Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: July 08, 2020 12:53PM

Again, absolutely no obligation to "open up" to those who not only are not professional therapists, but have proven themselves unworthy of being trusted with confidential info time and time again. In other words, not even a decent friend. Don't allow them to influence the process of your healing...however long it takes. It's your life, after all:

Posted by: Reepicheep ()
Date: February 15, 2019 09:38PM

With all due respect to the lovely calls for forgiveness, I would like to point out that many people posting here (especially women and those who were minors at the time) have had forgiveness shoved down their throats for most of their lives while those hurting them gleefully piled abuse upon abuse. It is not healthy to ignore our own process because "someone" tells us that the correct procedure is to forgive. Right now. Or else. Or we're not a "good" person.

Posted by: that little red flag ()
Date: October 25, 2018 03:22PM

Shalom -

I love you dearly.

That said, I just want to scream after reading your letters. I am so furious at what you have been through. It is so TLWF-ish for them to somehow interpret everything in a way that makes you look like the perpetrator. I read these, thinking how much we apologized a hundred times for anything we may have done (because we really are only human) while writing and spilling our guts. Every bit of their counseling and supposed guidance to you was to cover their asses. Your understanding of the situation, and emotional response was right on, and appropriate, yet you were made to feel like anything weird was your fault (because, gee, "that's just Rick").

You always were one of the strong ones. And, although heartbroken (and angry) by all of this, I am so very proud of you and the stand you have taken. Thank you for being brave and taking steps to begin a path of healing. You won't be ignored, we are listening. I'm counting on others reading your words and deciding that enough is enough.

I also hope that, through this forum, and you making public your story, the much needed addressing of a leadership group that chose to ignore your pleas for help, are sanctioned and brought to justice - and sorry, Gary, your little inclusion of your right to privacy is a stunt that just isn't going to work this time.

(I mean, really, way to go all you TLWF shepherds out there. This is how you cover your sheep? I'm disgusted by the actions of all of those mentioned. The years of emotional and sexual abuse in a supposed safe place is just sickening.) Sorry for that little rant - it just slipped out

Much love to you -

Your Long Ago Summer Mom in San Diego

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 09, 2020 04:38AM

Hear hear to what Repicheep has written...that abuse survivors have no obligation to listen to calls for forgiveness.

I tried to tell my Moms best friend about about some abuse issues I was dealing with.(Mom was deceased)

J looked at me and asked, 'Can't you just forgive and forget?'

Years later I discovered J had lived a life riddled with lies, some of which very seriously affected me.

J was in the Forgive and Forget Brigade because she knew her own behavior could not stand scrutiny.

Here's a thought: those with no tie to our abuser who push us to Flor give may have bad consciences because of stuff they've done on their own time.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2020 04:44AM by corboy.

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: Reepicheep ()
Date: July 11, 2020 05:27AM

Hi corboy,

Nice to hear from you. This subject of demands for forgiveness seems to keep coming up. Frankly, I have trouble taking this kind of religious pomposity at face value. It reminds me of one of the last services I attended in TLWF. The golden boy had transgressed, yet again. Most people knew that something was not right. The apostolic company gathered to address the flock. What words of wisdom did they have for the wounded sheep? "Don't gossip."

Don't gossip. It was as though nothing this idiot had done could compare with the idea that two of the lowly sheep might discuss his actions. Unbelievable. Years later, we would learn that this person not only cheated on and divorced four wives, but had actually molested children of people in the group. And those in positions of authority had covered it up. But not gossiping would fix everything. The idiocy is astounding.

And of course, when everything hit the fan, the next bit of wisdom was...forgive. Pretending that they cared for the souls of the congregants, when clearly they were only trying to remain in power to cheat, hurt and steal for a little longer. I can't forgive the vast amount of destruction they caused. A person who had any kind of conscience would be on their knees begging forgiveness of the people they had injured. But narcissists are incapable of such feelings. No, I will not forgive them.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2020 05:31AM by Reepicheep.

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

Certainly Rick Holbrook will not be getting any forgiveness from destroyed sheep.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2020 11:08AM by puddington.

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: July 11, 2020 03:12PM

Jesus, not one to gossip, was also not one to hold back calling a spade a spade, pointing out to the Jewish authorities that most were 'sepulchers full of dead man's bones'--to put it lightly.

He was also one to direct his disciples to 'shake the dust from their feet' regarding those who rejected the Good News they were bringing.

Abusers and transgressors are the last ones qualified to dictate to anyone requests for forgiveness. We can all fall in line behind THEM once they start the procession. We are all still w a i t i n g . . .

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

Reep wrote:
Don't gossip. It was as though nothing this idiot had done could compare with the idea that two of the lowly sheep might discuss his actions.

I bet much of the 'gossip' consisted of parents warning other parents to keep their daughters out of Rick's orbit, if possible. This type of 'gossip' will flourish if the authority structure is corrupt, concerned more about protecting predators and its own image, than vulnerable members of the fellowship. If people speak openly, it is a given they will be exposed and discredited/humiliated before the congregation...leading to a severance of relationships with other "members of the body" and possibly a division within their own family that could be permanent in nature. The payback would be vicious.

