Local Church Discussions  

Go Back   Local Church Discussions > Spiritual Abuse Titles

Spiritual Abuse Titles Spiritual abuse is the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person's spiritual empowerment.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-12-2008, 06:11 PM   #1
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default The LCS Factor

I have learned that among those who grew up in the LCS many face social issues. Some that I am familiar with are: alcoholism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, divorce, paying for sex i.e. engaging in services of prostitutes, infidelity, porn addiction.

My guess is that once the hypocrisy of the leaders became well known something "snapped" in a lot of the youth. A subculture that was restricting them thus became a culprit in their lustful pursuits. This dynamic coupled with the mainstream media bombardment gave license for their behavior.

My question is: what role, if any, do you think the LCS played in the development of these behaviors?
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2008, 09:57 PM   #2
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
My guess is that once the hypocrisy of the leaders became well known something "snapped" in a lot of the youth. A subculture that was restricting them thus became a culprit in their lustful pursuits. This dynamic coupled with the mainstream media bombardment gave license for their behavior.

My question is: what role, if any, do you think the LCS played in the development of these behaviors?
djohnson, you can't hold the hypocrisy of the leaders responsible for the actions of others. We all have free will. To set our mind on the spirit or on the flesh.
How would you know of the restrictions? How I view the past in retrospection is as this: you can't paint everything with a broad brush.
Some parents had the liberty to raise their children in a normal Christian home.
Some parents were more concerned what other brothers and sisters thought in how they raised their children.
Some children had a heart for the Lord at a young age.
Some children never seemed to.
Some brothers and sisters who minister to the young people did so with compassion while others might have ministered with the law.
As to the behaviors that you allude to djohnson, each person is different in personality, character, etc.
As for the leaders, I believe most young people and their parents were unaware of the hypocrisy among some leaders.
Do you think the local church system was such a reigning influence that it caused young people to snap? I disagree. I'd say it's a combination of whom young people kept as friends, not having supportive adults to go to with their troubles, unable to cope with peer pressure, etc.
Conversely take the opposite of each example and you'll have reasons why young people didn't snap and were kept preserved.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2008, 10:19 PM   #3
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Terry I totally agree that there are multiple factors that influence a persons behavior and that no one factor can be pointed to as the one main influencing source. But I do not agree that the hypocrisy in the LCS among the leaders has no effect. If you are a young person doing your best to refrain from out of marriage sex and learned what was going on at LSM with Lee's son it might stumble you don't you think?
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2008, 10:42 PM   #4
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

djohnson, here's what I believe, what misconduct there might have been was covered over. Historically treated as rumor. Suppose a young person did know or was affected by misconduct. It's not necessarily going to cause one to stumble. In Children's meetings through high school, you do learn the Bible. You do get to know God objectively and hopefully become regenerated and baptized at some point. So most young people who have a heart for the Lord would know such behavior is inappropriate and unfit for the Christian Church life. However what I think would stumble a young person is if their parents or a trusted brother or sister knew and gave a free pass.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2008, 11:47 PM   #5
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Terry I beg to differ. Although they may know the behavior is unacceptable the fact that Lee's son gets a free pass and a cover up story to boot gives them license. If this were not true why does the bible so often exhort leaders not to stumble the flock?
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2008, 05:37 AM   #6
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
My guess is that once the hypocrisy of the leaders became well known something "snapped" in a lot of the youth. A subculture that was restricting them thus became a culprit in their lustful pursuits. This dynamic coupled with the mainstream media bombardment gave license for their behavior.

My question is: what role, if any, do you think the LCS played in the development of these behaviors?
The continued judgments on all of christianity damaged many. Pride creeps in so subtlely. Somehow the young people feel "OK," just because all other Christians are so bad. And for those who couldn't or wouldn't survive in the LC, all other avenues were closed. The teachings of LSM purposely prevented many young Christians from seeking fellowship with "outsiders." As bad as the world is, christianity was far worse, or so we thought. Often I heard "raw heathen" appraised higher than our "religious" brothers in christianity.

I remember one young people gathering with one of our young sisters dressed somewhat immodestly. She was silent until someone mentioned christianity, and then she ignited into a blast upon all christianity. How does those teachings help young people grow in Christ and love people?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2008, 05:48 AM   #7
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,217
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I remember one young people gathering with one of our young sisters dressed somewhat immodestly. She was silent until someone mentioned christianity, and then she ignited into a blast upon all christianity. How does those teachings help young people grow in Christ and love people?
That is sooo sad Ohio!!!

My .05 worth is this: Many of the troubles the young people are experiencing in the LC are no different than the children from Christian parents outside the LC.

One observation I have made is parents don't bless their children!!!!

Growing up, my mother & father blessed each of us kids every night before going to bed. It may have been a ritual, but nonetheless, a blessing. I have 2 brothers and though my brothers are not walking with the LORD..don't KNOW Him, we all have God's protection over us. We've all been through rough times but I see God's hand over each and everyone of us.

We also don't bless each other! We NEED to! If we can't find it in our hearts to 'love' one another especially those who have hurt us deeply, then the least we can do is ask the LORD to bless them. It goes against our natural grain but that is the experience of being crucified with Christ...dying to self.

To GOD be the GLORY!
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)
countmeworthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2008, 08:34 AM   #8
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 4,817
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The continued judgments on all of christianity damaged many. Pride creeps in so subtlely. Somehow the young people feel "OK," just because all other Christians are so bad. And for those who couldn't or wouldn't survive in the LC, all other avenues were closed. The teachings of LSM purposely prevented many young Christians from seeking fellowship with "outsiders." As bad as the world is, christianity was far worse, or so we thought.
Ohio, I think you caught the nub. The LC young person who drifts into the world is caught in a double bind. On the one hand the snares of the flesh have them, and on the other hand the subtle and largely unconscious teachings of elitism pounded into them from day one frustrate them in getting aid.

I remember leaving the LSM system and being in the world, trying to get help, trying to "fellowship"; it was hard because everytime someone quoted a verse I could quote six. I was simultaneously all smashed up and "holier than thou"...I was a real mess! God put some people in my path who didn't have as many verses as me, not so "systemic" in theology, but they had a LOT more reality, and I wasn't so stupid that I couldn't realize it. So I humbled myself, and began to listen. Eventually I realized my "airtight system" wasn't so airtight, and thus was a contributor in my mess and my inability to break free.

The "double bind" is a terrible, paralyzing situation. You can't go forward, can't go back. My suspicion is that many are trapped in this way.
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2008, 12:52 PM   #9
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I remember one young people gathering with one of our young sisters dressed somewhat immodestly. She was silent until someone mentioned christianity, and then she ignited into a blast upon all christianity. How does those teachings help young people grow in Christ and love people?
Hi Ohio. This was not my experience as a young person in the locla churches. I have no recollection of any of my peers being negative towards Christianity in this way.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2008, 01:04 PM   #10
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The continued judgments on all of christianity damaged many. Pride creeps in so subtlely. Somehow the young people feel "OK," just because all other Christians are so bad. And for those who couldn't or wouldn't survive in the LC, all other avenues were closed. The teachings of LSM purposely prevented many young Christians from seeking fellowship with "outsiders."
Ohio, is it teachings or is it attitudes towards non-recovery Christianity? The attitude as a young brother was Christianity was superficial. The concept was if a Christian was serious about the Lord, they were in the local churches. With a non-recovery Christian, the concept was they only went to service as a matter of tradition and what teachings non-Recovery Christians recieved paled in comparison to the recovery.
There was a brother several years older than I. Once he went off to school at USC, I never saw him again. Years later after I had finished my college education and reentered the local churches in metro-Seattle, I wondered what happened to this brother. I'd never see him at the SoCal conferences. One year I was able to locate this brother. His testimony to me was in Christianity he found as many Christians serious for the Lord as he grew up knowing in the local churches.
So in this way labeling non-Recovery Christianity as "poor poor Christianity" in a way does create a barrier in fellowship.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 04:20 AM   #11
John
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 60
Default Preachers' Kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
I have learned that among those who grew up in the LCS many face social issues. Some that I am familiar with are: alcoholism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, divorce, paying for sex i.e. engaging in services of prostitutes, infidelity, porn addiction.
...

My question is: what role, if any, do you think the LCS played in the development of these behaviors?
You ask what role the Local Church System played in causing those who grew up in the LCs to fall into sin, especially sexual sin.

I think that one reason is this: Witness Lee was a tyrant. He only cared about himself. This caused him to create a church system that was devoid of love. He had almost no care for a proper Christian family, and almost never spoke on the topic. His messages emphasized being zealous for imbibing the processed God for growth into a corporate god. His actions behind the scenes also show that he was caught up with the love of money.

With this dark background in place, what would we expect to find in his offspring. His sons exemplify the lust for power, sex, and money. This is the way the leader of the movement walked, and his sons reflected that. Now, on to his spiritual sons. What do we see in many of the leaders. I don’t need to recount the examples. Both forums are replete with some of the sins of some of the leaders.

What happens to children who are not loved? What happens when children realize that their father and mother love Witness Lee and the Local Church more than them? Those children do not grow up properly. They become angry and fall into destructive behaviors. I’m guessing that many are doing those things hoping to find love. (For children looking for love, many do fall into sexual sins.)

In my previous post, I responded to the mention of the James Barber situation in The Church in Oklahoma City. Here was a man who looked to Witness Lee as a father figure. He ignored needs of his wife and sons while he pursued his love of himself by trying to impress Lee. When Lee abused him in trainings, he returned home to abuse his family. Now, the sons have difficult lives because of the lack of care by their father.

I also mentioned about another former Local Church leader who mistreated his children. Even though they are all out of the Local Churches now, the system is not out of the father. The children still struggle because of his ongoing mistreatment. For him, all is well because he is pursuing God. He still dwells in Lee’s realm of unreality, floating around in the clouds of high visions and so forth. Meanwhile, his own family is suffering on the earth.

There is a reason why Paul issued some of those practical commands in his epistles. It was so we could know if our spirituality was real. For example:

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Eph 6:4)

For many Local Church fathers, the verse in Ephesians, if we bothered to pay any attention to it at all, didn’t have the word nurture in it. It only had admonition. And, for still others, who basically ignored their children, it didn’t even have the word admonition.

It may be like the “preacher’s kid” phenomenon, where the son of the preacher was the most rebellious one in the church. Well, in the LC, it was as if every child was a preacher’s kid. Most of the adults were 100 percent committed to the program, and it was a 24/7 program.

When I was in The Local Church, children were just as expendable as adults. I don’t recall fathers taking time out to spend with their children. We were too busy in the Lord’s army. We gave everything and everyone for the cause.

It was a sad and loveless place, a very abnormal place for children.
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 06:05 AM   #12
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,217
Default

John,

Your post rang of truth in it. So much sad and tragic truth. The LC had a lot of deception in it...'Love the brethren'...'Love the CHURCH'...'Love the 'ministry' of LEE. :rollingeyes2:

Lee's kids suffered from his own parental abuse...that includes Phillip. The sins Phillip committed may have been a way to show his disdain for the way his father raised him and his siblings. I'm not excusing his actions but this post made me wonder if Phillip and his siblings resented his father..who gave his life to this ministry..his own...placing his family on the back burner. Then to 'make up' for his lack of being a good husband and father, handed some of that 'reign' to Phillip..and making sure the kids & grandkids had plenty of $$ to live off.

Mr Lee had EIGHT children. Rarely did he mention his children or his wife/wives (to my knowledge). He was a widower who later married again. Frankly, he should have remained single!

LORD have mercy !!!

Carol
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)
countmeworthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 12:10 PM   #13
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default There is an enemy!!!

When we consider how the children of Christian parents get into trouble in their teen age and adult years, it is important to never forget that there is an enemy. Do not forget Adam and Eve. They had the very best care from the very creator God. They had a walk and talk with Him everyday. They were not neglected and the creator did not make any mistakes. Yet look what happened! Why? Well there is an enemy.

In my life both as a Christian and in my profession, I have interacted with many wonderful Christian parents who were literally heart broken regarding their child. They did a lot of introspection as to where they went wrong and what their mistakes were. They were in great pain and most of it was totally unnecessary. Almost always there were children who had turned out wonderfully. Yet, the parents could only consider that they were awful failures due to the one child who was having problems.

I have heard parents blame themselves for placing the child in public schools or in a religious school or because they did not do home school or for belonging to the wrong church or because they were too strict or too lenient etc.

None of the blaming of the parents or of the environment in which the parents placed the child is of much profit. Remember there is an enemy.

What is worth while is to never forget that the Lord can save the most fallen, most backslidden, most disappointing child. I love the passage in Romans chapter 4:17, “God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.” NASB When someone is dead, there is no more hope. My younger brother was killed at age 16 in a hunting accident by his best friend. My parents had many plans for him, their youngest child. But after his death, there was no more hope, no more plans. But we believe in God who gives life to the dead. I have seen many seemingly hopeless "dead" children turn back to God and to their parents. I would encourage us all to focus on this rather than trying to assess blame.

There is profit in seeking the Lord to learn from our short comings and to course correct but be careful not to be drawn into the devils game of accuse, accuse accuse.

In the LCS there was a real lack of vision regarding the very crucial and critical role of the family in God's plan and purpose. Sadly, in the LCS, many parents made serious mistakes and did not receive needed healthy instruction regarding raising children for the Lord. Frankly, I absolutely love to speak of the family and how powerful the four generational wall of testimony is. (By the way the scriptures reveals the principle of four generations standing together for the Lord's testimony.)

In Christ Jesus there is hope for us all,

Hope, Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 12:32 PM   #14
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Hope I think the fact there is an enemy seeking whom he may devour is a given for most Christians. But this cannot be the catch-all excuse for a lack of responsible parenting. It appears the issue with the LCS is not: we did everything we could to raise our kids in a healthy well adjusted manner etc but at the end of the day many just went off the deep end. But rather: our children were raised in an environment that was basically anti-family so it's a miracle that any of them survived and became healthy adults.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 01:17 PM   #15
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Hope I think the fact there is an enemy seeking whom he may devour is a given for most Christians. But this cannot be the catch-all excuse for a lack of responsible parenting. It appears the issue with the LCS is not: we did everything we could to raise our kids in a healthy well adjusted manner etc but at the end of the day many just went off the deep end. But rather: our children were raised in an environment that was basically anti-family so it's a miracle that any of them survived and became healthy adults.
Greetings djohnson,

Sorry if my post gave the impression that I was offering a "catch-all excuse for a lack of responsible parenting."

Also, I don't think any would claim "we did everything we could to raise our kids in a healthy well adjusted manner etc but at the end of the day many just went off the deep end."

But I can say that in my own home and in the church in Dallas in general we were not basically anti-family."

In Dallas and in the other lc in Texas, there were many activities for the children, young people etc. I took my children to their various practices and attended the majority of their games. Others also who were involved with my children would attend their games and I went to other children's activities.

Some of the children were outstanding students and citizens. Others were big busts. I saw a few who were excellent at avoiding their responsibility in their unhappy lives and quick to blame, blame, blame.

I have witnessed some adult members who could not hold a responsible job and it was always someone else's fault. I have witnessed some terrible failures at marriage and family and it was always someone else's fault.

Just because someone who has made a mess of things starts crying LCS is to blame, do not be so quickly persuaded that there was some sort of systemic problem and "it's a miracle that any of them survived and became healthy adults."

On the other hand, maybe it is a miracle that any of us survive and become healthy adults. Thank the Lord for his never failing love and mercy toward us all.

In Christ Jesus there is hope for us all,

Hope, Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 02:26 PM   #16
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Hope I am not suggesting that the LCS is the one and only factor contributing to the unhealthy behavior of many who grew up in it. My question is more nuanced than that i.e. what role did it play? Of all the factors how big is the LCS factor?

I happen to think this is an important question because the LCS is not like many other churches i.e. it is primarily a sub culture complete with their own mode of dress, language, habits, mores, customs, etc. and pride themselves in being separatists as it were. They are more or less like an Amish community. If someone comes out of the Amish community certainly one would not need to be a rocket scientist to deduce that the community in which they were born and breed had a tremendous effect on their behaviors. What effect is the question.

Like the Amish my observation of the LCS is that of all the influencing factors in a child's life the biggest and most powerful was the group itself. Not the family, not the parents, not the schools they went to, not their neighborhood, etc but the LCS. It dominated their lives and was/is the prism through which they see all else.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 02:32 PM   #17
ps8602
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 5
Default Are You Sure?

This thread bothers me as my intention of joining the board was to have meaningful discussions based on fact. The opening post states "I have learned that among those who grew up in the LCS many face social issues..."

Is this a fair thread? Is the level of social issues for those in/left the 'LCS' greater than 1) that in society where the church is 2) than that in any other Christian group?

I would hope that our evaluation of the 'LCS' is fair and based on fact not on the whim of someone who has had a bad experience and is looking for to blame.

Dennis
ps8602 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 03:21 PM   #18
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 3,981
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ps8602 View Post
This thread bothers me as my intention of joining the board was to have meaningful discussions based on fact.
Dennis,

There are many threads that are based on fact. And this one, despite the inability to nail down specific facts, is not a factual void. It is just that there is no "one size fits all" analysis and therefore not very helpful.

I'm sure that each of us had different thoughts when the thread began. That is because this is much more complicated than blaming the LC. Of course, there is probably blame that can be leveled at the LC, but it will be difficult to isolate since they actually had little teaching on the subject. It's hard to say that it is the LC's fault that one family followed the pattern of another that turns out to have been simply dysfunctional. If everyone had turned out somewhat the same, there might be something clearer to say.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 03:31 PM   #19
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 3,981
Default

Actually, despite saying to Dennis that there is nothing much in this thread, I do not think it is totally useless, even if it is so for some.

I mostly agree with Hope that the parenting I saw was not that different from others I could observe. The main difference would have been some tendency by many to try to isolate their kids from the "world." While the idea is noble, many of the things done with that in mind do not adequately prepare them for the day that they are turned out on their own and the world challenges the belief system that they have not yet internalized.

Rather than helping them deal with the reality of life gradually over several years, there is a tendency to build a hedge around them and avoid it all. The problem is that the hedge tends to disappear overnight and the onslaught of contrary information can be overwhelming. So rather than build the clarity of conviction and faith as a part of growing up, they are confronted with all of it at once.

This is not just a LC problem. It also happens among some conservative Christians who over-protect their kids from those "others" thorugh home schooling, separate activities, etc. I am not necessarily opposed to home schooling. But it too often helps to enforce the hedge/no hedge problem I spoke of earlier.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 03:59 PM   #20
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

In addition to being insular the LCS engaged in behaviors that most children later working through it would find quite strange e.g. burning baby and wedding pictures in front of their children, no TV, no sports, vacations all used for Lee crazed conferences, no Christmas, migrating and the overall obsession with Lee and his group prioritized above the well being of the children.

Thankfully children are not completely stupid and know when mommy and daddy love someone i.e. Lee more than them and when mommy and daddy's behavior is being dictated by Lee and his cronies. In short they know that Lee was their shadow mommy and daddy.

Perhaps it should be said more plainly: their parents were addicted to Mr. Lee and thus they are children of parents with a chronic addiction. Some children can overcome this in their adult lives but not without tremendous difficulty. For anyone who does not believe this please just do a little research on adult children of alcoholics. Interesting stuff!
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 04:54 PM   #21
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 298
Default

LC teachings were off concerning marriage and family. How many Christian churches can you go to today that teach you the church comes before marriage and family? Where is this in the Bible?

We were taught that if you take care of the Lord and the church, God will take care of your marriage and children. This is clearly not biblical, but we bought it. I remember in my first years in the LC being told that Samuel Chang said the most important thing we could do for our children was to be consecrated. That translated into consecrated to the church.

Children need time. They need a lot of hands on involvement, praise, encouragement, etc. They need to know they are important. Both of my children have told me that they always knew they came in second when it came to the church. If there was an event for them (school or recreational) and a church event at the same time, the church event took precedence. Suffice it to say that because the church took all our time, their events got basically none.

One time my husband tried to be an assistant coach for a Little League baseball team of one of our sons, but the baseball schedule and the meeting schedule didn't mesh, so the coaching went out the window. Same with the time the Little League games were played. Same with every single thing our children were involved in. My youngest son fared better than my oldest because we left when he was about 14.

Maybe some parents did better. Good for them. Those who took the LC teachings and practices seriously hurt their families. Period.

In the years after we left, God made me face squarely what I did wrong in my family. I had to do some serious soul searching and repenting to my husband and to my children. Then, I had to change my behavior and show them they were important and that their things were important. I'm still working on that. I will need to walk that way the rest of my life. I will never be able to make up for my neglect. I can cry thinking about it.

Witness Lee said we should never have regrets. He clearly didn't. I do and am healthier for it and so is my family.

The sad thing was that everything in me wanted to do the right thing for my children, but the unhealthy teaching I was receiving told me that was my "self."

I am thankful every day that the Lord has had mercy on my children. The one thing I did right was not cram the program down their throats. If they didn't want to be involved, they were free not to be. I never made them "call on the Lord," etc. I knew that God had come to me and won my heart as a child, and I wanted the same for my children. I prayed that He would win them, and He did. Mercy.

I am still waiting for the day when I hear an ex-LC leader say, "It was not biblical to teach that the Lord would take care of our families if we took care of the church. That teaching was damaging and hurt a lot of people. I am sorry."

Husbands were looked down on if they did anything to help their wives. My husband on occasion would help me with a few domestic things, but was always afraid the brothers would find out and think poorly of him. I still remember that he babysat for me one time. Only one, though. The risk of disapproval was too great.

Great place.

If you want to understand why so many kids grew up with problems, ask the sisters. They had to deny their most basic instincts concerning the family. Most of the brothers were happily off with their heads in the meeting clouds. I know of one exception; he was a German who protected his family like a tank battallion commander. His wife even wore makeup to the meetings.

Thankful Jane

Last edited by Thankful Jane; 08-15-2008 at 10:38 AM.
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 05:16 PM   #22
finallyprettyokay
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 126
Default

Quote:
Dennis said: This thread bothers me as my intention of joining the board was to have meaningful discussions based on fact

I wonder if the words of WL provide 'fact'. I wrote in another thread about his teaching of children being 'wrappers'. Let's see if I can give you the link:

http://http://localchurchdiscussions...s+ball#post353


I hope it (the link) works. It was in the thread about Raising Christian Children, in the Practice What He Preached part. It was post #11.

So: fact --- Witness Lee himself preached about children being "wrappers", wrapping up parent's hearts to distract them from "God's Move". It was repeated to me by one of the biggest of the big names in that hierarchy.

Other facts: As other posters have written, children watched their parents burn pictures of them. Wow.

Hope talks about the kids in Texas having lots of activities. I don't know for sure if that means things the church set up, or school activities and things like that. If it was 'outside' activities, that is really cool and hurray for the kids in Texas. I never saw anything like that at all. There was one family in San Diego who had their sons in school sports, and stood firmly in favor of that. Everyone else whispered behind their backs about it. It was the only time I ever heard of such a thing. Good for him, huh? And really, really good for his kids.

And Hope, I have no problem believing you did lots of stuff as a family, you maverick you! It was quite rare, and I admire those families that did was best for their kids, regardless. Our son was 3 when we departed, so he was spared --- quite a bit, anyway. Those first 3 years certainly count!

But Hope -- there was indeed a systemic problem related to parenting. Wrappers? Terrible thing to say. If our kids didn't 'wrap up our hearts' we would never be able to do the things that being a parent requires just to keep those little punkins alive.

These were acts of ommission, not commission. I wonder if those truly abusive parents would have been abusers in whatever setting they were in. That's a whole different story than what I am writing about. Or what I think most or all of the posters are writing about.

A funny little story -- I have shared that I live in the Salt Lake City area. Lots of LDS folks. A good friend of mine was telling me how they don't drink coffee, and a few other such things. I just laughed and told him 'Oh, don't even TRY to out-legal me! I will win that discussion, hands down'. He's a great guy and knows my story, so he understood and laughed also.

I wonder how many kids lived within walking distance of Disneyland, but never got to go there. I wonder how many kids within a short drive of the ocean never saw it (oh, some of the burnings were on the beach, I forgot). Or the mountains. Or the --- oh, fill in the blanks. You get the idea.

Quote:
Hope wrote: Frankly, I absolutely love to speak of the family
Oh, yeah. Me too. Family is a beautiful thing God gave us. Thanks, God.

So, as Dennis asked -- are there more social problems in ex-LC or LC kids than others? I don't know. Hurt people are everywhere, sadly. All I can really speak to is how I was 'taught' and what I saw all around me.


FPO
finallyprettyokay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 05:20 PM   #23
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

In answer to Dennis' question: their are more social problems among those children who grow up with addicts as parents than otherwise.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 06:40 PM   #24
SpeakersCorner
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 183
Default

I would say the biggest problem of the LC in child-raising was simply this:

Too many meetings.



SC
SpeakersCorner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 06:42 PM   #25
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Part of the addiction.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 07:21 PM   #26
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default Family Life in the Local Churches

Hello Dear brothers and sisters,

I must take a different position. Much of what I am reading sounds strange and foreign to me. Here are a few of the statements that stand out.

The following are from Thankful Jane. I will high light in blue her statements and my comments will be in black.

LC teachings were off concerning marriage and family. How many Christian churches can you go to today that teach you the church comes before marriage and family? Where is this in the Bible?

Of course that is no where in the Bible. I did hear from some like Samuel Chang such statements but this teaching was among those that came from peculiar personalities which had a lot of influence. I mentioned this phenomenon in my history. I should have developed it much more. I was afraid I would come across as too negative and decided to let this part of the history go. This thread illustrated that that was probably a mistake. There were a lot of odd teachings that gained some traction here and there. The anti-marriage stuff was ridiculous. I shot it down whenever I could. The baloney about how miserable the wives could make the husbands and visa versus was one of my favorite targets. I would never let it go by. I would counter about my own experience with Sheryl and report about many other very happily married couples.

We were taught that if you take care of the Lord and the church, God will take care of your marriage and children. This is clearly not biblical, but we bought it. I remember in my first years in the LC being told that Samuel Chang said the most important thing we could do for our children was to be consecrated. That translated into consecrated to the church.
If there was an event for them (school or recreational) and a church event at the same time, the church event took precedence.


I think here we have a clear example of the extreme practice of some of the local churches based on the extreme character of the local elders. Ray Graver in Houston and James Barber in OK City would certainly take this position. The church agenda was everything to them. On the other hand, in Dallas, Sheryl and I would make sure at least one of us attended any of our children's activities. Usually it was both. I always believed it is a heart matter. We should certainly put the Lord Jesus Christ first in our heart and loyalty. If being true to Him and serving the gospel or the saints, required me to miss a middle school football game, I trust my decision is made. But neglect of the children is not in question. We must care for them.

One time my husband tried to be an assistant coach for a Little League baseball team of one of our sons, but the baseball schedule and the meeting schedule didn't mesh, so the coaching went out the window. Same with the time the Little League games were played. Same with every single thing our children were involved in.

Twice I coached my sons little league/Pony league teams. It required that I miss some meetings and I was an elder and full time brother. There were two other boys from the church on the team. We had a great time. I was the assistant coach. I will never forget one of the parents telling me that my being a coach had saved the experience for his son and I was the only reason they finished the season. That really meant a lot to me as I did believe I was in the Lord's will to help that group and it was an opportunity to be a witness for Christ. Two of the boys, friends of my sons, came to know Christ as savior. They both came from unbelieving homes and never attended any type of church. Of course, I enjoyed it. Since I was a former baseball player, I did show off at times and demonstrate some skills that those kids had never seen. My sons, who were both on one of the teams, relished it when I would toss a ball in the air and drive it 375 feet in the air or demonstrate how to throw a ball harder and farther than the boys had ever seen.

Witness Lee said we should never have regrets
I am thankful every day that the Lord has had mercy on my children. The one thing I did right was not cram the program down their throats. If they didn't want to be involved, they were free not to be. I never made them "call on the Lord," etc.


I am still waiting for the day when I hear an ex-LC leader say, "It was not biblical to teach that the Lord would take care of our families if we took care of the church. That teaching was damaging and hurt a lot of people. I am sorry."

I whole hardily agree!!! I hope I never taught that. Someone let me know if I personally ever said something like that or seemed to agree if someone did say something like that. If I ever did, I am sorry sorry sorry, my bad, my bad my bad.

Husbands were looked down on if they did anything to help their wives

Really??? Maybe one of those strange notions that some brought in? I remember several times Sheryl and I discussed certain odd practices among couples from Taiwan. We attributed it to their Chinese culture. By the way the Chinese culture and view of marriage is not based on anything in the scriptures. Of course the culture of a southern peasant is of no more value than the Chinese culture but please keep in mind that the southern culture has been very much influenced and shaped by the teachings of Christ. In the Bible, marriage and the family is big, big , big. On many occasions when we were counseling couples we contradicted WL or something they had heard and shared our own experience and what the scriptures taught. We spoke with many couples before their marriage and with many after their marriage to give them counseling. I never remember ever ever saying something like put the church first. Somebody let me know if I did. If so. please erase it forever.

From Finallyprettyokay

I wrote in another thread about his teaching of children being 'wrappers'.

I never heard this until I read your earlier post. I believe it was actually reported to you by an elder. Maybe Lee taught it and maybe something just came up in conversation and this man picked up on some cute expression and wanted to impress someone. I saw that happen on many occassions.

As other posters have written, children watched their parents burn pictures of them.

I never burned anything. My understanding of the passage in Acts was the new believers burned things related to magic, demons etc. I did not have anything like that. I had been a Christian for several years as had my wife and when the burning "flow" hit Texas we had nothing to burn and felt no complusion to prove anything to anyone. I did see some in Houston burn some items they believed had occupied their heart. I never saw pictures of children being burned but I did hear of that happening in California. I find it hard to believe that someone would burn pictures of their children in front of their children. That is scandolous and replusive.

I would ask everyone to use some discretion about painting the bad family image on everyone. It is a little libilous. I agree with Dennis that it can be counter productive.

By the way, we took family vacations. We took our kids to Penny Whistle Park and to water parks all the time. We made the pilgramage to Six Flags over Texas at least twice a year. That was usually the low point of my year as my wife made me ride the rides with my daughter. I have a very sensitive inner ear but Sheryl enjoyed watching me turn green and stagger off of the rides. Of course we had to go to the Texas State Fair, a great time was had by all and we passed out gospel tracts. Birthday parties is a big thing for my wife and still is for the grandchildren.

