Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: January 17, 2022 11:50AM

Reep wrote:
Nephilim spirits attacking children through the toilets is a new one on me.

Yeah, it sounds too bizarre for even JRS to come up with...and that's saying something!

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: January 17, 2022 10:12PM

found a way out...

Posted by: TheycalledmeJonah
Date: January 05, 2018 06:10AM

Hey All,

I've been a lurker for many months now, and I finally got an account. I'm hoping I can add a bit to the conversation since I have only very recently left the church. In fact, this Sunday will be my first time going to a non-TLWF church on my own accord. I am a young man in my mid 20's who has attended Shiloh for the last 8 years and also attended the church recently opened in North Libery, IA.

I was born into the church in San Diego, and moved to Shiloh when I was 17. I finished up my last year of High School at Midprairie in Wellman, IA right next to Kalona. I've really appreciated being able to read all of your posts here. It really helped open my eyes to things that non of the congregants ever hear - The faults of the leadership.

As I grew up in the Shiloh church from a teenager to an adult, I would spend a lot of my time helping out with maintenance, music, and other work day activities. I would talk to Craig and Phyllis about things in my life and they would give their "input." A lot of the time, I would disagree with their input and end up doing it anyway because I was out here in Iowa alone, away from my family. They were really the closest thing to family I had for a while. If I disagreed with them, I was afraid that I would lose that sort of closeness.

Submitting relationships was really hard for me. I would talk to them if I wanted to take someone out on a date and they would say "Sure go out and have fun, but just stay friends." I would "hang out" with a person for months on end without it ever going anywhere because I would "Keep it just friends" until I lost interest in them and cut it off. That was always super unnatural. Luckily, I met my current girlfriend 9 months ago (when I was still attending Shiloh) and decided not to submit it, and she is amazing!

Also, sorry if this seems like rambling (it is)

This last summer I was already super burnt out with Shiloh because they had things going on at Shiloh constantly and I didn't have time to go do fun stuff that I wanted to do. There has been a lot of work on the Shiloh Cemetery (which is now called the Memorial Park). I'd get asked constantly to work all day on a Saturday and you say yes, because you don't feel the freedom to say no, even when pastors and leaders are constantly saying "Don't do anything if you feel obligated."

I know this complaint may bounce right off you all here because I know that the working conditions that you all experienced was probably much more severe.

I also started to wake up to the fact that I had a lot of differences in opinion than the majority of the church. The church is strictly conservative, and I have primarily democratic beliefs. I laugh every time I remember when Craig said in front of the church,

"Trump announced that today is the national day of prayer. You can say what you want about the guy, but when something happens, he turns to prayer"

Thats such obvious bullshit, I can't believe he fell for that. Obvious PR move.

Also, this last summer camp, Gary H brought a word where he talks about how he is not ready to drink the cup that sits before him. He spoke about how Jesus was able to drink the cup that the Lord put before him, but Gary was not ready. Then at a shabbat the following Friday, everyone was prophecying things like "We prophecy we drink the cup! We are ready to drink the cup!" and I was stunned. I looked around the room and thought "Did anyone listen to anything Gary said? He said he wasn't ready... why are you saying the things that you're saying? Do you even know what you're saying?"

I'm going to keep rambling on...

Another motive for me to not be associated with this church was the thing of control...

I was talking to Craig about a band that I was going to start playing with, and he said "Don't tell me you're gonna go out and become a fucking musician. That's not who you are." This really fucked with me. He obviously didn't want me spending time outside of Shiloh.

Anyway, I moved away from Kalona in October to Coralville, which is closer to my job, and further away from Shiloh. I feel so free, but I'm having to make some new friends because I just don't see the other ones who are in the church as much.

If any of you want to know about anyone or anything in the modern TLWF churches, feel free to ask.


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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Reepicheep ()
Date: January 18, 2022 12:20AM

"There has been a lot of work on the Shiloh Cemetery (which is now called the Memorial Park). I'd get asked constantly to work all day on a Saturday and you say yes, because you don't feel the freedom to say no, even when pastors and leaders are constantly saying 'Don't do anything if you feel obligated.'"

That right there. Not only were we made to feel obligated to donate so much of our time, but we were also obligated to control our thoughts and feelings. You couldn't win for losing. You'd work yourself to death for weeks or months. Then when you inevitably felt angry or conflicted, you would start beating yourself up for "having a wrong spirit". These mind games and tricks perpetrated on us by JRS and later G&M were an integral part of the whole hoax of TLWF.

