Is abuse still widespread?

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Bogman
 
Reply Tue 11 Oct, 2005 02:10 am
Is abuse still widespread?
Hi

This forum is new to me, as, to be honest is the whole topic of TFI. It's something that I have learned about only recently. Please forgive the naivete in this story, but it's important and I really am interested to know your opinion on this, so bear with me....

I recently, unknowingly, spent time at a TFI house in Thailand, where I was sent by a friend who was under the impression that these people were straight up Christian missionaries. I was in Thailand with my girlfriend to do some aid work in the south and was pointed to these people, as my friend knew that they worked down there and were planning a trip. Long story short... we wound up spending 10 days with these guys at their compound and in southern Thailand, and met their kids (6 at the compound, and 11 in another family). Of course we got the full court "Jesus press" for the time we were there but dismissed it as over-zealous prosyletizers at work, until the day we were leaving, when I got the full story on who they were. I've been doing quite a bit of reading for the past few days since I got back and I have a real concern for the kids in that family. On the surface they seemed fairly well adjusted, great kids, and my girlfriend and I became very fond of them as we all were together for the full 10 days and spent a lot of time working and playing together. But, even before we knew about the Family connection, there were things that bothered us about how the parents interacted with them, how sleeping arrangements were made (for instance there was always one parent sleeping in each in the kids' rooms - obviously with multiple kids to a room - either at hotels or in the home), the way one of the girls in particular seemed to become more isolated and depressed during the trip but would not talk about it, and about the parents' apparent willingness to leave the kids alone with us for hours on end - people that they had never met before (maybe we just give off that "trustworthy" vibe Confused)

My question is this: Are the abuses of the past still occurring, and are they as prevalent within TFI as they once were? Is there a need to be concerned about these kids, and if so, is there anything that can be reasonably done about it?

I'm sure this sounds naive, and I'm sure it's a concern that's been reflected by thousands of related people in the past, but I'd appreciate any input you may have.

Thanks
 
Craven de Kere 1
 
Reply Tue 11 Oct, 2005 03:01 am
Re: Is abuse still widespread?
Bogman wrote:
My question is this: Are the abuses of the past still occurring, and are they as prevalent within TFI as they once were? Is there a need to be concerned about these kids, and if so, is there anything that can be reasonably done about it?


Which abuses? Sexual abuse, by its sensational nature, is what most people are thinking of, but denial of education and other abuses were far more prevalent, and remain so.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Tue 11 Oct, 2005 07:43 am
Along with neglect of education, there's a high probability of child labour exploitation. Physical discipline continues to be harsh by western standards--face slapping, for example, seems to be fairly commonplace. There are myriad forms of emotional/spiritual abuse, not the least of which is exorcism. Also, medical neglect is a huge issue, as the first line of "treatment" is usually to pray and ask God for healing.

As far as the sexual abuse goes, that is officially banned. However, the official banning of adult/child sex doesn't mean it isn't happening, particularly with the adolescents. The ban means that certain adults who get caught are subject to excommunication. There is a strong pressure within the group that discourages young people from coming forward with an accusation of sexual abuse. The counsel for adolescents is to "forgive and forget" any unwanted adult sexual contact.

Leaving children in the care of strangers and the pervasive sexualization of the membership through its literature and Loving Jesus spirituality have the effect of grooming the children for sexual exploitation. These kids and their overly trusting and forgiving parents are a pedophile's dream come true. I would be particularly concerned about the vulnerability of the young girls in the group in a place like Thailand where child prostitution is socially tolerated.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Tue 11 Oct, 2005 06:51 pm
Hi bogman - wow, well, you had a brush with the far side, didn't you?

The sad thing is that these young parents believe they are doing the best for their children and in many cases they are, but then the little subtleties show up as you noticed. To them, it is nothing unusual, sexual liberties have been a part of their lives since reading the Life with Grandpa series, Heaven's Girl, watching mommy go out to bars to prostitute themselves for "Jesus", etc., watching their parents swap partners....

