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Mike Vinson and IWWB - cult alert
Posted by: Truth_Seeker_78 ()
Date: December 05, 2011 06:37AM

Hi there to the forum. I am writing to advise people of a spiritual movement that goes by the name of IWWB. Website: [www.iswasandwillbe.com]

It's headed up by a chap named Mike Vinson, a former WWCG (World Wide Church of God) member who now believes he has "the truth" and among other things, preaches and teaches that he "no longer sins" or rather, that sin has no more dominion over him.

The are some very strong similarities to the Jehovah's Witnesses: the group practices "shunning" and holds to the notion that a birthday, wedding anniversary, Xmas, Easter etc are "pagan" and therefore, to remain "untouched." Many similarities exist with the WWCG including that women cannot teach, a strong emphasis on "you shall be hated of all men" (Mark 13:13) and that of avoiding pagan celebrations and customs.

I was kicked from the group last year after admitting I see no clear or concise reason to shun people over a birthday. I was then very swiftly set upon and summarily, removed from the group.
Mike Vinson claims much "extra-biblical" insight including knowing the details of what transpired between Phygelus and Hermogenes and the Apostles. Here is a quote from Mike:

"Let me say something, ah... The people; Alexander the coppersmith, Demetris, Diotrephes, Phygelus and Hermogenes, y'know people that are named in the New Testament as having turned away from Paul, John - the apostles. They didn't come to John with other brothers, or to Paul with other brothers, they did not follow the scriptures. So don't think they did, because they didn't..."

This is just one example of what gets said on a weekly basis. Mike has said that a nose piercing is equitable to Hebrew ritual circumcision and many, many other crazy superficial things.
I should clarify Mike Vinson never asks for money but all the same, his teachings and his methodology is damaging to people, especially the practice he has of shunning people. There is also a habit of forwarding very personal emails to others inside the group in order to shame someone who has been shunned or to win emotional support for himself.

Lastly, the "elders" of the movement are mostly young men in their 20's which is odd. However, you realise after some time that Mike Vinson, like many cult leaders, surrounds himself with "yes-men" who won't pose a challenge or threaten his role within the group.

Look forward to any or all comments on this movement. If you click the link, you'll see that the group is a Unitarian universalism movement. Among other things, the teaching is that God is actively involved and responsible for rapes, murders, child-molestation etc.

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Re: Mike Vinson and IWWB - cult alert
Posted by: Truth_Seeker_78 ()
Date: December 06, 2011 12:41AM

Sorry folks, I forgot to add that one of the hallmarks that this group is exhibiting cult-like behavior is the teaching that apart from themselves, all other spiritual groups and movements are (and I quote) "of their father the devil."

Mike Vinson has been questioned numerous times as to whether his is the only group "teaching truth." His answer is that there may be other groups out there teaching truth but of necessity, these other groups would be in complete agreement with him and his doctrines.

Additionally, there is the "love-bombing" when one initially joins the group, people fawn over you initially. There is also the "time-control" associated with being a part of the group, take a look at the present "study schedule" one is strongly expected to get in on:

Tuesdays at 6:30 pm Est. - Luke Study (Aaron Loman) - Skype only
Wednesdays at 2:30 pm Est. - Ephesians Study (Mitch Kuhn) - Skype and conference line
Wednesdays at 9:30 pm Est. - Exodus Study (Jason Martin) - Conference line only
Thursdays at 7:30 pm Est. - John Study (Tony Cullen) - Conference line only
Fridays at 9:30 pm Est. - Fellowship (Steve Crook) Conference line only
Saturdays at 11 am Est- Fellowship- (Mitch Kuhn) Skype and conference line
Saturdays at 4 pm Est. - Psalms Study (Tony Cullen) - Conference line only
Sundays at 12:30 pm Est. - Discuss Sunday Study (Mitch Kuhn) Skype and conference line

I should emphasize that to question even one doctrine is grounds for character assassination and expulsion from the previous "loving" members. One poor chap who had developed an addiction to pain killers and disclosed this to Mike Vinson had this summarily broadcast to all and sundry after he questioned something Vinson said. This is just an example of the control and manipulation that takes place. I should note that Vinson actively encourages transparency but then, uses it against people after-the-fact; I found this out the hard way.

Again, be very interested in people who may have had an association with this group.

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Re: Mike Vinson and IWWB - cult alert
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: December 06, 2011 05:52AM

www.iswasandwillbe.com/articles_and_faq.php

This page seems to have enough FAQ to get a person involved for life.

www.iswasandwillbe.com/My_background.php

How is he getting paid?

