—MONovember 24, 1971NO.142—LTA
GREETINGS IN JESUS' NAME! THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR VARIOUS COMMUNICATIONS WHICH ARE APPRECIATED, READ, AND ANALYSED AND PRAYED OVER. Since it's impossible for us to answer each one individually, we try to deal with the general subjects involved which affect most of you, or about which many have asked questions! One of the most important right now is the need for better public relations!
1. WE'VE HAD SOME PRETTY DANDY BAD EXAMPLES OF POOR PUBLIC RELATIONS LATELY resulting in some unfavourable publicity in several areas‚ part of which was due to the attacks of our enemies, but some of it was due to our own mistakes, unacceptable procedures, bungling of answers, careless handling of mail, too careful handling of personnel, rash statements by teachers—our own teachers, disobedience to leadership, slothfulness in taking the initiative to create a good public relationship, unauthorised and dangerous demonstrations, neglect of your own sheep, downright discourteous handling of visitors and reporters‚ unwise treatment of the press and other leaders, etc. So I believe it's high time we discuss some of these mistakes and try to correct them!
2. OVER-PROTECTIVENESS: This has probably been one of your biggest mistakes and resulted in some of your worst blowups with parents! You have been entirely too overprotective with your disciples in their relationship with their loved ones or relatives and visitors, and the handling of mail. This was never our policy in the beginning, as emphasised in our recent emergency call to send all disciples home for the Holidays to prove it!
3. As outlined in that Letter, we have never personally approved of such an attitude or used such policies ourselves in either the handling of visits by parents, nor disciples who wanted to go home, and we have dealt at length on this subject in a recent letter on "Backsliders"! Study that letter prayerfully, and we will not have to repeat that counsel here! But it is vitally important that you follow its suggestions on these problems! But just let me sum up very briefly our own feelings in the matter on the subject:
4. WE DO NOT CENSOR MAIL! This is a misnomer! Don't ever let them trick you into saying that we censor mail‚ as some have done recently, and don't ever censor the mail! We only inspect the mail: Incoming mail for any drugs and contraband materials‚ and outgoing mail for any communications which might hurt the parents or their relationship with their child. But perhaps this is being too overprotective. We must inspect the incoming mail for our own protection so that drugs will not enter the camp, but I'm not so sure we should be so particular about the outgoing mail! If we teach the disciple properly on this subject of how and why he should write home to his relatives, he should not be guilty of this!—But if he is, it will then be his own fault if he has trouble. And if he wants to write home for the funds to leave, why not? Let him leave! We don't want such disciples! This will also save some of your staff members a lot of time and trouble in having to read the mail. If you want to simply check it before it's sealed for any contraband material not to be sent out of the camp which belong to the camp that is up to you and your Colony. Pray about it!
5. WE DO NOT OPEN DISCIPLES' MAIL!—Although we have written permission to do so to avoid any possible mistakes. Opening others' mail is a serious federal offence known as unlawful tampering with the mails and is punishable by fine and imprisonment, if convicted of same! Don't be guilty of this! It has always been our policy to simply watch the disciple as each opens his or her mail to make sure nothing contraband was enclosed! We have always let them open their own mail, but in our presence‚ as they are also pledged to contribute voluntarily any funds which they receive through the mail. Of course, if any disciple chooses not to share any such income with us, he will automatically be considered as having broken his vows of membership, and will no longer be a member of the Colony, and we will consider that he no longer wishes to be a member because of this.
6. SOMEONE HAS ASKED THAT IF THE DISCIPLE WHO HAS MOVED to another Colony receives a package and your Colony feels they can't afford the forwarding postage, would it be all right to open the package, since we have permission, and merely write and tell the disciple what was in it, so he can thank the sender? The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT! If you cannot afford the forwarding postage, you can simply find out what it would be and simply write a nice note to the sender asking for sufficient stamps to pay it. Or, you can write the Colony to which the disciple has moved to send you the postage. Or you can ask the Post Office itself to forward it and collect the postage due at its destination. If you do not want to bother with any of these three alternatives‚ do not open the package in any event, but either pay the forwarding charges, yourself and send it on, or, simplest of all, refuse to pay the forwarding charges, but give the postman the forwarding address and he will send a notice to the sender for the additional postage. The latter is probably the best way to handle it, as it will be handled entirely by the post office and you will in no way be responsible. There is no law against your even reading the disciples' letters which he himself has written before it is sealed or mailed—but once it is in that mailbox, it becomes the property of the Federal Government until the disciple himself opens it! And any interference with this mailing process is a serious offence! We explained this long ago to some of your earliest leaders‚ and they should have explained and passed this practice on to you! Some of them may not have made it clear, so we are reiterating it here for all of you! DO NOT OPEN MAIL!—Unless addressed to you—personally in your name!
7. YOU COULD SAVE YOURSELF A LOT OF TROUBLE ALONG THIS LINE, both with the mail and the parents, if you will see to it that each disciple immediately notifies his correspondents of his new mailing address immediately upon his arrival at that new address. And if you will continue to have a letter-writing session at least once a week‚ you will save yourself a lot of trouble with relatives who are blowing it because they don't know where he is! Often, this, or a phone call could have saved us from some serious 10:36 problems at our gates!—But if the relative does not hear, and gets concerned enough about what happened to the disciple, they're apt to come banging on your door to find out, or even worse! We've told you this many times before, but some of you never seem to learn‚ or you're just too lazy to insist on and supervise this weekly letter-writing session. A word to the wise should be sufficient, but since you have been so unwise, it now necessitates many words!
8. AGAIN, WE DO NOT CENSOR MAIL, which means the actual changing or obliteration of the portions of the content of a letter! But even censoring is not illegal, even if we did it, as long as it was done before the letter is sealed and mailed, so we're violating no law, even if we did censor it—but don't! And remember, it is unlawful to hold unopened mail without forwarding or returning, for over ten days! That's the law! Obey it! If you don't get the disciple's forwarding address within the ten days, return the letter to the sender‚ and mark it, "Moved—Left no address." This is another reason why a disciple should always be sure to leave his forwarding address with his legal name with his former Colony. Frankly, I would advise you to tell the disciples to tell their relatives that the safest way to get their mail is to send it in their Bible name to their street address! This would save a lot of hassles, even if they don't like it!
9. AND IF YOU'LL BE FAITHFUL IN THIS WEEKLY LETTER-WRITING SESSION and tell the disciples how to write and what to write for, it will not only be a great help to your public relations, mail forwarding problems, 10:36 problems, etc., with perhaps a few exceptions, but it could also, if wisely handled‚ mean a good deal of support to help pay the expenses of that disciple in your Colony. There's nothing wrong with his asking his folks for a little help toward his room, board, and training. That's the least they could do! It would cost them a lot more to send them to college or to a hospital!—Or to Europe!—Although they might ask their folks for their fare to Europe for a Christmas present, or get them to promise it, if they come home for Christmas. This is the way Billy Graham and nearly every other missionary organisation raises the money for their teams going abroad! They ask the team member himself to either supply it himself or raise it in donations from his relatives and friends!—So, why not us? Don't be so damned independent!
