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Author Topic: Serving the Geftakys'  (Read 16386 times)
matthew r. sciaini

« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2004, 07:24:15 am »

Ex-stewardship doers:

I can remember preparing breakfast one morning at the Millers' (French toast) and reaching for what I thought was the vanilla and finding out (AFTER I had put it in) that it was actually red food coloring.  We had pink French toast that morning for breakfast (I don't recall getting a consequence--just laughs around the table).

Also I remember being assigned an incredibly difficult item to prepare for breakfast while I was living at the House of Prayer.  It was some sort of elaborate coffee cake that, despite my hours of preparation the night before, just "wasn't happening".  The head steward  half-jokingly told me to "give it up" and take the consequence.  The next morning it still "wasn't happening", so I consulted with the man running the house and we had cold cereal, etc.  He also admonished his wife (so I heard)  not to have the brethren tortured by trying to have any of us try to prepare that particular dish again.

Hopefully I broke neither topic nor temperature here.

Matt Sciaini

« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2004, 08:33:36 am »

As a consequence, we had to type recipe cards (pre-PC days).  As a joke, we would put things such as NaCl for salt and H20 for water.

One day a brother was thawing ice cubes.  Turns out, he got the recipe that called for 2 cups thawed ice.  

I'm glad he wasn't doing the dinner that called for 2 cups condensed steam.
Joseph Reisinger

« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2004, 09:55:00 am »

Scott, i accept your apology.  and i am sorry for being undelicate in any way.

believe it or not... it's incredibly hard to just pop in and say something.  i read alot, but don't say much because its hard to phrase everything just right.  i really don't like being misunderstood, but sometimes i have urges to try and bring my perspective on things as a casual viewer - many more of which there are that don't talk at all.

Arthur, i enjoyed your stories a bunch.  It helps me to remember that there actually was something that drew people to George besides his bible knowledge.  Unfortunately, as far back as i can remember, i have no good memories of G.G - only discomfort and nervousness.  Certainly i respected him for a long time, but I was always trying so hard to gain his favor and yet felt that i wasn't anywhere near as spiritual as needed.  actually, i felt that he saw me as a weakling.

i think the problem is - when all that i have about George is negative stories and vilification, it doesn't make sense that he would gain such a following or remain in such control as he did.  but to hear balanced perspectives helps many to deal.

« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2004, 11:53:29 am »

Arthur -

Maybe George was more like Gollum -  an evil side and a less evil/"good" side?  Maybe the "good" side was a manipulation to ensnare a sincere person

Hi Margaret

You know him better than I do and for much longer, even before the assembly days.  When I read your story about the Buddhist idol, Tibetian Book of the Dead, etc. I was convinced that he was the next worst thing to the devil incarnate.  But now that I've had some time to reflect and live a normal happy life and not see evils at every turn (I'm actually in a good and chipper mood today, a rarety these past few years), I dunno.  I guess I want to give him the benefit of the doubt.  Or maybe I want to take a balanced look at it all.

You know his story about how he got saved when he was a teenager out of a heathen home and then went to a Bible college and into the ministry.  I think that's been verified, so I gotta ask, wasn't he at one time saved?  An unsaved person doesn't do those things?  He told his dad he wanted to follow Jesus.  His dad asked how much money that would make him.  George said he didn't care about money.  His whole family thought he was crazy and laughed at him.  That sounds like an honest conversion to me, why else would a young person do such things?
What happened afterwards...well...  
Remember when George said that he was going to Bible college for a while and he was very close finishing his grad degree or something, but something weighed heavily on his heart.  He told the Lord, "This is for you I'm doing this right"?  But the Lord's hand was heavy upon him and finally after praying he decided that the Lord told him to leave school. So was that really the Lord?
And then there was the baptist church and then he left that and then the years of wandering, having to work for a living (sounds kinda like Chuck Smith's life story, interestingly enough).  Until the day that George believed God said he would be relieved of that double burden.  And the rest is history, assembly history that is.

