just a lot of mulling

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Reply Thu 15 Sep, 2005 10:59 am
just a lot of mulling
Okay so for the last 2 months I've spent reading information, personal accounts ect. I have not only broken it down but figured this was maybe in some small way useful for anyone that was a member.
Not being a member i obviously don't know one bit of the experience. But having been in situations that have similar hurt i felt a connection to a lot of what people have expressed. anyway, i think the major thing i have gotten is when the group initially started, it was intended to be a good positive thing. the 1st gen. really was hoping to be revolutionary and by being revolutionary, the thought of trying new things made sense. what the "system" was doing wasn't working and anything that might be "new" or "future thinking" was at least a step in a direction that provided a sense of hope for a new way.
so for all the people who became members, it makes sense. lots of open open minded people with the motivation to do better than before. now all the shameful non christian behaviors that went on, admittedly by many members who realized that this was out of the ordinary etc who did leave, they still had a sense of morals that even tho they wanted to be revolutionary they had to draw a line, prophet or no prophet. now the ones who stayed maybe secretly enjoyed the lifestyles that they were promoted to life or they felt that it wasn't too much of a strain on their belief system because afterall they were redesigning a new belief system. it all is pretty simple to put in words, but the desire to feel that life could be different whilst travelling and having the possibility to live differently and possibly create a movement with hope for something better, that would be pretty inticing to an open minded person. having 2nd generation born into the organization. that is the part that totally ups the ante with creating a stronger group. obviously having more members that have no knowledge of what "system" life is about is like having endless supplies of gold at your disposal. at that point, being soo indoctrinated and able to accept the lifestyle as weird and possibly uncomfortable at times was nothing compared to being able to give your children a life of culture and opportunity to be able to live all over the world. etc. etc. *im soo full of thoughts on this....its soo hard to know where to go* but anyway, my biggest problem with all i've read, is that the children being taught that their opinions and thoughts are wrong and to totally break them by putting them in these victor camps. a youth is soo soo vulnerable and to have parents that put their trust in a group that by sending their children off to become "better" members of the group they are risking soo much. loving a child is something that really goes above and beyond oneself. parents usually are trying to protect their children. sending them to these camps. how is that protecting them. there is nothing christian about starving kids and telling them that fasting will prove their earnest desire to "do well" in the eyes of the lord. making them not speak, not have correspond, not being able to just be children, what a mistake. regardless of it is happening NOW or not. the basis of everything that the cult did was experimental. a childs life is not an experiment. raising them to believe that the rest of the world are devils if they're not in the family. that is just wrong in soo many ways. living a christian life and winning hearts for jesus is not about making your childs life living hell because they have normal thoughts about existance, their existance. questioning is something that everyone does cuz they're human. restricting people from being able to think is a sin in itself. the worst part is that these sheppards (ess) were JUDGING the behavior of these kids telling them no you can't think, do or be this way, its the devil. nothing can ever give those 2nd gens. their childhood back. yes im sure there were times of happiness and love in their lives. and the bonds people have made with other members are prolly strong. you need people to be there for you. but isolating people so they cant' even function in the world. thats the bottom line. its not just the system, its everything.
i think it is totally wrong to have had children do nude dancing and participate in adult child relations. i do see how people could have mistaken a forward thinking mentality of sex being a natural thing and to not prohibit it as a positive thing. however, it is not right that adults were doing things to children. sex was intended for procreation if you want to get christian about it. i don't know i just wish that people who are still involved in the family realized that regardless of the mistakes of the past they still have to be held accountable for the things that were wrong. yah they happened and nothing can change the past but there is no need to have a group organization that teaches people that life outside of the family is sinful and devilish. people should have a choice with their lives and these kids now don't really have any idea cuz they are told that the ones that left that are speaking against them are just devil ridden and the system has corrupted them. they don't give any validity to the people whos lives were in many ways torn apart. that is the bottom line. the people who remain tell the children and youth that the media and the backsliders are of the devil and that they just want to ruin the family. i hate to say it but the family was ruined the moment that moses berg started enabling people in his movement to do unchristian things. im not even christian anymore but i do know a lot about what being christian is and its not about changing people to the point where they are sacrificing a piece of mind to be part of something that has no rewards whatsoever. and by saying rewards, no one needs rewards, i should say accomplishment. having sex with strangers to get money and membership is not very spiritual or christian at all no matter how you try to slice it. to actually be in such clutches to believe that he was the prophet shows just how manipulative that groups basis was. living communally doesn't mean having to be bossed around, shared, condemned looked down upon etc. i dunno i think i should just shut up now but really i wish that there was a way to end them. their existance is really shallow to me when it comes to what they are supposed to stand for. i can never say i know what you went through exmembers but i can say that anytime you ever think that you should go back, PLEASE DON;T!!!
oh and on an unrelated note, that questionaire b.s. that was just posted. did you really have to fill that shit out?
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Thu 15 Sep, 2005 12:21 pm
Some thoughts
Quote:
now the ones who stayed maybe secretly enjoyed the lifestyles that they were promoted to life or they felt that it wasn't too much of a strain on their belief system because afterall they were redesigning a new belief system. it all is pretty simple to put in words, but the desire to feel that life could be different whilst travelling and having the possibility to live differently and possibly create a movement with hope for something better, that would be pretty inticing to an open minded person.


