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 · http://www.matisse.net/~peregrin/· e-mail: peregrin@sirius.com

KIT Staff U.S.: Ramón Sender, Charles Lamar, Vince Lagano, Dave Ostrom, Brother Witless (in an advisory capacity)

EuroKIT: Joy Johnson MacDonald, Susan Johnson Suleski, Carol Beels Beck, Elizabeth Bohlken-Zumpe, Ben Cavanna, Joan Pavitt Taylor

The KIT Newsletter is an open forum for fact and opinion. It encourages the expression of all views, both from inside and from outside the Bruderhof. We reserve the right to edit submissions according to guidelines discussed at numerous KIT conferences. Obviously, it's seldom easy to know exactly how best to carry out KIT's mission of allowing many voices and various points of view to be heard. We do not, and cannot, vouch for the validity of any opinion or assertion appearing in the KIT Newsletter. The opinions expressed in the letters that we publish must remain those of the correspondents and do not necessarily reflect those of KIT editors or staff.

Yearly subscription rates (11 issues): $25 USA; $30 Canada; $35 International mailed f/ USA; £20 mailed f/ EuroKIT to UK & Europe


The Whole Kit And Caboodle

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

-------- Table of Contents --------
Ben Cavanna
Julius Rubin
Hans-Joerg Meier
Balz & Monika Trumpi
John Howard Yoder
ITEM re Chris Arnold's phone call
ITEM re "Eyebrows" letter apology
The Voice reports on Bruderhofers in Chiapas, Mexico
Hilarion Braun
Elizabeth Bohlken-Zumpe
Name Withheld
Erna and Werner Friedemann
William Bridgwater
Name Withheld
Looking Back
Blair Purcell
Forgiveness Discussion in alt.support.bruderhof :
Wayne Chesley, Blair Purcell, Mike LeBlanc Name Withheld, Blair Purcell, Melchior Fros, Ramon Sender, Mike LeBlanc
Name Withheld
Cease Fire in alt.support.bruderhof
Bill Peters, Blair & Margot & Emily Purcell, Wayne Chesley, Blair Purcell
Charlie Lamar
Art Rosenbloom
Janet Stevens
Blair Purcell
Julius Rubin
Andy Harries
Ruth Baer Lambach - Born Hutterite review
Thomas Mansheim - Torches Extinguished, Free from Bondage book reviews >
Calvin Redekop - book review of The Witness of the Brothers by Iaacov Oved

Address Changes and Corrections

Sam and Karen Arnold 110 College Street
Woodstock, New Brunswick E7M 1K6
CANADA 506 328 9420

Wolfgang & Joy Jones Loewenthal 604 888 2278

Clifford Jones RR 2 Site 22 Xomp. 17
Chase, BC V0E 1M0 CANADA 250 679 3914

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Ben Cavanna, 1/26/98: Hi Folks, here follows the pricing for the summer get-together at Lower Shaw Farm, Swindon (Matt and Andrea Holland's place). Full details of how to get there and info about L.S Farm will be sent when you book. There's a mixture of small dormitory / bunk bed rooms, a few singles and doubles, and a couple of little caravans. Book early to avoid disappointment. The full weekend is from Friday supper to Sunday lunch (July 24th to 26th) but Matt and Andrea Holland are also willing to offer B&B to those who book for a few days before, and the week after the get-together. Please note: it is hoped that no one will be prevented from attending through lack of funds. Reductions may be possible, so talk to Ben, Joanie or Joy. Price list [$ 1.63 to 1 current exchange] + options include: 1) Person staying at Lower Shaw all weekend (inc. bed, meals, drinks, etc. + full use of site): 60 [$98]. 2) Person on site all weekend (inc. site space -- full use of amenities + all meals and drinks): 48 [$79] 3) Person visiting Lower Shaw farm for all weekend events, but not sleeping there (inc. main meals, drinks, use of site): 36 [$60]. 4) Per-day visit to Lower Shaw farm (incl. main meals, drinks, full use of site for that day.): 18 [$30]. 5) Lower Shaw farm is also offering B&B for the days before and after the get-together at 15 [$25] per night (incl. full use of site + breakfast). To book, contact:
Matt and Andrea
Lower Shaw Farm
Old Shaw Lane
Shaw, Swindon
Wiltshire, SN5 9PJ
Tel. 01793 771080
For general information about the weekend, talk to Joanie and Ben.
ITEM: The 1998 USA KIT conference will be held on Friday August 7th through Monday August 9th at Friendly Crossways. Those of you planning to go to the U.K. events for the previous two weekends (get-together & Cavanna-Taylor wedding), plan your travel to dovetail with the conference. More details available from KIT Central, but mark your calendars now for an amazing sequence of gatherings! Application in a future KIT.
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Julius Rubin, 1/22/98: I have read Christopher Zimmerman's review of Elizabeth Bohlken-Zumpe's Torches Extinguished [KIT X #1]. The reviewer questions Bette's documentation, her memory of events, and her personal motivation in writing these memoirs that reflect on Bruderhof history. I wonder if Zimmerman is aware that Yaacov Oved published The Witness of the Brothers, A History of the Bruderhof (Transaction, 1996). Oved is an Israeli academic, a student of the kibbutz movement and communal groups. By his own account, he spent nearly a decade visiting the Bruderhof, interviewing key members, and reading Bruderhof records and archives.

His book was written with Bruderhof cooperation and encouragement. In the chapter on Primavera, Oved makes extensive use of Bette's work, in addition to Allain's The Community That Failed and Merrill Mow's Torches Rekindled. It appears that Oved, after reviewing Bruderhof archives and interview transcripts with current and former leaders and Mow's writings, found Bette's writings well-documented, authoritative, and compelling.

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Hans-Joerg Meier, 12/30/97: Today, just shortly, a big thanks for your gift to me, a big financial help which you stuck into the December KIT. I didn't write sooner because things suddenly went a little downhill with my health, but I am still coping!

I wish you all the best for the new year, and thanks again for the loving help from everyone!!

Balz & Monika Trumpi, 1/5/98: At beautiful Mohonk Lake we celebrated our 60th Wedding Anniversary, a milestone not many couples experience together. Thank you so much for thinking of us on this special day! It meant a lot! With all our love,
John Howard Yoder, the well-known Mennonite theologian, died suddenly on December 30th, 1997. He was noted for his work in various areas of biblical scholarship as well as ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. Over the years he worked quietly in the background attempting to bring about more understanding between the Bruderhof and KITfolk, for which many of us are grateful. KIT staff would like to extend their condolences to his wife, Anne Marie, and their six children.
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ITEM: Christoph Arnold's son Christoph Andreas recently became a baptized member of the Bruderhof. He phoned Ramon to say that he had heard talk of "an Arnold dynasty" and wanted to go on the record to say that he will never, ever accept a leadership position within the Bruderhof.
ITEM: The anonymous author of the notorious "Eyebrows" letter [KIT II #10] phoned to apologize, saying that now he was about to become a member of the Bruderhof, he wanted to clear up this incident. Ramon expressed his gratitude for the apology, but added that he was not so much bothered by the scurrilous tone of the "Eyebrows" letter as he was by the report that it had been read aloud to a group of servants and witness brothers who accompanied the reading with many chuckles and knee-slaps.
ITEM: The Voice in Winsted, CT, published a brief report in their December 31st issue by Bruderhof member Danny Meier. It read in part: "I only found out where Chiapas [Mexico] was one week ago when some brothers from the Bruderhof went down to stand in solidarity with Bishop Ruiz and the native people. These brothers found an incredibly oppressed people and an exploited land..."

Was the presence of Bruderhofers in Mexico at the same time as Hilarion and Susie's Mexican 'Strange Experience' [KIT X #1 p. 3] merely an odd coincidence? Inquiring minds need to know! Speaking of 'Strange Experiences', Hilarion's house was broken into yet again. (See the following.)

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Hilarion Braun, 1/28/98: In late November I received a letter from an attorney representing a Bruderhof member that enclosed a contract for my silence under threat of a defamation lawsuit [see p. 2, col. 3 KIT X #1]. The contract alleged that I had made "false statements" about child abuse in a letter sent to two Bruderhof members. The Bruderhof father wanted these "false statements" corrected and wanted no repetition of these "false statements," and wanted a reconciliation with his daughter. According to the contract that I was supposed to sign, the Bruderhofer would forego suing me for defamation: If I admitted unequivocally that my statements were "false," apologized to the father, and would "desist forever" from making such future statements. If I agreed to send a letter with copies admitting "falsehood" of statements and with apologies. If I agreed to write a letter to the daughter within three days of signing this contract with the same content as that of the letter to the father, and also recommending that she contact her father.

The Bruderhofer then agreed not to sue me, but in the event that I failed in any point of the agreement, then I promised that I would not plead statute of limitations or contest the jurisdiction or venue in any county of the Supreme Court of New York, or contest application of New York law, or remove any section filed by Bruderhofer to the U.S. District Court.

Of course I would not dream of signing such a document, but instead had my attorney reply. The Monday after my signed 'contract for silence' was due to have arrived at their attorney's office, the daughter's family was moved off the Bruderhof! The police found this out at the high school. Now another local police force is in charge of the case.

On Jan 27th, we made arrangements for a sweep our phone lines for electronic bugs, and the phone company agreed to do that on the 29th. Today, the 28th, someone broke into our house and this time the alarm system was turned on. One of the window screens was damaged and the window locks were off, but it is not likely that the break-in occurred through the window, as indicated by the alarm system. The person therefore must have a key to our house.

Now all of our neighbors are interested, and more and more of them are enjoying the CBS '48 Hours' segment on the Bruderhof. Sincerely,

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Elizabeth Bohlken-Zumpe, 1/16/98: Dear KITfolks around the globe! As you have read in the last two KIT newsletters, Hans-Joerg Meier is severely ill with cancer and in need of chemotherapy, which he started last December. As there is no medical insurance in Paraguay, such an expensive treatment will have to be paid by the individual patient, which is very difficult. The estimated cost, the doctors told him, might well reach $6,000, which is a lot of money. Now KIT's XRoads Fund and a few others managed to send him money for Christmas, which was very much appreciated. It is for that reason that I opened a bank account for his European friends. You can pay into the account or send cash to me and I will coordinate the contributions and, together with KIT in San Francisco, to see how we can best help. After investigating various possibilities, I set up the account in my name for reasons of economy.
ING Bank Drachten Netherlands
KIT HELP E. E. M. Bohlken Zumpe
Number 664186017

Please help if you can! Every $ will help.

I have read the last KIT and, apart from the book review by Chris Zimmerman, I think it's a good issue. I knew that the Bruderhof would not rejoice about my book because they are not allowed to know and face the truth. Chris was born long after I left the Community and really knows nothing at all about our love and our struggle in the backwoods of Paraguay, so I think his view is really quite pathetic.

Reading the newsletter, another thing struck me. Naturally it is wonderful that the lawsuit was dropped against Ramon in the copyright infringement case as well as the appeal of the dismissal of the defamation case against Ramon, Blair and Julius. But I found it strange that Christoph's Christmas card was addressed to Ramon Sender, Blair Purcell and then Chris Winter and Danny Moody. The latter two were never mentioned in KIT nor in a lawsuit as far as I know. What about Julius???

JCA's message of peace and good will to all men is something they should have thought of before putting lawsuits on their former children and members. Also the pattern in which these things happen is something we should see clearly. JCA's Christmas card ends with, what seems to me, a sarcastic word of thanks: "You have really helped us to become famous through all your tremendous efforts. For this we thank you!" This ending takes away any validity to the beginning sentence, "We stretch out our hands to you all that you will help us to bring the joyful tidings of Christmas to as many people as possible!" What has happened to the real truthfulness and faithfulness of our former brothers and sisters?

I find it very difficult to see any sincere desire in them to come to a peaceful and friendly relationship with all of us. Why? Has fear really wiped out every ounce of faith and trust, and willingness to find a common solution to present disagreements? It is clear that the Bruderhof is very fearful of KIT, but let us be careful that they do not manipulate us. After all, their attorneys had their chance to have their say against us, while our attorneys never had the chance to answer their statements. Love to all,

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Name Withheld by request, 1/27/98: Dear KIT staff, I wanted to write to tell you that I enjoy reading the newsletter and articles at your site. My family left the Bruderhof when I was in my early teens and just beginning to be accepted into my "group". It was quite a shock for me the day I was told we were leaving. For a while I was angry at everyone and I didn't quite know what to make of it all. Now we go to a really wonderful church. It has been a real blessing to us, and although they still can't quite figure out what happened with us and the Bruderhof, they have been terribly supportive and helpful to us.

