It all started out with an email I sent “Bowens Mills” referencing the picture of Ray Mandel with the young men and women:
**************Original Message **************
Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 12:31 AM
Subject: Raymond Mandel
A friend of mine sent me the animated gif file of your recent "convention" at Bowen's Mill. I was shocked (to say the least) that the last image in the "slide-show" contained the image of Raymond Mandel in close proximity to young males. I have enclosed the last image from the above mentioned slide show.
Raymond is on the left, back row.
I am sure you have been informed of "our" web-site, and you have no doubt read the evidence that is being amassed in reference to Raymond Mandel (of I'SOT) and his proclivity for sexual attraction to young impressionable males. You should be aware, in case you haven't visited in a while, that there is a "NEW Investigation" brewing of I'SOT and abuses at the "Warner Mountain Group Home" in general, and specifically the abuses of Raymond Mandel.
Raymond quite possibly has a serious sexual deviancy, I can say that the last time I saw him personally, he did make sexual advances toward me while we were alone. There are many allegations (one should be enough) that he has used his position to seduce young men, as well as one verified account of Raymond Mandel traveling over 1200 miles to "apologize" to one such young man (that he so seduced).
I am sure that if you had read our web site, that you could dismiss us as "apostates". But let me ask you this question; Do you think that if our stories or allegations were FALSE, how long could we keep them posted on the internet before we were forced to remove them?
Since I started the web site about 1 year ago, I have had contact with over 50 ex-members of I'SOT, many of them were residents of the "Group Home". Most of them have told me their stories, but many aren't ready to go public yet, they are still too ashamed and many still blame themselves for the abuse (physical, emotional, mental and sexual) they suffered at the hands of the "I'SOT" Elders.
Honestly, until you investigate FULLY the allegations against I'SOT and Raymond Mandel, and find them FALSE, it would be safe to distance yourselves from those diseased people.
But that is only a suggestion based on my opinion.
A Bull in the China Shop
From: Bowens Mill
Sent: Friday, August 13, 2004 10:41 AM
Subject: Re: Raymond Mandel
Michael, I just read your e-mail and visited the website. However, I have a few questions for you:
1. Where is any legal documentation of the "abuse".
2. Since ISOT is working with the state of California, why hasn't the state shut them down based on these allegations of abuse.
3. Are you still bitter? How is your walk with the Lord?
You do realize that you could be slandering with your spin of ISOT.
I can give you the names of the young people with Raymond. Trust me, they all love him and have never suffered any abuse from him. Raymond gives his time voluntarily to our youth camps. He is a respected minister. Whatever may lie in his past, is his past. We all have a past.
I appreciate your concern and consider it unwarranted. Should you have any more questions, like concerns or would like to speak with us more, please "feel free" to do so.
Oh, by the way, Marie is "under authority" of this ministry. She welcomes correction and direction and has been open.
In His Service,
Sent: Monday, August 13, 2004 8:13 PM
Subject: RE: Raymond Mandel
Thanks for the reply. I suspect you might be the daughter of Buddy Cobb. I remember when he used to visit I'SOT while I was there. I believe Buddy might have been visiting I'SOT during one time when Marie was saying; either I was a "sociopath, who tortured small animals" or involved in the "Dean Corll/Elmer Wayne Henley" serial killings in Pasadena, TX in the early 1970's. Both of which were so incredibly wrong and mean-spirited. I also remember Marie castigating Buddy Cobb as well as Sam Fife, because of some reason I cannot now remember.
I will answer your email the best I can, if I don't have an answer to any particular question, I will forward it to someone who does.
1. The "Legal Documentation" of abuse is contained in the 28 page report entitled "1990 Investigation" represented on the web site beginning on page http://www.isotsurvivors.info/ipage_1.htm . The FIRST page of the report gives reference to "Document No. 7390285001". Even though it is represented as an "html" file, you can obtain a "hard-copy" by contacting the State of California. There are also numerous first-hand accounts of various abuses (many of which I was witness to), including my own story.
2. After the "Investigation" broke, I believe there was some kind of "plea bargain" arraignment between the State and ISOT, where the State would drop their claims IF ISOT closed the "Group Home" which they did. The control of the "Group Home" was then taken over by another company named "Warner Mountain Group Home" who employed many members of I'SOT, including some of those accused in the original 1990 Investigation.
3. Bitter? How is my "walk with the Lord"? The answers to those questions aren't relative here, as long as I'SOT continues to abuse people much in the same manner they did while I lived there in the early 1970's. I had pretty much set the issues of my abuses beside long ago, and even believed when people at I'SOT told me "We were pretty young back then and did some horrible things. But now, we have grown up", until I started talking with many people, some of them recently leaving I'SOT. Having heard one young man's story (who is incredibly believable) of abuse, the similarities between the stories I have heard and my own horrible experience leads me to believe that I'SOT has never changed. The fact that I'SOT now blames people (much like me) for the abuses we suffered or denies their "pain" leads me to believe that I'SOT has never changed. The fact that Marie never answered my letter written to her asking for answers over eight months before I published the ISOTSurvivor's web site and has ignored at least two subsequent letters, leads me to believe I'SOT has never changed. Much of this could have been avoided if Marie/ISOT had said they were sorry.
