Sunday, February 12, 2017

“The Family is the best place in the world to raise children.”

Every TFI member heard this line repeated ad nauseam, and it's a line that I find most egregious.

Who was the poster-child for Family children? Zerby's “Jesus baby” and Berg's stepson, Davidito. He was groomed from childhood for his job as one of the “End-time Witnesses” of Revelations, to work leading God's children alongside his mother. His care was set up as the example for all Family members to emulate with their own children. He was raised with strict discipline, his life documented for all, and with plentiful sexual contact by adults - because that was "normal" and "natural."

In the intervening years, his name and viewpoint changed. Now known as Ricky Rodriquez, he and his fiancee left the group in January 2001, and he explained his reasons to his mother in an email. “We cannot continue to condone or be party to what we feel is an abusive, manipulative organization that teaches false doctrine... You have devoured God's sheep, ruining people's lives by propagating false doctrines and advocating harmful practices in the name of God, and as far as I can see, show no regret or remorse.”

He could not easily get over his past. His rage against his mother and The Family grew along with the dawning realization of how much he had been exploited and abused. He fell into depression.

He stated, "There's this need that I have. It's not a want. It's a need for revenge. It's a need for justice, because I can't go on like this."

His attempts to find his mother ended in frustration. She was keeping her location secret from him. He had heard she was hiding in the Tucson area. He met with one of his former nannies and a close associate of his mother, Angela Smith, intending to force her to reveal his mother's location.

When he told her of his feelings, he was appalled at her utter lack of remorse and her sincere beliefs that she had done no wrong. He stabbed her to death.

Although like everyone else, I cannot endorse his actions. Yet, I can certainly imagine his frustration.

He called his wife and asked her to call the police because he had done something very wrong. He had killed his former nanny. Then he drove into the desert and put a bullet in his head.

His wife said of his phone call, "He said the hardest thing for him had been that as she was dying, she didn't understand what she had done wrong."

Denial to the end.