Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: February 10, 2020 08:37AM


I happened to be there on the spot when the accident occurred, took off my shirt and helped wrap it around the injury, and let Simon drive (name withheld) to the ER in Iowa City. I have no idea who foot the bill, but the recovery period was half of what the doctors first estimated. (We were all in our 20s back then and could heal a lot faster than we can these days.)

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: February 10, 2020 02:39PM

Post by 'paleface' from December of 2015 ('upward flow' in practice):

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: paleface
Date: December 02, 2015 09:15AM

Let’s not forget how good it can get to be a LW pastor. A few years ago a pastor bought a fixer-upper house. While drawing a full-time salary from the local church, he was able to work on the house during the week and do the church business on the weekend. That’s a pretty good arrangement, if you ask me. And Saturdays were often spent as a “work day” with a lot of the church members coming over to work on that house. Church members were not required to participate in these work days. But you know how it goes: if you want to stay in good standing with the church “in-crowd", you gotta go to the Saturday work days. Regardless of where they are. That pastor recently sold that house, I hear. Probably made a good profit on it. I guess that is the real “school of profits”. Too bad those resources couldn’t have been spent on someone in real need. But you know the LW. Their motto is: “It’s good to be the king.”

Post by 'pbxguy' also from December of 2015, referencing the storied sawmill:

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: pbxguy
Date: December 02, 2015 10:04AM

I was just remembering the fans in the sawmill that were run all day with the aim of keeping the flies off the workers. They were 4' diameter with 2' blades. No fan guards. Every now and then, we would notice the fan oscillating wildly and run to turn it off, noticing it had lost a blade. We would find the blade stuck in the wall inches from where someone was working. "The Elders" would praise God for the miracle of saving his "little ones" from harm. Geez.

I think it is of mild interest that back in the day, I would have stepped in front of bullets for JRS et al. (or fan blades). These days, the very notion of why someone would want to belong to a cult is a mystery to me. Funny how the passage of time changes our view of life.

I remain hopeful that after the death of Marilyn, a few will abandon the cool-aid and find their way to a more autonomous way of life.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: February 10, 2020 06:39PM


paleface -- “It’s good to be the king.”

With all the 'words' over the years regarding 'position thinking', nobody disregarded them more than those in important positions. Not only that, they perfected abusing those positions at the expense of the 'faithful'--those who showed up to 'serve for free'. It's good to be king.

pbxguy -- "I remain hopeful that after the death of Marilyn, a few will abandon the cool-aid and find their way to a more autonomous way of life."

Not being around when The Lamp went out, I don't remember hearing about any significant exodus from the fellowship.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: typer ()
Date: February 11, 2020 12:34AM

In reference to KBoys sawmill experience and mine which follows:

They put me in the sawmill during the winter of 1976 after helping put up sheet rock in the warm 1976 summer months. My experience with injury there is as follows and pales compared to what some others experienced. After I left the sawmill in the summer of 1977 to work in the LA printing, I heard the story of the person who had his arm cut off at the sawmill (or almost severed) and surgeons in Iowa City being able to reattach it. The microsurgeons must have been very skilled. The name Jeff Conradi comes to mind, not sure if he was the victim. The LA church said a couple of prayers for him if I remember, but of course the violent intense intercession was reserved for JRS.

I normally spent my day at the sawmill on the nail machine making pallets, working with Simon Nisely. We put the pallet together and aligned it to a machine that drove the nails through the boards, then hammered in any nails that didn't go in all the way, flipped it over and did the same thing on the second side; then stacked the pallets to be put on a flat bed truck for delivery. They were made of oak, much heavier than pine and harder for the nails to penetrate.

As I worked with Simon, (wonderful person to be with), I noticed he had about one and 1/2 fingers missing. Then when I stared off to the right, I could see John Nisely sawing huge trees that went through a blade about as tall as John. He was so close to the blade, I worried he might slip and fall into the blade, which would have been the end of him. I noticed he had a thumb and couple of fingers missing on one hand (if I remember correctly). I was told John and Simon had both worked at the sawmill even as young boys and those accidents had occurred along the way as part of their learning process, I suppose, to respect deadly unforgiving saws.

