October 8, 2003
—Pain, Bloodshed, Hatred & War!
—An expos by Jeremy Wood, Ex-Hockey Player in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association!
"TRAUMATIC TESTIMONIES"—TSM #6
—FOR TEENS AGE 12 & OVER!
NOTE: If you feel led, selected parts of this TSM #6 may be read to JETTs & OCs. Please be prayerful!
Copyright: June 1990, by Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland.
I grew up in a very athletic family. My father was very involved in sports. When he went to high school he lettered* in three sports, football, baseball & basketball, which is very unusual. Normally people specialise in only one sport, but my father not only played in these three sports, but he excelled in them. (*To letter in sports: When an athlete excels in a sport he is awarded a "letter" to wear on his "letter jacket" which is a special jacket that only the best athletes & cheerleaders have. The "letter" is usually the first letter of the name of the school or the school mascot.)
As I grew up, my dad's whole life revolved around teaching my brothers & I how to play sports. From the time I could barely walk when I was only one year old, he was always throwing me a ball or chasing me or picking me up & twirling me around, because he had that "good sport spirit", that athletic attitude about life, that competitiveness.—And he wanted to teach us to have that same competitive spirit.
I can remember when I was three years old my parents took me ice skating. I could barely walk, & they were holding me by the hand as I was slipping along. It was great fun to me, I really liked it!
When I was growing up, when I would wake up in the morning the main thing I wanted to do was to go out & play ball, hit a ball with the bat or go skating when I could.—That was my upbringing, my teaching & training. So from my very first contact with playing sports I thought, "This is the life—to play sports!" Once you have that love-of-sports training instilled in you, it's very hard to get rid of.
When you're young & you first start playing sports, your parents play with you or at least go with you to the playing field or ice rink. But as you get older, there are organised leagues to play all kinds of sports—baseball, hockey, basketball, football—starting from the age of six or seven years old. All the six & seven-year-olds in the neighbourhood get together & play in what they call Pony League or Pee-Wees, where the little tots compete against each other. It's great fun! The kids can hardly play, they drop the ball, or they're skating & they can hardly hit the puck, & the parents are laughing. You're just having fun & that's what it's for, just to get together, meet other kids & have fun with your friends & other kids your age.
But as you grow up & you get a little bit more skilled in the sport, although your parents still want you to go & have fun, it's very important that you also excel & do very well & beat the other kids. They say, "Go & have fun, Son. Have a great time, but really beat the other guy! Skate really hard, show'm that you're better!"—And this competitive "brainwashing" starts real young, at eight or nine years old.
Then as you get a little older, it gets a little bit more competitive & to beat the other guys you've got to work that much harder!—You've got to run that much faster, skate harder & you've got to be better than the other guys! Your parents say, "Oh, we want you to have fun, we want you to enjoy yourself." But the underlying attitude & spirit of what they're saying is, "But you've got to beat the other guy!" My dad used to say, "Give'm Hell!" Or the coach would say, "Kill those guys out there!—Oh yes, have fun, have fun!—But be sure you kill'm!" That was the whole spirit, "You don't want to lose! You want to beat'm!"
This competitive spirit was ingrained in me from the time I was just two & three years old. I didn't realise it, I thought I was just having fun with friends playing baseball, soccer, hockey & basketball. But in reality the fun & enjoyment of the game was lost, because from the beginning the Devil was trying to replace the enjoyment with a spirit of competitiveness or that worship of yourself to get better & do better.—"You've got to be better than the other guy. Because if you're better than the other guy, then you're going to be the star. Everybody's going to worship you & look to you & say, `Wow! You're really good! Good game! Good goal! Yea! Look at him! Yea! Everybody cheer him! Yea!'"
At first when you're real young, only your parents come to watch you play; but as you get older, your parents come, then the neighbours come, then people in the sports complex come to watch you play. Eventually there's more & more people watching you, & then they get to cheering for their team or for the particular player they like. The more people that are cheering for you, the more pressure there is on you to really play well.
As you get older, there's so much pressure & so much competitiveness in sports that only the best players can keep playing. Those who aren't so good drop out because the competition is too much. If you aren't so good & you go out there & play & trip or you fall, all the fans would point at you & laugh & humiliate you & say, "Oh, he's no good! Take him off the ice! He's causing the team to lose!" If someone wasn't good enough the fans would yell, "Get him off the rink!" or "Get him off the field!"
The mediocre* players who just played to have fun & enjoy themselves got so humiliated because they were "not good enough" that finally they just stopped playing. Their parents still kept telling them, "Oh, Son, you've got to get out there. You can do it! Go ahead, you can beat the other guy! You're better than they are!" But the wise kids get away from the parental & peer pressure, that System pressure & competitiveness. They don't want to have anything to do with it, so they just quit & drop out of sports! (*mediocre: average)
The coaches didn't want to play anybody who wasn't the best! My brother played sports too. He was a good player, but he wasn't tops so the coach wouldn't play him. The coach wanted our team to win, so he only allowed the best players to play. So my brother just sat on the bench* until finally he just stopped coming to the games. My parents said, "Why aren't you playing any more?"—because it was really important to my parents that we all played in sports. And my brother said, "I'd just sit on the bench anyway, so why go?" (*"On the bench" means you're still part of the team, but you're sitting on the sidelines on the field watching the game, not playing.)
So that's what the coaches do, they only allow the best players to be able to play in the game, because their whole goal is to win & beat the other guys. If the average players don't quit on their own, the coaches just put them on the bench till they're so humiliated that they finally quit.
