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Old 09-20-2017, 02:43 AM   #1
aron
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Default Brainwashing

Brainwashing is here defined as: what?

I say it's where people get their minds controlled by an external program, where they no longer think for themselves, but front another's thoughts, will, and desires. Of course in Christianity we willingly accept this. "Not I but Christ".

But I'm not talking about God's Christ here, but rather a fellow sinner.

How do we see brainwashing in the LC? I can think of two examples. First, a poster here recently relates to sharing a song on an LC forum and getting no response. The venue had over 1,000 members but not one admits to enjoying Christian music from outside the LC. That is forbidden territory. They've been programmed to see Christianity as lifeless. So, no music. (even though they use hundreds of songs pre-dating Nee.)

Second, Witness Lee could stand in front of hundreds day after day, and expound line after line, precept after precept, clunker after clunker, and nobody said a word of correction or adjustment. Home-made homelitics without any alloy. Just pure subjective impressions. And not a word of adjustment from anyone.

They were brainwashed. "Witness Lee is always right."
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Brainwashing

That, dear aron, is what bothered and continues to bother me most-- the granting of infallibility to WL, who was so glaringly filled with flaws and who taught strange interpretations that were pulled out of thin air at times. I could not and still cannot bear his writings and works. If all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and if " each one has", doesn't that indicate that NO ONE should receive the adulation and mantle of infallibility like WL has in the LC? EVERYONE has feet of clay and we are to call no man father-- and this means spiritually. While the LC may be smart enough not to call WL father with the exact terminology, they do indeed see him as such. This is repugnant and is what separates them from the rest of the universal church-- not superior teaching or life experience. The separation is based on worshipping at the wrong altar and never has been nor ever will be because Christianity is so poor and degraded.

Because he not only accepted this worship ( let's call it what it really is), and also encouraged it, I do not voluntarily read anything he said.I simply cannot stomach him both because of what I know about his life and because of the worship given to him which should be given to no one except our Lord. We are all sinners, but few of us claim to be MOTA. He had the audacity to do so.
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Brainwashing

Thanks Aron.

LifeGoesOn twice asserted I was brainwashed so I would like him to take this opportunity to prove it.

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Old 09-20-2017, 06:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Brainwashing

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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
That, dear aron, is what bothered and continues to bother me most-- the granting of infallibility to WL, who was so glaringly filled with flaws and who taught strange interpretations that were pulled out of thin air at times. I could not and still cannot bear his writings and works. If all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and if " each one has", doesn't that indicate that NO ONE should receive the adulation and mantle of infallibility like WL has in the LC? EVERYONE has feet of clay and we are to call no man father-- and this means spiritually. While the LC may be smart enough not to call WL father with the exact terminology, they do indeed see him as such. This is repugnant and is what separates them from the rest of the universal church-- not superior teaching or life experience. The separation is based on worshipping at the wrong altar and never has been nor ever will be because Christianity is so poor and degraded.

Because he not only accepted this worship ( let's call it what it really is), and also encouraged it, I do not voluntarily read anything he said.I simply cannot stomach him both because of what I know about his life and because of the worship given to him which should be given to no one except our Lord. We are all sinners, but few of us claim to be MOTA. He had the audacity to do so.
Unreg,

You haven't made the case for brainwashing in the LC. The things you describe are not brainwashing.

Nevertheless, if you think you have described brainwashing then to be consistent 1.2 Billion Catholics are also brainwashed.

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Old 09-20-2017, 07:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Brainwashing

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Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Thanks Aron.

LifeGoesOn twice asserted I was brainwashed so I would like him to take this opportunity to prove it.

Drake
Reminds me of one of the current Sonic commercials. The doofus (of the two) says "it's like when we were back in college." To which the other replies "I was in college. You were in denial." "I was not!"

The problem with self-asserting that you are not brainwashed is that there is no way someone who was would know it. So your own assertion is meaningless.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Brainwashing

Here's my common-sense metric for brain-washing.

If the speaker up front says, "The moon is made of Green Cheese" and everyone in the audience claps and cheers then perhaps they are under some mass delusion. Because I see no objective evidence that the moon is actually composed of Green Cheese (or any other for that matter).

Witness Lee would stand in front of hundreds and speak things that strained the limits of orthodoxy, that contradicted each other (is this the 1987 doctrine or the 1974 teaching), that defied common sense, that bothered our consciences (many witnesses here have testified here), and that depart from Christian practice dating centuries. Yet after each one of these sessions, nobody would stand up and say, "Wait a minute".

So I say, Brainwashing.

See how easy it is to challenge each other? We do it on this forum all the time.

Yet we see a man who gave hundreds if not thousands of messages in front of who knows how many, and nobody EVER saw anything wrong? The man was that good? Or we were re-programmed? I say, the second, not the first.

"The tree of life is the center of the universe". Well, um, maybe not. I see the throne of God, and a river of water of life proceeding out of the throne, and the tree of life growing on either side of the river. So maybe the throne is the center.

Now, it may be the center, or it may not be. Maybe the tree of life is, in fact, the center. But it isn't as self-evident as Lee pretended it was. And we believed him, without question. The fact that nobody questioned his bland assertions, some of which were thinly made, indicates brain-washing.

Anyone who questioned anything was labeled "negative" and hustled out the door. The brainwashed and docile ones remained.

"Don't think, it will only make you confused." I actually heard this. What does this indicate? Brainwashing.
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: Brainwashing

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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
That, dear aron, is what bothered and continues to bother me most-- the granting of infallibility to WL, who was so glaringly filled with flaws and who taught strange interpretations that were pulled out of thin air at times. I could not and still cannot bear his writings and works. If all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and if " each one has", doesn't that indicate that NO ONE should receive the adulation and mantle of infallibility like WL has in the LC? EVERYONE has feet of clay and we are to call no man father-- and this means spiritually. While the LC may be smart enough not to call WL father with the exact terminology, they do indeed see him as such. This is repugnant and is what separates them from the rest of the universal church-- not superior teaching or life experience. The separation is based on worshipping at the wrong altar and never has been nor ever will be because Christianity is so poor and degraded.

Because he not only accepted this worship ( let's call it what it really is), and also encouraged it, I do not voluntarily read anything he said.I simply cannot stomach him both because of what I know about his life and because of the worship given to him which should be given to no one except our Lord. We are all sinners, but few of us claim to be MOTA. He had the audacity to do so.
Amen bro unregistered. Because I rejected this infallibility elevation of Lee I was booted out ... way back in 1980, or thereabouts ... when I discovered I was in a cult.

Thanks for your post brother ... blessings.
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Brainwashing

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Originally Posted by aron View Post
"Don't think, it will only make you confused." I actually heard this. What does this indicate? Brainwashing.
Yes! Exactly!!! Do not question or you will be in danger of the ""losing the flow" and in danger of falling into the "outer darkness" (TLR version of purgatory).

My wife was actually told to (I kid you not) "Pray the ministry into your being."

How about we get the Word of God into our being?!

Everything in TLR is self-centered and self-focused. All biblical references to the Body of Christ are viewed and taught in the LC as referring to members of the LC.

Just about everything I thought that I knew of God and the Bible came from the LSM (Recovery version notes, Life Studies, conferences, etc.).

Once I started reading the Bible and studying it for myself, not using LSM materials, the Lord started opening His Word to me like never before! He is so good!

I tossed every single LSM item I owned in a dumpster and haven't left over back!
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Brainwashing

Brainwashed, like the word cult, has a specific meaning within a specific context. Generally, people who are deeply involved in groups which practice brainwashing will seek to redefine the word itself. They will massage it, bend it, stretch it and go through all sorts of linguistic gymnastics until the actual word or term is unrecognizable, or just plain loses it's traditional meaning or definition altogether.

Let's take a look at the Merriam-Webster definition:

1) A forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas
2) Persuasion by propaganda or salesmanship


Over the years, many Christian apologists have claimed that Witness Lee and many of Local Church leaders have created an atmosphere/dynamic which closely matches the description noted above. Having been a long-time devoted member and close observer of the Movement for over 40 years, I concur. Now, does every member of the group over the entire gambit of time and space exactly match the Merriam-Webster definition of brainwashed? Of course not...and I'm not aware of any outside apologist or former member who has ever claimed anything of the like.

It is interesting to note, however, that many, if not most, former Local Church of Witness Lee members have moderate to strong convictions which lean towards acknowledging that the atmosphere/dynamic within the movement closely matches many of the traditional definition/understandings of brainwashing.

Are Local Church members in danger of being controlled in the same manner of the most hideous cults, like Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple (of the infamous kool-aid murder/suicides) or the David Koresh's Branch Dividians (of the infamous Waco standoff murder/suicides)? Absolutely not, and I know of no Christian apologist, teacher or former LC member that has made a claim that comes anything close. But does this mean that the Local Church is a totally innocuous, benign Christian sect which can be considered a save and healthy place for young people and new Christians? Absolutely not. But, you see, there is a nearly infinite scale of possibilities in between these two descriptions, and I would strongly suggest that the Local Church of Witness Lee falls somewhere right in the middle of this scale.

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Old 09-20-2017, 09:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: Brainwashing

For our dear brother Drake:
I am the unregistered who posted directly below our brother aron above. And you are correct. I did not make the case for brainwashing. I do not know for sure if these people are brainwashed and I don't care. I was not trying to make the case for brainwashing. I was picking up on the last paragraph of aron's post where he states that Witness Lee would go on and on about various things while he was teaching that were not correct.

It has always been my opinion that these people are willingly led astray. They are hooked in by one or two things that Witness Lee says that he actually got from Darby or others. Of course Darby and others were incredibly interesting, relevant and usually correct. He rode to fame throwing out various teachings of the Brethren to an audience who had not heard the teachings before. This is what gave him some credibility.
And I think that was the hook. It is just too bad that so many members of the LC do not take the time to read the writings of the Brethren themselves. That alone would set them free in many ways.

It is fine with me if others enjoy him. I believe in freedom In worship. I also believe in my own personal freedom to worship as I choose. All of the people in the LC have every right in the world to admire the teachings of this man if they choose to do so. What they do not have, according to scripture itself, is the right to worship him. Granting him infallibility and exclusivity makes it worship. They do worship him. There is no doubt about that. They worship him as some kind of intermediary between them and the Lord Jesus. He is their Pope. And that I find totally repugnant and completely out of line with Christian belief. But not only that, I find it to be utterly stupid. If everyone has a portion, then to focus exclusively on just one man's portion and accept that as gospel that can cancel out any other revelation, is denying oneself the very gift that God has provided.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:16 AM   #11
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Default Re: Brainwashing

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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
What they do not have, according to scripture itself, is the right to worship him. Granting him infallibility and exclusivity makes it worship. They do worship him. There is no doubt about that. They worship him as some kind of intermediary between them and the Lord Jesus. He is their Pope.
Unreg,

If it were as you say then it would be repugnant. But in my time there I know of no one that worshiped Witness Lee nor has he ever been the intermediary between us and the Lord Jesus. Never.

And, it is still not a description of brainwashing.... the topic of this thread.

BTW, since you referenced the Pope you must also believe that 1.2 Billion Catholics are in a similar boat.

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Old 09-20-2017, 10:22 AM   #12
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Default Re: Brainwashing

LifeGoesOn,

You have asserted that I am brainwashed. Don't leave that assertion hanging in dead air. You are not a drive-by shooter in that sense are you?

UntoHim has provided a working definition. Start there. Or retract.

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Old 09-20-2017, 11:06 AM   #13
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Default Re: Brainwashing

Drake,

I don't know if you are still a member of TLR or not. What I can see is that it appears to me that you (just like I was) have been deeply indoctrinated with LSM/TLR ideology. That stuff is toxic.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you have not adopted the LSM hive mind, but your posts state otherwise.


I want you to be set free. That's all.

Please ask the Holy Spirit to show you the true nature of the LC.

Blessings,
LGO.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:11 AM   #14
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Default Re: Brainwashing

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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
It has always been my opinion that these people are willingly led astray. They are hooked in by one or two things that Witness Lee says that he actually got from Darby or others. Of course Darby and others were incredibly interesting, relevant and usually correct. He rode to fame throwing out various teachings of the Brethren to an audience who had not heard the teachings before. This is what gave him some credibility.
And I think that was the hook. It is just too bad that so many members of the LC do not take the time to read the writings of the Brethren themselves. That alone would set them free in many ways.
Not to dispute every thing you have said on this thread, but building a case for reading Darby is like shooting yourself in the foot. Every thing you have said about Lee and his followers, could also be said about Darby and his exclusive followers. Actually Nee and Lee got most of their bad stuff from Darby.

I would, however, recommend the writings of the so-called "Open" brothers, e.g. Mueller, Chapman, Coad's history, Lang, etc.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:18 AM   #15
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Default Re: Brainwashing

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Originally Posted by LifeGoesOn View Post
Drake,

I don't know if you are still a member of TLR or not. What I can see is that it appears to me that you (just like I was) have been deeply indoctrinated with LSM/TLR ideology. That stuff is toxic.
Drake has told us plainly that he has spent his last 40 years in the LC's. Obviously we were contemporaries at one time (as were UntoHim and other posters) except that I left in 2005 during the Quarantines while he has remained.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:24 AM   #16
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Brainwashed, like the word cult, has a specific meaning within a specific context. Generally, people who are deeply involved in groups which practice brainwashing will seek to redefine the word itself. They will massage it, bend it, stretch it and go through all sorts of linguistic gymnastics until the actual word or term is unrecognizable, or just plain loses it's traditional meaning or definition altogether.
Amen bro Untohim. Lee's local church is not a cult of the body (kool-aid type cults) but a cult of the mind ... a soft cult, if you will.

They are not a cult like the Scientologists, that have enforcement departments, and agents. They are a cult like the Jehovah's Witnesses ... except they believe in hell, the trinity, and that Jesus is God. But still a mind control personality cult just the same.

But don't publish it, or upper members of that cult will use DCP, lawyers, and millions if necessary, to sue your pants off. The last thing they want the public to know is that they are a cult.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:47 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Drake has told us plainly that he has spent his last 40 years in the LC's. Obviously we were contemporaries at one time (as were UntoHim and other posters) except that I left in 2005 during the Quarantines while he has remained.

It's funny, I probably know Drake, Ohio and several other members here.

I was born into the LC in Chicago in the '70s.

I remember the whole TC thing, but was never told the details. I just knew that we no longer met with the Cleveland saints. I heard stories of localities choosing sides and meeting halls being sold.

When I was young the names John Ingalls & Max Rappaport (sp) were whispered in small one on one settings, but then followed up with the words storm and ambition. No details were discussed in my presence.


I remember the whole "Defense & Confirmation" legal action, but didn't bother to ask questions. I just knew that "they were wrong" and "God was on our side's legal team."

I didn't really think for myself until the end. It was the Lord's mercy that He opened my eyes and brought me out of TLR.

