VA VA - Elizabeth Ellen Palmer, 20, Roanoke, 25 July 1972

Discussion in '1970's Missing' started by MadMcGoo, Oct 30, 2019.

  1. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    It sounds to me she met a so called group of religious "world improvers" in Mexico, maybe also American travelers. What she is telling in her letters it doesn't sound as a big(ger) cult like Children of God.
     
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  2. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    It feels like that all the communication above is authentic. I'm not sure about the letter send in 1974. Signed with EEP like I said.
     
  3. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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    I thought the same.

    The bank account may have been pesos.

    The wine.... Most Christian, middle class momma's would be discouraging any type of alcohol. MOO
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
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  4. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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    I'm a few years younger than EP. As I read her first letters I recalled my "feelings" in this time.

    The 70s were a time of change.... a new Revolution.

    The Vietnam war had ended, we blamed the government. We watched gruesome, violent video on the news nightly, of troops beginning slaughtered in the 60s. We held/comforted our friends who's brothers died. This had a profound impact on us as young adults.

    The 70s was a time for social change. No war, middle class America was strong, a sense of freedom. Daddies rules the roost, moma didn't seem to mind, all good girls went to church and got As. We were expected to grow up, become a nurse or teacher, marry, have 2 kids, a 3 bedroom, and teach Sunday school. We were afforded all the opportunities our parents were denied during the Depression, and should be grateful.

    The religious movement was strong. Churches developed youth programs, activities, preaching in the parks, food, trips, they knew how to lure us in. A new wave of religion developed, traveling and spreading like wildfire. Many kids were rebelling against the government for war, parents, and these new religions seized on this opportunity to offer an idealist way of life.

    The HIPPIE Generation was born. Free spirted, love one another, change the world. Our parents didn't understand, after growing up during difficult economic times. Everything was labeled a cult, long hair, crazy music, living together in groups, refusing to conform to a society our parents created. Growing up in safe, protected middle class homes, our wants and needs provided, we did not know struggle or fear.

    As I read EPs letter all my feelings, hopes and dreams returned. Moms seemed to understand our desire for freedom, and we so didn't want to disappoint our Daddies, they were our hero's.

    EPs letters seek the approval of her Dad. MOO, maybe mom understood her feelings. EP wanted her dad to be proud of her, she wanted to give back to her family. She clearly loved them all. She believed she could and would made the world a better place.

    I believe "someone" took advantage of EPs goodness.

    MOO...
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
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  5. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    Oh....this is soooo what I wanted to say for a while....thank you so much for putting this into words..... Nowadays there is the hippie revival.. young people who want to make this place a better place....call it revolution...it is coming....our days are counted for....the system has to change drastically and especially the younger generations "knows that, the bigger knowing" and is acting according to it. As an example: They are starting eco farms with a small same thinking group....or even be more rebellious...choose to live of the grid...away from the system... city nomads etc. And let me tell you this....most of the time this are very skilled, intelligent people.....
     
  6. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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    I am afforded the opportunity to live in an area with many sustainable communities, have off the grid friends, and speak of ideal society. These idea societies are great till you do agree with the Doctrine. Then they become just like any other community, gossip, dissension, outcasting some, hate and anger run thru their veins. Human nature doesn't change.
     
  7. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    You mean these ideal societies are great until you disagree with there own made up doctrine....Ok let's go back to our missing girl.....
     
  8. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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    @Bit of hope .... Yes, most are highly intelligent and many members are sustained by trust funds from their parents.

    Many built successful and lucrative careers, in the big city, are now returning to their hopes and dreams of the 70s. Purchasing and financing land, creating land trust, selling organic fruits and vegetables, healthy meats and milk.

    One of the most famous is less than 30 miles from EPs hometown.

    Home | SustainFloyd
     
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  9. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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    @Bit of hope ....

    I bring this up to show the influence in Southwestern VA (Roanoke).

    Less than 30 miles from Virginia Tech where many from around the country attend college. The revolution was strong in the 70s. Floyd was the first in SW VS to experience land grabs, formation of communities, labeled cults and communes. Although now the hippies and the farmers have a good relationship, that was not always case.

    I'm seeking a source at VT that might shred light on local religious movements during this time.
     
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  10. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    I recall these days, too, being about the same age as Elizabeth. I had several friends who joined various religious groups that were popular then. Young people were seeking answers, Hare Krishna was popular, too, but it sounds like EEP was in a different kind of group. Some of these religious groups were benevolent, others not so much.

