Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: April 09, 2022 06:41AM
Oct 31-Nov 1 of 2020:
Posted by: Wasted
Date: October 31, 2020 06:28AM
I have spent a lot of time reading many people’s stories and experiences within the cult that was/is The Living Word Fellowship. It is horrible, disgusting, and I am so sorry for all of those it has impacted. Thank you to so many who have shared. I sincerely hope as you move forward from these experiences you are able to find peace, healing, and justice.
I know many people that have also shared personal stories with me that have not spoken publicly about things (myself included) that makes it evident there are endless layers to the destruction this organization has caused. Some encounters so terrible that individuals have blocked it out of their minds to never have to relive it again. I have seen a therapist on a regular basis for 2-3 years now to help uncover things I have forgotten, talk about the things I was told never to speak of, and unravel my mind and emotions to simply try to feel normal.
I wanted to share some of my story in hopes that it will help in the healing process. Many have been able to continue with life as normal, but I find myself struggling on a daily basis to keep going – and many days feel like I won’t make it.
I was born into the fellowship and a part of it my entire life until about 3 years ago. I left “officially” about 6 months before Shalom’s letter was released. I grew up in a church that was considered a “local church” not a “kingdom facility.” The church I was in connected with Shiloh as the kingdom facility in charge, though throughout the 80’s , 90’s, and 00’s , directives from Shiloh were still often coming from or influenced by the Los Angeles facility.
My experience as a kid (0-18) was really nothing negative towards me. However, I learned things that happened to my parents once the Shalom letter came out that I never knew. For example: my mom was told not to further her career and education, but to focus on giving her paycheck to the church (her full paycheck) to support the kingdom. My dad was called a Nephilim and the church directed people to pray for his death and business failure. My mom was sexually assaulted and raped. They both volunteered at the church 20-40 hours a week. I never knew any of that was happening as a kid, except volunteer time because I was there for part of it. Even with all of that I was told to give my life to the church, and was called rebellious whenever I asked a question or acted like a normal kid/teenager.
When I was 18, John and Chris Sayer entered my life, and to put it simply, ruined my life. But…I didn’t know that yet. J&C were “commissioned” over the young people at that time, and had just moved to Palmer Lake, CO. Our local church was closed down by Gary and Marilyn after they visited (the one and only time they ever visited), and all of the money that the local church had (which was quite a bit) and that the local church was never allowed to spend, was given to the General Fund in a church transfer. My parents moved to Colorado as they were directed to, and in a visit to CO with my family, that’s where John and Chris inserted themselves and changed people’s lives for no agenda but their own…and Gary and Marilyn’s…of course.
As this is already long, I’ll pause for now, and return later. Still to come on J&C…forced relationships, submission, more nephilims, abuse of all kinds (sexual, mental, physical, substance, financial, etc), abortion, neglect, public displays of discipline and power, and more!
Posted by: KSargent
Date: October 31, 2020 10:27AM
Hi I have been reading these posts for a couple of years now. I have cried and laughed at many of them.I am originially from Ohio. First Columbiana, then Reynoldsburg, under Jim Holbrook. That is where I met JRS, Conquest,Greir, and the list goes on.After several years in Reynoldsburg I was sent to Shiloh. After a few months there I went to DC under Dan Statton, that is where my "Walk" days ended.So that gives you an idea that I have seen or heard alot of stories that have been shared here. My heart breaks for those of you who were abused one way or another.I hope and pray that the ones who "lurk" here find a way out and maybe one day share their story. I believe there are many still out there.I will write more soon.
Posted by: changedagain
Date: October 31, 2020 11:29AM
Thank you for sharing, Wasted and KSargent. Feel free to continue posting whatever is on your mind. It's obvious that you both have deeply experienced the affliction put upon the fellowship by self-serving leaders without conscience or ethics. All the best in your own path toward healing, and thanks for the encouraging words.
Posted by: Reepicheep
Date: October 31, 2020 11:30AM
Dear Wasted and KSargent,
Thank you so much for sharing a little bit of your stories. I hope that you will both keep on sharing. Together we are strong. <3
Posted by: changedagain
Date: November 01, 2020 02:25AM
Many have been able to continue with life as normal, but I find myself struggling on a daily basis to keep going – and many days feel like I won’t make it.
Any way you can shed self-guilt or regrets that place an unnecessary burden upon your life, given what you been through, will pay substantial dividends. I know that the key leaders of TLWF mastered the practice of transferring the guilt of their own abusive practices upon innocent members of the fellowship, so be careful not to berate yourself for seemingly falling short in being 'normal'...or anything else connected to the conditioning of being in this cult. Strange, but not surprising, is that when Rick's predatory practices became public the emphasis from former key leaders quickly became the need for victims to be forgiving, rather than the perpetrators and enablers owning up to their abusive actions and/or negligence. And Marilyn (Mom) did this spectacularly post-John, blaming his death on the lack of dedication and love for him within the fellowship. She conveniently forgot to mention her infatuation with her boyfriend, during the time period her husband dying. Admitting that to the fellowship may have put things in a different light and lightened the psychological load on the rank and file. But then it wouldn't be in keeping with the "upward flow." Can't have that.
Posted by: puddington
Date: November 01, 2020 07:34AM
During the last few years that JRS was alive, I was told in a backroom meeting that my lack of dedication was “killing John”. I carried that guilt for years. But now I see that it was a ridiculous accusation. Maybe his wife having an affair with Gary while he lay sick in bed was what was more deadly.
Posted by: kBOY
Date: November 01, 2020 04:56PM
C H A N G E D
Great response to WASTED.
Learning how to let things go, especially anything placed upon us by others, is one of life's most important lessons. P U D D was gracious enough to supply us with the most insidious one employed within TLW--being personally responsible for the death of JRS.
Anyone still carrying around even a residue of that guilt should cast it onto the ash heap of what was formerly know as the Center of the Universe.