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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Prettyboy ()
Date: March 16, 2019 12:00PM

hi merries,
hope all is well about your campfires. to richard m., your posts are so illuminating and i cannot but imagine how curious and perhaps, painful, to read all these posts about your former wife, one you much loved and failed to rescue with your insights and rationality. to readers like myself, it seems we have to understand that there were 2 marilyns; the one you were married to and the other, married to the bizarre world of lw orthodoxy to which you lost her to. i do not know how you were able to move from that point in your life without an extreme degree of bitterness, and maybe for a time you were, but were eventually able to do so. i applaud you - in today's crazy world, an aggrieved would grab multiple firearms and just blow people away.

richard you stated some things i wish to address. "mistakes are the learning blocks to a better life". i would add that embracing and understanding our own mistakes and vicariously, mistakes of others are those blocks. i say this only because there are many present lw congregants who are not learning from mistakes, whether their own or others. i believe that one of the foremost intentions of this forum is to provide a guide to present lw congregants and churches a road map to allow those a historical perspective, via multiple testaments, from a plethora and varied perspectives of a simple truth - the lw/shiloh organization is an immoral, predatory (leadership and those ardently associated with it) and essentially self-serving material needs of leadership. i am sorry (not really), i get so pissed off knowing that there are hanger-ons who have no material gains vested or anticipated who still hang on. a continued allegiance to a despot/s (hargrave and minions) clearly whose principal interest is simply their own welfare? certainly not yours. it may not be jonestown where the faithful are required to ingest a poisonous brew and quick death - sometimes poisons to the soul are incremental and doses are administered slowly but effectively over a period of time. the primary antidote to this poison is the truth, but the truth is inadequate, i posit, to the task required unless accompanied by courage. this forum, through its many posters have brought the truth but they are incable of providing courage. everyone of us has made mistakes; in action, in inaction, false testament whether it be about ourselves or others, etc. ad infinitum, i.e., none is without sin, none of us have failed "to miss the mark". the courage, in the face of multiple and corroborating evidence, regardless of all of the yesterdays' investments (emotional, financial, etc.) to lw allegiance, to embark on a new day as i think kboy long ago asserted - a day of courage and the embracing of the obvious truths. i do not know if it is this simple but maybe it is - have the courage and moral fiber to embrace these truths that the present presents or retain cowardice and the comfort of yesterday's illusions.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Amos ()
Date: March 17, 2019 12:40AM

There is an old cult classic film entitled “Goliath Awaits” that is about a ship sunk by a torpedo, found some 40 years later. On that ship there are some 300 people who somehow managed to survive in an air pocket who have forged a society run by a seeminly benevolent autocrat played by Christopher Lee who rules by an iron hand. When a dive team enters the ship they are astonished by what they find with many on the ship not wanting rescue and others opposed to their crazy ruler who do.

I was reminded of this movie while reading social media posts by some still affiliated with churches in the former Living Word Fellowship. There are surprisingly few actively posting, and those that do seem to make a point of frequently quoting Gary Hargrave or excerpts from This Weeks. I did find some, but surprisingly little, mention of the Survivors Group, with a couple of people there not exactly enamored with one of the former moderators.

What struck me is that there seems to be so many desperately trying to press on as if nothing had happened and much like those living on the wreckage of a sunken ship they sincerely believe that their way is superior. As I read through nearly all the posts I realized that even though I understand the point of view, I no longer think that way and the perspective is entirely foreign to me. Answers to all the world’s problems, or even my problems, aren’t found in This Weeks or in every “golden nugget” that falls out of Gary Hargrave’s mouth.

This genie can’t be put back in the bottle, the house is on fire and the ship has sunk.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Onion ()
Date: March 17, 2019 05:31AM

Thank you, Amos. Truth.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Richard M. ()
Date: March 17, 2019 09:20AM

Reepicheep, Prettyboy, Amos; some quotes, “ . . . congregants who are not learning from mistakes, whether their own or others . . . and the comfort of yesterday's illusions.” . . . “ . . . so many desperately trying to press on as if nothing had happened . . .” . . . “ . . . one person in the marriage was less dedicated to serving Marilyn or Gary or JRS than the other . . .”

