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Getting Real : Speak your peace

One must do what he or she must

from JustinM - Sunday, February 04, 2007
accessed 1201 times

The ends justify the means (Ricky Rodriguez you did what was right).

I am strong, have a good career, and take responsibility for my actions but my hat's off to anyone who is against the Family! And I will do what I must to ensure no other children are abused in the name of God! The ends justify the means! Thank you Ricky Rodriguez. You did what you must because at the end no one should be abused or treated without respect no matter what you are! I have 2 daughters and they will never grow up the way we did!!!!! (1024 – I am sure some of you know what that number means).

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from vacuous
Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 19:42

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?)

While the idea of vindicitive pleasure or "schadenfreude" may be offensive to those who believe that it can never be right to take pleasure in the sufferings of others at the same time it is often deemed intolerable to many victims of crime to see the perpetrator continuing to live freely in pursuit of his/her own happiness, while the victims who were wronged have been impoverished and suffer as a result of the wrongdoing. Punishment of the wrongdoer is seen to help rectify the disparity, and help restore moral equilibrium. From this standpoint of distributive justice, the repellent disproportion between the circumstances of the wrongdoer and those of his victim can at least be reduced to some degree by the punishment of the wrongdoer. While inflicting suffering on an offender is not "good in itself", single acts cannot be judged simply "in themselves" with no concern for context. Personal sadness is not "good in itself", but when in response to the sufferings of another it has a unique appropriateness. Gladness, while considered good in itself would be unfitting in this context.

In this way while deliberately inflicting suffering on a human being is not good in itself some people may find it justified as a component of an intrinsically good complex so long as it can be proven that the punishment inflicting this suffering has made a complex situation better than it would be otherwise by adding the offenders suffering to it.

This is the basis of the "grievance morality" of so-called nonvindictive retributivists (such as Kant and Hegel). Those of this persuasion show empathy for what Ricky did.
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From OMFG!
Sunday, February 11, 2007, 20:21

You mean the intensely christian Kant (whose Christianity would satisfy even the Prof. James Chancellors of the world if they were more Christian than Bootlickers) was a nonvindictive retributivist?(reply to this comment
From OMFG!
Sunday, February 11, 2007, 20:23

-- as a folow-up, Kant's idea of faith, which was not to be wilfully blind but rather to be extremely brave (if you so chose) compared to TF's is quite intellectually stimulating. See his version of the "leap of faith".(reply to this comment
from JustinM
Friday, February 09, 2007 - 18:04

Man I really started a S^&$ but desperate times call for desperate action, and one must not stand by and take the abuse, rape and torment without at some point in time ensuring Justus is dealt either by the laws of the country or…well I think I will stop at that… I would hate to offend some of you who I bet would do the same thing if you were pushed as hard as he was!! But Justus is Justus and by him taking his own life perhaps he felt that, that was the Justus he deserved for taking another life...but who the heck knows…
(reply to this comment)
from Angela was no saint
Friday, February 09, 2007 - 11:22

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 am not going to comment on the morality or what Ricky did. To each their own opinion. We certainly are entitled to that. I do think it is important to remember that reguardless of what Angela may or may not have physically done to Ricky. She was in the home and she did nothing to question or stop his abuse. In fact I do believe she helped type and edit the Dito book.

We are adults here some of us have children and some of us do not. As adults we have the moral obligation of reporting an abuse or stopping abuse. How many of you, of us would see what was happening to Ricky, or another child and do nothing? To stand by and be silent while he is suffering. Angela is no hero. She is no maryter.

I don't honestly don't know what I would do now if I faced some of my abusers.

When I was 17 I came face to face with someone who had emotionally and physically abused me, not molested me. My first thought was fear beyond comprehention, my second thought was I am big enough to kill her now if I have to. That is a scary thought. It was involuntary and unprovoked but it showed the level of fear I had. I hope that now I could react as an adult and not a scared child but I don't know.
(reply to this comment)

from madly
Friday, February 09, 2007 - 00:59

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?)
Wow… what a powerful, thought provoking subject that I feel can never be properly assessed or classified as a simple stating of right or wrong. I guess anyone might quickly judge, and easily so, because after all, murder is immoral and to simplify his actions as being only thus, would make it far too easy for anyone to hold the scales as such.