"Open-minded" is not the word I would use for a lot of people who have stayed in TFI. Everyone who made a decision to marry or mate and raise children in COG/TFI was indoctrinated from the earliest days of the group's existence that the Lord's work in the Family came first, while partners & children came second. The doctrine of "forsake all," which included spouse & children as well as parents & siblings, was clear from the get-go.

It's one thing to give up parents, siblings or even a partner for the sake of a call from God. Catholic & Orthodox religious brothers & sisters have done this for centuries. It is quite another thing to forsake a vulnerable dependent child--someone who never asked to be born--for the sake of some mission at the far ends of the earth.

It's not possible to generalize about all the people who joined TFI and gave birth to children in the group, because some of them never truly "forsook all" where their children were concerned. Many TFI parents struggled against great odds to take proper care of their kids. I'd say a lot of those parents eventually left the group. Despite the mistakes that many of them made, I have quite a lot of admiration for many former Family members as far as their commitment to their children is concerned.

Some TFI parents, however, are truly self-centered, narcissistic personalities who are totally incapable of thinking about a child's needs except when those needs can be exploited or manipulated to meet their own needs. These TFI members are not open-minded, sacrificial servants who put God ahead of their children; they are irresponsible, narcissistic parasites who put their need to be identified as God's special, chosen one ahead of everyone and everything else--including the wellbeing of their children. Karen Zerby is a primary example of what I'm talking about.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Thu 15 Sep, 2005 01:04 pm
re read maybe?
i don't know if you just skimmed but i said originally it was open minded individuals trying to do something different. i didn't say anything bout current members or anything about people who left or stayed. i was referring to at the onset of the groups beginnings it was people who were open minded to try something different for a new way of living.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Thu 15 Sep, 2005 05:17 pm
also
a side note a few hours later. i am definitely appreicated of your input and information.

and i think karen zerby is an evil bitch who is farther from being godly. the fact that she has not publicly said word one about her own sons death......that is horrid.
no excuses on that.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Fri 16 Sep, 2005 07:13 am
Open minded
What I was thinking about "open minded" was that this sort of person left TFI eventually. There's no way someone could have remained in the group too long if they were indeed open minded. When I was a member in the early 1970s, I thought I was radical and open minded in my approach to Christianity as a COG. After getting his hands on some of my Mo letters, my father pointed out just how restrictive and close-minded the teachings were. A close friend at the time also pointed out how exploitative the Family's ideas were about "revolutionary women". My brother challenged the intellectual dishonesty required to submit to the Family's totalitarian leadership. To my family and friends, I was saying, "We're radical because we say we're radical." But on closer examination, what we were calling "revolutionary" and "radical" was actually reactionary and very repressive. Because I was indeed "open minded," I was eventually able to put TFIs doctrines and lifestyle into a broader context of information about Christianity and society.
 
evanman
 
Reply Fri 16 Sep, 2005 02:12 pm
Quote:
i hate to say it but the family was ruined the moment that moses berg started enabling people in his movement to do unchristian things. im not even christian anymore but i do know a lot about what being christian is and its not about changing people to the point where they are sacrificing a piece of mind to be part of something that has no rewards whatsoever.


I'd say that the whole thing was doomed from the start. To get "Christian" it is written that "A corrupt tree cannot bare good fruit!" Berg was a corrupt tree, the Family is simply the rotten fruit of it all.
 
Day 1
 
Reply Sat 17 Sep, 2005 05:29 am
In reference to the statement "moses berg started enabling people in his group to do unchristian things," the word "coercion" is what comes to my mind, rather than "enabling."
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Sat 17 Sep, 2005 09:51 am
Seduction is another word I'd use
"Seduction" is how I would describe aspects of Berg's coersion. Not all psychological manipulation is about bullying and playing off of someone's fears. It can also be about feeding a person's desire for power and control to the point of corruption or addiction.

I was able to read through the King Arthur series for the first time on this website. Although I left TFI before these MLs came out, I was already well-primed for them through earlier letters and teachings. I could very easily have been seduced by Berg's arguments for FFing, as I was basically a hedonist before joining the group. The power that an attractive young woman with a strong libido exerts over men can be very intoxicating. Berg really understood this.
 
evanman
 
Reply Sat 17 Sep, 2005 10:15 am
I am more likely to believe that it was Zerbe, all along, that was secretly manipulating things.

