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Getting Support : Speaking Out

The dark side of the light chasers

from Eva St John - Monday, November 21, 2005
accessed 2216 times

Benz and Lisa wrote me comments below the ‘FBI Investigates Coast Sex Cult’ article which I ended up replying to and addressing at length, and realized it would be best to post it as a separate article. It’s about the concept of ‘not fighting TF’ but ‘just living and letting live’, and Paul and Joy Hardington (TF leaders/spokespersons) apparently being ‘nice people’.

Benz’s Comment:


I know my comment is going to draw disapproval from whoever but I think it's only fair to say that Paul and Joy Hardington took my sister in when she had nowhere else to go and had just given birth to my niece & for that I'm grateful. I'd also like to say I do think on the whole that Paul & Joy stand out in TF as good parents to their kids.

Whilst I don't agree with what they believe and I have to deal with the trauma of growing up in TF I am able to separate my past experiences from the behaviour and attitudes Paul & Joy do show to their own kids.

I wish Paul would take a further stand against Berg and Zerby etc, & I do think that things should improve in the sense that they should assimilate more into the community, but to me the fact is there comes a point where we have to live & let live & I wonder whether fighting extremism with complete rejection is really going to achieve a positive outcome.

I know that without the persecutions and raids TF would have never changed in the past, us kids who went to victor camps etc owe alot to people like you who spoke out. I just wonder if there is now a possibility for other ways of achieving success and eventually justice, if people like Paul were willing to talk without feeling attacked would that change anything? - Maybe I'm wrong to think this way, I don't know.

My Reply:
‘Paul & Joy stand out in TF as good parents to their kids’.

I’m sure Paul and Joy genuinely love their children as most parents do, and that they are capable of acts of kindness toward others, otherwise they would barely be human. (The question begs to be asked: Why was your sister giving birth all alone with nowhere to go in the first place, hmmm?) I’m sure the Hardingtons also believe that they ‘sincerely mean well’ in their deluded state. Many despots that have gone down in history as humanity’s greatest criminals have also been loving and doting fathers who were generous and considerate towards those they favored (or deemed ‘worthy’ of their favor), and yet they were also capable of committing horrific acts against, and ordering the mass torture and slaughter of, those they deemed ‘unworthy’. Hitler even considered himself to be a good man who was just misunderstood by those who were ‘less enlightened’.

As human behavioral scientists have proven through countless psychological tests, this is the inherent danger in the concept of ‘self-generated and self-informed sincerity’ and the notion of ‘exclusive entitlement’. It is the poison pill of all religiosity, cultural pride and fixed ideology – (Christian fundamentalism included). The idea being that if an individual believes absolutely in their chosen deity, guru or ideology, and they feel totally genuine and sincere in their own ‘good intentions’ and ‘well-meaningness’, that this somehow ‘entitles’ them and makes them ‘more worthy’ than others who are deemed ‘less enlightened’, ‘less sincere’, ‘less saved’, ‘less blessed’ and therefore ‘less worthy’. Then, no matter how much they may intellectually agree with ‘equality to all’, etc, this subtle sense of exclusive entitlement will inevitably cause them to justify engaging in – or standing by and allowing – the use of any means deemed necessary to arrive at a hoped-for ‘righteous’ end, even if it means lying, deceiving, conning, abusing, exploiting, manipulating, bullying, preying upon, slandering, etc. This is the dark side of the light chasers.

I’m sure P&J are also generally a ‘good sample’ as far as Family parents go, otherwise they wouldn’t have been placed in the position of ‘frontmen’ and spokespeople for TF. – I mean, for goodness sakes, they’re ‘getting paid’ to be a ‘good sample’, so to speak. And I’m sure they are likable enough people under favorable conditions. This doesn’t change the fact that they are also acting as con artists and liars - and are virtual avatars of the art of ‘deep denial’. For many years now they have been knowingly and blatantly lying and conning the public, the media, the courts, academics, child welfare authorities, their underlings, their own children, and themselves in regards to just how all-encompassing, manipulative and conscience-numbing Berg’s and Zerby’s indoctrination was/is, and how widespread these ‘few isolated cases of abuse’ were/are, and how incredibly damaging the kind of upbringing Berg and Zerby have condoned for TF’s thousands of children truly has been.

“I wish Paul would take a further stand against Berg and Zerby etc”.

