Monday, December 15, 2014

"Are you implying my apples aren't what they ought to be?"

I have been apprehensive about posting some information that was recently brought to my attention. When I posted about George DeLalio, it was public information, and he was convicted. Convicted of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, plus had been arrested in Maine and had his license to practice Chiropractic revoked in Colorado. It's all easy to find and verify. All of the stories and encounters I have heard regarding him are given more credence when they are backed up by facts. I think it's safe to say, also, that when a predator like him is actually caught and convicted, it usually isn't their first offense. It's actually just the tip of the iceberg. George, like most criminals of his sort, engaged in years of "inappropriate" behavior, and exhibited many warning signs before he was caught.

I found out, in the last week, that george's son David has followed in his father's footsteps. He was arrested as part of a federal investigation into a child pornography enterprise. It isn't clear what his specific role or involvement in this was, but he was charged with "child pornography". Hearing about this made me feel physically sick. I looked into it more because I wanted to be sure this wasn't some other David Delalio, and all just a sick coincidence. But no, it's him. There isn't a lot of information, but here is what I have found:

News Article

This doesn't give a lot of information, and is only in the news because one of the men arrested is the son of a prosecuter. David Delalio is named as one of the other men arrested as part of the investigation.

Federal Inmate Locator

The link may not display the info, but if you search by his name "David J Delalio" This is what you see:

Register Number: 39304-013
Age: 36
Race: White
Sex: Male
Release Date: UNKNOWN

David Jonathan Delalio

  • Cimis Number2014-0004209
  • Age36
  • GenderM
  • RaceWH
  • Charge OffenseFEDERAL
  • Bail AmountNo Bond
  • Location Housing00000000

  • Next Court Date:
  • Court Location:
  • Case Number:

There are only 2 people in the United States named "David Delalio". The other one doesn't fit- he is older.

David Delalio married the daughter of an elder in Colorado, Jake Dimar***o. She is also the granddaughter of Johnny Julie**n, who was a clan head and ran "Shoresh" for many years.She and David have at least three children together. Some people in the Family get married by only having a religious ceremony and never actually get married legally. I am unsure if David and Rachel married legally or not, as she never changed her name, and  I don't know if they are still together now. I hope not.
However, property records show that their house in Colorado was owned by David, and was sold this past summer. Both David and Rachel have kept a pretty low profile on the Internet and social media, so not a lot of information is available. But there is enough.

It just makes me sick that this continued on through another generation. This is a family who is involved- there is no degree of separation. And don't tell me that child-pornography is a victimless crime. Just don't. I have actually had people say that to me. You can debate whether adult pornography is victimless or not, but child porn?
The pictures depict children being sexually abused. They are not "engaging" in sexual activity, they are forced, in one way or another. Even if the pictures are just sexually explicit, and don't portray adults abusing the child, it is still abuse.
I can't even type about this without feeling like my head is going to explode. It's infuriating to me that this even happens, let alone it being shrugged-off. Child pornography is just as bad, if not worse than direct abuse. And it's a crime that never completely ends for the victims; these images are out there forever. Forever. They can never be destroyed or taken back. Do you have any idea how it feels to know that there could be, ARE, people out there still using images of your body and your abuse for their own gratification? Or worse, to gear themselves up to abuse an actual child.

People just fucking suck.

I know that abusers were often abused themselves. I wonder, too, what happened to George's sons growing up, or what they may have been exposed to. Honestly, though, who cares? Once some one becomes an abuser themselves, they are no longer deserving of any sympathy whatsoever. They are simply a lost cause and should be kept away from children for good. Just my opinion, for what it's worth.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

More of the Same

An obvious factor in the "cult" status of Jack Hickman's group is the lack of information a person can find about it's current activities, accounting and membership.
The group has non-profit status for it's various "organizations", yet there is no accountability within these organizations. They are run by the cult, albeit by different members in different areas of the country. None of these organizations admit any ties whatsoever to Jack or his cult, or even to other members or businesses. But they are all connected, all part of the web of the Family.

The only organization that publicly shows some of their names and faces is UMI. Of course, no cult connection is obvious unless you are aware of "who's who" of the group. I will point out some of the connections in this post.

First, though, here is a link to UMI's YouTube channel where you can get a small glimpse of who is involved, and the philosophy behind the groups meditation practices:
UMI Youtube channel

As you can see from the website and the videos created by UMI, it is headed by Emmanuel Sam. and Robert Tar.  Both of these men are elders in the family, as well as clan heads.They are a part of the Colorado group. They often travel around to different family areas for meditation "roundings" or classes.
Some people may take issue with my exposing certain identities and connections, but I will not use full names, only abbreviations. If you have your own knowledge of the group, you will know who I am talking about. If not, you won't, and it shouldn't matter. I want to point out how intertwined the different clans and families have become in one generation. Also, it illustrates that the leadership has not really changed at all. The same names make up the hierarchy now as they did then.

Emmanuel S has several children. His youngest daughter Ket married Kat, the eldest son of Philip R.
Kat is a priest (A captain, I believe), and Ket is now an Elder. They have at least 4 children and live in Maine near Philip.
Robert Tar has a bunch of daughters. One of them, Tamar, is married to Adam Van- High Priest and brother of the King. They also have a few kids and live in Maine near the rest of the Vans.
What about another prince, Richie? Richie has 3 daughters and a son. His eldest daughter Rachel is married to a priest, David Jo. They have children and live in Maine. David Jo. comes from a large family of 6 children. His mother is Suzanne Jo, who is an Elder. Several work at Parsifal, or at the school.

How about Gary? We all know that he married Lynn Gat. Her father became clan head, taking the place of someone else who was in line for the position. Her brother committed suicide a couple years ago. They live in Maine, have a child and run Parsifal.

Another Elder who has been around from the beginning is Bob Fin. He and his wife Sylvia have 4 children. Their eldest daughter Abi is married to Mike Van, the King. Jack really encouraged this union when he was still alive, and they were married at on of the big Family retreats in Estes Park, Co. They have 3 or 4 children and live in Maine. Mike is the CEO of Parsifal.
Bob Fin's son Obed is the Ephraim, or 2nd King of the Family. He is married to the daughter of another prominent family, the Botts. They have children and live in Maine.
Bob's other son is married to the sister of Obed's wife, B. Bott. They have children and live in NH.
There is one other Bott child, a son. He is married to the youngest daughter of Don Smestad, one of the original Lutheran pastors. They have several children and live in NH.

Don S has several children who married within the Family and serve in prominent roles. His eldest daughter married Vinnie Cos, an Elder. His son, Tim, married outside, but his wife is a full and active member of the family. They have around 6 children and live on the Corinna complex in Maine.
Vinnie Cos and his wife have several daughters. The eldest 2 are married to Van men. Of course, they all live in Maine with their children.
Another Elder from Colorado, Dimar has about 4 children. His eldest daughter married David de, son of George de. They have a bunch of kids. His next daughter married one of Emmanuel's sons. Dimar's son, who is a priest captain married Sara G, the daughter of a Maine clan head Steve. Sara is also the "Miriam" of her super-clan, which is basically equivalent to the High Priest. They have children and live in Maine.
Surprisingly, almost all of the Hicks kids married outside, and brought their spouses in to be "finally adopted". Almost all of them live up with the rest of the Corinna folks with their families.
I know, it gets confusing. I need a chart to keep it together myself. This is just a small example of the interlacing of families and leadership roles from the top of my head. There are so many more- I could go on for pages, but you probably get the idea. I suppose a previous commenter was right, at this point, so many people are related in one way or another. Before the 3rd generation start marrying each other, I hope somebody figures out who is cousins with who, and so forth.

