Letter of Apology

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Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 04:28 am
Letter of Apology
Quote:
Letter of Apology from Karen Zerby (Maria) and Steve Kelly (Peter) to Former Members of the Family International (formerly the Children of God)

November 2009
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 07:00 pm
Re: Letter of Apology
Hmmm, I wonder where these practices originated?
The folk who made up the Family were/are mostly idealistic and well meaning followers of Jesus. Over the years the Family gradually deteriorated, and ended up being Hell on Earth for many members. David Berg himself introduced Mo Letters which spoke of sexualisation of children, and inappropriate to abusive behavior involving children. Maybe now these letters have been "cleaned up" or edited, and not in free circulation as they were in the 70's and 80's.
So why on the same page as apologising for abuse, are they promoting the writings of the person who was the source of it all?
As time has gone by it becomes increasingly embarrassing the number of so-called "prophecies" that have NOT come to pass, or have fizzled out. What a joke! Endtime prophet??? Sad and pathetic to still be following Maria and this group, when there are so many other organisations doing more effective and better quality social/christian work.
 
Cookie 2
 
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2010 12:05 pm
Re: Letter of Apology
too little. too late.

I'm sorry to!
I'm sorry I didn't receive an education.
I'm sorry i was taught that a lie was more important to my parents than i was.
I'm sorry i was subjected to humilliation and abuse.
I'm sorry i was taught to believe i was elite and special when i looked down on others.
But i'm not sorry I chose to awaken in a world where i learned i was nothing and had to start from scratch when i was already an adult and should have known my place in the world.

Every day is still a rude awakening, but at least i have freedom. and freedom is worth everything.

the other day i was sad that i feel like i have nothing to show for all those years out here in the real world (except for him and my kid). My husband asked me i ever wish i had some of it back - what i had worked for all those years, the specialness i felt I earned, their respect, etc (i had achieved a lot in the group). i answered him honestly -no! no way! The freedom to walk out my own door and walk to the store and buy a soda was worth giving all the rest up for.
 
Piram
 
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 06:37 pm
Re: Letter of Apology
Thorwald wrote:
Quote:
Letter of Apology from Karen Zerby (Maria) and Steve Kelly (Peter) to Former Members of the Family International (formerly the Children of God)

November 2009



We wish we could change the past to undo any hurts or difficulties you experienced, but sadly, that's not possible.


That is correct. It's not possible. Every person has to live with what they have done - and what has been done to them - in their lives. At least in theory, people who hurt and injure other people, physically and/or psychologically, are supposed to be punished by the law. This is not always the case, obviously. Whether or not one forgives such damaging and cruel behavior, is it possible - or wise - to trust a person who has seriously abused people, young and old, or allowed them, under their watch, to be seriously abused? I see this as very difficult, if not impossible. To quote a "Letter" of Ms Zerby's former companion: "Sorry doesn't make it right." Saying sorry is indeed a gesture that may be sincere, although it doesn't mean the person responsible has really changed, either. There's no real way of knowing, as far as I can see, and more so in this case because of the secretive nature of the organization. The past does have a way of coming back to haunt people who do very bad things.
 
Cookie 2
 
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2010 06:20 am
Re: Letter of Apology
Piram wrote:
The past does have a way of coming back to haunt people who do very bad things.


especially in the movies. ;-)

Unfortunately, in real life, when the "bad guys" have covered their @$$es, or have the money to hire lawyers and consultants to help them not get caught, the onus falls on the sufferee to try to proceed as if we were not damaged goods, or else face a subsequent lifetime of being blamed for always blaming others. it's so unfair. Rolling Eyes
 
Piram
 
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2010 07:33 am
Re: Letter of Apology
Cookie wrote:
Piram wrote:
The past does have a way of coming back to haunt people who do very bad things.


especially in the movies. ;-)

Unfortunately, in real life, when the "bad guys" have covered their @$$es, or have the money to hire lawyers and consultants to help them not get caught, the onus falls on the sufferee to try to proceed as if we were not damaged goods, or else face a subsequent lifetime of being blamed for always blaming others. it's so unfair. Rolling Eyes


I understand where you're coming from. I'm just stating my own personal belief, because I believe that eventually, everything one has done will return to the individual who has done them, in one form or another. I am well aware of the fact that these people are astute and have amassed a substantial fortune for their legal protection.

