KEYWORDS: family, lord, people, word, things, members

Truth about Angela's Death and Ricky's Suicide, The--Letter Links: Answering The Accusations And Counsel On Overcoming (#1)

January 19, 2005

Power to Overcome in Persecution

FD/MM/FM Compiled 1/05

False Accusers In The Last Days

ML #2820, DB11

1. (Mama prays:) Lord, we know that no one can rise up against us without Your permission, or without it somehow being part of Your plan. You've shown us that time and again, and You've proven that You even cause the wrath of man to bring praise and glory to Your name. We know You've allowed these attacks to give us new challenges, to cause us to seek You for the answers‚ and in so doing to get Thy truth out to the world, Lord. So we know that all of these things are working together for our good, no matter how bad they may seem at first.

2. We know You're not only using this persecution to get Your message of truth out, but You're also allowing it to divide the sheep from the goats. We know, Lord, that You allow these things to befall Your children to "try them and to purge them and to make them white" (Dan.11:35). So help us, Lord, to look to Your Word. Help Thy children to keep their eyes on You and Your Word and what You have promised us, and not be swayed by the Enemy's attacks.

3. And help us to know how to answer their lying accusations, give us Thy wisdom, Lord. Give our dear Family in the field, those who are facing the Enemy and under direct attack, great wisdom in knowing how to proceed to victory. Inspire them with Thy thoughts and Thy solutions and Thy counterattacks in this battle. Help us all, Lord, in Jesus' name! TYL!

The Importance of Clinging to the Word!

4. One thing the Lord has told us over and over is that we not only need to really pray, but to also really cling to the Word and the promises that He has given us. When you think of these attacks against us, even though they don't sway us or cause us to waver, they can still be very depressing and discouraging unless you keep going back to the promises the Lord has given and really draw your strength from the Word.

5. When your eyes are on the Lord and the promises of His Word, then you realize that these attacks are of no consequence in the Lord's sight, and these people who rise up against us are nothing. Looking at it all carnally and in the physical, it can look pretty daunting, like a pretty heavy attack. But when you look at what the Lord has said, these things are cut down to their proper size real quickly‚ and you realize it's all happening for God's purpose and He's working it all out for our good. That's the only way to stay inspired and victorious‚ to "endure as seeing Him Who is invisible, looking unto Jesus!" (Heb.11:27; 12:2).

Tough Times Are Coming‚ But the Lord Promises the Grace!

6. Tough times are coming; in fact, they're already here‚ but it's important that you realize that just because you might feel like maybe you're too weak to make it‚ and you have some fears about the future‚ you can't let that sway you. Because no matter how weak you feel or how fearful you may feel about the future, the Lord has promised to give you the grace you need when the time comes. "As thy days‚ so shall thy strength be!" (Deut.33:25).

7. In a lot of our severest persecution worldwide, it's been some of the very weakest people who have had to go through it, and they have come through it with flying colors, and come out as shining witnesses for the Lord, God bless them! The Lord has worked and witnessed through them regardless of how weak they felt or how incapable and even weak in faith they were. The Lord has worked through them and His strength was made perfect in their weakness. So feeling that you're weak or fearful about the future or beset by occasional attacks of doubt is certainly no reason to quit!

8. If you have serious doubts about Dad and about the Letters and about our way of life, or you've harbored criticisms and lasting bitterness about things, or you've had a general lack of contentment and have just felt dissatisfied and unhappy, then it's time for you to get the help that you need to fight for lasting victories in your life.

9. As time goes on and conditions get rougher, there will probably be more things for you to criticize and more for you to doubt, because our enemies are coming on stronger than ever, and their accusations will probably add fuel to your fires of discontentment‚ resentment and doubt. It's going to be harder for you to have the faith if your faith is already weak, if you're not clinging to the Word, if your faith isn't in the Word.

If You're Determined to Fight, We'll Do All We Can to Help You!

10. Of course, if you've had trials along these lines, but you've come to the point of desperation where you're just so sick and fed up with those doubts and fears that you're willing to fight and do whatever it takes to overcome them, then praise God, let us help you fight these things! We'll be happy to do all we can to help you overcome your doubts and win the victories you need! We would hate to see all that the Lord has poured into you wasted, and we're willing to really fight for you to help you make it, providing you really want to make it.

11. I've got a lot of faith for people who have the attitude that, "This is the only place in the world for me, so I've just got to stick it out as long as I possibly can! Even though I know it's going to get tough, and even though I don't know how I'm going to do in the end, and I don't even know if I'll make it, I know of nowhere else to go, 'Thou alone hast the Words of Eternal Life!'—This is what I've dedicated my whole life to and I know this is the best place to be, so I'm going to stick it out no matter what!" If that's your attitude, then this is the place for you, and the Lord will pull you through!

We Need Full-of-Faith Soldiers, Not Halfhearts!

12. How can you live for something that you can't give your whole heart to? How can you be a soldier in the Lord's army unless you can put your whole heart and strength into fighting for His cause without reservations? (Amen!)

13. We need a band of soldiers who are willing to fight till the death if need be, people who are so dedicated that they have full faith in what they're doing, and are willing to die for it! With the Lord's help you can become so dedicated that you don't care about all these accusations, and you don't mind all of these attacks and you don't care what they say we've done! You just care about what the Lord wants you to do, to win the world and to stand up for Jesus and be an Endtime soldier! You don't care what your leaders are accused of or what things from our past our enemies are bringing up and portraying as so evil. It doesn't even matter to you, you just want to come with us and stand up and be counted and do the job for the Lord that only this little group of people is doing in the world today!

14. That's not to say that you soldiers think everything about the Family is 100% completely perfect.—But at least you believe it's better than anything else you could find! You believe that what we're doing is in accordance with God's Word, so when people attack us, attack our Family, you're willing to really fight back, because you believe that those who attack us and our way of life are attacking the Word and the Lord!

It's Gotta Be Worth Dying for!

15. It's not enough to just believe that the Family is the best place to be, and the best thing you could be doing. A lot of people know what's best, but they aren't necessarily doing it. It's one thing to have an ideal, but a lot of people don't live up to their ideals.

16. So just because you think the Family is the best place to be won't necessarily be enough to keep you going through the tough times that are ahead. You're going to have to believe that this is what God has called you to, and that it's worth dying for. You should be so sure of your calling and so convinced of it that you know you would be out of His will in any other place. And you should be so determined to stay in His will that you're going to stick it out with the Family no matter what happens.—You'd never seriously consider anything else.

17. And you know that no matter what happens, the Lord is going to pull you through!—Whether your brothers or sisters or parents or kids are taken away or you're thrown out of your house or your plans are all upset or whatever happens! You still believe so firmly in this Family that you just know that the Lord will bless and honor and keep you as you persevere in His will! And even if things only get worse, you couldn't even think of going anywhere else! "To whom shall we go?" You know that the Family alone is God's will for you. PTL!

The Choice to Believe God's Word or Man's Word

18. As Dad has frequently said, one of the Lord's purposes for allowing persecution is because He wants to purge the Family. I'm convinced that's one reason why the Lord is allowing this new wave of persecution, to really purge the Family—so we're not going to have any people who aren't that sold–out, no matter what. The Lord is allowing the Devil to try to dissuade people in every way, to give them everything he can possibly think of to try to dissuade them from serving the Lord. Let's face it, we who are in the Family have no excuse for "falling away" because of the accusations of our enemies. We've got God's Word against man's word, so it's up to us to make the choice whether we're going to believe man's word or whether we're going to believe God's Word.

19. The general public aren't nearly as responsible, because when they're flooded with the Devil's propaganda, they don't have hardly any of the Lord's Word and truth to counter it.—Which is why we're so responsible to get out as much truth to them as we possibly can. We are responsible because we have the truth‚ and we know that it's the only thing that can strengthen people to resist these terrible attacks and lies of the Enemy. The Lord has told us over and over that it's only the Word that can make us strong and keep us going.

The Lord Will Have to Supernaturally Protect Us!

20. It's exciting to see how the Lord is leading and keeping His children! I think we're going to see more and more miracles of protection and power, when we come to the place where we can't do anything in the natural. Then the Lord is just going to have to supernaturally stop our enemies and keep us going. Maybe that's when more miracles and more healings are going to take place. There are going to be miraculous situations where our enemies are not even going to be able to touch us because of the things that are going to happen.

24. As we come out more in the open‚ because our way of life is so contrary to the System's way of life, the Lord is just going to have to miraculously protect us and keep us. We know He wants us in these countries, He wants our people there, so He's just going to have to keep them there! When you consider that there are a lot of Family Homes and members that the System will be trying to get at, and you think about all the different kinds of technicalities that they can pull out when they've got it in for someone‚ things that they will try to use against us, or even make new laws about, it makes it very interesting to see exactly just how the Lord is going to keep and protect us. It's very exciting, and I believe the Lord has really been anointing and leading our people in these places where we've been under such attacks, GBT!

Being Fully Persuaded of Your Calling in the Family!

25. When the attacks begin and the accusations are flying like they are now‚ I think the bottom line is that we're just going to have to say‚ "Okay‚ whether you think there is any basis to all of these accusations or not, do you believe the Family is the best place for you to be? Do you believe you have a special calling of the Lord to be here?" Because if you do believe that, then you should be able to say, "None of these things move me" (Acts 20:24). When we see all the good fruits and results of the Family, we know it is the right thing‚ and we know from the Word that we are going to get persecution. So now that persecution is here, it shouldn't be too surprising.

Our Enemies' Dirty Tactics and Goals

26. Our enemies' goal in trying to discredit Dad is to try to discredit the Word and the Family. That's what they're trying to do. "This man is so terrible, so how can you believe what he's saying in all of these Letters?" Of course, the simplest answer to that one is that when those Words bring the good fruit and the good results that we have in the Family, then you know the source of the fruit is all right and can't be terrible. "Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit.... A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Mat.7:17-20).

27. Just look at the Family, how wonderful it is, and all of the fruit that the Family is bearing. When you look at the results of the Family—all of the souls saved, the message getting out, the wonderful children He's given us—then you know it's of God! "For no man can do the miracles that thou doest except God be with him!" (Jn.3:2).

Backsliders' Accusations Based on Actual Quotes and Incidents

28. When attacking us, the Enemy prefers to base his lies on true incidents that happened or comments that someone actually made, because that has more credibility, and people are more prone to believe it. For example, if the public sees from our lit that we believe in certain sexual freedoms, then any charges our enemies choose to make against us of a sexual nature—no matter how wild, untrue and ridiculous they may be—will have greater impact on those people; they'll be more easily persuaded to believe those lies since they already know we have some liberal sexual beliefs.

29. So if our backsliders and enemies can come up with something from our lit or something that we've done that they think will enrage the public or the authorities, they're happy to use it against us as much as they possibly can. Of course, many times they amplify and beef up their accusations to make sure that they really get the public's attention. They expand‚ exaggerate, distort and misconstrue things until the original quote or incident that they've gotten ahold of is blown all out of proportion. They don't hesitate to twist and misinterpret things in order to more effectively raise the ire of those to whom they're accusing us. (—Or downright lie!)

30. But if they think they can get enough mileage out of verbatim quotes or accounts of incidents that actually took place‚ then they will use them as is. In fact, they often take perfectly good, true and Godly statements from our literature‚ or good things we have done, and they try to use those things to accuse us of breaking the law or doing things that are unacceptable to the mainstream public.

31. There are all kinds of good and Godly things that we believe and practice which they try to attack and try to label as evil, charging that we are breaking the law. Our home schooling is an example of this. Although it's a major Godly part of our life and considered completely respectable and protected by law in some places‚ it's banned and deemed to be criminal in other places.—And it's certainly looked down on and demeaned in many other places. Administering corporal punishment to children is another good example. Although it is definitely advocated in the Bible and can be a part of Godly discipline if applied moderately and lovingly‚ it's now illegal and criminal to spank a child in some countries of the world.—Not to mention our beliefs about the AC conspiracy, our stand against the sodomites, our communal lifestyle, our stand of faith regarding healing‚ etc.—All of which are contrary to the mainstream attitudes of the System nowadays.

