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kathleen, April 12, 2005, 06:54
interviewees wanted

I writing on behalf of the BBC world service Religions section. We are making a programme on faith and the religious significance of names. We are looking for someone who has left the children of God and changed their name when they did this -- what significance did this have? Did it help you break with the children of God?

Please email me at or ring 02075572073  (reply to this post)


Big Sister, November 20, 2002, 02:39
Help! Translation needed....
Ok,everyone, maybe you can use your knowledge of Family ways to help me understand (translate) some of the situations I find myself in with my sister who has been in the Family for
two decades. As you can probably tell,
I am not in the group and I have a lot of questions. Here are some:
1. I write to my sister by email. Sometimes she writes back within a day or two but usually I don't get any reply at all. When I do hear from her she never makes any reference to my previous emails and acts like she hasn't heard from me. I can't tell if she forgets i wrote her or if she never got the email. Also, this same thing used to happen with regular snailmail too.

Recently our mother went into the hospital so i emailed my sister, twice to update her on the serious situation. I asked her to send a quick reply to let me know she had received the email, since it was a serious matter. No reply, nothing for a week now. She is not mad at me and has even been known to call me and talk for two hours but other times she seems to disappear. Can you explain this in terms of what happens in the Family or is this just her?
2. Christmas is coming and i want to send some gifts to my sister, and her kids again this year. I have sent gifts for the past few years and i am not sure what happens to them. I never receive any thank you letters from my sister or her children, no phone calls, email thanks, nothing at all. When I ask if the packages were received I get a neutral yes, thank you for everything from the adults. Once my sister added defensively,"I hope you don't think I am in a position to reciprocate. I suppose your children want me to send them toys." (My children have no expectations of gifts from anyone, muchless an aunt they have never met!)
So my question is: what kind of gifts would be most appreciated and used in a communal home, what kinds of things would be removed as inappropriate and why do they not acknowledge the gifts?
Is it better to send personal items (makeup gift packs, scarf and mittens,
cologne, etc.)?
And again, is the odd response to gifts my sister's own way or is this something that is dictated by Family mores?

I bet there are quite a few parents and siblings of Family members who are reading this site and might like some light shed on issues like this that come up from time to time. So thanks for any help you can give!
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re.gifMack, January 10, 2004, 00:05
possible answers
I have several possible answers to your question they are listed below.

1) Your sister is more than likely an airhead and doesn’t remember your email 5 minutes after she reads them. This is typical of TF members because if they had any kind of long-term memory they would be able to remember how many contradictions they hear from one GN to the next, or how many prophesies were never fulfilled, which is all of them.

2) Someone reads her email for her and summarizes what you sent, but this person(s) may also forget to tell her you even wrote.

3) When you send stuff to her kids only and not every bastard child in the TF breading/child molesting-exploitation colony, it’s like sending a gift to one child who has five brothers and sisters. To explain this better they live together with other families and all the kids are treated like brothers and sisters so they may not allow only some kids (your nieces and nephews) to get gifts when others would feel left out. (This scenario is highly unlikely but I like to think there are some good hearted people in TF)

4) They sell what you sent them and tithe it to the home.

5) The stuff you send is opened by the parents and what they can’t sell they rewrap and give it to their kids as if the gifts were from them.


