The Cult Killed Rick!

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Newsletter #9 © COUNTERCOG P.O. Box 40242 Pasadcna CA USA TEL (818) 794-1408

Some of you may have already heard of the sad news of Rick Dupui's suicide on June 1, 1996. He died of a pill overdose in Utah where he was staying with his brother John. Rick had tried twice to take his life in recent months. He had undergone electroshock treatment in November 1995. His mother said that he had been suicidal for about a year. Former member Marina ta1ked to him Saturday evening, the last night Rick was alive. He sounded very tired. He had told her the week before that he was going to commit suicide. She knew it could happen any time. He left her and members of his family several audio tapes that he recorded just before his death; A memorial was held for him in Houston, Texas by his family on Sunday June 8 at their house and another one at the ex-member reunion in East Texas on Saturday June 15.

Rick joined the Children of God (COG) aka the Family in March 1969 in Tucson Arizona at age 17 and spent about 20 years of his life in the group. lie was one of the early members and was known as Watchman. Atter spending ten years in the Farnily, Rick had left for three years, but wa s rerecruted by Faithy, the daughter of the cult's founder, in one of her "searcher" missions, in 1981. He rejoined in Puerto Rico with his wife Katrina and their three children. He left behind him his job as the regional sales director for Holiday Inn in Mexico City. Being a talented person Rick was eventually sent to Japan to work on a video tape creation unit. For this he was separated from his wife and children, a very common practice in the group.

On the American Larry King talk show done about a year and a half after he left he group for the second time, Rick explained that after 4 years in Japan and at a verge of a nervous breakdown, he had asked for a leave of absence. What followed were two months of incredible ordeal of brainwashing, exorcism and hard labor. He was put under house arrest. His personal affects were burned. He was laid on the floor and the spirit of his mother was cast out of him! Rick's mother told me that 3 sets of 8 hour groups of "exorcists" screamed at him 24 hours a day and this went on and on. Rick was so exhausted by sleep deprivation that he would fall asleep during exorcisms and sessions. They extracted all kinds of confessions from him. They made him say he was abusive and to confess to sexual fantasies. They made him confess to all kinds of stuff. They put him on silence restriction, isolation in solitary confinement, shunned him and he was not allowed to talk unless spoken to.

As hard as it may be for the average person to believe, this kind of thing was not uncommon in the group In fact it was an institutionalized part of life in the cult called Victor Program designed to break the personalities of all members, adults or teens. In reply to Larrv King's question why he didn't just leave he said that he felt guilt and fear that God would strike him dead if he did so. A week before Rick left, 18 year old Ben Fartswood jumped off of a building in Hong Kong. Ben had been seriously sexually and physically abused at a cult detention center in Macau. Rick was told by the group that if he left the cult that he will end up like Ben. "They told me I'll end up like Ben. I'll end up committing suicide Rick has said. Another example of the incredible cruelty in Victor Camps thought reform programs and phobia indoctrination was Mary Berg, the dirty old pervertís granddaughter. She was one of her grandfather's wives! She was sexually molested by Berg on a regular basis When she started voicing her doubts about her grandfather she was, among other things, tied to a bed and beaten, sometimes until she would throw up or lose consciousness.

When Rick finally returned to the States it was not because he was leaving the group He simply went home to his parents to recuperate after what he had gone through. On the plane back he Was experiencing severe anxiety attacks thinking that God was going to strike him dead at any moment. He later wrote of the time of his "early recovery--about the total bewilderment and sense of alienation, the agonizing anxiety attacks, the horrible fear of going insane." (Rick Dupui, "The COG Story.. .A Case in Point" [Nov.92], p. 13. )

His parents shocked at the way he looked, had him see a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist extended a 50 minute session into 4 hours and began to cry when he heard Rick's story. This seasoned, trained professional thought that clinically speaking it was a total miracle that somebody that had gone through the incredible abuse that Rick had gone through, was in any sense a sane and rational and functioning human being. He told Rick that he had never heard a case of such brutal tactics and cruel and inhuman mind control. I do not know if it was this same psychologist who also said that he never saw a soul as damaged as Rick was. He said the group just ruined him, just completely destroyed him. He coined the term "soul murder" for Rick.. He said that the cult was completely responsible.

