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FSM 295 DO
As David with Goliath!

Chronicles of the Legal Battle in the British Isles -- And Its Glorious Victory!
Written and compiled by the BI court case team

{\b © May 1996, by The Family, Zurich, Switzerland}


Chronology of Outstanding Events Relating to the BI Case

       -- February 1992: S. is born outside of England. Mrs. T. (P.'s mother and S.'s grand-mother) begins legal proceedings to make S. a ward of court.

       -- May 1992: We hire Kim as our new solicitor.

       -- (May 1992: Raids on Family Homes in Australia.)

       -- June 1992: First hearing in court.

       -- September-December 1992: Preparation of affidavits and submission of our case.

       -- (June 1993: Family Homes raided in two French cities.)

       -- August 1993: Mediation attempts with Mrs. T. begin, which prove unsuccessful.

       -- (September 1993: Raids on Family Homes in Argentina.)

       -- October 1993: Our preliminary hearing -- which we nicknamed "Black October."

       -- January 1994: Our court case begins in full.

       -- July 1994: Final day of hearings. Judge begins writing his judgment.

       -- May 26, 1995: Preliminary closed judgment.

       October 19, 1995: Final judgment -- VICTORY!


       (From Mama: This is the wonderful account of all that went into winning the British Isles court case! It should not be seen only as a historical document, but also as a very feeding, inspiring and faith-building account of the wonderful promises that the Lord spoke and fulfilled through numerous prophecies given all around the world. I highly recommend that you read it! The Lord gave His Word and kept it! He never fails!)


       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: The British court has placed an injunction on revealing the identity of the mother and child involved in this case to the general public. Therefore, throughout this publication we have replaced their names with initials. We pray that you will nonetheless find this easy to follow. WLY!)


       The British Isles case began in February 1992. It was a civil case, brought against P. by her mother, Mrs. T., who applied to the High Court in London to have S., P.'s first son, made a ward of court -- meaning that the court would become the child's legal guardian. Mrs. T.'s desired result was to gain care and control of S., hoping this would force P. to leave the Family. However, the Lord had very different plans, which unfolded step by step over the next three years and eight months!
       The following account of that trying time endures as a testimony of God's faithfulness to fulfill His Word, of His power to deliver His children when they were powerless, of His grace to help in time of great need, and most of all, of His boundless Love to reach down to help and rescue when all hope was gone. In our many times of desperately seeking Him in prayer, He never failed to speak precious Words of comfort and instruction -- through Dad, Mama and Peter, WS, and Family members around the world, as well as our own team. We have included portions of these prophecies throughout this FSM, and as you will see, their predictions have been mightily and accurately fulfilled! PTL!
       Today, as we reflect on all that the Lord has brought us through, we can more clearly see how truly "all things come from His Hand." Seeing each battle and seeming defeat -- of which there were many -- miraculously transformed into a wonderful victory has been a beautiful example of Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." All along it was the Lord Who was leading (and sometimes pushing) us to change some of the ways we looked at things, and to move in the direction He wanted us to go. And besides all the precious blessings brought into our lives personally, as the Lord said in the prophecy below, He has used the "ripple effect" of this case to create "a huge wave" of blessing for the whole Family!


       (Excerpts of a prophecy and vision given in October 1995, right before the final outcome was announced. Prophecy:) "As this little ripple began afar off as a tiny problem, but mushroomed into a big wave that roared and roared and was heard worldwide and now has crashed upon the shore, so there will now be a great tidal wave that will rebound from the shore, around the world! But this will be positive; this will not be to your harm. I will bring good from the repercussions of this case, for all is in My hand."
       (Vision:) "I had a vision of the wave. When I first saw it, the water was already churning. Way off in the distance was a tiny little rise in the water that then developed into a little ripple, and then into a burgeoning wave. It crashed on the shore, which was England. Then, as it went back out, it became a huge wave that went worldwide. Even as powerful and big as it was, it wasn't scary. It was positive. The principle of Romans 8:28 was being shown by this whole picture, and the repercussions. The overwhelming feeling wasn't of doom or danger, but that all the repercussions would be good." (End of excerpts.)


       The following is a poem written by teen Lisa (17), who came to help for the final stretch of the battle, and who was with us when we won the victory.

       The battle was long and weary,
       Yet we fought on through the night.
       Through the fire, the smoke, and the tempest,
       We stood up for the Truth and the right.

       The battle cry rang in our ears,
       Amid clashing of sword upon sword,
       Though sometimes it seemed we'd be defeated,
       We were kept through our faith in the Lord.

       Kept through the furious onslaughts,
       Of our opponents' volleys of lies;
       Kept through the gale and the tempest,
       Through prayers that did Heavenward rise.

       We fought with God's help till the end,
       Though we knew not what the end would be,
       Onward we strove, with might not our own,
       Till triumph at last we did see.

       And now the battle is over,
       The night when we fought now is past.
       The sunrise heralds a new day,


History of the BI Court Case
       It all began when Mrs. T. was introduced to members of the anti-cult movement (ACM) at a dinner party in 1991. Shortly thereafter, she hired private detectives to follow P., who was living in a Home in England, for a period of eight months. During this time, P. (who was then unmarried), became pregnant. Her mother then invited her to lunch, which turned into an attempted deprogramming session, attended by detractors Valerie Jones, her daughter Kristina, and Marie Christine Haworth (who, together with her husband, Ian Haworth, heads up the anti-cult group "Cult Information Center" in England)!
       P. explains: "The meeting soon degenerated until Marie Christine and Valerie were shoving old Mo Letters under my nose, shouting abuse at me and trying to force me to accept that Dad was a false prophet and that I had to leave the Family for the sake of my child! I was prevented from leaving the house by these two women until my uncle, who saw how nasty and unpleasant things had become, offered to take me out.
       "After this, my mother returned to her home in Kenya. However, a couple of weeks before the baby was born, we started getting checks in the Spirit that something was not right. I then found that she had returned to England secretly. The Lord clearly spoke through prophecy that I should go to another country beginning with the letter 'S.' So I left England and went to Scotland.
       "S. was born there in February 1992, and about a week after his birth, I informed my mother. We planned to return home to England on a certain day, as soon as the midwife's visits were over. The Lord seemed to be trying to stop us from doing so, but we continued on. Then, as we rushed onto the platform to catch our train, an announcement was made that the train was canceled -- two minutes before it was due to leave! They told us they didn't know why. We later found out what a miracle of the Lord's mercy it had been! Had we caught that train, we would have been at the Home when the police raided the house with a 'seek and find' court order for S., giving his care and control to my mother! Thank the Lord for His care and protection, even when we are faithless! (2Tim.2:13).
       "As I was in Scotland, and therefore not in the jurisdiction of the court in London, I was under no obligation to return to England to face this case. However, after praying and asking the Lord to speak, He showed me and those I prayed with that I should return. He also gave some of the exact same verses that we had received in prayer to the NAS teamwork in England. Some of the verses we received were:
       " 'And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake' (Mat.10:18). 'Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things which are God's' (Mat.22:21). 'Therefore have I set my face like a flint and I know that I shall not be ashamed' (Isa.50:7). 'They [EDITED: "thy children"] shall speak with the enemies in the gate' (Psa.127:5). 'And now, Lord, behold their threatenings and grant unto Thy servants that with all boldness they may speak Thy Word' (Acts 4:29). We also received the story of how the Lord delivered Daniel in the lions' den (see Dan.6).
       "Encouraged by these verses, I informed the judge who was presiding over my case (via telephone with my lawyers) that I would return if he gave me care and control, so that S. could remain with me during the running of the case. Because I was saying that I would come back and face the court, the judge felt able to trust me and agreed. I was able to return to England with S. in my care, and so began the British Isles court case!" (End of comments from P.)

Finding a Lawyer
       While P. was out of the country, we had contacted a firm of lawyers with whom we'd had dealings in the past. However, very soon after P.'s return, it became apparent that it was not possible to work with the lawyer assigned to our case, who had no conviction to fight for P.'s right to bring S. up in the Family.
       P. relates: "It was a very difficult time for me, as the whole situation was all very new. I was facing allegations about the Family that I had never heard of before, and had to learn to deal with the trauma of being involved in such a bitter court case. So having to also be faced with this lawyer's negative and nasty attitude was too much for me. I left almost every meeting in tears." (End of comments from P.)
       The Lord showed us through prophecies and visions to dismiss the lawyer. Though it was a scary step to take, we had to trust that as we followed the Lord, He would guide us to the lawyer of His choice. -- And how wonderfully He did! This was a good lesson on following the Lord desperately each step of the way and not going on what seemed right at the time. Nevertheless, the Lord used the first lawyer to accomplish His will, because another lawyer might not have encouraged P. to come back to England to fight the case.
       We had no idea where to start looking for a new lawyer, except that the Lord had shown us in prophecy that it would be as a David who would take on Goliath. Through a series of events, the Lord led us to Kim, a man with the reputation of being "the best childcare lawyer in London." P. called him, and after two meetings with Matthew (the shepherd who oversaw much of the running of the case) and P., he agreed to take our case.
       Kim has since become a key member of our legal team. In addition, he has been a tremendous blessing to the whole Family worldwide through his invaluable counsel and insight, God bless him! He has helped us to see things -- including ourselves -- from a very important perspective: through the eyes of others not in the Family. He has also helped us to identify areas where we need to change, and has been a great blessing to work with.
       Here is an excerpt from a prophecy the Lord gave for Kim: "This is but a small battle in the overall war, but rejoice that you have been chosen to fight this battle, for you are on the winning side. We cannot lose, for if God be for us no man can stand against us. And if this work be of man, it shall come to naught. But if it be of God, no man can stand against it. Therefore rejoice, for I have chosen you. You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and ordained you for this job. Therefore rejoice, for great will be your reward."

Beginning a Worldwide Ministry to the Academics
       Pressed by the need for impartial outside help, on the urging of our lawyers, Matthew visited an organization called INFORM. (INFORM stands for Information Network Focus on Religious Movements, and is a UK-based group of academics, partly funded by the government, that distributes factual information about New Religious Movements.) The precedent-setting meetings that resulted began in May 1992, with Drs. Eileen Barker and Charlotte Hardman, and were important turning points. Soon after, the Family in Australia and the US also began meeting with academics. As you'll read later in this FSM, the Lord used the accurate, impartial input of several of these experts to help the judge in our case better understand new religious movements, and most importantly, the Family.

The Australian Raids
       That same month of May 1992, we heard the shocking news of the 152 Family children in Australia being taken into custody. These raids had a tremendous impact on us all, Family members and lawyers alike -- a stark reminder of the stakes involved in our case, and the lengths to which our detractors were willing to go to do us harm!
       However, when the victory came for our dear Family, first in Sydney in October 1992 and then in Melbourne in early 1994, it was a big encouragement for us as well, and we feel that it had a positive effect on the judge of our case. There was a dramatic moment during the hearings in 1994, when the Official Solicitor tried to file as evidence against us a document known as the "White Book." This thick document was the case prepared against the Family in Melbourne by the Community Services Department for the Australian state of Victoria (CSV). But on the very day that the Official Solicitor planned to make their argument as to why it should be submitted as evidence in our case, we heard that the case in Melbourne had been mediated! When our barrister presented this news to the court, the Official Solicitor immediately backed down! The judge tore the front cover off the White Book, made a paper airplane out of it and flew it across the courtroom! -- But we're getting ahead of our story!
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: The Official Solicitors Office is a large, well-funded government agency that, in wardship proceedings, is supposed to represent the interest of the ward [EDITED: "child"]. This meant there were {\ul \i three} parties to the proceedings: 1) the g{\ul \i randmother}, who was bringing the complaint and therefore known as the plaintiff; 2) {\ul \i P}., who for obvious reasons is called the defendant; and then 3) {\ul \i S}., the child, known as the second defendant, who was represented by the Official Solicitor. By the time the actual hearings began in January 1994, the Official Solicitor manifested an unusually sympathetic stance towards the grandmother's position, thus giving her a significant advantage in the case.)