I am really glad that my parents got kicked out now that I know so much more about what has happened. Christoph and Co. really scare me and they have hurt so many people and become so different from what I thought the Bruderhof was supposed to be. I recently saw that they have started wearing suits and ties at weddings and such. There goes the "Plain People" image! I think the newsletters are a good way for people to begin healing, but I have read several very bitter letters. Have those people really not been able to get over it after all those years? We left only a while ago and God has given me the strength to forgive the Bruderhof, although it's been hard because they treated my parents so badly. I thank Him for that. So, "many warm greetings to you all" and good-bye for now,

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Erna & Werner Friedemann to Johann Christoph Arnold, 1/28/98: We are sad and disappointed that you have in no way answered our questions and concerns. Yes, in a friendly way you even invited us to stay with you for a while. This is quite impossible for us. We are old people with all the ailments that come with age. Werner has extremely bad sight -- one eye is completely blind, while the other can only distinguish light and darkness.

Our letter was meant to remind you of your great responsibility before God and all men, due to the position you hold. You should be deeply conscious of your actions and also those matters that are acted upon in your name, some of which we have been able to follow in the KIT newsletter.

Stop the heartless actions towards your former brothers and sisters and their children! Forgive, and you will receive forgiveness also. With greetings to both you and Verena,

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William Bridgwater (aka Ingmar Wingard) 1/28/98: Here follow some thoughts that I'd like to share with KIT readers. The ideals that our parents embraced when they joined the Bruderhof are no longer alive in the communities today. The Bruderhof has become a money-making machine operating in much the same way as did the totalitarian regimes in their time of glory -- i.e., a small clique lives well off the labour of the many. I view this as communism.

Heini and now JCA have been successful in creating a new business for themselves, more successful than most of us, in fact -- money in the bank, executive jets, etc. etc. How did they do this? Not be being entrepreneurs, but by reverting to Slave Labour!

How JCA operates is known to most of us ex-Bruderhofers. Freedom of expression is lacking, members are not given access to the media and are scared into submission by the threat of expulsion. The hardship that faces any Bruderhof family with children when they are thrown out penniless into the boese Welt (evil world) is a powerful weapon that keeps members on their toes.

I am in no way envious of the JCA success story. What I do feel strongly about is the way in which members were thrown out in the early 1960s and are now being ignored. In society as I know it, people go into retirement at about 65 years and are then paid a pension. For Bruderhof ex-members, this does not apply. Members who gave their best years working without pay for the Bruderhof and who were thrown out without a penny in their pocket during the power struggles of the early sixties have been left to fend for themselves in sickness and old age. This is an intolerable and inhumane situation about which we all should try to do something. The ones worst off are those who live in countries where no social security exists.

I have written to the Bruderhof several times on this subject without receiving any reply. Now I feel that the only way left open to us is to try to interest the media to publish the true facts about the Bruderhof and to show the world their real face, hoping that mounting pressure will get them to mend their ways. Once the Bruderhof has settled this unfinished business, I for one will not give them another thought.

You may wonder what prompted me to write these lines. It is the severe illness that has befallen my dear friend Hans-Joerg Meier. The Bruderhof, his brothers and sisters, are cold-heartedly standing by watching the situation deteriorate without lifting a finger to help.

We are a group of friends who are trying to collect funds for the expensive treatment that Hans-Joerg requires in order to have a change to recover. As you already know, Bette has taken it upon herself to arrange and administer an account that will be used to assist in this case. We invite you all to participate. All contributions, irrespective of amount, are most welcome. Greetings,

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-------- Looking Back --------

From February issues of previous years

February 1990 - Ramon: I was pleasantly surprised by Doug and Ruby's openness to seeing where, in the past, the communities did not try to find a way to keep in contact with me and also to search for a method by which I could have participated in my daughter Xavie's life, especially her early years... Doug mentioned that the HSOB, from their improved financial position, now make a greater effort to help out people who return to the wider community.

February 1991 - Food for Thought: "The spiritual maturity of a community can be measured by the frequency and sincerity of the smiles with which visiting ex-members are welcomed."

February 1992 - Johann Christoph Arnold, 1/10/92 via a phone call to KIT: "It is true that we paid $1 million dollars cash for the police summer camp (Catskill Bruderhof). But what your item did not say is that we had to borrow $350,000 from Riverbend Colony, $100,000 from Crystal Spring and $100,000 from Starland Colony. A total of $550,000 from three different Western communities. But it's better to borrow from brothers where you don't have to pay interest than from a bank."

February 1993 - Hans Zimmermann: It is and remains an utter disgrace how many individuals and families left the B'hof over the years, some not really comprehending why they had to leave, many if not all with no financial support. This will forever remain a black mark in the history of the Bruderhof. The least they can do is to fully admit their mistakes. Not until that is done can they be taken seriously and trust be restored.

February 1994 - Wendy Alexander Dorsey: The calamity that is happening in the Bruderhof is the increase in oppressive atmosphere, which results in the gross abuse of power in the leadership and loss of identity and self-hood and conscience in the majority of people. This is truly frightening.

February 1995 - Barnabas Johnson: All this, in turn, requires searching reappraisal of the entire question of Bruderhof leadership and how the First Law of Sannerz insulates leaders from accurate "self-governing" feedback, etc. Little more need be said here, because not only has it been said In KIT's pages before, but also the great majority of readers could write volumes on this subject at the drop of a kopftuch.

February 1996 - Norah Allain (from a poem): "What is the goal of my desire?
'Tis love, 'tis union,
I would be one with my own self,
And feel the pulse of the world beat together with my heart,
I and the world as one."

February 1997 - Katherine Brookshire: 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.

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Name Withheld, 1/7/98: The lawsuits have been dropped! So far so good! Now how do we proceed? Ramon is not able to communicate with the commune by e-mail, very few people if any are able to communicate by mail, e-mail or phone. Where does this leave us? I, for one, would like to see us mediate with the commune. If the commune does not wish to face me or others without a third party present, then so be it. Let's try to come to a peaceful solution with a third party present.

My question is: do the Plain People in the commune know now who instigated the lawsuits? Do they know that the judge dismissed the defamation lawsuit before Arnold dropped the copyright action? I think it is very important that the Plain People know that neither Ramon or KIT or anyone else instigated a lawsuit against the commune! I believe that this issue should be crystal clear, that not one person went to law against the commune.

I personally would like to have a friendly relationship with the commune, but have been told again and again that such a relationship is not enough. It is clear that we do not see eye-to-eye on the way we live our life. For instance, I do not agree with a lot of things which the Catholic Church represents, but I still have friends who are Catholics. In fact, my former boss is Catholic and we were able to work well with each other.

So I came to the conclusion that we can be friends, even if we are from different denominations. Or, if one person is a lawyer and the other a priest, they can still be friends. They do not need to live their lives in a constant state of feud!

I personally wish we could be friends and sit down together to clear the air so that we can come to a peaceful agreement.

Chris Zimmerman's book review of Torches Extinguished [KIT X#1 p. 9] was, to say the least, rather bad penmanship. Furthermore, it was news to me that Mow's Torches Rekindled is an official history of the Bruderhof. If I am not mistaken, the information and material for Torches Rekindled was taken from Mow's diaries, which to my mind does not therefore make his book an official history of the Bruderhof. I happen to remember that the Mennonites thought that the best feature of Torches Rekindled was the cover of the book. Sincerely yours,

1/21/98: According to Christoph Arnold's peace motions, the 'Berlin Wall' should come down. However it seems as if it is up to the ex-members (I actually detest that word) to bring that wall down. I beg to differ. Several have tried to breach the abyss, but have not succeeded. Letters and cards, if I am not mistaken, are still being refused and returned to the senders. Some cookies have been forwarded and delivered, but the Berlin Wall still stands!

Now what do we do? Is it really solely up to us to bring that wall down, the wall we didn't put up? I for one did not erect that Wall. Are what I call 'peace talks' going to take place on a one-on-one basis only? How will that work? I take it that people who read and write to KIT will be told to renounce all contact with their friends, or basically a friendship with Ramon who happens to have started the KIT newsletter.

Ramon is portrayed as the KIT "leader." I personally do not look upon Ramon as my leader, nor do I think that I want a leader! I had enough of leadership in the past, so I do not look upon any one person (man) as my leaders. I am a human being with human rights, and will not bow to a leader! I do believe that we should be able, and I do say "we" as I think that a group of the ex-people should be able to sit down and discuss visiting privileges, etc. However I do feel this would have to take place with a third party present. I do not think that I would be able to meet with Arnold and others alone. I need back-up, but no leader! We, and I mean the ex-people, should be able to discuss and clear away the existing problems by dialogue with the other party.

As of now, the ex-folks have tried to set up a meeting in which we could possibly come to a dialogue, but the Commune, represented by C. Domer and J. Keiderling, waved this suggestion aside. Now I would like to know where do we go from here?

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Blair Purcell, 1/18/98: A Bruderhof representative in the UK recently approached the publisher of a book titled Harmful Religion (that includes a chapter on the Bruderhof by Dr. Julius Rubin) and offered to buy up the entire press run. The reason appears to be that Dr. Rubin's article contained the experiences of a woman raised in the Bruderhof.

It is interesting to note that the publishing house in question is an enterprise of the Church of England which, of course, has been publishing religious studies for some little time. The offer to buy up the press run was accompanied by what the SPCK representative perceived as the threat of an action for libel.

SPCK have agreed to write a brief statement of clarification about the nature of the article (let's face it, no one likes to be sued!) Quoting now, (as addressed to the article's author, Dr. Rubin, by SPCK), "This is not a retraction of your paper or a rejection of your critique."

After that, in late December, another Bruderhof representative (Joe Keiderling) wrote to the Oxford University Press editor of Dr. Rubin's forthcoming book, The Other Side of Joy, telling her that SPCK was writing a statement that would retract Rubin's remarks in their book. Therefore, Oxford should understand that his work was not 'legitimate'.

Perhaps the accuracy of Mr. Keiderling's remarks to Rubin's editor could be challenged. In addition, according to my information, Mr. Keiderling stated to the editor at Oxford that the publisher would be sued if they published Rubin's book.

Oxford University Press has an even longer history than the Bruderhof (which falsely claims 450 years of Hutterite heritage) and has no intention of withdrawing Dr. Rubin's book from its scheduled (albeit delayed -- because of legal threats) publication.

The Bruderhof and/or any of its representatives are invited to correct any errors of fact that I may have inadvertently included in this posting. If appropriate, I will not only post the correction but willingly and happily include an apology for the error(s). Sincerely,

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Forgiveness Discussion in alt.support.bruderhof

Wayne Chesley in alt.support.bruderhof, 1/8/98: The Bruderhof has hit on a very powerful theme with their book(s) on forgiveness. It was good to see Christoph respond to the call to forgive by dropping the lawsuits. I wonder what other ex-bruderhofers experience or have experienced in the matter of forgiveness, both granting forgiveness and receiving forgiveness?

A question came up in another newsgroup about forgiveness, and I posted the following:

In Matthew 18: we read:

Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times??" Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy times seven".

How can one be proactive in forgiveness when the offending "brother" does not acknowledge his wrong and continues to behave wrongly? I am not talking about a theoretical situation. The folks I'm thinking of expect forgiveness, but that amounts to an expectation that their "critics" (from whom they expect forgiveness for long past wrongs) will stop speaking against their present wrong-doing.

What if efforts to be proactive, to make peace through even a neutral party are rebuffed, with further offense offered in response?

Jesus said: "If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

In a "mediated" discussion with two representatives of the Bruderhof, the matter came up from one of the mediating Mennonite ministers that there is no forgiveness for us unless we forgive.

When I then asked to be forgiven for making a vow to the communities that I could not keep, we were all startled when one of the Bruderhofers strongly and pointedly said "No!"

Blair Purcell posted some points where falsehoods are being told about what he said. How does he forgive? Does the Bruderhof want to be forgiven and forgiving? What kind of reconciliation comes with forgiveness? What obligations does one have when he forgives? How does one respond to a message of forgiveness by one who does not forgive?

I hope some more ex-bruderhofers will respond to this discussion. I think it is a good start on some very supportive topics. Peace,

Blair Purcell in alt.support.bruderhof, 1/8/98: Wayne, you are suggesting that Christoph may think I have offended him which caused him to file the lawsuits (two now). I suspect I have -- by having the temerity to speak openly about the things I take exception to at the Bruderhof. But, is speaking openly an offense that deserves wrath (of lawsuits) from the Bruderhof? Remember that speaking openly (in this forum and others) was a step taken only after the rejection of private mediation efforts.