I don't believe any "normal" or mainstream churches or communities have the level of intermarriage as this group does. I do think of groups such as the FLDS, the Amish, and some ultra-Orthodox Jewish Sects. The only difference is this group hides their identities and their beliefs in order to blend in with everyone else.

The communities that are not in Maine or Colorado seem to be dwindling. People are either moving to Maine, ageing, or have left. Most of the NH group has relocated to Maine, to the Corinna and Albion areas. The upstate NY group is dying out, I think. They are elderly or have left. There is a smattering of people in other places, like Florida and N Carolina, but not very many.

The idea Jack put forth was that the 2nd generation would be more entrenched and dedicated to the family because they were brought up in it. The 3rd generation would be even more so. Less and less prior baggage to unlearn, and all that. That is why we weren't supposed to be accepted by the "bigger" Family until the 3rd generation. The 1st generation was only partially successful in bringing their children up to be faithful Family members, but the dedicated 2nd generation has been very successful. That's just my opinion, and it remains to be seen, but the children of these marraiges have a lot to overcome in order to be independent of the Family. A lot of youth may have slipped away, but the ones who actively stayed are even more dedicated than their parents. Marraige between members creates a perfect environment for raising future clanheads, elders and prophets. It keeps the Davidic and Priestly lines pure. It also makes it much more difficult and complicated for one spouse to leave if they begin having doubts.

PS- Please don't use full names of members in the comments, unless they are already identified publicly.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nothing Too New

I recently obtained a set of notes from 2003. They are dated in May of that year, so I believe they may be from a retreat. Retreats usually occur/ed in May during Memorial day weekend and/or during December  around Christmas. I think this retreat would have been in Colorado, but I am unsure. Either way, it was interesting, as the first page of notes deals with Family business; essentially the structure/hierarchy and how it will stand after Abba is gone. Jack was in poor health at the time and died not long after, so this was quite relevant. The rest of the notes go into the typical Family spiritual nonsense so I am not going to go into it right now, beyond the first paragraph.

First, a little note on some of the terms/Family structure for those who are unfamiliar:

There is a priest from each Mish. They are not in the Davidic line, but the Priestly line, and are consecrated as such. Among the priests, there are Captains, and at the top, the High Priest. That High Priest was Gary C at the time.
Each of the 3 Families also has a Davidic line for the males and females. The first 2 names in the male Davidic line are David and Joseph. So, each Family has someone who is consecrated as a David and a Joseph. These are actual positions in the hierarchy (only males get a position attached to their consecrated names. Women just get a name. Probably just to keep us happy. But I digress...).  The "David", like King David, is in position to be king, however, only one David can be active at a time. The same applies to each position. The reason Mike V became the active king is because he was in the position of "David" for his superclan. His father was the "Superclan Head". 
The "David" of each Superclan, or family, is the eldest son of the Prince who heads that Superclan. If the eldest son is a priest, then it goes to the next son. 
The 3 princes who head the 3 Superclans are Phil R, Robert Van and Richie W. So the Davids in line to be king are Avi R (his older brother Katriel is a priest), Mike Van and Jeremy W. -


Back to the notes:
"when Abba is gone, the High Priest remains High Priest (Gary) and the eldest King remains King-aka the "melachim kadot" (Michael). These positions are until death. Their responsibility (among other things) is to keep the clans and superclans intact.
The position of Joseph (aka "the Ephraim") the 2nd King, also remains until death. This position is held by Obed F.
"The priests will not disintegrate. They are capable enough to do anything. Gary will take Abba's place in the Family"

Funny, I don't remember hearing that Gary would take Abba's place in the Family. He did, but I thought it was just by default- because he was Abba's right-hand-man, and everyone just treated him that way after Jack died. Obviously, I was wrong. It was the plan all along. I suppose I should have paid attention more, like my parents always told me to!

As we know, he stepped down as High Priest after the prophecies began a few years ago, and it was passed to Adam V, the King's brother. Gary's position in the Family hasn't changed, though, as far as taking Jack's place. He is still THE man. Even so, most major decisions are left to Mike.
Gary has never officially become the next "Abba", apparently, the Family is Abba-less right now until a new one is chosen. Of course, the procedure for that is that the next Abba will be visited by his Maggid, or teacher, and told that he is to be the next Abba. Three other important men in the Family will all have the same dream or vision at the same time, and will be told a time and place to meet, and who the next Abba is. Or something like that.

So, what is the state of the Family right now in 2014?

First, there is a lot less information going around. There has been quite an effort, since the blogs appeared, to keep info off the Internet. Very little is emailed anymore. Schedules of events are word-of-mouth only, or printed strictly for the clan heads to share with their mish members.

I am fairly certain that the people who are going to leave have left, and those that remain will be here until the end. It was a self-fulfilling prophesy that the group would be pared down to only the most righteous. The fanatics, as Jack always said we were to become. And as a whole, that group is much smaller than before. But also much more focused and fanatical.
I want to say that the group is also aging, and it is, but there are still a lot of children being born and raised in these core families. The college-age youth seem to be slipping away, as was bound to happen, as they go away for school and meet new people. As a result, some of the groups have tried restricting the youth's choices of schools and careers. The healthier families still encourage and support their children to make their own decisions, and these youth have participated less and less in Family things.

There was a youth retreat this past May in Maine. From what I understand, it was poorly attended compared to the other retreats of the last decade. The new generation of priests are floundering as they attempt to teach and inspire the new youth. In the past, it was Abba, or the recent memory of Abba that kept things going. Most of the kids now have very distant memories of Jack, if any at all.
The leadership has tried to compensate for this by pulling out all of the old videos of Jack speaking and replaying them for the youth, and anyone else who will listen, for that matter.

Sometimes I get just a little bit of a hopeful feeling, and I think, maybe it will just fade into nothing as the older generation gets even older... one can always hope, right?

Yet, from a different perspective, there is a lot happening. People are being "called" to do different things, like move, or live with specific people, or alter projects. Corinna is the center now, for all intents and purposes. It is where the King resides, which is where the "home" of the Family is.
The school in Corinna, which has operated for more than 10 years now, continues to grow. They have outgrown the school building, and moved the younger grades to the "barn" across the street. The school used to go up to the 6th grade. Now you can remain for your junior high years for more intense education.  There is still "Torah Time" weekly for all of the Family children, and due to some issues with proximity to the central location, there are new "Torah Time" groups in other areas. There is also preschool for the 3 and 4-year-olds.

Work continues on the camps "up north". Despite some chatter I have read on different boards, nobody actually lives up in any of these compounds full-time. people will often stay there for weeks at a time for the purpose of working on them, but that is all. While it has never been said or announced, common speculation is that when the time comes, the children of the Family will be sent there to survive, along with some of the older youth who have special positions, or to take care of the youngsters. You won't find that written anywhere, though.
Somebody asked what is going on in Acton Maine. I honestly have no idea. I have not heard of anything in that area. If I do come across any information I will be happy to share.

Another poster mentioned that there are separate ministries consisting of people who claim to have left, but didn't. I don't believe that is the case. Most people who left really did just leave. There are lots of former members who maintain contact with current members through Facebook, but Facebook is not indicative of any sort of relationship beyond Facebook.  I don't think it means much of anything. The only exception is the Colorado group that consists of members who broke contact with the Main group because of issues with the prophecies and ripples in leadership. These people have not left however, and still consider themselves Abensurs. It is a small group, I believe. I am only guessing, but from what I can tell by my own observation is that it includes people such as Jim Weg and family, the Kevin M family, the Frieds, the Leos, maybe. For all I know, it could be resolved by now.

Speaking of Colorado, UMI has grown quite a bit recently. They have expanded by building new meditation and residence halls. They have planned a dedication event this winter which I believe is open to the public.

