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Re: Jules, what did you mean by this?

Posted by posted by Curious on January 15, 2003 at 17:37:29:

Sometimes (often) I get carried away on my soap-box and make sweeping statements that are overly simplistic. If I do that again here, please bear with me.

To clarify, what I was writing was in response to a question from someone about how my goals and objectives differ from the FGs that I know that have been active in regards to the Family. I am not saying that anyone else should do/not do anything. This is all just my opinion.

It just seems that actively combating the Family for it’s own sake is easy to get worked up over, but it can also be easy to lose sight of the big picture and get mired down in the skirmishes. It can also be an emotional minefield and without staying grounded in clear goals and ethical principles it can take a high toll on the individual. We were all fanatics in the Family, and sometimes that same mentality seems to exist in reverse now amongst ex-members. Instead of “the evil system” it’s now “the evil cult”.

I am not talking about the feelings of youth in the Family, but their opinions on these issues. The young people I have talked to do not want to see abusers in the group. They went through the same things we did, and many of them seem to have merely suppressed the questions we are now free to voice. While not all of them seem to agree that the response should be to turn abusers over to the authorities, from the people I have talked to, the issue of abuse has always been a troubling one. Not one young person I have talked to has said our stories are “all lies”. There have been young people in positions of rather high leadership in the group who have consistently voiced their concerns over these issues. They tried to do this in “the right way”, and through the “right channels”, but still the answer has been deliberate avoidance of the issue, to the point where many have now left.

In the mid-nineties, before the charter, young people in the Family in Europe started to speak out about the abuses that were occurring. They were angry, and decided that they were not going to take these things any more. The majority of the homes in Europe were effectively shut down as the teenagers and young adults decided they were not going to cook, clean, be herded around in programs, raise money, take care of the FGs children, be told what to wear, what to say, what to listen to and what to read any more. It was quite astounding to see how little power the Family leadership and FGs actually had once the youth said “enough”.

I guess the issue to me is “what do you want to accomplish?” Specifically in regards to the Family, I want to see responsibility taken for the “mistakes made”. So far any attempt at dialogue has been shut down by Zerby and Kelly. They are the ones polarizing this issue and creating paranoia. However, I think sticking to our principles, respecting (if not their beliefs) the right of current members to their beliefs, holding people accountable for their own actions and speaking our own truth is effective. The goal of destroying the Family is not one I share. However, if what we are saying is true, and the abuse and cover-up really was that bad, then justice is on our side. The young people both in and out that are the “fruit” of the Family are not going anywhere. The truth can only be stretched so far, and then something snaps. I don’t want to be part of a crusade, and I don’t think the core issues are complex or confusing. People did things that were wrong, and “sorry” doesn’t fix it.