But after I offended him, he then withdrew the appeal of a lawsuit he was almost certain to lose (thrown out flatly in the lower court). Is this forgiveness? I think not; it is more akin to blasphemy to invoke forgiveness as suggested in the bible to hide the real reason for dropping the suit. He, they, were losing. JCA simply put the best light he could on a losing situation, cloaking himself in religion when his real motivation was transparently clear. I don't believe there was any forgiveness at all -- although I will express gratitude for the gesture from whatever motivation. Just don't keep trying to pull the wool over my eyes.

You say "How can one be proactive in forgiveness when the offending 'brother' does not acknowledge their wrong and continues to behave wrongly?" I think you are correct here. This is the crux of the problem for many. Personally, I think I comprehend their fear of being exposed and their determination to keep the true nature of the Bruderhof "secret" from the outside world. They do not seem to realize that is simply not possible anymore. Nor is it necessary. Change may be required to accommodate this new fact, but that change will not make them less; it will make them more than they have been. And it will come.

Some may seek forgiveness from the Bruderhof, but I do not. They have not even begun to offend me personally (save in the one area of preventing my wife and daughter from visiting with family members inside). The lawsuits are of no consequence; sued or not, I am still the person I was (hopefully a bit better now than then -- a work in progress, ya' know!) prior to the time they sued me. As a consequence, there is nothing for me to forgive of them except the family thing. Can I accomplish that? How?

The question is not answered here about further and continuing offense. Or, perhaps it is, based on the simplicity of the answer. Do we still have to forgive (in face of continuing antagonism and venom) to be forgiven ourselves? I'd look to your interpretation of the verse rather than my own. What do others think??

You made vows to a church with specific ideals including practice of Anabaptist principles. When those "practices" changed to include lawsuits and telephone harassment, I would assume it became difficult to maintain your vows to a church that, in practice, no longer existed. How can one be held to vows that contradict your God-given responsibility to examine closely that which is being done in your name (and God's as well)?

If, by suing me, they are, in effect, calling me a liar, I still contend that I have not been offended for one simple reason. I have not lied; I know that -- and if they say I lied, I say consider the source of the statement. Either I am or I am not a liar -- nothing Christoph Arnold, Joe Keiderling or Christian Domer says will change what I am. That is between me, my God-given conscience, and, perhaps, the test of time.

What would our obligations be (and to whom) if we were to forgive the leadership of the Bruderhof for tearing so many families apart -- in the name of God?

I would ask, in all seriousness, if there is an obligation among those who perceive problems in an institution such as the Bruderhof, to attempt to point out those problems -- even if the institution clearly insists it is not interested in knowing. Perhaps the leaders are all too aware and they have no interest in the observations offered. Don't we still have family obligations? Do our "exposures" hurt them? Do the common brothers know what the leaders are doing? Do the young folk there, particularly, enjoy the protections that other young persons have in our wider society? The wider society is where I choose to live -- am I not (is the wider society not also) entitled to the respect they ask of me?

Aside from family responsibility, is there a wider responsibility to those who might be attracted to such an institution without fully understanding the pros and cons of participation in total "unity?"

Mike LeBlanc in alt.support.bruderhof, 1/9/98: I approach forgiveness in the same manner as the Bible, and agree that one cannot expect forgiveness unless one forgives. But for me, it also a more pragmatic issue. Before launching on that discussion however, I would like to discuss forgiveness from two perspectives, that of the forgiver and the forgivee, then move on to a discussion of what I call institutional wrong-doing and how and why it is a more difficult issue then personal forgiveness.

From the perspective of the forgiver, it is important to forgive so that we may enjoy the same from people we have wronged. I do believe however, that is important to differentiate between forgiveness and condoning. Forgiveness of a wrongdoing assumes acknowledgment of that wrongdoing and repentance. This is as important for the healing of both the forgiver as well as the forgivee. Here I interject a few thoughts about what I term embracing negative energy or the conservation of positive energy. In Christianity we call this love. Forgiveness is part of embracing. Forgiveness releases the forgiver from the draw of negative energy (or evil), regardless of the state of the forgivee. That I what I think the Bible means by forgiveness apart from repentance. Christ's example was unconditional love, His command, "Go and sin no more."

I believe, of course, that the forgivee will maximize his healing and ability to retain and spread positive energy (love) by truly being repentant of his wrongdoing. To do this, the forgivee must first understand that whatever action he took is indeed wrong. I believe the Bruderhof often manufactures crises, and the individual is browbeaten into thinking that he has wronged the Brotherhood and hence must ask forgiveness. This is part of how cults use a distorted sin/forgiveness relationship to mold the emotions of the member and achieve mind control over the member to make him conform. It often happens that a member feels that in good conscience he can no longer remain as member and/or must follow his heart and God's will for his life.

Where I believe the Bruderhof has made a wrong turn is to associate membership with the will of God, and in fact puts community above God, otherwise a/it would not ask members to take a vow to remain faithful to the community, but rather ask a member to remain faithful to God, regardless of where that walk may lead and b/it would release members it had forced to make such a vow, realizing that vow for what it is, idolatry (the idol being community and unity for its own sake). If we follow God's will for our lives and are in tune with what He wants us to do, unity is a natural by-product, because He will guide us in personal as well as corporate harmony. The striving for unity in the community at the cost of the individual and his relationship with God is what deters the community from "living it's own best dream."

Christ wants us to be fully engaged in our walk with Him, and when a one is subjected to forced unity either the individual must leave or subjugate his conscience.

Thus we come to the subject of institutional wrongdoing and forgiveness. How does one forgive an institution, especially when said institution does not ask for forgiveness or recognize it's wrong doing, either from a singular membership level or from an organizational one. Again it would submit that the individual must embrace forgiveness as a mechanism for releasing the hold that the negative energy of the wrongdoing and the institution's hold over him. I view the Bible as a guide for a full and happy life, as well a blueprint to glorify our Maker. We must forgive so that God may forgive us, but it is through the death of His Son Jesus that we may enter in to Eternal Life.

Institutional forgiveness on the part of the forgiver does not release the institution from it's need to seek institutional (or organizational change) repentance. This can only truly occur in my opinion with a restructuring/reorganization of the institution around the cause of the wrongdoing. This is what I term institutional repentance. Of course if one has wronged a brother through the use of the institution or to achieve power either personally or for the institution, I believe one also must ask personal forgiveness of the wronged individual(s). Once again, to affect true healing, this must only occur when the forgivee truly acknowledges the wrongdoing, either from an institutional standpoint, or to whatever degree he played as part of the institution.

I bid you all peace and wish that you may embrace His love and ask Him daily for guidance, for only through Him can we achieve fullness and meaning through His glorification; bringing the Good News to those in sore need of it.

Name Withheld in alt.support.bruderhof, 1/9/98 Thanks, Wayne, for opening up the topic. I think it's a very important one especially for this newsgroup. I sincerely hope that Christoph and others are reading it, and will participate. A few thoughts:

As Mike points out, for the Christian, forgiveness is not optional. Our eternal destiny depends very much on whether or not we forgive those who sin against us. And even secular psychologists have discovered the freeing power of forgiveness.

But forgiveness is not the same as condoning. To condone is to imply or pretend that what was done is not, after all, a sin. Therefore, condoning an action is the very antithesis of forgiveness: it blocks true forgiveness, and makes genuine repentance difficult.

In the same way, forgiveness is not pretending that we have not been hurt or angered by an offense. We have as our model the Lord Jesus, who did not pass through his earthly life in a state of buddha-like tranquillity, but who displayed the full gamut of human emotion, including the grief, pain, and anger he felt over the sins committed against him -- and yet at the end cried out "Father, forgive them!"

So what is forgiveness, then? I think it is primarily an act of the will: a deliberate decision to take ourselves out of the center of the offense, and hand it all over to God, leaving all questions of judgment and mercy to Him.

To make it more concrete, here's what I do when I find myself brooding angrily over wrongs done to me: I break off the train of thought, and pray the old, Orthodox 'Jesus prayer', "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!" This puts things in perspective. After all, I also stand in need of forgiveness, especially when I choose to dwell in my anger and hurt instead of in love. Then I pray: "Save, Lord, and have mercy also on (Name). May their sins against me not be held against them in the Day of Judgment. Grant that they may fully repent of their sins, and inherit eternal life. Amen"

Of course this is simply one form that forgiveness can take. It is far better if forgiveness can be expressed and received in a person-to-person meeting. But we can forgive even those who have not repented: indeed we must, or we remain trapped in the hell of our own anger and bitterness. Greetings,

Blair Purcell in alt.support.brudehof, 1/9/98: Is there a difference between personal and institutional wrongdoing when, in this case, the persons offending seem to be the institution? In other words, I don't anticipate the common brothers have any idea of the scope of activity they have permitted to their leaders. Should we then forgive the common brothers for their unknowing support? Who takes responsibility?

But if the person of the leadership IS the institution (rather than the common brothers being the institution), aren't we back to the necessity of forgiving individuals for what they do in the name of others?

Change seems to be the operative word. Must we see change before forgiveness? From an individual, yes. From an institution with democratic principles, yes. From an institution with corrupt, non-democratic leadership?

Forgiveness without healing will have to be done over and over again. Healing cannot occur without change, on the part of each individual involved -- or each institution, as in KIT (whatever that is) and the Bruderhof (whatever that is),

Mel Fros in alt.support,bruderhof, 1/10/98: Wayne Chesley asks what "ex-bruderhofers experience or have experienced in the matter of forgiveness" both in granting and receiving it. He wonders, "How can one be proactive in forgiveness when the offending "brother" does not acknowledge their wrong and continues to behave wrongly?"

My understanding is that in order for me to enjoy an unfettered relationship with God I must forgive the erring person unconditionally. A vertical relationship is hindered when the horizontal one -- how shall I as a carpenter put it -- is not level. As Name Withheld noted, it is for the sake of my relationship to God that I must forgive unconditionally. Does my forgiving the offender have any implications for him. I think it does. Romans 2:4 reminds us that we must not take God's kindness, His tolerance and patience lightly for it is meant to lead to change. When someone I consider a brother continues to shun and ignore me, when he continues in wrong-doing, then in effect he is also sinning against God. The really sad part about this turn of events is that my prayers to God on behalf of the Bruderhof are impeded and I feel that Christoph Arnold and the Bruderhof he leads are in part responsible for the impasse.

Acts 28:26-27 is a chilling example of what can happen when others refuse to listen to the call for change (repentance). May the words of Isaiah which St. Paul uses challenge Christoph Arnold and his Bruderhof to pause and reflect.

Ramon Sender in alt.support.bruderhof, 1/18/98: Re: forgiveness, my off-the-top-of-my-head feeling is that Bruderhofers frequently request personal forgiveness as part of a strategy that I have named "Lowlier than Thou."

My personal 'take' is that it's pushing things for someone to ask someone else for forgiveness. Forgiveness is something that arises spontaneously in the heart of the forgiver when he/she believes that the other person feels remorse for their actions. In my mind, the proper thing for the first someone to say is "I'm so, so sorry for what I did. I know my having ________________ (fill in the blank with a very specific description of the action) was very painful to you. It makes me feel really terrible to think I could have hurt you in that way."

If this statement comes truly from the heart, then the second someone will, in my opinion, feel the sincerity of the other's feeling of remorse and, at this point, if all else is according to God's plan, forgiveness will arise in the second someone's heart as he/she attunes to the true concern and love he/she feels from the other.

Now, as an example, when 3 Bruderhofers asked for personal forgiveness back in January, 1990, I did not feel it was sincere. My first question was, "Why now? Why not five, ten, fifteen, twenty years ago? (After all, I had been cut off from my daughter basically since 1959.) Could it have something to do with the fact that you'd like KIT to stop publishing?"

The way the Bruderhof "uses" the request for personal forgiveness basically corners the potential forgiver. If he/she can truly forgive at this point, well and good. Allelulia! If he/she knows that it's "the right thing to do" and fakes it, that just adds another layer of weirdness to an already weird situation. If he/she says, "Well, I'll think about it," this may speak more to their true feelings but also gives the Bruderhof the opening to say, "We expressed our request to be forgiven, but they were bitter."

Once a person is classified as bitter, they can then be more or less written off. This is the real reason, in my view, for the "lowlier than thou" gambit.