I have actually learned the true cult nature of TLR via this message board and I'm so grateful! I want this message board to be a healing tool for those who dare to seek the truth and have the courage to leave TLR.

May our awesome Lord and Savior bless this forum!
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:47 AM   #18
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Drake,

I don't know if you are still a member of TLR or not. What I can see is that it appears to me that you (just like I was) have been deeply indoctrinated with LSM/TLR ideology. That stuff is toxic.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you have not adopted the LSM hive mind, but your posts state otherwise.


I want you to be set free. That's all.

Please ask the Holy Spirit to show you the true nature of the LC.

Blessings,
LGO.
LGO

I am current, as Ohio as rightly pointed out. I posted a testimony a few months back.... can't remember the thread name but you can search on my name if you want to understand my history, views, and current status.

Perhaps to you I am the quintessential local churcher. And therefore, as you have sullied my good moniker by twice asserting I am brainwashed the onus falls upon you to prove it. Perhaps then you will persuade me ....then I will be set free. Or there is an outside chance that I will convince you that the whole brainwashing allegation is a mischaracterization, propaganda, or silly nonsense.

Thanks
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:12 PM   #19
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Default Re: Brainwashing

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Unreg,

If it were as you say then it would be repugnant. But in my time there I know of no one that worshiped Witness Lee nor has he ever been the intermediary between us and the Lord Jesus. Never.
Not to that extent, but there have been brothers privately and publicly that though they may not "worshipped" Witness Lee, there was idolatry or at a minimum there was an image to project and protect.
Things others would do, brother Lee wouldn't do is what one elder indicated.
Those who were present or saw the video of Witness Lee's first memorial meeting. Brothers indicating Brother Lee was "perfected" in his living.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:24 PM   #20
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Default Re: Brainwashing

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Here's my common-sense metric for brain-washing.

If the speaker up front says, "The moon is made of Green Cheese" and everyone in the audience claps and cheers then perhaps they are under some mass delusion. Because I see no objective evidence that the moon is actually composed of Green Cheese (or any other for that matter).

Witness Lee would stand in front of hundreds and speak things that strained the limits of orthodoxy, that contradicted each other (is this the 1987 doctrine or the 1974 teaching), that defied common sense, that bothered our consciences (many witnesses here have testified here), and that depart from Christian practice dating centuries. Yet after each one of these sessions, nobody would stand up and say, "Wait a minute".

So I say, Brainwashing.

See how easy it is to challenge each other? We do it on this forum all the time.

Yet we see a man who gave hundreds if not thousands of messages in front of who knows how many, and nobody EVER saw anything wrong? The man was that good? Or we were re-programmed? I say, the second, not the first.

"The tree of life is the center of the universe". Well, um, maybe not. I see the throne of God, and a river of water of life proceeding out of the throne, and the tree of life growing on either side of the river. So maybe the throne is the center.

Now, it may be the center, or it may not be. Maybe the tree of life is, in fact, the center. But it isn't as self-evident as Lee pretended it was. And we believed him, without question. The fact that nobody questioned his bland assertions, some of which were thinly made, indicates brain-washing.

Anyone who questioned anything was labeled "negative" and hustled out the door. The brainwashed and docile ones remained.

"Don't think, it will only make you confused." I actually heard this. What does this indicate? Brainwashing.
Speaking of brainwashing, perhaps conditioning is more acceptable and appropriate. Those raised in the local churches come to be conditioned when it comes to Tree of Life versus Tree of Knowledge. When there are concerns to address, you'll be told "you're eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Quite simply being LSM critical is Tree of Knowledge while being positive for LSM is to eat from the Tree of Life.
In this sense if you have concerns, issues, etc you will be labeled as negative as there is no possibility to express and address concerns/issues objectively without there being a subjective reaction other than to be told you're eating from the wrong tree.
Those who may have critical opinions towards LSM and remain meeting in the local churches do so keeping thoughts and opinions between their ears and never to come forth from their mouth.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:35 PM   #21
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Default Re: Brainwashing

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It's funny, I probably know Drake, Ohio and several other members here.

I was born into the LC in Chicago in the '70s.

I remember the whole TC thing, but was never told the details. I just knew that we no longer met with the Cleveland saints. I heard stories of localities choosing sides and meeting halls being sold.
Did you know that the Anaheim Blendeds were not willing to risk excommunicating TC and the GLA until your leaders in Chicago were on board? As the story goes, TC offended BB publicly over a local matter in Chicago which was really none of his business. As was his custom, TC just created another enemy.

"Courageous" JRsr, who publicly proclaimed that "Christians have died for the right to write," saw BB turn on TC, and then he also flip-flopped, after LSM assured him that he could keep writing his pamphlets. Then about ten FT families left Chicago for TC-friendly regions.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:44 PM   #22
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LGO

I am current, as Ohio as rightly pointed out. I posted a testimony a few months back.... can't remember the thread name but you can search on my name if you want to understand my history, views, and current status.

Perhaps to you I am the quintessential local churcher. And therefore, as you have sullied my good moniker by twice asserting I am brainwashed the onus falls upon you to prove it. Perhaps then you will persuade me ....then I will be set free. Or there is an outside chance that I will convince you that the whole brainwashing allegation is a mischaracterization, propaganda, or silly nonsense.

Thanks
Drake
Perhaps because I was in the TC/GLA version of the LC, I just don't agree with the allegations made here about Drake.

What troubles me more than just the LC teachings per se, is all the corruption and deception coming from WL and LSM over the decades.

There are lots of reasons for members to stay in the LC's, but once one learns what really happened at LSM with John Ingalls and Philip Lee, the least one must do is to acknowledge it.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:52 PM   #23
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Speaking of brainwashing, perhaps conditioning is more acceptable and appropriate.
Every church, and I have been to many, have a certain level of "conditioning." They interpret verses according to their schools of thought, e.g. Pentecostals interpret every verse "in spirit" with tongue speaking. I happen to disagree, but I wouldn't say they are brainwashed, or some such.

Since the day of Pentecost, Christians have disagreed on many minor points of the faith. More than once I have spoken in other church settings, and have been "shut down" for not being from their "school." That's OK. Today, if I visited the LC's, they would shut me down too.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:00 PM   #24
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. . in my time there I know of no one that worshiped Witness Lee nor has he ever been the intermediary between us and the Lord Jesus. Never.
Two words for you: "Deputy God" and I capped them because they're a specific position & person in the LC.

Quote:
And, it is still not a description of brainwashing.... the topic of this thread.

BTW, since you referenced the Pope you must also believe that 1.2 Billion Catholics are in a similar boat.

Drake
The Catholics are probably not a good defense. Luther fled their clutches & many think it wise.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:10 PM   #25
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Or there is an outside chance that I will convince you that the whole brainwashing allegation is a mischaracterization, propaganda, or silly nonsense.
Miriam -Webster: "Persuasion by . . . salesmanship"

No doubt Lee was a salesman. Chairs, suits, motor homes, 'rainbow booklets', coffee mugs, calenders, cassette tapes. . .

And certainly he could persuade. Look at any HWMR outline. "We must" and "We need to" abound.
---
But to my point - before he died, he said, "We were wrong" in the matter of receiving others. Whether the matter is doctrine or practice is irrelevant. Who could at any time or in any meeting say, "We are wrong"?

Yet if Lee had come over in 1962 and said he was Deputy God, he would not have been received. So he had to condition us, to cook us slowly.
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:17 PM   #26
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I feel that I need to come in and perhaps explain my position more clearly. When I say worship, I do not mean that they bring offerings or that they prostrate themselves on the ground and call out this person's name. I am defining worship as complete adoration and exclusivity as well as infallibility. And when I said that he functions as an intermediary, I did not mean of course that they see him as taking the position of Christ. Even the pope does not claim to take the position of Christ except as Viceroy here on Earth. But they do see his teachings and Revelations as absolutely necessary in their lives in order to achieve the appropriate and proper relationship with God. They believe that outside of his teachings, it cannot be done except for very rare examples. No, their worship is a focusing of attention on and an unvarying acceptance of a fallen human being's teachings. Again, if you grant someone infallibility and give them this kind of reverence and adulation, is it not a form of worship? It certainly is (as one of you so accurately said above) idolatry. I really love the Saints in the LC. And I think it is perfectly fine if they enjoy this man's teachings. It is the inability to perceive that others might be receiving Revelation that is necessary to the body that bothers me along with the belief that nothing he has said can never be questioned. I don't believe in following any man. Certainly not to this extent. Again, if the Bible tells us that each man has, why is this not acknowledged or allowed? This mindset is totally contrary to scripture.
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:19 PM   #27
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Aron > "Two words for you: "Deputy God" and I capped them because they're a specific position & person in the LC."

Provide the quote please.

Thx
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:26 PM   #28
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Aron > "Two words for you: "Deputy God" and I capped them because they're a specific position & person in the LC."

Provide the quote please.

Thx
Drake
You have never seen LSM teachings?
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:42 PM   #29
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No, their worship is a focusing of attention on and an unvarying acceptance of a fallen human being's teachings.

Again, if you grant someone infallibility and give them this kind of reverence and adulation, is it not a form of worship?

Again, if the Bible tells us that each man has, why is this not acknowledged or allowed? This mindset is totally contrary to scripture.
Unreg,

To your three points above.

1) Other than Christ, what human being is not fallen? We should reject any teaching if it comes from a fallen human being? Gonna get real lonely real fast!

2) Witness Lee was not infallible and he has not been "granted" infallibility. Cite your reference for this.

3) It's true each "one" has (not "man"). Of course, this is acknowledged and the meetings in the Lords Recovery are geared around this. Yet, I think you are missing that though each one has, their function differs.

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Old 09-20-2017, 04:42 PM   #30
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You have never seen LSM teachings?
Provide quote please .... "Deputy God"
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:20 PM   #31
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Brainwashing is here defined as: what?

I say it's where people get their minds controlled by an external program, where they no longer think for themselves, but front another's thoughts, will, and desires. Of course in Christianity we willingly accept this. "Not I but Christ".

But I'm not talking about God's Christ here, but rather a fellow sinner.

How do we see brainwashing in the LC? I can think of two examples. First, a poster here recently relates to sharing a song on an LC forum and getting no response. The venue had over 1,000 members but not one admits to enjoying Christian music from outside the LC. That is forbidden territory. They've been programmed to see Christianity as lifeless. So, no music. (even though they use hundreds of songs pre-dating Nee.)

Second, Witness Lee could stand in front of hundreds day after day, and expound line after line, precept after precept, clunker after clunker, and nobody said a word of correction or adjustment. Home-made homelitics without any alloy. Just pure subjective impressions. And not a word of adjustment from anyone.

They were brainwashed. "Witness Lee is always right."
Claims of brainwashing have been tried before against cults such as Scientology but has never stuck because there is no proof that brainwashing is real.

Scientifically speaking, brainwashing doesn't exist or cannot be proven. That's the official position of the APA, after many failed attempts to try and prove it is possible.

Probably the most brainwashing is in the actual belief that one can be brainwashed.
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:22 PM   #32
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Bro,

I love ya and want to see you set free. It's not my job to make you see anything. In fact, I can't make you do or see anything. The Holy Spirit can though, and I'm praying for that. . Hey, you're still here, so I think something good is taking place (Holy Ghost interaction).

I am NOT against you or any other LC member. We are all members of the same Body.

I was brainwashed and parroted the same mindless LSM lingo and phrases and I emulated the LSM promoted behavior. I even told my wife that her best friend (former full-timer) was "poisoned" once she "left the flow" and "took another way". The irony was that I spiritually dead and yet, full of "high peak truths". The best part is that our friend is ON FIRE for the Lord and seeing lives changed!

Ask the Holy Spirit to set you free! Come join us!
Scientifically speaking, and you can look up the American Psychological Association's stance on the matter for proof if you like, brainwashing is not possible so your claim of brainwashing is bogus as is any claim that any person is brainwashed.

Rather, you hold a belief that you were brainwashed, and this affecting your course of actions and beliefs is in itself a form of "brainwashing". This is similar to how hypnotism doesn't work if a person does not believe in hypnotism. Also, martial arts believe in some sort of invisible force or power that seems to work only on those who believe in it.

This is not to deny the experiences and feelings you had but you can be rest assured that scientifically speaking (again, can consult the scientific literature about this) at no time was any person in control of your brain other than yourself and you had complete freedom to come and go if you wished to do so.

I have also observed similar self-delusional Christian thought in miracle healing events and such. First, the pastor, family members or the person themselves will believe that they have a particular ailment (e.g. cancer, or one leg shorter than the other), proclaim some special healing prayer, and then observe the leg growing or the cancer gone. All this without scientific or medical verification. Mostly these are not genuine healings but the "healing" of self-supposed ailments which never existed or unknown to the person being "healed".

Convincing people that they have a particular disease when they don't is usually done by pastors using the so called "gift/word of knowledge".
e.g. a pastor claims to receive a word of knowledge from God that someone has a back tumor when in fact they don't.
People who have niggles and aches in their back from poor posture or old age come forward for "healing", thinking they have some undiagnosed tumor that God told the pastor about. The next day when their back pain is gone because of a good nights rest believe God healed them from a tumor and begin to tell everyone about it.

I think I have gone off track, but a better word for what you call brainwashing may be peer pressure or something else like that.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:49 AM   #33
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Provide quote please .... "Deputy God"
Here is my quote:

Witness Lee was Deputy God. He was Apostle of the Age. He was the Minister of the Age. He was the Acting God.

Witness Lee was the sole mediating agent between sinful man on earth, and the God of heaven. He was the earthly analog to the ascended Christ.

Aron 9/21/17

I was there for years. I read their works for years afterward to figure out what I'd gotten tangled in. And that's what I found out. There was one Ascended Master, who alone had exalted status. Anyone who got under him got blessed; any who opposed were cursed by God.

The One Publication edict merely codified what had been tacitly accepted along - that henceforth there was to be one unique source of divine supply.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:44 AM   #34
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Here is my quote:

Witness Lee was Deputy God. He was Apostle of the Age. . .
Of course this won't satisfy Drake. He wants a published ministry sample. But the ministry wasn't that dumb to get caught thus. They wouldn't publish what they spoke. That would hurt recruiting. But once you got inside, it was the constant message.

One brother told me at the end of Witness Lee's life, that he had been a covering for the church. People said that he had inherited the mantle of Watchman Nee. The question became, who is the next Spiritual Giant? (Only one per age, folks). Then we were told the age had turned. The Age of Spiritual Giants was over.

But did they publish that? Doubtful.

Or, "Witness Lee is the fourth of the Godhead." A zealous FTTT encorcer. Of course Lee wasn't happy when he heard that. They had gone too far. But he pushed the authority thing until his minions spoke like that.

Or, "We do what we are told." Didn't get published, but spoken by the long-time right-hand of the current Maximum Blended. A brother in the southeast, BM, was protesting PL ruining the fellowship. Brother RG put him to the quick. But I don't think that conversation made it to the pages of HWMR.

