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The KIT Newsletter, an Activity of the KIT Information Service, a Project of The Peregrine Foundation

P.O. Box 460141 / San Francisco, CA 94146-0141 / telephone: (415) 821-2090 / fax (415) 282-2369
KIT Staff U.S.: Ramon Sender, Charles Lamar, Vince Lagano, Dave Ostrom;
U.K. : Joy Johnson MacDonald, Susan Johnson Suleski, Carol Beels Beck, Ben Cavanna, Leonard Pavitt, Joanie Pavitt Taylor, Brother Witless (in an advisory capacity); Europe: Elizabeth Bohlken-Zumpe. The KIT Newsletter is an open forum for fact and opinion. It encourages the expression of all views, both from within and from outside the Bruderhof. The opinions expressed in the letters we publish are those of the correspondents and do not necessarily reflect those of KIT editors or staff.
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For those of you who access the newsletter on the InterNet, we expect you to be willing to continue on a honor system and mail in your subscription regularly. Please give more or less, as you can afford. Thank you.

February 1997,Volume IX #2

-------------- "Keep In Touch" --------------

Part of the editorial from KIT VIII #2, February, 1996, we think bears repeating: Over seven years we've been riding this bucking bronco without either saddle or reins, wondering if the glue on the seat of our pants will give way or not. Many of the same problems come up over and over again. People ask us not to print 'sex stuff.' "Don't print stuff that isn't 'positive'." "Don't print material that isn't 'true'." "Don't print material that isn't 'helpful'." And, sometimes, "Don't print material that isn't 'Christian'." But we then must remind ourselves -- and our readers -- that our only job is to hold up a mirror to the whole Bruderhof/ex-bruderhof situation. Hopefully it's a true mirror with no cracks, no ripples, no cloudy condensation. And whereas we are not in a position in many instances to tell what is true or not true -- and never will be -- we are in a position to polish that mirror by facilitating the possibility for anyone who feels they have something to say, to speak up for themselves in their own words. As concerns what is true, positive, Christian, etc. everyone must be their own KIT editor. Several familiar problems: 1) Passive aggressiveness on the part of readers who don't want to write unless they see what they like already in print. 2) The fact that many people don't write unless they feel upset. 3) The fact that the newsletter tends to take on the tone of frequent contributors. 4) The fact that the desire to belong, which is universal and not limited to the Bruderhof, causes people to feel they 'belong' to KIT, and they try to censor other people. These are not problems that the editors can resolve. These are problems only readers can solve. So take up your pen and write, especially if we haven't heard from you in a while. And if you have never written, let us hear from you!

-----The Whole KIT and Kaboodle-----

-------- Table of Contents --------

Christian P. Domer
Bill Peters
Jessie Peters
Blair Purcell
Hilarion Braun
Nostalgic Tidbits
Tarrel Miller
Item about The Oakwood monograph
Katherine Brookshire
Bette Bohlken-Zumpe
Carol Beels Beck
Charlie Lamar
Konrad Kluver
Wolfgang Loewenthal - The Urutau
V.I.P.-Poor-Will
Leonard Pavitt - Revolting Times (cont.)
Grant Gross - Breakaway Hutterites Return
Hannah Goodwin Johnson - Hope Deferred
J Christoph Arnold to Cornerstone Magazine
Cornerstone Magazine replies to JCA
Hans Zimmermann - Mother of Marathons
I Tell You A Mystery - reviewed by EBZ
The Verbally Abusive Relationship - reviewed by Judy Tsukroff

Toll-Free Phone for former Bruderhofers in need of advice and referrals: 1 888 6 KINDER.

The Eighth Annual Friendly Crossways Conference will be held in Littleton, Mass, (same place as always) the last weekend July (the 25th through the 28th). We're planning a crafts fair to raise money for KIT and the XRoads Fund, so start making your favorite items for sale there! Give Muschi's socks and Lee's sweaters some competition!

Olive Scott Rutherford died quietly in her sleep in the Bruderhof on Jan 8th at the age of 78. Much beloved by many, she will be missed both by her children and her friends.

Alice Humphreys also passed away recently at 87. It was unfortunate that no timely notice was given to her adopted children outside the Bruderhof.

Margot Davies fell and broke her hip. She had surgery to repair it and by now is home again. Here is wishing you a rapid recovery, Margot!

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Christian Domer faxed the following from the Bruderhof corporate office in Rifton to various Hutterite ministers on 1/23/97:

NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE

We have removed the above-named letter as a gesture of good will and because of pending litigation (Bruderhof/Christian Domer vs Peregrine Foundation/Ramon Sender).

While we believe firmly that we would not violate any law to continue posting the letter, nevertheless we feel that it is in the best interests of everyone to remove this letter at this time.

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Bill Peters to Rolf, Peter and Nick Maas, 1/5/97:

You don't know me. You chose to ignore my existence in the early years when we were more mobile and, when we tried to visit, you left me once standing at the gate. I saw you, Peter, when you came to a spot distant from me and yelled, to see if Elizabeth Maas was there, to some pleasant people who were visiting with us. She had already gone up the hill. You left and someone told me who you were. Once when you thought you would meet me in Albany, Peter, you ran to your elders for advice to reject me. You harangued my wife in a hospital room with some of that weird Bruderhof logic. You seemed willing quickly to forget that she was there because you had asked her to come to help on such short notice that she didn't have time to pack a change of clothes. I was not certain then, whether you used my wife's love for her mother or whether you simply abused it. I did become aware, though, that you were neither kind, nor very Christian. You made her walk out again! She left with me. Some folks mistake kindness for stupidity.

I love my wife. Yes, my wife. I love her. We have been husband and wife since July 15th, 1978. The fact that you have not recognized this has not kept us from continuing happily with our life. Instead of egotistically proclaiming ourselves to be holy of holies, we have struggled with the real "nitty gritty", Rolf, to produce good fruits. We have been raising a family. These are children and grandchildren whom you don't know. One thing they will never have to suffer is exile from their family. Our love is unqualified.

I met you, Nick. I welcomed you and your mother into our home. We did not ask for advance notice. For that matter, you never checked. You called up a week before Memorial day, 1992 and told us you were coming. We did everything in our power to make you feel like family. We had some good talks. The time was too short. Lizzie was joyful to see her mother. She felt that possibly there would be some normalcy to her family status. She might see nieces and nephews again. Liz was thrilled at being invited to visit. She planned to come to see you, Nick, and Rolf, in the summer of 1994. We had hoped to go to England the next spring to visit her mother and Peter. We were disappointed by your collect calls telling us not to bother, that we had suddenly become members of a "hate organization". You returned our Christmas offerings uneaten that year with nasty notes about separating your children from you. The people in England ate the cookies, but still managed an ungracious reply. On the 22nd of June, 1995, we received an advertising packet from The Plough. Wrapped in an advertisement for Heini Arnold's book and a plea for kindness to a murderer was an announcement of Liz's mother's death. How cruel you have managed to become!

We often create our own trials and do penance by dealing with them. It is a shame that none of you will ever likely have the joy of really knowing your sister and the beautiful woman she is. We have nothing more to ask of you. We have nothing to give but forgiveness and a refuge should you ever be overcome by truth. We realize that your evil has been caused by fear and misunderstanding and we do not hold it against you. In truth, Your brother,

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Jessie Peters, 1/11/97: Sarah Ostrom came out from California to visit us for a week before Christmas and was supposed to leave Christmas eve. It turned out that she could not leave till the day after Christmas because she got an ear infection and could not fly home. Sarah thought it was way cool being in Florida. It was her first time ever being here and this far away from her family.

We were so excited to see each other again! Sarah and I could barely believe that we were together again. We sat up talking the whole night when she first got in. Sara is really nice and has a wonderful sense of humor. Sarah and I always have a joke to tell each other every time we talk. That's why she is so much fun to be around!

For the first few days Sarah was here, the temperature was in the 40's and we thought she brought the cold weather with her. But after that, it warmed up and we got to spend some time boating and fishing in our little rubber boat. I would love to say we caught a huge fish, but we didn't. Our tans got better though and we got a little burned in the face.

We hung out in Times Square to do a little shopping and ran into some of my friends. We also spent a little time sunning on the beach. Sarah, Rose and I saw some dolphins swimming while we were walking around on the beach. We all thought that was the coolest. I think dolphins are fascinating!

I also had a birthday sleep over with some of my friends while Sarah was here. It was not my official birthday, but I wanted to celebrate it while she was here. Before it turned dark, we went out (six of us) on our little rubber boat and that was such an adventure all in itself! After that we stayed up all night and into the wee hours of the morning talking, and watching videos, while my parents tried to get some sleep in the next room (ha ha ha).

A couple days before Christmas, Sarah and I got to take a day cruise to Key West. We ate in a place called Margaritaville (Parrot Head Central), Jimmy Buffett's restaurant. We got some t-shirts at a really cool shop. We did a little Christmas shopping there in Key West, too. While we were in Key West, we saw a guy swallow a sword. Yes, we even have pictures to prove it. After we watched the guy swallow the sword, we looked at the time and remembered we were supposed to be back at the boat. "Oh, no!" I kept on thinking as Sarah and I ran through some rather interesting places to get back to the boat. We got back in plenty of time, fortunately.

For Christmas Eve Sarah, Rose, and I went on a little cruise to see the manatees (sea cows) near the power plant. The manatees go close by the power plant in the winter because the water is warmer there. On the cruise we saw at least 40 manatees or more. It was amazing!

For Christmas we all opened presents and played or looked at all our new neat gifts. Then it was time for Sarah and me to say good- bye to each other. I cried as I saw her onto the plane and started to miss her instantly.

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Blair Purcell in response to a query from someone on America Online, 1/12/97: You now have a second perspective -- one which it is difficult to believe that you need when you first become aware of the many attractive characteristics of this unusual religious sect [known as the Bruderhof- ed].

May I assume the article of which you spoke was the recent one (LIFE, December 1996)? If so, you will be interested to know the article was originally intended for publication in National Geographic Magazine but was canceled at the last moment because of the expulsion of the Bruderhof from the traditional Hutterite church. That must be almost, if not longer than, two years ago.

The interracial couple depicted at their wedding dinner in the article are no longer together (over a year) and Dr. Diane Fox (quoted as indicating the Bruderhof is a wonderful place to practice medicine) was excluded and sent away near the end of September 1996. Fortunately, her husband and children left with her; they are still together. This is not always the case.

As you can see, the article was hardly a "timely" or accurate depiction of the current situation at the Bruderhof.

Just the same, there are ongoing efforts, even as I write, towards a reconciliation between former members and the Bruderhof. If you have an interest, I will be pleased to keep you apprised of these efforts as they either come to fruition - or wither on the vine. We invite your prayers for success.

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Hilarion Braun, 12/12/96: The December KIT issue was fabulous! Charlie Lamar's piece was great except for his political designations. He continues to describe the "liberal" as stupid and the "conservative" as sensible. For us in the USA, it is simply funny or ridiculous, but for those of you far from US politics, it may need to be put into context.

The so-called liberal programs, domestic and international, are at best programs emasculated by fascist elements and are blamed for the social problems we have. It's a little like blaming a faulty fire extinguisher for a fire. A single poor mother who receives $40 of excess aid is a thief, while a businessman who cheats on his taxes is brilliant. This deeply rooted hypocrisy in America probably exists all over the world, but it gets old. And when an editor uses the editorial clout to perpetuate it, someone ought to expose it.

The glib nature of his pretended knowledge of what 'popular' appeal is, is typical of the press that doesn't seem to have a self. The pretense is that lack of passion is a measure of intelligence and that rational thought comes from neutrality. Yet strangely, the so-called conservative or rightist arguments are supposed to have more validity than those of the left.

The fact that the greater civil liberties we now enjoy were safeguarded by the left or the liberals, while the conservatives are still trying to reverse the course of guaranteeing freedom from imposition of moral stigmas by a "religious" government Charlie ignores or refuses to mention. Even an editor has a 'self' or a conscience rather than that of the "press."

Leonard Pavitt's story was great, and so was that weird Powell report. It showed that the Bruderhof obsession is that of being "the only way" and having a non sequitur for all questions asked. I do think though, that the same is true of the "religious right" as we know it here in America. Let's see how long it will take the American press to paint a sober picture of the Bruderhell!

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Looking Back -- Nostalgic Tidbits

from the same month's KIT issues in previous years:

[Let us know if you would like to see this as an ongoing column - ed]

Feb. 1990 - We have filed a Fictitious Name Statement with the County Clerk so that the newsletter can open a checking account. After considerable discussion, we decided on the name "KIT Information Service."