What about Christmas? Hang on. My mother opposed Christmas. She was an improverished share cropper and migrant worker. She told us how she dreaded the first day of school after the xmas-New Years vacation as she would be forced to lie about what Santa Clause brought her. She would have actually have gotten nothing. Her family of seven childrens celebrated xmas morning by each being given a half an orange and a cup of fruit cocktail. She was very offended by the Santa Clause myth and believed it undermined faith in Christ. She got in troubles a few times because we kids would tell our friends there was no Santa Clause and that our mother had told us so. So I was not a Christmas celebrator long before I ever heard of WL. But we did not want our kids to be left out of the loot receiving. We gave them cash money and took them to Toys R Us and let them shop and shop and shop. My boys would take about four hours but they got the absolute most out of their money and selected exactly what they wanted and got their presents early. All their friends were envious and wished their families did things the Rutledge way.

There you have it. Family is big big big and the LCS agenda is optional.

In Christ Jesus there is hope for us all,

Hope, Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 07:32 PM   #27
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default Leeoholics!

It is no secret that Lee taught that his church and ministry should be a parents top priority. And it is fairly obvious to the well informed that parents were addicted to Lee and the endless parade of Lee centric events.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery!
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 07:53 PM   #28
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default One more example of Family first Lee and LCS second

Hello everyone,

I meant to relate one more personal story.

Shortly after the Irving Hall was completed there was a big conference there with WL and churches from all over. During the conference my second son was involved in a big soccer tournament in Dallas. He played on a nationally ranked select team and was a key player. I attended all of the regular meetings but had cut the elders meetings in order to be at his games.

On the last day of the conference, my son's team was playing for the championship at 3:30 in Richardson. No problem, I could go to the morning meeting and make it easily to my sons game.

When I entered the hall, an usher handed me a note. It was from Benson Phillips. After the meeting, WL had invited some of the overseas brothers, Ray Graver, Benson and myself to a special get together. Lunch would be served. Benson mentioned that Brother Lee especially mentioned that he hoped I could be there.

I had lunch with them. But then WL started in on the same old same old about their history in China etc. Things I had heard so many times. I waited it out but at 3:00 I got up whispered to Benson I must go as I had family responsibilities. He asked what. I replied that Deric was playing soccer in Richardson and I was going to watch and bring him home. Brother Lee observed my leaving and asked what was happening. I told him I had prior family responsibilities but it was good to see him and then left.

By the way Deric had a great game and his team won the game and championship.

In Christ Jesus there is hope for us all,

Hope, Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 07:56 PM   #29
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
I don’t recall fathers taking time out to spend with their children. We were too busy in the Lord’s army. We gave everything and everyone for the cause.

It was a sad and loveless place, a very abnormal place for children.
During my early years when our family lived in Anaheim, I had a normal childhood. My dad took me and my siblings to playground parks, we watched football games together, and my first summer in Anaheim my dad and another brother took me and my next youngest brother to our first Angels game. Who were they playing? None other than the Cleveland Indians.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 08:05 PM   #30
finallyprettyokay
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 126
Default

Quote:
Hope wrote: From Finallyprettyokay

I wrote in another thread about his teaching of children being 'wrappers'.

I never heard this until I read your earlier post. I believe it was actually reported to you by an elder. Maybe Lee taught it and maybe something just came up in conversation and this man picked up on some cute expression and wanted to impress someone. I saw that happen on many occassions.
You know, all I can do on this is promise that Witness Lee himself said it. In Anaheim, sometime close to the time my son was born which was in September, 1975. Apparently it didn't make the rounds. That's good.

I went to one burning. Our son had not yet been born, and we lived in Anaheim. That would put it sometime in 1974, I think. I didn't have anything to burn, but went. I couldn't even tell you what anyone burned -- it was a really big fire. It was on the beach, on the sand. I loved being on the beach again.


Family vacations --- just didn't see it happen. Twice a year conferences took the time.

Christmas. I always told my kids that Santa was a really fun pretend guy --- like Big Bird, or Superman. When my oldest son was in junior high he wrote a paper about it. His ending statement was "My mom never made me believe in Santa, and I'm glad she didn't". How cute is that? Well, that's beside the point, I just wanted to take the chance to brag about my son.

Quote:
I would ask everyone to use some discretion about painting the bad family image on everyone. It is a little libilous. I agree with Dennis that it can be counter productive.
You know, I really apologize if I made it sound like I thought everyone had 'bad families'. I don't think that. I do think the schedule we all kept took so much of our time each week. And that there were many 'rules' that kept us from so many important things.

Hope, I was there for 8 years and never knew of a birthday party. Maybe there were secret parties. I don't know. We knew each other's comings and goings pretty well, especially in San Diego (there weren't enough of us to get lost in the crowd). It would have been hard to keep that secret.

I wonder about the difference in experience -- for example, what John writes and what Terry writes, has a lot to do with not only what city a person lived in, but also the time period. Things changed, I think.

Okay, the most important thing here is that WL did say kids were wrappers, and that I don't think every family was 'bad'. Just to sum it all up.


FPO
finallyprettyokay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 08:30 PM   #31
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post

LC teachings were off concerning marriage and family. How many Christian churches can you go to today that teach you the church comes before marriage and family? Where is this in the Bible? We were taught that if you take care of the Lord and the church, God will take care of your marriage and children. This is clearly not biblical, but we bought it.
Thanks Thankful Jane,

I entered marriage with this same LC training -- exactly as you described here. It didn't work. It was a lie. A self-serving deception. It was always short term gain and long term loss. Some of the brothers who enforced these decrees -- two in particular -- both had failed marriages. After the LC divorce rate exceeded the world, some of these teachings were modified in the GLA -- but the damages were done.

Let me repeat a crucial point -- if you place "Christ and the church" ahead of your marriage, you end up with neither. The living Christ gets replaced with endless church service. "But, brother, we have no one else to do this." And your family gets replaced by the brothers. "Why don't you just marry the brothers anyways!"

I must add another point to clarify this phenomenon for all the naysayers: Those of us which came from dysfunctional families suffered the most, and were the most vulnerable. Those of us with solid upbringings in wholesome families, suffered the least. Those of us with faithful and loyal zealots for leaders, suffered the most. Those of us with wise and loving shepherds for leaders, suffered the least.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 08:37 PM   #32
finallyprettyokay
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 126
Default

Ohio:

Couldn't have said it better. I remember a sister that said to me that she thought she was marrying John Doe (her husband's name) but found out she married the church. Marriage did not last.

Here is the most important thing, I think:

Quote:
I must add another point to clarify this phenomenon for all the naysayers: Those of us which came from dysfunctional families suffered the most, and were the most vulnerable. Those of us with solid upbringings in wholesome families, suffered the least. Those of us with faithful and loyal zealots for leaders, suffered the most. Those of us with wise and loving shepherds for leaders, suffered the least
Exactly.


FPO
finallyprettyokay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 08:46 PM   #33
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post

I had lunch with them. But then WL started in on the same old same old about their history in China etc. Things I had heard so many times. I waited it out but at 3:00 I got up whispered to Benson I must go as I had family responsibilities. He asked what. I replied that Deric was playing soccer in Richardson and I was going to watch and bring him home. Brother Lee observed my leaving and asked what was happening. I told him I had prior family responsibilities but it was good to see him and then left. By the way Deric had a great game and his team won the game and championship.
Bah Humbug! I have never met a brother in all the LC's who would dare to do this!


I don't know whether I should laugh or cry.


I ended up doing both.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 09:22 PM   #34
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default A-d-d-i-c-t-i-o-n

When you leave a church or "ministry" which is not an addiction it's quite easy. You just move on to another place. Keep the same friends. Add some new ones. No big deal. If addiction is involved the leaving process is a slow and painful withdrawal which takes years to overcome if it can be overcome at all. It appears for most who left the LCS it was a painful and slow process and rehab was/is difficult. Some even admit that they did not know how they would go on after they left: not go on without the Lord but go on without Lee and his group.

Leeaholism is heart wrenching to watch but it makes me happy to see many on this site facing it. Better to admit the problem and start recovery than to stay lost in the hazy stupor of addiction.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 09:28 PM   #35
SpeakersCorner
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 183
Default

I recall a pivotal moment in my church experience. I had "left" the "Recovery" for about five years (late 70s), gotten married, and somehow my wife became interested in it. She invited a couple (well, more honestly, they invited themselves) to visit us in my Prodigal Sty State for a weekend. I reluctantly agreed to the visit ... and then I realized with horror that it was the same weekend as the Indiana high school basketball state finals, as important event in Indiana at the time as, oh, I don't know, maybe Mardi Gras is to the Nawleans crowd.

Anyway, I made my wife call the couple up and warn them that I was going to be watching basketball on the Saturday evening of their visit. She did it and told me, laughing, that they said, "No problem! They'd watch with us."

I was stunned. They came, I turned the game on but we only watched cursorily, and I began to think, Gee, maybe there is a niche somewhere in the LC I could fit in. I loved the teaching but, man, I loved my "old man" too, especially if he was getting the ball inside the paint just ready to drop-step and put two on the scoreboard.

Anyway, I think Hope's stories are true but I also think there were others who didn't have his freedom. My freedom came from my hiding from powers that be. His perhaps because he was a power that be.

For what it's worth.


SC
SpeakersCorner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 09:36 PM   #36
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,217
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallyprettyokay View Post
I went to one burning..... ...it was a really big fire. It was on the beach, on the sand. I loved being on the beach again.

Family vacations --- just didn't see it happen. .... I was there for 8 years and never knew of a birthday party. Maybe there were secret parties. I don't know. We knew each other's comings and goings pretty well, especially in San Diego (there weren't enough of us to get lost in the crowd). It would have been hard to keep that secret.
FPO
I too went to ONE burning...in San Diego...I remember my eyes bugging out when I saw a brother burn his SKIS!!!! I didn't have anything to burn but that year I had to come 'home' to my dad & mom's funeral. I remember having a 'hope chest' filled with 16 magazines I got rid of them.

Family Vacations: Oh... I know the elders in my locality in San Diego took vacations...LONG ones too...about a MONTH long. I later found out they let the kids watch cartoons and took them to movies a couple of times.


Birthdays: HEY! A sister threw ME a Surprise B-day party. It was the BEST party I ever had! I was truly Surprised!!

The sister took me out to dinner first. Then she took me to the house she was living at. A sister who did not live there answered the door. I was surprised to see HER there. She told me she had just learned to play a song on the piano and wanted me to hear it.

I walked over to the piano with her..NEVER noticing the number of SAINTS in the background. She began to play 'Happy Birthday'...while everyone joined in! WAS I EVER SURPRISED!!! There were about 15-20 people there! It really was the very best Birthday party I've ever had in my entire life.

Told you, I was in a pretty healthy 'locality!' San Diego was a good church over all.

FPO...TOO bad you had already moved to Anaheim!!!...or LA
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)
countmeworthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 09:39 PM   #37
finallyprettyokay
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
When you leave a church or "ministry" which is not an addiction it's quite easy. You just move on to another place. Keep the same friends. Add some new ones. No big deal. If addiction is involved the leaving process is a slow and painful withdrawal which takes years to overcome if it can be overcome at all. It appears for most who left the LCS it was a painful and slow process and rehab was/is difficult. Some even admit that they did not know how they would go on after they left: not go on without the Lord but go on without Lee and his group.

Leeaholism is heart wrenching to watch but it makes me happy to see many on this site facing it. Better to admit the problem and start recovery than to stay lost in the hazy stupor of addiction.
D-I-V-O-R-C-E That's what it feels like. A divorce.
finallyprettyokay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 09:46 PM   #38
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

The addictive behavior is obvious in the LCS and it is encouraged. Keep "drinking" Lee and more Lee and more Lee. When you try to break the addiction what happens? Well...it's no mystery...just watch what's going on in the GLA. How are the addicts reacting to those trying to get on the wagon?
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 10:00 PM   #39
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default Unique response, made me laugh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Bah Humbug! I have never met a brother in all the LC's who would dare to do this!


I don't know whether I should laugh or cry.


I ended up doing both.

But Ohio, I really wanted to see that game. I was very proud of my son.

By then, sometime around 1984-85 I was not under the fear of WL or BP. I knew about their unrighteous dealings around the Daystar mess. I knew about immorality swept under the rug, (but not yet about Philip, the last straw for me). I still had some respect for them due to their past service and their gift but was done trying to please them and score points.

By then, if you recall, there was practically no anointing on WL's speaking. He was doing his summary of the New Testament and completing his life study work. Dry, dead, no light.

By then, it was already clear that there would be no blessing on the Irving Training Center or Church and that it was just a big expensive boon-daggle.

By then, I had seen so many snafus from WL that if there was really anything to the teaching of deputy authority, it sure was not WL. Let him take the lead in a spiritual enterprise or a business enterprise and failure was sure to result. And no, James Barber and Ray Graver, the failures of WL were not a test from the Lord.

By then, watching my 14 year old son play soccer was more important than hearing the legend of WN and WL for the 50+ time from the mouth of one of the legends.

Ohio, in 1974 I would not have done that. In 1978, I would not have done that. In 1980, I would not have done that. But by 1984, I was in the process of cutting ties. There was beginning to develop a group of brothers who were concerned for what had happened to us. Not a fermentation of rebellion but an awakening to the fact that something had gone terribly wrong.

The rest of the story of that little incident is that I was making a statement. Yes, the superficial and a real reason was my son's game but I was making it clear to Benson and to WL that they were not the center of my universe.

Please do note that 18 months later I moved from Texas. Another 18 months and I was voluntarily out. There was no need to quarantine me. I had already left the building.

In Christ Jesus there is hope for us all,

Hope, Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 10:06 PM   #40
Peter Debelak
Member
 
Peter Debelak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Avon, OH
Posts: 303
Default

I've witnessed what Thankful Jane described. But it wasn't my or most of my peers experience.

In Cleveland, where I grew up, all of my comrades were involved in all sorts of extra-curriculars. Sports, music, art, school governance, etc...

I recall thinking in high school that therer were so many things off limits. I had a hard time in high school - due to self-imposed concepts of what was acceptable. I didn't spend much time with my high school friends and I was growing distant from my church friends who attended other schools. I think my parents noticed this. One night, when my family was sitting down to dinner, I received a call from a classmate. He had invited me to a "party" that he was throwing (and his parents would be there). Without consulting my parents, I declined the invitation. Me? At a "party"???? Christ wouldn't do such a thing, right? When I got off the phone, my family asked who it was. I told them about the invitation and, with a little pride, I told them I declined. I couldn't believe it when my dad said "why don't you go?"

Anyway. Involvement in extra-curriculars was a mainstay among my peers growing up. It wasn't just allowed, it was encouraged.

Can't tell you how many Indians games a whole mess of us would go to ($2.00 general admission - can you blame us???).

That said, there was a strictness to our upbringing that my non-believer friends later would find intense. There were LC friends of mine, and myself included, who got into myriad trouble through our late teen/early twenties years. Some who seemed beyond repair. Thing is, with only a few - very few - exceptions that come to mind, most re-found their faith and, at that, a dynamic one. Whether or not they re-entered the LC is another matter...

In Anaheim, there was a mixed bag as well. There were a number of brothers I got to know - many children of BBs - who "went off the deep end." But I also know how their fathers ached for them. And they had brothers and sisters (blood) who weren't as rebelious. Can I place that at the feet of the LC experience? I'd be hard pressed.

Personally, at age 19, I felt like the LC was just a human culture with its own norms and mores - to the point where I couldn't see God in it and rejected Him. After a long process, I know I was too harsh.

I'm sorry, but if God predestinates someone, the fact that he is born into a particular group - even an errant group - is not going to affect his calling. God WILL find a way. That is not an condemnation or a license to errant teaching in the LC.

Within the same family, which raised each of their kids on the same principals, I've seen one kid turn out to be a validictorian, spiritually intense and committed to Christ - while another turns to drugs etc... Same church life. Same parents. Different result.

We should point out teachings and practices which can tend to be unhealthy. But ultimately, we have to pray and pray and pray. What else can we do? We have to believe He is sovereign, right? Even the harshest circumstances that kids go through - or put themselves through - He can have a way.

Enough rambling on this.

Grace to you all,

Peter
__________________
"This [book] will perhaps only be understood by one who has himself already [] thought the thoughts that are expressed herein..." Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logicus Philosophicus

Last edited by Peter Debelak; 08-14-2008 at 10:33 PM.
Peter Debelak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 10:27 PM   #41
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,217
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallyprettyokay View Post
D-I-V-O-R-C-E That's what it feels like. A divorce.

What is that you said? Couldn't hear you FPO. Would you repeat it again please? Just ribbing ya!
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)
countmeworthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2008, 10:42 PM   #42
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Obviously the Lee addiction level varies within the group. Some parents had the common sense to limit their intake to at least be functional Leeaholics. But let's take the current scenario playing out in the GLA. Imagine being a child watching your parents embroiled in a lawsuit over a meeting hall or your extended family being split in two, or friendships collapsing, or people yelling at each other during church services, etc. Over what? The Lee addiction. It's all about Lee. Do you really believe the kids are too stupid to figure this out?

And I suspect there are married couples in the LCS - not just in the GLA - with one spouse an addict and the other trying to come off Lee and stay on the wagon. There's a recipe for friction! And another eye opener for the children if any are involved.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!

Last edited by djohnson; 08-14-2008 at 10:45 PM.
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 03:25 AM   #43
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
There was beginning to develop a group of brothers who were concerned for what had happened to us. Not a fermentation of rebellion but an awakening to the fact that something had gone terribly wrong.
Truly, the biggest shame is that the faithful ones who kept walking forward with the Lord as the wheels of The Ministry began to spin in place have been cruelly tagged with these words of "rebellion" and "leprosy" and "quarantine" and the like.

I appreciate your story, Hope, and can only imagine the heaviness of the atmosphere at your leaving untimely for a reason that barely registered on the Church-o-meter....
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 07:45 AM   #44
Matt Anderson
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 124
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope
I think here we have a clear example of the extreme practice of some of the local churches based on the extreme character of the local elders. Ray Graver in Houston and James Barber in OK City would certainly take this position. The church agenda was everything to them. On the other hand, in Dallas, Sheryl and I would make sure at least one of us attended any of our children's activities.
Okay, you brought me out of my silence...

I don't know about your family, Hope, but based on what I know Dallas was not so different from OKC or Houston in regards to the kids.

I'm speaking from a different point of view. I was one of those kids who was OKC. Interestingly, I was shielded from a lot of what happened by a few factors, but I know of numerous kids in every locality in Texas and Oklahoma (including Dallas) that suffered at the hands of their parents' involvements in the LC.

I don't think one example (your family) mitigates the application of a broad brush.

As with any group or collective the proper judgment regarding whether a broad brush is appropriate or not is a judgment call based on a larger set of examples not just a few. It is quite difficult to make an appropriate judgment and apply it across the board. However, I do believe that there was enough abuse in families not to take it lightly or try to move past it through the use of a few examples that appear to mitigate the overall situation.

Most of all, I feel it is important to speak up for the sake of those who suffered. Their suffering was real. It cannot be mitigated by one or two good elders in the face of so many others who bowed down to the idols of the LC and sacrificed their families at the altars of false worship.

There was a lot of sin committed against families and there was a lot of failure on the part of parents to uphold their Biblical responsibilities to raise their children according the way the Lord would approve. It wasn't just isolated instances. It was pervasive. You had to be a very unique, independent, willful, strong-minded person to overcome it because the general rule was (and still is) abuse that is out of line with the Word of God.

Matt

P.S. Based on what I have heard from others it is possible that the Texas Region (inclusive of Dallas) was more extreme than other regions of the US.

Last edited by Matt Anderson; 08-15-2008 at 07:51 AM.
Matt Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 08:03 AM   #45
finallyprettyokay
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 126
Default

Matt:

YIPPPEEEEEE!!!!!!! Your silence is broken. Hurray!!!




And what you said?

It was a sad, sad place and a lot of people, not only children, were not protected and treasured the way we all deserve. The way God commands. Love one another as I have loved you.

Here's to you sticking around.
finallyprettyokay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 08:12 AM   #46
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default Parenting and Subparenting / Big Family Little Family

The LCS is a "family" addicted to Lee and this addiction is promoted and encouraged. How much addiction and how it is played out by various sub family members will vary. Some will limit their habit enough to stumble through parenting with at least some sense of normalcy. Instead of two bottles of Lee a night they might have a 1/2 a bottle. But these variations do not mitigate the fact that the group as a whole is Leeaholic and the leaders of the LCS "family" i.e. the "parents" are raging Leeaholics and want you to be one too!

In this dynamic the supra parents are the LCS leaders and the subparents are good ole mom and dad at the immediate natural family level who for the most part have allowed their wills to be absorbed into the collective will as dictated by their raging Leeaholic parents/leaders.

I once visited a home of an LCS family. Every bookshelf was filled with Lee books. They had a standing order shipped direct to their house of Lee videos to watch every week. They had Lee sayings posted all over their house. Lee booklets in their bathrooms to read. All their free time was occupied with attending Lee group activities. And Lee could absolutely not be disagreed with under any circumstances. I drove away thinking to myself: "these are signs of addictive behavior." Later I discovered that this was a mild version compared to what was going on when their children were growing up. I also learned that their non LCS extended family basically thought they were nuts. Doing a little digging I also found out that they were not on isolated incident. This kind of behavior was widespread.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 10:28 AM   #47
Nell
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 973
Default There's a difference ...

Hope,

I'm just going to say it, I guess like I usually do, and point out that there is a difference between elders doing what you did for your family, and the rest of us doing the same thing.

From time to time, Benson did some of the same things with his family that you describe having done with yours. I remember being shocked at hearing that one elder in Houston took his wife's parents on an outing to the Huntsville Prison Rodeo. I doubt that Texas was special in this regard, it's just what I know.

This is the best example I can come up with for the existence of a "class system" in the LC. Not only are elders and their families a "privileged class" but people with money, or the potential to make money, are right in there too. The result is people like me looking longingly on the freedom of the "privileged class" and trying to figure out what class I was in, other than the lowest class of all..."single sister."

Hope, I am happy for your freedom to raise your family according to your own choices. I wouldn't change that for the world. Please believe me when I say that I was not free to follow your lead, because I didn't have money and I wasn't related to the leadership in any way. The pressure was overwhelming for the little people to perform according to the unwritten rules. My goal was to stay off the elders' radar, so I did my best to behave like a good little girl. I didn't always make it.

Nell

Last edited by Nell; 08-15-2008 at 11:08 AM.
Nell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 02:10 PM   #48
Paul Cox
Member
 
Paul Cox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 183
Default

It can't be overstated just how much peer pressure plays in the control of the Local Church. If you say that television watching is prohibited in the "Church Life" (in the past) LC defenders will gladly ask you to point out in any of the writings of "The Ministry" where such prohibitions are outlined. Of course they are not.

Peer pressure worked its magic in the Local Church and still does in the Living Stream Church. The small circle around Lee wanted to please him, and he knew how to make them feel they should. An example is when Lee asked what was going on when hope decided to leave the room.

Then, of course, the bigger circle of "The Brothers" wanted to be well pleasing to those closely connected to Lee. And almost everybody in the local meetings are always concerned with how they are viewed by “The Brothers.” Heaven forbid that word should get back to “The Brothers” that you are a little contrary to the uniform marching unit.

If you say there is control in the Local Church, again you will be eagerly pointed to where Lee said he does not exercise such control. But control was indeed exercised, and is exercised more today than ever.

When we were young, my wife and I missed a meeting one night to go grocery shopping. Because of my work and because we, well, were out of food, we ended up having to go on a Tuesday night when we were expected to be in the prayer meeting.

The next time one of the leading brothers saw me, he said, "I missed you in the meeting, brother." I told him we went grocery shopping, and he said, "Oh."

Well, during the very next meeting, I was sitting on the front row, when this brother brought up the possibility of "someone" going grocery shopping on a meeting night. I wanted to get under my chair. But...I never missed another meeting to go to the grocery store, and I'm sure almost nobody else at that meeting did either.

But I've discovered that the peer pressure only works if you let it. In one of my recent encounters with a LC brother, he tried to use some of that stuff on me. I just ignored him, and he had to change his tune.

But that’s easy for me now, since I am out of that intensive atmosphere. For those who are still there, we must sympathize with them. It’s not something easy to overcome for the average person. It’s the same power that drives most of the youth in every generation to do the things they do, no matter how wacky their parents may think they are acting.

Roger
Paul Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 03:07 PM   #49
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,217
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
It can't be overstated just how much peer pressure plays in the control of the Local Church. ... Peer pressure worked its magic in the Local Church and still does in the Living Stream Church.

If you say there is control in the Local Church, again you will be eagerly pointed to where Lee said he does not exercise such control. But control was indeed exercised, and is exercised more today than ever.

When we were young, my wife and I missed a meeting one night to go grocery shopping. ...we ended up having to go on a Tuesday night when we were expected to be in the prayer meeting.

The next time one of the leading brothers saw me, he said, "I missed you in the meeting, brother." I told him we went grocery shopping, and he said, "Oh."

Well, during the very next meeting, I was sitting on the front row, when this brother brought up the possibility of "someone" going grocery shopping on a meeting night. I wanted to get under my chair. ...But I've discovered that the peer pressure only works if you let it. In one of my recent encounters with a LC brother, he tried to use some of that stuff on me. I just ignored him, and he had to change his tune.
Wow Roger ...ok..First things first.

That peer pressure 'magic' the LC uses is called WITCHCRAFT !! Many in the Christian community..(not all) KNOW about Witchcraft in the church.

Read the account of Jezebel & Ahab..she had a controlling personality/spirit. She used witchcraft too. The spirit of Jezebel is very prevalant in the Christian church today and we saw it first hand in action in the LC. We didn't know it though.

Do a Google search on the Jezebel spirit..if you haven't already.

2ndly. You were CONDEMNED for telling the TRUTH ??? The TRUTH sets us free but that spirit of Jezebel did not set YOU Free back then ..because the Jezebel spirit is NOT the Spirit of TRUTH from Christ Jesus.

It manipulates people and disguises itself in religiousity. And the LC is one of the MOST Religious institutions out there! Just think about how everyone prays the same way in the LC...how they TALK the same way..how they have their OWN Terminology.


Anyway, back to topic... That controlling spirit intimidated you...made you feel 'guilty'. You did NOT SIN! The Spirit convicts us. God condemns SIN. To those who are IN Christ Jesus, there is NO CONDEMNATION! By telling the TRUTH of where you were, you did not sin. You did not lie! You were IN Christ Jesus, telling the TRUTH!

The ACCUSER entered in and tried to condemn you from the PITS of Hell itself for telling the TRUTH!


I PRAY that person..'brother' who used you to make you feel guilty has REPENTED!!!! May the LORD shine His Light on his Sin!

Thankfully, you ARE set FREE. For where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is Liberty! And the Spirit of the LORD is surely with you Roger!..for YOU are BLESSED and HIGHLY FAVORED by the Most HIGH GOD!!!
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)

Last edited by countmeworthy; 08-16-2008 at 07:13 AM.
countmeworthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 03:08 PM   #50
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default I Was Cutting My Lawn!

Apparently during the big "rebellion" in Anaheim in the late 1980's Lee held his bi annual conference as scheduled. Many who had signed up before the blow up were chronically absent. When asked why he was missing the "training meeting" one guy said: "Because I was busy cutting my lawn!" That sorta summed up the lack of credibility Lee and LSM had by that time with many in Anaheim.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 03:49 PM   #51
Arizona
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 22
Default Just Had To Be There To Understand !!

The more I read the posts on this Forum the more I realize just how unique the LC experience. And personally unique for each individual participant. And an experience that is hard to understand apart from its historical context as well.

I dont think anyone who wasnt there could ever understand it, and could never be qualified to critique it properly.

I raised children in the LC. To this day I appreciate very much some of those young brothers (who are now no longer young) who spent time with my children when my kids were teen-agers. I refuse to denigrate their service. The picture of the LC life was not what some here seem to want to paint.

I know for sure that if I had it to do over I would certainly do some things differently. I would have accepted much more responsibility as a father, and I would have depended far less on the corporate church life. That is my fault,,,, not theirs. Living without television or christmas or anything else is not child abuse. In children's meetings we took kids fishing and to the snow, etc High School kids participated in extra curricular things. Many of us parents were just damaged people out of the Sixties scene who had no clue how to raise children so we did the best we knew how,,, and the LC helped in many ways in that endeavor.

It wasnt all bad. Now was it?

Arizona
Arizona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 04:03 PM   #52
finallyprettyokay
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 126
Default

Quote:
It wasnt all bad. Now was it?

It was alot bad. Few things are all one way or the other. So, no, probably not all bad. But alot bad. People got hurt there. Including kids.


fpo

Last edited by finallyprettyokay; 08-15-2008 at 04:34 PM. Reason: typo
finallyprettyokay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 04:39 PM   #53
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Arizona any child raised by alcoholic parents could quite easily understand the LCS and be qualified to discuss it. When addiction is present the underlying similarities are evident regardless of the substance involved.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 06:33 PM   #54
Paul Cox
Member
 
Paul Cox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 183
Default

Arizona,

I'm glad that you didn't get hurt in the Local Church, and I certainly didn't want to say that it was all bad. But the bad that was bad was really bad.

To be quite honest, you can grab any group from the pages of history, no matter how radical they were, and find quite a bit good in them. There will always be those who only want to paint a pretty picture of where they came from.

"The picture of the LC life was not what some here seem to want to paint"

Maybe not for you. But it isn't fair for you to want to denigrate the testimony of those who didn't have your same experience. Our experiences were real, and continue to be real to this day.

Many can tell you that their children were eventually lost because of the way they were “taken care of” in the Local Church. Many of the participants on the other forum were themselves children in the Local Church life, and suffered immensely in the wilderness before they finally picked themselves up and turned the Lord like they had never before. Other are still wandering around.

If they were only our experiences, that could easily be called hearsay. But the fact is, the way the Living Stream Church has treated those who disagree with them is a matter of recorded history. No one could sit through the mock trial that was held at Whistler and say this is a group that just abides in "oneness" bliss.

