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Re: Covenant Players Oxnard, CA Charles Tanner
Date: April 02, 2013 07:12AM

[www.youtube.com]

Part of a series on cults and this one has some CP comments in it.

[groups.yahoo.com]

not much recent activity, BUT perhaps a lot to read and maybe the owner is still around? Worth a try!

Thats all I can find at the moment

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Re: Covenant Players Oxnard, CA Charles Tanner
Posted by: gladitisover ()
Date: April 02, 2013 07:43AM

Thank you so much L. Schwalbe-Larson. You are awesome. I've been reading a bit too. like - [www.culteducation.com] Wow - A lot of concerns here I wish I knew.





Quote
L. Schwalbe-Larson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvEasRAfMZk

Part of a series on cults and this one has some CP comments in it.

[groups.yahoo.com]

not much recent activity, BUT perhaps a lot to read and maybe the owner is still around? Worth a try!

Thats all I can find at the moment

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Re: Covenant Players Oxnard, CA Charles Tanner
Date: April 03, 2013 12:12AM

Good morning Gladitsover,

You're welcome. :) I'm glad I could help out someone who suffered in this group as I did. Its nice to know you aren't alone isn't it? I think it makes a world of difference, it affirms that your feelings and memories are legitimate. It wasn't "just you" or a faulty memory or whatever else they led you to believe or you, due to their influence, led yourself to believe.
Do what you need to do to get it out of your system, and don't allow any of their nonsense hold you back from having a good life. They are so meaningless, they really are. When in comparison to all the richness of your life, they are sooooo small and insignificant.
Not that your hurts are small or insignificant. What they did to you, to me, and are still doing to others is still wrong.

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Re: Covenant Players Oxnard, CA Charles Tanner
Posted by: ghxqjshv0 ()
Date: April 15, 2013 06:53AM

I was in Covenant Players 23 years, and when I left, I became persona non grata. I worked in the office, overseas, in fund raising, and numerous CP leadership roles. I was there during the lawsuit claiming CP was a cult and the information written by Mr. Fugate whom I knew well, does not always add up with the truths that I know. I am not a bitter or angry person and have had much healing from a long life love and disappointment. The truth to me is that it started out wonderful and descended as Chuck the leader descended because there were no balances and checks and CP "flew under the radar." I know. I was asked to help make it happen and watched it from a fiscal as well as personal viewpoint. No one was ever forced to leave their own denomination or religion and that is a big difference in a real cult. I believe at the time CP was categorized as a fringe element. It was definitely personality driven, Christian driven, and filled with the errors of a man-led kingdom. Chuck has been accused of pushing his family, regardless of ability, above others and this is factual. Were it a for-profit company, it would not have engendered the problems nor always had to "fly under the radar" because Chuck skirted issues of the non-profit requirements, wanting directors to be "yes-men" only and limiting their input and eliminating their power. Despite his struggle with business acumen, he rejected all help in that arena because it had to be "his way." There was no Financial Accountability or any other kind of accountability. Check ran the show. He called himself TO EVERYONE "a benevolent dictator." He believed that was the better form of organizational life. The hardest thing came years later when the lawsuit happened to discover Chuck lied on the CP brochure (and I have one) about graduating from college. He never did. He openly apologized to the leadership and they removed all copies of that brochure from publication and got rid of them. The results of the lawsuit were not made public and I did not believe the integrity of the person who sued necessarily, but I do know CP came out a loser, and Chuck even more so. One of the problems for the newer folk was that Chuck tried to expand too big, too quickly without the business to make it work, so many people were suffering financially and many leaders were chosen who were terrible with people and caused much hurt and destruction. There were many others who were wonderful and had fantastic experiences ministering around the world. I went on some awesome tours! The old plays were wonderful. The ministry in the field could be powerful. Or if the unit was lame, it could be embarrassing, but that is just poor, not "cultish." Life in the headquarters was another situation and working for some of his "private picks" of folk who were "company people" was awful. The longer it went, the worse it became. To keep people, Chuck asked for life time commitments to God and TO CP. If you broke it, for ANY reason, you were persona non grata. Perhaps there were some who were flaky and maybe we all were. I cannot judge for others. Only God will do that. I do know Chuck did not want us to have families or if we did, we were expected to take the offspring "on the road." It was no excuse to not travel. CP came before ANYTHING else. Judge that as you will. I regretted losing the power and love of the original CP. By the time I left, and after much counseling and prayer, it was a blessing God gave me another chance to serve in a traditional ministry and find heart and hope once more. I remain sorry to be persona non grata. May God have mercy. I lost 23 years worth of friends - except one. The hurt was deep. I never realized how little people cared. What a fool I was!
God bless the ONE!