However, for me, I cannot decipher this chain of traumatic events, nor attempt to conclude it to be a simple case of lack of morality and vengeance. There is far too much involved, too much history, abuse, emotions, trauma, and sense of responsibility on his part, for me to ever determine or begin to understand what he bore and what drove him to his horrific end.

I will never forget how he said that he had tried to live a normal happy life, that he had really tried, but it wasn’t possible. He was in torment, perpetual torment, he needed to do something about the wrongs that he knew had gone unpunished and he made a choice, be it the right one or the wrong one, it was what he felt he had to do, in order to achieve peace and rectify the injustice that he had witnessed and could not forgive, forget, and let go, but not just for himself, but for all of us that suffered at the hands of TF. Who can judge this? I for one, choose not to.

To take a child, an innocent beautiful unknowing child, to abuse him, sexually, emotionally, to take away his very identity, and use him as the idea of the perfect ‘prince’, that every child should esteem themselves to be, and let him grow up watching others abused, tortured, all because of the evil beliefs and doings of his very own parents, his flesh and blood. To know that they were the cause of so much anguish, torment, rape, abuse, and to have to live with your name associated to such monsters, to know that you came from that, how can we even begin to understand such a burden, a weight that would be far too much for any one person to bear.

It may be easy for some to judge, but it will never be easy to fully understand what it meant to be Ricky. The life he was given, the curse fate gave him to carry, what a life and what a tragic shame. What he did may have been wrong, but I can never judge his actions, because all I can see is the little boy inside of him crying to be heard, to be loved, and to want to help all of us who had been hurt by his family. I see his pain, torment, and all I can feel is sadness and hatred for the cause of his heartache. Our pain and our torment was not his problem to bear, but he chose to bear it and it broke him, as it might anyone who had been given such a heart and such a life.

Ricky, I am sorry for your life, that you were given parents that did not love you, that you were abused, broken, and felt responsible for the shortcomings of your family, mistakes that you had no part in, and had no way of changing. Why did you have to be the one born to them, to have such a life was unspeakably harsh and unfair of fate to give you. I will never judge you and I will always remember and feel for you and your life. You are a beautiful soul and I hope that you have found the peace that could not be yours in life.
(reply to this comment)
from Oddman
Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 10:59

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?)
People who know me here already have a vague idea of where I stand on most issues. As such, I feel little need to spend many words stating that the following opinion is in no way meant to condemn Ricky for his actions. It doesn't aim to play fantasy football with what has already happened, and it certainly isn't meant to support lenience towards abusers and predators. I also don't mean to hurt or affect those who knew him personally or intimately. That said....

"The ends justify the means (Ricky Rodriguez you did what was right)."

I have to disagree with this comment. Personally, I think rapists should be surgically castrated (emasculated, desexed, evirated, whatever the correct terminology was). I also support capital punishment. But regardless of whatever factors were at play, whatever demons where placed there by whom, Ricky's actions could hardly be considered "right". I wouldn't categorize his actions as plain revenge, rather somewhere along the lines of the Samurai tradition of ada-uchi or honorable vengeance. Along with a personal vendetta, I sensed a twinge of remorse and a feeling of responsibility on his part. Of course, thanks to being some years younger, I didn't experience the level of abuse he did, being a common member, I didn't experience the rigid pressures on a prince figure or the level of abuse that he was subject to, and privy to. As such, I would be the least qualified to purport to know what emotions and thoughts were swirling through his mind, his soul, his very being. I could only approach this as a fact. Based on what I know, I form my opinion (not being in any position to judge) of his actions, and how they were "right" or "wrong".

Do the ends always justify the means? In a strange way, I suppose you could say it does. Throughout history, the winner has always set the rules. As such, it has been rare that the means have been questioned immediatetly after the ends were met. But it is also common throughout history that some generations later, the means by which those wonderful ends were achieved, are called into question. This is because every now and then, there is a new winner who will call into question the means of his predecessor. Sometimes through a dispute on whether those ends were right (as was the case with Hitler) and at times with no focus on the ends at all.

