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Getting Support : Been There, Done That

Do you feel stuck in the Family and want out?

from Jules - Wednesday, January 15, 2003
accessed 7288 times

An SG former member (who wishes to remain anonymous) sent me the following article with the suggestion that it be posted on this site.
I am not the author of this article, however, there are IMO, some good ideas in here for people who would like to leave the Family. I know it would have been helpful to me to have thought my own departure process through a little more.

This article has been posted for members currently in the Family who want to leave but feel trapped with no money, no place to go and no moral support in their decision making process. It is written with U.S. nationals in mind, taking into consideration that they are probably living in a far away land and haven’t been “home” for a very, very long time (if ever) and they are at least 18 years of age.

This advice is not intended for minors, nor for those who already have a plan of departure.

If you are still in the Family and are happy in the Family then stay there. You don’t want to be a story of someone that wished they hadn’t. But if you’re confused, unhappy and not really sure what you want, then chances are you are not dealing with “demonic doubts”, the truth is, you don’t belong in the Family. Most likely you feel confused because your gut instincts are telling you to get out but everything you’ve heard, read and experienced during your life has ingrained in you the idea that the Family is the highest will God has for you.

Leaving the Family offers no promises. Life out here isn’t a bed of roses. But for most people it sure as hell beats the manure pile. If you want to leave the Family make sure it’s because it’s what you want to do – not because that’s what everyone else is doing – then head out the door and never look back. Don’t let fear keep you from leaving.

If you feel like you’re trapped with no way out, here are a few things you can do to help make getting out of the Family that much easier.

1) Have a plan. It’s not entirely necessary to have thought out your moves in advance, but the general consensus seems to be that those that have had the luxury to plan and prepare for their departure have had it a lot easier in starting a new life for themselves once they’ve left the Family.

2) Make sure you have your travel documents (passports) in your control. If they are normally kept by someone else, get a hold of them long before you plan to walk out the door.

3) Decide where you want to move to and work out a place to stay in advance. If you have any relatives that might consider providing a roof over your head while you try to adjust to life in the real world, it might be worth giving them a call. If you have no relatives willing to take you in, perhaps you have friends that have already left who could help you with a place to stay. Unless you have somehow managed to accrue a large amount of money, arranging to have a roof over your head (provided by somebody you trust, not just a stranger or a home “contact”) will go miles in helping you to get yourself set up.

4) Get money together. How you go about this would depend entirely on your situation. If you’re a “fundraiser”, you can go through the motions of “moving” to another country or CRO area and arrange with your home to keep a percentage of everything you get according to the Charter policies. If you think you can get your money in 30 days or less, the Charter requires that you be allowed to keep a minimum of 50% (after tithe) of whatever you bring in.

An important note on the subjects of raising money and letting Family members know you want to leave: It would generally be wiser not to tell your Home or anybody else about your plans to leave the Family or to make any requests for money until you have already lined up a place to stay. Making as many arrangements before hand and taking your time to do it the way you want puts you in a much better negotiating position should the reaction to your decision be an extremely negative one.

Once you have decided that you want to leave the Family, try to remain in your home until you have all of the pieces of your puzzle in place. If you are living outside of your country of nationality and your aim is to get to your country of nationality (for instance if you are an American living in Thailand and you want to move to the States), try to remain in your home as long as it takes to arrange to make your move in one shot. If you leave your home prematurely and start working & living in (as per the example) Thailand in order to get money together to get to the States, chances are, you won’t make it for a very, very long time.

You have given the Family your life, the least they can do is pay your way home. If they can’t even do that it is a very strong indicator that they do not truly care about you. Some of the most austere counts indicate that WS is receiving over a million dollars each year in funding (mostly tithe money). Some people have heard Peter himself talking numbers larger than that. Peter and other top WS personnel are the ones who own the Family companies such as “Aurora”. Do not swallow the line that they don’t have the money to give you to get started. The money is there, they are simply using it for other things.