The Importance of this Case
       Early on, we began receiving prophecies and counsel from Dad, Mama and Peter, WS, and our other shepherds. How we hung onto these direct Words from the Lord -- as sometimes we had nothing else to go on! We were moving into unknown territory, totally by faith, experiencing things our Family had never had to deal with before. Realizing the potential of this case to affect the entire Family made us so desperate!
       Here are a few excerpts from some of these encouraging Words of specific guidance and accurate predictions of victory. Please bear in mind that the counsel and prophecies which follow below were given in early 1992, long before we saw the final victory! Praise the Lord!

This Case Should Set a Precedent
       (From Mama:) "Another reason this case is important is because if the Enemy can win this round, it will set a precedent for the rest of the world and influence other cases, to the benefit of our enemies worldwide. Just as it's been so wonderful for us to be able to testify to lawyers and judges, 'Look, we've had several cases around the world where they've tried to take our kids away, but in every case we were proven innocent and our children were returned,' it would be equally damaging if we had to admit that one dear child had been taken away from us because we were judged unfit parents.
       "That is why the Enemy is making such a big deal of this case. He knows that if they 'get us' in England, then it will be a lot easier for them to 'get us' in other places as well. So this case -- like all cases of its kind -- will seriously affect the future of the Family, either positively or negatively. So far, because we have won in all previous cases, it has strengthened our legal stand and bolstered our credibility worldwide. If this case should go against us and the baby should be taken away because of claims against the Family of unfit parenting, it could very much hinder us in any such future cases and make it more difficult for us in fighting them" (ML #2782:6,7).

Fight in Prayer with the Word!
       (From Mama:) "Dad and I are very burdened about the situation in England, and especially the future of P.'s baby, which is now hanging in the balances. We feel like a lot of the outcome is going to depend on our prayers and that we need to get desperate right away" (ML #2782:2a).


       (From Mama in a different message:) "Not only is it our job to pray, but also to fight with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. We need to not only pray, but we need to use the Word. That's what our people who are directly involved in these persecution situations have to do: they have to actually stand up and give the Word of the Lord to our enemies. They have to give clear testimonies of our life for the Lord and what His Word tells us to do. So the most important ways that we can fight are in prayer and with the Word" (ML #2783:15).


       (Prophecy:) "The day to be passive is over. You must be militant! You must defy and you must resist! You must fight with all your strength and with all your might through prayer, for I have given you a weapon that none of our enemies can stand against; and that is the power of prayer. Your part is to pray; to pray with all your heart in desperation and strong tongues and crying and weeping for my little ones. For as you pray and seek Me with a whole heart, I will deliver this little one. I will set this one free and I will set a precedent that your enemies shall fear."


       (Vision:) "In the beginning, when we started praising the Lord, I had a vision. It was as if the children of Israel were standing before the Red Sea opened. But it was just P., standing there with the little baby. I had the impression that the Red Sea was like the English justice system. When everybody started praying, that was when the sea opened up, and the mother and baby walked through without getting a drop of water on them."


       (Prophecy:) "The Lord heard them and delivered them out of their troubles. I can do all things. Nothing is too hard for Me! I will take this child and will deliver him and keep the mother and keep your Family and put faith in the whole Family. I will not disappoint you. All you have to do is pray and get desperate, and I will do My part. Not by might, nor by power, but by Me, My Spirit. I am the Lord. I will help you in time of trouble, I will deliver you. I will, I promise! Command Me and I will do it! Get desperate and I will deliver them."


       "Several times when praying for this situation, we were specifically burdened to pray for the judge. One person got the parallel of the situation with King Solomon and the baby (1Ki.3:16-28), and prayed specifically that this judge would have the wisdom and anointing of Solomon to be able to judge this case, that our enemies' true intentions would be exposed before all in the courtroom, and that the judge would rule in our favor. But the impression was very much that we needed to really keep this judge in our thoughts and prayers, that he would have the spirit of Solomon and see that we were innocent, and that the Enemy would be exposed." (The parallel of Solomon and the baby was received 15 other times in prophecies around the world!)


       (Prophecy:) "But I say, continue in desperation, for the job is not done. For as your queen has well spoken, the Enemy will seek to take this child to destroy many of your children, as he sought to destroy Jesus, and as he sought to destroy many children in other days. Many lost their children in desperation and weeping, but it does not have to be so with you if you will but cry unto Me for this mother and this child in desperation, for the Word is what will release him. The Word is My presence in that court. The Word is My presence against the Enemy. The Enemy shall not prevail against Me, for My Word is powerful."

The Early Stages of the Case
       The first affidavits were filed against us by P.'s mother at the same time as her original application to make S. a ward of court, in February 1992. These affidavits were written by a few bitter ex-members, many of whom were intent on hurting or destroying the Family. To prepare our defense, we brought in brethren who had known these witnesses. They then wrote counter-affidavits answering the specific allegations, as well as explaining in general terms about the Family and our history.
       This early preparation of our case was a monumental task and took months of very hard work by our lawyers and our legal team. Kim was our solicitor, and we had a QC* to represent us in court. As the work load increased, we had to take on another barrister, Richard, as well as a second solicitor named Roger. Kim, Richard, and Roger met many Family members, read our lit, and drafted affidavits. It was during this time that WS gave permission for our lawyer to have full access to our DO lit library, which was a major step at that time. (*{\ul \i Editor's note}: "QC" stands for Queen's Counsel, which is the most senior position that a barrister can hold. They have special recognition before the courts, due to their years of experience and demonstrated skills as a barrister. The British justice system has two basic types of lawyers. {\ul \i Solicitors} do all the preparation and research work and basically decide on the general way in which their cases will be presented. {\ul \i Barristers} then have the job of presenting the case in court.)
       Because the affidavits filed against us were from disgruntled ex-members, our lawyers advised us to recruit the help of former members who still loved the Family and looked on their life in the Family as a positive experience, thus giving a balance to what the court was hearing. So Matthew visited a TS couple in London to request their help. He felt a great concern for these dear brethren and began to meet with them regularly. This was the beginning of more regular, extensive contact between DO and TS brethren in the British Isles and some other countries -- another major Romans 8:28 which the Lord engineered through the case. Closer contact between TSers and DO members was also starting to happen around the same time in other areas of the world.
       Many of these dear folks -- as well as outside relatives -- wrote affidavits and faithfully stood up for us in court. They were instrumental in showing the judge a much broader view of the Family, as he saw that while a few ex-members were bitter about their experiences, many who had left or remained in the Family as TSers retained many happy memories of their time as DO members.
       Yet another blessing to arise out of this court case and the Australian cases were the Statements. At that time, we didn't have the necessary material pubbed to explain the Family to outsiders in a clear, concise way, especially those matters of most concern to the court. This was creating quite a problem for our lawyers, as well as those fighting for us in Australia and elsewhere. When WS saw this need, they began the major task of codifying the Family's core beliefs, resulting in the Position and Policy Statements from which we and many interested outside parties have greatly benefited! -- Another Romans 8:28!
       As we became further involved with INFORM, we began helping some parents of Family members to get in touch with their children with whom they'd lost contact. One of these Family members was Simon, a British disciple living in Thailand. His mother contacted INFORM because she wanted Simon to return to England for a family reunion, and they in turn enlisted our help. Simon eventually returned in March 1993. This event was to hold special significance for P., as she explains:
       "One day, I desperately prayed for the Lord to provide a mate for me. A few weeks later, Simon came from Thailand and stayed in our Home, and very soon afterwards we became engaged! The Lord knew that I would have to be in court five days a week during the running of the case, so I would not be around very much for S., and that he would need a parent figure during that time. Throughout that time, Simon was like a daddy to S., for which I was so thankful. Sadly, the relationship between Simon and I didn't work out at the time, and in 1994, Simon returned to Thailand. But what God has put together, let not man put asunder. -- When He wants to do something, He works miracles to bring about His will! It seems it really was the Lord's will for us to be together, but we had just missed the first bus!
       "In May 1995, Simon again came to visit his mother. He did not intend to stay for more than 2 weeks. But miraculously, his visit coincided with the date set for the preliminary judgment, which Simon was able to attend. The Lord then engineered it that he stayed to help out in our Home again, and in the meantime, He sent a little cupid to fire his darts of love into each of our hearts again, and we are now married! Praise the Lord!" (End of comments from P.)
       Our case had been scheduled to go to trial in January 1993. But then, in a surprise move, P.'s mother submitted a new batch of affidavits written by detractors and ex-members. At a hearing a little later in 1993, the judge said that we should not write more affidavits in response to these new affidavits, as he was not certain he would admit the grandmother's new affidavits as evidence. He told us that he would decide whether he would accept these new affidavits at a later hearing, but if he decided to admit them, then he would give us time to write our affidavits to refute those submitted by Mrs. T.

Difficulties in Containing the Issues Before the Court
       At the beginning, most of Mrs. T.'s case centered around allegations of sexual abuse and brainwashing. But by late 1992, soon after our "Statement on Brainwashing" came out, they dropped the brainwashing allegation altogether! -- That document made such a strong case against it that they simply had nothing to stand on! This saved a lot of time, trouble, and expense. Thank the Lord!
       Although it was clearly not the Lord's will for us to be bogged down with the issue of brainwashing, He did allow other things to come up. What should have happened, had our case followed the usual pattern, was that the grandmother would turn in the affidavits of her witnesses, we would read their affidavits and respond with affidavits from our witnesses, and then the case would run. However, the grandmother kept adding new affidavits. In this seemingly never-ending vicious cycle, we were faced with trying to answer general and specific allegations against Family members in numerous countries, concerning events which supposedly occurred at various times throughout our 25-year history! We also had to answer accusations regarding all the lit that was submitted as evidence against us, such as the Davidito Book, the FF Letters, and many others.
       This could easily have turned into a tit-for-tat warfare, discussing alleged specific events not directly related to S. But the Lord was faithful to show us that rather than fighting the darkness, we needed to let the light in! We therefore tried to bring in as much positive material as possible -- the Word, videos, letters from friends and contacts, material showing our worldwide work, etc. Although the frequent addition of new issues was a frustrating aspect of fighting the case at the time, we can now see very clearly that the Lord had His way with it all. Having to fight these issues resulted in many victories in the end.
       In wardship cases in the UK, the rules are different than in criminal proceedings such as we faced in Argentina and France. In wardship proceedings, the judge has a very wide range of discretionary power as far as what is admissible as evidence (which included just about anything and everything, including hearsay!). The bottom line for the judge is to do what he feels is in the child's best interests. For this reason, it is acceptable to bring in any sort of evidence, if the judge feels it has a bearing on his decision. Our judge was interested in hearing anything that might be relevant. At the end of the case, he then decided how much weight to put on each bit of evidence he heard.

