This month, Safe Passage Foundation will be awarding 10 $500 college scholarship grants to individuals born and/or raised in cults. In January 2014, we also awarded 3 $500 scholarship grants. The 13 $500 grants SPF will award in 2014 is more than triple the originally planned amount of 4 $500 grants.
Stacey Paul Rugely was born into the Children of God on February 12, 1982 in Sannois, Val-d’Oise, France. After leaving the cult with his family in the early 1990s, he started a new life in the United States but continued to travel the world to work on various art and film projects. Born into a family of musicians, he was passionate about music and in the mid-2000s started a band named Oplexicon.
In April 2014, he became ill and died in Yerevan, Armenia.
Safe Passage Foundation is raising funds to help Stacy’s family bring him home from Armenia and lay him to rest.
Safe Passage Foundation has made an Emergency Aid Fund grant of $250 to Rugely’s relatives to help cover the estimated $15000 in costs. With your support, we can make additional grants to cover more of the costs. As of May 19, 2014, a total of $4610 has been raised (including $4145 raised by Rugely’s relatives on GiveForward).
Safe Passage Foundation was recently contacted by several abuse survivors who were dismayed to learn that the man who sexually assaulted them when they were children would be touring the United States and raising money (including on Kickstarter) to produce a new album.
On behalf of these survivors, and in consideration of the extensively documented abuse Jeremy Spencer has been credibly accused of, Safe Passage Foundation created a petition calling for the cancellation of this tour and fundraiser.
Warning: The remainder of this article contains graphic descriptions of child abuse and may be disturbing for some readers.
Those who are born into groups that segregate themselves from the “outside” world often have a difficult time surviving outside the group they grew up in. Many are left to fend for themselves without any familial support, shunned as “apostates” or “backsliders” by their former peers.
The Safe Passage Foundation was founded by people who knew all too well what this burden could be like to bear. And it is run by volunteers who know more than any why we have to do what we do: because there’s often nobody else to help when one’s family and support system turns on you.
Many of us know people who didn’t make it. Many of us know those who did, despite the odds they had against them. And we are calling on others like them who have survived to help us help our peers who are struggling right now.
The Julia McNeil Scholarship provides college scholarships to individuals who were raised in high-demand organizations based on demonstrated financial need, academic achievement or community participation or involvement. Initially funded by a donation pledge in memory of Daniel Frouman the scholarship was renamed in honor of Safe Passage Foundation founder Julia McNeil following her death in 2012.
The mission of Safe Passage Foundation is to ensure:
- That minors within cults or high demand organizations are protected from abuse and exploitation and that their rights are respected and protected.
- That those who choose to leave a cult or high demand organization have a support structure throughout the transitional period.
- That those who violate children’s human rights are held accountable for their crimes and face justice
Safe Passage Foundation has adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as the statement of its guiding philosophy.