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Re: Mike Vinson and IWWB - cult alert
Posted by: Truth_Seeker_78 ()
Date: December 06, 2011 11:19AM

@The Anticult - you ask, how is he getting paid? That's the thing; he isn't per say. Well, at least as far as I know he isn't. Some members have coughed up large amounts of cash to host the regular and ongoing conferences and to fly him around internationally but as far as I know, there is no financial motive happening.

It's definitely a cult in so-much as it's behaviour and interpersonal goings-on but, without the usual financial shenanigans... At least as far as I can tell.

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Re: Mike Vinson and IWWB - cult alert
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: December 06, 2011 06:45PM

Well, how does he make his living, and pay his expenses?

He talks a lot about money, and the hundreds of millions collected by others.
That is often a "code" for what is going on with him!

There is no mention of money or donations?
But at the same time, members are paying large amounts for events. So it seems he is dealing with getting large donations on a personal elite level.

How many times on this message board has their not been a financial motive?
;-)

Does he drive a fancy car, and wear expensive suits, and live in a mansion? (for the glory of "God" of course!)

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Re: Mike Vinson and IWWB - cult alert
Posted by: Truth_Seeker_78 ()
Date: December 07, 2011 04:14AM

@The Anticult - Mike Vinson is retired I believe. I can't honestly say he's a money-hungry guy or that this is his motivation.
As I say, it has all the markings of a cult in that we have the charismatic spiritual leader, a small fiercely guarded band of followers, zero-tolerance policy on questioning, an MO to spread the message et al. People who do fork out for the expenditure that is required from time-to-time are held up as "spiritual" and an example but I don't believe that's the primary MO of this group.

What made me realize it was truly "cult-like" was the practice of shunning and the character assassination that takes place after one is either expelled or willingly leaves. Once you leave the group, you can then look objectively on what you once believed and how you acted. This is when you realize you were brain-washed! Not fun.

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Re: Mike Vinson and IWWB - cult alert
Date: January 14, 2012 04:45PM

I have a relative in this cult. Is there anything else you can tell me about it? Is this a small group of people ? My relative prides himself on the fact that he has never given Mike any money. He has also withdrawn from his family - he spent this last Christmas & New Years with IWWB.

I have gone on the website to try to understand what he sees in this cult. It's a very hard read in that Mike throws around Bible verses everywhere. I get the idea that Mike believes the more he throws Bible verses around, the more people will believe anything he tells them - and if you don't understand what he is saying, you must not be part of the "elect".

What are your opinions on this?

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Re: Mike Vinson and IWWB - cult alert
Posted by: Truth_Seeker_78 ()
Date: January 15, 2012 10:36AM

Hey there SOTP, sorry to hear about your family member caught up in this movement.

You ask: "Is this a small group of people?" Yes, I believe it is although for conferences et al, they do get a turn-out of between up to 20-30 people. Many people are involved with the group via message-boards, Skype and email so while they may not personally attend, they are definitely a part of the movement. Having said that, it would be hard to put a concrete figure on the numbers as usually only Mike is privy to this. Maybe there is up to 50 people involved internationally? Hard to say.

I am not in the least surprised that your family member has withdrawn from you. That appears to be one of the very cult-like aspects of this group. I know from first-hand conversations that those who experience family "drama" are said to be experiencing the "fire of God" in their lives. Generally, the more drama and the more problems one is experiencing, the more the other followers believe this person is experiencing the work of God in their lives. I know of several people whom had marriage problems because the person involved in IWWB came on real strong about birthdays and Christmas celebrations and was adamant they would not be doing them. Trust me when I say that if an IWWB member went through a marriage breakup as a result of applying the teachings from Mike Vinson, this person would be held up as some kind of demi-god within the group. "Look at this person, they've really suffered for the gospel, we need to honour them..."

Re the money, as iterated prior, I don't honestly believe money factors into the IWWB movement at all. While there are many cult-like aspects of this movement, the usual money-grabbing is simply not one of them. That at least is something to be thankful for.

Re the website, yes it is hard to figure out what is what. These people believe they are seriously onto something and the way they believe this is through their rigorous study of the scriptures.
So they quote all manner of bible verses, draw many so-called parallel's and analogies between the verses and basically, talk about this stuff 24/7. That's where the cult-aspects of their teachings come into the fray. Because if you don't see things the way they do, you're either a "spiritual babe" who needs to sit at Mike's feet and "learn like a child" (that's a direct quote of Mike's) or you're a deceived heretic who will be kicked from the group if you persist in asking the wrong types of questions and causing dissent among the flock.

Although the group talks up suffering and persecution a lot, once you get to know some of the key players in the group, you soon realise that almost all of them haven't had a hard day in their lives. For example, one of the elders is Mitch Kuhn; he's a rich kid who inherited his dad's business. Another couple of the guys are pretty soft on life experience and while Mike might be 60 or something, he's basically a southern bible fundamentalist. Don't be intimidated by his pre-supposed knowledge, it's just a front for his out of control ego which bares it's teeth from to time. I had a conversation with an elder about Mike's temper once and I was told "Mike is just very zealous, we just need to be patient with him."