Or, "When I tell you to blow your nose, you only are to ask me, 'Which nostril?'" Spoken by another ministry enforcer to a member of this forum.
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:15 AM   #35
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Claims of brainwashing have been tried before against cults such as Scientology but has never stuck because there is no proof that brainwashing is real.

Scientifically speaking, brainwashing doesn't exist or cannot be proven. That's the official position of the APA, after many failed attempts to try and prove it is possible.

Probably the most brainwashing is in the actual belief that one can be brainwashed.
I like OBW's quote: "Nobody can convince me that I've been brainwashed!" But if you don't get it, sorry.

Something caused over 700 people to commit suicide in Guyana via poisoned kool-aid. Something caused people to give Moses Berg their children as sexual prey. Same with the Warren Jeffs group.

What causes people to abase themselves before others - is it to participate in the ecstasy of their self-exaltation?

And why do the Chinese fall so hard, here? I wonder if it's the combination of a desire for stabity, order, and structure which leads to exaltation of men (and women), combined with a negation of the individual for the common good.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:22 AM   #36
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For Drake: Of course we accept a fallen man's teachings on scripture...unless he gets it wrong and when he gets it wrong-- and everyone will be wrong sooner or later in this life. Please show me where anyone ever said that WL got something wrong. Please...can you show me where anyone managed to disagree with him and stay in a position of leadership? Was anyone allowed to "agreeably disagree"? I think we know the answer. And you know what I meant: the LC accepts everything WL said as if it is automatically true and without question-- at least aloud. Why don't you go ahead and try it sometime? Just bring up a different viewpoint after someone has read yet another footnote or paragraph from the monotonous readings and see how well it is received and how good the vibes are after you do it. You know very well that it is not acceptable in their closed culture. By demanding a citation, you attempt to win the argument even when you KNOW that what I and others are saying is true. The LC knows better than to put infallibility in print but they--and possibly you-- practice it and believe it in your place of worship. If day after day you read his material and find no flaw, then I have to wonder. And if you did find a flaw, what would you do or say? I bet you will go along with it because WL dwells in unapproachable "light". Both never finding a flaw in that mass of literature or finding one and being afraid to discuss it shows that infallibility has been granted in practice.

You know in your heart of hearts that what I am saying about granting him infallibility is true. If a group does not accept anyone else's revelation (unlike the Bereans) that may add something to what has already been said by WL or if they refuse to admit that there are some truly faulty and flawed teachings where they exist, you have granted infallibility. When we only allow a certain man's voice to be heard (exclusivity), he is being granted infallibility in practice. They are saying that he has it all! There is no one else that can share in written form for the church! Again, they are too smart to say this or admit it, but the practice is there.

Perhaps in your "gold bar" Recovery Version it says"each one" has. My translations say "everyone" or "you". I think it was understood by all here that I was using "man" in the sense of all humankind who are believers and was using it specifically here because WL was a man who pushed other men around and out of the church if they didn't show obeisance. And as far as different functions go, each of the functions listed after it all have to do with speaking. It is true that all may prophesy-- but none dare veer from WL's teaching. Oh-- it is all so monotonous and boring.

Since you have asked repeatedly for a citation in which WL claimed or was given infallibility, perhaps it would be helpful to cite a training from Thessalonians way back in which he said, "I am your apostle". Hmmm...let me see...what do apostles do? Ahh, yes, they write scripture. Oh yes, we can claim that they are just "sent ones" because it is true-- they WERE sent ones..but they were those who accompanied and knew Christ firsthand and we're instructed by Him to write/send their message out as God- breathed and inspired. But WL, I think, was claiming infallibility or something darn near to it. I was there..!I heard him say this..and my rebellion started there. He is not and was not MY apostle.

I just wish for once that those in the LC would just admit what they do and what they believe but they will not. There is too much face to lose.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:10 AM   #37
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Aron>"Of course this won't satisfy Drake"

It should not satisfy anyone. Really it should not even satisfy you.

You went out of your way you said to put the phrase "Deputy God" in quotes because you claimed it is a specific position and person. Quotes means you are quoting like I did with your sentence in the first line above.

You are responsible for the integrity of your own comments. You should supply your references so readers can read It for themselves in context.

Based on your response so far it appears you got nothing for us.

Drake
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:15 AM   #38
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I like OBW's quote: "Nobody can convince me that I've been brainwashed!" But if you don't get it, sorry.

Something caused over 700 people to commit suicide in Guyana via poisoned kool-aid. Something caused people to give Moses Berg their children as sexual prey. Same with the Warren Jeffs group.

What causes people to abase themselves before others - is it to participate in the ecstasy of their self-exaltation?

And why do the Chinese fall so hard, here? I wonder if it's the combination of a desire for stabity, order, and structure which leads to exaltation of men (and women), combined with a negation of the individual for the common good.

If the communists couldn't brainwash POW's in Korea (and they really tried to), then I can't see how a little Chinese man could, who really didn't try at all:

In 1956, after reexamining the concept of brainwashing following the Korean War, the U.S. Army published a report entitled Communist Interrogation, Indoctrination, and Exploitation of Prisoners of War which called brainwashing a "popular misconception".[20] The report states "exhaustive research of several government agencies failed to reveal even one conclusively documented case of 'brainwashing' of an American prisoner of war in Korea."[21]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwashing
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:25 AM   #39
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Claims of brainwashing have been tried before against cults such as Scientology but has never stuck because there is no proof that brainwashing is real.

Scientifically speaking, brainwashing doesn't exist or cannot be proven. That's the official position of the APA, after many failed attempts to try and prove it is possible.

Probably the most brainwashing is in the actual belief that one can be brainwashed.
Oh not this again. Not there's no such thing as brainwashing. Such exquisite denial.

Regardless of how you frame it, local churchers live a heteronomy life, not a autonomy life.

And it's a need of the flesh. They need a fleshly leader.

"We want a king. Lord gives us a king, like all the others have."
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:40 AM   #40
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Unreg >"Since you have asked repeatedly for a citation in which WL claimed or was given infallibility, perhaps it would be helpful to cite a training from Thessalonians way back in which he said, "I am your apostle"."

Reference please.

Unreg> Hmmm...let me see...what do apostles do? Ahh, yes, they write scripture.

There were apostles who did not "write scripture"

Unreg> "Oh yes, we can claim that they are just "sent ones" because it is true-- they WERE sent ones..but they were those who accompanied and knew Christ firsthand and we're instructed by Him to write/send their message out as God- breathed and inspired."

Not accurate. Paul did not accompany Christ nor did he know Christ in the flesh as you are arguing. Although James knew Christ according to the flesh all indications are that he did not accompany Him. Other apostles did not write "scripture". What you are doing here is setting up a seemingly biblical criterion to eliminate any other definition of a NT apostle except the one that you think will make your argument.

Unreg >"But WL, I think, was claiming infallibility or something darn near to it. I was there..!I heard him say this..and my rebellion started there. He is not and was not MY apostle."

Stop. This is just your vivid imagination. You never heard WL claim infallibility or anything even close, not even "darn near to it". If it were true it would have already been quoted here and elsewhere front page. If it were true I would have joined you.

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Old 09-21-2017, 05:42 AM   #41
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Oh not this again. Not there's no such thing as brainwashing. Such exquisite denial.

Regardless of how you frame it, local churchers live a heteronomy life, not a autonomy life.

And it's a need of the flesh. They need a fleshly leader.

"We want a king. Lord gives us a king, like all the others have."
Well, scientifically that is a fact. Read the wikipedia article. Read the articles and position of the experts, the APA. You can't prove, scientifically that brainwashing is real. And heteronomy - that's religion.

If intentional, deliberate, brainwashing didn't work on American POW's, even with drugs, electric shocks etc, then it wouldn't work on current and former LC members because they said Amen a few times, would it?

Therefore those that believe they are brainwashed are "brainwashed" into a self-delusion or lie that they are.

There are rational explanations for what people call brainwashing, these are fear, coercion and survival. No one can really claim that WL was a Voodoo master who had control over people's minds against their will. Fear, coercion and survival are the repetitive themes on this forum, not brainwashing.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:25 AM   #42
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Well, scientifically that is a fact. Read the wikipedia article. Read the articles and position of the experts, the APA. You can't prove, scientifically that brainwashing is real. And heteronomy - that's religion.

If intentional, deliberate, brainwashing didn't work on American POW's, even with drugs, electric shocks etc, then it wouldn't work on current and former LC members because they said Amen a few times, would it?

Therefore those that believe they are brainwashed are "brainwashed" into a self-delusion or lie that they are.

There are rational explanations for what people call brainwashing, these are fear, coercion and survival. No one can really claim that WL was a Voodoo master who had control over people's minds against their will. Fear, coercion and survival are the repetitive themes on this forum, not brainwashing.
Yep.

One of the favorite examples detractors of Brother Lee like to use is the tragedy of Jonestown as aron did here:

"Something caused over 700 people to commit suicide in Guyana via poisoned kool-aid. "

He uses this to argue a case for brainwashing but that explanation is naive and inadequate. First, they were in a physically constrained environment isolated in the jungle. Second, those who tried to leave were shot. Third, there was resistance to drinking the kool-aid as can be heard in audio's (those poor people were forced to drink and the children had no choice). There is no evidence that these people lost the faculty of their thinking. Rather, fear, coercion, and survival (yes, drinking kool-aid was an alternative to getting shot) were the operating motives for the most part. Even Jones himself was in fear.... fear of what would happen when they discovered what was really going on in Jonestown and especially in fear after he shot Ryan.

People live and die for causes they believe in. All sorts. Brainwashing has nothing to do with it. There are other compelling motives.

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Old 09-21-2017, 06:35 AM   #43
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Not all Apostles write scripture, but ONLY Apostles do. Claiming to be an apostle opens the door to adding to scripture! Let's just be frank, that's what it means. That is the only reason someone claims to be an apostle. When is the last time that you claimed to be an apostle? I certainly have not. You were splitting hairs here. Paul accompanied Christ spiritually. Christ appeared to him multiple times and gave him revelation. He was told to share this information with the church. I did not say that they accompanied him in the flesh. Those are your words. The Bible says that the Lord Jesus appeared to his brothers before ascending. So James knew him after the flesh and after the spirit. What an overwhelming experience to see one's own brother prior to his Ascension!

You continue to ask for a reference and no reference can be given. Those old videos of the Thessalonians conference that were created back in the seventies may have already been destroyed. If you can find them and watch them, you will see that what I have said is true. I have no idea how to get my hands on them and do not care to, really. But I can assure you that he said those words. I have to ask again, why is it necessary to claim to be an apostle? I have been in church all of my life under some extremely good ministers and not a one of them has claimed to be an apostle even though they were able to expound the word far better than WL. Ask yourself if you think that all of us who are sharing these things are liars. Do we seem to be Liars to you? I think you know better. This has been our experience and we are not lying.

Vivid imagination? Perhaps. But I would say that I have spiritual discernment. I'm not easily fooled.
Others have been. So I sit there in church and I hold my peace out of love for the Saints and love for my significant other. I'm sure that you and I would be good friends if we were in the same locality, Drake. I wish you well and I wish you revelation. I urge you to find and enjoy other biblical authorities. It is a lie that WL is the culmination of all biblical truth and teaching. It is a damnable lie. Why don't you read some other sources? What have you to lose? Think about that. What do you have to lose and why won't you do it? Perhaps you already do, and if you do, I salute you. Receiving the portion that other people have is what prevents us from going into error. As long as only one person is speaking, there is no checking system. His or her errors go unchecked and uncorrected.

I am done with this argument. It has been said that a man hears what he wants to hear and he disbelieves the rest. This is true of all of us. And so I wish all of you well as you pursue Christ in the way that you feel is best for you. We will all stand before the Lord and give an account for our stewardship of our Christian Life. May we all be found to have done well.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:40 AM   #44
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Well, scientifically that is a fact. Read the wikipedia article. Read the articles and position of the experts, the APA. You can't prove, scientifically that brainwashing is real. And heteronomy - that's religion.

If intentional, deliberate, brainwashing didn't work on American POW's, even with drugs, electric shocks etc, then it wouldn't work on current and former LC members because they said Amen a few times, would it?

Therefore those that believe they are brainwashed are "brainwashed" into a self-delusion or lie that they are.

There are rational explanations for what people call brainwashing, these are fear, coercion and survival. No one can really claim that WL was a Voodoo master who had control over people's minds against their will. Fear, coercion and survival are the repetitive themes on this forum, not brainwashing.
If you turn your brain over to someone else, to do your thinking and what to believe, they don't need to brainwash you. You submit your brain willingly to be controlled.

I know this how? I was there. I did it. But when autonomy set in, I was forced out. Thinking for yourself is not allowed in the local church. Do that and you are out.

So EvanG, pick another label for it if you like. But if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:44 AM   #45
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awareness >"But if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck."

Thanks. Appreciate it.

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Old 09-21-2017, 08:34 AM   #46
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If the communists couldn't brainwash POW's in Korea (and they really tried to), then I can't see how a little Chinese man could, who really didn't try at all:

In 1956, after reexamining the concept of brainwashing following the Korean War, the U.S. Army published a report entitled Communist Interrogation, Indoctrination, and Exploitation of Prisoners of War which called brainwashing a "popular misconception".[20] The report states "exhaustive research of several government agencies failed to reveal even one conclusively documented case of 'brainwashing' of an American prisoner of war in Korea."[21]
After all the derogatory things you have posted about the US Gov't, you now cite the US military as your authority?!?

You're pulling another "BibleAnswerMan" switch on us.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:46 AM   #47
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Since you have asked repeatedly for a citation in which WL claimed or was given infallibility, perhaps it would be helpful to cite a training from Thessalonians way back in which he said, "I am your apostle".
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You continue to ask for a reference and no reference can be given. Those old videos of the Thessalonians conference that were created back in the seventies may have already been destroyed. If you can find them and watch them, you will see that what I have said is true. I have no idea how to get my hands on them and do not care to, really. But I can assure you that he said those words. I have to ask again, why is it necessary to claim to be an apostle? I have been in church all of my life under some extremely good ministers and not a one of them has claimed to be an apostle even though they were able to expound the word far better than WL. Ask yourself if you think that all of us who are sharing these things are liars. Do we seem to be Liars to you? I think you know better. This has been our experience and we are not lying.
Just to confirm what our Unregistered Guest is saying, WL used I Thess 2.13 as his so-called scriptural basis ...
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For this cause we also thank God without ceasing, that, when you received from us the word of the message of God, you accepted it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which also works in you who believe.
Lee used this verse to subtly cause his most ardent followers that he was not only an Apostle on par with Paul, but his words should be received as from God Himself, and not as the words of man.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:14 AM   #48
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Unreg,

Oh my. There are so many bad assumptions, misunderstandings, and erroneous teachings in your post that it is cumbersome to unpack. I'm talking layers.

