Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Response to Aaron, Part 1


He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps perpetrate it”

-Martin Luther King


 

This post is in response to Aaron, a “youth” who claims he is still involved in the Family. I decided to make this a new post because it would have been too long and crowded over in the comments. Besides, I have a lot to say.

 

So, Aaron, I have thought a lot about how to respond. Unfortunately, writing in this format does not convey tone, as conversation would, so I want you to know up front that nothing I say is intended to be insulting or negative. I just call things as I see them, that’s just me. No one has to agree.

 

First, no I do not see you as the “enemy”. In fact, it is just the opposite. You have not been clear about what you actually believe. But, it is clear that you do not subscribe to the Family’s way of life, their expectations, practices or dogma. So really, whether you know it or not, you have already separated yourself from them. I know you say you are involved, but really, you aren’t, not the way most other members are. I will try to explain what I mean by that as the post progresses.

 

 

-Your family: nobody was insulting or putting them down. I am not sure why you took it that way. I asked you if they knew you were outing them. It’s a valid question. One of the reasons I use a pseudonym is out of respect for my family. While I do not share their beliefs, I respect their wishes to remain out of the public eye. They do not want their involvement to be known, it is secret, like it is for the virtually the entire Family. They feel connections could create problems in their professions. They also feel that it would compromise their “projects”, which include all the future preparation for the impending destruction which they believe will culminate in the return of the messiah.  That is why I asked. I have no interest in “googling” you or your family. I already know all of them. I was pointing out that if anyone looks up the name “Jockers” on the internet, like many prospective employers, significant others, clients often do, the posts will come up. It may not matter to you if people know who you are, but I am sure it does to your family.

Also, I mentioned your family being “just another family” in the group. I said that because you implied that it is possible the leadership doesn’t question you because of who your family is. In the structure of the Family, there is a very clear hierarchy and leadership. Whether or not you choose to notice it, it exists, and most people abide by it.  Your family is not a part of this leadership. That is not a put-down. Really, Aaron, it’s the opposite, and for you, a blessing.

And I do know your family. And I know about your family, because from the sounds of it, I am actually more “involved” than you are.

 

-I said your answers were “vague, dishonest and unsettling”.  I’ll try to explain myself.

Vague: because you didn’t really answer the questions I asked, such as Abba’s claims to be the reincarnation of Jacob. Your answer was meaningless. The fact is, the Family you say you are “involved” in does know about reincarnation, at least they think they do. It’s nice that they don’t concern you, but they are concerned with past lives. These claims are such basic tenets of the Family’s belief system.

Vague because, when I asked what you thought about Abba’s claim of going to Guf and picking our souls, another basic tenet of this group, you didn’t answer. Actually, they do know about other worlds and where our souls come from. And you know exactly what was said and taught. They have very firm beliefs in this regard, beliefs based on the claims of Jack. Go ahead and ask anyone, your dad, or the “damn  fine” teachers, Bob, Emmanuel or Don what they believe. You know exactly what they will say.

 

Dishonest:  You said several times that everyone is pretty much related, and family is family. That is simply not true. There are a few very large families in the group, but for the most part, people are not related to each other. Why am I even pointing out something so minor? Because it’s deceptive. It alludes to the idea that although people may do things you disagree with, you’re stuck with it and have to accept it because “family is family” and you can’t choose your relatives. That’s a cop-out. That is dissonance. Your only relatives in the group are your immediate family. If you are involved it’s because you choose to be involved. It’s as simple as that.

Of course people feel like family. You have known them your entire life. That is one of the things that makes separating from it difficult; relationships change if you choose to remove yourself from the group.

Dishonest  because you say no one is asked or expected to tithe to any particular organization, or to send money to Maine. Again, that is simply not the truth. Every single member is expected to tithe to the family. This is described in the covenant that every single first-generation member signed and agreed to, and which the rest of us were born into. You know this. You also know that by tithing to the Family, it goes to whichever organization the priests and leadership vote on and decide. This is a part of the basic structure of the Family.

Does anyone go around knocking on the doors of those members who don’t tithe? Of course not. We do have free will.  But you also know that the covenant states that the rest of the family has to cover the shame of those who don’t tithe, and make up that person’s share. This is not made up, unverified or hearsay, it’s in the covenant. Whether you care or not, the leadership knows exactly who tithes, and who doesn’t. It is kept track of for reasons I am sure make sense to them.

As far as expectations, the expectation to tithe is reminded constantly. The expectation is clear. Did you go to the January meeting this year? If so, you would have heard the “King” giving a talk that began as a firm chastising regarding the groups’ adherence to the covenant. He also gave a firm reminder of who we are, what is expected, and what our mission is, and according to him, whether we like it or not.

And by the way, tithing to NERT and sending money to Maine is the same thing.

Again, don’t take this the wrong way- I think it’s great that you don’t tithe to the Family. I wish there were more people like you. If enough people stopped tithing, the Family would cease to exist.

That brings me to another thing; It is true that these organizations do some positive things. I don’t deny that. But that does not change the origins of these organizations, or the purpose for which they were created, which is ultimately to serve the group. They don’t say that on their websites or facebook pages, but there is no attempt whatsoever to hide it within the Family.

