Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: NancyB ()
Date: May 31, 2019 08:28AM

I think we all know that Gary had said he would do an independent investigation on allegations. I, personally, feel critical about his investigation. ( My user name should have been "CriticalSpirt I confess.

I'm not sure if any one had posted this link to Past and Present members of TCLW or not.

"Attorney Aisha Shelton Adam (“Ms. Shelton Adam”) of the law firm, the Reddock Law Group (the “firm”), will lead the investigation of specific reports received recently by The Living Word Fellowship and will investigate any new allegations of sexual misconduct against current or former members of The Living Word Fellowship congregation that we may receive.
Ms. Shelton Adam and the firm will be assisted, as appropriate, by Rick Harris, a Pastor and a retired Los Angeles Police Department Officer."

I am not encouraging nor discouraging anyone to contact this independent investigator. I am only passing on the contact link to the statement about the independent investigator.

With that said, be aware of the law suits filed in CA.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Concerned Parent ()
Date: May 31, 2019 09:02AM

I am a parent to children that went to COL in North Hills. I happen to be looking at the stories about the lawsuit online and noticed that "dwhite" whom I know as David White wrote on a San Diego news channel website: They wait too long to complain. Hard to believe." I am just dumbfounded by this! Who says that!!!


I just can't believe the level of denial that these church members maintain. How many hundreds of children have been hurt yet someone says something that disgusting!!! I hope a criminal investigation is opened as well.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: NancyB ()
Date: May 31, 2019 10:34AM

Here's the thing about waiting so long to report - if I can explain it. Up to a certain time literally no one listened. Investigators were very poorly trained - there just was not enough good information because those "dirty little secrets were swept under the rug." If'"daddy' or Uncle tommy bob were to be accused of molestation and convicted the entire family structure and finances would fall apart- so many families just kept quiet- a child's baby was absorbed as the parents in pregnancy occurred. It was a family secret.

Here some history from my view as an RN who started practice in 1972.

Remember, the first rape crisis centers did not open until 1972 in DC I think. Iowa city had the 2nd or 3rd- it was controversial. Around that time women in particular who were inpatient pysch started blurting out they were molested as children . Phsych then started learning more about that kind of ptsd. They found that many psych issues among women in particular had to do with the secret that "it was my fault" - but the abuse was not ever their fault - what a relief to finally let go of that secret.

In the '80's there were fairly new special hospital units that interviewed children of sexual assault. ( I had some interaction with one in CR, Iowa.) Mandatory reporting started around the '80's depending on the state.

At first the classes were OK but not all that good- teachers and nurses overreacted a lot on the side of being required by law to make a report. In over-zealousness people accidentally prompted the victims- blew cases.

It takes special training to not only note the signs but to know when to let the professionals take over.

What I'm saying is - many victims do tell in their ways- but few are prepared to know what to do and who to call. At times in the past a victim or parents may have reached out but who ever took the call was too inexperienced to follow through. 20 to 30 years later "we" have come a long way. So for some one to say, " No police report= no crime" is ignorant." that's BS

TLW should have by law given and taken classes if they were to work with children. They failed in that area miserably. ( I had posted a few weeks back about mandatory child abuse training.)

With out violating confidentiality in the late '80's I was witness in landmark child molestation case. Fortunately I had been highly trained and followed procedure -to say the least- or I would have blown the case for the prosecutor. We nailed the sob who had been one of my own molesters decades before when no one listened and no cared because that "was just how it was in families," for generations.

it is no church picnic being on the stand in court.

As far as TLW I made some very specific reports in the early '80's to the bro ( Who apparently were very much apart of my complaint but I did not realize it.) I made police reports which went NO WHERE after they talked to the bro who so kindly said, " Well this woman is really under a lot of stress so sh'e makes up stuff."

I'll ware you all that with the brave women filing charges you will see a ton of trolls BS-ing their opinion- they do not know the truth or they want to intimidate. Don't feed the trolls- We know the truth- we all have experienced some kind of manipulative power and control with in the walk.