If you have no way to raise any money yourself, but are determined not to leave until you have enough cash to get you by, you can follow this route:

A) Write to Maria and Peter and explain your situation. Request your ticket fare plus a minimum of 6 months of living expenses. Don’t hold your breath. Chances are you won’t get anything from them. But the reason you’re asking is to have proof that you DID request it.
B) Ask your CRO office for money: Again, don’t hold your breath. Chances are you won’t get anything from them. But the reason you’re asking is to have proof that you DID request it.
C) Ask your Home for money. Chances are, they won’t give it to you either. But if you’ve already got a place lined up to go, then you can stand your ground and refuse to leave the Home until you have the money you need. If you raise enough hell and refuse to be a Family member, the money will most likely be forthcoming sooner or later.
D) Accept no compromises. Once the fact has been made known that you want to leave the Family, most homes will try to find a temporary type solution just to get you out of the house. Often this will amount to working out something on a local level. If you accept that, chances are that is where you will remain. It is important that you know where it is you want to get and you hold out for what you want. Again, if you no longer consider yourself a Family member (do not attend devotions, follow the schedule or Charter rules, etc.) but refuse to leave the home until you have your ticket and living expenses, they can do only three things: ignore you, throw you out on the street or find a way to help you get the money.
E) Use your embassy. If after all of your efforts you have still not received any financial assistance (or not enough assistance) & you are getting desperate to get out, go to your local embassy and explain your situation. The US government (and possibly other countries as well) has an assistance program that they use to repatriate their citizens that get stuck while abroad. They will pay your ticket to the States and will keep your passport until you pay them back.
You have most likely been taught to avoid authorities, but these people are there to help you. The embassy is in your country not only for relations with the government, but to aid its citizens. If you are a lawful citizen, they are there to help you.
This is not a time to be “selah”, defensive or to worry about your home’s security. Be calm, be honest and tell them the truth about your life and your current situation. (For example: You grew up in a series of isolated religious communities. You currently reside at such-and-such address, you wish to leave the group, you have no money, the group will not give you any money and that you want to go home. You do not need to lie, you do not need to embellish, you do not need to exaggerate. All you have to do is explain.
Before paying your ticket, they may possibly ask about relatives and friends you have in the States in order to try to get them to foot the bill first. If you have already done your homework in trying to contact any of these people for a place to stay once you get there, you will be able to explain where these people already stand in helping you. You may also be in a situation where you do not know how to contact your relatives. If the embassy questions this, again, you have nothing to hide. You need only explain your situation. (For example: While growing up in the group you did not have frequent contact with your relatives and you have tried to locate them but you do not know where they are).

5) Document everything. Every request you make for money to Maria and Peter, to your CRO area, to your Home, to other Family members should all be documented. Put it in writing and keep copies. Keep copies of any responses you get – even if it’s simply a “thank you, file received safely”. Print it out, email it to someone else or put it on a floppy – or do all three. This may seem unnecessary to you at the time, but one day you may look back and be grateful you did.

Also document, in any way you can, the reaction to your news of wanting to leave the Family. If it is a positive reaction, that is to be commended. If it is negative, you’ll want proof of it.

6) Get advice from those who have already left. Chances are there is someone that has already walked in your shoes. Each and every young member that has left the Family had to find their way out into the real world. Some of them have had it very difficult, others have moved on easily. There’s no guarantee of what it will be like for you, but chances are, someone has been in your shoes before and will be more than happy to walk you through as best as they can.

Getting out of the Family is just the beginning. It’s the beginning of a whole new world of opportunity. It’s also the beginning of a whole lot of work. Whatever path you choose – whether it’s to further your education, get a job or simply live life, it is going to take a lot of adjustment. Leaving the Family is not something that happens overnight. It starts with making the decision to leave, but the transformation doesn’t happen when you walk out the door. It’s an ongoing process that can take years. Good luck.

