OUR side: In Defense of our Faith, Family, and Lifestyle, Part 2
FSM 353 CM/FM 09/00
My Reply to
the Accusations Against Mama and Peter
Having read this most recent attack on
the Family and its leadership, and against Mama and Peter in particular, I feel
especially compelled to reply to the accusations which have been made against
Mama and Peter personally. These are assaults on their character, on their mode
of operation as leaders and shepherds. These are attacks even against the
motives of their hearts. They are very condemning and accusatory.
Because I have had the privilege of
knowing both Mama and Peter personally for a number of years, I feel compelled
to address these attacks and to express from my own personal experience how I
see these things and what my relationship and experience has been with Mama and
Peter. I know there are many other issues which come under attack in James’
letter, but rather than address these in the following commentary, I feel led
to simply tell you how I perceive Mama and Peter to be, based on my own firsthand
I first came to know Peter over 12
years ago in Japan. I also met Dad and Mama at that time. I lived with Peter in
a little house situated across the street from the HCS. This was for a period
of about two months, during which time Peter and I worked together on a number
of projects and I was his constant companion and partner during that time
period. I was there primarily because I had been a field shepherd and
missionary and I was being considered for placement on the leadership team that
was overseeing Japan at the time.
To put it bluntly, I was under
scrutiny, as Peter was taking this opportunity to get to know me to see whether
I should be given this leadership position. At the same time I also had
opportunity to size up and get to know Peter and other members of WS who were
around at the time. I remember clearly how impressed I was by Peter’s warmth,
love, and downright friendliness, as well as that of others from WS who were
there. I thought they were wonderful, caring people, and I still do to this
I met Mama and Dad during that time,
but only briefly. But I’d like to add that I was in no way disappointed with
either of them. By the way, I sat in a meeting with Dad and I can only say that
my impression is that he was definitely “the real deal” and was every bit the
prophet and king portrayed in the Letters, with wonderful love and warmth.
Since that first meeting with Peter
and spending those several weeks together with him, I’ve had opportunity to
spend a great deal of time with him on various projects throughout the years. I
have traveled with him, witnessed together with him, conferred and counseled
with him on a wide variety of issues and topics. I’ve had many personal times
of heart sharing, as well as friendly walks, talks, and many laughs and all
that goes into what I consider to be one of the most meaningful and loving
friendships that I have in this life.
I’ve seen Peter in action in
witnessing to academics, filmmakers, reporters and the like. I’ve been with him
in meetings with Fellow Members, leaders of former member factions, friends and
others. I attended the Laurel Fellowship with Peter and Gary in 1996, at which
time I saw Peter apologize to many former Family members and then wash their
feet. I have absolutely no doubt as to the sincerity of his apology, which was
delivered on behalf of Mama and the Family, nor of the sincerity of his actions
in washing the feet of those from whom he asked forgiveness.
So I would say that I know Peter
quite well, even though after each period of time that I would spend together
with Peter, usually for a month or two out of each year for the past 12 years
at Summit meetings and other events and projects, I would return to my field
and my responsibilities as a Family shepherd.
Going back to that first meeting in
Japan some 12 years ago, I was struck by Peter’s down-to-earth friendly manner.
He simply had a lot of love and cared about people. I found him to be just a
regular guy with his share of personal weaknesses, and yet I also saw a man who
in spite of his weaknesses and personal shortcomings was being greatly used by
the Lord. I think this was at least in part because of his honesty and humility
in being willing to confess his own sins and shortcomings. Contrary to any
effort to try to preserve his image and reputation, I saw him time and again
confess his faults, ask for prayer, and use his own battles and lessons to help
and encourage others.
I also saw firsthand his determination
to go on for the Lord and to be what God could make him to be. Since that time,
over the years I’ve found Peter to be just that-a regular guy who God has taken
and made of him a vessel, a servant, a wise and humble leader. Peter is a man
who genuinely loves people, loves to be with them, a real likeable and honest
fellow. I have great respect for Peter because I’ve seen the Lord’s anointing
upon him and I have respect for the station that God has given him. But because
he is such a warm and loving man, I have been tempted at times to take him for
granted. He is definitely not one who wears his authority in a way that would
impose it upon others nor intimidate. I have never seen him use his position
for his own purposes, neither misuse the power of his position in any way.
When reading the letter from James
Penn attacking Mama and Peter and Family doctrine and policies, I couldn’t help
but notice that this man is a very good writer. As I read, I considered his
points of view. My heart went out to him as I tried to understand his position
and where he was coming from. He seemed to be tormented and struggling. As I
read and considered each point, I thought to myself, “Oh yes, I suppose there
is some validity to what he is saying regarding past mistakes made in the
Family and by the Family. In fact, I’m all too familiar with these and I wish
such mistakes had never been made. I wish that no one had ever been hurt, and I
certainly wish that these court cases had never taken place, and that our Homes
had never been raided, nor our children taken from us for a time by force. I
wish to God that none of these things had happened.”
Concerning mistreatment and lack of
love by some Family leadership, I personally feel heartbroken that such things
ever happened, and I joined Peter in apologizing to many former members for
such failures and mistakes by some Family leadership. I personally have had to
apologize for my own mistakes along these lines. I’m very sorry for these.
But when the writer of this letter
came out against Mama and Peter, he completely lost me. These are two people
who I know personally and who I deeply love and admire for their love and other
qualities, which are totally opposite of the descriptions in James’ letter.
These two are my friends, my co-workers, and my shepherds. In fact, we are
mated together forever! How’s that for a little “strange truth”!
The description of them in James’
letter is far from anything that I have ever seen or experienced in either Mama
or Peter. In fact, it’s hard to believe that this letter is speaking of the
same two people. This is where this fellow lost me.
It wasn’t on the past charges against
the Family, although I don’t agree with him. But rather it was his assertions
against Mama and Peter that caused me to reject what he was saying. This is
also what exposed the real intent of his letter. From what I can tell, the real
motive of this letter is to try to derail Family members from their faith and
calling to serve the Lord in the Family. That’s a serious responsibility for
this guy to take upon himself. It’s one thing to decide to leave the Family for
whatever reason, but then to turn around and try to persuade others to leave
their calling is taking on a lot. I wonder if he has counted the cost of this
responsibility. I personally feel called by God to be in the Family. That
calling hasn’t changed in 30 years. Should I now leave the Family because a
former member is throwing “sticks and stones” at Mama and Peter? I just don’t
This is not the Peter that I know
and have lived and worked with over the years, and who I have grown to deeply
love and respect. It’s simply not the same person!
I’ve also had the pleasure of
meeting Mama, visiting her at her Home for several weeks and spending a good
amount of time in close conversation with her about many things. I’ve also met
Mama at other times. Here again I must say that the descriptions of Mama given
in James’ letter are as if they were written about an entirely different
Mama is the kind of person who is
“what you see is what you get.” She lives the words that she preaches, and I
have seen her to be a living sample of exactly what is portrayed in the GNs. If
there is any one characteristic about Mama that has stood out to me, it’s her
undying, almost relentless love for the Family and God’s sheep that drives her
to lay down her life for others. I have not known her to in any way take power
to herself or insist on having her own way. In fact, Mama goes to great lengths
to counsel with others and assimilate their input. As a leader, she is also one
who goes to great lengths to garner input from the grassroots. Contrary to what
the letter says about Mama, I’ve never seen her seek power for herself, trying
to control others.
Nearly a year ago I was removed from
leadership as a CRO. I suppose that James would say it was because I wasn’t “on
board” or had fallen from Mama and Peter’s graces and favor. That’s not the
case. Although my demotion from a leadership position has been very difficult
for me, I never doubted Mama and Peter’s love for me. I have had no reason to
doubt! I testify that both Mama and Peter have been nothing but kind and loving
in every way. They have followed up on me personally to encourage me to keep
going for Jesus as a missionary. They have prayed for me, have sent me
prophecies that have strengthened me when I had no strength, and have done all
that they could to uphold me before the Lord. They have assured me of their
love in spite of the mistakes and failures for which I was removed. For that
I’m so very thankful. In fact, I’m very thankful for this Family and my place
in it, and I’m especially thankful for Mama and Peter. I’m convinced that
leadership of the Family is in the best of hands.
I am Still I
24, Mama’s Home
I joined Mama and Peter’s staff
nearly four years ago, in September of ‘96. Prior to my arrival in this Home, I
had lived at a CRO office, and over the course of my teen and YA years and
travels across various continents, met and lived with several sets of Family
leaders-including NASes, NOs, CROs and those with other initials. As a
secretary who has worked for a wide variety of leaders over the past 10 years,
I’ve liked most of my “bosses,” but I have to say in all fairness that of all
leaders I’ve lived and worked with, Mama and Peter are the least intimidating
and most unassuming of them all. I’ll admit I have worked for other leadership
who I did not feel comfortable speaking my mind and heart to. I won’t say I was
afraid, because I’m not the type that is easily intimidated. In fact, I
“warned” those on Mama and Peter’s staff who wrote me with an invitation to
join their Home that I might not be what they were looking for.
I was of the mindset then that those
in WS were probably the “extremely yielded, totally in the spirit” type of
people, and I in all honesty had to admit I didn’t fit that category-and I
don’t know to this day if I ever will. I’ve always had a hard time with
authority figures in general; I’m just not the unquestioningly obedient type.
It’s my nature to question anything and everything, including established rules
and procedures-especially those that affect me personally and that have
potential to “cramp my style.” I’ve been in Homes where there were rules that
to me bordered on the ridiculous, such as dictating who one could or couldn’t sleep
with, for example. I haven’t encountered any such thing in Mama and Peter’s
It’s been stated by some who dislike
Mama and Peter and their way of operation that they are quick to discard anyone
that’s not “completely on board” to the point of being a mindless “yes” person,
and that they surround themselves only with the utterly submissive. I wish you
all could visit our Home and see what kind of opinionated characters, yours
truly included, Mama and Peter have chosen to surround themselves with.
It’s also been said they treat
people badly, that they trample on the rights of the little people, that they
don’t listen to anyone, and if they do, they never change anything. Speaking as
a “little person,” I can testify that that’s not true either. A while after I
joined their staff, Mama’s secretary sat down for a chat with me and asked me
if I could join the “locals” team to help proofread the GNs. She told me how
Mama was grateful for any and all input, that I shouldn’t hold back, but should
state what I felt, whatever it was. I told them they didn’t know what they were
asking for, and promptly decided to put their assurances to the test.
It wasn’t difficult to come up with
the questions, and I put every single one down on paper. Then for months I
would tediously check the finals of the pubs to see whether my perspectives and
questions had been taken into consideration. I could tell that they had. Many
times questions I had raised were addressed in the form of an addition to the
pub, helping to fill out the picture further or explain an angle that could
have been misunderstood or misapplied, for example. Of course it wasn’t always
the case that things went “my way,” as sometimes something just had to be said
regardless of whether I or other young people in the Family would squirm about
it or dislike it. Just the same, I could tell from those things that had been
adjusted that what I had to say mattered. Mama in all sincerity appreciates my
and others’ comments.
I think some of us are argumentative
by nature-not in a malicious way, but we just feel a moral obligation to ensure
that the other side of the story, whatever the story is, has been brought up.
I’m very much like that, and certainly sense a “kindred spirit” in that sense
with Mama. Looking back over the older Letters, that’s how she used to work and
interact with Dad, and now that she has the responsibility he used to have, she
is very open and appreciative of the same quality in others.