In a fight, I go all out. I'm not thinking twice about throwing that brick, because it's a do or die situation. My intended ends are to end an imminent threat to myself, and while a blow to the gut might be considered clean fight, it isn't likely to achieve my objective. If the means required to achieve the neccessary ends include poking his eye, kicking him below the belt, and using a weapon, then that's what I'll do. We all find ourselves in situations where we have little choice, or may feel we have little choice. But when we do take actions, there are consequences. It's part of the package. Society offers a certain amount of protections against the violations of what society deems to be our rights, and in turn, demands a level of compliance with the restrictions of other rights (or the non-recognition of rights).

I have no doubt that Ricky felt compelled to some degree, to take the course of action he did. On the other hand, portions of his actions appear random and uncalculated. A result of impulse and rage. I'd like to believe that had he had the opportunity to give his actions some more thought, he would have avoided the path he chose. I'd like to think that he felt some remorse for what he did. That he would not have encouraged someone else to do the same, had he found himself in a situation where he could have prevented someone else from acting as he did. I don't think (don't want to) that he had declared some blind jihad, and espoused violence as a means to end the evil that created the demons in him.

He has my respect, but I don't feel proud of his actions. I feel sorry. Not pity. Pain and sorrow, not very different from when my sibling died too soon for the world. Like then, I felt a loss. A loss of an emotional part of me, and a loss of such talent and value to the world. A loss of a good friend to many. A loss of happy moments that they would have brought to people in their lives. I feel pain trying to understand what experiences he had to go through to push him over the abyss. I'm sad that he could not find another way. I'm sad that he never got what I believe he really wanted. Reconciliation with his past. Acknowledgement from his abusers, regarding the abuse he suffered, and the scars those abuses left.

I'm not entirely against violence. There is a line I feel when crossed, warrants the unleashing of all the violent fury in the world. In fact, many battles against untolerably evil and oppression culminated in splashes of bright red blood. And yes, those ends maybe did justify the means. But I think it was premature for Ricky and TF.

Ricky suffered more, struggled more, and survived more than any of us. Ricky's death did bring media attention to the history of TF, and has no doubt prevented a good number of people from falling victim to TF in the future. This we do owe to him. I don't deny that. But at the end of the day, is it the blood of our abusers that we want? It is not rather the tears of repentance, the sweat of penance, the hardest words for any man to say. "I'm so sorry, I was so wrong. I hurt you. I wish I didn't. Tell me how I can set things right." I think that's what Ricky wanted, far more than any number of geriatric predator corpses.

Unfortunately, humans are too often evil. Too often, people will not repent. So long as they continue to pose a threat to others, (Which I still believe is the case with TF no matter how they may try to PR otherwise.) then that threat must be removed. At this point I do not feel it is at a point where the law cannot catch up with them. I don't wish any other second generation members would have to wash their hands of the blood of the first. I don't think Ricky would have truly wished for that either.

I'm going on and on, with so many thoughts in my mind. It's been for this reason that I haven't discussed Ricky too much on MO. I think it'll be a long time before I can think about this with one clear mind, minus all the confusion and turbulent emotions. I wish I could have been there that night, if only to say "If you die, we'd miss you too much. We'll be sad. Can't we try, just one more day? Can't death, the reaper, the grave, the silence, can't it all wait until tomorrow?".
(reply to this comment)

From Albatross
Thursday, February 08, 2007, 12:29

Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Ricky understood more than any of us ever will what type of people we are dealing with. The Family does not mourn for our many dead. I do not mourn for theirs. As to what Ricky did: There is no question that what he did was not legal. The question on the morality of his actions I think is far more subjective and is still open.(reply to this comment
From Grrrr
Thursday, February 08, 2007, 18:37

Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5(
How is killing a stand-in for Mom a moral action? If he'd killed his rapist mother, I might buy into your argument. As Oddman said, a portion of Rick's actions appear random and uncertain, the impulse of rage. THAT I understand on a personal, empathic level, but I can't rationalize it as moral behavior.(reply to this comment
From Think??
Thursday, February 08, 2007, 23:15

