Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Box

I read a Vice article today where a woman who survived Jonestown recounted some of her memories and experiences.  One of her statements really jumped out at me when she referred to what was called 'the box', which was a 6 x 4 x 3 plywood box where adults considered to have 'disciplinary problems' were placed.  Followers of Jim Jones also called him 'Father', the same as Source Family members called Jim Baker.  Similarly, a plywood box was also used in The Source Family as a disciplinary measure, but children were put into that box, not adults.  A few of the women who had small children, while in 'the family' have expressed to me how upsetting 'the box' was to have their child placed in it and how that was something they thought was wrong.  But, again as I've written about many times---that's what happens in a cult:  people surrender and go against their own moral feelings and beliefs to obediently follow and obey their cult leader's, who is perceived to be 'spiritually superior'.  Putting children who were 'acting out' into a plywood box, in order to get them to behave was either Jim Baker's idea, or perhaps one of the women whom he appointed to 'the council'.  The council, as it was called consisted of several of the women, whom Jim Baker had decided to sexually penetrate and then claimed to be 'one of his women'----a position that gave some women a sense of power and control within the social order of 'the family'.  So, it was decided that children who exhibited behavorial problems such as not doing as they were told or who exhibited excessive crying were placed into 'the box', until they calmed down and became compliant and apologetic for their behavior, because Jim Baker believed that children were 'little animals'.  I have stated before that I didn't like that damn box and thought it was a cruel and scary form of behavior control to use on children, but my son was only an infant, during the times that 'the box' was utilized both at The Father House in LA and again at the Hilo Country Club on the Big Island.  In the hot, humid conditions of Hawaii, I do not think it would have been very comfortable being placed into a plywood box.

But, that's the kind of thing that diehard followers of Father Yod/Yahowha choose to omit from their idealized fairy tale narrative saying how wonderful and ideal life was within The Source Family, and how 'ahead of its time' and 'aquarian' the lifestyle was.....hardly.  Placing small children into a plywood box as a disciplinary measure is hardly 'ahead of its time' or 'aquarian', and yet it's one of the things that went on in 'the family' that some want to keep hidden from view and kept secret, or at best have some kind of 'spiritual' meaning or purpose attached to the many unhealthy and detrimental things that took place within The Source Family, under the direction and complete control of our 'spiritual' leader.

My recent post comparing Jim Baker's predatory sexual behavior towards the women in The Source Family, to that of Harvey Weinstein really caused an uproar among a few of Father Yod/Yahowha's most entrenched devotees.  I was accused by one former male 'family' member for betraying a vow that he claims everyone took in The Source Family not to divulge Jim Baker's deviant sexual ritual called qudosh that he imposed on the entire group.  I never took any vow of silence to never speak about qudosh, but that is the lame argument that a few diehards are using, in defense of one of Jim Baker's most disturbing 'teachings' in a desperate attempt to try and silence, shame or intimidate other former family members from speaking out.  Any former member who falsely claims that 'we all took a vow of silence' never to reveal the practice of qudosh are terrified that their friends, family members and co-workers will find out what was really going on within The Source Family and that it wasn't the cool, rock and roll 'new age' utopian ideal which has been presented to the public.  Using a quote that I just saw on a website where a husband and follower of Yogi Bhajan wrote about how his wife had to endure years of sexual demands and abuse at the hands of one of Bhajan's 'teachers'; which reads: "I'd rather be hated for telling the truth, than loved for telling a lie"----that's exactly how I feel about exposing qudosh and the truth about many other things that went on within The Source Family, that some would rather be kept buried and hidden in the past.

Hide, deny or obfuscate---those are the ploys that a small handful of diehard Father Yod/Yahowha followers are using, because admitting the truth and accepting the fact that those of us who found ourselves in The Source Family cult for years willingly participated in what now the majority of former members realize was textbook cult behavior is just too much for some to bear, and the reality flies in the face of those who want to cling to their delusional belief that Jim Baker was 'spiritually' superior or an enlightened 'new age' avatar which includes themselves---a delusional belief they've clung to for the past forty years.  As I've stated before, most people would never want to admit they were in a cult, much less that the cult leader imposed a sexual ritual on all of his followers or allowed babies to die without medical treatment of any kind.  Honestly, I get it.....who would want to admit to being part of something that became harmful and deleterious to the health, well-being and safety of babies, small children and women---who were the ones that suffered the most under the so-called 'teachings' and directives of Jim Baker.  But, hiding or denying the truth doesn't help the victims of abuse, no matter how long ago it happened.

I wanted to end this blog post by including a link to a very concise and comprehensive assessment of cults which describes different kinds of cults and their power structures and most importantly why people find themselves unable to leave a cultic group.  The article describes perfectly the kind(s) of cult The Source Family was: a combination of an Eastern/New Age/Occult/Cult of Personality, since it contained elements of four of the cults that are described.  Especially for any former Source Family members who are reading this and who are continuing to try and make sense/understand why they stayed/remained in The Source Family for as long as they did, even after realizing that much of what Jim Baker was 'teaching' and extolling was either unhealthy or detrimental to the health and well-being of themselves and their children---I strongly encourage them to read the section Bounded Choice:  The True Believer's Predicament that explains why people find it difficult to leave a cult, after adopting what's described in the article as, "the transcendent belief system" or ideology of the cult leader, because it provides answers to why so many of us remained in The Source Family for as long as we did.

"Most importantly, cover-ups and whitewashing won’t help former cult members evaluate or recover from their experiences in a whole and healthful manner."