Subject: Open letter to the Brethern at or from C.O.B.U / Forever Family
Date: Sat, 03 Oct 1998 14:06:10 PDT
From: "Richard Laverdure" <>

Praise God the Father Jesus the Son of God and The Holy Spirit who has
called us into the Fellowship of the Saints in Light.  Greetings to all
who call upon the Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.  It is a Joy to see
and read the testimonies that you are posting on your web page and I'm
sure the Lord will use it to His Glory and the Healing of many who the
Holy Spirit will lead here for answers concerning there Love of the
Truth and the experiences that they had in the Church.  First Let me
identify myself for all the Brethren I am Richard J. LaVerdure saved by
Jesus and His finished work of redemption on the cross at calvary...
Sometime around June or July of 74 in the city of Worcester
Massachusetts.  I stayed with the Forever Family / COBU until approx.
Dec 77. My friend Mike Pappi told me about the Lord at first then I
started visiting the fellowship house in Worcester and met Steve Levin
and Patty Daniels and Skip and Pam O'Neil.  I being raised under Roman
Catholic Church Doctrines and Dogma I was in deep rebellion against it
and it's hypocrisies...  I wasn't a very nice person and events during
my rebellion were taking me on a path of destruction and into the realm
of the Devil that scared me... Drugs, Sex, Murder, Money Laundering, and
invited into the Mafia.  However: God who takes what is lowly and
despised in the World (Scum by the world's Standards) and saved me to
the uttermost. When I accepted Jesus into my life, He put the sinner in
me to death by taking me to the cross with him.  He Jesus with many
signs and wonders started proving his resurrected life to me, in me, and
through me, inspite of me....  The new Life of Faith that is available
in Christ Jesus I started to live and many of the teachings and bible
scriptures started coming alive to me, in me, and through me...  I had
the Joy of the Lord and I Praise God for this event in my Life.  Being
newly recreated in the Spirit of Truth and the Holy Spirit inside me I
earnestly desire to mature in Christ and submitted wilfully to the
instructions of the elders appointed of my in the Lord (The Older
Brothers)and Stewart Trails direction and guidance.  I trusted the
leadership because the scriptures said to and wanted to please my Lord
and Savior Jesus with whom I was in Love with, who had delivered me from
the powers of darkness, the devil in me, and the bondage to sin that I
knew ruled my life...  Because of this I was free free free in the
Spirit and I soared at His deliverance and Power.  However: After a
while approx. late in 76 I noticed a spirit of fear creeping into the
older brothers and that Stewart would harshly treat them with a contempt
that wasn't there before.  The best I can place this is around the time
that he had an older brother meeting at the big meeting when he announce
he was divorcing Shirley to them.  I remember that most of the older
brothers didn't like it and that he should try to mend up with Shirley.
If Stewart found out about it the next time he would see the older
brother he would attack him and tear him down regardless of who was
around and humiliation was part of it.  I recall a policy that Stewart
said was that he would rather have the brothers in the church be a
little to harsh and that the harshness could be adjusted down if it was
necessary.  His reasoning was that if you are not forceful enough people
couldn't adjust if you became more forceful latter on....  Having been
close to Skip O'Neil I learned and was privileged to some of the things
that the rest of the fellowship didn't learn until latter or not at all.
When Stewart announced the opening of the Manhattan Training Center most
of the older brothers feared it and a lot when the order came just left
and went home...  I voiced this fear to Skip O'Neil and he talked me
into staying.  So off I went to NYTC I was apprehensive because of all
the stories that came filtering back through the fellowship because most
of the older brothers and sisters that were lovely in the Lord, and
Jesus was plainly using, would go there and they would leave because of
Stewart Dealing with them....  As some of the other brothers had written
in there letters some deep dark sin lurking in you that you needed
exercising or something of the sort.  Concerning courtship in the church
it was almost an impossibility with someone to report to your every move
on a date and at the whim of them could stop your courtship if it was to

Subject: part II Open letter to the Brethern
Date: Mon, 05 Oct 1998 06:54:35 PDT
From: "Richard Laverdure" <>

I tried to have a relationship but people in the church would examine
the sister, call her a trip, tell you to break off the relationship, and
serve Jesus.  That being the case I tried twice to have a relationship
with some of the sisters but wasn't willing to go through that kind of
scrutiny.  I had construction talents and when the church started to buy
and rebuild old apartment buildings I volunteered and a construction
crew was formed.  In it was Paul Inman, myself, Eric Harbert, and some
other brothers whose names escape me now.  I remember that Chris Hirtler
was the Bug Exterminator at this time and with all the apartments and
the lousy conditions of them Chris was kept quite busy.  A couple of
times I assisted in the on going battle to get rid of these pesky
cockroaches but our best efforts where meet with minimal success.  Most
of the brethren and sistern were living in the different lofts that the
church would rent and we all had to get jobs and then we had to have
responsibilities when we finished working to take care of common areas
in the loft for food preparation and clean up.  I just wanted to make a
note here that the married couples were given the flimsiest amount of
privacy and I'm sure it probably caused many of the break ups and
divorces that went on.  From the lofts  the church moved uptown into
hell's kitchen area.  The church started having nightly bible studies at
the Diplomat Hotel and Stewart wouldn't live in NYCT but moved across
the river to New Jersy into a nice house while the rest of us lived in
the lofts or lousy apartments.  Stewart was always thinking about
business and he researched a up and coming business that had the least
amount of out lay to the greatest amount of return and behold the carpet
and upholstery steam cleaning service popped up and that's when he
started the church  business.  (Christian Brothers Carpet and Upholstery
Cleaning Company) I remember that Stewart did what was called saturation
advertising to get it started and that cost a lot of $$$s.  It was
radio, newspapers, flyers I'm not sure if he tried  to get us on TV as
well.  I was brought into the church business and told to quit me job
and started learning the business.  I was about the 45-50 person working
the business full time.  During this time I was glad to be working with
the brothers and not having to deal with unsaved men. A nice thing about
this time is that those who worked the business got to keep the tips and
after working a 12 to 16 hour day the work crews would go to a nice
restaurant and eat a good hot meal and that was a real blessing.
However: this wouldn't last long as we would be ordered to turn in the
tips.  All the money was very tightly controlled and if you didn't have
bag lunch you were given a dollor a day to eat.  I might add that during
all this more and more people were leaving and the lies and mind control
tacktics were being played to a newer level.  I remember being told
stories from Stewart that God would Kill You if you left and that most
of the sisters that left either became prostitutes or commited suicide.
During this time there was a Stewart formed Honorable Older brother
council and everyone was judged by a color scheem that classified
brothers and sisters into spiritual, orange or fleshly browns.