Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: February 03, 2019 02:37AM
NancyB - Thank you for your post about Marilyn. Every time someone remembers their reaction to her as negative, it helps strip away another layer of my own conditioning. Marilyn was the person who "love bombed" me most when I came in the walk/cult. We had things in common like designing and sewing our own clothes so we could relate on a personal level. When I became a regular, I sat with Marilyn and Bessie in services. I didn't see her meanness until the 80's and by then I was so ingrained that I never saw the problem as hers, but as mine for being so screwed up that I needed her tough stance with me.
This part of my story has not been told. It is hard to speak of because of the pain it dredges up but I am also ashamed and embarrassed.
When I started law school, I was afraid I wouldn't sleep for 4 years and a friend referred me to a wonderful therapist. My goal of working with her was to learn relaxation and self-hypnosis/meditation so I could sleep at night instead of having dreams that jerked me awake in the middle of the night. Of course, the therapy went much more deeply.
My therapist, Evelyn, had me look in the mirror and tell her 10 things I liked about myself and 10 things I wanted to change. As I stared in the mirror at myself, I was horrified/mortified to realize I had no thoughts of my own. Every thought that came into my head both about what I liked and didn't like about myself, was in my brain as "JRS said this..." "Marilyn said this...". At that moment I had no ability to describe what I thought about anything because I was deeply and completely programmed not to think for myself.
Of course this was a huge red flag but I still interpreted it as my failing and never allowed myself to think it was "done to me." Here was a classic example of complete mind control but God forbid that I would call it that back then.
I worked on this and started enjoying the process of finding my own thinking about myself. But 4 years later when it was time for me to take the Bar exam (3 full days of the hardest bar exam in the country) I contacted Marilyn and asked her if I could wear her ring to the exam. She gave me one of her turquoise rings that I had seen her wear many times. During the examination, I was wearing her ring and a bracelet JRS had given me years earlier when he brought presents home for all of us at the Blix House from a Brazil trip. When I would get ready to open that test book and take the exam, I would hold on to the ring and the bracelet and chant in my mind "I am Marilyn. They deserved to be in that room taking that exam but I didn't. They were smart enough to pass that exam. I wasn't.
By the time I got the results that I had passed the Bar on the first try, I had some pride for my own accomplishment but in the back of my brain I always thought of it as JRS' victory, not mine, even though he had been dead for almost 10 years.
When I worked with JRS and his lawyers on his divorce from Martha over ten years earlier, I did the financial accounting and appeared on JRS' behalf (so he wouldn't have to) at every settlement conference and every lawyer meeting that he would sometimes attend too, along with Marilyn. During one of these meetings, JRS gave me "the word" to go to law school AND to get my CPA license. I never pursued the CPA part because it was just too much.
I never wanted to become a lawyer. I wanted to work with animals. I was looking into veterinarian school at the time G&M reminded me of the word to become a lawyer. So that's what I did.
Although I began edging away from involvement with the walk/cult in the early 00's, I still had not connected the dots that the church was a cult. I finally made that cut (as in cutting it out of me) beginning in late 2014 and completely in 2016. It was terribly devastating to realize what I had surrendered myself to. Everything in my life that I saw as a product of the walk/cult became disgusting to me. Including being an attorney. I sat with that for a while. Here I was in my mid-60's looking back at a life wasted (my devastation opinion). I couldn't go back and live my 40 years over in my 60's.
I looked at everything I thought and did in and for the walk/cult and the only thing I could think of to do at that time was stop being a lawyer. There are more details involved in my choice to be disbarred and there is a record of two complaints against me. I happened to work in areas of law that garner the most complaints - family law and bankruptcy. Both complaints would have been easy to defeat and "make go away" because one was silly - a client saying I didn't do any work on her case when I had a 3" file and happy correspondence from her and another client who never paid the filing fee on his case.
But I knew if I just "resigned" or "retired" from the practice of law, I would probably not stick to it because I would be in a situation where it would be better for me to be a lawyer. I also knew that if I did what I was considering, TLWF people would come after me with the threat of disbarment. So I took care of it.
And then I started doing the only thing I could think of that would add some value back in to the 40+ years of service in the cult: tell everything I know, shed light on some hidden information, and tell the truth.
That decision was very difficult. But when I finalized my plans, I felt as proud of that decision as I was about passing the California Bar the first time (yes, I finally started giving myself the credit). And I knew from then on, that the distraction of retaliation would have no hold on me and I could move forward.
Then I discovered this forum and found so many people I had known and loved for years who were free of the cult/walk and getting freer every day. Just like me. At that time I knew Rick Holbrook was a slime but I only suspected that he was "inappropriate" with young women until people started communicating with me back channel about just how bad he really was.
I am more proud of what I have accomplished as "Onion" than of anything I accomplished before. I still hit quicksand of pain and conditioning and have to work through it but every day is more joyful and hopeful and what more can one ask.
I am so thankful to this forum, to Rick Ross, to all of you who read our posts and all of you who write posts. The exposure may continue on for decades but we have gained so much ground and each of us should be grateful and proud of that accomplishment.