I suppose someone could say that I must be really bitter to take such a jaundiced point of view on the Bruderhofers' attempt to reach out. Actually, on a personal level I think I can quite readily feel forgiving over almost everything that happened 'back then.' I have some more recent concerns with one of the 3 that would interfere with my forgiving him because I don't feel any remorse coming from him, but indeed just the opposite.

However, what I have been hoping for, truth to tell, is not individual Bruderhof members expressing their personal sorrow for the way I was treated "back then" (some, like Tom Potts, have already done so quite a few years ago) but a brotherhood recognition of how cruel and abusive they have acted as a group entity, and how they continue to act in this manner towards many of their nearest and dearest.

Is that too much to ask? Is it any of my business? I think it is, because I have grandchildren there. Someone recently asked me if I would accept a brotherhood invitation to visit my grandchildren at a gesture of good will. I think that it would have to come within a larger context of opening up visitation rights to everyone. Also, frankly, I'm not sure I would feel safe on a Bruderhof community at this point. More later,

Mike Le Blanc in alt.support.bruderhof, 1/19/98: This is an open letter to Johann Christoph Arnold and the united Brotherhood on all communities:

If your desire to come to peace with the numerous members and children you have cast out, you must truly seek forgiveness on an institutional level. This means it is not enough to speak beautiful words of peace, but to take action to bring healing to the countless hearts and souls you have broken and the minds and lives you have destroyed in the quest for power and money.

I understand that hurt has occurred on both sides, but the source of that hurt is not the people, but the system. Without true and lasting change to that system, true healing cannot occur.

You yourselves may not even understand that the techniques you employ to keep the membership in line and doing your wishes have been recognized by mental health professionals to be the same as other groups who have come to be seen as cults.

While this may be a tremendously hard pill to swallow, I pray to the Lord that you will look deeply into your actions, motives, and hearts, and seek the truth. Even if I am wrong, I know many ex-members and children have been seriously affected by their Bruderhof experience. As Christians and the source of the pain, you have a responsibility to affect as much healing as is humanly possible, calling on Jesus to guide you when you need additional clarity.

Christ's example was of unconditional love and mercy. We fail miserably at attempting to follow Him if we place conditions on our love. A simple and lasting gesture such as allowing reasonable visitation to family members and friends would do much to start the healing process so badly needed between those "inside" and those out. We are one people. We need healing. Yes, it is possible to do it! But we must truly seek truth and love.

Christoph, you have a powerful opportunity to make your words real. Open up your hearts and arms and Bruderhofs to those who seek to visit loved ones and friends. Allow free and open exchange with those in and out. Seek to assist in the healing of those suffering. We are your children! Your brothers, sisters, friends!

Let's get together in a wonderful and powerful way and rout the spirit that divides. Let's create true and lasting change so that each and every brother and sister is free to serve Jesus as they see His calling.

I look forward to hearing from your personally Christoph! Followed shortly by a call, then a visit with my family. This goes for any one else on the "outside" that needs to see their loved ones. Otherwise, you words are empty, cheap, and manipulative. Prove us, your skeptics wrong! Create true and lasting peace! Jesus is the answer, the Bible the Guide.

There is a price to this however. That is the idol of community and unity for it's own sake. One has to give up the seeking of power over other men's hearts, minds and souls. They belong to God and only Him. He is the Potter, we are the clay! I hope we can all yield ourselves to be formed by Him, doing His will, becoming the clay that He may mold!

My thoughts, prayers and heartfelt best wishes go with you and all those in the Brotherhood, and know that with Him, the wall that is between us can be torn down! I and many others look forward to that day! Peace,

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Name Withheld, 1/14/98: The problem with trying to forgive an organization, whether it's a Bruderhof or Germany or a school or hospital, is that the organization does not really exist. The organization seems to exist because it has a name and members, but actually it is a mythical beast. The organization is an idea in the minds of its founders and members (probably different in each person's mind) and a commitment by the members to share certain beliefs and practices with regard to this idea such as coming to work, or doing homework or whatever. One cannot forgive an idea. Ideas can be helpful and useful (Ecological concerns), or vicious and harmful (Nazi Party) or a confusing muddle of both (most organizations, churches included).

A sociologist once wrote an interesting book about how an organization will always protect and enhance itself before doing the work it is intended to do. (Hospitals protecting their reputation and fund-raising before doing the patient care, for instance). Churches get in trouble when this "we take care of us" point-of-view crowds out the "We're here to honor God and work for the kingdom of God." Augustine wrote a book called The City of God in which he tried to distinguish how the church and church people lived in both "The City of God" and in "the city of this world". In my opinion, the Bruderhof has confused the organizational idea "Bruderhof" with the "Kingdom of God", a mistake common to religions and dangerous for them.

Ideas cannot be forgiven, only judged to be useful and true, or harmful and false. The Bruderhof confuses the issue by their lip service to some Christian ideas that are useful and true while implementing ideas that are totalitarian and harmful.

"By their fruits ye shall know them." If an organization makes people live in love and harmony, and service to others, then its likely to be using skillful means. If a church is causing people to become mentally ill, fearful, and guilt-ridden, then it is not using skillful means, nor being "led by the Spirit," no matter what it claims.

By all means forgive individuals as they become forgivable because to carry a grudge "is like swallowing poison and hoping that your enemy will die" as someone once said, but one doesn't need to tie oneself in knots trying to forgive an idea. Forgive the length of the "sermon", but I thought it might be useful regarding the above postings.

1/21/98: Christian people are expected to function by Jesus' code of ethics, but institutions can't be "Christian," as much as they like to name themselves so. An institution can't make an act of faith or be baptized, or for that matter, even take a vow. The truly Christian Church, as I see it, is composed of all members of the Kingdom of Heaven, dead or alive, and are known only to God and/or folks in direct contact with God. The Kingdom of God, as I see it, is full of Buddhists, Moslems, Hindus, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and all the other religions that don't come to mind, who live by the "summary of the law" and love God and their neighbor. By that I mean real love, the kind that's life-giving, and health-giving, not the I-hurt-you-only-because-I-love-you counterfeit variety under which "christians" have been persecuting others through the centuries. Of course all "christian churches" ought to be full of really practicing Christians. About this a story:

A bishop met up with an agnostic friend who got talking about giving religion a try. He said to the bishop: "I'd join your church, except that there are so many hypocrites in it."

That's all right" said the bishop, "There's always room for one more"

The difficulty with trying to find the perfect church, or the perfect community, is that as soon as we join it, it's no longer perfect. One of the great failures of the Bruderhof is that, although they acknowledge they are fallible, imperfect human beings, they don't seem to make any allowances for it in their day-to-day relationships. There are no checks and balances to take care of the tendency of humans to persecute each other. God is expected to give them a perfect leader, and that will take care of everything. Well, God gave us one perfect leader and we crucified him, so now it's up to us to deal with imperfection, yes, even in the churches.

As you know, the history of religions reads like a battleground, and many religions have the same devotion to kindness and goodness the Christians profess. It seems to be a definite weakness in the human animal. Sad but true. So an institution can make restitution to those it has defrauded, but under no magic that I know of can an institution be other than a human fiction... hence my idea that it's a mythical beast. Note how unethical businesses "die" and then reincorporate under a new name and continue cheating people.

I have no objection to asking the Bruderhof to restore money it accepted under the false premises that the "Bruderhof takes care of its own." If it disowns its own without due process of any kind, it certainly owes them the money they gave them under that understanding. Or asking the Bruderhof to allow proper visitation of next-of-kin, etc... It's only "repentance" or "forgiveness" that it can't do because it's a mythical beast, and thus has no soul.

I enjoy the dialogue here. I've thought a lot of this stuff through with regard to my own church which, alas, is also an imperfect mythical beast, but we try to keep it tamed. Affectionately,

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---- Cease Fire in alt.support.bruderhof ----
Bill Peters in alt.support.bruderhof, 1/12/98: I received a phone call from Johann Christoph Arnold (Bruderhof Elder) yesterday. He informed me that the Bruderhof has no intention of suing me. The legal threat has been officially withdrawn. Christoph expressed a sincere desire for peace and reconciliation. He apologized for any hurt caused my family by the Bruderhof. I in turn apologized for any discomforts I may have caused him or others in the Bruderhof.

Christoph told me that when the Christmas greeting to KIT withdrawing legal actions was read before the Brotherhood, that there was great rejoicing and a hope of peace.

In Christoph's words "The wall in Berlin has come down! We should be able to do this."

Our conversation was friendly and relaxed. It was also too short and premature to discuss what vehicle might be used to gain this peace. I was asked to pass on a couple of personal messages, "if it would not be too much trouble". We ended our phone call on a friendly note and we agreed to keep in touch.

I am feeling unusually optimistic. I know there are more complicated issues than my own. I can only hope that there will be an effort soon to resolve all of these. Those who are aware of the aggressive stance which I have taken against the Bruderhof this last year may be puzzled by an apparent change in my attitude. All I can say is that every good soldier knows that it is in very bad taste to shoot at the guy with the white flag. "When the Tao is present in the universe, The horses haul manure. When the Tao is absent from the universe, War horses are bred outside the city. "There is no greater sin than desire, No greater curse than discontent, No greater misfortune than wanting something for oneself. Therefore he who knows that enough is enough will always have enough." Lao Tsu ca 600 B.C.

Blair, Margot and Emily Purcell,1/12/98: An amazing insight, about the wall. It can be done. There should be an opportunity for people of good will on each side to re-earn the respect of those on the other. Family contact, reasonably soon, will be an important factor in determining real motivation. We extend our hands and our hearts,
Wayne Chesley in alt.support.bruderhof, 1/14/98: This is a very hopeful sign. I look forward to the coming days. I can imagine there must have been "great rejoicing" in the brotherhood meeting. I would love to have been there to hear it. Maybe the Bruderhof will post some comments from members on this forum?

Christoph's analogy to the Berlin Wall has a lot of implications. Keep us posted. I should think if "the Wall" is coming down, it will be very reasonable to have discussions, so that everyone, inside and outside of the Bruderhof, will have a clear picture of what has gone on and what this "new beginning" is all about. Peace,

Blair Purcell in alt.support.bruderhof, 1/14/98: There has been an outpouring of enthusiasm about your phone call from Christoph Arnold. Now that he has taken the lead in seeking peace, we need to know what steps may be taken on our side to help reduce the tensions between the Bruderhof and its former members and their families. What does Christoph seek from us? Which next steps should we take?

Honestly, it is a little difficult to refocus our thoughts away from confrontation on the issues that have divided us (they still need resolution); how can we concentrate, instead, on the interests we have in common? I guess we are waiting for suggestions from the Elder. Perhaps it would be best to not discuss those divisive issues here.

Wayne Chesley in alt.support.bruderhof, 1/19/98: I think that when you realize, or have brought to your attention, a plain straight wrong that you have committed, then it's time to ask forgiveness and to try to make things right. If you have lied or attempted to deceive, then you must reveal the truth, if you have hurt or attempted to hurt, then you must go to the party you have hurt and ask their forgiveness.

It is not out of "unforgiveness" that I publish the truth about the Bruderhof, it is as a warning to others, and as a reminder to the Bruderhof that there is more to repentance than "I'm sorry". The Bruderhof must break the pattern of abuse and deception -of acting in hatred while speaking of Love. Bruderhofers must admit to the facts of their history, long past and recent, before real peace can be achieved.

Blair Purcell in alt.support.bruderhof, 1/16/98: It is interesting to note that JCA's Christmas letter was not addressed to Dr. Julius Rubin -- although an appeal of the dismissal of the suit which named him as a defendant in the $15 million "action" for defamation, etc. was withdrawn. Nor has the threat against Hilarion Braun (Mexican tourist, as described earlier in the December KIT) been withdrawn. Perhaps the elder could take a moment to reassure them that they, too, are safe from Bruderhof(tm) "action."

Hilarion Braun and Julius Rubin surely are deserving of the same consideration as Bill Peters, Ramon Sender and me. How about it Christoph?

When the Berlin Wall came down, as observed elsewhere, there was a great outpouring of joy AND residents on both sides of the wall began to intermingle and to joyfully visit BOTH sides of the former demarcation. Families, separated for decades, were able to reunite. In spite of a declaration of "peace" by the elder, there is no visitation. Yet.

The Bruderhof sued many of its former members and families a few years back; a separate issue from the suit recently dismissed in NY court. The suit was filed after COBI (an acronym for "Children of the Bruderhof International") requested a meeting with elder Christoph Arnold -- and did not receive the courtesy of a reply. That meeting did not take place; a lawsuit was filed against the group instead.

