Re: The Refuge in Wendover, Aylesbury
Posted by: seekingsusan ()
Date: August 29, 2011 08:05PM

Finally a quote from a recent post:


"To all the confused young people who read this forum in secret, God will not punish you for leaving struthers, you can just leave, there is life after struthers! and if you are there under obedience to parents He will honour your obedience , pray that He will shield you until you can leave."

Re: The Refuge in Wendover, Aylesbury
Posted by: seekingsusan ()
Date: August 29, 2011 09:11PM

one more that i mistakenly i omitted..


Yes Ive had some very negative experiences of Struthers Memorial Church. Its a long story bit I'll try to bring out the main points here. It began by meeting a friend who went there, first online and then we develpoed the freindship in real life. She spoke about how the church was really 'anointed' and how holiness was a major focus for them. My first experience was summer bible camp and then a meeting at the Cumbernauld church. Here the pastor preached on holiness and staring into the congregation and Im sure at me shouted "Would you like me to reveal all of your sins to everyone here? I could do it you know."

Looking back now so much of this shouldve been warning signs but I was searching for a deepening relationshio with God and I guess I was blinded. In November of 2007 I moved to Cumbernauld and attended the church. It wasnt long before I started to notice certain things that caused me to question. Members would think nothing of asking permission to do all sorts of things we take for granted. Applying for certain jobs, taking holidays, moving house, even missing meetings in order to go for a meal with visiting family. When you questioned you were told the pastor had the best interest of the church members at heart and had been given that responsibilty by God and who were we to question that.

One of the most alarming times was when a young girl aged may 7 or 8 was dragged out of the meeting by the pastor during the time of worship. I have no idea what the poor kid did but she had to remain outside on her own for the rest of the meeting then her parents made her apologise to the pastor when the meeting was done.

Finally after me being there ust 6 weeks and not really knowing anyone else but my friend, she was told she wasnt allowed to talk to me or have anything to do with me. We werent even allowed to acknowledge one another in church. When I asked why I was told it was because I was unclean and sinful and needed major deliverance ministry. I asked for clarification as to how I was unclean as I certainly wasnt livng an unclean life. The answer I got was that she discerned it spiritually. Once agin questioning was forbidden. I was devastated by what happened and quickly sunk into depression, I even momentarily considered suicide. When I went to the pastor for help she told me that if she offered me sympathy it would be know good for me.

Thankfully I had some good friends, good church leaders back home and a good grounding in the bible and I got out of there. I aslo found out that I was by no means the only one and local ministers were quite concerned by the church. Many were afraid to leave because of the teaching that many members of others churches werent truly saved and were likely to go to hell. Leaving the church was seen as walking away from God and thus walking into the devils arms.

I have much more I could say about this but suffice to say they are dangerous people. It nearly cost me my faith and my life. It still bothers me some of the stuff they said to me, but what bothers me more is those who are affected by this, getting hurt and destroyed and possibly being turned off God for life.

There are so many negative experiences and worrying things that happened in Struthers in such a small space of time. I guess one of the biggest things was how scripture and preaching from the pulpit was used to intimidate people. It was often used as a ploy for fear. The pastor at the cumbernauld church would often say stuff like "I know there are people here who have spoken against me. I know who you are and what youve said and so does God. He knows and he has told me and he will bring judgement on you."

I mentioned my experience of the "threat" of her saying she could expose all someones secret sins to the whole congregation if she wanted to. Even if she had some kind of prophetic ability and was able, what kind of person holds someone to ransom over revealing someones deepest darkest secrets to the whole congregation. I currently have a very close Christian friend and we decided to hold each other accountable. I know stuff about her that I wouldnt tell anyone. I would never dream of threatening her with the information I have in order to get her to do as I want or to be afraid of ever speaking out against me.

That brings me to another point they were heavy on. When you joined the church you were 'encouraged' to tell the leadership everything you did wrong before you came to that church. So. if you ever used to go out drinking or took drugs, if you slept around, struggled with pornography or did anything that wasn't up to their high standard you were supposed to confess it to the leaders. The result of this was you more than likely needed 'ministry' as you had opened yourself up to demonic forces and therefore needed deliverance. In many cases, even if they suspected something about you and you denied it they would still say you had a problem with it. In my case I was asked if I had ever had a lesbian relationship. I never have and never want to. I dont wish to offend anyone here but I see that kind of relationship as an abomination to God and it doesnt even interest me in the slightest.

