Give me a chance!

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leocon
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 03:30 am
Give me a chance!
So I just came to this site.
I don't want to start with the usual spiel that most Family members go with.
Yes, thats right, I am a member of The Family.
So here on this site I will most likely be looked on as evil and brainwashed and zombified.
Its up to every individual here to see me as they want to!

But please, I request you give me a chance. A chance to converse with you in a humane manner.

I will respect you and your views (be they not personally offensive) and I will refrain fro using low-class terminology (cuss words) even though its not my forte' and I do have my slips!

I want to start by saying I am sorry for the hurt and harm that some X-members have felt at the "hands" of The Family! I am sorry for the rough past that they had to live through and the abuse which DID happen!

I want to start off on a good note, and honest note!

I am looking for people who sincerely are looking for closure. I want to work with you with the goal of finding closure for you!

I want to work on a personal basis, no generalizing or taking someone elses story of abuse and using it for your own benefit. Its about YOU and the things YOU personally experienced.

Can you give me a chance?
If so.....You just might find what you are looking for!
GBY
leocon
 
evanman
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 04:23 am
Dear Leocon,

You come across as sincere and with very noble intentions. I must warn you, however, that you are opening yourself to a real battle.

Firstly, you agree that many ex family members were abused whilst they were in "The family". This is a positive step, as the psyco's say. I would point out, however, that you must realise, as we all have, that this abuse would not have ocurred but for the practices and teachings of David Berg and Karen Zerby.

No matter how unpalatable this may seem, it is a fact that is fully attested from the experiences of former members like myself, the literature and audio visual materials of the Children of God/Family, that this is the case. That the main responsibility for the horrors perpetrated against people within, and without the CoG/Family were promoted and encouraged from the very beginning by David Berg and Karen Zerby's own reasoning.
 
Monger 1
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 05:39 am
Leocon, welcome to xFamily. It's a refreshing tone you take, and I for one hope you'll stick around and contribute your point of view in a logical, reasoned, and open-minded manner.
 
leocon
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 06:53 am
Monger wrote:
Leocon, welcome to xFamily. It's a refreshing tone you take, and I for one hope you'll stick around and contribute your point of view in a logical, reasoned, and open-minded manner.


I thank you for your welcoming post. I believ we will be able to communicate in a "logical, reasoned, and open-minded manner", as you put it!
 
leocon
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 06:56 am
evanman wrote:
Dear Leocon,

You come across as sincere and with very noble intentions. I must warn you, however, that you are opening yourself to a real battle.

Firstly, you agree that many ex family members were abused whilst they were in "The family". This is a positive step, as the psyco's say. I would point out, however, that you must realise, as we all have, that this abuse would not have ocurred but for the practices and teachings of David Berg and Karen Zerby.

No matter how unpalatable this may seem, it is a fact that is fully attested from the experiences of former members like myself, the literature and audio visual materials of the Children of God/Family, that this is the case. That the main responsibility for the horrors perpetrated against people within, and without the CoG/Family were promoted and encouraged from the very beginning by David Berg and Karen Zerby's own reasoning.


Thank you for the welcome! I look forward to future communications.

P.S. I would like to quote myself on what I said in my first post:
"I want to work on a personal basis, no generalizing or taking someone elses story of abuse and using it for your own benefit. Its about YOU and the things YOU personally experienced."
 
evanman
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 09:17 am
It will be difficult if you are going to be be an apologist for Berg and Zerby.

If you are going to perpetuate the myths and hypocricy that surrounds them I think you will find it hard for people to trust you.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 09:30 am
to Evanman
Evanman - why not give Leocon a chance before you cut to the chase. Geeze, it took me over a year to be able to mouth the words that David Berg was not God's prophet and you want Leocon, who is coming here in sincerity and honest, as much as he is able, to immediately renounce everything. You should know - patience is a virtue.

To Leocon, I say, you are a brave soul and I welcome you and your sincerity - it's very refreshing.
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 10:03 am
Leocon,

Welcome! Glad to have you here! I hope you will stay a while and not let the insensitivities of some dissuade you from remaining.

I assume you are an SGA? If so, you are my brother and my sister. I grew up with you. We share a very common past.

leocon wrote:
So here on this site I will most likely be looked on as evil and brainwashed and zombified.


Not at all! At least, not from my perspective. While I don't believe in God, I respect your right to believe in what you want.

