from Samuel - Wednesday, March 21, 2007
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This edition of the "Peter and Maria Go Witnessing" is a bit more serious, and not as light and humorous as previous segments.
Depending on feedback, another episode is possible.
In the last segment (which can be found here http://www.movingon.org/article.asp?sID=8&Cat=12&ID=3914) Chiara, the home prophetess, got a "message" that the police were about to arrive and raid Maria and Peter's compound. Peter responded by telling everyone to get their flee bags, and the story continues from that point.
“Hallelujah!”, Sonny said as he ran out of his room with his flee bag and a pillow under his arm. “Being with Mama and King Peter is such a blessing, but it has been so long since I’ve been so long since I’ve gone on a real faith trip. My only regret is that I cannot take you with me.”, he said, looking at his wife.
Sonny’s wife gave him one last hug. “I’m so sorry to see you go, but I know that this is for the best. God never takes anything away from you without giving you something better.”
Sonny gave his wife a weird look. “Okay, bad choice of MO quote on my part.”, she said, blushing, “How silly of me, I’m such a mess without Jesus. And you’ll be back in just a few days so…”
“Sonny, let’s go!”, Peter yelled from down the hallway.
“Yes, Amy, I have to go. Delayed obedience is disobedience.” And with that, Sonny quickly made his way down to where his leader stood. King Peter gave him a pat on the book. “That’s one test you just passed, son.”, he said softly. “Just remember, God is in the business of breaking up families.”
The two ran outside to help Mama Maria get into a luxury mobile home. Amy paused for a moment to watch her husband, and boldly walked right back into the room. “Amen Lord, keep Maria and Peter safe, and my husband too.”, she prayed out loud.
“What’s going on? Why is everybody running around all over the place?”, a young woman asked. It was Crystal M. from child care, a fresh faced 20 year old Latin girl with curly black hair and enticing eyes. “Did we learn nothing from ‘Squeeze Don’t Jerk?’ God is hardly ever in a hurry.”, Crystal added.
“Don’t worry, Crystal. God is testing us.”
“That’s the problem! I don’t like pop quizzes. I don’t do well under pressure.”
“Well, what paper did you get?”
Crystal froze in fear. “I didn’t get any paper yesterday!”, she cried.
Amy laughed. “No, today, Crystal. You didn’t just get something from Silas to tell you what team you’re on?”
Crystal relaxed, and laughed. “Whew! That was close. I need to get rid of that contraband letter from my sister as soon as I can.”, she thought to herself. “Oh team, of course. I got number 2.”
“Oh good, so you have enough time to get some of your stuff, but your van will probably be leaving before the police arrive. TYJ! PTL!”
“Oh yes, I think my masturbating to Jesus Speaking during Word Time is starting to pay off. He’s so hot, did you see the picture Tamar drew of him in the latest GN?”
“Yes! What a beefcake!”
Crystal licked her lips seductively as she made her way into the room. “My thoughts exactly. I don’t think that’s on the list of love words to say to Jesus Speaking though. Maybe we should submit it when Maria and King Peter return?”
“Yes, indeed we should. But right now, let’s get our stuff. I got number 3, which means I’ll be one of the last to leave. Lord, give me grace to handle any trial that I may have to go through if the police arrive.”
Crystal watched as a familiar blue van passed in the window. “Number one just left. I guess I better get going. “
As the two girls grabbed their flee bags and started packing a second large bag, they sang ‘Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go,
Anywhere he leads me in this world of woe…”
Suddenly Silas, an older man with glasses, salt- pepper hair and a thick beard walked right into their room, seemingly disappointed that he had not caught anyone while they were undressing. “Crystal, the van leaves in ten minutes, and you should be helping the children get ready.”, he said in a meek voice.
“Yes, sir. LFM for only thinking of myself, that was so out of the spirit.”
“We need your help also. Karen and I need a few items that will make us look like systemites when we go outside and talk to the police. Since you came from an FM home; do you have anything like that?”
“Yes, if you look in my top drawer there’s a crucifix that my Grandmother gave me… and you may be able to find some cigarettes from Aiko or Nina. And I have a Chicago Bulls baseball cap in my closet.”
“Silas, the salt- pepper look is really nice.”, Amy commented as Crystal went to her closet to find the baseball cap.