The diagnosis was that Rick was suffering from neurological brain damage because of what they did to him in the group. He said Rick was afflicted from severe chronic depression and a complete case of post traumatic stress disorder. His nervous system was damaged. Rick had to take anti-depression medication that was not working. He had tried 20 types of drugs. He was going though a lot of emotional pain and was on pain killers many times, even just to be able to make the last tapes he made. He couldn't hold a job and was recently denied disability. He couldn't live a normal life. Katrina was calling Rick and telling him that nothing had really happened, that the ordeal he had gone in the group was not that bad. She was belittling his pain.

"I do wish there is some way that these people could be exposed for the cruel and: horrible things that they did" Rick's mother said to me on the phone. When Rick in Japan had expressed his desire to take a little time of rest back in the States, Berg's daughter Faith, who had been the catalyst of Rick rejoining, had grabbed and shook Rick's head screaming at him "God is going to kill you." When confronted about this episode ~ Faith said that happened because God loved Rick so much that He was warning him. If God was warning Rick of anything, it would have being for him to get out of that cult as soon as possible. Rick waited too long. Faithy is sorry Rick died, has lost some sleep over it she says, but she has not repented for what she and others have done to him. Faith's own brother, her older brother Aaron, also a cult member, committed suicide many years ago in the mountains of Switzerland

Rick realizing what had happened to him in the group, decided to undertake a personal campaign against the cult, a journey that took him to Europe, Australia, South America and Japan. Rick felt it's time to start standing up to these people, because they have been getting away with incredible abuse too long. Rick was successful in forcing the cult to let his son Romeo visit him. Four months fresh out of the group Rick faced them down in Japan, played hardball with the leaders there, talking tough, even threatening them to supply information to authorities of legal violations. Having been a pioneer in the group for many years Rick promised them now that he was going to "pioneer persecution".

The group before letting then 15 year old Romeo go, submitted him to intense psychological and emotional pressure. They even obliged him to take a pledge of allegiance to Berg and Zerby and the cult and they taped his vowing his declaration of loyalty to the group. Romeo was also asked to be a spy, to come and actually spy on his own father and report back to the group. So, ex-members whose children are coming out of the.. group beware, be careful!

Rick did not know until his son came out, that Romeo had been sexually abused from his own child helper He has very correctly pointed out that the child abuse issue raised against the COG has nothing to do With religious freedom, but everything to do with rights of children. Rick has estimated that there were about 5,000 abused children in the group. On the Larry King show Rick said that Berg, the adult's founder, was a very sexually obsessed man, a sick man, and a child molester of the worse kind. He said that child molestation and child sex was on a massive scale in the group. He then shocked everybody by admitting that he was ordered by the leadership of the cult and had sex with a 10 year old girl.

In a book written by mostly very pro-COG "experts", Rick is portrayed as "a self-admiitted child abuser (Sex, Slander, and Salvation [Center for Academic Publications, Stanford, CA, 19941, p. 150.) All I know is that, as Rick himself said in the Larry King show, he was ordered by leadership to do it and he did it one time. They made him do it and now they are accusing him of doing it. What could be more horrible than to turn someone, into a child abuser and then to turn around and accuse that person of being a child abuser? What could be a bigger double crime? How can a group or its apologists accuse anybody of child abuse when the groupís founder himself had committed incest with both daughters and granddaughters? What nerve! The Family by "exposing" people like Rick are able to scare many ex-members into silence. People who are now trying to rebuild their lives and don't want all their very dirty laundry splattered all over the media, It's a very real, and unfortunately very effective form of blackmail.

They were cursing Rick for years and praying for him to die. A young ex-member girl who was at Rick's memorial at his house, said that she didn't know who he was, but they were praying or his death. Praying for their "enemies" has been common practice in the COG. The cult also printed material to assassinate Rick's character.

As if they have not mistreated and abused Rick enough, the cult now claims they have received a message from Rick from the dead! They have a group in World Services that "pray" and receive messages from people like Merilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, River Phoenix, David Berg of course, and now Rick Dupui. Here is the message from the dead, preceded by an introduction by Karen Zerby.