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re.gifmerrily, November 28, 2003, 12:05
send clothes
I am no longer in the Family but when I was there we always needed clothes, this includes underwear and socks. if they are on a"field" such as India or asia these things are hard to find and harder to get.also I'm sure she gets the packets as those are the rules.Unless again she's on the field as some times, or more often than not they get stolen before they arive at their destination things from a western nation is so appealing. Speak to her about not responding to your e-mails a direct aproach is usually the best.The family now rarely reads other peoples mail as they are much more independant than they were before.I hope this helps
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re.gifmerrily, November 28, 2003, 12:05
send clothes
I am no longer in the Family but when I was there we always needed clothes, this includes underwear and socks. if they are on a"field" such as India or asia these things are hard to find and harder to get.also I'm sure she gets the packets as those are the rules.Unless again she's on the field as some times, or more often than not they get stolen before they arive at their destination things from a western nation is so appealing. Speak to her about not responding to your e-mails a direct aproach is usually the best.The family now rarely reads other peoples mail as they are much more independant than they were before.I hope this helps
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re.gifvin, February 21, 2003, 04:19
dont send
if u like to gamble go ahead and send
dont be suprised when ur efforts turn out to be in vain
anything the individuals u r sending for want wont get to them and anything that is usefull will be taken away
send them ur love and hope for the best
they dont think of u as family but a potential cash cow and if u dont give, their opinion becomes tainted and clouded by anti-system rhetoric and sentiment
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re.gifmerrily, November 28, 2003, 12:09
what a crock
I don't know where you lived or who your parent were but where I lived we had some respect for our relatives systemites or not
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re.gifneez, December 3, 2003, 01:46
that's nice..
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re.gifthepersoniamnow, November 24, 2002, 22:23
By Dan
TF is different in each area.
Theres different leadership in each continent and strictness and open minded ppl vary from continent to continent.
For instance if ur sister lives in Asia she would be living in the strictest and weirdest part of TF.
Whereas if she was in Europe or the US I would be very surprised if she did not contact you and/or acknowledge the gifts you sent her.
Anyhow it is very unusual for someone in these days in TF to be so out of touch.
Are u sure its not a personal thing? Because unless a familymember are in what they consider a "selah" or a "secret" (usually a leadership) position, they are generally in touch with people.
Its also very hard to say what a member would need.
Ten years ago almost anything at all would have been appreciated, however these I said b4, it depends on their location.
When I lived in a Family home in Mexico we had almost nothing material but it was different prior to that
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re.gifAuty, November 20, 2002, 18:33
The same thing . . .
happened over here when I was in TF. Although I was on the "receiving end" of these gifts from my mother, who faithfully sent us a box of items at christmas for years (although I only know of 2 times). Each time a box arrived my father would go through it and hand out the stuff to the other people in our home. The make up that she sent for us was given to my step mother. Jewelry, clothing etc., was all given away. We never got anything, as the children. I don't mean to discourage you & I don't know how things are run now, this was over 10 years ago that this situation happened. My mother was not involved with TF at all & therefore, the children (us) were constantly repremanded because my mother wasn't "in." All our letters to and from my mother either never made it to either party, or were highly edited (I was told to re-write my letters on more than one occasion). When I was in TF, all letters both in and out were monitored by a shepherd of the home. Although, I do not know how things are now.

As far as christmas presents . . .never send cash! HA! Perhaps something personal with a personal inscription (that way it can't be given or taken away that easily!)

You have to understand that those in TF (including our loved ones) think as one unit, much like the "Borg" in the star trek episodes. They are all controlled by a central brain & their every move is dictated by the Wizard. Don't take it personally.
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re.giffaeriraven, November 21, 2002, 09:41
the way things were..
I agree that every situation is different. I remember getting packages from my grandparents and was always elated when we got anything in the mail from an 'outsider'. We lived in bigger schools and combo's so it wasn't that often that we had the opportunity to write, but when we were with our parents we took time to, and we even got to call them on occasion, passing the phone around real quick to put our call under 5 mins total. my grandmother never ceased to send us 5 girls money every birthday and our parents were good @ giving us our cards and the $ that she sent. So, point being that every situation is different but I'm just glad to have had the opportunity to at least know who my real family was.
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re.gifBella, November 21, 2002, 16:04
Quite Different --
A BIG difference in the situation of Anaik and Feirie vs. Auty's (ours) is this: Grandparents vs. Mother. Our father was much more easy going about the grandparents. In the case of our mother, however, it was very very different. OCCASIONALLY we were able to get the things that she sent us, but it was a rarity. She once sent me a Bible in which she cleverly smuggled a couple of pictures of herself. My dad of course found them and kept them, but not until I was able to at least have a peak -- that was the first picture I had seen of her in close to 6 years. I was fortunate enough to sneak another picture of her when I was 16 or so, because I took care of the "post man's" kids and was able to sneak the envelope without getting caught by the shepherds. When the teen shep found out I had the pictures, however, I was made to shred them. -- Well, she shred them because I couldn't bring myself to it.