Reader's comments on this article

Add a new comment on this article

from hear me out!
Friday, June 10, 2005 - 08:52


That was good advice....and so very true. I was treated like shit..when I told my home I was leaving. And was given 2 weeks to be out. I was 19 years old with a 1 year old daughter. TF preaches love...where is that love....? It was hell...
(reply to this comment)

from FFGA
Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 20:39


Just like leaving an abusive marriage. You need to put on your happy face, while at the same time, positioning yourself for the future.

Maybe, it would be best to say, to put on your Poker face. Heck, you've already done that, every time you went out fundraising for a group you didn't believe in.

(reply to this comment)

From conan
Wednesday, March 23, 2005, 10:48


Quit fucking posting here and get off our site! And what's with the e-mail address at the end of every post?? You really believe that someone on here is in desperate need of your shepherding and is going to contact sweet auntie FFGA??

Go to newdaynews or some other ex-member website where you'll be more welcome. (reply to this comment

from FFGA
Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 20:20


What great advice. Very detailed. I think that it might even help to not let the Fam know you plan to leave, and pocket a portion of the dough.

Now, don't worry about Annanais and Saphirra. That was a whole different story. Stash some cash! Hide it well. I wouldn't tell the Fam ANYTHING for a while about a plan to leave. Get out with everything and anything you can. I didn't let them know that I intended to leave, even though I had great doubts. That way I just sort of slid out. Actually, I didn't even know I was leaving, for good, when I actually left Singapore. So, perhaps, that is one reason it worked so well. I thought I was just going home for a "VISIT". My visit back to the states lasted over 20 years!!!

Best to all who have the guts enough to split.

(reply to this comment)

From conan
Wednesday, March 23, 2005, 10:50

Average visitor agreement is 1 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Anyone on here besides FFGA remember Annanais and Saphirra?? I sure as hell didn't till this fuck-wad brought them up!

Quit fucking posting here and get off our site! And what's with the e-mail address at the end of every post?? You really believe that someone on here is in desperate need of your shepherding and is going to contact sweet auntie FFGA??

Go to newdaynews or some other ex-member website where you'll be more welcome. (reply to this comment

From Fist
Sunday, September 25, 2005, 17:50


It conjures up memories of the shepherd skits and flannelgraphs... Thanks for the memories.....

Ahhh.... Get out of head

(reply to this comment
From Regi
Wednesday, March 23, 2005, 10:58

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?)

Relax Conan. It seems to me that FFGA is just trying to help, not "shepherd" or preach.(reply to this comment

From conan
Wednesday, March 23, 2005, 11:08

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(Agree/Disagree?)

She's doing both. I don't find her comments helpful, or endearing. I don't want her here and as the site is not meant to be for her, I am of the very strong opinion that she should leave. And soon at that!!(reply to this comment

from openmind
Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 06:17

as Nike says "Just do it"
(reply to this comment)
Wednesday, March 23, 2005, 11:25

Nike said "Just Do It", and then they did it. They went and hired children for their sweat shops. At least the're not as bad as The Family, they actually pay those children a pittance.(reply to this comment
from Jana
Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 13:14


Thanks for your article.. it really gave me lots of good ideas on how to make a breakaway! I do feel stuck in the Family, and I know the place out there isn't perfect, but it sure is a better place than the "establishment". Thanks for the advice.
(reply to this comment)

From moon beam
Wednesday, November 03, 2004, 14:39

Good luck to you.(reply to this comment
from Moshu
Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 01:10


HeY! I think I might know you? ARe you Bill and Stella's daughter? Did you use to live near Elephant and castle in England? Did you stay at the LOH just before you left england for Belgum? If this sounds right then I do know you. Do you know who I am? Clue: I was awake that night.
(reply to this comment)

from cheeks
Saturday, June 19, 2004 - 06:34

I think it would be wise for everyone to remember, Isis has small children even if she wanted to drop everything and leave with out her husband it would require a tremendous amout of back up funds. Plus she would need a job and someone who is trustworthy to watch the kids while she is at work. Sometimes leaving is easier said than done. Good luck Isis I wish you the best.
(reply to this comment)
from johnsie
Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 11:47

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 was wondering about the status of Safe Passage and also about research for shelters. There are many shelters in the USA and Canada that provide assistance for youth as young as ten years old. In case anyone has a relative or sibling that wants out but feels stuck because they are too young. I know it is really hard even in the most abusive situations for youth to leave what is known.

