I have something on my heart and it’s been there for awhile, and I’d like to share it if ones will bear with me!
It wasn’t just one thing that opened my eyes that I needed to leave the Stanton group. It was a lot of little things. Early on in my Christianity I had taken a scripture completely to heart and followed it “In all thy getting, get understanding.” So I prayed and strove to understand scripture, my heart and God and Jesus. This led me to ask a lot of questions.
It was in that pursuit that I came to realize that the church that was first presented to me by the group was not the one I was actually a part of. For years I had labored under the delusion that it was a “church” that really did follow the bible and only “spoke where the bible spoke and was silent where the bible was silent.”
I knew that what I saw and heard being done in the group was not right. I heard things being taught as doctrine but were actually private interpretations and personal opinions.
And, most of all, I was living with the realization that what I was seeing in my bible and what I was being taught by the group were not compatible. In fact, they were opposite. For now, I’m not going to get into what those things are, that’s not the point of what I’m trying to say.
I’m speaking to those who are still in the group, and are living in fear everyday. You are actually a sheep in wolves’ clothing. Outwardly you try to appear as if you are believing the same as the are, but inwardly you know you are not. And you are walking and living among them knowing that if they find you out, they will attack and devour you. You have seen what they do to those who dared to oppose them, even if done privately.
My heart and prayers go out to and for you. Because I understand the conflict you feel, and the fear you live with everyday. You may be asking yourself “what to do? If I leave, where will I go?” Even though you realize the Stanton group does not have the truth and doesn’t honor it, you have been taught that no one else does either. But what you need to remember is that we all have the Holy Spirit. Remember that He is in you, will guide you to all truth. He’s not just there for “teachers and leaders” in the group. He will guide you into understandings just as He has been all along.
If you leave the group, it doesn’t mean you have left God. Actually, you may be leaving so that you can continue to follow Him, and Christ. If you remain with the group, you cant really and truly follow Christ without getting into trouble with the group. You might even be withdrawn from.
This conflict over the group vs Christ will not go away by staying in the group. Instead, it will eat at you and will wear you down. It will begin to dull your conscience.
It takes great courage to walk away. Especially when you have given so much of yourself and life to the group. But take a look around you, think about it. Of all the people that have left the group, how many were really and truly anxious to return? I sure haven’t seen a great crowd beating feet to get back in.
If you decide to leave, you have help here. I’m willing to share what worked for me, and I believe there are others here too that would be willing. Know that you are lovable, and are loved!
My prayers are for you, love Debby
Beautifully and compassionately said. I for one really believed all the things taught in non member classes about searching the scriptures, asking questions, proving all things by the Bible and the Bible only, of where the scriptures speak we speak, and where they are silent we are silent, to come out from false religions and to stand up against teachings and doctrines of men…I soon found that this did not apply once I became a member of this sect. Now I was encouraged to study to prove their interpretations to be true, to trust my older brethren because I was… Read more »
Amen, thanks for your words of encouragement to those who may be on the fence.
In the study of the psychology behind religion I find three phases in a cult group. Phase one is the recruitment stage when intense interest is shown in the new recruit and love bombing is used to form an emotional bond to the group. Phase two is the enslavement stage where the new member is instructed to serve the leader and heavy burdens are placed upon the new member. (and heavy punishments for failure) Phase three is the metamorphosis stage where the member either becomes one of the oppressors in the group or leaves the group. Those that leave the… Read more »
I realized I was enslaved to my teaching preacher when he told me I was to quit my part time job on Saturday's. I had taken a job at an oil change shop as a ticket writer for 8 hours on Saturday's. WP, the preacher from Albuquerque told me the second Saturday that I worked that I was just working for spending money and I was to quit my Saturday part time job; which I did. The next Saturday WP is calling me to come to his house and fix his car for free. I was not allowed to work… Read more »
The willing bondage to fallible humans runs deep in the sect. The culture of unquestioned authority provides the perfect environment for abusers and manipulators to take advantage of subordinates.
Did you know the former potential NFL star, LV, anonymous 9/15/16 1525?
Yes Martin Luther I knew LV, first in Vallejo, then here in Prescott Valley. I respected him deeply for his honesty and his humility. I heard that he got married and then oppressed his wife and was brought down to Phoenix by WP and sat down, that is the last I know of him. Like many others who were under the oppressive DS he took on DS personality/leadership style and oppressed others around him, one bad example has ruined a bunch of lives and marriages, DS is truly wicked in his oppressing others.
That is awesome! He was a good man. He made a huge sacrifice. He gave a talk in Spring Valley, which was one of the most inspirational I've ever heard. But, never heard from him after that. I've known DS and and his family. His children were very well behaved. I went to their house constantly. He and his wife have a happy marriage. While my withdrawal and excommunication are due to his decisions, I don't mind. He actually helped move me from Tacoma to Vallejo. He was amazing around the children. He took the orphans in the church to… Read more »
Martin Luther, your affection for the church is not due to its Biblical-ness, or God-given authority, or the life lessons you learned because of it, or the life lessons you learned in spite it. You are a lot like me. You learn from every experience, good or bad, and don't like to complain about whatever experiences God puts into your life. You also have a generous spirit, not wanting to criticize people you genuinely love. I love that about you. But what I have that you don't have–and please take this in the spirit it's given, out of love for… Read more »
Kevin, I said this before, you are a bitter man and fight to deny this obvious fact. Martin Luther has fought the demons that cause the root of bitterness and can judge clearly and objectively the events he had experienced. You sir are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Take a lesson from Martin, that's the reason he has a place in history and we do not.
