I have been involved with "The Family"

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Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 06:04 am
I have been involved with "The Family"
Hi all

I met members from "The Family" a few years ago, I was homeless and living on the streets, members from "The Family" regularly fed homeless people including me. Since then I have gotten off the streets and have a home, Im still in regular contact with "The Family" and I think they are amazing people. I think they are true Christians filled with the Holy Spirit who really care about others.

This is my first time Ive visited this forum and website, and Ive found some intriguing information on it, and my view towards "The Family" is still the same; they are simply true Christians devoted to the teachings of Jesus, who want to help people.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 02:03 pm
Re: I have been involved with The Ku Klux Klan
Hi all

I met members of the Ku Klux Klan a few years ago when I was coming down from a bad acid trip and they fed me some tasty BBQ pork, white bread and even gave a big glass of grape Kool Aid to wash it all down. Members of the KKK regularly feed burned out acidheads including me. Since then I have quit doing acid and my Aryan friend Tina and I have established a productive chemistry lab in an exclusive mobile home community in Cobb County. I'm stil in regular contact with the KKK and I think they are amazing people. I think they are true Christians trying to preserve the irreplaceable hub of our Nation, our faith, and the high levels of western culture and technology and promote world wide White racial unity.

I've recently come across a few web sites and history text books that have some intriguing information about the KKK and my view towards them is still the same, they are simply true Christians devoted to the teachings of Jesus and Nathan Bedford Forest, who want to help people and light crosses.

Bubbles1 wrote:
Hi all

I met members from "The Family" a few years ago, I was homeless and living on the streets, members from "The Family" regularly fed homeless people including me. Since then I have gotten off the streets and have a home, Im still in regular contact with "The Family" and I think they are amazing people. I think they are true Christians filled with the Holy Spirit who really care about others.

This is my first time Ive visited this forum and website, and Ive found some intriguing information on it, and my view towards "The Family" is still the same; they are simply true Christians devoted to the teachings of Jesus, who want to help people.
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2006 02:19 pm
There's no doubt that many Family Members are decent people who have a sincere interest in helping those less fortunate. Most of the negavite aspects of the group are witheld from Family members (better said, they are discouraged from informing themselves about them) or presented to them with a spin so it cannot be said that every Family member knowingly supports the abuses and crimes that have taken place/are taking place--thus they are convinced that those negavtive aspects are lies.

Most of the criminal activity (tax fraud aside) was far more prevalent in the past, so many of the younger generation are completely unfamiliar with it and, again, claim it is all lies (that's what they've been taught all their lives, so they can't really be blamed for their ignorance).

The reason I can state the above with as much certainty is that I was, until 4 years ago, a born-and-raised member of the Family. Up until several months after I left, I believed I was not abused--until I began reflecting on my experiences and realized that I would never, ever allow my daughters to have happen to them what happend to me.

If you're interested in hearing the take on all of this of the Family members you're in contact with, here are a couple questions you could ask them that would make for an interesting conversation:

1) Do you consider what was done to Davidito, as documented in the Family publication "My Little Fish" (http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Story_of_Davidito), to be proper use of a child? Do you consider it proper use of a child to take photographs of such acts, print them and publish them?
If not, why are you satisfied that Maria and Peter have made no public apology for their abuse of Rick Rodriguez?
If yes, please explain how you feel such acts fall under the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child.

2) Why, if The Family considers child abuse a punishable offence, has its leadership not reported a single Family member accused of abuse to the proper local authorities for investigation?

3) The Family has stated that they have renounced David Berg's doctrines regarding child sex. If this is the case, where is the official, public document stating such? If one exists, why is there no mention of it anywhere on the TheFamily.org website?

4) The Family leadership and spokespeople have acknowledged that some abuses took place. Why then, when a person speaks out about their abuse and demands accountability by the involved parties, is the leadership and spokespeople's first reaction to claim the person is lying rather than initiating immediate extensive investigation into the allegations by an uninvolved third party?

There are many more questions that have remained unanswered, but these should be enough to get a bit of dialogue going.

Good luck Smile

My personal take is that The Family has a right to the lifestyle and belief system of their choice (so long as they harm no one and remain legal), but they must be held accountable for the crimes and abuses that were committed in the past.
 
Bubbles1
 
Reply Fri 6 Jan, 2006 03:31 am
I have personally visited "The Family" homes and have found the children to be the most happy and bright kids Ive known. The kids are of all different races and colours and they all get along beautifully, there is NO racial hatred or white supremacy or any of that nonsense, I think the world would be a more peaceful place if everyone lived like "The Family".

In todays society people of different cultures and groups fight and kill each other as Bubb stated above about the Ku Klux Klan. Blacks are fighting hispanics in LA and killing each other for gang terroritory, these issues concern me. But people in "The Family" are living in peace and promoting peace, something which is needed in todays world. I think the accusations against them are trumped up and blown out of proportion.

