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 Post subject: Re: WOW......
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:01 am 
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Hello. You are off to a great start emh, don't stop! Loving it. I have fond memories of you. I recall you playfully wresting with your brother. I only saw you at field conferences since I was not at Fanda. It grieves me to realize that from '72 through '78 you must have been steadily loses your vitality, being beaten down by authority. Shame on them for their destructive words. It was capital abuse, not minor. I was saddened to picture John W mishandling you on that march to the soccer field. Shocking! I'm rooting for you. It's good that you are here on the blog. You will find incredible support from so many of your Fanda alum.


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 Post subject: Re: WOW......
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:42 am 
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emh wrote:
I do want to say "Thank You" to everyone here because now I know that Im not crazy or just a waste of space....after 30 years of thinking that i was these things its refreshing to find others that KNOW.


I am so glad to hear that, emh. We do know. We do. Thank you for coming here, and for opening up the way you have.
You are so right. It wasn't only Fanda, it was NTM as a whole - and I believe it still is.
Yes, we are able to read between the lines in your post, those of us who where there. Every time I read someone's story from Fanda (and often other NTM schools), I feel like I am reading my own... does that make sense? It's all too familiar, and it's over and over again.
Where you stand with God... I know that place, too. I will not serve a cruel and unforgiving god, nor will I serve one that condones the abuses we suffered.
I don't want to ramble - all this to say, you are understood here, and your story is a true one. Thank you for sticking around.


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 Post subject: Re: WOW......
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:50 am 
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I am sickened as well to think that like many missionary dads, I wasn't aware of the pattern that you describe of 5 committee men "parenting" you at Fanda. I say it like that since it is so obvious to me now that you and your brother and sis, or my kids for that matter needed a dad to parent in love! What you got was spiritual abuse! What you needed was a loving caring parent to be there with warmth and understanding and support. I regret that you, my kids, and many of your peers lost out on loving regular moments of good parenting. Instead, you got this vulgar experience of "the five" lording it over you. I see that my head was clearly in the sand or in the clouds to not see the damaging effects of this abuse on their part but more than that the damaging effect of my own negligence in not being there for my children who were left on their own. I was a huge disappointment as a dad that could have been there for my children and wasn't and I accept the blame for that. Today I can say that I value each of my grown up children for the amazing and competent power houses that they are, and I l am invited to learn new lessons about how I can love them today.


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 Post subject: Re: WOW......
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:59 am 
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Location: Haines City Florida
dad who gets it now wrote:
I am sickened as well to think that like many missionary dads, I wasn't aware of the pattern that you describe of 5 committee men "parenting" you at Fanda. I say it like that since it is so obvious to me now that you and your brother and sis, or my kids for that matter needed a dad to parent in love! What you got was spiritual abuse! What you needed was a loving caring parent to be there with warmth and understanding and support. I regret that you, my kids, and many of your peers lost out on loving regular moments of good parenting. Instead, you got this vulgar experience of "the five" lording it over you. I see that my head was clearly in the sand or in the clouds to not see the damaging effects of this abuse on their part but more than that the damaging effect of my own negligence in not being there for my children who were left on their own. I was a huge disappointment as a dad that could have been there for my children and wasn't and I accept the blame for that. Today I can say that I value each of my grown up children for the amazing and competent power houses that they are, and I l am invited to learn new lessons about how I can love them today.



I want to make it clear that to the best of my knowledge the parents out in the tribes never knew anything about Fanda. It was designed to be that way for obvious reasons. The kids were taught that the parents shouldnt be bothered with school issues....If they were then the committee would have to pay them a visit and everyone knew that wasnt a good thing.


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 Post subject: Re: WOW......
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:35 am 
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I agree that the parents didn't OVERTLY know anything about the abuses at school. But I wholeheartedly and sorrowfully agree with 'dad who gets it now' that this only means their heads were buried in the sand. Parents WERE aware that things at Fanda and in NTM in general were not right, they were able to see the faces of their young children when they came home on break and they could see those changes in those dear little faces. They also had their own boot camp training, their own field committee experiences and the NTM propaganda regarding children to clue them in that things were not right. Denial is not an excuse, and I am profoundly grateful to 'dad who gets it now' to face these truths head on, and offer his own children the chance for radical healing. He is not making his children protect him any longer, and beg them to tell him it wasn't his fault. It WAS our parents faults. And I love mine dearly.


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 Post subject: Re: WOW......
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:49 pm 
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:idea: this is what a parent of an mk can do when confronted with the following situation. My adult mk was posting a response to someone who had put up a link to a sad part in a movie involving a father and young daughter. I viewed the movie clip to better understand how it had made her feel, Thus I was able to be transported back to the scene of her own incident of pain that she had related to someone else. She had shared a recollection of her own sad desperation upon seeing me drive away after dropping her off at a stateside school. She said that she cried often about that.

It's not uncommon in my home for my loving wife to alert me to this sort of thing going on around me, and to go the step further of encouraging me to call to connect when one of our children is expressing something that relates to heart issues. She's always done that, and I love her for it. After all, my spouse knows me, that I deeply want to be in good relationship with each of my children but that I don't pay attention to opportunities to do so.

I called and left a message to the effect that I heard her story of sadness and that since it involved me I wanted to talk sometime today to express to her that I needed to be there for her in ways back then that I was appreciative of our relationship now.