    Even today, there are Christian missionaries who work with the poor in central Mexico. My son met a friend in college whose parents do that work. We let him spend 2 weeks with them in remote mountain villages, helping them dig wells for running water, build a community clinic, etc. They were very nice people and it was a positive, life changing experience for him. The difference between these groups and the one EEP seemed to be affiliated with is that they don't encourage members to cut contact with their families and friends. In fact, they discourage that. They're also careful about who they allow to come work with them.

    It would be great to think EEP is still out there doing missionary work with one of these groups and simply chooses to not contact her family. If she was originally with an abusive cult, she may have gone through some personality changes that still make it difficult to reconnect with her family.

    Unfortunately, there are still abusive cults out there. But the 70's seemed to be a time when they really grew and spread. I concur, from her letters it sounds like she was with an abusive cult that controlled members activities and discouraged contact with family. The frequent relocating in and out of the US is also a red flag.

    Did local LE in Yonkers do any investigating into cults in that area back then? Has anyone had the opportunity to look into their archives to see if there were any reports of cult activities there? Perhaps Yonkers LE were contacted by other parents whose children were in the same group.
     
  11. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    I have a close relative who lives near Floyd and raves about what a great community it is.

    Regarding reaching out to VT - that's a good idea. Many of these cults recruited people on or near college campuses. They were everywhere when I was in college in the 70's, always had lots of posters in the dorms, etc. and most had some little space they rented at a church or storefront in town.

    Did EEP attend college locally? Living in Roanoke, she may have encountered these groups while still in HS simply because there are many colleges nearby.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
  12. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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    Oh, it is a great community !!! They take care of each other.

    Its not so good for the locals who are poor. Few jobs and rent is extremely high. Families that have lived here a hundred years, have kids that can't afford a house, much less land. The newbees love the low cost of living, you can buy a farm for what a house would of cost in CA or NY and the locals are forced to work for cheap wages.

    I do love Floyd, but must look at both sides of the coin.

    MOO...
     
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  13. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

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    That's good to know. There has to be a way to avoid these pitfalls when rural areas are "gentrified". Its good to have increased economic activity, but with some balance for all income levels.
     
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  14. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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    Back to the topic.....

    Where could EP be ????

    MOO... I think EP was captive from her last letters.
    She speaks of charter plane companies going out of business, lends to remote area. She "hopes" they receive her letter and "hopes" she can write again. Her friends are waiting on her to finish her letter. Were these friends making break for it?

    I think Yonkers is a clue. Could this be a rescue station? Could it be a headquarters?

    The family did involve both US and foreign agencies in their search. Would a letter from EP from NY be an attempt to deflect future investigation?

    Just don't know....
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
  15. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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    The Feb 13th letter (next to last) is missing page 3. I think page 3 holds clues that could help in the search. For whatever reason, the family has chosen to not disclose.

    She referred to the family being over there. Could she be in S America?
     
  16. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Remembering Cupcake

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    You are awesome! Thank you so much for typing all this out. This is a lot of info to think about.

    It sounds like maybe her grandmother and her dad were paying for her first semester of college but she dropped out to go traveling instead. This was very common for students to do at that time IMO. Young people wanted to go "find themselves" in their own way. But they still might feel like they let their parents down by not going to college. This makes her last letter where she is promising to build her parents a new house and said she owes them a little more understandable. She felt she let them down by dropping out of college but a couple years later she knows what she wants to do with her life. She wanted them to know she was going to make them proud. She probably wanted to repay them the money they lost because she dropped out of college.

    I'm confused on the "Children of God" address and info. Was 5952 Bark Street in San Diego an address that Elizabeth sent letters from or used as a return address? Or was the 1972 communication from the SD police telling Elizabeth's dad the "Children of God" address so he could write them for himself? Did Elizabeth mention being part of this group or was this just a theory her family had back then when they were trying everything they could think of to track her down?

    MOO.
     
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  17. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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    BBM

    So he could write them. Theory only.

    MOO... Reading early letters, she speaks of enlightenment, many religious cults in this timeframe.

    I feel the family must have information to base this on. Maybe conversations in person. It is a strong believe and has been the main focus of their search.

    The more I read and research....the more I lean this way, as well.

