(Ex-child of the Bruderhof denied access to my beloved and very aged parents andthree siblings and many nephews and nieces for the past two-and-a- half years.)
2/15/99: Hello Ben, My answer is: I will believe any of theseassumptions to be true when I see consistent evidence to support the statement. Either first hand or other concrete evidence that is believable to me would suffice. Lately, themajority of the evidence I have seen would lead me to say many of these assumptionsare false. When I carefully questioned their spokespersons on some of these issuesthey responded: A. The problem is your own great spiritual pride. B. No response atall. C. After reviewing your concerns we see no point in dialog.But let me turn the question about all of these assumptions around and ask myself: AmI always consistent, non-violent, humble, respectful, trusting in God, truthful, etc. Theshort answer is no. But I do try to be these things with the help of Christ and do my best to correct where I have failed or continue to fail.The first item on the list: "They are Christians" I think falls into a different categorythan the others because it is not a stand alone virtue or failure like the others. I don'tthink there is really such a thing as a "Christian organization", although there aremany organizations made up of Christians in whole or in part. I believe the Bruderhof fits into this category somewhere. I learned way too much of what I consider good inmy present belief system from them to discount all bruderhof people or all their actions from being Christian. As long as they profess to be Christian, I can gladlyappeal to them on such terms while being careful to never condone what is wrong. Iam glad that God is the holy and righteous judge on such matters.May the love of Christ shine out!
2/23/99 23: Hi David, thank you for your continued good will andappreciation of the "good" side of the Bruderhof. Those of us who never lived thereonly know that side through folks like yourself or our spouses. We, who marriedformer Bruderhofers, surely were attracted to them as much by the nature of their upbringing as any other factor. They are inherently good people.You comment in regards to your recent meetings with a number of Bruderhoffers andhow they respond to your efforts at dialogue:A. The problem is your own great spiritual pride.B. No response at all.C. After reviewing your concerns we see no point in dialog.This has been the most frustrating aspect of trying to understand and interact with the"institutional" Bruderhof. They somehow find themselves unable to actually engagethe questions raised. It doesn't seem to matter from which perspective you approachthe question, i. e., spiritual (as you have so often and so clearly), legal (as in, pleasestop doing that; someone may end up in jail), moral (how can it be appropriate to rendfathers and mothers from their children?) or ethical (why was it neccesary to use thelove of a grandparent for grandchildren to serve a $15,000,000.00 lawsuit?).
Page 2 of 45former Bruderhof members/residents KIT Newsletter March 1999 Volume XI #3 Part II27/10/2007http://www.perefound.org/kit3b_99.html