Posted by Perry on July 16, 2012 at 18:16:04
In Reply to: Re: ? posted by ray on July 13, 2012 at 22:52:07:
Ray, it is more moral to be a Nazi hunter than a Nazi sympathizer. Berg was a Nazi sympathizer, so are his followers by default.
I agree with excog's comments to you, and look forward to further communication between you two.
I find it interesting that you criticize, mischaracterize, and minimize those of us who continue to work to expose an abusive religious organization, yet you attended a conference where that kind of work is a significant part of what many attendees do, including many cult survivors. Did you criticize any of those attendees the way you criticize us?
As far as I am concerned, anyone who still considers themselves any kind of member or supporter of TFI is fair game for exposure and criticism. Apparently, there are still a lot of them.
see: TFI post-Reboot: New Sites and Online Services
Even after decades of deceitful claims of doctrinal and tactical changes, you seem to believe that everything is fine now, move on, nothing to see, the changes are real, abuse in all forms is in the past, it is just the 'maturation' of the group, blah, blah, blah. In fact, you sound very much like academic cult apologists. Are you sure you attended the right conference?
I suspect, Ray, that I am one of the persons you are referring to as a Nazi hunter. Your assumptions about me are wrong. Here is why I do what I do, to expose and warn so that what happened to me does not happen to others. And what COG/TFI members did to me 40 years ago, they still do today.
I was deceived, manipulated, indoctrinated, exploited and spiritually pressured to leave my family by ugly American evangelists when I was just 16 in 1973. During the next four decades, TFI made dozens of claims that they had changed their evil ways. Most of those claims have proven false.
Now, flashforward almost 40 years to 2009 and consider the facts set out in a news article featuring Celeste Jones:
UK survivor confirms mother's fears about abusive cult The Family International that tried to recruit her teen daughter
"'Just a normal teenage girl, but in the wrong place at the wrong time,' is how Charlotte Wells describes the circumstances in which her daughter, Rachel, then 17, met Wayne, 24, a 'religious missionary' , in a shopping centre in Somerset two years ago.
Within moments of meeting, Wayne was dazzling Rachel with tales of foreign work, and qualifications, ranging from youth counselling and disaster relief to business management and interior design. For the following weeks Rachel and Wayne conducted a sexual relationship, which Rachel hid from her mother; by the time he left for America, citing visa reasons, Rachel had fallen passionately in love.
'I asked Rachel what was wrong, as she seemed down, and she told me she'd met someone, but he'd left. She said there was something I should know about him that I mightn't like.' Wayne, along with his parents and nine siblings, was part of the Family International, a 'Christian' fellowship preaching the Gospel internationally.
'I emailed Wayne asking him about this leader and his associations. Wayne replied there was "absolutely nothing wrong with David Berg" . Then I did everything you're not supposed to do when your child becomes interested in a cult, and went completely bananas,' says Wells.
Charlotte Wells' fight to prevent Rachel joining the Family International came at significant personal cost. She took six months off work, using the time to educate herself about the way a cult works. 'Fighting a group like this is intimidating, and I had to learn fast,' she says.
Her persistence paid off. Rachel started questioning the fact that marriage to Wayne would involve living within an enclosed group. 'When she could look at it calmly Rachel started examining what Wayne had told her. She didn't like the idea that she would have to live communally with other members of his group,' explains Wells.
'She was a teenage girl with romantic notions about living with and marrying Wayne, as she really believed she had fallen in love. When we talked about this and it was clear that it might not just be the two of them, she started to get cold feet. She was upset about the idea that she would have to join the Family in order for them to have a sexual relationship together, and I think that this realisation made it all seem a lot less romantic and exciting.'
Eventually, Rachel dropped her plans to move to America, and today mother and daughter rarely talk about the episode.
'I'm positive that, had she joined Wayne, she would have been coerced into joining the group as soon as her feet hit the runway,' says Wells. 'Then she would've been lost to me, perhaps forever. It frightens me to think what her future might have been like. It's left a scar too, as I know it's something I have to be vigilant about as it could happen again, at any time.'
I can already hear the apologists complaining that this is old news, that it happened three years ago and there have been more changes since then. I do not believe those claims of real, transparent change and never will.
Many times on this site I've cited Mormons as an appropriate analogy to TFI. Today, many mainstream Mormons still do not know their own church history and the fact that their founder Joseph Smith promoted polygamy and had many wives. But it is those moderate and even nominal believers who legitimize the religious fraud and create the conditions for abandoned, abusive doctrines to resurface in breakaway sects and cults. Just ask the babies water tortured or the girls raped by Mormon polygamists in Warren Jeffs FLDS cult.
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