concerned brother

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Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2005 04:31 pm
concerned brother

Hi. My name is Jonathan Bolick. My brother's name is David Jackson Bolick. The only other name I know he used was Job. He joined in the summer of 1973. He currently lives in Santiago, Chile.
David is comming home for a visit in a few weeks. I really love my brother, and do not to sever communication with him. At the same time I want to see him set free from this cult.
Can anyone help me, or give me advice?
 
Jack 2
 
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2005 05:26 pm
Hi Jonathan,

Welcome to xFamily.org! I feel your pain as I have had immediate family members in the cult until very recently. Here are my opinions on handling this very difficult situation.

1. Rome wasn't built in a day. This is going to have to be a process. Your brother will probably not become immediately enlightened. Remember when speaking to him that he has dedicated over 30 years of his life to this group and its beliefs.

2. Don't tell him what to think. Don't ever act like you know better than him or have lived a better life than he has. Don't ever be judgemental.

3. Try to find a few basic beliefs that he may have issues with. If you bring up child abuse or another frequently mentioned issue, he will probably have so many scripted responses that he will not be able to think outside of that mindset. In my experience I found that my step-father was not comfortable with The Family's recent decision that they should pray to the Greek god Aphrodite as it went against his fundamental Christian beliefs.

4. Find out why he joined in the first place. Was it to serve his god or religion? Was it because he finally felt needed, wanted or loved? Suggest alternative way to get the same results. If he joined to serve God or it's variations, show him how the controversy surrounding TF might be hurting his efforts.

5. Show him love. Show him a chance for the future outside the cult.

6. Inspire him to speak to positive ex-members (Acheick perhaps?).

This is an understanding he has to come to himself. He shouldn't be told how to think or he'll have a whole new set of problems once he's left (see: fisherman). Again, it takes time--my parents have been out for 2 years and they are still mindless robots. I wish you the best of luck.
 
evanman
 
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2005 05:51 pm
Jack has some good advice for you. It is difficult to assess how to approach individuals, everyone responds differently.

ultimately when a person is at the point where they are ready to receive the information that will ultimately undermine their faith in the organisation, that is when they will receive the truth concerning CoG/Family.

Some people respond to being shown what the Bible actually teaches above and beyond what the cult teaches--this is what started me to seek to leave.

Others don't--and some never will accept the facts concerning CoG/family.

Sorry that none of us can give you any definative answers.

If you maintain a personal faith in Jesus Christ you can always pray for them.
 
Day 1
 
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2005 06:37 pm
Hi Jonathan,

Jack and Evanman both have good advice. It's good to remember that no one wants to think that they've wasted decades of their lives for nothing. Kindness works wonders.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2005 09:12 pm
Rick Ross has a good website with information on communicating with family members who are in cults. That site also has a message board:
http://www.rickross.com/
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2005 09:20 pm
Something to keep in mind: people don’t usually like admitting that they’ve been wrong. So even if your relative starts to change his mindset he probably won’t show it. That doesn’t necessarily mean your efforts aren’t having an effect.
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2005 11:01 pm
One thing that might make for interesting discussions, is if you ask him about some of the recent doctrines and past teachings in a matter of fact way, let him reply, and then leave it at that.

For example, you could ask,
  • "So I heard a sprit helper called Carla told you in a class on spirit helpers and hinderers that there are 14,272 different types of demons. What's your personal take on that?"
    [/*:m]
  • "Why do you think the Family stopped instuting Victor Camps? Was it because they saw they were being too cruel to the kids, or are kids in the Family better behaved these days?"
    [/*:m]
  • "Do you think it's fair to read stories like the Traumatic Testimonies to young impressionable kids in order to scare them into staying in the Family?"
    [/*:m]
  • "Do you think that God will punish young people for leaving the family? If not. Why do you think Karen Zerby said this?"
    [/*:m]
  • "Do you think that people who take photos of adult women having sex with a child, and print and publish those photos are commiting a crime? If so, why don't you think Zerby is a criminal? If not, why don't you think that's a crime?
    [/*:m]
  • "If the Family has had to renounce so many of Berg's writings as being wrong, why do you still revere him as God's Endtime Prophet?"[/*:m]

The idea is to ask him these questions and just let him answer. You don't have to debate them with him, just say, "OK, I was just curious." and drop the subject.

