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Old 06-17-2015, 07:58 PM   #1
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Default Life in the Brothers/Sisters houses

How about a thread "Life in the brothers and sisters houses"? I have some experiences that I'd like to chat about and I'd like to know if they were unique or the same as others. I'd really like to know other's experiences.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Life in the Brothers/Sisters houses

I was in a brother's house from 75-80. I have mixed feelings about it. I think way back then there was a lot of unstructured communal living, and many people going/moving in and out. In my house there were at one point 6 brothers and the house parents. The house parents were barely older than us (late 20's?). I found out years later, 3 of the brothers never paid anything toward household expenses. No wonder food was scarce and the house parents always seemed stressed. Those same 3 never did household chores, so everything fell on the rest of us. My feelings are that if you have a household situation, chores must be shared and living costs need to be detailed up front, and everyone held to account. Where I was it felt like it was 'Just praise the Lord and go to the meetings, and don't bring up other issues."

Did anyone have a better experience than me, where living costs and chores were truly shared? I had a lot of anger to work out for years over the irresponsibility I saw.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Life in the Brothers/Sisters houses

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How about a thread "Life in the brothers and sisters houses"? I have some experiences that I'd like to chat about and I'd like to know if they were unique or the same as others. I'd really like to know other's experiences.
I can say a little about my experience in a brothers house. Since I am a “church kid”, I had the view that living in a brothers house was the premier path for church kid who had his eyes set on the FTTA (thank God I never went on to attend the FTTA). That was my main reason for choosing to live in such an environment. I also made the assumption that it would somehow help me in my spiritual growth.

One of the first things that I realized while living in a brothers house was that not everyone was there because they wanted to be. Some were simply church kids with high-pressure parents. I saw that as a major problem, since there were also people like me who had chosen to live in such an environment, by their own will, and even making financial self-sacrifice to live in such an environment.

Initially, I bought into the strict rules, feeling that it was necessary for “transformation. We had the rules that might be expected. No watching TV and movies, no listening to music, no video games, no girlfriends, no smoking, no drinking, etc. I can say that I saw most if not all of those rules broken, particularly with movies and video games. So at some point, I realized that with the rules that everyone was supposed to be following, there was a large amount of pretense taking place. Of course, some of those kinds of rules are completely unnecessary, however, it really got to me after a while that no one seemed to care about following the rules. It defeated the whole purpose of living there in my mind.

On the positive side, I bonded with some who I lived with and have enjoyed friendships with them long afterwards. I have plenty of good memories. Camping, hiking, “blending” with other campuses. You name it. Overall, it was those kinds of experiences that kept me going in that environment. There were many things that frustrated me which I had to ignore.

In retrospect, I would not have chosen to live in a brothers house knowing what I know now. I don’t think the strict environment is necessary or helpful. More often than not, I saw it make hypocrites out of those living in that environment, and that was certainly the case with me as well.
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Old 06-18-2015, 06:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Life in the Brothers/Sisters houses

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Did anyone have a better experience than me, where living costs and chores were truly shared? I had a lot of anger to work out for years over the irresponsibility I saw.
I was in a brother's house from March 95- September 97. For me it was a circumstance of convenience. I could say I was for my locality, but as for the ministry I could take it or leave it. Most of the brothers in the house were 18/19 years old. I was in my late 20's and the eldest brother in the house was in his 50's. The chores and the rent were split equitably. The utility bills were itemized accordingly.
We had a lot of laughs, poking fun, etc. Earned my nickname one night having woken up in the middle of the night seeing the living room light on. Several of the brothers were up playing Axis and Allies.....
It was during my time in the brothers house I learned of specialized care towards the younger brothers by an elder/elders. Typically when we were invited over to a home, I had the impression all the brothers from the brothers house were invited. This instance, the eldest brother and myself were excluded. It was through this experience I saw the focused attention college age were to receive with an aura of favoritism.

and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” James 2:3
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:23 AM   #5
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Did anyone have a better experience than me, where living costs and chores were truly shared? I had a lot of anger to work out for years over the irresponsibility I saw.
For the most part, expenses and chores were shared where I was. In my case, I had to scrape up money to cover expenses. Others had their parents paying for everything. So there was a bit of frustration for me when there was always the expectation to participate in LC activities (conferences, trainings), all which cost $$$. It was hard enough making ends meet, and there were all these addition expectations. Since some didn't have to worry about money, they couldn't understand why I would be worried about it.
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:37 AM   #6
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How about a thread "Life in the brothers and sisters houses"? I have some experiences that I'd like to chat about and I'd like to know if they were unique or the same as others. I'd really like to know other's experiences.
It all depended on who you were with -- these were the best of times and the worst of times. I liked the fact that the LC's facilitated them, but not when they orchestrated them. To encourage and to even assist was great, but often it degenerated into arrangements that hurt more than helped. How are you supposed to live together in harmony with people you don't even know or like?