I think that Mama is one of the most
open-minded people I know. There are a lot of people, including other shepherds
in the Family who, when confronted with some bizarre statement or rash
suggestion from a young person, will immediately dismiss their idea or request
as unacceptable. I’ve seen it and I’ve felt it. But I haven’t known Mama to be
that way. Yes, she loves prophecy and treasures the Lord’s Words that are
spoken that way, and has certainly encouraged us as her staff and helpers to
use it, Ask-Me -Everything style. Yet it is entirely unfair to her to suggest
that she uses it as a weapon of control or manipulation. To the contrary, I
would say that it is useful to us as a tool towards self-determination, moving
everything away from the “one man show” of a leader determining what people
will or won’t do and how they’ll operate or not operate, and placing that
responsibility as well as privilege on us. Mama and Peter trust me and respect
me as an individual, as do the shepherds of our Home, who they personally
trained and appointed. They are very appreciative of my talents and good
qualities, and very tolerant of my lacks and character flaws.
I recently visited my family on the
mission field, who, knowing I live in Mama and Peter’s Home, were most curious
to find out whatever they could about our inner workings. They wanted to know
about the rules, the do’s and the don’ts, what we did or didn’t do, what we
could or couldn’t get away with. “Rules?” I asked myself. It dawned on me that
really the leading “rule” around here, if it can be called that, is that people
hear from the Lord personally before making a personal decision. We also keep
in fairly close touch with our shepherds, and often chat with them about what
we’re up to and what’s happening in our lives, and sometimes send them (and
Mama) copies of the personal messages we’re getting from the Lord. If I want to
engage in a certain activity, read or view certain material, or get involved
with a certain person, then provided it doesn’t contravene the Charter or our
basic Home guidelines, there is no one to tell me I can’t-only someone to
encourage me to hear from the Lord before making my decision.-And I’ve found
the Lord, like Mama, to be very open-minded, very tolerant of questions, and
open to discussion and even negotiation.
Not long ago I had asked about
visiting some loved ones in a WS unit in another country for a few weeks. One
of the shepherds prayed about it at Mama’s request, and the Lord indicated it
wouldn’t be the best time, as things were very busy around here and my help was
needed to keep things rolling. Mama gave me a copy of this message, prefacing
it with a very sweet and understanding explanation over the intercom, showing a
lot of concern for my desires and emotional involvement. Somewhat to my
surprise-though I shouldn’t have been surprised, knowing the way she is-she
even threw in that “if after reading this message and praying about it
personally, you still feel you really want to and should go, then maybe we can
‘appeal’ and ask the Lord again.”
Fancy that. I did very much want to
go, but after further prayer and thought myself, I realized it really wasn’t a
good time and agreed to wait on it.I wasn’t all too keen at first on the idea
of how much prophecy goes on around here, and how much everything is prayed
about. Yet I’ve come to see through personal experience that it’s really the
way to go. It assures me that Mama is not “the woman in control,” but that she
is open to following the Lord’s direction, no matter whose mouth it comes
through. It also gives me much more room to maneuver, as I know that I’m free
to express my thoughts and they will be considered and prayed about-most likely
by me-and won’t be casually dismissed as unimportant, insignificant,
rebellious, or what have you.
Mama not a good listener? She spends
most of her day listening-to messages from the Lord, as well as the ideas,
thoughts, and heart cries of her family, in and out of WS.
Some former Family members would
have us young people believe that we are only in the Family because we have no
other options, nowhere else to go, and are too weak and spineless to stand on
our own two feet and make our own decisions in life. That severely offends me.
I’ve been home schooled to a college level, have learned three languages
besides my own, am a fast learner, and have a variety of skills from
secretarial and managerial to creative writing to teaching children of all
ages-plus I’m Jewish, and as everyone knows, we have certain qualities that
prevent us from being pushed around too easily.
Don’t try to tell me I couldn’t make
a decent life for myself outside the Family. I almost want to prove to you it’s
not true. But I’m here because I love the Lord and want to serve Him, and
because the Family, and WS in particular, is a place where I can do that, and
not only do it, but do it in the way that I enjoy, feel comfortable with, and
am able to use my talents and speak my mind freely.
References to young people in the
Family not being given opportunity to “grow a brain” are likewise… well …
retarded. We all have brains-they are an inherent characteristic of every human
on the face of the Earth. Spend some time with a two-year-old, or a teenager
for that matter, and you’ll know that no amount of “programming” or
“indoctrination” is going to make that child ever think the same way as his
parent does, or listen to and obey them without reservation. God made us to
think, to question, to decide. That’s what separates humanity from the animal
A good portion of my close friends
through my childhood and teen years have left the Family at some point during
the past 7 years. Every single time that has happened I’ve re-evaluated and
reconsidered my decision to stay. Maybe one day when doing so I’ll decide not
to anymore, but it won’t be because of what someone else thinks or feels or
says. I’m not that easily influenced, for good or bad. I only wish that
everyone would feel the same way. Don’t stay if you don’t want to, and don’t leave
if you don’t want to. Follow your heart. You know what’s true, you know what’s
right for you-and what’s right for you is to be dictated and decided by you and
you alone. Likewise it’s for every other person you know-or don’t know-to
decide what they want to do or not do with their life, so for God’s sake don’t
be a manipulator who tries to persuade others to either leave or stay when
that’s not what they want to do.
One former member wondered aloud, “How
many Family members are sincerely proud of all the Family’s present-day beliefs
and practices?” I, for one, am. I am more than aware of how odd some of our
beliefs appear to those who either don’t understand or agree with them, and I
think that they have a right to feel and believe whatever they want-but
conversely, so do I. If I want to have sexual fantasies about Jesus, if I want
to converse with my departed grandfather, if I choose to believe that I have
the freedom under the Law of Love to have premarital sex with more than one
partner, what the hell should anyone care? It’s not harming anyone, and it
helps me express the cravings within my own spirit and fulfill my desires, and
at the same time be able to serve the Lord. I don’t know of any other church
where I could find that kind of combination. If you do, you know where to
contact me. I’d certainly consider it.
P.S. A wee word on allegations of
child abuse: While growing up in the Family I’ve lived in over 10 countries on
three continents, in all types of Homes from the very small (my family) to the
very large (HCS, approximately 200 people at the time). I have a very good
memory. I remember the house I lived in when I was barely two years old, and
just about everything from there on-sometimes more than my mom does. I have no
recollection of any form of abusive treatment, sexual or otherwise. I have a
few friends-girls my age or thereabouts-who had untoward experiences with a
rogue male here or there, but I also have many friends who, like me, led
peaceful and undisturbed childhoods. We knew we were loved and cared for, and
in fact I believe afforded a respect that most any child in the world would be
privileged to experience in their formative years.
Write a Book on All the Good!
Family brothers and sisters,
My name is Gallio and I have been in
the Family for nearly 30 years. During that time I have seen many Family
members come and go, from normal Home members to top leaders. I have read
negative comments and accusations about the Family and Dad from many sources,
both within and without the Family. I have lived and worked in many areas of
the world. My jobs in the Family have ranged from mechanic, camp manager,
driver, visiting shepherd, school teacher and overseer, teen home shepherd,
area shepherd, and so on, to Continental officer, and then back down the line
again, and up again, several times over.
During my time in the Family I have
lived and worked under many shepherds, some very wise and loving, others not
so. I have shepherded others and many have lived and worked under me-some
happily, some not so happily. But through all of this, I would have to claim
the verse that Paul expressed in the Epistles, “None of these things moved me.”
Oh, I had my share of doubts, battles,
discouragement, fear, worry, trials, and tests, but it was the Word that always
pulled me through-generally a simple verse from our once-famous set card, or
some other New Testament verse. You see, my allegiance was to Jesus-He was the
One I wanted to follow. He was the One I was seeking so many years ago, and He
was the One I followed right into the fold of David. I have no doubt that this
is where I’m called to be. I’ve made my calling and election sure, as the
scripture says, and it’s here I will stay, by the grace of God, until the day
comes that Jesus shows me to do otherwise.
The first MO Letter I ever read made
absolutely no sense to me, as I was so high on drugs I could hardly see to read
in the first place. But it was the Spirit that bore witness, and I said to
myself that whoever wrote these words sure knows the Lord. The next day I set
out to find the source of those words and was miraculously led to the Family.
Since that day, I have read, cherished, lived by, and embraced the Words of
David, which I firmly believe are the Words of God’s Endtime prophet.
My first step into the Family was
based on a spiritual experience. Since then I have learned to follow the
Spirit, through reading the Bible and the MO Letters, and have learned of the
struggle between the old man and the new man. Pride has been my biggest enemy,
and humility my friend, whose “wounds have been faithful” over the years. All
that to say that I am here by choice, by the conviction of the Spirit, because
I believe that this is where I’m supposed to be, and not because I’m afraid to
leave, or feel coerced to stay.
Now I have been saddened to read
comments from a former member who degrades Dad’s legacy and heritage with
vengeful words that I would rather not repeat. To me they seem to be the words
spoken from someone who has their eyes firmly fixed on the flesh, not the
spirit, and who appears to be in the “gall of bitterness.” Perhaps I’m being
presumptuous, but I would like to claim to be a part of that legacy and
heritage that is being dragged through the mud. All that I am today I owe to
Jesus, the Words of David, and our Family. It greatly saddens me to hear
someone make cheap of that heritage which I hold dear.
It has also saddened me to read of
the unkind words spoken about Mama and Peter, two people who I love and
respect, and recognize as some of God’s anointed leaders in these Last Days. I
only met Dad fleetingly in Japan once, so I can’t speak with much authority as
to what he was like on a daily basis. I have worked with Mama and Peter over
the years, though, and have from time to time visited and lived in their Home
for weeks, and sometimes several months at a time.
Though certainly human, and far from
perfect in the flesh, I find it hard to reconcile with the personal sample I
have seen that they are guilty of or even capable of tactics that, as one
former member wrote, “control, manipulate, intimidate, bully, and belittle
people.”I played high school football and I know what it means to be
controlled, manipulated, intimidated, bullied, and belittled. I attended
university and joined a fraternity and I know what it means to be controlled,
manipulated, intimidated, bullied, and belittled. I have worked at many jobs
outside of the Family and know what it means to be controlled, manipulated,
intimidated, bullied, and belittled by my boss and other workers. Believe me,
never, even in the furthest stretch of my imagination, have I seen Mama and
Peter employ such tactics.
There has been mention, too, that
Mama and Peter exhibited less than admirable character during times of
persecution. Here’s an excerpt from a letter of a former member:
“In my years of closely working with
Mo, Maria, and Peter, especially during the persecution of the early 1990’s, I
came to see them not as the loving, anointed leaders and shepherds of the
end-time army of David, but rather as abusive, controlling, manipulative,
self-centered, deceitful, and callous leaders who were willing to do just about
anything to save their reputations and preserve their image.”
Well, I spent three months living
and working with Peter in Paris just after the French raids in 1993. Our little
team was struggling under extreme pressure, difficult physical conditions, and
heavy spiritual battles, doing all we could to try to get our kids out of
detention and stand up for what was right. Dad sent Peter into the thick of the
battle, right to the front lines to do all he could to help the situation. In
my opinion, Peter was anything but “self-centered, deceitful, and callous!”
The first few nights, Peter and I
spent sleeping on the living room floor of a tiny Paris one-bedroom flat. Later
we moved to another place where we could work better-and work we did-often
through the day and until 3:00 a.m., writing rebuttals, praying, counseling,
and reading legal transcripts. Peter was an integral part of our team and we
were all fighting for our Family members in bonds. I find it contemptible that
anyone would throw mud on Peter’s motives or personal performance during that
trying and crucial battle.
On numerous occasions I’ve sat in
prayer and counsel with Peter about some problem situation, or even problem
person. We’ve always had open and frank discussions and I’ve never felt I
couldn’t say what I wanted to say, or counter Peter’s comments. Even though it
was necessary to talk about the problem, it was never done in a condescending
way. The conversation was always filled with prayer, and all thoughts were
committed to the Lord for His guidance and counsel. I’ve lived and worked
around Peter enough to have given ample opportunity for any “P.R.” front to
wear off and the real Peter to come through. I’ve never seen Peter wanting to
do anything more than care for the sheep and do what was right, at any cost to
himself or his reputation.