Silas shook his finger. “No, we don’t call it salt- pepper. Remember, Dad told us before he passed on that we should not eat pepper. I have salt hair. The Bible says ‘Ye are the salt of the Earth’!”
“Here you go, Silas.”, Crytal said as she passed the baseball cap to him. “God bless you, Crystal.” Silas said, “ Now you had better go and help the children get ready. Oh, and you might want to find a camera. We want to get some pictures of the kids in panic for the media.”
“Yes, sir.”, Crystal said as she marched out of the room. Though only 20, Crystal had been moved into Maria’s home just a few months before as a second mate for Damascus, a top leader in the home.
“Oh, and Crystal?”, Silas said as he stuck his head out of the door.
“Should the police arrive before you leave, you’re not Damascus’ wife, you’re his daughter. We don’t want to raise any suspicions with the system.”
“Yes,sir. Of course, we are deceivers, yet true.”
And with that, she boldly made her way to the children’s room, where Rejoice was already busy helping the last two children get ready. She picked up a pink shoe from outside the door on her way in. “Here, Abigail.”, she said, giving the little girl a hug. “Sit down, we need to get your shoes on so we can go.”
“Go?”, the two year old girl asked.
“Yes, we have to hurry up and go before the police arrive.”
“Why?”, Abigail asked, an innocent look on her face.
“Because we don’t want to miss the van.”
“Van.”, Abigail said out loud.
As Crystal finished tying Abigail’s shoes, she patted her on the back. “Come on, let’s go.”
Abigail stood up, and walked toward her toy chest. “Toys.”, she said
“No, we can’t take toys with us, we have to leave now or we’ll miss the van.”
“Toys!”, she repeated
Crystal picked Abigail up, and carried her out of the room. “No toys. But the kids at the next home will be happy to share theirs with you, okay? You’re going to make some new friends.”, Crystal lovingly reassured the girl as she ran her fingers through her blonde hair. As she walked away, she heard Damascus call her name.
Crystal stopped in her tracks. “The police are here.”, Damascus explained. “Abigail is going to have to stay. She can be your little sister.”
“LHM. Silas told me to bring a camera with me, but with all the confusion I forgot to. I’m so idle minded, and an idle mind is the Devil’s workshop.”
“That’s right, Crystal. You need to be alert, on guard, especially with such an important task as child care. You need to use wisdom.”
“Amen. Thank you for correcting me, honey.”
Amy sat in the living room watching as Silas talked to the police while smoking a cigarette. His wife stood next to him with a sweet warm smile on her face in spite of the seriousness of the situation. Finally, He turned around and walked back into the house, the police following close behind.
It wasn’t long before Crystal found herself alone in one of the storage rooms. “Lord, please help me to say the right things and not breach anyone’s security.”, she prayed silently as she saw the door start to open. A tall, young, muscular man in a police uniform walked into the room. “Hi, I’m Officer Garcias and I’d just like to ask you a few questions.”
“What position do you have in this home?”, he started
“Well, my parents work for Silas and…”
“Silas?”, the officer asked, looking up from his paperwork.
“I’m sorry, I mean my parents work for Earl. We call him Silas.”
“Okay. And what do you do here?”
“Well, I watch children. I also keep house, and I help with the laundry sometimes.”
“And who are your parents?”
“Arthur and Angela.”
“Okay. Well, let’s get to the reason why we’re here. We’re here because we’ve been noticing a lot of activity going on in this compound, and we just wanted to make sure everything was on the up and up.”
“Yes, I understand.”
“Now, I understand that this home is headquarters for a missionary group?”
“Yes, sir, it is.”
“But the leaders are not here right now.”
“Earl is the leader, sir.”
“Here’s my problem, then. Because that conflicts with the information we have. Articles on this group state that the leader is a woman, and her husband or boyfriend helps her.”
“Well, sir, you have to understand our theology.”, Crystal started. Then she realized that her explanation would make The Family sound even weirder than telling the truth. How could she explain to this officer that Silas can be a woman in the spirit? “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you meant our local leader, that would be Earl. But you are correct, the highest leaders of The Family are not here right now.”
“Does anyone know where they are?”
“And what nationality are you?”
“I’m American, sir.”
“American citizenship, okay. And you’re Latin?”
“From which side?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, ma’am, you told me that your parents are Angela and Arthur. But neither of them are Latin.”
“No, I was adopted.”
“Okay. Then who are your birth parents?”