The scary thing is the way the upper echelon has delt with a problem they created. If they find out someone has been sexually abusing chidren, they excommunicate them. What does that mean? That could mean just about anything and is up to the area shepherds. It can mean that someone is bumped down to a lower status, such as F. supporter or part-time member and after 3 mos, they can come back. So nothing happens to them, nothing is different, they get to come back and disappear into the network of homes landing in some home that members have no idea they abused children.

This actually happened to us once. When I got together with my present hubby and we were deciding to leave an active home and live on our own, we moved into some apartments where other part-time members were staying. During our time there we spent time with the other F. members and would get together to have dinner, watch movies, etc. I was to find out that the husband of one of the couples there was "excommunicated" for having sex with minors. It freaked me out because he was hanging around our children and also he had a daughter. This is TF's way of solving their problems, shoving them under the carpet and making it look good to "the system." Herein lies the problem, the way they deal with these crimes within their organization is a crime in itself. This guy could likely be back in TF somewhere and using the situation to manipulate it for his own ends. Like someone said - a pedophile's dream come true: trusting parents, young kids with no one to turn to in an enclosed environment. No one reports anything to the authorities, least of all the main perpetrator - Maria (Karen Zerby), their prophetess.
 
evanman
 
Reply Wed 12 Oct, 2005 03:50 am
In The family it's not having sex with minors that's a sin--it's getting denounced and having it publicized that's the sin!
 
Bogman
 
Reply Wed 12 Oct, 2005 01:45 pm
Thanks for your input everyone. Acheick, the far side is an apt description! Just brushing up against this operation has left me feeling dirty.

So what do I do now? A bit of a broad question, I know....

In this house there were 6 kids, 2 girls under 10, a boy of around 12, another about 16 and two older kids, a girl of 18 and a guy of 20. What you have all described is clearly going on there:

- they don't believe in medical care, instead praying for a cure
- they give the kids limited homeschooling (simple arithmetic is beyond the 12 year old, although he can tell you where Surinam is (!), and the eldest boy spent a couple of years outside the family but couldn't hack it and is back in).
- the kids are used as fundraising tools and for labor
- I didn't see any evidence of physical abuse, but the parents have been in the organization since the early 70s and can't have been blind to what was/is going on in that regard. People come and go in that house all the time (they had up to 50 people there at one time) and the kids are certainly left unsupervised with strangers and other members.

Is there anything I can do here? I find it hard to just walk away from those kids knowing where they are. Might sound a bit righteous and none of my bloody business but what's being done to them is not right. What brings people to leave when they've been so indoctrinated and limited?

On a separate but related note, what's the story with the Family Care Foundation? Is it a complete front for the Family? They are a registered charity and are listed on a variety of volunteer-link websites. Has anyone tried to do anything to raise awareness of the FCF as a fundraising front for the F and at least have it delisted from secular volunteering sites?
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Wed 12 Oct, 2005 02:16 pm
Bogman,

Hey there and welcome!

Bogman wrote:
On a separate but related note, what's the story with the Family Care Foundation? Is it a complete front for the Family? They are a registered charity and are listed on a variety of volunteer-link websites. Has anyone tried to do anything to raise awareness of the FCF as a fundraising front for the F and at least have it delisted from secular volunteering sites?


Have you checked out these articles?
- http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Category:Fronts
- http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Family_Care_Foundation

And, yes, there are a few people working on raising awareness of the FCF links to TFI. I believe they are still under investigation.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Wed 12 Oct, 2005 05:52 pm
HI Bogman -

Just so you know - many people have tried for years to raise awareness about TF, including to the authorities. However, TF is so adept at hiding out and being chamelons that they are hard to catch in anything. Being in Thailand is great for them, the Thais don't have a clue what they are doing and because the Thais are so open and generous and looove foreigners, they welcome them. Being in the States is easier to track them, but they move people around so much that once the heat is on, everyone just moves somewhere else until the heat is off. And they are always using a bogus name to fool the authorities. They are quite clever.

In fact, FCF was being investigated and even on the San Diego news, so all the leadership skipped town and went to South America. Now I understand that the whole operation has moved somewhere else.