@concerned, if you think I'm bitter, you obviously don't know me and haven't read much of my writing to learn my heart. My dad spent many years…decades, in fact…bitter about what Merie did to his marriage, and I learned from him the detrimental effects of bitterness to the soul and body. I've never been bitter, that's never been my struggle. I raised my immediate family out of the oppressivery grasp of this cult, so I don't fear for my kids, and future grandkidd, nor do I fear the cult leadership. They are mere men, and I'll fear God, not man.… Read more »
@concerned, why don't you come out of the shadows and give me a call, or post under your real name, since you claim to know my motivations better than I do. 🙂
Or better yet, come visit and we'll go to coffee or breakfast and talk scripture and motivations. Then you can look me in the eye and be a better judge of my heart, perhaps.
Kevin, Well said! I know we all may have some fond memories of ones in the cult, and we may even miss some of them. That, however, does not change what the cult teaches and the fact that they mistreat people. Or the fact that they are following men and women, not God and Christ.Concerned, why are you so anxious to discredit Kevin? When I read his post to Martin Luther, I found it filled with concern and love. While I find it admirable that Martin Luther forgives what ones have done to him, I too have been concerned with… Read more »
Kevin I agree with you as far as getting out to other churches. God has done miraculous things in opening my blind eyes toward others who call themselves Christians , who we were taught by SCOC to DISDAIN!
other made for man religions or c of c?
Anon 7:26: That's a loaded question with a false choice. Please read this article on the name of the church.
wow. a simple question that ignigts a responce like that? Jus askn the question what are the other churches donna is going to? that's all, why a reaction like that.
Sorry, no intention to offend in the slightest! It's just the question seemed to assume that Church of Christ is *not* man-made, while all other churches are. The article I linked to explains my thinking on this in more detail. That's all.
….and donna where be you going to church. I thought yall said it was a Church of Christ.
Anon- I am attending a church of Christ. Have been for over two years. There is FAR MORE EVIDENCE OF CHRIST IS THEIR LIVES than what I was in my 36 years in the SCOC.God is NOT in a little box as we were taught to believe! God has opened up my eyes to who He is. I have never ONCE regretted walking through the doors of this church. The name of it is Rising Sun church of Christ. Rising Sun happens to be the location of the train station that originated there. (The CAPS are merely my emphasis –… Read more »
Correction- I meant to say" far more evidence than what I SAW in my 36 years in the SCOC.
ok. i guess you still believe the basics that the coc teaches. but dont they think that there are saved folks in all them there other religons too?
whats the evidence
This could be a book-length reply, so maybe I'll address this more fully in a longer post. For now, I'll just cover a couple points. For those who have taken steps to interact with the Christian community around them, one of the most persuasive arguments that there are Christians outside the cult is their love: John 13:34-25 – "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." If you are not yet mingling with… Read more »
Thank you Concerned. You are wise. I am reminded of what Abraham Lincoln said after the Civil War when a northern matriarch approached him and said, "You ought to be ashamed of yourself, you are letting the southern generals live, when they killed so many of our boys". Lincoln's reply? "Madam, do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends". Stanton, for all of its failings, did not have any greater than you or I are greater of Kevin. And, it's Christianity is far closer to that practiced by our Founders, and for that I am extraordinarily… Read more »
Also, the environment in the church is far healthier than the surrounding society. That is very clear. For all of it's problems, society has far worse. For those who are ignorant enough to think going to the corrupt liberal legal system is the way to address Stanton's problems, you are off your rocker. When a legal system's top court legalizes homosexual marriage, you can be sure the entire system is corrupt and rotten. No different from Corinth in Paul's day, which is why he told Christians not to go to the law against their brothers. God is guiding me down… Read more »
Martin Luther it is odd that you can clearly see the corruption of the legal system, but not that of the Stanton Group! You said that because of legalizing homosexual marriage it means the whole legal system is corrupt. Then the same principle should apply to the Stanton group. The fact that they teach one thing wrong, should mean the whole system is also corrupt. I'm not going to get into what those things are that the Stanton group teaches in error, all you have to do is read Kevin's blog and you can find several examples.It's wonderful that you… Read more »
@MartinLuther, I rest my case that you are exactly like me a couple decades ago. Exactly. I could have written much of what you wrote myself, early on. What I've learned with age, for one thing, is that kids like you and I had an unfair advantage. We were raised in loving homes with parents who were well esteemed. Our upbringing was much different than the experiences of many others you've seen on this site. We didn't have dads who beat us mercilessly while our mothers made excuses for their husbands to the other ladies. We weren't sexually abused, or… Read more »
Martin Luther – While there are quite a few differences in opinion on your view and experience, the environment in which you speak that is far healthier than surrounding society was the most upsetting. I will agree being raised in the environment there are good qualities I have gained. However, I believe these are also qualities a righteous home would have taught as well, outside the SCOC. It is also this environment that has caused the most damage.The environment, in which I disagree, is the one I struggle to work through in my faith with God even still. This is… Read more »
Thank you Anon 4:17. Yes, the lack of compassionate child rearing is horrendous, and sends kids into a self-destructive trajectory in life.
