Christian Cults

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Onyx
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Post by Onyx » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:42 pm

I don't know much about scientology, but I understand that they specifically target celebrities. My cult went through a phase in the 70s of targeting politicians. It wasn't too successful, but there was one US congressman who was a part of things. They had some more success targeting wealthy people (after all, the cult's raison d'etre boils down to the love of money). Wealthy contributors were invited to special events and flown in for visits on the jet... Also, when there was a currently active member playing in a football match on TV or similar, we were sure to be told - it was sort of a feather in the cap for the group as a whole. Particularly for wealthy contributors, it was a sickly perspective involving a rapid dropping of any "spiritual priorities" which were otherwise claimed.

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LushMojo
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Post by LushMojo » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:59 pm

This thread reminds me of the time my wife and I spent in the Assemblies of God. That denomination nearly convinced me to not be a Christian.

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Post by mdusenberry » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:53 pm

LushMojo wrote:This thread reminds me of the time my wife and I spent in the Assemblies of God. That denomination nearly convinced me to not be a Christian.
Interesting,

How much time did you guys spend in that denomination? I'm not an assemblies member but I have come accross a number of "Casualties" of the Assemblies Churches in the last several years.

A little background, I am a conservative non-denominational guy. I Spent two years at a fundamentalist Baptist College (evengelism for them was handing out tracts to other baptists who weren't as completely isolated from other Christians as they were. For instance, these particular baptists would not associate with someone who associated with someone who had different theology or especially social views). Therein lies my initial draw to this conversation, I clearly felt like I was in a cult environment.

To get to up to where I was going to ask you what you knew, I then spent two years at a liberal college focusing more on practical methods to ministry (in hopes of starting a parachurch ministry to help unify denominations to impact the comminity on a large scale). My Liberal Prof had been an Assemblies Pastor and was very jaded over the whole deal. As far as I could tell his experiences with them played a part in making him the cynical agnostic he was. Now I work with a man who bears much of the same scars, if you will.

I look forward to hearing your insight as the AG churches are a big player where I am currently living. I also appreciated your post because it was the first one I had the attention span to finish, let alone understand! :p

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Post by Roadmaster » Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:50 pm

mdusenberry wrote:
LushMojo wrote:This thread reminds me of the time my wife and I spent in the Assemblies of God. That denomination nearly convinced me to not be a Christian.
Interesting,

How much time did you guys spend in that denomination? I'm not an assemblies member but I have come accross a number of "Casualties" of the Assemblies Churches in the last several years.

A little background, I am a conservative non-denominational guy. I Spent two years at a fundamentalist Baptist College (evengelism for them was handing out tracts to other baptists who weren't as completely isolated from other Christians as they were. For instance, these particular baptists would not associate with someone who associated with someone who had different theology or especially social views). Therein lies my initial draw to this conversation, I clearly felt like I was in a cult environment.

To get to up to where I was going to ask you what you knew, I then spent two years at a liberal college focusing more on practical methods to ministry (in hopes of starting a parachurch ministry to help unify denominations to impact the comminity on a large scale). My Liberal Prof had been an Assemblies Pastor and was very jaded over the whole deal. As far as I could tell his experiences with them played a part in making him the cynical agnostic he was. Now I work with a man who bears much of the same scars, if you will.

I look forward to hearing your insight as the AG churches are a big player where I am currently living. I also appreciated your post because it was the first one I had the attention span to finish, let alone understand! :p
I don’t think either one of you fellows are necessity saying AoG is a cult; correct me if I am wrong.

I attended an AoG service once it was a memorial service for a neighbor. During a solo, the singer starting speaking in tongues midway through the song, then finished in English. I could not wait to get out of there but the service lasted for three hours with an offering taken twice.

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LushMojo
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Post by LushMojo » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:24 pm

mdusenberry wrote:
LushMojo wrote:This thread reminds me of the time my wife and I spent in the Assemblies of God. That denomination nearly convinced me to not be a Christian.
Interesting,

How much time did you guys spend in that denomination? I'm not an assemblies member but I have come accross a number of "Casualties" of the Assemblies Churches in the last several years.

