Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: th231955 ()
Date: March 27, 2020 10:22AM

Very sorry I meant as FORMER ESCAPED MEMBERS

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: th231955 ()
Date: March 27, 2020 10:51AM

HA! I just talked to Simon Nisly a few days ago! I don't know if he's actually running the sawmill anymore, it sounds like they aren't making pallets anymore, just offering logging and tree service! Anyway, I almost bet I could get you one of those hats! Simon and I graduated together, he said he is still in the organization although Shiloh was all sold out from under them with no say so. He denied it being a cult, I let it go for now, but I'll be talking to him a lot!

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: March 27, 2020 02:05PM

T H

"(Simon Nisly) is still in the organization . . . He denied it being a cult."

There is not much of an 'organization' remaining, most of it operating underground because of multiple lawsuits in play.

The denial of TLW being a cult is the standard cognitive dissonance still afflicting those that remain, some of whom will take that denial to their grave.

The continued allegiance to any remaining cause worthy of loyalty is still perplexing to those who have seen the light and fled the darkness.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: March 27, 2020 10:23PM

KBOY wrote:
The continued allegiance to any remaining cause worthy of loyalty is still perplexing to those who have seen the light and fled the darkness.

Yes, the emphasis on loyalty above everything else. It was a requirement if you expected to move up in the organization, and John (of course) was instrumental
in setting the tone, later significantly amplified by G & M. Now, even with TLWF 'dissolved,' the behavior among the diehards remains the same. Seeking favor from the ministry of the "living word." I wrote a short comment about this mentality back in 2015:

Posted by: changedagain
Date: August 26, 2015 09:58PM

In the mid to late 70's John rewarded young militant loyalists, who (in many cases) disdained existing pastors who they considered 'old order.' I recall during the peak of the violent intercession, how many of the Timothys (hardline servants of John) made a point to distinguish John from all other ministries in the fellowship. We loose The Apostle! (The door-opener, The Christ etc. etc.) Hey, to some extent, I was one of them.

Note: a good friend of mine, John Mahon, was rebuked by Apco (presumably under the direction of G & M) for not joining the madness following John's death, specifically the directive from G & M to pray for 'John's return.' His exit as the next in line to pastor our local church was welcomed by the new regime. The irony, of course, about praying for John's return, was that G & M (apparently) were getting together as a couple as he was perishing. I think this is referred to as hypocrisy.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: March 27, 2020 11:54PM

C H A N G E D

"The irony, of course, about praying for John's return, was that G & M (apparently) were getting together as a couple as he was perishing. I think this is referred to as hypocrisy."

It takes some serious 'cojones' to guilt-trip an entire group of people for something you don't actually want--a return-trip by JRS to rain on your illicit relationship.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: March 28, 2020 12:16AM

KBOY wrote:
It takes some serious 'cojones' to guilt-trip an entire group of people for something you don't actually want--a return-trip by JRS to rain on your illicit relationship.

"What the hell is going on here?"
-John returning, and asking G & M a simple question

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: March 28, 2020 07:52AM

A post by 'reveal' from August 2018:

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: reveal
Date: August 17, 2018 02:37PM


I’ve thought about posting here for a long time, and have been working on this post for months. I have been wary of it because, as I mentioned in my initial post, I know for a fact that TLWF monitors this site. Creepy! I also just really want to move on with my life, and wasn’t sure if it was the right thing for me to do in my healing process, to come forward. However, it’s been weighing on me for a long while, and I know that I need to be free to speak about my experience. I think it’s time for those of us who have remained silent (and there are many of us) to start speaking out. So, here goes…

I was born and raised in the fellowship (an OG YASPer, too), and for a long time I never really considered how toxic it was because it was all I ever knew, but several years ago I started to wake up and I began to see things for what they were. I’ve lived in about five different TLWF locations, and with each new location a new set of shepherds, almost all of which were emotionally and spiritually abusive and extremely controlling. From the time I was a young child I experienced emotional abuse by the church. When I was just six or seven years old and attending the “Kingdom” school, the leaders of the school had decided that I was too bonded to my mother and forced me to stay several nights at the principal’s home as a way to get me disconnected from my mom. I was so confused why the school bus was passing my house and terrified that I was not being allowed to go home. This is one of MANY such odd church-related occurrences in my childhood.