Were JCA's words in the conversation with Bill Peters a hollow mockery of their clear meaning? Many of us have extended our hands to the Bruderhof in response to those words self-described by JCA as a Christmas message; there has, however, been nothing further from he who uttered them. What next, JCA? What next?

Blair Purcell in alt.support.bruderhof, 1/19/98: Perhaps we, too, must make amends to the Bruderhof for the things we have publicly said, even though the things we've said are true or we believe them to me true. They have suffered in this "war" in many respects. At times, we have backed them into what they must feel as desperate corners.

We will never remake the Bruderhof as we would like to see it. They may, but we cannot. On the other hand, I think they realize the futility of trying to silence us and in this tense atmosphere, they have reached out a little bit. Encourage their efforts but let it be known that progress must be made -- we will speak out. And be ready, when appropriate, to make amends.

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Charlie Lamar, 1/26/98: Recently Ramon remarked that, "I keep having the feeling that the Bruderhof leaders feel they made a serious gesture by withdrawing the lawsuits and now are expecting something from us, but I don't know what it is. And it's hard to figure it out if they block e-mail access to most of us!" I don't think its hard to figure. Christoph wants what he has always wanted: he wants us to "say nice things about them and buy their books." That is to say, Christoph wants our souls. At this point Christoph hopes Ramon will bite on the desire for reconciliation to the extent that he will compromise KIT.

I was not inclined to take the card about dropping the lawsuits in the "Christmas Spirit" at face value, just as I am not inclined to take literally the "green marketing" of Chevron Oil. The withdrawal of the lawsuit at Christmas may have been a "serious gesture," but not a benign one, in my opinion. It was a well-considered tactical maneuver made after receiving Ramon's deposition and just in time to forestall their having to give any depositions. Dave is right -- they never intended any lawsuits to come to trial. I'll bet they maneuvered to make Ramon's deposition fall in December so their withdrawal could come at just that dramatic moment. They are easily smart enough to have thought that game plan through. So the Brotherhood cheered when they heard Christoph's Christmas card... What would you expect? What would have happened if they hadn't?

One of the things I remember from my few years in the Bruderhof that I very much appreciated was that I was not exposed to too much smarmy talk about love and forgiveness all the time. Some of these recent communications make me sick. To approach a Bruderhofer through his Christianity or to accept such an approach on his part is not the best course, in my opinion, because it involves hypocrisy on both sides. I suggest approaching them with respect, but with no assumptions or pretensions.

Nevertheless a natural desire or even a conscious decision to take Christoph's Christmas gesture at face value, together with the recent forgiveness discussions on the Hummer and alt.support.bruderhof, well typify the desire of many ex-bruderhofers to be "harmless as doves." But to be harmless is only half an injunction. To be harmless it is necessary to be wise. To be positive is not necessarily to be good. I believe that a harmless dove wise as a serpent would simply continue to hold up the mirror of publication steadily so that the actions of all both in and out of the Bruderhof will continue to be reflected back upon themselves, and everyone eventually get what they need for their growth and healing. My suggestion is that Peregrine keep publishing KIT so as to reflect accurately what is going on; so as to reflect what everyone both in and out of the Bruderhof has to say, but not try to manage or influence the situation in any way at all other than that.

The Bruderhof needs to be reminded that we print all the Bruderhof input we can get. I want to see Christoph in every issue. However I hope we can make it clear to Christoph, and everyone else for that matter, that KIT editorial policies are solidly established, automatic and institutional, not a matter of which way the wind happens to be blowing at the moment. Christoph need to imbibe deeply of the idea that no matter what approach he takes to any one individual, nothing will change regarding the publication of KIT. Free speech about the Bruderhof is here to stay. -- Even if he sues us. -- Even if they move to Cuba. The point should also be made that we print all their doings we find out about, not just some. If they want to change their image they must change what they do.

Trying to be helpful and fix the Bruderhof from the outside may well be the legitimate business of any individual who wants to make attempting to fix what's wrong with the Bruderhof his or her affair. Trying to fix the Bruderhof might also be the legitimate business of any properly constituted or dedicated group, such as another post-bruderhof church, although Peregrine couldn't sponsor the endeavor. It would also be entirely proper for any individual involved with KIT to make whatever accommodation to the Bruderhof he or she might personally wish to make. But I think it would be entirely improper, however, for any individual or subset of individuals such as KIT staff or Peregrine Board to make an accommodation that would compromise the rights of others. -- One reason is that KITfolk are not a community in the Bruderhofian sense of the word, the kind of community that can compromise as a unit. -- Another reason, pertaining to editorial policy, is that Peregrine would thereby default on its mission of revealing to the world the nature of experimental groups if the Bruderhof or anyone else got censorship rights, either expressed or implied, on what gets into print. So (once again) if any KITfolk were to form themselves into the kind of (representative) organization that could compromise, strike a deal or make an accommodation with the Bruderhof, that organization would have to be legally, indeed morally, separate from Peregrine which must needs preserve KIT editorial neutrality or fail in its mission.

The desire for formal dialogue or mediated negotiations with the Bruderhof which come up so often also typifies the desire of ex-bruderhofers to be harmless, helpful and positive. But I believe that all the attempts at mediated negotiations so far have been misguided. They would not have been misguided, in my opinion, had they been undertaken on behalf of any one individual or properly constituted group. But there is no group. Since we didn't actually form COB first before opening negotiations, in the attempted COB negotiations we put the cart before the horse. Maybe a "Christian Coalition," if we have one could undertake to form itself into an actual group on par with the Bruderhof, but such a religious group certainly would have to be entirely independent, not connected with Peregrine at all.

But the reason I don't think Peregrine should be connected with a formal, mediated dialogue process is that the KIT newsletter already is dialogue with the Bruderhof. We print every Bruderhof word we can get. We got sued for printing a Bruderhof letter. Any further initiative involving the president of Peregrine or editor of KIT to open a more formal dialogue or negotiation process automatically throws into play an implication that KIT editorial policy might be negotiable with regard to Bruderhof interests; that through negotiations the Bruderhof might conceivably get some kind of handle on their publicity other than the one they already actually have in view of the fact that we print what they actually do and say as well as what we actually do and say.

KIT is dialogue. KIT editorial policy is the mediator. Right from the beginning, with the helpful input of Doug and Ruby Moody, the Bruderhof did help formulate KIT editorial policy constructively, that is to say in the direction of evenhandedness and fairness. Reality based dialogue with the public through the media (in this case, KIT) is all the Bruderhof or any other organization has a right to expect. Anything else would amount to some kind of attempt at a "fix" of the situation, some kind of a deal. I don't think that Peregrine or KIT (editorially) should be involved in any way with any attempts either to help or hurt the Bruderhof.

Bruderhof survivors are often conflicted in various ways. They may want to protect relatives still living; they may want to protect the memory of relatives long dead; they may want to protect an ideal image of the Bruderhof, or a certain concept of what's wrong with the Bruderhof; they may want to protect themselves from learning too much too fast about themselves individually. Repeatedly newsletter policy has become the focus of attempts to advance these and other specific goals, usually but not always, by excluding certain things from being printed. In my opinion, Peregrine and KIT policy should both be well independent of these types of pressures from the KIT process, as well as from legal or other worse pressures from the Bruderhof. To fulfill its mission Peregrine needs to reflect the whole truth of the situation to the world.

Most recently KIT faced pressures not to print various contributions or news items because printing them might reflect badly on outside KITfolk, subject Ramon or others to further lawsuits, or reflect adversely on our current legal position; even simply because printing something didn't serve the specific purpose of defending the lawsuits. The Peregrine Board is trying to get its act together to protect the KIT process from adverse pressures. Here I would say, any suggestions or advice as to getting our house in order gratefully accepted!

I believe that if we all withstand the pressures and play our parts well, through the activities of KITfolk, scholars, interested observers and the media in general, the whole world may well learn a great deal from the Bruderhof experience. To outside observers the Bruderhof story may appear to follow a familiar pattern. KITfolk know why it's unique.

But as concerns the hope of reforming the Bruderhof, I do believe that this principle always applies, whether the institution in question be a political party, one of the Christian churches, a major world religion, the armed forces, a school system, a corporation, a cell in the militia movement, the Ku Klux Klan, whatever. Media scrutiny and exposure (KIT is certainly a part of the media) eventually bring whatever institution is under scrutiny up to a reciprocal relation with the general ethics of the rest of society -- either that or usher the institution into oblivion. All groups that do not keep pace with the evolution of society in general eventually bite the dust.

Sic Transit Gloria Wombat, but science, philosophy and religion always survive the crash. Here's to science, philosophy and religion in our lives and in KIT!

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Art Rosenblum, 1/18/98: I was reading KIT and saw Christoph's letter so I called to congratulate him on the changes they are making. I did not manage to speak with him but heard him on the speaker system. Almost next day, I get a personal letter saying: Dear Art, Happy New Year. Hope you are well. We are in the midst of baptism preparation. Thank you for your congratulation that changes are taking place at Woodcrest. This is what always makes life exciting. As long as I have lived in Woodcrest there have always been changes, and hopefully the year 1998 will be even more exciting.

You have probably heard about my Christmas card to KIT. I really meant it; it came from my heart. In the meantime I have made peace with Bill Peters. That was a wonderful experience. Bill, by the way, started by apologizing for his part, and that is why peace came so quickly. In the meantime, others have contacted me pretty much demanding the same peace but they are not willing to see the guilt on their part. You know, Art, tell the people like Ramon and Blair Purcell and Mike LeBlanc that we have been very hurt ourselves, and that is one of the reasons we had to take such a hard line with regard to visiting our burial ground.

Art: Well the rest was "just for me" so there's no need to publish it here. He ended with:
Let's stay in touch
Johann Christoph Arnold.

Having just talked with Andreas Meier, I sent Andreas the following for Christoph:

Dear Andreas, great to speak with you yesterday and I was very surprised to receive a personal letter from Christoph today ! That was very quick. By now you have my e-mail about the new energy, new physics. I know your dad would have loved it. Let me know what you think. It will be broadcast to 500 million people and later I hope to work with Radio for Peace in other ways, perhaps with programs about community, but I think Judy and I first have to find one to join.

I really want to trust that we are coming into a new era with regard to our relations with the members who have left, and that with a real spirit of reconciliation in the communities, many will return, communities will grow, and with those who do not soon return we will establish a really friendly relationship. I personally know that I was called by God to the Bruderhof at the age of 14. But I also know quite well that I was called to other tasks at a later age. (I was given a clear vision of that double calling at age 15.) I see it as very important for a community to have a serious commitment on the part of its members to stick together and fight through all that separates. That is the way it should be. I still respect my commitment which is why I have continued to communicate all these years even at times when I was not treated respectfully at all.

I believe that the calling to remain with one community all one's life is at times, for some people, a human concept. That does not make it a wrong concept at all, any more than human love is wrong. However, I have also experienced as a certainty that God who has the power to call us to the way of the Bruderhof can then at times call us to a different way, not a way of opposition to Jesus or the community, but yet a different way of serving. That does not mean that all who have left are still serving Jesus, but is it for us to judge? I believe we have to leave that to Jesus who knows our deepest secrets.

And so as Christoph wrote to me in his personal letter, I intend to challenge the other readers of KIT to take his words seriously. I may send part of his letter on to KIT, but not the part he said was only for my information. (And here I might add that He wrote: "One of YOUR people (emphasis mine) had the audacity to ..." Well, I don't know for sure what happened there, but I don't feel that person was one of "MY" people. I would certainly not have condoned that action of disrespect. However, I'll say nothing further about it as I see no need. I expect Christoph was not aware of what his word "your" implied.

Finally, he writes, "Let's stay in touch" and I fully intend to do that as I have all these years. Peace and love,
Art Rosenblum
Aquarian Research Foundation (Finding ways to a positive future for the earth since 1969)
5620 Morton St.
Philadelphia, PA 19144-1330
(215) 849-1259 or 849-3237 day/eve.

P.S. Judy says: "Ask them if they will let us come to the Bruderhof if we can't find another community which would be right for us. We definitely want to return to community this year."

Now just a note for KIT readers on what's happening with us. The real big thing is finding out that a scientist right near here has made the startling discovery that this planet has the gift of abundant clean energy, and it's only because of a fundamental error in physics that we have not realized that a century or more ago. Scientists worldwide assumed that hydrogen atoms as we know them are at their lowest energy level, and that is not so. The amazing find now is that there are two forms of hydrogen, a low energy form which is an inert gas and a high energy form which is the common hydrogen we know, almost never found in a free state because of its high level of activity. Low energy hydrogen combines with nothing and goes off into space as soon as it is produced so is not usually found here.