Basically, they are all still plugging along. I still believe, strongly, that things will not end well for most of this cult, especially as time goes on, and world events are perceived as proof of prophecies fulfilled. For them, we are on the brink of the End Times, whether or not that is reality. I hope I am wrong.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Back...with a slightly straighter head

Where to begin...

A new year has begun, for those of us who are Jewish, and this has been a time of evaluation, reflection and renewal in my life. In evaluating this blog, stepping away is what had to happen for a little while. It is too easy to get lost in the unimportant details, the illogical arguments and the general chaos and insanity of this group and its many layers of "members". There are so many more important things to do with my time and energy. My life doesn't revolve around this blog. It doesn't even revolve around the Family much anymore, so when I notice too much of my time or thoughts being consumed with it, it's time to step away.

For those who were concerned about how the trolls and their stupid comments affect me- no worries. I'm a big girl. I can handle criticism, name-calling and threats. I know they just want to shut me up, or at the very least make me doubt myself.  Well, they haven't. I stopped writing because I needed to evaluate, for myself, my purpose in continuing this blog. What is the benefit to me at this point, or  to anyone else? Getting into arguments with cult members, and nit-picking the details isn't where I want to go. I also don't want to feed morbid curiosities or fuel the fires of pissed-off past members or friends/relatives of members. Anything I choose to say "against" the Family can be twisted and thrown back at me. Anything I reveal about my experiences or my thoughts makes me vulnerable in one way or another, I guess. That's just the nature of what I'm doing here.
In reality, I can only write what I want to write, and I have no control over what people do with it once it is posted. That's a choice I make, and I need to be willing to deal with the consequences of it, whatever they may be.

I do want to say something about a few of the anonymous comments, and Waawaawaa;
while there are plenty of idiotic people to go around in the Family, I really think it's possible that these guys are trolls. They sound completely illogical (at least to me), and honestly, most Family members just don't speak this way. I may be wrong, but I think some posters just enjoy getting a reaction out of other readers. If they are actual members, well, I still don't hear those points of view in the mumblings and conversations I have been privy to. So, I have chosen to simply ignore them. If they are at all serious in their opinions, arguing with them is a colossal waste of time and energy. What more could any of us possibly say at this point?
And by the way, anonymous veiled threats on a blog are just...pathetic.

Even more pathetic are some of the other threats I have received. I was told that I should prepare myself because my death would come shortly. Those were the exact words "your death will come shortly". I felt alarmed, for, like, a split second.  I was also told that my actions would bring suffering to myself and anyone I loved. I was told that I don't know what pain and suffering are but to get ready for it.
At first I thought :"these assholes are actually threatening me?!"
But none of the words are direct threats. If they are from Family, I believe they were meant on some sort of spiritual level, according to their beliefs.  Again, I don't really hear people talking that way. Also, as much as some people hate to hear this, most members really are good, sincere people who believe in the whole idea of "love thy neighbor". They believe it in their own warped way, maybe, but the purity of intent is still there. People don't go around threatening other people. Its not a "normal" part of Family life to try to force the will of others in such a direct way.

If nothing else, the comments illustrate why many of us are hesitant to question things openly, or to speak out about our negative experiences. So thanks for that.

It seems like there is still some question as to whether things have changed over the years, and if "bad stuff" still happens. It's a good question. Things have definitely changed. The Family of the 80's is drastically different from the Family of 2014, by all accounts. To clarify, I never said that the members are all bad, or even that all of the kids who grew up in it have been adversely affected. While it isn't my experience, I can accept that growing up in the Family has been positive for some of us. In fact, some of the "youth" could probably call their childhoods idyllic. I have heard some of my peers describe it that way, and I understand it; they have grown up in extremely tight-knit families with their aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents all around them. Family gatherings and holidays are big, warm events. In today's society, how many of us can say that we are still surrounded by the same close friends and family that we had as infants and children?  A member can go to a dinner, or a holiday party and watch their children play with the children of the same friends they played with as toddlers. You can watch your children run up and hug their teacher who was also your teacher in preschool. If somebody is having a baby, there are weeks of meals delivered their house. If there is a need, there is always somebody there to fill it. That is the reality of the family for some people. For them, it doesn't seem to come with a price. And maybe it really doesn't. I just don't know.

But whether or not bad stuff is happening, bad things did happen. For you members who are reading this, did you know about the things that were happening then? How can you be sure those things aren't happening now? Some one stated in the comments, that things have changed because the Family consists of life-long friends, and many are related to each other. I think that the older generation considered themselves to be just as close and tight-knit back in the 80's and 90's. The biggest players in the cover-ups and abuses from my childhood, as well as Freckle's, Pnina's and others- they are the same today as then. They aren't the ones who left when Jack was exposed as a fraud, they are the ones who stayed, had kids, became leaders.
I don't think anyone has claimed that this is a cult that aims to abuse kids or beat up wives. That isn't the point. The point is that kids have been abused, and it is the culture of this group that, if not  making it happen directly, was complicit in it's continuation, and in sheltering the abusers and silencing the victims. And unfortunately,  a group of people who are close-knit or related does NOT decrease the likelihood of a child being abused in that group. In fact, if there is a pedophile or an abusive parent among them, the blind trust and accessibility to kids is ideal. Add the culture of secrecy and silence that exists in the Family, and there is the perfect opportunity. This is something I know all too well. I am not saying that kids are necessarily being abused right now. But don't be so quick to just assume that they aren't, or that it can't happen- your parents would have claimed the same thing 10 or 20 years ago, yet it was happening. There is no way to be sure.
I can tell you that some things have definitely NOT changed- the secrecy that is required of members, and the distrust of outsiders and the "system".
There are plenty of times that I second-guess myself and want to believe that things have changed for the better, and that the Family has made positive changes. That is when I remind myself that the basic tenets of the cult have not changed. Until they do, it will always be suspect in my eyes.

It is ridiculous to have to rehash this again, but I feel it is necessary. Why is there still debate over whether there was abuse within this cult? Whether it is directly or by default, the members and leadership are culpable for things that happened in the past, as well as for things that didn't happen, such as the reporting of crimes and suspected abuse.
There were KNOWN crimes that occurred. Must I point them out once again?
1) A child was raped by two older boys, brothers, the sons of a clan head. People knew about it. Leadership knew about it. The girl was never helped. The boys were never held accountable (or helped either, for that matter). Their clan head father gave the girl's family a new car to console them. I'm sure this wasn't much consolation for the girl. Not only was nothing done, this child was forced to be face to face with her attackers over and over for years, and not allowed to be bothered by it.
Better yet, the dad treated the girl and her family to a Family trip to Spain where they got to hang out with these boys and their family. Nice, huh?
Yes, these boys grew up and continue to be members of the Family.

2.) The dad mentioned above is a pedophile, and is a convicted sex offender. He has held leadership positions in the past despite this being known. I don't know the extent of his early behavior in the Family, but he was and experienced creepo as time went on. He lost his license to practice chiropractic in Colorado due to sexual misconduct. Youth in the Family were forbidden to have contact with him for a little while in the late 90's due to his questionable behavior and motivations involving young person(s) in the group. Then he apologized for gossiping or speaking against the elders or something dumb and everything was ok again. He was arrested for criminal mischief in Maine. He was arrested and convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor in Wyoming. He lived in Maine for a few years before he got arrested in Wyoming- I saw him at all the events and meetings. No one seemed concerned that he was around their children despite knowing of his history. Is he still involved? I am not sure, but since he lives in Florida, I have not run into him lately.

