Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: February 15, 2020 10:57AM

C H A N G E D

It is interesting that this comment was posted on September 28, 2018, shortly before Shalom's disclosure.

". . . things might be coming down that would shake people's loyalty but it would only be proof that they never had a revelation."

I personally heard this 'justification' wielded at a number of our friends who decided to abandon ship long before it began to sink below the surface.

"Going back to the 70s there were dozens of accounts of financial and sexual abuse by the pastors of many of the large churches, along with mistreatment of the people."

The demographic majority back in those days was made up mostly of 20-somethings who had signed on with the 'door-opener apostle' in order to usher in the kingdom. Those not affected directly by these egregious acts were easily distracted by the narrative from the 'top' (pick your church) which was carefully controlled. (Reference NANCYb's situation previously.)

The specific perpetrators were from an older generation who had already refined their techniques within a religious context that used 'scriptural justifications' (later utilized by Rick Holbrook, 'I am John's son'.) in order to execute their desires at the expense of the sheeple.

"Marilyn had anger issues and would often lash out violently at those she felt were violating her spirit or offending her. This was interpreted as how the Lord felt about those people,"

This coming from the self-proclaimed 'lamp of Israel' who was setting the tone for the entire fellowship. This paradigm is what eventually filtered down into all the 'shepherd-training' that culminated in the damage that followed.

"For every young person who came forth as a talented and accomplished adult, there were many more who were cast aside or labeled or discarded."

This is one of the biggest tragedies of all, since it is in the days of our youth that we want the support to 'be all we can be' for everyone's benefit, instead of being met with efforts that undermine that very dynamic.

"Amazingly, Gary Hargrave has continued to promote John's vision as the plumbline for the fellowship even after he knew the background."

This is somewhat astounding in light of the fact that basically NONE of the 'visions' (fantasies?) promoted by JRS have ever come to pass. There is really not much material left to work with, which is why the perennial 'new day' (Groundhog's Day) has been continually held out like a carrot on a stick. In reality it is was just the same-old-same-old.

". . . corruption was institutionalized through the years -- which is why it's kept repeating itself."

Those held spellbound by the 'magic' of the word delivered by JRS certainly did not realize that they were simply having their 'ears tickled' (distracted) just enough to take away any focus from the 'wizard behind the curtain' and all the hypocrisy lying therein.

"I saw enough to feel that it is better to be out of there than in there."

AMEN to that.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/2020 11:00AM by kBOY.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Reepicheep ()
Date: February 15, 2020 10:29PM

Changed and kBOY, thanks for re-posting and delving into Saw Enough's thoughts from September 18, 2018. I remember hearing about JRS' "trip to the future" very well. I wouldn't learn about the circumstances surrounding his "vision" until forty-six years later, or twenty-six years after Gary and Marilyn Hargrave discovered the truth...that he had been with a young woman and that the "revelation" probably never occurred. That young woman, who was also a victim, was not his wife, Martha, nor his (as we now know) mistress, Marilyn Holbrook.

And, as if all of this knowledge isn't bad enough, added to that were the outright lies that governed JRS' direction over thousands of lives, young and old alike. Many young people lived like doomsday preppers, forgoing an education to work for Kingdom Businesses and put their meager earnings into plans for the endtime tribulation. What kind of man does this to people that he ostensibly loves and cares for? Did he believe his own lies? Highly doubtful.

What about G&M, who perpetuated the lies for their own glorification and benefit in the form of power and wealth? Is it fair for Gary to resign, retire, move on to a new ministry, or whatever euphemism he is using at present? I hope that he is held accountable.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/2020 10:36PM by Reepicheep.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: February 15, 2020 10:41PM

R E E P

It has all been a really big pill to swallow considering the 'vision' we signed up for compared to the actual facts on the ground. Every 'revelation' further dilutes the 'revelation' we thought we had.

Sadly, nothing more than a pipe-dream from the start.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: February 16, 2020 04:56AM

Reep wrote:
What about G&M, who perpetuated the lies for their own glorification and benefit in the form of power and wealth? Is it fair for Gary to resign, retire, move on to a new ministry, or whatever euphemism he is using at present? I hope that he is held accountable.

I do too. But meanwhile he is pursing, yet again, a 'higher calling'.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: NancyB ()
Date: February 16, 2020 05:27AM

Wow. We have some very potent reading here. thanks, everyone for contributing.

I believe it is important to put into to perspective the sad reality that if anyone had complained back in the '60s even, our cries would have been ignored on the social level. society failed to protect. The law failed to protect. But, Christian ethics were always there. Our 'church' should have Biblically speaking taken care of its sheep."

I gave some quotes and links below for the younger readers of this forum. These 2 links focus on sexual misconduct -s which is a powerful tool to wield for power and control over another person. It is power and control that JRS wanted when he began his "mission". His actions are not unlike all the other cult leaders and powerful people in the US and the world.
"They" take what they want and they do what they want. That is the way is was - acceptable. People rarely talked about being taken advantage of like we were. This did not make wrongful actions right.

None of our parents had a clue of what to do. None of us 20-something had enough life experience. What a perfect bunch of people for JRS to control- then M & G to take over. If not us "they" would have found victims elsewhere
.
I don't know if there would have been any recourse for anyone who went to the law decades ago once we were trapped and had wounds,

Where do we go from here? Perhaps we can help the future to learn from our past. I believe our discussions on this forum matter and will be valuable in the future.

Historically lawmakers did not recognize the problems Until 1974 or 1975. Laws currently have needed to be made or changed in order to address the crap we are trying to recover from.



Do you remember Anita Hill?

