"No anger, we moved on": A decade later, the women of the Redeemer want a new life
Getting to know the cult, losing identity, distorting reality, the lost years - and how to talk about it all with children today. Ten years after the affair burst, two women who lived with a savior for over a decade talk about the difficulties the day after, closing the gaps - and what they are doing to make it not happen to another woman. Special
"No anger, we moved on": A decade later, the women of the Redeemer want a new life
(In the video: Yehudit Herman in an interview at Walla Studio! NEWS, February 2015)
Next month will mark the 10th anniversary of the explosion of the Goel Ratson affair - the man who lives with 21 women and has 49 children, and was convicted of serious sex offenses. Years after, the women who drifted afterwards talk about dealing with the day after: the new life and where they are today.
Yehudit Herman met Goel Ratzon when she was 17, left home at age 29 with five children, and moved to Kibbutz Shefayim. "Ten years have passed since then. I was glad everything happened to myself. I started from a very difficult place, at 29 I was actually like an 18 year old with 17 years of life experience but with five children. I came to Kibbutz Shefayim with no education, nothing, it was very difficult In every way, "she says. "They received me in the kibbutz amazingly, hugging. My family and social welfare, too, were very critical for the first few years. I quickly made a decision that I was listening to my inner voice and slowly building myself and my life. I always knew I would go elsewhere and move forward."
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"I came to the kibbutz with nothing." Herman (Photo: Courtesy of the photographers)
Yehudit Herman (Photo: Courtesy of the photographers)
"In the beginning, we were sent to psychiatric care funded, and in a few sessions I realized this was not my place, I couldn't sit down and talk about what it was. I felt I didn't have the patience to spend time, I wanted to make gaps, bring my life to life and that's what happened: "I started with the lectures I did that gave me a lot of confidence. It answered me to a need, I always wanted to be a teacher. I felt very appreciated, it broke through word of mouth, for eight years," she says.
After Harman began with the lectures, she fulfilled her first dream and created a play based on her life story, "Belongs to". "When I got to the kibbutz, I started writing all kinds of texts and at that point I put them in the drawer and let them cook," she says. "A year later, I already had a friend named Eliran Caspi and we did a crazy show all over the country."More in Walla! NEWS More in Walla! NEWS
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A show inspired by her life story. Actor Samuel Vilozny and Harmon (Photo: Courtesy of the photographers)
Yehudit Herman and Samuel Viloznyi in the role of Redeemer (Photo: Courtesy of the photographers)
At the same time in her personal life she lived with her children for six years on the kibbutz, and on the last Passover will be four years for the day when the family moved to their own home. "It's another significant milestone in my independence and that of my children to start life really. It's very exciting."
"I lived in the cult for 12 years," she says. "It's really the whole period of life where a person builds himself up to adult life. You test, travel, study - everything - and I was in cure at all. I could sit for these ten years and think about what I lost, but I was busy in those ten years only in the present. There were occasional flashes, but they were really for a second. I think I haven't really tackled it yet, I haven't really solved it yet. I often ask myself if I'm angry and not, I have no anger - either it hasn't come up or I haven't. I've moved on. "
"This sense of freedom accompanies me every second," she explains. "Every second I feel free and aware of it. It fills me and gives me strength, especially reassures me that he is in prison, his place. He is a very dangerous person. He has done very serious crimes, destroyed a lot of people's lives. One did - if it is our girls, our children, our parents, brothers, financially to the state, just rehabilitating us cost millions. "
She says she remembers that period as a time when she was only pregnant and giving birth. "It passed me very quickly, he would make me calls of 'Bring another child and another child', even when my inner voice would tell me enough, his voice would prevail over me. In the end he always controlled me there. There are always two voices when you Cry, that's why you're doing brainwashing, worrying about being silent. "
"He put other glasses on us. Slowly it takes over you"
Herman reached out to Goel Will following stories that reached out to friends and school friends. "I went through a very difficult adolescence, I searched for meaning. I was terribly troubled, I was a kid who had big questions from an early age, I was always more mature for my age. I heard about him from friends and we got to know him. We were a big group of students from the Sharon coast, we got into it together. She describes the beginning of the road.