P.S. I hope that Jonah is doing great. :)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/2022 12:21AM by Reepicheep.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: January 18, 2022 01:01AM

Well said, Reep. Reluctantly, I have to admit that JRS and G & M conducted a master class in mindfuckery.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: January 18, 2022 01:22AM

The 'duping' thread from May of 2018:

Posted by: GoingRogue
Date: May 25, 2018 07:01AM

Puddington and Onion, in my experience, the lying and tricking people was a common occurrence in the LW. The biggest concern of the top leaders (G&M and JRS) in such instances was for themselves and their reputation. Many casualties seem to have been considered "collateral damage", as has been mentioned before.

Posted by: Onion
Date: May 26, 2018 09:06AM

The "duping" had layers. First was Stevens duping the girl. Then it was Stevens and the girl duping the guy who married her. Twenty years later when the duping was exposed to the duped husband and thereafter he and the Hargraves keeping the secret and thus duping the entire church and public. And the Hargraves thereby duping the guy again because in my opinion the only purpose was protecting the position of their no-talent offspring.

This isn't about a human nature mistake by having a love affair, this is well thought out, carefully planned ongoing intentional acts of duping or, as in my opinion, intentional fraud.

Posted by: changedagain
Date: May 26, 2018 09:30AM

That's a lot of duping, but if anyone was capable of successfully carrying it out, it would be the Hargraves. Calculated, cunning and ruthless...such admirable qualities (not).
BTW, I recall at the last shepherd's conference I attended (Palmer Lake, '97), Hargrave stating unequivocally to the gathering that he did not have a daughter. I didn't know what to make of this statement--take it literally (his wife had an affair, and it wasn't his biological child), or perhaps spiritually (true sons and daughters are born of the spirit, not flesh). Of course, I knew it wasn't something you dare question him about. Just believe whatever comes out of his mouth. That was the policy, and you don't retain your meaningless position without adhering to this policy.

p.s. I suspect you won't provide the methods (assuming you know) of how John and later G & M managed to do so much effective duping, lest you potentially reveal your identity, but it sure would illuminating to the naïve (which I certainly count myself as one--at least during that time period).

Posted by: puddington
Date: May 26, 2018 10:37AM

I guess one could say that Gary is a super-duper leader.

Posted by: GoingRogue ()
Date: May 26, 2018 07:45PM

IMO, J&M were the original Super Dooper Dupers. G has taken up their mantle of lies and deceit.

Posted by: changedagain
Date: May 27, 2018 01:48PM

Alexa...what is a party duper?

A person who sends out invitations to a party that never takes place.

Thanks Alexa. I've been to a few of those!

Posted by: GSchaeff
Date: May 27, 2018 03:02PM

That's funny, Changedagain. We always called that a snipe hunt, which is a practical joke where someone invites you to start a church somewhere. You break your back to find a location, get people to attend, finish your Master's in Divinity, and then watch as G&M handpick the son of somebody more connected than you to pastor it. Afterward, everyone gets a good laugh and you get to repent for your position thinking.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Reepicheep ()
Date: January 20, 2022 12:52PM

Here is an interesting post from the day after Shalom made her historic FB post (which immediately went viral). Fromsouthchicago identified himself as Marilyn's cousin.


Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: fromsouthchicago ()
Date: October 26, 2018 08:46AM

I think it's important for all of you to read this to understand who and what you've been dealing with all of these years. This is from Wikipedia but extracted directly from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5 for Anti-social personality otherwise known as a sociopath:


Some excerpts:

A. Significant impairments in personality functioning manifest by:

1. Impairments in self functioning (a or b):

a.Identity: Ego-centrism; self-esteem derived from personal gain, power, or pleasure.
b.Self-direction: Goal-setting based on personal gratification; absence of prosocial internal standards associated with failure to conform to lawful or culturally normative ethical behavior.

2. Impairments in interpersonal functioning (a or b):

a. Empathy: Lack of concern for feelings, needs, or suffering of others; lack of remorse after hurting or mistreating another.
b. Intimacy: Incapacity for mutually intimate relationships, as exploitation is a primary means of relating to others, including by deceit and coercion; use of dominance or intimidation to control others.