However when I was asked about this, even after I told her I never had that kind of a relationship or felt that way about other women I was told that she discerned it anyway so it must be there. To me thats like asking someone "have you ever taken heroin?" The person honestly replies yet is met with the response "Well I feel in my spirit that you have, so you must have and you need to go to a drug rehab centre to get free from this addiction to heroin."

Im kind of embarrased now that I allowed myself to be sucked along in this for a while. Once I started confrm a little to what the pastor said she was nicer to me. She then offered me a 'ministry' session which I accepted. The session consisted of the pastor and a guy who had recently come out of a drug rehab centre and she was 'training up in the ministry' sitting in her office.

I was then encouraged to begin to pray in tounges very ferverently. After about 5 minutes of this I started to wonder what was going on as it was just me speaking in tongues with these 2 people sat either side of me praying in toungues. As I began to slow down I was shouted at to keep pressing through, keep pressing into Gods victory etc. This resulted in me shouting in toungues at the top of my voice until I started to physically loose my voice and break into a sweat. Still nothing happened, still the 2 people in the room sat either side of me, their hands on my shoulders praying in toungues. After about another 15 minutes I had to stop as I had all but lost my voice through screaming the session was brought to a close. I was told nothing had happened because I hadnt been ferverent enough and didnt really want to be delivered.

I left the church that night in bits. They had broken me down and I so wanted to be accepted by them and by God. I feel so foolish to think I belived them when they told me the only way to get close to God was to go through this silly yet dangerous process. They had me believing for a good while that I actually was demon possesed and that the only way I could get free was through that church.

Another policy of theirs is that they do not permit members to have ANYTHING to do with ex members. There was a man who was quite involved in the church for some time. He had a few disagreements with the pastor of Cumbernauld and decided to leave. Before he left he was 2 renting rooms in his house to 2 guys from the church. As soon as he left the 2 men were tod they had to leave his house immediately. As there was no alternative accomodation they were told they could live in the church. It had a showe and a kitchen and they had to sleep on mattresses on the floor in 2 of the sunday school rooms. One of the men had recently come out of a teen challenge drug rehab centre and was readjusting to life. However within 1 week of this move he went back on the streets and back onto drugs. A tragic case of putting their policies before people.

Re: The Refuge in Wendover, Aylesbury
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: October 27, 2011 07:55AM

Readers of this thread might be interested in a recent post on the Struthers topic on this forum (Rick Ross - Struthers Memorial Church, page 35) where, on Oct 26, smcedars says,


My young teenage daughter is still a member of the church and after I left everything was all right for a while. My x-wife who is also a member of smc and I are no longer together and my daughter lives with her.

... since coming back from summer camp this year my daughter has refused to have any contact what so ever with me, no explanation what so ever. My wife spoke to me telling me she would see what she could do but no progress at all, 3 months of no contact at all with my daughter. I have no evidence that my daughter has been encouraged to break from me other than we had such a good relationship before, so why break it. I just feel that after these camps, to break all contact, it’s just too much of a coincidence. I fear for the children of smc and at my wits end as to what to do"

Those with young teenage daughters beware!

Re: The Refuge in Wendover, Aylesbury
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: June 08, 2012 03:56PM

Dear all,

I wondered if there was any update on what was happening at The Refuge. Anyone being encourage to attend the Struthers Memorial Church summer camp for example?

If you are a parent and your children are being encouraged to attend, you might want to read through the posts here and on the Struthers thread.

Re: The Refuge in Wendover, Aylesbury
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: June 16, 2012 06:58AM

I agree with what The Petitor has posted above. Find out what's happening before you and/or your children think of coming up to Scotland for Summer Camps. You will be encouraged to attend these if you attend the meetings so be careful, pray and ask yourself questions. Stick to something you can get information about, like Scripture Union Camps.

Re: The Refuge in Wendover, Aylesbury
Posted by: seekingsusan ()
Date: September 08, 2012 10:55AM

A sad testimony from poster Lintar123:

I am so glad to have found this website and comforted, in a sense, to discover that I haven't been alone in trying to recover from my SMC experience.
My husband was a long time member when I met him at work and joined in 1981.
We were married there in 1986 and many times since, I have even questioned whether or not our marriage was valid! I
was brought up Catholic. I was an ok person, happy go lucky and reasonably confident.
However I remember as a young person throwing out clothes after a sermon by MB on vanity. I remember cutting myself off from everything and continuing to feel a failure every time I left a meeting.

We went to meetings every night and I remember vividly being banned by DR for something horrible that she accused me of doing at ahouse meeting in Cumbernauld.
I know in my heart I hadn`t done this action. This resulted in me being taken to Greenock to be prayed with by HB.

