In Reply to: To the Family International posted by Mercy on February 01, 2005 at 11:24:44:
from Jim LaMattery - Tuesday, February 01, 2005
accessed 25 times
This letter is addressed to Claire Borowik, Karen Zerby, Daniel Roselle, the Roselle family, little John and big John LaMattery, Kristi LaMattey, the LaMattery family, The Family International, All of the parents of the Children of God, Donna and Tom Marchbank, Phillip Sloan, Peter Kelly, the Kelly family, Ricky Rodriguez, Elixcia Munumel, Sarafina, The webmaster of this site, Jules, and all of the Children of the Children of God, and all of the media that have helped express the views of the children who have been harmed and exploited.
It is 4:20 AM on Tuesday, February 1, 2005. I have waited until this moment to clarify my position. For those of you who do not know who I am, my name is Jim LaMattery and my Bible name was Jeriah. I joined the Children of God in the summer of 1970. I am not ashamed about why I joined. I sought God. Like many in my generation, I was a seeker at a time when the Cold War loomed above our souls in America. Like many kids, I did not want to fight the unjust war in Vietnam, I abhorred war. I abhor war today.
To the brothers that witnessed to me: Apollos, do you remember when you witnessed to me under an oak tree in the city park in Hemet? Do you remember when you sang "How long you been waiting for somebody to love you?" You woke my soul under that tree. Do you remember when we joined spirits in love and brotherhood and destiny? It was simple then. We had no money, no castles in Portugal, just an old rickety building in downtown Los Angeles, in the middle of Skid Row. Do you remember the days of God and Love and feeding the bums on the row? We lived like the birds of the field and we felt the warmth of God on our backs! Do you remember when you told me that this was a Revolutionary War of Love? Do you remember when we praised the King of Kings together with chalices of red wine? We were the Motley Crew! WE WERE BROTHERS!
To Simon Black: You may not remember me, but for me, you were a golden throat purged in the heat of Harlem! I remember coming back from exhausting days witnessing (in those days we had only The Book and our hearts to share) in Griffith Park, and having my heart filled with joy as you sang "My God." That was the God I fell in love with. Your young voice was so full of conviction and love that it was hard not to break and cry to hear your hymn. It was a hymn! When I see my black brothers in gangs killing one another in America, I think of you and your voice and I have hope!
You were an inspiration. WE WERE BROTHERS!
To Big Josh- Wow! You told us that you found God in the jungle! I thought that was so cool! To me you were BIG! You reminded me of Che Guevarra! You made it feel like a Revolution! Do you remember when in the dining hall of 5th and Towne Street, you would preach the gospel to us while we ate first. You would wait to eat until your brothers ate first! You were what leadership meant to me. At a time when our generation's leaders were shot down in the streets- you replaced them. The longing in my heart for great men like President John F. Kennedy was replaced by the great man you were! There was no 'Mo' at that time. There was only Jesus the Revolutionary! And although you were the lead shepherd, you acted like, spoke like, and pathed like Jesus was in control! You knew deep in your heart that WE WERE ALL BROTHERS! Not one of us was more 'divine' than the other. Not one of us was more 'inspired by God' than the other. In those days, not one of us placed ourselves 'above' the other!
The God we knew then is the God I have faith in now as I write this letter. My God was the Eternal. The Eternal is still my God today. My Eternal has never failed me. It did not fail me when my two children were kidnapped from me in 1980 by the hands of my wife, who I loved greatly. A wife who I believed God had given me! A wife that no man should have 'put asunder.' In those first glorious years of the Revolution, sex outside of marriage was forbidden, and a period of one year was established as the time required to set aside our sexual desires to prove to God and the movement that we were 'worthy' of holy matrimony. I served God as best I knew how in the Revolution and waited and was blessed with her hand. I would have never shared her with another man, as she belonged to God and me! WE WERE MARRIAGE PARTNERS, SOUL MATES!
The kidnapping of my children at the hands of the Family International did not shake my faith in the Eternal.
The taking of my wife and children by my brother and the group did not shake my faith in the Eternal. The loss of my children for thirteen years did not shake my faith in the Eternal. The betrayal of my brother John LaMattery and my wife Donna Marchbank did not shake my faith in the Eternal. When my daughters were reunited with me after they turned the age of eighteen and could get away from the Family, my faith was almost shook. The recounts of abuse that my daughters and their siblings suffered at the hands of The Family shook my faith in the Eternal! It was a burden almost unbearable. Without my faith I would have broken under its weight. The horror of abuse would have crushed my soul if not for my faith.
