In Reply to: Re: TF on bedwetting etc. posted by Simon on January 30, 2008 at 16:56:16:
I am speculating. I don't know to what extent "The Family" carries on Berg's teachings about bedwetting from one generation to the next. That's exactly what I said in my original post in this thread. What I've been responding to is a tendency to minimize and dismiss the historical brutalization of children over bed-wetting in TFI as a relatively minor problem of the past.
If you search this board, you'll see that I asked whether anyone knew the current practice/teaching of The Family on bed-wetting several weeks ago in a post called "Bed wetting." I go no responses. The reason I've been posting on enuresis (bed wetting) is because of what Juliana Buhring wrote in "Not Without My Sister" about being punished as a child for this problem. What Juliana described was really brutal stuff, and it doesn't make a bit of difference that systemites beat their kids for bed wetting, too. Systemites also abandon their children and fail to educate them. But systemites don't generally rationalize this kind of behavior as having something to do with their calling to serve God.
I post on issues of child maltreatment and neglect in TFI because I want people associated with "The Family" to get a clue about what constitutes child abuse. It's not like Family people are known for having set world-class standards for child welfare. I am a child welfare advocate, and yes, by definition that makes me an annoying person to many First Generation adults who raised kids in The Family. I was in TFI many years ago, but I got out when my kids were born because I didn't think it was a good place to raise them--that was BEFORE the Dito Book, btw.
I don't think beatings and exorcisms happened to every Family child who wet the bed in the 1970s and 80s, but it sure happened to enough of them. I haven't read any apologies from Karen Zerby about what she did to Rick or any number of other Family children with enuresis. I read a lot of the current stuff published by WS for information about childrearing, and I haven't seen anything telling Second Gen parents: "Hey, we got this revelation from Jesus that bed-wetting is a medical problem that has nothing to do with the spiritual realm."
Not every child growing up in The Family was sexually abused in the 1970s and 80s. And it's great that 5-year-olds aren't being sexually groomed to become child brides at age 13 any more. But that doesn't mean young women in the 16-21 age range aren't being molested and raped in Family homes in Mexico, Thailand, the Philippines and Japan even as I write this. There's no such thing as "molestation" or "rape" in TFI, so how the hell does it ever get reported or even talked about by members? Anyway, 16-21 year-olds aren't "kids" now, are they? So Family violence that involves adolescents doesn't count? Second generation survivors talk about what's happening with their siblings and friends in certain parts of the world. Just because it's not happening in your corner of the Family doesn't mean it isn't happening. And just because it's happening in what appears at this point to be isolated cases doesn't mean it isn't a direct consequence of official policy and practice.
It's great that your grandchildren don't get exorcized or have the crap beat of out of them for bedwetting. That doesn't mean it isn't happening to some TFI children AND being justified with cockamamie doctrines about hitchhiking spirits, which the group still espouses. (See: :Spirit_World)
If you understand enuresis for what it frequently is--a problem in the child's neurological development--then you understand why so it's freakin' brutal to spank the kid or torture them with an exorcism over something like this. Please do not try to dismiss or minimize the issue of child maltreatment and neglect in TFI by pointing out how well your own grandchildren are doing. Even if things have improved, children growing up in TFI today still face a lot of risks to their health and well-being that the average systemite kid in the US does not. How do I know this? Because I do research in children's mental health, and I know what the statistical risk of abuse and neglect is for the general population versus the risk probabilities for socially isolated children in a high-demand organizations like TFI with an historic record of institutionalized abuse.
It's a DAMNED LIE that children growing up in TFI today are safer from maltreatment than those who grow up in the system, and I'm sorry if you don't like hearing that, but it's the truth.