Backsliders' Bitter Accusations About Past Mistakes!

32. Another way they attack us is by using backsliders to testify about wrongdoing by immature (and sometimes irresponsible) leadership. Or sometimes they'll testify about mistakes and unwise moves made by leaders who have been very sincere and responsible, but were just lacking in training. On the one hand, as mentioned above‚ the Enemy will try to use our perfectly good and Godly policies, writings and practices to try to falsely accuse us, and on the other hand, he'll use past mistakes or weaknesses by some Family members to try to accuse and condemn us as well.

33. When the Enemy brings up mistakes and wrongdoing by Family members and shepherds, he'll not only use that to try to raise the ire of the public and the authorities against us, but also to try to condemn those who made the mistakes and committed the wrongs. After all‚ he's the "Accuser of the saints" (see Rev.12:10), so if anyone happens to have done something wrong wherewith he can accuse them, he'll do his best to try to make them feel bad about it, condemned and guilty, like, "Well, in a way, I guess these backsliders have a right to be upset and bitter."

34. But even if mistakes were made by leaders or Family members, they have repented and changed. These antagonistic backsliders who stop serving the Lord because of someone's mistake are making a much greater mistake by attacking the Lord's work. And they have not repented and they have not changed, and in fact, they are continuing to fill their cup of iniquity by not only turning their back on the Lord's service, but turning around and viciously and vehemently attacking the Lord's work, trying to justify their own actions by trying to destroy the Family.

35. Everyone makes mistakes, and I'd venture to say that most of the mistakes made by Family members were not because of wrong motives, but due to inexperience or immaturity, etc. But if we repent and change, the Lord is merciful and forgiving and will not hold it against us. All men and women of God have made mistakes and have weaknesses, but when they have repented and changed, the Lord has forgiven them and pardoned them and taken the condemnation and the guilt away. So if God has forgiven you, others must forgive you, and if they won't, God will hold it against them.

36. A small handful of backsliders not only refuse to forgive certain Family members for past mistakes, but they become filled with demonic hatred and venom with which they actively fight to destroy the entire Family!—Not just because they have supposedly been wronged in the Family, but mostly to justify their turning their back on the Lord and His work, and to try to get out from the heavy conviction that has fallen upon them as a result. They have turned their back on the truth, so God sends them strong delusion that they might believe a lie! (See 2Thes.2:10,11.) They take things that happened to them that are often very minor and insignificant and exaggerate them and misinterpret them and distort them and expand on them until they've woven a great tale of abusive treatment by their supposedly "all-powerful, cruel and despotic leadership"!

37. Of course, when our enemies are unable to find things that we are doing which are against the law in the countries in which they are attacking us, they don't hesitate to completely fabricate a story for the purpose of enraging the public against us. This is something they have done time and time again, concocting absolutely absurd and lurid accusations like, "They're stockpiling weapons in all of their Homes!" "They perform Satanic rituals!" "They hypnotize and brainwash people!" "They buy and sell babies!" "They prostitute their teens," etc.!

Fictional Fantasies Are Very Common!

38. How many novels or fictional stories and books are there in the world? How many people have virtually done the same thing that our enemies are now doing? If you just take a look at all of the novels and movies and television series, etc., you shouldn't have any trouble believing that there are an awful lot of people in the world who can concoct absolutely wild and totally imaginary stories, making them sound very believable and true to life! Compulsive liars can make up the most believable lies right on the spot, and they even start to believe their own lies.

39. Making up stories and writing novels is a gift that some people have—in many cases, a gift straight from the Enemy! There have been all kinds of famous liars throughout history, great and small. Remember the Howard Hughes hoax‚ when that writer announced to the world that he had Howard Hughes' autobiography, and it turned out that he'd never even met him.—Or the famous "Hitler Diaries" that Stern magazine in Germany purchased for a fortune, as they were supposed to be Hitler's secret personal diaries‚ and they proved to be a total forgery.

40. Not to mention the huge lies and fabricated stories that governments frequently cook up to deceive and mislead the public!—Like that story that won American support for Bush's war against Iraq: that Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait were cruelly removing helpless babies from their incubators and leaving them to die while the soldiers hauled the incubators back to Iraq. It turned out that the entire story was an absolute fake, a phony through and through! There was not a word of truth to it! It had been deliberately cooked up by the Kuwaitis to get the West to go to war for them. (See Outlook #4.) But it gave Bush the public outrage against Saddam that he needed to perpetrate his war against Iraq. And what about Janet Cooke of The Washington Post, who won a 1981 Pulitzer Prize with a story about a young black boy's drug addiction? When she was exposed as having made up the whole story, she had to return the prize.

41. So why should people get so easily taken in by a story‚ any story? I guess one reason some stories sound so realistic is because they've got all kinds of details in them. When it's, "He said this and then I said that. He did this and I did that‚" it usually sounds pretty believable. It's just hard to believe that somebody could make up things like that!

42. And sad to say, people usually want to believe the bad and the negative. It seems like something that the Devil frequently uses, as it usually has a real hold on people. Just look at some of the things you hear about in the news‚ the accounts you hear, the lies you hear.—Like that woman in the U.S., Anita Hill‚ and her entire "sexual harassment" story she told against Clarence Thomas, who is now a Supreme Court judge. Who knows? To this day, nobody knows for sure if it's true or false. Her story sounded so credible. But so did his. So who knows who is really telling the truth?

43. People can be very believable in their lies. So when outlandish accusations are made against us‚ or against Dad, you have to look at the facts; who has the fruit, who has shown the love and the unselfishness and the sacrifice and has obviously been greatly used of the Lord over the years?

Our Enemies' Charges of Psychological and Emotional Abuse

44. Our enemies are now trying to pull out charges of "psychological abuse" and "psychological damage." They think they've really hit on something they can use against us. The sexual abuse charges aren't making it, and neither are their charges of physical abuse. So the psychological or emotional damage is the thing they're starting to use now, since it's the most difficult one for us to disprove, since by ungodly Flatlander System standards, our faith in Jesus and our commitment to Him is completely insane from their anti-God perspective. So from their viewpoint‚ they could say we're all psychologically damaged!

45. After all, we've been rewired by the Lord, no longer living according to the course of this world, or "according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph.2:2). We are absolutely new creatures in Christ, not conformed to this world, but transformed by the Lord! (See 2Cor.5:17; Rom.12:2.) I think the only way we can get out of that charge is to somehow convince people or get them to accept the fact that we shouldn't be judged by the System's standards, because we're not part of their System. We are not "of" this world! (Jn.17:14b).

46. Then they try to pull out their charges that some of these people who have left the group are all messed up, they're mental cases …, etc. And of course, they blame that on us. As far as they're concerned, there is no other reason for it. They completely fail to accept that the reason for some of our backsliders' mental and emotional anguish is because they have failed the Lord and turned their backs on Him, and betrayed His work and people‚ and may feel that they're being punished or they give up as a result.—Or in a case like [this ex-member's], she was a mental case while in the Family, before she left, because of her playing around with the Enemy and refusing to yield to the Lord. Or in [another] case, he was in mental institutions before coming to the Lord and the Family. I suppose our enemies would say that it was Jesus' fault that Judas went out and hung himself! Of course, like [some of these backsliders], Judas had serious problems while he was "in the Family" too‚ but they manifested themselves very clearly and dramatically after he left!

47. Thank the Lord that we usually haven't had to worry or be concerned about our members' mental health, because we're all the Lord's, and He has not given us a spirit of fear, like most of the people in the System have, but of power and of love and of a sound mind! (2Tim.1:7). We've had very few people who've had any kind of serious mental problems because He keeps in perfect peace all those whose minds are stayed on Him, PTL! (Isa.26:3). And we've had hardly any people who ever needed to have institutional care. The vast majority of our members are wonderful, happy and well-adjusted people who are extremely healthy mentally and emotionally and spiritually, etc.

48. But our enemies will probably try to claim that the majority of people who have left the Family have been psychologically damaged and are now in sad shape, having been traumatized, tortured, mentally and emotionally manipulated‚ etc.—which is definitely not true! Because our enemies are starting from the false premise that all of our people are more or less nut cases anyway, to their way of thinking the ones who have left us would be considered doubly so, since many of them retained the basic beliefs of the Family. But because they have rebelled against the Lord at some point, they became deluded and quite mixed up. So on both counts, such backsliders would probably not fare very well under a psychiatric examination. Number one, it's a strike against them just having been in such a "fanatical" religious group! And number two‚ they're often genuinely screwed up because of their rebellion against the Lord and forsaking Him and His work—and it'll all be blamed on the Family!

Our Backslidden Enemies' Culpability

49. It's amazing how our bitterest enemies can spend all their time fighting us! Here we're doing our best to win souls and do what Jesus wants us to do, and they're doing their best to try to stop us! While they accuse us about our children, many of their kids are an absolute mess, mixed up with drugs and crime and all sorts of deviltry! Boy‚ they're going to have a lot to answer for!—Not only trying to keep us from being the witness we should be, and getting us so embroiled in all their battles, but themselves not being the witnesses they could have been. God damn'm! (—And He will!—And He has!—He's letting them have their fling till their cup of iniquity is full and He's used them to make us even stronger witnesses, then His judgments will fall!—D.)

Persecution Jewels!—No.13

ML #2912:1-14, DB12

Our Enemies' Criticisms of the Family

(This is a letter that was sent to Pearl and others involved in her court case:)

1. (From Mama:) We're especially praying for you during these trying times of our enemies barraging you with this attempt at vicious legal deprogramming‚ with all of the worst material that could possibly be thrown at you hour after hour, day after day. It cannot help but affect you. And if you don't stay very close to the Lord and in the Word, you'll not be armed with anything to counteract it. As you well know‚ there is much more to come. Everybody and everything and every subject and every location will be attacked until they make the Family out to be the worst, the most evil, the most damaging place to be in the whole world!

2. Our enemies usually relate lurid accounts of life in the Family that directly contradict the accounts of those who are still within the Family, and even some who are not. It reminds me of how almost everything in life can be seen in more than one way. If one's attitude and heart are not right and are evil, then everything looks evil. For example, Mene didn't conclude she was "abused" until she was told that after she left the Family, upon entering Bible college. Other former members who are now detractors also claim that they didn't think they were abused or confused while they were in the Family. They don't usually come up with such claims until after they've been in contact with professional deprogrammers, anti-cult psychiatrists, etc.

3. It's a little like Dad has said how even Heaven, as wonderful as it is, would be criticized, condemned and murmured against by some people if they were allowed to go there. Everything is colored by your heart and your attitudes. And what for some people is a beautiful experience‚ for others is just the opposite. Almost everything in life is interpreted differently by different people—from the very smallest inconsequential details, to the greatest principles. What is a delightfully fragrant perfume to one woman may be a complete turnoff to another. What is received as an act of love by one person may be looked upon as an act of lust by another, depending upon their attitude (Luke 6:45 and Mat.6:22,23).

4. There are also the sacrifices which this kind of a life for the Lord demands—the discipline and the suffering that Jesus promises to those who follow Him closely. And, unlike the things mentioned above, these things don't look good to any of us. When they come along, we cringe and try to avoid them. Some accept them, knowing that it will please Him Who hath called us to be soldiers and will fit us for the life to come, but others turn away, like the rich young ruler, too attracted to the things of this life to be able to see the glories of the next.

5. Christians through the ages have often resisted the strong call for obedience and sacrifice given in the Bible. They haven't liked the "spare the rod and spoil the child" principle in training up their children, nor the idea of giving up your life to save another, nor Jesus' proclamation that, "He that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be My disciple" (Luk.14:33). Obviously, many of those who heard Jesus "went back and walked no longer with Him," unable to take His "hard sayings" (Jn.6:60,66). He couldn't even tell His disciples many things, because, He said, "they were unable to bear them" (Jn.16:12).

