A consistent trait throughout the history of The Family has been their aversion to government oversight and extreme secrecy surrounding leadership and finances. World Services (WS), the central administrative wing of The Family, continues to operate in complete secrecy, with very few members of The Family actually knowing their whereabouts or the identities of the members of those offices, most of whom operate under pseudonyms instead of their more commonly known "Bible names". Many of them have also legally changed their names and some sources have indicated that they have used fake passports in the past.
Senior leadership also typically still attempt to keep their legal names from common circulation, although this has became more difficult through the second half of the 1990s, due to legal action in many countries. In particular, a major court case in England brought to light many formerly guarded names of senior members.
In The Family's publications printed photographs of WS members were typically "censored" by means of a rudimentary drawing pasted over the persons face. It was not uncommon in Family-produced art for David Berg's head to be replaced with that of a hand-drawn lion (see example image).
Following the death of David Berg in 1994, all members of The Family were finally allowed to see up-to-date photographs of the organization's late founder. For many members this was the first time they had ever seen a photograph of his face. In recent years, Steven Kelly has carried pictures of Karen Zerby with him on travels to show members, since most had never seen a photo of their spiritual leader prior to this.
Although by now most of the group's members have seen photographs or video footage of Karen Zerby and Steven Kelly, their identities and location are still heavily guarded by those members working closest to them. Prior to being released on xfamily.org, recent photographs or video footage of Karen Zerby, Steven Kelly, and most WS members were not readily available even to fulltime members of The Family.
All electronic communication within this group is required to be encrypted with military-grade algorithms. The most commonly used software for this purpose is PGP (see www.pgp.com). All writings by Karen Zerby, Steven Kelly, and World Services are also sent electronically to members encrypted.
See also: Selah.
Pages in category "Secrecy"
The following 28 pages are in this category, out of 28 total.