"There were stories he helped, a healer, who had spiritual abilities, all kinds of stories. Two of my girlfriends told me he healed them, I saw crazy changes about them. They wanted to know him. I had a girlfriend who was in a bad state of mind and suddenly had a crazy confidence. I was even jealous of her. I was completely insecure, had no skills, couldn't believe in myself. My insecurities were crazy and he made me feel amazing. It filled me with a strong need at age 17 and then we would come to him again and again and he would drip all over. He made us all get sucked in. We were three girls from the class and he made us disconnect - things happened to the parents at home, he turned It is something terrible, and then you have no judgment, it completely distorts you the reality, it gives us other glasses through which we have seen the world, and slowly it is taking over you. "
Herman said the big market was suddenly finding itself with five kids. "I didn't really understand that I brought them into the world, it's a very big trauma. I have children with more complexities, it wasn't that simple. Today I'm much more mature, I feel like I am where I am supposed to be. I've been able to reach a place where my peers are. I think I'm there, and if not I'm close. "
"The destruction of many people's lives." Tel Aviv District Court hearing, October 2014 (Photo: Reuven Castro)
Redeemer Will in Tel Aviv District Court, October 2014 (Photo: Reuven Castro)
Today, Herman's older son is already a soldier in the army. "He's adorable," she says, "doing incredible processes with himself, all embracing. Everyone has made their own progress, each with his hobbies and what he likes. This story is part of their life, but I also maintain it, it exists "Here they wanted me to participate in some TV show and my little boy asked me not to participate - so I politely refused, but they share my journey, come to lectures, plays, they see the healthy place even though we have had a bad experience."
Despite overcoming difficulties, parity is still a dream. "I've achieved a lot of things: I have a driver's license, I support the children, I have the 'Return' at the Cameri Theater with Netta Gerti (another show inspired by her life story - DA), and most exciting is that two months ago I started learning for the first time, it's a dream ", She shares," and really only parity I didn't fulfill. I long for it, I lack that partner for life. "
On the question of whether she has any concerns about the matter, she says there are none. "There are no fears. It's very clear to me that there are men I can fly with and some men I have to watch out for. Whatever, it took me many years to understand what a healthy relationship is. Yes, I was burned again several times after the affair, but I learned and grew."
"I chose not to cry for what was - but to learn"
Sherry Horwitz, now 40, reached the cult of will at the age of 18, and remained there until she was 30 - a period she describes as "12 years of identity loss." On the other hand, the decade that Mauz has seen is quite different in her eyes: "It's been a decade of building, growth, good things that have happened," she says. Horwitz is in her fourth year of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ben Gurion University. After the affair exploded, she moved to Eilat, and for the past year and a half has been running the Timna Park Visitor Center. She is currently in a relationship with two children. "It was a Cinderella story, because it ended happily ever after," she says. "It was my youthful love that Redeemer separated us. We went back to one another after the affair exploded. Today we have two children, we're really in a good relationship, it's been an amazing ten years."
"It was a prison there, obviously Goel had a very difficult life," she continues, "but after I left I chose life, I chose not to be a victim anymore and to really take advantage of what was left. Not to cry for what was but to learn from what was. It is great not only to learn about the phenomenon but also to teach about it, about how something happens to people who are pumped, how to get to it, what psychological processes we go through, so much so that we do not see the control we are in. "
"A Cinderella Story". Shri Horowitz (Photo: Courtesy of the photographers)
Shri Horowitz (Photo: Courtesy of the photographers)
Cherry's children are still small, but she believes that coming today will tell them about everything she experienced during a time when she was a cult of will. "It is very important to me that they know about their mother," she explains. "Certainly when the moment comes, I will sit down and tell them. Or else. "
She says she has no thoughts of anger or guilt ten years after. "I understand the process today, I understand why it happened, I tell myself it was obvious it would happen, he was just the wrong person at the right time, no immunity to it. It doesn't have to be just a savior or other caste, sometimes you can see It is in relationships, even further away than cults, when sometimes under the influence of a spouse you lose yourself. It can also be a controlling woman, a man can lose his freedom, his private will, because of someone else. "
"I haven't given up on myself for the last ten years. I researched, I asked," she says. "The biggest surprise of my life is that people are still unable to digest and understand the phenomenon. Here lies the problem, there are a lot of sects in Israel, a hundred thousand people are in sects. The fact that someone influences their perception. Here lies the danger. Everyone is amazed at how it happened to me, but friends it keeps happening. First of all you need awareness, to recognize the phenomenon. "
"Today, ten years after I congratulate the decision to convict Goel. This has happened a lot thanks to my sister who filed a complaint with the police. And I’m happy and how well it did after I left, ”she concludes. "Goel's affair shocked an entire country. I definitely want people to understand that this cult is being sucked into a certain thinking, if I can put people in awareness - I'll be there."