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Getting Out : Inside Out

Lying Lips - The Lies Family Leaders Have Told About Ricky

from Jules - Thursday, February 10, 2005
accessed 13788 times

The good thing about telling the truth is that one does not have to just dismiss accusations with a blanket “take my word for it, it’s all just lies”. When you are speaking truth you can actually clearly state what specifically is untrue, and even better, there is usually evidence to back up what you are saying.

Family spokespersons and leaders have told a lot of outright, barefaced lies regarding Ricky (known as Davidito in the Family). Here are some of the lies that have been told:

1. Ricky was not abused in the Family and had no reason to be angry towards his mother.

In what has been reported as the longest custody case in the UK, a high court British judge evaluated thousands of pages of evidence and listened to months of testimony on the treatment of children in the Family. Steven “Peter” Kelly, has just quoted from this judgement, so I assume that he considers the judge’s findings valid. In his 295 page final judgement, signed on October 19, 1995, Lord Justice Ward stated that:

“I have no doubt from the context of the [Davidito] book as a whole that what Sarah [one of his nannies] was required to kiss was his penis [among many other previously listed incidents]. Exposure of a young child to a sexual activity of that kind is in my judgment utterly deplorable. Those guilty of abusing Davidito by wholly inappropriate exposure to sex included the leader [David Berg] and his likely successor [Karen “Maria” Zerby].“

“… [Maria] did not initiate it but for a long time participated in the excesses and saw her own son abused and harmed.”

2. Ricky was happy and well adjusted during his childhood.

In the same 1995 ruling, Justice Ward stated: “Maria was no stranger to the problems of dealing with unhappy children. Davidito had at the age of about 12 or 13 on several occasions contemplated suicide. He was a disturbed child. Then Techi her daughter began to manifest difficulties symptomatic of some emotional breakdown - she was having nightmares and crying every half an hour. That led to the Techi series on her battles and victories. The letter set out the confessions that were taped. “

In 1994, a psychological evaluation of Ricky was completed by clinical child psychologist Lawrence Lilliston. In speaking of his evaluation, Lilliston writes that he: “recently administered a psychological evaluation to David, who is now nineteen, and found him to be a bright, well-adjusted, and emotionally strong young man.”

However, when Lilliston attempted to submit his conclusions as testimony in the previously mentioned custody case, the judge didn’t buy it. Justice Ward wrote: “[Lawrence Lilliston’s observations of another young man born in the Family] seem to me to be superficial and to lack academic credibility. Likewise his conclusion about Davidito. This was an opportunity to explore exactly what had taken place in Berg's household. He merely touched upon these matters and Davidito made it obvious he was not prepared to talk about it. Nor did they talk about the reasons which impelled that young man [Davidito] to make attempts on his life said by The Family to have been caused by Satanic influences. Because I conclude that Dr Lilliston was not too concerned critically to examine The Family's past, I cannot be sure I get an accurate picture from him.”

A further critical commentary of Lilliston’s methodology can be found here:

3. Angela “Sue” Smith was never Ricky’s nanny.

91. DAVIDITO HAS THE BEST TEACHERS IN THE WORLD, the Lord’s given him the best—Alfred, Sara, Monty, Sue & everybody that really loves him. The Story of Davidito p. 127

14. NEW STAFF HELPERS CAME TO JOIN OUR LITTLE FAMILY THIS MONTH.--Sue & Monty came from the field in South America to help do secretarial & handyman work, as well as a bit of childcare. The Story of Davidito p. 332

4. Ricky was not “negative” towards Maria or Peter when he was in The Family.

On May 29, 2000, while Ricky was still IN the Family, he wrote a personal letter to his mother and Peter which stated:

“there are attitudes you promote and actions you endorse that I believe are very wrong, I didn’t see the need to bang you over the head with them—after all, what good would it do anway? … right now you’re going to have a little “reality check”, which is a good thing to do from time to time for people who insist on living in their own world. I regret having to have to say these things to you, but you guys just can’t seem to leave well enough alone, and it seems are in need of the “2X4 donkey” treatment whenever anyone wants to tell you something that’s contrary to the way you think.”