No one could read about how brothers were treated in the late eighties, mainly over a cover up of sexual impropriety, and say, "Boy, must be a whole lotta good goin on over there."

We are not here painting anything. We are telling it the way we experienced it, and saw it. I know this is a lot to stomach for some who would rather make nice with LSM. But I don't think that is what forums like this are about.

So far as taking responsibility is concerned, may I suggest that you can now say that you should have taken more because you are saying it in hindsight. At the time, brother, I have little doubt that the peer pressure was what kept you from taking more responsibility.

And that, my brother, was my point.

Having said all that I would have to agree with you about most of the brothers. You spoke of the ones who took care of your children. I know hundreds of brothers like that. They are precious indeed.

But the fact remains that LSM is corrupt, errant, and wants to cover up a dark history, while going forth with quite another image. These dear brother who are precious are either having their heads in the sand, just don’t know what’s going on, or don’t want to know. They continue to stand with clinched fists and shout a big AMEN to EVERYTHING that the Blended Brothers say. Nevertheless, that should not prevent us from telling the truth.

Roger
Paul Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 08:17 PM   #55
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default Privelege or Preference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
This is the best example I can come up with for the existence of a "class system" in the LC. Not only are elders and their families a "privileged class" but people with money, or the potential to make money, are right in there too. The result is people like me looking longingly on the freedom of the "privileged class" and trying to figure out what class I was in, other than the lowest class of all..."single sister."

Nell
Hello Nell!
How can I say, but I disagree with you. I do think there are preferences that come across as priveleges. One way to discard the concept of priveleges in the local churches is not care about what other people think. Once there's concern about what the elders, the sisters, or the brothers think, is there an appearance of the priveleged and the unpriveleged.
There defintely are preferences.
If you have the right personality or part of the right circle, you'll recieve preference over other brothers and sisters. It's more about how one is recieved or percieved, than about what one can or cannot do.
When I lived in a brother's house, there was another brother who shared my appreciation of baseball. We'd go to baseball games. I never gave it a thought if it bothered elders, deacons, serving ones, etc.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 08:52 PM   #56
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Arizona,

I'm glad that you didn't get hurt in the Local Church, and I certainly didn't want to say that it was all bad. But the bad that was bad was really bad.

"The picture of the LC life was not what some here seem to want to paint"

Maybe not for you. But it isn't fair for you to want to denigrate the testimony of those who didn't have your same experience. Our experiences were real, and continue to be real to this day.

Many can tell you that their children were eventually lost because of the way they were “taken care of” in the Local Church. Many of the participants on the other forum were themselves children in the Local Church life, and suffered immensely in the wilderness before they finally picked themselves up and turned the Lord like they had never before. Other are still wandering around.

No one could read about how brothers were treated in the late eighties, mainly over a cover up of sexual impropriety, and say, "Boy, must be a whole lotta good goin on over there."

We are not here painting anything. We are telling it the way we experienced it, and saw it. I know this is a lot to stomach for some who would rather make nice with LSM. But I don't think that is what forums like this are about.

So far as taking responsibility is concerned, may I suggest that you can now say that you should have taken more because you are saying it in hindsight. At the time, brother, I have little doubt that the peer pressure was what kept you from taking more responsibility.

And that, my brother, was my point.

Having said all that I would have to agree with you about most of the brothers. You spoke of the ones who took care of your children. I know hundreds of brothers like that. They are precious indeed.

But the fact remains that LSM is corrupt, errant, and wants to cover up a dark history, while going forth with quite another image. These dear brother who are precious are either having their heads in the sand, just don’t know what’s going on, or don’t want to know. They continue to stand with clinched fists and shout a big AMEN to EVERYTHING that the Blended Brothers say. Nevertheless, that should not prevent us from telling the truth.

Roger
Dear brother and sisters,

Could we step back and take a deep breath. djohnson, who is no friend, started the thread with a very spectacular charge regarding the children of dear saints who happened to have been in the local churches. “I have learned that among those who grew up in the LCS many face social issues. Some that I am familiar with are: alcoholism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, divorce, paying for sex i.e. engaging in services of prostitutes, infidelity, porn addiction.” He adds, “My guess is that once the hypocrisy of the leaders became well known something "snapped" in a lot of the youth. A subculture that was restricting them thus became a culprit in their lustful pursuits.

Then many of the forum members followed with sweeping statements which summed up the local churches and the believers who participated in them. When others such as Terry, Arizona, Peter Debelak, and OBW, Mike and myself attempted to add some moderation they were dismissed out of hand. Yet they gave their experiences and were not agents of the LCM sent here to cover up the real situation. Arizona was immediately dismissed by one of the dear forum members as a current LSM member.

Roger, I feel the above posters are being denigrated and being subjected to a kind of peer pressure.

Forum members, do not let djohnson stir up trouble and destroy the forum and fellowship as he has in other settings. He wants you all to admit you are addicts. He wants you all to admit you are terrible parents with terrible children and hopes that all that was ever any good, testimony or persons would be discredited and buried. He wants you all to disappear. If we join his kind of wild sweeping condemnation, we will self destruct.

Arizona made a very simple and true statement when he declared, “Many of us parents were just damaged people out of the Sixties scene who had no clue how to raise children so we did the best we knew how,,, and the LC helped in many ways in that endeavor.”

The Local Churches collected a lot of peculiar people who were damaged in some way or other. They applied things often in an extreme way. Some of the leaders did not practice proper leadership because they were themselves damaged and odd. The story that Roger related is a classic on authority abuse. Never should a leader use a meeting to shoot a silver bullet at a dear saint. I am all for exposing such practices.

The main leadership had very serious flaws in teaching and in practice. Nell declared that there was a class system. She stated that I could get away with behavior that a single sister could not. In the Body of Christ there should never be such a thing. I desire to be rescued from all my bad practices and am more than willing to have my specific faults pointed out and condemned. I believe that the specific bad fruit of some of the leaders and churches should be pointed out. I want to know the truth, both the clear biblical truth and the truth of the history. But I also am aware of the enemy’s practice of cursing. Satan, the accuser of the brethern, will accuse in broad sweeping charges. The Holy Spirit shines light in a very specific way and not only convicts of sin but offers forgiveness and a fresh start.

I am convinced that the original intent of this thread was to curse us all. Please take this fellowship to the Lord.

djohnson please repent from your way of seeking to discredit, belittle, condemn and destroy. I know these are strong words and I do not write them lightly.


In Christ Jesus there is hope for us all,

Hope, Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 09:04 PM   #57
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

No family with addicted parents is all bad. There are moments of joy and fun. But the children know there is something else their parents love and care about more than them. This something takes priority over all other things/people including the children. In the LCS this "something" was Lee. To go back and forth about who went to baseball and who had a TV and who didn't is to miss the bigger issue. An alcoholic parent might take their kid to a baseball game but the kid knows his dad would rather be gulping down some whiskey at the local bar. And in the scheme of things he knows his dad spends more off-work time down at the bar than anywhere else.

It is not until the parent admits there is a problem that the long road of recovery begins and in the process of recovery he realizes what is really important in life is not the bottle as his main focus with the kid/s and family as a subsidiary sideline issue.

I wonder how many parents who left the LCS actually faced and admitted their addiction to Lee. My guess is: not too many. They are still in denial.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 10:42 PM   #58
Paul Cox
Member
 
Paul Cox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 183
Default

Dear Hope,

I remember you with fondness. I know who you are (although you certainly wouldn’t know me from Adam), and respect you as an authority on the matter of the Local Church and Witness Lee. I will take to heart the things you have said.

However, please do not so easily dismiss people such as djohnson. He has not revealed a whole lot about who he is, related to the Local Church. But I have an idea who he is, and he has a history with the Local Church, also. His comment about the ministry of Witness Lee being an addiction is spot on. I have first hand evidence of this. It may not have been an addiction to you, but believe me, brother, it is to many.

Brother, the Local Church way is to dismiss, or exclude those who make us feel uncomfortable. Do we not have enough recorded history to confirm this? But sometimes it is the ones who make us feel uncomfortable who are actually speaking for God. This is not a specific statement about djohnson, but a general statement, considering the likes of King David, Gideon, John the Baptist and even the Lord Jesus.

We all saw the Local Church (then) and we all see the Living Stream Church (now) from different perspectives. Certainly there are many facets to this organization. Let's honor each one's view. I don't believe anyone here is lying, as the likes of Bilbodog, etc., would have us believe. We are just speaking what we saw from our vantage point. Put the whole picture together and you got a big problem.

Roger
Paul Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2008, 11:42 PM   #59
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Brother, the Local Church way is to dismiss, or exclude those who make us feel uncomfortable. Do we not have enough recorded history to confirm this? But sometimes it is the ones who make us feel uncomfortable who are actually speaking for God. This is not a specific statement about djohnson, but a general statement, considering the likes of King David, Gideon, John the Baptist and even the Lord Jesus.



Roger
Roger, generally those dismissed or excluded from fellowship can be viewed as wild stallions by the leadership. It's easier to exclude the ones you can't reign in. When leading brothers don't feel secure a certain brother or sister is on par with the ministry, they are pessimisitc that the certain brother or certain sister may say something negative. Even if it isn't the case, there's a need to safeguard the locality from those saints that might express concerns or criticisms.
Roger, it is the ones who make others uncomfortable because they're not lining up with man. They may be a prophet types like a Jeremiah or a Daniel. In the Old Testament, it was the prophets that incurred the wrath of rulers.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 04:28 AM   #60
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post

But Ohio, I really wanted to see that game. I was very proud of my son.
Brother, I sure appreciate all your posts.

Isn't this the same son who ended up a one-year-old opium addict? (For the full story, read Hope's book.) He was a miracle playing soccer. I wouldn't have missed that game either!


Thanks for your comment, "By then, if you recall, there was practically no anointing on WL's speaking. He was doing his summary of the New Testament and completing his life study work. Dry, dead, no light." For years (maybe 20) I felt that the problem was only with me and my heart. All those around me continually sung his praises, so I did too, but the most I got was doctrines. The anointing was also replaced by wild promotionals at the trainings.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 04:49 AM   #61
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default Need for discernment and openness, appreciation and carefulness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Dear Hope,

I remember you with fondness. I know who you are (although you certainly wouldn’t know me from Adam), and respect you as an authority on the matter of the Local Church and Witness Lee. I will take to heart the things you have said.

However, please do not so easily dismiss people such as djohnson. He has not revealed a whole lot about who he is, related to the Local Church. But I have an idea who he is, and he has a history with the Local Church, also. His comment about the ministry of Witness Lee being an addiction is spot on. I have first hand evidence of this. It may not have been an addiction to you, but believe me, brother, it is to many.

Brother, the Local Church way is to dismiss, or exclude those who make us feel uncomfortable. Do we not have enough recorded history to confirm this? But sometimes it is the ones who make us feel uncomfortable who are actually speaking for God. This is not a specific statement about djohnson, but a general statement, considering the likes of King David, Gideon, John the Baptist and even the Lord Jesus.

We all saw the Local Church (then) and we all see the Living Stream Church (now) from different perspectives. Certainly there are many facets to this organization. Let's honor each one's view. I don't believe anyone here is lying, as the likes of Bilbodog, etc., would have us believe. We are just speaking what we saw from our vantage point. Put the whole picture together and you got a big problem.

Roger
Dear Brother, thank you for the kind words. I do not know you from the past but I have come to know you on the two forums. I am sure we would have a great time in the Lord Jesus should He choose for our paths to cross.
I completely agree with your words of wisdom that we need to be open to an Elijah, someone who makes us uncomfortable. On the other hand, we should exercise some discernment. One thing I have difficulty with is dissimulation. Your are correct that djohnson was a former member with a specific history and not just a friend of someone who once was in the LC. I have read his posts carefully both here and on the other forum. While I do consider his assessments I do see something else.

I have to run to make an appointment this am. I felt to check the forum on the way out the door and now my wife is on my case that I will be late.

May the Lord bless you richly today. I will answer more in the future. I will probably communicate by PM.

In Christ Jesus there is hope for us all,

Hope, Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 04:51 AM   #62
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Hello Dear brothers and sisters,

I must take a different position. Much of what I am reading sounds strange and foreign to me
.
Brother Hope, much of what you share sounds "strange and foreign" to me.

It seems that you and DJohnson are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I agree that djohnson's characterizations are far too extreme to be representative. But ... I have to admit that neither were you representative of the whole.

That is why I was so upset three years ago when I learned the truth about brothers like you, John Ingalls, and many others. What a different Recovery it would have been if we had really "practiced blending" back in the 70's and 80's as we so often hear about now. "Blending" is just a farce that is really "purging."

I do believe that the experiences of the LC's are quite diversified. Some things that I post are also "strange and foreign" to others. Things were different place to place, region to region, and at various times.

I would only hope that DJ would post more as an "eye-witness" rather than as an "observer" with extreme characterizations that are not representative of the whole.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 07:07 AM   #63
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Thanks for your comment, "By then, if you recall, there was practically no anointing on WL's speaking. He was doing his summary of the New Testament and completing his life study work. Dry, dead, no light." For years (maybe 20) I felt that the problem was only with me and my heart. All those around me continually sung his praises, so I did too, but the most I got was doctrines. The anointing was also replaced by wild promotionals at the trainings.
Yeah, Ohio, but I wanted to respond to Hope myself and say, "Really? Practically no annointing you say? But maybe just a little bit? What does that mean, exactly. No light at all? Huh. Was that really what you experienced? Brother Hope, I would have to differ with you somewhat."

But then I felt, well, I'm not really here to defend Lee. I love brother Hope's portion so let Lee's real advocates do that. Let his writings stand and fall on their own merits.

But I still wanted to say, I was blown away by the stuff in the Conclusion messages coming to it as a baby Christian and 20+ years later I'm STILL waiting for LSM to publish those messages on the New Jerusalem where I saw some lovely things indeed.

Leviticus? OK. I'm in agreement about Leviticus.

A lot of the practical ramblings on 1-in-4 and 1-in-20 and such? Come on! You might as well try to pray-read the Wall Street Journal.

I just felt Hope's description was overly harsh especially for that particular point in history, 1984-1985, that he cited. I'd guess he's just shifted the dates a year or three in his memory, though, because I'm on board with both of you by the first training on Life-Study of Leviticus for sure. I tried so hard to get my enjoyment out of the training messages at that point but it just wasn't there anymore.

I was sucking on dry bones just three years after getting so used to the rich flavor of Christ.

Maybe what y'all are saying is that in this period the annointing and the light wasn't what it was in even, say, 1980? I still tend to disagree based upon my experiences with the printed messages later on, but I concede that I wasn't there to know how things were before 1985....
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 07:18 AM   #64
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
I completely agree with your words of wisdom that we need to be open to an Elijah, someone who makes us uncomfortable. On the other hand, we should exercise some discernment.
Even when disagreeing with you on other matters, brother Hope, you can still get my amen in the Lord.

We can all definitely use the help with the discernment. The enemy is a subtle one. That means things are not always obvious. Even when we are intending to do good, the enemy can come and twist things up so subtly that no one even realizes how far it went off until years later. This is a major lesson in the Local Church experience.

My little grace to discern is what made me so uncomfortable at the other place. I should like to exercise here to keep our little corner of the Internet at least a little holy if at all possible.
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 07:51 AM   #65
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,217
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
Maybe what y'all are saying is that in this period the annointing and the light wasn't what it was in even, say, 1980? I still tend to disagree based upon my experiences with the printed messages later on, but I concede that I wasn't there to know how things were before 1985....

YP0534

I think I know where you are coming from. I don't remember your time frame in the LC. Mine was 1975-79 ish.

I came 'off the streets'...had a Catholic background but no Bible upbringing.

The messages were 'fresh'..certainly NEW, enlightening. I was a baby Christian, reading the Word, getting insight on the Power of the Name of Jesus..the Power of the Blood of Jesus..the process of Sanctification...and so many other truths of the Bible.

I was fellowshipping with saints for the first time in my life.

By the time I left, the messages were not only dry, dead and repetitious but Lee was being venerated. It was LEE and the church..no longer CHRIST and the church.

But what I want to point out is many people had already left the LC before I came in! There were people who really knew Lee personally & parted ways with him. They knew what he was all about but most of us did not.

Others who knew the LORD intimately and HIS WORD probably saw red flags way before I ever did and thus left too.

So I see it like this: For me, the messages were anointed to me for the season I was in the LC. For me to grow and mature in Christ Jesus, my LORD and KING and in my personal, intimate relationship with HIM, I needed to be there, under Lee's ministry.

A time came when as I look back, 'the anointing' not only lifted but left altogether. For those who left before me after having been there many years, the 'anointing' had left. They knew it and they had to leave.

For others who came after me, they may have needed to be there too.

Were all the messages 'anointed'? NO! But many were....for me.

Genesis, the gospel of John, and Hebrews in particular were messages I cherish.

Still, I give THANKS and PRAISE to MY GOD I'm outta there!
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)
countmeworthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 08:22 AM   #66
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 3,981
Default

I must say that there is something correct in every statement made. The LC was a factor in many of the problems with the kids. But on the other hand, there was not simply some epidemic of problems that was only caused by association with the LC.

One observation that Don made I would like to emphasize. The LC collected a lot of peculiar people. I would take it farther than that. The LC was, at some level, a magnet for the dysfunctional of society.

I know that sounds funny when it is put up against the willful desire to go after the “best material” but it was true. The “good material” has real lives, real friends, even real Christian fellowship. The marginal are looking for that family they never really had. The sense of belonging is tremendous. Add to that the sense of belonging to the one place on earth that is “God’s heart.” They flock, metaphorically.

When I consider the Church in Dallas, I can recall some problems with kids. I also recall a lot of normal families. In this respect it was neither idyllic nor hell-on-earth.

But when I look at the collection that was the Church in Dallas, I also see a strange variety of people. There were plenty of very normal couples and singles. Mixed in among them were some very interesting people. Some had significant problems with life. The LC didn’t cause it, but the LC didn’t help it either.

I remember a brother who once overslept and rather than get dressed quickly and get to work, he did his regular one-hour reading and praying routine and when he finally got to work was summarily fired. It wasn’t the only time he had problems with keeping a job. You might be able to point to a lack of practical balance to typical LC rhetoric about your quiet time. But the truth is that this brother, while there was a brilliant mind somewhere inside, had previously damaged that mind with drugs. That he was functioning at the level that he did was at least partly the result of his conversion and support of the LC.

So you can’t just blame the LC. But it didn’t help either. More and more, churches help beyond spiritual guidance or didactic sermons. And this is where the LC failed. We have all heard the stories about how Lee would say one day that they shouldn’t own expensive cars, then the following week comment that they were spending too much time fixing old cars. You can blame the followers for being so dogmatic in their following, but Lee was not ignorant of the effect he had. While it may have never been expressed, I question whether he somehow enjoyed seeing everyone jump when he spoke, even if it was to jump off a cliff.

Did this hurt families? Probably so. Did bad examples in the local leadership cause problems for others? Probably so. Is it fair to say that it was the LC’s fault? Not so sure.

And we have had threads that discussed the disdain for counseling, whether by the LC leadership or by professionals. The number of marriages that might have been saved if the answer to every problem was not to pray-read more and attend more meetings but instead some serious discussions about the issues that were stewing in those couples. (Don. I’m sure that there were situations in which that was not exactly true, but you must admit that, at least in broad brush, it was true. Even if it was a misperception of the members, it is hard to understand that anyone wants to hear about it when the official line is “know no man in the flesh” and that means don’t talk about anything but Christ and the church.)

Did the LC experience more problems than the rest of Christianity? I don’t know. But despite trying to create some image of superiority, they tended to be just like Christianity in many ways. Fill their heads with knowledge and they will turn out OK. Well, it sometimes does not work. And it is possible that to the extent that the LC parents tried to over-protect their kids, the result was the often-seen rebellion at the first opportunity.

I heard an interesting story recently. This brother was talking about the possibility of taking his daughter out of the public schools because they had gotten so poor in certain ways. Part of the consideration centered on a friend of the daughter’s that was otherwise an outcast. Her input was “who will love [the friend].” The decision was made.

I’m sure that the LC has had an impact on many families. For some it was positive, and for some it was negative. In some cases, the ultimate outcome may have been devastating. But the LC was never the whole problem.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 09:58 AM   #67
Matt Anderson
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 124
Default

I disagree with djohnson's approach to those from an LC background, but I don't discount the substance of what he brings forward.

I think there is a very important question that lies at the base of many of the things related to the LC.

Did many enter into idolatry? Did the sacrifices made to these idols compromise families and allow the Enemy of God to be a destructive force on the lives of the children in those families? Was it widespread?

- The answer to all of these is YES.

The next most important question is whether or not this idolatry has been acknowledged and repented of at a proper level?

- The answer in many cases is NO.

I have a strong reaction to those who would defend any aspect of a christian system that does not hold families and the boundaries that God has set in place for families fully intact.

For example, how many times did elders in local congregations discipline other people's children? It happened all of the time. It happened without informing, involving and working with the people who are commanded to love and nurture these children (the parents).

There are many other examples of the types of lesser but very serious violations of God's ways in families.

This is very fundamental and I believe it is an area that is overlooked for the sake of some 'higher vision' of "The Church".

We are not talking about gross physical abuse, but neglect and the utter failure of many, many parents who prostrated themselves before the LC system as an idol in disobedience to God's ways.

Neglect is very serious in the face of the fact that God gives such strong instruction regarding the responsibilities and duties within families for all parties (fathers, mothers and children).

Neglect is abuse.

I'd like to hear about the families that did uphold proper Biblical standards when it came to raising children.

Name ONE? Then let's discuss them as an example and compare them to the normal situation in the LC.

Matt

Last edited by Matt Anderson; 08-16-2008 at 10:06 AM.
Matt Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 10:15 AM   #68
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default Leeaholism

Ohio I never intended my observation of Leeaholism to represent the whole. The addiction levels will obviously vary among members. I think I have made this exceedingly clear. For example the current top of the hierarchy leadership in Anaheim are clearly raging Leeaholics. They are in a daily drunken stupor on Lee. Whereas a puppet local leader in lets say Timbuktu may just be addicted enough to become an LSM pitchman, allow most Lee events to take precedent over his family and have 80% of the books in his house be Lee. So compared to the Leeaholics running the show in Anaheim he's like a 1/2 bottle a day guy compared to 5 bottles a day.

You'll notice - and this forum is a good example of it - how difficult it is for people to come off of Lee. To break the habit and get on the wagon. If there's another Lee addict in their house it makes it especially difficult for one to break away, get clean and stay sober.

Now I know some former Lee addicted parents don't want to admit their addiction and the problems it caused. But admitting the problem is the first step towards recovery. Those who protest the most about admitting it are usually the ones deepest in denial.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 10:22 AM   #69
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Roger and Hope please refrain from making absolutist statements about what you think my history is beyond what I have told you. You do not know and therefore are engaging in needless speculation.

However let me say I have studied and observed at length and first hand addictive behaviors and know it when I see it. The Leeaholism of the LCS is classic textbook.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!

Last edited by djohnson; 08-16-2008 at 10:26 AM.
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 10:30 AM   #70
Matt Anderson
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 124
Default

djohnson,

You should spend some time to get Biblically clear on one point:

There is no such thing as "Leeaholism". There is something the Bible calls idolatry which is what you are touching on.

We don't need new words, when God's Words will suffice. It will be vey difficult for some to hear that they were or are involved in idolatry, but it is true. All the evidence is present.

Matt
Matt Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 11:03 AM   #71
John
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 60
Default Take Care of Your Children, and the Lord Will Take Care of the Church

Let me begin with words from Witness Lee:
Many married sisters pretend and even declare that they love the Lord. Eventually it becomes manifest that what they really love is their children. They do not even love their husbands so much as their children. Such a sister who declares that she loves the Lord yet who really loves her children more is not a full-timer. If a sister is really a full-timer, whether her children live or are taken away by the Lord, it is the same. (Lee, Elders’ Training Book 8, 112–113)
Hmmm...I wonder what kind of an influence that kind of message would have on the hearers? A few have stated that it wasn’t that way in “their” church. Well, maybe “your” church didn’t have the problems to the same degree as the ones that I’ve seen; or, maybe you just didn’t see the problems.

One former LC elder has stated that we shouldn’t use a broad brush to condemn but just move on. Thankful Jane has countered that idea, and I agree with the counter. People should speak up. It helps them to get well, and it helps others.

I do have to ask myself though, “Why do some want to stop folks from writing about what they know? What are they trying to hide?” After my first post, I got a private message basically telling me not to expose people, which I hadn’t done. What are we afraid of? It seems to me like the Living Stream Ministry is like a vipers’ den. To think that you and “your” church somehow avoided the venom is not wise. Besides, hiding information is what the Local Church System is all about.

“My children were fine. I did things with my kids.” This is definitely a good thing and is better than what many experienced. I am thankful to know that a number of children were spared by their parents from the excesses of Lee. Anyway, it's been intimated that The Church in Dallas was somehow without problems in this area, and Matt came out to refute that notion. Please consider another thread with reference to The Church in Dallas, The Thread of Gold:
When Sally Martin (the sister whose arranged marriage I described previously) was in high school, she was reported to the elders for being seen kissing a young brother in a car after school. Subsequently, during a conference at the Church in Dallas, she was summoned to a private meeting. When she arrived, she found that her parents had also been summoned. According to her, neither she nor her parents knew what the meeting was about prior to being asked to attend. Sally was seated at the head of a long table. Her parents were included at the table with approximately sixteen Local Church elders from Texas and other states. They proceeded to talk to her about her inappropriate behavior while her parents said nothing.

She told me that the whole time became a big blur to her because she was in so much pain from the embarrassment and humiliation of such a confrontation. She lived with the pain of that memory and suffered under the sanctions they placed on her. She also suffered having to face those elders at other Local Church meetings and conferences. (363–364)
Jane goes on to state that this was a matter that should have been broached with her parents for her parents to handle. To subject a young girl to a council of 16 elders from two states sounds like a horrific injustice to me.

Another red herring that has been thrown out to put us off the scent is this: The problems with the children couldn’t have been with the Local Church or the parents because the children of the same parents in the same Local Church turned out differently—one a saint, the other a drug addict. This is “fishy” because every child is unique, formed so by God. It’s up to the parents to find out how to nurture and admonish each one. You can almost be guaranteed that what works for one will not work for the other. It is love that goes the extra mile to find out how to handle each child.

So, please, take care of your children, and the Lord will take care of the church.
Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." After laying His hands on them, He departed from there. (NASV, Matt 19:13–15)
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 11:23 AM   #72
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post

For example, how many times did elders in local congregations discipline other people's children? It happened all of the time. It happened without informing, involving and working with the people who are commanded to love and nurture these children (the parents).

There are many other examples of the types of lesser but very serious violations of God's ways in families.

This is very fundamental and I believe it is an area that is overlooked for the sake of some 'higher vision' of "The Church".

We are not talking about gross physical abuse, but neglect and the utter failure of many, many parents who prostrated themselves before the LC system as an idol in disobedience to God's ways.

Neglect is very serious in the face of the fact that God gives such strong instruction regarding the responsibilities and duties within families for all parties (fathers, mothers and children).

Neglect is abuse.

I'd like to hear about the families that did uphold proper Biblical standards when it came to raising children.

Name ONE? Then let's discuss them as an example and compare them to the normal situation in the LC.

Matt
Matt, I don't agree painting everyone in the LCS with a broad brush. Just as there are those who care too much about what the other brothers and sisters think, that the parent or parents wouldn't dare raise an objection if one of the other brothers or sisters gave their child a serious rebuke. That I see as violating the parent's responsibility. It's intensified when it happens in the parent's presence and not a word is uttered. (Which is why as a parent, I cannot scold another parent's child. All I can do is bring it to the attention of the parent and leave the responsibility with them.)

Matt, just there are parents that wouldn't dare raise objections there are also parents who consider it an offense if another brother or sister rebuked their child; justified or unjustified.

Grace,

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 11:42 AM   #73
finallyprettyokay
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 126
Angry The shame and hurt were institutionalized

Quote:
Many married sisters pretend and even declare that they love the Lord. Eventually it becomes manifest that what they really love is their children. They do not even love their husbands so much as their children. Such a sister who declares that she loves the Lord yet who really loves her children more is not a full-timer. If a sister is really a full-timer, whether her children live or are taken away by the Lord, it is the same. (Lee, Elders’ Training Book 8, 112–113)
So, he didn't use the word 'Wrapper' here, like he did the time I have written about, but it sure is the same idea. How shameful.

