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What Will It Take?

from Genty - Thursday, February 10, 2005
accessed 1282 times

What will it take for Karen & other leaders to acknowledge their wrongdoings?

Each day that passes since the tragedy surrounding the death of Ricky & Angela, there is only one thought in my mind. How long will it be before the leadership of the Family finally admits to the fact that they were wrong? How many people will have to take their lives and how many of us will have to speak out before they acknowledge that there were crimes committed? It makes no difference that these crimes were committed years ago, THEY WERE STILL CRIMES.

In society there are people constantly being tried for their past wrongdoings. It makes little difference that they’ve changed their ways, the things that they did were wrong. Time cannot erase the effects of what they’ve done. I’m reminded of when they tried people for persecution of the Jews in WWII. They were old men and the crimes that they had committed were 50 years ago! It does not change the fact that justice had never been served.

They will only be able to brush us off as detractors and apostates for so long. I pray with all my heart that the time will come where Karen and her band of loyal followers can no longer run and blame it on a few people here and there. The people that did these things were following the direct teachings of David Berg. Just because they longer practice those teachings, they still believe them. I recall Karen saying that if it wasn’t illegal they’d still be doing it!

Now if anyone reads this that is still in the cult, I have somewhat to say unto thee. Karen repeatedly says that many of us were happy in TF and that it’s only since leaving and being exposed to negative literature etc. that we’ve become antagonistic or what have you. I can only speak for myself, but I believe there are many others that will share my point of view.

In my case I did change a lot after leaving TF, but I believe I have a plausible explanation for that. Many of us were born in TF and being born in TF is like being born on an alien planet. From the moment we took our first breath we were trained to be Berg’s little soldiers. It’s like being Jim Carrey in “The Truman Show”. He thought his world was reality when it was just a bubble, and the directors tried so hard to keep him from finding out that there was more, a real world. So naturally when you find out that there is a whole world and that God is not going to judge you for leaving the little bubble, it has quite an impact on who you are.

Every one that I know that has left went through a long and difficult transition period. We felt like aliens, like little kids alone in the world. We were never taught how to look for work, or do our taxes; most of us didn’t even know how to drive! Normal things that every one takes for granted that the whole world does, we had never done. I personally was 27 when I left, and I did not have the faintest idea what I was doing.

So, yes, we’ve changed since we left. We’ve learned to be who WE are, not little Berg clones running around. And yes we’ve changed; we’ve realized that we were abused and that not everyone in the world grew up having sex since they were little kids.

In response to the second generation Family spokespeople who stated that if there was all this abuse how come they weren’t abused and how come their friends weren’t and blah blah blah. Well, you were probably too young. I believe that most of the children that were abused in the Family were the older ones, the ones born in the early to mid 70’s. We were the guinea pigs so to speak.

Finally, as far as whether or not abuse still goes in the Family…absolutely. Perhaps it’s no longer physical abuse, but it’s mental, psychological and emotional abuse. I believe it’s wrong to tell a person that getting a proper education means that they’re lusting for things of the world. It’s wrong for children to grow up thinking that having a job and supporting your family legitimately is forsaking God’s work. We live in the world that we live in. Regardless of the fact that they think they’re “God’s elite troops”, they still live in the same world that every one of us lives in. To not prepare a child for life as we know it, to not teach them about the basics of life, is wrong.

In closing I’d like to say that I think we need to honor Ricky by continuing to do what we can to bring these people out of their hiding places and in to the light. We all know what happened to us and how messed up our heads are after all that we went through. We need to keep on standing up and speaking so the world can hear us. I believe with all my heart that someday, justice will be done.

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from Banshee
Friday, February 11, 2005 - 11:10

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?)
You make an excellent point, Genty, and a very important one, IMO. One of TF’s key “defenses” right now is about how much Ricky “changed” once he left TF, and only started claiming abuse since hooking up with some ex-members. TF tries to promote the idea that these abuse stories surface only after SGs leave, thinking it demonstrates that they are fabricated. They need to be called out on this nonsense!

For starters, as Jules proved in her very excellent article, Ricky had already, and for quite some time, taken issue with TF policies and practices. Even their own words betray them, as evidenced by the GN they published years ago, citing some of Ricky’s “doubts”.

How very similar our stories are. Any question or challenge was taken as a “doubt” or disloyalty, and immediately punished in one form or another. (Yes, you inordinately indoctrinated current members, having to read Mo Letters for 5 straight hours IS punishment! Cruel and unusual, at that.) So most of the time, we would just stop bringing things up. Basic cause and effect.

