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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: November 02, 2011 08:39AM

I feel for you as well, SMCedars, and for Susie too. Firstly, SMCedars, do not consider yourself a backslider because you have left SMC. I know this is what people are told, that if someone leaves then it means they are a backslider and couldn't live up to the level of commitment which the leaders aka the Church requires. This is a complete lie. I used to believe it myself until I saw the light. It is totally untrue. I know scores of people who have left SMC and who are now actively and happily involved in other churches and aspects of Christian service. They lead holy, committed lives and care about other people regardless of their condition. I know some who are now Pastors of churches, some who work in Christian drug-rehab establishments, some who are dedicated intercessors, evangelists and teachers, or some bringing up children with God's help. They also read and study the Bible and walk in purity.

Have a look on the internet to find out about churches in your locality and ask God to show you where He wants you to attend. I am sure He will lead you to the right place where you can find support. There are quite a number of churches where the Pastors are now aware of the damage inflicted on people who have been in SMC and how these people need to be helped and healed as part of a gradual process.

The great thing about this Forum, as has been said already, is that you relaise you are not alone and that others have had traumatic experiences in SMC too. Let's just hope that something can be done which will expose and deal with the wrong being done to children and teenagers in this church because that is something which I don't think other churches have any knowledge of yet. How SMC can emphasise one verse to justify their teaching regarding relationships, "He who loves father or mother, child, husband, wife more than me cannot be my disciple" (my paraphrase), whilst almost ignoring verses such as "Honour your father and mother" or "Children, obey your parents in the Lord" or "Husbands, love your wives" etc, is simply ludicrous. It is interesting to note that many cults use the above first mentioned verse (Matthew 10 v 37.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: November 11, 2011 05:25PM

Readers of this forum might be interested to hear the recent McDuff ruling in a High Court Case involving the Catholic Church (see []) or related news articles such as the BBC report ( at []). As it says in the BBC article,


Jon Brown, from the children's charity, said: All organisations that work with children have a clear responsibility to ensure their safety. Religious organisations are no different.

"This is a ruling in favour of children and rightly places the responsibility on the Church to ensure that they select and monitor priests carefully and have robust procedures in place to take steps to protect children when there are concerns."

The Church had claimed it could not be held vicariously responsible because there was no formal employment relationship with its priests.

But Mr Justice Macduff decided the professional relationship between a priest and his bishop was sufficiently close so as to impose responsibility.

Don't know about you, but I find that interesting in the context of Struthers. "... responsibility to selcts and monitor carefully" "robust procedures in place to take steps where there are concerns" - I wonder how Struthers scores on these criteria!

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: November 16, 2011 08:41AM

I read the article referred to by The Petitor above. I do have concerns that SMC leaders aren't always aware of the great responsibility which they have when caring for children, both those in church families and those from non-church families. The problem is, as has been said on this Forum already, SMC is accountable to no-one above them; in other words, they have autonomy and they make the rules the way they want them and nobody outwith the organisation can intervene, challenge or question these rules. Regarding the School, of course, they are accountable to HM Inspectorate for Schools, as far as educational provision and quality is concerned. They also have Child Protection policies in place which is a legal requirement nowadays. However, on a day to day or meeting by meeting basis, the leaders have control. They kept telling us that they (leaders) were all in unity but I'm not sure if each one knows what another is saying or doing in their own branch church. "Responsibility to select and monitor carefully"? I'm not sure it's happening in SMC.

Things I've personally witnessed which concerned me included inappropriate and harsh rebukes given to teenagers without proper explanation and without the parents' knowledge (until teenager told parent); stories about children told in meetings; favouritism given to church children and leaders' children compared with less friendly attitudes and less attention to children from other places; little or no explanation given, of loud speaking in tongues or laying on of hands in youth meetings, to children new to the church or visiting Camps, leaving them frightened and confused. There are other worrying instances in Latigo's article on SMC and the Care of Children.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: November 17, 2011 10:42PM

I’ve just been reading something by Kathleen Taylor, a research scientist in physiology at Oxford University, who has published a book on brainwashing.