As I got older I continued to excel in sports, so I kept going with the others that did well. By the time you're a teenager, if you're a talented athlete you've already become addicted to sports! It's like being a drug addict or a compulsive gambler, you get to the point where you've just got to get out there & play! It's a competitive spirit or a worship of yourself, of your human body! You think, "I can be the best athlete, & then I'll be really popular & everybody will really like me."
Then the athletes start lifting weights to make their muscles really big. I used to get up early in the morning before school & run or ride my bike for long distances. I'd go up steep hills & when I was so tired that I could barely keep going I'd say to myself, "I've just gotta keep going! I've gotta keep going! I gotta beat the other guy! I gotta be better than the other guy!" I'd push myself & push myself & push myself until I'd finally come home & just collapse on the couch with exhaustion!—And it was that spirit of pride that motivated me to get out there & work harder & harder & push myself to make my muscles bigger & my endurance last longer. I'd work hard so I could do better than the other guy.—So that when the guy on the other team got tired, I could keep going.
To play team sports for a number of hours you have to be in good shape, you have to have a lot of endurance. In games of soccer, baseball, hockey etc. they play for long periods of time, sometimes a couple of hours, with only little breaks. So you have to really work at it in order to have the strength to keep going! The pressure is so much that you have to work really hard to build up endurance.
As you get older, sports become even more competitive. When you get to high school, you play for your school. You compete against other schools & there's such a school spirit & you have more fans & more people watching you. They even have cheerleaders, the most popular & most athletic girls are the ones who try out & are chosen. Lots of girls wanted to be cheerleaders. I heard Auntie Sara was a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys, a professional football team. She would go out in front of the fans & get them "in the sport spirit".—They'd shout, "V-I-C-T-O-R-Y! Victory, victory, victory is our cry!" There were lots of different kinds of cheers & they'd get the fans all fired up & all cheering together. The fans like to cheer the team on so they will play harder. It's a big rivalry spirit & they scream chants in unison like: "Kill! Kill! Kill! Get that guy! Get that guy! Kill! Kill! Kill! Get that guy! Get that guy!"
The players build up so much tension & pressure that they just want to get out there & kill the other team. The coach would say to us, "You've got to kill that guy! You've got to kill, kill, kill!" As Grandpa said in "Are You a Good Sport?": "The ultimate fulfillment of sports is war!—Destroying the other guy's body that your body might live! War is the ultimate fulfillment of the competitive spirit: the destruction of others for self-preservation. Sports is war in disguise!" (ML #179A:6)
If some guy stops you from scoring a goal or making a point, then for the rest of the game you're out to get that guy. You're determined to get vengeance, you want to hit that guy, you want to body check that guy, you want to elbow or punch that guy. For the rest of the game you forget about the hockey puck, you forget about the score, you're just out to get that guy!
My best friends went to another school & we would do things together on the weekends, but when I played sports against them, my coach came up to me & said, "They may be your friends, but right now they're your enemies! So you get out there & you kill'm!" That was the spirit that was propagated when the high schools would play against each other. When you got on the ice to play against another team, the ultimate goal was to try to hurt the other guy in whatever way you could!
And the fans would get into the same spirit too. They'd start cheering back & forth, "We're better than you!" "No, we're better than you!" "We're number one!" "No, we're number one!" "Let's go out of the stadium & I'll show you who's number one!" Then they'd go out of the stadium & fight!
It was illegal to fight on the ice or on the field, but they'd get so into the game & saying, "We're better than you!" "No, we're better than you!" that finally they'd say, "Let's meet outside after the game!" And then they'd meet after the game in the parking lot & fight it out. It would start as being a personal fight between two people, but then the teammates would see their friends getting beat up & they'd say, "I've got to beat that guy up!" So another guy would get into it & then another guy & pretty soon both teams would be fighting each other.
At first you play to have fun & enjoy yourself, but you end up hating the other guys & trying to hit them any way you can! Once there was a hockey player who got angry with another guy & swung his stick at him & hit him in the head & killed him!—He died right there on the ice!
In hockey, there's a referee on the ice, he's the official who judges what is right & what is wrong. It's okay to have body contact or "check" players with your body, but you aren't supposed to hit them in the face or with your elbow & you can't hit them with your stick. If the referee sees you do those things, he'll give you a penalty. But the players still try to do it & they often get away with it. The coaches will even teach you how to do those things so the referee won't notice it.
They didn't allow fighting before, but now the rules have changed & it's a part of the game. If two players get so angry that they start a fight with each other, the official can't stop them, he's got to let them fight, it's a part of the game. Hockey players can't fight with their sticks, but they fight with their fists. They can fight & hit each other on the head or the face or anywhere!—And they can continue fighting until one of them falls to the ice. When one falls to the ice then that's the end of the fighting, then the referee stops it & gives them penalties & puts them in the "penalty box". The penalty box is a place where you have to go to cool down because you've gotten so mad at the other guy, you feel like murdering him!
When you fight & you get penalised it hurts your team; but if you don't fight back, the fans boo you. They say, "Oh, boo! Come on, fight! What a sissy! What a coward!" Once you got challenged to fight, you had to take that challenge & fight back. If you didn't, the fans would just boo you, "Sissy! Get'm off the ice! Get'm off the field!" So it'd be too humiliating to back out of a fight—that's why you never see players in sports back away from a fight!
At practice we trained to have more endurance, we would skate back & forth & back & forth. The coach would blow his whistle & that meant skate, & then he'd blow it again & that meant rest.—We would skate for a minute & then rest for 10 seconds, skate for a minute & rest for 10 seconds, on & on & on like that! We skated so hard that it made us sick & we'd lean over the boards & vomit, because we just kept skating & skating! And the coach would say, "Come on! Skate harder!"—so you had to just vomit & keep skating, until the players would almost collapse on the ice.