I recently read The Thread of Gold and this story (of the young girl) came close to gagging me. For adult men to have a conversation with a young person about such personal things smacks of the worst kind of voyeurism imaginable. And for her parents to sit through that, allow that to happen to their daughter, without even a word (let alone the words that come to my mind now ) is just beyond contemplation. Adults don't talk to young people about sex. Ever. Never. ( Of course, except for parents, or in a counseling setting with a trained counseler, not 'elders'. )

People were hurt in the LC. Especially kids. No one should underestimate how truly wrong that is. Every 'high' teaching or 'high' experience does not justify this. People were hurt there. And the shame and hurt were institutionalized, not incidental. No one should say, oh people are hurt in all sorts of places. Sure, that's true. This was behavior that was taught as 'God's way'. Talk about using God's name in vain.

fpo

Last edited by finallyprettyokay; 08-16-2008 at 12:17 PM.
finallyprettyokay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 11:52 AM   #74
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 298
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Could we step back and take a deep breath. djohnson, who is no friend,
I don’t see anything on this forum in djohnson’s posts that says he is “no friend.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
...started the thread with a very spectacular charge regarding the children of dear saints who happened to have been in the local churches. “I have learned that among those who grew up in the LCS many face social issues. Some that I am familiar with are: alcoholism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, divorce, paying for sex i.e. engaging in services of prostitutes, infidelity, porn addiction.” He adds, “My guess is that once the hypocrisy of the leaders became well known something "snapped" in a lot of the youth. A subculture that was restricting them thus became a culprit in their lustful pursuits.
Djohnson is free to make statements here, spectacular or otherwise. We are free to support or refute them based on their content.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Then many of the forum members followed with sweeping statements which summed up the local churches and the believers who participated in them. When others such as Terry, Arizona, Peter Debelak, and OBW, Mike and myself attempted to add some moderation they were dismissed out of hand. Yet they gave their experiences and were not agents of the LCM sent here to cover up the real situation. Arizona was immediately dismissed by one of the dear forum members as a current LSM member.
Sweeping statements are also allowed and can be discussed. For clarity’s sake, would you mind giving us one of these “sweeping” statements. You say that five people were dismissed out of hand. Where was that? I saw some arguments offered. I didn’t’ see anyone’s person being dismissed out of hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Roger, I feel the above posters are being denigrated and being subjected to a kind of peer pressure.
You are loading up the language here, Hope. Denigrated? (def: to attack somebody’s character or reputation; to disparage or criticize somebody or something, or make something seem unimportant). Please give an example of such denigration. I missed it, that is, until your post to djohnson..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Forum members, do not let djohnson stir up trouble and destroy the forum and fellowship as he has in other settings.
I watched djohnson’s posts greatly improve over a period of time on the other forum. What has he done on this forum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
He wants you all to admit you are addicts.
Looking at his words, I would say he is stating the obvious. I agree with him that there is such a thing as a Lee addiction. Many are in denial about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
He wants you all to admit you are terrible parents with terrible children and hopes that all that was ever any good, testimony or persons would be discredited and buried.
What!? Hope, how can you know that djohnson wants this? Has he told you this? We can judge each others actions and words for what they actually are, but saying we know others motives is crossing a line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
He wants you all to disappear. If we join his kind of wild sweeping condemnation, we will self destruct.
Disappear? Self destruct? .... Whoa, Hope, you’re getting a little scary here. Okay, by now you’ve had a good night’s sleep, and I’m sure when you re-read this, you’ll see how strange this sounds ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Arizona made a very simple and true statement when he declared, “Many of us parents were just damaged people out of the Sixties scene who had no clue how to raise children so we did the best we knew how,,, and the LC helped in many ways in that endeavor.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
The Local Churches collected a lot of peculiar people who were damaged in some way or other. They applied things often in an extreme way. Some of the leaders did not practice proper leadership because they were themselves damaged and odd. The story that Roger related is a classic on authority abuse. Never should a leader use a meeting to shoot a silver bullet at a dear saint. I am all for exposing such practices.

The main leadership had very serious flaws in teaching and in practice. Nell declared that there was a class system. She stated that I could get away with behavior that a single sister could not. In the Body of Christ there should never be such a thing.
I totally agree that the LC was a collecting place of a lot of previously damaged people. They, however, didn’t just start applying things in an extreme way all by themselves. They were in love with Jesus and were ready to be led. I would say “many” not “some” of the leaders did not practice “proper” leadership. Proper leaders would not silently follow improper “main” leaders into error. They would be holding the Head and would speak up accordingly. There are few to none who did. I witnessed many “silver bullets” shot at people in meetings. I don’t remember even one leader ever speaking up to correct this. Instead, I remember them nodding their heads in agreement.

The last thing dysfunctional people trying to get their lives on course with God need is dysfunctional leaders giving them unhealthy teaching.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
I desire to be rescued from all my bad practices and am more than willing to have my specific faults pointed out and condemned. I believe that the specific bad fruit of some of the leaders and churches should be pointed out. I want to know the truth, both the clear biblical truth and the truth of the history.
I believe you truly desire this and commend you for it and also for the willingness you have exhibited on this forum to listen to others.

In line with your stated desire, please allow me then to say that this post of yours is reminiscent of a local church elder doing damage control; however, in your case I'm not sure what you're trying to protect. Don't you see that what you are doing comes across as denigrating djohnson?

It seems to me that you are speaking down to us as one who is “in the know” and has a “clearer picture” of things than everyone else. You warned us earlier about “blaming” and not being drawn into Satan’s “accusing, accusing, accusing.”

Hope, as long as we aren’t violating basic courtesy or personally attacking someone and as long as we’re not going afield from Lee/Nee matters, we are free to say whatever we think on this forum--even if it sounds like blaming or accusing.

This kind of warning shuts people down by triggering their fears of offending God in some way. It stops those with a sensitive conscience from speaking the truth that they need to speak. This forum is a place where hurt people can learn to dialogue honestly without fear and without having to worry about figuring out if they sound like they are “blaming” or “accusing.”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
But I also am aware of the enemy’s practice of cursing. Satan, the accuser of the brethern, will accuse in broad sweeping charges. The Holy Spirit shines light in a very specific way and not only convicts of sin but offers forgiveness and a fresh start.

I am convinced that the original intent of this thread was to curse us all. Please take this fellowship to the Lord.
I’m still feel like I'm sitting in an LC meeting being warned about who and what I should listen to. I am being told that I should not receive something from a person who has been identified as someone whose motive is bad and who is hurting us.

Hope, forgive my bluntness. I love you as my brother in Christ and want only His very best for you. I know you mean only the best. I’m sure our leaders in the past meant the best; nevertheless, they didn’t do the best.

Most of us do not want to be given pronouncements about what we should think, or say, or believe or who we should listen to. We, not only can, but must, make such judgments for ourselves.

I am not upset with you. I am full of sympathy for what you have been through. I understand that you were not as guilty as other leaders and appreciate that. However, I feel I should point out what I see as a symptom of what I consider to be the LC leadership disease.

You can take or leave what I’ve written. That’s up to you. I do hope you will give it some consideration. I may be one of the only ones to push back like this and will probably get some flack for it, but that's okay.

I sat silently in the LC and watched while leaders, using the base of respect they had built up with others, made pronouncements to and about others that were not theirs to make. I am not going to just sit by quietly on this forum when I see more of the same.

Ever your sister and faithful witness in Christ Jesus,

Thankful Jane

Last edited by Thankful Jane; 08-16-2008 at 02:49 PM.
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 12:24 PM   #75
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
Let me begin with words from Witness Lee:
Many married sisters pretend and even declare that they love the Lord. Eventually it becomes manifest that what they really love is their children. They do not even love their husbands so much as their children. Such a sister who declares that she loves the Lord yet who really loves her children more is not a full-timer. If a sister is really a full-timer, whether her children live or are taken away by the Lord, it is the same. (Lee, Elders’ Training Book 8, 112–113)
Why does this quote single out sisters? It applies to brothers just as equally.
What exactly is Witness Lee saying in this quote? That loving you children is in competition with the Lord? Or is he saying that loving your children is in competition with his ministry?
We should love our children. Our children is a gift from the Lord. If we didn't love children given to us, why entrust parents with such a responsibility? We have a good 20 years to raise our children and nurture them to the best of our ability as parents. After children grow into adulthood, our love continues but the children need to be responsible for their actions. As parents we cannot coddle our children forever.
Based on the last sentence from the quote, once we recieve the Lord, we are all "full-timers". Being a Christian is 24/7. There is no on/off switch. In relating to the sentence, of course we as parents want our children to live. It's abnormal for parents to outlive their children. When the Lord does take our children, I can't speak for parents who have had that happen; but our faith and our trust in the Lord should continue.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 12:42 PM   #76
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default Let us use our sober minds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
I disagree with djohnson's approach to those from an LC background, but I don't discount the substance of what he brings forward.

I think there is a very important question that lies at the base of many of the things related to the LC.

Did many enter into idolatry? Did the sacrifices made to these idols compromise families and allow the Enemy of God to be a destructive force on the lives of the children in those families? Was it widespread?

- The answer to all of these is YES.

The next most important question is whether or not this idolatry has been acknowledged and repented of at a proper level?

- The answer in many cases is NO.

I have a strong reaction to those who would defend any aspect of a christian system that does not hold families and the boundaries that God has set in place for families fully intact.

For example, how many times did elders in local congregations discipline other people's children? It happened all of the time. It happened without informing, involving and working with the people who are commanded to love and nurture these children (the parents).
There are many other examples of the types of lesser but very serious violations of God's ways in families.

This is very fundamental and I believe it is an area that is overlooked for the sake of some 'higher vision' of "The Church".

We are not talking about gross physical abuse, but neglect and the utter failure of many, many parents who prostrated themselves before the LC system as an idol in disobedience to God's ways.

Neglect is very serious in the face of the fact that God gives such strong instruction regarding the responsibilities and duties within families for all parties (fathers, mothers and children).

Neglect is abuse.

I'd like to hear about the families that did uphold proper Biblical standards when it came to raising children.

Name ONE? Then let's discuss them as an example and compare them to the normal situation in the LC.

Matt

Dear Matt,

Church leaders should never overstep their boundaries and discipline the childrens of others.

The idolatry of Baal and Estarte worship in the old testament was a terrible form of family abuse complete with infanticide and putting your wife out as a temple prostitute. Idolatry certainly does involve the sacrifice of the family. The family is critical in God's administration and should be preserved, nurtured and built up. At another time, I would enjoy a fellowship on idolatry, but not just on the idolatry in the lc but in our broad society. It is rampant.

Surely, surely we had a big flat spot on being a proper spouse and parent according to the Lord's revelation and plan and purpose. Another topic that could be very helpful to us all. We all need help here whether or not we ever heard of the lc.

Regarding the discipline of other's children. I am not familar with this practice. Perhaps some elder somewhere scolded a child. There was an older brother in Dallas who would call down a young person in an ad hoc manner but he came from the old southern culture where the community was watching out for all the children and if I was riding my bicycle in an unsafe manner the neighbor would be quick to give me a little scolding. I remember one time when at a Jr. High conference, I scolded some of the junior high boys for some little misdeed like jumping up and running for snacks before dismissal or some little thing like that. For some reason that irritated me and I said something about that behavior being like Bozo the clown. I remember it well because the father of one of the boys sat me down and put me in my place. I did apologize for I should have never slandered any of the children. I had been pounding this into the other brothers who were working with the young people. Never slander or curse the precious young people.

While I can remember the Bozo comment very clearly, the story told about the young sister being called down before 16 elders from two states is as foreign to me as a man from Mars. When and where did something like this happen? Thankful Jane never was in the church in Dallas. We did not have a long table around which 16 people could sit. I do recall such a table in Houston. I was not there!!! I never heard of it!!!

As far as naming families which came up to proper Biblical Standards in raising children, that is a tall order. On this one nearly all christians today are way short. But I can name many families who loved their children dearly as well as each other. Perhaps I could nominate the family of Mike H. as my example of an all star family. (But then Mike and his brother were already in high school. Therefore we probably did not have time to mess them up.)

There was another family that my wife and children considered to be just about perfect. My boys in rare sober moments would tell me that the sons of .... were just about perfect in the way they respected their parents, did their chores, completed their homework etc. They would say things like they could never get away with the stuff they did at our house. I would agree that brother and sister .... were surely much better parents than Sheryl and I and we should all aspire to be like that family. Then lo and behold the children had some serious problems. How could this be? Later, praise the Lord, they were all restored and at last report were outstanding citizens and believers in Christ. It may have been due to the classic "over protected" children may go overboard for a while which Mike H. pointed out. How to protect but not over protect? I very real delima. I surely do not have the answer.

In Christ Jesus there is hope for us all,

Hope, Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 12:59 PM   #77
Paul Cox
Member
 
Paul Cox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 183
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
djohnson,

You should spend some time to get Biblically clear on one point:

There is no such thing as "Leeaholism". There is something the Bible calls idolatry which is what you are touching on.

We don't need new words, when God's Words will suffice. It will be vey difficult for some to hear that they were or are involved in idolatry, but it is true. All the evidence is present.

Matt

Matt,
Years ago I came to the conclusion that there are many in the Living Stream Church who are addicted to Witness Lee's ministry. I concluded this based on my own observations, and from listening to testimonies of others.

One brother who left the LSM Church, while his wife remained in, relates this: He spoke of her deciding to leave "The Ministry" after having been informed of a lot of things she didn't know about how corrupt that organization is.

All seemed okay for a while. But then one morning at 2:00 A.M., she wakes up in a panic. She is literally having a panic attack. It is not until she reaches over and grabs her Witness Lee Version of the Bible and declares that she will return to "The Ministry," that "peace" comes to her. This didn't just happen once, it happened many times with this sister.

A brother in this kind of situation might be at a loss for words, as to how he should describe what he had just seen. Addiction was the only word that explained it all. This is indeed the behavior of an addict who has to have a fix to be brought back to calmness.

It is not too much to call this affliction "Leeaholism," even though the word does not appear in the Bible. Sometimes the only way to define a strange phenomenon is to coin a new term for what you see.

I believe there is a foul spirit associated with the ministry of Witness Lee, to some extent. I know that statement will not set well with many who read this. But I have no other way to explain some of the strange behavior of some of it's most ardent defenders. I also believe there is a foul spirit associated with JW's, Mormons, alcoholics, and compulsive gamblers.

Just my opinion, but I'm entitled to it.

Roger
Paul Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 01:26 PM   #78
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Matt,
Years ago I came to the conclusion that there are many in the Living Stream Church who are addicted to Witness Lee's ministry. I concluded this based on my own observations, and from listening to testimonies of others.

One brother who left the LSM Church, while his wife remained in, relates this: He spoke of her deciding to leave "The Ministry" after having been informed of a lot of things she didn't know about how corrupt that organization is.

All seemed okay for a while. But then one morning at 2:00 A.M., she wakes up in a panic. She is literally having a panic attack. It is not until she reaches over and grabs her Witness Lee Version of the Bible and declares that she will return to "The Ministry," that "peace" comes to her. This didn't just happen once, it happened many times with this sister.

Just my opinion, but I'm entitled to it.

Roger
Roger, how I explain it is change. People don't like change and even resist against change. Some brothers and sisters have no answers where they would go if they ceased meeting with ministry churches. It's all they've known for decades. The concept of meeting apart from a ministry and only to pursue the Lord is a change.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 01:28 PM   #79
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Matt I think people in this forum are smart enough to know what Leeaholism is. It is obviously a spin off word from alcoholism just like workaholism is.

You mention idolatry and that is an interesting point. The practice of idolatry can very easily become an addiction.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 02:00 PM   #80
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Please allow me to share another sign that the LCS was basically a "family" addicted to Lee. What happens with those who leave? From what I can ascertain many have problems fitting in with non-addictive groups. This is common among those in addictive situations. They feel awkward relating to others in non-addictive situations. E.g. in the LCS the Leeaholics relentlessly drink Lee on Sunday - Sat (24/7 if they could). Now if you go to a non-addictive group you will not see that and it can be very uncomfortable. The absence of having an addiction at the center and pervading all of life can be quite disconcerting for those just getting off of Lee.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 02:56 PM   #81
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Did the LC experience more problems than the rest of Christianity? I don’t know. But despite trying to create some image of superiority, they tended to be just like Christianity in many ways.
yup, yup, yup

of course, I blame "universal church" for that....
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17

Last edited by YP0534; 08-16-2008 at 03:03 PM.
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 03:08 PM   #82
blessD
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 73
Default Setting the record straight

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Dear Matt,

Church leaders should never overstep their boundaries and discipline the childrens of others.

The idolatry of Baal and Estarte worship in the old testament was a terrible form of family abuse complete with infanticide and putting your wife out as a temple prostitute. Idolatry certainly does involve the sacrifice of the family. The family is critical in God's administration and should be preserved, nurtured and built up. At another time, I would enjoy a fellowship on idolatry, but not just on the idolatry in the lc but in our broad society. It is rampant.

Surely, surely we had a big flat spot on being a proper spouse and parent according to the Lord's revelation and plan and purpose. Another topic that could be very helpful to us all. We all need help here whether or not we ever heard of the lc.

Regarding the discipline of other's children. I am not familar with this practice. Perhaps some elder somewhere scolded a child. There was an older brother in Dallas who would call down a young person in an ad hoc manner but he came from the old southern culture where the community was watching out for all the children and if I was riding my bicycle in an unsafe manner the neighbor would be quick to give me a little scolding. I remember one time when at a Jr. High conference, I scolded some of the junior high boys for some little misdeed like jumping up and running for snacks before dismissal or some little thing like that. For some reason that irritated me and I said something about that behavior being like Bozo the clown. I remember it well because the father of one of the boys sat me down and put me in my place. I did apologize for I should have never slandered any of the children. I had been pounding this into the other brothers who were working with the young people. Never slander or curse the precious young people.

While I can remember the Bozo comment very clearly, the story told about the young sister being called down before 16 elders from two states is as foreign to me as a man from Mars. When and where did something like this happen? Thankful Jane never was in the church in Dallas. We did not have a long table around which 16 people could sit. I do recall such a table in Houston. I was not there!!! I never heard of it!!!

As far as naming families which came up to proper Biblical Standards in raising children, that is a tall order. On this one nearly all christians today are way short. But I can name many families who loved their children dearly as well as each other. Perhaps I could nominate the family of Mike H. as my example of an all star family. (But then Mike and his brother were already in high school. Therefore we probably did not have time to mess them up.)

There was another family that my wife and children considered to be just about perfect. My boys in rare sober moments would tell me that the sons of .... were just about perfect in the way they respected their parents, did their chores, completed their homework etc. They would say things like they could never get away with the stuff they did at our house. I would agree that brother and sister .... were surely much better parents than Sheryl and I and we should all aspire to be like that family. Then lo and behold the children had some serious problems. How could this be? Later, praise the Lord, they were all restored and at last report were outstanding citizens and believers in Christ. It may have been due to the classic "over protected" children may go overboard for a while which Mike H. pointed out. How to protect but not over protect? I very real delima. I surely do not have the answer.

In Christ Jesus there is hope for us all,

Hope, Don Rutledge
Dear Hope,
I am the woman in the story. To set the record straight, it happened just as published. The instance occurred at the house next to the meeting hall in Dallas. Almost all elders from Texas region and OKC were present along with my parents. I think you were there, too. I reviewed the story before the book was published and approved it as true. Elaboration on the disciplinary action should be unnecessary since almost any person with basic counseling knowledge would agree this type of discipline is inappropriate.

Someone mentioned to me about this thread so I wanted to make it clear what really happened. Yes, it was pretty unpleasant; however, I have moved on and rarely think about these memories. God has greatly blessed my family and life. I thank Him for all my experiences - it has made me the person I am today.
blessD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 03:48 PM   #83
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default No ex-elder's disease, I hope

My comments mistakenly were put in the quote box!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
I don’t see anything on this forum in djohnson’s posts that says he is “no friend.”

Djohnson is free to make statements here, spectacular or otherwise. We are free to support or refute them based on their content.

Sweeping statements are also allowed and can be discussed. For clarity’s sake, would you mind giving us one of these “sweeping” statements. You say that five people were dismissed out of hand. Where was that? I saw some arguments offered. I didn’t’ see anyone’s person being dismissed out of hand.

Really??? Go back and read the responses to those five. They were either ignored or completely shouted down. Reminded me a little of the LC collective groan. I did not see much in the posts where someone said "Thank you for that side of the experience." There was some. But a healthy back and forth is difficult when you give your experience and are trumped with a story of woe and grief, (the real stuff.)
Sweeping statements?? Here are a few that I noticed. I really hate to do this because I am going to get into trouble. But I did not speak up in the old LCS many times because I wanted everyone to like me.
among those who grew up in the LCS many face social issues. Some that I am familiar with are: alcoholism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, divorce, paying for sex i.e. engaging in services of prostitutes, infidelity, porn addiction.
A subculture that was restricting them thus became a culprit in their lustful pursuits.
our children were raised in an environment that was basically anti-family
The addictive behavior is obvious in the LCS and it is encouraged.
I do believe that there was enough abuse in families not to take it lightly or try to move past it through the use of a few examples that appear to mitigate the overall situation.
P.S. Based on what I have heard from others it is possible that the Texas Region (inclusive of Dallas) was more extreme than other regions of the US.
In short they know that Lee was their shadow mommy and daddy.
Perhaps it should be said more plainly: their parents were addicted to Mr. Lee and thus they are children of parents with a chronic addiction
In answer to Dennis' question: their are more social problems among those children who grow up with addicts as parents than otherwise.
Husbands were looked down on if they did anything to help their wives
If you want to understand why so many kids grew up with problems, ask the sisters. They had to deny their most basic instincts concerning the family.
As other posters have written, children watched their parents burn pictures of them. Wow.
It was a sad, sad place and a lot of people, not only children, were not protected and treasured the way we all deserve. The way God commands. Love one another as I have loved you.
It was alot bad
Many can tell you that their children were eventually lost because of the way they were “taken care of” in the Local Church
The picture of the LC life was not what some here seem to want to paint


Perhaps these conclusions are all correct. But I would prefer a reasoned presentation of incorrect teachings, (some have quoted WL to make this point.) and then a calm accounting of the bad practices with a conclusion.

By the way if WL had been kind and his children had been model Christians and all the elders had been godly and the families beautiful, I still would have left. I was loyal to an ideal, a goal to which the Lord had called me. In short, I wanted to know Christ personally and directly as my life and Lord. I wanted to experience a church life that was a testimony of the headship of Christ and the reality of the oneness of the functioning members. By 1988 it was painfully clear that "the Lord's Recovery" with its Apostle of the Age, Deputy Authority, etc was not what the Lord desired or what I wanted.

Addiction? No. I never had any withdrawals. I was relieved that I did not have to attend any more 10 day trainings or critical conferences or urgent elder-co-workers meetings or late night fellowships with the legend or any of his closest co-workers and especially those warmed over death videos. I put all the LSM literature in the attic or a closet and plunged into the "pure" word of God. Oh it is so sweet. The only time I have considered reading something of the old stuff is when Thankful Jane or Nell or Mike H. challenge me on something and I think, "oh boy, I guess I am going to have to check that out." In fact in my writing of the history, I will not be able to continue to avoid it. On the other hand, I did struggle for a time. That was not due to any withdrawals but due to a shattered ideal and great grief over my failures as a shepherd.



You are loading up the language here, Hope. Denigrated? (def: to attack somebody’s character or reputation; to disparage or criticize somebody or something, or make something seem unimportant). Please give an example of such denigration. I missed it, that is, until your post to djohnson..

I got the word "denigrate" from one of the posters who was exhorting Arizona for posting his experience which showed another side to the thread's focus. I also used "peer pressure" because one of the posters had used it to describe a key element of the control exercised in the LC. (By the way I do agree that peer pressure was in insidious element there.) Sometimes things cut both ways.
I watched djohnson’s posts greatly improve over a period of time on the other forum. What has he done on this forum?

Good ole djohnson's post have improved. I have tried to engage him in a thoughtful manner and give him his due. What he had done here is draw us into a debate concerning who had the most reliable and legitimate lc experience of how bad it was.

Looking at his words, I would say he is stating the obvious. I agree with him that there is such a thing as a Lee addiction. Many are in denial about this.

See Matt's comments.

What!? Hope, how can you know that djohnson wants this? Has he told you this? We can judge each other’s actions and words for what they actually are, but saying we know others motives is crossing a line.
Posters do this all the time. You included TJ. How often I have seen WL's motives addressed because of his actions and words.


Disappear? Self destruct? .... Whoa, Hope, you’re getting a little scary here. Okay, by now you’ve had a good night’s sleep, and I’m sure when you re-read this, you’ll see how strange this sounds ....

I do need a good night’s sleep. Ever since my illness I am not as strong as I use to be. But I have more on my plate than ever. Sleep, ah sweet sleep. Thank you for your concerns. What I said may sound strange but just file what I said for later reference. I always hope that my warnings will not come to pass. But had I warned back in 1974 concerning what I saw at that fateful Urgent Elders/Co-Workers meeting, you may have called me strange.

I totally agree that the LC was a collecting place of a lot of previously damaged people. They, however, didn’t just start applying things in an extreme way all by themselves. They were in love with Jesus and were ready to be led. I would say “many” not “some” of the leaders did not practice “proper” leadership. Proper leaders would not silently follow improper “main” leaders into error. They would be holding the Head and would speak up accordingly. There are few to none who did. I witnessed many “silver bullets” shot at people in meetings. I don’t remember even one leader ever speaking up to correct this. Instead, I remember them nodding their heads in agreement.

You got me there. Instead of "many" how about 95% of the leaders where failures is caring for the saints. You said it right. In addition, I saw plenty of silver bullets being fired and probably fired a few myself. James Barber promoted this and boasted that this was often how he got his way in the church where he was. Once Bill Freeman told me that this was a terrible practice and he would never do it. Once it was said, it could not have been clearer. I emptied by firing chamber and I trust I never reloaded.

The last thing dysfunctional people trying to get their lives on course with God need is dysfunctional leaders giving them unhealthy teaching.

I believe you truly desire this and commend you for it and also for the willingness you have exhibited on this forum to listen to others.

In line with your stated desire, please allow me then to say that this post of yours is reminiscent of a local church elder doing damage control; however, in your case I'm not sure what you're trying to protect. Don't you see that what you are doing comes across as denigrating djohnson?

It seems to me that you are speaking down to us as one who is “in the know” and has a “clearer picture” of things than everyone else. You warned us earlier about “blaming” and not being drawn into Satan’s “accusing, accusing, accusing.”

Hope, as long as we aren’t violating basic courtesy or personally attacking someone and as long as we’re not going afield from Lee/Nee matters, we are free to say whatever we think on this forum--even if it sounds like blaming or accusing.

This kind of warning shuts people down by triggering their fears of offending God in some way. It stops those with a sensitive conscience from speaking the truth that they need to speak. This forum is a place where hurt people can learn to dialogue honestly without fear and without having to worry about figuring out if they sound like they are “blaming” or “accusing.”

I’m still feel like I'm sitting in an LC meeting being warned about who and what I should listen to. I am being told that I should not receive something from a person who has been identified as someone whose motive is bad and who is hurting us.

Hope, forgive my bluntness. I love you as my brother in Christ and want only His very best for you. I know you mean only the best. I’m sure our leaders in the past meant the best; nevertheless, they didn’t do the best.

Most of us do not want to be given pronouncements about what we should think, or say, or believe or who we should listen to. We, not only can, but must, make such judgments for ourselves.

I am not upset with you. I am full of sympathy for what you have been through. I understand that you were not as guilty as other leaders and appreciate that. However, I feel out I should point out what I see as a symptom of what I consider to be the LC leadership disease.

You can take or leave what I’ve written. That’s up to you. I do hope you will give it some consideration. I may be one of the only ones to push back like this and will probably get some flack for it, but that's okay.

I sat silently in the LC and watched while leaders, using the base of respect they had built up with others, made pronouncements to and about others that were not theirs to make. I am not going to just sit by quietly on this forum when I see more of the same.


Ever your sister and faithful witness in Christ Jesus,

Thankful Jane
Is not life ironic!!! I have felt so bad because in the lc days I kept my mouth shut lest I be negative and shut people down. Let us laugh a little bit together. I feel like I am getting a talk from Benson about my questioning regarding the ministry.

I believe the saints on the forum can handle anything I throw out there and do not need protection. But I understand your concerns. We do not want to repeat the past. But when I see a problem coming down the road and aiming for people I care for I must speak up. For me everything is first about the people. The LSM, the BB, the apostle of the age do not mean a hill of beans to me but only how they have hurt the Lord's dear people. We are absolutely one on this even though we may express it differently.

By the way 18 months or so ago when I began to post on the other forum, I wondered how you might greet me should we ever meet again. I was afraid you might kick me in the shins for having been one of the Texas elders. I think by now I have moved up to a hand shake but I know I am still a long way off from a hug.

In Christ Jesus there is hope for us all,

Hope, Don Rutledge

Last edited by Hope; 08-16-2008 at 06:13 PM. Reason: Quote box included my statements putting my statements in green
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 04:06 PM   #84
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default Manifestations of Addictive Behavior

At it's core addictive behavior gives itself away by various manifestations that are contrary to common sense and natural parental instincts. Another example of this behavior in the LCS is the idea of migrating to crime ridden inner cities to "take the ground". People with families will naturally want security, safety and protection for their children above all else. If they can financially afford it they will want to live in a safe neighborhood with good schools. However if they are addicted they will go whatever their addiction leads them regardless of the effect on their families. They will put their families in danger for the sake of their drug of choice.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 04:12 PM   #85
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default

BlessD,

I am so sorry for that sad episode. But I have absolutely no recollection of it. I am not doubting your word but I have no rememberance of it and it sounds very very odd to me. May I assume you were from Houston, where Jane was from? I never, never got involved in Houston affairs if there was any way possible. I do not think I was ever there after 1976. The less contact I had with Ray Graver the better.

If you were from OK City, after James Barber moved there, he made it clear to all the elders that I was not welcomed. I had previously labored there quite a bit but when he moved he declared he was drawing a line at the Red River and that he was going to stop Don Rutledge. What a joke!! Well anyway, if you were from OK City there is no way I would have been in any meeting regarding a saint from that church.

Sorry again for your suffering and I am happy that you are fine today. May the Lord continue to keep you and bless you.

In Christ Jesus,

Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 04:24 PM   #86
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
it sounds very very odd to me. May I assume you were from Houston, where Jane was from? I never, never got involved in Houston affairs if there was any way possible.
OK wait.

This sounds very very odd to me.

Hope?

Are you saying that there was a practice of handling Houston issues in Dallas?

I would understand if you would try to avoid it but what in the world were all these men from multiple jurisdictions doing gathered thick as thieves in the first place? Or rather, what did they even think they were doing?
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 04:28 PM   #87
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

YP obviously a girl kissing a boy is an extra parental and extra local matter! It's a major crisis man. C'mon. Here...have another drink of Lee to get your head cleared up.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 04:42 PM   #88
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default How things worked

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
OK wait.

This sounds very very odd to me.

Hope?

Are you saying that there was a practice of handling Houston issues in Dallas?

I would understand if you would try to avoid it but what in the world were all these men from multiple jurisdictions doing gathered thick as thieves in the first place? Or rather, what did they even think they were doing?

There were three things going. There was the church in Dallas and the small sister churches such as Arlington and Denton. Then there was the Texas region under bishop Benson Phillips. Then there was the Work, the Ministry under WL.

Because Benson came to live in Dallas and the Dallas church had the largest meeting hall, Texas region affairs would often be addressed there. After Irving, all Texas region affairs were addressed there.

Sometimes local issues would come up in a Texas region meeting. Quite often due to our close friendship, Don Looper and I would compare notes. But I never even participated in a Houston discussion even if it was brought up at a Texas region meeting.