The Media and the Court Case
       Throughout the court case, it became apparent that the ACM, in cahoots with the press, were attempting to manipulate the media to influence the outcome of our case and the resultant public opinion. As each new important court date loomed, we came to expect an anti-Family story to break in the media, and this proved true time after time!
       The Argentine raids hit the London newspapers in a very big way, coinciding with the opening of our case. It was so big that it knocked the signing of the Middle East peace treaty out of first place on the news! Our Media Home was filled with TV crews and journalists for days! We conducted 40 major interviews, and there were almost 300 newspaper articles in this country. Our Home was also on the news in America, Canada and Australia.
       The next major media story during the running of the case was in 1994, when the ACM went to the press with the GN "No Way Out but Up," citing it as evidence of a possible suicide pact by Family members. When the opposition tried to push this in court, the judge took the newspaper article and said, "Let's put this where it belongs!" -- as he dropped it in the trash! Ha!
       Originally the final ruling was expected in July 1994, and this is when Channel 4 aired the very negative "Witness" program, also known as the "Smithson Documentary," intending it to be a major blow. However, the judgment was postponed, and the ACM's anticipated media domino effect did not result either.
       In October 1994, another story surfaced of an ex-member being paid compensation by the government, after unsubstantiated stories of abuse. This coincided with another court date, and we faced yet another mini-media storm.
       In November 1994, just as the judge's ruling was again expected to be released, the Daily Mail (one of the largest tabloids in the country) launched a vehement attack, with article after article against us. This began with one of the worst yet front-page stories, and a double-pager inside blasting us from every angle, and linking us to a supposed "Scotland Yard* Report." This was followed up with an editorial suggesting we should be forced to send our children to public schools, and another article suggesting that Scotland Yard had been in touch with the judge involved in P.'s case, to inform him of the results of their investigation (which they hadn't). The judge, however, was determined not to allow the sensational press to influence his decision. God bless him! (Scotland Yard is the headquarters of the London Metropolitan Police.)

"Black October!"
       P.'s brother J., also in the Family, came to England in 1992. He and P. made a couple of attempts to settle the case with their mother out of court, but she did not respond to these initiatives.
       In August 1993, a glimmer of hope emerged in the area of mediation. However, it was not to be, as the Lord had a very different plan in store for us -- a plan which took us along the most difficult path we had yet traveled! Let's hear from P. herself the story of this pivotal event in the history of the case:
       "The judge had been encouraging my mother and me to mediate, so J. and I again took what steps we could to do so. I went to a psychiatrist with my mother, and we were actually able to agree on certain things together! The psychiatrist drew up a letter with certain conditions which I agreed to, as they didn't compromise my being in the Family. By the end of September 1993, my mother also agreed to them!
       "A two-week preliminary hearing was set for the following week (October 4th), at which time the judge had said he was going to decide how to proceed with the case, and whether he would allow in as evidence the affidavits filed by several ex-members on behalf of my mother in February and September 1993. So it was a very crucial hearing, to say the least! We were all very hopeful that the matter could be resolved without it having to actually go to court, and were in high spirits just before the October 1993 hearings.
       "But incredibly, the day before the hearing, my mother wrote another letter completely going back on what we had agreed, saying she had decided not to mediate and wanted to go ahead and open her case instead! At this hearing, my mother's barrister mounted a scathing verbal and written attack on the Family. She took the most shocking parts of the most controversial lit and read them out loud and out of context to the court, Letter by Letter, paragraph by paragraph! The judge was in an acute state of 'MO Letter shock' -- the shock outsiders sometimes feel when they are introduced to some of Dad's most dramatic and extreme statements, out of context with the rest of what he said! Then, to top it off, they showed the judge portions of the dance videos which had been stolen from the Philippines earlier in the year!
       "This combination of the latest affidavits from my mother's witnesses, the shocking excerpts from the MO Letters, plus the stolen videos, blew the judge away! From that point on, he was no longer interested in mediation, and was determined to run the case as soon as possible. I am quite convinced that had it been possible at that point for him to make a ruling, he would most certainly have removed S. from me! The other side pressed the judge to release this latest evidence to the media -- which thankfully he refused to do.
       "The judge was so shocked at what he had heard that he ordered local social services from the area where we lived to investigate our Home. We were stunned! This was a very serious turn of events and caused us a great deal of desperation! (The social services did come and investigate, and wrote a glowing report about our Home and the children. -- This report did us a lot of good two years later!)
       "This October 1993 hearing and the events surrounding it were the blackest moment in the case thus far! We were all overwhelmed, and even our lawyers were convinced that we were doomed to certain defeat. Our QC resigned from the case, saying that it was far too big a job and would cost hundreds of thousands of pounds for her to devote the necessary time to carry on the fight. -- And besides that, she feared it would ruin her reputation to do so! It is difficult to express just how bleak things looked after that October 1993 hearing! Our lawyer's advice to me was to leave the Family immediately, as there was no hope! Having come so close to a victory of mediation, we felt as if our world had crumbled around us!" (End of comments from P.)
       In addition to all of this, the case now began to accelerate, just when we thought we needed to slow it down! Earlier in 1993, the judge had told us not to file our affidavits in reply to the huge amount of affidavits filed by the other side at that time, because he wanted to see what kind of significance he would give to this new material, and then he would give us time to file our answers. But because the October 1993 hearing went so strongly against us, the judge decided only to give us one month to file evidence against all these new affidavits of the grandmother's witnesses! The case had been set to run for three months, starting January 12, 1994, since the judge and the Official Solicitor said that they wanted the case to be heard as soon as possible!
       We requested help from WS, so Dad and Mama sent Peter, Apollos and others to London to counsel with us and our lawyers, and to desperately seek the Lord with us as to what He wanted us to do in response to these new developments. (Note from Peter: Those involved in the case at this time were very desperate. {\ul \i In the natural, it looked like there was no hope of victory}. During the October hearing, Mrs. T.'s barrister attacked the Family, Dad and the Letters with such ferocity that it amounted to a "legal deprogramming." The judge was turned solidly against us, our QC quit, saying we were going to lose, and we weren't sure that Kim, our solicitor who had spent one-and-a-half years on the case, was going to make it. Everyone involved felt as if they were in a deep dark pit, and we knew it was going to take a {\ul \i miracle} to get us out!)
       We spent a lot of time praying for guidance, and as always, He answered specifically, giving clear direction and promises which we clung to for dear life as we prayed and planned the next stage of this battle. Here are some encouraging excerpts, which underlined once again that the course of this case and the issues being raised were in His hands!


       (Prayer:) "Lord, do we run this case? Do we step out on the limb? Is that Your will? Is that Your leading? If it's not, we don't want to do it. We don't want to be presumptuous. Please show us now. Speak clearly, Lord. Lay Your burden on our heart. Speak to us now. We wait on You now for Your answer. Make it plain, make it clear, in Jesus' name."
       (Prophecy:) "Why are you cast down, oh my soul? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him. For you have no strength in this big battle but to trust Me and wholly depend on Me. As Samson was in the many battles that he fought, his strength was to look to Me, and trust in Me, and hold to Me, and cling to Me for his very life. As Moses was before Pharaoh, he ceased not in petitioning the release of My children. So you must persist and you must stand on My Word, and you must believe in the Word that I have given. For I shall release your children, and I shall give you favor.
       "Have I not promised it? And shall I not perform it? Trust in My Word, for it shall not fail you. The Word is your only strength, your only hope. Do you believe in My Words that I have given? For I shall yet perform those things which you desire, but you must trust and you must believe. You shall see miracles if you trust in My Word. As you put My Word to the test, you shall see the performance of these things which you hope for, for I have promised I will do miracles in the Last Days. Surely you are in the Last Days and you shall see the miracles. You cannot perform miracles, but I, the God of all flesh, shall perform those things."
       "Open your eyes and behold that they that are with you are much stronger than those that fight against you. I have set forth My plan. I have moved the pieces according to My handiwork. I have set the stars in their constellations according to My hand, that My Word may be glorified and not defeated. For if I be lifted up, I will draw all men to you.
       "As a general with the battle plan, so have I My plan. And you, as soldiers, must but obey and believe that I know the direction of this battle, that I know the course it shall take. It is for you but to believe and to fight, and I will lead in the way that you shall go. Do not fear, do not be afraid. Just put your trust in Me, and your foot shall not be moved, for the battle is not yours, but it is Mine." (End of prophecies.)


Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! How we held on to those Words!

Financial Difficulties -- P. Represents Herself!
       At this point, the issue of finances came to the fore. Because P. had some monthly support from a trust fund she had received from an inheritance, she was not eligible for legal aid. This meant that instead of the government paying for the lawyers, as was done in Australia, she had to pay them herself. Initially the trust fund gave her some funds for her defense, but after a while, more funds were not available.
       (Note from Peter: During the "Black October" period, it became apparent that the funds being used to pay the lawyers had been depleted. Our dear lawyer Kim spoke with me, explaining that with the best intentions in the world he couldn't devote the time necessary to fight this case without getting paid, as he had his business to keep going and a mortgage to pay off. However, because he knew we were virtually out of money to run this case, he was quite concerned about what would happen if P. didn't have anyone to represent her. He said that he would be happy to be there in the background helping us with counsel, etc., but that he had to come off the record as being P.'s solicitor. I explained that we would be praying desperately for more funds, and if the Lord didn't supply, then He must know that P. could defend herself in court.
       (After our team prayed for funds and the Lord said that He would supply, I explained to Kim that the Lord had promised that we would have the money. Even though he knew we didn't have the funds in hand, {\ul \i Kim did help us with invaluable counsel by faith}, and {\ul \i in the end the Lord supplied} all the needed funds. PTL! Kim, as a solicitor, did all the preparatory work, the writing of affidavits, etc., but he wasn't in court during the trial, as that was the work of a barrister.)
       P. relates: "We ran out of money at the end of 1993, and we couldn't afford to pay for our barrister, which meant that I would have to act as my own barrister and do all the cross-examination of the witnesses myself. We wrote to a friend of the Family in Australia, a trainee solicitor named Sean who had worked with our lawyers during the Sydney case. God bless him, he said he would be prepared to help us for free, and he agreed to come to be my 'MacKenzie friend.' ({\ul \i Editor's note}: In English law, if you cannot afford to pay for legal counsel, you are entitled to defend yourself with the help of what is known as a "MacKenzie friend." This is someone of your choice who can sit with you in court helping you.)
       "Not only because of his legal training, but also due to his strong faith and Christian principles, having Sean with me during the running of the case was a tremendous strength. If it hadn't been for Sean, I don't think I would have been able to spend all those months in court, as I would have been by myself with no one there to talk to during the day. ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Other Family members could not be in the court room during the proceedings, as the court sessions were closed.) When I was down and discouraged, he was full of faith. During this very difficult time together, we fought side by side. He offered valuable advice to our legal team and sacrificed his time to come and help us. I will be eternally thankful to Sean, and to the Lord for bringing him to help us -- not only for his legal counsel, but also for being a true friend and fellow-soldier during that period of my life. ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Sean has since passed his Bar exams in Australia and continues to fellowship with the Family there.)
       "At this stage, the situation still looked bleak. The October hearing had been catastrophic. The case my mother presented against the Family was strong and she had evidence to back it up, including passages from unpurged copies of past lit, and from the stolen videos. It looked like a no-win situation. We were tempted to feel that the Lord had forsaken us and that we had gotten ourselves into a mess that we couldn't get out of. As we cried out to the Lord and asked Him to show us what to do, He instructed us to proceed as if possessing!" (End of comments from P.)
       Following are excerpts of some of the prophecies we received when seeking the Lord regarding our dire financial needs:


       (Prophecy:) "Little children, you have asked bread. Would I not give bread? I will not give a stone or a serpent. Where God guides, He provides. Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.
       "As I led My disciples beside the Sea of Galilee, they said, 'Oh, Lord, how shall we feed so great a people? Where have we food? Where have we bread? Where have we anything to feed so great a people?' 'How much have you, children?' 'A few loaves and a few fishes.' 'Bring them to Me.' And I blessed it and they divided it and it increased and fed the multitudes. They lacked for nothing, and took up baskets and baskets thereafter.
       "But I would say, take no thought for tomorrow, what you shall eat and what you shall drink. Remember that I am the God of all flesh and there is nothing too hard for Me: I will supply your every need according to all My riches and all My glory. And I shall use the heathen for your inheritance. Trust in Me, for I will supply. This time is like a springboard. You must jump off by faith and hold on to Me. Put your hand into the hand of God, and He shall be more to you than a known way. Do not fear, for I will be with you, and I will bring mighty victories out of all these seeming defeats. Do not look at all that is before you; do not look with dismay or worry; do not be weary in well doing. Trust in Me. I will bring forth the victory." (End of prophecy.)