She called me later and it came up again as part of our "catching up" conversation. I brought it up to her and said something about how she needed much more from me than she got back then. That she had a need for me to be more present, to listen, to care, to laugh, etc, since that was obviously a painful time in her life.

She thanked me for not expecting her to hide those feelings essentially, and for her to not have to protect me today. That my lack of defensiveness over the matter was so much better, since she is growing in grace and freely expresses herself today as a rule. We agreed that our relationship with each other will grow stronger as we continue in the same spirit of talking from our hearts without fear.

I share this with other parents who probably freeze up or retreat out of guilt, or defend themselves, thereby insuring that their MK won't feel a connection. I share this in the hope that you will take advantage of the countless opportunities to get involved and to encourage your MKs. Spouses, listen to your mate. Be teachable. Call and talk to your MKs. It starts by observing in the moment what has been stated, what it refers to, and continues on by reaching out despite the risks, out of love. Thanks for listening.


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 Post subject: Re: WOW......
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:14 am 
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Dad who gets it,

It's interesting that so many of us have felt the need to protect our own parents from what we went through. I applaud you for admitting you failed and for your willingness to change.


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 Post subject: Re: WOW......
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:41 am 
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Blaming parents is an easy out. For those children of NTM missionaries, one has to appreciate the culture of inclusiveness and fear perpetuated throughout NTM by NTM and its leadership. For those who were second or third generation missionaries, the "cult" of mission above family was deeply pervasive. So pervasive, in fact, that the effects of such sloppy, shoddy, and downright "evil" (in some instances) distortion of Biblical principles made many parents incapable of recognizing or, if they did recognize, fearful of reprisals that would come were they to take a stand.

For many NTMers, the mission was their life; indeed, for many the mission also encompassed many family members. As such, disclosures of uncomfortable things, much less than reporting abuse, was verboten. The schism that could result threatened much more than simply NTM, but families, cousins, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles . . .everything!

Am I excusing parents or, anyone in spiritual positions of authority, from doing nothing . . . NO! However, I am offering up my heart in an effort to understand why some tongues were silent. What is inexcusable, nearly unforgivable, is when some KNEW, but did NOTHING! Indeed, some were part of a cover-up. And yes, to those who covered abuse up, or who perpetrated the abuse, these disclosures WILL hurt family members who may not have known the ugly side of their parents or close relatives. I suppose one could feel for the offspring of Achan here . . .but that didn't stop God from eradicating them. In using the example of Achan, I am not saying we who seek justice seek eradication. Only God can do that (please, no discussion on the merits of capital punishment is being debated in this instance!). What I am saying is that we are calling for NTM to view as completely abhorrent the sin perpetrated on precious children . . .just like Jehovah God would view it. Moreover, we wish for NTM to deal with sin as completely as they are called to do by the same Living God.

Do parents share blame? Yes, they do; but before blaming them let's look at a culture bred by an organization that used the parents zeal for spreading the Gospel as an instrument to browbeat any who dared see things in a different light and attempted to point them out. Let's be wise in our righteous anger.


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 Post subject: Re: WOW......
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:23 pm 
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publius wrote:
Blaming parents is an easy out. For those children of NTM missionaries, one has to appreciate the culture of inclusiveness and fear perpetuated throughout NTM by NTM and its leadership. For those who were second or third generation missionaries, the "cult" of mission above family was deeply pervasive. So pervasive, in fact, that the effects of such sloppy, shoddy, and downright "evil" (in some instances) distortion of Biblical principles made many parents incapable of recognizing or, if they did recognize, fearful of reprisals that would come were they to take a stand.


Publius, your thoughts are interesting, and should be considered. However, let me speak as an MK from Fanda whose parents are TO THIS DAY in the mission.

I cannot understand the decisions they made back then (to send their kids away), nor can I understand their decision now to stay in the mission. It's gone back and forth between us for some time - they say that it is where God wants them. Who am I to speak for God? (Which is why I won't argue with them about it any more...) But I cannot understand it.

I know very well the culture in NTM, and I know the pressure that was placed on parents to send their kids away. But please remember - they did have a choice. Regardless of all the reasons why they made the choice they did, it was theirs to make.

Of course we can't place all blame on the parents - that would be ridiculous. But I feel that they should take the blame where it is warranted.
And then, acknowledge the part they played in this whole thing, be grief-stricken, and seek forgiveness from their children. At that point, everyone could move on from that issue, and hopefully families could be restored. (In a perfect world, anyway...)

I have more to say about this, but I am trying very hard to speak carefully. My relationship with my parents right now is shaky, at best, and I do not want to damage anything by saying too much here...


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 Post subject: Re: WOW......
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:29 pm 
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publius wrote:
Blaming parents is an easy out.



Sorry, I'm going to have to argue with you on this one. It is NOT an easy out. Not even close. It would be so much easier on everyone if we could just look to NTM to take all blame.

We were groomed to protect our parents, and most of us still do to this day. That includes not allowing ourselves to see where they were culpable. That includes us saying to them, "Oh, no, mom and dad! We don't blame you! We know what it was like for you under that leadership style. You had no choice!" Excuse me, but bullshit.

Everyone has a choice. Our parents made a really crappy one. There it is.

The HARD thing to do is to pull ourselves out of the "protect our parents" mode and actually speak truth to them!
The hardest thing to do is to force them to pull their heads out of the sand and LOOK at the choices that they made, and see the aftermath that came from those choices, into the lives of their own children.
The hardest thing to do is to say something that will hurt our parents, even if it is truth.


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