Now, all I ask in return is that you do not label me a "vitriolic apostate" who is nothing but bitter and invents lies. If you are old enough to remember the late 70s and early 80s, you will understand the history we are trying to document here. If you find anything to be counterfactual, please point it out so we can correct it.

Wishing you all the best!

PS: Feel free to email me if you would like to chat privately about some of these issues: thorwald.skanska AT gmail DOT com
 
Jack 2
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 01:04 pm
Hi Leocon,

I have a reputation for being lewd, rude and insolent toward Family members and even ex-FGAs. I'm years away from changing this. I do however respect your approach and commend you for it and wish to join in welcoming you to these forums.

Now for some questions...

Quote:
I am looking for people who sincerely are looking for closure. I
want to work with you with the goal of finding closure for you!


Who are you? And how exactly is it that you feel you can help in finding closure for any of us? As a matter of fact, your existance as a member this cult helps ensure that closure remains a futuristic fantasy.

Closure for me and some others includes the complete disolving of TFI, prosecution of all leaders and abusers in the group and reparation for the children forced to endure a childhood under immoral and illegal circumstances. How do you plan help me find closure there?

Don't misunderstand my questions I really do respect portions of your approach. I do however challenge your motivation and sincerity.

On a final note, I will "refrain fro using low-class terminology" if you refrain from using The Family specific acroynms (ie: GBY) and phrases. It'll help you look less "zombified" anyway.
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 01:53 pm
Hi leocon,

We exchanged posts on the Dr. Phil site. I much enjoyed the dialogue we had there. Your tone on this site and your willingness to open dialogue with ex-members has certainly put you up a notch in my book.

Mind if I ask a direct question? You don't need to answer, but it would certainly help to put a reference on future dialog.

Think worst-case scenario: If it turns out that all the ex-members who claim they were abused are right and the abuse (for the sake of this question we'll limit it to sexual abuse) was as widespread as many exmembers claim it was, what do you think Maria and Peter should do to help each victim find closure and what do you think they should do with the abusers?

I know each case would have to be dealt with based on its unique values, but I'm looking for a general course of action you think they should take.
 
leocon
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 05:05 pm
See me for what I am!
I thank all of you for your warm welcome. I believe future dialog will take place in a respectful and progressive manner.

Before we get into all the nitty-gritty I want to ask you something further, but first I want to just chat with you all a bit.

I am an SGA, as some of you have guessed, and I am happy with the way that The Family has been governed and running since the the early 1990's! Before that there was a period of time in The Family's history which was something like the "Dark Ages" and alot of injustice was performed on the "weak"!
I am an individual, however, and I have NOTHING to do with what happened in that era! I was a child at that time and, even though I am most certain that child abuse, both sexual and physical, I myself have had no experience with it, at least not to the degree some speak of.
I do, of course, remember corporal punishment. I remember being spanked with a paddle "until I stopped crying", but I don't think that that gives me the right to trample on alot of really wonderful people in The Family by trying my best to disband them.

Again, I want you to see me as and Individual person. Someone who has found that The Family is the best place for me, and my family, to serve Jesus and spread the Gospel, love and faith in something bigger than man and money.

My being in The Family has nothing to do with what anyone else does or does not do. I am here of my own choice because I have been out of The Family and tried alot of other stuff, but through that time in my life came to realize that there is extremism everywhere and mistakes, big and small, are made everywhere.

The Family is a group comprised of individuals like myself. We have hunky men and sexy women, kids and babies, parents and grandparents. There are computer nerds, carpenters, secretaries, childcare workers, cooks and all sorts of vocations.

It is such a varied selection of people. And right now the second and third generations far over populate the first generation members. And these two generations (2nd and 3rd) have nothing to do with the abuse that took place in The Family 20+ years ago. In saying this I want to empress on you who say that your ultimate goal is to disband The Family as a whole that you should be expecting flak from THOUSANDS of people who feel that you are coming across disrespectful and arrogant. You have to understand that the abusers were/are a minority and there are ALOT more people in The Family who, and I repeat, have had nothing to do with the abuse that took place!

Its a bit like someone wanting Germany or Austria to be disbanded because of Hitler and the 2nd world war. Well if you would tell that to the German or Austrian public they would rally together and string you up by you neck tie. They find it extremely degrading if you even mention that portion of history, and then they feel anger and hatred towards those who still hold them responsible for the crimes of their grandparents and great grandparents. They, like us, are living in a completely new era.

