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Getting Support : Speaking Out

why can't they understand?

from Haunted - Wednesday, January 26, 2005
accessed 1990 times

It's sad....

I read the following article on

To whom it may concern,

My name is Kendra Levenberg and I am a twenty six year old ex-member of The Family. I left the group in the latter part of 1999 and while I have many of my own issues with the group and many of its members and policies, I remain on friendly terms with some. These include members of my own personal family – my parents and five of my siblings – as well as a few members of my generation whom I was friends with while still in the group. Ike and Crystal are two of these members. I met Ike and Crystal in Istanbul, Turkey in the summer of 1999. I was visiting my family who were in Turkey and they were living with my parents at that time.

We became instant friends. They had one son then, Chad. He was (and still is) a wonderful little boy who was loved by all. Crystal became pregnant with her second child while I was there and the next time I saw them, back in the United States, they had a lovely little girl, Shannon.

Over the last few years I have remained good friends with Ike, Crystal, and their children and I love them all dearly. What I have always respected about Ike and Crystal is their sincere desire to serve God and others. They too were raised in The Family’s early days, when life was hard on those of us who were young children. Instead, however, of becoming disillusioned and bitter, as they grew older, they took all that was good and wonderful and used that to create a life of love and happiness.

This is why I have managed to remain friends with them even after I left the group. They do not judge me for my choices (as many present members do) and by the same token, I am able to respect their decision to remain in the group.

Before I continue, I want to state for the record that this is in no way, shape, or form, an endorsement of The Family as a whole. I myself endured many things as a child that I would not wish on anyone. However, it is precisely for these reasons that I feel obligated to write this statement. While countless wrongs were suffered by many children of my generation, the children of today (and as far back as the last 15-20 years) are cared for in spectacular ways. They are, without a doubt, happy, healthy, and loved.

Ike and Crystal are wonderful parents and would do anything for their children. Chad and Shannon are proof of this love. They are smart, loving, well-adjusted kids who love their parents dearly. These children should not have to suffer for the wrongs of many years ago. They should be left alone to grow and learn and love and embrace all that this world has to offer. I hope that this letter, is some small way, can help to ensure just that.

Sincerely yours,
Kendra Levenberg

Kendra Levenberg is a second-generation former member of the Family International.

end of article

Kendra, and others like you, this is exactly what we are trying to say!

No-one of us should have to suffer for the mistakes and abuse perpetrated by the First Generation! Not me, not you, nor your children or mine!

We don't want anyone to suffer ANYMORE! This is why we are ONLY accusing those directly responsible for our individual abuses.

All we're saying is what you have stated in this letter, that abuse DID happen and it happened well into the '90's.

Please, can't you understand that?

Reader's comments on this article

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from nameless
Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 16:49

Ike and Chris might be great people but that didn't stop them from voting me and my newborn out of their home with no place to go and 300 dollars in my pocket... I don't hold it against them though, as their decision was what made me want to leave the family. I guess u can say I owe them...
(reply to this comment)
from ErikMagnusLehnsher
Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - 10:56


I think TF leadership must be playing the "raid" card. If I were unfamiliar with this site and TF tactics and were honestly concerned about some of my friends still in TF having their Homes raided and their kids taken by protective services I might be persuaded to write a similar letter urging constraint but I would issue a stronger statement condemning TF leadership due to their lack of honesty, accountability and sincere interest in justice.

The stance of TF leadership is indefensible which is why they will continue to try to hide in the shadows and squirm away from the real issues through deception, misdirection and intimidation. They are shamelessly playing to the fears of the average SGA family who has concerns about their kids being taken away.

Folks, these are desperate, desperate actions and some Family Members will see that either now or later. In some dark room, somewhere in the world a consigliere is honestly informing Mama and Peter what can be summed up in 3 words: "It is over."

There is simply no way Mama and Peter can satify the demands to honestly come clean and admit to their facilitation and promotion of doctrines that were clearly abusive to children and teenagers and still retain the respect and adulation of their flock as well as keep law enforcement off their front porch.

Either they continue to lie, deny and obfuscate or they face the music. History teaches us that people of this nature seldom walk away from this kind of power. They are going to fight.

Eventually (and probably sooner rather than later) whatever legal coaches are in their corners are going to throw in the towel for them and they'll look up from the floor of the boxing mat, dazed and in denial and hear the same 3 words again: "It is over."

Note: Any references to fighting, boxing or violence are figurative in nature.

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