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Getting Out : Inside Out

Family Suicide Stats

from steam - Tuesday, January 24, 2006
accessed 1868 times

Just read the Family Version of Suicide Stats

I just read The Family's breakdown of Stats on their site for Ricky. They quote the national suicide rate in the U.S. as being 12 per 100 Thousand. They then drop the number from 25 to ten for former member suicides. They then take 35 thousand for number of former members. Giving them a "better" average. However lets drop the number from 25 to 20 which is generous because the twenty five have been confirmed, but giving them a little room, and making the survey be those who where born in and spent at least ten years in the group before leaving (second generation). If a total of 38 years of group history was 35 thousand former members. Then a huge number to estimate would be 10 thousand. Twenty for 10 thousand would be two hundred per 100 thousand. Over sixteen times the national average. Not a good track record.

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from cheeks
Saturday, February 04, 2006 - 15:16

I think it would be better to look at the sg's between the ages of 35 and say 18 that would give us a much better idea of the ratio. I totally suck at math but there could not be more than a few thousand of us.
(reply to this comment)
from lisa
Sunday, January 29, 2006 - 16:09

I was wondering it seems to me that a large number of the suicides are youth who at one time or another lived in Japan. It could be I just remember these cuz I knew them, but I was wondering if there is a higher percentage among people who grew up on Japan?
(reply to this comment)
Sunday, January 29, 2006, 16:12


That is an interesting question. I wonder, though, if it also has something to do with the demographic on this website. It seems South America for example is underrepresented, as was pointed out in relation to Noah Thomson's request.(reply to this comment

from thepersoniamnow
Friday, January 27, 2006 - 15:34

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
I dunno about statistics. In this city in the past 4 years three SGA's have comitted suicide. When you go to their funerals statistics dont seem to matter much.
(reply to this comment)
from Lauren
Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 05:38

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?)


To clarify: According to the Family's own statistics, there have been approximately 13,500 children born into it since its inception. Even taking this larger population into account, the ratio is dismal.

The Family's suicide statistics are also flawed in that they include the supposed 35,000 members or so who have been through the Family, and yet, they do not take into account the possibility of any of those joining, leaving and subsequently taking their own lives. (Their stance being one of, "We haven't heard of it, so it didn't happen".)

As you aptly pointed out, they use the highest possible number of revolving members and the lowest possible number of suicides to skew the numbers.

If only they could see that this isn't about the numbers but about the pain and try to do something to make ammends rather than continue to polish their imaginary halos.
(reply to this comment)

From Stats Nerd
Saturday, January 28, 2006, 17:06

Even with skewed stats, TFI's figures are abysmal. The ignorant dumb-asses don't understand what they're actually saying. Someone should teach them basic population statistics. The ratio of 10 in 35,000 former members is .0002857, while the ratio of 12 to 100,000 is .00012. The first ratio is more than two times larger than the second. You can see this when you standardize 10/35,000 using the 100,000 population denominator, resulting in 28.57 suicides per 100,000 people. So by their own admission, TFI is saying the suicide rate for former members is 2.5 times greater than that of the general population. These are the same butt-plugs who insist Berg's dimensions for the heavenly city pyramid can fit inside the moon. Maybe the most radical thing we could do to Family members is teach them trigonometry and statistics.(reply to this comment
From Ne Oublie
Sunday, January 29, 2006, 02:42

I believe that the US figure is an annual one, and therefore for a meaningful comparison we would need to use the total number of suicides in a given year.(reply to this comment
From Stats Nerd
Sunday, January 29, 2006, 07:36


That's what I get for doing stats while celebrating Chinese New Year with a bottle of Merlot. Let's see how well I can explainly yearly estimation epidemiology for suicide rates in the light of day.

If we standardize the 10 suicides over the 38 years COG/TFI has been in existence, there is a yearly suicide rate of .263. If we establish the yearly estimate beginning in 1978, the date TFI likes to use, there is a yearly suicide rate of .357.

However, this is a yearly rate based on 35,000 for a total of either 38 years or 28 years (it really doesn't matter, btw, as the math will show). When we even distribute the proportion the 35,000 former members who have left into a yearly ratio for 38 and 28 years, (that's 35,000/38 and 35,000/28), we get .263/1250 and .357/921.05. The result of either fraction is .0002857.