6. So when those who have committed themselves to a life of discipleship and have started down that path decide that the demands are too great, it is only natural that they should then speak hatefully against those requirements, to try to justify their decision to go back. And the whole world is all too eager to agree with them, as they have long ago rejected the truth of God's Word and turned so greatly against it that they not only view it as inconsequential and even ridiculous, old–fashioned and not applicable to today's world‚ but they even brand the principles and instruction of God's Word as inappropriate, injurious or even downright immoral. However‚ God's Word says, "Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil, that put darkness for light and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter" (Isa.5:20).

7. Then there is the whole area of actual mistakes that former Family leaders have made, things that were done that were unwise, immature and unloving, that you can be sure that these backsliders will play to the hilt. Every single mistake that anyone in the Family has ever made will be portrayed in great color and detail. But don't forget to remind yourself that the Family has been comprised of thousands upon thousands of people over the years, all of whom were imperfect‚ all of whom made mistakes, all of whom could not be controlled by anyone at the top, but were free moral agents, and who interpreted things in their own ways and acted upon their own interpretations.

8. The "accusers of the saints" are only interested in pointing to the "buttons off the vest," and not all the wonderful, positive attributes of the Family, whose value is inestimable and which makes the problems or mistakes of Family members seem infinitesimal when seen in the proper perspective and through God's eyes—Who‚ unlike our detractors, doesn't condemn or criticize us for past mistakes, but instead encourages us to "sin no more" and get on with the great job that He has for us to do, which is much more important to Him than our weaknesses‚ frailties and failings. After all, imperfect human beings are the only ones He has to do the job, He didn't make any other kind.

9. The problem is, when you're hearing only from the enemies, you don't get any comparison between the bad and the good. All you hear is the bad. This is only a forum for the problems and the mistakes and the grievances, where they are put under a microscope and magnified to gigantic proportions. Moreover, the problems and the wrongs and the grievances that these people recount, even though some are genuine, are critiqued and evaluated and interpreted with evil, bitter intent, misinterpreted and distorted with vengeful, hateful spirits bent on revenge and destruction.

10. You'll have to continually remind yourself under this vicious‚ diabolical barrage, that even the "truth" included in their testimonies is not truth, because it has been subjected to their bitter, hateful interpretation and distortion.

11. Also keep in mind that "the Devil is a liar and the father of lies," and his "expertise" is a whole range of untruth—not only outright lies, but deception, evasion, innuendo, insinuation, misinterpretation and distortion. So don't let him or his cohorts get through to you. Refuse to accept what he is trying to do to you—the doubts he is trying to fill your mind with. Hang on to the Word as though your life depended upon it, for it does.

12. Remember that even Jesus, Who was perfect and the most loving Man Who ever lived, had associates and contacts who, though they knew Him well, were bent on destroying Him through whatever means they had at their disposal—through lies‚ through misinterpretations, through distortions of His actions and message. What was good and Godly and beautiful and pure to His friends was evil and Satanic and ugly and impure to His enemies. The Bible says, "Unto the pure all things are pure, but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, but even their mind and conscience is defiled" (Titus 1:15).

13. Don't ever get into thinking, "Well, if we hadn't done this and we hadn't done that, or if we hadn't had this doctrine, or if we hadn't made that mistake, we wouldn't be in this big mess." Remember that Jesus never made any mistakes, never did anything wrong, never was unwise or unloving—yet He was subjected to the same censure, the same criticism, the same vitriolic attacks. He was tempted in all points as we are. So look unto Him, the Author and Finisher of your faith, Who endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now in Heaven with His Father, as you too will be some day when this life's battle is over and you can receive your reward for having fought a good fight and for having kept the faith.

14. We love you so much and are proud of you, our frontline soldiers, who are strong in His power and His might and who have put on the whole armor of God, that you may withstand these attacks of the Evil One. May you continue to be strengthened in the inner man and go from strength to strength, not fearing their faces, nor the darkness around you.—But seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and keeping your eyes on His face and your hand in His hand.—With much love, prayers and admiration, Mama, for Dad and Mama.

Stay on the Wall

ML #3303:2-3, 6-22, 30-40, GN 902

2. (Mama:) As is to be expected, when we're launching a major new move or some very important new project, the Enemy attacks.

3. In the midst of all this wonderful progress, we've been saddened to hear that some former members ... have become much more vocal about their grievances and complaints against the Family. They've taken to writing various Family members, supposedly with the innocuous purpose of simply explaining their decision to leave. In doing so, however, they've also gone to some lengths to deride just about all of our religious beliefs, perhaps in the hope of weakening the faith of anyone who reads their communications.

6. Only a relatively small number of ex–members leave and determine to fight the Family‚ although these few are often very vocal about it. To put things into proper perspective, let's compare the friendly majority with the unfriendly minority. Since the beginning of the Family, approximately 26,000 of those who joined have left. Since the S2K‚ around 600 people have left. So considering the number of former members we have, only a very small number choose to actively engage in a negative campaign against the Family.

7. It's not our preference to have to rebut such accusations or to talk negatively about anyone. We much prefer to let bygones be bygones. We had no intention of publishing any comments or prophecies about any former members or their activities—until, that is, they began to aggressively attack our flock. We‚ as your shepherds, are responsible to give you the truth the Lord gives to us. Peter and I don't have the time, and neither has the Lord shown us, to get into a detailed tit for tat defense on each point that has been leveled—verbally or in writing—against us personally or against the Word or WS. We will address many of the main issues in the near future, but for now we want to explain a few basics.

8. Each of you in the CM and FM Family is a member of the Family because of your faith. You have made a personal choice to answer the Lord's call in your life and you have committed yourself accordingly. When someone attacks your faith, you have to make a decision whether those attacks will dissuade you from believing or if you'll carry on in your commitment to serve the Lord in the place He has called you to‚ according to your personal faith and conviction. If you are the victim of one of these attacks by disgruntled former members, either verbally or by mail, we ask you to consider the following:

9. What we believe—the religious doctrines we hold to be true as revealed to us either when Dad was alive or through prophecy since his death—is our choice. We are exercising our freedom of religion. So are you. When former members of the Family take it upon themselves to call your beliefs "weird, pernicious‚ evil," etc., they are attacking your freedom of religion. They're not just badmouthing Peter and me or WS, but you as well—and your work for the Lord!

10. What is published in the GNs is the Word God has given to us, the Family. The body of this Word makes up our faith, our religion. The truths and revelations given to us by the Lord are very dear to us. They're an integral part of our lives. They're our firmly held religious beliefs. This is our faith, and we have a right to believe it.

11. People who attack our doctrines with the intent of pulling you away from the Family—whether they admit to doing so or not—are in essence attacking your freedom of religion and belief. This doesn't make them proponents of "religious liberty," like some claim, but opponents of it. The problem doesn't lie in our doctrines but in their attitudes and intolerance.

12. Every religion‚ company or organization has rules and regulations that its members must keep if they wish to remain part of it. We're no different. We in the CM Family have the Love Charter, which states the rights and responsibilities of our Charter Members, and the rules and regulations one must follow if they wish to live communally in one of our CM Homes. Charter Members understand and agree with this, and most are happy with the Charter and the guidelines in it.

13. The choice to be a Charter Member is made by each individual. If someone doesn't want to, or for some reason can't adhere to the rules and regulations of the Love Charter, but wishes to continue on in the faith with us, they can become a Fellow Member. While it is not necessary for Fellow Members to keep the rules of the Charter, they are required to keep the rules in the Statement on Fellow Members to remain part of the Family.

14. Whether you are a Charter Member or a Fellow Member, you are a member of the Family by your own choice. It's only logical that if you want to be a Family member, then you should follow the rules and regulations. Like any other organization, if you're a member, you are expected to abide by the rules of the organization; if you don't, you can't retain your membership.

15. Peter and I do not keep anyone in the Family against their will. The Charter makes it perfectly clear that each Family member is free to leave at any time. In fact, we've encouraged anyone to go if they felt the Family was not the place for them. This is not news to you, as with the publishing of the S2K, we asked those who were not committed to living the Charter to reevaluate their place within the Family and to adjust their membership accordingly, by either becoming a Fellow Member or a former member. The idea of our trying to keep people in the Family against their will or through some kind of "pressure," as some have claimed, is simply not true.

16. Judge the Family, Peter and me and the Word by the fruit, both in your life and in the overall work. Judge us by the 341,000 souls won in the last four months, and the nearly 800 million people witnessed to during that same period, as well as the 5.4 million pieces of lit distributed. And that's only in January through April of this year! In the more than 30 years since the Family began we've won nearly 24 million souls, witnessed to billions, and distributed over 1 billion pieces of lit—besides all the other wonderful fruits of the Family that we mentioned recently in "The End of a Millennium!" (ML #3291).

17. Peter and I understand that anyone, even someone who is dedicated and sold out to the CM Family, will be affected negatively by reading or listening to these former members' accusations. It's even more difficult when they say they're your friends. But remember, just because someone claims to be your friend‚ it doesn't necessarily make him one. As Jesus said‚ "He that is not for Me is against Me." Watch out for those who claim to love the people in the Family but who denounce and fight against the doctrine, the leadership or the work of the Family. It could well be that their words are smooth like butter, but war is in their hearts.

18. Some say they are compelled out of love to "save the wayward sheep." But let's not be blind to the fact that this is exactly what the anti-cult people claim too. "Oh, we've got to rescue them! We've got to show them the truth."—And then come the doubts, deceptions, innuendoes and twisted half-truths.

19. Now why do you think they do this? What's the fruit of it? What is their desire?—To stop our work for the Lord, to stop you, and to get you to quit! Who would want you to lay down your swords and walk away from the battle to win souls? It's not the Lord, that's for sure!

20. Peter and I are determined to move into the era of action and are working as hard as we can to promote‚ finance, prepare for and bring to fruition the witnessing and follow-up explosion that will come about from the Activated program. We are determined to not be distracted by outside attacks, and we implore you, dear Family‚ to make the same commitment. Keep looking forward at the fields that are white and ready to harvest. We're here to witness the love of Jesus‚ not spend our time arguing with those who want to complain and criticize.

"Judge Ye!"

21. We mentioned before about judging the Word, Peter‚ and me by our fruits. Here's a word from our wonderful Husband on this Scriptural admonition:

22. (Jesus:) What are the fruits of the Words that I have given to Maria and Peter? What have those Words done in your lives? Yes‚ some people have rejected the Words and have felt that they weren't good words, and they have claimed, "These Words have hurt me!" But the problem is not with the Words; it is the lack of receptivity of the readers. For the fruit of the Words, the fruit of the instruction that Maria and Peter have given has been good.

30. So I say simply, "Judge ye." You read the Word, you read the GNs, and you apply them to your life. Do My Words bring you comfort in time of need? Do they motivate you to do good things? Do they encourage you and uplift you and at times correct you and help you to stay on the straight and narrow path of a life of full-time service to Me and others?

Those Who Are Bound Would Bind Those Who Are Free

31. Let no man dissuade you, for I say straight is the way and narrow is the gate, and few there be that go in thereat. You are different; you are chosen and I feed you My Words, special Words, Words I do not speak to others. I give you truths that you can receive, that you can use in your life‚ truths that others cannot believe because they choose not to believe, because they are closed-minded, closed-hearted, and bound by the traditions of man and the false doctrines and interpretations of the churches. They have taken upon themselves again the yoke of bondage that your David had freed you from.

32. I have set you free! You are My free children. You are they who revel in My Word, who believe My Word, who are willing to live My Word, and who are open to all that I wish to pour out to you. These who fight against you in this way, who feel they are doing God's service, wish to put you under the same bondage they are under. "Oh," they say, "you cannot be so free in the bed of love with your Husband, Jesus." They say it because they are not free. "Oh, you cannot hear from those that have passed on, from those in the spirit world." They say it because they are not free enough to believe it and to receive it.

33. I say unto you, where My Spirit is, there is freedom, and the more of My Spirit which is present, the more freedom there is! My Spirit is heavy upon you, My children of David‚ and you are free. And whom I have set free is free indeed. You are free spiritually, physically and sexually; you are free from the bonds of the System, from the bonds of the churches, because you are My children.

