Re: Is the Family International still like that??
I'm not doubting you at all. I have older brothers and sisters who grew up in TFI and I know for a fact that sexual abouse has occured within the group. I'm simply stating that, to my knowledge, TFI is no longer like that. In fact changes made to The Charter, the principle document of TFI stating the rules and regulations of the group, are now in effect, as far as i know, which make any sexual contact with minors a permanently exommunicable offense.
A cursory evaluation of the Family's policies, as outlined in its "Love Charter" and other publications, regarding the rape of children reveals that these "rules and regulations" do virtually nothing to protect children in The Family from the risk of being raped or experiencing other types of child sexual abuse that do not involve sexual contact between and adult and a child. It is not particularly groundbreaking or impressive for a cult, under scrutiny from law enforcement and child protection agencies and in a society where behavior such as murder, cannibalism and child rape are generally regarded as both criminal and morally wrong, to publicly state that it has enacted a policy forbidding its members from continuing to rape children. To determine whether or not children are safe living in communities that are part of an organization whose members openly practiced child rape and child sexual abuse for decades, one needs to know whether the organization has demonstrated that it has a strong commitment to protecting children and whether it has and will do everything it possibly can to make sure that that child rapists and other abusers are both held accountable for their crimes against children and not allowed to have any access to more potential victims.
To understand just how completely The Family International has failed to protect children from abuse and how it has gone out of its way to protect child abusers, it is helpful to review the fundamental components of what it calls its "stringent policies." While I don't have time for a full review, one of the key features of their policy is not excommunicating those who raped children before the date on which they claim to have enacted a policy mandating excommunication for the rape of children. They now claim they enacted this policy in July 1989 although they have previously claimed it was enacted in other years including 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988. Many people believe that it is incredibly dangerous, risky and highly irresponsible to allow those who have raped children to have access to children. The Family International clearly either disagrees or simply does not care.
Over the years, spokespersons for The Family International have claimed that the cult has adopted a policy mandating the "excommunication" of any adult Family found to have sexually abused a child by having sexual contact with a child. While it is unfortunate the forms of child sexual abuse that do not involve adult-child sexual contact are completely excluded from this policy, those who are unaware of the extraordinary deception practiced by this cult and its spokespersons and the lengths they will go to protect child molesters might be forgiven for thinking that this is a step in the right direction and that The Family International has made a commitment to protect its children by expelling every adult member who it knows has raped a child. However, a lengthy October 2007 series of "Mo Letters" ("The Family's History, Policies, and Beliefs Regarding Sex, " ML 3671-3673, GN 1234-1236) by top cult leader and child molester Steven Douglas Kelly (aka "Peter Amsterdam" and "Christopher Smith") that was published and distributed to members in December 2007 makes it clear that The Family International has no intention of ever expelling any of its members who raped children before July 1989.
In this publication series, it was made clear that the excommunication policy was not applied to those who raped children before July 1989:
60. (Question:) How were cases of sexual interaction with minors handled that occurred before the excommunication policy was announced in 1989? Was this policy applied retroactively?
61. As I explained in the second GN of this series, infractions of the 1986 notice disallowing sexual interaction between adults and minors became excommunicable in 1989...
62. When the list of excommunicable offenses was published in July 1989 (see ML #2531, Vol. 19), there were 22 offenses which could result in excommunication, depending on the gravity of the offense. These were not published so as to apply them retroactively...
Family leader and child molester Steven Douglas Kelly went on to offer a lengthy justification of The Family's policy of not excommunicating those who raped children before July 1989. Here are some excerpts:
Source: Conte, Jon R. Critical Issues in Child Sexual Abuse: Historical, Legal, and Psychological Perspectives. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications, 2002.