There’s been mention, too, of Mama
being a “control freak.” I’ve thought a lot about this and tried to understand
what this meant and what she does that would elicit such a conclusion as to her
character. What came to mind was a recent series of leadership meetings, a few
of which Mama attended. At the beginning of the meeting, there would be a
little “organizational discussion” of who would sit where, what window would be
opened, which light would be on, etc.-generally conducted by Mama. Now to me,
the whole idea was to find the optimum arrangement in the room so all would be
comfortable for the long and important meeting. This was all carried out in
love, with the well-being and concern of each meeting attendee in mind. I guess
we could have all just worked it out ourselves, but it was nice to have Mama
leading the way. Is this what a control freak is? (By the way, Mama hardly
spoke in the meetings, allowing the delegates to have the floor-and most of the
ideas were initiated by the delegates, not Mama.)
On other occasions I have had Mama
give me very explicit guidelines for how to do something-generally a physical
task such as how to label a tape I made for her, or where to put the tape, or
about the need to be quiet in the hallway. I guess you could say she was
controlling the situation. Well, my grandmother was a little like that, and I
had a friend once who wanted everything done a certain way, and so on. Are we
talking about a “control freak” or a common personality trait? Are we talking
about “manipulation” or doing all things in decency and order?
As for controlling me or my spirit
or my service for the Lord, I have not experienced that personally from Mama,
beyond her Godly calling and anointing, which I have freely chosen to follow. I
have found Mama to be meek in spirit, like you would imagine Moses to have
been. I have never felt intimidated in her presence. I have never felt
uncomfortable about voicing my opinion to her. I have never felt from Mama a
proud, haughty, or lifted-up spirit, as I have from other former Family leaders
who are no longer with us.
I have felt the authority of the Lord
in Mama, for sure, and would have been disappointed if it had been absent. One
usually does feel humble and small (or at least respectful) in the presence of
royalty or dignitaries in any realm of life-unless you are an equal, of which I
am not, or of an opposing spirit, of which I am not.
Now, I really had to laugh when I read
that Mama and Peter control the Family in a negative way. Anyone who would say
that never attended a Summit meeting! It takes an extremely humble, patient,
loving, Spirit-filled and anointed person to chair such meetings, which Peter
has done successfully for years. I think I have attended about six Summit meetings
so far, and in every one there have been many opposing opinions freely aired
and discussed. Peter mostly chaired the meetings and did not dictate them. I
think only Jesus and the Holy Spirit could control those meetings!
I could write a book on all the good
that I’ve seen Mama and Peter do, how so many have benefited from their loving
care, concern, and shepherding. They have personally been a strength and sample
to me of humility and following the Lord at any cost. They have embraced the
new day weapons and Loving Jesus revelation at the risk of losing their
reputations and perhaps losing the whole Family. Why? Because they’re more
concerned about following God than the opinions of men.
I doubt that I would have had the
courage to introduce the newest revelations, realizing that it could wreak
havoc throughout the Family and undo all the good that has been built up over
the years. But having tasted of the New Wine myself, I see that it is good,
needed, and truly from God. Mama and Peter are heroes to me-defenders of the
faith in spite of the battles, willing to lose all for the cause of Christ.
Goodness, if they were so concerned
about their reputation and controlling everything, and were truly self-serving
and all that, then I doubt they would have even spoken a peep about the “Loving
Jesus” revelation or anything like that! After all, they were already queen and
king with a worldwide following, so why rock the boat?
If you ask me, God is in control and
Mama and Peter are His humble and yielded servants. It doesn’t take much study
of Church history through the ages, or reading of the old traditional Bible
stories such as Abraham and Isaac, Moses and the children of Israel, the battle
of Jericho, the “eat My flesh and drink My blood” sermon, to see that God is
pretty unconventional and generally goes against the grain of our natural
reasoning. If the Family is to remain pure in spirit, then you can bet that we
will continue to receive instructions from Heaven that are unconventional,
humbling, and different from the world. I don’t think it’s the Family that’s
gone “weird and wacky”-it’s the world that’s gone weird and wacky! Thank God
for our safe havens of peace (Homes), even if we aren’t perfect. Thank God for
loving shepherds that you can trust and rely on, because you know they’re
following God and not their own plans or program.
on Who Is Calling Who Crazy!
Reader, Mama’s Home
I love you and thank the Lord for you,
and count it an honor to serve you in WS. In fact, I consider it an honor to be
in the Family. Even after nearly 30 years as a Family member, I still
regard it as the best way and place to serve the Lord that I’ve ever seen. I
wouldn’t trade it for the world, and I’ve had plenty of chances to do so.
There’ve been some anti-Family
diatribes from ex-members making the rounds lately, especially one lengthy
article from a friend of mine who used to be in WS, James Penn, in which he
condemns Dad, Mama, Peter, the Letters, and a lot of things I believe in
After having to read his article,
which contains many lies, half-truths, fabrications, distortions and
deceptions, I feel sort of like Dad must have felt when he sat down and wrote
“Our Answers to Interviu’s 202 Lies” or “The 51 Errors of Daily
Notices.” Dad wanted to list everything that was wrong with these
anti-Family articles-to enumerate the lies one by one. That’s what I’d like to
do with this anti-Family article in front of me. If I had the time and space I
would-I’d be happy to discuss each point in detail, with James or anyone else.
But to save your time, I’ll just hit the highlights.
What right do I have to reply to these
accusations? Well, just as James could say “I was there,” so can I. In fact,
I’m still there. I live with Mama and Peter and help them with their
work in whatever way I can, just as I did earlier with Dad and Mama.
I joined the Family in early 1971,
dropping out of college to do so, and dropping into nearly 200 crazy characters
living together at 5th and Towne in Los Angeles. It was quite a switch from
college life for me, but I was an idealist and I was willing to follow those
ideals wherever they took me. I wanted to make a difference in the world and
change it for the better somehow. So when I got saved with the Family and it
dawned on me that saving souls made an eternal difference in people’s
lives, that’s what I wanted to do. The Family seemed the best place to do it,
so I stuck around, and I haven’t changed my mind in the nearly 30 years since
I’ve been in WS for almost 20 of those
years, first working with Dad and Mama, then later with Mama and Peter, as well
as one of the WS pubs units. My ministry during this time has mainly been the
Word and helping to get it out to you, so I think I can comment on it just as
knowledgeably as James can. In fact, like Paul, I think I could say, “if any
other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh (comment on
the Word, in my case), I more” (Phil.3:4).-Ha! I’ve helped to get out every GN
since #1, put together a few of the Statements myself, and went over the ones
which James worked on as part of my work-and I have a very different
opinion of the Statements, the Word and the Worders than he does. In fact, I
don’t agree with him at all; I wouldn’t be here if I did. Unlike him, I
wouldn’t be able to stick around for years while I disagreed with so much of
what the Family believed in or stood for. I’d just be outta here.
I’ve worked under bad leadership in my
time in the Family-under Deborah, Jethro, Isaiah, Rachel and others involved in
the Chain. I know what bad leadership is-I’ve had them stand six inches from my
face and scream at me. I know what “abusive, controlling, manipulative,
self-centered, deceitful and callous leaders” are like, who “bully people into
submission.” These are the words James calls Dad, Mama and Peter. Well, believe
me, Dad was not like that, nor are Mama and Peter! After the RNR, I resolved
never to live under those types of leaders again, and I haven’t-and don’t.
In the 14 years I knew Dad, listened
to him give talks, and even lived right outside his and Mama’s room, I never
knew him to be any of those things. He was sweet, loving, considerate, honest,
open and very sensitive to people’s needs. I’m thankful to have known him and
to have worked with him.
In the nearly 20 years I’ve known
Mama, I’ve never found her to be that way either, nor to be a “control freak.”
I’ve found her very open to suggestions, changes, and new ways of doing things,
and she’s thrilled when people take the initiative to do what the Lord shows
I’ve known Peter for nearly 27 years,
since I met him not long after he joined the Family, and I lived in Homes with
him years before coming to WS. And neither he nor Mama nor Dad “manipulate,
intimidate, bully and belittle people,” as some ex-members would have you
believe. Nor do they “bring out the knives” if there’s “any hint of
disloyalty.” Hey, I know-I’ve disagreed myself at times, and I’ve even done
stupid things that could have endangered Dad and Mama’s security. But I’m still
here, and not because “they kept staff members in line with tactics that
caused a great deal of fear.”
(Judging by some of the things he’s
saying, I think James must have lost touch with reality somewhat; maybe it’s
from watching the movie “A Man for All Seasons” so often and identifying with
Sir Thomas More so much, as he writes in his article. Well, Sir Thomas More was
certainly a great Christian, but he was also a staunch defender of the old
church-Roman Catholicism in his day. He considered Martin Luther a heretic,
wrote speeches and articles against him and his “heretical” notions of
salvation by grace, and had a few local heretics flogged to teach them a
lesson. So Sir Thomas was a defender of the old church and its ways
against the new notions and inspirations that God had given Luther
straight from His Word. Perhaps there’s some present-day parallel here.)
Let’s go back to some of the
accusations of Mama and Peter not tolerating any disagreement. That’s not
true-along with many other things in James’ article-and I know, because I’ve
disagreed. When the Loving Jesus revelation first came out, I was blown away,
to put it mildly. I didn’t see how I could practice it, and I didn’t think it
was a good idea for the Family as a whole. I told Mama that, and she sweetly
suggested I just hang on, have patience, give it a try, and give the Lord more
time. I did, and I’ve come to accept it, like it and enjoy it. It took me
several months to get to that point, but I did, and I can say that it’s borne
good fruit in my life. In the interim period, I wasn’t condemned or looked down
on or thought of as weird.
As far as the new weapons go, I was a
pretty slow starter there, too, since I didn’t have the gift of prophecy! For
nearly 26 years in the Family, when we’d have prophecy sessions, about all I
got was an occasional verse, and usually not even that. Sometimes the only
fruit of me sitting there with my eyes closed trying to receive things from the
Lord was that I’d fall asleep, and once I even started to snore in a prophecy
session-very embarrassing, as you can imagine! But contrary to accusations, WS
is not an army in which “the wounded are shot and their bodies are thrown off
the back of the wagon.” Mama simply had the faith that I’d get the gift of
prophecy, and a few years back I did receive it.
Since that time I’ve gotten prophecies
from the Lord, Dad, spirit helpers, departed Family members, and even Abrahim.
Some have been directional prophecies that I’ve seen fulfilled wonderfully, and
they’ve been a big help to me and provided guidance. I don’t have a problem
with good spirits speaking to me, because again, their messages have borne good
fruit in my life. They’ve worked. If James doesn’t want to believe that good
spirits can speak and pass on messages-which is completely scriptural, and I’d
be glad to have a Bible study with him-well, that’s fine with me. Millions of
church folks believe the same way as he does, so he’s got plenty of company. It
does really bug me that he’d condemn me for getting messages from
departed spirits, though. Seems pretty closed-minded to me, the same thing he’s
accusing us of. Maybe it’s the “Thomas More” Syndrome cropping up again,
wanting to flog the “heretics.”
Now regarding Mama being a “control
freak,” I can testify that’s not the case. I’ve been an eyewitness to her
open-mindedness hundreds of times over the years, in publication after
publication. A number of us in WS read the advance texts of Letters before they
go off, because Mama is interested in our opinions or wants to know if there’s
anything unclear or any more points that need to be covered. I help compile
those suggestions and comments, and they’re what some people might consider
shockingly frank and blunt. But I’ve found that Mama doesn’t go by the tone of
the comment so much as whether it’s a valid point or not; and if the Lord says
that it’s a valid point and leads to make a change as a result, she’s very
willing to make additions or revisions, or in some cases even drop portions of
text, with the Lord’s confirmation. I’ve never seen her “arrogantly beat and
bully people into submission” for their comments on the Letters-including
James. In fact, she often wanted to make sure she had his
As far as Dad, Mama and Peter being
afraid to admit they’re wrong, covering their sins and deliberately misleading
the Family, the politest thing I can call that accusation is a bunch of
hogwash. Dad often admitted he was wrong in the Letters. James and I were there
with Dad and Mama the day we were all to go to South America; our bags were
packed and we were standing by the front door waiting for the taxi to the
airport. Then Dad sent word that we weren’t going that way, because it was the
wrong way; we were supposed to go East instead, to Sri Lanka. And Dad didn’t
just tell us. He told the whole Family.