Our Founders were spanked often, and to good effect. It's not just our church. If you look at leading Christian figures before the stupid idiot box came along, they were of the same opinion. The lack of discipline in our society is destroying us. You only need to look at the lawless actions in Charlotte, Ferguson, Chicago, and the other Democrat inner cities to figure that out. Our nation is full of entitled, selfish, brats, who grow up and think they are God's gift to the world. I am quite thankful for my spankings and feel sorry for the people… Read more »
You ought to read how Ann Sullivan treated the blind, deaf, and dumb Helen Keller. She broke her spirit, and this was a girl, who if anyone deserved to be coddled, begin blind, deaf, and dumb, it would have been her. Yet, Keller went on to become one of the worlds great intellects. Also, we have the dumbest generation in American history, with the kids who are spoiled. https://www.amazon.com/Dumbest-Generation-Stupefies-Americans-Jeopardizes/dp/1585427128 If you read what America's forefathers, who were a lot more Christian than Stanton is today, with the exception of their slaveholding in a few cases, you see how they valued… Read more »
Wow, I'm not sure where to go here. I'm not talking about spanking or firm discipline. I'm OK with both of those. I'm talking about beating the daylights out of children and withholding compassion from them in an effort to control them. Do you have a family and children, ML? I have seven kids, six of whom are adults and all in the Lord. I don't mean to imply I'm any better or smarter than you, I'm sure I'm not. But I am certainly more experienced than you with more years and life situations to draw from. I also foster… Read more »
Martin Luther, you had a wonderful childhood, I understand that. You are willing to forgive as the East is from the West. I understand that. You are your own worst enemy. I understand that. You are sure there are no righteous, Godly, sincere people outside of the sect you so adamantly oppose in your past written statements. Your parents have been happily skipping through the tulips as their son is no longer part of their family. I doubt that. Being that you have never had a child you have no inkling the pain they are suffering and didnt you mention… Read more »
Martin Luther will you please explain how any of your statements pertain to innocent children being affected by harsh treatment? Don't you think that a child can be damaged? Do damaged children have themselves to thank for their problems? If only I wouldn't have wiggled when i was 1 year old, if only i would have been quiet when I was learning to talk. If only i would have naturally enjoyed sleeping on my back with my hands above the covers or if i would have been more cooperative when my mom attatched my hands to the bed posts. If… Read more »
@anon 9/21 0815. There is no doubt about what Christ said about offending children, and that someone who did it deserved to have a millstone tied around their neck and drowned in the deepest sea. That said he also said forgive 70X7, and he also said Christians who don´t forgive others, whether they ask for it or not, are not forgiven of anything themselves. I was told I was going to hell for being unclean when I was 4. Didn´t bother me a bit, as when I look back, I realize I wasn´t unclean, so MY CONSCIENCE troubles me not… Read more »
ML, My heart goes out to you! Kevin hit the nail on the head when he said you have been brainwashed.It's sad when you feel you have to point out Dickens to us to prove your point. We all know that there are many in this world that have it much worse than any of us. But that does not make it just fine and dandy for it to go on in the cult.No one is saying that discipline should not be a part of raising children. What everyone here is saying is the excessive use of force, and in… Read more »
Martin LutherWhat is so horrible about our parent’s clumsy efforts? You ask? It was the lack of compassion in an effort to control them as Kevin so adequately phrased it. I am not talking about spanking, discipline in general or consequences for wrong actions. I am talking about a ruling of harshness where open communication is lacking where there is no trust to confide in a parent for fear of punishment for even thinking a thought. Can you imagine the shame they would endure if their child was accused of masturbation? My parent was told by another and I quote… Read more »
Anon 12:14, thank you for your voice. I appreciate so much that this blog is not about just my perspective and experiences, but those of a much wider community who contribute to the conversation. To those who have actually been sexually abused or physically abused (I'm not just talking about getting spanked!), my heart goes out to you and wish I could undo what you've endured as a child. I'm by no means suggesting you play the victim card your whole life and blame your circumstances on other people, as ML seems to suggest. It is great for victims to… Read more »
Thank you Kevin!Forgive me if I came across as playing a victim. I agree with you completely in overcoming obstacles and not allowing circumstances to justify my actions or lack there of. I was using my experience as an example of the damaging environment that I disagree with and that had greatly stunted my own ability to prevent or even properly address my past sooner. It has taken years to “find my voice” and ML stating “You are completely wrong in thinking the most difficult situations in your life are due to others treatment of you.”, this hit a strong… Read more »
I would never accuse a victim of playing the victim…you guys have lived through it. God bless.