Immense pressure was on our marriage and me personally, and ever since I have been treated for depression.
No counsellor has ever fully understood my hurt. Before our engagement I had to be given the once over by Miss T.
We never had the courtship nor the wedding we would have wanted.
We had a bridesmaid whom I didn`t even know and we had to have everything cross checked... guests/ honeymoon/ where we were going to live.

Awful! As a young married couple the pressure of meetings took its toll! and sex? Well that was taboo totally as well as any other normal life experiences.
When our daughter was born in 1990..we left.
No one contacted us and eventually all the contact we had was to sign of the covenant forms.

I was threatened by DR who told me that I was causing my husband to backslide and that I was demonised and would never be able to leave the church.

I believe there were sermons about us when we did leave. We are still together 25 years later.

However what a difficult journey it has been !

i CANT look at my wedding pictures without crying and remembering the confusion and hurt caused by all of them.

I remember my husband praying and praying and beating himself up praying for Gods forgiveness that we had been so bad!

I remember the camps the madness of seeing people do strange things because they had to.
I have flashbacks still and many unanswered questions.

I remember the Greenock meeting when HB announced that money had been lost in stocks and shares and I still wonder how the School , the shops and the buildings can be funded.

I have many hurts and unresolved issues and yet we are both respectable, professional people who are damaged beyond belief.
I see our children grown up now and I thank God that they had a normal childhood and will have normal courtships and fall in and out of love naturally.

Struthers ruined relationships and people. It cannot be right that people can be so brainwashed and made to live in fear of other human beings who assume the role of anointed leaders!

God alone should be our judge!

thank you for welcoming me.

I have been reminded over the past few days of more hurts and questions. The financial one has always bothered me. How can the church be running and funding a school of excellence staffed by church members ?.

So many members of the one family on the staff and all connected to SMC.
To me , again , it is an unhealthy control of money and people.

I worry about the children. Are they being groomed to attend SMC?

I dont understand how the loss of congregations money could have been fixed (that of the 80s financial fiasco) and in a real world no school should be staffed in such a controlled way.

Do other people not question or wonder about these issues or is that not allowed either in the SMC world?
It certainly was not allowed in our time there in the 80s to the 90s.

I may not come across as an intellectually spiritual person or as someone knowledgeable about spiritual things but I am a victim of Struthers teachings.

Professional, as I am, I was vulnerably taken in by everything said, under the guise of God`s word. Maybe..

I am literal, certainly not gullible, but very genuine and a reasonably good person,
I have been damaged for 25 years, since I left the place.

Made to think that I was so bad..
I ended up clinically depressed and have been on medication for most of my life.
I have never felt good about myself, have been haunted by flashbacks of sermons and words of cruelty said to me.

Insecurity has always been there and feelings of failure of inadequacy and of rejection.

These leaders are dealing with all sorts of people and have exerted damage beyond belief and repair.

Can`t they not see that they are causing damage and hurt to fellow human beings who trusted that under the guise of Godliness everything MUST be right??

Was I so naive? or did they just catch me because I was a good person?

What an impact they had on me! Damage beyond belief !I

WON`T get that time back.

I am not bitter, but I am wary and scared about what they are still doing to VULNERABLE decent people .

I continue to be glad when I read more posts and articles.

It can never be dismissed nor forgotten what innocent people have had to endure and suffer under the guise of "spirituality" and "godliness" of the SMC leaders.

I can only speak from what happened to me 25 years ago.. but the damage is still evident and tangible almost in the flashbacks, the dreams, the psychological impact of my negative and hurtful Struthers experience which has remained with me every day of my life.

Responsibility is a terrible thing, but these individual leaders surely must assume and accept the part they played (and continue to play) in affecting and damaging even
destroying the mental and emotional wellbeing of many genuine people of all ages.

The vulnerable, the innocent who would never dare question the word of God (i.e. the decisions/opinions/ orders and suggestions of the leaders).

People are being unfairly and wrongly duped into giving money, time, relationships, life....not to God.. but to a corrupt system called Struthers Memorial Church ( and connected school and shops).

I pray that more people will find the courage to speak up... to question and to ask for answers.

A basic right! The only people who can give the answers to the negative experiences posted are in fact the leaders.

God would have and does answer us.

The sign of a good leader is one who is humble, contrite and caring.
Why the silence?? does the truth hurt them too much? is it too sore to admit wrong doing?

I urge people affected to speak through this forum.

