Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: December 11, 2019 09:07PM
Hello dear people, I woke up with with newer puzzle pieces on my mind that relate to the threads on Rick Holbrook 'having been molested'. That does not surprise me at all.
I can have empathy for any child being a victim.* As an adult there is no excuse for him to do what he has done. There is also no excuse for his mother and his step fathers to cover for him. ( I got that out of the way - please bear with me...) JRS and Marilyn created and enabled a very sick person.
I absolutely understand any reaction that sheds no 'boo-hoo's for Rick. However this needs to be explored back to the roots as all of us have suffered form the rotten to core from the beginning, but, we were not aware of the when the first seeds were planted.
When I started posting on forums or private pages I had blurted out many things that may not have been as relevant simply because I have memories back to 1957 with the Stevens family and the church - pre-Walk. The atrocities did not begin with The Walk nor the ground breaking of Shiloh. Certainly, JRS has lofty aspirations that did not line up with his father's humble church' s mission.
Looking back I believe that the major 'criminal' changes happened in South Gate and the Valley during the time of the 'witch incidents" and when Marilyn became church secretary. ( I only visited CA when I was 15, 16, 17, and lived there when I was 18 to 19, then later in my late 20's to mid 30's.
I saw enough to be disturbing to a naive Iowa girl. I did not have the cognitive maturity to understand the things I witnessed at the time.
My goal in this post is to try to dig up the fact that there were so many behaving badly in the early days of this cult. Iowans tended to excuse it as the eccentricity of LA, I suppose.
Some of us have questioned Wayne Barton's role in Rick's early grooming. I have no doubt of that based on my first hand knowledge of Barton. I also know that Barton was instrumental in certain male youths perverted acts that I found out about in the early 70's. ( Beyond my comprehension at that time.) A number of these teen age boys were know as John's boys but I can't recall the term that was used. a number were ordained in order to avoid the draft. ( I do know that there were a few good men to come out of this group that are still around. these men would have far more accurate insight on this group of boys if they would please come forward. It does matter.)
One of the strongest images that haunted me for 50 years was seeing this little boy running around the pews in the Valley with the teen boys. I was told it was Marilyn's son. ( I did not like the bossy woman to begin with.) I did not understand how M and JRS could allow horse play in the sanctuary and the rough house touching the teens were doing to the boy. I can't recall anything specific except it seemed so extremely wrong and no adult stopped it. ( JRS did not set limits. M did not set limits.)
In my historical mind I believe that I trusted JRS so much that I excused him. I suppose even the adults excused him. We now know that JRS had many out of marriage sexual encounters as a fact.
Recently, some disgusting wrong doings by JRS have been shared privately... then it clicked in my head - see how long it is taking me to process in my post?
In the '80's Brenda P revealed to a group of couples having marital issues that we "are all products of an alcoholic 'father" JRS". This dysfunctional has been more far reaching. We all enabled, with out realizing it, heinous crimes ; fraud even beyond just being a 'cult". We were all manipulated by alcoholics and sexual predators. It is painful to open our eyes to accept that, I know. As long as I have been working it out, the depth of the problems is overwhelming to process.
I knew it - but I have not been able to process the depth of what JRS and M did that enabled the monsters in the "kingdom". The serial sexual abuses were not isolated nor limited to only a few men. it was rampant and apparently condoned by JRS. I have to wonder if JRS himself groomed Rick???
My question is not known as a fact at this time. I simply think we need to explore the roots as this seems to me that the crime of exploiting women and children may have been more highly organized from the '60's than we realized. JRS was the king pin as he plagiarized the Living Word Kingdom.
If my conjecture is even close there will be many more loyal people having flash backs that had dismissed in the name of being "obedient to the Living Word". Please stop dismissing flash backs as "assault" You can think for yourself.
For those who only read this forum and have been loyal to TLWF, I believe it is because of the kind, and loving personal relationship "we" have with good people- not the word from charlatans. ( I miss my old friends - I still love you .) I suggest to those only reading these pages and still think we are 'not telling the truth', to write down any odd flashes of times when you felt: dirty; uncomfortable with suggestive comments or inappropriate touching; something that lingers in your head that did not seem right ; or . Just write it down and put it in a safe place.
I believe when you have enough little puzzle pieces from your memories it will all become clear that the Walk was not a Walk with God under the direction of the leaders. Any relationship you had with a higher power was between you and god, the Holy Spirit, not a person claiming to be "Christ in the Flesh.