Here is their "History" complete and
A Bit of History
E. Marie Tolbert
The I’SOT Community has been in existence since the early 1960’s. The general makeup of the I’SOT Family was of families and individuals looking for stability. They were drawn by the message of Jesus Christ. Through the use of the Pattern which God had given, they were made aware that they were a three-fold being and often needed help in all three areas. We taught them to forgive and be forgiven. Many of the core group today has been a part of this community from the beginning. Our goal became helping those who had lost their way physically, mentally and spiritually, as we had been helped.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s, we (as a family) fell from our first love with the Lord and became very “self-centered.” We were building a “Utopian Community.” In the process of taking our collective eyes off of God and the goal that had been set before us, we became self-serving and prideful; soon our “tower of Babel” fell. We got our eyes off of the pattern Son and our carnal nature began to manifest itself. Many adults in the community were faced with their own transgression, sin and iniquity. The community children were affected emotionally as their parents were confronted and struggled with their commitment to God and their right to gratify their own desires. Some left rather than be confronted; some stayed and walked through the humiliation of facing themselves and the need to overcome their sin (unbelief).
Sin is not an act but a lack of belief in Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to keep us free from our old nature. Iniquity is loving and serving our own images as God; these lead to acts of transgression against the laws of God. Confrontation is painful because it attacks our images of ourselves. There is no polite way to say that the way you think is destroying you. God’s desire is that the sinner will see their need for change and be transformed. Being confronted with the way we think, as opposed to the principles of Christ, can be interpreted as manipulation or “brainwashing” by those who do not want to be told that their thinking is anti-Christ. This method of dealing with problems is seen as life-giving by those who have been changed by the experience. It is seen as abusive and destructive by those who deny their problems and blame others for their behavior. (2 Cor. 2:14-16)
Some adults who were confronted chose to stay in community and repent, confessing their transgressions and sins. There was a genuine sorrow among the whole family and we all bore the burden of shame. At the time that all this was uncovered, we were running a licensed group home. To my knowledge, no placement was abused or involved in any of the moral issues. Fifty-four people, some involved in the problems, some not, left the community between 1984 and 1988. Another family group and some individuals left in the 90’s because they were confronted. A small number of those who left over the years became “apostate.” They went to the State of California (who licensed group homes) with many stories of misconduct. Their main contention was that we were a “cult” and held people captive by mental manipulation, abusing our children and the individuals placed with us.
“Apostasy is not a matter of private religious doubts or lapsed religious practices. Apostasy is the public renunciation and condemnation of one’s former beliefs.” - L. J. Kliever, PhD
In the 1980’s this small group of apostates’ efforts to condemn this family coincided with a mandate in State licensing to do away with group homes that were owned or operated by religious groups. We were one of the largest among a number of groups targeted and many counties who placed juveniles with us took their placements out of our facility to wait on the results. The State did not revoke our license and some counties continued to place with us. These “apostates” were frustrated (and still are twenty years later) in their attempt to discredit our name.
The State investigators spent six years investigating all allegations, compiling a list of accusations that had been brought against us. None were substantiated as illegal abuse and no criminal charges were brought against any individual or the community at large. After years of negotiation, the planting of an individual on our staff, and stalling, the State’s agents told us they hoped to break us financially and in the Press rather than take it to court.
The best explanation of the apostates’ antagonism against this community is described by L. J. Kliever in his work on “The Reliability of Apostate Testimony.” He states: “There are some voluntary apostates from new religious movements who leave deeply embittered and harshly critical of their former religious associations and activities. Their dynamics of separation from a once-loved religious group is analogous to an embittered marital separation and divorce. Both marriage and religion require a significant degree of commitment. The greater the involvement, the more traumatic the break-up. The longer the commitment, the more urgent the need to blame the other for the failed relationship. Long-term and heavily involved members of new religious movements, who over time become disenchanted with their religion, often throw all of the blame on their former religious associations and activities. They magnify small flaws into huge evils. They turn personal disappointments into malicious betrayals. They even will tell incredible falsehoods to harm their former religion.”
While most of their allegations were unfounded, the situation left this community financially and emotionally drained. Those who remained continued to trust God and ask for His guidance. In 1990, we agreed to give up our license to run a group home with no charges brought against any person. We were given two years to find someone to take the Facility. Environmental Alternatives, another licensed group home, agreed to take over. In January of 1993, the group home changed hands. Many of our members who worked in the group home went with it. Darla Mandel continues to be its on-site administrator.
All of our licensed professionals had been scrutinized and any allegations against them were found to be unwarranted. This did not stop the false accusation from being circulated. Only the Holy Spirit can change the hearts of those whose minds have been poisoned by the things that have been said. God has been good to us in the face of our adversaries; He has strengthened us and given us His Spirit to lead and guide us in the truth. He keeps us ever aware of our own carnality and reminds us how easy it is to build a tower and think we can reach God by our own efforts.
We still work with dysfunctional families. We are active in training young people in various vocations. There is a need in this community for stable people who have a burden such as ours to come and support this work. Our Timothy Program is training many young ministries. Our goal is still to come into a more personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and to help others gain stability in Him. (Philippians 3)
I'SOT has substantially completed their website at www.isotinc.org and let me take some time to criticize it's construction in general. First of all, the "creator" of the website constructed it using very obnoxious "table borders". Table borders went out in the late 1980's I believe and the standard table border setting is "0". Their website is extremely amateurish and full of inaccuracies and down-right falsehoods.