3) Pnina's family was known to be "unsafe". Jack himself recommended that other parents not let their children spend the night there because it was not a safe place for them. The dad is known to behave sexually inappropriately. He attempted to rape another adult member a few years ago.
One of the sons in the family is a convicted pedophile. Kids in that family were raped. Nothing happened and nothing was ever reported. Yes, the parents are still full active members who I see often. They love spending time with children, and love participating in activities with the family school.

4.) Another family was known to be abusive. The dad is a clan head and was an Elder. One of the daughters was put into foster care. The elders all knew, but did anything happen? No. Was anybody aware of the abuse before she was taken? Yes, they did. Being a mandated reporter only means something when it involves children who are not in the Family. Abensur kids are in a different category, and are not subject to the laws of the system.

5) Most of you have read Freckle's blog and know about her experiences. I need not say more.
Go back and read it again, as well as Pnina's. Maybe you missed something.

I could keep going. You already know some of my story, and it doesn't need to be repeated.
 Of course, this doesn't include the antics of Jack, who had inappropriate, if not illegal, sexual relationships with teenage boys. But that was so long ago, so it doesn't matter anymore, right?
Never mind the fact that the leadership then still exists now. And Jack doesn't control things from the grave? Yes, yes he does actually.

Waawaawaa and anonymous, what is it you don't get? Do you really believe these things don't matter? For those of you who say that things are different now- doesn't that mean you acknowledge that something was wrong then? If so, How do those leaders explain themselves? For you youth out there- we all grew up together. Have you ever asked your parents what they knew? What they know now?

I've gone way off course here. I won't keep rehashing the same stuff we all know. It just continues to boggle my mind that it is so easy to dismiss these things. And they are only the tip of the iceberg. Unless I am seeing this from a very skewed perspective, some things will always boggle my mind.
Yet some of the anger has dissipated since I began this blog more than a year ago. The need to get things out was incredibly overpowering at times, but I don't feel the need to put things into words quite as intensely as I did. But it's still there, so I'll keep going. I haven't run out of things to say, not yet anyway. As long as the Family is still organized and moving, I'll have something to say about it.

On another subject;
There are a couple comments that mention a lawsuit of some sort. Just to be clear, I am not a part of anything along those lines. I'm not sure where that is coming from, but it seems unlikely that a lawsuit could ever come to pass in regards to the Family. First of all, who would be sued?
Jack? He's dead. A fraud for sure, but nonetheless, dead. I don't believe there is any legitimacy behind that idea/rumor.
Keep in mind also that posting Jack's ancestry wouldn't make something like a lawsuit any more feasible. There is no smoking gun here. You may know his great grandma's name and where she was from, but does that prove anything about whether or not she was a secret descendant of Jesus? Not really. You are still going to need to use your own reasoning abilities and decide for yourself how likely some of his claims were. And as one poster mentioned, does it really matter? What if some evidence was uncovered at some point that proved he was a secret Jew from wherever? It wouldn't change the fact that he was a liar, a narcissist, a fraud and a predator. He was that, no matter what else he was.

-Until next time

Monday, July 21, 2014


It has been a little while since my last post, and I have received some emails from people concerned that I have stopped writing or fearing that I am ready to take the blog down as other bloggers have done. Rest assured, I'm not finished. I have two posts that I have been working on, one being some of Jack's genealogy., which I know some people have been impatient to read. This stuff can be incredibly time consuming and tedious. And emotional. I often find myself consumed with it, and heading to a very bad place. If I don't rip myself away from it and take a break , I fear I will go over the edge without even realizing it. Sometimes I just need to stop.
Last August, when I began this blog, I was bursting at the seams. When you realize your whole life was built on a bunch of lies and perpetuated by a bunch of assholes, there's a sudden urge to scream from the rooftops. At least for me. Those first few posts were hard- I literally spent weeks half expecting to be struck by lightening because of the irrational fear that maybe it was all true and I was committing the ultimate betrayal. Silly and narcissistic, I know. But that's how it was.
Here it is, almost a year later, and not much has changed. It's easy to point fingers and expose lies from behind anonymity, and I haven't gained the strength to stand by my own convictions and be honest. I am still living the same lie I was living a year ago, and I have no plans to change that anytime soon. I keep hoping, foolishly, that other people will read what I and other bloggers write and take the action I am afraid to take- confronting the leadership, exposing the lies, and making it easy for me to make my exit. I'll never do it because I am a coward. I hate change and I hate the idea of losing my friends,losing my only support system, and being alone. Yup, when it comes right down to it, my choice is always selfish.

Yet, I'm alone anyway, and the same support system I don't want to lose is a farce. Some of you know what I mean. I know there are others who play the game but know the truth, and aren't ready to rock the boat.
I just don't know where to go from here. Do any of you identify with that place of being stuck somewhere emotionally, and intellectually knowing exactly where you are stuck and why, and being unable to reconcile the two? I remember Freckles, or someone, saying that you can only live this way for so long (going through the motions while knowing different, hiding your true beliefs, etc) before you break. It's true. The hardest realization of that is seeing how shallow relationships are. People you have known since infancy are unaware of who you really are (and vise-versa). You share so much history and experience, but it that is it. Then there are the people on the "outside" who you develop relationships with, but they only reach a certain point. It's surreal, being with family and friends, living your life, yet being so completely separated and unknown to  each other.

There are many levels to separating yourself from the group, or its common beliefs. I question myself constantly, and I often wonder if I am pointing my blame and anger in the right direction. Is my experience different from others in the same group because of my own personal experiences? Did what one person did to me mar my view of the whole thing? If that never happened, would I be as secure and certain of my beliefs like everyone else?
Who is truly responsible for where I am? Is it myself, by my own choices and
 lack of action? Is it the man who raped me and and made me a pariah to myself? Is it my family who brought me up in their dysfunction?
Ultimately we are all responsible for our own choices and our own destinies. I know that. But I am still stuck.
The truth is, I have had too much to drink tonight, and I shouldn't be writing. But, that is when I am the most honest, so I'm just going to let it go.

When I was a kid I attempted suicide. It was an incredibly rough time in my life, but no one really noticed. I remember just being tired. Something minor had happened at home, but on top of all the other things I had been trying to keep in check, I just couldn't hack it. It was just enough to overwhelm me, and I wanted out. I knew that I simply could not deal with the next day, so I chose not to. A relative lived with us at the time, and I took their bottle of prescription medication and swallowed every single pill, one at a time. I felt more peaceful than I had ever felt, and I wrapped myself up in my blankets fully believing that when I closed my eyes, I would never open them again.
No, I am not suicidal. But I feel tired, like I did then. I am sick of keeping up the charade, but I don't know how to do anything else. Every time I talk with someone in the Family, I look in their eyes, and I wonder if they feel just like I do. The charade is second nature, so there is no way to know. Now, when I'm tired of it, I have the urge to pack up what I need and hop onto a bus to somewhere else. Or to just retreat, shut everyone out and start over. Or just pretend everything is fine, smile and keep on going. None of them are constructive, and they don't solve the problem. Unfortunately I am not in a position to bow out and fade away without notice. I will have to face the questions, the "talk", the confrontation with certain individuals. It's and inevitability I just need to stand up and face. How do I prepare for that? Maybe there isn't any preparation- it's like stepping off a cliff and seeing what happens.

In reality, I can't blame too many people for where I am now. I am as accountable for my choices as anyone else. I am not a kid anymore, I am an adult. Venting is good, as long as when I'm done I can look at everything from a fresh perspective, minus my self-absorbed tunnel vision.

In the meantime, I am going to ignore this blog whenever I need to, and don't be insulted if I don't respond to your emails right away.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


A couple of readers asked questions that I will address in a post rather than in the comments because my responses probably require more characters than allowed there.