Just as Genty said, leaving TF doesn’t change you. It FREES you to be yourself; to grow into the individuals we were meant to be. Leaving gives us the freedom to at last—albeit belatedly—be ourselves.

Their other absurd smokescreen is the fraudulent promotion that these abuse stories just start popping up once we leave. For me, this is one of the most maddening notions that they have come up with. The biggest problem, as I see it, is the simple definition. They all believe that what happened to us was not abuse. These SG “spokespeople” make statements for the media, saying, “I was not abused.” If they get asked, “Where you ever abused?” without fail, they answer a resounding “No.” Yet, if you were to ask that same person if an adult had ever touched them sexually….or if they had ever been beaten to bruising…or if they had ever been denied food…or been put on silence restriction for weeks…I know that they could not—with a clear conscience, anyway—continue to answer in the negative.

So that right there is pretty much the biggest barrier to us getting an apology, confession or admission of guilt. And, really, as long as they continue in the frame of mind that those things that happened were not “real” abuse, there will be no dialogue. In the recent statement by Kelly, he finagles and maneuvers his way around the issue until it comes out sounding like it’s completely us, the exmembers, who are obstructing any type of peace talks. Oh, wait. He wasn’t subtle about it at all. He just flat-out blames us. But the truth of the matter is, until we are reading the same dictionaries, there will never be an acceptance. There will never be a meeting, half-way or otherwise.

But aside from definitions and learning to speak English, their claims that these stories are just only now surfacing is absolutely infuriating! And in-right, out-right, up-right, down-right lies. (Sorry, sometimes I can’t help myself.) From what I understand from Porceleindoll’s article and poll, of 125 who responded, 85 of them actually reported, to some position of authority or another, abuse. That’s nearly 70%. That number certainly doesn’t sound like a suddenly sprouting epidemic of stories. That sounds more like a criminally methodical cover-up.

I was certainly in that percentage. I tried to talk to my parents, my shepherds, and the leaders. I even wrote to Zerby once….*Pauses so everyone can join with me in my fit of hysterical laughing at my stupidity* For my efforts, I got put in programs, lots of “Word Time” (there’s that cruel and unusual punishment again), and lots and LOTS of talks from leaders and shepherds (yes, WAY worse than “Word Time”!) all about how I’m just bitter and self-righteous and so on and so forth. I can only imagine everyone else’s version is at least as bad.

Thanks for this article, Genty. Sometimes, even if you know logically that it will never happen, it’s good to hope that one day our stories will be heard and believed. Hopefully we can continue to do that for each other, if nothing else.

(reply to this comment)
from analysis of variance
Friday, February 11, 2005 - 06:13

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 do not believe Zerby, Smith & other top leaders responsible for implementing Berg's doctrines as child abuse will ever admit they made a mistake. To do this, they would have to admit they are criminals. Beyond the basic need for self-preservation, Zerby & Company do not believe what they did is wrong is because they lack the capacity to accurately perceive and understand (empathize with) the perspective of those who were so negatively affected by the Family's child-rearing practices.

Over and over I am struck by the extent to which Zerby is completely incapable of seeing other human beings as anything other than malleable objects. By that I mean, Zerby cannot conceive that other humans have a capacity for self-determination that cannot be directly controlled by her or her enemies.

Zerby's interpretation of Ricky's actions are an excellent example. According to Zerby, Ricky did not choose to act of his own free will as a consequence of his own thoughts, feelings & perceptions. No, according to Zerby & Smith, Rick's ability to choose a course of action was manipulated by her detractors and apostates, and he acted as a consequence of their negative influence. As "proof" for her implicit theory of human behavior, she talks about how loving and kind and gentle Ricky was when he was under her influence and control.

Zerby-Smith cannot conceive that other human beings act as a consequence of an inner locus of control, that they make choices as a consequence of their own perceptions & conclusions and not as a consequence of external forces such as demons, angels, or leaders.
(reply to this comment)

From xolox
Friday, February 11, 2005, 08:49

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?)

You make an excellent point. However I think you missed something.

They have already admited to criminal behaviour, for them to recognize their actions as such is not necessary. When Zerby & Co. admit to performing these actions in love they admit to something which is illegal. Their motive "love" becomes irrelevant in the face of their admission. The law does not become unbroken simply because they are missguided. (reply to this comment

from Haunted
Friday, February 11, 2005 - 05:49

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?)
Genty, using the "Truman Show" in the way that you did was a very eloquent analogy. This is precisely why they cannot understand why we have "come to realise" we were abused. We knew nothing else!
(reply to this comment)
from melzar
Friday, February 11, 2005 - 01:47

Right on, girl!
(reply to this comment)

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