Rune Rofke - Glenn Emery
I've been in Indiana for the past few months. Larry Krishnek is the commander here. He's the only person who believed me about W last winter when we were in Texas. My time with him down in Houston, driving for Carolyn, Roger and Howie, was the only decent thing that happened in those dark and terrible days. I knew he couldn't do much to help me, but he knew I was telling the truth and he gave me sanctuary. He gave me the nonjudgmental space I needed to try to recover. Without him I doubt I could have survived. I'm so glad to be back with him. Each day I feel a little bit stronger and more sane again.
My dad went to Indiana University in Bloomington. We lived here when I was a baby. Being here with Larry, I feel like a newborn again. I'm starting over.
But getting here, the birthing process I guess you could say, was a terrible and painful ordeal.
At White House I was the only MFT member. I felt very different from the other "problem" members who were there. Theirs were the usual, garden-variety problems I had observed in members all along. Either they came to the church with deep emotional baggage from their previous lives (broken families, mental health issues, etc.), or they just hated the church lifestyle and refused to go along. Everybody wanted an easy mission, something that wouldn't require hard work or sacrifice. That wasn't my style. I had been hardcore, and I wanted to be that way again. Among these other people I felt like a leper. I had come to New York not because I couldn't hack the frontline. I was here because I was sick. I needed to get well.
I kept my distance from everyone at first. I didn't talk much or do anything to call attention to myself. But after a few days I started to warm up to a few people, and because it was really such a small group, only about seven of us, and we were together with Mr. Garratt all day and night, I gradually let down my guard and became more sociable.
After a week or so I began to feel I could trust Mr. Garratt, so I asked him if we could talk privately. He took me to Howard Johnson's one evening for ice cream, and slowly I began to tell him the sordid story about W, how I had reported it but nothing had happened and nobody believed me and that had made it really hard for me to keep going. I told him that eventually it led to a nervous breakdown in Kansas, and then I thought I had a deep breakthrough but then chapter two problems erupted that I couldn't handle. So I had come to New York seeking help.
Dale loved his ice cream with hot fudge, but he stopped eating. It melted while we talked. He stared at me through his thick, Coke-bottle glasses and I could see from the troubled look on his face that he was horrified by what I was telling him. He was used to hearing all kinds of confessions, but not like this. This was way more than he was used to.
I could tell he was skeptical. It was the normal response in the church. Like everyone else, Dale didn't believe an MFT commander could be gay and be trying to engage other brothers in homosexual acts. Sure, it could happen among ordinary members who had those tendencies, but not a church leader, and certainly not someone as high up and important as an MFT commander. It simply wasn't possible.
He asked me all kinds of questions, about whether I was really sure, and maybe it was just a dream, and so on. I really was blowing his mind and he was having a hard time coming to grips with it. But I assured him I was telling him the truth, that I wasn't looking for retribution, I only wanted to get better so I could get back to MFT and resume my mission. When we left the restaurant I could tell Dale believed me. He said he would talk to Mr. Kamiyama right away. I felt more optimistic than I had in months. Finally, I was on the cusp of getting past this sad and burdensome chapter in my life once and for all.
The next morning, Dale told me Mr. Kamiyama wanted to see me. I wasn't surprised. I was expecting it. I was so happy. Finally, Mr. Kamiyama himself would see the injustice and do something decisive. I practically sprinted outside.
What I expected was that Mr. Kamiyama would acknowledge that I had been badly wronged, that he might even apologize to me for the agony I had been through, and then assure me the problem was being addressed at the source and that everything would be okay. That was all I wanted. I wanted to be believed by someone who could do something about it. I felt if I could just get that much, a little validation, then I would be all right. I could take care of the rest.
I was not at all prepared for what happened. Mr. Kamiyama, Mr. Sawamukai and another older Japanese brother I didn't know were standing in the yard, a little bit removed from the house over by some large shrubbery that obscured the view from the house.
Mr. K didn't really ask me anything. All he said was, "You have dream. Not happen."
This caught me off guard. After a moment I managed to say meekly: "It wasn't a dream. It really happened. Commander is a homosexual. He touched my penis while I was asleep. He did it twice."
That set Mr. K off. He started screaming at me. He was furious. First of all, he said I had no business saying anything to Dale Garratt, because Dale had his own problems and wasn't in a position to handle that kind of information. Secondly, and he was more emphatic on this point, he did not believe me. No MFT commander under Mr. Kamiyama could be gay. Ever. It wasn't possible.
In the shrill, clipped, broken English that had come to characterize Japanese leaders when they were upset, Mr. Kamiyama screamed: "This you problem! This no W problem! This you problem! You! Homosexual!"
I felt like I had swallowed broken glass. I couldn't believe what was happening. All the blood drained from my head. I started reeling, like I was going to faint.
And then a funny thing happened. I felt a tingling in my back. It was as though an invisible hand reached down into my head, grabbed my vertebrae, and pulled up. I straightened myself, steeled by stomach, and waited until Mr. Kamiyama was finished yelling.
When he was finally quiet, I waited until I had his eyes locked in mine. I leaned into him and said, not yelling, but very deliberate: "Fuck you, asshole. You're a fucking liar. Your precious MFT commander is a fag, and you know it. I know you know it. I'm not the only one who's come forward. There are others. I know who they are. You're a worthless piece of shit Kamiyama, you Jap motherfucker."
Mr. Kamiyama slapped me. Hard.
I laughed. "Fuck you."
He hit me again.
He slapped me even harder.
Now it was the other Japanese brother ready to beat the crap out of me, but Mr. Kamiyama stopped him. He looked stunned, like he couldn't believe it himself what was happening.
"Fuck you, assholes. All of you. Hit me all you want. It doesn't change the truth. I'm right. You're wrong. You know it, and I know it. Eat shit and die, you goddamned Nip motherfuckers." I spit in his face and walked away.
My head was spinning, not so much because of the physical assault -- I hardly felt it -- but because I felt I had left my body. I had openly defied Abel. Not only that, I had humiliated him in front of two other Japanese leaders and he couldn't do anything about it. As I walked back to White House it was like being in a dream. I wondered if God would strike me down before I got to the door. It was the first time I had thought about God in this ordeal. I turned my thoughts toward heaven. "Fuck you too."
I knew the only way Mr. K could save face now was if I left the church.
I stepped over the threshold. "Not a chance in hell, motherfucker. I'm not giving you the fucking satisfaction. I'm not going anywhere."
I went to the brothers' room and laid down and stared at the ceiling. If anyone came after me, I was ready to kill. My blood was boiling. For the first time since last December, my mind was clear. A huge weight had lifted. I was, for lack of a better term, happier than I'd felt in a very, very long time.