MovingOn.org homepage, 2008
was a community website founded by Julia McNeil
, a former second generation
member, in 2001
MovingOn was the most frequented online meeting place for former second generation members. The website closed on January 30, 2009.
In 2004, a University of Alberta Department of Sociology graduate student, Leah Adeline Phillips, wrote a thesis, "Finding support on-line: exploring the Internet dialogue of second generation ex-member Children of God/The Family" about MovingOn.
The Family International's view of MovingOn.org
Editor's note: The following is taken from GN 1062 (2003-12).
Update on Former Member Web Sites
167. (Peter:) Thank the Lord for the power of intercessory prayer and the key of destiny that we can claim for our loved ones who have chosen another path in their lives. The Lord has said that this is vital to their transition, in conjunction with the decisions they personally make. In sharing the following update and overview of the former member Web sites, we pray it will give you a better understanding of why the Lord has asked us not to access these sites‚ as well as how His promises still hold true as we hold onto our loved ones in prayer.
By Marc and Claire, North America
168. The Internet has changed the face of ex-member activity for just about every religious group or church, by pulling former members together into a "cyber-community," which has recently developed into a new area of study in the field of sociology. This can be a very positive tool for support and goals. But sad to say, in some cases it has had the effect of creating negative peer pressure--not only toward the Family, but also toward Christianity. The anonymity of the Web also lends itself to people feeling free to exaggerate‚ say outrageous things, and more, that they normally wouldn't. However, when we have corresponded with individuals from the ex-member boards, the interaction has generally been quite cordial and of a very different tone. It becomes clear that a good percentage of the postings are not fully representative of most former members, as is the case in secular chat rooms.
169. There are currently three active ex–member Web sites (this is actually a very small number, TTL, as there are hundreds of anti-Scientology sites). One is mostly frequented by former FGAs, many of whom discuss theology, world events, etc.--some of whom see current events and Bible interpretation through Dad's teachings, and most through a Biblical, Christian perspective. Another site is also mostly FGAs, but is quite antagonistic and tends to be counter-cult--in other words, their arguments are mostly religion-based--but has only a small core of posters, and not a very wide presence or impact.
170. The third site is only for former SGAs [Editor's note: MovingOn.org], and though its stated goal was to assist young people to "move on," sad to say, any kind of faith-based comments or positive comments written by former members about the Family is anathema on this site. So there isn't room for dialogue or debate. Their basic "theology" is that they are all victims of abuse one way or another because of their upbringing, and every child should be brought up in the System, rigidly conforming to its standards and norms. It tends to consider the System the ultimate, and anything radical, dropped–out, or not in line with the System is a kind of evil. As you can imagine, this is an unhealthy environment for young people struggling to adapt and maintain their faith and the Christian principles of their upbringing. Believing themselves to be victims, undereducated and deprived, is not a very positive outlook on life and can inhibit them using the training and education they have received.
171. We have seen, however, in analyzing their membership roster, that by far the majority of their posters have done quite well in their work and job careers, and in most cases have not been handicapped at all in entering the workforce or higher education. Most have been able to build successful careers or enter into higher education with little difficulty beyond the norm, and many have achieved above and beyond the law of averages for the population at large.
172. We're sure this is in answer to the desperate prayers of their loved ones, so let's all keep the prayers flowing for them. At a recent academic conference, the Family was noted as a group that has been willing to make changes for the sake of its young people and has sought to reach out and be tolerant toward their former members.
173. Thank the Lord that despite the challenges, the Family can be this testimony of love and faith through His wonder–working keys! "Call on the keys of love, unity and reconciliation, and I will release My Spirit on you and your loved ones to bring about the fruits of the spirit."
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