A talented and diverse collection of individuals have chosen to unite their expertise, resources, and time in founding a non-profit organization, Will to Life. The major impetus leading to the creation of Will to Life has been the plethora of personal tragedies and lost loved ones, who struggled to adapt to their new environments after leaving The Family International. Through this foundation we hope to provide those leaving restrictive religious environments with assistance in assimilating themselves into society at large.
Because Will to Life is in the early stages of development, each participating individual is a key contributor to the structure of the foundation. We welcome anyone who is interested in joining us to share their ideas and to help us establish options for exiting members of restrictive religious environments, such as The Family International.
We hope to have piqued your interest in the Will to Life foundation, and would now like to take this opportunity to explain the philosophy behind our name, what we are currently working on, and some of the goals for the foundation.
The philosophy behind our name:
Those of you who are familiar with Nietzsche may immediately recognize the term will to life. For those of you who are not intimately familiar with Nietzsche’s philosophies, a brief explanation is in order.
In his classic Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche explained a concept that he called, will to power. Nietzsche believed that there is a fundamental drive within all living beings to break free of anything that is suppressing them in order to obtain complete control of their life. Thus, the will to power is the basic drive which motivates us to seek freedom from oppression, and ultimately leads us to express our individuality. Nietzsche explained that this drive to succeed, or will to power, is synonymous with the will to life.
In accordance with Nietzsche’s philosophy, we believe that each person who chooses to leave an isolated religious community, such as The Family International, is exercising their basic will for physical and psychological independence, or their will to life.
What we are doing:
The paperwork has been filed to enable Will to Life to become a non-profit organization and we are working towards achieving tax-exempt status. Currently, we are busy creating the departments and infrastructure of the foundation itself, in addition to researching potential programs and avenues that we may provide for our future beneficiaries.
Our goals and focus:
We hope to indiscriminately assist all second (and possibly third and even fourth) generation young people who were born into, and have left, an isolated religious community. It should be noted that Will to Life is a secular organization, and does not hold and will not promote any religious doctrines or belief systems.
Will to Life’s primary focus will be to create a network of resources dedicated to helping stabilize and support each beneficiary during their transition into secular society. In addition, we hope to implement a variety of programs to provide these exiting individuals with a strong support system, emergency assistance, and resources for their continued success once they have been assimilated into society.
Our independence from Safe Passage Foundation:
As many of you know, the Safe Passage Foundation (SPF) is currently being developed by a group of former members of The Family International. Initially we considered joining efforts with them, but after long and careful consideration we decided to branch out on our own. The reasons behind our decision to do this are varied and complex. Primarily, we decided to start our own foundation because of location. Since many of us who have the time to focus on a foundation are located in Southern California, and legal issues vary by state, we would have had to do a comparable amount of work to become a California chapter of SPF. In addition, we have a very specific vision of how we would like the foundation to be structured, which leads us to believe that by starting our own foundation we can best see our specific ideas and goals come to fruition. Please know that we hope to work closely with SPF once the Will to Life and the SPF continue to mature.
How you can help:
The success of any organization comes down to both the quality and quantity of the people involved. While the quality of our staff is high, the quantity is not. In other words, we need people! If you would like to donate your time and/or expertise to Will to Life, please do not hesitate to contact Windy at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this time, all members who are involved in the start-up of Will to Life are doing so on a volunteer basis, although we would like to compensate people for their work once the organization can support it. If you have an interest in helping with something specific, please let us know so that you can help with something that you already have a passion for.
Additionally, although we would like to start accepting donations, we cannot legally do so until the government has informed us that our paperwork for tax-exempt status is in process. We anticipate having the ability to accept donations within a few months time. In the meantime, please feel free to tell people about our foundation, as they will be able to donate in the near future.
Finally, a website for Will to Life is currently being developed at www.willtolife.org. Going forward, this site will contain more information on the foundation and how you can become involved.