Getting kicked out:

Using Family jargon, "kicked out" is synonymous with being "left-sided" or "excised from the kingdom". It's loaded language which has a deeper meaning than merely being kicked-out. "Kicked-out implies simple removal from something without necessarily suffering any other consequences. "Left-sided" implies much deeper spiritual consequences, which will follow you for eternity because it affects your very soul.
The "right" and "left" are pretty basic concepts in the group that we are taught very early: right = positive, and left = negative. You want to be on the right-side of God. If you aren't, you cannot be part of the Kingdom. If you do something that the Family cannot tolerate or accept, they can have you "left-sided". There is a process involved, but once you are "left-sided", you are out, but you are also spiritually invisible, a lost soul. You have turned away from God and are excised from the Kingdom of Israel forever. God will still use you, of course, to benefit the Family, most likely by your death. We have been taught that death creates positive energy, and that it can be used despite some one's refusal to follow His will on their own.
Simply put, they are going to (the Familys' convoluted version of) hell.

Aaron asked if anyone is actually kicked out anymore. My answer is no, not really, but sort of. But, using his term, no one actually has the balls to come out and directly do it.

It certainly happened in the past, here and there. There were individuals who were sent packing for one reason or another such as "broken shalom" that was unable to be resolved. The offending party could be left-sided by the Elders or Abba.
As time has passed and the cult has thinned out, it is handled more "sensitively", as no one wants to step on toes or offend the person's family members or close friends. But it still happens, albeit in a more subtle way. I guess you could say the leadership is very passive-aggressive in their tactics regarding removal or left-siding a member.
As for examples:

Leading up to the 1996 reappearance of Jack, the CH's were notified that they were to seek out any members of their clans who had left, and invite them back into the fold.They had until a certain date to woo them back in. The CH's complied; they actually started calling and visiting these former members, sometimes after years of estrangement. Very few were successful in convincing people to come back. Those that refused to rejoin were left-sided, permanently cut-off from the Family and the Kingdom.
As if they cared, because, you know, they had already left and didn't want to rejoin anyway...
But for the Family, they appeared to be taking a firm stand by left-siding these people. It was very emotional for some members because they were sealing the fates of former close friends, and even relatives by failing to get them to rejoin. They were essentially doomed.

According to a source, Gary threatened to left-side people at a retreat when they were held in Pennsylvania. Apparently there was some drug use going on among the youth, which angered Jack. He gave lectures that taking drugs was a shortcut to a higher consciousness that would cripple your ability to become spiritual in a genuine way. He didn't like it, and some kids were doing it anyway. Gary stood up at a teaching or something, and stated, very definitively, that anyone caught doing drugs would be immediately removed from their position, if they had one, and possibly excised from the Family. It was absolutely not going to be tolerated.
Drug use and alcohol were relatively prevalent in certain circles of youth, and leadership tried to take a hard
line. I don't know if anyone was actually removed from a position, but drug use continued, and Gary later recanted the threat.

Once the youth were consecrated into the Davidic and priestly lines, there were some removals. There was a particular boy in a high position on the Davidic line (for the males, the first 4 names in the dynastic line are an actual position. For the females, the names mean...nothing. I think they were consecrated just to placate them). This boy was making choices that people had problems with, such as having sex, or living with his girlfriend or something along those lines. He was given an ultimatum: follow the cult rules, or lose your position. He chose to continue to make his own choices, so he was removed. Was he actually left-sided? I don't know. But he is no longer involved.

That is a passive-aggressive tactic the Family uses. They will put the "undesirables" in a position where they have no choice really, except to leave. They will make things uncomfortable or downright unbearable until they choose to walk out on their own. There are a lot of examples of this:
There have been divorces. That process is quite long and complicated because it involves the Elders and clan heads. If you are the wife of a clanhead, you may be told you have to remain in that clan with your ex husband as your clan head. That means you have to accept your ex as an authority is many ways over your personal life and decisions. In fact, if she wants to remarry, she would be required to ask him. Usually, actually almost always, one spouse will leave the Family in a divorce situation. They aren't given a real choice, and the leadership will make sure that the one who is more expendable leaves.

They also hope that some members will just fade away. If someone marries an outsider without permission, that person will often not be accepted by the Family. The member will be required to withhold information from their non-member spouse. They will no longer hear about or be invited to many functions and meetings. Their children will not be considered as having an identity in the Family. Some of these members have managed to plow their way through these obstacles and continue to be involved, albeit in a limited sense. Most are unable to reconcile the two situations and fade away as hoped.

There have been priests who were removed from the priesthood for various reasons, or threatened with removal. As far as I know, every person who has actually been removed from a position has left the Family. Reasons have included anything that is considered to be unrighteous behavior for a priest: marrying an unapproved person, making statements that oppose the Family's beliefs, entering a profession that is "off-limits" to the priesthood, being suspected or confirmed as betraying the family through blogging, commenting or facilitating gossip or slander. There are all sorts of reasons one may be removed.

There are clan heads and Elders who have been removed. I am unclear on specific reasons, but I believe they involved ineffective leadership, addiction issues, or "broken shalom" without proper resolution. Maybe some of you readers know more and can share.

Yet, there are people who should have been kicked out or removed from leadership positions who never were: criminals, drug users, child abusers, etc. Why? It becomes obvious that there is no basic set of principals or structure that is followed. We have been told that the law is black and white. The covenant is black and white, and there is no room for interpretation. yet they do as they please, just like Jack did. It is all about politics and who they consider most beneficial to themselves.

I suppose this is all a long-winded way of saying what Aaron already said: " I don't know if anyone has the balls to actually try and remove someone."
They don't. But if they don't want you, they will do what they can to make you want to leave, or feel like you are unwelcome.

I do have a burning question of my own:
Is George Delalio still a member? I have not seen him recently but I do not want to ask directly. Was he kicked out? Did he leave on his own after his arrest in Wyoming? Is he still a clan head or hold any other position? I would love to know. Because he is a perfect example of some one that should have been kicked out years ago, yet was not. The leadership were aware of his behavior and actions, so what is their rationale for keeping someone of his sort?

Question "How does the leadership deal with this info?"

This was asked back in May, and the poster was asking how they dealt with the Internet information that exposes that Jack was a liar and a fraud.

It is dealt with in different ways. When the Family first discovered that they were being talked about on the Internet, specifically the Rick Ross Cult Forum, there was some nervousness, anger, surprise and even some panic. Members were trying to figure out who was writing and paranoia was rampant. They wanted to quash it, but didn't know how. Some people did tell others not to read it. People were told to ignore it and not to "give it energy". There was a "prophecy" that directly addressed the people posting on the Internet.
At one meeting, Gary got up and stated that he was willing to answer any questions people had. He said he was available to anyone who wanted to speak with him, or discuss anything they had questions about. He said he had nothing to hide and would answer honestly. I don't know if anyone took him up on that offer. I believe it was a way to find out who was on the fence so they could be reassured and drawn back in.

The posters were referred to as people who left a long time ago and just couldn't get past it. People would turn their noses up and say things like "do people really have such unfulfilled lives that they are STILL holding onto stuff from 20 years ago?!" or " I just feel sad for theses people".
Some members were truly incredulous that anyone would actually read any of it. There are people who to this day have not read the Foibles article and never will because they are so convinced it is all lies. It is impossible to have a logical discussion with most of them.
I can tell you from personal experience that some resorted to nasty emails, and outright threats.
But nothing happened except more blogs popping up. When it became clear that people would not be silenced, it all became a subject that is almost taboo. Their tactic now is to simply not address any of it. It is completely ignored, and the family continues to operate just as before, albeit with much greater caution regarding printed material or emails. It is rarely spoken about except for the occasional mumblings between friends.
The last 4 years has been regarded as a 2nd big split, the first being the Foibles article in the 80's. They say "We are being tested. The truly faithful and righteous will remain steadfast while the others will fall away. Abba always said this would happen."
Jack did always say this would happen. He was smart enough to know that lies have a way of eventually being exposed as such. He was thinking ahead.