And if you couldn't keep up the coach would say, "Come on, So-&-so! Skate harder! Skate harder!" The best coaches, the ones who had the winning teams, pushed their players to the ultimate!—They'd get out on the ice & blow their whistle & shout, "Come on! Skate harder!"
One time in practice a player was in the corner with the puck & I skated up, & with my hockey stick tried to get the puck away from him, but he skated away. The coach yelled, "Stop! Everybody stop! What did you do that for?!" So everybody stopped & was watching & he said, "Do the play again, & I'm going to come get you"—the coach was going to act out what had happened. He went up to the defense man with his stick & tried to get the puck away from him, but the defense man skated away. The coach said, "Did you see that? That's like pansies!" He said, "Let's try it again now. Do it like this." So the coach acted out the play again & this time the coach went after the guy & smashed him up against the boards. He said, "Don't play the puck, play the man! Hit the man! Okay, let's try it again. Hit the man!" He stopped the whole team, stopped everybody & explained to everybody how I'd done it wrong, because I didn't go after the man, I didn't hit the man!
It's such a common thing to have multiple injuries & cuts from hockey. When you get a serious cut the doctor takes a needle & thread & sews it up, stitches it up. I counted that I have about 60 stitches in my body, most of which are the result of injuries that happened while I was playing sports or in that competitive athletic spirit. Even when we were just out "having fun" we would still get in that competitive spirit & get hurt.
When I was about nine years old, while I was playing hockey against another team, I was skating behind a guy & he lifted his stick over his head & hit me right in the mouth—WHACK! I wasn't wearing my mouth guard, this heavy rubber moulding that you wear in your mouth to protect your teeth. My mother told me to wear it, but that one time I didn't because it was hard to breathe when I had it in my mouth. So when I got hit in the mouth, it chipped one tooth & cracked another one, & there was blood all over the place. My lip & my gums were cut.
The next day they took me to the dentist & he had to find out if he could save the tooth that got cracked. He said, "We're not going to be able to save that tooth, because it's cracked right at the base. We're going to have to pull it out, there's no way we can save it!" He gave me a few shots of novocaine, which were supposed to numb my gum, but it didn't totally numb it. Then he got some pliers & started pulling my front tooth out! I yelled, it was so painful!
I was just freaking out so the dentist told my mother, "You're going to have to hold him down!" Then he got the other nurse & my mother & they both grabbed my arms & held me down while he yanked! Then my tooth cracked off! And he said, "Oh no! That's what I was afraid was going to happen! Now I'm going to have to dig up into your gum & get the rest of your tooth out of there." So he had to get a knife & slit open my gums! He gave me a few more shots of novocaine & then he dug up inside my gum & grabbed ahold of the tooth. He said, "Hold him still!" & he was pulling & jerking & pulling & working & it still didn't all come out, there was still a piece of the tooth buried way up inside my gum! So he had to go through the same procedure again! It was torture! After two hours of working on it, he finally got it out of there.
Then they had to take a mold of my mouth & make a false tooth. Several times I've lost that tooth & I had to walk around with a tooth missing! One time I even swallowed it & started choking on it, until I finally coughed it out. One time I vomited it into a toilet accidentally & flushed it down the toilet. So having this false tooth is a problem. Many hockey players don't have many teeth left, they get them knocked out, or at least the front ones knocked out.
One time when our hockey team was scrimmaging*, I skated into the corner of the rink to get the puck & my brother came up & hit me, & I banged my head against the boards around the rink. I said, "Oh, I hurt my head," & I took off my helmet & blood was dripping down my face & in my eye & my mouth. My brother said, "You've got a bad cut!" My brother & I weren't enemies, but it was such a rough contact sport that even during practice you'd run the risk of getting seriously hurt! I had to go to the hospital emergency room & get the cut in my head sewn up. (*Scrimmaging is when you just play amongst your own teammates for practice.)
Another time I was out playing on the rink with my best friend. We were just goofing around playing against each other, & he pushed the puck between my legs & I reached forward to get it & he lifted up his stick & smashed me in the face just a centimeter from my eyeball. His stick slammed real loud against my bone, you could hear it bang, & it made two cuts! I started screaming! I was in so much pain that I couldn't even take my hand off my eye, & he could see the blood pouring down my face!
So once again, off to the hospital I went to the emergency room to get it sewn up. It was really delicate to stitch it because the cut was by my eye. The doctor actually had to do an operation to repair the damage! TTL, he did such a good job that you can hardly even notice it now. My friend felt really bad, but you see, that's how sports are!
Another time we were scrimmaging, practising like usual, & I checked one of my teammates, meaning I gave him "body contact", which is perfectly legal as long as you don't hit him with your stick or hit him the wrong way. I hit him with my shoulder on his leg, but I hit him at such an angle & so hard that he fell on the ice & he couldn't walk for three or four months! We were in the middle of our season playing games & he couldn't play any more.
Another time a guy checked me while skating down the ice. He came straight at me, hit me right in the rib cage & cracked my rib & I could hardly breath! For several months I had a cracked rib & it was hard to even breathe. I had to stop playing & I was in pain for a couple of months. TTL, it eventually healed, but things like that were always happening.
Another time someone banged me against the boards & I broke my wrist—CRRRAACK! And I had to wear a cast. After I broke my wrist I took a rest for a few games, but then I started playing again while I still had the cast on my arm! People play with broken bones, they're just so sold out to their competitiveness & their desire to win that they'll play under any conditions. And even to this day, sometimes when I'm working it'll start to bother me. I can't do push-ups because my wrist is too weak, & I can't bend it way back or it will hurt.