B. Pathological personality traits in the following domains:

Antagonism, characterized by:

a. Manipulativeness: Frequent use of subterfuge to influence or control others; use of seduction, charm, glibness, or ingratiation to achieve one's ends.
b. Deceitfulness: Dishonesty and fraudulence; misrepresentation of self; embellishment or fabrication when relating events.
c. Callousness: Lack of concern for feelings or problems of others; lack of guilt or remorse about the negative or harmful effects of one's actions on others; aggression; sadism.
d. Hostility: Persistent or frequent angry feelings; anger or irritability in response to minor slights and insults; mean, nasty, or vengeful behavior.[/i]

When I said that Cousin Marilyn was a textbook example of a sociopath, I meant it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/20/2022 01:06PM by Reepicheep.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: January 23, 2022 12:12AM

Top 5 horror movies, in no particular order:

The Exorcist
The Shining
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Cousin Marilyn


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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: January 30, 2022 01:27AM

A few posts from April of 2019:

Posted by: Onion
Date: April 26, 2019 06:22AM


If I had seen this earlier than when I first started reading and posting (one year ago) it would have hastened my departure from the cult.

The stories I have heard of the various ministers' ouster from the walk/cult have deeply imprinted on my heart a determination never to listen to someone's demand to shun or ignore another human being. The mean streak that developed in the leaders, the mean streak formed, fed and encouraged by Marilyn Hargrave and Gary Hargrave directly just appalls me. If the church had been allowed to continue on the course it was on, there is no telling where it would have taken people and apparently will take those who have determined to stay loyal at all costs. Horrifying.

The horror stories are too numerous to list -- and each of them should have been a huge signal to people to run for their lives. I hope more people see the signals and can yet escape into freedom.

Forgiveness. Always demanded but never shown. I watched "The Forgiven" a movie about Bishop Tutu in Africa at the end of Apartheid. It talks about amnesty, forgiveness and freedom. Bishop Tutu explains clearly the confession in detail for the wrongs done that is required before there can be amnesty and even then freedom from prison is not a guarantee. The leaders trying to keep congregants trapped on their sinking ships should watch that movie and take note. Much more is required of those who harmed people just because they could, before there should be any sermons on forgiveness.

Posted by: Reepicheep
Date: April 26, 2019 11:22PM

So true, Onion. No automatic forgiveness should be expected or demanded for leaders who have never so much as apologized. When have they cared for anyone who couldn't give them something? When have they repented for pieces of our souls stolen over time? It is too soon to forget. People are still being hurt and need to know the truth.

More about the pressure on victims to forgive from The Daily Beast

"One particularly troubling example of this pressure comes from the published guidelines of the Advanced Training Institute (a Christian curriculum TLC’s Duggar family used to homeschool their children) for addressing sexual abuse in the home. It explicitly requires child victims to forgive their abusers in a 10-step process that includes first looking for guilt in oneself (“Why did God let it happen? Result of defrauding by: immodest dress, indecent exposure, being out from protection of our parents, being with evil friends?”).

"The problem isn’t just that these manuals explicitly invite victims to blame themselves, the problem is that it creates a cavalier expectation of forgiveness. It is easy to see how a family reared on these manuals would urge its young women to publicly forgive their abuser. In a culture that values forgiveness, condemnation awaits those who refrain. Our language mirrors the subtle religious rhetoric: to be “unforgiving” is to be harsh, judgmental, and lacking in compassion. The common understanding of forgiveness fails to recognize how much work and time is involved in genuine forgiveness."

Good job, TLWF. After more than sixty years in existence, you have attained the same high level of teaching as the group mentioned above. True forgiveness is not automatic and should never be demanded from victims.

Posted by: changedagain
Date: April 27, 2019 12:56AM

Yes, we were groomed from the onset by John's "Word" to emphasize being forgiving and "broken"--and with that proper attitude God would work everything out for us. One of the go-to scriptures to back up this theme was Roman 8:28
It provided a cover for John and later G & M to never have to specifically acknowledge their wrongdoing before the congregation. In the 70's, under John's reign, rather than acknowledge his role in the mine debacle (in which members of the congregation lost hundred of thousands of dollars), or be honest about his womanizing, and assorted other things, he instead put the focus on the 'Pharisaical spirit' on those who attempted to call him to account. Many of his messages served to deflect. I recall specifically one that involved King David, his sleeping with a married woman (Bathsheba), and later arranging the death of her husband. After Nathan confronted him, David 'repented'...and although there were consequences to his actions (the death of the child he fathered through Bathsheba strangely being one of them), the bigger point (according to John) was that God looked with favor upon him because of his "broken spirit"
(Psalm 51).
The other point John would make with this story was that this transgression happened when David should have been out fighting battles with his army. So that tied into avoiding sin since you're busy doing God's work. In John's case preaching the Word, and praying. To the congregation-- interceding for John, tithing, maintaining church facilities, cleaning the pastor's homes etc.
Anyway, it's no surprise that since the recent allegations of sexual abuse vs. Rick have gone public, there have been loyalists using the King David story in an attempt to create sympathy for him. "Hey, God forgave David, why can't you let this go? God can't bless you if you're not forgiving" I have no idea how Rick became conflated with this storied biblical figure, but I suppose that is beside the point. Perhaps if I read scripture more often I would be familiar with the verse about David & his shiny red golf cart going into battle.