Some organizations like Covenant House, usa and canada, provide excellent shelters with assistance with education, getting connected to health care, GED assistance, and for those old enough to work, you can get a job and stay there up until age 21 and all your funds are kept in an acct for you when you leave, plus, if you whenever you decide to leave you take it ALL with you. It is an excellent place to start out if a person has no place to land with relatives or friends.

Also RAINN provides referral to shelters in a person's area- usa at least- and they have a 24 hr. toll free number. Their site is and covenant house has the "9" line. 1-800-999-9999

What are some of the current needs for Safe Passage?
(reply to this comment)

from Wolf
Thursday, June 17, 2004 - 10:59

The posts from Isis have reminded me of something that’s been on the back of my mind for awhile: I think it’s essential to compile Berg’s perviest writings, and the front covers as well if possible, for the benefit of more recent members who have been left in the dark. I found “The Girl Who Wouldn’t”, the “Summit Jewels” and portions of other writings that are included in Justice Ward’s judgment, and I’ll see what else I can come up with, but anything you have would be appreciated. If anybody has access to “the Little Girl Dream”, “Sex With Grandmother”, “The Last State”, the FN article in which Faith Berg says she was masturbated by her father from a young age, or any similar such publications, please write me at I promise to send any contributors a copy as soon as my compilation is ready.
(reply to this comment)
From Kayte
Friday, November 19, 2004, 15:39

That is an excellent idea. I think that that would be a very capable means of helping the younger SG of TF to realize where they are. I think most of them don't even know about the really "off" things their faith is based on. Maybe it's better that way, they have been spared of worst part. Even if ignorance is bliss (I myself being one of the younger ones), they aren't ignorant enough to be blissful. I know a fair bit about layout and design, and if you need any help with compiling it or changing format, let me know.(reply to this comment
From Jana
Wednesday, November 03, 2004, 13:11

send it to me.. im interested!
(reply to this comment
From Don't forget
Thursday, June 17, 2004, 11:22


the Life With Grandpas & Heaven's Girl with the stuff like Grandpa & Mama in bed with Techi, gang rape, etc.(reply to this comment

from nimrod
Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 02:40

hell ya...thx 4 the info im sure to use that in my plan...
(reply to this comment)
from virginia
Wednesday, July 09, 2003 - 11:31

I sure wish I had had this info when I left. I´m alright
today but I think about my sister who left recently. I hope this article will be a help to others.
(reply to this comment)
from Pure Hatred
Sunday, January 19, 2003 - 18:26

Good advice.
(reply to this comment)
from Been-there-done-that
Friday, January 17, 2003 - 20:14

When we left, we took half the Emergency Fund. I know you can't recommend that in your article, but it worked for us. I think we should have taken all of it and to anyone in the family who has a problem with it: I wouldn't fancy your chances in court.
(reply to this comment)
From doubter
Saturday, February 08, 2003, 02:59

I can see how you'd feel justified in doing so.
I'm planning my "getaway" (not really that dramatic) at the moment and although I see that many have discarded all Christian values as a result of their experience I don't feel justified in ripping off money. I'm certain that there are ways one can justify it in one's mind, (I paid the money into the FAF, so I am justified in taking it back).
Hey maybe that will work.. hmmm.
(reply to this comment
From jez
Tuesday, March 16, 2004, 12:33

remember the 'spoils of Egypt', what's good for the goose is good for the gander(reply to this comment
From tigress
Monday, February 10, 2003, 08:52