Most Family members are so caught up in reading the never-ending flow of new "Word" and doctrines, that they forget about the older publications. Asking him questions about it would force him to have to try to explain what happened in a rational manner.

Family members are "programmed" (and I use that term loosely) to internalise everything, so if one of the answers he gave you didn't sound convincing to him, or he just didn't have an answer, he will most likely mull over it until he can come up with a better response. Perhaps he'll bring up the topic on his own a couple days later to try to reason it out a little more.

He might also tell you that you're just trying to get him to doubt and to destroy his faith. Whenever someone tells me that, I just say, "If I did manage to destroy your faith, then wouldn't that mean that you only had 'paper faith' to begin with?". (He'll know what that means, in case you don't)

Anyway, good luck with your brother's visit.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2005 11:10 pm
Jered wrote:
Something to keep in mind: people don’t usually like admitting that they’ve been wrong. So even if your relative starts to change his mindset he probably won’t show it. That doesn’t necessarily mean your efforts aren’t having an effect.


That's right, Jered - I've said that so many, many times. I can think back to times when my conscience was telling me stuff through people, but I didn't want to admit it. Nevertheless, the truths people were telling me were having an effect, even if I didn't show it.

When I went to visit my family - I was pretty much on the out and out, but still so heavily indoctrinated I thought I had to be in TF or something bad would happen to me - my brother said some pretty heavy stuff to me. I couldn't deny that he was telling me the truth, but I couldn't admit it either. After such a long time of thinking one way, it took me a couple of years to allow my brain to thaw out. It's really such an incredible rocking of one's world to admit that 20 to 30 some years of your life were given to a lie. If Jonathon has the patience, he might try and offer his brother some sort of work or help in getting set up to live in the states, near his relatives. Giving him little "pricks in the spirit" - so to speak - and for lack of a better illustration - by saying things to him, little by little, about TF that just don't add up, don't sound right, are very troubling, etc. Give him stuff to chew on, to make him think.

Thanks for offering my help, Jack - :wink: Of course, I am always wiling to help, when I can. Anything to help some poor sucker get out of that lifestyle and onto something so much better for them.
 
Jack 2
 
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 01:05 am
Acheick wrote:
Thanks for offering my help, Jack - Wink Of course, I am always wiling to help, when I can. Anything to help some poor sucker get out of that lifestyle and onto something so much better for them.

Heh.. yeah I typed out "positive ex-members" and couldn't think of anyone who fit in that category except you. Too be fair, I'm also a very bitter, vile dispensing man who doesn't really ever speak to ex-members. I have had only brief (internet only) interactions with you which did not end on the same frustrated and disgusted note that I have with so many (read: most/all but 2) ex-members. Having never committed myself to TF or any of it's teachings and/or beliefs, for me to attempt to try to express how the transition feels or what are the best methods for encouraging someone to "see the light" are only guesses and would be just as ludicrous as Fisherman's attempts at suggesting "healing(s)" methods for SGAs.
 
evanman
 
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 04:57 am
When someone spoke to me they asked me a question I couldn't answer--even tho' I had answered it many times before. In fact i had absolutely no words for them at all, I was struck dumb.

this bothered me so much--it began to dawn on me that Berg had been wrong, so obviously if he was wrong then he was no longer infallible as I had believed. This also meant that he wasn't the prophet I had thought him to be. Which also meant that I was a dupe! Suddenly I felt like Wiley Coyote when he had chased Road Runner over the Grand Canyon and upon looking down realised that there was no solid ground beneath his feet.

After leaving I was eventually given a copy of Deborah's book. It was shocking reading for me--I saw that all the kids in the "Family" were being cloned--the lads to be like Berg, and the girls to be like "Maria" (Zerby). I too was becoming like Berg.

This absolutely terrified me. The road to "Freedom", for me, has been a rocky one to say the least, three nervous breakdowns, two suicide attempts.