Lee also taught us not to have "natural relationships," which really confuses young people. We were taught that it was not necessary to even like the one you marry, since she was to be your "cross" anyway. I think those who survived Lee were those who learned how to compartmentalize their lives in the LC until a suitable exit strategy was implemented.

The early days were much better because the "commune" movement sprung out of the Jesus people movement in the late 60's / early 70's. Brothers and sisters wanted to live together for fellowship. Once corporate living became institutionalized, there became the need to draft "Rules for Corporate Living" or other such nonsense. (Stupid people always think that more laws will solve problems.) Church kids would use the brothers' house to enjoy new found liberties while still being supported by mommy and daddy, who hoped the house would do something for junior which they could not.
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:53 AM   #7
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Did anyone have a better experience than me, where living costs and chores were truly shared? I had a lot of anger to work out for years over the irresponsibility I saw.
I have been in both situations. When I first migrated to Columbus, we had 9 brothers living with the elder and his family. I did the math and figured out that we should have had a little more food than we did. Also, since I was the guy who could fix anything, I did a lot of extras to help the house. Later on I found out that many of the brothers contributed next to nothing. Fortunately, the elder did his best to keep things running smoothly. At first.

Unfortunately, he thought that helping wayward indigents was part of the program. He brought this one guy in to share a small room with two others. This guy had gained celebrity status among us for rescuing scores of young people from the Moonies cult (or so he said, how ironic is that!) In all my life I have never met a guy with stinkier feet. I am not exaggerating here -- I would nearly pass out just walking by that room. The other two brothers in the bedroom quickly moved out, and the house was stuck with the stench. I talked to the elder once about doing something on behalf of the rest of the brothers. He balked and told me to talk to him, which never happened. I moved out too.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:44 AM   #8
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The early days were much better because the "commune" movement sprung out of the Jesus people movement in the late 60's / early 70's. Brothers and sisters wanted to live together for fellowship. Once corporate living became institutionalized, there became the need to draft "Rules for Corporate Living" or other such nonsense. (Stupid people always think that more laws will solve problems.) Church kids would use the brothers' house to enjoy new found liberties while still being supported by mommy and daddy, who hoped the house would do something for junior which they could not.
The era of a non-institutionalized corporate living environment was long before my time. I presume there were still rules like no TV, but I'm guessing that they existed more as unspoken rules that everyone understood. Those who I know that have been around in the LC for a long time seem to attach some kind of spiritual connotation to forgoing "worldly" things like TV, music, etc. For those of my generation, forgoing these same things only happens through pressure and is often met with resentment.

This was exactly the experience I had in the corporate living. The rules were just rules. They didn't hold any meaning beyond being rules, and that's not to say that they should hold spiritual meaning, but without some type of concrete justification for these rules, they are purely punitive. One consideration that I had in retrospect, is that as an college student, I willingly signed an agreement to adhere to certain rules. Yes, I was an adult and no one forced me to do so. Considering the kind of rules there were; no movies, TV, dating, it all seems quite odd that I was willing to give up these things. Where else would you find adults willing to rescind their free will like that?

These days I would never dream of letting someone tell me that I can't watch TV or go see a movie. What was it that made me so happy to willingly give up the right to do those things? I can say that common sense wasn't a factor. If I had common sense, I would have known better. And I don't really see it as a matter of what rules were or weren't followed. It's the principle of it all. A church sponsored communal living situation should be for like minded people with who have common goals. The environment in which I lived was anything but that. It is for that reason that I generally feel resentful towards the environment I was in.
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:23 AM   #9
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The era of a non-institutionalized corporate living environment was long before my time. I presume there were still rules like no TV, but I'm guessing that they existed more as unspoken rules that everyone understood. Those who I know that have been around in the LC for a long time seem to attach some kind of spiritual connotation to forgoing "worldly" things like TV, music, etc. For those of my generation, forgoing these same things only happens through pressure and is often met with resentment.