Feb. 1991 - Jacob J. Wipf Vetter's "Strange Bedfellows" excerpt: "There is a growing perception that the Arnoldleut manifest all the necessary ingredients of a cult. There is increasing awareness that brain-washing and will-breaking techniques are in use, and the people's zombie-like countenances (exactly what they look like -- I've seen two of their communes) is the tell-tale sign."

Feb. 1992 editorial - It gets tiring to keep reminding the Bruderhof that their Elder Christoph guaranteed that visiting privileges would not be withdrawn if people corresponded with KIT.

Feb. 1993 - Ramon's sister Sister Benedicta, OSH: "The great example of Jesus, which is overlooked by most churches, is his teaching, 'Judge not, that ye be not judged.' It is so easy for any group to fall into a judgmental attitude. Everything in the world grows and flourishes with love except one thing and that is judgment. Love diminishes judgment."

Feb. 1994 - Good news! After we circulated cassette copies of the anonymous obscene and harassing phone calls left on the KIT message machine, a number of younger Bruderhof graduates and survivors have positively identified the mystery voice without any prompting after hearing just a few words... If you would like a copy of the cassette, they are available at our cost for just $5. Be forewarned: the language is not what one usually hears on the Bruderhof, or in polite company.

Feb. 1995 -We have received word that the Bruderhof communities have (or will soon) put aside the Hutterite costume including beards (optional?) and returned to the modest civilian garb they wore before the reuniting. This... which anticipates the imminent excommunication of the Bruderhof communities by the Schmiedeleut "Oiler" branch, seems to indicate that the final connection between the Bruderhof and the Hutterites now has been broken.

Feb. 1996 - excerpt from a letter from the Bruderhof responding to a final disassociation letter from the "Oiler" leadership: "We know that you have no concept of this kind of unity, and we also did not have until we faced our own past and our sins and repented from them and still go on repenting every day..."

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Tarrel R. Miller, Hutterite Studies community, to John A. Hostetler, 12/1/96: ...Regarding present happenings, especially from a research perspective, I'm particularly astonished by recent Bruderhof overtures to the Roman Catholic Church. Additionally, as a committed Anabaptist, I am personally shocked! Not only has the Arnoldleut leader met with the pope, but I understand he's even had his own grandson 'blessed' by Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome. And now there is on my desk a "News" report on the recent visit of the very powerful Roman Catholic Cardinal John O'Connor to Woodcrest. Any student of Hutterian/Anabaptist thought and history would surely think this is all fiction, but not so. Of course, these people are free to do whatever they like, and none of it should be approached with any anti-Catholic bias, but the fact remains that none of this is Hutterite! Someone suggested that all of this is enough to make Jacob Hutter (and maybe even Eberhard Arnold) turn in their graves! If it wasn't so serious, I would laugh!

Some time ago, when the Arnoldleut were still in some kind of 'unity' with the Hutterian Church, we noticed the Plough Publishing House used endorsements of various Jesuits and other noted Roman Catholics in promoting the sale of their books. Even then, I wondered why the Hutterian leadership allowed that to pass, or weren't they fully away of what was really happening?

In the attached "News" item, you will note the Arnoldleut refer to "our Hutterian forebears," thus still self-identifying themselves as a part of the Hutterite movement. In the report on Cardinal O'Connor's visit, the Arnoldleut leader addresses him as "brother John." In return, O'Connor also makes reference to the Woodcresters as 'brothers' and 'sisters.' (Keep in mind, this is a major player in the Catholic Church.) This same "brother John" leaves them with the thought... "Let us explore how we can come closer in faith"... Now or course, in many circles today this kind of dialogue would be welcomed, even desired, but keep in mind we are talking about an organization self-identifying itself with "our Hutterian forebears" (their words).

This present "Hutterite" self-identification by the Arnoldleut will probably sow further confusion in the larger Anabaptist movement. Already, in my own travels and lectures/speeches on Hutterite history, beliefs and practices, I'm frequently asked by conservative Mennonites and Amish if the Arnoldleut are really Hutterites. (It is still commonly assumed by other Anabaptists that the Arnoldleut communes are Hutterite colonies and their Plough magazine is the voice of the Hutterian movement). Conservative Anabaptists, especially, seem to have great difficulty in understanding how the 'Hutterites' can practice so many things contrary to what they thought was real Hutterite belief and order. Many times we are able to explain to these good people who the real Hutterites are and what is really going on, but there must be hundreds of others who are thoroughly confused at this point. The reality is, I think we can safely and respectfully say, the Arnoldleut do not speak for the Hutterites or the Hutterite movement. They only speak for themselves and nobody else...

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ITEM: Recently the Plough Publishing Company published a monograph titled Oakwood Colony, Letters and Documents, 1985- 1995, by Harry and Tim Wipf. Hopefully we will have a full review in a later issue. Meanwhile, here is an excerpt:

"Since so many of you in the West read the KIT Newsletter, we will give an example to show that you cannot believe what you read there. (The KIT Newsletter is written by unfaithful and embittered former members of the Bruderhof). The December 1993 issue printed the following:

"'Oakwood colony... had all its members placed under church discipline and had to sign statements stating that they were willing to "move East" if requested (to Bruderhof communities)... The "clearances" at Oakwood were reported to be especially hard, with everyone forced to dig way back into their pasts to uncover all their sins, even from before their baptisms. Their confessions were printed up in booklets and made public, at least within the Hutterian Church, something that has outraged many Hutterite brethren who find this breach of confidentiality unacceptable behavior.'

"This is a blatant lie and distortion of the truth as recorded in documents of that time and as personally experienced by the authors of this report. Especially the part that confessions were printed and made public is untrue. About the breach of confidentiality, which means passing on something confessed in private, we know from personal experience and from living here in the Bruderhof that confessions are taken very seriously and are kept strictly confidential. On the other hand in the western colonies, this breach of confidentiality is a serious problem.

"The whole KIT article is almost identical with the gossip that we've been hearing from the West all along. It is quite certain that this is also where KIT got its information from.

"If the above extract is a classic example of 'true' news from KIT, then we know by doing some reading between the lines what KIT represents."

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Katherine Brookshire, 1/15/97: Thanks for the reminder to send money to KIT. I was thinking I'd done it back in December. I'd meant to do it then.

Every time I read the newsletter I think of various things I'd like to say, or comments I'd like to make, but don't get around to writing them down. Also I couldn't find my typewriter last summer. It's packed away with my other stuff and I can't get to it. I have to find a house this summer or I'll forget what I have! At this point, it seems more likely that I'll build.

I'm glad things are working out better for Dave Maendel. I was concerned for him. I don't understand exactly what was going on, but maybe it will become clearer later. There is much that I don't understand in relation to the Bruderhof. They keep claiming they have an "open door" policy, yet when I was in New York summer before last I was told I could not visit (because I was also there for other purposes and had not come just to visit the Bruderhof). I was there for the meeting in Kingston, to see my cousin and his family, my uncle (who is 94), to go to the Friendly Crossways Conference, and to visit old friends in New York (not Bruderhof people). I thought I was giving the Bruderhof an advantage to see them first before I saw any KITfolks. I drove my car to the bottom of the Woodcrest driveway and sat there awhile. I was actually afraid to drive up (this was before Glen Swinger told me I could not visit). I thought of things I'd heard about guns, attack dogs and unfriendly people. I sat there and thought how it was when I lived at Woodcrest and how we welcomed visitors. Maybe strangers are welcome, but former members are not. I don't consider that I've broken my vows. (Actually, it's more like they have!) I try to live a life in God's service and to serve my brothers and sisters. (Brothers and sisters are not limited to those I once had in the Bruderhof -- who now reject me).

Once, years ago, I got out the transcript I had of my baptism at Woodcrest and read it over. There was no promise in it to be in the Bruderhof forever. I never intended such a promise, either then or now. I do not consider it an appropriate promise to make. People and organizations change. I've changed, too. My theology has grown and matured, and I hope it continues to change as I grow and mature in my spiritual journey. After I read over the transcript, I decided it was meaningless and threw it away.

I see a vow as a two-way street. When a couple marries, each partner makes certain promises to the other. When a person joins the Bruderhof, the person makes certain promises to the Bruderhof but what are the equal promises the Bruderhof makes to the person? The person gives the Bruderhof all their assets. Does the Bruderhof promise to care for the person -- especially in old age? If the Bruderhof kicks a person out, aren't they spiritually obligated to return that person's assets -- especially if that person did not want to leave?

It seems to me, from all I've read, that the Bruderhof is a cult. It probably was when I was there too, but at that time I was blind to that fact. Also, my definition of 'cult' was much narrower then. I've been reading Margaret Thaler Singer's book Cults In Our Midst. I think she would probably see the Bruderhof as a cult, or with cultic behavior.

For those with a liberal theological outlook, I'd recommend Liberating The Gospels by John Shelby Spong. He is an Episcopal bishop and quite controversial in the church. He makes more sense of the gospels that any other writer that I've run across, including various Jesus Seminar authors. He sees the gospels as basically Jewish Midrashic liturgical writings to be used as readings with the parallel Old Testament readers, and never intended to be taken literally. He says, "We are not reading history when we read the Gospels. We are listening to the experience of Jewish people processing in a Jewish way what they believed was a new experience with the God of Israel. Jews filtered every new experience through the corporate remembered history of their people as that history had been recorded in the Hebrew scriptures of the past." It certainly makes interesting and thought-provoking reading!

I am volunteering two afternoons a week with a troubled child in Geoffrey's 4th Grade class. He is a sweet kid, but has had a terrible life. I hope having individual attention will help him.

I'm hoping I'll be able to get to the KIT Friendly Crossways Conference this summer. I missed being there last year. It is a nifty bunch of people to spend time with. Maybe I'll be able to do another traveling summer! And thanks, Ramon, Judy, Charlie and all the others for another year of the KIT Newsletter! Love to all,

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Bette Bohlken-Zumpe, 1/19/97: Personally I find Wayne and Betty's experience on today's Bruderhof most interesting and valuable [see the Chesleys' report on why they left the Bruderhof on their web page at http://www.personal.psu.edu/staff/w/x/wxc21/bhof.htm - ed]

We, who have left more than 30 years ago, really have no idea how badly the Bruderhof has deteriorated these last years and tend to think of our home as we left it at the time. If we then read in the last KIT on page 1, "KIT has been demonized," then this only can make sense if we know Wayne and Betty's story. Would it not be possible to print it in KIT? I think it is of greatest importance that we really know how the Bruderhofians live and think today. We tend to see the Bruderhof as our home that we were forced to leave but which really has some good aspects. The Bruderhof of today is so far far its original roots, the members dependant on a leadership that is money-minded rather than spiritually awake and loving. We should do everything in our power so that everyone connected with the Bruderhof knows how they function today.

One day I hope to be on the Internet as well. We bought a computer, same as Nadine's (Windows 3.11) but I had a bad spell that affected my eyesight badly and just do not see myself behind the computer all day. Also, I just have to learn the basic use first and am not doing too badly on that.

It is a nice thought that so many of you are in contact so often and that you have the ability to check with each other on different issues [on e-mail and telephone - ed]. This I miss greatly. I also know that many of you are really doing your utmost to get a dialogue going with the Bruderhof. Personally I see little hope in it if they are not really willing or wanting contact with us. They always will try and get out of the real issue involved and try to keep up the public image that they believe they have. I think it is much better to jump on any and every stupidity Christoph is getting into, whether it is press, radio or TV. One thing is sure: that the Bruderhof is not what it was in the times of need and suffering. Like always in life, need seems to bind people together and make the individual stronger and more willing to help the brother in need. During the war, this was very true in Holland where many people helped Jews hide from the Nazis.