Personally, even having been one of the victims of the "bad guys", I am immensely happy to be me instead of being them. I couldn't live with my conscience if I lived such a life of deception, exploitation, abuse and bullying of others, and I'm glad I got away from it when I did, both for my sake and for my children's sake. I decided to work on changing society from where I am. I consider myself to be very fortunate.
 
Cookie 2
 
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2010 08:10 am
Re: Letter of Apology
ditto! I hear ya. :wink:
 
seanswede
 
Reply Sun 2 May, 2010 01:18 pm
Re: Letter of Apology
My name is Sean Palmqvist, 32 years old today. Son of Eva Palmqvist aka Cedar Swedish. I lived in Japan between 1986 and 1996. I am a swedish national and I currently live in Sweden today. You can easily find me on Facebook.
I was a victim of the Victor Program in Matsumoto, Japan 2nd session in 1990 or '91. At that time I was about 12 or 13 years old. I was there for 3 months or so. I never once got so see my mother and siblings. I only was able to call her once during that whole time. We did alot of hard work around the property. We had no schooling. We were punished and degraded in numerous ways, not to mention the demerit system that they had. I received a total of 6 spankings during that time. Had to miss holidays and had to do writing assignments. I was constantly scared to death to make a wrong step. 6 demerits and you would get 6 swats with a wooden paddle with only your underwears on. It was excruciating. If you screamed they said that we did it out of rebeliousness and that they would give us more if we didnt stop screaming. (how the hell would they know what it was like!)
I even returned again to the Victor Program where it was at that time situated in Kamakura, Japan in 1992 and which I later helped to move over to a place in northern Japan called Falls Camp. I believe now that we were only in Falls Camp briefly just because we were used to work on building up and reparing that Falls Camp place. We layed floors, wallpapered, painted, varnished did outside work. We collected stones and pebbles from a creek which were to be used as gravel to be poured on the ground leading towards the entrance of to this house. The larger stones were used for landscaping outside. I carred alot of heavy stones and it gave me alot of back problems.
We later moved to a place called the HCS (Heavenly City School in Tateyama, Japan. We were than called the Attack Team. We lived in one of the several houses (the Blue House) that was on that property which was owned by a japanese couple which everyone called the Narita's. Later we moved from the Blue House and than into the main HCS house in one of the "wings" which was for boys. On the other side was was a wing for girls. Anyhow we did alot of work around that whole property. Building walls, cutting acres worth of grass etc. and much much more. I received a few spankings there too. I remember my last spanking ever and it was 2 weeks after my 14th birthday there in one of the studio pre-fab houses at HCS. All of my corporal punishments were mainly administered to me by an american man called Terrence McNally aka Martin.

This is just a few instances of my time in that cult. I did not choose to join this cult because I was born into it. To compensate me for my time in The Family aka COG aka The Family International. I would rather easily put all this behind me if I was given afinancial compensation because I darn well deserve it!!
I am still suffering from PTSD as is my diagnosis as of several years ago. I have chronic sleeping and back problems from being a victim of that cult and having to do hard labor and under stress mentally which has paid off in my later years which resulted in m the afore said Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I have my own children today and I can say that never once have I ever physically punished them and they are doing just fine.
 
Cookie 2
 
Reply Sun 2 May, 2010 03:38 pm
Re: Letter of Apology
Sean, Good for you for taking a moment to speak out. I was never part of the victor program or the attack team (most likely because I was always just a little too young), but I have many friends friends who were and I was threatened with it many times (for the reason that i was "too good that I must be hiding something" rubbish!) What I can say about the people who were selected is that the thing you all have in common is that you were a little more intellegent and asked a few more questions, than the rest of us. You were the leaders, and they had to knock you down so the rest of us would learn to follow (because we were scared to suffer the same fate). Believe me, I know that what you wrote here doesn't even begin to describe all the mental and verbal abuse you lived through to tell the tale. Sean, you and I were victims of ignorance and worse. They were an ignorant bunch of self absorbed people who wanted to feel special and eliete - and in order to feel that way, no one could question thier bizzare, imaginary world.