Speaking as an "outsider" I would like to hear from those who’ve spent considerable time inside the SMC movement how much of what she writes below could be said to apply to the ways and means of the SMC leadership, whether done overtly or not:

Kathleen Taylor writes:

"One striking fact about brainwashing is its consistency. Whether the context is a prisoner of war camp, a cults headquarters or a radical mosque, five core techniques keep cropping up:

“isolation, control, uncertainty, repetition and emotional manipulation.”

[ i might suggest a sixth factor myself - "fear” ].

She does emphasise that the word “brainwashing” is an increasingly superfluous word and misleading, a kind of myth, that case studies suggest there is:

"no ‘magic' process called ‘brainwashing', though many ( including the US government ) have spent time and money looking for such a process. Rather the studies suggest that brainwashing... is best regarded as a collective noun for various
, increasingly well-understood techniques of non-consensual mind-change.”

It seems to me that techniques such as isolation - isolation from external ideas and persons who might give rise to “confusion”, “muddling” or “corrupting” ideas are very much at play in SMC. Some of this might also apply to how their children are reared. Given the numerous camps, conferences and meetings adults and children attend each week or year. Not to mention discouraging contacts with christians and churches from “outside” SMC.

For “confusion” read - “i don’t want my child to have access to viewpoints and material that would cause them to doubt what my church teaches”. And its clear that control and emotional manipulation are very much at play.

But what about repetition ? does this apply to SMC ?.
If so - what kind of things are repeated or are SMC members encouraged to repeat, mantra-like or otherwise ?.

Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/2011 10:55PM by Clive.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Chris19 ()
Date: November 23, 2011 02:42AM

In response to Clive's question about how "repetition" could apply to SMC I'd suggest that hearing the same old message again and again would tick this box i.e. that you're not good enough, that hidden sins are lurking, that they must be sought out and confessed, etc etc. As sermon after sermon touched (or hammered) away on these and related topics even if one initally had a different opinion ultimately it was hard to retain independent thought especially if several leaders who were looked up to were all saying the same thing.

I don't know if it is still the case but testimonies used to play a key role in reinforcing and repeating platform messages and indeed sometimes they went further by giving specific examples of how a principle had been applied. By implication the action taken had been approved by the leadership given that they had requested the testimony be given eg giving away all your popular music CDs having decided they were a hidden idol. I look back on all the introspection and think what a waste - God didn't want me to be rule bound and sacrifice driven but I was too blinkered to see it.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: November 23, 2011 09:24PM

And now for a little light relief to cheer you all up :)

I cam across this comic strip, done by a christian who strikes me as very much NOT in the SMC mould: Not only do i think you’ll find them amusing, but
they also should ring true given what we know or have experienced inside SMC or similar churches.

Don’t worry its totally safe for work etc. Enjoy! : []

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/23/2011 09:25PM by Clive.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: November 24, 2011 02:07AM

I think the obvious one regarding repetition being a form of control is the over emphasis of speaking (or shouting) in tounges. Often in services we were encouraged to 'push through in the Spirit' My recollection of prayer meetings were that about 80% of the time was spent actually speaking in tounges with about 20% of the time used to pray in English. Don't misunderstand me. I personally do pray in tounges in my own personal prayer life and occasionally when with other believers but this was to the extreme.

