Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: May 17, 2020 11:50PM
I'm out of the cult TLWC and have been since I was 15. My parents got out when I was 18. I was never sexually or physically abused. I did have emotional, mental, and spiritual abuse. I want to connect to people from these times and places to compare memories and give myself closure.
My grandma started her family attending TLWC in the 70s I think. My parents were 2nd generation who wandered away and moved to another state with no local churches. When they returned to the cult sometime in the late 90s, they stayed until about 2004. They were tasked with founding a church branch where they lived. In reality all they did was have a youth group. We also had to "submit" to the local church leaders unless they contradicted TLWC.
We traveled to DC once or twice a month and Dad always bought the propaganda, This Weeks, books and tapes. He was a full star member, 4 or 5 stars. MEat for the men. They were true believers, trying hard to establish a church. One of my friends said they were "part time" cultist because of the distance which I believe was a protective factor in me not being sexually or physically abused.
I remember John Dempster the pastor, John Linton who drew beautiful images. The DC church had a big pool, the church was separate from the house and out in a field? There was a list of businesses in the church that everyone was expected to support and buy from.
My parents followed the McDougall diet, very strictly, in late 90s until our hair began falling out. We were on the McDougal diet 16 months.
I also went to Shiloh several times. I was in YASP late 90s. I remember working in fields pulling thistles. One day a girl fainted from the heat, we had to keep working. There were many long sermons and church sessions in a nhug auditorium, at least 3 a day. We had to do a lot of chores like cooking,cleaning, working in organic farm fields even as children. If we weren't in church we were working until we almost dropped.
At Shiloh I liked the nachos with sprinkled cheese microwaved and vegan icecream they sold at night. Every year there was a play. There were wonderful fireworks.
At about 13 I had a lot of doubts and questions about Christianity and God, mainly the fundamentalist local churches and TLWC. This did not go over well with my parents. At 15 I graduated early from my hell of a local private Baptist school. MY parents sent me to San Diego when I was 15, 2001 to help save me. They had never been and knew no one in San Diego. Dempster said to go and I was sent.
I am not sure if I stayed 3 or 6 months, contradictions my memory of 3 months from my mother bragging about my 6 months mission trip. I was there at 9/11. Lots of violent prophecies and excuses for Marilyn and Gary not predicting 9/11. The border was closed and remained difficult to navigate.
San Diego was going through the Elijah/Elisha movement. I was considered for getting an Elijah but they decided my parents needed to assign an Elijah. I stayed with a foster family. They had a fig tree and avocado tree, 1 child around my age. I worked at the school filing papers and doing odd jobs. I was with an adult almost constantly. Once I went for a walk and they panicked and cam chasing after me.
I eventually drank the CoolAid sufficient to satisfy the church leaders and was sent home. I came out of that state a month or 2 later and refused to have anything to do with TLWC.
I would like to hear from anyone in the late 90s to early 2000s involved in Shiloh, the DC church, or San Diego. I want to know names of leaders so I can research further.
I was not sexually or physically abused, but being bent into submission and other brain washing was very painful and had long lasting effects on my life. I would like some type of closure and I think knowing more would help.