Re: The Christ Family
Date: December 18, 2009 04:03AM
I have researched this cult for years (I'm in an apologetics ministry). I had one member living in my home for several months, and gathered an abundant amound of information on them.
People that are drawn to any type of authoritarian cult (and make no mistake about it, women in this cult are definitely in a submissive position, with male dominance - McHugh being the chief male who claims to be Jesus or God) often have deficits in judgment. For instance, if some man walking down the road claimed to be Buddha reincarnated, come to gather disciples and lead them to a new Nirvana - 999 out of 1000 people will process that information as "phony." But, 1 in 1000 will be attracted to the claim for some reason, even embracing the claim as truth. They have some inner need to have a "truth" that makes them special - a posessor of hidden wisdom which the world (those outside the group) does not have. As embassaries of this truth, they have a great importance in their role of "preachers of truth," which in the case of the Christ Family is No Killing, Sex or Materialism and the fact that Jesus has returned in the person of Charles Franklin McHugh.
Now, you can see on this board some disciples of McHugh defending his cult as a legitimate religious group. However, this demands a certain ability to live with congnitive dissonance. The group preaches, for instance, no sex as a key to heaven, yet Christ Family "spiritual mates" engage in sex, and produce offspring. No killing has been reduced to strict vegetariansim and the unhealthy practice of allowing insects to infest a person, their bed rolls, etc., without taking action to eliminate them. How about the "killing" of a person's free will (and trust me, any person in bondage to a cult is hardly free to do anything not within the boundaries of the cult, no matter how they protest that they have free will. Their "freedom" is measured by cult standards)? For instance, many stories abound of mothers being separated from their children, which are objectified as "hobbits." Objectifying a child and teaching the mother that God (who created the mother/child bonds) demands the mother to discard the child to demonstrate detachment, is blaming God for something evil and unnatural. In the world of the conditioned disciple, evil can become good, and good evil, and everything is justifiable when it promotes the goals of the cult.
Regarding materialism, the leaders of the cult live at a higher standard than the average disciple who is walking "in the wind," or more accurately, who is left hanging to find food and shelter by begging or theft. However, cultists tend to justify this disparity by exalting McHugh as God. Apparently, they are able to attribute to McHugh the attributes of the true Jesus without any evidence whatsoever that this man is more than an ordinary human who has made gigantic claims for himself. There are many people claiming to be Jesus, fortunately many of them are in mental health centers. Has McHugh changed water into wine, raised the dead, or come out of the tomb after being crucified? Of course not, however gullible followers are willing to consider him to be Christ because of their desperate need for a father-figure in their life, a source of abolute authority who can pretty much do anything, even criminal acts, and claim to have been wrongly accused, as was Jesus. It is circular reasoning - McHugh is Jesus. Why? Because He says so. How do you know he's telling the truth? Because he is Jesus, and Jesus doesn't lie.
How do you deal with somebody living in the Christ Family mindset? It is very difficult. Most have a rudimentary knowledge of the Bible , but have been conditioned to re-interpret words or phrases to conform to cultic teaching. It is important to get cultists to think on their own, and this may take weeks or months. With the follower who lived in our home, this Bible verse triggered a sort of "awakening" from the cultic mindset:
Luke 10:18 And he (Jesus) said unto them, I beheld Satan as LIGHTNING fall from heaven.
Cultists are trained to process information thru the cult filtering system - this system rationalizes away anything which conflicts with cult claims. For instance, if McHugh is arrested, it is automatically presumed that he is not guilty, but rather being persecuted as was Jesus of Nazareth. Even though there is absolutely no relationship between the two, the cultist "believes" in the relationship, and therefore information must be interpreted within the confines of the role McHugh plays for the cultist. Once the cultist can be removed from the cult environment and provided information uncolored by the cult, there will probably come a point where the cultist begins to question THE BELIEF.
The bottom line is that cults of this sort often prey on idealistic youth who have somehow broken away from traditional societal moorings, and seek some authority source in their lives. McHugh provides that source, as did David Koresh or any number of authoritarian cult leaders. The youth is willing to believe, and eventually the cultist is trained to mold his every thought to conform to "the truth" of the cult's system. The trick is to break the mold, and allow the cultist to think on his own. This is easier said than done, and is often a thankless task. But it is possible.
One tip - when a young person is acquainted with the "real deal," in this case exactly Who Jesus was and what He did, they won't be deceived by some guy "walking in the wind" who claims to be Jesus. There are particular facts surrounding the Second Coming of Christ which reveal McHugh, or other claimants, as being liars. As Jesus once warned, "do not be deceived."