Active ways of recovery
Posted by: SarahLou ()
Date: March 07, 2012 03:21PM

It's been about seven months since I made the decision to leave my church and facing up to the truth that it was a cult. Since then I've been seeking ways to actively move on and deal with my experience (I was part of the church my entire life - 31yrs to be precise). Facing the truth and actually actively researching cults and their abusive control was hard enough - never mind recognising the ways that abuse has affected my life. But I am continuously seeking and looking for ways to heal and move on with my life.

I do have people to speak with - ex members whom I hadn't been in contact with, some for over a decade. What is a blessing is despite ten years of silence, having them back in my life again is like those ten years weren't lost. And they can all relate to my experience and reflect that it is possible to heal and move on, despite the worries that you will always be carrying the weight of the past with you and be held back in certain areas because of the abuse suffered.

It took me six months to begin buying books and really researching cult and mind control. But I knew I needed to find ways to help me deal with what has gone on. Talking wasn't enough, though it continues to be a help. But I needed to understand the many abusive ways the leadership had gained and kept control for so many years of my life. The books have been a huge source of help in recognising modes of control I hadn't even considered before.

The books led me to start seeking out other people outside of my 'safe group' as it were - simply to remind myself that this isn't some isolated situation but that this goes on in many other places.

I do find writing my experience down helps and I am planning a blog. I am looking for some advice on this - I've found myself questioning if I name and shame my former church leaders? - it is more so the leadership and their destructive, manipulative ways of control that are the issue. The members who remain are few and I pray for the day they have their eyes opened to the abuse the leaders have inflicted over them. I know I risk backlash and attack if the leaders relaise they are being named and shamed - I don't fear them any more but I'm more curious about the legalities, if there are any. Or as I keep asking myself - am I simply overthinking it?

I want to write a blog because I want people outside of the situation to know of my experience. But it isn't something that can easily be brought up in conversation. For a long time i was reluctant or felt I shouldn't speak of what has happened - though I now recognise this as a product of the abuse. After leaving the church I have only spoken to two people who had no part of it, and only one of them knows in great detail the situations and circumstances I was in. As I make new friends I find myself wanting to tell them but again, it isn't a subject easily broached or spoken about simply in one conversation and I'm also nervous about reactions. Because I woudl sit there and question why I allowed myself to remain under such abuse for so long if I was hearing my story but it isn't easy to explain to people that the control you were under was so tight, so extreme that to pull yourself out of it was a hugely scary and fearful thing to do.

I've seen there are people who have blogs on the subject of their experiences within abusive churches/cults so your input would be appreciated. Did you find as you wrote it was a help? Did you ever question if it were the best way forward? I'm highly aware of protecting my friends/family privacy who have been involved so don't plan to use names but I'm not that bothered or overly willing to also protect my abusers. I would link to their websites but I also don't want to add to any of their 'traffic'.

Finding this site and reading through these boards has also been hugely helpful. I've been reading through many of the existing posts and mentally taking tips of recovery. It's encouraging to know people do recover from this abuse.

Re: Active ways of recovery
Posted by: judith ()
Date: December 23, 2012 06:27AM

I’m right in the middle of this but I’ve just realised that this church is a cult and I’m in a mess. I’ve been going to this destiny church in edinburgh and its come to ruin my life. At first I didn’t know what was going on. They were very friendly and they seemed to understand when I told them that I was upset about my parents separating. This anne woman became my spiritual mother and looked after me but ive lost everything now. It was only after a while when they have one of these cell meetings in home I said things I wish I hadn’t. they tell you to say things like ‘I’ve got plans’ and ‘im busy’ if your family ask you to do things with them. they know everything about me now. I went to one of their healing ceremonies and I lost my mind. I can’t remember anything about it but I was told I was talking nonsense when I got out. They told the pastor and in one of their counselling sessions they . it was so scarey.

Re: Active ways of recovery
Posted by: samuel_ewan ()
Date: May 15, 2013 10:41PM

May I take this opportunity to counteract the comment above about Destiny Church in Edinburgh. I have been at the church for 10 years and I can confirm we are not a cult. We have many great relationships with lots of churches in the city who would be happy to vouch for us in this matter. We are a welcoming, non-denominational church located in both the Gorgie & Leith areas of the city. Holding to traditional evangelical Christian values, we aim to be a church that is Biblical in its message whilst contemporary and culturally relevent in our approach.

At no point do we encourage people who go to our church to separate from their family unless they were in an abusive situation or their life was in danger, at which point we would also report it to the police. We would encourage anyone reading this post to check out our website at to make an informed decision yourself. On the very odd occasion we get linked to a group in New Zealand also called Destiny Church but I can confirm we have no connection with this group.