You cannot expect all the Thousands of mothers and fathers and young people to just drop everything they are doing and turn against one another because you say they should.

I just wanted to share that with you to help you not have such high and mighty expectations of people.

So my request is this; that you see me for what I am, an individual. I have a wife and a child. I live my life for Jesus and by what He tells me to do. I do not have people telling what I should or should not do. Every now and then I will get suggestions from people, but it is ULTIMATELY up to me and my choice.

I thank you for your time!

God Bless You (GBY)
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 05:53 pm
Re: See me for what I am!
Thanks for the intro, leocon. I, for one, respect your wishes.

You might also come to find that we ex-members are not the blood-drenched-demon influenced people your leaders make us out to be.

I know many (if not most) of the "vocal ex-members" personally and can assure you that none of them is out to destroy your faith or disband the Family or take away your children. Just because we left the Family doesn't mean we lost all sense of reason.

Maria and Peter keep making this whole situation into an "us vs. them" issue (granted I can name a few immature ex-SGAs and ex-FGAs who do the same), so the fact that you are willing to grant us the same respect many of us have been trying to grant current SGAs means a lot. I wish more Family SGAs thought the way you did.

One thing in your last post I wanted to comment on was:

leocon wrote:
Its a bit like someone wanting Germany or Austria to be disbanded because of Hitler and the 2nd world war. Well if you would tell that to the German or Austrian public they would rally together and string you up by you neck tie. They find it extremely degrading if you even mention that portion of history, and then they feel anger and hatred towards those who still hold them responsible for the crimes of their grandparents and great grandparents. They, like us, are living in a completely new era.


While I see the point you are trying to make, your analogy is seriously flawed (in our favour) in that Hitler is no longer the leader in Germany. When he was, the Allied Forces overthrew him. The former leaders were then held accountable (at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal) for the war crimes they committed.

So long as the abettors of the abuses in the Family's past do not face the music, the ex-members will continue to demand accountability. Even their most heralded apologist, James Chancellor, has told them this.

Returning to your analogy, if the current SGAs do not want to bear the burden of the Family's past, they should urge the leaders they tithe to, to come clean and make serious attemps at reconciliation. Until they do, it is no new era they live in, merely a polished-up old one.

That is why I keep telling current SGAs that the power lies in their hands.

(PS: That spanking "until you stopped crying": If it's not something you would do or allow to be done to your own daughter, that's physical abuse. Having grown up with it, you eventually become numb to the reality of that fact, so take a moment to think about it.)
 
leocon
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 10:26 pm
What you do not know!
I apologize for the bad example of Hitler and Germany, even though I still think it was a pretty good likening!

One thing I would like to tell you is that you and the rest of the "vocal ex-members", as you called yourselves, do not know everything that is happening around the globe in regards to The Family.

Just today there was a Court Hearing on a matter concerning a past child abuse offense commited by a father who was at the time in The Family but who has been swiftly excommunicated for his actions and justice has been done. He has been disallowed to ever contact his daughters whom he abused!

That happened just today, so although it may seem to most of you that we are doing nothing about justice, there ARE people who are being brought around to face their past as we speak!

That being said, I see through having seen this case unfold how things should be done if one is trully seeking justice! None of the abused were wroth with The Family. Why? Because Family members were the ones who kept the abusive parents away from the abused! I think something like this speaks volumes.

Now, if you would like to have justice be done why don't we start talking shop? Lets discuss down-to-earth ways which could help us rectify what we can.

What do we think?
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 11:03 pm
Re: What you do not know!
leocon wrote:
Now, if you would like to have justice be done why don't we start talking shop? Lets discuss down-to-earth ways which could help us rectify what we can.

What do we think?


I think that's AWESOME! But it leaves me wondering. Why will the Family not bat an eye when it comes to getting justice for expendible grass-roots Family members, and yet turn a blind eye and deaf ear when it comes to doing the same to top leaders and spokespersons who have been accused of abuse for years now (i.e. Matthew, Claire, Marc, Paul, etc.)?

If WS can address that question (regardless of what the answer is), I think we can truly say we are making headway.

Any comment?