Hearing others talk of tounges being used as a form of a mantra to induce hypontic states, does make sense when you look at how Strthers used it. I think it is very apparent when anyone goes for 'ministry' My experiences of Struthers 'ministry', especially on a one to one basis, was there was very little speaking, advice, biblical counsel or prayer in English. I was told I needed deliverance (of what, is anyones guess) and just needed to pray in tounges earnestly (i.e shout at the top of your voice until you became hoarse) You really are taught that doing this brings you freedom from whatever it is they decide you need to be free from. I really do think that it was akin to the Buddhist chanting in order to reach 'enlightenment

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: susie ()
Date: November 30, 2011 06:36AM

Hi Covlass

What we have to remember about SMC is there are different spirits at work there, that is why you become so confused. I found that the loud speaking in tongues, were being used to conjure up the spirits whatever they maybe. We certainly do not have to conjure up the Holy Spirit! Most of the tongues were not anointed it was just a noise, as in a loud babble, that was of no benefit to anyone least of all to ourselves, we just felt exausted by the end of the night. I am not saying there were ever any anointing on the tongues, of course there was, but not to the extent they were used. Like yourself, I use my tongues in my prayer times, but nothing like before. As regards deliverance, tongues do not have to be used. Working yourself in to a frenzy of tongues and shouting at the evil spirits do not work, it is the power of God that is needed on every occasion. Also I believe the time that was spent on speaking in tongues, was a cover-lest time to preach the word as it is. It was also used to get you worked up and excited about God- what an insult to the Holy Spirit. Most people when they leave SMC will find that excitment becomes less and they are left with the reality of God! God then can work on you, if you are willing and do amazing things through you. God is so much real to life than the momentary excitment that you had in SMC.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: November 30, 2011 08:55AM

There is certainly lots of repetition going on in the preaching and teaching at SMC. As Chris19 says above, we were constantly being told that we weren't yet holy enough, committed deeply enough to God, surrendered enough etc etc, which only led to introspection and consequently, discouragement about one's spiritual condition and future. Certain spiritual giants were spoken about again and again: Hudson Taylor, C. T. Studd, Amy Carmichael, Madame Guyon. They were the ones who had "made it" and we hadn't and had no hope of ever becoming like any of these pioneers. Of course we couldn't!

I also remember the following being repeated again and again:
- how SMC started and how it had its roots in the Welsh Revival because Miss Taylor was converted under the preaching of Principal George Jeffreys in an atmosphere of revival. What I never heard mentioned, or maybe only once briefly during a Bible study on church history, was that the Elim movement which gave rise to the present Elim pentecostal churches, has its roots in that revival too and was started because of the outpouring experienced by Principal Jeffreys and others. SMC was not the only church movement to come from that. Of course, Elim Churches are never mentioned in SMC because SMC leaders, and consequently the members too, look down on them spiritually as being a wordly church branch where there is lack of holy living and commitment to God. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.

Re Covlass's comments on deliverance and misuse of tongues, I have witnessed that happening to people getting prayer at the front. The person is instructed to shout louder and louder in tongues in order for the demon or demons to come out. If nothing comes out, the person is told to shout even louder (as Covlass has described). Coupled with this, I noticed the person being pushed back and forward in a rocking-chair motion at the same time. What is behind that way of ministry I just have no idea. The explanation I was given was that deliverance is associated with a rise in the volume of tongues, therefore if we get people to get louder in tongues then they will be delivered. What?? Where does it say that in the Bible? Funny thing is, I remember Hugh Black teaching on deliverance and saying that it happened in many different ways and the evidence could be just a sigh, cough or heavy breathing and the demon came out. Shaking and shouting surely isn't the correct approach.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: clare ()
Date: December 01, 2011 10:49PM

About the yelling in tongues business:-
If you are not a very extrovert type yelling at all can be a challenge ,so yelling in tongues was near impossible , so by their understanding deliverence was therefore impossible .( thats assuming there was anything to deliver in the first place, which is not sure either as many will attest) So you were doomed to fail AGAIN (by their standards)

So much of what comes from SMC sends the message to so many that they have failed. and is plain misleading.

This is contradictory to the message that God wants us to receive.

I think being in one of their meetings can turn out to be dangerous to your psychological well-being and far out weighs the possible advantages of any message one might hear.

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