I dunno. You know him better than I.  Was the whole story about his salvation in his youth and subsequent persuit of the Lord all a conjuring of sorts? I'd be very interested to hear your insights into the manner.  Do you think there is any possibility that he really did start out good and genuine but became corrupted?  Or was he always corrupt?  I've read some things that Tom posted and he states that he learned some good things from George.  I agree and I think I have too.  Why is it that I want to do good and be right with God to this day more than I did before I joined the assembly.  There must have been some good out of it.  I know many people in the assembly that I was in were who are sincere Christians with deep walks to this day despite what has happened.  That doesn't happen in something like the Mormons or JW's.  Therefore I conclude that there must have been some true spirituality and good in George, and, unfortunately, right alongside of it was the pride and leaven of the Pharisees.  What do you think?

Interesting thing about Gollum is that he did have a part to play in it after all.  And Frodo said to Sam "So let us forgive him!"  I dunno if we'll say that of George, but I do think that even the pain of all this will go away someday and we can look back on it and be thankful to God for even our time in the assembly.  Life in the assembly under George was a cruel taskmaster, yet it has taught us much.  It must somehow be part of God's plan.

« Last Edit: March 17, 2004, 12:19:57 pm by Arthur » Logged
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2004, 12:17:07 pm »

believe it or not... it's incredibly hard to just pop in and say something.  i read alot, but don't say much because its hard to phrase everything just right.  i really don't like being misunderstood, but sometimes i have urges to try and bring my perspective on things as a casual viewer - many more of which there are that don't talk at all.


I think you are quite right.  I know that there has been criticism from the outside that people on this bulletin board squish any ideas that are contrary to the accepted hatred of George and the assembly.  And I think the criticism has some validity.  I have noticed that many times when someone says anything that may be remotely construed as support for George, that person gets a post or two or twelve saying why they don't know what they are talking about or are still under the spell, etc. I am guilty of this.

Mind you there are some wicked people out there who know the truth and still support George and are against people who expose the truth.  I think they deserve every refutation they received.  In fact, I'm pretty sure they've all been banned from this board, thank goodness.  

However, if a person wants to take an honest look, I hope that we can allow some balanced searching of the facts.  

But you have to keep in mind that people have strong feelings about the injustice and indignities that happened to them.  I know when I first left I was thrashing out at just about anything that moved.  It was like evil was all around me and I was very confused and afraid and hurt.  People say and do funny things in such a state.  

But I think as time progresses the wounds do heal and we can then look into the past from a state of saftey so that we can better learn what really happened and come to terms with it and move on and grow again.

I still feel kinda weird posting on the board (yeah I know, even after 600+ posts).  But I've gotta say it helps.  It still is good therapy to explore, ask questions, talk about things with people who've been there.

« Last Edit: March 17, 2004, 12:18:28 pm by Arthur » Logged
al Hartman

« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2004, 12:41:35 pm »

     ...believe it or not... it's incredibly hard to just pop in and say something.  i read alot, but don't say much because its hard to phrase everything just right.  i really don't like being misunderstood, but sometimes i have urges to try and bring my perspective on things as a casual viewer - many more of which there are that don't talk at all...

Joseph R.,

     We have had numerous discussions on various threads over the past year about the difficulties of clear written communication in general, and on the BB in particular.  Not only do we lack the advantages of tone-of-voice, facial expression, hand gestures & other body language, but we're often tired, rushed and sometimes frustrated by losing our near-completed posts as you have described.  But we press on...
     Feelings get hurt, toes get stepped on, but honestly, what family doesn't experience such things?  We apologize, we forgive, we get to know and understand each other better, and we continue.  Some of us have actually reached the point where we could physically occupy the same room without coming to blows! Roll Eyes   (OOooohh!  Did you see what al wrote?!!  Did he mean that, or was he kidding???) Grin Wink

     Anyway, you sir, have shown yourself to be both intelligent and articulate.  It would be our loss if you should not post for fear of being misunderstood.  Because this forum is open to all, we dare not ignore anyone's opinions.  We are here not to teach, but to learn and to share and to grow, to recover and heal, to be encouraged in becoming what our Lord has called us to be.  You are one of us.
     Because several recent posts on this thread have dealt with recipes, I'll make this suggestion:  Add more prayer to the mix.  I am convinced that this BB functions in the service of Christ, and is not to be taken for granted.  I have personally been embroiled in some misunderstandings here that beg adjectives such as severe, harsh, even bitter, but love and prayer have made us stronger and enabled us to rise above our disagreements.