We now know how to convert high energy hydrogen atoms to low energy atoms and when that happens a tremendous amount of energy is released without any radioactivity or pollution. It can be done efficiently on a small scale so no big power plants are needed. I happened to reach the inventor, Dr. Randell Mills at just the right time, and taped three interviews with him by phone and one in person.

These interviews along with Dr. Mills' Australian patent and his bio will be published in full in a magazine devoted to new energies at the end of January. I'll have copies available for any donation.

Then even bigger Radio for Peace International called me and when I told them about this discovery Richard Schneider decided on a radio program using my interviews. The tapes are now being edited and translated in Costa Rica where their transmitter is at the University for Peace, a U.N. operation. The interviews and story will be broadcast in 70 languages to 500 Million people, 10 % of the planet! You can e-mail me for the text of the radio broadcast.

At the same time we are seriously looking for a community to join, Judy and I and Joel, all in good health. Joel is almost 13, a homeschooled computer whiz just re-writing the Declaration of Independence in simple language. April at 18 is already in an anarchist community, asst. editor of a newspaper.

I flew my 1958 Cessna to Cuba a couple times and had a hard time with our government over that, but we're working it out now. Cuba is wonderful, poor but much happier than we are told. Only folks wanting to be rich would leave there now. It's far freer and healthier than Paraguay with one worker in every six a college grad and about the best free health care in the world.

With the new energy soon to be known worldwide, and the likelihood of a very hard time for big government and business because of major computer problems by year 2000, we're going to have a lot of excitement, serious problems, and a great need to return to community of many kinds.

So I want to encourage all of you to re-think your original commitment to communal living and, whether to the Bruderhof or not, find your way back to a loving, sharing way of life.

To change yourself and the planet, always, and in everything, visualize, then expect the very best. But be prepared to take what you get. The best might come afterwards. Peace and love,

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Janet Stevens, to Steve Kriss, Editor of Christian Living, 12/3/98: The article by Sam Hine on the Bruderhof distressed and dismayed me. The picture of Christoph with Pope John was saccharinely sickening. I knew Christoph back when, and read of his actions more recently. Such an article should not be accepted for publication without learning of the "other side," of those who were sent away without warning nor opportunity to prepare. No doubt Sam is a member, possibly a "Witness Brother." The ideals are talked of, but the life does not come near them.

No doubt you visited one or more hofs, as I did, as a visitor, being shown the best. Later I was a long-term guest for nearly two years, participating in the day-to-day life, giving my life to that life, and even preparing for membership. I also learned the deceits, the deceptions, of the power structure. On missing a staunch, long-term member, I questioned about her absence. I was told, "It is not spoken of." Seeing children of the Servant of the Word raid the kitchen, taking supplies allowed to others only minimally, seeing them drink glass after glass from the whole milk cooler, shorting the supply for the Baby House.

I could name names, instances of cruelty, of the abuse of children by one in authority, but I won't. Instead, I'll ask the KIT Information Service, set up to let ex-Bruderhofers Keep In Touch, to send you their latest mailing... Yes, I'm disappointed at what I feel is your gullibility. Otherwise, I have enjoyed the Christian Living materials. Truly,

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Blair Purcell, 1/19/98: Speaking of actions taken which might open someone to being sued: I wonder if it is actionable to attempt to smear an individual in regards to his professional reputation as an author and a teacher. The following was recently posted to the book review section of the Amazon on-line bookstore on the Internet. It seems to me to be an unusually clumsy and anonymous (takes courage, that) effort to suggest to Amazon that they should not carry a particular book. It reminds me of the book-burning efforts of the Nazis in Germany prior to WW II.

Reviews and Commentary for The Other Side of Joy: Religious Melancholy Among the Bruderhof

A Reader f/ Albany, N.Y., 11/01/97, rating = 1:
I would rather read the Readers Digest then this book. Professor Julius Rubin should be ashamed about this book. To me it is garbage because he writes about something he does not know anything about. To top it all of [sic] this comes under the name of Scholar ship. I pity all those students who study under him at St. Joseph's College in Hartford. I have read the manuscript and it was a complete waste of my time. They are being greatly deceived. Julius Rubin should give them all a refund for the tuition they have paid. A book to be ignored.

Blair: The level of maturity and "Scholar ship" exhibited by the reviewer demonstrates the clarity of thought which went into the review. Obviously, the reviewer has sharpened his/her mind by perusing The Reader's Digest" (as claimed) for a loonnnnng time.

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Julius Rubin, 1/22/98: Recently, while browsing on Amazon.com, an Internet bookseller, I happened upon a review of my yet-to-be-published book, The Other Side of Joy. An anonymous reviewer from Albany, NY, posted "customer comments" on November 1, 1997. It is not possible for this person to have read my manuscript. How could anyone write a review of a work they have not yet read? I question the intellectual honesty of a person who would issue such an unsigned personal and professional attack.

I pray that this person will come forward and make his or her identity known to me so that we might come to forgiveness and love.

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Andy Harries, 1/1/98: Just a short note. Michael Caine has told me to make a correction to something I wrote in KIT some months ago. Michael says, "Wheathill was not sold to Mr. Boswell. Wheathill was stolen from us. Mr. Boswell did not buy it."

I am very glad that the Bruderhof representatives have now withdrawn their threats with lawsuits, etc. -- at least I hope it is over. I don't believe it is any charity or goodwill on their part. They have just been forced to see that their attempts to crush freedom and free speech have failed again. There is no law against free speech and expressing one's opinions. After all, America is supposed to be the bastion of individual freedom.

It is actually somehow strange. Over here in England, this whole business with KIT, and the Bruderhof trying to stop it, seems to far away, so remote, and yet it is also very close because it involves us all a great deal. KIT brings us all together in a unique way, and what happens to KIT affects us all, anywhere in the world. I want to say again, 'Thank you to the KIT staff and all who are involved with making it a success, and that includes all those who contribute letters. We are a group of free people, so we do not all agree in everything, but that is just what makes KIT live, not some kind of pretend unity, as we see on the Bruderhof.

Many people who have known my sister Ruthie over the years may be wondering what has happened to her since she escaped from the Bruderhof, which was nearly two years ago. Just to say very briefly, she is living in Northamptonshire in England. She is of course married to John Arnold and is doing just fine. This was after being engaged to him for 36 years -- that must be just about a record! In all that time, she never gave up and she had amazing belief that they would one day, somehow, find each other against and be united. Over all those years, the Bruderhof did their best to stop them seeing each other or having any kind of contact. God (Heini) had said that must never be allowed to see each other again.

The Bruderhof did not seem too pleased when she escaped, and they hounded her all over the USA wherever they thought she might be hiding. The were obviously trying to capture her and take her back by force to (prison), which included chasing after her by car. They also got the police to do their dirty work for them, even getting Interpol to hunt for her twice in England and goodness knows where else. Fortunately we got her out of America quickly (not an easy matter because the Bruderhof keep all members' papers and passports or visas under lock and key), and they failed in their attempts to capture her.

Well, this short note has gotten a bit longer than planned! I am sitting at home at 9:45 A.M. looking out of the window on New Year's Day on a lovely, cold, sunny morning. It is quiet and peaceful. I expect most people are still in bed or suffering from a hangover. No such problems here! I just want to wish everybody a Happy New Year. Greetings,

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Born Hutterite
A film review by Ruth Baer Lambach

The film Born Hutterite opens with dramatic mountain scenes of western Alberta. In the foreground, in sharp contrast to these jagged mountains lies the plain, horizontal and unremarkable, yet characteristic architecture of a Hutterite Colony, Pincher Creek Colony. A boy in black clothes runs across a fallow field with a bundle under his arm. He stops at the road, hurriedly takes off his Hutterite clothes and dons worldly ones, leaving the black ones lie by the side as he hails an approaching car which stops to pick him up and take him out of and away from the colony, into the world.

Thus set, the documentary explores the relationship of three runawaysweggelaufene from Hutterite Colonies. Sam Hofer and Mary Wipf and to a lesser degree, John Wipf, speak openly and answer questions frankly about their belief in God, their dissatisfaction with colony life, what aspects of colony life they miss, and finally, why they can never go back. Through words and pictures we also get a glimpse at their struggles and joys with life on the outside.

With old photos and interviews the stories of Mary and Sam are told. Moving back and forth between the two major stories, the opinions, beliefs and feelings of current colony members toward those who leave, is carefully recorded. These members come across as fairly articulate and certainly sure about their belief system. They, like most Hutterites, respond frankly and openly to questions from the interviewers. While one does not hear the questions it is obvious that the questions have been given with a sense of respect and in the spirit of providing some insights into what could be thorny issues filled with hostility and recrimination. The movie is decidedly void of hostility. Everyone is quite polite. (For Canadians trying to figure out how Canadians differ from Americans, I suggest politeness may be a key.)

Mary left the Colony with 11 children and an alcoholic husband when she could not get the Colony to acknowledge that her husband had a drinking problem and needed more than praying to Jesus to help control the problem. She currently lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and works as a licensed practical nurse. Sam, a writer and publisher of cookbooks and his two collections of short stories, left because he could not get answers to his questions about life and various aspects of religion. He was a seeker and as such was not exactly at home in a pre-ordained, tightly structured Hutterite Colony that does not encourage the original thinking that leads to questioning the system.

There's a poignancy in both of their responses to the question about how they relate to their relatives who are still in the colonies. According to Mary, her line of children will simply be dropped out of the Hutterite genealogy. This is shunning at its most painful. Sam knows that his nieces and nephews will not get to know him as a person but will only know that he is 'out there' someplace. He has been adopted by an interested outsider in whose family he functions as a member. Mary, with some 30 grandchildren and hundreds of ex-Hutterite neighbors, has a sizeable support system outside of the colony in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

It is clear that the Hutterite system could not respond to the needs of these two people. The questions that arise for this reviewer are: "Does a communal society owe it to its members to prepare them to live in a radically different culture? Can it do so and still perpetuate its way of life?"

I think not. Deviance from the norm must always be an option, but an option that entails risks and those who deviate must be prepared to consider the risks. Sam, Mary, John and this reviewer evidently find greater meaning in a life filled with questions, ambiguities and challenges than a life of certainty, security and order. I wonder if one can even demand that the insiders respect the outsiders' choices? If they could, why would they remain inside? While one might wish and hope that the insiders would have at least as much love, respect and kindness toward the outsiders as a parent has for a child that makes radically different choices, I'm not sure that committed people with a very clear, narrow and solid vision, can afford this openness in their thinking. Best wishes,

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-------- Book Reviews --------

Torches Extinguished: Memories Of A Communal Bruderhof Childhood In Paraguay, Europe, And The USA
by Elizabeth Bohlken-Zumpe
San Francisco: Carrier Pigeon Press, 1993. Women From Utopia Series. Appendix, index, maps; xxii + 300 pp.

Free From Bondage: After Forty Years On Bruderhof Communities On Three Continents
by Nadine Moonje Pleil
San Francisco: Carrier Pigeon Press, 1994. Women from Utopia Series; 370 pp.
Reviewed by Thomas Mansheim
Reprinted from Communal Societies, the journal of The Communal Studies Association."

In the film Rashamon by the great Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa, four people involved in a rape-murder tell varying accounts of what happened. Each of the four versions offers a different perspective and even conflicting facts. Yet, because their stories conflict, at least three of the four characters must be lying. Current views of the Bruderhof raise the same kind of questions that Kurosawa posed in Rashamon . Widely varying perspectives and conflicting facts and judgments give rise to very different and often incompatible views of this religious group. These three books, two by former members of the Bruderhof and one by a leading communal scholar and present-day kibbutz member, form part of the growing literature on the Bruderhof.

The books by Elizabeth Bohlken-Zumpe and Nadine Moonje Pleil, former members of the Bruderhof, in particular present a view dramatically different from the image that the Bruderhof itself would like the outside world to perceive. Unless one accepts the postmodernist view that objective truth is not possible (which this reviewer does not), the clash of fact and interpretation raises some obvious questions.

As the English might say, on a controversial question like this, it is necessary to state one's interest. For the past seven years, due to a personal connection with a former Bruderhof member, I have been privileged to attend all of the annual meetings of the group of former Bruderhof members connected together by the newsletter KIT. I was accepted, not as a social scientist studying the group from the outside, but as a participant in the group. In fact, I had no initial intention of studying or writing about the Bruderhof. This followed only after six KIT conferences, many interviews and conversations with former Bruderhof members and their spouses, companions, and relatives, and extensive reading of Bruderhof and former Bruderhof materials. My contact with Bruderhof members was more limited, but it included visits to three Bruderhof communities and numbers of conversations with Bruderhof members at Communal Studies Association conferences.