Investigation by Social Services Involves Other Family Members!
       At the October 1993 hearing, the court ordered a social services' investigation of our Home, which also brought the other families living with P. under the spotlight of official scrutiny. More than ever, all of our futures seemed to be tied to the outcome of this case! In November 1993, the social workers made four visits to the Home -- two announced and two unannounced. They interviewed the adults and children, and asked many questions on virtually every aspect of our lives: healing, discipline, sex, scholastics, finances and our support, our faith, our view of persecution, FFing, how closely we obey the MLs, our teens' life goals, what the kids do for fun, their chores, witnessing, TV and video viewing, free time, what books they read, spending money, time alone, etc. They even had some of the children draw pictures to try and assess whether they had been "abused."
       We were reassured when the social workers told us that they found nothing to alarm them in our Home or our children, and that they would write a positive report! A visit by the education authorities brought the same result. We were so thankful for this victory! In fact, nearly two years later, these positive reports figured large in our favor in the final judgment! Praise the Lord!
       Under normal circumstances, the court's receipt of these positive reports could have closed the case, as they made clear the fact that S.'s present environment was totally safe. However, by now the judge was very concerned because of some of the past practices of some in the Family, as well as our past lit, and began to worry about the likelihood of harm coming to S. in the future, because of events in the past. (Please see "An Answer to Him That Asketh Us!", ML #3016, GN 653.) To assist him in judging to what extent the events of the past posed a threat of harm to S. in the future, the judge was going to open the floodgates to the other side, to allow them to admit any sort of evidence, effectively putting the whole Family and its lit, beliefs and practices (past and present), on trial.
       At this stage, our lawyers urged us to seek to have the other families at our Home admitted as parties to the proceedings. This would not make them co-defendants but would give them a chance to have lawyers represent their interests. Since the outcome of the case would so obviously affect us all, we felt we were entitled to participate as full parties in the proceedings. If the judge decided that S.'s environment put him at risk, that meant he thought that all Family children in our Home were likewise at risk, because they live in essentially the same environment! Our lawyers felt that if the judge ruled against us, as we live communally and cooperate in the raising of our children, it would be much more difficult to limit this judgment only to P.
       There were some serious risks in pursuing this course, since if we did join the proceedings, those families would be far more affected by whatever findings the judge made in P.'s case. On the other hand, if we did not join the case, his findings would not necessarily be binding upon the other families without further court hearings.
       We brought all of these factors before the Lord, and He indicated that the families at our Home should seek to join the case. Although the judge later denied this application, and the other families never did enter the case as full parties, it was nevertheless a defining moment of full commitment by all the other members of our Home. It was very much an "Abraham and Isaac" test for us all. With the Lord leading us to seek to become parties to the proceedings, we were changed from being chickens donating eggs to joining P. by having our "bacon" on the line in full commitment!

Disappointment Equals His Appointment for Financial Miracles!
       At the hearing on January 11, 1994, P. asked the judge to postpone the opening of the case for 3-4 months, as Sean had only recently arrived and we needed more time to prepare. However, the judge refused to grant us this extra time, and said the case would proceed as planned the very next day, January 12th! He also refused to allow the other families in our Home to join the case. Had he done so, then they would have been eligible for legal aid, which would have meant we could afford a full team of lawyers. We needed a miracle, and fast, to fund the next leg of the case, since P. and Sean would not be able to go it alone without a barrister in what was to become the longest-running wardship proceedings ever to have taken place in the Family Division of the High Court of England!
       Then, just when we were most desperate, the Lord miraculously supplied a large donation from a close friend, as well as from a precious TS couple. This couple had never met P., but came to our Home and told her they'd heard she ran out of money, and they wanted to help. They gave her a very generous gift from a large inheritance they had just received, which enabled us to retain Richard as P.'s barrister, only one day before the hearing! PTL! -- What a miracle of financial supply, and fulfillment of the Lord's promises!
       Richard, our barrister, had only one night to prepare for the opening day, God bless him! Here are excerpts of some prophecies received for Richard, which also underlined for us all the fact that the whole case was a situation of "David vs. Goliath!"


       (Prophecy:) "When David beheld Goliath, he was a young lad, and the shadow of Goliath fell across his path. But I had given him small stones, though these stones looked so small in the eyes of others. When they were empowered with My Spirit, they did fell the mighty giant, and all were amazed at the power of this young one. These stones are as My Words, as the Truth which can fell the mighty Goliath of the court system, of the opinions of men, of those who would speak against My Truth. Therefore look to Me and My Words, for these will last forever. These will empower you. These will be your strength, and these will be your honor. I would say to you that I do honor you for having stood for My children." (End of excerpts.)


The Grandmother Presents Her Case
       On January 12, 1994, the grandmother began to present her case. So far, there had only been preliminary directional hearings during which submissions were made to the judge by the two parties and various procedural matters were addressed. Now began the actual case itself, where the witnesses from both sides gave their testimony and were cross-examined by the lawyers. Mrs. T.'s witnesses, the same ex-members who had written the affidavits, were the first to take the stand. One after the other, they told bitter tales of their time in the Family, and launched scathing verbal attacks on Dad and the Family! It was a horrific experience to hear all of this day after day, and see the court accept it, despite the fact that other courts in other countries had discounted or disproved many of these same allegations! Each day, P. and Sean came home so drained! It was day after day of unremitting attack. Many times we thought that the absolute worst had happened, that the evidence heard or the directives made by the judge or his reaction that day would sink us for sure! There were many moments of despair, and only the power of God kept us through the time the grandmother's side testified -- 75 days of "the wrath of man"! But His Grace was sufficient, and He did not let us be tempted beyond what we were able to bear though He sure let us go right to the limit!
       Early on, the judge had made a statement to the effect that the crux of the case was whether or not things that had happened in the past regarding sexually inappropriate behavior involving minors were continuing in the present. The grandmother's case was that the Family's clearly-stated policy made in 1986 against all sexual crossovers was merely a façade. However, all of our recent literature, current and recent practice, the testimony of our witnesses, the expert witnesses, and even some of her own witnesses confirmed this was indeed in the distant past. The judge seemed to understand that we had changed in this area, so we thought the worst was now over.
       However, right in the middle of Mrs. T.'s presentation of her case, a surprise move changed the whole complexion of the case and posed the greatest challenge yet: She produced a couple of teens who claimed to have suffered abuse while on a Victor program in the UK shortly before they left the Family. This new evidence coming so late in the proceedings, temporarily set us in disarray and marked a significant shift in the focus of her case. Instead of emphasizing the sex angle, they now contended that our children had been emotionally and psychologically abused at Teen Camps and Victor programs. It also focused the court's attention on events which allegedly took place in the UK, whereas most of the other stories told to date were said to have taken place in other countries.
       We were desperate for the Lord's help! This made things quite a bit more complicated to fight. Unlike the earlier allegations of sexual abuse, there were very few black-and-white ways to prove that the Victor programs were not what her witnesses portrayed them to be! It was often a matter of the spin they put on things -- the exaggerated, negative slant they emphasized.

In Our Darkest Hour -- More Examples of Romans 8:28!
       One big blessing that arose out of this seemingly dark chapter of the case was the drafting and publication of the "Family Discipline Guidelines" GN (ML #2919, GN 591). As WS learned of the things being alleged by the ex-member witnesses, and the line of questioning pursued by the Official Solicitor, they recognized that the Family needed a set of clear, unambiguous rules on child discipline. Although the Letters extensively cover all aspects of child discipline and how to handle problems, as of yet there had been no one definitive handbook on it, that balanced all of this counsel and offered specific guidelines. So WS drafted the "Family Discipline Guidelines" GN, in order to clearly explain what we regard as acceptable and what we do not, in a form which could not be misunderstood.
       Later on, during the presentation of our case, this GN was submitted to the court. It helped to explain to the judge our standard of Family discipline, serving as official documentation of definite safeguards set in place to guarantee that no excessive corporal punishment and other excessive disciplinary actions that were administered at some of the Victor programs would be permitted to take place again.

Our Case Begins!
       Our first witness testified on February 17, 1994. The QC for the Official Solicitor very aggressively cross-examined her, thus setting the tone for how she and her junior barrister were to treat all of our witnesses. A lot of the cross-examination consisted of questioning them about the Word in a very accusatory manner, often twisting the meaning of the passages read and taking things out of context to make it appear to say something it didn't! The Official Solicitor had received a huge, bootlegged stack of unpurged lit from the local anti-cult organization and was determined to try and use as much of it against us as possible. By the time our first witness was finished on the stand, it was apparent that the case had taken a turn from examining the Family's practices to now investigating our lit. Once again, this forced us to change course in the middle of the battle!
       Although the Official Solicitor normally takes a more neutral role in such cases, representing the child's best interests, in this case the Official Solicitor's QC took on the role of prosecutor, in an unremittingly hostile position, and kept to that stance right through most of the case.

The Ministry of Reconciliation
       Another highlight of our case was when dear Paula (Bithia) testified for the Family as our second witness. It made quite an impact on the court to see that a former member who had been so very active in fighting us was now trusted to the extent that we would rely on her as a witness in a crucial court case! She was able to testify from firsthand experience about the Family's Ministry of Reconciliation, an area which became very important to the judge as the case progressed. He said that our stance of greater openness towards former members and TSers, our concrete efforts to widen the circle of our fellowship to make room for them and to reach out to heal old wounds, as well as opening up to the outside, were powerful points in our favor and "proof that we are not a pernicious cult!" This was significant wording, because in the late 1960s, another High Court judge in Britain declared the Scientologists to be a "pernicious cult" in a similar custody case -- a label that haunts them to this day.
       Bithia was also able to explain the modus operandi of the anti-cult movement, having worked with them against the Family before being reconciled with us. She outlined why they were involved in this case and what they hoped to gain.

Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego -- Into the Fire We Go!
       Following Paula, numerous other Family members, both adults and young people, testified on the stand. They were asked pointed, leading questions regarding Family lit and practices. It was very difficult to be questioned in such a hostile, aggressive manner, and we have the deepest respect and admiration for our dear brethren who came to help us in this fight! The Lord said some beautiful things about them in prophecy, and we count it a real privilege to have fought side by side with them! They gladly laid down what they were doing and the important roles they were filling in their Homes, some traveling from overseas to come to our aid, and each one has a special place in our hearts.
       It is difficult to describe the battles one faces just before going on the witness stand. You feel as if the whole case rests on your testimony -- not just your own future, but that of the whole Family. You feel so desperate not to let your brethren down, not to let the Lord down, to stand up faithfully for the Truth no matter what! You know the fire of devotion that burns within you, and that although we have all made mistakes, our hearts are in the right place. Yet, the Enemy often attacks through fear of failure and that something you are going to say or do, or something you've said or done before, is going to ruin the case for the whole Family. But when you actually get up there, the Lord takes over and does it!
       Our dear witnesses did very well on the stand, despite testifying under a hostile, aggressive line of questioning, and were a crucial factor in the case. However, because of the intensity of the battle, they were hit hard with discouragement after giving testimony. Nearly every one of our witnesses came out with an awful, desperate, sinking feeling that they had failed horribly, that they would be the single cause for the entire case being lost! That couldn't have been further than the truth! In fact, many of our witnesses whom the judge liked very much and who had a very positive impact on our case were among those most attacked by the Enemy after testifying! So it was important to help them rebuke the Enemy's lies, and tank up with some cleansing Word and loving fellowship after coming out of the lion's den.
       Many witnesses brought photos of their families, ministries, Homes and outreach to show the judge. Some also showed him video clips. He was very interested to know why each one was in the Family, and he asked that question of almost every witness. He saw and heard about our CTP ministries, the lives that have been changed through our witness, our children's accomplishments, what our YAs are doing in many ministries around the world. Some of our witnesses were able to give everyone in the courtroom a clear Salvation message, too! The judge acknowledged in his judgment that he was impressed by the Family members' sincerity, conviction, and dedication.