Maria: "When we asked the Lord if he had anything to say about Watchman's death, we received the following message. We also asked if Watchman might have anything to say, which he did." Before "Rick" starts speaking Jesus says that He made intercession to the Father which resulted in mercy been shown to Rick Nevertheless Rick will still have to pass many tests, the road of rehabilitation is still going to be long and hard. Sounds like a "Victor Program" on the other side! And now here is "Rick"! The following are quotations taken from a eight page document titled "Prophecy about Watchman's Death!"

I was wrong, so dead wrong I can hardly bear to face you, my Family I am not worthy... Dad pleaded for me to be able to give you this message and he even arranged for Abner to help me.... After all I did and all I was responsible for in hurting the Farnily, dear Dad was there to meet me and help me over to this side Now I understand how Judas must have felt. Then Dad called for a feast and put a ring on my finger. Some of you might be thinking, "Hey, look at that! Here's a scumbag like Watchman who has been really low, really dirty, and caused us so much trouble, and here he goes and even takes his own life, and then he gets it this big reception in Heaven! Come on now, you've gotta he kiddhig!" Well, let me tell you, all I could do was hang my head in shame. I had to face Jesus and I had to face Dad, and that was the scariest, most humbling moment of my entire life. I couldn't eat when the food was brought out. . . .1 have some special retraining to go through a rehabilitation program...I have a long ways to go in my retraining t have a lot of retraining to undergo I 'beg you, my Family, please, can you find it in your hearts to forgive me? I know t don't deserve itÖ. The other reason that I'm here to talk to you is to address you, Romeo, Romeo, I love you! (Weeping.) Sorry....Romeo, please, I beg you, listen to me now, Son, because I was wrong. ...I was selfish - so very selfish... All I can say I was wrong. Romeo, please. listen to me now. This is my special dispensation to come and talk with you. .. As for me, Romeo I will be in rehab for now....Yes, this is me, your dad talking' Ask yourself, and I think you will know the difference between me and your momÖ Please, Romeo, please! I beg you, son, learn from my mistakes. This is my plea, this is why I'm here to talk to you. Besides asking the Family to forgive me, I beg you, Romeo, don't follow my footsteps... ..Dear Romeo,.. .please, please, learn from my mistakes.. ..Romeo, maybe you can spend some time with your mom. Let her pray for you. Dear Kat, oh dear Kat! You did all you could....Oh, Kat, I'm so sorry - so sorry so sorry! I'm so ashamed....You did what was right. You stood firm and faithful and loyal. You were so strong and I was so selfish. I wanted you so much all to myself...Please, can you forgive me?Ö I know I don't deserve it but can you forgive me?.....I' m so sorry! (pages 3-8)

You don't know if you should laugh or scream. If there comes another message from "Rick" that there is a buried treasure under my backyard, I don't think I am going to bother digging for it. It reminds me of something Berg's ex-wife Jayne Miller told me a few years ago when I was in Texas and we met. She said to me the biggest problem with her ex-husband Berg is not even the sex, but the fact that he says, "Thus saith the Lord" when it is not the Lord. It also reminds me of the time at TSC when I was doing dishes in the big dinning room, while they were having a Bible class there. Suddenly I stopped doing the dishes and started speaking in tongues.. {The teacher also stopped realizing the Lord was going to speak through my lips. Hosea's wife was about to have her first baby, so the prophecy I gave said that it was going to be a boy, if I remember correctly. Well guess what it was the opposite of what I had prophesied.

The COG having destroyed this man's life are continuing to do so even after his death. Let me say that it is the ultimate abuse to have Rick say something when he is not here to defend himself. As far as Rick being sorry for fighting the group, and asking the group now to forgive him, in his last words he left on a tape made the day he died he says that if he "had to do it again, [he] would do the same thing." He believed until the very end that he did the right thing. He believed he did the right thing because he felt that somebody has to stop these people. Here are Pick's own words about Argentina from a tape made, as we said, the day he died.