The point is: who can remember the whole Barz case in Thailand (I believe)? That whole situation raised a whole lot of fear in the family, and kids like us, who had one parent "in" and one "out" suffered hell because of it. Grandparents were not seen as such a threat, after all, they did send our parents money; did they not?
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re.gifAnaik, November 20, 2002, 10:46
I can't vouch for everyone but even though that does seem like very typical behaviour of family members, alot of times it depends on the indivuals themselves, what home they are in, and the policies of that home. My Grandmother always sent us boxes of stuff. It was so exciting to get things from her when we were children. My mom and dad always wrote and kept in touch with them and we used to make our own little thank you cards, birthday cards, and christmas cards. In fact, my grandma pulls out cards we wrote when we were kids for us to read now. They are so funny. Anyway, except for a few incidents when we were in "strange" homes, we always received our gifts from our Grandparents and we treasured them. Today, when I visit my Grandmother, certain smells in the house remind of opening her packages when I was a kid and it makes me smile.
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re.gifPompousJohn, November 21, 2002, 07:32
I thought you said...
Didn't you post a few days ago in another section that you spent most of your childhood in the Phillipines in a huge house with just your family? I seem to recall you mentioned a treehouse, going to school, and lots of quality time with your dad. I think most will agree that your situation was not a typical family life, and most were brought up in the "strange" homes you mentioned.
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re.gifAnaik, November 21, 2002, 15:52
Not me
Actually, John that was Sarah's Post. But since were sister's I guess are stories should be the same huh? We never lived with "only our family," except the time we were in Hawaii for two years and I was very young then. Other than that we lived the "normal" Children of God lifestyle with lots of other families. In my post I just stated that my parents (during our young years) were usually the "shepherds." So, my dad kinda kept things "normal" for us.

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re.gifPompousJohn, November 20, 2002, 08:12
your sister is their sister now
Sorry, I don't have a lot of encouragement for you, that's not really my thing. I'm just going to give you a little insight into the Family's perspective on "systemite" (non-member) relatives.


Let's start with a few scriptures that were often repeated in the Family's early days, and which describe a Family members ideal relationship with non-believing relatives (non-believer = non member)

MT 12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.

MT 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

MT 12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?

MT 12:49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

MT 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

LK 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.

These are the scriptures that come to a Family member's mind when he thinks about his or her system relatives. (there are many more) They are made to memorize many such passages when they join, and continue to review them throughout their membership. There is no clearer distinction in a Family members mind then the distinction between things pertaining to members, and things pertaining to non-members. This distinction is so strong that many of us on this web site frequent here for no better reason than that we cling to one another based on this same indoctrination.

Family members will flat out lie through their teeth to non-members with absolutely no guilt, the person doing the lying may even be considered a particularly forthright and honest person inside the group, but since he or she doesn’t really consider you an equal,

2COR 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

It’s not like their lying to a person, their just lying to a systemite.

It is possible that as a relative, you are even lower on the esteem scale than a perfect stranger. After all, you have known about your sister’s decision to “Forsake all and follow God” for 20 years now and you never joined, so obviously you are not one of God’s sheep.

JN 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Also, ifyour sister feels any affection for you at all this may make it even worse, you could be a “bad influence” on her, if hearing from you gives her thoughts of leaving, or if you have in any way assured her that you will help her to get settled if she should ever decide to leave the group, then you may be an “enemy” of the group, and contact with you could be looked on as disloyalty, as contact with me is considered disloyalty on the part of my brothers (4 of them) who are still in the group.

I can’t tell for sure from your post whether your sister has visited you or not during the past 20 years, but it doesn’t seem like it. I can tell you for a fact that in the last 20 years every Family member has had opportunity to visit their “system” relatives and if she wanted to see you she could have thought of many ways to do this with impunity. The fact that she hasn’t probably means that her new (well, 20 year old) life has replaced her old one, and more than likely your letters and emails are a nuisance, she has to answer them out of politeness and to set a “good example” that she is not a total snob who’s too good to write you, but inside she does believe that she is, or that she at least has better uses for her time. These times you speak of when she calls you and talks for two hours are most likely very low moments for her when she’s under a lot of pressure from her “leaders” or her situation in the group is difficult, most likely she is looking for a back door just in case she can’t take it anymore, or in case she gets kicked out. (this happens frequently for a wide range of reasons) Chances are that as soon as things start looking up, she is cursing you for the temptation she felt that she now blames on you.