Crystal stared at the wall. If she told the officer who her birth parents were, they could be tracked and face persecution. Plus she wasn’t even sure of her Mother’s legal name. Suddenly a thought hit her; she could try using her parent’s Bible names. She wasn’t sure if this would work or not, but she was going to give it a try.
“Malachi Planter and Katrina Amor.”
“Okay, how do you spell Malachi?”
“M-a-l-a-c-h-i. R-a-n-”, And then she stopped. How careless of her! She had the officer believing everything, up until the point that she started spelling out his legal name. What if they tracked her father down now? She couldn’t let that happen. He may have been busy at PACRO and never been around for most of her life, but he was still her father. And if he was tracked down, it could hinder the Lord’s work. She took a deep breath, and did the only thing that was left to do. “Okay. Okay, I lied, I’m sorry. I’m Arthur’s wife. Angela and I share him. My parents are John and Mariangela Rangleton.”
“And why did you feel the need to lie to me about that?”
“Because he’s married to both of us.”
“No, we do our own marriages.”
“Well, there’s no law against that in this country.”
“Yes, but, that could make us look bad in the eyes of the system.” The officer gave Crystal a strange look. “The rest of the world, they look down on that.”
“Yes, but if you believe it’s okay, then there’s no reason to lie about it, right?”
Crystal played nervously with a stray thread on her pants. “Well, no. I never thought of it that way.”
“You see, I don’t want to know how , uh… The Family International?”
Crystal shook her head yes.
“Okay, I don’t want to know how The Family International feels about your relationship with Arthur. I want to know how you feel about it. ”
“Well, he is a lot older than me. But that can be a good thing, he’s more mature.”
The door opened and a woman in police uniform stepped in. “Julio, we need you outside.”, the woman said.
“Okay, I’ll be right back, ma’am.”
With the police officer gone, Crystal again found herself alone in the room. She thought about what the officer had just said. Yes, there were some benefits to being married to a 45 year old man, but there were also setbacks. The weirdness factor, for one thing. The fact that Damascus made all the decisions in the relationship, often without even asking what she thought. The way he would grope her in front of other home members, as if she were his property, some sort of trophy. Then there was the judgmental way he always talked to Angela. She wondered if he would start treating her the same way as time went on. Her mind wandered back to an incident just a few weeks before.
“So, we had to put the home on probation.”, she could still hear her husband say
“Just probation? But they had all this forbidden lit. That’s an excommunicable offense.”, Angela replied
“Yes, but the shepherd comes from a very rich family. He contributes a lot of money every month from his inheritance, retirement, pension fund, investments, and settlements. He has money all over. King Peter said it would be very unwise to excommunicate him, so we’re just putting his home on probation with a warning.”
“It’s so bad.”, Crystal commented as she picked up her scissors. “I don’t even want to think about what would have happened had our enemies gotten a hold of this lit.”
“Oh Lord no. Or the AC’s for that matter. They’d be after us in no time.”
“Which one are you working on, Crystal?”, Arthur asked
“Heaven’s Children.” Crystal answered.
“Good, King Peter said he wants us to keep the purged pages, so I’m going to go take these to the lit room. I’ll be right back.”, Arthur replied
“Okay, The Davidito Book is next.”, Angela said as she put her pages into the box to be taken away.
Suddenly the evidence all started coming back to her: things she had never seen before, never even knew existed. But it couldn’t be. Rampant child sex abuse had never happened in The Family. Surely she would have known about it if it did. Whatever she had seen as she purged the books just a few weeks before, it couldn’t have been child abuse. If it was, why would they publish pictures of it? Why would Father David allow his fantasies to be published in a comic book if there was something wrong with them? But if there had been child abuse in The Family, and Father David had indeed condoned it, how could she continue to defend The Family? How could she allow her own son to be raised by a Family member some thousand miles away in Brazil? How could she look herself in the mirror? Suddenly she remembered the contraband letter in her pocket. Seizing the opportunity, she got up, and pulled it out. Unfolding it, she began to read.
How are you? I hope you’re doing well, and this letter reaches you quickly. My address is on the back of this letter, and I would love to hear back from you. I just wanted you to know about all the adventures I’ve been on. It’s been quite a ride, heh. Anyway, I’m living in New York now.” “New York”, Crystal muttered under her breath as she stopped reading for a moment.
