In Reply to: observations posted by Daniel (Albatross) on August 28, 2003 at 12:58:42:
I have been following with some interest the dialogue between Sam A. and Jules, and as someone who has been involved both in the effort to bring TF to answer, as well as in the effort to provide assistance to those young people who need it, I would like to add a few observations to this discussion.
Sam: There is always the tension between coming against the Family and the price to be paid for doing so.
I did say that I would see TF Family in court. I am working towards that and I believe we will With varying degrees of intensity, there are many who believe that something should be done about the past actions and policies of TF/COG. These areas of agreement notwithstanding, there are many areas where there is room for disagreement. I hope I am not over simplifying your mission when I say that it appears to be one of exposing and destroying The Family at any time, anywhere, and regardless of the consequences.
Sam: That is certainly not the case.
While there is a certain perseverance inherent in that mission that I find commendable, there is a sort of “slash and burn approach” that I see as possibly harmful to those who suffered.
Sam: I do not believe in a "slash and burn approach". Neither do I believe in "save your own skin approach." There has to be a
balance. You can go too far either way.
If your goal is simply to destroy TF, then I suppose that there is no need to take into consideration the effects of your efforts on the victims.
Sam. I had a socialist/communist friend when I was a teen in Greece. He would tell me that if there is a factory poisoning the population, instead of spending all your energy providing hospitals for the poisoned, stop the pollution coming from the factory that is causing the problem to begin with.
It does not mean you ignore the suffering of those already effected.
It's not a either or.
It's about taking care of both.
But you also have to set up priorities.
My priority is to stop the polution the factory is causing.
Otherwise no matter how many hospitals you open, you can't open enough of them and generation after generation will suffer.
For my part, I cannot in good conscience berate The Family for their crimes (which I believe are many) and then in the next breath pursue a course of action that harms the very individuals whom I am seeking answers for (myself included).
Sam: There is a price for everything.
Doing nothing is not one of the alternatives that I would accept. As one poster mentioned, I am not asking from anybody anything that I am not willing to do myself. My involvement in fighting the culthas cost me a lot. But no price is to high to put a stop to this cult.
I have found myself taking the long route towards my goals when I have determined that the easy way would necessitate causing further pain to someone who would rather be left to heal at their own pace, in their own way, and at their own time.
Sam. I am all for healing. I remember how hard it was when I first left. I am not talking about everybody getting involved. I am talking about those who chose to get involved to find the moral and other kinds of support. Throughout the years the emphasis has always been on beeing selah, hiding, healing and some of that is fine. But maybe the time has come for coming against the Family. I have never come against any ministry or effort that other ex-members have decided to pursue. My problem has been in defending my position that we need to also on top of everything else try not to let the Family continue as ususal.
In short, I am not in the business of exploitation, no matter how noble the cause I am espousing.
Sam: What exploitation? I am not putting a gun at anybody's head. I am simply saying that if there are any people who are ready and willing to come against the Family, more power to them. They should not be discouraged. They should be very encouraged.
I don’t intend to use this as a forum to discuss the efficacy of your longstanding efforts with respect to TF.
Sam: There is no need to re-invent the weel. This is how it works. You have been abuses, or whatever. Society has provided the means to get justice. Not by any illegal, immorla means. But by simply going to the authorities. And part of the process is that those who have been wronged will have to testify. I am not saying anything different than what is done routinely in court cases.
I will say however that it seems to me that given the wide range of experiences, beliefs, personal goals, histories, and personalities of all those who are involved in this question, it is unreasonable to demand any commonality of thought or action.
Sam: There is no need for commonality of action. Those few or many that want to do something about it, if they find it in their hearts to do it, they should do what their heart is telling them. They should not pay too much attention to those who only see problems or failure in such a legal move against the Family.
It stands to reason that those with the closest goals, and most similar visions for where they want to go with things, will find each other.
Sam: That will be great!
It may be that they will choose to work with each other at the exclusion of others.