In conclusion, your sister joined as an adult, and remains a member as an adult, and we at this site have very little (or no) sympathy for such people. We were all born in the group, and left as adults, most with more than a few hard feelings towards the group in general and people like your sister in particular. Maybe the losers over at can give you some encouragement about your sister, they may even know her. (First generation ex-members board)

One last thing about the Christmas presents, it is rare for members to have much in the way of private property, especially money, and so buying Christmas presents for your kids is most likely out of the question for her. Also, it is just possible that having all these shiny new Christmas presents may make her children the object of envy for the other children in the “home” (commune) where she lives, and may make her look less spiritual for indulging her children in material things on Jesus’ Birthday. Actually I doubt she gave the gifts to her kids as you might expect, more likely she made a general donation to the home’s children or took them back to a store for a refund if they were “out of the spirit” (not in line with the groups lifestyle) as would be the case with most toys I can think of. Chances are she snickered to her friends about what a systemite you were to buy such ridiculous gifts for her kids.

I hope this answers your questions without depressing you too much.I doubt there are many revelations here for you anyway, chances are you felt most of these things deep down; you just didn’t want to think they were true.

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re.gifBig Sister responds, November 20, 2002, 13:24
Not Depressed!
Hey, thanks for those clear and thoughful comments. No, I'm not depressed by what you say and the picture you draw, while sad, clarifes my impression of my sister and the life she has chosen.

But here's the other side of the story:
I think my sister may be better off in this pathetic cult than out in the real world! Not only that she would have a hard time making her way now after all these years but she never did sucessfully live a system life. I have visited my sister during periods when she was out of the cult. At her worst she was dishonest, manipulative and immoral (and not to totally disparage her, also charming and friendly)and at best, had trouble making and keeping friends or holding a job, handling money or coping with any problem that required empathy.
She has always been a "high maintenance" person in need of firm limits and easy answers.This was true even when she was a child but is more pronounced now that she is an adult.

I do believe the Family has helped my sister by creating a simplifed picture of the world, clear and strict rules for living with other people and a false yet satisfying social structure with themselves happily on top!

It's a weak way out, i agree. And not for me nor for you. I can tell from your strong reply to my query that you have what it's going to take to live a life in the world without anybody having to make it easy for you. Bravo!
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re.gifPompousJohn, November 20, 2002, 16:46
Well I certainly hope so, I find however that there are a surprising number of helpful individuals out here in the "system", and that we are rarely left to flounder alone unless we choose to. Your sister sounds like perfect "family" material, though, I hope people like her are all that's left so they group can just go ahead and collapse in on itself.
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Tim R, November 13, 2002, 01:51
What is this section for?
What should I post here?  (reply to this post)

re.gifPompousJohn, November 14, 2002, 14:26
What should I tell him?
What should I tell Tim R?
Should I answer him at all?
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re.gifJerseygirl, November 14, 2002, 19:29
Why so many dumb questions?
Are they funny at all?
Why am I laughing so hard?
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re.gifTimR, November 14, 2002, 21:42
This is cool, we've got kind of a "Haiku" vibe going here.

But seriously, whenever a new section opens there is usually a anouncement, or a disclamer. I saw this section open, nothing here except a big question "What Should I Do?" It just seemed to be crying out for guidance.

TimR abhors a vacumn!
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re.gifJerseygirl, November 15, 2002, 15:04
Father Nature?
--or do you just like to fill the vacuums? :-)