James and I were both there at the
dinner table the night Dad made his confession, “I Was an Alcoholic.” Dad
didn’t have to confess that, but he did, and again he published it. (And
later gave up drinking completely.) Dad confessed his faults and failings many
times, and Mama has done the same (“Mama’s Love Story” and “Golden Victories”
spring to mind, for one recent example), as has Peter (remember all those
Letters on jealousy?). So there are many examples of Dad, Mama and Peter being
willing to humble themselves in print and confess their faults, even though
they didn’t have to-even though the Family might never have found out about
their faults and failings otherwise.
Most of us in WS also share our
mistakes, lessons and faults with you in the Family at one time or another, if
it’s beneficial. (However, I notice dear James didn’t mention any of his
mistakes or faults in his anti-Family article-and I can assure you he has some,
just like I do. The intent of his article seemed to be to blast others
for their so-called faults and failings while avoiding mentioning any of
James says he could “write a book
about the indignities Mama and Peter heaped on people.” Well, as far as I’m
concerned it’d probably be about the shortest story ever written, and his book
would have to go in the fiction section of the library-or maybe fantasy would
be a more appropriate classification for it.
James says he’s lived with Dad and
Mama and Peter and seen their hypocrisy or unloving deeds. For the record, I
and others in WS have lived with them longer than he did, and we’d gladly
dispute his accounts. Funny that only those who leave and grow bitter and
resentful bring up such tales of atrocities. Weighed in the balances, there are
a far greater number of us who have stuck around. Of course, James calls us the
weird “cult within a cult,” so what do all of us know?
He also says that “no adult in their
right mind joins the Family nowadays.” Well, the 257 adults who joined last
year (and this doesn’t include births), must have all been crazy, I guess, as
well as the 13,000 of us who are still in the Family, which he calls “a very
weird place.” That reminds me of a few stanzas from Dad’s poem “Don Quixote,”
in which he says:
They tell me our goodness is badness
Our singing of songs is in vain.
But I tell them their wisdom is
I’d far rather sing than complain!
So I’d rather be happy in Jesus
Than sane as the Devil and bad.
If it’s madness of spirit that frees
I’d rather be mad and be glad!
For we live in a world full of madness
Where all are insane but we!
I’ll take my world full of gladness
Though you call it fantasy.
Your world may be sane but temporal-
While mine is unseen but more real!
You call me insane and immoral
In this madness of gladness I feel.
But I say it is you who are
And it’s I who have reality!
It is you who are mad and amaze me,
For mine’s for Eternity!
You’re mad, and you don’t even know
It’s you who are living in dreams!
It’s I who am glad, and I show it!
I dance on in spite of your screams.
It’s you who are living in madness!
It’s you who are really insane!
It’s we who have Jesus and gladness,
And we’ll have it again and again!
So here’s to our dear Don Quixote,
Pied Piper, Rasputin and MO!
I’d rather be their blest devotee
Than have your insane world of woe!
As Dad says in this same Letter, “It
depends on who’s calling who crazy!”
James may label Dad as an “eccentric
ghost,” but I honor him as a prophet whose words changed my life, and whom I respect
as a great man of God. My friend is welcome to his own opinion, of course, but
I must say I consider it pretty vile of him to practice character assassination
on someone who’s dead and can’t defend himself in person-especially since he
says he has no faith in Dad speaking from beyond.
Regarding our “strange doctrines” that
cause the Family to not bear fruit, again I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree with
James. I wish we were bearing more fruit, and I think we will
very soon through the Activated push and our coming changes in Family
structure. But it’s not the fault of our doctrines that we’re not bearing
fruit; it’s our own fault, Lord help us.
Perhaps James isn’t aware of the
fact that some of the religions with what others would consider “strange doctrines”
are some of the fastest-growing in the world. The Jehovah’s Witnesses
have some very odd doctrines-I know, because my aunt was one, and I went to the
Kingdom Hall with her many times as a child-but their growth is explosive. They
don’t consider their beliefs odd, and they’re very enthusiastic in their
witness, so there are millions of them. The Mormons don’t consider their
beliefs odd either, although many others do, yet they’re another new religion
with phenomenal growth. And for that matter, the biggest Protestant
denomination in North America, the Southern Baptists, won’t ordain women
to preach the Gospel, something that many people consider strange and
unscriptural. But the 15 million Southern Baptists aren’t ashamed of their
doctrines, and it hasn’t stopped their growth. And let’s not forget the beliefs
of many other major religions and groups considered odd and strange by
outsiders-the Hindus, Buddhists, Orthodox Jews and others. The bottom line is
that our doctrines are not odd or a problem. Our doctrines make us what we are,
and I thank God for them!
I thank God for the Family. We have
our faults, because we’re human, but we’re the best thing I’ve ever found-and I
don’t say that just because I’ve become “institutionalized,” as James terms it,
and couldn’t make it outside the Family. During the NRS era I had a job for
about a year, and during that time I became one of the highest-paid accountants
in the country I lived in, hobnobbed with the rich and powerful, attended
investment conferences in Switzerland, etc., all as a result of the training I
had received in the Family. And at the end of that year, I was exceedingly glad
to give up my money, lifestyle and perks to be a full-time Family member once
again. Thank God for the Family, and thank God for you dear Family members who
I am honored to serve alongside!
24, Mama’s Home
I haven’t taken the time to read James
Penn’s whole letter, but did catch a couple parts, and one statement that
struck me as particularly off, due to my personal experience, was the part
where he says, “as long asan individualis perceived to be an
‘on board,’ loyal, unquestioning follower,” that Mama and Peter are loving and
concerned, but “if Maria and Peter detect any hint of disloyalty, the knives
come out and things often get ugly very quickly.”
I know the above statement to be
false, because I was in a situation around a year ago where I wasn’t totally
“on board.” In fact, I was far from it. I was pretty far behind in implementing
the new weapons and wasn’t growing with the way the Lord was asking us to go as
a Family. I wouldn’t say I was necessarily “disloyal,” but I was definitely not
an “unquestioning follower”! I knew I was basically out of it, and that I was
going to need to make a choice regarding the level of dedication that I wanted
Around that time, Mama and my dad
visited our WS unit. It was a surprise, as none of us knew they were coming.
But I never felt the slightest bit of condemnation or that they were looking
down on me, although they obviously knew my situation. Their visit was very
short, but during the course of their visit I had a chance to talk to both Mama
and my dad, and they were very reassuring that no matter what I did or what
choice I made-be it staying and working in WS, going to the field, or even if I
chose a life outside of the Family-they still loved me. They made it obvious
that if I did choose life in WS that I would have to make changes. But the
point was, that the choice was mine and they weren’t going to treat me badly
one way or the other.
The choice I ended up making was to
stay in WS and commit to the standard the Lord has asked of us. But in no way
in any of this did I feel pressured or did I feel that just because I wasn’t
“on board” that they loved me any less or even treated me any differently. It
was definitely a far cry from the way James depicted things above.
Since then I’ve made some big changes,
and although I know I haven’t attained, I would say that I’m “on board,”
because I believe wholeheartedly in and am proud of where the Family is going
and what we’re doing. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an “unquestioning
follower,” because I don’t believe that’s the goal, and neither do I think
that’s what Mama and Peter expect.
I Know Them
CRO (a.k.a. Marianne), Japan
I first met Dad and Mama in 1978,
right in the middle of the RNR, and I have been working under their direct
shepherding and oversight, in different projects, ministries and
responsibilities for over 20 years now. I had the chance to visit them several
times in different countries and situations, and we worked quite closely
together during the period of the DTD tapes, the “Life with Grandpa” book
projects, in the P.I., and particularly during the exciting days of the DF
ministry. I attended many meetings, summits and conferences led by Peter. For
all those years we have kept regular communications through which I have been
able to share my heart, talk about my personal situation, ask a countless
number of questions, report on personal mistakes, discuss the work and
personnel situations, and have received counsel from Dad, Mama and Peter on a
wide range of personal and work matters.
Having met them, worked with them
and abundantly communicated with them for all these years, as well as visited
them in their Home at various times, I know from experience of the love, care,
openness and concern with which they handle people’s thoughts, ideas and
opinions, their hearts, confessions and questions. I feel very grieved by the
description and misrepresentation given by James Penn’s recent letter. I
understand certain people feeling that the Family is not the place for them, I
understand that some find other situations that they are more comfortable with,
and that not everyone will continue to embrace our doctrines and the new moves
of the Spirit-that is their choice according to their faith. But what is very
upsetting is when they turn around and try to discredit the very hand that fed
them all these years, and especially painting such an unfair portrait to our
young people, who might not know better, of the leaders the Lord has appointed
to this Family, in order to discredit both these leaders and the Family, and
hence hindering all the good that is being done, and which they cannot deny!
Throughout all these many years that
I’ve been working and counseling with Mama and Peter in particular, but also
Dad, I have always been encouraged to give my candid opinion on all subjects,
and to speak up about anything that I may have concerns or disagreements about.
We have a clear understanding, and it has been emphasized to me repeatedly over
the years that if I receive advice for a situation or an individual which I
don’t feel comfortable about, or don’t have the faith for, since I am the one
involved in the situation and I understand more of the ins and outs, I should
operate according to my faith, and I should handle the counsel and advice
passed on in a Spirit-led manner. This is something that has always impressed
me, and I have tried to be as open with those I shepherd, LHM!
I believe that part of the keynote to
every visit that I made to their Home or meeting I attended always included
encouragement to be totally honest about any matter, any personal question, or
about any pub that I was given to read. My comments and suggestions were always
received with appreciation, even if they were out of it or not relevant! I
believe Mama and Peter, from Dad’s training, are a good sample of the counsel
given in “The Wise Leader,” and they do practice very much drawing from
people’s ideas and input. There are times that the Lord may be leading them in
some direction and they have chosen to remain faithful to what the Lord shows
them-which all do not have to agree with, and if one does not, then they can
operate according to their faith at the level of discipleship they feel
comfortable with. People can agree to disagree and go on to do what they have
the faith for!
Dad, Mama and Peter have not put
themselves up on pedestals or pretended to be perfect or that they don’t make
mistakes; to the contrary, they have made many confessions over the years,
which I respect them for. They have shared many lessons and always try to give
God the glory for the good, and teach us to do the same. There are hundreds of
letters and messages that I have written through the years in which I brought
up questions, problems, confessions, and mistakes, and my opinions and points
of view were always handled with respect. My preferences were acknowledged and
my personal faith and initiative were encouraged. Corrections were also given,
but in a very loving manner, which made me want to try again.
At times it took faith for me to
follow the counsel that I received, but I have never been put under pressure to
do something which I didn’t believe in or which I didn’t feel I had the faith
for. This is something that I truly admire in Mama and Peter’s leadership, and
which is also so clearly laid out and expressed in the Charter: Each one is
encouraged to go according to their faith!
I understand that some people have a
hard time embracing the more radical beliefs of the Family, or they feel
unsettled by the new moves of the Spirit, from the post-Charter era to the
greater use of prophecy, the Loving Jesus revelation, etc. I’m saddened that
they’re missing out on a lot, because by following the New Wine, I have found
great strength in it. As Jesus said, “If any man will do of His will, he shall
know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself” (John
The New Wine has helped me to be a
lot more aware of Jesus in my life and in my circumstances, and to draw closer
to Him, to feel Him more at the controls in my life, which is the reason I
chose to serve Him in this Family in the first place. It has not led me to a
Peter or Mama worship, but rather to be more anchored and led in my decisions
by the One I have chosen to give my life to. The Word that we’ve received in
recent years has only helped me to learn to live with more praise, more prayer,
more listening to His still, small voice; more quiet time with Him, and
learning to let Him guide me.