But, before you go, I'll give it a try.

unreg>"Claiming to be an apostle opens the door to adding to scripture! Let's just be frank, that's what it means."

Yes, let's be frank. This is just a construct in your mind. This is no evidence whatsoever that the motive behind claiming to be an apostle is so that having appropriated the title one can then "write scripture". There is a biblical definition of apostle and we can use it heartily in practice as defined. Second, the canon of the Bible is set to most people (some still want to change some verses to fit their private interpretations but that is a discussion for another thread). If Witness Lee said " I am your apostle", for the purpose of being able to write scripture then he failed miserably. In fact, he is one of the few ministers that so loved the Bible and protected it that he went through chapter by chapter in Life-studies and then again to cover the main points in a second series. He also covered various topics in depth and expounded teachings from different angles such as the meaning, the practice, and the experience. And nowhere during that time, including the Life Study of Thessalonians Training or a conference, did he ever intend to "write scripture". Even if he said "I am your apostle", which you have yet to provide the actual quote in context, it in no way suggests he said it to be able to then "write scripture".

unreg> "I did not say that they [apostles] accompanied him in the flesh. Those are your words. "

What you said was "they were those who accompanied and knew Christ firsthand and we're instructed by Him to write/send their message.."

I do not think anyone would take your "accompanied and knew Christ firsthand" comment to mean they met Him on an occasion or two, however significant that might have been. In any case, you are missing the glaring truth that there were NT apostles who did not write a single sentence of scripture. Either way, your narrow definition of apostle has no merit. The biblical and greek definition is "one who is sent away" as in an ambassador. Apostles may or may not have written scripture but they are always ambassadors.

unreg>"
You continue to ask for a reference and no reference can be given. Those old videos of the Thessalonians conference that were created back in the seventies may have already been destroyed."

No reference can be given so we need to take your word for it. And we also need to take your word for it that if he did say it he meant that he wanted to write scripture. Thanks, but I'll pass on your recollection because I was there too. I think I would have remembered that. And if WL intended, as you allege, to claim the title of apostle so he could write scripture then that would be important enough to document so everyone knew! You can't really change anything if no one knows what you're thinking. Don't you think?

unreg>"
I have been in church all of my life under some extremely good ministers and not a one of them has claimed to be an apostle even though they were able to expound the word far better than WL."


Here you are ranking ability to expound the word as some sort of index for apostleship. This is meaningless because you lack the proper understanding of the NT definition of an apostle and their function and purpose in the Body. You should not be so quick to dismiss or redefine the class of gifts God has given to the Body. Besides, I too have heard many a preacher, stood behind a pulpit myself and I rather liked his ability, style, and the light and life I personally received.

unreg>"Ask yourself if you think that all of us who are sharing these things are liars. Do we seem to be Liars to you? I think you know better. This has been our experience and we are not lying."

No, I don't think all sharing these things are liars. Perhaps once or twice I suspected someone knowingly gave a false account with malice of forethought. I think most are relating their experience as they remembered it. However, you are conflating opinion with fact. You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. If you have facts put them on the table and let's read them for ourselves in context.

unreg>" I urge you to find and enjoy other biblical authorities. It is a lie that WL is the culmination of all biblical truth and teaching. It is a damnable lie. Why don't you read some other sources? What have you to lose? Think about that. What do you have to lose and why won't you do it? Perhaps you already do, and if you do, I salute you."

That is an example of rushing headlong without any knowledge and making demands on others to comply with your view. First, without asking you presume that I don't read other "biblical authorities" or sources. Second, this "WL is the culmination of all biblical truth and teaching" is a straw man of your own design that you set fire to it immediately to with " It is a damnable lie". The crowd roars in approval! Then you ask me what do I have to lose and why I won't do it.... I mean seriously Unreg, you get on your soapbox and preach down to someone about what they should and should not do and then salute them if they already do what you said they should? I don't think you need to go very far to find the source of the problem you are having with WL.

But look, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the opportunity to address your comments.

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Old 09-21-2017, 11:50 AM   #49
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Did you know that the Anaheim Blendeds were not willing to risk excommunicating TC and the GLA until your leaders in Chicago were on board?
Even up to that point, there was politics in the recovery between Anaheim and Great lakes area. NM made it very clear in his posts on thebereans.net forum.
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:03 PM   #50
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If intentional, deliberate, brainwashing didn't work on American POW's, even with drugs, electric shocks etc, then it wouldn't work on current and former LC members because they said Amen a few times, would it? .
There is only one apostle per age... "Amen"

.... but the last apostle has died; it is now the age of small potatoes. "Amen"

Christianity is dead, lifeless, deformed, dormant, Christless, satanic, devilish. . . "Amen"

". . . but God sees no iniquity in the church "Amen"

We have to cover drunken Noah. . . "Amen"

... but continually point out the failures of others" "Amen"

Just say Amen every time the scripture is panned as fallen, mixed human sentiments, or natural concepts.

Say Amen even if the latest word from HQ is 180 degrees from the previous one.

Say Amen even if your conscience bothers you.

Say Amen when it boggles common sense, when NT precedent is overturned or ignored, when centuries of Christian understanding are up-ended by the latest revelation from God's oracle.

Witness Lee was so effective because people didn't realize what they were amening themselves into. He'd start with a Christian proposal, orthodox and accepted by convention, then take you somewhere new. And your excitement in following his revelations, at being one of the inner circle, kept the amens coming, even when the joy was long gone. Just keep exercising your spirit, brother!
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:11 PM   #51
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One of the favorite examples detractors of Brother Lee like to use is the tragedy of Jonestown as aron did
Suppose all those people were not brainwashed, but killed. A madman and a dozen or twenty crazies killed hundreds.

But why did the parents hand their children over to Warren Jeffs and Moses Berg? Why did the Heavens Gate people commit suicide?

"There are other compelling motives" says Drake. Okay.

But why did Witness Lee give so many messages without ever needing correction, once? By any one of the thousands of listeners? Was he really that good?

Are all these posters here really that deluded as you suppose, and only you have the inside track on truth?

Why was there no venue in the LC to address issues? That's why this forum exists. Either Witness Lee was perfected and we were not and are griping about it, or he pulled a fast one. I'm tending toward the latter conclusion.

Yes many of my posts are off base (and I do apologize for it, repeatedly). Yes I get corrected for supposition, factual error, fallacy of thinking, bias. Guess what - only Christ dwelt in the Pure Light, without blemish. Christ Himself became our Light.

How can we put any fellow sinner on that spot. . . whether you want to capitalize deputy God, apostle of the age, God's oracle and so forth, or God's humble bondslave; the de facto rule in the LC was, "Lee is always right". Why?
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:20 PM   #52
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So, if the "last apostle of the age has died", we must not have been talking about apostleship as a gift but, rather, as an office. This means being on par with Peter, etc., since the "gift" of apostleship is experienced throughout history by multiple individuals simultaneously, while the office by VERY few--as in the original group. If it were not the office of apostleship that was claimed, we would never say the last one had died.

Thank you, aron, for remembering what i remember. I know what i heard from WL and remember what the saints said. Others are entitled to their viewpoint, but so are we and we are also entitled to remember our experience as it happened. And it did.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:54 PM   #53
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After all the derogatory things you have posted about the US Gov't, you now cite the US military as your authority?!?

You're pulling another "BibleAnswerMan" switch on us.
They are not my authority, they are my proof that the things people write about brainwashing are nonsense.

Or are you really saying that the US Govt failed to succeed in brainwashing programs, when Witness Lee succeeded? Who'da thought, drugs and electric shocks weren't the answer at all, all it took was daily devotionals and a steady stream of Amen's. Better tell the CIA.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:55 PM   #54
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So, if the "last apostle of the age has died", we must not have been talking about apostleship as a gift but, rather, as an office. This means being on par with Peter, etc., since the "gift" of apostleship is experienced throughout history by multiple individuals simultaneously, while the office by VERY few--as in the original group. If it were not the office of apostleship that was claimed, we would never say the last one had died.

Thank you, aron, for remembering what i remember. I know what i heard from WL and remember what the saints said. Others are entitled to their viewpoint, but so are we and we are also entitled to remember our experience as it happened. And it did.
If people were truly brainwashed, how can we trust their recollection is correct?
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:16 PM   #55
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Ahhh...but remember that I never thought they were brainwashed! Sold on something, yes! Convinced, yes. Brainwashed, no. (And I was never convinced...i just enjoyed the saints. Still do.)
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:20 PM   #56
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If people were truly brainwashed, how can we trust their recollection is correct?
Its like if someone says "I lie about everything"
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:27 PM   #57
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Ahhh...but remember that I never thought they were brainwashed! Sold on something, yes! Convinced, yes. Brainwashed, no. (And I was never convinced...i just enjoyed the saints. Still do.)
Ok . I took your reply to the first post in the topic about brainwashing as an implicit belief that they were brainwashed. Since that seems not to be the case, then my reply to you would be addressed to Aron or others who think the "saints" are brainwashed.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:06 PM   #58
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aron>"But why did the parents hand their children over to Warren Jeffs and Moses Berg? Why did the Heavens Gate people commit suicide?"

Some obviously made bad choices. But with Jeffs he coerced that community under threat of eviction and forced those kids.They knew no other life. Some of the men were obviously motivated by the prospect of a couple of more wives. A motive to propagate I reckon.

The Heaven's Gate young people were IT professionals. Apparently they believed there was a spaceship in Hale-Bopp. Some people believe this Saturday (Sept 23rd) is the beginning of the end. Hopefully, they will not do something stupid.

Here is my objection. The brainwashing argument is put forth as a catch all to avoid having to understand or deal with why a person believes differently than they do. So, for instance, rather than LifeGoesOn dealing with my argument he dismisses it with the counter-argument that Drake is brainwashed ....twice-over. I challenged him to prove it but he hasn't. Neither has he retracted the assertions. Either would be acceptable in a civil discourse but he has chosen a different path. That I can't help. I can only open a door for a brother to clear up an overreach on his part.

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Old 09-21-2017, 04:10 PM   #59
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Ahhh...but remember that I never thought they were brainwashed! Sold on something, yes! Convinced, yes. Brainwashed, no. (And I was never convinced...i just enjoyed the saints. Still do.)
And that is completely fair. I agree with it fully.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:15 PM   #60
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. . . my reply to you would be addressed to Aron or others who think the "saints" are brainwashed.
ok they're not brainwashed. Fine. Then, what happened?

How could one man give hundreds if not thousands of messages, many of which strained at the bounds of orthodoxies, or at least were novel, without anyone ever questioning him? I mean, if I gave a message where I said that the tree of life was the center of the universe, in front of 800 or 1500 or 2300 people, wouldn't even one of them want to ask whether the throne of God were not the center? What happened to people's curiosity, here?

Message after message, point after point, year after year after year. And not one question? All those 'revelations'. All those novel assertions. "This shows us that . . ." And nothing ever got challenged.

I mean, look at Ravi Zacharias. People get to ask him questions. He listens (or seems to). Lee only wanted to hear himself getting spoken back from the crowd.

How did Lee avoid any challenge or critique from so many followers for so long? Was he really that good? He challenged and critiqued everyone else. Nobody challenged him. Was he really that perfected, that elevated? Or were we duped? Or is there another explanation?

"God gives us one person per generation who must be listened to and followed without question". . . Okay that isn't brainwashing then what is behind that thought, or lack thereof?
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:28 PM   #61
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ok they're not brainwashed. Fine. Then, what happened?

How could one man give hundreds if not thousands of messages, many of which strained at the bounds of orthodoxies, or at least were novel, without anyone ever questioning him? I mean, if I gave a message where I said that the tree of life was the center of the universe, in front of 800 or 1500 or 2300 people, wouldn't even one of them ask whether the throne of God were not the center?

Message after message, point after point, year after year after year. And not one question? All those 'revelations'. All those novel assertions. "This shows us that . . ." And nothing ever got challenged.

I mean, look at Ravi Zacharias. People get to ask him questions. He listens (or seems to). Lee only wanted to hear himself getting spoken back from the crowd.

How did Lee avoid any challenge or critique from so many followers for so long? Was he really that good? He challenged and critiqued everyone else. Nobody challenged him. Was he really that percected, that elevared? Or were we duped? Or is there another explanation?

"God gives us one person per generation who must be listened to and followed without question". . . Okay that isn't brainwashing then what is behind that thought, or lack thereof?
Your whole argument starts with a questionable claim that no one ever questioned Lee. Very unlikely. I mean you are arguing from a position of extreme unlikelihood that no one ever question Lee out of the millions of people exposed to the teachings. Then trying to support that by claims of mass brainwashing that is something not even militaries have succeeded in though they have tried.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:31 PM   #62
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ok they're not brainwashed. Fine. Then, what happened?

How could one man give hundreds if not thousands of messages, many of which strained at the bounds of orthodoxies, or at least were novel, without anyone ever questioning him? I mean, if I gave a message where I said that the tree of life was the center of the universe, in front of 800 or 1500 or 2300 people, wouldn't even one of them ask whether the throne of God were not the center?

I mean, message after message, point after point, year after year after year. And not one question?

I mean, look at Ravi Zacharias. People get to ask him questions. He listens (or seems to). Lee only wanted to hear himself getting spoken back from the crowd.
aron,

Let's make a distinction between the Life Study training and meetings of the local church. A lot of what you describe sounds like the LS training.

For the LS training the trainee was there to learn. No one signing up voluntarily for a LS training should object to the purpose of it. That is why they signed up. Then when the trainee was tested he/she was required to feed back what they heard orally. That was the test. That was not only beneficial to the rest of the trainees but also to Brother Lee to hear what we heard him say. Then he would clarify a point before the next training meeting started. All that is good and appropriate and fair game in a training. The terms of the training are clearly defined and if you don't agree with the terms then you don't go. No one had to go. You could stay home and watch TV or go to Disneyland and watch fireworks if you preferred.

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Old 09-21-2017, 04:49 PM   #63
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Your whole argument starts with a questionable claim that no one ever questioned Lee. Very unlikely. I mean you are arguing from a position of extreme unlikelihood that no one ever question Lee out of the millions of people exposed to the teachings. Then trying to support that by claims of mass brainwashing that is something not even militaries have succeeded in though they have tried.
The biggest proof point that some questioned Brother Lee is that some did and then some left. "Brainwashing" was not a relevant explanation for those who went or those who stayed.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:32 PM   #64
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The biggest proof point that some questioned Brother Lee is that some did and then some left. "Brainwashing" was not a relevant explanation for those who went or those who stayed.
Exactly. I think even LSD in the crab cakes would be a more rational explanation than claims of mass brainwashing.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:39 PM   #65
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Exactly. I think even LSD in the crab cakes would be a more rational explanation than claims of mass brainwashing.
I knew there was something special about those pot stickers .
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:47 PM   #66
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I knew there was something special about those pot stickers .