I don’t know, but it may be like trying to explain a mental pathology to those suffering from it . . . but it appears to me that what’s operant here for “hangers on,” is that greater faith in ONE thing continues, for some, to overcome the “misguiding edicts (faith?)” of others, MGS? But it’s plain to me that Marilyn was likely the convincing force behind contrived marriages, as that was her irrational reason (“one person in the marriage was less dedicated . . . to serving,”) she used for our divorce. It became a self-fulfilling prophesy gained through “liaison” with both “John and Gary,” but only an attempt to prove by action a vindication of her past. But what’s even worse, both J and G knew it. They were smart but not too smart. As for what to do? You know better than I. But sometimes the social editors of news outlets or not so ethical tabloids like to expose the fraudulent and unethical . . . . but could be they already know. They early knew about Jim Jones . . . .

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Prettyboy ()
Date: March 17, 2019 11:46AM

amos, indeed "the house is on fire and the ship has sunk" (or rather, is sinking). and what are the merries to do? i suggest to continue what they have been doing for years; early on, just a few voices and now a crescendo. truth has a dynamic of its own, at least to the rational. if the house is on fire and ship sinking, there are those hoping and willing to be rescued. on the other hand, there are those who so love the house and the ship, and have their souls so identified and intertwined with the lw ship and lw house that they are incapable of leaving, even to their own peril. one has to wonder why. maybe it is so easy to understand - if they leave, if they jump off the ship or leap from a window from that burning house rather than remain where does that leave them? oblivion - an uncertain future vs. a certain present; only the courageous will embrace the former. and this forum has and still does provide testaments from multiple former lw adherents not just the call of truth but the the demand of courage, the DEMAND of courage. today is today, this present is the present. the allegiance of all your yesterdays are subject to truth and courage of this present.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Reepicheep ()
Date: March 17, 2019 11:06PM

Prettboy, thanks for trying to be jolly, but I must admit that it rankles a bit in light of the crimes against children that are being exposed.

From Shakespeare, King Lear:

"Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear: 
Robes and furr'd growns hide all. Plate sin with gold, 
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks; 
Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw does pierce it."

Those who have had their sin plated with gold at our expense may one day feel the strong arm of the law. Perhaps I will feel merry when TLWF child abusers and enablers sit behind bars where they belong. Most days I feel like a grumpy crusader, but my heart is always broken for the children. One day I may feel merry, but not yet.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Reepicheep ()
Date: March 17, 2019 11:24PM

Amos, the movie Goliath Awaits offers a powerful metaphor for the state of affairs in what is left of TLWF. I am sad for those remaining who are unable to be free, for whatever reason. Unfortunately, there are still Branch Davidians over twenty five years after so many died in their ill-fated standoff. There would probably also be People's Temple followers of Jim Jones holding fast to this day if the majority hadn't been killed in the massacre of November 18, 1978, over forty years ago. I will cling to hope against hope for the TLWF hangers on to be free. But my main concern will always be for the safety of the children of the cult who have no voice.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2019 11:36PM by Reepicheep.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: deborahs ()
Date: March 18, 2019 10:30PM

I read this quote about "early stage religion" from Richard Rohr recently and it reminds me of the Walk and its insular "we've got the corner on God" theology. Such theology, religious groups (if not matured) can lead to devastation and violence on so many levels including spiritual, sexual, emotional, physical abuse.. "Early-stage religion is primarily preparing you for the immense gift of this burning, the inner experience of God, as though creating a proper stable into which the Christ can be born. Unfortunately, most people get so preoccupied with their stable, and whether their stable is better than other stables, or whether their stable is the only “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic” stable, that they never get to the birth of God in the soul."

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Onion ()
Date: March 19, 2019 03:54AM

Deborahs - Profound words. Accurate depiction of the walk and its lure as well as how it kept so many afraid to disagree or leave. As frightening as it is sad.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Onion ()
Date: March 19, 2019 01:46PM

One thing about all of us ex-walk/cult robots/slaves, we're rambunctious at times and eloquent at times. They say the worse fate for a cowboy on the frontier was to be turned over to the squaws when captured by "hostiles." That's because women are fierce and we are very serious about our wars and our enemies.

So Boys - K & Pretty, no offense in objecting to being called merries. And definitely don't call us squaws. But there is no club to join, no identity as a group, just a bunch of rambunctious folks trying to identify what we think on our own and that changes every day as we grow used to being free.

A little verbal tussle here and there has no harm or dislike intended or insinuated.

I have given myself a deadline to get my documentation organized and in a format I can present formally. I tend to intensify when I get so focused on on bad people who have done horrible things with even worse motivations.

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