“You both [Peter and Maria] seem to prattle incessantly about love and how much love you have, how loving you are, how you have been endowed with gifts of love, how you love everybody so much, how you love the Lord so much, how much you love me, but the funny thing is that’s the thing you know the least about. You see, to us living in the “real” world, actions speak so much louder than words, whereas for some of you dear folks words are everything. If you say you are a certain way, then you are! If somebody else says you’re that way—providing it’s something you consider a positive attribute—then you are! Well, it’s a nice thought, but unfortunately things don’t really work that way, and what happens instead is you just surround yourself with people who tell you how wonderful you are, relatively speaking, and then you have this really nice and cozy mutual admiration society where everybody is feeling warm and fuzzy inside and just believing their own hype.”

“You have fallen into that same trap with many of the prophecies you are disseminating. You are unable to see how you have hurt so many people’s faith by putting your “winetaster’s stamp” on many prophecies that are not only ludicrous, but obviously the figment of some misguided person’s imagination. …You’re poking your finger in God’s eye time and time again whenever you badger and condemn His little ones. One of these days God will judge you for it and when that time comes I certainly wouldn’t want to be in your shoes.” …

…“ There’s a lot of lost and broken young people still out here in the Family who haven’t left yet. They need love; they need acceptance. What they don’t need is for someone like you to take them on some kind of guilt trip, making them feel worthless just because they’re not “on board” with your pride trip.”…

“I’m not looking for a fight with you, but if you push me, believe me, you’ll have a nice one, and using the techniques learned by your sample over the years, I guarantee it won’t be “fair”. Just forget all that crap about me writing some kind of sniveling back-pedaling “explanation” to the Family about how committed I am now/again to your BS, because it’s not going to happen.”

…“please, Peter, no more BS, and please Mom, no more “prophecy letters”. It just doesn’t cut it with me.”

5. Ricky left the Family “on good terms” and was not “negative” towards her or Peter when he first left.

Ricky’s exit letter from the Family was sent to his mother on January 16, 2001. The following are excerpts from that letter:

“Nicole [Elixcia] and I have decided that we can no longer be part of the CM [fulltime Charter Member] Family. We cannot continue to condone or be party to what we feel is an abusive, manipulative organization that teaches false doctrine. You have deceived people and led them away from the truth in almost every way imaginable, and worst of all, when they are no longer useful to you, they are discarded. You have devoured God's sheep, ruining people's lives by propagating false doctrines and advocating harmful practices in the name of God, and as far as I can see, show no regret or remorse. I could talk for hours about it all, but what's the use? You'll never change.”

“… I have deep bitterness and anger about how I was cared for and treated, and firm convictions about why the Family is not something I want to be a part of…”

6. Ricky took on the “bitterness” and “negativity” of exmembers. They twisted his mind and controlled him.

This accusation makes absolutely no sense.

As seen from his letter to his mother in May of 2000 (referenced above), Ricky had some strong criticisms of her and her practices, which he told her clearly and directly about. If Ricky could stand up to and criticise his mother, the absolute spiritual leader of a very intense religious group, while he was still a member, he obviously had a great deal of self-determination. Most of us would have never dared to directly criticise any leader in the Family in such severe tones, let alone “Queen Maria”.

When Ricky left the Family, supposedly on “good terms”, he negotiated a $36,000 “severance package” from his mother. In his letter to his mother, dated January 16, 2001, he stated:

“Any amount of money I could ask you for would never begin to rectify the harm you have caused me directly, and indirectly caused Nicole; but I am asking for what we feel is the reasonable amount that we need to work our way out of the situation you have put us in.”