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re.gifPompousJohn, November 15, 2002, 07:57
Going out on a limb
I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that this section is for people who've recently left and as newborn baby systemites have no idea what to do, and especially no idea how to GET MONEY since this is under the getting support section. I am sure that if this section is actually used for that purpose however, the only people it will be of any use to are those of us who love to give advice to others.
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re.gifJules, November 15, 2002, 08:44
Like people who call themselves pompous?
Actually, what I was thinking of here is discussion of what to do and how to deal in crisis situations. I couldn't think of a better title, and this one is a bit lame, but some issues that are real for us are things like:
What can you do if you or someone you know if talking about killing or hurting themselves?
What do you do if you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem? What is a substance abuse problem?
What do you do if you suspect a child is being abused? Do you talk to their parents? Notify child welfare? What are the repercussions of this?
If you are having nightmares and flashbacks, what does this mean? What is post traumatic stress disorder and how can you get treatment?
What are treatments for depression? Is medication damaging? Does it mean you are too weak to deal with real life?
If you are pregnant, what are your options? What should you consider? Is having an abortion going to ruin your life or traumatise you? What about an unwanted child?
What is sexual assualt, and what should you do if you are assualted?
If you are in an abusive relationship, what should you do? What is an abusive relationship? What are your options? What steps can you take?
Of course the situation is different for everyone, but a lot of us have actually been through these things, and a discussion may be of interest to others who are going through them.
Sorry for the lack of explanation. I was thinking of writing something to start this section off, but I think I need an extended break from all this stuff, and will be taking one from this site shortly.
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re.gifJoeH, November 20, 2002, 15:32
title idea
how about "Getting Advice" for a title that keeps in line with your whole "getting" motiff?
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re.gifJoeH, November 15, 2002, 16:14
other issues
What do you do if your roommate really reeks? How the hell do you get systemite girls to sleep with you? What do you do when you discover that the colors in your outfit clash horribly. Why do systemite girls take the phrase "I love you" so seriously? What the hell do "wack," "jiggy,"
"tight," and "sick" mean? How the hell do you do basic Junior High Algebra? Why doesn't my hair obey me? etc
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re.gifDeb, November 21, 2002, 08:25
Tia was definitely right about you! :)
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re.gifJoeH, November 21, 2002, 16:51
What did she say?
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re.gifDeb, November 23, 2002, 04:38
Something like:
"You're so sarcastic. You should meet my brother Joe--he's HILLARIOUS!!!" (Actually, we've already met, but that was ages ago.)
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re.gifElemental, November 17, 2002, 17:19
For these and other questions:

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re.gifElemental, November 17, 2002, 17:21
For these and other questions:
a very handy website for all kinds of stuff you want to know.
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re.gifTankard, November 17, 2002, 08:17
Just call the Samaritans
I'm feeling generous (read: sober) right now so I'll dispense a little advice of the typical quality around here.

1) "What do you do if your roommate really reeks?" - You're in luck. Seeing as we're coming up to Christmas the obvious thing to do is buy the roommate a rather pointed gift. Deodorant or soap for example.

2) "How the hell do you get systemite girls to sleep with you?" - Have you tried Rohypnol?

3) "What do you do when you discover that the colors in your outfit clash horribly" - You either get advice from a friend when selecting clothes or come out as a homosexual and flaunt your individualist gay style. Extra bonus for selecting the latter option is that the problem posed in question 2 isn't really relevant anymore.

4) "Why do systemite girls take the phrase 'I love you' so seriously?" - Who cares, you can run can't you?

5) "What the hell do 'wack,' 'jiggy,'
'tight,' and 'sick' mean?" - Do I look like a slang dictionary? Try using these words randomly and deduce the meaning from the looks on people's faces.

6) "How the hell do you do basic Junior High Algebra?" - Give me your immortal soul and I might be able to see my way to doing it for you.

7) "Why doesn't my hair obey me?" - Obviously you've spoiled it in the past, letting it do its own thing. I suggest a brutal training regime. Firstly, get a crew-cut. This will blank the slate, so to speak, removing some of the pride that your hair has in itself. Then, as it grows, administer the rod of correction, in the form of male grooming products such as wax, Brylcreem, pomades, gel etc. If you want to have some sort of hippy thing going on then you're on your own.

I won't charge for my advice this time around, but buy me a drink if you bump into me and I'm sober. Hell, buy me one if I'm pissed...we need another beer!
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re.gifhurts, February 21, 2003, 04:22
is humor ur way of dealing with a rotton situation??

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re.gifDeranged1, November 17, 2002, 23:03
Nice answers there to such burning questions which were on all of our hearts! Not bad dude :)
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re.gifPompousJohn, November 15, 2002, 11:11
Sorry Jules
Yes, exactly, people like me. Didn't mean to mess up this section Jules, I'll stay out of it if you prefer. I sure do love the site, and I hope it doesn't suffer too much in your absence.
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