I can only assume the confrontation referred to must have happened during a Texas area conference. Otherwise why would the parents and the young sister have been in Dallas. Conference times were very busy for me as the host church. I am about as certain as I can be that I was not at that meeting. Also it does not sound right. I cannot ever recall the elders of multiple churches being called in to handle a case as described. Two high schooler kissing in a car? Our practice in Dallas would have been something like alert the parents and if they desired some counsel fine. If they wanted to handle it fine.

By the way, I have not heard anything about the boy. Sounds a little like John 12.

In Christ Jesus there is hope for us all,

Hope, Don Rutledge


By the way forum, I was not the PM writer who warned John
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 04:44 PM   #89
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
I once visited a home of an LCS family. Every bookshelf was filled with Lee books. They had a standing order shipped direct to their house of Lee videos to watch every week. They had Lee sayings posted all over their house. Lee booklets in their bathrooms to read. All their free time was occupied with attending Lee group activities.
Deej. That was my home. I knew you looked familiar.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 04:46 PM   #90
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
YP obviously a girl kissing a boy is an extra parental and extra local matter! It's a major crisis man. C'mon. Here...have another drink of Lee to get your head cleared up.
I've said before that my small outpost experience was much different but this just doesn't even make sense, does it?

Is this really the case?

These guys got together in big regional groups like this and addressed things of this sort?

That's beyond the realm of bad practices.

That's just nuttier than a box of Cracker Jacks!

I must have misunderstood what Hope meant.
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 05:00 PM   #91
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default I assume I answered this

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
I've said before that my small outpost experience was much different but this just doesn't even make sense, does it?

Is this really the case?

These guys got together in big regional groups like this and addressed things of this sort?

That's beyond the realm of bad practices.

That's just nuttier than a box of Cracker Jacks!

I must have misunderstood what Hope meant.
As I said, this made no sense to me either. I would have been pretty hot if I had been called aside to be in such a gathering. I had almost no relationship with anyone from Houston. Elders from several churches to address kissing?

I am curious if anyone knows, what was the date. I think I can ask since I have been placed, perhaps but not for sure, there.

Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 05:06 PM   #92
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
the Texas region under bishop Benson Phillips
ah.

NOW it makes sense.

Wasn't aware that y'all had an episcopal system over there in the Lone Star state.


But sure. Of course local issues would come up from time to time in the meetings about "region affairs."

Just didn't really understand that there was such a thing as "region affairs."

But there would be if you had consolidated your localities into an archdiocese, wouldn't there?


Huh.


I had no idea.
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 05:07 PM   #93
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post

The next time one of the leading brothers saw me, he said, "I missed you in the meeting, brother." I told him we went grocery shopping, and he said, "Oh."

Well, during the very next meeting, I was sitting on the front row, when this brother brought up the possibility of "someone" going grocery shopping on a meeting night. I wanted to get under my chair. But...I never missed another meeting to go to the grocery store, and I'm sure almost nobody else at that meeting did either.

Roger, we all have stories like yours. I remember one brothers' meeting with TC. He asked where one young brother from Akron was. He had told his elder that he had a family reunion he didn't want to miss. TC was furious, blasted all family reunions, and made an example out of him publicly, for all to learn. How dare he miss that gathering.

Think about this. How convenient for leaders to make required meetings around their own schedules. The results are inevitable -- brothers are forced to become "secretive" and often tell "white lies" in order to escape judgment. The result often is just hypocrisy.

One time I was serving the children during the prayer meeting. The brother over me would never allow any of us to go to Cedar Point amusement park. But while I am caring for the children, his young daughter starts telling the other kids what a fun time they had at Cedar Point. My jaw dropped. What hypocrisy! Demand from others what you do in secret. Kids say the darndest things! It was amazing what "secrets" leaked out from the saints' kids.

You can fool some of the brothers all the time, and all the brothers some of the time, but you can't fool the kids!
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 05:11 PM   #94
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
One time I was serving the children during the prayer meeting. The brother over me would never allow any of us to go to Cedar Point amusement park. But while I am caring for the children, his young daughter starts telling the other kids what a fun time they had at Cedar Point. My jaw dropped. What hypocrisy! Demand from others what you do in secret. Kids say the darndest things! It was amazing what "secrets" leaked out from the saints' kids.

You can fool some of the brothers all the time, and all the brothers some of the time, but you can't fool the kids!
Brother, sounds like you picked up all the germs from the children...
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 05:19 PM   #95
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default a joke but true

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
ah.

NOW it makes sense.

Wasn't aware that y'all had an episcopal system over there in the Lone Star state.


But sure. Of course local issues would come up from time to time in the meetings about "region affairs."

Just didn't really understand that there was such a thing as "region affairs."

But there would be if you had consolidated your localities into an archdiocese, wouldn't there?


Huh.


I had no idea.
It was a tongue in cheek joke I wondered if anyone would pick up on it. Nice going YPO.

Only James Barber referred to Benson as a bishop and he did so with much spite and jealousy. Region affairs would be conferences and related to the relationship with Anaheim. Benson wanted the Texas churches to have a united front when dealing with Anaheim. Really not a bad idea as it gave us much more leverage than other churches.

Local affairs were just that. They were handled by the local elders, deacons and brothers and sisters. I had no interest how Houston cleaned their hall or organized the children's meetings or if they were printing books for the LSM or is sister Smith was at outs with sister Jones. And for sure I had no interest if two high schoolers were caught kissing. I would have never agreed to attend such a confrontation nor approved its occurance. The whole thing is beyond my brain.

Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 05:24 PM   #96
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
It was a tongue in cheek joke I wondered if anyone would pick up on it. Nice going YPO.
Brother, on this side of the Sabine, we just agree that y'all are a whole other country.
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17

Last edited by YP0534; 08-16-2008 at 05:44 PM.
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 05:28 PM   #97
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Benson wanted the Texas churches to have a united front when dealing with Anaheim. Really not a bad idea as it gave us much more leverage than other churches.
Leverage?

Dealing with Anaheim?

United front?

What manner of operation are you describing?


I just don't understand what any of this has to do with Jesus, for some reason.
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 05:35 PM   #98
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default What does it have to do with Jesus, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP0534 View Post
Leverage?

Dealing with Anaheim?

United front?

What manner of operation are you describing?


I just don't understand what any of this has to do with Jesus, for some reason.

Nothing to do with Jesus. Everything to do with rank, position, honor etc. The bogus teaching of "Deputy Authority" could never have developed if there was not competition among churches and regions for rank and status in the so called "Work."

Sorry to pop your bubble YPO!

Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 05:39 PM   #99
SpeakersCorner
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 183
Default

It's not an addiction. Wrong word. Addiction implies a craving, a need for another hit. This is NOT what LSMers have. They do have plenty of "hits" of Lee up on the shelves but, unlike true addicts, they don't ever use them. I'm speaking in generalities here, but I do know what I'm talking about. Very, very few LSMers actually read Lee's stuff anymore except when they have to. That is, they will read the HWMR since it's required reading (and many cheat on that) and they will peruse a Green Book when they need to plan a teaching or sharing. But otherwise, you could put those books behind a glass covering and no one would notice.

So what is it that causes a woman to wake up in a panic attack and relieve it by vowing to go back to "The Ministry"? It's fear, plain and simple. LSMers would argue it's the fear of the Lord. I believe it is fear from a lifetime of indoctrination. But it is not an addition, this I know.


SC
SpeakersCorner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 05:54 PM   #100
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default The stuff stays on the shelf

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeakersCorner View Post
It's not an addiction. Wrong word. Addiction implies a craving, a need for another hit. This is NOT what LSMers have. They do have plenty of "hits" of Lee up on the shelves but, unlike true addicts, they don't ever use them. I'm speaking in generalities here, but I do know what I'm talking about. Very, very few LSMers actually read Lee's stuff anymore except when they have to. That is, they will read the HWMR since it's required reading (and many cheat on that) and they will peruse a Green Book when they need to plan a teaching or sharing. But otherwise, you could put those books behind a glass covering and no one would notice.

So what is it that causes a woman to wake up in a panic attack and relieve it by vowing to go back to "The Ministry"? It's fear, plain and simple. LSMers would argue it's the fear of the Lord. I believe it is fear from a lifetime of indoctrination. But it is not an addition, this I know.

SC
Hello Speaker,

I do not think I have ever responded to one of your posts. I am pretty sure I have read them and found them to be pretty sober minded and right on. Now no, that does not mean I only respond to the unsober minded.


What you have said is the same as what I have found. Actually while I was still in Texas I discovered that the actual readership was pretty low. I remember in 1978, Dallas only had 14 go to the summer training out of 250. We decided not to push but just announce how you could register. No push, few takers. Same was happening to the video training. No push, few takers. Then Benson returned and the push was on again and the attendance picked up considerably.

When Irving opened up, WL planned to spend half the year there. He had been convinced that the metroplex churches would provide an audience of around 750 and within a short time the number including guests could swell to around a 1000. The first year he came for a Thanksgiving conference and stayed until the training time having a Friday night life study meeting. I doubt if the number ever reached 250. There was no taste for his speaking. WL was very dissappointed. Add an ice storm and the Texas experiment was over and several millions of dollars was thrown away.

Speaker, that does not sound like an addiction but rather a fading rose blume.


In Christ Jesus there is hope for us all,

Hope, Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 06:04 PM   #101
blessD
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 73
Default Setting the record straight

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
BlessD,

I am so sorry for that sad episode. But I have absolutely no recollection of it. I am not doubting your word but I have no rememberance of it and it sounds very very odd to me. May I assume you were from Houston, where Jane was from? I never, never got involved in Houston affairs if there was any way possible. I do not think I was ever there after 1976. The less contact I had with Ray Graver the better.

If you were from OK City, after James Barber moved there, he made it clear to all the elders that I was not welcomed. I had previously labored there quite a bit but when he moved he declared he was drawing a line at the Red River and that he was going to stop Don Rutledge. What a joke!! Well anyway, if you were from OK City there is no way I would have been in any meeting regarding a saint from that church.

Sorry again for your suffering and I am happy that you are fine today. May the Lord continue to keep you and bless you.

In Christ Jesus,

Don Rutledge
Dear Hope,
Well, thanks for the apology. Here is the scenario - I was from Houston where I lived in a house with other girls and a family. My parents lived in OKC. This instance occurred at a conference in Dallas at which time someone told me I needed to go next door after one of the meetings. Maybe it seemed like a good idea since we were all gathered in Dallas??? Neither my parents, nor I were aware what it was about - no one bothered telling us before hand. It was a harsh way to deal with anything, at best. It is funny to me that some members in this forum are talking about how they could never see that happening. Is that called denial?

A member also asked about my boyfriend at the time. His father did not attend meetings, was considered negative, and did not get involved in any activities related to the group in Houston. This put him out of jurisdiction for such discipline methods. Good for him - lol ;-).

I made a choice many years ago to move on. I don't like to use old sectarian terms, bring up these experiences, or talk about the people in that time of my life (except for my real friends that I still hold dear to my heart). I am very happy and think I have done much better by leaving it where it belongs... in the past. This is really old stuff. Instead, let's spend our moments and days praising God - our God is a wonderful God! I would much rather talk about Him :-).

Last edited by blessD; 08-16-2008 at 07:03 PM.
blessD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 06:08 PM   #102
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeakersCorner View Post
They do have plenty of "hits" of Lee up on the shelves but, unlike true addicts, they don't ever use them.
Why did they even bother to print Truth Lessons?

I couldn't even fight my way through the first one and only bought two more that have never been even thumbed through to this day and no one has ever mentioned them on these forums that I have seen and as I recall the ambitious 12 volume set only came into existence after they were no longer even considered useful for the program.

That dog just never did hunt.

uttingtosleep:
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 06:42 PM   #103
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeakersCorner View Post
They do have plenty of "hits" of Lee up on the shelves but, unlike true addicts, they don't ever use them. I'm speaking in generalities here, but I do know what I'm talking about. Very, very few LSMers actually read Lee's stuff anymore except when they have to.

SC
SpeakersCorner, while I was meeting in the local churches one thought I had was "why buy something you're not going to read?" I had heard of brothers even elders that would sign up for standing order for appearances sake. What I mean is they'd buy all these books that would collect dust instead of being read.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 08:34 PM   #104
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default The Lee Stupor

SpeakerCorner if the LCS is not addicted to Lee what's all the fuss about the GLA trying to get on the wagon? Those addicted to Lee cannot imagine an existence without their bottle of Lee. They think they cannot survive without their regular Lee fix. It's not just about reading his materials. The "Lee substance" pervades the LCS. It's like going into an alcoholics house and smelling whiskey. You also smell it on their breath and on their clothes. Go into the LCS and it reeks of Lee. And the raging Leeaholics in Anaheim running the still in a drunken Lee stupor are the pushers. Not a pretty picture to be sure but: the first step to recovery is admitting the problem!
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 08:50 PM   #105
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 298
Default

Hope,

BlessD told me that she has a clear memory of there being four elders from each of four churches present (16 elders): Dallas, OKC, Houston, and Austin.

You seem to still be questioning if this really happened when you say it is very odd or strange. Well, I can guarantee you from first hand experience that this kind of thing is not something the "victim" ever forgets. It is embedded in their pysche. Do you have even the faintest idea what it would have been like to be on the receiving end of this treatment. Horrendous doesn't even come close to describing what happened. Not only was she a very young female sitting in front of 16 men being "talked to" about kissing a boy, these were "God's deputy authorities."

This sister was a beautiful and vibrant young woman who dearly loved the Lord. Her suffering from this lasted for years. This was major abuse of a God created human being done in the name of God. The fact that her parents sat frozen throughout this speaks loudest of all to the mindset present in LC members.

I believe that one day whoever did this will repent with tears when God opens their eyes to what they really did.

We are not here doing a clinical study to come up with statistics. We are talking about precious souls for whom Christ died.

I hope I can inspire some who have not done so to give some thought to the impact on real lives that came as a result of the mindset that was taught and practiced from the top echelon downward. The deviant teachings and practices about marriage and family were pervasive. Ohio confirmed that he heard the "take care of the church first" teaching in his locality. The truth is that people were not taught to properly honor God-given family boundaries or to fulfill their God-given responsibilities to their children or spouses. This was true in Houston, Austin, and Oklahoma City. You have told us it was better in Dallas, yet the event we are speaking about happened there.

Here is what seems strange or odd to me about what happened to BlessD. If you weren't there, then why didn't at least one person out of the many present tell you something about it? Were they told not to speak about it beyond that room? (Wouldn't be the first time.)

It sounds like a classic abuse scenario to me, only this is in the family of God.

Thankful Jane

Last edited by Thankful Jane; 08-16-2008 at 10:01 PM.
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 08:59 PM   #106
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Hope you keep trying to paint a picture that I think you might wish were true but is not. What are the Leeaholics in Anaheim arguing about as it pertains to the GLA? Their fellow addicts have a taste for Lee. A taste for Lee. Good description and very true. Now how many in the LCS jumped on the detox wagon with Tomes, etc. Relatively few huh? Not so easy to face the addiction problem and to actually do something about it. Once ya get a taste you want more and more and more and eventually it consumes your life and takes it over. Credos to Tomes for stepping up! The abuse he will take from the Leeaholic family he is outing is typical but if he stays clean and sober he will be a better man for it.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 09:36 PM   #107
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
You seem to still be questioning if this really happened when you say it is very odd or strange. Well, I can guarantee you from first hand experience that this kind of thing is not something the "victim" ever forgets. It is embedded in their pysche. Do you have even the faintest idea what it would have been like to be on the receiving end of this treatment. Horrendous doesn't even come close to describing what happened. Not only was she a very young female sitting in front of 16 men being "talked to" about kissing a boy, these were "God's deputy authorities."

This sister was a beautiful and vibrant young woman who dearly loved the Lord. Her suffering from this lasted for years. This was major abuse of a God created human being done in the name of God. The fact that her parents sat frozen throughout this speaks loudest of all to the mindset present in LC members.

Here is what seems strange or odd to me about what happened to BlessD. If you weren't there, then why didn't at least one person out of the many present tell you something about it? Were they told not to speak about it beyond that room? (Wouldn't be the first time.)



Thankful Jane
Thankful Jane, as I read throught the posts I read Hope not doubting what happened, just he had no recollection. You are abosultely correct, when you're on the recieving end, you remember that moment more clearly than many other moments. Those that have yet to experience such an unpleasant dealing; it's equally shocking, dumbfounding, and eye-opening.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 09:56 PM   #108
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default Odd Behavior?

Let me ask a simple question: in a place where god-man socks are pitched and worn is it "very very odd" that this took place in Dallas i.e. 16 Lee addicts berated a very young lady and her rents for her kissing a boy? These are some of the same men who think Lee is the acting god and other such trivialities. Look how many millions of $ they wasted on building the Irving conference center.

So yes it is "very very odd" by normally accepted standards of behavior but it is not very very odd in the context of the LCS and for Hope to call it such in my view is feigned ignorance on his part.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 10:05 PM   #109
Paul Cox
Member
 
Paul Cox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 183
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Roger, we all have stories like yours. I remember one brothers' meeting with TC. He asked where one young brother from Akron was. He had told his elder that he had a family reunion he didn't want to miss. TC was furious, blasted all family reunions, and made an example out of him publicly, for all to learn. How dare he miss that gathering.

Think about this. How convenient for leaders to make required meetings around their own schedules. The results are inevitable -- brothers are forced to become "secretive" and often tell "white lies" in order to escape judgment. The result often is just hypocrisy.

One time I was serving the children during the prayer meeting. The brother over me would never allow any of us to go to Cedar Point amusement park. But while I am caring for the children, his young daughter starts telling the other kids what a fun time they had at Cedar Point. My jaw dropped. What hypocrisy! Demand from others what you do in secret. Kids say the darndest things! It was amazing what "secrets" leaked out from the saints' kids.

You can fool some of the brothers all the time, and all the brothers some of the time, but you can't fool the kids!

What most defenders of the Living Stream Church don't understand is that Titus was just bringing to full manifestation what Witness Lee tried to introduce subtly.

In other words, as one brother put it, "Brother Lee always goes fishing with a straight hook." That is to say that Witness Lee would bend open up a hook, and then if anyone got caught, he could say, "Who me, I didn't set out to catch anyone. Did anyone see a conventional hook set out by me?"

We should all take a close look at Titus and what he did in the Midwest (shaming and all). He was only being so bold as to put into open practice those things which he had observed in his, "Acting God," "Oracle," "One Trumpet for the Age," Apostle for the Age" - Witness Lee.

Roger
Paul Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2008, 10:10 PM   #110
Paul Cox
Member
 
Paul Cox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 183
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Let me ask a simple question: in a place where god-man socks are pitched and worn is it "very very odd" that this took place in Dallas i.e. 16 Lee addicts berated a very young lady and her rents for her kissing a boy? These are some of the same men who think Lee is the acting god and other such trivialities. Look how many millions of $ they wasted on building the Irving conference center.

So yes it is "very very odd" by normally accepted standards of behavior but it is not very very odd in the context of the LCS and for Hope to call it such in my view is feigned ignorance on his part.
Wow! That's amazing. Someone from the Living Stream Church willing to berate a young lady for kissing a boy; at the same time the "Blended Brothers" are willing to traverse heaven and hell to cover up Philip Lee's sexual impropriety in the Living Stream Office.

Go figure!

Roger
Paul Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 04:43 AM   #111
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeakersCorner View Post

So what is it that causes a woman to wake up in a panic attack and relieve it by vowing to go back to "The Ministry"? It's fear, plain and simple. LSMers would argue it's the fear of the Lord. I believe it is fear from a lifetime of indoctrination. But it is not an addition, this I know.

SC
Well said, SC. You have described it well.

I believe fear, pride and judgmentalism are more accurate descriptors (matching Laodicea) than Leeaholism and idolatry, though I am not disputing that the idolatry line had not been crossed.


Whew! This thread is like the whirlwind!


Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeakersCorner View Post
Very, very few LSMers actually read Lee's stuff anymore except when they have to.
How true. I spent my early days reading so much privately on my own. But in the last 20 years or so I could only read those books when we read as a group, or when I had an assignment.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

Last edited by Ohio; 08-17-2008 at 04:52 AM.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 05:03 AM   #112
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default Let Us Get The Story Straight

Regarding a case study which is part of the proof of the anti-family practices and grounds for indictment of the Dallas church.

Here are a few quotes from various posts which seem to represent how my experience in Dallas is not legitimate or that I am in denial or simply covering up or lying. Take your pick. As more details have come out, I am absolutely certain I was not in that get together and had no knowledge of it. I can believe two young people were seen kissing in the parking lot at the meeting hall. But there are big holes in the rest of the story.

Quotes from posts:

it's been intimated that The Church in Dallas was somehow without problems in this area, and Matt came out to refute that notion. Please consider another thread with reference to The Church in Dallas, The Thread of Gold:
When Sally Martin (the sister whose arranged marriage I described previously) was in high school, she was reported to the elders for being seen kissing a young brother in a car after school. Subsequently, during a conference at the Church in Dallas, she was summoned to a private meeting. When she arrived, she found that her parents had also been summoned. According to her, neither she nor her parents knew what the meeting was about prior to being asked to attend. Sally was seated at the head of a long table. Her parents were included at the table with approximately sixteen Local Church elders from Texas and other states. They proceeded to talk to her about her inappropriate behavior while her parents said nothing.

She told me that the whole time became a big blur to her because she was in so much pain from the embarrassment and humiliation of such a confrontation. She lived with the pain of that memory and suffered under the sanctions they placed on her. She also suffered having to face those elders at other Local Church meetings and conferences. (363–364)

Jane goes on to state that this was a matter that should have been broached with her parents for her parents to handle. To subject a young girl to a council of 16 elders from two states sounds like a horrific injustice to me.

For example, how many times did elders in local congregations discipline other people's children? It happened all of the time. It happened without informing, involving and working with the people who are commanded to love and nurture these children (the parents).

P.S. Based on what I have heard from others it is possible that the Texas Region (inclusive of Dallas) was more extreme than other regions of the US.

Quote from the sister posted on the forum yesterday,

This instance occurred at a conference in Dallas at which time someone told me I needed to go next door after one of the meetings. Maybe it seemed like a good idea since we were all gathered in Dallas???

BlessD told me that she has a clear memory of there being four elders from each of four churches present (16 elders): Dallas, OKC, Houston, and Austin.
.


First big hole in the story: It happened in the house next to the meeting hall
If the elders were going to transact something they always met in the elder’s room upstairs in the meeting hall. We would have wanted privacy and the so called big house was grand central station. When the long table with 16 men plus parents plus young sister sitting around it were mentioned, well that could not have happened in the meeting hall as there was no long table. There was a dining room in the house off from the kitchen and living room. Of course it had a table, but there is no way 19 adults are crowding into that room. It simply could not have happened that way.

Second problem: Sixteen elders from four churches are summoned to a meeting after the conference meeting? I have tried to piece together a time when there were a total of 16 elders in those four churches. A Texas area conference in Dallas would have been before the completion of the Irving Hall. I have thought hard and for the time period of 1974-5 through 1982 I cannot come up with more than 14 possible elders as the total for those four churches. That is the top number if we counted all who served in those four churches inclusively and I doubt if there were ever that many at a specific point in time.

Third problem: The various elders really did not want to be brought into the local issues and problems of a specific church. The sort of meeting described and put forth as representing the elders or churches overstepping its boundaries did not ever happen as far as I can recall. Why would I lie? Am I in such deep denial that my memory has been erased? If elders in Houston or OK City or Austin overstepped on a local level, I could not say one way or other. Could Ray Graver? I would believe just about any odd charges against him. He liked creating a mess and then jumping into it. Best to stay clear was my philosophy.

Now let me offer a possible and believable frame for the story. Young people seen kissing somewhere, after school or in the parking lot of the church building before or during or after a meeting etc. Could happen anywhere. Witness reports to his or her local elder. In this case we now know it was Houston. That elder tells another Houston elder. They note that parents who live in OK City are also there. They decide it would be convenient to get with them and the daughter during the conference since they are all there. They ask one of the Dallas elders or deacon for a place to get a few together after a meeting. (If they asked an elder he most likely gave the task to a deacon who would know what might be open for the use of the Houston brothers.) Deacon arranges for the dining room in the house to be available. Person living in house who is overseeing it lets others staying there, permanent and out of town guest know that the dining room will be in use for a certain period of time. People in house go about their business. At best the atmosphere is semi-private.
Houston elder contacts OK City elder and informs him of the situation and would like him to attend the meeting and would he contact the parents. OK City elder decides to ask another elder to be there. The only ones who really know what is about to happen are the elders from Houston.

Now let us look at the room. Maybe two elders each from Houston and OK City, the parents, the young sister, a Dallas deacon serving as traffic cop. That is eight, not 19. Eight could get into the dinning room comfortably. Maybe the brother or sister overseeing the house popped in to offer refreshment. I can certainly understand that in the young sister’s mind the crowd looks like the Mongolian horde. Could be she counted four elders and in her mind it became four elders from all the churches. Whoever set this up was not just insensitive but dense. Could have been Ray. As we see the lack of wisdom has spawned a long line of problems.

Since this was no doubt done on the fly, who was to speak to the parents? Fell through the cracks. Since they were ignorant when they got to the meeting, they probably did hold their fire until they could speak to the daughter.

This is a plausible frame for the incident. The other is not.

According to TJ, the sister said the whole affair was a blur. In the sister’s report on the forum, she says “someone” informed her of the meeting. I have to conclude nothing is really clear about that incident and all the inferences and sweeping charges that have put forward should just be dropped. Believe me I am not afraid of digging down deep on this case since I am very certain it is not what it was reported to be. I would rather let the sister go and “move on” as she has said she has.

Don Rutledge

Last edited by Hope; 08-17-2008 at 05:10 AM. Reason: clarifying
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 05:08 AM   #113
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
We should all take a close look at Titus and what he did in the Midwest (shaming and all). He was only being so bold as to put into open practice those things which he had observed in his, "Acting God," "Oracle," "One Trumpet for the Age," Apostle for the Age" - Witness Lee.
Roger
Right Roger. TC witnessed WL and emulated all the good and the bad.

I would say something even further.

Three years ago while researching Brethren history, I realized that we had a systemic disease -- I called it "bullying" then --on all levels (local, regional, national, and global) but that same disease affected the Brethren too. Not only that, the same disease can be found in other parts of church history, and in the N.T. too -- with the works of the Judaizers.

This thread could be considered a fulfillment of Paul's word, "beware of dogs."
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 06:04 AM   #114
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Regarding a case study which is part of the proof of the anti-family practices and grounds for indictment of the Dallas church.

Here are a few quotes from various posts which seem to represent how my experience in Dallas is not legitimate or that I am in denial or simply covering up or lying. Take your pick. As more details have come out, I am absolutely certain I was not in that get together and had no knowledge of it.
Brother Hope,

I, for one, sure appreciate the way you have responded on this thread. Rarely have I seen leaders take the time to examine all potential avenues to reconcile conflicting accounts, without resorting to the nasty alternatives you have cited.

When we get occupied only with the extremes, we lose healthy perspective, and emotions get heated. I have passed thru a few rounds of that myself. Nothing gets this crowd (including me) more excited than someone saying a "few good things" about the LC's.

Grace to you. In Christ Jesus there is hope for us all. (I love that saying.)
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 06:36 AM   #115
Matt Anderson
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 124
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
According to TJ, the sister said the whole affair was a blur. In the sister’s report on the forum, she says “someone” informed her of the meeting. I have to conclude nothing is really clear about that incident and all the inferences and sweeping charges that have put forward should just be dropped. Believe me I am not afraid of digging down deep on this case since I am very certain it is not what it was reported to be. I would rather let the sister go and “move on” as she has said she has.

Don Rutledge
As far as I am concerned this won't be dropped. The simple fact that you have requested that it would be dropped has prompted me to believe it should be pursued. You're trying to say the water is muddy. Let's leave it muddy.

Just so you know, this kind of approach activates me to pursue. So here goes. In these situations I don't presume one way or the other. I pursue it to discover the truth. I know one thing for sure. Something happened as this person says and it crossed local boundaries. It violated family boundaries. It was wrong.

I have a question for you: What are you protecting at this time? Please elaborate. Is all of this about protecting against djohnson? If so, there is no need. Almost everyone understands his frame of reference and need no guidance from an ex-leader in knowing how to handle his inputs. Are you protecting something else? If so, what? Many of those here know how to sort through information and see the real situation. The "noise" of the "fray" is not a problem for most here. Almost every single person here is wanting to dig down on elements of truth and have things established for the sake of the Lord. You included.

It is obvious that there is some confusion on the facts. Let's get the facts straight.

To be quite honest, your reaction is very odd to me.

You may be right that some of the lesser facts are wrong, but to request that the whole matter be dropped seems very inappropriate in my mind.

Let me tell you why I see it as so inappropriate. The person this happened to has spoken up. The abused has spoken up. The Lord is clear. We should defend the case of the widow, the oppressed, etc. This matter should be pursued. And factual errors should be cleared up for the sake of the abused (and the abusers).

The only reason I can come up with in my mind is for your protection or the protection of the perception of Dallas. Between you and the abused party in this situation, you do not need the protection. You can suffer the truth. The abused party always needs more support.

I had written a little more conciliatory post last night, but after reading your post this morning, I just can't be conciliatory.

In closing, let me be quite clear. At this stage, the only reason to determine your presence at a meeting like this one is for your sake. I am assuming based on your words that you were not there and it doesn't make a difference to me. Let me close with a few facts that point to the underlying point of this thread.

1. Elders from outside your locality came to your locality and conducted extra-local church discipline that violated proper family boundaries without your knowledge. (Violation of Local Authority)

Note: Based on your own accounts, this was not the only time this happened. I can think of at least one or two other instances.

Question: Are you trying to say this didn't happen in Dallas? If so, why is it important to you that it didn't happen in Dallas?

2. If there were things like the aforementioned example happening in Dallas, then Dallas was no exclusion to what was going on throughout the greater Texas region. You may not have liked it or may have tried to exclude yourself from some of it. Good. When those extra-local influences were not around Dallas may have been a little better. Good.