Witnesses from P.'s Home
       Near the end of our case, many of the brethren from P.'s Home testified. This was important, as they were the people with whom S. lived. They were also able to give valuable evidence on the Ministry of Reconciliation, Victor programs and the education of our children, among other things -- all issues which were particularly important to the court.
       After hearing about the Victor programs, the judge was looking for some sort of official documentation that there were definite safeguards set in place to guarantee that our education standard was adequate, and that no excessive corporal punishment and other excessive disciplinary actions administered at some of the Victor programs would ever take place again. He had been impressed with the "PER" GN (GN 553, ML #2865) and even read quotes from it in court. He saw that the Family is committed to care for and improve the lives of our young people. But he felt the safeguards were still not clear enough.
       It was at this time that WS submitted the "Family Discipline Guidelines" GN, as mentioned earlier, along with a letter from Peter to the court, setting out the Family's goals regarding the Ministry of Reconciliation and planned improvements in the education of our children. This had an important role in the case and showed the court once again that when the Family recognizes a problem, we face it and do something about it.
       The judge told one of the witnesses from P.'s Home that he hoped we appreciated that this case was not just about one little boy named S., that it was about a much greater issue -- all the children in the Family in England and possibly worldwide. He said that by the end of the case if he ruled against us, it would be very significant for us. But he also said that if he ruled in our favor that it would be a major victory for the Family, and that perhaps it would even cause the persecution to stop. This was another sober reminder of all that was at stake in this case!

The Involvement of the Expert Witnesses
       In many cases, courts find it helpful to hear evidence from impartial, outside witnesses who are experts in the fields relevant to issues in the trial. These add a different dimension to the proceedings. Thus in both criminal and civil cases, both sides often make use of expert testimony, and courts often place a great deal of weight on it if deemed reliable.
       As an outgrowth of our move towards opening up to society at large (which began with our first visits to INFORM in 1992), we sought the help of several academics with expertise in fields of particular relevance to our case. With the help of the dear Family in the US and Australia, it was arranged for several key experts who had acquired extensive first-hand knowledge of the Family (through reading our literature and visiting Family Homes in several countries) to prepare reports for the court and to testify on our behalf. Gordon Melton (historian of religion), David Millikan (minister and theologian), Jim Richardson (professor of sociology of religion and professor of law), Larry Lilliston (clinical child psychologist), and Susan Palmer (sociologist) all came to prepare reports for the court, and later returned to testify. Their evidence was a high point of our case.
       The ability of these five experts to testify as impartial outside observers was crucial in helping the judge to accept that the Family had changed -- and was continuing to change -- and that we would not go back on those changes in the future. This was one of the most important elements in their testimony, and a key factor that the Lord used to bring about a victory in this case. They were also able to explain many of our beliefs and practices to the judge in such a way that he could understand that they are sincerely-held, common Christian beliefs. All of this gave the judge a more favorable framework from which to view the Family, in contrast to the twisted and negative one provided by the ACM!
       These academics spoke the judge's language, were honest in their appraisal of us, and also not afraid to forthrightly express their disagreement with us on various matters. They were able to bridge the gap between the judge and ourselves in key areas. They commanded his respect, and he had very positive things to say about them and the impact of their evidence. We often wondered if these five academics were the "five smooth stones" the Lord spoke of in prophecy, which He would use to slay the giant! Here is an amazing vision and prophecy sent to us from a Home far away who knew virtually nothing about these proceedings, but which so accurately predicts the role of our expert witnesses:
       "When praying for this case, we prayed that the Lord would raise up someone to defend us and fight on P.'s side. I got a picture of a court case and there were our opponents on one side and P. was on the other, and it was a real tense moment, like something was about to happen and the judge was going to make up his mind about which way the court case was going to go. P. looked hopeless and defenseless, and she was looking around to see if there was anyone to help her. Our adversaries were smiling big, like in their minds they had already won the court case. Then, just as the judge was about to announce his verdict, the doors of the building swung open and all these ... scientists came in ... and you could tell the judge was happy that something had turned, either for good or for bad. The court case was over with and our detractors were really serious and upset and P. was really thankful."


       (Prophecy:) "Even though they [EDITED: "our detractors"] have much and seeming great resources to fight against My Family, as Goliath against David, nevertheless with one smooth stone I will put them down. For all the armor and affidavits that they have are nothing against the five smooth stones that I will give to you. They will find that chink in their armor and penetrate it.
       "I do have the heart of the king in my hand. The heart of the judge will turn for Me, so do not fear, for nothing shall befall you that I have not already prepared you for. Out of seeming defeat shall come some of your greatest victories. When the way is darkest of all is when the light of the Truth I have given you will shine the brightest." (End of prophecy.)


       (Note from Mama: We are so grateful for these precious experts who were willing to write reports to the judge and go all the way to London to testify on behalf of the Family. I know the Lord will greatly reward these folks for speaking the truth about us. God bless them!)

P.'s Evidence
       The last witness to testify was P. herself. The judge had said earlier in the case that he would base his decision substantially on her oral testimony. Here is what P. has to say about her first time on the stand:
       "I was on the stand for a total of four-and-a-half days, and all but a couple of hours of this time was hostile cross-examination by the QC for the Official Solicitor. She took me through our most controversial lit, paragraph by paragraph. It was an impossible situation and no answers would satisfy her.
       "One of the most extensive areas I was cross-examined on was the Law of Love. I just couldn't see it the way they saw it and this caused a continual crashing of heads. I repeated over and over that the Law of Love did not include abusing children. But the judge failed to understand the Law of Love and threw it out as a 'pernicious doctrine.'
       "The Lord knew that I was very upset with the antagonism that the Official Solicitor had shown and that I was ready to blow them away when I got on the stand. I was the last witness to give evidence, after sitting through 75 days of court, listening to all the oral evidence. I was extremely self-righteous and felt very offended by all that had taken place in court. I also felt very threatened that here I stood to lose my child over past events in the Family that had taken place years before I joined, and involving people I had never met or heard of. I took every opportunity I had to 'lay into' the Official Solicitor, which was an unwise thing to do. It only served to make them more aggressive towards me, and didn't endear me to the judge either.
       "Another area that hindered me from receiving the full anointing that the Lord wanted to give me was bitterness in my heart towards my mother. It clouded my judgment and made it impossible for the Lord's Spirit to shine through, or for me to see things as they really were. Like it says in the 'Bitterness' GN (GN 461, ML #2672), you can't be painting the features of Christ into your life if you are painting another face with the colors of enmity and hatred! The Lord tried to dampen my self-righteous attitude and angry fervor by allowing me to suffer from terrible morning sickness (I was pregnant with my 2nd child) during the time I was on the stand. However, it didn't temper me enough, and my bad attitudes still seeped through, even to the point of infuriating the judge so much that he stormed out of the courtroom at one point during my evidence! I am very thankful the Lord gave me a second chance later on!" (End of comments from P.)

Court Psychiatrist Recommends S.'s Rmoval
       Late in the case, the psychiatrist hired by the Official Solicitor radically changed his position. All along he had said that he felt it would be best if P. could retain care and control of S., provided that she could assure the court of her ability to protect him from harm. But after discussing with the Official Solicitor all the evidence that had been presented in the trial, the psychiatrist changed his mind. When we learned that both he and the Official Solicitor were recommending that S. be removed, we were shocked! All along we had hoped that in spite of the intensity of their attack, in the end they would recommend that P. retain S., and push for various safeguards to be put in place.
       However, because of his change, we were given another opportunity to cross-examine him. Richard's anointed cross-examination clearly exposed that he had changed his opinion basically because the Official Solicitor had asked him to do so, because they needed an expert opinion to back up their own request for removal! It made them both look rather unprofessional.
       Judges tend to place a great deal of weight on the recommendation of the Official Solicitor, and it is virtually unknown for a judge to rule counter to their opinion. However, the judge in our case had his own view of what needed to be done, and pursued an independent course.

The Long Wait for Judgment
       The last day of the court hearings was July 16, 1994. We were expecting the judgment to come within a month or two, but little did we know that it was to be a year and a half before we would get the judge's final ruling! It was a long process of waiting patiently, laboring in prayer, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst! How true was the prophecy received back in 1992, that we needed to "run with patience the race that is set before us" (Heb.12:1).
       The time during which we waited for the judgment was a very special period of the Family's history: During this time, the Lord released our wonderful Shepherd and Father in the Lord from his earthly bonds and called him Home to his eternal reward! And during this same period of time, another milestone event occurred in our history -- the Lord gave us the Love Charter! As you will soon see, these two events played crucial roles in the final victorious outcome of the case!
       But before we get into that, here is a faith-building testimony from P. about trusting the Lord, even if He seems not to be keeping His promises!