In todays world with all these wars and killing, we need people to promote peace and love, "The Family" is for peace and for Jesus message of Love.

I think we need to worry about "The Catholic Church" more, they have thousands of pedophilia cases against them, and David Yallop recently wrote a book about "The Catholic Church" and their credible links to organized crime.

"The Family" are true followers of Christ and the last true church. Humanity could learn something from these peace loving people. I will continue to visit and support this amazing and loving organization, but if I ever see something illegal I will most certainly report it. But I've known "The Family" for many years and I've never seen anything illegal.

I would advise anyone who is interested in "The Family" to call them up and volunteer to help them serve food to homeless people, and spread peace in gang murdering violent neighbourhoods. I was recently involved in spreading a message of love and peace in a violent gang neighbourhood with "The Family", and we really made a difference in turning gang members towards Jesus and away from violence.

I've been involved with "The Family" for many years and Ive yet to see one illegal or bad thing. All I've seen is fantastic work from people who are full of integrity and the Holy Spirit.
 
evanman
 
Reply Fri 6 Jan, 2006 04:10 am
Shocked Shocked Shocked Sad Sad Sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad

You are a very sad person!!
 
Day 1
 
Reply Fri 6 Jan, 2006 07:27 am
When our confidence is based on anything short of all the facts at our disposal, we do ourselves a disservice. There is ample evidence that the injustices that have occured in TF are not mere figments of a few malicious imaginations, and TF's denial of and failure to account for crimes committed in their homes in no way relieves them of their guilt and responsibility in these matters. Ask them about the charges against them. See if you get a "straight up" answer. You owe yourself that much, don't you think?
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Fri 6 Jan, 2006 08:40 am
Bubbles1 wrote:
I've been involved with "The Family" for many years and Ive yet to see one illegal or bad thing. All I've seen is fantastic work from people who are full of integrity and the Holy Spirit.

That's wonderful that you want to help people and that The Family members in your area are giving you the opportunity to do that.

Unless you've known them for more than 10-15 years, you wouldn't really have been witness to any of the criminal activity. The Family has made a an effort in the last decade or so to clean up its act.

I'll give you some examples of the past illegal activities I'm talking about:

At the age of 8 I was sexually abused by adult Family members. This was done to me in compliance with Family publications such as the Story of Davidito, Child Brides, etc.

From the ages of 7 to 18 I was out busking or selling Family productions(while my secular peers where in school)--sometimes daily--so that the Home I was living in could afford to pay the bills. Child labor is illegal.

At the age of 13 I was placed in the Swiss Victor Camp where I was subjected to beatings, hard manual labor, public humiliations, food depravation, isolation, and placed on silence restriction. My "crime"? Being silly.

In all my time in the Family, I received no more than a 6th grade education. All of my current IT skills were self-acquired after I left the group. Again, the idea that a "6th grade education is all [Family] children will ever need" was one promoted by David Berg and Karen Zerby.

The sad thing is that these things didn't happen to me alone. They happened to hundreds of my peers as well. To this day, I haven't received as much as an apology from Family leaders nor have they made any attempt to help me identify and locate the people who abused me.

I think it's wonderful that the abuses I experience as a child are no longer prevalent, but they certainly did occur in the past, and until Family leadership acknowledges this and their promoting role in it, as much as I would like to, I cannot truly say that the Family is a safe environment.

As for current illegal activity, Family members do not pay taxes. Even if the Family members you know have a tax deductible charity set up, they still send 10% to 14% of their monthly income to the Family headquarters who most definitely are not a tax-deductible charity and do not pay taxes.

Look, I know it's difficult to accept that people who you think are wonderful could be involved with and support a group with such a sordid history. The fact is, I grew up in this. I know the group inside out. They may be able to lie to you about what went on in the group in past years, but they can't do that to me.

You say people like me should go after the Catholic Church? You know, I bet there are people who tell the victims of abuse by Catholic priests that they should go after real child abusers and leave the Catholic Church--who is doing so much good in the world--alone. The fact that there are organizations that have committed more crimes than the Family doesn't negate the fact that what The Family did was criminal. A crime is a crime is a crime--regardless of it was committed by a life-long missionary or a hardened thug.
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Fri 6 Jan, 2006 10:26 am
When commenting on the accusations of rascism, you said:
Bubbles1 wrote:
I think the accusations against them are trumped up and blown out of proportion.

You're right. Any accusation that all current Family members are racists and white supremists would most definitely be trumped up and out of proportion. That David Berg, however, held rascist attitudes towards Jews is a fact documented in the Family's own publications (http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Berg_and_Anti-Semitism)
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Fri 6 Jan, 2006 09:31 pm
Day wrote:
Ask them about the charges against them. See if you get a "straight up" answer. You owe yourself that much, don't you think?