Mama and Peter are continuing to do as
Dad taught them, pointing us to the Lord and encouraging us to draw closer to
Him. The whole spirit of the Charter and its application have been to set
people free to live according to their faith. In all the leadership meetings
that we have had since the Charter, the Lord has led the leadership of the
Family to encourage people to look more to the Lord themselves, instead of having
their eyes so much on their leadership. Of course, prophecy is used more
extensively and is a powerful means of receiving the Lord’s Words and
instruction, but the Charter states clearly that you should only follow the
prophecies that you have the faith for, and that if you have any questions you
should ask for further guidance and confirmation. So actually we have powerful
safeguards in place in the Charter to make sure that people are not led blindly
about by someone’s message that they have received from the Lord.
In working with Mama and Peter, I have
always appreciated and admired the fact that they are very personable and
always welcome new ideas, questions, comments, and in CRO message after CRO
message we are encouraged to pray about and suggest policy changes and ways to
improve all aspects of our Family life. They are very aware of the fact that
certain things do need to change and improve in the Family, and although I’m
sure they must not approve of all the ideas and suggestions offered, no one is
put down or rebuked for saying what they feel. This is something I greatly
appreciate in my working relationship with Mama and Peter, that I know I can
say whatever is on my heart or on my mind freely and I have no fear of
heavy-handed dealing for it. I know that if I’m truly out of it, they will let
me know, but with love and consideration.
Along the same lines, I’ve always
appreciated Peter’s ability to draw out people’s opinions and listen to their
ideas. Though in the final decision they may take a different route, according
to what the Lord shows them after counsel, yet I have not heard them put down
individuals, mock or criticize them for having different opinions.
One thing that really won me when I
first visited at the RNR, and which I have seen unchanged through the years, is
that they are just the way they are portrayed in the Letters. They don’t
pretend to be perfect. They don’t hide that they’re human and that they make
mistakes. They give God the credit for the good, and they always encourage each
other to save the missionaries’ funds. I was often convicted by the frugality
and the simplicity of their Home when I visited, whereas in the Home that I was
living in, we were often more careless and wasteful, Lord help us! They dress
simple, they act simple, and they try to live just what they preach. I love the
relaxed, sweet spirit that pervades their Home, where a lot gets done with a
high degree of dedication, but also with sweet, fun interaction and lots of
I’ve always been touched by their
consideration for people in different situations and circumstances. Mama truly
has the beautiful gift of being able to put herself in other people’s shoes. I
could tell countless little stories of things that truly deeply touched me and
which proved to me their genuine love and concern in spite of their great
responsibilities. When I became single in the P.I., Peter, as busy as he was,
would take the time every now and then to come and fellowship with me, to
encourage me and help me through that difficult period of my life. Peter was
not drawing me to himself, but he would always share some personal lessons and
talk to me about his great love for Mama and the lessons he was learning
through it all. He was a wonderful listener and encourager.
When I first got separated, it was a
period of breaking and learning big lessons for me, so dear Abi was sent to be
a companion to me. She didn’t lecture me nor try to convince me to do this or
that; she just was there to pray for me and listen when I needed it. She was
such a strength, and I knew her being there was something the Lord had laid on
Mama’s heart at the time.
When I gave birth to Gabriel, and
found out that he was so handicapped, Mama remembered someone who had a gift
and talent to work with handicapped children, and she let me know and worked it
out for that dear sister to come and help me, which was such a great blessing.
So many times through the years I have seen such very thoughtful gestures
extended to me or others, and I knew that they were done just out of real love
and sacrificial concern.
I remember one year when I was
invited to stay with Mama while Peter and other leaders were gone to a Summit
meeting. I was very touched at the time to see how simply Mama and Dad lived.
Mama was so cheerful and enthusiastic about the work and concerned about
others, even though her eyes were causing her a lot of trouble. She was not
engrossed with herself and her woes. Actually, I was surprised at how
“handicapped” she was at the time, yet always praiseful, bubbling with new
ideas, giving her all to the work, and always talking about the need of the
work or some situation or Family member. (Thank the Lord her health has greatly
improved since then!)
I treasured the times when she and I
would go out on walks together in the evening, and she would spend half of the
time just praying for people and situations, for the leaders involved in the
Summit meetings, for them to get their instruction from the Lord, etc. She
didn’t come across as someone full of herself and her own ideas-she was eager
to hear what I had to say about all kinds of subjects. I know it greatly
impressed me and caused me to be very desperate to really pray so that I would
not misrepresent people or situations. Her sample of concern for others and of
desperation did really make me want to come back a better, more dedicated and
prayerful leader myself.
Along the same lines of truly caring
for people, I remember Dad being so moved for a dear lady in France who was
showing us a house for rent. He was looking at this very nice estate she was
offering, and he could have been mostly concerned for his personal security and
selahness, but the Lord really touched his heart and he started witnessing to
this lady, as well as praying for her, giving a short prophecy. It was awesome
for me, but it was not weird at all and the lady was deeply touched, it was so
beautiful in the spirit. He was moved and cared for her more than for his own
needs or what she might think of him!
Mama and Peter have certainly proven
their love, concern, and dedication by having Peter travel months out of every
year at great personal cost and sacrifice, spending hours away from home,
visiting different fields, listening to the brethren, hosting meetings, drawing
out people’s opinions and ideas, getting a personal feel for situations and
ministries, all because of their desperation to make the Family the best place
possible to serve Jesus. They have certainly been to me samples of leaders who
do care and get involved!
Though I am very aware that we as a
Family and as a movement need to progress in many areas, I believe in this
Family, in its potential, and its special place in God’s plan, and that it is
what it is because of the Lord and Dad, Mama and Peter’s leadership. Our Family
is something so beautiful, so precious, so worth fighting for! The Family
reaches people that others have not managed to reach. When people visit our
Homes, they know there is something different and they are touched by the
spirit of David.
So it is extremely sad to me when
those who choose another path turn around and try to stop the good work that’s
being done. They can’t help but acknowledge that we have wonderful people, many
doing a great job reaching parts of the world like no others can, that the
fruit is good, the “people” are good, but just like Dad said in the Letter “The
Tree,” they want to prove that it’s the leadership that is bad. All I
see Mama and Peter doing is trying to encourage the Family to do a better job
of preaching the Gospel while we still can, to make disciples of all nations,
to lay down our lives for others and help those who are in distress, both
physically and spiritually! By their fruits you shall know them, and those who
are indeed following the method and the message put forth by Mama and Peter are
doing a wonderful work and are held in high esteem and are sought after in many
There is so much more to do to bring
the Gospel Light into this world, that it’s very sad when someone who leaves
abases himself to turn around and attack those whom he worked and lived with
for so many years. I’m so glad that Mama and Peter choose to live and let live
and to stay on the wall in order to help the Family do a better job for Jesus
while there is still time!
Regrets!-Why I’m Still in the Family and in WS!
I knew James Penn fairly well in the
past since we were involved in a relationship for a few years while we lived in
the same WS unit. (This was up until about six years ago.) When I knew him, he
was not particularly deep spiritually, but he was not vindictive or bitter. A
personal NWO that he tried to fight was that he wasn’t spiritually hungry and
needed to be regularly prodded to get in the Word. (By the way, in the Letter
“On Guard,” Dad was talking to Peter about him.) In spite of these weaknesses,
it was clear he loved the Lord.
During the years I knew James he
consistently demonstrated a proclivity to accept the mindsets of the world over
the Word-especially after his being deeply immersed in the court cases for a
long time, which included his reading massive amounts of anti-cult
propaganda. We all know how dangerous THAT is, having read “Faith Cometh By
Hearing the Word” (ML# 2821), especially if you don’t take in sufficient
antidote-the Word. I personally chose to bring our relationship to an end
because his first reactions and attitudes were gradually going more and more
the way of the world, and eventually it became too draining to have to listen
to his persistent, non-Word-based arguments and conclusions. James knows this.
He cried and I cried; it was a sad time.
James had not been strong in the
Word for years before he decided to leave the GPU to become a Fellow Member in
July of 1998, but I never thought he’d stoop so low as to write his “No
Regrets” letter and to go on sort of a personal vendetta to try to destroy the
people he used to love.
James’ account is history rewritten.
He believes it, but there are many sides to the story left out, and the Word
quoted is unbalanced or misinterpreted. Even though he does not admit it or
possibly doesn’t even realize it, I believe he wrote that letter to cause as
many people as possible to leave the Family. The way he does it is by attacking
the character of Mama and Peter, because if he can get someone to doubt them,
there is the possibility that that person will also doubt the Word they give
the Family in the GNs. This is ultimately an attack on the Word, and an attack
on each one of us.
If James had decided to leave the
Family because he no longer felt it was the place for him or because he had
differences with Mama and Peter, then fine. To each his own. I don’t have a
problem with that, although I’m sorry to see his change of heart after we have
fought together side by side with him for years. But this all-out assault on
Mama and Peter with the intent to destroy others’ faith in the Lord’s Word is
unconscionable. And the thing that angers me the most about it is that he is
aiming his attacks at our kids! He’s trying to cause you, our second
generation, to doubt, despise and turn your backs on Mama and Peter, and
eventually the Family. He shows his true motive when he says:
“I feel sorry for the young people in
the Family, who have their entire lives before them. What kind of a future will
they have if they stay in the Family? My hope and prayer is that they will
learn from our generation’s mistakes, and muster up the courage to leave.”
Man, if I were a young person in the
Family and I read that, I’d be furious! Who does he think he is that he can tear
down your faith and insult your intelligence and tell you that you should
“muster up the courage to leave,” like you were idiots?! You’re bright,
dedicated, thinking adults, and he has the gall to insinuate that you’re blind,
controlled, abused, and wasting your lives. He’s trying to tell you what you
should think and how you should live!
James doesn’t have any children. He
has never been married; he has never had the awesome responsibility day and
night, year after year of raising his children. He doesn’t know the joy that it
is to have a child and watch that perfect treasure from Heaven learn to love
and serve the Lord. He doesn’t know the passion with which a mother and father
pour into a child, doing everything possible to prepare him or her for the
tests and trials they’ll face in their life as a missionary. He doesn’t know
the overwhelming joy it is to see your child grow up as a dedicated disciple,
willing to forsake the world and the temptations of the System in order to
embrace the high calling of being a child of David. He doesn’t know how much it
takes before each young person is ready to make a commitment to the Family,
including the sacrifices involved and the radical meat of the Word, and what a
rejoicing of the heart it is when each one says “yes” to Jesus wholeheartedly.
Because he doesn’t know this, he
also doesn’t know how absolutely and totally upset you can be as a parent when
someone dares to intrude on that beautiful work of God with doubts from the
Devil, misinterpretations, twisted stories, incomplete anecdotes, misapplied
quotes or portions of Letters, and outright lies! I only have one child, and
thank the Lord he is committed and strong in faith. But I know that James’
letter has so discouraged and stumbled some kids that they have decided to
leave the Family. That is so sad! Poor James!-Some day he’ll be so very sorry.
He says “no regrets” now, but some day he’ll have plenty of regrets! God help
All I can say to you who are fighting
in prayer for your children’s future in the Family, and you (young and old) who
have been confused by his letter and others like it, is that it’s a privilege
to tell you what I know to be the truth about Mama and Peter.
I have been in the Family since
January of 1972, and in WS since March of 1989. I lived for six years in a
major pubs unit that was first called “Creations” and then later called
“Research.” That unit was located in the same city as Dad and Mama’s Home. In
early 1994 Dad and Mama and their team moved to a different city. A year later,
right after Dad’s homegoing, I was invited to join Mama’s Home. That was the
first time I met Mama. That was five and a half years ago.
