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Getting Real : Speak your peace

To Daniel Roselle from his sister

from lotstoforget - Monday, March 14, 2005
accessed 2087 times


Daniel Roselle and I shared the same childhood

By Regi Roselle, 28, second-generation member of the Family International.

A year and a half ago I sent my immediate family an email announcing the birth of our second daughter, and a photo. Most responded with the usual congratulations and well wishes. My brotherís reply however, read:

You work for Zerby, a mentally damaged and damaging woman. I donít consider you my sister. With future births, please leave me off your emailing list.

* * *

It wasnít always like this. Daniel and I were born 18 months apart and spent much of our lives as each othersí shadowĖlike most siblings I suppose. I looked up to him as my smart big brother with incredible imagination. He was always doing something creative: exploring, dressing up as famous characters, or building something. He seemed to make friends so easily. I wanted so much to be like him.

My clearest memories and highlights of our childhood are from Panama, where we lived for 5 years: I remember our big yard, our dog, the countless cats we seemed to collect. We had a large mango tree with a tire swing. Our patio was piled with bicycles and often some new ďpetĒ we had managed to catch, tadpoles turning into frogs, a box turtle. Once we even found an iguana and chased it around the yard. We gave it to our maid. We spent the afternoons playing and being kids, without a care in the worldĖoh for the joys of childhood.

The day he first went off to school I begged our mom to let me go too. I mustíve been too young because I remember having to wait. The day came when I got my school uniform and lunch box and strode proudly to the school bus. I later found public school to be impersonal and first grade was too easy so I asked to be taught at home again.

I donít remember everything that happened in our lives, obviously, but what I do remember is that it was pretty good. I strongly remember two foundational truths about my parents that shaped my character as an adult, and which, I think, give a clear picture of our childhood.

One of them was that our parents truly loved us and put our needs and often wants before theirs. We had a friend from Sunday school who came over to play with us sometimes. His parents invited me for a sleepover at his house. He had more toys than I did, but his mom didnít come by at all while I was there, not even to say goodnight. I donít even remember his dad. This was such a surprise to me because I took it for granted that parents always read to their kids before bed, that singing and hanging out together as a family was the norm.

My parents loved each other too and often held hands and whispered things to each other that made them smile. I have no recollection of them arguing or raising their voice at each other. I didnít realize what a feat of love and godly marriage that was until I later started dating. My admiration for my parentsí relationship shot way up when I thought of their commitment to make our home a happy one.

The other thing I remember is that my parents loved the Lord and taught us to do the same. They loved the life of a missionary, they loved helping people, and they had great faith. We sometimes lived with or nearby another family and had their support and fellowship, but still, living in foreign countries with little children is a life thatís not for everybody and my parents managed to do it so seamlessly we never noticed what all it must have involved.

My point is that we were happy. We didnít get everything we wanted, nor were we the most fashionably dressed kids in the neighborhood, but most of the time we didnít care. Our parents loved us and took good care of us. We got to visit the world, learn languages, taste an array of cuisines, make friends of numerous nationalities, sing and perform plays for thousands, from orphanages, to hospitals, to churches.

I love my life and I wouldnít trade my childhood with anyone. My only complaint for a time was that my parents were somewhat conservative and I didnít know much about ďthe birds and the beesĒ until I was a teenager, but hey. Looking back, Iím glad for that. Life was simple and the world was a playground.

Unfortunately, the mind is a powerful thing and memories form to our thinking. As brothers and sisters we shared the same childhood, but we seem to have vividly different perspectives on our past. Iím sorry my brother has so much hatred toward life and toward my parents. Itís sad. It must be hard for them. I canít imagine how I would feel if one of my children were to do the same to me. It makes me cry to think of it.

My brother and I were close as teenagers too, and when we visited we could talk about anything. I remember when he told me he was leaving the Family because he didnít agree with some of the beliefs that were fundamental to the Familyís lifestyle. What he chose to do didnít make much difference to me. He was my brother, my cool big brother, and I supported him as I knew he would support me in my choices. In the last 4 or 5 years things digressed between us, he was friendly but distant for a time, until to his last email when he renounced me as his sister. He encouraged me over the years to leave the Family because I could make good money with the skills that I have. When I became an adult and had to make the choice, I chose to live the Family lifestyle, because I believe in it, because my children are happy and safe, because Iím living for others, because I believe Jesus has called me to this life.

I managed to land myself the perfect man and start a family. Iím proud of my parents and proud to say that I have tried, by Godís grace, to pattern my marriage after theirs, and be the kind of parents they are. I keep them up to date with our life and our kids and ask them to share their secrets of success.

Dad and Mom, I hope you know that I thank God every day for you. Whatever your son may now decide to say about you and about his life, please remember the times when he told you that you are the best parents ever. As a child he said he was happy, and they say that children canít lie very well. History can be rewritten and memories created or elaborated, weíve all done it to some extent.