3. As this conversation continues, it seems you are positioning yourself as the exception, not the rule, of what happened within the LC. In doing this, you exclude yourself from the point djohnson was/is making and so your reaction to his thread make no sense to me. The general rule was abusiveness towards families due to the way the system of the LC worked. This abuse came in the major form of neglect of parental duties and sometimes it was worse. The priorities of the LC system were off. We've all agreed to this fact.

4. It has become apparent that your eldership in Dallas was not respected (especially throughout the rest of the region) and it was ignored when someone with a higher level of authority from some other locality felt it appropriate to take some action. You were treated with kid gloves by others who had more "power" (James, Benson).

The last thing you said, was that you would prefer that this be dropped in part for the sake of this sister. If I assure you that this sister will be cared for in this situation, would you prefer to dig down on this and establish the truth?

Matt

P.S. We've all been beat up on forums like this one when we get "defensive" from time to time. We each have a right to "defend" ourselves and we should. It helps establish truth for the sake of everyone.

Last edited by Matt Anderson; 08-17-2008 at 06:42 AM.
Matt Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 07:20 AM   #116
finallyprettyokay
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 126
Default

Wow. What a deal. I have no doubt believing this happened, for alot of different reasons. Hope, I also have no trouble believing you weren't there. I think those two facts can easlily co-exist.

I would specualate that one or two men put this into motion, and the other men either didn't know what was going to happen (like the parents did not know), or didn't think it through very well. Either way, someone could have spoken to put an end to the inquisition when it became clear what was happening.

Hope --- believe other people's experience more graciously. Here is an example:

Quote:
Matt wrote: For example, how many times did elders in local congregations discipline other people's children? It happened all of the time.
And you responded:

Quote:
Regarding the discipline of other's children. I am not familar with this practice. Perhaps some elder somewhere scolded a child.

As I PMed you, I hate to see anyone take so many hits. I myself woudl be really upset if it were me. So you know (I hope) that I say this with gentleness and kindness. Just believe someone else's views and experiences more graciously. With this example, I felt like Matt was not received as a reliable witness to how children were treated, even though he was a child at the time. No doubt he was in position to witness how children were treated better than most adults.

On my way to church at my denomination. See everyone later.

fpo

Last edited by finallyprettyokay; 08-17-2008 at 11:57 AM. Reason: typo
finallyprettyokay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 08:18 AM   #117
Matt Anderson
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 124
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by finallyprettyokay View Post
With this example, I felt like Matt was not received as a reliable witness to how children were treated, even though he was a child at the time. No doubt he was in position to witness how children were treated better than most adults.

fpo
FPO,

I'm not terribly concerned whether my witness holds up as reliable in all cases. I've been proven wrong before and it will happen again. I hope I can simply be honest when this happens and admit to it.

As for how children were treated, the environment throughout the Texas region was oppressive. By the age of 13 my parents were out of the LC and I was free from it with the exception of what had been integrated into my head. I went to a few more Young People's conferences (I think 2-3) later on in high school.

Here are three anecdotal's that I may have shared previously.

1. We were all told we could wear shorts at one conference. We showed up only to have this decision reversed. It was the middle of summer in Texas and the heat was sweltering. I defied them. I walked out in my shorts to the next meeting after the decision was reversed. I knew I might be sent home, but it was worth it. They were executing psychological manipulation. Within a few hours everyone was in shorts and it didn't get re-reversed.

2. Without being told that there was a seating order for the kids... Girls on one side and boys on the others side, everyone always segregated. I didn't. I went and sat by the one person who I had been in babysitting with since I was 6 years old. Even she was a little concerned about my presence. I told her that it was fine and that they needed to learn how to grow up. We didn't live in a prison camp. One brother started to approach me. I shot him a look and he turned and walked the other way.

Note: I was separated from babysitting with all the other kids in OKC because my parents were "stinky" to the LC.

3. Each night before bed they would go around the room in prayer. Each person would pray something and then go to the next. I sat in silence when it reached me until the next person started praying. The silence lasted for 30-40 seconds. After two nights of this one of the "brothers" decided to talk to me about it. I told him, "You are free to pray. I'm not comfortable with it, so just leave me alone."

If these little stories give you any clues (as they should) I was a very angry little man.

These little stories are the ones I can give. I resisted the oppressive environment successfully in these cases, but even those who were "rebels" around me didn't have the strength to do it. Most just were dominated by the environment to the destruction of their souls.

I believe that drugs were one of the escapes for those of certain psychological make-ups. I believe extreme depression was another escape. I believe extreme performance-based living was another escape (this is yet another kind of hell on earth).

Matt
Matt Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 08:36 AM   #118
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post

1. Elders from outside your locality came to your locality and conducted extra-local church discipline that violated proper family boundaries without your knowledge. (Violation of Local Authority)

Note: Based on your own accounts, this was not the only time this happened. I can think of at least one or two other instances.

Question: Are you trying to say this didn't happen in Dallas? If so, why is it important to you that it didn't happen in Dallas?

Matt
I would like to raise the possibility the number reported at the meeting is correct, but not all of them were elders. Some at the meeting could have been deacons and others present serving as witnesses. Is it possible that a number present at the meeting were not from Dallas which is why Hope didn't hear about it?

What I object to is usurping the parent's responsibility. Whether it was a concerned brother or sister, they should be speaking with the parents and not the minor. Whatever rebuking is done should be the parents responsibility.

Terry

Last edited by Terry; 08-17-2008 at 08:47 AM. Reason: deleting a comment
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 09:16 AM   #119
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Essentially what Hope has done on this thread is try to present himself and his "locality" as an exception. Even if he was the exception so what? He says he was basically marked out and persecuted for it by the Lee addicts - which more or less proves the point of the thread.

16 people. 8 people. This room. That room. All moot. Unless the woman is outright lying the event happened. And Roger has brought up an excellent point which I suggested in my original thread: the hypocrisy of the leadership. Berating a young lady for kissing a boy while covering up for Mr. Lee's son who was running LSM!

And let it also be pointed out per Ingalls book that when he wanted to discuss with Phillips and Graver the behavior of Lee's son they both adamantly refused to listen because why? Because it was a "local matter" restricted to Anaheim. Are these the same guys who think kissing a boy is an extra local matter? I said in the another forum that the leadership of the LCS are full of Baloney. Hey maybe that's a better description than addiction!
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!

Last edited by djohnson; 08-17-2008 at 02:34 PM.
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 09:38 AM   #120
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
And let it also be pointed out per Ingalls book that when he wanted to discuss with Phillips and Graver the behavior of Lee's son they both adamantly refused to listen because why? Because it was a "local matter" restricted to Anaheim. Are these the same guys who think kissing a boy is an extra local matter? I said in the another forum that the leadership of the LCS are full of B.S. Hey maybe that's a better description than addiction!
djohnson, maybe this isn't the right thread for this response, but have you considered Benson Phillips and Ray Graver did not want to listen to John Ingall's fellowship involving Witness Lee's son, because it would not have served their purpose to do so?

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 09:48 AM   #121
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Have I considered it? That's a good one! No doubt they already knew about it and were ten steps ahead of Ingalls.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 09:52 AM   #122
kisstheson
Member
 
kisstheson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 281
Default

Dear ones,

The hypocrisy of the LCS that has been exposed here is really alarming. It seems that these brothers had no problem going after "wayward" sisters, like Thankful Jane and BlessD, but they refused to deal with brothers whose sins were much greater. WL's son was simply never dealt with, and brother "Ben", the adulterous elder, was quietly moved to another locality where he could prey upon another weak marriage situation. All this is in direct contradiction to 1 Timothy 5:19-21 :

Quote:
"Against an elder do not receive an accusation, except based upon two or three witnesses. The ones who sin reprove before all that the rest also may have fear. I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the chosen angels that you keep these things without prejudice, doing nothing by way of partiality."
The fact that sisters Thankful Jane and BlessD have been able to put all this behind them and have both gone on with the Lord is such positive ways is very encouraging! I have really been enjoying lately some speakings and writings of non-LSM brothers who have/had very rich ministries, but who did not carry around all this "extra junk" that has corrupted the LCS. Brothers like Stephen Kaung, TAS, Ian Thomas, Bakht Singh, etc. How wonderful it is to be able to fall in love with our beloved Christ all over again, without all the extra baggage like the peer pressure in the LCS, "The Minister of The Age", "Quarantines", LSM headquarters in Anaheim, etc. O to be able to return to the freedom and simplicity in Christ that is ours by virtue of our new birth in Him!
__________________
"The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better."
Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality
kisstheson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 10:25 AM   #123
Paul Cox
Member
 
Paul Cox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 183
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeakersCorner View Post
It's not an addiction. Wrong word. Addiction implies a craving, a need for another hit. This is NOT what LSMers have. They do have plenty of "hits" of Lee up on the shelves but, unlike true addicts, they don't ever use them. I'm speaking in generalities here, but I do know what I'm talking about. Very, very few LSMers actually read Lee's stuff anymore except when they have to. That is, they will read the HWMR since it's required reading (and many cheat on that) and they will peruse a Green Book when they need to plan a teaching or sharing. But otherwise, you could put those books behind a glass covering and no one would notice.

So what is it that causes a woman to wake up in a panic attack and relieve it by vowing to go back to "The Ministry"? It's fear, plain and simple. LSMers would argue it's the fear of the Lord. I believe it is fear from a lifetime of indoctrination. But it is not an addition, this I know.


SC
SC

That may be true in your neck of the woods, or with the people you know. But I still know people who tear into Lee's ministry as if they can't live without it. Like I said before, there is no one individual's view of the Living Stream Church which is the complete view.

I know there are large numbers of LSM Church goers who no longer read the material, any more than the average Catholic hasn't opened the Catechism since they were preparing for Confirmation. With the people I am talking about, it is definitely an addiction.

If you have something coursing through your veins that makes you feel secure and comfortable, and then when you are suddenly without it, you become fearful, and paranoid, I would say that is an addiction.

Anyway, I’m done with this one. We are going around in circles now.

That reminded me of a Jr. high football game I saw once. The middle linebacker laid hold of the ball carrier’s shirt tail and they both spun around and around in circles before it finally dawned on someone to broadside the runner.

Roger
Paul Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 01:31 PM   #124
blessD
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 73
Default Lessons Learned

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
Regarding a case study which is part of the proof of the anti-family practices and grounds for indictment of the Dallas church.

Here are a few quotes from various posts which seem to represent how my experience in Dallas is not legitimate or that I am in denial or simply covering up or lying. Take your pick. As more details have come out, I am absolutely certain I was not in that get together and had no knowledge of it. I can believe two young people were seen kissing in the parking lot at the meeting hall. But there are big holes in the rest of the story.

Quotes from posts:

it's been intimated that The Church in Dallas was somehow without problems in this area, and Matt came out to refute that notion. Please consider another thread with reference to The Church in Dallas, The Thread of Gold:
When Sally Martin (the sister whose arranged marriage I described previously) was in high school, she was reported to the elders for being seen kissing a young brother in a car after school. Subsequently, during a conference at the Church in Dallas, she was summoned to a private meeting. When she arrived, she found that her parents had also been summoned. According to her, neither she nor her parents knew what the meeting was about prior to being asked to attend. Sally was seated at the head of a long table. Her parents were included at the table with approximately sixteen Local Church elders from Texas and other states. They proceeded to talk to her about her inappropriate behavior while her parents said nothing.

She told me that the whole time became a big blur to her because she was in so much pain from the embarrassment and humiliation of such a confrontation. She lived with the pain of that memory and suffered under the sanctions they placed on her. She also suffered having to face those elders at other Local Church meetings and conferences. (363–364)

Jane goes on to state that this was a matter that should have been broached with her parents for her parents to handle. To subject a young girl to a council of 16 elders from two states sounds like a horrific injustice to me.

For example, how many times did elders in local congregations discipline other people's children? It happened all of the time. It happened without informing, involving and working with the people who are commanded to love and nurture these children (the parents).

P.S. Based on what I have heard from others it is possible that the Texas Region (inclusive of Dallas) was more extreme than other regions of the US.

Quote from the sister posted on the forum yesterday,

This instance occurred at a conference in Dallas at which time someone told me I needed to go next door after one of the meetings. Maybe it seemed like a good idea since we were all gathered in Dallas???

BlessD told me that she has a clear memory of there being four elders from each of four churches present (16 elders): Dallas, OKC, Houston, and Austin.
.


First big hole in the story: It happened in the house next to the meeting hall
If the elders were going to transact something they always met in the elder’s room upstairs in the meeting hall. We would have wanted privacy and the so called big house was grand central station. When the long table with 16 men plus parents plus young sister sitting around it were mentioned, well that could not have happened in the meeting hall as there was no long table. There was a dining room in the house off from the kitchen and living room. Of course it had a table, but there is no way 19 adults are crowding into that room. It simply could not have happened that way.

Second problem: Sixteen elders from four churches are summoned to a meeting after the conference meeting? I have tried to piece together a time when there were a total of 16 elders in those four churches. A Texas area conference in Dallas would have been before the completion of the Irving Hall. I have thought hard and for the time period of 1974-5 through 1982 I cannot come up with more than 14 possible elders as the total for those four churches. That is the top number if we counted all who served in those four churches inclusively and I doubt if there were ever that many at a specific point in time.

Third problem: The various elders really did not want to be brought into the local issues and problems of a specific church. The sort of meeting described and put forth as representing the elders or churches overstepping its boundaries did not ever happen as far as I can recall. Why would I lie? Am I in such deep denial that my memory has been erased? If elders in Houston or OK City or Austin overstepped on a local level, I could not say one way or other. Could Ray Graver? I would believe just about any odd charges against him. He liked creating a mess and then jumping into it. Best to stay clear was my philosophy.

Now let me offer a possible and believable frame for the story. Young people seen kissing somewhere, after school or in the parking lot of the church building before or during or after a meeting etc. Could happen anywhere. Witness reports to his or her local elder. In this case we now know it was Houston. That elder tells another Houston elder. They note that parents who live in OK City are also there. They decide it would be convenient to get with them and the daughter during the conference since they are all there. They ask one of the Dallas elders or deacon for a place to get a few together after a meeting. (If they asked an elder he most likely gave the task to a deacon who would know what might be open for the use of the Houston brothers.) Deacon arranges for the dining room in the house to be available. Person living in house who is overseeing it lets others staying there, permanent and out of town guest know that the dining room will be in use for a certain period of time. People in house go about their business. At best the atmosphere is semi-private.
Houston elder contacts OK City elder and informs him of the situation and would like him to attend the meeting and would he contact the parents. OK City elder decides to ask another elder to be there. The only ones who really know what is about to happen are the elders from Houston.

Now let us look at the room. Maybe two elders each from Houston and OK City, the parents, the young sister, a Dallas deacon serving as traffic cop. That is eight, not 19. Eight could get into the dinning room comfortably. Maybe the brother or sister overseeing the house popped in to offer refreshment. I can certainly understand that in the young sister’s mind the crowd looks like the Mongolian horde. Could be she counted four elders and in her mind it became four elders from all the churches. Whoever set this up was not just insensitive but dense. Could have been Ray. As we see the lack of wisdom has spawned a long line of problems.

Since this was no doubt done on the fly, who was to speak to the parents? Fell through the cracks. Since they were ignorant when they got to the meeting, they probably did hold their fire until they could speak to the daughter.

This is a plausible frame for the incident. The other is not.

According to TJ, the sister said the whole affair was a blur. In the sister’s report on the forum, she says “someone” informed her of the meeting. I have to conclude nothing is really clear about that incident and all the inferences and sweeping charges that have put forward should just be dropped. Believe me I am not afraid of digging down deep on this case since I am very certain it is not what it was reported to be. I would rather let the sister go and “move on” as she has said she has.

Don Rutledge

Regardless of the fine-grained details, there are good lessons to be learned. Let's not get lost in whether there are 12 or 16 sitting at a table. I would like you to take a look at the following information if you have the time. It is very relative to what happened in this instance:

Regarding an experiment called the Milgram Experiment - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment - summarized in Milgram's 1974 article, "The Perils of Obedience", writing:
... Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority...

This psychological/socialogical phenom has been related to such historic incidents as the Holocaust, Enron (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room), and Abu Ghraib (Ghosts of Abu Ghraib).

Last edited by blessD; 08-17-2008 at 02:05 PM.
blessD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 02:22 PM   #125
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Terry I want you to know that I was sorta messing with you on my last post. In all your posts on any subject in this forum and the other one I always appreciate your heart i.e. sense of kindness. It counter balances the rough edges of posters like me.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 05:18 PM   #126
John
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 60
Default

BlessD,

I do want to say how sorry I am that you had to endure the abuse that you experienced at that meeting in Dallas. It must have been terribly traumatic for you, especially as a young person of high school age. I have also experienced abuse from elders, but I can’t imagine how horrible that was for you, including the aftermath of humiliation that continued.

I am glad to hear that you are happy and have moved on from that time in your life. I have just lately been realizing the love and peace that can come from our Lord Jesus. He is able to shepherd each one of us.

I was thankful to find your story to quote on this forum in response to an elder and others who seemed to think that things were not as bad as they were. Actual experiences of others are the only way I know to bring these matters forward to get the attention that they deserve.

It still probably brings back pain to you even though you have moved on with your life. For this, I truly am sorry. I do wish that you had gotten more of an apology than you did. You deserve better.

In fact, you deserve our thanks for being willing to have this experience of yours put into a book and then being willing to come out here and post about its truthfulness. Honestly, I don’t think that I would have the courage to come out as you have done, especially in the face of those who want to question every detail of your experience.

Indeed, we are blessed to have you. I hope that your courage will inspire others to be willing to tell their stories as you have done. I know of several other women who were abused in the Local Church System years ago who are still too afraid to speak up.

May our Lord take care of all of your needs and bless you even more abundantly.

In our Lord’s dear love and concern,

John
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 05:59 PM   #127
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 298
Default

When we wrote the book we tried to be very careful to verify and confirm things we wrote about others. There were only a few such accounts included. We had no idea that we needed to go so far as to confirm that the table in a story actually existed and that it was big enough to support BlessD’s memory of the event …

Honestly I felt ashamed, BlessD, when I saw that your account was called into question publicly by an ex LC leader and that there was even an attempt to undermine your story by saying first there was no such table in Dallas and suggesting maybe it was in Houston, then next that the table and room were not big enough. Obviously the most glaring thing of importance was the very abuse that you went through--abuse which was nothing less than a psychological and spiritual gang rape, and this was done in front of your parent's who sat there silently watching. Words fail me.

I know you are doing well and have been able to move on in life. I am so happy for this. I know you say you don't need apologies or expressions of sympathy, but the fact is that any other response to your story is not normal. I am sorry you had to have insult added to injury by having your story questioned. It made me think of someone who finally is able to come forward and report a shameful crime who finds themselves being questioned like they were the criminal.

If I were you I would have felt that once again I wasn’t important; something else was. In this case it seems that the prime directive quickly became minimizing your story or finding a way to make it go away. BlessD, I am sorry for this treatment. You didn’t deserve it.

You are right. It really doesn’t matter if it was 16, 12, 8 elders … What matters is that it happened and that everyone present assented to it happening. I read the article you referenced on Wikipedia. It speaks volumes. I hope and pray I will never be found in a condition that I violate my conscience to obey an “authority” that tells me to do something that hurts others.

Do we need to be discussing these things now? Yes, we do--mainly for the sake of those who have not yet been able to move on. Also for the sake of those who took part in such abuse, either by carrying it out or silently watching it.

So, to close the door on some of the questions, I spoke with someone today who confirmed to me that at the time this happened to you there definitely was a table in the dining room of the Big House that would easily handle 16 people, possibly more. Not only was the table large, the room was also quite large; they didn’t call it the Big House for nothing. For those who don’t know, the Big House sat on the adjoining property to the meeting hall of the Church in Dallas and I believe it was owned by the Church in Dallas.

Thankful Jane

Last edited by Thankful Jane; 08-17-2008 at 06:27 PM.
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 06:23 PM   #128
Nell
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 973
Default

"The difference between an abuse and a non-abusive system is that while hurtful behaviors might happen in both, it is not permissible to talk about problems in an abusive system. Hence, there is no healing hurts and abuses in the abusive system. Hence there is no healing and restoration after the wound has occurred, and the victim is made to feel at fault for questioning or pointing out the problem."

p. 32, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse
Nell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 06:46 PM   #129
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post

Well, I can guarantee you from first hand experience that this kind of thing is not something the "victim" ever forgets. It is embedded in their pysche. Do you have even the faintest idea what it would have been like to be on the receiving end of this treatment. Horrendous doesn't even come close to describing what happened. Not only was she a very young female sitting in front of 16 men being "talked to" about kissing a boy, these were "God's deputy authorities."



Thankful Jane
Thankful Jane, such an experience can happen to sister or brother. It doesn't matter how old the receptient is, the numbers observing whether it's 6, 12, or 18 is intimidating. Furthermore the subject of the meeting is blindsided when they meeting takes place. No forewarning.
If a meeting is necessary, why not one on one with a third party as a witness? As minors are concerned, their parents should be addressed; not the child.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 08:22 PM   #130
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
Honestly I felt ashamed, BlessD, when I saw that your account was called into question publicly by an ex LC leader and that there was even an attempt to undermine your story by saying first there was no such table in Dallas and suggesting maybe it was in Houston, then next that the table and room were not big enough. Obviously the most glaring thing of importance was the very abuse that you went through--abuse which was nothing less than a psychological and spiritual gang rape, and this was done in front of your parent's who sat there silently watching. Words fail me.
I'm sorry ... but I do not feel that this was fair to say about Hope and I must speak up here. This paragraph reads to me as an assault on Hope's integrity, which I find almost as offensive as negating BlessD's painful trauma. Hope has attempted to scour his memory for this event, even leaving open the possibility that his memory went into denial. How much more fair and honest can he be? He has continued to express a heartfelt compassion for the LC hurting, including BlessD, that I have never heard from any other LC leader.

Whether Hope was present, or not present, at this gathering, he has expressed responsibility for the church in Dallas where he eldered. If this has happened in Dallas, he wants to know. If he was there, he wants to know. Thus, he has examined many possibilities, whether rooms, people, numbers, attendants, scenarios, etc. not to discredit the sister BlessD, but to conclude a determination of facts which fits the church he knew so well. I saw nothing in his posts which indicated he was not searching for the truth. I viewed his search for details as a genuine endeavor to reconcile the events of her story. On my best day, I would also attempt to follow the same course.

I have tried to make this post as pleasant as I could, without throwing more fuel on the fire ...
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 08:52 PM   #131
Overflow
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 21
Default Dallas Effected Me!

In April 2008, while watching the news, I heard an interview that I couldn't erase from my mind. This was when the children of an extreme sect of Mormons from a compound in Texas were pulled for a brief time. The 'Lost Boys' were interviewed to gain some insight into the thinking of this group. As they spoke, my eyes and ears were locked! Sounds crazy, but I could relate so distinctly with there words.

The interviewer asked, "Now years after being cast out of your home, separated from your mother, I bet if you were to return to the compound, back into your home ~ your mother would embrace you and would be so relieved to see her son!" One of the 'Lost Boys' responded with these words, "No, she would turn and not acknowledge me. In order to understand this, you have to consider the Mormon religion ~ they strongly believe that serving the 'church' is the only thing that holds value in life, that this is a Mormon's entire purpose. To acknowledge me would be to deny my mother's calling." I picked my jaw up off the floor...for the first time I felt understood! I spent my first 13 years raised by an elder in the LC. Neglect!?!? In my home, I think that would be a mild way of expressing the relationship I (and my siblings) had with my parents.

Perhaps as time passes I'll feel comfortable to share more, but I have to say that I did live in Dallas for a number of years and firsthand I must say that things were DEFINITELY OFF, despite how pleasant of a picture some families may have attempted to paint! (And I speak of my family here, not HOPE's).

As an adult, reflecting, I think I've always known that things were very off with my family growing up, but God has just recently opened my eyes to the tight grasp this sin holds even today (especially my parents). I am confident that the LC (which they have now left) still today keeps them from enjoying the relationships that God intended them to have with their children and grandchildren.

I have found that there is nothing more freeing then the freedom found in confessing my sins! After all, only Christ's blood is sufficient, we ALL need the grace He offers!!! (And in my opinion, that doesn't mean arguing the facts when someone was horribly offended, sinned against and hurt! If its wrong, call it wrong...don't talk about the peculiarities of the situation! Nothing is more precious than humility - and if you don't remember this situation HOPE, I think it'd be real wise to pray for God to open your eyes for anything you can take ownership of and seek Christ's forgiveness!)
Overflow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 08:58 PM   #132
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
What matters is that it happened and that everyone present assented to it happening. I read the article you referenced on Wikipedia. It speaks volumes. I hope and pray I will never be found in a condition that I violate my conscience to obey an “authority” that tells me to do something that hurts others.
I agree that we surely need the Lord's mercy that we would never violate our conscience and hurt or abuse others, even while obeying an authority.

I don't believe this has been stated in either your painful tragedy (as written in ToG chapter one) or BlessD's story. Correct me if I am wrong. I have not read of any who were required to violate their conscience to obey an authority and hurt one of the Lord's children.

If I may do so, based on what I have read, put the two painful events together for comparison. There were three types of people in both events, firstly the evil perpetrator(s), secondly the victims, and thirdly the unsuspecting witnesses. As one has suggested, the witnesses may have been called in to legitimatize the actions and to be "trained in the Lord's way."

I place 99% of the responsibility on the perpetrators. They bear all the guilt. They are leaders who have failed us. Leaders are held to higher standards, and I do believe that these ones should be rightly called "evil workers."

The real question we face is what responsibility do the unsuspecting witnesses face? They were caught off guard. They did not know the facts. They get ushered into a room and witnessed things that left them in shock. They were not asked for their opinion.

I hope I have characterized these events fairly. Forgive me if my analysis is faulty. My underlying concern, which you may have imagined, are not just Texan events, but Ohio events too. Many more have been hurt by the abuse of authority. I must say that I have never witnessed such abuse towards sisters as we are discussing here, but the principle is the same. I have seen and heard many brothers get abused, yet rarely did I ever hear of a brother rising up in his defense. How did that system so disarm us? How much did our silence condemn us?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

Last edited by Ohio; 08-18-2008 at 05:34 AM.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 09:01 PM   #133
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 298
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Thankful Jane, such an experience can happen to sister or brother. It doesn't matter how old the receptient is, the numbers observing whether it's 6, 12, or 18 is intimidating. Furthermore the subject of the meeting is blindsided when they meeting takes place. No forewarning.
If a meeting is necessary, why not one on one with a third party as a witness? As minors are concerned, their parents should be addressed; not the child.

Terry
Dear Terry,

The fact that this sister kissed someone is none of the business of elders. God gave parents the job of training and nurturing their children. Moral instruction and guidance is their job.

Elders have no business dictating to parents particulars related to how they discipline their children.

This is real basic fundamental Bible stuff.

Thankful
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 09:03 PM   #134
Hope
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 313
Default Isa 1:18, Come now and let us reason together

My oh my,

So many false positives!!! If the conclusion is already settled on then the facts and evidence really do not matter. No need to collect any evidence that does not line up with the pre-ordained conclusion.

I have with some degree of consternation and disappointment observed how any positive report or experience is dismissed and only the experience of abuse or failure is valid.

I thought the name of the forum was LocalChurchDiscussions.com. I did not realize it was Matt 3:10-11, "And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

By the way does it cut both ways? I have been accused of trying to shut people down. But then, is anyone trying to shut down any positive evidence or positive experience while in the local church at …

My position is quite interesting. Those still in the local churches call me a leper and warn people not to talk with me. Some Ex local churchers view me as a former leader and therefore a dissembler and abuser of the brethren. Some free group brethren I have contacted were fine with me until they learned I was damaged goods having been influenced by Witness Lee. I was to be warned against and watched lest I say or do something amiss. I am use to being challenged and put in the position of being guilty until proven innocent. I know what it is to have your motives always challenged as impure or insensitive.

Why did I get into the report to start with? As this thread developed, to me it was way too clear there was the need for some perspective. The opening post set up the worst possible view of people who had been in the local churches. When some tried to give a little perspective, their experience was put down and they were accused of making light of the negative reports. I added my 2 cents worth and the Dallas incident was brought up to discredit my experience and confirm how really bad it was. In a PM I had been told that elders’ rebuking children and going around the parents happened all the time by someone who had never been in the church in Dallas and was not an elder there. Again this meeting was the proof.

After the meeting was reported it became the proof case for other charges to be made and to shut up any positive reports. The details were very vivid and the details were used to give the report validity. The number of elders present was important to show the extreme and ridiculous practice of church abuse of children. The extra local aspect was used to demonstrate how pervasive the manner of abuse was. Thus the holes in the details are important. I noticed that my attempt to give legitimacy to the report while giving a plausible explanation of how the confrontation could have occurred got absolutely no traction but rather a wild scenario was put forth of a training exercise on how to abuse defenseless saints.

I have been asked what I am protecting. Remember the post by Brent Barber on the other forum. It was recently referred to on this forum. I then read it. I cannot express how furious I was. Do you know the rest of the story? Before I told it, I PMed Mike H. for his fellowship. He felt that exposing the man would not be helpful or edifying and ask that I keep it to myself. He used the story of the drunken Noah as an example that may apply. I have taken his fellowship and believe that he is correct. If you want the rest of the story, you must persuade Mike H. If there is a “rest of the story” regarding the young sister, I do not want to know it or expose it. Maybe there is not. I took her word that she wanted to move on and had rather talk about the Lord. I am all for it.

I agree that ultimately the details are not an issue. What is an issue is the move to shut me down and any others who are not in the total axe treatment of the local churches and the brothers and sisters who have been there or are still there.

Now I must ask. What are you trying to protect?

Matt, what did your three anecdotes demonstrate. Baylor university did not allow women to wear shorts on campus.

It seems that once the heat became obvious the ban on shorts was lifted. They were executing psychological manipulation. Within a few hours everyone was in shorts and it didn't get re-reversed. Come on Matt. Psychological manipulation???

Without being told that there was a seating order for the kids... Girls on one side and boys on the others side, everyone always segregated. I didn't. I went and sat by the one person who I had been in babysitting with since I was 6 years old. Even she was a little concerned about my presence. I told her that it was fine and that they needed to learn how to grow up. We didn't live in a prison camp. One brother started to approach me. I shot him a look and he turned and walked the other way. Come on Matt. Prison camp because girls and boy at junior high age self segregate.

