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WHO SHOULD FIGHT FOR THE CHILDREN?!       12/88       DO 2496
--A red-hot, lesson-filled response to the situation with Michael Mountain & his teens!

       1. It's very easy to tell the difference between this case & Barz'.--Barz is one of ours, & this backslider is not!

       2. We are not responsible! We are not responsible to him in the first place! Why should we take $2,000 of Family money to bail him out of jail when he probably deserved to be beaten! He was probably getting exactly what the Lord wanted him to get!

       3. He won't do a thing his Shepherds tell him to do! Now he can't get out of the country, the authorities got his passport. So I'd say, "Let Ephraim alone, he's joined to his idols!"--Hos.4:17. Let him pay the penalty. Let him pay the price.

       4. It just shows that you can't trust a backslider to be led by the Lord, or even to be protected by the Lord! Imagine, he married a woman that's not even in the Family! Why should we feel any obligation to protect him? (Peter: They're not trying to protect him except where it will protect the children, his two teens.)

       5. Why should we feel any obligation to bail him out of jail & use our influence [DELETED] & waste it on him? [DELETED]

       6. To fight for our kids is one thing, to fight for them when they're being directly attacked. But to fight for their backslidden parents, that's something else!

       7. His leadership advised him what to do & he didn't do it. So that shows you what a stew you can get into when fooling around with backsliders! They won't obey the Lord or they'd be in the Family, so we couldn't expect him to obey now. And I don't think we should have to take the rap for him. (Maria: By continuing to try to protect his teens, we are taking the rap. Of course, in Barz' case, we were prepared to do that. [DELETED] "The good shepherds lay down their lives for the sheep!")

       8. But what kind of teens are his going to be with both parents backsliders? As a backslider, he could rat on us at any time. He'll do whatever he thinks will be best for him, not even what's best for his own teens!

       9. God's Word says that after someone has been reproved & advised & counselled, etc., if he still refuses to obey, "Let him be unto thee as a heathen & a publican, a heretic!" (Mat.18:15-17; Tit.3:10)--Not bail him out of jail! I never said anything about protecting backslidden parents! (Maria: But his teens are virtually Family teens. What are we supposed to do? Are we supposed to protect them or not?) I'll have to pray about it. I'll have to get something from the Lord on it.

       10. This is certainly not the common situation. And this is not at all the type of situation I had in mind when I wrote those Letters about Barz & his kids! They're not fighting a case for the teens now, they're fighting his case! Why should we go to bat & fight the case of a backslider? Let him take the rap! We should have stayed clear of it, we shouldn't have touched it! (Maria: We touched it because of the teens.)

       11. (Peter: I think the leadership are thinking that we have to protect those teens, we have to fight for their lives, they're our teens. [DELETED] They think that by protecting him they're protecting the Work & the teens because if they start coming down on him it will endanger the teens & at least the Home where they're staying.)

       12. But why should this [DELETED] friend of ours stick his neck out for this backslider? As far as I'm concerned, there is nobody worse than backsliders! They're the worst of all. And they are the most dangerous of all. They're the ones most apt to betray us.--They've already betrayed us just by backsliding!


       13. I can tell you what I did in Huntington Beach, a case that comes to mind: Two teens had run off & were playing hooky from school & were staying down at the Club for classes, etc. Although I didn't know it, the boys had harboured them overnight--not actually in the Club, but in a little shack outside which was like a lean-to against the Club or something. They actually had stayed out there overnight.

       14. The parents naturally were greatly concerned & went to the Police. The parents knew the kids were interested in the Club & thought that maybe I would have some tip on them. So when the police questioned me, I honestly told them, "I don't know anything about them. I've never heard of them. [DELETED] I don't know what the score is, but I will tell you right now, they are forbidden down at our Club to keep any girls there overnight at all! (Because nearly everybody was boys.) They are absolutely forbidden!"

       15. The police said, "Well, they've also been attending classes at your Club while playing hooky from school." I said, "Well, I'll see to it that that's stopped. Our people will not be permitted to allow any truants to enter that Club during school hours, any underaged kids, whether they be boys or girls.--They will be absolutely forbidden to enter that Club during school hours! If they want to go there after hours, well, that's up to them, that's none of my business. But no truants will be allowed to attend or even enter that Club during school hours!"

       16. We couldn't afford to have the cops down on us for literally disobeying the law.--And this situation with this backslider's kids looks like a similar case. See, if that father had any guts or any wisdom at all--which he can't have without the Lord's help--he should have gotten a good lawyer & fought the thing.--Fought it right there!

