Letter from an Ex-Assemblyite
After all these years of being absent from the assembly, how do I feel about George’s current dilemma? Among many emotions, there is a relief that there is one Person who won’t be duped or intimidated to conform to George’s demands. It’s a feeling of joy that God is not the harsh and exacting God that George made Him out to be. And, it is a feeling of irony that it’s not the big bad enemy “out there” somewhere who has harmed the testimony of God. It is George himself who has ruined his own ministry. I have also realized why George was so extremely harsh toward others. Focusing on others weaknesses and failures kept him from ever having to look at himself. It also keeps everyone else from scrutinizing him too closely.
Current allegations regarding some of George’s relationships are sad to hear. The stories of physical abuse that was tolerated and rationalized in the Assembly can’t be ignored. But, these are just the smoking gun. The bleeding, the bruises, the black eyes and cries for help from Judy and Rachel also represent the mental and emotional battering that scores of others have suffered at the hand of George Geftakys or at the hand of those individuals in his system who internalized his tyrannical ways. And, many of us did to some degree. We aggressively adopted his abusive way of dealing with people, or we covered it up with rationalization and lies, or we passively and silently allowed it. Or, we finally stood against it – and paid dearly!
All of this is from an “ex-Assemblyite,” so I fully expect that it may be discounted. That’s ok. I have not really cared over the years if I was accurately understood or not. I know where I’m weak, and where I tend to fail, and where I’ll probably always struggle. I also know that what I experienced in relationship to George Geftakys had nothing to do with my personal struggles or weaknesses. It had everything to do with his need for power and control and his absolute refusal to allow others to exist autonomously.
Personally, I do not want an apology or anything else from him. I have absolutely nothing to say to him. I already said it years ago. As for those who have kept silent about instances of spiritual abuse in the Assembly – I don’t agree with their silence, but I totally understand it. I, too, was silent during those times that I felt deep down there was something very wrong about the way George treated people, and the way we were trained to treat one another - in order to “preserve the Testimony.”