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Re: Covenant Players Oxnard, CA Charles Tanner
Posted by: johnanchovie ()
Date: July 07, 2013 01:38PM

Good posting. I was in CP between late 1980 and left on Greyhound bus from Maple Ridge on Boxing Day 1983. It was an eventful few years.

Having subsequently joined a very nasty cult indeed, Scientology, and written a book about it, I would say I have a fairly clear picture of what a cult is. I don't want to burst any bubbles here, but I am afraid that Covenant Players fits the very definition to a T. - To a Tanner if you will :) -

I am in the process of writing another book in which I interrogate the reasons that I was such 'cult bait'. I am interested in talking with any of you who have been in CP. I would like to talk on skype and do a bit of digging around the formation of the group, its systems of control and how it manipulates people. In a way I was devastated to come to the conclusion that it falls so precisley into the definition of manipulative cult, Gail Crabtree was a dear friend as was Pam, Cynthia Gearing and all the rest of that crew. But I have seen some of the most remarkable people get drawn into these things - I flirted Bagwan Raneshi too - so I am not shocked. But I was sad to see that both Pam and Gail are still very much in and to see that under Bobbie J. Tanner it has become much more restrictive and abusive over the past almost thirty years.

Anyhow, plese pm or post here if you would like to talk.

J.

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Re: Covenant Players Oxnard, CA Charles Tanner
Posted by: ghxqjshv0 ()
Date: July 08, 2013 07:22AM

Your response surprises and interests me, especially since you were there at one time and obviously know people I know. I have always had mixed feelings about CP and all that happened. God lead me to go to counseling and let Him and the counselor heal me so that I would have the strength and the discernment I did not have when I was younger. Mr. Tanner helped me when I first joined, make no mistake, to find a self love and confidence I did not have previously. But the problem was it all started dwindling and my house was built on sand. He reminds me of George Patton in a way. When he was good, he was great. His ability to write plays "on the spot" at conferences in the early days was brilliant and well received. But when he descended, it was tragic. I hope to converse further with you off the website. I will check to "send replies via email..... " I have visited the group and did not believe how the group has changed into a group I would hardly recognize. I do not judge better or worse. But very different. Blessings.

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Re: Covenant Players Oxnard, CA Charles Tanner
Date: July 08, 2013 08:53AM

For what it's worth, being a fairly intelligent person, I have to say I disagree with your declaration that CP is a cult. Your experience in Scientology dose not make you an expert. CP is on the fringe, for several reasons. *Unless* it has dramatically changed since I was there (1984-1985), there are several characteristics that keep it in the "fringe" status, as opposed to an out and out cult. One big one is the encouragement to stay in touch with your family, to call them, to write to them freely. A true cult does its best to cut you off from family ties and influences. Another is the fact they don't try and get your life savings out of you or all your material belongings,tho any earnings on the road are sent first to HQ and if you're lucky you may get a few bucks to feed yourself.
If you look at any of the cult characteristics lists put out by experts, you will see that CP fits some of them, and does not fit others. CP was a personality-driven organization, people followed Chuck around like mindless puppies. I recall once that he walked away from me while I was speaking with him, expecting me to hurry after him! Pfftttttt.

Again, my assessment is based on the years I was involved. The same years as you I just realized! Hey, we may even know each other! I was in the South Unit touring GA with Andy Rice and with the Unit touring Michigan--lower part--with Schy Gleason. How about you?