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(
Without discussing the "moral action" thing, this "stand-in for Mom" of which you speak was the eyes and ears of a vicious woman who would not have gotten to where she did without collaborators, conspirators. While not the floridly pervy author of the Dito Book, she can be considered, as the executive/personal assistand and BFF of the reptile Zerby, to have a greater complicity and involvement in the wholesale destruction of children than most women in history.(reply to this comment
From Grrrr
Friday, February 09, 2007, 06:21

When I think of all the reptiles in the Zerby-Berg household who have spent a lifetime passing as human, Angela seems relatively low in the feeding chain. But as you point out, I can't really appreciate what Rick knew about Angela's unique position in the dragon lady's coterie of cold-blooded predators. (reply to this comment
From Think??
Friday, February 09, 2007, 12:47

Yeah, well, unless you lived in their home, you only hear about the reptiles who were pushed forward into the cult's view. Certain ins and outs of managing her empire were quieter than her propaganda about raising her future slaves at large. (reply to this comment
From Albatross
Thursday, February 08, 2007, 20:20

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 gather that your reading of my comment was that I believe what Ricky did was a positive act. Please reread what I wrote. I did not say that his killing of Angela was a "moral action." I said "The question on the morality of his actions [...]is far more subjective and is still open." That means that it could be right, or wrong, or dependent on who one asks.

You asked, "How is killing a stand-in for Mom a moral action?" All I can say is that his action is sure to have a morality value attached to it. The value one attaches to it will of course vary depending on a number of factors. His actions could be viewed positively or negatively. I just don't think that there is a definitive consensus.

There are those who have stated that Ricky identified Sue/Angela as one of his abusers. If it is true that Angela indeed abused Ricky, then his actions (right or wrong) seem less "random and uncertain."(reply to this comment
From Grrr
Friday, February 09, 2007, 06:46


If I lived in a culture where revenge killing was condoned and normalized by a consensus of shared values, I could see how one might adopt a positive view of Rick's actions. But didn't Berg et al. make essentially the same argument for their sexual exploitation of children? In other words, they posit that a thing is not inherently right or wrong, it just depends on the meaning you attach to it. Therefore, fellating a toddler isn't wrong if everyone agrees it's an act of love that's beneficial to his/her development. What's wrong with this picture? If there are any moral absolutes, the most foundational principle of good and evil is this: It is objectively wrong to treat another human being as a personal object of utility. From that frame of reference, both Angela's & Rick's actions have a negative interpretation.

Am I still missing the point of your comments and the overall thread of discussion appropriate to this article? (reply to this comment

From Haunted
Thursday, February 08, 2007, 18:52


No-one said it WAS a moral action. Perhaps it is ambiguous because we all have felt the need for revenge of some kind and at some time, though the means we use to fulfill that need vary.

We've all cheered for literary heros who systematically destroy and then kill their nemesis (ie: The Count of Monte Cristo), thus when put into this perspective, we are left to debate the morality.

Do I agree in violent actions? The answer as I've said many times on here is no. However, I can understand the type of rage that can lead to them and I most certainly have no illusions as to where Ricky's came from - I think he made that clear to all of us. (reply to this comment

From Phoenixkidd
Thursday, February 08, 2007, 11:51


I feel much the same way as Oddman, as much as I love Ricky and admire his courage to finally leave his mother and that damned cult, he was no Hero. He murdered someone. If he was alive he would be serving a lifetime sentence. I list him though as a sad statistic of the damage anyone growing up so isolated with too much Religion can do. It really can do horrible things to someone. I admire all those especially those on the recent documentary that stood up against the cult and still try to continue and better themselves. I especially admire a lady living in San Diego who grew up in the cult and after 5 years of preperation finally was able to leave and take her children with her and is ardently trying to find her place and make enough money to survive in that ratrace we call home.

I'd rather be a rat chugging away at the system for my food than be chugging away for a cult leader. (reply to this comment

From Haunted
Thursday, February 08, 2007, 18:56

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?)
Common, you know you wnna say it: "I'd rather dwell in the tents of wickedness than be a doorkeeper in the house of the lord" - - LOL!!!(reply to this comment

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