Cult?/ religious group????

  1. One of my dear friends is having a very difficult time and we don't know what to make of it? Her daughter met a "family" and became very friendly with them and "they" moved her and her 2 teenage children half way across the country. It is just too strange and my friend fears for her grandchildren's safety. Her daughter is not married, no father is involved. The twins are in high school-one boy, one girl.
    Her daughter moved in with these people with her kids. There is another woman and her teenage daughter there too. So it is this married couple, their 4 kids and two other women and their children. They are 7th Day Adventists, her daughter became a vegetarian and made her children do it too. Her children have no friends, no TV or any electronic devices allowed in their room. All their phone calls to my friend (their grandmother) are monitered meaning usually listened in to by some adult in the house. The grandkids say their mother is never alone and watched by one of the adults in the house, she has changed. I think they even control her money-which means they get all her money. Her kids do not get anything. They don't even get lunch money for school because "they might buy meat". The kids have to dress a appropriate way and go to church all day on Saturday. No holidays are celebrated-including birthdays. Any mail they get is open and read or thrown out before they get it. Computer emails are not allowed to old friends. Her daughter keeps referring to these people as "her family" to my friend, she is pretty rude to her mother and I think my friend is one step away from a nervous breakdown. The kids get driven to and picked up from school, they can't even ride the school bus. My friend feels both kids are very depressed. She fears for them getting out of line--because it seems like they have a strict set of rules and conduct they must follow.
    So if anyone can offer any advice on what you might think is going on here, what my friend can do to help her grandchildren. She wants to visit them once school gets out, so she can check with her own eyes what is going on but now it seems like her daughter does not want her to come. Her daughter will not send the kids on vacation--that would mean they are out of her sight.

    It is just so strange. This is my 3rd friend who has had a child move far away in the past year--they are trying to help each other but this one move is just so not normal to us. It seems like there is cult like things going on and my friend thinks she is probably getting half of what is really happening.
    Any help?
  2. Your friend should talk to a lawyer. If her state supports grandparent's rights, she may be able get legal visitation.
  3. I used to go to a seventh day adventist church and my BIL is a pastor for the same church. It is nothing like you are describing. I don't know what kind of mess that is they are in. Most seventh day are veggies, but it is for health reasons. The only thing odd with the church to me or different was the women don't wear jewelry (not even wedding rings), but that was it. Good luck to your friend.
  4. I looked up websites on 7th day adventists and they just sound like a church and from what her grandchildren say this seems so abnormal. The kids did talk about something called cleansing the feet at church (some process for what?) and baptisism too. So far the kids have not done this and they are fighting joining the church. But their mother is away on retreats a lot and the kids seem to really have lost their mother and any love or attention from her, it is like the kids are a burden.
  5. I am a little weary of some religious groups, because my sister got involved with one and she has never been the same. She moved away (not too too far) but definitely keeps her distance. When questioned about her beliefs, she rattles off like a pre-recording...and like she's brainwashed. I personally prefer to stay a nondenominational Christian, and don't get caught up in the "religion" aspect of it. As far as your friend's daughter and grandkids, I don't know what she can do. The more she tries to convince her to do one thing, the further she's going to push her daughter away. (I know because that's what we tried with my sister.) Tell her to just be there for her, love her, and pray for her. A gal always needs her mother, so as long as she hasn't pushed her away (unintentionally or not), she'll reach out to her.
  6. If the children are a 'burden' why doesn't your friend suggest for them to come be with her? or is that not an option? I understand she may be worried about her daugther but she is a grown woman. forcing the children though is a whole different story so maybe she would be happy for them to leave?

    all the best for your friend.
  7. One of my best friends in the entire world is 7 Day Adventist, and that sounds absolutely nothing like what her religion is like. My friend definitely has a cell phone, a computer, and basically live her life the opposite of what your friend's daughter is doing & my friend is very religious, so it's not like she's nonpracticing. That definitely sounds like a cult or at least something strange.
  8. I don't know what to say...there are many strange religious groups. One branch of 7th day Adventists in my country did something very strange.