This is my opinion- I can have typos with wrong words- I may not express perfectly. I am not a lawyer nor an investigator. I was an RN with lots of experience years back- let me tell you that identifying a victim , reporting then collecting the right evidence was very hard to do right as a mandatory reporter then to get a complete investigation followed through on. It is easier now but still complicated.

Let's be grateful that experienced attorneys have taken the first case of many more to come I'm sure.

There are more of us who believe the victims than there are of those who are guilty and guilty of closing blind eyes.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: maggieb ()
Date: May 31, 2019 10:54AM

Hello I just discovered yesterday that my mother was a member of this church way before I was born--for about 10 years starting sometime in the early 70s. I am not able to talk to her about this time and was wondering if anyone on here was a member of the North Hills church (I assume she went to this church because she lived in Burbank) around 73-75. What I do know and what helped me discover this cult was that she knew Tony Cox and his daughter (I believe they went by the name Phil and Ruth while in hiding). She also may have attended a Phoenix church in the late 70s early 80s. Given her life's timeline she would have left the church around 1983. I would like to understand my mother's past and understand her more as a person so I am reaching out in hopes someone on here could have potentially crossed paths with her. Thank you!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: NancyB ()
Date: May 31, 2019 08:48PM

Welcome MaggieB

it's always possible your mother and I crossed paths. So many of us got moved around.
Re Tony Cox he was pointed out to me on the steps of The church of His Holy Presence in Anaheim around'78 yo 80. Someone said, " that Yoko Ono's daughter." I replied, What's a Yoko Ono??

I was kid in 1957 when my parents joined Christian Tabernacle in Washington, Iowa. I lived in CA twice and had visited CA multiple times in the late '60's. I left in the '80's tho I had very close ties still in for along time -

If there is anything I can do to answer questions I would be willing to try to help fill in blanks as i can. I want you know that the original core members whether in CA or Iowa were solid loving people who lived Christian lives - then systematically non- Biblical junk was sneaked in on the unsuspecting. I'm sure your mother is a lovely person whether I knew her or not- we all had amazing close friendships in the walk with many people - then again I had no idea why some flakes were in what i thought was still a Christian group.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: June 01, 2019 12:00AM

maggieb Wrote:
> I am not able to talk to her about this
> time and was wondering if anyone on here was a
> member of the North Hills church (I assume she
> went to this church because she lived in Burbank)
> around 73-75. What I do know and what helped me
> discover this cult was that she knew Tony Cox and
> his daughter (I believe they went by the name Phil
> and Ruth while in hiding).

Hi maggieb,
At least a few regular contributors to this forum have disputed some of the claims Tony Cox has made in his documentary. They don't find him credible. The unfortunate reality is if someone semi-famous like Cox (for once being married to Yoko) stretches the truth, and it's later exposed, it casts doubt on the stories of numerous people who suffered horribly under the free rein of sexual abusers in TLWF/Walk. I'm sure those that have been guilty of sexual abuse and the subsequent cover up over decades will be looking at every angle to discredit the victims. Having someone like Cox embellish the truth is not helpful. Expect a counter narrative originating from former TLWF leaders to begin circulating. If history is any indication, the backlash should be vicious. But this is something worth fighting for--so I encourage those that have publicly taken a stand to stay strong and continue to resist the bullying, deceitful tactics that are likely to come their way.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/2019 12:02AM by changedagain.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: June 01, 2019 12:24AM

Sociopaths are not burdened by conscience. Anyone that stands in their way of getting what they want (including escaping accountability) is considered expendable.
Anyway...on that positive note, I wish everyone in the forum a pleasant Friday & weekend. :)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/2019 12:25AM by changedagain.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: NancyB ()
Date: June 01, 2019 02:40AM

kbyrne Wrote:
> Hi Mary,
> I remember you well. I think it's brave to come
> forward. I still have trust issues.
> I also worked in the legal field since the early
> 80's. Worked for a time -- or I should say
> volunteered for a time and the law offices of
> Robert F. and Lisa R. Jeanne A. was one of the
> people I was closest to.
> In reading the posts about abuse, what I witnessed
> was more the total inappropriateness of men in
> power and their relationships with 18-20 year old
> girls. I remember being in a PM session where
> there were probably 6 pastors and one of them
> joked about "the laying on of hands" in
> relationship to someone's sexual encounter. Got a
> big laugh. Most of my time was spent in Shiloh. I
> arrived there before the sides of the building
> were up and the roof was on, and then moved in
> when it was barely livable. During those first few
> years I had a lot of contact with the Washington,
> IA church. There were deacons and elders there
> that us girls would warn each other about, "Don't
> take a ride back to Shiloh with so-and-so." Still
> makes my skin crawl.
> Speaking of abuse, I wonder how much domestic
> violence went on. Since secrets were so well
> kept, it may be hard to know.

