Sunday was an interesting research day for Mercy and I. We examined a lot of information about “The Family” (no direct link; should be the first link Google turns up.) Mercy’s got a great attitude about having been raised in a cult. I’m most impressed by the fact that she doesn’t victimize herself. She was lucky enough to have been raised by a less fanatical subgroup that didn’t, or couldn’t, brainwash her. Her own strength of character carried her through the roughest times, and eventually out of the system.
Not all were so lucky. The most factual summary of what these folks were capable of doing to a person is detailed in this article by Tommy Gunn. While lots of the other anti-Family diatribes circulating on the ‘net are filled with personal venom, this one rings true. Try and ignore the crazy formatting, and read the entire story. Mercy’s confirmed most of this (she’s violently disagreed with many other articles) Though she still maintains that this guy brought his fate on himself, she agrees that “The Family” was capable of this sort of insanity.
Just take these articles with a grain of salt. You’re not going to get objectivity from anyone involved, especially those with an axe to grind AGAINST these things. Cult Awareness & Information Centre (CAIC) has a full index of other articles, or if you prefer something with less ugly graphics, you can visit the directory index. A quick search on Google will turn up weeks’ worth of reading.
Before you guys get all uppity about this, please read with intelligence, especially this report by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Looks like there were some radical elements of this group that did nasty things, but they were limited to specific places (e.g., perhaps, Argentina) and specific times (1980s).