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Getting Real : Speak your peace

My Manifesto

from cic - Tuesday, January 03, 2006
accessed 1214 times

Hi to all of you who like me have survived The Family.......

My name is Michael.

I am a former involuntary member of The Family, that is I was born into the group, its lifestyle, doctrine, and abuse.

For the first decade of my life in The Family, The Family was my life and my truth. I didn't comprehend that there was a whole other, different world out here.

I suspected something wasn't right in my world ever since I can remember and I intuitvely but blindly struggled with these feelings.

When I was about 10 years old, I began to realise and discover a whole other world outside The Family. There was something that The Family was trying to hide and I could see and understand this.

In my heart I sincerely and dearly hoped that it was a better, safer place in which to grow up. I imagined simple things like "School", "A job", "Friends", but never understood what they meant. I remember laying in bed dreaming of my earliest ambitions which was to get a job pumping gas at a gas station whilst going to school. It seemed so simple then.....

Trying to realise my modest dreams and ambitions was harder than I could have ever dreamed. I had to fight through punishments and retraining for 5 years - My own private purgatory right at the doorsteps of hell. The violence and abuse which was a cornerstone of my daily existence in The Family ever since I can remember increased exponentially.

Miraculously, they let me leave The Family. Deeming me an incorrigible bad apple, a CRO (Continental Roving Overseer) visited me and tried to tame my restless hurting soul. Achieving no effect - they let me leave.

I left The Family, entering a world I had never known alone at 15. I was angry, in pain, bitter, confused and alone. I felt like an alien from Mars.

I soon found out that the hardest times of my life were still in front of me as I slowly discovered about the realties of life in this world and about life in The Family.

I learned about the basic human and child rights that are legally accorded to all humans in human society, and I began to awaken to the reality of the horrible, wrong and illegal practices that constituted my life in The Family.

I have spent the last 13 years of my freedom dealing with the realisations, effects and disadvantages that are a direct result of my life in The Family.

Having been abused emotionally, sexually and physically for most of my life and lacking some of the most basic educational foundations, I have had my hands full dealing with the emotional, psychological and physically scars of a life growing up in The Family.

My memories will never leave me - I won't let them - they are a precious part of what is me.

I am delighted and encouraged at finding this meeting place of other people like me.

I am glad that at last I am truly not alone

Reader's comments on this article

Add a new comment on this article

from bohostudios
Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 22:12

Average visitor agreement is 1 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Hi, My Name is Stephan
Im an Inderpendant Film Maker. I'm currently making A documentary about the The Family/Children Of God or known now as the Family International.
I'm looking for ex members willing to help.Im an Inderpendant Film Maker. I'm currently making A documentary im looking for people to be interviewed for movie and also to get involved.
I know its a alot to ask but i really belive in this film a getting this story out in the open.
If U can Let Me know where i can contact some people for interview can u please let me know.
I live in Melbourne...
If u need any more information aout this please ask...
Stephan James contact me me at

(reply to this comment)
from Jonni
Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 19:21

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?)

Nice one dude

know what you mean i grew up in a different cult but what the hey different cult same old junk. Lots of abuse of different kinds. i found this site really great its wierd how people form different places and different groups even with different beliefs experience the same feelings about getting out, adjusting and dealing with issues from the past. Believe me theres lots of us out there.

think the site is great. :-)
(reply to this comment)

from Fish
Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 09:10


Welcome to the fold. PTL!

(Vlad Teppes speaking:)There is more joy in MovingOn over one ex cultist, than for the ninty and nine who seek not exness.
(reply to this comment)

From AndyH
Thursday, January 05, 2006, 12:19

Thats fuckin brilliant, I hope you don't mind if use it.(reply to this comment
From Jerseygirl
Thursday, January 05, 2006, 05:25

That was a cackle dude--thanks(reply to this comment
from SeanSwede
Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 23:55


We welcome you! It took me years to find a site like this one. I now have been able to get in contact with old friends and now I feel alot better knowing that most of them are still alive and kicking. Although quite a few of my old friends have fallen. They live on in our memory in all of our hearts and minds may they rest in eternal peace and slumber. I feel that we are all brothers and sisters who have so much in common. We few, we band of brothers and sisters.
(reply to this comment)

from Aaron
Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 22:05


Did you live in TX?

Is you last name Hislop?

(reply to this comment)

From cic
Tuesday, January 03, 2006, 22:17


Hi Aaron,

Yes I lived all over texas from 1991 to 1993.

My last name is Hislop, first name Michael. I have a younger brother named Vinny as well.

(reply to this comment

From Aaron
Wednesday, January 04, 2006, 09:01


We have to talk bro.

We lived in the Seleh home w/ red barn etc. in a Victor program?

Look at my pic to see if you recognize!

Aaron(reply to this comment

From cic
Wednesday, January 04, 2006, 11:42


Hi Aaron,

Its a small small world isn't it?

I was in the Selah home in Dallas/Fort Worth for about a year most of it in retraining. What a place?

Who were your parents? Did you have any brothers or sisters?

We should have a more indepth conversation, perhaps you would feel more comfortable contacting me at

I look forward to hearing back from you.


(reply to this comment

from david_paddo
Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 21:57


Tried to call today. Hope you will see this comment or your email and phone me either at home or in my office. I will try again tomorrow (Sydney time) on the number you emailed me. Thinking of you my friend at this truly difficult moment for you.

(reply to this comment)
from ESJ
Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 21:19

Thanks for sharing your story and your strength of spirit Michael, welcome aboard!
(reply to this comment)
From cic
Tuesday, January 03, 2006, 22:19



Thanks for your welcoming comment.

Your name isn't Eva St John is it?

(reply to this comment

From ESJ
Wednesday, January 04, 2006, 00:48

Yup.(reply to this comment
From ESJ
Wednesday, January 04, 2006, 01:00

BTW, the name Hislop sounds really familiar to me. What are your parents names (especially the names they were going by in the 80's)? I think I might know you, or at least your parents.(reply to this comment
From cic
Wednesday, January 04, 2006, 11:34


Hi Eva,

I am really happy to have made contact with you again.

My name is Michael. We came into contact several years ago through the agency of Ann Howard regarding legal actions and avenues of reddress in Australia. (Wood Royal Commission, Mcabe Brown, Crown Solictors etc...)

I talked with with you and your son by phone once of twice whilst I believe that you were in the Gold Coast.

I spent a while yesterday reading about some of your exploits in Australia over the last few years on and found myself livid over the absurb and inaccurate comments some ignorant individuals were making about you and your family.

You have my support and good wishes

I would really like to have a more in depth conversation with you in the near future regarding my continuing attempts for reddress and other actions in the works.

Perhaps you could send me an email to and we can take it from there in a more confidential mode.

Take care

Michael(reply to this comment

From Ne Oublie
Wednesday, January 04, 2006, 04:16


Any relation to Ian Hislop?

(Brits will get it)(reply to this comment

From cic
Wednesday, January 04, 2006, 11:35



No relation to Ian Hislop that I am aware of.

Take care(reply to this comment

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