“In all the Homes we have visited, we have also not shared the knowledge I have of the many wrongs and abuses I witnessed and suffered while growing up. I have not "bad-mouthed" you to people, and rarely shared personal beliefs contrary to what you put out in the [internal publications]. I have not told people where you recently lived. I have not told of the illegalities I witnessed. I have not given out people's legal names. …”

“The point is that even though I have deep bitterness and anger about how I was cared for and treated, and firm convictions about why the Family is not something I want to be a part of, I haven't tried to turn the Family or anybody else against you and that does not have to change. I see no reason why we can't work this out in a civil manner, but don't jerk me around, because this is for real.”

“I know that you have money available, so don't tell me that you don't. Just look at it as a good investment. I have thought about it, and I would like to have U.S. $36,000 to enable Nicole and I to make the transition out of the cult. You can be assured that this money will not be used for "riotous" living. We're not talking about needing money for drugs, alcohol or sports cars. I will continue to look for employment, but we need this money to support ourselves until we're able to get what you should have given us the opportunity to get years ago: A decent education and practical job skills.”

“I have no agenda for writing you with this request other than the need to survive and provide an acceptable life for Nicole and our future kids. I hate even asking you for this, but what else can I do? I've lived all my life in isolation with no chance to get to know people or my relatives or gain supporters or friends. I have no choice. There is no body to help us get set up. This agreement will be just between you and me and Nicole and we will never ask you for financial help again.”

The claim that contact with other former members could completely transform Ricky’s values, personality and thought processes in a matter of months sounds suspiciously like a charge of brainwashing. The Family’s own policy statement on brainwashing cites Alan Scheflin and Edward Opton’s book The Mind Manipulators: “Scheflin and Opton point out that esoteric notions such as "brainwashing" allow people to forget that they are responsible for their own actions in a manner that compares with the insanity plea in legal cases. Personal values and independence of thought and judgment "are not snatched away from people .””

Ricky addressed his suicide video to us, other second generation ex-members. He stated that he knew that what he was about to do (murder Angela) was something that we would think was wrong and that we would not agree with. Ricky murdered someone. It was horrific and wrong, yet he himself took responsibility for his own actions through the tape he left behind. To deny Ricky’s own ability to think for himself and to make his own choices is to deny and demean the very essence of what he stood for: that people must be held accountable for their actions.

Many of the over two thousand second generation former members who have participated on this web site have said that they can relate to the feelings of anger and despair that Ricky spoke of and wrote about. None of us have committed murder. When struggling with the scars of abuse and neglect, or even just the isolation and culture shock that many people have faced when leaving the Family, it can be extremely difficult to sort through the many conflicting feelings and emotional turmoil alone. Having a forum and a place of support in which to do so though is one of the reasons this web site exists.

Several years ago, I explained this concept in a private email to Claire Borowik, the Family’s spokesperson: “Some youth are incredibly angry with the Family, and some see their time in as mostly positive. The point is really to provide at least some kind of support, and a place to just talk honestly about what we are going through and have experienced, and for people to be able to express things from the point they are in their lives right now. You may (probably will) get some harsh words from people [if she were to post on this site], and I just wanted to make that clear up front. (I guess though, if you have read the stuff there now, you have a pretty good idea of where people are at.) As you are aware, some of the youth experienced some very hurtful things in the Family, and although I believe honest communication is the best way to heal, sometimes it can trigger intense emotional reactions too.” (Email from Julia McNeil, May 3, 2002 )

As I have posted elsewhere, Claire responded with the following: “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…” (Email from Claire Borowik, July 12, 2002). Claire’s acknowledgement was republished in a policy statement issued by the Family.

7. Ricky threatened on this web site to kill his mother.

This is simply not true. Ricky talked on this web site about his anger and rage and how he was struggling to manage it. He had been wrestling with these issues for a very long time.

On December 22, 2000, as he was deciding to leave the Family, Ricky wrote a private letter to a friend stating:

“I’m one of those people who have suppressed my feelings and emotions all my life. I didn’t appreciate being treated like a commodity by my mother or having to swallow Peter’s [aka Chris Smith, husband of Maria and co-leader of The Family] bullshit. But I tried to stay on the fence all these years because I just wasn’t sure what the truth was, and I wanted to be sure before I went one way or the other.”