The truth is, perfect decisions in life do not exist. Just like when I went down to Argentina and I was almost day grappling with the morals and ethics of what I was doing but still,...I had to choose a course of action and stick with it...I had to do what I felt was the most appropriate out of a number of imperfect possibilities. Do I have regrets? A few. But overall, if I had to do it again I would do the same thing. Faced with what I was faced with I think I made the most appropriate choice. If there is any one thing that I've tried to do since leaving the group, that is to be honest, to myself and to others.

Faith said that what Rick did in Argentina was cruel. In other words, it was cruel of him to help in causing the cult children to be subjected to examinations by doctors and nurses to see if they had been sexually molested. But what is really cruel is the way her cult has sexually molested all these thousands of children. One girl said that even worse than the sexual abuse was the emotional, mental and psychological manipulation. She said that the man who was sexually abusing her was telling her ìJesus loves you. Jesus loves you. Can you imagine? They have even sodomized little boys. I just heard of another case of this only a few days ago. You couldnít possibly get the authorities to examine the children of any other missionary or church organization to see if their vaginas have been penetrated. But we are dealing here with the COG/Family. In this case they not only have the right but also the responsibility to check these kids. And in my opinion they are responsible for not doing a better job As far as Rick, I believe that what was motivating him was not cruelty, but concern. Faith has been having sex with her father since she was a child, and is so desensitized that she does not really understand why we are so shocked by child adult sex. Rick talked about Argentina twice in this last tape.

There are no easy answers. Back in Argentina I realized that while we ex-members were sitting there having to struggle with our consciences about all that stuff, the Family had it easy, they didn't have to worry about conscience. What conscience?!? That made it so much easier for them. But unfortunately the more you know the harder it is, because you have to take into account all of the different ramifications, and decision-making becomes difficult, you know.

We have heard from Rick and from the "other Rick". Every one will have to make their own decision as to which Rich they will believe. Of course the COG will have us believe that as soon as Rick died he suddenly repented for everything he had done against the cult. Again everybody will have to make their own decision on that. I have already made mine.

Almost the biggest emphasis of the message was Romeo. Katrina has been very aggressive in her efforts to get Romeo to come back to the COG. At first she totally denounced Rick, sent him to hell. Latter she became all sweetness and light. But Rick recently confronted her about her lying to him. Isn't that like a microcosm of the COG. They were saying all kinds of horrible things about us, their ìenemies." Now the, want to dialogue with us, kiss and make up. But they are just as deceitful and dishonest as ever. But going back to Romeo, imagine being 19 years old and having to deal with a message supposedly from you dead father, and a brainwashed mother who is pressuring you to rejoin that insane outfit. Please, pray for Romeo.

Rick's mother told me that this message from the dead completely tore her apart an upset her terribly. You can imagine how Rick's parents and family must feel, after losing Rick, to have to put up with all this foolishness Mrs Dupui feels that Katrina is very responsible for her son's death, and told Katrina so. She told Katrina that she was very largely responsible for Rick's death. The title of this newsletter makes it clear from the very start that I believe the cult killed Rick. Is that an exaggeration? I don't think so. Read the following message from a tape Rick made before he died and you will be convinced as well that the COG murdered Rick. He makes it very clear that lie feels they are responsible. He says that he died for what the group did to him.

I'm dying because of wounds inflicted by the Family and some of the very horrible things that we c done to me in Japan. It is a direct result of what was done to me. I was chewed up and spit out. My soul was desecrated, execrated, violated. devastated, mutilated, dismembered, shredded and otherwise abused to such a degree that it has one irreparable damage to my heart, mind, emotions, my psyche, and it has rendered me incapable of healing, even though I've tried every resource available.-And I've sought -oh, I have sought God, and I have felt the love of God many tines on this journey. But God is a lot bigger than anyone's concept and anybody's organization.