10. OVER-PROTECTIVENESS REGARDING VISITORS: Most relatives naturally resent the presence of you, a total stranger, in what they would like to be a nice little private visit with their child. If you had permitted greater leniency along this line, you would not have offended so many and even infuriating them now to the point of actual kidnapping and a national campaign against us backed by the Governor of one of our great States! Therefore, I highly recommend that if the relatives or visitors want a private conference with one of our disciples, you permit them to do so without harassment of a dozen people standing around yelling Scriptures at them! This only makes them madder and more determined to remove their kid from these maniacs! If the disciple cannot stand strong enough to resist the pleas of these visitors to leave and go home with them, let them go! We don't need them, if they're that weak! I would even recommend that, to avoid any further violent confrontations, that you may even have to risk some kidnappings to permit them to go freely and alone, with the visitors; to go out to dinner or even spend the night with them in a motel to try to pacify them and satisfy them that they are actually free to leave whenever they want to. If the disciple hasn't enough gumption either to persuade the visitors to bring him back or he'll miss classes, etc., or even run away and hitchhike back on his own, or even call for the help of a passer-by or a policeman, if necessary to rescue him from the over-possessive clutches of the visitors, then he or she really hasn't got what it takes to be a Revolutionary! Even some of our girl disciples have had this happen to them and managed to get away later and get back to us! The boys can hitchhike back, but I would tell the girls that if this happens to them, when they do manage to get away and they can get to a phone, simply call us and we'll be glad to come and pick them up or have someone nearby pick them up‚ or, if they're really in a desperate situation and it's necessary, possibly send them the fare or a ticket to return if they've taken them that far away rather than to expect a girl to hitchhike, which could be dangerous.
11. SO FAR, WE HAVE BEEN FAIRLY SUCCESSFUL in even forcibly intervening in some of these attempted kidnappings, but this could result in some serious development such as an injury‚ charges of assault and battery, etc.—and you can be sure that the authorities will be inclined to side with the Systemites, rather than with you. So to avoid this, it might be better to give your disciples instructions on how to escape from a kidnapping, if they are legally of age and free of parental jurisdiction, rather than have a physical fight, risking physical harm and counter-charges! In such cases, it would be well to have your photographer always ready with a movie camera to record the action, and prove your point that the disciple was actually forcibly kidnapped, in case you have to do it in court. Perhaps even the threat of such photography and legal action might help to deter them‚ such as "if you try to take this disciple away by force‚ we are going to photograph it and charge you with kidnapping!" This might be enough to stop them!
12. ANOTHER GOOD SUGGESTION might be where possible, to have your visitors' parking lot inside of your locked gate, so it would be impossible for them to get their car out, in the event of such a kidnapping. This would also give you time to call the police and for the officers to get there before they could get away with it. Either that‚ or you might try an automatically locking Greeters' Room door, so they can't suddenly grab them and dash through the door, although this is a little more difficult situation.
13. FRANKLY, I BELIEVE IF THE KID REALLY WANTS TO GET BACK, HE'LL GET BACK SOMEHOW‚ unless they lock him up in a mental institution! But we've even had the Lord deliver these! But remember, YOU MUST NOT INTERFERE WITH AN OFFICER WHO COMES WITH A MENTAL WARRANT—or you're in legal trouble! You can ask to see the warrant, make sure who it's for, and while you're stalling, someone else can inform the disciple involved, who then has a perfect right to run out the back door if he wants to! A mental warrant is not a warrant for arrest for a crime—so if he's supposed to be so crazy, who would blame him for running! This procedure has been very successful on a number of occasions! The tricky one is where they get the disciple away from you first on a supposed visit, and produce the warrant and the officer later when they have him alone! He can still try to run if he wants to—and certainly no officer's going to shoot him for that!—The parent wouldn't let him!
14. BUT IF WORST COMES TO WORST AND THEY ACTUALLY GET HIM BEHIND LOCKED DOORS IN AN INSTITUTION, TELL HIM TO BE SURE NOT TO GIVE HIS CONSENT OR SIGN HIS SIGNATURE TO ANYTHING, but to insist on his right to call a lawyer! Sign no statements, forms, etc. They cannot force you to sign your name! Don't do it! Call a lawyer—our lawyer! In fact, we are now in the process of furnishing all of our disciples everywhere with legal forms for them to sign making our lawyers their legal attorneys, who then can legally represent them, even if not called for, in case of such a snatch‚ in which case the disciple must try to let us know where they have taken him, either by phone or by letter, in case we don't know or you haven't followed them!
15. IN SUCH CASES, THEY MUST HAVE AN ORDER FROM A LOCAL JUDGE OF THE COUNTY in which your Colony is located, and therefore, cannot take them far, usually to the nearest County Hospital for a psychiatric exam, and the attorney will have authority to insist on information from the authorities as to where the disciple has been taken, as well as to follow him there and act as his attorney, so they can do nothing illegally! Then if the authorities themselves are guilty of any illegal procedures, our attorneys cannot only go about legal means of freeing them, but sock it to whoever's responsible with a heavy damage suit, including the authorities used by the relatives! Know your rights, call on God‚ and then our attorneys, and I'm sure the Lord will have His Way! He may want you to be in there a little while to help others, as many of our disciples have done in jail—so don't be discouraged! Be patient‚ and trust the Lord, but be watchful, contact us if you can—or run!! More detailed instructions along this line should be given our disciples in the future by our attorneys!
16. SENDING OUR KIDS HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS I believe was a masterful stroke of genius by the Lord to stop most of their lies against us, Praise the Lord! I hope you gave it plenty of publicity, and we'd like to see or hear the results, including a report on the reactions of the kids when you told them they could go home! We understand that already 150 have gone home from Burlington and about 40 from Seattle—and let's hope that only the strong‚ courageous, and dedicated 100 percenters return! This may help weed out some of the chaff.
17. MY LAST ADVICE ON VISITORS is to try not to keep them waiting too long and thus aggravate them and the whole situation. Keep up those good relations with relatives and visitors to try to prevent it! I'm sure your over-protectiveness along this line has often been to blame for a lot of your troubles and bad publicity!
18. ONE MORE ITEM ON THIS SUBJECT: SOMETIMES THE TROUBLE HAS RESULTED FROM A DISCIPLE FAILING to heed the warnings or obey the instructions of leadership in certain situations! Remind your disciples that obedience and cooperation unto the Lord's leaders may save his life and liberty for the Lord's Service! Every good soldier must try his best not to be a casualty!
19. PRESS RELATIONSHIPS: In the first place, when a reporter contacts you or comes to you or calls you for an interview, remember he's a very busy man or woman, so don't make them mad and start the whole thing off on the wrong foot by antagonising them by keeping them waiting or treating them discourteously! If he or she represents a medium which has treated you very unfairly or unfavourably, tell them so frankly, that unless they treat you right this time, you'll never talk to them again or give them another story—but that you'll give all your news in the future to the news medium that treats you at least fairly, including their competitors! This can help them take a different attitude, because it's to their disadvantage to be completely cut off from you as a source of news, especially if you threaten to give your stories from now on to the other papers or TV stations who have treated you a little better!
20. FOR EXAMPLE, IN SEATTLE, THE TIMES HAS BEEN INEXCUSABLY ANTAGONISTIC and is obviously playing the game with our enemies! However, the Post has at least been factual and presented both sides! Even its articles on the MO Letters were not entirely unfavourable and in some ways even helpful! They showed that the national organisation did not approve of some of the mistakes made by the local Northwest leadership! It also showed King Saul up for the villain that he really is, and that we actually have a certain amount of wise and responsible leadership of good background! And in spite of the sly slur at the end‚ what they reprinted was not actually unfavourable‚ but even helpful and showed we're trying to do the right thing!
21. ALSO, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, ALL THIS RECENT WORLD–WIDE PUBLICATION OF YOUR SUPPOSED LEADER'S supposed legal name, can only result in some of his old friends taking a little more lenient view toward us, knowing our former conversation and sincerity. And as for our former enemies who are familiar with that name, it can only infuriate them and make them want to kick themselves for ever letting us out of their denomination to cause so much trouble! The Lord has His ways of justifying and vindicating His Servants and taking vengeance on their enemies! Hallelujah!
