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Re: Exposing the Family Leadership on SA

Posted by Sam Ajemian on August 21, 2003 at 22:10:01

In Reply to: Exposing the Family Leadership on SA posted by anovagrrl on August 21, 2003 at 13:24:34:

I am very new to this discussion board, however, I have spent a lot of time in the last 8 months reading what exmembers--particularly Ed Priebe--have to say about the injury that was done to 2nd gen members during the sex abuse (SA) investigations of the early 90s.
Sam A.: One young member who was detained in South America with the rest said things were not really that bad. Thinge were not that pleasent, but not that bad either.
Secondly the Family had scared the kids so much about the outside world that they must have been scared of the police even if the police were the nicest people on earth.
There were a couple very tragic cases which the Family loves to capitalize on.

TF's experience of SA investigation in the early 90s was not really unique, as there was actually quite a lot of hysteria and witch hunting during the late 80s and early 90s around child sex abuse allegations. Even if you were in TF at that time, perhaps you heard about the notorious cases involving alleged abuse at day care centers in the US? Many innocent people were hurt by these allegations and improperly conducted investigations.

Even in the best of circumstances, it is extremely difficult to prosecute sex offenders who incest family members. Trust me on this one. I've participated in investigations of childhood SA. Kids have a very difficult time stepping forward and dealing with the stress of a criminal investigation and legal prosecution. As a clinician, I've always held that it's OK if the kid chooses forgo seeking justice. Self determination is the important issue for childhood SA victims. What adults around them would like to see happen is secondary to that.

During that same era as the day care SA witch hunts, some very serious allegations regarding SA of minors by Catholic priests were substantiated through well executed investigations and legal proceedings. The Catholic hierarchy, however, did not pay heed to the writing on the wall with those cases, so that 15+ years later, they have had to pay the piper BIG time.

When I read comments by Sam A. in his newsletter that Faithy should be arrested and tried for sex abuse of minors, I cannot help but wince at his apparent naivete.
Sam A. What is so naive about asking the authorities to arrest Faithy for having sexual relations with minors?

Maybe I should had said that the authorities should investigate the allegations against Faithy. Is that what the problem is?

I do admit a know very little about the law concerning these matters, but can you explain your choice of such a strong word as "naive".

I went to the FBI long ago, and they said I should go to the police. I never did. Would it had been naive to go to the police to report her?

Are you referring to the complexities involved as for example jusistictional issues?


To begin with, the most successful prosecution of institutional sex offenders (i.e., Catholic priests) has come as a consequence of adult survivors choosing to step forward in massive numbers.
Sam: OK, let's say that the best way is to have the many victims of abuse take their abusers to court. But what is wrong with going to the police and having them starting criminal litigation against the child molesters?
Some of the young people at MovingOn are looking into this approach, and I say, more power to 'em.
Sam. More power to them.

They appear to have a fairly good idea of how difficult getting their case(s) into a courtroom will be.
Sam: I have read some things about the dificulties in getting these cases started, but don't know the details. Why is it difficult to start these cases as far as the legal side of this goes?

There's a major question of jurisdiction.
Sam Ajemian: I have heard about this problem or question of jurisdiction but I am not really clear as to what are the issues involved. Can you explain?

I understand it is a problem.

But how big of a problem is it?

I mean if there is the will to take them to court, and there are 50 or 100 young former members who have decided they will do it no matter what it takes, how much of a difficulty this juristiction issue would be?

The only individuals who have any business "exposing" Faithy on the issue of childhood SA would be those young adults who were actually abused by her during their childhoods.
Sam: I found this statement shocking. You mean if none of the abused exposed Faithy or take her to court, it would be wrong for anybody else, me, the media, the parents of the abused kids, their friends, the apologists or anybody to expose Faithy's abusing these kids?

I can't believe you are making such a statement.

Or maybe I did not understand how you meant what you said.
Research shows that adults have a wide range of interpretations and psychological responses to their childhood sexual experiences--whether or not the SA victim chooses to label their childhood sexual experience with an adult as "abuse" depends on a complex array of factors.

Berg sexually abused his grand-daughter Mene.

Mene sees it as abuse.

If Mene did not see it as abuse, it would still be abuse, wouldn't it?

Legally speaking it is abuse.

Society in general says it is abuse.

The Bible would say it is abuse.

If the police and the courts say it is abuse but Mene says it is not abuse, well, maybe you should explain a little further how you see it.

Well, I am begining to get a little suspicious of you.


I am concerned about Family fronts that involve street kids and orphans. Many, many of the kids in this population are sexually precocious--meaning, they're already sexually experienced with adults. It's how they've learned to survive. I know from having worked in residential treatment programs with such kids that as an adult caretaker, whatever your unresolved issues (regarding sex) may be, they'll come out in spades when working with kids who have an history of SA.

So, second gen members might be very well intentioned and believe they have rejected Berg's sex teachings, but they cannot have grown up in TF (or any almost other family for that matter) and NOT have unexamined issues around their sexual experiences as children and adolescents. Well-intentioned people without appropriate training in the area of human sexuality and abuse who work with the kids in this population are potentially very dangerous. I've worked in this field for 13 years, and I know what I'm talking about.
Sam: I agree with the above points.

But I wouldn't be so sure that they young adutls in the Family have rejected Berg's teachings on pedophilia.

I talked about this subject in a recent exchange I had with Ray a week or so ago on this chat board.


Imagine, for a moment, that a campaign gets started to expose Love's Bridge as a Family front. Knowing absolutely nothing about the state of SA investigative technology available to child welfare and law enforcement authorities in Perm, Russia, I would never be one to get on that bandwagon. The situation could easily become South America and the persecution all over again.
Sam A. Actually it would be great if there as a big persecution in Russia of the type that happened in Argentina, Spain, Australia,France but without some of the excesses.

This time around there is a lot more info out to enlighten the authorites and the Family would find it very hard to deceive the courts like they did then.

On the other hand, we shouldn't be blind to the fact that very vulnerable institutionalized children are at risk of re-abuse by their caretakers. So what if these are street kids and throwaways? Ask yourself this question: Would you want your grandchildren under the care of the folks who run Love's Bridge?
Sam: No.