As always, I liked the last KIT. Susanna is a real artist in bringing back certain feelings and situations I had long forgotten. I think all the Bruderhof girls had some feelings like hers, especially with the men sitting on one side of the dining room and the women on the other. We were always aware of being in full view of the brothers! Sam Arnold's contribution also was very good. Not only the Symptoms of Group Think made me think, but also the statement that we "Bruderhof sabras" are true workaholics. I had never thought of it that way, but we are more damaged than we think we are. I for my part become almost frantic if Hans has the smallest criticism of what I do, and easily begin to feel that nothing is good. Also I have a real fear of being "rejected" -- ausgeschlossen, which I have no reason to feel. But all of this is so sensitively unbalanced because of my past that my family often cannot understand my reactions and fears. Also I always feel that I first have to do all my work and what my family expects of me, and only then can I treat myself to something I like to do, such as letter-writing! It seems so stupid, but that is how it is. Much love to all of you,

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Carol Beels Beck to Joe Keiderling, 1/20/97: Thank you very much for taking time to acknowledge my Nov '96 letter to you and Christian in KIT by writing to me personally within a few days. However your letter totally dismisses as of any worth or truth anything I asked you or commented on in my letter (Nov KIT VIII #11, p. 5). Not one point did you address! You just said, "Though I don't think much can be said in response to your comments, I thought you should at least know that both Christian and I read your letter and, as always, are interested in your thoughts." That's quite a step forward, that leaders in the Bruderhof are actually admitting to being interested in what we are writing and reading in KIT. I'm just wondering why, before God and the 'United Brotherhood,' you have free access to KIT and to living and having a meaningful human relationship with your loved ones while so many of us 'outside' don't! So the head of your church Christoph and the 'United Brotherhood' obviously give full blessing for everything you two do? But any of us deeply praying, meditating, agonizing over what and how much to take a stand on by speaking out in KIT [about] what you are doing to the community that I love deeply to this day, we now come from the devil? It has nothing to do, I wonder, with the 'still small voice' speaking also through KIT, not just through 'the chosen few,' as you in the Bruderhof more and more seem to think of yourselves.

Joel, you totally disregard every point I made to you and Christian. So not being allowed to visit and communicate with my very elderly parents, or Christian's arrogantly cruel letter to Ramon in May KIT is you say "...secondhand information and suffers in transmission. The events you describe have been hopelessly distorted to further someone's agenda, I'm not sure whose." In other words, Ramon has distorted Christian's letter to him to get his own back? Each time I have read that letter it just totally smacked of leading brothers' high-handedness in the Bruderhof when they'd lost touch with compassion and humility. I have some proof in letters of that kind of sitting in judgment of others with divine blessing! (I wonder what you and Christian thought of Barnabas Johnson's letter in Nov '96 KIT? I hope that pricked your consciences just a bit. Thank you very much, Barnabas, for that enlightening letter.)

Joel, so KIT has also in your view "hopelessly distorted" the whole issue around access to families? No, it seems you and Christian and probably others have done the distorting to the brotherhood about what KIT is about. So this makes me think you two may have quite a bit to do with relatives being asked to write to their loved ones 'outside' to buy and sell copies of the Plough Publishing's latest book in order to buy back their right to access to their loved ones. That just seems despicable to me. I have done nothing wrong. I am not to blame for my parents' distorted perceptions of what KIT is about. I refuse to yield to what seems to me a subtle form of blackmail.

After careful consideration, I have decided to quote from my parents' brief Christmas letter, the first communication since Easter when they returned my Easter card to them! My dear mother, in her late eighties, writes: "...So we ask you to write to Darvell for a copy [of I Tell You A Mystery - ed] today, and we are sure... you will wish to buy 10 more copies for friends (at a reduced price) especially those in KIT... Please do this, dear Carol! It will bring joy in heaven and help towards reconciliation in our family and hopefully in others too. We feel this is something we can do together."

I know my parents made this appeal very sincerely because of whatever was said in a meeting. I'm also very aware how much pain it causes my parents that I am supposedly out to destroy what they have given their lives for, when actually it is people like yourself that have poisoned my parents' perception of what KIT is. I do hope you have enough integrity not to punish my parents for my need to quote their letter in KIT by telling them, or via a third party. Thank you.

KIT is breaking the secrecy of wrecked lives, wrecked relationships, unethical behavior, by those most revered in the Bruderhof. Your job as P.R. men is to destroy the KIT process and hurt as much as possible those who are exposing the messy and unpleasant bits (note 'bits,' not 'everything,' as you would have your flock believe!) If you as a group were honestly willing to do this yourselves, would we in KIT need to go on doing it for you, and probably distorting the facts at times?

Sad also that the Christmas greeting this year from the Bruderhof to all of us was an appeal to buy the book. No card lovingly written and sent by someone close in the past. Saving money? A begging letter, something I thought the Bruderhof had turned their back on years ago! I did find the leaflet about the book meaningful, but was left wondering why Christoph Arnold was the author? Some of the most meaningful times for me in the Bruderhof were when it was shared what was being experienced at a loved one's bedside as they were dying. Then people freely shared at a gathering afterwards what was special about that person. So I'm feeling uncomfortable and sad why Christoph is taking the credit for being the author of a very communal experience when I know it's collected information and edited by a group of Plough editors. Is Christoph needing to follow the grandfather's and father's footsteps as an author in his own right?

Joel, you write to me in the same letter, 'I do think it might be helpful the next time we're in the same country to sit down in a relaxed setting and discuss some of the issues you raise. Over the last several weeks since our first letter appeared, I have found that this has been very helpful. Indeed, many people who were formerly very active in the KIT process have now reached a new understanding with us." I welcome sitting down together, but from what you just have said it seems your main purpose would be to persuade me to see things the way you see them. I don't think it is to really try to hear me. Do you? Also, you would like to sit down with me, an 'enemy of the Bruderhof,' but I'm not allowed to sit down in a relaxed way with family. What a muddle! Even so, I would be happy to meet, providing a close KIT friend can be present (probably Ben Cavanna) plus my husband.

Your last two sentences: "Perhaps one day you too may discover that your Bruderhof -- the Bruderhof you have created in your mind's eye -- is not at all like the Bruderhof that I joined and committed my life to." In other words, anything I have ever written in KIT which does not necessarily fully express all I have experienced in the Bruderhof is my own fabrication? I look forward to meeting in '97 and discussing all this more fully. I do feel genuinely concerned that both you and Christian are working so hard to fight the enemy KIT, and wonder if your young families are missing valuable time with their dads and husbands that in years to come you may regret? Best Wishes,

To All KIT: I really appreciated the correspondence between Connie Grener and Ramon. Thank you for letting it be published, Connie. Always find it fascinating to hear how people that joined in later years found things. Connie, I just wondered why you were asking KIT members to be positive and forgiving when the way at least Christian Domer and Joe K. have communicated with some people is not exactly an example (e.g. Christian to Ramon in the May KIT!). But maybe you haven't read that many KIT issues.

Clara Arnold, I was very glad to read your letter. I was with you every inch of the way emotionally as you drove up to deliver your father's letter! Keep the letters coming. Thank you! Thank you to all who have written recently in KIT. Belated greetings to all. I would like to keep in touch personally, but cannot! Much Love,

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Charlie Lamar, 1/17/97: A twofold commonalty enfolds the writers and readers of the KIT Newsletter. There is a onetime or ongoing association with the Bruderhof on the one hand and relatively free access to information on the other. Beyond those two similarities there may or may not be any commonalty between KITfolk at all. Most of the writers and readers of KIT live outside the Bruderhof. A few live inside. The writers and readers of the KIT newsletter are not necessarily, by any given estimate, all good people, all Christians, all sane, good party guests, intelligent, presentable, all ...what have you. The newsletter itself does not represent any agreed-upon mores. The editorial policies we have gradually come up with, i.e. no limitations as to content except general ex-Bruderhof relevance expressed in the language of an ordinary newspaper, were designed so the largest possible number of people could participate, even those who hold unpopular minority views. The commonalty upon which the "KIT process" rests is a carefully nurtured and protected, intentionally minimal commonalty.

A religious group has an absolutely unlimited right to shake the dust of anyone it deems unsuitable for spiritual fellowship from its sandals. A cloudless and forbearing sky is the only limit on the ability of any religious group to find moral fault, discern a wrong spirit or otherwise arbitrarily reject anyone it chooses. For example, a religious group has the right not only to reject writers for what they write, but readers for what they read. So it follows that the Bruderhof has a perfect right to reject KITfolk. After all, most KITfolk have rejected the Bruderhof.

But even though they may have rejected the Bruderhof, many KITfolk don't want to be rejected by the Bruderhof people. Many KITfolk have always wanted to see if there wasn't something they could do to make the Bruderhof accept them as friends and visitors again.

Although a religious group certainly has the right, it may not have the stomach to risk a scandal. Indeed KITfolk have repeatedly tried to scandalize the Bruderhof, but so far all attempts have failed. Scandal may be of two types: offense to the standards of one's own heart, or offense to the standards of a community. When KITfolk have tried to appeal to a sense of scandal in the hearts of their loved ones in the Bruderhof, they have found that their loved ones' hearts are not of their own keeping. When KITfolk have tried to scandalize the Bruderhof to the outside world, they have found that they either lacked the money or lacked the clout to make much of an impact.

The ones to whom many KITfolks' loved ones' hearts have been given happen to be the same folks inside the Bruderhof who read KIT. These Bruderhof KIT readers are known to maintain that the newsletter is full of lies. Of course this is a logical impossibility. KIT prints every Bruderhof word it can get. Bruderhof words contradict most of the rest of what is written. It follows that at least some of what is printed in KIT must be true. So outside KITfolk have two choices: either they must overwhelm the Bruderhof moral and religious objections by proving themselves to be a more credible religious group, or they must prove that the KITfolk inside the Bruderhof are liars. Neither course is easy. But of the two, one has by far the deeper pitfalls.

Outside KITfolk have it in common that they opted out or were ejected from one religious group already. They may or may not be willing to take up with another. Outside KITfolk may or may not have intellectually formalized religions. They may not be conscious or intentional religionists at all, although the apple doesn't usually fall too far from the tree. One recurrent vein of discourse in the newsletter, highly reminiscent of the Bruderhof, pertains to what's wrong with various styles of (other people's) religious and moral approach. Another rich, but gradually disappearing vein also reminiscent of the Bruderhof, is that of the gratuitous moral generality together with the gift of unsolicited personal advice. But Outies don't take these offerings as well as they used to do when they were Innies. One of the appeals of KIT, the same appeal the Bruderhof once held for many adult joiners, is the occasional taste of that lightning-in-a-bottle fellowship across the same moral barricades KITfolk so much enjoy discussing. For others, especially those who were in as youngsters, KIT is like going home. But this can be both good and bad. Nobody understands you as well as the people who come from the same place you do.

An attempt to turn these multifarious outside KITfolk into even a pseudo-religious group or shadow brotherhood for the love of those inside would entail shouldering aside many of these KITfolk who, by some standard, might not be good people, good party guests, Christian, intelligent, sane or otherwise presentable. Though entirely par for the course in civil polity, this would be counter-religious as many understand the meaning of the term. So while KITfolk do have that option, it's not very likely that many would really try to take it.

On the other hand, proving to rank-and-file Bruderhofers without access to outside information that their leaders are liars will take a force as great as all the legal and intellectual, religious and economic barriers that have been assembled to keep them cowed and ignorant in the first place. It will probably require the leverage of the law and the media. The force that is likely to raise the lever of public scrutiny against the Bruderhof certainly isn't KIT. The playing field between KITfolk and the Bruderhof simply isn't level. The Innies are a religious group and the Outies are not. The cause of the eventual and inevitable legal penetration and media exposure of the Bruderhof will most likely be the Bruderhof itself. KIT will be the logical fulcrum upon which to rest the lever of public scrutiny. But until the time is ripe, except for behind-the-scenes activities as well as for provocative and scandalizing things like vigils and boycotts, there really isn't too much outside KITfolk can do. One possibility is that, because of the clearly perceived and very real imbalance of power, Outies might want to take an opportunity to avail themselves of the imprimatur of some credible religious organization, negotiate their grievances with the Bruderhof, and make some sort of arrangement. There would be no harm in this if the deal were a sound one, but not if there were any sellout of individual rights, particularly of the right to write and the right to read.

The nub of the problem with the community remains the matter of individual rights: the rights to self-determination and self- expression for both Innies and Outies alike. Here the community has so much to lose that they have always tried to control not only what people say but what they see. So the rights of outside individuals, who manifestly do enjoy the rights of self-determination and free expression, remain paramount. Inasmuch as Innies cannot act or speak freely for themselves, Outies must act and speak. And what all KITfolk, both Innies and Outies, have to say, whether credible or incredible, is evidentiary. So we should we make no stylistic concessions in publication beyond the obvious. One way in which the truth of any communication can be judged is by an analysis of the way in which it has been communicated. So can the meaning. Not only is what we all have to say important, so is the way we say it.

So that's why in my opinion KIT should stay the present course. For only when there has been amassed sufficient personal testimony, only when we have learned not to make fools of ourselves in our organizing, only when the national and international media can discover outside KITfolk to be sensible and cool, only when the increasingly wealthy and pretentious Bruderhof has finally overreached itself once, twice or thrice too often, will the whole Bruderhof situation be ventilated by the free flow of information and many of our dreams come true.