Best advice I can give you is to simply ride this thing out. I wouldn't bother trying to reason with these people. It'll be seen as the work of Satan if you try and pull him/her up. Like many church groups, there is a lot of turnover within IWWB so given time, your family member will have a falling out with Mike and leave of their own accord. I left the group when I feel out with Vinson and afterwards, soon realized how brain-washed I'd become. Once you step back and look objectively at it, you see it for what it is but you can't while you're in it. Just the way it goes.

You might be able to get him/her to ask about previous members as in: Where are they now? Why did they leave? What caused them to leave? There are plenty of ex-members out there who got barred and banned from the group because they asked the wrong questions, dressed the wrong way or were into rock music.

Feel free to message me if there is anything else you want to discuss.

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Re: Mike Vinson and IWWB - cult alert
Posted by: Truth_Seeker_78 ()
Date: January 15, 2012 11:15AM

Hello again. Just wanted to add that Mike Vinson and IWWB promote many of the same doctrines that the World Wide Church of God do. Mike Vinson was once a part of this movement as were many current members. They emphasize scriptures such as "you shall be hated of all men" (Mt. 10:22) and "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan... I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you" (Rev. 3:9)

Do a search for "Armstrongism" on google and you'll find a lot that is in step with Vinson. Women are treated as 2nd class citizens and are unfit to teach on the scriptures, long-hair, piercings and certain types of clothing are looked down upon and Vinson has said he believes a nose piercing is on the same spiritual plane as ritual Hebrew circumcision.
Basically, this group is hanging out for the physical return of Christ at which point they believe they will achieve God-like status and will judge the world and be the new lords of the earth and the universe.

If you take the time to check out the stories of ex-WWCG members, you might find some more info to assist with your family member.

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Re: Mike Vinson and IWWB - cult alert
Posted by: Truth_Seeker_78 ()
Date: April 07, 2012 11:58AM

*UPDATE*

As user "The Anticult" warned, Mike Vinson and his IWWB group are now asking folks for money. I suppose it was a logical progression, being that more and more, this group is embracing an elitist and sheltered mentality.

You can read the new document that has been written on this topic at the link below. Suffice to say, Vinson and his "elders" are requesting those within the group to essentially "give it up" for the ministry. At the start of the document, the authors (Mitch Kuhn and David Turnbull) make this statement:

Under the Old Covenant, how did God command that all of the resources needed to fund His ministry be provided? Through tithing. God required that sacrifices be made and gifts given to provide everything needed, including provision for the priesthood that administered the Old Covenant

However, for the next 40+ pages, Kuhn and Turnbull (IWWB and Vinson appointed elders) then go on to explain why members should "make sacrifices and give gifts to provide everything needed" to/for their ministry. The entire document appears to be an exercise in Orwellian double-speak/double-think.

Some of the quotes from the document in question are highly alarming and further my claim that this group is exhibiting a gross cult mentality. These quotes would include:

Quote: Being able to participate in GOD'S TRUE MINISTRY on this earth and reap the fruits thereof is a wonderful privilege, reserved for his saints and hidden from the rest of the world.
Comment: Who is "God's true ministry?" Why, IWWB and Mike Vinson, of course!

Quote: To truly bless these ministers, we should give them our love and affection, and send kind words and letters of encouragement IN ADDITION to our physical support.
Comment: This demonstrates the cult-leaders need for constant preening and ego-stroking. It's not enough to send them money, they need your "love and affection" as well!

Quote: Paying God’s ministers the wages they are due is being rich towards God. They are God’s spiritual employees. How do we treat God’s servants?
Comment: If they are "God's ministers" and "God's spiritual employees" then why can't God sort them out?

Quote: We no longer need to hoard riches for the future because we now understand that there is no security other than our security in the Lord.
Comment: In other words, give your money to IWWB and Mike Vinson, forget your savings plan.

Quote: Think about this for a moment. Of all the people that have ever lived, THE LORD HAS CHOSEN US. He is showing us the mysteries of the kingdom of God.
Comment: This is the most blatant cult-like comment in the whole article.

Quote: We must become content with less physical things in this world. Our true satisfaction comes from spiritual riches, so all we need in the physical is for our basic needs to be met.
Comment: In other words, give up your wages to Vinson and IWWB and if that means you do it tough, then so be it. Be content!

Please note - emphasis, where added above, is my own.

The document can be accessed here:
[aionios.com]

I would urge those with family members in this cult to speak with them about this. I would hate to see people giving away hard-earned money, particularly in this economy.

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