Mom, after giving your life, your time, your money, and your health for Daniel and for all of us for so many years, if he tells you something that hurts you, please think of me, and the others of your kids, who would stand up proudly and tell the world that if we could pick our parents, we wouldnít hesitate to again choose you.

I owe the success of my marriage and the happiness we share as a family to what I saw in you, and to my life in the Family. As an adult, I am responsible for my choices and where I am in life, but Mom and Dad, I do hope that I have made you proud.

Reader's comments on this article

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from what in the world???
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 08:18

She is either so deluded or she is lying. She ď...didnít know much about Ďthe birds and the beesíĒ until she was a teenager??!!

With all the True Comics, Mo Volumes, FSMs, Heavenís Girls, Heavenís Children, etc. lying around, itís totally impossible. Not to mention all the adults having sex in the same room as the children (and even in the same bed)!

My, myÖ.she actually had a childhood. How nice. I took care of children, cooked and cleaned since I was about 10 years old! Before that I went out every day begging for money door to door or singing on the street and in restaurants for spare change. I remember only one brief period of time when my parents were Ďon their owní that I had some semblance of a childhood, but it ended the second they became fulltime members of the cult again.
(reply to this comment)
from Phoenixkidd
Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 18:08

Oh ma god, Poor Regina, she's so messed up, she's really overlooking the countless children who had to endure such cramped and unsanitary conditions, and wasted hours postering and panhandling and struggling with looking like a native and not being able to speak the language! Many people during the beginning of their childhoods especially circa 1975--1980 had a relatively easy during their early childhood, especially in 3rd world countries, Ironically it was easier to make a living instead of the richer developed nations. During the 80's I was forced to witness which I hated, and beg for food, lodging, and money. I remember being 10 and 11 and consistently being depressed to tears and wanting to run away and be like the rest of the kids I saw around me in Suburbia. The pockets of abuse in TF were just to numerous to write off the whole family as a loving and caring environment. I was constantly lectured and reprimanded for not being enough of a disciple, I hated my childhood and I speak for all those that had to endure under the cult. Regina I hope you leave soon so your kids don't have to endure those same things that we all did.
(reply to this comment)
From xolox
Tuesday, March 15, 2005, 18:45

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 grew up in a third world country, and most of the time people were offended that an american kid was asking them for money. It was possibly even more dificult! Stck to what you know.(reply to this comment
Tuesday, March 15, 2005, 18:35


Just a comment on a couple of your statements, to wit:

"Many people during the beginning of their childhoods especially circa 1975--1980 had a relatively easy during their early childhood, especially in 3rd world countries, Ironically it was easier to make a living instead of the richer developed nations."

That statement is puzzling to me given my experience of early childhood (which encompassed the dates you cite of 1975-1980). I experienced all the conditions you describe having endured (I was forced to witness and beg for food, lodging, and money) even though I was raised in the 3rd world. I went hungry during my childhood, and 1975-1980 were not easy at all. Like you, I remember "being 10 and 11" (and 7, 8, 9, etc.) "and consistently being depressed to tears and wanting to run away and be like the rest of the kids I saw around me." (reply to this comment

from Ginny Satir
Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 17:13


"Mom, Dad--Look at me! Look at me! With all my sacrifice & obedience, I should have been your golden child--not him."

Poor girl, don't you know that bad boys almost always finish first? That's the conundrum of the prodigal son. Too bad you haven't understood the great myths of Christian culture. You are, in the final analysis, just another girl born to service your perfect husband.
(reply to this comment)

from Cosmicblip
Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 08:29

this is interesting. apparently daniel roselle is my brother in law. i didn't know that before.
(reply to this comment)
from Joe H
Monday, March 14, 2005 - 20:09

You and weegirlie need to realize that these "conclusions" have already been reposted and ridiculed here. Please move on.
(reply to this comment)
From hmmm
Tuesday, March 15, 2005, 08:05

why do you care if that article's posted joe......i have to say alot of people have valid points on this site but the biastness bug's the hell out of me!(reply to this comment
From roughneck
Tuesday, March 15, 2005, 08:18

Biastness? really? Do you maybe mean 'bias'? Also there's no apostrophe in 'bugs' unless you are talking about something that belongs to a bug. :)(reply to this comment
From weegirlie
Tuesday, March 15, 2005, 06:17

Fuck off Joe!!! I can post whatever I wish, same as you!(reply to this comment
From sarafina
Tuesday, March 15, 2005, 08:29

Yes you can, I think he's pointing out that most of this has already been posted in other areas on here before so your sort of repeating stuff we aready read and talked about.(reply to this comment
From weegirlie
Tuesday, March 15, 2005, 08:38


Well I don't have time to go through every single article that's been posted on here. I had a quick look and couldn't see it so I posted it and thought it was a laugh. In future I will remember to trawl every single post before daring to post and article on here. lol ;P(reply to this comment

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