This was exactly the experience I had in the corporate living. The rules were just rules. They didn't hold any meaning beyond being rules, and that's not to say that they should hold spiritual meaning, but without some type of concrete justification for these rules, they are purely punitive. One consideration that I had in retrospect, is that as an college student, I willingly signed an agreement to adhere to certain rules. Yes, I was an adult and no one forced me to do so. Considering the kind of rules there were; no movies, TV, dating, it all seems quite odd that I was willing to give up these things. Where else would you find adults willing to rescind their free will like that?

These days I would never dream of letting someone tell me that I can't watch TV or go see a movie. What was it that made me so happy to willingly give up the right to do those things? I can say that common sense wasn't a factor. If I had common sense, I would have known better. And I don't really see it as a matter of what rules were or weren't followed. It's the principle of it all. A church sponsored communal living situation should be for like minded people with who have common goals. The environment in which I lived was anything but that. It is for that reason that I generally feel resentful towards the environment I was in.
Things were also different due to technology. My little BnW TV got 3 fuzzy channels and PBS. I really wasn't paying much of a price. Besides life was just too busy with school and work. For about 2 decades of my life i basically lived in a void w.o. TV, and it started after high school, and not with the LC. I really have nearly no knowledge of news, sports, or TV programs from the early 70's to the early 90's.

My prog rock music, however, i began to miss during the height of the new way, which is quite telling. The church life was super busy and demanding, along with work and family obligations, and yet i became emptier inside. Initially i thought the problem was all me, and endured lots of guilt and condemnation in those days.
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:02 PM   #10
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I have been in both situations. When I first migrated to Columbus, we had 9 brothers living with the elder and his family. I did the math and figured out that we should have had a little more food than we did. Also, since I was the guy who could fix anything, I did a lot of extras to help the house. Later on I found out that many of the brothers contributed next to nothing. Fortunately, the elder did his best to keep things running smoothly. At first.

Unfortunately, he thought that helping wayward indigents was part of the program. He brought this one guy in to share a small room with two others. This guy had gained celebrity status among us for rescuing scores of young people from the Moonies cult (or so he said, how ironic is that!) In all my life I have never met a guy with stinkier feet. I am not exaggerating here -- I would nearly pass out just walking by that room. The other two brothers in the bedroom quickly moved out, and the house was stuck with the stench. I talked to the elder once about doing something on behalf of the rest of the brothers. He balked and told me to talk to him, which never happened. I moved out too.
When we migrated to Ft. Lauderdale in 1974 we started renting a house for $275 a month which was reasonable at the time. The leading elder, MP, decided that no matter what house you were renting you only had to pay $250 and other people could live with you who would pay the remainder. So, we had a lady live with us who was mostly blind because of diabetes and she paid $25 a month and we paid $250. Come to find out the leading elder, MP, rented a beautiful huge beach house (on the ocean) where he only paid $250 but he had some brothers live with him who paid the rest. Nice if you can make it work for you.
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:23 PM   #11
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Come to find out the leading elder, MP, rented a beautiful huge beach house (on the ocean) where he only paid $250 but he had some brothers live with him who paid the rest. Nice if you can make it work for you.
Small price to pay for living with the constant danger of sharks, rip currents, hurricanes, and the endless irritation of sand in his shoes.

No thanks. He can have his beach house.

Like my dad used to say, "Life's a beach, and then you have to die."
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:40 AM   #12
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Lee also taught us not to have "natural relationships,"
Who cared what Lee thought. Not by design, but by circumstance the eldest brother in the house and myself spent many a Sunday afternoon at the local Starbucks. As the college age brothers were often being taken care of by responsible brothers.
Not all of our conversations were spiritual in nature, but expressing an enjoyment for football and realizing it's just temporary, but an entertaining distraction from the pressures of life.
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:55 AM   #13
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When we migrated to Ft. Lauderdale in 1974 we started renting a house for $275 a month which was reasonable at the time. The leading elder, MP, decided that no matter what house you were renting you only had to pay $250 and other people could live with you who would pay the remainder. So, we had a lady live with us who was mostly blind because of diabetes and she paid $25 a month and we paid $250. Come to find out the leading elder, MP, rented a beautiful huge beach house (on the ocean) where he only paid $250 but he had some brothers live with him who paid the rest. Nice if you can make it work for you.
The brothers house I lived in came into being due to a brother and sister moving to Anaheim, but keeping their home in Bellevue. Their mortgage became what we rented the house for. For my portion $200 a month was much more manageable than living alone. Household chores and cooking duties, I never objected to.
There was one instance all of us younger brothers objected. The eldest brother invited a non-LC Christian brother to stay with us for an extended period of time. The deputy authority clause was invoked overriding our objections.