Injuries like these happen when playing sports because there is so much pressure to win & so much competition. You're working so hard to beat the other guy that people always get hurt! They say that in professional football there is a 100% chance of having a serious injury by the end of a player's career. That means every player eventually gets a major injury. Some of them even have to quit playing because they break bones so badly or they dislocate their shoulders or get different serious injuries! Sometimes players get completely paralyzed while playing football! One player's spinal cord was crushed when he attempted to make a tackle. He is permanently paralyzed from the neck down as a result of the injuries. Everybody gets hurt!
When I was growing up, people would ask me, "What do you want to be when you get older? What do you want to do?" Usually when you're young you really don't know what you want to be. But I always said, "I want to be a baseball player or a hockey player." That's all I wanted to be.
In the System, the goal is to make a lot of money. Of course, you want to be happy, so the System says, "If you make a lot of money you'll be happy." So the goal is to go to high school & then to college, so that when you get out, you can make a lot of money.
It's possible to get scholarships to go to university.—A scholarship is when the costs of your college expenses are covered by someone else. There are different ways you can get scholarships, people who are really smart get academic scholarships, like Uncle Isaac. And there are athletic scholarships too.—That is when a college or athletic association pays for your college costs because you're a good athlete.—And in turn, you play sports for their school or team.
When I played sports in high school I excelled in hockey, so the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) offered me a scholarship. The WCHA is a hockey league of the best colleges in the United States. There were ten colleges that play in the WCHA, & seven of those ten colleges offered me full scholarships to go to their college & play hockey on their team.
Now that's very unusual. Normally only one college will offer a person a scholarship, & then another college will offer one to someone else. Every weekend in the spring of my senior year of high school I visited a different college. I went to the University of Denver, University of Wisconsin, Michigan Tech, Notre Dame, Colorado College, all of which are top name colleges. I went to visit their campus & they said, "If you'll come & play hockey here we'll pay for your room & board." Without a scholarship it's very, very expensive to study at those colleges, it costs thousands & thousands of Dollars.
(Teen: Why did they want you to play for them?) You play in high school & try to be the best. Then in college they have college hockey. Sports are very important in college, college football, college basketball, college baseball, college hockey. (Teen: What do they do for the college?) It helps the colleges if they have a winning team as it brings them prestige. If Notre Dame is a good football college everybody wants to go to Notre Dame, everybody follows the progress of the Notre Dame football team because they're such a good team. Everybody watches them. Everybody wants to go to a college that has a good baseball, basketball, football or hockey team, everybody wants to go watch their teams.
So the college "scouts" try to get the best players from all over the country to come to their college so they can have the best teams. So I went to visit each college that had offered me a scholarship & they said, "We'll pay your room & board & tuition" (the fee charged to enroll). It costs thousands & thousands of Dollars just to go to college for one year, but they said, "We're going to give you a four-year scholarship. We'll even pay for your books & everything!" I think the annual tuition alone to a fancy college in those days was $9,000, that's not including your room (a place to sleep & live), your board (all the food that you eat), the books you have to buy to study & also your living expenses. But these colleges told me, "We'll pay for your books, we'll pay for your room & board, we'll pay for your tuition. We'll even give you living expenses!"
They weren't supposed to, but they said, "We'll give you some money on the side, spending money, if you need some living expenses." One coach said, "If you need a car, we'll get you one—don't worry about that." He told me that on the side, because making offers like that was illegal. Sometimes in the news you hear about different big athletes who are paid to go to college, & they're not supposed to get paid. A college can pay for their books & tuition & scholarship, but they can't give them money. That's illegal, only when you become professional can you get paid to play sports. But the coach came up to me on the side & told me privately, "I'll buy you a car if you come to our college & play hockey."
Every weekend I went to a different college & looked at the college, talked to the coach, met the teammates, found out about their scholastic abilities & then I decided on which college I would go to. At that time I started becoming interested in the Bible, & then my brother joined the Family before I did & he told me about the Family. He witnessed to me & I visited the Family & became interested.
I decided to go to Colorado College because there was a Home there in Woodland Park & I could be near the Family, so I signed the contract for the scholarship to go to that college. (Teen: Was that one better than any of the others or were they all the same?) Every different university has strong points depending on what you wanted to study. Notre Dame is a Catholic college, many Catholics go there, & my father was Catholic so he wanted me to go there. Also it was an extremely high academic college, they have high academic standards & if you graduate from there it carries a lot of weight. That could've been the best one. Michigan Tech was a technical school where they taught engineering & things like that. So if you graduated from Michigan Tech & you wanted to go into engineering, that carries a lot of weight. The University of Minnesota is a medical university & people who want to study medicine go to the University of Minnesota.
Colorado College is a very small private college & it was hard to get into. They had thousands of people that tried to get in, but they just took certain people. So in my senior year of high school I signed to go there & they said, "If you come play hockey for us we'll pay for everything."
But I started getting very interested in the Bible after my brother joined the Family. So more & more I was a little leery about going to college. I didn't really want to go to college, I wanted to serve the Lord. People started hearing that I wanted to leave college & join the Family, & I started receiving phone calls from different people. For example, the leading scorer for the World Collegiate Hockey Association called me long distance & said, "Well, I've been hearing that you've been thinking about not going to college & I wanted to tell you that I don't think it's a very wise decision for you to do that. You've really got to go, it's lots of fun & you'll learn a lot." He gave me a big sales pitch.
My coach also drove up to my house & said, "Listen, we heard you're thinking about not going to college & I just want you to know this..." & he gave me a big pitch about why I should go to college! From every angle, my parents & my relatives, people were calling & saying, "What's going on?" Nobody was encouraging me to join the Family, everybody wanted me to go to college. There was so much pressure!