 

Do you care what the purpose of UMI is, or do you not care as long as it is benefiting you personally?

When I read through your comments, this is what comes across: You seem to be saying “yeah, sure, Jack had sex with boys, and this, this and this may have happened, but who cares? Why should it bother me? It was a long time ago. These things aren’t happening now (you actually have no idea)  I don’t care what Bob, Emmanuel or Don think or believe, because they benefit me right now. No one tells me what to do…”

 And even that is dishonest. You said you are 35. When you were a kid, you lived right there on Long Island with the rest of the Family. These things that were so long ago, they were happening all around you, to the kids you grew up with and who you claim to care about. Your parents were there. They knew Freckle’s parents, Pnina’s parents, my parents.  They knew and were friends with all of the people referenced on the blogs. You were exposed to all of the same people we were, and you got lucky. I’m glad.

I do not write this blog out of hate, or even anger most of the time. I have not written a hateful thing on here. I have not been dishonest. If you think I have, call me out. I like honest dialogue too.  I love a lot of the Family, just like you do. I have grown up with them just like you. They feel like family. That is why I write this. But I think people are still accountable for their actions, or lack thereof, regardless of how lovey-dovey they act when eyes are on them. Accountable here and now, not just later when they meet their maker.

 

So, it sounds like you are fine with everything, as long as nothing negative affects you, as long as it’s convenient, as long as you feel warm and fuzzy. From your standpoint, it’s easy to ignore, deny and gloss over the negative and dark aspects that do indeed exist in this “Family”.  And actually, your situation is quite atypical for the group. Your family moved south while the vast majority remained in Maine, Colorado or NY. Whether or not it was your parents’ intention, you grew up sheltered from the rest of the Family. You didn’t have to experience the teachings, the hierarchy, the spiritual and psychological manipulation, or the family structure for the most part. You could immerse yourself in a somewhat normal environment, unlike most other youth. To the Family, you have been influenced by the “world” and are not committed or steadfast, to use cult-speak. They would see this as a failure on your parents’ part. But if the things you say are true, and you live as autonomously as you claim, then they were a success.

 Maybe you haven’t actually heard or witnessed anything you would consider wrong or bad. Maybe. But you are completely aware of what is and has been taught for decades, and you either agree with it, or you don’t.

 

And that just leads me to more questions, which you may or may not answer, but here goes:

  1. Do you believe Jack was ANY of the things he claimed to be?
  2. Do you know what the covenant says?
  3. Do you follow or care about what it says?
  4. Do you believe you are an adomic soul, as Abba taught?
  5. Do you believe Mike Van, Adam Van, Yos Van, or any other members are prophets?
  6. Do you plan to ask permission to marry? Buy a house, car, or any debt-inducing purchase?
  7. Do you believe that We are the adopted descendants of Jesus?
  8. Do you believe that you need to be “born from above?”
  9. Do you read/believe in the teachings? The ”Marriage to the Torah”? The Davidic Line? The Watchers? Demonic souls? Anything that has been told to us?
  10. Do you believe that through prayer and meditation, that you and other Family members have the ability to send enough positive energy out as to prevent impending disasters and other large-scale negative events? Because of “who we are”?
  11. Do you believe that you will be a martyr? That you should be a martyr?
  12. Do you understand that the dead pastor who had sex with boys 30 years ago is the sole impetus behind this entire cult and its history? That he is what all of the teachings and ways of living are built around? That your teachers and family  have followed, trusted in and loved this man, and every single thing they teach and every choice they make is based on him. (Not God, as they claim. More on that later).
     

I am looking for actual answers, not vague statements like “no one can know…” No one knows anything. What do you think?  What do you believe?



You have already stated that you have “no use” for the hierarchy, that you acknowledge Jack had sex with boys, you don’t tithe (to family), that you don’t really know or care what is taught about reincarnation, etc… that you have no intention of moving to Maine or of doing anything you don’t want to do regardless of what the covenant or family structure dictates… I could go on, but it begs the question;

Why, then, are you involved at all? Is it just for the good times, the good food and community? For the meditation and old friends? To keep your family happy? Because it’s convenient?

I’m not implying those are bad things. But if you don’t subscribe to the beliefs and structure of the Family, and you are living your life on your own terms, and doing what you want, well, you aren’t actually involved. You have already left, in all ways but physically, and you are mostly separate in that sense too.

Maybe you don’t see it, and maybe it’s arrogant of me to say, but you spelled it out in your comments. And unless you are over-stating your independence and autonomy to defend the Family (and I don’t believe you are), you are already at that point. You have it easy in a lot of ways because of your location; you have a life, friends, work, whatever, all unconnected to the group.

 

There are some other things I would like to go into, but I am going to post this as-is, in the interest of time, and continue with another post.

 

I could tell that some of your responses were emotional. I am trying to keep emotion out of it, so I hope you read this without being offended. And I always welcome debate and dialogue, no matter who it is.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Working for a Legend

Several months ago, I posted information on businesses and non-profits run by cult members. You can find the post here.   As I learn of additions to these, I will keep you updated with new information. Thank you to the reader(s) who email interesting facts to me as you find them.

