Re: Robert Gross
Posted by: Kennybiegs ()
Date: July 10, 2010 10:35AM

Hi Marvin,

I found Rob Gross's obituary in Newsday. I saved it and subsequently I lost it. The obituary stated that he died after a long battle with cancer. I almost went to the funeral but decided not to, since I left the cult shortly after the "passing of the seed." His younger brother Glenn was a good friend of mine and was my roomate and suite mate at Stony Brook from 1976 to 1979.

Glenn married Donna Lyons and they lived in East Islip near Heckscher State Park. I lost touch with Glenn ove the years. Glenn definitely left the cult after the "passing of the seed crisis" which was when I left.

I recently tried to track Glenn down but he apparently has an unlisted phone number.

I think Rob Gross eventually realized that Jack was a false profit; However, because he was married to Connie Ramu, there was pressure on Rob to believe in Hickman.

I had 4 children who graduated from Half Hollow Hills High School, but fortunately they were never involved with the cult.

I used to sing and play guitar at Shoresh services and some weddings, and also at the coffee house in Southold.

It took me a long time to get over the cult. Eventually, I went back to a local Evangelical Chrisitan Church in my community, went back to School and got my M.B.A. in Finance at NYU. I worked for many years in investment banking.

Re: Robert Gross
Posted by: richardmgreen ()
Date: August 11, 2010 01:14AM

Gross was my elder in the cult. The day my parents jumped me in the kitchen the day before my 18th birthday, he made arrangments for me to stay at the house in Deer Park.

Re: Jack Hickman
Posted by: surfer54 ()
Date: October 26, 2010 03:47AM

On a more positive note, recently several ex-community/family members have gotten in touch with me via Facebook and it's been quite nice catching up on things. I was just telling one person that one of the good things that came out of this whole thing for me was it helped focused me on to a rewarding career in health-care and I settled down to go on to have 2 wonderful kids, although I'm am now divorced. 2 members from Colorado have also been in touch, and one became quite angry when I asked about all that money...where is all that money? The Southhold and Bushwick houses, Jack's estate out in East Islip loaded with antiques, the church properties,etc,etc,etc. No need to answer anyone, I know where it went......I always thought Bob Gross was one of the good ones. I had several long conversations with him in his office in Massapequa about the community, "Abba" where he would occasionally have this look on his face like he knew it was all bullsh-t.

Re: Jack Hickman
Posted by: disillusioned1 ()
Date: January 16, 2011 01:43AM

I am going to tell my story, partly because I need to and partly because, hey, maybe it'll help some of the people still stuck in it.

I am a "youth," to me that means I was a second generation Hick-ite, my parents chose it, but I didn't. I was born into it. If I wanted to be a part of their family, then I had to be a part of "the" family. And as basic psychology somewhat dictates, kids are going to be what their parents tell them, no matter how unhappy they are about it, at least for a little while. But, I never really had a chance to experience anything else. I was born in the 1980's, and my parent's still sent me to Bet El, the private school. That means they heard all the stories and chose not to believe them. That means that you people who came to your senses in the 1982 fallout, who think that things split up then, are terribly wrong. When I recently confronted my father about the article, he told me that he wasn't a part of that (the molestation and the beatings), and that I had to consider the source. We were talking about the mainstream American media, and remember he had always taught me not to believe what they said, so how could I believe that. In case you haven't guessed, my father is a very sick man. He was even trying to re-wire my brain, even now, to disbelieve my own feelings. When that didn't work, He switched to the old intimidation tactics, told me I was always a radicle and that he would disown ME for implying that his behavior was anything less than perfect parenting. Thank my lucky stars (because I don't know who God is anymore) that I'm stronger than that now.

Regardless, I think the school brain washed me. I knew and thought of things about God and religion that no 5 year old comes up with on their own. I was convinced that I had to be perfect or God was going to kill me. I would beat myself up psychologically every Yom Kippur because I was terrified of not being inscribed in the Book of Life, but was also tangling with the feeling, how could I not be inscribed in the book of life? I'm part of this really special blood line (that never made any sense), and if God chose me then why would he kill me? But I was afraid. I was taught to fear everything and everyone. I had more than a healthy fear of God. I would say fear of the family, fear of being found out as being part of the family, fear of my parents (father specifically), and a raging fear of outsiders plagued me throughout my life and dictated most of my decisions.

Perhaps, but only perhaps, the molestation stopped with Lou and Dennis and the others of that time. But the damage was done. Our parents beat us as an accepted form of discipline. It was nothing to be at an event and have someone else's parents slap or spank you to punish you. It was the old "it takes a village" mentality. Parent's didn't bat an eyelash. Too many, too many women I know were raped. One is too much if you ask me, but I know about more than that, and don't know if I can handle hearing more than what I already know. And they weren't raped by the parents of the group, the kids were raping each other. I often ask myself, why would they do that? Why? Because something happened to THEM that shattered their knowledge of right and wrong. Gee... wonder what that was? I can only speculate on that, and have for hours. I don't like the conclusion. Nothing was done about it. Nothing law enforcement anyway. The children never got closure. Ch's and Elders were involved and it was "handled." Just like everything else was handled. And if it wasn't handled then the parents themselves ignored the complaints of the children or the obvious goings on and changes in their children, never once trying to find out why their kids were so despondent. Let me repeat this, the parents IGNORED rape. In some cases, the girls were not believed, BY THEIR OWN PARENTS. For the youth reading this, this happened to people you know, people you love, people you would never suspect. Its sick.

