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Re: No, they don't FF

Posted by Perry on June 05, 2005 at 18:17:56

In Reply to: Re: No, they don't FF posted by Monger on June 05, 2005 at 01:21:30:

Monger, I'm a bit surprised by your response to me, and the personal attack at the end of it. I have to say that you come across, at the very least, as naive and gullible, at worst, as an apologist for TF.

First, let me say that when I first read the Marie Claire article, and specifically Joy's comment about community members, I genuinely read 'community' as being the wider community in which TF finds itself in. After reading your comment, I concede that the word 'community' was most likely meant to be the internal community of their home. However, that does not change my assessment of TF when it comes to the practice of FFing, or any other doctrine that they have purportedly renounced, or at least no longer engage in.

I have now had the advantage of reading the other comments in this thread and your responses to them, and again, your arguments sound like those of a typical apologist. You admit that current Family members probably see nothing wrong with the doctrine of FFing, but for various expedient reasons don't practice it. Yet you seem to accept at face value TF's official claims regarding that doctrine. Knowing what you do about TF, I'm not sure how you justify believing anything TF's leadership has to say about this, or any other pernicious doctrine they claim to have renounced.

My concern is not just about past abuses, but about current and future abuses. As long as there are people who believe that David Berg was a prophet, the practice of doctrines such as the Law of Love and FFing, and the abuses they bring with them, will live on in one form or another.

The history of the Mormons is instructional in this regard, and good to keep in mind. The teachings of Joseph Smith with regard to polygamy, even though long ago officially renonunced by the mainstream Mormon church (for expediency, not morality I might add) continue to be the source of much misery, cruelty and abuse inflicted by followers of Joseph Smith.

Mainstream Mormon officials argue (similar to the argument you make in support of TF) that they excommunicate anyone who practices polygamy. Those excommunications over the years have led to the creation of what is referred to as Mormon fundamentalism. Yet the fact is, the teachings and practices of the mainstream Mormon church continue to create an environment and mindset which is but one step removed from the extremes of fundamentalism.

The story of 14 year-old Elizabeth Smart is a frightening example of that. Her story is recounted in Jon Krakauer's excellent expose, "Under the Banner of Heaven." She was raised in the mainstream church, but Krakauer documents how the teachings of that church led her to submissively yield to a fundamentalist, self-described prophet and his wife, who abducted Elizabeth from her home while her family slept. She submitted to rape and abuse and did not try to escape from them even when she had a few opportunities to do so. It was her schooling in the mainstream church, which purportedly renounced polygamy, that set the stage for the horrific abuse she suffered.

The semantic deceit I accused TF of, and I'm certainly not the first, is well-documented. It is the kind of deceit all Family members, past and present, are adept at. More importantly, TF's practice of this kind of deceit can be directly linked to the abuse of minors. Surely you're familiar with the Maria Monologue's and similar Family writings. So I find it quite astounding that you would respond to me by excusing TF and accusing me of "making a semanticly (sic) deceitful issue of it." My only fault is in possibly misinterpreting the meaning of 'community' as it was used in the article. Hardly a crime when compared to TF's use of this tactic.