All I can say is thank God for Jesus!
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 07:03 am
evanman wrote:
When someone spoke to me they asked me a question I couldn't answer--even tho' I had answered it many times before. In fact i had absolutely no words for them at all, I was struck dumb.

Can you recall what the question was?
 
evanman
 
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 09:45 am
Yes, I can.

It was about Jesus' words to the woman who had been caught in adultery.

Quote:
Jhn 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

Jhn 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.


You see he told her not to sin again. berg told us that this was not a sin--yet here we have Jesus telling this woman that it was.

It was this question over if it weren't a sin then why did Jesus call it such/ that I couldn't answer.
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 11:29 am
evanman wrote:
Yes, I can.

It was about Jesus' words to the woman who had been caught in adultery.

Quote:
Jhn 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

Jhn 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.


You see he told her not to sin again. berg told us that this was not a sin--yet here we have Jesus telling this woman that it was.

It was this question over if it weren't a sin then why did Jesus call it such/ that I couldn't answer.


And to think that after 24 years of studying the Bible and Berg's pablum, I failed to make that connection. Interesting.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 12:10 pm
Evanman's post points out the need for Jonathan to spend time getting to know his brother, looking for chinks in his armor of defenses. Some longtime TFI members have little regard for scriptural tradition and would argue (in response to the question about the sin of adultery) that "Jesus commands us all to be married to each other, therefore there is no adultery according to the New Wine of revelation."

Unless Jonathan's brother is completely brain-dead, there will be places where he struggles with doubts. Problem is, he hasn't had enough time and distance from the group to get in touch with his feelings and the voice of his confused conscience. However, if Jonathan can get a clue about where his brother has doubts, that would be the area to pose questions.

Maybe the brother believes children are spiritual fruit and that bad fruit can't fall from a good tree. If that's a belief he has, Jonathan might want to ask why Ricky turned out the way he did. I know this is an issue for a lot of FGs.

My other suggestion is to learn as much as you possibly can about mind control and then look for teachable moments when it appears that the person's defenses are down. Even getting someone who's in a cult to the point where they've relaxed their guard takes some practice and patience.
 
Day 1
 
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 01:33 pm
We were taught not to value or trust our personal feelings and intuition, or even basic logic, which made it all the more difficult to break away.
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 01:47 pm
Jack wrote:
too be fair, I'm also a very bitter, vile dispensing man who doesn't really ever speak to ex-members. I have had only brief (internet only) interactions with you which did not end on the same frustrated and disgusted note that I have with so many (read: most/all but 2) ex-members.


You will have to include me in that list. Of course, you haven't been too good at answering my damn emails!! Bastard! LOL!

How is life these days, Jack? I was going to be in the Portland area a while back and we were supposed to meet for a coffee (or was it beer?). Anyway, you never repsponded to my email, so I just met up with a couple of strippers and we had a blast! I don't think I should post what I mean by "had a blast" on this public forum. If you are interested, email me. ;-)
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 01:50 pm
evanman wrote:
It was about Jesus' words to the woman who had been caught in adultery.
Quote:

Jhn 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

Jhn 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.


You see he told her not to sin again. berg told us that this was not a sin--yet here we have Jesus telling this woman that it was.


Evanman, you have just impressed me . . . and that is VERY difficult to do! I am completely serious here.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 02:05 pm
Day wrote:
We were taught not to value or trust our personal feelings and intuition, or even basic logic, which made it all the more difficult to break away.


Exactly - we suspended our critical thinking and rationalization skills. I remember thinking about even the 10 commandments, not lusting after your neighbor, no adultry, etc. And so many other verses that didn't add up with Berg's loose sexual doctrines. But I thought I was missing something and wasn't understanding things right - it was always that something was wrong with ME. I was the problem. I wanted so badly to talk to someone about it, but there was no one, certainly not my ex who would have locked me in a room for sharing those type of doubts. I was so full of fear. Berg had his doctrine of the All Things Tree - remember that one? I couldn't understand it and didn't know how that equaled his one wife doctrine, FFing, etc.

