Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: October 19, 2018 10:48AM
For those who didn't see my earlier posting, I'm Marilyn Hargrave's cousin. We're same generation, but I was born nearly two decades later. I have had little or no contact with her while she was alive and certainly no involvement at all, whatsoever with TLWF. I joined this community largely to discover whether or not it would be safe to travel to her gravesite particularly given the familial relationship. I have since concluded that if and when I travel that direction to the gravesite, I should be fine.
The only information I have received about Marilyn's activities and what TLWF has been up to over the decades is what I have heard second, third and fourth hand from my relatives. I have learned that some of that information was not always correct. But reading what's been posted in this forum, it's clear that I was completely "short-changed" regarding information on all the intrigue, legal and financial entanglements related to TLWF, my cousins, etc. Nothing I learned from my relatives comes anywhere near what I have learned here. For that I thank you.
Before I ask my questions, I have to say to Onion(), thank you for correct information regarding what actually happened after JRS died. It's always good to get the right information. But I think that the story I heard was more intriguing even if it was wrong.
My Questions ... for anyone who wants to answer.
1. I was looking at the list of festivals on the TLWF website ... they're all Jewish Holidays. By the way I was surprised that Simchat Torah or Chanukkah were not listed. What connection does TLWF make with Judaism? Not only the Holidays, but with respect to Jewish practices, Jewish beliefs, Jewish law, Jewish prayers, Jewish liturgy, etc.? I will say that having looked at the TLWF website, what I saw seemed like pretty standard Christian stuff. The only connection to Judaism I saw was the list of the Jewish Holidays and that had me scratching my head as to why are they listed in the first place without a connection to anything that appears to be Jewish.
2. From Onion():
"Bob Barton was in charge of the body and had it taken to the mortuary to be embalmed. Bob stayed with the body during the embalming process." (My emphasis).
This question relates to the ones above. Jewish funeral practices state that the body is to be buried with the blood. Since JRS was embalmed, TLWF doesn't appear to follow this particular Jewish practice, correct?
3. Years ago I was visiting a colleague of mine who lived in Iowa City. He was aware that I am Marilyn's cousin. My colleague and his wife had made friends with a young woman who was born and raised in TLWF and grew up at Shiloh. When this young woman was told that my colleague knew Marilyn's cousin, this woman wanted very much to meet me. Somehow my familial connection to Marilyn was strangely important to her. I never met her. In fact the very idea that someone wanted to meet me because I was the cousin of the Prophetess Marilyn (that's how she was referred to in my family) I found uncomfortable.
I have some additional information ... when my parents attended Marilyn's and JRS' wedding, many of the TLWF members/followers were very interested in my Mother because she was Marilyn's aunt (and Bessie's sister). I believe that my Mother said that several people were following her around, asking questions, video taping her, etc. (So for those of you who were at that wedding, you may have met my Mother or at least have seen her.)
Here's the question: from what I've learned, there seems to be a kind of attachment of importance by members of TLWF to "blood" relatives of Marilyn (and maybe anyone else who's central to the cult?). Can someone explain this to me? Is there some thing that relatives possess that's important?