34. Don't let these who would bind you to their limited mindsets have sway over you, for they seek to bind. Be not bound‚ for you are free! You are free because of the Words I have given to you, and you are clean through the Words that I have given to you. You are motivated through the Words that I have given to you‚ and you are full of love and light and truth and joy and happiness because of the Words that I have given to you. You have strength to fight the battles, to move forward‚ to defeat the Enemy because of the Words that I have given to you.

Your Shepherds Point You to Me

35. In regards to Maria and Peter, whom I have chosen to be your leadership, My mouthpieces, ask yourself these questions: Have they caused you to turn your eyes toward them? Have they claimed to have some very special link with Me and therefore said that to get to Me you must go through them? Or have they told you to look directly to Me? Have they told you to love Me? Have they told you to make Me the first and foremost influence in your life? Have they worked to get you to hear from Me? Have they worked to get you to have a direct link with Me? Have they worked to help you be closer and more intimate with Me?

36. Your shepherds know what's most important; they love you enough to direct you to Me. Your shepherds are not seeking to claim the glory. They are not trying to set themselves up as something special, but rather they know where the Great Shepherd is and they recognize the power of the Great Shepherd. They tell their sheep, "Look‚ there is the true Shepherd—Jesus! He is the Chief Shepherd. That is your focus! He is your Husband‚ your Lover, your Savior. Look unto Him, face Him, communicate with Him, hear from Him‚ get your directions from Him. Find out from Him what you should do day by day and moment by moment."

37. Your queen and king are simply instruments in My hand, and I have spoken unto them and told them to tell you to turn your eyes to Me, and this they have done.

Come Unto Me with Your Questions

38. My children, be not deceived! Do not let those who are bound cause you to be bound with them. Do not let those who will not receive the love of the truth cause you to be deluded. Look at Me, face Me, hear from Me. If you’ve read letters from former members who are attacking the Family and your beliefs, or heard such comments from them personally, don’t let it shake your faith. Ask yourself the questions that I have asked you here. Come to Me in prayer. Ask Me to speak to your heart. Hear from Me clearly. Listen to My voice and to what I tell you when you bring these matters before Me, for I will show you the truth.

39. Remember‚ those who write such things have ulterior motives, but I have no motive other than to love you and to tell you the truth. So come unto Me. If you are having doubts, if you have been affected by these who have written their version of history, then come to Me and receive My version, which is truth. You can hear from Me, so bring these matters before Me and I will speak to you. It's as simple as that. You don't have to look to Maria and Peter to refute all of these accusations and give you the answers. You don't have to wonder, "What did happen? What is truth?" Come to Me. Look to Me. Bring your questions to Me, open your heart to Me and let Me speak to you. For I am your Husband and I will whisper in your ears because I love you, because you are My sheep, and because you are doing a marvelous job.

40. You are building the wall of My work, but there are many, in many instances, in many different ways, who come to you and say, "Come down off the wall." But I say to you, you are building the wall of My love which I wish to encompass the world. Let no man deceive you. Don't come down off the wall! Look unto Me for the truth. (End of message.)

None of These Things Move Me

ML #3307:3-51, 58-73, 79-88, 91-96, 195-211, 289-318, GN 906

3. (Mama:) We've received letters from some of you who have become discouraged, depressed or confused by the writings of some former members who are bent on attacking, belittling and weakening your faith. The Lord is allowing this, because we know that nothing happens without His express permission. Most of our former members remain favorable, God bless them. We're very sorry for those few who have taken a stand against us, as we wish they could find their satisfaction and fulfillment in helping people and furthering the cause of Christ, rather than investing their time in criticizing or trying to fight and stop those who are. Of course, they don't admit to the fact that that's what they're trying to do. They cloak their true intentions by saying they're venting their frustrations, sharing their views, or giving personal explanations for their own actions‚ but their goal is to undermine and destroy, if possible‚ your faith.

4. Not only do they want to cause you to distrust and even hate me and Peter and the Family's doctrines‚ but they ultimately want you to leave the Family. In circulating all the woeful, doubtful details of why they left the Family as widely as possible‚ they're hoping many others will join them. They've sent these to Charter Members and Fellow Members alike, and even to other former members, but their target is particularly you young people and those who are new to the Family. That ought to really piss you off! Excuse the language—and I don't recommend it for everyday use—but this makes me fighting mad, and it should do the same for you!

5. It's pitiful that those who were once close can turn so vehemently against us. Peter and I don't hold any personal grudges against those who disagree with us, and we're not personally up in arms about what's being said about us as individuals, because we know that the same type of things were said of Jesus, His disciples, and of Dad, so we count ourselves in good company. We know you can't please everybody all the time, and as Dad taught us, there's often a pattern when people leave the Family, especially if they have become bitter. So we're not surprised at the antagonism. But what we don't like and won't take lying down is when people deliberately try to divide‚ weaken and hurt you, our flock‚ by an outright, calculated attack on your faith in the Word. In ridiculing the Word, they're ridiculing God and you and your beliefs, and we won't stand by while they do that.

6. As Peter and I mentioned in "Stay on the Wall," we don't have time nor has the Lord shown us to get into a tit-for–tat reply to every accusation that has been leveled against us, Dad, the Word, WS, or the Family. That's futile, because as soon as we'd answer today's accusations‚ misinterpretations or lies, our accusers would concoct another batch tomorrow. However, in this GN we will try to provide you with some general answers and explanations, which we pray will help to settle questions that you may have in relation to all of this, and strengthen your faith.

7. Hearing accounts from those who were once with us but who have chosen another road can often cause confusion, especially when they claim to have the inside scoop or information that you don't know about. The problem is that these disgruntled folks have personal agendas, even though they may claim not to, and so they paint a very distorted picture. They claim their testimonies are the truth, when in fact they're distortions and embellishments of the truth, with facts and details left out when they don't support their slanted view of things. They misrepresent the truth in a way that causes the reader to believe many things that are untrue—and all for a reason: to make you doubt, disbelieve, and then leave the Lord's service. We hope that our replies will help to answer the questions that you may have on these topics.

Reading Anti-Family Material

8. We strongly suggested in "Stay on the Wall" that you not dignify these former members' anti-Family diatribes with your attention, as doing so will only distract you and take a toll on you spiritually. As soon as we published "Stay on the Wall" and outspoken former members got ahold of it, they cried, "censorship‚ control, manipulation‚" etc.‚ claiming that we are a cult because Peter and I are trying to keep you from reading "outside information" and "contrary opinions." We expected that those who are against the Family would come out with this very response to our strong suggestion that you don't take in the lies and perversions of the truth that are in these anti-Family letters and Web site postings that are designed to weaken your faith and destroy your life and service for the Lord.

9. Peter and I don't demand that you not read this material. We're just letting you know that it's not choosing the good and eschewing the evil. It's not going to make you happy, nor is it going to strengthen you spiritually. It will very likely confuse you—and we know where that comes from, since God is not the author of confusion but of peace.

10. There's a lot of garbage in there that we'd like to protect you from for your own peace of mind‚ and this is our commission as shepherds of the Lord's sheep. But we're not forcing you not to read it; we're just warning you that you'll find it very depressing and full of doubts and deceptions. If you really want to read it, I know there's nothing I can do or say that will stop you.

11. Peter and I aren't trying to keep you under our control, and you know as well as we do that we couldn't even if we wanted to! We have no way of monitoring all your communications or contacts; nor do we want to. We respect people's personal choices and desires. We do‚ however, want to help you as much as possible to stay spiritually strong and busy doing the important job the Lord has given us of preaching the Gospel and reaching the world with His message.

12. We're not trying to hide anything from you; our counsel to not read such negative material from those who are no longer with us is because it will cause you spiritual problems. Yes‚ it holds some truth, but it's only one person's viewpoint with his or her spin on it and their interpretation of past events. It's not the full truth‚ it brings up things from the past that we've already answered and resolved, and it contains outright lies.

13. I believe that those of you who received such letters and chose not to read them can testify that you did this because you believed in your heart that it was the right thing to do—the best thing for you, not just the best thing for Peter and me! You sensed and believed that it was only going to drag down your spirit and you didn't want to put yourself through that. Good for you! Some might say that's weakness, but to protect your spirit, mind and channel by not submitting yourself to someone's tirade against the Family is showing spiritual strength, conviction, and wisdom.

14. Why go through the ordeal of reading all about someone's bitterness, resentment and spite? In a way, it's a bit like reading a tabloid magazine. People who read those often don't believe half of what they read, but still, it gets them into a gossipy and critical mindset. Of course, reading something that's attempting to tear down your faith is more dangerous spiritually than reading gossip that doesn't relate to you, and you have to go to all the trouble of analyzing it, separating the truths from the lies, and the half-truths from the quarter-truths. Unfortunately, however, sometimes you can't accurately discern between the truth and the lies, as such writings often try to portray themselves as some kind of "inside scoop" on events or details that you're not familiar enough with to judge. So the writer's hope is that you'll just naively believe it, thinking, "Well‚ it must be true! Why else would they be saying it?"

15. The Lord has admonished us in the Word that "whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, think on these things" (Phil.4:8). And "keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life" (Pro.4:23). Yes, there are negative things in each of us and in life as a whole, but we're not to dwell on them but rather on the Lord. If we let our focus get off balance to where we concentrate on the negative, then it's going to distort our perception of the way things really are.

16. The Word also says to "prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1Thes. 5:21). You might say that you should then prove for yourself whether there is "good" or worthy material in these letters and Web postings. Well, you could. But since Peter and I and others have gone through them already, we can save you the trouble and tell you that there isn't! So "hold fast" to that which is good. As Paul said, "Hold fast the form of sound words which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus" (2Tim.1:13). And as Jesus said, "Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown" (Rev.3:11).

17. Another danger in reading such anti-Family material is that it's human nature to be more inclined to believe the negative than the positive. It's odd, don't you think, how readily people will believe the negative words of someone they've never met and know very little about, rather than the words from Peter and me who they have known for years via the Letters? Here you've been in the Family for years and years‚ or even all your lives, and obviously you're happy in the Family and want to serve the Lord or you wouldn't still be here. But then you read some letter or e-mail in which a stranger tells you how this‚ that, and the other is wrong‚ evil, and pernicious, and you're really shaken by it and feel very confused. I'm not faulting you for that, as I know these writings are demonically persuasive. But why do you think that is?

18. Consider these possible reasons:

  1. You live with good, kind people—people you can trust. You enjoy the loving environment of our Homes‚ and you who have grown up in the Family have known little else. As a result you want to have faith in humanity in general; you believe in people.
  2. It's hard to deny a story that someone says actually happened to them. People tend to be quite swayed by these specific examples and stories that bitter antagonistic former members tell. Unbeknownst to the reader, many of those examples and stories are only partly true or not true at all. They're presented with such seeming sincerity, however, that you think, "Surely they wouldn't be lying, not about all those details!"

There are many sides to every situation‚ and a number of angles from which a story can be recounted. If someone who is unhappy, bitter, and full of grievances is telling you something that happened to them in the Family‚ then their rendition is probably going to be tainted by their bitterness and grievances. That's just a fact of life. If someone else were to recount the same event, you might be quite surprised at the differences. I'm sure you've experienced this yourself when trying to match up an account of something that happened many years ago with someone else who was also there. Everybody sees things through their own perspective‚ and depending on what was happening to you at the time, the "color of your glasses" can be incredibly different and you can see things in an entirely different light. In the case of people who are overcome with bitterness, while their rendition of the story might contain some truth, there's probably a lot more truth that, if it were known, would change the picture considerably.

3) People can sometimes tend to be too open–minded or naïve, to the point that they'll believe almost everything they hear.

4) Some people may also feel that they will be ignorant or uniformed unless they take in as much input as possible from every direction—not bothering to clearly establish their personal value system and refine their discernment skills so that they can determine what "input" is worth taking seriously and what isn't.