As part of a church we have large Sunday gatherings or services in both locations but we also encourage smaller groups of people to meet together during the week, usually over a meal to study the Bible and pray together. These are called 'smallgroups'. I am not entirely sure what this lady means with regards to healing ceremonies but we do offer on a regular basis prayer for anyone who is sick.

If you have any further questions we can be contacted by telephone, e-mail, or mail. Details are on the website. Thanks for reading this.

Re: Active ways of recovery
Posted by: TrueScot ()
Date: October 29, 2015 07:59AM

I first of all would like to say to Judith, i'm very sorry to hear about your experience destiny church.
I can confirm that Destiny church does have a very cult like atmosphere.
They are obsessed with money, especially the leader of Destiny ministries the (false) "apostle" Andrew Owen who constantly brings money into his messages and tells people they can "tap into God's superntural financial resources and on at least one occasion encourged his congregation to do better in their jobs/buisnesses etc so they could put more money into the church to spread out and encourage more people to join Destiny so they can have more of an influence on the nation.
They encourage people to tithe 10% of their wages even though biblical tithing was only ever food and animals and not money, they also neglect to mention that there was also a tithe to be kept by the individual and more importantly that tithes were only to the levite priesthood in the temple both of which are no longer around.

Pastor Peter Anderson once stated during a teaching on the unbiblical doctrine of the "trinity" that if a church doesn't teach the trinity it is a "cult". Not even willing to say they may be mislead or don't fully understand the scriptures, therefore further alienating their church members from other churches.
A technique they use is they teach and encourage a very non biblical version of the gift of tongues (which is known languages) which is a learned behaviour that encourages people babble incoherent and nonsensically, bringing about an elated feeling and a belief that the holy spirit is choosing to work through both them and Destiny causing a stronger attachement to that church.
The pastors often state there are a lot of supernatural occurances and their church to hook people in and often subtly imply Destiny is the only real church.

They have had numerous guests that are either, from or connected to cult like Ministries and teachers such as Casey Treat, Hillsong, C3, Kenneth Copeland, Jerry Savelle, Ray Bevan, Joseph Prince and Andrew Owen invited Jesse Duplantis over as a guest.

Recently Andrew Owen claimed that if you scanned his eyes or took his finger prints it would say Jesus then went on to joke that he often has to remind God during prayer that it is him and not Jesus praying, which is a fairly blasphemous statement to make.
There cell/growth group system is a very cult like system used by many other cult like churches.
They have so-called faith healers involved with the their ministry making many unsubstantiated hard to believe claims of miraculous healings, who hold infrequent healing meetings, always taking an offering afterword, yet there are still many sick people attending hospital for operations etc throughout Destiny Ministries. Surely if these people could actually do these miraculous healings they would visit hospitals etc healing the sick for free and bringing many people to christ in the process proving God's existance to the world and that actually are being used by him to heal the sick.

Re: Active ways of recovery
Posted by: rachel0705 ()
Date: November 22, 2015 05:12AM

Thanks for your post, TrueScot.

Another one is Richard Roberts who was invited to come to Destiny Church in Glasgow in 2009 claiming to be able to heal people of cancer. Glasgow City Council said that he could face prosecution if he made unfounded claims of being able to cure people and Jim Cassidy of Oncology at Glasgow spoke about the danger of giving false hope to vulnerable people. There was an article about it in the Scotsman saying a spokes woman (I wonder if that was Sue Owen) said he really was able to cure the sick. How do they (the Destiny Church) get away with it?

Re: Active ways of recovery
Posted by: johnlatimer ()
Date: November 22, 2015 02:30PM

I am really concerned about this organisation as well. A distant cousin of mine went to this place in Glasgow and ended up being talked into giving them all the money they had till they couldn't pay bills or rent or even eat. The church alienated them from the family. Then they went psychotic especially after church services. Now they spend most of the time in psychiatric hospitals. And the irony is nobody from the church seems to bother!

Re: Active ways of recovery
Posted by: rachel0705 ()
Date: November 23, 2015 12:56AM

If there is anyone out there who is also concerned about this organisation, could you please pm me? I would appreciate the support.

Many thanks

Re: Active ways of recovery
Posted by: PeterW ()
Date: November 23, 2015 02:10PM

I know someone who was suposidly getting help from them with recovery from an adiction problem but after a while they were told that they had to give money and go to there church.

Re: Active ways of recovery
Posted by: TrueScot ()
Date: December 14, 2015 06:26PM

If anyone could private message me a testimony of their time at destiny church and how it has affected them, I would be extremely grateful.

Re: Active ways of recovery
Posted by: rachel0705 ()
Date: February 17, 2016 01:33AM

They clearly think they are off the hook. Youtube is POLLUTED by a huge number of videos that have been uploaded in January. Hope they don't get to destroy many more lives.

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