KEYWORDS: mail, colony, bill, address, phone, balance

How to Close Up a Colony

David Berg

—MONovember 1, 1971NO.125A—DO

—(Footnote to "Persecution")

1. HERE ARE A FEW TIPS ON "HOW TO CLOSE UP A COLONY" (WHEN FLEEING PERSECUTION): First of all, don't notify the enemy that you are leaving (so he can strike you before you go), or where you are going (so he can follow and hit you there)! If there are very many of you‚ don't all leave at once, but pull out in small teams in various directions and at different times if possible; otherwise you're sure to draw attention to your exit. Make sure each team knows, where it's going, has addresses, phone numbers, and instructions how to keep in touch, etc. Dispose of what goods and furniture you may not be able to take with you, leaving the last team to bring the remainder and close up shop.

2. BE SURE YOU DON'T TAKE ANYTHING WITH YOU THAT DOESN'T BELONG TO YOU, and leave the place clean and in good condition. DON'T LEAVE A BAD REPUTATION. Provide all things honest toward them that are without that the ministry be not blamed‚ so they won't be able to say, "They left the place in a wreck, stole the furniture, and didn't pay their bills," as was the case with one Colony over which we lost a very good king friend and which he has used to reproach us with ever since.

3. CLOSE AND LOCK THE HOUSE up to prevent damage or thievery. If anybody asks what you're doing just tell them you're going on a little witnessing trip. Before leaving the house, however‚ BE SURE EVERYTHING IS TURNED OFF: lights‚ water, gas, etc. On your way out of town if at all possible you should PHONE THE VARIOUS UTILITY COMPANIES‚ including the phone company (if you don't somebody could make a long distance call on your bill costing you hundreds of dollars), and ask that these services be immediately cut off. If a local call is not possible, at your very earliest opportunity, make a direct station to station long distance call! THIS IS URGENT! Or somebody else may use these services and you'll be charged for them! ASK EACH COMPANY TO MAIL YOUR FINAL BILL TO YOUR LOCAL BOX NUMBER: where you were receiving mail in their city‚ and tell them it will be forwarded to you and you'll pay it by mail as soon as it comes! Be polite and thank them for their services! Don't worry about the deposits. They'll either deduct the bill from the deposit and send you the balance, or deduct the deposit from your bill and send you a bill for the balance! Just don't forget on your way out of town to try to call them locally.

4. AT THIS SAME TIME YOU MUST TRY TO NOTIFY YOUR LAND LORD that you have evacuated the premises, so he can take care of the place in your absence, and since you've turned off the heat, so he can take care of the plumbing, if it's cold weather, or it might freeze and cause serious damage. Also tell him you're dropping the keys in the mail and don't fail to do so immediately.

5. AFTER YOU LEAVE THE TOWN, DROP A FORWARDING NOTICE IN THE MAIL to have all Colony mail forwarded to your next address, preferably a box number NEVER USE A STREET ADDRESS if you can help it, even on your literature. ONLY USE BOX NUMBERS AND PHONE NUMBERS where necessary. Your former post office may be willing to forward all mail addressed to your box c/o The Children of God, to your new address. But on the other hand,

6. THEY MAY REQUIRE AN INDIVIDUALLY SIGNED CARD FROM EACH of your members‚ so they probably would be safer to have them made out in this way in the first place. Just pick up enough cards at your next post office to cover everybody, instruct them how to fill them out, and sign them with their individual legal names and stamp each of them with a 6-cent stamp and mail them at your earliest opportunity—the sooner the better—so their mail won't be delayed and stack up at the post office! And don't forget to present a list of your members to their next Colony so they'll get their mail, Otherwise, the new Colony will not know their system names and who it's for.

7. Also, don't forget to have your DRAFT CASES NOTIFY THEIR INDIVIDUAL DRAFT BOARDS WITHIN 10 DAYS OF THEIR CHANGE OF ADDRESS, or important mail may be delayed and some of your boys be declared delinquent and ordered to report for immediate induction! That's the law! Also, BE SURE NO ONE SKIPS OUT ON PROBATION ON PAROLE or he may be in trouble if he's required to notify the authorities. Don't fail to turn your draft files over to the secretary of your new Colony immediately on arrival so she can help you with your correspondence. And DON'T FORGET TO BRING YOUR MAILING LIST OF FRIENDS WITH YOU, SO YOU CAN NOTIFY THEM ALL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE OF YOUR DEPARTURE, it's reasons, and your new whereabouts, if necessary.

8. DON'T GO DOWN TO THE BANK AND DRAW OUT ALL YOUR MONEY THE DAY BEFORE leaving or that'll be a dead giveaway of your planned departure, unless you absolutely have to have the money for your trip. If possible, it is better to leave some money in the bank and then have it transferred to your new account in the next city, simply by depositing a check for your old balance in your new account. Be sure you know your exact balance, and it is usually safer to leave a few dollars in the old account to cover any mistakes or bank charges, and maybe enough for closing bills! Amen?