Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: March 06, 2023 01:05AM
Posts by 'cultfree' from August 2018:
Posted by: cultfree
Date: August 24, 2018 12:10PM
I feel nothing but outrage over the word on hierarchy. As Reveal so eloquently pointed out, hierarchy is the fabric of TLWF.
The part of it that really gets to me is that what Gary is doing here is basically acknowledging that up until now, the church has operated on a hierarchy. That hierarchy was put in place to directly benefit the people at the top, at the sacrifice of the common people.
Remember the words that used to come on "position thinking"? That was the leadership saying "Nope! No hierarchy here!". When people would come to them and complain "Hey, there is this strange double standard for the leadership, and this thing seems to be arranged around the benefit of the people at the top. That feels wrong". Those objections would be met with "Hey, that's not true. You're guilty of position thinking right now". They took the objections of well meaning people, and turned them back on them. Saying that the wrong they saw was all a result of something they were doing, not the leadership. To user a modern term: it's victim blaming.
And now we've come in to a "new day". Well what about the "old day"? Are you going to talk about that? I know a lot of the current word is about people being able to "speak up". Is that really what they want? Because there is a whole forum of people here "speaking up", and they act like it doesn't exist.
Regardless of whatever Gary Hargrave is saying in this word, he's still got to build a system that is beneficial to Rick Holbrook. Rick is like a zoo animal, he could never make it in the wild. His broken moral compass has been supported by TLWF for so long, that he has become dependent on it. No matter what, the system has to work to support Rick, and excuse all his missteps. No one in their right mind would speak up about the myriad of things Rick does that are messed up, because they know the cost. There is no "higher confirmation" with Rick. He's at the top, and you better be okay with what he does, or else. He doesn't even pretend to be a pastor looking after the people. That guy treats TLWF like his play thing, and the Rayen Resort is his pleasure island.
Posted by: cultfree
Date: August 24, 2018 03:28PM
People always had problems with Rick, but they knew they couldn't speak up about it, because he was Marilyn's son, and no one was going to dare criticize Marilyn's little boy.
Rick and Lorena were always an issue. I'd be willing to bet that everyone who was ever around them had a sort of icky feeling about them. Their relationship just didn't feel right; especially considering Rick's track record of infidelity, stealing his friend's wives, and other morally corrupt actions. Everyone felt icky about Rick and Lorena (even going way back to when she was in high school), and there is reason for that: because it was icky. It was a fucked up situation that we were all expected to simply ignore. His wife knew it, his parents knew it, and the entire congregation knew it. They tried to ship her off to Shiloh to deal with it, but soon enough she was back, wiggling her way in to a place of power that she always wanted. Talk about girls turn it off. All of this was protected by Gary, Marilyn, and the rest of the church leadership.
Finally, when people couldn't take it anymore, someone blew the whistle on it, and Gary and Marilyn couldn't ignore it any more. They had to address it. Of course they never actually said what had happened, they just barely acknowledged it, and we were all expected to move on. Not too long after, we discovered that Rick was back in charge, and we had to accept it. No acknowledgement of wrong doing, no repentance for subjecting us all to their lie for so long; things just went back to the way they always were.
I share this anecdote only because I feel like it has never been fully articulated publicly. It's a disgusting display of corruption, and I want it to be out there for people to understand.
Does anyone else have anything to add to this?