     So, please, Joseph, give us the benefit of the doubt and keep posting, taking your chances & trusting your Lord, as the rest of us have to do.

God bless,
al Hartman

Kimberley Tobin
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2004, 07:55:51 am »


Ok.  I'm not posting in the best of circumstances.  I've had a hard week, I'm tired, I feel pulled in 10 different directions.  But I did want to contribute something to what you were saying.

So, here goes, take it with a grain of salt, I'm not in the best form.....

I think you have to understand that your experience is one of an assembly kid (if I get my facts straight, correct me if I'm wrong.)  Depending on where you fell in the mix, you had a different experience than most of us.  What I mean by that, is that, there are many AK's (as they will attest to you) that didn't have your experience (my daughter for one.)  The peons who weren't in leadership (as I believe your parents were, again, correct me if I'm wrong) had a VERY different experience.

You really don't know what the "training" homes were designed to do.  They were designed to make "slaves" of the saints.  You were to do stewardships with a "good attitude", without complaining, with scripture being sighted if you ever did argue, stipulating that even if you were "right", you were to take the situation, whatever it was, without complaining.  It was harsh, it was without compassion and it was downright LUDICROUS!  Not having experienced the situations over the course of YEARS, you really don't know what you're talking about.

I hope you see that the people who are dialogueing here, aren't talking about their experiences to dwell on them and STAY THERE.  It is healing to admit what we were involved with, allowed ourselves to be controlled by another individual, and to heal from admitting what we were involved with.  We want to move away from allowing ourselves to be manipulated by these type of individuals and to move forward.  But part of this is to admit what happened.  It is not bitterness to admit this.  It JUST IS!

I don't necesssarily expect you to understand.  But please try!

« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2004, 09:50:44 am »

Hi Arthur,

All I have is a tentative opinion that is still in the process of development.  It seems to me that George might be one of those who have failed to "make their calling and election sure."  Maybe he had some kind of experience at the side of the road and started out sincerely.  Certainly he was very attracted to the things of the Lord (among other things...).  But aren't there those who learn to speak the language of Canaan but aren't really citizens?  His private life from the time before we knew him was inconsistent with it (not that we knew it at the time.)  And from the time we met him the characteristics of malignant narcissism were apparent.  Some people like that are also very charismatic and convincing.    

As far as the "blessing of God on his ministry," I'm not sure it was on his ministry so much as on all the Scriptures that were read.  For me, when I felt the Lord spoke to me in a message it was always a passage of Scripture, not something he said.  

Maybe I'm wrong and people who knew me will disagree, but I think that we had some precious times together (not with George ever, mind you).  We actually sometimes practised what George preached, and it was wonderful and changed my life for the better in some ways.

Just thoughts.  As you say, Arthur - I dunno.

Just to set the record straight, to my knowledge it wasn't Bible college George dropped out of, and it wasn't because he was so piously responding to the Lord.  It was the USC graduate school of philosophy, where he had rung up some 240 units of graduate philosphy and psychology, while Betty was supporting the family.  The brothers at the Goodyear Assembly told him he had to quit school and get a job and support his family.  My guess is that with the brethren behind her, Betty put her foot down.

« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2004, 10:25:26 am »

When I think of assembly sympathizers I often think of Matt 23, where the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocrisy.  While He rebuked the leaders for their religious system, He treated the repentant sinner with forgiveness and compassion.