Anon 9/22 @ 04:21. I appreciate you diagnosing me as brainwashed. It's quite touching actually. Everyone is a slave to something,and if it's not the truth it will be to a lie. I'm happy to report our church is not dissimilar to Campbells early churches, but I'm confident 99% of those on here have not studied America's first churches or Campbell at all. Most know their televisions and popular culture and when a radical visionary show up they do the visionary as visionaries have traditionally been done. The laws of morality and the truths of the Bible are not going… Read more »
Just like a horse has to be tamed, and not have it's spirit broken so with humans. The problem with humans is many have untamed passions, and when others try to address those passions wrongly, the one with the passions feels wounded. Kind of like Buck in Call of the Wild. There was two methods of dealing with him. One of brutal domination of the man in the red sweater, and the other of loving by John Thornton. Buck was broken by the man in the red sweater and his club, (but the human spirit can never be broken by… Read more »
9/22 @ 1214 Your quote, "I am talking about a ruling of harshness where open communication is lacking where there is no trust to confide in a parent for fear of punishment for even thinking a thought. Can you imagine the shame they would endure if their child was accused of masturbation? My parent was told by another and I quote “they could see it in my eyes that I was unclean”. Not having even begun grade school, to already have this stigma and being punished for something based on an accusation, I dare say the trust between a parent… Read more »
Of course injustice needs to be addressed, this is indisputable, yet it must be addressed with understanding and not cruel vindictiveness. To write off people who have sacrificed their lives, raising children, and staying separate from an increasingly debauched world, while living pure lives is unthinkable. If any on here wish to stand before God doing this, suit yourselves, but let it never be said of me that I attacked people and organizations rather than the ideas that caused the behaviors. To say Stanton is an evil wicked cult is exactly why they won't converse with many of us. When… Read more »
Sorry Martin Luther, but it is not tyrannical or oppressive to call the Stanton group a "cult". If you look up cults, and the methods used by them, then you will see that the group fits the definition of a cult.It doesn't have to be a cult like Jonestown or Waco, but it is still a cult.Ironically, the Stanton group call the Jehovah Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists cults, but deny they themselves are one.I didn't want to hear that the group I was a part of was a cult-I gave a lot of years to it, as well as… Read more »
Really, anonymous 9/23/2016 @ 0620 PM? You honestly think it's best to look at present churches through the lenses of modern poppycock, and to ignore the vast past, which it appears you know little of and apply even less? If Stanton is a cult than Martin Luther, and Alexander Campbell were cults too, but I don't suppose you've bothered studying them have you? And who is teaching you these things? The world? If you look back at history and read historical books older than than 1949 you'll have a better shot at uncovering the truth. Back then people with morals… Read more »
"those who experience injustice are likely to unjustly do it to others." I was one who experienced a lot of injustice in the church in the mid 80's and the last few years in the congregation and I have never done the same to others. I have learned the difference between right and wrong, through the scriptures, and know that if I believe that these injustices are wrong in the eyes of God then I shouldn't be unjust myself. I have learned how to treat the people of God and to not mistreat them even if they are wrong, as… Read more »
I would never call the COC a cult. I believe they have the truth, but there are many leaders misusing their authority and oppressing those they are to lead and exhort. It is as this scripture – Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; I do believe there are some good leaders and Christians in the brotherhood and many of them may just be afraid to say anything. In my meeting with TC and the congregation's leaders about how the church was I… Read more »
Well ML, it seems I have hit a sore spot for you. I am going to end my discussion with you because I can see just how steeped you are in the teachings of the Stanton group. I will pray for you
The terminology 'cult' before Jim Jones meant any org. that did not have Jesus Christ as it's center. Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons are considered cults because of their teachings concerning Jesus Christ. After Jim Jones the word cult changed in its definition simply by the way people began to apply it. The Stanton Churches have Jesus Christ as their Lord and King no matter how they may apply the Gospel. So anon 4:19 you are out of line.
Concerned, really? After all that has been said here, including Kevin's latest post?
How ones see Jesus Christ is not the only reason ones are considered a cult. However, I suspect you already know this! Please consider taking Kevin's challenge, view the video that Buddy and Kevin recommend. It is very eye opening, and very revealing.
To concerned and those who feel that calling the Stanton group a cult is out of line:The difference between religions and a cult is that established religions are focused on bettering the lives of members and nonmembers. They lack the overbearing authoritarian control of cults as well as the use of deception in recruitment.Cults use: DECEPTION. they intentionally mislead new members as to the true expectations and activities of the group. In the Stanton group, the excuse that is used is that the new members are "Babes" and they can only handle the "milk of the word". In truth, teachers… Read more »
Sorry! I meant to put my name to the above post (Anon at 3:51 AM) but clicked on the wrong thing! Debby
Thanks Debby, very well said.