Also, what would you think of an organized workshop between current SGAs, the "vocal apostate" SGAs and Peter (or some other WS representative)?

leocon wrote:
One thing I would like to tell you is that you and the rest of the "vocal ex-members", as you called yourselves, do not know everything that is happening around the globe in regards to The Family.


Dude, you'd be surprised how many leaks the Family has. Word gets around pretty fast even though it may not make it onto the Web. I've known about the details of the case you're referring to for a few months now.
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2005 11:36 pm
Just found this on MovingOn:

leocon wrote:
[Ricky] says he was abused, and I say I am Zeus! He says he was molested, and I say I am the Fairy Queen Mother! Where is the proof?
http://movingon.org/article.asp?sID=4&Cat=24&ID=2558


In light of this, do you still stand by that? Because if you do, Eman, you can forget about talking shop with any ex-member. The callous disregard for the pain of an abuse victim you demonstrate in that sentence is disturbing.
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 10:56 am
So, Eman ("leocon"). I just discovered that your are only 21-years old. I am sorry, but you were only 4-years old when they outlawed sex with minors (it was in 1988, not 1986 as Claire claims). Of course you never witnessed abuse or were abused. It had all (generally) stopped by the time you were starting to talk. Do you honestly think you are in any position to deny what we saw and experience before you were born?

You wrote about the Davidito Book:
leocon wrote:
So if you, or anyone else on this site honestly believes that this is proof, than do something about it! If you believe you have proof of anything against the laws of the land in which you are resident in, than bring it to the law!


Since this book was purged before you were old enough to read . . . I don't really think you know what you are talking about. Do as WalkerJ suggested, read this: http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Story_of_Davidito

or, read these:
http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Category:Sexual_Abuse
http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Category:Physical_Abuse
http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Category:Psychological_Abuse
http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Victor_Program
etc.
etc.

leocon wrote:
What good are you doing just sitting around and talking about it?


Do you really think we are just talking about it? Think again.

You know, after reading over your article on MovingOn.org . . . I am beginning to re-think our dialogue. I hope you have modified your stance a bit.

All the best!
 
evanman
 
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 12:13 pm
I used to know Sara Davidito, when she was called Prisca. I knew a number of the former leaders--as well as those who continue in leadership.

Cutting to the chase is what I believe to be necessary.

Whilst the Family continues to trumpet David Berg as a "True" prophet, then there can be NO meaningful dialogue.

Give a man who was shackled with a ten foot chain a fifty foot chain, he'll think he has been delivered!

Open his cell door and let him walk round the quadrangle, he will think that he has been set free.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 12:32 pm
really now
okay from someone who is neither fam or exfam, leocon, what is your REAL intention??? after reading your post on movingon, you really make yourself look bad with your posts here.
if you haven't experienced any abuse in your life GREAT, but people in the fam have and regardless of when it happened, it did happen. you said you want ricky to give you proof?? look at the story of davidito.......i as a non fam or exfam can clearly distinguish that there is something very wrong with not only the photos but the words and the stories of his very young childhood abuse. not even just sexual abuse but the physical abuse that went on. did you go to a victor camp or teen training? prolly not.
i see no reason for the exfam members to be upset with current leadership and members who were responsible for advocating (even if it has stopped now) that type of lifestyle.

i don't know if the person was joking or pretending to be someone currently in the fam, but some girl wrote me some emails and said she currently sleeps with her mother and in her younger years had relations with her siblings and father. whether or not she was being honest or just trying to see what my interest in the fam was, she expressed confusion and pain from growing up thinking that being intimate with family members and being open sexually was the way it was supposed to be cuz it was all she knew.

anyhow you should apologize for saying the things you said about ricky. obviously he was hurt over and over again mentally to end up to the point where he did.

ahhhhhhhhhhhh
what is wrong with people
 
leocon
 
Reply Wed 19 Oct, 2005 09:57 pm
To recap!
I would like to take a moment to set some things straight!
About the article which I wrote and which was posted in various bulletins I would like to tell you that I wrote it quite a while ago, and since then have come to some different conclusions.
If I were to write the same article now it would be sounding different.

I want to make something very clear and state somethings clearly as of now:

1. I know that abuse did tale place at one point in the history of The Family
2. I know that Ricky was a hurt and torn individual


That having been said, whether you or someone else wants to debate the "Davidito Book" or not is completely up to you, as for me I do not care to.....I don't want to! Why? Because it's irrelavent to YOU as an individual finding closure to your past!

