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Getting Real : Speak your peace

In reply to the recent comments made to an FGA for posting on our site

from sarafina - Wednesday, March 02, 2005
accessed 1569 times

I started this as a comment In reply to the recent comments made to an FGA on this thread but then it got a bit long. I would just like to say many of these comments are a bit upsetting. Here is my take on the issue.

Here we are as SGAs asking for acknowledgement of our abuse and for apologies and in many cases validation. We ask for cooperation, we say we want to stop the cycle of abuse. We ask for FGA’s to step up to the plate and take responsibility for their part in supporting an abusive environment. Some of us even say, “If they would just apologize and acknowledge this we could forgive them”

Yet when they do try to do all of the above we still treat them with no respect. We label them, we say they have no rights on this site; no right to speak and that they should “shut the fuck up”

To Jim I want to say I’m sorry for this. On behalf of Jim Lamattery first off yes, he was part of the cult, yet he left years before much of this abuse ever started. He left because he stayed strong to his morals and when he was told he should start sharing his wife and kids he knew it was wrong and left. He wanted no part of it. I’m sure he has made other mistakes as well. But he was not physically part of any of the abuse to any of you.

Upon hearing of the abuse that happened to his kids that were left in he choose to come forward and support them.Many of our own parents have not. He has put himself out there in front of the world on camera in the papers testifying on your behalf, validating that you were raised in an abusive environment. He has spent his own time and money trying to fight for you. He has spoken out more then many of you have. I’ve seen so many sga’s come on moving on and post about their abuse much is done anonymously. Yet when you finally get a chance to be heard and people are finally listening, where are you?

I know many of you have valid reasons for not wanting to go public, many of you can’t. I understand some of you have kids, some are even still struggling to put their lives together, some are even to far gone to even speak for themselves. Which is one reason Jim has put his own reputation on the line, his own personal comforts of life, and has left himself open to the family to direct anything negative they possibly can come up with to publicly damage his credibility.

My question is, when and what do they have to do to earn your forgiveness? To earn your respect? I don’t believe Jim intended to “offend “ anyone. He was mainly concerned that when a person was stepping forward to speak out about their abuse it was taken lightly and made fun of. We all now realize the person making the comment miss read the article, yet still the harsh comment toward this Adult/father/individual remain. I believe anyone one willing to rectify their mistakes (as long as they personally did not partake in sexual and physical abuse) and is willing to help us in our efforts deserves some respect and forgiveness.

I know that I do not want to become a clone of my past abusers. I want to be better then them. I don’t want to afflict abuse on anyone else, verbally or physically. I also don’t want to discourage or ailinate anyone who is willing to standby his or her children or stand up for us. We could really use all the help and some of them are really wonderful people, who have even been through abuse themselves and have been working on their own for years trying to accomplish the same goals we have.Even Ricky understood this and extended his hand to a few FGA’s. There were even a few that have left that he had respect for and wanted me to meet.

I know this is our site, but we do allow adults on here, even people who have never been in the family. The only negative reaction I se is when a FGA comes on here. Maybe there can be some sort of trial period or vote for allowing them on here. I mean anything he said was something I could have said and gotten a more receptive response. Maybe we could have more formal introductions of FGA’s or some form where SGA’s could “vouch” for them. That way any negative responses could be toward the ones who are vouching and maybe even a bit of their past could be revealed such as like when they left the family and what they participated in and what they are now doing to rectify their mistakes. I believe there is a way we can build a bridge between the generations and extend a hand of good will.

I’m sure I will receive a lot of negative comments on this one but I am open to discussions. I may not have all the answers or have worded everything the best way but maybe we can all come up with a way to fix this.



Reader's comments on this article

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from Right....
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 08:11

If this is the same Jim Lamatery I remember, then he is just as guilty as the next powerhungry sick fuck. He was on the teamwork of Nagoya school for at least 2 years while I was there. At the time the victor program was in full swing...U.Peter was also one of the most feard adults, because of his habit of giving out powerful strokes of the paddle.(something I might add, he seemed to take pride in.)He was the typical narsisitic FGA, whos word was law,etc...He was finaly demoted by Art for embesiling the homes funds, money I help make.

I say all this in the intrest of truth. Really. I dont have a personal gruge against him, and I havent seen him since I was 12. I just got anoyed today, when I went to his website and saw his pompous autobiography, implying that after leaving for the first time he was "contacted by family members" and they "tricked" him into rejoining. Yeah right. Wheres his japanese wife now, I wonder.
(reply to this comment)
From Shaka
Wednesday, March 16, 2005, 09:09


Definitely not him, he left in the 70's.(reply to this comment

From more than one LaMattery
Wednesday, March 16, 2005, 08:23

I think you are confusing Jim LaMattery for John LaMattery Sr.(reply to this comment
From DUH
Wednesday, March 16, 2005, 08:36

Yeah, I got them mixed up. Too many of them.I was refering to the above article regarding FGAs. I meant Peter(FGA) NOT his son.(reply to this comment
from Jules
Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 09:43

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 have just read the thread in question and I think you have some valid points. Obviously our energy, time and resources are limited and to accomplish anything, we need to work with each other, and not split into factions.

However there are a few other things here that should be taken into consideration.