I am Mama’s executive secretary. I
think it’s safe to say that I know Mama well as my queen, shepherdess, co-worker,
mate and friend. I can testify from personal experience about her character,
her relationship with the Lord, the priorities she has in her life, her manner
of shepherding and working with people, and her work on the GNs. Mama and I
talk a lot; that is because I help Mama with whatever she needs me to do
related to her GN work, her personal communications with others, questions she
asks me to pray about, etc. Many (but not all) days we talk together for a
significant amount of time; some days when there’s a lot to discuss we talk for
extended periods of time. Our conversations are extremely varied. While most of
the time we talk about things related to work-such as the GNs in the
works, recent messages the Lord and Dad have given, questions that need to be
brought before the Lord, the needs and problems of the Family, or specific
situations involving individuals and what they’re battling-we also talk a lot
about personal things. Because Mama doesn’t put on airs, you really see her
heart and get to know her and learn a lot through talking with her. She’s a
I feel free to communicate with Mama
about anything and everything. There has never been a person who knows me
better than Mama, or with whom I have been more open and honest. There have
been plenty of times when I’ve made some pretty ugly, negative, bummer tapes
for her related to my personal battles. (You already know of most of these
battles through the “Spiritual Attacks Intensified” GN and my personal
testimony about living the Law of Love and overcoming jealousy.) I’ve also
shared with her my questions and observations about prophecy, shepherding,
Family problems, the Law of Love, etc. I’ve also had the privilege of sharing
my deepest joys and victories with her.
Mama also has been open and honest
with me. Besides our work, which is the main focus of our relationship and most
of our conversations, we have also communicated with each other in detail about
our marriages, our sex lives, our jealousy battles, our intimate loving Jesus
experiences, and sometimes, for fun, about “girl things” such as new food and
recipe ideas, our tastes in clothes, ideas on how to be more efficient and
manage our time better (although that’s usually my woe/need, as in my
opinion Mama is extremely efficient), etc.
I know Peter well. During the years I
lived at Research I worked with him on many pubs. I also was his secretary at a
number of Summits, which allowed me to get to know him more intimately. Since
coming to live in his and Mama’s Home, I have not worked with him on a daily
basis because I’m not involved in Family administration, but I have
assisted him on a number of projects and with his work on some GNs. Of course,
I see him frequently through our interaction in our Home.
Okay, so much for the background and
what I do and what my relationship with Mama and Peter is. But I figure it’s
important that you know this because there are others, like James, who portray
themselves as knowing some supposed deep, dark, evil secrets about Mama and
Peter. But bear in mind that James hasn’t lived with Dad, Mama and Peter for
over 10 years, and hasn’t had personal contact with Mama for the same amount of
time, and has only seen Peter a few times, for several days each time, in the
last six years.
How I see
been written about Mama over the years-by Dad and by others who know her. When
I was on the field, I never tired of hearing those personal details. I hope
it’s not boring to you, but to begin with, I’ll give you some insight about
Mama’s personality and character based on my contact with her.
- Mama loves Jesus more than
anything or anyone else. That is so obvious. When you are with Mama or talk to
her, you have a strong sense of the presence of the Lord-He is always
there, you can’t miss Him, it’s almost tangible. It’s because He’s so much a
part of every aspect of her life. He’s everything to her; all else pales by
comparison. Her conversations revolve around the Lord, the Word, prophecy, His
blessings, His solutions, questions we need to ask Him, things He’s recently
said that were enlightening, awesome or puzzling, etc. Mama does not show any
familiarity toward the Lord. She praises Him naturally, regardless of the
circumstances. She is respectful and humble toward Him. Her first priority in
life, without a doubt, is to love and obey the Lord.
- Mama’s life is a picture of
prayer. Her first reaction to a problem is to pray. I think some of the rest of
us pray as just another thing that we do-we eat, we sleep, we pray. It’s a way
of life for us, but unfortunately it’s not exactly our lifeline. But the way
Mama lives testifies that prayer is very real to her. She stops repeatedly in a
conversation to pray for whatever or whoever you talk about. She doesn’t hang
up the intercom or part from you personally without praying for you and what
you’re doing. She passes on prayer requests for her and Peter and others daily
and reminds us to pray. She solicits numerous messages from the Lord on the
specific effects of our prayers, to continue to motivate us to pray.
is in need of desperate prayer, she organizes teams of prayer warriors to pray
specifically for that person. (This is confidential when appropriate.) She
often has someone in the Home send around hourly reminders via our computer
network when there are urgent prayer requests.
disappoints her if someone is away on a trip and they don’t send prayer
requests home, because she knows that a lot of progress is lost if we are not
motivated to pray or we can’t pray specifically because we don’t know what’s
- I have never known Mama to lie.
Honesty and integrity are very important to her because she knows that for her
to lie would reflect negatively on her testimony as a Christian, her
representation of the Lord to others.
- Mama is a passionate witness. When
she and Peter come home from any kind of trip, when they share testimonies with
the Home, besides thanking everyone for their prayers and telling of the many
answered prayers, and talking about how much they appreciate each person (which
they do every time they talk to our Home), they mostly talk about their witnessing.
Mama is into prophecy, Loving Jesus, the new weapons, pubs, etc., but she’s
also super into witnessing, and she is bold!
Not too long
ago she and Peter took all the SGAs in our Home on a weekend overnight outing.
I’m sure there were lots of fun things that happened, but when she came home
and we talked about their time away, the thing Mama talked about (for about 30
minutes) was not the food they ate or the scenery they enjoyed or any
interesting conversations she had had with the young people, but about one of
her witnessing encounters and all the miracles the Lord did to bring
that woman across her path so she could give her a tract. It doesn’t take long
when you’re around Mama to see what’s important to her.
- Mama loves people unconditionally.
She is merciful, kind, considerate, understanding, and goes the extra mile to
try to help people. She wants the people in her Home to be happy. If she hears
that someone is sick, she’ll ask someone to tell that person that she loves
them and is praying for them. (She doesn’t usually beep or drop by so as not to
disturb them if they’re sleeping.) If she hears you’re really bummed, she’ll
call you and try to cheer you up. But she goes about it in such a good way, not
making you feel like you have to pretend that you’re doing well and getting the
victory if you’re not. She just accepts the fact that the Enemy really fights
sometimes, and she shows so much sympathy. Even if you don’t know what’s wrong
and you’re just sad or something, she just tries to be there for you. It’s
uncomplicated and very comforting. You feel like she really understands and
takes you where you’re at.
- Mama is really cool! She’s so
unpredictable. She has a great sense of humor. I love to be around her.
- Mama is emotionally stable. She
doesn’t have mood swings. Nothing seems to rattle or discourage her. She’s
constant, and you can count on her to not overreact or get negative or
accusatory regarding serious Family problems or the sad reports and personal
letters she reads. She doesn’t get freaked out even about real problem
situations. Take, for example, the accusations that are flying around these
days about her and Peter. It’s not like she gets personally offended and says,
“Oh, that’s disgusting! I’m really upset!” She prays about it and sees it as a
serious attack of the Enemy on the Family and the Word, but her main priority
is not to clear her own name, but to do everything possible to help the people
who are confused and stumbled.
Mama knows you can’t please everyone
all the time. Her priority and goal is to get out the Lord’s Words, and she is
faithful to the Lord regardless of whether everyone agrees with her or not.
But what really does bother
her is when such slander, lies and twisted half-truths hurt you! That
really gets her attention! She’s a very attentive, vigilant and sober-minded
shepherdess and she won’t stand idly by if wolves are threatening or hurting
her flock! Then she’ll fight back!
Mama has been very involved with
monitoring the effects of detractors’ activities, hearing recent reactions from
the field, praying about how to strengthen the Family, answering questions in
the GNs, and especially praying for the Family. She knows things have
been rough lately. She doesn’t live in a dream world; she knows some are
discouraged and are fighting heavy battles. But she has faith; she doesn’t ever
waver or doubt the Word or the way the Lord has led, and I haven’t heard her
say any disparaging comments about James Penn or anyone else. She knows this is
an attack of the Enemy, and she knows we have to fight, but she also knows it
will pass and we’ll go on to accomplish the great things the Lord has promised.
When you’re around Mama you know everything is going to be okay.
- Mama is a good people handler.
She’s very respectful of people and concerned about their feelings. She gives
you the benefit of the doubt, anticipates your reactions, lets you hear from
the Lord yourself whenever possible, and once you’ve learned your lesson, she
drops it. She doesn’t rub things in or make an issue of something if it’s what
she calls “self-correcting.” If you’ve recognized your mistake, communicated
about it, heard from the Lord, etc., then she sees no need to keep riding it or
even mention it again, which would only further embarrass you.
I usually try to pour out my really
bad trials and battles on tape, because you know how it is…sometimes you’re
crying and being real dramatic (a woman thing!), and it’s nice to just get it
out, without having to try to be all positive or react to counsel right on the
spot. Plus, sometimes I am just filling her in on the details via tape and then
I’m going to hear from the Lord about whatever is bothering me. Mama doesn’t
dissect what you say and get negative about you. She doesn’t label you or hold
it against you. In fact, once you’ve learned whatever it is you need to learn, or
once you’ve heard from the Lord, she usually only talks about the solution, the
answer, the Lord’s counsel. She doesn’t even mention the details of your
battles or what you said. All your negativity, wrong reactions, unyieldedness,
etc., is irrelevant to her once you’re on the road to victory. And even if the
battles go on and on, like sometimes they do, she still doesn’t get
negative about you or hold it against you. She knows that some things take
Mama is really sensitive in that she
doesn’t push you to tell her something if you’re not ready. She can sense if
you’re not quite yourself, and she might say, “Are you okay?” There have been
times when I was really battling and out of it when she asked me that and I
said, “I’m having a bad day. I’ll tell you later. This is not a good time to
talk about it.” Then she simply prayed for me and dropped it. She doesn’t pry
or make you feel forced to talk. Of course, I guess if you were not
communicating at all, then she might pry a bit more-ha! But if you are open and
honest, she’ll give you the space you need.
- Have you ever known shepherds who
talk about others behind their backs very negatively, in a critical, belittling
way?-They really get into all the ways someone is so out of it or weak or proud
or whatever. Maybe you’ve done that yourself. I know I have, LHM! Well, in all
the conversations over the years I’ve had with Mama I don’t recall her ever
doing that. If you have to discuss a problem with her or the problems someone
is having, her motive in doing so is clearly to understand the situation and
especially to define what to ask the Lord in order to get the counsel needed to
help the person. There is not that icky self-righteous spirit of “let’s really
get into this person’s problem and get down on them and talk about how bad they
are (and thereby feel real good about ourselves).”
- Mama has a good personality. She’s
funny, well educated, and extremely interested in people. She laughs a lot.
She’s a real lady; she’s very queenly in her manner and beautiful, and she
doesn’t use bad language except when there’s a real legitimate reason, and even
then, only with the Lord’s permission. Ha! She doesn’t complain, and even when
she’s really busy she doesn’t make you feel like you’re bothering her. She makes
you feel important. She’s open and honest, and is always telling jokes about
herself and the funny things she does. People who have never met her think of
her as being real shy, but actually she’s great with one on one conversation
and gives captivating talks before groups.
- She loves Peter so much and really
knows how to wisely and lovingly care for her husband. It’s fascinating to see
her balance her roles as a queen and a wife, which takes great wisdom because
in one role she’s the boss, and in the other role he’s the boss.