       17. At least this time he ought to know what to do.--Don't do like Barz did & give'm up so easily. Get a lawyer & start fightin'! Look what the $2,000 bail could have done for one of those poor lawyers! He could have easily hired a lawyer for that much money!

       18. In a case like that where we become legally responsible, they can accuse us of what they call "conspiracy" or illegally "harbouring" minors. They can even call it, "contributing to the delinquency of minors," all kinds of things they can try to pin on us if we're the ones protecting them.

       19. He should have gone straight to court, gotten a lawyer immediately & fought it. Even if the teens legally had to be put in temporary detention or under temporary supervision until the case was decided, he should fight it legally! But as it is now, we're just really sticking our necks out too far in trying to protect them.

       20. If I had let those California teens come into the Club there as truants [DELETED] it could have killed our work right then & knocked it in the head & our Revolution never would have happened! The police were actually very polite about it. They said, "We would like to ask you to please make sure that you don't harbour any truants here during school hours.--And never take in any underaged girls overnight." I said, "I will see to it!"--And we didn't [EDITED: "take in any underaged kids"]!

       21. I think it was Carmel & Rachel's parents who then went all the way to the District Attorney, had a conference with him & the Mayor trying to pin something on us, on me personally, etc. God bless those girls, they stuck up for us then & said we'd never done this or that or whatever they tried to accuse us of. But they came back with the report that "our parents are determined to get you on something, some trumped-up charge, anything to get you out of town!"

       22. When I was convinced that the officials were conspiring to do this or that--just like they did with Paul--I said, "Folks, it's time for us to leave!" And we left town. They were already harassing us.--They'd stopped our convoy of vehicles saying, "You've got a broken windshield wiper. You've got a taillight that's not working." Harassment anywhere we'd go. Persecution!--Pure & simple.

       23. So I figured, "Well, I'm not going to just sit here like a sitting duck while they plot to get me one way or the other!" No telling what they might have done!--You know, find some drugs on one of those visiting hippies. They actually did that once, they planted drugs on one boy who I know didn't take drugs. He was one of our best preachers & soul winners, completely transformed from before, a new creature in Christ Jesus. He swore, "The cop stuck his hand in my pocket & he pulled out the pot!" When they're out to get you, they won't stop short of anything like that! So I said, "I'm not just going to sit here & wait for them to come & get us. I said, "Let's go!"

       24. They were already working on the guys who held the lease on the Club & they said they were going to double the rent at the end of the month. I said we're not going to pay that. And they worked on our landlord too, my Mother's cottage which we were renting. And he said, "I'm going to have to double the rent!" They've got ways of doing it. They've got the power & they've got the guns & they've got the prisons.

       25. So I said, "It seems like our time is up.--Let's go!" Already Faithy & Miguel were begging us to come to Tucson, that Brother Ware was begging for more help, that Tucson was ripe & ready to be reaped.--And it was! We boomed there for awhile & reaped. We were packing Brother Ware's place out, we didn't have any more room, & were winning souls left & right on the University grounds & everywhere, just by the dozens!

       26. Then we were informed, I've forgotten just how, that the Catholics already had 9,000 signatures on a petition against us! I think they'd informed Brother Ware of that, that he'd be closed down. So I told him, "The only thing we can do is move the troublemakers that are causing all of this, we don't want you to lose your church. We'll just move, that's all." And that's when we hit the road.

       27. (Maria: Look at all you did for Rachel & Carmel & all you invested in them, & then they both eventually backslid. How do we know that these teens are that strong & aren't going to backslide later? Or do we still have a responsibility to them no matter what just because they look to us as their spiritual Family?)

       28. Their mother is obviously backslidden, an enemy, & is causing a lot of trouble. The father is also backslidden & now he's causing a lot of trouble. It just looks to me like we are really sticking our necks out & going to bat for some people that are very uncertain.

       29. If he loses his teens, that's probably a part of the penalty he's paying for deserting the Family & backsliding. I'm sorry for the teens. [DELETED]

       30. If the father were a good upstanding Family member, it would be a whole different kettle of fish! But with this man, both he & his new wife are completely out of the Family.--Why should we go to bat for him? The children have also been more out than in.

       31. Lord Jesus, give us wisdom! Well, I never felt we should violate the law at the risk of the Family, & that has always been my policy from the very beginning. I'll finish the rest of the story I was telling you:


       35. We always did our best to stick to the law so we wouldn't cause ourselves any unnecessary problems. Finally, when the girls got to be old enough, they [EDITED: "joined"].