Sam: That's fine. Whatever. Whatever or however and with whoever, it will be great to see some kind of action taken, insead of all the empty talk for years and no results, no nothing.
When people talk about doing things and nothing happens, it discourages people.
I know it is hard to take that first step.
But if people see something starting, even if it is the smallest thing, I am not going to make any predictions, but I wouldn't be surprised if people start joining the effort as participents or helpers, contributors.
I have been around long enough to know that there is a strong interest.
On the other hand there is a srtong stigma attached to coming out.
But if people see others taking the first step, we may be really surprised as to what might happen.
It may be that they will take strong exception to the methods and motives of others and wish to try a new way, or a new thing entirely.
Sam: There can be several efforts all at the same time. I already have my own plans. There are several ways to skin the cat, and there is no need to stick to just one way.
As a person who has no interest in the question of a god’s existence, I am nonetheless troubled by any suggestion that there may be a religious component to efforts targeted at TF.
Sam: Let me explain how I feel about the religious angle.
There is a religious side of things and there is the legal/criminal side of things.
What we are talking about here belongs in the legal/criminal arena.
As far as fighting the Family's doctrine on the apologetic front, that's an entirely different animal.
The freedom of religion is a complicated issue, and we can really get lost in it.
But even Melton admits that when the cults do criminal acts then it is no longer a religious issue but a legal issues.
There is really no controversy about that.
The only time when religious beliefs should be an issues are when those belief are clearly illegal and harmful to a person’s health, and well-being.
Sam: Exactly! Just like in this case.
The Family is responsible for probably thousands of criminal acts of child sexual abuse, physical abuse, contributing to the delinquency of minors.
Otherwise, religion should be off the table.
Sam: Just like that lawyer said in the conference, in some cases we don't even have to raise the cult issue at all.
Just the fact that these minors were abused by hundreds and thousands of adults.
If chosen as a basis to go after TF, I would submit that it guarantees failure from the onset.
Sam: I wouldn't even dream of aproaching it from the religious side of things. I may had done that during 3-4 centuries ago.
Another issue is the forum. It seems to me that many of the details of how you go after TF are publish on public forums such as this one. While this is the forum that you have chosen, I hope it can be appreciated that many others prefer to work sub Rosa, as it were, given the often-reactive nature of TF.
Sam: I am all for beeing selah of course.
It may be that there are those who like yourself take strong exception to the Davidito book, or to abuses they suffered. I believe however it is unfair to them to demand a public statement on their beliefs and histories as a weapon for your arsenal is they have not volunteered it.
Sam: Davidito does not even have to make a statement. The book says it all.
Again, let me say that throughout all these years I have been accused of been too agressive.
The way it really is however is that a lot of what I have voiced comes out of pure frustration when I see such a low level of interest in real action.
I have not pushed my program on anybody. Rather I have been fighting a defensive battle, trying to keep my freedom of chosing this path of direct action.
One must not be offended at exclusion from this group or that group.
Sam: If you are talking about me, I would not be offended at all if I am excluded from your group. Please have no concern about that. What matters is that some people do something. Other than that if I am included, or excluded or accused of misunderstood or understood or praised or ignored or whatever does not mean a lot to me. And I mean that.
After years of forced assembly, I suspect that most of us fiercely guard our right to freely interact with those of our choosing.
Sam: No problem as I have explained.
To conclude: it is ironic, I have variously been called a foot solider and disciple of yours, perhaps because TF cannot accept the concept of individually generated disgust and anger at their actions.
Sam: It reminds me of that stupid prophecy or message from jesus that I am the man behind it all, "marshalling my forces" etc, etc!? Give me a break.
And I don't understand why Jules got so upset about that.
She should just had a good laugh over it like I did.
I am not trying to lead anybody.
I hope some good, strong leaders show up that can really do a good job of organizing things and getting things accomplished. Nothing wrong with leaders.
I hope that whatever our missions, we try to do as little harm to those who deserve their peace.
Sam: I agree.