I will start with a story. My first visit to a Bruderhof took place after the first KIT conference in 1990. I was driving three former members back to New York city when they asked if I would stop at Woodcrest, the Bruderhof headquarters, on the way. I knew little at this point about the details of the Bruderhof experience. The personal experiences shared among former members had shocked and stunned me, but I had little basis except human empathy to evaluate the experience. On the way into the Woodcrest commune we stopped in the cemetery. Row upon row of small gravestones greeted me as my companions spoke of one or the other of their former communal brothers and sisters. Not yet aware of any of this history, my eye was drawn to a very large headstone in the cemetery. No other stone came close to it in size. Who was Heinrich Arnold, I asked? Nervously, my companions answered that he was the key leader of the Bruderhof during the period when most of the former members were forced out of the group. I could not help but think of George Orwell's novel, Animal Farm, where everyone was equal, but some were more equal than others.

So while my perspective largely supports the view expressed in these two books, it is based on my informal participation as described above and participation as one of several editors in preparing a book of interviews of former members of the Bruderhof who offered corroborating evidence for the views expressed in these books.

Elizabeth Bohlken-Zumpe's father, Hans Zumpe, was the son-in-law of Eberhard Arnold (the founder of the Bruderhof) and Arnold's personal choice to succeed him as leader of the Bruderhof. Zumpe had distinguished himself in confronting the Nazis and moving the Bruderhof from Germany to England to Paraguay in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Following the establishment of a Bruderhof presence in the USA in 1954, a simmering conflict with Eberhard Arnold's son, Heinrich, came to a head in 1960, when it became known that Zumpe was involved in an adulterous relationship. During the process of the struggle for leadership in the Bruderhof, not only was Zumpe (probably expectedly) expelled from the group, but a process of "group cleansing" was put into motion that resulted in the expulsion of a substantial percentage of the total Bruderhof membership, the closing of the Paraguay communities, and the moving of the remaining members to England and the USA.

Bohlken-Zumpe's book is particularly valuable for the amount of information it conveys about this period from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s. The Bruderhof has vilified Zumpe, who died in a plane crash in 1973, and continues to assert that he was "unrepentant" for his actions. Elizabeth Bohlken-Zumpe offers convincing evidence that her father made repeated efforts to contact his wife, efforts that were blocked by the Bruderhof. She was herself expelled from the Bruderhof in a traumatizing fashion that was typical for many. Bohlken-Zumpe's life has centered around coming to terms with the loss caused by her expulsion, with challenging the Bruderhof version of her father, and with the reality of being denied the right to have any personal contact with her mother, who remains in the Bruderhof. Elizabeth Bohlken-Zumpe has written a moving book that sheds valuable light on one part of the Bruderhof's history. Of the books under review, this would probably be one of most interest to someone not familiar with the Bruderhof.

One of the valuable parts of this book that I found very useful was a foreword by the well-known historian Staughton Lynd, who sympathetically but fairly evaluates some of the Rashamon-like questions that arise in accounts of this sort. Lynd himself had a brief connection with the Bruderhof and has maintained contact with both present members and ex-members over the years. His analysis of these questions gives "added value" to this already moving and revealing memoir.

Family values is a concept often associated with conservative religious groups. Given the Bruderhof's traditional formal version of Christianity, outsiders might be forgiven the expectation that family values are a Bruderhof strong point. Nadine Moonje Pleil, in Free from Bondage, describes in a personal narrative her life in the Bruderhof. Placed by her mother as a nine-year-old in the Bruderhof, she joined the church, married, and raised a family, before being expelled in 1980. Nadine Pleil writes a painful account of how the bonds between parent and child are torn asunder by a totalitarian religious group. The demands of the group displace the normal marriage and parental bonds, according to Pleil, while the sense of self is loosened and attenuated. Slowly and painfully, the bonds between parents and children were sundered. One daughter refused contact with her parents for twelve years when she reached adulthood. According to Pleil's account, actions that would be incomprehensible outside the Bruderhof take on a twisted logic within. With great courage, Pleil and her family discovered that they could rebuild the bonds that were ruptured in the Bruderhof, and went on to build a successful life on the outside.

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The Witness of the Brothers:
A History of the Bruderhof

by Yaacov Oved
New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1996. 342 pp. $39.95.
Reviewed by Calvin Redekop
Reprinted From Utopian Studies, Journal Of The Society For Utopian Studies, Vol. 8, #2 1997

Eberhard and Emily Arnold, typically idealistic German youth, became disillusioned by the direction German religion and society were taking after World War I. Searching for a better way, they proceeded to put their ideals into action which resulted in the Society of Brothers, modeled after the communal ideals of the New Testament and Anabaptist/Hutterite example. It encountered opposition and hostility almost immediately after its formation, and finally expulsion from Germany by the newly entrenched Nazi regime.

The Society of Brothers (hereafter TSOB)1 receives vast mounts of attention, partly because of this dramatic beginning, and its "radical utopian" call to community and community of goods, in large measure achieved not however without engendering massive amounts of agony and conflict. This attention comes especially from former members, but also from the communitarians and communal and utopian scholars.2

But there is one special group of people for whom this movement has a special attraction, namely the Jewish community. One reason is the TSOB experience with the Nazi regime, predicting in a small way the future horror of the Jewish experience in the Holocaust. But more to the point, there have been considerable contacts between the TSOB and the Kibbutz movement in Israel because of numerous quite similar goals and the resultant interest in learning from each other.3

It is this more particular context which provides a perspective from which to understand and evaluate Yaacov Oved's work The Witness of the Brothers. And, as we shall see later, there is much to commend in Oved's approach and substantive analysis. However, there are other perspectives from which to view TSOB. This reviewer takes the perspective of a trained social scientist shared with Oved, but, in contrast to the author, takes the perspective of the Anabaptist/Mennonite tradition. This will provide not only a basis for the evaluation of Oved's book but also of the analysis of TSOB phenomenon which follows.4

Oved's objective in his research on the TSOB and the book was that "there existed an objective need for a work that would review the movement's history" (vii). The sentence syntax causes a basic ambiguity which is not resolved throughout the book--is the author saying there is an "objective" (i.e. obvious) need for the history, or is he saying that his work is "objective" -- that is unbiased? My reading of The Witness of the Brothers suggests the latter, which provides for the provocativeness of his presentation and its difficulties.

Oved is partially correct in speaking to the need for a history. There have already been numerous histories produced, including "in-house" histories, such as Emmy Arnold's Torches Together, Merrill Mow's Torches Rekindled, and others, some of which are listed in Oved's very brief bibliography. Not-in-house works which have partial and brief histories include Benjamin Zablocki's The Joyful Community, and Ulrich Eggers, Community for Life, and the forthcoming The Other Side of Joy by Julius Rubin. Nevertheless The Witness of the Brothers provides the first inclusive historical overview of the movement, though there are aspects which are better documented and explained in other sources (this will become apparent below).5

The author presents the multifaceted aspects of the movement's beginnings and expansion, which gives for the first time a comprehensive overview of the movement. One of the new and very helpful pieces is the history of the relationship of TSOB to the Kibbutz movement in Israel. The explorations of possible cooperation are fascinating, and reflect the power of ideological factors in directing and limiting fraternal relationships.

But inexplicably Oved does not discuss the relationship between TSOB and the International Communal Studies Association, which represents the gamut of intentional communities, and is strongly supported by the Kibbutz organizations in Israel. This has been an important forum for TSOB to relate to other movements, but has served mainly to evangelize others to join their community.6

Oved explicates the long and stormy relations with the Hutterites, which clearly shows how historical experiences and practices, which produce a sub-culture, predestined the attempts at merger to fail. Even though both movements derived from New Testament and Anabaptist commitments, the differences in historical context, and the traditions that had emerged on the side of the Hutterites, made amalgamation practically impossible. One example: "The Bruderhof felt that modernization was vital for attracting new members [but the] Hutterites on the other hand, felt that the desire to grow was distancing them from the Hutterite way" (191).

Unhappily, Oved does not deal with the TSOB's considerable relations with the broader Anabaptist/Mennonite community. For example in Brothers Unite extensive correspondence with Mennonite leaders such as Harold S. Bender and John Horsch and others are recorded. There were increasing connections between Mennonite, Church of the Brethren and other "Free Church" members especially in the 1950s to 1970s during the "communal" movement. Granted, one book cannot deal with every issue, but these still were important for the explication of TSOB story.

But the question whether this is an objective history as well as a sociological treatise7 provides the grounds for some significant dialogue with the author. In the "Introduction" Oved proposes that TSOB poses a "spacial [sic--special?] communal wisdom... in which they have succeeded in the harmonious integration of seemingly contradictory elements" (3).8 Then Oved the social scientist presents a provocative and comprehensive list of contradictory factors and elements which TSOB apparently managed, which includes for example "charismatic leadership with the involvement of the entire community in decision-making [sic] by consensus" (3), all of which TSOB supposedly solved harmoniously.

But reading the book, certainly if one has other sources of information about the TSOB, especially personal experiences with members and ex-members of TSOB, my response is "Wait a minute -- Harmonious?" (I suspect the many "ex-TSOB" people will object even more vigorously.) Describing the story of the TSOB as one of "harmonious integration of contradictory elements" stretches the meaning of harmonious considerably. I suspect what gives the author the reason to use the term/concept is that the TSOB has survived for such a long time -- and he says as much, "One of the most striking phenomena [sic] I encountered in the history of the movement was its ability to withstand all the tests of change and still remain true to the values and beliefs that were laid down at its inception and shaped its way of life" (6).

Longevity is clearly a badge of success, a highly prized goal of communal and utopian movements,9 and I suspect that is one of the reasons the Hutterites and TSOB have received such good press in intentional community/utopian literature. But this should not deflect us from careful and "objective" analysis.

We will return to the issue of "harmonious" later. The more basic question is, "Did the TSOB, in spite of serious testing, manage to 'remain true to its values and beliefs'?" I submit that one of the major difficulties with accepting Oved's historical overview is that TSOB did in fact change dramatically over time, failing to remain true to its original values and goals. Zablocki in his extensive research in fact suggests that TSOB went through six stages -- from "Communion" led by a charismatic leader (1920-1926), to "Church community" with relative affluence (67ff). One does not have to accept Zablocki's specific schema, although it is convincing, to agree that the movement has changed extensively.

Eberhard Arnold's major objective for the "Bruderhof," not yet a society, was to live fully in community in order to continue the New Testament practice of total "community of goods" -- "We must live in community by the same Spirit that has led to community since the days of biblical prophecy and early Christianity" (Why We Live in Community, 9, 25) and to affiliate totally with the Hutterites (Emmy Arnold, Torches Together) carrying on the Anabaptist tradition who continued the New Testament practices (Why We Live, 8).

Eberhard Arnold's goal of total union with Anabaptism via the Hutterites is indicated as follows: "We ask you to take our Bruderhof as a most humble daughter colony like an adopted child and set us up and equip us" (Oved, 56). Both goals were pursued for a time. But subsequent history of TSOB offers copious data indicating that the original goals were slowly forsaken; only several illustrations among many can be dealt with here.

One is suggested by the author in chapter 8, which describes the dilemma TSOB faced during "the crisis years" (the late 1950s - 1960s) between adherence to the Hutterite scriptures and the doctrine of Eberhard Arnold and religious syncretism that combined a number of scriptures -- socialist, Christian, and even catholic (209). Thus TSOB not only faced a dilemma, it created drastic changes in the basic self-understanding and goals, due at least in part to the variety of social and theological orientations the converts who had joined the movement brought with them. These differing orientations were reflected in leadership struggles. One example expanded below deals with the question: Were descendants of Arnold the authentic leaders, or were others eligible, and on what basis?

Another example which must have caused Eberhard Arnold to turn in his grave, was the recent attempt by grandson Johann Christoph Arnold10 to nurture relations and affiliations with the Catholic "Integrierte Gemeinde" and to establish relationship with the Roman Catholic Pope in 1995: "It would be a great gift from God if Pope John Paul II and I could offer each other the hand and embrace each other as a sign of reconciliation and forgiveness for the terrible persecutions our Hutterian church has been suffering in the past" (Oved, 320).