22. IN FACT, THE POST DID SUCH A NICE JOB of it and showed such an interest in MO Letters, we even suggested that the leaders there might use the best possible defence, which is to take the initiative and go on the offence to show that you have nothing to hide, by asking the Post if they'd like to have a few more MO Letters, in which case, they could furnish them with a few harmless ones like "Diamonds of Dust," if they would promise to continue to treat them fairly! Ha! You could also tell the Post that since they have been fair to you, that as long as they continue to be so, you will be willing to give them exclusive rights to all scoops and news stories about you from now on, locally, as well as advertising‚ etc.,—and you will give the Times nothing! However, it wasn't very smart of you, Burlington, to keep those Times reporters waiting two and a half hours in the cold room without getting to see the one they came to interview! If you folks didn't want to be interviewed by the Times‚ you should have told them so in the first place, and why—because they had been very unfair in their reporting, so why should you? Don't make them all the madder by wasting their time waiting 2 1/2 hours and then telling them‚ as you did!
23. BUT IF YOU DO HAVE A PRESS CONFERENCE—for God's Sake, don't invite your enemies! You sure let them make a Hell-of-a-mess out of your last one! And since they were able to out–yell you most of the time, they got most of the publicity—so they got to have two press conferences!—Theirs and yours! Anyhow, the two Lindas did a magnificent job finally in outshouting them with conviction, God bless them! Where were you men?
24. WHY DIDN'T YOU HAVE PHOTOS READY of Rambur's former kidnapping to show the press?—Dallas did‚ and they used it! In fact, those photos turned the trick and the tide and were the proof that persuaded part of the press to believe us and be more kindly toward us! And when they asked you where Patience was in the hearing of the press, you should have made your answer more understandable, saying something that will show the enemy up for what he's trying to do, like, "We're not gonna tell you, because you'll just try to kidnap her again, so she doesn't want to see you!" This will help others within earshot to know the truth! Never be ashamed of the truth, especially when it reflects on your enemies!
25. ALSO, FOR GOD'S SAKE, SPEAK WITH CONVICTION! This really carries through‚ especially on TV! It shows you really believe you're right‚ no matter what they say! Certainly don't stumble, stammer and stall around like you don't know the answer, or you're ashamed to give it‚ as some did in Dallas, so that it made them look downright guilty! It was terrible! Answer immediately and with conviction! If you can't say anything else, just say, "That's ridiculous! Of course not! We wouldn't think of doing such a thing!" Don't say, "Well ... now ... let's see ... I guess you could say ... maybe the parents might think so ... and I understand how they might misinterpret ... and I guess since we use the Bible. ... I guess you really could say ... maybe we really do brainwash them. ... Hypnotise them? ... Well ... not exactly ... we don't really do what we'd call hypnotising ... but maybe you might call it that ... because of the way they get stoned in the Spirit. ... Kidnapping? ... Well, I can understand why some of the parents might think so because we ... because we do try to protect them. ... Drugs? ... Noooo. ... That's one thing we don't do. ... We may do all the rest ... but we don't do that ... at least not as far as I know." My God, this is certainly no way to answer such questions especially in dark glasses, refusing to look the camera in the eye‚ but rather looking shiftily and guiltily about as though you're looking for somewhere to run!
26. WHATEVER YOU DO ON TV, LOOK THAT CAMERA STRAIGHT IN THE EYE, which means that Systemite sitting in his living room, and tell him off with positive conviction! Don't stall around and beat around the bush and lower your eyes like you're ashamed of something, but look him straight in the eye with counter–challenging conviction and tell him off!—"Of course we don't do any such ridiculous things! We wouldn't think of doing such things! These are all absolute lies, cooked up by jealous parents who are furious, just because their little pampered darling has decided he'd rather live with us than with such insane parents! Can you blame him? Look at the way they act! No wonder he doesn't want to go home with them! Who'd want to live with maniacs like that?! We give them love, understanding, sympathy, purpose‚ and God, which you can obviously see by the attitude of these parents, the poor kids certainly didn't get at home!" Throw the challenge back in their teeth! Don't take the attack lying down, acting like you're trying to crawl off in a corner and hide! Take the initiative and attack them! And do it with forceful, forthright, obvious conviction and sincerity, looking them straight in the eye‚ with an "How-dare-you-even-insinuate–such-a-thing!" attitude. "Why don't you come live with us for several days, like NBC, CBS‚ BBC, Educational TV, and many other reporters and news agencies have done, and see for yourself! Instead of publishing all these lies of our enemies!"
27. DON'T LET YOURSELF GET PUT ON THE DEFENSIVE! Ask them a few questions! Take the offensive! Go to the attack, like Barak did! Shove your mike in their face, and ask them to answer a few, such as, "Why do you always only want to publish the bad things about us, and don't even try to see the good things? Why don't you come out and stay with us a while and see for yourself? Why don't you talk to some of the kids right here, that live here, instead of the cowardly weaklings and traitors that left us because they didn't have the guts to take it and live like a soldier of Jesus Christ! Why don't you do some honest reporting for a change, and get both sides of the story‚ instead of only telling one side all the time! Or is your mind already made up, and you don't want to be confused with the facts—you just want to editorialise your own opinion without even seeing for yourself, just listening to a lot of old ladies' gossip, instead of being a real genuine reporter and coming out here to live right in and find out the facts for yourself! You're no reporter—you're a propagandist, like Hitler who said, "If you tell 'em a big enough lie, they'll believe it, because they'll think you wouldn't have had the nerve to tell such a lie unless it was true!" That's the way you are‚ with all these lies you're printing about us! Why not try truth?
28. HERE'S HOW YOU OUGHT TO BE ANSWERING SOME OF THOSE STUPID QUESTIONS: (1) "WHY DO YOU CENSOR MAIL?"—Of course we don't censor mail! Whoever started such a stupid accusation in the first place! We only check a disciple's mail as he opens it himself!—to be sure his friends aren't sending him drugs. "But what about the outgoing mail?"—We used to check that before it was sealed to make sure the disciple didn't offend his parents, but we don't even do that anymore! We simply try to teach him a little more wisdom and love! "But isn't it true that you've kept some disciples from getting their mail?"—Of course not! The only thing that keeps any of them from getting their mail is their own failure to notify their parents of their change of address, or their parents own stupid failure in forgetting it! "But don't you prevent the disciples from writing home?"—Never!!! In fact‚ we insist that they write home every week, even if they don't want to! We feel their parents deserve that much! If any of them haven't written home, it's not our fault!
