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Re: Were the rumors about the Walk true or persecution from cult hunters?
Posted by: been_there2 ()
Date: March 03, 2016 03:24AM

I remember John Robert Stevens as a kind and loving man, who deeply cared about the people in his church. I came in as a little girl in the early 60's when him and Harold Williams were at the Reseda women club. I always felt that he cared about me specifically and my family. When he died, all that died with him. I know he was a fallible man, but I feel his heart was Right. Just reading "To be a Christian" should take away doubt about his motives. He was duped in the end with Marilyn because her motives are very questionable. I never cared for her. But I knew it was wrong when she married Gary and then they started getting into Depak Chopra and Steven Covey. They were always on a tangent. The love that I knew was gone. I've been married twice in the walk, One still goes there, I guess its part of his identity since he's been there as a young boy also. I'm just happy to be free of it for good. I still have 2 family members there. I feel that if John were still here he would be kicking a lot of asses. At least I would hope that to be true.

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Re: Were the rumors about the Walk true or persecution from cult hunters?
Posted by: Apostle Dog ()
Date: March 18, 2016 12:22AM

Thanks for the post, that makes me feel good. I have mixed feeling about John Robert Stevens. I do think all in all, he was a pretty good pastor. that's it though, I do not think he was supposed to be any door opener to resurection life or whatever of all that. I think he got the big head from all the willing worshipers, like any man would. But I do also agree that with you that he was a man that did love the people and want to be of help. I have learned he NEVER made the huge money that the evil thing he married and her Judas husband made.

So he was like anybody else, he was a hell of a charismatic type character, he could twist the scriptures like the best of them. I wish him well. As far as the evil Jezebel he married, well, I'll just keep my feelings to myself.


been_there2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I remember John Robert Stevens as a kind and
> loving man, who deeply cared about the people in
> his church. I came in as a little girl in the
> early 60's when him and Harold Williams were at
> the Reseda women club. I always felt that he cared
> about me specifically and my family. When he
> died, all that died with him. I know he was a
> fallible man, but I feel his heart was Right.
> Just reading "To be a Christian" should take away
> doubt about his motives. He was duped in the end
> with Marilyn because her motives are very
> questionable. I never cared for her. But I knew
> it was wrong when she married Gary and then they
> started getting into Depak Chopra and Steven
> Covey. They were always on a tangent. The love
> that I knew was gone. I've been married twice in
> the walk, One still goes there, I guess its part
> of his identity since he's been there as a young
> boy also. I'm just happy to be free of it for
> good. I still have 2 family members there. I feel
> that if John were still here he would be kicking a
> lot of asses. At least I would hope that to be
> true.

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Re: Were the rumors about the Walk true or persecution from cult hunters?
Posted by: Apostle Dog ()
Date: March 30, 2016 12:46PM

I know that we focus mostly on the Living Word Fellowship, that is the church that we know turned bad at some point. But I am considering taking a different approach as I look at the Walk and as well as lots of churches that are not listed in these forums, that really should be. This is a principle of Jesus Christ that happens to be recorded in the book that some have decided that is not valid. I personally believe that they should reconsider that and read it again, deliberately and prayerfully having the Holy Spirit re-focus their minds so that the parts that were amplified and twisted way out or proportion to their importance in the their Walk experiences are considered in context to their intended meaning.

All authority was given to Jesus to be the judge, Jesus said it Himself, that the Father judges no-one, Judgment was given to the Son. The Walk was all about JUDGEMENT, judge this, judge that, but JESUS at this point in time is not judging anybody. Read the BOOK, Jesus is sitting at the right Hand of the Father making intercession for us. And by US, that is ALL of US, even Hargrave. Jesus will judge, be we will never have that right. We should be doing as Jesus is doing, and I repent and apologize where I have judged, it is not my job, that job belongs to Jesus, and right now, He is praying for us, He does not want to judge or dam anybody……..

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Re: Were the rumors about the Walk true or persecution from cult hunters?
Posted by: Sagehen ()
Date: November 14, 2016 06:17AM

Since reading the posts here somethings have come to mind that I have not thought about for years.When we first began in the LW I remember my late husband mention that it was believed in the group teachings that a person could be saved simply by the "laying on of hands", that is likely why there were so many of the young ones taking positions of leadership showed no fruit of the Spirit.
We were both saved just a few years earlier but most of our church experience was a little, Assembly of God but basically Baptist where we we under an excellent pastoral team for about 6 years. We moved to the CA desert in Needles and there a group of us started meeting together from several churches seeking to become Spirit filled. That was in '65-1972 when job opportunity brought my family to K Falls where we very soon visited a LW church in Terrebone Gordon Shaw was pastor and RD and Glen Oswald were some of the ones along with Forbes's that ministered to or group, about 6 families.
We were both avid readers and had a very good library of books from Word Book Club at the time and other books we bought at Christian book stores. We too had never heard teaching about Latter Rain, only what Mumford and Prince were teaching about church order. We too were drawn in because of the close fellowship taught, and the worship. It has been the closeness with the members that I have had the hardest time getting past. I have really missed the people we knew back then. We were just like a family to on another. That of course would change when some of us were sent to WY that was in '75.
We were told to not read other books, get ride of what we had, records too since they were not good.we were made to feel really silly if we even mentioned another source. This came from Shaw not what we heard on tapes so we thought it was just Shaw.
I have copy and pasted this here from the other thread so that I can tell what my experiences were with the LW from 1972-1979 when we left. We spent a month with John in CA, spring, May I believe in '79.