“Those feelings of anger have not gone away, in fact they grew stronger even though I tried hard to push them away and sit on them. Now I’m beginning to get in touch with my emotions and feelings that I have hidden away for so long, and to tell you the truth, I’m finding little love there, only hate for my mother and Queen Peter. … Some days I have come so close to snapping and going back to their [Maria and Peter’s secretive leadership] compound—but not for a social visit and not as a repentant prodigal, but as an avenger. I don’t see why I should have to pay for their sins. I feel like we’d be even and I could get on with my life. They fucked with me, I made them pay dearly for it, and then I could move on.”

“…But that hate is still there and if they ever push me too much, I might still do it. Please understand that I would not purposely try to seriously injure or kill anyone, but rather just make them suffer a bit for what they have put me through. Still, I would much rather that God would take this hate and anger away from me and that I could truly forgive them from my heart. But that certainly has not happened yet. I just don’t have it within me. Maybe in time.”

“Well, please excuse the tangent that I just got off on. It feels good to share my heart with someone, though. I hope you understand.”

Regarding the comment in question, Ricky was discussing his anger and ways he was trying to deal with it. He was not issuing a threat.

Ricky wrote: "[a participant on this site] writes, "By the way Ricky, you have serious anger management problems." Jesus, where did this idiot come from!? I think I’m managing my anger very well! A little over a year ago [early 2001, when he first left the Family], I thought about going back to the south of Portugal, finding my mother and queen Peter—and a few other people there—and cutting their throats. Instead, I made the decision against revenge, and rather, to begin the huge task of building a my life for myself and my wife. I think I’ve done very well in managing and controlling my anger. I’m able to manage it in part by talking about it, and also putting it to constructive use. There are aspects of anger that can actually be helpful if it is channeled in the right direction and if its power can be harnessed to help you succeed."

In 'Mama's Explanation & Prayer Request Regarding Techi's Battles!' (Maria #123 DO 2630 6/90) Zerby related that:
"40. When Peter [Steve Kelly] was at the Heavenly City School & asked for a show of hands of how many there had had suicide thoughts at one time or other, two-thirds of the people raised their hands! ...
41. Even at one of our Units recently, some of the people confessed that even though they were as yielded as they knew how to be, & even though they felt they were definitely within the Lord's Will, they'd had some terrible bad pictures & thoughts come to them. One of the girls said that every time she was caring for the baby, whenever she walked along the upstairs hallway, she had pictures of throwing the baby over the bannister."

No one has accused the Family of being pro-suicide or infanticide because of this.

As Ricky explained, one of the ways he was finding to cope with his rage was by talking openly about his experiences, which is something that many people here have also found therapeutic and helpful. Because Ricky's painful experiences involved his mother and Berg and their home, Zerby and Kelly took this very personally and put a great deal of pressure on Ricky to silence him and stop him from being, as they refer to it, "vocal".

Ricky’s friend, Sarafina explained: "I put him in touch with a few others who knew he could be a better help to the cause by voicing what he had seen and knew as an eyewitness. He declined, telling me that one of the main reasons he stopped posting the truth on M.O was the threats he was getting in regards to his sister Techi. He did not want to make things worse for her, he said she was weak and needed his help to leave but that she was being advised by Zerby to not communicate or contact him."

In 2002 a video made by Maria was shown to Family members by high ranking leaders. This was a result of "damage control" on the part of Zerby and Kelly to counteract what Ricky had said on this web site. Instead of showing any concern for the pain and anger of her own child, Zerby produced hours of footage denouncing her son and his attempts to discuss the many issues he was wrestling with. Parts of the transcript of this video were published in the Vandari publication (Pray, Obey and Prepare ).

