Friday, April 1, 2016



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 When I worked at the theater, we ran a play by William Saroyan, "Hello, Out There". The young heroes of that play dream about and romanticize San Francisco. Ever since that I dreamed of and romanticized that city. So I fought tooth and nail to stay in Northern California. The rest of the team went on to Seattle, and I found out that we'll actually be staying not in San Fran but in Sacramento, the capital of California. I was there for just a few weeks before I left to visit my parents in New York.  

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My folks were heartbroken when I left them to join the Unification Church. It was not only that they couldn't relate to the whole "God" thing, but they also heard a lot of the negative information about that church. Before the church, I wouldn't have given much thought to what they were going through. The teaching of the Unification Movement, though, talks about God as a heartbroken parent of mankind, and I made a connection from that to my own parents.  
My mom worked for a Jewish Orthodox family as a housekeeper. When they found out that I was in a cult, they made a little phone call to their friends from the Lubavitcher Movement. These are the Orthodox Jews who, among other things, believe that all the Jewish people have to belong to Judaism. Otherwise, - the Messiah won't come!
KVgb1330823.jpg (274×297)    They also kidnap and brainwash young Jews from other religions. I didn't know any of that.  
Usually, the deprogrammers charge a lot of money for kidnapping and making sure that a victim quits their chosen lifestyle. My parents didn't have any money. The Lubavitchers did them a favor!  
After a day or two at home, my parents told me, they wanted to look at another apartment. Their alleged real estate agent came and picked us up in a car. We drove for a long time, when, suddenly, he stopped, yelled at my mom and dad to get out, while two other guys jumped in on both sides of me and put a gun to my back. I was terrified, but, honestly speaking, after they put on their Yarmulkes (little hats that Jewish men wear), at least I understood that they, probably, won't harm me. They drove me to a big building, as I found out later, a boys' school, and put me in a dirty, bare room with a bed, a table and a couple of chairs. They made sure to point out a young man with beefy muscles and a baseball bat who guarded the floor 
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Some people just attract trouble. I didn't know I was one of them. Kidnapped? For a while I withdrew into myself, watching and praying. Someone always stayed and talked with me. Time to time a "guest speaker" would arrive, who specialized in "exposing" the cults. The light was on 24/7, the talking as well. They didn't give me anything to eat, but to tell the truth, I wasn't hungry. I don't think they were nasty or belligerent. Just being a target of such aggression was enough to give me nightmares for the rest of my life.  
On the third day I had enough. I told them, they convinced me, I'll leave the Unification Church. 
My captors asked me if I wanted to go live with my parents or to a seminar on Judaism in Minnesota. Knowing, I'd be under constant supervision in my parents' home, I chose the latter.  
If it wasn't for the bizarre methods that were applied to me, I would've probably really enjoyed the Jewish seminar. Unfortunately, the only thing on my mind was the escape. Because there were many people who had nothing to do with the Lubavitchers, there had to be public telephones. I contacted the local Unification Church center. After arranging the details of the escape, I took my bag and hid it in the bushes outside. My documents and, for some reason, the toothbrush, were in my pocket. Just before it was time to leave, the staff of the seminar surrounded me and began to ask me to stay in the building. I understood why, when I left and couldn't find my bag. They found it and knew I was escaping. Because of the guests they couldn't force me to stay. When the "get away" car showed up, I jumped in, and we drove through the night to another State.                                                                                    
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