We still need to standardize this fraction by the 100,000 ppy, because our percentage estimate of .0002857 is based on either 1,250 former members per year or 921.05 ppy, depending on how many years TFI leadership wants to claim as its miserable, delusional existence.

In any event, when we standardize to 100,000 ppy, we get 28.57 (not 2.857). The .0002857 is the proportion per year: standarization of a proportion is .0002857*100,0000, NOT .0002847/100,000.

If you don't believe me, you can check our how the national suicide rate of 12 per 100,000 is calculated at the U.S. census website. Remember, there are way more than 100,000 people living in the U.S., so the raw number of suicides in a year is much higher than 12. The proportion of suicides in the census year 2005 for the total U.S. population of 296,410,404 is something like .00012, or 35,569 suicides last year.

Suicide rates, btw, are often reported in bi-annual (two-year) time spans, because the rate in the general population is so low that it remains very stable for long periods of time. Don't let this confuse you if you go to calculating from census tables. Just be sure to pay attention to column headings for the raw figures or proportions.

(reply to this comment

From Ne Oublie
Sunday, January 29, 2006, 08:28

I really couldn't care less for what the suicide rates show, as has been said above, when a friend or relative commits suicide their statistical ranking means just about zip.

However, so long as we are going to compare rates, we ought to be comparing like-for-like. 5 minutes on Google brought up that the US suicide rate in 1988 was 12.4/100,000, and in 2002 that had dropped to 10.6/100,000.
Another article stated that "Suicide took the lives of 30,622 people in 2001", based on a US population in the region of 280m, that would be roughly 10.9/100,000 (in line with the above) - indicating that the annual suicide rates quoted are measured against the TOTAL population.

Therefore, a like-for-like comparison would be that which measured annual suicide statistics against the total demographic.(reply to this comment
From stats nerd
Sunday, January 29, 2006, 12:28


I totally agree with you about the devastation caused suicide, and I didn't intend to be insensitive to the lasting pain it causes.

The TFI spin doctors decided to play a numbers game with the suicide statistics of its membership, and on that basis I pointed out that their own dubiously low estimates show a group whose members commit suicide at twice the rate of the general population. Even if we add 35,000 former members to 10,000 current members, the rate is 22 per 100,000--still about twice that of the general population. If the lying bastards had done their calculations correctly, they would have claimed "only" 5 suicides in a total population of 45,000. That's still 5 too many, but the probability of these suicides occurring is the same as if they had grown up in the System...which is what TFI is trying to claim with its bogus, badly calculated statistics. (reply to this comment

From Ne Oublie
Sunday, January 29, 2006, 13:26

Ok, let me spell it out:

35,000 is the total number of ex-members as per TF's statistics according to the article above. This is the demographic which any ratios must be calculated against - the only annualisation which can be done is cumulative as members left TF and joined the ranks of ex-members.

On the other hand, the 25 (at least) suicides is a cumulative figure. This does not match the figures used by the US census, which are only the suicides recorded during a single year.

In order to give a comparable ratio, we must therefore use only the number of suicides in a given year - this must then be placed over the total ex-member population in that year, before standardising to 100,000 base.

Seeing how I have no figure for the number of ex-member suicides last year, I'll estimate 5. I'll again work with the rounded estimate of 35,000 ex-members to give 5/35,000. Standardising which gives 14.3/100,000. (DISCLAIMER: these are random and estimated figures, I only did this exercise to illustrate the process.)(reply to this comment
Sunday, January 29, 2006, 14:43


Okay, if we are going to use 35,000 as the population, don't we need to figure out a way to factor in length of time in the Family?

Doesn't the 35,000 take into account some people who were in the Family very briefly? In the case of the US, that might compare to a 2-year-old committing suicide, probably not a likely occurrence (unless, just as your 2-year-old can receive Jesus (along with sexualization), your 2-year-old can commit suicide).

In my opinion, the suicide rate for those born in TF should not be lumped in with those who passed through. Maybe those with very long term involvement could be added to the base, but it's apples and oranges.

BTW, isn't the list of untimely deaths (that TF says is too long) just a list of second generation deaths? How come TF is using a 35K base? Shouldn't the base be people BORN in the Family, and exclude people who passed through? How many people were born in the Family?

Another MAJOR problem is that we only hear of certain suicides. There is nobody tallying them all the way the US is, so we KNOW there are more than we hear about. Not everybody is on MovingOn!

There should probably be 2-3 sets of numbers, as well; one of confirmed suicides, one that also includes probable suicides, and one that includes untimely deaths such as overdoses and other self-destructive outcomes.

