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KIT March 1999, Vol XI #3 Pt II New 3-7-99

KIT March 1999, Vol XI #3 Pt II New 3-7-99

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Published by KITexBruderhofCCI
Ben Cavanna, 2/14/99: Some commonly held assumptions about the Bruderhof:
Ben Cavanna, 2/14/99: Some commonly held assumptions about the Bruderhof:

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Published by: KITexBruderhofCCI on Nov 03, 2012
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KIT XI #3 March 1999 Part II
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------ Table of Contents --------
 ---- excerpts alt.support.bruderhof continued----Ben Cavanna, Dave Goodwin, Blair PurcellWayne Chesley, Paul Forde, Paul Fox,Mike LeBlanc, Mel Fros Wayne ChesleyBlair Purcell, Betty ChesleyEmil Fischli - 'Memoir Part I'Mel Fros - New Verses In Old Tunes
Ben Cavanna,
2/14/99: Some commonly held assumptions about the Bruderhof:They are Christian. They are interested in doing the right thing.They endeavor to behave in an honest and honorable fashion.They are consistent.They are poor.They practise non-violence.They do not believe in initiating lawsuits.They are humble.They are respectful of others beliefs and views.They hold family in high regard.They have not helped members to divorce.They are a classless society.They believe in equality of all.They will report all crimes to the relevant authorities.They do not act in a Hypocritical fashion.Their word is their bond.They put their trust in God.They do not lie.They do not swear.They would never indulge in entrapment.The question that I have is: On what basis would you believe the above statements to be true?You (Dave Goodwin) have documented the most recent go-round of the fairgroundride taken by amongst others: Ramon Sender, Blair Purcell, Mike Leblanc, BenCavanna, MCS et al.It makes me so sad.Ben Cavanna
Page 1 of 45former Bruderhof members/residents KIT Newsletter March 1999 Volume XI #3 Part II27/10/2007http://www.perefound.org/kit3b_99.html
(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.)
Dave Goodwin,
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!
Blair Purcell,
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
Ben's statement of "Commonly Held Assumptions" surely covers all of these pontsand more. It really appears the Bruderhof representatives with whom I have spokensimply don't care to address the questions that separate them from so many who reallycare about the Bruderhof and their families who live there. They won't say they don'tcare; they just go back to Dave's points A, B and C...People of good will can surely find a common ground when common ground isgenuinely sought.
Wayne Chesley,
12/6/98: I do truly see a difference between the Bruderhof andconservative Anabaptist groups like your own. The term cult is quite abused, to besure, but I think there are "cult watch" groups who have a reasonable handle on whatconstitutes dangerous and irreligious practices in groups commonly called "cults".Certainly I would not call the Bruderhof a cult because of ther espousal of a hard andself sacrificial path to God. If that is someone's definition of a cult, then so be it -- thesame person would classify many of the Catholic orders as cults. And the fact that theBruderhof is communal, hierarchical, or patriarchal also does not distinguish it fromother Christian sects.I think the criteria I posted at my web site:http://w3.ime.net/~wchesley/bruderhof/what_is_a_cult. html (which originally camefrom the Bruderhof web site) gives a good working definition of "cult" characteristics,for the purpose of raising a red flag and questioning the organizational legitimacy of agroup like the Bruderhof. Remember too, as frightful as it might sound, Jonestownstarted out quite differently than it later became. It is better to raise the red flag earlythan to see a group lose control and fall into disaster.
Peter Forde,
12/6/98: To your comment about cult monitoring: "Later I looked up theword "cult" in Websters and have since then considered it a compliment to be told I belong to a cult. The main definition is: A system or community of religious worshipand ritual.'"Others state something to the effect of complete devotion or worship of some man or leader. I wish to follow Jesus Christ in such a way! All true Christians belong to thiswonderful "cult". Some of the remaining definitions seem to always receive theattention with phrases such as "faddish devotion" or "sect considered to be extremistor bogus". Even these definition have been applied often to Christ's followers downthrough the years."I find your comment entirely valid. And if I'd merely affirmed my view that Bruderhof is a full-blown cult in those words then my description was inadequate. How about "Afull-blown destructive cult"?The thing about cults is that they use authoritarian practices which debilitate of the participant's ability to think. This isn't free participation but a form of mind-enslavement.
Page 3 of 45former Bruderhof members/residents KIT Newsletter March 1999 Volume XI #3 Part II27/10/2007http://www.perefound.org/kit3b_99.html

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