Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: May 05, 2018 04:59AM
I'm sorry to hear that, I was slandered as well and when it involves trusted individuals like a shepherd or JRS, they're some of the wounds that take the longest to heal.
Shepherds had no attorney/client privilege, and I knew some of the higher ups that were encouraged to keep records via word documents and emails. If you were connected to the main shepherds (church leadership who reported to G&M), you had a @livingword.org email account and were highly discouraged from discussing church business on unsecure domains like .yahoo, .hotmail, or .gmail. A fellow dropout from Palmer Lake remarked that his church leader once complained to the youth that "they were too obedient and didn't act out enough; and so there weren't enough learning points in their shepherding relationships." That was definitely code for "they didn't have enough dirt on them to keep them insecure and submissive."
The frequency with which sheep were abused makes it impossible that they were isolated incidents. That direction was coming from JRS and later from G&M. It is the result of JRS's words on absolute obedience. He instituted interrogations called "probbing" behind closed doors into people he believed weren't being forthright, which at times was everyone. In those cases he'd yell and curse at them for witholding something in their hearts from god and him. If you weren't sobbing by the end of these sermons, you didn't have a breakthrough and should repent for not having a breakthrough. I was called a liar and someone "who told my shepherds only what they wanted to hear" so many times I finally realized it was rehearsed. I believe some shepherds probably had it done to them and felt this type of purging was somehow god's will, but the direction and the example for it is in John's and later Gary's teachings.
I recently found out they were doing this at Summer Camp as recently as five or six years ago. They separated the youth group (YASP?) into rooms alone with two or three leaders and pleaded with them to "repent for the warfare over their lives." The leaders then told them to repent for leaving the source and allowing their spirits to be tarnished. They said the theme had something to do with being clothed in white garments; Gary was on a Revelations kick. That or he was watching "the Leftovers."
It sickens me to think that those kids were probably traumatized. The elders they were put in a room with were not gender specific. This particular individual sobbed and relayed various vulnerabilities which were certainly annotated and will be relayed to a future shepherd in order to "probe" further and remind them how lost they'd be without a shepherd in their lives to guide them away from their own will.