Yes, well said, Debbie. Now that I have read what you wrote, I can see where practically all of the actions I suffered fit into all of the subjects you expounded upon. I have never looked into what defines a cult.
Martin Luthers tone of disdain reminds me of pretty much everything I dreaded growing up, and not in a good way. It took me years to filter that out. At 43, it's still an unfinished project.
Fear…That was a big one for me. Yet I knew I couldn't continue to watch hypocrisy & blatant untruth. I was terrified of leaving & terrified to stay. And I surely had no idea of where to go if I left. I actually didn't attend church for almost 10 years! How on earth would I find the right one? (I wouldn't encourage anyone to do that. Seek & ye shall find). I did alot of sifting through things & deprogramming myself during that time. I realized I was baptized for the wrong reason. It was to get credit for going… Read more »
Anon 12:25. Would you feel comfortable telling me where you ended up attending services? I can relate to your story in so many ways. Thanks so much for sharing your story.
"The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." Truth.
So true Kevin! Being in that cult is like being in an abusive relationship. One where you are made to believe that you are too pitiful for anyone else, and you are trapped by being made to feel you have no where else to go.
The Lord granted me an understanding this week and it was this: in Proverbs 7:6 where it says "For at the window of my house I looked through my casement," this is Solomon actually looking out from his palace over the city of Jerusalem and making his observations. This is chilling in that he see's a young man heading toward his death and does nothing to stop it. The woman he meets is not just any murderer, but a serial murderer, it says she had cast down many wounded, many strong men have been slain by her. Why would he… Read more »
I agree that viewing certain websites is wrong (porn) but are you saying Craigslist is inappropriate?
There are certain parts of Craigslist that are inappropriate. They used to practically facilitate prostitution on there, but stopped that part of it, but there is still a dating section that allows bad pictures.
TO Anon Sept 17 at 6:39-funny but that is not how I understand that scripture. I didn't take it that she actually kills the young man, just that his lust will lead him down a path that leads to death-spiritually.
Would Solomon really allow a woman to kill men and Solomon would do nothing about it? The way you state it, he knows this woman and he knows she kills men, yet he just looks out his window, recognizes her, and does nothing.
Proverbs 7:23 say "till a dart strike him through the liver" when you puncture the liver surgery is required to repair it or you will slowly bleed to death, you will not being able to stop the bleeding. Yes I read it as the woman lures the young man in with the promise of sex but instead stabs him and takes his money and no sex occurs. I see an example of this with the serial killer at work in Las Vegas, NV. I read it as a warning that when you willing go after your lust that God is… Read more »
Anon 6:39 & 8:24, are you a member or ex-member of the sect this site discusses? What's your connection?
One aspect of COC life is the reality of internal enemies. narcissistic leaders will fabricate enemies of their brethren. DWC is an avowed enemy of the evangelist in Spring Valley, and anyone associated with DWC is also considered an enemy. You salvation or condemnation is the COC depends more on who you follow after than anything you have done or not done before God. You can become an enemy for any reason and not even know it. Southerns are taught racial hatred from their youth, both southern whites and southern blacks hate the opposite race. You must be aware of… Read more »
I have never seen evidence of any racism at all in the sect, but I grew up in So Cal, not the south.
I do see the "teacher" rivalry you mention. That is pretty clear.
I saw it with WP, and his wife PP both from Albuquerque, NM. WP would greet the black brethren with joy and the white brethren with disdain. After a may meeting one year PP started saying that her father did not like white people, and she did not refute this as wrong; so by extension she also, did not like white people. The way you are greeted tells a lot about what a person thinks of you, and the lack of a greeting is a sign of hostility. The evangelist is Spring Valley has lacked the moral courage to address… Read more »
I grew up firmly under the ideology that we are all brothers, and the content of one's character should be what matters, not the color of one's skin. But again, I've had very little interaction with folks who grew up in the south…white or black. California is an entirely different culture in this regard, I think. I'm not at all dismissing your experience. I would just add that we need to be "magnanimous" as ML says and take secondhand accounts with at least a little grain of salt. I know that people who have never met me have judged my… Read more »
Thank you Kevin. For those who have never been to, or lived in, the south it is still segregated today; but not by government policy it is self segregation. There is a white side of town and there is a black side of town and the two do not mix. If you are on the wrong side of town you are told very quickly that you don't belong there. Many southern blacks first question to me is "where is our side of town?" and I have to tell them that in the west there are little to no lines of… Read more »
Reading this blog for someone who does not attend or never attended this church with the exception of one visit I find it so hard to understand why anyone would stay and many have stayed 20 plus years. It is so sad how one's growth is stunted by staying in these groups and all the emotional abuse that takes place. How one's mind can get so brainwashed. I pray the rest of my family gets out of there and soon.