29. "WHY DO YOU TEACH THEM TO HATE THEIR PARENTS?"—Of course we don't teach them to hate their parents! That's ridiculous! Why should we do that?! We want them to win their parents to the Lord, and how can they win them if they don't love them! We insist that they write them‚ let them know where they are, what they're doing, and to try to help them understand; whereas when most of them first came to us, they hadn't even written their parents for weeks or months or even years! We insist that they write them every week and show them the love of God, invite them to come see them, and send them home for the Holidays! Most of the parents are very favourable toward us, thankful for what we've done for them in getting them off drugs, out of crime, and helping them to live a clean, meaningful, helpful, purposeful life for God and others!—And many of the parents are our best friends and help us greatly, because they appreciate the work that we're doing. Only a few are selfish, antagonistic, possessive, and acting childish themselves, because of jealousy of their child's love for us, because we met his need and he'd rather live with us than them! These few are the ones who have stirred up all these lies in pure spite and childish attempts at revenge, because they blame us for his not wanting to go home‚ when some of them already hated home and had been away from home for a long time before they ever came to us!—And can you blame them?!—For not wanting to live with parents like that? We try to teach them not to hate them for it, but to be patient with them, try to be understanding, and try to win them with love! But there are none so blind as some of these blind parents who refuse to see! We've saved their child from drugs, crime, debauchery, Hell, and even suicide‚ and try to teach them to love their parents in spite of the fact that their parents themselves are responsible for the Hell-of-a-mess their kid is in by not giving him the Love of God in the first place! Some of them even kicked their kid out, and we had to take them in, and then they come screaming because they are living with us, instead of at home! As Jesus said‚ "For which of these good works do they stone us?!" The fact is, the parents are ashamed of their own failure to be able to keep the love of their own child and make him want to stay at home—so they try to blame it on us instead!
30. (3) "BUT DON'T YOU KEEP THEM HERE AS VIRTUAL PRISONERS?"—Of course not! They can leave any time they want to! In fact, if they want to go, we even help them leave, and we've even sent them home for the Holidays ourselves to try to create a better relationship between them and their relatives, even when they didn't want to go home! "Then why do you use the Buddy System?—Have someone guarding them all the time so they can't even go to the toilet alone?—That's absolutely not true! Why don't you ask them for yourself! The Buddy System we use is not for the purpose of guarding them to keep them from leaving, but to simply "brother" them or "sister" them and help and encourage them, and assist them with their problems, answer their questions‚ explain the Scriptures‚ and help them get adjusted to this kind of life! "But isn't it true that you never let them go anywhere alone?"—No, of course that's not true! They're free to be alone much of the time while within the Colony‚ but when we send them outside, as Jesus did, we send them out two by two, not to guard each other, but to witness and work together as a matter of companionship and mutual strength and fellowship, just like the Catholics do with the nuns! When did you ever see a nun going anywhere alone, unless she's a Mother Superior! They nearly always go in twos, or more! That's just plain common sense! Even my daddy never let any of us kids go anywhere alone—he always sent us on an errand two by two or together for our own safety, just like buddy swimming, so if anything happens to one, the other can help or let us know—just plain common sense!
31. (4) "WHAT ABOUT THE PARENTS' CHARGES THAT YOU HYPNOTISE OR DRUG THEM OR IN SOME WAY MAKE THEM AFRAID TO LEAVE?"—Absolutely ridiculous, of course! If we did‚ the FBI would have known it long, long ago, because they've infiltrated our ranks with their own agents a number of times in several of our Colonies and, of course, have always brought back the report that none of these charges is true! Some of them have even been converted and joined us because of our love, joy‚ and genuine happiness in the Lord! It's just Jesus—and love—and happiness that makes them want to stay! Those charges are made by the silly, jealous parents who can't understand the power of God and their child's desire to serve Him, or why he wants to stay, so they imagine and accuse us of such ridiculous things to try to explain away the truth—the fact that their child now loves God more than he does them and would rather serve the Lord than live at home! It's just that simple! Why don't they accuse the Catholics of hypnotising the nuns and monks and drugging them? Why are Catholic parents so willing to give their children to God in a convent or monastery forever—sometimes without ever even seeing them again, and sometimes, in cloisters where they are actually kept in locked cells and never able to communicate with the outside world again in any way, even by letters or visits, even with relatives! Why don't they complain about that?—And yet the Catholics have been doing this for years—living in communes much more restricted than ours!—And yet why don't some of these Catholic parents want their kids to join us?—It's probably religious bigotry! They wouldn't mind if it were a convent or a monastery, but not us!—so they fight like mad! It's religious jealousy!
32. (5) "BUT DON'T YOU TEACH THEM TO HATE THE CHURCH?"—Of course not! The True Church are the genuine Christian believers in God who follow Jesus—the born again, saved, Body of Christ—not a building or a denomination or a religion! Anything else is not the Church! Anyone who believes in Jesus is part of the Church! Anyone else is not!—But we don't teach them to hate them! But we do hate the hypocrisy‚ self-righteousness, lies, and deceitfulness of those who claim to be the Church, but are not, and we hate the spiritual System of the Devil which is behind them! Wouldn't you? Didn't you hate the lies that Hitler told? Didn't you hate the horrible way he massacred the Jews‚ like some so-called church people have done? This is what we hate—the false church—no matter what name it goes under! If they're not children of God‚ they're children of the Devil, Jesus said so! "Oh, then you do claim to be the only true church and the only true Christians and everybody else is a child of the Devil!"—Of course not! There are millions of Christians in the world who really believe in Jesus as their Saviour and who are genuinely born again, saved Children of God! We are Children of God, but not the only Children of God! We didn't call ourselves that in the first place—the newspapers nicknamed us that—just like the believers were first called Christians at Antioch by others—but we're not the only Children of God in the world! There are lots of others! "But don't you believe you're the only ones who are right?—the only ones in the Will of God, the only genuine disciples?"—No, of course not! We've met many full–time missionaries, ministers, and servants of the Lord who are sincerely serving God by faith‚ full–time, witnessing and winning souls, but we believe, like them, and as Jesus said, that we should love and serve God with all our hearts and with all our strength and with all our soul and we should love our neighbour as ourselves enough to try to help him to be as happy as we are by telling him of the love of God and trying to help him in other ways, like giving him food, clothing, and shelter‚ which we do! Isn't that right? Isn't that the Will of God? Isn't that what a true disciple does?—One who follows the teachings of Jesus? But there are others in the world who are doing it—we're not the only ones, thank God for that! But there certainly don't seem to be very many in America, do you think? We haven't found many who are willing to do as Jesus commanded—forsake all and follow him and go into all the world and preach the Gospel—mostly just the missionaries, God bless them! Anyone who's doing these things is a Child of God, no matter who they are, where they are‚ or what denomination they belong to! We're not the only Children of God in the world! "But don't you say that a Christian can't work at a secular job and still serve Jesus?"—No, we didn't say that!—Jesus said it—in Matthew, sixth chapter, verses 19-21, verse 24, and verses 30-34! Read them! The clinchers are verses 24 and 33: "No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other! Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Webster says mammon is "material wealth", or in other words, money and material things! So Jesus said, you can't serve God and work for material things at the same time—you cannot work for both! you'll either work for one or the other! How can you say you're serving God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength when you're working eight hours a day or more for mammon, or material things? Jesus said in verse 33, "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." You see, we didn't say it!—Jesus said it! You can't work for both God and money—That's just what Jesus said! You're either going to put one or the other first—whatever you give most of your time to!
