I lived the first 25 of my 28 years in this community. I saw, experienced, and lived it through the eyes of a child, a teenager, and young adult. I look back at this large portion of my life with pride and gratitude. I was taught all the things and given all the tools, both through negative and positive experiences, to tackle any challenge or joy life should choose to toss my way. As a member of society at large now, I have a deeper appreciation for what my community gave me than I ever did when I lived there. I see the young people, the children, that came from this place, they are all, without exception, outstanding characters. We were raised well, by loving parents that put every ounce of energy into bringing up a generation of loving, responsible people. Their success, in my observations, was due largely to the positive pressures of community ideals. Parents had pressure to perform at a higher level, (though admittedly this was not always done in the most effective, caring or responsible way). As children, we had peer pressure continuously, to do the right thing. I have a lot of rough memories too. It wasn't all fun and games. But when it comes right down to it, I have to look at the ultimate product that it gave, the children born and raised there. That is ultimately what I use to judge the character of the community as a whole. A good society will produce good offspring. While individuals had agendas to push, politics to play and points to make, the final and most important goal, to raise upright children, was a complete success. My memories I hold dear, all of them. My experiences in life have made me a strong man, a loving father, caring husband, and responsible, honest person, and in this I owe thanks to the Brotherhood of Christ Community, the memories of which I will cherish for my life time.
here is a link to the actual claim about the cult-like commune that ruined our life -- it being called :
>>>>> "a mind-control cult in the fullest definition of a cult."
links weren't allowed -- contact me via facebook & I will link them to you
"Some say that the commune is no more than Ron Livingston's personal kingdom, and that he manipulates members with a combination of fear and familial power to give up all their possessions and follow him into the wilderness. Leonard and Doris Edwards said Livingston told them their grandchild would be deformed if they left the community, and told another relative to beware a recurrence of cancer if she left. "He's pulling every string," said Leonard Edwards. "He's the best I've ever seen at it. I hope I never see another one." Their son lived on the land for two years before leaving in 1990 after his wife suffered from epilepsy. He claims the episode was caused by the stress of life in the community, where women are under particular pressure not to fall behind in doing traditional tasks such as the laundry and cooking without any modern conveniences. (From "Iowa commune follows an ancient sect," by David Briggs, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/13/92, A2)"
Review from Guidestar