Ben (Complete Agreement)
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Date Posted: 10:14:50 05/28/20 Thu
I totally agree. My father was introduced to AOY a few years after he left the Navy in the late 70's. My first memory of the AOY was when I was about 3 or 4 years old. We lived in Indiana and would congregate with members in Missouri, or Ohio during Passover and other Holy Days when we could afford to go. I cannot stress how screwed up my family is. My dad would take every little thing that came from the AOY and instill it into the family rules and enforce it with an iron fist. My grandmother(his mother) always told him that your children will end up screwed up and won't be able to function in society if you keep them isolated from the world. Well, of course he wouldn't listen we were isolated from our peers and when we were finally allowed to go to public school because mom couldn't keep up with the math that was taught in the higher grades, we were made fun of, picked on, and had no idea how to get along with other people in the same age group. We had no social skills whatsoever. But there's really too much to write, but the jest is being a member of the AOY, my parents viewed any person outside of our family or the AOY to be "of the world" you know, the world in which we live and work and play right? Including any one in our family that were not members of the AOY, so we hardly ever got to see our grandparents or aunts and uncles. My dad had such an animosity towards them that he actually cussed out his own sisters when they stopped by our house one day to bring presents to us kids. I remember I believe it was the 1996 Feast of Tabernacles, we were able to make it to Bethel, and during one of Elder Meyer's prayers, my brother asked me for a tissue because he had a runny nose or something like that, well we just so happened to be sitting with some friends from Missouri during the prayer and sermon. After the sermon, psychopath Gary McAven came over, grabbed me and my brother both by the shoulder and started chewing us out, saying that we were joking around and laughing and being disrespectful. Now, while he was getting in my face, he let go of my brother who I positioned behind me, I was 14 and my brother was 11. My dad comes over to see what is going on, and Gary tells my dad that he should beat us to a pulp for disrespecting Elder Myer and that if dad didn't want to do it, he'd be happy to. Now, since my dad was abusive and pretty much took every word that came from any of the Elders or anyone in power in the AOY as pure gospel, he agreed; which is so messed up. I pleaded with dad and my step mom to listen to us, that what McAvin said he saw did not happen whatsoever. Even the people that were sitting around us, not our friends but other members that were sitting behind and in front of us told my dad that we were not doing anything inappropriate, but seeing as it was coming from Gary he didn't believe them. So, my brother and I got a beating with a belt that evening and grounded for the rest of the time there. Thankfully my step mom stepped in which she hardly ever did, probably due to my dad's volatile temper and the whole women are subservient to the men in that organization. But she stepped in and told dad that she didn't think that grounding us necessary, seeing as we just got a beating and we were at Bethel for the first time. I'm sorry, but now that I'm a father, and if anyone were to get in my sons' or daughter's face and start screaming at them like he did my brother and I, I would not care what the reason would be, I would commence beating his A** with extreme prejudice. I left home when I turned 18 years old. I used to work hard in school and get good grades, but in the AOY, that wasn't encouraged, unless you were going to Obadiah school of the Bible. My parents told me when I brought college applications home that I was only allowed to go to Obadiah, and only after I graduated there was I allowed to go to a "worldly" college. My whole experience growing up was filled with physical, emotional, and verbal abuse. Paired with the fact that we were separated from society, not really allowed to have friends or even have a childhood girlfriend. And not only that, my dad would take everything that he heard that Elder Meyer and his family or any other "Leadership" family was doing, and immediately would try to copy it and make our family do it. And he was never questioned either. To question it was to get a fist to the mouth, or chin, or a belt to any part of the body that it would reach. So when I left home, I thankfully had a great aunt that let me stay with her, but I was miserable, didn't know how to interact with other people, had very low self esteem, and was a very awkward person. The people that did accept me, weren't the greatest type of people, so I had my experience with drugs and alcohol. However, I'm clean today and I was never much of a drinker. But I would wish upon every star in the sky when I was little just to have a "normal" family. One that didn't use violence and fear to make you behave or do what they wanted you to do. But of course, just a childish wish. I have children of my own today, and I push them out into the world, make them take every opportunity that I was denied when I was a kid. I'll be damned if they end up damaged and weird like I was and still am. I would love it if there was a way to bring a suit against them. They deserve it. And just now finding this forum, and reading about what was all going on in the shadows, I am not shocked honestly. I can totally see something like what has been described happening in backward, messed up organization like the AOY.
Thank You, I hope everyone that has suffered can find peace and meaning in their lives, and have a great rest of their lives.
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