33. (6) "THEN YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN WORKING FOR A LIVING?" Of course we don't believe in working for a LIVING! I just got through telling you Jesus said you can't work for both—God and a living! You'll either put one or the other first! You'll either work more for one or the other, especially in this world's System of economics! We believe in working‚ but we just believe in working for God! "But don't you believe you can work for God at a secular job?"—How could we work for God at a secular job when most jobs are for ungodly bosses doing ungodly things for ungodly people! How can you call that working for God! Now we do a lot of work for each other which is working for God because, by so doing, we're helping each other work for God, like cooking, cleaning, repairing, the necessities of life, so we can spend most of our time working for God! But how can you spend most of your time working for God when you work eight hours a day for the Devil's world System, and only spend a couple hours a week in church when you're not even working for God, but just sitting there listening to someone else work for God! How can you call that working for God? "But you accept the money and gifts and things and food and clothing and materials from us who do work for a living and from the same System that we work for? How come?"—Why of course, we do! You're paying us to do your job, and the System is paying us to work for the Lord, because you and the System were created to support us, take care of us, and protect us, and the Bible says, "The labourer is worthy of his hire." "Muzzle not the ox that treadeth out the corn" and "They that preach the Gospel shall live of the Gospel." In other words, everybody that works is supposed to get paid for what he is doing—so we're working for God and God is using you and the System to pay us for it! "Then aren't we working for God, too?" No, only the little you give us is working for God! Most of the time you're working for yourself and your family and the System—and you know it! You may be giving a little of your work to God, but not much—not unless you give everything to the Lord! If you spend most of it on something else, you're putting other things before God—and God said in the Ten Commandments in Exodus the Twentieth Chapter, "For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, and I will have no other gods before Me!" Anything you serve or work more for than God is putting other gods before Him‚ and He doesn't like it! Yes, that's true!—We don't believe a Christian can do both! We don't believe a Christian can do a good job of serving God while he spends most of his time working for money that he spends mostly on himself and his own family! He may still be a Christian—he might even be saved!—And he probably goes to church and thinks he loves God quite a bit! But how much does he love God? How much does he really worship and serve God?—Only as much as he actually works for God—which isn't much! How can you serve yourself and your family and the System and the Devil most of the time and still say you're serving God most of all? It's just impossible! Jesus said so!—"Ye cannot serve God and mammon"! Jesus said it!—argue with Him—not me! I just believe it and do it, and I don't think you're doing it, because Jesus said you couldn't! So there you are! "Then why do you teach the kids to hate the System that supports them?" That depends on what System you're talking about! If you're talking about the false churchianity System which is built on church buildings and religious bigotry and builds billions of dollars worth of new buildings every year when they can't even fill the ones they've already got, and while they're letting the poor of the world starve to death and go to Hell!—Yes‚ we hate that System, don't you?—But we don't hate the poor people in it who are victims of it! If you're talking about the governmental System...No!—We don't hate the Government! We may not always like the way it does things, but in Romans 13 and many other places in the Bible we're taught to obey it, and that God has ordained it for our protection and provision! We don't hate it!—We're just sorry for some of its poor victims who are sometimes mistreated through its miscarriages of justice and some injustices! But most of the time, the Government and the police are our friends, take good care of us, come to our defence, and protect us against our churchy enemies, just like the Romans did for Jesus and Paul most of the time in their day, although the jealous church people—the exposed hypocrites and fakers and phoneys, finally persuaded the government to kill the Early Christians, as they'll probably some day do to us! In fact, they're already trying to persuade the Government to fight us!—But like Pilate, they can't find any government laws against us—only their churchy traditions are against us, like the Pharisees against Jesus! But the Government's not usually much concerned about religious traditions, unless the religionists aggravate them too much about it! Then the Government lets the religionists crucify you‚ just to get them off their backs!—They can't do it legally! One Governor is already encouraging a group who's fighting us, and apparently his advisors are telling the parents how they can do it illegally, by smearing us in the press, lying about us, and kidnapping their own kids! Some day, like Pilate, weary of the hassle and worried about politics, the Government will just stand back and let them crucify us! Poor Pilate. No, we don't hate the Government or even the religious Pharisees! We just feel sorry for them! But if you're talking about the fiendish, devilish economic System that keeps Christians from serving God or gives them an excuse for not serving God and is built on the manufacture of the weapons of war and the idols of luxury and sends our boys to be cannon fodder so some people can make money while most of the world starves, that robs the poor to feed the rich and is now tottering on the brink of bankruptcy—if you're talking about the corrupt evil economic system which makes kings of the rich and slaves of the poor and keeps people from serving God...Yes! We hate it‚ and we teach the kids to hate it—both it and the False Church System‚ which are both destroying the world with their greed, selfishness, unscrupulousness, murder and pollution! Yes, we hate these false, fiendish Systems that destroy both men's bodies here and their souls in Hell hereafter!—But we don't hate their poor victims, the poor people trapped in them—but their leaders sure hate us and would like to kill us if they could, and will, when they can, because we've exposed them and delivered their children from them! Yes, they hate us—that's for sure! But we don't hate the Government—the poor Government is also a victim of these two false Systems who usually rule over it—the so-called Church and the economy! "But some people say you're a radical group of Communists bent on overthrowing the Government, and just using religion for a cloak!"—Well, if you mean someone who‚ as Collins says, "advocates thorough reforms"—we're not radical!—because we're not reformers! We don't want to reform or reformation! We're not merely trying to revamp the existing Systems! We want to see a complete and total and absolute change of Systems, from man's Systems to God's System—the Kingdom of God on earth, which is coming some day, when Jesus comes—a total and complete and absolute Revolution of the Spirit which will change the hearts of men, not mere governments, economics and religions! These are not enough! We want God's Kingdom of Heaven, which comes only through Spiritual change—in fact, total spiritual rebirth—a new man, a new heart—old things passed away, all things become new, something violent military revolution can never do! The latter only trades one evil system for another, and things are just as bad‚ if not worse! Then are we Communists?—It depends on what you mean by Communist! If you mean the Russian, Chinese, American or political kind—No! We're not interested in politics and the parties of man, except as they may affect us, help or hinder us! We're mostly interested in the Kingdom of God—Heaven on earth, now in the hearts of men through Jesus, soon throughout the world by the return of Christ! But if by Communist you mean do we believe in living communally like the Early Church, according to Acts 2:44 and 45 and Acts 4:32 through 35 where they shared all things, lived together and had all things in common!—Yes, we're that kind of Early Christian Communists, and in that we are like many other Christian communal societies throughout the world, such as the monasteries and the convents, etc. There's nothing new about it! The monks and nuns have been doing it for years and nobody screamed and hollered "Communist!" And we're certainly not attempting the violent overthrow of the American Government!—The Russians, Chinese, or the homegrown variety of American Communist will probably take care of that someday soon, but God's Government will overthrow them all when Jesus comes! "But some of your former disciples claim that some of your teachers told them you could do anything in Jesus' name, lie‚ steal, or even kill—as long as it's for Jesus!"—Where those former disciples got that I don't know, but I'd sure like to get ahold of the teacher that gave them that impression, if he did, because it certainly isn't true! We don't believe in lying‚ stealing, or killing, much less in Jesus' Name! We don't even believe in the War, which a lot of Americans seem to believe in, and they will lie‚ steal, and kill to keep it going, for the sake of their own pocketbooks! Jesus told us to love our neighbour, and he that loveth doeth his neighbour no harm—and this we try to do—love them and do them no harm!—But some of them sure don't love us, and have tried to do us a lot of harm, like telling such lies about us! As far as the war is concerned, we believe it's already done more damage to Vietnam and the Vietnamese than the Communists could ever have done, or Communism, and it's simply being fought as an excuse to keep our economy going and make us spend billions on weapons to give people jobs and keep Americans rich on the blood of the poor. We are pacifists and conscientious objectors! We believe in peace and object to war, and that we as the ministers of God engaged full time in the teaching and preaching of religion are exempt from military duty or the draft, according to the Selective Service Act—and most of us have been‚ thank God—just like any other ministers of the Gospel should be, and are!
34. (7) "WHY ARE YOU AGAINST EDUCATION?" We're not against education—at least not our kind! In fact our entire job is education—educating people in the knowledge of God and His Love, as told in the Bible! We spend our full time in education, day and night—in educating ourselves and others, in the Lord! But secular‚ materialistic‚ deceitful, lying, anti-God, anti–Christ, anti-Bible, anti-prayer public education that makes raging monsters of its children on drugs, we are against! Yes!