As I said, there is no way to have a rational discussion with most of these people. They deal with the information by ignoring it, or reverting to faith and beliefs. You could stand in front of them with proof in black and white that Jack lied, and they simply would not believe it. They have ultimate faith in the lies jack told, and for most, absolutely nothing will change that.
So, from their perspective, why do anything but ignore it at this point?

As the family has hoped, the exposure has faded. There are no active blogs anymore about this cult except this one. That is unfortunate because there was a lot of excellent information and writing out there. They were crucial in my own progress towards separating myself from this group, and were for others as well. I hope there are others out there who will be willing to share their experiences, thoughts and struggles.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Rules: Marriage, Sex and Relationship

In January each year, the Family has what they call their "Super Clan" (SC) meetings. The structure and procedures of the group can be confusing if you are not a member, so I usually feel the need to rehash some of it to put the information in context. If you already have a grasp on this, and it's old news, then ignore the next paragraph or two.

As you may remember, the supposed "larger" family of Abensurs in Europe were not going to accept our group of "adopted" Abensurs; the "scattered tribe" that Jack found and gathered, until the 3rd generation. This was to ensure that our group had learned enough and practiced correctly long enough to have a generation of purely "adomic" souls ready to fulfill their destiny.
In 1996, Jack came out of seclusion to bring us together because God told him he didn't have a lot of time left to fulfill his purpose. Because time was short, the other Abensurs were accepting us, the first two generations, into the Family. They gave us the title of "tribe of Jesse". We were officially the 13th tribe, and special. Now that we were full-fledged Family members, our little tribe was to be structured just like that family, which was actually 3 families: Abensur, Abendana and Abenais.
So we were divided up among the 3, but still remained one tribe. Each of the three was now called a "superclan", which consisted of a "super-clan head" , 4 elders, priests, 1 Miriam, and the clans (mishpachas) which each had its own clan-head. If you are anything like me, that's all a bunch of confusing nonsense. Eventually I will post a neat little chart, in the meantime, bear with me.

So, at these meetings, there are often messages or updates from each individual "Super-clan" and maybe from the Elders, the priests, the Miriams, whoever wanted to speak.

In the years right after Jack's death, there was an effort to keep people aware of the structures and rules Jack taught, especially as the youth were coming of age and heading out into the world of college and relationships outside of the Family. Along with the fear of losing youth to "the world", our parents worried that if things weren't done "right", we would marry outsiders with demonic souls from the left side, and give birth to little demon-souled babies. Seriously. Let us pick our own spouses chose when and if to get married? Not a chance.

In January 2005, the big meeting took place in Colorado. The Elders prepared a presentation on Marriage, Sex and Relationship. It was basically a reiteration of the Family rules that we are to abide by. The following is  from the summary of the meeting that was handed out to all members:

(Abbreviations: E= Elder, CH= Clan Head, C= Clan)

For anyone who believes that the covenant or the Family's rules and structures are "old-school" and no longer followed, you're wrong. This is what is expected of every single member, as it is spelled out by the Elders in 2005.
All power in the decision-making process rests with the Elders, along with your Clan-head. While they state that each couple is treated with love and respect, they do not respect you enough as an adult to make your own choice regarding your spouse or relationships. There are youth who have asked why we need to go through this process, and the answer is: your parents, your Clan-heads and your Elders have spiritual insight and experience that you do not have at this point in life. There is a lot involved in the process of creating a correct marriage especially if the other person is from outside of the Family. The Elders need to decide if you are compatible in temperament, and in spirituality. They want to know what your plans are financially and professionally. They want a rundown of each person's debts and assets.
If your prospective spouse is from outside of the family, they want to know his or her family history. They want to know how spiritual they are, and if they will be able to be brought into the Family as a fully committed member. This process takes as long as they want it to take. They will "test" the person in various ways. The "Family" will be introduced to them according to how the CH or Elders decide to share the information.
If you are both from the Family, it will need to be decided which Clan the couple will become a part of. There is a lot of details to work out in that process. Sometimes it's political, like royal marriages of old: will the union bring together two large or powerful families? Will it benefit the other members of these families? Will one clan be risking the loss of an integral member to another across the country? Is either person an heir, or in the priestly line?
It gets very invasive. If a priest want to get married, it must be assured that the woman is a virgin. He doesn't have to be, of course. All of the priestly laws concerning marriage must be followed. If they are not, then their children can never become priests, or marry priests.

The Elders never come right out and say that you have no choice in the matter, but they spell it out exactly that way.

"The parents must know how their CH feels they must support their CH"
What does this mean? It means that the parent has to support whatever their CH says, even if they don't agree. If the couple is lucky enough to have the support of both sets of parents, and either CH says no, it can end there. Ther is something the couple can still do:

"Couple could request assistance from the E's if they percieve an issue between their CH's or parents."
So, if the CH's and parents cannot agree, you can pass it off to the Elders. They are the ones who ultimately decide your fate as a couple. You still are not to make the choice yourself.

"The E's may quell the future action if changes are either not possible or rejected by either party."
The E's will tell the couple what they want to see them do over a period of time, or some sort of progress to be made by one or both individuals. Or, they may decide something needs to be changed- a habit, a goal, a tendency, whatever. If you made it to this point, and they still have some reservations about you, they give you homework. Sometimes this is with the hope that you will fail, and the marriage won't happen. Sometimes it is sincere. What it comes down to, though, is the Elders have the power, the ultimate authority in the Family to say, "NO". If you reject any suggestion (ahem, demand) they have of you, they will "quell the future action".

Of course, the couple can always just go get married anyway.
It's been done. We all still have "free will". But it is not that simple. The decision you make will have long-term and intimate consequences that will affect your marriage and relationships with your closest friends and family, whether you chose to remain in the Family or not.

As with other aspects of Family life, this process can vary greatly. It depends, again, on who you are dealing with. If you live "outside the fold", it could be as simple as telling your CH you want to get married. If they have been happy with you as a couple, or if they simply respect you as an adult, they might say "Great!" The CH would then let the Elders know. In as little as a few days or as long as a few months, your CH could simply call you and say that the Elders have approved, you are now engaged. The couple may never see or speak to the Elders themselves at all.

For others it can be much more drawn out and time consuming. This is true especially for outsiders. The goal is always to have the person marrying in to be "finally adopted" and be a full member of the Family. Sometimes this happens with success. Sometimes, the spouse never gets fully involved, but stays out of the way and allows hteir partner and children to continue involvement. Sometimes the person marrying in says "What in hell did I get into?" and it leads to divorce.
In those cases you get the non-lashon hara, non-judgmental version of the stink-eye from more devout members, and utterings of  "See, this is why we have the process we have in place. We want to see marriages succeed!"
Someone will then make sure the leaving outsider will get a friendly phone call from a concerned member saying to keep their mouths shut about the Family, or else.

You may have noticed at the end of the image above that the Elders handed out the Marriage Guide.
This nifty little packet was compiled by Bob F. and contains several lessons and teachings by Jack concerning marriage and proper conduct and laws within the relationship. It was given to every CH and copies were to be given to every married couple and youth.

The next several posts will be based on this guide, as well as other issues surrounding marriages and relationships within the cult.

Of course, the Elders could not end their presentation without yet another reading of the covenant. Just to make sure.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Blast from the Past

Just a quick one for today.