What else can I say? The group tried to turn into loving group of zealots that were overly spiritual. They always perpetuated the idea that the youth were a special form of soul, with a special job to do. They were always preparing us. Always preparing us for a great spiritual battle. There were no guns, that I know of. It was all psycho babble talk. They would come out with some new "thing" we had to do every couple of years. It was the next wave of information. It was the next task. We couldn't be told the whole truth all at once because we had to be ready with the last bit of info in order to acquiesce to the next bunch of spiritual jargon. The whole thing really devolved into following new books that came out and doing what they said because it was the real "Truth." The lost gospels and dead sea scrolls, Jesus and Torah scholars, Kabbalah. There were elements of everything.

But the core people, they never stopped the mind control. I was approached by no less than 4 elders over the years to make sure I was "on the right path." This included trying to get me to un-friend a homosexual male who "came out" within the group. They likened his choice to bestiality and would continually ask me if I thought bestiality was okay. I kept saying, it's not the same thing. You taught us to love each other, and now you're telling me not to love his guy. That's just simply not going to happen. They kept saying, we need to cut off this kind of perversion from the family. We can't allow it to continue. This guy was PETRIFIED of homosexuality, and that it was going to spread through the youth. I'm pretty sure this conversation got me a label somewhere. If he's reading this write now, he knows who he is, flip you. You guys ruined years of that kids life. He's only now starting to be happy with himself and not hating himself for his "choice."

I can go on and on. The abuses never stopped. They are discrete. SERIOUS ABUSES, are still going on. They are covered up by people you think of as "good guys." You can feel bad for them if you want, but they are covering things up. You won't hear about them, because you are not meant to. Only people directly involved hear about these things. They are continuing to "handle" things. They tell people who do these things that they will help them and various people with psychiatric or social work experience start to meet with the wrong doers to help them shed this "wrong" thinking. The victims of these seriously unstable people, I don't know what happens to them. Probably the same thing that happens to the rest of us, they bury their shame. The wonder what is wrong with them. The creepy crawly down the spine increases for them whenever they see the people that become the co-conspirators.

I just want to send a message out there to those who are reading. You may have figured out who I am, and I am not scared anymore. I will not divulge who I am or names of the wrong doers or names of the victims, so don't message me asking if you can't figure it out already. I want my family to finally live in peace, so people who don't know me, I'm not looking to befriend you, sorry. I'm still paranoid about people, remember, I was brain washed by a cult. But I have a support system to help me through this. There are a bunch of youth who have had the wool removed from their eyes, and are starting to really live, for the first time in our lives, free. People still in it will see us as "on the left side." Whoop de-ding. I'm not on any side now, but my own. If you are looking to get out and want someone to talk you, message me. Chances are, I live really close by to some of you, like mygoodname, fallen49r, twoworlds. We can meet for a beer if you want. You are not alone. There is nothing wrong with you. There is no need to be paranoid anymore. You don't need to live like this.

Re: Jack Hickman Cult Shoresh Yashi
Posted by: truthseeker2 ()
Date: January 17, 2011 01:41AM

I want names, dates, details anything. I was married into the family of the pastor of the East Meadow "church". I knew some of this stuff, but no where near what I am now learning. I was told the stories were false and attacks. I had a child and later divorced the family member. My child has no contact with the family except her Grandmother who, yes lives in Maine. The other family members all seem to have left LI. They are either in Colorado or Maine. This is all scary stuff to me, as I am not sure that my daughter should stay in contact. The Tarrantinos, Olson, Hoves etc. were all close friends of the Smestads. And, yes there are existing issues of abuse. I am seeking truth.

Re: Jack Hickman Cult Shoresh Yashi
Posted by: truthseeker2 ()
Date: January 17, 2011 02:52AM

Don't know if you still post on this board. I just found it myself. Don Smestad is my ex-father in law. He lives in Maine as does his wife and my ex-husband Greg Smestad. I would like to know more about their involvement in this cult and the abuses.

Re: Jack Hickman
Posted by: truthseeker2 ()
Date: January 17, 2011 03:45AM

The harm is that people who were abused often pass that abuse on. The children of the cult abuse their own children and so on and so on. It all stays secret because they appear to be so peaceful, so God-loving. Children don't lie, listen to the children. Jesus said let them come to me, be like the little children. I say to harm them is to go against any teaching of God.

Re: Jack Hickman
Posted by: truthseeker2 ()
Date: January 17, 2011 04:45AM

Another present day reality are the abused children of the abused youth.

Re: Jack Hickman
Posted by: truthseeker2 ()
Date: January 17, 2011 04:54AM

Are you a Smestad? Sounds like, or close friend.

Re: Jack Hickman
Posted by: surfer54 ()
Date: January 17, 2011 05:12AM

Here's a tid-bit for you...working in the mental health field I have thus far encountered two former children of people involved with Shoresh in mental hospitals....May I suggest some therapy to address the PTSD stuff...because that's exactly what it is... too bad you couldn't send the bills to "Abba" Coons... it gets better...most of those people in positions of power in Shoresh were very "sick" individuals...although I found Pastor Don to be one of the good ones. I often wondered if anyone ever contacted an attorney to at least sue for civil damages.I think most people who left after the "passing of the seed" expose, were so emotionally fragile we couldn't fathom pursuing anything legally. I wish you both nothing but PEACE...
Oh, I'm writing this from the beaches of Waikiki. So it does get better..

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