But sad to say, not all our loved ones will live to see the day.

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Konrad Kluver, 1/13/97: May this year bring more truth to our friends, and more friends to the truth! Yes, it seems that inasmuch as we are growing "older and wiser," we should be able to see our "upbringing" from a more untangled and loftier view than has the appearance to have been the case up until now, as reflected in numerous KIT contributions. During the last interval of another twenty years of my short life span spent in Paraguay (this time voluntary), I got used to a free, unfettered lifestyle unknown to most other cultures and places. But now, wedged in by a narrow-minded, over-ambitious, ultra-mundane milieu, and torn between these two extremes of life-reality, I begin to feel like a butterfly must when it emanates from its cocoon. The past of my upbringing still exists with all its implications and subconscious programs, but I don't feel entangled by all this anymore.

Who am I to try changing somebody else's running-amok on any issue? If someone revels in a slow death by smoking, well, let him have his fun "till death shall part him from smoking!" The same goes with drugs, be they chemical, psycho or spiritual in kind!

It is time that we "call a spade a spade" and stop with all that "wishy-washy small talk for gullible minds." For thirty years now I have tried to come to grips with my Bruderhof past and get into dialogue with the (now) Bruderhof in vain!!! All in vain, it dawns on me now, because one is only "fighting the sails of windmills" as so aptly told in The Adventures of Don Quixote. Whoever believes that there might be a Way of Reconciliation between the (now) Bruderhof and Ex-Inmates other than "material indemnification" should hang onto his beliefs and stop attempting to win over adepts. On the other hand, it is totally senseless to try to convince "Believers in Reconciliation" of the utter senselessness of such endeavors, as proved by the most recent happenings concerning David Maendel and (now) Bruderhof reps "Christian & Co." I for my part don't feel capable of convincing anybody of the fact, say, that the fish he/she believes in eating is in reality a snake, etc. etc.

As kids, we played a lot of pranks. In my peer group there was a very gullible chappy. One day, someone came up with the idea to pass him a handful of dry goat-droppings as leckere (succulent) peanuts. He tossed the whole handful into his mouth without checking, chomping on them and savoring the real peanuts while we rolled on the group with laughter. He has never believed, up to this day, that the peanuts were only goat-droppings!

And then there are those Po Guazu decendants, chucked out long ago, who still believe that they have the birthright inheritance of being a Po Guazu on the (now) Bruderhof. So they plant the condition for their return on: entering as a Po Guazu only!! In this context, I would like to pass on what an adept who knew (but passed away) once stated: "The only real satisfaction I will still have in life is, to see The Last Bruderhof Po Guazu hanged by the B---- of the Last Arnoldist..." Hasta Pronto, sinceramente,

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The Urutau

A Memory from Paraguay

by Wolfgang Loewenthal

Anyone who lived in Primavera for any length of time will remember the urutau. This is a shy, rarely seen night bird. In the early 1940s, we young people met every Saturday evening on one of the three hofs. This meant a long walk back along the narrow forest path, say between Isla Margarita and Loma Hoby. On these lovely, quiet walks, we always heard the mournful notes of the urutau.

Whereas most birds have only one or two notes (like the cuckoo), the urutau has a range of six notes, a descending scale in the key of d minor:

D Bb G F E D

This tune would be repeated over and over.

We also used to sing a rather sad ballad that the Argentine poet Carlos Guido Spano had written after the disastrous (for Paraguay) war against the Triple Alliance of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil (1865-1870). One stanza from the ballad reads:

Llora, llora, urutau
En las ramas del yatay
Ya no existe el Paraguay
Donde naci como tu.
Llora, llora, urutau.

Weep, weep, urutau
In the branches of the palm
were born, no longer exists
Weep, weep, urutau.

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V.I.P.-Poor-Will, 11/26/96: Hy dere, KIT(Ty-cat), dere ist von ting I voud like to share. I think dat I know vy some people tink dat KIT vonts to destroy de Bruderhof. Because KIT could mean "Kapputt-Ist-Tedel," "Kingpin-Is-Terminated," oder like somebody called Mr. Sender ant asked for de Bruderhof, or and Mr. Sender (or somebody) said, "Bruderhof? No! KIT!," ant de person onde odder end surely unnerstood, "Bruderhof, no kill it!" Dat probably is de vay de misudderstanning vas created dat Mr. Sender, via KIT, vants to destroy de Bruderhof maybe, perhaps... or someting...

Apropos Bruderhof, dis is a techerman wort ant in englang woult sount like: "Brooder-Hofe" or "Brooder-Hoof." Now 'Brooder" in de unnerstanning of a farmer means "incubator," some apparatus to 'hatch' someting, watever.... it also descripes a person dat 'broods' too much about someting or udder... to later maybe 'hatch' something, watever? And 'Hofe" most probabbly ist derivet from 'hoof:' to hoof or dance, or mebby from a settlement in de form of a Hoof? OR mebby from "hoofing in a hoof???" Brooders hoofing in a Hoof -- Hoofers brooding in a hoof... So de scientific, dielectric dialectic deduction for de signification of de mutation of de word 'Brooder- Hoofer' most probabbly is derifed from a Brooder Hoofing in a Hoof or a bunch of Brooders Brooding in Hoofs.

Now to me, personally, a bunch of "brooders brooding in a hoof" sounds terribly sinister und threatenink because dey must be "hatching" someting! Watever? Mebbe how best to snare de KITties back into de fold of de Hoof by hoofing arount? On de udder hant, KIT sounts more like "kitty-cat," or remints me of "Kinship- International-Transmistter."

Mebbe dis intellectual treatise in dialectics may help to clarify de issu of de meening of KIT ant Brooder-hoof?! Yours Truly,

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Revolting Times (continued from KIT VIII #12)

by Leonard Pavitt

The Paraguayan government forces, as well as taking many of our horses and waggons, as mentioned earlier, also took our radio transmitter on the pretense that it would be very useful to the revolucionarios if they came our way. It was our only link with our folk in Asuncion. Shortly afterwards, we needed to get in touch with them and I was asked if I would go to the nearest telegraph and send a message from there. This was at a place called Vaca (Spanish for 'cow') Jhu (Guarani for 'black'). I said I would go provided I could go alone. This proviso was not prompted by a selfless wish not to put anyone else in danger and nobly face it by myself, but I still had vivid memories of the last time I had been asked to go there and had been given someone to accompany me -- and had rather wished I had gone alone. The point is that whenever I was offered a companion, the idea behind it was to give some brother, who didn't usually 'get off' the hof, a day out. Unfortunately this also meant that he didn't usually 'get on' a horse and might easily 'get off' if the going got rough and a fast exit was called for.

It had happened to me once before this revolution. We had gotten low on funds to pay the fairly large numbers of workers on Saturday. Usually we managed to arrange for someone to bring money from Asuncion, but on this occasion we saw that we would need to get some money locally. Therefore we arranged with the almacen (store) owner in Vaca Jhu to let us have a substantial sum in exchange for a cheque. I planned to get there about midday and, as it was about a 1-1/2 hour ride, we -- Walter Illingworth and I -- set off giving ourselves plenty of time for a leisurely ride, as Walter had hardly ever ridden a horse. I also hoped to have time to make a social call on our neighbors, the Destefanos, whose estancia lay between us and Vaca Jhu. They were always good for a cup or two of sweet mate cocido and a nice portion of cheese together with a very tasty sort of guava compote.

Walter had been chosen as my companion for the reason previously mentioned, to "give him a nice outing." He had no experience with horses at all, but that was not seen to be a drawback as all he had to do was to stay on whilst we ambled there and back. He might possibly find himself a little tender in certain parts the next day, but that would not be a high price to pay for a day away from the kitchen, where he usually worked.

So we saddled up the horses, or rather I did, and got Walter, a fairly beefy chap, mounted on his, and set off at a leisurely pace for Vaca Jhu. We arrived there about midday after a pleasant stop at the Destafano's and a little light refreshment. To my chagrin, we were told on arrival that the store owner, who was a local landowner, cattle rancher and employer of forest labour, had been called away urgently but had left a message that he had the money and would get back as soon as he could.

There was nothing we could but wait and hope to goodness he would get back early enough for us to get home in daylight. The almacen and attached building were alongside the so-called Camino Real, literally 'Royal Highway.' This Royal Highway was a simple waggon track that led from the tiny 'port' of Puerto Rosario some 45 kilometres away and through to the old, one-time Jesuit township of San Estanislao, locally called Santini. The almacen was a useful place to pause and get some simple food, a drink of canya and perhaps water the horses and give them a short break. Several such individuals came along, refreshed themselves and then continued along the Camino Real, much to my relief. The last thin I wanted was a party of interested spectators to see me being handed a wad of bank notes. So we waited and waited, with me becoming ever more fretful. It began to get dark -- darkness comes very quickly in the Tropics -- and I told Wally be had better saddle up and put the horses round the back of the building so that we could leave immediately we had the money.

At last the Boss arrived, full of apologies, and to my considerable consternation a group of three rather unsavory-looking horsemen rode up and proceed to unsaddle their horses and order themselves the inevitable glass of canya. When they heard the Boss mention to me that he was "going to get the money straight-away," they became quite friendly, asking whether we came from the Barbudos (the Bearded Ones) who lived at Primavera, and wasn't that right near the Camino Real? I said 'yes' to both questions, and they said "Oh, we are going that way. We can keep you company." Of course their company was the very last thing I wanted to have.

Fortunately, Wally and I had come by a route that ran a mile or so parallel to the Camino Real, partly across open campo (grassland) on our property and the Destefanos' land, and the rest on a cart track through woodland that landed us about half a mile from the almacen by a track across the campo ,there. I told Wally that when the Boss came with the money, he was to take it and tuck it in his jacket pocket. We would then go immediately to our horses which we had left saddled and out of sight behind the buildings. As soon as we were out of eyeshot, he would hand me the money, we would mount and gallop off on the track leading to the woods which was a tight angles to the Camino Real and hopefully not known to our would-be companions. He wouldn't have to worry. His horse would follow mine. All he had to do was make sure he stayed on.

By now it was quite dark, with just a semicircle of light in front of the store counter from two paraffin lamps. Everything went as planned. Wally took the money, tucked it in his jacket and we headed round the corned into the darkness. As we departed there was an immediate movement from the three horsemen.

"Un momento, Senores! Vamos ir junto! ("Just a minute, gentlemen! Let's all go together!") one of them said.

They moved towards their unsaddled horses. As soon as we were out of sight, Wally gave me the money. We leaped on our horses -- even Wally made it in one try -- and galloped off across the campo into the darkness, heading for the shadowy outline of the forest. Thanks to my horse, who knew she was going home, we stayed on the campo cart track and soon were entering the forest on the track leading to the Destafano's rancheria and home.

I still felt like putting as much distance between us and the three horsemen as possible, and we cantered on. Suddenly I remembered that when we had ridden this way earlier, we had come to a tree bough across the track that had made us duck quite low. The thought of what could, or most certainly would, happen if we ran into that in the dark made me feel very unwell.

"Keep your head right down, Wally!" I yelled back.

This did not make for comfortable riding, and when I decided we had put enough distance between us and our unwanted company, we continued at a fast walk, something for which my horse was famous. Unfortunately other horses had to do a rather uncomfortable lope to keep up with her, and poor Wally must have had a rather sore time of it. But we were both hugely relieved to have apparently lost the others. After we had passed the low-lying branch, the though of what would happen to them if they actually had followed us and galloped into it, was quite cheering.

We reached the Destefano's house where we were met by the usual bunch of extremely unpleasant dogs that always greeted one near any Paraguayan house. After dark it was imperative that you stayed on your horse until the owner came out, but this time we did not intend to stop. When the Destefano's son appeared, I called out a greeting and said we were just passing through, and we continued on across our land and back to Isla Margarita without any further trouble.

It was this experience that later made me decide to go to Vaca Jhu on my own.

