My name is Judy Geftakys. I have been intimately involved with the Geftakys family and their "ministry," for thirty years. I first met George Geftakys when I was nineteen and a student on a college campus. Initially, I was mostly involved with his wife, Betty. I was the first young “sister” with which she had weekly breakfast meetings in order to disciple.
I cared for Betty immediately and was eager to accept her invitations to her home. I cleaned, helped with errands and meals in order to have time with her. I felt sympathy for her because, to my young mind, her marriage situation was difficult. In those days, George retained an attractive woman as his secretary, and was accompanied in his many activities by her or other attentive young people. George spent most of his time away from the house, keeping appointments, and he also took most of his "rests" separately from his wife. This always struck me as odd. At the time, I believed that Betty was lonely. She had a few single young men living in her home. One was nineteen year old Mark Miller. Also her youngest son, Tim was still living at home, and her oldest son, David had just returned from trying to live out on his own. I was told his poor health had caused him to return.
George often told me that the first time he met me he had determined I should marry one of his sons. Tim and I were the same age, but I was turned off by Tim’s many relationships with girls in fellowship. One was a roommate of mine and would later be the Maid of Honor at my wedding. I knew her well, and as girls do, we talked. Tim would never acknowledge her openly but they would go out together late at night. She claimed they were intimate. When Tim began having girlfriends in the open while seeing her on the side, she was so hurt that she never got over it as long as I knew her. When she finally left the ministry, George told me she had only been in fellowship to “trap” a husband. This remains clear as one of my earliest realizations that George didn’t see some very obvious problems in his own family. I never suspected that he was like Eli, who didn’t restrain his own sons. [We have two other signed statements by different people who have similar claims about Timothy Geftakys, one of which is more recent.]
Betty seemed to favor her oldest son, David. They reasoned alike and she was genuinely concerned about his fragile health. He had almost died at the age of five when he contracted diabetes. By then, Betty had already lost a second son at the age of one. She seemed to approach this son’s weakness with resignation and determination; resignation to the fact that he was limited, and determination to find and provide whatever could make a difference in his quality of life. I truly believe she saw me as just such a provision for her son.
I married David and we have been married for 29 years, 27 of which I lived with my husband. We raised three children and worked in over eighteen homes associated with George’s ministry. From the beginning of my marriage until the summer of 2000, Betty was my constant confidant and counselor. There had never been a time in my marriage that Betty was not frequently and thoroughly involved in the direction our lives together were allowed to go. She knew everything.
At the beginning, I thought this was God’s answer to my prayer that I would behave correctly in my marriage. For twenty seven years I prayed almost every day, “Make me the best wife this man could ever have.” For twenty seven years, I endured verbal, emotional, and physical abuse from Betty's son, of which she had first-hand knowledge and for which she counseled me to lie and cover-up. For seventeen of those years, I believed that believing Betty was prerequisite to becoming that good wife I idealized. For the last ten years, I have discovered, over and over, that believing her was the very thing that enabled my husband to destroy our marriage and possibly our lives. As I began to leave Betty out of our marriage, my husband began to deteriorate even more as a companion. He clung to her counsel, instead of cleaving to his wife, and his abuse escalated. By the end, when Mike Zach persuaded me to confront Betty, we three met three mornings in a row, for three hours each morning. She came to the table with her responses prepared and printed off from her computer the night before. As I confronted her, she would sift through the sheets of paper and read her responses to me. The woman I had loved, trusted and included in my home for twenty seven years was now trying to tell me she had little, if any, part in the condition of our marriage or the conduct of her son.
I have chosen to write today for a very specific reason.
I am not yet prepared to write all that I can say about the people who knew the kind of abuse with which I lived. But someday soon the whole story should be told. Today I am prepared to list those who knew conclusively about it. In some cases they denied it, in others they covered it, and in still in others they actually intensified it.
I want to put this list out because there are people claiming to want to address those who participated. I believe, for all concerned, it would be the best if they got their actual involvement out into the light. If speaking up, with what I know, spares us another round of the long practiced DAMAGE CONTROL which protects the Geftakys’ lifestyle and those around them, then it is worth this effort. As your leaders speak to you in tears, remember that George is not the only one who knew and lied. Some of these men knew more and lied longer, but none so long and heinously as Betty.
I want to also say, I am prepared relate the events that expose each person I name and their part in my situation. However I find it extremely difficult to relive much of this in my writing. I become full of sorrow and shame, to the point where some days I physically can’t function. These events are from my life, a life I believed in and invested in with all I am. I know it is beyond the comprehension of some that I participated in this kind of daily living. At times I can’t comprehend it myself. Now that I live in reality, all I can say is that I trusted people who were not sincere in their claims and that this has broken my heart. It is with such a heart, I give out this list of names:
When he first found out, he told me never to tell him this kind of thing again.
She knew about all the severe beatings and most occasions; no-one knows more than she, except God and myself.
They learned first-hand from me and Rachel over a period of years.
He learned of the abuse first-hand from me. He eye-witnessed David's rage, then left me with David to “reconcile”.
She eye-witnessed in 1980 the massive bruises over my entire chest and abdomen. She was counseled by Betty to cover up, and rebuke me as the “catalyst”. [Gay has since stepped forward and corroborated Judy's account.]
Cheryl eye-witnessed in 2000 David raging as he came at me with plate. She was staying in our home to “observe” me, due to the Leading Brothers' claim that I was rebellious. She came to me and asked forgiveness for misjudging me, but then left and has been silent ever since. She has never contacted me or gainsaid all of the people who claimed that all the abuse was a lie.
As David's attorney, he had all the facts in Rachel’s restraining order after she was severely beaten on left temple and side of face for talking to her old boyfriend on the phone. Mr. Anderson had extensive opportunity to investigate and address legally, which he did not do.
For many years and on many occasions I confided in Dan, as he seemed to be one both Betty and David listened to.
These men lived in my home for years, knew for years, saw black eyes, bruises, heard David raging and crashing furniture many times. They used their positions of leadership to inflict harsh and unjust consequences on us. Jeff also knows what other violations he perpetrated against me and my children. Roberto Sanchez also knows how his ambition led him to cover-up and participate with George and Betty in punishing Rachel at the birth of her child. Kirk chose not to be involved [which he now regrets]. Greg and Marcie knew for years, and I still don’t understand how they looked the other way.
At the very end in a telephone conversation I pleaded for direction in fear for my safety, due to pornography in David’s life and his raging.
I confided to some who lived with or near me. I will not name them at this time because I find this initial effort has been huge for me.
This paper is not about what I should have done. I wonder if I will ever even understand enough to attempt that kind of paper? Each name represents a life that shared in my own. I own that I had both positive and negative impact on them as well.
Betty told me, “love covers a multitude of sins,” and that I should exercise my love for David by giving him a covering in which to grow and change. That covering was to come about by covering up his “nakedness” like Noah’s son covered him. In other words, I was to do everything to hide what sort of man he was, and how he treated me. I told myself that our violent, inequitable marriage was being covered by those who knew--God's servants--so I was safe, and could grow and change. I knew then, and even more so now, that people were wronged by living in my home. I had hoped they, too, were covered by love. Now I see what a web of deceit we learned to live in. I write in hopes these others will get free of that web.
January 10, 2003