@Eva St John,
Hi Eve, how's things? Looks like it's been awhile since you wrote your message so you may not read this. But am just writing to say hi to anyone out there who may remember me. Hi folks! My name is Sandy (Sandra Ellis). I joined the COG in Brisbane, Windsor colony back in '76 when Abrahm and Maresha were there. Their son Zeph was 2 1/2 and baby Ezra was a newborn. Yes, it was a long time ago! I also lived in Paddington before going to Sydney, Parramatta and Glebe. I met my husband Ethan Sailor there (he arrived from the US with Levi and Cassandra in May '76) and we returned to Brisbane not long after we were married. Anybody out there remember this time period? My first year in the COG was the happiest. After that it was pretty much all downhill. Best thing about my time in the COG though is that I had 8 fantastic kids, who are all grown up now of course. Our exit from the group was pretty traumatic, but we managed to make it out as a family - which sadly, many others were unable to do. After being out of the COG, I helped another former member Graham (Daniel of Daniel and Rachel) find his wife and kids shortly after he left (1991). This led to a court case in Melbourne, and then the Dawn Raids in Victoria and NSW, and the DOCS court case in Sydney. Once we left the COG I was keen to put it all behind us and just look after my family and raise my kids, but that's not the way things happened, and I ended up speaking to police about my concerns about children in the group. One thing led to another, and the whole thing took on a life of its own.
Earlier this year I wrote a book about my time in the cult and how we managed to get out, and am working on another one about the court case in Melbourne and all that happened in the lead up to the Dawn Raids. If there's anyone out there who would be willing to contribute what they know and experienced while still in the cult as a consequence of the raids, please get in touch. My email is [email protected]
Or even if you'd just like to chat, feel free to contact me. Kind regards to all and sundry out there. Isn't it great to be free of the COG? Even though I've been out for 25 years now, some days I just dance for joy that we made our escape
and that my kids got the chance to grow up free from all the COG's endless rules and deceit and manipulation and drama.
I don't hate the cult or anyone in it. I don't hate David Berg or Karen Zerby or anyone else. And I wish all present and former members happiness and joy and health and contentment in their lives and families. I'm so very sad for all the people who've lost their lives as a consequence of Berg's teachings and their experiences in the COG. The enormity of that is much bigger than most people realise, especially for the 2nd generation. And I'm very sorry to all the people I hurt and was unkind to during my time in the group. I was too hard on kids and I was preoccupied with my own unhappiness so much of the time, that I couldn't see the suffering and pain of others. I'm sorry that I never protected and defended others more, especially children and most of all
I'm sorry I never fought harder against the injustices I saw going on around me.
It wasn't until I'd left the group that I really was able to start processing what was going on, what I'd seen and what I'd experienced. That was why I started talking to police and telling them what I knew. But anyway, that's it for now. Enjoy your day everybody, and all the best for you, your children and your future.