As a young kid, I remember Jack as a big man with a beard who wore a robe-like thing. Later he appeared as a diminished, feeble old man, becoming more so until his death. I wondered what he looked like as a young man, or as a child.
What was it about him that drew people in? Was he that charismatic? Spiritual? What is it that people saw? I never completely understood how he managed to take this ragtag group of Christain Long Islanders and turn them into thoroughly devoted followers who were willing- even eager to dedicate their lives to him. Even when I believed it all, I still didn't get that part of it.
So, I discovered some yearbook photos of him as a young man from Bob Jones University which he attened while he was still Baptist and planning to become a Baptist minister.

Now I know how he looked as a young person, and I have to say, I still don't get it. However, I decided to share them with you, hopefully adding one more detail to the enigma that is Jack Howard Hickman.

Here they are for your viewing pleasure:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Another Crack in the Facade

Thank you for your patience in waiting for another post. With Spring finally revealing herself, there are many (welcome) distractions from blogging and the workings of the Family. The sunshine brings a sense of renewal and hope. I have eagerly typed a paragraph or two of several new blog posts but then lost my drive to continue. I began this journey last summer, spitting out several posts a month because there was just SO much to get out. There still is, but it is not boiling under the surface as it was. It is a constant hum now, instead of the perpetual pounding that was occurring inside my head this time last year. I can go through almost an entire day without thinking about, or being reminded of the negative stuff. A whole day. I like it. Maybe it's just the Summer, and the wonderful sensory overload that comes with it- whatever- I'll take it, even if it's temporary.


I found some more "teachings" recently.  Every time I think I have found them all, another one appears, some booklet with a neon-pink or orange cover, in the most random places. Just a reminder, I suppose, of how thoroughly Jack and his fantasy world infiltrated my life. I still find myself caught off-guard, and in awe of how freely Jack lied. For such an intelligent man, he lied about some things that are very easy to refute. No one seemed to ever confront the lies and contradictions head-on. Of course, as I have said before, Jack did not anticipate the Internet, and the result being that people could easily research and invalidate claims. 

I found a packet of papers titled "Are You Ready?" There is no date printed, but it appears to be a sermon or teaching from the 70's. He mentions the name "Jesus" instead of "Yehoshua" so it was before Judaism began to take hold in the group. It is also apparent from the text that he is speaking to the young people, the first generation, of the cult, as he speaks about separating them from the older generation to speak of things that the older ones would not understand. I do not intend to post it in its' entirety due to its length, but the premise of the talk is the end times, and being prepared. 

The part that struck me is when Jack is speaking of the "mark of the beast", and survival (or lack thereof) in the cities, specifically NYC, who he claims is the "Whore of Babylon".  The "number" has been a recurring theme since the group's inception. Jack referenced it often, throughout all the different phases of the Family.
It was a given that the social security number everyone has is the tool the "Beast" will use. In the following pages, he talks about this, and about how he "got rid of" his number. 
The section I am referencing starts on the bottom of the first page, and ends about half-way down the second page.

He claims to have have somehow "gotten out" of having a social security number. That is a blatant lie. There is no other way to look at it. It is a simple, bald-faced lie. Just like you and me, Jack had a social security number. He always had it. He died in a hospital in Waterville, Maine, and just like every other person, his death was reported to the social security administration. He wasn't special. He wasn't some sort of non-citizen, or identity-less person like he claimed. He was a regular person, born in the US, with a birth-certificate and a social security number like everyone else.
There may be ways to sign your number away, and there are definitely ways to avoid getting a SS number to begin with, but neither of these apply to Jack Hickman.

Here is his file with the Social Security Death Index:
Name:Jack H. Hickman
BORN:13 Dec 1931
Died:20 Mar 2004
State (Year) SSN issued:Oregon (Before 1951)

His death certificate was issued in Maine:
Jack Howard Hickman
Certificate # 402607
Death: Saturday, March 20, 2004
Waterville, Maine

People took Jack's opinions to heart. I know several people of my generation whose parents refused to register their births with the SS administration to avoid getting a SS number. Of course, once people wanted a job, or needed to register with Selective Service, or go to college, it became moot. They needed it, or would have to live "off the grid", literally. Those parents fully expected the end-times to occur before their children reached adulthood.  Things didn't work out that way, and now we are all ensnared into the system anyway.

In fact, some members of the Family put a lot more effort into following Jack's example than he ever did. This is a link to a court case in which a family is fighting NY's requirement to furnish the state with a SS number for each individual in order for a family to receive government benefits. They went to court, and Jack testified in their behalf to help prove a religious exemption to getting their children registered. 
David Stevens v. Stephen Berger

It is not very interesting, unless you enjoy reading legalese, but it illustrates the lengths people would go to try and live up to standards that Jack preached but didn't bother practicing.

For the family, how do you explain away that lie? How do you rationalize it? It is an honest question, I would like to know how you would explain this to your son or daughter, or a member of your clan if this was presented to you. The reality is there is no room for interpretation, it is here, in black and white.
Regardless of what your personal beliefs are of jack Hickman, one thing is indisputable: he was a liar.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Marriage to the Torah

The "Marriage to the Torah" was a new and interesting concept when Jack first introduced it to his followers in the late 1990's. He often spoke of what made us different from other "Jews", and this was one of them. Bar and Bat Mitzvahs were a relatively new creation, and not as deep and meaningful as being "Married to the Torah".

The following pages are the background that Jack provided for the Family on this ritual. It is interesting reading, as he delves into Revelations, martyrdom, the Family's "history" and who should prepare for this. The idea was to have everyone possible participate in this, and then it would become the "regular" thing for all youth to participate at the age of 13 in place of the Bar Mitzvah. The Bar Mitzvah was never required and only done sporadically by families who were already Jewish, and others who just pretended to be. The bar Mitzvah was seen as a merely a rite of passage.

This is now expected of every youth in the Family. The age at which it must be completed is loose, but it is to be done at some point before adulthood. During the ceremony, your forehead is marked. If you also refuse to take the mark of the beast in the future, you will be among the first resurrected after you die as a martyr.

I don't know if there is any validity to Jack's claims that this is an ancient ceremony only practiced by the Essenes. Who knows. However, none of us are Essenes, nor were we ever, so it doesn't  matter. This really sheds some more light into the mind frame of the Family either way.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An Interview With Abba (circa 1980 or 81)

Some old stuff I have come accross. It might be interesting, a touch ironic, or a little nostalgic.
 Maybe none of the above. Either way, it is a little glimpse into the earlier days and who Jack was to the community.
If you click on the image it should expand it and make it readable.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Moving Forward

Recently a reader posted a question regarding the cult: What do I want to happen moving forward? I haven't answered because I needed to think about that. At this point I am not exactly sure.

My purpose in writing this blog has not changed significantly, though I have lost sight of it along the way. In the beginning, which was only a few months ago, I wanted to add another voice to what already existed. I was reading other blogs and simultaneously coming to terms with my own realizations as well as gauging the reactions of the members around me. It appeared the other bloggers were too easily marginalized by the group; there are only one or two, they are "bitter", they are just the ones with screwed-up families, they never really belonged anyway, they are liars, Abba always said the unrighteous would be weeded-out, this is what we have been warned about, stay steadfast- we are being tested... I heard them all. It made me angry. Even more than that, I knew what I read was mostly the truth. Maybe not every one's truth, but the truth for those who spoke it. This was THEIR experience in THIS group, with the same people that are here today.
I spent years and years suppressing my own voice, so much so that I literally suppressed my whole self. I still lived my life, but I was a walking shell. That was an interesting period of time which is difficult to articulate. Each time I finally accepted that something I had believed my whole life was a lie, another small door to my self opened. I didn't have a clue how to reconcile or make sense of my life, my experiences, what I was taught, what I realized now.
For years, for too many years, I was screaming inside. Maybe no one will understand this, but I had built a wall around what happened to me. Over time it became just completely impenetrable. The pressure, or the obligation to keep quiet was so ingrained that it eventually became virtually impossible to do anything else. My mouth does not have the ability to say the words, I just can't do it. My heart starts pounding, I can't catch my breath, my mouth feels glued shut. But I found out I could write it, or type it. I wrote the words, I posted it, and finally the sense of impending doom started to diminish because guess what? Nothing happened. Even though I wrote it from behind a veil to be read by a bunch of faceless people, it was still cathartic. It was a relief. Saying it to a person wasn't possible, and writing it in a journal didn't have the same effect, but a blog was the perfect medium for me at the time. I didn't really care what anyone who read it thought.