WOW! "The deacons and elders"? In those days I was living and working out of town and only got to service on the weekends- which did not please my elder father-in-law.
OhW WOW! I am very disturbed to learn of this 45 years after the fact.

I was part of the Washington church - had no idea this crap was going on at that time. Are you willing to fill me in? You probably knew of my father-in-law whom I was always at odds with.

My family has a lot of gaps to fill in, if you are willing to help me. Do I dare reveal names?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: NancyB ()
Date: June 01, 2019 03:45AM

Saw enough Wrote:
I see we have a number of new posters throwing their hats into the ring as we untangle this sticky web of deceit we call TLW , LWF or the walk. I am assuming we have many more readers who are one of the nearly 5,000 who so far have watched the conference on the sex abuse charged filed by some very brave women.

I know that it will be difficult to binge read old posts. When I went to read the post below by Saw Enough I believe it is valuable to share as it gives a breif time lime overview. I hope it helps.
Thanks Saw Enough

> In December 1972 Brother Stevens disappeared for
> an entire day and a few days later he went to the
> Valley Church and claimed that he'd been caught up
> in the spirit and taken 7 years into the future
> where he saw the Kingdom. As he explained his
> vision and his sense of losing all track of time
> that day, some of the young prophets speculated
> about black holes and time warps in the spirit
> where time did not matter. That vision of the
> Kingdom became the basis for a lot of the
> preaching for the next 7 years.
> Many people and churches dedicated their lives and
> their survival planning and their life decisions
> around that 7-year date and the revelation that
> John was the apostle to the Kingdom. Twenty years
> later a woman from the Valley church got word to
> Gary and Marilyn that she had been with John on
> that December 12th in 1972. A lot of people around
> the Living Word building gossiped about the story,
> but nobody said or perhaps knows if John actually
> had his vision that day or if he was just with
> someone not his wife for the day. Aimee McPherson
> once disappeared mysteriously and later claimed
> that she'd been kidnapped and taken to Mexico or
> somewhere -- it's not that uncommon for ministers
> to try to cover their tracks.
> It's like a Mormon hearing that Joseph Smith
> hadn't really found magic tablets and translated a
> new version of the Bible for latter day saints.
> How do you say, okay maybe that didn't happen but
> the rest of our church is still the true church of
> the end time. Joseph Smith's vision was not
> confirmed by others and John's claims were not
> really confirmed by others -- he was the leader
> and knowing that he had a special insight into the
> Kingdom was a draw.
> Nothing about this disclosure was mentioned to
> the churches -- other than a few veiled words
> about how John's real problem was disobedience --
> and not giving himself enough to Marilyn. (Another
> warning for people to shape up and get with the
> program.) Gary warned cryptically that things
> might be coming down that would shake people's
> loyalty but it would only be proof that they never
> had a revelation.
> One of Rick's escapades also surfaced sometime in
> the 90s but he was not the only thing that was
> wrong in the fellowship. 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.
> After Gary & Marilyn took over, there was still
> large scale psychological abuse and reckless
> shepherding that left a lot of casualties.
> 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, especially
> since she was being promoted as the Lord in the
> earth and there was no "God in the sky" or "God in
> your brain" that you could trust. Submission to
> her as Christ in the flesh was the order of the
> day.
> 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.
> Amazingly, Gary Hargrave has continued to promote
> John's vision as the plumbline for the fellowship
> even after he knew the background. (He might know
> something that no one else knows.)
> Maybe the fellowship is in its death throes and is
> winding down due to dwindling membership, an aging
> congregation and the urgent need for finances to
> support the many facilities on an annual basis. It
> is also harder to isolate people from the world
> around them since they have so much access to
> what's going on outside the church walls. The
> messages follow the same pattern of Feasts and
> winter months and Purims to celebrate Marilyn and
> Passovers to leave Egypt and summer camps to be
> the prophets who rule the nations, along with
> reaching out to other churches and groups. But
> while the messages may be getting more orthodox in
> their delivery, their claims about how they are
> changing the whole earth are -- who knows?
> For sure there is a crisis of confidence and trust
> -- similar to the Catholic church where the
> highest leaders are saying "We had no idea of the
> extent of the corruption in our midst." But the
> corruption was institutionalized through the years
> -- which is why it's kept repeating itself.
> It's possible that the whole movement has just run
> its course and the world is waiting for others who
> can find a way to make a difference without
> hurting so many people in the process. They might
> not even come out of the Christian world
> We've still been given a precious opening to move
> on. The past abuses were painful and for sure
> left scars but it doesn't mean some of your best
> days are not still ahead of you, not behind you.
> The name I chose for this forum is Saw enough -- I
> don't want to focus on the past that much and I'm
> no expert with an inside track but I saw enough to
> feel that it is better to be out of there than in
> there.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: NancyB ()
Date: June 01, 2019 04:29AM