Any way, one cold winter morning, the person that was assigned to the cutoff saw in the lower saw mill was sick, and I was asked to take his spot for the day. The saw spun with very high RPMs from a long horizontal bar attached to the blade. I was told to be very careful because there was no guard over the fast spinning bar. I wore two pair of very thick gloves that day as it was very cold. As I cut end pieces, a taller piece came through than normal, which put my hand up higher on the handle holding the blade and put it much closer to the spinning bar as I cut through the wood. Well, the top of my hand touched that bar, ripped the two pair of gloves off my hand, and threw them about 20 feet. I next noticed the top of my hand was white as snow with a big dip in it. There was absolutely no blood, but I was looking at my tendon, which I did not know was pure white. I don't remember all the details that followed, but I went to Dan Nisely about what to do next. I found out later, there was no blood because the removed flesh was between blood vessels which was unusual.

Dan told me he did not believe in doctors (he was Amish) and to believe God to heal it. Well, I think I washed it out in the bathroom at Shiloh and put a big bandaid on it. For some reason the injury didn't have sharp pain, just dull pain. When I went to bed, it hurt way more when I didn't keep my arm elevated, then I went to sleep. I woke up about 1 a.m. and my whole arm was throbbing. I noticed my hand was swollen all the way up to my elbow. I restlessly went back to sleep and in the morning when I woke my arm was swollen to my shoulder. I don't remember all the details exactly, but I was told to go see Jonie Rogness, who was a nurse. I don't know where she lived, but she met me and took me to a room at Shilo that was like a nurse's office. When she saw my hand and arm she cleaned the wound further, and told me to have one of the sawmill guys immediately drive me to the Iowa City emergency room. She said she thought I might have blood poisoning. Later I heard she really yelled at Dan Nisely for not having me see a doctor right away.

Well, when I got to the ER, the doctor immediately cleaned the wound and gave me a couple antibiotic shots (& tetanus). He said I did have blood poisoning and it was approaching my heart. If I remember correctly, he told me I probably would have died if it had reached my heart. He also said I was close to needing a microsurgeon because of the tendon damage, but it was not severed and I was very lucky. My gloves probably saved my hand. I'm glad my hand was saved, because I was a typesetter after I went to LA later and I have always loved to type, hence the name typer.

I think I got a couple days off after I got back to the Shilo building before going back to work at the sawmill but don't remember if I did.

Dan Nisely and John Bender were always very nice to me at the sawmill, I believe they were both Amish. I guess Amish don't like doctors much. I hope they amended those attitudes in their later years.

for e bar

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: typer ()
Date: February 11, 2020 12:47AM

I have a round scar on the top of my left hand that looks like a silver dollar, kind of cute. Well, after 43 years, it is now pretty faded, so not that noticeable.

If anyone sees it, they may figure out who typer is. If they do know, that's OK with me. It is nice not having to be too secretive any more; especially since we have no evil secrets to hide, just secretive things that have been done to us, not from us. The only reason I believe some of us stay secret is to protect ourselves from further hurt; but the hurters (perpetrators) secrets are kept to conceal their guilt and to keep them from being punished for their crimes.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: February 11, 2020 01:13AM


Big W O W ! As one who is not even in the medical profession, as soon as you mentioned the swelling, I knew it was probably blood-poisoning. You were very lucky.

Dan operated(s) out of a paradigm that dismisses many conventions of modern society, for which there are plenty of justifications. (The opioid epidemic immediately comes to mind.) I, like yourself, would not attribute any nefarious intent, but he was completely unqualified to make a medical assessment of your situation. I can understand Jodie Rogness' displeasure with him.

Many ventures back in the 70s operated under the radar and were not monitored by government oversight. One of the biggest violations was the lack of 'manditory reporting' of abusive situations. Thinking we were God's gift to the 'kingdom' and therefore above the law, we operated accordingly.

