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Title Smith's Friends
Founder Johan Oscar Smith
Description

Leaders: Johan Oscar Smith (JOS) is the founder, but not the actual leader. He died in 1943. His successors were Elias Aslaksen (died 1976) and then Sigurd Bratlie sen. (married with a daughter of JOS, died 1996). The two actual top leaders are Kaare Smith and Sigurd Johan Bratlie jun., both grandsons of JOS, the latter being a son of Sigurd Bratlie sen. and the official chairman, while Kaare Smith is the spiritual leader. __________________________________________________________________ Our experience with the cult Smiths Friends Our daughter Wiltrud, born 6 march 1963, completed high school in the year 1981 without any major problems. She was intelligent, creative, socially engaged and especially fond of music. At that time she was regarded as an adult person within the family. She had also interest in religion, she joined my wife and me every Sunday to go to church, and she was working in a parish group of young people caring for handicapped children. She was also a good friend to a young priest whom she called big brother and who called her little sister . She had a flat where she was independent from us (not financially of course), but she came home every weekend. But she had problems with her further education: she wanted to become a music therapist, but she failed twice at the entrance examination, and she was desperate because she could not study what she would have liked most. Studying psychology, but with little enthusiasm, she also participated in a Norwegian language class at the University where she met Peter K., an attractive young man who paid much attention to her, and she fell in love. He invited her to meetings , and she told us that the people there were very narrow-mindset, but they were nice and reading the bible which she also was interested in, and she would sometimes go to those meetings again, but we should not worry about, she would remain catholic. People from this group also came to concerts where Wiltrud was playing violin in an orchestra, just to meet her. My wife and I went also to some of those meetings and we realized that it was a cult, but at that time we did not yet know about mind control. In one of those meetings, the eldest held a long sermon, and after that, a man stood up and shouted: Brother W., no priest can preach as you can . I said: How many priests did you ever hear preaching? This caused a turmoil. Another time, the eldest came back from a missionary trip to South America where he had been for a few weeks, and he said. There are no good marriages any more there in South America. Then another man stood up and said: I have been in Germany and there are no good marriages any more there either. Black/white. And so on. At Easter 1983, Wiltrud was invited to an Easter Conference in Vienna where cult members from all about in Europe participated, and there Wiltrud obviously snapped : she came back and said: If you do not join this group immediately together with me, you will not be saved . My wife and I were completely shocked. We invited the priest whom she knew to talk to her, but she came together with a brother who should convert the priest. Soon afterwards, she stopped playing piano and violin because all artists are immoral , and she refused to undergo any education because she said she was only allowed to wash the floor. After a long discussion, she finally was willing to enter a class of physical therapy, but she soon was not able to follow the lectures and they said in school that a therapist who refused to touch sick people ( I do not touch men, this is a sin ), was not suited for that job. The father of Peter K., also a member of the cult and a doctor in medicine, invited my wife and me to talk about Wiltrud. He gave the advice that Wiltrud should not study or work for the time of at least one year. We did not understand at all why a young person should not have any education or work. Soon, as I said above, we understood that she was not able to do any useful study or work, caused by the indoctrination, and that obviously should be hidden. When we, in June 1984, once again went to a meeting , we asked the people there: What have you done with our child, she is completely confused , and the answer of the cult people was: Yes, that s just in the beginning. This proofs that they knew about. At the same meeting the eldest was preaching again, talking a lot about other bad christians. After the sermon, being a custom that, first the men and then also the women, were allowed to say something, but they were of course expected to praise the brotherhood . I said: Mr. H., usually christian groups try to find out what is wrong with themselves and not what is wrong with the others. He replied that he came around in the whole world and had nowhere found another group of active christians. I told him that for an individual it is impossible to know all other christians, and so on. Finally he tried to impress me by his age, but it turned out that he was 4 years younger than I am (I look relatively young). Then he gave up, and my wife and I understood that further discussions would be useless. In summer 1984, I had to work for some weeks at IBM in Boca Raton (FL), my wife came with me and we took, for safety reason, also our youngest son with us, because Wiltrud had tried again and again to convert her younger brothers. When we came back, Wiltrud told us that she was now damned by God, even God cannot save her any more, she only wanted to convert her parents and then she would commit suicide. She had played for about 2 hours with some children instead of studying, that was done against her consciousnes and that was a sin against the Holy Spirit which cannot be forgiven. We tried to get her to a therapist, but first she refused and said, she was treated anyway by the father of Peter (who was a doctor of internal medicine, not psychiatry). Later on she went to a psychiatrist, but this guy had no idea about cults either: Wiltrud tried to tell him about the fellowship and he said he was not interested in that. Then she discontinued the therapy. Soon afterwards, she started to be violent against me. She started conversations, for example: Father, the bible says that God created the world in six days, and the bible also says that for God 1000 years are like one day. Consequently, God created the word in 6000 years. Do you also believe that? I replied that the one day for 1000 years is not meant literally, this just shows that God is ruling also over the time, and a God who has to wait one day to let 1000 years passing is just ridiculous. When she had no arguments any more, she used the fists. Twice we had to call the rescue party because she was so violent that we did not know what to do. This lasted from autumn 1984 until Christmas 1985. Then she just threatened: Father, if you say one single more word against the fellowship, you will die on the spot; this has happened already to many people, and you will see it. Some months later she felt mentally so bad that she went to a doctor by her own. This doctor understood that it was a mental problem, and he sent her to a psychiatrist who gave her injections. These injections had the result to calm her down, and after a while she lost interest in everything, also in the cult, and she did not go to meetings any more. But then she again felt to be damned and she tried to commit suicide with tablets. She was saved and then she agreed for a (speaking, not medical) therapy. First, the therapy was successful, she could study again, and she managed most of the final examinations for the physical therapist class. But then she worried, because the cult people had said to her: Anybody leaving our group can never again do any positive thing in his/her life . She thought they must have been wrong, and she felt obliged to tell them and to save the poor children who are grown up there in erroneous believings . She went to the cult people and they managed to turn her around again. She came back and said: No, I was wrong, those are the only people in the world who know the truth . Again she was not able to concentrate and as she did not manage the very last two examinations, she had to leave the school for ever. One probable reason why she returned to the cult was that Peters mother said to her: Peter will soon complete his studies, and you also will soon complete your studies. This gave her new hope to get Peter whom she already had given up in the meantime and who had fished some more girls in the meantime by the same method. When he finally engaged himself he told the fellowship : All those girls who had fallen in love to him he did not have any usage for, because that was human love which was worthless for God. He would marry the most humble girl who had not fallen in love to him. This was in 1987. I think I stop here for the moment. If you are interested what happened since, I will tell you later: Only in short: she is still in the cult and our contact to her is very very difficult. On the other hand I became a cult expert in the meantime, and as I speak Norwegian, I have investigated a lot about the origin and the behaviour of the cult in Norway and in other countries, as you already have seen. Friedrich Griess

