From Jim LaMattery
Saturday, April 16, 2005, 10:31
This posting will be under the FBI investigation folder of our website at http://lamatteryresource.org so that anyone can refer back to it at anytime.
Dear Jules, the ex-SGA, the ex-FGA communities, current members of The Family International, and all others who have followed the lines of questions asked of me for the past week,
I have decided to write a response that will hopefully answer the questions that have been asked of me by many of you regarding my role and intentions in the current FBI and IRS investigations into The Family International, The Family Care Foundation, and Activated Ministries.
It is Saturday morning, April 16, 2005, at 6:00 AM. I have now had the time to not only read Jules' and Nancy's questions, but also I have reread questions asked of me by the other ex-members of TF that were posted in the last several weeks by the ex-member communities of XFamily, NDN, and EX-Cog. I believe that although every question should be answered, it is impossible for me to answer each one of your questions individually on a continual basis. Some of your questions have already been answered on my website, although not all you have visited it before.
I have elected to use my website as the place to answer your questions, as important dialogue is buried in strings in the various blogs on the ex-member boards. They serve a tremendous and special purpose in the working out of many issues we are all faced with in regards to our experiences with TF, but it has become impossible for me to keep up an adequate response level with all the boards while I travel and accomplish necessary tasks at hand. In an attempt to be fair to all concerned, I will post responses only on lamatteryresource.org from today's date.
Consequently, I will no longer be using any of the ex-member boards to answer any further questions that anyone may have. I will only use the boards to post updates on the investigations so that all may visit our site to see what progress we have made, if it is of interest to you. Many outsiders and ex-members are just now revisiting your boards since the murder/suicide of Ricky, and it is crucial that they know that an investigation is pending. I know they will have many questions, just like yourselves, and therefore these minimal notifications are necessary for posting. I don't believe that any of the various boards would have a problem with newcomers knowing that there is an investigation pending, that information is being requested, and that progress is being made. The NDN webmaster has asked me to stop asking publicly for help in this investigation on their board, and I will honor their request, as much as I disagree with it.
Regarding some of Jules', and other's specific questions about the investigation I have decided to break the below conversation into several sections so that each of you can refer to the section that might benefit your greater understanding of the issues that have been raised.
The FBI and IRS Investigations:
I have a working relationship with the FBI and IRS in which I have provided them every shred of information that I have been able to find regarding The Family International. I have stated many times that I do not represent them or any other law enforcement agency. But the nature of how the FBI investigates and discloses information is one in which, although at times may seem secretive, is their prerogative. I have worked to publicly announce the investigation inside the United States because the Agency does not make it a practice to do so. I feel the need to let the public know all of the issues surrounding The Family International in order to achieve an awareness of this secretive community in our midst.
Anyone can provide the FBI with information, I chose to do it for many reasons. I have encouraged everyone one of you to do the same. The FBI does not give me instructions on what to say to the public, or what not to say. They are prohibited from doing so. They can't because I'm a U.S. citizen with the right of free speech. But I don't take lightly what I do disclose to the public. Many may not agree with me in these disclosures, that's their right and privilege. It is also my right to freely speak.
I initially had a conversation with the Special Agent about the orderly process of encouraging individuals to write their statements, and the collecting of those affidavits. I will not disclose every detail of the conversation with anyone, as I will not jeopardize my working relationship with that agent. The "Most Wanted" poll was a suggestion.
I have repeatedly discussed the possibility of cooperation agreements with the FBI. However, persons wanting one will have to deal directly with the agent. The final authority for granting such agreements falls into the lap of the U.S. Attorney's Office. I will continue to encourage those individuals with the most valuable information regarding the leadership structure, movement of monies, and communications systems of TF to come forward and willingly give that information to the authorities. Initially, many people who have such information contacted me directly and asked if such agreements could be made. I, in turn, inquired of the FBI, and the answer was that it was a possibility. But again, I would encourage anyone who has valuable information to come forth, with or without such agreements.