Ha! She’s very respectful of Peter and honors him. (I have to interject here
that Peter is extremely respectful of Mama. He is not familiar with her, and
when the situation warrants, he shows obvious humility and responds to her with
- Mama lives the “One Wife” vision
in that she loves her own kids, David and Techi, as their mom and she takes a
personal interest in them, but she also loves the other young people in the
Home and is concerned about each one of them too, She makes them feel loved and
cared for as her own. I think it’s pretty amazing how she does this. She tries
to spend personal time with David and Techi when she can. She does sweet little
things for them, like share her snacks with them, or go out for an occasional
pizza dinner, or give them some little token gifts every once in a while (like
passing on sort of cool clothes to Techi that are sent to Mama from
provisioning). She and Peter were also very sweet to Nicole and would sometimes
have little times of fellowship with David and Nicole together. (This was when
David and Nicole were living with us.)
Now I’ll go
on to how I see Peter:
- He is humble. It’s amazing to me
that someone who is so wise, experienced and anointed can have so little
confidence in himself, and be so obviously dependent on the Lord. He often
prays for the Lord’s help and guidance right in the middle of conversations.
When you’re with him discussing something or deliberating about a need or
problem, it’s very apparent that he is desperate to make the right decisions.
He really thinks and ponders and goes slow. He’s in the fear of the Lord about
- He is a yielded bride for Jesus. I
love to hear Peter say love words to the Lord. He’s not like super eloquent,
but that doesn’t matter. He’s so desperate. He really loves the Lord and wants
to be close to Him and be like Him.
- He sometimes worries about the
problems of the Family.-Not in a bad way, not like he lacks faith, but I
believe because he feels so responsible. He wants to be sure to be doing
everything possible to try to solve some of the big problems of the Family-but
it’s difficult because there are so many problems and so much to do, and he and
the leadership of the Family can only tackle so much at once. He knows there is
more that needs to be done to raise more finances at every level, improve the
education of our children, take care of the aging FGAs, make life in the Family
more challenging for young people, etc., and it weighs heavily on him.
- He works hard. Of course Mama
works really hard too, almost all the time, but she’s a little bit in a
different category, because her whole world is her work on the Word and for the
Family. But Peter is a Taurus, and as you know, Tauruses usually really like to
have time to relax and enjoy life. But rarely does he have much of that. He
just doesn’t have time. Most of the time he’s very very tired, and yet he’s
sort of “driven” by his vision and desire to improve things in the Family.
Sometimes I’ve been concerned because he sets such short deadlines for his
projects or travels or meetings, etc., because it means he’s going to work
almost nonstop and be totally wiped out. But I know why he does that.
It’s not because he loves to push himself or because he’s addicted to stress or
he’s accomplishment-oriented. He does it for you, for the Family! He’s
not even strong physically, so I think it’s a miracle that he manages to keep
up the pace he does. I think it’s his love and concern for the Family’s needs
that keep him going.
I want to
clarify that while Peter is very busy, he gets his Word time and
meditation/prayer time faithfully. He and Mama have devotions every morning.
They hear from the Lord every morning (and sometimes at other times during the
day). That time when they’re in prayer and reading the Word is “off limits.” We
in the Home do not interrupt or disturb unless it’s a dire emergency!
- I love to talk with Peter because
you see those many years of experience with Dad and Mama. And even though he’s
the king now, he’s still very respectful of Mama and even Dad. He told me just
two days ago, “I’m not in the Family because I have a job. I’m in the Family
because I believe this is the Lord’s will for me, because I want to serve the
Peter’s openness to counsel and dissenting opinions
I read the comments from James about
how Mama and Peter get rid of anyone who don’t agree with them 100%, how they
are control freaks, etc. That’s not true.
Mama and Peter counsel regularly
with the CROs. They do this primarily through written communications,
obviously. There are also the Summits, which is when Peter and the CROs hash
out the various problems and big questions, discussing, hearing from the Lord,
etc. But Mama and Peter also invite various CROs to visit. I’m sure they’d like
to have all the CROs come, but each time a CRO or a small group of CROs come,
it takes the majority of Mama and Peter’s time, because they have hours and
hours of meetings each day, spend personal time with them, receive a lot of
prophecies for them, etc. It’s not like they just sit around fellowshipping and
enjoying nice meals or going out with the CROs, like a little vacation. They
work hard and it’s quite taxing for them both. But the whole point of the
visits, besides allowing the CROs who come to get tanked up a little by being
around Mama and Peter, is to talk and pray about Family problems.
There have been two business-type
meetings so far in the year 2000 with three or four CROs visiting each time.
Those weeks were grueling for those involved! For weeks Peter had a three-hour
morning meeting, then a meeting over lunch, then a three-and-a-half hour
afternoon/evening meeting, then a meeting over dinner. (Mama attended as many
of the meetings as she could, depending on her other timely work.) Then usually
Peter and Mama’s few “free” hours at night were spent personally shepherding
the CROs or catching up on timely messages and other work.
All these meetings were to discuss
changes needed in the Family, solutions to ongoing problems, where to get the
money needed, how to spread out the leadership load, etc. These meetings were
lively debates, back and forth. Anyone who’s been involved in meetings like
that knows how tiring, draining and mind-bending that kind of work schedule and
pressure can be! And the reason Peter (and Mama) endure that is to hear from
others, to counsel, to make wise decisions for the sake of the Family!
Anyone who says Mama and Peter don’t
value others’ opinions or only want things their own way is wrong. They just
don’t know Mama and Peter.
Mama and Peter also counsel with
people in their Home within the realm of their various ministries or responsibilities.
Of course, it’s not like you arrive in our Home and immediately begin debating
with Mama and Peter. It takes some time before you feel comfortable voicing a
contrary opinion or bringing up another side-after all, they are the
king and queen. (Something our detractors don’t like to mention. Ahem!)
I don’t want to give the impression
that everyone argues with them or is disrespectful or familiar. There is a
Mama and Peter want to hear from
others, but we who have that responsibility also have to remember that we
are their helpers and counselors. They are the ones who have the
responsibility to make the final decisions as the shepherds of this Family. The
danger of being in a position where you are asked your opinion or what you say
has some kind of bearing in the questions asked the Lord or the decision made
is that you can get lifted up in pride. That’s dangerous.
If Mama is making a point about
something important, I don’t particularly like having to say, “I understand
your point, Mama, but on the other hand maybe you should consider…” Or if Peter
is feeling led to go a certain direction in a publication or project, it’s not
my favorite thing to say, “But it doesn’t seem quite balanced; it might have a
better effect in the long run if we were to do such-and-such…” But like it or
not, those of us who work with them do it because they want us to and expect us
to. If we have an opposing opinion or a different idea, Mama and Peter want to
know about it. They have made it abundantly clear that we are free to bring up
any point we want. They have also made it clear that they might not agree with
us and that sometimes we aren’t right in our opinions. We are respectful when
bringing our opinions to them and they are respectful of our opinions.-And those
of us who live here aren’t the only ones who express our opinions and give
suggestions. The CROs do it as well, as do you Family members via your letters,
and Mama and Peter honestly consider those dissenting opinions.
For those of us who know them well,
there is back and forth dialogue, and it’s often pretty direct, without a lot
of powder puffing. The reason it can be that way is because we know they want
the other opinions; they respect them and consider them. Mama and Peter know
they don’t know everything or see all sides. They depend on counsel, and they
are very open. They hear you out. Even if your views are narrow and not
presented very well, they listen, and they don’t just listen, they seriously
and respectfully consider what you have to say. Listening is not the end in
itself. They don’t listen just to make you feel good. Listening is a means to
the end, and the goal is to make wise, loving, well-rounded decisions. When you
voice your opinions or objections, they might ask you to hear from the Lord
about your ideas, or they’ll put your views in the pot with all the others when
they hear from the Lord.
Having said all that, I want to
bring out that they are the chosen shepherds of the Family and they are
responsible to the Lord and the Family for the decisions they ultimately have
to make. As such, they wisely listen to counsel, they pray, they hear from the
Lord and then make the final decisions. We have to accept that they have the
final word, just like the boss of any company or organization has the final
decision. And in our organization we can be sure that the final decisions will
be right because they’ve been prayed and counseled about, the Lord has given
confirmations in prophecy on the matter, and He has said numerous times that He
will not let Mama and Peter be misled.
We who have the responsibility to
discuss things back and forth with them have to watch out about getting
familiar or critical or thinking we’re so smart if something we say changes the
plan in some way or their perception of something. There is always the
potential problem of pride. Everyone knows how it wounds your pride when you
make a great case for something but it falls flat and those in charge do
something else. If you hold on to your “rightness” in a case like that, it can
be a real problem.
I’d venture to say that’s probably
what happened with James. He had a lot of contrary opinions in the years before
he left, which he voiced. But when Mama and Peter didn’t do what he said or
thought, he didn’t let his own opinions go. Obviously, he’s got a lot of
gripes; he cites a lot of things he feels Mama and Peter (and Dad) did wrong.
He puts himself up as being amongst the few who were fighting for righteousness
and truth, against tremendous odds. But really, the whole time he was in WS he
had ample opportunity to share his views, just like all the rest of us do. And
being the outspoken guy that he is, he did. But somewhere along the line I
think he forgot that he’s not always right. He failed to trust the Lord when a
different decision was made. Lord, help us all!
changed with Dad’s death
It wasn’t a big crisis for me when
Dad died. I loved him dearly and have great respect for him as the Lord’s
Endtime prophet, but I didn’t have a crisis of faith when he went to be with
Granted, it was an adjustment to
varying degrees for all of us when Mama started to depend so much on prophecy.
(Of course even that wasn’t so much of a change for those of us who lived in
WS, because Mama had been having us have what we called PPMs, united prayer and
prophecy meetings, for years. We had prayed and heard from the Lord about lots
of questions she had.) But anyway, instead of so much discussion and coming to
conclusions based primarily on experience and knowledge of the situation or
even counsel, there was the constant “let’s ask the Lord.” That really takes
the focus off any individuals. My perception is that James, who thought
he had a lot of “power” because Mama and Peter listened to him, had to take a
more humble position, because now the Lord obviously had the last word
via prophecy. I don’t think he liked that.
Also over the course of the next
couple of years after Dad went to be with the Lord, there was a big change in
the way pubs were worked on in WS. When Dad was alive, the Letters didn’t
include as much prophecy, but rather were given by the Lord inspiring Dad as he
spoke. Eventually, under Mama’s leadership, prophecy became the primary means
for producing pubs. Mama’s GNs were largely comprised of prophecy. The first
drafts of the Activated books were received in prophecy. The Heaven’s
Library stories and books were also received in prophecy, and then
teamworked on further by the earthly editors and spirit-writers. Prophecy was
and still is the name of the game.
It seems James never made that
switch. I think he resented it, and one reason I believe he refused to let the
Lord work through him in that way was because it was much more humble. (I’m not
sure if he had the gift of prophecy, but if not, I’m sure the Lord would have
given it to him eventually if he had hung on.) You get quite a bit of glory
when you write a book or a class or a GP pub, but not when you just
receive it in prophecy like a little channel. In that case, you know, and
everyone else knows, that it’s not you. You don’t get any acclaim for
being such a good writer.
Granted, James Penn was a good
writer when he was yielded to the Lord. He wrote the Tribute to Dad; in fact,
he wrote the Tribute to Dad after the court cases, during the time he
says in his letter that he was supposedly so disillusioned (See Statement:
“A Tribute to the Man, His Mission and His Message”). Amazing, huh? Just
shows how people can change their minds and perspective, depending on their
choices and spiritual state.
My personal opinion is that James
just couldn’t accept the place of prophecy in our lives. He now ridicules Mama,
mocks her faith in prophecy, and doubts the prophecies she sent him. I think
that was the deal- breaker for him! This might seem like a small thing, but
it’s pretty sobering how serious the consequences can be when someone doesn’t
flow with the major direction God is going.
attitude toward prophecy
Some would have you believe that
Mama uses prophecy like some kind of evil weapon to hurt and control people,
that she maliciously adds weight to her own words and seeks her own will by
using prophecy to make people do what she wants. That’s not true.
