Thu 9 Jul, 2009 06:52 am
Hi there - I'm new at this, so apologies if I'm breaking any rules. Underneath is an E-mail that I wrote to Ed Priebe (which I still hope to get into contact with). I just thought I'd post it here. Feel free to reply to it with any answers/discussions of your own.
Dear Mr. Priebe
I got your e-mail address from the exfamily.org site.
I'm trying to come up with a good reason why I am writing to you, but it is kind of difficult. A couple of years ago I have briefly read a small article about the Children of God, while reading up on sects. But it was a very short article that didn't go into a lot of detail about the cult, so I didn't think too much about it.
A few days ago I somehow came upon the Ricky Ramirez suicide story on Youtube. Subsequently I watched everything I could about God's Children/The Family on Youtube, and started doing more research on the family, which led me to exfamily.org.
I think why I am writing to you is because I am kind of in a state of shock at the moment, and feel I need to speak to someone about it. I am absolutely appalled and sickened by all the stuff I read, saw and heard so far. My heart goes out to the thousands of children that have suffered under the hands of all these maniacs. As if all the sexual abuse wasn't enough, I am now reading about the different correctional camps and teen camps, where a lot of the physical and psychological abuse also took place.
I basically have four questions for you:
* I am wondering, how on earth could a loving God allow such things to happen - and in his name!? I really wish I could speak to someone about all this.
* Secondly, I was really fascinated with your Sex with the Goddesses post. The idea that Berg had actual sexual encounters with demons is realy fascinating and really disturbing (if it is true)! Depending on how literal one takes the biblical account that "the sons of God" (angels) had intercourse with the women on earth and produced offspring (giants), this is harrowing stuff to consider! I do believe in angels and demons - I am kind of divided though whether to believe that humans can actually have intercourse with them, and produce offspring. The thought of David Berg is scary enough - the thought of little human/demon Berg-babies running around is downright frightening! From what I have read so far about Berg, there is no doubt in my mind that he truly was demon possessed. So here's my question: How could hundreds of Jesus Christ loving Christians be so incredibly duped by a man that was demon possessed? This thought really scares me. If one believes the bible to be true, that an end-time "man of sin", the Antichrist, will appear, and that the masses will follow him, it seems to make sense that not just non-believers and believers of other religions will "fall under his spell", but also many Christians. In Berg's case, do you believe that the brainwashing was SO strong that even Christians could be duped, or was the spiritual force of perversion so strong that people just couldn't stand against it in The Family? What also scares me a lot is the old Children of God videos I have seen on the ex-family site. The people look so genuinely loving and genuine... it is hard to imagine the abuse behind all those smiling faces. All this troubles my spirit greatly.
* I am an avid comic fan and cartoonist, and I am fascinated with the concept of how comics are (and have been) used as propaganda material (like the Nazi picture books, communist propaganda material, Chicks Publications, to name but a few). I am very much interested in the psychology behind it. So here's my basic question: WHY do you think is comics such an effective propaganda tool to bring ideas across?
* What does most people that left the Children of God sect believe in now? Are they very angry at God? Do most of them become atheists, agnostics? I understand that some of them end up in the sex trade, because that is all "skills" they have learnt from The Family. (So sad!!!). Do some of them become "real" Christians, or is it difficult for them to trust ANY kind of Christian denomination?
I guess this was more than just four questions! You don't have to answer any or all of them. I just wanted to get some things off my chest, and thank you for your insightful posts.
I hope you are living a really REAL free and happy life now.
All the best,
West Black, Switzerland
I am wondering, how on earth could a loving God allow such things to happen - and in his name!?
Maybe because there is no God? Or, if a god does exist, maybe this god is unable (not omnipotent), unwilling (not perfectly good), or does know about it (not omniscient). In other words, the age-old question: The problem of evil if a god does exist.
Epicurus' trilemma wrote:
1. if God is unable to prevent evil, he is not omnipotent
2. if God is not willing to prevent evil, he is not good
3. if God is willing and able to prevent evil, then why is there evil?
# God exists
# God is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good
# A perfectly good being would want to prevent all evils.
# An omniscient being knows every way in which evils can come into existence.
# An omnipotent being who knows every way in which an evil can come into existence has the power to prevent that evil from coming into existence.
# A being who knows every way in which an evil can come into existence, who is able to prevent that evil from coming into existence, and who wants to do so, would prevent the existence of that evil.
# If there exists an omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good being, then no evil exists.
# Evil exists (logical contradiction).
see: Epicurean paradox
for more details.
Your answer is a great - indeed a very interesting observation!
I'm realy not trying to sound smart here, I just honestly want to make sure I understand you correctly.
Are you saying:
(1) God does not exist, yet evil exists? If yes, can you explain the paradox you are referring to?
Or are you saying:
(2) God does exist, AND evil exists. So the conclusion is (the paradox), IF God exists, that God must be an evil God for creating or allowing evil?
Or are you saying:
(3) God does not exist, so evil does not exist? The conclusion would be then that if evil doesn't exist, then nothing is evil or bad, so everything that happens and happened that is bad in the world (including the abuses that happened in The family) isn't/weren't evil.
If I understand you clearly, you don't believe in a god, and you used conslussion (2) to explain the paradox of how a (supposed) God and evil can co-exist. Please let me know if I understand you correctly.
I would love to hear your answer to my other questions also. From the letter I have written you could probably see that had other questions to that i am seeking an answer to.
Thanks anyway for replying. Thanks for a great forum and for "putting the word out on the bad guys"!