It was also infuriating. Infuriating that I was ever even put in the situation to be raped and infuriating that I spent so many years of my life stuck. Everything has been on hold since seven. I never moved past that. I was never allowed to, first by others then by by own doing. My life has been lived through the filter of being raped and the Family. I hate that I hated myself for it for so many years, and I hate that I feel pathetic for not "getting over it already". But that is another thing about this cult; you can't reach out for help. parents won't reach out beyond the group to help their kids. The Family will take care of it. We are told that going to a counselor or therapist is okay, but it should be with someone who is a member, like Philip or Richie. There is an inherent distrust of  outsiders in that function- they lack the understanding of our spirituality and they are trained to be a part of the "system". So it doesn't happen.

So the blog was a way to voice things I couldn't voice any other way. Also, I wanted to expose as many of the "secrets" as I could. I didn't do that out of vindictiveness, rather it was to just put plain facts out there. No more hiding the truth and no more lies. People who grew up in this cult have a right to know it's history. They have a right to know who their leaders are, and what they have done in the past. What someone does with that information is their choice, but at least it's out there. I wanted information to be accessible. There are people who wanted to read the Foibles article for years, but could not find it. The more people out there who link to it and speak about it, the easier it is to find if someone is looking.

Some people don't agree with this, but if you don't have all the information, you are not making a choice. Also, if the family really is what it claims to be, what is the purpose of being secretive and hiding it's history, and suppressing information under the guise of lashon hora? Be honest. Answer questions truthfully. Invite questions. Are they really afraid of persecution? Well, stand tall in the face of it. If you cannot stand for what you believe it is not worth believing. If you are killed for being steadfast in your faith in the face of persecution, then THAT is what makes you a true martyr, not hiding like rats in the sewer.

But to answer Aaron's question, no I don't expect everyone to move away and break all ties with their friends and families. I have not even done that myself. I am happy that there are people like him who are independent and make their own choices. There are a number of young people like him. But like he said, the fringe is basically everyone who are not north. That is exactly right. The people I am talking about when I refer to the Family are those people, the Maine group. This is the core group of the Family, as well as Colorado. Most of the group is in Maine. Most of the children being born and most of the leadership is in Maine. The cult's "home" is Maine. There have been the calls to move to Maine. Some heeded these, some haven't. But it is what is happening in the family now, with all of the "prophesies" and stepped-up preparations and secretiveness that worries me. The people who aren't in Maine are slowly falling away, while the ones there are becoming stronger as a group and more focused and extreme.

Most of the "youth" in Maine won't even read the blogs. A large majority of them haven't and won't even read the Foibles of article, or even discuss it. But, most of them do stay in contact with the members who are not in Maine. Most stay in contact with the ones who left and who have read the articles and know the truth. My hope is that they will hear enough and see enough to know there is more to the story and that the info is out there should they ever choose to seek it out.

Of course people have the right to believe anything they choose. They have a right to raise their children however they see fit. But you cannot make a choice without having ALL of the relevant information in front of you, good and bad. I expect that many if not most current members will remain a part of the Family. I hope, though, that they will be aware enough to make healthy choices for their children. I hope that their eyes are open to the influences around them, and that they don't raise their children with the shroud of secrecy that I was raised with. It may be perfectly legal, but it is unhealthy no matter which way you spin it.

I don't want to see families break up and completely transform their lives. However, acceptance of other's choices would be nice. Again, I am speaking of the core groups. The hierarchy is ridiculous. No one has a right to tell someone where they are or aren't allowed to go to college, whether they can or can't marry, whether they are allowed to buy a house or car, what profession they are allowed to pursue. These things happen on a regular basis in the cult. It is a part of the covenant. Obviously no one can physically force an adult to do anything, but there are many factors involved in coercion and they are used constantly. A kid should be able to make their own choices without the threat of being excised from the kingdom, shunned by their own family, made a pariah in the community, made to feel guilty for turning away from the right path, threatened with losing their positions, threatened with forcing God's hand to use them for his purposes despite their choices, as well as many other tactics. And if your family is among the more extreme, the tactics are more intimidating and forceful. Maybe you don't experience that within your own family out there hundreds of miles away, but that is not the reality within the group.

 I would also love to see the school in Corinna shut down. Despite popular belief, the teachers there are not licensed teachers. They are just cult members. Maine is very home-school friendly. You do not have to be a certified teacher, nor do you need to provide any sort of curriculum. They are being indoctrinated. They are being taught the same things as the kids who went to Bet El were, and outside of math and language arts, no it was not a regular curriculum. These kids are living in an area that is only Family members. They have an entire street in Corinna that is all owned and lived on by the cult. Those kids are exposed to almost no outside influences. They are taught that they are meant to be martyrs, that they are destined to be persecuted against, that the world will end before they grow up. There are young kids who are having prophesies, and get hysterical during prayer meetings, and this is encouraged.
Again, I am sure this is all perfectly legal. However it is not healthy or productive. I hope that the people having all the babies (and there are lots) make different choices for their children. Look at the complete picture, look at the issues the older youth have dealt with as a result of growing up the same way.

I would like to see members actually follow the law, especially as it relates to children. If you are going to choose a profession that makes you a mandated reporter, you have an obligation to follow through. You do NOT have the right or moral authority to decide your convictions supercede the responsibility to follow the law.

Moving forward I would like to see legitimacy. Some people don't like the label of "cult". Well, that is easy to fix. Become transparent. Provide independently audited financial statements for the cult-run organizations. Provide financial disclosures of expenses and budgets. If this is done, there would be no room for speculation or accusations. If these organizations are only doing positive things, that will be apparent.

Make the leadership accountable. Right now they are accountable to no one and nothing. They would say they are accountable to God and that is good enough. No, it isn't.
Better yet, let leadership be elected democratically by members. That does not happen now. Leaders were hand picked by Jack. Their heirs are next in line. Adam became High Priest because he had a prophecy stating he should be. People are "prophets" because they had prophesies. How is this legitimate leadership?

How about acknowledgement? Insisting that Jack didn't have sexual relationships with boys is counterproductive. Everyone knows he did, and now they know you can't admit it or lie about it. That doesn't help the Family's cause. If you honestly believe that it was a spiritual thing, then stand by that. Don't lie about it. All the hiding and lying delegitimizes everything the Family claims to stand for.
Also, acknowledge some of the bad things that happened, and strive to change those things. That would mean more than saying it is lashon hara to mention them or claim it's no one's business. If a known sexual predator is a member, it's everyone's business.

There are many changes that could and should be made that would legitimize this cult, and hold people accountable. I don't think it will ever happen because the leadership is not interested in this. If these things were done, though, I don't believe anyone would have a problem with this group. We live in a country that provides freedom of religion. Go ahead and practice anything you want. Believe anything you want. Just don't steal money or manipulate your members. Don't dictate people's lives. Don't rape or abuse anyone. Don't look the other way if someone does. If you have children, be a parent. YOU are their life-line. It is YOUR responsibility to keep them safe and healthy. It's really very simple.