What happened to me in Japan is the most compelling piece of reason that I have for doing what lam doing, [ending his life] which is to say that anyone hearing the story in its entirety would have little doubt as to the damage that was done. -Severe and protracted trauma of the nature that I have endured can cause in many cases irreparable damage....My history. of cult related abuse, that is the final 4 to 6 years of it, has never failed to push those hearing it to the uttermost limits or what they thought possible and endurable in the human drama and beyond. I have reached out unceasingly for every conceivable resource in my efforts to recover. .. .My nervous, bio-neurological system has been horribly maimed and shattered. r have been mangled and mauled down to the very core of my being, denuded and stripped to the most basic and vital elements necessary for human survival at an emotional, mental and psychological level. But unfortunately this is a story of human limitations, limitations of what is possible for a human organism to endure I am exhausted and have come to the end of my rope. I have fought, there's a part of me that has desperately wanted to live or I wouldn't even be here today. And if some casual observer wants to say that I am a coward, because suicides, people that commit suicide, arc automatically all cowards and selfish jerks and on and on. ..well, let them say what they want to say, but I know and those that have been with me the closest know, that I'm not a coward, I'm not a wimp, and that I have fought a valiant battleÖI have done all I could do. ..The only thing that has kept me going so long is thinking about my loved ones and the pain that my suicide would cause. ..But as I have explained it comes to a point when even that is not enough This is not a rejection of my loved ones, far from it. It is simply that I am human and I have come to grips with my limitations...I have forgiven myself and I pray that my loved ones and other acquaintances will find it in themselves to extend me that same forgiveness.

In the last pages of his journal Rick states that his ìmind was completely ripped apart and torn asunder" by the COG in Japan. He adds, "What have I done with my life? Wasted it on the insanity of some maniacal bunch of pathological deviates" . He also wrote "My subjective truth is chaos, cruelty, horror, devastation, terror and disintegrated dismemberment". "Some things are worse than death, and my continued existence in this unspeakable state is one of them. " This is the kind of pain and horror his torturers in the cult caused in him. Rick accused the group of literally destroying his soul, of violating him as a human being.

The big and clear picture that emerges after reading all this is that the cult killed Rick. He was a wonderful person, young, idealistic and full of life. What was the one predominant reason for this tragedy? It was that he had the misfortune to meet a monstrous cult called the Children of God. What a misnomer! I recently heard of another ex-member who killed himself because he could not stop from lusting after is own daughter. When I was in England recently I heard that one of Mrs Frampton's sons also tried to kill himself by cutting his veins. I know of another case of an ex-member who pointed a gun to her head and was going to take her life but was rescued the last moment. So many horror stories.

May God destroy this group from its very foundation. May there soon be no members, only ex-members. May it soon become a remote memory buried in the sands of distant past. May they be exposed in every country of the world. May those false shepherds see the unimaginable degree of deception they are under, become conscious of the unfathomable self delusion of their hearts, and see the naivete and spiritual arrogance that has covered their eyes and hearts like a thick dark blanket.

May the ex-members and others do all we can. And let us not be deceived by the little bandage they are trying to put over their cancer infested sores, to hide the horror of their true condition., All the Family has done basically is acknowledge that some mistakes were made. They have offered some generic apologies in the last two or so years, but have not in any serious and sincere or real way dealt with all the damage they have caused to so many people for over a quarter of a century. They have instituted some sweeping but nevertheless superficial changes and are trying very hard to convince us that they are not like they use to be. They keep on asking us to forgive them. They are telling us that they are sincere, that this is not PR. At a recent TS gathering Peter Amsterdam, the group's number 2 man, even asked to wash the feet of an ex-member present during communion." I am glad to hear that the ex-members declined.

From what we are hearing they are getting crazier by the day. Some of you may not have heard of their new sacrilegious "Masturbating to Jesus Revolution." I am not going to get into the disgusting details here but let me tell you, they have not changed at all. Rick for one did not believe in their phony PR and lies and games. He could clearly see, he knew they had not changed. He was very angry at those that so horribly abused him and had murderous impulses against his torturers.

I hope and pray that there will not be one more case of suicide. If we can help you can call us any time 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Committing suicide, murdering yourself is the ultimat~d4feat. Don't do it. Choose life. When we have a traumatic experience that overwhelms us, when emotions flood our souls and the hurt is too much to bear, that is when we need to try to be the closest to the Comforter that lives in every Christian's heart; There is life after the cult. Despite the pain, I can truthfully say that I have peace. There is true peace in Jesus that no cult can take away.