To Karen Zerby, Peter Kelly, Claire Borowik, and The Family International: The God you say you seek and believe in is not the God I found in 1970 with the Children of God. It is not the Eternal I have faith in today. If any of my children commits even the least of infractions, I question myself first! What did I not do for them? Is it something I did or said that caused them to steal a snack from the local Seven Eleven? How did I not know that they would drink too much and get into a car accident? Parents always blame themselves for what their children get themselves into! A normal mother would be in depression, wondering what she had done that caused her child to act in such a way and cause her child to lash out at the world! You said that Ricky went astray. How can you hold the title of spiritual leader for this community of believers if you could not untangle the most precious sheep of the flock? He was supposed to inherit the kingdom! The transfer of power was supposed to go to him and not you! YOU WERE HIS MOTHER! The Book you say has relevance in your lives reads: Matthew 5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. It is not prison I wish for you. You have offended your brother and sisters. You have this chance of reconiliation. I will be willing to sit down and talk with Claire Borowik, your Family Spokesperson, before I deliver you to the judge. I don't care much for the wrath of man. But your children's souls need to be healed before another life is lost through needless suicide or murder.
To Daniel Roselle, Elixcia, Sarafina, Kristi and Little John LaMattery, and all those brave souls who have stood up in the sight of the world and God and have beared their souls: You have not spoken in vain. Your cries are heard, and will be heard for years to come. The abuses that you've suffered should never have happened. This was not the God that your parents and I followed in the beginning! Our God would never have stolen your childhood, your freedom of choice, your sexuality, your personality, your belief in the Eternal, in effect, your souls! The parents in the beginning would have nurtured all of these things, guided all of these things cautiously until the day you could take over such gifts on your own. They would have performed the most important God-given duty on earth- providing for their family! I was brought up by my parents in the way in which I was supposed to go, and I have never departed from it! My dad taught me to think for myself, consider others, speak only the truth as I saw it, and to help those in need. I see you great young people doing just that- and all without a parent to guide you! BRAVO! Your parents had greater advantages to complete such simple acts, and yet you who didn't have such parents have learned to do it all by yourselves! BRAVO! -I AM PROUD TO CALL YOU BROTHERS AND SISTERS!
To the Parents of the Children of The Family International:
This is your golden moment of truth. Another chance is being given to all of you whose children have beared their souls about the mental and physical abuses which they suffered having been put into the environment that you allowed them to be raised in. You have always had this same simple choice. It has always been a choice to protect and love and nurture your children, or to turn a blind eye and ear and heart. At this moment, your children need you now more than ever before. Karen Zerby did not make the correct choice. Ricky was trying to show YOU that. Ricky did not commit suicide for his mother. He committed suicide for YOU! He made the ultimate sacrifice, the taking of his own life, for YOU. He was a sample not a sermon! When the recent and past suicides have been committed by your children, know that they have done it for YOU. How many more suicides must be committed before you will have ears that can hear the cries of your own children? I pray that not one more will happen. I am tired of seeing my brothers die! To reject the voices of your children is to live in a lie. I am sure that if Faithy, Hosea, Aaron, or Deborah had come forth at the beginning of this movement and told all of us disciples and sheep that their father was a child molester, we would have disbanded in 1970! They didn't come forth because their father held 'God' over their heads, hearts, and souls! He make them think that the work of God would be destroyed if they 'told.' Please don't continue this cycle another moment, day, or hour! Please don't hold 'God' over your children's heads for one more minute! Please stand up with me as I endeavor to let the world know what has happened to these children. Please stand with me and not against me! STAND UP FOR YOUR CHILDREN!
There has been a rhetoric of war for a long time coming from the Children of God, and now the Family International. We are struggling to maintain a rhetoric of peace. Those parents that have come into the light and stood by their children can tell you that the light is warm and simple and good. Those parents who have quit perpetuating the lie that so many have held in their lives and hearts are free now. Free to repair the damage done by years of denial. The real abuse that your children suffer, that Ricky suffered, was your denial of the abuse in the past. The covering of the lie is more abusive than the physical torment. It is to say that the truth is not the truth. My fervent hope is that there will be no more murders. My fervent hope is that there will be no more suicides. But to accomplish this goal, much must be done. The harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few. But look what a few good men and women have accomplished throughout world history.
Regards- Jim LaMattery