In my twenties I was dating a man in the church, who unbeknownst to me had submitted our relationship to the shepherds. I wasn’t connecting with anyone at the time in a shepherding relationship and it was during the time that the words on having an Elijah/Elisha relationship were coming out. I had asked a particular shepherd to be that relationship to me and she said I could only have a relationship with her if I broke up with him. Weird, but also not uncommon…the shepherds have always interfered heavily with relationships, often splitting couples up or telling them they were not allowed to date someone in the first place because they didn’t “have a witness on it”. If you disobeyed them, you were usually ostracized and criticized. We were also so brainwashed with the belief system that if we did something without the blessing of the shepherds, we would be totally out of the will of God and therefore…fucked. In a word.

After I entered into this “Elijah/Elisha” relationship with this pastor, things got very bad for me. I was constantly being criticized for EVERYTHING by her, for the way I talked, how I dressed, how I behaved, every little fucking detail of my life and personality was scrutinized. She said very cruel things to me about my character, even though she had never taken the time to get to know me at all. And speaking of “Girls Turn it Off” I was even told by her that the only reason that guy I was dating ever wanted to date me in the first place was because I “beamed it at him” to like me. I was also berated for dressing “provocatively” at a social function because I was “clearly trying to get his attention”. I was wearing jeans and a modest blouse, by the way. I started wearing dumpy sweatshirts after that. Men were never held responsible for their part, women were basically just slut shamed unjustifiably.

I became very isolated and depressed during this time. I was purposely excluded from many functions and constantly getting in trouble for every little thing. I had massive anxiety because I was paranoid about getting another “talking to”, as it happened so often. I felt I had to walk on eggshells at all times. It left me feeling so horribly about myself that I had almost zero self-esteem. It was a very lonely time.

The abuse continued with nearly every other shepherd I had subsequent to her. It was either highly personal attacks or it was having my life so controlled I could hardly stand it. At one point it became intolerable, as a lifetime of being abused in this way became too much to handle. I became so depressed and self-loathing that I began hurting myself. The constant criticism, the pressure to perform according to shepherds’ expectations, being ostracized when I did not live up to their expectations, struggling to earn their love and acceptance, the never-ending scrutiny and so-called discipline piled up until I felt I was a worthless, unlovable piece of shit. I tried going to therapy but it was hard to get anywhere when I knew if I told the truth about my situation IT WOULD SOUND LIKE I WAS IN A CULT. I literally remember thinking that.

It was only after I spent some time away from a local church for the first time in my life and began to slowly feel better that I realized perhaps it was the church itself that was making me so depressed. But I kept hoping things would change in the church, and because of a lifetime of being conditioned to think that any doubts I had about it were satanic deception or something, I stuck around for several years even after I began having major doubts. I kept hoping that things would get better, but nothing ever changed, in fact the Living Word culture only became more oppressive and fanatical.

Everything is very manipulative in the Fellowship. They play this messed up game of giving and then withdrawing affection, demanding total participation, and making you fearful of being rejected by the group. They play on people’s longing to belong. They tell you that submission is not absolutely required, but you better believe that there will be consequences if you don’t submit to them. You will be punished by being excluded, gossiped about, removed from teams, positions (even paid jobs), relationships, and will be generally coldshouldered. I’ve heard shepherds make fun of people for “subnouncing” things, as in announcing what they were going to do rather than submitting it. So many of us abided by shepherding directives that felt totally wrong because we knew if we didn’t we would be ostracized. They also convinced us that “even if the shepherds are wrong, God will honor your submission and make it right.” How many of you have been fed that line before?

The prevailing culture of the group is so deeply entrenched in these negative ways of treating the sheep and its disturbing hierarchical structure promotes exclusivity, elitism and man-worship. The leadership is very toxic, abusive, and self-serving.

After I finally decided to split with the church a couple of years ago, I began to feel more happy and free than I had ever felt in my entire life. I also felt that the things that had troubled me internally for so long were starting to get better. I actually started to grow spiritually, something I did not feel happened for me in the church. I felt like we were always going around the same mountain over and over again. I realized that I rarely saw much change or growth in people at all, in the Fellowship.

