1993, 07/28 and 08/04. Let God Be Your Guide.

July 28, 1993

Dear Mom,

You probably got my latest letter about the move to the office.  Since then I have been resisting actually moving there.  The last two nights I was there, but couldn’t sleep.  I got pretty angry last night.  I lay down and another Brother said he had already claimed the spot.  I said, “So now what, we have to fight like dogs over where we sleep on the floor?”  I managed to control my anger before it got any further.  In fact, I internalized my anger and put it to use.  I got up and started asking around for keys to a van.  Got one and drove to the Red Hook warehouse alone and stayed there again.

I had expected this move to happen for some time, but I didn’t know it would bother me to the degree it does.  I have managed to avoid any direct confrontation over the issue.  I think Jesus showed me not to bring it up.  In other words, don’t tell everybody I’ve reconsidered and am not coming here.  You can’t win that way.

I haven’t gotten much sleep in the last two nights.  So I am pretty slow witted today.  I am out passing business flyers with two of the new people.  Taking frequent breaks, like right now.  I am on a bench in the shade in Central Park.

I went to the American Bible Society here and bought an English – Korean Bible.  As you probably know, I consider myself to be an amateur linguist.  Aside from trying to learn to read the Bible in the original languages, I also speak Spanish and French passably.  I listen to the news in French on the radio.  I also have the Bible on cassette in six languages, including German and Russian.  I listen to these when I am working.  What prompted me to look into Korean is that a Korean radio station has just started up here in New York.

The other day I talked to a Russian man from Tashkent.   We managed to hold a conversation.  I asked him if he believed in God.  He said he was Jewish, but there’s one God for everybody and that God is a “soviest.”  I didn’t understand that word, so I asked and he explaned about how God steers men who are going the wrong way into the right way.  It was then that I remembered that I had heard this word before and that “soviest” means to guide by someone’s conscience.  So, that’s how I learn, or relearn words.

I have not heard from Wilkerson.  I doubt if I will.  He’s probably very busy and he might not know what to make of my letter anyway.  Perhaps he’d also see it as prudent not to meddle in another man’s quarrel.  Although I keep checking the mailbox to see if there is anything.

[I found out later that David Wilkerson had read my letter and was very concerned.  He told some ex-COBU Brothers who went to his church to “help that Brother any way you can.”  And it was these Brothers who offered me a place to stay so I could leave COBU.]

Love,

James.

remember to address mail to:

162 Woodruff Ave

Brooklyn, NY  11226

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

August 4, 1993

Dear Mom,

I decided to send you this photocopy of a letter I wrote to David Johnson, who is a pastor and an author of a book called “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse.”

I don’t know what kind of response I’ll get, but maybe he can help shed some light on things and offer advice I might not have thought of myself.  I thought you’d like to see the letter.  I’ll tell you if I get a response.

Last night on a job, I had a talk with two Middle Brothers (newer church members who have been here for a year or so) about all these things.  They have been thinking the same kind of things, though they haven’t read as extensively as I have.  Someone had given them newspaper clippings, told them that mental abuse goes on here and advised them to get as far away as possible.  I didn’t tell them they should get away, but was quite frank with them as to what my thoughts are.  They drilled me with questions for an hour.  It was a lot more than newspaper clippings and meeting an ex-member that has got them thinking.  They had direct, pointed and intelligent questions.  The job of the older people here is usually to deflect such questions or change the subject.

As to whether all this will come back on me, I shall soon see.  I’ve never done this before.  Should anyone find out, it would be considered “poisoning the New Brothers.”

Maybe because I have been talking on the phone to Dave A., a Brother who left three years ago, who told me that if I want to leave, they’ll help me anyway they can, that I feel less apprehensive about telling people what I think the low-down is here.  The idea being, if I am put out, there is someone close by I can see, about twenty minutes away.  That makes it a little easier.

Love,

James.

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