5) Some people see themselves as inquisitive, analytical, or skeptical, and many pride themselves in these traits. They feel that this attitude protects them, makes them open-minded and keeps them from being taken advantage of. Sadly, though, they're often only skeptical of the things they've been taught all their life, and not skeptical enough of strangers or those who appear kind but have questionable intentions. It'd be much better if people like this would use their skeptical, analytical, questioning minds in a broader sense—that rather than only questioning their beliefs and foundations, they would instead question those who seek to undermine them, and investigate and consider and ponder and get to the bottom of why these people say what they do.

6) Some people haven't had much close contact with people who aren't in the Family but know a lot about the Family, and they're curious as to how those people see us. They know their sheep and friends and contacts, who know about our beliefs and methods to varying degrees, but they don't personally know many "neutral" or negative people who know a lot about the Family. So when they hear from or meet a former member who was in the Family for many years, their natural instinct is, first of all, to want to trust and believe that person; and secondly to want to know how that person sees things, to get more of an "outside perspective."

If you want to get the opinion of outside observers, though‚ why not go to those who just about everyone in the world would consider objective sources—the many academics who have studied the Family? People who have been in the Family in the past are obviously going to be personally involved and will have personal reasons for saying whatever they say about the Family, whether good or bad. It's a different story with people who haven't been in the Family but have studied us. These are for the most part practical, intellectual social scientists who have put the Family under a magnifying glass and analyzed it.

These academics who have studied the Family have, for the most part, heard or read all the bad and lies that have been published about us. It's not that we've sheltered them and given them a candy-coated version of the truth. They've read all the bad there is, have waded through court documents and testimonies of former members, many of them have read all the lit that has been used against us‚ and many of them have read a great number of our publications. They've based their conclusions on a well-rounded picture and have by no means been sheltered from the lies and accusations that are leveled against us.

Their basic conclusions are that, while our current beliefs and lifestyle are definitely a bit unusual‚ even odd, they aren't harmful to anyone; that we should have the right to live and believe as we like‚ and that by doing so we in fact positively contribute to society.

7) There's also a bit of inherent rebelliousness in most of us. That's the nature of man. What that means is that even if you know the truth and you know something is right, still‚ you can be tempted to do the opposite or to question it or to try something different‚ just because you don't want to submit to authority or obey.

8) Another part of the problem is a familiarity with the Lord and His Word. It's a wonderful privilege to receive the Lord's Words, both in print through His appointed prophets and leaders and personally through His voice of prophecy. But sad to say, many in the Family have become pretty spoiled on both counts. We had Dad giving the Lord's Word, vision, and revelations to us for 25 years, and now we've had an abundance of prophecy and direction given to us on a multitude of subjects. If you don't stay on guard and in the fear of the Lord, you can lose your respect for the Word and grow familiar with it.

How does this play into the question of believing the words of man over the Lord's Words? Well, since we are human and often more carnally minded than spiritually minded, it's easier to receive the words of a fellow human who we can see, feel, and audibly hear, than it is to believe and receive the Lord's Words, which we have to take by faith. When someone is expressing their views or their version of "what really happened," you're reliving the drama of it with them, sometimes in great detail. It can be pretty persuasive, and people tend to swallow whatever another person tells them hook‚ line, and sinker, especially if they add details that make it appear that they recall every conversation and circumstance and use the added weight of the phrase, "I was there!"

Face the Light!

19. "But why," you may ask, "would hearing or reading such things have such a detrimental effect on my faith if they're really and truly lies?" Dad answered this question many years ago in the Letter "The Crystal Pyramid" (ML #214). The answer is a spiritual principle that is not easily understood by the carnal mind. When you read such material you undergo a spiritual change, you enter a spiritual battle, so the only way to understand its danger is to see things from a spiritual point of view.

20. Let's look at "The Crystal Pyramid" and the illustration that Dad gave us. The Lord and His Word, truth, and voice of prophecy represent the light—the pulsating light that gives us all the wonderful benefits that we have when we live and obey the Lord's Word. Conversely, the darkness is the Enemy's power, and he tries to lure people into the darkness through doubts, lies, and any other tactic he can muster.

21. The main point brought out in that Letter was the need for the crystals—which symbolize us—to keep our faces turned toward the light, in order for the darkness to have no hold or power over us. The Letter says:

22. It's strange! As long as the crystals face the Light and the Pillar, they seem to absorb the Light, and they have strength and they glow brightly and are drawn toward it, and the Darkness has no power over them! But if they turn their facets or faces away from the Pillar, it is like a polarization! The changed position in relation to the Pillar seems to shut off some of the Light‚ and the Light grows dim as the crystal turns away!

23. If it turns toward the Darkness rather than the Light, the crystal loses its brilliance, and it's as though the Darkness closes in and has greater power! As the light diminishes in the crystal, the Darkness has more power to slow it down from being drawn into the Pillar—even to be drawn away! The darker the crystal is, the more it is drawn by the Darkness, as it faces the Darkness! The moment it turns its face towards the Light, it immediately begins to glow with the great brilliance of the Light and Power, and is immediately drawn toward the Pillar, and the Darkness has no power over it!

24. You must face the Light! You dare not turn away from the Light or look backward, or you seem to lose the Light! It seems like only your face is able to absorb the Light. The crystal has to face the Light in order to glow itself, and to shine with such beauty, and especially the Power in that Light that drives off the Darkness!

25. But if the crystal turns away from the Light, as though it were trying to turn itself and fight the Darkness in its own strength, it loses the Light, and it has no Power unless it focuses itself on the Pillar and receives that beam of Light! Every time it turns away it grows darker, and its strength fades and wanes‚ as the Light is diminished in trying to face the Darkness instead of facing the Light! (ML #214:45-48)

26. (Mama: ) When you keep your face—your crystal—facing the light, then you're pulled in closer and you see things as the Lord sees them. You're able to receive the Lord's Words, His truth‚ and you're fed and grow thereby. But if you begin to listen to the Enemy, whether outright or when he cleverly packages his message in the deceptive covering of a friend telling you about some of his bad experiences, sharing his reasoning with you, or complaining about his gripes‚ and tearing down the Word or Family leadership‚ then your face begins to turn toward the darkness. And as Dad brought out‚ when a crystal turns even a bit toward the darkness‚ then the darkness has some power over it, and you can be pulled further and further into the darkness.

27. If you've wondered why some seemingly very strong people have left the Family after hearing such accounts from former members, that's one reason why. They allowed themselves to turn their faces away from the light, and consequently the darkness had more power over them. Every time a person turns away, they lose strength and power, until finally they lose the glow from the light and don't shine with its beauty anymore.

28. Sad to say, this is what has happened to many people who were once part of us, who once pulsated with the light and were very much in unity and agreement with the Lord's Words and the way He led us, but now see things very differently. Why? Because they've removed their face from the light and have changed their position. So they don't see the glow, the beauty, and the blessings and power of the light as they used to before.

29. When rebutting former members' comments about their doubts, grievances, bitterness, stories about failed or false prophecy, accounts of bad things that Family leadership has done, etc., I'm not saying that every single thing that a former member tells you is a complete lie. In some cases former members had negative things happen to them‚ and we are sorry for these things and have apologized in print numerous times. However, in many other cases, when the person telling the story is trying to make the Family sound bad, they will tell you the story in a way that brings out as much negative as possible without telling you the full truth of the situation. If they told you the full story, most likely you would get a very different, more positive or balanced picture. However, they don't want that, as they're trying to convince you that they were treated so badly, or that the Family is so terrible.

Is the Family God's Will for You?

30. Peter and I will set the record straight in these GNs. That is our responsibility as your shepherds, one which we gladly accept. What you must realize, however, is that we can only do so much. We can tell you the truth, we can point you to Jesus, give you His answers, show you the other side, and explain needed spiritual principles, but we can't make up your mind for you.

31. You must determine what you personally believe and have the faith for and faith in. There are those who want to discredit Dad, me, Peter, the Word and the Family. Where do you stand? What are you going to believe—man's word or God's Word?

32. This isn't hype or coercion or spiritual abuse. Nor do I have to defend my position or our doctrines as if I'm on trial for wrongdoing. I'm not perfect. I'm only human, and I make mistakes too. But I have full faith that the direction Peter and I are leading the Family is the Lord's will. I believe that what we publish in the GNs is the Lord's Word for today.

33. If you step back and think about it, you'll see that what is going on is a debate regarding religious beliefs. Peter and I and those who choose to be in the Family have certain beliefs, as articulated in the Letters. There are those who despise and detest those beliefs and are trying to convince you that they're false, wrong or unchristian. This is a matter of religion. Why should it surprise us that there are those who disagree with much of what makes the Family different—Dad, our sexual freedom under the Law of Love, our hearing from spirits, the "Loving Jesus" revelation, the desire for our children to be full-time disciples of Jesus‚ and the New Wine? And they consider you a mindless zombie for believing in such things. It's none of their business what you do in your private life, how you use the gift of prophecy, what kind of personal relationship you have with Jesus, or how you raise your children—as long as they're not being harmed in any way, which they're not, as the courts have proven time and time again!

34. It has always been this way. There's nothing new about this attack. The details are different, but the goal is the same: to try to convince you that the beliefs and practices of the Family are ungodly‚ with the hope that you'll leave, and to justify to themselves and others why they left.

35. Now I ask you a simple question: Do you believe that being in the Family is God's will for you? That really is the crucial question. Do you believe you're in God's will or not?

36. If you believe you're in God's will, which I'm sure most of you do believe or you wouldn't be in the Family, then you have to choose who you're going to let influence your mind‚ heart‚ and spirit. If you don't believe you're in God's will, then you should go elsewhere. But whatever you do‚ you should do it wholeheartedly; don't be double–minded, allowing yourself to be blown about by every opposing opinion that comes along. Don't be like some who say, "Well, I like the Family, but I don't agree with some of our doctrines. I like what we accomplish, but I don't like the way Mama and Peter run things, etc." If you have serious doubts and disagreements, you're going to have to come to grips with them sooner or later and be either all the way in or all the way out.

37. You can't stay sitting on the wall for very long. If you want to stay, we want you to stay, but please stay with all your heart. If you want to go and you have big questions about the Family or about us that you can't get reconciled by what we or the Lord or your shepherds say to you, or even by hearing from the Lord yourself, then please go. You're not going to be happy staying and you're not going to be able to accomplish much for the Lord in that double–minded state, because as the Word says, "Let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord" (Jam.1:7).

38. Peter and I have no desire whatsoever to try to persuade anyone to stay in the Family if he or she is not personally convinced that this is God's will. We invite you to leave; in fact, we ask you to leave. And in saying this, I'm not heaping on you any of that so–called "intense manipulative spiritual control" by means of guilt or condemnation, as some have accused me of. I want each of you to find what will make you happy and where you will be most fruitful for the Lord, according to your own faith. The Family is not for everyone.

39. Now, as we put the ball in your court to decide what you're going to believe, please don't let the Enemy convince you that just because you're a bit destabilized by this attack, the Family is no longer the place for you. The Enemy is hitting hard, and it's natural that you could feel a little shaken or be hit with questions or even doubts that you never had before. But if you truly want to believe, the Lord can help you to overcome—He's done it many times before! So don't be scared by the Enemy's boo! If you're being hit, it doesn't mean that you're a doubter; it means that the Enemy's trying to get you to quit! Don't let this attack of the Enemy frighten you out of your place of service and your crown! Hold on! Fight back! Read this GN with an open mind and heart, and any questions which aren't answered in the GN, ask the Lord about them. Do your part to hang on; the storm will eventually pass, and you'll be stronger for it.

40. Please, as you read this GN, seriously reflect on your own personal conviction and beliefs. Because I don't want you to suffer such unhappy and unfruitful double-mindedness as some apparently have. That's sad and unnecessary. As I have said many times, there are many other ways to serve the Lord, and you don't have to be in the Family to win souls. I personally feel the Family is the best place to not only serve the Lord but also to prepare spiritually for the future. But my faith is not enough for you. You must decide yourself what you believe and where you stand.