If you want to help us - there is a journalist from Texas doing an investigative report. The more info we can give to these interested journalists, the better. Thorwald - can you give him the link to the journalist that was on here?

May I ask where this home was - Bangkok perhaps? Can you tell us the name of the older couple with the kids? Thanks - you're a brave man, Bogman. So many other people just turn a blind eye.
 
Bogman
 
Reply Wed 12 Oct, 2005 07:06 pm
Hi Acheick,

Yes. the house is in the Bangkok area. I can provide more info, but I'd rather not post names online. I can send this privately if you let me know where to send it to.
 
evanman
 
Reply Thu 13 Oct, 2005 04:55 am
Dealing with these things IS very frustrating. It is often a seemingly overwhelming thing to deal with. You must be strong in order to deal with such or you will most likely end up having a breakdown, or something.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Thu 13 Oct, 2005 09:14 am
To Bogman
Hi Bogman - I think you can send a private message through this forum. I haven't done it, but I've received them. In any event, email me at:

Acheick51 AT Yahoo DOT com

I don't why they spell out "at" and "dot" but I see tech guys do it so I suppose it keeps spam from ending up in one's email. I already got a virus on one of my computers, so I'm being extra careful now.

I'll be out today and gone all weekend, but I'll try and check tonight. You can also email the editors here and they can hook you up with my regular email. Tell them that's fine with me.
 
Jack 2
 
Reply Thu 13 Oct, 2005 12:36 pm
Ugh. Everytime I hear about a TF home in Thailand I cross my fingers and hope all my childhood friends got out ok. Sad
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2005 01:32 pm
abuse is still happening
...And in the home of none other than the righteous Family spokesperson, Claire Borowick. This abuse comes in many forms -

Denying medical care
Sharing schedules - forcing girls over 16 (but under 18) to have sex with middle aged men, as well as forcing adult women to do the same
Long hours of work without concern for physical needs

And to top it off, she lies on national TV. There have been many lies, all of which are equally bold-faced, yet to say that she has never been in a Family Home that had a sharing schedule is going too far - especially since she was the author of the one in her own home.

So yes, among the many other current abuses (lack of education and medical care) we can add the sexual abuse of a "sharing schedule".
 
Monger 1
 
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2005 02:06 pm
Re: abuse is still happening
anonomous wrote:
...And in the home of none other than the righteous Family spokesperson, Claire Borowick. This abuse comes in many forms -
[...]
Sharing schedules - forcing girls over 16 (but under 18) to have sex with middle aged men, as well as forcing adult women to do the same

I doubt this is the case today. For one thing, it's against the Family Charter (which doesn't rule it out entirely, obviously, but I have strong doubts), and also, coerced is probably a better word than forced for inter-generation sexual sharing as it is practiced in The Family today.
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2005 09:57 am
anonomous (sic) wrote:
So yes, among the many other current abuses (lack of education and medical care) we can add the sexual abuse of a "sharing schedule".


Nah! This is no longer happening. This had all stopped back in the early 90s.
 
evanman
 
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2005 01:14 pm
It must have stopped--The Family have said so!

We can trust everything that they say!
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2005 03:42 pm
evanman wrote:
It must have stopped--The Family have said so!
We can trust everything that they say!


But can you trust the word of a former SGA who left recently enough to have a better idea of the current Family's structure and MO than you do?
 
evanman
 
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2005 04:11 pm
When I joined CoG/Family, none of us knew what actually was going on within the inner circle of Berg's group of leaders.

We know from Karen Zerby's own recent pronouncements that Berg's doctrine on child sex is correct. So NOTHING has changed at the core--they've simply painted the same stinking selpulchar a different colour.

Until they can accept that Berg was a false prophet, and that Karen Zerby (and all those that cling to her) is a Jezebel they should not be given any support whatsoever.

Quote:
20 But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman-that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet-to lead my servants astray. She is encouraging them to worship idols, eat food offered to idols, and commit sexual sin. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she would not turn away from her immorality. 22 Therefore, I will throw her upon a sickbed, and she will suffer greatly with all who commit adultery with her, unless they turn away from all their evil deeds.

Revelation chp 2:20.
 
 

 
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