In Reply to: Tongue in cheek humor posted by Laura on September 05, 2003 at 03:33:31:
For me, masturbation is not so much the issue as is the framework of LJ. Several problems there.
First, we, especially men, were supposed to do it while pretending we were women in the spirit, and fantasising that we were having sex with Jesus, who was horny for us. In my view, that can lead to all sorts of unhealthy stuff. I am a man, and I don't want to be told to envision being a woman and having sex with a man -- or God.
A second really harmful aspect of this doctrine was that it was essentially forced on members. Yes, it was supposed to be optional at the beginning, but it was clear that Zerby wanted everyone to do this. Peter and Zerby aggressively promoted it in every pub, at every opportunity. "May" soon became "Must".
Thirdly, this doctrine was promoted to young teenagers in the name of God by people in positions of trust and authority. A little watered down, yes, but if you read the stuff they printed for 14-year-olds, it is quite outlandish. It could be criminal, and it is certainly can cause harm to youth who are told that it is the word of God and they have to do it in order to please God.
So it is really not about masturbation, and whether it is a sin in God's eyes. One has to look at the context and other dynamics, and the power and control issues at work here. I know young people who freaked out over it all, yet they were in an environment where they could not escape it. Sick.
Yes, many Family members chose not to buy into it, and yes, Zerby eventually backtracked a bit, especially on the teen issue. But the members who disregarded it did so in direct contradiction to what their leaders promoted. If members had been good sheep, they would all have been doing it every day. Every 14-year-old would have been masturbating to Jesus. That's what Zerby promoted and wanted. And if Zerby backtracked, it is is not because she thought the doctrine and practice were harmful, but because it was getting scrutinized and they were uncomfortable with the heat. It was not because she had a change of heart.
It's like the child sex issue. The leaders did not stop the practice because of a change of heart, but because the price of continuing it was too high. In Berg's words, they were "bloodied but unbowed." Zerby deeply beleived in adult-child sex, promoted it with her own children, printed accounts of it in the FN and other Family pubs, stood by while Berg published reams on the subject, and instructed her followers to do it and cover up if necessary. The SUMMIT JEWELS 93 says it all.We have had a few tepid, unconvincing attempts at apologising from her, but my sense is that she is sorry she got caught.
Sorry for the venting, Laura -- End of the week!No hard feelings. I enjoy your posts and I find that your contributions to this board are insightful. Take care.