In Reply to: The family in other countries posted by Concerned on August 13, 2005 at 02:06:29:
The Family (and similar kinds of high demand organizations) thrive in parts of the world where there is a lot of social instability, because they have suitcase full of ready-made answers that play into the fears of young people living under such conditions. Using these criteria, the countries of east Europe and former Soviet Union are "prime" culting ground.
Perhaps Uzbekistan fits this profile to some extent, but would be more culturally open to extremist Islamic cults than the Christian variety.
I'm not sure what you mean by "secretive" countries. Does this refer to little no access to public information because of govvernmental suppression of the media?
If Family members are currently active in any of the countries you are talking about, my guess would be they're operating as "Independent Christian Missionaries" under the auspices of Family Care Foundation. In which case, they may actually be doing something that looks like legitimate social-economic development and NGO activity.
Something to understand about TFI is that it is actually a very diverse group of people. There are individuals and families affiliated with The Family who are sincere, decent, and law-abiding. There's always a debate on these boards about whether these members should also be labeled "Christians," but one of the interesting things about TFI is that there are a number of disciples who serve as a convincing front for the organization out in the field precisely because they are decent people who try to do good works in the name of Jesus.
I would be concerned about Family affiliates doing NGO work under the Family Care Foundation umbrella, but I would be even MORE concerned (and surprised) to learn that Family leadership--either the top leaders or a World Services (WS) unit--were to open up shop in one of the countries you mention. It's no secret that Karen Zerby & her retinue need a place safe to hide from Interpol & the FBI. Whether or not they could find a way into one of these secretive countries depends entirely on their network of influential friends with political connections.
In the past, this network was developed by Maria & Berg through FFing. While the vast majority of young women in TF do not engage in this activity, I wouldn't be surprised to hear about a small, "super selah" WS unit of young women engaged in this activity as diplomatic emissaries on behalf of their King & Queen.
The good news is--I don't think King Peter or the Mosquito Queen could inspire the sort of fanatical devotion in young, attractive women that Berg did. I'm just speculating about the possibility of an active FFing unit--I'd put the odds at less than 10%.
If you are connected to NGOs (Christian or secular), these would be the groups to advise about Family operations. You might check our the Family Care Foundation website--although you need to take your source into account and realize you're not getting a completely accurate representation of reality.
Last I heard, there are only about 4,500 Family disciples over the age of 18. Roughly 15% are second generation--the group likely to have the vitality and strength to "pioneer" in difficult places like Uzbekistan or Myanmar. The older generation is still raising children born in 1990s or trying to figure out a retirement plan. TFI is a dying organization--still dangerous--but not all that vigorous as cults go.
With regard to warnings on message boards, do what you feel is best. Hope this additional information was helpful.