A little background, I am a conservative non-denominational guy. I Spent two years at a fundamentalist Baptist College (evengelism for them was handing out tracts to other baptists who weren't as completely isolated from other Christians as they were. For instance, these particular baptists would not associate with someone who associated with someone who had different theology or especially social views). Therein lies my initial draw to this conversation, I clearly felt like I was in a cult environment.

To get to up to where I was going to ask you what you knew, I then spent two years at a liberal college focusing more on practical methods to ministry (in hopes of starting a parachurch ministry to help unify denominations to impact the comminity on a large scale). My Liberal Prof had been an Assemblies Pastor and was very jaded over the whole deal. As far as I could tell his experiences with them played a part in making him the cynical agnostic he was. Now I work with a man who bears much of the same scars, if you will.

I look forward to hearing your insight as the AG churches are a big player where I am currently living. I also appreciated your post because it was the first one I had the attention span to finish, let alone understand! :p
We spent over a decade on the denomination. That's time I dearly wish I could retrieve. We go to a relatively moderate non-denominational church here in Colorado now (after nearly giving up on church for good). I was raised as a Baptist though (in Louisiana).

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Onyx
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Post by Onyx » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:25 pm

Roadmaster wrote:I don’t think either one of you fellows are necessity saying AoG is a cult; correct me if I am wrong.

I attended an AoG service once it was a memorial service for a neighbor. During a solo, the singer starting speaking in tongues midway through the song, then finished in English. I could not wait to get out of there but the service lasted for three hours with an offering taken twice.
That's hilarious. Maybe if you still didn't get the hint the offering plate would have made a third round. At a certain point you wonder if you're there to be milked.

I heard from a friend still in my old cult that they'd taken the global financial crisis as prompting to remind people not to let the financial pressures impact on their offerings over-and-above the tithe! Oh no, the solution for everyone doing it tough is to "give more" so you can receive more. Nothing but exploitation.

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Onyx
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Post by Onyx » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:31 pm

LushMojo wrote:We spent over a decade on the denomination. That's time I dearly wish I could retrieve. We go to a relatively moderate non-denominational church here in Colorado now (after nearly giving up on church for good). I was raised as a Baptist though (in Louisiana).
My wife and I went to a couple of churches after getting out of the cult, but nothing we found there was even sufficient to inspire us to keep looking. And while at one level I'd like to have a couple of decades back, I've kind of decided that that was part of my life too, so I'll just take the good, and take the lessons. There were many good times and many wonderful friends - despite the awful context. And we still have much to be thankful for. I guess it's like I Thessalonians 5: Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.

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Post by LushMojo » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:17 pm

Onyx wrote:
LushMojo wrote:We spent over a decade on the denomination. That's time I dearly wish I could retrieve. We go to a relatively moderate non-denominational church here in Colorado now (after nearly giving up on church for good). I was raised as a Baptist though (in Louisiana).
My wife and I went to a couple of churches after getting out of the cult, but nothing we found there was even sufficient to inspire us to keep looking. And while at one level I'd like to have a couple of decades back, I've kind of decided that that was part of my life too, so I'll just take the good, and take the lessons. There were many good times and many wonderful friends - despite the awful context. And we still have much to be thankful for. I guess it's like I Thessalonians 5: Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.
If you ever have time (and inclination) check out one of the series here:

http://flatironschurch.com/messages/messages.php

I'm not one for proselytizing much, but I do know this place pulled me from the brink of turning my back on pretty much everything.

The recent Colorado Trail series was good. Anyway, take it for what it's worth.

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Post by Archer » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:35 pm

So Onxy can I ask what title your former cult went by? reading this whole thread has gotten me very curious. If you wish to not tell I definately understand

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Post by UncleBob » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:37 pm

LushMojo wrote:This thread reminds me of the time my wife and I spent in the Assemblies of God. That denomination nearly convinced me to not be a Christian.
+1
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Onyx
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Post by Onyx » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:28 pm

Archer wrote:So Onxy can I ask what title your former cult went by? reading this whole thread has gotten me very curious. If you wish to not tell I definately understand
Yes, I've avoided naming the group, or even myself. I guess this is a response to the fact that so many areas of life, family, friends and contacts are still connected with the group. Naming the group would likely also identify me to those who monitor the web specifically for traffic regarding the group. It's not simple, and I prefer not to break the anonymity.