We know each other, and have recently reconnected (on facebook and we also called each other about 6 months to a year ago - does that ring a bell). There are several reasons I don't post my name here, as you bravely did, but none of those reasons are because I am afraid to tell the world who I am. The timing is just not right and one day it will be.

I read your thread, and wanted to tell you how proud it makes me to see people challenge the sweet honey words that are coming out, words to lull the new crop to sleep. and when they sleep, they will never know that their older brothers and sisters bled for the "new" family they call themselves a part of. We were their test hamsters, and when we no longer could run the wheel, they threw us away, or we flew off, unable to hang on any longer.

Words are all that people like you and I have when it comes to our past, and your words above are powerful. Thank you for taking a moment to be courageous.

I am also a parent (mother) and I have never physiacally hurt my child, nor will I. Should someone else touch her, i will take them to court and see justice served. People like you help me remember. I don't remember to hold on to grivances. I remember so that i will never make the same mistakes. we are all human beings and deserve dignity!
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Sun 2 May, 2010 07:57 pm
Re: Letter of Apology
Cookie wrote:
You were the leaders, and they had to knock you down so the rest of us would learn to follow


Remember the ironic term, "Bellwether"? They used it as an example of a "good" and "bad" teen that they needed to "mold" (or something). It is interesting that, historically, bellwether's were literally castrated rams. They attempted to mentally castrate those Victor teens because, as you rightly wrote, they were the natural-born leaders.
 
seanswede
 
Reply Sun 2 May, 2010 08:20 pm
Re: Letter of Apology
Thank you Cookie for your your comment. Yes I know now who you are Wink I agree with all that you said. I was only scratching the surface when writing a bit about my experiences in a nutshell. We all know that that are oodles of things to share but it would takes weeks to say everthing about what it was like and all of the unfairness and abuse we all suffered.
I totally understand that you want to be anonymous and I respect that. Personally I have now come out much more and want people to know. I feel now at my age that I dont have anything to loose if I do now.
It would be very intressting to see if anyone has any pictures from those times that I was at the Victor Programs. I have only one photo which was sent to my mom when I was in the Matsumoto VC. Its only me with my short cut hair and the bible chapters we had to memorize hanging around my neck.

I am convinced that the leaders of this cult werent really serious about it. They were only frothing in its "wonderful perks" such as the enormous amount of free sex, all of that money and property that they had and still have. Yes they are selfish and self centered. I am someone who does not believe in evilness but I cant find any words to describe them other than pure evil. There is nothing that they can ever say that will make things better. All I want is money so that I can have better possibilities in my future.
 
Cookie 2
 
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 06:23 am
Re: Letter of Apology
write me (i think you have my email, right?) Would like to ask some questions.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Thu 6 May, 2010 04:54 pm
Re: Letter of Apology
By chance I stumbled upon your website and began reading about your painful pasts.
I hope you all stay free and appreciate your sweet freedom everyday!
I too escaped from a cult I was trapped in for over 30 years. I have been out for 9 years.
Yes, time was lost, education and careers were lost, and friends and family were lost.
But remember SUCCESS IS THE BEST REVENGE!
Dont fall into the trap of self pity and self destruction!
Enjoy your life! Find new love and cherish it! Enjoy every morning, noon and night living in freedom!
I will be thinking of you
 
madamadam
 
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 11:36 pm
Re: Letter of Apology
Quote:
Family members are now free to pursue additional careers or higher education without prejudice to their membership. We sincerely apologize to any second generation members who did not receive the support and encouragement they needed to get established, or lacked in education or accreditation to transition to the work force or to the pursuit of higher education.