Lessons on "But If Not!"
       P. relates: "Not long after the trial was finished, dear Mama asked a WS unit to pray for me and to get some encouragement from the Lord. These prophecies were very encouraging. One of them said:
       " 'I will take you through this, and you will be able to boldly say, Behold, I have trusted in the Lord and He has delivered me out of the fiery maws and jaws of the Evil One. And a great victory shall be proclaimed in the land through My Family, and great rejoicing shall be heard, for this little one who they had dared to try and snatch has been restored to his Family.'
       "Peter wrote me after I received these prophecies, to explain that by the looks of this prophecy, S. could be removed from me for a little while and then 'restored' to me. He wrote me a beautiful letter along the lines of 'But If Not.' However, this caused me a lot of trials. I had never really faced the reality that S. could be taken away, as I had always placed great faith in the prophecies that were given at the beginning of the case. These had been my foundation to stand on, and I had never doubted them until this point. I couldn't reconcile how the Lord would say all those things at first, and then change His mind! These trials escalated when Mama's Letter on the 'Jonah Phenomenon' came out (ML #2969, GN 618).
       "I wrote to Mama explaining my trials concerning what she had said regarding prophecy -- how it is not necessarily the 'be all' and 'end all,' as later on down the road the Lord may change His mind or put a different interpretation on prophecies He gave before. I was feeling quite smashed to think that after basing my faith on the early prophecies, I might find the Lord had only given them to give me the faith to go into the court case, but that the end result may actually be different because circumstances had changed! I knew that if the Lord had not spoken and given those promises of victory way back at the beginning, I might never have had the faith to go through the whole case with all of its trials and tribulations. I suppose you could say I felt a bit cheated, and that was why I wrote to Mama." (End of comments from P.)
       Mama asked Apollos to answer P. for her. His reply helped address her concerns and trials. Here is some of what he wrote:
       "The other major example given in that Letter [EDITED: "'The Jonah Phenomenon'"] is, of course, that of Jonah preaching to the city of Nineveh, which again is a case where people definitely had a major change of mind and heart, and opted to do things very differently than they had done previously. -- In that case, the Ninevites chose to forsake their wayward and wicked way of life, and to repent in sackcloth and turn to God. Thus, their change of heart and mind literally changed God's heart and mind, and thus dear Jonah's prophecy was no longer applicable.
       "In both of these examples -- that of Dad changing his mind and choosing to 'depart and be with Christ, which is far better' than remaining in this life (Phil.1:23), and that of the Ninevites, whose king proclaimed throughout the land that everyone should fast and don sackcloth, saying, 'let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands!' (Jonah 3:8) -- it is clear that a very major change of mind and heart took place -- which is why God changed His mind.
       "However, in your and S.'s case, no such major shift or change of direction and heart has occurred. From the beginning, you have been steadfast in your faith, and like the three Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you have been determined to serve the Lord with singleness of heart, refusing to bow down to the System's golden idol, even though the 'king' has decreed that all who refuse to fall down and worship it will be cast into their burning fiery furnace! Like those three Hebrew children, you have proclaimed, 'If it be so, our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king!' (Daniel 3:17). And to this end, the Lord has given you wonderful encouragement through prophecies different ones have received for you, as well as through promises from His written Word which you have appropriated and held on to. So despite the System's threats, you have hung on to the Lord, believing that 'He will deliver' you and S. out of the hand of the System. And I am sure that this stand of faith is very pleasing to the Lord, and that He is not going to fail you or let you down.
       "So back to what I was saying before: Unlike the Ninevites, who radically changed and thus changed God's mind, and unlike Dad, who changed his mind when he was hanging between this life and the Next, and thus went on to Heaven, your general situation does not have any such radical new factors in it. Your convictions have not altered and your determination has not faltered. In other words, you have not changed your mind, and certainly we and the rest of the Family who have been earnestly praying for you have not changed our minds regarding what we believe is God's highest and best will for you and S. Therefore, I see no reason why God would change His mind and not fulfill the promises of protection and deliverance which He has given you.
       "In other words, we have desperately sought the Lord and His will from day one regarding you and S., and the Lord has persistently shown us to stand up for the Truth, to fight for our rights, and that He would truly deliver you both from every evil work and preserve you unto His Heavenly Kingdom (2Tim.4:18). So despite this 'Jonah Phenomenon' angle on prophecy, I see no reason why we need to worry that the Lord is for some reason not going to come through and deliver you and S., as He has promised.
       "While writing this, a passage of Scripture came to mind, which I believe you can take encouragement from, P. I will quote it here:
       " 'This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith, have made shipwreck. ... Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses' (1Tim.1:18-19; 6:12).
       "The 'charge' the Lord has committed unto you, P., is His commission to fight this unique battle to which He has called you. And it is obvious that you can fight it, that you can meet this responsibility and face this challenge, 'according to the prophecies that went before on thee, that thou mightest by them war a good warfare!' In other words, the Lord gave you all of those prophecies to give you the strength, stamina, and conviction to hang in there and fight it out, battling all the way through to victory. The Lord is also encouraging you to 'hold on to your faith,' and not to allow the Enemy's empty winds to sweep you off the course the Lord has charted for you, lest you 'shipwreck.'" (End of letter excerpt from Apollos.)
       P. continues: "At this time, the Lord also gave me further prophecies that He would fulfill the previous ones, and that He would keep S. and my new son, S2., with me.
       "(Prophecy:) 'I will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not fear for your precious one, S., nor for S2. Oh Mommy, I know your heart. I know what you are going through. I know how you feel! But don't fear. Keep your eyes on Me, don't look at those waves! Know that I have been touched in all ways and understand what you are going through. I love you, sweet Mommy, and I am not going to let them take your children away from you. I'm not going to let them do anything to you that both you and I can't handle. I'm going to be right here and I am going to hold you, and I am going to lead you step by step. -- Come, take My hand and lift those eyes and look up to Me. Look into My eyes. Don't look at those waves! Come on now, walk on the water again.
       " 'My dear S. and little S2. will be taken care of today, taken care of tomorrow, and held in the everlasting arms from here to eternity. I will not fail. Only believe, and even in that day when you believe not, I will not fail you. Though your heart faints and feels weak, I am strong to help you. In your very weakness, I will come alive for you and make right that which is for your cause and for your good.
       " 'He will keep His Own, and preserve His Own in His Own wonderful mysterious way. He shall preserve that which concerns Him. He shall keep that which you have committed unto Him against that day. So fear not, little ones, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. Hold fast that which thou hast, and no man shall take thy crown. Be of good courage.' (End of prophecy.)
       "I believe the Lord allowed this 'But If Not' trial to happen as a sort of 'Isaac test.' The Lord wanted to test me to see if I would still keep trusting His Word and promises and keep going for Him and the Truth, or if I would quit when faced with the real possibility that S. could be taken away from me. But in my heart I held onto the prophecies that had been given all along that the Lord would not let him be taken. I hoped that what Peter was sharing with me was just an 'Isaac test' that would never actually become a reality. In the end, both prophecies did come true! In a sense S. was taken away from me for a short while and then 'restored to me.' But I'm going to wait to tell you how this happened, because it comes later in the story!" (End of comments from P.)

Submitting the Charter to the Court
       When the Charter was sent to the Family, some months after the court hearings were finished, we sought the counsel of our lawyers on whether we should submit it to the court or not. They felt it could be useful, but we were all rather uncertain as to how it could be best presented. We spent many hours in prayer and discussion with our lawyers about this, as it was a very complicated issue.
       On one hand, we very much wanted to submit it to the judge because it is such a significant document, and we felt that reading it would encourage him as to how much we had progressed since the court hearings. It answers so many questions and solves so many problems! On the other hand, our lawyers said that the judge may not be interested in relying on it much at this late date, so if we were to file it now, he would probably not put much weight on it -- and then it wouldn't be useful in any future appeal (should the judge rule against us), since it would be assumed that the judge gave it sufficient weight before making his judgment! On the other hand, if we didn't file it, we might not be able to use it in the future, because we could be asked why we didn't file it when we first had it available!
       A further concern was that if we filed more evidence -- the Charter -- then the other side would have the right to file further evidence as well.
       We sought counsel from our shepherds, and they sought the Lord about this point. The following are the precious Words of guidance given by the Lord and passed on to us:


       (Prophecy:) "Consider wisely this move. Consider your enemies. Consider your friends. In wise counsel you shall make your decision, for you must consider all plans. You must consider the beginning and the end of the matter. You must consider what your friends think, you must consider your own faith. Are you prepared? Are you prepared to take the consequences of what may come of submitting this Charter? Are you prepared for the possible battle that might ensue? Are your troops ready? Are you ready? Do you have the faith to wage another warfare?
       "For this, your David, has picked up a stone and thrown it at the mighty giant. Can you also pick up a stone and throw it at the mighty giant? For with your faith, you can fell this giant and cause the army to flee.
       "Have I not called you to be tried? For it is My Words that shall judge these nations. Bring My Word to every platform that is available for you. Use My Word, for it is My Word that the Enemy seeks to destroy. Who then will stand up for My Word? Who will go forth to battle with My Word? My Word is what shall be brought to court. My Word is what shall be tried. My Word is what shall bring forth the Endtime.
       "Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. Do not be weary or faint in your minds. Do not think, 'Oh my, what? -- Another thing we encounter! What, another battle in the courts we have to endure? What, another fight of affliction we must pass through?' But have you not been strengthened from what you already passed through? Do not think you are as you were before, for you have grown. You have grown strong, and you have grown into mighty men of David.
       "You shall confound them. They do not understand your organization. They do not understand how such a thing could come to the fore so quickly, so surely, with such clear aim, straight at the enemy. They could reel with the blow if you aim it right and if you aim it in faith. This is it. You must have faith. The essence must be faith -- faith to aim it and sling it." (End of prophecy.)


       What wonderful guidance! We continued to pray and counsel with our lawyers, as there was still much to do in order to see how to apply these prophecies. It was a step-by-step process of prayer, counsel, and proceeding by faith. We went ahead and filed the Charter at the next court date, which we thought might have been the judgment, but which turned out to be another progress report. At the same time, we also informed the judge that Dad had gone to be with the Lord.
       At that point, all of this did not seem to make much impact on the judge, and we even thought we might have missed the Lord's will by filing it as we did. But He did not fail us, and the Lord aimed the Charter just right! There were several more months before the final judgment, during which time the judge did read the Charter. The experts were also able to write to the judge about the Charter and its impact on the Family, right before the final judgment in October 1995.

Preliminary Judgment -- A Seeming Defeat!
       In the spring of 1995, we received the news that the judge had completed writing his judgment, and a court date was set for him to give it! On May 26, we were back in court for the judgment! It was not open to the media, but the judge did allow various Family members, as well as some ex-members who had testified for P.'s mother, into the court. We soon learned that he let us in because he had a very serious message for us, and he wanted to be sure we got the point!
       There is much we could say about his written judgment, but to summarize, it was a document which had been very carefully put together, taking account of massive amounts of written and oral evidence. It took him a year to compile and ended up being over 300 pages long! He had some complimentary things to say about Family members, about the education of our children, about the positive developments and changes that we have made and that are taking place not only with regard to sexual matters, but also in the areas of education, the Ministry of Reconciliation, and our general policy of openness towards outsiders. He said he was impressed by the winds of change that were blowing through the Family. But he also had many scathing things to say about us, particularly about things that happened in the past.
       The judge was also faced with a difficult "Catch-22" situation. ({\ul \i Editor's note}: "Catch-22" is a term coined by Joseph Heller in his 1961 novel of that same name, and is used to describe a situation in which a desired outcome or solution is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently illogical rules or conditions.) In his view, without adequate safeguards, the events of the past posed a significant risk of future harm to S. What the judge really wanted to do was to order the local social services to monitor S.'s progress and environment, which is why he had ordered them to investigate us back in October 1993. But because of the glowing report they wrote about the excellent care S. was getting, the judge had no authority or grounds to order monitoring. So precisely because the child was safe in his present environment, the only way the judge could apply the law to protect him from the specter of possible future harm, was to order his removal from his present safe environment in which he thrived! What a ridiculous situation to be in!
       As the judge sat on his bench high above us in the courtroom, he summarized his judgment, page by page. By lunch time, we felt very hopeful and were expecting victory! He had highlighted what he felt was positive about the Family and P., although he had said some negative things about the Family's past. However, he was gradually building his case against us, point by point. As the day progressed, his comments became more severe and condemning. Our hearts began to sink. As we waited on the edge of our seats, holding our breath in anticipation of his judgment, he dramatically pronounced his ruling: As matters presently stood, S. should be removed from P., and he awarded care and control to the grandmother!
       P. burst into tears and ran out of the courtroom before hearing the judge's final remarks. Words fail to describe the emotions that flooded our hearts -- shock, despair, anger, frustration, desperation!
       P. recounts that traumatic moment: "It was the most devastating moment I can remember! I started to feel my world crashing around me as he built up to finally saying that S. should go to be with his grandmother. I felt forsaken, I felt the Lord had failed, I felt that I had placed my faith in something not true and that I was losing my son over misplaced faith. I felt as if my heart was being squeezed until I couldn't contain my anguish of spirit. I think that I did in some ways experience the agony of losing S. at that point -- thus the fulfillment of the prophecy I mentioned in my 'But If Not' trial: S. had been removed from me! It was also a fulfillment of another prophecy that the Lord had given me personally where He said of the judge: 'This man will squeeze your heart, but he will not break it.'" (End of comments from P.)
       But again the Lord had His plan, and it pays to keep trusting! He had not yet fulfilled His will and there was more that was yet to unfold. Mercifully, the judge placed a stay on this judgment and order (meaning it would not yet go into effect), saying that S. could remain with P. until she answered certain questions that he had for her. These were three hurdles the psychiatrist for the Official Solicitor had set earlier in the proceedings. The judge gave P. a couple of weeks' grace to answer them. If he was satisfied with her answers on paper, he would consider extending the stay after hearing her give further oral evidence at a later date. At the same time, he also wanted Family leadership to satisfy him on certain matters before allowing S. to remain with P. If she or WS could not adequately satisfy him on these points, he would immediately remove the stay on his order, giving P.'s mother care and control, and S. would be removed.
       While all of this was going on in court, the team at Home was in prayer. Early in the day, a sister got a vision of Moses at the Red Sea with the Egyptian army bearing down on them! She had the feeling of desperation from being in such a seemingly hopeless situation. As Moses raised his hand, a light came down from Heaven, causing the sea to part. As the light came down, she saw it was the Charter. It was a very dramatic vision, and proved to be so true -- in spite of how bleak things looked!
       The following are some prophecies that Mama sent after hearing of this preliminary judgment:


       (Prophecy:) "To you, precious, precious P., I again ask you to trust Me. As you trust, you shall know that I am the keeper of promises, that I am God and I will not lie. Keep the faith -- faith in Me, faith in My Words, and faith in My promises -- and you shall be rewarded with great joy, with great love and with deep understanding."