Could have taken it, but didn't. Don't regret it. (reply to this comment
From Anthony
Saturday, February 08, 2003, 14:57

What the wank do Christian values have to do with it?(reply to this comment
From doubter
Monday, February 10, 2003, 07:16

"Thou shalt not Steal" type of thing.(reply to this comment
From Anthony
Monday, February 10, 2003, 16:19

The Old Testament is not Christian. (reply to this comment
From doubter
Tuesday, February 11, 2003, 00:20

Well, if you follow Ed Priebe, I suppose he had a point saying that we shouldn't follow the Old Testament, especially in regards to tithing.
You're right, stealing is the Christian thing to do, it's the humane thing to do, it's the AMERICAN thing to do!(reply to this comment
From GBerries
Friday, March 14, 2003, 12:43


I know of whole families that started their own home, fully knowing that they were going to leave in the future, but of course they just kept it to themselves, they had other young folks who had joined their home, so they had help with kids, etc., got their new house, new furuniture, car, etc. etc. I think it took them one year, and then when they felt like things were pretty much ready, they just kicked out the young folks and "left" the Family, by probably sending back the HER, tools, etc. But they didn't have to start from scratch or move out, as everything was in their name (house, car, etc.), and everything was fine for them.

(reply to this comment
From Hydra
Saturday, February 08, 2003, 14:44

For some people it doesn't necessitate any justification. I know quite a few people who should've taken more than that to begin with.

When the HER funds were first instituted a lot of families turned in thousands of dollars, gold coins, etc. etc. that they had worked damn hard to save for.

The notion behind the HER was "Acts 2:44 & 45" which is supposed to be from each his ability to each his need. In the Family it turned out to be rob from the workers give to the lazy bums. Maybe in some cases there were hard workers that had no way to raise flee funds because of the countries they were living in, but generally speaking, anybody that had money and had been smart enough to stash it away so the leaders didn't use it for something or the Home didn't use it for the food budget worked HARD to get that money and then lost it during the HER initiative.

Originally the HER provided each home with $8,000 in reserves. Now it's $2,000. And oops, so you turned in all that money and now you want to leave? Well, sorry. We really love you and we wish you all the best -- and we want you to succeed. But no, you can't have a cent of it back.

So supposing a family with two parents and 6 kids turned in more than $10,000 to the HER common pot (yes this did happen), then if one of those kids left the family and made off with half of the HER (which only amounts to $1,000 these days), that's justice -- not justification.

When I first left the Family, I wouldn't have touched the HER. I was already treading thin ice so far as I thought God was concerned and I didn't want the judgements falling down on me. Now that I look back on it, I see that HER money as having been partly mine. If nothing else, as backpay for the zillions of slave hours I put in for the group. If I'd kept a 5% commission on all the money I raised while in the group & all the "tools" I sold, what a better world this would be -- for ME.(reply to this comment
From RE
Friday, March 14, 2003, 12:50


I fortunately had other means of getting money (through my relatives who really helped me get set up and all), but for others who don't have any other options, I think taking the HER is justified. I would think of it as an umemployment payment or something. Say that I was only getting paid "minimum wage" in the Family, I worked my butt off enough that taking the HER would just be for all those years of work that I didn't get "paid". And seriously, what are they going to do? Take you to court? No, because you have more stuff you can throw back at them, and they know that.

(reply to this comment
From doubter
Monday, February 10, 2003, 07:20

You're right. I hadn't thought I was going through a "guilt" thing as so many others have expressed.
But my hesitation is an obious sign that I am still affected by that phenomenon. (reply to this comment
from Cultinvator
Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 00:06

I was thinking of writting a short article on basic facts on what it takes to move out.

IMO you covered the subject clearly and effectively.

Wish I had a piece of that info when I left.

Nice Job!
(reply to this comment)
from dave
Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 23:26

Good post Jules. I'm sure this will help a great many.
(reply to this comment)

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