       36. What I had in mind when I said let's fight for our kids was for people in the Family, Family folks!--Mother & father or at least one of the parents should be in the Family like Barz was when they came to illegally snatch his kids away. The whole thing was as illegal as it could be.

       37. When he was handed those papers, the first thing he should have done was say, "Let me call my lawyer! You're not gettin' the kids until I call a lawyer!" Now how much good it would have done, I don't know. But that's what infuriated me about Barz, he just gave them up too easily. He voluntarily gave them up! He never made a struggle. He never made a protest, nothing! He just let'm go!

       38. But when I said fight for your kids, for goodness' sake, I didn't mean that you should immediately start fighting with violence! Of course, try everything legal that you can first. Immediately get your lawyer to start defending you. That's the best way to do it.

       39. (Peter: In this particular case, they didn't have to get a lawyer immediately because there was no one to fight. They learned beforehand that there was a planned kidnapping in the works.) That's right.--Why get a lawyer if they're not even in the country yet?--Just leave! But a backslider is a backslider, & you can't trust him! He left & took the teens to another place but then he left them there & came back because he couldn't stand to be parted from his System wife & children.

       40. [DELETED] But now the authorities are going to keep the pressure on him that if he doesn't cough'm up within a fair length of time, he is going to go back to jail.--And eventually they'll bring him to trial.

       41. Of course, they don't even have to have trials in many of those countries. They can hold you for years even without charges! So there's really no such thing as justice or democracy or whatever, & they can beat you up & torture you & everything else if they want to. How long do you expect a backslider like that to hold out under such conditions? (Maria: I'm surprised he didn't tell the police the first night.)

       42. Well, as far as I'm concerned right now, his teens [DELETED] do not belong to us now with neither parent in the Family to protect them! [DELETED] It's been our policy for years that we have never allowed underaged young people to join the Family without written permission from their parents.

       43. I never said that we are to stick our necks out & endanger the whole Family to protect children of parents who are both backsliders! That's extremely dangerous! That's just as bad, if not worse, than protecting children of parents who have never been in the Family & hate the Family! We don't harbour those, we don't believe in harbouring them. The only excuse you've got for this case is that he was once with them but then he deserted them.

       44. [DELETED] [EDITED: "W"]e can't take responsibility for'm, we just cannot do it. The father could turn around & lie, & they'd believe anything he said.--"Well, they stole'm from me & took'm away & they're hiding them some place! I don't know where they are, so there's nothing I can do about them. They kidnapped them, they've got'm!" [DELETED]

       45. We cannot be responsible for underaged kids in the Family without parental permission, & in a case like this, that means permission from both parents, written parental permission! Otherwise, we are responsible. If the parents have signed written parental permission, then that's their responsibility. But for God's sake, when one of them is an enemy & the other is a backslider--which is as good as an enemy--it's just a trick of the Devil to try to get us involved!

       46. [DELETED] [EDITED: "L"]et him get a lawyer & fight the case in court! [DELETED]

       47. Well, that's your answer, & as far as I'm concerned this needs to get out to the Family! They are not to take any underaged minors without full parental permission, written & notarised! I mean you can't do anything with them anyhow if you don't have Power of Attorney & authorised, notarised permission to have'm.

       48. [DELETED] And the poor teens, I'm sorry for them, but we can't let them endanger the entire Family. They're suffering for their father's & mother's sins. We can't make the Family suffer, the whole Family, their whole field & God knows how far!

       49. We're not supposed to keep kids that have neither mother nor father in the Family! It's against the law! We cannot keep kids like that unless they have at least one parent in the Family who has legal rights to those children.--At least legal rights according to God!--Who can legally go to law & court & fight for them if he or she has to! Otherwise it can come to a mess like this.

       50. (Maria: Can we keep underage children without either parent in the Family if one parent gives written permission & the other doesn't contest it at all?) Of course! At least we've got something to show authorities in case we're called on the carpet: "Here, we have permission from the parent!" (See new sample Power of Attorney form in [DELETED] FSM [EDITED: "149"].)

       51. But if they then want to contest it, you'll have to yield to whatever the law decides. You just can't beat the System, you can't fight City Hall.--Especially in a case like this! When it comes to that, then you have to yield. Either you have to leave or yield, one way or the other.

       52. If the cops come & you know they are legally authorised to have'm, then you have to give'm up. I've said that time & again.--When the police come, officials of the local government come, then you have to yield. How many times have I said that?--But call your lawyer first to make sure.

       53. I said if it's somebody else, even the other parent, with their henchmen & that sort of thing, & it's illegal--which it was in Barz' case--then you don't have to give'm up, you fight! Preferably you call a lawyer immediately & get him to fight for you!