Posted by: GSchaeff

For any new visitors to this forum, one thought I'd like to dispel is that this type of abuse being uncovered is unique to R Holbrook, or that it has not been prevalent in TLW from the very beginning. If anything, R Holbrook had a textbook example of sexual exploitation in his stepfather, JRS. There are numerous alleged accounts on this forum of JRS pervasively abusing the trust and devotion his congregants placed in him by influencing young women to have sexual affairs with him.

John's extremely selfish and abusive behavior likely dates back as far as 1967, when romantic letters exchanged between him and a deacon's wife corroborated claims that they were intimately involved. This is widely believed to have contributed to "the split of 1967" as documented in Woodrow Nichol's book on TLW. It's presumed that those letters have been destroyed, as TLWF has been known to do (Example: [])

There is also considerable evidence that John began an affair with Marilyn Cleland in the 1960s. This would have been approximately 10 years before he finally divorced Martha Stevens, with whom he had two daughters.

Around 1975, John allegedly fathered a child with another Blix girl. There are numerous instances on this forum of posters individually corroborating this claim.

There are at least three other women JRS is believed to have had affairs with in the 1960s and 70s. There are dozens of accounts of him silencing individuals who would speak up about leaders who preyed on congregants.

These accounts are likely a surprise to many, but in the wake of recently discovering how easily this type of behavior from R Holbrook was covered up by numerous leaders for over two decades, it begs the question as to how accurate these other accounts were. Certainly they deserve a better answer than, "Don't ask those questions," or "You should repent for not having a revelation of John."

We know for certain that John Robert Stevens arranged numerous marriages between his congregants, consolidated millions of dollars worth of church assets solely under his name, dined almost exclusively at fancy restaurants with multiple credit cards from Kingdom Businesses, was involved in a silver mine Ponzi scheme, and, above all, JRS preached a toxic message of total submission and unquestioning loyalty to abusive deacons whom he placed over the lives of others. He demanded this of his congregants as they abandoned their jobs, joined communal homes, moved across the country, worked 80-hour weeks performing unskilled manual labor, and donated almost all of their earnings to the church. It's time that we stop deifying JRS and apply a little more scrutiny to what his true motivations often were: vanity and greed at the expense of those who trusted him.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Reepicheep ()
Date: January 31, 2022 01:30AM


This thread you reposted is pure gold. Our own kind of hidden treasure.

Another detail about John and his wife, Martha, was that all during the sixties and seventies JRS had "intercessors" praying for her death. At the same time, he was disgracing himself by seducing various women in the church. Martha finally divorced him. He wouldn't divorce her because oddly enough, THAT would discredit his ministry. You can't even make this stuff up.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/2022 01:34AM by Reepicheep.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: shamrock ()
Date: January 31, 2022 11:06PM

I've been "slain in the spirit" by Gary, also by Mahesh. It's probably got a lot to do with the 4 hr worship service that precluded it. I sobbed uncontrollably, some people went into laughing fits. All of us had our faith in Gary's word strengthened by the emotional bliss we experienced.

Slain in the spirit ... or hypnotized? You be the judge:


Charles Parham (1873-1929), together with William J. Seymour, was one of the two central figures in the development and early spread of Pentecostalism. He later became disillusioned. His observations are reproduced in Sarah E. Parham's The Life of Charles F. Parham, Founder of the Apostolic Faith Movement.

"I sat on the platform in Azusa Street Mission, and saw manifestations of the flesh, spiritualistic controls, saw people practicing hypnotism at the altar ..." (p. 163).

"Let me speak plainly with regard to the work as I have found it here. I found hypnotic influences, familiar-spirit influences, spiritualistic influences, mesmeric influences, and all kinds of spells, spasms, falling in trances, etc." (p. 168).

"The falling under the power in Los Angeles has, to a large degree, been produced through a hypnotic, mesmeric, magnetic current" (p. 169).


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