provision

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Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2008 05:20 am
provision
This will be embarrassing for me. Like most ex-members, I grew up with the word "provision" (or provisioning) for the majority of my young life. I had always thought (and/or was lead to believe) that it meant one thing: The asking of goods in return for nothing. Because of this, I had never thought to look up the etymology of the word or its common usage (outside the cult). I had used it and had "employed" it (i.e., making the rounds as a young child and teenager "provisioning" for items to support the cult's lifestyle) but never considered it anything other than what we used-and-abused it for. Just today, I was reading a book and the word was used (in its true meaning) and it struck me that I really did not know the true meaning of the word: An item of goods or supplies obtained for future use.

Now, of course, we did "obtain" goods or supplies for _our_ future use . . . but it was the means by which we "obtained" them that gave me pause. My question follows: How did this word (or, for that matter, many other "common" words) come into use for the cult's very narrow definition and use? Who was the first to suggest they use "provision" for their fraud? A provision is a good someone needs, yes, but how did it enter their vernacular to describe quite literally begging for goods to support a lifestyle without any recompense?

Anyway, I have always found word usage interesting and like to ponder after their usage. This was especially true for me immediately after leaving that "cult-world" for the "real-world" and learning that the words we used did not mean the same thing out here.
 
Colonel
 
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2008 11:22 am
Re: provision
There were methods of provisioning other than begging or scamming. There were times when we outright stole things or were temporary hired hands in exchange for provisions. We might sit in a restaurant over a cup of coffee but when we left, every condiment on the table would leave with us. There was one time when we looted a place, the name of which I will not mention, of bunkbeds, mattresses, and Bibles. The justification for it was that the stuff was not being used and "God" needed it. Nevertheless, it was still done secretly and the swag did not belong to us. A man who had a produce market would frequently use some of us to unload trucks or dump rotten vegetables in exchange for provisions. Of course, we disposed of his garbage illegally just as we used to illegally dump the refuse from the Houston colony on private property.

Sometimes it seems like we were foraging just as Sherman's Army did on its march to the sea, taking what we could get, wherever and whenever we could.

We were little more than common thieves.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2008 12:05 pm
Re: provision
Another term came to mind while I was reading your post. Sheep. Everyone knows sheep are stupid animals, why call potential friends sheep? Laughing
 
m 2
 
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2008 03:44 pm
Re: provision
We called them Sheep because of the verse "My sheep hear my voice... and they follow me." I think a lot of verses in John refer to... uh, sheepy people as sheep.
 
Mary Jane Henry
 
Reply Fri 15 Feb, 2008 04:26 pm
Re: provision
How about dumpster-diving? We had people that did that for a colony I was in - while I was pregnant! I have always wondered if eating garbage for 9 months had any long-term detrimental effects on my daughter. So many of the crazy things we swallowed down whole both literally and figuratively must have been extremely harmful, but somehow I believe that if it was done "in faith" God would bless it. We once hitch-hiked across Canada leaving the Okenagan Valley on Jan 1 with *no* money and two baby boys and 3 adults and never went hungry and never had trouble getting rides. During that faith trip we experienced so many miracles our heads were spinning! I don't think I was involved in any stealing - I certainly hope not!
 
Arssle
 
Reply Sat 16 Feb, 2008 03:38 pm
Re: provision
m wrote:
We called them Sheep because of the verse "My sheep hear my voice... and they follow me." I think a lot of verses in John refer to... uh, sheepy people as sheep.

I for one think it's insulting in a way...
 
Arssle
 
Reply Sat 16 Feb, 2008 03:40 pm
Re: provision
anon wrote:
Another term came to mind while I was reading your post. Sheep. Everyone knows sheep are stupid animals, why call potential friends sheep? Laughing

but yah that's the reason.
 
Cookie 2
 
Reply Sat 16 Feb, 2008 06:39 pm
Re: provision
a lot of the things we got "provisioning" were junk. like, we'd be given all the outdated items and rotten fruit and veggies to sort thru, etc. i never lived in a home where "stealing" ok. altho, taking condiments was ok. i must admit i loved the sour lemon packates for tea, heh. heh. Laughing
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Sat 16 Feb, 2008 10:41 pm
Re: provision
Thorwald wrote:
Quote:
How did this word (or, for that matter, many other "common" words) come into use for the cult's very narrow definition and use? Who was the first to suggest they use "provision" for their fraud? A provision is a good someone needs, yes, but how did it enter their vernacular to describe quite literally begging for goods to support a lifestyle without any recompense?

When I was in the cult (1972-74), the term we used for provisioning was "procurement." The definition of this word is:
Quote:
To bring into possession; to cause to accrue to, or to come into possession of; to acquire or provide for one's self or for another; to gain; to get; to obtain by any means, as by purchase or loan.

However, this term also has the implication of "pimping" or "obtaining for illicit intercourse or prostitution." Ironic that the group went from "procuring" to "provisioning" about the same time FFing got started. If you dig through the old MLs, you might find some commentary about "procure" versus "provision." I vaguely remember some discussion about these words and how we shouldn't call someone a "procurer".

I did my share of procuring/provisioning, btw. The idea was to bring along a sister as eye candy, and at 20, I more or less could play the role. My instructions were to smile and be "winsome" so we could "win some." I liked working with some of the provisioners (who were always guys) better than others. Some guys were very charming and seemingly sincere. I hope they went on to successful careers in the system as salesmen or public relations reps. Others were gonif, a Yiddish word for someone who "operates on the shadowy borders of illegality and/or impropriety, and gets away with it, and is not quite an outright crook." I felt embarrassed working with this kind of provisioner, because they were such blatant users. They invariably burnt out donors by asking for too much and imposing on the generosity and kindness of strangers.

What I really disliked most about the Family way of life was how we were always sizing people up for what we could get or hang on to--whether they were potential kings, sheep, Egyptians that we "spoiled" for goods and services, Systemites to be conned, or Romans to be avoided. This is what continues to revolt me most about Family leadership, btw, their pervasive view of human beings solely as objects of utility.
 
 

 
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