That is a very good question asked by many relatives of a member that has been recruited into an abusive religion. Steven Hassan answers that in his book "Combating cult mind control" and basically he states that these cults are professional in their recruiting and retaining members. These cults use all of the psychological tricks you have heard of, and many others you have never heard of. One psychological trick is called "Gaslighting" (from the 1944 movie gaslight) where you are taught to question your own sanity. The tow truck teacher did this to us by saying "something must be… Read more »
Hopefully you found a healthy church. There is no reason to be abused by a church,preacher,teacher or anyone. It makes me sick to think my family was/is associated with this cult. Many of the congregation that I know lack education and I can see why they do not want the younger generation to be educated as they want them to follow. This is like a bad movie.
I forgot to add how silly of me to use "bad movie" because those in the church were not allowed to watch a movie.
Lacking education is sooo true.. This was always something I saw.. Guess they think they don't need it.. I remember one teacher talking about letting the kids watch Dumbo but then asking what to do when the commercials came on using that as an example… I just laughed out loud to myself it's called DVR LOL LOL if it was such a big ordeal.. This Blog has been a saving grace that my sons will never enter this church.. I have done everything in my power before I found this blog.. Now I sit happy
When I was in the group, the reason they gave for not continuing with education was that it would take you away from God. I agree that most colleges are liberal, a lot of the staff are agnostics or atheists. But that doesn't mean I can't think for myself!I believe the reason that the group wants ones to remain uneducated is because education does tend to help you to think for yourself. Believe it or not, the evangelist in the south has a college education, as does his wife. I also believe that some of the higher leaders want to… Read more »
How will anyone grow if they remain in the same little protected group and no education or life experiences. It makes me sad to learn about the truth of this church teachings which also includes the wife does not work outside the home. That is great while the children are young but when they are out of school and they are working why is the wife not working. Because they appear so uneducated about the real world outside of the church who will support them if the husband cannot work or dies at a young age. Not the government…not social… Read more »
I encourage you all to think for yourselves. You have choices. Everyone has a choice. Thank God my son had a choice and is educated and ambitious and always worked and now two of his children are working and ambitious following his lead. We still have one in school and another a mother. Remember we have a choice! My older grandchildren still have a choice to go on to college.
Interesting Debby and anon 11:10 concerning the uneducated. In the Portland and Vancouver area personal work/ knocking on doors the focus would be mainly apartments and duplexes/townhouses. On occasion homes would be done at night. The ladies work during the day would do more homes than the night work. My point though it would always be the lower middle class at best that would be done. The rougher areas and middle class and above for the most part would be avoided being deemed unprofitable. This conversation has me thinking if that is really the reason for not doing the middle… Read more »
One thing that a problem is the lack of full disclosure; getting the full story. The tow truck preacher would boast of working a 25 hour work week, and still qualifying for full welfare benefits in the state of California. The tow truck preacher told me when I got married that he never bought his children any toys and he was rather proud of that fact. I was told very quickly that it was his mother, the children's grandmother who bought them toys and clothes and paid for his general contractors license so he could be self employed and the… Read more »
I would like to share something about my situation in scoc. I haven't seen anything posted about it or I missed it. When I told my teacher about the beatings I was getting from my now ex husband, I was told I could leave but would never be allowed to marry again. Also, I would have to figure out how to make a living and not miss class. One ridiculous word of wisdom was to bake him a cake. My ex went to a few classes. Enough for him to realize he could rule over me completely. Giving this kind… Read more »
Great Falls is still there but tiny. Oxnard shut down long ago.
Sherry D. that is so horrible to hear. I am sorry you had to go through such evil. No respect for a man who hits a woman. No respect for those who protect the abuser. Unbelievable how much abuse I've read and heard about with Merie's cult. When your situation took place certainly KS was around. Were GP and TC the evangelists? So there has been domestic abuse, child abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse, abuse of power, unscriptural withdrawals including mine a non member, false teachings, little growth, adding too and taking away from Gods word, lack of understanding scripture… Read more »
Hey Craig, I am from the Tacoma congregation and we would meet with Portland one Friday a month.
Bake a cake? What are these types of people even doing being teachers! Sick…they need help and knowledge of life… they hide so much from the congregation no wonder they don't want members reading it and then trying to say how this blog is full of lies! Ugh… Crazy
Hi Lynn, yes I know who you are. Sat at the same table as you at the Tacoma May week 2011 for at least one day. If you want to correspond with me email@example.com
I'll do that.
One thing that you find after you leave the SCOC is the great lack of understanding they have. Most clergy have to go through years of training in a seminary and have constant monitoring by higher ups to ensure not only the doctrine of the particular church is taught but also to protect the members from a leader becoming abusive. The SCOC does not have any seminary and the local leaders are monitored by higher authorities but very loosely. The SCOC does not rely on reason and virtue but rather on emotion to lead its members. Different leaders, based upon… Read more »
Anon on June 4: you are correct in saying that most of the counselors in the group are properly trained. In addition, members are taught that outside counselling is a sin-that they aren't to go to carnal, worldly people for help or answers to their problems.In the Tampa congregation that I was in, we had a man that was withdrawn from for child abuse. He made his way back, and guess what? He continued in the abuse. The counsel given to the teachers from the southern evangelist was to rebuke him in front of all, and name him! Yep! They… Read more »
Sorry, I meant NOT properly trained!!