All those chickens are now coming home to roost. We are glad more sane minds prevailed and had you high-tail it to the ER before possibly landing in the Stonehenge Cemetery at Shiloh.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: NancyB ()
Date: February 11, 2020 02:06AM

Typer, I am so glad the nurse sent you in the ER in time.
John Bender and Dan Nisley's families were very dear friends of my family - I miss them. It is nice to read about them. Those two families were very progressive compared to the old order Amish in the Kalona community. Not getting medical care is the way they knew. Old Order Amish do not have phones, nor cars nor the money to pay medical bills. The local doctors will work with their belief systems and finances respectfully. There is a fear of things they do not know - which makes sense - that is accepted in that area as religious.

Most older folks have little experience with going to a doctor - they get by. 20-year-old males generally have no experience with when to get medical help. As employers, they had a responsibility to have safety signs from OSHA posted and all things safe for the employees and be given proper training. That is the law! they should have had a plan for emergencies as well. ( I encourage anyone who worked at the mill to look up OSHA requirements as a baseline. It will horrify you. Maybe consider calling OSHA after the fact to ask questions.)

Typer, again, I am so glad the nurse sent you in the ER in time. A bad outcome historically would have been labeled as "assault" without taking any responsibility for failure to protect you and the others. This is serious. I never knew how they got by this is other than they tried to hide it within the Amish community. I am not certain how that worked since the Amish community is protected under religion.

While on the subject of getting medical care JRS and the other leaders did not grow up the old order Amish -they should have known better. But time and time again tlw "practiced" out of their scope of practice. JRS license was to preach and marry- not give medical advice nor legal advice nor psych counsel. who knows if any of the Bro had licenses to be a pastor?
( If anyone can think back to when Marilyn had you taking victims that may have crossed the legal lines of prescribing, treating and diagnosing.)

Time and time again, the people were told to seek counsel from leadership for issues that the leadership had no authority to make decisions on- such as medical. I defied the"living word" over and over and saved lives in doing so. I was an RN. I know other RN's had butted heads with leadership over medical issues. What is wrong in the picture?

I often had arguments with JRS when I spent some time with Shiloh over safety issues for the children at Shiloh that I saw in only a short time and I was recovering from an illness. (I know for a fact that Wash county pubic health had serious concerns out at Shiloh over some incidents which I am not at liberty to break confidentiality and HIPPA unless called in to testify after decades. In my jobs, I had a close working relationship with Public health in that county. I had warned JRS, unofficially, that things had to be fixed and up to standards. The responses were "You are bitter."

I recall when the church in the Valley was being built that there were standard codes that delayed the progress. JRS came to Wash telling about the"assault of the enemy" over not passing inspection. To me, IMO, JRS was notorious for disrespecting city and state codes. "Under grace" should not apply when it comes to the safety fo the people.

My "bad spirit" coming through. I apologize for still feeling desperate to get someone to listen.

In Anaheim, I butted heads with the Bro, as well as my husband and my father in law a leader over medical issues and safety for the children and more- All that was my educated expertise. Bluntly- they, were just plain stupid trying to appear spiritual and full of faith when they were full of something else.

One huge example of not avoiding using the right channels is that JRS could have had proper medical care to treat his cancer. Going to Mexico to the same clinic for laetral as Steve McQueen who died of cancer and my mother in law who also went for laetrel also died -not cured died before JRS did in 1981. I think you can google Steve McQueen's news reports on that.

Does anyone else question Marilyn's revelation and love for John?

Disclaimer: I can not give medical advice. I am only trying to convey briefly from my memory the issues I had witnessed. PM if anyone needs a witness for the '70s in Washington county. I may or may not be able to help. I am not a lawyer. Consider calling up the county attorney for a referral to see if you can offer anything or files after the fact charges.

My guess is that TLW wanted to keep us as isolated as the Amish community. they never wanted the legal authorities snooping around is why they did not want any info to get out. Does that make any sense now after the fact?

I would think that any information, including documented injuries, would help our overall claims that may or may not include where the funds for the sale of Shiloh will go to. (I'm not a lawyer.)

I am sick to my stomach and deep in my heart about the neglect that happened at the sawmill.

