Re: Meade Ministries/Mountaintop
Date: November 17, 2015 01:08PM
Whether or not "spies" is the proper word, Mountaintop Ministries members definitely monitor this forum, and if they determine that relatives of members are speaking ill of MM on the forum, said relatives may well be shunned by current MM members.
In answer to some of the questions raised by the moderator,let me offer some observations:
1.There are at least some members are connected with non-MM family members, including family members they had previously cut off. I don't know how widespread this sort of reconnecting is.
2.I would agree with Refugee that the Maltheson/Burbach/Sparks troika appear to be firmly in charge of pretty much anything that happens. While MM is definitely making an effort to appear more mainstream, all of the typical checks and balances that you would find in, say, an Assembly of God church,(elected board of directors, elected leadership and committee members, financial transparency) do not appear to exist. That leads to the next question, which I would answer this way;
3. Again, hiring and firing and setting of salaries for staff appears to be entirely under the control of the "ruling families." If my assumptions are correct,there is no accountability of any sort on the part of the "membership" of the church, and unless the culture of the church has completely changed, it is probably still pretty much unthinkable to criticize leadership in any way.
4. Doctors and medication are widely used. This is in keeping with a general relaxation of rules that would have been unthinkable 20 years ago; some members, at least, listen to secular music, watch television and movies, go on vacations for pleasure (for many years, travel took place only for busines or for visiting other Meade enclaves),vote, etc.
General observations: They are obviously doing everything they can to rework their PR, and to distance themselves from their past. Meade is never mentioned by name, and only occasionally and euphemistically referenced. Outreaches to already existing (I presume independent) Pentecostal/Charismatic churches in Mexico and elsewhere are occurring, which, again, would have been unthinkable at the height of Meade's control.
One might think that this means that the group has become less destructive, and in some respects that is true. There are far fewer needless deaths and terrible suffering since the "no doctors" rules have been drastically relaxed. Children and others are have a wider range of experience and influences. But from what I can see, there are still many troubling and controlling aspects to the culture that pervades the group. There is still the top down power structure that does not give any power to anyone outside the relatively small leadership circle.There is still no sense in which leaders feel the need for transparency (financial and otherwise) towards rank and file members. There still appears to be a great deal of group think. They still seem to think that they are at least far superior to every other church, including churches whose trappings they have superficially emulated. They are still pretty paranoid about people who speak ill of them (e.g. their moderation of this site). They still discourage dissent and criticism of any sort. In other words, in many respects they could still be considered a destructive and controlling cult.