Huh? When have they ever taken a stand against Berg and Zerby? If they truly had, they certainly wouldn’t be in the position of ‘leaders and spokespersons’ who are quite literally standing in place of Berg and Zerby to the public as their ambassadors and representatives. If nothing else, they are guilty of conspiring with, representing, aiding, abetting and covering for a global religious crime ring (clothed in a lofty ideology) which is being led by, and is harboring, pedophiles and child abusers. And as such, they must be inwardly ‘in sync’ and in sympathy with these perpetartors, otherwise their own conscience would prevent them from continuing to conspire with them, cover for them, and hide their crimes. So no matter how ‘genuine and sincere’ they may personally feel or act towards those in their favor, the bottom line is they are still ‘sweet, smiling predators’ under the psychic control of an external ‘commanding entity’ whom they have given over all their power to.

“ me the fact is there comes a point where we have to live & let live & I wonder whether fighting extremism with complete rejection is really going to achieve a positive outcome.”

The only way we’re going to be able to heal ourselves and our world is to ultimately, on a very personal level, completely reject all human-contrived, ideological extremism. ‘Personally rejecting’ though, is quite different from ‘fighting’ extremism. “Fighting extremism’ is just another form of extremism. But I don’t see what we are doing here as free-thinking, free-talking ex members as ‘fighting TF’, as some do. Telling the truth publicly isn’t ‘fighting’, it’s just ‘being honest in public’. It’s just that the truth happens to have a very destructive quality when it comes up against delusion and deception. That can’t be helped, but it doesn’t consist of ‘fighting’. One only needs to fight when one has something to defend. Telling the truth is not ‘defending’ anything, it’s just telling the truth. TF has to ‘fight’ because they have so many illusions, and lies, and denials, and perpetrators to defend.

I don’t ‘hate’ TF members. I understand why they are the way they are and why they’re in such denial. Mind control is real, no matter how much TF and other cults and their few uninformed, duped academic cronies deny it. It’s been studied, written about and practiced at length on the masses by the CIA and many scientists, governments and corporations for the past 50 years. TF is just a concentrated microcosm of the macrocosmic sickness that is the global ‘pecking order culture’ of ‘power over others’ that we have today.

And whilst privately rejecting extremism in terms of endeavoring not to be personally influenced by it, on the philosophical level I’m completely okay with other people believing whatever they want to believe - just as long as it does not entail harming, exploiting, misleading and deceiving others. I’ve had many a fascinating conversation with extremists and fanatics of all kinds of ideologies and beliefs, and am quite happy to ‘live and let live’, knowing that ‘fanatic belief’ in something is just a stage in the evolution of individual human consciousness. But when you know of crimes being - or having been - committed against innocents in the name of some ideology, it is one’s duty as a human being to speak up and tell the truth about it - and to keep telling the truth about it in the face of all their denials, attacks and avoidance tactics - so that ultimately the perpetrators will be forced to face the facts, clean up their act and change, so that no more harm is done.

I am also all for not becoming vengeful or letting all this stuff take over your life. The most important thing is self care, self healing, getting on with your own life and – as you said – ‘living and letting live’ as much as possible. I am so not interested in TF or its future. There are so many other amazing things in this world to be interested in. I’m only really interested in balancing out all their lies and denials by telling the truth, for the sake of all the victims who have been damaged because of them.

Lisa’s Comment:
“I grew up with Paul and Joy and they have always treated me, my friends and family very well. Even once we left they where still supportive and helpful. I thought it took a lot of Paul to say, David Berg was wrong, and I know for me it meant a great deal. They were there when I was abused by one of the boys in our home and they stood up and made sure he was dealt with.”

I’m glad Paul’s ‘confession’ meant so much to you. It definitely represented a big rent in the TF’s ‘whitewashed façade’. But it might be wise to balance this out with the fact that he did say it when he was well-and-truly cornered, and the rest of the time he was still reeling off TF’s fabricated ‘party line’ on everything else.

Another very important point is that I have personally heard P&J publicly state that they have never seen or known of any instances of the sexual abuse of children in TF. And yet like every other FG in the 80’s, they too would have had their own copy of the Davidito book and ‘Heaven’s Girl’, and would have watched the strip-tease videos with little naked girls on them, and would have studied the ‘Last State’ and ‘Zac Attack’ letters and the hundreds of other missives which were quite literally institutionalizing the abusive treatment and exploitation of thousands of innocent children and teens in TF.