She continued to read. “I have a great job. I was able to go to community college and get a certificate in IT, so am quite happy with my new job. It is so good to be free, Crystal. I found a roommate and have moved into a new apartment. Anyway, there is something I want you to have but I’m afraid I might not be able to get it to you. I have a CD for you, and I think you’ll want to know what’s on it. It’s got quite a few video clips from the local media here in the US. You know: some from Dateline, ABC, there’s some CNN on it. Remember Dr. Phil, the guy that we used to watch on Oprah? There’s something on there from his show also. Anyway, you’ll want to watch it, it’s very important. There’s so much going on that I can’t even begin to tell you in this letter, but this will have to do for this moment. But for now, I want you to know that whatever happens, whatever separations come between us, you will always be my sister, and I will always love you as such. Love always, Sonia.”
Deep inside, Crystal knew that she longed for a life like that. She wanted freedom: the power to set her own schedule, the right to raise her own son herself as she saw fit, all these things she wanted. But she was giving them up for a better cause- winning the world for Jesus. The glory, the happiness she would have one day to have been a part of God’s Elite.
But wait a minute, something didn’t jive. On the one side, The Family was God’s Elite, the called out, the chosen ones. On the other side, The Family was a place where children were abused, beaten, brainwashed, indoctrinated and manipulated in every possible way. They couldn’t both be right: It was either one, or the other. And if the latter was true, there was no way that she could remain a part of The Family. After a few minutes thinking about all these things, the door finally opened again.
It was time for Crystal to make a decision. The police officer came in, and sat back down in his chair. He lifted his pen, as if to ask another question. “Wait!”, Crystal said
So maybe the letters were wrong, and maybe they weren’t. Either way, she was going to get the guilt off of her mind right now, and let the police decide the issue. “Yes?”, Officer Garcias said.
“Just a few weeks ago, we discovered that a home in the area had copies of The Family’s publications from the 70’s and early 80’s. I helped purge the books. There were certain quotes, pictures, writings of our founder that could have supported abuse of children ”
“You know what the allegations are. What kind of abuse are we talking about? Psychological? Physical?”
“Yes, sir, all of…”
Crystal shook her head. She knew what would happen if she told the police where the books were. But she also knew that if she didn’t, she could never live with herself. “Yes.”, she said quietly.
“So these pages that were purged, Do you know what happened to them?”
“I think so, they should still be in the lit room. But now, could you please answer a question for me? Where is Abigail?”
“Don’t worry about her, she’s fine. She’s playing with the other kids.”
“Would you like me to show you where the lit room is?”
One week later:
Officer Garcias walked into the interrogation room followed by a blonde woman holding a young boy’s hand. “Miguel!”, Crystal cried with delight as she rose from her seat and ran toward him. “Goodness, you’ve grown.”, she said as she hugged her son tightly. Nothing could have prepared for the moment she had been waiting for over a year, finally getting to see her son again.
“I’m Jennifer Rok, a social worker here.”, the woman explained.
“We just want to thank you for all your help with the case, Crystal.” Officer Garcias said. “And I have good news for you. The tickets arrived today. You’re going back to the States.”
“Oh Thank God. That is great news. I haven’t seen my sister or my son in so long, and now I get to stay with both.”
“Now, this isn’t finalized. There’s still a custody case over him, but I would definitely say that you have the upper hand, especially when our investigation into The Family begins.”
“You can begin your new life in the United States, and we will call you if we need help.”, Jennifer explained.
“The publications pretty much speak for themselves. We might ask you to write an affidavit or report on some of the things you saw or did while in The Family, but as far as flying you in to testify goes, I don’t see that happening.”, Officer Garcias added.
“Have Maria and Peter been found?”, Crystal asked
“No, they have not. But the authorities have all the information you gave us about their motor home, and we’re actively looking for them.”
“And what of Abigail?”
“Well, the guardian form that Arthur and Angela showed us could very easily have been forged. And since you told us that her Mother has left The Family and has not seen her since, we were able to use that as a loophole. We took her into protective custody, and her Mother called yesterday to claim her.”
“Good, so she’s out too.”
“The Family could still try to get her back, but…”
Crystal scoffed. “They’re not going to.”
“We’d like to keep you in our witness protection program until we can get you out of the country next week. We have a special room just for your son.”
“Oh, that is so kind of you.”
Witness protection program? Tickets back to the States? Crystal knew inside that her life was about to take on a dramatic change. And she was going to love it.