       (Prophecy, Dad speaking:) "P. -- you don't mind if I call you that, do you? [EDITED: "Dad is referring here to the nickname P.'s friends call her."] I know that's what your friends call you, P. And, Honey, I'm one of your friends. When I was there, I prayed for you and for S. And now I'm Here, and I see the great love that Jesus has for you.
       "Honey, we Here know the turmoil, the frustrations, the heartache that you've gone through. We look upon you with deep compassion and deep love and great admiration. For you have been buffeted, attacked and fought against, and you have weathered it. It has strengthened you. It has strengthened the fiber of your faith, and now you are put to the test.
       "But know this, sweet P., that there is victory. There is victory ahead, but you've got to trust Him, and you've got to trust His Words. It's just that simple.
       "See, you all there don't see the way we see Here. There is too much of the earth and earthly things and earthly outlook. But we Here see the bigger picture. So we see the victories much more easily than you do. Just hold fast! Hold fast, Honey! Don't let go! -- And be sure that He will not let go of you.
       "I'm really proud of you, and I'm thankful for you. You have been a Brunheld and have stood up and defended my Words, the Words that God has spoken to me. You are as they who have been persecuted and killed for the testimony of God's Word. -- And as you have stood up and faithfully proclaimed that the Words of David are the Words of God, so God Himself will fulfill those very Words.
       "Therefore, don't be afraid, Honey. Don't look as man looks, and don't see as man sees. Keep looking up to Jesus and holding on, and He will carry you through to victory. I love you, dear P. You are a pearl of great price, and you have paid a great price; and all that you have spent, He will repay, for He will not fail you." (End of prophecies.)


A Time to Trust
       The other parents in the Home had been living with the knowledge that our children's future was very closely linked to the outcome of the case. Time after time we were asked by our shepherds if we wanted to continue to stay, and time after time the Lord spoke beautifully to encourage us that He would protect the children. Even when it looked like all was lost, the Lord told us to remain, and that He was not going to let anything happen to our precious little ones.
       The children themselves were wonderful soldiers for Jesus, as they were examined by social services, a court-appointed psychiatrist, education inspectors and academics, interviewed frequently by the media, photographed and filmed multitudes of times. Our childcare team also carried a huge load, and we thank God for each and every one. The following are more prophecies received after this preliminary judgment, which greatly encouraged our hearts:


       (Prophecy:) "Behold, what a great cloud of witnesses surrounds and protects your Home. Even though this be a great and mighty storm, mightier than any before, I am with you. Do not doubt that I love your children and I will protect them.
       "Have I not said, 'Will I not care for My Own?' Did I not promise your Father David that I would care for these little ones? For they are Mine more than they are yours. They are your little ones who I have loved and cherished. I will not let them be harmed. Even as the children of Israel -- Shadrach, Meshach, Daniel -- were but children when they were taken into captivity, I was there. I protected them, I was with them, and they came out stronger. So shall I be with your children, I will protect them, I will be with them, I will care for them, for they are Mine and I love them too." (End of prophecy.)


P.'s Hurdles
       To explain more fully the importance of the three hurdles over which she had to pass, P. relates: "The previous time I was on the stand, I was asked the three hurdles (questions) set for me by the psychiatrist for the Official Solicitor. They recommended that if I failed to jump them, S. should be removed from me. My first attempt at answering these questions had not satisfied the Official Solicitor or the judge, so the judge was giving me this chance to try again, after I had read his judgment.
       "I'm thankful for the Lord's mercy in doing this. The first time I was on the stand, I felt that I had to defend the whole Family. But this time, because of the prophecies that were sent to me, I shared my heart with the judge about how I felt as a mother. As the following prophecy says, the Charter could now defend the Family in court, and it was no longer necessary for me to do so." (End of comments from P.)


       (Prophecy:) "I have used this little one, this pearl of great price, as one who keeps her finger in the dike to keep a flood from breaking through and washing away the inhabitants of the land, and this has given you time to build the dam, to stem the flood. Thus, as this one releases her finger from the dike, the water will not wash away the inhabitants, but the dam will hold it and protect the land. The dam is the Charter that I have given you, for this one [EDITED: "P."] can say, 'I see these things as being wrong.'
       "And she will be relieved to be able to take her finger out of the dike, for the pressure was great. She will be relieved to know that as she releases her finger, the waters will come up against the strong dam and the land will be safe. And I hold it not against her that in her heart she feels that these things were wrong, for this one has been under great pressure and has heard many things that have confused her. But she has stood strong regardless, she has trusted Me regardless, and this is counted unto her as great righteousness, as great faith.
       "So, little P., do not be condemned, but be free, for you have done that which you have been ordained to do, and you have borne the responsibility. For this I love you, and for this I will always love you, and you shall have a place of great honor for your faith!" (End of prophecy.)


Peter's Letter to the Judge
       During the period from May 1995 until October 1995, WS sought the Lord for guidance regarding what the judge was asking of the Family. Their responses were presented to both the Family and the judge and are found in GN 653, "An Answer to Him That Asketh Us."
       The Lord gave Mama and Peter the following prophecies, among others, concerning the letter and what their response should be to the "hurdles" the judge had placed before the Family:


       (Prophecy:) "Behold, great is My faithfulness! I have begun this great work and I will perform it unto the end. You have crawled out to the end of the limb and you have sawed it off, but never forget that I am the One Who has led you to the end of the limb, and has placed the saw in your hand. I am the One Who has led and directed, step by step.
       "So as you are falling, do not fear, knowing that I am there to catch you. I am there to protect you! I am there to bring about the victory! I have begun this great work, this great battle, and as you have sought Me and followed Me step by step, have I failed to answer you and give you solutions and lead and guide you? Have I failed to protect you, and give you wisdom when you needed it? No, I have not failed, and I will not fail! -- Not today, not tomorrow, and not in the days to come. For great is My faithfulness to these, My children; to these, My precious ones who follow Me closely, who are willing to lay down their lives for the Truth.
       "I will bring a victory, even though it may come through a means that is not expected. Even though I may bring a victory out of a seeming defeat, still I will bring the victory.
       "I understand your concerns, as good shepherds, for your flocks. But you, from your vantage point, can only see those things about you, whereas We, from Our vantage point, can see what is ahead and can see which trails lead to which locations. So We say, 'Take this trail,' for We know the end result.
       "You say, 'But this trail looks steep, it looks craggy, it looks dangerous. We may lose some over the side, and there are other paths that seem smoother and safer.' But you do not know what dangers lie there and you do not know where those paths lead. But I know, and so do I lead you in this path.
       "It is steep and it is craggy, and it is dangerous, but I am the Good Shepherd, and I will protect the sheep, that none will be lost. They may not understand why they must walk on such a dangerous path that is slippery, that is craggy, but they will understand when they reach the place that we lead them, for understanding is the reward of faith.
       "So move forward by faith, then understanding will come. -- And do not fear. Do not fear what goes on in the minds and hearts of these, your sheep, for My Spirit will speak to them and will comfort them and will say, 'Though this be a craggy road, I will keep you, and I will help you to understand.'"


       (Prophecy, Dad speaking:) "Just like the verse says, if you wait upon the Lord, that's where you'll get your strength. You're comin' down the home stretch, folks! So hang in there! Just hang on! Hang on to the Lord and He'll bring you through, just like He's promised. He's given you so many promises to hang on to, to encourage your faith, to keep you going. But remember, you've just got to wait on Him, and that's where you'll get your strength. Wait on Him by taking time with Him, taking time in counsel together, taking time with Him in His temple in His Word, and He'll bless you with great strength.
       "Sometimes the home stretch is the hardest. You're tired, you're weary, you're aching, and you're anxious. But just hang in there and keep the vision. Though the battle has been hard and the last stretch will seem hard, the victory will taste all the sweeter. So hang in there! There are a lot of folks rootin' for you! -- Fighting for you and helping you. Remember His promises. He's promised victory, great victory. So keep waiting on Him and hanging on to Him and His Word.
       "I love you! -- And I'm rootin' for you, too! I'll be right there with you, as I have been all along. So keep the faith! -- And you'll soon be rejoicing and shouting great victory."


       (Prophecy:) "I will give to you, My shepherds, what you must say in the time that you must write it, for you must speak to this judge with great wisdom, and I will give you that wisdom, for I am Wisdom. Hear out those that are there, those that fight for you, though they be not of you [EDITED: "referring to our lawyers and expert witnesses"]. Listen to their counsel, and I will show you what is true and what is false. I will show you what you can do and what you must not do." (End of prophecies.)