    Moo
     
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  18. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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  19. MadMcGoo

    MadMcGoo Well-Known Member

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    I think Mrs. Luisa Lara/Lora is the person who purchased the money order, or check. Only because the “Empleado”/Employee box is signed with a letter “M”. I’m certain about that translation, it’s definitely where the “teller”’s name or signature would go. So, IMO, that bottom line is meant for the person requesting the money be sent. In that case, “Mrs. Luisa” has to be an assumed name unless someone else sent the money for EP. I guess there'd be no way of knowing without seeing the actually money order/check, to see if it was EP's handwriting or not. Either way, I do think that name may be of some significance. Especially if it was a name that Elizabeth was using!

    :D ...still trying to remember!

    I'm going to have to go back and read through some of the other sites/forums to refresh my memory on the specifics of that flight out of Roanoke. I can't remember if it was even mentioned exactly where she was going. FWIW I agree about some things being strange. o_O

    She takes a little more time assuring them of what it
    isn’t rather than describing in any detail what it is. Deflection maybe? A lot like when she went above and beyond to sell her sudden interest in Catholicism which she later admitted was her attempt at avoiding telling them the truth - that she was part of a ‘youth movement’ and not a religious group.

    Agreed!

    She does seem to rely a lot on others to get her letters mailed. If I didn’t know any better (which I don’t) I’d think she were in prison. Literal prison. I spent many years working for the State and a couple of those years were spent reading through countless pieces of inmate correspondence, and that sounds like something that was said in almost every outgoing letter; “I hope I can get this letter sent”...
    It may very well be that I just missed that page when I was saving them. I checked the Twitter post and it was not there, but that doesn't mean it isn't somewhere. Would be a bit puzzling if it were intentionally left out though. JMOO

    You're most welcome! :)
    That makes sense, everything you said about college and feeling indebted to her parents/grandparents. She graduated in 1970, so she had a year (give or take) before she left. She doesn't strike me as the type of girl who'd have lounged around the house for a summer or two. JMO. I'll have to see if anything has been mentioned about a specific college, because I can't remember seeing anything about it.

    I'm not sure why the San Diego PD would have given out the name and address of the 'leader' of the local COG. Hadn't thought about that...I'm sure it was probably public record but was it habit for LE to give families the specific names of members and their addresses? Seems like that would be asking for trouble. There must have been hundreds of families who were pretty angry with this group and I'm sure chomping at the bit to get to the the "leaders". hmm...interesting. And there is no place in any of the letters where Elizabeth mentions the name of any specific group. So, I'm not sure how this specific one came to be the main focus. Unless it was during a phone call or during that last visit. It did seem like everyone they reached out to about locating Elizabeth just pointed the finger at another group.
     
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  20. Simply Southern

    Simply Southern Well-Known Member

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    The Twitter account has many answers ....

    The letter from New Orleans, EP says they are leaving for South Africa in a few days.

    11/27/71 [paraphrased] Is in the group she met in Mexico. She says they are leaving for S Africa. Miguel Martinez and Victor Diaz want to built bridges ( must be civil engineers) without red tape, two nurses are going and she can teach without a degree. A small religious movement that's growing. States she's cutting ties with them, but loves them.

    March 72 EP calls home, mother informs her FBI is involved. EP states the group will be upset.

    arrives home May 15th 1972
    July 24th 1972 departs

    • She comes home for a visit.
    • Talks to Dad a lot.
    • Tells friend she been in South Africa
    • Hides her car, tells Aunt not to tell.
    • Leaves on 7/24, sister takes to Roanoke airport and drops her off.
    • No one knew she was leaving.
    • Her dad plans to take the 25th off and throw a surprise steak cookout. (the day after she left)

    7/24/72 Letter She apologized in the letter she left. Says she had already booked the ticket. Its like she's saying goodbye for the last time.
    MOO.. she told no one she was leaving, so no one could stop her.
    ***One of Dads letter states he feels, like "they" let her come back. Maybe due to FBI??

    Child of God..TAX FRAUD
    INVESTIGATION NY STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL
    launched late 1973. Report of findings issued 9/74.
    • COG had 4 colonies in NY City.
    • AG subpoenaed records (never received)
    • Spoke to COG attorneys
    • Subpoenaed Financial person, who stated all financial record were moved to Puerto Rico from TX, and again moved to an unknown location.
    • Brim, the leader was hiding in Europe, avoiding many US subpoenas.
    • Many witnesses were "moved" out of area.
    Final Report on the Activities of the Children of God - XFamily - Children of God

    Find Elizabeth Palmer (@WhereisEEP) on Twitter

    Start on at the bottom of page and read up. It's a perfect time line of events. Includes RPs letters , conversations, letter from her dad to the grandmother, all letters and response to US and foreign agencies. Newspaper articles about COG.

    Whoever put together a great job.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019

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