Mama is extremely respectful of
prophecy. She is very much in the fear of the Lord about prophecy and that is
displayed daily. She doesn’t change prophecy (as in edits or additions, etc.)
without the Lord’s permission which is received in prophecy.
I think the rest of us get familiar
with prophecy sometimes. We read so much of it in the GNs and hear from the
Lord so much that we lose a little of our reverence; we can tend to quit seeing
it as something totally awesome and supernatural, the voice of the Lord. But
Mama is not like that.
Time and time again I have been
convicted by seeing the respect Mama has for the Lord’s Words. She takes the
Lord’s counsel and instruction seriously-whether it is a minor point like her
need to cut down on the honey in her diet, or something major like His
instruction for her and Peter to make a series of video meetings to pass on
some counsel and shepherding to the CROs and VSs.
Everything the Lord says is
important to Mama. When the Lord gives instruction, she does something about
it. Prophecy is not just “inspiring” or “beautiful” to her. It’s real
instruction and counsel from the Lord that she feels responsible to consider,
pray about, get more details on, and try, to the best of her ability, to
implement. When she gets instruction from the Lord, she changes or she follows
up on it with the next steps needed to fulfill His instructions. There is
action. There is follow-up.
Mama uses prophecy extensively when
shepherding others. Some might think she does that because she wants to
pressure people or make them conform, since they won’t be able to argue with
prophecy. That is not the true reason at all. She uses prophecy to shepherd
people because she has much more confidence in the Lord’s Words than her own.
She doesn’t presume to understand someone’s heart or innermost feelings,
battles, and desires. She usually has an idea of the needs of a person or
situation, but she will seek the Lord’s viewpoint in prophecy so she can be
sure her counsel is exactly within the Lord’s will.
Yes, she often does give prophecies
to the person when she counsels them-almost always, in fact. But the reasons
are because she feels most people would rather hear it from the Lord than from
her, and she knows the Lord can present things more accurately and fully than
she can. Some people look at prophecy as this “thing”-and they get bugged if
it’s too in their face or too hard- hitting or if they think it’s “wrong,”
especially when the Lord is giving some kind of insight about their personal
life or problems or changes they need to make. That’s when I’ve seen some
people put prophecy in a category off to the side, and it’s no longer the
Lord’s Words, they no longer feel they need to respect it. That’s when the
accusations come out against Mama-she uses prophecy to control others.
Whenever there is a “heavy” message to
give someone, I know for a fact that she seeks the Lord numerous times about
it. She also counsels with all involved. She also gives the situation time. She
doesn’t just get a heavy message and then slam the person down with it. She’s
extremely careful, and the reason she gives the message to the person at all is
because she wants to help the person to grow. It has nothing to do with
“control” and everything to do with love.
But what we have to also understand is
that she is a woman of tremendous conviction. She doesn’t fear man, she
doesn’t compromise. She delivers the message the Lord wants to give to the
Family as a whole, to the world or to individuals. She is very loving, goes
slow, takes her time, prays about it, checks with those who will be affected,
prays again and again, spends a lot of time personally thinking and praying
about the situation, etc. But when all is said and done, she doesn’t back down
on the message the Lord wants to give. She is sweet, tender, understanding,
gentle, but she says what needs to be said. Even when she dreads it, when she
knows it will be very hard for the person or hard-hitting for some of the
Family, she still gives the message. If you ask me, this is real love. It’s
To my knowledge Mama has never “used”
prophecy to get her way or force anyone to do anything. She depends on prophecy
because she wants to be sure to be right, because she loves the Family and the
people she shepherds.
Often when Mama has prayed and heard
from the Lord about a certain person and their problem, she will ask the Lord
for another message-this time speaking personally to the individual
involved-one that will make it easier for them, one that will be gentler. The
reason she does this is that in the first prophecy the Lord is speaking to the
shepherd about the person, in the second prophecy the Lord is speaking directly
to the person with the problem. The last thing she wants to do is hurt someone
through prophecy, which could hurt their faith in the Lord and His love. She is
faithful to confirm with the Lord that any prophecies passed on to individuals
are presented just as the Lord wants them to be-not harshly or too strong, and
usually more gently than how the Lord may have explained the situation or
problem to their shepherds.
She is so cautious and careful
sometimes that it can be a little aggravating when you’re working with her.
There is so much checking and double-checking. It takes a lot of patience, and
sometimes it even seems she goes overboard with asking the Lord again and
again. But it’s because she loves and cares.
Law of Love
Lots of anti-cult people, James
included, like to rail on the Family for our living the Law of Love. James took
the approach of being so terribly offended with this, like it is something so
awful that Mama and Peter would dare to intrude on that most private part of
our lives. That’s so typical of a churchy attitude. They put sex in a different
category as if it were something evil that should never be talked about or
prayed about, and certainly no preacher should ever be so bold as to get
involved in any way in people’s sex lives! Tsk tsk! After all, sex is something
secret and naughty!
Funny, I never heard James complaining
about the sexual freedom of the Family when for over 20 years his sexual needs
were met by single and married women. He didn’t have a problem with being the
recipient of the loving sex given by many sacrificial women in WS. Hmm…maybe
he’s forgotten that.
James is real uptight because of the
Law of Love series. But he just doesn’t get it. He says, “Given their
horrendous track record and the many lives that they have ruined, why do Maria
and Peter feel they have the right to control, manipulate, and exhaustively
regulate this most private, intimate act? What right do they have to dictate
what people’s sexual values and conduct should be? Many Family Members are
middle-aged. The Law of Love has been drilled into them for years. Many have
FFed. They have paid their dues in the sexual freedom department. They don’t
need to be lectured to, or bullied. Why can’t Maria and Peter leave them alone
to decide what they want to do with their own bodies? Why can’t a mother who
has several children feel free to care for them without being bombarded with
sexual missives, and condemned because she just does not have the energy, or
even the desire, to put out?”
That is a completely twisted and
perverted analysis of Mama and Peter’s teachings about the Law of Love. Mama
and Peter are not controlling, manipulating and bullying people! And how, by
the way, does James think they would even do this-by going into the
Homes and forcing people to have sex?! Come on! Ridiculous! My God, doesn’t he
realize how feisty, independent and Charter-oriented the Family is today?
People in the Family are going to do what they have the faith for, and no one
is going to force them to “put out.” That’s the way it is, as I’m sure you
When reading James’ account of the
Law of Love series I question whether he even read it. What about all the
guidelines in it for those who create babies-is that making people feel forced
and “bullied” to start having a lot of sex? What about all the guidelines for
relationships outside marriage and the responsibilities of the giver and the
receiver-does that sound like Mama and Peter are just pounding people over the
head to have sex? What about the counsel about the need to care for single
women, FGAs who are lonely? I think James is a little clueless about the state
of the Homes these days, but it seems there are a lot of single women who feel
a lot less worried about having to “put out” than they are about not having
their needs for affection and sex met. So let’s get things in proper
I know the women I share my husband
with are thankful, they enjoy it, they need it, and they want the affection,
sex and intimate time loving the Lord. It’s a good thing, not something that is
Now, come to think of it, some
people might use my own testimony of victory over jealousy to deduce that
sexual sharing is forced. I’ve even received some pretty strong comments from
brethren on the field who were offended that Matthew was having dates when it
was causing me battles. I think people got the impression that he was being bad
to me because he was having sex with young women. I have to admit that those
comments bothered me a little bit because some people were writing in an
accusatory spirit, as if Matthew was acting like some kind of lecherous old
man, drooling after the SGAs, treating me badly, etc., like, “How could he do
that!?” Well, the answer is, he didn’t! That’s not the case.
To set the record straight: I was
never forced by Mama and Peter to live the Law of Love. All the dates that
Matthew has ever had with any woman other than me have been our idea, usually mine.
Mama and Peter did not even encourage us along those lines. In fact, when I
brought up the idea to Mama of Matthew starting to share with the young women,
Mama was very cautious and even said it might not be necessary or a good idea,
that I needed to be sure I had the faith for it, etc. Mama did not hint, push
or in any way make me feel I needed to do a certain thing regarding sexual
sharing. She left that entirely in our court.
We didn’t share sexually because
there was any pressure from Mama to do so or because it was the “in thing.” We
did it because the Lord showed us to do it. We did it to care for others, to
build unity. We did it because we believe it’s right and godly and the truth!
And I can’t tell you how happy I am
that we did. I’m absolutely convinced that we did the right thing because today
I’m completely free of the battles with jealousy that I fought for so long. The
Enemy has been defeated in my life and now I have the victory not just by
faith, but it’s manifested in feelings. Now when we share sexually with others
it’s not a big deal. It’s sweet, it’s fun, it’s wonderful! It’s so cool, it’s
so much fun! I no longer have the Devil and all his lies, accusations, suspicions,
and fears on my back. I’m free. Glory to God! Hmmm…that’s not my idea of
I imagine James spent months
carefully weaving his diatribe, finding quotes (with the help of the ARC) that
supported his position while conveniently ignoring whole Letters and the
Charter because they didn’t help to build his case. If this shows anything, it
proves to me the importance of knowing the Word. If we’re going to be in
the Family, then we need to be here 100% and be fully persuaded, so we’re not
rattled and upset and blown away by some detractor’s letter.
And yet, there have been people who
have been willing to throw away all their years in the Family, based on what he
said! What about all your years reading the Letters, knowing Dad and Mama
intimately through the Word? What about all the Lord’s promises about Mama as
His Endtime prophetess? What about Dad’s appointment of Peter as king? What
about all the ups and downs you’ve been through in the Family and hung on? What
about all the fruit you’ve seen? What about your faith in the Word and the
revelations the Lord has given Dad? What about your commitment to being a
How can you let all that go because
you read a letter from a man you don’t even know? It’s his word against Mama
and Peter’s word. It’s his spin against their honest explanation. What’s his agenda?
What’s his motive? Does he love you? Is he serving the Lord? What
are his fruits? Why do you think he wrote that letter?
I’m committed to this Family and I don’t
care what James Penn says! I don’t care what he does, what he thinks, or what
he feels. He and his letter are of absolutely no consequence to me, because I
have made a decision between me and the Lord to be a disciple in the Family. I
refuse to let the prejudices of others tell me how I should think and what I
should feel. I refuse to allow people to bring up some of Dad’s past mistakes
in an effort to convince me to abandon my faith in the man who taught me how to
love and serve Jesus. I refuse to judge the past actions of the Family by the
climate of today. And I’m certainly not going to take the word of James Penn or
the System and their interpretation of my religion over what Dad, Mama and
Peter tell me and over what the Lord Himself tells me.
I know I’m following Jesus.
He is our Leader. He is the Head of this Family. Not only am I following Him
through the foundation of the Bible upon which this Family is built, but
also through the Letters given through David of the End and his
successor Maria-Letters that I’ve been reading and that have worked wonders in
my life for nearly 30 years! I am following Jesus through the Words He gives me
personally through my own gift of prophecy.
I am determined to follow Jesus in
the Family no matter what all the James Penns of this world say. In fact, when
I read his letter it only made me more determined and gave me greater
resolve to tenaciously hang on and let no man steal my crown. I pray that God
will continue to help me follow the Words of David, that I will have the faith
and humility to continue to use the new weapons, to prepare for the future, and
to be all I need to be as we enter the era of action! I pray I will continue to
grow spiritually and be totally sold out to the Family and dropped out of the System,
so that if I ever meet James Penn again or any of our other detractors they’ll
see in me a living sample of the Letters!
I love the Mo Letters! I love the
GNs that have been published since Dad’s home-going. I love Dad’s new messages
from Heaven! I love Mama and Peter! What James Penn wrote didn’t shake my faith
one bit; it didn’t make me doubt or wonder one bit! I know what I
believe, and I not only put my all in with Mama and Peter, but I pray
that daily I will become more like them. I follow them as they follow Jesus!
(End of file.)