Quote
Before Anita Hill Time Magazine
n the mid-1970s, as the women’s liberation movement began to challenge a justice system — as well as a culture at large — that failed to recognize women’s consent. The campaign against sexual harassment was the natural extension of the grassroots anti-rape and anti-battering movements, which grew out of consciousness-raising sessions in which women shared personal stories and realized they were not alone in their experiences.

The phrase “sexual harassment” was coined in 1975, by a group of women at Cornell University.
By the 1920s, working women were advised to simply quit their jobs if they could not handle the inevitable sexual advances.

For decades, there were few significant changes in the ways women were treated at work. Those who complained discovered that sexually predatory behavior on the job was dismissed as trivial and harmless. Women rarely talked openly about the issue, although the situation only became more pressing as their participation in the workforce increased throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
[time.com]

Quote
Placing Childhood Sexual Abuse into Historical Perspective

Not until 1974, when Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, were states required to establish reporting requirements in suspected cases.

Sexual abuse of children is far from new.
But if the sexual abuse of minors is anything but a recent phenomenon, only intermittently has this country focused on the problem. Three conclusions grow out of the historical study of the sexual abuse of minors. The first is how slowly and unevenly American society has come to recognize the simple fact that the sexual abuse of minors is wrong and inflicts lasting trauma.

The second is that in attempting to understand the sexual abuse of minors, expert opinion has often shown more understanding for the perpetrators than the victims, overemphasizing victims’ resilience and minimizing the abusers’ responsibility and the corporate cultures and institutional arrangements that facilitate abuse.

The third key finding is that bureaucratic institutions that operate outside public scrutiny have dealt consistently with the sexual abuse by denying its reality, ignoring its existence, claiming that it is an anomaly and aberration, castigating accusers, and failing to hold perpetrators to account.

[tif.ssrc.org]

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: February 16, 2020 06:47PM

N A N C Y b

Harvey Weinstein and Jeffery Epstein notwithstanding, even with all the legislative advancements you listed, the world cannot even keep up with how technology has facilitated the explosion of the more egregious offenses of human trafficking and modern enslavement.

Until LOVE, JOY & PEACE become our LIGHT, these aberrations will continue to proliferate in darkness.

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: February 17, 2020 01:18AM

NancyB wrote:
Where do we go from here? Perhaps we can help the future to learn from our past. I believe our discussions on this forum matter and will be valuable in the future.

I believe that as well. Otherwise, I would not participate in the discussion here. As it has been said often, if you don't learn from the past, you're bound to repeat it.
Here is an excerpt of a post by 'reveal,' from September of 2018:

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: reveal
Date: September 02, 2018


TLWF uses manipulation, coercion and emotional blackmail to convince members to accept things that under normal circumstances they would find totally unacceptable. They have created a culture of fear and intimidation, in which they threaten to ostracize those who question or disparage their decisions and mandates. Brainwashing or not, TLWF exercises extreme psychological abuse and control to manipulate members into bending to their will. They deceive good people who are either too naive or too afraid to question extremely questionable behavior by leadership.

Additionally, no organization truly representative of God would do any of the following:

1. Separate people from their biological families because said families have negative opinions about the church.

2. Encourage couples to divorce when one decides to leave the church and the other does not wish to.

3. Fire longtime loyal employees and pastors who dare question anything that Rick or Gary & Marilyn does, and then withhold severance pay unless they sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Clearly, they have much to hide.

4. Command submission of every decision in people's lives to include dating, marriage, having children, where to live, what job to take, to go to University or not, etc. and if people decide not to submit these things, to at a minimum withdraw affection and ostracize them from their church family, or disparage their character, make a pariah out of them, gossip about them and accuse them of *GASP*...an independent spirit. And these are only the least of what I've seen done.

5. Demand unquestioning allegiance to the leaders and place loyalty to them above any other relationship in your life or any sense of right and wrong.

6. Protect and keep in positions of authority a leader who has perpetrated multiple acts of sexual misconduct and harassment and abused church finances for his own personal enjoyment, and expect members to just accept it, while members themselves are held to a much higher standard.

I could go on..

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: February 17, 2020 06:16AM

If it walks like a cult and talks like a cult it must be a . . .

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: February 18, 2020 08:56AM

Posts from July of 2013:

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: larry bobo
Date: July 15, 2013 07:41PM


Thank you Sierra for sharing your story. TLWF has obviously had a deep impact on your life and your overcoming is an encouragement to others. I knew your parents but was not close to them. Thanks also for your openness and honesty to share very personal areas of your life without the veil of a fictitious username - I know many others will know your family and your story will have much more impact. Many who have once belonged to TLWF and suffered in silence have started to to reach out for help - they just don't want to do it in a public forum. I'm sure you will be a help to them - especially those your age. I so agree with you - " There's a LOT of great, amazing people in the Body, so let's pray the blinders are taken off and that they see things for what they are and become set free."

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: paleface ()
Date: July 15, 2013 08:01PM


I'd like to repeat what was said before. If you leave the Living Word church and have a great life, they will say "see how easy it is to live when you leave the front line of God's army." And if you leave the church and have rough times, they will say "see what happened to him (or her) when they left the covering of divine order." See, they got you either way. It's a classic mind-control trick.

But Sierra said it well. If you leave, there will be NO LIGHTNING striking you down. In fact, a lot of us that have left have talked and traded stories. The vast majority of opinion is this: Life is great out here. It's a big, wide world and the people in it are for the most part, wonderful and loving. We do not regret leaving for one single second !!!!!!

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Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: February 18, 2020 05:04PM

B O B O

Amazing people EVERYWHERE.

P A L E

Easy = withdrawal
Rough = rebellion

What was promised to be a garden was actually a prison. Life is much larger on the outside.

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