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Re: Were the rumors about the Walk true or persecution from cult hunters?
Posted by: NancyB ()
Date: March 06, 2018 04:50AM

Chaos1952
I did see that you did find the other group some time ago I jsut got approved to join. But since this is here I want to address a few things from my perspective. in case someone else can beneift from waht I have to say.

JRS was an alcoholic. I saw attempts to cover it up like they did other alcohol and drug issues in Anaheim. ( My late ex husband was one that was covered up as well.) Fact: there were a number over dsoe deats adn suicides. I have no idea how many arrests for drug dealing in Anaheim.

People new, yet nothing was done. (After a point the pfierfers did offer counceling to couples who were dealing with the substance/ alc issues and apeared to have the perfect kingdom marriage. Brenda said, "We are all children of an alcohlic father." That was in repsonce to my lament that I thought my kingdom marriage would be like Father's Know Best. That beloved actor looked perfect dad on TV but had a lot of horrible secrets due to his alcoholism

My work schedule as an RN dictated when i arrived or left a meeting. This accidnetally afforde me the oppotunity to see when the enterage arrived. They were lieterally carrying him in like you would pour a drug into a taxi when the bar closed.

I asked some one. (I had already known since the alte 60's that he loved fine liquor. My family was a guest in his home back when.)

The answer given to me was that JRS was under heavy assualt from neph spirits trying to kill him. I may be naive but I am pretty sure I know a realy drunk person when I see one no matter how they try to deny it.

On a personal level I was dealling with a drunk in my home. When I went to the brothers for ministry they called me a "bitch". They were all covering for thier own addictions.
In my opinion, Martha was having a problem dealing with her own alcoholic far before I married a sneaky drunk who talked liek an oricle from God.

There is a huge problems in families tath live with some one who doesn;t remembr everthing they do when they drink. They spend money they should not and blame the 'co-dependant" for thir problems. then the wife, the kids, the secretary all end up becoming "sicker" taht the one addcited. yet, we cover for them. I learned this in Ala NOn who will make the statement far better than I did here.

I don't think any one can blame martha for what ever her reactions were to him being drunk. I saw him drunk so many times out side the church. I saw him get drunk when we were at his home for a very nice meal once.
( Oh yes, theri home in 1969 was rich! I have seen other preachers/ wives over the decades who had been dirt poor then rose to wealth and fame. they felt entitled to riches as they had sacrified for god's sake for so long. the adorning crowds go to their heads adn there is nothing spiritual about it, so they lie and they cover up.)

I don't want to say names of late leaders from Ananhiem ( they were in other ciites as well) but from the time I met them in the early years of the walk several stated, "I get my best revalations when I am high." Every one seemed to laugh it off as funny because they had "feedom in the spirit". that did not make since to lttle old hilly billy me, but it seemed to be the norm in my eyes.

I had to keep my mouth shut or I was accused of "having a critical spirit" when I wanted to know why the moral rules and biblical virtues had different standards for Iowans than it did for the California group.

I am from Christian Tabernacle but that does not make me more of saint... just more naive to the world. I'm just saying that I was taught differently than the values I saw being acted out by the CA youth group who later years became leaders in the church. I haad to have a lot of reputable therpay to learn I was being manipulated by liars. But I ocudl learn to say "no" and wak away.

I think JRS enjoyed flirting with good looking woman. That is not a sin in itself, but a cultural standard for those who had adopted a Califonia life style. (Yikes look at current news. The standard practice is now "sexau abuse" in court and we are all confused.)

I know he flirted with my mother and Iowa church women confessed they were jealous of her. ( JRS had a confession sesion one time where people were go to those and confess their bad feelings towards others...turned out to be a bitter disaster in that cultish practice)

To have woman looking up to him or enjoying, at minimum, a flirtation had to have feel good to the man. As a teenager focusing so much on the Bible I know that the old timers had confirmed his story he really did not fit in with peers when he was a very young preacher JRS was human. He was just a man, not a god.

I am not condoning nor am I condemning the man. He was human. Very human and I think at some point those who wrongly worshipped him ( a movie star idol level) have to take responciility for building that " monster" every bit as much as he seemed to thrived on that cult leader postision he grew into. It was :our" choice to idolize JRS. ( Except me. I'm perfect... more like perfectly naive.)

Secrets and lies end up deadly no matter how much you cry Lord, Lord, quote scripture or raise your hands in praise. "We" all were codependent every bit as much or worse than the wife who call her husband in sick to his boss when he is really nursing a hang over. The Walk had 1,000's of member whose adoration got out of balance.

Yep, those rumors were probably sKewed to a better version than reality from the perspective I personally witnessed at a limited level.

