Gates of Praise Eva's Eden Animal Rescue Pastor Sheryl/ – Sheryl Ruthven
Blog: We Survived Sheryl Rose Ruthven
Google search - a lot of citations for Eva's Garden come up when cult used as a search term
Unorthodox teachings, estranged families and a cat rescue operation named Eva's Eden
Sep 8, 2016 5 AM
The Rev. Sheryl Ruthven and a few dozen followers left Washington state three years ago, hoping to find a place where they could live in peace and quietly wait out the apocalypse.
Along the way, they hoped to rescue as many cats as possible.
Those cats, according to Ruthven’s writings and interviews with former followers, are divine creatures that will carry the 144,000 souls mentioned in the book of Revelation.
But the group’s unorthodox beliefs and controversial history followed it all the way across the country. In public, Ruthven’s followers, who run a nonprofit cat shelter known as Eva’s Eden, describe themselves as a peaceful group devoted to Mother Nature and living in harmony. They foster dozens of kittens in their homes and host cat adoption events in their air-conditioned mobile cat playground.
“Our call has always been to help ease suffering, and we are Eva’s Eden … bringing love to the world, one cat at a time,” they wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post.
a group of former followers says Ruthven’s ministry is a cult of personality, devoted to its prophet, who they say claims to be a Divine Magdalene, a reincarnated messiah figure who will create a new Eden after the apocalypse. Those former followers say they once worshipped Ruthven, following her every command, even leaving their families for her sake. They now run a Facebook page aimed at exposing what they call an abusive cult.
Eva’s Eden denies these claims. They say former members are a hate group, founded by Ruthven’s ex-husband, aimed at slandering their ministry. The nonprofit has responded to critics by denouncing them online, trading letters with legal threats — and then posting cute cat videos on YouTube.
But in early August, Eva’s Eden disappeared. Two days after a reporter requested an interview with Ruthven or other leaders, Eva’s Eden’s website went down. Its Facebook page and YouTube accounts vanished, and the group canceled a planned public cat adoption at a Kroger grocery store in nearby Spring Hill.
Nicole Walker, Ruthven’s daughter and manager of Eva’s Eden, also filed a criminal complaint with the Maury County sheriff’s office against Rachael Gunderson, one of the group’s critics, accusing her of harassment.
It’s the latest chapter in a complicated mash-up of spiritual experimentation, charismatic leadership and cute cat videos.
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/2018 01:18AM by corboy.