I had to fight a big spiritual battle in my life because of the lust & desire I had for that worship of Man & that competitive spirit. It was such a battle! Once that competitive spirit gets ingrained in you as you're growing up, it's hard to get rid of it. And it's encouraged by the System!—It's not only accepted, it's encouraged! If you have a drinking problem, that's bad. If you have a problem of being an alcoholic, that's really bad. If you've got a gambling problem, that's really bad. But this need or desire for competitiveness or this worship of yourself is just as bad as being addicted to any of those other problems, but it's encouraged by the System!
So when I decided I wanted to serve the Lord, to give up that competitive spirit was a real battle, not to mention all the pressure that I was receiving. (Teen: And also the scholarship.) Yes, the financial aspect. See, when you get bound to their System it's hard to break away. You can't just say, "Well, I'm going to go serve the Lord." I told my parents, "I've decided I'm just going to serve the Lord." They said, "What do you mean? You signed an agreement. You signed your life away! You're obligated, you have to go! You made an agreement, the coach is expecting you, the college is paying for it! You've made an agreement & you have to go. You don't have any choice!"
In the System, from the time you're born there are certain things that the Devil gets control of so you're not free. It's a big jolt to them if you announce, "I'm going to go serve the Lord." There are so many pressures of the System that you can't do that very easily at all! It's a big fight & a big test! The System said, "You can't do that!"
I was really torn between joining the Family & going to college. My parents said, "Well, try college. You haven't been there, just try it." That's where the old saying comes from, "Give it the ol' college try", they want everybody to try college. That's the big thing in the System, go to college. So I agreed with them, I said, "Okay, I'll try it." So I went, but as soon as I got there I knew it wasn't where it was at! But still I said I was going to try it, so I stuck it out for a while.
There were other boys there from around the country who had scholarships & I started hanging around with them. I witnessed to them, & they got saved & they started reading the Bible. Finally one of them said, "Oh, this is really confusing me. I don't want to read the Bible any more."—Because as he read the Bible he started losing his desire to play hockey, he was losing his desire to go to college. He said, "Oh, this is really messing me up! I can't do this any more!" So he stopped reading the Bible, because God's ways & the ways of the System are so contrary, you can't mix the two! "Ye cannot serve God & mammon." (Mat. 6:24)
I kept reading the Bible & witnessing & finally they said, "You're going to have to choose, you can't keep going like this." Because while they were going out to practice hockey, I was reading my Bible or witnessing. They said, "You're just going to have to choose!" So I did & I said, "I'm going to join the Family!"
After one month in college I knew it wasn't where I wanted to be. They gathered around as I was packing & they said, "We can't believe you're leaving us! You're giving up your life, you're giving up your education, you're giving up your scholarship! We can't believe you're doing this!" They all sat there just shocked as I was packing my clothes getting ready to leave. They thought I'd really gone berserk. Then I left & joined the Family. PTL! (TTL, both of my athletic brothers joined the Family too.)
Sports have deteriorated & degenerated to the point where people just go to the games to see the violence, to see fights. It's just like ancient Rome & the great coliseums where they used to go watch the lions eat the Christians, it's the same spirit nowadays. The economy & their System is falling apart & collapsing, but their sports just go on & on & on, they just keep watching & enjoying their sports & they get more & more violent. The most popular sports are the most violent. In American football they line up across from each other & just slam into each other over & over again!
Grandpa says, "They're getting right back to the arena, right back to the Roman games! Nowadays they almost kill each other & sometimes they do in these racing accidents, prize fights & football, they have all kinds of injuries, often death. They've already got the arena, they've already got the gladiators! They even sometimes call the footballers `gladiators', almost killing each other, & sometimes they do. They're just one little legal step from allowing those sports & those games to go entirely open to the point of death being the goal, to kill your enemy, to kill the other team, to kill the other side! They're doing it even with skating & hockey. Skating used to be a legitimate sport where people were really trying to win a race, but now they're a brawl, a free-for-all! If they don't have fights on the rink it's not a good show.
"We saw a movie recently where the fellow was counselling the skaters & saying, `Now remember, the audience is coming for a good show! The main thing is not the skating, the main thing is not the race, the main thing is the fights & the blows & the knock-down, drag-outs, drag-offs, that's the show!' It's gotten to where that's what people really want mostly in football. People don't go to auto races to watch the race, they're hoping for an accident! They want to see a car tumble end over end & the driver get killed, that's what they want to see! It's not a good race unless they have some bad accidents." (ML# 2152:23, 24)
I did some research to check about violence in today's sports & a magazine article about violence in hockey says: "Some hockey executives still think fighting promotes the game. `We believe in fighting,' said a hockey team president, `it's an exciting part of the sport. Just the threat of a fight can be exciting when the big guys are out there—your tough guys against theirs!'
"The essential problem is the attitude of hatred that pervades the modern game. The ice surface has remained the same size, while the players have become bigger, stronger, faster—and more reckless. The winningest coach in National Hockey League (NHL) history says, `Players today seem to have a certain abhorrence or hostility for other players & I often feel that something really bad is going to happen out there.'"
Even the fans get so into the violence that they get into fights & some even get killed! Grandpa says, "Sports fans killing people, having riots & people getting slaughtered is nothing new at all! That kind of sport arouses their fighting instincts & their competitive instincts & their aggressive instincts & their killing instincts, where they get stirred up to where they want to kill the others!" (ML# 2130:9) You read about that or hear it in the news. A few years ago, 200 fans were injured & 39 died in Brussels, victims of a charging mob of Liverpool soccer fans. A wall collapsed under the weight of the stampede & many people fell to the ground where they were trampled to death. This happened before the soccer game had even begun!—And the incredible thing is that the officials still allowed the game to be played!—They said it was because they feared that cancelling it might have led to even greater violence!
