Christmas Tale 2009

by P. Lorentzen

September 20, 2012

 

Much has been written about the New York incident by several people so I didnít think there was any point in sharing more about what actually happened to me there. However some details were missing to the story and I was encouraged to share them.

 

I would like to emphasize the fact that my children and I do not consider ourselves the victims. The ones who lie, cheat, deceive and abuse their authority are the real victims of their own actions. We do appreciate all the letters of concern and all the prayers we have received for the past two weeks, many of them being from ex-members actually.

 

We do not want to be connected to what has become of this movement as we feel safer outside of it. We havenít lost our faith in God because of this or gratitude in our lives and I believe thatís what matters in the end. I just knew that in Godís good time, things would unfold and be revealed. It took 3 years.

 

When we decided to visit Ben in New York for Christmas 2009 I had asked him beforehand if I could have a bedroom at the New Yorker. It took days before I could get an answer as, apparently, IJ would not confirm whether or not I could come and have a room. I finally got one.

When we arrived in NY, I realized that I had to pay for the all the costs on top of the flight (food, transport and outingsÖ) as Ben apparently had not received his income and couldnít pay for anything during our stay.

 

Up to this day I never got any money back for the whole trip and it cost me 4000 dollars. I have asked to be reimbursed but I never got any answer.

 

We arrived December 17 and already then, I could feel something was wrong. IJís constant phone calls while we were out visiting, the hundred dollar bill she gave to each of my children and to Ben as a Christmas gift, I got nothing, plus many other details. I discovered by accident some days later, some emails between Ben and Tatiana Park. I will not reveal the sexual contents, but it was obvious that an affair had started between those two; I faced Ben right away, in private, and he admitted then that something was going on between them and had started not so long ago. His first question was ďare you going to blackmail now?Ē I replied that I would only make sure someone would pass on my report to Father, thatís all. To this day, I do not know if the person I reported to did the job.

 

The fact that Ben had another relationship with someone was not a surprise in itself, as he had had a series of girlfriends before that. I was mostly upset by the fact that he was now having a relationship with a married woman and IJ on top of that. My boy who was 13 at that time could already sense there was something wrong between those two, so when I told Ben in front of them ďhow can you have a relationship with a married woman?Ē he totally understood who I was referring to although English is not his first language. My children stood up, took their mattress and bag, left the room and one of them said ďIím out of here because I understand whatís going on.Ē That was the last time Ben saw them. They have refused since then to have any contact with him. They do not consider him their father any longer and have told him so after we came back home.

 

So here we found ourselves in my small room after that with two single mattresses for the three of us, not enough blankets and so we slept with socks, tights, jumpers and coats because it was too cold in that room. When I asked Ben for an extra cover, I was given a curtain. He refused to give me the key to the laundry room to get more covers. Thatís how badly we were treated. The only nice person we met in the building during our stay was the cleaning guy. His name was Angel.

 

If the boys and I could sense back then that something weird was going on between those two in such a short time, I cannot comprehend how the people who saw them almost daily as well as the leaders had not suspected anything in 3 years. My children were truly depressed by the way we were treated and about the affair. I tried to cheer them up every day and told them we would be fine. We would go out every day, visiting places the way we had originally planned.

 

The day I found out about the affair, I managed to have a meeting with Philip Schanker at the New Yorker. I reported in detail to him everything I had read and seen. I was not sure if he would believe my story. But if he did, I told him it had to be passed on upward.

Philip told me he believed my report not only because it was sincere but because he had heard of similar incidents a while back about her as well. I guess he was referring to Alistair. So he promised he would do something about it; I believe he did back then, but Iím not sure he reported it to the right person.

I got a letter from him January 2010 confirming that my report was passed on. To whom, I donít know. I never heard from Philip afterward.

During my stay, I wrote to IJ twice and asked to meet her in the building. She never responded of course. In my third letter I clearly stated that I would then make sure my report would be passed on. When I went back to my room later that day, Ben and Bill Miho were waiting for me at the door. They apparently had something important to say.

 

I replied that I was not interested in talking. I locked the door behind me and Ben shouted through it that I had to pack my things and leave by noon the next day because of the letter I had written. If I wasnít out by then, they would come back with the security.

My boys were inside the room and understood what went on. My eldest boy asked ďmum, am I hearing right? Are we thrown out?Ē I unfortunately had to confirm.

 

I went to see Ben afterwards and asked if I could stay one more night as it would be difficult to find a hotel room in the middle of Christmas.

He simply replied that he didnít care and that I should just change my plane tickets and go back home. He would pay for it. I never got the money back.

 

So I packed our luggage, the kids were in tears, and we moved out just before the security came as I wanted to spare my boys the humiliation. I asked them what they wanted to do and they strongly expressed their desire to go back home as soon as possible. I managed to rent a room for a night and change my plane tickets to leave the next day. It cost around 1000 dollars just for that. I asked for a room among the two people I knew in NY but they refused to help. So at that point the best was to leave. I have never reported this to any leader other than Philip S. And I never gossiped around about it the way some might have insinuated.

 

The kids and I have moved on and turned the page. We have always kept a positive and optimistic attitude towards life and I believe it did help us. Up to this day Ben L. owes us around 50,000 dollars of unpaid child support for the past years plus 4000 dollars for this trip. When I contacted his parents about this, they simply told me that they didnít care. His parents are church members by the way. I have provided for my children all those years on my own or with very little support.I sent a process server several times to the Manhattan Center to serve the divorce documents and that person was always told that no one by the name of Ben Lorentzen worked there. I asked Philip if he could swear an affidavit to prove that Ben was working at the MC so that I could proceed with the divorce. I never got a reply. Iím only sharing this story for the ones who seek the truth. They are entitled to know what happened. I also sincerely hope that this will never occur in the future. My motivation is only to shed light on what has been hidden for too long.

 

Sincerely

P. Lorentzen