       54. This guy would have had a lot better chance in every way if he had stuck with & rejoined the Family! But now he's gotten himself into a mess & really gotten his foot in the trap. But at least [DELETED] he can fight the battle legally & by law & where we're not held responsible.

       55. I think that should be the criterion in any case: We cannot have minors in the Family without written permission from the parent!--And better yet, the parent should be with them, if at all possible. That's always been our policy, always! Kids used to come to us begging us to take them in & I had to say, "Sorry, we cannot do it."

       56. Remember how Vashti fled to us in the middle of the night one night? She was in love with one of our boys, Joab, & I think she was only 16 or 17. She came to our house in the middle of the night asking us to take her in. I said, "I'm sorry, we just cannot do it. It's against our policy. You have to have written permission from at least one of your parents."

       57. She said, "They're chasing me!--They know I've come here because they know this is where I wanted to go, to be with Joab. And they got the police & they're coming!"

       58. I said, "Well, I'm sorry, we will have to notify them immediately that you're here, voluntarily notify them, not wait for them to get here & find you! We'll notify them by phone exactly where you are & where they can come pick you up because you're underage & you don't have permission & we cannot accept you!"

       59. "But can't I just stay here one night?" I answered, "Nothing doing!--You're under your parents' jurisdiction!" Her stepfather had jurisdiction over her, & he was gambling away all of her money, a big sum of money, something like $60,000 that her dead father had left her. Her mother married this rotter & he was gambling away all of her money because he was then her legal father & had the legal right to administer her estate.

       60. She came to us pleading, "Help me, This man is ruining me!" I said, "Well, you're just going to have to go to the law. Tell the police about it! Get a lawyer. But I'm sorry, we can't keep you here."

       61. The Family has got to know that we simply cannot do that!--Unless one of the parents is in the Family with them, or even if they're separated from them, they're still in the Family somewhere! Therefore they have that parent's permission, & they had certainly better have some kind of a legal paper to prove it! If the kids are separated from that parent that's in the Family & they're in another part of the Family, the kids had better have a legal paper with them to show that they have permission to be there--signed legal permission from the parent that's in the Family.


       62. And if trouble like this comes, they have to try to fight on a legal basis. Of course, we have a very tough time fighting legally against the System because they're so prejudiced against us. But at least legally before the law we have a right to contend earnestly for the faith & to force the other opposing parent to obey or abide by the law.

       63. (Maria: But what about a case like this one, if the father did give them written permission to have his teens?) Well, it won't mean a thing when it comes to her contesting it. They'd have to go to court to settle it. (Maria: But what if the authorities show up at the Home where the teens are & knock on the door & ask for the girls, & the Shepherd says, "We have written permission for the teens to be in our care.") The police would just say, "But the mother is in [EDITED: "another country"] contesting the father's custody, so they'll have to come back with us & fight it out in court!"

       64. (Maria: So whenever there is a knock on the door & the police are there, you just have to give the kids up no matter what?--In other words, [DELETED] you would surrender them to the police?)

       65. We can't make a set rule that covers all cases. If you've got the kids & you find out that one of the parents is contesting & trying to take them out of the Family, & the cops come, you have every right to [EDITED: "legally"] try to stop or delay them & tell them you want to contact the other parent that's in the Family, as well as that parent's lawyer before just turning the kids over!--Otherwise, how do you even know that the papers the police have are valid or legal?

       66. You've got to operate according to your faith & according to each individual case. Each case must be judged & acted upon on its own merits. Once Vivian showed up with her thugs & the so-called papers & the cops & Immigrations & all the rest, the only thing Barz could have done was to immediately grab a lawyer & say, "Help me! I'm going to contest this!"

       67. I don't think there's a thing Vivian could have done. The very fact that she & her gang were scared to death, admitted it right on 20/20, & didn't feel safe until they were on the plane on the way out of the country, that showed that they didn't really think they had the legal authority to do what they did. In fact, they even admitted that they knew that what they were doing was illegal in [EDITED: "that country"].


       69. [DELETED] [EDITED: "W"]e cannot legally [EDITED: "take in the teens of a non-member"] unless we have his written permission. But the minute the other parent comes & challenges that, then we have to follow the law, whatever it is.--And the parents will have to fight it out in court themselves!

       70. As much as we love & are concerned about the children, it's a matter of the law, & you've got to obey it--Unless you want to get an entire field in trouble & possibly the whole Family!