Nainai's special recipe they said...
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:56 PM   #67
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Nainai's special recipe they said...
Not very funny. Hold tight to the gospel and pray for deliverance.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:02 PM   #68
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Not very funny. Hold tight to the gospel and pray for deliverance.
Alright I confess, my addiction to love feast Sunday potstickers. Them chicken feet but, they's gotta be washed real good like Jesus say'd everything else clean but them feet need a washin'. No laugh yet? Gee tough crowd. Lack of humor is a sign of brainwashing you know?
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:30 PM   #69
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Alright I confess, my addiction to love feast Sunday potstickers. Them chicken feet but, they's gotta be washed real good like Jesus say'd everything else clean but them feet need a washin'. No laugh yet? Gee tough crowd. Lack of humor is a sign of brainwashing you know?
It's not funny. The history of the Witness Lee church isn't funny. The current state of Witness Lee's church isn't funny. I pray for peace for those impacted by this movement.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:58 PM   #70
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It's not funny. The history of the Witness Lee church isn't funny. The current state of Witness Lee's church isn't funny. I pray for peace for those impacted by this movement.
No LC supporter on this forum has ever admitted that many folks were hurt in the LC's. They dismiss everything like it is a joke.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:47 PM   #71
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It's not funny. The history of the Witness Lee church isn't funny. The current state of Witness Lee's church isn't funny. I pray for peace for those impacted by this movement.
Leastofthese,

Do you know what I don't think is funny?

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Old 09-21-2017, 10:08 PM   #72
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What's actually funny is the OP claiming people in the LC are brainwashed and "proving " that by claiming that no one in the LC admits to liking other music.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:18 PM   #73
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No LC supporter on this forum has ever admitted that many folks were hurt in the LC's. They dismiss everything like it is a joke.
That's not the topic here. The topic was LC members being brainwashed because they don't like certain kinds of music. That I think is a joke.
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:47 AM   #74
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Its like if someone says "I lie about everything"
At the end of decades of ministry, Witness Lee told his disciples, "We were wrong" in the matter of receiving others.

Apparently, only Lee could get the revelation that his revelation wasn't revelation at all, but rather an error.

So even when he was wrong, he was still right.
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Old 09-22-2017, 01:30 AM   #75
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The biggest proof point that some questioned Brother Lee is that some did and then some left. "Brainwashing" was not a relevant explanation for those who went or those who stayed.
So we're having a conversation, and you say "brainwashing" isn't the explanation for what happened. So what happened?

Pastor Bob down at Puddlejump Community Church writes 200 books. Pastor Bob has an opinion on everything. Pastor Bob can correct everyone, and does; they call it 'training' or 'perfecting'. But no one can correct Pastor Bob. Some of Pastor Bob's children are involved in controversy with the church; money is lost and sexual misconduct is repeatedly noted; those who object are branded rebels. Only one publication is permitted, that of Pastor Bob. Any who question Pastor Bob end up leaving. Church members are told not to read anything that questions Pastor Bob, they'll be "poisoned". And they're told not to think, but to "get out of your mind". Pastor Bob's followers say that he's God's deputy, God's oracle, the ministry of the age, the last spiritual giant, the apostle of the age, God's humble bondslave, God's special anointed servant.

So I ask, what happened, here?

1. God's unique expression on the earth today.
2. ?

I don't like the word brainwashing, and probably haven't used it on this forum, before this. But I'm trying to understand what happened here.
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Old 09-22-2017, 02:54 AM   #76
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I don't like the word brainwashing, and probably haven't used it on this forum, before this. But I'm trying to understand what happened here.
The reason I usually avoid the word is it's subjectively tainted with my frustration: those who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge my point of view are dismissed thus. "Brainwashed".

So why did I start a thread with this title? It at least approximates something I'm trying to address, which is how someone gains control over others. I've previously used the word "mesmerisation" to characterise how someone gets others to come under their sway.

But I use the term without understanding the process very well. How does one gain control? I think that the most important thing is, don't let your subject know that you are manipulating them. Get them to agree on some readily-apparent truism, then leverage that with their unmet needs (social approval, belonging, etc) and take them somewhere detrimental, where they don't want to be. When they try to resist, remind them of the agreement that you had at the start, that no one else loves them, that only you know what is best, etc.

I have the right to ask how I got there.
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Old 09-22-2017, 03:39 AM   #77
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The reason I usually avoid the word is it's subjectively tainted with my frustration: those who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge my point of view are dismissed thus. "Brainwashed".

So why did I start a thread with this title? It at least approximates something I'm trying to address, which is how someone gains control over others. I've previously used the word "mesmerisation" to characterise how someone gets others to come under their sway.

But I use the term without understanding the process very well. How does one gain control? I think that the most important thing is, don't let your subject know that you are manipulating them. Get them to agree on some readily-apparent truism, then leverage that with their unmet needs (social approval, belonging, etc) and take them somewhere detrimental, where they don't want to be. When they try to resist, remind them of the agreement that you had at the start, that no one else loves them, that only you know what is best, etc.

I have the right to ask how I got there.
Aron,

"I have the right to ask how I got there." Yes you do. You even have a responsibility to ask questions...regardless of those who would mock you for doing so. They are only confirming that something is still wrong and they want to shut you up!

How does one gain control?

Luke 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

How does the word "deceived" sound? "Deceived" has some scriptural authority, which the word "brainwashed" doesn't have.

Chapter 3
Deception by evil spirits in modern times
In the special onslaught of the deceiver, which will come upon the whole of the true Church of Christ at the close of the age, through the army of deceiving spirits, there are some more than others who are specially attacked by the powers of darkness, who need light upon his deceptive workings, so that they may pass through the trial of the Last Hour, and be counted worthy to escape that hour of greater trial, which is coming upon the earth (Luke 21: 34-36; Rev. 3: 10).
War on the Saints, Jesse Penn-Lewis.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

This would indicate that not only was Witness Lee a deceiver of the bretheren, but was himself deceived.

Further, from JPL in Chapter 3:

(e) Christ would not have warned His disciples "Take heed . . be not deceived" if there had been no danger of deception, or if God had undertaken to keep them from deception apart from their "taking heed," and their knowledge of such danger.

The knowledge that it is possible to be deceived, keeps the mind open to truth, and light from God; and is one of the primary conditions for the keeping power of God; whereas a closed mind to light and truth, is a certain guarantee of deception by Satan at his earliest opportunity.


Deception is literally the oldest trick in the book. Does this help?

Nell

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Old 09-22-2017, 06:09 AM   #78
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Leastofthese,

Do you know what I don't think is funny?

Drake
I'm sure there are a number of things you don't find funny.

Praying for you brother. May the Lord soften your heart
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:31 AM   #79
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So we're having a conversation, and you say "brainwashing" isn't the explanation for what happened. So what happened?

Pastor Bob down at Puddlejump Community Church writes 200 books. Pastor Bob has an opinion on everything. Pastor Bob can correct everyone, and does; they call it 'training' or 'perfecting'. But no one can correct Pastor Bob. Some of Pastor Bob's children are involved in controversy with the church; money is lost and sexual misconduct is repeatedly noted; those who object are branded rebels. Only one publication is permitted, that of Pastor Bob. Any who question Pastor Bob end up leaving. Church members are told not to read anything that questions Pastor Bob, they'll be "poisoned". And they're told not to think, but to "get out of your mind". Pastor Bob's followers say that he's God's deputy, God's oracle, the ministry of the age, the last spiritual giant, the apostle of the age, God's humble bondslave, God's special anointed servant.

So I ask, what happened, here?

1. God's unique expression on the earth today.
2. ?

I don't like the word brainwashing, and probably haven't used it on this forum, before this. But I'm trying to understand what happened here.
Oh brother Aron, brainwashing is simple. It's when something happens to someone where it's like their brain has been washed. Pauls' 'old man new man' for example, or even being born again. It's like the brain has been washed clean, of the old (not like bro EvanG paints it ; like it's a big deal CIA thing).

But when you told that story of pastor Bob I got it. I got THE VISION.

Need I say more? Really?

Okay! I will! My mind was washed clean. Let's all say it together. Let's shout it from the rooftops. It's been -- trumpets -- drum roll -- BRAINWASHED!!!
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:43 AM   #80
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Deception is literally the oldest trick in the book. Does this help?

Nell
Yes that's actually perhaps better than the ones I'd offered. The title wasn't meant to be the end-all-be-all, but the beginning of a conversation. And I appreciate everyone's input.

Years ago I was on another message board, and wasn't anywhere near as sharp against Lee as today (I've since seen more, considered more [so I think]), and I mentioned some good things and some things that were not so good. Some posters who were clearly totally into the LC programme blasted me for alternately praising and slandering Lee. I replied, "Doesn't LSM write a mag called 'Affirmation and Critique'? Why does Lee get to critique everyone else but when we critique his ideas we're supposedly accusing and attacking and slandering and so forth?"

Well I'm telling the story because they immediately said that I was dark, and my heart was hard, and that I had come into the LC with ambition but had been thwarted, and now I was trying to tear down the church and so forth. And you know what? Maybe there's some truth there. Maybe I'm just a bitter ex-member who was looking for something other than Christ, i.e. 'my heart was not pure', and now I'm out in the dark making unpleasant noise. Maybe when I ask, "What happened?" that's the real answer.

But maybe I'm on to something, that we have here some sort of a "mind control" programme as awareness puts it. Because he saw it without the velvet gloves on. He saw it for real. He saw the control issues, point blank. Others have as well, and have written extensively on their experiences.

Today I read books by many Christian writers and I can learn things. Simple, profound, moving, life-changing things. 20 years ago I was closed. "That's not God's economy", I would always say.

Thank God that I got out.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:40 AM   #81
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I have the right to ask how I got there.
I came here with the same questions.

I trusted the LC brothers and elders I was with. Trusted them too much. They played God with my life. They overstepped their rights as shepherds and brothers in the Lord. They became evil workers and rotten shepherds, manipulating me for their own gains. Not always, but far too often. Not every time, but it never should have happened. Not just my life, but many others also. My manipulators were only repeating the same rotten practices they had been taught. Yet they never would admit it.

Recently it happened again. But I was on to it, and called him out. He said, "I never controlled anyone my whole Christian life." It was a game of semantics. I said, wait a minute, how about "you are in the Lord's army, and you will be told where to move to."

Silence!

It was such a common practice in those days, that none of the actors knew what they were doing. It was a system of manipulation and abuse, all done in the name of God. Started at the top and it all ran down hill. Today we have a trail of victims fifty years long.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:54 AM   #82
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Well I'm telling the story because they immediately said that I was dark, and my heart was hard, and that I had come into the LC with ambition but had been thwarted, and now I was trying to tear down the church and so forth. And you know what? Maybe there's some truth there. Maybe I'm just a bitter ex-member who was looking for something other than Christ, i.e. 'my heart was not pure', and now I'm out in the dark making unpleasant noise. Maybe when I ask, "What happened?" that's the real answer.
There was definitely a point of "critical mass" where I transitioned from "something is wrong with me," to "something is seriously wrong with this program." The "treatment" of John Ingalls was critical here. It thoroughly dismantled the fortifications and strongholds surrounding WL. It was no more "he said, he said." There was corruption covered up, and the messenger of righteousness was murdered. But before he died, he wrote down the facts of the story.
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:01 AM   #83
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My manipulators were only repeating the same rotten practices they had been taught. Yet they never would admit it..
This is where Nell's word is useful. Deception. It starts with self-deception. Then you convince others that your delusion is real. Then the socially-constructed reality begins. We all believe it, therefore it must be real. That's how 700+ people end up in the jungle in Guyana. Or in a barricaded farm in Waco Texas.

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Recently it happened again. But I was on to it, and called him out. He said, "I never controlled anyone my whole Christian life." It was a game of semantics. I said, wait a minute, how about "you are in the Lord's army, and you will be told where to move to."

Silence!

It was such a common practice in those days, that none of the actors knew what they were doing. It was a system of manipulation and abuse, all done in the name of God. Started at the top and it all ran down hill. Today we have a trail of victims fifty years long.
Witness Lee said to Judge Leon Seyranian, "Here we are so free", but behind the scenes RG was telling BM, "We do what we are told." And I heard the "You are in the [Chinese] army now" line, too. Many of us did. Today the LC buzz-word is "restriction". Everyone needs to be restricted.

Anyone with some inside familiarity knows that like a dysfunctional, sick family, there was the family photo every Christmas, and then there was the other 364 days a year. Dysfunctional relations between abusers and enablers.

Witness Lee continually called out "lifeless" and "deformed" Christianity. Much of his critique was with some merit. Or a lot of merit. But why oh why could no one ever critique Lee or his enforcers? All those messages, and not one single, "Wait a minute, here"? What kind of relationships were behind this so-called oneness? Where o where was the mutuality?
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:17 AM   #84
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Allow me to stand up for dear brother Aron here--who is taking a pounding over terminology. When Aron says "brainwashed", I wonder if he could mean that people were the victims of "bait and switch"? They were promised a closer walk with Christ and what they got, instead, was being drafted into Lee's army. At first, the two goals seemed to be one and the same and then--horror of horrors--they found that they were not. But by then, they had built their entire social life in and around this army. It was made clear that if anyone disagreed, if anyone objected--they were excommunicated. This still happens today except that there now are a few bold saints that will continue to fellowship with the "deserters". That did not happen often until Lee died. The dangers of fellowshipping with deserters were great--punishment could be severe.

If I were Aron, and I am not, I would have said "conned", "bullied", "peer-pressured by cowardly leaders and members still wanting to stay within the movement", and "totally abandoned by these same cowards". Think about this: why on earth were those who decided to leave treated so poorly and totally ostracized? What was Biblical about this? These were our brothers and sisters in Christ!! For Pete's sake! I had attended churchs for YEARS where members would depart--sometimes in a huff--and people still loved them, socialized with them openly, and treated them the same!

It is so very hard to be thrown out of a group (who called themselves your friends for years!) just because you saw the truth and they refuse to acknowledge it for various self-serving reasons! I think Aron and others like him here are heroes. They had the courage to disagree when the cost would be high--and high it was. The reason that they "can't get over it" is because the other parties who caused the wounds won't come to the table.Our only comfort in these times is the knowledge that Our Lord sees all--and they and all of us will answer for how we treated our brothers--which they Lord says is the same as treating HIM.

And for Drake and Evangelical--let's give these people applause for being honest about their feelings and expressing them--at such a cost. Few there are that will do so. You don't agree? Fine. But at least understand that something DID happen. I know. I was there. I saw. I wonder if our brothers Drake and Evangelical were there back then and in aron's particular place? I think not. And because they were not, how can they judge or challenge his experience? Or mine? I am not trying to pick on them, but they have been the most vocal lately. For myself, I would like to know how long both of them have been in the LC. That may explain a great deal. Things HAVE changed slightly since Lee's death--though not much.

