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7 years ago
changedagain
QuoteChanged4me Twenty-five years is a long time to be a part of a religous/social organization. So many things happened to change me as an individual human being and spiritual person. In September 1997 everything shut down and I never spoke about my life in TLWF, 25 years of my life, until now. I recently discovered this website and thread and began to read, and read some more. Something has com
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
7 years ago
changedagain
The new Pope eschews the perks and trappings of his office. Perhaps he can impart this attitude to them.
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
7 years ago
changedagain
Quotesierradawn I don't know who you and your wife are, but yes, it is a solace to know that they will one day have to account for their actions against God. My wife brought your Mom into this fellowship. Of course, she had no idea how toxic and spiritually hollow the church would become, and was very distraught to hear what your Mom was subjected to toward the end of her life...prior to
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
7 years ago
changedagain
Quotelarry boboThank you Sierra for sharing your story. TLWF has obviously had a deep impact on your life and your overcoming is an encouragement to others. I knew your parents but was not close to them. Thanks also for your openness and honesty to share very personal areas of your life without the veil of a ficticous user name - I know many others will know your family and your story will hav
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
7 years ago
changedagain
Chaos, Back in the day, being immersed in that environment, I'm sure I said a lot of nutty things, too. But I made a helluva effort not to treat people disrespectfully, or lord it over them...which I had the opportunity to do. It's one thing to become attached to bizarre theology, it's another to use it as a license to treat others inhumanely. From what I remember, Mike was kind
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
7 years ago
changedagain
QuoteChaos1952Of those ten warnings of a dangerous group leader the current LWF leadership qualifies perfectly. Now, I am looking for the truth about the original leader. I THINK the Walk went about a hundred percent worse when John Stevens died. However, I am not in the dark about John Stevens either. Now I can't judge him, because I can not accept my own behavior in the Walk. I was no
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
7 years ago
changedagain
QuotesierradawnQuotepaleface Pale Face, I love what you wrote, it's so true. I distinctly remember a service where they were talking about how bad individuality was, that we all needed to be one and be led by others. WOW. We had to look at others as we were singing, to sing to "the Christ in others". I'll never forget the first ministry I received from John. It was a 
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
7 years ago
changedagain
QuoteChaos1952I am curious about something. I was familiar with all the Living Word churches in the Southeast United States when I was in it, but I had limited exposure to the churches of the other areas of the country. Other than a visit to Shiloh now and then, and a call to Com-central or whatever that was it. We just listened to the tapes and nothing was mentioned about any "designated
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
7 years ago
changedagain
My wife knew your parents well. She too originated from Yakima, during the time period you mentioned. Thank you for posting this, Sierra Dawn. It's saturated with a great deal of insight, and though painful to absorb, should greatly help those still struggling with the decision of whether to remain or leave. If it's any solace, Marilyn and Gary will one day have to give an accountin
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
8 years ago
changedagain
Even though Cambridge Who's Who identified Gary as Professional of the Year in the area of 'ministry leadership and spiritual education,' I'm still convinced the people writing here--along with the person referring to himself as 'Amos' at www.letterfromamos.org--have a much truer picture of what's been going on. Personal experience trumps public relations.
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
8 years ago
changedagain
Quotelarry bobo From what I have read, after an individual has been involved in an isolated group for a few years, it is very difficult to get them to question anything. The reason the leaders of these groups try to separate their followers is to maintain control. Larry, Yes, control has been the operative word, post-John. Lording it over people's lives became synonymous with shepherd
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
8 years ago
changedagain
QuoteStrand JRS had a son with a woman outside his marriage to another member in the church, and that kid went to school with us all. Is this news or not really? I also had a very credible source confirm this to me. But he hastened to add: "it all happened while John was married to Martha, but was supposed to be faithful to Marilyn." Keep that in mind.