35. (8) "WHY DO YOU MAKE THE KIDS GIVE YOU EVERYTHING THEY'VE GOT WHEN THEY JOIN?" They don't have to give us everything, because they don't have to join! nobody makes them, and they don't give it to us! They give it to the Lord, to be shared with all His Children—and some of them have little or nothing to give! Others who have, help those who have not by sharing what they have, as they did it in the early Church and every other communal society before or since, of which there have been and are, multitudes, including most of your monastic, convent, and other such religious orders, most of which have this same plan—and yet nobody squawks about them, and they've been around for hundreds of years! Everybody just screams at us like it was something new!—It's not! It's one of the oldest and most successful types of economies, and has worked for some for hundreds of years! Ask the Catholic Church if you don't believe it! Why don't you guys ever think of that, and yell at them‚ instead of us! Is it because they're big, and we're little, so you big bullies pick on us, but you're afraid to attack the Catholics!—And we don't even have huge walls and iron barred gates and locked cells and aren't living in riches, like the Pope and the cardinals and the bishops! Why don't you scream at them! We're thankful to have enough to eat—a few rags on our backs and a floor to lay our heads on! My God, you make me sick! "But the parents say you're a multi-million dollar religious racket and the leaders are living in luxury while the kids are starving!"—Why don't you attack some of these other big churches—really big ones—not multi-million dollar, but multi-billion dollar religious organisations whose religious leaders are living in pomp and splendour and vast and wealthy luxury in gigantic mansions and great castles and huge haciendas throughout the world while most of their people in some of those same countries are literally starving or on the verge of starvation, and about as poor as they come! As for the leaders of this outfit‚ I don't know any of them who are living in luxury! They live in the same houses the kids do, eat the same food, and ride in the same old jalopies and broken down buses and are just as happy, with little or nothing, as long as they can serve God and help the kids to be happy in His Service and keep on getting other kids off drugs and the phoney fakery of this world and out of crime and on to Jesus! Who's making millions? Ask the Catholic Church and some of them! It's sure not us! We can barely make ends meet, and half the time we don't even know how we're going to pay our bills—but God never fails us, and He always meets our needs just in time, Thank the Lord! Even the old geezer who started the whole Jesus Revolution in a little hippie club in California with the first cries of "REVOLUTION—FOR JESUS!" and a declaration of spiritual warfare on the anti-Christ, Godless Systems of this world with a little handful of youth who took up the challenge there with the first truly spiritual revolutionary Bible Studies, marches, demonstrations, church sit-ins, school picketing, beach baptism, finger salutes, and street witnessing of hippies to hippies and youth to youth—go read the headlines for yourself in the daily front page news we made as we began the whole Jesus Movement—as God used us to start the ball rolling! Check out the newspaper archives of 1968 and '69‚ of the little Daily Pilot of Huntington Beach, California, where it all began and you'll see who the Lord used to start this world–wide Jesus Revolution of which the Children of God were the pioneers, then known as Teens for Christ! You'll also see how the churches and other Christians hated them, as they still do and ridiculed their methods, which the Jesus People now imitate! We were the ones God used to start it all! We started in poverty, we're still living in poverty, and nobody's making any money off of it, not even the old founder—the old decrepit, battle-battered veteran whom God used to start it all there on the floor of that rickety old hippie club in Huntington Beach—the Teen Challenge Light Club! No wonder Dave Wilkerson's mad at us! We started in his club, and he condemned our methods then, and disowned us! But now he's mimicking us and imitating them and trying to climb on the bandwagon of the Jesus Revolution a little late! But the real founder, Jesus Christ, used a little old guy who had nothing and was nobody until he started the Jesus Revolution and hardly anybody ever heard of him until now that his enemies have publicised his name to try to wreak vengeance on him, because he himself refused to let it be published and tried to remain hidden and anonymous so that God and the kids could get all the glory! but he himself is now retired in seclusion due to age and health and lives in one tiny little room and still has nothing but the food his children provide for him!—his children‚ who are now the leaders of the Jesus Movement around the world‚ who also have nothing but what the rest of the kids have! We call him MO, and he still writes us letters, because he still loves us—but if you want to know his legal name, you'll have to ask his enemies! They think they know it‚ but he won't even tell us what it is—so how could they—and we wouldn't tell you if we did know, because he wants God to get all the glory! OK? But our enemies have millions and are using them to fight us! Why don't you ask them where they got their money and what they're doing with it! Why pick on us?
36. (9) "WHAT'S YOUR LEGAL NAME?"—My Bible name is Bildad the Shuhite! "I mean your real name!"—That is my real name! I picked it out myself! Shouldn't I be able to choose my own name? Isn't this a free country—freedom of speech and all that? Then why haven't I got a right to pick my own name! Why should somebody else pick my name for me! You're not really free if you're forced to take a name somebody else picked for you before you even had a chance to make a choice! So we do like the early Christians! Since the Bible says now that we're Born Again, we're new creatures in Christ Jesus, old things are passed away and all things are become new, so we ask the Lord for a new name, too, for His new Born Again man, His new creature, and He leads us to pick a new one, usually from the Bible or some famous Christian hero of Church History! Sometimes they're the names of virtues we'd like to be like, like Faith, Hope or Charity. Other times it has something to do with our own personal characteristics, such as where we're from or what we look like, like Matthew Canada‚ Hodiah Preacher-woman, or Bildad the Shuhite! As you can see, I'm just a little short fellow and there's this guy in the Bible whose name was Bildad the Shuhite, so I thought that'd be a good name for me—"Shoe–height"!—Get it? That helps folks remember who I am and what I'm like! System names don't make much sense!—Ours do! We even got Bible names for our dogs!—See, this one's name is "Moreover"! "You mean 'Rover', a dog's name?!" No, I mean "Moreover"! That's a dog in the Bible! It says, "Moreover the dog licked Lazarus' sores." "I mean, what name were you given when you were born?"—I don't really remember! That was a pretty long time ago! I was pretty small then and I don't really remember much about it! I couldn't even swear to it that they gave me a name! They told me later they did, but how do I know? "I mean the one that's on your birth certificate!"—What birth certificate? I told you my real name is now Bildad the Shuhite and that's all you need to know! "Oh, I give up—where are you from?"—I'm from God—Where are you from? "I mean what's your home town?"—Who?—Me?—Space City Heaven! This world is not my home, I'm just a passin' through! I'm a Pilgrim and a stranger here, like it says in Hebrews 11 of all the children God was proud of! "You know what I mean—Where were you born?"—I really don't know for sure—that's too far back for me to remember! I was just a baby! My parents told me later, but I forget! But after all, how could I know for sure? "Isn't it on your birth certificate?"—What birth certificate? "Don't you have a birth certificate?"—Why should I have to have a birth certificate? I'm here, ain't I! It's obvious I must have been born! What kind of reporter are you? Can't you tell I'm alive! I can tell you when and where I was Born Again, but when and where I was born the first time‚ and what name they gave me, I don't really know! All I know is what they told me! How do I know that's true? So now I'm born again I'm a new creature and I've got a new name, and all that I know for sure—so I'm not gonna worry about the past! Why are you so worried about my past? It doesn't matter what I was or who I was or where I was! All that matters is what I am now, who I am now, where I am now, and where I'm going! "Where are you going?"—I'm going to Heaven, of course! Where are you going? "Well uh....are you married?"—Yes, I have a very sweet little wife whose name is Eve Shuhite! "What's her real name?"—Here we go again! Please, lets not start that all over again! I told you her name's Eve Shuhite and she's my wife, and what else do you need to know? "Do you have a marriage license?"