A post from September of 2015:
Posted by: Saw enough
Date: September 10, 2015 11:42PM

JRS used to say that people would half-heartedly excuse themselves by saying things like, "I have a temper like a shotgun -- sometimes it just goes off!" He followed it up with, "Yes, but how many dead and bleeding sheep did you leave in your wake?"

Many people have been on the receiving end of Gary & Marilyn's explosions through the years. Some people became nearly suicidal when they were blasted with that anger -- after all, if you've blurred the line between the Lord and Gary & Marilyn to the point where they're identical in your mind, when they assault you what's to prevent you from believing that God Himself has cut you off?

Their messages seem much more generic now, but is the same intimidation still at work in their daily operations?

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: changedagain ()
Date: July 13, 2020 05:30AM

On the subject of 'trust has to be earned':

Posted by: Cloudwatcher
Date: September 23, 2018 01:02PM

You know they did this "open door" thing quite some time ago with meetings every week so people could air their concerns and complaints in an open forum. Nothing was done about anything--and important and valid concerns were voiced. After they had collected enough information, Gary turned around and told everyone in the church they were deceived and put them in their place--threatened to separate them out as a different church. He warned everyone off so they would be speechless going forward He will gather the info and find a nice little package to wrap it all in then drop a bomb of some kind. Never underestimate the power of persuasion when it comes to a sociopath. This has been done repeatedly and is merely information gathering--- finding names which WILL NOT be kept private. Time after time people have been discredited and trashed publicly. Not that it matters what that charlatan says--its just that he is the one who has muzzled everyone and he can't muzzle the people here.

That is the beauty of the anonymity whether you agree or not--this forum would not be here if people had used their real names all along.

Posted by: changedagain
Date: September 23, 2018 01:30PM

Approximately ten years ago I was told by a former member of Apco that in the mid-90's G & M conducted one of those 'speak honestly without fear of retribution' sessions. He was a part of it. Apco members spoke one by one of what they felt the biggest problem in the fellowship was at the time. Most of them went down predictable lines: "People playing church," "not enough commitment to G & M" etc.
He took their promise at face value, and took the risk of saying what he actually thought--that G & M were far too controlling, and it was stifling the fellowship. About a month or two later Marilyn confronted him, told him he was 'no longer family.' He was removed from his position as a pastor shortly thereafter and basically shunned.
Again, there is no reason to trust that this is an honest attempt to make things right. Has Gary, or anyone in his orbit, admitted to specific wrongdoing (covering for Rick, misuse of church funds, beating the 'sheep' etc.)? If so, I'll begin look at this differently.

Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: September 23, 2018 02:12PM

TLW has an almost 70 year history of not doing the right thing when it comes to properly shepherding the sheep. Actions have always spoken louder than 'the word'.

Can a leopard change it's spots, or an Ethiopian the color of his skin?

Posted by: Road to Damascus
Date: September 23, 2018 03:39PM

I distrust any new day or promises to make it all better. I say that until Gary, Rick, and all those in power come forward and tell it all and not be restrictive communications it is all worthless words. That is hiding behind smoke. Why should I open up and write to them what they did. Years ago I did that and I was told we do not want to hear from you. And Never again will I trust what they say. Bandaids do not work, and I and all of us here are people deserving to believe that we are not a bunch of Plan B's or not worth anything but to be used, abused and rejected and tossed away like trash

Posted by: dbc
Date: September 24, 2018 09:04PM

Sorry, but this just reeks of too little too late. All of the abuses that have been carried on all these years unabated. Really? Manipulation and self-preservation have been the hallmarks of this organization. Why would that suddenly change? Only out of self-interest. They're not looking out for us. They;'re looking out for them. Millions of dollars at stake. And a messianic self-image - we are unique in the world.Not buying into this for a second.

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: July 15, 2020 04:39PM

With all of the 'bla-bla-bla' regarding a 'new day' over the last couple of decades, we have definitely found ourselves in one, albeit not quite the one we were expecting all those years 'prophesied' from the hallowed halls of TLW.

That 'new day' would also have to include the implosion of TLW, where possible 'credit' could be given to JRS from many years ago, referencing his statement (not verbatim) that if  'God was no longer with this movement that (he/she) would tear it down'--and we know how that went.

So, I guess we can attribute at least one prophecy being fulfilled within TLW; the 'new day' would also include the 'last day(s)' of a movement that God was no longer associated with.

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: puddington ()
Date: July 15, 2020 10:33PM

which begs the question: Was God ever associated with it?

Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Posted by: kBOY ()
Date: July 16, 2020 01:22AM

I believe that is why we call it a 'cult'.

TheWalk/TLW is/was a 'successful' example of what a cult can be, pulling off a con (in the name of Christianity) that lasted almost 70 years, and with multiple administrations.  Many countries don't even last that long.

The extensive casualty list and 'collateral damage' are a testimony as to whether if it was ever really associated with the Kingdom at all, or was simply a vehicle for the benefit of a few to build their own personal kingdom.

I think we all know the answer to that.

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