I hope that someone is helped by yet another verbose desperate rant with a ton of things to consider. I hope we all find peaceful closure.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: February 11, 2020 03:08AM

You've been through some horror, typer. Glad you're still here...and not just for the stories that you now have to share. You have a combination of kindness and common sense...which to some people, might appear demonic. Not to me, though. Thank you again for continuing to participate in this forum.
p.s. so fortunate you never lost any of your fingers. It would be sad to read one of your posts under a username like 'missing2digits' :)

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: February 11, 2020 03:32AM

This post from August of 2014. My experience pales in comparison to what typer went through, but I'll share it anyway:

Posted by: changedagain
Date: August 05, 2014 12:42PM

paleface wrote:
> Here's an odd question: have any of you ever been
> held or detained on Living Word property (or at a
> communal home) against your will? Where you
> wanted to leave, but were not allowed to?

> A cult seldom controls its member by using
> physical coercion.

The psychological manipulation from the pulpit was very powerful. I recall going to Shiloh one summer (early 90's) to help with a construction project. The week before going I had a job-related accident, ending up with a deep gash in my shin, which became infected. Since I didn't have health insurance (self-employed), I opted to just believe everything would be fine. The 'living word' message the night before I arrived at Shiloh had to do with God's intent to start 'amputating' members of the body for their disobedience. Needless to say, with this in mind, I wasn't motivated to reveal the condition with my leg...which had worsened. After I completed the work expected of me (a week or so later), I convinced someone not in authority to take me to a doctor nearby--which he did. The doctor agreed to treat me (at no charge), and stayed the infection.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: NancyB ()
Date: February 11, 2020 05:33AM

OMG! these horrific stories are building. Glad you are OK.

I don't know if I ever answered if I was ever detained or not. I felt like I was.

in the late '70s, I worked my nurse jobs while my husband worked kingdom biz, basically cause no one else would hire him-, sorry to say.
I worked 2 jobs. One main one was graveyard shift- 11 days on 1 day off work one then 2 days off. I got exhausted plus I was being lied to and something was going on with my kids when I was not home.

I was getting no sleep already but was expected to be at Shiloh for services. I got so I could not stop crying. My local doc sent me to Iowa City for 'sleep therapy. However...

someone must have coached my late ex who was opposed to getting me any medical care, told the medical staff a bunch of bull shit. I got a hefty psych diagnosis for something I never had. I was given meds I should have never had. I finally got that bad diagnosis ruled out. The long term problem was that the wrong dx and wrong rx caused otherlong term health issues. Of course i was "crazy".
Had I been allowed to continue with proper medical treatment it would have been in my best interest. But, my father-in-law had my husband house me at Shiloh.

I was watched closely as I should have been, by very loving and kind ladies who had no idea of what was really going on. I was gaslighted, as we all know now. how that was happening. My kids went to stay with someone and were sent out to the school but I rarely saw them.

I wanted to go home. But, no I was not allowed to. I knew they wanted to keep my mouth shut. My nursing supervisor had already been out there to see some of "our" patients. That is a confidential issue.

I was never allowed to go to the doctor to complete proper treatment nor get medication straightened out. For a while, I slept /was drugged on meds I should not have been on.
I actually tried to walk off the property to get out of there. A search party was sent after me.

I saw too much and tried to fix it. I was in an akward position knowing what public health and my job supervisor was having to do-JRS did not want health officials involved in anything with any Shiloh member. Trust me I knew too much and I had been grilled by health officials before my "breakdown" on a number of families who got medical care. I did not snitch. They simply knew where I went to church and I had a legal obligation.

My husband, who I did not trust, and I got sent to Anaheim. I was allowed to see dr O'Connor. I wanted my kids back so I did what I was told.

While I was at Shiloh watched by the nurses and a few other kind souls I was still under "heavy guard". Yes, I was foggy as long as I took the wrong meds.

Mine is a crazy story that only ex tlwfers would grasp -sort of. I know that I should have had real medical support and even socail work with the issues I was concerned about- validated now. But JRS, and my father-in-law kept me at Shiloh.

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