If people want to harp on and on about the mistakes and wickedness of The Family's leadership then please go do that elsewhere. I came here to have progressive communications with YOU, as in YOU personally, and YOUR PERSONAL abuse.

I was also asked :

Quote:
Why will the Family not bat an eye when it comes to getting justice for expendible grass-roots Family members, and yet turn a blind eye and deaf ear when it comes to doing the same to top leaders and spokespersons who have been accused of abuse for years now (i.e. Matthew, Claire, Marc, Paul, etc.)?


Well personally I do not, and nither do any of my immediate family, interact with the "Leadership" of The Family. So saying I would rather start with my immediate surroundings, making sure its safe where I am and where my wife and daughter is! Thats my personal priority.

Perhaps after all is clear on the "grassroot" level we can work our way up.......!

My, at times some of you sound so miss-trusting and you treat everyone who does not outrightly curse The Family and Mama and Peter as if they are the "sinister of sinister". People asking me "what is your REAL intention" over and over in multiple ways makes me feel......well like I said in first post.....I guess I kinda am the "enemy" here!

Oh well, if thats the end of this attempt than so be it. I wonder how many Family members hae done what I have done and triedd what I have tried. I wonder how many will do it in the future......

leocon --- out
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2005 12:18 am
Re: To recap!
leocon wrote:
Oh well, if thats the end of this attempt than so be it. I wonder how many Family members hae done what I have done and triedd what I have tried. I wonder how many will do it in the future......

leocon --- out


Giving up after just a couple posts questioning your motives? Come on, you're better than that. I'm sure you didn't come here not expecting to get flack from anyone. Besides, none of the editors are harrassing you, so don't mind the site's participants who do.

leocon wrote:
That having been said, whether you or someone else wants to debate the "Davidito Book" or not is completely up to you, as for me I do not care to.....I don't want to! Why? Because it's irrelavent to YOU as an individual finding closure to your past!


I'd be interested to know why you think you know what gives an abuse victim closure, seeing as you you never experienced any.

I stand up for my friends in the same way you stand up for the Family's leadership. The only difference being that I know my friends personally while you have never even met your leaders.

You say you want me to tell you about my personal abuse. Well the only reason I had inappropriate sexual contact with an adult woman as a child was because of the The Davidito Book. That makes it extremely relevant to me.

Which reminds me, when I asked you directly if you still believe Ricky was not abused you answered, "I know that Ricky was a hurt and torn individual". I take it, then, that you do not believe he was abused. I take it that you consider that everything that was done to him (including the oral sex) was done in love and did not affect him negatively. Is that correct? I tend to think not, but I still haven't gotten a straight answer from you on this question.

leocon wrote:
People asking me "what is your REAL intention" over and over in multiple ways makes me feel......well like I said in first post.....I guess I kinda am the "enemy" here!


Eman, as a peer, I'll break down for you the reasons why people are questioning your motives. Take your article on MovingOn, for example (I know you said you've changed you mind on that, but hear me out):

First you say, "He says he was molested, and I say I am the Fairy Queen Mother!", a few paragraphs later you say, "I also sincerely hope that all those who feel as Ricky felt, and who feel in any way hurt by the past ..."

Either Ricky was hurt by the past in being molested or he wasn't. Which is it?

In that same article you speak of your wife's abuse. You speak with sincere emotion about your wife's story of abuse while jeering your peers when they tell their's. You believe your wife's story even though you haven't seen any proof of it (correct me if I'm wrong), and yet you demand that ex-members prove to you they were abused.

To put things in perspective a little: I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate it if I said that your wife is lying about how bad it was because my best friend can't have kids as a result of the abuse she suffered and your wife can.

On this forum you said, "I apologize for the bad example of Hitler and Germany, even though I still think it was a pretty good likening!"

Either you think it's a bad example, or you think it's a good likening. It can't be both. Which is it?

Emn, this double-speak is what is causing people to question your motives. Personally, my opinion is that you are a confused individual who will eventually pull out of it, but to others, you're coming across as insincere. If you are really sincere about "talking shop", your posts would reflect that without contradicting themselves.

Anyway, it's late and I've got a big day ahead of me tomorrow. But I'm not going anywhere, so if you sincerely feel that you still want to have open dialogue with us (and, yes, constructive criticism will be a part of that), you know where to find me. Smile
 
 

 
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