From Matt 23:23  "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others." it would appear that the leaders did do some things right, but the Lord Jesus rebuked them nevertheless.

Joseph R, the experiences and healing process for each ex-assemblyite is similar and yet different, the difference being related to degree of woundedness and time to heal.  I have sometimes felt 'blasted' on this BB as well, and I believe that in relating with individuals it is to be expected.  Also, in those particular instances I look at it as an opportunity to re-examine my own perspective, and to allow the person who blasted me the time he/she needs in the healing process.  It is great to be able to speak openly and freely.  So often George and his servants would preach that we should not have anything to hide, but yet there was more lying and behind-the-scenes activity happening then than there is now.  Anyway, JR hope you will contribute more often. Cool

Lord bless,

« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2004, 09:43:00 pm »

Who remembers these kinds of sayings:

  "The home is part of the house of God.  We want the same standard here as in the meeting place.  The stewardships are just as important as the meetings."

I was able to get a LB into not being able to answer by questioning these statements.  It usually came up when the only time I could finish a stewardship would be to miss a meeting.  I couldn't get an extension, and I couldn't miss the meeting.

When I first moved into the house, we got a break on the stewardships when we were away at each seminar.  Later the LB decided that the stewardships needed to be finished on-time, anyway, even though we weren't home.  I actually took vacation days to do stewardships so that I could clean, slightly more, the already nearly spotless house, where nobody would be home.

Some things I learned about dust.
  • Dusting after two weeks isn't any harder than dusting after one.
  • It is really silly to dust Saturday afternoon, and then do it again Sunday evening (to get the stewardship out of the way).
  • After a few months, the dust stops getting worse :-)

A (non-Christian) friend I know who knows be before and after the assembly  uses an interesting term to describe the assembly: "Dusting Cult".
Joe Sperling

« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2004, 02:02:19 am »


The stewardships were a real example of putting the letter of the law before grace and compassion for sure.
Often stewardships were deemed so important, that
putting aside a stewardship to visit a sick family member, or to finish an important class assignment, was looked upon as lacking commitment to God.

I experienced it personally, though it has been many years ago.

This post brought to you by Walmart's dust mops---
"Stewardships and Walmart dust mops, working together to help form Christ in you".
« Last Edit: March 19, 2004, 02:03:14 am by Joe Sperling » Logged
Eulaha L. Long

« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2004, 02:40:12 am »

I remember a time in SLO when I lived in a home that catered to the needs of Betty Geftakys.  She never so mauch as lifted a finger to help around the house with cleaning, cooking, making her Gerson juices and coffee enemas.  But, she could talk about how important stewardships were, and that being infaithful in the little things meant one was not to be given responsibility in greater things.  Boy-I never knew God was so concerned about crumbs underneath the sofa cushions! Angry
al Hartman

« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2004, 06:28:51 am »


     Cathy & I live near the top of a hill that catches constant breezes.  I'm convinced that dust collects here more rapidly than almost anywhere.  I add to your observations these:

     --Given time, dust bunnies will mature into dust bison,
        which move slower and are easier to catch.
     --Dust forms a protective covering.  (I have a plaque
        that states this, but you can't read it for the dust.) Cool


     According to my records, you still owe me two hours in the kitchen & a car wash. Roll Eyes


     Do you really expect anyone to believe that Betty didn't take her turn cleaning toilets & taking out the trash? Huh  Get real! Grin

al Wink


« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2004, 11:39:25 am »

  • Dust forms a protective covering.  (I have a plaque that states this, but you can't read it for the dust.) Cool
Near the kitchen, the dust mixes with condensed grease and forms a lovely goo.

Because of my allergies, I have central filtering in my house.  I still have dust, but not nearly as much as in the training home.  The main place it is quite obvious is on the top of the glossy-black piano.


« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2004, 11:45:30 am »


I can't find the post with the link to the funny cartoon bird playing the guitar and singing.

Which thread was it in?

Thomas Maddux
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