Each night before bed they would go around the room in prayer. Each person would pray something and then go to the next. I sat in silence when it reached me until the next person started praying. The silence lasted for 30-40 seconds. After two nights of this one of the "brothers" decided to talk to me about it. I told him, "You are free to pray. I'm not comfortable with it, so just leave me alone.” Come on Matt, prayer in the cabins one by one is a long standing practice at Christian camps.

Then your incredible conclusion:

These little stories are the ones I can give. I resisted the oppressive environment successfully in these cases, but even those who were "rebels" around me didn't have the strength to do it. Most just were dominated by the environment to the destruction of their souls.

I believe that drugs were one of the escapes for those of certain psychological make-ups. I believe extreme depression was another escape. I believe extreme performance-based living was another escape (this is yet another kind of hell on earth).


Matt, I cannot tell you how many of the jr. high and Hi. School kids told me how much of a high light these conferences were.

Why Matt? What are you trying to protect?

TJ, Your post is so full of bitter accusation against me. I have to ask myself why. Can you see that you are doing the very thing you accuse the LCS of doing?

Here are a few of the other statements from posters. Please note the bitter tone and resentment this story has stirred and how it is used as the universal example. How can any positive testimony of the Lord’s work be given if it is anyway associated with the local churches of any time or place?

Knowing that these sorts of bizzare extra-local meetings were actually transpiring gives a whole lot of ground for believing a whole lot of things.
Sure, my account is putely speculative. But knowing how the rest of these details usually fill in, it's not a giant leap at all. Someone suggested it was voyeristic earlier and I declined to think so at first but truly, there was no reason for all these people to be present, however many there were or why.
Are these the same guys who think kissing a boy is an extra local matter? I said in the another forum that the leadership of the LCS are full of Baloney. Hey maybe that's a better description than addiction!
I was thankful to find your story to quote on this forum in response to an elder and others who seemed to think that things were not as bad as they were. Actual experiences of others are the only way I know to bring these matters forward to get the attention that they deserve.


Here is part of the last post from Thankful Jane. Why such hateful words?

Honestly I felt ashamed, BlessD, when I saw that your account was called into question publicly by an ex LC leader and that there was even an attempt to undermine your story by saying first there was no such table in Dallas and suggesting maybe it was in Houston, then next that the table and room were not big enough. Obviously the most glaring thing of importance was the very abuse that you went through--abuse which was nothing less than a psychological and spiritual gang rape, and this was done in front of your parent's who sat there silently watching. Words fail me.
but the fact is that any other response to your story is not normal. I am sorry you had to have insult added to injury by having your story questioned. It made me think of someone who finally is able to come forward and report a shameful crime who finds themselves being questioned like they were the criminal.
In this case it seems that the prime directive quickly became minimizing your story or finding a way to make it go away. BlessD, I am sorry for this treatment. You didn’t deserve it.
You are right. It really doesn’t matter if it was 16, 12, 8 elders … What matters is that it happened and that everyone present assented to it happening.
So, to close the door on some of the questions, I spoke with someone today who confirmed to me that at the time this happened to you there definitely was a table in the dining room of the Big House that would easily handle 16 people, possibly more.


Tj, I use to live in the big house. No way 16 men plus the parents and the sister are crowding into that room with a full dining room table. My question about a table was since the first impression was that the meeting occurred in the meeting hall. I asked about details originally because I could not imagine such a thing. When I did, that became a cause on the forum and the events as reported must therefore stand. When I saw how the details were giving standing to attack any positive reports, I began to think about what had been said and how it could not have come down as reported which helped me understand why I was so uninformed.

The point of questioning the event is not did it happen. I never said it did not happen. I am sad for the pain suffered and do not agree that whatever the offense was should have been handled as it was. I have made that perfectly clear over and over.

You know TJ that it is not the events suffered by the sister that have been called into question but your account of it. You visceral reaction makes me wonder what really is important and what is it you are fighting for. Frankly you owe me an apology for your abusive language and belittling remarks.

You have strongly stated your desire to practice Matt. 18. Now is your chance. Yes, you have offended a brother who has never done you any harm.

In Christ Jesus there is still hope for us all,

Hope, Don Rutledge
Hope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 09:31 PM   #135
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,250
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
Dear Terry,

The fact that this sister kissed someone is none of the business of elders. God gave parents the job of training and nurturing their children. Moral instruction and guidance is their job.

Elders have no business dictating to parents particulars related to how they discipline their children.

This is real basic fundamental Bible stuff.

Thankful
Thankful Jane, I believe you have misunderstood my post. The essence of my post was elders should not be rebuking of disciplining minors. For that matter there were other adults who overstepped their bounds and in my case that individual was not an elder. It is the parents responsibility to rebuke and discipline. It is the parents prerogotive how they raise their children. Growing up in the local church I did have friends that did date. Whether elders had a problem with it, I don't know. I only observed my friends parents were fine with it.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2008, 11:51 PM   #136
blessD
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 73
Default Lost in Transit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
My oh my,

So many false positives!!! If the conclusion is already settled on then the facts and evidence really do not matter. No need to collect any evidence that does not line up with the pre-ordained conclusion.

I have with some degree of consternation and disappointment observed how any positive report or experience is dismissed and only the experience of abuse or failure is valid.

I thought the name of the forum was LocalChurchDiscussions.com. I did not realize it was Matt 3:10-11, "And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

By the way does it cut both ways? I have been accused of trying to shut people down. But then, is anyone trying to shut down any positive evidence or positive experience while in the local church at …

My position is quite interesting. Those still in the local churches call me a leper and warn people not to talk with me. Some Ex local churchers view me as a former leader and therefore a dissembler and abuser of the brethren. Some free group brethren I have contacted were fine with me until they learned I was damaged goods having been influenced by Witness Lee. I was to be warned against and watched lest I say or do something amiss. I am use to being challenged and put in the position of being guilty until proven innocent. I know what it is to have your motives always challenged as impure or insensitive.

Why did I get into the report to start with? As this thread developed, to me it was way too clear there was the need for some perspective. The opening post set up the worst possible view of people who had been in the local churches. When some tried to give a little perspective, their experience was put down and they were accused of making light of the negative reports. I added my 2 cents worth and the Dallas incident was brought up to discredit my experience and confirm how really bad it was. In a PM I had been told that elders’ rebuking children and going around the parents happened all the time by someone who had never been in the church in Dallas and was not an elder there. Again this meeting was the proof.

After the meeting was reported it became the proof case for other charges to be made and to shut up any positive reports. The details were very vivid and the details were used to give the report validity. The number of elders present was important to show the extreme and ridiculous practice of church abuse of children. The extra local aspect was used to demonstrate how pervasive the manner of abuse was. Thus the holes in the details are important. I noticed that my attempt to give legitimacy to the report while giving a plausible explanation of how the confrontation could have occurred got absolutely no traction but rather a wild scenario was put forth of a training exercise on how to abuse defenseless saints.

I have been asked what I am protecting. Remember the post by Brent Barber on the other forum. It was recently referred to on this forum. I then read it. I cannot express how furious I was. Do you know the rest of the story? Before I told it, I PMed Mike H. for his fellowship. He felt that exposing the man would not be helpful or edifying and ask that I keep it to myself. He used the story of the drunken Noah as an example that may apply. I have taken his fellowship and believe that he is correct. If you want the rest of the story, you must persuade Mike H. If there is a “rest of the story” regarding the young sister, I do not want to know it or expose it. Maybe there is not. I took her word that she wanted to move on and had rather talk about the Lord. I am all for it.

I agree that ultimately the details are not an issue. What is an issue is the move to shut me down and any others who are not in the total axe treatment of the local churches and the brothers and sisters who have been there or are still there.

Now I must ask. What are you trying to protect?

Matt, what did your three anecdotes demonstrate. Baylor university did not allow women to wear shorts on campus.

It seems that once the heat became obvious the ban on shorts was lifted. They were executing psychological manipulation. Within a few hours everyone was in shorts and it didn't get re-reversed. Come on Matt. Psychological manipulation???

Without being told that there was a seating order for the kids... Girls on one side and boys on the others side, everyone always segregated. I didn't. I went and sat by the one person who I had been in babysitting with since I was 6 years old. Even she was a little concerned about my presence. I told her that it was fine and that they needed to learn how to grow up. We didn't live in a prison camp. One brother started to approach me. I shot him a look and he turned and walked the other way. Come on Matt. Prison camp because girls and boy at junior high age self segregate.

Each night before bed they would go around the room in prayer. Each person would pray something and then go to the next. I sat in silence when it reached me until the next person started praying. The silence lasted for 30-40 seconds. After two nights of this one of the "brothers" decided to talk to me about it. I told him, "You are free to pray. I'm not comfortable with it, so just leave me alone.” Come on Matt, prayer in the cabins one by one is a long standing practice at Christian camps.

Then your incredible conclusion:

These little stories are the ones I can give. I resisted the oppressive environment successfully in these cases, but even those who were "rebels" around me didn't have the strength to do it. Most just were dominated by the environment to the destruction of their souls.

I believe that drugs were one of the escapes for those of certain psychological make-ups. I believe extreme depression was another escape. I believe extreme performance-based living was another escape (this is yet another kind of hell on earth).


Matt, I cannot tell you how many of the jr. high and Hi. School kids told me how much of a high light these conferences were.

Why Matt? What are you trying to protect?

TJ, Your post is so full of bitter accusation against me. I have to ask myself why. Can you see that you are doing the very thing you accuse the LCS of doing?

Here are a few of the other statements from posters. Please note the bitter tone and resentment this story has stirred and how it is used as the universal example. How can any positive testimony of the Lord’s work be given if it is anyway associated with the local churches of any time or place?

Knowing that these sorts of bizzare extra-local meetings were actually transpiring gives a whole lot of ground for believing a whole lot of things.
Sure, my account is putely speculative. But knowing how the rest of these details usually fill in, it's not a giant leap at all. Someone suggested it was voyeristic earlier and I declined to think so at first but truly, there was no reason for all these people to be present, however many there were or why.
Are these the same guys who think kissing a boy is an extra local matter? I said in the another forum that the leadership of the LCS are full of Baloney. Hey maybe that's a better description than addiction!
I was thankful to find your story to quote on this forum in response to an elder and others who seemed to think that things were not as bad as they were. Actual experiences of others are the only way I know to bring these matters forward to get the attention that they deserve.


Here is part of the last post from Thankful Jane. Why such hateful words?

Honestly I felt ashamed, BlessD, when I saw that your account was called into question publicly by an ex LC leader and that there was even an attempt to undermine your story by saying first there was no such table in Dallas and suggesting maybe it was in Houston, then next that the table and room were not big enough. Obviously the most glaring thing of importance was the very abuse that you went through--abuse which was nothing less than a psychological and spiritual gang rape, and this was done in front of your parent's who sat there silently watching. Words fail me.
but the fact is that any other response to your story is not normal. I am sorry you had to have insult added to injury by having your story questioned. It made me think of someone who finally is able to come forward and report a shameful crime who finds themselves being questioned like they were the criminal.
In this case it seems that the prime directive quickly became minimizing your story or finding a way to make it go away. BlessD, I am sorry for this treatment. You didn’t deserve it.
You are right. It really doesn’t matter if it was 16, 12, 8 elders … What matters is that it happened and that everyone present assented to it happening.
So, to close the door on some of the questions, I spoke with someone today who confirmed to me that at the time this happened to you there definitely was a table in the dining room of the Big House that would easily handle 16 people, possibly more.


Tj, I use to live in the big house. No way 16 men plus the parents and the sister are crowding into that room with a full dining room table. My question about a table was since the first impression was that the meeting occurred in the meeting hall. I asked about details originally because I could not imagine such a thing. When I did, that became a cause on the forum and the events as reported must therefore stand. When I saw how the details were giving standing to attack any positive reports, I began to think about what had been said and how it could not have come down as reported which helped me understand why I was so uninformed.

The point of questioning the event is not did it happen. I never said it did not happen. I am sad for the pain suffered and do not agree that whatever the offense was should have been handled as it was. I have made that perfectly clear over and over.

You know TJ that it is not the events suffered by the sister that have been called into question but your account of it. You visceral reaction makes me wonder what really is important and what is it you are fighting for. Frankly you owe me an apology for your abusive language and belittling remarks.

You have strongly stated your desire to practice Matt. 18. Now is your chance. Yes, you have offended a brother who has never done you any harm.

In Christ Jesus there is still hope for us all,

Hope, Don Rutledge
I did not reply here to open a debate or accuse anyone. It has been 32 years since the incident; obviously I won't recollect the details and I was way too embarrassed to take attendance. Hope, I apologize if I made it sound as though I was pointing a finger at you. I think my reason for posting a reply got lost in transit.

To clarify: this thing really did happen, my parents were not at fault, and no circumstantial evidence or details would ever make it justifiable. In the grand scheme of things, it is not important and did not traumatize me. This is only one time among many (in this organization) where authority figures overstepped boundaries. The cumulative effect of years of overstepped boundaries caused me more grief. No matter what, I still say let's leave the past in the past. ALL is forgiven. Really, and truly, totally forgiven! The blood of our Savior is pretty powerful stuff :-).

Last edited by blessD; 08-18-2008 at 05:07 AM.
blessD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 12:01 AM   #137
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 298
Default

Mine in blue.

Isa 1:18, Come now and let us reason together

My oh my,

So many false positives!!! If the conclusion is already settled on then the facts and evidence really do not matter. No need to collect any evidence that does not line up with the pre-ordained conclusion.

I have with some degree of consternation and disappointment observed how any positive report or experience is dismissed and only the experience of abuse or failure is valid.

I thought the name of the forum was LocalChurchDiscussions.com. I did not realize it was Matt 3:10-11, "And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Here is what you don’t seem to understand. This thread, created by djohnson, is under the Spiritual Abuse subforum. Djohnson’s thread is a valid one for this subforum. You came here and out of the blue accused djohnson of wanting us all to disappear and of wanting to curse us all. You also came here trying to point out the LC positives and correct us for discussing spiritual abuse only. A few others joined in with you. When we reacted to this you accused us of denigrating those who were speaking positively. Most of what has gone on the past day or two is in reaction to what you did. Some of us want to talk about the abuse in the LCs for a number of reasons, the most important of which is the abused. That is why we came to this thread.

By the way does it cut both ways? I have been accused of trying to shut people down. But then, is anyone trying to shut down any positive evidence or positive experience while in the local church at …

No, I don't think it cuts both ways on this thread. We reacted to talk about positive things because it is inappropriate on this thread. For example, no matter how good a family is or how many positive things there are about it, when child molestation is discovered, it is not appropriate for family members to want to somehow balance that bad by pointing out the good things about the family. Every member of the family should give their full attention to such a problem upon its discovery, first to help the abused member and second to see that the abuser gets his due and gets help. Family members who start trying to talk to authorities and social workers about all the good things in the family are exhibiting signs of denial and also are showing that they care more for family image than the one who was abused.

The normal response to abuse of those we love being exposed is for all to be horrified and upset by this (even if there is only one case!) and to give it full attention. When the molested child gets help and the abuser gets punished, stopped, and hopefully helped, then things can proceed. Until that happens, the family train is stopped dead on the tracks. Many times there are other victims that need to be surfaced … If this matter surfaces many years later, the same process needs to take place, even if people including the abused have “moved on.” Why? The abuser is still on the loose and there are certainly more victims that may not have been able to “move on.”

I believe God feels this strongly about the damage done to His family. Djohnson referred to the dirty sins that were committed by those who left. It’s ugly, I agree, but, sadly, there are cases like this. I know things that have shocked me to the core which were done by ex-members who left the Lord. Also, there are many destroyed marriages and psychologically wounded children who were left unable to trust God. Elders were directly involved in very dark ways insome of these happenings. I know of three cases off the top of my head that would make an afternoon soap opera sound like a Sunday School story. Children in jail, parents alienated from their children for years, women left out on the street barely able to survive, literally,and more. I’d tell some of these stories, but the further harm that could come due to thetangle of divided family members (some in and some out) makes that impossible.

After the meeting was reported it became the proof case for other charges to be made and to shut up any positive reports. The details were very vivid and the details were used to give the report validity.

The report has validity not because of how it is written but because it is a true event.

The number of elders present was important to show the extreme and ridiculous practice of church abuse of children. The extra local aspect was used to demonstrate how pervasive the manner of abuse was.

You are attributing motives to the writing of the account which you cannot know. They are false. The story may actually do these things, but to say that was the motive in writing it is a false accusation.

Thus the holes in the details are important. I noticed that my attempt to give legitimacy to the report while giving a plausible explanation of how the confrontation could have occurred got absolutely no traction but rather a wild scenario was put forth of a training exercise on how to abuse defenseless saints.

If you want to get to the bottom of what is true, it seems the most logical thing to do is to get the facts, the names, etc., and the appropriate place to do this would be the PM system. Such details would help your memory and save you from speculation. The names and other details were not included in the book for good reason. You never PMed me. Maybe you PMed BlessD? I thought your speculative explanation was feasible, but not definitive. You weren’t there. BlessD was. It is only reasonable that her account gets the most traction, until other facts are established.

I have been asked what I am protecting. Remember the post by Brent Barber on the other forum. It was recently referred to on this forum. I then read it. I cannot express how furious I was. Do you know the rest of the story?

There are many stories related to Brent that I know, so I can’t answer your question because I don’t know what story you are talking about.

Before I told it, I PMed Mike H. for his fellowship. He felt that exposing the man would not be helpful or edifying and ask that I keep it to myself. He used the story of the drunken Noah as an example that may apply. I have taken his fellowship and believe that he is correct. If you want the rest of the story, you must persuade Mike H. If there is a “rest of the story” regarding the young sister, I do not want to know it or expose it. Maybe there is not. I took her word that she wanted to move on and had rather talk about the Lord. I am all for it.

There is not a “rest of the story” that would change the truth of what was presented. There is a little more information, but it has the potential to make the already black story blacker.

I agree that ultimately the details are not an issue. What is an issue is the move to shut me down and any others who are not in the total axe treatment of the local churches and the brothers and sisters who have been there or are still there.

Hope, you are the one who moved to shut down djohnson. I explained previously why I found your presentation of positive things to be inappropriate on this thread.

Now I must ask. What are you trying to protect?

If by this you are questioning my motive in what I have posted on this thread, then here is my answer: My motive in discussing the abusive behaviors in the LC is to help the abused. Many abused find these forums and get help. I spent 6 hours recently listening to two young women talk about their painful family experience growing up in the LCs. This was the first time they had ever talked freely about this to anyone. They were nervous and apologetic seemingly waiting for the ax to fall as they spoke. Never in a million years would I have tried to speak to them about “positive” experiences or balance their bad experience with stories of good ones. They were hurting. They needed help. The starting place for abused is being able to talk about the abuse and learning they were not alone. They have been helped by the information on these forums.

TJ, Your post is so full of bitter accusation against me. I have to ask myself why. Can you see that you are doing the very thing you accuse the LCS of doing?

Please quote my bitter accusations against you so I can see what you are talking about. No I don’t see how what I have done is the same. You’ll need to explain how.

Here are a few of the other statements from posters. Please note the bitter tone and resentment this story has stirred and how it is used as the universal example. How can any positive testimony of the Lord’s work be given if it is anyway associated with the local churches of any time or place?

Knowing that these sorts of bizzare extra-local meetings were actually transpiring gives a whole lot of ground for believing a whole lot of things.
Sure, my account is putely speculative. But knowing how the rest of these details usually fill in, it's not a giant leap at all. Someone suggested it was voyeristic earlier and I declined to think so at first but truly, there was no reason for all these people to be present, however many there were or why.
Are these the same guys who think kissing a boy is an extra local matter? I said in the another forum that the leadership of the LCS are full of Baloney. Hey maybe that's a better description than addiction!
I was thankful to find your story to quote on this forum in response to an elder and others who seemed to think that things were not as bad as they were. Actual experiences of others are the only way I know to bring these matters forward to get the attention that they deserve.

I do not find a bitter tone or resentment. These are comments made about the actual event that actually happened. People are free to comment. It is a logical conclusion that if something like this could happen, it is not a stretch to believe there were other things. The story happened, Hope. It speaks for itself. You cannot control what people hear from a true story. If you can prove it false with facts, then please do.

I have no problem with the idea of filling in the details and really understanding how this all came to pass. I personally do not believe you were there, because you said you weren’t. That is good enough for me. If I think about the fact that you were a leading elder in Dallas, it is hard to understand how this could have happened in your backyard without your knowledge, but I still believe your statement that you had no knowledge of it. I believe it is most likely you were not involved because you would have objected.

With BlessD, in one breath you told her you didn’t question her story and in the next you questioned her story. If I remember correctly you raised questions about the veracity of her story more than once. There is a difference in my mind between questioning the truth of what someone says and filling in the missing pieces that make it all make sense. This is what I found offensive. I felt very badly for BlessD. BlessD’s hurt didn’t end in Dallas. The abuse by leadership continued in OKC

Here is part of the last post from Thankful Jane. Why such hateful words?

Honestly I felt ashamed, BlessD, when I saw that your account was called into question publicly by an ex LC leader and that there was even an attempt to undermine your story by saying first there was no such table in Dallas and suggesting maybe it was in Houston, then next that the table and room were not big enough. Obviously the most glaring thing of importance was the very abuse that you went through--abuse which was nothing less than a psychological and spiritual gang rape, and this was done in front of your parent's who sat there silently watching. Words fail me.
but the fact is that any other response to your story is not normal. I am sorry you had to have insult added to injury by having your story questioned. It made me think of someone who finally is able to come forward and report a shameful crime who finds themselves being questioned like they were the criminal.
In this case it seems that the prime directive quickly became minimizing your story or finding a way to make it go away. BlessD, I am sorry for this treatment. You didn’t deserve it.
You are right. It really doesn’t matter if it was 16, 12, 8 elders … What matters is that it happened and that everyone present assented to it happening.
So, to close the door on some of the questions, I spoke with someone today who confirmed to me that at the time this happened to you there definitely was a table in the dining room of the Big House that would easily handle 16 people, possibly more.

I can see how this offended you, however, I wasn’t talking to you directly and it was not meant to be hateful to you. It was meant to be kind to BlessD. I made a choice between taking care of how you might feel and how she might feel. I chose to take care of her. I would do it again. I do not hate you at all. I just don’t like how you have been behaving on this thread.

Tj, I use to live in the big house. No way 16 men plus the parents and the sister are crowding into that room with a full dining room table. My question about a table was since the first impression was that the meeting occurred in the meeting hall. I asked about details originally because I could not imagine such a thing. When I did, that became a cause on the forum and the events as reported must therefore stand. When I saw how the details were giving standing to attack any positive reports, I began to think about what had been said and how it could not have come down as reported which helped me understand why I was so uninformed.

The point of questioning the event is not did it happen. I never said it did not happen. I am sad for the pain suffered and do not agree that whatever the offense was should have been handled as it was. I have made that perfectly clear over and over.

Okay, I will take your word on this. It didn’t come through perfectly clear to me that you were not questioning the truth of the report. Trusting that if I were to re-read your posts I would find your claim to be true, please accept my apology for representing in what I wrote, that you were questioning the truth of what happened.

You know TJ that it is not the events suffered by the sister that have been called into question but your account of it. You visceral reaction makes me wonder what really is important and what is it you are fighting for. Frankly you owe me an apology for your abusive language and belittling remarks.

My account of it was actually written by her first in first person. We edited it to put it in the third person with a pseudonym and to improve grammar. She stated in her first post that she reviewed the final copy after editing and approved it as accurate.

Please quote my abusive language and belittling remarks so I can apologize specifically.

You have strongly stated your desire to practice Matt. 18. Now is your chance. Yes, you have offended a brother who has never done you any harm.

There is no question that you have never harmed me in any way. I also have no intention to harm you.

I am now aware you are offended and I am sorry that I offended you. I am willing to go the distance with you to clear up the offense. If you need me to be more specific, then I will need more specific explanation of what you want me to apologize for.

Thankful Jane

Last edited by Thankful Jane; 08-18-2008 at 05:31 AM.
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 12:08 AM   #138
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default Mind Your Own Business!

Thankful has nailed it with the simple statement: it's none of the elders business! And if it were my daughter involved I would have told them that to their face and walked out with my wife and child. Leaving the 16 or 8 or 5 or 3 or 7 or ? self important busybodies sitting there around the table with their mouths hanging open.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 12:34 AM   #139
blessD
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 73
Default Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
When we wrote the book we tried to be very careful to verify and confirm things we wrote about others. There were only a few such accounts included. We had no idea that we needed to go so far as to confirm that the table in a story actually existed and that it was big enough to support BlessD’s memory of the event …

Honestly I felt ashamed, BlessD, when I saw that your account was called into question publicly by an ex LC leader and that there was even an attempt to undermine your story by saying first there was no such table in Dallas and suggesting maybe it was in Houston, then next that the table and room were not big enough. Obviously the most glaring thing of importance was the very abuse that you went through--abuse which was nothing less than a psychological and spiritual gang rape, and this was done in front of your parent's who sat there silently watching. Words fail me.

I know you are doing well and have been able to move on in life. I am so happy for this. I know you say you don't need apologies or expressions of sympathy, but the fact is that any other response to your story is not normal. I am sorry you had to have insult added to injury by having your story questioned. It made me think of someone who finally is able to come forward and report a shameful crime who finds themselves being questioned like they were the criminal.

If I were you I would have felt that once again I wasn’t important; something else was. In this case it seems that the prime directive quickly became minimizing your story or finding a way to make it go away. BlessD, I am sorry for this treatment. You didn’t deserve it.

You are right. It really doesn’t matter if it was 16, 12, 8 elders … What matters is that it happened and that everyone present assented to it happening. I read the article you referenced on Wikipedia. It speaks volumes. I hope and pray I will never be found in a condition that I violate my conscience to obey an “authority” that tells me to do something that hurts others.

Do we need to be discussing these things now? Yes, we do--mainly for the sake of those who have not yet been able to move on. Also for the sake of those who took part in such abuse, either by carrying it out or silently watching it.

So, to close the door on some of the questions, I spoke with someone today who confirmed to me that at the time this happened to you there definitely was a table in the dining room of the Big House that would easily handle 16 people, possibly more. Not only was the table large, the room was also quite large; they didn’t call it the Big House for nothing. For those who don’t know, the Big House sat on the adjoining property to the meeting hall of the Church in Dallas and I believe it was owned by the Church in Dallas.

Thankful Jane
Thanks Thankful Jane. You are right, I did not want any apology; and, for sure no pity. I somewhat regretted signing on here to say what happened really happened. [Is it such a big deal? I don't get it. It's not a rocket science that many injustices occured and boundaries were crossed. This absurd thing doesn't even touch the surface.] I don't see how my telling the truth here helped anyone. Especially, with all the "noise" about details.

YES! I have moved on and am very happy. Thanks, in part, to your support and friendship.
blessD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 02:04 AM   #140
blessD
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 73
Default Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
BlessD,

I do want to say how sorry I am that you had to endure the abuse that you experienced at that meeting in Dallas. It must have been terribly traumatic for you, especially as a young person of high school age. I have also experienced abuse from elders, but I can’t imagine how horrible that was for you, including the aftermath of humiliation that continued.

I am glad to hear that you are happy and have moved on from that time in your life. I have just lately been realizing the love and peace that can come from our Lord Jesus. He is able to shepherd each one of us.

I was thankful to find your story to quote on this forum in response to an elder and others who seemed to think that things were not as bad as they were. Actual experiences of others are the only way I know to bring these matters forward to get the attention that they deserve.

It still probably brings back pain to you even though you have moved on with your life. For this, I truly am sorry. I do wish that you had gotten more of an apology than you did. You deserve better.

In fact, you deserve our thanks for being willing to have this experience of yours put into a book and then being willing to come out here and post about its truthfulness. Honestly, I don’t think that I would have the courage to come out as you have done, especially in the face of those who want to question every detail of your experience.

Indeed, we are blessed to have you. I hope that your courage will inspire others to be willing to tell their stories as you have done. I know of several other women who were abused in the Local Church System years ago who are still too afraid to speak up.

May our Lord take care of all of your needs and bless you even more abundantly.

In our Lord’s dear love and concern,

John
Thank you John. Your words are very refreshing after, gulp, reading my embarrassing incident be put through a systematic analysis and review. I thought I was at work for a minute - . Again, thanks for everything.
blessD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 02:17 AM   #141
blessD
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 73
Default

After logging back in today and reading a few replies to my post, OUCH! I felt a little sting as I read someone pointing out holes in what was already a humiliating incident. I am okay with a person trying to prove slanderous statements are not being made, but if this is the reason perhaps a private message should be the first step in validation.

This is the first time I have written on a public forum and would like to know if there is a standard code of conduct. Especially since this particular thread is about abuse, may we provide a safe zone so others won't shy away from writing about whatever they need to write about.

Also, I am a wife, mother of 5, grandmother of 2, and work in a high-security job position – please, could everyone refrain from making specific references to more private aspects of any incident (i.e., words like kissing). May I suggest to let the person telling the story decide what is okay to be written in a public forum. This probably goes for anyone else brave enough to post here. Thanks in advance.

It has been a long time since I have thought about or mentioned this part of my life. Am I way out in left field to think by now everyone has realized gross abuses of authority occurred? I assumed the skyrocketing divorce rate alone would speak volumes. [By the way, just in case members or guests don't know it, pseudo-arranged marriages by meddling authority figures rarely work. Don't try this one again.]

Last edited by blessD; 08-18-2008 at 03:01 AM.
blessD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 03:15 AM   #142
blessD
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 73
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
Thankful has nailed it with the simple statement: it's none of the elders business! And if it were my daughter involved I would have told them that to their face and walked out with my wife and child. Leaving the 16 or 8 or 5 or 3 or 7 or ? self important busybodies sitting there around the table with their mouths hanging open.
a bit of humor... where were you when I was 16?
blessD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 04:42 AM   #143
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 3,981
Default

There is a code of conduct and it is mostly that we do not divulge names of anyone who does not want their name revealed.

