George Geftakys
Posted by: Mark Campbell ()
Date: October 30, 2002 10:37AM

Hi David, Brent, and Others,
Yes David, I know you are correct that most members are not ready to consider the truth about their situation. When I first left I poured my heart and soul into a letter that I sent to as many members as I could, but thought nothing came of it. Now I learn from Brent that he read it years later and it was helpful to him when he first left. I didn't even have a copy here as I sent them all out and yet two couples contacted me who remember the letter from 10 years ago and wanted to read it.
It took 20 years for me to get to the point where I could actually think that the Assembly was seriously in error. I do remember the little eye openers on the way that nudged me in the right direction and enabled me to finally separate the Assembly from God himself.
When I write I also think of those who may read here who have just left and need some help with their thinking. I know I had a very strong emotional attachment to the group and that they were the only family I really had. From the beginning I realized that there were some problems, but being untaught I didn't know how severe. I also didn't know what damage was being done to my family and myself. If I can help those who leave just a little I feel that it is worth the effort. I know more than anything God feels the pain and wants to draw near to his children who have been wounded by false religious systems like the Assembly.
I saw a bumper sticker on a car soon after leaving that said,"JESUS IS MY BEST FRIEND" and for the first time in my life I realized that it was true! In the Assembly we made fun of such statements as being trite as God was too high and holy to be someone as close and comforting as a friend. I now experience his presence through understanding his unconditional love toward me and the consolation of a friend that will never leave.
God bless, Mark

George Geftakys
Posted by: ex-Geftakys ()
Date: October 30, 2002 10:57PM

Hi Mark and everyone else

Now I learn from Brent that he read it years later and it was helpful to him when he first left. I didn't even have a copy here as I sent them all out and yet two couples contacted me who remember the letter from 10 years ago and wanted to read it.


your letter is one of the items currently racing through the US postal service, on its way to your home!

I have been blessed by reading a ton of stuff from the late 80's and early 90's. Many of you have never seen this, but it will be on the web in time. Does anyone want to volunteer the use of an OCR scanner? I can scan them into GIF files, but then they are not editable, and will print funny. I can type them, but then I will miss the excellent fall sailing weather on the Central Coast. So, I am typing one article, and am looking for a scanner for the others.

If anyone would like to read some of the stuff I have written that is not on the RickRoss site, let me know by email and I'lll send it to you, otherwise wait a bit and it will appear on the website.

(What I consider my best stuff is not on RickRoss. You read it and be the judge, if you like)

This forum, and the Ross and Macgregor websites have had a tremendous impact on the Assembly, for the better. Have you noticed how many people view this thread? More than 600! I only visit on average 3 times per week. We have a huge cloud of lurkers out there. May we be a blessing to them!


George Geftakys
Posted by: joe sperling ()
Date: October 31, 2002 12:19AM

To Mark and others---

I liked what you said about the bumper sticker "Jesus
is my best friend" I remember when I was first saved I
viewed Jesus as the Good Shepherd and a very close and
personal friend. I realize there is nothing wrong with exalting
God to the highest of the highest, but I remember how in the
Assembly God seemed foo far away, an exalted King so high
and lifted up why would he even want to bother with me? This
was implied many times to me by leaders when I would question teachings and talk about my salvation. It was as though they were implying that only after years of experience did one REALLY
know God. It was as though the veil in the temple had never been truly torn in two, and that only a select few REALLY could come close to God---because they were "faithful". it was as if the LORD never said "They shall ALL know me". It's the Assembly holiness that Mark has referred to many times. It's a teaching that only through OUR faithfulness can we come closer to God, so as you fail and sin you feel you have drawn futher and further away from God. In the Assembly you forget that after Adam sinned it was the Lord in the garden asking Adam "where are you?" not Adam asking God "where are you?" It was only after leaving the Assembly(and many years later I must add) that I realized that the Good Shepherd I had first embraced was the Real God---not the Jesus/Moses God taught by the Assembly.


George Geftakys
Posted by: Mark Campbell ()
Date: October 31, 2002 02:56AM

Hi Brent, Joe, David, and the Great Cloud,
Brent, I will be looking for my ancient manuscript via snail mail, thanks.
David, I missed responding to a post that you made earlier re. our own culpability in being duped into staying in the Assembly. Every individual story will be different to some degree-- and yes of course we made the decision to join up. This is an ongoing controversy as to whether an individual in a cult (or cult like group) is more responsible than the mind control techniques of the group in keeping the member in. There is a fit between deceived and deceiver no doubt.
Jesus in Matt. 23 makes an analogy between the Pharisees and a snake pit: A traveler in the mideast desert would look for a cool spot to rest, near water for the night, but unfortunately that was also a popular place for snakes to lay hidden under the sand. Hence, a place that looked safe and comfortable ended up being a place of suprising danger. So is the merit salvation message of Pharisees and their followers down through the ages. We thought the Assembly was safe and a place for spiritual renewal and rest, but ended up getting snake bit!(analogy courtesty of "Subtle Power Of Spiritual Abuse".)
Joe, your statement of the many years it took to get your thinking straightened out is exactlly why this site and the new website are needed. Snake bit victims can find anti-venom in the message of God's true grace.
(I have visited this site many times in the last couple of weeks because I'm on vacation, but I'm sure way less than 600)-- God bless all including our silent cloud of lurkers ) Mark