—What's a marriage license? "You know, a piece of paper from the authorities showing you're legally married!"—What's illegal about marriage?—Did Adam and Eve have one? God created them male and female and they had children! Did they have a marriage license?—And if so, who gave it to them, and who performed the ceremony? "Oh, you know what I mean! Things are different now! You gotta have a license nowadays to prove you're married!"—Oh, you do? That's funny! One of our ministers himself betrothed us and we've been living and sleeping together for a long time now‚ and we love each other a lot and we have children and everybody else thinks we're married! What makes you question it or ask me if I've got some little piece of paper to prove it? Don't you believe me? "I mean, do you people believe in legal marriages—getting marriage licenses when you get married?—Of course we do! We're legally married by the Lord and our minister! I think my wife even has one of those little pieces of paper! You don't think we'd do anything illegal, do you? but how could that little piece of paper prove I'm married! Maybe after they gave us the paper I might have decided I didn't like her, after all, and maybe I never would have gone to bed with her because I couldn't sleep too good with somebody else! So how would the paper prove we were married! That little piece of paper doesn't prove a damned thing! It might even be a lie,—if we never slept together, even if the minister performed the ceremony! You tell me something! What is marriage!—a piece of paper?—A wedding ceremony?—or living together with someone you love and having children, a family, like Adam and Eve in the Garden! Isn't that what marriage really is? Damn right it is! "OK, OK What about under-aged kids? Do you take in under-aged kids‚ or girls here, like maybe runaways?"—No of course not! Don't you know that's against the law! We can't take any kids under eighteen without notarised parental permission! We even return a lot of them to their parents, or try to persuade their parents to let them stay—and some of them do! We have a few who have notarised parental permission and who go to our high school! "Is your school legal?"—Of course‚ it's legal! It's recognised by both the County and the State as what is known as a private parochial school—a religious school or a Montessori private school and we teach all the required courses like the public school and keep more or less the same hours and days, only we teach Bible and have prayer, too‚—and we don't believe in Evolution! "Why not?"—Because we believe in Creation, just like it says in the Bible—that man was created about 6000 years ago! That's one place we know we didn't come from—we know we didn't come from no monkey! God made us and everything else just like it is today! "But what about all the rock strata and the fossils millions of years old?"—Just a bunch of damned lies by people who are trying to get rid of the Bible and God, so they have to try to explain away Creation and how it all got here—so they cooked up these damned fairy tales‚ which they've got no proof for! But let's not argue about that! You'll believe what you want to believe! You either believe or you don't! Evolution is a religion! It takes faith to believe it! We don't believe in religion! We have Jesus! We know He's real! Have you got Jesus! "Well, uh...now uh...do you believe in pre-marital sex—you know, free love, since you don't seem to think much of licenses?"—Oh‚ we have them!—Licenses, I mean—You know, the law requires them, so we have them; and we believe that love should be free, 'cause how could you buy or sell real love! But if you're talking about that kind of stuff where you just live with anybody and everybody, regardless‚ and get VD and whatnot—why, that's not love—not real love, and we don't believe in it! "What about premarital sex with the one you do love?"—Well, again, what is marriage?—A piece of paper?—A ceremony?—Or living with the one you love for the rest of your life! Even the Government recognises that! It's even legal! The law calls it informal marriage, or common law marriage, and it'll usually stand up in any court in nearly every state and you don't even have to be as old as you do to get a formal marriage license! All the law requires is that you two agree together to live together as man and wife—and you do live together as man and wife, and you tell everybody you are man and wife! That's all it takes to make an informal or a common law marriage in most states! So let me ask you—What does the law recognise as marriage?—It's living together as man and wife! So what's premarital sex—there is no such thing! You're either married or you aren't,—so whenever you start living with her and sleeping with the one you love—you're married! So how can you have premarital sex! You may have pre-wedding sex, or pre-marriage license sex, but you can't have pre-marriage sex‚ because sex with the one you love is marriage!—And what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder! That's the way it was with Adam and Eve, and you can't find a wedding ceremony or a marriage license in the whole Bible! All they had was marriage feasts—a wild, wine-drinking party, just before the two slept together and went off to their tent together! In fact‚ Jacob was so drunk when he got married, his father in law‚ Laban, slipped him the wrong girl in the dark—Leah!—his sweetheart's oldmaid sister—and he had to wait another seven years to marry Rebecca, the one he loved! "Do your leaders pick your mates for you?"—Of course not! We each ask God to lead us to the one we should marry! When we find each other and finally agree on it together, then we ask one of our ministers to perform the ceremony, or betrothal, which is like a permanent engagement! And then we get married as soon as we can, just like everybody else!
37. (10) "WHO IS MOSES?"—I can't really tell you! "Is he So-and-so?"—I really don't know.—He's never really told us, and even if he had, he wouldn't want us to tell, like I told you before! "Is he really your leader?"—Jesus Christ is my leader! As for Moses, I hear he was the founder of the Jesus Movement! But really it was Jesus, or it wouldn't be the Jesus Movement, would it? "Where is he now?"—In my heart! "I mean this Moses guy!"—I really don't know! Some say he's abroad somewhere, but I don't know! "Don't you still get letters from him?"—Yes, sometimes, but just because he still loves us. But they're only duplicates that are sent and distributed in this country. "You don't know where the originals come from?"—No. some say he's an old disabled war veteran sick with heart trouble and retired, and is writing a book abroad, but I don't know! Why do you want to know? Who wants to know? "We understand he's still leading you with these letters. Is that true?"—I told you Jesus Christ is our leader and each of our Colonies is independent and led by the Lord! We can do as we please, however God leads us! MO just writes us letters sometimes of fatherly advice, but we don't have to do it! "Do you follow his advice?"—Sometimes, but a lot of the time we don't! He's not always right! We just follow Jesus! Do you follow Jesus?
38. SUMMARY: Honesty is usually the best policy in dealing with the Press, as they already know too much about us, and they may just be trying to trap you to see if your stories jive. So unless it's a matter which is none of their business, just try to be forthright and open with them and tell them the best you know how, without telling them anymore than you have to. And remember, you don't have to tell them everything you know! You don't even have to give them your System name or home town, or anything else, if you don't want to! They're not a prosecuting attorney or judge, and you're not in court on the witness stand giving a sworn testimony! So you don't have to tell them anything if you don't want to! They can't get you for contempt of court! So sometimes you may just want to plead the Fifth!
39. A LOT OF TIMES YOUR BEST ANSWER IS "I DON'T KNOW!"—especially if you're not sure what the right answer is, or you don't know what answer you should give them! just say, "I don't know!" or "Sorry, I don't know how to answer you on that one!" Reporters usually make pretty good detectives and they'll try to worm every little thing out of you if they can, especially if they are sceptical, critical, or antagonistic, in which case you can treat them a good deal the way I have suggested in the questions and answers above! Of course, I was trying to be somewhat humorous, as a little comedy sometimes takes the pressure off, and a good laugh relieves the tension, even at an interview! But you may be led to take it a little easier on a reporter who is more sympathetic and favourable and not quite so nosy! I wouldn't advise you to always answer them like I did above! It might make them mad! But I'm kind of a fiery little rascal myself and sometimes when they aggravate me by being too nosy. I like to ram their questions right back down their own throats and ask them a few they can't answer, as Jesus did! Sometimes this keeps you from having to answer theirs!