And now here you are saying that Paul and Joy Hardington were personally involved in ‘dealing with’ your own sexual abuse which was obviously happening directly under their noses as Family supervisors.

So this proves that they are publicly lying and covering for themselves and TF and its twisted teachings. The fact that they knew how to ‘act lovingly’ while going into ‘damage control’ and doing a bunch of ‘counseling’ and ‘praying’ and possibly punishing or moving the perpetrator elsewhere, does not let them off the hook as being co-conspirators with, and condoners of, the ultimate perpetrators of all these crimes against the SG’s, their beloved Berg and Zerby.

Tell me, did they report your abuse to the Police or the child welfare authorities? Are you aware that if they didn’t, that that is a crime in itself? If the perpetrator was a minor, was he taken to any form of professional counseling outside TF? Were you offered any form of professional counseling? And did P&J investigate thoroughly where this SG could have learned such behavior, and dig deep into the source of the problem? If they didn’t do all these things then they were guilty of gross dereliction of duty as supervisors in anyone’s books.

Remember, Australia’s Governor General was publicly sacked for having not reported a sexual abuse case in the past while he was a church clergyman. He instead ‘dealt with it internally’ and then ‘covered it up’. This act is considered a crime. Why? Because it sends a message to abusers that they will only ever get their hand slapped if they’re caught, so they continue with their abusing. I would be interested to know if the boy who abused you has re-offended since. It would not be surprising.

Reader's comments on this article

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from ESJ
Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 14:40

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?)
A ‘PS’ to Benz and Lisa,

I realize that on a personal level my replies to you may come across as a little brash and insensitive in regards to your own feelings and your own experiences. My apologies if anything stated above made you feel uncomfortable. For instance, Lisa, I feel sure you probably would not have wanted to get the Police or child welfare authorities involved in your sexual abuse experience. Most victims don’t. And the boy involved was also in many ways an innocent victim of TF’s upbringing and environmental entrainment and does not deserve to be ‘singled out’ or embarrassed any further. I have a great deal of sympathy for those boys from TF who are in danger of being accused of ‘abuse’ because of growing up in a highly sexualized environment and not realizing it was wrong – or at least not realizing the full implications of their behavior.

I have written the above as a ‘public reply’ knowing that TF leadership and media and govt investigators are also reading this stuff, not just you guys, which is why I’ve gone ‘gung ho’ on really making the point.. Had I been replying to you strictly on a personal, private basis, I would be a lot more personally understanding – and a lot less verbose. I do understand the confusion one feels when someone appears to be a genuinely good, nice person, and yet they’re also guilty of major wrong doing.

Love IS the most important thing, but real love is not simply a show of ‘sweetness and niceness’ and covering things over. Real love is seeing the truth about a situation and the people involved – and telling the truth, and acting according to your convictions. In the big oicture, love and truth are synonamous. But like lancing a boil, telling the truth can be messy. Puss goes everywhere and now you’ve got an open wound for a little while, but it’s the only way to create the conditions for healing. The first step on the path to self healing is to a) tell yourself the truth, and then b) tell others the truth, then one can truly move on.

(reply to this comment)
From Benz
Wednesday, November 23, 2005, 02:42



Thanks for your reply, I thought it was well written and relevant.

Personally, I can only speak from what I've seen for myself with regards to Paul & Joy. In the situation with my sister it was after she gave birth and needed to get out of a tough situation that Paul & Joy took her in for about 2 months until we could find a new place.

I'm sure others have had different experiences to my own, but I haven't heard of any serious abuses or crimes personally. I take on board what you've said & agree about the abusive levels of control and manipulation that are endemic in TF's culture. - And this is where I believe a change has a chance of taking place, at the cultural level. I truly think that the more contact TF has with positive segments of society that a cultural change will take place.

I want more than anything for certain people in TF to be brought to justice and sentenced for their crimes. I also think that if those in TF were to realise that this was for their own good, that beginning on a cultural level it would eventually bring about a positive change for the group.

You talk of Hitler, let me talk of Gorbachev and the clever introduction of democratic ideas in to the USSR. Once democracy has been achieved, & it is democratic freedom and freedom from suppressive superstition that we desire, then the rest, including the search for justice may be more achievable.

I think we both want roughly the same think, however ideologically we differ on how that change may be brought about. I think in time it will be a mixture of the two.