It is heartbreaking to know that Ricky lost the fight against his inner demons. I will write more about this another time, but I have spent many sleepless nights this past month asking myself what I could have done to help or to provide support. There is so much pain and anger and it’s been so difficult to see Family leaders add to our burden at every turn by lying, inciting our own families against us and by refusing to even listen to us.

Reader's comments on this article

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from Rain Child
Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 02:09

Holy Shit!
I just read through some of that: "Prepare, Obey"...whatever it's called.
I just can't believe that the manipulation can be that obvious. I can't believe how simple-minded I used to be.

It really beggars belief that she can utter that sort of stuff -much like a six-year-old manipulating his four-year-old brother- and eight thousand adults will swallow it up and pray against doubts.

But that was more words on this.
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from Nancy
Monday, November 27, 2006 - 10:02


This needs to be an article on the main page. This information is very important and needs not be forgotten. The cult tries very hard to rewrite history. These facts are what prevent them from doing that in regards to Rick. We, as other survivors of the cult and its abusive history, need to do what we can to prevent the cult from retelling a different, untrue story most importantly in the case of fellow survivors who have died and can no longer respond for themselves.

This article is exactly what is needed to remind of of one of those survivor's who has died's own words that rebutts the cult's rewriting of history.
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From Nick
Monday, November 27, 2006, 11:26

I agree! I dont think I have read this article before you just commented on it.

Jules, can you post on the main page???(reply to this comment
From MovingOn Admin
Monday, November 27, 2006, 13:11

Done.(reply to this comment
Friday, February 11, 2005 - 12:43


I have been wondering since this thing happenned what it must have been like to grow up with a guy who is both "Daddy" and "Grandpa" (even though he happens to not really be either).

Moon beam pasted below from the Davidito book where "Mommy & Daddy" said he needed more discipline, etc., etc., and then you have Berg saying "Son, you are never going to dream how tough your Grandfather can get with you!" ("Our Teens, The Devil's Target -- A Tough Talk to Teen David" DO 2525)

I grew up in the cult without an actual grandfather and only had my father for a few of my early years, but I think poor Rick's situation might have been even more confusing.
(reply to this comment)

From ooops
Friday, February 11, 2005, 12:52

Sorry, it was Haunted who posted the quotes below (thanks, Haunted). (reply to this comment
from moon beam
Friday, February 11, 2005 - 10:09

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Good work Jules, thank you once again for putting to right the "lies of the devil"

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from analysis of variance
Friday, February 11, 2005 - 10:02

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

I sent Lilliston an email that asked for specific information regarding the assessment methods he used to evaluate Rick. Did Lilliston use any standardized diagnostic instruments or tools specifically designed to measure sequelae to abuse? If so, what were they? I also asked about the scope of his practice expertise as a child psychologist. A child psychologist with 30 years' experience is not necessarily expert in the assessment of abuse. My question to Lilliston about the extent of specialized training in assessing abuse was like asking the family doctor whether he's had adequate training in orthopedics to properly set a compound fracture.

Another question raised in my email concerned a major ethics issue for clinical practitioners who publish. Did Rick complete an informed consent for clinical evaluation or sign a release of information form? If Rick neither formally consented to a psychological evaluation and/or never gave written permission for results of that evaluation to be made public, he could have filed an ethics violation against Dr. Lilliston with the California psychologists' licensure board.

Not surprisingly, Lilliston has never answered my email.

Your article is excellent, btw. I have been deeply disturbed by the attempt to attribute the behavior of someone as deeply troubled as Rick to a simple matter of falling under the influence of bad companions, apostates, and detractors. It's that classic Family control tactic of a bugaboo that goes: "If you leave The Family, the Devil is gonna get ya! See, look what happened to Rick! He was just fine when he was with us." The truth is, he wasn't just fine while living in the Family, and you've done a good job of documenting that fact.
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from Haunted
Friday, February 11, 2005 - 06:26

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?)

