Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: September 21, 2018 12:12AM
First, I want to say thank you for all you have done over the years to help the hundreds and hundreds of people that have had the courage to walk away from all this. Your list, comments, and knowledge of all of it is very appreciated. I have been reading this forum (daily) for several years, and am new to posting (first post was just a few days ago). With that noted, I want to be careful what I say.
I'm not really understanding why some of the recent posts made by KBOY have caught your eye. I am very familiar with this poster since I am in a group with him and many others that have left (many of whom have read the forum, but have yet to post). For the most part, all of us have read the list of how to identify if you are in a cult (which is awesome, by the way).
IMO, I believe that KBOY is not downplaying the deceit and manipulation of the leaders at TLW, but is offering words to allow people to also understand that ANYONE can be drawn into something that seems innocent, and not realize it until it is too late. If anything, for me, his post are carried through this thread as a calming voice, reminding us that we are only human. We are all victims, and in no way do I see the posts as coming across in a way that says it is our fault we stupidly stumbled into it. What I see, are words of compassion that help us see we are the strong ones, and this can happen to anyone - young, old, educated, or not. I think it is important for those readers, still in this so-called fellowship, to see that all of us thought we were doing the right thing, but we have able to somehow see the truth and get out.
I just recently told my own father that the "church" I thought I was in was/is actually a cult. He was furious with me for being so stupid, and has had a very hard time dealing with it. He constantly asks me how I could have stayed in it for so long knowing it was a cult. At this point in my life, by my own experience and confirmed by your list, I know, 100%, that it is a cult. And it is very important for me to hear KBOY's words, reminding me that I was not stupid or blind, but only human, responding, more than forty years ago, at the age of 17, to a church that seemed to say all the right things. (Little did I know that it was only bait.)
This thread is titled Former Cult Members and Affected Families. I believe that it finds its effectiveness in balance since we are all coming from different aspects of healing. Yes, I believe I did stumble into this church. Would I blame myself for going? I can't say. What I can say is that it was a tumultuous time (early 70's) of searching. What I do know now is that we were lied to, manipulated, emotionally blackmailed, grossly taken advantage of in more ways than ever thought possible, etc., etc. I have friends that wonder why so-and-so is still in the church. I am always the first to remind everyone that it is a cult, and because of the mind control (yes, I said mind-control, no matter how it is packaged), it is not always that easy to walk away.
All this to say that, for me, it is very important to read KBOY's posts, as they are, not putting blame on anyone, but trying and helping to walk us all back to normalcy without the GUILT. Each poster provides a distinct viewpoint that allows us to see a bigger picture of life outside "The Walk".
And it is beautiful out here!