This web site was, is and always will be for people born and raised in the Family. The primary purpose of this site is not to launch media campaigns, condemn or expose abusers or to support or condemn any other individual cause, although these things and more have been part of what has happened here. The primary purpose is a forum for people born into the Family to express themselves.

The FAQ’s (linked on the top of every page on this site) explains the policy of this site regarding participation by those who joined the Family:
“People who chose to join The Family as adults had a very different experience than those who were children in it and are not the target audience of this web site. In particular absolutely no one on this site wants to hear preaching from people who joined the group. Most of us grew up hearing nothing but preaching and “testimonies” of how bad they were and how great they are now, so no one will take too kindly to this. There are other discussion groups and web sites online for first generation current and former members where the reception will be much warmer. People who joined The Family as adults are however welcome here as long as they understand and respect that this site is primarily for those of us who had no choice in being part of the insanity.”

That being said, in my opinion, there are two reasons for the strong feelings regarding Jim LaMattery in particular, both of which have to do with past experiences in the Family.

As explained above, most of us grew up being bullied, domineered and patronised by a variety of adults whom we had to refer to as aunt and uncle, and address as sir and ma’am. Yes, it happened a long time ago. Yes, we are all adults now. But those triggers go very deep. In Sarafina’s article above she said in reference to FGA exmembers that “we do allow adults on here”. We all know what she meant, and I catch myself occasionally referring to FGA exmembers as “adults” as well, which sounds ridiculous considering I am 30. There is in fact more of an age difference between myself and my youngest sister, than myself and my mother or even most of the FGAs. However, the fact that those terms still slip out says to me that the enforced submission and subjugation during my formative years still affect me on some level.

There was a particular personality style that the majority of first generation members of the Family had, the men in particular: Bible thumping, authoritarian, overbearing, intrusive, inappropriately familiar and extremely sanctimonious. Please note I am not accusing Jim or anyone else of being this way. It is just that when our parents or other FGA exmembers say or do things that are PERCEIVED as engaging in these behaviours, it triggers a strong emotional reaction in many of us.

The other side of the coin is that many of us want, more than anything, to have our parents acknowledge us and stand by us now. The abandonment and rejection by our own parents is one of the deepest hurts a lot of us have, even, I believe, in those who say they don’t care anymore. Most of the anger and outrage so often expressed here could be defused by a heartfelt apology from our own parents and a commitment to protect and support us now. Due to the often blurred and convoluted familial boundaries in the Family, support from other FGAs can help heal by proxy.

An FGA exmember who takes a stand, as Jim has, and actually takes action to do something about the abuse of his own children and that of others can have a powerful effect on those of us who were hurt. While I understand that it is perhaps unfair to them and not a role they want, but they will be seen as a parental figure by many people who they may not even know.

Wanted or not, that leaves a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, and Jim, I would urge you to consider this and to tread carefully with this “community”. One of the reasons I personally believe that it is imperative that the survivors themselves own their own stories and that the direction and impetus for any action taken initiates from us ourselves is that in the past things have spun out of control. Survivors have been hurt in the past and used as pawns on both sides.

It is important that our voices are heard and we do need to work together to bring about change. I believe the process though is as important as the outcome. As we all know, it is extremely difficult to cope with loss, abuse and pain. It can be healing and empowering to take action against the wrongs committed but also, these difficulties have the potential to be compounded when these things are played out in the public arena.

I agree with Sarafina that it is important to see ourselves as adults and to respond appropriately to FGAs as equals. First and foremost our responsibility is to ourselves, to be well, to be safe and to be happy.
(reply to this comment)
From moon beam
Thursday, March 03, 2005, 10:42

I agree with you, and the reasons you highlighted about "triggers".
Also the that prime purpose is A)Not for seeking justice but as an aid. B) Not primary for FGAs but as guests.
(reply to this comment
from JohnnieWalker
Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 09:23

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 am not going to get involved in the discussion taking place on this subject, but I thought I'd comment on something from an "outside" perspective.

If Jim LaMattery left when FFing was coming out, he might not be aware of some of the major triggers that the whole School Vision, DTR, Victor Camps, etc. brought out in many of us SGs. I think this may be the reason some people took offence to how he was coming across.

If he's going to be working with SGAs in the legal arena, then he may appreciate being informed of what our triggers are instead of finding out about them the hard way.
(reply to this comment)

from moon beam
Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 08:15

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?)
Sarafina, I am in total agreement with you here. IMO,The destructive dividing and mistrust that TF so boldly endorsed between us and our parents should not be repeated in our behaviour and should remain a distant memory and a lesson on why it is one of the "evils" in our world.

(reply to this comment)
from frmrjoyish
Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 06:48

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 agree 100%! Frankly, some of the postings from the FGA's are welcome relief from the childish drivel that sometimes dominates this site. It's hard enough to get acknowledgement and apologies from our own parents so when we get it from another FGA, esp. when there are actions behind their words, we should all show more respect. Times have changed, we have all gotten older and the separation between "us" and "the adults" no longer exists. We are the adults now and it's time to start acting like it.
(reply to this comment)
from weegirlie
Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 03:22

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 was glad you posted this, as I was also upset about some of the comments made. I'm one of the people that for my own reasons don't feel I could come forward publicly about the Family and therefore greatly appreciate people like Jim La Mattery who are doing something to try to bring justice and standing up on our behalf. As far as I am concerned he is more than welcome on this site.
(reply to this comment)

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