She is too often overlooked, in my opinion.
 
Day 1
 
Reply Sat 17 Sep, 2005 06:33 pm
Enabling, Coercion, Seduction...
You're right. I was thinking that coercion relates more to those who were pressured into FFing, or any of the other assorted sexual liaisons expected of a member. Enabling does address those who would take advantage of another who has no choice (in their mind), or as license to prey and exploit. Enabling could also refer to a co-dependent arrangement (Berg & Zerby for example). Berg expected obedience and needed others to emmulate him to justify his perversions, all while adding to his coffers. A hedonistic mindset would lend itself to this kind of sexual windfall, naturally. Biology is a given and the rituals of seduction are powerful. Selling oneself is something different though, as is pimping or acquiescing to another's sexual pronouncements or demands, along with the dishonor and betrayal associated with it, especially in the Lord's name. What a crock.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Sat 10 Feb, 2007 10:20 pm
More mulling- about who was really in control...
I've just recently learned about the CoG and TFI after the recent Montel Williams show, finding these online sites and seeing Ricky Rodriguez' (Davidito's) story. How incredibly tragic. I spent a good part of this past week reading MO letters and wondering where that old reprobate would have led everyone if he could have gotten away with every twisted desire of his heart. It was bad enough as it was.
I've seen other posts that speculate that Karen Zerby was really manipulating the direction of the group from early on, and I must agree.

I don't know if anyone's ever assessed how demented Twisted Evil Berg sounds in some of those tomes when he's asking her for wine, and experiencing succubus or alcohol induced dementia, but she did not protect him from being seen that way in print- when it was quite within her power to do so! Yes, she was compelled by the politics of the situation to report the goddesses and the other things he "saw", but all of that could have been written so much differently. Think about it! In a strange way, I think she was fascinated by seeing how people would follow Berg to the lowest levels of human behavior.

The masterful "spinning" of the most demonic ideas I have ever come across into the "law of love" was something she and a handful of others reveled in. This woman, and the others that have worked their way into power in the Family, are nothing if not conniving, manipulative power whores. That, however is not exclusively a CoG talent- other women do it too, but most do not do it in a toxic goldfish bowl which kills their offspring. There was nothing "sweet" about this "lady" at all. I've seen these traits in every small town power maven who thinks they know it all and are going to make you pay if you oppose them. They use sex when they're young... money or secondhand power when they're older. They prey upon the nostalgia of the "good old days".

It is my conclusion that Zerby did indeed play the part of the obedient mind/sex/procurer/slave for the privilege of demanding obedience from others who saw Berg as a prophet. But, she did get some revenge, even in the midst of it all, by letting him sound like an ranting and obscene idiot. Perhaps she let Sara do most of the child-rearing of Ricky because she was too truly guilty to face her own motherhood, and then capped it off with the episodes that TFI insists never happened.

Well, the final musing is a question I ask of my relatively normal friends who follow the ministries of one or two women with a groupie-like devotion; what are you going to do when so and so dies? Until we place ourselves as responsible for our choices, we are prey for any speech-making, messiah complexed man or woman who wants us to work for their living.
 
winter 1
 
Reply Thu 15 Feb, 2007 07:45 pm
Daystar, that was an excellent speech. Thank you.
 
BlackELk
 
Reply Fri 16 Feb, 2007 10:35 am
Quote:
Until we place ourselves as responsible for our choices, we are prey for any speech-making, messiah complexed man or woman who wants us to work for their living.


Daystar, your analysis and conclusion is right on the money. "Personal responsibility for choices" is almost a mantra for me.

I especially liked your thoughts on how Zerby "got back" at Berg by letting him rant on like the psychotic drunk he was in reality, then publishing every last bit of his drivel for anyone who cares to read it. I've often wondered how she let so much obviously nonsensical stuff go through the Family's censorship aparatus at WS. Like, is she really that stupid? Some people think she is. My view is that she's not the sharpest bulb in the socket, but she's extremely shrewd and calculating. So your explanation for Zerby's lack of quality control fits with my assessment of her character.

If you're not extensively familiar with all the ideas contained in the literature, Zerby is supposedly the "wine taster" who determines what is vintage stock and what is not fine, new wine for the disciples to imbibe. Under that analogy, it would appear she has no palate.
 
evanman
 
Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 02:54 pm
In Latin countries they have a drink called "Aguardiente" (Literally "Firey-Water"). It is a particularly vile drink that is an "acquired taste". Berg's stuff is aguardiente for the soul! It is potent and toxic, yet some people love the stuff--eeeeshhh!
 
 

 
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