I'm just curious as to what happened back in the early 80's - I thought
had been some major fallout and the group completely disbanded, so I was
surprised to see that COBU still exists at all. So was there some major
fallout? My interest is personal: I'm writing about my own spiritual history, tracking
it in a sense. I don't think I have much to contribute for your purposes, I wasn't involved
for very long, but it may interest you to know that I was "deprogrammed"
formally from COBU, you know, taken against my will to be saved from
brainwashing. I wondered what the COBU reaction was to all that, if any, but
there must have been some. I snuck a call to the Lamb House in the Bronx from
the farm in WV where they were keeping me, and the brothers offered to rescue
me, but the head deprogrammer hung up the phone before I could offer an
address. It was like a b-movie actually, sleep drugs, FBI, car chases; people
from the Moonies, Christ Family, The Way, Hare Krishna's, The Divine Light
Mission; and so on. Looking back, it was actually quite fascinating.
They kept me for 2 months because they couldn't find any ex-COBU members to
come in and "snap" me out of the brainwashing. Finally, they did find a young
woman from Baltimore, I'll try to remember her name, who had been involved
from the beginning, but left sometime in the late 70's. I'm sure she'd be
helpful for your web page. I had had a huge file of the Lamb stuff and
deprogramming stuff (many articles on Traill and abuses, R.J. Lifton's 8
points of brainwashing, etc.), but I think my roommates back then "made it
disappear" for fear I would "float" (deprogramming lingo) and go back to COBU.
At that point however, I was quite exhausted with the whole story, and had so
much to contemplate and seek to understand. It really has been quite a
Some of the people I met at the Lamb House in Bronx were Patty Daniels,
first witnessed to me; Rich Marshall, with whom I felt a special bond; I
bumped into Rich on Fordham Rd a year or so later and it was he who told me
the group had disbanded, and that he and a few brothers went to Brooklyn and
were starting their own carpet cleaning business. I remember sitting with
him, seeing and experiencing what I would describe as a divine clarity. I
thought, "I don't know what that place had for real, but it sure woke
something up in him." I don't know the others full names: there was Carol,
very smart, kinky brown hair; Noami and another young black woman who were
both pregnant; Kathy, fair, with long reddish hair; she and Carol worked in
Manhattan (their names may actually be reversed); a very nice and wise man
named Jeff, who was Jewish (could be the same Jeff now in Russia).
I do remember, however, not being at all impressed with Stewart Traill and
wondering what all the fuss was about. I liked the singing at the Big Meeting
(Lancaster), but remember feeling cold and tired and weird about sleeping on a
icerock gym floor. I was also uncomfortable about the "subordinance of women"
belief, and debated it with Rich, who told me I must discuss it with the
sisters. However, I was then whisked off to West Virginia and never got the
Well, that's all for now. I'd like to thank you for this web site. I can see
it is quite a service. I don't suffer from the same kinds of abuses and
wounds, and I don't share a wealth of experience in COBU, but this group
certainly inspired some very dramatic experiences, as well as a major turning
point in my life.
Please do let me know if you have any comments or questions, and thanks
Also, re: Nancy C's remarks on the back ss issue: unless you were actually
paid and issued W2s or 1099s, there are no funds to dispute. A class action
suit of another sort might not be ruled out though, if that's what interests
Thanks again. I really enjoyed reading your musings. Your love and sincerity
and good heart all shine through your words.
I look forward to hearing from you, but know that I'll be away for the
Thanksgiving holiday and therefore, off-line.