Day, thanks very much for your advice, I do appreciate it. I did ask them about the child abuse charges, and I researched them myself. The case went to court here and "The Family" won the court case after hundreds of kids were seized from them. In the end "The Family" was awarded millions of dollars and the case was thrown out of court, one of their 12 year old girls was put on the stand in court and told the judge she loved her parents and was never abused.

"The Family" in my area has been proven to be innocent both through the court system, and from my own person observation. I will continue to help "The Family" assist disadvantaged people in the community and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. I just have not seen any illegal activity or anybody hurt in "The Family", in fact I've never seen so many smiles in an organization. If people are concerned about this organization I think they should visit "The Family" colonies regularly to find out for themselves if they are a threat, but I dont think they are a threat at all.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Fri 6 Jan, 2006 10:01 pm
Dear Guest:

I'm sighing heavily. Such talk is so disconcerting to me.

Yes, the "love-bombing" caught me too. I thought I was in heaven, literally. I thought everyone loved me so much, that God was truly in control of the group, The Children of God, aka The Family of Love. And truely, most of the people caught up in the group ARE genuine, they ARE loving, and they really believe they are winning the world for Jesus. I know I did - for nearly 20 years, I really thought that was my mission, I was so convinced that even when I left I had to still tithe for fear that God would strike me dead if I didn't. It was only when I could admit to myself that TF's and David Berg (their founder's) law of love doctrine truly did not work that I could shake that stranglehold they place on all their members with guilt and fear (yes, we all smiled until we were blue in the face and convinced ourselves of how loving we were so as to please God but it was a trap we were stuck in) so that I was terrified to leave the group even when I wanted to.

To me, this is one of their biggest and most horrible crimes, notwisthanding the child abuse that did in fact happen to many children growing up in the group in the 70s and 80s, to tell committed members that if they don't serve God in their perceived fashion, God will punish them and bad things will happen to them. That they meddle with people's lives and tell them where to go, who to live with, whom to marry, who to divorced, etc., etc., this is a crime in and of itself. Many families were affected in more ways than child abuse. Families were easily torn apart "for the greater good." Ask around, see how many members have new wives or new spouses, or extra spouses - how many offspring have gazzillion siblings and many they don't even know about due to the loose spousal swapping that is not only encouraged but often enforced. You call this Christian? Oh my friend, be not deceived as I once was - remember, the wolf comes about in sheep's clothing. Do you think the devil is going to show up with horns in place and an evil growl to get you to follow a crooked path? No, he will come to you with cookies and milk and a gooey sweetness that is sweeter than honey itself. That honey is all over you and you are oblivious to it.

Remember the verse about "good works" - good works does not a Christian make. TF are PR masters, they can sell their product and that is exactly what they are doing, children included. They are well trained as they were trained by the master of sellers of wares, Berg himself. Yes, he trained us and he trained us well - good, obedient zoo animals that we were. And we trained our children too, like trained monkeys. And you've seen it, how smiling and disciplined they are. But you have no clue what goes on behind the scenes. You wouldn't know about the hours of dealing sessions that go on when someone is deemed to be "in the dumps" i.e., not the happy, smiley face you are so enamored by. You wouldn't know about the days of fasting in a private room, children taken away from you, because you dared to voice your disapproval of some edict in place or question the great one, Moses David himself. Yes, this happened to me and many others that I know for a fact. Sure, talk about the happy, smiling faces, they mean nothing to us because we know where they come from, from the bowels of deception, the hours of practice that makes them the masters of deception.

Please, go back, become one of them, but when you start to see what lies beneath the surface, it will be too late as it was for many of us, so caught up in the lies we could no longer see the truth. Jesus gave many warnings in the bible, including how the word itself can be a stumbling block to those who are so blind as to be unwilling to see. It would behoove you to tread more carefully.

Remember, walk softly and carry a big stick. Good luck but considered yourself forewarned.
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Fri 6 Jan, 2006 11:53 pm
Bubbles1 wrote:
I did ask them about the child abuse charges, and I researched them myself. [...]"The Family" in my area has been proven to be innocent both through the court system, and from my own person observation.

I think you may need to do a bit more research on this topic, Bubbles1. The court never ruled that The Family was innocent because the allegations of child abuse were never brought in court. The case was dismissed based on a technicality, i.e. an officer who was supposed to be present during the raid was instead in his office on the radio with the police on site. The Family's lawyers called for the case to be dismissed because the warrant was not served properly and agreed to a settlement, which, in part, required the Family Homes in Australia to be monitored by the DOCS for the next 2 years.