This Is Spiritual Warfare And the Enemy Is Fighting You Personally!

41. Having said all that, I also want to point out another side of the picture which is crucial that you understand. Each of you is being tested. These attacks on your faith are part of the spiritual warfare. Because the Enemy is fighting you personally, please pray desperately before you give up your place of service in the Family, making sure you're fully persuaded in your own heart and that you're not just following someone else's negative, bitter assessment of your faith, religious beliefs, and Peter's and my leadership.

42. Some people get a little resentful or upset when problems are explained in spiritual terms. I understand that some accuse me of explaining away any confrontations or accusations or persecution as "attacks of the Enemy" or "the Lord purging the Family." Some don't see the reality of the situation‚ and therefore think that's my little defense mechanism. I can understand that you might feel that way, because "the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit" (1Cor.2:14).

43. But the truth is, we are fighting a spiritual warfare and the Enemy is attacking. He always has! Don't just take my word for it—read your Bible! He's fighting you, me, Peter‚ and the Family as a whole with everything he's got! It's real! To truly discern what's happening‚ you have to rise above the finite, narrow mind of man and see with the eyes of the spirit. Consider the following verses from the Bible, which you know so well. Ask the Lord to help you look at them in a fresh light, applying them to your present situation:

Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal‚ but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations‚ and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2Cor.10:3-5).

We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities‚ against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph.6:12).

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil‚ as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1Pet.5:8).

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices (2Cor.2:11).

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not (Luke 22:31-32).

44. Acceptance of the existence of a spiritual warfare is crucial to understanding what's going on and to gaining the faith and strength you need to make wise decisions. As Dad has taught us, when you go over the top, that's when the Enemy starts shooting. We must be doing something right to have these attacks come up now. There's a reason why he's fighting so hard, which the Lord explains in this next message.

Each of You Will Be Tested

45. (Jesus speaking:) The fact that you've entered the era of action means that the action has been upped in every area—including the area of the Enemy's attacks against you. This is destined to be‚ in many ways, the greatest era since the beginning of the world, because it will be the era of the greatest witness this world has known so far. It will be the era when many are brought to a decision, when there is potential for My Word to go out like never before. The Enemy knows that and is furious, and he is doing all he can to keep My children from entering in with their whole hearts. This attack on your faith is but one of his attacks.

46. This era is destined to be great. This is the era that many prophets and righteous men desired to see and participate in. They see the potential that exists for getting out the Word and My message in these days before the final showdown. They know how important it is that people receive the Word so that they are qualified to make their decisions later. They know how important this era is—that, in fact, the final Endtime events cannot come about until this era has been played out. So of course they all want to participate! They see the potential for these days, and they know that this could be the era of the greatest witness ever. It stands to reason that for such a great honor as participating in this era of action there would be some price attached. And so there is. You, My children of David, have all been through testings and purgings over the last few years. You've been tried in many areas. There have been hurdles to leap, strong meat to swallow, calls to obey in areas that are difficult. You have each personally crossed the Jordan, and those of you who are still here have a more intimate relationship with Me than before.

47. You might feel that after all that, you deserve to enter in; there should be no question about it. That's because you don't comprehend how great this era will be, how far-reaching the effects of your personal actions and decisions during this crucial time will be. This is a crucial part of the culmination of world history as you know it. This era will be the last chance for many to receive the full message, the meat of the Word, in these days when you can spread it abroad relatively easily. This is the chance for many to know the truth, to make the right decisions, to receive Me without having seen Me. This is such an important time—you have no idea!

48. The Enemy is furious, as I said before. He's fighting very hard, and I will allow each of you to be tested. These tests will not be easy. This challenge to your faith is one of those tests. Those of you who have heard or read the thoughts of some of your former members can testify to their persuasiveness. But in My eyes, it is no more than one of the carefully masterminded attacks that the Enemy is throwing at My green beret troops.

49. It's field-testing time, to see what you'll do with the new weapons that you've learned to use, to see what you'll do under extreme circumstances, because the days to come will be full of them. This will not be the last test, or the only one. Be prepared, My children, and be ready to fight for your place—because it's a place of great honor, with guaranteed victory. It is not given for free. There is a price to be paid. If you're willing to pay it, congratulations! You will participate in a spectacular show of My anointing, power and strength—which will be given freely in order to complete this stage of world history. These are the days all the prophets have dreamed of! (End of message from Jesus.)

50. (Mama:) To review the main points covered so far:

• This is an attack on your religious freedom. People who despise and detest your beliefs and lifestyle are trying to convince you that they're false, wrong or unchristian, with the ultimate hope that you'll leave the Family.

• This attack is aimed largely at you young people.

• The same things were said of Dad and similar things were said of Jesus.

• There are those who disagree with much of what makes the Family different—Dad, our sexual freedom under the Law of Love, our hearing from spirits, the "Loving Jesus" revelation, the desire for our children to be full-time disciples of Jesus, and the New Wine.

• You must determine what you personally believe and have the faith for. Will you believe man's word or God's?

• Do you personally believe it's God's will for you to be in the Family?

• You're free to leave at any time. I want each of you to find what will make you happy and where you will be most fruitful for the Lord, according to your own faith.

• Peter and I do not demand that you not read the writings of former members. That is your choice, one which I hope you would ask the Lord about. Remember the spiritual principle from "Crystal Pyramid": You must keep your face turned toward the light to absorb the light. If you turn your face toward the darkness, the negativity‚ then you start losing the light and the power and strength you need.

• It's much easier to believe the negative than the positive.

• There are many places to serve the Lord. If you don't believe the Letters or have faith in our fundamental doctrines‚ then you would do well to go somewhere else rather than continuing to live a life you consider a lie.

• We are engaged in spiritual warfare and the Enemy is fighting you personally.

• Each person will be tested before being given the anointing to fully participate in the era of action and partake of all the promises it holds, but the rewards will be well worth the fight!

51. There is another point I want you to be aware of before we move on to answer some of the accusations that have been made against us.

58. Several sociologists of religion have conducted studies of those who leave religious movements. These sociologists have pointed out that there are numerous reasons people choose to leave a religious group. The majority move on with their lives‚ adjust to life outside of the group, and in time adjust their belief system accordingly. These people have an outlook on their time in the movement ranging from remembering it as a happy time to a somewhat troubled time which they have moved on from.

59. There are some, however, who after some time, for various reasons, begin to see their time in the movement as extremely negative. This seems to occur more often when they hook up with someone negative or someone's writings that are negative about the movement, including those involved in the "anti-cult movement."

60. When this happens, the person who previously strongly adhered to the beliefs of the movement now begins to see it all as evil. Virtually all of their past involvement is now seen as destructive; those that they used to love, they now hate. They basically have nothing but bad to say about the group, its doctrines, and especially its leadership.

61. Much has been written by some foremost sociologists of religion regarding this state, referring to such former members as "apostates." Although the sociologists will accept that there is some truth to what the apostate says‚ studies have indicated that much of it is also slanted or distorted by their negative outlook and attitude, and therefore cannot be taken simply at face value.

62. I'm telling you this because you're sometimes faced with listening to or reading material from people who would be considered "apostates." You should take this information into consideration when deciding whether to believe their testimony.

Accusations and Answers

63. Now let's go on to some of the accusations you might have heard or read.

64. ACCUSATION: It took Maria and Peter years to admit the obvious; sexual abuse of minors had occurred in the Family, MO was directly responsible for it, and that it is a sin in the eyes of God. Neither MO, Maria‚ nor Peter were ever truly sorry for advocating that adults have sexual contact with minors. They were terribly sorry, however‚ that after years the court forced them to publicly admit that MO was wrong, and responsible for the harm that children had suffered.

65. (Mama:) It is sad that issues that have been resolved for years are once again brought up, but because they have been‚ I will address them once again. Before doing so, I want to point out that the claim that Peter and I are not sorry for any hurt that happened to individuals in the Family is absolutely false. We are very sorry that anyone was hurt, and have publicly apologized and have asked for forgiveness in various Letters or other publications. (See the 1992 Statement on Child Abuse; "Our Beliefs Concerning the Lord's Law of Love," ML #2858:50-51, published in 6/93; "An Answer to Him That Asketh Us," ML #3016:18-20, 52-56, published in 9/95; Mama's Letter to Former Members in "Bridging the Gap," ML #3068:101– 108‚ published in 8/96; "An Open Letter to All Current and Former Family Members," ML #3091:3,10h,15-22, published in 12/96.)

66. If some choose not to believe or accept our apology, that is their prerogative, but God knows our hearts. We are sorry about anyone who has been hurt in any way during their time in the Family. Not only are we sorry, but we have established firm rules regarding sexual contact between adults and minors, making it an excommunicable offense in 1986. We have also included clear rules and punishment in the Charter to ensure that no harm of any kind related to sexual or physical abuse happens, and if it does, that those who caused it can be disciplined. Our apologies were not only words, but actions which have significantly changed the governance of the Family.


67. Some are going to great lengths to try to convince you that it was the intention of Dad, Peter and me to deliberately hurt young people, and that we were maliciously promoting child abuse and deceiving people. I'm saddened that this subject has come up again, for several reasons:

68. You who have read certain writings from former members have had to wade through an interpretation of events and our doctrine that is confusing, depressing, and wrong. While there is some truth to it, there is a definite "spin" put on it, and the conclusions, insinuations, and second guesses of our motives and reasoning are not true.

69.It's a shame that we are once again dragged into the past and forced to rebut accusations that have long been resolved and apologized for. There are people who are not content that testimony has been given in courts of law in numerous countries around the world, and that in every case the Family has been victorious. Some of our victories were appealed‚ yet the appeals were thrown out by higher courts. In a number of cases, the Supreme Court of the country passed judgment in our favor. In the case in England, a High Court judge ruled that the Family was a safe place for children.

70. Unfortunately, some people seem driven to become a type of vigilante in search of their own interpretation of "justice." They don't seem to place much credence in the fact that in every single case, the judicial systems of numerous countries have all concluded the same thing—that the Family is a safe place.

71. When all is said and done, no matter what claims these detractors may make, the truth is still the truth: Major changes have been made in the Family. Any hurt that was caused to young people in the past will not be repeated, and mechanisms are in place to ensure that it isn't. No children have been taken permanently from the Family in the various large-scale persecutions we have faced. And after a very long and drawn–out custody case, the High Court in England judged the Family a safe place and awarded the care of the child to the mother in the Family.

72. Some of our detractors say that Peter's letter to the judge published in "An Answer to Him That Asketh Us" (ML #3016‚ Lifelines 22) was a frantic whitewash attempt to get the judge off our backs. That is not true. The message in this GN represents what the Lord showed Peter and me after a great deal of prayer and counsel over many months. We were sincere about what we wrote, we stand by it today, and Family policy reflects this stance.

73. It seems that many Family members do not understand the explanations in this GN. Maybe you didn't realize that it has an important message that is for the Family as well as for the judge to whom it was written. If you don't have a clear understanding of these matters, we suggest you study this GN carefully.

79. What I'm saying here is not new. We published this Letter five years ago, and for the most part, people accepted what I wrote, including my and Peter's apologies. Some would want you to think this was done in some nefarious way and that we did not mean what we said. This is not the case. We meant every word of it. We clearly stated all of this in 1995 and are just repeating this to show how ludicrous such accusations are.

80. Let's remember that 14 years ago, in 1986‚ Dad and I banned all sexual activity between adults and minors. This was years before the Family was involved in large court cases, and therefore it cannot be said that we made this ban under pressure from the courts or the System. In 1988, again years before any court cases, sex with a minor became an excommunicable offense, and it very explicitly remains so in the Charter.

81. In 1988 we published the "Child Abuse?!" tract in which Dad made the definitive statement, "We do not approve of sex with minors, and hereby renounce any writings of anyone in our Family which may seem to do so! We absolutely forbid it!" This clearly showed Dad's stance regarding the matter.