My mention of dogs being quite dangerous after dark reminds me that they could sometimes be quite aggressive even in daylight. I once very nearly got myself horse-whipped by the owner of a dog which had made an attempt to bite my horse's back leg. I had drawn my machete and thrown it at the anima. Fortunately for the dog -- and for me, I guess -- the machete handle hit him and not the blade, and he shot of yelping. This had occurred while I was passing our cattle corral on the edge of the Loma Hoby community The dog belong to Johnny Robinson's capitas (foreman), a rather quick- tempered gentleman by the name of Felix Prieto who lived in a house by the corral. I dismounted, retrieved my machete, put it back in its sheath and continued to the Loma Hoby entrance intending to enquire about something at our office building there. I just had arrived and was still mounted when a very angry Felix Prieto arrived brandishing a very business-like cattle whip. I decided to remain mounted -- it seemed wiser. He asked me that I thought I was doing throwing my machete at his dog. It was not the first time I had been confronted by an irate Paraguayan. Sometimes it had happened when I measured firewood or trees felled by our workers and we didn't see eye-to-eye on the result. It was an occupational hazard and I always had found that a quiet response was best. So I explained that his dog had been attempting to bite my horse's back leg and pointed out that a bad bite just above the hoof (the fetlock) actually could ruin a horse for good. I suppose this gave him time to calm down a bit and he went off after giving a final shake of his whip in my direction and a warning not to do it again.

But to get back to my journey to Vaca Jhu to send a message by telegraph to our folk in Asuncion. I left Isla Margarita and headed across the campo in the direction of the Destefano's ranch. I was halfway across, about a mile or so, when I saw three horsemen, all carrying rifles, emerge from one of our woods some half-mile distant, and gallop towards me. I decided simply to wait, facing them. They were not in uniform, but that didn't mean a great deal. They could have been a group from the revolucionarios reconnoitering ahead, and that could be done more easily in civilian clothes. When they came nearer, I was greatly relieved to see that they were all known to me as they had worked for us at one time or another. They seemed quite astonished to see me and, when in answer to their question I told them where I was headed, they advised me not to continue. They said that the revolucionarios were thought to be within a few miles. In fact they could be in 'that wood,' and they pointed to a wood on the edge of our land. They went on to tell me what terrible people the revolucionarios were and recounted atrocities that they had committed. They were animales. I happened to know that a younger brother of one of them was based at the rebel fort in Concepcion. He had been working for us when he was called up. I mentioned this and it seemed to take the wind out of their sails a little, but only temporarily. They repeated that the majority were animales.

When I told them that I was, nevertheless, going to continue to Vaca Jhu, they insisted much to my dismay, on accompanying me at least to the boundary of our land. If indeed the revolucionarios were in the neighborhood, the last think I wasted was to be seen in the company of three armed men. One lone rider with hands held high in the air stood a much better chance of survival in such an encounter, I thought. I had purposefully left my machete behind and didn't even carry my usual 8-inch blade knife in a sheath tucked in the back of my belt. I had decided it was all or nothing, and preferred to have nothing if confronted by armed men.

On the way across the campo I had an insight into how rumour, fear and misunderstanding grow in the atmosphere of insurrection. These 'ordinary' men who, I thought I knew pretty well, showed another side. They still talked about los animales, although the supposed animales were mainly ordinary country folk like themselves, all conscripted, and they knew about they because they had all spent their time as conscripts. But I suppose it is so that when the usual behaviour controls are put aside at such a time, these 'ordinary' folk can do some pretty nasty things. Though I couldn't help but smile to myself when one of the men told how in an earlier revolution they also had thought the revolucionarios were near and he and he family had fled into the forest leaving everything behind, just taking their guns and food. Next day when they heard that it had been a false alarm, they returned home in great relief only to find that someone had stolen all their cooking pots. He had a pretty good idea who had stolen his pots those several years ago but could do nothing about it.

"But," he said triumphantly, "this time I waited a bit and when that hijo de puta (son of a whore) ran into the woods, I got my pots back y mas (and more)!"

I imagined that the hijo de puta also knew who stole his good and was waiting for the next revolucion to get them back again -- "y mas ."

When we got to our boundary, they offered that perhaps one of them could accompany me to Vaca Jhu and back, but I pointed out that I would be riding out of sight through forest and could get near enough to the almacen, where Wally and I had gone on our memorable journey and which was also the telegraph office, so I could look across the campo and see if it was all clear before crossing. To my relief they dropped the idea and I made my journey, delivered my message to be transmitted and returned without incident. We later learned that the revolucionarios had never come anywhere near us.

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Breakaway Hutterites Return to S.D. Roots

Last of group leaves self-professed leader

by Grant Gross, The Argus Leader

Centerville -- Samuel Wurtz's spiritual journey has taken him from a Hutterite colony near Tabor to communal living on a California mountain top and back again to South Dakota. Wurtz, who grew up in the Bom Homme Hutterite colony, has been away from the communal life since May when the last members of a Hutterite breakaway group disbanded and left the group's self-professed leader in California.

"The problems didn't stop just because we left the colony," said Wurtz, a founding member of the Ark of the New Covenant, a group of 40 Hutterites who questioned the authority of colony leaders and broke away in May, 1988. "There was a greater feeling of freedom as far as being able to do your own thinking," Wurtz said from his brother David's living room in Centerville where his family has stayed since May. "But we were so used to being under authority that we fell right in line."

Led by James Wainscoat, who was cast out of Bon Homme colony because of disagreements over religious beliefs, Ark members made news in 1989 when they tried to visit the grave site of Wurtz's father on colony property. Eight Ark members were convicted of trespassing, although Wurtz argues that he had a right to visit the grave. Wainscoat went on a 47-day hunger strike while Wurtz and another Ark member were held on contempt charges for refusing to pay the colony $100 for crossing onto colony land.

The story of the Ark of the New Covenant's next seven years is tangled in disillusionment and failed expectations. Friends of Ark members and outside observers say Wainscoat took advantage of the naive ex-Hutterites on his personal search for power or enlightenment. Wainscoat, who lives near Watsonville, Calif., was the group's spiritual leader but says he wanted to help the former Hutterites adjust to life outside the colony.

Samuel Wurtz, 43, said he always felt like an outsider at the Bon Homme colony, even though his father had served as a pastor there. As a young man, he grew disenchanted with what he calls the "hypocrisy" of colony life, with leaders tolerating many of the same sins they denounced outside the colony.

"In a colony, you don't question," Wurtz said. "It was always the elders who have control. You critical thinking is very crippled."

When he was 18, Wurtz left the colony and moved to Minneapolis, but he quickly came back when he thought he wouldn't be able to convince his future wife to leave. Still. He questioned what he say inside the closed society.

"I would look at the pastor and the congregation and think, 'Can I be the only one who's right and everybody else is wrong?'" he said. "There's a lot of fear of going to hell if you leave, and you're so secure there."

Wurtz's problems with colony leaders came to a head in the late '80s when he remained close to Wainscoat after his friend was expelled from Bon Homme colony. Wurtz objected when colony leaders told members anyone associating with Wainscoat would be "not in peace" with the rest of the group, meaning they could not eat with members until they repented.

The county sheriff blocked Wainscoat from visiting the colony one Sunday, and after Wurtz objected, he was "excommunicated," he said. Leaders then said anyone associating with Wurtz would face the same punishment, including Wurtz's mother and other members of his family.

"Ever since you're young, you're taught they have the jurisdiction, the power to control your life and take your name out of the Book of life and put it in the book of Death," Wurtz said.

A Bon Homme colony member who wouldn't give his name said neither Wurtz nor other former members were intimidated or mistreated. Wurtz said his excommunication prompted discontented Hutterites from several colonies to object. In May, 1988, 43 Hutterites from at least three colonies including Wurtz's mother and members of his extended family, left their colonies.

Ark of the New Covenant

The new group, calling themselves the Ark of the New Covenant after a verse from the Bible, made its home on a farm between Centerville and Vermillion, and then later near Tabor. But after the grave-visiting discord, the group decided to look elsewhere to "live in peace," said Wainscoat , now 55. The group accepted the offer of a couple of sisters in California who had 380 acres near Santa Cruz. Wainscoat, a former Catholic seminary student and later a Special Forces sniper in the Vietnam War, said he rejected the Hutterites for many of the same reasons Samuel Wurtz did.

"You can't escape it by walling up from the world in your own language and culture," he said.

The fledgling Ark community had its own problems. By the time the group decided to leave for California, 10 members already had left including Samuel Wurtz's own brother, Herman, and his family.

"He thought it was a one-man show," Samuel Wurtz said.

Wainscoat, who had searched for a satisfying communal life for 20 years before founding the Ark, said it was natural for him to become a leader because he had experience in the outside world.

"I committed myself to help them out," he said. "They're very bright people. But it was like coming out of a cave after being Rip Van Winkle."

Wainscoat said he tried to guide the former Hutterites slowly toward the outside world, such as convincing the women to abandon their polka-dotted scarves.

"It was like a father and his children." Wainscoat said of his role. "You can be a spiritual father to some people, and I think I led them to some spiritual truths they didn't see before."

When they arrived in California, members worked at different jobs to support their new community, But slowly, they left.

John Stewart, a former member of the Bruderhof communal group who visited the Ark's California home twice in 1994 and 1995, said he saw "bizarre" behavior from Wainscoat.

"They came together with this man, and he took these folks on his own personal ride," Stewart said.

Stewart said Wainscoat told him about how God was revealing to him the difference between three inner voices: his, God's and the devil's.

"He told me right out of his own mouth that he was the most spiritually advanced man on the earth," Stewart said. "He made a number of prophecies that never came truth, and he's say, 'Thus sayeth the Lord.'"

Wainscoat offered a different explanation for members' exodus. "The Ark of the New Covenant community was never anything more than a few families of ex-Hutterites," he said. "They would find their way, and it was just beautiful because it was like a bed of varied flowers blooming."

Disillusioned Parting

For Samuel Wurtz, the end to his association with Wurtz came while the two were working on a California Congressional campaign earlier this year. Wurtz became disturbed when he saw the lengths the candidates would go in order to win. One evening, Wurtz told Wainscoat he had enough. Wainscoat called for a community meeting to evaluate where the group was, Wurtz recalled.

"He said, 'I am still the spiritual leader,' and I said, 'That may be, but I can't come under it anymore,'" Wurtz said. "The separation then was like never before."

Wurtz and the remaining 13 Ark members returned to South Dakota in May, leaving Wainscoat in California with his second wife and their children.

Wurtz harbors no ill will toward Wainscoat. "I'm still trying to sort things out from being under the Ark of the New Covenant, but when power consumes you, it grows and grows and then it has to explode."

Although Ark members are scattered across the United States, Wainscoat believes they're still together in the spirit. "I have nothing but the greatest expectations as to what they will experience and how they will respond," he said. "I think they will definitely leave their mark."

Samuel Wurtz said he still hopes someday for a communal group of Christians. For now, he seems content working construction jobs and living at his brother's house in Centerville.

"I can honestly say between colony life and what we had, there were many virtues I have learned," he said. "It was just another Hutterite journey."

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Hope Deferred

by Hannah Goodwin Johnson

His Confession

"You haven't changed in all these years," she remarks contentedly.

He looks at her -- I was afraid of you when I first saw you -- couldn't look away.

"Being aware of other people," one of his phrases. "When we met I thought you were going to do something embarrassing such as other girls I knew kept doing. You had that look. I had to pity that (and still I pity this) about young women, but my guard said (and continues to say) not to involve myself in the embarrassment."

Reminding her, "There was no way I could have been outright rude and offensive to stop you trying something -- policy at the store. It was the first thing I was told when I was hired there. It was an important part of my job to be perfectly polite to the customers."

-- There I was, in an isle, stacking cans on a shelf. At first I thought, 'She hasn't seen me yet -- maybe a pretense.' I stood up and by then she was too close for comfort -- my hand had to come up.

-- I needed enough space to think my thoughts into words. So that it doesn't become meaningless action, a thought must turn to talk first.

"I want to back you off, to push out my hand."

-- I was so afraid of you and me. My hand had gone up by itself.

"I thought your look meant that anything and everything was going through your mind."

-- I dropped my hand, trying to put on a casual smile, and stepped aside.

"There was room enough for you to go past, but I moved as far our of your way as I could."

Lightning Love

"All I wanted was to be in your arms!"

Joan laughed. "There was no thought in my mind of ever getting around you. I was helplessly caught in a pathological desire to hear your heart beat and rest in your arms." After a slight pause she concluded. "It annoyed me when you moved aside. You know, because you weren't in my way," she mused.

-- He gave me no hope.

-- But I was no longer wrapped in my tragical end time where there seemed only trouble for me. I had terrible moods, always thinking, 'There's no arm around me ever.' I could move myself along. The morbid notion crossed my mind that you might soon be dead or something, so you'd be gone the next day. I told myself that stethoscopes don't make heartbeats. Now go on.

"For one helpless instant I had had the intention of going to you for comfort," she goes on, "without an invitation."

"Well, " he smiles. "And I have become comfortable with that. It didn't take too many months for me to invite you -- forever. I like to keep that moment when you first smiled at me. I like to keep your smiles."