On a positive note, the best experiences I had in the brother's house was the playful teasing, always being available to give a brother a ride somewhere or pick up stranded brother.
We had one brother who was musically creative and he would often use his creations for our answering machine message.
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:31 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone, I feel better now. It seems life in a Brother's house was a mixed bag. Like anything else with people, you have the whole spectrum from committed to not committed. In the church it seemed to me, you were encouraged to be 'outward' (testifying, pray-reading, "releasing your spirit.") The church life was extroverted/for extroverts, so to speak. Forbid you were an introvert. You could be outwardly "Going on with the Lord" but live another life away from the church. This is not unique to the LC, anyone can do it in any church. One tough thing, when I Googled the names of brothers I knew 35 yrs ago, I saw one was on a state sex offender registry. I won't say where, and I won't say more, because I am still leery of being ID'd and/or hassled. I was in meetings for 6 yrs with this person, he was in my youth group, and gave the appearance of someone who cared for God. Very sad.. Lord God have mercy on his soul. That is all I can say in prayer for him. Too bad he wasn't helped 35 yrs ago.
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Old 06-20-2015, 05:13 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone, I feel better now. It seems life in a Brother's house was a mixed bag. Like anything else with people, you have the whole spectrum from committed to not committed. In the church it seemed to me, you were encouraged to be 'outward' (testifying, pray-reading, "releasing your spirit.") The church life was extroverted/for extroverts, so to speak. Forbid you were an introvert. You could be outwardly "Going on with the Lord" but live another life away from the church. This is not unique to the LC, anyone can do it in any church. One tough thing, when I Googled the names of brothers I knew 35 yrs ago, I saw one was on a state sex offender registry. I won't say where, and I won't say more, because I am still leery of being ID'd and/or hassled. I was in meetings for 6 yrs with this person, he was in my youth group, and gave the appearance of someone who cared for God. Very sad.. Lord God have mercy on his soul. That is all I can say in prayer for him. Too bad he wasn't helped 35 yrs ago.
One notion that seemed to always go unsaid was that a corporate living environment like a brothers house or even the FTTA was a fix-all for people. It would cure personality problems, incompatibility with other people, etc, etc. Well, I do think that I learned how to deal with others better, but I didn't come out any better that I went in. In some ways I felt worse off. I knew how to live according to the LC standard, but I felt even more distanced from the real world.
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Old 06-21-2015, 04:02 PM   #16
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In some ways I felt worse off. I knew how to live according to the LC standard, but I felt even more distanced from the real world.
My experience to an extent. I would add I felt more distanced from having acquaintances apart from the local church environment.
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Old 06-21-2015, 04:48 PM   #17
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One notion that seemed to always go unsaid was that a corporate living environment like a brothers house or even the FTTA was a fix-all for people. It would cure personality problems, incompatibility with other people, etc, etc.
Looking at these houses from another perspective, we owned a couple houses on the campus for the college students, especially those coming from other LC's. For the most part it was pretty positive experience, but two of our worst tenants were elders' kids.

In both cases, the parents sidestepped the normal screening process, used their influences, and stuck their kids in the brothers' houses, thinking it would somehow "fix" their problem kids. All it did was destroy the moral, and disrupt the house. Later on the other tenants would complain to me, "why did I let junior move in?" I had to explain that elder so-n-so just did what he wanted to do.

One stiffed me for a whole semester's rent, and the other took me for hundreds of dollars worth of damages. Both fathers subsequently ignored my calls and letters to recoup my expenses. They probably figured since the brothers' house didn't "fix" their kids, they should not have to pay for rent and damages.
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