82. Later, in the Letter "An Answer to Him That Asketh Us," we used the definitions of the words in that sentence in order to further clarify our position, so that it read: "We do not consider it right or good, we do not think or speak favorably of, nor do we officially [or unofficially] consent to‚ confirm or sanction sex with minors. As a result of this fact, I reject, disown‚ abandon and give up by open profession every single writing of any person in the Family which may appear to approve of it. Without condition or limitation, we command the Family not to indulge in sex with minors" (ML #3016:26).

83. In that same statement of 1988 Dad renounced all literature‚ including his own, that indicated in any way that sexual activity with minors was permissible. Based on his renunciation of such Family literature, he approved our lit purges, which expunged all such literature, no matter who it was written by, including his own. Dad didn't just renounce his old writings; he had them destroyed.

84. The Letter "Child Abuse: A Final Warning" was published in 1989, a few months after the 1988 Child Abuse statement came out. In it, we stated: "We've already put out an urgent notice to the Family and to the whole world that we don't do such things, and we mean it, we don't do it!—And anybody who does is in serious trouble‚ not only with the world but with us!" (ML #2536:10).

85. Also in 1989 the Letter "D.O. Is for DOers of the Word!" (ML #2531) was published, in which Dad listed the excommunicable offenses, including the following:

14. Sex with Minors

We do not advocate nor practice sex between adults and minors (someone who is under-age)...Any such practice is strictly forbidden within our group and anyone found guilty of such will be automatically and immediately excommunicated—totally severed from receiving any literature or from having any contact with the Family whatsoever. (Right!—D.) (LNF 121:10)

86. Here's an excerpt of LNF 121, which was also sent out in 1989:

10. "Whoso shall offend one of these little ones!"

…We want to reiterate that the "Child Abuse" tract was not only our official statement to the System but also our official statement to any Family members, part-time or otherwise, that any such practice is strictly forbidden within our group, and anyone found guilty of such will be automatically and immediately excommunicated—totally severed from receiving any literature or from having any contact with the Family whatsoever! (Right!—D.)

87. In April of 1992, the "Statement on Attitudes, Conduct, Current Beliefs and Teachings Regarding Sex" was published. Here are excerpts from that document:

6. Sexual relationships between adults and teens.

Although the laws in many countries do allow adults to have relationships with teens of legal age, communities in our fellowships strictly disallow it. Our membership has unanimously agreed to respect a total ban within our communities on any and all sexual contact between adults (defined as anyone 21 years of age and over) and anyone under 21 years of age, under penalty of excommunication if not respected. [Note: In the "Offenses Warranting Excommunication" listed in the Charter, there are now specific variations on this rule for those between the ages of 18 and 27.] Teens are also expected to refrain from engaging in any form of sexually enticing activities or behavior specifically aimed at provoking a sexual response in an adult. Normal warmth and affection may be shown between an adult and a teen, but it may not cross from a social exchange into an overtly sexual expression.

7. Sexual abuse of children.

We are diametrically opposed to any form of sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of children whatsoever, and all our membership are resolute in their agreement to abide by and support this position under penalty of excommunication from our fellowship. Any and all previous writings, philosophic and theological speculations, or individual opinions of members taken contrary to this position or that in any way could be construed as lending credence, support or justification for any form of sexual touching of children, have been officially categorically renounced and forbidden, and all printed materials deemed objectionable have been ordered by our founder, Father David, to be removed from use and destroyed.

Like all concerned parents, our members believe they must demonstrate or manifest love for their children in physical ways the children can relate to. We believe that showing natural, warm, non-sexual affection to children‚ such as a rewarding hug, a kiss on the cheek, a clasp of their hand or a pat on the shoulder‚ is critical to their emotional well–being. Affection that goes beyond that, however, involving any form of obviously sexual touching of children‚ or any minor, for that matter, is strictly forbidden in all of our communities. We feel assured that our communities are in fact much safer places in regard to these matters than one can find in much of society today.

88. As we became more aware of the intricacies of the court cases we were involved in at that time, it became obvious that we needed a clearer explanation of our official stance on adult/minor sex than the above few paragraphs. So in 1992 a second‚ more detailed statement on the subject of child abuse was published‚ entitled: "Our Replies to Allegations of Child Abuse."

91. The preceding excerpts of Letters and statements make it obvious that we had definite rules against sexual contact between adults and minors since 1986. As I said in "An Answer to Him That Asketh Us," we should have had rules in effect much earlier that would have prevented any of our young people from being hurt. We didn't, and we're sorry we didn't because it made it possible for some young people to be hurt. Adult/minor sex has been an excommunicable offense for 12 years. Any sexual crossovers in the Family are considered sin and they remain an excommunicable offense, which will be disciplined according to the guidelines in the Charter. If you are aware of any type of sexual impropriety, you know what to do—report it! In fact, those who do not report such things are guilty as well and subject to the same discipline.

92. We've been accused of flip–flopping in our stance on adult/minor sex. We haven't. It is clear that 14 years ago, in 1986, Dad and I put a ban on any adult/minor sexual activity. In 1988, 12 years ago, we made it excommunicable and it has remained so since then. We made it quite clear that any such activity was wrong and not allowed within our communities. While the theological discussion may have continued, the fact is that any adult/minor sex was excommunicable.

93. As far as we're concerned, that's the final word on it. Any questions about whether adult/minor sexual contact is at all possibly permissible in theory or theologically were laid to rest. This overrides anything that was ever written suggesting otherwise. Once the Lord said it was sin, we announced it to the Family and that has been our stance since that time.

94. I want to emphasize this point, because I don't want any of you thinking that our stance on this issue is ambiguous. The Lord made it clear at the time of "An Answer to Him That Asketh us" that all adult/minor sexual contact is sin. We consider it as such. It is wrong and results in excommunication.

95. Everyone knows, and numerous courts acknowledge‚ that solid safeguards have been put into place to protect young people in the Family from abuse, and as such, they are no more likely to suffer abuse than young people in society at large. You who are in the Family know that for 12 years any sexual crossover has been grounds for excommunication; you also know that you need to protect your young people and all young people in the Family from any abusive situation. You know that our official stance is that any form of adult/minor sex is a sin. If you know of any infraction of the Charter rules taking place, it is your duty to report it. This is a resolved point.

96. Our detractors, however, continue to bring it up and try to document supposed wrongdoing on my and Peter's part. The facts stand. We've faced these accusations in many court cases and have won every time. We have admitted and apologized for the past, we have asked forgiveness, we have put strong rules in place, and we have moved on from all of this. My question is, why don't they?

195. ACCUSATION: Mama and Peter treat people badly, especially those who are not totally loyal and "on board." They're abusive, controlling, manipulative, self-centered, deceitful and callous leaders who are willing to do just about anything to save their reputations and preserve their image.

196. (Mama:) I have heard that some former members feel that way about Peter and me. I know it's difficult for you, dear Family, when you hear people talk about us who supposedly know us so well and who have worked with us closely. It's extremely confusing when people who have been in WS tell you stories that make us look like monsters, like terribly selfish, uncaring, manipulative, self-serving people who think only of ourselves. These stories are presented in detail, with "she/he said this" or "she/he did that" and they seem so believable.

197. The only thing I can say is that such stories usually represent complex situations in which one tiny moment of interaction or one minute shred of a conversation might be presented, which twists the truth. Anyone who has been in the Family for any length of time knows that working with people and helping people through their problems is a complicated process. Peter and I have tried to be as loving and kind as possible with those in our Home and in WS. If we have sent or given people prophecies from the Lord or Dad, we have done so in combination with personal shepherding when possible. We have been very patient, and have given people much time to overcome their bitternesses and spiritual problems. We don't just lop people off and tell them (through prophecy or otherwise) that they're full of the Devil, or threaten to send them away or separate them from their families. I love and appreciate the people I work with. I love David and Techi as a mother and Trevor as a grandmother. I love and respect the young people who have chosen to make the sacrifice to live behind the scenes. Probably some people would try to tell you differently.

198. It's a strange thing how two people can remember a situation so differently, isn't it? I know our detractors write these outlandish accounts and they are so sure they're right. They scream‚ "I was there! This is how it was!" But there is often so much more to the story that, if it were known and told, would portray us and all involved very differently.

199. Another particularly convincing method of those who are disgruntled and unhappy with the Family or some aspect of the Word, leadership, or our life is when they latch onto some event that took place and give it their own particular interpretation‚ saying it was wrong. Then they use that example to validate their argument that "because this is wrong‚ everything else must be wrong too."

200. Peter and I cannot possibly refute every story that's told about how supposedly horrible and mean and cruel we are, just as Dad couldn't. We're too busy trying to fulfill the Lord's commission to feed the sheep to spend our time writing volumes explaining the real story of every situation that our detractors bring up. We'll let the works that we do bear witness of us‚ as the Lord told His detractors (John 5:36).

201. It's like the story of the man who helped build the Panama Canal:

While contending with the manifold problems of geography and climate in the building of the Panama Canal, Colonel George Washington Goethals had to endure the carping criticism of countless busybodies back home who freely predicted that he would never complete his great task. But the resolute builder pressed steadily forward in his work, and said nothing.

"Aren't you going to answer your critics?" a subordinate inquired.

"In time‚" Goethals replied.


The great engineer smiled. "With the canal," he replied. (See Good Thots 1, page 757, #25.)

202. We don't have time to refute every story told about us, but we can remind you of the scripture‚ "Because they received not the love of the truth, God will send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie" (2Thes.2:10-11). Some of these stories are history rewritten, but these former members really believe what they write. That is one reason why they can sound so sincere and convincing and make you feel sorry for them as the poor victims. But remember, just because they say something happened doesn't necessarily make it so!

203. You might wonder how someone can be loyal and true for a long time in the Family and then have a huge change of heart and become very negative, bitter and vindictive. Such changes of heart and mindset start off gradually and slowly. It doesn't happen overnight with just one big thing that the person finds hard to accept, and because of that one big thing makes the decision to leave behind the life they once loved. But once they do, then little by little they forget or choose to block out the things they used to cherish—the years of faithful service‚ all the times that the Lord and the Family provided and cared for them, all the blessings of Family life, the joy, fulfillment and challenge of full-time missionary service.

204. Sadly, these people have been weakened in spirit by having allowed an infiltration of the Enemy's lies into their mind, a slow and constant dripping away at their convictions with a steady stream of his doubts and lies about this and that.

205. The person who is weakening in heart and spirit might not even notice it. It might not seem like a big deal at first; it's just a little negative thinking, a little entertaining of some bitterness or resentment. But the problem comes when such thoughts of the Enemy become a habit, a regular part of their mindset and thought pattern.

206. When someone entertains and accepts thoughts of resentment, bitterness, doubt, and the lies of the Enemy and doesn't seek to be washed and cleansed from those lies, their conviction becomes a little weaker. The longer and more often someone allows their mind and spirit to dwell on the negative instead of resisting it‚ the easier it becomes for them to start to believe the lies as if they were facts and the truth. Truth resisted loses its power over the mind, and as a person turns away from the truth and refuses to be humbled by the truth, he begins to accept and believe the lie.

207. In such cases someone's mind will twist the truth, distort the facts, misinterpret events because of months or years of wrong thinking, wrong attitudes, and a strong desire to justify themselves and blame others. Even if the truth is obvious to others and everyone else can see it, still, they will not be able to see the truth that is right before their eyes. They have chosen to believe a lie in order to support their position. It's too difficult, too humbling, too devastating to their pride to admit they're wrong, that they've been wrong about many things; so they hang on to the lie, they maintain their stand.

208. They actually believe the lie because they have chosen to. They have chosen to reject the truth and embrace the lie, and because they've made this decision in their mind and heart‚ even the way they look at past events or facts becomes twisted and distorted. This is how people become obsessed with thoughts that are not even real or true, with thoughts of things that never happened, or didn't happen the way they think it did.