I remembr when I went to South Gate adn teh Valeey for my sisiter's weddings that Marilyn seemed more tahta secretray. At age 18 my thought was Della Street and Perry Masson. If I was young a down right dumb to the ways of the world and I could see the relationship why did no one else see it and nipped it in the bud? Every other church would have defroked him for moral perpatude.

I know far less than many who were right under his nose did. (There was far more going on that what I wrote here my late sister revealed about his golden boys in the late 60's.)

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Re: Were the rumors about the Walk true or persecution from cult hunters?
Posted by: NancyB ()
Date: March 07, 2018 03:04AM

I know this is an old post but I want to answer a few questions.

Of course there were cult hunters!

Way back in the late 70's I read crap about the walk that I had no idea where it came from except the cult hunters' cognative bias trying to get famous. Tho' there were signs and symptoms of not healthy power and control.

Some of the things written were not accurate in the sense of the terms that I knew "we" were using at that time. ( I do not know everything. I'm just old.)

Yes, there were many improprieties among a number of people taking advantage in the name of spirituality.

LW is not unusual from the norm of all main stream religions... the dirty little secrets just are not as deeply hidden as the long established religions. ( Priests molesting kids had gone on for 2,000 years and accepted.)

Yes, we all listened to the same tapes even though there were 100's of locations.
Leaders were differnt and had theri own interpretations. In all likley hood many were realted by blood, marriage or long term friendship. But that was not always the case. Too often new members and unseasoned with no training were put into postions unprepared... that was not wise.

Each member came in with their own pre-conviened ideas that they held on to. Old timers from what I call the mother church Christian Tabernacle I fell pretty much held to the original doctrine fro waht that was worth. The point is I think each group/ leaders have to be held responcible for their own actions.

With that said, many issues probably should be broken down rather than lumped in one pile of garbage. ( I still havea few 100 old posts to read. so I dont know everthing folks have come up with.)

New cult books and videos have come out for years. If they weren't in the walk their perspective is probably skewed a bit. EAch indiviaul will give their own unique version. Some may be heeresey. Waht I feel is most compelling is the patterns of behavior among thsoe group considered a cult whether or not you or your freinds adn family agree. Those be pattens of behavior are detrimental to mental health and relationships.

Many good people were seeking god. Remember not every one hwo cried Lord, Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven. Even the very ellect will be decieved.

I hope you, who ever you are reading, do find peace and healing.

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Re: Were the rumors about the Walk true or persecution from cult hunters?
Posted by: NancyB ()
Date: March 07, 2018 03:25AM

Jan w, Lane

I know this post is old and maybe you don;t what to persue the walk thing.
I am just trying to reach out to find old timers who need some closure as well.

I am Chritian Tabernacle girl. I was the youngest Nancy. Many of my older peers from our youth group headed west to So Gate, Cambell and the Valley in the early years: ;60's. My late sister kathy was one of them. Good friend to Shirlene and David. other she cared depply for.

If you care to connect. I am looking for some closure on kathy's first husband if you know anything. There are issues not revealed here that I have read as yet. I think it shoud be kept private. Of course I have no idea if you know what I am referring to or not.

Sorry to open old wounds. You choice if you care to connect.

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Re: Were the rumors about the Walk true or persecution from cult hunters?
Posted by: NancyB ()
Date: March 07, 2018 03:35AM

Chaos1952

Sorry I seem to be overloading the threads now that I am trying to get decades of garbage off my shoulders.

Re the silver mine. I never went there. However, we were almost sent there. My late ex husband was very excited about it.

I suppose we did not get sent there because my hubby was not know from being a productive worker ( trying to be nice.) I was an RN so they needed some medical people on board. But I also was having some issues. Rumors was it was a scam.

I think we saw a number of opportunists looking for easy pickings of slave labor. There was an apology over the pulpit for the misguided mistake.

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Re: Were the rumors about the Walk true or persecution from cult hunters?
Posted by: NancyB ()
Date: March 07, 2018 03:46AM

been_there2

I feel a number of things in common with you. I was born in 1950 and member of Christian Tabernacle since around 1957. I appreciate reading youu loving words.

JRS was home town boy. The Stevens family were good people. our groups was honestly as very loving group. A number of those family members went to CA.

So our perspective of the beginings before things were horribly wrong are different. Also we have valuable missing puzzle peices for the young ones who are also seeking closure.

I now this is an old post. I am open and "anxious" to connect to the old timers in particular if you are open.

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Re: Were the rumors about the Walk true or persecution from cult hunters?
Posted by: Onion ()
Date: April 22, 2018 09:17AM

Some of the financial claims against Stevens were not true but yes he had everything done for him by "volunteers." "Kingdom businesses" like Living Word all had either volunteers (which is illegal to the businesses) or who were so underpaid as to be shocking and all the money went as directed by Stevens.

Sexual improprieties and multiple affairs were mostly true about Stevens - true as in rampant, including that he sired a bio son with one of the church ladies and that person has been kept hidden and lied about to an extreme lest his and others' existence threaten Stevens' stepchildren's only claim t0 fame.

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