That first smile she gave him had been too honest. His head up again from a slight nod as he had lowered his hand. Then h saw that smile. It had started playfully.

Quite at ease now while the sun catches Nathan's white hair mingling with Joan's gray. "It was one of those smiles darting from the corners of your mouth. A sadness descended and it flickered out. Later I wanted to get to know you to know what it started."

"Because, you know, it is impossible to tell you. We are still so impossible -- we're a romance."

-- Yes, he remembers!

As she had glided past, his head had been back in defensive attention and he had looked straight off his nose. He had stood still a few more seconds, re-examining his every move to make sure there could be no complaints -- of course he remembered.

"The red sweater you had on that day was something very hard to forget -- hard to stop thinking about."

They are thoroughly enjoying the amusement in each other's eyes.

"It was gray and green, olive green with a pale silver-gray zigzag." Those were her student years.

-- My favorite sweater.

Today the sun is too warm for their sweaters. Favoritism no longer taints possessions for her. Nor does anything seem as hopeless as everything often seemed when she had met him. She gets a squeeze and then he relaxes his arm again.

He reaches for a flower and he presents it to her. "Look, it's the same red color of pimiento, and there's olive green in the middle." Way back then he must have been seeing an aura of red around her that had tinted the yarn. To see things differently from the start had become their inner harmony. There's no arguing about a point of memory. How she looked when they met is not an argument. To go over little points more often as their time encloses years has become their own definition of love.

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Johann Christoph Arnold to the Editor, Cornerstone Magazine, Vol 25 Issue 110, Dec 1996: I would like to thank you for your lengthy review on my publication, A Plea For Purity: Sex, Marriage and God. I am especially happy that you did not only praise this publication. I like it when people really stick to the truth and do not try to flatter people in order to win human praise.

Thank you especially for your last sentence: "The primary authority for all we say and do must come from, and be rooted in, Scripture." There could be no sentence truer than that.

Do the readers of Cornerstone realize that Peter Kreeft from Boston College said, "Pretty close, I think, to what Jesus would say if he were to write a book about sex. And probably as socially acceptable as He was." The question we need to ask: "Is the statement of Mr. Kreeft true or not?" If Peter's statement is true, then I can understand your statement in your review which says: "But when he makes statements which are at variance with most of the evangelical Christian body's interpretation of Scripture, he can only damage the reader, and his prophetic stance seems an empty posture."

Dear readers, with whom should we be at variance? Is it with Jesus and His Scriptures, which any child can understand? Or is it with most of the evangelical Christian body's interpretation? Personally, I would rather stand with Jesus and do my utmost not to oppose him.

If anyone can teach me that Jesus does allow remarriage after divorce, I will change my views immediately. I have been a marriage counselor for over thirty years. I have counseled people in and out of the [Bruderhof] communities. I have counseled many people in prison, there mostly because of a broken home in which they grew up. Prisoners are a fruit of our permissive attitude towards marriage and sex.

The readers should also know that I do not have to defend my book, A Please for Purity. It has been endorsed by the Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger, Cardinal John O'Connor, Bob Fryling, Jay Kesler, just to mention a few. Within the first three month it entered a third printing of eighteen thousand copies. We are now negotiating with publishers to translate it in German, Spanish and Russian in India, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Even the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former ruler of Communist Russia, Gorbachev, wants to review this book and have it published in Russia.

Why then is there such an interest in this book if it is at variance with most of the evangelical Christian body's interpretation? If any reader of Cornerstone Could help me answer this question I would be most delighted. Respectfully,

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Excerpts from Cornerstone's reply: Thank you for your courteous reply to our review... We are glad to dialogue with you on the few issues that troubled us, and we want to begin by affirming that we are in agreement with a great portion of what you have written in Purity... Though we disagree on a few points (such as the sinfulness of remarriage, birth control and marital cunnilingus), we support your efforts to stem the rising tide of impurity and godlessness. Permit us to answer your questions and to address the propriety of remarriage according to Scripture. We hope you will bear with us, as we do not mean to take advantage or overwhelm your question by a long reply. Yet we have seen many people struggling with the consequences of a "hard stance" on divorce and remarriage, even to the point of breaking up living Christian marriages to make the husband chase after an unsaved, long- divorced former wife. We pray that not only you but others will be receptive to the biblical evidence we will present herein.

Your book espouses two Roman Catholic distinctives on marital relationships: i.e. remarriage after divorce is sinful and birth control is almost always sinful. (It also promotes moral views on which Catholics and Protestants both agree). Thus it is not surprising that Catholic leaders like Cardinal Ratzinger, Peter Kreeft, or the Pope would be happy to give it an endorsement. While it is impressive that your book is being widely circulated, this is not a good way to measure the soundness of one's teachings. (For instance, if we wrote a book promoting Purgatory, we could probably get an endorsement from Catholic leaders too.)

The point is simply this: while it is nice to have public opinion on one's side, ultimately this is not a test for truth. And you are right to say that it would be better to be on Jesus' side in a matter than to stand with "most of the evangelical Christian body" and be found opposing Christ.

You say you would change your views "if anyone can teach me that Jesus does allow remarriage after divorce." We believe the Bible does indeed teach this, so permit us to expand on the biblical evidence that leads to this conclusion...

[Evidence from the Old Testament is then presented, including a quote from Deuteronomy 24:1-4 that begins "When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes..." - ed]

...This passage prohibits remarriage only for a first husband (who divorced his wife for a cause other than adultery) and does not prohibit all remarriages after a divorce. Ironically, it would forbid the practice of some churches which hold that a husband who divorced his wife inappropriately must return to her even after she has married another man...

...An indirect argument that remarriage after divorce was permissible appears in the book of Leviticus, which forbade Israel's priesthood (Lev. 21:7) and the high priest (Lev. 21:14) from marrying divorced women. Note that the Torah does not contain similar prohibitions for the other twelve tribes against marrying a divorced woman... Not that there is also no passage of Old Testament scripture which forbids marriages to or by a divorced man.

We acknowledge that God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16), yet we also find it undeniable that remarriage after divorce was sanctioned in Scripture for the people of God under the Old Covenant. Divorce and remarriage were sanctioned as, at least, a concession for people who would not live in harmony at best, it can be seen as a provision for fallen humanity in the Old Testament.

[Evidence from the New Testament is then presented from the Sermon on the Mount - ed]

Notably, there is an "exception clause" in the two passages in Matthew, but no exception clause was recorded by Mark or Luke... Combining these passages, we ding that unless there is a case of immorality, the husband who divorces his wife "causes her to commit adultery." (Matt. 4) and if either party divorces and remarries, than one and their new spouse "commit adultery" (Matt. 19, Mark 10, Luke 16).

Here it's important to have some knowledge of the customs of Jesus' times. Divorce could be obtained for light causes. The school of Hillel interpreted the "something indecent" of Deuteronomy 24:1 in very liberal terms. Even burning a dinner could be construed as grounds for divorce. In Matthew 5:31-32, Jesus' message has special application to those men who divorced their wives on insufficient grounds, knowing their wives would remarry. Jesus says that the bill of divorce sanctioned by the rabbis was no protection for their former wives; if such wives were not divorced for major sexual sin, their remarriages would force adultery on them. And than unawares! To his male listeners, Jesus is saying that their definition of "something indecent" (interpreted as "for any and every reason"; see Matt. 19:3) was inadequate to justify the breaking of the marriage convenant.

Why does Jesus say that the wife commit adultery if the husband initiates the divorce? Because Jesus' assumption is that she will remarry! Jesus has just mentioned the "certificate of divorce," both in the Sermon on the Mount and in the discourse to the Pharisees. He was surely familiar with its permission to remarry...

...More particularly, verses [Matt. 5:]31-32 are not about remarriage or about prohibiting remarriage -- it's a "given" that remarriage will occur. Rather, they are a rebuke of a careless misinterpretation of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 (which is why Jesus says, "it has been said" rather than "it is written"). The school of Hillel had changed a circumscribed, divine restriction into a everyday procedure in which covenantal fidelity was not even considered.

More on the Matthew 19 Exception Clause

"Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so" (Matt. 19:8). Is Jesus really saying that Old Testament believers used to be permitted divorce, but this concession has been annulled under the New Covenant? Though some have drawn this conclusion, the text of Matthew 19:8 doesn't say that. What actually occurs in the Matthew 19:8 debate is more subtle. The Pharisees asked Christ, "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce?" (verse 7). His response was that the divorce regulation was not a command but a permission. It was a concession to accommodate the hardness of heart, although God's ideal design "from the beginning" was one of lifelong fidelity to one's spouse.

In the Bible, God has an ideal design or plan for mankind, but He makes allowances for flaws in our knowledge and failures in our devotion. Christ did state that the ultimate plan of God was for man to "cleave to his wife" and than mankind should not put asunder what "God hath joined together". To affirm God's goal in marriage is not to abrogate God's concession given previously.

One might argue (as does A Plea for Purity) that under the Old Covenant God made provisions for divorce and remarriage because the people were hard-hearted, but under the New Covenant the disciples of Jesus should not/must not possess any hard-heartedness. Thus, since the hardness of heart is removed from the life of the Christian disciple, the last-resort option to divorce "is no longer a valid excuse) (Plea, 133).

One could make the argument like this only if one didn't run into very many Christians very often. Yes, the New Testament promises the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for believers, but any fair reading also shows that believers can and do succumb to the works of the flesh and experience hard-heartedness. The tension between the ideal for Christian living and the reality of Christian accomplishment is aptly illustrated in 1 John 2:1, "My little children, these things I write to you, that you may nor sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." The ideal is the command in the first sentence. The reality is the provision in the second.

The Writings of Paul

Moving on through Scripture, we come to the "Pauline exception" found in 1 Corinthians 7:10-17. In this passage, Paul deals with a special difficulty apart from sexual sin. What happens when the believing partner is abandoned by an unbelieving partner? We include a larger portion of the passage:

But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him nor divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace (1 Cor. 7:12-15, emphasis added).

Why does he say, "I, not the Lord"? Is this just a suggestion from Paul and thus not really authoritative? Just prior to that in vv. 10- 11), Paul gave instructions on divorce, attributing their source to "not I but the Lord." Paul then paraphrased or summarized Jesus' teaching in Matthew 19:13-9. In brief, Paul's teaching came from the lips of Jesus during the days of His earthly ministry, teachings in circulation in the early church. Now in verse 12, the phrase "I, not the Lord" is not written to deny the inspiration of Paul's admonition, but merely to inform the readers that the instructions to follow do not come from the sayings of Jesus. Now Paul will give additional instruction, writing under inspiration from the Holy Spirit.

What was a Christian supposed to do when her or his unbelieving spouse left the marriage? We believe a right to remarriage exists in the statement, "A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases" (1 Cor. 7:15).

The terms in this verse may requite clarification: "But if the unbeliever departs [Gk. chorizo], let him depart [chorizo]; a brother or sister is not under bondage [Gk. douloo] in such cases." The word chorizo can also be translated "leaves" (NIV) or "separates" (RSV), and is translated "Put asunder" in the well-known command against divorce, "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matt. 19:6 KJV). Though an unbeliever should not break up (put asunder) a marriage, the apostolic advice is (in effect): If the unbeliever divorces, let him divorce.

By this terminology, we have established a New Testament sanction for divorce; and if the terms of a divorce are biblically valid, then a right to remarriage exists. Furthermore, the Greek word translated "is not under bondage" is stronger than the word used for the marriage vows (bound to a wife" in 7:27). According to William F. Luck, douloo [in 7:15, "under bondage" is a harsher term than deo [in 7:27, "bound"], the former stressing chosen servanthood." In other words, the partner of a departing unbeliever "is not enslaved" to remain with their divorcing spouse. This again indicates that they are free to leave, and thus to remarry. And on this note, observe that the circumstances of abandonment is recognized by the apostle as an acceptable condition for divorce, in addition of porneia.

Our final evidence that Jesus allows remarriage after divorce appears in 1 Corinthians 7:27-28. At the time the letter was composed, Paul discouraged remarriage, divorce and even marriage because of the persecution Christians were then suffering under Nero:

"Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you should marry, you have not sinned."

...In other words, a married man ought not to seek divorce, and a divorced man ought not to remarry. But he [Paul] ends by saying that those who do marry or biblically remarry do not sin.