George Geftakys
Posted by: david mauldin ()
Date: November 01, 2002 12:46AM

Mark thanks for your reply, Joe I wanted to coment on how you were pushed around concerning your car. I think others would agree that certain people, (Myself included) were easy prey when it came to being bully'd. For example I know people who would go against the council of the leadership and yet somehow still be able to maintain a certain anmount of self esteam, dignity, respect and stay in fellowship. This I think was partly do to the fact that the leadership would not push certain people around because they (The Leaders) were too intimidated. Other people however were sorry victims. Georges secretary was psychologicaly beat to a pulp just because she didn't want to be Georges flunky, (A job she never volunteered for.)

George Geftakys
Posted by: joe sperling ()
Date: November 01, 2002 01:53AM


You are very correct about certain people being bullied
more than others. But I had something happen later which
I know came from the Lord for sure. I mentioned how I was
forced to sell my car in order to remain in the house. So, for
three years I went without a car. After I left the Assembly I
was transferred by my employer to Orange County. After a
space of three years I was sitting in the office one day looking
outside. I had been contemplating about the Assembly and
writing about my experiences there. I had gotten to the part
about my car being removed from me when I suddenly realized
something that filled me with great joy. Part of the perk of trans-
ferring to Orange County was that I got a company car, totally paid for, with a gas card also. I realized that I had been driving
a car for free for three years. The Lord had recompensed for the loss I received at the hands of the Assembly. It's funny how I hadn't realized it. The Lord had quietly given back to me something taken from me unjustly. Of course the emotional damage cannot be recompensed, but realizing what the Lord had done was very comforting. -Joe

George Geftakys
Posted by: david mauldin ()
Date: November 01, 2002 04:14AM

That's great Joe, I'd like to tell you a simuliar story, While living at a brothers house I was told that if I ever left fellowship I wouldn't know what to do with myself. I really hated to hear that because I think it just confirmed to me what a looser I was. Yet after leaving I found out that I wasn't such a looser, I was even elected "Man of the Year" for the city of Buena Park. Today I am enjoying the discovering and the developement of grea the gifts God has given to me. I sing in a great chior at church, I work in a homeless shelter, I am having a great time with my hobbies of Journalism, (A number of short articles have been printed up in the local paper) As an artist, I'm hoping to have a few pieces exibited in the Brea Gallery this year, Dancing and hiking with the Seirra Club. To look back and realize that I was once suicidal amazes me? Why did I let those people push me around?

George Geftakys
Posted by: david mauldin ()
Date: November 02, 2002 01:40AM

Can anyone relate to this experience?
Certain members of the assembly never seem merit the same amount of concern or care that others are. Example for many years I attended prayer meetings where a brothers requet would be taken as a serious topic of prayer that night. It may have to do with an outreach or ministry where he would be preaching. It may concern his families health or well being.
The concern and care given to the request seemed to be directly related to that particular persons satatus in the assembly. For example one evening I recieved a phone call when I was told "Your father just died, Please come to North Carolina and take care of the issues. Emotionally this was very very hard for me. before leaving I requeted that the Saints would pray for me. this I thought only right as I had

George Geftakys
Posted by: david mauldin ()
Date: November 02, 2002 01:58AM

had spent many hours praying for other during prayer tower and all nihght of prayer. Yet when I returned home a week later , no mention of my request was ever made. Again a few years later I recieved a call from a relative. Your Aunt died, Could you please speak at her funeral? Again I had to leave right away and I asked very strongly that prayer would be made for me. Yet when I returned I was told by the person I asked "It just wasn't something that I thought important enough to bring up" More concern was directed at me about "Making up the stewardships I got out of" Was this because I wasn't out doing Assembly related events? Was it because I just wasn't considered important enough?

George Geftakys
Posted by: Mark Campbell ()
Date: November 02, 2002 04:11AM

Hi David,
Your request for prayer was not important to the Assembly because it had nothing to do with the self interest of the group.
I remember a Sister being counselled to not visit her Mother too much, though she was dying of cancer. The sister was concerned because her Mother didn't know the Lord and she hoped to minister the gospel via her visits to see her Mother.
Incredibly the Sister was told that her Mother needed to be left alone to consider her condition and thus come to the Lord through feeling her pain alone! The Sister's visiting would only "rescue" the Mother from facing the issue of sin in her life!
The Sister, as you discovered, was made to feel her "stewardships" in the house were more important then her Mother!
"Sister, get your priorities right! What's more important cleaning the bathroom or your Mother!"
Please keep checking the new website- as it is going to be great!
God Bless, Mark

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