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Respecting Family member's right to their beliefs

Posted by Some thots on January 18, 2003 at 20:16:47

In Reply to: Re: Jules, what did you mean by this? posted by MG on January 18, 2003 at 15:50:30:

MG I understand what you're saying. Your daughter has a right to her beliefs or to put it another way, tho you know so much of what she believes is wrong & even harmful to her as a person, & harmful to her children (if she has any, or when she does) the solution to getting her to change her mind & open her eyes is not to try to browbeat her. She has to come to that conclusion when she's ready and trying to force issues before she's ready will be counter-productive. As it was in all of our cases.

When people are not ready to leave the Family & are still buying into it or they have so many mental policemen up in their brains making them afraid to question, it's amazing the amount of truth & information they can look in the face & not be fazed. But when they're ready to start questioning then every little bit of information becomes crucial. The key is determining when they're ready & it's often fairly obvious. They'll start asking questions & stop fighting the answers so much.

But behind the question, 'does the Family have a right to their beliefs?' is another serious question & that is - the beliefs that we held so firmly as Family members & which your daughter & other current Family members hold are for the most part not 'their' beliefs, but dogma forced down their throats by coercion. Remember the days when someone doubted & was sent to months or even years of Victory Camps to re-educate them? I've heard of SGAs being in reindoctrination labor camps for TWO YEARS! They did hard labor & were deprived food, were publicly rebuked & slapped & even beaten, locked in rooms & shunned. The beliefs that many Family members today hold so strongly were pounded deep into their psyches by hunger, fear & shaming.

So the larger question is not 'Do Family members have a right to their beliefs?' (The answer has to be yes.) But 'Does Family leadership have the right to force their beliefs on Family members using fear, hunger, hard labor & shaming?' (The answer is a clear no.) Zerby & Kelly do not have that right any more than the overseers of Russian Gulags had the right to punish disloyal members of Soviet society.

Family members adhere to policies (lack of education, lack of proper medical care) that are not in their best interests, & they do so because they lack enough data to help them make more informed choices. With more information very few Family members would willing choose to raise their children & teens in an environment that deprives them of proper nutrition, education, medical & dental care, & the freedom to believe what they want to to beleive without fear of being exorcised & shunned.

Your daughter needs to hear the truth, but only when she's ready. Although for now you must 'respect her beliefs' even if they are harmful to her & to her children, I hope you never become content that she has of her own free will made choices that are in her own best interests. Unfortunately, until she's ready to hear the truth, you can do nothing.

I think the key is not 'accepting' that she has made an informed choice that is in her own best interests but telling her that although you disagree that you will always love her & will always be there for her, whether she is in or out of the Family. If she truly knows you love her then when she's ready for information or ready to leave, you will be the one she comes to.