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Post by FredS » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:09 pm

Honestly Onyx, if that cult is monitoring the web, seeking retribution on former members or punishment on current members, then they are not Christians. They lied to you about that. Please don’t consider them to be true followers of Christ. If you do, then I fear that you’ve never truly understood our faith.
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Post by coco » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:27 pm

Onyx wrote:those who monitor the web specifically for traffic regarding the group.
8O 8O 8O
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Onyx
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Post by Onyx » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:42 pm

FredS wrote:Honestly Onyx, if that cult is monitoring the web, seeking retribution on former members or punishment on current members, then they are not Christians. They lied to you about that. Please don’t consider them to be true followers of Christ. If you do, then I fear that you’ve never truly understood our faith.
Oh, I know it's wrong. But yes, there is a security department that has people who monitor the web - and a few years ago banned the rest of us from reading about the group on the web!

But to be straight I would not expect any sort of retribution or punishment. And I do not fear them. The people involved are sincere, and believe what they are doing is based on the gospel - as hard as that may be to comprehend. However, people within the group talk in such a way that it would affect other people who are related to me, or are in the process of extricating themselves. (Believe me, it's a process!) And people trying to get out need considerable help.

Maybe one day I'll put it in a book. I don't expect it would be a best-seller, but I'd like to freely email copies to everyone who is or has been involved. That would be a nice little stinker! But the hardest thing would be swallowing my pride. The embarrassment of finally admitting that you've been deeply committed to a cult must be felt to be believed. I can really only talk openly to other former members.

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Onyx
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Post by Onyx » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:46 pm

coco wrote:
Onyx wrote:those who monitor the web specifically for traffic regarding the group.
8O 8O 8O
Yup. It comes down to that control over information that we talked about.

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Post by gospeldj » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:22 am

Onyx, I'm just glad you're out of that mess. I'll keep you in my prayers.

By the way, I would never...ever...belong to a church, cult, club, group, fraternity, coffee klatch or any organization that had a list of "banned books" that I was forbidden to read.

Mike
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Post by Dug » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:45 am

coco wrote:
Onyx wrote:those who monitor the web specifically for traffic regarding the group.
8O 8O 8O
+ 8O

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Onyx
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Post by Onyx » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:27 am

gospeldj wrote:Onyx, I'm just glad you're out of that mess. I'll keep you in my prayers.

By the way, I would never...ever...belong to a church, cult, club, group, fraternity, coffee klatch or any organization that had a list of "banned books" that I was forbidden to read.

Mike
Thanks for that.

Would you be a proud citizen of a country that had a list of banned books?

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Onyx
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Post by Onyx » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:34 am

Dug wrote:
coco wrote:
Onyx wrote:those who monitor the web specifically for traffic regarding the group.
8O 8O 8O
+ 8O
Yeah, me too.

But by the way, how sure are you that the Roman Catholic church does not have people engaged in watching what's being posted on the web? I'm not suggesting that they're interested in small beer stuff at CPS... but don't you think that they watch trends, blogs and moves for and against the church on the web? Don't you think that they have their eye on a handful of potentially influential types? Have a think about that. I imagine they want to know what's going on. Maybe they have a virtual ear to the ground also.

Or maybe I'm just hung-over from re-watching the Bourne trilogy.

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Post by DepartedLight » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:39 am

The most damaging deal with the various cults is that it gives the person who figures out the cult isn’t The Way a rather slanted view of the Divine and it can take a long time and a lot of circumstances to bring that person around to hearing the still small voice. Even though I never bought into the JW’s it was most damaging on my view point of Jesus. However, since I had been with the JW’s so long I learned to simply reject the obvious BS with the ICOC on the spot. Which was kind of funny at times. If you’ve never been involved with a Christian cult and gotten out of it, it’s hard to explain the emotional turmoil it brings.
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