40. IF THEY ASK YOU SOME QUESTIONS YOU DON'T WANT TO ANSWER, YOU CAN JUST FLATLY REFUSE to answer them if you want to and tell them that's really none of their business! But if you don't want to make them mad, a soft answer turneth away wrath, and you can just stall, evade, or lead them off on another track, or say, "Now you wouldn't really expect me to answer that, would you?" Or "Well, that's the sixty–four dollar question!" Or just say‚ "I'm sorry‚ I can't answer that." Or simply, "Sorry, I just don't know what to say to that one." Or just plainly and flatly, "I don't know," etc. Remember, you don't have to know!—And some things you shouldn't know or be expected to know, especially if they're personal things about somebody else, which are not even any of your business‚ much less the reporter's! So just try to be polite, and tell them you're sorry, but you don't know, or you can't answer that‚ or haven't got the answer to that one, etc. However, try to answer as many harmless questions as you can in order to keep him happy and give him a good story! After all, that's his job, he does it for a living, and he's got to write something when he's assigned to cover you, so if you don't give him something to write and tell him as much truth as you can and be as friendly and open with him as you can, he may cook up something much worse on his own—so try not to make him mad, or be too evasive! Just be frank!—Yes or No.
41. TRY TO WIN HIM AS A FRIEND if you can, but don't push him so hard for conversation that you make him feel like you're prying into his personal affairs and make him resentful, or you may get him so up–tight that he may go home and write something against you in self defence! Try to be honest, make your stories agree with each other, show him around as much as you can, let him interview your people as much as possible, sit in on some sessions, be sure you present some of your disciples with the most interesting and impressive testimonies, such as those with dramatic deliverances from drugs which is a subject of big interest nowadays to the System public who haven't found the solution, but you have—and you can tell them that it's Jesus! Always get the message in that it's Jesus and the love he's given you for others, that delivered you from drugs, made such a change in your life‚ and made you want to live so sacrificially so you could help save others from the same, and that's why you live like you do.
42. REMEMBER, THEY'LL ALWAYS WANT TO HARP ON the parents' charges, leadership‚ sex, money, politics, religion, doctrines, etc., so either have your answers ready or ask the Lord to fill your mouth with the right answers! What may be the right answer for one may be another man's poison! So seek earnestly to be led of the Spirit, wise as a serpent‚ harmless as a dove! Try to get them so involved with the kids and their testimonies and what you're actually doing and accomplishing—the good and positive side of your work that's to your credit‚ like drug and radical and criminal deliverances—that they'll forget or won't have time to ask you negative questions!
43. POSITIVE SUGGESTIONS: Some things you can do to improve your public image with the Press:
44. (1) ALWAYS GIVE YOUR OWN PERSONAL TESTIMONY. They can hardly deny that‚ without calling you a liar, and they're not likely to do that if you present it with earnest sincerity, love‚ and the power of the Spirit—real conviction!
45. (2) BRING UP OTHERS WHO HAVE GOOD TESTIMONIES FOR THE INTERVIEW.
46. (3) EMPHASISE THE MIRACLES THAT GOD HAS DONE IN YOUR LIVES: deliverance from drugs, crime, destructiveness‚ violent revolution, violent rebellion against society and your parents, mental confusion, ill health, purposelessness, uselessness, etc. The System likes this!
47. (4) BE SURE TO EMPHASISE THE MIRACLES GOD IS DOING FOR US NOW: The scores of healthy, happy babies born by natural childbirth right in our Colonies, the miraculously easy deliveries, the strong healthy mothers, immediate recuperation without drugs or operations and without the loss of one mother or child!—Also how we depend on the Lord for our health and healing and safe-keeping and how miraculously he protects us or heals us from serious illnesses‚ accidents, etc., although there are thousands of us scattered around the world! This is a miracle! Praise God!
48. (5) TELL THEM HOW GOD EVEN HEALS OUR VEHICLES, machines, plumbing, etc., sometimes!
49. (6) EMPHASISE HOW THE LORD SO MIRACULOUSLY PROVIDES ALL OUR NEEDS FOR THOUSANDS LIVING BY FAITH, with none of us working for money or a living—just for the Lord!—The carloads of food that have been donated; transportation of all kinds, buses, trucks, etc.; thousands of dollars worth of housing‚ utilities, furniture, clothing, musical instruments, personal needs, etc.! Just don't be too specific about the names of donors or exact large amounts of money, or some may even be stupid enough to think you're getting too much and getting rich, which God knows we're not! Sceptics are always trying to accuse you of being in it for the money! A good answer for that one is, "Ha! If there was any money in it, you'd be in it too!" They should be able to look around and see with their own eyes by the way we live that we're obviously not making money!
50. (7) BRAG ABOUT HOW HARD YOU ALL WORK at various jobs and trades within the Colony, and are even learning new trades, such as radio, printing, electronics, farming, dress-making, shoemaking, cooking, typing‚ office management, mechanics, carpentry, maintenance, plumbing, wiring, childcare, teaching, business management, writing, marital relations‚ public relations, etc., etc. Remember that the world worships work‚ and they love to see you busy!—and productive and helping yourselves and learning something useful, according to their way of thinking!
51. (8) DON'T FORGET TO TELL THEM HOW MUCH YOU'RE HELPING OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE get out of drugs‚ crime, violence, destructiveness, mental confusion, etc., besides giving them something useful to do.
52. (9) WITH RELIGIOUS REPORTERS, EMPHASISE HOW MANY YOU'RE WINNING TO CHRIST, how much Bible Studying, witnessing, visitation, and soul winning you do‚ and how many of these decisions for Christ are joining churches, and not us—that only the few and most dedicated join our own ranks—those who really want to work hard, help others, and serve the Lord full time, living truly sacrificially and by faith, as Jesus and His disciples did! Rub that into the Christians! You won't have to knock their church! They know very well they're not doing it! Your very example puts them to shame more than a sermon!
53. (10) TRY NOT TO BE NEGATIVE OR HARSHLY KNOCKING THE SYSTEM, ITS CHURCHES, ETC.—even public education! You can turn them off and against you that way! It's OK to talk like this to each other‚ but not to outsiders! They just don't understand how you could possibly have anything against their beloved churches, System, or education, etc. The same thing goes for letter writing to your relatives, by the way! Your positive sample, compared with what they are not doing, is enough to rub it in without blasting them away with a bitter denunciation of all their most beloved institutions! Your success with young people where they have failed is enough to expose 'em!
54. (11) DON'T BLAST OUTSIDERS! DON'T BLOW THEM AWAY! DON'T DENOUNCE THEM AND THEIR SOCIETY to their faces! Don't curse them! Don't use what they call "bad language" and four-letter words within their hearing!—unless you want them to go away so mad they'll be trying to figure out how they can kill you to shut you up, or at least get the city officials to drive you out of town, convinced that you're a deadly and dangerous enemy, or inspiring them to organise a militant vigilante posse against you! For God's sake, use your head! Look harmless!
55. (12) AND DO LOOK HARMLESS—IN THE WAY YOU'RE DRESSED, CLEAN, CLEAN-SHAVEN, HAIR-CUT‚ SHOED, etc.—at least you greeters and public relations men, provisioners, and any who have to frequently meet the public! We've got to have some long hairs and wierdy beardies in order to witness to the same and reach the kids!—But please, not the ones who have to face the Systemites daily!
56. (13) FURNISH EVERY INTERVIEWER WITH GOOD LIT—BROCHURES, ARTICLES, PHOTOS, EVEN VIDEOS FOR TV!