Our Last Day in Court -- Final Victory!
       On October 19, 1995, we were back in court. The judge had decided to make his final judgment on that day and release it to the press, who were waiting outside the courtroom like a flock of vultures!
       About a week earlier, we had submitted letters from three of the experts who had read GN 653 (Peter's letter to the judge) and could testify that it was genuine and had arrived in the Homes in their countries. They also discussed the Charter and its impact, and urged the judge to not make his judgment public, as some of his findings and the way he expressed them could enflame the media and make it difficult for the Family to continue progressing as we had been. These letters seemed to have a marked impact on the judge, and he sent the media away empty-handed, telling them that he was going to hear new evidence on this day and was not yet ready to publicize his judgment! It was an amazing eleventh-hour reprieve and a miraculous answer to prayer, contrary to all natural expectation!
       On this day, P. was again cross-examined on her hurdles. Amazingly, a year before she had had a dream that was to prove significant:
       "In November of 1994, the Lord gave me a very prophetic dream regarding this second chance I had on the stand. When I had the dream, the trial had already ended and we were waiting for the final judgment to be handed down. There was no inkling that the judge was going to set certain conditions that would affect his decision regarding S.
       "I dreamt that I was on the stand again in the courtroom talking to the judge. He had certain questions and points that were still bothering him, and he wanted to hear from me again about how I felt about them. So I was on the stand pouring out my heart to him. As I was doing this, the Official Solicitor's barrister, who had been extremely nasty during the running of the case, was right next to my ear, asking me antagonistic questions designed to get me angry and distracted from what was important that I tell the judge. I started to turn towards her and lose control of my spirit and get mad at her. But suddenly I heard the voice of the Lord telling me I had to ignore this woman completely and look only at the judge and talk only to him from my heart. If I faced her, I would lose all my power and would be dragged into fruitless, draining anger. It was the Devil's device to distract me by trying to get me to focus my attention on this woman.
       "So as I obeyed the Lord and turned to the judge, light started to pour out of the basement up through grates in the walls, until the light was everywhere and on everyone. As the light started to come, I was filled with such incredible power that I was shaking with the power of God, and I got such a powerful anointing. I began speaking and pouring out my heart to the judge, telling him, 'Please don't take my son away. The Family is a good place. All we want to do is witness to people and tell them about this wonderful light -- that it is the power of God, and that it saves and loves and is what everyone needs.' As I was talking, the light grew and grew until there was a sort of explosion and we couldn't see anything else.
       "This dream was fulfilled. As I said, when I had it in 1994, we had no idea that I would ever get to be on the stand again, but that is exactly what happened nearly one year later! It also happened that when I was on the stand, I did use it solely as a chance to pour out my heart to the judge and to my mother!
       "The combination of the Dike Prophecy (see section on "P.'s Hurdles," pg. 29) and GN 653 helped me to differentiate between the things I have always believed and stood up for, and the things I didn't want to stand up for (things that went wrong in the past.) If the Lord had not had mercy on me and on the Family, S. would have been removed from me on the basis of the testimony that I gave my first time on the stand. The judgment would have gone public that same day, which would have resulted in extremely negative and serious repercussions for the entire Family on the strength of the precedent it set.
       "This time I was able to take my finger out of the dike and speak as a mother rather than as one who had to defend the entire Family. WS had sent a representative to address on the witness stand the issues directed at the Family, and I was able to address the issues directed at me.
       "I told the judge that the key that had helped me to finally get the victory over my bitterness was when I realized the harm my attitude would do to S. if I continued to hold it in my heart. (See my testimony in Hope 64, "Turning Points.") This was a very important aspect of my evidence on this day, which helped turn the judge's heart to see that I was sincere and had a true love for S.
       "Another significant event of our last day in court was when I had the opportunity to pour out my heart to my mother about how I felt about the judgment. I had tried to do this a couple of months before at a lunch with my mother, but she had spent the entire time re-telling me how poisonous she felt the Family was, and threatening me that if I didn't leave the Family now I was going to lose my children. As I spoke to my mother from the witness box, the Lord's Spirit really fell and the Lord gave the anointing that He had promised to give. The only person who was not moved was my mother, who remained 'of the same opinion still.'
       "After I came off the stand, my mother's friend who had come to court with her came up to me and said, 'It was like watching a movie; what you said was beautiful.' I can't take any credit for myself, because everyone who knows me can testify that I have no speaking talents. I make a mess of things I say and often put my foot in my mouth. I say this to show that the Lord did anoint me above and beyond what I expected, and He fulfilled the dream that He had given me." (End of comments from P.)
       It was also a fulfillment of the following vision someone received quite some time before:
       "I had a vision where P. was standing with real conviction and answering questions that had been asked her, and she was so bright, like she was full of light. The Spirit of the Lord was so heavy, and the judge was overwhelmed. Everything was so bright there, and the verse came to me, 'I will give thee a mouth and wisdom that thine adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist' (Lk.21:15). It was so beautiful how bright it was. It was overwhelming to the judge and everyone who was there." In his final judgment the judge said: "The cold words (referring to the quotes he took from my evidence in his addition to the judgment) cannot convey the change in P. ... She showed a certain insight that frankly surprised me. I found her evidence to be compelling." Praise the Lord! In contrast, P.'s mother, who also had to retake the stand on this day, found she had a very difficult time -- also a fulfillment of prophecy.
       One of the expert witnesses, Dr. Gordon Melton, also testified on this day and provided crucial input for the judge, adding further weight to the letters written by himself and the other experts.
       Finally, a representative came from WS to give evidence on behalf of Mama and Peter and WS. It was crucial that he come in order to answer questions about GN 653 and to assure the court that it was a genuine statement of current Family policy. He had to withstand quite a tongue-lashing from the judge, who had a lot of pent-up feelings about numerous issues, and took the opportunity to let WS know about them! He wanted to be sure that we have truly taken to heart the lessons we have testified of learning through this case. But in the end, he was obviously convinced that the Family is a safe environment for all of our children!
       At the end of this day in court, in a dramatic moment which represented the culmination of three-and-a-half years of desperate prayer and prophecy, of heavy toil of mind, body, and spirit, of numerous trials and battles, of a greater desperation than we'd ever known -- the judge handed down his final ruling: HE REVERSED HIS PRELIMINARY JUDGMENT, AND MADE A FINAL ORDER GIVING CARE AND CONTROL TO P.! In an instant, the Lord had given us victory out of the ashes of seeming defeat!
       As we had waited outside the courtroom, we had been reminded of the famous line uttered by King Henry in Shakespeare's "Henry V" after the Battle of Agincourt: "We know not if the day be ours!" Now we knew that it was ours! The long march was over, the battle was won, victory had been snatched from the jaws of defeat, and in spite of the manifold times it looked like we were lost without hope in this case, the Lord had won the victory. He fulfilled His every promise of victory, He did not fail us, and He did exactly as He said He would time and time again in prophecy!
       We feel that our lives have been forever changed, not only by the fact that we won the case, but much more so by the fact that we had found a new, deeper faith than ever before! Only the pure, living Word of God sustained us -- but it was enough, and He did exactly what He said He was going to do! Precious, faithful Jesus, Who conquered death itself, was surely not to be defeated nor his Word proved false by any momentary circumstances, however dark they may have seemed to us! Here are some precious prophecies that were sent to us after this final great victory:


       (Prophecy:) "I, the Lord, see not as man sees. For I see your efforts as multiplied over and over and over, and the good effect that they will have. You have thought to fight only in this one battle, but I have seen every tear, every moment of agony, every prayer. The effort and the desires of your hearts to go to battle for Me have been multiplied and amplified and will bring forth good fruit and a good effect all around the world.
       "As you did decide in the beginning to take up this fight, so I have blessed and honored you. You could have fled with the little one, but you chose to stand and fight. As tiny David facing mighty Goliath, you knew that I would help you. And lo, I say, you have been a mighty adversary! Throughout the courts of the world and in the hearts of your enemies worldwide, there is a knowledge that you are a mighty adversary -- that in coming against you, they will not face a weak or puny stripling of a lad, but a mighty fighter in the Spirit!
       "For you have thrown your hearts, your minds, your souls and your efforts into this cause, and I am well pleased. For this I do honor you, for this I will reward you, and for this you have a place in My hall of fame, as mighty warriors of David! Your Father David is well pleased with you, and I am well pleased with you. For you did not turn your backs and say, 'It is well to flee,' but you took up the challenge.
       "If you had not fought, if you had not trusted Me, if you had not had faith in Me, then you could say, 'Oh, that we had done this or that.' But you have fought and you have prayed and you have trusted; and because of this, I have answered your prayers, and the results I will bring will be good.
       "Look at your Family now! Has it not been strengthened, solidified and firmed up because of this battle? Have you not codified your own principles? Have you not set up a standard that all those with worldly eyes may understand? Have you not obeyed Me in every way that I showed you to go? Yes, you have obeyed Me and you have followed as closely as you could; and because of this, I will bless you and I will honor you.
       "Look not as man looks. For I would strengthen you in the Spirit and fill you with love and wisdom and compassion. I would give you mercy for those who hurt, and I would give you a way to recompense and heal those who are still hurting. This I have done, and this I am doing, and this you can broadcast, this you can shout abroad, this you can explain. For I, the Lord, have done it, and I have answered these charges.
       "I will bring forth great fruit and good results (even as with all persecution), as My Name is proclaimed and those who fight for Me become a standard and a role model for others who would like to have the courage to stand up for Me. Even so, in this you will be a standard-bearer, you will be an example, you will give courage to those of fainting hearts, and you will continue to bear My Words to the ends of the world.
       "You are they who have begun this fight, who have begun this march, and it is not over yet. It is the beginning! I am proud of you who have stood up for Me and have not hidden yourselves away nor cowered, but have been willing to stand upon the Truth! For this is the victory, even your stand upon the Truth, even your faith. Just the fact that there are human bodies and human spirits willing to stand upon this Truth is the victory that shall overcome the world.
       "So do not fret and do not fear, for great is your reward in Heaven, and great shall be this testimony as it shall be blazed abroad! You shall be known as those who fought against the bulldog, the tenacious bulldog, and that you did not let go. Yours is the victory in the Spirit!" (See the Letter "The Crash," ML #284, especially paragraphs 2-7, 9-10, 65-69!)


Final Words From P.
       We'd like to close with a few more words from dear P.: "I want to thank Mama, Peter, their representative who took the stand, and all of WS, who have all been such a big support in many ways throughout the running of the case. They produced numerous documents such as the Statements, the "Family Discipline Guidelines," GN 653, and much more. But most of all, we know that they fervently and regularly prayed for us and the case -- as did you, our wonderful Family. We don't think we can say often enough that if it had not been for you and your prayers and your taking the time to hear from the Lord and write down what He gave and send those prophecies to us, this battle would not have ended so victoriously and the Lord wouldn't have been able to get as much out of it as He did.
       "For the whole Family and for those of you personally who have been involved, THANK YOU SO, SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS! I am thrilled and so happy that S. and I are still together in the Family. We all fought and won this battle together, like the Lord promised we would, in prayer.
       "Often during the running of this case, I wondered when the 'Red Sea' was going to part and we would get across safely. There were many moments and periods where we were in similar positions to the children of Israel when they stood on the shore of the Red Sea with Pharaoh's army after them.
       "Our last day in court, when the judge gave his very final decision changing his order and giving care and control of S. to me, was a truly miraculous day -- the day the Red Sea parted! In the Spirit, it was so easy compared to the pitched battles we had fought in there for three-and-a-half years! In fact, even the Official Solicitor changed, and recommended that S. stay with me! The Lord had accomplished His plan, and it was time for the victory and for our deliverance, and He did it, seemingly so easily. His power truly is great. The times we don't see it are because He knows it's not yet the time it's needed, but it is always there for us to avail ourselves of, and He never fails when we cry out to Him with all our hearts.
       "This last day in court had been originally scheduled for October 20, but then was suddenly changed to the 19th. This 'just happened' to be the European Prayer Day for that month, with our whole European Family praying for us! The Daily Light for the 19th was so fitting, we felt as if the Lord had changed the date of the judgment for the purpose of fitting it in with these promises." (End of comments from P.)

Final Note From Mama
       (From Mama:) I am so proud of all of you who fought this difficult battle, who held on to the Lord's Words in spite of many seeming defeats, and because of it, saw the wonderful victory He promised. As Dad said, "If you follow the Lord, you'll never go wrong. He knows exactly what to do, and all you've got to do is ask Him, and you can get an answer." Because everyone involved was willing to do just that -- ask the Lord what to do, and then follow what He showed -- the victory was won. If you ever have doubts that prophecy is genuine, I suggest that you re-read this FSM.
       It was a hard-fought battle in which many people, both in the Family and out, played an important part. Each one contributed to the victory and each one shares in the reward. This includes every one of you who prayed so desperately for P. over the last three-and-a-half years.
       So many of you were directly involved, each of whom I am so thankful for; those of you who were part of the court case team at some time throughout the case; those of you who lived with P. and cared for S. while she devoted so much time to fighting for him; those of you who wrote affidavits and appeared on the witness stand, which I know was very difficult for you; those of you who contributed your time, prayers and other resources, or who helped in any other way.
       I also want to thank our precious lawyers, Kim, Richard and Sean, who gave so much of themselves to win this case, who faced a number of very low spots, but who hung on, fighting until the end. Thank you for your faith! I am also very thankful for the experts who testified for us.
       Winning this, and each of our other court cases, has proven that the Lord is with us. He has shown His ability to care for His children no matter how dark the circumstances. May we always remember to trust Him through the storms, through the darkness, through the fire and through the flood, knowing that He is able to keep and protect us and to bring us out into the peace and sunshine of His wonderful Love!


Daily Light
October 19th

       The Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
       Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain. The king I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in His Word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. I sought the Lord, and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.
       The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and He shall thrust out the Enemy from before thee: and shall say, Destroy them. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

[EDITED: "End"]

Copyright 1996 The Family