I have always said that I enjoy the saints. The problem for many on this site is that THEY DID ALSO--and now cannot ever again. This is unjust and unbiblical. It is almost like eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil--that good that is really there in the LC is polluted with authoritarianism (fancy word for bullying), feelings of superiority, and some very unusual and--to me--downright dumb teachings from Lee. You just can't get one without the other and if you try to "rightly divide"--they will divide from YOU.

To Aron and others on this forum, I would say that you need to feel honored and enormously blessed that God has done this great thing for you. He has pulled you out of something very similar to lemmings running into the sea. He has placed you in a better, safer place. Rejoice!

PS In the meantime, what you experienced was trauma (many of you) because you WERE bullied. That can lead to PTSD. The healing time for this can be quite long--just ask our veterans or school children that were bullied throughout their education. May the Lord heal us all!
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:26 AM   #85
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Allow me to stand up for dear brother Aron here--who is taking a pounding over terminology....


...To Aron and others on this forum, I would say that you need to feel honored and enormously blessed that God has done this great thing for you. He has pulled you out of something very similar to lemmings running into the sea. He has placed you in a better, safer place. Rejoice!

PS In the meantime, what you experienced was trauma (many of you) because you WERE bullied. That can lead to PTSD. The healing time for this can be quite long--just ask our veterans or school children that were bullied throughout their education. May the Lord heal us all!


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Old 09-22-2017, 11:35 AM   #86
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I am actually glad that Drake and EvanG are here to witness the testimonies of all of us who have seen the light and left the LC.

I don't know if you guys (Drake & EvanG) are aware of how "dangerous" it is for you to even be on this site and that even by being here to stand up for the MOTA, you are being "poisoned" by exposure and risk quarantine.

All joking (or not) aside, my prayer is that the Holy Spirit convict you guys as He did us.
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Old 09-22-2017, 04:07 PM   #87
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. . God has done this great thing for you. He has pulled you out of something very similar to lemmings running into the sea. He has placed you in a better, safer place. Rejoice!
The greatest joy in my life today is to read experienced biblical scholars and commentators sharing what they've seen & thought from God's word being impressed onto their consciousness, sometimes over decades. Like Paul still calling himself a Pharisee (Acts 23:6), I'm somewhat the 'fundamentalist' of my youth, but one who now can learn of Christ through the ministry of vessels so varied. It amazes me how the Lord can speak to me through such disparate sources. The second joy, much like the first, is to share these things with others.

That experience couldn't happen in the LC.

And I agree that voices like those of Drake and Evangelical need to be heard on forums like this. And I'm thankful that they take the time & effort to critique our thoughts.

The Bible says, Do unto others as you'd expect to receive from others. If I think Lee needs be critiqued, then so much more should I, who have written on his work.
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:31 PM   #88
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"Open like a trash can," Lee would say ... to keep you away from all things not Lee ... oh I mean "DEATH."

Isn't that "lIFE & DEATH" thing a tool of mind control? It's got that scare factor ; looking at negative things about Lee and the Local Church is DEATH!!!

OMG! Run away! Run to Lee, and the Local Church! Where there's LIFE!
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:48 PM   #89
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Oh brother Aron, brainwashing is simple. It's when something happens to someone where it's like their brain has been washed. Pauls' 'old man new man' for example, or even being born again. It's like the brain has been washed clean, of the old (not like bro EvanG paints it ; like it's a big deal CIA thing).

But when you told that story of pastor Bob I got it. I got THE VISION.

Need I say more? Really?

Okay! I will! My mind was washed clean. Let's all say it together. Let's shout it from the rooftops. It's been -- trumpets -- drum roll -- BRAINWASHED!!!
What you're talking about is not the proper term /meaning for the word brainwashed.
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:50 PM   #90
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I am actually glad that Drake and EvanG are here to witness the testimonies of all of us who have seen the light and left the LC.
No amount of verbiage or arguments can turn this light on. It hit's suddenly like "The Vision" hits in the LC.

It's good we're having these discussions, but don't expect them to turn LCer's toward the door.

The day before I suddenly saw that I was in a cult, would have found me not in anyway able to believe it if told so ; no amount of arguments, of the most rigorous sort, would have convinced me.

I had to see it. Actually I'm embarrassed. I'm thick, and stubborn. It had to be put in my face, for me to admit it.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:32 PM   #91
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No amount of verbiage or arguments can turn this light on. It hit's suddenly like "The Vision" hits in the LC.

It's good we're having these discussions, but don't expect them to turn LCer's toward the door.

The day before I suddenly saw that I was in a cult, would have found me not in anyway able to believe it if told so ; no amount of arguments, of the most rigorous sort, would have convinced me.

I had to see it. Actually I'm embarrassed. I'm thick, and stubborn. It had to be put in my face, for me to admit it.
My LSM conditioning resulted in the same mind-bending (see, I used a different word there ) on my part as well.

"Cult"?!!! "Cult"??? We don't wear matching track suits. We're not held up in a compound. What ever do you mean?

It's funny, I "drank the Kook-Aid" and blindly condemned or at least agreed with the condemnation of those who left the LC. And had you told me that I was in a cult I would have laughed in your face.

I actually didn't realize that the LC is a cult until after I left. I saw just how much the LSM materials and mind bending have infected my being.

It really became evident when I tried to have the Lord's Supper with a group of current, but not regularly meeting LC friends of mine. We met and sang hymns. When the matter of having communion came up there was an unholy terror in their eyes as the boogeyman known as "the Ground of Oneness" reared its ugly head and snuffed out that candle before it ever got lit.


The G.O.O. has been incorrectly defined, misused and weaponized by the LC to be used as a tool of control and fear. The saints were deathly afraid of "taking the ground in a city that the LC had already laid claim to. Mind you, these were saints who were starting to wake up to the LC system and were disillusioned with it.
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:28 PM   #92
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What you're talking about is not the proper term /meaning for the word brainwashed.
What word would you use?
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:27 AM   #93
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I am actually glad that Drake and EvanG are here to witness the testimonies of all of us who have seen the light and left the LC.

I don't know if you guys (Drake & EvanG) are aware of how "dangerous" it is for you to even be on this site and that even by being here to stand up for the MOTA, you are being "poisoned" by exposure and risk quarantine.

All joking (or not) aside, my prayer is that the Holy Spirit convict you guys as He did us.
If it is truly the Holy Spirit's conviction then why are a number of people here no longer Christians? For example, Awareness is a role model for those who not only wish to leave the LC but Christ and the Bible as well. Awareness seems to have seen some sort of light but one wonders whether or not that light would also cause him to lose the faith? Not everyone's testimony would encourage people to "see the light and leave the LC" but rather to remain there.
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:33 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by LifeGoesOn View Post
The G.O.O. has been incorrectly defined, misused and weaponized by the LC to be used as a tool of control and fear. The saints were deathly afraid of "taking the ground in a city that the LC had already laid claim to. Mind you, these were saints who were starting to wake up to the LC system and were disillusioned with it.
I like that. Well said, LifeGoesOn.

When we left the LC in 2005, even without words being said, we just knew that our "freedom" hinged upon selling our house in the city and relocating to a suburb.

Looking back I laugh. It's like we were being held in a jail without walls. The bondage was mental and falsely constructed by Lee's self-serving teachings, but it seemed so real for all those years.
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:38 AM   #95
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If it is truly the Holy Spirit's conviction then why are a number of people here no longer Christians? For example, Awareness is a role model for those who not only wish to leave the LC but Christ and the Bible as well. Awareness seems to have seen some sort of light but one wonders whether or not that light would also cause him to lose the faith? Not everyone's testimony would encourage people to "see the light and leave the LC" but rather to remain there.
Totally unrelated to the topic.

It's like me wondering for years why some LC members seemed to have no faith whatsoever.
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:44 AM   #96
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Totally unrelated to the topic.

It's like me wondering for years why some LC members seemed to have no faith whatsoever.
LifeGoesOn was glad that Drake and I were here to witness the testimonies. Do they mean all testimonies, even of those who are no longer Christians? To me some testimonies are reason enough to stay in the LC. I think every time Awareness shares his testimony it encourages people to stay in the LC. Afterall, every LC member wants to become like Ehrman don't they? In this respect LifeGoesOn's view is a little overzealous, or perhaps doesn't realize what he is saying.
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:54 AM   #97
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Not everyone's testimony would encourage people to "see the light and leave the LC" but rather to remain there.
The faith of the LC is the faith in the LC: its proprietary doctrines and practices, its leadership. Once that's gone the typical ex-LC'er often has no where to hang their metaphorical hat.
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:15 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by LifeGoesOn View Post
The G.O.O. has been incorrectly defined, misused and weaponized by the LC to be used as a tool of control and fear. The saints were deathly afraid of "taking the ground in a city that the LC had already laid claim to. Mind you, these were saints who were starting to wake up to the LC system and were disillusioned with it.
The first time I heard of the G.O.O. it was bewitching. How novel. All Christians are one in each city. So accepting, inclusive, and loving.

Then, within a few years, I saw what happened when Lee ordered 5 localities to migrate to Ft. Lauderdale, Fl, for the young college spring breakers.

Upon arriving we found Bob Mumford had taken the ground. Now, with the ideal of the G.O.O., we should have been delighted that we already had a lot of new brothers and sisters there ; that had already declared the ground ; that Nee's and Lee's doctrine of the G.O.O. stated we were to be one with.

Bahahahahahahaha ... and Bahahahahaha That didn't happen.

Surprise, surprise ... I had been brainwashed with the "ideal" of the G.O.O.

And the G.O.O. doctrine isn't even Biblical. There's no such doctrine in there.
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:23 AM   #99
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How interesting that you should mention that the faith of the LC saints is actually in the LC itself! This is very true! I have said this for years. As an example, if you were to ask one of them how they expect to be overcomers, they would smile and say that they would do so by being one with all the saints in the LC! The statement proves that their faith is actually in the LC. Their belief is that if they just hold on to the LC, the LC itself will bring them through. Not Jesus by himself, but the LC and Jesus.

Throughout the years in which I have fellowshipped with various saints, I have been struck by how very much they are just like the Catholics of old. They have their authority figure, the Pope/Lee, and they have the belief that they cannot make it outside of this one particular church. Added to this, they practice excommunication. Just as Catholics had faith in their Church (perhaps even a little bit more than their faith in Christ or a whole lot more than their faith in Christ), you can find the same thinking or belief among the saints. My other actual charge of idolatry-- besides that of WL- against them is worship of the Church itself. Whether they are able to see it or not, they have developed tiers or hierarchy levels between them and the Lord Jesus. The Bible clearly tells us that there is only one mediator between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ himself. True Christians should accept no other. We in Christ have been set free from these things.
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:25 AM   #100
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Default Re: Brainwashing

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Upon arriving we found Bob Mumford had taken the ground. Now, with the ideal of the G.O.O., we should have been delighted that we already had a lot of new brothers and sisters there ; that had already declared the ground ; that Nee's and Lee's doctrine of the G.O.O. stated we were to be one with.
Evangelical, does it not bother you that the G.O.O. (your so-called Ground Of Oneness), which is the foundation of your building, was not even practiced by its chief proponent? This is not the only story of Lee sweeping the G.O.O. under the rug when it was inconvenient for his plans of expansion. Let me mention NYC and Rosemead, CA two other notable examples.

Evangelical, sorry to be the one who tells you this, but stop condemning all other Christians when your own house is built on sinking GOO sand.
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:24 AM   #101
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How interesting that you should mention that the faith of the LC saints is actually in the LC itself! This is very true! I have said this for years. As an example, if you were to ask one of them how they expect to be overcomers, they would smile and say that they would do so by being one with all the saints in the LC! The statement proves that their faith is actually in the LC. Their belief is that if they just hold on to the LC, the LC itself will bring them through. Not Jesus by himself, but the LC and Jesus.

Throughout the years in which I have fellowshipped with various saints, I have been struck by how very much they are just like the Catholics of old. They have their authority figure, the Pope/Lee, and they have the belief that they cannot make it outside of this one particular church. Added to this, they practice excommunication. Just as Catholics had faith in their Church (perhaps even a little bit more than their faith in Christ or a whole lot more than their faith in Christ), you can find the same thinking or belief among the saints. My other actual charge of idolatry-- besides that of WL- against them is worship of the Church itself. Whether they are able to see it or not, they have developed tiers or hierarchy levels between them and the Lord Jesus. The Bible clearly tells us that there is only one mediator between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ himself. True Christians should accept no other. We in Christ have been set free from these things.
I agree with you to an extent about "old Catholicism", after all, the LC tries to go back to the early church, and I think few would deny the close association between the early church and Catholic (and Orthodox) belief and practice. One of those beliefs and practices was the importance of the church, above and beyond its status today as merely a place one goes to worship God by singing songs with hands in the air. Christianity today is mostly "God and me" and "God and you" , rather than "God and the church".

The Church and Christ are not mutually exclusive entities. There is the Body and there is also the Head. You may be mistaking what you call "faith in the LC" with dependence on the Body which is biblical. It may seem foreign to you because in general, Christianity does not emphasize the importance of the Body and focuses mostly on the Head. This is seen in the various numerous denominations/sects created at whim and emphasis on one's spiritual health or "walk with God". Genuine biblical Christianity has a corporate aspect. In this respect the Catholics are correct to emphasize the corporate nature of the faith, however unfortunately this revolves around things other than Christ.
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:04 AM   #102
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My other actual charge of idolatry-- besides that of WL- against them is worship of the Church itself. Whether they are able to see it or not, they have developed tiers or hierarchy levels between them and the Lord Jesus. The Bible clearly tells us that there is only one mediator between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ himself. True Christians should accept no other. We in Christ have been set free from these things.
What I find interesting about the LC, and Protestantism as well, is that people will start groups "at a whim", as Evangelical said, then suddenly it's all about the church. Witness Lee told us that Watchman Nee chafed under Leland Wang for years, then eventually Nee found his convenient "truth" to break away from Wang, and any others.

Suddenly "the Body" appeared. Suddenly there was no more breaking away allowed.

A convenient switch. First it's about truth, and we separate from each other. Then, when we gather our acolytes around our supposed revelation, it's suddenly about the Body, the collective.

We make our own gods, and then insist that everyone else worship them.

Back to my point, earlier, about the cultural aspect. Lee came to the USA in 1962, roughly. About 30 years later (my exact memory is spotty) he told us of how many thousands of us there were, maybe 10,000 or so affiliated with the LC of Lee. Another 50 or 80 thousand others around the globe (Taiwan, Singapore, Korea had significant numbers). Then he paused and said, "There are 15 or 20 million 'Shouters' in China". The audience gasped, and murmured.