It makes me incredibly angry that we were all so abused when all we were trying to do was walk with God. It makes me angry that I waited so long to leave, believing that it would change and get better, all the while enduring more and more psychological crap that I have to now get over. I’m working really hard to forgive everyone that is responsible for the hurt and abuse, but it is not easy. Oddly, it is especially difficult to reconcile my anger with the love I have for even the ones that were so awful to me. It was my love for those people that kept me believing they could change. But I could no longer continue to be a part of an organization that is so cold-hearted, hypocritical and judgmental. They say TLWF is a family. It is not. It is a business.

Onion mentioned a lot of former members likely having PTSD. I started seeing a therapist towards the end of my time in TLWF and have continued since. I was diagnosed with PTSD. My therapist said my experience has all of the similarities of a domestic abuse situation. It’s been very enlightening to finally speak with someone openly and honestly about what I experienced in the Fellowship, and having them completely, 100% validate that it was extremely abusive and dysfunctional.

Originally I wasn’t planning to post on this site, not wanting any TLWF people to have a reason to label me another bitter blowout. But reading others’ stories here helped validate my own experience with TLWF as a truly abusive organization. These stories have to be told. I know countless stories of others who have been deeply wounded by their involvement in the Fellowship (all in recent years) but they are not my stories to tell. If you’ve been lurking on this forum like me for years but haven’t yet shared your experience, please post it. There is strength in numbers, so share your story.

-reveal

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: th231955 ()
Date: March 28, 2020 08:22AM

Wow the things I'm learning! I was definitely very Blessed that God shielded me from this crap! One thing is very true, and everyone that has found the truth has this assurance from God....He who the Son sets free is free indeed! I'm not talking about some evil-minded man/ or a specific doctrine manipulating unsuspecting people, I'm talking about the true living Son Of God! We grasp this truth and we see we need to forgive others so the Father in heaven can forgive us! Don't let the evil win in your lives, my friends! I feel like I've been so deceived about DadStevens and JRS it is baffling, but I read up on some Family History! I was blinded momentarily by the charisma and outright lies, realizing Dad Stevens wasn't all that cool either, really hurt me! Also, as I said before, At camp when I was 14 I got "called" in to the ministry by JRS, so this fraud is a common false lying prothet/teacher! Now I have to almost rethink if it was real or not ! But then, as I was thinking about it, I was led to a passage in Jeremiah, 1:5 and I don't claim to be a prophet, but the Holy Spirit quickened my Spirit and I witnessed it in my heart! God is very Faithful and He will save those who call on His name! Seek Him and disregard the ones who might try to keep you in bondage! That is all they have left on you! Be set free by the Power of the Living God!! AMEN

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: March 28, 2020 08:31AM

About two months later we had this:

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: UnapologeticallyJohn832 ()
Date: October 25, 2018 10:42AM


Hello - First time poster, my name is Shalom Abrahamson (Caples married name) and I would like any support from posters here by going to my facebook post in which I publicly shared an open letter to TLWF congregation. Support in any way; a like, a comment, sharing your own stories and abuses, would be helpful in continuing to expose the truth of this organization. I have been reading this forum for a while now and I know many of you and I believe you and I have privately supported you, but now I am publicly supporting you. Thank you for speaking out on this forum; it has and will continue to help me in my life.

"An Open Letter to The Living Word Fellowship Congregation from Shalom Abrahamson-Caples

Why am I writing this open letter to The Living Word Fellowship (TLWF) congregation?

1. A real problem exists, even after removing Rick Holbrook from the ministry and those in power should be held accountable.
2. I can no longer carry these secrets and their shame and I want to be free of the damage of these abuses.
3. I want the other girls and women and men and children who have also been abused to know that they are not alone. I am not being brave, I just believe that the truth will set me free and hopefully provide a way, a safe way, for others to come forth with their truth and be set free.
4. To start living unapologetically without regrets although I do not know if that is possible because exposing this truth is embarrassing to me and hurtful to many others. I was too trusting and allowed people to control my life decisions that in return hurt me and others around me. I was fearful and intimidated and even worse, I believed they were the only way to God, “Christ in the flesh”. I was raised in The Living Word Fellowship from age 3-35 yo and I did not know other Christian churches or Christian ways, but I am no longer fearful or intimidated. I am free.

Please click on the link below to read the rest of my open letter..."

#metoo #churchtoo #thelivingwordfellowshiptoo #tlwftoo #rickholbrooktoo

[thelivingwordfellowshipthewholetruth.org]

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: March 29, 2020 10:47PM

Meanwhile, the independent investigation continues (presumably).
#trust

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