Rachel's Story - Conclusion
Conclusion, Epilogue and List of Witnesses
As I have said before, I do believe that the average saint in the Assembly does wish to follow and serve God. I also believe you can become a Christian by receiving Christ as your savior regardless of where you heard the gospel. However, I do not believe that if serving God is your true wish you can continue to stay involved with the Assembly and thereby support it. I believe that there is only one way for repentance and healing to occur in the Assembly: that is by its dissolution.
The saints should seek fellowship in healthy Christian groups. Those in leadership should publicly repent before the saints, ask forgiveness of those whose lives they have affected, whether in "fellowship" or not, step down and seek fellowship, not leadership, with other healthy Christian groups. The Workers should do the same as the leadership and also find real jobs.
George and Betty, Tim and Ginger and David Geftakys should all step down, publicly repent and in humility, attempt to make right the horrendous abuse that has permeated their family by counseling and financial support to their daughter-in-law who served faithfully for so long. Elizabeth and Dawn (Geftakys) should also seek counseling for children of abuse as they have grown up in an abusive family and are likely to continue the cycle of abuse, passing it on to their own children.
George and Betty should be honest as to their pasts and as to the lies they told regarding this. (Under other circumstances, I might say past sins are in the past but because George and Betty have lied about their past in order to gain authority and power over other's lives, I believe this step is essential). They should find fellowship in a place where there are people they can consider their peers (seeing as George has often stated, "I have no peers," in the Assembly.)
I don't really expect any of these steps to be taken, but I still pray that they will. I pray this not only for the sake of those perpetrating the abuse and the saints trying to find God in a place where he is not, but also for the children. There is a generation of children growing up in that place. They have no choice as to what their lives are like. They are at the mercy of you, their parents.
I lived through what I did, because my parents refused to acknowledge the evil they witnessed and were involved in. Their desire to maintain the illusion of spiritual superiority and to stay in a place that made them feel as though they were really serving God cost me dearly. It is costing your children. They are growing up seeing abuse and believing not only is it normal but spiritually superior, godly, and holy.
Even if you do not beat your wife or kids, they see abuses around them and they see you continuing to remain in that place. Your actions say that the place where they are seeing the abuse is a good place to be. After all, they don't think you would place them in a bad or unsafe place.
I implore you. If you did not know of these things before, do not go into denial now. Do not believe that you will change them on your own by simply praying, or confronting the leadership. You will simply be told more lies. If you have known and done nothing, do not continue in your denial. It is costing you even if you do not clearly see how. Your silent complicity is searing your conscience and corrupting your soul. It is also affecting your children.
It is a scary world out there. A lot of us got into the Assembly because we felt guilty from bad choices we had made. We felt unable to effectively control our lives and it was so much easier to give the controls over to someone else. We allowed ourselves to be convinced that we were really giving the controls over to God.
Well, when you give control to God, he doesn't do what has been done in the Assembly. However, you can walk with God and have fellowship with other Christians (something that is not truly happening in the Assembly). There are a lot of places to find fellowship and you will be surprised to see they are not compromised. There are a lot of dear Christians in other places that can be a real source of support and encouragement to you, in your life and in your walk with the Lord.
There are also great groups that have strong supports for your children as they grow up, to steer them towards Christ while learning to become adults who choose Christ and become who God made them. You will find that there really is a life where you are "Free at last, free at last. Thank God I'm free at last." There is a life available full of true peace, true joy, not manufactured.
You know the truth now and are faced with a decision. I pray you choose truth and freedom, not lies, denial, and bondage.
Since the time of the end of this letter in October 2000, the following has happened:
David Geftakys was asked to step down as a leading brother. I saw the letter to him asking for him to step down. It simply stated that the Bible said an elder must have his family under control and since Judy had left they needed him to step down. He would still be allowed to preach in rotation and was to be given minutes of all the Leading Brothers meetings and Workers Meetings. David was behaving in the same manner he always had with the leadership's knowledge. The only difference was Judy was no longer willing to stick around to keep up the image. He was also removed as an official Worker, although he has not supported himself with a job and is still financially supported by the ministry.
The only real change is that he doesn’t have to attend Workers Meetings. David Geftakys was briefly asked to stop partaking of the Lord's Supper, and then to stop preaching. When, after a token amount of time, he was allowed to start partaking again, Kirk C., one of the men in SLO leadership at the time questioned the decision. He asked, "Why, if we require others to demonstrate their repentance to us before being allowed to partake, then are we just taking David's word he has repented?" Kirk eventually stepped down and left the Assembly. He is still in fellowship with other Christians and is greatly saddened by his years of silent complicity and the damage the abuse caused. He has made an effort to contact many he believes he hurt by his silence, to ask their forgiveness.
David at first acknowledged some sin but not most of it and now denies it completely. He is now allowed to preach again. The leadership, which at first acquiesced they may have been negligent, now state that these things are all "lies and darkness" and that they cannot know if these sins occurred because there has been no witnesses.
Those still in "fellowship"
George and Betty Geftakys - have known for 30 years of my father’s abuse and been asked for counsel regarding it for the same amount of time.
Gay Walker - has known for 22 years (since the beating right after my brother was born when she was sent in to tend to my mother’s wounds) and during the end of my mother's marriage refused to talk to her about it or acknowledge the abuse and was very hostile to my mother.
Dan Notti - has known for 22 years but refused to acknowledge it until 12 years ago.
Mark Miller - has known for at least 4 years and probably as long as 14 years
Tim and Ginger Geftakys - have known for at least 5 years and probably more like 14. When I was 16 and received a horrible spanking/beating from my father, I showed my bruises to Dawn Geftakys. I find it hard to believe that she did not say anything to her parents or at least her mother. Then in March 1998 my mother confided in Ginger. Nothing happened. In October 2000, Ginger spoke with me saying, "I have been meaning to try to open a line of communication with your mother for some time now." I wonder what she meant? The "line of communication" had been started 2 years earlier, but she had made no effort to maintain it.
Dawn Geftakys (now Smith) - I told her about a lot of the abuse but not all of it in October 2000.
Elizabeth Geftakys (now Henderson) - I told her about the black eye and the abuse when I was a child in March of 1998. At that time, she told me her parents had said Uncle David had a violent temper. In spring 2001, I spoke with her and I began to tell her about the abuse but she cut off contact with me.
Sandy F. (Fullerton) - my mother told me that she had confided completely in her at the end of her marriage (this includes the details I have refused to pen for the sake of my mother. That means she knew the worst.). Sandy's response – "Just make sure you maintain fellowship. God gave you the husband he did for a reason."
Jeff and Nancy Lehmkuhl - have known at least 14 years.
Roberto and Jenny Sanchez - have known at least 14 years.
Greg and Marcie Holder - have known 14 years.
Bob Anderson - has known 7 years.
Various brothers who lived in my parent’s home. This includes Mike Duwelling, who is now a leading brother in the Midwest.
Ray and Laura Dienzo - a SLO leading brother, who has known for about 2 and half years. They didn’t know at the time it was happening but have still done nothing although my mother has told them about the abuse.
Witnesses who have since left the Assembly
Brent and Suzie T. - have known for at least 8 years. Both are very vocal and outspoken about what they witnessed.
Kirk and Linda C. - former SLO leading brother. Has since left and now acknowledges the abuse.
David Michael Geftakys
David and Rachel Steepleton (formerly Geftakys)