In Colombia, 24 people died & 200 were injured in a stampede during a soccer game. The stampede started when fans on top of a grandstand began urinating & throwing firecrackers on those below. (See WND 86, pgs.10 & 11.)
And more recently in Liverpool, England, 94 fans of the Liverpool soccer club were killed. The newspaper article described this tragedy, saying: "Thousands of Liverpool fans squeezed onto a standing-room terrace where many of the victims were pinned against the fence and died of suffocation and crushing injuries. Police had to intervene as Liverpool fans apparently tried to reach their rivals at the other end of the stadium. In Britain, thousands of fans, many of whom are unemployed and feel they have been given a raw deal by society, routinely travel with their local teams. The worst of them go to games to seek fights, which often escalate into running brawls in the neighbourhoods around stadiums."
And like Grandpa said, in Central America an actual war started between Honduras & El Salvador over a soccer game, because the teams & the fans got so mad at each other that they started fighting with each other & it ended up that they started a war in which 20,000 people were killed! Dad says, "Ernest Hemingway, the World- famous writer, who spent so much of his time in Latin America & Spain, said you could eliminate most Latin American wars & their causes by simply banning football or soccer! Those games get them so worked up into a frenzy against each other that nothing but a total all-out war can truly satisfy the spirit of it!" (ML #179A:5)—That's the ultimate spirit of sports & what they teach you!—War!
Every country has a sport that it rallies around. In Spain & South America they have soccer.—Whole countries rally around it to try to beat the other countries. England has rugby. In the Scandinavian countries like Norway or Sweden they have skiing, as well as in Austria & Switzerland where they have lots of mountains. Even though skiing is not as violent as other sports, they're still competing against each other. "Whether it's swimming or gymnastics or whatever, the whole thing is worship of the flesh & the worship of Man with a competitive spirit of war, the very essence of contention and competition and struggle—warfare, and the perfect preparation for it!" (ML #179A:4)
This selfish, aggressive, competitive spirit is totally the opposite of God's Spirit. In our Family we're from many different nationalities & God's Spirit unites us together, but in the System the nationalities are competing against each other, "I'm from this country!" "I'm from that country!" They're competing against each other in that spirit of sports. God's Spirit tries to unite, whereas the Devil's spirit of competitive sports or war is to divide & conquer.
In some Homes there are facilities which allow for the Family to play soccer, volleyball, badminton, basketball etc., but the goal of playing those games should not be to win the game, but rather to get good exercise. However, I've heard of a number of incidences where people get quite competitive & start putting the winning of the game ahead of the actual purpose for playing—exercise. When this happens, often feelings get hurt & even bodies get hurt.—Bones are broken, people are injured, which just proves the point that a competitive spirit is dangerous.
Grandpa says, "There's no point in showing off how good you are! We're not out there to show off, to win games & make points! That's not what we're there for, to be aggressive & show what a champ & what an expert we are. I think maybe some of you forget that you're not out there to go to the extreme just to try to win, you're out there for exercise & for enjoyment, health, fresh air & sunshine." (ML# 2082:39,7) ("People who feel hurt & disappointed & upset because they have to take a walk instead of playing volleyball or badminton or something must have the wrong attitude & the wrong spirit, & be really out of it. Furthermore, I've never advocated games, except for children. I've advocated good vigorous exercise in the form of outdoor work, if you have it, or a good brisk walk or swim. You can get just as much exercise with vigorous outdoor work, walking or swimming as with playing games. And it accomplishes a lot more. If you can't do any of these things, then you can play games.—If you can do it in the right spirit!"—D.)
It seems that many of us who have a background of competitive sports are often those who have the hardest time entering into games in the Family because we tend to fall back a bit into our "old man", which is quite dangerous. You teens can also have quite a difficult time handling some competitive sports, especially if they see a bad sample of competition from some of our old "jocks"*. (*jocks: athletes)
In games we may allow a little competition just for the sake of encouraging people to play a little harder for the purpose of getting good exercise. But when it gets into that aggressive competitive spirit, or you find yourself being upset when someone on your team makes a mistake & you lose a point, then you know it's gone too far. If that constantly happens to you, then you should cease from playing such games & do some other form of Get-Out that doesn't cause this bad spirit to rise up in you.—And perhaps you could ask for prayer!
You can get real competitive in anything that you do. That competitiveness can be manifested in comparing yourself, when you think, "Oh, I'm better than you!" That's the whole idea of competitiveness, to get better than the other guy. That's not the way the Lord wants us to be.
This competitive spirit is really one of the Devil's devices. It's his plan to get us to compete against each other, to compare ourselves with others, which either makes us feel discouraged because we're not as good as others or proud because we are better than others. The Lord wants us to esteem each other better than ourselves & to work together in unity.
Competitive sports totally for competition's sake are totally anti-God. The System is totally opposite of the Lord & God & the way He works. In the System you've got to be strong & mighty & powerful, but what does the Bible say? "God has chosen the weak things to confound the wise...that no flesh should glory in His presence." (1Cor.1:27,29) And that's what the Lord does, He chooses the weak things. Thank the Lord that we are not "good sports", but we've joined the peace-makers!—The Children of God! PTL!
"God Himself is soon going to bring an end to this World Series of Man's favourite sport, War! With one final knockout blow that will KO (Knock Out) His opponents for good, He'll win the title of Universal Champion of Everlasting Peace, ending forever all competition and putting a permanent end to the games of His enemies! He'll create a Heaven on Earth wherein dwelleth righteousness without contest, and the meek shall inherit the Earth." (ML#179A:14)
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith." (Heb.12:1,2a)
"He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isa.40:29-31)
—Excerpts of article by E.M. Swift, December 1988.