But looking back, how did he get tens of millions of acolytes (again I can't remember the exact number) in half the time (the got into China in 1979)? First a tradition of reverence for supreme authority, and second (and related) the tilt toward the collective and away from the individual. They were ripe for the picking, and they got picked by the millions, it seems. Lee and the LSM came in with their slogans: "The age of the word is over, it's the age of the spirit". And they began to chant the new slogans and they were off and running.

Then ten years later LSM spokesman Chris Wilde said they were all gone. "No affiliation" in any way with the Shouters. What happened? To me it seems like the great figure in Daniel with the feet of clay, that got smashed and tumbled. Poof. The collective of Lee was a giant idol.

When you see it for what it is, then it loses its hold over your thinking. Then you can slowly begin to get free.
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:21 AM   #103
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-1

Aron,

If you were able to articulate the difference between shouters and Shouters your post might be intelligible.

Might.

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Old 09-23-2017, 10:03 AM   #104
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-1

Aron,

If you were able to articulate the difference between shouters and Shouters your post might be intelligible.

Might.

Drake
Drake,

You don't make any sense (to me).
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:05 AM   #105
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-1

Aron,

If you were able to articulate the difference between shouters and Shouters your post might be intelligible.

Might.

Drake
What does "-1" mean?
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:09 AM   #106
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What does "-1" mean?
Nomenclature for a post in relation to the one you are reading.

-1 the previous post. -2 is two posts back. Etc, Only really works for posts nearby.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:10 AM   #107
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The greatest joy in my life today is to read experienced biblical scholars and commentators sharing what they've seen & thought from God's word being impressed onto their consciousness, sometimes over decades.
Actually my greatest joy is to see God through Jesus Christ revealed in scripture. That is "not received of man, but through revelation of Jesus Christ", as Paul said.

But close upon that is to learn from those who have given themselves to study scripture. Witness Lee was, at best, anciliary to the first experience, and clearly detrimental to the second.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:11 AM   #108
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Nomenclature for a post in relation to the one you are reading.

-1 the previous post. -2 is two posts back. Etc, Only really works for posts nearby.
I thought he was docking me a point.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:23 AM   #109
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I thought he was docking me a point.
No, I would be ducking you a point.

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Old 09-23-2017, 10:27 AM   #110
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Nomenclature for a post in relation to the one you are reading.

-1 the previous post. -2 is two posts back. Etc, Only really works for posts nearby.
It makes a whole lot more sense to quote the saying and bold the part you are responding to. This provides reference to who said it, when it was said, the context of what was said, and what was actually said.

What happens if someone else posts just before you do? Then you have to go back and change the numbers.

I am docking you 3 points for bucking convention and promoting confusion!
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:32 AM   #111
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-1

Aron,

If you were able to articulate the difference between shouters and Shouters your post might be intelligible.

Might.

Drake
Okay.

In 1995 Witness Lee claimed there were 15 or 20 million Christians, whom he named as Shouters, affiliated with his ministry. But since his church doesn't take any formal names, maybe we should call them 'shouters'? The quote was probably never printed. Ten years later, Chris Wilde said there was no association whatsoever between the LSM and the 'shouters'.

Better?
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:57 AM   #112
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I thought he was docking me a point.
Haha I did too!

Aron,

Excellent point on self deception. This concept has been studied/researched extensively and can shed much light onto the state of the LSM churches and Witness Lee's followers. I'm so fortunate that the Lord brought me to see His truth far before hearing of the Witness Lee churches. My biggest personal frustration on the local church is that it caused me to question my entire belief system. If I can buy in (thank God temporarily) to Witness Lee's gospel, was the "real" gospel that I read, saw, touched, and tasted also a complete farce? I found myself wondering if God was real (which was an inconceivable thought to me pre LSM).

My father has held me in his hands and proven time and again who He is. My walk into and out of the LSM was no different. He called me out of darkness and back to His light and glory. Thank God He is more even more real to me today- he has used that time for His good.
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:44 AM   #113
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Throughout the years in which I have fellowshipped with various saints, I have been struck by how very much they are just like the Catholics of old. They have their authority figure, the Pope/Lee, and they have the belief that they cannot make it outside of this one particular church. Added to this, they practice excommunication. Just as Catholics had faith in their Church (perhaps even a little bit more than their faith in Christ or a whole lot more than their faith in Christ), you can find the same thinking or belief among the saints. My other actual charge of idolatry-- besides that of WL- against them is worship of the Church itself. Whether they are able to see it or not, they have developed tiers or hierarchy levels between them and the Lord Jesus. The Bible clearly tells us that there is only one mediator between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ himself. True Christians should accept no other. We in Christ have been set free from these things.
Maribah, in short, I openly spoke out against Lee being the MOTA. When I finally got nailed by the lead elder, and his crony puppet elders, in the privacy of my own home, I was told that if I wanted to go on in the LC I had to take the lead elder's personality as my own, and if I want to blow my nose I had to ask him which side first (that's a literal quote).

In the process of defending myself I said, "Then Witness Lee is the Pope of the Local Church." The response was, "That's the way of Life. If you want Life then that's the way you have to go on in the LC," personality and nose blowing included.

There was no denial that Lee was the Pope, by the lead elder that was directly appointed by Pope Lee.

And to Aron I say, I guess I would have been fine if I had washed my brain of any and all objections of the infallibility of Witness Lee. There you go : brainwashing.
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Old 09-23-2017, 12:21 PM   #114
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Okay.

In 1995 Witness Lee claimed there were 15 or 20 million Christians, whom he named as Shouters, affiliated with his ministry. But since his church doesn't take any formal names, maybe we should call them 'shouters'? The quote was probably never printed. Ten years later, Chris Wilde said there was no association whatsoever between the LSM and the 'shouters'.

Better?
Brother Lee referred to "shouters". Chris meant "Shouters".

The government refers to any believers who practice calling or praying audibly as "Shouters", no matter cult or genuine believer. At one time most in this forum probably would also have been called "Shouters".

Big S "Shouters" refers to a number of cults with unorthodox and aberrant teachings. Many little s "shouters", believers who pray aloud or call on the Lord, have suffered persecution from the government as they try to stamp out the "Shouters" cults. In truth, the government appears content to conflate the two because the house churches, mostly composed of little s shouters, are also targets for extermination.

However, we in this forum should not conflate the two. Primary reason is that the government searches for any information to justify its persecution of those in the house churches. I am confident Aron, that if you thought your post would lend any support to the Chinese governments campaign against Jesus loving believers in China you would endeavor to be as accurate as possible.

That is why I bring it up.

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Old 09-23-2017, 09:34 PM   #115
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Brother Lee referred to "shouters". Chris meant "Shouters".

The government refers to any believers who practice calling or praying audibly as "Shouters", no matter cult or genuine believer. At one time most in this forum probably would also have been called "Shouters".

Big S "Shouters" refers to a number of cults with unorthodox and aberrant teachings. Many little s "shouters", believers who pray aloud or call on the Lord, have suffered persecution from the government as they try to stamp out the "Shouters" cults. In truth, the government appears content to conflate the two because the house churches, mostly composed of little s shouters, are also targets for extermination.

However, we in this forum should not conflate the two. Primary reason is that the government searches for any information to justify its persecution of those in the house churches. I am confident Aron, that if you thought your post would lend any support to the Chinese governments campaign against Jesus loving believers in China you would endeavor to be as accurate as possible.

That is why I bring it up.

Drake
Hey guys, Aron & Drake, and all others, gals included, here's what I have on Lee and the "S"houters in China. It's just a snippet, with a link to a downloadable pdf, of the whole official document, provided at bottom, where it's much cleaner than this cut and paste has provided here:

Quote:
Refugee Review Tribunal
AUSTRALIA
RRT RESEARCH RESPONSE
Research Response Number: C11N30336
Country: China
Date: 11 July 2006
Keywords: C11N30336 – China – Shaanxi Province – Christians – Shouters – Labour Camps
This response was prepared by the Country Research Section of the Refugee Review
Tribunal (RRT) after researching publicly accessible information currently available to
the RRT within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be,
conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.
Questions
1. Please provide any evidence of a PSB crackdown on the illegal Christian group, the Shouters, in Yan’An in Shaanxi Province around January 2006.
2. What is the general attitude of the Chinese authorities to the Shouters?
3. Please provide any evidence of Shouters or other illegal Christians being sent to labour camps from southern China around 2005-2006.
RESPONSE
Please note that the Shouters (otherwise known as the Local Church or huhan pai), founded by Li Changshou (otherwise known as Witness Lee), traces its origins to the Little Flock, founded by Ni Tuosheng in the late 1920s.
1. Please provide any evidence of a PSB crackdown on the illegal Christian group, the Shouters, in Yan’An in Shaanxi Province around January 2006.
No information on a PSB crackdown on the Shouters in Yan’An, Shaanxi around January 2006 was found amongst the sources consulted.
On 10 July 2006, Tony Lambert, an expert on Christian groups in China and author of China’s Christian Millions (2006), was asked whether there was any evidence of a PSB crackdown on Shouters in China (RRT Country Research 2006, Email to Tony Lambert ‘Request for assistance from Refugee Review Tribunal, Sydney Australia (RRT ref: C11N30336)’, 10 July – Attachment 1).
On 12 July 2006, Tony Lambert advised that he is “unaware of a particular current drive by the PSB against the Shouters”:

The main cults under attack now are Eastern Lighting, and just recently Three Grades of Servants whose leaders face imminent execution. Shaanxi, particularly Ankang in the SW corner of the province may be a stronghold of the Mentuhui (Discipleship) group (Lambert, Tony 2006, Email ‘Request for assistance from Refugee Review Tribunal, Sydney Australia (RRT ref: CHN30336)’, 12 July – Attachment 9).
2. What is the general attitude of the Chinese authorities to the Shouters?
Recent information on the Shouters in China is scarce. The responses and reports below indicate that the group remains banned and operate underground although a limited number of Local Churched have registered with local authorities. Sources also indicate that official repression continues.
Research Response CHN30207 dated 14 June 2006 and Research Response CHN17561 dated 7 October 2005 provide information on the current situation of Shouters in China (RRT Country Research 2006, Research Response CHN30207, 14 June – Attachment 2; and RRT Country Research 2005, Research Response CHN17561, 7 October – Attachment 3).
Jason Kindopp’s PhD dissertation on Protestantism in contemporary China dated 16 May 2004 provides new information on the Local Church in China.
Complete Official Document at: http://www.imnothere.org/LocalChurch/TonyLambert.pdf
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Old 10-01-2017, 03:33 PM   #116
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Here's my common-sense metric for brain-washing.

If the speaker up front says, "The moon is made of Green Cheese" and everyone in the audience claps and cheers then perhaps they are under some mass delusion. Because I see no objective evidence that the moon is actually composed of Green Cheese (or any other for that matter).

Witness Lee would stand in front of hundreds and speak things that strained the limits of orthodoxy, that contradicted each other (is this the 1987 doctrine or the 1974 teaching), that defied common sense, that bothered our consciences (many witnesses here have testified here), and that depart from Christian practice dating centuries. Yet after each one of these sessions, nobody would stand up and say, "Wait a minute". . .

Yet we see a man who gave hundreds if not thousands of messages in front of who knows how many, and nobody EVER saw anything wrong? The man was that good? Or we were re-programmed? I say, the second, not the first.

"The tree of life is the center of the universe". Well, um, maybe not. I see the throne of God, and a river of water of life proceeding out of the throne, and the tree of life growing on either side of the river. So maybe the throne is the center.

Now, it may be the center, or it may not be. Maybe the tree of life is, in fact, the center. But it isn't as self-evident as Lee pretended it was. And we believed him, without question. The fact that nobody questioned his bland assertions, some of which were thinly made, indicates brain-washing.
“Some years ago I read an article regarding the size of the universe published by an institute of astronomy. According to this article, two hundred forty million solar systems make one galaxy, and forty billion galaxies form the unique center of the universe. I believe the throne of God is located in this unique center.(Witness Lee, Basic Training p. 9)

“Revelation 22:1 says, “He showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.” The throne here is the center of the New Jerusalem. Every nation has a center. The center of a nation is its capital, the place where the central government is located. The New Jerusalem also has a center, which is the throne of God and of the Lamb.

According to the context of this portion of the Word, the throne of God and of the Lamb is the center of the New Jerusalem, on which the redeeming God, as indicated by the expression “God and the Lamb”, carries out His administration based upon His redemption, in His eternal kingdom in the new heaven and new earth, to keep everything in the universe in the order that serves His purpose.” (The Conclusion of the New Testament p. 2734)

The throne of God in the center of the New Jerusalem is the unique source of the life supply. It is by His administration that God dispenses Himself into us as life, as the life supply, and as the eternal, absolute, all-inclusive grace. His dispensing of Himself into us depends upon His administration.” (TCONT p. 4419)

The tree of life is the center of the universe. According to the purpose of God, the earth is the center of the universe, the garden of Eden is the center of the earth, and the tree of life is the center of the garden of Eden. We must realize that the whole universe is centered on this tree of life: nothing is more central and crucial to both God and man than this tree. It is very meaningful to see man in the garden standing before the tree of life.” (Life-Study of Genesis, p. 140)

“Looking at the plot plan of the temple compound, we can see that no matter through which gate we enter, we will arrive at the altar. When God comes from the temple to meet man, He likewise arrives at the altar. Therefore the altar is not only the center of the universe but also the meeting place of God with man and of man with God . . . the cross, therefore, is not only the center but also the circumference. . “ (Life-Study of Ezekiel, Msg 21)

"THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE - MAN" (Gospel Outlines, Title of Subject Three)

So, what's the center of the universe? The altar, or the tree of life, or the throne of God, or . . ? Answer: whatever Witness Lee needed it to be for that message. This was a ministry of expedience. Yet no one ever questioned these glaring contradictions. I could list many such examples - I just point out an obvious one.

All those messages in front of all those people. Yet nobody ever said, Wait a minute here . . . ??? Amazing, in retrospect.
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:59 AM   #117
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So, what's the center of the universe? The altar, or the tree of life, or the throne of God, or . . ? Answer: whatever Witness Lee needed it to be for that message. This was a ministry of expedience. .
When you look at the quotes from Witness Lee in the previous post, there's logic: 'A' implies 'B', which indicates 'C'. But notice that in each case the logical train leads to a distinctly different "center of the universe".

Absent formal theological training, and left to his own devices, Witness Lee could go on like this indefinitely. . . who knows how many more 'centers' he'd discover? Each message had it's own needs, and in each message, new 'truths' could be revealed. Didn't matter if one message contradicted another.

And most of us knew this, I suspect. We weren't really mesmerized, or brainwashed. We knew better. We knew the emperor really didn't have much in the way of proverbial clothes. But we kept our mouths shut, because we didn't want to be put out of the synagogue. Cf John 9:22; 12:42

"The fear of man brings a snare" ~Proverbs 29:25
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:37 AM   #118
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“Some years ago I read an article regarding the size of the universe published by an institute of astronomy. According to this article, two hundred forty million solar systems make one galaxy, and forty billion galaxies form the unique center of the universe. I believe the throne of God is located in this unique center.(Witness Lee, Basic Training p. 9)
I said wait a minute, and when I did I was out of there. Why, cuz Lee went to far with his megalomania and the brainwashing quit working.