For those newbies wondering about the long list of issues on top of the the breaking news of the filing of charges In CA, thanks to Onion who wrote it out so succinctly and clearly.

I refer you to posts 699 to 702 for more real gems many people never knew- its a few tangled web of fraud and lies.

Onion Wrote:
> Since Gary has announced he wants people to write
> letters so he can make his "new 360" evaluation, I
> decided to send him a letter. I don't have any
> illusions that he will do anything with this
> information but I at least wanted to take away his
> ability to say he had never heard of any of this
> stuff, as he lied about recently.
> October 14, 2018
> (Spelling & Grammar Corrections 10-17-18)
> Sent by U.S. Mail to:
> Gary Hargrave c/o Amy Sayer
> Gary Hargrave c/o The Living Word
> Sent by Email to:
> Gary@
> Bseboldt@
> Dear Gary,
> Over the past two years I have been advised by
> many people who are no longer part of the TLW
> fellowship, by others who may continue to be part
> of the church but who are struggling, and from
> those they may still be in contact with, that
> there are several issues that undermine any trust
> people may have of TLWF leadership and ApCo.
> There are many sticking points that could hinder
> the future success of the churches if not
> addressed and repaired.
> 1. Rick Holbrook: According to information
> from many former and current TLWF members, Rick
> has established himself in everyone’s minds as a
> sexual predator. There are many victims of
> inappropriate sexual conduct perpetrated by Rick
> in various church locations and at his home. In
> his “work with young people” he tends to take
> advantage of young women, and in some cases young
> men. His conduct is often defined as “grooming”
> young girls and women using tactics such as
> bombarding his subject with flattery, gifts,
> promises of them becoming “family,” emphasizing
> how special they are and how great their life
> would be if they would be with Rick. He ramps up
> his seduction attempts based on his
> representations to these women and girls that as
> JRS’ true son, it is the will of God for these
> women and girls to have sex with him, and that JRS
> would want them to be with Rick. He apparently
> tells women that the way they can bring in the
> kingdom is by being in a sexually intimate
> relationship with him. Some women have resisted
> after being lied to, pursued intensely with gifts
> and alcohol, and in many instances, overt sexual
> touching of breasts and genitals. Rick has even
> physically picked up women in his arms and carried
> her. Those who firmly and completely deny him,
> suffer consequences such as shunning, having their
> reputations tarnished and they are called sluts
> and other demeaning names behind the scenes.
> Sadly some of these women/girls have said that it
> was hard to discover they weren’t special after
> all when the truth is they were always special and
> Rick was preying on them.
> On many different occasions, Rick hosts “young
> g people” at his house for a Jacuzzi party and
> shares pornographic material and discusses sexual
> content and asks sexually graphic questions to the
> group, some of whom are underage.
> Many of these women have communicated with
> h various shepherds, including those in leadership
> in Shiloh, TLW, and CLW and including you and
> Marilyn. Each communication has resulted in no
> action. In some cases, after communication the
> women were overtly shunned and shamed. In other
> cases the women were asked to never speak of it
> again and to not keep a record of their
> communication.
> 2. School Employees & Ministers Education in
> Reporting Abuse: Many people have reported that
> instances of abuse, underage drinking (with the
> alcohol furnished by teachers, administrators and
> ministries), assaults or evident abuse, have
> occurred and none of those who are required by law
> to report such abuse have done so. Several former
> teachers have related that while in public school,
> and many private schools, a detailed training
> class in mandatory reporting laws is given so all
> teachers and school employees learn to recognize
> the signs of abuse and how their suspicions must