What a help it has been to me knowing that I am not alone in dealing with my mental and emotional disentanglement and freedom from a cult regime.

D Rutherford almost ruined our marriage even then. Too much interference.. too many demands on time.. and money and eventually wrong accusations about me which have caused emotional damage over many years. Please read my previous posts. This woman is also a primary teacher which is worrying. I hope your friends survive and realise the good friend that they have in you. You should read the other articles available about SMC and the associated Cedars School of Excellence. It makes worrying and disturbing reading. These leaders..have never been trained as Ministers.. do not hold degrees in theology... have nothing except a terrible power over many innocent people like your dear friends. Thank you for reading... for speaking up. As you can see, many former damaged myself..have sought answers..have asked for responses from these" leaders". The answers never come.... They have too much to answer for. P


I believe that the vulnerability of human beings is played on and abused in Struthers. I believe that people can make themselves feel anything if they put their mind to it .Mind over matter, all human beings have probably experienced well-being and a sense of pleasure especially if they practice quiet meditation. Very often in Cumbernauld if you were seen to "resist" a "feeling" or not be demonstrative in your response i.e. pray louder in the tongues! or jump up and down! -you were deemed to be "working against God " or "not responsive". Many times I sat in meetings and witnessed hype!! I saw and heard the frantic mutterings of people worked up to a frenzy and I watched DR.... claim that God was moving. I saw her scare young children and older people into frenzied states under the guise that God was moving on them and through them. Now I know it was never the case. It was Diana Rutherford moving and working others up with her. It is dangerous. Making people imagine things or worse making people feel that they were bad and hardened to God, because they felt nothing, is and was cruel. I DONT believe that God is working through these leaders at all. If he is... then why does he have favourites? why does he practice nepotism? why does he allow a school to be staffed by so many people from the one or two families? why do these "anointed" leaders continue to act in a despicable manner e.g. at a recent wedding?? why have they not got their finances in order? and why? oh why? does he not encourage them to answer the questions raised on this forum? OH! I forgot .. no-one in Struthers was ever allowed to ask these basic questions. We all had to accept blindly. We are not making up untruths. We were duped and tricked into giving our time and our money. How else can we feel? Many faithful vulnerable people still attend SMC, still idolise their leaders. I pray that they will be strong and get out. I believe that Struthers is a cult and I believe that control of the minds of innocent people is encouraged. I will never believe otherwise.

dear Cbarb, I am more than aware that there are many genuine people seeking God and faithful to Him in Struthers. My husband and I were two of them.
Our problem was with the interference/ bullying/ and control of the leaders. DR in particular and also MB Please read my earlier posts.
Re women being teachers. I can speak from thirty one years teaching experience. A good teacher does not bully nor control nor brainwash. Not ever! A good teacher allows the learner to develop at his/her own pace and is always there to support and encourage and celebrates difference! DR, and current leaders are not good teachers. Teaching may be their profession...many work in Cedars. I fear for their pupils. Just like I fear for their congregation. Please read my earlier posts about the Cedars school.

We were "bullied" and "brain-washed" until we started to question and wonder. Personally, I was ridiculed and wrong accusations were made about and against me by DR. I know that sermons were preached about me when I left...Jezabel??? backslider?? I was told by her that my husband would leave me before he left the church?? The ironic thing is that my dear husband left before me. Thankfully we are together and happy after 26 years of marriage. We didn`t have the wedding that we would have had , though... thanks to listening to our esteemed leaders of the 80s and believing all that they said .
Still I hurt. Still I pray that others will never go through what we went through as a young couple.Still I STRUGGLE to comprehend how and why these people get away with what they are saying and doing. I live in hope that people will take Clive`s advice and respond honestly.


It has been a while since I posted and I am so very glad to catch up on recent news from new posters. It is encouraging that people are questioning. I am also delighted that good memories and good people are remembered. I suppose it depends on how and why one came upon Struthers. I have no good memories. Only negatives. Still I try to understand and follow what was actually going on. In my 50s now I know that my way of thinking, of being a person, was dreadfully affected.I was not brought up in Struthers. I was a reasonably ok catholic... back then. In Struthers I became a nobody. Nothing of me was good enough for them. The Cumbernauld leader made that clear. Somehow... I have coped.

I suppose it depends on what kind of individual one is. The characteristics we have inherited . I still struggle when I consider my Struthers experience.

However I inherited strength of character.
What do the SMC leaders think about inheritance....? genetics? in their quest for the selfless life?.
Funny how the leaders support their in the school? salaries e.t.c.?
None of it will ever add up for me.
All they took was time, money and enjoyment of life. I believe that nothing has changed. How can that be allowed to happen?