And if the Family is right that the suicide rate is the same as the world's, then they should explain what makes them think they have to offer to improve human life.(reply to this comment

From Ne Oublie
Sunday, January 29, 2006, 15:10

You're right, if I were actually interested in this, I would run a number of models based on various demographic groupings - each of which would naturally yield different results. I think the most meaningful one would be to take only those born into TF (someone with access to TF's archives should be able to pull up annual births). Particularly seeing how most of the 25 suicides were SGAs.(reply to this comment
From thinker711
Sunday, January 29, 2006, 17:00


I agree with stats nerd. see link below to this comment

From Ne Oublie
Monday, January 30, 2006, 05:51


Funny thing, when I've mucked up my sums, I usually don't go trying to draw attention to the fact.

You've done the same thing as our self-proclaimed 'stats nerd', and substituted (incomplete) lifetime probability for annual suicide rates in your comparisons. The US suicide rate is an annual calculation, and therefore compares the suicides of ONE YEAR against the total demographic. You cannot, therefore, make a comparison against cumulative suicide figures, as it is not like-for-like. What we should be doing instead, is refining the demographic against which we measure the suicide rates - SGAs most likely - and contrast this against a comparable demographic (18-30 year-olds, for example).

Again, we are hindered by incomplete data, in that we do not know the total number of suicides nor the total base demographic against which to measure (although, as I said before we should be able to source that from TF publications).(reply to this comment

From Stats Nerd
Tuesday, February 07, 2006, 08:04


My argument has been that the annual suicide rate is so stable over time that you CAN annualize the total (cumulative) known number of suicides in TFI over time and make a comparison to general population rates without violating basic assumptions of population demographics. If there were great variability in the general population rates (as there is in the TFI rates), then I'd say you couldn't annualize TFI numbers for comparison. When I first proposed this methodology, I talked it over with an epidemiologist who works in my office, and her opinion was that this is permissable as an estimation procedure.

There are ideal, text-book ways to run numbers, and then there's bootstrapping to account for missing data, which is essentially what I'm suggesting we do. It's clear we have a difference of opinion about basic assumptions underlying estimation methods, but I'm not clear what you're proposing as an alternative. Are you proposing total known suicides/total known # of SGAs? How is that fundamentally different than what I've proposed? You'd still argue the rate couldn't be annualized, and I'd argue it can.(reply to this comment

From Ne Oublie
Tuesday, February 07, 2006, 15:38

Average visitor agreement is 1 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Well, you're obviously being facetious in your choice of name! Since you're having such difficulty I'll spell it out for you.

The first rule of any analytical comparison is that you compare LIKE FOR LIKE, so with that in mind, here are the numbers:

2005 US population - 296,410,404 (TOTAL, all ages, non-annualised)
2005 US suicides - 35,569

2005 US annual suicide ratio 12/100,000

2005 ex-member population - circa 35,000 (TOTAL, all ages, non-annualised)
2005 ex-member suicides - UNKNOWN

2005 ex-member suicide ratio UNKNOWN/100,000

The number we do have an estimate on is cumulative ex-member suicides, currently cira 30. Now, let's say this is distributed over 10 years.

So, in order to compare LIKE FOR LIKE we need to have a cumulative figure for US suicides over the same timeframe. As I don't have time to look up all the figures, I'll estimate 30,000 per annum (2001 was 30,622, 2005 was 35,569, and as you said it has been broadly consistent, so that should be a conservative figure, if anything).

This then gives us a cumulative figure US suicides of 300,000. So our comparison becomes:

2005 US population - 269,410,404
Cumulative US suicides - 300,000

Cumulative US suicide rate - 111/100,000

2005 ex-member population - 35,000
Cumulative ex-member suicides - 30

Cumulative ex-member suicide rate - 86/100,000

Now if we only had accurate figures...(reply to this comment
From moon beam
Tuesday, February 07, 2006, 05:13

Is there anywhere or anyone keeping track of all those who have died? My dear sister Davida died last year, May she rest in peace! and I would like for her name and memory to be added to the list.
We will be putting up a memorial post soon. (reply to this comment
From vixen
Sunday, January 29, 2006, 13:41


You guys are making my head hurt

*cries*(reply to this comment

From solemn
Sunday, January 29, 2006, 19:34


Gin Martinis made my head hurt.

(reply to this comment

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