Hamilton Spectator: We will be completely vindicated, says Susan

From XFamily - Children of God

Editor's note: Some names have been partially redacted to protect individual privacy or for other reasons at the discretion of the editors of xFamily.org.

We will be completely vindicated, says Susan

Hamilton Spectator/1993-09-09, p. C4.

by Belinda Sutton

Susan Claire Borowick has sent greetings and love to her Canadian family.

The former Burlington woman was in good health when she was interviewed this week by at least one Canadian Embassy official, says her brother, Steve.

Ms Borowick, 33, is accused of leading the Family of Love, a religious cult that is the offshoot of the California-founded Children of God. She has been detained in Argentina along with 18 other adults as authorities investigate allegations of child sexual abuse.

Preliminary charges have already been filed.

"Her health is fine and she is confident, once the government investigation is completed, the group will be completely vindicated," Mr. Borowick, 35, said yesterday.

The Canadian government relayed Ms Borowick's message to her mother in Ontario Tuesday -- said Mr. Borowick, who believes she was interviewed at a courthouse the same day.

Mr. Borowick, a father of two young boys, said the family is worried about Ms Borowick, who is known by group members as "Clara." Relatives say they may fly to Argentina. Her 12-year-old son, Esteban, is believed to be among the 140 children taken into care after Argentine police raids on nearly a dozen Buenos Aires homes, last week.

"I think everyone's still very afraid. Everyone's extremely tired and I mean, certainly quite distraught," said the Burlington man.

But Mr. Borowick said the laying of preliminary instead of formal charges may be a positive sign.

"If the evidence was as overwhelming as they (authorities) originally indicated, formal charges would have been laid."

Mr. Borowick, spokesman for the family, said his impression is that preliminary charges are "an available legal maneouvre to detain suspects for an extended period of time to further examine available evidence."

He said he believes charges can be withdrawn at any time by the Argentine justice department. Because of that, he said they are meaningless.

Mr. Borowick has denied his sister is a group leader and says she is only an educational co-ordinator and spokeswoman. He said he believes allegations of child abuse are an attempt by former members to shut down the group.

Several people claiming to be former members of the Family have alleged incidents of sexual and physical abuse, incest, kidnapping and forced prostitution.

Mr. Borowick said that, from his reading, longtime members of a rigid, religious group, tend to harbor "a high level of bitterness towards the former members" after they leave.

One former member, Abigail B., has accused Ms Borowick of condoning sex with children and said she was ordered by her to submit to sex with other cult members. Abigail is trying to get her brother out of the sect.

Mr. Borowick, an investment counsellor, said he doesn't believe Abigail's allegations about sexual abuse and thinks she may have ulterior motives.

"She's been unsuccessful through all other means to remove him (her brother) from the group. It would seem to me this is the only other viable alternative to accomplish the goal of removing her brother from the group."

Mr. Borowick added he only knows of Abigail's accusations through what he has read and heard in the media. He said he would welcome an opportunity to hear her story firsthand.

"I'd just like to hear what she had to say from her own mouth and I'd like to ask questions of her to try to determine the validity of what she is saying."