From Theology to "Real Life"

How does this work out in real life or in a Christian community? For someone enduring or surviving a divorce, there are no easy answers, no simple "Ten Steps to Rebuilding Your Life." Some things irrevocably damage one's life: being raped or physically assaulted; being unfaithful to your spouse (or finding out they were unfaithful to you); losing a close friend through cruel words, you can never take back; and seeing your home, your family, and your future crumble around you because of divorce...

In "real life," what do you do? In real life, you first do all you can to sustain, uphold, enrich, and develop your marriage in Christ: Focus on the Family, Marriage Encounter, all that stuff. In real life as a Christian, divorce is not an option. The possibility of divorce is no more viable than the possibility of suicide. You'd be stupid or insane to even think about it... Then, maybe a couple starts to drift apart. Slowly. She think her husband is too unspiritual (and maybe she's right). He's got an important ministry that consumes all his time. She refuses him. He indulges in pornography, then repents, then does it again, then repents, then...

...Maybe adultery is involved. Maybe not. You might even pray with the more "guilty" husband, and witness weeping and confession of sin. You rejoice that they're on the road to recovery. A week later, he's moved out of the house. He's left her behind with three kids. At some point, the wife may wonder --

"Why follow the biblical model?"

She answers: "Because though I've been rejected by the person who said he loved me, I all the more discovered I have not been rejected by God.

Assuming now that the wife is still in the church, the pastor or leading counselors should affirm that the departed husband is to be treated as an unbeliever. The elders are not trying to play God or judge his soul, and the end of the script isn't written yet. But they are responsible to judge his conduct. He has refused their biblical admonition and reproof -- to be reconciled to his wife. And after such a declaration, the church has ground to expel him from membership and treat him as an unbeliever. He's already shown evidence of an obdurate heart.

Some might call this shutting the barn door after the horse is gone, but there's a purpose to this action. According to Paul's definition of desertion in 1 Corinthians 7:11-13, the wife is now free to legally formalize a divorce and to remarry if she chooses. It has not been an easy, "no fault" process. There is no celebration party, no sense that God is happy. But there is a quiet resignation, and some proper means of saying that His ways and procedures were followed.

The steps of admonition, confrontation, repentance, and mutual forgiveness are not easy. At times, they will not "work," and one of the partners will leave despite all prayers to the contrary. At other times, the Holy Spirit will intervene in restoring the marriage. But even if He does not, it does not mean that God is pleased with this tragedy or that He does not care for the adults and children who will be victimized by it. The power of our own free will can have horrifying consequences on ourselves and others.

By these steps and in this fashion, we affirm the sacredness of marriage, the sometime ugly necessity of divorce, and the validity of remarriage. In so doing, we seek to be true to the counsel of God in Scripture. We welcome your continuing dialogue with us! In His strong hands,

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The Mother of All Marathons

by Hans Zimmermann, 9/20/96

I've always enjoyed running, but in recent years the purpose behind it was to stay fit for tennis and skiing, and the physical good feeling one experiences after a vigorous workout. However it the past few years, however, I began to run more with the purpose of participating in some of the shorter local races, and I joined a local running club in upstate New York. Things assumed a more competitive nature when I frequently finished near the top of my age group, sometimes even being first. Moving to Colorado I rediscovered trail running with my brother Eck and it brought back memories from running through the jungles of Primavera, Paraguay. The villages were about 2 miles or more apart and we had to walk daily on a footpath through the woods to school. If late, we had to run -- which was quite often. Or we hiked and frequently ran over grassland and through jungles down to the river Tapiraguay, which was about six to seven miles away. So being on our feet for a long time wasn't anything new to me.

My distances for races were limited to 5 Ks or 10 Ks, with an occasional longer distance but nothing exceeding 15 Ks. I admitted people who ran marathons but had no intention of running one myself. Not because I thought myself not capable, but of the long training it would require -- much too time-consuming. I'd rather do other things instead. But once in Colorado and joining my brother and his friends on some of their training runs on the nearby mountains, I did start to acquire a greater appetite for trail running. Participating in the Imogene Pass run, an 18-miler, was kind of infectious. The run took you over a 13,110 foot high pass through the most beautiful mountains of southern Colorado, from the town of Ouray via Camp Bird to Telluride. I then surprised myself by finishing 3rd in my age group in the Leadville half marathon which also went to an elevation of over 13,000 feet. But none of this had changed my mind about running a marathon, which after all is 26.2 miles -- forget it!

Eck and his friend were going to run a marathon in Seattle, Washington to qualify for the 100th running of the Boston Marathon. He wanted me to try and qualify as well, having full confidence in my ability. I had all intentions of running a qualifier in New York, but the day of the race we had snow and rain at Hunter, NY. The temperature dropped to 25 degrees F and we had no electricity. On top of that, all the roads out of Hunter were closed because of washouts caused by flash floods. So there went Boston and with that, my intentions of running a marathon.

Back in Colorado, Eck showed me the results of last year's Pikes Peak marathon. This was a fatal mistake, or should I say 'fatal attraction.' I studied the finishing times of my age group and it occurred to me that with some training I could be quite competitive. I like to run the trail that leads up to Pikes Peak and thought it should be very interesting. Eck had run this race about 17 times over the last two decades and had a lot of stories to tell. Living at the foot of the Peak, as the locals called the mountain, one could hardly escape its seductive presence. One saw it every day and it exerted an irresistible pull as if it was calling, "Come try me!" It was then that I decided to run the race. There wasn't much time to wait because the race fills up early. If one doesn't have the application in by the end of May, it most likely would be closed to further entries. Eck said he would join me, i.e. tag along and take photos, but not run the race. He'd leave me in the dust and I might need some moral support on the run (how right he would be!).

A lot of hard training lay ahead of me. Things were going quite well, but then I had to leave for NY by the last week of May and stayed there until July 7th. This changed my training schedules, no regular runs and then at a much lower altitude. By the time I returned to Colorado, I had to get used to the altitude again, which took me a good two weeks. With just over a month to go to race date, things were getting a little tight. I had never yet gone up to the top of the Peak on a training run and therefore had no clear idea of what the ascent would be like and how long it would take me. So with just three weeks to go, I made my first ascent of the Peak, which took 4 hours and 3 minutes. It was then that I realized that I would not set the world on fire. I was quite tired and only too glad to hitch a ride down the mountain with some other runners who were also training for the race. Come race day, one has to turn around and run down the mountain again. No telling what one would feel like at that point!

The next two weeks I trained hard, putting in about 40 miles per week, slowing it down to 25 miles the week before the race. Now it was a matter of how well I would feel on race day, and hope for good weather!

The Pikes Peak Marathon is one of the most challenging courses one will encounter. It starts at an elevation of 6,250 feet in downtown Manitou and from there the trail winds and zigzags up the mountain to an elevation of 14,110 feet. Race day we got up at 5 A.M. to consume a good breakfast. This would have to last until after the race, which started at 7 A.M. sharp. The day and night before we drank a lot of water or other fluids to be as fully hydrated as possible. In addition, we each carried a bottle of electrolytes in our fanny packs. There would be six water stations on the way up, and also Gatorade at some stations.

The day promised to be beautiful, sunny but not too hot, so we did not need extra clothing. A long sleeved shirt to protect against the sun would do, sun tan lotion on the exposed areas and back of the legs, a visor to protest the face and some lip moisturizer. A last stop at the portable outhouses to lighten up and we were ready. The moments before the race are always special. There is a certain nervous excitement in the air as one waits for the starting gun to go off and hoping there won't be any nasty surprises as the race develops. From the start line one could see the rosy summit of Pikes Peak basking in the first sunlight -- and it looked so far away! Everyone had their stop watch set to zero, ready to start it on the sound of the gun. The announcer started his countdown from ten. Everyone counted down with him -- and off we went! 1600 feet pounding the pavement of Manitou Avenue, turning left onto Ruxton Avenue, heading up to the start of Bar Trail.

From the start of the head of the trail is about 1.7 miles by which time the runners had thinned out considerably and the narrow trail did not become a bottleneck. The elite runners are able to run the whole trail, be it flat or steep. Neophytes like myself run until it gets too steep, then switch to a brisk power walk, running again when it levels off a little. My intentions were to follow the pace at which I did the climb a few weeks before, hopefully a shade better depending on how I'd feel. The first 4.5 miles have an elevation gain of 2400 feet, so it was important not to go too fast. From time to time, Eck would run ahead to take photos of me struggling up the trail. I stuck to my plan, and made it up Mt. Manitou in just under one hour. After that the trail levels off considerably and I was able to run most of the trail up to Bar Camp. Arriving there 1 minute ahead of schedule, had plenty to drink and was cheered on by some friends. The next 2.5 miles to timber line proceeded quiet well, even though most of it was walking. I passed quite a few people and got ahead of my schedule by over 4 minutes. By then I was perspiring profusely but feeling OK. From there it was another 3 miles to the top and an additional elevation climb of just under 3,000 feet.

At 12,000 feet my legs began to feel heavy and I began to slow down. The wind had picked up and the air was very dry. With such little oxygen in the air, one has to try and get into a good breathing rhythm. I was sucking wind all right, and didn't take advantage of the flatter sections to run and mix up my pace. I was in a rut, but determined to keep going as best I knew. People started to pass me, and on top of that I was too accommodating to the stream of runners already coming down. There alone I lost much valuable time. With half a mile to go to, Eck had run ahead to record my progress on the camera. Close to the top, I heard him yell to me as he tried to encourage me to pick it up. I made the summit in 4 hours and 19 seconds, more than 3 minutes faster than my training run but nearly 15 minutes slower than I had hoped for. At that point I was very tired. I had a good drink and then started down again after wasting a minute at the top. The top part of the mountain is steep and very rocky and the trail frequently very narrow, which makes passing people difficult. Being tired, I took it easy the first 3/4 mile, then picked up the pace down to timber line. There I stopped to tighten my shoes as tight as possible to minimize blisters. Tying my shoes cost me valuable time.

As my legs were cramping up, keeping on the move was critical. Eck had run ahead again down to the A-frame to do some speed work of his own. He is out of my class when it comes to that. There he waited for me and we ran down the wooded trail. On that section down to Bar Camp the trail is very rocky, in parts winding and with plenty of roots sticking out, which become difficult to see when you move in and out of the shade. On top of that, I was tired. The brain tells you to lift your feet high to step over the root or jump over rocks, but in reality I was dragging my feet. I became religious and for the first time understood the real meaning of "the mind is willing, but the flesh is weak". Pounding down the rocky trail, I tried to clear a rock with a long step. My rear foot slipped in the loose gravel and I made a perfect split landing on top of the rock, legs spread out. I thought something popped as my legs cramped up. If it wasn't for Eck, I'd probably still be up there frozen in that position! Eck helped me out of my predicament. ]

I stretched my legs to shake off the cramp. Nothing seemed to be hurt, so we started running again, the incident quickly forgotten as Eck admonished me to concentrate on the trail and keep lifting those feet. I was able to get into a steady pace again, not as fast as I normally run downhill, but fast enough to catch up with other people and pass them. At Bar Camp I slowed to drink a full cup of Gatorade and then started running again. Eck refilled his bottle with Gatorade to be sure that we'd have enough for the rest of the way down. About half a mile down from Bar Camp is a short section where the trail goes uphill again. To conserve energy, I thought it better to walk, but the transition from running to walking gave me the sensation as if my legs were contracting and I could not lift them off the ground. It took a major effort to keep on moving.

One of my brothers accounts kept going through my mind. When he ran his first Pikes Peak Marathon, he bought a cheap pair of sneakers and with those headed up the mountain. The poor padding and support became all too obvious on the decent. He had blisters, black toes and excruciating pain. By the time he finished, the shoes were stained with blood. What kept him going, he told me was, that a Zimmermann doesn't quit. I quietly cursed him for setting such a tough standard, but was determined not to make a liar out of him.

I struggled up that hill, but once on top of that little rise, it was a relief to start running again. Things went OK as we passed more and more people, but I my mind was wandering or I got sloppy again. Before I knew it, I had tripped again, this time sliding along the trail, incurring some light road rash. Good thing I wore strong cotton gloves to catch my fall! Worse, both my legs immediately cramped up and I needed Eck's assistance to get up again. The best and only thing was to shake it off and keep running. After that I was determined not to fall again and to pay attention. I was running fairly well on the downgrades, but on the flats it was a struggle -- an indication of how tired I was.