My intentions as to answering the media's request regarding the investigations are to bring the issues squarely into the public's view. I have planned to take the next year off from my regular employment in order to achieve this goal. I have set up a fund on this site so that those who agree with my goals, but don't want to work directly with me, or appear in the media, can still be of help by providing needed funding for this venture. I have asked anyone who wants to appear on camera to please let me know, so that I can arrange to have you on the shows that I appear on. I don't leave everything up to the FBI. I intend on doing my part in getting information about The Family International into every television screen in America.
Individuals who have a civil suits pending may not like this. I've told those of you who have such a suit in progress that I would disagree if you withheld information from this investigation in order to make your suits successful. Withholding information is an obstruction of justice as far as I'm concerned. Civil suits are a form of accountability in money awards only. It is only in a criminal suit that the perpetrators will be brought to be made accountable for their crimes against children and be put behind bars where they are no longer a threat to the rest of the community.
Publishing Rights, Affidavits, and Contracts:
Ricky Rodriguez's story is an important one. It is extremely important to get his story out to the public around the world. You may not agree with that, that is your right. I, however, believe that this was partly Ricky's intention of making his video in the first place. He wanted his story told. Storytellers are important people. I entered into a contract that I felt would further this end. The details of that contract will be discussed only between the contracting parties.
As many of you know, I spent the prior six months before Ricky's death writing my novel, Stealing God. I was in the process of searching for publisher's and literary agents when Ricky's video appeared. The brandishing of the knife in his video was the spark to action for me personally to get involved with bringing an end to the horror that is The Family International. I have, since that date, put the publishing of my book on the back burner. In fact all other issues in my life were put on the back burner temporarily until the end is reached.
The publishing of my book may help to that end, but it must stand or fall on it's own merits. I was asked by a producer of one of the television shows if I intended on changing anything in the story since the death of Ricky. I said no. This may not preclude the possibility that the publisher who picks up my work requires that it be edited prior to publishing. I have repeatedly encouraged all of you who have direct experience with TF to write! One day, I hope to own a publishing company where your stories can be published without the normal resistance to such stories in the mainstream publishing business.
At the age of 52, I now want to devote the rest of my life to writing. Those of you who know me personally know that that was my desire prior to Ricky's death. I hope that it will be a successful and profitable career. I predict that there will be many promising new artists and writer's that come from this special phenomena of experience in TF. I encourage everyone to work on media projects, books, speaking engagements, etc. I would love to work with any of you who would like to work with me on such projects. And I think that we should all enjoy the rich rewards that such projects can bring, such as healing, closure, and including financial gain.
The Use and Distribution of Information You Provide:
Affidavits that all of you have provided will be used for the purpose in which they were intended, that is, to be given to the investigators. I have used the ones sent to me personally to connect the dots surrounding the abuse of my daughters during their tenure in TF. I am still asking for more, and will be more specific as to what I'm looking for at a later date. I have also read them to gain more insight into the widespread abuses that occur to children under the care and supervision of adults in The Family International. Unfortunately what I suspected has shown itself to be true in that regard. What happened to my children was not an isolated event. The specific kind of abuse they suffered was also suffered by many others. So access to these affidavits and information provided by so many willing people have been instrumental to this task.
The publishing of any specific information in these affidavits will never be done by me. The writers of these affidavits are the only ones that could grant permission to do so. I will talk generally about what they contain in an effort to heighten public awareness. But I will also get your permission to talk about specific events, names. etc, from you the writer of the affidavit.
Recent information was provided to me via telephone from a particular SGA. Questions regarding that information should be addressed to me by that person only. Those of you who have been asking me to talk openly about that information can cease and desist, as I will not talk to anyone except the SGA in question. That individual has chosen not to address me personally to date, so I am prohibited from talking to anyone else about it. The specific information that was disclosed has indeed not been used publicly, as just the discussion about it has rendered my initial result. I can, however, tell you that the information was in regards to allegations that a current spokesperson for TF engaged in sex with underage boys. Because the information providers need to submit their allegations in interviews or affidavits to the FBI directly, I have refrained from publicizing names. In the meantime, I pray that this individual in question does not abuse others while the process of justice grinds slow but sure.