209. Just because someone says something happened one way does not make it so in every case. Just because someone tells you‚ "This is what happened, I was there," does not mean it's true—or if it is‚ there may be much more to the truth that they are not bringing out. Sometimes people can be convinced of the righteousness of their cause, but they are sadly deceived because they resisted and rejected the truth.

210. Peter and I love you dearly and we've tried to express that love in every way we possibly can. We've tried to be as open as possible with you through the GNs. We have written about our marriage‚ our Home‚ our activities‚ and our personal battles. We have had as many people visit our Home personally as we could. Peter has traveled to almost every continent and has personally met and talked with thousands of Family members. Peter has made videos that were viewed by thousands. I have traveled and met with various CROs. Peter and I made 15 hours of videos that were viewed by the CROs and VSs. We will continue to ask the Lord to show us what we can do to help and serve you better, dear Family. What more than that we can do, I don't know.

211. Now it's up to you to determine if you will believe that what you see, hear, and read from us is the truth. I know you want to believe‚ and I am praying for you, that your faith fail not.

289. ACCUSATION: A couple of former members who have taken psychological examinations have been assessed as having "footprints on their backs." That apparently indicates that they've been stepped on and put down. These former members concluded that all Family members are beaten down.

290. (Peter:) Many people are really wowed by any assessment from the department of psychology, no matter how incomplete, and they think, "Oh, if they say it's true, then of course it has to be true!" But we know that's not necessarily the case. People of this profession are not always basing their judgments or measures or conclusions on sound standards—certainly not on the standard of the Scripture. How‚ then, can we put their findings into proper perspective? In praying about it, the Lord has given us some insight into these psychological evaluations.

291. While it's probably true that some former members would be assessed as having this type of emotional "footprint," if psychologists and social scientists were to study a group of 100 men, women, and children taken from diverse cultures and backgrounds around the world, they would most likely find a much greater percentage of people who have been "kept down," so to speak—emotionally, mentally, and spiritually—than they would from assessing an equal number of random people who have at any time received Family training and instruction.

292. Another point to keep in mind is that many worldly psychologists and therapists have very erroneous and negative mindsets when it comes to basic spiritual principles, especially concerning Christian teachings and doctrines that are based on humility, faith and love. Because they're already prejudiced against the things of the Spirit, it's common for them to misdiagnose spiritual conditions such as humility and selflessness, mistaking them instead as evidence of emotional abuse and abasement. Because they're specifically looking for these types of "markings" in the psychological make-up of former "cult" members, they will most likely find them. These types of evaluations are not scientific; they're merely baseless accusations, similar to what has been proven to be the case with supposed "repressed memory syndrome," which in recent years has become a common misdiagnosis by certain therapists and psychologists who have gone so far as to mistakenly induce false memories in the minds of those who have come to them for help.

293. While it's true that some Family members have had emotionally upsetting experiences—either with their peers‚ their parents‚ their spouses, or those who were in a position of leadership—this is also true of the vast majority of people from all walks of life the world over.

294. So while it is true that being a member of the Family doesn't guarantee a life free from problems‚ misunderstandings, and even hurtful, wrong and unloving actions on the part of some‚ the average Family member can expect to have far less of these types of sad and unfortunate occurrences than the average member of society at large, who must unfortunately learn to deal with them on almost a daily basis.

295. While most business leaders are concerned primarily with economic profit and material advancement, the leadership of the Family is constantly striving to become more like Christ, living in His love and following His sample. Not only that, but the Biblical teachings, communal lifestyle, and shepherding structure of the Family also provide a means of support and an atmosphere of faith and trust that help its members to cope much more easily with adversity and with the personal conflicts that naturally arise from living and working together. This is something that most people in the world do not have the opportunity to enjoy.

296. The idea that anyone would leave the Family, feeling that they had been walked on, put down, or mistreated in any way by any of its members, either openly or indirectly, is totally contrary to the goals and teachings of the Family‚ and abhorrent to those who are striving to lead the Family in the nurture and admonition of God's Word. From the earliest days of the Family, Dad taught in countless Letters of instruction that all things must be done in love, and that without love nothing else matters. Love has been the guiding force behind every major decision and every major move and policy change that has been put forth by the Family since its inception—first of all, love for God and obedience to His Word, and second of all, love for others in whatever way or form it was needed.

297. Time and time again, the principles of love, patience, humility‚ and understanding have been emphasized through the teachings of Dad and Mama. Countless Letters have been published for the purpose of Family instruction‚ which have expounded on the importance of and the need for these qualities in anyone who is in a position of leadership within the Family. "Baby the Babes," "Love Never Fails," "Prayer for Love and Mercy," "The Greatest of These Is Love," "Love Covers a Multitude of Sins," "Love Is the Most Important Thing." These have been some of the basic foundation Letters of the Family, and the list of Letters goes on and on. Nothing has changed over the years in this regard. If anything, the importance of love has become an even more central part of every Family teaching and practice.

298. Although it seems to be a fairly common problem of human nature in every country and culture around the world for bosses to berate their employees‚ husbands and wives to criticize their spouses, and even loving parents to sometimes put down and demean their children physically or verbally, this is not accepted behavior within Family Homes and communities. The Family believes in love, and has even been criticized because of the great lengths to which many of our members are willing to go in order to share God's love with others. Though the sacrificial and longsuffering type of love that the Bible teaches isn't something that comes naturally to most human beings, it's still the kind of love that the Family as a whole is striving to live.

299. Over the years there have been situations and instances in which individual members of the Family have acted in ways that were unloving and not according to the godly principles of Biblical teachings. But when situations such as these have come to light, those involved have consistently been encouraged to confess their faults and mistakes, ask for prayer and forgiveness from those who've been hurt, and to do everything within their power to change and to learn to treat others in a more loving and humble manner.

300. Likewise, when it has become clear that Family policy or Scriptural teaching has in some way inadvertently been used as an excuse for unloving and unchristian behavior amongst Family members, we as its leadership have done our best to put a stop to these actions, and when necessary‚ to apologize for the circumstances, and even for the policies themselves that could have been used in the wrong way and therefore involuntarily caused hurt on the part of some.

301. In the world at large, it's sadly not uncommon to have a boss or manager, or even a parent or spouse, who consistently behaves in a proud, unloving‚ or overbearing manner; it's just a fact of life. Normally, when a person has problems with those he lives and works with, it's not thought of as something that's so out of the ordinary. It's just natural, something that one must learn to deal with and make the best of. But within the Family, it has been a common practice from the beginning to remove from Family leadership any persons who have been found to consistently operate in an unloving manner.

302. If this has truly been the case, however‚ you ask why some former Family members who have taken psychological examinations have been assessed as having "footprints on their backs"—that is‚ that they've been stepped on and put down. If that is true‚ it's very sad indeed. But consider this. Of the tens of thousands of people around the world who have at one time regarded themselves as Family members‚ not to mention the hundreds of thousands‚ if not millions, who have been influenced by Family teachings, what percentage of those would consider themselves as being hurt or psychologically marked in a negative way by the Family? And how would that percentage compare to the number of non-Family or secular members of society at large who would consider themselves as having been mistreated by their superiors or "walked on" by their own parents, employers, spouses, or others in society?

303. So in conclusion, although the psychological assessments of some of the Family's former members may appear to be negative in some respects, in order to have a complete idea of what those evaluations represent, the findings made by those few psychologists must be put into perspective by comparing them to the findings of other social scientists who have extensively studied the mental condition of the Family as a whole, as well as by comparing them to the mental and emotional "markings" that would inevitably be found by assessing the average member of society as a whole.

(Note: See also "Psychological Seduction: The Failure of Modern Psychology‚" Christian Digest #6.)

It's Time to Choose!

304. (Mama:) The Lord is looking for fighters. He's trying to make each of us strong. Why do you think He allows us to experience this challenge to our faith?

305. This is a time of choice and commitment, a time of sifting and purging. It's the beginning of the era of action, and the Lord is testing and trying each one. Everyone has to choose sides and make a definite stand and commitment, and both the Lord and the Devil have made their presentations, their cases, so to speak. They've presented their evidence, and now the choice rests with each individual as to who they will believe.

306. I'm very sorry for those of you who have had to hear tirades or read letters from disgruntled former members, or even hear those negative stories or statements second or third-hand, because it's very draining spiritually; it's depressing. And despite the fact that often these accusations and claims do not accurately reflect what happened, or at best reflect a little bit of truth with a whole lot of twisting, misconception, and exaggeration, your faith can still be weakened and hurt, and you can find yourself battling doubts and discouragement if you don't get prayer and deep prolonged cleansing from the Word.

307. Peter and I want you to make it. With our explanations in this GN of how it's not right for unbelievers to hang around in the Family, we weren't talking to those of you who believe or who want to believe but who are struggling. If you love the Lord, the Family, the Word, Peter and me and our mission in life, then fight for your place. Hang on! Seek the Lord and go on the attack. Don't let these lies get the best of you!

308. The only way to keep yourself from being weakened by hearing the Enemy's doubts through these avenues is to keep your face turned toward the light. Ask for prayer if you've been subject to such negative comments and doubts. Ask the Lord to speak to you about your questions, and receive the answers He gives in faith. Put your trust in the Lord over man. Look at the fruit of the Word, and the fruit it's borne in your own life. Don't let the Enemy pull you off the wall or cause you to turn your face away from the light. Soak in the Word and study it. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you. Ask the Lord to help you to see things as He sees them, and to be able to lay aside your carnal mind and receive the things of the spirit.

309. If you battle critical thoughts or tend to be analytical, have prayer to understand the spiritual principles the Family is based on. If you look at the situation in the flesh, then you may be pulled down, discouraged and weakened. But if you believe the Lord and His Word, then you can shield yourself from such attacks of the Enemy, and remain strong, full of light, and able to help others and rescue them from the darkness. That's our main job and our calling! So don't let the Enemy trip you up with carnal reasoning and his sinister plot to pull you off the wall.

310. It's your choice, and it's time to choose: Will you believe the Lord's Words or the words of man? Which will stand up in the final judgment?

311. We don't want anyone to feel pressured to remain in the Family, or to be unhappy serving the Lord with us. You are free to go whenever and wherever you feel the Lord is leading you! But if you know that the Lord is calling you to be one of His disciples within the Family‚ then we're glad to have you, and count it a privilege to work alongside you!

Much love in our wonderful Husband and Giver of Life, Mama and Peter

312. P.S. If you have read any of these negative letters or Web sites, here is a simple–to-follow list of things that you should do to be cleansed.

313. m Go to your shepherd, mate, parent or someone who is spiritually strong right away and let them know that you've read some of this anti-Family rhetoric. Whether you feel it has affected you or not, don't wait until you can determine this yourself. Assume that you have been or will be affected, and realize that it's important to nip it in the bud by getting help. Humbling yourself before someone and admitting you need help is an important first step.

314. m Realize the seriousness of this attack‚ and pray desperately for your spiritual protection and that no root of doubts and confusion will grow in your heart.

315. m Ask for prayer, at least from your shepherds, and from the Home if necessary, if the Lord shows you that united prayer is in order. Again, whether or not you feel it's necessary‚ you need the power of prayer to wash you clean of the Enemy's lies and half–truths.

316. m Take some time to come before the Lord personally and ask for His counsel‚ instruction, encouragement, and answers. Let Him speak to you directly. Open your heart and mind and tongue to receive whatever He has to give you. His personal words and promises will be a key to victory.

317. m If you have questions, if there are things that you've read that have caused you specific battles, doubts, or have confused you in some way, bring these specific questions before the Lord. Also share these things with your shepherds and, if you don't have a developed gift of prophecy yourself or if you'd like to get a confirmation or further clarification on the things you received, ask your shepherd or someone who's spiritually strong and has the gift of prophecy to pray and hear from the Lord for you.

318. m Take a mega-dose of the Word. You should be getting good Word time every day anyway, but at a time when the Enemy is launching a serious attack against your faith‚ you need it more than ever. No matter what's happening, take a good hour and a half to two hours daily to read the Word and hear from the Lord personally.

See also "The Way Things Really Are In WS," ML #3309, GN 910-911

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