PART XX-A: Christian Reconstruction, ATI, Abuse & Submission – The Cult

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Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 12.54.54 AMHave you ever wondered how a person could get sucked into a cult?  Is there a certain personality that is drawn into a cult, or can we all be at risk?  Have you ever wondered about the people involved in such organizations?  IHOP, for example has an interesting murder mystery going on.  Doug Phillips recently resigned, taking Vision Forum down with him, over his sexcapades.  Bill Gothard has been asked to step aside, due to his perverted version of not having sex with dozens of young women who were entrusted to his care.  The Sovereign Grace Ministries are in the process of imploding after C. J. Mahoney was forced out, due to covering up a now convicted pedophile.  There is a little pedophile problem over at Voice of the Martyrs.  Calvary Chapels seem to be having a pedophile problem, and so forth and so on until one wonders just what these godly men have been doing with their spare time.  Heck, we know what Mark Driscoll and his wife are allegedly doing, and it’s not for the under 21 crowd or the readers of this blog.  His sermons are so filthy I won’t even link to them, nor quote from them.    The Pearls, Michael and Debi have a book so evil, several children have been murdered due to their suggestions.

What on earth is going on? Are normal people capable of being drawn into cults like this?  Unfortunately, the answer is, well, yes, sort of.

“...Individual vulnerability factors matter much more than personality type when it comes to joining or staying in a cult or abusive relationship. “Everyone is influenced and persuaded daily in various ways,” writes the late Margaret Singer, “but the vulnerability to influence varies. The ability to fend off persuaders is reduced when one is rushed, stressed, uncertain, lonely, indifferent, uninformed, distracted, or fatigued…. Also affecting vulnerability are the status and power of the persuader…. No one type of person is prone to become involved with cults. About two-thirds of those studied have been normal young persons induced to join groups in periods of personal crisis, [such as] broken romance or failures to get the job or college of their choice. Vulnerable, the young person affiliates with a cult offering promises of unconditional love, new mental powers, and social utopia. Since modern cults are persistent and often deceptive in their recruiting, many prospective group members have no accurate knowledge of the cult and almost no understanding of what eventually will be expected of them as long-term members.”…”

CARM
CARM

There are four kinds of cults:  Religious, Political, Commercial, and Psychological.  Anything can become a cult.  Anyone can be drawn into one, if they are manipulated the right way.  No one is safe from them.  Cults have a tendency to isolate their members, before brainwashing them. The most perfect example I know of isolating and brainwashing on a large scale basis is FOX News. Even I fell for their propaganda.  The way to find out if you have fallen pray to them is just turn it off for six weeks.  That’s all it takes.  I did.

“...Let us look for a moment at how some of this manifests in the cult leader. Cult leaders have an outstanding ability to charm and win over followers. They beguile and seduce. They enter a room and garner all the attention. They command the utmost respect and obedience. These are “individuals whose narcissism is so extreme and grandiose that they exist in a land of splendid isolation in which the creation of the grandiose self takes precedence over legal, moral or interpersonal commitments.”…”

There is a difference between cults and groups like AA.

“...There are lots of differences, but the major difference is that of ultimate goal. Established religions and altruistic movements are focused outward–they attempt to better the lives of members and often, nonmembers. They make altruistic contributions. Cults serve their own purposes, which are the purposes of the cult leader; their energies are focused inward rather than outward (Singer, 1995). Also, religions and altruistic movements typically lack the distinguishing characteristics of overbearing authoritarian control, the use of deception in recruitment, the use of coercive influence techniques, and the replacement of one identity with another which would not have been freely chosen by the individual before joining the group (Hassan, 1990)…”

There are/were two major Christian cults in the US.  They are/were under the authority of sexual pervert Bill Gothard and sexual predator and abuser Doug Phillips.  Jennifer Epstein wrote about life in Phillip’s cult church.  It is shocking, staggering, and a perfect example of life inside a malicious Christian church.  She and her husband eventually left the cult, but their lives and their marriage were basically ruined.  She has written extensively about the abuse of Doug Phillips.

“...There is an excerpt of a letter on the third page, of which the second paragraph states: “Your unwillingness to be under authority or counsel,” {which again refers to Beall Phillips showing up at the meeting when I had specifically requested that she not be there because she had refused to speak to me for the previous two years and because I asked if a friend could come to the counseling sessions}, “to repent for sinful attitudes” {I keep asking what these were}, and your spreading of untruthful gossip {my pleas for help were certainly truthful; to the extent that Doug Phillips considered them gossip, I did apologize, but he blatantly refused to forgive me}.

At the top of page 4, Doug Phillips lists many lies, such as “You refused to follow the basic directives which were given to you.” {This is the list of 14 suggestions to make your husband happy, of which I did all 14. I used email instead of writing it down on a piece of paper for one of the suggestions. I even refrained from talking to men about theology during that timeframe, even though I did not see that as being biblical. I did what they asked me to.} You “claimed a startling new doctrine of near sinless-ness as it applied to your own conduct in marriage.” {The last time I checked, Romans 6 and 8 were not new. I merely explained that I had not sinned recently in my marriage, nor did I have a pattern of sin in my marriage from which I needed to repent.} You “claimed a near sinless-ness in interactions with church leaders.” {I guess that must be the voting paper I wrote to Doug Phillips – which is the real reason for this whole “disciplinary action.”}…”

This was just a small example of the abuse Jennifer Epstein endured, for several years, before she and her husband were able to finally break free of Phillips and his influence.  What was done to her is a perfect example of how the new Christian right, the Calvinist Christian right has morphed into an what can only be described as a series of manipulative and extremely abusive mind-controlling ans spiritually ruinous cults.  Their manipulation of Christianity is one thing.  But, when you add the fact that they control numerous politicians, and have tremendous influence on the Christian Right, FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Michael Medved, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Alex Jones, and even racist bigot, Michelle Malkin, and the problem is obvious.  No, not everyone is into it for religion.  It’s more like a harmonic convergence of bottom-feeding, money hungry, sociopaths, who are interested in their own power and hearing the sound of their own voices.  They are being sustained by Charles and David Koch who are now worth over 100 billion dollars.  If you don’t think this is enough to destroy this country as we know it, then you’re living in a fool’s paradise.

This is the first of six parts.

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