Here's some more information on that:
http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Sydney_Morning_Herald:_Seizure_of_sect_children_ruled_unlawful
http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/The_Age:_Secret_Cabinet_deal_killed_Family_case

As for the evidence that children were not abused: Most of the children taken in the infamous raids were too young to have been exposed to the sexual abuses of the 70s and 80s. Your friend's daughter, if she was 12 when she "testified" (I put that in quotes because it could not have been official court testimony since there was never a case), would have only been 6 years old in 1986, the year the Family claims it put an end to the abuses.

However, several of the children who were old enough when the sexual abuses were common, now admit that they lied about being abused when they were examined (Here's one such admittance: http://www.movingon.org/article.asp?sID=1&Cat=31&ID=1650#18388)

Bubbles1 wrote:
If people are concerned about this organization I think they should visit "The Family" colonies regularly to find out for themselves if they are a threat, but I dont think they are a threat at all.

What's with the hysteria? Who's saying they're a threat? All I'm (we're) saying is that the Family has in the past committed and subsequently covered up crimes against their own children and they need to be held accountable for it. How does that make them a threat?

I agree with you wholeheartedly that people who are interested in The Family should see what they are like for themselves, but I also firmly believe that people should properly inform themsleves of all sides (including the seemingly negative) before forming an opinion. Isn't that what objectivity is all about?
 
evanman
 
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 04:15 pm
I suggest that bubbles read the full Judgement by Lord Justice Ward.
 
Day 1
 
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2006 08:43 pm
Bubbles1,

While there are volumes of credible evidence and testimony to support the charges of sexual abuse that was sanctioned and perpetuated in TF (even TF's own publications incriminate them as molestors and predators), for the victims of that abuse to step up and recount their rapes, then to have their words passed off as spiteful slander, only adds insult to injury. Had you or your loved ones been assaulted in this way, wouldn't you want justice? Wouldn't you want to stop it from ever happening to someone else?
 
lanpingpug
 
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2006 03:11 pm
Hello.
I agree with Bubbles. I am a general member who wishes to live in and help more but can't due to health problems.

Everything I have read has shown me that what I have been told by Family members is true: they made mistakes but have acknowledged them and gone past them now. I would commend them to anyone as Spirit-filled, Godly people.

I think you'll find a lot of your idle gossip is totally unjustified and un-Godly.
 
Jack 2
 
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2006 05:55 pm
Bubbles1 wrote:
In the end "The Family" was awarded millions of dollars and the case was thrown out of court, one of their 12 year old girls was put on the stand in court and told the judge she loved her parents and was never abused.

Was The Family actually awarded millions of dollars? I also once told police that I was never abused and my dad wasn't a fish. I was abused and I am a bastard. I still love my parents.
 
Day 1
 
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 09:03 am
Lanpingpug,
How fervent are the protests and groanings of the duped, who strain to convince themselves and others that wholesale deception, physical, mental and sexual abuse, and slavery are something other than what they are, and insist that TF has been unfairly libeled. This is truly an affront to those who have suffered at their hands.
While loyalty is commendable in most instances, devotion to the unworthy is a sad condition to find oneself in. Despite TF's unfounded assurance of innocence in these matters, there are scores of victims to TF's credit, whose lives have been irrepairably damaged, some destroyed by these "spirit-filled" individuals (which "spirit" is debatable), and no less under the watchful oversight and at the behest of TF's leadership.
Frankly, whether the truth supports your impression of TF or not, the facts remain. To refer to those facts in your closing remark as "idle gossip," that is unjustified and ungodly.
Here, the familiar adage seems to apply that "there are none so blind as those who refuse to see."
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 12:09 pm
Re: Hello.
lanpingpug wrote:
[The Family] made mistakes but have acknowledged them and gone past them now.

So you agree with their views that a sexual act performed on a child by an adult is just a mistake? How naive must a person be to not recognize such an act as anything but a crime?

Child sexual abuse is a crime not a mistake.

Not watching your step is a mistake. Shredding the wrong documents is a mistake. Having one too many at the bar is a mistake. Fondling a child to give them sexual pleasure is a crime. Beating a child with a cane while he is being held down is a crime.

Just because the Family has "gone past them now" doesn't make things all better. What about the people who are in therapy because of the abuse they experienced in The Family? What about the family relationships they have broken? What have they done--other than mail them an 'it-was-a-mistake' apology--to make amends with any of these people? Where is the proof that they are truly sorry?

lanpingpug wrote:
I think you'll find a lot of your idle gossip is totally unjustified and un-Godly.

It's not idle gossip for me. It's a first-hand account. I experienced this. So did my brother and sister. I'm sure it wasn't intentional, but it's rude of you to dismiss my being vocal about my abuse as "unjustified and ungodly" when you know nothing about me.
 
evanman
 
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2006 01:35 pm
And how many of these "mistaken" people has CoG/Family handed over to the authorities for prosecution?

Why stop at child sex--what about the incestuous "mistakes" as well?
 
 

 
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