We have (on several pages on this web site) explained how Marie uses different objects and events to elevate or castigate her members. One very good example can be found on the page titled "Christmas Scenes". For years; "I'SOT" has put up a public display on the main street in Canby for Christmas and Easter (and now since 9-11-01; a display comemerating the HEROs). On ISOT's web site Marie writes: "Scenes are composed of professionally-made mannequins and full-size animals, however many of the faces on the mannequins (especially in the Last Supper and the Nativity) are molds taken from the members of the I'SOT Community, lending an unusual realism to these scenes."
Marie has always compared herself and her "ministry" to that of Christ Jesus and his Apostles, in fact has taught for decades that she is the further and/or final revelation of Christ Jesus himself.
While the faces of some of ISOT's eliete eldership are easily decernable in these pictures, it is easy to see how Marie uses these "perks" to elevate her favorites and family members, but it makes you wonder who exactly was chosen to be the model for some of the Bible's most notorious characters, like the Roman Centurions or Judas Iscariot himself.
Next I will compare their "history" found at their web page located at www.isotinc.org/bitohstry.html side-by-side with the TRUTH and some little known FACTS, which they seem to have conveniently forgotten or ignored completely.
Here is the RED LETTER rebuttal and an outline
of the FACTS:
It is a FACT that I'SOT has been in existence in other forms since the early 1960's, although I'SOT was called "The Group" until 1969 when it was named "I'SOT" after the "In Search of Truth" tract was published by Marie White (Tolbert).
MANY, if not MOST of the early members NEVER made the choice to "join" ISOT, not Scott Cline, Richard Aeh, Tim Danburger or Greg Settig who were either paroled to Marie from CYA or sent by the Courts, not the Martella, Abdallah, Pappenou, Simon or the Harmon children who were the minor dependant's of their parent(s) who joined, not Dale Merricks or Michael Hankins' and others, whose parents were DUPED into sending their minor children under false pretences and then found themselves a "Ward of the Court", not Cathy (Herlin) who came to I'SOT to "rescue" Matt from the evil clutches of that woman and many. many others who were never fully informed of what they were becoming involved with. Certainly not the throw-aways from other bodies, the degenerates and damaged. Even the "Placements" to the "Group Home" were compelled to go against their will, either by their parents or various Courts.
Many who found themselves at I'SOT under reasons other than free-will choice never left when they COULD make that choice because they were "CONDI-TIONED" (brain-washed) into belief and could never really make an "honest and informed" choice to leave or stay. They became DEPENDANT members of I'SOT.
IF I'SOT's goal had to been to "help" those who had lost their way, their methods of emotional, physical or sexual abuse FROM THE BEGINNING never helped anyone, instead it created a type of dependency common in victims of abuse where the victim identifies closely with the abuser in a desperate act of self-preservation. (Stockholm Syndrome).
It is ASTOUNDING that Marie characterizes the emotional, physical and sexual abuses as "self-serving and prideful, carnal nature" instead of the CRIMINAL ACTS they actually were. Marie HERSELF, condoned and patterned much of the abuse, including the "wife-swapping" and the "sexual freedom" that went on during the late 1980's.
Marie HERSELF was locked up in her office with Brock Elliot during many "heavy petting" sessions under the guise teaching I'SOT members how to "Minister" to "the World".
Joseph Tolbert, who Marie held up to members of ISOT, the MOVE and to the PUBLIC as the Perfect Christian Example (and beyond reproach), used his power and position to fondle, fornicate with, and have fellatio performed on him by MANY of the wives of ISOT's faithful, some of their minor daughters and even some of the "Placements".
Raymond Mandel used HIS position and power to seduce untold numbers of I'SOT's young men and other young men placed into their care at the Group Home.
Ron Mann, Ron Hassler and many others (including many of the wives of the Top "Elders") engaged in this rampant fornication and mate-swapping.
This type of "MINISTERING" only became taboo when it was evident that this behavior was become exposed to people OUTSIDE of I'SOT and could damage their standing in The MOVE.
Many others committed CRIMINAL Assaults on members of I'SOT, their children and residents of the "Group Home" which cannot be honestly characterized as self-serving, prideful transgressions, but should be called what is; CRIMINAL.
Marie says: "to my knowledge no placement (to the Group Home) was abused or involved in any moral issues", HOWEVER, we have been in contact with several former PLACEMENTS who indicate otherwise. Some describe the involvement of Marie Tolbert in their abuses. Likewise, many others who were not placements also describe the involvement of Marie Tolbert in their abuse. Simply not knowing about abuses does NOT absolve Marie of the responsibility for them. However, many abuses suffered by placements occurred at the full knowledge and support of Marie. She taught abuse since the early 1960's and her students learned it well.
We have recently been joined by one former placement, who was so inspired after finding THIS WEBSITE, that she published her own.
Jennifer A's astounding perspective of ISOT from the eyes of a PLACEMENT can be found HERE . Jennifer goes into great heart-wrenching detail describing the abuse she suffered.
Marie often describes our efforts as APOSTASY and describes anyone who disagrees with her brand of Christianity as APOSTATES (public renunciation and condemnation of former beliefs). My questions are: if someone renounces and condemns a belief they found to be false and UN-CHRISTIAN, are they really APOSTATES? Since Christ Jesus renounced the Jewish Faith of his day, renounced the Scribes and Pharisees and threw the money-changers out of the Temple, would HE also be classified as an APOSTATE?