I do remember one time when several of us in a home got pink eye and had to be quarantined. We all went into this room for like a week and had our meals brought to us, etc. So all of us women and children started talking, particularly the women amongst us. There were so many things that were bothering us and with no shepherds or leaders looking over our shoulders, it all started coming out and we talked and talked and talked. As soon as we got out of the that room, one of the families up and left the next day. So, you see, not having anyone else to talk to, having to speak only what is allowed, keeps one pretty much in the F. mentality clenches. As soon as that door is lifted, amazing things start to happen.

Don't worry, Jack, about being angry. You have every right to be. With people like Jay, I don't have much patience either. In fact, soon after I mentally left TF, quit tithing, denounced Berg, really got my wits together, I met some TRF supporters I knew around town. I wanted so badly to take them and shake them by the shoulders and scream at them - what are you doing? Quit following that moron and throwing your money away. They eventually sent some of their teens back into F. homes. I was so angry, I could scream again. Then there was the TRF supporting F. members that we lived next door to for about 3 years. They actually made their kids eat pancakes for 3 wks, because they tithed on their Christmas gifts. That kind of stuff really makes me angry.
 
Jack 2
 
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 03:36 pm
Thorwald wrote:
You will have to include me in that list. Of course, you haven't been too good at answering my damn emails!! Bastard! LOL!

The reason you're not included on that is is because as far as I understand it, you, like me were never so much of a member as an unfortunate side effect of your parents being members. I don't like calling SGAs who left ex-members unless I know they were at one point committed to the cult. I, for one never signed their damn contracts and chose brutal punishments over devotions so I wouldn't have to be called a member.

Yes, I am bad at answering emails. Emails are usually all work no play enviroments for me so I forget about non-work related emails. You do have my phone number don't you?

Thorwald wrote:
How is life these days, Jack? I was going to be in the Portland area a while back and we were supposed to meet for a coffee (or was it beer?). Anyway, you never repsponded to my email, so I just met up with a couple of strippers and we had a blast! I don't think I should post what I mean by "had a blast" on this public forum. If you are interested, email me.

These day's I've been working my ass off and getting drunk when I'm done. It's been good fun. Portland has a reputation for it's strippers. My ex-girlfriend (of Small World Coincidences fame) is in the industry as is the wonderful girl who recently resigned from her position of associate fornicator in my life. The good and sane girls tend to avoid me. It's a pretty sweet curse really. Yeah, I'll drop you a line some time. Let me know if you're ever in P-Town again as I'm only banned from 3 out of the 32 stripclubs in downtown.

Acheick wrote:
Don't worry, Jack, about being angry. You have every right to be. With people like Jay, I don't have much patience either.

Speaking of, I miss that guy.
 
Monger 1
 
Reply Tue 8 Nov, 2005 05:45 pm
evanman wrote:
Yes, I can.

It was about Jesus' words to the woman who had been caught in adultery.
Quote:
Jhn 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

Jhn 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

You see he told her not to sin again. berg told us that this was not a sin--yet here we have Jesus telling this woman that it was.

It was this question over if it weren't a sin then why did Jesus call it such/ that I couldn't answer.

This is actually more easy than you may realize for a Family member to weasel out of.

I'm well aquainted with two different but both typical Family responses to this and similar questions. In fact, I've asked this very one to my father in the past, and similar questions to numerous other Family members, and have always received answers along the following lines.

1. If something is done "according to your faith" it is not a sin (of course, this only applies when convenient in order to explain otherwise incomprehensible contradictions with the Bible). In other words, she thought she was committing a sin, so in her heart she was. Of course, the verse "according to your faith be it unto you" (Matthew 9:29) is being taken out of context when used in that manner, but it's a very ingrained principle in The Family nonetheless.

2. She was still living under the Mosaic law at the time. Matthew 5:17 says that Jesus did not come to destroy the Mosaic law, but rather to fulfil it. When dying on the cross, Jesus said 'it is finished/fulfilled' (John 19:28-30), which is often explained by Family members (this is probably somthing Berg taught) to mean that the Mosaic law no longer applied, and going forward the only law was love. (see Galatians 5:14..."For all the law is fulfilled in one word...", etc.) Of course, one who believes the Bible could make the argument that this too is taken out of context, and that Jesus was saying the prophecies about him were fulfilled upon his death in such a manner.
 
 

 
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