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Re: Covenant Players Oxnard, CA Charles Tanner
Posted by: johnanchovie ()
Date: July 08, 2013 10:27AM

Schy, well I knew him very well. There were so many people milling around the Methodist Chruch place on Sepulveda and the boarding school up in Burbank that it is hard to recall who was who unless I was close to them or worked with them. I was called 'Irish', because I was and am :) I was a kid of I suppose 19 then. After the Big Bear Reteat, which I loved - I was made unit leader for the BC tour. I was going out with Greta or Jo Ruttenberg at the time, she was sent to Texas, which is also an interesting arrangement were one to view it through cult-control paradigm.

In terms of the cult thing, I don't disagree with you, but man, I was struck by the similarities between the the person of Hubbard and that of Tanner. Now, look, CP was not a malighn operation, it was a complete walk in the park on a sunny day compared to Hubbard's Inferno. But take a look at this, yiu remember of course the elaborate summer productions that were put on mainly by the old timers, they were quite beutiful and emotionally impactful.

The plays delivered a powerful emotional impact. The target audience was us, the people that made up the Covenant Players. On the night that the productions kicked off Chuck stood up and told us that the lifetime commitment was a very serious affair. It was a commitment to the group and to God. Those that broke the commitment were cast out, they were PNG, Persona Non Grata. They could no longer associate with any Covenant Player. Each play ended on a neatly packaged revelatory note. The lights would come slowly up and the stunned audience would be given the opportunity to stand up and testify to the assembly as to how God had spoken to them through work that he had written through his servant, Charles M. Tanner. Chuck himself would sit in his high directors chair at the front. He was an accomplished guru and he played his audience like a pro. This is where people would be moved by God to take that huge step, revoke their dreams and plans for a life after CP and dedicate themselves for the duration of their lives to Chuck, to the Covenant Players and God.

Couple this with the porkie that Chuck told about his education - I have gone through the year books for Salamanca High, Chuck did not gradute High School. His vaugery about his film career in Hollywood, his claims that he got no income from CP while receiving a $68,000 stipend and royalties from the sale of all materials that we were pushed hard to sell. I don't know, I was watching Singer and Lifton lectures and quite alot struck me.

It does not really matter that it is or is not a cult, it does matter that it manipulates people, that they subsume self to the personality of Chuck and now Bobbie J.T. I do not consider it a benign operation. Thatis my take and how I am unpicking it for the purpose of the chapter of the book I am working on.

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Re: Covenant Players Oxnard, CA Charles Tanner
Posted by: johnanchovie ()
Date: July 08, 2013 10:35AM

Did my response to you not work? I don't see it up there?

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Re: Covenant Players Oxnard, CA Charles Tanner
Date: July 09, 2013 12:27AM

It worked, no worries! :) The mods on this page carefully read every post and then the posts will appear.

Well you and I agree then, no doubt. I also feel it was VERY manipulative, and worked on people's emotions in a destructive shameful way. I do have tons of memories to that extent. Even down to how people would praise foolish actions of others, if those actions put CP above all else. For instance a CPer being very ill with pneumonia but going on with the playdate anyway! That was praised and even then I thought it was a stupid thing to do.

Sleep deprivation was a big thing with Chuck as well. I remember after my first tour when we all regrouped in CA and I saw Mark JT and he looked *awful*, big bags under his eyes, sickly. I was concerned and he blew it off. It was the mindset of if Chuck can function on 4 hours sleeps then *everyone* can and those who cannot are somehow flawed or not walking with God close enough.

I do have fond memories as well- had a lot of cool experiences, had a harmless crush on Peter Iverson, made some friends. After I left a "friend" called me up to talk, so I thought, but actually it was to try and coerce me into coming back! I was so angry that my decision to leave was so disrespected and that he had not called as a friend. I said "bye ____" and hung up on him.

I also recall that when I was asked what my plans were after CP (this after I said I would be leaving), and I answered, that my plans and dreams were pooh-poohed compared to the wonders of staying on with CP! They would behave as if they had a direct line to the Holy Spirit and God's ear, that once called to CP, God would never call you away. I'm glad I recognized it then for the BS it was. I felt a weight lift off my shoulders once I was out of there!

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