It's a testimony to the fact of brainwashing that no one said wait a minute when Lee spouted all this extra-Biblical center of the universe claptrap.

I'm glad I was gone long before this absurdity. I would have had to stand up and stop the whole conference .. with a very loud WAIT A MINUTE !!!!!

You'd have to be brainwashed to sit silently, and just accept this from Lee.
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Last edited by awareness; 10-03-2017 at 07:46 AM. Reason: You'd have to be brainwashed
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:03 PM   #119
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After being a part of them for so many years (the LC), I have realized that there are those among us (in society and in church) who simply like being told what to think and do. Some of these people are not intellectually gifted. Some just don't like a fuss. Some are cowards. Some just love being a part of something where there is a set of rules that are never bent and that never change. Some like to climb the ladder and the rules that are in place make it easier for them. (There are many more of these than we think.) And then some of them just love to think they are part of an exclusive club. They like to be "in the know" in some sad, desperate way--and, if you are a part of the LC, you are one of the few that are "in the know".

I just let them have what they want. They are believers. They do know and love the Lord (plus WL and the church). They do hold to the great truths of the faith. They just want to, well, let someone else do the thinking and follow along.

But as for me and my soul, I will remain free and think for myself after reading multiple good sources and His Word (without footnotes). I will stand judgment before God alone. No one will be with me. Because of this, I MUST think for myself--something nearly impossible in the LC without great internal (and external!) conflict.

I know what you all mean by brainwashed here. I don't wish to argue. But I think the huge majority are there simply because they want to be or have to be.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:18 PM   #120
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Just as Christian's in all groups they are right where they belong, until they aren't. No one forces them to stay. They are eager followers of Witness Lee and his system.

They are told to get out of their mind's, and they do it. They are in fact proud of being out of their minds.

Brainwashing to them is just a way to keep their minds clean. Praise the Lord!
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:33 PM   #121
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The following is a link to an article on mind control methods that was posted on the Facebook group:
http://www.decision-making-confidenc...l-methods.html

I was struck by how much I could relate to regarding some of the things that I experienced in the LCM. I will post more later, but here are some tidbits from the article:

Those who are conned or deceived into joining a cult will be put through an unfreezing process. Every group has their own manner and particular tools for doing this but there are many common mind control methods to achieve it.

The basic idea is to distance people from their past, to make their past bad, or evil, or the source of all their problems.
-------------------
It's very common to take new members to seminars and courses in remote areas. In their time off, there's no place to go and so they literally spend 24 hours a day in the cult environment.
-------------------
The constant presence of other group members means a lack of privacy. More specifically, it means lack of time to think, ponder and rationalize.
-------------------
On top of all this, cults tell the new members that they are defective in some way, their lives are not working, they are sinners in the eyes of God, they're poor, they're worthless, useless or even mentally ill. Self confidence is undermined and they begin to look to the environment for clues about how to think and act.
-------------------
Repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, is very important in indoctrination.
-------------------
Destructive cults have two main aims, earn money and recruit members. Therefore, as soon as possible, the new members have to go out and recruit new members.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:12 PM   #122
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Nomenclature for a post in relation to the one you are reading.

-1 the previous post. -2 is two posts back. Etc, Only really works for posts nearby.
I thought they were demerit points.

I liked to think of Drake having a score board with all the usernames on it. Of course, Drake would have the highest score and most of us would have negative points.

Sorry, I know this is off topic...
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:24 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
The following is a link to an article on mind control methods that was posted on the Facebook group:
http://www.decision-making-confidenc...l-methods.html

I was struck by how much I could relate to regarding some of the things that I experienced in the LCM. I will post more later, but here are some tidbits from the article:

Those who are conned or deceived into joining a cult will be put through an unfreezing process. Every group has their own manner and particular tools for doing this but there are many common mind control methods to achieve it.

The basic idea is to distance people from their past, to make their past bad, or evil, or the source of all their problems.
-------------------
It's very common to take new members to seminars and courses in remote areas. In their time off, there's no place to go and so they literally spend 24 hours a day in the cult environment.
-------------------
The constant presence of other group members means a lack of privacy. More specifically, it means lack of time to think, ponder and rationalize.
-------------------
On top of all this, cults tell the new members that they are defective in some way, their lives are not working, they are sinners in the eyes of God, they're poor, they're worthless, useless or even mentally ill. Self confidence is undermined and they begin to look to the environment for clues about how to think and act.
-------------------
Repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, is very important in indoctrination.
-------------------
Destructive cults have two main aims, earn money and recruit members. Therefore, as soon as possible, the new members have to go out and recruit new members.
Great article!!!
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:46 AM   #124
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On top of all this, cults tell the new members that they are defective in some way, their lives are not working, they are sinners in the eyes of God, they're poor, they're worthless, useless or even mentally ill. Self confidence is undermined and they begin to look to the environment for clues about how to think and act.
Because I grew up in the LCM, my experience is a bit different than those who joined as an adults. At some point, however, as I started participating in the LC more and more, I started to get these notions that I was good for nothing, that my goals/ambitions were meaningless, etc.

For me, such notions were exactly what made me so susceptible to the LC environment. By the time I started college, my only real purpose in attending college was because it was a requirement for FTT attendance. Thankfully, I never attended the FTT, and I also figured out what career path I wanted. At the same time, it's shocking to think how easily things could have turned out for the worst.

Quote:
It's very common to take new members to seminars and courses in remote areas. In their time off, there's no place to go and so they literally spend 24 hours a day in the cult environment.

Seminars running late at night means there is little time for sleep, and a tired person is a more compliant person, less able to think critically. Control of mealtimes and control of the food is another way to alter somebody's physiology.
When I was in high school and college, we had somewhat frequent retreats/conferences. In fact, with the campus work, one of the immediate goals was to get the "new ones" to attend a college conference. Such conferences always had intense schedules with little time for rest/recreation. Every time I attended these kinds of events, the vast majority of people there got worn out and tired quickly because of the schedule. I know for me personally, it made me much more willing to sit there during the meetings and take in whatever was spoken, since I just wanted the meeting to be over.

In the same category, I would also include the semi-annual training that I attended. We had 2 study sessions in the morning, then had to commute to Anaheim, followed by 2 meetings that were 2.5-3 hours long. The messages were complete information overload, and I think that kind of environment made people susceptible to uncritically accepting whatever was spoken.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:24 PM   #125
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Yes! Cults take seemingly normal things that lots of people do- like going to a conference of retreat, but take it up a notch to create an intense and UNBALANCED situation. When families begin to be more distant or strained due to practices of your church- that’s your first red flag! If your family is generally loving and supportive- you have a responsibility to nurture that relationship. They’re a gift from God and it shouldn’t be church before family, in most situations.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:53 PM   #126
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If your family is generally loving and supportive- you have a responsibility to nurture that relationship. They’re a gift from God and it shouldn’t be church before family, in most situations.
This is a huge lesson I has to learn as an adult.
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Old 04-17-2018, 06:46 PM   #127
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At some point, however, as I started participating in the LC more and more, I started to get these notions that I was good for nothing, that my goals/ambitions were meaningless, etc.
I had a rude awakening. I used to think the brothers cared about ones future (a good job, family, etc). One Saturday morning at breakfast at the meeting hall, I expressed such aspirations to an elder. Expecting words of encouragement, instead I got along the lines of "this may be God's sovereignty" that is in remaining single and a low income.
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:59 PM   #128
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Yes! Cults take seemingly normal things that lots of people do- like going to a conference of retreat, but take it up a notch to create an intense and UNBALANCED situation.
The LC can be a very intense environment. For those in the LC, that is often taken to mean something positive. They feel it indicates that they are serious about the Lord. And in some cases that may very well be the case. More often than not, however, things do get unbalanced.

One has to question why so much time must be devoted to LC activities - for traveling, conferences, trainings, retreats, "blending", etc, etc. What about family? What about the need for normal vacations? It all becomes questionable when it serves to prevent people from living a normal life.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:12 PM   #129
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I had a rude awakening. I used to think the brothers cared about ones future (a good job, family, etc). One Saturday morning at breakfast at the meeting hall, I expressed such aspirations to an elder. Expecting words of encouragement, instead I got along the lines of "this may be God's sovereignty" that is in remaining single and a low income.
There are few things that are worse than setting aside aspirations and goals thinking that it is all meaningless. And in my experience, that is one of the things that the LC environment caused to happen. Perhaps the ideology came subconsciously, but it was definitely there.

When I was in college, I learned not to vocalize any career goals, because to ULcers, having career goals meant the FTT wasn't a goal. Eventually I started second guessing what I wanted to do, thinking that a specific career shouldn't be a goal, that the only goal should be serving full-time.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:06 PM   #130
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When I was in college, I learned not to vocalize any career goals, because to ULcers, having career goals meant the FTT wasn't a goal. Eventually I started second guessing what I wanted to do, thinking that a specific career shouldn't be a goal, that the only goal should be serving full-time.
Leaves the question I think I know the answer to, for FTTA graduates is serving Full Time guaranteed?
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:58 PM   #131
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Leaves the question I think I know the answer to, for FTTA graduates is serving Full Time guaranteed?
I don't think so.

If one 'feels the burden' they fellowship with the brothers and usually one will be allocated to a locality to serve, but I think that sometimes "the fellowship" is that it would be better to "serve as a working one"
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Old 04-18-2018, 04:42 PM   #132
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There are few things that are worse than setting aside aspirations and goals thinking that it is all meaningless. And in my experience, that is one of the things that the LC environment caused to happen. Perhaps the ideology came subconsciously, but it was definitely there.

When I was in college, I learned not to vocalize any career goals, because to ULcers, having career goals meant the FTT wasn't a goal. Eventually I started second guessing what I wanted to do, thinking that a specific career shouldn't be a goal, that the only goal should be serving full-time.
That was your experience, but I don't think it is the norm. There are those that I know who went to the FTT with the full intention of maintaining their career ambitions and have progressed further in their career as doctors, dentists or engineers since completing the FTT, with full blessing of their parents and elders who are also full time professionals.

There is a simple practical reason that refutes many of the claims made here about the FTT being intended only for those who want to serve full time - who is going to pay for all of them?? For this reason, it is not practical or realistic to assume that it is assumed that every person who attends FTT will not pursue their career. It is also encouraged that people attain as high as they can in their education and be testimonies to those in their chosen professional career. Also, the financial health of the church partly depends upon members having good paying jobs so why would they try to discourage that?
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:02 PM   #133
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. .sometimes "the fellowship" is that it would be better to "serve as a working one"
That's what happens when your soul-life belongs to a book publishing house.
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:49 PM   #134
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That was your experience, but I don't think it is the norm. There are those that I know who went to the FTT with the full intention of maintaining their career ambitions and have progressed further in their career as doctors, dentists or engineers since completing the FTT, with full blessing of their parents and elders who are also full time professionals.

There is a simple practical reason that refutes many of the claims made here about the FTT being intended only for those who want to serve full time - who is going to pay for all of them?? For this reason, it is not practical or realistic to assume that it is assumed that every person who attends FTT will not pursue their career. It is also encouraged that people attain as high as they can in their education and be testimonies to those in their chosen professional career. Also, the financial health of the church partly depends upon members having good paying jobs so why would they try to discourage that?
Well, this really points out the main purpose of focusing on good building materials. They guarantee finanical health of the church. Get as many doctors, dentists or engineers as possible. Make sure they are "trained" by FTT first and then let them go earn the financial "blessings". Forget about the poor, someone else will take care of them.
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:52 PM   #135
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Well, this really points out the main purpose of focusing on good building materials. They guarantee finanical health of the church. Get as many doctors, dentists or engineers as possible. Make sure they are "trained" by FTT first and then let them go earn the financial "blessings". Forget about the poor, someone else will take care of them.
So how many homeless people living in your home?
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:57 PM   #136
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So how many homeless people living in your home?
Definitely not as many as the doctors, dentists and engineers in the LC.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:28 PM   #137
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That was your experience, but I don't think it is the norm. There are those that I know who went to the FTT with the full intention of maintaining their career ambitions and have progressed further in their career as doctors, dentists or engineers since completing the FTT, with full blessing of their parents and elders who are also full time professionals.
And just what is the norm in the LC? My experience was that people were trying to practice what WL taught. WL's teaching was that everyone should seek the highest education, then be willing to throw it away.

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There is a simple practical reason that refutes many of the claims made here about the FTT being intended only for those who want to serve full time - who is going to pay for all of them?? For this reason, it is not practical or realistic to assume that it is assumed that every person who attends FTT will not pursue their career. It is also encouraged that people attain as high as they can in their education and be testimonies to those in their chosen professional career. Also, the financial health of the church partly depends upon members having good paying jobs so why would they try to discourage that?
It would seem like that is the case, but that is not what I ever observed. Where I'm from, the amount the church was spending was not in any way correlated to what people were giving. That's because the main source of funding for the church was several wealthy brothers. I suspect there are similar situations in other places as well.
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Old 04-19-2018, 05:25 PM   #138
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And just what is the norm in the LC? My experience was that people were trying to practice what WL taught. WL's teaching was that everyone should seek the highest education, then be willing to throw it away.

It would seem like that is the case, but that is not what I ever observed. Where I'm from, the amount the church was spending was not in any way correlated to what people were giving. That's because the main source of funding for the church was several wealthy brothers. I suspect there are similar situations in other places as well.
I don't know that "be willing to throw it away" meant becoming a full timer and becoming a burden on the church.
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Old 04-19-2018, 05:43 PM   #139
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And just what is the norm in the LC? My experience was that people were trying to practice what WL taught. WL's teaching was that everyone should seek the highest education, then be willing to throw it away.



It would seem like that is the case, but that is not what I ever observed. Where I'm from, the amount the church was spending was not in any way correlated to what people were giving. That's because the main source of funding for the church was several wealthy brothers. I suspect there are similar situations in other places as well.
I always heard how great it was to “waste your life on the Lord!” Especially to “waste your younger years on the Lord- how sweet!” Of course, that means signing your life over to local church elders and LSM agendas! I know my sister believes this- I’ve heard her say it!
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:47 AM   #140
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Forget about the poor, someone else will take care of them.
I heard this from Paul Hon in the FTTA. "Don't waste your time" were his words. Others on this forum have affirmed hearing such discouraging directions.

According to Peter, Jesus "went around doing good, for God was with him." What a contrast. Yes, Evangelical, we should be doers and not hearers only; I agree. But LSM doesn't even want people to hear.

How can you believe unless you don't first hear? And what gospel is preached if not this? As Paul said, it is "another gospel."
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