Resource Links:

Please be aware that, after a several months interruption, my website http://griess.st1.at/sf.htm is again fully equipped with critical documents about the Smiths Friends from the last 10 years, but most of it is in German or Norwegian. I want to point especially to quotes from their (German) song books. Some samples translated to (my bad) English are: "Reason and family ties now break with power." "Hatred is required, the hatred drives us forward. Hatred gives us victory in the battle of life. Death to all enemies, I beat without any consideration. There is no peace in this battle." "Reason and forms do not count any more, now we are breaking all rules." "The spirit gives me light, and inflamed by the spirit of war all human good god things are banned forever." "Refuse reason resolutely, come to the circle of brothers". See also attached (again) our own story. Best regards Friedrich

____________________________________________________________ Dear all, A time ago, I have answered all the detailed BITE model questions concerning the Smiths Friends on Steves website, but I did not see any reaction since. Shall I do this again. Please be aware that, after a several months interruption, my website http://griess.st1.at/sf.htm is again fully equipped with critical documents about the Smiths Friends from the last 10 years, but most of it is in German or Norwegian. I want to point especially to quotes from their (German) song books, http://griess.st1.at/sflieder.htm. Some samples translated to (my bad) English are: "Reason and family ties now break with power." "Hatred is required, the hatred drives us forward. Hatred gives us victory in the battle of life. Death to all enemies, I beat without any consideration. There is no peace in this battle." "Reason and forms do not count any more, now we are breaking all rules." "The spirit gives me light, and inflamed by the spirit of war all human good god things are banned forever." "Refuse reason resolutely, come to the circle of brothers". See also attached (again) our own story. Best regards Friedrich