(reply to this comment

From ESJ
Wednesday, November 23, 2005, 07:08


I totally agree. In fact your comment inspired me to explore the subject a little more deeply. So I've actually reposted your comment here and my reply to it in the 'Speak Your Peace' section, under the heading 'Good cop, bad cop. Which one are you?'. So please go there to read my reply to you.

Cheers, Eva


What I'm trying to say is, what I think a lot of us ex members are doing in our relating to TF is playing the game of 'good cop, bad cop'. Some of us TF labels 'friends' and some of us TF labels 'enemies'. Some 'friends' are still entrenched in TF's mindset and aren't much use to anyone. Other 'friends' actually have their eyes open and are in agreement with the 'enemies' about what's really going down, but they see the solution as encompassing ongoing relationship with those members they've formed strong ties with.

In terms of personality types, the bad cops are the 'thinkers' and the good cops are the 'feelers'. To the thinker, principles are more important than relationships. To the feeler, relationships are more important than principles. Thinkers tend to view the interceding feelers as sentimental, wishy-washy cowards. And feelers tend to view the truth-telling thinkers as contrary, abrasive extremists. In reality both thinkers and feelers need each other for there to be balance. - Lovetruth. – (That's what I believe in now). ).

(reply to this comment

From lisa
Wednesday, January 04, 2006, 23:07

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?)
Dear Eva,
I have thought a lot about you since seeing you on 60 minutes, I have always been told that you where, deranged, angry, embittered, dangerous, and in general psychotic. In going back and reading everything I could find about you and that you had written I have come to see a different view someone who suffered someone who still does. Having grown up in the family, I always try and watch my reactions to things and question wether I really think that or I am just conditioned that way. I thought you raised some very valid points in the above post, but there are some things that bother me, so if you don’t mind I thought I’d just ask you straight out.
q In your statement on the you state : ‘Even though I was convinced we had 'the truth', I was almost always in trouble with the leaders for questioning TF policies and practices -especially in regards to the treatment of the children - and was labelled and scapegoated as a 'trouble maker' because of it.’
However I have heard from a ex-family SGA that your son used to try and ‘make love’ to her (I understand that he is in no way at fault having been taught this from a young age) and when she complained and you where asked to stop him, you replied, ‘ well fine if she doesn’t want to do it we’ll find some other sexy young girl too’ I have also heard that you where right into all of the family’s sexual doctrines, promoting and practicing them. By your own admission you allowed your son to have sex with an adult. I realize the pressure and indoctrination you where under, but its hard for me to accept you as a valiant spokesperson who only wants the truth and is ‘compelled to stand up and speak out publicly again on behalf of former child victims of TF in the presence of some government officials, duped 'experts' and the top Australian Family leaders’ when you where an active participant.
q ‘I have written the above as a ‘public reply’ knowing that TF leadership and media and govt investigators are also reading this stuff, not just you guys, which is why I’ve gone ‘gung ho’ on really making the point.. Had I been replying to you strictly on a personal, private basis, I would be a lot more personally understanding – and a lot less verbose’
On more then one occasion you have referred to the fact that you are using this site to make a statement, I thought this site was mainly for SGAs to share their experiences and to try and heal.

I have had this sitting on my computer for awhile now I wrote it all in one go and then just left it, partly because at that time it seemed a bunch of freaks got on with strange posts about you and I didn’t want to in any way seem to be supporting them but also because there didn’t seem to be a point. I have no idea what I want or what answers I’m seeking. Pretty much everything I’ve ever believed in has been proved false, I guess I feel that if I ask enough questions someone will say something that makes sense
Lisa(reply to this comment
From ESJ
Thursday, January 05, 2006, 04:38


Hi there, Lisa. These are very valid questions and I understand totally where you're coming from. Have just gotten back from holiday and am inundated with important emails and stuff to do, and am going away again tomorrow, so please bear with me, I will give you my thoughtful reply asap some time in the next couple of days. Till then, may happiness light your way.

Love, Eva(reply to this comment

From ESJ
Monday, January 09, 2006, 22:18


Hi again, Lisa.

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I've been super busy of late.

I have re-posted your above questions to me - along with some other ex SGA comments I wanted to address - in a separte article entitled 'Clearing The Air' under 'Speak Your Peace'. Please go there to read my reply to you. Hope it helps clarify some things for you. All the best,

Love, Eva(reply to this comment

From Writers ass
Thursday, January 05, 2006, 03:10


Dear Lisa

Did you study writing after you left TFI or whilst still in? Wondering if they let you study with all the new freedom that they have in place.(reply to this comment

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