Professional Hockey players aren't animals. You can eat with them in public restaurants. You can even expose them to mixed company. But take your son or daughter to a National Hockey League game this season, and at some point your child will see a player — more often, several players — commit a foul that, were he to commit it in the street, would label him a criminal.
Maybe he will ram a stick blade into an opponent's mouth and carve out some teeth. Perhaps he will aim a little lower and spear that fellow in the liver or the kidney. Maybe — and more commonly — he will start a fistfight, many of which begin as bare-knuckle assaults and degenerate into eye-gouging, head-butting, hair-pulling brawls. Your kid is likely to see a potentially crippling cross-check to the back of an unsuspecting player, or a savage elbow to the bridge of the nose, or a carefully placed butt-end of the stick to the jaw. Maybe even a broken neck.
There will be something, you can bet on it. It will be grotesque, unsportsmanlike and unrepentantly vicious. And it will probably be on display at the next game you attend, and the next, and the next, because the owners, the officials, the managers, the coaches and the players themselves confuse violence with toughness and will not put an end to the mayhem in their sport.
—Edmonton center Mark Messier extracted four teeth from Rich Sutter with the blade of his stick. No penalty was called on the play. The dentist had to scrape black tape from the stumps left in Sutter's mouth!
—Philadelphia Flyer right wing Rick Tocchet, during a fight used his thumb to nearly gouge out the left eye of Islander rookie defenseman Dean Chynoweth. Tocchet was suspended for 10 games for going to "extraordinary means in his attempt to injure." Chynoweth's vision remains blurred as a result of the attack.
—New York Ranger defenseman James Patrick, in fending off a check by the Flyers' Ron Sutter, cross-checked Sutter in the face, breaking his jaw and giving him a concussion. Patrick drew a two-minute penalty on the play and, after a review, was not suspended from any games.
—Montreal right wing Stephane Richer slashed Islander defenseman Jeff Norton in the midsection while turning the toe of his stick inward like a scythe. Norton lay on the ice for nearly 10 minutes before finally being rolled out on a stretcher. Initial word from the hospital was that Norton had a perforated liver, but the injury was subsequently diagnosed as severely bruised ribs and internal trauma. No penalty was called on the play.
—In a pre-season game St. Louis left wing Wayne Maki fractured the skull of Boston defenseman Ted Green during a vicious high-sticking joust. Both players were charged by local law enforcement officials with assault, but both were acquitted.
—One defenseman knocked a right wing unconscious with a hard check & the guy was hospitalized with a mild concussion. The defenseman said later: "It was sort of a plus to get him out of there. It's too bad he ended up in the hospital, but better there than on the ice, where he could have scored the winning goal."
"I Was a Teen Terror!" by Uncle Gary
From Joan Paloma (17), Latin America
Mama Maria has found an idea that will really work. PTL! It's true that even though we teens have been told our whole lives that "the System is bad", when we became young teens most of us probably started to analyse that statement & wonder if it really was so. But these articles will definitely scare us & horrify us into believing what the first generation has been trying to tell us since the beginning.
From Dulce (15), Latin America
I'm really thankful to have the System exposed for what it is! It shows how much love the Lord has for each of us in the Family—to have a bit of Heaven right in the midst of all the Hell the World is going through. One point that another teen brought up is that we should not only not want to be in the System ourselves, but also to not want others to be in the System, & to tell them about Jesus & how they can be saved out of that pit.
Another point that spoke to me is how important it is for us to get corrected & for us to take it as love. Yesterday I got corrected for something I said. I should have been more in prayer & thinking of the other girls, because what I said made some of them feel bad. The problem wasn't so much what I said, but mainly the spirit in which I said it. Since self-righteousness is one of my weaknesses, my very first thought was to blame others for getting offended, but then the Lord reminded me about the right way to receive correction.
Then I thought about how Uncle Gary didn't get corrected when he was younger & he had to go through reform school. It made me really thankful to have someone correct me when I start to go off the track, because I really don't want to end up in the mess he ended up in!
From Fe (15), Latin America
Uncle Gary's testimony was a real shocker & eye-opener. Although it was a bit gruesome, it really showed me how bad the System is. I've never had much contact with the horrors of the System, so I think this kind of testimony is going to be a real help. Also to hear the details about the fights & the pain etc. is a real help because I always thought, due to testimonies I heard, that getting in fights or being beat up was not that bad, so I thought it would be fairly easy to survive in the System.
I also didn't realise before how the Lord would take His hand of protection off me & I would be open prey if I ever went back. It not only puts the fear of the Lord in me, but it also makes me hate the System with a perfect hatred.
Before I read this testimony, although I had a burden for lost souls & I wanted to reach them, I didn't have such a desire to rescue them before it's too late. Now I want to do all I can to help save the youth out there that are dying for lack of the Truth. These testimonies are going to tear down any false images & rip off the rose-coloured glasses that we have had toward the System. PTL!
From Isaac (15), Latin America
I never knew I had it so good until we read Uncle Gary's testimony. It gave me more of a desire to win more souls & to reach the youth of today. Also I can now see that what System teens show on their faces is not what they feel inside, & that it's just a cover-up for all their sorrows & fears that they don't want to face. It makes me look deeper when I witness to them & I can understand them better.
It put the fear of the Lord in me & convicted me not to murmur. I'm so thankful now for everything that I have, & I don't want to belittle my blessings in any way!
"The Wicked World Behind the Scenes of Rock & Roll!" By Jeremy Spencer
From Ruthie (17), SEA
This drastically changed my views, because even though since I joined the Family I've known that System music is really bad & harmful, it was hard for me to forsake some of the songs I considered to be "okay". I would often have System music running through my head & wouldn't try to stop it, because I couldn't see how it could be that bad. But reading this really smashed my picture of some of these singers.