    There is a ferry across a river in my mother's hometown. One time some of a 7th day Adventist group were on the ferry when one of them fell in the river. There were few people on the ferry who were not of that group, and when several of the other people tried to jump in the water to save the drowning person, they were restrained by the adventists saying that "If the Lord wants him to be saved, he will be". The poor man drowned. I'm uncertain if ever these people were prosecuted, but they sure had some strange beliefs!
  9. Google "cults" etc & see if you can find that group that deprograms people, call & explain what is going on to them, they are experts in this stuff.
    7th day adventists can be 'strange,' but not this weird. (They do not believe in interferring in Gods will with drugs for diseases etc.) Unless its some kind of sect of the 7th day adventists.
    Taking her money is not a good sign, neither is trying to isolate her from her mother. This is a serious situation -see if you can find that deprograming group now.
  10. My friend is afraid to do anything because she thinks the grandchildren will pay. She is trying to somehow talk with the grandchildren without anyone on another line, which means she somehow has to try to arrange contact with them and possibly have them call her collect from school. She feels so much more is going on but they can't tell her since their phone calls are monitered. It is like they have no freedom or free will. They have to act and dress and eat a certain way. Follow the rules (or else???but what is or else)? I think the kids have been sick and her daughter did not take them to the doctor--it might have just been the flu but I don't even know if they got any medication to make them feel better. They will not talk to anyone at school-I think they are afraid to say something or possibly some people at school are from the church? My friend is trying to get the name of this "church" so we can research it, but her daughter has not mentioned a name.
    She is just trying to somehow arrange to visit in the future so she can see with her own eyes what is going on. I do not think she would ever do something about contacting someone that deprograms you from cults. Her daughter was in a cult during time at college, but got tired of it. SO maybe what she is searching for can be found in some strange group. To me it does not seem like a church. I had a good friend who was in to saving the world and preached about God to everyone and it did get to be over the top, but her heart was in the right place and she helped a lot of people who needed help, so to me this was just normal behavior for someone who was very religious. What my friend's daughter is in to does not see to be normal in any way.
    I guess it will be wait and see what happens next.
  11. I hope you find help for your friend. As far as seventh day adventist, from my experience, they are not a cult. Some people take things too far and sometimes they take religion too far (or misinterpret)..but as far as the SDA not believing in medicine, I have never heard of that. My BIL is a pastor for a SDA church and his wife just had heart surgery, so they defintely had medical help. They go to church on the sabbath, hence the name, seventh day adventist, most r vegetarians, they never monitered my money or asked about it for that matter. They don't wear flashy items (jewelry, make-up etc), although I always wore my wedding ring and never leave this house w/o make-up. I was never told not to or made to feel uncomfortable by doing so. I really only feel that they were bible based, not alot of fluff, strictly bible teaching. I go to a non-denominational church now, but only because I haven't found a SDA here I like. There are two different types though, I don't know much about the other, but they are 7th day and seventh day. HTH and if I you have any more questiuons and I can help you, PM me.
  12. I think there is almost always a group in each religion that takes it a bit too far. Well...a lot too far, and unfortunately gives that particular religion a bad name. But regardless of this, it certainly sounds like your friends daughter and grandkids are in trouble. She should definitely find out more about that church, if she can get the name. It's sad about the grandkids especially. They weren't raised this way and now to have to adapt to this way of living must be so hard on them. I'm sorry. :sad:
  13. Thanks so much for the help. We still have fears that this is not a church in any way but they are somehow using the name 7th day adventist or it is some branch of the church that went their seperate way because of their radical views. My friend feels horrible that they will not celebrate her grandkids birthday and forget about Christmas--that did not seem to be celebrated.....the first time ever. My friend just mailed Christmas gifts to the children and hopes they will get to use them, she tried to buy things that would not cause any problems. I think she tried to sneak a phone card to each one in clothing, but we are not sure if the stuff will be looked thru before the kids get it.
  14. if the grandmother really thinks they are in trouble she could try to contact the school or go to the school and hope to see them herself. the fact that the daughter has been in a cult before puts up a red flag for me.

    of course, i understand the reluctance to get involved and cause trouble but the grandmother has to make that choice depending on how much trouble she thinks the kids are in. i feel for everyone concerned.
  15. i was watching a show a couple weeks back and there's this cult that call themselves "the family". it was a very creepy story. the people they take in are not allowed to have any contact with the outside world. yet they're so called "religious" people and they follow the bible. it's crazy. they talked about how the children were being molested by the adults. they were treated as sex slaves.
    from what i read from your post i don't trust the situation the woman and her children are in. i agree, maybe you should speak to your friend about getting a lawyer and investigating. they could be in serious trouble.