Don't forget Borowick's claim/statement regarding Ricky & corporal punishment: "It was not somthing he had to deal with".

From the book: "Dito - His Early Years" 1997 (the ‘new’ re-published version, NOT the original “Dito Book”)

"He is in a stage of throwing things and gets hand slaps for doing so. Once when I slapped his hand for throwing food at the table, he revengefully threw a handful smack in my face, but I didn't let him get away with it, and he learned his lesson!" (Chapter 17, paragraph 26, pg 120)

“During the age of 13 to 15 months, Davidito would receive a few hand spanks daily for throwing things.” (Chapter 18, paragraph 13, pg 125)

“When he screams and cries due to a temper tantrum, I take him by the hand into the other room and swat the back of his legs.” (Chapter 20, paragraph 9, pg 135)

“He usually gets at least one hand slap a day for disobedience.” (17 months old) (Chapter 23, paragraph 35, pg 153)

“He was such a bad boy throwing such a tantrum as we walked home, I swatted him on the bottom. After this he was miserable all day and held it against me for as long as he could.” (Chapter 33, paragraph 15, pg 202)

“He’s usually very good but sometimes he needs a good swat for such bad behavior, because he knows he’s being naughty.” (Chapter 33, paragraph 17, pg 202)

“Alfred popped him on the mouth for it, but then Dito refused to say he was sorry. When I told him Alfred wouldn’t play with him any more until he apologized, Davidito finally apologized and prayed with us.” (Chapter 33, paragraph 23, pg 203)

“Mommy and Daddy agreed that he definitely needs to be disciplined, and they think that Alf and I have sometimes been too easy on him. Daddy even had to swat him one day in the bedroom for acting rebellious and defiant towards him. From that time I’ve been swatting him on the back of the legs for whiney, selfish, rebellious behavior and for murmuring and crying over little things.” (2yrs, 11 months old) (Chapter 49, paragraph 6, pg 285)

“I disciplined him for it (talking back) the second time I heard him do it because I had already warned him about it the time before, and he’s now trying to improve on that to prevent his getting another swat.” (Chapter 55, paragraph 11, pg 316)

“I swatted his hand two times, and he was so mad and embarrassed that I’d done it, that he didn’t cry at first, but hatefully stared me down……He was still very mad at me all day for swatting him in front of Richard.” (3yrs, 4 months old) (Chapter 55, paragraph 12, pg 316)

“Even when I have to swat one of them in front of the other, they both cry…” (re: Davidito/Ricky and Sara’s daughter, Davida) (3yrs, 6months old) (Chapter 62, paragraph 22, pg 362)

“I spanked their hands, then talked to them and no more scissors for a few days.” (re: Davidito/Ricky and Sara’s daughter, Davida) (3yrs, 9months old) (Chapter 66, paragraph 33, pg 388)

From: DB vol. 3 1987 – “Prayer for David’s Fever” DO 2236 written 9-86

“David had been seriously ill with a high fever for two days….Dad entered David’s sick room…he had David make a stand against the Enemy, even though he was so weak with fever and delirious.” (introduction, pg 266)

From: DB vol. 7 1988 - “The Potato! – on child discipline.” DFO 718 written 6/78

“I felt that I just had to slap his mouth because of the way he was acting so rebellious.” (paragraph 10, pg 62)

From: DB vol. 10 – “Our Teens – the Devils Target – A Tough Talk to Teen David.” DO 2525 written 1988

Berg threatens to beat Ricky:
"Next time I'm not going to just use my voice, you're going to get it worse. You've never really had me chasten you with the rod boy, but I can do it!" (paragraph 13, pg 19)
"And if I see this fascination for evil cropping up in you any more, Son, you are never going to dream how tough your Grandfather can get with you! I will whip the daylights out of you! I will take a rod like the bible says and beat you with that until you cry for mercy! Is that clear? (David: Yes, Sir) Do you believe it? (David: Yes, Sir)" (paragraph 18, pg 20)

(reply to this comment)

from melzar
Friday, February 11, 2005 - 05:42


I found an article quoting Lilliston so completely in favor of TF. He makes a very important point...