> be reported. Nothing like that occurs in TLWF
> schools or churches. Girls have made reports only
> to be told they are overreacting.
> 3. Parenting Interruption: Many people bear
> emotional scars because of a pattern of separating
> parents and children because someone in authority
> in the school or the church places themselves in a
> position of “knowing better” how a child should be
> raised. Parents have sometimes been belittled,
> treated in a dismissive manner, or spoken about in
> a negative way to the child. Many adults who
> suffered under this type of behavior are still
> struggling with negative conditioning from the
> experience. Likewise, parents still suffer with
> guilt over allowing someone to usurp their
> parental role and allowing their children to be
> used in this way.
> 4. Lack of Financial Honesty or Transparency:
> People who have given their lives and their time
> and money to TLWF and “Kingdom Businesses” have
> nothing to show for their hard work and
> dedication. Many were supporting a vision
> presented by TLWF leaders that is either no longer
> focused on or represents an ideal that just
> lingers in the realm of unfulfilled dreams.
> Seeing money received from the sacrifice of the
> people making certain leaders’ lives very cushy
> while some of the congregants live from pay check
> to pay check is deeply hurtful. In addition, the
> enormity of funds (including funds saved by using
> volunteer labor for personal projects) used on
> projects like the party house on Rayen with its
> elegant horse facility, the various bars (multiple
> bars) set up in locations throughout the churches,
> personal home maintenance and remodeling, the
> Christmas truck and its grueling schedule of work,
> etc., is beginning to take a serious toll on the
> emotions and trust of many current congregants.
> The toll especially shows in those who couldn’t
> take it anymore and left. Volunteers are
> employees and yet have no benefit of their
> employment by TLWF except maybe an occasional
> shout out from the pulpit, as if that moment of
> attention will make up for weeks, months, years of
> labor.
> 5. Attitudes & Lack of Training in Shepherds: A
> refrain that is exactly the same from each and
> every individual who has spoken concerning their
> past or current experience as a member of TLWF is
> the harsh treatment of being casually dealt with
> by the leadership and those called shepherds.
> Recrimination for behavior that was previously
> praised is frequent. There is no follow up with
> the persons disciplined and if the person departs
> the fellowship, no one bothers to call to find out
> how the person is doing. A large number of these
> people were giving, dedicated members for as many
> as 40 years, or their entire lives. The dismissal
> of shepherds who disappear without the congregants
> understanding ANYthing is frequent. Some people
> have called this a pattern of getting rid of the
> people who know too much about Rick, financial
> improprieties, and other wrongdoings. That’s the
> way it appears to people who see it happen but are
> never told the truth.
> 6. Confidentiality. People generally do not feel
> that their privacy is respected or protected in
> any situation where they pour out their hearts to
> TLWF leadership. Some people were made aware that
> Rick has wired CLW for sound and for visual
> surveillance or recording so that he or others can
> record, listen to, or watch any meetings in any
> location at CLW, TLW, Shiloh and many other
> places.
> I hope this is helpful to you in your review of
> church policies and procedures. Whether each fact
> stated is true is not for me to say. Independent
> investigation and transparency would be a
> solution.
> If you wish to speak directly to any of the people
> I am quoting, some of them would be willing to
> participate in a meeting with you and others.
> Just let me know via email at: m-wyatt@ and I
> will do my best to coordinate this for you.
> Sincerely,
> (Originals with signature will be sent to the USPS
> locations noted above.)
> Mary L. Wyatt

Options: ReplyQuote

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.