Nevertheless we caught up with more people. Once they came into sight, they were 'dead meat,' an incentive for me to push and pass them. We made it to French Creek, the last water stop, then top of Mt. Manitou, another little rise, and then it would be mostly a steady downhill for the rest of the way. By now it had become quite hot. The air was very dry, and even with all the drinking we had done, we lost more body fluids than we possible could absorb through drinking. Here and there we saw people sitting at the side of the trail needing a rest or unable to continue due to dehydration. For that reason we carried our bottles to have some fluids in-between the water stops. We encountered only a few people down Mt. Manitou, apparently a big gap between runners. Eck caught me peering down the side of the mountain looking for people down the trail to chase, but he quickly admonished me to concentrate on the trail as there were plenty more rocks and roots to negotiate.

We passed a few more people down to the trail head, but once we hit the asphalt road by the cog railway, each step on the hard surface was painful and killed any incentive to speed up and run down more runners in front of us. At the top of Mt. Manitou I already knew that blisters were developing, but I shut them out of my mind. The hard road quickly reminded me of them With 8/10 of a mile to go, I just wanted to hang in there. We kept a steady pace, no heroics now, just finish standing up! We passed a few more people who had slowed to a walk, swaying back and forth, suffering from near total dehydration but determined to finish. The last 300 yards leading to the finish were lined with people cheering us on, a welcome lift and shot of adrenaline. Rounding the last corner, I heard the voice of the announcer calling my name, number and age, the finish line 30 yards away, one more runner in front of me whom I passed with a last spurt of energy, finishing the race in 6 hours, 21 minutes and 20 seconds.

Crossing the finish line, they ripped off my tag, pressed a little medal into my hand, and asked me if I was OK. I lied and said that I was, so they let me stagger away to lick my wounds in privacy. The first few minutes after a race are the worst as one starts to feel all the different pains and aches one was able to suppress or ignore while running. Luckily Eck's friend Bev found me staggering around not knowing which leg to stand on. She helped me across the street where I collapsed on the grass while she and Eck went to get the cooler and the bottles of Coca-Cola, which I desperately needed to get some sugar back into my system. I lay flat on my back, keeping my legs stretched out as any movement caused them to go into severe cramps. I wasn't the only one suffering from similar afflictions. People were lying all over the place in varying stages of recovery. It would just take a while for the body to recover. Bev went to arrange for a massage for both of us. In a nearby shed, about two dozen massage tables were set up and ten dollars would buy you a twenty- minute massage, most helpful for sore muscles.

All said and done, the winning time was 3 hours and 29 minutes and 22 seconds, which means my time was nearly double that. However I finished 6th out of 96 in my age group and in the top third of the 800 people who ran the race. With better training I should be able to improve on that. The blisters were not that bad. Back home, we had more to drink, then collapsed in bed to recover for a few more hours, much too tired to eat. Now, two days later, I'm planning for next year's race. It's tough -- but a great experience

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I Tell You A Mystery: Life, Death & Eternity

by Johann Christoph Arnold

Plough Publishing Company

Reviewed by Elizabeth Bohlken-Zumpe

I hold in my hand a little booklet that I ordered from the Darvell Bruderhof in December last year. My reasons for ordering it were:

1. Curiosity.

2. It was the first letter I had from the Bruderhof since 1992 when all contact stopped and all my letters to my mother were returned with writing on the back of the envelope that read, "Bette, if you want to repent, write the brotherhood." Not having had any contact with the Bruderhof since, the letter I received from John and Regula Fransham made a nice change and foolishly, thinking I was the only one they had written, I answered them and ordered the book.

I Tell You A Mystery by my cousin Johann Christoph Arnold is a small booklet. Actually it looks nice, with a boat on the river in the sunset on its cover. The print is spacious and it includes many photos. The book is dedicated to his grandchildren with a foreword by Madeleine L'Engle and a reader's letter from Mumia Abu-Jamal.

In the introduction, Christoph tells us that we need not be afraid of death. "I have been close to suffering and dying people for may years. It is from this pastoral perspective that I tell the stories of people that appear in this book."

The first three chapters, 'Foundations,' 'Growth' and 'Despair' are about Christoph's own growing-up from childhood to pastoral leader of the Bruderhof. Amazing to this reader is really how little of the Bruderhof life is mentioned. It is about "me, my mother and father." Even all that is not true, because as a small boy, Christoph did not have a good relationship with his father. Heini was away a lot, and very absorbed in his own troubles with the Bruderhof leadership of those years. Annemarie was a wonderful mother and did give her own and many other children much love and compassion. When Christoph writes that he used to accompany his father on hospital deliveries in Loma Hoby and that at that time he met the suffering and poverty of the Paraguayan people, I just wonder when this could have been, as Heini worked in the school when he lived in Ibate and was no wagon driver at all.

In the second chapter, he writes about his time as a 'house boy' in Asuncion's Bruderhof House" and how at that time the revolution broke out and there was a lot of shooting in the streets. I am not sure if JCA ever was a house boy in Asuncion, but most certainly not during the revolution. He was too small. The revolution occurred I believe in 1947 when JCA could not have been more than 7 years old. He was born in 1940.

When he writes on page 12 "Often I skipped the Sunday morning service (as a house boy in Asuncion) and disappeared into the slums, where I had many friends. Their living conditions were appalling: crowded bamboo shacks with open sewage running between them. The flies and mosquitoes were horrendous. Hundreds of children roamed the streets, many of them orphans, and expert thieves. Some worked as shoe-shiners for the rich -- five cents a pair -- a job I found so intriguing that I soon got myself a shoe-shine kit and joined them whenever I could. Bit by bit these children told me about their lives. Many of their parents had either been killed in fights or had died of tropical diseases. They had seen siblings die of illnesses or deficiencies, and they themselves had survived only to continue living in hardship, fear and danger."

All this sounds pretty nice, but I think JCA was 15 when he arrived in the USA. Knowing the Bruderhof in Primavera, none of us could disappear for a while and join the poor kids! None of us could speak Guarani or Spanish well enough to have those street children communicate their stories to us. So my conclusion must be that JCA's story is wishful thinking mixed with a lot of fantasy to make a young Mahatma Ghandi out of him.

The rest of the book tells individual stories under presumptuous titles such as: 'The Spiritual Battle" (the sickness and death of Doris Greaves); "Reverence" (Doug & Ruby Moody's baby lost in the 1950s); "When A Baby Dies" (about baby Dwayne); "The Childlike Spirit (about Rachel and Esther Marie); "Courage" (about Lynn); "Readiness" (Xaverie and Rilla); "Love And Death" (about Adela and Sergei); "No One Knows The Hour" (about Hans Uli, Fred, Pete Hinkey and Hans Meier); "Accidents" (Evelyn, James, Dwight and Jerry); "When Medicine Ends"(Bronwen, Hardy and a baby); "In God's Hands" (Merrill and a baby); "Suffering" (Miriam Loewenthal and Deb); "Faith" (Hans Herman and Ed); "Prayer And Healing" (Edith, Herman and a baby); "Caring" (Karl, Margrit and Bernard).

Nothing is said about the other side of the story. For example, Xaverie's father was not able to make peace with his daughter before she died because he just was not told that she was sick. The grandparents of Esther Marie did not even know the child and were not asked to come and be with her when she was so ill (Lini and Wilhelm Fischer had been members of the community for 30 years!). There is no mention of Bronwen's son Andrew at all, and how she must have yearned to have him with her.

It is a one-sided story, which reads well if you know nothing about the Bruderhof. As I know a great deal, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth even though many things are nicely put.

The last three chapters tell us that the only way to die in peace is with all our brothers and sisters in unity around our bed. It compares the community life with all the love towards each other to the lonesome death in old people's homes where elderly family members are put because their children do not love them and they have become a burden. There is also a chapter "About The Author" that states, among other things, that JCA "has served as senior elder (approximately 2500 members in eight communities) since 1973. He has traveled the world extensively on behalf of the movement... Prior to being appointed to this position, from 1972 to 1982, Mr. Arnold served as a minister and assistant elder.

"Over the years Mr. Arnold and his wife, Verena, have counseled hundreds of couples, single men and women, and teenagers, including inmates in several prisons; they have also provided pastoral care for the terminally ill and their families...

"Mr. Arnold is editor-in-chief of The Plough... and the author of two other books... An active speaker, he has appeared as a guest on numerous television and radio programs, and on many seminary and college campuses."

As I mentioned earlier, this is all so one-sided and often outside reality and the truth. Never in Bruderhof history has a Servant of the Word taken such a presumptuous position. Never before was the "I" put before the "We" in such a manner of self-conscious vanity.

The outsider may not see it the way I do because they do now know what evil actions the Bruderhof has taken under the leadership of JCA, such as preventing us (outside Bruderhof children) from having any relationship with our families on the inside. He speaks about dying, grieving, resurrection and fulfillment without a thought about what he is doing to those of us who have no chance whatsoever of seeing our loved ones before death and being helped in our grief.

JCA gives the answer to this himself on page 124: "It is vital that there be an atmosphere of peace around the bedside of a dying person. This is no time to bring up past grievances, family quarrels and unsolved issues from the past..." This sounds fine, but what is not said is that members and their families are carefully maneuvered into a position of accepting that no peace can be found with their outside children as long as the children resist joining the flock. This is the issue that has brought division and not peace, and most certainly lacks even the most primitive form of love.

I myself have seen may people die, and here in Holland I have nursed two aunts and Hans' mother at home until they died. This behaviour is not so special. We all need love and compassion during our lifetime, and especially when we die.

Summing up: the stories of death in this booklet are good, not because of Johann Christoph Arnold's pastoral insight capabilities. No, it is because that on the Bruderhof there still remain so many faithful members, and I think God hears them and protects them. I have to reject the continuous repetition of "me - my wife - my children - my parents and my grandparents." There is little about the message of the Bruderhof life as such. I feel the emphasis lies in the word I: I tell you a story, but no blessing lies in megalomania. Even if JCA is pushed into this position by his brothers, he should open his eyes to reality!

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The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How To Recognize It and How To Respond

By Patricia Evans.

$10, $15 in Canada ISBN # 1 55850 582 2

Reviewed by Judy Tsukroff

At various times in my life I find myself in very uncomfortable situations with people who make me feel very bad. I seem to encounter abusive situations rather frequently. This book has given me insight about what was going on for me and why. The author spells out the dynamics of verbal abuse, and identifies many ways of communicating that I had not seen as abusive. For example I had not thought it was verbal abuse when someone dismisses my concerns or refuses to listen to me, but it is! Or that when I am in a discussion, being thrown off balance by irrelevant remarks or changing the subject from the one I am trying to clarify is also abusive. Double messages are confusing: being told one thing, but the persons tone of voice and facial expression give another message. There are many more examples of abusive communication that helped me understand my own feelings and reactions.

What impressed me most about this book is the concept that people can live in different kinds of reality. "...those who feel power through dominance and control (Power Over) are living in Reality One. Those who feel power through mutuality and creativity (Personal Power) are living in Reality Two." (p. 38)

The author throws light on why People in Reality One take offense to well-meant efforts to clarify verbal exchanges. For example, an attempt by a person in Reality Two to clarify an angry response from a verbal abuser by saying "Why are you mad? I didn't say what you thought. What I meant was..." often meets with great resistance. The person acting out of Reality One -- Power Over -- does not admit the abusive behavior, and then interprets efforts to achieve mutuality as attempts to have Power Over him/herself. The person in Reality One cannot conceive of anyone having a different motive from their own. Attempts to understand are viewed as "showing them up"--to have Power Over. (The author says it better on pages 118-119.)

This explains to me why there are some people and situations in which I am unable to get any kind of meaningful resolution to concerns. I live in Reality Two and assume that others do also, that they are also concerned with mutuality and creativity in solving any common problems or in listening to what I feel is a problem. I do have this with most of the people I associate with.

But there are people I encounter, and sometimes must deal with, who live in Reality One. With them I can never get real understanding or cooperation to resolve things. It is as if we are speaking different languages and have different agendas. And indeed we do! A person acting out of Reality One is only interested in Power Over; they have no interest in reaching a mutually agreeable solution by each of us acting out of our Personal Power or mutuality and creativity. So their no-sense responses, if viewed from their Reality One position of needing to have Power Over me, now make a certain kind of logic. With this understanding of what they are doing, I can back off and take care of myself, and not waste time trying to work things out, or even be heard, by these people. I can approach them in a very different way, if at all, while I protect myself from their abuse. The author spells out many ways of doing this.

Although this book specifically addresses verbal abuse with marriage partners, I find the information applicable anywhere I encounter this kind of problem. I just change the person referred to in my head.

Late-Breaking News: Dave Maendel phoned to say he is doing well and has been continuing with his trucking business. Apparently his court case is moving forward in a manner that he facts satisfactory. Hopefully within the next few months there will be a resolution to this situation.

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