From what I have seen it is like a respect and their self worth if you counsel with them. I take this from some of the reactions I have gotten from when I don't and how that DC broke down to TC when nobody would counsel with her.
All in all, most of what I was told by the leaders in "counsel" didn't even help at all. It's like a way to keep tabs on people for rebukes and public exposure.
I saw too that the SCOC did not understand the christian virtues. In 1 Corinthians 9:25 Paul the apostle states that any man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Temperance is a virtue and is achieved when one sets limits on the things in life; that is the ability to say : this is enough. Too much of anything ruins it, and it becomes undesirable. One must set limits on the amount of work to be done in a day; overworking causes high blood pressure and heart attacks. One must set limits on fellowship, in Great… Read more »
My point exactly. Life and death decisions are made by uneducated damaged people. Who are in power due to oppression and finding favour with the spring valley church. I do remember the bragging about being up all night with the teacher. Those of us who couldn't do it were made to feel not as spiritual. Everyone who is in the scoc has been damaged in some way. We all wanted to be free of sin, we all wanted to be in favour with God. I really hope those of you who are still in can have trust in God to… Read more »
In a talk at a meeting, one of the preachers, from down south, said that he was glad that a certain person was staying at the house that he was so that he could have somebody to talk to who was on their level. I have seen this many times and GP even brought it up in a talk, where the older ones respected those who were in their status level more than those who weren't. GP dismissed it by saying he was overreaching. I have seen it a lot of times. One of the way that we grow and… Read more »
Excellent point Lynn, yes preferring does take place. It was after one meeting that it was not a good idea for church kids to spend the night at one another's home unless for a good reason basically. The preacher and teacher children in Portland seemed to be excluded from that rule. I'm sure they came up with a sorry excuse for why it would be okay for their children if someone would ask.
I probably know you Anonymous at 7:17 am.!
You had to ask to have a hysterectomy prove you needed one!!?… I want to puke.. This angers me soooo bad.. Do the current members KNOW all os this crazy stuff or does it stay hidden from members? … Oh my gosh.. This makes me sick..it really does.. Who do THEY think they are messing with people's lives! Ugh
A lot of it is hidden. I have talked to people after I left that said they did not know what was going on. I believe they leave out the details and just make a blanket statement that you were not following/listening to teaching, you fell away, etc. Without specifics the congregation just sees you as "being disobedient".
Yes, Lynn, true. They can't tell the whole reason why people leave because it would cause others to think. Such as some who are doubting might realize they're not alone. They have to keep it general. My character was slandered when I left and continues to be so. One of my children who still goes asked me about an incident that happened and within 24 hours it was back to him as gossip and slander about me. It started with 2 adults and in one day even the kids knew! But thankfully he was within earshot of the original conversation… Read more »
What bothers me is how some would rather believe the negative. It is as though they want it to be wrong. When you try to tell them that it isn't as seems or that isn't what it was you are accused of "justifying yourself". Once you get caught in these traps it seems there is little way out. People have been accused and disciplined for things they did not do because the truth doesn't want to be believed. I lost count how many times I have been accused of doing things over somebody else's lack of account knowledge, misunderstandings, and/or… Read more »
Lynn to your comment "all lot of it is hidden" In a cult all the members are expected to have a one on one relationship with the leader but not with the other members. You are in a group but don't really know what is going on with the others because your loyalty is to the leader and little to no relationship with others is allowed; this gives the leader unlimited control over the group and the leader can include or exclude anyone at anytime with or without reason.
Sorry for the typos.. I was too mad to spell right!
Anonymous 6/5/17 12:01 pm please keep in mind that these dominating and controlling behaviors are common in all churches led by the arrogant, that is, those with a superiority complex. Those with a superiority complex have low self esteem and they seek to fill the void that is lack of self respect by dominating and controlling others (not realizing that they are making themselves hypocrites.) Many of us members who suffered under such Pharisee's developed coping mechanisms and found ways around their self righteous and oppressive leadership. I learned to be a private person and not talk about myself or… Read more »
Anon 1:19.. Very well said! Before I left Portland I quit sharing/saying anything…they kept talking to me about things they knew nothing about and assuming things I was not even thinking.. I was taught/told completely different things in the AZ and Portland church.. It was nothing but mass confusion and I wanted people to leave me alone.. Staying to myself was the only sane thing to do!
I disagree these behaviors are in ALL churches unless you are referring to dysfunctional churches such as SCOC. I understand now why they do not want members to go in other churches even for Memorials of their own parents or children and why they do not want their children to go to college. They do not want you to have other life experiences or educate yourself so you can make good choices to see there is freedom if you can get out of the church. I have a mind to reveal it all to a tv station for a documentary.
I stated that in all churches led by the arrogant. Charles mansion was an arrogant and charismatic leader, Jim Jones was an arrogant and charismatic leader, so too were some of my teachers in the SCOC. I did qualify an abusive church on the behaviors of the leaders toward the followers. The abuses are not limited to religion alone as in every area of life you can find the arrogant trying to dominate and control others.