I have no desire to use any affidavits in efforts to publish a new book. I'd truly like to get the novel I wrote before Ricky's death published in order for all of you to gain a better understanding as to who I am. Some of you have copies of it already, and I will ask you to please not publish it in whole or part without my express permission. I gave it to certain of you in order that you might have more insight into my thoughts, desires, etc. Please honor my copyright, as it is clearly copyrighted on the disks provided to you. Hopefully I will gain the attention of a major publisher who will take the risk in getting this book into the mainstream.
Leadership, Spokespeople, and Committees:
I decided that leadership wasn't my gig in 1975. I no longer desired to "save" anyone at that time. Since then, I have enjoyed a life wherein I follow no leaders, and do not desire to be one. I have been working out my own individuality. Many of you have wrongly assumed that I was, or wanted to be, your "leader." I encourage all of you to lead yourselves in all of the decisions that you will make regarding providing information, speaking to the media, working on legal issues, and most of all, healing from the horror you've experienced while in TF.
I could never satisfy all of your demands for "good" leadership, even if I so desired. Most of you have had horrible experiences with the so-called leadership of your parents. They need to stand up and validate your concerns, taking back the rightful place as your parent. I do not want to fill the role model of your parents, as I have plenty of children and extended family already. I would caution you to make anyone your "leader," excepting your own hearts and minds. I have a special love for all of you, parents and children alike. It is as though we all have been comrades in a common war. We share many commonalties. We can help one another get trough some tough times ahead.
I prefer that there be no "spokesperson" or "committee" to organize or centralize any effort that any of us make to expose The Family International for what it is. I've never liked "group think," and I feel that committees can foster such error. If we all act responsibly as adults, and if we do the right thing, then there is no need to be driven by a leader.
I know that not all of your questions were answered this morning. Many more may arise, and should arise as I proceed with what I feel is the right thing to do. Please know that I cannot answer them all. Those of you who have felt offended by me need to personally address me. Please do not have your friends do your talking for you. You need to be specific in what you actually felt offended you. Tell it all to me, and I will listen. I may not agree with you, but I will listen to you.
My father asked me a question a week ago. He said that he felt that I was doing the right thing in exposing The Family International. But he asked me one poignant question, "Have you considered all the consequences of exposing such a group, would someone want to kill you for it?" I answered, "If I had considered every possibility of consequence to me and my family, I would have had a harder time deciding to bring them to justice." I'm glad that I didn't consider all the consequences when I fled from the evil that is The Family International in 1975. I suffered the loss of my daughters for thirteen long, lonely, screwed-up years, but I'm glad that I did the right thing.
A Last Word:
This past week, including today, I have been desperately trying to visit a young man who is currently imprisoned for life. His sister visits the ex-member boards very rarely. She watched the episode of "Law and Order" that many of you are aware of. She watched it like she watches the show every week. She contacted me after viewing the show. She has requested my help for her brother. He is locked up in solitary confinement, in one of the most notorious prisons in America, at this moment while we discuss our issues. He is also on suicide watch. He was imprisoned for killing a FGA. He is a SGA. He was brutally beaten in a victor camp. I do not believe that his defense counsel adequately knew the facts of his past in TF. The prosecution understood that he had been abused as a child and consequently offered that manslaughter be the charge. The murdered victim's wife, who may still be in TF, pressed for the murder charge.
I will be doing everything in my power to get this kid out of solitary confinement and placed into a prison mental facility. I will also be doing all that I can to have his adjudication reviewed. His past unfortunately fits the profile of so many others who were born and raised in the horror. If you'd like to help in his appeal, please provide what little funding you can.
Although this individual is not my son, he could have been. And although I cannot call him "son," I can indeed call him "brother." Ricky stated in his video that he had a need for vengeance and a need for justice. I have no need for vengeance.