Some of my "favourite" ballad song writers like Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard, Abba etc. which I thought were fine, were really exposed to me through this Letter. It shocked me thoroughly because I had really liked them, & I felt disgusted with them & myself. I saw the pit that System music is!—And I'd been letting that stuff run through my mind! It really showed me the true colours of some of the ones I considered to be so-called "good stars". I'm really convinced now that System music is not where it's at, & this has given me a perfect hatred of it. TYJ!
From John (17), SEA
Since I play the guitar, I am naturally attracted to music & before I had a real problem with being attracted to System music. I would secretly wish I could be some great star. I had prayer against this, & thank the Lord, He helped me get a victory.—But I still never really understood why System music was so bad until I read Uncle Jeremy's testimony. Then I saw everything so clearly & it really shocked me to see how bad the music world is!
From Angelina (14), SEA
Before reading Uncle Jeremy's testimony, I thought rock & roll was bad, of the Devil, etc. I knew that the managers & singers were doing it only for the money, but after reading this, my eyes were opened to even more. I saw that more than being driven by greed & lust for money & power, their motivation is in the Devil & pleasing him & all his perverse arts! It showed me how people may not really know what they're getting into at first, but once they've sold their souls & even their bodies to the Devil, they know fully what it is, & they've made a definite choice to be lovers of Satan!
It's also amazing how, no matter how far off the track Uncle Jeremy was, the Lord was so faithful to give him checks & warnings, & so long as Uncle Jeremy disobeyed them & went his own way, he kept getting in bigger trouble. But when he really saw where he was at & wanted to return, but was too weak in himself, the Lord did it for him! Then it was up to him to keep obeying or to fall back again. GBH! God bless you, Uncle Jeremy, for sharing this with us, as it was so enlightening & showed me really where the System & its "jungle beat" is at!
From Kerenina (14), SEA
This testimony showed me the deceit of the System. Usually with backsliders' testimonies I think, "How terrible! How could they go back?!" But this one showed how the Enemy is so deceitful & he makes you think it's not so bad. I always had a rather self-righteous attitude towards backsliders, but this helped me see it could happen to anyone, even me.
I also saw how faithful the Lord is to give us checks & it's just up to us to receive, remember & DO! Lord help me! It scared me into listening, seeing how far it can lead you if you don't listen to one little check. It was really sobering! A lot of times I know I'm not faithful to listen & obey, so I really need to take this to heart. TYJ for the warnings He's faithful to give us!
From Joan (15), SEA
Before I used to think when I'd look at Pop stars & famous singers that it probably wasn't so bad & that it must be fun, even though I'd heard other stories that our Shepherds told us. LHM! I didn't really believe it, so I wasn't convinced! But this Traumatic Testimony deterred me from ever wanting anything to do with the System. It really reminded me of Sodom & Gomorrah! It makes me count my blessings!
From Bathsheba (17), SEA
Before when I read testimonies about people leaving & would hear the interesting things they did, or read about them in their System jobs, I would tend to think, "Wow, I wonder what it's like to do that?" But after reading Uncle Jeremy's & Uncle Josh's testimonies, I don't dare ever even think of going back. It's really helped expose to me the sickening filth & deceitfulness of the System!
From Gideon (15), SEA
It really sobered me up as to how bad the System really is & how behind what seems to be glory & fun, there's a lot of Hell & deviltry! It also was easy to apply it to myself along the lines of how the Lord was faithful to give checks to Uncle Jeremy, but in his own reasoning he didn't take it seriously. I have this same weakness of not listening to the Lord's checks, although He's very faithful to give them to me. So this is one way this Teen Special really hit home with me & has helped me to see how important it is to listen & obey these little checks!
From Christia (14), SEA
It made me appreciate the Family & how protected we are. Sometimes it's easy for me to think, "Oh, it's not that bad", but it really shook me up to hear from someone who has been out there how bad it is! One thing that spoke to me is how the Lord is so faithful to warn us, like when Uncle Jeremy kept getting dreams & checks about the girl & the music, but he didn't heed it. I know I do that sometimes too—I don't take the Lord's checks seriously enough.—But it can be dangerous when you don't obey the Lord!
From Ruth (14), North America
It was really shocking how horrible the people are in the music world!—They just don't care whether or not a person is demon possessed! One thing I know for sure, I'm not going to ever daydream again about being a star!
From Samuel (17), India Area
It was shocking to find out that so many of the World's musicians are Sodomites! Also I knew that a lot were really off the track, but it was something else to find out that they openly worship the Devil & dedicate their songs to him!
One lesson this article taught me is to watch out for compromise with the Devil, especially with getting attached to even "good" music of the World & to think it's okay & that I'm "strong enough" to handle it. I don't mean by having my own tapes of System music, but just listening to what's playing when I'm out in the System.
It was amazing to see how extremely strong the Devil's pull can be on you. I saw that unless I really have my guard up & don't give in to even one little compromise, I could fall prey to him. That was one of the main things that Uncle Jeremy said that stood out to me—to not give in to the Devil in my mind one wee bit; because, the more I do, the more I'll start to turn a deaf ear & lose my conviction to the Lord's Voice, like what happened with Uncle Jeremy.
Another thing was seeing where the wages of sin bring you & entertaining the Devil & his evil spirits, like what happened to Peter Green. It only proves again what the Word & Grandpa say about the Devil being out for keeps & grabbing whatever he can get his hands on. The whole thing is such a sober warning, as are all the TSMs, to what can happen to us unless we really hang onto the Lord!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family