( on the shares fiasco )

I think the sad thing is that Mr B did what he did. I dont believe God told him to do so. He wouldn`t have. I was there with my husband in Greenock on the night he divulged to the congregation. We remember the shock.. the sheer disbelief that one so "profoundly God Led" could have done what he did. But... he was human. Not led by God in this misdemeanour , surely.Many houses were sold off to help with re-payment;if it was ever made. Awful!! Those ones too,(current leaders) who claim to be otherwise(led by God) are more dangerous. They make people think they should be living a certain kind of life!! They nearly ruined mine. They nearly ruined my marriage... the life of my husband.. and possibly the lives of our children. Thankfully , after years of devotion to them??? we saw the light and got out. God has repaid us wonderfully. My husband gave his all to that place.Years and years of devotion. I supported him and yet was warned not to marry him ?? Thankfully we have had 27 years of happily married life. (outwith Struthers). . Cannot believe why anyone still supports it

Re: The Refuge in Wendover, Aylesbury
Posted by: seekingsusan ()
Date: September 08, 2012 10:58AM

and a new testimony from "Merciful7"

It feels strange to be actually posting on this forum after over a year of observing the postings of those formerly involved in SMC or, like me, someone who grew up in SMC.
I have felt many times that I wanted to post, if only to agree with so many of the comments that have been made.

Cbarb’s recent postings have inspired me to write as, I think, we share very similar experiences, although I was an 80s-90s SMC child.

Thankfully my experience of Struthers ended around the late 90s / early noughts,
so the more recent stories I have read with great interest, although my own experience was a little longer ago.

I have been reflecting on my SMC upbringing (in the Inverclyde churches) in recent months because I came back to God within the last year or so.

This has been life-changing and fulfilling in ways I could never have imagined.

However it has also caused me to re-open memories of SMC and caused me to think about my past in more detail than perhaps I have been comfortable with.

Truthfully the realisation of the impact of being ‘brought up’ within SMC is only really hitting me now and it is hurtful and painful to think of it all.

I am amazed at the human brain’s ability to package things up and bury them deep.

However, I am now at a point where I need to make sense of it all as I know that my constant measuring of my current experience against previous SMC experiences can be consuming and unhelpful.
There is an anger at having been polluted in this way by this church, no matter how much I don’t want to feel angry or dwell upon it.

I might add that, similarly to Cbarb, none of my family is still involved in SMC, some are happy in churches elsewhere
and some are not Christians – a big part of this is down to SMC I am sure.
Through recent conversations with my parents, they are regretful in retrospect that we did not move to another church at some point.
However, I want to underline that there is no blame from me to my parents for this, who always did, and still do, exactly what they believe to be right for us as a family.
Although we have spoken about it recently, I feel that it upsets them to do so and I have no wish to cause them upset at all.

Yes there were good times at wiston lodge and there were good people and good friends within Struthers.

My overriding memories however are of being ranted at, particularly on Saturday nights, and being made to feel like the lowest of the low.

I don’t have any specific anecdotes, my prevailing memory is of being told that you are unclean and unworthy and that every aspect of you needs to change in order for you to be acceptable to God.

Maybe that doesn’t sound very terrible in itself, but as a child getting that message several times a week for more than 16 years is destructive. I am now realising exactly how destructive although I am getting through this slowly.

I am part of a church now, which is proving to be a good experience. However, I really relate to Cbarb’s comments about having a personal relationship with God and focussing on that. There is a lot be said for time alone with God.

I can't comment on the present day workings of SMC, however it doesn’t sound healthy at all. Personally I wish I could just blank the whole experience from my mind, but
failing that I need to continue to deal with it and ask God to help shape my mind and my thoughts away from it all.

In contrast to those on this forum with more recent experience of SMC, I don’t feel like I need answers to questions or to understand why SMC operates the way it does.

I totally understand others needing answers but all I really feel is sad about the whole thing. Sad that I grew up in the SMC environment and simultaneously amazed that I now have a relationship with God again despite this upbringing.

One thing that has really struck me since returning to God and attending another church. Until now I had never understood the concept of grace. Grace is the foundation of Christianity, the foundation of our relationship with God and yet I spent the first 17-18 years of my life attending a church which did not communicate this message to me. Like I said, it makes me very sad to realise this now.

There is definitely something cathartic about finally posting my own experience and it brings me a lot of comfort to realise that I am in good company on this forum.

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