Ok, now well that's just fucking great! Because like, about half a decade ago, about the time I left the group, "system jobs" & "system school" was like supposed to be Satan himself in sheeps' clothing. What??? Did Jesus, all-of-a-sudden, change his mind? To me it sounds more like "compromise".
"Sincere apologies"!?!?
Jesus should've changed his mind back when I had no teacher, other than dictionaries & textbooks I bought out of my own pocket money. I was stuck in 6-7th grade for like 5 years because I had no teachers & I had to teach myself everything.
When I was kicked out (for which I'm glad) I went through extreme depression, like suicidal... All they would would do was "pray for me". You know, one of those 1 minute prayers with your usual keys thingie... Other than that, they were too busy, & acted like they couldn't care less if I was some "systemite".
I failed a lot of job interviews. I've had people tell me, "you're weird" because I had never been to school & didn't look or act like anything close to a national.
Family people still think they're "better" than us "systemites", I get it all the time online. It's just damn hilarious if you see it from our perspective.
Sincere apologies???--FUCK YOU!
 
Piram
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 06:54 am
Re: Letter of Apology
Quote:
about half a decade ago, about the time I left the group, "system jobs" & "system school" was like supposed to be Satan himself in sheeps' clothing. What??? Did Jesus, all-of-a-sudden, change his mind? To me it sounds more like "compromise".


Actually, Machiavelli comes to mind. He said that human excellence is measured in terms the capacity of the intellect and the will to act with vitality and without inhibition. Machiavelli said that a true leader is the one who has liberated, rather than repressed, what he called the natural instincts for power and profit. For Machiavelli, morality and religion are relevant only inasmuch as they aid in ordering, controlling and dominating. He glorified what he called the natural instinct for domination.
Making sure that people under them are in a vulnerable position , while sustaining their "fatherly/(or motherly) love" for their minions is typical of dictators.

The rule of "not working in the system" is one which was made flexible when it was seen that, to suit the interests of those wielding power - and to sustain their hold on power - it would be necessary to allow the rule to evolve - of course, the way was prepared from the very beginning for things like this with the use of bible & "mo" quotes justifying double standards and preferential treatment for some, etc. etc.....
 
StevenJMRPL
 
Reply Mon 13 May, 2013 11:44 pm
@seanswede,
Hi, Sean.
My name is Steven. I am very sad to hear of the abuse you suffered Sad I am not nor ever was a member of the Family. However, I know personally Jerry and Marianne Greene. Jerry was a friend of my parents. A few years ago, I read an article in People about Rose McGowan, and I was horrified to discover that she was talking about the same organization that I had thought was benevolent and Christian. After conducting more research, I discovered the truth. I was shocked and very upset to discover that our former family friend and his wife are very prominent members in this cult. I know that Jerry, Marianne, and their children lived in Japan for several years around the time you were there. Did you know the Greenes (aka. Jerry Paladino, Margie, Marianne Peloquin)? I sincerely hope that if you did know them, that they did not hurt you or anyone else. Sadly, I am finding that to be less and less of a possibility considering their close ties to David Berg. I am praying for you and all of the other victims of this terrible cult that God will bring peace and healing to all of you. I am also praying for justice and for the truth of the Family's practices to be revealed.
Sincerely,
Steven
 
patricia2017
 
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2017 09:52 am
@seanswede,
Sean, I know who you are.
You are a victim of this cult of horror. The Victor Program was only a tiny part of the total of 19 years you spent at the mercy of those abusers, who abused you in mulitiple ways on a daily basis. You deserve justice, as we all do. Nothing happens without a cause.
I have seen that you ve had a run-in with the law in your country. They used evidence of your past against you; publications from the cult leader, David Berg Brandt, to prove your guilt in the matter. I can only shake my head at how they can do that to you to try to get you sentenced to 4, 5 yrs prison. What a slap in the face. You were in other words punished for being abused your whole childhood life. It is despicable.
From a psychological point of perspective, it is not strange, considering what you were raised with, what you were exposed to, your whole life there. Its too bad they showed no kind of mercy or understanding, or made a special exception in your most highly extraordinary case. You should try to seek some kind of pardon or something. You cannot just accept being hung out to dry in social media. You have have suffered too much for far too long. I am sorry that you have been utterly disgraced in this way, how your judicial system has handled your case. Your case is special. You are a victim of mind control and extreme mental and physical abuse. You must try to find a way to get recognition and some kind of recognition, clemency and amnesty based on where you came from. You did not come from normal society, you came from another society, another planet. Do not give in, do not give up.
Hold your head high. Seek justice. Reclaim your name.
-wishing you all the luck in the world.
 
 

 
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