Questions and Concerns
Which is more important, your children or the cult? Separation of children from their families.
A television show by Channel 5 Boston showed an interview with Betty Pugsley in July of 1993. In that interview, Betty denied the charge that children are separated from their parents routinely at the Community, which was a deliberate lie. However, oddly enough, another community member admits to this practice in this article, and it is mentioned on the latest version of their website. [Note: They have since changed the wording.] A specific example is given here in the article "God for the Up & Out".
Some children were so confused by the extended separations and the multitude of "aunts and uncles" that they weren't even sure who their mother was for the first several years of their life. This interferes with normal development in a profound way, and has lifelong effects.
One of the first priorities of the Community is to separate children from their parents and break down family bonds. Your alliegiance to the Community must be more important than your responsibility to and love for your children, otherwise your life will be made so unpleasant, you will either buckle under or be forced out. This is typical of the behavior of adult cultic predators, but not the behavior of Jesus Christ or young children.
Grenville Christian College: Benign boarding school or Grenville Concentration Camp?
The Community of Jesus was also affiliated with Grenville Christian College (GCC), which closed its doors in September, 2007. Grenville also had a long history of abuse — mental, physical, and sexual. However, the most egregious abuse at Grenville was predominantly imposed on the Staff and Community of Jesus children. When it occured, it could be terrible.
Grenville was dubbed "Grenville Concentration Camp" by some. However there are others, who were beaten and molested there, who are too traumatized to discuss it. Although an apology appeared once, it contained a bad e-mail address. Is that really sufficient when the abuse continues and many lives have been, and continue to be, destroyed?
"The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes."
— Thomas Paine
"Far more child abuse has occurred in the name of God, than in the name of Satan."
— Federal Bureau of Investigation
Were some of the monies used for building the $11 million church gained through participation in a fraudulent Ponzi Scheme?
The church alone is an $11 million dollar endeavor. If you include the outlying buildings, when complete, they value at $50 million. For sure Christ would consider this excessive wealth when millions of people are impoverished, some only a few hours from Orleans. Large building projects are enormously expensive and even the well-to-do can run out of funds, especially when the church required over 100 hearings and a lawsuit to have built.
How much money did the CoJ net from their involvement in the Foundation for New Era Philanthropy scandal? If William Kanaga (a Community member) donated at least $2.4 million, and the CoJ had to repay $1.4 million, assuming the money doubled at least once, that is a potential net of at least $3.4 million.
What true christian builds a church with stolen money? And then adds secret rooms for "Members Only"? What happens in the "Members Only" rooms that can't be shared? What does God think of a church built with stolen money, and with hidden secrets?
Beyond the obviously unethical implications of the same individual being both a donor and a recipient in a "charitable" Ponzi Scheme, William Kanaga is a world-renowned accountant, shrewd enough to earn an honorary Doctor of Laws. The Foundation for New Era Philanthropy had "all the hallmarks of a Ponzi Scheme" according to the Federal Investigators. Offering double your investment in six months, by any definition it fit the category of "too good to be true." Others were suspicious over the life of the swindle, and still others refused to participate or held the money in reserve. So just how did "Uncle Bill" miss the obvious signs? Or did he really? Just how long was the association between Jack Bennett and William Kanaga?
Is the Community Anglican, Episcopalian, ecumenical "Christian" or Benedictine? If Benedictine, what is their Charism?
In the earlier years, the Community of Jesus applied to become a part of both the Anglican and Episcopal churches. Both denominations rejected them as being "too cultish." As a result, the Community of Jesus has redefined themselves as self-styled "Benedictines" ... however, real Benedictines are Catholic and come together to do a work for God, a specific mission. They do not simply take advantage of capitalism and act as a local for-profit Bed and Breakfast and artistic community, with a pseudo-spiritual slant. Beware of spiritual snake oil salesmen!