceived. They prefer to believe a lie rather than hear the truth, it's as simple as that.

Read Rom 1:21-22, 28 (reply to this comment

From Jules
Sunday, January 30, 2005, 10:09


This is not a forum for FG former members and that has always been very clearly stated. FGAs who do not respect that this is our space are not welcome here.

When it comes to religious beliefs, terms like "lie" and "truth" are extremely subjective. I am an atheist so Romans 1 has no meaning to me at all. Anonymous comments like this distract from the main point that many of us are making. (reply to this comment

Sunday, January 30, 2005, 12:25


I'm sorry, I sincerely did not mean to hit on a sore spot. I had seen you quoting scriptures, so, I thought it was OK to do so. I am also sorry that you call yourself an atheist, but I do understand that; however, I don't believe that "lie and truth" are exclusively religious terms. You are fighting for your truth, aren't you? That's all I was talking about. Don't be so quick to judge those who are actually on your side in all this. Remember, the best way to win a war is to divide and conquer. Let's not let them do that. I'm on your side, Julie. (reply to this comment

From Marc
Sunday, January 30, 2005, 12:37

Dude. Pick a name, any name ("Cool Hip Dude" for an example) and stick to it. Your patronising sounds more like condescension to me (as if the two were really any different). Quit telling us what to do! All of our lives we have had adults (FGAs) like you telling us "don't be so quick to ..." or "remember the bible says ..." or finishing a statement with a question "This is ...., don't you think" etc. Get over yourself!(reply to this comment
From Marc
Sunday, January 30, 2005, 12:08

I agree with Jules here. Stop quoting your damn verses from a book most of us don't believe in (might as well quote from any fictional book). Sounds more like you are preaching at us. Stop it!

PS: The dude's name is Berg not "Mo" or any other "Father" something.(reply to this comment
from JohnnieWalker
Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 23:38


Claire says, "There has been a real endeavor to bring about a balanced approach, and I believe, a sincere desire to represent the truth, eschewing the distortions, embellishments and falsehoods that some have regrettably resorted to."

Claire, apparently you frequent this site and will most likely read this. I would like you to answer this question:

Does your above statement mean that you view the articles 'The Gospel of Rebellion' and 'Life With Grandpa, The Mene Story', which Ricky had posted shortly before you wrote the above, to be a "sincere desire to represent the truth"?

If you do not respond to this query, I will take your silence to mean "yes".

PS to Ms. Borowick's henchmen: Kindly notify her of this comment if she is not aware of it and ask her to reply. Alternatively, you can give me her email address and I will send this question to her directly. Thank you.
(reply to this comment)

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