|Alienation of Families
|Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
~Martin Luther King Jr.
One of the saddest aspects of this cult is the alienation of family members. I will
focus primarily on my own family for this page. Please understand there are many
other families adversely affected by this cult. This is not a Spielman family feud
by any stretch of the imagination. There are many “Spielman families” that have
been destroyed as a result of Agnes Kyo McDonald.
Joanne and Jim Robinson have not spoken with their daughter, Juanita, for more
than 10 years now. Juanita credits her “holy aunt and uncle” (Marilyn and Dick Vogt)
for getting her into this group. Because Juanita's parents, Joanne and Jim
Robinson, asked questions of their daughter and of Marilyn and Dick Vogt, Joanne
and Jim were - and continue to be - accused of persecuting the group. Indeed, this
is typical canned language that most cults use. Since when did asking questions
become persecution? I, too, have been labeled as “evil” and accused of persecution.
I honestly think this group thrives on the alleged persecution. If any group is truly
of God, they will indeed welcome questions about their organization. (Of course,
LHTBM is clearly not “of God” nor is it a legitimate organization within the
Several years ago, Marilyn and Dick Vogt told Juanita’s parents that they
(specifically Joanne) needed to write letters to everyone they had contacted
(priests, bishops, etc.) saying they were sorry they had spoken badly of LHTBM
and that they were wrong in questioning the group. Marilyn wanted Joanne to write
or type the letters at Marilyn’s house as Marilyn watched her, and then Marilyn
wanted to follow Joanne to the post office to mail them. Talk about emotional
blackmail! Thank God Joanne and Jim did not write the letters; several wonderful
priests advised them against it, as did many other people.
Family members would love to speak to their family members in this cult, but
those family members in the cult have been brainwashed into thinking their
families are evil. If you don’t agree with LHTBM (i.e., Kyo), you are automatically
labeled evil. What other organization does that? None. (Unless it’s another cult!)
Years ago, my brother asked Marilyn Vogt to have Juanita call her Mom and Dad.
Chuck was trying to help facilitate communication between Juanita and her
parents. Per Chuck, Marilyn told Chuck “Joanne knows what she needs to do (write
the letters) in order to talk to Juanita.” Marilyn also mailed Joanne an envelope
with a copy of a note from Juanita (something she had given her parents before she
moved to Chicago). Marilyn had highlighted Juanita’s request/demand that her
parents write the letters. Imagine that! What Marilyn and Dick requested of
Joanne was tantamount to saying, “You can see your child if you do as we say!”
Again, emotional blackmail. And, I assure you, they wouldn't have been allowed to
see their daughter.
In December 2005, Joanne, Jim and I attended a Q&A session in Eldora, Iowa. Fr.
Jim Dubert held the session at the request of his parishioners. Dubert was a
member of the group and perhaps still is. He seemingly still supports LHTBM and
remains very close to the core members. During the meeting, one of the
parishioners asked Fr. Dubert (since he’s so close to group members) if he could
intercede on behalf of Joanne and Jim, and try to facilitate communication with
their daughter, Juanita. Dubert stated “Oh, no, they are not allowed in there”
(referring to cult HQ in Chicago). Ding, ding, ding! While Marilyn and Dick claim it is
Juanita’s choice not to speak to her parents, clearly the Robinsons are not allowed
in. Yes, Juanita is an adult, but she is brainwashed into thinking her parents are
evil and are persecuting the group. The Juanita I knew would never have used
those words (evil and persecution). The Juanita of today uses them often. When
one is brainwashed, that person effectively loses the freedom of choice. If I
thought my parents were evil and needed to repent (yes, Juanita thinks that of her
parents), I might opt (“choose”) not to speak to them, either. This is about
brainwashing, not common sense. This is about mind control, not freedom of choice.
The true evil here is that this group has thrived for such a long time and that
Agnes Kyo McDonald has managed to brainwash so many people, so deeply.
I can assure you this Marilyn is not the sister I knew and loved. I believe that, due
to Agnes Kyo McDonald’s brainwashing, mind control and manipulation, Marilyn has
become a different person. I know there is a small part of her that is the pre-cult
Marilyn. I pray we get her back one day. I pray all families that have been
affected will one day be reunited with their family members currently in the cult.
For now, of Agnes Kyo McDonald, I ask the following question: are you aware of the
fourth commandment, Honor thy Father and Mother? If not, perhaps you need to
review the Ten Commandments that the good Lord gave us. They are not
suggestions; they are commandments. They are HIS words, not mine and certainly
not yours. And in my humble opinion, you, Agnes Kyo McDonald, are one of the
biggest con artists of our time.