The problem with this whole fiasco for the past 36 or so hours is that it appears to have been brought up as an example of how it was in Dallas. Even if all the facts are entirely correct, it really has nothing to do with Dallas because it appears to have been orchestrated by elders from Houston and/or OKC and likely with the oversight/blessing of Benson, wherever he was living at the time.

It was fairly quickly established that there was no clarity on who specifically was present. It was stated as 16 elders, although there were few times that all elders from all the major localities in the region were together anywhere other than Anaheim. The big house was grand central station. It was generally home to a couple and a number of either single brothers or single sisters. It was not a choice location for an elders’ meeting. It was a big house, but it was not a huge house. It did not have huge rooms.

Unfortunately, bringing the event up as an example of Dallas is like when a TV news anchor made a very public remark like “I knew it” when it was revealed that there was a Dallas connection somewhere in the life of the guy who shot Reagan. Like the city of Dallas was responsible. The reported event, even if it was at the big house, is not a reflection on Dallas, but on the whole of the LC leadership. It did not clearly involve Don, yet he is willing to apologize for the event anyway. He did not deny it happened, but simply has no recollection of being party to such an event, even as an unwitting witness.

It is a tragedy that such things happened, and probably too regularly. Throwing it into the mix here with a motive of saying something that the event actually does not say is problematic. It exposes things that should not be exposed. It has brought into question the totality of the event. I do not doubt that it happened. But since BlessD has admitted that the event was partly a blur, it seems that bringing it up to make a point about the “change of venue” location of the confrontation was a bad idea. It has opened wounds that did not need reopening. That was not Don’s fault. But since it was mentioned with what I can only read as the unstated purpose of making comments about Dallas, a place virtually no one involved in this discussion can claim, and about Don, also quite uncertain as to validity, it is unfortunate that the result can only be to damage the story. It does not fit the purpose for which it was brought out.

Before anyone responds, remember, I have not dismissed the account as false. I believe it happened. But why was it mentioned? Question that. BlessD was drug into the open under poor circumstances once. Why was it done a second time?
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 05:35 AM   #144
blessD
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 73
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
There is a code of conduct and it is mostly that we do not divulge names of anyone who does not want their name revealed.

The problem with this whole fiasco for the past 36 or so hours is that it appears to have been brought up as an example of how it was in Dallas. Even if all the facts are entirely correct, it really has nothing to do with Dallas because it appears to have been orchestrated by elders from Houston and/or OKC and likely with the oversight/blessing of Benson, wherever he was living at the time.

It was fairly quickly established that there was no clarity on who specifically was present. It was stated as 16 elders, although there were few times that all elders from all the major localities in the region were together anywhere other than Anaheim. The big house was grand central station. It was generally home to a couple and a number of either single brothers or single sisters. It was not a choice location for an elders’ meeting. It was a big house, but it was not a huge house. It did not have huge rooms.

Unfortunately, bringing the event up as an example of Dallas is like when a TV news anchor made a very public remark like “I knew it” when it was revealed that there was a Dallas connection somewhere in the life of the guy who shot Reagan. Like the city of Dallas was responsible. The reported event, even if it was at the big house, is not a reflection on Dallas, but on the whole of the LC leadership. It did not clearly involve Don, yet he is willing to apologize for the event anyway. He did not deny it happened, but simply has no recollection of being party to such an event, even as an unwitting witness.

It is a tragedy that such things happened, and probably too regularly. Throwing it into the mix here with a motive of saying something that the event actually does not say is problematic. It exposes things that should not be exposed. It has brought into question the totality of the event. I do not doubt that it happened. But since BlessD has admitted that the event was partly a blur, it seems that bringing it up to make a point about the “change of venue” location of the confrontation was a bad idea. It has opened wounds that did not need reopening. That was not Don’s fault. But since it was mentioned with what I can only read as the unstated purpose of making comments about Dallas, a place virtually no one involved in this discussion can claim, and about Don, also quite uncertain as to validity, it is unfortunate that the result can only be to damage the story. It does not fit the purpose for which it was brought out.

Before anyone responds, remember, I have not dismissed the account as false. I believe it happened. But why was it mentioned? Question that. BlessD was drug into the open under poor circumstances once. Why was it done a second time?
Thanks for your viewpoint. I would not say it is a blur, but this is a minor detail. I cannot name every person nor the exact number in that room, but believe me some parts of it and the faces there are as vivid as if it happened yesterday. I make a choice not to go there so generally to just say it is hazy makes it easier. Do I make myself more clear?
blessD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 07:27 AM   #145
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 298
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Before anyone responds, remember, I have not dismissed the account as false. I believe it happened. But why was it mentioned? Question that. BlessD was drug into the open under poor circumstances once. Why was it done a second time?
Dear OBW,

I think BlessD's account was mentioned because Hope was coming out on this thread saying that Dallas was different. He didn't want anyone using a broad brush in the matter of spiritual abuse in the LCs. He admitted to abuse in OKC and Houston because of James B. and Ray G., but he wanted us to know Dallas was different and was not anti-family.

It seems to be a pretty natural step for someone who remembers the account written about in my book to wonder if Don was in on that. This is just logical thought at work. That could be one reason it got brought out.

Then Don denied he was there. I believe him. So do you and others. The fact that he wasn't there in some ways is more revealing. It showed that abuse could go on in his own backyard without him knowing about it. This says that Don is not in a good position to make a determination about what kind of brush should be used in painting this picture.

OBW, the spiritual abuse topic is not about Don. This topic turned that direction when he started using his place and his positive experiences to try to make the bad not sound so bad. For whatever reason he also decided to come down hard on djohnson and accuse him of wanting to curse us all. That worsened matters.

In my mind, Don was/is clearly a brother with a good heart towards people and is one of the few that didn't allow himself to come under the control of the abusive Texas leadership. I have and will continue to commend him for that. That took a lot. In no way is his person or character in question. What came in question is some of his behavior on this thread.

Also, BlessD was not "drug" (dragged?) anywhere. Her story is in my book because she wanted it told. She is no longer an abused person. She is an adult survivor of spiritual abuse. She is able to talk about it now if she finds it necessary or if the Lord puts it in her heart to do so.

You may not remember, but the account being discussed here is not the worst part of what she wanted told in my book.

Thankful Jane

Last edited by Thankful Jane; 08-18-2008 at 07:38 AM.
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 08:28 AM   #146
YP0534
Member
 
YP0534's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope View Post
I noticed that my attempt to give legitimacy to the report while giving a plausible explanation of how the confrontation could have occurred got absolutely no traction but rather a wild scenario was put forth of a training exercise on how to abuse defenseless saints.
Yes, it was a wild scenario that I put forth but what made it wild?

That nothing like that could ever have happened? Tell me, then Hope, how DID the practical functions of the eldership such as this get passed from one to another? I have trouble believing that this isn't at least in part an important reason for the extra-local character of the meeting. Making sure everything is done appropriately there and then as well as in the future?

Tell me you have never known men so insensitive and I will believe you that you knew none then. But I have known men whose minds worked just like this and was myself victim of one of them, which activities were performed in express support of the mission of LSM and the Local Church.

I stated that my story was purely speculative but I also began by expressing my concern that having meetings of this kind opened the door to many such speculations.

Dismiss my story by merely countering that it has no foundation in any factual reality you ever saw and I would respond that you simply never saw it.

But that does not make it "wild."
__________________
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17

Last edited by YP0534; 08-18-2008 at 08:51 AM. Reason: clarity
YP0534 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 08:32 AM   #147
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

And how's this for craziness? Hope was abused by the abusers for not involving himself in abuse. Not in the round table meeting per se. But from what I gather this is part of his general testimony. He was abused by Lee. He was abused by other leaders in his area.

His attempts at bringing out the positives of Lee and his LCS I believe are well-intended but in my view abuse always outweighs any positives. It is like the wife who is constantly beat up by her husband who lists the fact that he's a good provider and smart and well-dressed and handy around the house to sorta round out the analysis. Let's be balanced huh? But the bloody scratches and black and blue bruises on her face, neck and arms and frequent visits to the emergency room kinda takes away from all that positive stuff doesn't it?
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!

Last edited by djohnson; 08-18-2008 at 08:41 AM.
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 08:54 AM   #148
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 3,981
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
It seems to be a pretty natural step for someone who remembers the account written about in my book to wonder if Don was in on that. This is just logical thought at work. That could be one reason it got brought out.
Thankful,

I spent 30 minutes responding to Matt’s last post to note that it has now been deleted. Unfortunately, there is some truth in that response and I will include it at the end of this.

I appreciate your reasoning. But what the totality of Dallas is cannot be examined by reference to an event orchestrated by outsiders who came to town for the purpose. If you or others actually know of events that are related to Dallas in more than a tangential way, that demonstrate problems and which can be verified by either a party to the issue or by the recollection of one or more persons here, it is welcome. We already know of Laura’s tale. It may not have been repeated in this forum, but is quite available on the BARM. I do not doubt that there are others. But someone mentioning 2 classes because leaders did one thing but the regular members toed a tighter line needs particulars. George Whittington was up-front about having a TV in the house. He did not pretend that everyone should ignore that and not have one themselves. He did point out that it was inviting temptation for wasting time.

I understand that BlessD volunteered the account for your book. That took courage. When I mention that the event has been air and opened wounds in a poor way (not exactly the words I have used, but the meaning), I mean that it put the event under a microscope in a manner that was not necessary and caused some who otherwise have no doubt about the event to question the details because they are being presented for a purpose that it does not fit. Even if it suggests that something is wrong with the system, it says nothing about the very things that everyone seemed to be going after Don about. It really says nothing of substance about Dallas. It does say a lot about certain ones like Benson and Ray.

Now for the response to Matt.
------

I am fully aware that there were things that happened all over the place in all manner of ways. But at best, this does nothing to refute anything Don had said before, or since. If a group of elders, at Benson's request, or at the request of one or more elders in Houston, got together during a conference in Dallas to shame BlessD in front of a few more unwitting "witness" elders, that does not say anything about Dallas. That those "witness" elders didn't have the gumption to stand up and question how such a thing could be happening speaks to a completely different issue — the control that outsiders had on the local leadership. That none of them felt comfortable to report on it to Don (assuming he was not actually present) is yet further evidence of the control.

You mention the event as an example that the system is corrupted. That was never in dispute. But it said nothing about Dallas, per se, yet that was the purpose of bringing it up. This is a leap in logic that is not supported by the facts. Don’t perpetuate it. This is not the “lynch everybody who was ever in Dallas because this event happened” forum. It is allegedly seeking to find and reveal the truth. This incident was not brought up in search of the truth. It was brought up to make a point that it could not make. I’m not looking at who made the original post. But the aim of the airing of the incident and the points that the incident could make do not seem to match. This should be addressed. It would seem to suggest that apologies to both Don and BlessD are in order.

You are correct that the autonomy of localities failed. That does not make every locality a cookie cutter image, or responsible for the actions of leadership from other places who happened to be in town at the time.

I am not defending Dallas as some utopia of perfection in the midst of a cesspool of LC filth. It was not so. But this incident was a poor choice of examples to bring out for the apparent purpose of saying something about Dallas. If it says anything, it is only tangentially. It was a poor example for the purpose.

It brought into renewed scrutiny the event in a manner that made BlessD wonder if we were ready to dismiss the primary accusation. Fortunately, there is enough evidence of other events of the kind to have no reason to doubt it. But it must have seemed we questioned the actual event in its totality.

Happening in Dallas without the knowledge of one of the key elders only demonstrates the power and authority that existed in some who were more regional, or even global. Your own words mention those who were building an empire. From my vantage point in Dallas, and from the history since I left, it does not appear that Don was one of those. We know who the empire builders were. Do you think they could do whatever they wanted wherever they wanted without so much as a mention to others? I surely do. I bet that the perpetrators of this little fiasco were just such persons. They would not care that Don was or was not there.

You know that I am not an LC apologist. I also am not a Don Rutledge apologist. He has done quite a bit of apologizing on his own. He has seemed forthcoming with his own shortcomings to such an extent that I would tend to accept that he does not recall this incident. He has admitted that if he were there, it would be quite evident that he had blocked it out. He has mentioned enough things privately me to me that I realize that he has carried some guilt about being present at events as vile and corrupt as this one perpetrated against BlessD. If he remembered being there, I would not expect him to run from it.

Last, in my previous post, I refrained from using a longer and more pointed version. (Hard to believe, isn't it.) But you have inserted yourself as an authority into something which you have nothing more than hearsay knowledge. Further, when it comes to anything written in The Thread of Gold, you are less than objective. I do not distrust the book. I am willing to accept that certain details of the accounts are less than perfect since they are recorded decades after they happened. I still believe them as factual accounts. Your mom is not under attack. Back off. It is not a “help” to insert yourself in such a manner. You were not in Dallas. Thankful was not in Dallas. (In fact, ignoring the fact that there could be some others who were actually in Dallas but have not identified such, it seems that Don and I are alone in this.) And BlessD may have been the only one who frequents this forum in any way that was there for the incident. You are not an authority on the subject. Back off.

It is time for this particular line of reasoning to end. It is way off logically and spiritually.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 09:38 AM   #149
Nell
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 973
Default

Mike,

This is shameful language to use on this forum and is disrespectful to each and every member...not to mention the Guests. It sounds like you're trying to start a street fight. Please take up your issues with Matt in private.

Nell

Last edited by Nell; 08-18-2008 at 10:46 AM.
Nell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 10:05 AM   #150
Overflow
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 21
Default

I posted I think on page 7!?!? Look for my name: Process. There was a lot of heavy talk going on so it may have been missed. I was in Dallas as a child for a number of years. I testify that my father was abusive (neglectful and physically) and still is trapped by the teachings he devoted his life to for 20 years. Our family left LC about 15 years ago but continues to be a mess because of the tangled lies, arrogance, lack of confession and biblical falsehoods that were taught and continue to be tightly gripped. I'm still new here, maybe at some point I'll share more. Hopefully sharing can be something that is embraced on this forum rather then picked a part and attempted to be disproved!

Last edited by Overflow; 08-18-2008 at 10:18 AM.
Overflow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 10:27 AM   #151
Nell
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 973
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Process View Post
I posted I think on page 7!?!? Look for my name: Precious. There was a lot of heavy talk going on so it may have been missed. I was in Dallas as a child for a number of years. I testify that my father was abusive (neglectful and physically) and still is trapped by the teachings he devoted his life to for 20 years. Our family left LC about 15 years ago but continues to be a mess because of the tangled lies, arrogance, lack of confession and biblical falsehoods that were taught and continue to be tightly gripped. I'm still new here, maybe at some point I'll share more. Hopefully sharing can be something that is embraced on this forum rather then picked a part and attempted to be disproved!

Hi Process/Precious ,

Welcome to the forum. I read your post, ( #132 ) and you're right...there was a lot of heavy talk going on. You were brave to enter the frey. If you'd care to share your testimony at some point, there is a testimony thread that should be a kinder, gentler place.

This forum is all about sharing our experiences and not picking them apart, but some of us forget that sometimes. Spiritual abuse will never be easy to talk about. Thanks for your post.

Again, welcome to the forum.

Nell
Nell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 10:39 AM   #152
Matt Anderson
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 124
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Last, in my previous post, I refrained from using a longer and more pointed version. (Hard to believe, isn't it.) But you have inserted yourself as an authority into something which you have nothing more than hearsay knowledge. Further, when it comes to anything written in The Thread of Gold, you are less than objective. I do not distrust the book. I am willing to accept that certain details of the accounts are less than perfect since they are recorded decades after they happened. I still believe them as factual accounts. Your mom is not under attack. Back off. It is not a “help” to insert yourself in such a manner. You were not in Dallas. Thankful was not in Dallas. (In fact, ignoring the fact that there could be some others who were actually in Dallas but have not identified such, it seems that Don and I are alone in this.) And BlessD may have been the only one who frequents this forum in any way that was there for the incident. You are not an authority on the subject. Back off.
OBW,

I'm not that easily swayed or scared off. If I haven't made myself clear yet, let me do so now.

1. I am not pointing my guns at Hope, personally speaking. I already know he is an exception by the very fact that he is on these forums. I will point some guns at what he has to say if it is off. I expect he would do the same in my direction.

2. I am pointing my guns at the fact that the LC was idolatrous and every single soul who went into the LC and loved it at any stage of their experience there was entering into a level of idolatry. Some more or less than others. The leaders/ex-leaders are more guilty of the idolatry than the commoners.

Note: Now that's a broad generalization! Keep in mind that I consider myself to have committed idolatry based on the Biblical standard of it and don't overreact just because of your ignorance on the matter.

3. If someone is going to come along and try to paint one locality more "white" because they were there then I am going to bring as many examples out of the woodwork as I am able to do to help confront the fact that no locality was "white". They were all interlinked into an idolatrous system and party to the idolatry.

I don't have to be a first-hand expert at the LC to see that it was an idolatrous system. I can prove the idolatry based on the Word of God and many aspects of the system.

You responded to a post that I deleted. Maybe you should have considered the fact that I deleted it within a few seconds after I wrote it before you went ahead and responded to it.

In closing, I am no authority. I am just one voice. I'll speak and if you want to try to call me an authority to try and put me in my place go ahead. In this case, it's not having the desired effect. It's producing the opposite effect. You should well know by now that I am not dumb and that using tactics of bullying simply won't work with me.

I'm not defending a book here. That's just plain silly (and stupid).

Matt

P.S. Please note that the examples I provided were 1st hand accounts and I restrained myself to that. Your accusation is false about the hearsay. I'm working to support one of the examples brought forth with corroboration.

Last edited by Matt Anderson; 08-18-2008 at 11:39 AM.
Matt Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 11:02 AM   #153
Peter Debelak
Member
 
Peter Debelak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Avon, OH
Posts: 303
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by djohnson View Post
I have learned that among those who grew up in the LCS many face social issues. Some that I am familiar with are: alcoholism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, divorce, paying for sex i.e. engaging in services of prostitutes, infidelity, porn addiction.

My guess is that once the hypocrisy of the leaders became well known something "snapped" in a lot of the youth. A subculture that was restricting them thus became a culprit in their lustful pursuits. This dynamic coupled with the mainstream media bombardment gave license for their behavior.

My question is: what role, if any, do you think the LCS played in the development of these behaviors?
NOTE: This post is not about or responding to the current discussion regarding Dallas etc...

djohnson and all:

I have little doubt that particular ways of thinking and practices which became habituated and were emphasized played a role in the development of these behaviors.

And it is a valuable effort to pursue this question on this thread. Specific cases - such as with bless D - should be cited and their effect on the victims carefully considered.

But it really is hard to answer the question as stated. This is an area where it is so very difficult to pinpoint cause/effect relationships. As John pointed out, each child is so very unique and a single influence can effect them in diametrically opposing ways.

Furthermore, we don't really have a frame of reference. For example, is the instance of gross fleshly behavior among the LC second generation more or less than second generation in "community churches?" How about in denominations? We have no comparator. Surely, whenever such conduct results, we should look hard to find its roots. But its occurance itself does not automatically reveal an specific underlying problem. So far, we don't even know if such behaviors happen more than in other groups. Anyone have stats or even anecdotal evidence?

Not too long ago, lordsarmy (from the "lordsarmy" xanga cite) posted photographs of young people from Toronto who were, well, being young people - pictures of them on the beach together (scantily clad) and photos of them at a prom or something. lordsarmy used these pictures as "evidence" that the GLA's Mountain Top events etc... produced fleshliness. Well, what do you all think? I immediately asked him to remove those photos. Why? There was absolutely no evidence that the supposed practices of the GLA had the specific effect of "loose" behavior etc... I noted that I knew of equally "loose" behavior from even children of BBs. And I will also say here that I have seen as bad and worse behavior among second generation kids in mainstream Christianity. We should be really really careful attributing such behavior to specific practices/teachings in their youth.

I am not saying to drop the line of inquiry. I say pursue it; it is important. But do so with more rigor than I've seen here. This is not a commentary on the sub-discussion about the relative "purity" of Dallas. I am not addressing that issue. I am addressing the main purpose of this thread and the manner in which we determine what is and what is not "evidence" of certain behaviors being attributable to certain practices, etc. At the very least, let's get a comparator. Is the behavior amoung LC second generation worse and/or more common than in mainstream Christianity? I find it hard to have a fair discussion about this without knowing at least that much.

There are a lot of problems in the LC and there has been a lot of damage. But as we proceed with healing and discernment between babies and bathwater, we need to be so very careful in our cause/effect hypothesis, no?

Thoughts?

In Love,

Peter

P.S. blessD, I want to say that I am sorry that you went through your experience as you described. I cannot imagine how difficult that was. Sharing your story exposes many behaviors among leadership and practices that absolutely must be addressed. I hope you do not take my post here as attempting to detract from that in any way.
__________________
"This [book] will perhaps only be understood by one who has himself already [] thought the thoughts that are expressed herein..." Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logicus Philosophicus

Last edited by Peter Debelak; 08-18-2008 at 11:05 AM.
Peter Debelak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 11:26 AM   #154
Matt Anderson
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 124
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope
Now I must ask. What are you trying to protect?
This question deserves a response. I am trying to protect the ability of those who were abused at the hands of your fellows (fellow leaders in the LC) to speak up here and know that they will be given full opportunity to speak even if some of their facts aren't perfect. I am trying to protect that.

The substance of what they experienced was real and it was abusive to the soul and spirit. There are a lot of men who are still in love with the concepts produced by the LC. I am trying to protect those who were dropped in the pit and left to die against those who still love the concepts.

This is an honest response. You may not like it or what it implies, but it is given honestly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope
Matt, what did your three anecdotes demonstrate.
I think I stated my actual point, but I will restate it here for your benefit.

I resisted the oppressive environment successfully in these cases, but even those who were "rebels" around me didn't have the strength to do it. Most just were dominated by the environment to the destruction of their souls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope
Baylor university did not allow women to wear shorts on campus.
Baylor didn't allow it in the 60's? 70's? Which one? I'm referring to the 90's.

At least they told them before they went to school there. That was at least fair. If you accept it before you go, then you agree to it in advance and have a right to make a choice not to go if you don't want to live by that rule.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
1. We were all told we could wear shorts at one conference. We showed up only to have this decision reversed. It was the middle of summer in Texas and the heat was sweltering. I defied them. I walked out in my shorts to the next meeting after the decision was reversed. I knew I might be sent home, but it was worth it. They were executing psychological manipulation. Within a few hours everyone was in shorts and it didn't get re-reversed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope
Come on Matt. Psychological manipulation???
To tell an entire group of kids who have already been abused in a system that they can wear shorts before the camp and then to revoke it after you get to the camp is a form of psychological manipulation. It's a kind of conditioning to enforce bad authority.

So, Come on Hope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
2. Without being told that there was a seating order for the kids... Girls on one side and boys on the others side, everyone always segregated. I didn't. I went and sat by the one person who I had been in babysitting with since I was 6 years old. Even she was a little concerned about my presence. I told her that it was fine and that they needed to learn how to grow up. We didn't live in a prison camp. One brother started to approach me. I shot him a look and he turned and walked the other way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope
Come on Matt. Prison camp because girls and boy at junior high age self segregate.
This was anecdotal evidence that the psychological tactics (concious or subconcious) of the leadership were working. Young people didn't even have to be told to separate. They just did it. This is because they understand the cultural environment and follow the unspoken rules blindly.

So, Come on Hope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
3. Each night before bed they would go around the room in prayer. Each person would pray something and then go to the next. I sat in silence when it reached me until the next person started praying. The silence lasted for 30-40 seconds. After two nights of this one of the "brothers" decided to talk to me about it. I told him, "You are free to pray. I'm not comfortable with it, so just leave me alone."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope
Come on Matt, prayer in the cabins one by one is a long standing practice at Christian camps.
My explicit point in this case was about the coerciveness and pressure to pray AND NOT the idea that prayer would happen in Christian camps. We were expected to pray, one at a time as you circled the room. This meant that anyone who didn't pray would be noticed and accounted for. It didn't stop with this simpler peer pressure or coercion, but it went further. I was called aside and questioned as to why I wouldn't pray. More coercion.

I think you will remember the signature sheet for the 1986 letter of idolatry. It had each elder's names listed with a signature line on it. That's coercion and you were coerced by it as were many others. If you didn't sign, you were noticed.

Am I still speaking Greek here?

So, Come on Hope.

You really don't want to go down the path with me about how much abuse there was of children in the LC, including Dallas. It won't be pretty. It's not a topic I have ever emphasized or tried to draw out, but it definitely happened. I don't base this just on my own perceptions. I base it on the fruit. Look at how many kids struggled to survive and develop a relationship with the Lord.

If your own children could be 100% honest with you, what would they say? Would they say that the LC was as you say? Would they say that it helped them develop a relationship with the Lord? What things would they point to as being problems for them?

Honestly, I'm protecting the truth as best as I am able. I think you are trying to do the same. Due to the differences in our perceptions we have a very different thought about the underlying truth. Who wins? I hope neither of us. I hope that others win as a result of our dialogue. This is what I am trying to protect. The freedom for them to dialogue in an environment that allows them to heal.

Matt

Last edited by Matt Anderson; 08-18-2008 at 11:44 AM.
Matt Anderson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 11:36 AM   #155
djohnson
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 318
Default

Peter I generally agree with your well made point however I would mention that community churches are probably not an accurate comparison. The LCS are not community churches. The LCS is a separatist sub culture that positions itself in direct opposition to other Christian groups which they consider to be whores, etc. In other words in their frame of reference only they are pure and right and God's best and have the one ministry and the one minister blah blah blah...you know the drill. I have never been to a community church that had this collective self-concept.

My their own doing the LCS has positioned themselves to be heavily scrutinized. If you are so pure and right and holy and separate and God's best and have so many riches ...then why is your second generation and third generation plagued with so many social problems? Not all of course but enough to bring into question their thesis about themselves.

I am not promoting community churches but since you mentioned them it is only fair to say I have also never been in one that did not teach the family over and above all else except God. They are very family centric. And if they are not family centric enough for ones taste you just leave and go somewhere else. Such an atmosphere and attitude is a far cry from the LCS.

If a child is raised in a system that prioritizes family below the minister of the age and all that goes along with such pompous nonsense including the abuse of authority then certainly such a group can be held accountable for the negative influence they exercise. And if the leadership engage in outright hypocrisy with special passes given for the MOTA and his family while clamping down on everyone else then they can hardly expect their youth to take them too seriously when they are adults and can at least physically break free from groups hold.
__________________
My greatest joy is knowing Jesus Christ!
djohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 11:42 AM   #156
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post

In my mind, Don was/is clearly a brother with a good heart towards people and is one of the few that didn't allow himself to come under the control of the abusive Texas leadership. I have and will continue to commend him for that. That took a lot. In no way is his person or character in question. What came in question is some of his behavior on this thread.
While I appreciate the conciliatory tone of this post, I must protest this highlighted statement.

I also have to thank OBW for his posts. I don't believe one conference can be used to characterize -- painting with a broad brush -- the church in Dallas, or anywhere else. Neither should the rotten behaviors of a few leaders be used to characterize the whole church. That's like condemning all Americans because you don't like the President, or all in Dallas because you don't like the Mayor.

Please note I am doing my best to reconcile things here, but have to be fair. I believe, as a rule, it is more helpful to all involved that specifics are addressed rather than generalities. This is the reason for this conflict and many others that have occurred on the forums. In my view, Hope was only protesting generalizations, and that's how things got started.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 11:48 AM   #157
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 3,981
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
You responded to a post that I deleted. Maybe you should have considered the fact that I deleted it within a few seconds after I wrote it before you went ahead and responded to it.

In closing, I am no authority. I am just one voice. I'll speak and if you want to try to call me an authority to try and put me in my place go ahead. In this case, it's not having the desired effect. It's producing the opposite effect. You should well know by now that I am not dumb and that using tactics of bullying simply won't work with me.

I'm not defending a book here. That's just plain silly (and stupid).
But that is almost the only times that you get so heated. It is hard to separate the two. You are almost entirely the voice of reason. But when something comes up where anyone says anything that even hints at negativity, you are suddenly a different person. I would not call that stupid. And you, of all people, should reconsider using that word here.

In post #115 there were no such examples. You came to say that the account of BlessD says something about Dallas. That is simply not an accurate statement. You attacked Don as if he were trying to hide a bunch of dead bodies in the lawn of the big house or something. (I know, hyperbole.) Before you accuse me...

Yes, your examples were 1st hand accounts (Post #117). They spoke volumes about the LC in general. They say volumes about what they actually say, not what someone can stretch them to say. Lest we all forget, many of the problems of the LC are Lee’s taking scripture where the do not truthfully go. I do not wish to paint an idyllic picture of Dallas. It was far from that. But you have nothing to add to the discussion. If these were added for the general discussion outside of this particular debate, then that is OK. I do not say “OK” to suggest that I have some authority in the matter. I am speaking in terms of valid facts v logical fallacy. On their own, for their own purpose, they are welcome. As kindling for the discussion about Dallas, they are fallacy because they are not on topic but are, at best straw men. Beat up someone about something and everyone else gets swept in.

You are free to ask questions that dig deeper. But you cannot suppose to say that things are any particular way in Dallas because they were that way anywhere else. Even in the absolutely aberrant system that is the LC, even here in 2008, they are not all cookie cutter mirrors of each other, no matter how strongly Benson and company try to say they are and make them so. Broad-brushing can only be taken as a general thing, not specific.

Stick to actual accounts of issues rather than innuendo concerning things you do not know anything about. I know that there are truly valid issues relating to the LC, and also to Dallas. When you said (in your now deleted post) that the incident relating to BlessD did have relevance to Dallas, you made my case that there was an attempt to take the example where it did not go because that was simply an incorrect statement.. You are correct to retreat to talking about the LC in general. There is a lot to say there. That is where we all should be. And each of us may have something to say. There is surely something worthwhile to say about Dallas. But the Dallas history does not speak to the history in Cleveland, Toronto, Houston, OKC, or Anaheim. And those do not speak directly to the experience in Dallas.

As for the deleted post, evertying of substance in it was in #115.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 12:00 PM   #158
Matt Anderson
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 124
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
But that is almost the only times that you get so heated. It is hard to separate the two. You are almost entirely the voice of reason. But when something comes up where anyone says a