"As long as kids in cults aren't abused--and very few are--relatives have little to fear."

Obviously, we are more than "very few". But at least here he acknowledges that abuse does change the equation a bit.
(reply to this comment)

From melzar
Friday, February 11, 2005, 05:43

*all this said, tougue in cheek*(reply to this comment
from venusbutterfly
Friday, February 11, 2005 - 05:27

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?)

Jules, thanks for posting this, it must have taken a lot of time and i greatly appreciate having all this info together.

although i figure TF will just find ways of twisting things - as they say we are doing - i'm sure some people might wake up to the truth and people with an outside view and in their right minds will be able to better see just to what point TF cannot stop spewing out their lies.

excellent job!
(reply to this comment)

from DarkAngel
Friday, February 11, 2005 - 01:11

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?)

Very good job Jules .Thanks for putting all this together .

It makes things clear It's sometimes difficult to put 2 and 2 together.

Good on you.
(reply to this comment)

from porceleindoll
Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 21:08

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Excellent analysis Jules, thank you for the hard work you went through to put this together.

I must admit that I honestly feel like it's no use to prove to the cult leadership the wrongs they have done and are responsible for. Every publication they come out with is a cover-up, justification, or lying to their members. I would like to see the group honestly admit its guilt, open itself up to dialogue with the many angry young people who have left, and be ready to offer help and compensation where needed to those who have left. I would like to see them set up a fund for departing youth, to give them something to help them get started in life, to arrange for therapist payments if necessary.

The more they deny wrongdoing, or try to minimize it, it makes me more angry, and the feelings I have tend more to closing the whole thing down, as it becomes obvious that they are not going to be honest nor forthcoming to either its members or us. I don't see the point of going after reconciliation any longer. I'm sure the cult is going to pick this up and say "See, they don't even want to reconcile" but they would be mistaken. I have wanted to reconcile in some form, to see some sort of help and change for those of us here who have been damaged by the cult, but they keep throwing away their chances, while they lie to their members, making it appear as if they have done what they could to make up for the past. Then they come to the point where they would like to reconcile, but make it seem as if the exmembers are out for revenge and destruction, not reconciliation. In reality, they threw away their chances, and have pushed many of us past the point of reconciliation.

I wouldn't go out and physically hunt them down, nor would I wish harm to their members, but as Daniel stated, I want to see justice, I want to see an admission of truth, I want to see monetary compensation to my peers and friends who need it. I want to see them admit to their members they have misled and deceived them. It's a lot to hope for, and I don't hold much hope to ever see any of this, but it's what I'd like.

Anyway Jules, please know that you are doing a fantastic thing of putting stuff like this together.

Have you considered doing something concerning their 'apologies'? I don't have many pubs at my disposal, nor the time to wade through statements, but it seems to me that so many of their 'apologies' were done more than a decade ago and to the generation before us, and nothing very specific to our generation.
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from ErikMagnusLehnsher
Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 20:26

Outstanding article, Jules. Thanks for putting that together.
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from from a first generation ex-member
Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 19:47

You are a brave young woman to have done all that you have done to speak the truth. If there was something more you could have done for Ricky, you would have done it. I'm convinced that what he would want for his peers is for them to find the life he dreamed of; a clean and sane life that includes a truly loving family and friends. It's not easy to make the transition from The Family to a real family and life, but it is possible. A saying that helped me through many rough times while adjusting to living on my own in the world is "Don't give up five minutes before your miracle!" And slowly over time (years) I have found many miracles - not the kind we heard about in The Family, but the kind where you find life beginning to be sane and manageable, relationships improving, and crisis and confusion receding. One of the best ways I have found to fight the Family's lies is to get on with my life and leave them sparring with themselves. Their very existence depends on being right so they will never give up trying to destroy those they consider 'enemies' of their 'truth'.
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