       71. Every parent who has a child in our Family had either better be in the Family & have the child with them.--Or, if the child is temporarily staying with others, they'd better have a written legal document of some kind showing that the family that is keeping the child has written legal permission to have him!--Or there is going to be trouble!

       72. And if an ex-mate or someone comes looking for them with papers showing that she or he has custody of them & all this sort of thing, we can't stand up & fight against that, that's the other parent's job! It's their job to call a lawyer. We might be able to advise & counsel them, but the first thing we would counsel them to do is, "You've got to get a lawyer & fight it legally! That's the only way you can do it. Or you're going to be in trouble, & you're going to get us in trouble!"

       73. Any parent who is having trouble like that, whose mate is after them trying to get the kids, the first thing he ought to do is get a lawyer & be sure the kids are there with him.--Otherwise, he may be accused of desertion if he's not even with them.

       74. Try to put yourself in a Systemite's place or a judge's place.--Whose side is he going to be on? He's already on the other side anyhow. But in a case like this backslider's who's not even in the Family or with his own kids, the judge has an excuse for turning them over to the mother.--Even if he's in the Family with his kids, most judges would think that they have an excuse to award the custody to the mother! So we can't go to bat & be on the hook for this backslider's teens! He's going to have to fight it out in court legally if he wants to keep'm!

       75. The first thing he needs to do is get a lawyer. (Maria: He should have a pretty good chance, as I think they're divorced & he has legal custody.)--And she deserted'm years ago! That ought to be enough to prove that he deserves custody of the children.


       77. [DELETED] It is against our Family rules & has been for 20 years, to keep children who do not have legal permission from their parents to be with us!

       78. As much as we would like to, we can't! Many times we were tempted to take kids in. They begged us to take them in but we had to put our foot down & say, "I'm sorry, it's just absolutely against the law, we can't do it. You're underage. Your parents still have legal jurisdiction over you & you've got to get legal permission from them."

       79. How much success is dear Barz having? All he's gotten so far are his visitation rights. He may just have to wait until the oldest boy is 17 or whatever. Of course, he has a pretty good chance since the kids really want to be with him. You've seen those court scenes in the movies where they take the children into the judge's chamber & then the judge sits there & soberly asks the boy, "What do you want to do?--Which one do you want to live with?" And all things being equal, if he chooses one or the other, that's what the judge usually decides. He figures that the children have a right to have their own wish.

       80. But if you defy the law & you hold them illegally, you haven't got a chance, not before the law anyhow. You have a chance if you'll keep the law, obey the law, stay within the law. You've got a chance in these child custody cases to fight it out & get some kind of rights; especially in a case where the mother deserted the children years ago when they were small.--Like Vivian did!

       81. Any judge in his right mind would figure that such a mother is not a fit mother if she deserted them when they were little & the father himself raised them all those years. If nothing else, I think he'd get sympathy from any judge if he'd say, "Listen, they're my kids! I raised them! The mother left them years ago! Why should she have them back now?"

       82. But they have got to either fight it legally, or just surrender one or the other.--Like Barz did, unfortunately. She had no legal right whatsoever & had deserted the children three or four years before. She had no legal rights to them at all. She had even signed a legal paper turning them over to him.

       83. I believe Barz could have won right there in [EDITED: "that country"]. Good night!--He had enough friends there! But he gave them up too easily. He got scared by that intimidation by all those thugs she brought along & that wad of papers & he just gave them up too easily.

       84. We have to learn to fight for our children! But we have to learn how to fight legally, which is the only chance we will have of winning. Because if you don't fight legally, unless you can somehow take them & get out of this World, then you don't have a chance to win under the System! You've got to play the game their way or you forfeit it.

       85. [DELETED] One thing I know & you know & the whole Family knows, is that we have never permitted the Family to accept minors without written permission from a parent! And if the other parent is contending & contesting that permission, then we cannot keep them because we are not going to be able to go to law to keep them! It's the parent whose permission is being contested who will have to go to court & fight for them.--In the System's eyes, they're his kids, not ours!

       86. We have no legal right whatsoever to keep them. The other parent in the eyes of the law has equal rights to the children. This is what happens all of the time, if parents split then the court has to decide which parent should get the kid & be awarded custody.

       87. Once the other parent starts contesting the Family parent's custody of the children, or in this case where it's not even a Family parent, then the thing has to go to law.--Unless the Family parent along with his kids are [EDITED: "outside of that court's jurisdiction"].

       88. So yes, we've got to fight for our children!--But we cannot fight on the behalf of a disobedient, disloyal & dangerous backslider!--Amen? GBAKY loyal & faithful to the Lord & His Work! PTL!

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family