Aside from some curious inconsistencies such as the fact that there had already been a total break in communication and fellowship between the Hutterites and TSOB so that Johann Christoph Arnold could in no way speak officially, it is almost inconceivable that Eberhard Arnold, from his vantage point, or anyone representing historic Anabaptism either early or late, would have considered this a necessary means to achieve the original or authentic goals.11

Another deviance from the original vision, which has been receiving almost sensational notoriety is the estrangement and alienation between members that TSOB experienced almost from the beginning, but certainly pronounced during and after the Primavera days.12 Even a casual reading of the classic Why We Live in Community shows how emphatically Eberhard and Emmy Arnold believed that the secret of community lies in the freedom of self-determination, in the personal decision of each member to surrender to the whole and, at the same time, to exercise his will for the good. In a community of deeply moved people who believe in the Spirit the freedom of the individual lies in the free decision of the united will brought about by the Spirit. Working from within each member as the will for the good, freedom becomes unanimity and concord. (22)

The evidence is incontrovertible that there was massive crushing of individual freedom and self-respect, resulting in many injustices. But the intent here is not to try to adjudicate blame for the unresolved issues of responsibility, guilt and need for restitution, on the part of TSOB as well as the ex-members, but to argue that this state of affairs was not envisioned by the Arnolds, and thus support my contention that TSOB did not largely succeed in carrying out its vision, contrary to Oved's contention.

I submit that TSOB has undergone, as almost any other movement, the "displacement of goals" when "an instrumental value becomes a terminal one.13 That is, rather than to disband when its original goals are not met, a movement adopts practices which assure survival but which are inconsistent with the original ideals.14 I submit this is illustrated by TSOB in a multitude of ways so that at least Eberhard Arnold, if not many Anabaptists, whom he claimed as his own people, would not recognize where TSOB has gone.

Another difficulty with Oved's characterization of TSOB is the tendency to interpret the dysfunctions in TSOB history as not being of great significance in the realization of its goals. The degree to which individuals (not only membership but leaders as well)15 have been deprived of their personhood and dignity, and the way the dissidents have been isolated seem to be rather easily ignored as not central to TSOB genius. Thus in reference to KIT (Keep In Touch, a periodical serving as a communication forum for ex-members of TSOB who left, either voluntarily or involuntarily), Oved tends to downplay their claims to have their hurts redressed and to being heard by the leadership by characterizing them as "people who had left the Brotherhood nursing numerous personal grievances against the movement" (282). 16

But the greatest dysfunction, a problem which Oved documents extensively, but tends to downplay in his interpretation of the nature of TSOB, is the way power is acquired and used. The author provides excellent material on the Paraguay decades, defined as "the Leadership Struggles," but this implies that the leadership and power issue was not much of a problem earlier or later.

The evidence, even in The Witness Of The Brothers, and more emphatically in other sources, especially of ex-insiders, such as Elizabeth Bohlken-Zumpe's Torches Extinguished,17 provides extensive evidence that the issue of whether leadership of the movement was hereditary or based upon "spiritual maturity" emerged earlier and plagues the movement till this day. For example the "neglected orphan" status of the Wheathill community in England, too complex to describe here, stems from this issue: Hence Bohlken-Zumpe remembers her father: "My father felt strongly that spiritual leadership is not a family matter and cannot be inherited from father to son. After Heini's sickbed crisis, Papa believed even more strongly that it must be left to God to choose His people for His work to be done" (Bohlken-Zumpe, 106). The transition of leadership from Eberhard to family members and others, and the struggles for the positions of power which took place, had and continues to have great implications for the coherence and ability of the movement to achieve its original objectives. The events at Primavera illustrate this profusely; the decision to "shut Primavera down" by the new "Servant of the Word" at Woodcrest showed that the power had moved to the American Bruderhof near Rifton, New York, with great cleavages resulting.

The transition of power from Heini Arnold to his son Johann Christoph (Heini decried democratic selection of leaders) (257) is an example of a crucial turning point in the issue that plagued TSOB from the beginning -- the conflict between inherited power versus democratically elected power. From Oved's all-too-brief account, it is obvious that Heini arranged (manipulated?) the situation so Johann Christoph would become the Elder in 1983 (256).

This clearly orchestrated transition from charismatic to inherited and bureaucratic leadership runs counter to the original vision of Eberhard, and certainly to Anabaptism, not to mention the strife it caused.18 We deserve more analysis from Oved about how this drama contributed to the radical change in the life of TSOB from a charismatic community to a bureaucratic one. We are thus left with a rather undeveloped analysis of a crucially important phenomenon: How is power allocated and controlled?

Apparently TSOB assumed that power could be democratically (charismatically) allocated yet operate in an authoritarian form. Oved states TSOB succeeded in having "charismatic leadership with the involvement of the entire community in decision-making [sic] by consensus" (3). Zablocki reflects a similar observation: "The Bruderhof attempts to base its system of social control on voluntarism and on authoritarianism at the same time" (193). This paradoxical or even contradictory condition gets at the heart of the great troubles TSOB has experienced, it seems to me.

The Hutterites, adhering to the Anabaptist concept of the autonomy of the congregation, consider each colony autonomous, directed by a council including the preacher, assistant preacher, field bosses, etc. (Hostetler, 164). But in recent years an office of elder for all colonies in a "Leut" has emerged, with disastrous results for several of the Leut.

TSOB developed a hierarchical authority structure which included the Servant of the Word (elder); servants of the word (preachers); stewards-witness brothers, and four other lower levels (Zablocki, 202). In 1962 the elder became the authority for the entire collection of Bruderhof (Oved, 241). This obviously usurped the base of power and its control from the local "congregation" -- the specific Bruderhof -- and sealed the movement into a bureaucratic organization.

Contrary to Oved's thesis, The Society of Brothers has not been able to harmonize voluntarism in membership and authoritarian centralized power. The pain among members who have remained (again including leaders) and those who have left lingers and is eloquent(?) testimony. The ex-members assume that what needs to be done is for the leadership to confess past wrongs and make restitution.19 Unfortunately that is missing the point. There is an inherent structural contradiction. Voluntary membership and centralizing bureaucratic power cannot be reconciled, and hence "repentance and forgiveness" is not in the cards. The dilemma is: How is repentance for an inherent contradiction traceable to individual actions and responsibility? Anabaptism in general has also been struggling with this dilemma for centuries with little more success.

Oved believes that TSOB has achieved its goals "harmoniously." But from an ideologically based understanding (Anabaptist) of the use of power, the problem remains unresolved. From the standpoint of the use of power, TSOB witness is very problematic, contrary to Oved's optimism. There are other perspectives as well that need to be addressed before (if ever) we gain a deeper understanding of the way in which humans achieve their idealized world.

Yet Yaacov Oved has done a great service in providing a well-ordered mass of materials on the history and development of TSOB which provides some basic knowledge and tantalizing intimations from one perspective.

How can the Society of Brothers story, and more pointedly Oved's treatment of it, contribute to our understanding of utopianism (broadly defined including intentional communities) and religious renewal movements in general? The Society of Brothers is a contemporary laboratory that presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to observe the dynamics of how ideology is incarnated in human/social form. What is needed is to apply the larger scientific knowledge, especially the utopian and intentional community knowledge, to this intriguing phenomenon, utilizing works such as Oved's The Witness Brothers along with others. Notes:

1. The acronym used by the readers of KIT (Keep in Touch) is SOB, which immediately identifies the emotional tone of the references to TSOB by ex-Bruderhofers. Oved often uses the term "Bruderhof," but it is awkward because it is singular, referring to one community, whereas TSOB soon developed into a cluster of Bruderhofs.

2. Thus for example The International Communal Studies Association's Bulletin of the International Communal Studies Association regularly features TSOB material.

3. Thus as Oved indicates, there have been considerable meetings between Israel organizations and TSOB members.

4. There is a general similarity in perspectives between Anabaptist and Jews however and that is the experience of rejection, persecution and martyrdom in the early history of Anabaptism. It is generally assumed this is why Mennonites and Jews have historically shared considerable common affinity.

5. According to advance information, the book by Rubin deals with the dynamics of life in the TSOB, especially the way power has been used. The issue of power, a central problem in TSOB, will be discussed below.

6. TSOB regularly sent observers and participants to these annual meetings. The patriarchs like Hans Meier were often given prominent hearings at plenary sessions of the conferences.

7. Oved maintains his work is a history eschewing the sociological approach, because of the bad experiences TSOB has had with sociologists who operated under less than candid procedures and thus had not revealed the "essence of the movement" (5). Oved on the other hand used the "participant observer" approach (vii) suggesting "the truth can never be reached in a study in which the subject does not cooperate" (5). But he nevertheless presents considerable sociological data and analysis, which add to the depth of his analysis.

8. Oved believes this so strongly that he repeats it in the Epilogue: '"the Bruderhof's long history of stability is the exceptional combination of deep religious belief and the centrality of harmonious community life" (309).

9. He repeats this conviction again in the Epilogue: "What is the secret of the inner strength that enabled it to survive the many years of wanderings, suffering, and crisis?... the Bruderhof's ability for survival are worth of note in general terms in this chapter" (309). He proposes TSOB achieved its historical stability by "the exceptional combination of deep religious belief and the centrality of harmonious community life" (309).

10. The author is inconsistent in his references to Johann Christoph Arnold used most often, but sometimes he is John Christoph (319), a few times J. Christoph (320), at other times Christoph (e.g. 286, 293).

11. Johann Christoph Arnold's activities as Elder have encountered increasing controversies and accusations both from within TSOB and by ex-members.

12. Although there were conflicts and tensions earlier, the move to Primavera, Paraguay, seems to have exacerbated the increasing internal difficulties. Many of the ex-members' testimonies bear this out.

13. See Menon, Social Theory and Social Structure, 199-200. Examples of goal displacement in TSOB are profuse. One rather dramatic example is the establishing of a mission outpost in Nigeria, which involved, among other things, the purchase of a Gulfstream II 681AR and the employment of a professional pilot so that the TSOB leaders could more effectively relate to the mission (Johann Christoph Arnold, Palmgrove Diary, 2-3).

14. This observation has a long tradition. The "Iron Law of Oligarchy" introduced by Robert Michels is one theory dealing with the institutionalization of social movements: "From a means, organization becomes an end" (quoted in Lasswell and Kaplan, (44). This is expanded by Lasswell and Kaplan: "Principled interests are modified as they come into conflict with expediency interests" (44).

15. A recurring criticism by ex-members is the degree to which the leaders, including several of Eberhard's sons, were summarily dethroned without due process. Oved alludes to this only in passing.

16. Oved concludes his analysis of KIT by stating that the editorial board of KIT is "giving free rein to anyone and anything that might attack and revile the Brotherhood" (287).

17. Elizabeth Bohlken-Zumpe is a granddaughter of Eberhard Arnold.

18. Oved quotes Mow, author of the in-house Torches Rekindled, "There was envy and ambition on the part of some eastern brothers. This sin, carrying with it critical thoughts, grumbling, and slanderous gossip about our elder Christoph, was deliberately committed even by brothers entrusted with the Service of the Word" (Oved, 256).

19. The material pouring from the presses by TSOB ex-members continues unabated. Beyond KIT, there is the Carrier Pigeon Press which produces books such as Nadine Moonje Pleil's Free From Bondage. References:

Arnold, Emmy. Torches Together. Rifton, NY: Plough Publishing House, 1964. Arnold, Eberhard. Brothers Unite. Ulster Park, NY: Plough Publishing House, 1988.

Arnold, Eberhard. Why We Live in Community. Rifton, NY: Plough Publishing House, 1995.

Arnold, Johann Christoph. Palm Grove Diary. Farmington, PA: Plough Publishing House, 1994.

Bohlken-Zumpe, Elizabeth. Torches Extinguished. San Francisco: Carrier Pigeon P, 1993.

Eggers, Ulrich. Community for Life. Scottdale: Herald P, 1988.

Hostetler, John A. Hutterite Society. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1974.

Lasswe!l, Harold and Abraham Kaplan. Power and Society: A Framework for Political Inquiry. New Haven: Yale UP, 1950.

Merton, Robert K. Social Theory and Social Structure. Glencoe: Free Press, 1957.

Mow, Merrill. Torches Rekindled. Rifton, NY: Plough Publishing House, 1990.

Pleil, Nadine Moonje. Free From Bondage. San Francisco: Carrier Pigeon P, 1993.

Rubin, Julius. The Other Side of Joy. NY: Oxford UP, 1997.

Zablocki, Benjamin. The Joyful Community. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1971.

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