In Reply to: Re: Family's response to CNN posted by James on December 07, 2007 at 06:12:47:
One thing I think we can all safely generalize about, is that emotional blackmail still happens. You don't have to be near Peter & Maria for it to happen--it happens through the letters. "The letters are the leaders," remember?
As Justice Ward astutely observed and Perry pointed out, "members are primarily controlled through Family publications that purport to reveal Godís highest will for them." Ward also noted "the power which Berg wields through his letters to suborn the will of his disciples so that they do not know right from wrong."
The LJR is most definitely applicable when members are supposed to be in their highest calling, their most yielded state. How often is it that there is revolution after revolution, when leaders try to rein in the fold, the stragglers following afar off? Pretty much always. The movement thrives on its tenet of constant change, and one of its chief methods of manipulation is to keep everyone on their toes, in constant turmoil and insecurity. It is a matter of time before each and every member gets caught up in some sweep of theirs, probably through some divine revelation that Jesus wants them to be hot and not lukewarm, etc.
One question: do your children's children have freedom of religion and freedom of choice?
Even Justice Ward pointed out that that was sorely lacking within TF, and I really don't think it has changed that much since 1995. If you're 13 and don't agree with your parents' beliefs, you're faced with a choice: submit and supress it, or get booted out. As a rule, love is not unconditional in TF-- if you don't comply, you can't last in there and you certainly won't thrive.
As far as fundraising, they can defend themselves all they want, but does your family say up front they are members of TF? Do they say the money is for X project or for themselves? Because, as can be evidenced by recent testimony, as a rule, most of what TF members raise is still used for themselves. If they are fronting as an org, do they transparently submit themselves to enough 3rd-party scrutiny so that most of whatever they raise can be said to go to the people they claim to be helping?
While you may have no reason to believe they are child abusers, I do think your family might be pulling the wool over your eyes about some things. But according to my own "Mantra" which I didn't know I had, perhaps their particular experience is just not like anything I've described.
You say those who suffered "should take that up with those involved," BUT, since TF has as an institution collectively and systematically abused children and hidden its perpetrators, that's just not always possible. And thus, those who remain in it are guilty of collectively supporting a group which still harbors criminals. Their leaders are frickin criminals in hiding ferfux sake! So yes, any collaboration with TF still very much makes them guilty by association in my reasoning. And yes, in that sense I do see perfectly-justified reasons why ex-members might lump all current TF members in the same basket.
And, no matter how you downplay it, TF is still a high-demand group, not a loose-knit fraternity of Christians.
One more thing: I was really bothered by your portrayal of Ricky, not because he is some icon to uphold, but because I did correspond with him and found him to be articulate and intelligent. Your characterization of people being "simple" and "not super brainy" possibly due to having Latin blood frankly enrages me. That is as racist and ignorant as you can get.
Are you sure you're not still in TF? You sure read just like one. Call me a bloodhound if you will, but I can sniff a member from miles away.