AnonymousJune 5, 2017 at 1:19 PM The same here. Where knowledge is power the more they know about your private life the more they try to control you. I refused to give anything and just wanted to talk scriptures, until my infirmity started causing me to miss and then it was open season. When I still would not talk to them it kept being brought out in class I had an attitude. Yeah, one they started. I went into defense mode. No more ammunition to be used against me. I know I bring out about myself. I just can't speak… Read more »
Excellent posts anon 1:19. Anon 1:44 must of missed your point concerning the arrogant. Anon 1:44 this cult will be exposed rather through ideas such as yours getting the media involved. Through organized protests at their gatherings. Through social media. I have FB friends who are screenwriters and I'm going to bounce some ideas off of them as well. They have had a negative impact on too many lives and it will only continue unless they are stopped or at least exposed where each member actually knows what they are involved and in.
Craig.. I'm just courios… Were the members in Portland told not to read this blog or told anything about it?
Before I found this I was hoping and praying that it would get out what was going on. I am glad we are here to help each other.
Portland was told about both this blog and the children of the church Facebook page. Just for the record I was being an obedient member and did not get on either of the sites. I did not get on FB until March of this year. Nor did I go to this blog till January of this year when I knew I was a nonmember.
The members in SA were told not to get on the Internet searching for people against the church just recently. They were not told specifically about the blog for fear they will get on it. There's too much truth here and too many things that are connected here that just affirm one's doubts and cause all sort of light bulbs to turn on.I would encourage those who can no longer be hurt by this sect to please get the word out in any way you can. Some of us have our hands tied as our relative's minds are being held… Read more »
For the record I have given anyone who asks me more about this cult how to read the blog and the website. The more people who read it and tell others the better.
I agree with you seeking GP dare is what made me want to see what was here. So much is hidden from the members. At the doors as I did and I'm sure most everyone tells how this church began with Jesus Christ. It all traces back to Jesus. No man or woman like all other religions. Haha I was deceived. I failed to mention but their was this lady named Merie Weiss. Why was I not told. Foolish me for not doing my research 20 years ago
When I was in the church, faithful or not, I would of read this blog.. I can't believe that members let so much control be taken over them.. It would be obvious to me there was stuff they didn't want us to see no matter what excuse they preached about it or the reasoning they gave why we should not read it!.. I would of ran right to it in fact!
They look at righteous exposure as an attack and they convey it to the congregations as such.
Merie as her followers today claim to be the one true church. I pose the question why has the one true church failed in at least 17 communities in its short nearly 50 years of existence? Merie's hope of having a church in every state within just a few years has failed miserably. Brethren letter she stated in 1975. She stated congregations were baptizing back than on an average of 1 or 2 per week. It was stated by a member her maybe in the 12 questions to Spring Valley that a working congregation will be baptizing. Where their are… Read more »
Did I hear right. Merie's cult couldn't come up with 2 qualified men to be elders? Wow 50 years now, hmm you think something is wrong if you have all truth, you are the only true church, the Holy Spirit is working effectively with Merie's followers because only they are right, yet you can't raise not even 2 men though you'll need at last count 78 men to be elders to cover all the congregations as those who followed Christ had established in every city which would mean the churches that followed Christ had elders just a few years after… Read more »
Here's the problem Merie's church faces. They have to have had good men to lead as elders. There's not any. Why? Because truly good men won't stick around for long. Men of elder caliber won't demean others. They won't constantly reprove others publicly. They will actually follow the greatest commandment, to love one another. They won't be Pharisees and point out every little thing about a person. They would let people use their God-given consciences. And so on. So whoever is left over may be teacher or preacher worthy, but they're not elder material. They can't even get a few… Read more »
Excellent point. The pool of candidates for elders is self selected to weed out the good leaders.
Their lack of love is one of their biggest problems and they just refuse to see it. In many ways they think that constantly reproving people is what defines love.
Correct Lynn. That is why Christ said if nothing else, love one another. Because in order to love, we fulfill so many of his other commandments. Just so, the opposite is true. If we don't do things out of love, we are breaking so many of his other commandments. Funny that Merie's Church focuses on law and not love. Christ obviously knew better. One way seemeth right to man….but His ways are higher…all these things they quote but they still don't get the right results. Seems much more obvious from the outside of that place. So glad I left,as Debby… Read more »
I have seen so much spiritual growth in various people who have been commenting for awhile now. I have to say it's so encouraging.
Thank you to everyone who engages with the content here. I don't pretend to agree with every comment made, but this is a conversation that has been long overdue. I'm glad people are having it.
My problem has been unbelief. I simply did not believe it possible to raise ten children and take care of a wife working only twenty five hours a week; even with welfare benefits. I was called a workaholic because I worked a forty hour a week job and this accusation use to baffle me; now I know it was my unbelief. Every man in the church should follow the example set by the counselor and become self employed and limit themselves to five hours a day. I always wondered how to deal with people that rip you off as a… Read more »