4. Again, there is a difference between "slander" and "libel". Slander is something false that is SPOKEN with intent to damage or injure. Libel is the "written" account of slander. I am not afraid of being accused of "slander" or "libel" by I'SOT. Every statement of fact on the ISOTSurvivor's web site can be proven. There are probably at least 50 people like me, with similar horrible experiences. I'SOT is fully aware of the web site, I let them know about it shortly after publishing it in July of last year. I know every time they visit it, I know which pages they read, what day/time they read them. Any statement on my web site not based in FACT, is OPINION, and OPINION is not slander/libel. You cannot sue anyone over their opinion. I would welcome I'SOT to file legal action against me for "slander/libel". But they won't, because they have too much to loose. I have been sued by an International Corporation before over another web site I own. (They LOST!) So, the threat or prospect of being sued by I'SOT doesn't intimidate me in the least.
5. Sexual predators never change. What is in their "past" is also in their present and future. Anyone with such a "past" should NEVER be trusted around children. Don't you listen to “Dr. Laura”?
**************HER Reply (to my reply)**************
From: Darryl & Cara
Sent: Saturday, August 14, 2004 10:36 AM
Michael, thank you for your swift response. Yes, you are correct, Buddy is my father-in-law. If Marie "castigated" him, he probably deserved it. They are still friends.
Michael, there has been much said/written about abuse in the "move" and much said/written about the dsyfunctional personalities of many of us. Probably there is truth somewhere (I may be as cuckoo as they come). From the vantage point that God has me (as an "insider" and a member of a great community here at New Covenant), I have been able to view all sides of issues. (by the way, I am an abuse survivor; if you care to know more, just ask)
Biblically, Paul was an atrocious abuser, yet God zapped him and the rest is history. I am not trying to downplay or deny what you experienced, really, I am not.
I do not believe that any abuse relative to my definition continues at ISOT. If someone takes offense to Marie's personality quirks, then maybe that is abusive to them. If Raymond's confrontational methods make one uneasy, then maybe that is abusive to them. As for sexual abuse, there are many definitions, as you and I both know.
Michael, I invite you to come visit us. Things have "changed" around here. God is good. It has not always been easy, but He is good.
**************And MY Response**************
Sent: Monday, August 16, 2004 8:03 PM
Subject: Raymond Mandel
I seem to remember having read of some of the horrible abuses happening in Mississippi at the "Move" several years ago while looking on the internet for information about ISOT, and I remember a friend of mine, (in ISOT) a Dave Carlson who suffered sexual abuse and physical beatings there.
I think I remember Paul (formerly Saul of Tarsus) was a ruthless tax-collector. I don't remember ever reading anywhere in the Bible that Paul sexually assaulted children (minors under the age of 18), or using his status and power to seduce others for his sexual gratification nor read about him beating or subjecting his subordinates to various emotional tortures and abuses. Did Paul commit these abuses before or after God "zapped" him?
One cannot, on one hand, claim "God's Grace" and on the other hand commit all sorts of sins. Either you are saved by the Grace, or you aren't. Did not Jesus tell Mary Magdalene; "Go and SIN NO MORE"?
I am sure that when "GOD zapped" Paul for his abuses, that Paul showed remorse, a "contrite and broken heart". NONE of which ISOT has shown to those of US that they have abused. In fact, they have shown nothing but callousness and disregard for us, blaming US for the pain many of us suffer from. Simply being "zapped" by God doesn't absolve a person from their "worldly" obligations and responsibilities (for the abuse inflicted on another).
You say that you don't believe "any abuse relative to your definition" exists at ISOT. What would YOU define as abuse? Would you define telling someone "You are Satan's Child", or "You can NEVER make it out in the world" as ABUSE?
Would you define counseling sessions where someone is "diagnosed" as having been sexually abused by a parent or another "adult" figure (when NO such abuse occurred) as being ABUSE? Would you define telling a grieving father that the accidental death of his daughter was actually a suicide (because he molested her) as ABUSE? I certainly would.
And those types of abuses are STILL in effect at ISOT, from what I am told. Why would I believe such "scurrilous" accusations? Simply, because the some of same things were told to me, about me. Others in my age group heard the same things as well. If those types of abuse happened 30 years ago, and I hear of them happening as recent as 5 years ago, they must be still happening, right?
We are still waiting for God to "zap" the ISOT Eldership.
A Bull in the China Shop