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
9 years ago
changedagain
Quotelarry bobo However, we hardly gave it a second thought that John, and then ourselves on his coat tails, would never die. Many people were sifted out of the fellowship following John's death because they did not believe they should continue to focus on him and join in the prayer for his return. I personally cut off relationships based on this directive--something I am obviously not pro
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
9 years ago
changedagain
QuoteLundungoth"I knew Mark and Fred Well." Mark left the church ages ago. Fred was my grandpa and he died a long time ago. Lois remarried and is now married to Ken Boney. Mark is not the hyper, free-loving person that he used to be, but hey - gotta love my uncle. Fred did my books shortly after I started my small business. He was always fair and kind toward me. I played softball
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
9 years ago
changedagain
Quotejhorning I've reached out recently to current members that I have known for years, but they won't talk about the walk or what is going on. They will not respond to me if I question what they are doing. John, The short answer is they probably believe they are on the right path, and having invested most of their lives in this, are wary of listening to anyone that might sway th
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
9 years ago
changedagain
Quotejhorning I recall having communion one sunday with wine that Damon made. It tasted the way turpentine smelled. Ahh yes. Just one of the many gifts possessed by Demon Davis (changing water into turpentine).
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
9 years ago
changedagain
One thing I learned not to do was question the validity of a pastor's word just because he happened to be totally wasted (alcohol) when he delivered it. In fact, I eventually came to the conclusion that God preferred moving through an alcoholic ministry. Take that, religious spirit!
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
9 years ago
changedagain
Quotepaleface I guess it is easy to fault JRS and claim "His big error was not opening up to Marilyn all the way". The hint is that John missed the mark here. Was that the "big mistake" ? I don't think so. Yeah...specifically, I don't think John's big problem during the time period he was having an affair was not being open to another woman, also not
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
9 years ago
changedagain
Quotepaleface It is often taught that if you learned to think like the leader (MH) you would have her thinking, and that her thinking was God's thinking. She was the "Lamp of Israel" and was the incarnation of Christ on the earth. I remember it being said often, in the 70's, that you really couldn't understand the scriptures without John's word. And then at som
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
10 years ago
changedagain
I knew Mark and Fred well. I liked being around them...thought they were very good-natured. What was so 'infamous' about your Dad, BTW?
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
10 years ago
changedagain
QuoteAmosthe problem is that the yardstick we used to measure change was given to us by people who forgot to use it on themselves first. The default mode (post-John) was to blame the people for things not working out. The "word" and directives were never the problem, of course. Nor was the fact that all the real power (decision-making) in the organization was vested in just a couple
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
10 years ago
changedagain
QuoteAmosActually it is not working out -- those folks are nuts! Amos, I received an email today from a friend that spent as much time, actually more, in this group than I did. What he wrote, excerpted below, reflects my own attitude. Here goes: 'The more things "change" the more they stay the same. You know what's amazing? After year after year after year of 5-7 s
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
10 years ago
changedagain
Congrats on being clean and sober for over 11 years, Jerry--and welcome to the forum. Based on your walk history it's unlikely our paths crossed--but I'm sure you'll find someone here that knows you. My name is Mike, BTW.
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
changedagain
QuoteAmosActually it is not working out -- those folks are nuts! ha--yeah, it feels good returning to some semblance of sanity.
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
changedagain
QuoteAmosThat's Amos, not Anos ... Are you referring in your observations about designated relationships and the Hargraves getting away with anything they please to something specific that happened to you? Amos, Actually, both. I've gone into some detail over on the factnet site...as have many others. At this point, I'm not interested in repeating myself....better things to
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
changedagain
"They believe that simply having a relationship with an invisible God does not result in any real spiritual growth since in practical terms an invisible God does not do much to stop the Hargraves from doing whatever they want." finally, some honesty!
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
changedagain
QuoteAnos In fellowship parlance, if you are married, your spouse is one of your "designated relationships." Well, until you get tired of her, and get a new--hopefully younger--designated relationship.
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
13 years ago
changedagain
Quotelouann Yes, they did use us. This group was and is a cult, and too many fine people have had their spirituality and dedication abused and exploited. I think it was Larry Bobo, on Factnet, that mentioned Gary and Marilyn's salary...sometime in the 90's...as being $90,000 a year ($180,000 total). This, of course, does not reflect the amount of donated or discounted services t
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
14 years ago
changedagain
You know that if Gary & Marilyn were not busy administering the Kingdom, they would be right out there with you: cutting the rose bushes, weeding in the lagoon, scrubbing the toilets with a tooth brush etc. You sound like a whiner, who can't handle a little discipline. Grow up!
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
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