Another Cosmetic Apology?

written and compiled by WC

As a condition for winning custody, The Family acknowledged, albeit quietly, wrong-doing on Berg's part for literature which endorsed adult-child sex. The Family's leaders admitted Berg's responsibility for harm done to children. In his apology to the Judge, Peter Amsterdam (Kelly) stated:
"The judgement refers in particular to 'The Law of Love' and 'The Devil Hates Sex', and we accept that as the author of ideas upon which some members acted to the harm of minors in 'The Family,' he [Berg] must bear responsibility for that harm. Maria, and all of us in World Services leadership, also feel the burden of responsibilty... ...Further, in 1980 Father David's statements in his discourse entitled 'The Devil Hates Sex' opened the door for sexual behaviour between adults and minors, such sanctioning being the direct cause of later abusive behaviour by some 'Family' members at that time." The full text reads:
“Your Lordship asked us to acknowledge that Father David, Through his writings, was personally responsible for the children in the Family being sexually abused. Father David wrote series of Letters concerning sexual behavior. The judgment refers in particular to "The Law of Love" and "The Devil Hates Sex", and we accept that as the author of ideas upon which some members acted to the harm of minors in the Family, he must bear the responsibility for that harm. Maria, and all of us in World Services leadership, also feel the burden of responsibility. Maria in particular has done an enormous amount to put a stop to any sexual maltreatment of children and instituted strict safeguards to make sure it will never happen again.

"We acknowledge that it was wrong to proclaim a teaching of sexual liberty (i.e., in 1976 and 1978) without establishing without establishing clear rules to ensure that sexual contact did not take place between adults and children. Further, in 1980 Father David's statements in his discourse entitled "The Devil Hates Sex" opened the door for sexual behavior between adults and minors, such sanctioning being a direct cause of later abusive behavior by some Family members at that time. In addition, we also acknowledge with regret that more specific and concrete restraints were not introduced earlier, and that father David should have done so immediately upon receiving indications that problems were beginning to develop.

"The extension of the 'Law of Love' to sexual matters was a distinct contribution of Father David's to the Family, and we accept and acknowledge that he bears responsibility for what arose as a result of it."
It is interesting to note that while to the court the Family leadership acknowledged wrong-doing on Berg's part for the literature he wrote; in classic double-speak to their own people, they simultaneously diminished his responsibility by stating that the Law of Love was never intended for sex between adult and minors, and that this should have been explained it more clearly from the beginning. This was expounded upon in the GN "An Answer to Him that Asketh Us".
"15. When Dad first introduced the concept of sexual freedom in the Family nearly 20 years ago in 1974 with the Letter 'The Law Of Love', he did give some restrictive guidelines as to its use. They were, however, quite general and subjective instead of very explicit like our current rules are, which are clearly listed in the 'Family Fundamental Rules.'

"16. With 20/20 hindsight we can look back and see that it would have been better to explain things more clearly. We should have anticipated potential problems and put in more stringent rules to keep them from happening, including prohibitions on all adult/minor sexual contact. By not having such restrictions in place, some people were able to act in ways that were harmful to others.

"17. Because of the insight Dad gave into the Scriptures which granted us a great deal of sexual freedom, without clearly stated explicit restrictions that prohibited all sexual activity between adults and minors, it resulted in actions that caused harm to some children. He must therefore bear responsibility for the harm. Today it's easy to see that it was wrong not to put explicit restrictions in place earlier, but Dad didn't see the need for such explicit rules when he first introduced sexual freedoms.
Omitted, is the fact that the Lord Justice Ward had examined Berg's sexual practices in his own home environment, and found that he was not only aware of but explicitly condoned sex with minors. Also omitted, is the fact that the court examined Berg's own writings such as "My Childhood Sex", and "the Devil Hates Sex", which clearly state the Law of Love was intended for children. It is interesting to note that the Family had refused to supply the court with "the Devil Hates Sex" but a copy was obtained through Dr. Melton. In the Mo Letter titled "Teen Sex", Berg states:
"WHY ELSE DID HE MAKE BOYS & GIRLS START BEING ABLE TO HAVE CHILDREN AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 12 & 13? He expected them to be adults by that time, almost full-grown adults who are able to take the responsibility of children, to bear children & know how to take care of them & how to train them & how to lead them up in the way they should go! By the time they matured to be teenagers, even early teens, He made them physically capable of having children of their own.

"GOD MADE THEM TO EARNESTLY & PASSIONATELY DESIRE SEX, BECAUSE HE MADE THEM TO HAVE CHILDREN AT THAT AGE! He wanted them to have children! He expected their parents to have trained them so well that by the time they are grown that big & are that many years old, that they are fully responsible adults, able to do an adult's job & take an adult's responsibility & seriously do hard work, the hard work of earning a living & taking care of a family & producing children & taking care of the kids! --Right? But oh boy, the system's not set up like that! They want to keep the kids virtually all of their lives to where they never let them out of the house. Selfish parents want to keep them there selfishly all their lives!
It would be funny, if not so tragic to note regarding these last two sentences, that the Family was specifically accused of not allowing their own children due freedoms.

In its defense, The Family used the time frame of 1985/86 for the official cessation of sex with minors. This can easily be challenged by ex-members who allege that as late as spring 1987, BAR publications (Burn after Reading) called for an end to sexual relations between adults and children/adolescents. The puzzling request was explained as being due to the "system" having a problem with it, not because the teachings were inherently wrong in any way. In fact, several sources witnessed sexual abuse of children after that date, and they will also testify that some sexual offenders were not excommunicated nor handed over to authorities.

Karen Zerby, a.k.a. Maria wrote in Summit Jewels 93 that The Family still does not believe that Adult-Child sex is intrinsically wrong:
"This [sexual contact between adults and minors]` is about the only subject where we're really going along with the System, we're playing along with them, we're acting like we believe what we did was wrong, because we have changed, and stopped doing it."

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