The money. Are these valid business ventures or money laundering schemes? I can't answer that, because I honestly don't know. Looking at the info I have found, such as business reports, non-profit tax filings, and just plain old observation, some things do seem fishy. In my opinion, some are valid charities (Ripple effect Project), some are fronts for cult activity (Shoresh, NERT and UMI) and others serve as valid businesses, but with sketchy practices, and again, as fronts for cult purposes(Parsifal). But like I said, that is just my opinion, I have no special inside knowledge of any of these, or their accounting practices.


Some things stand out more than others. A large portion of the tithe money goes to NERT. The percentage has varied at different times, but it's usually around 75%. So NERT gets 75% of the tithe money. Members are required to pay AT LEAST 10% of their income to the Family. Many pay more, up to 20%, because that is expected and encouraged. I don't want to get into figures here, because most of it is based on conjecture, but it is a good amount of money, somewhere in the upper six-figures.

I have looked at several of NERT's tax filings. At first I was rather confused by them; there seemed to be discrepancies. I then realized that there are three separate NERT branches.  Here is their 2011 form 990. They list their income as $288,706 and their assets as $1,232,625.00. Glen V. compensates himself with $48,000/year, and Bob V. with $16,200/year. Their income for the prior year was $353,892.00.
The address listed is in Unity, Maine.
Here is their 2011 form 990 for their Jamestown, CO address.
Here is their 2011 form 990 for their Inwood, NY address.

Reading through their income and what they pay out in the form of contributions, it is rather obvious that tithe goes to the Unity branch. The income listed for the other two is largely from cash assistance given by the Unity NERT. All three are run by exactly the same people, and they are all Family members, and mostly related.

In 2008, The Unity NERT reported their income from contributions as $598,685.00. That's $300,000. more than only 3 years later in 2011. Either there has been a large reduction in the amount of tithe coming in, or they have reallocated it to other cult organizations or individuals. It's no wonder they are getting so antsy and demanding regarding tithe and adherence to the covenant.

I have also learned of another business that is owned/run by cult members. It is called Peredur Corporation, and is based in Palm Bay, FL. It is, I think, a sister company to Parsifal, as the owner is listed as M. Olsen, and it also deals with the moving industry. The link to their website Here . It is a software development company. You can easily find information on them, including current projects such as Myreloworks . Just like Parsifal, Peredur uses and employs cult members for all aspects of their business operations.


The names cult members choose, for themselves, their children and even their business ventures, is interesting, even if completely predictable. Parsifal and Peredur are probably the most blatant illustrations of this.
As we all know, the basic tenant of this cult is it's supposed history: King David was an ancestor of Jesus, and this bloodline of Jesus (Yehoshua) exists to the present, and that Jack and his family are direct descendants of this. Throughout history, this secret holy bloodline has had major worldwide influence while maintaining and protecting their secret.
Jack was obsessed with many theologies, legends and theories, but he especially loved Arthurian Legend. Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table and the legends of the Holy Grail were all about his family, you see.
Jack read, thoroughly absorbed then adopted the theories put forth by Michael Baigent and the other authors of the book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, as well as his proceeding books The Messianic Legacy and The Temple and the Lodge, as well as others. Much of Baigent's interests and research centers around the Templars, the Grail legends, the Crusades and the bloodline of King David through history. It is fascinating to read, even if you don't buy his basic premise.

That Gary and/or Mark chose Parsifal (a variation of Percival) as the name for a major cult business is no surprise. In the introduction to another of his books, The Jesus Papers, Baigent sums it up perfectly:


        "Our major hypothesis involved an insight into both the Crusades and the Grail legends-two subjects rarely linked by historians. Behind both subjects, we discovered, lay an important bloodline, a dynasty: that of the Jewish royal lineage, the line of David.
         The Grail legends combined elements from ancient pagan Celtic tradition with elements of Christian mysticism. The symbol of a bowl or cup of plenty that ensures the continued fertility of the land derived from the former, while from the latter came the descriptions of the Grail in terms of mystical experience. But significantly for us, the legends stressed that the Grail Knight, Perceval or Parsival, was "of the most holy lineage," a lineage stretching back through history to Jerusalem and the foot of the cross. Clearly, this was referring to the Line of David. This point had been missed by all commentators on the Grail before us.
         We argued that the term for the Grail, the Sangraal or Sangreal, which was rendered as San Graal or San Greal--Holy Grail-- had been a play on words: splitting them slightly differently, as Sang Real, gave the game away: Sang Real translates as "Blood Royal," meaning, we argued, the royal blood of the Line of David. Truly, for medieval times, this was a "most holy lineage.""

Jack just ate this stuff up, and so did everyone else. And why not? It's much nicer to believe you are of royal blood and part of a centuries-old legend than to accept you are just a person, whose only relevance to the world will be through your own hard work and deeds.

You can find more information about the characters of Parsival and Peredur  here and here .

Now I am off to continue my quest for a different (less royal) lineage, and will post my findings as soon as I get them organized into something coherent.